Open  goodbye to a world | Nardir refugees
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Alana she/her
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#1
(This post was last modified: August 14, 2018, 10:47:24 PM by Alana.)

It had started with the prey animals. They had fled been found dead all over, and those who discovered these bodies reported becoming nauseous and uneasy. The threat became more apparent overnight - the enemy was invisible but very real, pungent smelling and dangerous. After the elk had perished, they had made the decision to abandon the territory they all called home. The earthquake had taken much from them, but it had given them the Tendrils. Beautiful, elegant works of natural art - but they had held a terrible danger in their deepest chambers. There was nothing they could do to fight off this foe. It was no longer safe for them there.

The trio had led them into the neutral lands, far away from the poisonous air of their lost home. With heavy hearts they splintered, some venturing out into the world to chase their own destinies -- shooting stars, blazing blinding trails of light through the night. Alana watched them go with growing sadness in her aching heart; they would be okay, she knew they would be, but the pain of loss remained. The Lunar Queen led those who had stayed with her towards the lavender kingdom led by those with light in their hearts. Inaria was perhaps Nardir's oldest ally, and in the Nardiri's time of need Inaria was the only place Alana could think to go.

It was quiet except for the sound of footfalls and the steady sound of the sled Julek pulled sliding across the grass. Bags and baskets of goods and resources rested slung over the backs of various Nardiri, all that was left of the once plentiful utopia they had taken for granted for so long. The woman felt like her heart was a chunk of ice, throbbing and cracking painfully with each memory, every glance at the lost, saddened gazes of her people. Her whole body sagged, head hung low. Again and again tragedy struck, relentless and brutal. It took and took from she and her Nardiri, like a black whole swallowing all good things piece by piece. The weight of the crown was steadily crushing her; Alana realized that she had absolutely no idea what to do next. All she could focus on was Inaria, moving steadily with gaze straight ahead not in a determined manner, but like that of someone dazed and in shock.

The jacaranda trees were a welcomed sight. Alana stopped at the Inarian border, swallowing thickly a few times to wet her throat before howling. She loosed a summons, somewhat urgent, to the gate. The weight of the double-basket hung across her back was beginning to get to her; during the trek she had become a little numb to it's heft, but now that they had stopped it began to get a little much. She slipped it off and gave herself a shake, taking a moment to look over those who had followed. They deserved better than this, better than constant hurt and loss. A fresh wave of melancholy washed over the woman, but Alana kept herself under control. She pressed her shoulder against her husband's larger one for comfort, leaning into him. Alana had always believed herself to be capable of handling anything life could throw at her - but this had taken things too far. She couldn't handle this.

The subtle noises of someone approaching mercifully distracted her from her negative thoughts. Snapping back to reality, Alana rose to her aching paws to greet whoever arrived. "My name is Alana," she would introduce if it was someone she hadn't dealt with before, purposefully stopping at just 'Alana'. "Nardir, we.. an earthquake released a poisonous gas into our territory, and we were forced to flee. We ask for temporary asylum in Inaria, just to recover and get back on our feet." She felt terrible shame that grew with each word she spoke, ears falling back. The cream-marked woman took a few steps back, realizing that she had hit the Inarian with all of that, all at once. Although she felt the need to apologize, Alana didn't; it was best that they got everything out as quickly as possible. Her fellow Nardiri were tired and sore, worn in more ways than one from the constant onslaught of darkness. They needed rest, and safety.

Would Inaria provide?

--
this has been pre-approved by the Inarian alphas, so no worries!
the Nardiri are here for temporary (or permanent, that's your choice) asylum in Inaria. the IC string of events goes like this:
earthquake, tendrils, poison gas --> everyone leaves Nardir, some people split off in the neutrals to go their own way, some follow Alana/Julek to Inaria --> we are here.

Nardir will be moving to a new territory after a thread between Alana & Mercury. after this thread, Azi/Scy will be the Queen/main leader of the pack. i'll still be on as an ooc alpha mainly just to help out, and will be RPing in the pack as Mercy. feel free to PM me any questions, and to have liquid-timed threads in the neutrals/continue your old pre-exodus threads.
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Mercury She
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#2

The Dark Moon of Nardir                    ☿
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"Being brave means to know something is scary, difficult, and dangerous, and doing it anyway, because the possibility of winning the fight is worth the chance of losing it.
- Emilie Autumn



The Dark Moon was really starting to believe she was cursed.  She had barely gotten to come home, barely gotten reacquainted with her pack, was barely learning her family.  And now they had been forced to leave.  The Tendrils, which had originally caused her such excitement, had turned out to be poisoned.  It had chased them out of the territory, but seemed to barely leak out of the ring of mountains that had kept the new Nardir secluded from other territories.  How long before it could be traversed again?  No one could say, and as such, they had been forced to take shelter with another pack.  Mercury had had very limited interactions with Inarians, but Alana had been certain they would offer the pack asylum, and she followed her sister's judgement without question.  But she did question the Mother, and fervently wished there was an Oracle among them.  The Oracle would have known what to do.  Without a connection to Mother Moon, Mercury felt as though she were simply stumbling around in the dark, bumping into one tragedy after another.

But it was not herself she was concerned with.  As they walked, Mercury kept a close watch on Alana.  She could see how the strain was plaguing her, how she seemed to be laboring under the weight.  Shooting a glance at Julek, Mercury privately wondered again on how much of the burden of the crown he truly bore for her sister.  Clearly it was becoming too much for her.  But from what Mercury had met of Alana's children, they were not yet ready to take up the mantle. The problem was, she didn't think Alana could bear it much longer. Mercury had never wanted Alana to have a hard life, but it seemed that they would not have the peace their parents had known during their rule.  As devastating as the Seige had been, at least that had been an enemy they could fight.  A cleaner struggle How could she protect Alana from the land?  But brave Mercury did not believe in coincidences, and curse or not, there had to be a reason her return forced them from the territory that Alana had founded without her.  Where were they supposed to go? They were not Inarians, did not intend to be Inarians.  Which meant Inaria would only be a temporary reprieve.

The Dark Moon dragged a liter of her own, the weight as familiar as any sled she had pulled during her time with Man.  She looked for Kodiak, hoping he was nearby, and for Ayliyra, whom she knew would not be far.  Mostly, she watched Byakko and Adolph, knowing that it would be the Elders who found their journey the most difficult.  Unlike Alana, Julek and Puffin, who made up the front of their procession, Mercury moved among the pack, taking time to check on those who appeared to be flagging as they moved on.  When they spotted the lavender canopies of Inaria, she felt the sigh of relief that gusted from tired lungs.  They had made the first leg of their journey, but it would not be their last.  After she checked to make sure that the elders were alright, she looked to Kodiak, giving him a nod before she came to stand beside her sister.

Unaccustomed to bearing a physical burden, Mercury noticed that Alana had already shucked her packs.  Without a word, she picked up her sister's baskets and slung them upon her own back, despite the liter she already dragged.  She spared no glance to Julek, but simply stood in Alana's shadow, letting her take her comfort while also indicating she was nearby.  If Alana protested, Mercury would simply shake her head.  She could bear the weight, was much more accustomed to the heavy straps and dragging poles.  The dogs among them, Puffin and Kodiak included, would remember the feel of it, and a few sore muscles weren't going to kill her.

"My name is Alana, Nardir, we.. an earthquake released a poisonous gas into our territory, and we were forced to flee. We ask for temporary asylum in Inaria, just to recover and get back on our feet."

Alana's plea was raw with emotion, and held none of the usual finesse that was associated with the Bright Moon.  But Mercury could not blame her.  It was certainly an emotional event.  Staying silent, she stepped up to stand beside her sister, her shoulder just brushing on her previously open side.  A silent I'm here was all Mercury could do right now.  Until they knew what the Inarians would say, they had to be strong. Just a little while longer...


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Kastra he/him
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#3


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    All that had happened honestly sucked ass. Through the journey to Inaria Kastra had gone through many emotions; sadness, guilt, anger. What had Nardir done to deserve this? They were kind, they protected their own and would extend a hand if others needed it. The earthquake had revealed new things to them that ended up deadly, and now they were having to leave the land they had obtained. Some pack mates left during the journey to Inaria, and he didn’t blame them. There was no guarantee that Nardir would continue on after this. Looking at his mother, he could tell this was a hard blow to her. It was hard to fall to an enemy you had no chance at fighting.

    Kastra, like many, carried supplies on his back. Throughout the journey he switched around where he was standing. When he was tired he stayed toward the center, and when he felt angry he stayed towards the flank and sides. There was no one going to attack them - they were a large group - but he felt that if there was a chance, his anger would come in handy. Nothing happened, though, and they arrived peacefully to the border of Inaria. Seeing the colorful trees almost made him sick. It just dug into the wound that they had lost their home, that Nardir was on the edge of being gone. As they all stopped, he made his way towards his mother and father. Before this he didn’t think there was much he could do for the pack, but now he knew that he would have to step up. If he could take some of the weight from his parents, it would be fine. He needed to push himself more.

    "My name is Alana, Nardir, we.. an earthquake released a poisonous gas into our territory, and we were forced to flee. We ask for temporary asylum in Inaria, just to recover and get back on our feet." He stood next to his aunt, Mercury. There was the urge to try and touch his mother, to try and comfort her. But he felt there was little he could do. Instead he would stand strong, trying to stand with his family. The way Alana spoke, it drove a thorn into Kastra’s heart. It felt wrong to admit such weakness, but what could they do? They were weakened. They needed help. He looked at his family. A sled was behind his father, and Mercury had taken up the load that his mother had carried. There was little he could do but stand there. 
____
tl;dr he's sad.



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Sekirei She/Her
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#4
(This post was last modified: March 19, 2018, 09:41:49 AM by Sekirei.)

Akutan was at the head of his family. The Tendrils, while beautiful, had carried a dangerous secret. The prey started dying and wolves got ill. Byakko, in his old age, was one of the victims. His monochrome uncle just walked next to him, gold eyes cast down. Rapture was riding Ticon. She was old enough now to understand what had happened. Sara was keeping an eye on Aeneas and Beatrice, also quiet. "Hang in there, Dad. We're almost to Inaria." Akutan said, not caring who heard. Byakko just took a long-winded breath. He kept his eyes on the ground. Deep in his heart, Byakko knew this was his final journey. His old age, combined with the sickness caused by the Tendrils' gases, had finally taken its toll on him. Once they reached Inaria, the oldster planned on living out his last days there. It was likely Nardir's remnants would be there for a while so he had no fear of dying alone.

"Akutan...Sara...I must speak frankly. This journey is the last one I will make before the end." he said. Sara gasped, picking up the pace to walk beside her large father. "What are you saying, Daddy?" she asked, sounding much as she did as a pup. The oldster smiled before raising his head to rest it on hers as they walked. "My time is coming to a close, my dearest. I've known it was coming for a long time. I had hoped to die in our territory but Fate, it seems, will never stop yanking my chain long enough for me to get what I want and deserve. I've come to accept that our family is cursed to always be uprooted. I suppose I'm responsible since I abandoned Lindras when my mother died and my father disappeared. I'm old, darling. I don't have the strength to keep going anymore. It's only ironic that I should die in the very pack with a history of hatred towards my breed. But I can't imagine a more fitting end. Inaria's lilac forests are legendary and to die among those trees would ease my soul." he explained.

Sara said no more as she burst into tears and buried her face in her father's fluffy black ruff. Akutan's stony gaze belied his own heartbreak. "I can't do it, Dad. I'm not ready yet." he said quietly. "Nonsense. You are ready to stand without me, Akutan. Take comfort in knowing that unlike your mother, father, and grandparents, I'm dying on my terms. While it breaks my heart knowing I will be leaving you, I rejoice all the same. The curse of the Fury will finally die with me. Never again shall Lindra's royal bloodline ever have to fear it. I need you, Sara, Buckshot, and Ticon to keep moving forward. Keep the Clan going for as long as you can. I will be watching from the afterworld and never forget that as long as the wind blows, I will always be with you. I'm proud to call you my son and nephew." Byakko said.

The group fell silent and there wasn't a single dry eye among them. Rapture had buried her face in Ticon's ruff while Ticon himself was biting his lower lip hard enough to draw blood. He and Akutan drew up to walk with the old wolf while Rapture managed to crawl from Ticon's back to her grandfather's. When they reached the border of Inaria, the X Clan stood near Alana and listened as she spoke into the trees, hoping to catch the attention of a sentry. Byakko had but a single worry. Though rumor had reached him that Inaria was now home to Fringes and a new breed that rose from them, he was afraid his own status as a Fringe Dire would bar him entry, Nardiri or not. In the end, the worry died as quickly as it entered his mind. In the end, he wasn't long for this world and it was painfully apparent to any onlookers that he was dying on his paws. The least Inaria could do was grant him asylum along with his packmates to finish out his time in the living world and then his family could see his spirit off to face the Black Wolf's judgment. "I'm coming soon, Momma." he thought, a single regressed thought at the anticipation of seeing his mother again after so many years. His mind then turned to X and Starfire. He was leaving family behind but he was also going to reunite with the family he had lost over the years. 

Silverstream...The thought of her made Byakko's heart ache hard enough that it manifested as a physical pain. Now, towards the end, his long-dormant love for the timber beauty who had stolen his heart roared to life. How he longed to gaze upon her once again. His pain made him lower his eyes again, tears finally dropping. "I will finally see her again." he said to himself.

OOC: So yeah, this is the beginning of the end for Byakko. Once we're free to post threads within Inaria, I plan on making a thread to play out his death and funeral. If any Nardiri and Inarians wish to pay their respects to this wolf I've poured so much time and love into for so many years, please feel free. Trust me when I say this post was one of the hardest I've ever had to write.


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Charley She/Her
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#5

- Kyra -

Kyra was angry. Kyra was determined to carry as much as her father and Akutan would allow and then some. She was one of the first in those cursed caves, she even slept under one of those damn glowing mushrooms. She hadn't stopped clearing her throat for days after they left. It wasn't until her father gave her some root, that he found in a bog they were walking by, to suck on did the cough finally go away.  She was mad they had to leave and no way would anyone see her cry. It wasn't fair, she was just getting good enough for a proper rank. They hadn't gotten their marriage ceremony! Now everyone was all busy moping and walking. Her paws were sore, the pack was heavy, thanks to her stubbornness, and she was HUNGRY. She was far too entrenched in her hunger and her anger and disappointment that she had fallen back away from the clan and Akutans side so as not to snap his head off while he was being nice. She missed the Byakko's fateful declaration of his oncoming death.

The border was no welcome sight. She thought the pinky purple trees looked ugly, and there were no mountains to protect the sides. What a ridiculous place to have a pack. Way too open, hardly defensible, a bunch of giant pinky purple beacons in the middle of this hellscape. It's a wonder Inarians have been here so damn long. Must have been lucky.

- Arik -

The huge dire boy easily carried one of the heavier loads of the pack. He hefted the pack with long strong legs, and would even silently come along side a member that was struggling to carry their own weight and nod for them to add on to his load. Arik mostly kept to the edges of the group, even trailing behind staying with the stragglers like the pups, letting an elder lean on him, letting a pup sleep on one of his packs. Being in such a crowd was wearing on him, he hardly knew anyone personally. He kept quiet, and if anyone bothered to notice they would sometimes catch him looking back. Back to the mountains. Back to the valley. Back to the land of the Moon, his birthmarks clear as day. Would where they were going be the Moons land just as well? How could their precious valley hide such a dangerous secret? Something was not right. He had felt so drawn to it. Was it the land he had been drawn to though, or the people? He would look around solemnly, his expression echoed much of what he saw. He was one of the last of the group to come to the border. If not THE last.


- Hakan -

This was not the old healers first rodeo. Though the circumstances were new and the group more varied, thank the stars he wasn't the only damn healer for the whole pack and seven pregnant mothers this time around. He had nearly worked himself to death, he HAD worked himself to half insanity several times back then.

This time though was very different. He looked from one member to another as they traveled to Inaria. Remembering the first trek, The Banishment. Arik and his own daughter, Kyra, were pups from after that first exile. They had been born in the wilds just shortly after. Akutan though, he was a child, Aylie too. He remembered Rio too and wished also his niece River were here with them. She had also been there in the first exile. He could only carry an herb sachet around his neck, his old bones couldn't carry the weight of a full pack. These packs they had been carrying, that was certainly new. When Loathe's pack took over they didn't really have the wherewithal or knowledge of how to take anything with them. He would glance back at the X-clan every now and then. His beloved friend taking the trip hard. No doubt reminiscing the loss of his own father the first time around. Hakan could see his gnarled half naked face twisted in longing and grief. Hakan didn't have to hear the lament and declaration, the X-clan's propensity to dramatic speeches and fate driven exclamations was he needed to know Byakko would probably say something along those lines. He'll remain close to Byakko of course in due time.

Hakan kept close to the leaders, despite his own age he could keep a fair pace and wanted to stay close to Alana and Mercury. It was a pleasant shock to see Mercury again, along with stab of his own guilt. He had been too preoccupied with several pregnant mothers during the exile that he wasn't able to tend or even remember to keep an eye on Mercury after her battle. She should have had her own private nurse to help her, to be frank he thought she had, her brother Alex who disappeared around the same time. He had hoped to have a moment with Mercury when she felt more settled. And then this upheaval came. She would be more than preoccupied of course now.

When they finally came to the border he saw Alana shirk her pack and seem to emotionally crumble. She had familial support but it took all he had to try and not rush in himself. He settled close enough to hear the exchange, listening to the lilt in her voice. He knew. He could just tell, Nardir was in for more change.

He remembered the little creamy girl, curious about healing and herbs and birth. Eager to learn and play and join her soon to be subjects. She was far too young to take over, they both were. They never had a long enough childhood. Still youths when the mantle of leadership was passed on to them. And then when Mercury disappeared, to which he did not blame her, Alana tried her best. Hakan had his own extended absence and a lot had changed for Nardir in the interim. To have this all happen again to the fair queen... He audibly, sadly sighed and solemnly shook his head. He wouldn't blame her either.


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Kimster Eh
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#6

Raka walked, as usual, pressed against Byakko's side. She'd found him and was not intending to lose him again. Why were they leaving, though? Oh yeah. The evil gas. She had to keep reminding herself of this as they went. Short term memory was still the hardest to get used to. She listened as Byakko announced that his time was near. Was she surprised? No. They had both aged, and she felt that there had been another time that the clan had been uprooted. She couldn't remember the details, but the feelings inside her were sharp - time had not dulled that pain. She tensed up - why were they walking, who were all these wolves...oh. Right. Ok. She pressed in closer to Byakko, trying to make his scent the only thing she could smell. As long as she kept that association, she was fine. She could keep the wave of forgetfullness and fear at bay.

She felt more than saw the family coming in closer to Byakko - she welcomed them, feeling someone press in close on her other side. She welcomed that feeling, she welcomed the familiar smell that engulfed her. She walked, a silent shadow, next to the love of her life. Oh, the SECOND love. That's right. She'd again forgotten her first. An alpha in a previous pack, ripped from life far too soon. She remembered coming to Nardir a broken wolfess, and how she and Byakko had healed each other's hearts. What had been his first mate's name? She can't remember. Doesn't even know what the wolfess looked like. Raka did hear his murmered words, and saw the tears dripping from his eyes.

"Am I just chopped liver?" she whispered for his ears alone, imbuing her tone with a smile and loving tease, not in the least bit jealous. "My love, if you truly feel it is time, then go in peace. She's waiting for you, and I can't wait to meet her....and see him again." she added understandingly, wondering if she would get her memory back in the afterlife. To know she'd had a first love, but not to remember what he looked, or sounded, or smelt like, that was torture.

SCHIMMAH:

Ok, not good, not good at all. The young, brightly coloured wolfess kept close to Hakan's heels. She regularly glanced back to where Raka was walking with Baku..Baycoocoo.. ugh whatever the huge guy's name was. And that was fine! Really! Schimmah had felt so welcomed by the new pack, but she felt inimited by the X Clan so only visited Raka on occasion. And that suited both of them. Also it looked like Raka and Big Guy was having some intimate conversation and she didn't want to intrude.

She liked Hakan. He was gentle, and nice. He didn't scare her like the bigger wolves, and he didn't have a boisterous personality that made her shy.

Her eyes widened as Inaria drew nearer, she'd never seen such a green place. Well, sure Nardir was green but this was, like, SUPER green. Like green on...on..some kind of herb that made it stronger! Her nose twitched as new scents invaded it.

She liked Kyra too, but the wolfess looked mucho angry, and Schimmah didn't want her head bitten off. She sighed, and looked forwards again, tired of seeing the pack's sombre faces. Maybe it was because she hadn't been that long in Nardir that she didn't feel sad at leaving. Of course she felt sorry for the pack, she can imagine that it was tough to leave a home. She, personally, didn't know hwat home feels like, but maybe one day she would.

For now, her place was right behind Hakan, and keeping a close eye on Raka.
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Kay She/her
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#7

Ghost showing up shortly as well!




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Kashmir he/him
La nuit du chasseur
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#8
(This post was last modified: March 26, 2018, 05:24:14 PM by Kashmir.)

It was only natural that he would be the first to meet an approaching band of wolves. Some things never change, do they?

But he wasn’t concerned, though the promptness with which he showed up may have suggested otherwise. Nardir and Inaria were old pals; the pack of the moon had most recently supported them when they were accosted by vengeful redtat soldiers. There was no need for alarm... or was there?

The obvious leader of the group, a soft cream woman, introduced herself and so the jackal did in turn. “Kashmir,” he offered hoarsely, willing his voice to hold out for this meeting. “King of Swords.” The powerful title still felt strange in his mouth, but they had only just met, and she might like to have known just told many decisions he was allowed to make here. “Welcome.”

He took a moment to look over Alana’s posse then. They... didn’t look very good. Some were old wolves on their last legs, others weakened by the natural disaster, and all were clearly exhausted and hungry. How troubling...

“I’m sorry,” lamented the jackal, not quite knowing what else to say, though despite his brevity he was sincere. The world they lived in was so cruel and random in its caprice. Nardir’s territory had stood strong for years. Here today, gone tomorrow. “Of course you may stay.”

A pause as he scanned the group once more, wondering of their plight. His nose twitched briefly. “The king of shields is coming. Ghost.” For Kashmir knew the big wolf by his distinct scent — everyone had one, sometimes more — which advanced upon their little piece of the border. “Are any of you in need of a healer? Did you come right to us when this happened?”

It was a little direct for their situation, but Kashmir meant well.


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Khotto he
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#9



As he approached, his first feeling was of confusion. He knew Nardir's scent, knew it was Nardiri at the border before he saw them, but why were there so many? It was as though half the pack was here. But as that thought hit him he finally felt alarm. What had happened?

He approached on Kashmir's heels, taking stock of the situation as he deferred to the jackal. Alana looked...broken, as did a lot of the others. He listened to her tale of Nardir's earthquake and subsequent gasses, and felt an eerie mix of horror and relief. Horror at what Nardir had lived through, but relief that it seemed localized to their crater. It was his job to assess potential threats to Inaria, however stoic he had to become to do that.

“Are any of you in need of a healer? Did you come right to us when this happened?”

Khotto nodded. "I can fetch someone, if you need. And we have some empty den sites-- I can escort you when you're ready to go." Did they have dens enough for the whole pack? Inaria was old, he was sure they had the space, but they might be a little spread out.

He looked out among the assembled Nardiri, weighing them in his mind. Even the healthy ones looked worn, but he caught part of a conversation a family unit seemed to be having about its eldest member. It appeared that a funeral may be held under Inaria's purple trees for one of its allies after all.




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#10

He had been busy when the call had come sounding somewhat urgent. He had finished up as quickly as he could and then headed towards where the call had come from noticing the vast number of scents causing him to pick up speed out of concern there was trouble of some sort. When he arrived the sight confirmed his theory. There were already others of his pack present that were already addressing things, those with higher authority than his own, so he supposed it was not necessary for him to act in any specific capacity at present and Khotto was here besides to fill the Sentinel capacity. If they should have need of a diplomat however, he would be ready to step in and perform his duties as such. Unless or until such time he would wait quietly though sympathetically, as he to had once upon a time lost his own home before finding a new one in Inaria.

It was no easy thing to loose ones home he reflected on as he waited and he was sure that with such numbers there was a good chance that at least a few of the collection would prefer to be left in peace and to themselves. That was something he could help Khotto with when the time came and well as a Page, it was his duty to aide those who were guests but now was not the time to interrupt the proceedings when there still things needing to be addressed. Once the opportunity arose however...


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Becrux he/him
Prince of Nardir
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#11
(This post was last modified: April 11, 2018, 05:07:35 PM by Puffin.)



The weight on his shoulders was crushing.

Not the physical weight. He was built like his father, strong and sturdy, made for activities that demanded physical strength. He hadn't even known that Puffin had made a harness in his size, but it made the load he bore so easy to carry. The weight of the sled was distributed evenly across his frame, a feat of engineering he hadn't quite anticipated. Perhaps there had been more to the dog than he'd thought. As he pulled one of Nardir's sleds behind him, laden like his mother's with what objects were left of their home, he couldn't help but reflect on the choice Puffin had had to make. He couldn't imagine. So much of Puffin's life was a mystery to him, but this, this being split between two pieces of one's soul, was something he had begun to realize resonated within his heart as well. Becrux was a Prince of Nardir, his life was supposed to be laid before him, a destiny spelled out in the stars--

He was a Prince of Nardir!

He'd grown up on stories of Nardir's roots, of his grandparents, of his great-grandparents, of Nardir's founders, of Nardir's fall, and his very birth coinciding with Nardir's rebirth in the marshlands had once been a testament to the tenacity of this pack. The alliances that had been forged, the wars that had been waged, the members of fallen packs his family had taken in-- his heart swam with it. His sister, once the shining star of Nardir, was among the missing. There was no one this tragedy had not touched.

He watched his parents from behind, took in their world weary frames as his ears tilted back and took in the conversation between Byakko and his family. His heart ached. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Kastra watching their parents as well, and moved to stand beside him. With a heavy sigh, he leaned over and made to press his nose into Kastra's neck, a gesture of both comfort and fatigue. One of his fondest memories was the trip he had made with Kastra and Terebellum to Tjenu, a trip that had seemed like a promising beginning to something grand. It was bittersweet now, looking back at it knowing what would happen after. That Tjenu would fall, that Terebellum would retreat inwards, that even mighty Nardir would eventually fall...again... "Nardir has survived against greater odds than this," he whispered into Kastra's neck. "We still have a future."

But what future? Reality had caught up to him faster than he thought possible, Nardir's throne crumbling before his eyes. He'd always known he didn't want it. Once the thought had been that he wasn't ready, that he wouldn't wear the mantle as well as his parents, that he didn't have the skill or experience. Once the thought had been that Terebellum would succeed Alana, and he and Kastra would support her. But Mercury had returned, a woman of experience and will and drive, and he felt relief. He didn't know her, and she didn't know this iteration of her birth pack, but in the face of what had passed those points were moot. If Nardir was to survive, they would need her in whatever capacity she was able to serve. His mother, who had expended so much time and and so many resources searching for her, needed her support now more than ever. That this was the world their family was reunited in was unfortunate, but Mother Moon still shone above. There was a future for Nardir.

The weight on his shoulders was crushing. The road ahead was long and tumultuous. The monarchs were weary.

And Becrux had never felt a wider gulf between his name and his title.




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#12

((just a note I am planning on Aylie having caught back up to Nardir in time to be in this thread..at some point..yep))


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Aeneas he/him
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#13



    Aeneas walked beside his mother, weary to the bone. Part of the trip he had spent riding one of the sleds, but he tried to walk as much as he could. He had to look strong, at least for Sara. His soft paw pads were raw from the journey, but he knew they would heal. They all would. Wouldn't they?

He listened as his grandfather spoke, and felt the mood of their little family shift. He knew they couldn't go back home, but he had thought that things would be fine as long as they were all together. He was a stranger to death, and to the idea that this might be Byakko's last anything. Something unfamiliar accompanied the pinprick of fear he felt, but he remained silent. He watched the others move closer to the old wolf, watched Rapture climb onto his back, but Aeneas remained by his mother's side, reserved. He didn't like this feeling. He wished he didn't feel it.

He looked out at the rest of the pack as Alana spoke to the Inarians. He counted the faces he knew, and the ones he didn't. He wondered where everyone else was. Would they catch up eventually? He'd been told so many things, but he only barely understood. Tendrils, gasses, missing, refugees, allies in Inaria, home.... He moved close enough to Sara that their pelts touched. Everyone would be okay though, right?





there's a history through her,
sent to us as a gift from the future
to show us the proof;
more than that, it's to dare us to move
and to open our eyes
and to learn from the sky
from a cemetery
in the center of queens.


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#14

Beatrice wound around the wolves' legs for days barking and yipping at them to get their attention.  She knew if someone talked to...whatever!...was underground maybe it would stop making the gas that hurt everyone.  It was difficult getting them to listen.  She couldn't, well, articulate.  If they spoke mouse it would be easy to squeak to them.  She could squeak a whole conversation to mice now.  The wolf pup knew her family wanted her to talk like them, but she wasn't ready.  If wolves and other creatures made different sounds, why speak just words all the time?  But no one understood Beatrice, thinking leaving home took its toll on her and she was in shock.  Her father seemed encouraging...

...until she woke up to Gampi Adolph missing.  Then daddy wanted her quiet and stay close.  He was never upset at her.  And Gampi always came back.

Until Gampi didn't.

Until daddy was.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Buckshot dragged the sled, its main occupant having disappeared days ago.  The former Groundskeeper told him carrying him wasn't a burden.  He wanted to help his father, that leaving him behind wasn't an option.  But the next day old Adolph was gone.  He was asleep on the sled with food for him and the next day, nothing.  Oh, Buckshot looked all over for him, but his scent was well hidden in the bushes.  He knew his family needed him.

"Pop, don't do this..."

Buckshot stayed in the back of the group, hoping he would see Adolph catching up.  A sad Beatrice walked in front of him, whining from time to time until he (gently this time) told her to go with her siblings.  He knew he should have followed her.  Sara, Aeneas, and Rapture needed him.  Akutan would want him to look after his family.  He was.  No one got left behind. 

By the time they arrived in Inaria, Buckshot slumped to the ground. He heard Alana's sad voice, the wailing of his mate and family at the talk of death and his heart lurched.  Beatrice didn't need another grandfather "wooshing" into the night.  Buckshot couldn't handle another loss.  How could he comfort his mate and kids while he wanted to cry and cover his face?  He felt like a helpless coward.


8/3/18: Might be slow for the foreseeable future

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