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only I will remain — Dead Empress Backwater 
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Played by Greyer who has 40 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
For @Eros regarding a potential pack role. c:

February 7th; Evening, almost sunset; Light Snow; 17.51° F, -8.05° C.

Anatole had bid his sister goodbye. He had tried his best and now was the time for the almost-yearling to make her own way in the world. Brielle was sharp, like the rest of Adelard and Woya's brood. Anatole considered her even better off for being the only one in her litter. The one-on-one attention had made her smarter and more independent. It felt only right to release her to the wilderness. To find the truth to the questions her brother could not answer.

It was hard to see her go, but the older Gerau had made up his mind to set down roots in the Backwater. He wanted to make something of himself, to show the Valles and their kin that he was one of them. If she ever needed him again, she knew now where to look and come back to.

At 20 months old, Anatole felt mature enough to take on some sort of dedicated pack role. He had watched his aunt Aubine do her busy work. He understood the passion that drove and worked through Oleander as he took care of others. A wave of warmth came over him as he recounted how the Medic handled the porcupine and the damage it had done in its wake. Anatole wanted that for himself. A tiny part of him even dared Oleander to see him now. Like an equal... but, not yet. There were words to be exchanged first.

The day was starting to come to a close. The light snowstorm that had arrived in the night continued with no signs of letting up. Anatole arrived at the pack den, but all was quiet. His ears twitched to and fro, unsure of who might be inside. Regardless, he turned his attention outward into the forest. His paws were itchy and he needed to do something about it. He half-hoped he might cross paths with one of the Leaders, to bend their ear for some advice.
Played by Cade who has 501 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
Eros had said his own goodbye today, and was left feeling a bit hollow from it. Rather than sit with his emotions, he had skipped his day's rest and worked doggedly throughout the sun's presence. When finally he was thoroughly exhausted, much too tired to think deeply, he headed back to the pack's communal den.

Anatole's darkly masked features stood out through the trees as the young alpha neared, eyes clearly searching. Eros' curiosity was mild. He didn't know much about the yearling and his younger sister, and had had far too much family of his own to tend to throughout his sparse downtime to dedicate real time for the Gerau siblings. Now didn't feel like the best opportunity to address that particular shortcoming, but if the teen needed something, the Valle would be honor-bound to assist as always.

"Hey," he greeted, tail wagging lazily at his back.
Played by Greyer who has 40 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
Patience had always been one of Anatole's greatest virtues. In his younger days, it was seen as downright stubbornness. But, now, it meant he could keep focused on one solitary task, stand his ground in an argument, or wait a while for someone or something to come by... He heard Eros' approaching steps and had taken a seat, but had not expected to see the Leader this soon. Just his luck. His ears picked up.

"Hey," a casual greeting caught his attention.

"'Lo," he returned, his tail picking up in a brief wag, head ducking slightly so as not to sit too tall. "Um, I..." He wondered now if it was too forward of a request. "Brielle's gone." It was a terrible start and a bit too heart-on-the-sleeve. It took a second to compose himself again with a slight shake of his head. In his head, he scrambled to piece his sentences together, to carry the conversation. He didn't want Eros to think that he was leaving too...

There was an attempt to pull his lips into something like a smile. His ears fell lax and faced forward. There was no room for concern, especially with his adventure-bound sister. "But, I have decided to stay." His gaze fell to Eros' chest, "When we came here, I thought my father would find us. I... don't know what to think now." His gaze flickered up to the Leader's face then drew downward again, "But, I do know that I would like a..." Oh, what was a good word... "Affectation. An... assignment." A small pause to search his brain for something more to describe what he felt and what he wanted, "My Aunt Aubine, she help raise me. Almost like errand boy. She was an Advisor and Healer in her new pack. Had me fetch all kinds of things. I can do that for you if you'd like?"
(This post was last modified: Feb 21, 2024, 11:57 PM by Anatole.)
there used to be a greying tower
ANATOLE GERAU
alone on the sea
Played by Cade who has 501 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
Or maybe it was altogether too late. Eros blinked back at Ana as he made that simple statement, so much more standing just behind it. His smile fell and concern pulled gently at his tawny features, questions promptly piling up behind his eyes. The most prominent of which was, did she need help? That brief moment of silence just strengthened his worry, but then Anatole purposefully shifted his demeanor into something more positive and while still confused, Eros felt a bit relieved.

Had... Brielle chosen to leave, then? Had living here really been so hard for her? Was she going to be okay out on her own, not even a year old yet? If she were blood, not having answers to these questions would have been unacceptable. As she wasn't, he would take her brother's lead, and it seemed they were moving on. He had many more questions now, and an awareness that he might not have all the time in the world for getting to them. Still, the present was not yet the right moment.

Eros' own ears perked as Anatole's request became clear. He had been seeking someone to take on a the role of scout, his only way of helping @Archer and his niece now that he was alpha. None of the yearlings were his first choice, but no one else was stepping forward. If Tole was willing to, Eros would take it. After all, the teen had come from the wilderness - he had an advantage in navigating it. The experience he outlined matched well enough in the young Valle's mind.

"Absolutely. Some of the children have gone missing, and we need a reliable set of eyes outside of the pack territory looking for them. Could I count on you for that?"
Played by Greyer who has 40 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
“Absolutely,” Eros answered. Anatole’s brows rose, heart fluttering in his chest. ”Some of the children have gone missing, and we need a reliable set of eyes outside of the pack territory looking for them. Could I count on you for that?”

The yearling’s tail began to wave, sweeping up any snow that had not been packed down. His head nodded a few times, already excited for the days to come. “You can count on me, sir.” Finally, a genuine smile.

Anatole had no idea of the missing children, having only minded the one cub who was related to him. He wondered now if he would be sent out to track them, to bring them home, or otherwise. “Just let me know what and who I should be on the lookout for.” Of course there was no helping trails that had gone cold or been wiped out time and time again by winter storms. Surely both of them knew that. “How long am I allowed to stay out before I’m no longer considered pack?”
there used to be a greying tower
ANATOLE GERAU
alone on the sea
Played by Cade who has 501 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
Eros couldn't help but perk up as well at the younger wolf's reaction, tail mirroring Anatole's motion. It meant all the more if it was something that the yearling was pleased with, and gave him that little bit more reassurance that the assignment would be taken seriously.

"Try not to be gone any longer than half a moon at a time, yeah? I don't wanna end up worrying about you too," his eyes pinched a touch around his broad smile, the truth of the matter much darker than he'd like to fully face. Wolves went missing all the time.

"No running yourself ragged, okay?" If Tole wanted to dedicate so much time to this new role, Eros wouldn't stand in his way, but he did still want him safe, rested and well-fed as a pack wolf should be.

He got a bit somber then, tone lowering just a touch. It wasn't something he wanted too many ears hearing him admit, that he valued one pup in particular over the other two.

"My biggest priority is finding my brother's daughter, Ally. She's got markings like I do," a split-second pause, it was the first time that had consciously clicked, "uh, split eyes. One yellow, one blue."
(This post was last modified: Feb 29, 2024, 02:04 AM by Eros.)
Played by Greyer who has 40 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
To find his eagerness matched, perhaps even reflected back to him was heartening, to say the least. Whatever Eros asked, Anatole was determined to follow through.

Follow through...


The words and feelings that came along with comprehending it made him swallow hard. Something must have happened to Adelard along the way back to Relic Lore. Anatole was sure of it. Otherwise, he was sure his father would have been here by now.

"Try not to be gone any longer than half a moon at a time, yeah?" Eros clarified. Anatole nodded once. "I don't wanna end up worrying about you too."

In his head, he shrugged, as if to relieve himself of a sour taste at the back of his tongue. He was going to do what Adelard could not... what every Gerau should do by instinct alone. He would return home time and time and time again.

"No running yourself ragged, okay?" came the Leader's next instruction.

"Yes, sir," Anatole replied, the words brief but his tone respectful and understanding. As Eros' next words came, a task became clear. A little something else for the yearling to consider. He was to find Ally, Eros' look-alike niece. In Anatole's mind, he pictured a svelter Eros, younger in build and possibly mentality... made unique with a mismatched blue eye. He half-mused if she and Brielle would have been agemates... or even friends.

"I will keep an eye out for her," he nodded one last time. "Anything and anyone else I find, I will let you know."

A small smile assured Eros. He would follow through. No matter what. However, there was one more thing... and, these days, it was hard to keep his mind from straying to it.

"You haven't happened to see Oleander recently, have you?" Heat prickled at the back of his neck, the way it usually did when he thought of the Medic. "Figured if I managed permission to scout, I-I could ask if he needed any supplies."
there used to be a greying tower
ANATOLE GERAU
alone on the sea
Played by Cade who has 501 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
'Yes, sir.'

It still felt odd, basically getting the same treatment his friends had given @Viorel when they were kids. Being the adult, the authority figure, the anchor. Growing up still remained a bittersweet thing.

"Thank you," he would tell the younger man, before his brother's name the unexpectedly turned up. Eros found nothing suspicious about the inquiry. In fact, his reaction was an audible "aww," a glint of pride taking up in his eye. Impressed that Anatole was being so thorough already in his role, taking the initiative to help others in their roles. Such thoughtfulness would certainly serve him well in the Backwater, and the leader hoped it would last as time went on.

"I last saw him at breakfast, but he's got a den not far from the infirmary and also likes being around the water. @Sage might know, too, if ya run into her. I'm sure he'll appreciate it very much. Find @Clover before you set out too, yeah? The other two kids are hers, @Jacynth's siblings."