still the days stay the same

POSTED: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:25 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Following the death of Chapel, the leadership went through a period of unrest. Sage’s retreat to Ichika no Ho-en was not unnoticed by Ezekiel, and upon her return, he confronted her. Infuriated over the thought that she had betrayed the clan for weaker ideals, Zeke exiled Sage. He did not speak of this publicly for nearly a month, allowing her scent to fade gradually. Now, as the apparent absence has become more tangible, he’s called a meeting.

In order to keep this thread moving, after the initial posting period failure to post within three days will result in you being skipped. This will not be a super-long meeting, and likely just address the changes in leadership as well as discuss some fun new cultural changes that will be occurring soon.

You are only required to post ONCE; failure to do so will result in a demotion or removal from the pack. This is set in the open area behind the D'Neville Mansion.

Word Count » +3

The cold wind blew from the north and tugged at his blonde hair. Ezekiel stood, staring out at the forest beyond the iron fence, and blew smoke. He had expected her to return for what she had left; hoped she might, even. Yet a month had passed and Sage had faded from the landscape like so many before her. Inferni would go on, though for the first time since he had ascended to Aquila, Ezekiel would lead alone.

He finished his cigarette and flicked it into the frosty grass. Winter encroached furiously, though the solstice had not passed. The clouds refused to part and left the sky threatening rain. It was not cold enough for snow today, but the scent of water was thick in the air.

“Hey, Zeke, this enough?”

The voice caused him to look up. Mounted atop the heavy mare was a wolf—well, upon first glance one would think he was a wolf. Max was nearly a year old now, broad-shouldered and wolfish in the face. It was only in his sharpness, the pointed ears, and his lean frame that one would see his hybrid nature. The gray-white fur sang of his dual heritage.

Amber eyes followed to the pile of wood currently being dragged behind the mare. There was more than enough for his purpose. “That looks good, Max. Let’s set it up.”

Once they had unloaded the drag from the mare, the two males began setting up the tepee style fire. Satisfied by the construction, Ezekiel allowed Max to practice his flint-starting (something the boy was remarkably proficient in) as the sky began to threaten drizzle. At least the fire would keep them somewhat dry if that was the case. The golden-red coyote settled onto a large stone procured for such gatherings. There were two other logs nearby for seating, though Inferni had never been much for formalized gatherings.

The Aquila lifted his head and let out a loud, yipping call.

POSTED: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:56 pm

(342)


Myrika is by Kiri!

Myrika heard the call, lonely as it was, from her place out on the lonely frontier land of Inferni. Despite the coldness of the day, she had been tending to Eira, insuring the mare was in good health. Her hooves needed a little bit of picking, and she was always in need of a brushing, but the rust-hued coyote hadn't needed to perform hours of maintenance on her equine. It was unlikely Eira would have tolerated such a lengthy encounter, anyhow -- while she was generally good-tempered with a rider, she did not tolerate grooming quite so well as Myri would have liked.

The summoning note to the tone had been obvious to her, and so she had swung up onto Eira's back after throwing her saddle there, taking the horse through the gate and out into the forest. The marshes and flat country of Inferni stretched before them, and a rising urge to ride hard seized Myrika. She urged the roan forward, and together they flew over the flat and low country of Inferni, Eira's dark gray-blue mane flying against Myrika's face as the wild tangle of her red hair flew behind her. As they drew nearer to the thick weald, the Forest of Nod, the coyote slowed her horse to a fast walk, picking her way through the trees.

Both the coyote and the horse breathed hard, and Myrika was grinning merrily. As she approached the group gathered in the D'Neville gardens, however, the merriment drained away from her face, and she dismounted Eira quietly and sent the horse off to graze with a pat on the rear. She wished she hadn't strode up looking like she was in great spirits. This seemed a somber meeting; there was a certain tension in the air, and the coyote could very nearly taste it. Her bright cerulean eyes peered inquisitively toward Ezekiel and his work with the coyote she did not know, but Myrika did not ask questions -- all would be explained, she trusted.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:07 am

OOC here: Table & Coding © Kiki; 372 words
Symera Villisca
and the rat's in the cradle

The girl had yet to really make her mark in the clan but she was determined to say the least. She hadn't exactly made her presence known among too many members just yet but no doubt those that she had met she had certainly left an impression with. Symera was more interested in hunting wolves then she was in playing nice with the rest of the clan. That certainly had to be her one true passion. And so far that had been allowed to flourish and had even been encouraged under the tutelage of Halo.

The small female, while she had passion she didn't have technique, returned to the sanctity of Inferni with some minor abrasions. She didn't care though because she had caught a lurking wolf and had slaughtered it. The beast was being dragged along behind her, as she lacked the strength to pick up and carry the weight, wanting to show it to Halo. Of course that would have to be put off as there came a commanding yip.

Symera followed the sound of the call with her prize still in tow. Of course after this the pelt might prove to be useless but that would just be a minor setback in her mind. Symera didn't care for the hide as much as Halo did. No, the small girl only wanted to skull. She could use another hat, as she had come to fondly think of the wolf skulls. Of course she brought them to the borders in order to replace some of the ones that had somehow gotten damaged.

When she got to where the call had originated from she found two males that she had never met before. But then there was also a female there that she did know. Symera wasn't sure what the males were doing but moved over to stand near Myrika. Like the other female Symera just remained quiet and watched. Though as the adrenalin of the hunt wore off Symera began to feel a throbbing in the scratches upon her muzzle. Without considering the harm it would do Symera reached up a hand to scratch at the small cuts, ending up smearing the beads of blood that had leaked from the lacerations.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:16 am

damn, you guys beat me!! lol

As in many of his recent days, the clouds hung heavy with gray. Aemon was still getting used to this unpredictable weather, and lately he'd taken to throwing a heavy fur about his shoulders to protect his fur from the water. Now, too, he wore it, the tan fur giving color to his otherwise pale complexion. At Ezekiel's call he changed course instantly, lengthening his strides to find his half-brother quickly.

Aemon had little knowledge of Inferni's current ranks or who occupied them. He knew even less about the relationships that had existed here before him. Ezekiel had mentioned nothing of a former or current second-in-command to him, and Aemon could not have pointed her out even if he'd seen her. Of course, the silver coywolf would aim to know ever member of this clan; for now, though, his acquaintances were few.

Thankful that there were only two that he didn't recognize so far. His golden Aquila brother and Max, the ivory wolfish yearling stood there already, accompanied now by two females that he didn't recognize. Behind the dirtier, younger one lay a beaten, bloodied body. He stared, but did not question yet; she was wounded as well, he noticed, and now Aemon was deeply curious. Unfortunately, he'd left his weapon in his cave for this venture; but it left his hands free as he waved a greeting to group. Hey, Max, he nodded, his voice friendly. Crimson gaze roamed over the horses, and then to the bonfire which had begun to blaze steadily. Ezekiel had found a nice perch; an over-sized, flat expanse of rock well-suited as a platform. Aemon took a seat towards the front on one of the log-benches, holding pale hands out towards the fire. Hope we don't get rained out, he commented generally with a glance to the sky. The clouds were not as dark as he had seen them, but they were full enough with water. He fell quiet now, letting the crackling of the fire fill the silence as they waited for the others.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:16 am

Though her wounds were healing it was still trouble for the small luperci to climb into her lofty tree den, instead she had opted for staying in the mansion with Helotes until she had fully recovered. The smallest of the clan members had buried herself under pelts and blankets that day and for once she was shirking on her duties. She had slept most of the day away, promising herself that tonight she would scout across the lands and perform the duties appointed to her by their leader. She had just poked her tiny nose out from the blankets when the call on the wind caught her attention. She untangled herself from the blankets and furs and frowned. Ezekiel hadn't called a pack meeting before since she joined, she wondered what it was for, though a small voice argued that she probably already knew.

Zana had met the second in command once and while the woman had seemed fine enough she didn't have the same driving fire inside her that Zana saw when she gazed upon Ezekiel. She had realized in the last few patrols that the scent of their subleader had faded away to nearly nothing across their lands. While this had perplexed her she was merely Ezekiel loyal servant and until then she wouldn't question what she didn't know for a fact within the clan. The small woman sighed, knowing that if it was chilly in the room that it would be worse so outside. She grumbled to herself as she tied the paws of the wolfpelt cloak about her slim shoulders, the scartissue pulling tenderly at the deep puncturewounds. She winced at the pain but merely shook her ringlet mane of strawberry blonde curls out from under the hood before she scampered off to Keana's room to see if grandmother was awake and on her way.

She didn't stay long with the elder Lykoi as the woman's sharp tongue reminded her she wasn't dead yet and she defineatly wasn't deaf. Zana just grinned wolfishly at her grandmother and let the sharp words roll away as she let the elderly woman move to join the meeting at her own pace. She wouldn't belittle the woman's pride by hovering underpaw the whole time. The tiny hybrid woman gave up and went on ahead to the meeting, knowing Keana would follow at her own pace.

Lilac orbs observed the strange crew that was present already. Ezekiel and Max she knew quickly, but the others were strangers, not really something surprising as she had been wounded and slow at her duties as of lately. Myrika she knew only because her rank dictated it so, the others Zana was a ghost to, but she preferred it that way right now. Who needed to know just who the spy was when by definition they should remain incognito.

She padded across the field and came to a rest beside one of the logs near the fire. Bowing slightly to her leader the small woman curled herself up before the fire and tucked her small frame under the wolfpelt cloak, waiting and watching, wondering just where Helotes was, and what they were called together for just now. She hoped they wouldn't have long to wait as she could already feel the aching of the cold biting at her healing scars.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:26 am

Word Count :: 527 Valk is coming with Nathan, Wratih, and Lucille. I also pped Cotl Ulrich being there because he's my NPC and he'd be one of the first people there since he lives right in the mansion.

She dreaded this day. This meeting. Why? Because the children would finally learn of their father's death, if Ezekiel would mention the death of one of the oldest members of the clan. She hoped to the gods that he would let this one slide, but she didn't think that he would. She almost knew that he wouldn't. She grew more and more nervous as the time had gone by. She had not responded to the call at first, but the fact that each of the three children had come up to her proved it to be hard for her to ignore it. They were urging her to get ready to go. The human-like luperci had twiddled her thumbs a bit and then she called to her birds for comfort. Hextor had been the first to show, seeing as he was closer than Muerte, but the female owl was not too far behind. They both cooed to the woman, asking her what was wrong, and she cooed back to them, telling them that she did not know what was going to happen at this meeting, and if the children would still like her or not, since she had been withholding a vital piece of information from them. Hextor was supportive of the woman's decision to keep the death of their father a secret from the pups, but Muerte was another story. She had been angry at the ochre and fallow woman because of her actions. There was little Valkyrie could to now. Everything was about to come fumbling down..Including her.

She kept her mouth shut and sent the two owls off in the direction of the meeting. They flew, one behind the other, and Valkyrie admired their beautiful forms as they flew away. She did not hesitate further. She got on her kimono and she had started to walk along with the children. They sensed that something was wrong with the normally happy ochre woman, but none had dared to ask what was wrong with her. She was glad. She sighed lightly as she walked along, trying to hide her worry, and her disgust with herself. Luckily, they were not too far from the gardens in which the meeting would be held. There was a gathering around the sole leader. Where was Sage? Valkyrie bit her bottom lip and then she moved to where she was close to Myrika. Mimi made her feel better, just her presence really, and Valkyrie had grown slightly attached to the woman because of this. She pointed her large ears at the woman and smiled solemnly. Hi, Mimi.. she whispered to the Lykoi woman and she nodded her head lightly to Ezekiel and then she looked at all of the other attendees. There was her cousin, Zana, Symmy, and then some male she did not know. She also noticed that the Imaginifer, Cotl Ulrich was within the group to show themselves. Her children had all stayed together, and not too far away, and her owls had found a high perch in which they could watch the meeting, the two being relatively close to Valkyrie and each other.

image by J; code by the Mentors!

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:32 am

377
OOC.

Helotes had been in the stable for most of the day, finding solace in the simple duties of grooming Yegua. Her filly was growing steadily and strong, no longer spindly as she once was, but it was obviously she was starting to annoy her mother. She continuing tried to nurse, much to the dismay of the mare, who had to basically dance to get away from her nibbling mouth. Helotes couldn’t help but laugh at them, doing their little Salsa, and he cooed at the filly in Spanish. Helotes found that he was much calmer around the horses, a similar calm he had when around Zana. His mind wandered to the small female again, as it had been more and more ever since their rendezvous in the Grotto.

Helotes was about to take Yegua out for a ride when he heard the call; clearly it was the Aquila, and without hesitation the dark Lykoi sped off towards the sound. His loyalty to the leader of the clan took all precedence and as a solder of Inferni he had sworn to be at Ezekiel’s beck and call. As he neared he could smell smoke, and the scent of others. They slowly came into view, a group assembled at a pyre of sorts. He did not recognize any of the gathered, save Ezekiel, his half-brother Aemon, Valkyrie and Zana, though he could guess at who some of the rest of them were.

The dark Lykoi paid his respects to Ezekiel with a curt nod before slipping into the fold of the group, seating himself near Zana of course. He gave his friend a smile but remained silent. Something about the meeting here was somber and tense, he wondered if perhaps Ezekiel had decided to go to war or something else as serious. Helotes eyes scanned the faces of the gathered, avoiding eye contact with Valkyrie for some strange reason that he could not discern. The face of a girl with a violet scarf caught his eye and he tipped his head slightly at her curiously. She must be a Lykoi, she looked so much like Kaena, albeit a golden version rather than gray… but then most of them had that old woman’s blood in their veins to some degree.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:29 am

Alma was gathering small stones to make into arrowheads at Hades' Beach when she heard the Aquila's call. Her ears perked up, and she dropped the stone she had been inspecting. It had been a long time since she had heard a call like that. The last time, she'd been nearly an adult and her uncle Aden had called for a pack meeting to demote her to omega. She hesitated for a moment, then began a slow walk in the direction of the howl, telling herself it couldn't have possibly been her fault. Ezekiel hadn't expressed displeasure of anything she done, although she thought something had to be wrong, since she had never heard Ezekiel call for the whole pack to meet before.

Curiosity made her faster, her footsteps leading up the mansion. Others had arrived there before her, all gathered around a bonfire. To her dismay, she only recognized three: Ezekiel, Symera, and Zana. The latter she half-considered an enemy, but now wasn't the time to display hostility. After a moment of dithering uncertainty, she chose an empty seat at the edge of a log.

The fact that the meeting itself was held in front of the mansion was, in her mind, an ominous sign. The coyotes gathered around the fire were strangely quiet, reinforcing her belief that something wasn't right. Her eyes scanned the group, trying to find clues as to what was wrong. Symera had the corpse of a wolf behind her, and was scratching at a bloody wound on her muzzle. Not knowing of the girl's dislike of wolves, she assumed that there had been an attack on Inferni. That would explain things. Her tense body began to relax. An attack on their clan wasn't a good thing, but she was relieved nonetheless.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:32 pm

Vesper

I said, I cannot follow the river
of her myth; but I can
follow her sweet desert song
like a stream through the fiery hills.

Word Count → 390

Vesper froze when she heard the summoning call. It was not the loud, clear song of a wolf but the yipping yowl of a coyote, and it brought her back seasons to Oliver and the band he roughly lead. That association was the only reason she marked the summons as what it was, though there was a cold sinking in the pit of her stomach at the memory. Regardless, she spun and raced toward the sound, knowing that she had wasted precious time standing there stupidly along the border stakes. As a new Vigiles she had been doing her job, but she knew that Ezekiel would not call meetings in that tone for frivolous reasons. She trusted Inferni and its leadership.

But what the issue was, she did not know. Perhaps relations with another pack had turned suddenly sour, or perhaps there had been issues with trespassers—though she would have known about the latter, having tended religiously to the borders whenever she wasn’t out scouting neutral territory. For all she wandered, she would have known something.

The lean tawny coywolf paused when she saw that others had already gathered. Rather than curse, she stepped in as quietly as she could and had faith that there were others even slower than her. Not making her presence a bold one, she glanced subtly around her at the rest of the ranks. While she knew and had spoken to a few, many were nameless to her, and some others she hadn’t even seen before with her tendency to stay away from the mansion.

Now was not the time to socialize, however. Vesper spotted Helotes and Zana among the crowd and trailed uncertainly toward them, taking a seat next to the dusky male she wasn’t sure she despised. Shuffling her forepaws in the dirt, she ignored him and happened to look across to where a younger coyote—the one that she’d met by the borders before she’d ever even joined, before Helotes had ever even attacked her—was seated by a dead wolf. The sight of the body caused a hint of revulsion to wash up in her, both at the dead creature and the fact that it had apparently become a threat—at least as far as the hybrid knew.

Tearing her blue eyes away, Vesper let them settle on Ezekiel, waiting.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:53 pm

Columbine Lykoi

Word Count → 450

The painted skull rested on the ground before Columbine's eyes, a painted monstrosity surrounded by a rather dull canvas. It was nothing special, really, not something that would arise such utter distaste in the ill-tempered man, but for some reason he could not help but be disgusted by their appearance. Such an obvious display of might did nothing for Columbine: he would rather back up his power with outright attacks, not dated and decaying body parts. Still, there was nothing he could particularly do about it. The Lykoi man knew any outright display of his insignificant malcontent could be viewed as treason and be punishable as such: he did not actively seek that kind of lifestyle in the clan.

Naturally, just as he was getting on a good roll with his thoughts, a distant yet commanding call echoed out to him. Grumbling loudly under his breath, the Optime male whirled around and began a brisk jog to the origin of the song; he knew his leader was calling him. Columbine hadn't had much interaction with Ezekiel since he met the Aquila at the borders, but Helotes had spoken well of him. Estranged as he might be from his former playmate, Columbine had to have minimal trust that his brother would at least take notice if the leader were entirely incompetent. But he had to see for himself at some point whether or not the strange man was worthy of his allegiance; if he were not, the dusky male would most certainly do something about it.

It took him a while to reach the gathering, and as he did not have an intimate knowledge of he pack numbers he could not be assured that he were not one of the last there. As the hulking man grew closer, he did take notice that Jacinto was nowhere to be found - of course. His pathetic scrap of a brother was probably playing that useless instrument of his somewhere, being utterly pointless and inconsequential. Columbine rolled his eyes privately before noticing his brother, Helotes, with their snack-sized cousin, Zana. Coincidentally, Vesper, the little scrap of a female he'd met at the borders, was there as well, seated next to his dark brother. Strange. Before he went to join them, however, Columbine passed the Aquila and ducked his head and flattened his ears respectfully. Ezekiel, he rumbled in greeting.

Columbine stepped back and moved into the group, crimson eyes darting around for a seat. He supposed there was a little bit of room next to Vesper, and he strode over, head held high. Vesper, Zana, Helotes he said in his customary naming greeting; it was rare he ever actually said something normal like hello.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:16 pm

YOU'RE HERE AND THEN YOU'RE GONE

The mansion was cold and damp and quiet. Tedros was asleep in his shifted form, sprawled lazily on the stained and deteriorating mattress. His paws twitched, heavily engulfed in his dreams. Dreams of Alaki, dreams of Unathi, dreams of Cain, and dreams of the romance novel he had recently finished. The red-hued coyote groaned a little, eyes moving underneath their lids. At once the alarming howl of Ezekiel de le Poer rang like a cacophony through the room, the call reverberating between the walls. The Talik jumped up quickly, startled, and breathing heavily to prove it. After he gave himself a moment to calm down, the Infernian ran a hand through his mane, exhaled, and stood up. He looked at himself in the shattered mirror, staring at his own wine colored eyes. Tedros figured he wouldn’t have a need for the bow and quiver laying in front of him at a meeting – and that if it turned into something more, it’s not like it was a far walk to get the weapon.

He sauntered out slowly, not worried that he’d be late. There were members much farther away than he was. But as he got there, it seemed he must have spent more time looking at himself in the mirror than he thought. He noticed a few canines that he knew: Myrika, Zana, Vesper, and of course, Ezekiel. But the rest were unknown to him, so he simply nodded at the Aquila and took a seat. The male coyote sat there quietly, feeling a little awkward and out-of-place at the meeting. He did not know nearly enough about the happenings in Inferni, and he felt as if it showed. At least this would give him some sort of perspective on the pack. Tedros’ eyes wandered about the members, still feeling that small pang of hope that he would see someone he knew from times before.

(WORD COUNT — 315)

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:01 pm

Word Count ( 0.417 ) Table by Noelle!

Unfamiliar faces began to gather below in the gardens behind D’Neville Mansion. The hybrid’s blue eyes were sharp, narrowed as he watched one by one members – that knew neither the names or faces of – come to the call of a blond haired man. He was not unfamiliar with this, no, but Wolfgang merely stared out the window at the clan as if he were not a part of it. As if he did not hold the rank of an Inferni member. His pink tongue slipped through his lips and then, slowly drew back against his teeth until his mouth finally clenched closed. The reason for his pause had been the fact that one member dragged behind her a body of a wolf. Bloodied and obvious, the wolf no longer breathed. Their life had been ended. It reminded him of the war ongoing in the Vorrakess Kingdom to which he had resided within. And so, he waited, waited until a familiar face drew into his view before he took the staircase down, limping and taking his time due to injury on his right leg. He exited the building, his dark brown cloak wrapped around his body with the hood lying flat on his shoulders. His hair was mostly tucked underneath his cloak save the long, black bangs that curled around his face.

Wolfgang’s approached slowed. It was evident that the hybrid was unsure of where to go, or necessarily, what to do. His eyes glanced to each member, trying to remember their faces, but he had no names to match them to besides two familiar faces. He first stared at the pale Aemon before looking over towards the tawny Vesper who had already taken her seat alongside a darker male. Taking in a breath, the injured man shifted his weight. The scent of fire wood smoke mixed with each person present, along with the smell of water. His eyes looked skywards, the dark grey clouds twisting, moving in with the sure threat of rainfall. Moving forth from his standing pose, he finally neared the fire and took his seat upon a log, not daring to look at members who sat on either side of him. He sat rather square-shouldered despite his shoulder injury, automatically thinking of his mannerism and his former position within the Kingdom… and not knowing that perhaps, it wouldn’t be welcomed in this gathering of Inferni. Wolfgang, however, turned to the man he assumed was the Leader, to whom he had not met, and waited.

POSTED: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:03 pm

WC → 000 ::is this right?.Short post is short

The man had heard that there was a meeting today, he was rather curious as to what it was about. Jacinto never really heard much gossip around Inferni anyway. He stood up from where he was sitting, Jacinto slipped on his clothing and yawned. The dusty hybrid didn't know what was up. After his meeting of his brother Columbine, the man had been slightly afraid to go out much. He saw an assemblage of some of the members of Inferni, of which not many he knew. He the only few he knew who were like aquaintances, Myrika, and the leader Ezekiel. Wasn't there two leaders? Was one of them away or did something happen to them? Confusion confusion. The male wandered up quietly and stood beside Helotes and his horse. What aw happening?

The man had many things on his mind, where was his beloved sister Ilusion? Jacinto really hoped she wasn't dead. The weight of his mother's death was settled against his chest still, he had many family here. Almost none he knew. The Lykoi quietly stood, unable to talk to anyone, afraid to ask what's going on. The male smiled at his brother Helotes and wagged his dark tipped tail in greeting. Inferni was a nice place to live, although he didn't fit in with the tough warriors that lived here. He would rather not fight, but if asked for Inferni, he would. They were family right? The Lykoi gave a small nod of hello to Columbine, formality was a thing he wanted to keep.

POSTED: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:49 am

(633) Oh, Kae. |: Tl;dr version of post, because it's long and I'm a jerk and I don't want to waste everyone's time -- Ithiel stands near the edge in an indeterminate location, Kastra stands next to them, they're quiet and looking around, Kae (in a moose pelt, lawl) comes out of the Mansion and goes to stand near Ezekiel like the creepy grandmamamamamama she is.

Also: hot damn Inferni I don't think I've ever seen this much of a pack assemble so quickly before. o___o ♥


Ithiel is by Kitty!

Ithiel was not so far away from the meeting-place, but he took his time in arriving. He was not nervous about meeting the rest of the clan; on the contrary, he was rather eager for such a meeting, but he had business to finish first. Trotting toward the group, his approach slowed as he got closer. The dust-colored coyote skirted a small copse of saplings and melted into the edge of the group. He stood at a respectful distance from several canines he did not know, peering over all of them curiously. Most did not catch his attention; among those who did were a few big males and a very small girl with a corpse in tow. Ithiel was pleased to find it was a wolf's corpse, and more pleased to find most of Inferni seemed very, very coyote -- there were few with wolfish appearances, though such ugliness reared its head now and again. His own half-brother, leader, was more wolfish than Ithiel himself, who dismissed his own wolf quarter as utterly meaningless. He lived as a coyote; he was a coyote.

Ithiel saw Kastra creeping toward him, and he nodded his hello, relieved to have someone to stand beside. Many of these strangers were probably family, but it was of no consequence to Ithiel. Family or not, they were still strangers. Kastra, irritating as she could be at times, was known to him. Neither spoke; they simply stood side by side. Ithiel would have moved toward Aemon, had his pale brother been any closer to the outer extremities of this gathering. The silvery male was close to the inner circle and the fire, however, and Ithiel wouldn't shove the crowd aside to reach him. The crimson-eyed man peered around the gathering curiously, watching and waiting.

The Tirones was peering behind them and toward the Mansion, and he saw the door there swing open. A figure emerged, short enough to stoop only slightly to exit. The old coyote -- Ithiel could see her age clearly, even from this distance -- moved toward the crowd, her step surprisingly confident and quick for one of such elderliness. The dust-hued coyote nudged Kastra, twitching his muzzle ever-so-slightly toward the old woman. Kastra's yellowy eyes caught her approach, and both of them watched as the grayscale coyote made her way forward.

She was draped in an impossibly large pelt, and Ithiel could see it had not been cut or styled to make any sort of clothing -- it was simply a tanned hide, and she had draped it over her back, clutching the thing to her throat. As she drew closer, Ithiel could see she was covered in scars, and one of her eyes was missing entirely. The ear on that same side of her head was mangled and half-chewed, and the man -- who felt more like a boy in this moment -- watched her. He had a scar of his own -- a scar -- and this woman was covered in them.

He pitied her, in that moment, impressed as he was by her tableaux of scar tissue. She was a woman -- she should not have had to fight for anything in her life. Where was her man, where was her protector? Ithiel thought Inferni played this role for her now, the way she looked at them with her eye all ablaze. The old woman moved around the crowd, toward Ezekiel and the fire. Ithiel lost her for a moment, and she reappeared rather near to Ezekiel, a fearsome expression that could have been snarl or smile on her scarred face. Her position was of some importance -- or at least elderly boldness. Ithiel was not certain which, and he watched curiously, wondering who this was and what afforded her such brashness.

POSTED: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:44 pm

ILU all ;___; Gonna give everyone else another day before I reply again with Zeke.Word Count »

There was no hurry in Enkiel. He was, as the deity he believed himself to be, patient. He moved with the pace of a reptile, never rushing unless absolutely necessary. In his medical work, this was apparent. Even in his pace, this was apparent. He walked with indifference to the others, his black hair loose and hanging about his shoulders, ears high and eyes focused ahead. One would hardly notice the air was bothering him if not for the thick woolen poncho draped about his lean frame.

Enkiel said nothing to anyone and made his way to the fire. His rank allowed him such right, though he would have gone close regardless. Heat was needed, for his thin pelt failed him yet. Jackals were not made for northern lands such as these, and while the desert was cold, it rarely dropped below 9°C. He quite longed for such weather again, and while his face was carefully impassive, his dark eyes glimmered with irritation at being drawn out into the cold. Despite this, he paid attention to those present—many he did not know. This too, was noticed. How had they become a clan full of strangers when the scarred woman had sired a legion?

Settling on a log and turning his head to the Aquila, Enkiel waited.

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