illusion of choice

non-mandatory pack meeting

POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:55 pm

Skye walked to the town hall as if in a trance; the large structured building in front of her held no meaning, not now. Taliesin had left. The one she had thought would never abandon Cercatori d'Arte, who would help lead it by her side, was gone. No conversation, no words, just an empty note with empty words scrawled on it, read by Skye who had felt each word stab her as though the shards of the icicles hanging outside of her house had fallen down on top of her head. He was gone.

She let out a howl, calling the members of d'Arte to come and gather in the meeting hall, so that she could tell them what had happened. She would not allow them to find out through word of mouth and an empty note that she had discovered; she would not let them wonder anymore. She waited until she saw her pack fill up the hall that they had built together and let out a small sigh before speaking.

"Taliesin has left the pack," she said. Members left all the time; usually it was no reason for a meeting. However, Taliesin was different. He was like a second leader - someone who helped keep the pack in check, who was always by her side. He was in the trader's guild, he was their healer, he was the one who knew everyone in the pack, and who had been in the pack longer than anyone... except for Skye. "He left a note - he is not coming back." She allowed that information to take seed in their minds; other than Skye, Taliesin had been an anchoring point in Cercatori. Not any more.

She didn't say how great a tragedy it was, or give a long speech about how they must stick together. They knew that, all of them. They had been together long enough to know what a loss it was, and also know that although the winter was harsher than most, they could pull through it all the same. She didn't tell them how to feel, but she let them feel it all the same.

"Myrddin is now the one you should go to if you are sick or injured," she said, looking at the young male; she knew he had much left to learn, but after Taliesin's disappearance, he was all they had. "I know that he will do well." And she meant it.

She allowed another moment to pass, and then continued speaking, her voice becoming almost business-like - the safety of her pack still remained first in her mind. "As a reminder, Anathema is still an enemy - if any of you see any Anathemans near our borders, avoid them, and attack if they get too close." She knew that they knew this already, but she couldn't be too sure - now that they had more pups than they'd had in a long time, she wanted to ensure the safety of the pack before all.

She dipped her head to Myrddin once more and then to the rest of the pack and stepped off of the speaking platform; she was done speaking, but if any wished to say something, now was the time that they could.

537 words

by the amazing Alaine!

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Luperci Mate to Jazper
crown of clay
My Sunny One

POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:24 pm

entrance + exit for skylee [354]

A stone-cold, unforgiving look had taken up residence on Skylee's face, more of a mask than anything. Her legs were pretty much moving towards the source of the howl that she'd recently heard automatically, Crowley tagging along behind her since he was interested in what was going on too (besides, he was a cat and he had never been to a canine meeting before). The Foxleigh girl kept on walking until she made it to the hall where meetings were held—she only knew this because pack-mates had mentioned it before, she'd previously been too young to attend any meetings and she wasn't sure if any had been held for awhile.

Members of d'Arte had already begun to file into the hall, and she felt somewhat squished although nevertheless she pushed her way through the crowd of d'Artisans and made her way towards the front, if there even was a front of the crowd. Her ears were pointed towards the leader as she spoke, and Crowley sat at her paws, trying to avoid being trampled by inconsiderate feet. Skylee brought her arms up and crossed them over her chest, trying not to allow her face to show any emotions. Everyone was leaving—disappearing, walking away from the pack, and not just Adrian. It was frustrating at the most that Taliesin had left, since she had seen him walking around Thornbury so many times and now she'd never see the pale-furred healer walk down one of the streets again. Just like I'll never see dad sitting on the couch at home, or playing his guitar or singing.

Skylee also felt a small twang of sympathy for Skye, who had lost one of the higher-ranking members. Now she was pretty much leading the pack by herself, which had to be difficult. "Come on, Crowley," she said harshly under her breath after Skye had stopped speaking and stepped down from the platform. The wolfdog turned and pushed through the people who had gathered to hear the bad news, her shoulders smacking against other shoulders as she slipped out of the building almost as quickly as she had entered it.

POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:35 pm

The call of her mother ringing through the air surprised Esmeralda. She hadn't heard a word yet about their Overseer leaving, so she didn't have the slightest clue as to why Skye would be bringing them together. Unless... perhaps there was war brewing even more quickly with Anathema than she had realized. Her thoughts went immediately to Nero, who was in that pack, and she frowned. Of course her pack came first, but she had hoped they could avoid actively warring so that she might retain that friendship without having to risk her loyalty to her home.

When she arrived at the town hall, she looked around at the familiar faces before focusing on her mother. Skye was succinct with her explanation on why she had called them all together. The mercenary was shocked to hear Tal had left. He was a rooted, strong member of the pack; a wolf that it seemed would always be there. Now he was gone, as so many had gone before him with no real reason or rhyme to it. The young Collins wolf flicked her tongue lightly across her lips, absorbing the information and realizing it meant they were down to very few long term members. More than ever, her mother would need the support of those that were left.

She crossed her arms and leaned against a wall, listening to the words as well about Anathema. At least it was still merely a tense feeling; a "protect the borders" order rather than an active war. It made her feel at ease to hear that, since she still did want to see Nero if she ran across him and would feel no shame in it. Perhaps in time, the packs would come to peace again. When Skye finished, she waited to see if anyone else would speak up before she would head over to speak with her mother. To ask how the leader was doing and offer her help in any way that her mother needed; as always, Esmeralda would commit herself to the pack. Despite the doubts and worries that sometimes spun through her head, she knew she needed to stay here. To be a true Artisan and loyal follower for her mother's sake.
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POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:53 pm

He was a third generation healer who took the role naturally. Both Sky and Taliesin were healers, as well as his grandmother Deuce. He learned about it from the day he had opened his eyes, he had learned by watching, and the first day he shifted he had taken on the roll, hands on. He didn't have the years of learning his Poppa did, today was his second birthday. Taliesin had left on the morning of his second birthday, and from the words in the note it didn't sound like he intended to come back, as the Lady Skye had so bluntly said to the pack. Tameri had abandoned him that morning, and now the man who had stood by him when Sky had abandoned him had left. Myr nodded as she looked to him, reaffirming his acceptance of the healer position his poppa... no.... Taliesin had left. Myrddin was an orphan, abandoned by both parents. He accepted this with the same cold stoicism he had accepted Sumae vanishing and Honrin taking Kenna as a mate. He didn't glance around the room, his face was set in a neutral expression, his mismatched eyes trained on the leader. "Anyone who needs my abilities can find me in the block. I will be spending the next few days between Taliesin's house and my own, transferring supplies to my house." His words were not as warm as Taliesin's would have been, this abandonment had struck him hard, though only those who truly knew him would see how deeply he was feeling the loss.

[[WC 260]]

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Luperci Evil never dies.
Secretly Inspired

POSTED: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:04 pm

Feng had been lounging on one of the snow covered rooftops when the call to gather sounded throughout the pack. Skye's voice awoke him from his light nap, bringing the young leopard out of the world of daydreams. His eyes cracked open lazily as he let loose a long yawn. His shoulder and back muscles contracted as paws flexed open and closed in his post nap stretch. He wasn't too far from the meeting hall and from his vantage point, the clouded leopard could see as each member filed into the building.

Due to his feline nature, Feng wasn't entirely sure if the meeting was mandatory or optional. Unsure of what to do, the leopard stood and shook off whatever snow clung to his winter coat. His fur wasn't a thick or warm as the wolves, but Feng felt comfortable enough when he was relaxing in the sun. The winter sun wasn't as warm as its summer counterpart, but it made enough of a difference.

With practiced and lithe movements, Feng made his way down to the ground before padding over to the meeting. The first thing that he noticed was Skye. It had been a while since the two last spoke, but somehow she seemed a bit sad to Feng. Black ears flew forward as his amber gaze contemplated the leader for a moment. After a few heartbeats, Feng turned and made his way towards a relatively isolated spot in the meeting hall. He gave a quick silent nod to Esmerelda as he passed by her, their previous interaction had earned her that much. Although Feng was a timid and almost antisocial feline, he typically warmed up to the canines after interacting with them in a one on one situation.

Satisfied with his more aloof nature, the Gamekeeper found a secluded spot on the wall to lounge against. His long body stretched along the wall as his legs splayed out to the side. His gaze remained on Skye as she spoke in regards to Taliesin leaving the pack. When it came right down to it, Feng had no opinion on the matter. He hadn't really known Taliesin and the healer's departure left little impression of Feng. Yet, from his quiet spot of observation, it was clear that not all seemed to feel that way. There was a solum air that permeated the entire room and everyone spoke with a serious air.

Black ears fell against Feng's spotted skull when Skye reminded them that they were not to interact with Anathema. A look of guilt washed over the cat's features as his forepaw clenched. His recent interaction with Axelle, while not a terrible one, had been an oversight of Feng's part. He had forgotten about the antagonism between the two packs and felt like he had broken an important rule. He couldn't hide the guilt that was as plain as day on his features. Myrddin's speak provided some relief. Feng looked towards the new healer as he spoke of transferring supplies. The whole affair had little to do with Feng emotionally, but he supposed it was worth attending to find out that the healers had changed.
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POSTED: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:10 pm

With Mistral in tow Micah responded to the call as requested, joining his packmates at the town hall with flattened ears and a jaw locked tight. He hated crowds — hated them — but in the back of his mind lurked the memory of the very first Cercatori gathering he was in attendance, now years past, in which the male hid among the bushes in a pathetic panic. Needless to say, Micah would not allow himself to become a display like that again.

He lingered at the back, fingers tousling and pulling at his curls in nervous fidgets, senses alert. Skye did not regularly hold meetings; she never had. The Artist could only remind himself to remain optimistic, to not dread the worst of news.

Though what was said was hardly positive. He did not know Taliesin well, though the younger male had served as some means of authority from time to time. Micah kept to himself, stayed out of trouble. He reined in Mimi where necessary. He was a member of the pack, one with pride and culture in his heart and desires, but incidentally one much too reserved to make himself better known.

It went without saying, of course. He recognized a small number of his packmates, though not all, and avoided all eye contact with Esmeralda. Myrddin identified himself, fortunately enough for the oblivious Micah, and talk became cold. Skye stepped from the platform, not departed but finished without a farewell or words of thanks.

Micah opened his mouth to speak and offer his services as aid to any, shaking and nervous as he was, but in that moment a frustrated Skylee bumped through. Micah bit his tongue, sank into his shoulders and committed in silence that he would not have been of much help anyway.

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passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:30 am

JHonrin Denahlii
sunshine blazing

They had been called together for the first time in quite a while. The festival of colors wasn't it last time? He couldn't remember. Too much had happened anyway since the last time Cercatori had stood together. The news was not good though, no celebrations nothing to be happy about. Another one of their number gone forever. Honrin grit his teeth as he entered the crowd of people. He had no caring for crowds and deigned to find himself a wall to put his back to. Although these were his pack, there were a few he did not know or trust implicitly and so would not give his back to them. He scanned the crowd searching for the faces of his family and spotted a few of his siblings dotted about here and there. The Wolfe-Denahlii family was the biggest in Cercatori, leagues ahead of the others. With eleven children and four grandchildren the Denahlii matriarch and Wolfe patriarch had something to be proud of for their virility.

His face contorted as it was announced to the pack that their healer had up and done a runner on them. Taliesin had always struck him as weak of character and Honrin was at a loss as to how he had ever reached a council rank. Well good riddance, they didn't need weak links in their pack. Cercatori had to stand strong, united, and they couldn't do that with traitors and those who would flee at the first sign of trouble. He found his wall and also Feng along with it. Crouching down besides his brother, he hissed a greeting in the leopard's own language, he had become quite adept at speaking Feng's language although he was no master of it by any shot.

The one who he felt for the most was poor Myrddin, the male had been through so much, left behind by so many and now his own father had abandoned him to the dust. Sunshine eyes followed him as he spoke to the others about healing supplies. He could see the loss and pain in Myrddin's stance and felt pain too for him. How cold he was. Now Honrin worried and made time in his busy life to see the male who had been avoiding him for the past few weeks. Life was unfair and Myrddin seemed to be a natural gatherer of it just like himself. Honrin frowned and reached to stroke Feng's head. It was imperative now that Honrin speak to him and soon.

((ooc: 416))
Honrin Wolfe-Denahlii

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Labor Head (NPC)
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Luperci Farmer Tier I, Herdsman Tier I, Ambassador (MV) Mate to Guinevere

POSTED: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:18 am

A quick drop in/drop out sort of deal xD | 300+ words.

This had been one of the first pack meetings he had attended since his bounce back from his sorry, lonely life. The call was made and each and every pack member made their way toward the town hall to hear their leader speak. Everyone stood gathered around at the leader’s feet, at the lip of the small stage she stood on. He, however, hung back and just stood behind everyone, away from the insufferable crowd, with his arms clasped behind his back and a neutral look on his face. He noticed a few faces he had known, but made no attempts to say hello except for Esmeralda. He liked the girl for obvious reasons – she was pretty and she seemed smart.

Skye, whom he had never met officially, stood upon the stage and spoke of the absence of one of their prominent pack members – a council member if he was not mistaken – and he wasn’t coming back. This meant only one thing to Belial: there was a council position open in his absence. If there was only a way to jump ranks that quickly…

Belial’s orange eyes caught a glimpse of an extremely long cat tail quivering across the room, and once some of the crowd dispersed, he could see who it belonged to. A large house cat of some sort, however, even though Belial hadn’t known much, he knew the creature to be no type of house cat. He was still a cub, but he had all the makings of a lithe, clever wildcat of some kind. The beast claimed his attention for a moment, while his ears picked up on the new healer and where his location would be if he needed him (which he wouldn’t). After the announcements, everyone seemed to be heading back to do their own thing, and he figured it best to turn back and leave before he was spotted by Micah.

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POSTED: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:39 am

ooc goes here

The call drifted through the trees as it found it's way to him as he was foraging in the nearby woods for some straight branches or saplings that would make suitable doweling for some of his projects. He had already collected a few samples as he continued wandering around the trees and bushes searching for more. With the request for everyone to congregate at the town hall, his search came to an end as he made his way through the town with a quick stop at his house to drop off what he had managed to find.

He padded into the town hall upon his arrival and found a spot along the wall to stay out of the way and also not to block the view of the front from anyone. In his usual fashion, his gaze looked out over the crowd and could see some were not taking the news so well and some seemed ok with it. His own deadpan face hid the sadness that he felt to hear one so prominent in the pack abruptly leave. As he waited to see if anyone else had any announcements, Temo continued to watch the crowd around him as he pondered the news and the changes that ensued.

wc: 207
For the strength of the pack is the wolf,
and the strength of the wolf is the pack.
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Honored Elder
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Luperci Mate to Jace
Resistance is Futile
Don't Blink

POSTED: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:24 pm

Since her great-niece, Elsie, had arrived only a day earlier, she and Esther were enjoying a day morning inside knitting by a roaring fire with a pile of happy, warm cats at their feet when Skye’s call broke the air. Each of them looked towards the door, and nearly in unison, they set down down their yarn and stood. Elsie made it to her feet quicker and flitted across the room to bring Esther the extra layers she would be putting on and Esther watched her cross the room again to grab her own extra clothes.

“Ready, dear?” Esther asked, and Elsie nodded. “That was the pack leader, Skye,” the Elder explained.

“Should I even go? I mean, I’m only a visitor right now, so...” Elsie trailed off while buttoning her coat. Esther nodded her head.

“Yes, I think you should,” she replied while reaching for her walking stick.

“Okay,” Elsie grinned back at her and opened the door so they could head out. Whitey trotted along behind them as Esther led the way to the meeting hall. When the arrived, the Elder could sense the somber mood immediately, and Elsie seemed to as well with the way her ears tucked back. Esther stood near some of her packmates and spotted Skylee amongst them. She wanted to introduce Elsie to her, but now wasn’t the time.

Esther’s own ears flattened when Skye spoke, telling of Taliesin’s departure. Her eyes widened and she started in surprise for a moment, wondering if she had heard correctly. Her heart sunk as Skye continued, explain that Tal’s son was their new healer. Esther looked down at Whitey who pawed at her leg while looking up at her with a confused look. Esther glanced at Elsie who looked confused, but otherwise remained silent, and then the Elder looked back as Skye finished. This was not at all expected; only a little while ago, she had taken one of her cats to him to have his paw seen to, and nothing seemed amiss. Then again, packmates generally came to her if they wanted her advice, instead of just talking to her when she came to see them.

Someone suddenly turned to leave, pushing through the crowd and Esther’s eyes quickly found her. Skylee. And she looked upset.

“Oh..” Esther started to turn to follow her, but she was moving quickly, and there was no way she would have caught up. “Hm.” She frowned and then decided she should probably try. She took another step, and then Myrddin spoke, so she paused to listen to what he had to say. After that, she decided she would at least try to find Skylee, and along with Elsie and Whitey, headed that same direction.
Esther Hennamin

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crazy cat lady

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