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Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Printable Version

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Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Paladin - 09-12-2012

Individually, we are one drop
Together, we are the ocean.
- Ryunosuke Satoro

Paladin knew that his appearance was currently something unappealing, though he was beginning to grow rather fond of his shortly chopped mane. The white band of hair upon his crest rather accentuated the musculature of his neck, and for once, it was never in the way. Crimson was beginning to show on the tips as well, giving two rather evenly colored stripes of white and red along his neck, and after one brief glance in the river, he made note to always keep his mane this short. Much less of a hassle.

Even though he had an inkling of an idea that Mirage had been to the Throat as well to gather warriors for her cause, the stallion was not positive on this fact, and he needed to know. A stealth of one of his own was intolerable to Paladin unless done out of fun or a clever game between like-minded herds to strengthen their defenses. So, the stallion went to the Throat to reaffirm allied ties as well as ask why Jackal was absconded with from his herd. He also wondered if he would see his daughters there, perhaps even his grandson? The thought made Paladin smile wearily. Since when had he become old enough to be a grandfather?

Out of respect for her leadership, Paladin waited for the leader Kri just inside her boundaries. He could see the Oasis before him and admired the land, though he much preferred the woods of his Foothills. "Kri the Resolute!" he called in his deep, booming voice. His crimson eyes scanned the horizon for the winged mare. "Or a diplomat."

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Tamme - 09-12-2012

sure :)

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Kri - 09-12-2012

K R I the R E S O L U T E
it's not the petty imperfections that define us, but the way we hold our hearts.

I appear, wild mane whipping about my head by fault of the wind which always followed behind me now, my mind quietly pulling the strings of the invisible element subconciously. I plod easily, not with rush that the beckoning my suggest, but calmly and with even pace. As I get closer, Paladin might note a nice breeze that starts to envelope the area, but as he was a densely-minded stallion, I was almost certain he would brush it off as a natural shift in the weather.

My own feathers seem rather untouched by the wind, though the silver strands of my mane and tail still reacted, and the magically controlled wind had always done just this. The disparity was one I did not think to question, but I thought it natural that wings and wind be one of the same, each unaltered by the other, at least when they worked in perfect syncrony as mine now did.

Such musings come to an abrupt halt as I stop before Paladin, my mane finally settling somewhat unmoving on my neck and face, though an occasional burst of wind will tug at the strands and make them lively once again. I hold my head up straight, my own short form hardly a match for this brute of a stallion, still, I am not about to show that I am aware of our obvious size difference. My eyes, dark as night with a faint blue sheen, stare at flaming pools of crimson blood in Paladin's face, and I stand there for a measured pace before letting my breath exhale, and finally, the emotion shows on my face.


I was aware that Xira had stolen Jackal, a resident of the Foothills. I can hardly say that I had sanctioned the act, but unlike with Mesir, there was no forthcoming retribution for her actions. Frankly, that had nothing to do with the fault of the Throat herd's judgment, or any one member of my herd, my family, but the judgment of this black coated stallion before me, standing quite blatantly in the middle of my land with no welcome awaiting him. "Paladin," my voice says flatly, cool as ice. A gust of wind sneaks past me and tossles my mane once more. "What do you want?"

[ ooc; herp a derp sorry it's so rambly. ]

Venomxbaby, EveLivesey, humblebeez and ali00p

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Olema Surema - 09-13-2012

[MASSIVE POST. Very bottom is only relevant, after the first page break.]

We lose ourselves in the night of the Throat. Having fled the scene with the unicorn girl and the rest, we did not stop running until we hit the deep recesses of the desert. We stumbled the whole way, scared out of our wits and overwhelmed by the voice that still echoed like ominous thunder in the backs of our minds.

Breathless we halted and clattered onto the ground in a heap of white. Sweat had turned our hides dark and shiny. The dust would be eager to cling to it, but vanity would have to wait.

"What happened?" Olema asks in-between gasps.
"There was so much," I groan, sheltering my head beneath extended forelimbs. "Too much..."
There is nothing for a while and then I meekly whisper between my hooves, "It's all ruined now isn't it?"
I can nearly feel the glance Olema gives me. I hear her rise to her feet. It is not a fluid sound - she is weary. "Maybe, maybe not. We certainly left more of an impression than we should have," Olema says kindly. She still believes this can work after that? I pull my wings over me like a blanket, hiding in their plush folds.

"Stop that," Olema snaps, a forehoof striking the dirt with finality. She does not understand the immense weight bearing upon me, how could she comprehend it when even I am still struggling under it? She will not tolerate this self-pity. I am sick of it myself, but I feel so weak under the oppression of these memories. I am surprised I have anything left to feel at all. "The game is still in play. We have to ready our next move," says Olema as her body begins to ripple, like she were little more than a pond disturbed by a stray pebble. This I do not see, hear or know however as I continue to sulk under my feathers.

Nestled in my cocoon I pinch my eyes shut, hoping to block out the distractions of the tumults world around me so I can sift through this mayhem. This is unlike anything I've ever processed before. Granted, I've only copied a hoofful of individuals so far, none have compared to this amount of detail - such intricacies locked up in all variety of sensors. I can see the girl's childhood unfold before the backs of my eyes. I hear the playful chimes of her sister's, Ktulu, voice as they play on the Tides, the aroma of salt so strong it sets my mouth running dry with thirst. I can feel the spray of sand across my fetlocks as though I'm running down the pale shore this very moment, despite the truth I know to be that hard, warm rocks hold me now. It is an unkind sensation of being lost, like staring at a tree and forgetting the whole of the forest. Every tree I notice, every gentle loop of the branch or placement of the leaves. Will I ever make my way back out?

"How does she live?" I murmur, mostly to myself, mystified. She is young too, not many seasons older than us, yet I cannot recall half our days to a shadow of this extent. The idea of living this sends a cool shudder of displeasure ripping through me. I want to shove it all away, have it out of me!
Once again Ophelia's warning screams in my ears. I presses them to my skull and lay my cheek against the red dirt, content to stare into the dark of my body's cave. The roughness of the ground feels like a nice reminder of reality as I continue to waltz through Ophelia's life.

Sudden light envelopes the me as an ivory horn lifts a wing out of place. I squirm at the intrusion, pale eyes blinking ruefully against the stars and the moon while I jerk my wing away from the touch. I'm instantly annoyed that Olema is pressing this issue. My head aches and my body feels woozy - will she not let me rest a second?
The haze of my vision begins to clear, but the face that meets me is not that of my sister's as I expected, it is Ophelia's. I cry out in fright, my throat constricting as my heart lurches into it. I hurl myself away from the being that has caused me so much recent suffering. In my haste I fumble over myself, only pausing when I feel the strength of a rock pressed up against my back.
"It's me!" Olema calls out, her voice a perfect match to the unicorn's, but her tone insistent and kind, despite the mild laughter in her eyes.
My eyes are like ice rimmed with snow when I turn them upon my sister - no, Ophelia. Sloppily sitting I'm nearly panting as the panic leaves my body like a cruel fever breaking.
The ice splinters and cracks, features turning into something akin to a cornered dog. I am furious.

"OLEMA, DAMNIT!" I shout as I scramble hotly to my feet, shaking the dust off me with as much dignity as I can summon.
The face of Ophelia slips into a grin of all mischievous nature, "I'm sorry, but I had to get you up somehow." I mutters moodily that such is not the best way to accomplish that, though up I am. I flick my tail with the remainder of my annoyance, scowling at the dirt to avoid looking in the face of my oppressor.
Opehlia's red and blue eyes watch me, cautiously studying my reactions as she slips forward. She tilts her head awkwardly, unfamiliar with the long horn and over sensitive to it - the last thing she'd want to do is gore me, I'd hope. Her mane shifts with a hushing noise as she uses finesse to work her muzzle alongside my pale neck, the velvet nose gently stroking all the stresses and misgivings from me.

Or at least, she tries to.

I stiffen and sidle away from the touch. Ophelia remains, eyes a sea of hurt, though I do not spare her a glance. I don't care at this moment in time, my anger still balled up inside me, but more importantly I hate when she is someone else. She tries to tell me it's still her, but how can it be when she literally is someone else, something else? The touch is always different and everyone is hideous compared to her beauty. How could I stand it? That she thinks I could sickens me. I shudder, the unfamiliar caress lingering like a ghostly kiss against my nape. I decide I need to start explaining this Ophelia to her, if only to appease her anxiety and to preoccupy her from trying to touch me again. It will take all night and perhaps longer for my sister to master this complex being we've taken in.

"What is his name again?" Olema/Ophelia asks me. I give her a look of exasperation, which she returns with a plead. We're both exhausted from trying to learn this girl, and we have slept little. I try to forgive her, although it's difficult when the face belongs to her. My lips settle into a frown before I sigh and scrounge up the answer.
"Paladin. Paladin the Valiant. Now go and remember what I've taught you!"

She flashes me a smile, her horn glinting in turn with her teeth, before she spins away and strides down the desert. I look on as she leaves, red and white tail streaming in the breeze of her speed. "We have to find a better way," I tell the wind. "This one is too dangerous. And it will only be one of many." My heart tightens. At a slower pace I follow after her. There is little place to hide in this open hell, but I will slink behind boulders and bushes. If it comes to it maybe I can help her. If only I could communicate with her while she was impostering, then this illness in my stomach would dissipate.

I approach the figures on the horizon line with confidence. In the past nights since stealing this form I have grown more accustomed to it. Despite the ache to feel normal, I haven't slipped out of her image. Surema seemed to be taking this one especially hard and I feared she'd accuse me of laziness if I did not hone my knowledge of the one thing I had control over.
I smiled into the sun at the thought of my grumpy half. Although I knew she was spooked, same as I had been, by the implications Ophelia had spoken in our minds. More than that too, Ophelia proved, intense. I could not let myself wander, there was too much I would miss. Ophelia was not the type to wander.

Delicately I arrive before the two of them, all grace and poise as I demurely halt between them. Normally I would assume a child would greet their parent, but in this case Surema warned me of Ophelia's distance to her kin, especially this black dun, her father. "Good afternoon, Kri, Paladin," I say politely with a hint of a smile reaching into my multi-colored eyes. I tilt my head girlishly, my horn at ease though I am most wary of it still. "How are the Foothills faring?" I ask conversationally, although truth be told I am interested. I have no idea, nor do I think Ophelia does, as to why Paladin is here.
and i'll guide you through the darkest nights to stand beside you on the brightest days

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Ktulu - 09-14-2012


Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know
Live and die on this day
Live and die on this day

There was no mistaking the deep voice that rumbled across the land, calling for attention from Kri or one of their diplomats. With her son in tow, Ktulu moved swiftly from her place by the lake to the very edges of the Throat's territory. She saw the dark body of her father waiting, but she was not the first to arrive to greet him. Ophelia was already there along with their leader, Kri. As Ktulu stepped closer she strained her ears forward to listen to the way her leader greeted her father. It made the dark mare frown deeply. She then listened to Ophelia and felt something other than the love and trust that she usually held for her sister.

Since when did Ophelia call their father by his name instead of father? Since when did she hold smooth conversation with him? When had she begun to smile, even slightly, when Paladin was around? And why did she care about the Foothills?

Ktulu moved past Kri and Ophelia to Paladin and bumped her muzzle against his. "Daddy." She whispered to him, then naturally took her place at his side, facing her leader and Ophelia. Her crimson eyes went to the form of her sister and she scrutinized it. There was something off, maybe Paladin would notice it. Maybe he would be suspicious as to why she was by his side and not her sister's. "Ophelia, isn't it nice that father has come to visit us?" There was a subtle tilt of her head as she waited for her sister's response.


RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Paladin - 09-15-2012

Individually, we are one drop
Together, we are the ocean.
- Ryunosuke Satoro

Paladin was taken aback by Kri's brusque words, and he furrowed his ebony brows in confusion. His crimson eyes scanned her deep, sea-blue ones for a reason why she seemed to treat him in such a clipped manner, but he found nothing. Why then was she so short? He had not me the mare before, and he had pledged the Foothills as allies to the Qian as well. Were they so different? Did the horn upon his brow make them outcasts from each other, not worthy of simple common politeness? Ophelia's arrival was perfectly timed, because he was struggling with being angry or trying to remain civil.

She was even more beautiful than he remembered her to be, but she would always be the furry little black and crimson foal. Still, her coat had grayed out so quickly to a pristine white, and the crimson that rested in her mane and tail tugged at his pride. He listened as she spoke, furrowing his brows when she called him Paladin. She had always been distant, but had she departed so far from her family that she would not even refer to him as her father? She cared about the Foothills? How did she know that he had taken over as the ruler? Or did she not? Honestly, he was surprised that she did not ask about her mother, and he cast a strange look at his pale daughter.

"The Foothills are well," he replied. "I am hoping to return everyone to activity again and restructure the herd so that they can eventually elect their own leaders." He wanted a relationship with his daughter, badly, but she had always been standoffish. "It is very good to see you, Ophelia." Ktulu popped in then, and he smiled warmly at his daughter, and he closed his crimson eyes when she nuzzled him. He nipped at her forelock in a fatherly way. "Ktulu," he replied, pleased that his daughters were here.

Ktulu came and stood next to him, a silent support that he appreciated, but he wondered why she chose to ignore her sister's side. They had always been inseparable, and he dearly hoped that nothing had come between their relationship. The way Ktulu seemed to scrutinize her sister lead him to believe that something was off, and he furrowed his brows. This was turning out to be a very strange encounter. "Well, I am here to visit you as well as the Lady Kri," he replied, wondering if she was just as confused he was.

Crimson orbs slid once more to deep blue, and he bowed his head respectfully. "I came here to question the purpose of stealing Jackal. I did not defend because I was under the impression that our herds were allies. Even though I succeeded Gossamer, I am supporting the Qian with warriors and a place to live, and I continue to keep my borders open to all species. Smoke has informed me that the ties with the Throat and the Tuuli were sound, so I am concerned by this potential threat," he said with honest understanding but a gentle undertone of natural authority.

"Should Jackal wish to leave and join you of his own free will, I will not stand in his way, just as I have done with my own daughters, but I cannot abide by forcing a young stallion from his home when it serves no military gain to you and your kind." Paladin hoped that she would understand. "However, if you wish to work on strengthening our two herds by considering this sort of stealth as a spar, I would accept the challenge. But, I would ask that you allow those who wish to return the freedom to do so, as would I."

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Kri - 09-15-2012

K R I the R E S O L U T E
it's not the petty imperfections that define us, but the way we hold our hearts.

I watch in silent amusement as Paladin's face contorts underneath his veil of civility. Oh, yes, Paladin, try to feign innocence, I dare you. My dark eyes watch him intensely, awaiting some insult to slip from his lips and give me reason to tear into him like I so desperately wanted to. I cared not about what ties I held with the Foothills, I had made a promise to Smoke and to Gossamer, a promise this traitor supposedly made as well. For me, his words were a bright light blinding his acquaintances, hiding his true intent. Stupid stallion, why did you come here?

Ophelia interrupts, however, and I cast a somewhat annoyed glance at her beautiful frame. There is a difference in her eyes, though, as I look at her. They are the same as I remember, except they do not need to me the smooth, all knowing eyes I had admired in her as a filly. My brow knits, but only momentarily, though I remain on edge. I have the physically stop myself from letting out a laugh as the mare greets her father as Paladin. "Ophelia," I say, amusement lighting the edges of my lips as I speak.

Paladin answers her question, but I feel my heart does not trust what he says. Already having forced the lead of his mate upon them, I doubt he would be so quick is to allow the herd to elect new leaders. I remain quiet, even as the second sister approaches, even as my annoyance grows even deeper as I stand in this company. Ktulu is much more friendly toward her father, and I notice how she slips a jab into the comment about their father. I smile chidingly at her, but do not actually speak. How could you regulate the feelings of another? What a foolish girl, with much yet to learn.

Lady Kri. I look toward him, my eyes glinting still as I watch him with scrutiny. His words that follow next are patronizing, and I do not appreciate them. You did not defend because you thought we were allies? I think incredulously too myself, an expression I do not try to hide from my face. I see where his daughter gets this foolish understanding of the world - her father. "Succeeded," I say, my words mirroring his with a mocking tone. "Do not phrase it such that you were handed the crown so peaceably, Paladin the Valiant. Your obvious wounds suggest how fiercely Gossamer fought against you."

"We are not allies, Paladin. You and I have nothing in common, and I fear that will never change," I say, my words strong and venomous as I spit them out toward him. "You do not have the right to mention former treaties, as you overthrew those whom I promised to keep safe. A revolution, Paladin, costs you much. Are you so foolish to think you could rely on the friends of those you sacrificed for your own gain?" My eyes light with fire, and I let out a snort, my tail whipping in irritation. "You violate my borders, you question my purposes, and you have the gall to say you will not abide by how I choose to rule in my own land."

"Get out of my home. Traitors are not welcome here."

Venomxbaby, EveLivesey, humblebeez and ali00p

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Olema Surema - 09-16-2012

I know I have made a slip the second eyes turn to me with a touch of confusion. My heart beat quickens and I am afraid they will hear its roar inside me. Have I been found out, so soon? My throat pinches off and Surema swims before the backs of my eyes as I long for her support, her touch, her damn memories! She'd told me Ophelia was distant from her father, I thought calling him by his true name would have been the normal, but I am mistaken it seems.

Paladin moves to speak, talking of the Foothills as if they are his, which I can easily suspect that they are. I wrack my brain, infinitely less capable than Surema's, to remember how Ophelia should feel about this. I am momentarily saved as the arrival of my twin, rather her twin, interrupts. I nearly give a sigh of relief - I know how to be a twin - until I see her practically hostile glare tossed my way as she pointedly stands beside our father and away from me.

The hurt that flashes in my eyes is real.

Surema pushes me away when I appear unlike my normal self, unable to accept that I remain within. She is analytical and critical, observant but reserved in that regard. I on the other hand, by the mere nature of my ability, stem from an emotional base - we're nearly the opposites when out magic is concerned which makes me smile within. I must react to everything as if it is a personal affront to me. This Ktulu who treats me cruelly when she suspects is a knife driving into my actual back, whether it appears as Ophelia's or not. I imagine her as my true twin, my sweet Surema, and how terrible it would be for her to look at me like that did she think me abnormal. Do these sisters truly love each other if they would turn on each other so quickly? Should Ktulu not give me the benefit of the doubt or at the very least offer aid rather than acid?

I frown slightly.

I must become Ophelia. I cannot be me for this, the situation is delicate and the girl too complex, as Surema had tried to warn me. I cannot completely abandon myself, for it is my mind that sees through her multicolored eyes, but I quietly slip deeper into the background...

"Sister," Ophelia greets softly, longingly, her eyes straining with the uncertain sorrow lancing through her at the abandonment of her twin. She ducks her head a bit, subconscious of her sister's preference for their father. Ophelia had always been a bit closer to Soleil, but never closer to anyone than Ktulu. To see her sibling purposefully jab at her took her aback.

"O-of course," she stammered, feelings jumbled by this loneliness careening through her. She could feel her heart thumping in her throat and tried to swallow it down as her eyes flicked between sister and sire. "But did you come for us, father?" Ophelia asks with little tone, only true question in the backs of the words as she watches him with a guarded expression. She is reluctant to feel happy that he is here, because this isn't a family matter, this is business. "You've taken up leadership again, haven't you? Your wounds..." She most hated his presence when he wore a crown. It reflected in her tone of voice and the wrinkles of concern around her eyes. Those days were behind him she'd thought? It changed him in many ways and she was once more reminded of the coldness he displayed when bargaining with Nyra. How could she forget that encounter? Had he been her father then? No, he'd been king and nothing more to her while she stood as a pawn in the way of his king's games. Could Ktulu so easily forget and forgive?

Of course, Olema reminds the niggling conscious of Ophelia, like a separate being within her, beside her. Because Ophelia remembers everything and Ktulu does not.

Ophelia's suspicions are confirmed as Kri and Paladin take over the conversation. It turns rapidly away from a cordial talk amongst leads as the reality of Paladin's ascent rear's its ugly head. Ophelia is aghast, her features crestfallen as her eyes hold her father firm, disapproval and even fear reflected in the folds of her delicate features. He had always been honorable, but this? A traitor as Kri called him? Could it be so?

Ophelia's ears had pricked at the mention of Jackal. I remember little of that now, too many other facts stuffed inside me, but it triggers something all the same. Ophelia knows him. Good or bad? I take a chance, knowing her bad list to be more limited.

"Why is Jackal here?" Ophelia asks gently, hoping to break the rising tension between the pair as her gentle face queries Kri without judgement. "He is a kind boy and surely he deserves to be in his home?" Despite her personal judgement of Paladin he had sound reasoning behind all his words, and he was still her father. Yet Kri had equally as steady words and under her reign Ophelia lived more or less happily. She respected the leader, and I more and more as this meeting progressed.

Kri banishes him with a sincerity that sends a quiver down Ophelia's limbs. Her head shoots around, eyes wide and wary as she regards the black dun king. She flicks her gaze to her sister, hoping against hope to find some support from the girl. "Why?" Ophelia questions Paladin softly, a touch of disbelief and rejection backing the simple question. Why must you unsettle the balance. Why must you crawl to the glory of kingship?
and i'll guide you through the darkest nights to stand beside you on the brightest days

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Ktulu - 09-16-2012


Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know
Live and die on this day
Live and die on this day

The black dun mare's eyes shifted from her father to the form of her sister then finally to Kri. Immediately, the mare's ears lay flat against her head at her leader's scathing words. Ktulu had been troubled by the absence loyalty she was supposed feel toward her leader before, and now that loyalty would never take root and blossom. Her gaze became hardened and her stance rigid as she faced the leader. There had been constant doubts in her mind since joining that she would stay, but the downright snarky attitude coupled with the lack of control Kri had over her herd was all the push Ktulu needed to decide that she would rather live as an outcast than under the wing of a mare like Kri.

Crimson eyes then shifted over to Ophelia, not missing the hurt look that her sister gave her. It sent a stab through her heart, but it did nothing to ease the suspicion she felt nor hide the look of suspicion on her face. The way she spoke of their father taking the crown and the concern on her face was uncharacteristic. He was a glorious leader and they both knew it. His wounds would heal and he would be the leader they had always known him to be.

Her eyes narrowed and her head tilted slighly as Ophelia spoke again. Jackal was a nice boy? Ktulu had thought that Ophelia hadn't liked Jackal. She certainly hadn't because he'd been quite snarky and rude. "You seem quite vocal today, Ophelia." Her head tilted again as she once again scrutinized her sister.

The dark mare's head snapped back to Kri and she snorted loudly when the loud mare declared Paladin banished. Traitors weren't allowed and yet she let a certain mare live among them that held nothing but contempt and disrespect for her? A mare who brought their enemies to their border because she was stupid enough to steal the king's daughter. Her logic was flawed and Ktulu refused to live under the reign of someone who could not think logically. "Well then, father. If traitors are not welcome I suppose we should be on our way."


RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Ázzuen - 09-16-2012

If traitors are not welcome I suppose we should be on our way.

This was the sentence that Azzuen stumbled upon as his sturdy limbs brought him closer to the group. He looked, puzzlement clear upon his crown, at Ktulu, a young mare whom he had thought to hold a friendship with. Did she not still hold his feather in her mane? Did she feel no loyalty to him? He certainly felt protective of her, even with the obvious battle prowess demonstrated by Paladin proving Azzuen's own protective wings to be useless. There was hurt behind Azzuen's eyes, as he looked to Ktulu, and then to Ophelia, then his Leader. He felt a strong pull of loyalty to the mare who had enabled him to get himself and his family a home, there was no denying, he was bound to her and she to him.

It didn't take long for him to digest the situation. The injured unicorn that stood before them was clearly the twins' father, Paladin, and now Leader of the Foothills, a rank won by the cruel, sharp edges of battle. Azzuen sniffed sightly as the scent of burnt flesh tingled in his nostrils, and he reflected inwardly at how Gossamer was bonded to a dragon. He shuddered at the thought of ever going up against one, remembering the searing flames of the Heavenly Fields he and Cassiopeia left in their wake.

Mares.. he thought dryly, but stood by his leader nonetheless, his dark frame easily taking residence by her own, the gentle arc to his nape holding his curious eyes. He looked to the Leader of the Foothills, the unicorn, his expression unreadable. Azzuen thought that there was much that should be said that had been left unsaid, much that needed to be discussed but judgements had already been made and so the words would be a waste of breath.

"Our Soldiers march alongside the Qian's cause; we will be fighting on the same side in the near future." He said, both to Kri and Paladin. But there was little else he had rule over, that he could comment on. He looked again, at Ktulu, the hurt, and rejection stinging. What had the herd done that disagreed with her beliefs so much? Why would she only act upon them now, why not ask to speak to Kri about it, or him? He did not understand her logic, but then he was just a simple stallion trained to speak through his actions rather than his words. The Throat may have had a wayward member here or there, but they were appropriately punished, weren't they? He snorted, for now they held another prisoner, one with a much higher rank and definitive place in the Edge's workings - and it was he who had stolen him. There had been a plan behind that move, a measure taken for the sake of security of his herd, and bettering the chances of success in the upcoming battle. What did she think of that?

"It seems we may be forced to agree to disagree; perhaps once the dust settles further discussions can be had. Too often have I seen words and actions been dealt without thought." He shook his head slightly, wondering if he was wasting his breath even now. He wanted to say more, to make everyone take a step back, have a half hour time-out, and reconsider everything. Short of activating his magic that would repel everyone away from where he stood, however, he could do little at this time. So he sighed, and looked to his leader.

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Paladin - 09-18-2012

Individually, we are one drop
Together, we are the ocean.
- Ryunosuke Satoro

Paladin was shocked by the vehemency of her words. The only action he had taken that even remotely influenced the mare was to challenge Gossamer and emerge victorious by following the rules set out in his herd. After, he might add, being summarily ignored by her after besting Smoke in a scar. "I challenged a leader who had ignored my requests and had been absent during a very important time for the Qian," he replied. "Law did now allow me to do so without violence, which is why I am installing elections." No, Paladin was not happy about the manner in which he had to take power.

How could she say that they had nothing in common? She knew nothing about him except for second hand words and rumors of a single action, and she was narrow minded enough to judge him simply on that matter? Why did he even bother arriving here? How did Mirage get through this skull? Paladin could not deny that he was injured by her words, and he stood tall. She made it apparent that an alliance was not wanted on her end, so he responded in turn. And wait... she was getting pissy about him being inside her borders?

The stallion stared her deeply in the eyes and took three small steps backward, crossing the line with all four hooves. Ridiculous. "You you are opposed to maintaining ties with a herd that has not changed except in one title that had belonged to an absentee leader, then you are right. I was a fool to think that you were fair enough to consider a new leader on actions other than one that you may have found distasteful." Paladin's crimson eyes were stern, and held authority.

"I shall send Mirage and Indy to speak on my behalf, as they both know me and know about my actions. Hopefully, since your ears are shut to my words, they will be able to enlighten you on matters of truth.". Paladin stood proudly, not intimidated by the spitting vehemency of a mare who allowed her temper far too much control. "Until the moment when you are prepared to see the Foothills in a different light, we are not allies. I still consider the Dragon's Throat to be a fair, open land which holds the morals that I find important, namely equality among the species. I am prepared for an alliance in the future."

Paladin turned to look at Ophelia now as she spoke. Whether or not Kri would remain and listen was not his concern. He was not on her land anymore, and he was speaking to his own daughters. "With Indy's blessing, I challenged his mate for the Foothills in the hopes that I could restore it to its former glory. I do not intend to stay in power. But yes. After the longest history of peace in the Tides, I felt that I would be able to set up a system that others could appreciate and use in the future." This was unlike Ophelia to ask him such question.

The stallion shrugged at her next question. "I came here to ask why he was stolen, but I received no answer, Ophelia. If you or Ktulu is able to speak with him and find that he is not happy and wants to return to the Foothills, I will challenge for his freedom. Until then, I will wait until Mirage and Indy can come and speak for me." Ktulu seemed to catch onto the fact that Ophelia was rather unlike herself today as well, and when Ktulu said that she would go with him, the stallion smiled in pride.

However, a charcoal warrior approached then, her mentor, he guessed. He seemed genuinely upset at her leaving, and Paladin felt jealousy coil in his gut. The black dun bowed his head respectfully to the warrior. "I will not deny the Qian my aide simply because Kri was unable to come to terms with my leadership. The Qian stand for equality, and so do I. I will fight for that cause, regardless of who I fight beside." Paladin nodded thoughtfully. "I agree with you, warrior. Too often emotions make for poor diplomacy as well. I look forward to meeting you on the battlefield, my friend." Paladin was also glad that he was not fighting the powerful flyer; he would be a formidable opponent.

Paladin looked at his lovely daughter then and smiled. "Ktulu, do not let distasteful words by one deny you a future that you desire," he murmured to her honestly. "I would be pleased to bring you with me, but it seems like your warrior friend would miss you as well. I urge you to wait a few days until the tensions of today settle to make your decision. And know that I love you dearly. You are wise and strong, Ktulu. I know that the decision you make will be one that you will be proud of."

RE: Jackal Among Allies [Kri,open] - Kri - 09-28-2012

K R I the R E S O L U T E
it's not the petty imperfections that define us, but the way we hold our hearts.

Ophelia looks quite concerned when she hears that Jackal has been stolen, turning toward me with eyes ridden with worry. I sigh, discontendly, my tail whipping out to lash onto my side, but not really at her. The whole idiocy of this situation was getting out of control. With a level tone, my words come forth, and I look toward the mare with a steady face. Behind this mask I wore, one to keep this conversation relatively cordial, was the vehement monster I wished to unleash upon Paladin - the nerve. However, I must remain calm, a guiding light for those in my herd.

Also, I would not turn into a childish bitch in front of the traitor in my borders.

"As the Sleuth, Ophelia, I would think you more likely to know the reasons for Jackal being stolen than I," my voice has an edge to it, attempting to cut through the lunacy that suggested that this steal had been my idea. "The only one who knows the answer, apparently, is Xira, as I had not ordered it to be done." My eyes glance harshly sidelong at the bastard with crimson eyes, even as Ktulu makes another snarky comment at her twin. Were siblings usually like this? I am suddenly relieved that Cielo imploded himself before he and Onni had opportunities to begin bickering. I guess one good thing did come out of the cataclysm... or rather, did not come out of it.

The next remark from the unicorn mare, this one indirectly pressed toward me, brings a smirk to rest on my face, tired and cruel. My dark blue eyes shift from her father to the mare that was practically his spitting image. "Is your lack of respect and loyalty for this herd and those that protect you supposed to make me regret my words?" My voice is almost in laughter, but I refrain from that emotion. "You do nothing but reinforce them."

From nowhere, Azzuen appears, and my ears slick back on my crown immediately as his voice takes on a saddened tone. His words would seem to make my disagreement with Paladin look foolish, like I was simply overreacting. Incredulous, I look toward my general displeased, even as he stands next to me as a sign of solidarity. I cannot help but feel that somehow, I am the only one who holds a sense of loyalty toward the individuals for whom I swear my allegiance, not just the position. Still, his words applied well to Ktulu, who simply threw her home away without a second thought the moment someone disagreed with daddy. Did the Throat really need someone so halfhearted? I highly doubted it, but Azzuen appeared disheartened by her stated withdrawal.

I listen intently the moment Paladin speaks. I cared little for the laws of the Foothills, as it was not the set of code I had laid down for who I define as my ally. Paladin, without even approaching me, who he assumed his comrade, would overthrow the leader I knew? The leader I had promised my aid to? While his reasons may or may not be justified, the fact that he would blithely think he usurped the allies of former leaders was laughable. It all went down hill from there where he sarcastically takes a few steps back after I had dismissed him.

My eyes, which had cooled while listening to his words, return to hard, firey slits as I watch him act so immaturely. I do not even bother to stay for the rest of his words, instead, I look at him callously, my voice taking on the same venom they held previous. "I have no more business with you, Paladin." With that simple phrase, I nod politely to Azzuen and Ophelia, ignoring Ktulu all together as I back up, turn, take a few pounding strides forward and use the aid of the wind to push me into the sky, leaving Paladin and his tangent behind.

[ Kri says eff this, I am surrounded by idiots, essentially. ]
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