Keep the Earth Below My Feet [Morgana]
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Valen she/they
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#1

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Speech:#669999

She was home.

Deep within the depths of the thickest parts of the forest, where sunlight barely poked through the ancient wood, past the gathering grounds where most of the pack lounged day in and day out- where the All Mother was most present within nature; Valen was home.

She wasn't just home- she had brought another. One who was outside the pack and outside the laws. But it didn't matter, Valen was Queen now, right? There would be no issues because her word was law, was it not?

Yet as the night turned to morning and day after day began to pass, the side eyes and whispers had left the new Queen to question whether perhaps she had done something...wrong. It wasn't like the raven queen of Hiraeth to question her own antics, but somewhere deep down she felt the need to reach out and consult the eldest of elders.

Perhaps it was simply that traditions died hard and old, or perhaps it was a change in the winds now that she was Queen that led her wanting to seek out an appointment with Morgana; Valen was unsure what had her rousing and setting off to the deepest reaches of Hiraeth's forest, but she knew if anyone had...comforting words...it would be the elder.

"Hello?" she called out as she bounded up to the ancient trees and the respite where most elders hung out from day to day.

"Hello, Elder Morgana? Yes, Morgana are you here?" Her voice held a small amount of optimism as she entered the dwellings of the elder clan- she would not disrespect them nor their judgments unless they were absolutely not fit for the packs development. It was a nice checks and balances system the pack had, but even still the new Queen felt her stomach churning at the ideas flittering about in her head on what they would say when she broached the questions she needed answered.

She'd fall silent a moment as she reclined to her rear and waited for the elder to beckon her forward.




Spirits white as lightning,
shall on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake,
when' ere they espied me.


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Charley She/Her
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#2

.: Morgana :.

"Speak only if it improves upon the silence" -Gandhi


A shift in the underbrush was all the warning Valen would have. Slowly rising as if she were one with the forest already, two pale blue orbs opened to bore blindly into the new Queen. The elder stood peeling herself away from the underbrush, surprisingly strong, under the weight of the plants and vines interweaving through her fur and cascading over her back. Though older than any other among the pack her presence was dangerously young, and she stood deceptively taller than most Hiraeth Dires especially considering her age.

The only wolfish features left of Morgana was her dusty light grey face, the color of pale brushed stone, and her legs from her elbows and knees to her toes. Blue morning glory vines, willow branches, ferns and all matter of other plants and even medicinal herbs wove into her fur and into a long wide train behind her, that dragged over the earth like a dress.

"Valen..." She said with a low voice, was that disappointment already in her tone or perhaps just a dust of misuse and age...
"You have come..." She stated simply. Morgana took two steps from where she had been resting to pull herself up onto a large moss covered rock. She would be much more comfortable here. It was her favorite spot in the grove, none of the other elders dared tried to possess it. It was a natural throne that lifted her head even higher than that of the Queens while she rested.

She didn't question it, she didn't press further. She knew why she had come, the question was though... Why now? She gazed just over Valens shoulder. The Queen had her attention, what would she do with it?







Speech: #6BB3B0





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#3

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Speech:#669999

"Valen...You have come..."

There was a sting of disappointment in her voice that even the Queen couldn't help but reflexively recoil at. The Raven Queen took a moment to collect herself, inhaling sharply as she nodded. Morgana couldn't see her, but still the young Queen knew better than to disrespect her elder.

"I have," she said after a moment, eyes narrowing as she looked the old hag up and down. For someone so destined by All Mother, it was a surprise the old wolf was able to support herself under all that foliage and salty personality. There was a deep rooted amount of respect for the elder, but Valen couldn't help but wonder throughout the years if the weight of foliage atop Morgana added to her somewhat rotten attitude towards the young Queen when she was a princess. Nevertheless, Valen took a step forward, her head held high.

"I have noticed there are some whisperings throughout our pack about my...companion that I brought home with me. I understand there has been some talk amongst the other elders about this. I've come in the hopes that we may speak as equals," she said, eyes narrowing as she watched the old mother, "because frankly I believe there has been some disconnect between all of that." Deep down, Valen could feel the adrenaline pumping through her veins. Never had she spoken so bluntly or out of turn to an advisor, but yet she felt as though it was time to begin setting boundaries.

"I would like to hear your honest thoughts on the woman I have brought home with me."





Spirits white as lightning,
shall on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake,
when' ere they espied me.


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#4
(This post was last modified: February 10, 2019, 11:34:53 PM by Charley.)

.: Morgana :.

"Speak only if it improves upon the silence" -Gandhi


The elder lifted her nose to the side and blinked slowly away from the Queen. Ahhh so this was how she was going to start, like a quick rapid fire with too much spark and not enough fuel. The elder remained silent for a moment and let the sting of Valen's words hang in the air like a stagnant fog.

"Equals..." Morgana muttered as if to herself, almost darkly. It was certainly clear that Valen's time away had not cleared her head but clouded it. Fancy visions with her companion distracted her from her duties, from her calling, from her birthright... such as it was...

"My thoughts of the woman are inconsequential." She finally filled the silence with a deeper, stronger tone, her nose high and throat exposed as a challenge, "Your task was to retrieve an offering to the All-Mother and take your rightful place as Queen. Not to guide one here that wasn't called themselves by the All-mother herself, it is sacrilege." A tone filled with countless mothers and grandmothers behind her, weighed by their collective grief, experiences, disappointments.  

"You are still young, child, let us guide you further on the path of the All-mother. You may be Queen, but you cannot rule without us." Without me... She sighed heavily, crossing her paws.








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#5

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Speech:#669999

"My thoughts of the woman are inconsequential. Your task was to retrieve an offering to the All-Mother and take your rightful place as Queen. Not to guide one here that wasn't called themselves by the All-mother herself, it is sacrilege. You are still young, child, let us guide you further on the path of the All-mother. You may be Queen, but you cannot rule without us."

Valen could feel the blood boiling in her ears as she listened to the elder speak. Golden blue eyes shot Morgana a warning look, even though the elder couldn't see her- she was sure the tension in the room was equally felt by both parties. The Queen raised her head and inhaled sharply as the elder finished speaking.

"I understand the concern about Lucretia," came the low rumble of the Queen, her voice steady as her body shook of nerves, "and I greatly welcome your guidance as a new Queen, however," at this she paused and steadied herself. She had gone and done the tasks set out to her by the All Mother, she had gone to the farthest reaches of the lands and began collecting her sapling as tribute. She had also found one who was lost, in need of something more. Valen had not planned to develop...relations...or any kinship to the other wolf, but things happen, and the Queen would not have had it any other way, "you and the rest of the pack do not know the full story. I feel the disconnect lingers with you all feeling as though I have gone away and turned a blind eye to All Mother. You couldn't be more wrong, Elder." She reclined to a sit now, gaze piercing the blind one's own, watching her intently. If the elder wished to know Valen's side of the story, then she was in luck. If she didn't- well, she was about to hear it anyway.

"Lucretia was found wandering close enough to the pack border when I came upon her. I did not lead her here like a sheep; I merely told her of a place that took wandering and lost souls in- I let her guide herself in to the pack, she just guided herself in at the same time as me. Yes, we are friends. Yes, I found her and brought her home. Hiraeth is a place that takes in all who are lost and seeking- she is just like the others- the only difference is that she came home with me and not alone. That, Elder, is not a sin against All Mother."

The Queen could feel a fire beginning to stoke inside her belly as she found the courage to rise and take a step towards the old she-wolf.

"What are we to do when I begin sending out advisors to reach other packs and begin alliances with them? Or are we supposed to sit here and dwell in these forests with what we have? You as well as any should understand the importance of forming bonds and bridges not only with All Mother, but with any wayward soul looking for refuge. That is who we are and who we have always been. If an advisor goes to another pack to secure a trading route and they happen to pick up wayward souls within that pack-- what are they supposed to do? Let them wander astray even farther and hope that they somehow find their way home here?" Valen gave a huff as she watched carefully, taking another step forward. She would not be like the other Queens; she would be different, and they were going to have to accept that.

"I am not saying," she said after a moment, her voice cooling as she steadied herself and regrouped, "that change in every aspect is good. I don't...I don't think Mother was correct in trusting the Red One, or that many of our ancestral customs need to change. I'm not saying that. I am merely parsing that perhaps we have looked at this particular thing in the wrong light. What if All Mother wants us to find lost souls and bring them home? What if...what if that is why the last three generations of Queens failed to see their reign out?" There was a spark of hope in Valen's eyes. Maybe Morgana would see her point of view. Maybe...maybe Morgana would understand.





Spirits white as lightning,
shall on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake,
when' ere they espied me.


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#6

.: Morgana :.

"Speak only if it improves upon the silence" -Gandhi


Morgana could feel the fur on her back raise, it shifted the plants as her ears pinned back and she curled her lip at the young woman. What did she know of what was a sin to All Mother? She let the queen speak, but her growing rage was only being fanned into an inferno bent on burning the carefully and artfully cultivated plants off her back.

It did not MATTER that this Lucretia was found near the border and happened to walk in at the same time, there was obviously relations more than just simple strangers! No! An excuse made by a child to paint it in a different light!

"You have no idea what you are rissssssking Valen!" She hissed through her teeth, a memory flashing through the fog of age, "The last three generations failed because they were of the wrong bloodline! And you are just as doomed as the rest of them! I tell you now, that if you do not chase her away and end your relations with her, she will take everything from you!" The elder had stood, her head loomed over her, directly facing the Young Raven Queen and her pale sightless eyes somehow meeting the woman's gaze dead on, "The Red One set this in motion with your mother. And I heard he had returned at the ceremony! You are in danger Valen! He will whisper lies and manipulate you! Both of them!" She was practically spitting, her jowls sagging and foaming.

"If All-Mother wanted Emissaries she would have made them so at their ceremonies! We are not some Religious Zealots gathering followers to a slaughter!" She snarled at the very idea, and shook her head.

Her fire was spent, the snarl made her cough and she laid back down heavily on her rock, shaking as she tried to catch her breath. All-mother must have seen this coming, this was why she had her live so long, it must be!

"I-" She started before coughing again, the plants rustling, whispering, shaking as the cough wretched through her body.

It was moments before it finally subsided and she took a careful cautious breath, then another shaking rasp.

She tried again:
"I've seen this, Child..." She warned through a weak rasp, finally looking more and more her age.








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#7

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Speech:#669999
"You have no idea what you are rissssssking Valen! The last three generations failed because they were of the wrong bloodline! And you are just as doomed as the rest of them! I tell you now, that if you do not chase her away and end your relations with her, she will take everything from you The Red One set this in motion with your mother. And I heard he had returned at the ceremony! You are in danger Valen! He will whisper lies and manipulate you! Both of them! If All-Mother wanted Emissaries she would have made them so at their ceremonies! We are not some Religious Zealots gathering followers to a slaughter!"

There was an anger in the Elder's voice that made Valen pause in her triumph of attempting to turn the tables of the conversation. The Raven Queen paused and watched the elder begin to foam at the mouth; ears lowering atop her head as she watched with curiosity and fear. Was the elder finally about to croak? Or was there something more devious at play here.

But Morgana refrained, reeling herself in before continuing, and Valen couldn't help but quirk a brow in the blind one's direction.

"I-I've seen this, Child..."

The dark Queen lifted her head, curious eyes watching as the elder slumped back to her spot and stood down. There was something in the old woman's voice that called out to Valen, called out as if to lure her in to comforting the elder; but the girl refused to move another pace. She simply stood there and stared, jaw working as she tried her best to find the right words.

"The Red One that you speak of has...returned. Of that I'm sure you're all too aware of," she hummed, dissatisfied of his return. Valen couldn't make hide nor tails of what his return meant, and she had to agree with the elder that it did feel as if there may be an impending doom on the horizon. But Valen would push that aside- she couldn't allow such things to plague her mind now, especially as a new Queen.

"But he was not granted a rank by the All Mother. She is making him complete a series of trials to prove his worth to the pack." Valen paused, inhaling slowly as she chose her next words carefully.

"If the All Mother deems him worthy of returning home, then it is none of my business as to what his return means for this pack. He will be kept under a close eye, don't you worry, but if the All Mother speaks of him with clarity of his intentions then it is not my place to intrude." Golden blue eyes narrowed; Valen took a step forward, the courage once more bubbling up inside her stomach.

"As for Lucretia, she too has been designated a role within our home; one that she I am sure will prove valiantly to All Mother...and once All Mother blesses her she too will become one of us. I believe it should be in both our interests to step aside and let our Mother lead us for this."

Yeah...Valen was about to hear another earful for sure.





Spirits white as lightning,
shall on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake,
when' ere they espied me.


[Image: lucretia_and_valen_sketch2.png]
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