a gentle touch and a foolish love

POSTED: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:10 pm

He came to inspect the building site each morning before he began his patrols – sometimes astride his patchy gypsy vanner, and sometimes in his secui form. Torin followed him around more often than not, the younger soldier eagerly asking questions or sharing stories from his childhood in the Silver Valley. He was a chatty man, always eager to bow a gentlemanly hello to any of the women that they passed. Brocade had grown to enjoy the man’s company, and he had proven that he was able to throw his hefty weight around in the Arena.

Today Brocade came to stand on the edge of the build site, his arms crossed thoughtfully as he assessed the work that had already been accomplished. Torin stood alongside him, wiping blood from the long bushy fur in his mane that remained from a hunt earlier that morning. ”What do you think Torin?” The man paused in his work, rubbing the stain between his thick fingers and offered a goofy grin. ”Looks like what you’ve described t’me. The coyote chaps doin’ a good job piecing it all together.”

Brocade hummed with agreement at the irishmans words, the golden in his eyes warming as they stepped out onto the build site. The Southern Watch Tower leered at him in the corner of his vision and he knew deep down that the time for moving into it would soon come in the wake of the Barracks completion.

”You ever build anything?”

Torin was chuckling, braiding his now clean mane so that it lay out of his face, ”Y’mean besides the wall around my own heart?” He laughed again and shook his head, ”I’ve never built anything in m’whole life.”

Brocade snorted at that.

Together they padded around the site before settling on work that would move large stones toward where he had seen the Serf working previously.

Brocs working on moving stuff! He has no idea how to build - maybe someone could come help him and Torin out! Or come and visit :>

Salsola
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Amanda
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you forget I have a gypsy heart
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POSTED: Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:59 pm

Aidan had joined Salsola, and agreed to abide by its covenants with the promise that the pack would be the place to learn to be better than just a survivor. In only a short amount of time, the pack had delivered so far. Perhaps one of the toughest aspects of his life within the pack though, was the constant interaction. Aidan had never intended to become a lone wolf, content to live a solitary life. The very thing that drew him to crowds of Luperci because he did like the company of his own kind. Always though, Aidan had felt like he saw the world through an invisible barrier, one that kept him apart, but perhaps worse, pushing against that barrier stirred up a flood of great pain, and so he’d shied away from it.

What Aidan hadn’t expected to find was Kaeli. The older female had kept up with his veracious appetite to master combat. The tow had trained nearly every day. It was at the end of today’s session, the young coyote had decided to run off his hard work, doing his best to avoid any stiffness that may try to set in before tomorrow. If it weren’t for his dagger, strapped as it was on the belt, which was the only piece of clothing Aidan ever wore, he might have shifted into his lupus form, one he was very comfortable in, especially for long runs. As it was, the pale eyed coyote set a steady, but ground eating pace, with very little idea, or concern as to where he was headed.

It was the scent of blood, hanging as it did so tantalisingly in the air, that caught Aidan’s attention. The masked coyote slowed to stop and raised his muzzle, scenting, his pale eyes turning to the pair a little distance away. Usually Aidan would not approach, but while his combat training was going well, his socialising was being left very much behind. His body aching pleasantly from the run, Aidan moved towards the pair, his mouth open slightly tasting the air and panting lightly. Stopping a respectful distance away, Aidan nodded respectfully.

”I scented blood.” He said, his flat impassive tone doubtless making him seem cold.

Aidan wasn’t a bad conversationalist, but he found ‘small-talk’ difficult, though his uncle had told him that his arrow like directness in a conversation was ‘weird’. In an attempt to negate his immediate blunder, Aidan scanned his pale gaze around the building site.

”It seems the pack enjoys construction a great deal more than any other pack I have heard of.”

The second statement was said in the same flat tone. Deciding to draw one more time upon the lessons of his uncle, Aidan introduced himself.

”I am Aidan Massacre.”
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POSTED: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:31 am

The stones they chose were better moved with two men. Torin remarked upon this as they worked together, grappling a heavy stone as they finally placed it upon its final resting place. ”It’s harder than it looks.” The irish man griped, pressing his large hands into the small of his back, ”Who likes doin’ this all day?”

The voice surprised the pair of them, and Brocade turned to inspect the coyote who had begun to pick his way toward them through the construction.

Aidan was a new face. Brocade flared his nostrils and offered a greeting – despite the flat tone of the mans voice. ”Bonjour,” He called, dipping his head as Torin ran his paws through the long mane of his fur. ”I went huntin’ this morning. Thought I got it all out.” Brocade grunted a chuckle and stepped toward the coyote.

”I am Brocade Valentine, and this is Torin de le Poer.”

”I wouldn’t say that we enjoy it. Seems necessary if we want t’have a place to bring the Shield together. Ay?” He bumped his thick shoulder with Brocades before settling back amongst the stones.

”Are you here to see the Barracks?”

:)

Salsola
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Amanda
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you forget I have a gypsy heart
listen to the wild

POSTED: Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:33 pm

Aidan nodded respectfully, his posture showing a practised deference. He knew of Brocade of course, and while his knowledge of the other with the Director was sparse, being relatively new to the pack, Aidan decided that in an unfamiliar social situation, respect would never hurt. There was a heartbeat’s pause after the question before Aidan answered. The coywolf often thought of what he would say before he spoke. While he reacted quickly in a fight, a conversation was a battle he’d yet to master.

”I came to Salsola to learn to become a better fighter. I wasn’t familiar with what a barracks was until I entered the pack. A gathering place for those of the Shield is something that seems a prudent tactic.”

He looked at all the mess of the construction site. Aidan was no builder, but it seemed there was still a great deal of work left to do.

”From what I understand of the ways of the Kingdom, there are a number of servants who could be used to make the work quicker. Have they not been put onto this project?”

Aidan’s implacable tone continued, but as he spoke, there was a vague tinge of curiosity which crept into it.

”Do you wish for any help?” Aidan offered, his head tilting quizzically.

Brocade’s companion was intriguing. Never before had the coyote come across a Luperci with such an accent, even after all his time listening and watching amongst the loners.

”The Barracks. Will the members of the Shield be expected to live in them? Other than a meeting place, what purpose does it serve?”

Aidan was keen to learn and understand more. He understood that no one acted in the manner he did, and so he had to learn and assimilate in order to, at least pretend to be the same.
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POSTED: Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:46 am

Brocade felt his ears tip forward as the coyote spoke of his wish to join Salsola in an effort to learn how to fight. The soldier glanced at Torin before speaking. ”You came to Salsola to learn more about combat?” The Director couldn’t help the soft smile that played across his scarred features as he replied, ”I did not know that we had such a reputation.”

Torin chortled softly, ”I came to Salsola from the Outpost. Before that I was in Airgid Glenn. We had no servants to do our work for us – sometimes its better t’see it done ourselves.” Brocade nodded in affirmation, ”We use them when we can, but I don’t mind the work.”

They padded further into the ruin and Brocade chuffed softly, ”I aim for it to become a place where the Shield can gather for meetings or practice.”

The Irishman leaned against a half-built wall and continued to brush his fingers through the long waves of his mane .

”Is there a particular fighting style that you are looking to learn?”

Salsola
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Amanda
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you forget I have a gypsy heart
listen to the wild

POSTED: Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:39 am

Had Aidan not already known Brocade’s rank, the manner in which the other held himself, and moved through the construction would have easily let him know. The calm assuredness of one used to being in command. The other, who ran his hands through his own hair. What was he? A pack mate? A student? A lover? Aidan had never found it easy to pin down the relationships between other Luperci, or judge those things well. Those thoughts and questions were placed to one side, as the far more interesting topic of combat was raised.

Aidan followed his superior further into the building site, always making sure that the Irishman was also in his line of view. While the coyote did not anticipate danger, he’d lived too long among loners to trust, even his pack mates, standing behind him.

”A… Aidan thought of Delfina ”former member of the pack found me in the midst of a fight with two assailants who had taken offence at me. She told me that my style was crude and that if I wished to train to go to the borders and make my presence known. I did, and have taken advantage of the opportunity the Kingdom granted me.”

His tone continued to be flat, recounting the tale, but whether he was happy, disappointed, or even angry, was impossible to tell. His cool grey eyes remained respectfully averted as Aidan mulled over Brocade’s final question.

”The style that allows me to kill an opponent most effectively.” the coyote finally answered, his flat tone adding an almost chilling note to his response.

”As a loner I was often attacked, usually by large and muscular males. Their muscle made them slow. Since arriving here I have trained with pack mates both with and without weapons. I am most proficient with a knife. I have found in the past, though a small target, even a shallow stab into an opponent’s eye often distracts them long enough to severe something that will end an attack quickly.”

Aidan fell silent for a moment, as though sanity checking what he had just said. After another heartbeat he spoke again.

”Sir, is there a style of combat you prefer?”

While he addressed his question to Brocade, he spared a glance for the Irishman as well, a tinge of curiosity once again, permeating the flat tone.
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POSTED: Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:45 pm

Where he came from there had been no decision in the fighting style that he had learned. Dirge had been proud to have a son become a soldier, and had been even prouder when he had joined a Squadron. It was funny that Brocade thought less and less of them now – of Ferdinand, Jacquard, and Etoile. Jacquard had disappeared to Portland soon after Etoile had vanished – and though Brocade knew that the pair of them had never been involved he couldn’t help but wonder at their timing. The scruffy-faced man had always been jovial and kind, and now that he thought of it he glanced for a moment at Torin.

They were very similar.

Torins blue eyes flashed at him as he grinned, speaking to the coyote as Brocade gathered his thoughts. ”All fightin’ has the potential t’kill.” Brocade couldn’t imagine Torin killing anything and checked himself before he rolled his eyes, ”I learned first with my fists, then later with my spear.” Brocade rolled his scarred shoulders and offered a smile, ”The learning never really ends. Have you met with our Paladin? Idrieus is tasked with training many of our New Recruits.”

Torin was bouncing from side to side, ”We come here t’spar. Throw a few punches.” He threw his fists in front of his as if he was boxing an invisible opponent.

”Where did you come from?”

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Amanda
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you forget I have a gypsy heart
listen to the wild

POSTED: Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:12 pm

Aidan might well have floundered in social situations, but being able to observe a situation, was something he was good at. The coywolf could see the close and easy comradery between the other two Luperci. The dynamic was much greater than many of the connections he’d observed amongst the pack mates in the Kingdom, these two shared close ties, and for a moment, perhaps prompted also by his superior’s final question, Aidan thought of his sister. In fact, he saw all his siblings in his mind’s eye, cowering together as pups, and for a moment, something, some emotion sparked inside of him. Life a spark in a void though, it died quickly.

”My birth pack was Anathema, thought it was destroyed, and I had little interaction with my pack mates. My parents held us back or used us for…whatever they saw fit. After the pack was destroyed I became separated from my family, and did not feel the need to seek them out. My abilities meant that when I was unable to hunt I could acquire. One of the most important lessons I learned then was underestimation was the death blow I could use against an opponent.”

Aidan glanced at Torin as the large male punched the air. Was it part of a strategy? The blue eyed luperci’s jovial natured, a relaxed, good natured calm, that was doubtless cultivated to draw another in. Or perhaps Aidan, coming from where he did, understood only risk and threat. Still, Torin’s illusion was alluring, and Aidan flirted with the notion that if he were to confide in one of the two, Torin might well be the one. Not often given to such speculation though, they coywolf dismissed it and continued.

”I’ve not had the opportunity to train with her. Since I arrived, most of my sparring has been with Kaeli Bluacksun. Until I arrived within the Kingdom I had never sparred previously, no fight I’d taken part in wasn’t to the death, finding a way to maim and kill and opponent in the shortest time possible meant the least effort. My experience using my fists alone is limited because bludgeoning an opponent to death is often much slower, in my experience.” Aidan finished, qualifying his statement in order to avoid offence, a lesson he recalled.

Deciding to direct his next question to the highest ranking, as Aidan was unsure how delicate a subject those in the pack considered such a question, the coy wolf asked.

”Sir, how many conflicts have you been involved in, on behalf of the Kingdom? Though our borders are carefully hidden I have gained the impression that the pack is often forced defend itself form outsiders regularly. Is that correct?”
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POSTED: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:06 am

Brocade believed in the ties that brought wolves together – and though sometimes the Kingdom prevented true friendships from forming, Brocade treasured those who had had been able to find that had become his chosen family. Krios and Kamari were dear to him, and though Symre was determined to forge her own way he still allowed himself to think of her. Adelia sometimes filled him in on the whereabouts of his niece, through snippets of story that Tali managed to pass on through her mother.

”Kaeli will hopefully one day join the Faction.” Brocade rumbled with approval and glanced at Torin before clicking his teeth. ”I grew up in the caravans. I joined the skirmishes as soon as I could. We fought for territory – there was always a back and forth and we were forced to be vigilant.” For a moment he thought of Ferdinand and his face darkened.

”Salsola has seen its fair share of violence.” Torin pricked his ears at that. ”We have fought through two attacks from the wolves of Boreas. Men came for my sister and called themselves The Five – but we fought them off and reclaimed what they took from us.” Brocade turned to face Aiden, ”For a long time we managed to exist somewhere between peace and preparation. With the recent murders…” He allowed his voice to trail off and he chuffed softly, ”Well, there is always something.”

Torin nodded as if he understood, but tugged again at his chin. "Salsola seems t'be firm when it comes to Outsiders. Chase them off or run 'em down."

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Amanda
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you forget I have a gypsy heart
listen to the wild

POSTED: Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:07 pm

As his superior spoke, Aidan watched Torin, and observed how he reacted to what Brocade was saying. The Massacre male had been learning that often he could find ques in how he should react from those around him, it meant he better blended with those around him, by knowing the reactions of others to details. As Aidan listened, he merely filed away the knowledge imparted to him.

”Boreas wolves. I have heard others mention these, are they particularly ferocious wolves?”

As always, Aidan’s tone was flat and his grey eyes was cool, but there was a tinge of vague curiosity which had crept into the question.

Mention of the murders made Aidan think of Delfina, the one who had introduced him to the pack. There had been a time in which Aidan had felt…uneasy. He had wondered if the decisions of a crazy lupeerci would be examined and found wanting, meaning his position amongst the Kingdom would become untenable. However, an encounter with O’Riley had meant that Aidan knew where he stood. He was a part of the Kingdom, and with that knowledge, he had continued to train, and now, to serve Salsola in the way he could.

”Did you destroy those who called themselves The Five?”

As he asked the question, Aidan realised a distant twinge of envy had tugged at him. The easy manner in which the two Luperci before him showed such easy camaraderie, there friendship was clear and genuine, and something Aidan knew was quite beyond him. The longer he spent within the pack, the more evident it became to the coyote that he was very different.

”Given the secretive nature of the pack, I believe I’m aware of the Kingdom’s feelings on outsiders. They are sentiments I can share, as loners have never been kind in my experience. Or if they appear to be, it is often a way of gaining trust for a later betrayal.”

If his words had been tinged with emotion, then he may well have sounded cynical, as it was, they were delivered impassively, giving them a cold reality.
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