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there's a screen on my chest — Hearthwood River 
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Played by Arla who has 1,442 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Lachesis "XIX" Stark

This time Lachesis was determined to be a better father. There was not a day that went by that the slender ghost did not miss the twins and he thought of them frequently—wondering where they were and if they had survived the persistent winter. He was hopeful because if he wasn’t his doubt and worry would eat him alive until he was nothing but a pile of bones. Even if they did not return to Hearthwood permanently Lachesis hoped they would visit. To soothe the mind of their anxious father.

Despite the tragedy that had fallen onto the misfit family they were moving forward. The death of his son had hit him hard, for Lachesis seemed to only attract tragedy. He was struggling to stay positive—trying hard to believe that everything happened for a reason. While the occurrence of a stillborn was not uncommon the ghost still blamed Mittani, the Whitestone rogue that had attacked  his mate the mother of his children. If had not been for the scuffle surely his son would have survived… He blinked, dismissing the thought as he padded toward Lilya’s birthing den, a freshly caught rabbit dangling from his jaws. Laddeus had been succeeded by two younger sisters, who were perfectly healthy and thriving. That was all that mattered to the father.

Once he reached the entrance of the den he was greeted by the familiar scent of the blue-eyed sparrow. His features softened immediately as he dropped to his stomach and placed the rabbit on the ground, his tail wagging gently behind him. He gave a soft woof to announce his presence, even though he was sure Lilya was aware he had arrived. 

[Image: ds_by_a_yellow_bird-dc337jk.png]
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Played by Nams who has 330 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Lilya Valrorys

While the first-time mother knew she probably could have gotten up a couple times and left the den to stretch her legs, she was too paranoid to do even that. She was worried what might befall her daughters if she left them for even the smallest sliver of time. It was far too soon for either of them to join their brother… and Lilya was determined to ensured that they did not see that fate. She caught herself more often than not staring at the two balls of life often curled against her stomach, nursing or napping, with awe. She still couldn’t completely believe that they were hers and that she could have possibly helped create something so beautiful.

Lilliana was definitely the more bodacious one of the two, she’d noticed, with amusement lingering in her eyes. It reminded her of, well, her… before she’d had to fight a war, and back when she was still blind to the conflict that had surrounded her. She’d been consumed by these memories, carefully observing her daugther’s feeding, when he made his appearance at the mouth of the den. She let a soft smile befall her features, trying not to remind herself of the sadness surrounding the events of the birth… the more she thought about it, the worse her fears got.

He’d brought food with him… she wasn’t really hungry, her appetite almost diminished… but she feared that if she didn’t force herself to eat, their son might not be the only life she lost. Her tail softly thumped against the ground. “’ello.” She greeted softly, motioning with her head for him to come closer. She wasn’t going to bite!

[Image: 7N0QCvu.png][Image: lilyapix_by_euphoriclies-datc4vp.png]
Played by Arla who has 1,442 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Lachesis "XIX" Stark

The alabaster father would have preferred staying in the confinements of Lilya’s den, curled up against the new mother and their daughters than run patrols and ensure the wolves of Hearthwood were keeping themselves busy. While the new additions were not yet eating solid food they would be soon—hunting was the top priority of the river wolves. They had acquired a few more wolves since Aytigin sought refuge among the redwoods, which meant there were even more mouths to feed. However, there were also even more claws to fell prey with. Only a few months ago the pack was less than half the size it was now and Lachesis had feared that the pack would eventually fall apart, dispersing across the Lore. Refuge came in the form of two brothers (along with the return of a few Baranski’s) before three more males joined their ranks. As the first pack to arrive in the north XIX was determined to see them succeed, for the thought of disappointing his fallen friend (and former leader) constantly taunted him.

A smile stretched across his dark lips as Lilya’s voice called from within the den and the ghost eagerly accepted her request to shuffle closer. He nudged the rabbit toward her as he dipped his head inside, his ears falling to the side. “I know you might not be hungry but I thought I’d bring you something anyway,” he mumbled with a soft shrug, his forehead pinched. His chartreuse gaze settled on the two bundles of fur pressed against her creamy stomach—one agouti in colour, like their mother, and the other pale, like him. It appeared they had created mini versions of themselves. Lachesis just prayed that none of their anxiety had been transmitted to the puppies, for their parents were complete basketcases. “Not getting up to any mischief, are they?” He could not wait for them to start crawling around outside the den, where he could show them the gigantic redwoods that surrounded them and the meandering river that gave their pack life.

[Image: ds_by_a_yellow_bird-dc337jk.png]
stick with those who stick with you
Played by Nams who has 330 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Lilya Valrorys

Well, to clarify, she wasn’t going to bite him… others would be examined on a case by case basis because the mother was not sure who she wanted to allow around their children before they were old enough to run about and cause all sorts of trouble. Trouble she’d be watching them during… part of her worried Mittani was still lingering in the north, packless, and perhaps looking for revenge against the woman who’d gotten him banished from the Monadnock. She tried not to think about it, but worrying was a part of her job description. She had a duty to keep wolves safe, especially her children.

She pulled the rabbit towards her with a soft smile. “Ah’ll eat it in a bit.” She promised softly, more interested in the conversations they might have than the idea of food. The question came with a soft chuckle on Lilya’s part, a wag of her tail. “Not nearly as much as Am’s sure they’re gonna be getting’ inta once they’re movin’ ‘round outside n’all.” She promised, keeping her eyes on them before her cerulean gaze rose up to look at their father once more. It was hard to know what kind of personalities the ghost and her might have created with this litter, but if there was one thing for Lilya to ask, it was that they didn’t inherit her personality… she wouldn’t wish that kind of mentality on any wolf, and especially not her own children.

Part of her could honestly still not believe that she was a mother, the one thing she was almost certain she’d never become. “’as Inna delivered yet?” She cared about her packmates, especially for that of the other first time mother who’d expressed her fears to Lilya not too long ago, just as Lilya had to Inna.

[Image: 7N0QCvu.png][Image: lilyapix_by_euphoriclies-datc4vp.png]
Played by Arla who has 1,442 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Lachesis "XIX" Stark

Oddly enough the ghost was looking forward to the mischief his children would get into once they were able to wander away from the den with their over-sized puppy paws hungry for adventure. Hopefully they did not inherit their older, half-siblings’ paws and strayed too far from Hearthwood. Lachesis had already lost enough in his short life. Losing the two daughters nestled against Lilya’s stomach would surely break him (and her). He had already suffered enough loss and hoped that the curse would end with the new Stark children.

He, too, wondered how the girls’ personalities would change and differ as they grew. It was impossible to tell as they suckled against their mother, their ears folded against their tiny crowns and eyes still squeezed shut. He feared that with his position at the helm of Hearthwood he would miss some of their crucial developments but there was no place he would rather be. All three litters this spring were close to Lachesis’ heart; he had to do everything possible to ensure their survival. He could not do so at the sidelines, or second to another. As much as Hearthwood had been Maksim’s pack it was now his pack—and Kisla’s—and he could not watch another take over. He hoped the Stark girls would understand, and that the sparrow would explain his absences, for he worried they would resent him… just like Kyrios did.

The thought snapped him back to reality, just in time to catch the blue-eyed sparrow’s question as it dripped off her tongue. He gave a soft shake of his head as he leaned to the side, using his elbow to prop himself up. “Not yet,” he started, a line forming between his brows. “Any day now.” XIX did not know what he would have done if all three mothers had given birth the same day… at least with Lorcán joining Hearthwood they had another healer readily accessible. Kisla had had an easy pregnancy this spring, but it was also her third—delivering puppies was become second nature to the Baranski widow. He was worried about the raven, for she had isolated herself from the pack for the first half of her pregnancy. He was positive that the puppies inside her swollen stomach were healthy but he could not stop the worry from festering.

“I wouldn’t worry about them too much,” he murmured suddenly, motioning to the little Starks as he pressed a soft lick to Lavender’s pale crown. “We’ve acquired a few more members. These two are going to have plenty of eyes watching them to make sure they don’t get into too much trouble.” A sheepish grin found its way onto his pale maw as he turned his peridot’s to the sparrow, his tail thumping against the dirt floor.

[Image: ds_by_a_yellow_bird-dc337jk.png]
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Played by Nams who has 330 posts.
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Lilya Valrorys

The anxiety for the birthing season to be done festered in Lilya. She remembered the story she heard, about Naia dying while delivering Lachesis’ first litter… and she would never wish that on Inna. So she’d wait for news, wait for the assurance that she survived the process from either her mate Lachesis or perhaps someone else could give her the information – Lorcan or Aleksei or maybe Lekalta. She wasn’t going to pry too much, she just needed assurance. They’d already lost a child; they couldn’t handle losing a mother too. That much, the jumpy blue-eyed sparrow was certain of.

The conversation shifted to the small bundles of joy curled around her stomach. “It’s ma job ta worry, Lach.” She reminded him with a soft laugh. She was their mother… of course she was going to worry about him. “Ah know, but Ah’m still nervous ‘bout lettin’ ‘em outta my sight… or outta th’den fer that matter.” She reminded him with a soft frown, staring at them with worried eyes. She felt guilty about it. She couldn’t keep them at her stomach forever, she knew that, but it was the uncertainty of what would happen next – if their paws would wander or their minds would grow to copy the reactions of their parents – that worried her greatly.

[Image: 7N0QCvu.png][Image: lilyapix_by_euphoriclies-datc4vp.png]
Played by Staff who has 4,658 posts.
Shallow water has trapped several fish in a small pond. Hunt Opportunity
Played by Arla who has 1,442 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Lachesis "XIX" Stark
@Lilya

The anticipating of Inna’s approaching due date was making Lachesis more anxious than usual, for he did not know what to expect from the first-time mother. Her exterior was calm but he knew that she worried just as much as he did—especially since Hearthwood was no stranger to tragedy when it came to puppy season. The last two years brought death to the river wolves, but they were survivors. They would move forward and preserver, just as they always had. It was what they did best. The underdogs of the north, although they had staked their claim in the lands first.

He could not help but roll his eyes at her comment, a cheeky grin rolling onto his dark lips. “You’re forgetting who you’re talking to, Val,” he cooed, a single brow arched, “you leave the worrying up to me.” He was the king of worrying and often (unintentionally) dumped his woes on the blue-eyed sparrow. Or into the lake south of them, whichever was closest. His eyes trailed to their daughters as she spoke, confessing she was concerned about letting them out of sight. He shared the same thoughts, for Lachesis wanted to keep them as close to him as possible. But he knew they could not smother their children. The ghost had already lost two; he could not risk pushing these two away, also. “We don’t have to let them out of the den,” he joked with a sharp side-glance at his second as he pressed a quick lick to Lavender’s pale pelt.

“We’re going to have our paws full with the others, too…” he mused aloud, his thoughts falling to the two children that were nestled elsewhere at Kisla’s stomach and the puppies that were yet to arrive in Inna’s stomach. Fortunately they had enough wolves to sacrifice a few to puppy-sitting, as they were certainly going to need it.

If he wasn’t already going to go gray (or more white), he certainly was going to now.

[Image: ds_by_a_yellow_bird-dc337jk.png]
stick with those who stick with you
Played by Nams who has 330 posts.
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Lilya Valrorys

She couldn’t help the slight chuckle when he told her to leave the worrying to him, shaking her head. “Did ya ferget who yer talkin’ to, Lach?” She teased lightly, glancing down at their children for a couple seconds. “Ya might be th’king of worryin’… but Ah ‘appen ta be the queen.” Her earthy voice reminded him of the painful fact that they were both train wrecks, real basket cases… something that she hoped neither of their children had inherited, lest the River want four worrywarts hanging around the territory freaking out about every small detail to everyone’s lives and how they were all to survive.

She nodded with the roll of her eyes. “Ah ‘appen to like th’idea of keepin’ ‘em ‘ere fer the rest of their lives... jus’ it’d get a little cramped after a while n’Ah don’t think I could stop them from leavin’ if I tried.” She joked back, though there was truth to her words. Their daughters would grow to be their own wolves soon enough, and she was going to have to find a way to accept that… even if she really didn’t want to. “But at least our girls will ‘ave plenty of others ta play with.” They’d have agemates… hopefully friends. There was always an upside and a downside. Their children would have no shortage of playmates… but it’d be harder to provide for all of the children as they grew. They would persevere though… they always did.

[Image: 7N0QCvu.png][Image: lilyapix_by_euphoriclies-datc4vp.png]
Played by Arla who has 1,442 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Lachesis "XIX" Stark

A smile traced his lips as she spoke and it took everything in the pale healer not to roll his eyes. His cheeks flushed at her words but his tongue remained captive behind a barricade of teeth as he averted her gaze. XIX quickly dismissed his thoughts as he redirected his attention to the soft bundles of fur between them, his brows narrowing slightly. The pale leader hoped that their children did not adopt their anxious traits, for he could barely handle himself; he could not fathom the idea of taking care of two mini Lachesis’. The thought nearly caused a shiver to trail down his spine, but he remained composed… for now. He would fret more when he was not in the presence of the blue-eyed sparrow, for he did not want to stress her out any further.

That was what Lake Worry was for, after all.

He did not know what to make of their situation but it did not stop him from enjoying whatever this was. The pale male seldom denied that they were mates when it was brought up by another, but he did not confirm it either. Just because they had children together and cared deeply for one another, whether they admitted it aloud or not, did not mean they were mates… did it?

He blinked sharply, casting away his thoughts as the sparrow spoke once more, breaking the silence that engulfed them. “We could make the den bigger,” he cooed, a crooked grin collapsing onto his maw. “Combine the infirmary and your den… make a super den…” The ghost nipped affectionately at Lilya’s shoulder as he spoke, his chartreuse eyes gleaming with mischief. The idea wasn’t terrible, but he knew Lavender and Lilliana would not comply. There was too much to see—they would resent their parents if they did not allow them to explore the woods surrounding the river.

If only Laddeus could join them, he thought glumly to himself as Lilya mentioned the other Hearthwood litters, but he dared voice his thoughts. He did not want to upset the sparrow; she had already been through enough. “You mean plenty of others to get into trouble with,” XIX mused, his expression void of the dark thoughts in his mind.

[Image: ds_by_a_yellow_bird-dc337jk.png]
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