The Leaping Hart is a new pack that has taken over the territory once owned by the Nantika Clan. This pack, operated by its alpha Pree and her brother, the beta Insólito, is quite different in nature from its neighbors; neither good nor evil, it exists mostly to sustain itself in whatever way it can. The Leaping Hart provides entertainment to its neighbors, in the myriad forms that entertainment can come in. Members of this pack must work, and most Leaping Hart lupes have learned a variety of handy skills, since the pack is so small and new and there are a million things that need doing. Pree is currently working to establish her pack within the larger community.
Members and Pack RolesEdit
The idea for the Leaping Hart pack began among three siblings in their adolescence - the aforementioned Insolito and Pree, and their sister Phoebe. Not being a group of lupes renowned for their hunting prowess or fighting abilities, Pree (with her brother's help, and presumably moral support and useless advice from her sister) devised an idea for a pack that made its way by exchanging unusual services and atmosphere for food and other supplies from its neighbors. The idea snowballed from there, rolling up new lupes along the way, and by the time the group came upon the abandoned territory of the Nantikas, the bones of the Leaping Hart had been put in place: a pack that served entertainment, aesthetic beauty, and the needs of the flesh, in exchange for the goods that allowed it to keep on doing the same. In matters of altering the territory to suit their needs (paths made, dens dug, performers placed), Insolito and Pree often work together. Otherwise, Soli is king in the realm of props, costumes, music and performance, and Pree handles everything else, from managing daily schedules to playing hostess, or traveling out to play the friendly ambassador for her pack.
Herein lies all the glitz and glamor of the pack: Soli and his minions are working their TAILS off, crawling all over the public territory hanging trinkets and painting designs, turning the uninhabited space into a destination. Regardless of what they signed on for, everyone in the pack is given some kind of crafting task if they make the mistake of sitting around doing nothing. Instruments, costumes and sets need to be made! Songs and acts need to be written and rehearsed! Soli is indomitable and constantly brainstorming about what feats of creation he and his crew can achieve. Currently, he and Phoebe are the only lupes that fall solely into the ranks of performer/creator.
The darker twin of Leaping Hart entertainment is, of course, organized prostitution. This would seem like a weird direction to take the pack to anyone who hadn't met Pree's mother. Regardless, the Leaping Hart caters to lupes who are interested in having a good time without consequences, and is staffed, with varying levels of comfortability with the role, by a group of lupes fondly referred to as the Girls. These lupes are Sunset, Darling, and Dashing, who is not a girl but nevertheless a Girl.
Security and SupportEdit
Pree keeps around a number of lupes with far less glamorous (or scandalous) job titles. Most important are her lupes on security detail, those delightful bouncers, Gideon (who can sing), Senova (who also occasionally does sharpshooting performances) and Pearl Gray (who refuses to ever perform).
Thrush is the mysterious lupe in charge of keeping everyone healthy and doing away with the occasional unwanted pregnancy.
The grounds of the Leaping Hart are located where the eastern border of the Dark Forest begins to meet the Wilderness Mountains in hills and bluffs. The perimeter of their guarded territory is modest-sized, branching outwards from an expansive clearing nestled between bluffs on its eastern side and heavy forest to the north and west. The clearing's southward exit descends to the plains below, while the forest immediately surrounding has been cultivated somewhat, lined with footpaths and secret dens. Further north, there lies another, more modest clearing, a darker and more intimate space heavily overshadowed by the bluffs. Past these spaces are more hills and forest, land considered part of Leaping Hart territory, but loosely guarded.
Put an artist in charge, and the main location in your pack will get a silly name. The Hart, so named for its central location and its appropos decoration (deer motifs, everywhere), refers to the southern clearing dominated by a staggeringly large and unique tree. This tree, once the pulsing heart of the Nantikas, sprawls outward and upward, the bulging, sinuous forms of its trunk and boughs evoking the body of some complicated animal. Its trunk is exceptionally wide, and cleaved in places so that even terrestrial animals can scale it with little trouble, to find the strange nests and hollows formed above and within. Carvings, old runes and decorations, are visible on much of the tree's surface; fire damage has obscured some of them, but beneath the rimelike layer of charred bark lie unnumbered nameless sigils, etched deep and sticky with sap. Overhead, differing from bough to bough, a dozen different shapes of leaf block out the sky.
Beneath this vegetal beast, in and around its limblike roots, exists a warrenlike system of tunnels. The pack mainly uses this space for storage of props and supplies. Stretching southward from the base of the tree, the terrain is grassy and flat; this is the pack's main public area, and the grounds for their performances.
North of the Hart tree, the forest presses in close, and the clearing funnels into a green and shady path that wanders out into the territory. Someday, the Gardens will be cultivated and extensive, but for now they remain a looping, mazelike network of footpaths through dark forest, intimately leading to the working dens of the Girls.
North of the Gardens, where the bluffs begin to push and lean into the forest, resides the pack's auxillary clearing, a separate space to entertain US's darker faction. Smaller than the Hart's clearing by more than half, this space fails to distract from the winding path that leads into the Gardens from its southern corner.
Tree-covered bluffs sit against the whole of the Leaping Hart's eastern side; they are not easily accessible within the territory, except by a series of careful leaps and climbs from the Hart tree, or a pair of footpaths scaling the side of the bluff nearby. It is on the bluff that butts against the clearing of the Hart that most pack members choose to dig their dens and spend their leisure time.
The Font Tree, or the HartEdit
Seasons ago, a great atrocity played out in the Hart's wide clearing; the wicked lupe Kaeerah arrived and, with her escort, obliterated the Nantika Clan and, it had seemed, destroyed their sacred tree. However, seasons later, the Leaping Hart lupes have found the enormous tree alive and shaking off its awful damage. It's apparent that some supernatural power exists deep in those roots, but whatever that power is, and what might be done with it, remains a mystery to the pack.
Ghosts and DemonsEdit
Once, back in the days of Nantika, there was a little lupe named Faeori - a little lupe who had a demon that fed on justice. Faeori has passed on, but his demon remains, an intangible entity for the must part, until the situation arises where a little ironic justice is needed. Pack members and visitors alike will learn that the Leaping Hart is a harrowing place in which to break rules.
Managing a neutral territory in a warzone is stressful! Once the inevitable happens and factions clash within her borders, Pree will head out to win some supernatural protection from Ulryk and his Shield kin.
Pree is angling to cater to everyone in the area - everyone, so long as they're willing to behave, and deal fairly. Since her pack is still in the process of being established, she has only gotten so far as to begin meeting with members of various packs; she's still in information-gatherig mode.
Pages in category "Lupes of the Leaping Hart"
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