Dirt and Nail
Location: The Feral Glen
Timeline: December 12th, 2011
Tags: Mathias, Jericho, Feral Pack,
Mathias let a breath out slowly as he squared off against the twins. The two were both about 5'5" to his 6'7" they were like film negatives of each other. where one had a left eye blue and a right eye brown, the other had the opposite. Trovis was a brown headed and tan where his twin Trovir was blond and pale skin. Each stood in a low crouch and slowly turning in opposite ways and Mathias nodded. He know this strategy well as he taught it to them but they were still young and did not listen as close as they should have been. As one they leapt at him both high hoping to land a shot at his head. Waiting until the last possible moment, he hoped to one side and they both slammed into each other and crumpled to the ground. He then picked them both up by the back of their necks and held them at arms length.
"You were to go low and I high Trovir" said one in a growly voice
"No, you were suppose to go low and I high." retorted Trovir angrily.
They both fell into growling and Mathias lost his patience. He shifted into his preferred hybrid form which was a scary mix of brindle Kodiak bear and human. He grew easily to 20 feet tall towering among the trees in their forest glen and brought both close together. He then unleashed a roar full of anger and frustration. Both twins fell silent and started making whining noises one would hear from a dog or wolf. Mathias quickly dropped them and then shifted back to his human form.
"You two will be the death of each other and this pack if you do not get a grip. You are not just twins but pack mates as well. But you act like two rutting dogs fighting over a bone. I do not have the patience for this today. Go and practice on your own and do not forget that you two are responsible for the meal tonight," he turned to leave and then turned around "and it will be a "cooked" meal". Both the brothers groaned they hated cooking, as did most of the pack. Mathias ignored them and turned to go to his rock where Trey was lounging.
"You are distracted today Ursais. What is on your mind," asked Trey as he stretched in a manner he intended to be flirtatious.
"Too much and none of it what I am suppose to be focusing on. Aren't you on patrol in the human world today," he asked Trey.
"I have just come back from the patrol all is quiet both on the grounds and among the wood. I have set the normal alarms and glyphs to alert me should something come that way," he replied.
"We are not mystics and you are no visionary. Get a bite to eat from the camp and then get back out there. Take Tina if you need distraction but go, now," replied Mathias.
"But.." Trey started to argue but was interrupted by a large bear like creature pinning him to the ground and roaring in his face. Drool and spittle flew all over his face as a look of real fear showed on his face.
In a voice dripping with fear, "Your will, Ursais" The giant bear looked at him hard teeth bared as if thinking about something but he eventually let him up. Trey new that Ursais was in a mood and he had narrowly escaped death despite being his chosen mate. Trey was reminded that he was not the alpha and he was not equal to Mathias.
After Trey had vanished and Mathias had calmed slightly, a shadow against the side of one of the trees bulked outward and took on definition and solidity, resolving into the tall and stately form of Lady Jericho. She stood erect with her hands folded wearing her black and white Victorian finery, her pale red eyes pierced the dimness as lambent red ovals and her pale skin was nearly luminous in the darkness.
“Mathias, how do you fare?” she asked softly.
Mathias sniffed and as always he smelled fresh tilled dirt that stuck to Jericho and others like her. Mathias barely repressed a growl that always seemed to come unbidden around those out side the circle. "Hello Princess, welcome to the Feral Glen of Clan Apex. I am well enough, how are you?"
“Well despite that my cubs are growing claws and teeth,” she chuckled. “One of them has made several excursions into your territory; are you familiar with him?”
"Zach," Mathias nodded once, "He spent the night due to a mistake of one of mine, who has been returned to the circle."
“He has returned again since though?” she asked, her tone curious, her stance and her body language completely neutral.
Mathias returned a big toothy grin, "Fine Jericho, lets by pass the games. Yes he has been back, several times but he has only spent the night the first time. He has my blessing to return as he sees fit."
“And how do you find him?” she asked, not rising to his challenge.
Mathias suddenly shifted in to human form and frowned, "He reeks of emotions but he does not seem to know he has them. Does that make sense?" he asked slightly frustrated.
“Its part of Zachary’s Mystic’s Affliction to have Doll Syndrome,” she explained softly. “He has emotions but out of his awareness until he’s his most vulnerable, and must have gotten their willingly. This is made even more difficult as it seems our Zachary will become a Battle Master.”
Mathias took his index finger and thumb and rubbed his temple as if hit by a headache, "That is not a burden I would wish on anyone, even enemies."
“It is what he has inherited from his parents,” she said with a small sigh, “from his parents. And both of them come from very powerful Lines and each carries strong Afflictions. So,” she paused and asked him, “is there a…’special’… reason he chooses to continue to return here Mathias?”
Mathias thought for a moment, he thought of lying but that is was not his way, his nature and so he stay true to himself, "Perhaps he finds comfort among a bunch of predators?" he replied with a grin. "Honestly, and this is the tooth and nail of it, I am not sure. I confronted him recently on not returning and he got mad though he did not know it. All I know is he wants to be here among us and I find myself willing to pay the price to see that it is allowed, Princess," there was no ire or sarcasm in the last word but honest respect.
“Price?” she asked, seeming a slightly confused and… dismayed… expression. “Did you think I was going to punish you for…?” she began to ask and then nodded slowly to herself. “Mm, I believe perhaps our agreement was unclear. The words of our agreement was ‘seek you not the children I guard, show not your Truselves to them..’ from that section of the Contract,” she recited the words as if she was reading them from a document, which needless to say she still had her copy stored away. “You do not know me very well Mathias and for that I apologize. I did not mean for you to stay out here and me and mine to remain across the water on our islands,” she flung her right hand absently back the way she lived, “and never visit.” She sighed slightly and folded her hands again, “But still, as they say, ’sugar turns to salt if it is ignored’. I did not mean that if they came to you they could not be allowed to find friends. We have been their parents, teachers, disciplinarians and guardians their entire lives. It makes sense they would seek out others who were not what they had grown up knowing, to explore.” Silently she offered her hand, in a man’s handshake, not a woman’s with the back bared to be kissed or licked. “You have done very well my friend, thanklessly, I know.”
Mathias was surprised, he actually did not sign the contact that was signed by Clan Alpha but he was told by Grams the nature of the contract. He would talk to her later about such mis-information for sure. "Thank you, Princess. It warms my heart to know that Zach will be allowed to continue to visit. We have not seen the others anywhere near the woods as they do not seek to explore beyond the island as of yet. Zach has also told me that he has not told anyone of his trips out here, even Pike. I am not sure what that means but I am assuming you will."
“It means he wants you all to himself as long as he can,” she replied with a slightly impish smirk. “But they are all siblings, despite their differences, and you may know how hard it is to keep secrets from your sibs, especially when you disappear for hours and hours at a time.”
Mathias nodded and offered a conspirators grin. Growing up with his litter mates there was no privacy. "Princess, is there anything else you wish to address," he offered with a wide stretch.
“Is there anything your pack needs?” she asked. “Spirit-weapons, portable wards, potions, poisons or perhaps some supplies from the Shadow-Realm? I know an exceptional Feral Provisionary who specializes in travelling food for displaced Shadow-Folk in the Mortal-Realm,” she offered, “At my expense, of course. Your contract has such requests covered in the agreement, of course.” She did smile a bit though, clearly wanting to make a good offer without clothing it in the trappings of pity or dependence.
"I appreciate the offer; the grotto is contained in the shadow realm and provides all our needs for food and hunt. Trovis and Trovir need updated armor as they are now full grown and what they have now fits improperly. If we can schedule time to get them fitted that would be more than enough for us," he replied, his clan was fiercely traditional in how they approached fighting relying on claw and fang as opposed to tool and weapon but he was not naive enough to not get the best he could for his pack. Trovir and Trovis were fast becoming the predators he needed and soon would be the dangerous wolves he needed.
“Then have them report to the Academy stables and see Kyort and he will get them to Hulga for measurements,” she replied with a resolute nod. “Of all of us, she is the best crafter for the Shifting Blood. And," she paused and nodded once decisively to herself, "if you’re amenable, I would like to ask a local Fey Clan to drop by for Mid-Winter’s Feast as thanks for the work that you and yours have done all these years. The Clan is looking to do something new this year and they would be delighted to make new friends, having some of the lesser Shifting Blood counted amongst their numbers.” This seemed to be posed as a request, again, respecting his authority but speaking to him as an equal, not as a vassal.
"I will send the twins tomorrow and The Feral Pack would be honored to join your clan for the Mid-Winter Feast," replied Mathias with a low respectful bow.
"Excellent," she smiled widely, careful not to show, what he knew by rumor, was a mouth of carnivore's teeth. "I'll alert Kyort and the Clan's Raven-skin herald should be around to meet with you sometime in the next few days. Be well Mathias and take well care of yourself; you are important to me and the Academy and very likely Zachary."
And with that, she faded out like a shadow in brighter light.