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Isaiah He/him
The Surgeon
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#1
(This post was last modified: August 10, 2018, 04:52:17 AM by Isaiah.)

The scraggly little one-eyed wolf sighed. 

The wheel of fortunes kept spinning. Those foolish enough to ride to the top of it inevitably found themselves crushed beneath its weight when it turned. Isaiah did not try to climb the wheel, or to stop it. It spun and spun, tearing ruts in the dirt and dripping blood as it rolled, and Isaiah's only concern was to avoid its path. That's why he was still here, after all the kings and queens who had ruled over him were dead or exiled. 

Isaiah pawed at the ground in the rose garden, dirt in his dainty toes. A pile of bulbs rested beside him. He paused to cough with exertion. A shallow bed wouldn't be good enough. Some plants were like corpses or secrets, and needed to be buried deep. 

There had been some chaos, something about the Sovereign and the Eyes, something about newly fashioned crowns for a new batch of heads. It all made so very little difference to the little one-eyed wolf. He had been born illegal, child of a slave. He'd become through deception and persistence a legitimate citizen of this forest, under some name or other. And then he was a Healer, and then he was an Acolyte, and then he was a Surgeon. Now he they called him the Star, but it didn't matter. Names were breath on the wind. His name had served Rapier, Blade, Scimitar, Ajax, Anya, Azuhel, Gideon, Azuhel again, and now three new strangers who called themselves the Greater Secret. But his heart had only ever served the forest. The forest was what ate them all in the end, swallowing their bodies into the roots and mosses and fungus. 

The wolf swept a dirty paw across his dirty face, pointlessly. He shook his shaggy, greasy coat, draped over his skeletal figure, sides still racked with coughing from the labor of his work. He looked around at the thorns and vines that surrounded the garden like a maze, blooming red against all the green. Isaiah loved flowers, though he couldn't say that roses were a favorite. "...Miss the fucking medic tower." He grumbles as he plops down by the half-finished bed. He'd put in a lot of work into that place. 

It'd gone up in flames of course. The costs of war. Oukoku and Azuhel did love their fire. 

In some distant future, incredible flora would blossom from the burned wound. But Isaiah didn't make too much of a habit of hoping for the future. That was a thing stupid people did.


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Telana she
Salamander
Alteron
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Posts: 45
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#2




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#e34234

Often she made trips to the garden, twice on a good day, six ore more on the bad ones, but this day she didn't feel quite as bad. The limp not as noticeable, and her joint actually cooperating with her. Astounding.

A rare face is there to greet her, an elusive Star is finally shining with dim light. This one wasn't at the meeting, but she knew him just enough to be able to place a name. With muddied paws caked with dirt and bulbs of wouldbe plants, she'd pause behind him like a shadow, keen ears picking up his grumbled words, and she felt a twitch of annoyance from his griping.  "If you miss it that much you can always go find it's charred remains. I'm sure the inanimate husk misses you too." Her patronizing tone broke the silence as she moved to circle towards his front, spying the plant beds he'd begun to dig.

The scar would grow back, healthy and new. When the time came, they'd return to it and see what they could rebuild. For now, it was treated as the no man's land, a reminder of a battle long past. But the scar was not her center focus at the moment, golden eyes boring into the dark form of the gangly male. "You're a hard one to find, Isaiah, is it?" The ginger woman remarked, her tone and expression neutral. She'd tilt her head to the side, an attempt to make a better snap judgement of him. "Telana, I'm the Hierophant, one of the Greater Secrets." More importantly a leader, but that didn't really need saying.

"We didn't spy you at our pack meeting. With a face like that, you'd be hard to miss, I'd like to think." Her tone changed slightly, like a mother questioning a child for bad behavior. Nagging and snippy. Though, Telana wanted to know about their elites was all, even if the way she went about it was insufferable.






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Isaiah He/him
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#3
(This post was last modified: August 27, 2018, 05:44:20 PM by Isaiah.)

At the sound of the stranger's voice, Isaiah immediately hopped back to his feet, pinning back those overlarge ears. His gaze swept over her - red pelt first, confident bearing, and then focusing in on the joint of her paw. Curious. Some swelling, no apparent injury. His brow furrowed, a strange expression for someone with only one eye. His expression was not dissimilar from a person staring at a puzzle or a hungry beast staring at a bone to chew on. Isaiah didn't have much left to love in this horrible world, but he loved flowers and medicines, and the ailments that called for them. Unlike everything else he'd ever had, pain never went away. This wolf was avoiding weight on her paw. He didn't know why.  

The ugly boy didn't reply to her comment about the charred remains of his former workspace. Like so much else in his life, it was now a useless corpse. There was nothing to say to her patronizing tone, but he watched her movements as she circled around him through the foliage. Not as fluid as they should be. Maybe even slightly stiff, now that he was paying attention - she'd masked it before. Despite it, she carried herself with the self-importance of a high ranking packmember. Since he was a noble now (ha), he imagined she was someone very important indeed. 

He was hard to find, the red wolf said. It was true. "I stay busy with my work." He answered, tone flat. It wasn't really an excuse, because he didn't really care. If she was here to kill him for some reason, the kingdom would just be out a competent healer. Her loss more than his. "Isaiah, yes." The name sounded strange in his mouth, so rarely did he make a habit of introducing himself to strangers. When she stared at him judgmentally the Star felt himself wither. The boy had never held up well to examination, he knew he was ugly and broken and he had never been able to shake the shame of it. When she gave him her title, he offered a dip of the head in acknowledgement. She was the new queen then. He'd had bad experiences with queens. Didn't like them. Anya had demanded that he kill a slave after she had given birth. Azuhel had maimed his mother, enslaved her and then killed her. Rapier had ordered his friend's death when she was just a child, had set this whole horrible place in motion. No, Isaiah did not have any fondness for royalty. This stranger, she did bear some resemblance to the red dragon, didn't she? 

The red woman insulted his appearance, his only response an instinctive flick of the ear. He wasn't stupid enough to go looking for an argument with her, and there was no point in defending himself against an accusation that was true. Had he and his ugly face been at the pack meeting? No. "You'd be surprised, lady Hierophant." He answered, quiet and knowing. The amber eye burned darkly, until it slid down to her paw once more. "Is there something I can help you with?" 


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Telana she
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#4

@.Eve.





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#e34234

Somewhere a bird cry broke the silence that settled between them as those focused eyes picked him apart, she'd flick an ear and turn her head slightly. A flutter of black wings, and then nothing.

Her brows raised at him, though she didn't question his excuse, there was still a clear look of 'you're lying, but I can't exactly prove it', written across her face. The usual displeased look she gave everyone, but instead of some insult ripping into him, he was met with a dissonant hum. That bright gaze not showing any signs of budging off his lanky figure. "We've missed you, that's all."

Alteron had been home to many oddities that never cared much for spotlight, and cared even less for those that led. As long as their backs weren't getting chewed on, they were generally a 'happy' people (happy being a very VERY broad term, of course). There was an inkling in her that new a majority of the pack didn't give a damn at who was leading, as long as it wasn't someone trying to burn them all to death, or try to host a pack wide slaughter fest.

He hardly gave her any reaction, quite different than the resistance and sass she was faced with when speaking to the Chariot. God, if only she could have shoved a beehive into that snapping mouth, his muzzle would swell up and finally match his big, flabby body. But, Isaiah, he was different. Aptly named Star, in more ways than one. A rare sight, trapped forever in a storm covered land, with no real place to shine.

"We're all broken here now." Just as she had told Rooter. "You're not the only one." We're all on the same field now, even if it feels like some aren't playing like it. A bit of clarity she'd offer him. "Little odds and ends left behind, busted limbs, gouged eyes, scarred flesh, and mentally beaten." Eyes bouncing from him to the bulbs he was planting. They believed we outlived our usefulness, but here we are. "We live out of spite." That's our revenge.

An ear flicked at him and she'd meet his gaze and then look down to her paws frowning, but only for a moment, and then her expressed morphed into honest indifference. "I come here twice on a good day, four to eight on a bad one. My joints are in constant pain, they've been that way for a long, long time." She gave him a matter-of-factly look. "But nothing like a daily visit to the doctor."





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Isaiah He/him
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#5

"We've missed you, that's all."

Isaiah was so taken aback by that statement that he huffed a quiet breath, almost a scoff. Oh yeah, sure. At their little party they'd missed the ugly one-eyed corpse boy and his mold and mushrooms. They'd missed the little weakling creep. They'd missed the horrible bitter little stain of a creature. Of course. Who was he to disbelieve a queen. His overly large ears pin back. "I'll be less reserved next time." He says with an appropriately restrained bow of the head, though he tracks her with his wary amber eye. 

"We're all broken here now." Isaiah lifted his head. There was broken and then there was broken and he'd not met a royal who'd ever known the difference until after they were dead. Why should he believe one now?"Little odds and ends left behind, busted limbs, gouged eyes, scarred flesh, and mentally beaten."  The scraggly little medic glanced to the queen's paw. Azuhel had been blind in one eye, Anya had a barren womb, Rapier had been insane. Their brokenness did not forgive them for the things they had done, just as Isaiah's brokenness did not absolve him. Should he trust Telana just because she was in pain? Feel sympathy towards her? Empathy, even? There was some part of him that understood her deeply, that wanted to root for her, wanted her to find relief. That believed her when the unspoken sentiment of I'm just like you reared its horrible face. And then there was another, more bitter part of him, the part that knew that Azuhel's missing eye had not stopped her from ripping out his mother's eye to match. I'm just like you the hierophant implied, and Isaiah believed her, because deep down he knew that both of them were terrible and that no amount of pain would shape either of them into being okay. 

"We live out of spite." 

"Hm." Isaiah concluded, not bothering to disagree. He knew better than to disagree with a queen. "Spite's a funny thing." He begins, though he doesn't seem to find any humor in it. "We hate the people who hurt us, because to us, it's personal. But then things hurt us that don't know or care who we are or what they've done. You can't spite fire by surviving its burn, you can't spite disease by living through its symptoms. They are just powerful forces that do what they do. And if the people who hurt you, deep deep down in their heart, don't care about you? Then your living won't hurt them." The Star kept his gaze level. This cryptic exchange was more than he'd spoken in a long time. "We have our spite anyway, though. And we live anyway. The survival instinct runs deep." A ragged cough shakes his body as he finishes his sentence, turning his head away from the red wolf as he spits up bits of foam for nearly a solid minute. He sweeps a paw over his muzzle once again, ears pinned in equal parts self-disgust and irritation, before turning to Telana and continuing. 

"A lot of monarchs compare themselves to fire. Azuhel did." The question remains unspoken - do you? Are you another force of destruction, bringing pain to all you touch simply because that is what is in your nature? He watches her lower her head to look at her feet.  He sees her pain and understands. He wants to help. He does not trust this wolf or her crown, but he will help her anyway, if he can. Hate has never stopped him from doing his job. The healer has treated soldiers and lawbreakers, princes and slaves, refugees and runaways and newborn children and furious monsters. He helps them all regardless of anything. The medicine is just the medicine - like the fire and the disease the medicine is impartial and only follows laws higher than Telana can command. 

"I come here twice on a good day, four to eight on a bad one. My joints are in constant pain, they've been that way for a long, long, time." She explains, her voice crisp and matter of fact. Isaiah can appreciate the clinical description. "But nothing like a daily visit to the doctor." At this, his ears pin back slightly. There was something in her tone that he didn't like, but couldn't say no to. He gives her a nod of acceptance. She's his patient, now, with all that entails. 

"I'll need to know what you're already taking for the swelling and pain. Full history." He says, returning her clinical tone in kind. "Family medical history, too." He glances back down at her paw. "You'll need to tell me where the pain is most severe, and how often you flare up." 


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Telana she
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#6




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#e34234

His first response pleased her enough, she wouldn't push that point further, but simply nod her head. Whether he meant it or not, she would rather see his face at a meeting, just like she'd want to see the Chariot's, or any other elite for that matter. What's the worst that could happen to them? She tracks them down and reprimands them? Punishment was a slippery slope, one that she'd rather not dish out physically. If she could garner the same reaction just on calm and collected words alone, then it was the more practical approach for her.

Though at his next statement, her eyes flashed brightly, brows raised and she consider him and his words. It was a rather intelligent exchange, taken from a bitter realist's point of view. A smile tugged at her lips, even a chuckle escaped her. "I can see how you'd think that way." The ginger woman finally said, eyes looking to the ground then, silence settling between the pair. "But it's easy to say something like that, when we don't really know what the other's been through." Amber eyes would slowly climb up his gangily form and settle on that lone eye. "So let me amend my previous statement. I, me, myself, live out of spite, not because of some primal instinct, but as a cruel joke." The smile was wiped from her lips then, her expression hardened and tone cutting.

"Lucky me, because I get to be the only one laughing now." Venom threatened to drip from that biting statement, years of memories flashing right before her eyes, and she'd felt the same stinging, crippling pain then as she did now. "Spite is a funny thing, a very very, funny thing. No, you can't spite fire or disease, but in this world people do things on purpose. There's always a reason, and it's always personal. If they gain something from hurting you, it's personal." She learned that long ago back in Oukoku-Kai.

From what she had heard before, old Alteron was not unlike the Valley, so she could sympathize with whatever tore into Isaiah. They'd torn into her as well. "It's not a past worth mentioning." I was born broken, but they broke me further. "My grudges are my own, and they keep me young." Her tone dripped sarcasm. Ear perked at the mention of Azuhel, and she shook her head. Telana never did understand her sister's hard-on for pyromancy. Cleanse and be cleansed, dragon motif, it all was a load of nonsense. "Azuhel thought she could control something uncontrollable, in return it burned our own packlands. She was careless." Telana gave a shrug. "I never thought of comparing myself to anything, common, I guess? Or unprepared." She said thoughtfully, followed by a soft 'hmm'.

She regarded him with a blink of surprise, but little else. Here the acolytes tended to her because they had to, not really because she asked."I've only started treatment, when I came here, to Alteron." She clarified, though didn't want to go into the nitty gritties of the past. "They used boswellia and something bitter, I want to say turmeric? I'm the only one in my family to date that has this....thing." She never knew what to call it. "The climate isn't kind on my joints, the flare ups usually occur twice, even three times a month, my hips and shoulders are becoming a pain, but all of my paws constantly are in pain. However, some days are easier than others."





Nobody knows everything
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Everything is difficult
Except what's in front of you
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