{P} Fields Of Gold
53 Posts
8 Threads
4 Years
Female
Endomorph
Hybrid

Points: 43
#1

She was close enough to smell him. Not so close that it was dangerous. Some time ago the Ghost had come across a young male who named himself Quest. He claimed to be the leader of a recently formed pack - even so kind as to tell San where it was located. There was a lot about that young male that spoke of a kind soul, going so far as to even offer her a place there perhaps. Disguising as meeting his friends who had also begun to display mutations - which was the main topic discussion for the short time they visited one another. He found her by sheer luck. Hidden away in the folds of a small stream northeast of here it was a chance encounter that informed her more of the changing situation here in Khrusos. To her knowledge, there was not a single native wolf to be had. Everyone she had spoken with and by proxy who they had spoken with, informed her every single wolf that lived here now had come from someplace else. Was it perhaps something in the land that was calling them all here? Or had this land always been so isolated that only recently changing sea tides had made it possible for wandering souls to visit and conversely, make a home?

The earthen woman was given free invitation to come and visit the first pack to lay claim to land in Khursos...Unfortunately, San had no intention of taking Quest up on that offer. Not because she disliked him or the idea of a pack - no...In fact, the lonely giant was quite starved for the feeling of community and belonging that being in a pack often brought. This was just the life she knew she had to live. Her loneliness was nothing compared to the pain her sister endured and suffered from every single day. It was also because of her sister San refused to step foot on pack lands. Any pack for that matter - if she could help it. Aleera had her ways of finding those who did not want to be found, it took one careless mistake to lead the Dragon right to Quest’s front door and when he offered resistance Aleera would offer her personalized hell. Her distance was kept for others sake as well as her own. No one need die for her...she could not bare the weight of another soul lost. Heavy upon her shoulders the burden was, yet looking at San it never appeared that way. This was done purposefully. For the less anyone knew about the truth of her life the easier it would be for all.

Still though, curiosity drew San close enough through a golden field of dried grass stalks to smell the pack borderlines on the wind. The invisible line she would not cross, but added to the information she was always collecting. Knowing exactly where to stay away from and where to go would aid her work tremendously. The sun was growing low in the sky - it would be night soon. The chill of winters cold breath hit her side and a shiver ran through the dame before she turned away and found a place to settle for the night. It was in a thick brush, her earthen coloring fitting well with what blanketed and broke up the outline of her form - hiding her away in near plane sight as night fell and the world became bathed in moonlight. The night was alive with the sounds of the world and thus, with a quick blink the pale silver that bathed all was cast away into a wash of colors. Blue, green, and yellows - black where the sky was with no stars. This new thermal vision was proving to be of excellent use to her. All that was once hidden from sight was now laid bare before her.

table by kalli

Embryn
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131 Posts
8 Threads
3 Years
Female
Mesomorph
Ashon

Points: 53
#2
The failing sun painted a pretty portrait of color; smears of blood and hymns of tangerine drifted across swathes of pretty pink and midnight blue. The cloud cover thinned as shadows enveloped the sky, and Embryn glanced up at the emergent stars. Her amber eyes gleamed in the dark, their feline pupils expanding to drink in the remaining light, but she turned her gaze back to the familiar grasslands quickly enough. One day, she would touch that sky. One day, she would fly high above the clouds and drink in the sun. She had wings now - and what use would they be if they could not carry her in flight? She was determined that they were more than just ornamental additions, determined that the pain she had endured was worth the freedom her wings would one day grant. At the moment, she could barely open them without falling prey to pain - but they were healing more every day. Baby birds did not burst out of the nest right away, after all. When her shoulders healed, when her muscles were not so sore, she would practice just as birds did, and she would have her maiden flight.

For the present, however, she was tied to the earth just as much as everyone else. She was forced to be careful in how she moved, lest she open the wounds that lined the ancillaries on either side of her wings; she had not walked further than the border of the territory in several days. Running was out of the question; hunting a distant pipe dream. Occasionally she woke and found her sides smeared with new blood, and her spine was in a perpetual state of agony. Still, it was not in her to stay cooped up in her den all day long; she shivered against the cold night air, but drank in the sky all the same. She walked onward through the dry, shriveled grasses, her paws crunching against the packed snow. Then the wind shifted, and Embryn stiffened - for it brought notes of a stranger lingering along the border. If she was uneasy, it was only because she knew she was not in a state to defend herself if things went south - but she moved forward to intercept the other wolf, all the same. She would not run from the possibility of a confrontation, not when the whole of Coterie depended on her.

So Embryn voiced a sharp howl, her note a siren song in the shadows. She followed where the wind led, and soon enough saw a lupine silhouette against the plain. Embryn shifted her shoulders, wincing when the movement pulled against the tender emergent scabs below her wings. Her eyes had mostly adjusted to the dark, but the female before her was so dark of pelt that she was a deep smudge of shadow against a lighter skyline. "Good evening," she called, her ears pressed forward atop her crown as she regarded the unknown other with curiosity. "Do you have business with the Coterie?" she asked, the prompt redolent of expectation. The other had carefully remained just outside the grassland border - though whether that was an exercise in caution or provocation, the auburn fae could not guess.



San
Reply
53 Posts
8 Threads
4 Years
Female
Endomorph
Hybrid

Points: 43
#3

The caramel giant heard the call before she saw anything. In the cold winters air it came from beyond where she lay, still well within the rounds of the packlands she had heard about. A sharp howl, announcing that something had been found. Perhaps a kill, perhaps anything of note within their lands. Regardless, San was as quiet as an owl’s wingbeat. There was no reason to alert the pack of her lingering appearance on their border. She was merely here to observe for a time. Observe, and perhaps remind herself of her place in the world. Remember why she could never allow herself be too drawn to pack life, despite craving that sense of community down to her core. The winter air brushed against her fur and still she remained low in the grass, watching the distance where the lands colors made it easy to detect what came from where. Even the small skittering of mice amongst the grass was apparent to her now. Everything from the night birds to the gathering of deer on the far side of the fields - San saw all of them from her relatively exposed hiding place. Usually she went to greater lengths to hide herself among the world, her ability to produce no scent working ever in her favor - but maybe she had invested too much confidence in this new way of seeing the world. Believing for a moment that if she could see someone long before they saw her, it would be easy to slip away at the right moment and find a better place to hide herself. It was a lesson that would teach itself tonight as over a hill not too far away a form appeared in the contrasting colors of red and yellow against blue and black. The form it took was clearly canine in origin - but why was it so oddly shaped?

San quickly figured this wolf, coming toward her from the packlands must belong to the pack itself. If she recalled correctly Quest said all members of his group already displayed considerable mutations. This was likely just one of them. Sensing no great urge to either get up and run nor find a better place to hide among the large stalks of sunflower beds, the Ghost remained where she was. Engrossed in watching the wolf San didn’t realize they were making a line straight for her until it was too late. ”Damn.” A small curse fell from her lips. She had allowed her fascination with this new way of seeing the world cloud her judgement...She would have to keep that in mind for a later time. Knowing she was found, San knew better than to run - that just made her look guilty. Instead, she blinked once more and with it went the colors that exposed the night to her. Everything was once again bathed in silver and blue as now San could see the better details of the one who approached. Being up wind from her meant she could not gather their scent as easily, but the body alone was quite feminine. Not only that, but looking upon the dame who approached it was almost difficult not to see her as a rather large fox with...Were those bird wings upon her back? Now that was the sort of mutation San never expected to see. Rather than continue to hide, the earthen woman waited for the other to get close enough before rising up out of the thicket of tall grass to fully expose herself.

Upon fully seeing her the fox like female came to a halt, and as with Quest seem kind enough. Perhaps a little one edge, finding a rogue this close to their border. San could see that as being the reasoning for the question that soon feel from her lips. Did she have business with the Coterie? Carefully, making sure to keep her movements even and non-threatening San stepped out of the grasses she was hiding in so she could fully appraise the woman before her. Once done she took a seat, giving a low dip of her crown as a sign of respect. ”Good evening.” She returned the gesture before righting herself and allowing azure to meet topaz. ”Coterie, is it? It’s good to have a name to the place.” San allowed a small, warm smile to appear upon her visage - giving the air that there was nothing dangerous about her and in fact there was not. Unless you considered kindness to be a danger. ”I suppose it seems suspicious, my lurking at your border. I was merely curious...Most I have come across in these lands have no pack to call home. Yours is the first I have smelled.”

table by kalli

Embryn
Reply
131 Posts
8 Threads
3 Years
Female
Mesomorph
Ashon

Points: 53
#4
[I'm so sorry for the wait, Hybrid!]

Confronted, confounded, the other woman emerged from the grasses that enshrined her. Embryn stood her ground as the other extricated herself from the plain, her expression one of careful patience. The shadows curved and parted to make way for the stranger's earthen figure, a feminine canvas clothed in mahogany and devoid of mutation. The former suited her azure eyes in an offbeat, offhand sort of way - while the latter was usually grounds to indicate novelty within Khrusos. Of course, the woman's natural state bothered Embryn less than her reasoning for lingering so near to the Coterie's border. Security had never been Embryn's forte - there had been other Third wolves that had made patrol their passion - but she had other lives to consider now. A pack rested upon her shoulders, and now that she had cast her mask aside, she could not discount the gravity of that responsibility. None of their number were warriors in the truest sense of the word, and their pack was still young. It barely blossomed, fighting up through the layers of frozen soil in search of the sun. Embryn would protect the flowers from being crushed at all costs.

”Good evening.” The stranger's greeting seemed innocuous and out of place given her previous efforts at concealment. Still, a wolf that had intended some nefarious purpose would surely be reluctant to exchange moonlit pleasantries - right? The female didn't seem hostile - indeed, she dipped her head in quiet respect, her voice a soothing melody of innocent intent. Embryn forced herself to relax, studying the other woman with open interest. The contraction of her muscles forced her wings to twitch, pinfeathers stretching against darker coverts, and she frowned before she caught herself and corrected the expression. ”Coterie, is it? It’s good to have a name to the place," the stranger continued. Embryn nodded, taking her cue from the other and seating herself upon the frigid ground. "We are called the Coterie Insurgent. My partner and I share the rank of Bedlam - the Alpha tier," she offered. She struggled to maintain a warm tone, but her wariness coupled with her wings' discomfort made the effort difficult. "We claimed the plain a few weeks past."

”I suppose it seems suspicious, my lurking at your border. I was merely curious...Most I have come across in these lands have no pack to call home. Yours is the first I have smelled.” It was not a question, merely an observation - an explanation. Embryn remained silent a moment, thoughtful. "We are still relatively new - but we aim to provide a place of safety here. I apologize if I came across as defensive." She dipped her head, acknowledging her own wariness. When her crown rose again, her amber optics met those of sapphire serenity with considerably more warmth. "My name is Embryn. It's a pleasure."



San
Reply
53 Posts
8 Threads
4 Years
Female
Endomorph
Hybrid

Points: 43
#5

There was a tensity to the winged woman that San could place easily. From the direction of her appearance and from the scent that lingered upon her nearly fox like pelt, it was obvious she had concern for the pack she meant to protect. Allowing strange wolves into lands you were said to control was dangerous for several reasons. One, they could hunt prey that could have fed your pack. Two, they could harm those within the pack that may wander from time to time - like scouts for example. Three, allowing others to come and go as they please without reason or warrant often projected a sense of weakness on the packs part. Should a cluster of wolves set their sights upon the pack lands and choose to take over - it was often because the pack likely held no threat to them. San however was clearly not quite that dangerous. She had lingered outside their lands - observant nothing more. Curious, to see the pack of which Quest spoke of but knowing full well she had no intention of stepping foot there. Keeping her kind, peaceful demonour in check it is ultimately that sense of tranquility that had the other female relaxing - if only a little. It was a desired effect, for violence was nothing San aimed to attain - it often solved nothing. It only proved who was the better fighter, or who had gotten lucky. It never determined who was right or what was truth.

As San seated herself to further display that she was of not harm here, she was glad to see the other woman taking to it willingly rather than pursue more hostile means of determining why a stranger lingered at her borders. Though the chocolate woman had her ways of dealing with the vicious, she would prefer civil discourse rather than blind animosity. At her acknowledgement of the name of the pack, the winged woman gave the full name as the Coterie Insurgent, informing her that she and one other shared the alpha rank as what they called Bedlam. San nodded her head slowly in simple understanding. ”Tis not a title I have heard before, it is good to learn of it now so I may address you more properly my Lady.” The earthen woman offered a small smile and another shallow dip of her skull upon learning that the other was an alpha, deserving of respect that San was willing to provide - even if it was a hollow gesture on her own part. It was merely a tool. A means to an end. As she explained herself for being upon their border, the other dame was quiet before explaining that they had only claimed the plains a few weeks past - still rather new in most cases. The woman even apologized if she had come off as more defensive than she should which only brought another smile to San’s lips. ”I understand completely. One can not be too careful when it is friends and family - a home upon the line.”

It was only then that the auburn woman declared her name as Embryn, a proper greeting that required a proper response no? It would be best she be careful - for while San had no worry for any scent getting back to their common acquaintance it was a name that could ruin her. ”It is good to meet you, Embryn. I am Shazra.” She lied. Should she return to the boy, Quest and have tell they had met it only made for connections. Invisible strings that to most meant nothing but to San...It could mean her life, and maybe even theirs. ”My curious nature often gets the better of me, how many if it is alright for me to inquire - are there in your pack as of now? I assume it is not many? Have the plains been difficult to tame?” It was not unheard of her her sister to bow to the whims of another pack for a time while she continued the hunt, though the thick scent of fire did not linger even a wisp on Embryn’s coat - San was drawn to ask nonetheless.

table by kalli

Embryn
Reply
131 Posts
8 Threads
3 Years
Female
Mesomorph
Ashon

Points: 53
#6
”Tis not a title I have heard before, it is good to learn of it now so I may address you more properly my Lady.” A blush spread across Embryn's autumn canvas, an automatic response to an unexpected compliment - an unexpected courtesy. "Oh, geeze, no. You don't have to call me that." Her professional composure shattered like so much broken glass. She danced from foot to foot, suddenly feeling much more awkward. The female's use of the honorific was unlike the teasing that she and Quest sometimes engaged in; it was serious, indicative of actual respect. She wasn't at all used to being the subject of that notion. It was the absolute opposite of how she'd been treated for the entirety of her life - and she was not certain she deserved it. She didn't know this woman. She hadn't won her respect through word or action or deed. Her position as the head of Coterie was not worthy of any kind of automatic consideration. She was not a First, and she had never wanted to be. She didn't want to be treated like one.

She felt decidedly off balance by the entire encounter. Being defensive of a plot of land was out of her area of expertise. Being responsible for other lives, for other wolves, was even further outside of her purview. Fortunately, the earthen intruder seemed happy to forgive and forget. ”I understand completely. One can not be too careful when it is friends and family - a home upon the line.” Embryn nodded, her wings flexing painfully at her sides. It was easier to slip back into the sway of normative smalltalk. Introductions were exchanged, and words began to flow with less hardship. ”It is good to meet you, Embryn. I am Shazra. My curious nature often gets the better of me, how many if it is alright for me to inquire - are there in your pack as of now? I assume it is not many? Have the plains been difficult to tame?”

A smile flickered across the winged wolf's face. "Shazra." Names were important. She repeated the fae's moniker with an air of determination, a solidifying tone. Then she launched into answering the stranger's questions. "We claim about four members, right now - including me. We're still quite small, but our members are close, and we're doing pretty well all things considered. The plain is open, and full of prey; there are signs that it lies straight in the path of the elk migration." Her hunter's nature prompted a small wave of her tail, a suppressed wave of excitement. Even so, she halted her babble in favor of discretion; the tunnels beneath the twisted tree were the Coterie's secret. "Were you interested in joining? We would love to have you, Shazra."



San
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53 Posts
8 Threads
4 Years
Female
Endomorph
Hybrid

Points: 43
#7

Her words rang true, finding their mark yet to be honest San did not expect such a bashful response to her polite manners. Typically it was welcome, but not quite like this as she watched the painted woman shuffle from side to side awkwardly. Without so much as whispering a threat San had undermined the others confidence, turning into self-consciousness - but not exactly in a bad way. This was the chocolate woman’s forte. Where others would use brute strength or malicious manipulation to get their way - San chose another path. It is true, she was manipulative in her own way, but in such a manner that it could almost be seen as productive and hardly two - faced. It did not matter if San truly meant what she said or not the simple fact of the matter was that she would never tell another soul what transpired here. No one need know who she met or spoken with. Conversely, no one need no who she purposefully avoided either. Embryn was quick to dismiss San’s polite way of addressing her - saying it was unneeded. It was clear to see that this woman was unlike most high ranking wolves she came across. There was no belief in her that made her think that just because she was akin to alpha of her pack meant that she was automatically allocated some modicum of respect from both those she governed and those she did not. It was in truth, an admirable trait to have. ”It is only the polite thing to do Bedlam Embryn, it is not my place to reject what you have earned.” She continued, if only for her own self gain.

It seemed to San that the winged female was a bit out of her comfort zone. Dealing in matters she had little or no experience with. From the look of her it was perhaps the latter of the two which would explain why San was having a relatively easy time gaining information from the other through her usual means. The auburn dame tested the fake name San gave with a bit of a smile and seemed happy enough to give the information San asked for - although admittedly not quite to the extent she was hoping for. Still though, small bits of information lay in the useless pile that could prove to be enough for her at this time. By her own admission Embryn claimed to have about four members in total including herself at the present time - but they were doing well enough for themselves. It seemed the plains were not too terribly difficult to tame, that was good. ”Well, it sounds like you all have picked a prime location to make your home. I am happy to hear that. New packs can often run afoul of great misfortune in the starting months. I sincerely hope that does not happen here.” Her words may be taken as a foreshadowing something terrible, but in reality it was true well wishing on her part.

However, the omnipresent thing San always tried to avoid came up in conversation. The very same thing Quest had offered and she declined - but not outrightly so. Before the idea ever entered her mind to travel to her lips, Embryn would be disappointed with San’s answer. Not because their pack was not worthy of her joining - indeed San was quite deprived of the community belonging to a pack often brought and craved it so...But she desired life more. ”You honor me with your kind invitation.” San bowed her head once more a rather formal and elegant manner - very unlike a common born wolf. ”Unfortunately my Lady I must decline. I have business elsewhere that requires my full attention.” Private matters and good manners and intuition would suggest Embryn wise enough not to pry any further than that. The mocha dame righted herself once more, azure eyes meeting topaz again. ”Perhaps once matters have been resolved I could return?” No need to burn bridges - even if she knew she would never use them.

table by kalli

Embryn
Reply
131 Posts
8 Threads
3 Years
Female
Mesomorph
Ashon

Points: 53
#8
[I'm so sorry for the wait, Hybrid! I lost this thread. x-x]

Uncomfortable with the degree of deference that she was being shown, Embryn continued to shift uncomfortably from foot to foot. Her wings rustled behind her, dark in the dim lighting. It was still odd to feel their weight across her back and shoulders, odd to feel the wind across her pinions, strange to acknowledge that she had wings at all. But this was Khrusos, and it was not the strangest thing that had ever happened here. Indeed - Embryn felt weirder about the stranger's current level of deference than she did about the fact that she had wings. ”It is only the polite thing to do Bedlam Embryn, it is not my place to reject what you have earned.” Shazra's words were unfamiliar and unknown; she had never had anyone fight so hard to accord her any kind of respect. Still...perhaps the stranger was right. She was an Alpha now, even if she had never dreamed that that would ever be her reality; she had the power to effect others. Even if she did not expect or require their worship, she did not wish to be seen as weak or frivolous to those who would offer her their loyalty. With a sigh, she let the subject drop.

She was much more comfortable speaking on the Coterie itself, giving some measure of reference as to the grasslands they had claimed. 'Well, it sounds like you all have picked a prime location to make your home. I am happy to hear that. New packs can often run afoul of great misfortune in the starting months. I sincerely hope that does not happen here.” Embryn nodded her head in sincere agreement. They had been lucky so far, but she was determined that the Coterie would not succumb to misfortune. "To be honest, we weren't even thinking about all that when we settled here. It's just...the grasslands have a lot of good memories associated with them. We didn't want to leave all that behind. It worked out for the best, though - we made a home out of happy memories, and everything else just fell into place." She grinned, unabashed.

”You honor me with your kind invitation. Unfortunately my Lady I must decline. I have business elsewhere that requires my full attention.” Embryn frowned, her expression thoughtful - partially because of Shazra's repeated use of polite language, and partially because she was being ambiguous about her reason for refusal. Still, she did not press. Shazra had not offered any details, and if she'd wanted her business known, she would have been more verbose about it. As it stood, Embryn didn't take offense; she, too, knew the value of privacy. ”Perhaps once matters have been resolved I could return?" The question was posed - to her ears - somewhat hopefully. The Alpha nodded, her tail waving. "Yes, of course! You'd be welcome. Quest and I would be happy to accept you - or even just offer refuge for a day or two, if you find yourself in need." That was what the Coterie was all about, after all.



San
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