dive and disappear without a trace

POSTED: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:41 am

Etoile prowled through Salsola in her secui form, her blue-black fur gleaming beneath the bright afternoon sun. She patrolled as Brocade did but for different reasons. Each time she slipped along the packs waterways and borders she inspected for easy escape routes - easy breaks in the tree line that would leave her the perfect opportunity to abandon this place in the wake of his death.

Salsolans were an interesting breed; working together but also apart - and from The Last Supper she had attended they were also vain. They showed an exhorbant wralth, an eager greed to hold as much as they could in their thistle-thorn hands.

She listened in her lessons - just enough to know who was who.

Some were more important than others in the grand scheme of things.

Etoile dropped her head, wrinkling her scarred lips as she followed a familiar trail along the Pictou. There was a cache just outside of the territory that she had begun to fill with items that would be required for her to survive on her own and with the wrath of the Kingdom behind her. She had been stealing items piece by piece from the store rooms and ensuring they were carefully tucked away where no one would find them but her.

She rumbled softly, twitching her tattered ears so that the silver in them shone.

Fitz alighted in a nearby branch and warbled a tinny song, his beady eyes unblinking as he peered as his master.

Her tail twitched, <"Find anything?">

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Amanda
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POSTED: Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:34 pm

Salsola had grown during her absence in more than one way. The borders had crept northward along the west-side of the Pictou River, swallowing forest and human remains that offered the Kingdom valuable resources and living space t house its increasing population. Generations also moved forward, yesterday’s apprentices were taking over the crafts of their progenitors, leaving the pioneers behind to forever dwell in the shadow of their former glory.

Forever defiant against unfavourable odds Kaeli left her home to scout the borders and prove that neither her strength nor her will had yet been afflicted by age. With only her weapons and brutal accessories dressing her form she followed the river up-stream, her toxic eyes scrutinized the landscape for outsiders and prey. From time to time she heard a distant caw from her feathered companions who went on ahead, jumping from tree to tree with their hungry little eyes peeled for anything of interest.

As silent minutes gave way to hours the warrior’s mind began to wander. She had recently received word from her children whom under her parent’s mentorship had taken over Kiriska’s dealing as a trader of mounts and exotic companions. The message spoke of their success which came stained by the grievance of her progenitor’s passing. The news brought her no sadness but instead fuelled her determination to carve a place amongst the thorns for her offspring. They were her true legacy after all.

A black bird flapped down from a nearby tree and croaked at her before taking off once more. Kaeli had no time to see which of her ravens it had been but she was able to understand the bird’s warning. There was a stranger nearby.
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Hydra
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POSTED: Sun May 06, 2018 5:46 pm

Fitz was a truly useless companion. She had found him the previous spring as a tiny fledgling that had been abandoned by its mother and miraculously had reached adulthood. The little birds imagined purpose had been to scout ahead or deliver messages to other members of her Squadron... but he had proven a lousy imitator. His head twitched curiously as he peered at her from his vantage point. Ferdinand had not believed in keeping companion animals, and though his family had earned their place as prevalent traders of horse flesh he had wanted nothing to do with it.

The thought of his fiery shock of hair had her smiling softly to herself, though her eyes hardened a moment later as Fitz warbled a snippet of song and took off - disappearing as a ravens shadow passed overhead.

The starling was small and wary of much larger birds.

Etoile flared her nostrils and began to pick her way through the forest. When she came upon the woman she snorted roughly through her nostrils, flexing her paws against the cool earth as she considered her packmate. Kaeli Blacksun was a formidable looking woman with eyes that were acidic and bright against a face of crosshatched shadow. The star pendant dangled around her neck, and she tossed her head - allowing her brows to rise the smallest fraction.

"Who're you?"

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Amanda
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POSTED: Thu May 10, 2018 2:08 pm

Instinctively her hands slid over the hilt of her twin daggers. She lifted her muzzle to seek the stranger’s essence in the breeze. Beneath the scents of pine and fresh water she sensed the unseen individual, her smell foreign to her save for the familiar hint of Salsola that marked the other as a member of the Thistle Kingdom.

Talon-like claws retreated from the carved hilts and settled against her forearms as she adopted a neutral if not severe bearing. Like that she remained, with arms crossed and an inquisitive look upon her verdant eyes as the woman in secui form came into view. A dark creature, dusted with specks of white that turned her pelt into a starry night-sky, undoubtedly beautiful. But beauty did not impress the warrior for it was a trait many women possessed within the Kingdom, each in their own unique way. No – It was the apparent musculature rippling beneath the stranger’s fur and the fluidness of her movements what caught her attention as those were unmistakeable badges of a warrior.

”Kaeli Blacksun, Family” She replied simply, her pupils narrowing on the female’s silver gaze, unblinking. ”What is your business at the borders?” The question was fuelled by mere curiosity although it held a demanding edge that let it be known that a truthful answer was expected. With the scars of war so fresh upon the land, Kaeli wasn’t about to let her guard down now that she was present to protect the Kingdom.
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Hydra
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POSTED: Tue May 15, 2018 12:12 am

"My business?" Etoiles tail twitched behind her, and she felt her eyes narrow slightly at the darker womans words. "I live here." The Mercenary felt her skin prickle at the demanding tone that crept into the newcomers voice. Salsola was known for its dangerous undertone - it was something that Etoile noticed more and more every day - Elphaba coveted her members, selecting and preening beneath certain affections, while others strove to be noticed by the Eternity line.

Etoile wanted to be noticed by no one.

Her lips drew back to expose her teeth - she need not bow to someone who held the same rank. It was the stubborn streak that rippled through her, a steel-rod of determination that had her bristling beneath the acidic gaze of the woman. She thought of her brothers and the way they had forced her to stand up to them, their leering faces and barbed tongues leaving marks where no one could see them.

She hissed through her jaws, lifting her chin ever so slightly.

"What are you doing at the borders Kaeli Blacksun." The french in her voice clipped her words, and she felt her eyes narrow as she took a step towards the older woman. "I don't appreciate your tone."

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Amanda
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POSTED: Tue May 22, 2018 10:54 am

The reaction of the night’s child was a defensive one, which only serve to heighten her curiosity. The thorn dwellers were secretive almost by nature, conducting their business in silence and away from prying eyes. Such suspicious behaviour may be the norm however concealing it was part of the game and now the black nymphet had been caught.

While the other showed her teeth and bristled Kaeli remained still, almost unnaturally so. Only her eyes moved as they searched for a suggestion of imminent violence that would give her an excuse to paint her blades red.

”My duty, searching for threats to the Kingdom.” The intensity of her gaze slowly subsided as she reached up to rub at the spot between her eyes, a gesture meant to calm the raging fire that burned within her and threatened to fuel deeds that would spoil all that she had achieved within Salsola.

”War has made me wary of unknown faces. Excuse the bluntness of my words.” As easy as that she donned the mask of courteousness that so easily pleased those of higher rank. Neither female would know it but they were very similar in their views of tradition, following it only as a means to an end and discarding it as easily as they would a useless item when it proved propitious.
Last edited by Kaeli Blacksun on Fri May 25, 2018 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hydra
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POSTED: Fri May 25, 2018 2:46 pm

The conversation was getting away from her. Etoile could feel it slipping through her fingers like sand, each granule taunting and rough. Kaeli was old – this was evident by the lines about her eyes and the grim set of her mouth – but something in Etoile sought to provoke her, to berate the judgemental glint that shone in those acidic eyes.

Kaeli was wary.

Kaeli had seen war.

Etoile wanted to snap in her face, to throw back her head and laugh as she explained that war never ended – it just changed its shape. Brocade loved to discuss this time of peace that had found The Kingdom, but Etoile did not understand how he could not see the tumultuous undercurrent that ran through Salsolas core.

Her expression narrowed as she chuffed a breath through her jowls. "Now you know my face."

The silver in her ears gleamed as she straightened, allowing her tail to rise behind her. It lashed like a flag, and she bared her teeth in a smile.

"Can you recognize a threat Kaeli Blacksun?"

<3

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Amanda
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POSTED: Sun May 27, 2018 12:13 am

A lifetime ago Kaeli had summoned all of her patience to deal with the constrictive nature of a hierarchy and its laws. Fools and weaklings climbed high in the illusory stair of power that reigned over the Kingdom, each and every one of them deluding themselves with the sense of superiority a title offered them. In the end words were meaningless and alone against the horrors of the world it were only your strength and cunning what could save you from destruction. It was all a hollow affair and still she had chosen to dance along the rest for amidst the masked dancers there was power to be found, and this power she lusted after. That choice had forced her to chain her pride and swallow the bitter taste some individuals left lingering in her mouth. But this time it was enough.

Her ears swivelled backwards and she touched her chest as if taken aback. Only her eyes would betray the truth to the observant creature, too cold and terrible to look at. ”I may… but can you?” She shifted her weight from one foot to the other – and then her fist was flying at Etoile’s head.

The blow was aimed at the temple where it could incapacitate the other long enough for Kaeli’s next move, this of course, if Etoile didn’t react in time. Given her knuckles managed to connect with flesh she would then seek to grasp the woman’s scruff or throat to wrestle her to the ground. In her optime form the elder warrior had both dexterity and weight to her advantage, but if the arrogant bastard chose to struggle she would gladly beat her into submission.

The ravens in the trees cawed noisily, a sound very akin to a crowd's mocking laughter.
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Hydra
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POSTED: Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:20 pm

Salsola had made her a Confidant; a term that had Etoile wanting to laugh and exclaim to the others that this place was blind and dumb as a newborne cub. Her ears twitched as the air between the two women became tense and electric, both tails arched and unmoving. Etoile snorted roughly through her nostrils, shaking out the name of thick fur around her neck as both women surveyed one another, calculating.

Kaeli exploded, her crouch driving her towards Etoile in a powerful motion. The younger mercenary only barely ducked out of the way of the other Confidants fist, and felt the punch connect along her shoulder as she leapt out of the way. She snapped her teeth, he snarl rumbling deep in her throat like thunder as she spun to glare at the dark-faced woman.

She said nothing as she lunged, jaws gaping - her legs stretched out before her in an attempt to throw the woman to the ground.

When she felt Kaeli's fingers dig into the mane of her neck she kicked and kicked and kicked.
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Amanda
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POSTED: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:47 pm

She missed her original target and connected with the secui’s shoulder producing a sound like if someone had just slapped a wall. Etoile darted away and Kaeli turned around to keep facing her, her own lips lifting above yellowed teeth.

When the other lunged she was ready. Instead of dodging the pounce she shifted to avoid receiving the entirety of the force from the blow while letting the darkling close the distance between them so she could grasp the woman’s scruff and pull her down with her.

As expected the younger warrior kicked and snapped her jaws at the air, frantically trying to free herself of Kaeli’s iron grasp. The veteran struggled to keep the upper hand, avoiding the incoming bites as best as she could while trying to hold the other down with her weight.

A horrible growl rumbled from the depths of her throat as she pressed her bared teeth against Etoile’s flesh, refraining from piercing the skin and just adding pressure as a threat to help the insolent woman surrender more quickly.
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