ooc: So…is Hesari a part of a different Juska group, or mine?? For now, I'm gonna assume he's in mine. Correct me if I'm wrong!
Hazel's eyes narrowed. Though the fox's speech was good for a vermin - almost too good, at that - he talked too much. The fur bristling on the young leader's scruff settled by about a three hairs: he didn't trust the smooth-speaker. Like the lulling hiss of Asuli and all her dirt-gliding ilk, that charmed unwary travelers and the weak down her poisonous throat, this one had a way about him that set off the alarms in the warrior's mind. Even when they sheathed their weapons and stood open and peaceful, the bitter tang of distrust did not entirely fade on his tongue.
The smaller rodent on his side - the only one of the group not pointing his weapon with any harmful intent - looked the pair over. His eyes widened at the fox's visible pain, and though the arrows of the Pike Juska were never poisonous, they did use stone points, that could leave irreparable damage if it were not removed right away. A flicker of concern passed over the beast's features, but Hazel spoke before he could. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse," he growled, but likewise, he lowered his sword-point, prompting his followers to do the same. "The thrush is Juska-kill, and your lives are reserved by Juska Law. What we do with either of them is by my will alone."
"But if I may, Hazel?" The other spoke up at last, easily moving between the two parties as a buffer. Unlike the rest of the hunters, he sported no barbaric piercings, nor pelt-wraps of a slain enemy at his kilt. With a tongue as well-versed as a scholar, "I do not believe these two to bring much harm to us or this land, though, my lord would do well to consider the possibility that these wanderers saw no sign of territory, because that sign were removed…by a separate influence."
The group bristled immediately at the insinuation, and turned their heads as one to spot a possible neighboring enemy, as though daring the overgrown field to hide them within range. The alleged shaman held out his paws in a peaceful gesture when he addressed the fox, with brown eyes too large, too easy to betray emotion, for a rat, rimmed with bright-blue borders of paint on the coal stripes. He continued calmly and patiently."Newcomers. I am Crow. This is our Chief Hazel, and we are the Juskasen. Our current enemy leaves no room to squabble with you, nor waste blood; and if you - and you, Hazel - will permit me, I can tend to your wound."
Griff glared as Garreth let his bowstring slack, but didn't say a word aloud. Hazel snorted dismissively and turned away, leaving Crow to deal with it. What a surprise, the peace-making priest DIDN'T want to offer the trespassers' hearts to the gods. But, as much as he didn't want to admit it, the young shaman was right about having more pressing matters at paw.
He snatched up the bird and shoved it roughly into Hesari's paws. The newcomers had asylum for now - but if they had anything to do with their rivals, he would personally make sure that his brother didn't blatantly exploit another loophole in Juska Law: and put their skins on display at the border.