ardent

Early morning

Malalia



Sirius

Ashen Armada
Warlord of the Empress

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5 Years
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Silver Medal 2020Critical Hit!Critical Fail!Trick 2019Promptober 2019
04-09-2020, 04:53 PM

Sirius made his way quietly into the weeping woods. Marshal sat primly upon his back, wings spread out behind him, shadowing the Warlords fur, and giving the impression almost of what Mort would look like grown. With his vultures wingspan longer than the Warlord was tall he took up a decent chunk of space on either side.

He heard the sounds of Bast scampering through the woods somewhere beside him, but did not catch sight of her cream-toned coat. The early morning light filtered through the tree-tops with easy abundance, and left the Warlord in a pleasant mood.

He scented the northern wind that blew towards him, with a trace of the hot springs and even a tingle of volcanic ash, that still lingered even to this day by the great and terrible volcano. As he watched, Bast leaped from her hiding place, tearing across from him, and snatching at a rabbit that had hidden itself, still and silent in the path of grass just opposite to him. She trotted back over a moment later, her prize hanging limpy from her maw, and a victory-bounce in her steps. He could only shake his head and laugh at the antics of his companion.

"Speech"





Malalia

Loner
Missing from Armada

Intermediate Healer (55)
Master Fighter (250)

age
2 Years
gender
Female
gems
1228
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Lala
04-09-2020, 05:58 PM

It wasn't very often that the yearling was up this early. Fitful bouts of sleep and fleeting nightmares usually ensured that, even if she woke, her blood wasn't really flowing until sunhigh, and sometimes well after that. But her vain search for prey the night before had exhausted her mind and body alike. It wasn't really her choice: the moment she'd banked between exposed roots of a willow tree, a wave of sleep consumed her, blotting out her troubled mind. The next thing she knew, pale light was tumbling down between the swaying tendrils.

With a shimmy, she rose from her makeshift bed, and made her way further into the woods. The wind batted gently at her fur, the soil springy beneath her paws, dampened by the little rivers that criss crossed here and there between the roots of the trees. The branches whispered as they brushed against each other. It was easy to keep walking, to lose herself in her senses. What else was she going to do?

It was some time before she paused and swiveled her ears forward, nose twitching at the fresh scent of a wolf. Now that was something... not that it took much to capture her interest these days, really. Markers were plenty, but the she-wolf hadn't seen an actual, live person in days, if not weeks. Her paws moved of their own accord, and she jogged ahead, her tail lashing behind her. It wasn't long before she made out the figure of a male, with wide black wings sprouting from his back. Lala couldn't help but murmur in awe. She'd heard of winged wolves, but she'd never seen them in person.

Of course, between facing the man's front, and the distance between them, she couldn't make out the shape of the vulture on his back.

What made her pause, several yards away and half-hidden by a tree trunk, was the scent of... well, she wasn't sure what exactly. It smelled big and feline, that was for sure, but she couldn't place the exact animal. Was he aware of the danger? The yearling moved forward, her jaws parted to give a warning, when there was suddenly a flash of white, and the cat shot out from the woods, quickly capturing a rabbit and.... bringing it towards the lupine?

In any case, the two predators seemed at ease around each other. Her guard hairs smoothed the teeniest bit, a bit of tension flowing out of her. She moved slowly from behind the tree, her tail swaying curiously, though there remained a fair bit of distance between them. "I don't think I've ever seen a lion hunt for a wolf," she began, her eyes flickering from one figure to the other. "Not even for a winged one, that's for sure! How did you get her to do that for you?"




Sirius

Ashen Armada
Warlord of the Empress

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Master Hunter (275)

age
5 Years
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Male
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Sea

Silver Medal 2020Critical Hit!Critical Fail!Trick 2019Promptober 2019
04-09-2020, 06:10 PM

He heard the sound of her steps, but the wind was blowing in her favour, so she got closer than most would have before he knew she was there. When she spoke, he raised his head up to look at her, and Marshal made a clicking noise upon his back. Bast didn’t look alarmed, only curious, as she dropped her kill, and looked to this newcomer. A lion? the Warlord thought, but it was possible she had never encountered a leopard before, let alone one born for the snow. “She’s a Leopard, and I trained her when she was a cub” he explained.

The winged comment was easy to deduce, and he tossed his head over his shoulder to look at Marshal, and twitched his back. The vulture got the message, leaping from the Warlords back, and fanning his wings to get air, before lifting above them, and began doing lay swoops through the treetops. “That’s Bast, and that's Marshal” he introduced them one by one, nodding his head in the right direction. “I’m Sirius” he gave his own name next, turning his studying back to this woman. She was young, barely older than his kids, and a light, little thing. What was she doing out here alone?

"Speech"





Malalia

Loner
Missing from Armada

Intermediate Healer (55)
Master Fighter (250)

age
2 Years
gender
Female
gems
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Lala
04-09-2020, 08:18 PM

Her eyes flicked over the pale feline. Her coloring was something she'd never encountered--but the differences compared to, say, a mountain lion, weren't major. "A leopard. Soooo, a white lion, then," she declared, her tone light. "That's probably what they would've called it back home, anyway." It most likely came down to a difference in dialect, but to her, a lion was a lion, and not something to trifle with. With that in mind, she found herself moving a step closer, curiosity winning out over caution.

Watching the wolf, now, she blinked once when he moved to reveal the vulture's head, and twice when it took to the sky "Ah--" Okay, so definitely not a winged wolf. But the yearling couldn't help but crane her head to watch, mesmerized by its fluid movements through the air.  She wondered silently whether the m had any more "friends" hiding in the wood...

The introductions pulled her out of her stupor. The girl gave a light shake. She jogged forward and drew herself to her full height--which wasn't much--as if she hadn't been wonderstruck by this unusual trio. "I'm Malalia. Pleased to meet you," she offered honestly. He wasn't competing for food, or chasing her away. Still, she kept light on her feet. The scent of a pack clung to the stranger, though territory markers around the willows were conspicuously absent. Strange. "So do you just enjoy collecting animals, then, or are they meant to aid you?" She figured that it was the latter, though she couldn't quite imagine why.

In part, she was unfamiliar with the practice of animal companionship. Too, the man's stature hadn't gone unnoticed, nor had his elongated fangs. He towered at least a head or two above herself. Perhaps the vulture could lend its eyes, but--"It's just--you don't look like you need much protecting. Especially if you've got a pack around here somewhere." As she said her last words, she glanced half-jokingly over the male's shoulder, ears twitching forward. The lion--leopard--was hopefully the last surprise she had today.




Sirius

Ashen Armada
Warlord of the Empress

Master Fighter (240)
Master Hunter (275)

age
5 Years
gender
Male
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1407
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Dire wolf
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Sea

Silver Medal 2020Critical Hit!Critical Fail!Trick 2019Promptober 2019
04-09-2020, 08:51 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2020, 08:52 PM by Sirius.)

He looked to this new wolf in curiosity, did she consider all big cats lions? He hid a smile for the time he had caught a king cheetah and mistakenly thought it was simply a fluffier than average of the species. Zee hadn’t let him live that down. He stood still, and unthreatening when the smaller wolf stepped closer. There was hebris to the man, for he did not consider a small stranger to be a threat, knowing nothing about her capabilities.

She came closer yet, within easy striking distance, should the Warlord decide to take any action against her. He flashed her a smile with unnatural, elongated fangs as she introduced herself. It was unusual to meet a wolf who could face the Warlord so fearlessly. He suspected it was innocence more than anything else.

“Marshal was gifted to me upon my parents death, Bast my Wife would not let me kill, so we raised her instead.” he explained, giving this small piece of his past easily. “They, and myself, protect the pack.” he explained, dry amusement in his tone. He caught her weary look around. “What brings you to these woods? I haven’t caught your scent here before.” and he often patrolled the territory adjacent to his pack. He did not allow surprises to creep up behind him.

"Speech"




Malalia

Loner
Missing from Armada

Intermediate Healer (55)
Master Fighter (250)

age
2 Years
gender
Female
gems
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Medium
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posts
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Lala
04-09-2020, 10:33 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2020, 10:35 PM by Malalia.)

Lala sat neatly on her haunches, ending her advance as Sirius began to detail the origins of his companions. Her ears flattened slightly. "I'm sorry to hear about your parents." She swallowed, and cleared her throat. "A vulture as a gift. That's... well, I guess it isn't any weirder than anything else, huh?" She lightly tapped her left hind leg to the ground; the silver band clasped around it was a testament to that. Still... the past few months had served as a crash course in just how diverse the world was. Some of the wolves she had encountered carried armor, tools, potions. Others didn't even know what a medicine wolf was. There were gaps here and there, though these lands she had moved through for the past few days had proved to be the most expansive.

His next question sent a jolt down her spine. Yes, Malalia, why aren't you with your pack, or your parents? She knew very well what she looked like, to some: a delicate little girl lost in the woods. But she wasn't delicate, or lost. She was just... moving around. Whose business was it but her own, if she had no destination?

She tossed her head to the side and flicked her tail, trying to mask the sudden tightness in her limbs. "Hunting," she answered finally, turning her green eyes back on the wolf. A strange twinge of guilt pricked at her pads. The yearling usually blurted out the first thing that came to her mind, but this time around, she physically. Could. Not. Do it. The lump in her throat wouldn't let her. "I was hunting a pheasant, but I... tripped and ended up losing it. It was actually kind of tragic," she chuckled ruefully, remembering the exact moment it slipped from her paws. Lala was usually more careful than that, but more work and less prey than she was used to, didn't exactly help her case. Hunting would be so much easier with her packmates around--

...Well, anyway. Maybe it was a misdirection, but it wasn't a lie, after all, and it wasn't like he asked for her life story. "So I slept over there--" she motioned with her nose, back to her bed beneath the willow, "--and ended up here. I'm not sure I'll be staying for long, though." She smiled lightly, though it didn't quite reach her eyes.




Sirius

Ashen Armada
Warlord of the Empress

Master Fighter (240)
Master Hunter (275)

age
5 Years
gender
Male
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Sea

Silver Medal 2020Critical Hit!Critical Fail!Trick 2019Promptober 2019
04-09-2020, 10:50 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2020, 10:54 PM by Sirius.)

“Hmm” he said “Perhaps I should amend that. He was inherited he explained. The bird had been the companion to one of his parents, or both. He didn’t have any memories of them, and the Vulture wasn’t a trove of information. He watched the poor she tapped to the earth, the band about her limb rising and falling with the motion. Was it a nervous tick? Perhaps.

Bast shifted beside him, anxious at staying still, and he gave her a nod, giving her freedom to range through the woods nearby, keeping an eye on things. He turned back to the youngling, who was possibly nervous, but definitely friendly. Hunting was a decent reason to be in these woods, and he would have accepted it at face value, if she didn’t seem so anxious about saying it.

Her words really drove home how young she was, and it seemed she needed a little more help with her hunting. It changed the way he eyed her, just a touch, just a smidgen. Almost unnoticeable, to any who did not know the Warlord. Was she a lost little lamb with no people? He was always looking for younglings to raise, and train, with an installed love for the Armada.

“I see.” he said, reaching down to pick up the rabbit Bast had caught earlier, stepping closer to the stranger, to Malalia, as she had introduced herself, and set the carcass down before her. “In that case, take this for your breakfast. Where do you plan on going next?” he asked, thinly veiled curiosity in his tone.

"Speech"




Malalia

Loner
Missing from Armada

Intermediate Healer (55)
Master Fighter (250)

age
2 Years
gender
Female
gems
1228
size
Medium
build
Light
posts
413
player
Lala
04-10-2020, 12:23 AM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2020, 12:24 AM by Malalia.)
Inherited, then. Lala watched the small exchange between the wolf and his companion. It was still a bit of a shock, to see someone command another predator with such ease, but she supposed it was simply another custom to get used to.

He offered the rabbit, and she couldn't help but go wide-eyed, stealing glance to examine this stranger once more. He was massive, compared to her. Deadly, probably. The claw-like pattern over his eye was certainly intimidating. That he even tolerated her presence was a miracle unto itself. But the girl wouldn't have stayed this long and strayed this close, had she felt unsafe. There were packwolves who attacked her when she approached anywhere near their territory, and loners who simply didn't want the company. But Sirius had only ever been open.

"So, is hanging out with loners your pastime or something? Because you're probably the nicest person I've met so far. And you could, like, squash me with your pinky toe," she remarked. "And you definitely didn't have to feed me breakfast--not that I'm refusing," she added quickly, pulling the rabbit towards her with a wide grin. "Seriously--thank you. And Bast, of course."

She paused to consider his question. "Well, I haven't planned that far yet," she admitted. "But generally, I've been heading north. I... guess I'm not quite sure where I want to settle. If  I want to settle. But traveling hasn't been bad on its own." So far. Her movements were only hindered by pack borders and whatever prey she was chasing at the moment.



Sirius

Ashen Armada
Warlord of the Empress

Master Fighter (240)
Master Hunter (275)

age
5 Years
gender
Male
gems
1407
size
Dire wolf
build
Medium
posts
1,612
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Sea

Silver Medal 2020Critical Hit!Critical Fail!Trick 2019Promptober 2019
04-10-2020, 01:01 AM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2020, 01:01 AM by Sirius.)

He snorted in amusement at being described as ‘nice’ not just nice, but the ‘nicest person’ she had met so far. How ludicrous, how strange. Not many would describe the Warlord as so. They had spoken for barely moments, enough to exchange names and pleasantries, and the offer for food. She was willing to trust him off the bases of this alone. She had given him her trust with those words, and he wondered precisely what he should do with such a gift.

“I’ve already eaten, this rabbit was the product of a board cat” he said, a little dry, a little amused. It cost him nothing to give it to her. The reward she gave him in trusting her was greater. “I’ll pass on your thanks.”

He looked over the little wolf again, the yearling that he could potentially mold and train as he pleased. She could be a playmate to his children, another wolf around their age to train with. To fetch and carry for them, perhaps, if he could convince her she needed to do so to earn her place.

“Well, if you have no plans of yet, perhaps it wouldn’t unsettle any for me to make this offer - would you be interested in joining my pack?”

"Speech"




Malalia

Loner
Missing from Armada

Intermediate Healer (55)
Master Fighter (250)

age
2 Years
gender
Female
gems
1228
size
Medium
build
Light
posts
413
player
Lala
04-10-2020, 02:11 AM
She couldn't help but roll her eyes. "What?" she insisted, half indignant, half joking. "Most of people wouldn't give me the time of day to pester them, let alone feed me and learn my name. So you are, relatively, pretty nice." Not that she knew the man very well. Perhaps that was the general feeling among strangers in the regions she'd traversed. Or perhaps it was bad luck that she'd encountered the wolves that she did. Whatever the case, Sirius had been the most amiable among them. For the moment, at least, he seemed like a safe bet. Right?

She exhaled herself at his comment on her thanks, but for once said nothing in retort. Did it really mean so little to him? She'd never gone hungry, growing up, but a rabbit certainly hadn't been considered a trivial thing. And even then, the gesture itself was kind. In the silence between his words, she dipped down to tuck into the rabbit's haunch, sating her hunger.

Then, he offered her a place in his pack. She paused, and ran her tongue over her muzzle, removing the blood. She wasn't expecting this. At all. Lala had nursed vague notions of belonging to a pack someday--but she had imagined that day a lot later than, well, today. Her eyes narrowed just slightly as she lifted her head. "Why? Are you looking to grow? Do you offer spots to yearlings often or something?" She wasn't suspicious of Sirius, not really, but to her, this had really come out of nowhere. And, oh, it just occurred to her that he must be an Alpha--or at least, very high ranking--to actually be extending this invitation. Not that it changed her view of him much. Rather than be intimidated, though, she felt a twinge of excitement.

"Not that I'm ungrateful," she rushed. "But perhaps I could learn a little more about you all? Before I decide." Had she not lost her own pack mere months ago--had she been actively seeking one--she might've said yes automatically. Still, something she did not know, something close to guilt, twisted at her gut. But it would be stupid to turn down the benefits of a pack, wouldn't it? Protection. Masters she could train with. A home. And its not like she had anywhere to be.



Sirius

Ashen Armada
Warlord of the Empress

Master Fighter (240)
Master Hunter (275)

age
5 Years
gender
Male
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Sea

Silver Medal 2020Critical Hit!Critical Fail!Trick 2019Promptober 2019
04-10-2020, 02:25 AM

Well, did he? He supposed there was truth to that. He had taken a few yearlings in under his wing. “Your a little older than my children, and I wouldn’t them wondering out here without somewhere to return home to” he offered in explanation. It was part of a truth. His truth? Maybe a little, the underlying reasons. He told himself he took the young ones to bend them to his ways, but really, what had he done but feed them and offer them a home. Zee had corrupted him, he didn’t do anything for the fun of hurting them anymore.

He looked at the little creature, and knew he didn’t like the idea of someone hurting her. He hid his weary sigh. Turning into a bleeding heart with a family had never been the direction he had seen his life going.

“Well, what would you like to learn? I’m a father, and the Alpha of my pack. We have big communal stores of food and supplies, and we work together to keep everyone fed and safe.” he gave a rueful smile then “The majority of my pack are healers, somehow, despite my intention of making a pack of warriors” thats what his bleeding heart got him.

"Speech"




Malalia

Loner
Missing from Armada

Intermediate Healer (55)
Master Fighter (250)

age
2 Years
gender
Female
gems
1228
size
Medium
build
Light
posts
413
player
Lala
04-10-2020, 03:26 AM
So maybe it was as simple as the man being a father himself. It made sense, and if they had room for her.... maybe she should take him up on the offer. She listened quietly as he rattled off a few details about their pack. Pretty standard stuff--she didn't expect an exhaustive list of their numbers or defenses, of course--until.... Healers? She was at once excited and a little frustrated to learn every new detail. A pack where the majority were healers. Her own pack had possessed only one, Pia.

She blinked at the remembrance. It had been a long time since she'd thought of the woman... even before her official training, Pia was her first teacher--though not by choice. The medic and minder had babysat Malalia and her siblings while their Alpha mother was away. Her den was fragrant, and her poultices fascinating. While her littermates played together, the she-cub often watched her work, eventually becoming her assistant of sorts until they were old enough to mind themselves. Hunting and fighting had been exciting avenues... before. She'd never really considered becoming a healer, but with some knowledge under her pelt, and a pack filled to the brim with them... maybe it was something to consider.

Oh, hell. If she joined, and didn't like them, it's not like she'd have to stay forever.

Finally, she answered. "...Perhaps I could train under one of your healers, then. I could train to be a warrior, too, if that's what you needed." It had once been a goal of hers, after all. Nevermind that she was a slight thing, that she'd never actually been in a real battle, or that her stomach churned at the thought of one. She ignored it, for the time being, though.



Sirius

Ashen Armada
Warlord of the Empress

Master Fighter (240)
Master Hunter (275)

age
5 Years
gender
Male
gems
1407
size
Dire wolf
build
Medium
posts
1,612
player
Sea

Silver Medal 2020Critical Hit!Critical Fail!Trick 2019Promptober 2019
04-10-2020, 03:38 AM

He looked at her a little longer, she was taking her time to decide, and he could respect that. Joining a pack was never a light decision. He didn’t know what thoughts were going on behind her eyes, despite how curious he might have been. He didn’t shuffle or stir, he simply waited, and his smile was slow, but certain when she answered him.

“Excellent. A healer-warrior would fit in perfectly. I can find you a healer-trainer, and train you in combat myself” he decided. He enjoyed teaching, and would relish the task of training her.

He straightened, raising his head and giving off a short bark, a summoning to Bast. Marshal was still up in the air, and would find him again with ease. “Let me show you the place and get you settled, then” he offered with a welcoming smile. He hadn’t needed to kidnap or coerce her, her agreement had been an easy thing, and somehow more delightful for it.

"Speech"




Malalia

Loner
Missing from Armada

Intermediate Healer (55)
Master Fighter (250)

age
2 Years
gender
Female
gems
1228
size
Medium
build
Light
posts
413
player
Lala
04-10-2020, 04:14 AM

A healer-warrior. The idea was warming up to her already, happiness showing in the slow wag of her tail. Sure, she hadn't planned on being part of a pack so soon, but it could very well be a good thing. There had been a pang of longing for the home that had come before. But new ideas were springing up and burying her guilt. Becoming a master in her passions. Falling in beside a pack who she could commune with, play with--a pack who would love and care for her, as she would for them. Not like she actually knew anyone, or could predict that they'd take a liking to her, but that was the farthest thing from her mind. The lonely child was drawn to the fantasy like flies to honey, and, Sirius, intending or no, had caught her.

But maybe this was what she was really looking for, what she really needed, after months of aimless travel.

"That's--that's great!" she exclaimed. To train under such a formidable looking wolf, and the Alpha no less--she was sure to become a great warrior. "I--yes--definitely--thank you--" As Sirius motioned to exit, the yearling scrambled to her paws, rearing to go.




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1. Early morning Weeping Woods 04:53 PM, 04-09-2020 04:41 PM, 04-15-2020