peeling layers

POSTED: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:10 pm

for mel!

They'd yet to have the lengthy conversation that Aemon had been waiting for; the Aquila had simply been too busy. The rain had lulled the coy-wolf into sleep many a time over the past week, but now the sky was bright, and he only had to wait for his dear half-brother to return to his cave dwelling. Not knowing his habits yet, Aemon stayed close to D'Neville, venturing out to try to find a better, more suitable stick to carve into a spear. On his way back from the Garden of Eden a couple days prior, he'd found a wonderfully sharp rock that he planned to chip away into a stone arrowhead to tip the weapon.

Since he'd first used a stick to train in combat, Aemon had preferred it's lightweight, easily maneuverable frame. Simply, aerodynamic. As a young man, he was fast, and he had learned to propel the weapon through the air and through the flesh of a target. At first, he'd only sharpened the tip of the wooden stick. Sometimes, though, that hadn't been enough to kill his prey, and he'd needed to finish the job another way. The sharp, jagged edges of the arrowhead would do a much better job.

Aemon had been blessed with skill in matters of agility and strength; these tasks had come easy to him as a child, and he had only grown into them more as a young adult. In Scintilla, he had even risen to a Lieutenant, just below Kastra. For Inferni, he had abandoned that post.

With a sigh, Aemon sat down upon a sturdy flat ledge of rock, near enough to Ezekiel's home that he should be able to catch him, on his way in. In his hands he turned the thick wooden rod, examining it more thoroughly now. He'd found several others, but this one had been smoother than the rest to begin with. Now, a pale silver hand moved to the pocket of his loose cotton pants, where he kept his pocket knife. It was not a large knife, and it was spotted with rust, but Aemon kept it sharp. To pass the time, he sat in the sun and whittled away at the wood, peeling off the rough bark. Despite his hands being calloused from use, he couldn't help but prefer a soft grip.

POSTED: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:03 am

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

Things went by day in and day out and Ezekiel watched the world move. He lived with the earth moving under his feet, but he no longer felt it turn. Part of him had been lost, eons ago, and part of him forgot what it was to know that all things were connected. Bits of himself had been ripped asunder; his family was gone, save cousins, always cousins. He had lost Alaine and he had destroyed her son to do such a thing. Everyone he had cared for had walked away from his life and into the unknown. Alone, he remained. Alone, he grew bitter and calloused and cold like the wind.

His body ached. It ached more because of his training sessions with Max, but they were needed. Max was growing exponentially. The boys halfbreed blood was strong, and while Max hated the fact he did not resemble a coyote, Ezekiel had told him that winter would show his worth. Max would become a ghost in the fog when the snow fell. So too, he realized as he approached his home, would Aemon.

This half-brother was a conundrum. Gray coyotes were not entirely unusual, but they were in these parts. Lean and sharp, but…controlled. Ezekiel did not know the term “militaristic” or he would have used it. Aemon carried himself in ways that the others did not. Even Ezekiel carried himself differently—he moved with a predator’s stance, wary but confident—wary because he was paranoid, wary because the stag—

“What are you making?” He asked. His voice was rough from smoke. Its scent clung to him, tobacco and cloves, heavy and sweet and at odds with the other more savage scents of musk and male he oozed.

POSTED: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:20 pm


Ezekiel's approach was not unnoticed, and Aemon paused in his work to glance up at his half-brother as the breeze brought that smoky-sweet scent to him. Red eyes fell shortly back to his work, having almost finished removing the bark from the handle. He moved the blade carefully over the wood, thankful for having use of thumbs. When he was nearer, the golden Aquila spoke. Smiling a greeting, Aemon folded the knife and pocketed it, brushing off the last of the shavings from the crimson fabric of his tunic. Then, he held out the smoother rod to show. A spear, he said simply, my weapon of choice. Then bent to retrieve the jagged, rough stone from his satchel. It still needed to be shaped and sharpened, but it was perfect. This will be it's tip, he said, holding the stone out in his palm. It was large and heavy, cold to the touch and the perfect roughness.

Dropping the stone back into his bag with a thunk, Aemon took his seat on the ledge again, running his hand over the surface of the spear's body. It would need sanding yet, but now was not the time. "How are you?" he started pleasantly, tossing a fallen dreadlock back behind his head.

POSTED: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:39 am

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

He had seen spears before, but never found them an object worth his time. Ezekiel was used to traveling, and while Aemon had clearly done so with the stick-like weapon, it had seemed like it could be a hindrance. Of course, he had spent his youth training with bows and arrows and favored them. The golden-red coyote noted that spears were not difficult to make, and wondered if others could learn to do the same.

“Sore,” he admitted. “I’m gonna head in, but you’re welcome to join me.” Without waiting for a response, the hybrid turned into his room. The cave entrance was small enough he had to duck, but the inside was roomier than expected. It was a singular space, likely carved out by rain or wind over several decades. He had piles of tanned furs along one side of the room, and various odds and ends along the rest. A pile of books marked his sleeping corner, which was furthest back from the entrance and made up of a massive down-stuffed and plush looking deer-hide pillow. Ezekiel shrugged off his weapons and sat down near the small firepit that made up his central area; he had chosen this cave because of its configuration. Smoke simply drifted out of the mouth.

POSTED: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:34 pm


Aemon had recognized the stiffness in his pace and voice when he'd approached, but he'd been kind enough not to mention it. Now, he smiled politely and nodded, gathering his bag and following his half-brother into his simple, large cave. Red eyes followed the wall of the room and nodded appreciatively at Ezekiel's accoutrements. It was simply decorated; effective, without much excess. It was well-ventilated, too, and the smoke hardly clung to the walls. b>Nice place, he offered, pausing to lean and admire the Aquila's book selection. He could still smell the sweet, heavy cloves, though; but Aemon enjoyed the scent. Smiling pleasantly, he stepped over to the fire pit and sat down softly across from his half-brother. Hard day? he asked with a grin, eying the Aquila for heavier wounds, though he saw none.

POSTED: Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:19 am

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

Enkiel had concocted all sorts of brews to ease ailments, and while Ezekiel himself was capable of such things, he was glad for the jackal’s broader knowledge. He could bandage a wound, stitch a gash, or set a bone; when it came to plants, he had only the barest knowledge of what could harm and what could heal. Still, there were mixtures of dried things procured from his medic. They were wrapped in various leather pouches and hung about on the antlers of an impressive buck. It was one of these he grabbed at, though it was left by his side as he began piling twigs over the ash of a previous fire.

“Max isn’t a child anymore,” he admitted. “He’s learning how to hold his own.” There was slight pride in his voice; the boy had been his prodigy, and trained by the Aquila alone. One day he would rise to Hydra, given the chance. Thoughts of his circle caused a shadow to cross Ezekiel’s face; until now, he had not thought about Sage’s absence. It would become apparent soon, he realized. She had fled but who would look for her, knowing that the leaders often took long journeys, knowing her rank was one of an emissary?

He started the fire in silence, and looked to Aemon curiously. “Tell me, what did you do before you left Scintilla?”

POSTED: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:03 am


Aemon knew some of the struggles of training young fighters. He himself had been charged with the instruction of several adolescents. But being young himself, he certainly felt like he had learning to do. Ezekiel was older than him by at least a year or two, by Aemon's estimation. But the boy, he thought, was much closer in age. Max had wolfish features that had still often startle Aemon for a moment when seeing him in passing. The boy was large, he had weight, but it was all disbursed well in those long, skinny limbs of his. One day soon, Aemon himself hoped to train with the young man. He was unlike many of Scintilla's warriors, and the silvery coy-wolf was always looking to learn.

Removing his pack and setting it beside him, Aemon gave a light chuckle at the golden Aquila's observation. Crimson eyes flickered to the pouches that hung above the Aquila briefly with mild interest. That's good, though, he conceded, turning his hands in front of the fire and rubbing them together. Across the smoky blur of the fire, Ezekiel's gaze seemed pensive; but maybe it was just the light from the fire. Before he could bring it up, though, the questions came for him again. He looked down at the fire then, and took a breath. My brother Ithiel and I were raised as warriors in Scintilla... I've known combat since I was young; I've grown to like pole weapons, he said, nodding to his half-completed spear shaft, but I'm good with most other weapons, too. I became a Lieutenant before I left, with a few younger men under me. In truth it was my Captain, Kastra, who first told me of this place. She's looking for Gabriel, too. Her father was a man named Eli who was there during his sub-leadership; maybe you know him, he explained with a shrug, idly pulling at a dreaded lock of his thick gray hair. Anyway, he continued, leaning forward into the warmth of the crackling flames, I assume she'll eventually come see for herself. She'll be sad that he's gone, he thought with a frown; he was not happy for it himself, but would pray on his father's return to this place.

POSTED: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:00 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

Only once before had Ezekiel heard about Scintilla, this mythical place in the desert to the south. His father had not spoken much of it, and this had never seemed odd to the boy. A warrior does not brag; he had learned that lesson from Tristan, long ago. It was tempting fate to speak of such things, especially before a battle. Those days with his father had been long ones, and drugged to prevent his side from aching, Ezekiel had passed in and out of lucidity in waves. The ribs had healed, eventually, but his spirit had been deeply wounded. So had his face, he had found, though even those scars had lessened. Only two survived, but the crow-wolf who was a demon had done his work.

More names, and more connections he did not know. Ezekiel listened but did not remain still, fixing himself a small pot of rain-water into tea. The fire did not take long to heat this, and while the leaves soaked, he pondered whether or not this other brother and woman would come soon. Something in his bones said they would.

“Hope all you want,” the golden man said lowly. He suspected, even now, why Gabriel had left. The ghastly shade that trailed him proved such a thing. “My…our father, he spoke of Scintilla to me before. I heard a little about the war, but he told me that it had ended.” By the Hand of God, no less.

POSTED: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:31 pm

OOC herpderp? / +yo numbah!

Aemon had not been alive for the war, no; but he'd heard every story there was, save for Gabriel's. The ashen coyote shifted his weight in the seat when Ezekiel rose, stretching his back and yawning widely in spite of himself. His jaw jerked closed, remembering his manners as his half-brother returned, prepared for tea-making. Aemon smiled as Zeke sat, crimson eyes flickering to the pot, watching as bubbles formed deep in the water. It did, quite a few years ago; before I was born, he said, but there are still plenty of unwelcome visitors. Despite the tentative truce, it wasn't uncommon for Scintilla to be attacked even now; but their attackers were infrequently prepared for their tactics. A glaze fell over scarlet eyes as he remembered the stories vividly, imagining if he himself had been fighting against their enemy, a smile on his face. The stories all say how well the coyotes of Scintilla fought, how they wanted nothing more fiercely than to protect their own homes and families, he said, shaking his head in awe of the idea of it. Gabriel was there to see it, he said in a breath, wishing he had been, too.

POSTED: Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:46 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

There was much to be said for the ideas of mythology as they applied to real men. Gabriel had become such a thing, Ezekiel realized, and he knew that his grandmother would in time. She was physically here yet, though, and until she passed on or until her stories were told throughout the land, as well they should. The blonde man held the hot tea in his hands and listened, his amber eyes gleaming in the firelight. Perhaps one day too, he would cross that line from a man into a myth.

“Scintilla sounds much like Inferni, Aemon.” Indeed, it did. Ezekiel could see the grace in fighting (and dying) for a cause. He had not lost his life yet, but he had come close. Perhaps one day he would…but not before he had left his own mark on this earth. “War is a part of our history as well…”

OOC Ending: Ezekiel tells Aemon an abridged history of Inferni, and learns more about Scintilla.

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