but i've got stories i could tell you

POSTED: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:24 pm

It's afternoon in the Broken Occident, and flowers are blooming. Your character is trying to read words etched on a boulder.

She checked for the umpteenth time to make sure that the tall man was following her along the winding path, the wind tugging greedily at her auburn braid. It had been a few days since Solomon had come to join the Court and he had been eager in his own way to suss out the place - his soft and brooding eyes deep and warm as Odalis told him her story. He learned first of Ciprian the Betrayer and then the sad lament of Mistral the Usurper.

Mother had reinstated the same careful phrase; The south is safe.

But he too was starting to believe that Mother had lied about a great many things.

The path they travelled was bordered in tiny wildflowers, each one twitching and dancing as the breeze tickled its way through. Everything about the day was beautiful and bright and as they went Odalis picked bunches of the flowers and began to weave them into an airy crown. "Isn't this wonderful Solomon?" He had lamented at the fact they had left their horses at the bottom of the hill, but followed his sister dutifully regardless.

It was wonderful to have family again.

"Those are pretty," He gestured at the crown which now sat atop his sisters head, "You look just like mother-"

Odalis balked at him, snatching the thing from her head to toss it to the ground where it crumpled sadly. She glared at him, "I don't want to look like her."

Solomon sighed deeply and scratched the long fur on his chin. Girls were complicated delicate creatures - horses were so much easier to understand.

When they reached the top of the hillock they both stood panting gently, gazing out at the gently swaying field and the ocean that lay just beyond. Everything here was filled with color and life and Odalis felt her heart rising so happily she could have sung. Solomon pressed his curls from his face with the back of his hand, and suddenly chuffed at a large stone.

Curious he padded his way toward it, wiping his hands on his trousers as he crouched to push dirt and flowers away from the face of the stone.

"Odalis," He called, turning to gesture her over, "Look at this."

It was an ancient looking stone which had been chipped and carved by who knows what - its face exposed to reveal strange heirogliphs and patterns that meant nothing to the young man. Odalis trotted over and leaned on his broad shoulders, her expression deeply curious.

"I wonder if its a warning?" She blinked thoughtfully, "Or maybe someone was buried here?"

for ichabod

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POSTED: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 pm

smoke the night away

Recently the Scintillan male found himself straying further and further from the familiar scents of the clan, allowing his feet to pull him where they wished. This was not a new occurrence, nor a rare one; lifetimes ago, back in the sun-drenched flats of Utah, the coyote had heard the same seductive crooning in the wind that urged him to just go.

What Ichabod found strange now, however, was his new inability to resist the calling.

The coyote was not a harshly-disciplined man by any means, no. If he were, perhaps he would be long buried -- dead, along with the rest of his squadron. Of course, his meager rank in Zion paled in comparison to the haven he had dug out for himself in Inferni. It was not surprising that his loyalty slowly began to fade as well.

Perhaps this the reason why his frequent flights surprised him. There was life for him back east, back home, waiting for him, yet he on days like this he still chose to flee with a few mumbled excuses and a bow in hand, both hastily-constructed and familiar to the touch.

So, westward it was.

The bow hung unused and neglected on his shoulder, jostling against the worn arrow quiver every time he took a step forward. Ichabod had no use for it, really; if he came upon something nice and fat he would shoot, of course, but today he did not seek out prey like a hunter might. Naturally, it was when the fiery-eyed male had no intention to kill that the opportune moment came and went.

It -- whatever it was -- flew past in a brown-gray flash, charging close enough to the coyote to startle him from his reverie. Cursing, Ichabod pulled the bow from his shoulder, struggling with the leather straps before finally pulling it up to aim. A step forward, closer to the undergrowth where it had ducked into, then another -- one more -- before the ground beneath him suddenly gave, slick with mud made wet from a combination of the melted snow and recent rainfall.

The force of his arm against the wood-ridden ground was enough to tear through flesh and delicate skin, sending a jolt of pain shooting up his left arm. A curse flew past white teeth before he could stop it, followed by a hiss. Gingerly the coyote pulled himself up to inspect it, wincing as he brushed off the flecks of mud from around the wound.

Though the cut didn’t look deep, it ran long and jagged down his left forearm like an angry snake. Frowning, the tawny male prodded it weakly with a clawed finger, attempting to judge the severity of the wound. He was by no means a healer; any and all first-aid he had performed on himself was essentially a combination of roughly-wrapped bandages and saliva. He remembered enough, however, to know that in healing there was value in salt.

Up the flowering hill ahead, then, and over; beyond it, the lapping of the ocean sounded not too far away. In its glittering waters there lay an abundance of salt, none of which would be missed. Wincing, Ichabod wrapped a rough palm against the blood-wet flesh and began to push through the tangle of weeds.

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POSTED: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:45 pm

The boulder was warm beneath her fingertips, the edges of the carvings rough to the touch. Solomon had crept closer to inspect the base of the massive thing, his brows cinched firmly together as Odalis whispered quietly in Spanish. Some of the markings were great big arcs with lines struck through them, and she couldn’t help but wonder what all of it meant. Was it magic? Was it a message?

Solomon grunted, digging at the base of the stone with his fingers.

A sound had the pair standing up stiffly amongst the blooms, both of their nostrils flared into the breeze curiously. Solomon was crossing his arms, a short sound escaping his lips as he padded through the mud – exposing his teeth. ”Hear that?” He cocked his head, ”I don’t smell anything.” Odalis was wiping her hands on her skirts, gathering the leather satchel and hooking it over her shoulder.

He had raised a brow, ”You never smell anything.”

It was an Amaranthine curse – one that had been passed from mother to daughter for generations.

She rolled her eyes and curiously toed her way to the edge of the hillock, her large eyes bright as she recognized a set of tall ears navigating their way through the grass. Solomons eyes had darkened, ”Smells like blood.” He twitched, ”Smells like Coyote.”

Odalis shrugged her shoulders, ”Someone might need help Solomon.”

Without thinking she slid her way down the hill, ignoring the dirty stain that began to gather around her hem.

The man stood a moment longer, gazing out across the field curiously before following his sister.

"Hello?" She was calling out blindly, using her hands to push bunches of grass and flowers aside to clear her view. "Do you need help?"


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POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:33 am

smoke the night away

A voice called out, then, high and sweet and not at all out of place amongst the vivid wildflowers sprouting on the hillside.

Do you need help?

The question was simple enough, yet the Scintillan male knew not how to answer it. It was not a grave wound, though it did sting quite a bit. It would make for a fairly ironic death, he thought, if a cut as small as this would lead him to his demise down the maw of some rabid wolf.

“Who’s offerin’?” Ichabod eventually settled on asking, ears perked up and alert. Up ahead he could see the sea of grass begin to part and shake, the owner of the voice evidently drawing closer to him as he stood still, clutching the gash in his arm like a fool.

The air was cloying with the scent of flowers and salt and blood, along with a hint of something else -- dog? -- the shifting winds making it near-impossible for him to pin it down. It was a woman, no doubt about it. In Zion he may have found this fact reassuring; he had learned quickly, however, that many of the women here were not like the soft-spoken wisps back home -- back in Scintilla, his mind supplied. Home had been elsewhere for a while now.

Seeing as their meeting was unavoidable the fawn-colored male followed the stranger’s lead, wincing slightly at the sharp flare of pain that raced through his arm as he began to push past the tall plants. “I’m -- I’ve been cut. Jus’ a bit.” he divulged hesitantly, the unfamiliar scent growing stronger as the rustling of grass increased in volume. Through a sliver in the stalks he could see something; a flicker of brown, a curious flash of red, then, then --

Their little curtain of green parted and then all he could see was cornflower blue.

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POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:07 am

The tiny flowers peeked through her fingers as she pressed on through the field. Solomon followed at a much slower place, shaking his head as he considered the innate goodness in his sister. In Onuba she had spent more time amongst the pious Morenos learning from their healers than parading herself through the courts, something that had always had Akantha frowning and rolling her eyes. Their mother believed deeply in the power that came from being present during the Courts ebbs and flows, though luckily she did not force this on her daughter... for she had always had Lucian at her side.

Odalis lifted her lips in a smile at the sudden shadow that snuck between the leafy fronds. "Who are-"

The coyote that appeared through the leaves was tall, with a long slim nose coated in gold dusted velveteen. His hair fell in low waves across his face, and his eyes were so bright that for a moment Odalis found herself lost in them. They were vibrantly orange and reminded her of the lanterns that had bordered the Moreno paths. They were close enough that she could make out the cord of muscles in his neck as he gazed down at her, and she wet her lips - suddenly uncertain.

"You alright Odalis?" Solomon was calling after her, and she twitched a long ear back in his direction - unmoving.

"Over here!"

She wagged her tail, blushing as she realized their proximity.

"Oh - your wrist!"

She resisted the urged to reach for the injured arm, but her fingers twitched regardless.

Suddenly Solomon was there, his dark form crunching through the greenery as he clicked his teeth - a quiet warning.

She rocked on her heels, reaching for the leather bag that hung at her side. "If you would like I could bind it for you."

Solomon resisted the urge to roll his eyes.

soooo blue

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POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:43 am

smoke the night away

He could see her hands flutter as if she meant to touch his arm, hummingbird-quick and just as hesitant to approach. Ichabod swallowed, unmoving, for once unable to do anything else but gape.

The woman stared wide-eyed back up at him, her sculpted features and caramel fur immediately making the coyote feel paltry in comparison. Her braided hair swept across her shoulders like a river of fire, shimmering strands of golden thread glinting underneath the midday sun. The flames licked at the curve of her jaw, her slender throat, her cheekbones, her parted lips, giving the appearance that she had risen from the flames. Like a phoenix, he thought absentmindedly, and just as otherworldly beautiful. And her eyes, oh, those piercing blue flowers wreathed across her slender face…

So blue, in fact, that in that half-heartbeat of an instant he nearly forgot about another set of blue -- this time set against a darker coat.

“Howdy,” he replied to her offer dazedly, still caught up in the thick fog of her hypnosis. Behind her, quick and dangerous, came a click of a tongue against teeth from another -- darker than her, yes, but just as brilliantly colored. Whether the noise had been targeted towards the red-haired nymph or him didn’t matter -- the spell had been broken, if momentarily. “Oh! Um, yes. I meant t’ say -- uh -- ” he stammered, clearing the stubborn catch in his throat before attempting to speak again. “Um. If it don’t bother y’all none, go right ahead.”

He flushed, now, for the first time in his life truly and painfully aware of his accent. Even though the woman’s words carried a slight lilt as well, hers was canting, melodic; the difference stood out now in sharp contrast, like mud against linen. The same could not be said about the man by her side -- he slotted perfectly beside the woman, all chiseled features and broad shoulders, obviously familiar with her company.

Perhaps it was to be expected that such a beautiful stranger was sure to already have an equally flattering partner. Beside the two Ichabod felt himself wither in comparison.

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POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:40 am

She should have been thinking about the dangers that came with the unknown - the shrivelled man and his son or Cipriano - but she felt herself understanding that they had been exceptions, not the rule. Nova Scotia was a vast unknown and she found that she could not live her life being frightened of what lay on the other side.

Her fingers grazed the mushrooms in her bag and flinched away from them - instead reaching for the roll of gauze she toted with her. Elphie had been a deeply enigmatic woman, and though something in Odalis had told her to be quietly afraid... She had been filled with something else entirely.

She felt herself reaching for the man's uninjured hand, "Come with me," Her smile was as bright as the pristine sky above them, "There's a clearing on the hill with stones we can sit on."

Solomon distrusted others almost explicitly - it was the dragon which lay deep within him that fringed him in subtle darkness. He watched the coyote silently, his arms clasped before him defensively. Things such as this came so easily to his fiery sister - and as she lead the man he followed slowly, inspecting the path that the broke together. He smelt of a clan, of smoke and wild herbs - all things which left the man with a mouthful of questions.

Odalis burst into the sunny clearing and gestured to the stones, "Please sit, I will just be a moment."

She tipped water into her hands, rubbing her palms together before drying them againat her skirts.

"I am Odalis," She smiled softly, laying out her tools as Solomon entered the area of shortly cropped grass, "This is Solomon, my brother." He chuffed, "I'm going to get the horses."

He clicked his teeth before turning, "Be careful hermana."

Odalis nodded at his words, shrugging the shawl around her shoulders. She crouched close to the coyote man and gestured at his wounded flesh, "What happened?"

soooo blue

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POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:20 pm

smoke the night away

Come with me, she’d said, and all the excuses threatening to spill from his lips fell down into the hungry sea and dashed to pieces on the shore.

He let himself be led away, pulled by her petal-soft hand up the flower-dotted path and into a sunlit clearing above. The earlier breeze had slowed somewhat, only tugging on his wind-swept locks teasingly and finally allowing him to catch her scent: sea-salt and nectar (as expected) with traces of medicine and a strange concoction of something he guessed belonged to her pack. Dogs, yes, but always with the underlying stench of wolves beneath.

The woman — Odalis, his mind sang, Odalis — smiled brightly as she led him to a strange assortment of stones where he sat, the tawny male watching curiously as she reached into her bag. The parallels between the blue-eyed dog and Briarblack did not escape him; even the scent of medicine, sharp and distinct in the air, reminded him of this.

And yet, and yet —

He returned her smile with his own, soft and easy. “’M Ichabod,” the Sciens replied in turn, resolutely ignoring the flip in his stomach when Odalis introduced Solomon as her brother. “Got scratched when I was out huntin’,” Ichabod explained as the other male left, wincing as he held out the gash for the medic to examine. “Figured I’d dunk it in th’ ocean or somethin’ t’ clean it when I ran into ya.”

A shrug. “I wasn’t even doin’ nothin’ dangerous, neither,” Ichabod laughed ruefully, embarrassment seeping through his tone as he recalled the incident. “Guess I jus’ fell the wrong way.”

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POSTED: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:14 am

There was something about Ichabod that reminded Odalis of summer - sun-kissed and warm against a pristine baby-blue sky. She felt herself settle into the gentle twang of his voice, the drawl inviting her to smile as he peered down at her. She was sorting through her things, carefully balancing a small bottle of tonic along the stone upon which they perched. She was turning his hand, inspecting the long cut with a concerned chuff.

Her hands were so small against his, and she traced the lines that ran across his palm absently.

She quirked a brow, "Dunk it in the ocean?" She chuckled, dropping his hand so that it lay pillowed against her skirts, "It is a good thing that you ran into me Ichabod."

The Onuban tipped the bottle into a nearby cloth and gently began to press it to the wound. Her brows cinched apologetically, her lips twitching, "I am sorry if it stings." The wound was clean, a perfect line that dashed through his fur like a line of fire. The flesh was warm where she pressed her fingers, but she was pleased to discover that he would not require stitches. She glanced up at him, "You are lucky you know," She smiled softly, "I don't usually come out this way."

She leaned in close, inspecting the wound for a final time before raising his arm to set about wrapping it neatly.

"What were you hunting?" She blinked curiously, pricking her long ears toward him as she pulled the fabric round and round, "Where did you come from?"

odalis rn

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POSTED: Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:31 am

smoke the night away

His wound flared red-hot as she pressed the cloth against his skin, the pain stinging worse than the initial cut had felt. Ichabod winced slightly, though said nothing; it was a small inconvenience compared to the other injuries he had witnessed. Instead he concentrated on the soft pressure of her arm against his -- remembered the feather-light touch of her hand skimming over his own palm -- and breathed out, slow and steady.

“What?” he responded faux-indignantly to her exclamation, the little smile on her face pulling one out on his own despite his best efforts to keep a straight face. “It's salt, ain’t it? Heard that stuff was supposed t’ clean cuts out.” In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea; the sea frothed with bits of seaweed and debris even on its better days. Still, Odalis’ grin made his idiocy worth it -- he’d sooner clean his wound with mud than let the quirk on her lips slip away. He didn’t need her gentle teasing to remind him of his luck.

The Scintillan fixed his stare at the redhead’s delicate features rather than the bandage spiraling around his forearm, tracing the contours of a golden cheek as he spoke. “I wasn’t really lookin’ for anything,” the coyote recalled, running back through the twisting hedge-maze of his mind to find a safer path to navigate the woman through. “I jus’ needed t’ clear my head, y’know?” After all, it wouldn’t do to spoil the lighthearted mood that had settled between them by bringing up memories of woodash and smoke.

He hated the suspicion that bubbled up at her second question, hated the drop of weight in his stomach that accompanied it. She’d meant nothing from it, he knew, but could not help the traitorous thoughts that trailed after her words; the war had stolen what little trust he’d offered to strangers. “I’m from a pack further east,” Ichabod finally admitted after a considerable pause, gesturing vaguely at the direction from which he’d come with his free hand. “Inferni.” It was all he had for an explanation -- surely it wouldn’t hurt to tell her at least this much.

“'N what about you -- where are you two from?” he was quick to redirect the question, hoping she wouldn't press. “Why’s someone like you who ‘usually don’t come this way’ doin’ this far out?”

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