an advanced play-by-post realistic wolf roleplay
NORTHOFNOWHERE


[M] Simmer Down
#1

The wind’s caress was not tender against her cheek. Winter’s breath was not meant to soothe, for in its inflections were implications of destruction, a huntress who prowled across the barren plains. In her grasp was the edge of a freshly serrated blade, pressed against the makings of another’s throat. She saw silken phosphorescence, blood glistening upon the sweet silver outline of alloy. There was no sweltering hellfire above to quell the fatigue from her limbs, to coerce the snows into submission. There were no pines to offer their reassurance against the threat of peril. No wood for the flame to burn.

There was only pain.

And loneliness. So much loneliness. For she had been abandoned by everything she once loved.

Now, death did not seem so unwelcoming. She almost begged for his touch, for he was warm, comforting. Honey dribbled from his lips, and the garments he wore seeped of sweet perfume. Ambrosia, from the blossom’s womb. It was all she could do to stave him away, for his whispers bore tales of the Seraphine and their legacy.

Mother. Father. Brother. Brothers.

And now… Nassar, Kohl, Karnak. They were all gone, left without a trace. And she was nothing. Nothing, without a life to believe in.

She was all but consumed by the frosted fern that lined her nest, snow filtering through the entrance. Raw cartilage protruded from skin, for she was failing in strength. She had lost track of the days spent within the confines of her grave, of the hours since she had simply given up. There was no fight left in her.

Who was she kidding? She had never been strong, powerful. What fight had there been to give? She had always been lacking, even in her finest days as a warrior of Ignatius.

And, oh, how she felt it. Resentment. The only heat her body had to offer, hearthed in the embered pits of her belly. Anger about the life she had cast away, barely lived at all, about all that had been stolen from her. Her dreams of being a warrior – someone important, whose name was carried from generation to generation, spoken by those in reverie of what once was.

She had wanted to leave her mark upon the pines. She had wanted to burn with the same flame as the Tiamat queen, to render the forest speechless when she stepped upon the blanket of needles customary to the grove.

That had been her dream, once.

How pointless it all seemed now. She had been prepared to dedicated her life to wolves who clearly gave no fucks about what happened to her.

She wished nothing but misery for them.

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Justin Chavanelle & wind princess



[2 max please <3 <3 <3]
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#2

He stood beneath the pines for the first time in years.

The woody smell, the hint of mint, filled and flooded his senses. It had been a smell that arrived on the breeze, fast fleeting across the tundra, hung up in the dens of the winter land creatures who gathered the needles for their nests. Here, the smell was no passing stranger. Not even the snow could dampen its power.

He was only standing beneath the giants because he knew, deep in his bones, that the Tiamats had at last been overcome by the coldest of winters. He was standing beneath the pillars of evergreen with heavy arms of snow because his home, too, had become a lifeless, barren land. A purging of the most ruthless kind.

No matter that he believed he hadn't checked every corner of the tundra for his lost family. That his cold heart yearned for the warmth of fiery Isolde, his protective nature calling for his children, his emptiness needing to be filled by the quiet, pious voice of Lua. But they were gone, just as the Tiamats were. What did it mean that he was the only one left?

He shook the dusting of snow from his fur, blinking away an unfamiliar emotion that throbbed behind his eyes - something angry, disappointed. The snow crunched underfoot just as the trees creaked with the wind - the only sounds in the quiet, winter world.

Then there was her.

She smelled of turned earth, of warm musk mingled with the everpresent pine. He found her den tucked away, but not beyond the reaches of winter's claws. The opening was unkempt, snow spilling through its entrance to the delicate, frozen ferns that glittered within. There were few who could outlast the coldest months, and he didn't believe she was going to be one of them. He had come across a great many wolves who had wandered too far north. Their bones gathered deep beneath the snow, scavenged by the hungry.

He parted his lips and exhaled a cloud of warm air into the entrance. He dipped his head low, his eyes peering within. "You're going to die, girl," he murmured to the dark. He searched the den but only found shadows awaiting him, perhaps the faintest hints of red.

Somewhere at the back of his mind, he wondered if he had been wrong about the fate of the Tiamats.



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#3


”You’re going to die, girl…” Rich baritones broke the silence.

”Dad?” her voice was a mere breath of wind, a puff of dust. Intense sorrow dripped from her lungs and tainted soft-spoken words with a light that flickered, for she was a carcass contented in her grave. She longed to see him now. His gaze, plated in gold and flickering in the warmth of summer’s dusk. The scatterings of life strewn in his pelt, littered with the scents of prey. She wished to feel the dew that dampened the air of lost woods, pressing hot and thick against a cape scorched in hellfire. ”…Am I dead?” No, that couldn’t be right... He had said she was going to die, and that wouldn’t make any sort of sense if she was already dead, right?

A mild musk tapered at the edges of her den, coloring the frosts with their flavor. Her head laid firmly on the bracken bits of her nest, for she bore a body stark from the cold. How agonizing it seemed now, the idea of rising, of summoning the strength to stand. Had she once been so determined? She could see the dusting of silken snow upon the linings of her lashes as they lowered. Her eyes were nothing like father’s. They had been bright and alive, but pale in contrast to the flames that danced in the gaze of his daughter.

An eyeball torn from its socket rolled sluggishly against the earth, bloodied and blackened from wear.

Her throat tightened. She couldn’t breathe; suffocating.

She wondered if there was a God who loved and treasured all the wolves in Elsynia. Mother had seemed certain. The tales had spilled from her tongue, and she had spared no expense in the lavish threads of her forgery. If there was such a being, perhaps he would soon take pity on her. She was tired of suffering.

Existence was a funny thing, wasn’t it? You spend your whole life struggling to survive, never contemplating your own mortality. But wasn’t accepting death an easier path to tread?

”…You have both of your eyes again… I’m glad…” Her eyes fell shut, and she was aware only of the rise and falling of her chest, of the warmth that breathed now in the overcast den. Could spirits really block the wind so well? ”I’m so sorry about everything….I never…should have left….my fault.” She wondered if he could hear her voice against the wind. Winter screamed for vengeance, pillaging all that once belonged to Spring.

If there was a life after this one, she hoped she could go there. God knew she didn’t deserve it. But, she hoped.

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Justin Chavanelle & wind princess



@Seraphim
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#4

Dad?

His brows pulled in and his lip curled at the delicate whisper that greeted him. If she hadn't spoken again, he'd have imagined it was her final breath. He would feel her soul escape the confines of her body, of the den that tasted of death, to find peace in the stars. But no, the girl was still alive, hanging onto the thinnest of branches even as the skies must whisper for her to join them.

None of his children had ever referred to him so casually. None of his children would let themselves be taken easily by a greedy winter. So he believed. But he couldn't deny the tension that released from his muscles at her voice, only for it to return as he carefully placed the pieces - she had scattered - back together. He didn't know her. She smelled of no one important. She was never, would never, be a blip on his radar.

Yet, the bear stayed. He hovered outside her grave, the wind blustering, tugging at the thickest of coats, as she spoke to her father. The rasp of her voice filled him as much as the scent of pine, entwining together until the memory would stain him. Damn her. Damn her for catching him when he wasn't in the mindset for death.

He dragged a paw through the snow. And another. Slowly, he began to clear the entrance of her den. "What's your father's name?" The shadows revealed fur dusted in snowflakes, clinging to the faintest sign of life, stinging the exposed skin where the cold could find its way in. A low grumble beat in his chest. Foolish southerners. Could they not teach their children of winter's brutality?

Or had she never had time to learn? She spoke of her father as if he was gone. Here, she laid alone, a forgotten flame left to be succumbed by the north's hunger.

Seraphim reached a broad paw into the den, the pads well warn and hugged by thick fur. He pushed it against her shoulder. "Wake up." A sharp order, a voice that could challenge the scream of the winter wind. "I will not have you join the stars tonight."

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#5


What’s your father’s name?”

Whose name?... What father.

She could not rise again, for the sea had taken her. There she drifted, caught in the loft between those alive and the afterlife. Winter wailed her wishes, but here she could not be harmed by another’s embrace. The snow upon her lashes glimmered in silken phosphorescence, for the light was dying; there was nothing but darkness to bring her comfort. The ocean’s waves, tender to the touch. They melted the ice ingrained upon her peltage, and warmth coursed through her veins, lending strength to worn appendages.

Death consumed her like a fire.

Finally.

But…”Wake up.”

His touch was earthen - pressure firm against her, rousing. His voice, the gravity that ripped her from the depths.

Eyes of wildfire flickered, eyelashes feathered as they fluttered open. Dust lingered in the air, lethargic in its descent to the war-torn ground. What was this place? Her eyes lingered, bleak, lifeless… until she laid them upon the paw pressed against flesh - her flesh. Where sinew once contracted fluently beneath fabrics of sunset, there was nothing. She blinked, once… twice… hardly recognizing herself.

”I will not have you join the stars tonight.”

That voice, again. Not her father’s, that much she knew – for he was dead, and she was still very much alive. But for how long, she wondered? The mysterious man expected too much of her. For even if she so dared to take up arms, to fight on, the enemy had already breached the castle’s gates. He only had yet to brandish his knife between the bars of her heart’s cage, to tickle the blood that sang so vibrantly against silver. It coursed violently through her still; borne within cobwebs, threatening to break.

”What would you have me do, then?” Her voice tickled against her throat, and a spark lingered within her eyes, yet to be extinguished. Melancholy lent his colors to her words. She found that even if the man pitied her, she did not have energy to care. ”My father… his name is Aidan. I am Evanora Seraphine. Who are you, and what do you want?” she paused, unease shifting her gaze

”…I’m sorry. I have no food to give you.”

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Justin Chavanelle & wind princess



@Seraphim
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#6

She hardly stirred, but he could still feel her come alive beneath his touch. Perhaps it was a crawl of her skin or a flush of warmth, a curious creature rising from its slumber, either way he pulled his paw away. His nose twitched once as he wiped his paw across the snow; he wanted nothing to do with whatever illness the girl might grapple with.

Seraphine. The surname was a breath of fire against his face, twisting his mouth to a frown, digging his nails into the snow. In that moment, he walked the thinnest of lines. To leave the ally of his enemy in her grave, or to save a child lost in the cold. She was a native to these woods, the daughter of a small, insignificant family tucked under the Tiamat wing. Stripped of their family, she was only Evanora just as he was only Seraphim.

That didn't mean he would throw out their lineage so easily. He was much too stubborn to forgo all he was and all he had built - even if it had all been torn down. "I am Seraphim Heilis, and I haven't yet decided if I'm going to have you for dinner." He smiled thinly down at her, the bulk of his size blocking the trees, the sky, the snowy world beyond. He wasn't hungry. If there was anyone who knew how to survive the winter, it was the son of the cold stars and stubborn mountains. The forests had more to eat than the tundra, and he found the creatures here less hardy - and terribly unskilled in the snow - than those up north.

"Though I fear you'll taste of skin and bones. I can see your dull eyes, the hollows of your cheeks, Evanora of Seraphine. You are either sick or failing pitifully at surviving. Do you wish to give winter what it wants?" he challenged her, his bi-colored eyes narrowed until they glinted like cut gems. "Or will you join your father - unbeknownst to the world?" He held a dagger to her throat; would she fight a pitiable death, or let the long night take her?

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#7


”I am Seraphim Heilis, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to have you for dinner.”
Flame-touched audits flickered nervously, for she was unable to overcome the sudden surge of unease that fluttered in her chest. Heilis. The name resonated within her, but she hardly had energy to construct a suitable response. Smoldering eyes of flame were smothered down, interchanged with titian shields, as though she could maintain what dignity was left within her. ”You’re…” No. She stopped suddenly, willing her tongue to stay silent.

She wondered if the man realized who she was. A flame burned within her chest, and though they were mere cinders, they sweltered. It was not as though she had personal distaste for the man… but, they were enemies. Enemies… They were enemies, weren’t they? She had been prepared for war. Anticipated it, even - she had dreamed of painting the tundra with Heilis blood. A single word from Nassar and she would have trekked through the tundra. Murdered his entire family.

He could have known her own pain - haunted by memories of their decay, as she was to this day.

Evanora winced. She hadn’t thought of that…. But the Heilis were murderers, too, weren’t they…?

Enemies… ’No. He is Nassar’s enemy. Not your enemy.’ The musculature organizing her throat tightened with emotion. That’s right – after all, she had been abandoned, left behind, having outlived her usefulness to the Tiamat line. Or perhaps Nassar had tired of humoring such a naïve girl, so blinded was she by her ventures for glory.

’Dakarai was murdered by the Heilis. So what? Wolves die all the time. This has nothing to do with me.’ Her thoughts were bitter.

”…Though I fear you’ll taste of skin and bones. I can see your dull eyes…sick or failing pitifully at surviving. Do you wish to give winter what it wants?”

She could sense the challenge in his words, though he might have miscalculated her reaction.

Family, dead or missing. Abandoned by her pack. Now, mocked. Frustration roiled tirelessly in her breast, months of instability wavering upon her tongue.

Surely Seraphim hadn’t expected to ignite an inferno with his words. ”You know what? Yeah. Yeah, I suck at surviving. I’ve been surrounded by wolves my whole life, and now I am alone. But my father was a good man.” words laced with smoke congregated at her throat, begging for release, and for the first time in months she lacked restraint. Raw, senseless rage, directionless.

”I guess you can say I’ve had a rough few months. My family is dead. The Tiamats accepted me into their pack, and then they became my family, but as you can see, they have left. I was supposed to live my life in service to these wolves, put my life on the line for them. But as you can see, they are gone.” She summoned what little energy she had left and pulled her back leg out from under her, smeared with dried blood. She had been religious in her efforts to keep the wound clean, rough though it may be. ”And this doesn’t help my chances at survival.”

”I’m pathetic.”the words died out suddenly, barely audible. She hadn’t expected to talk so much, but there it was. Because nothing had changed, had it? She was still the same helpless, sick girl she had been as a pup. Burdensome. Tiring. Fatigue consumed her limbs. ”I’m pathetic, and I deserve to die, Seraphim. If God exists, surely he wants me to die. But…I don’t think I want to bow down to the wishes of such a stupid world.”

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Justin Chavanelle & wind princess



@Seraphim
@Seraphim
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#8

You're... It took only one word. His shoulders settled back and his chin tipped up, and the king dragged a finger along his dusty throne. She knew him. He didn't know why he expected any less... Or, was it because he was king of nothing? The Heilis name would be only a nightmare mothers told their children. A legend of old, a family that perished in the very land they sanctified.

His smile slipped, and his attention began to drift from the lackluster child. Would he rebuild? Or live out his days as an elder at the edge of the mountains? He had been descending ever since the death of his brother, on the brink of war, and desperately reaching out to a foreign clan. Now here he stood amidst his enemies' land, attempting to save one of their dying embers as if they were so deserving. Had they done this? Angered the stars until their poured their disappointment down their throats? Was Seraphim being punished, too?

He clenched his jaw and threw his focus out to the snowy realm. The wind hissed and spat, digging and digging its claws into his fur, frustrated to find his defenses were honed just for them. He shifted, made to shrug her off and let sleeping dogs lie.

You know what- He barely glanced over his shoulder, but he didn't move. No, he listened. He eyed the wound she revealed as he carefully tucked away the information she carelessly unearthed. Her family, too, was gone. Dead, she hissed like fading coals. And oh how he enjoyed the way she spat on the Tiamats. It brought a smile to his dark mouth. She had nothing, and he was available to be her everything. It was the preacher's dream, the commander's craving, the leader's plan all along.

"Then. Don't. Bow." Each word was a force of nature, a surge of thunder that tangled with the storm as he growled, "You are pathetic if you expect the world to give you what you want. It will not, child. You must take it for yourself, I didn't raise you-" He stopped. His lips pressed tight as he blinked away the image of Ekko, his daughter, curled in the den.

A heavy silence followed until snow caught on his lashes and settled on the ridge of his nose. His voice was softer when he spoke again. "Get up. Let me have a look at your wound." He expected her to crawl from her den, rise, and bare herself to the winter cold. His gaze was hard with the demand, the set of his jaw firm. "The gods are not cruel enough to want anyone to die. They let the wolves decide, and I have decided you will get up or I will drag you out myself."

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#9

S he listened to what he had to say. Perhaps she should be relieved that he didn’t leave after everything she said. ”I didn’t raise you-“ her eyes widened slightly, flame-touched audits flickering in surprise. Seraphim Heilis. That’s right – he, too, had a family to look after. She wondered where they were, if they were doing okay.

Her momentary surprise was erased by a moment of annoyance, defiance for the sake of stability, some semblance of control. ”I’ll do whatever I please,” she snapped – it might have been something fierce, had she more energy to spare. ”I don’t take orders from anyone. Not anymore.” Her voice turned cold suddenly, but her eyes lingered upon the bear. Almost immediately she regretted speaking from impulse. There was power in him, and though the winter was harsh, he seemed hardly affected at all. He could help her. He was… strong. Maybe even more so than the patriarch.

He would never be Nassar. But maybe that was a good thing.

And then, she decided… she was done. Done living her life as a pawn on the chessboard, some sacrificial lamb to serve a king’s desires. She would no longer stare at the final square, the game’s end – and dream of becoming a knight. No, she would become a queen. Her name would become engraved in the stars, and the heavens would know the name Evanora Seraphine. She would make something of herself, though she no longer knew what that would be.

She would rise from the grave, add wood to the fire so the flame may cultivate. The Tiamats were not the only wolves who sought the inferno. And they were not the only family in Elsynia to be blessed by the skies. She would rise above. Who gave a damn what the Gods had in mind for the Seraphine? They had done her no kindness… she owed them nothing, as far as she was concerned, just as she owed nothing to the family that had left her behind.

”Then. Don’t. Bow.” His words ignited the embers in her heart; coal sizzled and seethed with heat. They kindled an emotion that had been gone since the winter months had struck. Something within her had died alongside the rest of her family. Lost, decayed… she knew, deep down, that she would never be the same. Such heartbreak would take her a lifetime to overcome. ”You are pathetic if you expect the world to give you what you want.” Her throat tightened, and she averted his gaze, eyes narrow as she stared at the dust-smothered floor. He was right, even if the truth was hard to swallow. The words had danced upon her own tongue – she was pathetic. This life had done nothing but take, and up until now, she had been content. She sat and watched her life turn up in flame, unaware of the danger until it singed the tips of her fur.

It was easier to sit here and die then rise again. The very idea of struggling to her paws created a sense of emptiness in her gut. But she would get up, and she would follow him. If Seraphim could teach her how to survive, then she would welcome his company. They let the wolves decide. Yeah, let the wolves decide just how much pain they were willing to suffer through before closing the curtains once and for all on the production of “their life”. Yet she willed the strength to her limbs, trembling with effort as she fought to maneuver her paws. Breathing with effort, she struggled her way through the den’s entrance, throwing herself at the mercy of winter.

She was done, tired of feeling sorry for herself.

She would face the cold winds. Evanora would brandish her wound to Seraphim’s prying eyes and hope for his mercy.

The world itself may become her enemy. Those who threw in obstacles to bar her path, wolves who would lock the doors and throw away the keys. Let them come. She would burn those fuckers to the ground.

She hoped for their sake that those doors weren’t made of wood.

Exit Evanora

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Justin Chavanelle & wind princess


@Seraphim
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#10

She would do whatever she pleased - Seraphim almost laughed. Such a youthful spirit. He could have twisted his paw into her wound, cracked open the scabbing, reawakened the pain the cold kindly numbed. She took orders as long as she made herself weak. Even he had been forced to relieve himself of his command when the control had slipped through his paws. Bite his tongue so that he could relinquish his northern land with the help of a family of outsiders when his wouldn't do.

But he said nothing. He needed her to be a fire. Burn away the snow of her grave and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of her past. A pretty bird that he might tie a string around.

And so she rose, shaking like the last autumn leaf as she faced down winter and its son. He moved out of her way, the bulk of his body blocking the worst of the wind. She was a skeleton wearing wolf's fur. What strength she might have once had - for she was a large girl, he wouldn't deny it - was lost because of her choices. Except one. His gaze fell to the wound on her leg. It was clean. Scabbed. For all her effort to die, she had taken the time to mend the one thing that would have freely taken her life.

"I thought you were destined to die?" he asked of her as he shifted to stand beside her. "The wound looks fine, though I do hope whatever gave it to you was worse off." It was clearly not prey, that much he knew. She wouldn't be starved if that were the case.

He spared a glance over his shoulder as he knocked snow into her den with a well-placed kick; a fitting end to the life she once lived. Snow left a blank slate - at least, for some time. Come spring, the world taken by the storm would be revealed. Every bone, frozen corpse, and old scar. For now, the snow would suffice.

"Come." He didn't wait for her. His shoulder was there if she needed balance, his fur one of boundless heat, but he would not offer either. She would do as she pleased, of course.

He didn't spare her a glance as he trudged forward through the snow.


Seraphim Exit

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