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[O] polar connections - Printable Version

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polar connections - Hotaru - 12-02-2016

and Alice

Admittedly, the herd meeting had resolved itself...better than expected. It was perhaps the first meeting that had gone smoothly, with those entrenched in their dramatic lives properly attending to their runaway mouths. With how her own temper had guided her to the frosted steps of their meeting space, she was grateful that they had. The Valkyrie had not had the patience to deal with their childishness in that moment, and though her head had cooled with the progression of the meeting, it did little to stifle the flame of anger in her breast.

They were fat and lazy, which made perfect prey for any hunting scavenger - be it Kisamoa, an outcast band, or another herd. Hotaru would not see the Aurora Basin fall like squalling babes beneath the ravenous teeth of the wolves that stalked them in the night. She protected them with her icy scythe and her billowing robes of frost, the warrior that descended from the skies to determine the death of the warrior she pointed her finger at. Until the breath was stolen from her lungs she would fight. Perhaps she had not always been loyal to the Basin - had run like a spoiled brat from the clutches of the Foothills to a place she felt she could belong - but she would only be removed from her throne forcefully, now.

Plans had been put in action swiftly following the meeting's close. There was no time to waste, and Hotaru would not dawdle. They had spent enough time warming their asses by the fires to not feel the lick of burn from the snapping flames. It was time to move. So she had plucked Tiamat from her duties and descended the mountain paths, winding her way farther and farther south.

The climate did not warm to suit her desert blood, and she wondered - as she had since Gaucho had secluded her in the reaches of his island - if perhaps she would be happier in the tropical southern lands of the peninsula. The thought whisked away just as quickly - the only reason she would move herds would be to conquer another throne, whether she was cast from her own or merely shopping for real estate. The Valkyrie doubted she could even properly fit into the role of a citizen any longer, which was horribly arrogant of her.

At least you admit it, Alice snickered at her side, and Hotaru happily kicked out at her, sending the hellhound running off into the thin snow cackling. As they walked, the rosen lass turned her delicate cranium towards Tiamat.

"Thank you for agreeing to come, Tiamat. We've never truly had the time to get to know one another, have we?" she smiled, her bicolored orbs warm despite their decidedly cool coloration. "I'd like to change that." But it may have to wait a little, considering they were already stepping onto the sandy shores on the opposite side of the island, Alice already chasing the stormy waves.

Don't go too deep, I'm not fishing your dumb ass out just to have you smell like wet dog all day, Hotaru warned. Alice scoffed at her, but Hotaru noticed she backed away from the water sensibly. The Valkyrie scarcely concealed her snort of amusement, watching the insistent wind whip away her companion's smoke from the dark fur. Alice lifted her jowls to the sky and howled, and Hotaru lifted her own in an accompanying whinny - one would reach farther than the other, but there was no sense in leading the denizens to believing there was a wolf pack on the other side of their protective waters or some silly nonsense. Something old and primordial still ran within them, after all. It was natural to shudder to hear a wolf's howl.

Hotaru gestured for Tiamat to come closer to her side, and awaited an answer from the far side of the shore.

Image by Frostie-Spirits.deviantart.com

@Aithniel @Tiamat any other high ranks can come but I'd like this to be somewhat snappy if possible!

RE: polar connections - Aithniel - 12-02-2016

nothing can save you now,

Aithniel remembered Gaucho's shadow flying across the sands from her time in the Throat when he lead justly and with power. She tried to follow in his much larger and more significant hoof steps as best she could, and thus she flew over the crumbling edges of the Dragon's Throat with her silver eyes peeled and tail streaming behind her like a leonine banner.

Zera followed closely behind, his coloring very similar to her own. It was obvious the pair were meant to be with one another. The royal griffin absently made comments in her mind - mostly childish speech still. He struggled with the complexity and syntax of their language, and he mostly preferred to communicate with touch and action. Regardless, his points came across, and he was the first to spot the visitors below. He clucked with his beak at the interlopers and bowed his wings for a rapid descent.

The griffin reached the sands first, landing with a puff and righting himself with a royal gesture before the strangers. For the most part, the bridge had done it's job at keeping these two away from the herd's interior. With an almost snobbish expression of boredom, he examined his black talons while waiting for his bond-mate to land.

She did so soon after, taking a deep breath and approaching with confidence and friendliness. Aithniel may not know this girl, but she recognized her from the Aurora Basin when she had been a child. "Welcome friends from the Aurora Basin," she spoke, examining the very girly pair before her. "I am Aithniel the Inquisitor - current leader. What can I help you with?"

Though she was cordial and friendly, she did not invite them beyond the ocean which separated the mainland to her insulated island.

RE: polar connections - Volterra - 12-04-2016


The realisation that he should take more of an interest in herd politics is one that has hit Volterra squarely between the eyes in recent weeks. Despite how worldly the leviathan can be in some aspects, in others he is deeply naive. The coup shook him to his core - he truly believed that loyalty to a leader would trump personal gain, that the herd would stand behind Sikeax for her past endeavours rather than rising against her for her current sins. To find out that this was not the case....it perturbed him in more ways than he could possibly articulate. Volterra is a simple man, and he'd rather foolishly assumed that herd politics are as simple as he is.

That is not the case. Within the makeup of a herd, there's hundreds of infinitesimal spiderwebs that hold everything together. There's dozens of interlocking things that bind the fragments of a herd into a whole - different horses loyal to different people, friends and enemies, lovers and family and a whole concoction of other smaller, seemingly insignificant relations. Being part of such a complex web is nowhere near the straightforward task Volterra had always assumed it would be, and he knows that if he is ever to rise to leaderhood, he needs to learn more about the things he's never previously been interested in.

After all, herds may be won on the battlefield, but they're not kept on there. Herds are kept in the boardrooms, seated around the tables of power; they are kept on alliances, on activity, on sensible decisions, on diplomacy. Raw brute strength will not cut it.

So when a pair of delegates from the Basin arrive, Volterra feels honour-bound to take an interest. He moves across the Throat as fast as he can, muscles rippling beneath the obsidian hide that is somewhat patchy in places with his winter coat. His stride is assured, his expression focused, his dragons darting along above him.

He arrives after Aithniel, but swiftly slips to her right side. His mind is not made up about his next move, whether he will stay or leave, but until he decides, he knows that he is loyal to her. After all, she is his Sultana....and she's damned good in bed, which always helps. "Inquisitor," he rumbles, dipping his heavy head in a gesture of respect to her. Then his gaze travels to the two mares from the Basin, his expression neutral and guarded. He does not trust the Basin. Their king holds his mother's armour, and he knows how much Confutatis was a thorn in their collective sides. The mantle has fallen on Volterra to continue the feud, but truthfully the Basin has never done anything to warrant him naming them as enemies. He intends to get his dam's armour back one day, but he knows it will involve the long game. Nor is any alliance his decision to make - it is Aithniel's, but he is going to take a great interest in what gets said and done here.

To the two Basin mares, he looks like a simple hulking presence at his queen's side, there to protect her should discussions turn sour. That is only part of the truth - he's also here on a learning mission, an eager student to the art of politics.

"Greetings, Basiners," comes his baritone earthquake of a voice, looking between the two women as he speaks. "I am Volterra the Indomitable, the herd's Gladiator." His new title takes some getting used to, but it's growing on him. He loves its connotations - its firm assertion that he is not a man to be trifled with.

Please feel free to skip me if I take more than a day to reply! Vol probably won't contribute much, he's just interested in herd politics stuff.

RE: polar connections - Hotaru - 12-10-2016

and Alice

They are first greeted by a rather...snobbish looking bird, and Hotaru is endlessly amused by the expression on its tiny regal face. Alice whines, claws flexing into the sand, acid dripping longingly off her teeth. Hotaru spares a scarce glance her way, knowing she is obedient enough to stay put but unimpressed nonetheless. We do not hunt companions, Alice. You know this. All she got for her reminder was a grumble of dissent from her companion, but Hotaru knew full and well that the moody bitch had a full stomach already. She was just seeking to prove a point with her pettiness.

What was more important was that a companion meant company, an equine of some sort that would hopefully accompany it in turn. She need not wait long, her eyes scanning the horizon already being met with the pale gull with the smoky limbs already striding confidently her way. Her demeanor was one of distant friendliness, her manners impeccable. Not that she was a child by any means - they were roughly the same age, if appearances were not deceiving. Though if Deimos and Albrecht could still look dashing in their old age, Hotaru didn't trust that physicality was a reliable system for determining age.

Gaucho? Alice mumbled softly in her head, his name warped with disuse and Alice's own inability to speak the language with total confidence. Tis not the time to ask, Hotaru hummed in reply, settling her hound back to where she sat patiently at Hotaru's left knee. Instead she smiled, distinct eyes catching on Aithniel, vague memories stirring in her brain. Perhaps they'd passed by one another, in the northern reaches where the child had her start.

Before she speaks, another comes - dark, looming as all stallions seemed to do in this land. It doesn't bother her, as she is smaller by nature and used to them towering over her. In fact he reminds her of Deimos, with his curt but rumbling tones and decibels that tickle pleasantly across her harks. She aligns her smile to him in turn, dipping her cranium in greeting. But it is Aithniel she is truly here for, and the Valkyrie lets the cloak of calm ripple around her shoulders. This is what they had journeyed all this way for, after all.

"Thank you. It is a pleasure to meet you, Aithniel and Volterra." She inclined her head pleasantly to both. "My name is Hotaru the Valkyrie, and this is Tiamat, our Time Mender." If Tiamat had anything to say, Hotaru paused quietly for the mare to speak it, perhaps even a friendly hello of greeting before the rosen lass continued on with the important matters at hand.

"Our lands were recently visited by The Mountain That Knows, the Hidden Falls Czarina, and we decided to act in kind. The Aurora Basin wanted to reach out to you and yours before the growth of Birdsong to see how you fared, and if you were willing to declare neutrality with our herd." In times of peace Hotaru did not mind structuring alliances, but with the war the land had seen, it would not be surprising if all herds were reticent to extend such an offer. Other herds could see it as a move against them, no matter how friendly the terms or how shallow the ties that would run between them. They all had their cards to play, and Hotaru was focused on all hands on the table, just as every other lead likely was. So she would let that topic slide, just as they had with the Mountain, and simply wait.

"If we have any herbs your doctors are interested in, or if you are in need of our weavers talents, we are open to trading any resources with your citizens." They had supplied banners and cloth to the Throat in the past, and it had been a beneficial trade that Ulrik had contended with back then. Winter was already winding down, but Hotaru could only imagine the colds that permeated the desert when the sun dropped below the horizon each night.

"With the offer of neutrality, theft of any goods from your lands would not be feared from us, and spars would be welcome if any desired it." Here she dipped her head to Volterra, acknowledging his rank and position. If any of his soldiers desired to test their mettle against those of the Basin, the Valkyrie would have no qualms.

With a slightly amused smile she turns back to Aithniel. "A bit of a lengthy speech, but we've a long journey ahead of us, and I'd not want to keep you from your own duties. Any terms are negotiable, of course. But we would like to see a friendship between our lands." Whatever the Inquisitor decided, Hotaru had to maintain her focus. The future was a distant and murky thing, and she still had the visit to the Edge to keep in mind. The Basin would not fall while her hands still held the cards, and she would spill her own blood for the sake of her family. But hopefully - she thought while she gazed upon the pale lady before her - it would not have to come to that.

Image by Frostie-Spirits.deviantart.com

Tiamat can jump in whenever :) @Aithniel

RE: polar connections - Aithniel - 12-29-2016

nothing can save you now,
Aithniel quirked a brow when the pink thing started speaking and gave her a very rough, dismissive once-over. While she is studying this stranger, she feels the black, beastly shadow named Volterra come to stand next to her, and she is reminded again why they fucked. He was massive, powerful and took exquisite care of his body, and she wondered if this pink stranger was drinking him in as thoroughly as she was. Unlike other mares, though, Aithniel had no desire or intention to pin him down and make him be monogamous. She wasn't the type to settle for one either. But, if he asked, she'd certainly sleep with him again.

Even though she had no idea of Volterra's intentions or his motivations, she was stronger with him at her side. If pixie and her puppy decided to attack, she could give proper aerial support while the horned beast wrecked on the sand. She thought they made a good team, and she would tell him that if she had any idea of how to word those thoughts. Aithniel knew she should tell him that she appreciated his presence and enjoyed their time together, but years of suppressing her emotions stilled her tongue.

One thing she liked about Hotaru was that she got straight to the point. The Aurora Basin wanted neutrality? She snorted in amusement and continued to listen, hearing this proffered pleasantries. Herbs? She had the best healers. Spars? No one was as powerful or noble as the warriors of the Dragon's Throat. Cloth from the weavers could be useful, but her crafters wrought iron from the earth. She'd choose a spear of a tent any day.

Also, she didn't trust the Aurora Basin, but at least she had a good reason.

"All interesting," she said, silver eyes narrowing and glinting like the edge of a knife. "Though I am curious, Hotaru. Do you still tell little girls with wings that they'd be prettier if they were ripped off?" she asked pointedly, revealing a dark and brutal part of her past. She had grown up within the walls of the Basin, and Illynx had been both her shield and torturer while growing up there.

Aithniel smiled coldly. "I grew up in the Aurora Basin, Hotaru. There are shadows hidden in those mountains you can't deny."

@Hotaru @Volterra

RE: polar connections - Hotaru - 12-29-2016

and Alice

Whatever Aithniel appreciated about her forthright nature, the same was reflected in Hotaru. Arrogance had no place in their talks, if Aithniel decided to snub her hand out of a place of pride then it would have no impact on the Valkyrie. The Basin had existed in stalwart solitude for seasons, and they would continue on their path regardless of whether Aithniel wanted the benefits outside of neutrality. Hotaru only cared about the machinations of cease-fire, the time to whip her herd back into shape after the long winter season that had dulled their blades and minds.

At first she is surprised by what Aithniel lets slither between her lips, brows arching grandly above slowly widening eyes. Huh. That...wasn't what she had expected. Though she had recognized the woman from some vague, distant part of her mind, she'd never encountered Aithniel face to face when the youth had lived in the clutches of the mountains at the same time. Then her face turned back to impassive, emotions simmering in her chest. They did not show - she was no child, had perfected her icy mask long ago. Whatever Aithniel thought she might react with would not reveal the sanctity of her own thoughts. Until at last she had her own tongue poised like a rapier behind her teeth, eyes sharp as they stared unwaveringly at the pale Sultana.

"Do you lay the sins of past leaders upon the shoulders of every successor? Should I blame you for Gaucho's murderous rampage, which included my parents?" It is said simply, almost primly, no real heat behind it. Countering Aithniel's childhood revelation with one of her own. She remained cold and unaffected, for she was the one with the answer and the knowledge that the Inquisitor - a fitting title, apparently - sought. And she was confident in her response.

"My mother was a pegasus, I would be a hypocrite to want to rip those wings from your body if I was born from one myself, regardless of my appearance." Though her body did not reflect her mother's heritage, the blood lay in her body nonetheless. She had been raised by a pegasus, loved and cherished by a winged mare. Nothing could change that. "Deimos and I removed that archaic rule against differing species long ago, and many winged, horned, and hornless - or any mix of the three - populate our borders. And if anyone were to threaten a foal with such bold violence, they would be met with equal violence from my own power." Her eyes narrow at the mere thought, hair standing on end as her electricity builds in her body, making her appear like she was caught in some sort of storm. Careful, Alice warned, and Hotaru cut the magic from her emotions. It was disturbing as a mother of twins that looked far too different from the normal population to imagine such a thing.

For a second she laughs, shaking her head slightly and dispelling the tension that had gathered in her shoulders, entirely amused by a sudden thought that comes into her head.

"It's merely ironic that the other mare I chose to accompany me to the Edge has no horn or wings." Ah, if only Aisling had accompanied her in the first place. The sassy mare likely would have had a thing or two to say to Aithniel herself, and it would have been endlessly amusing for Hotaru to witness.

"Though I must ask, Aithniel, if you are to question my herd. Do you say you have no shadows of your own, with your island accessible only to those with wings?" A lifted brow and a slight smile curls at her lips, not quite challenging but pointing out a flaw in Aithniel's words. It had never bothered her what the Throat did with their land, but if the Inquisitor found fault with the past of her herd, then Hotaru would find fault in the past of her own.

Then she flicked her forelock from her eyes and let the small bout of tension drop away. This wasn't what they were here for. "Think what you wish of my predecessors, but the Basin is no longer beneath the reign of Illynx or Psyche. It is beneath mine." Eyes turned sharp and proud, lifting her head higher without shame or hesitation. Aithniel could think what she wanted of Illynx, or Psyche, or any other leader that had passed through the mountains. Hotaru would prove her wrong about the current Basin and the Valkyrie that ruled over them.

"Do you have any other questions regarding our herd? Or can I expect your decision?" It could almost be a taunt, if it were not so perfectly controlled as it rolled across her tongue. Exuding patience after the fire of her words. She was almost glad that Aithniel had asked - perhaps now they could start spreading the word that the Basin was beneath a new regime.

Image by Frostie-Spirits.deviantart.com


RE: polar connections - Aithniel - 01-20-2017

nothing can save you now,
Aithniel wasn't going to let herself be intimidated by the pink blow pop in front of her, and she stood stalwart on the sands of her lands. This was the Dragon's Throat and these were her people - no single mare would tell her what to do by threatening her herd with their own shadows. Even if her sands held blood, not a single one in here would do to a child what she had been threatened in the Aurora Basin. Zikar-Sin wasn't the only black-hearted demon living there, and most of them wore pretty faces just like this pinkie pie.

Honestly, the whole Throat being an island thing was a bit of an annoyance at this point, but she wasn't going to admit that out loud. She also wasn't just going to blab about the fact that she had a stash of keys which could easily be used to help those without wings who proved their loyalty enter her lands. Also, she wasn't going to simply explain the fact that when you limit entrance to your herd by 2/3s of the population, you only have to worry about air-strike when you are on defense. All other forms of attack over the water would be slow.

If pinkie pie here wanted to believe that the Throat being anything but a defense mechanism, then that was fine. That's right where Aith wanted her.

"Funny, since it was Deimos who promoted the individual who threatened to take my wings," she said with a cutting smile. "And if we are talking about border defenses, then what about those two metal monstrosities which were made by Illynx's mate?" she asked pointedly.

Oh yeah, how dare she threaten Illynx. Illynx was her mother. Maybe she was a shitty one, but that mare had kept her safe and kept her fed when no one else in that herd would dare touch her. She was sorely misinformed if she believed Illynx was the culprit who perpetuated this anti-pegasus agenda. "Leave Illynx's name off your tongue. She was the only mother I've ever had," Aithniel whisper-snarled.

"I embrace my shadows because they do not bring me shame. Gaucho was possessed by a god, and if anyone dares think that they could resist that power, then they are a fool. So yes, I am proud of my herd and its history. I stand behind our decisions, past and present." Aithniel smiled a little as well, hearing her final statement as a taunt. "You can expect my decision whenever I feel it is necessary."

@Hotaru @Volterra

RE: polar connections - Volterra - 01-20-2017


It quickly becomes apparent that Volterra's first lesson in politics is set to be a jarring one. Perhaps it is for the best that the first alliance negotiation he witnesses should not go smoothly - when he is a king, he will need to learn how to tackle difficult situations like this.

It starts out innocently enough, with the Basin mare politely introducing herself and offering a greeting. The black colossus dips his head in acknowledgment, ears flickering forwards to devour each word that the Valkyrie says. She mentions freedom from Basin stealths, herd exchanges, friendship. Volterra pictures himself marching into battle alongside the Basin's soldiers, alongside the man who made his mother a sworn enemy of the herd - it does not sit quite right in his craw, but he remains silent. It is not his job to offer opinions, just support.

That is when things start to sour. Aithniel responds by asking about a wing-ripping incident during her time in the Basin, and Volterra turns his massive head towards her in surprise. His mother had mentioned that the Basin held racism in its heart, and Erebos had only confirmed the mammoth's suspicions that the northerners were unicorn supremists, but the notion that they had tried to remove the wings of a child.... The Gladiator visibly stiffens, his features darkening with disgust. In his mind he pictures his father, ever the racist, ever the closed-minded fool; he imagines the man purring at the idea of ripping wings from hybrids, age nonewithstanding. Volterra, however, is only his father's son in appearance, not mindset. To him, they are all equal, whether they sport wings, horns or neither. True strength and glory lies in what one does with the body they possess, not what appendages that body has.

The conversation escalates, with each woman exchanging their opinion in a rather forceful manner. Volterra is insure whether to interject - would Aithniel want him to offer his vocal support to her, back up her decision? Truthfully, he doesn't know what to think, doesn't understand enough about the situation to say anything for fear he may only make things worse. Instead he simply takes one step closer to the Inquisitor until their sides are almost touching, until his hulking mass is beside her as a pillar of support and strength. His features are masked, unreadable, forced into neutrality, but his crimson gaze is hard as it looks upon the Basin mares. He stands beside his Sultana, her powerful soldier, her loyal dog - it's like something clicks in his mind as he suddenly realises that yes, this is a herd he wants to protect. This is a herd he can work with, live in, make a home in. It may not be his intended final destination, but for now it is his, and he belongs to the mare who rules it.

The leviathan does not speak, but his body language screams loud enough to compensate; in no uncertain terms he says that he supports his queen with his bulk placed so protectively close to her, with his raw power breathing softly next to her. His motion confirms that he has thrown his lot in with the golden sand that catches in his feathered feet and, yes, snags in his heart; that if Aithniel should ask him to fight with her against these women, he will do so without question.

TL;DR he steps closer to Aithniel to offer his manly muscly support.

RE: polar connections - Tiamat - 01-29-2017

Look to love, you may dream—hope is home, and the heart is free.
As the oceanic pair travels further south with the Valkyrie and her hellhound, Tiamat takes in their surroundings with enthusiastic curiosity. While the blue maiden has ventured as far as the Heart Caves before, it had only been once or twice—and even then, the darkness of night had obscured many of the desert’s details. It is vastly different from the highland mountains that she has come to know and love. The air is far warmer and a different kind of dry—with some grains of sand never quite seeming to make it to the ground. Tiamat snorts to keep herself from sneezing, her eyes half-lidded to protect them from the brightness of the sun.

All the same, she would never try to deny the beauty around her. Mother nature has never failed to leave the sea mare in awe, and this journey is no exception—how amazing it is, that a few hundred miles can make such a difference in terrain! There is always something new to discover in this grand world. And in all that she has to take in, the rhythmic crashing of her father’s waves is a familiar comfort, beckoning the Mender ever closer with strong, frothy fingers.

When the Valkyrie speaks, Tiamat’s eyes turn to the rosy mare at her side, a smile softening her lips at her Lady’s generous comment. The ocean mare feels more than honored to be able to take this journey with her. “I’d like to change that as well, my Lady,” the curved tip of her horn dips forward as she gives a small, humble bow to her superior, her eyes bright with honest excitement. Of the four herd lands, she has only ever seen her own home—a fact she has always sought to remedy with a visit to her Helovian neighbors. To do not only that, but also represent her beloved home, is an honor that Tiamat holds dear to her heart.

When figures emerge in the distance, Tiamat feels her stomach flutter from both nervousness and anticipation. It is a griffin that arrives first, soon followed by his bonded. She introduces herself as Aithniel, the Throat’s Sultana, and is a beautiful woman, who is soon accompanied by a large black stallion—Volterra, the Throat’s Gladiator. “A pleasure to meet you both,” Tiamat dips her head respectfully to each of them, smiling as she would to any other stranger.

However, once the pleasantries are aside and their reason for visiting explained, the conversation takes an unexpectedly hostile turn. There are no blows dealt and no threats spit from bared teeth, but the tone between each of them grows cold with accusations. Tiamat had not expected this. The things that both her Lady and Aithniel are saying seem preposterous and petty—surely the Basin had never been so cruel!

There is a sense of pride (akin to indignation) which sparks inside the blue mare’s chest when Hotaru defends their mountain home, reassuring the Sultana that equines of all races are welcomed in the north. Tiamat isn’t sure what to say, and not wanting to make things worse on her first political journey, she opts to remain silent, standing as a wordless supporter for the Valkyrie. Despite the sudden surge of questions that are churning in her own mind, Tiamat keeps her expression earnest, wanting nothing but the Throat’s trust. If only they could see the beautiful highland valley as she does.

notes; Sorry I completely fail with the late reply, but she's here ;-;
image credits
@Hotaru @Aithniel @Volterra