putting myself in the place of the oracle

POSTED: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:54 pm

[WC: 306]

They were, perhaps predictably, forbidden from traveling to Cour des Miracles.

Bennett hadn't understood at first. He had raised arguments, cited a desire to explore and see and that he was technically old enough to do what he wanted, and as the argument spiraled and spiraled until finally, when Linden had realized his stubborn son might just go ahead and travel without allowance, he explained why.

The Queen of Cour des Miracles executed your mother, Linden had explained. He looked strange when he talked about her. It made Bennett increasingly uncomfortable, but he was caught in the need to know. Neither of you should go near that place. Not now, not yet. We have sanctuary here, but beyond Misftell Vale's borders our protection wanes. There are certainly people who would do harm to you, or to me, if they were able.

But...but why were they allowed to kill her? That's not right!

Linden hadn't really been able to give them an answer. The talk had gone on late into the night, and Bennett slept poorly when he finally gave into exhaustion. He had wanted to talk to his brother about it, but he didn't know what to say. His father and brother were gone by the time Bennett woke.

After eating the cold remnants of a breakfast he had missed, the boy slipped away from his home. The revelation as to his mother's untimely passing and their reason for being kept away from the world had put things into a very sharp perspective. He wanted to run, and so he remained on all four – a small, bright streak cutting its way through the damp snowy forest. He thought to look for his family, but made no effort to find them. Instead, he tore through the forest, racing along the river's edge westward towards the bridge.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:16 pm

I'm assuming this is set just before the others set off for the Court? poke me if not and I'll fix it <3 256

She didn't want to go, she'd decided, as the days running up to their departure fell from the calendar like leaves fell from a tree in the depths of autumn. Unfortunately, it was too late for that now. The Starkhelm wouldn't see her reputation take a potential hit from something so banal as not showing up to a party. She didn't like parties so part of her wondered why she'd bothered to agree to attend in the first place. Reluctantly she'd begun, and later finished, packing her things for the journey. Like usual, she'd packed light, but upon further contemplation, Saga had decided that perhaps this time she'd packed a little too lightly. Frowning, she had swiftly begun shifting as she made for the door of her small abode and out into the outside world.

While she didn't feel entirely up for a hunt either, her pantry was almost bare and there would be no way she could stomach a long journey without something more substantial than water and bread. Through the trees, however, she spotted a flurry of auburn and wondered momentarily if Linden was out on a hunt too. Verdant eyes remained trained on the figure, that now seemed to be moving closer, and soon decided that first, that the sooty ears did not belong to Linden, and secondly, the figure was smaller than the ranger. She soon realised that it was likely one of his boys, and she let out a bark in greeting.
Saga D'Angelo
Mistfell Vale
Starkhelm
User avatar
Vida
Luperci
fortitude
ursa major

POSTED: Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:01 pm

[WC: 320]

Though he was quick, Bennett was small and his stride not very big at all compared to the larger wolves among his peers. His babysitter, old Posey, she was big – her daughter was big too. Most people were bigger than him, a sad fact that made Bennett more conscious of the danger that now seemed so prevalent in the world. Out there were people who hated him and wanted to hurt him and kill him because of who he was.

It made him angry.

The ground was ripped by his claws as he tore along the path, kicking up dead leaves and dirt as he went. Stealth was none of his concern. Mistfell Vale was safe, his father had promised, and Bennett badly wanted to believe him. This was difficult. He no longer knew if the people here could be trusted, or if they too might seek to harm him one day.

A target had been put on Bennett by giving him his mother's name. He might have been colored like Linden (Bennett made many a fierce expression like Mistral, however) but anyone who had known her as an enemy would certainly connect the two. Had she succeeded and come to rule, perhaps he would have been the king after her.

He was angry about this perceived loss too. Fate had stolen so much from him. It had nearly stolen his life, according to his father. Linden had not told them how much he had truly lost in coming here, though Bennett now wondered at the implication.

Ahead of him, a voice called out. Forced to recognize this as a superior, the young man slowed his pace and approached the dappled wolf at a slower speed. He seemed wary about getting too close, but made cautiously friendly signals in greeting.

Yeah? He asked, sniffing at the two-toned woman curiously. She looked weird, but not in a bad way.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:35 pm

269

She knew of Linden's plight and, by extension, the situation his two boys saw themselves in. As Starkhelm, Saga was privy to more or less everything that had been discovered or confided in by the Ravenking and the Nightstag and what she didn't know she had pieced together and made cautious guesstimations about what had and had not happened. She'd asked Linden once when she'd been young and he had first arrived, naturally, he'd been reluctant to answer her question and the young D'Angelo had allowed the matter to pass. She now knew why and, despite the shocking events that had apparently transpired, she had developed a much stronger respect for the former Courtier. Considering this, Saga was not surprised to see the flurry of decaying flora that swirled up around his halfbreed body. He made quite the convincing tempest.

As the boy ceased his frustrated meanderings and approached the Starkhelm with caution, she saw the reluctance in her eyes and felt the familiarity of it warm her. It felt like years ago, but in truth, it had been few months that the boy himself had walked the earth, that Saga herself had been rueful youth who had been reluctant to supplicate to those bigger and bolder than she. Where she would not tolerate it in others, she tolerated it here. Scolding him would only serve to sink him deeper into his dour mood and Saga felt far too young to be within a chance of succeeding in forcing respect out of him. Instead, she mirrored his casual greeting, 'Out for some exercise?'
Saga D'Angelo
Mistfell Vale
Starkhelm
User avatar
Vida
Luperci
fortitude
ursa major

POSTED: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:38 pm

[WC: 302]

She didn't snap at him about his tone or berate him for his presence, but Bennett remained stiff and closed-off.

He was still processing the newly-revealed truth of his origin. Others knew, surely – Linden had said as much – but they still required secrecy. How was he supposed to talk through his feelings when he wasn't supposed to talk about it at all? This was more than the adolescent wanted to deal with. His life had been much simpler when he had just been Bennett, and not a man in exile. What a strange thing to think of, being forbidden to walk freely in the land of his birth. To fear that saying his name to certain strangers who were otherwise meant to be allies would be dangerous made him anxious and fearful.

If he was to survive, he would need to become stronger and smarter. He would need to find teachers, and make allies, and learn who he could trust. Everyone he had met in his young life had seemed older, wiser, and somehow stranger in ways he was just beginning to recognize. Isolation made it difficult to see what passed for normal. Everything was beginning to seem just a little off-kilter.

I guess, he offered without enthusiasm. Most of his exercise was regimented by training. Running just for the sake of running was pointless, but exercise made it sound like he was doing something of importance, and he didn't want her to think of him as lazy. Now that he was an adult, he was expected to contribute.

Sometimes he tried. Mostly he got frustrated.

What are you doing? Bennett asked the Starkhelm, slowly growing emboldened by her patience. Undoubtedly she would be among those to travel south for the festivities, given her position and role as a diplomat.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:12 pm

286

The boy didn't seem enthusiastic and Saga didn't blame him for it. While her childhood had been similar, it had been nowhere near as distressing she imagined, and even when it had been, more often than not it was through her own choices and such things could be anticipated. There were similarities, neither of them had a mother, though Grace had been absent through her own designs rather than by the designs of someone else, they had been raised by their father's, but again, had Ankh truly raised her or had he allowed his children to raise themselves? She supposed that what little of their lives they'd live were like mirrors, but mirrors that were foggy and only half reflected what it saw. Bennett had, by far, suffered worse in life and given the actions of his parents, would likely suffer further.

Eventually, he spoke up for himself, turning the question on her. A slight smile crept onto the corner of her mouth and with all the nonchalant aura she could summon she replied, 'Hunting. We need provisions for the journey so...' Saga had decided before he even asked that she would not mask her activities from him. After all, it had been an action in adults she'd hated beyond belief as a youth and she was reluctant to subject Bennett to the same. Moreso, she hoped it would prove just enough to coax the young man into speaking his mind a little more freely. Frustration only grew when it was kept confined, as much as she'd hated turning out her issues as a child (she still struggled with such things now), she knew it was always for the best.
Saga D'Angelo
Mistfell Vale
Starkhelm
User avatar
Vida
Luperci
fortitude
ursa major

POSTED: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:42 pm

[WC: 308]

In a small, dark corner of his heart, the hurt rooted in black, senseless anger and began to settle.

He didn't look touched by it yet, but he wore his face with that vague hostility clear. It was the look of a stray dog uncertain of a stranger – but still wanting and hoping for acceptance and attention. Not everyone he had been kind to him, but most people were.

Saga didn't seem bothered by him, at least. She let him sniff her, and made friendly signs that he responded to little by little. He was still a young canine and still eager to play, though the she-wolf's answer drew a frown to his face. It sounded like everyone was going except them. At first Linden had made up excuses about “watching things”, but as long as Bennett had been in Mistfell Vale he could not remember a time when any threat existed at the pack's borders.

The real danger, it turned out, was out there. Exactly where everyone else would be traveling, socializing, and enjoying themselves.

Oh, he said with plain disappointment. Well, I'm not going.

Walking into a place like that would be certain death. Beyond that, it was forbidden – even if he left, Linden would find out. Then his father would never let him out of his sight again! That would be the absolute wortst. It was already bad enough thinking that all the pack's leaders and his old babysitters probably reported his whereabouts anytime they saw him. Linden always seemed to know what his sons were doing.

Realizing he sounded very much like a petulant child, Bennett's ears fanned backwards and the up once again. He tried to hide his embarrassment, flushing beneath his fur.

I mean I can help you still, anyway, if you want. I've been hunting before. I could help.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:22 pm

402

The tension surrounding the two small canines dissipated where it did not dissipate from the boy's russet and white face. His brow remained heavy and his lips were sewn tight in pent up frustration. She allowed it still, where she would not allow it from others. Her tender age, which many deemed to be a barrier to success in the roles she had been bestowed, had turned out to be one of the strongest selling points of her career as a councilwoman and diplomat. This situation solidified her (admittedly biased) resolution that Felix and Calia had not been wrong when they had named her Starkhelm those few short months ago.

Disappointment rife in his reply, he replied simply that he himself wouldn't be attending. She knew this before he even willed himself to speak it and she responded with a sage nod. Saga agreed wholeheartedly with Linden and naturally she was not about to confess this to the boy. It would frustrate him further no doubt to learn that other adults agreed with a judgement he didn't see eye to eye with, it would only serve to anger him further. She decided only to confess gently that, 'It's probably for the best...' with the most sympathetic tone of voice and smile she could muster. Hopefully, neither of them verged on patronising, for he'd likely not take that well either. She certainly hadn't as a child.

Seemingly catching himself acting in a way he didn't want himself to be known for, the boy quickly lifted his ears back upright from where they fell flat and Saga pretended not to notice. The Starkhelm fought back a smirk, amused by the familiarity between how the young Crowstooh acted and how she had acted many moons previous. 'Bennett, right?' she queried, realising that she wasn't entirely sure which of Linden's boys stood before her. Smiling, she accepted his offer of help, 'That'd be nice, thank you.' Not only was it a great help to her, but it would also mean that she could report back that to Felix and Calia that the boy was making an effort in the Vale. Hopefully, too it would tire the frustration out of him and give his mind something more useful to focus on that being angry with his father, who only wanted to keep him out of harms reach.
Saga D'Angelo
Mistfell Vale
Starkhelm
User avatar
Vida
Luperci
fortitude
ursa major

POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:24 pm

[WC: 267]

Later, even Bennett would agree that the decision was proper. There was a real danger in any of them going, and he and his brother were too young to properly defend themselves in the event of a crisis.

It was a very long road south. Anything could happen.

Yeah, he confirmed. She did know who he was. It bothered him he could not remember her name. They were strangers, though, kinda. He would be able to remember the woman's face, with it's bright eyes and snowspots. Thinking of how best to deflect this, he tried to recall manners and struggled to do so. What d'you want me to call you? Bennett asked instead, shifting his paws on the cold ground.

What are you looking for? He pressed on, turning his nose to the wind. She was bigger than him, but he wasn't sure how large her prey of choice was. As far as he could tell, the day was likely to be fair. It was cool, but the sun was coming up behind clouds and a sheet of gray covered the sky. He would be less vibrant under the indirect light, and her pelt seemed a natural camouflage. In any case it would be good to see how she went about things.

Smaller prey, like rabbits, would be easy to find. For how many people were going it might have made more sense to find something larger, but as far as he could tell, she was alone – and hunting bigger prey without assistance seemed foolish. Of course, he was here now. That gave her more options.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:26 pm

276

She had been correct in her assumption, which she was glad of considering that despite her lofty rank she wasn't automatically familiar with each and every face within Mistfell Vale. She didn't run in the same circles as the young boy after all and only really saw his and his brother's faces at the sporadically held sorting ceremonies and such. Bennett himself seemed to deliberate for a while on how best to continue the conversation, she let him struggle but not out of lack of care. Eventually, he would, and did, figure out how to navigate situations like this. Handing him the answers felt like a counteractive thing to do and such lessons needed to be learnt by Saga in an increasingly urgent manner. The Starkhelm was glad to see he'd found a way to pose the question sensibly, for a moment Saga had to consider whether he was outright asking for her name or wondering whether he should really be using her proper title to address her.

'Saga is fine.' The D'Angelo answered simply.

She shrugged. In all honesty, she had no idea what was in the vicinity today. Her original plan had been to simply go for whatever she came across as she journeyed through the Vale. Now she had some company, of course, she had to make a quick decision. Neither Mistwalker was of average size as it stood and Saga was reluctant to hunt anything that could do serious damage to either of them and with a hum of consideration, she made her suggestion. 'Something midsized?' Verdant eyes caught yellow ones, she was always open to suggestion.
Saga D'Angelo
Mistfell Vale
Starkhelm
User avatar
Vida
Luperci
fortitude
ursa major

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