As the sunset turned the sky a bloody red, they limped home in defeat. Athena felt the bile in her throat like a sickness. She had never been good at losing. But this was no petty skirmish, where she could nurse her wounded pride and move on. Betrayers had been invited into her home. They had stolen blood and bone and kin.
And she, Lady of Aryn, had failed to see their true natures before it was too late. The blame lay squarely on her shoulders. Renegades of the Red Pack would have had no cause for vengeance had her pride not led to the war which destroyed Blutwald, in the first place. And they were all still being punished. Even the young ones, Merrill most of all, who had played no part in that undertaking.
But the pack needed strength, and whatever her doubts, Athena knew that she must appear confident and lead by example. If she appeared lost, uncertain - guilty, the pack would succumb to chaos and doubt. And any chance of saving Merrill would be gone.
She focused on her anger. He anger would have to be enough. Athena let out a howl from atop the stones, although most of the pack had already gathered beneath her in anticipation.
"My Brothers and Sisters." She began heavily. "We have been betrayed."
A ripple coursed through the crowd. By now most of them knew this, but to hear it put to voice before all assembled made the evil all the more real.
"Heel, Seraph, and Jerikoh came to us as refugees. They begged our protection, our friendship. But their true motives were false, and treachery was in their hearts from the very beginning.
"Merrill... has been taken. Those of us who pursued the kidnappers were ambushed by a second party, among them a wolf known to be an exile of the Red Pack. Masters Lawson and Adrian may never fully recover from this attack, and many others have been badly wounded by the crimes of these vile renegades." She snarled as the words spilled out, a violent flare in her pale eyes.
"But you all know the story - some even remember the war we faced with Blutwald in Aryn's earliest days. We were few then, but by the grace of the One we stood strong against the Red Pack and emerged victorious! We will be victorious again! These rogues will answer for their crimes.
"We are all united under the One. We must bring our Sister home and tend our wounds, and we must not let this turn us from our Path. Aryn will never fall to such deceptions again, but neither can we close our hearts to the Tenets of the One." Her gaze lingered on Tzuriel, who's friendship with Shoshana of Chandor could be jeapoardized, if fear swayed Aryn mind against outsiders.
"We will reach out to our Allies for aid, and those who seek to destroy us will find us united instead, and strong of heart.
"All who are fit, report to the Three Bodies for assignments."
The Blood Strings plot is officially under way! Here is where things currently stand:
- Vektren has gone to great lengths to keep their involvement secret. While everyone is encouraged to join the hunt for Merrill, the pack believes that Blutwald is to blame, and is looking for Blutwald rogues, not Vektreni! It is very important that Vektren's guilt be kept a secret, keep this in mind!
- Athena is open to RPs with Pack members regarding recent events! Participation in this plot is optional but we'd love to get as many people involved as possible so if you have an idea that you might like to squeeze into the plot, let us know! We'll see what we can do!
- Or if you want to get involved but aren't sure how, we're happy to brainstorm with you!
- Allies of Aryn are also welcome to participate under the same outline! Athena will send Rangers to Fellfang and Vale seeking information and any aid these wolves can offer in the hunt for Merrill and her kidnappers.
- You can comment below, send a note, or contact WynBird or Halkuonn on Skype! C: