✦ ✧ ✦ spiritline had never once trained for retreat. arrogance of foolishness same might say, though he was inclined to explain that he was merely just that talented. there was a reason that epiales had always felt caught in his shadow despite their respective strengths. still, the fox couldn't fault that logic that shiranui had for this training sessions given their small numbers. the acolyte smiles as he approaches, though it's distant and his eyes are shadowed with the weight of his grief. "should we turn it into a race? perhaps you can act as a referee," he suggests as his amber eyes turn towards anghel. it would make the training far more interesting, and spiritline felt his powers itching to be put to good use. "can we use powers?" the thought only occurs to him now as he gazes across their makeshift training course. teleportation certainly makes crossing distances easier.
✦ ✧ ✦ spiritline isn't sure how much longer he can keep holding himself together. he'd managed to work quickly into setting up a funeral server for amaranthine at the albedo ruins, both of them being part of the religious percentage of the group. in the open area, the world suddenly feels far too large without the tiger at his side. the fox stares at the funeral pyre, still unlit and carrying the body of someone who should've never died in the first place. the fox bit hard into his cheeks, hard enough to draw blood, and screws his eyes shut. he was supposed to be the strong one, the protector. nalaren had given him the encouragement to grasp at this second chance and make this life a better one, and here he was letting everyone down and watching his family fall apart before his eyes.
first enjolras, and now amaranthine. the adamos are a family of strong-willed leaders, those who rose up in life against the numerous odds stacked against them. he wonders then if the bonds of the cards are cursed, dooming them all be taken before their time. the vulpine can only hope that none of his nieces and nephews fall prey to this dark trend. there are faces appear now, dragging spiritline from his thoughts and bringing new tears to his eyes. he tries to swipe them away, though he feels a few staining the edges of the golden veil he's chosen to readopt for the occasion. the coven had been his brother's family for as long as he could remember, and he was sure it felt like losing a brother, a father, an uncle, to all of them. "amaranthine died to protect me," he eventually starts, his hoarse voice sounding all too loud as it bounces off the walls of the ruins. "he is, was, one of the best friends i'd ever had in my life, and i've been truly blessed to have been able to call him my brother."
his words die out now, stuttering to a halt as his throat closes up. the room spins, and he sets a paw on the pyre to keep himself steady. grief is already shaking and putting strain on his worn out body, and the words no longer appear right. "he...i..." there's nothing he can say, no promises he can give to the clan in return. he's selfish, useless, deadly, and undeserving of a family. epiales had always made that known to him, and for just a few months he'd honestly thought that he could prove his brother wrong. he's failed nalaren, failed the coven, and there's nothing more for him here. "my nalaren guide him peacefully from now one," he chokes out, the harsh noise far too loud in his ears.
unable to keep himself upright anymore, he crumbles to the ground, the impact sending shadows flying out into the night. he wants to lay here forever, to let himself be consumed by the flames that an npc had already lit. spiritline barely manages to move away, to drag himself to his paws and go stumbling out of the ruins. the place he'd once spent so much time in was a grave for his brother and his life, and he couldn't stand it. there's a series of faint popping noises as his powers fizzle like a soda ready to explode until the fox melts into the shadows and vanishes into the velvet blanket of the last night of his brother's life.
✦ ✧ ✦ there's suddenly far too many crowding close and he feels even more suffocated than before. he backs away, still trying to keep closer to the late-penumbra's body even as he put distance between his clan mates and fireghost. "no one," he manages to answer, dark paw swiping at his eyes and the shadows in an attempt to clear his vision. "it was those creatures, that infestation in the sanctuary." his voice goes from fatigued to biting, though that anger isn't direct towards anyone but rather the universe for allowing those monsters to exist. "he saved me..." spiritline's voice drops to a whisper, and the shadows collect even more. did he even deserve to be saved at this point? he doesn't want to believe it, yet amaranthine had clearly seen something in him. losing it now would only let his brother down further.
✦ ✧ ✦ death. he's seen too much of it, had guided it with his own selfish hands until it consumed everyone and everything he'd ever held dear. oh how his past followed him, taking out everything that had given him hope and watching him descend into madness once more. there was nothing he could do, now, no magic like before to bring his brother even remotely close to living again. all he can do is look at the body through blurred visionaries, stiff as a board and moments away from collapse. this was not supposed to happen; he'd vowed to be the protector to those he loved, and he'd only failed them once more.
the vulpine is giving off waves and waves of shadows, their tendrils curling and and moving like some sort of danse macabre. amber eyes, usually so bright and playful, seem distant and distraught through the tears that make them shine. spiritline hovers close to fireghost, the one who'd helped him bring their brother back. "are you staying for the funeral?" he queries in a hoarse voice. he's never held one before, but he knows he'll do it. though aphrodite had dismantled the religious side of things here in the coven, he wasn't giving up his faith that easily. he planned to lay amaranthine to rest near the albedo ruins, to offer a service and to hope and pray that nalaren guided his way in the afterlife. "you don't have to, if it's too much..."
✦ ✧ ✦ it's rather interesting to be living in a an area such as the one that the arcane called home. he was so used to the vastly different climates that each floating island offered that the consistency of the mountainous group was almost tiring. still, the snowy landscape offered something in the way of entertainment: perfectly formed snowballs. from all his years pelting his brother with them, spiritline liked to think he'd perfected craft of making just the right size of ammunition. still, the group is small, and that leads him to waiting by a stack of snowballs for nearly half an hour before he sees a single clan mate. without hesitation, he scoops one up and lobs it at shiranui, attempting to smack them dead in the chest.
✦ ✧ ✦"you're not!" he assures with a nod of his head. yes, his mind has gone to shit, but could anyone really blame him? his entire world seemed to be collapsing around him, so he did his best to assure himself that this one little mishap was entirely normal. besides, it was a very wide window into an offer that was so decidedly spiritline that even ana would be forced to fall in love. "not yet, anyways, but you should be! see how much fun we'd all have?" his laugh is light and airy and filled with mirth that didn't entirely reach his heart.
strange how the shenanigans that once brought him delight to no end almost felt hollow now. the vulpine pushes these thoughts away, an instinctual action that becomes more and more tiresome each time he does it, and forces his attention back on the volarians. "we're small, but full of life! we'll help whenever we can, and of course there can be a supply trade for things like herbs and flowers that you don't really find here." spiritline pauses as if truly contemplating something before his large ears perk up once more. "duh! and you'd see more of me, and isn't that just a load of sunshine and lollipops? if you say yes, i'll bring some of my homemade congee next time!"
he eyes karmabutterfly, even as he prepares a response to albinus. he's never dealt with someone who was invisible and not a spirit, so his gaze seems to dance around the younger's position before taking up a solid target instead. "you all seem like a lovely bunch! i'm glad i got to meet you all here first, and of course you can get freya." he stills as his gaze darkens minutely. "mm...is epiales around?" he chances asking, feeling suddenly very unsure of himself despite his upbeat almost-sale's pitch moments before.
✦ ✧ ✦ a few faces arrive, unknowingly acting as distractions from his darker thoughts. he can't pinpoint the exact moment that he had gotten so broken, but all he knows is that far too much has changed within him. the fox offers cody and marrok a warm smile, though it doesn't seem to entirely reach his eyes. "i do, in fact!" spiritline answers easily, a paw already moving to push the basket across the border. "i'm from many places, though right now i'm here as an ambassador from the arcane. the name's spiritline adamo."
he'd been running too much recently, as apparently evident by the multitude of scents that coated his pelt. the floral scents of the flowers high in the floating isles, the crisp air of the mountains, and the mustier smell of caves and rock. if he weren't aware of his own history, he felt that he would be asking the same question. oh how this life seemed to mimic his old one, much to his consternation. "just thanking you for being our allies and seeing how you're all doing. well, i hope?"
✦ ✧ ✦ no injuries, eh? spiritline gives hatsumomo a dubious look that suggests he believes the other is lying, but he decides not to press the matter. "if ya need anything later though, don't hesitate to ask," he says instead, features sharpening briefly before becoming warm once more. shiranui had already given the newest member a welcome and made an offer of a tour, so the fox feels that he has nothing else to add. besides, he's still getting acquainted with the territory himself. "say, we can always go explore together! i'm kinda new-ish myself, y'know?"
✦ ✧ ✦ no matter how much he runs, he can never escape. his past is a looming shadow, a dark fog that clouds his mind at all times. no matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to fully break through and find clarity and peace. he's been told all he needs to know from his brother, and yet things didn't get any better. quite the contrary, they got worse, but the fox did his best to move on. but moving on eventually led to his running away to the arcane, a small group that's far more isolated than he ever could be.
somehow, being alone with them helped clear his head. at least there he could take time to himself and make desperate attempts to work out his problems and fight his inner demons. but he can never escape it all, as evidenced by the fact that he was once again the the border to the flights. it had been months since he'd last been here, and he believes he'd been part of the veil back then. amber eyes narrow slightly as they peer into the trees. would he find his brother here once more? would epiales even want to speak with him? a small huff escapes spiritline as he sets the basket on the ground, thoughts spiraling and holding him back from yelling into the territory as he used to.
✦ ✧ ✦ clementine is the first to approach, and his question makes the fox's smile turn soft with sympathy. picking flowers and herbs at just the right time could be a challenge, especially when trying to work with them as medicines over just decoration or crafts. "i do pick 'em!" he answers with a sure nod of his head. "it takes some trial and error to catch them at their peak." spiritline pushes a small bundle of poppy flowers forward, making a vague gesture to the bright colours that the petals retained. "waited quite a while for these! they will begin to wilt through, which is why i usually hang them up dry to try and preserve some of their shape and colour." he stops just as lemon approaches, and he waves a paw in greeting. "hiya!" he chirrups brightly. "say, do you know anything about elder? or spaghum moss?" might as well see what either of them might already know before diving right in.
✦ ✧ ✦ he's always been childish at heart, so shiranui's response is exactly what he's looking for. he does his best to get along with everyone, but those who know how to let loose and be in tune with their younger side are always among his favourite. his tongue pokes out between his teeth in response, eyes crinkling gently at the corners in a display of mirth. "ya never know," he hums, giggling as her splash of water coats his dark pelt. he attempts to send a wave of water right back, paw pushing the cool liquid about with ease. "i say we start exploring the depths! the more we know the better."
✦ ✧ ✦ it was his first meeting as a member of the arcane, and he was quite proud of himself already. after all that had happened in elysia, spiritline had expected himself to spiral out of control. yet he'd held on, in no small part to the unknowing help of athanasius, and has been able to keep himself steadily at work. amber eyes watch shiranui attentively, bushy tail nearly wagging behind him. "thanks a bunch, shir!" he chirrups with a sharp bob of his head. "say, i can visit the flights then, if the spot's available."
✦ ✧ ✦ it was odd to be spending so much time in this life time being a healer. all they'd done before was take lives without care, bringing destruction wherever he went. perhaps it was a desperate attempt to leave that history behind, to clear his ledger of any unnecessary red, or perhaps he truly did enjoy the art of healing more than he'd ever thought he would. whatever the reasons, spiritline finds himself content with the path he's been walking. a life filled with healing and spirituality is far better than whatever it was he'd been doing before, and the fox quietly wishes that epiales could see him now. would his brother be proud of him? would he want to be family again?
the havener pushes away these thoughts as he settles outside of his and athanasius' new home, nudging around a few bundles of herbs that were resting on top of a checked blanket. he might as well continue the practice his knowledge, and he's sure no one will mind even if he's not a healer of the haven. the more knowledge shared around the group, the better the chances of someone's survival should the time come in which they need assistance. "hey! if you want to learn about some herbs! get over here!" spiritline calls, absently swatting at the air in front of his face the veil used to be. "if you have any specific questions, feel free to toss 'em out. otherwise i'll just dive in with some lesser known herbs and a few that are from other territories."
✦ ✧ ✦ in so many ways, the arcane reminds spiritline of his home on the floating islands. there is magic surrounding him, a comforting blanket that draws a warmth into his chest even on the colder nights. though the territory was still different, there were areas that the fox could only describe as near mirror-images of the coven. the lake is one of these locations, and he found often found himself near it's edges as he tries to think on his emotions and meditate as best he can. nalaren help me, he thought as he comes across a group of his new clan mates. the shimmering waters offer a star's glow, and he willingly pads past snakepaw who clearly did not want to partake in any of these shenanigans. spiritline wades into the water, smiling as it laps at his underbelly before turning towards kerosene. "and if there are?" he queries lightly, amber eyes bright with mischief.
✦ ✧ ✦ it had been quite a while since he'd last asked for a weekly task, and now seems as good a time as any to jump back into that habit. the fox smiles as he trots over. "i'll take one!" he chirrups brightly with a flick of his large ears.
✦ ✧ ✦ spiritline hadn't encountered many dragons in his life time thus far. only a few, and most of the time he merely heard of them by word of mouth. dragons like kukiko or wyverns like corrupttimelines, all massive in size and hardly anyone to be friendly with. but this stranger is so vastly different, shiny and just about his own size. the midnight vulpine jumps on the opportunity to meet a dragon, no matter how small, and offers her a bright smile as he come to a bounding halt beside clem. "hey! the name's spiritline," the havener offers up with a wave of his paw. "are you here to join us, by any chance?"
✦ ✧ ✦ after months and months spent as a spiritcaller student, heavenly apprentice, and heavenly healer, the fox felt that he was well acquainted with the various herbs of the land. of course, he could only learn so much from textbooks, and the arcane resided in a vastly different territory than the floating islands he'd called home. he approaches wirt with an eager smile and a bounce in his step, basket ever-present in his maw. he sets it down and pushes at the handle with a paw as he asks, "are ya looking for anything in particular?"
✦ ✧ ✦ it was clear to spiritline that this stranger was at their border in a similar condition to himself when he'd joined just days prior. the arcane apparently called to those tired from any multitude of reasons, and the fox felt sympathy well up within him. the inky vulpine is quick to join the growing group, offering a warm smile to hatsumomo as he took up a spot just to the right of wirt. "are you injured at all? i can get something for any pain you've got," he offers on to the end of robin's question. though he wasn't the healer of the group, he'd taken to carrying around his basket of herbs since he'd spent so long as a healer of the coven. he might have something for the stranger, or might not. if he didn't, he could always look, assuming hatsumomo didn't turn down his offer. "ah, i'm spiritline, by the way!"
✦ ✧ ✦ he continues to snicker at the poor horse's plight, especially when lemon makes an appearance. it's clear that the situation is under control, giving him ample opportunity to marvel more at melon's situation. of course, he wants to pester more, but juba asks the question that's probably on all of their minds (to some capacity). "yeah, you don't have claws," the fox points out, flashing his own for emphasis. "it really is a talent you've got there, but you better not try it again until you can reverse it." while spiritline was confident in his own medical abilities as well as athanasius' and any other healers here in the haven, it didn't mean he wanted to see melon hurt, especially if it could all be avoided.