we found your name across the chapel door

carved in cursive with a table fork

POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:07 am

He'd flex Halifax, traveled north. Hunted, as he slowly regained his health. Passed Anathema because there was nothing there for him if he looked, and because he was afraid. But he mustn't think of that, mustn't think of fear—he had to travel, focus, keep his pace every day, walk until he was exhausted, sleep in summer grass jumping with crickets and fleas.

Sometimes he came across others on the road. He always tried to avoid them, but they'd approach, all smiles, cluelessness. It became obvious the poison had eaten gaps into his mind, because he found himself supplementing, if not outright replacing, all his words with gestures and stammering. And sometimes he forgot things. Sometimes he was really thankful for that.

With a broken mind, it was easy for Octavius to not think, not dwell on what had happened. Until he reached a sprawling town, a small city, and his paws fell upon asphalt and the scent of must and rust drew him back.

He'd crammed himself into an old stone church, nearly destroying the doorframe as he sought shelter from a light summer shower. He stumbled into the old, comforting darkness and breathed, coughing at the dust, and sat down on a pew that creaked horribly under his weight and threatened collapse. Red eyes stared at the religious imagery around him, carvings in wood, crosses, shadows on the wall where memorabilia had hung before being stolen. It meant nothing to him, though he had never been the intelligent one.

The giant white wolf sat in silence for a while, the scents of the church and the city filling his lungs, and abruptly he hunched over and began to weep.

Judas was dead. And everything horrible in the world was Octavius' fault.

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:19 am

How was it Florina had been back in her life for over two months and their relationship had not improved?

Not only that, but her sister had taken up an old offer and sheltered herself under Farina's feral roof north of Jordheim, out of focus from their packmates. She was never home, and vikings came calling at all hours of the day for their solitary leader at her abode only to find her disappointing elder sister milling about, being too unimportant for their requests. She did not remember taking messages as being part of the job description for the Araedi.

Farina did not particularly mind, though. Her sister as a roommate, however rarely she came home and slept, meant the elder vin Haki could keep better tabs on her family and her pack. Even Florina conversed more often with their mother and Fiora than she, and that alone was presumably an uncommon occasion. They were sisters, Farina and Florina, and yet their relationship had become so very... professional.

Farina didn't like it.

She was too informal an individual for any level of professionalism, regardless of the target. She was feral, and Araedi. A diplomat seeking to make a good enough impression when it was required of her. When she trudged through Amherst she thought nothing of what she appeared to any she passed, focused instead on gathering any tools she could find for use in her next chiseling project, or perhaps an unshattered jar or two. Something worth trading at the Outpost for a ram, if she was lucky.

The scent of a loner distracted her, however, or at least one she could not identify as a pack she knew of. It filtered into a church passing on her side, the woman at once thinking of Carya and her torture by a loner within a city chapel of some sort, and as if it had been her destination all along the Araedi turned step and pressed ear to the door.

She heard sobbing.

Furs flaring, the behemoth burst through the doors roaring, inkwell eyes searching for a victim at the altar to rescue, a criminal to disembowel, anything—and found instead a man bigger and whiter than herself and with wetter eyes than she had ever worn.

It was... an unnerving sight, to say the least. "What the hell?" she cracked flatly, then glanced eyes through the church again thinking it was a trap. Farina found no others. She did not leave the doors, but cleared her throat as if to wordlessly apologize for the occurrance and subsequent humiliation.

Convincing herself any creature could be a victim, she mumbled into echoes with uncertainty: "Uh... hey. You, uhh, you okay, big guy?"

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POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:10 pm

He did not know who he was weeping for—for his baby brother, for the victims, or maybe just for himself. But his broad shoulders shook and he pulled in deep lungfuls of the musty air and whimpered, claws digging in the wooden seat of the pew.

He left scores in the wood when a sudden intruder startled him, his own fur spiked along his spine as he half-twisted to see a large, dark shape barreling in through the doorway. Lips started to draw back but quivered with his emotion, and he stilled but for faint trembling. Caught between shame and anger, Octavius stared at the other.

With hesitation, the stranger spoke—in a voice strong but feminine, and very uncertain. He continued to stare in silence, wanting to rise from his seat but suddenly wary of frightening her, even if she was more a giant than most women he'd seen before. After all, he was a monster.

And so the Poer smiled, breaths shallow but calming. I'm okay, he said, and added dismissively, turning round again, Thanks.

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:39 pm

The vin Haki did not know exactly what she was looking at, but unless this was some part of an intricate plan by the so-called mastermind that was Judas, she was looking only at a very large man down on his luck. He did not respond with anger, though it seemed he was unconsciously tempted. The man stared instead, tangled in emotions and surprise, before mumbling something and turning around once more.

Farina frowned. Sobbing, then smiling, then dismissing. Clearly he had thrown up some poor attempt for masculinity in the wake of being caught with tears in his eyes, but Farina was not so easily warded. He was not black, not sickly, not bloody-eyed but with scarlet irises. He was not Judas and there was no victim.

She sighed, relieved, and stopped herself when she turned for the door. Farina was Araedi, damnit, and there was a one very hefty man faced with some means of trauma mere miles from her pack borderlines, something great enough that one his size could not solve alone. What if there was threat to her packmates, her little half-siblings?

Begrudgingly or not, Farina turned and tread with light step down the center aisle, nightsky eyes glancing religious imagery and rotting pews and understanding none of it. She stopped at end of his bench, lingering there at length, pretending to consider the handiwork of the carved angels by the altar and respectfully keeping her eyes away from him.

"Did you come to pray?" she asked, tipping head, listening to the echoes.

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POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:46 pm

The black and tan female turned, but she did not follow through, or maybe he only imagined her preparing to leave. Nonetheless, anxiety welled in the pit of his stomach and made it hard to keep his breaths quiet and deep. He wanted her to go so he could grieve alone, but he also very suddenly needed her to stay.

And whether sensing his desperation or finding some sympathy, the wolfdog walked down the aisle and addressed him, not quite glancing at him. He was fine with this, and rubbed at his eyes with one forearm.

He shook his big shaggy head at her question. His ponytail was loose, his spiked hair unkempt, in stark contrast to her striped fringe and neat braid. He looked at her profile for a few moments then answered. I don't pray to anything. I just came here because it was... dark and quiet.

He looked ahead at the pulpit, at the carvings, at pots where flowers or offerings had shriveled or been plucked long ago. The pack where I was born, we didn't... worship. I don't remember... what they believed. Except in demons.

And who had been the demon? Had his eyes been black or blood red?

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:59 pm

Between his replies, Farina filled her lungs with stale air of ruined wood and dusty stone and cement, searching somewhere within for a hint of something familiar. She glanced the altar and saw no blood. Why had she hoped there would be evidence for an event that took place now more than half a year past? Perhaps she wished to know the circumstances that dragged Carya to the Amherst church, perhaps she wanted to understand this Judas to find him and tear him apart herself for hurting her friend. Perhaps she wanted to find the one church in Amherst where it had happened so she might burn it to the ground.

If this was the church, she could not know for certain. Disappointed, she frowned and returned attention to the white male, the reason she had been lured within.

"It's cold and hard in here. Doesn't do much for the mood." Farina glanced the rafters, imagining faces in the pews to little success. It must have been so cramped, and stone just didn't look right so clean and polished on the walls. "This place doesn't make you feel worse? Kind of makes me feel like shit."

He mentioned demons, drawing her eyes at last. "Demons? I don't know if I should believe in demons." And she honestly did not. She remembered the Norse gods and some of their endeavors, but... demons?

Her brows knotted. "Should I?"

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POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:24 pm

Octavius smirked at her comment, amused despite himself. He only shrugged broad shoulders and glanced at her again, not observant enough to see her searching. If he knew what for...

I don't know if it helps. I don't... fit in many buildings. He leaned elbows onto thighs and hunched forward again, eyes half-lidded now. I just wanted to be alone. And then I didn't, he confessed, not certain nor really caring if he was too forward.

Her eyes were so dark as to appear black when she glanced at him—or perhaps they were, like ink or like coal. He swallowed and looked down again. Maybe. I don't know how else to... He struggled for a word, opened and closed a fist, sighed. The people who—do bad things, he said, skipping over a missing word. Like...

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:53 pm

I don't fit in many buildings, he said, and a quick laugh escaped her, not long or loud enough to be rude. She shared the sentiment though to a lesser degree, obviously enough, to some degree. He was bigger than her, not a rare find but a fairly uncommon one, if only for the width of his shoulders along with his height. If he had been Judas after all, Farina might not have blamed Carya for not picking up on danger sooner than she had.

But he was gentle, this towering man, and with such a gentle voice. He could have made himself a monster, could have roared her from the room had he wished it—or tried—but instead he was hunched and sensitive and, well, a little absent-minded if not distracted by grief. I just wanted to be alone, and then I didn't, he said. "I get it," replied the ambivert, smiling a little. Oddly enough, she actually did.

He tried to explain demons, tensing and struggling over terms. Farina watched him, face emptied, before crossing across the pew and settling politely beside him.

The man was bigger up close. So this is what was like to be Fiora.

"I'm Farina," she said suddenly, leaning to connect their eyes and distract his frustration with words that she did not quite understand. She raised her brows. "I don't believe in demons—just assholes who get what's coming to them." She straightened. "Why should you believe anything else?"

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POSTED: Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:23 pm

The female laughed, and smiled, and came to settle beside him on a pew creaking beneath their combined weight but determined to hold it. He flashed a grin her way, one drained of its usual vitality, and decided that the company he'd found was probably as good as it was going to get.

The wolfdog was named Farina. Octavius, he said in reply—and then Farina pressed him lightly with dark eyes staring beneath lifted brown points.

Octavius frowned and pulled his eyes from hers, staring down again into linked hands, elbows rested on thighs. The hunch of his back was like a mountain—or maybe a sad old hill. He opened his mouth to explain, to explain what his mother had known, what was surely true, but he could not find the words. And it was not a gap in his brain this time, but a deep uncomfortableness that settled on him. Not quite denial, but close. He shut his eyes and gave up speech.

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:17 am

He gave his name, even a smile, but nothing else. Octavius—sort of an esteemed, intelligent name for a hefty man who seemed rather down on his luck. Octavius avoided her eyes and made some motion to respond, but once again nothing came forth.

She studied him a long moment, dragged down by his depression, before decidedly snapping herself out of it. "Buck up," Farina said suddenly, grin resurfacing as she punched him lightly in the shoulder and leapt to her feet. If he was not able to talk, she would not force it. Clearly the words were too difficult. She gazed up at one of the concrete angels hovering impassive over the altar, then Farina squared her shoulders and tipped her head, unconsciously exuding confidence. She seemed to come to some unspoken decision, and at once marched from his side and up the steps, glancing various lines that each led up to the angel.

"Spot for me a second, will you?" her voice echoed across the pews. She climbed up onto the altar, stared up, then poised herself and leapt, catching the lowest hangings of the angel in her arms and scrambling to climb her behemoth body higher atop it.

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

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