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Registered: 07-2010
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Major Arcana of the Wolf


The sky spread out before her, dotted with clouds and painted red and pink against the setting sun. Her fir bristled, paws flexed against the dirt below her feet. The howls of her now-brethren filled her ears.

Her father’s rumble filled her ears, he stood upright and powerful next to her tiny form. Perhaps he did not fully remember yet, but the thrill of being reunited, to be with him again, pulsed through Isania Jalitana’s veins.

And then they raced, they hunted. Her new form became her true form, and she was running with the pack. Prey fell at her feet, died under her snarling jaws. Her fur spattered with blood and the high of the kill brought her to a new euphoria. They were all around her, sharing this feeling. She and the pack were one, she and her father were one. All from before was forgotten, and all was right in the world. She stood upright with the rest of her pack, drawing her bowstring with claws and hunting under the facepaint of blood. A true child of the Wolf. She raised her head to the sky, to see the sunset again.

But the sky was black.

Lowering her head, she was no longer with her pack. Her hands and head were bound in wood. ... wooden stocks. She roars and thrashes before her eyes settle on her surroundings. The village of Bodkin stretched around he, stilling her tongue and swelling her throat. Memory came flooding back and the words echoed through her mind, pounding in her skull;

“This is what you betrayed.”

Her eyes roll up, peering at the figure who stands over her with the executioners axe.

~Kill the monster.~

He looks down at her, his grip slack, hazel eyes and dishevelled hair, and untrimmed beard. There are tears on his cheeks. She tries to beg for him, no words form. He hardens his expression, leaning away so she cannot see his face past his hood.

~Kill the beast.~

She cannot cry out, her muzzle is bound and head pushed down by another. She is held over the chopping block. She can only see the shadow of the Constable as he raises the axe high.

~Behead the creature.~

She feels nothing when the axe drops.


The forest Isania snapped awake in was still unfamiliar. She rolled off her side and thrashed upright on shaky legs. She took several seconds to feel out what form she was in. Her eyes opened to reveal her dark fur.

Four legs. She had four legs this time.

Her chest heaved with breath, and she began to pant. It was the closest thing she could have to a cold sweat. The dream stuck well in her mind, not dispelled by the muted light of day. Her heart still pounded and ached from the images. It was just a dream, she reminded herself. Longtooth had said she would dream with her wolf, become more accustomed to it. She only prayed this dream was no vision of her end.

She tried to shake it from her mind, from her fur. It was then when she realized she was alone, she could smell none of the pack around her. Her ears flicked. Had she gone running in her sleep, or had the wolf taken a stroll with her? She took a step, hesitating when she felt something paper below her. Her hackles raised, fear sinking in.

“Judgement comes.”

Image

---
Characters:
Isania Jalitana- The Huntress (and Mistress Egofantastic.)
Calisto - Gryphonrider
Nyx Talonbite- Amazon Crystal Champion of Death By Snu Snu
9/9/2010, 1:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to Totems   Send PM to Totems Blog
 
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Re: Major Arcana of the Wolf


Laces and ties, a bodice that framed her form nicely, and a green flowing skirt were not Isania’s normal attire. She stood, self conscious and fidgeting before turning to face the hazel-eyed man in the room.

“What do you think?”

He didn’t reply at first, crossing the room to reach and slide his fingers deftly up her arms. He felt out the fabric, nimble touches bringing goosebumps to her shoulders.

“I think it looks amazing.” He started, planting a kiss on her neck. He moved up towards her ear, murmuring against the skin. “And, that it will look much better on the floor.”
She grinned, touching his lips to silence him, halting him in his attempt to unlace the blouse.
“Tonight. I’ll promise you’ll see me in this again tonight.”


Far from the world of her dreams, Isania thrashed in her sleep, legs kicking.

It’s much later, the hazel-eyed man sits on a log. His expression is tormented. She cannot comfort him with her fur and four legs. She can barely even speak to him. Each moment they converse, she grows more used to the beastspeak, and his common seems to make less and less sense.

How could she tell him? How could she convey that she was losing herself?

She searches for something to comfort him, to ease the pain. From her things she gingerly carries a green dress to his lap. It smells like her, and he seems to relax as he leans his cheek against the fabric.

“You’ll see me in it again.” She promised, the words primitive and simple in beastspeak, but the meaning conveyed well enough.


Knelt over his daughter’s sleeping body, Shaylisser uses a clawed hand to stroke her mane gently. Perhaps she was hunting again in her dreams.

Isania had been keeping her distance from the pack as a whole, and them her. While she had been brought by Longtooth, and given the name She of Blood Fur, the smell of manflesh on her skin was still strong. Shaylisser’s hand brushed over the red splattering of color that gave her her name. He’d begun to remember her smell, and her voice. It came slow, but the truth had stuck him like an arrow.

Letting his eyes wander, he looked at her things, dragged around in her pack. She was so attached to them, and he could only barely understand why. Curiously, he reached for the leather envelope that held her most precious item. His nimble claws pulled on the tie, thick paper tumbling out and scattering.

His ears flicked. These were his cards.


Once again the dream shifts, the words echo over and over.

The hazel eyed man stands over an open grave, and she lays there, as promised, in the green dress. His expression is unreadable to most, but those who know him well enough can see the churning mixture of anger and pain.

“You’ll see me in it again.”

She’d given her own death sentence.

“You’ll see me, even if it is the last time.”


With a snarl and a grunt, Isania lifted her head again. Day had broken some time ago, and many of the pack had moved into the deeps. She peered over at her father, knelt down before the scatter of color. He was holding a card in his hand, the image on the front glinted in the filtered sunlight.

Image

Last edited by Totems, 9/14/2010, 1:36 pm


---
Characters:
Isania Jalitana- The Huntress (and Mistress Egofantastic.)
Calisto - Gryphonrider
Nyx Talonbite- Amazon Crystal Champion of Death By Snu Snu
9/13/2010, 1:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to Totems   Send PM to Totems Blog
 
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Re: Major Arcana of the Wolf


To say it was raining in Moonveil was an understatement.

It was a downpour, one the mighty canopies could not hold at bay. Their branches bowed and bent to the rain that threatened to soak them through. The earth shifted and became a slick mud. Paths were flooded, roots the only thing holding them together. At the Heartbreaker, the lights shone bright and the fire outside was extinguished. No currently dared to brave the weather outside, seeking the safety of the den of pleasure and drink.

The edges of the woods, the fringe where wolf-land and manfool land collided were often bare. Isania had come to stalk them since her transformation, walking the space between her two worlds.

Today however, she had no luck finding anyone she knew. She was covered in mud from paws to ears, walking upright for a change. She cut an imposing figure, a werewolf of nearly eight feet in height with bright red facepaint, elongated arms and a jaw capable of taking a man’s head in one unlucky bite.

She flicked her ears back, there was a squish of mud, a belly-deep snort, and heavy paw-falls. She was being followed, and whoever it was didn’t care much to conceal themselves. She stopped mid stride, hackles rising. If it was one of the larger of the pack, or even Longtooth, no doubt she would be under question. A thousand reasons for her recent departures from pack territory flooded her mind. She sniffed deep, nose down. She’d been careful to avoid physical contact with the race of men and elves, but she still smelled of those she had been recently near.

If Longtooth picked up on one of them, he’d know. Fear began to crawl like icy fingers up her back, radiating from the cold that had sat in the pit of her stomach since she’d taken drink from Erawyn’s river and felt his frozen touch. The approaching creature was large, and slowing. Her ears flicked back. She could run, she could flee and claim she had worried she was being approached by more. She could-

“Daughter.” Spoke the creature, in a soft, concerned tone.

Isania turned slowly, coming face to face with a werewolf twice her mass. His scars were telling of the time he spent wild, contrasted by the softness of his green eyes. Shaylisser reached to place a hand on her shoulder, drawing her back from the treeline and with him into the woods. She exhaled.

“I was-”

“Seeking the Menfolk again.” He growled. “You are putting yourself in grave danger, Isania.”

Isania said nothing, the feat returning. If her father knew, did the others? She knew she was not as subtle as careful as she could have been, her emotions had been getting the better of her. Her father’s large paw guided her into the trees, near the sopping and dripping ruins of some ancient stone building.

“Sit.” He commanded, motioning to a space under the overhang. It was dry. Isania did as told, settling against the stone corner. Shaylisser had a great deal more trouble than her fitting beneath the structure, moving to crouch low. His tail swept out behind him, eyes fixed on his daughter.

“Father, I’m not trying to disobey the pack.” Isania began, realizing just how childish and silly she sounded. A grown woman, defending herself against accusations her father hadn’t even vocalized. He seemed to feel the same way, looking at her with a deep sigh.

For several long moments, silence hung in the air. Shaylisser breathed deep, voice rumbling with worry when he spoke.

“The others feel you will come to your senses with time, because the manfools will reject you and you will see where you belong. But I do not think they know how often you speak to them on friendly terms.” He looked out to the pouring rain. “When is this going to end, Isa? When are you going to realize you need to come home? I’m worried for you, there are menfools who will kill you without a second thought, and if you cannot keep your word to the pack you could be in danger here.”

Isania didn’t look directly at him. She was surprised by his concern, and the rate he seemed to be recalling her, but he barely recalled their home. He could not even recall her mother’s name.

“I came here for you, not them.” She said quietly. Shaylisser slumped slightly.

“You made a pact, you joined the pack.” He growled sternly, more frustrated with the situation than her.

“Things aren’t always what they seem, father. Are you not glad for the insight into your past? Into who I am? Or would you rather have remained ignorant?” Isania spoke her words clearly, looking up at the other werewolf. He tensed visibly.

“That question is not fair, selde.

The last word silenced the conversation, having come unexpected from Shaylisser’s maw. He stopped still, the word rattling around in his head. A word used to call on his daughter from the time she was only up to his knee, until she stood eye to eye with him.

It was elvish, an endearing elvish form of daughter. He touched his forehead with a claw, sighing.

“Why, selde, do you keep wandering back to the menfolk lands?” He avoided use of the word ‘manfools’ for the question. It rather suddenly didn’t seem right to address his daughter with it.

“I have much to loose there.” She spoke quietly. “Friends, allies.”

“You smelled of a man for several days after your arrival. A smell not left by a friend, Isania.” Shaylisser’s tone softened, understanding began to sink in. “You have a lover outside of the pack?”

“I have someone who was. So long as I am part of the Moonveil, I cannot ask him to be tied down by a woman who is more wolf than his.”

Shaylisser leaned back into the stone wall, eyes shut. The swirl of emotions boiling up from his stomach were almost alien. Isania had men back at home, he realized, even if the details eluded him. He had long faced that his little girl had grown up, so fast.

Fast. It seemed odd of him to suddenly see her that way. He reached up to his ears, and for the first time since his transformation, the lack of elvish points felt alien to him. It mixed and churned with the protective senses that began to grow. Somewhere in the time between being an elf and being a wolf, he had forgotten the core importance of being a father. It was how he was raised, he reasoned. He had to protect his daughter until she was courted by another worthy of the task.

Suddenly shaking his head, Shaylisser couldn’t dismiss the rush of memory in his head. Everything made perfect sense to him, even as he could not identify the origins.

“You were... protected by him, then? While I was away?” He did not look at her, though Isania could hear the tension in his tone. There was a caution, a fear she’d not heard since long before they’d left their sleepy home for this mangled adventure. He wanted reassurance. He wanted to know he had not failed as a parent.

“Yes.” Isa spoke, nodding to affirm. “I was.”

Shaylisser exhaled, feeling less weight on his shoulders. He reached to one side, digging back the dirt against the stone to reveal a belt with a card-pouch still on it. Offering it to Isania, he spoke. A quick change of subject was what he needed.

“I remember these, so I have been hiding them for you.”

“Do you remember how to read them?” Isa took the belt, undoing the flap over the cards.

“Vaguely. I was wondering... if you could teach me again?” He sat up and leaned forward, head almost bashing on the stone overhang. Isania looked taken aback by his request, nodding eagerly.
“I... yes. Of course. I’m sure you’ll remember in time, though.” The eagerness in her tone was unmaskable, nimble fingers slipping to pull out a card and peer at it.

The image on the card instantly sobered her, the stern man who sat in the throne had come to reflect another in her life. The message of the man was like a slap to the face, a sudden strike of realization she’d been denying herself to protect her heart.

“Isa, what’s wrong?” Her father asked, able to see the sorrow crossing her features. His voice sounded far away, the entire world dark but the card.

Shaylisser watched on with worry as his daughter began to sob.

Image

---
Characters:
Isania Jalitana- The Huntress (and Mistress Egofantastic.)
Calisto - Gryphonrider
Nyx Talonbite- Amazon Crystal Champion of Death By Snu Snu
9/14/2010, 1:34 pm Link to this post Send Email to Totems   Send PM to Totems Blog
 


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