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Life Lessons
Calling for Puppies | In the Cave | Evening

11527
Name Player
Nima Daniels fenshae
 

Nima had been thinking.

It was a dangerous thing, having too much time to think. But the darkness of the cavern, reflecting the darkness of her thoughts, seemed to cement the necessity of the decision. She felt, at last, a sense of finality. A thrust of purpose.

She knew what she was here to do.

“Pups! My loves!”

She called out, standing upon the upraised stone at the heart of the cavern, peering out for the little ones and hoping they had not strayed far. She wanted very badly to see them, just now, to draw comfort from them. They were old enough, now, to begin learning a thing or two about the world.

It was time that she began to teach them.

And so the Empress settled to her haunches and waited for them to come, mulling over her thoughts carefully.


Jan 12, 2018 12:55 AM

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[ Edited: Jan 12, 2018 02:25 AM by Nima ]
188308

Scarce

Name Player
Kopec Daniels Madeline
 

While Nima had been thinking, Kopec had been sleeping. She had been on the go since day one and even with her quiet family, everything seemed loud and beholding absolutely unnecessary volumes. So she had curled herself into the shadows, a small ray of the depleating sunshine peering through and warming her already partially obsidian pelt. With each day, not that she noticed until being compared to Lapis and Abaeze, she seemed to grow bigger and bigger. The girl was about the size of her quiet brother Tychus, but an inch or two off. She was still a behemoth though. She sometimes wondered why Amelia wasn’t their height.

“Pups! My loves!” Her ear twitched towards the sound. She hadn’t talked to Mama much lately, so when she called, Kopec’s head shot up. Her paws slowly lifted her body to a standing point and she began to move towards the sound of her mother. Her tail splaying behind her as she confidently moved around the bends and corners of the cave that she knew like the back of her paw. She didn’t seem to be that far at all, for when she moved around another end, she caught sight of her birth giver. Tail waving behind her, she trotted up to her. “Hello,” She called up to the Empress - a word she had heard so many times and she was beginning to think it was a title of importance.


Jan 12, 2018 09:39 AM — Post #1

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188341
Name Player
Naga Lexo
 

As interesting as the outside world proved to be, Naga still mostly preferred slinking around in the caves. Vision didn’t matter in the pitch black. Light didn’t pierce her little head with hurt, and the darkness couldn’t split or blur. This was home, made even more so by the presence of Nima as she called out to them.

Naga wound back through the caves in search of her mother, excited for her attention. Were they going to see Ibo and Pretty Ibo again? On the way, she passed the spot where her sister had been sleeping earlier now empty, and Naga’s steps mightily hastened.

Of course that black blob Kopec would get there before her. Totally unforgivable. Naga bounced over to her side for just a second and then moved closer to prop and scrabble her front paws against the big stone. “Niimaa” she called, oh so extra careful to pin down that tricky “Ni”, at least this one time to be cute, cuter than Kopec.


Jan 12, 2018 11:11 AM — Post #2

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188667
Name Player
Amelia Daniels Zoi
 

The Squeeb was content to be in the back. There was the slightest inclination to loneliness, on occasion, but to her mother’s summons she came. The Squeeb moved with a confidence, and she oozed her way out into the open air with a wonderment on her face.

Mama,” She greeted with a huskiness to her young tone that was still so squeaky. She waved her tail, but while tiny she held her head up high as could be; arrogantly standing like she knew this was going to happen all along. Like she had been told before everyone else.

It wasn’t true. But she didn’t just want to be oblivious. She was small. She had to be good at something - especially when Kopec was good at being louder and Naga was good at being sweeter.


Jan 13, 2018 08:14 AM — Post #3

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188850
Name Player
Tychus Daniels Bamsy
 

Tychus, climber and hider in strange spaces, heard Mama and began to extricate himself from a hidey-hole.  This habit was taking on an edge of danger as, on unexpected days, he found himself wedged in places where before he could freely move.  The day was coming when he entrapped himself.

Not today, though!  He yawned and licked his chops, pattering toward the cave’s center.  Happy to be last.


Jan 13, 2018 08:31 PM — Post #4

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188883
Name Player
Nima Daniels fenshae
 

Nima waited patiently for them to arrive, a look of undeniable love burning within her dark eyes and generally impenetrable features. There was Kopec, so like her father in appearance, and yet so different in nature. Nima wondered, sometimes, what Kiel had been like as a pup, before whatever darkness that lingered in his past had made him who he was. Whether he had been like Kopec. Now she supposed she would never know.

And there was Naga, her beautiful sweet girl, clever and soft and quiet and special. Amelia, small-statured but proud; there was no hint of Idemoni in her that Nima could see. She forgot, more often than not, that she had not been born from her own loins. She may as well have been.

And Tychus, too, quiet and strong and clever in his own way, Tychus who explored the world firsthand and would grow to be so handsome and so brave.

She loved them all so much it hurt. It burned, a fire deep in her belly, a bittersweet pain in her chest.

She thought, often, of what the others would have been like. Who they may have grown to be. Whether these children were, in fact, those souls reborn into new bodies or if that was just a sweet delusion she clung to.

“My loves,” she said, and there was the faintest quaver in her voice, but she struggled past it, pushed it down, swallowed it even if it went down sideways and hurt her throat. “I want you to know that I am very proud of you all. And I love you so much. So, so very much. I would never let anything happen to hurt you.”

She paused, swallowing again. Her heart was hammering in her chest.

“Which is why I have an important lesson for you, today. I want you all to listen closely and pay attention. Understood?”

((if it makes things easier, let’s say puppies have loose posting order. Nima starts new rounds.))


Jan 14, 2018 01:21 AM — Post #5

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[ Edited: Jan 14, 2018 01:24 AM by Nima ]
189232
Name Player
Tychus Daniels Bamsy
 

Tychus had seated himself, and now licked his chops.  He was not, typically speaking, a pup who put much weight on the words of adults, but he did love his mother very much.  He could probably hear her out.  Whiskers twitched as he waited, unchildishly tranquil.


Jan 15, 2018 04:27 AM — Post #6

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189335

Scarce

Name Player
Kopec Daniels Madeline
 

Naga, the one who always wanted to be the center of attention. Naga, the prettier one with the odd eyes. Kopec couldn’t really help to roll her eyes at the dramatic display of her greeting, yellow eyes narrowing slightly. Not that she really cared mostly, but she seemed to be the most mature out of the array of puppies. Everyone was focused on getting the most attention from Mama. Except for Tychus, she hadn’t really been speaking to Tychus lately, other than curling up with him here and there in the night. He was obviously the quietest, Naga was the sweetest, Amelia was the attention-seeker and she… she was the dominant one. Not that she really thought of it that often, only really seeking stuff that would thrill her or bring some spunk into her life.

Huffing towards her siblings, she took a seat next to her only brother, licking his ear and cheek in greeting as her tail curled around her legs. Soon enough, however, Mama began to address them. “My loves,” She began and Kopec looked up to the behemoth of the empress. “I want you to know that I am very proud of you all. And I love you so much. So, so very much. I would never let anything happen to hurt you.” What was this about? She wanted to ask very badly but she remained silent. Sitting next to Tychus made her quiet, his quiet nature affecting her. But she listened. She was beginning to learn that listening was often the best bet to gather the most answers.

Mama seemed… odd. Not that she seemed odd most days, but whenever the four of them were involved… there was something weird. Something strange that she couldn’t place a paw on. “Which is why I have an important lesson for you, today. I want you all to listen closely and pay attention. Understood?” Her ears perked, and she looked up intently, pushing her head forward with eagerness. A lesson? How cool!


Jan 15, 2018 02:04 PM — Post #7

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189362
Name Player
Naga Lexo
 

Things were different today. Naga could sense it in her little heart, feel the weight of Nima’s words on her young shoulders. She twirled away from the stone and skittered over to Tych’s other side. The only brother, the most comforting sibling. She wished tiny sister would crawl over and complete the squad.

“Yes, mama” she responded it the utmost serious squeak she could muster.

What secrets of the world would be spilled today? Usually, it was Igbo that did the spilling, but this was even more welcome. Secrets from the empress herself.


Jan 15, 2018 03:16 PM — Post #8

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189970
Name Player
Nima Daniels fenshae
 

Nima watched them carefully. Kopec seemed to be thinking, the machinations of her mind nearly audible. She had been such a talkative pup, but she had gone quiet now, preferring to watch than speak. Nima hoped that she had not been too damaged by the loss of her ‘Kiki.’ Surely she would have been worse off had he stayed.

The others, too, reacted roughly as she expected, and she gazed down at them, they with their rapturous attention, perhaps the last great crowd that she could hold mesmerized.

For now.

“The world is a dangerous place,” she began, finally, mulling over her words with great care. “It is filled with liars and traitors. You must be very careful when trusting outsiders, little ones, for they will not always be worthy of that trust.”

She swallowed, gaze darting between the assembled youngsters.

“But know this. You are family. You are Daniels. You are a part of the Hellmaw Empire. Do you know what that means?” She paused a beat, for effect, but answered for them anyway. “It means that we protect one another, no matter what. We look out for each other. Family is everything.”

There were echoes in this of words that had once been told to her, words she had sloughed off once in ambition but which now, saying them in the semi-darkness with so many glittering young eyes upon her, felt like the absolutest of truths.


Jan 17, 2018 09:05 PM — Post #9

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190481
Name Player
Amelia Daniels Zoi
 

Amelia found herself drawn to the conclusion that this wasn’t about to be a fun lesson. It wasn’t one of those lessons where mother posed as the regale goddess, and then burst into the ways of laughter and song. The solemn girl took this to heart, fighting down the worry that someone else had done something to warrant this.

But she found her head tipping, the proudness of the words that echoed out of her mother’s mouth foretold of something to come. Amelia could sense a shift, something important going to be said, but she found herself drifting.

She did, eventually, make her way to the group to complete their squad. The little one always easily left out, too busy staring and acting for independence. But she settled herself close to Naga, pulling her ears back.

Family is everything.

Everyone else is nothing.

Made sense. “Mama,” She fought through the question. “Aren’t you gonna show us who’s a liar?” Wasn’t Nima just going to make the grand call, time after time, and thus there’d be less need to think about these things her mother proposed?


Jan 20, 2018 08:13 AM — Post #10

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190492
Name Player
Naga Lexo
 

All four, together. Packed tight like the little sausages they were at birth. Warmth on every side, nestled between Tychus and Amelia. This was contentment. This was family, as Nima said. Family was everything. Daniels.

Was Igbo a Daniel? Naga thought he was good. She would protect him, for sure. What did she do if she found a not-Daniel? And yeah, who’s the liar? How were they supposed to know?

Spurned on by Amelia’s own question, Naga shot her’s out rapid-fire style after, “Ibo family?” she asked with wide eyes blinking up at their mother, voice fraught with the fear of an impending no.


Jan 20, 2018 09:37 AM — Post #11

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190529
Name Player
Nima Daniels fenshae
 

There were questions, of course, and Nima had to swallow back the panicky swell in her chest, the urge to sob. They were so bright, so eager. She loved them in a way that hurt, deep down in her core, a way that threatened to burst her open and lay her bare.

But she swallowed it down.

“Igbo is not Daniels, but he is pack-family. And pack-family is more important than anyone outside of the pack. We can add wolves to our pack family, but they have to prove that they are worthy of it. Does that make sense?”

She hesitated, then, approaching the topic she had drawn them here for, seeing it rise obliquely in the distance from Amelia’s question.

“I will teach you everything that I can,” she said, gently, to Amelia’s more complicated question. “But first, I need to go away for a little while, to protect the family. Which is why I need all of you to promise me that you will be on your best behavior and look out for one another while I’m gone.”

At the back of her mind, a prickling, terrible thought, that did not bear consideration: What if she could not come back to make good on these promises?

She would not think about it.


Jan 20, 2018 03:08 PM — Post #12

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190659
Name Player
Amelia Daniels Zoi
 

Leaving?

Amelia was sure to listen to the part, the complicated piece of loving a family. There was family - Daniels. She was a Daniels. Daniels was the top tier of her world and she needed to remember that. Insert a little checkmark beside the box.

Then there was pack-family. Those who were worthy, like Igbo. Her Igbo. She glanced at Naga, fighting through the suspicion that Naga might have considered poaching him. That was an absolutely unacceptable thing to consider, and thus perhaps she’d have to discuss it with her sister in a timely manner.

But then, there was this whole other piece. Leaving. Leaving to protect the family. Eyes narrowed, and she wondered how that even made sense. Didn’t you have to stay, to protect?

Where are you going?” The words weren’t quite an accusation, but close enough. Eyes seemed to narrow warily as she stared at her mother. Behaving. Pah.


Jan 21, 2018 07:25 AM — Post #13

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190716

Scarce

Name Player
Kopec Daniels Madeline
 

There were many things in her life that had gone so insanely wrong. She was lucky that she didn’t understand it at the time it was happening, but now she was starting to. The world was a dangerous place, Mama started, and Kopec stared up at her with a blank face. The only real danger she had ever faced was that time where the sky went dark and there was smoke everywhere.

“It is filled with liars and traitors. You must be very careful when trusting outsiders, little ones, for they will not always be worthy of that trust.” Kopec flicked her tail. “How do you know if they’re… worthy?” She pondered aloud, her gaze never faltering from the warmth and strictness of the Empress. Family. They were Daniel. They were family.

And then the rarity that was Naga spoke up right after Amelia. Liar. Liars weren’t good things. She would have to watch out for liars, Kopec decided at that moment that she hated liars.

And then Nima said something that shook her to the core. Leaving. Again. So many had been leaving. She was beginning to realize now that Kiki was ‘Kiel’ and Kiel was gone. Gone where exactly? She didn’t know. But a lot of wolves she grew up with were disappearing off of the radar and Kopec didn’t exactly know if that appealed to her or not.  Everyone stared at her like she was some sort of monster, and now that her mind was expanding, she knew exactly why. She was piecing it all together. No wonder why Mama never spoke of Dad. Kiki was her father, and she looked exactly like him.

But what did he do so wrong that made everyone stop and stare at her? Was leaving that big of a problem? And if so, why was Mama leaving? To keep her safe? To keep them safe? Yellow eyes trailed down to her paws, her tail lashing in mild agitation much like a cat would do. “Like Kiki? Like Maia? Like Scotch? Rocco?” Leaving her. Leaving them.

And never coming back.


Jan 21, 2018 01:38 PM — Post #14

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190886
Name Player
Naga Lexo
 

Family, the Daniels.

And pack-family, the Igbos and the rest of the lot that came and went in the outside world. She understood now. The pack was safety, a family in itself. But the Daniels, the real family came first.

She, too, started at the admission of going away, but she heard that word. To protect them. In solidarity, she crossed a paw over Amelia’s after she asked her question. Naga needed to know, too.

But Kopec then dared to suggest that mama was not coming back, and Naga bristled and snapped in puppy chirps, “Kopec.” she mimicked in her best attempt at Nima’s most admonishing tone. Fear, too, held fast in her expression. Kopec’s words were so frightening and seemed so real a possibility that she could not help but lash out at it. Looking back to Nima, she reassured “Naga promises, mama.” Her voice only quivered a bit as she tried her best to put on a brave face.


Jan 22, 2018 11:16 PM — Post #15

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