Not being heard is no reason for silence.

POSTED: Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:25 pm

He was reluctant to let the children come around with prisoners staying in the caverns, but they did so regardless. Both were eager to be around their father, if only because of his present absentee status – caught up in another war, Antioch was trapped by the duty to which he had long ago sworn himself.

Fighting went without question, though. They had killed his son and brought violence to his home. Antioch was eager and willing to set his teeth against an enemy of such ill repute.

Yet what had they to show for it? A young medic, a babe, and a woman who had once lived among them. These were not warriors. The real threat was still out there, waiting for them. His thoughts warned him of this, and such ideas allowed him to keep his remaining children close. Their mother needed time alone, to pray and talk to their dead son, and Antioch would not deny her such a simple request.
How could he, when Omar was buried in the soil and awaiting resurrection?

Adina and Jethro busied themselves with the family horse, something which required the watchful eye of yet another adult (though Nacho was equally childish as his brood) while Antioch saw to other duties.

He sat, statuesque, at the mouth of the cave. Vicira had come earlier for the babe and insisted she would return “soon”, though Antioch thought it had been a very long time already. The young man inside was an ideal prisoner – he was mostly quiet, and had thus far made no attempts at escape.

A part of Antioch was disappointed by this as well. He certainly was looking for excuses to find an outlet for his well-deserved vengeance.


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POSTED: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:06 pm

Ask spent more time with the gray woman than he did with Neith in the cavern, likely for the best. He could not remember the name she was called at time of his capture, but had since pieced together that she was one of the clan’s generals with considerable sway in power. What her exact role was, he didn’t know; he could not recall her presence from their last winter war, and was not granted conversation with his captors to ask such lingering questions.

Each time she left with Ask, the Confidant was certain it would be the last time he would see the boy alive. Each time she returned with the boy unharmed, he breathed relief. Each time they were left alone, he spoke to the child in whispers, reassuring him and teaching him anything he could think of. Shapes of bones. First aid basics. Plant locations. Things the boy would never retain, but things that distracted both Neith and Ask from their pitiful station.

Ask was taken away, longer this time. Neith watched little white spirits of animal shapes dance like wisps across the cavern floor. He tried to ask them about Inferni, about ways to escape, but they were as silent and indifferent to him as the wisps of Salsola. When he grew tired of them, Neith listened to the silence, sometimes laying, sometimes sitting, sometimes squirming and trying to find a position comfortable for his wounded shoulder and bound wrists behind his back. He wondered if a safe return to Salsola were possible—and if a return to Salsola was best for either of them at all.

When he grew tired of this too, he sat up and called down the caverns for sake of change. “Hello?” he called. “If anyone's out there, could I have something to drink?”

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POSTED: Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:31 pm

When the prisoners had first been brought back, Antioch had thought to protest about bringing a pup back to Inferni.

They'll come for that child, his wife had insisted. By his own reasoning Antioch believed the same was possible – but he worried more that such an action would prompt the response it already had. His niece was missing, and no one seemed quite sure where she had gone despite Jehan's long searches and no message from their enemies. Perhaps the Salsolans had not thought to bother with this. Perhaps they had already killed her.

He worried about things which could come, but being pragmatic, Antioch felt his energy better spent on things which could be done instead of what might happen.

The captive's voice crept out from the cave behind him, and the big coyote's ears turned back. He frowned, irritated, and sighed with disgust.

Antioch considered ignoring the man, but rose and padded into the small room. He blocked out a great part of the light which managed to reach back to where their bound captive was kept.

When's the last time you had water? He asked instead, glaring.


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POSTED: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:45 am

Following his request, a behemoth of a Infernian joined him on four legs and unfriendly stare. His guard, Neith knew, and in that moment dashed any and all considerations he’d had to escape on his own. The sight was jarring after visitations from both Faith and Briarblack, waifish and kind and complicated women, and Neith judged that by the way the guard carried himself, he was far less complicated than the sympathetic girls.

Vicira, on the other hand, regarded him just as harshly. It was by her hand Neith was captured, yet by her hand Ask was kept alive. This exposure to Inferni perplexed him, for while a portion of its members fought its war and spoke like steel, a portion more seemed taken to emerging themselves as kinder, softer. Less rigid. He trusted his Boss and Lord Commander knew of this, if only through their alliance in the last war, but Neith considered too that Vesper, Vicira and this man before him were the expectation for Inferni. The louder voices, the stronger fighters.

The Heiwa straightened his back, and looked his guard in the eye. “I would wager a couple hours, but I’ve forgotten how the sun moves in here.”

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POSTED: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:37 pm

Their captive was not a fighter, but this did not make Antioch forget what waited for them in the west. He had the same arrogance one might expect from a member of Salsola, enough to not shy away from the Secui's fierce gaze.

Antioch supposed he had reason to hate these people beyond his own beliefs. Before, back during the last war, they had been allies of a sort – kin for some, including himself. The Lykoi line was massive and spread out far beyond Inferni's borders despite originating here. They would only dilute their coyote blood by keeping with wolves.

You're able to move? He asked, seeing that the man's feet were unbound. Antioch supposed the thought of him fleeing had been remote, given that they had that puppy – not the captive's son, as he understood it, but a relative of some sorts. We don't have slaves to fetch it for you, but I'll take you to the stream, he offered, though from the way his muzzle crinkled the idea did not seem to settle well with him.


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POSTED: Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:39 pm

The coyote made his distaste clear. This was all well and good, for Neith found the Infernian primitive and uncivilized for showing himself in public four-legged, and this justified the Heiwa to respond without graces as he had for Faith or Briarblack.

“I can, yes. Only bound at the wrists.” Neith grimaced in pain as he stiffly climbed to his feet without support of his arms. The Infernian offered to lead him to water, though not without mention of slaves. Were it not for hunger and stress, Neith might have dwelled longer on this Infernian obsession with concept of slavery. To Neith, it was the norm, a part of everyday life; it was not until Briarblack had pointed out the gap of his morals that Neith recognized the irony himself, and each Infernian he had met since seemed to make a point to repeat it.

But Neith kept no slaves, and did not falter with guilt. “Much appreciated. I trust you can see why we do, then.”

Twice his height, Neith followed the Infernian from the caverns and wincing into the sunlight. He was quiet for a time, taking in Infernian scenery that was not unlike Salsolan territory on the other side of the Bay. For two packs in such proximity, he found their differences in culture perplexing.

”Might I ask you something?” Neith asked, en route. “Why do you walk four-legged, while your enemies are equipped with weapons and horses, and could attack at any time?”

Little PP just to move stuff along, let me know if it’s not okay!

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POSTED: Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:14 pm

The coyote growled with displeasure, but did not engage further in debate of slavery. It was not a concept foreign to him – the Book talked about slaves, and he understood that they existed in places which lacked God – but one which had become a point of contention since his arrival to Inferni. If the war was only about slaves, he would not have been so eager to participate.

He stayed close to the man as they walked. It was not a very far trek, for the river ran through the caves and smaller offshoots could be found here and there. Some were narrow, no bigger than a snake, but Antioch led the prisoner to a small stream which ran towards the south. A raven, disturbed by their approach, cawed out an insult before flapping away.

Do you think I can't kill you like this? Antioch asked flatly, though his eyes looked more eager to follow through with this than he expressed.


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POSTED: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:31 pm

The Infernian stunk of shit and dirty water, a stench spared from Neith at last when they reached the streamside. Neith did not bother to ask for his hands freed, if only to bring water cupped to his lips, for he knew the request would be denied.

How he hated to turn his back to his sentinel. Left with no choice, Neith took to his knees at the bank and hunched uncomfortably to the water, desperate and sipping what he could. As such, bent on his limbs and drinking from a stream, he found he resembled one of the coyotes and took insult by this. Neith did not mention it.

“I imagine so, though I’d think it cowardly,” the Heiwa replied once he’d sufficiently sipped, and his stomach turned momentarily nauseous by the speed it was filled. “My point is, you know my people take to horseback and weaponry. One might think you would consider your disadvantages to survive.”

His words were pointed, but not haught. He could not be, lowered on his fours in the dirt like a rat.

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POSTED: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:19 pm

I like killing wolves this way, Antioch said plainly.

He found it terribly rewarding to feel the life leave an unclean body. The act felt as if it was somehow more important then, something to truly act as a sacrificial cleansing. God demanded this, and he had not been capable of satisfying His demands. That was why his son had been taken, and why war once again came to his home.

Antioch would not carry the blame for Omar's death. Forgiveness allowed this, though it did not spread to their enemies. What had happened to his son was nothing less than murder.

We did all right, he added. Every war before this, we've survived. Before I was around, before my father or his father was around, this Clan was here. It will survive.

He stared at the Salsolan long and hard, and the hate in his expression darkened it fiercely.

Having a horse and carrying weapons isn't always going to be enough to keep you alive. My son had both when your leader killed him.


I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
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POSTED: Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:16 am

While in motion Neith had noticed the catch of daylight on a tiny cross strapped around the Infernian’s neck, nearly and appropriately hidden by an eyesore of a collar. He thought immediately of gentle Faith, who had trusted him without binds and showed the same sympathy to have brought him something to eat. Briarblack and Faith had led him to believe clansmen were not as ruthless and uncivilized as once expected. The Heiwa might have thought the same of this man, as judged only by the trinket strung at his throat, for most of faith he found to be patient and avoiding of bloodshed.

But this man spoke flatly of killing wolves, and there was a moment’s pause as Neith drew water from the stream.

The man mentioned past wars, battles surely fought before Neith had graced their earth. His words had nearly become conversational, and the Heiwa turned to him relieved by this expectation, for he wished not to draw attention to the man’s distaste for wolves alongside his own very obvious genetics. But when Neith turned, the silvers along the back of his neck stood on end by weight of that stare. He wondered, realistically, if he was to die.

These thoughts were stayed, replaced fast by another. “My leader?” he balked, shaking his head. Vicira had mentioned an early death, but nothing like this. Salvia had far too much restraint for this to make sense. Presentation melted by way of confusion, and he asked frankly, “What are you talking about?”

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