[AW]  frozen away

Juryoku

11 y/o large Male
Xenon, Female Wood stork
A great hope has crossed the earth.
Every speck within the sky. Those that shone and twinkled were being coaxed to hide beneath a blanket of warmth. Winter dressed the pines, the ground, and there fell a constant drift of powder snow. A few bouts of bleats could be heard in the distance. With a heavy cloud pouring from his nostrils, the beast followed where his whiskers reached and twitched. It did not take long to notice a line of tracks—one of a goat’s, and the other of... a feline?

His gaze drew quick to a bump in the ground. As he walked past it, he noticed it rest a frozen carcass. Luck had seemed to lose care, and so nature took the life of this young billy goat. However, the tracks of this unknown feline continued to trace forward. Juryoku stood unsure on whether to follow the hunter or the hunted. Before he could make that decision, the leviathan caught sight of a bird in the sky. It appeared to circle a single spot, and he would break into a trot heading in the direction to where this bird searched.

All he could ask for was good news at least. It had been a year or so since he last seen his grandfather. Juryoku knew better than to waltz onto the elder’s territory. Surely, he was being nice when he chased the whiskered fellow away. To lay his paw anywhere near that cavern again, it would likely be a fight for survival at this point. Remorse pushed against his chest while he slowed his gait. Why did he still care for the elder? They were both simply mountain beasts living under winter’s rule. And so, they both should not stand each other’s existence.

Was that right?

A boulder rested between where the forest ends and the slopes begin. It was open enough for his familiar to see him down below, so he perched himself up onto this rock—noticing there grazed a herd of goats a few meters away. He watched the young billies and nannies run about, knocking each other over, and just generally being a nuisance. He started to chuckle as the group of younglings became curious of his presence. They’d take turns charging toward him but then quickly retreat back to their mothers. It was an amusing show. The tension within his head released slowly, and the fear subsided for a moment.

“I could not spot him at or around the cavern. It appears abandoned to me.” A voice grew in his mind as he heard the flapping of wings. Xenon approached him from behind, perching herself onto his shoulders. “He might be out in the valley,” he assumed. Juryoku remembered they would often migrate there when supplies got scarce. He could only hope that that was the case.

As he rested with his thoughts building, his attention had snapped back when the herd of goats bleated all together. They began moving up the mountain, making the fellow wonder what happened. His whiskers twitched at the presence of something, and he began searching for the source.

A great hope has crossed my fear.

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Fayre

5 y/o medium Male
Ikhael, Male Spirit Fox
Snow never brought about good comforts to the short coat of the recently aged man. That was what he was this Winter afterall, blossoming from the gangly juvenile he had been into a more lean and refined adult. A step that should mark the beginning of any young wolf's life, but it was tainted by the bitter aftertaste that was often left in his mouth after dealings with his familiar. Fayre looked down at the spectral fox beside him, wishing that he would melt into the Aether, return to the Gods. For good.  Ikhael merely returned his gaze, an exhausted sigh escaping "Do you hink you could've made it this far without me?" As though reading the young man's mind. Fayre huffed back, a cloud of ice crystals forming from the vapour further accentuated by his magic. A party trick but nothing more, "If this is supposed to be destiny, surely I would have made further progress in my usage of Magicka...". Ikhael shrugged and continued trying to paw at the snow, but he merely passed through it as he started sadly at where a hole should have been.

"You're a late bloomer. Don't stress out so much. though it was worrying to the familiar as well. The fox's time within the material plane was limited, and it was without warning as he would once again fade out. Fayre watched as the black visage faded and he breathed out a sigh of relief. It would be many hours before he returned and once again began his rigorous training. They were focusing on manifesting the crystals around him to form armour, something that would allow him to protect himself in combat while also providing an offensive advantage. So far, it had merely ended in the boy getting soaked to the bone. His stomach rumbled, all that was around him was vast plumes of snow and the steep cliffs that lined the edges of the mountain range. All he had allowed himself to do was pick off the carcasses that were left abandoned by others, his fear of offending any other nearby wolves by potentially encroaching on an unmarked territory was high.

Powering his way through the deep snow, he found himself getting vastly overwhelmed by the powder until it was up to his chest. Ahead of him, he could see a small herd of the ungulates and he found the last of his strength driving him forwards towards the food, all sense of awareness that he was in fact about to drown in a snow drift completely left his mind. That was definitely his youth still talking. It appeared they noticed him though, as they bleated and made their way up towards the mountain that loomed so ominously above his right side.



@Juryoku
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Juryoku

11 y/o large Male
Xenon, Female Wood stork
A great hope has crossed the earth.
For a moment, the flow of time seemed to freeze. His deep red eyes were locked on a creature that bounded through the snow—or at least tried their best to do so. It was a lackluster sight as he watched the stranger make their way to the goats who were nearly at the top of the slope by now. The leviathan shook his head with lips curled in a small smile. A part of him rest happy that he didn’t have to see another young goat perish, but Juryoku did have a bit of sympathy for the other wolf’s fruitless attempt at a chase.

The sun finally reached over the horizon and painted the skies in a more deeper palette of warm hues. Its light touched the tops of mountains, and as the day goes on, the sunlight would creep its way to the ground they walked on. The shade these trees provided was comforting, but he had little plans on lazing around for the day. No, that would have to be for another time.

Large paws sunk into the snow while he slid off the boulder he rested on; like snowshoes, they helped keep the beast from sinking into the deep snow so quickly. Xenon remained nestled on his shoulders, preening her feathers while he trudged along. Juryoku’s neck was leveled with his spine as ears stood high and eyes focused on the stranger wolf. It would seem he had a bone to pick with this canine, but once a considerable amount of distance was closed between them, the scaly fellow’s movement became more relaxed. His whiskers took in all of what scent it could gather from the other. That is when he slowed down three or four meters away from them.

Memories flooded through his mind. In his decade of living up here in the north, he has never seen this soul. He would admit that he hasn’t been as diligent of patrolling this part of the region as he usually did. Maybe his olden soul need not see the presence of all who wandered through—or, he just got lazy. Likely the latter. “A record for them, I’d say, to reach the top that quick!” he chuckled to the stranger while looking up at the mountain goats. “You’ve chosen the wrong prey to go after.” Unless the other wolf was that desperate or had another plan lined up, the leviathan saw this as a waste of energy. Something one should preserve with the rougher winter storms ahead.

“Are you new around here?”

A question he needed to ask. Juryoku stretched for a bit with another plume leaving his maw.

A great hope has crossed my fear.

•• | ••


@Fayre
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Fayre

5 y/o medium Male
Ikhael, Male Spirit Fox
Crestfallen, he watched his potential quarry disappear into the deep splits that created the jagged peaks of the maintain range. As his adrenaline and attention drained from food, he became aware of the cold again. Even though he was an ice wielder himself, it didn’t spare him from the harsh elements that were not created by him. It was an odd sort of symbiotic relationship he had with the frozen water. Granted if he had absolutely no affinity to ice, he have perished by now. Shivering, he heard Juryoku speak and turned to gaze upon the finned wolf.

Fayre’s eyes widened at the behemoth, the sea coloured scales that rippled along his back reminded him of the beaches with his snow coloured fur like the frothy breakers as they crashed into the sand. Immediately he flushed hard as he realised he’d been staring a bit too long, almost seemingly ignoring the question he was asked, ”Y-yeah, I usually don’t venture North but I was encouraged to in order to practice with my Magicka. It’s my birthday so I thought maybe... I should move away from the water and try out with the snow. Especially if I want to be useful to a future pack.” really, it had been a terrible idea and he just found himself more isolated and alone. The ram-horned boy wanted nothing more than to be surrounded by familiar faces and feel like he was a part of something, than to go another year of solitude.
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Juryoku

11 y/o large Male
Xenon, Female Wood stork
A great hope has crossed the earth.
A light hum trickled from his throat while he waited for an answer from the horned wolf. There was a look of embarrassment hinted on their face which made the water beast cock his head. Juryoku stood used to the gawking eyes and intrigued souls—how often was it that one got to see a being so freakish? Formerly held on a leash by fear, he was an eel that finally slithered out of its burrow. Vulnerable to the world yet starved to see what it held beyond frigid lands.

Steps brought him closer to this individual. He began to circle them once words had eventually left their maw. It wasn’t long till the fellow halted in piqued interest. What he heard rest foreign; what he heard sounded promising. For any who knew him well, to see a hopeful gleam present in his eyes, it would be staggering. It was as if a slumbering spirit has been reawakened with a few favors to bestow.

So, another dewdrop beneath Atlahua’s great flippers. He had no reason to deny his contentment for the stranger. Those that share his affinity were like a sturgeon to him—elusive. He’d let the steam within his core escape before parting his lips. “Encouraged? Well, whomever that was, knows the right place,” he told, now watching the sky as some birds flew over. “What of snow would be beneficial for a coven? Have you found a way for it to aid you yet?” Juryoku attempted to gauge the stranger’s experience, to see if they were truly a larva or at least had their full fins.

“I may be able to assist,” he breathed. The leviathan’s core temperature wasn’t near subzero for nothing. Perhaps the horned male may not have the same physiology as he, but he would think there was a way to at least jumpstart the stranger onto the path of ice and snow.

A great hope has crossed my fear.

•• | ••


@Fayre
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Fayre

5 y/o medium Male
Ikhael, Male Spirit Fox
As the scaled beast moved closer to him, he felt a shiver run over his spine as he was studied meticulously. The naked exposure to both the gaze and the elements caused him to feel vulnerable and weak. In an almost automatic response, he found himself ducking his head respectfully. Having Ikhael's suspicions confirmed by Juryoku sent a thrill through his chest. This trip hadn't been for nought then, now that he had found what he had hope for was a potential mentor. "I figure that having jurisdiction over water is only so effective, but ice is truly where power lies..." Fayre attempted to meet the gaze of the guardian of this icy world. "All I can do now is change the states of matter, I can freeze water or turn it into steam. Beyond that, I don't have much else in the ways of ice." It was somewhat embarrassing to admit he could offer very little as a starting point for their progress.

"I would be forever indebted to you, if you would be able to even show me a glimpse at what I might be able to one day achieve." This entire conversation had been relatively articulate, and he was pleased with himself for not speaking like a juvenile pup as he often had done towards others. Being forced into mentoring by his own familiar had helped develop his skills in linguisitics and communication, but he hadn't exactly been given a chance to converse with many beyond a brief meeting only to never cross paths again. "Do you live here... sir?" He tacked on the formal manner of addressing the man, as this could potentially be the relationship they were entering into. Also, he presented himself as a figure of authority, a figure of power, and Fayre of course was going to be respectful of that. This might be his only chance to truly learn, beyond what an ethereal spectre could offer.



@Juryoku
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Juryoku

11 y/o large Male
Xenon, Female Wood stork
A great hope has crossed the earth.
A sound reasoning. He saw no reason to argue with the young one, so the whiskered fellow could save his sharpened words for another time. Although ice encapsulated his heart like no other, Juryoku knew better than to shoot down the foundation of his element: water. He couldn’t survive without its sustenance. Honestly, almost no living being could hold its own without the life that liquid brought into one’s body. It seems this stranger has misunderstood one thing.

“Do not forget where ice stems from. Water is effective and powerful. You just wish to take more from it, to harbor a form of it that bleeds harsher.”

The same could be said for the other classical elements. In their raw and true state, they are what makes life possible and what could destroy it as well. He hoped to spark and keep alive the respect for the water element. Why, they didn’t want Atlahua to take it away in regret, hmm? Now that he knew where the horned wolf stood in terms of experience, his mind flipped through its thoughts like a book—trying to figure out which chapter to start on first.

Juryoku snorted with a small laugh following behind it. The idea that someone would owe him anything was silly to say the least. He began to move away, turning around and positioning himself so that the leviathan was standing in front of the other wolf. A comfortable distance was kept between them as he plopped his rear down onto the snowy ground with Xenon hopping off. “I’m not sure I could give you a glimpse, lad. I cannot read your mind for what that may be,” he admitted. What did the stranger want to achieve? To heal and help others, or destroy and harm them?

“But I will try my best.”

He took a deep breath and held it while pointing his nose to the bluing skies. The frost in his chest would begin to fill his core as their way of escaping had been blocked. The scaled wolf quivered from the pressure building up in his chest which brought the urge to cough. But he resisted, and through this endurance of an overfilling core, he could show his company one of many possibilities.

Finally, he breathed out; however, it was not the usual steam that left from his maw. What rushed from his mouth was a flurry of snow that went for the sky. It spiraled up and up until Juryoku lost his breath. Everything went still again—the leviathan working through a coughing fit. Though after a few seconds, a sharp crack echoed from up above. That’s when the snow he produced came back with a vengeance.

It whipped back down in the promise of a raging blizzard. Before it would hit him and his company, however, it veered toward the closest tree. The aftermath was a tree encased completely in ice. If a bighorn were to ram into it at this state, it would simply shatter. Once Juryoku had his coughing under control, he returned his gaze to the stranger. “Is that one of the things you wish to achieve?” he asked, looking for an answer. He recalled the other’s question that he could not respond to earlier due to trying to suffocate himself.

“Yes, I’ve only lived here in the north. No other place compares. And, just call me Juryoku.”

A great hope has crossed my fear.

•• | ••


@Fayre
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Fayre

5 y/o medium Male
Ikhael, Male Spirit Fox
Fayre found himself holding his breath as he waited, unaware of it until he found his throat tighten and he was forced to inhale to relieve the discomfort. Although the discomfort was replaced by a sense of shame and subtle guilt that he had disregarded his talent just because it wasn't as flashy or aggressive as the fire and earth wielders. The other Gods would have nothing over their compassionate and divine Atlahua, and he had rudely spoken about him in front of another of his children. "Of course you are correct... I misspoke." Trembling from both the cold and the heightened awareness he was making a fool of himself, he dipped his head again as Juryoku laughed, misinterpreting it for humour at his own expense, and he stared into the snow.

As he continued to speak, he found himself doubting his initial engagement, maybe this wasn't the one who would show him everything. Head still bowed, he raised his chin slightly to watch as the leviathan's nose elevated towards the cloudless skies. It piqued his own curiosity, and he found himself sitting up straight and following the line of gaze. There was nothing to see, and he found himself tilting his head quizzically as he looked back at Joryuko, who had almost frozen himself in his position. The air in the small clearing grew still, and he waited in eerie silence before the man's jaws parted, imparting upon the world a flurry of thick snow that spiralled into the heavens. Fayre audibly gasped as he took a step back, in awe at what he was seeing before it came funnelling back to Earth and spearing into a nearby tree.

Eyes like saucers, he shivered involuntarily as he stared at the tree, now groaning under the weight of the additional ice threatening to uproot and topple to the side. "How did you..." Well it was obvious, he was a master of the craft that he was still an amateur at. Possessing skills honed over many years and many days of being a resident of the frozen North. This is exactly what he came here to accomplish. "Yes, it is. I've never even be able to comprehend such ferocity from our peaceful and calm gift." Maybe the turtle had wishes for them not to abuse his power, but his children had overcome and were now able to fight back just as fierce.

"It's nice to meet you Juryoku," Using his name seemed informal but he obliged to the scaled beast, "My name is Fayre, I hope that my presence here doesn't intrude on whatever goals you had in mind." Taking time out of one's day to help another usually meant diverting from something that the individual would prefer to do. 



@Juryoku
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