Mutable.

Feb. 6th, 2017 08:00 pm
[personal profile] kiananlogs

Monday, 6 February 2017
The moon is in the waxing Gibbous (Galliard) Moon phase (70% full).

Paws trot along the fallen pine needles as Watches-The-Small goes about her evening constitutional. The smallish brown-blonde Eurasian wolf is padding through the center compound, adding yet another checkmark to her mental list as she familiarizes herself with the Garou dominion more and more.

Dark eyes stare straight ahead without much roaming, following the letter of her orders if not the spirit. Thankfully her thick fur coat keeps the damp chill from her bones as she absorbs the catalogue of scents the Bawn has to offer. A number of Garou having passed through here, only a handful of which she recognizes. Sorting out who's territory is who's is going to be a whole separate ball of wax but for now she's sticking to the 'public' areas of the Bawn.

There's another scent as well, one that isn't so much left behind as— actively present. And the sounds of underbrush cracking under heavy paws will happily alert Reagan to just how imposing the other night-time wanderer happens to be. No need to even glance in the direction of the sound to have it confirmed that whatever's moving out there is pretty damn big. A Garou traveling along in Hispo, perhaps? One of the Guardians?

That the largely grey animal that appears at the edge of the treeline is a good 3'5" at the shoulder might lead one to assume that, yes, this is a Garou in Hispo, but the physique doesn't bear it out. Instead, it's just— a wolf. A female. The size of a small pony. Her head is up, her ears pricked and forward, though her tail remains relaxed. She watches the smaller wolf for a time, sniffing the air lightly.

Then, ~Are you a resident here?~ is said in the Mother Tongue, quite formal, all told, which may defy expectation.

The crushed underbrush gives Watches-the-Small some concern. She pauses in mid step and turns her head immediately in that direction, ears perking and eyes wide. The smaller wolf knows that no Non-Garou creature would be allowed here so she's confident whatever it is must be on her side. Even still, as the massive wolf breaks brush like some kind of bear the lighter wolf takes a few steps backwards. Her head immediately tilting down in difference to her, tail sagging to her legs. Intimidated, she answers in a fairly poor rendition of the Tongue, ~Yes. I Watch The Small.~

An awkward silence as the smaller Wolf decides she better not even risk the slightest insult to this mammoth lupine as she slinks slowly clockwise, angling towards the closest exit.

Unfortunately, there's footsteps coming from that direction as well. Lighter ones, with the pace of someone walking through the woods for the simple pleasure of walking, before Yael comes into view. A half-worn jacket is tugged around her shoulders but not zipped up right now, and the woman glances between the smaller wolf, and the larger one, a nod given to each.

It probably doesn't help that the big female looks a mite irritated by the response— looks like the poor Gaian didn't even have to try this time!— though it's in little things. The focus of her eyes, the slight lift of her nosepad as if to draw her lips back, but she doesn't show her teeth. She just snorts lightly.

~I was hoping to introduce myself to some of the sept's members,~ she says, regardless of her irritation. Still formal! Still— polite, after a fashion, contradicting the brief irritability that can probably be handwaved as a result of the Gibbous moon. ~But if you've somewhere else to be—~ She pauses, looking up at the sound of a new arrival. This one, she recognizes, much like she's sure the Strider recognizes her. She inclines her head in a kind of greeting, and a wordless whuff. Friendly enough, it seems.

Sadly, Watches-the-Small doesn't even yet know who's new or not to the Sept, being mostly new herself. As the giant mentions being new herself, the smaller wolf tilts her head back up a fraction. Eyes never meeting the bigger creature.

The only distraction comes as a new young woman arrives wearing… Not quite enough for the weather in Watches-the-Small's estimation. She wishes she had skin that thick in human form! To the girl, The smaller wolf is a bit more friendly, lifting her head and sniffing the air in her direction. Her tail does not wag nor does she pant, regardless of the walking she's been doing. There's a dainty and delicate air to her posture unlike the monolithic brute shadowing her.

The fact that they seem to know each other goes unremarked. She instead awkwardly backs away as the monstrous one give her an 'out' to be somewhere else.

There's a slight snort of amused but quiet laughter from Yael. "Good evening," she offers towards both. The woman smells of residual road dirt and with dust, although relatively clean underneath that. "I am Shai-Nefer, Gathers-Strength-to-the-Trials, adren and half-moon of the Silent Striders." The tone of voice of her introduction and the confidence in it seems to carry the request for introductions in kind, though she's looking at Watches-the-Small instead of at the other, larger wolf.

An eye is kept on Watches-the-Small, though the big wolf nonetheless turns her attention back to Yael when the greeting is given, if only out of deference. As is, ~Well met,~ in as congenial a fashion as a wolf can offer. ~I saw you briefly when I arrived, but didn't get the opportunity to learn your name. A pleasure, Adren.~ Still, it's not long before she, too, has her attention on the Gaian who, for all the world, looks ready to shrink out of existence.

~My name,~ she says, addressing the both of them, though those amber eyes are apparently looking to keep Watches-the-Small pinned, ~is Sandra,~ the last name not brought up as it's likely to be hopelessly garbled in the Mother Tongue. ~Brings-Winter's-Bite. Fostern, Shadow Lord, Philodox.~ A beat. ~And you?~ she asks of Watches. ~Do you have another name? An Auspice?~ Her head tilts. It's almost a dry tone in which she asks, ~A tribe?~

Adren. The smaller wolf lets out a soft huff as Yael introduces herself, disquieted but not commenting further on that. If anything, there seems to be a lack of commentary from the wolf, only repeating, ~I Watch The Small,~ to the more formal English introduction.

It only now dawns on Watches-the-Small that… She doesn't know how to say her full formal introduction in the Mother Tongue. Something in Winter's-Bite's stare keeps her from fleeing immediately. The fact that this monster is Fostern makes some sense to her at least, she's clearly some kind of killing machine.

As much difficulty as Watches seems to be having, she does not shift. Instead she shifts her head back and forth, making growling and yipping sounds as she tries to work out the words from her spiritual heritage. ~Gaia's Sons. Deluge. Deellllluge. Del. They… Theurge. Cleeya. Clia-th.~

Yael raises one hand to her forehead and looks past the Gaian and over at the other philodox, the disbelief clear enough in her expression compared to the schooled neutral that it usually is. "Indeed," she offers to Brings-Winter's-Bite. "I would have stayed to introduce myself then, but I had business that needed to be taken care of. Thank you."

Towards Watches-The-Small, the Strider simply gives a look, brows furrowed, and finally she suggests, "Take your birth form." It's not quite an order, though.

Even the tilt of Winter's-Bite's head is fairly pronounced, the incredulity plain for even lupine features. She shares a gaze with Yael for a moment, her disbelief that this could be a Theurge, or a Cliath, registering plainly. Given the look she levels on Watches soon after, she's seconding Yael's, ah— suggestion.

The suggestion from the Strider is met with a hiked breath as the smaller wolf seems startled. Jolting in place she quickly yips out ~No Cloth~. Shrinking lower from Winter's gaze, not looking up towards her as she tilts her head down and away. Tail tucked neatly between her legs as she otherwise holds firm to her polite, if loud refusal. As much as she'd love to escape the situation something tells her she'd better wait to be formally dismissed first. Especially since a Wolf of that size would be significantly faster…

"For fuck's sake," Yael mutters under her breath. Then she continues, "So, Gaian, what you are telling us is that your clothing is not dedicated, so you can't shift?" From disbelief, the tone of her voice indicates displeasure. "You should probably see about fixing that. But in the mean time, take a deep breath, please?" Even through the displeasure, Yael's voice is not harsh. "If you want to go, you may."

Though Winter's-Bite is very clearly interested in picking this poor not-Cub's brain— what little of it she assumes is there— if only out of concern, she's forced to defer to the Adren's decision. That said, she, herself, rears up on her hind legs to shift seamlessly enough into homid to indicate that it's her breed form, the clothes she wears just warm enough to combat the harsher weather. "I'd be curious to speak to you when you're more— yourself," she says to the wolf, her 6' of height seeming almost— diminished in comparison to the size she'd been. Get breeding is a hell of a thing. "And even more curious to know why a Theurge struggles so much with a language that should be innate." No threat to the comment. In fact, she almost sounds a little concerned, even if it's her specific flavor of it.

As Yael curses, Watches shrinks back a fraction more as if threatened. When the ranking Garou gives her permission to leave, she certainly doesn't need to repeat herself. The smaller wolf practically darts away, taking a few loping steps away to gain as much distance from the massive wolf without being in full rout. She does pause at the edge of the clearing, her head tilting up with her nose to the air as Sandra reveals her human form. The wolf seems perplexed indeed as the woman isn't anywhere near as gigantic as her lupus form should have indicated. There is a curiosity there as she listens to the woman's words but she speaks no more. Taking the dismissal she leaves from sight briskly at a half-run.

Yael pulls a hand from her pocket and rubs at her forehead a little bit, before looking around and then unpinning her headscarf so it falls around her shoulders. Rather than follow the Gaian— although there is an expression that suggests that she wants to— Yael moves over towards one of the logs near the cookfire, brushing the snow off of it to sit down, and then gestures the Fostern towards another one of the seats. "You and me both," she finally says, after a minute.

Sandra nods, her gaze lifting to look back in the direction Reagan scurried off to before she makes her way towards the cookpit, herself, repeating the same clean-up that Yael goes through. "Well," she says, "I'd heard the locals were an interesting bunch," as she seats herself. "I'm not entirely sure that this is what the person describing it to me had intended on indicating, but I can't say I didn't get fair warning."

Yael nods and sighs. "So I am coming to find out," she says. "I was just passing through here on business, but I am starting to think I may end up staying longer than I first—" mutter, mutter, head tilt, mutter, "accounted for?" She shakes her head and snorts, and glances at Sandra. "English is such an awkward language, forgive me. I'm not very used to it." She continues, "There are interesting sorts everywhere, it just depends on the type of interesting."

Sandra merely nods as the Strider ventures a guess as to the proper wording. It might not be exact, but it's enough. "I'll admit," she says, "I'm not what I'd call a fan of the 'concerning' type, but to each their own." She leans over for a time, sifting through the logs in the cookpit until she finds something suitably thin, the further down the better. Once she has, she idly checks it for how damp it is. "As it stands, I spoke with the Alpha none too long ago. He and the Warder, Alicia, a Child of Gaia like our friend there, said that they're in— I believe she said 'desperate need' of impartial half-moons." Her brow raises as she procures a lighter, and begins to light the twig, carefully running the flame over the extent of it until she settles on a spot. "Not what I expected to hear, I admit— but I'd imagine this means you'll be told much the same."

"I have not gotten around to finding either of them, yet," Yael admits. "But spent most of the day and yesterday walking around and getting a feel for things, and I chanced to meet the mage that goes around disguising himself as a cougar that is apparently an ally of the sept, and spoke with him for a while. He's rather—" Once again the Strider pauses, and considers her wording before she continues, "full of himself, actually."

That gets a bit of a curious look from Sandra, though it's not an altogether bad one at first blush. She crouches down for a time as she listens once the twig is ignited, and sifts through the logs and ash, careful to find the right spot to place it. Once she does, running the flames licking off of the small branch over the logs for a moment, she seems confident that a fire will ignite. Enough that she returns to her seat, and watches.

"Interesting," she says. "And not altogether different from what I'd expect, I suppose— though the guise doesn't line up quite as neatly." She leans over to shift one of the logs, then, and the light from underneath the cookware gets a bit brighter. "Just how much of an 'ally' is he?" she asks. "Is he allowed onto the Bawn, or is he kept at arm's length?"

"If what I have gathered is correct, this mage is not just allowed on the Bawn but has been 'granted'," and Yael's tone of voice makes it clear just what she thinks of that, "some sort of territory in the area, and some of the Sept members— including the Alpha and the Warder— know who he really is but no one else. I'm still waiting to piece it all together, though." The adren scoots a little closer towards the fire that is started, holding her hands out to catch the heat. "What brought you here?" she asks the other philodox. "And from where?"

There's a flash of incredulity to what's said, followed by a sharp look that Sandra is quick to avert elsewhere. It's not meant for Yael, after all, but very helpfully communicates that she feels much the same way about this — development. Rather than let herself get worked up, however, she nudges the logs again, and the watches as the fire sparks to life in a far more noticeable fashion, some of the heat starting to waft off of it more noticeably. It'll be a bit before it's comfortably heating the small area, but it's enough for now.

"I came from a sept in Wyoming," she says, "near Yellowstone." Beat. "I'd apparently caught the eye of my superiors, and they thought it would be a good 'career move,' for lack of a better term, to be somewhere that allowed greater advancement." Another pause. "I suspect there were some politics involved in the transition, but I've yet to see a situation where that isn't the case." All of which registers as truthful. …Bluntly truthful, if such a thing registers via the Gift. "And you?"

There's a careful smile offered, and a not-as-well-masked-as-it-could-be attempt by Yael to put the other philodox at ease, as she nods to the answers that are given. "I am from Qal'at al-Subeiba," she says, lifting a hand to wave vaguely before she continues, "which is a very small sept in northern Israel, although I spent more time all across Africa working with the Ahadi of which I am— was?— am a member. I was given a handful of messages to deliver here, of which this was the last of them." She chuckles. "I rather suspect that I was sent here to be part of the Nation once again and that there were those amongst my elders who thought I had spent too much time in the Ahadi." She shrugs. "But the future is where the road takes us, and it is good to be in new places once again."

It's clear Sandra finds the response intriguing— after all, it's a long way from Wyoming— though the look is largely subdued. "I'd think maintaining ties with the world at large would take priority," she says, "given how eagerly we fought to sever them, once upon a time. Though I suppose it goes without saying that leadership does occasionally fail to act in its own best interests." Not quite as cutting a remark as it ought to be, really, just another one that's bluntly stated. Whether it's a comment on the whole territory thing is up in the air, though it seems like she's speaking on an 'in general' basis.

Yael tilts her head to one side, and shrugs. "Maybe, but there are younger people to maintain those ties," she notes, "and in any case, when the message came I had already been getting restless to do something, so I suppose that this is something." There's a small silence that follows. "Changing environments is good for gardening one's perspective," she adds. "And every so often it helps to turn the picture upside-down."

"Respectfully," Sandra replies, "while a change in perspective is hardly a bad thing, I'd argue that diplomats are best left where their talents are most useful. Finding a skilled one is difficult enough on its own." A pause. She nudges one of the logs with her foot again, and, so doing, nudges the fire into a more lively state. At this point, she seems satisfied with it. "That said," she continues, "I suppose there's a case to be made for a diplomat returning 'home' to better advocate for the position of her peers, though I don't know quite how well-received that advocacy might be."

Yael grins a little bit. "Or," she points out, "someone thought that this sept could use some diplomacy and perspective." Once again, she scoots a little closer to the fire, all the way to the edge of her seat, and holds out her hands to warm them. "I am starting to think that they might have even been right." She continues, "I appreciate your straight-forwardness. And I think that in the days ahead we will both find out how these things are and where in what direction the road will lead."

"Plus," Yael adds, "'home' is wherever I lay my head down at night. My tribe, we move on a lot, and travel a lot. The concept of home becomes, how do you say it? Mutationable."

Sandra inclines her head at the statement of appreciation, herself warmed enough as-is— likely thanks to trotting here on all fours, what with the thick coat and all— to remain in a more relaxed position. "Mutable," she says, the correction made (ironically ha ha) without a judgmental tone to go with it. "And while I'm inclined to agree on some points, we'll agree to disagree on the others. As you say, it's a matter of perspective."

Yael grins a little bit at the correction and ducks a nod. "Of course," she says. "Although when it comes down to it when it matters, we'll just have to cope with that when it happens. And in the fact that we both want what is best for the Sept, and for Gaia, although our methods likely differ at times." She lifts her shoulders in a shrug. "At the very least I have a feeling that I will not be bored for however long I remain here— and that I may end up coming back even if I do take to the road again."

Sandra glances up at the nod to that particular gut feeling, a somewhat knowing look of her own asserting itself in her features. Beyond that: "If methods failed to differ," she says, "we'd be at the mercy of our enemies, and even our allies within the Nation in a hot second. Beyond that, I'd rather have debate and discussion than blindly cast edicts. I don't need to tell you, of all people, that laws are a living body of work that breathes, contracts, and contorts just as willfully as any vital organ." At which point they probably both geek out on law and politics, because that's what Philodox do, right?

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Kianan Rowan Abrams

July 2017

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