Changes have become too severe in Anikira, and the wolves have been temporarily relocated to the Anikiran Southern Isles. Things have grown dire and unlivable on the mainland; it was time for outside intervention. Please be sure to review the full update on the staff board for more information!
The current season is fall in the Southern Isles. Due to their proximity to the equator, the region is still warm. There is currently no breeding and no birthing amongst the wolves
Like the invisible shadow, like the weed grown behind rocks where no eye could peer, like the unnoticeable change in the winds during the spring, like the wet spot on the ground that takes too long to dry after the rain. Her breath was still, her heartbeat slow, her ears pricked. In plain sight, she was invisible again. And so she heaved a heavy breath, wet with forgiveness and resignation and success, her exhale met with a shaking of her head, slow and thoughtful, as a smile of relief stretched across her maw.
Zohartze stretched her paws into the wet sand of the atoll, close enough to the water that the sand was cool, but not so close that she would be engulfed by a lapping wave.
As if on cue, a familiar figure was walking slowly towards her. They’d agreed to meet here today, but as always, Zohartze was almost surprised when she appeared. Datura was graceful, the way she placed her paws. She’d lost the extra weight that came along with bearing pups, as had Zohartze—and she was beautiful and fit, and as always, she moved only with purpose, as if every step were deliberate and missionary. The Mexican mix admired her so, and if it were possible for her to blush at the sight of her, she would. Every time.
She wasn’t sure what the Matriarch felt towards her. Zohartze was stuck in a kind of motion of kinship that was comfortable, but being around Datura was like hard liquor. After every meeting, she was hungover, and at any motion of her name or any glance across the meal pile, she was struck with pangs of need for the closeness. After a few days, the feeling would subside, and she’d be content with their friendship. But with every new meeting, the feeling stirred again, and she was loose and alive. It was infuriating to her, the need for someone else. And she could never put her paw on what, exactly, it was that she wanted from the other femme. But the feeling was different, like fire down her spine.
Before she got to close, Zohartze averted her eyes with a nod and a smile, her typical almost-shy greeting to her closest friend, unspeaking. She waited for Datura to settle, knowing it would be close beside her, and she smiled again and watched their two litters play-fighting in the distance. The pups were grown. They didn’t really need her anymore. It was a relief, more sweet than bitter. They would grow and fight for Kairos. For Goliath.
She hadn’t spoken with Datura about those feelings, either. But today was not the time.
“They’re ready to leave us,” she spoke to Datura softly. They never spoke very loudly around one another. There was no need.
The day started with an empty nest. Even Pandora had left the den early that morning, leaving Datura to wake alone. The stone floor felt all the more cold beneath her. As the weeks rushed by, Datura saw her pups less frequently. They were happy to be off on their own, exploring their home, away from their mother. Soon, most would be gone, and they would return not as pups, but as the warriors they were destined to become. The thought of her sons grown powerful was immensely satisfying, but it carried a hint of melancholy for the first-time mother. Out there, she could no longer protect them. .No one had warned Datura – it was harder to let them go than she had ever imagined. But they were no longer babies, helpless and dependent. She did not want to raise cuddly, weak sons, and the sooner they could defend themselves, the sooner they could defend Kairos. She was proud to see them grow, and she had not lost a single pup from her brood – or from any other litter born to Kairos, save for a couple of unfortunate pups born to other females, pups who were dead before they could ever live. Those losses were buried, rotting in the earth that was sacred, leaving only vague memories for the few who had seen the tiny, lifeless bodies.
More often than not, thoughts of the youngest members of the pack occupied her thoughts. When she exited the cavern, the day was already growing warm, and she was grateful for the enduring ocean wind that brought relief as summer loomed. She kept an eye on the pups of the other females who were still younger, but soon, they too would be grown. The boys would go to the Agoge, the girls would stay behind. It all happened so fast, it was sobering.
Datura walked slowly along the beach, eyes fixed upon the chosen destination. Zohartze was there, awaiting her arrival. She looked small compared to the endless ocean stretching out before her, but for Datura, she was more than a diminutive female claimed by an absent brute. Zohartze was inexplicably important, a constant support for Datura. Even from a distance, the purebred Mexican femme could see her friend smiling, and she allowed herself to do the same. No one else was nearby – rather surprising, given how the population within the pack had swelled. As she approached, Zohartze’s gaze fell, but Datura had not noticed. Tide was still low, and the atoll was alive with tiny fish and crabs, remarkably colorful as they dashed about under the warm, shallow water. The sea tickled her paws as she stood at its shore
She came to her, shoulder to shoulder, as the words left Zohartze’s tongue: “They’re ready to leave us.” The faintest hint of a frown tugged at the corners of Datura’s mouth, accompanied by a slow, conceding nod. While she would never let another soul see her this way, there was comfort in knowing that in Zohartze’s presence, she was free – free to show emotion, though the need had not existed before her pups’ arrival. Motherhood had changed Datura. ”It’s hard for me to think of anything else. Lilith is determined to go, and nothing I can say would dissuade her. She wants it so badly.” She had other pups, less enthusiastic about their impending departure, but it was what the boys were born to do. The thought of Erebos, her disinterested, sullen son, produced a heavy sigh. ”They will have each other, at least, and Goliath to guide them.” They would have more time to spend with their regal father – something that came rarely to Datura now, since Goliath was often so busy.
For Zohartze, her pups leaving wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to her. She loved them, or some feeling similar to a mother’s love—or so she assumed. Her own experience with a thing called “mother” had been less than stellar. In fact, as she so often purged from her mind, it had been she that allowed her mother to drown. Silent and still, her cognizance betrayed her.
The memory struck out in her consciousness like a diamondback. Her mother’s shrill scream, the clarity of the moment in her mind, her insanity wiped away like pawprints on the shore. Her brother bleeding, Mother begging. Brother bleeding.
Crawling from the caves. The light burning her eyes, a thousand needles of light bursting through her untrained pupil, burning away any innocence she had left. Her brother bleeding, then clotting. Then infection.
Her, hunting for him. Him, unable to move. She was so bad at it, she could hardly catch a single rat. Ripping the legs of a tortoise from its shell to feed him for lack of prey, oh, how she was horrible at hunting. Her brother dying.
Everyone she knew, dying.
Zohartze felt sick and the world moved before her in a watery haze for a moment. Her mind coiled back, tail rattling about. She waited, stoic, until her vision returned in full as Datura moved next to her. The black-painted fae shook her coat, only internally perturbed. She was snapped back into the reality of the conversation when her friend spoke, and though Zohartze kept her eyes trained on their playing litters, she murmured in agreement.
“Will Goliath allow her to participate?” she asked, the question honest. Smirking in admiration for the brutish pup, she added her two cents. “She’s certainly as able as any of the rest of them. She wouldn’t make for a huntress, anyway. She’d smash all the meat, the beast of a thing.” The comment was complimentary, and she shot a glance at her friend with a humorous shimmer. At the mention of Goliath, the femme stifled what would have been a flush. She nodded in agreement. They would become strong under their Emperor, she had no doubt.
Zohartze regarded her own boys quietly. “Othrys is certainly ready. He’s been running the island. And you know he won’t go unless Lilith is there.” She shook her head and thought of their father, the missing general of the ever-growing pack. She hadn't seen him since the boys were born. He was inconsequential now. “The boy perplexes me, Datura. I swear, sometimes I wonder what I’ve done in choosing the blood that runs through his veins.”
A light smirk appeared as her friend spoke of her daughter, shoulders rolling forward in a half-hearted shrug. ”Lilith will be there whether or not Goliath allows it. She is large enough to rival the boys, and just as wild. She would train on her own, if she needed to.” Lilith’s behavior was unnerving to most, but not Datura. Her daughter was undeniably different, erratic and savage as any conqueror could hope to be. Even at her young age, Lilith showed great promise. Had she arrived to the world with the correct anatomy, Lilith would likely be considered as Goliath’s heir. No one had been chosen, and perhaps Goliath would not make the decision for years to come, but Lilith was certain to be excluded. Datura was not certain whether Lilith understood that her gender was permanent, and there was no training or learning to be anything other than female. It wasn’t entirely fair. But life seldom was.
The smile ran away from her face as Zohartze spoke once more, leaving Datura to suppress her own irritation. Othrys and Olympus were fine sons, but they were not exactly mother’s boys. When it came to the General of Kairos, Datura had little patience remaining. Pups needed their father. She wondered now if Titan was even still alive, for she had no knowledge of what had become of the giant brute, or if Goliath had any inkling where he had gone – or if he would be returning. Datura had no faith in him, had in fact never really interacted with the co-founder of the pack. He was good at creating offspring, it seemed, but less keen on playing a role in their lives. Her expression was neutral, save for the flick of an ear, as she studied Zohartze’s expression. It was upsetting to see her closest friend affected by the carelessness of a brute. ”There was no way of knowing that Titan would vanish into thin air. You have done your best – we have done our best. I know they will excel. The Great Wolf has chosen Kairos. I never had faith before, but Fenrir has brought me this far. He brought us both here.”
The purebred Mexican’s attention shifted to the beach and the figures battling there, unaware that their mothers were observing them in action – possibly for one of the last times, since Datura was certain the pups would soon begin to make the journey across the water and into adulthood. In spite of herself, she smiled, bittersweet but proud of what she had created. ”I like to imagine them all, side by side in the face of the enemies of Kairos. Brothers in battle. They could conquer the world together.”
Zohartze regarded her friend as she spoke of Titan, and tried her hardest to conceal the emotion that she knew hid behind her eyes. Datura was right—she had no way of knowing, but she couldn’t help but feel like his departure was her fault in some way. It was a silly thought, naïve and childish, and even self-centered. But she felt sorry for her boys in a way, her feeling of inadequacy strangling.
As Datura mentioned Fenrir, she nodded carefully. In truth, she had hardly considered religion as a part of her identity before coming to Kairos. Her childhood had torn her faith from her in shreds, ripping the muscle of belief from the bone of reality. She hadn’t even considered that there might be a god, the same one of her parents by a different name, who had some kind of power over the world. But the more time she spent in Kairos and alongside Datura, the more it struck her as a possibility. Zohartze had come from odds that were inexplicably against her, solitary and young, too raw for what the world had to offer. She had closed herself in a vault of security, blocking every emotion or notion of pain that came her way. She had held a reclusive life, one that seemed creepy to her now.
The things she had seen shocked her. She watched other wolves show affection and fight, make love and rape, give birth and destroy life—all the while never interfering, and never being seen. She lived in a literal covering of mud and feces to disguise her own scent. She had taken extreme lengths to be unnoticed, and now here she was, a queen in her own right. She had befriended the most powerful female in Kairos and birthed the pups of the second most powerful male perhaps on the entire continent. And bravely, she had nourished them until they grew strong.
There were rumors of a pack on Tas’alea that despised males for all they were, regarding females as the only true power, even casting their male pups aside. Datura had seen it firsthand when she discovered Onyx, abandoned and uncared for. A year ago, she might have thought them somewhat legitimate in their beliefs, but Zohartze now knew the error in their ways. There was nothing weak or unworthy about her sons. She clung to her friend’s words and let them roll around in her ears, willing herself to unlock her vaulted faith. The Great Wolf had chosen them.
When she first noticed her pregnancy, she felt weak and used, like she had made a grave error. To be discarded so quickly, to have the father of the seed in her belly care so little for her, made her angry and hateful. As she watched nearly every female grow heavy with pups, she thought them all as weak as she for a moment, needy and pathetic. Disposable. But on the other side of the entire ordeal, she knew it to be completely untrue. To create life was an honor. It didn’t matter the sire, in that regard. A female alone held the gift to nourish life, and a male alone could give it. They were two parts of the same whole.
Almost nostalgically, she imagined the scene Datura had painted. Olympus next to Othrys, and Lilith beside him—then Samson, Typhon, Beleth, and Erebos. Kiva’s son Cato. The smaller Onyx might one day be beside them as well, and imagining all of the other monstrous pups of Messoria, Tala, Lichen. They truly would be an army. She shuddered at the thought, a mixture of pride and ambition... and a touch of fear. Imagining something so formidable, such a large force, was overwhelming for a female who was still acclimating to life in a group. “They just might,” she responded, looking down at her paws.
After a moment of silence, Zohartze dared to ask a question that she hadn’t before. “Day,” she said, testing the nickname on her tongue and relishing at the sound, a smile touching her creamy muzzle. It tasted sweet in her mouth, like dew on the morning grass. Datura was a poisonous plant, but Day was the time of light in the world. It seemed more fitting in moments like these. “Do you really think that Goliath is the incarnation of Fenrir?” She didn’t mean the question in offense, but rather open conversation. He believed so himself, but Zohartze was desperately curious to sort the matter of faith in her mind. He was harsh, but benevolent—and wasn’t that exactly how a god was meant to act?
Minutes passed in silent understanding, comfortable; Zohartze was not demanding, and only in her presence could Datura allow herself anything resembling peace in the chaotic life that had become an every day reality. The nickname caused the full-blooded Mexican fae to glance over, angling her muzzle to gaze upon the other she-wolf as she addressed her. The light on the mixed breed’s features cast an ethereal glow on Zohartze’s visage. She looked more goddess than wolf in that moment. Strange, she thought, unable to pull her focus away from the delicate features of the other – no one else has ever called me anything less than my given name. Not even her parents had bestowed affectionate nicknames on the girl, when they had still been alive. Datura was certain they had loved her, in their own detached, emotionless way. They had kept her alive until adulthood, after all. She hadn’t been mistreated. But her parents hadn’t mourned the inevitable losses each time one of their pups wasted away or became lost until only Datura remained.
For a long moment, the she-wolf said nothing in response to the question posed before she finally gave a faint shrug. ”I am far from being qualified in matters of spirituality. My parents never spoke of the gods. How could they have faith in something that did so little for them? We were always half dead. I was never really much of a believer in anything until Goliath came along. It seemed… too good to be true. It seemed to be something a wolf like me is not supposed to have…” A faint smile graced her lips as she spoke. ”A god in his own right, perhaps. Through our children, we become immortal. But the gods of our ancestors are far off, intangible in spite of their control. Goliath is not like that.” Still… It was not perfect, and a sadness broke through the veneer as she leaned closer to her companion, speaking in low tones so that no one else could overhear. ”Though sometimes, it feels so. I see him so infrequently now, and I would rather he spend time with the pups than me when he does have time for visiting.”
The words felt like blasphemy on her tongue, but she had no one else to share with, nor was there another living soul she trusted as much as Zohartze. ”I never thought it would be like this. I would choose it all over again, and I would give my life for Kairos, but…” Her sentence tapered off into silence, eyelids slowly falling to cover her bright eyes. ”This is not what I expected. Empires and harems, all of the pups. A year ago, it was just the two of us. I followed Goliath before the others. I believed in Goliath and a greater cause, but this…” Again, she fell silent, unable to finish the thought aloud. She was grateful for what she had. For better or worse, this was the life the gods had given her… But her stomach still churned every time she thought of Goliath touching another of his whores, leaving her with memories of what it was like before Kairos: before Ina'mos and pups, before Messoria and Tala and all the other bitches he would find himself to claim. Datura could accept it, but it still left a bitter taste behind.
A smile ticked across her lips as Datura looked at her, seemingly both confused and touched by the use of her nickname. The Mexican mix decided that it would be a permanent—if occasional—feature in their conversations. And as her companion spoke again of her past, Zohartze stifled her tongue. They were so similar, in some ways. We were always half dead. It rang out through her skull and down her spine in oscillation.
It was in one slashing movement that she realized that she, too, was always half dead as a young pup. Her deranged mother had kept them underground and malnourished, forcing them to eat mostly lizards and toads and lick condensation from the cave walls for pure water. As the sun beat down on the two females, warming her fur in a three bears balance between too hot and just right, it also occurred to her that she had never truly been warm as a pup. Never truly been dry.
Yet, somehow, Pakuna held so tightly to her faith and religion that it would very literally drown her. And at that time, her daughter would be so asphyxiated by her vice-like grip that she would refuse to help her. Her mother didn’t have to die. It was Zohartze that chose to make it so. And as she struggled to pull Esai from the caverns, broken and bleeding, it occurred to her that they knew so little about their mother, they could never miss her.
She had never told her pups anything about her mother. She had never told them anything about herself. But Datura was right—she was already immortalized through them. Half of their blood belonged to her, and try as they might, they would never forget the femme that birthed them and shaped their early life. Maybe they would not miss her, but she was a permanent fixture in their memories. It comforted and panicked her at once. Zohartze swallowed, focusing again on her companion’s speech after their moment of thoughtful pause.
Zohartze offered no condolences at first, simply listening to her friend, her gaze shifting from the earthy floor to Datura’s eyes. She was hurting, and it made her head feel heavy. The two of them were bruised for different reasons, though all the same. Where Zohartze had never felt any devotion from the sire of her pups, Datura had it ripped from her slowly, like a lost limb that was slow to clot. The mixed fae certainly didn’t know what it felt like, but as she tried to imagine what it might be like for the femme in front of her to pull away, her heart threatened to break.
She was right—it was unfair. Zohartze wanted to tell her that Goliath was good at heart, that it was his duty to expand the pack and make it strong, that his blood and seed meant a promise of loyalty to Kairos that flowed much thicker than water—but these were all things Datura already knew.
There was no logic in emotion, that much she had learned. Emotions were selfish, petulant things, that toiled and churned inside. The more she felt, the more she had to learn to keep them from spilling over. She would have no outburst like when she’d mated with Titan—she’d grown much stronger than that now. But as she sat here with her truest friend, her first friend, she couldn’t help but feel the weight of their conversation heavy on her shoulders.
Looking around, she satisfied herself with the fact that none of the other females were around to see them, and their pups were fighting busily in the distance. Zohartze curled her body slightly, wrapping her head around Datura’s neck, and embracing her. She could only say what the other femme already knew. “It certainly more than you bargained for,” she spoke, her voice quiet and soft. The fact that her children were leaving, only Pandora destined to stay, must have made it all the more raw.
The female didn’t waste breath on condolences. Datura was strong, powerful—she didn’t need nor want anyone to be sorry for her, and Zohartze understood that well. “You’ve handled it with grace. Really.” She struggled over her words, walking the line between friendly praise and what she felt to be a stronger need, one that made her want to fight off the sadness from her companion’s life. She felt emotionally protective. “Though I wish he had more time for them, and for you. Without a general, he’s stretching himself too thin.” Zohartze said carefully, but she knew it wasn’t a criticism so much as a fact. With a pack the size of Kairos, one authority figure was not enough—even if that figure was Goliath.
Pulling away from their embrace slowly and almost reluctantly, she thought on her words before she spoke again. “It seems his brothers have made it back to Ina’mos. Perhaps he will appoint them, take some of the burden off of his own shoulders?”
tags: @datura words: 854 muse: p good notes: -
( zohartze ) ( "virgin" ) ( three year old mexican mix ) ( kairos huntress ) ( biography )
The femme’s small frame didn’t jerk away from the other’s when she felt her body encircled by that of her friend. No one had ever been so close to Datura, or had ever attempted, with the exception of Goliath. Datura would never dream of allowing another male near her. No one could tear her faith away from her. Resting her chin on the other’s dark back, she felt a warmth creeping inside, coursing through her veins and making her head feel light. It was a different definition of heat… With Goliath, it was a wildfire between them, intense and all-consuming. Being so near to Zohartze, she felt calm, a warmth and comfortable. She hadn’t known this existed, and she couldn’t describe what it was, the nature of their relationship. Her mother had never been affectionate, and her father had been distant from his offspring, perhaps because he knew that most would not survive to see their first birthday. And so Datura had never craved comfort and affection, but today, she couldn’t pull herself away from the embrace. Life’s unexpected pleasures.
She was silent for a long pause before she offered a reply, carefully choosing her words. ”Regardless of the imperfections, I am pleased with where I am and how far I have come, whether thanks be to the gods, Goliath, or myself. It’s all worth it to be here.”
She had longed for sons, prayed to the unseen gods for boys to make their father proud. She had served faithfully. But her work was never done. There would always be pups to look over, females to keep in check. The next breeding season would come quickly, and with it, new life. Only the gods knew what the future held, how many pups would bless the pack. The family would continue to grow, the largest to ever call Anikira home. She was proud of her part, which could never be diminished by the presence of one harem members or a hundred. Perhaps she would have more daughters in the future. The prospect seemed exciting the second time around.
”Whether Titan is alive or dead, the pack has suffered in his absence.” There was no use dwelling on the topic, and she dismissed the General with the final shake of her head. ”I heard stories of the brothers, but no one guessed they would resurface after all this time. And a sister…” She didn’t speak Aaricia’s name allowed, smirking at the memory of their first encounter, catty words exchanged, fuelled by anger. Everything had changed since then. ”I believe she is gone for good. If the brothers remain loyal, they will prove useful to Goliath and to the pack. Besides, there will be too many females when the next season comes, and we need more than two very active brutes.” All of the pups were the product of Goliath and Titan, with the exception of Onyx, her little foundling who would soon be off to the Agoge, as well.
Her body felt weightless as she allowed herself to relax completely, finally. She was not a warrior, but her muscles felt tired, and the silent moment was a welcome change from the fray she was thrust into. For now, she wasn’t Matriarch, or mate of an Emperor, or mother to an enormous brood. She was just Day.
"I'm not ready to go back yet, Zo. Not yet." She offered a lazy smile to her companion, cream colored muzzle reaching to reach Zohartze's in a gentle touch.
POSITION. Coding Mod & Pimp Ass Sugar Daddy CHARACTERS. Eidus Thor Stark
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This untraditional coupling is one of the truly loving matches in Anikira. Although they are members of two different species, Calantha and Rikez have overcome the differences and rose above, finding love in the most pure of ways. And from this pairing, a litter born of two loving parents was conceived. These little boys and girls will have the great honor of being raised by two parents that support each other, while many of the offspring in Anikira have not had such a benefit. The pair are truly fitting of one another; both kind-hearted and generally good individuals.