There was something to be frightened of

for Maciel Lopez

POSTED: Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:12 pm

Early afternoon, search party for Pascal in relation to this plot, permission granted by Heart for mild pp toward Maciel/permission granted to Heart in advance for mild Calanthia pp

When the Court had been in need of a search party, Calanthia had volunteered. She was having a good, clear-headed day; she'd seen no reason not to offer her assistance. The whispers climbing around her mind like it was made of mountain peaks and chasms were no reason to avoid the inevitable. The pale woman would have to pull her weight even when she felt like her brain was melting out her ears, after all. There was little reason not to ease herself into this, not to take control now when she knew she could.

She'd met with the male who'd also been tasked with locating, or trying to anyway, Pascal. The missing Courtier was the King's son and resident librarian, a man Calanthia had passed in the halls of the Hotel a time or two. While not paying him much thought otherwise, she'd recognized and appreciated the time he spent taking care of the pack's library. Now, for all Calanthia knew, he was dead and gone without them sharing a single word. That alone was enough to spur her into action; he deserved better than to be lost for good, even if Maciel and she might find something gruesome at the end of his trail.

Hoping for the best, the pair had set off from their meeting place at the Hotel with crossed fingers and toes; Calanthia followed Maciel, trusting his tracking skills to make up for her being on two legs and less useful for such things. It was stupid, but every attempt at shifting down that morning had been met with an odd revulsion at the notion she'd be bare in her feral form. Like somehow that would be proof of what she wasn't, what she could never be. Ultimately, she had settled for pushing up her sleeves, tying up her skirt, and heading downstairs with her talisman around her neck for luck and protection. Her last time out in the wilds around the Court had ended more poorly than intended; she could use all the help she could get this time.

They managed to track, with Calanthia looking around from her higher vantage point for any visual signs of Pascal, the Margrave's scent in fits beyond the pack's borders. They determinedly traversed the forests in their path, and the Seigneur knew they were approaching the small path between Halifax and a pack Calanthia had a vague recollection that the Court was allied with. Beyond that, the scent grew stronger, marginally more recent. The hybrid woman began to feel nervous; if they went much further, they would be getting dangerously close to Inferni for her tastes. They... They wouldn't have kidnapped Pascal, would they? It terrified Calanthia to think that his skull might soon be a border decoration; they had to find him, if they could.
Calanthia Lucetta Faire


Avatar by Kai

POSTED: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:23 am

Word Count → xxx :: Thanks for starting! :D <3

The Margrave wound his way through the soaring trees of the Dampwoods, fear-drowned heart pounding wildly against his ribs. Linden had raised the alarm of Pascal's disappearance mere hours ago, but the trail the huntsman followed was already dissolving away, losing its freshness and vivid colours. Maciel was forever tracking prey, but he had never expected this: looking for a pack mate, who might have even been killed. No, don't think about that. The neutral territories were a dangerous place. Maciel knew that too well. Find him.

Maciel's nostrils flared, drinking in the scents that had sunk like water into the ground. Woven in amongst them was Pascal's fading trail, lingering like a red river on the earth's surface, but intertwined with a hundred others - rodents, moose, whitetail deer, other canines, smells all overlaid with the thick, heavy fragrance of pine needles. It was chaotic, like trying to follow a thin line in a neon haze, but the Mexican wolf drove on, determined, his tired mind feverishly trying to sort out the endless smells and keep focused. It was not as difficult as it might seem; the librarian had been one pack mate Maciel had been more closely acquainted with, so the thought of him losing him kept the Margrave in such terror that it would have killed him to make a mistake tracking him down now.

Paws falling silently on the forest bed, Maciel started to feel the scents of Inferni pressing in from his left, drifting from their borders onto the neutral territories like a sinister warning. The Courtier had wanted to avoid the pack at all costs, after his last disastrous meeting there (even if that had mainly been his own fault), but suddenly he was aware that Pascal's scent trail had turned sharply toward it.

Maciel's tail lifted straight into the air, quivering with anxiety, and his pace instinctively began to quicken. Nose never leaving the ground, the trail continued to get fresher, allowing the pair's progress to accelerate. Within a few minutes, the correlation was definite. Maciel yipped urgently at Calanthia, "His trail is heading toward Inferni!" Adrenaline pounded painfully through his veins, urging his legs forward, whilst he began to form a terrifying, but seemingly sound, conclusion: had Pascal been kidnapped by the coyotes?


・ ◎ ⦿ ⦿ ◎ ・


Current avatar by Gen!

User avatar
Heart
Non-Luperci
Tell me to HIDE

POSTED: Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:05 pm

You're welcome c:

She wasn't sure how he did it. The Seigneur had never been much of a tracker, her nose too often betrayed by scents that weren't there. The amount of focus and concentration Maciel displayed was beyond impressive, beyond admirable. If anyone was going to help her – or she supposed she was helping him – find Pascal, it was the missing Courtier's fellow Margrave. The pair darted between pine trees and Calanthia took the time to look for signs of a struggle in the undergrowth, scratches in tree bark, anything that might leave a clue for them to follow. Yet the trail continued with no signs of slowing down or stopping, weaving its way closer and closer to an inevitable conclusion. A terrifying one.

Calanthia could tell more by sight than by smell that they were approaching Inferni's borders, though she wasn't sure her nerves could match Maciel's as they continued drifting in the clan's direction; his nose was to the ground and catching every scent that passing it, including the heavy odor of Inferni which she could barely catch drifting onto the neutral territories. For all she knew, that whiff wasn't even real. What the male smelled undoubtedly was.

Then, like a switch had been flipped, she watched the Margrave catch something and follow the trail pointedly left. Now Calanthia had to speed up to keep pace, her wider stride compensating for Maciel's quick and anxious feet. Her ears fell back against her skull worriedly; she already know what this meant, what this could mean, but she didn't want to admit it. Didn't want to say anything to throw her fellow Courtier off his trail.

"His trail is heading toward Inferni!"

Maciel's yipped assertion made Calanthia's blood run cold even as she surged forward with him. She wanted to ask if he could smell anything else, blood or another luperci or anything that might suggest he'd gone to the clan unwillingly from this point on, but the Seigneur couldn't find the words. She couldn't find any words, too anxious to goad her vocal chords into action. So she followed, her thoughts souring beyond repair. If Pascal hadn't been kidnapped by the coyotes, there was no telling where he was. It almost seemed like the preferable outcome; at least then they could recover him, alive or... Or dead.
Calanthia Lucetta Faire


Avatar by Kai

POSTED: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:03 am

Word Count → xxx :: dun dun dun

The Margrave's paws, so fuelled by their nervous energy, outstepped themselves. For a moment, Maciel lost the scent. He froze - his terrified heart seemed set to burst against its cage - but after several frightened minutes of wandering and backtracking the wolf found the old trail once more.

"Sorry," the word slipped out between gritted teeth as he took up the tracks again. Every movement the huntsman made trembled with a fearful anxiety; it seemed like the looming shadows all around them were threatening to erase the scent, and then Pascal would be lost forever--

Focus. The Mexican wolf forced his pace to slow, lungs heaving. He knew how to deal with such anxiety; it wasn't the first time he'd been struck by it. "I-I... can't smell any blood..." he eventually told Calanthia, "And blood would smell stronger than the trail itself, so..." he probably hasn't been ripped to pieces, Maciel wanted to say, but that was a side of his imagination better left untouched for now. Instead, the Courtier willed himself to keep on walking and keep his misgivings to himself. The smell of Inferni was getting steadily stronger - an almost pungent mix of, from what the Margrave could make out, salt, horses and, of course, coyotes - but he tried his best to dismiss it.

Suddenly, the faded line he followed became not so much a line but a random, tangled splash of scent, so densely overlapped that it lost all sense of direction. The huntsman's nostrils flared, sucking in as much data as it could, but everything was so crowded. The strong smells of pine, other wolves, coyotes and prey animals did not help matters in the slightest. The Courtier began to circle, trying to distinguish some sort of lead, but found nothing. "I can't," Maciel stuttered, "... it ends here. I-I don't know!" orange ears flattened against his skull and his eyes stretched wide, but it was like he was blind. He was trying to see with his other senses - trying to map out his surroundings in terms of scent and sound - but all was quiet, except for the presence of Calanthia and himself, and the persistent rustling of the trees.


User avatar
Heart
Non-Luperci
Tell me to HIDE

POSTED: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:19 pm

When he lost the trail, the Seigneur followed diligently, fingers and thumb on her left hand rubbing against each other feverishly to calm herself. She couldn't chase after Maciel if she was fidgeting properly, but it would do for now. The air was thick with nervous tension already; the last things either of them needed, or that Pascal needed, was for Calanthia to have a meltdown during their search. She'd be okay, if only for her missing fellow Courtier. If only because, fortunately, Maciel recovered Pascal's scent.

"It's okay." The pale woman replied softly, sincerely. Even if he had lost the trail and as awful as that would have been... She wouldn't blame the Margrave. Couldn't. It didn't matter anyway, they were back on track. So Calanthia followed the huntsman onward, relieved their search had not ended when it might have. Still anxious and fearful, but relieved all the same. It would be okay. They'd find Pascal, or at least where he'd been last, and it would be okay. They just had to keep going, keep searching. It... It would be okay.

She nodded thoughtfully as Maciel explained that he couldn't smell any blood and that it would overpower Pascal's trail; that was something Calanthia could understand. The heavy, metallic scent was wretched and she was happy there was no trace of it on their trail. That was the first good sign they'd had since they'd starting knowingly weaving their way toward Inferni. Then again, little could convince the Seigneur of Pascal's well-being as she became certain she could smell the coyote clan; not only the imagined wisps pulled from memory, but also the very real scent wafting from its borders.

When Maciel began to circle, Calanthia heaved a tired, anxious sigh. When the Margrave began to stutter in confusion, she forced a gentle smile onto her muzzle. Something comforting, she hoped. "It's okay," She said, trying to keep her voice calm, "It ends here, it's okay. He... H-He could've been moved? Taken somewhere?" Worst case scenario, but he hadn't just disappeared. Calanthia was the search party's eyes, so she'd put them to good use. Even as her breathing risked hitching and her hands shook, she walked the edge of Maciel's frantic circling from before. She looked for identifiable hair, scratches on the ground, on the trunks of trees. Something that might carry Pascal's scent and lead them in another direction and back on his trail.

But Calanthia found nothing. And with another heavy sigh, she looked over her shoulder at Maciel. "I... I think we should go back? Report our progress?" She suggested. Pausing for a moment, the blue-eyed female then asked, "O-Or we could widen our search? See if you can get his scent again?" It would be up to Maciel. They'd either head back to the Court or search manically for a trail that might not even exist.
Calanthia Lucetta Faire


Avatar by Kai

POSTED: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:50 pm

Word Count → xxx :: Maciel is having a tiny meltdown...

"Taken..." Maciel whispered, almost thoughtfully, except sane thoughts did not have this much fear. "Oh God, pray help him..." His long tail curled beneath him and his knuckles kneaded the earth, allowing his claws to tear up the pine needle floor.

Then something began to soothe his overwhelming angst: Calanthia's calm tones and gentleness may have been forced, but they were effective all the same. Slowly, Maciel's hackles began to flatten, and soon he ceased his circling altogether. Breathing heavily, the Courtier allowed himself a long moment of peace, before he tried once more to find some kind of continuation to the path Pascal had taken. There was, of course, none he could decipher. And, judging by the sigh and half-defeated words of Calanthia, she had not found anything either.

Maciel did not bring his gaze from the ground. Instead, it remained fixated around his paws. His mind went a thousand miles per hour. "P-please, we cannot give up now..." the Margrave did not know why he was suddenly begging. Old terrors were coming, dripping from his shattered heart and worming up his throat, until they found their way to his tongue. He thought he had been done with losing people since he arrived in Cour des Miracles, yet here he was again. "What do you think if we... widened the search? As you said. We can look around just once more. You could find something. I know you could," despite his tense manner, secretly, he just wanted to get to his knees: you're Luperci. You are the essence of divinity. You were born with alien magic flowing through your shapeshifting veins! Your very blood is blessed! Surely, you can find him.

There were a few things that the Courtier did not want. One was eternal damnation. The second was for his sister to have survived. And another was for a pack mate to be suffering. It seemed that one of those things had happened, and he had failed to help stop it.


User avatar
Heart
Non-Luperci
Tell me to HIDE

POSTED: Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:49 pm

She'd learned, over time, how to soothe her own tired and frayed nerves. How to calm her mind and pull herself back together when her only savior, her armor, was silence when all she wished to do was scream. So they sat in silence as Maciel calmed and backed away from the precipice of a meltdown. Her gentle tones had washed over both of them like gentle waves lapping at the shore. Then, they took their own individual moments to search again. The Margrave with his nose to the ground and Calanthia with her eyes to... Well, everything else. To the trees and the pine needle floor and the undergrowth.

Then the begging began as all hope of recovering the trail seemed lost. If the pale woman had it in her heart to beg, she would've, too. She had no one to beg to, though. Maciel had given it his all and he would try to do it again. If he could do it, so could Calanthia. "W-We can't." She agreed, voice wavering and tense, the gentleness of her tone fading fast. She listened attentively as the golden-eyed hybrid took her suggestion and ran with it, certain they could find something if they just tried again. Certain Calanthia could find something at least.

Taking a deep breath, in then out, the Seigneur gave herself a moment to fidget. She wrung her hands and massaged her wrists with her thumbs as she gave the area another once over. Then, an idea struck her. "W-We should c-circle toward Inferni," Calanthia suggested, her nerves getting the better of her before she could calm them, "If... If it's going to continue anywhere, it's in that direction, right?" Pascal had passed multiple packs to get to where they were now, so incredibly close to the coyote clan's borders. Maybe he'd made it further than they thought.

"I'll..." Calanthia continued, adding to her plan aloud as she thought of it, "I'll follow you and make sure we don't miss anything ." This would be their best option, wouldn't it? If Maciel and she were going to continue, they'd have to do it logically. They couldn't just circle an ever wider area around where they lost the trail or they'd never make any progress. Inferni and the tensions between the clan and the Court were their only leads to go on. "Good... Good plan?" Calanthia then asked, wanting to make sure they were on the same page. That Maciel thought this was an idea worth trying.

Her fingers and thumbs rhythmically rubbed against each other, a constant movement that she could perform without breaking her concentration on the matter at hand. Perhaps that, Calanthia thought, was the only thing keeping her from tipping over the edge.
Calanthia Lucetta Faire


Avatar by Kai

POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:20 am

Word Count → xxx :: ---

Calanthia's agreement gave Maciel confidence. His ears still lay fairly flat and his eyes were large with worry, but at least there was a little less fear there, and a little more determination. The Seigneur's suggestions were also welcomed, especially since the Margrave was presently too distracted to think for himself. "Yes, you're right," he eventually said, and lifted his head toward Inferni's borders, gazing forward as if he could already see their skull-laden walls. "That's a good plan. I... won't be able to follow his scent trail, but I can guess which route he might have taken," his tail flicked contemplatively, before he suddenly began to move again. "Here. It's this way, I think."

The Mexican wolf headed straight through the forest, like he guessed how Pascal might have done. As he walked, his pessimistic mind mulled over his fellow Margrave's fate: whatever had happened, he hoped it had not been too cruel, and that Pascal was still alive and healthy. He remembered Vesper, and how she had been so kind to him - not at all discriminatory, either toward his blood, pack, or four-legged-ness. He simply could not believe that she would approve such a crime. But it was not beyond his imagination to just see another coyote attack Pascal. That seemed to be the leading theory at the moment, even if it was not one he particularly liked.

Eventually, the huntsman stopped in his tracks, his snout lifted into the air. Between the sharp smells of Inferni and pine, he thought he could sense something else... unless, of course, it was just his imagination. He turned to Calanthia, forehead furrowed and with dark eyes wide. "Do... do you smell candles?"


User avatar
Heart
Non-Luperci
Tell me to HIDE

POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:56 pm

This became long and unwieldy rather quickly :I

It should have felt nice, that he'd approved of her plan. Instead, the weight sitting heavy in Calanthia's stomach only worsened. This was their last real chance, wasn't it? It's not like the outcome would be any different, but Calanthia still feared the worst. Unless they literally found Pascal alive, well, and insisting Inferni had had nothing to do with his disappearance... Well, the Seigneur would be getting very comfortable with a weapon. Would have to. For the sake of her protection and the protection of her fellow Courtiers.

Calanthia listened attentively as Maciel spoke and then nodded in understanding; they'd rely on the environment to throw up a clue here or there, not on any clear path laid out for them. The pine needles beneath her feet could have carried all the secrets in the world, but they'd eluded the Courtiers thus far. "It's okay." She said gently, because it was. Better than okay, even. At least he knew Pascal and might be able to guess his fellow Margrave's path.

When Maciel set off again, she dutifully followed. The Seigneur's fingers brushed the tree trunks in her reach as her eyes scoured the area. From the trees to the undergrowth to the forest floor, she saw nothing. Nothing they could miss without her there, nothing of interest, just... Nothing. So she relied on Maciel knowing what he was doing. She'd follow his lead.

The pale woman's only meeting with an Infernian, while not terrible, hadn't been optimal. It was hard to believe they were harboring a stolen Courtier and his kidnapper, though. Then again, sometimes bad luperci banded together. Sometimes they had a taste for blood and war. She just hoped that, if one judged Inferni's book by its skull-lined cover, they would be getting the wrong impression. For the sake of both clan and Court.

At first, Calanthia wasn't sure why they'd stopped. She was so used to her nose playing tricks on her that she didn't trust odd or out of place scents on her own. All the Seigneur could definitively smell was whatever scents wafted over the coyote clan's borders and the pine forest around her. Even if other smells tickled at her nose and gave her pause, she couldn't identify anything of potential importance. At least until Maciel turned to her, forehead furrowed, and asked her a question.

"Do... do you smell candles?"

Inhaling deeply on reflex, her pale blue eyes widened to match his when she caught the odor. "Yeah, I... I do." She paused for a beat, "Is that... important?" Perhaps it was, if Maciel knew the scent and thought it significant to note.
Calanthia Lucetta Faire


Avatar by Kai

POSTED: Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:33 am

Word Count → xxx :: I am running out of things to say. xD Do you want them to find the candles, or would that be too... Mary Sue, I guess. (I was having a little Mary Sue moment in my last post, tbh. :P)

Maciel flicked one fulvous ear, thoughts whirring noisily around in his head, "Pascal used to... Pascal likes candles," the Margrave commented, even as a hint uncertainty crept into his voice. "Or, at least, that's what I heard..."

Again, the huntsman breathed in, ribs shuddering, hoping to catch the faded scent on the breeze. Before he could even distinguish it again, however, the wind weakened dramatically and, to top it all off, changed direction, and now the scent had vanished. In its stead, the trees whispered mockingly, or perhaps encouragingly, depending on which way you looked at it.

'Were we just imagining it?' Maciel asked himself silently, before mentioning aloud, "I-- maybe it was nothing. I cannot smell it anymore," Silently, he wondered how successful this search party could possibly be; at this point, he had come to the vague conclusion that someone had grabbed Pascal, and now the wolfdog was illegally hidden somewhere in Infernian territory, beyond the reach of a simple search party. The huntsman's tail eventually drooped and he gave a tired sigh, "I-I've lost the scent completely, Calanthia. The wind's changed, but I should have found something by now, anyway... can you see anything? You're taller," the Mexican wolf looked up at his companion, all traces of stress gone from his features, to be replaced with a certain, tired tranquility.

The Margrave's claws, normally well-sharpened, had been worn blunt by their urgent travel, and his tough pawpads had the equivalent of blisters developing on his toes. Yet, the most tired thing about the Courtier was his hopefulness. Had he had the choice, he would have tried to figure out where that candle-scent was coming from, but that opportunity had been whipped away from him by the now constantly shifting winds - which were now almost too weak to carry much scent, anyway - and he could not remember anything about it except for its presence. It was impossible for him to even guess which direction it had been coming from before.


・ ◎ ⦿ ⦿ ◎ ・


Current avatar by Gen!

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Non-Luperci
Tell me to HIDE

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