Posts by Calina A.R.K.

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    Calina had let her own children begin running around Shadow Veil with reckless abandon roughly a week prior. She had always let them explore Shadow Veil under her watchful eye, and had somewhat begrudgingly allowed them to stay in Volary Flights as long as Felix or Legrandite were keeping them safe, but she had never allowed them to scamper everywhere without telling her where they were off to until they hit five months old. Now Kirusha was off in the Solaris Kingdom for half the time, and some of the other kids were spending more time in their late mother's clan than the Veil, as well. It was a little startling to watch them scatter, but she knew that they would always return home eventually, and plus, she had been let out of her mother's den at three months old. It hadn't been Sango's greatest idea, but she was still alive and kicking, so surely her own litter would be fine. Calina was reminded of both her own brood when she spotted Haze rifling through some boxes.

    Where were her kids now? They could make a friend if they showed up, surely, since Haze was around their age. Ambrose, Polaris, and Cade were also present, but there were no lupurca-cougar hybrids running around. Her curiosity got the better of her and she padded over to stand next to Cade, as eager as her fellow veilers to see what Haze was getting into. "'My child'? What're y', some kinda priest?" Calina gave a snort of amusement at Cade's question. That sounded too formal for her, but she had referred to Aizik as "Gremlin", so maybe she just violently erred on the side of casual and had no place to talk. Since everyone else present had already asked what Haze was looking for, Calina opted not to, her only additional reaction being a slight squint of her eyes toward the arcs of electricity that leaped around in Haze's fur. She had seen the damage that uncontrolled electricity elementals could do. She hoped that Haiiro and Cade were working on that power with them, until Haze could get a mentor of their own.


    Calina wasn't much of a gardener, either. Her fine motor skills were shit, so any planting or weeding or watering would be a challenge for her, and she wasn't ready to take all of that on. Thus her only contribution to Shadow Veil's flora was burning patches of the ground when she was particularly stressed out, and thus clearing some debris away that made room for new plants to grow. She appreciated her clanmates that could handle plants, though; without careful cultivation of herbs, they would probably be down on medical supplies. At first, when she heard talk of gardening and seeds, she thought that somebody was starting up a herb garden. Upon padding closer, the word "fruit" kept on being thrown around, and when she arrived on the scene things were made more clear. Mystletainn was throwing fruit into holes in hopes that the seeds inside of them would sprout up later on.

    "'Didn't get the memo that all us veilers were meetin' here to watch Mystletainn try to plant shit," Calina commented pleasantly, impressed by the amount of veilers that had gathered around the winged midnightbringer. Like Athelina, she did not consciously understand the differences between ferns and moss and mushrooms and plants that would need more sunlight. Calina knew there was a reason that cacti grew in the desert and not in the Veil, and so on and so forth, but she probably would have responded as Athelina did had she not spoken first. Calina squinted at the mushy fruit, and then at the rather dejected-looking Mystletainn. "Y' could try plantin' it in th' Sun Spot if here doesn't work. It'll get more light." She suggested, unable to offer any more advice than that.


    Calina hadn't expected to wake up to rumors about Riptide being back. She hadn't written her friend off as being gone forever, but she did worry. It seemed like the majority of creatures who vanished without a trace never returned, and it was hard to hold out hope when Riptide had been gone for months. But apparently he had made his grand return, and when the dark-furred lupurca spotted him, she went bounding over, tail whipping back and forth in an intense version of a wag. "Riptide! 'm so damn glad you're back!" It really was. With Freya's recent death, she was searching for any bright moments in her life, and her friend returning was one of them. She aimed to affectionately bump one of her shoulders against him, and then backed up to join her other three clanmates. It was good to see that the three felines were being friendly, especially since two of them were among the recently promoted.

    She copied Polaris's question, ears flicking up to be angled toward Riptide, "How were your travels? Where the fuck'd y' go?" He hadn't given much of a notice after he stepped down, instead just popping off to somewhere or other. She wasn't upset, per say, just curious as all hell to what his explanation was. Calina couldn't shame him over disappearing too much, because she herself had spent something like a year and a half wandering around Agrelos just because she felt like she needed a break from Shadow Veil. "Oh, in case you've forgotten, 'm Calina. Shadowkeeper." Her lips twitched upward in a subtle version of a smile, pleased with the shitty joke she had just let forth.


    Grand's protectiveness over the newborns went more or less unnoticed by Calina. She knew, from the scandalized and shocked stares she had received after Radegast's death, that nobody was particularly pleased with her actions, but she didn't have the time to process the hatred that practically wafted off of Legrandite. Her eyes idly swept over him, curled around the cubs, before turning to the arriving Órfhlaith. Never before had she felt such an appreciation for the mare's easygoing attitude. "Yeah, yeah... I just wanna make sure they're doin' fine. They're havin' a rough beginnin'," A massive understatement. Calina had seen quite a few births, but never a c-section from a deceased mother. "'m fine, I'll get water later." She added on. While she could benefit from a drink and some food and a good long fucking nap and a complete reset of the past few days, she wasn't going to keel over, and she didn't want the spiritcaller to stray from the children.

    The nursing question she left up to Sangria, who took it with grace, as she had with Freya's death. Some nudging Grand around and some shuffling of the living cubs, and they were curled against her stomach, finding their way to milk. She muttered out a, "Thanks," to Sangria, probably one of many she would speak before the children were weaned. Others filed in, drawn over by her thunderous call. There was Cade, offering to fetch Sangria food, and Ambrose, offering herbs to Sangria. "That'd be great, Cade," She gave the subtlest of nods toward him, letting Sangria answer her sibling's question. It would be a hell of a time for Sangria to nurse seven large hybrids for two months, and when Haiiro appeared and said his bit, Calina felt relief on behalf of Sangria. "I think both Sangria 'n' I'd really 'ppreciate that," She gave another tiny nod, a strangely fragile gesture when compared to her usual fiery attitude.

    The anger inside of her had sunk deep into her bones, an ever-present thread throughout her body, but it wasn't rising to the surface anymore. Tearing chunks of Radegast apart had been surprisingly therapeutic, but now she was coming down from the adrenaline high. She wanted to curl up next to Freya and sleep for ages, but neither of those were options. She threw a final glance toward the doorway as Ver appeared, recognition dawning on her face. She would wait outside, but not before saying a soft, "I'm so sorry". She already knew what had happened; there was no guessing for her. Maybe it was because she had seen the same mournful, lost expression on Calina's face echoed back in her own reflection after Nadine's death.

    Blunt claws clacked against the floor of her hut as she moved a single paw after the departing reverend, but then she turned abruptly back to Sangria and addressed the elephant in the room. "Freya's dead. She was killed by her son, 'n' her deputy killed him. Two of the cubs didn't survive." The story was condensed, lacking emotion. If she said everything she felt, she would dissolve into a puddle of tears and rage. Calina didn't even know if she was reacting right. She felt like she was bursting at the seams with emotions and, at the same time, too numb. A sour taste filled her mouth, and she zeroed in on the cubs again. "So... I'm namin' them." That was what parents did after a litter was born. She had seen the process repeated throughout the years, and she grasped at that semblance of normalcy with desperation, but it wasn't even right. In an ideal world, Freya would be there. She would get to give her input on what the kids were named. Maybe she would name half, and Calina the others, or maybe they would name them together and agree on all the names. They hadn't gotten to talking about the names yet; Freya had been close to her assumed due date, but not close enough for that.

    She tried to focus her gaze on the them. There were the tiny, blurry bodies, all achromatic and glowing. Órfhlaith was right; they were beautiful. Her eyes were first drawn to one of the largest cubs, easy to spot thanks to his pure white fur and tiny wings that sprouted from his back. A tiny shift of his body and she thought she spotted an eerily familiar marking. Three cone-like shapes swept up around one central dot. A symbol that Barghest had carried on his body when he was Radioactiveplague, passed along after skipping a generation. Fuck, great. "Aizik," The name popped out of her mouth without a second thought. It just sounded good. Had Freya been there, the names might have been more varied, but Calina was on autopilot and digging up names from her (scarcely acknowledged) heritage. Xia had, once upon a time, pestered their littermate Yekuzaveta about her name, saying it sounded like a sneeze. Vettie had told her it was Russian, like the majority of their names. That had stuck with Calina in the back of her mind, and she had learned a few more Russian names in her lifetime.

    Well, now she could put them to good use. Having a theme made it easy. She didn't need to exert extra mental energy thinking up wildly creative names for the litter. She looked at the lionhound next to Aizik. Another pale one, in some spots, at least. She had dark patches of fur, too, and glowed green. With a radioactive symbol on her chest. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Apparently Barghest's genes were stronger than anyone had ever thought. "Adelaide," She said, quicker this time. She had five more kids to go. Hurrying up would probably be good, so that everyone could get on with checking them and whatnot. Lucky for her, the next child was a lot simpler. She had Freya's gray fur and Calina's peachy accents, a darling like her siblings, without any radioactive symbol. "Sabina," Beside her curled another child, his top coat closer to his volarian mother's, if a bit more silvery. A purple pigment coated his tiny paw pads, and she was willing to bet it would be found in his eyes once they were opened. "Niklaus."

    Beside him was another gray one, with a teal coloration in place of purple, glowing like his siblings. They were a proper rainbow of colors, weren't they? "Kirusha," Another name given, and she was on to the last living child. Another gray one, her fur in shades that were eerily similar to Freya's. In fact, even her teensy features were like hers. "Freya Rhosyn," She blurted the name out without thinking, and didn't dwell on it for more than a second. Before she could take it back, she swung around hurriedly and brushed a paw over one of the stillborn cubs. They deserved names, to mark their graves that she would inevitably be adding to the cemetery.

    She wished, for probably the tenth time, that she had been the one to kill Radegast. "Zinaida," She said to the first one, pulling a name from nowhere as she gave a sweep of her paw over the cold fur. "Vanya," She mimicked the gesture from before, brushing over the tiny body, and then felt a prick of pain on her toe. Tiny teeth had locked into her skin, suckling on the blood that coursed through it like it was milk. "What the fuck, she's alive?" Calina didn't mean to interrupt her own sullen mood, but here was a bright spot in a sea of darkness that formerly seemed endless. She raised her paw up, and the dark gray blob of fur hung on as well as she could with her tiny jaws. "She's bitin' me. What-" The lupurca cut herself off looked and searched her clanmates' faces, hoping for somebody to give her an explanation.


    Finally, she was back hosting meetings. The two weeks that she had spent being sick had been handled well by Ulla, but she had itched to hop back up on the meeting rock and make announcements herself. The stone underneath her paws felt comfortingly familiar. "Veilers, it's meetin' time!" She thundered, peachy eyes flickering over veilers as they filtered into the meeting room. "'m back to hostin' meetings, since 'm feeling a hell of a lot better. Thanks to Ulla for makin' sure Shadow Veil never collapsed into a shitshow." She didn't think it could collapse too quickly, not with its current member base, but she was grateful to the doe for holding down the fort either way. "As always, welcome to our joiners 'n' veilers who've been around more as of this week- POLARIS , Belial. , GLASSHOUSE , Corydora , Nautilus , MARROK R. 'n' COTTON ! . We've also got an emissary from th' Solaris Kingdom stayin' with us- dryice. Good to have all of y', 'n' once the meeting's over, feel free t' pipe up with any questions y' have or track more experienced veilers down later. Everyone'll be nice." She guaranteed that, punctuating her words with a confident nod.

    The corners of her mouth twitched up before she continued speaking. "I'd also like t' formally introduce adelaide a. t. , Aizik , Kirusha A.T. , NIKLAUS; , FREYA RHOSYN (Rhosie), SABINA A.T. , 'n' vanya. to th' clan, since they've been poppin' around a lot. If y' didn't know, they're the kids of Freya, the late empress of Volary Flights, 'n' I." She summoned a grin, proud of the litter being around. Internally, things were stormier. She wanted Freya there, to hear their names be rattled off, so that she could flash that grin specifically at her. She needed to move on quickly, else she falter badly. She brushed past her sadder thoughts.

    "As for politics, 'm declarin' the Sanguine Ruins an official enemy. They captured a child for no good fuckin' reason, and it's been unspoken that we're enemies, but I wanna make it clear." As far as Calina was concerned, they had been less than neutrals for a while, but nothing had ever come of it until recently. A few sparks trailed out of her mouth, and she rasped her tongue over her maw before speaking again. "The raid went well, so unless they strike first, don't bother with 'em. I want our border with them patrolled as much as possible, 'course." She hated that they were so close. Only months ago, it had been convenient. Ambassadors could pop over in the blink of an eye. How far their former alliance had fallen- from one of the longest-lasting partnerships in Agrelos, to shaky neutrals, to enemies.

    At least they had forged new bonds in the meantime. The Sanctuary and The Arcane were still fresh allies, and the Phoenix Eclipse Alliance still ran strong. "I want ambassadors to head out this week, make sure all of our allies are doin' well. After everyone's visited, if Mystletainn wants to host a session where y' all talk about how things are goin' with your respective clans, that'd be cool." She paused only a beat before realizing she had forgotten something. "The Arcane's still on a trial alliance, so we should sort that out, too. If any of our current ambassadors want to visit them as well to see how they're doin' and report back to that ambassador meetin', that'd be great." Another beat, and she added more on. "Jingwei's still missin'. Ask our allies if they know any clans with big water sources that might wanna snatch a veiler." If the child of Ulla wasn't found soon, Calina would just be making trips to all the neighboring non-allied clans that had a source of fresh water. Simple as that.

    Now that she had run through welcomes and politics, she got down to the ranks. "Bad news for ranks first. Greygarden 'n' Indrik stepped down- thanks t' both of y' for servin' the Veil. JUNEBUG A.W. gets a warnin', but that's the worst of it." It was a relatively pain-free week. No demotions, at least, which was a bonus. " POLARIS , step up to duskguard if y' want it. Sylmae Winzor , I'd like y' to become a darkseeker. Shout-outs go to Orfhlaith Faelan , LOU . 'n' adelaide a. t. . High positions did pretty damn well this week." She couldn't shout out all of them, but she wanted to give them a reminder that she was happy with their performance. "I'd also like to give Órfhlaith the Patriot title. You've been in Shadow Veil almost as fuckin' long as I have, 'n' you've done a hell of a lot for the Veil. Without your healin' 'n' teachin', probably a lot of veilers would be dead. Thank y' for your loyalty." Grossly formal, but it needed to be said.

    She had forgotten how long meetings went on for. "This week we've got a lot of stuff goin' on around the Veil. Sylmae's hosting weekly tasks. Junebug's got a potluck happenin', Mystletainn's planting fruit, 'n' Lou's hosting a sparring session." A wide range of activities, some social, some agricultural, some combat-oriented. All of them fun, she hoped. "We'll also be havin' a culture festival go up soon, keep an eye out for that."

    Speaking about Órfhlaith had reminded her that there was something she needed to get done, but she had saved it for last, since it was supposed to be all ceremonial. "I also have the fuckin' ascension quest rings for Órfhlaith 'n' Mystletainn! Forgot about this shit after the Shade Hour." She tapped the two bronze bands, pushing them toward the front of the stone. " Ver Million 's also completed her second ascension quest." An impressive feat, since Calina had never seen it done before. She knew that the ascension quest assigned to Ver couldn't have been easy- none of them had been, but Ver's had been particularly heavy emotionally. "Another show of loyalty 'n' dedication to the Veil, so... fuck yeah. Y' three should come get your rings. If anyone wants an ascension quest who hasn't told me before, come 'n' tell me now." She hopped down from the rock and then stood on her hind legs and scooped the rings off from the top of it before dropping down again.


    It had been a while since Calina had been able to make it to the border and greet joiners. Between her sickness and raising a litter of seven kids, her time had been eaten away at. But now she was healthy and her cubs had grown large enough to take care of themselves- for the most part, anyway- so she was back on her border patrol routine. Walking the well-trodden paths she was used to felt good. Her ears pricked up at the sound of voices, and she deviated from the trail, padding around the pines near the border to end up standing next to Haiiro. Peachy eyes flicked over her clanmates present. There was Polaris, barely out of apprenticeship and nursing an injured shoulder, and there was Haiiro, who looked like he had become a wolf-beach ball hybrid. Although Cotton seemed absolutely harmless, she was glad that she had become part of the welcoming committee. Just in case anything went wrong.

    The dark-furred lupurca tilted her head, confusion marring her features with a furrow of her brow and a downward tilt of her maw. "Sounds like y' might have bashed your head on somethin'," She spoke bluntly, thinking that was a satisfactory explanation for Cotton's memory problems. He had forgotten his introduction within a matter of seconds. Calina pitied him, but she wondered how far they could even get the conversation going. If he wanted to join, would he even be able to remember that he was part of the clan a few minutes later? Most creatures would probably feel an obligation to help him, since he seemed innocent, but Calina was wondering, through her pity, if it was worth the effort. She sighed internally, and then continued on, "You're on Shadow Veil's border, like Polaris said. If I were y', I'd let Haiiro look at your injuries." A subtle suggestion, but if he didn't take it up, then there wasn't much she could do. Her peachy eyes flickered to the snake in his bag, who seemed like he could speak for him if all else failed. "'m Calina, the leader here." She offered that as her last bit of information, and then fell silent, because giving him too much to respond to seemed like a terrible idea.


    Calina didn't dislike the beach, but she didn't love it. She didn't feel comfortable in the water. There was something about the crashing waves and the endless depth of the ocean that set her on edge. But her kids felt differently, and thought they didn't make it to the beach often, she wasn't going to deprive them of that fun childhood experience. Plus, apparently a lot of her friends would be going, and Calina's need for social interaction was as strong as it ever had been. It was a hell of a time wrangling seven kids and then making sure that they had everything they needed for the beach, but she had done it, and Adelaide was already off finding sea shells. Calina dropped the massive cooler bag she had been lugging with her and threw down a ridiculous amount of beach towels (eight, to be exact), before swinging her backpack around and setting it on the sand.

    She could organize things later, if she felt like it, but for the time being she would walk over to Adelaide and give her sunhat an affectionate ruffle. "Damn, Addie, you're gettin' offers left and right," She commented, flashing a smile at Órfhlaith, the boy with the dog, and Sylmae. "There'll be more near the shoreline." She reminded Adelaide, before turning and extending a hand toward the dog that Cotton had brought over. "He friendly?" He sure looked it, and it would have been a fool's move to bring an unfriendly dog to the beach, but who knew? Although Calina wasn't cautious, she wasn't downright stupid, and even she knew about the basic courtesy of asking first before petting dogs. Plus, she had to be a good example in front of Adelaide.


    [ tagging all of y'all but please don't feel pressured to respond! this is just a lil family bonding/calina warns her kids about the dangers of agrelos thread :blosh: ]

    Calina had kept her brood close to her for five months, dutifully watching over them and making sure that any trip they made to Volary Flights was safe. Now they were off making their big debuts into their clans, making their lively presences known. Every time she saw them scampering around she felt a swell of pride go straight to her heart, but it also worried her the tiniest bit. She was no stranger to children being captured before they were even six months old, and she felt like she might just turn her back and they would be gone. As she gathered them up and herded them toward the Sun Spot, she felt a flash of thankfulness that they had been okay thus far. Sure, their beginning had been rocky as all hell, but they had a massive support system, what with all their so-called aunts and uncles.

    She dragged an antelope by the leg in one of her jaws and dropped it unceremoniously next to the large tree in the clearing. "Dig in, but don't start fightin' over pieces of it," She huffed, recalling times when she and her littermates had argued over food, particularly candy. "I wanna have a little talk with all of y' about... stuff y' might encounter, now that you're runnin' wild all over the place." She flopped down next to the lionhounds, tall ears angled toward the cubs as she waited for a reaction. She needed to go over The Exiles, and the Sanguine Ruins, and the Painted Brigade, and how captures were way too common for her own liking. Maybe she could wrap a self-defense session into it, too. When she was five months old, she had a decent grasp of the other clans around, but that was because she had been allowed to go where she wanted by the tender age of three months old. The downside to that had been half of her siblings had disappeared by then because they had been... allowed to go where she wanted. She would rather have to explain politics to her kids rather than have half of them gone, thanks.


    Calina feared social contact. Others were wary of the clans outside Shadow Veil's borders, but she knew that there were bound to be more threats from within. It was only a matter of time before she snipped off her last bit of loyalty to Shadow Veil and ran off to live a nomadic life. For the time being, she tried to avoid her clanmates. Their judgment of her was palpable. Curling up into a little ball was so appealing whenever she encountered one of them.

    Unfortunately for her, she went the wrong way and ended up walking near Lou, her flowers, and two of the meanest veilers in the clan. Tears were already brimming at the corner of Calina's eyes just from hearing their raised voices. If she had been stronger, she would have stood up to them, but what would they think of her then? She was a coward. A self-loathing, terrified coward. She trembled, thinking over her words carefully. "Lou, those flowers are pretty," was all she offered, voice as soft as gossamer. "Flowers... hate yelling, they've told me that." She was lying, but she hoped it would somehow help the situation. She then stared awkwardly at the group, having nothing more to say but feeling too awkward to just run away. At the first chance, she would be slipping away into the shadows.


    [ please wait for greygarden to respond! also if u have a freylina keep them outta this thread cause these blankets are gonna be SURPRISES ]

    One of Calina's fondest memories from her childhood was when her father had made sweaters for her litter. Hers had been a peachy salmon that matched her eyes, and it had enveloped her in warmth long before she had found her fire elementals. Calina didn't have many happy moments from her childhood where she and her siblings were all together with their parents, and that was one of the rare ones that she cherished. It sparked the idea of making something for her own children, but she knew from experience that they wouldn't stay the same size all their lives. Sweaters would be outgrown quickly. Blankets were a better idea. The cubs could curl up in them like burritos when they were kids, and then as they got older they could still snuggle into them, just with a little less room. Perfect. The problem was that Calina had no idea how to knit, and so she had to seek somebody out to help.

    She knew that Greygarden was skilled, but she was slightly hesitant about approaching him to help her, what with his... weird vampire problem. But he had done well for a long time, not biting anyone, and maybe it was time that she started giving him more credit. Before his attempted attack on Candyhearts, he had been a loyal and reliable member of Shadow Veil, and he was still trying. She searched and bartered until she had found many balls of yarn, ranging wildly in color. Green, orange, peach, teal, purple, red. They would match the kids' accent colors. A dark-clawed paw poked at Greygarden's shoulder before being set back down on the ground, along with the yarns. "Y' know how to knit. I don't. Can y' help me?" She flopped down as if he had already agreed, tall ears angling toward him eagerly. "I wanna make blankets for m' kids. Seven, so a fuckin' lot, but if y' teach me how to make one, I can do the rest." Her brow raised hopefully, before she paused and added, "I'll make y' one in return."


    [ to preface this !!! ic opinions !!! don't usually leave a disclaimer but calina's got some Mean Things To Say And Think this time around ]

    When Ver was the leader, she had allowed an exiler in by the name of Aile. She had come in with one of Corrupttimelines's legs, claiming that she had parted ways with The Exiles. A while later, under Calina's leadership, she proceeded to go on an unspoken solo mission to kill Corrupttimelines and then kill a Sanguine Ruins healer. Although he turned out to be guilty for defending Corrupttimelines, and thus banished from his clan, Calina still didn't trust Aile. She hadn't helped enough around the clan and she hadn't been controlled enough to make keeping her there worthwhile. Calina hadn't forced her to leave, since she tried to uphold Ver's decision and, after that fiasco, Aile didn't have any more reckless incidents. But she let out a giant sigh of relief when she was gone, and vowed that she wouldn't be letting any former exilers into her clan if she could help it. She had turned away her own father because he had been an Exiles leader, and he had held that position months prior.

    Calina's hatred for The Exiles had been built up over years, and she had lost any trace of patience she had ever had for them. At least the Sanguine Ruins had an excuse for their violent behavior, what with their delusions over a god and all that shit. The Exiles were just violent for the sake of being violent, going so far as to attack children for no other reason other than it struck them in the moment. Upon catching the scent of sandy canyon air, Calina's ears flew back. There was no accompanying coppery smell, and there were no screeches that a raid was being launched on the Veil's lands, but she sprinted toward the scene nonetheless. A crowd had already formed, voices had been raised, Jimin was pleading to be allowed in. Her brow furrowed and her muzzle was wrinkling, ready to bare her glowing teeth at a moment's notice. Of all the fucking exilers, he thought he could join? Eisuke thought he could? Had Calina not been so furious at their audacity, she would have laughed. They were lucky that she didn't just lunge for the throat in hopes of bringing down an enemy.

    She hadn't heard most of the conversation as she ran through the woods, ears filled with the sounds of her own paws beating on the earth and the low-hanging pine branches rustling as she brushed past them, but she had heard some of it, and she wasn't thrilled. Ulla snapping about leaving, Merlot saying something about Wind Haven, Mystletainn apologizing for something said prior, Jimin doing a spiel about a trial period. That might have worked for Volary Flights and Arya, but Shadow Veil was no Volary Flights, and Jimin and Eisuke were no Arya- daughter of the former leader of Shadow Veil, former member of a past ally of Shadow Veil. She came to a stop next to Mystletainn, noting the green-accented pup that was practically vibrating with energy next to him. She reached out a dark-furred paw to try and scoop Adelaide backward, muttering out a, "Stay behind me," as she did so. Sending her back to camp would be the best option, but she wouldn't bother with that. Although Calina knew her kids were naive thanks to their age, she didn't think they were dumb as bricks. Adelaide would run if things went wrong.

    Calina turned sharply back to Jimin and Eisuke, blurry gaze flickering over the two. "What kind of arrogant bastards are you, to think y' deserve a chance here? You've fought against Shadow Veil, you-" She jabbed a paw at Jimin, smoke curling off her claws in an expression of poorly controlled rage. "-led a fuckin' raid that led to our herb supplies being stolen, our only full healer captured, and one of the Veil's children losing his eye." She didn't care that Kiyoshi had technically been both a darkseeker and an apprentice at that time. He had been too young to have an eye taken out just because somebody had a grudge against Shadow Veil. "Another child was orphaned in that raid, but you don't give a shit about that, do you? You just want fucking redemption served to y' with a fucking trial period." She shook her head back and forth fervently. A trial period had worked well when those guarded were little serval hybrids, but Eisuke was a lupurca. Hard to manage if anything went wrong. The image of one of them going off the rails and killing a veiler before anyone could stop them popped up in her mind, and alienated her from the idea even more.

    "And that- I've seen you two fight in raids against us for months! You might have stood up to your clanmates at the end of your membership there, but too little, too fucking late! My priority is keeping Shadow Veil safe, and lettin' former higher-ranking exilers in will do the opposite." Calina gave a frustrated huff, complete with tiny sparks floating out of her maw. Who knew if Shadow Veil's allies would turn on them for taking in Jimin and Eisuke. She certainly would be skeptical if anyone else but Wind Haven took them in. Volarians didn't like Calina enough as it was; she didn't need to give them a reason to completely break the Phoenix Eclipse Alliance, especially when her children were trying to pop back and forth between the clans. "Merlot's right- Wind Haven is the place y' are lookin' for, and if you're so hellbent on bothering Shadow Veil, come back after they've done whatever redeemin' shit they make wards like you do." She spat, her tirade more or less over.

    Although she knew Ulla would not be pleased- probably furious with her, in fact, maybe to the point of leaving- she wouldn't stop herself. Calina had changed over the years. She had stopped initiating violence just because it was fun. She had moved on from her days when she sided with Sango as she ripped her deputy apart. She had adjusted as well as she could to Shadow Veil's new neutral ways. She had put her old grudges against clans like Wind Haven aside. But forgiveness for recent exilers did not come easy to Calina, especially when she thought that both of the canines who stood on her border were undeserving of it. She wouldn't budge from her stance on the matter. "It's not about tortures or murders in general, Ulla, it's about the crimes that they allowed to happen to veilers. That is the difference between you and them- you haven't hurt anyone from Shadow Veil." She huffed the words out, eyes flickering from the doe to the duo that stood on the border. Hypocritical? Yes. She would always put veilers above exilers, even when charged with the same crimes.


    [ idk if this deserves the controversial topics tag warning, but tw because multiple mentions of stillbirth! this thread comes directly after freya's death, so this takes place while the babies are like hours old lol. please wait for SANGRIA . and Legrandite R.K.H. ]

    If she thought too much about Freya and everything that went down at the site of her death, she would fall apart more than she already had. She didn't regret defacing Radegast's corpse, and she likely never would. He had deserved it, in her mind. He had killed Freya and had killed their two stillborn children. Did she have proof of that latter crime? No, but Calina saw no other reason they would have perished. They didn't look like they had died in the womb, not with their tiny bodies as fully-formed as their living siblings. Calina was pretty sure that was how that worked. So she had given Radegast the death he deserved. The death by Felix's knife had been too clean and too kind. It had been merciful, and Radegast deserved no mercy. She didn't care if it had been an accident, some misdirected lightning fired at Freya. He should have been more careful. He should have worked harder to control his powers; goodness knew that she had, having come close to almost burning down a section of ShadowClan's old territory. He should have stayed far, far away from Freya. Tears pricked at the corner of Calina's eyes again, and she shook her head. Couldn't fall apart, wouldn't fall apart.

    She focused on the squirming of the tiny bodies in the blanket she was carrying. She kept her gaze on the ground in front of her. It changed from the damp soil of Volary Flights's territory to the weathered grass around the Bleak Wilds. Finally there was the pine-covered ground of the Whispering Pines. Home. She didn't speak as she made her way to the stony ruins, trusting that Sangria and Legrandite followed behind her. She didn't get why Legrandite insisted on following after her and the Solarian queen, especially since Shadow Veil had healers of their own and he wasn't necessary, but she didn't have a reason to argue with him. She had left enough of a terrible impression on Freya's other children already. There were the steps to her hut beneath her paws, and then she was opening the rickety door with a massive paw and gently lowering the blanket full of cubs to the ground. Three had mewled and squirmed on the way over, but the fourth was silent and still. Cold to the touch, too.

    She rasped her glowing tongue over their coats, still slightly damp from birth and rain. It was good to have them inside, and it was good to know that Sangria would be feeding them in only moments. Calina waited until Sangria and Legrandite had found their places and then turned abruptly, padding right out the door again. " Mystletainn ! Orfhlaith Faelan ! AMBROSE. !" She bellowed their names in rapid succession, needing at least one of them to appear. Sangria was skilled in medicine, but she would be busy nursing the children; she didn't need to do check-ups on the surviving kids, too. Legrandite was medically inclined as well, but he was barely into apprenticeship, by the looks of it. She would rather have one of the qualified spiritcallers coming to check in on the litter and make sure they wouldn't have another kid joining the two that had already passed- if they had passed.

    She held some feeble hope in her heart that they would suddenly come back alive, but looking for a burial site was high up on her list of things to do. She stood for only a beat, waiting to hear somebody's paw steps approaching, and then turned back to her hut. Part of her wanted to stay away from her hut forever. It was the place that she had invited Freya back to right after the mountain lion had joined the Veil. It was where they had bonded. It was where their litter was conceived. The place held beautiful memories, but she would never relive them. She couldn't leave her children longer than a beat, so even if it hurt, she turned and stepped back into the hut.


    Calina was not blind to Niklaus's habit of using wide eyes and a sweet face to try and get what he wanted. She had been on the receiving end of that face and found it hard not to give Niklaus the world. Others could think it was a problematic behavior, one that took advantage of others, but Calina was just proud of her son finding a way to get what he wanted while making others happy. As if those old veilers were upset about handing him treat after treat. Maybe she would hunt them down later and give them a share of whatever prey she had, but for the time being Calina was only focused on her kids and the other veilers around them. She padded over, tail giving a feeble wag at the mere sight of Niklaus and Aizik.

    Apparently the topic of the hour revolved around the food that Niklaus was collecting, and whether or not he would be sharing them. Ulla, Ambrose, and Sylmae spoke on it at least; she wasn't sure what Greygarden was up to, considering the telepathy had been directed at Niklaus, but by the focused look in his eyes she guessed he was saying something about it, too. "Nice haul," She gave a huff of amusement at his newfound "collection". "Y' don't have to share, but 'm sure everyone'd be grateful if y' did... 'n' y' won't be able to save it all, like Ulla said." She wouldn't force him to share, since those were his hard-earned spoils.

    Whether that would lead him to being a brat was up for debate. Parenting was hard shit, something which she had known for a long time, but it was made harder by Calina being up a creek without a paddle. Six kids, no Freya, just Calina trying to handle them on the fly. "Y' will not get fat if y' don't, as long as y' don't scarf them like it's your last day on earth," She reached out a large paw to try and gently squish Aizik down, in a last-ditch effort to stop him from taking a chunk out of what he certainly knows is Niklaus's favorite kind of pie. Everyone knew Niklaus loved oranges. "Hey, hey, gremlin, ask first." Although her tone was insistent and her randomly picked nickname for him not the most affectionate, her voice was also as warm like Calina's oft-summoned flames.


    [ permission was given for calina to deface radegast's body! tw because it's somewhat gory

    As expected, there was no sudden rise and fall of the deceased cub's side. No amount of gentle petting could revive them. She lingered on the litter, watery eyes looking at them but focusing oddly. It was only when Arya sprung at Pyrrhic that Calina tuned back in, watching as the savannah cat leapt at him, spitting sharp words out at him. Freya had told her that she and Pyrrhic had almost been lovers- but they hadn't- and apparently he hadn't been around so much anymore. So did he have a right to snap at Albinus? Calina didn't know, since she had done almost the same thing a moment prior and didn't know if she was right or wrong. She gritted her teeth, watching as yet another child of Freya's joined the group. This one pleaded for Freya to get up, but Calina knew she wouldn't. Celestin would have to realize that on his own.

    Calina was back to staring at the squirming cubs, and the still ones, and Sangria's voice was gentle and speaking about them. They needed to get out of the weather. Shadow Veil. Sangria could nurse them. Fuck, they needed to be nursed. She wouldn't lose any more of them, whether it be to hunger or to the rain that tried to beat through Luci's flaming wings. But she couldn't just pick them up and go. More things happened. Takyon joined in on berating Albinus. One of the cubs mewled loudly. Another volarian came and went. Now was around when she should go with Sangria, but her urge to get some sort of posthumous revenge on Radegast had hit her again as she stole a quick glance shot at his body. Calina was terrible at controlling her anger. She had never shown Freya that, and as she rounded on Radegast's body, she silently apologized to her fallen lover. She would just have to understand that Radegast didn't deserve a nice fucking corpse, his only wound a neat stab to the chest.

    The volarians might not want to deface his body out of sentimentality or respect or the desire to not be remembered as the beast who kept attacked a dead opponent, but Calina had never known Radegast. There was nothing stopping her. If anyone stood in the way of Radegast's body, they would more likely than not be knocked aside as Calina lunged and locked her jaws around the dead hybrid's throat and tugged upward, ripping loose fur and flesh. She didn't stop there. Her head dipped down again and again to shred the area around his neck and chest. Mincemeat, like she had hoped. She took a final bite to the side of his face, tearing more skin, and she paused to run her tongue over her wet maw. She tasted tears, and rain, and so much blood.

    She could have kept digging her teeth in, until he was just a pile of bone shards and tufts of fur, but she stopped herself. She was content with what she had done, and the newborns needed to be shepherded back to Shadow Veil and fed. "Some accidents aren't fucking forgivable. He didn't deserve to die so cleanly," That was all Calina would offer as an explanation, voice awkwardly choked but solid. Final. That was her stance on the matter, and she felt justified in what she had done. She turned back to Sangria. "Let's get them to Shadow Veil." She latched her glowing teeth, still slightly bloody, on to the corners of one of the blankets and she scooped it up with half the litter inside. Somebody would take the others, whether it be Sangria or Sauvignon or Legrandite or somebody else.


    [ A. BASKERVILLE sorry this is late! ]

    Calina had not been given a name by Candyhearts. Just a vague description of the creature who had hurt her. It sounded an awful lot like that brigadier that Junebug had captured once upon a time. She would be satisfied with fucking up any Painted Brigade member, but finding Akuma and getting revenge on him would feel so much sweeter. She kept that thought in mind as she trekked through Orcadia, leaped through a portal, and crept along the side of The Exiles' territory until she reached the Painted Brigade's territory. If she was with a raid patrol, she would barge into the territory, fire blazing, covering ground as she shot toward the Painted Brigade's town. But she was just one creature, and Calina wanted to successfully attack somebody, not draw a whole slew of brigadiers to her and be outnumbered by them.

    She just needed to make things right. She would avenge Candyhearts, because that was one of her self-assigned jobs as a shadowkeeper. Fuck up whoever fucked with her members. An eye for an eye (or an eye for an eye and worse), another creature shown that they couldn't mess with Shadow Veil and get away with it. Every time she thought about Candyhearts, returning home without an eye and with a failed ascension quest, more anger burned in her, and the need to tear her teeth into something worsened. Thus her arrival at the Painted Brigade's border. Calina dropped onto her stomach and waited for somebody to come into her view. While she was itching for a fight, she was still sick and needed any extra bit of rest that she could get. Tall ears twitched at the slightest of sounds, waiting for the moment that she heard paw steps or the breathing of a larger creature.


    Calina had not been able to personally visit Freya at Volary Flights recently. She had come to the baby shower, and the masquerade party, but those were public and hadn't had the genuine intimacy of it just being them. Talking, or walking in the jungle, and just being together, in the moment. She was usually fiery or loud, always high energy, but with Freya she could just be peaceful. For the longest time, she had not understood the appeal of having a relationship. Romance seemed so complicated and convoluted. It could be sweet and lovely, too, but it didn't seem worth the trouble... and then she met Freya and suddenly it was. Almost love at first sight, a sort of whirlwind romance that was surprisingly simple.

    One minute they were meeting for the second or third time, when Calina visited Volary Flights, and then they were spending nights together in Shadow Veil and then Freya was pregnant. Things were moving fast, but they weren't rushing. Everything was just good and easy. Calina could remedy their lack of one-on-one interaction in the East Sundran by just showing up at Volary Flights' border. Dark paws carried her away from the Whispering Pines, on a familiar trip to Freya's home. She had almost reached the border when a bird came swooping toward her, feathery and wide-eyed. She squinted at it for a moment, trying to figure out why he had chosen her as his target, and then her gaze focused in on him. He looked like one of Freya's. Sova? She didn't know if that was his name for sure, and she didn't care to dwell on it too long. Calina would later call it intuition when she remembered the feeling of dread that washed over her. Freya wouldn't be expecting her, so it wasn't like she could be sending her bird ahead to greet Calina. So why was he bothering her? Freya had trained her birds well. They wouldn't just go off for no reason...

    She was charging toward the territory. Then she was charging toward the screams and the blood and the scent of ozone or electricity or whatever the fuck it was that permeated the air. There was a crowd, and her brain latched on to some creatures that she knew. There was that fluffy owl kid of Freya's, the one that had come over in the member exchange and been at the baby shower. There was Arya and Ver Junior (Sauvignon, now, but she didn't know that) and there was Felix (they had never been formally introduced, but she knew him as a frequent visitor of the Veil and as the deputy) and there was Sangria and Neroli and there was that multi-colored cat that had been an Exiles deputy that Ver had fucked up once upon a time. Pyrrhic-Sang, if she was remembering correctly. Freya had told her about him, and with him came a whole slew of thoughts, but they were gone in an instant. Because Calina had finally laid eyes on Freya's body. Already dead enough to be opened and then sewn up by one of Volary Flights's medics.

    Calina's pulse hummed in her ears, serving as a reminder of her heart that still beat, and a reminder of how Freya's had stopped. The wound, through the chest. Maybe Freya's heart hadn't even stopped. Maybe it had just been incinerated while still trying to beat. "Fuck." The word dropped from her lips, almost comical in its softness. The whole scene didn't seem right. Freya had always come off to Calina as so full of life. Brimming with it, even overflowing with it, maybe; Calina had felt more like she was thriving when she was around her, after all. Calina was used to life being brutal and unfair, but this seemed too cruel. There were so many creatures more deserving of death than Freya. She was- had been strong and reliable and a fierce leader who took no bullshit. Always gentle and caring with her family and clan, from the interactions Calina had seen. She had been nothing short of wonderful, and she had been snuffed out in an instant. "No, no, no!" Her voice rose, her head shaking back and forth fervently to punctuate her words. "Fucking damn it all! Who-"

    Her voice cut off. Peachy eyes had shifted to land on the other large dead body, felled by the knife that was wielded by Felix. She guessed he was Freya's murderer, based on how some creature was wrapped around him, screaming that he didn't mean it. Calina didn't give a flying fuck what he had meant to do. This was too big a mistake to forgive, and any chance of sympathy for him had been buried before it could arrive after seeing Freya's body. If Felix hadn't already killed him, she would have. She was tempted to sink her teeth into his corpse anyway and turn it into mincemeat; his body deserved no respect. But numbness and disbelief were set too deep in her bones to do that. She didn't want to deal with Albinus and his compassion that had, in Calina's mind, extended much too far. There was a blast of fire at him, and there was somebody else running in and taking it and Calina was tired of the mournful keening over Radegast when anything good he had ever done had been outweighed by his fatal error.

    "Somebody just shut him the fuck up!" She snarled, lips curling back to expose glowing teeth. Her sharp words replaced any more mournful cries for Freya. They were lodged in her throat, choked by a type of grief that she had never encountered before. She had felt pain wrack her body when her father died, and when Aleksander died, but it hadn't been like this. It hadn't been so overpowering. She wanted to scream and cry and roar in rage and burn the goddamn jungle to the ground and she still wanted to rip that husk of Radegast to shreds. She should have stayed by Freya's side until their children were born, responsibilities in Shadow Veil and her nasty cold be damned. She should have told Freya a thousand times that she loved her. Regret and anger stabbed at her over and over and it blocked everything out for a brief moment, and then she was tuned back in.

    There was sobbing and burnt flesh and then there were the tiny bundles of fur, nestled in a blanket. Their kids. Alive... for the most part. Some of them were squirming and screaming, and then there were two who were as silent and still as Freya's corpse. Calina was no stranger to stillborn children (her own sister had a stillborn litter, once upon a time) but seeing them felt like another punch to the fragile veil of control that prevented her from setting everything ablaze. She took the shakiest of breaths, marred by the lump in the back of her throat that suggested tears were soon to come. She noted how Sangria held one limp body, trying to revive it. Calina reached out a shaking paw and brushed it over the other stillborn cub's fur, a tender gesture in favor of stabbing her blunt claws into Radegast's lifeless face like she wanted.


    Calina had just been thinking about the brief time period when multiple cartellians showed up, only days after each other, doing a terrible job of consolidating their visits. She was reminded of it again when, on one of her patrols around the territory, she caught the scent of salty air and old wood. The Cartel, with their ocean and their mansion. Then there was a voice cutting through the air, confirming her suspicions, and she was on her way to greet the two merchants. She reached them, stubbornly standing next to Ulla instead of sitting despite the strange weakness that plagued her body. At least she wasn't contagious! She didn't trust cartellians, so no relaxing in front of them for her.

    The clan had less of a terrible reputation than it had once upon a time, but she still branded them as disloyal who tried to infect the other clans with drugs and alcohol. Both of which were things she detested, because they lowered one's ability to help around the clan. It was no surprise that her expression was unfriendly, a scowl to offset Ulla's gentle smile. "Speakin' as the leader here, Shadow Veil isn't interested in wine- or any nasty shit like that," She rumbled, deciding to speak on behalf of her clan. She thought her decision was better for every veiler. They didn't need another Toughluck running around the clan, high and drunk off his ass. "If you've got any actual herbs, we can maybe try tradin'. Otherwise, get lost." The one time she had appreciated The Cartel had been when they handed over some herbs in return, after Kiyoshi had given them some during their mini plague.

    She sniffed, trying to detect whether Batterychicken and Jasper had brought anything worthwhile, but everything was overpowered by the alcohol and the strange scent of rotten fish, which seemed to waft off one of the merchants. Calina herself wasn't pristine, but she would definitely put more effort into her hygiene than Batterychicken did if she was trying to sell a product. Gave off bad vibes, like whatever made him smell of rotting fish might be in the bottles he was offering up. At least the tabby cat didn't stink. He just looked vaguely nervous.


    Calina inclined her head toward Candyhearts, muttering out a, "Thanks," of her own. It was a good sign that she wasn't contagious. She was on her way to recovering and being done with illness; hopefully for the rest of her life. But she didn't have time to dwell on that, because there was an elongated pause that was just begging to be filled, and Candyhearts looked like she would be the one to do it. There it was. A glance down at her paws with her remaining eye, another moment of hesitance, and she dropped the bomb. She wanted to step down.

    Calina had heard that many times over the months of her leadership, but this occasion left her with a bitter taste in her mouth. Her reasoning was what hurt. Of course it was linked to the Painted Brigade and her failed ascension quest. "Y' don't have to. You're not 'unfit'," Her brow furrowed, along with the corners of her maw dropping into a frown. "You've been doin' well this whole time. Fuck, y' shouldn't have been sent to th' Painted Brigade." She ran a dark paw across her aching forehead, shaking it back and forth. Candyhearts wasn't a typical clanner- she didn't have the ferocity or the brutality which was usually needed to survive in Agrelos, but she contributed in her own way. She was intellectual and poised. She was consistently kind. She read the books in the catacombs and kept them tidy.

    She was a good nightwatcher, for the most part, and Calina was torn between pushing her to keep the rank and letting her take a break from responsibilities. "Y' can step down- for your health, if y' like, but y' shouldn't feel like y' must." Her ears lowered as she spoke, and she decided there wasn't much more to say on that matter. "'m sorry that things turned out the way they did, with your ascension quest." There was her apology. It was almost good, but not quite. She mulled over what had happened again in her head. She had been sent. She had gone to the Painted Brigade. She had been attacked, and then she returned. "Who took your eye?" Her question was abrupt, tactless, but she needed to know. A name, a description, anything that would give her a clue.


    nvm she's fighting akuma, sorry for the inconvenience

    hi! so calina recently sent one of her veilers, candyhearts, on a quest to try and steal herbs from the painted brigade. it did not go well! akuma caught on to her being from sv and took her eye. calina feels guilty because she was the one to assign the quest, and she wants to make up for it by trying to literally take an eye for an eye. this is where a pb member can come in! calina will show up lookin for a fight. she will engage someone in a fight. they will fight. bonus points if she literally gets to take their eye out. otherwise they can just fight. they can both walk away w some wounds n calina can feel satisfied that she fucked someone up in candyhearts's name

    i do not want calina have any permanent injuries and she wouldn't attack kids and that's about it

    It had been hard for Calina to keep track of everything that went down during the Shade Hour. It had been the most chaotic two weeks of her life, ripe with attacks and possessions and spiritual occurrences which Calina still did not understand. In the thick of it all, she had lost track of Jingwei. She knew that the child had flown out when spirits first started rattling the church, and she hadn't seen them since. Like with so many other clanmates, she assumed that they had just... disappeared. For good. Until a bird came swooping toward her and then flew off, and Calina followed it to the distressed group that had formed. The scent of blood overpowered her nose at first, metallic and foul, and then she took a deep whiff and caught Jingwei's scent. Feathery, of course, and Cade was right- fresh water. She was late to the group, since sickness made her gait halting and feeble, but she had heard bits of the conversation as she approchaed. Good thing she had inherited Sango's bat-like ears.

    "It's gotta be a new group. Doesn't smell like the Painted Brigade, 'n' they're on a lake, 'n' that's our only enemy with fresh water," She grimaced, hating that she had no clue where Jingwei was. She paced around the area, sniffing for another clue, even if her clanmates had already done that. "Search party in the territory seems good, but we gotta search outside after clearin' the area. Only way to find whatever clan took 'em." The cogs in her head were turning, trying to come up with an explanation. Calina thought that she had come in to contact with every major clan in Agrelos... so perhaps it was one of the smaller ones that had popped up, along the lines of The Arcane and the Knights of Eden.

    She raised her head and looked around one more time, ears twitching nervously. "Y' sent the bird, right?" She laid eyes on Neroli, brow furrowing as she spoke to the hybrid. "Can y' send it up high? Have it look over the area?" The bond between creatures and birds was one that she still didn't quite understand, but she thought that was how it worked. Send birds out, have them report back, that sort of thing. Had she been less focused on just finding Jingwei, she might have tried to soothe Nissr, but she just blindly ignored the tiny bear's frustration and confusion. She liked to help out with kids when she could, but she did not have the time.