The weary molly's expression was one of curiosity as she approached, having to tilt her head back a bit to meet the gaze of this stranger. A brown wolf, one who actually looked... a little familiar. She furrowed her brow thoughtfully, raking her memory as she addressed him. "Hi there. You're from the Thunderlands?" she observed, quickly able to pick out the scent that had become so familiar as of late. "What can I do for you?"
ooc: its all good <3
Mercy was silent as she walked with the others, keeping her pulsing, shadowy gaze low. Though her eyes had dried they felt swollen and tired, and the rest of her body just felt so weighed down. Abbi's touch was comforting, though. It was a gesture she greatly appreciated, and she found herself wishing for some alone time with him so she could properly thank him for all he'd done for her, as well as to check in on him. She still couldn't get it out of her head that something about him had changed, aside from his physical appearance. Was it sitting well with her? Mercy couldn't decide.
She sat down beside Abbi, wrapping her plumy tail around her paws as Barghest addressed them. Why did he suddenly care so much about neutrality, when the memory of both Shadow Veil and the Exiles' raids on one another were so fresh in everyone's minds? Was it only for the sake of their relationship, or was something else motivating him? Mercy herself was so weary of fighting her uncle, and she knew Barghest felt the same. But even if the two of them had made up in a sense, the conflict between their respective clans would forever prevent them from truly achieving peace between them. She... loved Barghest (right?), but she could never love the Exiles. As wrong as it felt to say it, she had a feeling that Barghest felt the same way about Shadow Veil. She recalled his unbridled disgust and anger as he spoke about Ver, and she saw the way he'd fought against her clanmates. And though she had no personal conflicts with Mulder, his presence was enough to make her skin crawl, as did the thought of any other Exiler. Plenty of her clanmates felt far more strongly about the Exiles than she did. Neutrality would be ideal, but was it obtainable? To Mercy, it felt as though they were past the point of no return.
"Ab— Ambedo has a point," she said carefully. "Who else are you seeking neutrality with? And, if you don't mind me asking... why are you doing it?" It made very little sense to her. She'd never lived amongst or made much of an effort to truly understand the Exiles, but if she were being honest she didn't think she had to in order to know what they stood for. They were called the Exiles for a reason. "I've never known the Exiles to care about making peace with anyone."
Mercy was optimistic about this new alliance; Julian seemed very driven and easy to talk to, and maybe it would be for the best if she focused more of her attention on strengthening bonds with allies — for so long she'd been relatively indifferent to a majority of the other clans, no matter their political alignment. Politics had simply never been a priority for her unless personal matters were involved, such as with Barghest and Cassiopeia's respective leaderships, or her lingering attachment to Volary Flights. In a way, there was something... almost refreshing about this newfound interest in the Thunderlands, who she held no pre-existing connections to.
She arrived just after Spiritline, but for a moment she simply stood there and admired the decorations. Then her shadowy gaze shifted to the lake, and she approached it with pricked ears and round eyes, her expression one of wonder. The Whispering Pines had luminescent flora, and the glowworms surrounding a specific pond in the forest were reflected brightly by the water, but she'd never seen anything like this before.
Eventually she remembered herself and approached Julian, coming to stand beside Spiritline and offering her student a nod of greeting. "Everything looks great, Julian," she said with a smile. "Thanks for hosting this. How've you been?"
This was long overdue, but Mercy just... hadn't been able to find the energy to do it sooner. Grief weighed heavily on her, intensified by guilt at what she felt she could have done to prevent this terrible tragedy. Twilightzone and Barghest had been close friends, she recalled, and though Mercy looked back on the time all three of them had spent together in the Cartel with nothing but bitterness, things were undoubtedly different these days and Barghest deserved to know of the events that had transpired. Had he even known that Twilightzone was still around? Mercy knew for a fact that her now ex-girlfriend hadn't been aware of his presence in the Exiles.
The Shadowkeeper hadn't come to deliver the news herself; it was too risky, and she couldn't find it in herself to journey so far when she could barely bring herself to leave her den these days. Instead, her sparrowhawk soared overhead with a rolled up letter clutched between her talons, dutifully landing just beyond the border as Mercy had instructed. From there, Bluebell squawked once and then waited in silence, ready to hand over the paper to the Exiles Warden alone. A ribbon tied the paper shut, its fabric reading, "To Barghest." Should he take and unroll it, he would find a shakily-written message:
Twilightzone committed suicide and she's not coming back. She said you meant the world to her. I'm sorry.
ooc: IM SO SORRY ABOUT HOW LATE THIS IS
She needed to stop coming back here. But it was hard to resist the pull; Mercy wanted so desperately to speak with Barghest again so that she could attempt to sort out her feelings regarding their relationship. Half of her still feared him in spite of everything — what if he was just playing the long game, waiting for her to let her guard down and fully trust him again so he could strike back and make it hurt?
"We told you not to trust him," she could almost hear everyone scolding her as she imagined herself bleeding out by his claw. Ver, Charlotte, Abbi; it was so easy to envision the disappointment they'd feel if Barghest were to finally turn on her after she went against her loved ones' interests. The anger. The betrayal. Is that all I'll ever be? A traitor? First she'd killed Barghest, then challenged Littlestar's orders, and now she was a mere slave to these morbid urges. No matter how hard Barghest tried to gain neutrality with Shadow Veil, Mercy knew the two clans would always be enemies. Were she and her uncle doomed to be on opposite sides of a bloody war for the rest of their lives?
She justified her presence with the memory of Connie. The girl hadn't been a Veiler for long yet, but she already seemed happy in her new home. I gave her a better life in Shadow Veil. Are there any more children I can save? But would she be so lucky as to run into another youth in Connie's position again? Experience had taught her not to rely on optimism, but it was hard not to feel hopeful. After finally being given the opportunity to put her plan into action with Connie, Mercy was almost... excited to liberate more children. Barghest would be angry with her if he were to find out about it, but she told herself that the safety and well-being of innocent kids was far more important than the feelings of an uncle she was supposed to despise.
Surprisingly driven, Mercy lurked along the border, tense and alert in case she was spotted by an aggressor. After some time, she did catch sight of someone, and — it was a child! What kind of luck had she tapped into? Maybe this means this is meant to be. I'm doing the right thing. Hopefully, this would go a lot more smoothly than persuading Connie; she'd accused Mercy of being an escaped Exiles prisoner, thanks to the lingering scent that remained on her from her time as an actual prisoner. More time had passed since her release, though, so now she simply smelled of Shadow Veil — as well as dried herbs and sweet fruits, which she'd just picked up at the Trade Center and were stored in her satchel.
I WANT TO BE A WARRIOR!
CLAN: Shadow Veil
"Don't worry, we'll never run out," Mercy assured Hyperion with a faintly amused smile. "Now..." she went on thoughtfully, biting her lip. He was someone she didn't know too well. What sort of task would suit him best? "Could you please hold a class of some sort? The subject's up to you. And Nunchi," continued the molly, starting a bit at their... unique appearance. She'd seen them around since they joined, but only a couple of times, and they were a bit of a jarring sight. They were also someone she hardly knew, like Hyperion. I need to work on that, she decided. "Can you start up a storytelling session?"
- how does HYPERION feel about everyone's lack of belief in the light that rebirthed him? does it ever make him doubt it himself? or does it strengthen his conviction?
- NUNCHI is undoubtedly a strange looking creature. do they ever feel self-conscious about this? how do they feel when they receive odd looks or anything similar?
ooc: ACK sorry i forgot to reply to this!!
A weary smile made its way onto Mercy's face as Callistokit eagerly approached. More clanmates followed suit, and she studied them all in silence for a few moments as she mulled over some ideas. "Callistokit, do you think you could start up a game of moss ball and get everyone involved? Spiritline, I'd like for you to show us all an interesting talent of yours. Riptide, how about you try to pick up a new hobby? And Ver," she went on, turning to look at her girlfriend. Although her smile remained, there was concern in her gaze as she met Ver's eyes. What could she assign her that wasn't especially taxing? "Could you decorate the ruins with some of the forest's glowing flowers and stuff like that? Feel free to recruit other people to help."
- callistokit: how does callistokit handle a little adventure gone awry (ex: getting lost, stuck, etc)?
- spiritline: how does spiritline feel about the fact that moros is widely hated throughout shadow veil both for his allegiance and the crimes he specifically has commited against veilers?
- ver: have ver reflect on all of her allegiances. for example: does she struggle with leading a pro-clan and being the deputy of an anti-clan? is it physically and/or emotionally exhausting to live in so many places at once, and spread her attention/efforts so thin? which clan does she care about the most, if there is one? have there been any conflicts of interest — or can she forsee any occurring in the future?
There was a multitude of different clan scents clinging to this young woman, and it was tricky to make sense of it all. The Sanguine Ruins was easy to identify with a little bit of effort, though, after scenting it on Ver and Abbi for so long. "Of course you can join," she confirmed with a weary smile. "Welcome to the clan. I'm Mercy. Let me know if you have any questions or want a tour of the territory." Spilled Blood of the Millionaire. It was certainly a unique name, albeit a bit... gruesome. She, personally, would never name her own child something such as that, but to each their own she supposed.
Another event with the Thunderlands. Mercy couldn't complain, especially since this activity seemed interesting. Admittedly, she'd never heard of an escape room before, but it sounded like something worth checking out — albeit a little stressful. But then again, she knew she'd always been rather... high-strung. Blinking, she raised her head and looked around for any clanmates. "The Thunderlands invited us to an escape room event. It looks like it'll be fun."
An odd shriek distracted the weary molly from her silent wandering, and she was quick to respond. Bristling nervously, Mercy slipped into the undergrowth, creeping through the woods on light paws. Are we being raided? she wondered, picking up her pace a bit. But no sound followed the shriek. Her heartrate spiked at the thought of a lone clanmate falling victim to an enemy, with no one around to hear the subtle struggle. That had happened too many times. Not again. Breathing heavily, she carried on determinedly, trying to suppress her fear. It only increased as she pushed her way out of the vegetation, only to be met with the strong, metallic scent of blood.
Her breath caught in her throat as her gaze rested on a wolf tucking into an elk. Alright, that was normal, albeit jarring to see... but the sudden encounter still had her on edge. This stranger was still on her clan's land, and—
The forceful tone filled her head, accompanied by a threatening growl. Mercy jumped at the sudden mental intrusion, eyes stretching wide beneath the shadows concealing them. Steeling herself, she stood a little straighter. "This is Shadow Veil's territory," she informed the other in a clear tone, although there was underlying tension. "You're trespassing."
ooc: im so sorry for the late reply!!
Their exchange was curt and admittedly a bit bland. She supposed that was to be expected; although they'd been on good terms when they lived together in the Cartel, they hadn't been close by any means. In fact, the only thing connecting them was Twilightzone. To be honest, her feelings regarding Hayliel had always been a bit... mixed ever since she ordered Mercy to attack a member of the Sanguine Ruins. Peaceful Mercy, who'd only recently come back from being murdered by a Ruiner. Not that Hayliel had had any way of knowing her disposition or her traumatic history, but still... that aside, it had never sat well with her that as a joiner, she'd been required to fulfill such a requirement in order to be considered a full member. It was just another reason why she'd never been a huge fan of the Cartel.
But all bias and sour history aside, Hayliel was Twilightzone's daughter, and Mercy couldn't not care about her. That point was driven home as the younger woman inquired into her own well being. She looked away with a grimace, heart pounding. "I..." Biting her lip, she slowly looked up again to meet Hayliel's worried gaze. "Twilightzone, she... she just recently committed suicide. I don't think she's coming back." She spoke thickly, guilt clutching her in its icy talons. "I'm so sorry."
looking forward to seeing them around!! <3
Not long after the meeting came to a close, Mercy made her way back onto the rock that she'd addressed the clan from. "Stick around to grab a weekly task if you want one," announced the Shadowkeeper, stretching her legs. It had been a while since she'd done this, and honestly she'd always enjoyed it.
ooc: feel free to ask for an ooc prompt as well!
Mercy looked and felt far more exhausted than she had during the previous meeting, and that was saying something. Her lips were pursed as she padded into the meeting room and sprang up onto the customary rock, her brow furrowed. Drawing in a deep breath, the molly let her eyes fall shut and for a moment she simply stood in silence, collecting herself. Normally her mind was a whirlwind of thoughts before she hosted meetings; things she wanted to say, the day's stresses, everything was constantly buzzing about in her head. Today, however, she just felt... tired. Blank.
"Shadow Veil, please gather for this week's meeting." As she spoke, she shuffled to the left to make some room for Abbi. He seemed to be feeling under the weather, though, so she found herself wondering if he would even show up — hence her holding this meeting for the second time in a row. Mercy wasn't going to hold it against him; she'd been there. "Sorry that I'm late with this; I've... had a lot going on lately." Again she was reminded sharply of her grief, visions of Twilightzone's demise dancing through her memory, taunting her. Lirim's accusation echoed in the back of her mind: "You didn't stop it." A pang accompanied the thought. "But we're here together now, and that's what's important. And on that note, I'd like to welcome our newcomers: Marsala, Eisuke, Sugimoto, Ogata, Ruele, Connie, and Nunchi. And welcome back to Kris, who recently returned." It was nice to see so many new faces around the clan. "The buddy system is always available if you need it. This week's task is to go exploring neutral territory with your buddy."
With that out of the way, she ran through what was to come next for a brief moment before clearing her throat. "Activity's been better recently, but there's still room for improvement. I understand everyone's situations, though, so there won't be any demotions this week. I'd especially like to see more of Junepaw, Madrabbits, Kodiak, and Charlotte though, but again, I get it so don't feel too ridiculously pressured. Goldrush has stepped down from Spiritcaller Student, but Ruele's stepped up in her place," she went on. "Shout out to Annalysia for her hard work. Hyperion is promoted to Nightwatcher and Riptide, I'd like for you to step up to Midnightbringer of inter-clan relations."
"The Thunderlands has invited us to a party to celebrate our new alliance, and the Blackheart Rogues invited us to an arts and crafts session. Feel free to head over and spend time with them; Abbi and I want to strengthen all of our alliances as best as we can." Personally, Mercy was excited about their newest alliance; Julian had proven himself to be a good man with admirable foresight. In all honesty, this was the first time she found herself truly interested in an allied clan that she didn't have pre-existing connections with. "We've got a couple of smaller events going on within our own clan, too: a meet and greet and a self defense lesson."
A moment of silence followed her words as she reached behind her, quickly producing a bronze ring. "Now, it's time to award an honor that's long overdue," Mercy declared, leaping down from her perch. "Madrabbits, please step forward." She waited for him to do so before continuing, bearing a light smile. "You showed great courage and tenacity in completing your Ascension Quest, and for that I'm proud to reward you with the prestigious Black Heart title and this ring to commemorate your ascension. Congratulations." Once she'd finished, she presented Madrabbits the ring, which was carefully engraved with an image of glittering silverstone ore, and would slip it over his paw if he held it out for her.
Then she took a couple of steps back and swept her shadowy gaze over the crowd. "Unless Abbi has anything else to add, the meeting is dismissed."
- welcome to MARSALA , connie reaver , RUELE , Nunchi. , Eisuke Kuromiya , s. sugimoto , and Hyakunosuke !! and welcome back to krisriel. !
- this week's buddy task: explore neutral territory with your buddy
- minor warnings to JUNEPAW A. , MADRABBITS , KODIAK . , and Charlotte A.
- goldrush has stepped down from spiritcaller student & connie has taken her place
- shout out to Annalysia Sparrow
- HYPERION ! is promoted to nightwatcher
- RIPTIDE is promoted to midnightbringer of inter-clan relations
- ally events: party with thunderlands & arts and crafts with the blackheart rogues
- events within the clan: meet and greet & self defense lesson
- madrabbits receives the black heart title & his ring for completing his ascension quest
so sorry for the wait!! lifes been hectic for me x( gonna give u the accolade as soon as im done typing up the meeting! <3
Mercy couldn’t find it in herself to blame her father for his absence; everyone needed some alone time, and Dreamdoll had always been rather distant. She was used to it at this point, no longer questioning it... though she had to admit that it would’ve been nice to celebrate her engagement with him, or seek comfort in his embrace after Twilightzone’s passing. But at least he’s more present right now, thought the molly as she approached, bearing a weary smile. She would take advantage of it while she could.
Suppressing a faint sigh, Mercy seated herself beside her father and nuzzled him affectionately. “How’re you doing?” she murmured before turning her attention to Callistokit with a look of amusement. Riptide answered the kitten’s question before she could, and when the tiger made an inquiry of his own, Mercy simply looked to Dreamdoll in silence so he could answer however he liked.
Mercy, too, was quick to come running at Callistokit's sudden cry. Her expression was a mask of concern as she approached, sliding in beside Riptide and crouching down so that she and the kitten were closer to eye level. It was heartbreaking to see her so shaken, especially since she was normally so spunky; it was a stark difference from her current state. "It's okay," she murmured, reaching out and attempting to pull her soon to be stepdaughter into a very gentle hug. "We're here. What's wrong?" Riptide had already asked a very similar question, but she couldn't stop herself from inquiring as well.