A Cautious Journey

POSTED: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:35 pm

Hirsch had been riding for days now, searching for the territory of the "outcast pack" she had heard about here and there on her travels. The morning air was crisp in her lungs as snow flurries drifted around her. She pulled her cloak a bit tighter and thanked whatever was out there that she had Erebus' body heat underneath her. The young female had set out on her own nearly six months ago now, and as she had traveled she had watched summer give way to winter. It was only the second time in her life she had felt winter’s chill, and this was a hell of a way to learn more.

Eventually she found it, the borders of what she hoped would be her new home. She could hear the sea against the cliffs to the east, and an pang of adventure nearly caused her heart to leap from her chest. She was possibly about to begin a real life, one of her own, with friends and other Luperci. She slid carefully off of Erebus’ broad, black back, reluctant to give up his warmth, but even more reluctant to give up his comfort to her. Her paws hit the cold ground with a bit of a shock, she hadn’t stood on her own for quite a few hours and had forgotten just how frigid and hard the earth was. Her legs were aching and sore in just about every place, and her butt was tender and…grossly sweaty. She pushed all of her minor discomforts aside, and tightened her grip on Erebus’ reins. What she was about to do might startle him, and the last thing she needed was her sole companion and main source of transportation to spook and evacuate, taking her tools and hope with him.

The ebony she-wolf inhaled the sharp air deeply into her lungs, and let her light eyes shut. She hadn’t howled in months, she hand’t had anyone to howl for, except for those nights she found herself achingly lonely early in her journey. With her grip tightening even more, she lifted her head to the misty grey morning sky, and let out her loudest howl. Erebus tossed his head at the sound and stamped, shaking Hirsch around a bit, but she was determined and stayed focused on completing her howl. As the last of the sound passed her lips, she let her eyes crack open again, and relaxed. An indescribable feeling flooded her chest, and she felt herself began to beam, as something like a mix of passion and fear and excitement began bombarding her every sense.

She turned her attention back onto her ever protesting stallion. He was agitated, as he had every right to be with a wolf suddenly howling next to him, and Hirsch began to stroke him calmly and gently, whispering to him lovingly as she did. Eventually the large black horse relaxed, lowering his head and regulating his breathing. Hirsch wanted to howl once more, to ensure she was heard, and because the rush of howling was just too fun not to. She began her howl low, making sure Erebus wasn’t startled again, and slowly raised the volume and pitch up to normal, her eyes shutting and her head lifting as if automatically. With another large smile, she patted her companion once more, and resigned herself to wait for the Court leaders to find her.
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POSTED: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:27 pm

OOC: Welcome! :D

IC:
Abigail had scarcely been able to think about patrolling the Court’s borders in the last few weeks. Cicely and Ajax were now old enough that their Mother could leave them, usually sleeping and watched over by a relative, for short periods of time – and Abigail was savouring every moment. She was overwhelmed by love for her children, her first children, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate the moments when she was able to leave the Hotel and attend to other things.

She had intended to make a quick trip to the stables to check on Heritage, but a call from the borders stopped her in her tracks as she made her way down the Hotel steps. Abigail glanced around as if she’d just been released from three weeks of captivity in a darkened room (she hadn’t – but she was spending the bulk of her time in the warm with the pair of pups). Frost clung to the gardens still and the ground was hard underfoot. When had it become so wintry outside? It was a somewhat foolish thought, for Abigail had seen several Winters already. She knew perfectly well what the coldest season looked like covering the Court. Shaking her head lightly, the Grand-Duchessa turned towards the direction of the caller, tightened the thick cloak she wore around her middle and struck out at a brisk pace.

This was the first stranger Abigail had greeted at the borders in a while, and the idea of new blood made Abigail smile. She loved her family dearly but there was something to be said for different viewpoints in their numbers. She wondered if this stranger would be as exotic and feisty as Kalypso and concluded that it didn’t really matter. Abigail would be eager to meet them regardless.

A second howl erupted as Abigail pushed on through the trees and one timber tipped ear flicked. She quickened her pace and was soon standing before a wolf coloured with chocolates and deeper sables. The horse who stood close by was darker still. Abigail’s tail tip flicked and she smiled at both of them.

“You’re on the borders of Cour des Miracles. I’m Abigail Sadira.” Her muzzle dipped but her gaze remained on the other woman's face. “How can I help you?”

[300+]
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POSTED: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:22 pm

As the snow continued around her dark body, Hirsch continued to stroke Erebus gently. Steam was rising up from his well worked muscles, and, despite the cold, she could notice sweat marks on his. He hadn’t been groomed in quite sometime, but she had heard this pack had stables, so maybe she could give him a much needed pampering.

Soon a breeze moved the young wolf’s curls into her face, and carried with it a new smell. She straightened up and paid closer attention to her surroundings, yet Hirsch still found herself startled by the rustling in the trees nearby. Had they really come already? She tore her attention away from her beloved steed in time to see a pale and slender she-wolf emerge to greet her. Hirsch instinctively averted her eyes from the gaze of the superior female, but took note of the other woman’s friendly and refined disposition. The dark youngster allowed her childish grin to soften into a small, gentle and much more respectful smile.

“Hello, Miss Abigail,”
Hirsch bowed slightly in response to the other female’s small head nod, but did not rise back up to her full height, instead keeping her body and tail lower out of respect. “Thank you for coming to greet me. My name is Hirsch. I was hoping that I would be able to join you and the Court today.” She hoped that despite her youth and inexperience, she would be assumed useful or otherwise wanted.

[~250]
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POSTED: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:40 pm

Snow was settling into Abigail’s timber brown curls, making them heavier and less prone to bouncing around, but they still jostled around her cheeks and chin as she lifted her head again. Abi was built for the cold and could’ve stood out here for hours with the addition of her plush cloak; she was still inclined to not dawdle over the proceedings for the sake of her prospective pack mate.

The younger female’s greeting was polite, accompanied by a slight bow and an averting of her silver eyes. Abi was, by now, no stranger to these little gestures of submission – or perhaps, more accurately, respect – and though she made no comment over them they were appreciated inwardly. Outwardly she wore the same gentle smile she had worn upon her arrival.

The Grand-Duchessa nodded, tail swishing into a slow wag. Hopefully that would put the other female – Hirsch was her name – at ease.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Hirsch. That’s a fine looking horse,” the Sadira woman approved with a tilt of her head towards the dark steed. “A stallion – you must be a competent rider.” There was a hint of knowing in Abigail’s tone which implied that she had had experience with temperamental stallions. Although in truth Heritage was better behaved for his mistress than he had been for the King, he still had his moments. "Forgive me. I'm Grand-Duchessa - a subleader - here, but I'm also a stablehand. I've always loved horses."

Her smile widened a little.

“I promise I won’t keep you waiting in the cold forever – but I do need to know a little about you before you become a Courtier. How did you come to hear of us - and have you picked up any skills on your travels which might be especially useful?”

It was a necessary formality but there was interest in Abigail’s tone and it was neither forced nor insincere. She genuinely enjoyed learning about people. Her tail gave another sway.

[300+]
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POSTED: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:20 pm

The winter air was certainly beginning to get to Hirsch, still too young to have gotten used to being outside much in the cold. She pulled her cloak around her more, but the poor woolen object was doing its best, being quite old. Nevertheless the young wolf refused to be rude, and steeled herself against the snow, an occasional drop of water slipping from her dark curls and onto her nose. When she noticed the older female had begun wagging her tail, slowly and slightly, she felt a small bit of relaxation come through her. Maybe she wasn't doing too badly. Her small, polite smile grew into a slightly larger, more genuine one and her own tail began to wag contentedly.

"A pleasure to meet you as well, Duchessa,"
Hirsch gave another slight nod as she spoke, finding herself genuinely coming to like the other woman. "And thank you! This is Erebus, he's been a dear friend to me for as long as I can remember." Hirsch stroked her oldest friend's neck loving, and shot him an affectionate gaze. He really did mean the world to her. The Grand-Duchessa's compliment surprised her, and conjured up a small, slightly embarrassed reaction. "Yes, he's a stallion, and he can get a little moody sometimes, but he's a pretty good boy. He's how I learned to ride, and he's always been my favorite horse." The dark yearling gave her companion another good pat of the neck, her smile growing ever wider.

"A stablehand you say? That must be wonderful, being surrounded by so many horses. My family only had three, but I loved tending to them." The youngster noticed that she might have been beginning to ramble, and shyly averted her eyes, moving her attention to the Duchessa's questions. "Oh, the cold is no problem," She chuckled slightly despite the fact that she was freezing. "I understand that there are procedures. In all honesty, I set out from home without any real idea of what I wanted or was doing. Eventually, I got quite lonely and began asking about the local packs. This one was the one the stood out the most to me. Something about a pack of kind-hearted misfits stationed on the cliffs above the sea sounded very appealing." Her heart began to race again, the excitement of where she was and what she was doing creeping in again.

"As far as skills go...I'm fairly adept with caring for horses, and I enjoy their company. Back with my parents, I used to work with my hands often, and I'm a decent sculptor...."
Her mind began to wander, feeling a slight panic as she hadn't had much time to learn how to do anything particularly noteworthy, but had acquired many, many interests. "I'm an excellent student, however! I have a lot I would like to learn, like archery! Or...how to make vessels....or....." She had begun to ramble again, growing increasingly nervous that she hadn't yet learned enough to be of use to this pack. She eventually glanced back towards the Duchessa, and, determined to make herself useful in some way, breathed deeply to collect herself. "I'm sorry, Duchessa, I'm still quite young and I haven't been able to learn too much yet. I can sculpt and I can ride. I can work with my hands and be happy doing it, and I can be comfortable working with other creatures. I can also learn, and I enjoy learning. Hopefully these small things will still be of use to the Court." She finished her statement with another nod, praying she hadn't lost favor with the white wolf in front of her.

[600+]

OOC: I, the player, have a lot of weird skills that Hirsch could eventually acquire, like glassblowing, but that don't make sense for her to know right now at only 18 months.
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POSTED: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:19 pm

OOC: That's fine :D More realistic actually! I'll get you titled up asap <3 Feel free to reply again if you'd like!

IC:
Abigail flashed a grin as her sea green eyes rested on the stallion again. Hirsch spoke of her equine friend with such genuine affection that it was difficult for the Sadira female not to be impressed. Some youths had no interest in horses – worse, some were so wrapped up in themselves that they couldn’t have cared for an animal if they’d tried. Erebus seemed to be in good condition which told Abigail a little about his mistress’s dedication to him.

“A fine name for a fine stallion. My boy is called Heritage – I’m familiar with their moods,” the Courtier chuckled.

She offered a deep nod and another blazing smile.

“It’s wonderful, I have to say, although lately I’ve not had quite as much time for the stables.” Abigail didn’t go into why she’d not had as much time just then, but she had a good enough feeling about Hirsch that she was sure the yearling female would soon learn what had been keeping her away.

The Grand-Duchessa listened, attentive and understanding, to Hirsch’s tale. It was one which was familiar to Abigail although not one which had featured in her own history – she had always been surrounded by family in one way or another.

“Kind-hearted misfits,” she murmured, eyes twinkling with good humour. “I’ll take that.”

“A sculptor, hm? I’m sure we wouldn’t say no to another creative mind in the Court; I do a little jewellery making myself, actually, and we’ll always welcome more goods to trade. It’s good to work with the hands as well as the mind.”

Abi’s eyes widened slightly before she unleashed a soft giggle.

“Archery – that’s quite a coincidence! I favour a bow too; I could probably show you the basics some time.”

The woman’s tail was now wagging freely in wide arcs, occasionally sending flecks of snow back into the air they had fallen from. Abigail might not have looked very regal in that moment, but she was glad she had answered Hirsch’s call from the borders.

“As long as you’re willing to learn and to contribute where you can – and as long as you don’t bring us trouble - you should do fine. Come,” Abi beckoned with one pale hand. “We can see about a stall for Erebus and a fire for you.”

[300+]
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POSTED: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:21 pm

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