Blood Moon Rising

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Zizikitty, May 14, 2013.

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  1. A warm breeze blew through the forest. Not yet the hot stickiness of summer, but of spring. A time of renewal and change. The dark forests flora was in full bloom after the past few days of rain and melting ice. Shoots of green burst from what little patches of snow still tried to hold it’s icy grip upon the land. Many of the wildlife in the thick wild forest started to stir from hibernation, feasting upon the newly grown plants. But it wasn’t only the dark forest that was going through a dramatic change.

    Birds burst from the trees in fear as change also came to the Kiiwan Pack that lived on the cliffs that broke up the landscape. A pack of werewolves that lived on a higher ground, having a good vantage point over the forest and high enough away from flooding and mud slides. A vicious battle was taking place between two wolves. Bellowing snarls and guttural growls shook the forest surrounding the village. The other pack members watched in fear and shock as two males danced a deadly dance for the alpha position. A tawny and brown lycan circled the other, his massive arms stood out from his body. Blood dripping from his claws and muzzle. The bipedal wolf snarled at the older grey male, weakened and bleeding heavily.

    “You think… you can lead this pack, Kezan?” The elder barked in a weak tone. Amber eyes burned with lust as he stared at his former alpha. The lust of power. “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on the other.” He said in his deep eloquent tone, his lips curling as his head twitched. The madness of the wolf seemingly getting away from the man within. “I will lead this pack to greatness. You would have us sit still in a stagnant pond!” He let out a seething growl as he circled the elder. “Your mad Kezan! Your insanity will kill the entire pack! I knew you were wrong as a pup. I should have culled you then!” He growled as the old grey wolf leapt for the tawny challenger.

    In a flurry of claws, dust and fur the fight raged on, painting the nearby area in blood. Soon there was only one lycan’s growls that could be heard. Amber eyes looked in to the dead yellow ones as they changed to a steel grey, the elder changing back into his human form as his life giving crimson fluid flowed from his body. It was done. Kezan was the new alpha of the Kiiwan Pack. He stood up on his hind legs, breathing the fire from his lungs. With his palms up his claws curled into his hand as he let out a powerful bone chilling howl. Low, deep but almost screeching. They type of howl that made his people different from the four legged real wolves that lived higher in the mountains.

    One week later…

    It had taken some time for Kezan to weed out the loyal dogs of the former alpha. Bonfires had burned every night as someone had to be ‘put down’ as Kezan called it. Starting with the former alpha’s pups. He didn’t need them growing up wanting to exact revenge. He now had a firm grip on the pack, now they lowered their heads in submission as he passed by. Good thing they started too, he was becoming tired of slashing the disrespectful with his claws.

    The new alpha sat in a large hut, leaning over a wooden table. Not in his wolf form he was a tall man, 6’3” and with a very muscular strong frame. Broad shoulders held thick arms which only added to his deep chest. A face that held masculine features, round cheeks but strong chin and jaw bones. A thin and well trimmed beard covered his face but as became wild and messy as it grew into his wild untamed sandy brown hair. His eyes now hazel yellow poured over the map below him. His eyes refusing to pull away from the human lands. Could it be done? He thought. Yes. With ambition. But it would take some time. He’d finished killing the top three warriors of the pack. A pack already lacking in the skills he felt he needed to take on the humans waiting to be slaughtered. Their lands waiting to be taken by werewolves. But how would he obtain such a prize with out the right warriors at his command?
    #1 Zizikitty, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  2. The sky was overcast as the Teryan Pack gathered, grey clouds that foreboded rain carried on a chill spring wind. The snow yet clung in the mountains, and it was not so distant a memory even down here, where swollen rivers carried ice-melt to the marshes and swampy forests their hilltop home looked upon.

    They stood in human form, making a rough circle. In its center stood a single lycan in his lupine shape. A fairly young wolf - perhaps sixteen. In one hand he held a javelin, in the other a curved club. He was clad in little save his fur; a pair of leather breeches laced up the sides. His chest was bare, his fur a dark brown brindled with black, and his eyes were pale blue crackled with grey.

    He lifted spear, club, and his voice. "I stand before you!"

    The eyes of the pack looked back at him, many among them those same pale blue eyes. Ice eyes, some called them... or ghost eyes. Some said that a Teryan could see the dead; that their skill in battle let those unnerving eyes see into the great beyond where they sent their enemies.

    The young lycan called out again. "I stand before you, a warrior!"

    Silence from the pack, watching him. None of them stirred, save a few small pups too restless to keep entirely still.

    The wolf in the center spoke a third time. "I stand before you, and I am Hikaran!"

    Now, the others moved. One stepped forward, a ghost-eyed female. In human shape, Itou stood a full head shorter than Hikaran's lupine mein, for she was not overly tall. Her shoulders were broad, though, her body corded with the muscle that brought her the pack's respect.

    "You stand before me." Her voice was calm, pitched to carry. "You stand before Teryan. You stand before the sun and the moon." The words were familiar, a part of the ritual. "Do you stand for us?"

    The youngster - the boy seeking to become adult - raised his spear once more. "I stand for us!"

    "Then, son of Teryan... hunt for us!"

    The wolf-form lycan lifted his head and howled, and around him, human-shaped throats joined in the song. It was not a sound for human throats, and it lacked the subtler resonances... but it was a howl of the pack, together.

    Hikaran turned and loped from the village, and three lycans followed him. First was Itou herself, passed a spear by one of the others. Her black-and-tan hair turned to a black skullcap of fur, her body dappled brown and gold like forest shadows. With her was Ekorst, a sturdy male with shaggy brown far and golden eyes, and Leria, a lithe golden-furred woman with one ghost and one brown eye. Each bore their weapons, for they would join this hunt - but Hikaran would lead it. So he would prove his worth as a wolf of Teryan and become a full adult in the pack.

    They would be gone for days; proving-hunts stretched long as they sought prey worthy of the wolf. The proving-hunt was an omen; this was no time for rabbits.

    The rains fell heavy, during the hunt, but the wolves found success. A wily elk, heavy enough to burden all four of them on their return. A good omen... or so it seemed.

    They returned to calamity; the village swept away by the mighty claw of a landslide. The wolves who had so recently gathered... dead. Their homes... gone.

    Hikaran's victory feast became a funeral meal. Itou led the pack - what little of it remained - in a howl for their dead.

    The ghost-eyed pack mourned.

    But they lived. Itou gathered her pack around her, and spoke to them. They could not remain here so few in number. They must seek another pack; an alliance, while they grew strong again. Youths without a pack who sought adoption; mates to join. It would take time, but Teryan was undaunted. Teryan would return.

    So Teryan Pack began to move, traveling toward the cliffs that overlooked these swampy lowlands. There they would find safety; a chance to rebuild. Itou had a destination in mind: Kiiwan Pack. A peaceful group, to her recollection. They would doubtless welcome the refugees with open arms, and perhaps Teryan would gain strength from the restless among them.

    They approached the village now, dusty from long days on the road and making no attempt at stealth. Itou. Hikaran. Ekorst. Leria. A few more. A hulking black-haired brute, sparse with his words. A girl of eleven, pale-faced and serious. The remnants of Teryan Pack.
  3. Kezans heavy steps paced the table as he eyed the map. Like a wolf unable to reach a desired prey. The new alpha was not like his other kind, not mentally anyways. A madness poisoned his mind, a poison like that of a human being chosen and bitten. Turned into a lycan by the bite of another. The human mind unable to blend with the beast within. This resulted in the human being a savage animal with no control. Unlike a born lycan who was one with their animal. Able to control and coexist with their wild side. Kezan however was different. Born a lycan but with the maddened mind of someone bitten. It was what the former alpha meant by Kezan being ‘wrong’.

    The man paced, rumbling growls escaping his throat as he eyed what he wanted on the map. The leather pants he wore adding to the bit of sound. Suddenly a smell caught his nose. The smell of pine and aged wine. He stopped his pacing and leaned over the map once again, calming the animal within him. His hazel eyes slid to meet the boy of sixteen whom entered. He looked like a younger version of Kezan, though more lanky than anything else. An omega by nature he shot his eyes to the ground in submission. Kezan gave a charming smile and out stretched his arm to the boy. He smiled and moved into the new alpha’s embrace. Kezan’s arm hooking around the boys neck while his other arm ruffled the already messy brown hair atop his head, emitting a playful snarl as he did so.

    The young omega snarled playfully back and lightly bit Kezan’s hand as he pushed him away. “Stop it!” He said as he chuckled and tried to smooth his hair. “Dear brother your hair was a mess before you walked in here. I made it look better.” He said as he looked at his little brother resume his timid stance. “No. I’m sure you just made it worse.” He said looking away and back at his much taller brother. Kezan’s charming smile only widened at the only person to bring out his tender side. “Did you want something Kekay?” He said as his eyes scanned back to the map. He sensed nervousness and tension from his brother as he asked the question, so much so he looked at Kekay. “Um… Kezan… Can… Can I… a-ask a promise?”He said, curling his arms across his bare chest as he spoke. His eyes avoiding his brothers.

    Kezan turned to the timid boy, laying a thick arm around his shoulder. “Anything for you little brother.” But the promise was not what Kezan expected, nor did he want to hear it. The boy looked up and shied away as he asked, finding the courage to look into his brothers eyes. “Please… Don’t kill anyone today.” His hazel eyes looking into Kezan’s touched his cold black heart like no one else could. He snarled at first in defiance of the promise. But just as quickly as he disagreed, he sighed as he looked away. In submission to the promise. Looking back at his brother he held his hand out to complete his word. “Fine. There will be no blood shed today.” He shook his brothers hand. Kekay looked overwhelmed. Excited he uncurled from his submissive stance and shook his brothers hand. Shocked he agreed to the promise so quickly.

    Suddenly a blonde man Kezan’s age burst through the flap of the hut. “My Alpha. Scouts have spotted an approaching party.” As if what the man said was a war cry Kezan dropped his brothers hand and shoved past the blonde male. “Who are they Dious?” He replied viciously. “We’re not sure but then come in plan sight. No weapons drawn. I think they mean no harm. We should-“ But he didn’t get a reply out before Kezan pushed him aggressively. “I don’t care what you think we should do! Their trespassing. Kiiwan Pack is no longer going to tolerate such insolence! Assemble the warriors. We kill them.”

    “You promised! You promised me no one would die today!” Kekay’s shrill voice sounded behind the alpha. He had followed them, curious as to what was going on. Kezan whirled around, amber threatening to invade his hazel eyes. He snarled deeply and turned to meet his brother face to face. “This is different! These are intruders!”

    “Maybe so but what if their not! What if they just want to talk? Dious said their in plain sight…” Kekay said as he refused to look at his brother. As an omega should react to his alpha. A deeper growl rumbled from Kezan as he drew closer to his brother. “I mean… if there here to attack then… okay kill them… but if not… remember the promise.” He continued softly. The growling subsided, his brothers strong hand lay on his shoulder before a word was spoken. “Do not follow us Kekay.” Was all he replied.

    Kezan order his pack to move silently and work on flanking the intruders should they decide to attack. Kezan, Dious and anther male warrior walked in plain sight towards the party. The alpha stopped, with him as did the two at his sides. He glanced around to note the other warriors were in position should something go wrong. “Wait here.” He growled as he alone moved forward. His eyes scanned over the party, seeing that this wasn’t a typical war party. His eyes looked over the entire group. The boy roughly the same age as his brother. A girl whom looked far too young to be considered for even her rites into adult-hood. No this wasn’t a war party. Kezan stopped some distance away from them, sniffing the air heavily to gain their scent. Their energy also said they were not here to harm. He crossed his arms across his chest looking them over, particularly at the woman whom led them. “Stop.” He boomed in a calm but loud voice. “What is your purpose here? You are trespassing on Kiiwan territory.” He stated.
  4. They had passed the markers, and were in Kiiwan territory now. Ekorst had pointed them out to the young one, making a lesson of their journey. There had been many lessons along the way. Hunting. Camping. Surviving.

    Ekorst slipped forward to walk beside Itou shortly after Teryan's entrance. "We've been spotted," he said to her in a quiet, conversational tone.

    She nodded.

    "Do we stop and wait?"

    Itou shook her head. "No. We'll keep going. It's a distance yet." Assuming, of course, that Kiiwan would welcome them and not send them off on their way again - which she was. She'd heard no news of Kezan's recent ascendancy and how that might have changed things around here.

    So they continued on until the welcoming party came, though it wasn't a very welcoming one. Hikaran started to take a step forward, but Ekorst reached a hand over to touch his arm and stop him.

    Itou stopped, and did not look for the warriors hiding elsewhere in the forest. They were there, she was sure - Kiiwan was not a pack of idiots - and enough wolves could take down even a warrior of Teryan. If this had been a war band, they'd have been among those trees themselves, in groups of two and three. Bird-calls would have filled the air, each lycan with its goal... but this was not a war-band, and so Teryan walked in the open. The deer, surrounded by wolves.

    She spread her hands, palms up. See, I have no weapons; see, my claws do not strike you. "We come to speak to Kiiwan." Her own voice carried back as easily as his, and then Itou considered. Now would be the time when she might ask for the alpha, and yet... something in the aspect of this wolf suggested an arrogance that she could not see an alpha bearing for long. Was he, then, the alpha? She had heard no news. And yet... here with the lives of her pack in her paws, best to hunt rabbits and not bear.

    "We are Teryan, and I am alpha." That part, at least, she could safely say. "I ask forgiveness for our trespassing." It was by the alpha's will the pack acted. These others were an extension of her, and so if there was to be vengeance, Itou sought to have it directed at her.

    Her ghost-blue eyes were steady on Kezan. An alpha's gaze, unfrightened. Not a challenge - she had no desire to take his place nor seek battle with Kiiwan this day - but the steady gaze of one confident in her own place, willing to acknowledge equals and even to defer to another she finds suitable, but never to blindly submit.
  5. Hazel eyes watched their every move. A predator ready to strike should any of them move the wrong way. But on the out side he looked calm. Her movements submissive enough to let him know she wasn't here to take over. When she said the name of her pack he became curious and intrigued. Teryan was known for their warriors. Their combat prowess and tactics. Yet they were led by not a male, but a female.

    Her eyes meeting with respect yet no challenging. Wordlessly he unfolded his arms, his previous threatening stare was now replaced with curiosity as he stepped slowly closer to her. For now he'd play her game if not anything else than to see where this would lead. From his place a few feet from her he leaned in slightly leaned in to sniff her, letting her smell of smoldering applewood fill his senses. All while holding his palms out to show her he was not going to attack her either. His eyes not leaving hers. "We are Kiiwan and I am alpha. You come at a time of change for my tribe. Our unrest has made us... On edge." He said gently.

    His two visible pack mates exchanged looks, clearly unsure how to react to their alpha and his actions now. But since he was being friendly, or at least appeared so, they mimicked his actions. With out moving from their place they held their palms up as they looked on. But the hidden warriors remained hidden. "You have come a long way. Why?" He said in a blunt arrogant manner. Suggesting his hospitality might wane with impatience.
    #5 Zizikitty, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  6. If it were appearances that determined the alpha, there was another who looked far more the part. Dengar, six foot two and wide as three men - and yet the black-haired lycan stood toward the back, his expression stoic and his posture - as did the postures of all of Teryan - making it clear where they deferred. Itou.

    She kept her gaze on Kezan, a meeting of alphas - and, as such, one heedless of the other wolves, hers and his both. The pack acted upon the alpha's will. That was all that mattered.

    Her scent, as he tasted it, layered the complexities of the swamp with woodsmoke. Smoldering applewood, and Itou leaned in a moment after Kezan to sniff him in return while the opportunity was present... but this was his ground. He was on the advance, and her ranks would bend before his, granting him the conversational and social territory as he took it. A bend, and her flanks - the metaphorical ones - would come forward when they saw the chance.

    "Change comes like the seasons." An old saying, and now Itou used it to keep her own curiosity at bay. She wanted to know of these changes in Kiiwan, yes - but there would be time to find out later, if this meeting went well. For now, she did not wish to test the patience this alpha now showed.

    There. The chance. "We seek aid." The words were sour in Itou's mouth. Aid. Help. Why didn't she just roll over and show her throat while she was at it? Perhaps the distaste showed in her face, but she kept her gaze steady. She had her pride.

    "This is all that remains of Teryan." So few. Her pack had never been the largest - the warrior's life they led thinned their numbers regularly - but this. She'd led hunting bands larger than this. And yet, they were still Teryan, and she held her head high, as did the rest who followed her and her cues.

    "We seek shelter. A chance to regroup." Itou chose her next words carefully, well aware she spoke to a new alpha, one who spoke of change. This pack might not be the one it once was. Her decision to journey here may have been based on old information, but she gives her reason nonetheless. "Kiiwan has been known for its kindness."
  7. Killing the Teryan trespassers was now in the back of his mind. Curiosity now gripped the lycan. Teryan? Here? The answer came to a shock to him. So much so when her sour words admitted she needed aide his head tilted slightly, as if he didn't hear her correctly. No pack was strong enough to take the Teryan pack down, so what ever force brought them here had to be devastatingly powerful. And yet, this small band was all that was left.

    What she sought almost enraged the wolf with in him. Was she seeking to use him in their time of need? Use Kiiwan resources while they became stronger. But before the rage became unchecked he looked down and thought about it. This was not a burden he realized but an given chance to grow stronger as a pack. He openly scoffed at her mentioning the kindness of Kiiwan. He paced a small path to eye the rest of her pack. His eyes briefly falling upon the man the same height as him but clearly larger.

    "Kindness is a weakness." Kezan said in a dark tone as he came to pace back to Itou. "A weakness I have worked hard to cull from the ranks of my pack." The word emphasized with a sneer. He paused as he stood in front of her, although still respecting her space. "Things are different now." He said crossing his arms over his deep chest. "However..." He continued. "I am not indifferent to an agreement." His mind gaining speed as he chose his words.

    "It pains me to be realistic but my warriors lack skill and prowess. Something Teryan is known for." He paused as he looked her over, then her pack. Moving his arms to settle on his hips. "I will give you the shelter and food that you ask. But you must train my pack to be warriors. Warriors like Teryan." He said in a confident tone. As if there would be no negotiating with his terms.
  8. There was a slight twitch of Itou's lips at Kezan's anger. A smile. She was pleased, for all it might mean her pack is out of luck - for all it might mean the warriors hiding in the trees (they must be there, whether she saw them or not) were about to descend on the pitiful remnants of Teryan. At least they would go down fighting.

    "What you do with your pack is your choice." Itou's tone was light, the pleasure that had shown on her face lingering there even in the face of the other Alpha's anger. Teryan had no use for fear. They faced death with laughter and gleaming eyes.

    Her head tilted slightly as Kezan mentioned an offer, giving him an inquisitive look as invitation for him to continue. It was followed by a slow nod as she considered his words. So. He scorned weakness as well as kindness - and yet the only pack he could claim was Kiiwan. Not the best starting point. Not something that spoke well to his means meeting his aspirations.

    This lycan might be a fool, but then again, the Moon loved fools and the mad. Perhaps She loved them so greatly that she would continue to aid this one.

    And Itou had little room to negotiate, for though her pack - those few warriors who remained her - was strong, they lacked the resources to rebuilt. Resources Kiiwan had. It was time to be realistic... and yet. This new Alpha spoke as though he dictated terms, and this was no surrender.

    "You will show me your warriors." If he would make declarations, so would she. "Not today. Tomorrow; we will be your guests tonight, and tomorrow I will inspect your warriors and advise you. Not every wolf can be taught. If yours can, we will discuss their training. If not, Teryan will trouble you no further."
  9. Unbeknownst to Itou, Kezan didn't have much of a choice in packs to take over. He was born into this one and thus he figured he'd work with was he had before him. He was ambitious to say the least.

    The new alpha watched the other. Getting a sense of what kind of pack leader she was. She had to be strong, that much he knew. Not only in will but in strength. He knew it was bold to push her around, to demand certain things. Kezan was being cocky and knew he could push her to some extent. His face changed only the slightest however. A slight change that a seasoned warrior like Itou would see.

    She would only train his pack if they were worthy? He could feel the wolf within him disagree with her declarations. It made the wolf want to lash out and tell her how things were going to be. His face growing tense and stern, like he was ready to snap. But like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it was the good doctor that was present. Kezan saw these demands fair. His face lasted in the tense and stern expression only a fleeting moment before a smile tugged at the corner of his lip. "Fair enough. Tonight you will be guests then."

    The smile faded and it was clear he didn't exactly like this idea but he came to terms with he needed her to train his warriors. He moved his hand high as he walked away, circling it in the air. "The village is this way." He said, hinting for her and her pack to follow him. He faced her once more as he walked. "I am Kezan. What do I call you?" He said as his men hiding in the forest came out. Their movement suggested no threat. Watching their new alpha with uncertainty and worry.
  10. Itou's face remained calm as Kezan's changed. Behind her, Ekorst's golden gaze flicked from the Kiiwan alpha's anger to scan the trees, his posture becoming subtly less relaxed. Hikaran's tension was more obvious, but then... he was Teryan, but he was also young and as of yet inexperienced.

    In truth, it was not that Kezan's deal was unfair; Itou merely took exception to how he had presented the terms. Kiiwan lived on cliffs above Teryan's former valley, but Itou did not intend to take the lower ground if she could help it. Teryan needed every advantage they could get in the fight to survive.

    She inclined her head at Kezan's assent. "You honor us with your hospitality." Traditional words, but were they honestly meant or mocking? Her small smile could accompany either, though for the moment, Itou was content. This skirmish was over, and while her plan did not survive first contact... her squad was intact, and they had room to maneuver. Onward.

    Itou stretched her legs to catch up with Kezan, selecting a spot a half-step behind him and slightly to the side. Not quite a challenge - she was the guest here, and besides, he was the one who knew where they were going - yet perhaps closer to it than another wolf of his pack would have dared. She was an alpha too, and she did not intend to let him forget that. His introduction garnered a nod and her own in return. "I am Itou."

    The rest of her pack kept a few further steps distance, gold and blue eyes glancing around at the other pack whose land they further entered - now as guests, not trespassers.

    They were silent, save for the smallest of them. "How come-" was as far as she got, before Dengar's heavy hand rested on her shoulder. The child's eyes lifted to him, and the black-haired lycan touched a finger to his lips. Silence. The hunt is not over. It is not yet a time to talk. Her eyes widened slightly, and she nodded.

    So Teryan was silent as they followed their alpha to Kiiwan's village as ill-wanted but much-needed guests.
  11. Kezan tolerated Itou being so close to him. A sign she still commanded her pack. But in all reality he needed her to. Teryan would never submit to his demands, even if he killed her and tried to take on her pack. No there was a method to the way she governed her pack. He could see it in her proud steps. His head twitched every so slightly towards the tiny voice, not in a threatening way but one that heard a sound. Though he was happy she was quickly silenced. He didn't have the patience for children.

    His head nodded to Dious and the other pack member. "Tonight, we have guests." They looked at one another in surprise as their new leader spoke. But they dared no question him as he passed them. Both men traveled to the other side of Itou but still behind her. Giving her the same respect in space that she commanded from her current pack members. Dious and the other only gave fleeting glances at the Teryan as they walked.

    The trek back was not terribly long but it was done so in silence. Seeing as Kezan didn't have much to say at the moment. He wanted to get down to business but he had to fulfill the agreement. The village was open with no fence surrounding the wooden and leather made huts. The whole of Kiiwan waited at it's gates to see what their new leader would do with this pack coming into his newly claimed territory. Silent looks of surprise took them all as they looked at the new comers. The only one smiling was Kekay.

    "Kiiwan!" Kezan's deep voice boomed as he held his arms out. "We have guests. I want a feast prepared for the Teryan. Because with the Teryan, we will be the pack we were meant to be." He said in a dark tone. The other pack members nodded and obeyed as they hurried off to prepare food. Kekay dipped his head submissively as he walked to his brother, smiling. "Thank you." He whispered though it could have been heard by any Teryan close enough to the brothers. Kezan growled softly and looked away from his brother.

    "You may do as you please. Just respect my territory." He said calmly to the entire Teryan pack. Kekay looked curiously at the pack as he looked them over. Most of his interest was of the boy his age and the young girl. He was curious as to why they were here but he didn't speak just yet.
  12. Itou had little desire to challenge Kezan, and yet she saw in him a force that must be faced. To yield before him was to be washed away by the flood; to give a step was to fall behind and be trampled by the stampede. To face him... oh, that was dangerous too, make no mistake about it. The flood might yet tip the boat paddled straight across the wave-crests, and the stampede did not always part for the wild wolf's gaze.

    Fighting Kezan was dangerous, but surrender was certain death. Perhaps not for Itou herself, but for Teryan; for what it was, for the reason these lycans followed her. For why Ekorst walked with an easy lope, and the young Shanei looked with wide eyes at the village but remained silent despite her bubbling curiosity.

    She stood proud as Kezan announced them, a slight twitch curving up the corners of her lips as she watched the submissive behavior of the others of Kiiwan. Oh, yes, Kezan was the flood, and if Teryan had been washed away by the landslide, it was these wolves of Kiiwan who had been drowned.

    One of her ears flicked at Kekay's words, and Itou took a moment to consider the submissive young man more closely. Only a moment, but she stored his features in her mind for later consideration before nodding to Kezan.

    "We are your guests." She inclined her head slightly; like the half-step behind him she had maintained, an acknowledgment that this was his territory, his place, and Teryan was here by his permission... though they did not answer to his authority.

    Only Itou's, and she turned back to her pack now, taking a few steps toward them. "Ekorst, Hikaran. See to our lodging." Their tents, most likely, unless they could talk someone into having a spare hut or two. Ekorst nodded easily, but Hikaran frowned. Young as he was, he was eager to explore the Kiiwan village, not do chores... but after a moment's stare from Itou, he tilted his head to bare throat in a gesture of assent. Itou had no instructions for most of the others - after all, they were guests here; there was no need for them to hunt or make patrols, and Itou would not discuss their own guard arrangements in reach of Kiiwan's ears. Her other instruction was for the little girl. "Shanei, stay with Dengar." The girl nodded, glancing up to the large black-haired man.

    With that, Itou turned and entered Kiiwan's village. Let the others move around her; she sought a comfortable place to sit and be unmoved by the chaos. She would consider how to become the rock against the flood she felt coming... at least, if the flood gave her the time to do so.
  13. Kezan looked to the other man that had been with Dious. "Mobu, show Ekorst and Hikaran where Teryan can stay. Quiet convenient that we now have empty huts." He said, chuckling in a semi dark tone. A grin tugging at his lips as he thought of those slain for standing up to him. The burly dark haired Mobu nodded once, walking to the other two. His voice much more kind that his alpha. "This way if you please." He said bowing respectfully, albeit not submissively.

    A pair of auburn haired sisters came to the rest of Teryan, carrying vases of drinking water. They dipped their heads submissively to Itou, offering tentative smiles to their guests as they set the water down before them. "Here is some water. If you are thirsty." The slightly taller sister said. Kezan came to the bon fire and sat down calmly. Despite his calm actions the young women grew tense in his presence. As did the entire village of one was to look around and take notice.

    Kekay, although clearly an omega by his actions, was the only one seemingly not afraid of the big bad wolf. He sat by his brothers side and watched curiously. "This is my brother, Kekay. Forgive him if he stares." His tone grew darker, as if a warning as he looked at his brother. Hinting that he didn;t like the young one rudely staring. Kekay quickly got the message and shot his eyes to the fire. Looking up at his brother only fleetingly. "He has never seen anyone out side our tribe." Kezan continued as he looked at Itou again. "You no doubt had a long journey. Come Teryan. Relax." Kezan said as he sat with his knees bent, arms draped over them as he looked over to Itou. The young women timidly backed away and left to help prepare food for their guests. "What has become of your lands, if it's not too much to pry." Kezan said casually
  14. Ekorst nodded to Mobu, and returned the bow. There was no overlap in hierarchies here; simply the knowledge, for each, that their alpha would see how they acted and judge it. Such was courtesy. "Certainly." Huts meant a better shelter than tents - if one that they'd have to check for traps, but he was quite capable of doing that. Hikaran followed after them at a distance of a step or two.

    Itou's eyes drifted to the fire, and from there, to the young women offering her a drink. She nodded slightly, acknowledgment. "Thank you." Itou took a sip of the water, for she was thirsty from the travel - and, having partaken of it, her pack could do the same.

    She didn't miss the anxiety in the Kiiwan wolves, but she made no comment on it. Not yet. When the time came to judge the combat prowess of these lycans... well, combat was more than the field of battle, but it would take subtlety to say such things to Kezan. Perhaps more subtlety than she possessed.

    For Kekay's rudeness, Itou smiled faintly. "He is young." The young did many things that would be rude - and though Kekay looked as old as Hikaran, old enough to be a warrior in Teryan... not all lycans took their rites at the same time, and this was Kiiwan. It was easy enough for Itou to consider Kekay young still, and to assume he hadn't had the training that would make him a man instead of a boy. Children could stare, sometimes.

    The question about her lands chased Itou's smile away, but she answered honestly. "A storm brought a great landslide to our village. Our packmates were taken by the swamp."

    Mighty Teryan might be (have been? The past tense sat poorly in her thoughts), but Nature was mightier still. There was, Itou sought to convince herself, no shame in that.
  15. Kezan gave an emotionless glance at his brother. His rights of passage was to be this year. But it seemed his rights of passage would have to be done the Teryan way. He looked back up at Itou as she explained what had happened. It disgusted him, not that her pack could not endure. But something like mother nature could take something so powerful. It should have been a lesson but he didn't take it that way. "Doesn't seem right that mother nature has been so unforgiving to you." He said calmly, with no ill meaning in his voice.

    Failure was not a pleasant subject to talk about, and in Kezan's mind he felt that Itou might feel she failed her pack. He didn't continue to talk on the subject. Instead he watched the Kiiwan move about and prepare the food and ale of the night. A large elk was prepared for the new guests. The perfectly aged ale was also brought out and soon as the sun started to set the festivities began.

    Kezan started it by taking the animal's stewed heart. It was the one organ reserved only for the alpha and his or her choice to share it with. Or to devour it by themselves. But tonight Kezan showed his desire to join Teryan and Kiiwan as one. He took the heart and cut it in half, placing it in a bowl with stew. Offering one bowl to Itou. "Tonight, Teryan and Kiiwan come together." He said as he bit into his meal.
  16. If Kekay was to be a man of Kiiwan, the matter of his rite was for Kiiwan's alpha to decide - but what sort of example would it set, if he set his pack to train with Teryan and then excused his own brother from their tests? Kiiwan was not the pack it once was, but what pack it would be was a thing yet to be decided.

    Itou's voice was calm, though it was a calm fought for over many sleepless nights. "By strength she rules." Might makes right, in the world of the lycan ruled by challenge and the hunt. Mother nature is merely the strongest of all, that one who no wolf can truly defeat. By strength she rules; by kindness we prosper. An aphorism old as the seasons, and one that different packs find different aspects to. Some believe in the second half; others recite the first and forget the second. Some say it differently. By strength we rule; from weakness we prosper. Any saying that old has as many forms as there are lycans who say it.

    Still, the fact she had fought to an acceptance of her pack's defeat at the hands of nature red in tooth and claw did not mean Itou found the thought pleasing. She was glad enough to let that conversation lapse, watching Kiiwan move with a casual gaze that nevertheless took in details and assessed weaknesses. If she were leading a strike force... it was an idle exercise, one become nearly instinct over her years of life as Teryan.

    The sun set, and the feast began. Itou accepted the bowl from Kezan with a nod of thanks. "Tonight, we are together." Two packs, though hers was a mere scattering of wolves through his. Kiiwan could swallow Teryan whole, though the bite would not go down easily... unless Teryan were willing. Oh, but that was a question for tomorrow. Tonight, they came together... "As friends." Itou began to eat.
  17. Itou spoke the first half of the wolves chant, and it made Kezan think of the second half he instated. 'From weakness, we prosper.' He had changed it since the Kiiwan once believed the second chant to be 'in kindness we prosper'. But it was that kindness that Kezan saw weakness. He nodded to Itou as she recited the words.

    "... Friends." Kezan replied as he ate. Upon the two alphas starting to eat, the rest of the pack followed suit. Pieces of the cook meat were being given to all. The same sisters came to the other members of Teryan, offering amble portions of food and drink. As the food was passed around the tension within Kiiwan started to slip away. More minds concerned with food than with their tyrant new alpha.

    The huts provided held no nasty surprises for the Teryan. No traps, decaying animals nor slain tribe members, and were surprisingly clean. Mobu showed them three close together that Teryan could sleep in. The huts were not in a squalled part of the village but a clean part, yet near the entrance. Or exit depending on how Teryan wanted to look at it. The huts would not feel segregated, but would keep the pack close to one another. "These three should hold your pack for now." He said turning to Ekorst and Hikaran. "This should do for now. I would think that Kezan will plan for less cramped living conditions but..." His words trailed off as he spoke, looking back towards the bon fire where the two alphas sat. "I cannot begin to think what path Kezan's mind lay."
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