[M] I am a witness watching it

Pack Funeral Thread

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:59 am

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Word Count → ??? :: This thread is backdated to the end of January. It is non-mandatory, but as with any large cultural event in Salsola, characters who miss it will be IC noticed as making a statement with their absence. You are welcome to assume that either your character heard a vague rumor surrounding Loki's gory death (the stranger and less like the truth, the better), or that they are completely unaware. The M-warn on this thread is cautionary, due to mentions and insinuations of violence and death.
Thank you to Raze for her patience in waiting for me to be able to get this thread up!
Setting: The Stone Ship Altar, midday

Some days it felt like spring would never reach them.

The cold and grey lingered malignant, catching at their heels as they walked and their lungs when they breathed. The sun seemed so pale that it might go out, a faraway candle blown heavily upon by an uncaring, distant god. It was not the harshest winter that Salsola had known, but for the young queen it felt impossibly long, as though her reign had suffered the fullest course of a lifetime's trials since autumn had passed.

Her frustration was palpable as she paced, the choppy waters of the loch at her back. O'Riley was gone to fetch the girl and so she was alone for a moment with the bag and its contents. It was much smaller than a man; Much lighter than the Crone had been in life. The fire had taken mass from him, taken time from him. The flames gave nothing but grief in return.

It was out of the ordinary for such an event to be held during the day. They burned their dead as night was falling, allowing the golden glow of the pyre to claw high into the bleak heavens, to sear an imprint of the great finality of it onto the back of their eyelids. With no pyre - the girl had insisted, and on this point alone she would not be budged - there was no point in waiting for the colder, lonelier hours. It would have served only to make them appear smaller by contrast against the night, when what Elphaba needed most of all was to seem larger than life itself.

She paced again, back and forth. The bag sat on the larger stone plinth, central to the spires that made the eerie conformation of the ancestral ship. Banks of snow had preserved its integrity; It had not been allowed to thaw since O'Riley had gathered him up, and that was for the best. Charred hair and flesh carried a smell that was not easy to forget.

"How could you let this happen?" She asked the bag with a hiss, the red of her eyes cutting over it and away, over it and away. At her side, the Boss' fingers curled into fists; She winced, and relented immediately, holding the one palm that was bandaged in reprieve.

It had taken Odalis an hour or more to pick out the littler shards of glass, and she was lucky the damage was mild. Elphaba's hands had trembled all the while, though it hadn't hurt much, and she hadn't been cold.

But then, winter has a way of stealing inside you, a cold so deep that you can no longer feel it.

Loki was the third Sanctum member to have died in a horrific way, and the second whose funeral Elphaba would personally oversee. It felt like a message. She couldn't afford to be blinded by ignorance any longer.

The corner of her blooded gaze caught motion, and the young Queen turned to watch O'Riley and the girl - Embla - approach. She was huddled near his much larger body like a wounded fawn seeking comfort from its mother. Elphie's black lips twitched, but she said nothing. It was time to wash the cut clean, before the infection of undeath rose from it to haunt those who remained. In spite of their attempts to quarantine the incident, whispers had broken loose; Many would know the reasoning behind this gathering, though undoubtedly it would surprise a few.

The Boss tilted her head back and loosed a summoning cry.

we need a forest fire
The Boss
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Luperci Witch she hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit the queen is dead, long live the queen
burn the witch
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POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:39 am

000 Ooc
To find them a fortune, chests filled with gold

This was not what she had expected upon her return. The rumors were always a congealed mass of twisted and burned metal, flowing and breaking apart as it wished, the details were in pulling them apart and creating a pretty necklace from them.

Helena still wore her traveling cloak, barely had she a chance to reach her Tower before duty called her elsewhere. Even in this short time she had managed to receive word of hushed whispering, each one more fantastical and terrible than the last.

Phobos was tasked to watch the young children, no longer so young but this was not a thing for their young eyes to witness.even Salsola was not so heartless as to completely terrify their youth before the time came.

Perhaps her lack of relaxation was the reason she was almost the first to arrive.

A frown pulled downwards at her lips,

"Boss, Erilaz." Her head dipped, eyes switching between the two figures and that of the younger girl huddled like a lost waif,

"My sympathies." She spoke with soft tones.

Custom dictated that a Salsolan be burned upon their death unless another burial rite to their customs was observed. Within her cloak, Helena had a small pouch full of dried herbs to leave by his corpse should such a thing be performed. Though delicate nares caught the faintness of already charred bones and flesh, no matter how it was attempted to be hidden, that scent lingered and lingered.

I can't help this awful energy
Helena Troy Lykoi

The Ambassador
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Luperci Conserje, Cocinero
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⤜Hell is your Red Teeth⤛

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:10 pm

pump your veins with gushing gold

Of all things to feign, ignorance was both his best, and his worst, suit. There were murmurs, naturally - missing, too quiet, too hushed; some were uttered with the utmost contempt and words of negligence before things, certain things, dreadful and terrible as they were bled into the light like red blooming on the eye of the moon.

The call that went up was firm and somber, and his work at the snowy white pelts was abandoned.

"What is that?" Avault murmured, quiet in an aside to the little gold King, for all the concern wrought upon his face at once. Tools were cast down, and he smoothed out his clothes, before gesturing for the white dog to follow him on the winding route to the ancient ship.

The Queen was there, as was the Erilaz, and tucked away into his side was Embla - little Embla; when he felt, more than he knew.

Their Crone was conspicuously absent, and there was something of a smell he was unfamiliar with that danced on cold, flighty winter air, and Julius gravitated instantaneously to fiery Helena's side, thrumming with an uncertain and building energy that trembled out through his fingertips, oceanic eyes washed in dread.

"Mère, what is happening," he murmured, soft and tense, to her, first more so than anything; hands hovered blankly at her cloak, but did not touch, before his eyes cut to their leaders, stalwart, fearless, resigned, and he dipped his head respectfully, eyes cutting way to the bag. A bag - why was there a bag? Black lips shivered, and the white dog, haunting like a ghost behind the Valentine's shoulder, went to touch his arm, and murmured quiet greeting to the waiting royalty.

"Embla?" Julius had croaked, tentative, gossamer - before trying to remember his composure and folding back alongside the white mongrel behind him, lachrymose.

-- | [wc — --] template by hilli
no I ain't gonna be here too long
we've become so good at fooling all
Merchant Apprentice
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Luperci Collettore

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:57 pm

Optime | Stone Ship Altar | Backdated: End of January; midday
cNPC: Velimir; NPCs: Cedar, Sandstone (+396)

“Very good, young Kaiser. Your skills are improving,” the older jackal hybrid nodded as he inspected her mark. Kamari slowed her horse and looped Cedar back around to see how she had fared. Her arrow had nearly struck the center of the straw-filled dummy, and she smiled proudly at the sight of it. Velimir had had her practicing with her mounted archery, and his lessons were coming more and more to fruition. Where, months ago, she would have been lucky to hit the target at all, now, her arrows were more consistent, and more deadly in their accuracy atop her trusted mustang.

Velimir pulled her arrow out and handed it back up to her when a summoning tone carried across the winter air. It called the Kingdom to the Stone Ship Altar, and there was a strict urgency to it that hinted that it would be unwise to ignore it. The jackal hybrids glanced at one another. There was rarely a reason for such a call, particularly to that location unless something had gone wrong. Kamari’s lips formed a grim line, and Velimir whistled to call Sandstone from her grazing.

Whispers had been traded between tongues; assumptions, conspiracies, seemingly wild fabrications to enrapture one’s audience. The Shadow was not deaf, nor were her senses hindered. Strange traffic had moved in and out about the Kingdom, and what the rumors told was something that the Shield member could not simply ignore.

She and Velimir pulled on their cloaks and their hoods, and rode out on their horses. They dismounted when they came close, and eventually left their mounts far away enough that they would not be a disturbance. Kamari found her cornflower blue eyes steeling at the atmosphere that clung heavily to the area. One look at the young Embla confirming that, perhaps, there had been truth to those dreadful tales of the Kingdom’s Crone.

Flicking her gaze upon the bag placed upon the stone altar, the Emissary let out a soft sigh. Kamari did not approach those already present, merely maintained her silence as she waited for the Boss to explain the truth behind her summons. Velimir stood near the Shadow, not quite knowing why the Kingdom had been gathered, but, being able to read the body languages of everyone present to realize that this meeting would not be a joyful one.

Kamari Kaiser

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The Emissary
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Moderator Luperci Sapienza, Vedetta Mate to Krios Royalty of a Fallen Kingdom
Seeker of Secrets
Amongst Shadows
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POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:21 pm

OOC - Coaxoch is accompanied by Sebastian, Nephele, Evelyn and Eden WC: 957

What has the world come to

The rumors had taken their time getting out to the Blackwoods, but when Sebastien had come home and told him that he had heard the mutterings of the Death of the Crone, Coaxoch began investigating. He never was close to Loki, but the Crone position was not one that was often Empty, and Coaxoch did have faith that his own father, Till, was the one who was destined to sit there, and that Loki was a false prophet. Coaxoch never spoke on these feelings, nor did he have much interaction with the Crone to warrant a change of heart. Hell, Coaxoch did not get the job of Witch yet, simply so he was not....obligated to show his face at rituals that were not in the honor of his own Gods. Coaxoch only had come to the rituals that Elphaba had been at, to show her that he would show face, should she call for it. She knew how to get Coaxoch to appear, and she needed only call him once and as a loyal subject, he would obey. The Former Crone had no power over the Alchemist. It was a shame that the effeminate male did not know of this.

He had been sniffing around the old dwelling of the Crone, and noticed that yes, his scent was old there, at least a week or so, if Coaxoch had to guess. He had only checked a few days before the echoes of the pack rumbled with the assumed dates of a funeral. Coaxoch had prepared a gift for the death of the male, for this pack member, while he was not Coaxoch's favorite, he did not deserve the same fate as the Heiwa clan, and therefore, he would be sympathetic and wish the male's soul to the heavens instead of the curse of purgatory for the Heiwas, only able to wander the depths of the inky blackness of their former body's rotting flesh.

Coaxoch had been waiting for the calling howl for days, and when it came, Coaxoch had stopped what he was doing in his shed, and he calmly moved back to the main church, where Sebastien and his children looked at the freckled male with worry in their eyes. Coaxoch greeted them with a solemn look on his maw, and soft pets to the childrens' heads. He motioned for them to get ready to go, and he looked to Sebastien then and nodded his head lightly.

He and Sebastien had gathered the children into mute colors, and then also dressed themselves into the darker colors of blacks and dark reds. Once Sebastien had been done with fussing over Coaxoch's tie, he looked to the bag that he had prepared. It was wrapped with a thick snake's skin, something that had been hard to find in the depth's of winter, but it had been bought sometime before this. Coaxoch did not use this bag anymore, and since he didn't, he decided to use it for the dead, and he put some herbs that he had left from the summer's harvest, along with a potion bottle of the mushroom-plum wine that Coaxoch had brewed in the Autumn. While Sebastien prepared himself, Coaxoch tidied up the children, with the help of Nephele. Coaxoch realized then that there was no funeral for their mother, and even if there was, they were much too young to remember. Coaxoch could not bear to tell them the lie that no one cared for their mother in the pack, so he didn't. "The Boss is calling us for a funeral, Eden, Evelyn. I need you two to be respectful and quiet while we are out there today, it is a sad day for the pack." he told them as he looked at both of them and straightened their vests.

It was not long before he stood back up and moved on, grabbing the gift before he finally moved on out of the church with the small troupe behind him. They walked, for Coaxoch did not see the use in riding there when he had this many followers behind him. The walk was pretty silent, aside from the crunching of snow and the small whines from the children as they walked on. The troupe gathered as did the other's in the Family, and once they had, Coaxoch had approached the front, where Elphaba and O'Riley stood, with the sheltered girl, Embla. Coaxoch looked to her with his eyes hardened, for she was old. Much too old to be acting like she did. Priya and Coaxoch had lost their mother too, and they did not act lost like this. The circumstances were different, but Coaxoch immediately thought of how old the girl was and how she should have learned to fly before she was kicked from the nest so brutally. His eyes did not turn soft when he looked to O'Riley, nor did they do so when he finally turned to look at Elphaba. He bowed to each of them as he matched their eyes, and once he had seen the bag that held what seemed to be ashes, Coaxoch approached and placed his bag gently on the altar. He bowed his head and made a motion as if to give a quick prayer before he turned away and looked to his family that had followed suit in their prayers and their offerings of sympathy to the Boss, Erilaz, and the Confidant member.

Coaxoch, Sebastien, and their children settled near Helena and Julius, but not so closely as to where they would crowd them, for he knew that his father and the rest of their family would be joining them soon.

When a demon defiles a witch

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The Henchman
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Luperci 2020 SoSuWriMo Champion!
This World Keeps Twisting

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:25 pm

Someone’s disgrace could as well be the fortune of another. It was all a matter of perspective. Hushed whispers of a tragedy had reached attentive ears and in the darkness of her chambers the aged warrior had smiled in sweet anticipation. A predator through and through she was enticed by the scent of blood that lingered in the air, her enemy had been gravely wounded and she could sense it growing weaker.

The summon that rang loud and demanding was the only confirmation she needed. The Crone was dead.

Readily Kaeli left the shadows of her home to face the cold and bleak outside, a small offering clutched in her hand. The danger of the situation didn’t escape her and in spite of the delightful taste of victory that clung to her tongue she dared not go against tradition, all too aware of the suspicion that such actions may award. Her gratification ought to remain private.

She wasn’t the first to arrive and to her displeasure it appeared the red witch had made it to the ceremony way before she did. Resolute not to allow her eyes to linger on the woman’s offending visage she presented herself in front of the Queen’s entourage with a dip of her head. No appropriate words came to mind so she proceeded to place her gift on the pyre, a simple bone clasp with raven feathers for decoration. The man had been a flamboyant creature, perhaps he would have appreciated the gesture, she didn’t know and to some degree she didn’t care, but she simply couldn’t show up empty handed.

Her eyes couldn’t help but to wander over the bag, the scent of burned flesh all too present in spite of the efforts done to mask it. Whatever had happened to Loki it seemed he would get to burn twice on the eve of his passing. That’s what witches got for their obsession with fire.

Moving away she noticed the dark visage of the Emissary and chose to join her at the outskirts of the gathering, offering a nod of acknowledgement before settling at a comfortable distance from Kamari. She remained silent and looked ahead. Her eyes were a perfectly guarded gate that allowed no emotion to escape, no trace of the dark thoughts that circled around inside her mind would surface.
The Henchman (NPC)
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Luperci Cavalleria

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:25 pm

Víborg watched as her mother donned the black clothing. It was deceptively simple, the dress and its trappings, except for perhaps the great feathered shawl she placed on her shoulders. Their family – no, this was incorrect, their practice – put worth in ravens, but not enough to be above killing them. It was how the feathers had been gathered for Kynda's impressive mantle, and indeed how the less remarkable ones worked into Víborg's hair and trappings came about.

Death was a part of all things. Víborg was reminded of this as she waited, wondering if their arrival had been noted by anyone. They had remained isolated for other reasons, performing rituals and seeking out answers no one could provide.

The Boss' summons soon saw them on their way, Kynda leading while her daughter walked alongside her, carrying the bag they had brought all the way from Portland. It was full of trinkets and curious magical tools that would serve purpose now and soon enough.

Others had arrived first, something Víborg found irritating. As proper family, they should have been summoned sooner. Her mother didn't seem to mind, and walked with her chin high and steps confident, graceful. She was getting on in her years but the silver in her pelt seemed natural and could be overlooked.

Kynda looked to no one but the Mafiosi, waiting with grim expressions, and after greeting them planted herself next to the Erilaz with such certainty that Víborg was almost fooled into thinking this had been discussed.

She knew better than to try the same thing and lingered among the masses, speaking to no one and looking only at the bundle on the stone.

The Family (NPC)
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Luperci Hrafnsmerki
does this spark joy?

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:57 pm

It had been the old man who helped her see what was happening. He hadn't meant to – and indeed, she doubted he understood fully what was happening – but when he had asked her to bring food to his son Morgana had been surprised to see where the wolfdog had been. Igor was no stranger to her by this point and despite being gruff and unwilling to talk, he took the offered food and drink without complaint. She had sniffed about a little but found no clues, and not been able to get close enough to the watchtower to discover the truth.

Despite this, Morgana had wondered. She had thought to ask Brocade, but he had been scarce, called to duty or something of the sort. Besides, if someone like Igor wasn't willing to talk, she doubted the leader of the Shield would part with information so easily.

So it was that she went on with her daily life, wondering and gossiping when able, but ignorant to the truth until the day her cousin called them together.

She had, luckily, not left the packlands that morning (indeed, Morgana slept long past when she ought to have been up). After lazily spending the cold morning bundled in furs and fiddling with her knitting, the red-furred woman was finally roused to action by the summons.

It did not take her long to clean up and make herself presentable, and she did not think too deeply on the cause until she saw the gathering place...and two faces which caused her to start with surprise. Kynda Helsi, standing next to the Erilaz in dark, formal clothing, and her tall pale daughter dressed in similar, less extravagant means. Little by little, as she took in what was laid out, as she drew upon memories, Morgana came to realize what was happening.

A new fear, unwelcome and cold, rooted in her chest. She tried to hide this and approached slowly, joining the group silently.

Sanctus Apprentice
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Luperci Witch Silver Scales & Silver Blood
light as a feather
stiff as a board

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:18 pm

A wife. He was going to have a wife!

The thought had carried him through his daily toil and duties, undefined as they were, but nothing seemed to touch him anymore – no annoyances about this extra work, or O'Riley's requests, or even the horses being difficult with the cold and snow. No, all that he could think about was how wonderful it would be to have someone, to have a partner, to have Idrieus at his side.

So distracted was Grievous that he missed the clues others had not.

It was work that had him busy that morning, tending to the horses as he always did. Some of the mares were beginning to show their pregnancies more obviously, and to these animals he paid more attention. They had a very successful program, as Salvia Eternity had designed, and Grievous wanted to honor her work. He was pleased by his progress, limited as it seemed, but encouraged by others who came around the stables and remarked upon such. In many ways, the fact that nothing was out of order meant his tasks were done well.

He had just finished refilling the cold water when Elphaba's summons came. Puzzled by her tone he quickly abandoned his work.

The road smelt of others, and he could see fresh tracks as he hurried to find what had demanded their presence. What he found was a gathering whose placement roused a sense of trepidation within him. As he joined the huddled mass, his height allowed him to see what awaited them – a conspicuous bag atop the central stone, Elpbaba and O'Riley and his kin, and one notable absence that stood out suddenly.

Grievous stared, unbelieving.

masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull
The Equinest
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Luperci Mate to Idrieus
the fire rises

POSTED: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:02 pm


Only an idiot would have missed what was going on in the upper echelons. Krios did not say anything to anyone, though whispered to his wife his thoughts now and again. But what could he do about it? His forte was to scout the borders and beyond, to make sure nothing came up to them and threatened their innocents. And somehow, terrible things happened anyway that were beyond his control. He hated it.

He was not the last to arrive but not the first. It took but a quick glance for him to find his short wife and to hasten to her side. He put a hand upon her shoulder, squeezed, and then lowered it to his side. His gaze shifted to those before him, locking onto the Crone's daughter, fair, pretty, and so vulnerable looking between the single most intimidating individuals of the Thistle Kingdom.

Out of place, she seemed, between them, and her half-seeing eyes seemed solemn, or so he thought. Once, he was in much the same position as she and it had thrust him forward into adulthood with a rapid quickness that nothing else could have done. Embla was the last of her family, too. It was tragic.

And all he felt was anger.

Krios Revlis
Come touch me like I’m an ordinary man. Have a look in my eyes. Underneath my skin there is a violence

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