Unwelcome welcomes

Description:

Harrow

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    9 Posts    0 marks
Unwelcome welcomes
« on: February 09, 2019, 10:16:04 AM »

It wasn’t enough time. What had they had? Five minutes alone on the landing web, the swift journey on the Winds, and only a moment, a breath, before her herd descended on them. Harrow did not often leave the immediate area surround the village. And almost never without Bannick as her escort. She had been stealthy when leaving with Ripper, but her return with a strange male was much noticed.

They were surrounded quickly. Harrow’s old grandmother at the forefront for all she hobbled. Old and bent now, she used twisted crook of wood for a cane. She remembered Tempest, rheumy eyes bright and suspicious. ”His kind was ill luck,” she reminded Harrow darkly, gnarled finger pointing at Tempest with a bulging knuckle. The fingers of that hand never uncurled completely anymore. Harrow sighed, her hand slipping into Tempest’s.

”Not anymore, grandmother.” The herd muttered, but pressed in anyway. Curious about this buck Harrow brought home. Some touched him, just as they touched Harrow. Brief presses of palms or fingertips to his arms or shoulders. A few to his bare back, but Harrow bristled when they pressed in too close to this unguarded area. ”Space and peace, friends. Give Tempest welcome, but space and peace.” Her eyes spearing one young doe that had all but flattened her palm to Tempest’s shoulder blade.

They retreated. And then stepped back further as Bannick entered their midst. Harrow groaned, nose brushing Tempest’s arm as she turned her face away from the storming warlord prince. She wanted to step between them, to send Bannick and all the rest away, but there was a way to these things. If she stood between the males she could forever jeopardize Tempest’s standing within the herd.

”Good luck,” she told the arm beneath her nose, lips nearly brushing his arm. Releasing him, Harrow stepped aside, allowing Bannick to sweep in and lay outraged hands on her escort. Calloused hand closing in on the place Harrow had warmed with her breath, dragging Tempest from the crowd.


Tempest

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Priest
  • Played By: Jones

    wolf killer
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    12 Posts    567 marks
Re: Unwelcome welcomes
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 12:15:59 PM »
Ah shit. Smile sour for half a second Tempest pushed the hope of privacy farther down his timeline. Almost the instant they landed people started to accumulate around them. He glanced over at Harrow. Taking her cues. Standing still as the crowd gathered. An old woman the first to speak. One hand tight around a curled walking stick. The other lifting a knobby ball of fingers towards his face. Ducking his head politely he reached with his own free hand to touch her wrist. Just the brush of a thumb over old joints. ”Our luck has improved.” He promised.

Glad for the good manners when Harrow identified her as family. He didn’t quite remember a grandmother. A mother, yes, she had been quite cowed when the men came to yank him from Harrow’s closet. But blood or not this old woman was an elder of their people. And as a priest he held a reverence for those closest to the Darkness. It pleased him greatly to have Harrow give a soft wall of defence for him too. Possessive hand claiming his own. He gave her a reassuring squeeze. Then tried his best not to tense as he went through a sort round of inspection.

Probes tested his psyche, some even licked against his barriers. He smirked, unheld hand grasping the sword at his hip as a young child ran a finger over it’s sheath. A rounded chunk of his Sapphire was embedded in its hilt and he had not much acclimated to the strange sensation of having his Jewels handled. The herd touched his body too. Making muscles twitch at unexpected tickles. Someone raced a scar on his arm. Tentative fingers, slim and gentle, pressed at his shoulder. He felt the warmth of her palm but she left off before running it over him. The spot still ached in its core, and he thought it would have felt nice to have the fresh scar rubbed. But it pleased him more to see Harrow hiss them away.

Gentle in her queenly demand. While he forced himself to sit through this important first impression. ”I don’t mind.” He whispered to Harrow. Antlers over her head as he leaned in to take a settling sniff at her hair. So subtle it looked as if he had just leaned in so she wouldn’t miss his words. He didn’t mind, either. It was just curiosity. Warriness. Things that he understood well himself. None here felt threatening.

At least none that started off in the circle. Before long they parted to let the warlord prince through. He perked up. That meant Reed was nearby. It also meant his private moment with Harrow was being pushed back even farther. The look on the other buck’s face did not encourage his grin to hold though. Sobering he stiffened in defense. The hand Harrow held turning into an arm around her waist. Antlers held high as he was measured in challenge and answered by shifting his stance to something more fight ready. He winked at Harrow as she moved away from the line of fire. ”We’ll get back to this in a moment then.”

Perhaps she would give him more leeway if he had a few bruises that needed kissing. As the outside man he wanted to set a good impression. So for the benefit of the crowd he raised the arm she abandoned in a peaceful, palm up gesture. ”Words, Bannick. That’s how the civilized world deals with court disputes.” There was Protocol. None of which Tempest knew a lick about, but he had seen more of the broader world than any of these people.

Enough to know that a queen’s men didn’t usually duke it out in the village square. Of course, warlord princes were a force unto themselves. This one was Tempest’s match. Also the first he had ever met with antlers. Locking his heels he jerked his arm free of the brutes hold. Nostrils wide as he stood his ground. The people would move, or be in the middle of it. But he refused to be dragged around like a petulant child’s toy. ”Get it off your chest or get out of here. I have more important things to do than take you for a walk.”

This was too vital a time in his entry to the herd for this shit. He hadn’t had a second to earn their respect or trust. Now a prince of their people wanted to pick a fight. Perhaps his early misfortune in the dogfight had given Bannick a misrepresentation of Tempest’s skill. They would test one another know, he supposed. It wouldn’t be the first time he locked antlers. But it was the first time something as worthwhile as everything hung in the balance.

Bannick

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    22 Posts    0 marks
Re: Unwelcome welcomes
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 11:31:43 AM »

”So you think us uncivilized, wanderer?” Bannick gestured to the herd around him. They all moved aside for their warlord prince. Even Harrow abandoned the outsider’s side. The young bucks looked eager for the violence, and the women less sure. Children ushered away by their mothers, and young does by their fathers. The queen stood silent, head bent toward her grandmother who stood at her side.

He regretted saving these strangers at all. One fleeing with Harrow, the other ungrateful and petulant in their travels. Uncivilized. At least Bannick had his shirt on. The other buck squared up. His placating gesture nothing more than show as his body readied for violence. Bannick smiled, tusks breaking across his upper lip. Bannick grabbed him. There were places for violence. Rings set in the earth. But Tempest broke free. He wanted it done.

”Very well, boy.” So Bannick hit him. Broad antlers swinging clockwise to his fist. This was Bannick’s herd. His people. He would not be told to leave by some young upstart, made herdless by the wolf-men. Too sure of his place to worry about displeases Harrow should he bloody her new male. This one had done nothing to earn his place among them. Bannick didn’t care what Steadfast’s webs said, or Harrow’s heart. Women’s hearts were often clouded and wrong.

Tempest

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Priest
  • Played By: Jones

    wolf killer
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    12 Posts    567 marks
Re: Unwelcome welcomes
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 02:26:24 PM »
”Don’t broaden the scope of my words. We’re talking about you, Prince Bannick. Everyone else has greeted me very kindly.” With a hand on his heart he motioned with the other to half ring of people. Smile handsome and untroubled. Until he reached Harrow. Who had turned from his back in favor of her old hand. Very well, his eyebrows rose briefly. Smile going thin and cheeks twitching. She had chosen her side. He wouldn't forget. There were other places a man could make a life. Or die, if he found nothing worth living for.

Like it or not the other buck was being uncivil. There wasn’t a single good reason to pick a fight. Or cause a scene. That was reason enough for Tempest to turn the clouds overhead a grey darker than his Jewel of rank. And it needled his temper more that no one else seemed to care. He was a warlord prince so they all backed his right to try dragging the newcomer around. So be it. They would fight. He would cope with his disappointment later.

Tempest set his heels and braced for the charge. Ready when the hit came. Knuckles grazed across his eye and cheek bone. Contact allowed because it made Bannick look the ass. Or at least, it would. Once they were done. First Tempest had to stay on his feet or look the fool. He had just gotten Harrow back. He would die before he would let this bully pull him away for no damn cause. Nevermind that now he wasn't feeling much like being in her company after all. It would sort itself. ”That all you have left in you?” He answered, stepping away from the rest of the blow before launching one of his own. His shoulder screamed in blunt agony as he fed it into a strong undercut.

Landed or not it was the start of the fight as far as Tempest was concerned. And when he fought it was not for blood. It was for survival. Too fresh from a life of battle to see a narrower field now. When he came back around it was with his blade in hand. He didn’t even think of the people around them in so far as their opinion. Or how Harrow would react if he skewered her guardsman. An attack was an attack. He would do what he was trained to do. Over them the sky opened with a shower of rain. And wild rods of fire. Lightning cracking the ground between them and turning the edge of his blade deadly. ”You’ve been alone at the top too long, old man. Time to learn to share.” He didn’t need one of their fancy fighting pits. His Sapphire made a ring of low shields for the crowd to duck behind. And he walked forward. Another swing ready to take this male down a knock. Or a head.

Bannick

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    22 Posts    0 marks
Re: Unwelcome welcomes
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 07:24:51 AM »

”Foolish of them, to accept a half dressed stranger so easily among them.” He did not care that the male came accompanied by Harrow. She had chosen ill before in her precious escort. She could have done so again. From the sidelines Bannick could feel her hissing at his arrogance. But be would dare so long as she was foolish. He had done her bidding and she in turn had left the safety of the herd, endangered his son and herself, and then vanished onto the Winds five seconds after meeting this Tempest.

It wouldn’t do. So they would fight. Tempest beckoning Bannick on. An exchange of blows quickly followed. The prince trying to goad Bannick to great violence with words. Or distract him. Taunt followed quickly by his fist. Bannick shouldered the blow, let the momentum carrying his face away and his antlers close. Sweeping toward the other male’s face. ”Some of us did not sleep through the battle.” He sneered in reminder.

And so the fight escalated. Tempest drawing his sword. Bannick bore no weapons but his body. Dark clouds rumbled above them and filled the ground between them rain drops and forks of white fire. There was screaming from the crowd and shouting from Harrow. Bannick swayed past the first swing and used a shield to deflect the second, but now the prince’s reach was to long to get behind.

Not unless he was willing to accept its kiss. To let the blade slide along his side while he stepped forward. Close enough to slam the hard ridge of his forehead and leading curve of his antlers into Tempest’s face. ”That is a right you have to earn, buck.” Bannick growled. He could feel Harrow’s power rushing in to separate them.

Tempest

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Priest
  • Played By: Jones

    wolf killer
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    12 Posts    567 marks
Re: Unwelcome welcomes
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 03:56:46 AM »
”Foolish? No. Faithful. To their queen, my queen. Why is it you struggle with that?” Bannick was not afraid of Tempest. At least not of what Tempest would do to the people or to Harrow. It didn’t take a genius to see where the aggression was really coming from. The Warlord Prince was afraid of the upset, of the change Tempest represented. Sharing was hard. Tempest understood but it evoked no pity from the warlord priest. So he set course to teach the other buck better manners.

Not as easy as many of the fights Tempest had played in. There were less teeth snapping at his limbs though. That was an improvement. Around them the crowd erupted in fear of the impossible heat Tempest called from the sky. Craft as thick as the clouds turning black over their heads. Emptying onto the ground until the earth softened. While the men did the opposite. Clashing harder than ever to prove their place in the herd.

A few missed punches and dodged hits culminated in Tempest’s loss of control. Blade a glistening memento of all the night he had survived. Which Bannick chose to mock. Deepening the roll of murderous rage in the younger buck. Teeth bared he aimed to kill. Spine flinching and sword hand weakened by the words off Harrow’s lips. He didn’t have to hear them. He could just feel their intent. Thunder pressing down on them Tempest tried again. And in his bid to keep his place Bannick stepped into the hard edge. Locking their antlers as they growled in true animal fashion. For Tempest it felt very much like life or death. Not even just life, but the one he wanted to live here in this place. Or anyplace Harrow called him to.

Earn? Earn? I paid the cost a thousand times over. You don’t get to tell me what is or what will be. This is Harrow’s herd and you will learn to share because I’m not going anywhere.” Not again. The wolves at his back were gone. He had a decade of lost time to make up for. The blood of his family was the price of his return.

Because she wedged her will between them Tempest stepped back first. Face pulsing with the quick drum of his heart. Pain pooling behind a quickly swelling eye. Anger still white hot and roaring from his lips. And blade still balanced to strike in his hand. He stood with his spine straight, and his body turned towards her. Attention on the opponent while he waited with held breath to see which of them she came to first.

Harrow

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    9 Posts    0 marks
Re: Unwelcome welcomes
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2019, 06:08:06 AM »

Harrow followed her shield, ignoring the clucking of her grandmother. Her body wedging into the space created between theirs. Hands pushing them farther apart, unlocking the place their antlers had become entangled. Bannick tried to pull free of her hand, but Harrow was ready. Fingers steel braces around the base of his antler, jerking his head toward her before she violently pushed him away. Her other hand lay quiet on Tempest’s jaw, eyes angrily shifting between the two of them.

Not a sliver of fear at her position.

”Go see your wives.” She ordered, releasing Bannick abruptly enough that his head swayed with the momentum. The look he gave them was bitter. Dark eyes hard and dangerous with wounded male pride. Harrow ignored it, catching the blade Tempest had tried to skewer her master of the hunt with between two fingers, she plucked at it. ”Go.” She repeated when Bannick’s bulk did not retreat quick enough. A large shadow at the corner of her vision. Lurking.

Snorting, he went.

”And you.” Harrow turned to face him. Her hand slid down his jaw and over his neck. The other giving his sword a careful shake. Keen edge held daintily between forefinger and thumb. ”Put that thing away.” Head tipped back, Harrow surveyed the damage. Tempest had no wives to go home to. Healer wives to tend his hurts. For that, Harrow was glad, though her lips signaled displeasure with their frowning.

She laid her hand over his heart.

”You’ll need to see a healer. Again.” Temptation stirred in her soul. It would be a fitting punishment to call one of Bannick’s wives to come and do the tending. Taking the attention away from the warlord prince and giving it instead to his adversary. It would do little to heal the rift made between the males, but it would have been a fitting punishment for Bannick’s arrogance. Harrow looked into Tempest’s good eye and chose not to.

She could not punish them for a fight she had allowed.

”Come inside. I’ve something cold we can put on that.” Outside of the wet, strange smelling air. Away from the half dozen sets of eyes that watched them with open curiosity. The fight was over, the fear dissipating. Most had already fled but a few remained to watch and wonder. And judge. Harrow knew they were there and did not look or speak to them. Their eyes and thoughts crawling like summer flies along her skin. From heart to hand, Harrow tried drawing him into her house where a comfortable chair and cold wet rag waited for him.

Tempest

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Priest
  • Played By: Jones

    wolf killer
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    12 Posts    567 marks
Re: Unwelcome welcomes
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 11:27:52 PM »

Lips in a silent snarl Tempest timed the approach of Harrow’s touch. Weight shifting to both give Bannick a bruise with his antler, and to bring himself nearer the queen; to be the first her reaching hands met. Under the one that rose to his jaw the priest stood with his gaze on low. Stance relaxed but watchful since the other male was far less eager to bend. Or incapable. It wasn’t Tempest’s problem to figure out which or why. In fact his heart jealousy celebrated that he only needed Harrow’s nearness to find his calm.

He wished he could growl the other male away fully. Wrap Harrow in his arms and lick the side of her face. Claim her for his alone and see if the warlord prince sniveled over that too. But he had not forgotten whose side of the line she had stood on. Nor missed the way she treated them as equals now. Careful not to lift one above the other while parting them. Her command to leave souring Tempest’s stomach. ”Wives?” He said with a growl, turning his focus to Harrow- who must have allowed such a blasphemy to happen.

His own scolding was gentler. The thumb on his adam’s apple bobbing when he swallowed. Lashes sweeping low as he looked over a bruised cheek at her. Mouth tipped in something near a smile as she toyed with the half Sapphire inlaid at the tip of his sword hilt. ”Yes, my lady.” Away was relative, he thought. Slipping the blade back into the sheath with a satisfying glide of metal over metal.

Hands free he brought them both to her arm. One resting on the hand she placed in the center of his chest. Heart still beating with the adrenaline of the confrontation. The other cupped her elbow, thumb resting in the crease. ”I will.” He assured her, pleased by the attention. Something glinted in her eyes. An unfamiliar emotion rippling along a tentative probe. Prompting him to say, ”My brother will tend it, or give me a matching one if I deny him that right.”

They had been together a long time. Brothers on a spiritual level that transcended their blood bond. Whatever plot his queen was entertaining melted softly away. Tempest smiled as she linked their fingers to draw him towards her house. Feet planted firmly he grinned at her over their joined hands. Pulling them up towards his mouth so he could slip a kiss to her palm. Then her wrist. ”Soon. I’ll be along. Reed needs settled before I can settle.” He took a small measure of satisfaction in saying no. But he needed a moment of space to clear his head now that it pulsed with pain and questions. And Reed really would need calming down in this old-new place. ”I won’t be very long.” Not when he still wanted to see how much of her had changed in the growth between girl and child. A good sniff had been discussed, after all. If not that night then one soon.
 

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