the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun

[p. Cidro]

POSTED: Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:10 pm

Once among those who stubbornly wanted to remain in the crumbling hotel, Skoll had finally come around to the idea of their new settlement. He was an earthy man, and the idea of the mound homes appealed to his instinct. He would not miss the smell of mold and mildew creeping into the torn carpet and wallpapers, nor the foreboding creaks when someone walked on the floor overhead.

He knew his children would not miss it either; they preferred the mossy cavern where they had been born, and on the nights they slept with him they woke and yapped at every noise the ancient building made.

With them in mind he chose a house that would comfortably hold them even as adults, not far from Abigail – she was a shout away – and began work. Slowly the construction came together, stone and wood reinforcing the walls, a sheet of thick leather hanging at the entrance to block out the elements but allow fresh air to seep in. And with a beautiful sunny day smiling down on them, it was this sheet he took down and stretched out on the lawn, a clay cup of paint at hand.

Skoll was a vogie man; he wanted folk to know this was his house. He dipped a finger in the yellow paint (it still smelled like sunflowers and bladderwort) and started to scrawl a spiral in big gestures on the leather. Slowly a sun like his tattoo came into shape as he added the rays, and he smiled conceitedly. Yes, this was Skoll Haskel's door.

Loud barking broke his concentration. He turned and at once: No no!

It was too late. Two puppies, focused more on chasing and harassing each other than their surroundings, barreled toward him. One knocked into the cup of paint, upending its contents over the sheet's corner, and the other stomped through it, leaving a trail of yellow pawprints in their wake. They ran over the sheet, smearing his sun, colliding with each other, and ending up in a yellow-spattered heap in the grass.

Skoll gaped. Glancing at the mess and realizing what they had done, Oberyn and Issola flattened their ears and waved their tails appeasingly.

But the father only laughed – a rich guffaw that boomed over the growing village.

[Stage III Prompt] Work on the decorative things! Start your own gardens and lawn decorations, make your interior goods, start to decorate!

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POSTED: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:03 pm

Optime | July 22nd | New housing area (Skoll's house)600+

Yesterday’s attempt at exploring the construction site had ended in an anxiety induced retreat to the river. Although his withdrawal led to a discussion with their Reine — a conversation he certainly wasn’t expecting — he knew that to assimilate with their culture, he’d actually have to seek out conversations, not just have adults find him and talk to him out of pity.

He felt the anxiety begin to fester as he approached the housing area. Yesterday’s doubts resurfaced at an alarming rate, and he had to struggle to keep them down. No matter how many reassuring adults he talked to, he still felt inadequate in every sense of the word. He wasn’t strong enough yet to honour his mother’s word, and he wasn’t trying enough to make a good life for himself here. He was relying too much on others, and had yet to learn English. It didn’t dawn on him that he’d only lived in the Court for a week, or that he was still so young. In Cidro’s mind, he had to grow up fast, and he wasn’t going to let fear and anxiety stop him this time.

He used his senses to navigate and decide who to talk to. Sure, he couldn’t see what other Courtiers were working on or if there was an opening to talk to them, but he could use other tactics to find out. He listened for the clanging of metal, the chopping of wood, the lifting and dropping of heavy objects, the heavy panting that follows an exhausting day of work. He lifted his nose to smell for sweat, for exhaustion, for sawdust, for paint. He felt very grownup, walking around the housing area as if he belonged there, planning to actually initiate conversations instead of stumbling into one.

This line of thought was cut off by concerned shouts that could be universally understood. The smell of paint flooded the air around him, and he could hear tumbling and clanging as a pack mate — maybe several — fumbled about. Concern brought him closer to the scene, his brows furrowed and steps cautious. Did someone fall? He jumped when he heard thunderous laughter echo through the village, and he couldn’t help the loud yelp that escaped his lips. He definitely gave himself away, and he clapped his hands over his mouth in embarrassment. Of course he had to make another terrible first impression. His unseeing eyes were wide and he clearly looked very frightened. Desperate to recover, the pup removed his hands from his mouth and tried to regain his composure. Still frazzled by how someone’s voice could carry so far, he accidentally began to introduce himself in Spanish.

“Perdón por entrometerme, me llamo—”

Realizing his mistake, he clapped his hands over his mouth again, completely flustered. He could smell that the Courtier was much older than him, and that he had two small children with him — a family. They were probably just trying to build their home in peace and have a nice family outing, they didn’t need an inarticulate idiota ruining their day. He really should’ve studied English more before coming back here. Here goes…

“Sorry…”

Struggling to remember how to say me llamo in English, he settled on gesturing to himself, looking kind of ridiculous.

“Cidro.”

He wished he could sound as articulate as he did in his head, but for now, the language barrier made him sound incoherent. He nervously twiddled his ponytail between his fingers as feelings of inadequacy flooded his mind. Illusions of feeling grown up faded away and he suddenly felt very scared and young. He wished he was back in Branwen’s stall, or even better, his mother’s arms.

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POSTED: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:02 pm

The sudden yelp cut off Skoll's laughter, and the golden man was instantly guarded – muscles tense, nostrils flaring, ears pricked forward. He looked over his shoulder to see who had cried out, ready to help as was his responsibility, but the only other person around besides his children was a slender wolfdog, another youth. The boy babbled something in a language Skoll could not understand, then clamped his hands over his dark muzzle.

Skoll lifted his brows, but when the boy gestured to himself and fidgeted, he tried to smile. Someone a little older would have doubtlessly become a quick victim of the man's mockery, but a kid so young and scared wasn't a target. Besides, he would probably have restrained himself in front of his children so as to set a good example. Probably.

It's okay, Skoll replied, and grunted as he got to his feet. Cidro? I'm Skoll.

His puppies had untangled from each other's gangly limbs and shook out their fur, sending flecks of yellow into the green grass. Issola licked at her stained fur, while Oberyn barked and wagged his tail. My name's Oberyn! he said, the louder and more outgoing child.

And that's Issola, the father said, finishing introductions when Issola seemed inclined to keep her mouth shut. He brushed grass off his rump and approached the kid, easily towering over the youngster. Are you new? We're friends, he started to assure him, then glanced into his face and saw the cloudy eyes for the first time.

His ears fell back. He quirked his mouth in a grimace.

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POSTED: Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:49 pm

Optime | July 22nd | New housing area (Skoll's house)1020+

OOC: Oooof this is long

He eased a little at the man’s tone. He still felt embarrassed and a little stupid, but at least his pack mate was making a point to ignore his faults. Good, he’d rather not address them. Best to move on while he could and push the childish thoughts of his mother and the stables out of his mind. He finally started a conversation with someone who was willing to indulge him, and he wasn’t about to joderlo as his mother would say when she thought he wasn’t listening.

As usual, he didn’t know exactly what the man said, but he heard his name repeated and what sounded like one after it, and assumed he was introducing himself. He was about to respond when a younger, giddier voice interrupted his thoughts. The kid’s barks and shouts weren’t as intimidating as his father — his voice was still young and high — but it did make him jolt in surprise a little. Cidro had never really been around other pups before, he’d only ever known his mom and her clients. There was something strange about the pups. Maybe it was because they were a little younger, but they seemed to carry this air of innocence and giddiness that he couldn’t quite fathom. How could they be so carefree? He wondered if this is what his life could’ve been like if he knew his bastard father and his mother didn’t have to sell herself to keep them from starving. He wondered if it was wrong that he even knew those things. He took in the family before him: A caring, playful father, a family home, happy children — he wondered if it’d always been like this for them, or if they had to work for it, like Cidro planned to do. The train of thought was making him uneasy, and he decided to repress it while he could.

Focusing on the kids in front of him, he listened intently to decipher what they were saying. From his tone, the pup sounded excited, and from the context it was an introduction. Logic told him that Oberyn was his name, and he tucked the fact in his mind for later use. Maybe having friends close to his age would help him fit in here more, maybe even make him look normal and adjusted.

The father’s booming voice returned, seeming to speak in turn for the boy’s oddly quiet sister. Issola. It was a pretty name, so was her brother’s. For a moment, he wished he had one like it, but immediately felt ashamed for it. He should be proud to be a de la Peña. A long line of struggling mothers trying their best to get by. They were a strong family, and had been through a lot. Cidro would be the one to bring their name the glory it deserved, he would just have to get a hold of himself first.

He didn’t hear as much as he felt the father approach him, and he involuntarily took a step back. He couldn’t see the man’s size, but he could feel him towering over him, and his heat was practically nauseating. Cidro had always been wary of older men, especially large ones. All he’d known of them were that they were abusive and and brought in wafts of suffocating smoke and liquor that would make his head fuzzy. They would make his mother come home with bruises and scars that she’d unsuccessfully try to hide. He was sure this man was fine, but his voice was so loud and aggressive, and he just seemed so large — Cidro had to work very hard to look comfortable. He wouldn’t mess up this opportunity.

He lightly wrapped his arms around his torso to steady himself, much like he’d done at the border with Paloma. It seemed like a lifetime ago now, even though it’d only been about a week. He tried to decipher what the man — Skoll — was saying, but he couldn’t figure out the context and felt lost at how to reply. There was a question, he knew, going by the lilt in his voice. And then something reassuring and concrete at the end. He didn’t have time to reply before he felt pity flood the room and suffocate him. What he mistook for Skoll overlooking or not caring about his flaws was clearly just ignorance. He knew for sure that he noticed now. In an enraged panic, the youth scrambled to stop Skoll from thinking that way. He wouldn’t allow it. He didn’t want his pity, it only made him feel weak. He had to say something confidently — anything — to ease his mind.

“Skoll, Oberyn, Issola… sound nice. Like names, son hermosos.

His accent was embarrassingly thick, and he knew his English was broken, but it was better than wallowing in Skoll’s pity. He may be intimidated by the man, but he still wouldn’t allow it. He turned his head up to face where he assumed Skoll was looking down at him and stopped fiddling with the ponytail he’d just noticed he’d been playing with. He straightened his back, wracking his brain for all the English he knew. As if by miracle, he suddenly remembered the meaning of one of Skoll’s words. New — Nuevo.

“New, yes. Muy new.”

On a roll, he tilted his head as if taking in the whole family. He might not be able to see, but por Dios, he was sure going to pretend he could. He was normal, maldita sea. He didn’t need their pity. His frustration was cut short as the definition of one of Skoll’s word hit him. Friends — amigos. He’d said friends. He felt his intensity settle, if only a little.

“Friends…”

His voice was softer then.

“Sound nice, I like.”

Maybe he could just calm down for a moment and enjoy himself. Skoll obviously meant him no harm, and the kids seemed nice enough. The pity was unpleasant, sure, but expected. He’d have to get used to it until he’d proven himself to his pack, even if it took him awhile.

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POSTED: Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:52 pm

The youngster wrapped his arms around himself, and Skoll took a small step back. Dominant and bold by nature, he tended to crowd other's spaces – often purposefully, if he was attempting to intimidate or goad someone. He had no such intentions with the awkward kid, however, and he had spent enough time around small puppies to be gentle. That said, there was only so much the tall male could do to change his impression.

Cidro finally piped up again, his accent thick and his words strained as if he were digging deep to find the proper vocabulary. He probably was, Skoll realized. His rolling voice had a flavor to it that reminded Skoll of Odalis or Paloma – but recognizing a language and understanding it were two very different things.

A foreigner who could hardly understand him – and Skoll couldn't even pantomime to get his point across. He rubbed his face with a hand.

The Mexican wolfdog finished on a positive note, though, and Skoll smiled a little. His expression was awkward, but hey, Cidro couldn't know that, could he? Do you want to sit with us? he offered. It's a nice day. Very warm. Exhaling with something like relief, he waggled his fingers lightly at the curiously staring pups. Do you want Cidro to sit with us?

Cidro wants to sit with us? echoed Issola.

Yeah come sit we made a mess! exclaimed Oberyn.

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POSTED: Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:54 pm

Optime/Lupus | July 22nd | New housing area (Skoll's house)700+

Skoll asked him a question, and as usual, Cidro didn’t know the exact translation. However his warm, almost awkward tone got the point across. He wanted him to join them.

He was still a little nervous, but it was dissipating more and more with each second as something akin to childlike giddiness filled his chest instead. His pack mate had extended his hand to him. He wanted him to spend the day with him — with his family. It was hard to tell if the gesture was genuine or out of pity, but something about the man’s attitude felt like he wasn’t the type to extend empty courtesies to be polite. If this was true, Cidro was thankful. The last thing he wanted was to be the Court’s resident orphan to hang out and play with out of pity. But maybe he was reading into it too much — he should just enjoy the happiness he felt while he could.

Skoll’s kids piped up, Issola finally speaking in her quiet tone and Oberyn yelling excitedly. Cidro chuckled softly under his breath, blowing strands of rust off his forehead where they were tickling his eyes as he made his way over to them. Maybe making friends wouldn’t be so bad after all — they seemed so nice, and their excitement to have him stay seemed genuine. It’d be rude to refuse at this point. Besides, this is what he came here to do in the first place, ¿no?

“Yes, I’d like. Thank you.”

He crouched down next to the Oberyn and Issola, still far too young to shift into their other forms. He felt a bit imposing towering over them like their father did to him, and decided to try something to fix it. He gave them a cheeky grin.

“Oberyn, Issola… watch.”

The youth stood up and backed up a little, deciding to make a show of it. If he was going to be confident, he might as well go all in. He was a little rusty at shifting since he’d only been able to do it for a short while, but he was sure he could do it somewhat efficiently if he really focused. Taking a deep breath, he began. He felt his joints popping and shifting as his bones and muscle rearranged his body into his feral form. He tilted his head back, feeling his hair recede to fur and his body’s length shorten and condense. His fingers receded into paws and he made a point of making them visible as they did. Although he couldn’t know exactly how he looked, just by feel alone, he was sure it looked pretty genial. Nearing the end of his transition to Lupus form, he backed up and leaped forward as hard as he could, feeling his limbs finally click into place. He landed in front of the pups, grinning ear to ear as he sat in front of them. His grin still retained an edge of nerves, worried about how they’d accept him. He’d never hung out with other kids before, and he didn’t really know how to impress them. They were younger too, so it was hard to tell what they’d be interested in. Oberyn seemed to be partial to loud, exciting things though, so he was pretty sure he’d like it. He wasn’t as sure about Issola, but she seemed far from unkind, at least.

“Pretty cool, ¿no?

He panted, a little out of breath, but still satisfied with himself. He shifted his tail to rest over his paws where he sat, still trying to adjust to his form. He was rarely ever in Lupus form these days, but he’d had enough experience in it as a younger child to feel manageably comfortable.

He flicked his ears about and smelled around him, finally taking a moment to take in his surroundings. The smell of paint found him again, and the meaning of Oberyn’s word mess finally hit him. Intrigued by what they were working on to require so much paint, Cidro felt the need to ask. He gestured to mess around them and addressed the family, a hint of curiosity and amusement on his tongue.

“What you do?”

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POSTED: Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:18 am

OOC: The pups' players preferred that I go ahead and powerplay them in the background. :>

IC:

Cidro chuckled and thanked them, crouching down beside the puppies, who sniffed at him curiously. They didn't seem to notice anything "off" about the youngster, and investigated him like they investigated any new person; Skoll kept an eye to make sure Oberyn didn't start chewing on any fingers too hard. When Cidro told them to watch, though, they sat back and gawked -- and then the boy began to shift, minutes of popping joints and shortening bones. He finished with a flourish that had the pups giggling and scampering around, taking advantage of Cidro's closer proximity to the ground to continue sniffing and licking and prodding.

Skoll laughed, his voice deep but friendly. "Not bad!" he told the wolfdog. Shifting was an important skill to Skoll; he saw no point in being a Luperci if he didn't pay attention to all his forms. It was exhilarating to sprint through the fields in the fast Secui shape, wonderful to stand tall on two legs and show off his strength, entertaining to goof off and hunt in his natural-born form. Galilee took after Skoll in her love of shifting, and Skoll not-so-secretly hoped that Oberyn and Issola would be the same.

Sniffing around, Cidro asked them what they had done; Skoll guessed he'd caught a whiff of the floral-smelling paint. He chuckled and ran a hand through his messy hair, glancing at the sheet of leather. "Paint," he said. He pointed at the leather, frowned, then reached forward and tapped his hand on it slightly. It was a soft sound, but might draw Cidro's attention to it. "It's our door for our new house. We're decorating it. Uhh, drawing on it?"

Between their meeting with Cidro and the time it took a novice to shift, enough minutes had passed that the paint looked mostly dry to Skoll. He leaned forward and ran his hand over the texture of the painted sun.

"You can feel it."

A beat.

"Do you have a house yet?"

Most Luperci still dwelled in the hotel, though the building was admittedly on its last legs. Few of the earthen homes were quite finished, though Skoll's place would be livable soon enough. His family didn't need much in the way of furniture or fanciness, not when the pups had been born in a cavern den and Skoll wasn't picky.
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POSTED: Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:06 pm

Cidro Amato de la Peña
Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun
Lupus | July 22nd | New housing area (Skoll's house)
omfg finally figured out why the dialogue wasn't bold
WORD COUNT
320

He giggled as the pups inspected him, giving them a goofy smile and even nipping them back a little. He shook out his fur, settling into his feral form. It’d been a while since he’d shifted, and he made a note to practice more often. The last thing he wanted to do was get rustier.

When Skoll spoke, his voice didn’t alarm him as much as before. Cidro was slowly getting used to his mannerisms. He knew he meant well, it would just take some time to get used to. He grinned at the praise, wagging his tail proudly.

He listened as the man rapped his hand against a strange material and spoke. So it was paint, not that it wasn’t obvious. Cidro didn’t get the whole sentence, but got the gist of it. They’d been decorating. It was a nice thought, it would make their house feel more lived in. Curious, he followed Skoll’s lead and traced his nose over the pattern on the door. The youth took his time. He often had to map out surfaces and faces through touch, but since he didn’t have his fingers right now, there was an added challenge. Despite his efforts, he couldn’t quite figure out the image. He looked up to the man in confusion.

“What is it? The dra-”

He paused, working to pronounce the weird word. He knew its meaning, but it still twisted his tongue in ways he wasn’t used to.

“The drawing.”

Cidro was still working out the image and hadn’t noticed Skoll’s question right away. When he did, he couldn’t help but smile warmly. Paloma always brought up comforting thoughts, even though she wasn’t conventionally “motherly”. Cidro didn’t care about that though — she was reassuring and supportive and much more than he deserved. He was very lucky to have found her.

“Stay with Paloma now.”

He hummed contentedly.

“Very nice to me, am very lucky.”

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POSTED: Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:10 pm

ooc: not quite sure where else to take this -- feel free to take the lead, or, we could have a more recent thread now that cidro has come out of his shell a little more?

ic:

Cidro stepped forward and followed the spirals and spatters with his nose, investigating the texture. Skoll made a conscious effort not to watch him, instead plucking at the grass near his knee and keeping his eye on the puppies as they began to wrestle half-heartedly. They seemed tired after meeting their new friend and destroying their father's work, so this amounted to a few ear-tugs and lazy flops until their pile grew more and more still. He wouldn't be surprised if they fell asleep like this.

The blind wolfdog turned his head toward Skoll, perplexed, and Skoll glanced back at the painting. He realized it probably wasn't obvious; it was such an abstract shape in the first place, and made more confusing by the puppies' pawprints. Those who knew Skoll and his tattoo would be quick to recognize it, but everyone else might be confused -- especially if they hadn't ever seen the sun in the first place, he realized.

"Soleil -- the sun," Skoll started. He wondered if he should clarify what the sun was, then actually made a conscious effort not to be so patronizing to poor Cidro. Even if the boy hadn't seen the bright ball in the sky, he'd surely felt it. "I have the same drawing on my shoulder," he added. "But it doesn't look the same. The puppies, uh, they made a mess. You can probably feel their pawprints everywhere, les petits marmots." He laughed.

Cidro smiled as he answered Skoll's question, explaining that he was staying with Paloma. The hound wasn't someone that Skoll knew well; she seemed to keep the queen's company mostly, but that was probably Skoll's fault for not getting to know her better. She couldn't be a bad person if she took in the kid, though.

"Good, good. We take care of each other here."
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