The Hartt of Darkness

AW+ (Day Returns)

POSTED: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:47 pm

A gentle dusting of snowflakes fluttered from the heavenly clouds above and powdered the loping canine’s coat. Throughout her journey home the weather had been erratic at best, bipolar at worst; one moment it was so sunny and clear that the brightness forced her to squint her eyes, the next the sky was dim and gray and shedding rain and sleet. For the most part the weather didn’t bother her since her dense coat kept the dark skin beneath well protected from the elements. After all, it wasn’t the rain, snow, or wind that caused the bone-deep chill Day suffered…

The chill set in the moment her gold-ringed ears heard the news. There was no avoiding it, the outpost had been abuzz with the news of another Cavalier’s death. What’s happening? the small wolf wondered as she pushed her way into the gossiping crowd. Death in Casa, was all she heard, and just then the harbinger of death took flight – a raven – and Day knew that another pillar of the family had fallen.

Despite inclement weather, Day packed nothing. She merely shifted down into her Secui form as a grievous howl burbled from her maw and an inexorable chill clutched her heart. Survival was what the wolf was made for, evolved for, and leaving all possessions behind, the ghostly werewolf set off for home.

And now it stretched out before her – the lands of Casa di Cavalieri. A little to still, a little too cold, a little too empty for such a homecoming. Of course, off in the distance the occasional puff of smoke could be seen dappling the sky, likely spilling from a chimney above a hearth fire, or perhaps the bonfire around which the various encampments gathered. As her golden eyes skimmed the darkening skyline she knew that none of these were the fire that she yearned to find. No, that fire had been extinguished.

A whimper of pain escaped her throat – or her soul, one of the two – as she forced herself to swallow in spite of her dry throat. She didn’t call, didn’t sing to her packmates to announce her return… Day doubted she could sing for all the meat in the world right now. Instead, she simply strode forth on overlong Secui legs to the place she sensed her father would be…

Her paws knew the way even before her bleary eyes caught sight of the gray stones peeking through the smattering of snow. The wolfess’s breath caught in her throat as she peered down at the freshly-disturbed stones. A paw swept gently across the earth – how could it be so settled… this soon? Not a few weeks prior, her father trod this soil. And now… stillness… and now, the flood.

Grief washed over the Husshowl youth and she crumpled to the ground, pawing at the soil beneath which her father and mother were entombed. A mournful wail escaped her throat though she was not aware that the sound emanated from her own body. As she writhed and clawed at the damp and snow-spackled earth the form of her paws began to change, toes elongating into fingers, back lengthening as the short C-shaped puzzle of vertebrae became a long, snaking, S-shaped spine unique to bipeds. Her mane lengthened around her neck and dripped down over her shoulders to hide her face and conceal her tears from the world. Though Day was full-grown, by the end of the transformation her small Optime visage was that of an orphaned child, sobbing pitifully on her parents’ grave.

500+
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Casa di Cavalieri
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Nukiira
Luperci Stable Master Tier I Caution! I bite.

POSTED: Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:35 pm

She needed to run to escape the sorrow that enveloped her small home. She lived her life for her love, but her heart hurt to much watching her. It wasn’t just her tears that hurt it was watching her fake happiness for whatever reason. That was probably what hurt the most watching Dawn fake through the pain. She wished she could just grieve and allow herself to heal.

Armani shook her head as she urged her steed onwards through Casa and the snow. Their breath creating clouds of white as the two unified in their run. She felt so relaxed running with her stallion, allowing herself to decompress as she focused on nothing.

As they thundered through all of Casa slowing for moments she took time to take in all she could. Sobbing caught her attention as they slowed more, she pulled on the reigns as she urged him in the direction. Clawing into the earth as she shifted, Armani watched as the girl sobbed.

She nearly leapt from her horse as she clammored over to the woman. “Hey easy!” She called as she righted herself from her stumble. “Easy hun, what’s wrong.” She asked as her nose caught a slightly familiar smell. It was almost like Dawns but different in its own way. She’d never seen the sobbing woman before her or she didn’t think she had. “How can I help.” She spoke finally reaching her.

Casa di Cavalieri
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Marie
Luperci Blacksmith Tier I Mate to Dawn

POSTED: Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:23 am

Oblivious in her grief to the sound of the hooves as a horse and rider approached, Day was slow to react until she and her father's fresh grave were nearly trampled. Luckily, the rider caught sight of her in the nick of time and flew from the saddle, redirecting the beast and keeping Day from harm.

Reacting was like trying to run in sand. An ear flicked and twisted, something in the back of her mind whispered to take heed, and finally Day managed to lift her head, turning her tear and soot-streaked face to the worried Cavalier before her. Through bleary eyes she caught the shock of rust-red fur, the pattern of coal and russet with just a kiss of starlight silver here and there. She knew the woman at once from the words of her very own sister.

A wet and soiled hand lifted to rub at her eyes in a futile attempt to clear her vision. Day would have spoken but found that she couldn't, the tightness pressing down on her chest like a vice. After a hiccuping sob or two, she managed to gulp down her sorrow for a moment.

Armani, she said in a croaking voice. Though the women never met formally, Day had been audience to several gushing stories once spoken by her own sister, Dawn, about the Catori woman, during their days shared at the Outpost. Day didn't always understand Dawn's enthusiasm, but tried to at least be a support for her sister. Family is family. Family.

Day reached for Armani weakly, seeking comfort in the arms of a pack mate in her time of need. For a moment, some sober voice in the back of her conscience realized why her sister found it so easy to sink her feelings into this woman... though, that all might have been her turbulent emotions talking.

I'm... I'm Day... she began, and the absurdity of introducing herself to her sister's . . . (Her sister's what? Lover? Friend? Nothing?) . . . person... while lying atop the fresh grave of their father made her laugh. The sound was a bit too high-pitched, manic and disquieting. She looked surprised with herself. Glancing away in shame, she peered down at the freshly churned soil and patterned rocks of the grave. Licking her maw, she started again. I've just returned from the Outpost... because... we got the news... she wiped a hand in the broth of snow and soil she'd created. Darkness is dead. My father is dead. Was she going to have to say it out loud?

ooc [wc — 436] template by hilli, edits by Nukiira.
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Casa di Cavalieri
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Nukiira
Luperci Stable Master Tier I Caution! I bite.

POSTED: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:22 pm

329

Armani must have looked like a fool as she was scrambling to right herself. She hadn’t really taken in where they were or what the other had been doing. She just knew the girl was in some sort of distress. Armani wasn’t sure what was going on and the woman before her knew her name. She felt awkward as she looked at the small helpless looking wolf before her.

The other reached out for her and Armani didn’t move allowing the other to lean into her as she sobbed. Day… Day.. Armani looked down at the girl as realization hit her like a ton of bricks. Day, dear lord this was Day Hushhowl. Armani felt so stupid as she fully came to her senses. This was Darkness’s final resting spot. Why hadn’t she been paying attention.

She pulled Day into a tight embrace. Closing her eyes as she pulled the snow and charcoal woman into her. Her own charcoal hands holding her one patting her back while the other was gently rubbing her hair. “Oh Day,” Armani spoke softly as she held her. “It’s ok to cry.” She felt like she had been saying that a lot lately. They needed to cry to feel, they needed support in this time. She hadn’t even mated Dawn yet though with her fathers passing she was more than willing to go and do it. Armani wasn’t though she wanted Dawn to heal, she wanted her to not be doing it out of desperation.

“What an awful way to find out.” She spoke softly. “I’m so sorry Day.” She finished just allowing the silent sounds of nature and Day fill her. This wasn’t the way she had wanted to become bonded with the Hushhowl family. “How can I help?” She asked. She would help Day through this even if it meant sitting out here in the snow for hours she didn’t care.

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Marie
Luperci Blacksmith Tier I Mate to Dawn

POSTED: Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:40 am

Whether this was the way anyone planned for a relationship to start or not, this was what the fates had laid out for them. Luckily for both Armani and the Hushhowl clan, the russet woman had an empathic spirit and a true desire to help. Something about her very presence calmed Day, like a cool salve to the soul, and for the first time since arriving back in the main land and collapsing on her father's grave, she managed to take a breath that didn't feel like her soul was trying to burst from her very chest.

Through Day's own desperation and heartache she barely noticed any hiccup in Armani's actions – if one had been there at all. All Day knew was that Armani had showed and as soon as the tiny Hushhowl woman said her name, she was scooped up into Armani's loving arms. Her caring embrace was sincere and motherly... something the new orphan needed more than anything right now.

At first Day was limp in her grasp, just letting her pack sister hold her and soothe her, but after a few breaths passed Day's arms – soiled with grave dust – came up to wrap around Armani, hands clutching at the fur on the woman's back as though holding on to the Angel of Mercy herself.

After some time, Day's sobbing began to wane to the occasional sniffle, and she finally found the courage to raise her face and peer into Armani's sea-foam eyes. “Th... thank you,” she found the strength to eke out the words. Slowly, and with great care, she pulled back from Armani's embrace, as though testing her own ability to hold herself upright in a typhoon. “Is... huh,” a deep breath, “Is my sister here?” She could be talking about any number of Hushhowl-Attaya women, but there was only one particular sister Day expected Armani to think of first. “How is she? How is... everyone? I... I haven't even told anyone I'm back from Portland yet. I came straight... to father.”

ooc Side note: Any IC knowledge of Armani and Dawn that I mention Day knowing/thinking about is based off of an OOC convo I had with Miranda where we hashed out what Day might know or have been told in the past at the outpost. If it seems like she knows anything she should not, please feel free to let me know and I'll adjust my post! I am trying to straddle the line of what I know vs what the character knows without mistakenly using "meta" knowledge.[wc — 352] template by hilli, edits by Nukiira.
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Nukiira
Luperci Stable Master Tier I Caution! I bite.

POSTED: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:11 pm

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Armani felt a deep sense of pain as she held Day. It wasn’t the pain of cheating on her love, but a pain for watching more suffering. Hold day brought Armani a mixed sense of emotions as she worried for the girl. Soon she felt the woman wrap her arms around her and Armani could do nothing but hold her.

She worried that she would harm herself like her sister had. That fear seemed to remain in the pit of Armani’s stomach each time she saw Dawn get sad she worried what she may do.

When Day began to release her she felt that panic intensity until the other spoke. Armani have her a soft smile as she tried to find the right words to say. “Dusk I don’t know much about how she’s holding up. Dawn is not well, your fathers death has pushed her and not for the better.” She spoke as she began to frown. “She’s trying very hard to be the stone that holds the whole mountain up. But it’s breaking her apart.” Armani flinched as she could see Dawns breakdown all over again. “I don’t know how to help.”she whispered ashamed.

She leaned back a bit as she ran a dark hand over her arm and sighed. “I haven’t spent much time with everyone in the family and at the funeral watching everyone was hard.” She glanced at the grave and closed her eyes. She knew in time they would slowly heal but she just felt a strange pain from all of this, part of it made her feel guilty though she was on the outside looking in but felt pain none the less.

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Marie
Luperci Blacksmith Tier I Mate to Dawn

POSTED: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:33 pm

Her ivory ears tilted back and disappeared into her messy hair as Armani began to talk of Day's sisters. Day had asked for the news, but now that it was coming from the woman's dark maw she was not sure she could handle the truth. With widened eyes she received the news, especially that of Dawn's hardship. On one hand, it made her feel less alone in her sorrow. On the other, it heightened her grief tenfold knowing that her family was suffering so badly, too.

All Day could manage was to nod along as Armani caught her up about her sisters and avert her gaze for a time as she tried not to delve back into another sobbing fit. Day thought she caught an extra note of worry when Armani talked about Dawn, and Day knew the women were close (though she wasn't caught up as to how close yet), so something ticked in the back of her mind, a little personal reminder to check on Dawn as soon as... as soon as she could get her own self under some sort of control.

Worried about her sister, Day was caught off guard when she heard, Funeral? Her gaze snapped back to Armani's face. That's right, the funeral. The Ceremony of Stones. For her father.

She became visibly distressed again as her little nose crumpled and her brow began to knit, but just as her eyes glassed over at the last minute, she managed to hold it back as she whispered, I missed the funeral... It hadn't registered, despite the fact that she had been lying on the grave when Armani found her. Of course she missed it, nobody could have been expected to make it back from Portland that fast. Still, Day felt her heart sink (if it was at all more possible) at the thought.

Luckily, something else that Armani whispered caught Day's attention and distracted her just before she spiraled out of control again. Her ears perked and she met Armani's eyes. Armani was doubting herself, doubting her ability to be there for her pack in their time of grief. For a moment it was like the roles reversed, Day's eyes narrowed and she peered into Armani's and fervently declared, If you have been half as good with my family as you have been for me right now, you are doing exactly what you need to do to help. For a moment, her tail lifted and curled, a dominant and confident wolf encouraging her pack sister. Her eyes bored into Armani's as though she could simply will Armani into trusting that she was doing everything perfectly.

After a few beats of silence, Day's ferocity tapered and she began to lose strength again. She was like a wilting lily. Giving the grave another tormented glance, she muttered to Armani, It has been a long journey. I better... Day couldn't finish. Better what? Get something to eat? How could she eat right now? See her family? Wash up? She didn't know what to ask of Armani, so she was quiet and trusted the woman to fill in the silence.

ooc [wc — 536] template by hilli, edits by Nukiira.
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Casa di Cavalieri
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Nukiira
Luperci Stable Master Tier I Caution! I bite.

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