Welcome to Canis Major

a wolf and animal rpg (role-playing game)

Canis is a writing community for play-by-post (forum-based), freeform roleplay set in a fictional dream world in the intrusion fantasy genre. Most characters on Canis are wolves; many play elements are focused around wolves and canids, but the world makes room for a large variety of other animal characters such as dogs, horses, cats, bears, deer, and many, many more.

Our community is focused on flexibility, creativity, and collaboration. That boils down to a few important features:

  • There is no set activity requirement to write, though the game also rewards high activity
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  • Writing is collaborative, and so is our supportive community
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It's hard to dance with a devil on your back

Evening Partly Cloudy
It was the day after the wedding, and Valeska had, for once, allowed herself to sleep in a little. Waking up to the warmth and soft breaths of her new wife beside her, she relished a few extra hours of snuggling into her silken nape, dozing contentedly for some time before at last the high sun was too much to shut out.

She had arranged with @Olive and @Harper to speak with @Ragnar and possibly @Sindri today, depending on who was about, in an attempt at resolving or even in some small way reaching a greater understanding of the conflict that raged between the latter and @Vendrussel. It was a tall task, and not one she anticipated with any joy - but if there was any chance at peace, they had to make the effort.

With a reluctant sigh, she rose from the den and padded quietly out into the open. A mass of clouds had gathered overhead to dim the overwhelming sunshine that would otherwise have flooded Fate's Respite, and while it was often a beautiful sight, sometimes the reflection off the lake was too painful to bear. She appreciated the cool breeze that came down from the mountains, lifting the heat of the day into a more tolerable temperature.

Some hours had passed as she idly cleaned up around some of the glade, picking up bits of leftover meat and bones and placing them into tidy little corners for later disposal. Most of her guests had awoken by now - they had all stayed up late into the night, dancing and laughing and singing as they celebrated for various reasons, if only to escape the world's woes for a little while - and she swallowed back a nervous lump in her throat as she lifted her head in a soft howl to summon the four wolves with whom she needed to speak.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

Time went by in a crawl, but eventually a series of silhouettes appeared on the horizon, outlined in a fiery orange as the sun sank lower beyond the mountains that towered overhead.

It was time to talk politics.

She hated politics.

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[Image: m7jPOzS.png]
Posting for Ragnar & Sindri.

The day after the celebration had come. Ragnar and Sindri had rested well with full bellies. When the time came, Ragnar was ready to accommodate Olive and Valeska with their meeting. He figured it would be a manner of politics and hoped to solidify an alliance with the already obvious bond they shared. However, he did not expect the war on Dragonford and to be told to forgive and forget to be the main topic.

Sindri did not want to partake. She didn't care for politics, didn't care for trying to smooth things over or make others feel comfortable if it meant tossing aside her own beliefs. She came because, well, she was in a strange land and didn't want to be just stuck alone with @Krakarak.

The sky was clouded. The land was beautiful, the large lake feeding this beauty. But it was warm. The lands still tread at the southern end of the tundra but it was also close to the great plains to the east and without the cold ocean breeze. Sindri was most uncomfortable this summer day despite her slight form. Ragnar roughly prodded into her for pushy comfort.

“Hello, High Priestess.” The words cooed from the lips of the golden blonde wolf and Sindri dipped her head in a silent greeting to the silvered woman. Sunflower eyes moved over the rounding in her belly and Sindri's gut twisted. Was it that long ago that Sindri had been pregnant with Ragnar's pups and stood close to the side of her own wife?

The swift killer sat down with Ragnar as he did so and awaited the other arrivals.
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The festivities of the wedding died down, the effects of it slept off by all who were in attendance. Olive found that the after-effects of the party were even more pleasurable than the event itself; she felt bright, vibrant and well-socialized. There were even points when she felt proud of herself for creating a friendship with Valeska and Elysium so quickly and so auspiciously timed — and now she found herself invited to parties, welcome to preside over births, and with an open seat at the table of northern diplomacy.

Still, Olive felt @Tiberius might be curious about where his beloved had absconded off to, and didn’t want him to feel the need to come after her (she did have a wayward history of finding trouble, after all). She prepared herself for her departure, feeling her energy and wherewithal restored enough to make the trip back to the Elsewhen — she was collecting a small pile of her belongings to take with her (the prize of which was the amethyst she had acquired from the scavenger hunt) when Valeska’s call brushed past her ears, and reminded her of one last duty she must attend to before finding Archon and heading back home.

As she approached, Olive was stimulated to think about how funny it was that such seriousness and gravity could lay just beneath the surface of sparkling gaiety. Here she was, about to confer about the happenstance and retribution of a dead child, when just days ago she had watched Ragnar snooze through an entire party, and Valeska was ceremoniously wed her golden ghost. However, Olive felt incredibly compelled to solves the issues of the North, to help create a world that was peaceful, and a safe conduit for children to grow; the children of Duskguard, Elysium, Northfall and Dragonford alike.

It was a compulsion that the woman felt deep within her womb-space.

Approaching the group, Olive nodded to each attendant in greeting, taking her place at the roundtable.
“Pardon me for cutting short Valeska’s gracious welcome,” she began, eager to get on with the proceedings. Once this matter was addressed, Olive knew she would feel much better about settling her pack in the Tundra. She looked towards Ragnar, hoping he did not feel as though he was there just to be chastised. Rather, Olive's understanding was that they sought clarity, and a path forward. “Each of us have heard Vendrussel lamenting the discord betwixt Dragonford and Northfall,” the pale druid glanced around at the others, the knit between her eyebrows silently asking them to corroborate her assertion.

The woman shuffled in her place, tail held low, ears and eyes emanating solemn intention.
“I don’t want to speak for all, but,” Olive breathed, “I would love to know where you stand firm on the matter, and where we might be able to navigate a peace on the seaboard.” and her ivy-green gaze studied the golden features upon Ragnar, then swept across to the others. She didn't know if a peace was possible, given Ragnar's viking-like ways, but it was an avenue worth exploring.

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Valeska’s wedding had come and gone; the wolves of Elysium and their beloved guests had shared a lovely series of meals, and a fun game hunting game that involved herbs. Harper had chosen not to partake in that particular hunt; she’d just been titled a Divine Thornweaver for her knowledge, after all, and felt that might be a little unfair.

So while everyone ate, the five wolves of the roundtable had come together to strengthen their bonds and mostly to discuss the prevention of a war. A tall order, one that might not be able to be done, but the answer was always going to be no if no one asked the questions.

Ragnar and Sindri of Northfall were already there when Harper came, settling aside her sister; nodding a greeting to the golden duo, whom she had traveled back to Elysium with after healing Kuhn.

Olive arrived, speaking to Ragnar and Sindri, causing Harper to tilt her head with a nod; in agreement that she, too, was curious about the viking’s thoughts on the manner; holding her thoughts until after he had spoken.

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The customary pleasantries were exchanged first, the High Priestess bowing her head respectfully toward her guests as she expressed thanks for their attendance at her wedding. It had meant a great deal to her that the wolves of Northfall and Olive both would make such a journey for the sake of merrymaking, and she could only hope that their overfull bellies were adequate compensation for the trip.

With everyone arrived, Valeska took a deep breath, and went on to add her own piece to Olive's gracious start.

“It is with great pride and joy in my heart that I have been able to host you all,” she started, casting a warm smile toward the gathered. “Northfall, especially; it must have been a tiresome journey, but I am so happy - so content - that you were able to come and celebrate with us.”

A short silence punctuated her statement, and she felt it prudent to continue.

“I would express my wish that we might be allies,” she said sincerely, lifting her chin up as she spoke, “In light of all we have shared together so far.”

Olive had extended the first branch toward Elysium in offering Duskguard's alliance; Valeska knew a kindred spirit when she saw one, and acceptance came with no hesitation on her part. The sylph was a gentle soul, filled with radiant light and goodwill toward all those she encountered, and the silver wolf felt honored to be considered a friend of such a creature. Ragnar and his kind also meant well, as rough around the edges as they could be; she hoped they might find common ground in establishing a triad of sorts where they might all three unite the packs in faith and friendship.

However, a great shadow loomed over the proceedings. “Olive speaks the truth,” she said, her face falling. “I do not wish to see wolves die for vengeance, on either side - Vendrussel herself is filled with torment and sorrow. She knows what she has done, and she has paid for it every day. The wolves of Dragonford have expressed great desire for peace - and if it is at all possible, a way forward. Yet I understand it is not so easy, and that is why Olive and I wish to listen.”

How great was the cost of peace? Her insides churned, nauseous at what might come next.

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I thought about breaking these up into smaller posts, but figured might be better to just spit all the shit out to get it moving quicker since this is a "heavy" thread.

[Image: tumblr_n1rylrS2IR1qmgbv3o1_250.gifv]
This will never end 'cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more

And so her rage burned. Olive spoke of peace in the realms. Valeska wanted an alliance. And yet they mocked their loss so. That such a thing was so trivial, to want to find vengeance. Sindri lifted to a stand and the hurt shown in her eyes and she became so everything of the viking woman they might have expected her to be.

Lamenting? Sindri's nose wrinkled. Smelled like a load of shit to her. Feeling bad about murdering a three-legged yearling on their "hunting ground" does not bring my daughter back nor does it give her the justice she deserves- that all those who loved her deserves.” She shakes her head, dull claws pressing into the warm earth.

She looks to each of these women, so keen to hunt for a way to peace yet did not fully know how conflict had started. “She cannot escape judgement now by playing the victim. As though she had to do it. She will twist her words to benefit herself which has made even her own packmates leave in order to join our cause. You say that she has paid for it every day since. I dont mean to sound rude, but how exactly is that? How has Dragonford suffered in this? And how has Dragonford or herself, specifically, shown us desire for peace? We have been given no offerings of peace, no words of forgiveness, no sacrifice or penance. Instead, she seeks to find a way out by manipulating the friendship we have with others instead of facing the war she created. She is a snake.” Sindri lifts her head and snorts, a scoff to Vendrussel's name. She waited for their answers then continued on.

“Put yourself in my prints and suggest to me what would you do, had it been your own daughter's death?” It was not a rhetorical question. She wanted the answers. She wanted them to see where she was coming from. But would they understand, having not their own children yet? Having not witnessed the battered and bloody form of their child, being dragged miles across the ground to be so graciously delivered to their door?

She would await their answers but she would not change her mind. “Peace will be returned to the north when Vendrussel is dead.”
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Olive arrived and Ragnar offered a toothy grin to the woman he had met during a hunt and then later helped to save in a hunting of herself, per say. Harper came next, silent. Then, is quickly turned sour. A deepened frown on his golden mug. Icy eyes shift to Sindri, who held a quick temper and would not have their claims for peace snuff out their will for justice. Dragonford and Northfall's discord had been running long before either side knew their names. Perhaps they just wanted a better understanding of it? Ragnar turned back to Valeska then.

Her happiness flowed. Already, she glowed and Ragnar felt a stirring in his gut he had not expected. For the children he had helped to give her but would not claim as father. What the Queens of Elysium had, he would not intrude upon. The words of an alliance brought a smile to his features, but it is weak, strained, for he does not know if that alliance would come to fruition, if he could not offer then the peace he so desired. To move forward, to make peace with the woman whom killed his daughter without an ounce of punishment given... because she was sorry?

Ragnar is silent as the three look to him, for it is the mother whom speaks up first. Ragnar does not interrupt. She is direct, as ever and does not beat around the bush on this nor try to not hurt the feelings of those she speaks with if it means swallowing down her own. The anger, the hurt in her eyes speaks volumes and Ragnar's golden ears fall flat to his head, which lowered in a defeated disposition.

Ragnar touches tenderly the slim shoulder of his friend though this does little to ease her. Turning back to the court, he lifts his head once more and finally speaks.

Going to cheat and copy & paste some speech from this thread. Hope that's okay!

“If you would allow, I'd like to speak on our behalf from the beginning...” Pausing, he looks back to Sindri whom nods to this and so he gives their tale.

“When we first arrived to our mountain chain our closest neighboring pack was in Cloudrest across from the Moors. We were both newly grouped, just our pups really. It was quiet, peaceful, in the nortg. We stood together and Riannon was willing to prove herself to us as a good ally...Then the lands became more populated. I was informed beforehand that a woman wished to claim the islands out from our shores for herself. None of us were particularly happy of it, being so close to one another but we did not have the ability to do anything of it either. We wanted not to risk our children's safety by attempting to run them off. We agreed to make peace with the establishing pack so long as they stick to their islands and leave us be. Our children were informed to visit the islands no longer despite resistance. But Dragonford did not stick to this claim. They sought the Brim, the mainland to the south of us, as well. One of my young was killed for this tresspass. She was crippled you see, so she could not have made it to their islands. Ynness body was dragged all that way to our doorstep, to leave a much more undistinguishable wolf from the daughter we remembered. Sindri and another our daughters, Elentari, attacked on sight. Vendrussel threw Elentari from out seaside cliffs and Sindri ensured thr dragon leader fell there after. But she did not die. Asgeir, too, went missing just days later....” And yet so Vendrussel had said to many, Northfall was a selfish and greedy lot.

His icy pale eyes drift to Olive then, as the questionable relationship of their packs had been mentioned before. “We had hopes that those in Cloudrest would help us to run them off and free ourselves from them. But they did not and so our war began.”

Ragnar shifts, lifting up then into a stand at Sindri's side. His gaze it met to them all and he speaks now less solemnly, but determined and just.

No one will hurt one of my own and not suffer dearly for their mistake.” His words were sharp, to insnare and inspire, to grasp their attention and hold it there but not to be demanding of them, not to hold them below him.“That includes anyone who runs with me, who I call blood, pack or ally.” Which now included them, if they would still have him.

They were a peaceful lot, kind and welcoming and wanted such within their realm. Ragnar wanted the same, wanted their lands to be prosperous and fruitful. Sometimes a fight could not be avoided, sometimes fighting need happen to keep peace. It was a righteous anger. A necessary one. Not all would wish to fight, but he was ready and willing.

“Vendrussel is no different then any other enemy. She is wolf, but she is not above any other being because of this. She is still an animal, she is mortal. No different then the badger, snake or fox which raid our caches. No different then the cougar or bear, who may kill our young because they are seen as future competition or the walrus which steal our friends.”

“If this were a land of rebirth, let her make that sacrifice of herself. Save her people. Save the lives of many others and right this imbalance, and fear not for she may live again.”
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Olive listened to the tenuous, fragile story that both Sindri and Ragnar wove, detailing the sorrow and the circumstances of their daughter's death. It was an incredible story of a misunderstanding gone too far, and too many volatile emotions present to ensure that it would eventually come to an end. The pale priestess held a firm line between her lips, emoting only in the ways she knew she viscerally could not avoid; a glance towards the ever-grieving mother, a disconcerted brow towards the white-hot father, and a look around at Valeska and Harper to see how this information was landing with them. It wasn’t vastly different from what Vendrussel had claimed, although with far more detail — and the detail that was included didn’t paint the collared sea-woman in a positive light.
I did seem interesting, how Vendrussel seemed to put forth the idea that worrying about the potential for war was an equitable price for taking a life. Olive far from believed that the best way to pay retribution was to do commit the same crime, but she didn’t believe that those who were guilty should escape punishment in the name of peace. To her, that wasn’t peace — that was a forced suspension of something that would come back, only having grown larger from steeping for so long. Yet still, the most important thing that this collective could part having accomplished would be an understanding of the factors that caused such an event to happen, in order to prevent it from happening again.
Yet there were large personalities at play, here — egos that had been slighted, families that had been wrenched apart, and very-real emotions that needed to be dealt with. There were two wars at play, here: a war of the heart, and a war of political gain. Ragnar took over the diatribe and Olive drank in his every word, attempting to analyze her own emotions about the events at the same time that she digested Northfall’s. At his mention of Evenrise’s inaction, Olive willed herself to not to become rosy-cheeked with embarrassment; Riannon had willfully barred her palantír from leadership, and now Olive felt uncomfortable with how little she had known of their alliance, and the request that had gone unanswered.
She waited for Ragnar to be finished, and allowed several beats of silence to pass before offering the only context she could.
“I heard nothing of these occurrences until Vendrussel told me herself, only several weeks ago…” They were not here to talk about a pack and alliance that was now irrelevant, but it was important for Olive to distinguish a separation between she and Cloudrest. “The lack of representation in the pack’s leadership is one of many reasons I no longer run with Evenrise.” That was all she had to say — the entire situation was fraught with ‘could of-should of-would of’s’ and she could not take responsibility for the situation he now found himself in. Even if the wolves of Cloudrest had been roused to action, would it have prevented the progress of is war, or only painted Northfall as the aggressors where they were now very convincing victims?
The waif turned again to address the seething Sindri, answering a question that deserved to be seen and felt by the others. Though Olive had no children yet, the small lives that had taken hold in her belly gave her a small insight into how it might feel. If the potential of her children simply disappeared one day, it would ruin her.
“If it were my daughter who perished at the teeth of the other, I would feel similarly as you.” The only difference is that, if she herself was ruined, Olive would not call for the heads of others. “Which is why it is imperative to heed the more detached minds of others, and find a solution that does not continue the cycle of blood, but puts a firm ends it.”
In Olive’s mind, the mourning parents would not be capable to thinking anything other than dulling the pain they felt — the easiest (but most ineffective) way was to transfer it onto others, as they wanted to do now. It was a normal response to grief, especially from those with power.
“That is what we all want, for our children to be safe?” she asked, because if that was so, then war was not a viable answer to this problem. As a great Elder once told her ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.' “I do not believe Dragonford will so easily allow you to take the life of their Empress. You may lose others in the process.” 

Perhaps Ragnar and Sindri already knew this. Perhaps they were okay with this. Perhaps they understood this to be the price of revenge for their daughters life. They were Viking, after all.
Olive closed her eyes for a second, as it this was a duality of life that was difficult to temper. 
“I do agree with your perspective, about needing to correct the power imbalance that is inherent in such actions. You need retribution, though dear lives are not so easily repaid.” Opening eyes once more, her ivy-speckled gaze landed on Ragnar with the sympathy she truly felt for the grieving father. He had come to save her, as he had insinuated in more or less words, so why could she not back him entirely in this? In her heart, she knew it was because Northfall and Dragonford’s stories wove opposite tales at the most critical moments.

“Still, Vendrussel's alibi is that her hand was forced, that her lands were being infringed upon, and that she was attacked first... That the manslaughter was done in self-defense. Was the Brim unclaimed, as you say — or is it hers, as she says? What is the truth of these assertions? ”

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She took a steadying breath, grateful more than ever that Olive had chosen to participate in this venture. Sindri was quickly becoming heated, while Ragnar held firm in recounting his tale, but the soft, insistent tones of the pale wolf's voice threaded between them in a way that soothed Valeska's nerves - if not the Viking woman's.

By all accounts, Vendrussel had - overreacted. Yet the important question that hung in the air after Olive's short speech had tensions strung taught like a rubber band threatening to break, and before the wronged wolves of Northfall could react in haste, Valeska slipped in a few words.

“It is not that we are trying to save Dragonford, or to say that they are innocent; it is that you have already lost one dear to you, and I do not wish to see you lose any more, she said plaintively, the desperation in her words coloring her expression. How could they fly so certainly into a future clouded with doubt, stained by blood? Dragonford may be stronger than even Northfall surmise, and if they chose to bring the fight to Leviathan's Sepulcher, the sea-wolves would surely have the advantage. “What if your war goes wrong? What if it is Elentari this time that dies? You do not know the fates, and though you are strong and brave in heart, rarely is anything fair. I have lost two of my dear siblings in my life, because nothing is fair.”

She shook her head, fearing her words fell against hardened hearts. The wolves of Northfall were rigid in their ways, and though Valeska admired them deeply for their convictions and their unwavering ability to stand by them, in this case, it was a detriment. Compromise was the foundation - the only hope - of peace in this world, or any other, and blood for blood would only continue the vicious cycle.

“I do not speak to spit in the face of your grief. I know grief - it is often like a poison. It is slow, and heavy, and flows deep, and it takes all of your strength to pull it out from your soul to feel whole once more,” Valeska continued softly. She looked at Sindri with sorrowful eyes, still feeling the bite of her venom in her previous words. “What if Dragonford offered one of their own to your ranks, in trust? In hope for a way forward? Yes, she was your daughter, and the act would not replace her - but any wolf of Dragonford would also be someone else's son or daughter. A life for a life; it need not be tainted with blood.”

The little wolf felt her ears rotate back against her head unwillingly, looking now toward Ragnar with the last shreds of hope in her eyes.

“If you still demand a fight - then challenge Vendrussel herself. Surely there is no need to bring innocent lives on both sides to death for her sin - it was hers alone. I just... I do not want to see any more suffer. Revenge may initially be sweet - but it is the aftertaste that is so bitter.”

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The Divine was silent for what felt like eons as the wolves of the round table all spoke their peace. Sindri was growing reasonably heated by each passing second, as the mother of the deceased. Harper understood her anger; they all understood her anger.

Loss by death was not an uncommon thing; though flat-out murder on the other hand was..— well, it was as if Vendrussel had wanted war. There had been a reason that Vendrussel hadn’t volunteered this information to Harper. How did she think it would paint her, when Harper found out the truth?

Quite frankly, Harper felt lied to, and she loathed liars. So Vendrussel felt bad, and apologized to literally everyone under the sun, excluding Northfall. A slap in the face, wasn’t it? Cowardly. Did Vendrussel truly feel bad, or did she only feel bad because she realized that she was creating war?

“My mother has always said that success is the best revenge,” and it was true, because Harper was a testament of that. Both Sindri and Ragnar wanted to see some sort of suffering for the loss of their daughter, even if she had the potential to be alive, like Mystery was; something that Ragnar seemed to know of, since he spoke of rebirth.

“It may be the land of rebirth, but that does not mean that everyone comes back.” A quivering voice, this time, Harper lowered her ears and licked over her lips, pressing forward and doing her best not to think of her husband.

“We all come from different cultures; perhaps in yours, bloodshed is the way, but tell me, friends, in your experience, what has it solved? ” War and bloodshed did not solve anything; Harper knew this from experience, but perhaps they did not.

Valeska’s suggestion posed an interesting one; would the Dragonford wolves be prisoners, or captives? Would this truly be something Northfall could do, to live with Dragonford as one of their own?

“You wish for Vendrussel to pay for her crimes against your family, and we get that; all of us has lost someone, but bloodshed, death, and war does not have to be the only way of moving forward. And Valeska rising a good point; why must innocents be involved? If Vendrussel is as remorseful and sorry as she claims, then she should have no qualms with offering herself as the member of Dragonford to go to Northfall.”

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Decided to have Sindri exit so its easier on me next round. She can still hear snd if I need her to ill have her pause and turn around.

Sindri's blood boiled and her gaze hardened and it was as though Valeska exactly knew that Sindri was going to exploded that she interjected, quickly adding there after to Olive's last questions. But the deed was done. Olive's subtle little quip of 'well did she tresspass or nah??' wouldn't be missed by Sindri's ears.

She listens to Valeska, whom spoke quick there after Olive. Sindri does not wish to interupt her, especially given that this was her home and it was just that day after her wedding. It was a manner of respect though as the conversation moved, it was questionable that Sindri could truly consider her as an 'ally' given the fact that their first act as ally was to question Northfall's motives on a manner all three of them were relatively new to. Maybe they should have stayed in the East, after all.

“If she did sacrifice herself and didnt come back, I can only assume she was either happy with her Gods and did not wish to return or was not deserving of a new life.” Sindri's shoulders rolled as her eyes shot to Harper about not everyone coming back. Obviously, Sindri knew. As far as the mother was aware, Ynness was still dead, though Sindri at least knew the girl's bravery earned her a spot within the great halls.

The questions which were all given, it made Sindri feel as though they thought the parents to be children, not understanding what "war" really meant and what would happen because of it. Did they already forget that it was not Northfall which started such bloodshed and only had means to balance fhe scales by returning the favor back to Dragonford? Maybe these things should have been directed to Vendrussel, instead.

Now, she turns back to Olive and dips her head down between her forelegs, though a frigidness takes to her as she says so. “For you then, I pray to the Gods nothing similar to happen to one of your own children, so that I need not be there to tell you not to do anything about it and find a way with making peace with their murderer.” She waits not for reply, does not even look to her again and instead so focuses her attention upon Valeska.

“Ynness was still a child. A child that was missing one leg and missing toes from another. I highly doubt someone which claims to be a seasoned warrior, would be unable to subdue her. She could have retreated, could have come to us to recover her. No one forced Vendrussel to kill her nor is their any pathetic excuse I would accept.”

“We would rather die bravely for our cause then to stand aside and be forced into a submission for peace by the oppression of others. We do not force any to stand at our side with worry in their minds and fear in their hearts if they do not wish to fight. Fear not death, for Valhalla awaits the strong and bold.” She looks to Ragnar with certainty. If everyone else around them betrayed them, she would not leave his side.

Then, after her decree. “How had any of you met Vendrussel, anyway?” She questioned them all yet kept her gaze to the High Priestess, as though if she were to look to the orhers she might break. “Was it on the Brim? And she let you live, why? So you could be of service to her now?” How they could not see beyond this manipulative tactic was beyond Sindri. Sindri was not a sneaky woman and did not lie or tell half truths to get what she wanted but she could see when such was being played. Could they not? “Ynness was killed because she saw Northfall as a threat to her reign- over both the islands and the Brim yet paints us with a picture of greed.” What else more, would it turn to be?

“You have many questions for us yet still not have answered the majority of our own: What has Dragonford suffered in this?

She shakes her head then, deciding that there was no point to this any longer. This was a waste of her time and she wanted to be home, NOW. In mid-turn she looks to Ragnar, words made for him but likely heard by the others. “We shouldn't have come here.” And so then she leaves for home.
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Olive is the first to speak, mentioning that she knew not of this prior to a few weeks ago. It did not surprise Ragnar that the Evenrise Queen had not acknowledged this among her members in the same fashion which Olive did not know they had been allies originally to begin with. But she was no longer with them, details which had been spilt yet Ragnar did not fully know where she had gone to and with whom. All was quiet and still in the mountains across from the Moors...

Her ending questions however stung Ragnar and it was clear upon his (and Sindri's) expression. The coldness of which Olive's words were and if she had not realized it as such it only made it far worse. This had not been an aggressive adult, had not been a wolf hunting on their territory, had not been a threat to Vendrussel by any means. She was a child and therefore it should not have mattered that she tresspass. She should have been scolded and corrected for her actions, not killed.

Sindri was quick to once again mention these things there after Valeska and her sister spoke. Ragnar's gaze, as Sindri's, kept turned from Olive now...

When Sindri finished, stating her willingness to leave, Ragnar figured she had reached her limit on how much she could take of this. They were being questioned by those whom held no right to. Ragnar could not blame her and though he were a patient man, felt his own good nature slipping. Nodding silently to Sindri as she removes herself, he returns back to what seemed now to be the North's court as he stood on trial.

“War has and will cause much bloodshed, much loss, but it has also been a way to freedom and retribution. Those who might not find the error in their ways until corrected. Those who will not stop and will repeat their offenses until someone has the bravery enough to stop them. People, freed from the tyranny of their mad Kings, their evil rule ended and the filth driven out. We both know the the good and bad of war, we have both faced it- lived it. Sindri's mate died for a just cause and I do not think any three of us would have done so differently if we had the chance.”

[Image: are-you-ready-for-a-war.jpg]

“Vendrussel is no changed wolf- she is one in fear of being punished for her crimes and so sought out the better, kinder, nature in others so that she may live. Who is to say she will not harm or kill one of our young again? Are you all willing to put your trust so freely into her? Are you willing to wager your children's lives on it?”

Then, more so in response to Harper's lasting question. “I do not think having a woman known for murdering pups would be the best option for a member replacement, especially seeing as we have a litter on the way.” His words were almost flat, as he looked to Harper then. Was she serious? Have Vendrussel join the ranks? Ragnar doubted she would and Ragnar would not have it even if she did. @Freya and @Aarkon alone would loose their shit. Vendrussel would not be safe. Wait... thats an idea! Ragnar then shakes his head, disagreeing with his own thoughts.

“You all have said that you would feel similar if it was your own. That one who is guilty should not escape punishment, especially where it was forced just to keep the peace. That is not peace. Nor was it at all what someone who called themselves 'allies' to Northfall should do to them. To say that their own desires did not matter, that they needed to let it go. “That we do need retribution, the balance does need returned... but have yet to suggest what we are to do that does not put others at risk. Valeska- you suggest to challenge her alone. Harper- you suggest that she may offer herself as 'replacement'. But as Olive stated, it is unlikely Dragonford will open their doors to us to claim their Sea Queen. They will fight and we will fight back, which is how this all started ti begin with. I do not see a path that does not lead to war. We will come for Vendrussel and her members have a right to her defense as those who with to join us do.”

Ragnar could only ponder if the tables had been turned.... Ragnar would have stood by their side, fought with them and rallied any of his members who were willing to risk their lives for Elysium or Duskguard's cause because that was what allies were supposed to do. Yet here they sat to call themselves friend yet did not care for their plight. Would they be the same as those upon Cloudrest, after all?

“"I'm sorry, but there isn't an accord to have here. Vendrussel will pay gravely for what she has done, in this life, or the next."”
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Olive was profoundly uncomfortable with the water she found herself navigating. Ragnar and Sindri seemed to be incapable of hearing reason, or for understanding the impact of their actions. Sindri simply wanted revenge, and wanted those to hurt that had hurt her — and Ragnar seemed only to not want to stand in her way. All that needed to happen was an accident (if Vendrussel was to be believed), and war was inevitable. Justice, the possibility of innocence, peace… all seemed to go out the window in a moment.
This was not, in any way, what Olive chose to believe. More than anything, it was a reminder the strength of Northfall, and how she dare not cross them, lest the teeth that now face Dragonford. But as concerned as she was becoming of Northfall and their vengeful Queen, Olive began wondering about her own place in all of this. There was a niggling though in the back of her mind that she was vastly overstepping her boundaries here — but her right to this matter was as much hers as it was Sindri’s, for was she not involved to further secure a safe haven for her own children? That was the reason Duskguard even existed, though they had not yet secured land, nor a following — but this was Olive’s first foray into sticking her neck out into something that wasn’t her own personal drama, and it felt as if she were doing it for a vastly great good.
Tensions were flaring, not only with the grieving mother, but Olive could detect emotion in the voice of Valeska and Harper alike. It was an interesting clash of accents, and the woman listened fiercely in order to ascertain all that the constituents were positing, claiming, and rejected. There was so much information flying that at times, it was easier to sit back and allow others to do the talking, as she readily agreed a majority of what both sides were stating. If someone had slain her child, Olive would seek to alleviate her pain in whatever way possible. Still, with any hope, Olive would be far more easily encouraged away from violence than Ragnar and Sindri were being — but truly, Olive wouldn’t know. She hadn’t yet lost anyone dear to her, as Northfall had; as the sisters of Elysium all had.
At the end of the round of ideas, there was no accord, and Olive finally sought to fill the space that was left afterwards.

It seemed that Ragnar, and the void that once was filled by Sindri, could not be appeased — but it appeared that the coastal representatives had come to this meeting with a misunderstanding of their intentions. Her stomach clenching about what this meant for the friendship between she and Northfall, Olive continued.
“We are here to stand in your aid, Ragnar. To bolster you, as friends and allies to Northfall, as well as to mitigate any fallout that might cost the lives of more innocents.” If he did not know that, let is be known know; they did not fly in the face of justice to mere placate those who had wrong done to them — as Olive saw it, they were instead championing justice.

“Making true peace was never on the table; we only seek a less-brutal path. The Gods' path,” she added, looking around the circle, wondering if Valeska and Harper would agree with this. Perhaps Olive once believed it possible, but she no longer did. “Vendrussel is not claiming to be in the right. She is aware of her guilt, and awaits a verdict that will free her pack from the weighty potential of war. ” Thought Olive was becoming increasingly critical of any pack leader who seemed to throw caution to wind, she was beginning to see how Ragnar and Sindri’s conviction and true belief in the evil of Vendrussel meant something more than just words. On some level, they were right —
but that was not for Olive to decide (nor Valeska, nor Harper, nor Ragnar), and was impossible to determine with the congress and evidence present. Still, Olive wondered what might happen if the focus was taken off what Ragnar should do, and what Vendrussel needed to do.

“If Vendrussel truly wishes to atone for her sins and protect her pack,” she said with more strength to her voice, “let her stand on trial, before the public of the north, where all can hear the testimony of those who charge her with murder, as well as the true happenings of that fateful day.” To the seraph this seemed like the most civil way to sentence Vendrussel, get the retribution that Ragnar desired, and to ensure that Dragonford would not fight back. Her dusky-green gaze bounced around to each of her three friends, assessing their immediate reactions. “Allow an unbiased jury to determine her fate, and allow none to argue against the due process. The will of the court must be done,” she explained from experience, having been on the defending end of this process in another lifetime.

“Only then might we see an end to what Vendrussel started. Hopefully the ruling of a trial will be respected enough by the whole of Dragonford that they will cede to the ruling, rather than fight against it. If they do not agree to respect such civility, then I see Ragnar's point: there is a deeply-rooted problem here that needs to be stopped.”

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Well, there was no doubt about it. Everything was falling apart, and the tenuous thread holding Sindri together finally snapped as she turned in a flurry of harsh words and made to leave.

Valeska released the breath she had been holding, only faintly hearing Ragnar's slightly less impassioned words ringing distantly in her ears. Was it hopeless after all? Would there be no attempt at a bloodless resolution, with the wolves of Northfall and Dragonford both flinging themselves at each other in mutually assured demise? There had to be a way. There had to be one more step they could take before they outright destroyed each other.

Olive's voice interjected, her light tone carrying a weight of its own as she attempted to appeal to the stern pair. A trial, she suggested - a fair and just way to hear both sides, plead their cases, and reach a level-headed conclusion that would be accepted by all parties.

Whatever judgment befell the guilty wolf would not be questioned again.

It sparked something within the High Priestess.

“Wait!” she called out, taking a few halting steps toward Sindri and Ragnar's retreating forms. “Her idea is sound - a trial. I deeply regret offending you, for I consider you both friends, and I do not wish to part on bad terms for the... problem... ah, what is the word... error of my speaking.”

Valeska bowed her head, signaling her remorse. She knew not if the pair would stop in their furious retreat, but she continued speaking regardless, and let the pieces fall as they may.

“A trial held by a... a council. A council of the north we will choose, with a representative from each party; perhaps even lone individuals we know and trust to be impartial.”

She stepped closer again, hoping to draw their attention back.

“And then - we will stand by whatever it is.”

Valeska took a breath.

“Whatever the outcome. It would be a system to prevent this from ever happening again, among any of our homes.”

She turned to Olive, nervousness written across her face.

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