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Excalibur She/Her
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt...
Gemini
*****
Posts: 28
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Played By: ypput















All Accounts Posts: 182
#1

The world had so many edges. 

Sky hemmed in above, ground below. North and east mountians reared impossibly high, impassable and cold. South, stood the wall, a boundry counjured from stone no less impassable than the mountain peaks it mimiced. West, cliffs snarled jagged fangs against the grey of the roiling ocean. 

In places the cliffs relented, if only a little, offering passes and passageways down to the thin beach. The paths were few, perilous and crumbling things, often strewn with slippery sea weed and cloying guano. There were probably a multitude of ways known only to those that were wise, but Excalibur had only ever found this one. It was an obvious path, steps hewn out of the cliff face by someone, or something, long dead. Who, or what, they were was a topic that often played on her mind, especially as she circled the empty rooms of crumbling castle towers and scraped back moss and lichen from the carvings there. She was resigned to wondering, knowing that no theory could ever be proven one way or another. Time had erased every trace but stone. It was a painful reminder that memory lasts only as long as flesh. One day no one would remember her, or Arthur... Or Gemini either for that matter. 

The wind plucked at her as she descended the steps, fingers gripping her fur and pulling, threatening to tip her balance and plunge her the remaining fifty feet and dash her memories on the beach below. The last couple of steps had been reclaimed by the sea, eaten away by its teeth, forcing her to leap the last few feet. She landed lightly on the black sand and stood a moment catching her breath, looking back up the way she had come, feeling the thrill of pushing one of her worlds edges. She often felt trapped here, encircled by stone, but now for once she was outside its grip and she could breath so much more easily. She drank in the salty air, cold, fresh and free. No one forced her to stay, it was the simple fact that she had no where else to go that bound her.

She ran out to the ocean and met it where it broke against the shore, splashing into it, feeling the cold water soak through her fur and rise up her body. It pushed against her and she pushed back, striking out until only only her toes touched the slippery pebbles. There she was brought up short by another hard edge of her world. She could go no further. She couldn't swim.


And for every king that died
Oh they would crown another
But it's harder than you think
Telling dreams from one another


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Eli He/Him
Gemini
Gemini
*****
Posts: 25
Pronouns: He/Him
Location: Gemini
Played By: Bea















All Accounts Posts: 120
#2

It was a bit of luck that Eli had arrived earlier that day for his decent of the hewn steps were not as graceful as the wolf's. Cautious hop after Cautious hop the tripod made his way to the black sand beach. It wasn't his first time to the ocean, there was some practice to his step. The final jump from the crumbling steps to the sand was a bit of a flop but Eli shook it off and continued to the water.

His nearly two years in Gemini had been the longest he had ever spent in one place. Living with nomads meant he had traveled lengths of the forest, seen the sights that the strait had to offer. The lands of Gemini were beautiful, there was no doubt. Green as far as the eye could see, sparkling pools, crumbling relics of the past. Truth be told Eli was comfortable here, but every once in a while he still longed for adventure. The ocean never failed to bring some sort of story.

Today, it seemed, was no different.

Eli sat near the water's edge, listening to the lapping waves and straining to hear the strange fish again. But a shot of monochrome fur flew in the corner of his eye. Startled the dog quickly stood and took a hop back, but the she wolf was making a bee line for the sea. The dog looked for what she could be chasing, little known to him what she chased could never be caught. She had stopped before she could paddle and just looked. At what?

"Excuse me, ma'am," Eli ventured to move forward, though not making it to the water, "Are you alright?"


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Excalibur She/Her
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt...
Gemini
*****
Posts: 28
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Played By: ypput















All Accounts Posts: 182
#3

"Excuse me, ma'am, Are you alright?"

The crunch of gravel on the shore announced the vistor before his words did, but she didn't look round, even for a long moment after the words were spoken. She strained against her invisible boundry, for just a second longer, willing herself to take just another step, but cold logic and reality advised her of just what a terrible idea drowning would be.

She sighed and turned away to face the caller - The rude interruption - she had not recognised the voice and confirmed with a glance she did not recognise the face either. Hardly a suprise, who did she know here? No one. There were names she had heard before, faces she had glimpsed, but she did not know them and they did not know her. She prefered it that way, she told herself, don't get too attached to any of them. There was only one she took any interest in - Akira - But she could not quite describe the bond she felt to her, it was not duty, or love, or anything she could explain so simply; in reality it was projection, she was seeing someone else in her and being drawn to that, possibly imagined, light like a moth. It would burn her one day.

She picked her way back to the shore, paws gripping the slippery rocks to prevent any ungraceful spills and crunched up the pebbles to face the caller. She tilted her head critically at the stranger, taking in their appearance with a rove of eyes that suggested she found something lacking. She did, literally. "There must be a story there." She said, clearly talking about what was missing. "I am fine." She added succinctly, in answer to the earlier question. She didn't like being questioned at the best of times and questions about how she was feeling were particularly prying. She looked away at the water, one of her wardens, and exhaled through her nose, fighting the flash of annoyance.

She flicked her eyes back to the stranger, taking in properly for the first time what a small three-legged thing they were, rather than just what a big annoyance they were to her. Seeing him with fresh eyes made her feel a little ashamed. She was prisoner of her circumstances but he must be a prisoner of his own mangled body. Neither of them has chosen their shackles but they were bound by them none the less. She felt as close to a stiring of symapthy as she ever got, a spark longing for a kindred spirit perhaps? "What do they call you?" She asked, her voice not quite kind, but interested. "I am Excalibur."


And for every king that died
Oh they would crown another
But it's harder than you think
Telling dreams from one another


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Eli He/Him
Gemini
Gemini
*****
Posts: 25
Pronouns: He/Him
Location: Gemini
Played By: Bea















All Accounts Posts: 120
#4

A few breaths passed and the wolf remained firmly planted in the ocean. Eli cocked his head slightly and for a moment wondered if she couldn't hear him. The ocean was placid today, masking it's grip that it had on the she wolf's freedom with gentle, lapping waves. But it was just that. A quiet day at the coast. He knew it didn't drown him out. When her sharp yellow eyes finally turned to him he knew why the delay; whatever the wolf was doing in the sea was important enough to cause annoyance at his interruption.

She started to approach and his ears fell back. The dog was merely concerned, he didn't know he was disturbing her peace. But her scrutinizing gaze told him he did just that. Eyes traveled quickly to his stump. Despite her demeanor he appreciated her candor. Many people danced around his disability, walking on eggshells afraid to bring it up. But other than the not-human that openly called him 'Tripod' the wolf was one of the first to bring it up. While considered rude to be the first comment in an introductory situation Eli found it refreshing.

"There is," he said with a chuckle and little wiggle of the stump, "though it might not be as exciting as you think."

Her curt reply reminded him of his apparent faux pas and he sat before her. There was a day back with the humans he wouldn't take such an attitude, but life (and common sense) had a way of dulling those edges. Eli nodded in reply to her being fine. That was good, at least, if it were the truth. Perhaps this was a mistake. Not every individual in a pack would get along, he knew that well enough. But the wolf seemed to be making an effort at least.

"Excalibur." This could go one of two ways. It was unique, hopefully so much that he wouldn't forget. Or, more likely, make it all the more easy to butcher if they were to meet again. "I'm Eli. I'm sorry for interrupting you. I couldn't tell if you needed help."


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Excalibur She/Her
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt...
Gemini
*****
Posts: 28
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Played By: ypput















All Accounts Posts: 182
#5

"There is, though it might not be as exciting as you think."

"I will hear it anyway." It was said with the sort of offhanded authority of one used to getting their own way. Excalibur knew that she was no longer one of the ones who could just expect to get whatever they asked for but it was hard behaviour to unlearn. Falling is never graceful. The fact it was absolutely none of her business what had happened to Eli's leg never even occured to her. She stared expectantly at Eli waiting for him to serve up some answers.

"Excalibur. I'm Eli. I'm sorry for interrupting you. I couldn't tell if you needed help."

Eli was polite enough and Excalbur inclined her head to him slightly in recognition of that, she was not completely devoid of manners herself. So he had thought he was doing her a kindness, "Well," She said a little grudgingly, "You weren't to know." Had she actually been out of her depth and in any sort of danger she might have been grateful she supposed as another quiver of annoyance flicked her ear.

She might have been feeling particularly charitable at that moment but she still couldn't stop herself from smirking a little at her next thought. "You can swim?" It was said in a way that suggested she severely doubted anyone with three legs was much blessed in the bouyancy department. The fact she had four perfectly usable limbs and could not swim herself was conveniently forgotten. She had never had any reason to learn, there had been no where to learn in Albion in fact - The only body of water there was a lake so unfathomably deep and bone chillingly cold it would have meant any failure by a learner amounting to a death sentance... Though she was sure if she had ever learnt, she should have been a great proficient.


And for every king that died
Oh they would crown another
But it's harder than you think
Telling dreams from one another


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Eli He/Him
Gemini
Gemini
*****
Posts: 25
Pronouns: He/Him
Location: Gemini
Played By: Bea















All Accounts Posts: 120
#6

Had Eli had lived her longer, been more comfortable with the idea that the wolves here posed no harm to a pack mate, he might have given an amused chuckle to that bold statement. Was this a demand, or just an impolite invitation to speak? The dog had really met so few packmates, this could be a high ranking individual.The demand may have been warranted. With a quick lick of his lips he thought of where to begin.

"I used to live with humans." seemed an appropriate start, "along with other dogs. I was a part of the hunting team. We would track and corner the target until the humans could arrive and dispatch them. It was a good gig, we worked great as a team. A while back a mountain lion was spotted skirting our camp. It was a threat, and we were tasked to take care of it."

A strong breeze blew from the sea to the conversing canines. This was really the first time Eli had talked about his leg. He'd thought he was long healed physically and mentally, but as he spoke his heart started to beat, back on the trail of the foul cat.

"It was easy enough to track, and there was enough of us to get it on the run. And boy, did it run. But we refused to lose it. Finally we pinned it to a cliff. It tried to fight us off but this wasn't our first hunt." It was your last, though he thought to himself, "I-I don't really remember what exactly happened. It swiped at me and I tried to jump back, but I think I tripped over one of my team. I stumbled. It grabbed my leg." The stump twitched, nearly feeling the cat's teeth in the flesh that had been long gone, "It was crushed, and if the humans hadn't come just a moment later it could have killed me. I lost the leg, but with their help not my life." He gave a sad laugh, "I suppose it might be a little more exciting than I thought."

It was then Exaclibur smirked, posing a question that blew a hole in any plan of him being able to help her if she had been in any kind of distress. Ears fell back and he gave a lopsided smile.

"Honestly I haven't tried since the accident. And even if I did I wouldn't swim here. Maybe just a pond somewhere. I would have called for reinforcements."


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Excalibur She/Her
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt...
Gemini
*****
Posts: 28
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Played By: ypput















All Accounts Posts: 182
#7

"I used to live with humans. Along with other dogs. I was a part of the hunting team. We would track and corner the target until the humans could arrive and dispatch them. It was a good gig, we worked great as a team. A while back a mountain lion was spotted skirting our camp. It was a threat, and we were tasked to take care of it."

"Ah yes." She looked him up and down again, this time even more critically, she had seen so many strange in things and beings in Gemini she had never really stopped to consider just what the creature before her was. "I suppose you are a dog, aren't you." She held a certain amount of contempt for any creature that whimperingly did bidding of another, particularly when that bidding was the hunt and slaughter of those closer to being his kin than any human could be. Excalibur did not attached a great deal of sentiment to her fellow creature but she did understand the concept of loyalty and knew she owed more to a lion than she ever would a human. No lion had ever tried to impale her for example. 

She had met humans before, after she was forced out of Albion, and they had thrown spears at her while their mutts yarked and barked; it had been easy enough to give them the slip but the indigation of being considered prey by anything still rankled her. "I've never understood that arrangement with humans." She added. "But I suppose you dogs are born and bred to it, you love what you know." Contempt did not innately confer any malice, merely lack of consideration. She meant no intentional slight or hurt in her words, she just did not think of the feelings of others when she spoke. 

"It was easy enough to track, and there was enough of us to get it on the run. And boy, did it run. But we refused to lose it. Finally we pinned it to a cliff. It tried to fight us off but this wasn't our first hunt. I-I don't really remember what exactly happened. It swiped at me and I tried to jump back, but I think I tripped over one of my team. I stumbled. It grabbed my leg. It was crushed, and if the humans hadn't come just a moment later it could have killed me. I lost the leg, but with their help not my life. I suppose it might be a little more exciting than I thought."

"Quite the tale." She acknowledge, "Though what did you expect when you cornered a lion?" She made a small tsk noise, it was a fair point, but perhaps not one you make out loud to the limb-looser directly. 

"Have you not seen the one they call Jonas?" She enquired next, burning with curosity to know how this dog was managing to justify his old life against his new one, how he could live along side those who, so recently, he would have hunted down on an order. A problem she too suffered from but for different reasons. She lifted one brow at the dog and fixed him with a frank gaze. "Did you hunt wolves too?" How much of a hypocrite are you was her real question.

"Honestly I haven't tried since the accident. And even if I did I wouldn't swim here. Maybe just a pond somewhere. I would have called for reinforcements."

Her legs, stomach and chest were still all wet and the contant drip of water from them made a staccato pitter patter on the black sand. The water was cold, so was the air, the sea winds breathed heavily over them but her fur was thick enough to with stand it, trapping warmth against her skin. "I wouldn't recommend it either." She said, head turning towards the roiling ocean, that chewed angrily at the shingle. It seemed to reach towards them with every lap of a wave, watery fingers trying to grab them, pull them out the distant horizon; half her heart longed to take that offered hand, to see what was at that horizon. "No humans to rescue you this time."


And for every king that died
Oh they would crown another
But it's harder than you think
Telling dreams from one another


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Eli He/Him
Gemini
Gemini
*****
Posts: 25
Pronouns: He/Him
Location: Gemini
Played By: Bea















All Accounts Posts: 120
#8

I suppose you are a dog, aren't you?

If it weren't for the tone that would have been a humorous statement. Eli had long suspected he would run into wolves who would look down on him. He had felt the same towards wolves, traitors that left their domestic origins to turn feral. Of course the tripod was learning wolves weren't so bad. Maybe his presence could sand the edges off of hostile wolves.

"Uh, yup..." Eli made it a point to look himself over as if to confirm he was indeed a dog, "I suppose I am."

He hoped the joke would lighten the mood a little and not incur the she wolf's wrath. Excalibur, for all her high and mighty airs, was at least not hostil. The dog couldn't tell if it was because that wasn't her nature or because he wasn't worth the time. He'd rather not know the answer. Eli wasn't the least bit surprised when she said she didn't understand the arrangement between human and dog. Wolves abandoned their roots long ago, they only knew loyalty to their own kind or, as Gemini had proved, other large predators as well. The comment, while he assumed was aimed as a jab, didn't bother him. He was proud of his heritage, of their ability to work with others. That comment was left alone.

"I expected a hunt like any other. It wasn't an easy job, we got injured from time to time. But we're always realistic." Head cocked slightly at the name of Jonas. To be fair Eli hadn't met much of Gemini, "No, never met them. Why?" Another hunting accident survivor? Another amputee? The tripod didn't have much time to dwell on it before the next question was posed.

"Once." it was a story he had long come up with and even used once before. It was a lie, but sometimes lies were necessary to keep the peace. The truth was a few more than once. The humans liked the thick, fancy pelts. Eli's humans had no real beef with the wolves, it was just business, "It was kinda the same situation with the mountain lion. A male kept skirting our camp and causing trouble. He didn't act right. We figured something was wrong and just assumed he didn't speak. One day a human kid went up to him thinking he was one of us. Human kids aren't smart. He got bit. Thank goodness he didn't seem rabid, even if he was off. It was safe enough to let us take care of him." He looked into Excalibur's eyes, " It wasn't fun, but I'm sure it's forgivable to get rid of someone hurting your pack."

He hoped the story would work. He knew saying he'd never hunted any wolves wouldn't have been believable, but maybe this would be. Excalibur continued her assault on Eli's past. Perhaps this wolf knew the wolfdog he had met earlier, collaborated on stories on how horrible humans were. Little did he know this wasn't the last of the barrage.

"No, there aren't. But maybe my new pack would step forward."


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Excalibur She/Her
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt...
Gemini
*****
Posts: 28
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Played By: ypput















All Accounts Posts: 182
#9

OOC: Sorry for being so slow replying!


“Uh, yup... I suppose I am."

Excalibur made a sort of ”Hmm.” noise to that, the kind an examiner might make after a critical eyebrow raise and before scribbling a note on a clipboard, 'sense of humour decidedly lacking'.

"I expected a hunt like any other. It wasn't an easy job, we got injured from time to time. But we're always realistic.

The next note on her clip board would have read ‘unrealistic goals’. Excalibur didn’t consider taking on a lion a realistic challenge for anyone except the suicidal, she nearly said as much but her contempt was softened a little by pity; the poor creature in front of her was clearly brainwashed by humans into doing whatever they said. Why else would he risk his life so stupidly? Indoctrinated since birth to be their object, tool and play thing… It was sad really, but to be so thoroughly bamboozled like that he was clearly also a bit simple. “You don’t have to defend them now, you aren’t their pet anymore.” If he was so easily lead then perhaps a little bit of robust instruction from her might help him she reasoned.

"No, never met them. Why?"

“Lion.” Excalibur supplied succinctly, letting Eli pencil in all that meant in the context of their conversation. Lions –You kill those for sport don’t you?

"Once. It was kinda the same situation with the mountain lion. A male kept skirting our camp and causing trouble. He didn't act right. We figured something was wrong and just assumed he didn't speak. One day a human kid went up to him thinking he was one of us. Human kids aren't smart. He got bit. Thank goodness he didn't seem rabid, even if he was off. It was safe enough to let us take care of him.  It wasn't fun, but I'm sure it's forgivable to get rid of someone hurting your pack."

With that speech Eli was looking decidely less like a poor creature and more like an enemy collaborator and sympathiser now. A curl of disgust played around her mouth. “A warning bite deserves death does it?” She asked. By Eli’s own admission the child had approached the wolf, not the other way around. If you play with fire you get burned, humans should know that better than anyone.

"No, there aren't. But maybe my new pack would step forward."

“Depends if we saw you as a threat.” She replied levelly. "You can do more than yark and bark, why not talk to that wolf? Warn him to leave?" She didn’t truly care about the fate of this other wolf, that was beside the point, all she wanted to do was expose Eli’s hypocrisy. How could he talk about gladly killing her kind with one breath and expected to be treated like a trustworthy part of the pack with the next. He made his choice already, what on earth made him think there were take backies here? “Why are you here with us not your precious humans?” She scoffed.


And for every king that died
Oh they would crown another
But it's harder than you think
Telling dreams from one another


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Eli He/Him
Gemini
Gemini
*****
Posts: 25
Pronouns: He/Him
Location: Gemini
Played By: Bea















All Accounts Posts: 120
#10

The joke didn't fly, not that he was particularly surprised. If Eli was a ruder individual he would suggest Excalibur run to a healer before the stick traveled any further up her ass. But of course such thoughts would be contained to higher beings. The dog opened his mouth to reply, to explain that whether or not he was with his humans he would defend his old packmates, but was interrupted by one word. Lion. Now Eli didn't know the difference between a lion and a mountain lion, his and she wolf's visions were very different, but this had taken a turn to a helluva uncomfortable situation.

"Oh.' The only syllable the dog could manage. He could defend himself, say it wasn't a blood sport. But Eli wasn't half as dense as Excalibur assumed. He could talk til the wolf's ears bled and she wouldn't be receptive. Sigh. This song and dance again.

His story didn't impress, but the tripod wasn't trying to win brownie points, only to get his story taken at face value. She didn't seem to care either way how many wolf pelts he had under his proverbial belt, he was the villain here. Excalibur's high and mighty attitude wore thin. It was almost as though in her mind a wolf never turned fang on one another. And surely they wouldn't mind taking out a dog. But Eli was at a disadvantage here, she was no diminutive Asche, in stature or in demeanor. Which made her next comment more comical than her dog observation.

Depends if we saw you as a threat.

He blinked in disbelief before looking her up and down. She wasn't the biggest wolf he had seen, but she dwarfed him. She was larger, heavier, her teeth were huge, and she had four fucking legs. He couldn't help but give a disheartened laugh.

"You're serious?" But she had more to say. He sighed heavily, "We tried, as I said. He wouldn't speak to us. We chased him on many occasions but he always followed. If he was a dog, we would have done the same thing. This isn't dogs versus wolves." Eli was surprised how bold he was being in the face of this vicious critic. This must be what happen when there are zero shits left to give, "This is protecting the pack."

"We were separated." He kept it short and sweet. The details would surely be misconstrued here, "And they traveled. I lost track of them."


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