maybe I'm too headstrong

POSTED: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:11 pm

Dated after the announcement thread, either that evening or in the days following. Up to you!

She could not cleanse herself of frustrating thoughts, no matter the efforts. Farina lay awake at night despite the hour, thinking. She practiced with the straw-and-wood dummy set up outside her little nook dugout in the hill north of Jordheim, but her fists punched crooked and her stepping lagged. She trained with Niruin, but the peregrine would have none of it with his master in such mood. She could not blame him.

Farina was not the inflexible sort; change did not intimidate her as it did so many others. Out of all those present when her mother stepped down from Sannidi, Farina should have had spoken loudest. This was her home, and as the middle child of the vin Haki mother and sisters she was unwittingly at the center of further conflict on a more personal level. Colibri and Florina had a far rockier relationship than even the mother vin Haki and her behemoth middle daughter. How these events conspired, Farina did not know. She hated to think Colibri might have been bullied. She hated to think how Florina would not have censored herself, how she would have been demanding and relentless and headstrong. Mother would have folded in seconds.

And so it seemed she had. In how the subleader rank had been seized, Farina would have equal claim as her little sister—but the Araedi did not desire it. Ranks were of no concern, preferring instead an equal sense of freedom and belonging such a rank of high responsibility would not quite entail. Her blood did not boil with jealousy, but unease and irritation. It had happened so fast and like always, none had consulted her for opinion, for advice. Not even her mother and sister.

Was she no more than strength and muscle to her packmates? To her family?

She had returned to her den and made failed efforts to distract herself. A faceful of ice water at the stream soothed a conscious burning in her skull, but as she returned to her home and shifted down to slip into the dugout, the emotional wounds persisted. Her family did not think much of her. She had worked to become Araedi, to give her sister competition when Florina returned, only to be outdone by her in one unpredictable twist. And now—now she could not be herself around her sister. Not without losing all she had worked for, however small the risk.

Curled in her den her stomach growled, but the wolfdog could not will herself to eat. She could not run into another Vinattan in such state—not when they expected more of her. At least someone did.


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Lin
Luperci Falconer + Diplomat
OCTARINA OF TIME

POSTED: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:46 pm

that title <333 made this the same night, if that works? || +611

It was a relief to be on four paws again. Florina had grown accustomed to switching forms daily; it was not as though she had gone so feral she could not bear to stand upright. It was just the freedom that came from barreling through the forest as quickly as her paws would carry her — she couldn't feel that any other way. She had already run along the length of the border and was pleased to find just how long and winding it was, and the way it made her pant ragged clouds of steam from the exertion. Her lungs sucked in air noisily, but she continued running, veering off into the trees. Underbrush was trampled beneath her heavy footfalls, and she snapped at the branches that streaked past her, leaving destruction in her wake. It felt good to let loose. She would never sleep if she did not burn through this energy.

The gathering had gone as she expected, and she now knew who would not accept her. The control it had taken to stand there and let them rail at her and Colibri! Her instinctual reaction was to get physical, but they would not respect the laws of nature here — she could not beat them for talking back like she could in New Dawn. It was all civility, diplomacy, tact. Florina was brute force, uneducated, unsympathetic. Her words were coarse and grating to those used to sweetness and hand-holding. Even now she was glad that Niernan was taking his mate home, because Florina would never know how to comfort her mother after all that. Taking the weight of the Sannindi burden was supposed to make things easier for Coli, damn it.

Florina shook her pelt vigorously after she paused to look at something with interest, and showered the ground with bits of twigs and ice. The wolfdog padded to a nearby log and closed her jaws around a protruding limb. With a loud wrenching sound, the frozen branch splintered and tore off, and Florina began chewing on her new stick. Apparently that was the sort of behavior she was now expected to hide, according to her mother. Something about public appearances and conflicting loyalties. Well, she was out of the public's eye for now, and she wanted to chew on things. It helped her think. Or rather, not have to think.

She dragged the big stick half on the ground as she trotted on to explore. Her broad chest still heaved from panting, and her scarred hind leg had a slight hitch again, suggesting she might have pushed the hip a little too hard. A good workout, then. Florina crunched noisily through the pine wood, then paused, ecru nostrils flaring. Her sister's scent was nearby. She had never asked exactly where Farina was staying, outside of Jordheim, but it must be around here somewhere. Florina did want to talk to her about their last exchange and if the offer still stood, but she wasn't certain she could count on that. Her littermate had not looked happy when she saw her new Sannindi. Perhaps the offer had expired.

She perked her overlarge ears up and barked sharply, just once, to alert Farina to her presence. There was no point in beating around the bush. She had to know if she needed to start digging her own den or not. Then she settled onto her stomach and let her legs sprawl, dragged the branch back, and continued to gnaw on it. If her sister ignored her, Flori would take the hint and leave. She might be godawful at figuring out how others were feeling, but this, at least, should be straightforward.



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Miyu
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ATONE THROUGH STRENGTH
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POSTED: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:26 am

Barks of her sister gathered in the elder vin Haki's ears, noise not of danger but an alert of her presence. The skeptical Farina crossed her paws and scowled, knowing the call to be summoning in some fashion but uninspired to respond. Florina was the new Sannindi, and the Sannindi had called for her. Farina was obligated to mind the sound not as sister but as inferior, and she resented it like nothing else.

She crawled from den grim, grew to her middle form for what she claimed to be no reason, and trudged after the sound with dragging steps and golden tailtip nearly drawing a line in the earth. After the meeting the woman had wanted to be alone, one silent among her Vinattan brethren despite the subject matter so personal and close to home. Florina had never been the most empathic of individuals, and her aggressive display at the gathering confirmed her term as a leader would be far different than the sensitive, faithful Colibri. Their mother had been leader even at the time of their birth, but now she was forcefully made equal in rank to her middle daughter. How was Farina supposed to adapt to that?

But Florina was home, too. Despite the circumstances she was home. That was what Farina had wanted all along, wasn't it?

No... Not like this. Never like this.

The black behemoth found her sister gnawing unceremoniously on a branch, a reunion Farina had once been looking forward to, had imagined occurring in a hundred ways far different and far happier than this. Instead the Araedi considered her sister—no, her subleader—with half-lidded eyes and great impatience.

"You've made a lot of people angry," said the vin Haki flatly. It was the most she could dare against leadership. If Florina had been but her sister alone... there was much more to be said.


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Lin
Luperci Falconer + Diplomat
OCTARINA OF TIME

POSTED: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:32 pm

300+

The wolfdog kept herself occupied, but she was not kept waiting for long. Florina stilled as footsteps neared and a dark shape lumbered through the shadows toward her. Farina’s halfling bulk was impressive indeed, and Flori felt a familiar twinge of jealousy at her sister’s size. It irked her that she had not gotten the chance to shift up and match her, but at least a four-legged body was easier to read than a two-legged one. She did not rise from where she was sprawled, though she let the stick drop. You came this time, she observed.

Pleasantries were thankfully unnecessary, so the conversation got straight to the point. Yeah, I got that, Florina grumbled, tall ear flicking back. Same old, same old. Whether it was protective Tayui and Anu bristling over Auguste, disappointed Niernan lecturing her not to desert the scene, or hurt Kerrian’s resentment over being left behind, all of it looked the same to Florina. Hardly anyone looked at her with something other than cold eyes and raised hackles.

If she was not so supremely confident in her own abilities, she might have cared. But she had long resigned to the fact that she had an unlikeable demeanor, and precious few souls ever understood her. It would have been the same no matter how long she lived here. Farina came closer to understanding than most, though. Of course Florina cared about her sisters and mother, and that should have been obvious to them through her actions, if not her words. Florina was back for her family's sake, so the stiff reception left her momentarily pensive.

She squinted up at her littermate, head tilting in inquiry. Are you mad? she finally demanded. She wanted to hear it directly. Even Fiora had piped up during the meeting, despite nearly wetting herself in the process. You said if I came back, you wouldn't be mad anymore, she reminded helpfully, though neither of them could have foreseen these circumstances.



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Miyu
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ATONE THROUGH STRENGTH
WHEN DARKNESS FALLS
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POSTED: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:06 am

"Of course I am," said Farina, detesting every moment her temper was restrained, every word that came forth resembling patience and an even mind. She was none of those things at heart, confused and troubled most of all and equal parts angry and relieved and tired. Farina was a maelstrom of puzzled proportions awaiting the trigger to burst forth, but the Araedi would contain it as long as she could. Just as mentioned, Florina had suffered enough torment as it was trading packs and seizing a position few thought her at all entitled to, if any. Someone had to support her, even if was only by being quiet.

"I'm mad about a lot of things," she finished, "but I'm glad you're home, too."

That was the honest truth, though incomplete. Troubled as her expression was, dark eyes and frown glimpsed earnesty before turning away. She had so much more to say, to accuse, to ask, but was it her place to pose such things any longer? Farina could not see past the divide in rank, the prospective punishment for disrespect and asking too many questions, the fact that it would make sense for one as finicky and impulsive as Florina to strip her sister of the Araedi rank or banish her altogether. Farina swallowed the consequential shudder, poised herself once more, and proceeded with greater caution.

"I just want to know why," she said. "You must have known this was a bad idea, taking mother's rank like this. You know she wouldn't have stood up for herself against you."

She closed her eyes. Stay calm. "I'm worried you took advantage of her."


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Lin
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POSTED: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:21 am

300+

Florina swallowed. She was tense, muscles bunched, waiting for something to give way so that she could react. But there was no obvious snarl or snap of anger, nor was there a release from the uneasy posturing with a smile and a wagging tail. Only words that promised both were true, and neither sentiment matched the dark eyes. The pallid wolfdog remained sprawled on the ground, watching her sister’s every movement with unblinking attention. She had thought her littermate simple and straightforward with opinions, but perhaps Farina was more complicated like Colibri after all.

She pushed her stick aside reluctantly with a forepaw. Bad idea? Everybody saw how weak Mom got after that litter of hers, but nobody replaced her, Florina pointed out as though it was the most obvious answer in the world. Each time she visited, it seemed Coli was more absorbed in her own family affairs, and wasting further into malaise. Anyone had the right to confront the Sannindi over it, but it seemed like no one wanted to draw attention to a weakness that was hurting the pack. There was no place for politeness when all of their safety was jeopardized by one weak link.

It was illogical, and while there was no denying her temper played a part in the confrontation, Florina believed she had made the right decision. She did not want to think about what she had left behind, and so she spoke again to cement her sound reasoning. Figured if I took her title, even if someone took it from me later, it would never go back to her. Florina rolled her shoulder in an awkward shrug. It made sense to her. Did Farina think Vinátta was worse off now than before?

What do you mean by ‘took advantage’? she asked, cocking her head. Do you think I threatened her or something?



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Miyu
Luperci Pegasus Knight Radiant Dawn Nohrian Scum
ATONE THROUGH STRENGTH
WHEN DARKNESS FALLS
AND SURROUNDS YOU
YELLOW FLICKER BEAT

POSTED: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:22 am

"The litter itself was a bad idea," Farina blurted, but furrowed brow and scowl exposed no regret for the statement. "She was off having more babies to ignore if they ran away or scowl at if they don't look enough like her." She would censor herself for Florina, she knew, but not on every subject; family matters had always been open between the two sisters, moreso than between the rest of their tiny vin Haki collective, though Vináttan issues and opinions would be withheld from the new subleader. Or so the elder sister would attempt.

In truth, Farina understood the point Florina had made. In her youth Farina had seen Colibri as a humble, patient, charismatic leader, but as the daughter aged she had realized her mother to be too nervous and shy to properly play the role as Saul became increasingly scarce when his familial issues arose. How Florina would choose to lead the pack, Farina did not know, and the usurpation not totally uncalled for, but Florina might have succeeded her mother with a little more grace, if anything. The coal-black wolfdog but shrugged at her sister's reply, noncommittal and neutral in conclusion.

"No," she would respond to the inquiry, but it followed a lengthy and knowing connection of their eyes. "But you're impulsive and you don't have the patience for anything. Mom might have had something planned out for Sólieri and you didn't think it was good enough, so you just took over instead of waiting. And because Mom won't stand up for anything, she just let you. That's what I think."

A pause and a flat stare. "But it's not like you haven't threatened her in the past, though." Her words, though scathing, were as blunt as they had always been with Florina, and far harsher than the Araedi promised herself to be with Vináttan hierarchy. But it was the truth, and delivered without neither temper nor offense made obvious and intentional.

She turned head over her shoulder, gazing in direction of the feral den whence she came. "I assume after that meeting nobody's offered you a place to stay, yeah?"


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Lin
Luperci Falconer + Diplomat
OCTARINA OF TIME

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