My heart within me like a stone

[p. Dahlia]

POSTED: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:10 am

[350]

"...Clover. Hey."

Clover started, turning her head from her haggard reflection to stare at the equally haggard old coyote staring at her. Her floppy ear swished against her cheek and wafted stink toward her nose. She tried to open her chestnut eyes, the lids fluttering over the sunken, dull orbs, and straightened like she was awake. Should have been easier to pull off, considering she had been awake for the past couple dozen hours now.

Despite her bony appearance, Vesper did look more lively. Her pale blue eyes held sharp awareness, despite the sadness that touched them now. "Sweetheart," she said, and the gentleness of her voice made Clover's shoulders inch up. "Listen," she added, then clicked her mouth shut, her gaze shifting off toward the little glacial pond. She was quiet a moment, seemingly thinking better about whatever she was doing to say.

She had said a lot since it happened. Not all at once, but in little trickles here and there, like snowmelt dripping off a tree branch. Each splash would make Clover flinch and feel cold, and so Vesper had stopped saying so much, thankfully.

It wouldn't help anyway. Most of the advice Clover already knew by heart. She'd lost people before.

"Do you want to sleep in the old caves today?" Vesper asked instead. Her bushy tail swished as she looked around at the moorland, her eyes narrow. "We aren't far. Familiar den might make me feel better."

Clover blinked and shifted her paws, glancing back down at the still surface of the rocky pool. A gaunt dog, smeared with dirt and soot, stared back up at her. Judgment was in those shadowed eyes. Of course she would do whatever might make Vesper feel better -- what other choice was there?

Sure, that's fine.

"Clover?"

"That's fine?"
Clover repeated, but realized that she hadn't said it aloud the first time. Her lids drooped again. "Yes. It's probably safer."

Vesper said nothing again, but frowned, pain in her narrow face. Clover was too fixated on the water to notice.

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unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:30 am

All things truly wicked start from Innocence

It had been a long time since Dahlia had ventured outside of Salsola to go somewhere other than to the Cartel. Part of her wanted to revisit the burnt remains of her old home.. Of Inferni's old home before Salsola had tarnished it with their blaze... but in part to stay close to her new home. There was no telling who could be watching her, especially when she was an outcast compared to the rest of those that Salsola took in. She and her sister had followed every step correctly...

But to be former enemies looking for a home within their ranks was not taken very lightly...

Green eyes shifted over to the side, following along the trail at the mountain's base. To think that what seemed like so long ago, all the coyotes were making a travel over these rocks, searching for a new place to call home.. one that would not bring them the hatred they felt from the wolves that surrounded them. Vicira had only done what she thought would be best for them when she took over from Vesper...

None of them could have predicted what would happen to the clan once they made their way to the other side of the mountain. How far they had all fallen...

The gray coyote's head moved up to a familiar scent on the wind. The snow was still tiresome to deal with, but it seemed rather fresh from this area. Picking up the pace a bit, she stopped just short of the pair sitting by the water. Of course it was easy to recognize who they were. Clover had always been a friend of the family.. and since Vicira's take over, she was never too far from the old leader. Their bodies still seemed so thin... Maybe...

Maybe since she was here, she could give them a hand. One with a better stomach gave for more stamina when hunting. Carefully approaching, she cautiously kept her distance.. just in case, "Vesper? Clover? What are you both doing on this side of the mountain?"

+300 words.

Dahlia de le Poer

The Cartel
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POSTED: Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:48 am

Her senses were beginning to suffer from hunger and exhaustion. Clover was not the first one to notice Dahlia as the rosy-grey coyote walked across the moor; instead, it was Vesper who lifted her head and stood up, her bushy tail waving uncertainly. Noticing the motion, Clover jumped up more aggressively, her head low and her dull eyes hardened, but she drew in the familiar scent of the de le Poer and shook her head with a grunt. Furious at herself, she dropped her haunches back into the snow and glared at her reflection.

Her reticence left it up to Vesper to answer the girl's question. The old coywolf limped toward Dahlia, lifting her muzzle to greet her with a sniff and lick of her white hands. However, this close, she seemed to hesitate; she still offered the lick, but were Clover to bother looking, she could easily see the way Vesper's nostrils quickly flared.

Better hunting here, the coywolf replied smoothly, sitting down and wrapping her bushy tail around herself, hiding her bad leg. Her lips quirked in a smirk. Hopefully. It was a risk to travel, especially this close to the remaining wolf packs, but there was no way that they would survive in the too-slowly recovering territory north of the mountains. You seem to be doing well for yourself, though, she added more lightly, glancing over Dahlia's healthy figure. Are you still traveling with Faith, or did you join up with Merari and the boys?

She smelled neither on her. And sometimes the absence of a scent was more incriminating than anything else.

Assuming that her scent is disguised (but Ves is still like ???)

[271 words]


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oderint dum metuant
cave canem
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POSTED: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:58 pm

All things truly wicked start from Innocence

Dahlia had hidden her scent, as she had been instructed to do so by Salsola's customs. She had already broken the rule of not revealing her real name to just about everyone she came across, but nothing she was speaking of had anything to do with her current place of residence... but she had done as she was told to do about her scent. Even if she gave out her name, there wasn't anyone outside of the kingdom and the Cartel who knew that she was living there...

Well except maybe Hope...

Green eyes moved down to meet with Vesper. She had come closer, offering a greeting, but was taken back by the scent that came into her nose. Ears turned down slightly to the old woman's gesture, though she could not blame her for doing so. She was at least glad to hear the reason they were over here was to do some hunting. No doubt catches would be better here than in that cursed land over the mountains...

Maybe Hope would be better off coming this way as well.

Vesper's question tore into her being. She couldn't help but flatten her ears against her head. She had told her sister about what happened, but word must not have gotten to Clover or Vesper about her sister's passing... or even the children she had given birth to. She couldn't help but turn her gaze away as she spoke, "I'm sure you saw that my sister was pregnant some time before we left... She fell in love with someone from Salsola and had his children... It was her decision to go there to raise her family with him. I just tagged along to keep her safe..."

The coyote stopped, the images of Faith's lifeless body before her, forcing her to shut her eyes, "But all the stress was building up... and she had been attacked... She gave birth to her children, but died shortly after... I chose to remain in order to help raise the pups with their father..."

She didn't even stop there. There was another matter to address, "As for the Cartel... I know where they are and I visit them often. Nazario mentioned to me once about family abandoning them. He must have been refering to Merari since I haven't seen her with them."

+400 words.

Dahlia de le Poer

The Cartel
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POSTED: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:40 am

🍀 Sorry for the wait! :<

The girl's white-spotted ears pinned at Vesper's question, and her green eyes turned away. She explained what had happened, the story enough to prick the exhausted Clover's ears -- but mention of Salsola made Vesper visibly anger. She reeled back from Dahlia, her skinny body trembling and fluffed up with aggression, her pupils dilated as if she were about to fight. And she might have fought, given something physical to take her anger out on.

Clover found herself taking deep breaths, watching, waiting.

Faith fell in love with a fucking slaver? Vesper snapped. The people who killed her cousin? And you -- She snapped her teeth and limped closer to Dahlia, ignoring the sister's obvious grief. Why wouldn't you save those kids? You know what they're going to be raised to believe. They'll probably kill you next. The Thistle Kingdom would not trust their recent enemy so easily, Vesper was certain. They might accept the orphaned children of a foolish Infernian woman, but they would never accept Dahlia -- unless the girl had changed more than Vesper thought.

Where is the Cartel? Clover asked quietly. She had her opinion on Salsola, but she was more concerned about the location of their former companions.

Vesper, meanwhile, had begun to pace -- her limp heavy.

You ought to take those kids. Unless -- you're probably leading Salsola right to the Cartel, aren't you?

A manic glint had entered the old coyote's eyes. Recognizing this, Clover rose to her feet and tried to wave her tail appeasingly. Ves --

Have you turned? Vesper demanded, her muzzle wrinkled. Do you enjoy the Salsolans' company? Maybe there's more of your father in you --

This time Clover barked, loud and deep. Vesper!

Sucking breath between her yellow, broken teeth, Vesper sat down. She hunched her shoulders and stared at the frosted earth where her claws dug in. She made a noise that might have been apologetic and looked away, but her back remained tense.


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oderint dum metuant
cave canem
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POSTED: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:03 pm

All things truly wicked start from Innocence

Dahlia's green gaze focused on Vesper as she began to create more distance between the two of them. What she had wanted to be just a sharing of news in regards to what happened to her sister was quickly derailing off course. Ears pinned back tight, lips beginning to curl up as Vesper began to spat her words out against her own former clan mates. A growl rumbled in her throat, "I never said it was a smart decision she made. She apparently met the male long before we got dragged into that war. She thought there was some good in him."

Not that Dahlia would believe her sister anymore after seeing the way that Coaxoch treated her and sometimes treated the children... secluding them away from everyone else and sheltering them the way he did.

She ignored the last of what Vesper has said, rather turning her attention to Clover. All the dog simply wanted to know was where the Cartel was now, something that she was more than happy to give the information of. These two were both Inferni to the core, so surely Boone and Nazario would see no problem to them wandering to their camp, even if only to stay temporarily. Her hand moved up, pointing past the mountain range, "They are much further out that way, close to where Freetown used to be. They have their camp set up in some old carts that are there."

Immediately, her attention shifted back to the old woman, pacing before spewing more words out of her mouth. Fur stood back up as the gray one's tail began to rise, "If I take the children then Salsola will hunt me and the Cartel down, unless that is what you want."

It just kept on building up, despite what the dog woman was trying to do to get the former leader to stop. There was paranoia... and then there was outright untrue accusations. It wasn't until the mention of her own father made her almost freeze in place. So much anger welled up inside of her. If it wasn't for Clover's interjection, then she might have just rushed forward and jumped on Vesper despite the past home they shared. Even so, she wasn't finished just yet.

Another growl passed through her lips, tail lashing, "Excuse me for wanting to take care of my family. Where's your's? Your daughter abandoned Inferni and now your granddaughter has abandoned the Cartel. I have done nothing my entire life but look after my family. My mother, my sister, and now her children. Where have you been besides dragging Clover along with you?"

Trying to calm herself back down, her eyes shifted back to the green woman, something else coming to thought, "Have you seen Hope lately...? Is she still on the other side of the mountain? Is she alright?"

+400 words.

Dahlia de le Poer

The Cartel
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