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I'm just dreaming of tearing you apart — Wild Cherry Orchard 
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Played by Melorama who has 99 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IV. Advisor
Rochus Ward
Late morning, light snow. Open to anyone!

He trudged through the open snowy fields at a slow pace, taking his time to step carefully and make sure there were no burrows hidden under the snow for him to fall into. That was how a wolf twisted their ankle, and he couldn't afford to get injured now that he was on his own. He had been for a while yet, many months now and counting. There had been that brief stint with just him and Amondi, but that hadn't worked out very well, and now here he was, alone, but still searching for his children. Rochus still believed they were somewhere around here, as if Amondi had been around, surely they were as well.

With a great shake of his body, he sent the snow stuck to his fur flying in all directions, and gave a quick glare up at the sky. Of course it had decided to lightly snow on the day where most of his travel was in an open field, not a single tree nearby for him to huddle underneath. But that was alright, his coat was thick and he could handle a bit of snow. It would take a lot more than that to truly get under his skin, and with a deep sigh he continued onwards, ears flicking back against his skull as the wind began to pick up a bit.
(This post was last modified: Mar 15, 2022, 09:06 PM by Vayko.)
Played by Tasha who has 305 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Vayko
what i really need now is a double shot of crown

Vayko felt the need to get out and about. He needed to breathe in the fresh air a bit and think about his life choices, like how slipping on some ice could result in a bloody and possibly fractured nose… he preferred not to actually think about bleeding all over Clover for when felt like the twenty millionth time, actually… His eyes traced around the familiar fields to the north, dancing around the borders of the Creek and near his home… near the orchards that sprouted the wild cherries in the summer. Vayko was a man without a mission for once.

Normally, he moved with purpose, everywhere and anywhere was for a specific goal… but if this past year had taught him anything, it had been to enjoy the quiet moments that lingered and existed between the long stretches of chaos… What he hadn’t expected to find on his outing as he traipsed through snowy fields, was a vaguely familiar scent that he felt a natural pull towards. His eyes flashing caution as he made his way through… and widening when they found it’s source. It couldn’t be… could it? He hesitated to get his hopes up. Surely it couldn’t be. “Father?” He called out cautiously as his head dipped to the side, his tail cautiously still behind him as his head craned forward as if he were trying to get a better look.

Played by Melorama who has 99 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IV. Advisor
Rochus Ward
Rochus smelled the wolf before he heard them, the scent and voice familiar to him in a way that he could never forget, even when he would become senile and on the last legs of life. There was no uncertainty in his gaze as he stared at the other tawny male, his ears flicking forward, and noting the cautious stance. Had it really been so long that Vayko didn't recognise him, his own father? Or perhaps his son just didn't believe what he was seeing, but either way Rochus took a few confident steps forward, the hint of a smile on his face. He wasn't the most expressive wolf to begin with, but this was an occasion to be happy about.

"Vayko," he rumbled in a warmer tone than he usually would, coming to a stop in front of his son but leaving enough of a gap that they couldn't touch unless one of them stepped forward. Hugging wasn't his thing, even in more emotional situations, but that didn't mean he wasn't glad to see Vayko again. "It's been so long." Rochus could smell the myriad of scents on his son's coat, enough of them that there was no doubt in his mind Vayko was part of a pack, or at the very least a rogue band of loners. "Where is Sharlee?" If Vayko was here then surely his sister was nearby as well. Having both of his children around again would be good, and give him a more easy in to this group at Vayko was a part of, as what kind of children would they be if they turned him away like some random loner? Certainly not grateful ones at the very least.
Played by Tasha who has 305 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Vayko
what i really need now is a double shot of crown

There was… a smile on the man’s face. Surely, that couldn’t be his father. His father didn’t smile… the man he had known had been as stoic as the sun itself, never changing in it’s expressions… and yet, he knew him by name. The boy let a soft but polite smile onto his features as he dared to take a few steps forward himself. The comment came and he hummed softly. “Yes, it has. It took you long enough to find us.” There was that ever so defiant and bratty behavior as he kept his own stoic expression. His smile didn’t reach his eyes. He had truly never expected to see his parents again… so running into one now? He didn’t really know how to react. Truth be told, the older generation of Valles had let him and Vi both down quite a bit.

The question came and Vayko answered. “She’s safe, one of mine and Vi’s advisors.” He explained as he took a seat, his tail curling around his paws. “Viorel and I maintain an establishment nearby. We are the leaders of the pack. Aunt Modesto is my advisor, and Sharlee is Viorel’s. He has children now, a new generation.” There was a part of him that was yearning for his father’s pride… the pride that he had managed to claim a crown and that he had a land to call his own. “It wasn’t ideal circumstances, coming to be here... but we’ve made a home here… an empire.” He was quite proud.

Played by Melorama who has 99 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IV. Advisor
Rochus Ward
It was good to see his son hadn't become a pushover in his absence, and that he maintained at least a modicum of decorum. The idea of his only son becoming a... a sissy, was incomprehensible, and leave a bitter taste in his mouth from all the hard work he had put into raising the boy. Rochus didn't miss the note of defiance in Vayko's tone, and narrowed his eyes in response, fighting back the urge to curl his lip up in a sneer. Had his son been younger he may have taken a stand against the insubordination thrown at him, but Vayko was a grown wolf now, and any attempt to push back and put him in his place would likely result in just even more stubbornness. A pity really, that Vayko allowed his stubbornness to get in the way of the greatness he could achieve, and it certainly had not come from himself.

"I'm here now," he simply said in response, rolling back his shoulders to make their slight difference in height more noticeable. Rochus was still his father, and regardless of the fact that they had been separated for so long he believed there should be more respect given to him. Vayko may technically be an adult now, but he was still young and naïve, and had so much more to learn. He only hoped his son would still be open to the idea of learning from him.

His ears flicked forward at the mention of Sharlee being an advisor, and to Viorel of all wolves. That boy was co-leading with Vayko? Rochus managed to stop the flash of annoyance from appearing on his face at that knowledge, as well at the thought of Modesto's influence poisoning his son's mind. Sita's son didn't have the innate ability to lead; he was too mellifluous and soft, and let his heart guide him instead of his brain. He clenched his jaw at the further mention of children, sired by Viorel of course. The fact that Vayko had allowed all this to happen left him annoyed, and certainly not proud of his son, even though he could hear a hint of pride in the boy's tone. The fact that he had managed to create a new... empire as Vayko had put it, was overshadowed by the fact that he shared the responsibility of leading with his cousin. But Rochus knew that if he said that straight-up the rift between the two of them would be pushed further, and he needed to get as close to his son as possible. For now.

And so he instead dipped his head to the side, allowing a more prideful tone to seep into his words as he spoke praise to Vayko, praise that he was sure his son so desperately craved. "Well done, Vayko. You and your sister seem to have flourished well, and so has your cousin." Rochus didn't go as far as to actually say the words 'I'm proud of you', no, that would be taking it too far, and he most certainly wasn't, but his son didn't need to know that.
Played by Tasha who has 305 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Vayko
what i really need now is a double shot of crown

All of Vayko’s worst traits, he inherited from his father. With it came the steely gaze and the need to shut the world out. His mind was a prison for all the thoughts constantly bouncing around it because to reveal too much was to be weak. Still, these lands had weakened him in that regard. He had opened up, much to the credit of the wolves he now led. His father offered that he was there now, and Vayko raised an eyebrow at him, a demanding question falling from his lips. “What took you so long? Aunt Sita had found her way here, dropped a cub, left, and that cub is near a yearling by the time you managed to find us.” He needed to know. Had his parents genuinely looked for him? It was a question that had often haunted his sleep, even more so after his aunt had been driven from the pack.

Did he matter? Clearly Vi had not mattered enough to his siblings or mother to have them actually stick around… so what did the prince of chaos garner from his parents? Was there even a modicum of love in there? He so desperately craved it. He always had. “Where is mother? Did you bring her with you?” He had questions, and in Vayko’s mind, he had the power here. He had been betrayed one too many times by his parents’ generation to simply welcome his father back with open arms before learning some details that had led to his absence in the first place.

The statement fell and he hummed softly. They had flourished and done well… without him, without his mother, without Viorel’s parents whoever they may be… even Modesto had contributed little to their outright success, offering him guidance on issues that they had dealt with regardless. It felt like with each passing second, the more Vayko fell back into his old ways, the distance growing and the prison in his mind strengthening… was it some form of trauma response? He was not sure.

And yet still he yearned. He yearned to earn his father’s respect, his pride… he wanted to be everything his father wanted him to be. He wanted to do well… and he could not place why. He did not know why it mattered so much to him, only that it did and that he craved it more than he had anything before it. They had not found the Estuary, so they had found their own way. They had forged their own path and while he didn’t do it alone, it was his and he was proud of it.

Played by Melorama who has 99 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IV. Advisor
Rochus Ward
Had they been back at the Estuary Rochus would have scolded his son for using such a demanding tone at him, but out here he had no authority even as Vayko's father. And that very thought annoyed him to his core. His gaze narrowed as he tried to discern the reasoning behind the question. Was it accusatory? Or simply him being emotional about it. But at least it seemed as if his son cared if he was there or not, and Rochus knew that if he played his cards right he could make this situation work for him. And then Vayko asked about Amondi, and it took all his strength to not roll his eyes. He knew the boy was fond of her, of course what son wouldn't love their mother, but especially after the recent events, even the very thought of her brought a bitter taste to his mouth.

"Your mother and I were stolen away from the Estuary by these... creatures. We found each other for a short while, but then a great storm happened and we became separated." He paused his tale there for a moment, pretending as if he needed to take in a large gulp of air. It was a fine line between being emotional enough to prompt sympathy from his son, and putting it on too thickly and causing him to become suspicious. "I haven't seen her for many months, but I looked high and low for both her, as well as you and Sharlee, the entire time." Rochus looked at Vayko with a steely gaze, softening his eyes just enough so it seemed as if his cold exterior was crumbling just a touch. "I only wish she was here now, so we can all be a family again." He wasn't sure if Vayko would believe him, not knowing if the time since he saw his son last had been long enough that the dynamic between them had changed drastically enough that he no longer held any true sway over him.
Played by Tasha who has 305 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Vayko
what i really need now is a double shot of crown

The new land offered a chance to drift away from family. He had yet to replace his advisor after Modesto’s blowout. And yet… Vayko still felt drawn to the older generation. He still was not certain that he wanted to make the mistake of replacing Modesto with another older advisor… but it was something he considered if only for a moment. He still did not tell his father that his Aunt had been there and had been kicked out by Viorel for unsavory behavior… perhaps he should, to show strength.

Stolen away by creatures… it sounded like a similar story… and then a storm had torn them apart from one another. “A local source called them two legs. We were kept in strange cold boxes and left here. When we could not find our way to the sea, I had the idea to raise a kingdom here, Viorel helping as both of us were young and inexperienced in these things.” He really could have used his father’s guidance. Even his aunt had been found after the initial details had been worked out, though he knew his father’s chances of finding them had been slim with the information he had been given.

“Hopefully she will find her way back.” He stated, hearing as his father spoke of trying to find them the entire time. Something made the younger boy’s heart grow at that. “Family has lost much of it’s meaning… but I do hope for that too.” He dared to take a step forward, rising onto his paws. “Would you like to see my kingdom?” He was offering a home for Rochus to settle down in and at least recover. “We have full caches and a healer that can tend to any injuries you might have endured in your travels.” Formality overcame him.

Played by Staff who has 4,812 posts.
There is a small pile of bones gathered on the ground, there might be some marrow left in them. +2 Health
Played by Melorama who has 99 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IV. Advisor
Rochus Ward
He nodded along to Vayko's words, remembering the strangeness of the cold boxes even through the foggy memories. They seemed almost like a dream, where the harder he tried to think about them, the less he could recall. At the mention of his son, of Vayko, having the idea to start the new empire might have brought a bit of a smile to his face, if the whole thing wasn't soured by the fact that he had been co-leading with Viorel. Perhaps if he had been dropped with his son, he could have helped Vayko flourish without needing any assistance from the other boy.

"I hope so too," he said, biting his tongue to stop himself from saying what he really wanted. In truth Rochus hoped Amondi never returned, as her influence on their children was making them far too soft-hearted. They needed him to guide them to proper strength and power, and there was no room for being soft and gullible.

When Vayko offered to show him the kingdom the boy had helped make, Rochus simply nodded, dipping his head down in a more respectful manner than he normally would have, but he needed to do everything to appear as thankful as possible, lest he be turned away. He'd need to bide his time, but he was a patient wolf. "I would like to see this empire you have helped create," he said, as formal as ever. It was good to hear they had found a healer for the pack, but he would have to see firsthand whether this wolf was accurately qualified enough before agreeing with Vayko's sentiment.

He also took a step forward, his gaze flitting to the space beyond Vayko, wondering how far away the pack was. "Lead the way, son," Rochus said, just a hint of warmth in his tone on the last word.