ardent

we’ve had a good run, haven’t we?

artorias



Laeta

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The Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3
12-29-2023, 03:49 PM

She could no longer make her way down the stairs.

Laeta had realized this once the agonizing joint flare-ups made it impossible to make it down all the steps leading to the main hallway. Mel, with all his worrying and fretting, still wished to heed her desires to feel the sun on her back, to soothe her ever-aching bones that the herbs would not even touch anymore. The badger dug through their belongings to locate her old wagon-box, a contraption he’d use to gently pull her down the grand stairs when she was paralyzed. A flicker of remembering those times clouded Mel’s features as he gently hoisted her emaciated frame into the box, letting her shift any way she’d like to for comfort. Lined with pillows and blankets, she was comfortable as Mel grabbed a rope attached to the box in his mouth and gently tugged the box down each step.

Step, shuffle. Step, shuffle. Step. Shuffle. Shuffle. Step.


After a long transition between steps and shuffles, they’d reached the bottom floor at last. Laeta smiled widely as ever, her spirit clearly shimmering with the life her physical form lacked. It seemed that with each day her body failed her, her soul remained as full of life as it had ever been. A beacon of hope. If only that were enough to keep her in this realm.

"Where to, Lady Laeta?” Mel inquired, having barely broken a sweat as he glanced at the wolf with a worried glance. Oh dear. How utterly thin she was, how utterly weak. Yet, Laeta raised her head, glancing towards the sun brimming amidst the rolling clouds outside.

"How about outside, just for a little bit, dear Mel?” She asked.

Mel nodded, concealing a soft sniffle as he tugged her basket towards the courtyard she loved so dearly. Such a serene place, no matter the season. Shrouded in blankets, the older woman felt the golden rays of sun beat down on her face, the best medicine when herbs could no longer soothe the endless throbbing of her bones.

Visitors were always welcome, of course, even the unexpected ones. It was life’s greatest pleasure to share words amongst friends.

”Speech” ’Thought’

comin' up for air in the deepest of the deep ends
i thought i learned it all, but boom, the plot thickens
laeta has a european badger companion named melis. he can speak and is assumed to be with her at all times.



Artorias

"I will shield you from the darkness"

The Hallows
Lord of Cinder

Master Fighter (772)

Master Navigator (1020)

An icon representing the specialty Knight Knight

An icon representing the specialty Fleet-footed Fleet-footed

age
5 Years
gender
Male
gems
13637
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Dire wolf
build
Medium
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1,595
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Joe

Samhain 2022Running on EmptyRapid Poster - SilverBest BudsSocialiteOverachiever
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01-01-2024, 05:19 AM
Late autumn was always a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors of Auster. The usually hot continent had begun to cool off into temperate mildness as the wet winter season began its approach. The leaves of the trees and the wisterias in the castle gardens had turned to bright vibrant reds and oranges, and all around a sense of transition was felt. Time, ever marching onward, would always herald change. No clearer was that to Artorias than when he looked at his almost adolescent daughter. Ember was growing out of her puppy phase and into the lankiness of her teenage seasons, so close to her first birthday, which meant his eldest litter would soon be full fledged adults. Gods, how were they almost adults already?! It seemed like only yesterday he was snuggling with his first five when they were wiggly little loaves and now here they were, becoming their own selves and making him the proudest father alive. Time was going by much, much too fast for his liking.

The clatter of wood striking wood kept the gardens from being too silent as Artorias sparred with Ember amongst the grasses, the dire wolf sire clutching his wooden training sword in his jaws as he deflected strike after strike from his child. Ember was ferocious and tenacious, all great qualities of a warrior, and even he had to admit that his little girl was giving him a run for his money! "Bine! Keep your blade up, always be ready to block a strike." Artorias demonstrated by deflecting Ember's next swing and slid his wooden sword along the length of Ember's, twirling it around in a counterattack. Ember did her best to block it, but Art was quicker and gently smacked the girl's shoulder with his sword before ducking out of the way of a couple retaliatory swings from his child with a playful laugh.

Movement on the terrace caught Artorias' attention and his amber eyes lit up to see Laeta and Mel coming out to enjoy some of the sunshine and warm weather as well. The corners of his lips turned upward around the sword in his mouth, his tail giving a little wag to show his happiness seeing her up and about—and then a hard whack on the back of his head snapped him out of it. "Ow! Hey! No sneak attacks!" he turned back to Ember, fixing her with a stern gaze. Artorias brought their spar to a short break and made his way up the terrace with his daughter in tow, going to sit with Laeta and Mel for a spell. "Come to enjoy some autumn sunshine, Lae? Or are you here to watch my daughter kick my butt all around the gardens?" Art called out to the gaunt wolf whom he cared so much for. He set his wooden sword down against the railing of the terrace and moved to sit near Laeta, all smiles to match the positive energy she always exuded. Yet despite his optimism, there was a darkness hiding in the Aegis' eyes, a clouding and lingering worry.

How much longer did she still have with them...?

"Artorias" | "Carpathian"


One big happy family

Artorias has two ravens named Corbin and Eira and a fox named Argent. Assume they are within calling distance at all times.
As his mate, Briar may enter Artorias' threads unless marked Private.
____________________





Ember Carpathius

The Hallows
Head Scholar

Expert Fighter (170)

Master Intellectual (240)

An icon representing the specialty Tactician Tactician

age
1 Year
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Female
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Large
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Joe

Pride - Bisexual
01-01-2024, 05:30 AM

Any time Ember got to spend with her parents was time well spent in her books, but it was even more so when she got to spend it training to use the weapons her father was so good with. So when her sire had offered to show her the ropes out in the gardens, the young girl was practically bouncing and barking with excitement! That's where they were now, partway through a lesson, paws dancing across the cobblestone paths and soft grass beds as Ember swung her wooden sparring sword wildly at her father, trying to land a hit on him anywhere. Unfortunately, Artorias was showing her just why he was the alpha of the Hallows and deflecting them all like he wasn't even trying. It was super frustrating! Ember grunted and growled with each dramatic swing, the clatter of wood clashing against wood echoing around the gardens.

After a particularly furious volley of swings, Artorias complimented her form, then reminded Ember to keep her sword up as it began to sag in her tired jaws. Blue eyes narrowing up at her sire, Ember delivered another swing, only for this one to be easily deflected by Artorias, who returned the favor by wapping her on the shoulder with his own blade. Ember yipped in surprise and immediately swung back in retaliation, but her sire was too quick, dodging and ducking his way out of harm's way. Drat! Amidst their sparring, Ember noticed her father looking back at the castle and followed his gaze. Laeta had come out to the gardens as well! Ember's posture lifted, her expression brightening, and her braided tail giving an eager wag as well. Even better, it seemed like her sire was equally distracted... Taking the opportunity, Ember lunged and delivered a whack of her sword against the back of her father's head, giggling to herself at the shock and surprise her ambush had on him. "Dun lef yuh guhd dohn," she reminded him of his own wisdom, a cheeky look on her face, despite being unable to speak as clearly as he could with a sword in her mouth just yet.

Their lesson taking a pause, Ember followed her father up to the terrace to go see Laeta. Although she hadn't gotten to see much of the older wolf yet due to Lae's condition, she was well aware of the special place their pack's therapist held not only in the Hallows, but in her father's heart. "Hiya, Laeta! Hi Mel!" Ember greeted the woman and her badger, standing just shy of a foot taller than her. Ember hadn't quite reached her adult height yet, but she was close enough to her adolescent year to see she would be no dire wolf. Ember looked at the wagon Laeta's body was in, studying it curiously for a moment. Was Laeta feeling okay? Surely she was going to get better soon... right?

"Ember"

Artorias and Briar may enter any of Ember's threads while she is under 2 years old.
____________________





Laeta

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Talia

The Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3
01-03-2024, 08:51 PM
Art & Code © Skelle 2023
It warmed Laeta's heart, beyond even the sun's rays, to watch her fellow pack members - her family of sorts- enjoy themselves. The clacking of wooden blades caught the elder woman's attention as she watched the Aegis spar with a young girl she assumed to be his daughter. Oh, how time so quickly soared. It seemed like yesterday she'd seen them barely toddling on their feet for the first time. Laeta was appreciative of the time she'd been blessed, to be a part of all this. To see children grow and mature. To see members, new and old, meet and become friends. To be a part of a home. To be home. While she had only been here for four years, it was the best years of her life. And regardless of how much time she had left, she would spend it amongst the company of those she considered as close as relatives.

As Artorias approached, the woman's tail thumped weakly against her box, her bony chin rising from the perch of a propped pillow to offer a soft nod in greeting. "Ah, Artorias! You must be careful, now - looks like your daughter is achieving victory in her battles already!" She offered a soft chuckle as the girl - Ember, her name was, wasn't it? - thwacked her father stealthily upon the head. Way to go for the sneak attack! She shifted softly in her nest of blankets, twig-like legs folded inward as she offered the father-daughter duo a wide, joyful smile. "Hello there! Ember, is it? My, how you've grown. I recall seeing you all as little pups, so curious about the world. Now you've grown to be strong, independent spirits." Mel dips his head in greeting at Art and Ember as well. "P-pleasure to see you, Sir Artorias, Lady Ember."

It's abundantly clear her health is rapidly sinking, the way her shoulder blades jut out like peaks over an ocean. The way her hip bones sharply rise from a thin, wrinkled pelt barely recognizable as a body. But it is also clear she is beyond overjoyed to see her packmates, her leader, all together. This is home. This is where she is loved.

"Speech!"



comin' up for air in the deepest of the deep ends
i thought i learned it all, but boom, the plot thickens
laeta has a european badger companion named melis. he can speak and is assumed to be with her at all times.



Artorias

"I will shield you from the darkness"

The Hallows
Lord of Cinder

Master Fighter (772)

Master Navigator (1020)

An icon representing the specialty Knight Knight

An icon representing the specialty Fleet-footed Fleet-footed

age
5 Years
gender
Male
gems
13637
size
Dire wolf
build
Medium
posts
1,595
player
Joe

Samhain 2022Running on EmptyRapid Poster - SilverBest BudsSocialiteOverachiever
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UnderachieverThe Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3HomebodyWealthyHow many times do I have to teach you a lesson?!
Critical Dodge!Ooh La LaLegendaryExplorerWordyIce Bridge Explorer
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1K
01-12-2024, 09:52 PM
Try as he might, it was becoming increasingly harder and harder for Artorias to try and pretend like Laeta's health wasn't in a rapid decline. He had consulted with Gwynevere gods knew how many times over their beloved therapist's condition, and try as they might to reverse it, it seemed like whatever latent effects the Long Night had had on her body, it was finally taking its toll on her. Now more than ever, Artorias was beginning to realize the impossible to deny truth of the matter—Laeta was dying. The way her skin was pulled over her gaunt frame, her musculature withered away into barely anything. It was a sight that broke Artorias' heart, for the Aegis would have done and given anything to protect his family, and now he was forced to watch with idle paws as another wolf he so loved eroded away before him far too soon.

But for all the frailty of her body, Lae's spirit remained as bright and lively as ever. She greeted him and his daughter with cheer and smiles, as well as good humor at his misfortune to be ambushed by his own child. He chuckled and turned another look down at Ember, who was giving him a cheeky, innocent grin. Oh yeah, she was a child after his own heart, all right. "Truly a formidable warrior I've raised. I fear she may dethrone me with enough time," he bantered back with his friend, smirking down at his daughter and murmuring, "Mică amenințare," earning him a giggle from his little girl. Art watched with pride in his heart while Laeta and Ember interacted, nodding his head in greeting back to Mel in the meantime. "How are you doing today, Lae?" asked the Aegis after a few moments, treading carefully around the topic with his daughter present.

"Artorias" | "Carpathian"


One big happy family

Artorias has two ravens named Corbin and Eira and a fox named Argent. Assume they are within calling distance at all times.
As his mate, Briar may enter Artorias' threads unless marked Private.
____________________





Ember Carpathius

The Hallows
Head Scholar

Expert Fighter (170)

Master Intellectual (240)

An icon representing the specialty Tactician Tactician

age
1 Year
gender
Female
gems
385
size
Large
build
Light
posts
71
player
Joe

Pride - Bisexual
01-12-2024, 10:02 PM

Ember couldn't help but grin innocently and bat her big blue eyes up at her sire when he made mention of how she might be plotting to usurp the throne from him, then burst into a giggle fit as he called her a menace in their mother tongue. Laeta addressed her directly then, taking the girl's attention entirely onto the frail woman. Ember smiled politely and nodded her head with vigor. "Yes ma'am! I'm Ember!" she introduced herself to Laeta. This was the first time they had formally met, after all. Ember had brought fresh furs and blankets to Laeta's room from time to time to help her parents out, but she'd never had the opportunity to speak to the fae one on one before now. Laeta complimented the girl, reminiscing on when Ember had just been a curious pup and how she had grown so much in her year of life. Turning a bit bashful, Em smiled and bowed her head, shuffling her forepaws on the terrace floor. "Thank you, miss Laeta! My dad talks about you and says you're one of the smartest and kindest wolves he's ever met." Ember looked back up at her father, her tail wagging behind her as she spoke.

After a moment of consideration, Ember's curiosity got the better of her, and she looked at Laeta in timid wonder. "Miss Laeta, my dad says that the Long Night is the reason you got sick. Is that true? What happened during the Long Night?" For all her curiosity and wonder, nobody would ever talk about that dark event with her. Not her mother, not her father, at least not in any great detail. She didn't know why it was such a sensitive topic, but maybe Laeta could shed some light on the mystery for her.

"Ember"

Artorias and Briar may enter any of Ember's threads while she is under 2 years old.
____________________





Laeta

Somnium

Intermediate Navigator (40)

Expert Intellectual (135)

age
7 Years
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Female
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191
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Talia

The Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3
01-30-2024, 02:45 PM (This post was last modified: 01-30-2024, 02:46 PM by Laeta. Edited 1 time in total. Edited 1 time in total.)
Art & Code © Skelle 2023
"Speech!"

Laeta chuckled at the banter between Artorias and his daughter -- it was such a wonderful relationship the two had, one unrivaled. The way they talked to each other was that of true family, the nature of the Hallows that Laeta adored so very much. When inquired as to how she was doing, Laeta answered honestly. "Oh, I've had better days. But the sun was so lovely this morning, I just had to bask in it for a little while." They both were well aware of her condition. How the Long Night had ultimately caught up with her, stealing away the promise of full recovery from right beneath her. But still, she remained ever optimistic, ever kind. She felt no need to be bitter or hateful, even if such a response would be justified in her situation. This was the natural course of life, for her; she lived, she suffered, and ultimately she would..move on.

She smiled widely as Ember spoke of the way Artorias had talked about her. "Well, that is a true honor for your father to say of me," Laeta said earnestly. "I did my best in my profession to help those who were not sure how to help themselves. How to find peace. How to feel what they were feeling inside." And it was all thanks to the Aegis himself; he even offered her a rank in which she could perform her duties. It was a high honor, one she took care of with great happiness yet without too much pride. She adored every aspect of her career, even if she was unable to do much of it nowadays.

When Ember inquired of how her condition developed, Laeta felt no need to hide it. She believed in speaking honestly about her experience, to anyone who wished to hear of it. "The Long Night brouhgt forth many strange ailments amongst the wolves of Boreas and Auster. It was always nighttime, and mushrooms, crystals, and a strange ooze made us all quite ill. I was paralyzed during the Long Night by a mysterious entity. It took a long time for me to regain my strength and my ability to walk, but.." She paused, allowing the girl to take in her information. She hoped Artorias wouldn't mind her explaining it, even rather simply."some wolves simply never fully recovered. Like myself."
comin' up for air in the deepest of the deep ends
i thought i learned it all, but boom, the plot thickens
laeta has a european badger companion named melis. he can speak and is assumed to be with her at all times.



Artorias

"I will shield you from the darkness"

The Hallows
Lord of Cinder

Master Fighter (772)

Master Navigator (1020)

An icon representing the specialty Knight Knight

An icon representing the specialty Fleet-footed Fleet-footed

age
5 Years
gender
Male
gems
13637
size
Dire wolf
build
Medium
posts
1,595
player
Joe

Samhain 2022Running on EmptyRapid Poster - SilverBest BudsSocialiteOverachiever
Auster ExplorerPride - BisexualFestival OrganizerDream WeaverLoserGlobetrotter
UnderachieverThe Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3HomebodyWealthyHow many times do I have to teach you a lesson?!
Critical Dodge!Ooh La LaLegendaryExplorerWordyIce Bridge Explorer
WinnerVengeanceSnake EyesDouble MasterMammoth HunterCritical Hit!
1K
02-10-2024, 06:43 PM
Artorias quietly watched Ember interact with Laeta, initially quite proud of his polite little princess. She was sweet and personable and everything he and Briar had raised her to be. Laeta's response about her role in the pack and her life brought a grateful smile to the Aegis' muzzle. It was truly no stretch to say that the Hallows was only as good as it was because of the light that Laeta had brought to it, and to the lives she had touched with her methods of healing the mind and the soul. Then Ember asked Laeta about what happened to her during the Long Night. Artorias' proud smile dropped into a mortified look of shock. Dammit, Ember, you can't just ask wolves things like that! He had just opened his mouth to gently remind his daughter about her manners when Lae started to answer, giving Ember her recounting of the horrific events that had plagued the world so many years ago.

All the while Laeta spoke, Artorias remained quiet, listening in reverence and contemplation as he absorbed his Specialist's perspective of what had happened. The Long Night had affected every wolf differently, and its effects were more visible and permanent on some more than others. He exchanged a look of empathy with Lae as she finished telling her story. Yes, some wolves just never got better... It did make Artorias wonder and worry about his own health after seeing what was happening to his wolves that had been quite ill during the Long Night. Perhaps he had never recovered either... Was that why his tears still glowed?

After Ember had asked her questions, Art approached behind the small girl and leaned down to plant a kiss atop her crown. "All right, little firelight, break time's over. Time for you to get back to your exercises." Passing her training sword back to her, Artorias directed Ember back down to the gardens. "Show me your forms. Laeta and I will be watching from up here." As soon as Ember had left their presence and begun going through her battle stances with her sword, Artorias moved to sit himself beside Laeta, watching his daughter practice. Now the two of them could discuss things out of earshot of the child. "How much longer...?" the Aegis asked in low tones, glancing at his friend beside him. The question he didn't ask was clear in his tone, in the morose look in his eyes. They both knew Laeta was dying. How much longer would his friend be with them?

"Artorias" | "Carpathian"


One big happy family

Artorias has two ravens named Corbin and Eira and a fox named Argent. Assume they are within calling distance at all times.
As his mate, Briar may enter Artorias' threads unless marked Private.
____________________





Ember Carpathius

The Hallows
Head Scholar

Expert Fighter (170)

Master Intellectual (240)

An icon representing the specialty Tactician Tactician

age
1 Year
gender
Female
gems
385
size
Large
build
Light
posts
71
player
Joe

Pride - Bisexual
02-12-2024, 12:35 AM

Ember, oblivious to the secondhand social faux pas her father was experiencing as she asked Laeta about her illness and disability, listened with rapt attention as the elder woman regaled her with the stories of the Long Night. Although she wasn't explicit with the details, the visuals Laeta described the horrific events of that time with were enough to fill the young girl's imagination with visceral fantasies. The part of a mysterious entity that had paralyzed Laeta both terrified and upset the young Carpathian. How dare someone harm their sweet Laeta! She sincerely hoped her father had hunted the being down and brought him to justice for his crimes. The story came to a conclusion with Laeta telling her that sometimes they never truly recovered from their injuries. Sometimes they just carried on with them.

Ember's heart felt heavy in her chest as she looked at Laeta, realizing that the elder woman had been living this way for far longer than she'd even realized. Empathy twisted at her heart, and without a beat of hesitation Ember stood up and closed the distance between them so she could push her cheek against Laeta's, nuzzling at the smaller wolf. "I'm glad you survived. You're too good to be killed and we love you too much for you to die." An idealist with fantastical ideas of right and wrong, the notion of terrible things happening to good wolves felt like an atrocity to the naive Ember.

A kiss from her sire interrupted her impromptu hug with Lae and pulled Ember back into the moment. Artorias directed her back to her lessons and instructed her to practice her forms while he talked with Laeta. Ember smiled and nodded up at her father, then gave Laeta another sweet smile. "It was very nice talking to you, Miss Laeta!" Then, snatching up her training sword, the adolescent girl trotted back down to the garden to begin her practice, following the movements her father had taught her, refining them until they were burned into her memory and became second nature to her muscles, as natural as breathing. She would be just as good as he was, if not better!

"Ember"

Artorias and Briar may enter any of Ember's threads while she is under 2 years old.
____________________





Laeta

Somnium

Intermediate Navigator (40)

Expert Intellectual (135)

age
7 Years
gender
Female
gems
191
size
Small
build
Light
posts
158
player
Talia

The Ooze ParticipantThe Ooze - Variation 3
02-17-2024, 08:43 PM (This post was last modified: 02-17-2024, 08:43 PM by Laeta. Edited 1 time in total. Edited 1 time in total.)
Art & Code © Skelle 2023

"Speech!"

Laeta was unbothered by Ember's questions. She was young and she was curious; after all, seeing a wolf so weak she could no longer move well on her own was cause for concern. And dear Ember was simply asking because she didn't know what had happened. Laeta had explained to her in simple terms, not because it was painful to speak of -- she made her own peace with her looming fate -- but because there was no need to say such graphic detail. As Ember matured she would certainly understand more about the realities of the world, but all she had toi worry about was her fighting lessons her father so dutifully brought upon her.

As Ember rushed off to work on her fight forms, Lae watched her briefly with a joyful glint in her still-bright eyes, hearing her remark as she left, "I'm glad you survived. You're too good to be killed and we love you too much for you to die." She couldn't bear give her a reply. Let her practice and grow and be happy. Let her not be wrought with the grief of an inevitable happening. Artorias then glanced over to her as they watched his daughter practice, and he leaned over and inquired as to when, exactly, she believed it would happen. Clearly out of earshot of the young girl. She simply smiled, offering a soft shrug of her bone-jutted shoulders. "It's hard to say. It could be tomorrow, in a week, maybe even two, if i'm lucky." Her eyes were still shimmering with absolute life and happiness as she looked back up at her beloved friend and leader. Someone like the rest of her pack she considered family. "All I know for certain is that, each day I am here is an absolute blessing. With you, your children..this whole pack. I've never been happier."
comin' up for air in the deepest of the deep ends
i thought i learned it all, but boom, the plot thickens
laeta has a european badger companion named melis. he can speak and is assumed to be with her at all times.