[J] I've been hoping

ethereal eclipse side of the borders

POSTED: Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:06 pm

It was probably time to settle down; though Ceridwen thought the term was a bit extreme, the approach of winter made her anxious. She was young, and without strong connections in the area. A winter alone could be detrimental to her health, and a possible death sentence for any unprepared loner. Brow furrowed, she glanced upwards, noting that she still had a significant portion of the day left to make her decision. She had managed to figure out that there were two packs in the area, though their members were elusive and difficult to track down. There seemed to be little conflict between them, or at least in the area, from what Ceridwen determined. It was otherwise, she supposed, a decision best left to fate. Wherever the wind may take her, like a seed carried off by a spring breeze, was where she would travel.

Eventually, she found herself on a hunting path, a well worn route etched into the earth, trampled down by many paws over the span of many moons. It was comforting, in a way, to know that somewhere out there was order and law. Perhaps it was something she sought subconsciously, drawn to the things she lacked. As the scent of ownership became potent, the young hybrid could feel her feet grow heavy, shuffling along the dirt path. Without her family, she did not know where she belonged. With them, it was easy enough to tag along; there was no need to figure things out or establish rules and boundaries. Their connection was just as much a commitment and labor of love as it was familial obligation.

Nearing the borders, Ceridwen stopped walking, but continued to fidget restlessly. She shifted her weight from heel to toes, tail quivering anxiously near her hocks. Already feeling self-conscious, she ran a hand through her hair, tousling the ivory strands to ensure that they fell with careless ease over the left side of her face. It mattered little how she looked, but the vagabond knew she would have to select her words with the utmost care. There was really no one to vouch for her, and at her age, she had not yet lived long enough to accomplish anything exceptional, nor did she consider herself a prodigy of any sort. Sighing deeply in frustration, she muttered unintelligibly to herself, obviously trying to play out the upcoming scenario before it commenced.

A haggard looking traveler, she looked in rough shape standing awkwardly half a kilometer from the pack borders. The only sense of fear she might have aroused was the fear that she was crazy, arguing with herself in broad daylight. This was not how she had intended to portray herself, much less introduce herself, but she had not yet managed to summon the courage to take the plunge.
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POSTED: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:17 pm

I hate rewriting posts soooo much

Kalypso began her patrols again, once her body had mostly healed and only the worst motions set her to aching. Why it took her so long to recover was a mystery, but she was sure it had something to do with nature trying to discourage her from pregnancy. No need to cause such misery, she thought. The entire process had been more deterrent than she needed to ensure she did not quickly get pregnant again. Though, heat cycles were not forthcoming, so she had to even wonder if her theory had any merit.

Those walks gradually got longer and brisker as time went by and her strength returned in full. But she was not unaccompanied by any means. Chaska walked with her as the only person she was comfortable demanding company from consistently and frequently. He did not protest, though she knew that he was hardly a spry, young thing at his age. Not one word of denial ever passed his lips, for which she was thankful. He never seemed too bothered by the walks, either, especially since she had explicitly said they were for patrol purposes only.

Considering their arrangement over her children, she was contented with the somewhat professional relationship they maintained. Kalypso was Queen and it had to remain a situation of ruler to subject and nothing more. She had insisted and she would not change her mind.

The Reine was so lost in thought that she visibly twitched when a heavy hand descended upon her shoulder, forcing her to stop and turn slightly. She peered up at Chaska briefly, then to the direction in which his other hand gestured. She narrowed her eyes in a slight squint before she realized the ratty figure in the distance was a person standing near their borders, looking in.

Brows furrowed and lips frowning, Kalypso strode toward the pitiful figure, not impressed by what she saw. They had not called for her and the scent was not familiar. A loner, a ruffian, a thief. Whatever the descriptor, the female seemed to be on the bad side of luck if appearances were reflective of her state of existence.

You're awfully close to our borders. What is your purpose here? she called out, regally, feeling Chaska's looming presence behind her. Silent. As always.

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If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:10 am

Never mind presenting herself; Ceridwen had not yet even considered how she would summon anyone. What sort of tone should she use? How should she go about it? She continued to fret, only vaguely aware that her hands had become balled into fists, and her ears pressed back into the soft waves of her hair. There was no turning back now. She was too close to the distinct line of the borders that leaving would only arouse suspicion. However, if she did not make her move soon, a patrol would likely come across her, taking away what little power she had over the situation.

The red merle woman was still calculating scenarios and opportunities when movement in the distance caught her eye. Her whirring mind going silent, she watched as two figures approached, and realized despairingly that she had waited too long to make her move. When they were within earshot, she dropped to one knee, falling into a pose of submission. Simultaneously, she drew her makeshift sack from her shoulder, carefully rolling it out before her to display the contents. Carefully bundled plants were delicately arranged on the material for all to view. She might have had very little experience in joining packs, but she had done her best to ensure that she was considered non-threatening by appearance alone, short of returning to Lupus appearance.

When the regal sovereign addressed her, Ceridwen had given her undivided attention. Now that it was her turn to speak, however, she averted her gaze, forcing it to drop to somewhere between the woman's knees and toes. "My name is Ceridwen Armistice, a traveler in search of a home. I offer to the pack the medicinal plants I have gathered as a sign of good faith. It is not much to give, but I hope my knowledge in botany and medicines will benefit the pack." It was a well versed introduction, clearly thought out in contrast to her initial impression. She did not know who the individuals before her were, nor could she even begin to imagine what would come next, but now that she had explained herself, her confidence no longer wavered.
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POSTED: Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:59 pm

Kalypso failed to hide the shock in her eyes as the woman fell to her knee. No one had really displayed such a demonstration of fealty to her before. There was a smug pride in her chest as she peered down to the woman who refused to look up to meet her eyes. She could feel Chaska’s eyes on her, waiting to see for her reaction. Why did that gaze burn so much, though?

There was a pile of herbs at the woman’s feet, most of which she did not recognize but she was not about to pretend to be skilled and knowledgeable about them. The Reine took a moment, a few beats, just to make the woman wait. It was her favorite game at that moment, a pleasure she should not have been so happy to take.

Finally, the Queen tilted her head. We can find a place for someone with your skillset. We have a handful of herbalists already but extra knowledge is never unwelcome. She looked at Chaska but he was unreadable as ever, though he seemed to have softened his glance. Turning back to the woman, she gave a heavy sigh.

Stand up, Miss Armistice. Kneeling is a bit excessive, she said dismissively. It was not that she did not appreciate the gesture, but knew that it was hardly appropriate for her to ask for such a thing. That and it smacked strongly of Mistral, something that the Reine desperately wanted to avoid. Was it tyrannical to ask for such a genuflection? She did not know but better to err on the side of caution and avoid it entirely.

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POSTED: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:00 pm

Welcome to Cour des Miracles!
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Welcome to the Court of Miracles, where the misfits come to play and the nobles rise above the rabble, united beneath the banner of their royal leadership.

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POSTED: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:12 pm

Breath caught on her tongue, Ceridwen waited anxiously, eyes down but ears tilted forward. The response, to her surprise, was swift. There seemed to be no further former process; no interrogation or test. She considered this could be a different culture, but felt slightly unnerved all the same. To shake off the feeling, she gathered her goods once more and rose to full height.

Before the woman and her looming companion, Ceridwen felt oddly small. She suspected that the stranger was of high rank, simply from the energy she exuded. She said nothing as she stood, watching the legs of the pair impassively. Most would have felt their sense of pride waver at this point, but Ceridwen was thankful to simply have overcome another obstacle. Her self preservation was her number one priority.

"If that's the case, I am not interested in adding to an oversaturated group of herbalists." There was a tone to her voice that indicated she felt confident, and perhaps a little judgemental of her competition. "Consider me to be an alchemist of sorts. My knowledge is not limited to healing and medicines... Though I was certain that was what a pack would want to have in their ranks." The last part was muttered somewhat bitterly, and mostly to herself. Even after all her calculations, she continued to fall short.

"These other herbalists, what do they provide for the pack?" This was the first time that she looked up shrewedly at the crowned queen. Young as she was, the red merle woman was talented, with a thirst for setting herself apart from others. Tipping her head delicately, she indicated that she would follow the pair, opening an avenue for them to make efficent use of their time.
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POSTED: Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:07 pm

Her lips threatened to tighten as the woman countered. For a brief moment, Kalypso wondered if the stranger was going to rise and leave considering the quantity of herbalist in the pack already. It seemed foolish to think in such a way rather than acknowledging the fact that many herbalists meant they would never go without. And shining above others was always a point of pride for anyone who managed to grow in such a way.

The woman did not, though, and the Reine felt relief in her bones. More bodies for the Court, more souls to bolster their strength. It was as she wanted.

I never said it was not wanted, for your kind is most welcome. How could we say no to someone skilled in such a way? she countered carefully, wondering who on earth would choose to reject such a valuable creature. She was in need of good meals, but that was easily rectified by a pack more than capable of hunting for meals. Galilee would have been more than able to provide the stranger a few meals on her own.

But that was the benefit of a pack. Warm home, plenty of meals, and a secure place to blossom.

You would have to ask them specifically. They are skilled more in remedies, I think, but it's not something I know well. The girl finally looked up at her, and Kalypso raised a brow. Can you provide something different? Something more sinister? Useful in a different way? The Queen looked expectantly as she gestured for Chaska to lead so that she might walk beside the new Seigneur.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:36 am

"You misunderstand," Ceridwen responded curtly, though not with impatience. She was not gentle with others by nature, and struggled with the kindness that was required when dealing with strangers. "I simply seek to create diversity. If there are many healers, then my knowledge can be put to other uses." It would have worked in her favour had she explained this initially, but Ceridwen worked at her own pace. She shot Kalypso a quizzical look, wondering if there was, perhaps, underlying intentions to her question. Instead of answering directly, she opted to work around the question, momentarily looking down at her toes as she walked along.

"I come from a long line of rulers and druids; our family knowledge has been passed down for generations, but we have also evolved over time. I have studied under my parents and grandmother to learn which plants cause illness, and which plants cure them. They have taught me how to find plants, as well as how to grow the ones that can be domesticated. I can deconstruct organic matter, and combine components to make something new. I have learned potions and spells, as well as how to craft out of stone, wood, and bone." Joining a pack was hardly a matter of what Ceridwen wanted. The fiery furred canine could and would do whatever she pleased, but to remain in the pack, she would have to appeal to higher powers, which she suspected belonged to the woman she walked alongside.

"If you are not want for healers, what else do you need?" Surely this pack lacked something that their leader sought so ardently that she was willing to allow a stranger in without much interrogation. "Don't get me wrong, I am willing to help if needed. It is a useful skill, and one that is needed within every pack, but healing others is not my life calling. If there is an opportunity to specialize in another field, I would prefer that." This time, she was a bit more forward, hoping that Kalypso would provide more insight. After all, Ceridwen knew next to nothing of the culture or residents.
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