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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon

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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon

    Post by Codex on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:38 pm

    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon 17820027303_325ef259a4_z
    Table of Contents:

    The moon hung heavy and red over the land. A great din of voices sounded throughout the grounds as the Blood Moon rituals carried on. The tradition of Culling the Weak was well underway, a nervous energy in the air as each pack member of age underwent his or her trial. But within one of the Blood Clan's many huts lie a woman well into her many hours of labor, her mate anxiously sitting at her side. This one had to be special. They'd lost so many before, either through experiencing a miscarriage or bringing them into the world as stillborn. This one was different. It had to be.

    The hopeful father Valdi was only present within the clan under the protection of his mate, Edda, and under one condition: he would allow himself to be turned after one final attempt to produce a child, regardless of its condition upon birth. He would turn or die. The Blood Clan had only begrudgingly accepted his human presence as something that would change and evolve soon enough; he would  "improve" and would prove himself. For all their brutal ways, there were hints of honor within the pack still... but it helped that Valdi was known already for his powerful form and expertise in battle, human or not. Their respect was begrudging; most thought he should have accepted the change immediately upon being taken in by the clan. Edda, however, had insisted upon compromise.

    Another - a druid - sat at Edda's other side, preparing various items and murmuring instructions to the hopeful mother, who was - by then - writhing in agony. The birth was taking its toll on her body.

    Finally, the moment came. The child crowned, and with another few minutes of effort, the druid at her side had freed the infant from its mother's body and begun to clean its youngling flesh... but there was a problem.

    The child - a girl - was much smaller than normal infants delivered to the females of the Blood Clan. She was easily held and cradled within the male's large hands... but even worse, the newborn made no sound, no movement.

    Very pointedly, the druid avoided eye contact with the girl's mother and instead passed a disturbed stare toward her father, Valdi. An ear was rested to her chest. No heartbeat. It was then, after what felt like an eternity of hesitance, the druid looked toward his female packmate regretfully. "She has not made it..."

    "No..." Edda fought through the pain signals sent rushing to her brain by her tender form, sitting straight up. "No!" But she did not cry. Not this time. Instead, she reached out for her stillborn child with a look of determination. "Give her to me..."

    There was a brief moment of hesitance. They all knew the ghost talker needed to see off such a tiny child as quickly as possible, else they feared the spirit would be lost forever. But the mother had been through too much; lost too many before this. With a heavy sigh, the druid offered her the tiny stillborn, only to see her cradle her child to her chest, stroking her back and sitting without a word. The two males within the hut saw it as a foolish mission. Edda, however, had seen something else. She'd seen blurs of movement: a fledgling spirit struggling to stay within its body. It wasn't ready to leave yet. It wasn't supposed to leave.

    Her mate and the druid sat back in confusion as they watched her begin to whisper something to the motionless infant. Once they listened closer, they realized there was understandable vocabulary in the midst of the archaic chanting.

    "You were too eager. Calm yourself, and return. It's not your fate to leave us so soon..."

    The moment hung in the air for a solid half hour. After a while, the druid had given up and exited the hut to tell the others of the Lyres' latest unfortunate loss. Her mate sat in suspense. Desperate hope grew the longer he stared at mother and daughter.

    Another half hour passed where silence filled the hut, save Edda's steady murmuring and chanting. Whatever she was doing, she was determined to succeed.

    Without warning, the tiny infant drew in a sudden, sharp gasp. Her golden eyes opened wide and, as if she'd been startled by something terrifying, she began to cry.

    So did Edda and Valdi.

    Through her tears, Edda continued to cradle the infant close to her chest, and before she moved to lie back down and rest, she whispered one more thing to her.

    "You have been touched by Death; you have defied it. And until your time or my own comes, I will protect you with my life... Vida."

    Last edited by Ana on Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:02 am; edited 7 times in total
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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty The Culling of the Weak

    Post by Codex on Sat May 23, 2015 9:15 pm

    The auburn-haired female was little more than eleven years old when she witnessed her first Culling of the Weak. At first, the weight of each match was lost on her young mind, despite the nervous energy that filled the area and the glances of dread between those that lost their fights.

    Vida stayed close to her father, who looked toward her with a mixture of protectiveness and fondness. He knew well enough that she seemed oblivious to their more  brutal traditions. In between a set of matches, Valdi bent down to utter a raspy growl in her ear.

    "We all have to undergo these trials to prove our strength and worth here," he spoke, taking a knee so that he rested at eye level. "How has your practice been with the other younglings?"

    Innocent and wide-eyed, she looked upon her father in utter confusion. "They've not spoken to me. They do not come near me... and they distance themselves when I come closer." She did not shy from her father, even when a frustrated growl formed in his throat. She continued nonetheless. "I'm confused. Mother told me not to worry about-..."

    "Of course she did..."

    Vida blinked at her father and frowned, the look on her face making it clear she felt she was at fault. But she blinked a few times in surprise as she found herself lifted up and placed upon her father's shoulders. Again, he spoke, his head turning to project his voice toward her.

    "Watch, min lille spøkelset.* Watch it all, and understand how the Blood Clan determines worth and finds utility for all of us..."

    And watch she did. She slowly began to understand how dire the situation was for each fighter. Their matches were not to the death, but ultimately, one of them would die - though she failed to realize the end result. Not yet.

    Those who proved their strength without doubt fought fewer matches. Many were warriors in their prime,  sound in body and quick in reflex. Some were slightly older. Very few of them - if any - were participating in these matches for the first time, and they were considered prodigies.

    By the time the matches were over and the "winner" chosen, Vida was confused. She bent down to speak into Valdi's ear, blinking.

    "How did he win if he lost so many fights? And if he won, why does he not appear happy or proud in the slightest?"

    The elder Lyre's face was grim by then, his lips pressed into a thin line, his head shaking. "This is not something one necessarily wants to win, Vida. Just... watch. Learn. This is important."

    So she did. She watched the man. He was much older, only faded hints of red remaining in his scraggly hair and beard. His body was practically covered in open wounds, his skin much thinner than it had been in his prime. His green eyes scanned the crowd once, quickly, before he approached the collection of druids and "ghost talkers." Among them stood Edda, her mother, who stood behind a priestess - presumably one of the leaders of the clan.

    Their clan's spiritual lead was a woman with snow white skin just as scarred as the warriors, with flowing, copper-red hair, and unsettling bright blue eyes. In her hand was a dagger Vida had seen resting on a mount many times before, but she'd never seen it used.

    The priestess gestured toward the wooden rack just off to her left, covered in furs that looked like they'd seen better days. Most were stained brown with old blood.

    A hush had come over the entire clan by then, twilight painting the land dark and gray. The moon was coming into view... and even Valdi grew restless. Vida could feel him stirring anxiously below her; his hands hooked under the small girl's arms as if he was bracing himself for something. Perhaps he was.

    "As soon as I set you down, little Vida... run to your mother. She will keep you safe. But it's important that you see as much of this as you can."

    The young wolfkin started to grow nervous. "Why do I need to go to Mother to be kept safe? I have you."

    "Bloodlust is a terrible thing for all of us. You will see one day for yourself."

    The winner climbed reluctantly onto the rack as mother and daughter spoke in hushed voices. His face was calm, but fear remained in his wild eyes. The priestess approached him with the dagger in her hand, driving it down the center of his torso, cutting his body wide open. The male seemed to do his best not to scream in agony, but failed, despite the clenching of his jaw that was so tight his teeth shattered and part of his tongue was bitten off by his own doing.

    Vida shuddered as she watched this. His ribs were cracked and pried open, his organs removed one by one and placed into jars filled with a strange liquid whose smell reached her nose and caused her stomach to turn. Her eyes burned and her ears rang from the man's screams of agony until his body finally died. The dissection continued, a ghost talker whispering to something near the man's body. Vida squinted at the vague sight of wisps coming from between the man's lips. It must have been a trick of the light from a nearby fire.

    With seasoned practice, the winner's limbs were cut from his body without a single word, his bones removed and set aside. Each limb was placed at a different altar, spiritualists left at each and waiting patiently with a torch in hand. When both arms and both legs were in place, the altars were set ablaze. All that remained of the man was a head and a butchered torso.

    By then, the land had darkened into night. Vida felt her father beginning to bristle and growl, his fingernails sharpening and nearly piercing her skin. "You're hurting me..." She dared not squirm, instead clenching her teeth with a quiet hiss of inhaled hair between them.

    These words at least seemed to register, as Valdi's grip loosened to ease the sting. Seconds before she was placed on the ground, the word "eat" reached Vida's young ears, shouted for all the clan to hear. It was then that she saw the change beginning to take place. As her feet touched the ground, she saw fur forming and thickening along the sea of bodies around her; groans and growls as they began to change.

    As she'd been told, she ran quickly for her mother - a woman who curiously seemed to be well in control of herself. As Edda saw her daughter running to her, her arms opened and she swept her up in them, carrying her away into their hut and latching the door closed with contained urgency.

    Outside, the sound of unleashed beasts filled the air. Those close enough to do so tore at the winner's remains out in the open. Others took to a wild feeding frenzy that would send them into the woods in search for fresh meat. Howls, growls, even roars carried throughout Blood Clan Territory.

    Vida stared at her mother with wide golden eyes, even as Edda simply hummed to herself and began to prepare a stew.

    *Min lille spøkelset - My little ghost. A term of endearment used by Valdi to address his daughter.

    Last edited by Ana on Sat May 23, 2015 11:35 pm; edited 3 times in total
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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty Suffer Well

    Post by Codex on Sat May 23, 2015 10:20 pm

    Tension grew between Edda and Valdi as their young daughter grew older. She was thirteen by the time their quiet arguments reached her ears. Still, they never seemed aware of the things she heard. As Vida returned with fresh herbs for her mother, she blinked at the hushed voices that were steadily growing rougher in tone. She snuck between trees and bushes, keeping her head low and her ears trained on their words. She had to know what was being said.

    "She is like me, Valdi, and not a single  bit of the fighter you are. I've seen her, I've watched her: she admires the creatures you hunt. I see the reverence in her eyes, and I've watched the path her stare takes after you've killed an elk. She can see them, just as I can - but you know just as well as I do that if she cannot hold her own in the pit, they will not hesitate to sacrifice her."

    Vida blinked in confusion. Them?

    "Everything done within this clan is for  the benefit of all of us. We all have a time to go. If we cannot prove our usefulness in life, then we do so in death."

    Edda growled as she stepped toe to toe with her mate, glaring up at him, her tone rough and accusing. "You would condemn your daughter, she who defied Death?" The female didn't seem discouraged by the way her male counterpart didn't so much as blink at the invasion of his space. Instead, he growled back at her.

    "She would not have been kept from the Umbra, were it not for you. Even then, she was weak. She has never proven her strength. If when her time comes, she is unfit, then there is nothing we can do."

    There were several beats of silence as they glared between each other, neither willing to back down from their argument. Their words would have likely continued, had they not heard the rustle of bushes that came from the slip of one of Vida's feet. Sheepishly, the young girl rose to a stand and cleared her throat with sad eyes, and there was an immediate change in both her parents' demeanor.

    "My Vida..." Edda came toward her, taking the herbs from her with a smile and a kiss to her forehead. "Thank you. Come with us, love; it's getting dark."

    It was the last she heard of such talk.

    Night had fallen once again a few weeks later; another Blood Moon was expected within two nights' time.

    Edda seemed to be on an entirely different mission. She led her only daughter toward the edge of Blood Clan Territory without so much as a word. Not even Valdi walked with them.

    Suddenly, she came to a stop, turned to her daughter, and lifted a necklace from around her neck only to bring it over Vida's head instead. She knew the item well: the charms were an arrowhead and a talon, both given to her mother by her grandfather. A family heirloom. She looked to Edda in confusion.

    "You need to leave this clan, my love."  Vida's stomach jumped into her throat as she listened, her eyes wide. "The older you become, the less I can protect you... but I think there may be someplace safer for you to go. Someplace where you can live happily, that will allow your strengths to shine." Edda leaned in to rest her forehead to her daughter's, her eyes closing hard to hide her tears. "Seek out the strays, find your place among them or elsewhere; anywhere but here. This clan is far too brutal for those like you and I."

    "You and I? What about you? You are respected..."

    "That will change very soon, Vida." Her eyes finally opened, and the young girl's heart broke at the pain in her mother's expression. "Now go... Run if you have to, but never look back. Never, ever return. They will kill you if you do." A motherly hand swept through Vida's hair before she kissed her forehead one final time, hearing the rattle of bushes mere yards deeper into their territory. "I love you, little runt. Go!"

    Frightened by the sudden urgency in her mother's voice, Vida turned and ran away from her into strange, unknown territory.

    Edda stayed behind to face her fate, turning to regard the hunting party that was well aware of her deeds. There were seven total. Among them was her own mate, Valdi. As she turned to face them, her body prepared itself to shift.

    "We spoke of this, Edda," Valdi said with a growl. He came toward her until they were a mere pace from each other. "Do you not remember? The good of the clan-"

    The ghost talker spit on the ground between them; direct disrespect. She looked upon him in defiance. "I had expected the rest to come cut me down... but never my own mate. I had thought at most you would turn a blind eye. I am disappointed, Valdi."

    The two stared at each other in silence, the tension palpable. But then, in a secret moment shared between the two, Valdi's eyes softened into quiet acceptance. One of the Blood Clan hunters spoke from behind him.

    "You admit to your treachery, ghost talker?" They waited, then felt their blood begin to boil at a nod of admission. "Then there is no necessity for trial..."

    Their bodies began to contort and shift into the beasts they could not control. So used to pain were the Blood Clan hunters that their changes were only indicated by growls and low rumbles of moderate pain and discomfort. Valdi stepped back from his mate with a look of sorrow before his own body began to change along with theirs. So, too, did Edda's.

    "If you mean to end me, then I mean to take as many of you with me as I can..." She spoke before her jaw extended into a maw full of sharpened teeth, her eyes animal, yet somehow still controlled.

    All seven hunters poised themselves for attack; six lunged for Edda.

    Valdi leaped between them with a bestial roar, knocking as many off of his mate as he could, his sharp jaws clamping down on the neck of one of their hunters. Two broke through to his mate. Though there was no time to truly react, Edda adapted. She defended alongside him. They would go down together, locked in a melee of cutting claws and biting teeth. Blood painted the ground within seconds.

    One by one, five of the hunters fell, their wounds too grievous to stand any longer, let alone breathe. Valdi had proven himself in battle many times before, and he'd tried to do so again - this time at the side of his mate. By the time only three remained alive at the edge of their territory, Edda and Valdi both knew they would not live to see the next Blood Moon; their wounds were too great, the final hunter too unharmed in comparison. This hunter, it seemed, was clever, even in its war form; it had torn away from the melee and lurked in the shadows for an opportune moment. It took that moment.

    Edda was weakened considerably, vulnerable on the ground and unable to even cast a single illusion to buy her mate time. Valdi's throat was ripped open by the remaining hunter, who then turned to the female left lying on the ground; Valdi collapsed to the ground behind him. With a final great swipe, his claws cut Edda from throat to pelvis, her organs removed and tossed wildly across the ground. A victorious roar sounded from the last hunter standing, followed by a rallying howl. They had several dead they needed to bury... or desecrate. There was no sympathy for betrayers.

    As he turned to look in the direction Vida had run, the exhausted creature grunted disdainfully at the thought of the wasted effort it would be to track down and kill a runt.

    She won't last a single day anyway. Worthless.

    For many years, Vida would not know with certainty the fate of either of her parents... but as she ran from the din within the Blood Clan's land, she heard a sighed whisper reach her ears, sending a chill down her spine.

    "Grow into a beautiful creature, my little runt..."
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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty Daughters of Iron Jaw and Blood

    Post by Codex on Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:42 pm

    Vida hadn't been separated from her mother for too long; maybe a day or two. In that time, she'd been a terrified, cowering mess, lingering in patches of heavy overgrowth and brush to try and not draw attention to herself. Scrawny, frail, wide-eyed and scratched up from her wandering through the bushes, instead of the padded down pathways through the forest. With no idea where to go, the young wolf had come to crouch low to the ground with her back to a large oak tree, hunched over and holding her face. As she rocked back and forth while trying to keep her panic under control, she became oblivious to everything else, her vision tunneling onto the ground as she whimpered and practically cried. She shouldn't have run; she should have just let her clan destroy her. There was no way she could possibly survive this - not as she was...

    Kar the stray had been tracking food for a while but caught scent and sight of something over the past couple of days that had encouraged him to give up on sating that sort of hunger. He watched as the little female cowered in the bush for a while then decided it was time. At first he was very quiet and careful till he got to the bush and gave a low human growl. "Such a pretty little thing. All alone out here in the woods are we?" He said, frighteningly close to her.

    Vida was unfortunately naive. Her mother had taught her nothing of worldliness. Her father had tried, but... he had focused on the wrong aspects of it, as it turned out. Looking toward him with a natural fear and wariness, she seemed to try to make herself smaller while intending to inch away again. She frowned as she answered him. "Yes..." It hadn't even occurred to her to lie, as if she hoped that despite the chill in her spine from his growling, she would find help in this person or... anyone, really.

    Kar the stray got lower on his hands and knees and slowly climbed into the bushes with her, his large green eyes focused totally on her while his ragged fur clothing got caught slightly on the branches. "Well then, your lucky day little one." he said a strange smile as if he were stalking closer to prey. "I'll protect you, but for a price." his musk was strong, his breath rancid meat. There was a bit of dirt on his face and markings from old war paint. He reached his filthy hand out trying to snag hold of her ankle to try and pull her closer to him.

    Vida hadn't expected to be grabbed and pulled - and chances were her other leg gave from the awkward positioning, leaving at least her back end to hit the ground as she was pulled. "What-..." She frowned, trying to pull back away to back away from him again, her movements becoming just a little more frantic. His scent alone made her nervous. "I'm not sure how I feel about this..." Her eyes went wide, glistening still from her fearful crying mere moments ago.

    Kar the stray growled at her struggling but seemed to pull her right under him till they were face to face. His other hand grasping at her hair if he could. "Don't fight it. I'll be a good mate for you." he said suddenly in a more breathy and dark tone, his body pressing against her if he could. Possibly ignoring the small kicks and slaps he might get in the process. He would be to focused to hear a twig snap in the distance as he tried to force the small young wolf to be still under him.

    Vida felt her eyes widen. "Mate-...?" Her head quickly shook and she turned her head away from him, indeed kicking and smacking at him as best as she could. "No... nononono..." She grew more frantic, the more she tried to break away. So focused was she on trying to break free that she didn't hear anything nearby either - just his growling... and his words. Her hair was grabbed easily enough. After all, there wasn't much she could do to recoil. Grunting and trying to bring her knees underneath him enough to better push him off, she did everything she could to try and wriggle away, briefly weaken him, anything. Unfortunately, she was just... too small to be very effective. "LET ME GO!"

    Kar the stray growled and fought between disrobing himself and her slaps till he finally had enough raised his hand to strike. "STOP! I AM CLAIMING YOU!" he growled pressing himself against her as he got ready to strike her across the face.

    Arianna grabbed hold of the wrist soon as she saw it poke through the bushes. If given the chance she would yank the man clear from the shrub and toss him against the nearby tree. "To me it sounds like you were refused." she said firmly and waited a moment unsure of who else might be in the bush. She stood in a defensive stance for a moment waiting for the male to see if he stood back up. She was almost certain by the scent of him he was kin.. but unsure of the other.

    Vida felt her eyes go wide As if he'd already hit her, she went still, stunned. There was no point: she was too small and weak to fend him off... and she'd started to give up when to her surprise, the weight was suddenly pulled off of her. Blinking a few times, she didn't move right away. Instead, she remained on her back, panting and looking around frantically before her senses returned to her. She scrambled to her feet just enough to shrink back into the bushes more and to a crouch, her body ready to spring into a fearful sprint... and yet frozen in fear, torn between two natural responses.

    Kar the stray felt his hand grasped but hadn't the time to even think about it. As he crashed into the tree he gave out a loud grunt and tumbled to the ground looking up at the strange light haired female. "Oh, girl you have no idea what you've done." He growled and squared off his shoulders. As he stood he gave a good grunt and started to strip off his fur shirt. He didn't hesitate long before he rushed after the intruding female with the intent of knocking her foolish head from her shoulders.

    Arianna stepped back one step watching as he rushed forward and brought up one of her axes to use the handle slamming into his wrist before her foot would come up to his groin. If he went down, she would be sure to knock him out if given the chance.. but there was no telling if her kick hit its mark hard enough to take him down.

    Vida had no idea who this stranger was, nor why she had bothered helping - but perhaps that was why she remained nearby to watch. She could not for the life of her grasp who this female was... and she was at the very least curious to see what would become of the foul-smelling stray that had come upon her in the first place. She didn't say a word; simply looked on with wide eyes from the bushes, remaining braced on the pads of her feet to run if she needed to and her body had the sense to do so.

    Kar the stray felt his wrist collide with the axe handle and at first was surprised at how strong the female turned out to be. The pain was enough to cause him to stutter. When her foot caught with his boys it sent him stumbling back with puffed cheeks and a reddened face. With a grunt he attempted to roll up to his knees after hitting the ground on his ass. "FFFFFFFFFFFFFF" he spit for a moment unable to say words. Instantly calling the beast out as he had underestimated this female compared to the other. His bones would start to crack and joints pop.

    Arianna stepped back then watched him for a moment. She twirled her ax in her hand then pulled her other as she walked around him. It was as if she was waiting for him to shift. "You've no idea who you've come against. I am daughter of Gareth. Iron Jaw alpha. I am Alpha of the Frost fang with my mate Gunnar.. You continue.. I will send you to Odin in peaces." She said walking around him carefully, watching closely. It was almost as if she had forgotten about who else might be hidden in the shrub.. perhaps assuming she had already ran to escape the battle.

    Vida blinked a few times. She hadn't expected an alpha to defend against one who was not part of her clan, nor could she for the life of her remember mention of any Frost Fang. Her brow furrowed. Her tears had ceased and dried, dirty streaks on her cheeks, thin red scratches along her skin from the twigs and brush. She peered out at them nervously, inching toward the edge of the bushes as if to try and get a better look at both of them from where she was.

    Kar the stray hesitated a moment, his teeth bared with his fangs protruding slightly. His eyes had flashed from green to a yellowish color and his hair a ragged mess. He huffed a few times watching her then grunted again. "What business do you have here? Your clan isn't even fully recognized. You're just a stray like the rest of us!" He growled but his body language would show him backing down some.

    Arianna tilted her head and stood in a stance that made her look intimidating. Her side was to him and her axes rested to either side of her legs. Her eyes focused directly on his. "I am no stray." she said and took a step forward till she was nearly standing over the top of him. She looked down on him as if she were about to rip his head from his shoulders. The wind picked up causing her light colored hair to dance around behind her and around to her side. "You have a choice here, mut. Either you submit.. Or I take out just another stray." She growled. Her silver like eyes flashing yellow and there was a hint of her arms flexing as if ready to snap into action any second.

    Vida found herself speechless. She stared between them, wide-eyed... and remained crouched, one hand braced to the ground as if it helped her balance. Vida dared not emerge from the brush just yet, for fear of both distracting the alpha and drawing unnecessary attention to herself. All she was at that moment was a pair of gold eyes staring out at them, more akin to a frightened cat than wolfkin.

    Kar the stray listened to her a moment then snarled. "I refuse to recognize another mut as any sort of alpha! You deserted your clan. The rules here are different! I've claimed her as mine! SHE IS MINE!" He snarled and made to jump forward after the light haired woman. He would attempt to tackle her to the ground and tear at her throat.

    Arianna had been ready for such an answer, her axes twisted within a split second, crossing together to pass over just in mid of his neck. She gave a step back as he had moved forward giving her the perfect angle to send his head flying over her shoulder while his body tumbled to her feet. "So be it.." she said quietly waiting for his body to stop twitching before she used it to wipe clean her axes. As she put them away she gave a soft sniff and turned looking at the bush. "You alright little one?" She asked.. though she herself looked to be nearly the same age as her.

    Vida was strangely not phased by the sudden grotesque removal of head from shoulders. After all, she'd seen worse. It was the rest that had frightened her. As soon as she was certain that the stray wasn't about to somehow come back to life and try to lunge at either of them, she emerged cautiously from the brush, standing uneasily and folding her arms tightly across her middle. "I-... Yes, I'm fine, thank you..." She stared toward her in confusion as she clutched her elbows. "Not that I'm not grateful... but why did you-...?" The corners of her lips tugged down into a frown, having thought herself previously out of luck.

    Arianna tilted her head watching her and just as she opened her mouth a call in the distance had her pause a moment and look over her shoulder. She looked around then saw a figure starting to move toward their direction and could not help the smile upon her face. She turned back and gave a soft grin back at the young girl. "No stray has the right to claim anyone. They abandoned their own clans or otherwise were tossed out for good reason.. that is.. the older of them. The younger ones such as yourself... why are you out here all alone?" she questioned, genuine worry for the girl on her expression.

    Vida blinked at her a few times. She didn't immediately notice anyone walking nearby, else she might have panicked again - but as soon as the question was asked, it was like opening a floodgate. The tears returned and she erupted into sobs as if it had all just happened minutes ago, her head hanging pathetically. "... My mother told me to leave; that our clan was too dangerous for me. Too brutal. That they would kill me if I stayed. So I... ran... and I didn't know where to go, and I still don't know where to go, and I don't know what to do and...-" She couldn't form anymore words, seconds from a complete breakdown.

    Arianna had been in shell shock from the girl's sudden outburst and held up her arms as if to try and steady her and offer her comfort. "I'm so sorry.. you.. you will be alright. You can come with me if you want?" she seemed to ask more than suggest. She had almost forgotten in that instant that her mate was making his way through the woods to them. "I wont let anything happen to you further, okay?" she asked. "It's going to be alright." she offered to embrace her though not sure if that would help at all.. though what the girl had just been through must have been really jarring if she had just been abandoned.

    Gunnar had made his way far enough just to see his mate and the small girl crying. he raised an eyebrow and hung back for a moment not sure what to do. He looked around the scene and found the dead body to be a bit of something to worry about. He would wait a moment to see if things could be settled between the women.. he was never good with dealing with even one woman crying.. two.. nuh. he'd just hover next to the tree for a few.

    Vida accepted the gesture, meeting her halfway once she realized what was happening. "Come with you?" The words were hard for her to get out as they were, at least for a little while longer. As soon as she could, she forced herself to come back together, bringing one of her sleeves up to wipe at her face and frown. "... I don't know! There's nothing I can offer in return!" She had yet to mention the male, which was... probably for the best. At the moment, she barely looked at Arianna as it was, mostly keeping her stare on the ground.

    Arianna pet at the young girl's hair, being careful not to snag her fingers in any tangles that might be there. "You do not have to offer anything but loyalty hon. Even then.. We can at least train you and teach you how to survive if you so choose to not be with us. We are not going to force you into anything you do not want." she said carefully. "I just don't like the idea of leaving you like this.. after.." she looked down at the bloody mess at her feet. "Just let us get you cleaned up and get some food then maybe?" She offered. It was then that she remembered to look over her shoulder and could see Gunnar leaning against a tree.. she gave him a pleading look, even though she was more than likely responded to with shrugged shoulders. "I am Arianna." she turned back to the young girl. She did not want to draw attention to Gunnar just yet as she was not sure how seeing another male would make the young one feel so soon after being attacked.

    Gunnar indeed responded with a shoulder shrug, but also a winning grin and wink. He moved his hand up and ran his fingers through the dark curls ruffling the hair for a moment as he was trying to decide.. do I go over there? or do I stay here a few moments longer? Sounds as if the crying has stopped.. meh.. he hung for a few more moments then started to carefully make his way down. "What have you found here, my love?" he asked, offering a soft smile to the young girl if she happened to look his way.

    Vida seemed almost reluctant to accept help when she felt she had nothing to provide in return... but after a few beats, she gave her a slow nod. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she finally spoke again, having at least calmed again enough to do so clearly. "Vida..." Sure enough, as Gunnar came forward, she blinked a few times and went wide-eyed. While she didn't outright run away, she shuffled and side-stepped until she was certain she was behind Arianna - at least in respect to the male. Smile or not, she was... a little bit on edge.

    Arianna turned and looked at Gunnar a slight annoyed he had chosen to move forward. She held up her hand as if to indicate he needed to be more soft. "It's ok, Vida. This is Gunnar. My mate. He was the Alpha of the Shadow clan.. now he's the alpha of the Frost Fang along with me." She said trying to allow the girl plenty of shield using her own body while trying to introduce them.

    Gunnar paused and hesitated a moment then crouched down before dropping to his ass. "You make it sound like I am second in command." he gave a soft pout and rolled those dark brown eyes up in a sad expression. "How am I ever to be respected?" He gave a soft wine and then seemed to smirk and wait to see how Vida responded to his child like nature.

    Vida calmed maybe a little at the reassurance that this male at least wasn't going to do something questionable like the last. It helped that Arianna didn't immediately... behead him or anything. "Arianna... Gunnar..." She blinked at his response, but his retort at least drew the weak hint of a smile from her. She had no witty responses, of course, figuring he was speaking to his mate anyway. Instead, she uttered one phrase in earnest. "...Thank you..."

    Arianna looked over her shoulder, though Gunnar had caused her to smile she gave a closed grin and a soft eye expression to Vida. "I promise, whatever happens. I will be there for you. Whatever you choose or decide.. you will grow strong." She turned back to Gunnar and gave him a soft eye narrow with a smile. "Maybe if you acted more like an Alpha." she stuck her tongue out.. perhaps showing her own age slightly. "Where are the others?" she asked looking off in the direction he came from.

    Gunnar gave a soft shrug and lifted his knees up while he leaned over pulling the head along the ground by a lock of its hair. "Well, Alphas are always so stuffy usually.. I just like to make others laugh." he looked off the direction he came and gave a soft shrug again. "They found some interest in a herd of dear. figured they would do the hunting so we could do the eating." he gave a grin then pointed his finger at the head. "Who or what was this?" he asked looking between Vida and Arianna.

    Vida looked toward Arianna with doubt... but she nodded. She would stay with them, so long as they allowed it. She at least felt calmer by then. Gunnar -not- being a horrible person helped matters further, and she felt safe with Arianna as it was, it seemed. At the question, she looked down toward the male's head and shrugged. "He tried to... claim me before Arianna came along..."

    Arianna nodded and let Vida explain some. "I gave him the choice.. submit or leave.. he chose to attack. So I sent him to Odin in pieces." Though her words sounded boastful, her expression was serious and unamused. "Should we give him burial rights?" she asked her mate. "He didn't totally understand that I was saying to him he was on our lands and truly had no claim to anything or anyone here.."

    Gunnar gave the face a poke then rolled the head away from himself. "Eh, let the scavangers have him." he stood up brushing himself off. "Our lands? So you've decided then?" he smiled. "Alright then.. Welcome to the Frost Fang Home lands, Vida. Please.. let me accompany you both to camp for a well deserved lunch and to meet the rest of our clan.. that is." he paused and looked directly at Vida. "Unless you need a moment more to morn the loss of this fleabag here?"

    Vida turned a secretive glance toward Arianna as she spoke. In her features were hints of admiration - or perhaps it was a lot more obvious than Vida thought it was. From even a first impression, she looked up to her strength. Listening to them for a moment, she shook the tension in her shoulders and smiled, glancing toward the headless corpse and slowly shaking her head. "Oh... no no. I think I'll be okay." She at least found a tiny shred of humor in it, looking between them uncertainly. "Again... thank you both..." Maybe she would be alright after all?

    Arianna turned, feeling Vida was more comfortable with Gunnar now she offered a soft hug and moved over to her mate's side. "You're more than welcome." she offered to Vida then took the moment to step up onto her own toes in an attempt to kiss her taller mate on the cheek. "I'll help guide her back to camp if you want to let the others know to save a bit more for our new guest." She said softly. She then looked to Vida with a soft wave of her hand. "I assume you would like to get cleaned up first before you eat? I could help.. or we could just go and eat.. maybe talk some more. I can answer whatever questions you might have." She had more interest in Vida now.. simply because she felt a strange connection.. she had never really had a sister aside from her brother's mate.. this felt a bit more promising connection wise.

    Gunnar knelt slightly, though he tried his best not to let Arianna see his eyebrow wiggle when she kissed his cheek. He wrapped his arm around her midsection and gave her a soft squeeze. "Of course, my Aria. You two girls have fun. howl if you see anymore muts.. I wouldn't mind getting in there to show them a thing or two!" he gave a soft skip kick then gave Vida a wink and waved before he started to strut off the way he had come.

    Vida felt the tip of her nose wrinkle. As it turned out, she was torn between eating and cleaning; she couldn't remember really doing either since she'd left her previous home. Finally, she sighed. "Maybe it would help to be clean first... I'd rather make sure no trace of his scent was left. He was too close...." She glanced uneasily down toward the stray's corpse, then back toward Arianna with a matching smile, glancing after Gunnar as he left, then back to his mate, relieved to have found friendly faces.

    Arianna couldn't help but chuckle and shake her head at Gunnar's exit. She smiled and waved her hand to Vida to get her attention. "Come then. I know a creek near by. We'll get you cleaned up and presentable. I promise, Aric is an amazing cook. That is my brother. He will be sure everyone gets their fill." she laughed softly and waited.. she would not walk in front of Vida.. nor behind but beside her.. as an equal. Her young nature showing as she would stop to look at flowers and pick them showing them to Vida as if they were the most rich thing she had seen on these lands.

    Vida nodded and paused her thoughts long enough to commit names and relations to memory as if to prepare for a test. She didn't quite catch on to the way Arianna positioned herself in relation to her... but maybe one day she would. As she studied the flowers, Vida found a piece of home in it... particularly enjoying the bright colors. More than likely, they reminded her of the treks into the woods she took with her mother. So it was there she decided to stay: among the Frost Fang, with Arianna and Gunnar leading the pack. While she may have carried her wariness toward males with her for many years following... she at the very least took to Arianna, very rarely if ever defying a command, instead following her with the loyalty she felt she deserved.

    Last edited by Ana on Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty A Volatile Island's Self-Destruction

    Post by Codex on Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:14 pm

    Fresh to adulthood, Vida had cursed Amoras from the very moment she and the rest of the Frost Fang had wrecked upon its shores. From the very start of their tenure upon the island, they had lost one of their own: the mate of Arianna's twin brother, Aric. That event seemed to set the tone for the rest of the life they spent in a near-inhospitable land filled with all manner of folk who both disturbed and disgusted Vida.

    The ritual performed to see off their fallen pack member was quite obviously somber, and they found very quickly that they were only left alone out of respect for bereavement: they were trespassing on another's territory.

    While positivity was found in the reunion of a long-lost Frost Fang pack member - Annoth - Vida watched in silent horror as their clan fell apart.

    Aric, overwhelmed by grief, did not simply distance himself. He allowed himself to go feral, becoming more and more aggressive until his instigated fight with a tribe of orcs spelled his end.

    Two more of their clan members seemed to just... vanish. It was widely assumed that they'd contracted some sort of disease while on the island.

    Their numbers continued to dwindle until only three remained: Arianna, Annoth, and Vida.

    Arianna and Annoth assimilated civilly enough with the existing pack, led by a male the redheaded wolfkin only ever encountered once. She did not like this change, and the loss of their other pack members had already begun to weigh heavily on her heart and mind.

    While Vida enjoyed the brief fleeting moments when she came across Arianna and Annoth, she largely kept to herself. She was not happy - and it was that point in her life where 'shy' started to push toward 'reclusive.'

    One day, the land began its volatile shift. She watched panic take the land. Amoras' magic weakened. Entire droves of people left by boat, by flight, some by magical means. Vida was at a loss... and terrified, crouched alone beneath the shade of a tree that was gradually beginning to tear itself loose. For a time, she thought she would die there in the chaos...

    ... But then came an odd sight: a dragon and an apparent rider. She was elven and alabaster-skinned, though her hair was an unnatural, deep violet. She spied Vida on the ground and called the large creature to land.

    "Come with me!" The female's hand was extended outward to her, her eyes frantic.

    Vida only shrank back closer to the tree defensively; she was surprised to find the female did not come any closer to make up for the distance. Instead, she only continued to talk.

    "You will die here! We are aiding as many as we can. Come! We are opening a rift out of this place!"

    It was with great reluctance that the Frost Fang member finally took the purple-haired woman's hand and allowed herself to be helped onto the back of a large saber dragon. What did she have to lose?

    The view of the land tearing itself apart both awed and frightened Vida to see it from such great heights. She held tightly to the back of the dragon, her head bowed. She didn't say a word, even as they landed in the grassy fields of the Dragon Aerie and safely planted her feet on the ground, surrounded by chaos.

    She looked around in surprise and froze in place. She spied scales of many colors and it terrified her, and yet none of them seemed to pay her or the other creatures any mind. By a nearby fire pit, she watched another fair-skinned elven woman being tended to by a large, feline-looking humanoid. It did not look to her like the elf would survive for much longer.

    Like a child lost in a crowd, she wandered frantic and wide-eyed through the masses of various beings. For fear of drawing unwanted attention to herself, she failed to call out for Arianna and Annoth, no matter how much she wished to. She could not see them; she was too small to see over the shoulders of many of those she walked among.

    Wonder overtook her as she watched a congregation forming at the top of the Aerie. In silence, she wandered up after the masses, but it took her quite some time before she could see what was happening.

    One by one, everyone within the Aerie was shuffling into a massive, dark vortex, flickering and bright. Within a ritual circle sat a black dragon. A white dragon seemed to be working alongside her, as well as one colored black and orange. Vida eyed them warily and avoided coming too close.

    As she reached the front of the crowd, she was met by the sight of the violet-haired female again, who beckoned her over hurriedly. However... she was in such a hurry to continue their exodus that Vida was pushed through the rift before she so much as had time to look over her shoulder.

    In the split second before being thrust into the portal, she wondered if she would ever see her remaining two packmates again.
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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty Unknowingly Captivated

    Post by Codex on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:33 am

    (Supplement to Devastated Shadow Lands: The Curse of Kurnin)

    For months, Vida wandered aimlessly. Her depression sank to new lows; she had to forcefully convince herself to even keep walking and moving each day. Part of her wondered if she would have been better off remaining in the Blood Clan and meeting a premature end. The hand she had been dealt felt like a cruel one.

    The young woman had to fend for herself to the best of her abilities, though it only did so much. More often than not, she shifted into a hybrid form that was sleek and much quicker than that of her human form. She needed to: there were many things that seemed hostile and dangerous, and she knew she couldn't stand a chance against them. A basic understanding of her bloodline's use of illusions came easily to her; she often called forth the mirage of a pack of wolves to chase them off or scatter a would-be predator as she escaped.

    Her trek to nowhere continued on sadly for quite some time until a familiar scent sailed through the wind and reached her nose. Her heart soared when she recognized it: Arianna and Annoth. Not only were they still alive, but they were close enough for her to track them. So, track them she did.

    Her pace was steady and deliberate, her nose often low to the ground, more animal-like than human in those moments. It chilled her to realize their scents were followed up by fresher scents; someone else's scents. They were being followed.

    Vida began to work harder to catch up, spending as little time eating and resting as possible to do so. When she finally came close enough behind the apparent hunting party to see them, she blinked several times in surprise; studied them.

    Kahri. Mika. Vetis. Ludo. Fozz. All dark-haired, and dark-pelted. She learned each of their names, but could not remember hearing of them in the past. Still, they seemed familiar with Arianna and Annoth, and they seemed intent on catching them.

    She couldn't help but roll her eyes to herself as she looked and listened on in the bushes. The only female was shamelessly trying to throw herself at the eldest of the group, only to be denied rather firmly. Mika and Fozz - as she gathered - seemed to pick up on her packmates' scent. Her eyes narrowed; she couldn't allow them to continue their hunt. She was going to buy time for Arianna and Annoth if she could.

    With great focus, she was able to call forth enough illusions to send Kahri, Mika, and Fozz in another direction for a while. Vetis and Ludo, however, did not seem fazed. In fact, Vetis looked almost directly toward where Vida hid, as if he'd been able to see her. In truth, he hadn't - but Vida's panicked reaction of shrinking back into the bushes caused enough movement to draw him to her.

    Her heart pounded, and she stared up at him with those same frightened wide eyes she'd regarded so many others with in the past. To her utter surprise, he did not immediately capture her in her stupor. In fact, he said nothing and only studied her in silence.

    "I won't let you catch them," she stated plainly, her jaw squaring in a show of bravado, even as she remained crouched in the bushes.

    Vetis seemed exasperated. His head shook. He didn't even ask for clarification; she seemed certain she knew who they were tracking. "We just need to bring them back to our Alpha to answer for their offenses. We don't have to kill anyone..." His voice trailed off as he took a closer look at her. She was an adult, and yet she was so... small. Auburn hair, golden eyes, bronze skin, that demeanor; he hadn't seen too many like her. She was off-putting in a way. "Wait..." It was then that it hit him. He looked more pointedly at her. "You... You're from the Blood Clan, aren't you? One I've not seen since she was but a pup..."

    The false courage seeped from her. Her eyes widened and her expression sobered into panic. Without a word, she sprang away from him into a full-speed run.

    "HEY! Wait!"

    The sudden shouting and movement caught Ludo's attention. In his lupine form, all he saw was his packmate shouting and running after something. That was all he needed in order to give chase on his own.

    Vida was an exceptional sprinter, but the longer the chase carried on, the more her legs began to give out. Ludo, unfortunately, held more endurance in his body. In a crazed panic, she ran as fast as she could for as far as she could before he finally caught up and tackled her to the ground.


    Rather than go for the throat, the large beast lunged for her hair to try and pull her back to Vetis. She kicked her legs at him wildly to try and keep him away as best as she could, struggling until she was overpowered and pinned to the ground, her chest heaving. She looked up at Ludo then in Vetis' direction with the defiant look of a chained beast, her jaw clenched tightly.

    Vetis and Ludo worked in tandem; the great wolf did not relent or pull away until Vetis had a strong hold on her arm, enough to yank her up to her feet with a grunt.

    "Let me go!" She growled and thrashed, but her body - especially in that weakened state - was no match for Vetis' strength. He practically dragged her along back to where his hunting party had been gathered previously.

    "I'm sorry... but I have to take you back with them. I can't let you continue this."

    Vida glared in an almost childlike manner at the back of his head as she was pulled along after him. When she finally realized she wasn't going to break free, she huffed, grumbled, and shook her head.

    "Fine. If you're forcing me to do this... then you're going to carry me too." And just like that, she jumped up onto his back, placing all of her weight on him with a defiant huff.

    Vetis shook his head as Ludo walked alongside them and didn't miss a beat. Instead, he merely hooked his arms under her legs and carried her along as if this happened to be an entirely orthodox way to haul a new captor to one's camp.

    Even as they continued along, Vida spoke to him with a grumble. "You do know Arianna's just going to kill you all, right? It isn't mere coincidence that she's made it this far..."

    The tracker looked over his shoulder at his redheaded capture, his eyebrow raising. "I know Arianna's strength well..." He left it at that. After a few beats, Vida caught sight of the deep scar in his chest that he'd subconsciously touched with a hand he'd freed from his hold on her; she couldn't resist the compulsion to touch it herself. He looked back toward her, their expressions both simultaneously conflicted and confused.

    For a time, they spoke to each other begrudgingly. She picked up on hints of his hesitance to kill any of their clan. He was sensible; she could see that much. They could have killed her with ease... and they hadn't. He could have done far worse than simply haul her off with them; neither him nor Ludo had done so.

    The moment didn't last long before sounds of struggle reached her ears and the scent of blood reached their noses. Vetis tightened his hold on her legs and broke into a run once more, Ludo racing alongside him. Vida was only able to whimper as she held onto Vetis; she recognized part of the scent.

    The sight that befell them horrified them and distracted Vetis from his hold on his captive. As Vida slid off his back, he raced toward the broken body. Kahri's throat had been ripped out. Fozz appeared to be dead as well... but the formerly lost Frost Fang member's heart soared as she saw both Arianna and Annoth hurt, but alive.

    The sight of Fozz sent his brother into a frenzy. Ludo attempted to lunge toward Arianna, enraged, only to be tackled to the ground by Vetis. "Ludo! LUDO! STOP! Please pack brother! Just stop!"

    As he struggled with Ludo, Vida looked frantically between the two sides - and though she desperately wanted to run to greet her alpha and her surviving packmate, something compelled her to only take a step forward. As she did, both she and Vetis exchanged a strange, secret look... and she spoke but one concern.

    "Is he dead? Are they all dead?"

    Annoth explained it for all of them to hear: Mika and Kahri were no more... but Fozz could and would be saved. This was enough for Vetis to be able to soothe and stop the raging beast that was Ludo. Once he had, he looked toward Vida.

    "Do what you want. I will not stop you. I just wish to speak with them. We.. I had no intention of ever fighting them."

    "Vida, I am so glad to see you are alive.. that you are alright!" She looked toward Arianna as she spoke, the sting of tears in her own eyes... but she didn't step toward her right away, despite her open arms. Instead, she hesitated; looked over her shoulder at Vetis, then back to her alpha.

    "Hear them out?" It was a simple, quiet request. And after another glance over her shoulder at Vetis, she stepped toward Arianna to meet her in a hug.

    Arianna nodded... and after a moment of discussion for the Frost Fang alpha and her mate, as well as burial rites for the dead, one thing was decided: they would return north with the Shadow Clan hunters and settle this.
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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty Spirit Walker's Awakening

    Post by Codex on Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:48 pm

    (Supplement to The Spirit Walker's Nightmare, Not a Dream, and Fin)

    Arianna and Vida had followed the males (both old Frost Fang and new) at a distance, far enough to not readily be detected, but not so far that they lost their trail. But the closer they came to Shadow Clan territory, the more an unnatural chill ran down the center of Vida's spine and into her very core.

    She began to hear things that Arianna seemed to not react to in the slightest. She heard cries and wails that caused her to perk up in surprise and look around. And as they stepped farther into the land, the cries began to become coherent pleas for help that frightened her. Still, as long as Arianna did not seem to acknowledge them, nor did she. Though it struck her as strange: her alpha didn't seem to hear them at all.

    The smell of frozen decay was overwhelming, and there were no true signs of life. It perplexed her... until the discovery of a corpse partially buried in the snow caught their attention and began the course of events that would change Vida's path forever.

    A voice screamed to her desperately, pleading for them to move back - but by the time the auburn-haired female had moved to desperately try and pull her alpha back, it was too late.

    A reanimated lupine body attacked them, its movements savage and wild, as if it had never been dead to begin with. All the while, Vida was immobilized by one terrifying realization: this was the creature that was pleading with her; wailing about the pain; begging for help. It took the plunging of a desperate hand into the undead beast's throat to retrieve the talisman controlling the creature... and to hopefully free the spirit within as Arianna fought with the crazed creature.

    As Arianna took the talisman, Vida felt a spiritual pain unlike anything she'd felt in her life. The more the talisman was moved from the body, the more crazed she became - desperate for an end to the spirit's suffering, and consequently to hers. Once the realization came that the spirit was trapped, Arianna knew what to do: dismantle the talisman. And once she did, sure enough - the spirit's pain stopped, and it was released.

    Vida hunched over into a sobbing heap as her alpha did her best to calm the previously frantic red-pelt. They did not move on until they were both capable of carrying on, Arianna sporting fresh wounds from the reanimated lycan's attack, Vida bearing the first scars her spirit would endure - and surely not the last. In those moments, Arianna realized the truth about her pack sister she'd had beside her for years: Vida was a Spirit Walker. This was to be her path.

    They traveled deeper into the Shadow Clan's lands after Annoth, Fozz, Ludo, and Vetis. The cries of the spirits did not ease. They became worse, until Vida could not hear Arianna over the sounds of their cries. It drove her to the brink of madness, unable to distinguish between the living and dead. Arianna had to force her to focus; to drown out all but her. For a time, it worked - but very little did Vida sleep whenever they stopped for the night, haunted by the pain of the dead who filled the land. When she did sleep, she was met with disturbing dreams that she could not make sense of in her waking life - not right away.

    But as they reached Shadow Clan Village, the screams were a deafening din to Vida's ears. The lich Kurnin had left the village in shambles and had claimed an entire army all his own, it seemed. She could not hear over then, but in the midst of all the madness, one voice - alongside Arianna's - stood out to her and caused her heart to break.


    His spirit was among those pleading for release, and it caused Vida to cry out in anguish. As Arianna charged into the village, she raced desperately after her, but paces behind - knowing full well that her alpha's strength exponentially surpassed her own. The sight before her terrified her: their pack intermingled with a mass of reanimated wolfkin. And to Vida's horror, they were forced to destroy them one by one, causing the young Spirit Walker unimaginable pain as she slowly started to lead Fozz away from the din and to her, trying to spare him his own destruction. Despite his desperate pleas for her to run, she continued to slowly guide him back to her. And as she continued to speak and call to the spirit, something happened that offered her hope.

    Fozz resisted the command of Kurnin. The signs of resistance caused her to spring into action, and a howl burst from her mouth that bordered on unearthly - a rallying cry that other spirits of their kin repeated to inspire those that struggled to break free of their control. Their bodies were resisting; they were slowing and going still as best as they could. They were defying the lich that kept them prisoner.

    The Frost Fang fought for their very lives. When one felt their morale slipping, another would rally to their cause. Ludo tried to drag his way to Vida's aid, and then Vetis when the younger wolf seemed to begin to give up for a time. Renewed, the raging beast that was Ludo fighting for his family caused him to lunge and attack Kurnin with a renewed vigor, joining Arianna's frontline, overwhelmed assault. Annoth was there with her, and Vetis quickly rejoined them. Their young brother, Fozz, had gone statue still, refusing to attack the Spirit Walker.

    A strange voice caught her attention as she looked around. At first, she'd thought Annoth had spoken to her, but then she realized... it was not him. Someone was guiding her to the fountain in the village's center. The decaying, lupine corpse seemed to be pointing toward a hole in the base of the fountain.

    As some of the spirits were destroyed during the Frost Fang's defense, Vida struggled in agony to drag herself toward the fountain. The pain was unbearable, her legs kicking as if it helped with the pain. Chaos continued all around her; she was too small to even pose a physical threat. Kurnin was too busy commanding his wolves to attack the rest of her clan that had fully shifted - likely to deal with her easily once they had been dispatched.

    In the hole beneath the fountain, Vida found one of the many talismans... and something else that caught her eye. Holding onto the first item, she looked in surprise at the small glass vial that she suddenly found Annoth calling for. Weakly, she tossed it toward him, cradling the talisman to her as she carefully untied the binds that kept it together. He, in turn, quickly destroyed the vial... and Kurnin began to turn to dust.

    The spirits found themselves freed as she did this, and their thank-yous were met with a heavy sigh of relief as both their pain and hers eased, if not stopped. But one sight in particular drew tears from her eyes.

    Very clearly, she watched as Fozz's spirit looked up toward Ludo, his tail wagging. He was no longer in pain, no longer suffering; he was free.

    Remaining on the ground, Vida did not join the rest of her clan immediately. Instead, she offered them the words the dead had asked to be spoken on their behalf. And as soon as she had, she curled into a ball... and wept.
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    Vida Lyre, Sun Spirit and Daughter of the Blood Moon Empty Politely Crazy

    Post by Codex on Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:21 am

    It came as a surprise to her to learn when she did that Arianna was with child, but she was happy for the alpha that had once again sought to protect her clan with a fervor that had always caused Vida to look upon her with respect. It saddened her when she watched her endure the loss that she knew her mother had suffered through several times in turn. It was a pain she hoped to never experience first-hand.

    The Frost Fang had settled in the nearest inhabitable village. Vida was no longer shy and timid so much as she was reserved and aloof. She did not speak often and did not ask for much that she could not provide for herself. She had taken to sleeping as far from the clan as she could without leaving them entirely, her night terrors often waking her with screams and jolting her from her rest in a cold sweat. Rarely were her dreams good ones, if ever.

    The weight in her mind prevented her from becoming too close to her packmates for the most part, though she watched over them - at the very least - from a distance. Often did she look upon Vetis with fondness, and there were times that she swore she saw the same from him... but (at least as she saw it) she never pursued it enough to make an impact. Instead, she kept to herself as best as she could and as much as she could, trying to better process and understand the abilities passed down to her by her mother - ever oblivious to the fondness she herself had drawn from Ludo.

    Fozz did not immediately return to greet her, nor did she try to call upon him for many years, even when the guidance of a long dead Spirit Walker began to teach her to call upon her deceased kin for assistance. As much as she wished to bring him forth, she resisted.

    She was well into thirty years old by the time she finally did, and Fozz came to her willingly and happily, sticking to her heels as she patrolled the lands alongside him. This moment birthed a regular habit for the Spirit Walker and her old friend. He became her "favorite" spirit to call upon, and more often than not, he came to her side to join her.

    One day, Arianna made the decision to journey south to a land called Skarvald. Vida greeted this choice with reluctant compliance, and at least looked forward to a slight change in scenery... but the discovery that Vetis and Ludo would not come with them caused a pain in her heart that she had not expected. She spoke nothing of it and only went where she was asked, traveling with the rest of her pack.

    The Spirit Walker was unaware of how many days she spent in Skarvald, watching the horizon for signs of their prodigal packmates. She locked her sad-eyed gaze on the horizon for hours at a time. Her heart hurt in a way she still could not readily describe.

    The land did not agree with her temperament, ultimately. She found herself often among elven ruins, or elves in general when she was greeted with company outside of her clan. She did not like it; there was something about elves that did not sit well with her. Perhaps it was the air about them that struck her as condescending. That in particular grated her nerves and made it difficult to contain her patience. It was only for the good of her clan that she had acted civilly toward those who approached her, doing her best to show her willingness to coexist.

    Skarvald, they came to find, was a land where those of their kind lived openly. It came as a surprise, but a welcome one nonetheless. Of course, matters started to escalate when a weakened spirit one day came rushing to Vida, unable to communicate to her, but following her around tirelessly and anxiously.

    Undeath reared its ugly head for a time in Skarvald; Vida's old wounds opened up. The trauma she'd endured while trying to aid the spirits suddenly became fresh in her mind once more. Madness began to take the Spirit Walker again, and she found herself at the top of a tall cliff, on the verge of jumping. When she was visited by an unexpected spirit, she was given both closure and hope: her mother came to her, speaking gently to her and reassuring her that she still yet served a purpose. Seeing her not a moment older than the day Vida had left the Blood Clan, she realized then what had happened: Edda had been killed. She had been watching over her ever since. She had truly defended her with her very life.

    More scars added themselves to her soul as she and the remaining Frost Fang fought and tried their best to fend off undeath alongside those within Skarvald. One of the final signs came in the most terrifying sight yet: a reanimated dire bear that did its best to attack the village square.

    Vida heard his pleas for release, just as she'd heard in others before him. Carefully, she did her best to guide the defenders' attacks, especially once the formerly weakened spirit had strengthened enough to take hold of Vida and pull her for the first time into the Umbra for her first Spirit Walk.

    She saw the world in cold blues, whites, and grays. Some spirits were light and pure, others gray; others yet were dark and ominous, and yet somehow those remained far away. It was in this state that she was able to find the item controlling the dire bear, revealing the talisman embedded within its undying corpse.

    When it was finally released from its imprisonment, the dire bear spirit - Thies - followed the traumatized Vida into the woods after she fled in a panic, waiting until she had calmed to tell her what she truly was: Garou. This was the moment when the Spirit Walker learned what made her different from her pack, and she was greeted with one final piece of advice: she must never tell the rest of her pack what she truly was.

    And so, she kept the secret to herself, learning from Thies in the brief time that he remained outside of the Umbra. He instructed her and taught her as much as he could, including how to properly communicate with the ravens and call upon them as messengers. Vida took to this ability in particular, finding an odd sense of comfort in the black-feathered birds.

    The Spirit Walker found a valued guide in the bear spirit - one she never forgot, and soon the time came for the Frost Fang to depart from Skarvald to find land of their own to live upon.

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