and here's where I wait counting hours in the days

POSTED: Thu May 08, 2014 9:08 am

She did not much mind the rain. What were droplets of water to one who could shrug off a punch or a kick? The weather had warmed enough in recent weeks to spare her the frigidity involved in a shower, and Farina trudged along the tracks of Stálormr Path unmoved by weather, her stomach filled with a recent and easy catch and her mood as gray and neutral as the sky overcast. The vin Haki decided herself a scout that day, not walking the borders but a line of similar shape some miles in. The tracks of the railway station did not interest her—and her understanding of its use was poor at best—but she walked them a loyal Araedi, quiet and unassuming, drawing no attention and seeking out none but intruders.

It was not as if her mood never lifted above the stress. Florina's return had bothered her for a time, and Saul's nearly consequent departure moreso, but Farina relied on memories of Casa di Cavalieri, the optimism of Carya and the diligence of her duties to remain tethered to the earth and in control. True, she had been nothing less than disappointed that her lead to Judas in Anathema had been a false one (and that now she needed to make a second trip to apologize to Fenrir), but Farina was confident that in time Solieri would be found, justice would be made for Carya, and Vinátta would return to the familiar state of peace and cooperation known in her youth.

How her temperamental sister Florina—of all candidates as leadership—would accomplish such a thing, Farina chose not to think about.

The vin Haki shifted to two legs after a time, braided and knotted back the most irritable of two-tone bangs, and began to glance the clouded and broken windows of abandoned trains along the tracks for squatters. Squatters and children, of course, for Farina had spent many an afternoon ducking in and out of train windows when she still boasted a normal size for a child, but the Araedi very much hoped no children were about. A shudder slipped her spine at the thought.


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Lin
Luperci Falconer + Diplomat
OCTARINA OF TIME

POSTED: Fri May 16, 2014 1:13 pm


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That Florina had saw fit to bestow upon Bran the rank of Aðr Araedi might have stung more at Shiloh if her heart and mind were not occupied with the absence of her brother. Time and time again had proven that ranks were merely words -- and leadership was found in strong hearts, not always those that bore those titles. Bran was a drinker and a hothead, as much as he was a great warrior, and Shi knew that his rank had no bearing on her own actions. With Saul gone and a fledgling leader representing the Vináttans, it was more important for her to push aside her emotions and focus on simple tasks -- like patrolling.

Amherst and its unclaimed outskirts were explored with suspicion, but she found no tall black wolves in trees this time. Bristling white fur, uncharacteristically uncovered, fluffed against the cool air, and she stabbed her staff in a crack in the asphalt before moving onward, skirting the train station and heading along the metal tracks toward the heart of the territory. Her vigilance did not lessen deeper in their claim, though -- she'd had her chlidren kidnapped near Jordheim, after all. Enemies could lurk anywhere.

Her Frithr pendant tied around her staff, the wood rattling, she walked brazenly and with purpose and only straightened at the glimpse of another among the broken-down cars. She sniffed and relaxed somewhat, forcing a smile and lifting a hand in greeting to the younger Araedi. "Good to see I'm not the only one patrolling," she called, warm despite feeling more like the overcast sky herself.

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Raze
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POSTED: Fri May 16, 2014 2:03 pm

Cream-tipped fingers cupped against the glass, the Araedi's dark ears swiveled at sound of Shiloh's voice, recognized effortlessly. She met the face of her friend and polar opposite with a smile, one wearied and stressed in its subtleties but genuine in the forefront. Different as they were, her relationship was Shiloh was unique; separated by trait and influence yet united by practice and instinct. It was a strange, rather unexplainable respect of sorts.

"More should be, with how many people we have." Farina straightened, splaying soaked and hanging bangs from her eyes with a toss of the head. A conniving grin spread. "Your pretty dress will get all ruined in this weather."

She rolled her shoulders and motioned to walk together for a time, thoughts browsing, features sobering. "I miss him. Saul, I mean. I miss him. Andi and I should have been looking for Solieri those two weeks instead of training how to do so better later on." How was it Shiloh could stay so positive? The two had been close, if recalled correctly. "Why didn't you go with him?"


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Lin
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POSTED: Fri May 16, 2014 2:46 pm


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Rain pattered on her fur, and she allowed one shiver and betrayed glance to the sky before approaching the wolfdog more directly. She recognized the hint of strain in the other's face -- one mirrored in her own, to an extent. Her smile was wearier than usual, though still chipper and cheerful as the she-wolf meant to be. Sometimes a smile was as much a pillar of strength as a body of stone.

"And with the land we have," Shiloh agreed in the same tone. Vinátta claimed enough territory for hiding places, ran the risk for missed stretches over the miles and miles of forest. For such a large pack, it seemed to fit their needs -- but sometimes it seemed so horribly empty to Shiloh at the same time. She exhaled then caught her breath in laughter at Farina's quip.

She stepped to the young guardian's side, falling into a pace that stuttered briefly at the other's statement. "I do too," she said softly, and shook her head at the other's regretful remark. "All of us were looking. Honestly, I don't think it would have changed had you stayed -- and now you have knowledge you can use to prevent this from happening again." She didn't want anyone to blame themselves -- not when Shiloh thought herself equally at fault for all of this, for not finding her niece, for not giving Saul the comfort he needed. Sometimes she grew angry and bitter and wondered why he didn't just ask her for help -- but she should have offered, all the same.

"My place is here," Shiloh answered with weary conviction. "Vinátta needs all the strength and guidance it can get. And two of my children are still here." She would never abandon them.

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Raze
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POSTED: Sat May 24, 2014 2:43 pm

Farina could sympathize with Shiloh in a way she realized most others could not; Florina had been willingly absent in her life for several months, safe yet separate, with some sort of mission in which Farina could not get involved nor sway her from. In a way the wolfdog had been helpless, providing firm encouragement to both her sister and her mother but in the end no part of what brought her sister home. It was Solieri that drew Florina back, and it was Solieri that dragged Saul away. Unless Shiloh were to leave to help find her neice, there was nothing she could do but wait and attend to the borders and do what she could tethered to Vinátta. Just as Farina had done.

Shiloh deferred blame from Farina, encouraging rather than discouraging, and the wolfdog nodded along unhumored. She believed it, if only lightly, although she did not want to. "Hope so. But what do you think really happened to her?" She shook her head. "Why would someone be out to get us?"

Why? It occurred to her then. "Maybe we're not representing ourselves well enough. Someone I know said he ran into trouble with one of us. I don't know who or why or..." Farina huffed. "Maybe all these incidents are making us too defensive. Too neurotic. Maybe we're making it worse for ourselves."

"Your kids would understand," she lied. How was she to know? She hardly understood her own mother, and gagged at the thought of kids of her own. But Farina paused, ears flipping, before recalling events of the past. "And... and what Saul is going through happened to you before. I remember, when Jérôme and the others attacked."

A glance to the ribbon on her scar and shoulder. She wouldn't forget.


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Lin
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POSTED: Wed May 28, 2014 1:29 pm

Meh sorry for crap post.

I don't know, Shiloh answered—to both questions. She'd speculated on the first several times, but it only left her upset, disgusted, terrified of what might have happened to her niece. And the second... She had asked herself that question when Sangi'lak tormented them, misunderstanding after misunderstanding, but come to a simpler conclusion. There are rotten souls in the world, she said. No one can deny that. Vinátta had done nothing wrong to invite this danger.

But Farina had an opinion on that, and the white wolf's weary expression sharpened. Trouble? she prompted, but did not reach any conclusion in her mind. Sangi'lak had called Vinátta trouble. I don't think we should shut everyone out because of bad experiences, but I do not think that being wary invites kidnappers and torturers.

Her voice began sharper than she had intended, but she tempered it easily, and her words became a mild suggestion rather than an accusation or argument. She focused instead on Rina's next words, and sighed. They would understand—but that does not change that I would no longer be here for them. Alessan had a father, but Silvano was far away—and Jérôme would take in Dreyma and raise her as he had always done, but it wouldn't be the same. She tapped lightly at the earth with her staff then glanced up at Farina's remark. Her previously injured hand flexed.

Yes, Shiloh said, frowning. We got them back. I am thankful every day for that luck.

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Raze
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POSTED: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:01 am

"Trouble," Farina repeated conclusively, then explained. "Someone I met at the Outpost some months ago, he lives in Anathema now. Kind of an idiot. He said one of us gave him trouble at our borders but wouldn't go into details." She snorted. "I already went and cleared things up with their leaders, but—but Anathema's supposed to be our allies. If we run into further trouble and we've made bad impressions on them, we won't have them to back us up."

A beat of thought. Farina wrinkled her nose, a fang flashed. "Though I'm not sure we want them to. Did you know they keep slaves? I found out while I was training with with cavaliers."

She defended herself as a mother present for her children, a sentiment Farina in the end understood. Her own mother had always played a role in her life, albeit a distant one for reasons unknown. Her father, meanwhile, was some sort of moot subject that even now was apparently too much for Farina and her sisters to handle. "I get it," she said, mood spoiled, resentment obvious but directed at the dirt and at her thoughts. "You want to stay present for them. I get it. I hope they're damn grateful."


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Lin
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POSTED: Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:39 pm

Sorry this is long. xD

Farina described the one who'd complained, and Shiloh frowned. The word Anathema set off bells in her mind, and she snorted, shaking her head. Was he an arrogant, tall black wolf who didn't know when to stop talking? It was a cruder description than the tactful diplomat would give of most, but she did not think Farina would judge her—not while they were in Vinátta territory. Still, she did not allow her anger and frustration to rise to the surface, only weak derision. Fenrir or something. He play-acted at being defenseless and scared when I first met him, then turned on me—and I caught him near our borders, spying from a tree. Had the audacity to point an arrow at me and ask me to describe our territory.

Idiot was a suitable word. She sighed, and pushed her hair from her face along with these thoughts. It made her feel disastrously close to losing her temper, but she found herself surprised the next moment. Slaves? She blinked. Anathema has always had a... darker reputation, but I thought it was show. The only Anathemans I've met, Fenrir excluded, have been more or less kind. She shook her head. You should spread word of this to the others, she said—not saying You should tell your sister. We can decide then, and ask if it's true. Unfounded accusations had rocked Vinátta's past with Sangi'lak, but not all barbaric action had to be out in the open. Anathema could keep dark secrets. It worried her, if they were allies.

Somewhere along their conversation Farina's mood dipped, and Shiloh frowned. She did not show pity or overwhelming sympathy, only murmured, I am sorry. What else could she say? She knew Farina's life at home was not the happy, carefree affair like, perhaps, Anu and Tayui's children.

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Raze
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POSTED: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:20 pm

She described Fenrir perfectly, and as such Shiloh earned herself a rather sideways look from her fellow Araedi. Farina had expected one of the lower ranks to have scuffled with the Anatheman, not one as established and self-aware as the Dawnbringer diplomat. Her explanation of the situation, of course, filled in the blanks Fenrir hadn't provided. So that was why the Lupercus refused to give details: He had been the one at fault.

She snorted. And to think she owed him an apology. The vin Haki did not look forward to meeting with him again."He didn't tell me it was like that," she said, allowing temper to flare, feeling like a fool in the presence of someone she dearly respected. "I figure you handled it fine, then. Good. One less thing for me to worry about."

Farina agreed to tell her sister, though those exact words were not used. When the vin Haki grew bitter Shiloh expressed sympathy, though Farina doubted she knew details in full. The behemoth thought to fill her in, but bit her tongue. Shiloh had enough to fret about as it was. It was best their friendship not shift to reflect sympathies and other petty things as such. "Don't worry about it," she said. "It's time I got over it."

Chin up, Farina told herself, and physically did so as if to prove it. "I'm bored of all this shit talk," she declared suddenly, and veered off path with an expecting glance over her shoulder. "Let's find something to eat."


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Lin
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