sing another song for the lost ones

(we're the ones who need it the most)

POSTED: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:45 pm

Set in Drifter Bay near the coast. AW for one, I'm up for anything. ^^ Dove is in Lupus form.


It was only after a considerable time building the courage did Dove bring her search to the coastline. Her body wracked by the shivers of a coastal spring not yet arrived, Dove avoided turning her eyes to the waves for irrational fear of discovering Saffron's dead and poisoned body washed ashore—or worse, that of her brother River Lark, whom she had been hunting several weeks. In that time, her mind and body betrayed one another; her stomach caved in and a groggy fog in her mind and eyes had become a constant. Yet fortitude prevailed, and from it an unyielding dedication to her cause prevailed. She had to find him. He had to be alive.

Her clanmates had naught but good intentions; first was Vesper suggesting herbal remedies to help with mood, then Oriole and Fang with their own individual attempts. At odds with her own growing reputation, Dove escaped beyond Infernian borders to continue her search as she had done several times since her brother vanished. She walked four-legged with nose to the frozen ground, if only because four legs allowed for balance her two-legged form did not among the jagged cliffs along the coast. Dove followed no scents; what little had been left behind by River Lark in his disappearance was long since washed away, and she had only intuition and blind luck to rely on to find him now.

She called out his name every so often though nothing was discovered to prompt it. Vaguely aware she might be drawing unnecessary attention to herself, Dove strayed no farther from Inferni than she needed to, and scouted the Drifter Bay coast and cliffs a lonely, starving sentinel.

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POSTED: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:37 pm

Persimmon had always enjoyed coastlines, the lapping waves sounding across the dunes, small delicious skittering things that danced about underfoot. Admittedly, this was a much rockier, and colder coast than he preferred, but at least it was mostly peaceful. He wove between the cliffs and boulders that dotted the jagged shore with a practiced, even stride that was carefully calculated to make it look like he knew exactly where he was going. In reality, he was doubling back in the vain hope that he'd missed some sign leading towards a population center, and maybe he might encounter another being who knew the terrain.

As it turned out, there was nobody, and he was still exceptionally lost. Though, as he remarked to himself, it wasn't a desperate sort of lost. More of a wrong turn affair, not unlike most of the last two years. He brought his hand to his face, pinching the space between his eyes, willing the memories to recede back, to avoid reminding him of times when half a dead squirrel was a good meal. Those had been the worst years of his life, and all he had to show for it was a leather satchel shoved full of odds and ends. Well that, and a very nice vest with tortoiseshell buttons.

This internal monologue was broken off quite suddenly caught a whiff of cinnamon, layered on top of some intermediate blend of wolf and coyote. Now, where were they? And more importantly, could they help him? Persimmon angled his head upwards, probing for the scent, trying to triangulate the exact location that it was emanating from. Not long after he did so, he heard a voice, calling what seemed to be a name. No, it had to be a name. What other reason would someone have to call out the words River Lark, if they just meant the bird? The nearby voice was feminine, mournful, and seemed to be coming closer.

Approaching her could be dangerous, but he needed directions, and as long as she wasn't stark raving mad, she could help him. The coyote took a deep breath, and straightened himself, adjusting his posture to take on a more commanding appearance. As he began striding towards the mystery woman, he fished a length of twine out of his satchel, tying back his hair into a semblance of respectability. The last thing Persimmon did was to adjust the posture of his ears and tail in an effort to have his body language stop just short of screaming the words "You can trust me!" She was in sight of him now, on all fours. He wrinkled his nose slightly at her appearance. She was horrifically malnourished, and quite possibly incapable of doing much of anything. As he came up upon her, what he saw of her seemed to confirm his earlier theory that she was a hybrid. Her pelt was an interesting mixture of white, accented with black, and her features tended towards the coyote end of the spectrum, which would hopefully make her more likely to trust a fellow coyote.

In theory at least.

I doubt I'm going to have to cut and run, he remarked to himself, So I might as well not attempt a different accent. Of course, he'd have to avoid some of his more regional dialectic jargon, as always. It was in the best interests of comprehension. He was in full view of her now, and simply staring wouldn't do him any favors. So he opted for a very generic greeting, something totally inoffensive.

He bowed slightly, produced a small piece of dried fish from his satchel with a light flourish, and simply said, "Greetin's, marm. Care fo' a bite?"

POSTED: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:54 pm

It was not River Lark to answer her call but a stranger, though coyote. Perhaps because she was not at her best Dove did not detect him by scent nor sound sooner, but she slowed to caution when he made for her direction. Ears flipped, paws distanced, muscles poised themselves for fight-or-flight. Her snout wrinkled but she bared no teeth; rather, her stare was frantic and hypervigilant, a shell-shocked young woman quick on the defense.

It settled once she read his posture and greeting were not of any threat, but the one-year-old Dove still retaliated sarcastic and with a roll of the eyes.

"Cool. Even complete strangers think I'm too skinny," she grumbled to herself. "No, I'm not hungry. Thank you. You haven't seen a brown wolf-coy around here, have you? Gold eyes, scars on the muzzle? How about wherever you came from?"

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POSTED: Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:33 pm

Oh joy, it was going to be one of those days. Persimmon kept the grimace from reaching his face with practiced ease, but it certainly didn't mean he was happy. It was obvious that anything he tried to ask her would be met with a wall of thorny sarcasm than barely masked the raw, gaping emotional wound that led this woman, no, this girl to run herself down to the bone chasing a phantasm. He would almost certainly need to be more forceful to get anything useful out of her.

Persimmon felt his sense of optimism deflating with every word that tumbled out of her mouth, and a feeling of exasperation began to creep upon him. This was going nowhere fast, and he had everything to lose if she was just another dead end that left him even more lost. As she continued speaking to him, the coyote turned smoothly to the left, looking at her with his red eye now. It had a tendency to unsettle some of the more superstitious folk, and he felt that a bit of unease would speed her up. Even if it didn't, her reaction would help to ascertain an angle from which to work on conversation.

He tucked the dried fish back into his bag while answering her, drawling his words out in a low baritone. "Ya can't help who ya' lookin fer if ya starve yaself to a corpse, now can ya miss? Ha'dlah a rescue if yew end up bleached bones strewn about, hmm?" As he spoke, he began to circle her at measured speed, probing, measuring her reactions, but never getting so close as come across as overly confrontational. Persimmon drew his lips back ever so slightly, barely exposing his canines, all the while keeping his voice a calm and friendly tone totally unsuited for what he was saying. The coyote continued, still circling, "Ah have seen many coywolves, they're not quite what one might considah rare in these parts. An I've seen a few that fit such a description in mah travels, some verah' dead."

He stopped in front of her, and with a slight head bob, gestured at one of the small caverns at the base of the jagged cliffs. "I need information. You need information. We will eat, then we talk." He turned back towards her, having traded his friendly air for something far less personable. He began striding towards the cavern he'd pointed too, picking his way between the rocks. Hopefully, she'd follow him, and he'd get exactly the information he needed. Persimmon also felt fairly certain she couldn't resist the offer of food anyway, no matter what she'd said.


OOC: Sorry for changing this last minute, but I feel that the original wording didn't make as much sense.

POSTED: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:02 pm

She sensed he was dissatisfied with her response and couldn't blame him, and so too did she sense he turned his red eye upon her purposefully but could not rationalize why. His was a color reminiscent of the ruby eyes of Saffron, her sister, and Dove sank downcast as if suddenly faced with another unwanted reminder of the mess that was her young, inexperienced life.

Discouraged, she glanced up the coastline as if to cement yet again in her mind that Saffron's body had not washed up. Seeing nothing among the waves somehow comforted her, and with some renewed confidence the Reverie regarded the coyote once more.

Dove stared unresponsive and with hooded eyes as the coyote echoed almost word-for-word Oriole's sentiment regarding her weight, then echoed Fang in circling around as if the young woman could somehow hide the weight. Ultimately his answers were vague and pessimistic, and though Dove flinched and frowned when it was implied River Lark could be dead, she stood her ground.

She stood it still when the stranger drifted away speaking of food and trade. "I appreciate the concern," she said dryly, "but either we talk information here or you stop wasting my time. What do you want to know?"

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POSTED: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:55 pm

I've lost my touch. The coyote groaned inwardly, berating himself for being such an idiot. What the hell did he think he was going to accomplish, trying to get her to eat, staring at her out of one eye? All he'd done was alienate her even further, and now he came off looking like a some pessimistic fool with his head so far up his own backside that there was a suffocation hazard. He used to be good at this, he used to know how people worked!

His ear flicked slightly in irritation, but that was the outward extent of his frustration. He looked back at her now, and decided that she would appreciate bluntness. He was seriously starting to doubt his ability to estimate anything, but if he still trusted his intuition, she probably came out of a pack where they had tried to talk her out of this hunt for the lost Lark. Obviously it hadn't worked, but they might be appreciative of her return. At the moment, however, he needed information before she walked off to who knows where.

He sat down in front of her, visibly dropping his commanding body language and sagging some. Doubt this makes my premature graying look any better, he thought wryly.

"I need ta know wheah local packs ah, some terrain knowledge, and wheah dangers ah." His head cocked to one side, waiting a bit before adding, in a voice with slight purring undertones, "I jess might be able ta help ya fine Rivah Lark."

It wasn't completely true, but he'd cross that bridge when he got there.

POSTED: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:47 pm

Sent you a PM!

Abruptly he discarded airs and seated himself. Though the foreign curve of his words was an obstacle to interpret he had taken on a frankness of language she much preferred, as evidenced by the perk of her tail and ears. Her misguided trust in Mistral, however, returned instinctively to the forefront of her mind, and as result Dove remained standing and wary despite their informality.

"I haven't been here long. I don't know a lot." The wolves of Boreas had known how to target Inferni from the inside through supplied information and spies like Amariah. Dove thought it wise not to take any risks in exposing the clan to further danger. "My home isn't far from here. We line the borders with wolf skulls. I've heard of places called Vinatta and Cercatori d'Arte."

"There's a pack on the other side of the bay, too."What was the name Vesper had mentioned when she brought news of Boreas to Inferni? Without knowing better she continued, "I think it was called Salsola. As far as dangers around here, I don't know. It gets cold. We were at war recently, but they weren't from around here. They're dead now."

She did not like to be so talkative, and with a small aggression in her eyes challenged him. "So have you seen him? The man I described? He's my brother, his name's River Lark."

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POSTED: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:34 pm

Well, it seems she prefers candid speech. Her responses had given him a wealth of information, and the body language that accompanied those words filled in the gaps. Aside from the geographic knowledge she had given him, there was now a face to go with the skulls on trees he had found earlier. It was interesting that she had specified that the skulls were from wolves, which meant that there must be some sort of rivalry or xenophobia between her pack and wolves. Interesting tidbit to tuck away for future reference. What the monochromatic woman had said also meant that they would likely want her back, and having the folks who decorated their territory with artistically augmented decomposing heads owe him a debt of gratitude was very high on the coyote's list of priorities.

The issue of the moment was now twofold. He needed to convince her to willingly take him back to her home, and to bridge the communication gap. It hadn't escaped Persimmon that she hesitated some before answering him, taking time to decode his accent before replying to his questions. The coyote couldn't stop himself from letting loose a low chuckle. Darling, if you can't understand me now, you would hate to hear how I really talk. So he decided to take a little risk, and mimic her accent, as well as her pacing of word-flow for ease of understanding. The result was similarity that trod into uncomfortable territory, although the effect was softened somewhat by the vast difference in the pitch of her voice from his, which plunged down into the lower baritone. "That is significant information, and thank you." He stood up from the sand suddenly, his voice and mannerisms becoming more commanding. "I do have a more unorthodox method of finding him, should you be willing."

He hooked open his satchel as he turned away, pulling out a necklace of claws and teeth endowed with a single raven skull in one motion. It wasn't just any raven skull either. It was one of his special showpieces, carved with intricate patterns that were subsequently filled in with flammable resin, and then coated over with crushed eggshells. The second he dipped it in a flame, the ordinary looking skull would seem to magically have carvings seared into it by whatever higher power his audience subscribed to as the resin burn away. It took days to make, especially to get it to a point where the marks would be visible from a distance. The coyote prided himself on things that couldn't be bungled. And now he intended to use it to convince his new alarmingly twiggy asset to take him to her leader. The coyote shook his head slightly. He would have found the indirect use of the phrase 'take me to your leader' funny had he not been so preoccupied with the myriad things that could go wrong in his plan. He started stalking over to a stand of woody plants amidst the dunes. Persimmon stopped next to them, and then looked over to the hybrid, his mismatched gold and red staring into her lighter gold ones with what he desperately hoped was a piercing stare.

"If you want me to find him, help me start a fire."


OOC So very sorry about the ambiguous wording. I've hope this resolves my blunder.
Last edited by Persimmon Fell on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

POSTED: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:43 pm

Can end it here or keep going, up to you. :)

Was he playing games?

First he began to mimic her, unwarranted, as if to punish her for doing to same when she had not. Second he assumed commanding tones and mannerisms, further contrasting earlier behavior. Dove stared, utterly bewildered by the gall. Though reminded of a creature called a chameleon she had once read about in a textbook, she hesitate to apply the concept to this man: These transitions were jarring and uncomfortable, not smooth and colorful as the text had described.

The breaking point was the skull, carried about among his belongings like a common trinket—like it hadn't once been someone, good or bad. Horrified, doubtful of his mental state and resentful for his disrespect of the dead, Dove said nothing. He asked her to help with the fire, but the Reverie took off instead at a four-legged trot, continuing along the shoreline calling for her brother as if she had never seen the broken chameleon at all.

Dove had a brother to find and a disdain for strangers. Their conversation remedied neither problem.

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Lin
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POSTED: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:50 pm

The skull was not igniting. It wasn’t smoldering. Dear ancestors, why wasn’t it lighting!? Persimmon kept waving his arms in mystic gestures, dipping the skull into the embers in a desperate bid to ignite the resin. The coyote was in a full blown panic. As he stood over the fire, his whole world spiraling was rapidly out of control. He needed the hybrid to direct him to her pack so he could have trade and security. He needed to make her drop her quest for her lost brother so he wouldn’t die alone in what he was rapidly coming to think was a frozen hellhole. He needed her to ingratiate himself to the local pack. It wasn’t working. He had been too desperate, too fast, too off. Now he was paying for his idiocy. The coyote was painfully aware that as of the moment, he looked like a deranged madman. The sort of loon that even the starving woman could tell was dangerous.

He wasn’t helping himself. Persimmon was starting to vent his fear and frustration at the fire, frothing at the mouth and snarling curses of the most vile kind all while desperately trying to salvage the shipwreck that was today. His faux-mystic hand gestures degraded into flailing hand motions, and he stamped at the coarse sand. Then he turned slowly, looking at the stranger. The look on her face was unmistakable. Fear. Disgust. Subtler things he wasn’t in a state to pick up on. Her scent was a roiling cloud of the same, a heady mix of all sorts of aversion. She turned from him and trotted off, taking the last of his hopes with him. If she returned to her pack, he’d be branded a pariah in all future interactions. They may kill him. They would certainly never assist him during spring, The Starving Time. If he didn’t fix this, there was nothing left for him.

He grabbed the skull, still unpleasantly warm from the fire, and ran after the white waif. It wasn’t rational. It wasn’t safe. It probably wasn’t even worth it. But he wasn’t thinking of that right now. Persimmon was hysterical, only concerned with fixing this one failure. His feet pounded into the rough dunes, tossing up sprays of sand that stuck in his ruddy fur. He had to catch up to her. It was a long run, but Persimmon had the slight advantage of better health which let him gain ground even in optime. Stride by stride his loping gait ate up the surf until he was not too far from her. He was nearly upon her when he tripped.

A stone in the sand caught his foot and sent him sprawling forward, the sand racing towards his snout in an crushing embrace. He rolled, winded, and the skull was sent flying. His felt his breathing stop as he watched it fall to earth with wide eyes. Down. Down. Down. Right in the middle of the woman’s path. The raven skull sat there, balefully looking at the varicolored hybrid with empty sockets, with the perpetual sheepish grin of skulls since time immemorial. Persimmon let out a sigh of something that wasn't quite relief as he dragged himself out of the sand. It was that very moment the resin decided to light. It flared, and although the flames were fairly dim, Persimmon was startled, jumped, and fell right back over. Tendrils of fire licked across the skull, consuming the resin and leaving a detailed pattern of blackened grooves across its surface. A small part of Persimmon, one that was long detached from the situation at hand, wondered idly if the resin in the brain case of the skull had trapped some flame inside. It would have taken a while, coupled with a sharp impact of his fumble, to open a hole to allow for the flames to spread.

The rest of Persimmon studiously ignored this revelation, and cautiously got up from the sand. He shakily made his way over to the woman, and extended an unsteady hand. ”It’s been… an off day.” He said in the quavering sort of voice that was reserved for those about to collapse into an ungainly heap. ”Could we, start over? Miss…” He trailed off, leaving a space for her to supply her name.

The coyote very cautiously avoided the skull as he went to her.

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