Author Topic: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]  (Read 2412 times)

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Offline Sage

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Gone.

Brace was gone, and his scent had faded just as with the rest of those who had been taken from them during the war with Saboro. She had wondered if he had been injured or died or had been captured, or simply deserted them in their greatest time of need. For days, she'd wandered the battlefield, searching for that familiar mottled pelt, worried that perhaps he had been injured and unable to seek them out. Later, she looked for his body, to no avail. Regardless, he had not returned, word had not come from Saboro about hostages, and Inaria still moved forward. Time did not cease to flow simply for one wolf, no matter how much respect the green canine had for the Captain.

Sage could not let her family, her pack, fall again to those who would wish harm upon them. She would not stand idly by and let the next generation grow up in an insecure and unprepared place. They had not been ready when Saboro came to their door with fangs bared and eyes wild, but they would grow stronger, become stronger. The would be ready.

Determination was in every line of her body, in the set of her magma-colored eyes. Her movements were no longer hindered by the scars from her fight, the one that had ended with Haven and Kashmir saving her life. But while that fight ended, the Royal Guard knew there were other wars to wage, other goals to pursue, and other fights to win. And she would win, or at the very least, do her very best as she always had, to guard, to protect...to give back her life to Inaria to honor her King and Queen.

Wide paws moved her from the forests of Inaria to the very edge, where the land opened up and crested into pebbles and sand that reached out to touch the grass as if the ocean reached for them. Here, with all the different terrains at her feet, Sage strode out into the open, her head raised, and she let a long and loud call ring from her maw. It was the honor in her blood that made her call so strong and purposeful, that gave it the length necessary to stretch across Inaria from end to end, if faintly. It couldn't be said that she hadn't offered her Captain a chance to appear, to pull himself from wherever he had been to answer should he choose.

Simply, Sage knew that if Brace heard, he would come. She'd not muted the intent of her challenge from the howl. And if anyone came to answer her call, she'd stand, tall and proud, and speak to them.

"Too long, Inaria has lived in peaceful times, and it has become evident that the defense of our pack was neglected and our enemies prove strong," she started, her voice low, calm, but strong. "We all fought and bled and died on the battlefield when Saboro came, and our military couldn't rise up to defend. I want to change that, I want better for all of us. Preparation, preparedness for the darkness in the world that waits to set sights on Inaria. If we as a pack are prepared for the worst, we will never be taken off guard again. No longer should we depend so heavily on our alllies for protection, and instead we will start here, with our own kin.

I will do all I can to prove that with time, we could be strong again. Together. Let me prove to you, to Inaria, that I am up to the challenge!"
Sage's eyes were molten steel, pinning on anyone who should face her, Brace or some other come to witness her. It would not be lost on those who were closest to her that the steeliness, though new, had lacked the edge that they now held. A ferocity in that fiery gaze had been birthed and blooded on the battlefield, and she would use that tempered edge for the betterment of them all. "Let me fight for our future! Let me build our military as Captain!"

(She is the one), but I have a purpose,
(She is the one), and I have to fight this,
(She is the one), the villain I can't knock down.

I see your face with every punch I take,
And every bone I break, it's all for you.
And my worst pains are words I cannot say,
Still I will always fight on for you.




#659D32
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Offline Moons

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2016, 09:00:32 PM »
Moons had been sitting at the beach shore when she heard the call. She often came out here now to ponder things for Inaria, wonder what direction their pack was now heading. It had been carried in the wind that Weiss was challenging for the rank of Emissary, and she wondered if Gin was answering that call. As a Page, it interested him vastly who was going to be the leader of his rank. But she wasn't going to interfere on that one. It was very likely Haven or Ghost (or both) were making their way over there now to take care of it.

It wasn't long afterwards, however, that she heard a much more familiar (and much more personal) call. Sage was howling for challenging the rank of Captain. Brace's position. Admittedly he hadn't been heard of in a long time; inwardly she had hoped it was for self-reflection rather than any actual harm coming to him. He had been young, and it could never be sure how he was going to handle the aspect of war at his paws. But time had ticked on by, and still there was no sign of that colorful pelt. It made her worry, but there wasn't much she could do.

Now though, she stood. The rank of Captain had always had a personal place for her; having become a soldier for Inaria long ago, even briefly holding the position of Captain herself. Moons was well invested in the warriors of the purple flowered pack. Even when she moved up the tier to beta of the pack, she still helped out with the soldiers when it was needed. It was a sort of self-inflicted responsibility to look over the warriors whenever she could. Call it a... soft spot for them. Ironic.

It didn't quite surprise her to hear that it was Sage calling for the challenge. Her daughter had always had a fire in her eyes since the day she bounded out of the den. While Gin was more passive and chasing bugs and collecting them, Sage had always helped out the underdog and had a flame that never went out. Her passion drove her to holding multiple ranks, much like Moons herself did multiple times. It made her chuckle, and worry at the same time. Guess it was a mom thing.

Moons came upon Sage in the middle of the many terrains that enclosed Inaria. And while she was a loving parent, she was also an understanding Marchioness. So she left Sage alone, and instead directed a gentle smile to her child. A proud look that would never go away, no matter what Sage and Gin did with themselves. They had already done so much. "Too long, Inaria has lived in peaceful times, and it has become evident that the defense of our pack was neglected and our enemies prove strong." That they did, Sage. That they did. "We all fought and bled and died on the battlefield when Saboro came, and our military couldn't rise up to defend. I want to change that, I want better for all of us. Preparation, preparedness for the darkness in the world that waits to set sights on Inaria. If we as a pack are prepared for the worst, we will never be taken off guard again. No longer should we depend so heavily on our alllies for protection, and instead we will start here, with our own kin. I will do all I can to prove that with time, we could be strong again. Together. Let me prove to you, to Inaria, that I am up to the challenge! Let me fight for our future! Let me build our military as Captain!"

Moons couldn't be more proud of her child. In her opinion, Sage would be good as a Captain. But she also needed to give a fair chance to any others who wished to aspire. Besides, she wasn't a leader. Haven and Ghost made the final choices. Still, she stood at the ready, nodding in approval at Sage's words, and waited to see what else was going to happen. She might have to be unbiased, but Sage would always have her support. That small smile beneath Moons' calm demeanor told it all, after all.
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Offline Kashmir

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2016, 09:16:25 PM »
He heard the call and encroached upon its gathering.

The jackal wasn't starved or frail or visibly upset. He wore many masks, and that of a stoic was one of them; it was less about pride and more about, you know, a deep pathological discomfort with vulnerability. To look at Kashmir now was to lament after a long moment that he seemed... unwell, while simultaneously being unsure of what brought upon that conclusion. The deepening circles under his eyes, perhaps. The slow, listless movements telltale of depression. Someone who punishes themselves with isolation and regresses to escapism when the demons in his head shrieked too loudly for him to silence anymore.

And yet here he was. The marquis stared a thousand yards forward. Stared at Sage and felt a prickle of desperate relief. He thought he'd seen her die, right there in front of his eyes, at Thresher's cruel jaws. Now she came wanting the rank of captain. It was a rank he had a lot of investment in, given his prior occupation of it, and speaking of which...

"Brace is buried in the soldier's graveyard."

Morose. No punches pulled. It was spoken to any nearby who might question whether or not the younger male might show up to fight.

"If no one else comes to challenge your claim... I would be... pleased to call you my captain." A pause, and a little belated, a solemn dip of the head. "Sage."

He didn't look pleased with much of anything, actually, as he moved to sit beside Moons and observe whatever happened next.

But that hardly had anything to do with her.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 06:23:55 AM by Kashmir »


Who loved, who suffer’d countless ills
Who battled for the True, the Just
Be blown about the desert dust
Or seal’d within the iron hills

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Offline Haven

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2016, 05:59:16 AM »

The queen's instincts were fairly good. Some things she could just tell. What's more, she'd known Sage since she was a child. She knew the girl was ambitious and loyal. And she knew that one day, she'd follow her mother's footsteps and seek a higher rank. Thinking about it, she'd crack a the barest hint of a smile. Moons was an extraordinary wolf, it was no surprise that her children would be the same.

The howl came, and the queen followed. She wondered if there would be someone to contest the challenge. Certainly the pack was now collectively more experienced in war. Moons was already arriving, and Haven bowed a quick yet formal greeting to the Marchioness. Kashmir had answered the call as well, the jackal whispering in that eerie voice. He spoke of Brace. They'd found the body earlier.

Both of the betas made it clear that they respected Sage as a candidate for this, Inaria's most prestigious and eternally vacated position. The more suspicious Inarians might even murmer that the position was cursed. Haven knew better.

The queen approached Sage nonchalantly, concealing a sliver of pride behind her usually stony mask. Hawk-bright eyes met the healer-soldier's warm amber. Would another soldier come to stand opposed to the promotion?

While Haven was here now, and Haven supported Sage, and would be thrilled to promote her, she couldn't do it just yet. Not until the rest of the pack had a chance to speak. A warmer, more friendly mentor might go ahead and cast Sage a reassuring wink, but Haven only gave her a businesslike nod. The challenge would be official.

Haven lifted up her head to howl. If any opposed, now was their chance to speak. Otherwise, Sage would be Inaria's next Captain.

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THIS IS WAR and we are all going to be polite as hell about it or SO HELP ME GOD.

Offline Cappella

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2016, 09:32:10 AM »
Perhaps it was no surprise that she had no idea who Captain Brace even was. Some stranger who waltz into a high rank and did nothing with it (deep down inside, her mind wandered to Kita, and she felt her blood boil for a brief moment), who built no army despite a war brewing on their borders. Inaria was lucky to survive, in all truth. She had seen Saboro on the inside; it's vast numbers, it's brutal nature. They were all murderers and it was a sharp contrast to the peaceful kingdom of lilac knights, and the war was a moment where the people needed their Captain most.

And he failed them.

But she was not the only one who noticed.

"Too long, Inaria has lived in peaceful times, and it has become evident that the defense of our pack was neglected and our enemies prove strong, We all fought and bled and died on the battlefield when Saboro came, and our military couldn't rise up to defend. I want to change that, I want better for all of us. Preparation, preparedness for the darkness in the world that waits to set sights on Inaria. If we as a pack are prepared for the worst, we will never be taken off guard again. No longer should we depend so heavily on our alllies for protection, and instead we will start here, with our own kin. I will do all I can to prove that with time, we could be strong again. Together. Let me prove to you, to Inaria, that I am up to the challenge! Let me fight for our future! Let me build our military as Captain!"

The dark italian woman strode out to meet the group, amber eyes drifting away to watch the ocean waves for a moment. She had not been to the shore since Inaria had found her dying there. It didn't seem...appropriate for her to come back during her recovery. She was already dealing with too many personal demons, remembering the feeling of salt in her wounds and the near asphyxiation from the water was not something she wanted to add to it.

(But eff, was it hard to forget that she nearly died painfully).

She watched the others, the pride in their eyes, their confidence in this green woman who promised change. Cappella faltered for just a moment, shown only by a cautious swallow as her lips pressed together into a thin line. There had always been a nagging thought deep inside her ever since she had first arrived in Inaria: she was an outsider. Same as the previous Captain who had failed spectacularly, and here was a woman born and raised in Inaria. Another calming breath as she focused on Sage, reflecting the same determination that had driven them both through the war; had made them both survivors.

Because they were both INARIAN.

And, perhaps in a move that would surprise the nobility that had gathered:

"Fight me for it."

She threw her name into the hat.
You vow your life and blood,
But this is not our home, in the water,
Our hope here's never found,
Just try to keep your way, in the water.


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Tainted blood.

Offline Sage

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 08:23:04 PM »
The first to answer her call was a form more familiar to Sage than her own. It was a wolf who had not only the love of the green girl, but had earned her respect as well. Moons, her mother, had come to witness the challenge she'd set forth, her smile the same kind one that had accompanied lessons as a child and had greeted her whenever she found herself visiting the maroon wolf. Pride shone bright in the eyes that Sage had inherited, and she nodded once to her mother, who kept herself apart enough to let Sage stand on her own merit. There was gratitude in the fiery eyes as the Royal Guard nodded to the Marchioness, not only for allowing her to stand here under her own strength, but for everything that Moons had done to raise her and her brother right.

Inaria's winds carried on them another scent, and Kashmir was the next to arrive, his lithe, jackal form seemed tired as he carried the news that Sage had suspected. Deep in her gut she knew that this was coming, and she mourned, tucking her chin as her heart sank.

"Brace is buried, in the soldier's graveyard. If no one else comes to challenge your claim... I would be... pleased to call you my captain. Sage."

Sage's eyes darted up to see him bow his head to her, and she followed suit. Her chest hurt with grief for Brace, and yet it was made marginally lighter to know that her Marquis held her in such high regard, to honor her with his presence as well as remarking upon her ability to do the job. In a way, their respect meant as much if not more as the Captain rank. It meant they saw her, and recognized her efforts to serve Inaria, and the Jacana was soothed by their support, reassured that she was making the right choice. "I will go to pay my respects later." For Brace deserved that much. Even if his leadership had left them lacking, he had fought and died for Inaria all the same.

When she brought her head up, she was greeted by a golden form whose stoic face showed nothing, and yet...the Queen gave her a nod. The green guard smiled at her Queen, and bowed low again. "Queen Haven," she said quietly, by way of greeting.

Finally, the last in the string of witnesses approached. It was Cappella, and Sage was surprised to see her. Last she had heard, the girl had been pregnant and seriously injured, but she looked well enough. The words she spoke caught Sage off guard though.

"Fight me for it."

"Why?" came the blunt, but not unkind word from the brown maw of the Royal Guard. She turned to face the smaller blue patterned girl, eyes searching the other's face for something, though she wasn't sure what. "Don't mistake my question for refusal, Cappella, for I will gladly fight any challenger that our Queen deems appropriate. I want to know what makes you wish to compete for a rank such as Captain, why you think you're up to the task."

Sage, standing there, spoke in even tones, her posture confident even as she left out the accusations she might have flung out before the war had molded her, shaped her, changed her. Cappella had brought a Saboran spy home, had left Inaria before then and found herself captured, and even before that, had shown a horrible lack of respect for any and all authority, even those who had done naught but try to help the girl. They were of a similar age, and yet Cappella had raged against Inarians, Alphas and Subordinates alike, the disrespect of her superiors the greatest and only crime worth Sage's vitriol, and Sage instead had grown, taking three ranks and working hard to prove herself in all of them.

And yet that vitriol did not lace a single word and her eyes, while fiery, did not show any malice towards her challenger. A fight would not be enough to prove to Sage that this girl had changed for the better, when she was of the opinion that someone who desired to lead their military, such as it was, should at least have been among their ranks for at least a short while. But Sage would treat her opponent with respect, and she didn't say any of these things as she waited for the other to respond.

"Queen Haven," she would say, turning to look at her Queen, respect evident in her gaze. "I would be honored if you would set the terms for our fight."

(She is the one), but I have a purpose,
(She is the one), and I have to fight this,
(She is the one), the villain I can't knock down.

I see your face with every punch I take,
And every bone I break, it's all for you.
And my worst pains are words I cannot say,
Still I will always fight on for you.




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Offline Gyr[RP]

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2016, 09:43:12 PM »
She had been holed up and kept to herself for far too long.  What she had done in the war had taken a toll on the girls mental state, she had given her all to protect those she cared for from invaders, and in doing so she had lost a piece of herself, what exactly that piece was she wasn't sure but like most others that went into battle, she came out-

Different. 

Still, a soldiers job was a thankless one, even after all the blood that was spilled, and she had to carry her load and move on, as much of Inaria had already done.  It was because of this that she lifted herself back up, and walked out of her den for the first time in what seemed like ages.  Her muscles still ached and burned form the wounds she bore, but what hit her the most was how time had just carried on, even with her consumed with her guilt and pain, it still went on.  Gyr could come to terms with this fact, in fact, it seems more than just time moved on as she heard a howl of summons come from nearby.  She recognized the howl immediately as her friend Sage, she called for the Captain.  Odd.  Perhaps this was something she needed to get herself back on track.  Shaking herself off gently, she padded off in the direction Sage had called from.

It did not take her long to get to the clearing which it seemed everyone had gathered at.  The golden Lady Haven, the Marchioness Moons, and even the elusive Marquis Kashmir had showed.  Gyr cocked her head slightly as she approached, wondering what this was about and was quite surprised when she overheard the conversation and learned what everyone was gathered here for.  It seemed Sage had challenged for Captain, and the blue lady Cappella accepted it.  As Gyr was a Soldier of her fine home she would support either of the two candidates that earned the rank of Captain, but deep down inside she was rooting for Sage.  Stepping up close to the gathering, she'd dip her head in respect to each of the elder leaders and their respective ranks, and would ask Lady Haven quietly, "If there is a need of a witness for the challenge Lady Haven, I'd be honored to help."

Give this soldier a sense of purpose again. 

[Don't mind me, she's not challenging for rank, she's just here to support her friend <3]
« Last Edit: November 20, 2016, 11:22:08 PM by Gyr[RP] »

Offline Cappella

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2016, 11:09:32 AM »
"Why?"

She felt herself stiffen, aware of everyone's eyes judging her.

"Don't mistake my question for refusal, Cappella, for I will gladly fight any challenger that our Queen deems appropriate. I want to know what makes you wish to compete for a rank such as Captain, why you think you're up to the task."

"I want to protect my home." Came the answer without a second thought. But there was more to the question, she soon realised. Her containment in Saboro and her betrayals were likely to be spread as rumours around the pack. Should it have been any surprise to her that anyone not in the council would simply see her as a traitor who had no right to even be here, let alone fight for the honour of a high rank? A soft sigh escaped her, her voice low and croaky as she continued:

"I've seen evil at it's very core." None of them had seen the heart of Saboro like she had (even then, it was only where the slaves were allowed). She kept telling herself she had done the right thing, that her betrayal not only saved her life, but countless others in Inaria too (wouldn't Saboro have attacked them anyway? At least she had given Inaria some warning). "I have been tortured, given to royalty as a slave that wanted me to love them." Her mind flickered to Sol Katti, her soft voice and her brilliant seafoam eyes. To Coven, who loomed over her as his minions tore at her for information that she did not have.

To Dragon.

"I know who wants to hurt Inaria - I fought her. I have made a lot of mistakes. But I owe it to everyone in this pack - even if they don't know me, even if they hate me - I will make sure they don't suffer anymore." Particularly, she thought separately to herself, to the families who now cried over the graves of their loved ones because of what she had done. "I love this place too much to let it fall."

She and Sage had very different upbringings; Cappella had fought a lot of emotions about things that had happened in her life. There was a lot of anger that had built up inside her, from losing her parents to losing her home (even now, she hears whispers on the wind that the desert pack had fallen apart, and she hopes her brother is okay). Part of her was jealous of Sage, to be entirely honest. She did not know the green woman, but she simply presumed she was an Inarian who worked her way through the ranks - with no feelings of rage or lack of belonging to contend with (she could have been completely wrong, but she would probably never know).

That anger was still inside her, though for different reasons (Dragon, who constantly plagued her nightmares). But she had some more self control compared to the angry little girl she once was. She hoped, whether she won or lost, that she could prove that to everyone. That she truly wanted to help this place.

All she needed was a chance.

"Queen Haven, I would be honored if you would set the terms for our fight."

Finally, she tore her gaze away from Sage and looked to Queen Haven, unsure of what sort of reaction she would get.

There was no turning back now - Cappella would never have forgiven herself if she did not try.
You vow your life and blood,
But this is not our home, in the water,
Our hope here's never found,
Just try to keep your way, in the water.


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Who we are today,
Could never make amends for what we've done,
Tainted blood.

Offline Setebos

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 05:14:54 PM »
Couldn't get a day's rest in this pack.

Setebos never knew the former Captain. As far as he was concerned, he was just another unfortunate casualty of a senseless war. He had no personal stake in the position, either. Inaria's infrastructure could be managed by other people, and if it were any other pair of wolves challenging for the rank, he would have let it fly beneath his notice, and answered the call of duty only out of a weighty feeling of obligation.

But it was a certain pair of wolves. Two wolves he had unexpectedly become quite fond of.

Cappella, the wounded, spirited girl who had entered Inaria as a battered mess, and emerged as a woman reborn -- a fighter, a mother, a living testament to Inaria's history. Sage, the vivacious, but headstrong guard who had suffered through a bloody war and came out still burning bright. Sage was a colleague, occasionally a nuisance, and Cappella had trusted Setebos with the health and safety of her children. If Setebos were a nationalistic sort, he would have mused on how the two women represented Inaria's ideals at its peak.

The symbolism was lost on him. He was just here to witness, and to clean up the mess left afterward once the new Captain stood victorious.

He arrived prepared. Setebos laid the bushels of yarrow and raspberry leaves (ready to be knotted into tourniquets at a moment's notice) and tangles of burdock root on the ground. He looked at Haven, Gyr (who he did not know), and Kashmir, just to acknowledge that they were there. After that, his focus was exclusively divided between the two combatants. Setebos cleared his throat to break their concentration, and remind them that assistance was here.

"I'm just here to patch up the winner. And, I guess, the loser," Setebos said, uncharacteristically subdued. "Good luck to the both of you."

Both of them, because really, to him, it didn't matter who became Captain. Cappella and Sage had spent their entire lives slowly approaching this collision. Setebos's first and foremost concern was taking care of whoever needed him.

Try not to kill each other.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 01:23:15 PM by Setebos »
   




This old warship has wounds
And it won't sail for nothin'
The old sailor said to me
And I was foolish not to listen
And paid such close conscription
All the lies I believed

"But if you lend me some more labor
And put your name on paper
We just might catch a breeze"
I know now he was not a captain
Now because of all my actions
I grow alone with the sea

[ #E42217 ] | played by Sunblink
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Offline Aeolus

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 05:47:03 PM »
He was late to arrive to this little gathering but hopefully not to late to learn something from it. He needed to learn as much as he could about Inaria seeing as how he lived here now and was supposed to be a Page besides. Yes learning about his home was a definite must if he was going to be able to be of any real use in his new rank. Taking in the faces present there were some he recognized, mostly from the war, but there were others here who were less familiar to him. That was going to change now perhaps, and maybe it needed to all things considered. For now though he would simply offer a nod of greeting to those he knew first and then move on to acknowledging those whom he did not know. A healer was already present it seemed so there would likely be no need for him to have to go and fetch one, not that he'd have much of an idea of who to fetch at any rate, and there were plenty of others here who could likely just summon someone if it were needed which made his rank essentially useless here in this situation so there wasn't much point in mentioning it really especially as he didn't want to take anymore attention away from the reason for this gathering than his arrival likely already had.

Besides the maroon one, Moons, already knew he was capable of making reports as she was the one he'd reported to about the tainted water during the war so if anything absolutely needed someone to go and make a report about something unlikely as it was well..if he was asked or even if he wasn't he could state his rank then at which point it would of course be up to whomever whether he was sent or not. Until such a time as that arrived, if it arrived, he would simply watch and learn.

((so he is just gonna be an observer so unless someone/something addresses or involves him directly he can pretty much be skipped))

Offline Nagamaki

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2016, 02:30:17 PM »
After so long of deathly silence, Inaria moved again. It felt, in some way, as if the pack had been holding its breath, least Saboro catch wind of their survival and return. And in turn Nagamaki had felt frozen in her grief, laying among the shed petals from the trees as if she were only another skeleton. But oh, how this commotion called her. A summoner's song to the weary soldier. She rose and followed the sounds.

When she arrived, she remained silent. She simply observed the back and forth, evaluated the situation. Yes, Brace, she remembered him, and spared a passing thought to mourn him. Once it became clear there wereonly two challengers, she sized them up. The blue girl... curious.

Once the rest of the group fell quiet, Nagamaki stepped forward.

"If I may," she began, giving a brief nod to Haven. The brief acknowledgement of rank so she could rush on ahead with the rest of this.  "I have a suggestion." She would cast her gaze around to all those surrounded. "They want to reform the army? Create a force that would protect us from another attack? A simple spar is not enough to prove their worth for such a task." Her gaze shifted between Sage and Capella now.

"Saboro brought more than just their fangs and their strength. Our doctor can attest to the strength of their poison. They had strategy." She lowered her head, letting her voice sharpen. "Any worthwhile military leader here would need to prove they are not just strong, but smart. Able to strategize. Able to improvise."

Here, she would turn to face Haven. "My suggestion: make them fight for the rank... without using their teeth." Surely, they had enough passion to find other ways to knock an opponent over.

Once she'd made her annoucement, Nagamaki returned to her spot among the observers, then turned and grinned at the two challengers. "May the best wolf win."
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 07:35:53 PM by Nagamaki »


another conversation with no destination
another battle; never won
and each side is a loser
so who cares who fired the gun?

st. jude, the patron saint of the lost causes
st. jude, we were lost before she started
st. jude, we lay in bed as she whipped around us
st. jude, maybe i've always been more comfortable in chaos

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Offline Haven

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 08:33:31 AM »
Haven had a sense for some things. Some things she just knew.

And yet, time and time again, Inaria had surprised her. At just the moment Haven felt in her a wellspring of confidence that Sage would be their new captain, a challenger approached. The queen's eyes grew wide. Her first thought, and one she immediately felt shame for, was no. Cappella had been through so much, she had always struggled and she had never fit in and no one had ever respected her and Haven didn't want to lose her again. God, Haven could have stopped so much suffering if only she'd told Cappella no once before. If only she'd told Cappella that her family was long-dead, and the people who loved her were here. They could have avoided a war. They could have avoided all of this.

"Fight me for it."

The queen swallowed once, the only sign of her discomfort. She set her jaw again and turned back to Sage. Haven still hadn't apologized for what she'd said to Cappella before. Still hadn't told Cappella that she'd been wrong to blame a victim for the cruelty of her attackers.

"Why?" Sage asked. The healer-soldier kept a calm demeanor. Oh Sage, Sage had always been meant for something big. For something important. She was quite literally born to protect this place. Who could deny the girl her destiny? "Don't mistake my question for refusal, Cappella, for I will gladly fight any challenger that our Queen deems appropriate. I want to know what makes you wish to compete for a rank such as Captain, why you think you're up to the task."

"I want to protect my home." Cappella began. "I've seen evil at it's very core." Had Haven been of weaker stuff, she might have shuddered at the thought. She might have remembered what she had seen the Saborans do in the battlefield."I have been tortured, given to royalty as a slave that wanted me to love them." the things Saboro did weren't for war. The cruelty was inherent in the way their kingdom lived. The very structure that the pack had been built on was evil
 
"I know who wants to hurt Inaria - I fought her. I have made a lot of mistakes. But I owe it to everyone in this pack - even if they don't know me, even if they hate me - I will make sure they don't suffer anymore." Inside, Haven felt a surge of pride and shame, of love and doubt. When had the girl ever been anything but a contradiction? But then she said her closing words -

 "I love this place too much to let it fall." Haven stared at Cappella. The girl had come so far, suffered so much. But she'd come back. Cappella came back because Inaria, not the outlands, not the neutrals, was her home. And she loved it. And she said as much.

Haven turned her gaze to the sky. She thought for a moment. She returned it to the young, fiery wolves before her. If there was ever a problem that a Queen wanted to have, it was the problem of too many qualified leaders. But there could only be one captain.

"Queen Haven," Sage said, looking to the golden wolf. "I would be honored if you would set the terms for our fight." Haven did not sigh or waver, but inside she knew that someone she cared about was leaving this meeting disappointed. Empty handed. Possibly even ashamed. Still, what was shame or disappointment in the face of war? In the face of death? Loss? That was what this position was about. Haven knew they both had experienced war and death and loss. They were both experts by now.

And both of them were looking at her.

Others had arrived now, Gyr came as a witness, Setebos as a medic, and then another wolf she hadn't yet met. And then - Nagamaki. The dark wolf was a curious sight, her tail still a worried stump of what it had been. Haven was pleased to see her here. They were trying to move on, yes? Bury their ghosts? By doing what they did best. Getting to work.

"If I may," Nagamaki began, nodding to Haven, who returned the gesture. "I have a suggestion. They want to reform the army? Create a force that would protect us from another attack? A simple spar is not enough to prove their worth for such a task." Haven listened quietly. "Saboro brought more than just their fangs and their strength. Our doctor can attest to the strength of their poison. They had strategy.Any worthwhile military leader here would need to prove they are not just strong, but smart. Able to strategize. Able to improvise."

True.

She turned to face Haven. "My suggestion: make them fight for the rank... without using their teeth." It was a new idea, and an interesting one.  Haven nodded in agreement. Nagamaki's logic was sound. This wasn't just about strength, or honor. It was also about creativity, about tactics, about observation. The terms were fair. Besides, by now everyone in Inaria was surely tired of using their teeth.

"I second these terms." The queen said quietly, staring first at brave, loyal Sage. Then at tempestuous Cappella. Haven thought the war had taken both of them from her. Thank god she was wrong.

 "May the best wolf win." Naga said.

Haven waited a moment, giving the opponents a chance to size the other up. Then -

"You may begin. Now."

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THIS IS WAR and we are all going to be polite as hell about it or SO HELP ME GOD.

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2016, 07:19:27 PM »
Sage listened to them all, from the challenger who stood before her to the others who simply came to act as witness. Her fiery eyes sparked when they landed on Gyr, one of her closest friends, and then sobered again when they came to Setebos. She gave him a concise nod, the softness in her gaze for him alone. Setebos was her friend, even if he chose not to acknowledge her fondness for him, and yet here he was, standing in support of the challenge, if not choosing a side as obviously as others might. The green Guard would not have asked it of the male whose presence only cemented in her the drive, the desire, the overwhelming push to do more and be more for him, for Gyr, for Kashmir, Haven and Ghost...for Inaria above all, but even for Cappella, whose own suffering Sage could never doubt. War had touched them all, and Sage would fight with her whole being to be their shield, to craft them safety through reconstructing the military from the ground up.

Win or lose, Sage's battle would not end here. It was only just beginning.

"I'm just here to patch up the winner. And, I guess, the loser. Good luck to the both of you."

The royal guard inclined her head to him in acknowledgement, remembering that without him, without Queen Haven and Kashmir, she might have been as dead as Brace and buried in the cold embrace of the earth, nothing but a memory.

Two more Inarians rolled in, having heard her challenge and come to watch, but one...one she did not know, proposed terms that had Sage peering with interest, eyes sharp and ears erect as they caught each word spoken.

"My suggestion: make them fight for the rank... without using their teeth."

It was an interesting suggestion, to be sure, and had Sage not been riding her pure determination to do what she must, she might have sagged in relief when the idea was seconded by the Queen.

"I second these terms."

In truth, Sage had never wanted to hurt anyone to bring about the changes she would see for Inaria, to use her fangs to rend another belonging to their home without due cause. But she would have, the girl acknowledged to herself, glancing at Cappella to see what the other Inarian thought of such terms. She would have used every tool she had to prove her worth to those present and to those who would come after. Sage wanted nothing more than to leave her mark on Inaria, to provide to them a legacy that was more than pretty purple flowers and a weak military. The green wolf wanted a legacy which her children and her children's children could carry on with pride, secure in knowing that when she died, those who survived her would prevail and go boldly into the future. No more strong monarchs with insecure footing. No more swords without shields.

That much, she could do, and she believed that in her heart.

When it became clear there were no other terms to be set, Sage bowed to her Queen, and then, turning to Cappella, did the same. Had this been less important to her, she might have smiled even as she formulated a strategy to take down the girl who might have been her friend if their pasts hadn't been so strikingly different, who might still be her friend after this, if indeed her words still rang true after..."I love this place too much to let it fall."

"You may begin. Now."

There was no warning as the large Jacana dire did what she had been born to do. Moons, watching the fight, might have recognized her small, spitfire of a daughter in the broad-chested wolf that now coiled well-built hind-quarters to propel her much larger body towards the smaller wolf. As a child, the girl had been known to charge into a fight with little concern with her own safety, but just as she neared Cappella, the green wolf, instead of using her bulk to bowl the smaller girl over, sharply turned and changed her trajectory. It was a sudden move, feinting left and then going right, close enough to the dark girl that if her teeth had been acceptable to use, her challenger might be able to graze her hide. As Sage ran past, her shoulder tilted down, aiming to shove Cappella over or at least unbalance her, while continuing and then whirling to face the girl again, should she not have already attempted to move.

That sharp calculation in her eyes hadn't been there before the war. Sage was a Jacana born for war, but now she'd been humbled by it, and what was the point of war if not to learn from it? Brute force had not kept her from being wounded, nor had it protected Brace. She had to become stronger, true, but Sage also sought to become smarter, to fight with her head though every instinct pushed her to use her much greater height and weight to simply knock Cappella over and smother her into submission.

Instead, her shoulder-check had been a test, to see if Cappella had any weaknesses to exploit, any lingering injuries that might cause her to stumble. Fiery eyes were staring unblinking at Cappella as she trotted a wide circle around the smaller combatant.



-Sage runs headlong toward Cappella.
-Feints left, goes right.
-If close enough to Cappella, body checks her with her shoulder.
-Keeps going, whirling to see what Cappella will do, if she shows any weaknesses, while trotting a wide circle around her.

(She is the one), but I have a purpose,
(She is the one), and I have to fight this,
(She is the one), the villain I can't knock down.

I see your face with every punch I take,
And every bone I break, it's all for you.
And my worst pains are words I cannot say,
Still I will always fight on for you.




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Offline Moons

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2016, 12:56:15 PM »
((Btw you can skip Moons; Moons is just going to be proudly spectating so I'll just let Sage and Cappella post for their battle~))
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Offline Cappella

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Re: Tranquil as a forest, but fire within [Challenge for Captain rank]
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2017, 10:44:16 PM »
[sorry this is short and bad, long anxious day and i've been running on like 3 hours sleep, so i'll keep it to the point]

More and more came, and soon the terms were decided: fangs were forbidden, and the italian woman took a deep breath to steady her nerves.

ok im literally passing out at the laptop im gonna do bullet points for now and make it a real post tomorrow at some point

-- Cappella sizes up Sage, realises that she would not win this fight on pure strength alone
-- Some reflection on Moons' training: don't let them knock you to the ground. Remembers how she had always struggled with that.
-- Backs up as Sage charges towards her, is able to speedily get away from her shoulder check.
-- Cappella also circles Sage, but pauses, backing up towards the beach.
-- Is happy to wait for Sage to make another attack: would rather have her wear herself out.
You vow your life and blood,
But this is not our home, in the water,
Our hope here's never found,
Just try to keep your way, in the water.


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Who we are today,
Could never make amends for what we've done,
Tainted blood.