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Stretches of Tedium
nearing the springs | fog below in the valley, early morning | lsu

Name Player
Tomas Hodova Zoi

Tomas had not been to the springs often, but the warmth of the summer and the heavy low fog below the valley made the drifting early morning something rather beautiful to waltz through. There was a hunger in his flesh, his mind craving the antics he had been scarce successful in. The nose took to the air, as his observations chased him.

An action was a tedious thing, and he found himself craving such a medium. It was nice to have some direction that had actually surged through him enough to get his movements true. His eyes drawing back along the smooth lines that would take him back toward the lake, inland of the mountain. Toward the caverns with so many young he could barely count them.

It was a frightening thing to imagine the way this had all come to pass, but his half smile played on his feet as he walked. Eyes lingered on the edge of the cliffsides, looking down below at the bank that would happily suffocate any visible color. It was like it was a terrible omen, but be damned if Tomas wanted to look at it in such a way.

Feb 25, 2018 07:42 AM

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Name Player
Morwen maiyev

Morwen had little left to do in the face of broken feet. As much as they had healed, she was not one to ignore a lesson when the world willed her to learn it. Sitting vigils had proven not so poor of a distraction, too, provided her mind was not given ample time to stew in its woes. The birds helped that.

It had been seconds after dawn when she had awoken. The past night was not unlike the one before it; sleep had evaded her for weeks, and showed no intention of quitting its antics anytime soon. Muscles aching, eyes heavy with bags, Morwen dragged her body from an alcove in the caverns. She trudged blearily around the pools, and to the craggy pathway that would carry her back into the pass. With the night still weighing on her pelt, she took her time traversing the fissure, navigating each angle with sedated motions.

She knew she had reached the end when the cold bit at her nose. Even in summer, a chill permeated the mountains every morning. With a few more tired steps, Morwen had emerged just enough to see the world without, and to sit with her rear in the ridge’s threshold. Through squinted lids, she scanned the long, wooded dip that led from her home into the pass proper. The timber was still draped in the cool grays of night, the rising sun kissing their eastern faces into gold. Little wisps of fog tethered themselves to tree trunks. A bushtit chittered nearby.

Feb 26, 2018 12:34 PM — Post #1

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Name Player
Tomas Hodova Zoi

Hunger was a frustration, almost constantly. It was why paws seemed to drift, his attention seeking ways still being predominant. It was enough that shoulders rolled, and the wolf continued his give and take with the landscape.

Head twisted upwards, and he pretended that his attention could twist. The pass was hungrily looking to engulf him, but he didn’t mind the energy that sizzled with his mind’s expectation. Left with the need to discover what it was about the Springs and their neighbors that had caused such an irksome pose.

Was it just the closeness of Lorzeno and his friends? Or more?

But Tomas was not here to judge, not really; he was more or less, hoping. Hoping he could draw his own conclusion, ease the situation in his favor.

The female’s scent blew gently through his nose, and he slowed down. Wanting to be spotted, to be engaged. He was, after all, ever the social butterfly.

Feb 28, 2018 04:21 PM — Post #2

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Name Player
Morwen maiyev

Mornings were not so bad of a time. With the sun’s pursuit of the opposite horizon came light, and light meant she could see most things; could be tricked by darkness and stray shadows far less. It helped, to say the least, and Morwen would cling to anything that helped, much like she’d begun to Tunglid. Quietly, with the distant song of birds playing on her ear, she wondered where the male was.

Then, a black figure played at the edge of her upturned eyes.

Morwen’s gaze shot back to the trees, ears forward, gaze attentive. Now, with her faculties upon it, the thing wavered, and she sighed. Another trick, just when she’d begun to loosen a little. That’s always how it went. She always had to be on guard.

Tilting her muzzle back up, she inhaled. Sure enough, a foreign sent mingled with the wind. Behind her, her tail flicked.

Another guest. Hopefully a nice one. Wolves seemed to be taking less kindly to their presence in the mountains now, despite their stake having been placed for some time. Despite their cordiality, and their adversity to making a nuisance of themselves.

They’d been polite. Accommodating, even, yet some would set foot in their home, and treat them with bitterness to boot.

A frown curled Morwen’s lips, and she adjusted her posture, head poised and spine erect. A bastion, of some sort, between the world outside, and that to which she actually belonged. She relaxed her shoulders with another sigh, and waited.

Feb 28, 2018 05:44 PM — Post #3

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Name Player
Tomas Hodova Zoi

Paws seemed to linger, and he found himself aware that there was some indications of wolves remaining around. That was one of the bigger problems with the wolves in the valley, the fluctations were so grand that they were required to be flexible. In argument, the Springs were still way too close to the lakeside. It was a considerable threat, and thus, he could understand some of the dynamics of concern itching under Igbo’s fur.

Tomas’ birth home would have destroyed the wolves, from the inside out. Undoubtedly, Tomas would have been given leeway to find out all that he could, and then take the leader’s throat if it was enough to send them scrambling. As such, the Empire was not at capacity to withstand such a conflict, and there’d been no reason to thus far make such a move.

Nonetheless, as he spotted the dark lady, his grin was instant. “Hail, fellow mountaineer!” The jovial words were polite enough, his head cocking to the side with a rueful glance about. She was perched, she was showing off. Look who she was.

He didn’t know her, and yet, his head dipped. “I come bringing nothing of ilk; simply curious about the neighbors.” Might as well be blunt about it.

Mar 03, 2018 09:02 AM — Post #4

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Name Player
Morwen maiyev

Just like that, he came, and with something like a flourish. Immediate, and presumably false, cordiality. Embellished, even. His dark fur put her on edge, as it was so wont to do, regardless of the body it was on. Morwen was fearful and a cynic, though, and labored to put these thoughts to rest for the time being.

“Greetings,” she replied, mustering a fair tone of voice. Something that Soleil may have used at a time like this. But that woman was perfect. She didn’t even have to try to be.

Before the distance between them had even been closed in full, the male was bowing his head, acknowledging full well that he was a mere guest in this place. Good. At any other point in her life, she would not have thought herself ever soliciting such gestures, but, now—here, with so much at stake—it felt fitting, to say the least.

It’s not like they asked much of those who visited, besides politeness, and perhaps a courtesy bark before barging in.

“I would hope not,” Morwen began, maintaining the breeziness in her words. She was standing now, emerged completely from the crags, though not more than a step or two. She was poised to meet him now. “I’ve never seen you before. I don’t believe I could’ve done anything to you that would warrant any ilk.” A smile curved her black lips upright, softening the sunken lids under her eyes.

Lorenzo came to mind again.

She hoped the man was okay.

Mar 04, 2018 11:41 AM — Post #5

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[ Edited: Mar 04, 2018 11:44 AM by Morwen ]
Name Player
Tomas Hodova Zoi

Tomas could see her wariness in her stance, and that was perhaps a testament that he ought to have been more mindful. But there were no boundaries, nothing with an official capacity. Frequented tracks, but there was no stronghold that would have been enough to set up some kind of reason for him to be more careful.

Thus, his arrogance settled him, and he found himself offering a dip of his head. She hadn’t done anything, but that was a bit of a stretch - all of them had done something. And sometimes it only needed to be as easy as setting up in an area too close to pack grounds.With so many pups on the ground, there would have been an argument about clearing out the possible risks from nearby areas. It wouldn’t be out of the norm.

Tomas let such thoughts slide though, dipping his head. “Tomas, a pleasure to meet you then, madame.” His voice was smooth as always; the infectious air about him almost natural. It was his personality, in truth, Tomas was ever the social bee. It was enough that his lips curved at the side, and he continued to enclose on her presence. A faint sway of his tail to signal himself at ease.

Mar 05, 2018 05:36 AM — Post #6

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Name Player
Morwen maiyev

Tomas was his name. Upon scenting the air during his introduction, she caught a hint of what tinge had lingered on Nima when she’d met the empress. Perhaps this one was an underling of hers.

The umber woman nodded her head shallowly. Her smile persisted, though subdued. “Morwen. It is a pleasure.”

That was a lie. Under these circumstances, such a visitation was a nuisance at best. At worst, it was a threat. First the Covenant’s Astred, and now an envoy of Hellmaw, presumably. What called for such caution all of the sudden? Were Lorenzo’s efforts sufficient, or was this the product of a failed attempt at cultivating alliances?

Was the man even alive anymore?

Maybe he’d been killed along the way. Maybe this Tomas was here to end what they’d built; clean out what was left. Nip it all at the bud.

Morwen released a near inaudible sigh, the lean musculature under her fur tensed.

As with most wolves, this man was not trustworthy.

“Forgive me for not welcoming you into the cavern. We’ve had a lot of visitors lately—not always with the best intentions.” It was a gamble, using such blatancy, but perhaps he would empathize with her caution. They each had things to protect.

Not to mention how nice the morning was. The sun would surely do them well.

Mar 05, 2018 09:25 PM — Post #7

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Name Player
Tomas Hodova Zoi

Tomas was not surprised to see the hesitation, and thus he found himself even offering a step back. She was not the sort who seemed intent in showing there was nothing left to hide, and in fairness that was what raised some questions in his own mind. Even as the verbal explanation followed suit, the soft frown indicated there was some dismay at the news.

“Understood, Morwen. I am of the Empire, as you may have guessed,” No use in hiding the fact. Even as the Empire and what it stood for seemed to be on a rotation of inconsistency with the disappearance of the Empress.

“I was told that there were residents this way - after breaking some barriers holding with the Covenant I sought to see who lays on this side.” A ghost of a smile, allowing in part a deal of his intentions be known. Lying would do him no good. Saying he was surveying the land to get a feel for it would only get him snipped away with a clattering of teeth. Being invasive was not wise.

After a time, he opted to simply watch her. Not expecting much, yet out was amazing how silence could bring words.

Mar 06, 2018 05:50 AM — Post #8

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Name Player
Morwen maiyev

For whatever reason—be it a read on her, or his own caution—the male stepped back. Morwen found herself appreciating the gesture, and shifted her posture accordingly, but did not voice it. She wouldn’t confirm any weakness, to envoy and guest alike. At this point, neither would be welcome, should she have her way.

The umber woman provided a loose nod at his affirmation. Of course he was; she could smell it on him, and he was not stupid enough to lie through that fact.

A slow blink. So the Empire had extended the same suspicions to the Covenant. Morwen’s dark lips frowned slightly. Perhaps giving their procession a name would change things. She wondered if Lorenzo had been mulling over any titles for them. Something cool, she hoped. Punchy and straight-forward.

Ah, silly musings.

“I met your empress once,” she told Tomas, cordial smile returning in a wisp. “One of my companions and I hunted with her.” Maybe word didn’t travel far in the Empire. Maybe she and Tunglid were just too forgettable to mention. Or, maybe Nima was good at hiding her intentions. She didn’t seem like a woman interested in making friends.

This little visit merely validated Morwen’s conclusions.

She remained seated, letting the silence fall just as Tomas had. Her eyes didn’t stray far from him.

Mar 09, 2018 02:07 PM — Post #9

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Name Player
Tomas Hodova Zoi

The words that floated in the air, his eyes blinked as he was suitably impressed that Morwen chose not to be the chatty type. While it was not, in the deeper essence of things, a cause for concern. It allowed him some time to breathe, some time to take his own paws and give them a rest.

It was enough that he cocked his head, grinning softly. “Nima is not a presence that one often forgets after crossing her path.” The comfortable informality of her name brought a chill along his skin. It caused him to miss her, more, he supposed. Speaking her name like a quiet little treasure.

We’ve prospered with the growth in our pack, the numerous young hearts that linger on our grounds now.” He began, after a time, his head inclining. “Nima demanded that we, at best, extend branches towards our neighbors. We may never come snuggling upon one another’s aid and celebration moons, but so that if our young make a mistake - it may not be a threat that leaves our hearts frantic.

The soft spill of the lie, but he considered it in truth. Everything they did now, it was for Nima’s young. For Igbo’s young. For Kara’s children. It was enough that he had fought to scramble through the mountains seeking hunting companions. Why not tentative, woven understanding amongst others.

Mar 14, 2018 09:26 AM — Post #10

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Name Player
Morwen maiyev

He was right. Nima was one that a wolf could not forget so easily. Even Morwen, so difficult to inspire any sort of awe in, found the face of the empress clearer in her mind than others, even after their sole encounter. It was odd. It made Tomas’s presence on her grounds even odder.

Oh, so that was the real purpose: ask the neighbors for a little kindness, should their whelps trespass. Perhaps a bit of added observance as the message is conveyed. Morwen’s eyelids drooped in something like incredulity. With the bags under her eyes, though, she just looked tired.

“Understood,” replied the she-wolf lackadaisically, “but there’s only so much I can do on my end.” Morwen shifted slightly to look back out over the timber, scanning the stony pathway upon which Tomas stood.

“We have a home here. And I’m not sure about the Empire, but I don’t think I’d be far off point when I assume that your lot doesn’t take in guests often.” A pause. She scrutinized the dusky man with burnished eyes. “We’re not here to please sightseers. Neither are Hellmaw wolves.” A moment longer to watch him, and the nuances of his expression, should they shift. She suspected they would.

Then, to dispel whatever tension she’d made, Morwen rolled her shoulders and sighed.

“I don’t want to make any sore spots with Hellmaw. We only ask the same of them—and their brood.” Birthing season was over; it had been for nearly a season, so their pups had to be of a wizened age, at least somewhat. Surely, she could trust that Tomas and his confidants would instill some common sense into them. More than most wolves seemed to have, hopefully.

Mar 17, 2018 07:11 PM — Post #11

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Name Player
Tomas Hodova Zoi

Tomas found himself offering a flick of the tail, he was lost in the construction and the criticism of someone who didn’t understand a young heart anymore. There was enough in her guarded expression that told his instincts to perhaps take her expression with her words back home, but it was not an absurd thing to wish for - being a wolf with some talents.

It is a burden to place upon you, as well as ourselves to hold hope to uphold it.” The nod was slow, coming into an agreement over the motion of the Empire. At the moment, in honesty, they would have happily taken in a set of paws or two. Just to secure the grounds for but one extra day.

A faint amusement lit his eyes though, and his head cocked to the side. “The problem of living near water is that often wolves take for granted it is a resource as anything else. Trespassers will always happen, with unfortunate passing, but a quick tongue and escort versus a flash of fang is all I would hope.” A reasonable thing to ask, he thought; as long as the grounds did not shift into an unfavorable playing field.

The Empress endeavors to keep the young wolves from being foolish in their adventuring, and I can promise from my own standing - we won’t simply be encouraging them to come to the springs. There is bounty plus on the mountainside elsewhere. But wandering hearts -” A self-deprecating smile, a slightly more arch toward the charm that was the most natural thing of the dark male. “Have a habit of following their own path, regardless.

Mar 18, 2018 07:16 AM — Post #12

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Name Player
Morwen maiyev

Morwen’s tail swished at her backside as the shrouded male gave his gentle-tongued rebuttal. What was hastily made clear to her was that he did not plan to leave until she had agreed upon whatever terms he may place at her feet. And those terms, frankly, were a code of conduct she and her compatriots had already set for themselves, seasons back. There were so few of them now; no use creating hostility in such small numbers. They’d merely ward away prospects whilst painting targets on their own backs.

Did Tomas think them stupid? Again, Morwen wondered if he was testing her. Her impression of the Empire’s envoy was steadily growing sour.

“I assure you, we don’t want to make any bad blood,” she reiterated. “Our plans are to avoid spilling any, unless it proves absolutely necessary.” She would kill a foolish whelp any day if they had Tunglid or Lorenzo pinned at the throat, but she highly doubted a scenario like that would ever arise.

“Your pups won’t leave the springs with our teeth at their backs—but if they inflict any wounds on me or my companions,” she began, “they will earn the same treatment we’d extend to any similar transgressor.” Again, the woman was tense. Again, she rolled her shoulders in an effort to expel it.

“But don’t mistake this warning as an eagerness to make conflict. Like I said: aggression is a last resort.”

Come in unannounced, bathe in their waters, and treat them with contempt regardless; these were all things Morwen could bear, no matter how difficult. But cut their throats, Tomas, and they would not look the other way.

Mar 20, 2018 11:29 AM — Post #13

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