Salt and Shadow

P: Fennore and Percival for now, more later!

POSTED: Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:31 pm

OOC: For the Myst Mists plot! WC: 302
Prompt wrote:On November 17th a group patrolling the Lebennin discover a thin and frail looking Vodeva wandering alone. Her hands are dirty and covered in blood, and she is confused and unsure of her surroundings. It appears that the wound on her torso has been dressed and bandaged, though by now it has begun to tatter at the edges and is barely visible from beneath her thin shift.

IC:
It felt like Vodeva had been gone forever. There were still weird things happening, like how the bell had begun ringing. He wasn't exactly sure how the bell worked but it was loud and annoying. There was blood in some places, and those weird little doll things that he and his grandmother hated. At least the sheep and goats were untouched, even though they seemed unsettled by the mists that rolled in during the mornings.

Most worrying, though, was Vodeva's continued absence. Arran was worried that at this point, they may just end up finding her body. Or they may not even find that. And then what? Why her? How could this have happened? He worried for Iomair, too. It was clear how much the High King cared about his wife, and Arran couldn't imagine what it was like for Iomair to have her vanish.

No. He couldn't think like that--like they wouldn't find her and bring her home. They would find her. They had to. With renewed energy, he put his nose to the ground once more, following the scent trail that had caught his attention. Fennore, Amon, and Percival were with him as they went through the Lebennin. The area was pretty, and Arran only wished that they were here for something other than patrolling with all the weird stuff happening.

A rustling sound caught Arran's attention and he jerked his head up and peered ahead. His whole body went tense, like a spring coiled, waiting to expand again. There was someone up ahead. Was that her? Even his floppy ear stood at attention for a few seconds.

"Vodeva?" Arran said with a quiet, excited whine. Then he looked to the others with him, wondering if they saw what he was seeing, too.
ARRAN
  73/500 Honor  
New Caledonia
Distinguished
User avatar
Myst
Luperci IT'S SO FLUFFY
2020 SoSuWriMo Champ! Spring Spree 2020
Who's a Good Boy?

POSTED: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:22 pm

He had no intention of voicing such thoughts aloud, but Percival had hoped that everything would be back to normal again by the time they had returned to New Caledonia from the far reaches of the south. But there remained fingers of grey wrapped persistently around naked trees and those sunken pockets of meadow and field were still filled in with cobwebs of mist.

And passing by messages frozen in blood, with the terrible chiming of the bell tower ringing eerily all around, was a reminder that the situation within their newfound pack continued to be both perplexing and worrying.

But perhaps worst of all was the knowledge that Vodeva remained missing, and Percy was desperate for answers.

Shifting down to his Lupus form, where he would be nearer to the ground and (if luck was on their side) better able to pick up important scents, Percival had joined Arran and Fennore on patrol and was snuffling around at the frosty earth for something, anything, that could give them any possible clue as to what was happening and where Vodeva was. But the quiet, excited whine that split the otherwise eerie ambiance around them, sent a jolt through him that lifted his head with such abruptness it was a wonder he hadn't hurt himself.

"Gods," he whispered, his eyes wide when they caught sight of the thin shape wrapped in mist. With a brief glance back at Arran, and then at Fennore, the young Parhelion crept towards her. "Vodeva?" he asked, echoing Arran. With his tail hooked low and the fur along his neck and back spiked, Percival was clearly caught somewhere between excitement and concern. "Is that you?"

Please, he thought as he continued to creep nearer, hoping that his companions were with him. Let it be her.

[WC — 300]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

POSTED: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:03 pm

lmk if i need to change anything! <3 [+300]

The group was silent as they made their way through the Lebennin, each caught up in their own thoughts, a dangerous optimism dwelling within each of them. It had been some time since Vodeva had disappeared into the night, and the realistic part of Fennore's mind knew that any hopes of finding her were slim to none. The mists had obscured her from their view; the bloody messages in the Square echoed her absence. With each terrible chime of the bell tower, the Caledonians were painfully reminded that their Queen was still missing, still out there, somewhere, alive or not.

Amon could sense the tension in her and seemed to follow on her heels more than usual. But his presence wasn't suffocating; if anything, the Moonwraith felt slightly safer with the brute of a man clinging so closely to her. Percival and Arran were about half the size of him, after all — but just as incensed to find the Queen safe and sound.

And find her they did, or at least the ghost of her.

Arran spotted the shadowy figure first, and Percival followed suit, leaving Fennore beside herself in her skepticism. The mists carried with them all sorts of spectres and illusions; was it really Vodeva? But as they inched closer, it became instantly clear this was no trick of the light (or lack thereof).

"By the gods," she gasped, body lurching forward to intercept the wandering woman — but a strong hand clasped her shoulder and held her back. Amon's grasp was like iron, and she growled lowly at him for interfering, but his eyes were hardened. He had never met her before, had he; he was being careful, guarded, even if it was unwarranted.

She jerkily shrugged off his paw but didn't move forward again, instead searching for words to say. Magenta eyes wandered over her skeletal form, the dried red at her hands, the grubby dressings at her chest. "Vodeva," she breathed again, dumbfounded. "My Queen, we have been... Are you alright?"

The questions sloshed together, too many of them flooding forth at once.


template by veldt, image by @jonswain

Image Image Image Image Image Image
New Caledonia
High Lady of Dawn
User avatar
veldt
'Souls Soldier of Love Luperci Magister III, Diplomat III, Stylist I
• moonwraith •
twilight princess

POSTED: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:53 pm

WC: 265

It was her. It was her! Arran's excited whine quadrupled in intensity as he barreled forward, only to skid to a stop before running into Vodeva. His entire back end wagged as he circled around her and Fennore, and the whines never quit. They found her! Iomair was going to be so happy! Arran's front paws left the ground as he bounced in his enthusiasm.

Even through his excitement, Arran could see that Vodeva was unwell. She hadn't been well for a while even before she went missing, and it certainly didn't seem like her time away, wherever she had gone, had done her any good at all. Although his tail still wagged, Arran approached cautiously, stretching his neck out to sniff at the blood on Vodeva's hands. Was she wounded? Her chest was wrapped, but she was already injured before she left.

Iomair needed to know that they found her. With a quick glance at Percival, Arran took a couple of steps back from Vodeva and the others, then turned around to face in the direction of the City Square and let out a doggish howl, interrupted by barks for their High King. It somehow communicated both his excitement and the need for haste. With that done, Arran turned back to Vodeva before glancing around, pushing down on his continued excitement that she was here. Nearby was a fallen log that looked sturdy enough.

"Why don't you have a seat?" he suggested, nosing gently at Vodeva's leg. He was afraid she might fall over at any moment.
ARRAN
  73/500 Honor  
New Caledonia
Distinguished
User avatar
Myst
Luperci IT'S SO FLUFFY
2020 SoSuWriMo Champ! Spring Spree 2020
Who's a Good Boy?

POSTED: Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:56 am

Iomair wandered through his mist laden dreams with his hands balled into fists, the lines on his face drawn and filled with expressions that were muddled by dusk and shadow. He could feel the shift deep down, as if Dúr was forcing the cobblestones of his heart to harden and shift – protecting something that lay deep down.

Sometimes as he wandered, he would call for her, a gentle keening sound that was haunting in the quiet.

Sometimes she answered, and he would run and run and run.

It would all flash past him then, the colors brightening as her voice rang like a bell.

”Can you believe it?” Her voice was everywhere, chiming against his bones, ”I never thought we’d last this long.”

***

The past few weeks had been filled with uncertainty. Athras and the others had returned from Casa with new information, though most of it had fallen upon distracted ears. Wandering took up most of the Kings time, and each morning he left with his sword balanced carefully against his hip - his face pulled into a frown. He was thinner now for those that knew him best, his fur scruffier than usual around the edges. Where his eyes were usually filled with warmth and understanding, they were now hard and untrusting towards those that he did not know.

The Realm had changed somehow through all of this, and the King now steeled himself against the unknown wilds that surrounded their territory.

The call that rippled through the fog had him pricking his ears, the bushy moustache on his muzzle twitching as he barked a response - the fire in his eyes suddenly alight. He recognized the voice as belonging to their faithful shepherd and it was filled with excitement - a cheery command that demanded his attention.

"Vodeva?" He managed, shaking his head before loping off towards the gathering of Caledonians.

Vodeva stood exhausted, her bloodstained hands gathered to her chest as she peered vacantly out at those who now stood around her. She struggled to speak, clicking her teeth uselessly before pressing one of her palms against a nearby shoulder so that she did not topple over. She felt weaker than she had in weeks, and her tongue felt dry against her teeth as they all stared at her - gently questioning and ensuring she was alright.

She remembered little but the tolling of a bell - a deep sound that had centred her somehow... and words, there had been so many words... and voices... and heat. She had thought that perhaps she had burnt away completely until there was nothing left but bloodstains and cold shadows.

She trembled all over, making a nervous humming sound in her throat.

"I-" She made to speak, but was interrupted by the barreling form of the King as he made his entrance. He was panting, the whites of his eyes showing as he stuttered her name with surprise. "Vo-Vodeva! You've found her!" He glanced between the four members before gathering his wife in his arms and gently smoothing dishevelled hair from her face. Doing so exposed lank cheeks and strange stains at her throat. "By the gods Vo', where have you been?"

She buried her face into his shoulder and he glanced at those gathered expectantly, "Thank you," He sighed deeply with relief, "I thought she was lost to the wilds."

Vodeva was surprised he had looked for her at all. Despite her weakness she remembered their lost children - the promises that Iomair had somehow lost or long forgotten.

"I-I don't remember anything." She clutched at him, allowing her crystalline gaze to land on Arran before it travelled around the group, "How long was I gone?"

Thank you for being so patient!

Iomair

  50/1000 Honor  
New Caledonia
The High King
User avatar
Amanda
Maintenance Aide (I GOT THAT BROOM BROOM BROOM) Luperci Tinker I

POSTED: Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:14 pm

It was her – their lost queen. Percival's throat closed around his breath and he thought of a time, in a place, not terribly long from here and now, when another lost soul had been found. Unblinking, nutmeg eyes fixed on Vodeva's thin frame and matted fur, he thought not of his father, but of Daisy, and a felt a tugging at the thin red thread that held his worries and his fears and his anger and his grief carefully and professionally in place.

Not for the first time, Percy thought that it could be them: the masked people who had burned his home to ash and taken away his father and his sister.

It wasn't until Arran's doggish call to the High King had erupted into the air around them that Percival allowed himself to blink; to breathe; to break his gaze from Vodeva's haunted eyes to glance at a fallen log. "Arran's right, Vodeva," he managed, his voice thinner than he liked. He cleared his throat and added, stronger: "Let's help you over here."

But it wasn't long before Iomair arrived, the whites of his eyes gleaming like lightning, and raced to his wife's side. Partly out of a desire to be nearer to eye-level as everyone else, but mostly out of respect and mild discomfiture at the couple's tender reunion, Percival took the moment as the High King scooped Vodka up in his arms to shift up into his Optime form. As the last of his joints popped into place, he found Iomair looked at them, relief heavy in his voice.

"I don't know that it was anything we did, really," Percival replied truthfully, glancing at Arran, Fennore, and Amon before returning to Iomair's golden eyes. "She was just suddenly... there, walking through the mist." Just like before, except it had been snow back then.

His voice died again, replaced, to his surprise, by Vodeva herself. But, simple as it seemed, he could only consider her question silently as he thought back through the many days of her disappearance, certain he would be beat by someone else before he could count up the time she had been lost and offer his response.

[WC — 377]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

POSTED: Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:24 pm

lmk if i need to change anything! <3 [+200]

The small group was soon joined by another; the High King barreled through the mists, wide-eyed and frantic as he instantly bound over to his wife and her blood-stained homecoming. Their embrace allowed the Moonwraith to release her bated breath, and even though there was still much to uncover and get to the bottom to — the fact their queen was so emaciated and thin did little to calm her nerves — at least they had this small moment to relish. The hunt was over.

Iomair's relieved words echoed her own fears, that Vodeva would never be seen again, but by fate or the gods' interventions she was returned. Her voice was frail, but Fennore held onto every word. How long had she been gone? It had felt an eternity; but in actuality...

"It has been many moons," she answered on the group's behalf, her voice slow and deliberate. "Very nearly a month or perhaps longer." She drew closer to them with Amon right on her heels; briefly her eyes cut to him over her shoulder, and he was poker-faced, hardened by the uncertainty of these dark woods. Fog swirled all around them, licking at their feet and toes. But despite the lingering ominous feeling, the unanswered mystery of it all, they all shared the same relief in her return.

"You are safe, now." Perhaps it could have remained unsaid, but Fennore at least felt leagues better saying it aloud, as if it made the idea more tangible and real.


template by veldt, image by @jonswain

Image Image Image Image Image Image
New Caledonia
High Lady of Dawn
User avatar
veldt
'Souls Soldier of Love Luperci Magister III, Diplomat III, Stylist I
• moonwraith •
twilight princess

POSTED: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:11 pm

OOC: I wasn't sure if I should wait for Athras or not, but I figured I'd post just in case! WC: 246

IC:
Like Percival, Arran was glad that they had found her, and while they were out looking, it felt more like Vodeva had found them than the other way around. Or maybe they had simply stumbled across each other and she wasn't specifically looking for anyone, either. She had seemed a little confused, after all. Arran was still worried and he knew that he should probably look away to give the High King and the Queen some semblance of privacy, but he was just so glad to have her back! He felt a bit like if he looked away, she would simply vanish. Or he'd wake up from a very good dream, only to find it wasn't real. Then he wished that he was in Optime form so he could pinch himself.

'Forever' was the answer that Arran would have given for how long Vodeva had been missing. It had certainly seemed that way to him, anyway, but Fennore's guess was probably more accurate. Arran guessed that it had also felt like forever to Iomair.

"Do you feel up to walking home?" Arran asked Vodeva, his bobtail wagging. He wanted to see her warm and comfortable and wrapped up in furs or blankets. Or both. Both was good. Definitely the softest furs the pack had for her. He supposed she should also get her wounds looked at since the ratty bandages looked like they should be changed. Hopefully there wasn't an infection.
ARRAN
  73/500 Honor  
New Caledonia
Distinguished
User avatar
Myst
Luperci IT'S SO FLUFFY
2020 SoSuWriMo Champ! Spring Spree 2020
Who's a Good Boy?

POSTED: Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:52 am

She found that when she thought too hard that she remembered nothing at all. There was a humming around the base of her ears that could have been the cacophony of voices that swirled all around her – the deep baritone of Iomair acting as the bass to the conversation. There were others there too, the assertive thrush that could only be from a woman, and even still a voice that she could not quite place.

Iomair was running his hands over the sharp curve of her shoulders, inspecting the way she winced and whined – chuffing short breaths of air as he tightened the fold of his cloak so that it lay flat against her.

When he held out his hands they trembled, and he forced them to stop by tightening them into fists.

”She was just out here? Like this?” He couldn’t feel anything where his claws dug into his palms, and he struggled to find balance in the control of his face. There was relief hidden in the lines of his mouth – but a stern and roughly hewn edge struck out across his brow.

"I... I am so tired." She was clutching at herself, murmuring quiet thanks to those that bent an ear close enough.

"Soon you shall rest," The King crooned, smoothing matted plaits of her hair.

They moved through the City Square at a slow pace, and Iomair adjusted her every so often to ensure that she would not topple over.

They passed Athras as he stood leaning against a rusted street post, his hands toying with the curls of fur that peaked out from the edges of his collar.

"So the Queens returned." He made a sound that had Iomair murmur softly in response, "Finally."

"Come, come -" Iomair gestured with his nose before gathering her up into his arms at last, "It is time for you to sleep."

Thank you for being so patient! Permission to cameo Athras from Stormie <3

Iomair

  50/1000 Honor  
New Caledonia
The High King
User avatar
Amanda
Maintenance Aide (I GOT THAT BROOM BROOM BROOM) Luperci Tinker I

POSTED: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:11 pm

He was grateful for Fennore and her response to the Queen, glancing from the woman's ivory face back to Vodeva's frail figure. A nod was all he felt was necessary, just to confirm the answer given. But if Arran had provided his own response, Percival would have agreed with him. It had felt like forever, as though time itself had become lost alongside her.

"Yes," he said to Iomair when the High King spoke again, wondering after the expression he found on his face when he turned his nutmeg eyes upon him. "There was nothing, and then she was there." Like this. He shifted his eyes to Vodeva, and then looked respectfully away once more when the King smoothed her mane.

Percival followed Iomair and Vodeva dutifully, but in silence, until the City Square welcomed them back. Athras' appearance was met with a dip of his nose, and then a final glance at Vodeva. "It's good to have you home, Vodeva," he said, nodding to her before lifting his eyes meaningfully back up at the High King and turning away to leave for find peace.

OOC: Last post with Percy! <3

[WC — 188]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

Dead Topics