song of the bleeding throat

POSTED: Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:12 pm

With the departure of Laurel and John's little band, their numbers dwindled. The loyalists and those who had nowhere else to go dwelled in the caverns or roamed the forests beyond, unable or unwilling to cut ties with the lands that nearly killed them. God knew there was more prey over the mountains, but at least coyotes didn't eat much. There were fewer mouths to feed, fewer hunters killing their suffering prey. Clover didn't see a reason to leave, not when this place was secluded and travel was so hard for Vesper.

Sparks flew as Clover tossed another branch onto the small campfire. Suspended over it was a small pot she'd rescued from the old territory, which Clover checked every few minutes, lugging over another small section of branch when the content weren't boiling quickly enough for her. She did not want to leave Vesper – back in the caves, whose entrance she built the fire only a hundred yards from – waiting any longer than she had to.

A log shifted, and embers flew up. They singed Clover's fur where they landed like red flies, and she cursed up a storm, the language foul but undirected.

Outside the caverns. Clover is yell.

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oderint dum metuant
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unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:47 am

At first Otilie had run as far as she could, as fast as she could, for as long as she could. Seeing Degare had ignited a flight response in her so deep that she had almost made it entirely north before deciding to turn back around. There were packs up there that she had scented but none of them had been clan. They had smelt like wolf and dog, of hybrid and civilization. Something in her had been afraid to allow her curse to spread like a virus - and so she had returned to the winding caverns.

Things here couldn't get worse.

Everyone had disappeared in the wake of Vicira announcement, trickling out like a seeping wound. Some had traversed the mountains and some had returned to their homes. Otilie lay awake in her tiny cave and wondered what it was she still sought to protect, but knew in her heart that staying was the right thing to do. She was no warrior or scavenger, and should wolves come from the North to chase them out she would surely run.

But for now she stayed with Clover and Vesper - a silent shadow that hunted and checked in on them.

She snarled as she heard the dogs cursing, and she trotted through the caves with a frown, tail held high. She anticipated the worst and was surprised to find he dog with singed ears and a mean looking scowl. Smoke rose between them as a log snapped and cracked into place, and Otilie stood with her hands on her hips - inspecting Clovers work and her ears.

"What-" The fire had burned low and Otilie twerked her lips, "Are you good?"
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POSTED: Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:33 am

A growl rose out of the cavern mouth, and Clover spun around, batting at her ears, her eyes widened. But the woman who came charging out stopped, realizing that the situation wasn't dire, and mortification overcame surprise as Clover saw Otilie. She gripped one floppy ear in her hand, looking away as the coywolf smiled.

"Yeah, I'm good," the dog replied, and ran her hands through her shaggy hair. "Just, the fuckin' log -- I mean -- you don't gotta worry." She didn't want their companion -- friend, since she'd stuck around as a fellow hunter and quiet guard -- to linger around the fire on account of Clover. Part of her didn't, at least; some less rational part had brightened at Otilie's appearance, and it was this part that drove her to keep speaking.

"I'm boiling yarrow right now," she said, gesturing to the steam that rose from the pot. "My mentor taught me heat lifts out the essence of the plant or some shit, but it works. Like tea, you know?" Many canines were more familiar with teas than decoctions. "This is for Vesper, since she's been achy."

Her tail swayed. Self-conscious, awkward, she stroked her ear again. "You doin' good?"
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POSTED: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:00 pm

Otilie checked on Vesper and Clover as often as she could. There was a tie there that hadn’t been when she had first come to Inferni, but something had brought them all together in the wake of the packs disbandment. She hunted often and was gone sometimes for days at a time – for the wild things on this side of the mountain were small and not plentiful enough to sustain them all.

The Slovak grinned, ”Ok, I will not worry.” She crawled closer and settled alongside the fire, glancing up at the dog as she yanked her fingers through her tumultuous hair.

”Hmph. I forget you are healer.”

She picked at a scab that had developed along her wrist, and then focused her attention to the fire which snapped and popped before them. She leaned back on her elbows, crossing her feet at the ankles and wiggling her toes at the flames.

”I wonder what happened to others.” She ran her tongue over her lips and cocked her head at Clover, ”Is nice you stay.” Otilie grinned, ”Tomorrow I hunt further. Find more food. Better food.”

She scratched at her neck, ”What else can you boil?”

huehuehuehue

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POSTED: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:54 pm

Both her ears burned when Otilie grinned at her, though the embers had dimmed into little flecks of grey-white cinders all but lost in her stone-colored fur. Clover paused in her nervous, rough combing of her unruly mane when Otilie remarked on her trade, and the dog let out a small bark of laughter. Yeah, I guess I don't really look or act it. She was a better guardian than she was a medic; this came to her more naturally than the chemistry of plants. Well I was sick when I was new to Inferni, and the old healer -- Harosheth -- helped save me. I helped her around the hospital house to kinda make it up to her, and learned some things.

It was an abridged tale, mentioning nothing of the prejudice and poisoning that was the actual cause of her illness. In truth, her fondness for Harosheth had been almost immediate when she met the old Mexican coyote, but the miracle had cemented their bond.

She turned her chestnut eyes back toward the flames, as if she might be able to read answers in the way the kindling popped or the tongues of color danced, but as always it eluded her. She shrugged and leaned forward to stir a stick around in the water. Wherever they are, hopefully they're having better luck. She glanced at Otilie, her ears drooping. Thanks, by the way, she said when the pale-eyed coywolf flashed another smile. I mean, I got a reason to stay -- I'm never gonna abandon Vesper after all she's done for me -- but you... She sighed, not wanting to discourage the woman. Thanks. She smiled too, tentatively.

Well, you can make a decoction from a lot of other stuff. I used to use witch hazel for swelling, but yarrow was easier to find. There's a kind of dogwood that grows in the Dampwoods that's meant to be good for a lot of different ailments too, for instance.

She fell silent, stroking her hair again as she leaned back, self-conscious of her rambling.

I'll... I'll brew you a nice tea sometime, she said.

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oderint dum metuant
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POSTED: Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:09 pm

Staying had been the right thing to do. Otilie listened to Clover stutter over her words in an attempt to convey the gratitude that came with staying – but Otilie didn’t have the heart to tell her that there had really been no other choice. The coy-wolf had spent years of her life travelling alone, and now with the knowledge that Degare was here somewhere she was not about to wander so far on her own.

There were other reasons too – but this one stood out selfishly above the rest.

The Slovak clicked her teeth and toyed with a piece of her hair as Clover stared blankly into the flames. The dog was pretty in a roughly hewn sort of way, her fur the color of soot and stone. The nervous tugging on her hair as she spoke attracted most of Otilies attention as she spoke.

”Most healers are soft. You are not.” She grinned toothily, ”I like it.”

”In Terchová I was hunter." She shrugged, picking at a tooth with a long claw, "I do not have healing touch or patience for plants." She wiggled her toes towards the fire, "I am good wanderer."

Good liar too. Cursed.

Cursed.

She shook her head so that the feathers flew around her face. "Soon winter will come. We will need tea to stay warm." Her face grew stern, "Will we stay here?"

huehuehuehue

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