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Dawnbreak
Uriens Vainglory

The Hunt (Open)

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They arrived well before dawn in trailers and SUVs but soon the sound of horses and hounds rang out across the lake. When first light finally came there were over a dozen, their dress a mixture of modern and times long past depending upon the nature of that particular fae, less flashy were the grooms and hound handlers with jeans and flannel shirts but there was a set of eight or nine that were clearly people of importance. Among them dressed in shades of grey and blue was the Regent of the UnSeelie though today he wore his glamor to hide the unusual coloring of his heritage.

This was the beginning of the logistics for the years wild hunt, a tradition that had fallen out of practice in the Alaska territory but Uriens was attempting to revive it in a desperate attempt to garner some unity among the lesser fae nobles who made their home here. He stood with his peers and the master of hounds who was explain to them the importance of having enough space for the hounds to rally lest they get underfoot of the horses.

Uriens was intent on the explanation when movement out of the corner of his eye caused his head to turn and he spotted something amiss

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It had been about four years now since Mykola had been bitten and found himself in Dawnbreak. It had been a slow adjustment, but the former marine suddenly found himself comfortable there. He wasn't really sure when it had happened. Initially he'd come to town, picked up what was meant to be a fleeting job as a hand on Redford Ranch... and then he'd just never left. 

He wasn't even sure how he'd become a member of the Savage River pack. It had just sort of happened. By the time he noticed...Well, it was said and done. 

It was probably about time he found an actual apartment or house in town, rather than living in the ranch's bachelor pad quarters. Mykola liked the proximity to the animals, though, and that the location gave his malinois Akelia all the room she wanted to roam. It also left him the option of riding whenever he pleased. 

Which was how the werewolf found himself riding up upon a strange sight as he approached Embershard Lake. Mykola eased back on the reigns of the mare he was riding as he took in the rather odd scene that greeted them. There was a small crowd unloading horses, dogs milling about - Mykola had to bark a sharp command at Akelia to keep her in place, and even still she was visibly wiggling. 

For the moment Mykola hovered back and observed, trying to discern exactly what this was. 

@Garmr

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Uriens spotted the man on horseback at distance and his interest caused the others in the party, to include the master of hounds, to turn their heads and look in the same direction.

"Friend of yours my lord?" asked the master of hounds in a form of Welsh that hadn't been heard in regular speech for well over a century or two.

"I recognize neither rider nor mount," the fae Regent said in a matter-of-fact tone that belied his curiosity. He raised his hand in salute to the man acknowledging his presence and seeing if would encourage him to come closer. As he did so he continued to speak to the master of hounds, "Ensure the hounds are ready for night fall Master Rhodri. Our quarry is best sought under the light of the moon."

"As you wish Lord Vainglory."

@DragonBlue

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For a time after he'd been bitten on that fateful camping trip, Mykola had started to take the 'curiosity killed the cat' phrase to heart. When he'd first found himself in Dawnbreak he'd kept to himself. Avoided doing anything that would draw him out into unwanted trouble. 

But along with that slowly built sense of security had come a tendency to stray more to the latter half of the phrase - where satisfaction 'brought the cat back' so to speak. Mykola glanced down at his dog while rubbing his shoulder. He was always a little wary bringing her around other canines without any kind of initial restraint on either side - mostly for the safety of the other dog. But the animals ahead behaved like hunting dogs which meant there wasn't much a chance of confrontation. 

Mykola finally gave a half shrug to himself and nudged the mare on to come in a little closer to try and figure out what this was. 

@Garmr

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Uriens stepped in the direction of the rider, waving off his entourage so that he did not approach the man in a threatening manner. With long strides of booted feet he closed the distance until he was but fifty feet away. In his guise of glamour Uriens was nothing particularly impressive to look at but the way he carried himself spoke of the authority he bore.

"Hail," he said, his voice carrying across the expanse and echoing off the water. His accent was there but it was a strange garble of Irish and Welsh along with something else that sounded Italian.  "Welcome stranger."

@DragonBlue

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The horse carried him easily along the water's edge as they drew in closer to the party.. Mykola still couldn't quite figure out what the affair was about. The sight struck him as one to be expected as a Renaissance or medieval fair was being set and prepared, but Embershard was too remote a location for something like that. 

As he neared one of the men approached. Mykola eased back on the reigns, watching the way the mare's ears seemed to prick forward intently at the individual, "Morning," he returned easily enough, snapping his fingers once when Akelia started to meander forward with her nose twitching. The dog sat down immediately and gave him a look, "Mind if I ask what all this is? Just to sate a little curiosity." 

@Garmr

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Uriens usually stern face broke into a smile at the stranger's question and he glanced briefly over his shoulder at the gathering. More vehicles were just arriving with the tents that would be used to keep the guests warm and fed before the hunt commenced and Uriens took on an air of satisfaction.

"Why we are preparing for the Hunt," the fae lord said in a way that implied that everyone should know what that was. Yet he looked back at the rider and upon seeing the lack of recognition he sighed inwardly, youth is oft wasted on the young. "Tonight we will ride to track the beast that inhabits the woods, the winner is given a boon or prize of his choosing, and then we feast until mid morn the next day."

Uriens then took the time to look over the man in an assessing way a general would a soldier in his ranks, "Would you care to join us? There is always room for guests."

@DragonBlue

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There were plenty of wolves in Dawnbreak that might have picked up on what was being referenced. Mykola, though, wasn't among them. His only thought was that none of this looked like any kind of affair legal for what he knew to be in season at the moment - not that he was inclined to make an issue of it either. 

It was the slight clarification that perked his interest, "Beast? Are you referring to the... what's it called... Wendigo? That creature that's been terrorizing half the town?" 

@Garmr

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Uriens face lit up with pleasure and he nodded, "I am indeed. The Hunt calls for something worthy of the courts attention... usually a stag is released from the fae lands or a spectral beast but the Wendigo is special. It promises to be a Hunt that is spoken of for years to come."

It was then that Uriens raised a single dark eyebrow to the man whom he suspected wasn't a man at all. Only the beast-like fae had the nose to smell out other creatures but no fae past their third century would not pick up on the subtle clues. The fact that the man talked about the Wendigo in such a casual tone told Uriens he was either dealing with a human with a spine of steel or a monster on par with the Wendigo. 

"Yet you have not answered my question," he continued, "Do you wish to join us?"

@DragonBlue

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With the invitation repeated Mykola shifted in the saddle. The Savage River alpha had not explicitly forbidden any of the pack to go out in search of the thing, but it had been strongly discouraged in such a way that there wasn't much difference. Mykola gnawed on the inside of his cheek for a moment as he internally tossed about arguments and counters, "I'm game," he nodded in the end, then looked at the Malinois at his side, "assuming your dogs can work with Akelia here being present." 

@Garmr

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The fae's eyes dropped to the dog and warmed in the way a man would admire a trained animal. "I will consult the Master of Hounds but given most of our company have brought their own dogs I do not think it will cause much issue. Though..."  He considered a moment and then looked at the man quite seriously, "She does not spook at spirits, does she not?"

@DragonBlue

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"Never that I've seen so far," Mykola shook his head once, "though I can't say we've encountered many - at least not since I've been able to recognize them," he ventured a little cautiously. He couldn't tell what this man was, but instinct said he wasn't human, "But she's a retired military dog, if that counts for anything. Been in the thick of things most can't even imagine and was always solid." 

@Garmr

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Uriens eyed the man very carefully when he stated that he 'recognized' ghosts. The fae lord set the information aside for while it was interesting it wasn't particularly relevant to the current moment, perhaps later. "I merely ask because some of the hounds tonight will be," Uriens lifted his shoulders in the briefest of shrugs. He motioned to where gathering of people he had left still waited for him, "Come. This morning we prepare, this afternoon we rest, and with the setting of the sun we shall hunt. Unless of course you need to fetch something you'll need tonight." 

@DragonBlue

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Uriens' followed the direction of the man's gaze with his eyes and noted the rifle. It was not adverse to the fae to use firearms but with their aversion to cold iron it was tricky. Uriens himself preferred a crossbow but he was, after all, a child of his age. "Then come," the fae lord gestured towards the company, "I will introduce you to our company, if you would mind giving me a name for them to call you by."

@DragonBlue

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"Given the nature of the gathering it is best if you call me by my title, everyone here will address me as Lord Vainglory," Uriens doubted the man knew anything about fae politics, few outside the courts did with the exception of perhaps a handful of the Lilin who made it their business to know everything. Uriens did not think this Mykola was a Lilin, he lacked the arrogance.

@DragonBlue

@Morrigan - shout out to the Lilin

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Well that was weird, Mykola thought to himself. 

"Alright then, sir," was what he said aloud, nodding once. For the sake of politeness he dismounted the mare he was riding, leading her along behind while he followed the stranger back to the rest of the party. 

He still wasn't entirely sure what the hell it was, but it was interesting. 

@Garmr

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Uriens continued to walk back towards the gathering of other fae. When they drew close everyone looked very human but there was something off about the way they carried themselves and no one smelled remotely human. For although glamour to conceal a number of things smell wasn't one of them.

They all looked at Mykola with interest and Uriens placed a hand upon the man's shoulder once they were in earshot, "This is Mykola, he will be joining us for the hunt. He is my guest" There was something very formal about the way Uriens said the words, and some of the company looked almost disappointed after he said it though they all bowed their heads in assent to his announcement.

@DragonBlue

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