Ahnvyi - First New Moon of Spring

POSTED: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:58 pm

Place: Great Fire Ceremonial Ground
Time: Evening, March 4
Post order: Free
Participation: Mandatory by 1 post (seek exception by PM to the AW account)

Everyone have been called to meet for a ceremony of the new year, which to AniWayans begins in March. Ulilohi will have spread the word days before, as well as having howled for their attention.
Hover the Cherokee words for translations.

Her hair was carefully prepared. It was strange to take this role, strange not because she was new to this place now, but because she knew more of the male who had previously made these ceremonies. Messages had come from the Great Tribe, finally, and she had spoken to several members of him, as well. It took time to wrap her head around who Dawali had been, and how he had led these individuals. Some held him in high regard still, but most did not. Still, he had been the one to shape life in this place, and she was curious to know how he had done so. She had learned, quickly, that his ceremonies had been without knowledge. Certainly not intentionally -- he had been left here alone, after all, without aid. She believed he had done his best, but his execution of their ceremonies had been flawed. Even so, Ulilohi was not entirely certain of what she ought to do. It was usually not a councilwoman's place to lead a ceremony, but their priests, fire keepers and teachers were not skilled enough for the task. Perhaps this had been Dawali's problem, too; she would never know, most likely. The task fell to her, and she went out of the Town Hall to welcome a new year with a somewhat unteady step, and a heart that seemed to randomly add beats to its rhythm.

After calling them, she watched as they arrived, straining not to fidget. She felt she must appear a rock, a powerful symbol; someone they could gather under, and if they would not love her at least they would dislike her together. At times they seemed not like a family, but an odd group of individuals. There was too little glue in this family, but she meant to provide more. They came and did not seem to know the way of gathering, but she could teach them this in time. This time, she had not requested that the priests and fire keepers make an appearance; it was all on her. Her hair was carefully ornamented, and for once she wore sparse clothing; bracelets of leather, painted elaborately, covered her lower arms. Once most of them had come, she stepped forward to speak to them, her voice hoarse but powerful. "Ulihelisdi, AniWayans." Her huge form dwarfed those of some of her tribesmembers', but for once her strength was fully to her advantage. Swallowing once, she continued, more confident. "I have spent the moons since I came here getting to know you, this history, and this place. It is not a history of ease or lack of struggle, but I pray that now begins a time for the better, so that the past can be past. The new year begins now, under Ahnvyi." Her large form bent to pick up a packet on the ground, and she opened it, showing that it was a deer's tongue. Apparently Dawali had asked them all to sacrifice things, and while this was certainly not wrong, it was nothing she would ask of them. She flung the tongue onto the Great Fire and watched it for a moment as it fizzled and grew darker. "The next seven days, we can feast on the harvest and stores from last fall, and dance for the new planting season. We will all extinguish and rekindle our hearths for fresh beginnings and to honor the renewal of life. I pray that the renewal of the season will touch on our present, as well, so that we can begin anew with new goals in sight and forgiveness in our hearts. Mitakuye oyasin." She smiled and looked at them, waiting for their reaction, her hands clasped together so as not to show them how nervous she really was. It would not do for a leader to show her tribesmembers how their presence made her shake.


POSTED: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:19 pm


Anatole had only every attended one ceremony before his departure from AniWaya, and it had involved music making. He didn’t recall much of Dawali’s words, and after Ulilohi had come and found him yesterday he had gotten a lengthy speech from his Spirit Guide about the importance of attending on two legs. He had finally backed off from the debate after recognizing it was part of the Tribe’s belief in the superiority of their Optime shape. While he would never see it in such a way, Anatole was slowly learning he had to bend in order to best fit within the conglomeration. He could see himself nowhere else but in AniWaya these days, and had little desire to have to reprove himself to a leader that would demand submission while Ulilohi was understanding enough to not force such things upon him.

So he had spent the time to groom himself thoroughly, even going so far as to comb out his long hair with his claws. He bore no objects of decoration, no signs of any wealth. He didn’t own objects of decoration, and while he was certain others would come with these upon them, he came as he was.

Striding towards the ceremonial land, he followed the shadow of the eagle until he spotted the tall woman. His guide swooped low and landed on the roof of a nearby building, keeping a respectful distance. Anatole focused his brilliant eyes upon his leader alone, admiring her form without the blue blanket. She was not only a powerful woman but one with weight and body to her that instinctively told him she was not only healthy, but healthy enough to retain weight. He smiled at her and dipped his head slightly to show respect, then lifted it once more to listen to her words.

His eyes trailed to the tongue as it was flung to the fire, and there his eyes lingered as she spoke. There were stories to be told, and while he did not have a hearth within his home, he would perhaps ask to join Claudius' rite. Unsure of what to say beyond this, he looked back to the tall woman expectantly.

POSTED: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:13 am

Word Count → 301

Claudius arrived to the scene of the festival shortly after his cousin and took his place beside him. Claudius liked knowing that even though he had stayed in the tribe when everyone else had left, his family had returned. He also liked knowing that he had gotten to know his cousin better since he had rejoined. Too, Claudius had gotten to know himself better and he know carried himself with far more pride than he ever might have imagined. Indeed, it was strange thinking that he might ever arrive to a ceremony with a certain sense of purpose. He also found it strange that he could empathize with Ulilohi and the trials she now faced. As a new leader, she had to prove who she was and what she valued. She didn't owe it to the tribe, but Claudius felt as though she was principled, like he was, and wanted to prove to herself more than anyone else.

Claudius' shoulder, now freshly dyed, sported his customary swirling design. Unlike his previous dye attempts, this one he was proud to colour as a mark of the coming months. He was excited for spring and the new possibilities for his craft. Of course, when Ulilohi began to speak, these thoughts quickly melted away. Attentive, as always, Claudius adopted a serious expression of firm concentration. He looked forward to the feast, something that struck him as an indication of his own personal growth. When he had been younger, a feast was the last thing he would have enjoyed. Now, he wanted to speak with his fellow tribesmembers and see how they fared. He hoped that if he could push himself to meet some of the others, he would continue this personal growth and perhaps, one day, host some sort of event of his own.

POSTED: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:33 am


Word Count → 263!

Shanta, having heard of the ceremony, had prepared herself throughout the day. It had been a while since she had been with the tribe and she found it fitting to come back in time for the ceremony for the New Year. Her fur was smoothed down and her long dark hair was in a single, thick braid that snaked over her shoulder and down her chest. Laced in her braid was sage, lavender, and lemongrass, all to promote the cleansing of bad and the bringing of good. Tonight she wore a leather thong around her neck and from it hung a medium sized amethyst stone. Other than her stone, she had her newly acquired shawl hanging down her back.

When Ulilohi called for the tribe, Shanta had been in a near by patch of forest. She knew that The ceremony would begin soon and she kept close. As she neared the gathering wolves, she looked up to Ulilohi, the massive female looked statuesque next to the Great Fire. Shanta stood and listened to the speech, her eyes on the fire as she watched the deer's tongue burn. Her mind began to knit together images to create the scene of the coming feasts. She felt herself smile at the thought of being able to meet with everyone once again. She hadn't meant to be gone for so long, but she had been, and it would take As the speech ended, Shanta's eyes returned to the she-wolf. Her face was still turned in a smile and she nodded her head as if in unnecessary approval.


Image courtesy of fras@Flickr; table by the Mentors!

POSTED: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:52 pm


Gatherings made her nervous, even more so than she usually was and the small coyote shivered as she heeded the call of the leader she feared to a meeting with people that would most likely terrify her until she would be allowed to escape. It would be glaringly obvious who the new person was, the one without friends or social bonds to anyone else, so she lagged and took as long as she politely could without upsetting anyone to arrive. By the time she got there several members had already arrived and more were coming.

She recognised some but others were completely new to her. She stayed on the outside of the group, towards the back. The outsider. The unwanted. Gemma held her arms around herself and tried not to shiver as Ulilohi spoke of new beginnings and washing away old feelings, being together as a pack, all those sorts of things. And it didn't seem to touch her at all, the white woman didn't feel included by any of it. Her very sparse knowledge of AniWayan language and lore had taught her that they were a very family orientated culture and that was the problem, she didn't feel part of the family.

Her blue eyes swung around the small gathered crowd, all of them probably knew each other and she was on the outside of everything. She had no family that would celebrate with her, most of her biological family hated her, or friends with which to perform this celebration, and her only fire was the Great fire itself, she couldn't very well rekindle that. The sting of rejection was keenly felt, even Teo didn't want anything to do with her anymore. She felt a sob fighting to burst its way out of her throat but she subdued it only just.

POSTED: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:55 pm

Word Count :: 427 I have no idea what I'm doing....tell me if I'm doing something wrong x3

Frodo had been quick to arrive to the meeting. Or, ceremony, or whatever it was. Frodo wasn’t exactly sure. He wasn’t familiar with AniWaya’s culture, even though he was terribly anxious to learn more, and to become a part of it. But for the most of it, he understood that they were gathered together for the new year. That was odd, because he’d thought the new year had already come and gone, but obviously, he was wrong. Or at least wrong to his pack. And he felt AniWaya was right to picture this time as the new year, too. Spring was only just coming upon them, and it felt like a new beginning. The wolf had been busy with hunting and traps, and craft, in the pack, that he had hardly any time for knowledge, but he did his best to listen to the leader anyway.

He doubted the leader even knew his name. He knew hers, because he heard mumblings from the pack; after all, he knew when to turn up. But he was a bit of a loner in the pack for the time being. He hadn’t known Dawali, either. He supposed that was partly down to him being kidnapped before the war though; he’d missed an awful lot. However, he was determined to catch up. As he watched the tongue burn in the fire another fire burnt inside him, and his green eyes flashed brighter than ever. The black and golden man stood his ground and inhaled the smell of embers and burning smoke; one of his favourite aromas. Out of respect he’d left all weapons at home, and was dressed simply in his cloak and chain necklace with the ring strung upon it. The only dye he had in his body was permanent; gold flecks around his face.

While he stood, shivering a little, he caught site of Gemma at the edge of the group. Being a kind male he felt it was his job to make others feel wanted, comforted, and she looked far from it. Frodo walked up to her as quietly and relaxed as he could, standing beside her. He cast her a sideways glance. Yer lookin’ troubled. he whispered. He didn’t know if you were allowed to talk in the ceremony, so he kept his voice low. Tis’ the time for new beginnings. Forget yer wee troubles, let them burn with the tongue in the fire. he said finally, before averting his gaze to watch the flames and then their leader.

Image courtesy of Scott Hudson **; Table by the Mentors!

POSTED: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:27 pm

Please post within March to be safe from a warning.
Hover the Cherokee words for translations.

Thankfully, there were no objections from them, no strange reactions, only silence and an air of awaiting what came next. Ulilohi wanted to breathe out, relieved. She had come here and pretty much just claimed leadership, much as Maska had done. But in their silence, she recorded a kind of acceptance of her presence. If they had rejected her, she would not have blamed her, but she was happy that they had not shunned her - yet. Perhaps they saw her effort as it differed from Maska's, or perhaps they were weary and wanted no part any longer with leadership and the whims of the rank. Either way, she was glad of their silence just then. Calmer now, she watched the tongue as it sizzled for a moment, thoughtful and respectful of the custom. The sounds of the Great Fire, the sounds of their collective silence, became almost like a prayer in itself. This was the magic she loved about the ceremonies, this was the sacredness that her existence and identity was based on. Smiling, she addressed them one final time, before the official part of the ceremony would be over.

"There are plenty of foods in the Town Hall, and instruments for our pleasure. Perhaps the Fire Keepers will grace us with a dance?" The councilwoman nodded in their direction, the question completely unplanned, but somehow fitting. "We'll tell our stories and sing our songs for seven days and nights, and pray that the new year will be brighter than the former." The last comment was perhaps not so cheerful, but Ulilohi did not believe that she was the only one whose thoughts touched on that subject in a situation like this. The giant female threw her hands out to her sides in an invitation to loosen up the atmosphere, and quickly walked towards some members to mingle. She was beginning to know them better now, and smiled at each and all as she greeted them quite happily.


POSTED: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:04 am

There were so few who came, he realized, and felt a rush of worry. Summer meant prey was less easy to catch, and they would need to rely on others more. Winter was a fat time of year and they had done well, stocking up and such, but what would come after spring? He noticed the dark wolf, Frodo, attempting to comfort Gemma and frowned. Though she was more than likely a victim of circumstance, her connection with Matteo still left a sour taste the scout’s mouth. It was no more his business, he decided, and instead turned his attention to their leader’s voice.

As soon as she spoke of stories and songs, he wondered what others might say, what he might say. Emerald eyes trailed to his cousin, noting that he looked somehow different now amongst the others. The frown on his face faded into a faint smile, showing the tips of his canines. “Do you want something to eat?” If it would keep Anatole busy and force his quiet kin towards others, he fully intended to make it happen. Being far from social himself, it was a welcomed excuse.

POSTED: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:08 pm

The male walked across the plains, curious to what was happening. He had not seen the Aniwayan war, nor did he know much about it. For Echo, the war would only mean the loss of his good friend, Dawali Amara. He felt embarrassed about not knowing what had happened. He didn't even know his new leader. "Hello. I am Echo, as some of you may know. I've just returned after months of voyage." The male looked around. No one seemed at all pleased. It seemed they too had lost a good friend. Perhaps this new, unknown leader would also show kindess.

POSTED: Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:12 pm

Hover the Cherokee words for translations.

There was a moment of pure terror when she realised that someone was actually making his way towards her. The closer he came the more her body language changed from merely uncomfortable to fearful, her ears pressing close to her skull and tail keeping close to her thigh. The woman began to shake, so gently that it would be hardly noticeable, her breathing shook with her body, and her eyes dashed back and forth seeking an escape from this kindly male. While she did recognise the attempt to be friendly she was still too new, too unsure of herself, too battered by her life to take well to his olive branch.

So when Ulilohi's request for a dance from the fire tenders, the only one being her of course the woman moved away from him quickly, relief evident only for a second before she realised she would now have to show off what meager talents she did posses in respect to the dances. She had never performed with a lit staff before and there had been no one to watch over her and she attempted to learn. Her hands shook worse than ever as she stopped herself before the larger female, she bowed her head respectfully, speaking quietly some of the only AniWayan she knew,

"A-ya galv'ladi, Anasgayv" She hurried into the Town Hall to retried her staff and the special oils she would need. Preparing the staff quickly and efficiently for herself. Her heart hammered against her chest the whole while, she was certain she was going to make a fool of herself. Finally she was ready to begin and she bowed to the Great Fire, asking it in Aniwayan if she could borrow some of its fire to fuel this dance and give it grace and beauty. She passed the edges of her staff through the red and orange flames and the fire quickly took hold of the oils, burning brightly, the heat washed over her, warm and comforting.

She faced the small crowd of people and swallowed her fear, blotting them all out, they did not matter now, only the dance and the fire were important and the knowledge that she must get it right to honor the spirit of the Great fire and the founding families who's embers had provided the fuel. The dance she was going to perform was one of the more simpler ones, focusing more on slow fluid movements than nimble deft tricks of the hand. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, opening them back up.

She began.

There were things she could not forget, she was an outsider to this culture, she was unskilled and imperfect, lacking the specific training needed for such an honorable position. But she gave the dance everything she had, poured her whole soul, as broken and fractured as it was into the movements. and suddenly it was as though it was not herself controlling her movements, her limbs move of their own accord following the ritualistic motions to almost perfection, that did not mean she made no mistakes for she did but they were minor and easily recoverable from, at no point did she drop her staff or burn herself, somehow sure of the dance, her hands did not waver or shake but held strong, graceful in a body so used to clumsiness and failure.

Every twist and turn came to her with barely a struggle, the flowing positions and sense of peace that filled her allowed her to ignore her fright and nervousness and focus completely upon the dance. If she had music then the dance would have appeared even better but she was content with the level to which she performed. Her only wish was that maybe Matteo was hiding somewhere in the crowd and could see her like this, so free and alive.

It was several long minutes before she was finished holding a new sense of closeness with the fire and with AniWaya as a whole. The dance ended on a final twirl of her staff, the flames leaving a trail in the air, a tail that followed. She turned again to Uliohi and bowed a second time to their leader, the dance in an honor of her ascension maybe, and also a thank you from herself for allowing her to stay here where she was safe and had a reason to continue living.

POSTED: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:00 pm

Hover the Cherokee words for translations.

The female appeared fearful, and for a moment Ulilohi wondered if it was she who Gemma was scared of. But it seemed unlikely, even if there had been the unseemly event with the sheep in the late previous year. Whatever it was, it seemed to slowly slide off the female as she went to fetch her dancing items, and the councilwoman waited in anticipation. It had been a long while since she had seen the dance, and this was one of the aspects she missed the most, perhaps. When Gemma returned, she proved that she had not been asleep in class, and mumbled the customary phrases as she lit her staff and started her dance. Ulilohi would have asked if anyone wanted to assist her with the drum, but the light female started before she could, and the Anasgayv would not interrupt her. She watched as the female moved her fire-staff, simply. There was little extravagance in her movements, but the Great Fire did not require it, either. It required only dedication, not level of skill. There had been Masters who had not mastered the elaborate spins and jumps that one could do, and the tribe had never demanded it either. Respect lined the movements of her staff, and the lines they cut in the air as it moved. At the end of her dance, she dipped her head to Ulilohi, and the councilwoman made a point of dipping her back, deeper than she usually did. It was not only in appreciation of the dance and how it was a fragment of her home, but also in respect for all that the dance symbolized. The Great Fire was the center of their living for a reason, and Ulilohi would always honor it. "Wado, Gemma." She spoke the words in a warm, deep voice, with a sincere smile on her face.

With the dance finished, Ulilohi still intended to linger for some hours more, and she helped herself to some of the foodstuffs available, primarily the fish. Seeking to learn who her tribesmembers were and to allow them to learn who she was, she moved from each of the groups that soon started forming as they interacted, and on to the next, mingling.


POSTED: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:54 pm

More AniWayans arrived at the gathering, some looking worse for wear than others. One woman Claudius recognized as a former member of the tribe, but could not remember who she was or if he’d ever seen her before. He figured that he knew her from previous gatherings and pledged to himself to talk to her once the ceremony was over. Another woman arrived, Gemma, who looked like she was ready to burst into tears at any moment. Claudius still didn’t know what to think of her, but was glad to see that Frodo had stepped in the comfort her. Even if he didn’t think very highly of her, it wasn’t good to feel alone, especially during ceremonies such as these.

The air was strange. Everyone waited and the anticipation made the air feel heavy and hot. The fire didn’t help too, of course. Ulilohi smiled and then spoke. She spoke of food and perhaps even dance. Claudius perked his ears up at the mention of such festivities. Even if he was too shy to partake in such rituals himself, he always enjoyed watching. He liked seeing others perform their skills, just like how he enjoyed showing others his abilities in crafting things.

Anatole glanced over at Claudius and asked him if he would like anything to eat. Claudius nodded quickly grinning. Claudius moved to stand up and accompany his cousin to the town hall, but he then saw Gemma begin her dance. He had never seen her dance and twirl and do all sorts of things he did not know she knew. Claudius could not do any of what she had done, so he half stood, half sat, entranced. He couldn’t even imagine that he might ever do anything like that! He had seen other dances before, with stomping feet and the beet of the drums – they were much simpler and something even a lout like he could perform. But the dance Gemma performed was much more. Claudius wasn’t sure if he could clap or chant or just stay silent.

He smiled, hoping to catch Gemma’s eye when she passed by. He glanced from Gemma and then to Ulilohi, who said something in Cherokee that he could not catch. From her expression, it seemed as though she had thanked Gemma. Claudius just grinned, hoping she might see it and know he approved.

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