ardent

Willows



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
05-13-2020, 04:19 AM (This post was last modified: 05-13-2020, 04:19 AM by Malalia.)


The yearling hummed softly as she thought up an answer to the question. "My aunt Pia gave it to me. It was actually a given to me when I was born... you can imagine how well that fits around a newborn, though." Her laughter here was softer.

It was... easier to talk about her aunt. When she'd run from her home, barely a year old, the girl had no idea what had become of the woman. Perhaps that was for the best, in some ways. Hurt less to deal with.

"I carried it around with me when I was old enough to walk, and I've worn it ever since I was big enough to." As she worked, she went on. "I was interested in medicine before fighting, even, and that was because of her. She was the healer for our pack, and she... she babysat my siblings and I when my dam was away. I loved to help her out, and she was willing to let me mess up her stores to try," she chuckled. "I didn't receive any 'official' training until I came to the Armada, though."

Mal smiled at his thanks, a bit muted from before, but still warmed by his praise. "Does anyone ever tell you that you smile a lot?" She laughed, shaking her head. "I appreciate it. And thank you for the honey, and... well, everything today." Her ears flattened with a twinge of happy embarrassment. "It was nice to get away for a while."

"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-13-2020, 04:36 AM

Cairo listened with interest as Malalia told her story. It was a tiny piece of the girl’s past, and he was rather honored that she was willing to open up about it. He didn’t know what her life was like before she’d come to Boreas, but she was young, and hadn’t been born to the Armada. It wasn’t difficult to assume that something bad must have happened, because it sounded like she’d had a loving family, and surely, if something hadn’t happened, she’d still be there.

“Maybe she’ll come to Boreas too, someday.” His words were softer, gentler, and bracing with their hope. After all, it was all he could do when it came to Geo. Hope. Hope that one day, he’d see his tricolored little brother again. Hope that the volcano hadn’t killed him.

At her remark he chuckled, trademark grin in place. “It’s easier to smile, better to laugh, rather than let my worries drag me down. I have them, like anyone else, but I have a pack I want to serve well, and I can’t do that if I mope around all the time instead of working it out.”

His tail swept a bit harder over the ground as she thanked him, and nodded happily, adding, “If you ever feel like having some fun and sparring, and don’t mind a long walk, come to the west, and I’ll gladly spar you. I’ve no doubt you’ll join Aurielle in squashing my face into the dirt.”

He was only half joking with that last comment.



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-13-2020, 05:18 AM


Mal only shrugged at Cairo's gentle tone, as yet unaware that the hope that resonated there was for him, too. She gave a wordless, rueful little half-smile, not meeting the man's eyes. It's not that she assumed her aunt was dead, or held out some hope for their unlikely reunion. Pia was suspended in the unknown, a happy memory frozen in amber.

Truthfully, it was easier for the young one to not think of her past at all. It was more than likely the very reason she'd thrown herself into training with such vigor. It gave her mind something to latch onto, something to gnaw at that wasn't the home and the family she'd lost.

Still... that part he mentioned, about working it out, tickled at her mind. Mal was passionate, but she wasn't obstinate by any means. As much as she would've liked to let the past be forgotten, that one little comment whispered that perhaps it should not be so. It certainly wasn't healthy, to keep it all boxed in, though the young woman's own discomfort with the subject hadn't let her do anything else. Until now, maybe.

That was something to chew on later, though. Slowly, her mischief returned. "Well you can still frown about your worries and not let them drag you down, can't you?" She raised an eyebrow. "Like... like if you step on a thorn and curse, it feels better than holding it in." She shrugged again, noticeably lighter. "I'm not saying all the time, but there is definitely a time that moping is warranted." Truly, now, she was arguing for the sake of arguing.

She was nearly back to her enthusiastic self upon hearing his last offer. "You've got a deal." No jokes or teasing here, but genuine happiness at the offer. She was happy she'd made a friend in the Valhallan wolf.

It was then that she noticed the shift in shadows, and glanced upwards to see that the sun had moved well along its westward course since she'd first stumbled upon the brute. She pursed her lips. It was a strange feeling. Mal didn't want him to go, but -- "You were looking for your family, right? Don't let me keep you."

"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-13-2020, 05:51 AM

His smile was gentler, a lot softer than his usual grin as she thought it over, whatever it might be. He was no mind-reader, but he was perceptive. He’d brushed close to something still raw. No doubt that rawness would heal, and she’d be fully ready to face whatever trauma had occurred to bring her to the Armada, and if he could help her in any way, whether to be a punching bag, or the shoulder she cried on, he’d offer himself up without a thought. It was just who he was.

Her mischievous side slid back into sight as she teased him for his philosophy, and he laughed softly, head cocked with one ear drooping to the side, the other ear perked straight up to the sky. “I’ve definitely cursed a few times. Usually at a lion. Might I add that you are way more fun to spar than an angry lion? Or two?”

He shuddered with some theatrics, but it wasn’t all feigned. He was pretty sure that if his heart had been hammering any harder at those times it would have exploded, leaving him keeled over dead at the paws of a very confused, angry, and probably hungry, big cat.

His hips wiggled, tail thrashing the ground as she accepted his offer, and he nodded with a grin. His eyes followed hers to the sky, noting with some surprise that he’d been there for a good few hours without really even noticing the passage of time. Funny how it flew in good company.

He had been thinking of seeing whether Ulric was around, but now he had a deer to carve up, and a hide to carry home, so… “I was. But I’m sure I’ll bump into him, or them, at some other time. I should get that deer carved up so I can carry it home. Or maybe I’ll try building a campfire from scratch and dry the venison, make it easier to carry.”

He did find himself looking for small ways to prolong his time with his new friend, but, at the same time, he didn’t want her getting in trouble if she was needed for any training back in the Armada.

He chuckled softly and stretched his way to his paws, studying her thoughtfully. He was pretty sure he had an idea for the hide’s use.



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-13-2020, 10:21 PM (This post was last modified: 05-13-2020, 10:23 PM by Malalia.)


She sputtered in mild disbelief. Usually? He made bouts with big cats sound routine. “Ummmmm I bet I am," she laughed, the sound a touch incredulous. "So....” The girl dropped to her belly, ears leveled, her verdant gaze sparkling as she cast an imploring look up at Cairo, in her best, most melting rendition of puppy eyes. “You’re definitely telling me how you ended up fighting multiple lions, right? Who even does that?”

Cairo did, apparently.

The young woman was absolutely delighted that the Valhallan wolf would be sticking around. She'd merely offered him an exit because she knew the man had plans. As much as she had wanted to spend time with him, people had places to be... but now? He wasn't getting away with his life, if she could help it. The girl herself had finished her tasks for a good while, and Sirius wasn't expecting her until the morning patrol. Her tail thumped hard on the ground, thoroughly pleased and unashamed about it as she scooted closer on her belly to hear about the lions.

"You should definitely dry it," she offered casually. She'd never seen a campfire before, and he did say it would make carrying the meat easier, didn't he? And if it sounded like the process would take a little longer, well, so be it.

Her head still laying between her paws, she watched him watching her. Malalia narrowed her eyes and gave a faint little snort, flicking her ears up as if to say, What?


"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-13-2020, 10:58 PM (This post was last modified: 05-13-2020, 10:59 PM by Cairo II.)

Oh, he’d done it now. He grinned, but any resistance, had there been any to begin with, was slaughtered. Damn, but she had that puppy-pleading-eyes down to a science. He chuckled and gestured, padding to the deer and beginning to work strips of meat from the kill, laying them out on the fleshy side of the hide in neat rows. He’d have to devise a way to dry them without flat stones like Domari’d done.

Between strips, he began, “Well, the first one trespassed into our lands. I was on sentry duty, and my sister was on her way to relieve me. When I heard it at first I thought it was Caelia, but you can imagine how my heart about jumped out of my throat when I saw a lion instead.”

He chuckled, remembering it. “It was my first real fight. And the first fight where I killed. I’m glad Caelia was close enough to help in time. Also, extremely glad I’d already made my torso armor before then. Those scrapes over the left shoulder are from that lion.”

He laid a fresh line of strips out on the hide, pausing in his story and grinning at her to see if she was asleep yet, tail wagging in private amusement at his mental self-depreciating joke.



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-13-2020, 11:42 PM


She let loose a happy little chuff when Cairo relented, beginning to set up the strips of meat for drying before he dove into his story. Of course, she didn't think that he wouldn't -- it was a low-stakes request, after all. Still, it was good to see that her puppy-eyes had an effect on him. Perhaps she'd try something higher-stakes later, if they ever bumped into each other after today.

Malalia watched patiently as Cairo tore out even strips and laid them neatly on the hide. She mostly watched him work, though her ears twitched as he began to recount the tale. As her hindlegs rose, she stretched out her back with a habitual yawn before pacing up closer to the kill. "Can I help out?" The question came between the pause in his words. She wasn't listening, but the girl had a hard time sitting still, and she wanted to see this drying process all the way through.

Her eyes slid over to the scratches in Cairo's armor where the lion had left its mark. She'd fought countless coyotes... but nothing as daunting as a big cat. Not yet. "How did it feel?" her eyes were trained on the armor, but soon enough returned to look curiously at the male. "Did you know you'd win?" Besides those pests, and a few tough sparring matches, she'd never actually been in a fight where her life or someone else's was truly in danger. It certainly wasn't boring.

"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-13-2020, 11:55 PM

At her offer of help, he smiled, nodding. He slipped one paw out of his left bracer since he wasn’t really using that paw to cut anything. “This may be a little big on your leg, but if you slip your toes through the loops at the base of the claws you can flex your toes and wiggle them. Just do what I’ve been doing to cut the meat into thin strips about a bear-claw’s width thick and lay them in the rows.”

He demonstrated further with his one bracer with even strokes, laying out the strips in groups of five or six at a time so that he didn’t have to constantly walk back and forth every time he cut one strip.

He pondered thoughtfully, gazing around at the trees and grinning. Maybe there was a way he could skewer the venison on sticks and make a frame?

He padded to some of the low-hanging willow branches and gnawed through them, finding several thicker ones for the frame.

At her questions, he smiled softly. “It was terrifying as hell. Also felt like getting kicked by a bison in the shoulder. But that lion wasn’t going to run away, so… I knew it had to die, so that Valhalla would be safe. I had no idea if I’d live to tell the story, though. But that’s what courage is, or so I’m told. Being utterly terrified, but fighting on or pushing through anyway, because someone needs you more than you need to run away.”

He grinned. “It was even scarier when myself and one of our more experienced wolves had to fight off two lions north of Valhalla. Luckily it wasn’t both at once, more, we finished off the first only to get attacked by the second. Was pretty sure I was going to die that time, too.”

He paused to wrap willow fronds into a frame, testing his theory by spearing several strips of meat so they hung like fish fillets on a drying rack. Now he just needed a fire. Pity he hadn’t brought a coal-horn along when Aurielle had warned him to rest and be ready.

He got to work, and it took a good half hour before he finally managed a flame with a “Hah!” of triumph and not a little relief.



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-14-2020, 12:53 AM


She listened as he explained how to use the bracer to cut the strips. She pursed her lips, but nodded as she slipped it over her own left foreleg. It was big, and definitely didn't fit as snugly as the steel claws back at home. Malalia twisted her head to follow him as he left to grab some willow branches, then turned back around to the task at hand. She struggled to make a clean cut, the lines a little wobbly on her first attempt. Her second wasn't much better.

Ear pinned flatly to her head as she tried, slower and more carefully, the third incision, which was a lot neater. Her tail wagged at her progress, and soon she found her own rhythm, cutting the meat into even, thin strips about a bear claw thick, as Cairo had instructed, and placing them alongside the others.

Her ears twitched as he shared the moment of fighting the cougar with her, and she paused from her work to look up at him, chuckling lightly at the bison bit, and going silent for the rest. It did sound terrifying as hell... but even with that fear, Cairo had faced the threat without hesitation. She'd never heard courage defined in that way. In all her time at the Armada, she hadn't been afraid when she'd thrown herself at a threat. Not that she knew it herself, but there was a sort of recklessness about the way she faced dangers.

She had run away, though. Before.

"...I guess it is easier to face something when you aren't afraid," she added quietly, clearing her throat and shifting her focus back to cutting strips. "And for the record, I'm glad you lived to tell the tale."

She huffed in disbelief, though, when he relayed his second encounter to her. "You seem to get a lot of lions coming your way," she deadpanned. "I can't even imagine dealing with them on what seems to be a regular basis."

She paused when he did, watching as the mean weaved the willow branches together, and eventually make the fire. In the meantime she ate a bit of her own portion of the carcass, and visited one of the streams to wash away the blood that had long stained her fur from the hunt. She was dozing lightly when an exclamation from her companion made one eye pop open, her tail swishing behind her.


"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-14-2020, 01:18 AM

Cairo grinned with approval her first two cuts. Heavens knew he hadn’t been very good at slicing when he’d first started using the bracers as cooking knives himself.

He nodded slightly when she remarked that it was easier to face things when you weren’t afraid, though he chuckled and added, “Though, for the record, if the odds are not in your favor, and there’s no one to protect, running isn’t a crime.”

Ohhhh, if he could have read her mind and realized she thought he meant mountain lions. If only it was that easy. He did laugh and admit, “I’m glad I lived to tell the tale, too. And yeah… although they’re a strange sight to see at all on Boreas. They’re more of an Austerian predator. Mountain lions are more common in Boreas. I’d rather fight one of them…”

His words and voice were genuine, honest. He grinned then added, “With Aurielle, it’s like bears and tigers hate her in particular.”

He stuck the first of the frames into the ground by the fire, tipped so that the heat would reach the venison. It took little time for one side to be slightly dry, and he nodded to himself, pleased, before feeding the fire and rearing up on his back legs, stretching his neck out to capture more willow fronds, using his remaining bracer to help cut the branch as he balanced and tiptoed on his back paws.

He hadn’t noticed that she’d dozed while he’d battled with the fire, but when her eye popped open she got a good view of his ridiculous two-legger impression as he wrenched another branch free before dropping back to his fours and sitting to repeat the process of stripping the willow fronds, spearing the meat, and setting up the rack to dry.

The process was repeated several times, until all the meat from his portion of the kill had been set up. At that point, he grinned at the girl and trotted to the stream for his own face wash, though he was careful not to accidentally wash off the paste on his injury.

He sprawled, damp-furred and clean-faced, near the fire with a contented huff, scanning the surroundings briefly before stripping off his remaining bracer and tossing it with a flip of his head to the pile of armor nearby.

“That meat being dried should be a lot easier to carry home.”



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-14-2020, 01:54 AM
Her ears flicked as Cairo amended his statement with that particular add-on. Was... he wasn't referring to her, was he? She gave him a side-eye, but otherwise was silent as she continued to cut the strips. Oh, she knew very well what she must have looked like, to Sirius and others, a lone, family-less yearling whose life was upheaved by some unknown force, some tragedy. That was simply her status in this world, and she so often forgot that no amount of laughing or friendliness could cover it up that simple fact. Still, Cairo seemed to read her like a book. Or maybe she wasn't covering well enough? Maybe both.

But it was easier not to think about. Instead, she merely looked a bit confused at Cairo's statement about lions, before he added the tigers and bears bit. Her face dawned with sudden realization. "Oh. Ohhhhh. You meant the, the maned ones? You were fighting those?? Yeesh...." That made a lot more sense, suddenly. Mountain lions were daunting to her, but fairly common. She felt even more bad for him, now. "See, I had this exact problem with Sirius when I first met him, actually, and I think it's just different vernacular?" She scratched behind her ear. "It took me weeks to figure it out, but back home we just say 'lion' to refer to any big cat, and we usually used it to refer to mountain lions since they were the only ones around. It's different here, and I'm still getting used to -- well, to a lot of things, really."

When she woke, Mal couldn't help but giggle at the man's two-legged stance, and then watched him silently as he went to work, setting up the racks to dry the meat. When he grinned and left to wash his own face, Mal took off her bracelet and carefully tied the golden ribbon of the stopper to it before sliding the jewelry back onto her hind leg. Her tail wagged briefly when, upon his return, Cairo took off his bracer and threw it with the rest of his armor. It meant he wasn't leaving anytime soon, and that was alright with her. "How long should it take to dry?" she asked conversationally, and totally not gauging the time she had left with her newfound companion.

His armor brought up another question, though. "So Mister Lionkiller. Why did you want to become a warrior?"

--ooc: i'll edit this with my full table soon lolllllll



Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-14-2020, 02:37 AM
[Don't forget the Seasonal. Even though we reached word count it still requires a spar/clear winner, although we don't need to have it judged. Either way works for me ^^]

He hadn’t missed the side-eye she gave him at his words about running from danger you couldn’t fight. He didn’t press on that rawness, instead laughing softly as she finally realized that he meant something way bigger than a mountain cat. “Yup. Not fun. At all.”

He listened with interest as she explained her confusion’s origin, nodding thoughtfully and musing, “I can see why you got them mixed up. And hey! Learning can be a hell of a lot of fun.”

He grinned at the giggle, tail swaying pleasantly through his work, and as she asked how long the meat might take to dry, he rocked back on one elbow, eyes exploring the undersides of the willows in thought, calculating. “Probably all night as long as the fire’s kept going.”

Her next query brought a dreamy smile.

“I’ve known I wanted to be a warrior – the best I could be – since I was old enough to know the difference. My mother was a warrior, and the pack’s secondary Alphess beside Aurielle up until she died. Not only that, but my great aunts and uncle were all warriors in their own rights, and all of them, including my grandmother, were queens or a king at some point. And then the great grandparents… My namesake Cairo was a warrior king who his people loved, and while his late mate, my great grandmother Guinevere was alive, she was a warrioress as well. So… I’ve wanted to follow in those pawsteps.”

He sprawled onto his side, squirming belly up and rubbing his back into the grasses, legs kicking, tail flipping. Lastly, he gave all four legs a massive stretch, straight up like some imitation of a fainting goat before his limbs dropped limply, forepaws draped over his chest in contentment.

“But I wanted to do more than just be a fighter. I didn’t start out knowing quite what I wanted to do, but then I realized that hunting was a good way, where I can stay fit, practice my tracking and scent identification, and practice bite placement on the run. So, it helps my reflexes and provides for the pack. Plus, the beta rank I’m after presides over the Fighters and Hunters. I’m hoping my sister makes it to be my partner. We’d work well together.”

His tail swept side to side in a contented wag.



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-14-2020, 03:42 AM


She snorted faintly at his statement that learning was fun. Not that it wasn't true! But it sounded a touch too much like a kindergarten lesson for her tastes, and she was a year and seven months old, and not a child, thank you very much. Still, the feeling was eased as she realized he'd be sticking around a decent while longer. This day had turned out to be pretty fun for her, indeed. She hadn't expected to make a friend in the stranger, but she was so, so glad that she'd done so.

Mal couldn't help but smile at Cairo's dreamy expression. She couldn't help it -- the pure joy and wonder and passion that exuded from the man was infectious. The young one listened as he talked passionately about his family, and the long line of warriors, even warrior queens and kings, that ran through his blood and inspired him to carry on the tradition. "They were all queens and kings at some point," she queried, "But not anymore? Aren't you... next in line at some point?" It was a bit strange that he was, well, a lower-ranked warrior, when his heritage indicated that he should be a prince of some sort, or eventually a king himself. Shouldn't he? And thus far she hand't heard of a kingdom or queendom within Boreas. Or maybe it was outside of the continent entirely.

His explanation of hunting as a pair to his warrior skills and a boon to his pack made enough sense. "That's certainly be fun," she blinked, indicating his hope to work with his sibling.


"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-14-2020, 04:13 AM (This post was last modified: 05-14-2020, 04:14 AM by Cairo II.)

His head tipped toward her, ears perking at her question. Ruefully, he chuckled, a little grimly. “Ah. No, I wouldn’t be, if you go by firstborns. My elder brother – littermate – Artur would be that, but…”

A rare, grim expression settled into his features, a frown. “He’s stuck on the idea that Adravendi blood is gold and anyone else is dirt beneath his paws. He detests Aurielle’s family for carrying the name they were adopted into two generations before we were even birthed. Just because there were a few idiots that had been adopted and betrayed the family. Idiots not even blood related to Aurielle.”

His eyes lifted to the willows, ears tipping back. “I love him. He’s my brother. But I do not, cannot, agree with his views in that sense. Erani long proved her and her family’s worth and loyalty to the Adravendi name and family, and they havekept proving that loyalty. They didn’t have to re-found Valhalla. But they did. They kept a name alive when most of my own blood family faded into other lands, and even the pack led by my uncle Leo fell. It was known as Fiori.”

A long silence, then he said softly, “I worry for him… The last wolf that had any view similar to his own was our great Uncle Syrinx… And Syrinx ended up dead when he challenged Isardis Armada to the death. He lost. Of course, Syrinx also chose his own littermate, Eos, for his mate… And I haven’t heard of any of their offspring remaining to this day.”

He broke into a soft chuckle then, adding, “In any case… I don’t really wish to be king. Maybe if there was great need of me in that station, but Aurielle cares for her people. She would let him leave in a heartbeat if she felt he would be happier and better able to follow his own path outside Valhalla. Same with anyone in Valhalla. All a wolf need do is tell her they’re leaving, so that she knows they’re okay, that they haven’t been killed out there somewhere. Or been taken by slavers…”



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-14-2020, 04:56 AM (This post was last modified: 05-14-2020, 05:49 AM by Malalia.)
[ That's really funny. Mal's dad is named Arturo >.>  also this is prob my last post on this thread tonight]



For once, the man's features were not so cheerful, the tales of his life not so worshipful as the subject turned to Cairo's wayward brother. Her body stilled, but her ears still twitched occasionally, paws shifting underneath her as she listened. It was obvious that his sibling's beliefs troubled him deeply, so much so that he feared for his safety one day.

"It's funny you should say that. There are... two brothers within my pack that are kind of the same way," she chuckled. "Very, very different ways of thinking. I can't stand one of them. He's an evil little shit." Her nose wrinkled at the thought. "Okay, maybe not evil, exactly, but his moral compass is certainly skewed a the wrong way. He sounds a lot like Syrinx, actually..." Without all the drama that surrounded that particular man.

She shook her head. "It's... easy to dislike him, when he isn't family. I imagine that it's a lot harder when it's someone you love." She smiled ruefully, laying her head on her paws, looking into the fire. "I'm sorry you have to see him in that way. That your relationship isn't any easier." That was probably the same way Mortis felt -- unerring love for his brother, with a passionate disdain for his beliefs. She felt a twinge of sadness for Mort, and for Azure, even, whose brother only loved and wanted the best for him.

Her ears twitched at the mention of slavers, and her eyes momentarily moved from the fire to land on the chocolate wolf, noting the way he had trailed off. Her gaze slid back to the softly glowing flames. Did he know of someone taken by slavers? She wasn't about to ask, for fear of opening up a wound. Talk of his brother had already seemed to dampen the man's spirits.

"Aurielle seems like a great leader," she offered instead. She rolled onto her side, a yawn escaping her. It was a thing of habit -- she wasn't tired, truthfully. "And Erani's family sounds wonderful. It's terrible how a name can tear everyone apart." Then, she was shaking her head. "No, I ... I suppose it's more than just the name, huh," she corrected herself. It was about all that came along with it. She still thought it was a horrible thing that it came down to blood, that some would rally against the adopted Adravendis because of it... but some people didn't think the same.

"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-14-2020, 05:29 PM (This post was last modified: 05-14-2020, 05:29 PM by Cairo II.)
[*Cough* Apparently Cai had a story Big post, sorry xD]

She was a good listener. He knew that none of what he’d spoken of had any bearing or leverage upon Valhalla. It was, in some ways, a history lesson of Boreas. Valhalla had been among the first packs to settle on the continent after the eruption on Alacritia. Glaciem, Tortuga, and Seracia, a newly founded pack and the birth place of his grandfather Maverick, as far as anyone knew, had escaped the death and devastation wrought by a massive volcano even greater than the might of Mount Volkan. It must have been, for such a mass exodus to be necessary.

It was Cairo’s turn to listen as Malalia explained a bit about two brothers in the Armada. It was certainly a similar dynamic. And he had to wonder… if it came to the safety of all, would the good-hearted brother be forced to kill the darker-aligned one to save many? And would he, Cairo, someday be forced to make the same kind of decision?

A shudder rippled down his spine, and he fervently hoped that Artur’s fanaticism would not evolve into attempting to kill Aurielle and her family in order to ensure his views were unchallenged. He didn’t think it would. But even if Artur never actually voiced his hatred, it was pretty damned obvious each time he deigned to attend the meetings the Spirit called. He’d grown distant with even Caelia, who was, by far, the closest in agreement with the views. Cairo and Viviane, and possibly Geo before, were the gentler sort. Viviane loved all without condition. Geo had been sensitive. And Cai?

Sapphire eyes flicked to Malalia, a prime example of his own stance with the world. He loved friends, and didn’t put himself on a pedestal over others who didn’t share his blood. And he whole-heartedly viewed Erani and her descendants as family. Sure, there was definitely a level of worth one had to achieve to be worthy of bearing the name, but he was not one to hold the actions of past fools and insanity adopted in, against those who had shown again and again that they were loyal.

“She does her best. She’s had her trials and hurts like the rest of us, but she shows as strong of a face for us as she can. She was made Queen as a yearling instead of in her second year for reasons…”

He hummed an agreement on her remarks about names, remarking, “I have an adopted aunt… or had, she’s dead now. If the stories are correct, she was killed deathmatching a man out of some mad break in her mind. The details are sketchy. But from what I’m told she led and lost a lot of packs. But it’s my namesake’s first adoption that I think has colored Artur’s views so thoroughly. Their names were Preston and Neo. Preston kind of… faded. But Neo… He was the one who betrayed the family, somehow believing that he was loved less, though Cairo was always fair in his love, and did not differentiate between blood and not.”

His head cocked slightly in thought as he ran his mind back over all the stories, passed down from both his mother and Erani’s recollections passed down with intricate, solid detail.

“Neo vanished, joined a pack that Valhalla of old wasn’t friendly with, and shared pack information. He was challenged for, and became the first slave. According to Aurielle, that whole meeting was a disaster. Erani was there, lead healer and pregnant with her only litter, and had a lot of words to say against the alpha’s choices. Cairo had stepped down and handed the pack to Collision, another adopted son, to lead until Syrinx, the eldest, was old enough to rule. Well that all didn’t pan out much… My great aunt Chrysanthe ended up Queen in the end, up until she lost Valhalla by a challenge. Then Erani refounded Valhalla hours after that. She was Queen for a while, until shortly after a plague. She was older, and was challenged for the pack and lost. Then Aurielle’s grandmother Surreal founded Celestial, and Aurielle later renamed it Valhalla… and here we are, now.”

For all that he had a bit to speak of, he’d adopted the cadence he’d picked up listening to his Alphess and her father telling stories. It rolled and swayed through the times, never monotonous or droning but full of life and emotion.




Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-14-2020, 09:49 PM (This post was last modified: 05-14-2020, 09:51 PM by Malalia.)
[ haha no prob. give me alllll the paragraphs lol ]



Her ears leveled slightly. Mal didn't miss the shudder, and couldn't help but to empathize with the man. Cairo's trepidation around Artur was mirrored in hers and Mortis' relationship with Azure. If the boy was a nearly a yearling, and clearly already set in his ways of thinking... what would that mean for the Armada, if he won the competition for heir? She had hinted at exaggeration when she relayed the brothers' relationship to Cairo, but truthfully? She couldn't be so sure. There was a lack of empathy, a lack of worldly love in that boy. He worshipped his father, and she was sure he loved his siblings. But Azure wanted to stomp on everything underneath him, if he could. Her stomach churned at the prospect of being his subordinate, bound to his commands, and unable to leave.

Mal couldn't do it. Not unless he changed... and she didn't think that he would, anytime soon.

Neo's story was certainly a heart-wrenching one, and her brows furrowed as Cairo explained the likely origin of Artur's hate. "Anyone is capable of doing horrible things," she murmured. "Not that I'm gunning for your 'blood' family to kick puppies or something but... I don't know, none of you have done anything bad enough to give him pause? Syrinx didn't sound like the greatest guy ever," she offered. And that was only one within a whole extended family tree. Where had that dogged belief in blood purity come from, if his own relatives weren't so morally upright, either? Had he turned a blind eye to his blood relatives' faults and his adopted ones' virtues? Or had Neo's betrayal been just that devastating?

It certainly wasn't the other adoptees fault that Neo had turned on them. How infuriating it must be, to work hard and live well, an honorable and loyal life, only to have your name and reputation tarnished by someone else's behavior....

It was easy to listen as he told the story, grim as it was, and Mal never lost attention. At the end, she could only sigh, one ear flicking upwards in sympathy. "Families are complicated." Gods, what an understatement....

"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-14-2020, 11:07 PM

He hummed agreement. As sad as it was, anyone was capable, though he would have to consider the world insane if Viviane found it in her to murder someone… although, who knew, if someone hurt those whom she loved enough…

He huffed softly, admitting, “From what I know or suppose, he did care for Erani in his own way. She raised him and his sisters, after all, once my great grandmother died. But he was elitist and marshal. Not really a lovey type, but not exactly evil. Just, viewed the world more darkly than others. They say his bottom jaw was exposed to the bone by some accident or fight, so he was probably imposing as hell just to look at.”

To her sighed comment, he did laugh. “That they are. Imagine if packs went back to intermarriage. Dear gods I would have to bite my own brother if he tried dictating who I love and marry just because he was first out of our mother.”

Though he didn’t expect to be meeting anyone to marry and settle with any time soon. He figured the higher in rank he was, the more attractive a prospect he might be someday. He gave a mental shrug that rolled one shoulder. Thoughts for the far future.



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




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
05-15-2020, 09:26 PM (This post was last modified: 05-15-2020, 09:27 PM by Malalia.)


Malalia winced at the comment about his exposed jaw. "Oof, that had to hurt," she chuckled wryly. You didn't have to be a healer to tell that having bone exposed for the rest of your life must have been excruciating... not to mention the ghastly appearance, as Cairo had pointed out. Despite his views, Mala couldn't help but feel bad for the guy, just a little. He had clearly cared for his family. It was grating, though, just how often people with the best intentions came to the wrong conclusions.

His comment stirred something in her. A forgotten memory. "...My dam didn't marry for love," she muttered, after a time. "So I guess it's not that far off. Maybe where I was, anyway." Her father had died before she was born, though she knew in theory, in tales retold, that the marriage had been closer to an alliance. Between that, and her dam encouraging freedom in her own children...

"I guess I never thought about how unhappy she must have been. She always encouraged us to make our own way, but I never made the connection that she probably couldn't." She'd been a pup, and other things were on her mind. But, even after she left, Malalia had done her best to try and look forward, and not examine the past too deeply. It didn't stop memories from surfacing, here and there.

The yearling snorted softly, agreeing, "I'd hate to have my freedom taken away like that." Her eyes drifted over to the fire.

"Speech"





Cairo II

Valhalla
Dauntless Seeker

Master Fighter (250)
Advanced Hunter (80)

age
3 Years
gender
Male
gems
1303
size
Large
build
Heavy
posts
291
player
Briena

Valentines 2020
05-15-2020, 10:08 PM

His ears angled toward her as she gave him another small tidbit of her past. “I only knew my mother. Our father… we don’t know for sure who he was. Mom fell into a ravine and struck her head, and a stranger helped her… And then she was pregnant with us.”

His head cocked thoughtfully as he considered, then said, “She was an older woman when she had us, but she did her best to balance motherhood and leadership duties. But we never met our father.”

He stretched and rolled to his paws, ambling to check the meat strips. Systematically, he turned each rack to let the other side get some heat. Likely he’d be napping off an on during the night, getting up to turn the racks so they would dry evenly.

He picked up a thick stick of wood, tossing it on the fire, followed by two more before returning to his spot, watching the flame lick over the fresh fuel.



Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think