A subtle undulation of the land forms an curious, natural spiral in the open ground. One side of the formation rises to create a half-circle or crescent of earth surrounding and encompassing the spiral. The ground is littered with rock and flagstones, both large and small. Someone has carefully gathered up a trove of these and erected a clear fire pit. Flagstones with smooth surfaces have been laid along the upper lip of half circle of earth around the fire pit, turning it into a nice seating area. All debris and flammable material's been removed from within the spiral, and a fire has been laid. Just beyond the spiral's edge, wood has been collected and piled for future use. Surrounding this, the rugged walls of the canyon have been half buried by the Wyld surge, making the upper slope of the valley more gentle than it was before. Stands of Douglas fir and white pines mix with hemlock, lodgepole pines, and western larch trees to fill much of the open space, but the trees here are not nearly as dense as they are in the surrounding forests of the bawn. The sparse woods allows a partial view of the sky, and both sun and moonlight filter down to create enigmatic and beautiful shadow patterns on the forest floor. That floor is blanketed with a thick, soft rug of shed pine needles, lichen and leaf debris. The moss-covered relics of old, dead trees occasionally mark a place where once great sentinels loomed above.
The caern expands in two directions from here. The escarpment wall and raised dais form one point of the new triangle, while the center of the caern and its gigantic, Wyld-influenced tree marks the other. The only obvious way out of the caern is the valley slope that leads to the central bawn.
Compact is the word for him: wiry, maybe 5'6" in his beat-up black combat boots, with a sense of compressed energy and imminence like a coiled spring -- or a cocked gun. Never quite still for long, balance flowing through the balls of his feet. There's a striking intensity to his narrow blue-green eyes, the colour contrasting with his fair skin and spiky copper hair; just below the left is what at first appears to be a faint mole, but closer inspection reveals as a small, long-healed scar. His features are appealing, with high cheekbones and a good jawline, but it's the confident mien and roguish smile that most often seem to draw people in.
He's in a well-worn biker jacket of the traditional sort, all fairly closely fit black leather and silvery zippers and snaps. Beneath it, he's got old black jeans with a rip in one knee and the cuffs half walked off and a faded plain black t-shirt which fits rather snugly, in a flattering sort of way. There's a couple leather-and-bead bracelets on one wrist and a length of ball-chain disappearing beneath his collar; his nails were apparently painted black some time ago, since they're starting to show chips. Late teens, most likely, and when he speaks it's in a mellifluous, southern-accented baritone voice.
Shaggy brown hair and darker brown eyes frames this young boy's face. Justin has a slightly tanned complexion with a hint of Puerto Rican from his mother's side, Caucasian from his father's. He has a fairly lanky build that could use a bit of bulking upas he is built like a high school track runner. He wears loose fitted 'destroyed' blue jeans, simple tank tops, and worn down sneakers that are about five months in need of replacement, and during the cold, a thick green military jacket from his Grandpa. He looks like your average, ordinary American young teen that plays outside and is fairly active. Tall at five foot ten, he is a few inches higher than most his age for now.
A handspan over six feet, this tall man with warm, brown skin has eyes so dark the irises are nearly black. His dark hair is shaved on the sides, save for an intricate pattern reminiscent of tribal art, centered on a narrow mohawk a couple inches in length. Though he takes the razor to his scalp with some frequency, he's less conscientious about his facial hair, and seems to have about a week's worth of growth. Each ear bears multiple piercings, some studs, some more interesting designs, like the dragon that climbs the outer edge on the right. With his high cheekbones and delicate features, he's almost too pretty, almost beautiful, despite the external acts of rebellion.
He wears a black shirt of heavy cotton, the high collar tight against his neck. Buckles adorn the shoulders, three on each side, forming epaulettes, while others mark the long cuffs, and replace the buttons that would run from throat to waist. The shirt laces down the back, pulling close against against his lean frame, accentuating the long lines. The tails of the shirt hang down over black denim, almost hiding the ends of the chains that dangle at his hip. Like everything else he wears, his boots are a solid black, except for the metal of the buckles.
This three-year-old, arctic wolf's thick white coat stretches over an equally thick and stocky frame. She's about two and a quarter feet tall at the shoulder and four from tip to tail, significantly shorter, more stout, and much more bulky than your run of the mill wolf. Copious muscles can be seen sliding along when she moves, even under her heavy coat. Like the rest of her subspecies, her paws seem almost too large for her body. She often favours her left hind leg just so slightly. Among her coat are about as many scars as one would expect for a wolf of her age.
This late twenty-something Alaska Native woman stands under five feet tall - something that's made worse with her usual slouching posture - but she looks far from frail. Not unsightly, Ciuraq has a boxer's physique, with a fit but well figured body, and muscular arms and thick legs which contributes to a stout look. Her round face has a small broad nose, wide mouth, and a faint scar runs along part of the lower left part of her face; her jaw looks like it's been injured in the past. Her small, wide-set, dark brown eyes have an almond shape and arching eyebrows, and her thick black hair hangs to her waist, usually braided. In spite of her small stature, she can seem physically dominating, and possesses a unstopability usually reserved for locomotives or rampaging beasts.
Ciuraq has on clothes that are best described as stylish, pricy, and flattering, though without being out and out 'girly.' She's wearing a dark navy and bright turquoise tanktop, and a pair of khaki capri pants. This is supplemented by a light beige longsleeve top when things get cooler. She has a small fur pouch on her hip, hidden under the untucked over-shirt when she wears it. It has a faint phenolic smell. She has an ornate bracelet on her left wrist, seemingly made of molded bone, and bearing a piece of the purest turquoise in the center. She favours her left leg slightly when she moves. Depending on what she's wearing, sometimes the whale fluke tattoos can be seen circling her collar bone, two in the front, two on her back.
This wiry, short (5'6"), and modestly attractive man looks to be just slightly on either side of 40 years of age. His dark brown hair, with the occasional strand of absolute white, is medium length and just a tad unkempt. He looks physically fit, but not necessarily athletic. His movements tend to speak of a practiced grace and fluidity--as if well aware of his immediate environment and the mechanics of the human body.
His attire consists predominantly of an earthen-brown, long, flowing, almost robe-like hooded duster of lightweight fabric that envelopes most of his body. Typically worn with the hood down and the front open, the duster reveals a button-down blue silk shirt beneath, suitable for a casual business meeting. Pants? Earthen brown slacks, loose-fitting, with an expensive and slightly worn pair of Merrell hiking boots--likewise brown and with hints of dirt on them. He also wears a pair of brown leather gloves.
The more perceptive might notice his right pant leg by his ankle has an unusual bulge. There's also a strong smell of woodsmoke about him, as if he's just recently been standing too close to a campfire or fireplace.
This kid is heavily scarred; it looks like he's been through a war, though he can't be much more than twelve or thirteen years old. He's only a few inches over five feet tall, skinny and pale, with long black hair that's just past his narrow shoulders. Thick scar tissue rips down the left side of the kid's thin face (his eye on that side is blind white), while another line runs crookedly across the bridge of his beaky nose. There are pockmarks from old shrapnel wounds as well, and half of his right ear has been torn off at some point. His eyes (the good one's dark brown) are deep-set under thick black eyebrows. The kid limps a bit when he walks, favoring his right leg, and his left hand is missing its smallest finger and half of its ring finger. And marking the right side of his neck, just under his jaw, are three small teardrop-shaped scars, easily unnoticed.
The sheer amount of violence that this barely-adolescent youth has obviously experienced is troubling enough, but the aura of tightly-controlled rage is enough to make most mortals blench.
He's typically dressed in jeans and t-shirt and sneakers, typical casual kid-wear, with a grey hooded jacket for outdoors. Apart from the footwear, his clothing is all a little bit too big on him, but one might imagine that he'll grow into it in a year or so.
It can take a minute to properly identify just what this canine is. To those in the know, though, his species isn't quite so vague. As a coywolf, Watcher physically resembles his coyote heritage more than his wolf as a whole. He's smaller and leaner than a wolf, with the longer ears and lighter build one would expect to see on a coyote. He's got a thick coat, though, and it lends him a bit of false bulk that usually makes him just look a bit shabby. His paws are also larger, ending with curving claws. His muzzle is a bit broader though not so heavy as a wolf but contains the same array of sharp teeth. Overall, he's a tawny grey-ticked coloration with a darker saddle. His undersides are lighter and he has yellow eyes.
"A little of all of the above as well," Nick replies as softly as Salem settles in at a not-so-close spot around the fire pit. Nick, perhaps recognizing he's too close to the flames, moves himself back a few feet from the fire. "Your caern," he says, excluding himself from any ownership, "is fascinating on all of those levels. And I feel very...." He searches for an appropriate word. Then he finds it. "... /centered/ here. And the patterns? Hypnotic."
Salem and Nicodemus are seated near the firepit, wherein blazes a /very/ healthy flame. The barely-adolescent Philodox has been running through undergrowth and climbing trees recently and looks it, complete with torn sleeve and dried blood. "I've visited quite a number of caerns, and this one is very... unique," he says to Nick with a nod.
Nicodemus leans back, propping himself up upon two gloved hands. "You are tremendously fortunate. I've been to other places of power. Nearby glades in the woods and the park, for instance. None of them resonate like here."
Little Silvertip comes down the damp trail, skulking her way along through the shadows. It's not terribly clandestine, but it doesn't look like she's trying for that. The small wolf pauses a few spots to sniff at this and that, and to peer into the caern at who's down by the fire pit. The wolf carries on slowly down like nothing is amiss.
Salem nods. "I'm glad that you've been-- ah." He's noticed Silvertip and stops talking to eye the Uktena warily.
Nicodemus's attention also swings over towards the approaching Uktena, but then he ends up dividing his focus between the Walker and the Uktena--as if more concerned about how they might get along as opposed to how he might get along with either of them individually.
Little Silvertip continues on her merry way, almost willfuly oblivious to the sudden attention being cast her direction. She meanders on down towards the firepit in an unhurried manner, until the Uktena abruptly stops, like she'd just walked nose-first into a wall. She starts sniffing at the air repeatedly, looking at the adolescent walker with a perplexed look. She expresses something that comes about as close to 'Da Fuq?' as a wolf can get.
Salem grimaces, glancing at Nick and then back at Silvertip. "It's me, yes," he says tersely. His voice is as different as his appearance. "Long story. Short version is, fae are assholes."
"And yet the Fianna like them. For some reason," Nick adds. Perhaps to help reassure the Uktena, he further adds, "He's Salem. I checked."
Little Silvertip paces forward a few more steps, sniffing as she does. The Uktena looks focused for a moment, sniffs a bit more, and then shifts to a more visually oriented form. For once, when the Uktena approaches Nick and Salem, she isn't craning her head up to look at the latter. A little more perplexed peering, before she glances down at herself, and gives a weird little shrug. "Cangacit?" And for (probably) Salem's benefit: "Uh... what... what is, uh, up?"
Salem remains seated, though he's noticeably tense as the Uktena looks him over; he relaxes a little when Silvertip shifts to homid. "Surviving and adapting," he says in response to her question, and shrugs. "More specifically, Dalton and I were discussing how very excellent the caern here is."
Nicodemus leans forward, no longer relying upon his arms to keep himself propped up, and offers a shrug to the Uktena. "It's a nice place." And as if he noticed the Uktena's recent gift use, he adds, "And I checked him earlier. There's no easy fix that I saw, and no lingering effects beyond, well, the obvious one." The trio--Nick, Ciuraq, and Salem--are all around the fire pit. No one else seems present. Yet.
There's movement at the edge of the caern as a man makes his way out of the forest and into the open space. Kavi looks around with a mix of wonder and confusion, not even spotting those at the fire pit so focused is he on the tree near the center. He runs a hand back through the short mohawk, and gives a soft shake of his head.
Ciuraq pulls the overshirt a little tighter about herself, clearly having not switched back from 'visit people in the city' clothes and being ill-prepared for the changing weather. The Uktena's brow bobs as she looks from Salem to Nick. Then, more to the latter, "I... um... I... I can't really say... anything?" She shrugs vaguely. "Fianna get in trouble wit little... uh... little people too."
The trio of Coyote followers can be heard before they're seen. Felix and Justin's voices can be heard, punctuated with occasional lupine noises. They appear to be discussing dinner plans by the sounds of it. Or is it they're planning to /do/ something to an eating establishment? One certainly does not eat toilet paper.
Salem shifts his weight, looking over his shoulder toward Kavi; he waves his fellow Glass Walker over. "It is what it is," he says in reply to Silvertip. "Life goes on, ne?"
The only other thing of note is that the coyotes have been doing somewhat honorable tasks such as working on the bawn and in the Caern with the Groundskeeper the last three weeks. If anyone was to have asked, Justin would have made a statement that sometimes it's best to make a few deposits before making a withdrawal. Whatever that means. "So, I am thinking we could fill the back of the toilet bowl with dark red kool-aid, that way when the next guy flushes, it looks like blood is coming out and it'd freak out some poor lady. Especially after eating /their/ food. You know how spicy it gets. Will probably think they tore their asshole open."
Felix snickers at Justin's suggestion, shaking his head, although apparently not in disagreement. "Maybe just food colourin'... might kinda give the game away if it smells all fruity in there," he suggests, "Plus, might be able to get better colour, even the cherry kool-aid's kinda RED red, if y'know what I mean..." He trails off as the sound of other people talking drifts in their direction, and the source of it becomes visible. "Mornin'!" he calls to the assembled, lifting a hand.
Nicodemus nods a greeting to the newly arriving Kavi and, twisting to look in another direction, towards the arriving Coyote-pack. He gives them a nod as well. He stays silent for the time being, as if yielding the floor to the 'adults' in the house to do business.
Still distracted by his surroundings, Kavi acknowledges Salem's wave and heads in the direction of those by the fire. As he nears, he looks from Salem to each of the others and back again, a silent question in his gaze.
Ciuraq, when she spies the others, gets real quiet. The Uktena moves closer to the warmth of the fire, glancing at the approaching group of teens. Glancing Justin and Watcher over, the Uktena's gaze loiters on Felix for a moment, and the athro frowns slightly as she tries to recognize him.
Three-Mountains comes into the clearing of the caern's well-worn center and spies the others already gathered. It's to Ciuraq the bulk of his attention goes and the coywolf gives his elder an enthusiastic wave of his tail in greeting. He doesn't miss her body language and bumps against the leg of Felix and clarifies he is his pack. The others are given close looks in their own right, a mingled curiosity and tentative friendliness. He sticks next to his two packmates though.
Salem eyes the trio of Coyotes, thin-lipped, though he nods in response to Felix's greeting before turning to Kavi. He pats the ground next to him, inviting the amnesiac Walker over to sit. "Anything familiar?"
The swagger that the Gnawer Ahroun has his hilariously unmistakable. Despite being easily out ranked by everyone and their mom, he carries himself as he was a Silver Fang. "Morning." He calls out as well, followed by a salute across the brows towards the others. "What's th' haps? We're just finishing up a quick round of clean up on the bawn and thought we'd investigate." In thought, he says to Felix. "Could always water down a good dark red and brown colored paint."
Maybe it's a teenage Gnawer thing, since Felix's saunter does a pretty good job of suggesting the world belongs to him as well. Maybe it just hasn't realised it yet. "Technically," he replies to Justin just as thoughtfully while they head toward the firepit, "we could just actually use blood. I mean, ain't like it's that hard to get. It'd stay all liquid in water, wouldn't it?" He looks those he hasn't yet met over during the approach, and waits a moment to be sure he isn't interrupting too much before he says, "I ain't met all of you yet, I don't think. Felix T. Sinclair, Lets-Them-Eat-Cake, Cliath 'Gnawer Galliard, at your service. Packed with these guys, under Coyote."
Ciuraq glances back at Nick and Salem, sparing a momentary puzzled look at Kavi, before she turns to bodily face Felix. Standing a little taller (or trying to, anyhow), she takes on an almost 'in charge' posture. "... I am Ciuraq Aketachunak. Little Silvertip Mauls the Horned Serpent. Also, Little Silvertip who Slays Carnage-Ikthya and his mate, Eclipse-Ikthya and Little Silvertip who Brings Back Light's Gift to the Wolf People. Fourth ranked warrior of Uktena's tribe, alpha of Deep Waters under the same totem. Member of the Sept of the Three. Adopted daughter of Cylas Elachik, Driftwood Dances and Julia Aketachunak, Sister of Jacinta Aketachunak, Tempest's Wake, cousin to the Esther Kaganak, Storm of the North." The introduction is long, obviously formal, and well rehersed - almost no slip-ups of her tongue in saying that all. After all the words are out of the way, she nods a bit in Felix's direction. "Cama-i."
Nicodemus stands up, giving his attire a sharp tug that dislodges a majority of the dirt and debris that'd adhered to his clothing while he'd been sitting on the ground. He returns Felix's greeting with his own, much-shorter-than-Ciuraq's greeting. "Nick Dalton. Kin to the Walkers." He follows it up by an offer to shake Felix's hand with his own gloved right hand, and his gaze shifts to the coywolf present. Apparently another unknown to him.
Kavi, too, glances over at the new arrivals, and then returns his focus to the others with a slight shake of his head for Salem. "It feels... familiar? Like the guitar. I breathe it in, and it feels right, but I can't... I don't know it." He looks to Ciuraq and then Nick, an apologetic down-tic of his gaze. "I'm sorry. I-- I'm Kavi. Galliard of the Glass Walkers. I don't know if we met, before...?" His brief introduction is offered primarily for Ciuraq and Nick, but he turns at the end to include Coyote's pack.
Salem rubs a hand over his face, muttering briefly in Serbian. Louder, he says, "Food coloring and Karo syrup. It worked damn well for Raimi in _Evil Dead_."
Three-Mountains tips his head as he takes in Kavi's appearance and his nose turns to sample the Galliard's scent on the air. After a moment's consideration he lets his posture relax. He does not know this one. He is the One Who Watches And Sings To The Three Mountains. First rank song howler of Silvertip-alpha's tribe. He drops himself back onto his rump and settles to worry at an itchy spot on his flank.
"Dude, I'm not gonna get real blood. You'd take it from a comedy to a horror flick." Justin grins to Felix, then points to Salem. "See, the kid gets it. Hey bro, that's an awesome idea. Nice to you meet you guys. I'm Justin Statton, called Mouse Trap by my homies. Cliath and Ahroun of the Gnawers. Alpha for the cunning and witty Coyote pack Tactical Frivolity." He says with a puff of his chest. "Nice to meet you two." He says mostly for Kavi and pre-puberty Salem who he does not recognize.
Ciuraq gives Kavi a very queer look. "Ii-i." She says, starting to fold her arms. "I... eh, taught you... uh... taught you a rite..." She almost looks like she's not sure if she should be offended.
Felix gives the group, although Ciruaq in particular, a rather flamboyant bow, complete with sweeping arm gesture; it's playful, but doesn't appear to be mocking. "Nice meetin' ya," he says as he straightens, and leans to accept Nick's hand, giving it a much more standard-issue shake. He rolls his eyes at Justin's protest, "...ain't like I suggested =human= blood. I was thinkin' cow or somethin'. But Evil Dead style could work. We'd hafta test it, make sure the syrup part goes through okay..." Part of Kavi's remark to Salem distracts him from the finer points of distressing random users of public restrooms, and he brightens a bit, not that he was exactly glum before. "You play guitar?" Clearly more important than the parts about what or who else the Walker may or may not recall.
Nicodemus eyes the coywolf momentarily as it makes canine noises, but then refocuses on the... topic at hand. "Blood--or a similar-looking substance--in the toilet bowl seems kind of a little on the mean-spirited side of things, doesn't it?" He seems concerned about how humans might react when faced with that situation. Kinfolk: Such wussies.
Kavi dips his gaze again as Ciuraq looks his way. "I'm sorry," he says once more. "Things are... I don't remember anything from before." Without lifting his head, he glances sidelong to the Cliath who addresses him, acknowledging the question without answering.
Salem smiles a little tightly at 'the kid', then looks over at Ciuraq. "Fae," he tells the Uktena, indicating Kavi with a tilt of his head. "They took his memories along with what they did to me."
"Yeah, well, we're a bit late on our Halloween pranking since we've been hanging out here and helping out the Fury with the clearing of dead trees and brambles and all that other camping shit that I'm not real good at." Justin says as he gives a long stretch of his body upwards. "You can only throw so many M-80's down the shitter before that gets old." He glances between Salem and Kavi for a moment before he says, "So, uh -- whaddup? You like the new cub or something? You got some wicked scars already if you are." He rubs the back of his neck. ".. huh. Kinda jealous now."
Three-Mountains looks up to Justin with a snort. It is not hard. They are branches. He seems amused at his city-friend's difficulties with the trees. The coywolf stretches himself out to settle himself onto the ground.
Ciuraq looks from Salem to Kavi, the queer look remaining. Saying something quick and apologetic to Nick in Yup'ik, she then shifts up to Crinos. A spear and a small bag appear in that form, apparently so-dedicated, and they get set against a convienent rock in a drier bit of the Caern. ~I'm sorry, that sounds a lot like you said the Little People took your memories.~ The Crinos begins. Facing back to Kavi, but with an eye on Salem, ~Where did they take them?~
Felix nods slightly to the lack of answer, and shakes his head at Nick. "Nah," he answers, and grins at Justin's reply before agreeing, "...an' usin' those'd be mean-spirited. They'd hafta replace the fixtures entirely. Shoulda seen the results when I had somea those in junior high, it was like a tsunami in there. All this'll do is startle someone, maybe make someone hafta dump some bleach in there. Which, the kinda food they're servin', they oughta be doin' that pretty often anyhow, y'ask me." He glances sidelong at the other Gnawer when he addresses Salem, but doesn't step in to clear anything up. Nope. He does, however, say to Kavi, "Oh, you're the one he was mentionin' before, then. Sorry, man, I hope that gets sorted out."
Nicodemus doesn't seem entirely appeased with the responses that Felix and Justin give, but he doesn't bother pressing the issue either. "I've done worse, I guess, back in the day." And he drops it at that. He does, however, turn to listen to Silvertip when she speaks in Yup'ik--as if he'd understood the language. Most of his attention seems to be on that particular conversation, as well as Kavi.
Kavi takes a step backward, suddenly more alert and tense as the Uktena takes crinos. He swallows, glancing toward Salem. "I-- I don't know."
Salem huffs out a breath, looking mildly irritated. And tense, now that the Athro Ahroun is in Crinos. "I haven't the damnedest clue where they took his memories. Neither of us even remember the trip itself." He rubs at his forehead, glancing at Justin, then looking back up at Little Silvertip. "He's relearning things."
Little Silvertip backs up a step, before squatting down on her haunches, taking a tick to roll Salem's response around in her head. ~What trip? And when do you two start remembering things?~
As it seems he is being blown off, Justin lifts his shoulders upwards in a shrug as he glances to the other two coyotes in his pack. Shifting his jaw, he says, "Well, as always, we may as well be invisible. So, you guys wanna just get milkshakes?" He asks as he starts off back through the path, heading for the bawn.
Salem glances at the departing Gnawer Ahroun and sighs again. He drags fingers back through his hair and reluctantly summarizes for Little Silvertip. "Kavi wanted to learn a Fianna tribal Gift, and for that, Morgan wanted him to get Stag's blessing first. I went along for, well, moral support. Mouse summoned Stag, we followed him through a portal to... somewhere, and I couldn't tell you much of anything that happened afterward. We came back separately, me being like, well, /this/ and him the way he is."
Felix glances to his packmates, and takes a couple steps away from the circle along with Justin. Not all the way down along the path, though; he stops, lifting a 'hold on' finger, and leans in to talk to them more quietly. "He's Salem," he explains to the Ahroun, "He an' Kavi there went off on a quest, ran into some fae, an' poof, time to repeat seventh grade. For him; reckon the other guy came back the same age he left, just--" He breaks off as the more official explanation happens behind them, and gestures toward that group when Salem finishes, "...well, that."
"We went," Kavi starts, hesitating as he glances again to Salem, and then continues after the Philodox explains. "I don't remember any of it. Anything before, or... or while we were gone. I just. I was in Portland. I'm learning, but. But not remembering. There are feelings, sometimes, like the memory is there, but I can't find it."
Nicodemus stays silent, just listening to the conversation and trying to pick things up. Oddly enough, he didn't back up when Silvertip shifted to crinos earlier.
Little Silvertip listens to Kavi and Salem, before throwing an irritated look at the younger pack. ~Do you know how whiney you sound?~ The Uktena grunts to Justin. ~'Oh, no, no one is paying attention to me, because they're concerned about the people who had their mind wiped.'~ A snort later, the crinos turns back to Kavi and Salem. ~This reminds me of a similar problem. If you're interested in me sniffing around sometime.~
Giving a pause, Justin looks as if he is about to reply to Felix, but it is Silvertip's words that causes him to stiffen up. He pauses for a moment, then smirks rather broadly. "My bad." He looks rather triumphant, as if he just won a blue ribbon.
Kavi lifts a hand to scratch at the side of his head where the stubble has started to grow. Justin's reply to Silvertip makes his eyes go a little wide and he takes another few backward steps. Whatever answer he might have given the Uktena is held, for the moment.
Salem goes quite still, eyeballing Justin and the other Coyotes, his expression neutral. After a moment, he looks from them to Silvertip and asks, "Similar how?"
He didn't move earlier when the elder Uktena shifted to crinos, but Nick does start taking a few steps off to one side, casually, as words are exchanged. He's making sure he's not inbetween Point A and Point B.
Little Silvertip doesn't roll her eyes, but does the crinos equivellent thereof at Justin's reply. ~Ringtone's description.~ She says, near mono-sylabically. The crinos stands back up again, heading to her stuff. ~Almost exactly those words.~
The Walker galliard doesn't reclaim the distance he gave up, but he does once again look back and forth between Salem and Silvertip, curiosity warring with discomfort. "I-- I think I would appreciate that." He swallows, glancing toward the edge of the caern. "But I think... Maybe another time?"
Salem seems to take that as a cue and stands up. "Time to go?" He turns to Silvertip. "We'd be honored to have your help," he tells the Uktena, formally. "For right now, we have to get back to the city."
Little Silvertip grabs the bag, putting the strap over her shoulder, and collects her spear before shifting back down to Homid. "Ii-i." She agrees, to one or the other.
Nicodemus nods farewell to those departing, looking more relaxed as Justin departs and proverbial hackles seem to be lowering. He halts his oh-so-casual retreat and heads back towards the firepit--and his hiking pack he left there, too.
Felix doesn't step away from his tribemate, though there may be a hint of relief in the set of his shoulders when there doesn't end up being some kind of Corrective Maintenance right next to him. "I got a few things I still gotta set around," he tells his packmates as they head onward along the path, "Meet you at the house in a little." That done, he heads back toward the circle, waving to the Walkers as they head off as well, and gives one of the larger flagstones a considering look.
There's no warning. The ground jolts so strongly there's a temporary sensation that it has simply fallen away, followed by a hard upward jerk. Birds in the trees around the Caern take flight almost as one, filling the air with the sound of frantically flapping wings as well as the creak of wood and roll of tumbling stones and dirt.
Ciuraq, ever nimble creature, successfully falls straight on her ass with an ever elogant 'aaagh!'
Nicodemus manages to maintain his upright position, though he threw his arms outwards to help maintain his balance and did take a few steps to one side to recover. He looks around hurriedly, as if assessing where the safest place to be might be located--or looking for what might have caused the abrupt.... earthquake?
"Fuck!" Felix yelps, and does manage to avoid falling over, although the fact that he was already leaning down with one hand on the large stone beside him may have helped there. When the movement stops, both hands are on it, and he glances around warily as he straightens back up, stance carefully balanced as if the ground might require surfing at any time. Who knows, it might. "The fuck was that? I thought they just had quakes in California..."
There's that brief respite, and then the whole world seems to jerk hard left, then right, then left--this time it doesn't stop, it only gets more intense. There's a crack from up on the ridge as one of the new growth trees snaps under the violent pressure and tumbles down into the Caern itself. A few more follow its lead. Crack. Crack. Crack. Above the growing rumble from the ground, the birds--much, much more of them in the sky now--are almost drowned out. Logs and embers roll madly around the firepit...while most of them are caught by the firepit's natural barriers, a few roll right down into the leaf and pine needle carpet, sending up wet smoke and sparks as they go. No one keeps their balance this time; balance seems like something that belongs to another world. More rocks...larger rocks...loosen from the sides of the Caern and roll downward, along with a fair chunk of soil. The only thing within view that seems to hold completely under this onslaught is the massive Wyld-growth tree, whose leaves seem to catch the color of the flame, if not the flame itself. They're all bright oranges and reds, glowing as bright as any ember.
Ciuraq tries to get up, gets knocked down, and then tries again. Then, apparently having had enough, the uktena jumps up into the air, and fails to come back down. She bobs in the air above the trees, looking about from the birds-eye view.
"There's occasional earthquakes in this region. There was a series of them not too lo-Shit!" And Nick falls to the ground this time as the shaking resumes and persists this time. He gets out of the way of a burning, rolling, bouncing log that escapes from the fire pit, looking from Ciuraq who's gone airborne to Felix nearby who is not.
Felix swears again as the world knocks them down once more. He starts to try to get back up as well, but nope, that's not happening. And now there's trees and rocks and fire rolling around, and the Galliard shifts through to the near-wolf form; slightly better chance of managing to get his feet when there are four of them, theoretically, and probably harder to crush. One can only hope. He does his best to be out of the way of the things that might try, though the smouldering ground cover and the flame-like colours of that tree are distracting. So's the flying Uktena, but at least he's pretty sure SHE isn't currently a threat.
If anything, the shaking seems to get even more violent. Another burning log shakes loose of its stone pen, and more soil--and one more unfortunate tree--slides down into the Caern's heart. The massive Wyld tree's leaves go from orange and red to brilliant green and blue, and now purples of every imaginable shade and some heretofore indescribable. White light cascades in little rivulets up and down the natural cracks in the bark as its branches seem to expand up and out. New leaves grow of every kind of natural shape and some distinctly unnatural.
There's the sound of rumbling and a faintly distant crash from the tunnels leading down into the old wasp hive, and then vines--thick vines, thin vines, thorny vines and smooth ones--rapidly expand from the mouth of the tunnel and over the valley floor. They twist over and under each other, and where they pass the grass tangles with them, withers, regrows, withers again. Flowers sprout and bloom on the vines within seconds, and like the grass, wither only to bloom again. Some of the sparks from the firepit that take hold in the wet growth spring up green and fluorescent.
As capital T Things begin happening, especially down in the old wasp hive, the Uktena takes on a deathly palour from very obvious fright. She drops a few feet as her attention wanes, but luckily, she catches herself before she plummets to the earth. Ciuraq looks very much like she'd like to be somewhere else about now.
Nicodemus rolls to his back, legs splayed out and arms protecting his head, so he doesn't end up rolling all over the place as the ground bucks and doesn't get knocked unconscious (hopefully) in the ensuing chaos. "Isn't this Wyld energies?" he shouts up at the Uktena. Not that it matters if a tree drops on you.
The Gnawer's eyes are about as wide as a Hispo's can get by the time the tree gets to the rivulets-of-light stage, which means there isn't anywhere else for them to go when the vines emerge. ~I... think maybe we don't wanna touch those,~ he decides, watching things do their phoenix impressions wherever the tendrils go, and attempts to wriggle in the general direction of 'away' from them, though they're far less bothered by the movement of the ground and pretty quick to start with. ~Feels kinda Wyld to me,~ he volunteers, distracted enough that the fact kin can't generally understand the language slips his mind.
Felix gets clocked by a rolling tree about the width of his human arm, but falling debris just barely misses Nick entirely. The shaking goes, and goes...and then as suddenly as the chaos began, it stops. The ground abruptly stills. Loose soil continues to slide for a little while longer, but other than that, their surroundings have gone incredibly quiet. No bird calls, no flapping wings--the birds have fled. No animal sounds. Some of the vines wither for good as the movement ends, but most remain along with their strange flowers. The Wyld tree's leaves...settle, is the best word for it. Quite a few of them are still glowing merrily, but there's no more rapid growth, and the strange white light pulsing in the bark is gone. The fire in the firepit is in terrible shape, if still burning, and there are a few tiny fires that have sprung up on the Caern floor from the escaped logs and embers. Thankfully, none of them are larger than a finger's length, and the general damp of the groundcover seems to be producing a lot of smoke and very little speed for their growth. More than a few trees both on the ridge and the gentle slope that leads down into the Caern are tilted at unstable angles, but no more fall.
The timing is just about spot on, because Ciuraq was rapidly running out of whatever focus, or perhaps whatever mojo she uses to fly, and was beginning to wobble. When the ground stops moving, she nearly plummets back down, just barely controlled, putting both feet back on the ground. When she's back on the caern floor, the Uktena looks wired, overly alert, and nerve-shot. Wide eyed and breathing rapidly and shallowly, she snaps her eyes around, like looking for the threat.
Nicodemus stays on the ground, motionless (for a switch) save for his breathing and the movement of his eyes as he takes in the newly altered caern.
Lets-Them-Eat-Cake yelps at the impact of the tree, more literally this time, then growls and tries to hit it away before the essential uselessness of this occurs to him. Especially while the shaking's still going on. You can't even get decent revenge on a dead tree! It is, though, at least =something= he can do. When the shaking finally stops, he glances around warily for a couple seconds before trying to stand up again. And then laughs, or at least as close to it as a Hispo can get. Giddily. It gets more obvious, though quieter, as he shifts up to Glabro and moves to step on the nearest tiny fire, trying to put it out with the sole of his boot. The vines still get avoided, for now. "What the fuck just HAPPENED?" he asks, looking more like someone who just got off a really good rollercoaster than he probably ought to. A glance around at the state of the area, particularly the fallen trees that =didn't= attack him, does seem to sober him, though. "Man..."
The small flame is stamped out fairly easily.
Ciuraq cluches at her bracelet and tries to compose herself - something struck close to home with her. She shakes her head a few times, like trying to clear it.
With nothing else seeming to happen--for now--Nick ventures sitting up and then standing. A foot grinds out a small, flaming cinder a few feet away. "Earthquake of some kind, I'd guess. But was it a natural one that just shook the caern and caused that crazy stuff and vines to happen? Or was it supernatural to begin with? Or did it come from the caern itself? Because of not, there might be more trees down all around the forest. Taking note of the Uktena's current state, he stays clear of her. "Everyone okay?" he inquires, excited by the event, but not panicked like many kinfolk might otherwise be by this stage.
Felix stays out of her way as well, stamping out whatever other stray embers and flames he can find. "Well, I reckon it's pretty much what I'd've imagined an earthquake to be like, except for the whole tree an' vines part," he says, giving both another faintly suspicious look. "Maybe it came from the tree, somehow?" He takes another look at the destruction, and glances over his shoulder in the vague direction of the city. "Can't've been just here, somethin' that big, can it? Even if it came from the caern itself, I mean, all the ground's connected, seems to me shakin' this part that much hasta affect the rest of the forest. Maybe farther."
Ciuraq shakes her head again, like trying to clear it, responding to Nick in Yup'ik. A moment passes befores she repeats in English, "I am okay." She glances up at Nick, and then at Felix, saying "Maybe check out... uh... chec... look at spilit lants tonight..."
"Depends," Nick says in response to Felix as he dusts himself off and begins walking over towards one of the nearest vines, eyes fixing on that odd bit of life for the time being. "Depends on scale. You can be 50 feet away from a bulldozer when it scoops the earth up and not feel it. If it was just the caern affected, it shouldn't have carried too far. Perhaps it was merely collapsing tunnels from when there had been giant wasps that had invaded the caern?" He picks up an errant stick, snapped off from a tree, and goes to use this improvised tool to poke at the nearby, recently magically active vine. "The spirits might have a better idea as to what happened, Ciuraq," he says to the Uktena. "Does this strike you as being similar or related to the bramble fruit from before?" The kinsman has /clearly/ been around in the area for some time, and he /clearly/ interacts with and listens to the garou on a regular basis.
The vine leaks a little water even at the most careful of pokes, but doesn't spring to life or do anything to warp the stick poking it. While it doesn't seem to be of any recognizable species, it does seem to be as inert as any other plantlife in the area at the moment.
Ciuraq shakes her head 'no', adding "It, eh... happen... happened furtha awa... could see pretty far into hills..." The Uktena trails off, her flush face quickly taking on an 'oh shit' expression. With a leap, she shifts to lupus and leaps impossibly high into the sky. Flying, again, she runs off through the tree tops at full tilt.
"Giant wasps invaded your caern?" Felix echoes, looking from one of them to the other, "Shit, that would be awesome as one of those late night black an' white movies. What happened? Did y'all fight 'em off? And, uh... spilit lants?" he asks, just as the Uktena flies off. The Galliard stands still and watches the wolf run through the air until he can't see her anymore. "That prolly ain't somethin' I can learn, huh." He's in Glabro right now; Nick's poking a vine with a stick. There's just been a HELL of a quake, major earth movement for a good five minutes or so, and there's a lot of destruction -- fallen trees, landsliding, etc. The Wyld tree is looking kind of weird and these vines such as Nick's poking have come out of the tunnel there.
Scrambling his way through the woods quickly is Justin, tripping over vines and roots as he goes. "HEY!" He hollers out, shifting his way up into his glabro form. "Is everyone okay!? Did something come out of the ground again?" His eyes are wide and his posture looks like he is 'ready to go' with clenched fists.
<OOC> To the caern, Sheogorath says "Entire Bawn took a very ferocious rocking for about five minutes. Kent's Crossing is almost entirely without power, and some buildings have had their roofs fall in. At least one house collapse. St. Claire didn't feel it nearly as hard, but some areas are without power as well (mostly the city outskirts). Blue Mountains felt it the worst, there's been a lot of landslides, fallen trees, downed power lines, the works."
<OOC> To the caern, Sheogorath will make a post to that effect, but that's the general summary of the game map.
Nicodemus pokes the vine with the stick a bit more, taking note as the Uktena flees the area. "I... Oh.... Yeah. Oops," he comments largely to himself. He stands up, looks arouind again, and heads back towards the fire pit at a casual walk. "I think we're all fine. There's some minor bits of fire from the fire pit where bits shook out, but it's so wet out here right now I doubt anything is going to catch." Indeed, nothing seems to be catching. "And yes, there were giant killer wasps of some kind that came and took over the caern earlier, encasing the whole thing in a giant hive, and digging tunnels beneath the ground. It was some kind of excessive outgrowth of the Wyld in the area, from what was told to me. You'd have to ask around for details as that would be above my pay grade."
"Hey!" Felix calls back to Justin, "Yeah, we're okay! How far away were you when you felt it? An' nothin' came outta the ground 'cept if you count the vines. Did this happen before?" He listens pretty avidly to Nick's explanation of the wasp situation, as far as he knows it, and nods. "...awesome. Yeah, I might hafta figure out who to ask more about that. 'cause... giant killer wasps." There aren't many stray bits of fire anymore, since the Galliard's been going about stomping them out with his mighty Glabro boots, but a few are still waiting their turns.
"Yeah man, I was almost to the farmhouse when shit started rocking. So, I just bolted back as fast as I could. Three Mountains is running back to his lands to make sure everything is okay there." Justin says as he looks about the area, then shifts down into his natural form with frustration in his eyes. "At least nothing crawled out this time like at moot."
Nicodemus reaches the fire pit, opens his hiking bag, and unceremoniously dumps the countents out onto the ground. It looks like he was going to be camping out here or somewhere nearby for a few days. "Salem. Mouse. Ciuraq. Val. Uh....," Nick tapers off as he tries to recall other names. "Maybe about a half dozen other people that I think are still around. It was about three or five years ago." He walks back towards where some of the fresh vines are, bag in tow, and calls over to Justin. "What came out of the tunnels at the last moot?" Apparently he's not /that/ in the loop.
Felix takes a moment to note the names and time period, and nods to Nick. "Thanks," he says, and glances to Justin when the kin's asked the question he had, as well. His glance doesn't stay there, though, instead scanning the area and, while he's still stronger than usual, he sets about trying to get the logs and stones back into some semblance of their previous arrangement.
"It was like last year or something right after the moot. So nasty oily things came out of the ground and I remember Blitzkrieg being the ones to take it down. Marcos jumped into its mouth and burrowed his way out of its guts. It was pretty nasty. Smelled terrible." Justin says as he makes a motion towards the Caern's center. Rubbing his hands together a few times to work a bit of dirt off his skin, he crams them into his pockets.
Nicodemus returns to the vine he'd been poking at before, pulls a small pocket knife from a pocket, pries out a serrated knife blade, and begins sectioning off the vine--ensuring he keeps his brown leather gloves on his hands the whole time. He pauses to look up as Justin describes Marcos throwing himself into something's mouth to kill it from within. "Well. That's. Uh. An interesting way of going about that." He looks back to the vine. "It sounds as if, perhaps, it is related to the black ooze that Val has been investigating for a year or two now. Maybe some subterranean monster that'd come into contact with the ooze, become corrupted, and then was turned against the caern. I'm assuming that the wards I've heard about don't go far underground?" he inquires quizzically, as if the garou would readily know the answer to that question.
The vine is juicy to say the least, as it leaks generous amounts of water from the moment Nick begins slicing it.
"That's kinda awesome," Felix says about the method of creature-killing, although he sounds just a bit reluctant to be saying so, "Points for style." He shoves a flagstone back to where he remembers it being before, and can only shrug to Nick's inquiry. "Sorry. I dunno the first thing about wards, unless we're talkin' hospital or Cleaver."
Justin gives a shrug of his shoulders to Nick's question as well. Big dumb ahroun here. "Maybe. Who knows. It was pretty freaky though. By the time I got in there it was already killed." He watches Nick pick at the plants curiously for a moment before he lets out a heavy sigh. "Felix, I'm going to have the coyotes run perimeters out here for the rest of the night, at least until the guardian's give the thumb's up that everything is cool. They may need the extra bodies to provide support."
Nicodemus adds the severed vine segment to his pack, being very careful with it. "If someone does not mind, I might need an escort out of the woods in about an hour or two. My apologies for being a hinderance."
Felix makes a bit of a face, but nods. "You mind if I go by the farmhouse first? I dunno how far that shakin' went, wanna make sure everything's okay with Lilah an' all. If they felt it there she's prolly gettin' worried 'bout me again anyhow. Plus, I could use a sandwich or somethin', if I'm liable to be runnin' around out here all night." He stops and steps back to see how his reconstruction of the fire pit area rates so far. Apparently, broadly acceptable. "I might could do that," he tells the kin, though there's a glance to Justin to confirm.
"Sure, do what you need to do." Justin says to Felix, then gives a nod of his head to Nick. "We both can walk you out of the woods if we gotta. Long as you can stomach the company and the wise cracks." He throws a few shadow punches in the air, a quick one-two combination.
Nicodemus goes to cut the next vine. Then the next. Then the next. He's cautious and careful while both cutting, handling, and packaging the botanicals--as if he might be handling poison ivy or much worse. "I do apologize. Normally I wouldn't trouble anyone for an escort, but with the events that just transpired here in the caern, there's the potential for troub.... Huh. Well, hell," the kinsman mutters. "Actually, I think I'll just stay here for the night, help tidy things up a bit, and keep an eye out for trouble. I brought a pistol and a stun stick with me, so I'm not utterly helpless--provided you think that those items would be permitted in defense of the caern. I try to keep it very low tech when I visit."
"Cool," Felix says to Justin, and the pit-reconstruction seems to have reached completion, or at least completion-for-now, since he shifts back down to his birth form. "What're you planning to do with the vines?" he asks the kin, "...an' I'm not sure where exactly the line is, so far I just try an' stay as low-tech as I can stand out here. So, like... clothes. Usually. J?"
"I got flipped out on for installing a water filter in the kitchen. I'm pretty sure bringing a gun to the Caern will get you spanked. Just take off, Nick. It's fine. I'll even make sure you get home if you need it. Last thing we need is you getting hurt out here by accident. We regenerate, you don't." Justin says as he gives a flex of his arms, then gives a nod to Felix. "Come on, let's roll out and then we'll head back and do our patrols."
Nicodemus looks as if he might protest, but then concedes the point. "Okay. I'll do what I can here while you two run patrols and check on people. I'll be ready to head out in, say, two or three hours when you get back." He adds, "Be careful out there."
Felix blinks at his packmate. "Someone flipped out on you for a =water filter=?" he says, "An' not even out here, at the house? Seriously, what the fuck? It's got a washer an' dryer! An' a fridge, an' I KNOW I saw a vacuum in one of those closets..." He shakes his head. "Anyway. Yeah, sounds like a plan."