Meeting  Astral Alignment [Star Council]
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Mercury She
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#1

The Dark Moon Queen 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


It had been a busy first day.  She had let the pack explore, with specific instructions to return by sunset.  She had filled her own hours by completing one quest after another.  First, she had sung them home, given her speech, and started helping with the dens.  Then, Arik had called her to show her the Isle.  They had found an Oracle in residence, and she had been given the first new piece of her destiny.  A lot to think about there, but no time to do it.  Ayliyra had come rushing to tell her Adolph was missing.  With a search party already underway, Mercury aided the rescuers in seeing the elder safely to the dens.  Then she tracked down Akutan, giving him the next mission in order to bring the pack home.  As she entered her den, she found herself dragging her feet before flopping down onto the furs that made her bed. Darkness, she was tired.

Had this pack always caused this much chaos?  The Dark Queen could not recall.  When Nardir had been stable, before the White Demon and the Fall, she had strong, able adults who had provided support to their leadership. When they had been exiled and the pack splintered, she had been so focused on their survival that she had not had the means to keep an eye on them.  Alana had done that.  And then... she knew nothing.  It had been so little time since she had returned, apparently ushering in a new calamity in her wake.  Was it she who caused misfortune to Nardir?  Or was it simply her duty to meet it when it arose?  Like the tale of the young Moon, Mercury was a creature who knew Darkness, and did not fear it.  But that did not mean she was not cautious.  There was still much to do...


The sunrise brought forth a new day, and with it a new to-do list.  In the morning light, Akutan began assembling his volunteers.  While he did so, she called the elders, her Star Council:  Byakko, Adolph, Raka, and Hakan.  The path up to the den she had chosen was wide on one side, making it easily accessible despite its height.  Furs from the dens had been made into makeshift cushions, and now they were all comfortably lounging on the large stone overhang.  Mercury had greeted them all as they arrived, letting them take their time in getting settled. While they mostly were relaxing in the sunshine, there were things she wanted to discuss, and now seemed like a good time.  It would be a casual meeting.  Adolph was recovering from his latest adventure.  Byakko, while somewhat restored with their return, did not have much time left. Sshe didn't expect Raka to take part in much at all given her mental state.  Hakan alone was still intact, having fared well with little more than sore muscles and achy bones.

"Thank you." Mercury began. "I know this has not been an easy journey for any of you."

She locked eyes with Adolph for a moment, then smiled at him with a bit of mischief in her eyes.  He really was having the worst luck in his elderly wanderings.

"Tell me, how do your families fare?"

She paused, as Akutan, Kyra and Vienna walked past them, heading south.  Only the three of them?  She knew for certain that Kastra and Kodiak had also joined the expedition, and she had no doubt that Aylie would throw herself at any chance to go wandering.  But where were they?  An eyebrow rose as she watched them, but she did not make any comment to the Ursa and his companions.  Turning her head, she refaced the Council.

"I have dispatched Akutan to assemble volunteers to map and secure the territory. Until their mission is complete, I am enacting an edict.  The pack will remain here, at the Castle, and a curfew set for sunset."



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Sekirei She/Her
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#2
(This post was last modified: August 04, 2018, 02:06:46 PM by Sekirei.)

Byakko saw Merc heading for him and the other elders and sent Sara away with her pups and Ticon. This wasn't for them. He was tired and more than a little impatient to get back to the family den site. He shared that with Akutan but because he was much older and was tempered by experience, the elder wolf was more able to exercise patience. His nephew/son seemed to have come to a realization on his own and was now working to ensure the family got back to where they were meant to be in full. Byakko just hoped it wouldn't be too late. The funny thing was ever since they returned, he had a strange feeling like someone was keeping him in the mortal coil, refusing to let him die until the land was reclaimed in full. He spent much of his time thinking about that. At the least, it kept his mind away from the question of why they were stuck in this place. He knew Merc had a reason and it was justified. Who knew how much the land had changed since Asylum took over and then disappeared.

"Tell me, how do your families fare?" Merc asked as Adolph, Hakan, and Raka joined them. Byakko's gold eyes slid shut. His sight was beginning to deteriorate, making the sunlight harder to manage, and his vision was starting to blur a little. Sara figured his old age was bringing about photosensitivity, meaning his eyes weren't able to handle the sun as well as they had in his youth. He didn't foresee living long enough for full-on blindness to set in, though, so he wasn't worried. "They're faring well enough. Tired mostly and two of us are eager to reclaim our own little niche as you're aware. I'm trying to be patient all the same." Byakko replied. He wasn't about to throw Akutan under a bison and pretend that he didn't share his nephew's impatience. His exhaustion was growing by the day and the delay, however justified, wasn't helping matters either. His tone was light but neutral. Neither critical but not overly optimistic either. Merc would understand. Byakko was better equipped to speak for the Clan as a whole because of his even temper and experience so Mercury likely valued him over most others. Akutan was coming into his own as the patriarch but he still needed experience to get on the same level. He needed the patience of those around him in order for him to grow.

"I have dispatched Akutan to assemble volunteers to map and secure the territory. Until their mission is complete, I am enacting an edict.  The pack will remain here, at the Castle, and a curfew set for sunset." Merc then said. Byakko just flipped his tail to indicate he heard. He had a feeling whatever he had to say had already been said by his nephew. He had nothing to add unless he was asked for input. Sara was going to stick to him as was her duty as both a healer and his daughter. His grandpups were in an alien place and even Rapture didn't seem inclined to sneak off. Ticon would do his duty and stick with them as well. The only Clan member who was going to be walking around the land until sunset was Akutan doing his job. The Clan as a whole wasn't going anywhere.

Byakko knew Mercury meant well but she had a lot to learn about her pack. A lot had changed since she disappeared. Indeed, Akutan had given a little insight into their private meeting when he came to tell the family what the plan was and he sought advice. Byakko was in no state to pass judgment on either of them because both of them screwed up. Both reacted to the other because they didn't know how the other ticked. Akutan had fallen in line quickly enough when he came to understand what the move back to the Mother Hills really meant so the ball was in their alpha's court. She lacked the experience necessary to navigate Akutan's thought processes. He perceived the move as a backhanded way of stripping the pack of their right to their old haunts. The oldster was inclined to believe both were a bit too reactionary, which was the fast track to a communications breakdown such as the one they apparently had.

Both would learn in time to rein it in once they got used to each other in their respective roles. Akutan was young and somewhat brash but he wasn't Aylie by any stretch. He was actually rather mellow nowadays, all things considered. The old man had no intention of getting involved unless Mercury asked him for specific insight regarding how his nephew ticked. The young Ursa Major was simultaneously simple and complicated as all hell. Byakko knew that the best of anyone there with only Sara outstripping him. Any insight he could share was for another time or never at all. He had a feeling there would be more Mercury would want to discuss that involved the plan regarding the pack as a whole so he filed his thoughts away for later contemplation. All he could do anymore was just think.

Yeah, Byakko's not privy to the entire thing. Only as much as Akutan volunteered so he's not aware that Merc still sees him as Clan patriarch despite having stepped down. 

This is also him being an incredibly boring old man.


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Charley She/Her
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#3

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"And though we lose our stake, Heaven is where we make it
Even in the smallest places, Can a garden grow"

actions - “speech” - thoughts

The stores of herbs were understandably low, the old healer swished his tail back and forth as he looked over what was left. Kyra had left for the mission and he was left... with this. He took a deep breath trying to calm the uncharacteristic raging wind in his head. Why had this made him so... Angry? Was it anger? Honestly he couldn't put into words at this point. What he had heard from Byakko made his own fur rise. They had come so close and yet... barred from going further. Maybe it was the hope that if he could return to the willow she would be waiting for him there, or at least answers, at the very least a good source of willow bark for these damned aches and pains from the journey!

At the last thought Hakan actually raked his claws into the den floor with a sour face... which made him pause.
Oh... Maybe these weren't just from the journey... He was... coming face to face with mortality again. There was nothing he could do when he lost his first love to the plague, he had worked day and night to find a cure and all for nought. Now, he was faced with the very natural end of his best friend... and if he would allow the thought... his own mortality was creeping up on him. Not that he was anywhere near deaths door, no he had many more years left ahead of him he was sure, but... certainly a lot less years lie ahead than lay behind. Was he becoming impatient in his... "old age"?

He was no longer the youth that he was when he was in these lands last, that was for sure. What did he think? That he would somehow become young again as he walked these lands? That he could turn back the clock on his body as his mind was transported through the memories? With a sigh he shook his head, answering his own rhetorical question.

When Mercury called, he squared himself up. Now was not the time to dwell on death, now was the time to meet, and discuss, and put forth actionable plans. First on his list would be to find the old garden Prince Alexander and Jase had found once... long ago... My... would it be overgrown by now.

He felt in a much better mood, though still fogged a little by pain, as he made his way up to Mercury's balcony and settled comfortably on a seat. The climb was easy for him but he made note that it would not be as easy for the others.

He watched his old friend with a heavy heart, answering the new Queens question with his eyes shut, as if too tired to keep them open, or perhaps his eyes were starting to fail him. Byakko made a comment about the state of the union and Hakan couldn't help but flick his tail.

"The journey was rough. I'm glad to be here. Kyra isn't any worse for wear." It was strange... He had imagined to either be coming home with his own entourage to rival Baykko's, and here he was with just himself and his daughter, who was more a part of Byakko's clan anyway, and Hakan was nigh adopted into it as well.

Hakan shifted his gaze over the precipice to watch his daughter and son-in-law and Vienna below. He saw his daughter look up at them but he couldn't tell if she was sending him a face or a shrug or just a curious look. He didn't turn back to look at Queen Mercury as she made her edict but he flicked an ear. Perhaps the most disrespect he had ever shown royalty in his life. It was not what he was about and he didn't understand why he was being so surly himself. Before a new moment could pass he turned away from watching his "to-early-to-be-official" pregnant daughter and back to the Queen.

"Forgive me My Queen." Ah, there was the normal formalities, "I had been made aware of this." He flickered his gaze to Byakko, then back to Mercury. Where had this relational wall come from? Was it because he had a better relationship with Alana? Or perhaps he felt guilty for letting Mercury out of his sight after her battle? Was she still a kid in his eyes? Surely she had proven herself by now. She certainly wasn't standing between him and finding Firebright, because Firebright certainly wasn't here. She merely said that they needed to wait a little longer, and in all his years hadn't he waited long enough? He could feel this wall he put up between himself and Mercury and he didn't actually want it there. He wanted to be cordial, relaxed, warm, fatherly, but here he was feeling cold and stressed and stand-offish. Nothing like his usual bedside manner.

He looked away again to watch his daughter, another layer of stress and worry. They were low on herbs.






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#4

Raka stared fixedly at nothing, her pearlescent orbs gazing at a midpoint between anywhere and nowhere. She breathed softly, carefully, as if she was scared to disturb something. Her memories - was it wishful thinking? No. No it was real. But faint, oh so very faint, like the caress of a butterfly's wings. She remembered. Not everything, but where there were gaps, now there were blurry outlines. And where there'd been blurry outlines it was all crystal clear. She remembered! She...

A howl. A summons. And like too thin ice on a lake the moment of clarity shattered into a million disorganised fragments. A snarl ripped through her throat and she was on her feet ready to attack before she fully realised what she'd heard. Shutting her eyes she tried to recall the moment ... but it was gone. She'd been known for her expressionless features, had used it to great advantage, but as her senility had progressed she showed her feelings more and more. And frankly the older she got the less she cared about it. It took a moment for her to calm down. She smiled sadly at Sare who was staring at her, probably wondering if she should stuff more herbs down her throat. The black wolfess sighed deeply and angled her footsteps towards where the howl had originated.

Who had howled? Oh right, Mercury. Hey she remembered something! But why on earth did the child summon her to this council of elders? Perhaps she yet held hope that Raka could be a valuable participant. Hah. As she came nearer she saw Byakko lying with closed eyes, and caught the conversation already started. Her gaze softened as they studied her mate - his eyes were more sensitive to light, and she knew in her bones and in her soul that he was nearing his time. And thus she was nearing hers. She shifted her gaze to the other old timer - Council of elders is right. Perhaps a better description would be council of decrepid, tired, wolves.

As she passed Hakan she gave him a quick lick on the shoulder, murmering his name in greeting before seating herself next to Byakko. She frowned and glanced back - yeah she did remember him. One eyebrow raised in amusement. Well now, perhaps she might not be so useless after all. Then her gaze settled on their new leader. Young but not green. Strong. A warrior.

She liked her.

"It's a good plan." she said, her soft voice and body language respectful, though she didn't use Mercury's title. She had been a Queen, too, and viewed Mercury more an equal. "Though some may find that restriction too - ah - restrictive, I agree that it's a necessary precaution until we know the lay of the land and established security around the borders. After all, we've waited this long, a few more days isn't going to matter." Then her ears did flatten slightly and she grimaced, muttering under her breath: "It's a tad overwhelming to have everyone so close to each other, but maybe that's just me."

Her piece said, she fell to grooming Byakko. It could be that this grooming had become slightly obsessive, Whatever - Raka ignored all opinions and advise and herbs. She had YEARS of grooming to make up for. And if Byakko voiced any objections she just pretended to forget he'd said something.
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#5

What an adventure the old wolf had.  His harrowing days were over!

He thought Mercury would chew him out for slipping away and getting him in danger.  He thought his son would chew him out for leaving to die.  So heading to the gathering place confused Adolph.

Ah.  Elder talk.

Mercury laid out her plans with no nonsense.  Adolph was surprised first, then guilty second.  Yes, he thought it was because of him, but he chided himself for narrow minded thinking.  It isn't always about you!  Byakko and Hakan made their voices known.  Adolph huffed.  Yes, he knew of the X Clan's spot, but it was sound advice.  And as much as Adolph contemplated about the old stump he lived in and confessed his love to Rain in, he wasn't attached to it to grumble about it.  Curious, absolutely.  Hakan's stance was unknown, but if the relic knew what the doctor's memories were, he would understand.

Raka had the right idea.  Drawing a line wasn't what the relic wanted to do.  However...

"It is close where we reside now," he said.  "Everyone was...loud.  And I didn't mean just the children.  But Leader is right.  Better to check the land with our best then *sigh* miss a step."

Sorry guys I made it worse.


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

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Kodiak He
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#6





Bi-colored eyes stared down the cliff face to the drop below and he snorted an irritated breath through his nostrils. Cool, great, wonderful. The wolfdog could feel the tension in his shoulders, twinging at the back of his neck and making him growl as he sat for a moment to consider his options. You can jump down this way, straight ahead and probably get really hurt, you can go to your left, but there's probably nothing of note there just more mountains and trees, you can go to the right, but eeeeh??? Is it really worth it?? No.

Welp, just gotta go back the way you came then? He'd already settled on the idea. It was easier getting down this way, no harsh drops, just one hill like incline that allowed him to pick up speed and JUMP. Sometimes you overestimate things, and hell, sometimes you even forget that oh yeah there's a den here. Kodi was opting for the easiest and fastest route down, agile enough and gaining a good bit of speed to jump the switchbacks with relative ease and safety. HOWEVER, it's at this time he remembers the den, bi colored eyes catching sight of a rather dark blob laying on a bit of an overhang. What the?? Ohh, that had to be Merc's big ass, he could tell from all the way back here.

Crashing their meeting as he reached her ledge, he'd spring over her. "Don'tmindmekeepingthepacksafe byeeeeeeeee!!!" It was a flash of a moment, his gruff monotone voice calling out to them as his paws finally hit the ground and he stumbled just a bit. God, don't even look back just keep going. It'd be something he'd have to probably explain later. Have fun with your old geezers, Merc.


Briskly, he'd run to catch up with Kastra, a rather odd thing to do even for him, but he knew it'd be easier to pair up even in a small group, than to be on his own. Since climbing that cliff face was a waste of time, uggggh.






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Mercury She
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#7

The Dark Moon Queen of Nardir                 ☿
[Image: divider_by_polarshockka-d8ceg2q.png]

"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


"They're faring well enough. Tired mostly and two of us are eager to reclaim our own little niche as you're aware. I'm trying to be patient all the same."

"The journey was rough. I'm glad to be here. Kyra isn't any worse for wear."

The rickety gathering had assembled in their own time, and Mercury had not pressured them for haste.  Byakko and Raka lay close together, Hakan and Adolph not too much farther off.  She lay opposite of them, so that they formed a loose circle in the sun.  The furs and pelts they lay on had been beaten and were now free of their travel dust.  Her polite inquiry was met with the expected answers.  The families were tired, but no worse for wear.  They were eager to be off.  Yes, yes, nothing she didn't already know.

Despite the comfort of the amenities provided, the mood was tense.  She had expected Byakko's reaction.  Like son, like uncle.  The current patriarch, as Mercury saw, since Byakko yet lived, was always putting his family first.  In his old age, he seemed to be putting it ahead of the pack.  Something she was not pleased to note.  He would need to be reminded that his family was but one house of Nardir, and not above it.  But here was not the time nor place for her to make this reknown, and so she let his impatience steep.  Even if she were to only let the X clan return, it would be a catastrophic danger, especially now that Akutan's mission had been assigned.

Hakan's 'cold shoulder' did surprise the Queen, however.  He had never seemed as intent on returning, had, in fact, been rather passive through their journey back.  But as she looked over the edge and caught the exchange of glances, she thought that perhaps she was mistaking anxiety for anger.  She inclined her head to the red warrior, but the shrug seemed to convey to both ruler and father that she was just as clueless as to what was happening in Akutan's head.  Mercury glanced back at Byakko, wondering what he would think of his heir's erratic behavior.

Raka entered partway through the male hostility and, with a display of affection, calmed the tempers with a straightforward and brutal honesty. 

"It's a good plan. Though some may find that restriction too - ah - restrictive, I agree that it's a necessary precaution until we know the lay of the land and established security around the borders. After all, we've waited this long, a few more days isn't going to matter.  It's a tad overwhelming to have everyone so close to each other, but maybe that's just me."

Adolph also added his opinion, echoing the sentiments.

"It is close where we reside now, everyone was...loud.  And I didn't mean just the children.  But Leader is right.  Better to check the land with our best then" he sighed "miss a step."

Mercury nodded, having expected the close quarters and forced togetherness would have caused a bit of chafing.  Despite it's hardships, Nardir boasted a healthy population.  But not so booming that allowed a leader to be careless with their lives.  

"I realize that-"

Mercury's reply was cut short as suddenly a large body impacted close to her, then sailed over before she had time to react.  Her heart leapt to her throat and she snarled in surprise before she recognized the tail that disappeared over the ledge and the accompanying voice that yelled back over to her:

Don'tmindmekeepingthepacksafe byeeeeeeeee!!!

Having risen to a seated position, the Dark Queen gaped after Kodiak for a moment before she collected herself.  What on earth kind of pack was she running?! Closing her mouth as she shook her head, she cleared her throat to regain everyone's attention.

"Ahm.  As I was saying, I realize that having the entire pack in residence in the Castle is... tight, but I assure you I mean for this to be temporary.  However, I do wish for you to choose an apartment to be claimed for your families to be permanently set aside for your use. If we must gather together again in the future, I want this place to echo the feeling of home and safety that our individual dens provide. A place the whole pack gathers to call home."

If she allowed them to splinter before she bound them together, they would surely fragment again.  She would not fail a second time.  Nardir would grow new roots here, and they would be deep.  Mercury was prepared to be the most attentive gardener to see the pack bloom.



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I found solace in the strangest place
Way in the back of my mind
I saw my life in a stranger's face
And it was mine

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Sekirei She/Her
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#8

"Ahm.  As I was saying, I realize that having the entire pack in residence in the Castle is... tight, but I assure you I mean for this to be temporary.  However, I do wish for you to choose an apartment to be claimed for your families to be permanently set aside for your use. If we must gather together again in the future, I want this place to echo the feeling of home and safety that our individual dens provide. A place the whole pack gathers to call home." Mercury said after everyone said their piece.

"Seems fair. I'm running on the assumption that this decision will come after the packlands are secure but if not, I can pick the place here and run it by Akutan when he returns. He'll make the final decision." Byakko replied, his tone still neutral but the underlying meaning was clear and brooked no argument: he wasn't clan head anymore. All decisions on the family's behalf came from Akutan and the monochrome Fringe wasn't about to let his nephew get bullied out of the position he himself abdicated in preparation for his own demise. It was ideal for the successor to mantle the role when they were deemed ready because then the current head was able to step back and guide them until the day came when the new head could stand on their own without them. Byakko had done just that. Akutan was no longer the student and he had mantled the role when Byakko chose to step down.

That was IF the implications Akutan had raised had any factual merit. The boy had implied, not outright confirmed, that Mercury denied his role. Byakko prayed to the winds that wasn't the case because it furthered implied it would be repeated when Akutan's time to step down came so Rapture could mantle the role. The family never asked for much from the pack or alphas. They were a ragtag family that fell from grace a long time ago and didn't seek any sort of prestige for themselves. Any they had now was gained on their merit and they would do what they could to continue earning that. The least the pack could do was respect their customs, even if they weren't officially recognized as legit. A legacy of clan leaders who were denied their roles because the previous heads still lived wasn't the legacy Byakko wanted to leave behind. He didn't think Merc had it in her to disrespect his wishes going forward either so odds are, this was a one-off and Rapture wouldn't have to deal with it when her time came. 

The way Akutan had phrased things lent to the impression he was trying to throw as much heat off their alpha as he could, probably to preserve her own honor in the eyes of his uncle. That was why Byakko chose to stay silent on these matters. He made it known that he was leaving all the decisions in Akutan's capable paws and that was that. He trusted Mercury to do the right thing and he trusted Akutan to do the right thing.


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Charley She/Her
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#9

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"And though we lose our stake, Heaven is where we make it
Even in the smallest places, Can a garden grow"

actions - “speech” - thoughts

The appearance of the black shadow licking him on the shoulder nearly startled Hakan with a pleasant surprise! She even greeted him by name and it gave him a wonderful lift of his spirits. She was getting better! Seeing a "patient", though most of his patients quickly became like family to him, recovering always helped give him motivation. She seemed to have smoothed his tension quite easily.

Both Raka and Adolph made good points. He had to admit that he was eager to find all those places of the past and relive some memories. He had waited this long, whats another few days, really. It wasn't as if he was dying... tomorrow... or anything. He glanced at Byakko again with that thought.

Just then a huge character dropped from above and he growl-yipped with surprise, dodging out of the way of the intruder of their meeting and stood as he watched the one called Kodiak barrel through and made his way back down to the mission below. He couldn't help but stare after the dog, dumbstruck for a minute until he looked up to where the guy had come from and couldn't help but shake his head and chuckle heartily with a warm laugh. He was still chuckling and shaking his head as he settled himself back down into his seat. He coughed as he brought his full attention back to Queen Mercury. She had had his full attention this time.

She continued what she had tried to say, before they were comedically interrupted, with an idea of having dens here at The Castle. He waited for Byakko to say his piece while Hakan nodded thoughtfully.

"Hm, yes actually that sounds like a good idea." He could remember many instances and long distances he had to take when visiting patients. He had the whole place riddled with small herb caches to make sure they had enough herbs on hand to serve any small area. It would still be a good idea to put up new caches of herbs but he could at least keep the larger stores closer to the larger population. "It would make treating and keeping tabs on patients easier. Though it would be a struggle to quarantine if a sickness came through. I have a lot of experience with plagues. Overall though, I think that would be a good plan, especially for inter-pack relations. Its always a pleasure seeing the pups interacting with the rest of the pack and forming relationships." He liked that idea a lot actually. It would let newcomers integrate and meet the rest of the pack more easily, help them feel more at home.





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Kimster Eh
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#10

Akutan making the final decision, Byakko making the final decision, Mercury getting tense over it - to Raka this powerplay seemed ridiculous. Unfortunately, if left unresolved it could cause a lot of problems. Though her memory be sketchy, what she'd pieced together about Akutan did not make her confident in the boy's ability to follow Mercury and put the pack first over his family. Personally she felt that Mercury allowing their clan beliefs within her own pack was a massive favour, and one that the X-Clan was steadily taking for granted. She bit back a sigh - perhaps at one time she'd felt differently. Perhaps it had never been an issue and only now because of her, well, different mindset she felt herself at odds with her mate. She could never know for sure, and thus kept her opinions to herself.

Mercury was a good, strong leader. Akutan has a good heart. She was sure that as the pack prospered so they would themselves working together.

She listened to the others' opinions,when suddenly, like furry bolt of lightning, a body flung himself over, through and away from their council meeting. As fast as Raka was, he was faster, and her teeth clicked onto thin air as he disappeared leaving a babbled trail of explanation behind him. She stood protectively over Byakko, her fur bristling and teeth bared in a silent snarl, her lips pulled back menacingly. Who the hell did he think he was! Disrespecting this space! Barging in like some idiotic pup with no brains! The nerve! Her fore paws scuffled the furs underneath, and she missed most of what was being said.

Her eyes darted around the assembled, gauging their responses and when met with only amusement and calm she became only more confused. Hakan was chuckling over this? But... who...why...huh? She licked her lips and slowly relaxed, but kept her protective stance, ready to jump in front of whichever wolf here needed her protection.
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Pawprint she
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#11

Adolph made an undignified bark as Kodiak leaped in and leaped out, apparently, with everyone's hearts out of their chests.  While Leader composed herself, and Raka stood over her husband, Adolph stood there petrified with his fur in the air.

Idiot!

"Ahm.  As I was saying..."

It made sense.  Adolph matched an inkling of Leader's thoughts.  To come home to business as usual could lead to bad consequences.  He was a terrible example.  It worked a long time ago since they had larger numbers and they mingled often.  Even in his absent nature, Adolph was aware of most of the members of Nardir in the forest and the marshes.  Unfortunately, he didn't bond with many of them.  Now in his dying age, he couldn't afford the luxury of old habits.  A quiet passing was not an option anymore.

The others spoke.  The relic kicked at the fur below him.  He had ill feelings of using other animals' well, selves, since he was aware humans were usually the cause.  Maybe he was overthinking it.  He wasn't graceful collecting fur when he lined his old dens.  So he sat down on it very carefully.

"I'll stay with my children and grandchildren."  He made no difference in relation to Sara.  She was as much his daughter now since marrying into the family.

"If I may..." Did the fur smell like bear??  "One scouting is not enough.  For those who remember the land and its landmarks, maybe we can have a secure trail to and from the areas, and expand from there.  One day or two at a time."

Maybe the idea would kill two birds with one stone.  The others could visit their dens and the territory could have an anchor to expand from quickly.


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

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Mercury She
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#12

The Dark Moon Queen 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




"Hm, yes actually that sounds like a good idea."  

"Seems fair. I'm running on the assumption that this decision will come after the packlands are secure but if not, I can pick the place here and run it by Akutan when he returns. He'll make the final decision."

The Dark Queen resisted the urge to roll her eyes.  Like Nephew, like Uncle.  The X Clan liked to add an air of officialism to everything.  All Mercury was telling them was to pick a set of rooms in the Castle for them to sleep in.  It didn't need approval, it just needed to get done.  If they were going to mill about and drag their paws, she would simply assign them a place.  Her gaze narrowed, but she turned her attention away from Byakko to the rest of the council.

"I'll stay with my children and grandchildren." Adolph said, almost meekly.  His recent rescue had chastised him severely, it seemed.

"I expect dens to be selected before sunset." she commanded.

At the rate he was traveling just now, it was doubtful Akutan's party would return before nightfall.  Well, she'd cross that log when she had to.  Perhaps Kyra would be setting the pace for the entire expedition.  Should she have made Kyra the Ursa?  The nickname "Mama Bear" would soon be very suitable, too, although none of them would appreciate that joke just yet.  But that was their task.  Yet another future log.  Mercury was going to have mental splinters by the end of all of this.

"It would make treating and keeping tabs on patients easier. Though it would be a struggle to quarantine if a sickness came through. I have a lot of experience with plagues. Overall though, I think that would be a good plan, especially for inter-pack relations. Its always a pleasure seeing the pups interacting with the rest of the pack and forming relationships."

"I would imagine Vaidya's Garden is still growing. If we find the old healing grounds repairable, we shall secure a place in case of quarantine."

Mercury would save the rearing of pups for another meeting.  She intended for the future generations to be raised as she had been, mentored by the entire pack.  Forming relationships, as Hakan had said.  She and Alana had began learning their ranks at less than a year old.  If history had taught them anything, it was that unrest was a part of pack life.  The Elder's grand-pups had already had their first big move.  Barely old enough to make it, and highly unlikely to remember their birthplace.  This Nardir would be the only home they would remember by the time they were adults.

"If I may...One scouting is not enough.  For those who remember the land and its landmarks, maybe we can have a secure trail to and from the areas, and expand from there.  One day or two at a time."

Adolph was correct that it was a human way of thinking, keeping pelts and using bits of their prey.  But then, Mercury was a tad bit human, a bit dog, a bit wolf.  Her mental state was no longer the purity of the Wild.  She had seen what it was to be able to remake the world.  It changed her, as all great trials did.  She saw things differently now... but it had not changed her heart.  Her sense of justice was still strong, her desire to protect them just as bold. Mercury awaited the others to form their opinions, then nodded at Adolph's statement.

"Akutan's orders were to observe and map the borders.  Once this team returns, we will collect their reports. I expect additional expeditions will be required."

When they had sufficiently discussed the plans for the borders and territory mapping, she directed them to their next topic.

"Arik was called to the Oraculi Isle." She announced. "There is one there who calls herself a 'Mirror-Eye'. A feline who possesses the Sight."

The phrasing she used, 'called', would certainly catch their attention.  While it wasn't exactly the religion of the council, it had been what she was raised with, and they would have been familiar with the old traditions.  Having an Oracle already on the island was big news.  As though Nardir were realigning with it's original path.



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Sekirei She/Her
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#13

Byakko again just thumped his tail in response to Merc's request they find places by nightfall. Perhaps Akutan wouldn't mind if he went ahead. Why wouldn't he? He still looked up to him as a guide, as he should, but soon the time would come where he would have to trust himself. He could do it. Byakko mused that his spirit must be disconnecting since he wasn't feeling particularly chatty. He instead just relished in the feeling of Raka grooming him. His heart was fit to burst with love for her and sadness his time was drawing to a close. Whether it was her or Silverstream, it seemed he was always destined to have a short time in this world with both his soulmates. He could only hope his fate didn't befall Akutan or his daughters. All of them deserved to have all the time they could get with their mates. Starfire had been the lucky one. Storm had rarely left her side. Byakko had two beautiful she-wolves come and go but at least Raka came back to him. Silverstream had gone and was lost to him forever in this life.

At hearing the word Oracle, that managed to get some life back into the monochrome Fringe. "An Oracle, you say? Most interesting," he said, lifting his head. His once dulled gold eyes got a little spark back in them. He meant it, too. The Clan's own belief system didn't have a figure fitting the description but Byakko had been here long enough to know the Oracle was a central figure in the overall religion of his adopted homeland. Byakko was set in his ways but that didn't mean he disregarded the beliefs of others. The old tales spoke of how the deity who created all, the World Weaver, gave free will to each creature to believe as they will but all returned to the element the Weaver crafted them from. For wolves, that was the wind. It was poetic if nothing else since wolves ran like the wind during hunts. Much like the Black Wolf, the Weaver didn't require living things to have knowledge of or believe in His existence and indeed, the Lindarians paid more attention to the Reaper than Him. The Weaver was the one above all.

"Seems things are aligning for our pack once more. It does this old soul good and I foresee some real healing taking place. I may not believe in the Oracle's power but I would be a fool not to admit having such a figure present to be beneficial to those who do." Byakko said, his words tired but hopeful. Mercury was a child of the Moon. Byakko knew this to be at the core of her being. The Oracle was a spiritual guide and one she would need going forward. The fact it was a cat was almost poetic in and of itself. Perhaps having that kind of perspective would keep Nardir on the path of right action. Winds knew they had lost their way many times but their tenacity kept them going strong even when some of their numbers were still lost, physically or otherwise. Akutan was one of those lost souls. His recent missteps were proof of that but his determination to correct his errors were nothing short of a sign a path had been lit for his paws to follow. Aylie was a lost soul who seemed to go out of her way to stay lost, so long as her father still held sway over her. Killing him wouldn't end that and it would be the Clan's eternal failure. One that could never be erased or forgiven. Even if mortals did, the Gatekeeper would not. That was their cross to bear and that was all they could do.


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Charley She/Her
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#14

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"And though we lose our stake, Heaven is where we make it
Even in the smallest places, Can a garden grow"

actions - “speech” - thoughts

Hakan flicked his gaze between Byakko and Mercury. He was trying not to read beyond what was in front of him but it seemed the Queen was fairly short with Byakko. He wondered if it had anything to do with the conversation between Mercury and Akutan had last night. Had things become strained between the clan and the Queen? Would this shortness relate to Hakan himself who was also fairly upset with the command of not being able to wander about freely for the time being? With a flick of his ears and a wary flick between his friend and his leader he made a curt nod in acknowledgement of the command for dens by sunset.

The healer then pricked his ears at the mention of the garden. Had she read his heart? Well he was the most experienced healer in the pack, his mind was always on herbs. It wasn't that hard to piece together his first focus was his stock and stores. then Followed Adolphs line of thinking of protected trails through the territory. This topic felt more like it was meant for the younger working classes, well, really the heads of the working classes. Strategy, guards, patrols and whatnot. They were elders now weren't they? Topics like family, betrothals (if anyone asked he really he didn't think they were necessary anymore), culture, pup rearing, rules, advice, newcomers, alliances and the like felt more like Elder Council topics. He was starting to accept his new role far too quickly for his own good.

"Several outposts through the territory should be good with a stock of emergency herbs and supplies. Maybe have a rotation of a guard on duty and make it part of a healers duty to either spend a week walking through the outposts or station a few along the trail every moon cycle. Though we're usually short on healers." he mentioned, tucking his paws in a cross like fashion under his chest. We should make it a requirement for pups gaining experience to spend some time with the ranks too. Guard duty and outpost running would be a good job for the kids to tag along on."

It was then the conversation shifted to something else entirely. His chin was half tucked down and without moving his head he lifted his eyes(as if looking over a pair of glasses) and pricked his ears at Mercury.
"Arik was called to the Oraculi Isle... There is one there who calls herself a 'Mirror-Eye'. A feline who possesses the Sight."

He flicked his bi-colored eyes over to Byakko and noted the difference in his behavior, a piqued interest.
"An Oracle, you say? Most interesting... Seems things are aligning for our pack once more. It does this old soul good and I foresee some real healing taking place. I may not believe in the Oracle's power but I would be a fool not to admit having such a figure present to be beneficial to those who do."

It was quite a leap. He narrowed his eyes for a moment bringing up Arik to mind. Yes, the quiet boy... His dear friends eldest son... He had a sister, Luna, a twin brother... Warin... Ah yes! Arik had come to grab Mercury's attention yesterday just after she was done speaking to Hakan himself. The boy pretty much kept to himself as he understood it. At the moment he wasn't aware that they could probably all see the giant sky striped dire wolf in the shallows of the lake trying not to spy on the isle.

He was silent for a good moment gauging everyone's reactions as best he could. Yes it was coming to him again, he had helped bring Arik into the world as well. His parents had been struck by the interesting marred moon mark on their daughter and the subsequent moon marked boys. Just like their mother's and twin uncles moon marks. Very interesting that Arik would be the one involved. Could it be that the full moon of their birth, so many many moons ago, was the first message of their returning home?

He took a deep breath in after everyone else said their piece. "I... I think he's been marked from the beginning." Hakan had always been superstitious. Though he had been fairly wary of the moon religion when he had come here first in search of his sister. But as he called these people home so too did the moon and the stars find a place in his beliefs. He looked around, notably at Raka, her daughter Vienna was also a profound birth after losing their beloved home. "Raka, just as Vienna's birth was marked by a strike of lightening, its ok if you don't remember it was long ago, Arik and his litter mates birth was marked by the full moon. And a bear attack if I remember correctly." His niece River and his apprentice Rio were meant to attend but got nearly mauled by a bear on the way. Nardir seemed to have a propensity for altercations with bears. "Starfleet and Thundershock have always had those moon marks. I don't remember them being particularly religious and didn't think twice about Arik and his brother being born with them. Black and Star were particularly intrigued by Arik's sisters moon mark though. Luna was a mostly white wolf, her moon mark was different somehow, I can't quite remember how though." He flicked his gaze between them. "They were born right after the exile." Just like a lot of the generation coming up behind them. "Perhaps the sign wasn't for Luna like they thought... but for Arik, or even just the whole litter. They were all Moon Marked." He didn't know what it all meant, but he was always of the belief that it definitely could mean something.




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Kimster Eh
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#15
(This post was last modified: September 17, 2018, 03:54:07 AM by Kimster.)

Conversations swirled around her like a gentle stream, lulling her nerves back down. Slowly she sank back onto the furs, sniffing them a little and wondering why she was so comfortable lying on them. Surely she shoudn't be? Eh. Whatever. Raka resumed her grooming of Byakko, humming along at Hakan's suggestions, though she did add:

"Pups tagging along is a good thing, but it must be made absolutely clear that they have no say in the decision of the ranked wolf. They must basically just be an observant shadow." Huh, she had a feeling this should spark a memory, but alas. the feeling was gone as soon as she had it.

The talk turned to a mystic seer. Hm. Really? She herself didn't believe in such a thing. Prophecies? Pfooey. Gods and goddesses? Absolutely, she'd been considered as a high priest for the goddess of death in her old pack. Omens at birth? Hell yeah she was living proof! She smiled at Hakan at his tactful words, that it was so long ago she might not remember. Sweet old coot. Really though? Her child born in a thunderstorm? And those other names during a full moon? Now that is definately portentious. Of what it portended she didn't know.  She humphed and added her two cents:

"I do not believe in those who say they have the Sight. It's merely that I've yet to meet one that is truly cursed as such, and not someone who tries to make themselves look important. However, I do believe in omens - as Hakan said, my pups were born on a fateful storm. I, myself, had been thought dead at birth. Such things do have a tendency to mark a wolf's path. I only advise caution - we don't know anything about this feline, about her history or where she came from, and it's easy to sound mysterious on a small island surrounded by mists. If she truly has Nardir's best interests at heart, she would soon prove her worth"

Her voice was neutral - she was neither condemning nor condoning any opinion of the assembled. She yawned and leaned against the Byakko's big frame, feeling his bones poke through his thick fur. In the end, we are all just a fluffy sack of bones, she thought as her eyes started to droop.
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