Here are all your familiar spirits

POSTED: Fri May 17, 2019 4:27 pm

Atop the mountain he sat, a dark shape whose pale underside was hidden by the way he lay across the stones. Winter had not yet relinquished its grasp on the world but the sun was out and had warmed the stones, and here the large, flat spaces were places of respite on these arduous hunts.

When she had told him about what the bird could do, O'Riley had not believed the old woman. He had not said as much, but even if the bird was big he could not see how it would shake a sure-footed goat from the cliffside. His grandmother must have suspect as much, for she had offered to show him.

They were out now beneath a cloudless sky. He had hunted with the women before, but this time the rules were different. Kynda would show him how she used the eagle, she explained, and then he could learn the skill. She could not teach him the old ways, the völva explained with great drama, but this was a skill he, as a hunter and a man who traveled, could make use of.

Hiking up the mountain had been easier on four legs now that his hand was healed. His grandmother had remained on two, and had brought a staff. He was surprised his young aunt had chosen to travel in her Lupus form. The girl mostly kept to herself, though he supposed this was part of her own training. Even if she belonged to Salsola, her path was not one of quick ascension like her counterparts. Then again, not everyone was destined to rise terribly far.

Igor, for instance, was cursed with an unfortunate weak arm and overwhelming gluttonous impulses. He would never find himself among the true elite, though he accompanied a man without parallel more often than not.

As the Faction was now a place plagued by conflict, secret affairs, and interconnection, O'Riley sometimes wished he was freed from the restrictions of Law in order to purge disloyalty where it stood.

The game was more complicated than that.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
The High Inquisitor
User avatar
Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
a tightening atrocity
ECLIPSE

POSTED: Fri May 17, 2019 4:30 pm

She knew very little about these greater schemes, young Viborg did. Her education was directed solely by her mother's whims, and so too was her lack of proper interaction.

If this was supposed to humble her, it had not.

Viborg took her lessons seriously, and believed that climbing the mountain on all fours was not the sort of shameful act her mother seemed to implicate it being. The city life had changed Kynda Helsi for the worse, for her mother's shadow stretched long south and lingered in her heart. When her darker sister had come home, Viborg had been told how what she could expect should she go unprepared would be likely the same. Siv resumed her training alongside her twin, though when the chance to come north had risen it was Viborg chosen to go.

Yet here her lessons remained difficult and trying. On four legs she could climb well but every part of her body burned, and her paws sometimes scrambled to find proper footing.

Her nephew could do it, in that terrible shape he led them with, and Viborg studied him as they went. She was impressed by his physical strength, but worried about the darkness her mother insisted come with the man's birth. A warlock was dangerous.

Still, he was doing more than she could ever imagine – merely by existing he defied reason and tradition, some dreadful creation who was meant to be culled. Instead, saved by the bloodline that most likely led him to his current position, O'Riley Eternity was allowed to manifest.

Salsola
The Family
User avatar
Mel
Luperci Hrafnsmerki
does this spark joy?

POSTED: Sat May 18, 2019 10:32 am

He was a terrible creature.

Wolves were neither good nor evil, at their core. Predators existed to survive in a world hostile towards them. They culled its greater mass, these unchecked herds of animals both wild and feral, but so they too did not overstep as the humans had the means of violence and war were learned. Always there was the need for more – more numbers for protection, more land to hunt, more to stretch so they did not live atop one another – and so too grew a desire for conquest.

O'Riley believed he had always been destined to find himself master of the world's most superior domain. It was no secret that Salsola was among the better parts of the world, for they had existed for a lifetime now. The Kingdom endured because its people were strong.

Unfortunately, this woke understandably selfish desires within the Family. They were a nexus of smaller parts, a living mass of multiple thoughts despite a common greater good. Each of Salsola's collective was driven by the desire for power and this thrust them towards advancement as a whole. Now that so many wheels were in motion, it seemed likely that progress would crush something beneath it.

A killer, O'Riley understood that acceleration came soon enough.

The witch pointed her hand east, towards the mountains.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
The High Inquisitor
User avatar
Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
a tightening atrocity
ECLIPSE

POSTED: Sat May 18, 2019 11:00 pm

Who had seen it first Víborg did not know. Either her mother had signaled the bird or indicated it's descent, but all three wolves looked as it fell. For all its size the eagle's speed became apparent as it adjusted its wings and feet.

The goat was running, but the sheer cliff was unable to give it enough room to dodge. As talons slashed at it, the stone-colored thing bleated, stumbled, and fell.

If the eagle's cry was in victory or mockery was something Víborg found herself considering as she watched her elder-nephew rise from his position. She could see eagerness in his body.

You shift when you find it, Kynda ordered her daughter. If it has horns we will need them. You must perform the formal rites.

And what about him?

You will have him do what needs to be done. That is all.

Perhaps Kynda meant it as a warning. Víborg clenched her jaw. She was growing tired of all these rules that seemed to apply only to her. When she turned, O'Riley was already climbing ahead. Víborg loped after him, propelling herself upwards with strong-limbs and powerful leaps. She was learning how to climb quickly despite making errors that caused her to slip here and there or burn more energy than she should.

He was waiting for her higher up, staring at where the eagle had begun wheeling.

Salsola
The Family
User avatar
Mel
Luperci Hrafnsmerki
does this spark joy?

POSTED: Sat May 18, 2019 11:04 pm

O'Riley wanted to look for its target but found himself captivated by the bird's attack. He had imagined the eagle dangerous – it was a large bird with a sharp beak and great curved talons, after all. His grandmother had assured him that with the proper lessons and proper timing any raptor could be controlled. It was not witchcraft, she assured him, but the Helsi line had an affinity for such things. By all rights O'Riley was long due to learn.

He was looking for where the goat had fallen, following the shadow the eagle cast. They had been along a cliff's edge that fell sharply, but there was no goat to be found.

With his ears pricked and his nose pointed eastward, O'Riley looked to be listening very hard. From where they stood, high atop the mountain, sound did not carry.

But he saw, and imagined he smelled, and this was what led O'Riley to ascend those last few rocky crags where he now looked down to the east. These were the no-man's lands, the places where the fire had touched. For his ancestors the world had been smaller.

So now, looking upon this lesser, older place, O'Riley was surprised by what he saw. A snaking trail of smoke leading towards the barren sky. Beneath it was a small clearing in a collection of young but thickening forest.

The longer he looked the easier it was to see – those little shapes moving around the campsite, and how well worn it looked.

By the time Víborg reached him, O'Riley was certain he had found his answer.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
The High Inquisitor
User avatar
Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
a tightening atrocity
ECLIPSE

Sticks and Stones