With a Heavy Heart [Acceptance]
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Dahx he/him
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#1

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(it has been a long while since i RP'd of any kind, so I am a bit rusty.)
 
Dust clung to the old sabers fur in large wads, and over all unkempt appearance, he swayed as he walked through the large expanse of prairie. With the wind whistling against the large male’s frame he carried on walking in the direction of the sea, paying no attention to tattered and worn way he looked.  The saber had a squinting hard gaze with gaunt cheekbones supported by his broad chin with most of his nose fur lined in silver and white.

Dahx was tired; he had been tired since the day he had left the red mountains of his long ago home. Years ago, he had walked out on his Clan in the moment they needed him most. Shai had just left them and he just wondered off the next night. Dahx could hardly even remember that evening clearly anymore; all he could recall was the darkness and the sudden bursting of his chest as he ran far off into the rocky mountains ahead. He cannot even remember looking back. He had stayed away, ashamed of what he had done. He was a deserted and a betrayer of the Clan he loved and was loyal too. For Dahx self-exile was a fitting punishment.
   
However, as the seasons changed and Dahx could not shake the desire to return to his mountainous home clan. After years, the older saber decided to return but had a shock to find them gone. Dahxs grief was unbearable as he tried to follow the trail left by the lingering signs and using information gathered from other wanderers, he soon found them at the sea.

Dahx stood there now against the patchy Prairie grounds. The once thickly built male was half his youthful size. Standing there, he stood firm with his body tense and ready to spring. Dahx was not sure how he was going to be received but he did know it was not going to be a hero’s welcome. Sighing with grief Dahx closed his eyes and then roared. The sound was rusty and very deep trying to signal anyone to come to him.


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#2
(This post was last modified: October 24, 2018, 09:52:49 AM by Roderik.)

OOC: Sorry for the huge post. It's morning and I'm sipping my coffee and I was inspired. XD Very excited to see Dahx make a return


Few days had passed since they had settled into their new home. Their clan counted six members, including himself. They were humble beginnings, far from the mighty pride Roderik had been born into, but the young king didn't care. They were all together as a family, and it didn't matter how many or few they were so long as they held together under the same banner. Naturally, Roderik dreamed of a day where he would watch over a clan as large and capable as in his father, or his grandfather's time. But for the moment, he was just glad to have the name of Stoneclaw be spoken again.  

The young sabre was making his way back from the western border, crossing the great prairies that accounted for most of their land. The flowers among the moss beneath his feet were starting a great bloom, most of them stretching out to meet the sun, almost as if they knew that soon it would be denied to them by the cold season and the snow. Stopping a moment to observe them, Roderik lowered his head to better see the tiny flowers. Their petals were going from hues of cream, to orange, and then a vivid crimson. Alone, these tiny blooms that made their home in the moss were nothing to behold. Lifting his head again to look out into the great expanse that stretched out in front of him, Roderik saw that it was together that they made their impact. Together, the small blooms almost drowned the prairie in crimson. Alone, they would not had amounted to this impressive sight; it was together that they reached this goal. Their numbers made their strength, and perhaps someday Stoneclaw would be as this prairie; United and strong.

Movement caught his attention in the distance near the cliffs, and Roderik spotted a small herd of lion goats grazing beneath the cover of  a few tattered conifers. What luck! The goats were the most suitable prey that lived on the prairie. Other than them, the Yak were a force to be reckoned with, and the gophers... well... even if you'd manage to catch one, it wouldn't make much of a meal.

Lowering his body near the ground, Roderik crawled closer and closer to the small herd while observing them. Four individuals; a mother with two young ones and a watchful male standing near. He waited a while, watching them, and unable to make a choice of prey, nearly walked away to find another meal. That was when he noticed one of the two young goats walking towards it's sibling with an uneven gait. One of it's legs seemed shorter than the rest, a trait that would surely make it hard for the young animal to live a long and prosperous life. It was decided then. Switching from a crawling stance, the sabre gave a short roar to startle the prey and cause it to flee. His plan worked perfectly. As the small family began to flee, the limping young was progressively falling behind. It took little effort to snatch it. Holding it by the throat, Roderik kept a watchful eye on the patriarch to make sure he wouldn't turn and charge, but when the male stopped and looked back from a respectable distance, he made no move to return to try and save the child. It was as though he knew this would happen one day.

Roderik felt a twinge of regret, but quickly dismissed it as he turned to make his way back to the clan cave. This was just nature's way.

It was then that the sound of a roar reached him over the whistling of the wind. Vidar? No... definitely not. It wasn't Tiberous's roar either... a visitor? Perhaps a newcomer? Keeping hold of his prey (it wasn't that heavy to carry), Roderik made his way towards the origin of the sound. After a short while, he saw a figure in the distance. It was an older sabre, looking a bit disheveled, but this did not damper the young sabre's enthousiasm in seeing a new face. Walking forward to stand in front of the stranger, Roderik dropped his prey and licked his fangs, hoping he looked presentable enough despite the wind that threw his fur in any and all directions at once. As he spoke, he made sure his voice was strong and steady as to be heard over the fury of the air currents.

"Greetings stranger, you've entered the lands of Stoneclaw. My name is Roderik."

He would conveniently leave out the part about him being the leader of the clan. There was no point in the stranger knowing of this yet. Also, it was sometimes easier to see another's personality this way. Individuals sometimes seem to act differently when they knew they were speaking with a king.

"The prairies is no place for conversation. Won't you come beyond the cliffs? I will share my catch with you if you're hungry."

He would smile to the other and pick up his prey again, waiting for a sign that the other would follow. If he would, then Roderik would walk side by side with him. He wondered what his business was in Stoneclaw. There would be plenty of time to ask once they were settled on the beach. All things in due time.
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#3

Waiting was the worst and Dahx did not know if he should continue to do it. The prairie wind echoed and nothing seemed to move in response to his roar. He hoped faintly to hear the sweet melodic call of Mayan or the stern roar of Nexys carried on the winds but there was nothing but silence. Dahxs throat began to choke with regret and inside he could feel the urge to run stating to bubble. It shamed him and that emotion too burned his skin like a hot coal. No, he would stay. He was tired of running and of hiding from his home. If it turned out even the faintest trace of Stoneclaw could be found Dahx would protect it, as he should have before. 

He could remember Shia and Coalts leaving, the look of determination on his Kings face. That look had broken him more than anything had before. Dahx could not understand then why Shai would leave them or his duty to him but it had happened and as a result, Dahx had lost his faith in the clan. When Dahx had ran off into the dark night after Mayan took control he knew now he was really fleeing the hurt Shai had given him.  The knowing why still does not make the situation better. Dahx closed his eyes and shook his head, getting the thoughts out of his head. It was in the past and now he would atone for the wrong he had done.

As Dahx was lost in his thoughts a young saber was coming up to him with a large kill in his jaws, the saber was the opposite of him in every way: youthful, presentable, and strong.  Dahx watched as the other approached with strong confidant steps. He could tell by the general way this saber carried himself that he was important, or thought of himself as such. Soon the other was but a stone throw away and Dahx just stood there still as tree, his deep eyes looking at the other. Suddenly the Saber spoke

"Greetings stranger, you've entered the lands of Stoneclaw. My name is Roderik."

"The prairies is no place for conversation. Won't you come beyond the cliffs? I will share my catch with you if you're hungry."

It was as if Dahx was a welcomed guest. Someone who had not deserted the clan in its hour of need. This shook him. He stood stiff watching, as the other saber started to more toward what he guessed was the Clans central hub. Hesitantly Dahx took one-step and then another until he was walking a bit behind the young one. His heart was a weight in his chest and it showed as he worked up something to say. This saber seemed to him familiar in a way and that did make him feel better, there was something about him that struck him as noble. Maybe he was not too quick to judge.

“Thank you for meeting me.” It was true he was grateful to be received by anyone but he had hopped it would have been an older friend. Dahx had wanted to face his betrayed friends. Taking a large sigh he continued, “I am Dahx…Once from Stoneclaw.” He did not know if this young blood even knew of him or even heard his name before. However, this was a start and a good way to test the waters before getting too far into the territory. If he was not welcomed, he could easily turn back.  


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#4
(This post was last modified: October 24, 2018, 12:45:16 PM by Roderik.)

OOC: Holy mother of quick replies! <3 I'm glad I still had some time before work to squeeze another post in.


There was something on the other's mind, so much was evident, and as they walked together Roderik wondered to it's reasons. In any other circumstances, it wouldn't have been any of his concerns, but the pride was always on his mind now and he hoped whatever plagued the older sabre wouldn't be a danger to his people. There was no fear on his features, so the chances of him being followed by a threat were null. Rather, there seemed to be a great sadness to him... similar to how Taverin had become after the death of his siblings. Roderik glanced at the stranger as he followed after a great moment of hesitation and silence. If the older sabre really was under the veil of the great darkness, then Roderik wanted to help him overcome it the same way he had helped his brother. They walked in silence for a while, one the young ruler hoped wasn't an uncomfortable one. He respected the other's silence because he knew sometimes it was easier than to speak, but mostly because the prey in his jaws would have made it quite difficult to hold a conversation. He was glad however, when the other finally graced him with the sound of his voice, Roderik turned his head towards him to listen.

“Thank you for meeting me. I am Dahx…Once from Stoneclaw.”

Dahx? .... Dahx... the name sounded familiar for some reason, but he couldn't quite recall why at the moment. If he was once from Stoneclaw, then perhaps his father might have mentioned his name. Or his sister? It was possible. Either way, Roderik was quite happy to see another coming from the old pride. He hoped more would come from the old land to join them, and perhaps among them the scattered members of his family by blood. He took a moment then for a pause, placing his kill upon the ground shortly to answer him.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Dahx."

Roderik was certain now that he'd never met this individual before. It was entirely possible that his time in the pride had been prior to his birth, which had occurred in the midst of his sister's reign alongside his mother. Was he then, a member of the clan from his father's time as king? How exciting! Roderik wondered what stories he would have to tell. He knew Ferdinand would be just as excited to speak with him. Hopefully their Loremaster would give Dahx a moment to rest before drowning him in questions regarding the past. There was always a small chance that the subject might be uncomfortable for the other, and they would have to respect that.

"I was born in Stoneclaw, but I don't believe we've met before. In any case, I'm glad you've found us. We're quite a ways away from the old lands. So far, you and I are the only ones from the old pride that are here. But I'm hoping in time that more will come and join us."

He would pick up his prey again and continue onto their journey. Without knowing it, Dahx had made it quite a ways into the prairie, and they weren't too far from the edge of the sea.  When they finally reached it, Roderik took a pause at the top of the cliff to admire the view; he always did. He always felt welcomed by the view of the sea and the sight of his clan below. A few members were sunbathing at the entrance of the main cave, and Roderik smiled when one of them sent a roar of greeting their way. Placing his catch down again, he answered in kind before turning to Dahx again.

"Here we are. Be careful on your way down but don't worry, the path is secure and the wind doesn't reach beyond the cliff."

Picking up his catch again, he would make his way down presumably with the older sabre in tow. Almost as soon as they began to descend, the wind began to fade and the cold that came with it ebbed away. The sand at the bottom was warm beneath their paws from the sun's care. It was a beautiful day. Making his way to a flattened rock surface stretching out from the cliffs near the largest cave, Roderik lay down his prey one final time before sinking his teeth into the flesh of it's shoulder. Once the piece of his choice was ripped away, he lay down on the warm rock to enjoy his meal and waited for Dahx to do the same.

"Eat to your heart's content, my friend. Pick whatever choice piece you'd desire. Later if you'd like, I can show you the best place to catch fish and all manner of seafood."

He wanted the other to feel welcomed, and hoped the prospect of many good meals to come would comfort him into staying with them a while, perhaps even become a member of the pride rather than a simple guest. He would let the other settle down, but eventually he knew he would have to ask the important questions. Still, he gave Dahx the time to eat if he chose to. Only then he would speak again of more serious subjects.

"For what purpose have you sought the new lands of Stoneclaw? I ask you this as it's king."
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#5

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Dahx." 
"I was born in Stoneclaw, but I don't believe we've met before. In any case, I'm glad you've found us. We're quite a ways away from the old lands. So far, you and I are the only ones from the old pride that are here. But I'm hoping in time that more will come and join us."

Dahx listened intently as they walked further into the windy prairie. He could feel the pride and excitement coming off the young saber with every word he spoke. Had Stoneclaw really fallen on such hard times that no one stayed? This thought hurt him more than the old saber could have imagined and he winced, hoping the other would take it as a simply traveling pain elders sometimes get. It stung to know that the clan who once was so powerful could dissolve with such suddenness. Had there never been any loyalty among the sabers? Mayan had been a powerful saber, a great diplomat, had even she not been able to keep the pride together? Dahx looked down and away far off into the distant fields. To him it all came back that he was the first to leave after Shai, that it was he who started the avalanche that was Stoneclaw desertion.
 
His thoughts where soon stopped when they did high upon the sea side cliffs that over looked a coastline with plenty of caves and he even noticed a few straying sabers laying in one of them. The sight was breath taking. The blue green of the sea and the white of the sand blended into the coast and prairie lands with beautiful contrast that it took Dahxs breath away. There was no hard earth here to toughen paws, no red dust of rocks to dye fur; it was all sand and surf.  Looking from one end of the beach to the other Dahx realized that the pride had completely changed. This would never be the home he had known but he did hope it would at least be a home.

The sabers down at the bottom of the cave signaled a greeting and Dahx had almost responded but the young saber beside him let out a surprisingly gruff roar before he was able to too. Honestly Dahx had been so taken with his surroundings that he had forgotten to other was even there. The young saber then made his way down the cliff face and without a word, Dahx followed him. The descent was hard on him but he staggered along doing his best to not reveal how old he really felt. Dahx may look like a beat up rug now but once where there was thick fat was all now lean with less but still a fair amount of toned muscle.  They came to a large cave and the other ripped a piece of the goat he had been carrying and laid down.

"Eat to your heart's content, my friend. Pick whatever choice piece you'd desire. Later if you'd like, I can show you the best place to catch fish and all manner of seafood."
Dahx didn’t move, he was hungry but he was also here for something more important than food. He wanted salvation from his crimes and he wanted to be accepted again. Dahx continued to stand even as his weary body ached for a rest and a bite of that meal he ignored the pains.  He didn’t want to seem rude but there he stood waiting for the real process to begin. It seemed the other saber knew now that it was time to start because within seconds, his face became serious and his new tone was unmistakable.

"For what purpose have you sought the new lands of Stoneclaw? I ask you this as it's king."
King? Dahx straightened up and a mix of shock and surprised contorted on his face as he reevaluated the saber before him. This was the new king. Then where was Mayan, where was Nexys? It took Dahx a moment to get over this news and then with maybe in a harder tone then he would have liked Dahx spoke, “Where is Mayan? She was the last ruler of Stoneclaw.” It was not as if Dahx didn’t believe the saber that he was the king, no one would joke about that, but he had wanted. No, he had expected Mayan to be here, to be his judge and jury.  With a quick look around Dahx no wondered if she was even still here. The sudden though just then dawned on him that there could be no one here who knew him of what he had done… He could have a clean start. The idea of that delighted him but as soon as the idea crossed his mind, it shamed him. No, he couldn’t do that.

Sitting down now and not looking in the direction of the King, he looked seaward instead. “Sorry, i-I wasn’t expecting this.” He meant Stoneclaws current state. “The last day I was with Stoneclaw the old king Shai had left us.”  With a heavy sigh he continued, grief stained his face. “I-I deserted the Clan then and now my purpose is to return.”  Dahx looked at the youth now he wanted to say how much the years had weighed on him, how he had punished himself every day of his absence from his Clan, but his words failed him, and so he just stood there. He had never called another saber other than Shai his king before, but as he looked at the youth, he did notice some similarities between the two; they both had a nobleness that no other saber Dahx had met had.  “King, I come back to Stoneclaw now to help and rebuild.” and, to be forgiven, he thought desperately.


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#6

It didn't take long for Roderik to notice that the other ignored the offer that was made to him for food and rest. In this, he did not see a lack of respect, but a need for something more than the simple comforts in life. There was a nod from him then, and the young king sat up straighter before asking the question that was simply waiting to be asked. Why are you here? Endless times the same question had been asked in prides and packs all over the land to those who chose to step over borders. Green eyes stared at the other then, taking in the measure of his reactions. Shock and surprise were present and expected. If Dahx really was a member of the Stoneclaw prior to his birth, then he was facing a completely different reality than the one he had left. One could expect changes to occur over time naturally... but this? Who could have expected this? Not Roderik, and surely not this stranger either. The string of Stoneclaw's history had been as a woven rope. Frayed in some places, even bent perhaps, but resistant and strong. For the first time since before his grand father's reign, the string had come undone.

“Where is Mayan? She was the last ruler of Stoneclaw.”

His tone was harsh, almost demanding, but Roderik did not react to the questions or the accusation if it even was one. The young ruler simply stared, and waited for the shock to settle. The weight that this stranger carried in his heart was almost palpable... like a log of heavy driftwood he would have carried on his shoulders. His silence was an invitation to speak, if the other felt the need. He would take the time to listen. Spirits only knew how important it was sometimes to just have someone to listen. After a brief moment, there was some tension released and the other sat down. His gaze turned towards the sea before he spoke again.

“Sorry, i-I wasn’t expecting this. The last day I was with Stoneclaw the old king Shai had left us. I-I deserted the Clan then and now my purpose is to return.”

There was grief... and sorrow, and guilt. So much guilt, it almost poured off him in waves, like the sea endlessly meeting the shore. How long had he carried this burden, he wondered. Roderik frowned slightly then, a sign which might have been mistaken as judgement for the other's desertion in the past, but which was actually concern for the other. He didn't blame anyone for leaving the pride, never had and never would. Loyalty to the pride and the pride above all else, was a mentality that had anchored itself solidly in those of his father's generation. It was still important today, of course. How could a pack or pride function without the devotion of it's members? But.... the needs of the whole did not erase the need of one, nor should it he believed. Desertion was a term best kept for times of war... for a soldier running from a battle or a guard letting enemies through... Otherwise it was useless, meaningless even. When Dahx's gaze finally tore away from the sea and it's soothing view, it came to settle on him. And though there seemed to be so much more he wanted to say, he kept his silence. When the silence was finally broken, it was to answer the question he had first been asked. Back to the beginning, and to the question asked all around the world in every pack or pride; and also sometimes to one's own self when looking up at the vastness of the sky: Why am I here?

“King, I come back to Stoneclaw now to help and rebuild.”

"Rebuild we must... and we will, no matter the time it takes."

This he felt he needed to say for some reason. Perhaps less for Dahx to hear, but more for himself as a statement and a cornerstone of his own expectations. Roderik took a deep breath then, and it was his turn to look to the sea. Perhaps it was for comfort, or for inspiration... He wanted to have the right words because for some reason he felt he would remember this moment of his life, as mundane as it may have seemed right then and there.

"Dahx, I do not believe that you deserted Stoneclaw. You are here now, are you not?" His gaze would return to the older sabre with an oddly familiar smile. "I bet you never really left Stoneclaw, and I'll tell you why... because Stoneclaw isn't land. If it was, we wouldn't be able to call this place Stoneclaw. I bet every single moment of every day you were away, you carried Stoneclaw in your heart. I like to think we all do. It's a voice we all carry inside and it speaks," He would look to the sea again with a look of pride on his features. "It speaks; it whispers and sometimes it screams, but it always brings us back together because that's what Stoneclaw really is."

He stood then, turning a more serious gaze back to the elder that sat in front of him. A flicker of wind came from the top of the cliff then, hugging the wall of stone beside them and coming to ruffle the thick fur at his shoulders before continuing it's endless journey over the sea.

"I do not want you to stay...if all you come back for is to rid yourself of guilt. I don't want you here... if the only reason you stay is because of duty or obligation. Do not mistake my words Dahx, Stoneclaw wants you... it needs you. But the needs of Stoneclaw as a whole need not erase the needs of it's individuals."

"If you stay here..." 'and I hope you do', he mused quietly to himself. "I hope it's not because you feel you must, but because it's what you truly want. Do you understand?"

He would sit down again, and await the other's answer. He hoped it would be a positive one, but if Dahx expressed the desire to leave again for whatever personal reasons he may have had, then Roderik was ready to respect his choice. Who was he to know what the other needed or wanted? as an afterthought, perhaps once the elder's answer was out and done with, he would quietly add.

"I'm glad you found us. If word reached you, then it might reach Mayan or Shai." He hoped he would see either of them soon. "I do wish to see my sister and father again."
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#7

Dahx sat there listening to the young saber speak with the sea breeze streaming inside the cave. He could hear the clear tones of a true leader in those deice and wise words. This young saber stood tall at the cave entrance and as Dahx examined him he noted the way the youth carried himself, with pride and insight. It was those qualities that Shai had possessed and that he had loved. It was those traits he would easily be able to follow. Dahx continued to listen and knew the youth was right. Now that this new king had forgiven him was he here to return, or had his guild carried him to this place like a stone thrown into the sea? Would he sink if it returned? 


The roar of waves crashing against the rocky shore grew loud in his ears, high tide was coming now and Dahx knew his answer had to be thought over carefully. There was no doubt he wanted to return to the Clan, as the young king had said this place called to him. Now he had a choice: Return as a shamed guilt ridden saber, or renewed and restructured. Vigor and strength filled his old bones, as he physically seemed to grow in stature. His back straightened and his head lifted in the air, no longer held at a low slant. The thought of being a crutch for the Claw to lean on again made him strong. A new potency entered his voice, a youthful baritone he had not possessed in years.

”My King, I want to be here,” Standing now to go next to the Young King, his legs feeling stronger than ever, ”Stoneclaw is my home, I will fight for her, guard her.” Looking intensely now at the brown saber Dahx narrowed his eyes “Eventually, I will die for her.” Looking out over the sea as the sun rode low along the shoreline Dahx took in the sight, “I had been a fool. Now my Clan needs me Sire. I return home... whole and complete again.”

Dahx spoke with as much heart as he could, he meant all he said. However he did know the darkness that had ridden him for those few years he had wondered would still linger in the far reaches of his soul Dahx vowed he would fight those demons for as long as Stoneclaw needed him. Dahx looked beside him to his new king and smiled, “You remind me of the old king.” Bowing his head Dahx continued “He was very honorable, like you have been.” And as Dahx lifted his head again he saw a flash of Shai’s face in the young males and he knew Stoneclaw was in good hands. Then a suddenly a name came to him from far away and he smiled as finally he recognized the new king, Lord Roderik, You have my strength at your service as your father had before.”


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#8

”My King, I want to be here. Stoneclaw is my home, I will fight for her, guard her. Eventually, I will die for her.”  

There was a strength renewed in the other, Roderik felt it like one could feel the warmth of the sun on one's back. It was radiant and true. The change was visible and it brought a smile to his features. Even though they had just met, he felt sincerity from the other and a bond of trust grow between them. Dahx had loved his pride, this much was obvious, and to see this love renewed and taking flame again made hm feel certain he had done the right thing in wanting to bring these people together once more. He was doing his best to sound confident and strong enough to lead, but the truth of the matter was Roderik had many fears and insecurities. They were pushed aside. The others needed him to be a better sabre to be a better king, and he wanted to be that king more than anything; even more than the sum of his own fears.

“I had been a fool. Now my Clan needs me Sire. I return home... whole and complete again.”

"We've all been fools at some point or another Dahx, myself included. But we can't let that stop us from being who we need to be."


“You remind me of the old king. He was very honorable, like you have been."

Roderik wondered if he spoke of his father, or his grandfather before him, but either way he was flattered to hear these praises from the older sabre. Both of those kings had done great things in their own time. He could only hope one day to become a ruler among rulers and be regarded as an equal to the great kings of the past. For now though, he was but a beginner to the game. He knew almost nothing about the art of leading a pride. Most of what he had accomplished so far had been guided from his gut feeling and a little bit of common sense. He hoped that when his father arrived among them, if he ever did, that he would be able to shed some light upon the subject by sharing his experiences and wisdom.

"Lord Roderik, You have my strength at your service as your father had before.”

He would place a paw upon Dahx's shoulder and press upon it, testing the sabre's stance. He found a stronger individual than the silent stranger which he'd picked up from the prairie. To this he smiled and nodded. He could see many great things in Dahx. He was proud to count him among the growing members of the new pride, and would waste no time in making sure he served as he intended to.

"If my father counted on you to stand by him, then I know that I can count on you as well. Welcome home, Dahx." He would sit down beside him, to tell him of the pride in further details now that he knew better the sabre by his side. "I am unsure of the true reasons why the old Pride fell apart. Some say it was the fires. I've heard others say it was the two legged ones... perhaps it was both. The risks of starting over on the old land were too great; The fires having pushed away the herds for absence of the grass they feed on, and the humans which would have outnumbered us... no. I thought it wiser to start over elsewhere. Perhaps someday when we are in force, and if we chose so, we may return to the land of our fathers. For now, the sea provides all the food we could need to grow in numbers, the caves keeps us sheltered and warm, and the cliffs are easily defended from attackers if it ever comes to that."

"For now, we are small in numbers. We count seven with you among us now. Tiberous is my fang, third of command and leader of the guards. Ferdinand is our lorekeeper; we cannot move forward unless we learn from our past. Vidar is our soldier, strong as a yak that one... you'll like him. Amabelle is our healer, she is slowly learning to work with the herbs of the new land. Dogma is our artisan. The seaside holds many treasures she can work into goods for the trade."

Eventually, the sabre would come to meet them all for himself. But a little introduction of everyone in the pride was an easy thing to do when there was so few of them.

"You Dahx, I'd like you to be my claw; second in command and leader to our soldiers. My father trusted you to stand beside him and I wish to do the same. Stoneclaw could benefit from your past experiences."

"What do you say?"
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