buzzard’s breath the rooster moans

POSTED: Thu May 07, 2015 6:54 pm

AW for one! Vesper is in Optime form. Good for anyone interested in the Falconer or Ravenmaster co-rank!

Ravenswrest was loud with squawking and cawing, black wings flared in the dark, creaking branches as birds scrabbled from their perches and fussed with each other over tossed bread and meat.

Vesper was cautious to keep her fingers from the reach of dark beaks, though the shaggy and large bird that perched on her shoulder threatened any raven that got too close. It was chaotic cacophony all around her, but still her nose and eyes noted some of the individuals that flew past her: wild ones, nameless and without allegiance to Inferni; juveniles growing into their bodies, furtive and quick; and old and loyal birds that were smart enough to wait for her to come to them.

As much as she looked down on most other animals, Ves didn't mind her work with the birds. She liked them for their personalities, their cleverness, even their sass. And when the last bits of broken-up meat and bread left her fingers, and the storm calmed, she felt happy. She kept a hand low and close to her hip where she'd tied a bag holding other little treats for the birds, knowing that one of the quicker and braver ravens would probably try to pilfer it. She had harder-to-find treats there, from chicken eggs to a few crushed-up insects. These she saved for the ravens she knew well, the ones who told her things.

A glint of a dark eye drew her attention, and Vepser croaked a greeting at the sly-looking bird overhead. How's the nest? she asked, this time in her own tongue.

The raven named Quinn twitched his tail and bobbed his head at her. Rogue look alla place fer fluff. Fluff line-a nest. He shifted his claws eagerly on the thin branch. I fly fer ya, fer ya if gotta nice chick, niiiice chick.

Vesper squinted at him. How do I know you won't eat it then laze around all day, Quinnie?

Old bird tell ya, Quinn said, and Stark croaked a chuckle on her shoulder. Gimme nice nice chick, okay-okay?

She sighed and grinned, reaching into the pouch. Her fingers found the fuzz of the few-day-old chick -- one she'd found digging in the hutch for eggs, likely just a fluke of nature. She tossed the yellow thing up at the branch, and the raven grabbed it in his talons, pecking where the tissue was soft and yielding. Use that chick-fuzz for your nest, she told him, and he coughed acknowledgment, beak bloody.

Vesper walked on, aware of but comfortable with the shadows flying and hopping after her.


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POSTED: Thu May 07, 2015 7:32 pm

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Cartier had come to dread Ravenswrest. It wasn't that he was afraid of ravens or the such. He actually liked most of them. There was just this certain raven that hid out within the shadows created by canopy of the trees and seemed to always wait until he showed up to attack. He had no idea what Plagas's problem was when all Cartier had done was save his life.

The coyote male hoped against all hopes that the old bird would be out and unable to bother him but he knew that wasn't the case. The avian creature had no cause to go out when food would be brought to him upon the visit of others. Still Cartier couldn't help hoping that maybe this time he would be lucky.

Cartier had taken to patrolling in his Secui form since Vesper had gotten attacked. He also tried to jog through Ravenswrest as quickly as he could, while still keeping watch for trespassers and things that were off, because he always suffered an attack. With his head bowed Cartier trudged into the trees. He had his neck bunched up to try and offer as little as he could to the attack that he knew would come from overhead. It never happened in the exact same spot so he was always on edge when he was in this part of the clan's lands.

The cacophony of caws had the male speeding up, taking them as a warning that something was about to happen. He fretted that Plagas had turned the whole lot against him. But no, it was still the single bird that decided to pick on him. It happened when the noise had died down to normal levels. Cartier cursed as talons managed to find purchase in the back of his neck despite how he tried to give nothing to hold on to.

The male stumbled around as he shook himself and tried to release the hold of the avian creature but Plagas simply clung tighter to him and pecked at the back of Cartier's head in seeming reprimand for his actions. Cartier was so focused on trying to free himself of the raven that he didn't notice Vesper until he had practically barreled right into her. "Sorry." He spoke sheepishly as the raven continued his assault on the coyote's head.

I steal this because I can (and for gay bird); 391 Words
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POSTED: Tue May 19, 2015 10:51 am

Thankies for joining! YISS gay birds. Cartier is foreva-cute & lemme know if pp of Plagas not okay!

Stark flew from her shoulder and flew a few branches ahead at a time, croaking and bobbing his head at the other birds, spiraling playfully toward youngsters and making branches shake when he perched on them. Vesper smiled at his antics; some days he seemed old and wise, and others like a bird in his prime.

She didn't notice Cartier until his big body nearly slammed into her legs. She jumped a foot back and looked at him in surprise; he returned her gaze bashfully under the blows of the mangy raven, Plagas, who seemed to have his claws in the coyote's scruff.

Vesper laughed. Well hey, Cartier. She waved a hand at Plagas, and snapped her teeth, ordering him in a loud caw to leave the Magister alone. The one-eyed creature flapped to the ground but continued to watch Cartier intently. Ves crouched to Cartier's level and stroked his head where the bird had bene pecking him, smirking gently. You know, he probably only bugs you because he gets a rise out of you. If you ignore him, he might get bored and leave you alone.


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POSTED: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:08 pm

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Cartier was relieved when Vesper was able to get the bird under control, but then again she had always seemed to have a way with the ravens. He ended up wincing when the spot where Plagas had been working on was touched. A small patch of fur was missing and was replaced with a few drops of blood instead. He always looked as if he had come through a battle, on the losing end of one, once he exited Ravenswrest.

"I try to ignore him but he makes it hard to do." Cartier cast a glance over to the mangy bird that was staring intently at him. The Secui shifted male took a few steps further away from the bird. "Does he never bother you?" He asked as he glanced back to Vesper, though he kept an eye on the bird still and watched for any sort of movement from the animal. He just couldn't trust that it wouldn't end up trying something should the subleader end up glancing away.

"How did you get him to listen to you?" It was a trick that Cartier certainly wouldn't mind learning. If he could get Plagas to start listening to him then he wouldn't have to worry that he looked like he had just exited a battlefield every time that he came out of the forest that was home to the ravens. He didn't want to have to stress every time he had to patrol this area. There shouldn't be a reason that he should be fearful to walk through his own territory. It was silly that he should feel wary and uncomfortable in any part of Inferni. This was his home and he should feel safe in all parts of it, not wary of certain areas.

It is totally fine; 301 Words
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POSTED: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:41 pm

Cartier winced, but Vesper attempted to smooth the plucked fur on his skull and hoped that the sensation of rubbing near the small wounds would distract him from the sting. She didn't fuss over him for long, though, and smirked when the big halfling male stepped away from the scraggly bird.

He might have, once or twice, she said. All the ravens harass me on occasion, especially when food is involved. She could only count on Stark to not bite her fingers or claw at her back in an attempt to sneak a meal, though she was certain he'd probably tried once or twice to steal meat from under her nose when she was still only just beginning to learn how to work with them. She was used to their pestering, however, and bore many raised scratches under her thin coat.

She shrugged at Cartier. Sometimes you just gotta be mean back to them. And it helps if you know how to threaten them in their own tongue. She winked and straightened, though her posture was still feral when she stood on two legs. He believes me when I tell him I'll rip out the remaining half of his feathers if he doesn't listen to me, she laughed, wondering if Cartier would have the same confidence to pull such a threat off. He was an easy target for bird bullying, that was for certain, though Plagas' obsession with the coyote was more humorous to the Ravenmaster than anything else. She had a feeling it was misguided affection rather than outright aggression, or Plagas would be able to find other ways to torture the Inferni man and otherwise make his life a living hell.

I'll teach you some of their speech sometime, she began, but was interrupted when another raven, its beak chipped, hopped down to the forest floor and aimed to pluck some of the reddish fur that Plagas had pulled out. The raven then flapped back up into a tree, very intently beginning to poke the fur into a nest of other stolen and downy materials.


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POSTED: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:52 am

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"But I don't even have food." He almost sounded like a petulant child. Still it was true, he never had food when Plagas would think to harass him. "All I try to do is patrol and he attacks me. The other birds are just fine. It is only him." And it seemed to be only him that the mangy raven thought to badger.

"I don't know how to do that." On either front. Cartier had no idea how to be mean or how to speak bird. It was true that he was an easy target for bullying. He was simply much too compliant and had yet to learn how to accurately stand up for himself. He would do whatever he had to in order to protect and defend his home and those that he cared about but he seemed unable to do the same when it came to himself. There was no way he would tolerate Plagas picking on someone else yet he lacked the ability to defend himself. Honestly a part of him felt he deserved it, that it was further penance for the thoughts that continually infiltrated his mind as of late.

"I'd like that. Maybe he won't be so mean if I can learn to talk to him." And then he could question the bird and find out why he was the way he was. Find out why the bird seemed to want to always torture him. "Oh great, now another one is going to start attacking me." The words were sighed out when Cartier noticed that a raven had come to snatch up the fur that had been ripped out. The male warily watched the bird work on a nest and took a few more paces away as if he figured he would go unnoticed if he didn't linger close to the other bird and its nest.

Sucky post is sucky; 321 Words
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POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:23 pm

Plagas seemed more like a respulsive child with an obsessional crush than a violent bird, though Vesper didn't want to belittle Cartier's frustration with the analogy. It twisted her lips into a half-smile, one she managed to correct and offer as motherly affection and sympathy rather than humor. Ves didn't want Cartier to suffer like she wanted none of her children to suffer, but why did it have to be so damn funny? She was sure she would have whined and pouted in his place.

It's not easy, Vesper warned. Other Luperci languages, they have rules and words -- but Low Speech doesn't have anything like that. It's more... concepts, thoughts. You kind of have to listen to the noise they make and guess at what it means. She uttered a croak as an example, a simple one taught to her as a greeting by Stark. You hear them call like that a lot, and learn it means hello.

She reached to stroke his head, smiling lightly and glancing into the trees. I'm sure Stark will help you, she added. It's easier if a bird teaches you, honestly. Less guesswork.

Vesper grinned as Cartier complained about another bird out for his blood, sidestepping away. It's just Rogue, she said. He likes making a nest even if he's not going to have any eggs. She winked at him, cheekily. But don't tell him that.


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POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:34 pm

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"How do you know if you have guessed it right?" Could he just point to things and ask a bird to tell him what it was? That was how some of his Spanish lessons went. When Xochime couldn't come up with an English word things were simply pointed to and words were traded. Could he do the exact same thing when learning to talk to a bird? Did they even have a sound for objects?

"You think he will teach me?" He knew that Stark would most likely listen to what Vesper told him to do but he had no idea if the raven would simply do it grudgingly or if the bird would actively try to help him learn. He didn't know how much patience Stark would have for his mistakes. Granted it was odd for him to even think of a bird as a teacher. Would Stark start pecking at him too?

"Why won't he have eggs? Don't they only make nests when they are having eggs?" He didn't really know much of anything about birds. To him nests meant eggs. "I mean I know he can't have them but isn't his mate having them?" Of course he automatically thought the bird to have a female mate. It was his first assumption about every pairing. He thought that there was something wrong with him for him to care about Jehan as much as he did. Actually his religion told him that there was something wrong with him for the thoughts that he had. It was because of his religion that he assumed every couple was male and female only, even if he knew Vesper and Myrika had no such relationship. But for some reason there was nothing wrong about their relationship to him yet it was wrong for him to even think to consider Jehan in such a way.

319 Words
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POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:47 pm

Vesper twitched her tattered ear at his question and laughed. I guess if they stare at you like you're an idiot you know you've gotten it wrong? she offered, half-jokingly. Her canine accent mangled half the phrases she croaked to the ravens starting out, and some of the intelligent ones had laughed at her. Others were only drawn to the broken sounds, cawing curiously, goading her into speaking again. Most of the time, they'll just ignore you if they don't understand you. Having a translator like Stark helps, but the worst thing you can mess up is alerting them to food -- even in their English, she whispered the word so the grove wouldn't erupt into chaos -- and you've already seen the worst of that, probably. Being mobbed by ravens was part of a Falconer's job, after all.

I dunno. He'd probably go for it as a favor to me, at least. Vesper shrugged and glanced into the trees for her companion, though she didn't immediately spot him; he'd flown off with some others, she thought. But he taught me. He likes to hear me talk about you, so he knows you a little.

She watched the scarred raven stick the fur carefully into the nest, arranging it. Generally the females busied themselves with the finer details of a nest, the males bringing a few twigs if anything, but Rogue had obviously settled into this role. She glanced at Cartier after a moment, grinning. Yeah, well, Rogue paired up with Quinn, another male. They're inseparable. No eggs, though Quinn told me if any get abandoned this year he's stealing them. It was the best outcome she could think of. Protected as the Inferni ravens were, more gregarious than their "wild" cousins, there were sometimes casualties -- and orphans sentenced to death if they weren't warmed and fed.


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POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:12 pm

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Cartier ended up laughing at the whispered word. "I wouldn't want to do that." The male agreed with a grin. He already got attacked enough by one bird so he really needn't encourage others to come after him as well. He had enough to deal with with Plagas alone, though hopefully not Rogue too, that he needn't open himself up for bullying from the other birds as well. It would just be stupid of him to do that. He would just have to get Stark to teach him the sound for food so that he would know to veer away from it.

"You talk to your bird about me? What do you say?" The male hadn't expected to be spoken of. But then again he had never really given much thought to what a coyote and a raven would talk about. He supposed that it was all about reports of what was seen. He had never really considered that an actual conversation could be had. Then again Plagas didn't really strike Cartier as being the chatty type.

"But..." He shook his head and looked up at the bird that was working away on building a nest. "But that isn't right. That isn't how things are meant to be. It's wrong." Though he spoke the words he continued to stare up at the bird with absolute wonder in his eyes. Certainly the birds had to know it was wrong and yet they were planning for a future together. "Think they will find any eggs?" The thought of baby birds had him thinking of Jehan. For one rash moment he almost thought to dash off to find the dog just to show him the ravens. Cartier had even started to take a few steps towards where the border laid before he stopped himself.

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