Event: Encounter
#1
Creature Event
Beasts will always linger, deep within the wood

Something lingers, deep within the evergreen trees. A creature far beyond the strength of a single wolf or wolfess. It breathes, steady and strong; and with purpose. Perhaps, searching the many scents which lingers on the gentle, winter breeze — in search of its next victim. Do you continue without reserve or do you take, just a moment's breath, to observe your surroundings before entering the wood?
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#2
It did not take long before Baug was put to work, but he found that he enjoyed it more than anything in the world. No longer was he traversing the White on his own, struggling through every avenue of life. Now, accompanied by allies wherever he went, he could feel safe and secure. Perhaps not entirely - no one was entirely safe at any moment, really - but enough to allow him to relax a little. Of course, he did not relax. There were paths to forge and strange new places to investigate. Scents to track. Beasts to scout out, report back to the others - something he'd taken a keen interest in. It was so very different from the hunting style he had grown up with; so much more involved. Baug imagined that he would never truly master it. He had not grown up within Vaehlus and did not possess whatever inherent skills these creatures were born with... But he had his own style, something new to bring to the fold. A northern etiquette that, if he was honest with himself, Baug believed would work wonders here.

So when he found a fresh scent among the evergreens of something strange and entirely foreign, not only was he elated - he was tenacious. The boy broke away from the others without a word and went careening between the trees, bludgeoning his way if he had to, and paid little mind to the ruckus he created in the process. No doubt the others would find him without much issue, as he'd left a natural path behind himself. The path opened up to a deepening in the earth, for the ground sloped drastically, and the snow was suddenly up to Baug's shoulders. He tried to pull himself free a few times and resorted to slogging his way through, at least until he'd found some flattened branches and a second trail.

Whatever had made this trail... It wasn't something he was familiar with. There was no describing the marks in the ice nor the size of the creature, and to be truthful, Baug was not mindful enough to notice the gap. He merely took the chance to leap from the dense and cold mess, landing squarely atop some of the fresh evergreen boughs (which creaked beneath his weight), and then began to snort their scent in to his nose. Their aroma was overpowering and musty enough to make him scrunch his snout a few times, even try not to sneeze to aggressively - but sneeze he did, and once that moment passed, he took another to collect himself.
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#3
Archelaus

Where in the hell are you going? He thought to himself, small interest now lightening up his expression. Now he wasn’t necessarily angry at the show of desertion from the male, but he was greatly disappointed in him nonetheless. Vaehlus wolves were free to roam where they chose, he knew this, but in the midst of a hunting party, in the middle of a cold, hard and brutal winter. Something more was playing beneath the surface and Archelaus made it his mission to find out what.

His paw steps were quiet against the crunching sounds of the snow and he stalked merely a good few feet away from the wolf, making sure his body was hidden through the towering trees. He didn’t want to be seen yet. No not yet, not until he found out why.

Though as the deserter continued to make his way through the forest, moving through the makeshift path that was already made, Archelaus’ attention abruptly fixated on that. What in the name of— had made that? His nose poked at the air as he tried to get a scent, tried to find out what creature they were about to deal with, but he was only left with an unfamiliar taste against his tongue.

In those few short moments that he had stopped to smell the roses, the male in front of him had disappeared. Archelaus’ heart beat quicker and his gaze hardened as he searched the cold, white forest around him. Now where the hell did he go? Grumbling to himself, he relied on his nose, searching for the wolf’s own familiar scent and keeping an eye out for whatever was patrolling through these trees.

Whatever it was, it wasn’t getting away. Not on his watch.

 

@Baug
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#4
[[ Ooc ;; Sorry! I accidentally deleted my post before. ]]

The herds were truly testing them on this day. Rosewood couldn't help but grit his teeth as he made his way through the deep snow, skirting the edge of the Nestlewood and casting it wary golden glances every couple of steps. The place was a death trap. A maze of trees and shadow, brambles and beasts. He put on a strong face when he was among his fellows, but even just being in its vicinity was making his fur stand on end.

Gram would have a saying for this sort of thing. Something to explain away Rosewood's conviction that this was a bad omen. What creature willingly grazes so near to danger? Oh, and --

He came to an abrupt halt at the sight of a trail, clear as day and smelling of tribe, leading from the point he stood and bounding unevenly into the trees. A ragged and frustrated sigh leaked from his throat, more a whine than a whoosh of air. Great. So it wasn't just the herd that had lost its mind. Now his own people were skipping straight into the teeth of the unknown. Foolish! he thought, edging forward to find another, second trail. Someone going to bring the first back? Perhaps it was not his problem, after all...

But his gut churned at that particular cowardice. His uneasy feeling was made all the worse by the sight of birds taking flight from the treetops, a cloud of black feathers arcing up and away toward the clouds. Something is wrong. From such a distance Rosewood had no way of knowing that so far the only something was a hearty snuffle and a sneeze.

In spite of his initial hesitation Rosewood ultimately followed, eyes sharp and ears ready to catch any further sounds. Yet the woods were quiet, eerily so. All he could hear was the swish, swish, swish of his own feet through the deeper parts of the snow as he navigated the underbrush and roots.

But it wasn't long before he felt nevertheless that his concerns were thoroughly justified. Mingled with the first two trails was something else. Something he was not familiar with. And gods, but on seeing the evidence he did not want to be familiar with it. It made his mouth go dry. They should not be here.

He lost his path briefly because of the distraction, and consequently, it was Baug that Rosewood found first, not Archelaus. And then he could not place the younger wolf's name in his head, so on seeing the flash of copper fur through the trees he only managed to muster up an accusing squint right off the bat. He played several scenarios through his head: in all of them, he rounded up the death-wish kid and brought him back to safer ground. However, in none of them did he account for the proximity of the trail from that other thing he had caught a whiff of before, and on exiting the trees with his chastisement at the ready he performed an involuntary double take. Oh, this was not good at all. He clamped his mouth shut with a click, nostrils flaring.

"You!" he hissed, voice urgent but low. "Young..." His golden eyes narrowed to slits. He still couldn't come up with the name, and truly this wolf was not so much younger than he himself was. Ugh, but there was no time for this. He gestured sharply with his head instead, away from the...the trail of the beast. Could it be anything else? "Get away from there, now! It is not safe."

[[ Avatar drawn by nanuukk, chibi by sucioperro 
commissioned from my account "goatkisser" on DA ]]
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#5
Large obsidian paws crunched through the powdered snow, his heavy steps detonating like small bombs every time his feet hit the ground. The world around him had remained as it had always been, imprisoned in a glare-white silence. Nothing sounded, nothing stirred, nothing sang, only the faint echos of what appeared to be a sneeze lingered gently on the icy breeze. The endless winters slavering fangs had come and gone once again, its lacerating winds had stripped the last leaves from the trees, leaving them naked and brooding in a harsh world. They were wrapped in their surgical coats now, groaning under the weight of the snow. Occasionally, a great limb would creak, crack and collapse. Sounding like an explosion going through the forest. Other than that, an alien serenity garbed the forest. There was no dawn chorus, no symphony of sound, no avian orchestra, nothing but the endless crunch of the mans paws. The world was entombed in a dome of silence, winter’s deadly clutch had seemingly strangled and stifled all life from the land. Its scavenging skies had compressed down upon the forest, surveying it with a deadly malice. The rains it had brought with it was bitter, like ice-silver bullets of spite. It had gashed and gouged at every living thing, sparing no one. Doom-laden clouds, bloated with hatred, had roiled in the sky before unleashing their vengeful wares. Now that the blaring of the wind and blasting of the rain was over. This was the aftershock. The world was becalmed. The furious winter tempests had given too much of themselves. They were spent. High above him, the last of the morning stars were winking out. 

They flashed their last, like bling-silver grains of sand in the dawn sky. Their bejeweled brilliance fading into nothingness was a holy wonder to behold. A ghostly, orb-white, winter moon hung there, imitating a pale strobe light. A corona of shimmering yellow ringed its dying glory. The sky around it was a wide sheet of grate-grey, hemmed in the horizon with a plum-purple tinge. It was a snow sky, the gods perfect gift for such a blight. Thin snowflakes floated down on him, sylph-like in their airy silence. They created a mantle of Lapland-white. When they landed, they glinted like pulverized diamond dust. It was as if he was walking through an outdoor version of the mines of Solomon, a sparkling cloak of white and silver. Far below him, coils of tree's encased the steep decline of a cliff face just to the right of him, large paws were careful upon trekking the snow laden ground, the tops of the gnarled tree's drifted up from sleepy hamlets. The cocoon of silence was ruptured by the sound of another, there voice hissed along the wind speaking of untold dangers. Quietly the beasts blocky head would crane in the voices direction, molten gaze filtering through the strangled tree's catching sign of two others, one's coppery hue radiated in the morning Sun. Causing the beast's gaze to falter before lingering on tawny caped wolf in white. From his height, the forest floor looked like a frozen salver of polished glass, the golden gleam of the sun curling across the crystal dust in a hazy glow of muted gold. 

Their trail had been unnoticed until now when molten hues surveyed the damage that laid wake beneath him, a large beaten path darted roughly to the north, gnarled tree's bent and splintered, deep impressions in the ice left a questioning glance to befall the strangers in his mulled silence. Quickly his gaze would decipher the trail, in its vast distance, the peaks of the mountains were wreathed in a necklace of snow, the widened path winding mercilessly through them. Slowly the sun was coming up behind one of them, looking like a glowing torch as its full majesty was blocked by the mountains enormity. It threw down its watery shards of sunlight in vain. Its power was muted by nature’s iron-clad laws. Nothing it could do could banish the wonderland of white beneath it. Its only effect was to smash the flint-grey sky into wonderful striations of yellow, pink and orange. It was enough. The primal beauty of the land had faltered. All around him the snow flashed and glittered like hell-fire as the suns rays filtered dangerously across the expanse of the land. The beast would still at his perch above the others, his silence eluding his presence from those around him as the man's scared nose scented the earth around him, the only thing that drifted freely was the smell of tribe, the faint scents of the ones below and yet another had been lingering. Perhaps it too was watching from afar. It was then that the stench of something unknown perfumed the air, trailing the fresh scents like stale earth. Tattered ears would perk forward, caressing the blockiness that was his crown as he stood at the mouth of the beaten path.
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#6
Creature Event
Something's coming, something's on its way

The creature takes to the trees, its limbs quaking beneath the sheer weight of him. He has found something — the scent of unwelcome, squirming vermin within his territory. They have arrived uninvited, to steal and pillage, as wolves often do. The creature's hackles raise, and he is engulfed with a single predatory instinct: defending what is rightfully his.

He lifts his muzzle towards the skies, announcing his presence with a wail more chilling than winter's bite. It serves as both a warning and a challenge. Ushering forth the strong and the bold; and signifying to the weak, the cowardice, and perhaps, the intelligent to flee or hide. With powerful hind legs, he leaps from his perch within the canopies, and lands within the deep snows which reside beneath him. His dark, hulking frame is a vision of nightmares as he steps from the concealment of shadow.

He is weathered and worn, his hide decorated with many scars and patches of fur torn from his skin, but let this not be mistaken for weakness. Let this be a warning. A clear indicator that he has fought and won many times before.


@Baug @Archelaus @Rosewood @Rowtag
https://open.spotify.com/track/5krqquCaPMDQ7tPWY8HcA2

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#7
"You -!" A voice calls from behind him, but Baug is crashing through the trees and doesn't notice anything until it is too late. he stops in his tracks, reversing as if he is a tamed animal and someone is yarding on the reins; nose down, neck rising up, he stumbles and pirouettes at the same time, not at all graceful. The stranger is watching him, but to Baug it is not a stranger. He doesn't have a name for everyone of the pack yet, but he has seen many of them in passing - as he'd lurked on the outskirts for so long - and the face that meets his eyes is vaguely familiar for that same reason. He quickly corrects the stranger's fumbling, naming himself: "Baug," which sounds more like a grunt than anything coherent; yet before anything else can occur, something seems to fall from the treetops and deep in to the snowbank. The fwump of the body landing causes Baug to duck and spin again, except all that he sees is snow rising up as a cloud. He reverses hastily and side-steps against Rosewood, fumbling for a place to hide (or at the very least, to make a wall of bodies so that the creature could be intimidated, thus making it less likely to attack). This happens quickly - and more or less, Baug kicks Rosewood and steps on his paws, not realizing his proximity as his cowardice shows.

The roar comes next; like an avalanche, cacophonous and rolling, sending an increasingly powerful gloom upon Baug. He thinks he glimpses the creature as the snow settles, but he isn't sure. It could've been anything - another wolf, someone from the hunting party, a shadow - but the boy is filled with such an intense dread that he feels his spirit wilt, and he doesn't know what else to do besides back away.
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#8
Archelaus


Archelaus cursed to himself beneath his breath as he turned to look behind him. No one. Nothing. The wolf he was following was gone and now he was left, alone in the forest, confused as to where he had disappeared off to.

Grumbling to himself with a mild case of irritation, he moved to scout out the trail, the ground, the forest; searching for anything but that beast that was clearly there. Archelaus could feel it. It was lurking. Watching. Waiting. It wouldn’t take long for the thing to grow angry and reveal itself, and if Baug wasn’t careful enough…The wolves of Vaehlus would have yet another death to mourn.

A low growl echoed through the forest as Archelaus caught the scent of not one, but two Vaehlus wolves other than himself. The hell? Now what in the name of god was going on here? Two deserters? Two rouges leaving a perfectly planned out hunting party?

Not on his watch.

Though as he followed the scents, his paws quiet against the crunching of the white snow, it would be a lie to say that Archelaus hadn’t picked up yet another wolf growing closer towards them. Ounamis. Fucking great, they were here too?

His irritation was growing, his patience dwindling as he made his way closer and closer towards his own comrades. What the fuck was a Ounamis wolf doing here? Where was his little tribe? Shouldn’t he be running off to them? Or did he think he could pull the wool over their eyes and kill all three of them without getting caught?

Archelaus trusted very little, but there was no trust whatsoever to a wolf who reeked of the Ounamis stench. That was a tribe he just didn’t want to fuck with. To deal with their haughty behavior and arrogance. No thank you. But—

As his thoughts were continuing to rampage in his mind, Archelaus was cut short by the growl and what he marked off as a scream of whatever beast had made the path in the first place.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

They were dead already. Archelaus couldn’t leave, he knew that. He needed to protect his own, and without even a moment of thought, he kicked off his back legs and raced towards the sound of the beast despite his own self interests.

“We need to leave,” He barked out urgently as he came face to face with two of his own tribe mates. His golden gaze wearily moved up ahead, to stare past Baug and Rosewood to see a cloud of white snow dissipate in the air. The creature wasn’t completely visible just yet, but even without completely seeing it, Archelaus knew it was big. His head lowered defensively, hiding his neck in the process as his honeyed eyes narrowed, “Now.” He growled.

But in all honesty, Archelaus didn’t know if they even had the time to run. The only option that could be standing in their way of survival was to fight it. But how?

 

@Baug
@Rosewood
@Rowtag
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#9
Raising her head lazily, peering about as rays of light signifying daytime lit up her world, Riven took a moment to grimace at the idea of waking up. Just a moment. Then she remembered she was late. Jolting up quite unceremoniously she blinked her eyes in an attempt to adjust quicker; stumbling out into the open in an attempt to start the day at a sprinting pace. Risking some nasty spills she managed to get going well enough. At least, she didn’t fall onto her face. Miserable, and cold at this point, she hoped she would make it in time to see some sort of action. However, when she reached the rest of the group it seemed they were flustered. A few of them had taken off on their own? Well, she wasn’t going to miss that.

New destination in mind, Riven kept up her pace into Nestlewood. The scents of her tribemates getting stronger with each step. So was the scent of… something else. It wasn’t anything good like food. It was intimidating somehow, dangerous. Likely something mutated with half a million teeth and the power to eat little wolves for breakfast. Hopefully the Vaehlus wolves had caught the scent too and had the smarts to keep well away. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be so lucky.

The thunderous roar that broke the dead silence of the forest whipped across Riven’s ears as though lightning had struck her. Stopping in surprise she grimaced, “Shit!” Again she took off, faster this time and with a silence much like the trees around her. Practically flying across the ground, she caught sight of her tribemates. They weren’t dead yet at least, but oh boy had they picked the wrong fight. The monster that faced them looked poised to attack and it was probably too late for them to run. There were very limited options left, and Riven was about to decide for them.
 
Hoping she hadn’t been seen just yet, that perhaps the beast stayed focused on the wolves in front of it, Riven raced around the trees to come at the thing from the side. Give it a distraction so the heavier set wolves could get in to do some damage. After all she was fast, hopefully fast enough to keep out of its grasp. Like a dart she lunged at the creature, aiming to get her teeth around a back leg and slow it down. She could only believe in her tribemates to react accordingly and not be too stunned by her rash actions. And if they ran? Well, they’d have a head start and her ghost to haunt them if she didn’t make it. Now that there was no turning back and the time for stealth was over she snarled and bit down hard: focusing everything on taking this hellspawn down. They didn’t have to kill it. They just had to make sure it couldn’t kill them.
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#10
Baug. Was that some sort of a...a curse?  It sounded like a word someone might bark out to ease the pain of a suddenly stubbed toe.  Rosewood opened his mouth to reply, offended by what he had misunderstood.  But he didn't have the chance -- perhaps he'd appreciate as much later, for he was saved the embarrassment -- of defending himself against his tribemate's name.  From bad to worse, things around him seemed to fall apart so quickly it made his head spin.

No, no, his head was literally spinning.  Though Rosewood hadn't remembered the russet boy's name at first he committed it sharply to memory now, marked it in a sudden clicking of teeth and a hiss of pain as he was trampled.  He realized the connection in the midst of struggling to untangle his long legs from the jumble, and determined that yes he would indeed be using it as a curse in very short order.  

The roar put a stop to that, too.  All of Rosewood's fur stood on end, a crawling, chill feeling snaked up his spine.  He barely registered Baug disengaging, starting to back away.  His own body was frozen in a very unbecoming pose when Archelaus arrived, and his face was blank.  He only snapped out of it with a jolt at the growl of the order, regaining his illusion of composure and standing perhaps a bit too tall to compensate.  

"Sir," Rosewood woofed immediately, or rather, wheezed.  His voice failed him right off the bat, and he had to clear his throat. "Sir, we must find cover.  A cliff, or a cave."  He turned to check on Baug, then glanced back.

It was too late to really run.  To get away. Tactics, they needed -- 

There was no describing his shock when a body came hurtling through the trees and toward the shadow in the snow.  His eyes grew wide before they could narrow.  NO! his mind screamed.  But his voice had fled completely, leaving him mute with his mouth agape.

Bad to worse to... was there a word for this feeling?  This crushing dread?  He wasn't fully sure he had actually gathered himself when on instinct his muscles brought him to a low, defensive crouch.  Defensive, not offensive, because in spite of his earlier advice Rosewood needed instruction.  One of their own had arrived to throw herself into the fray for, for what?  So they could fight?  So they could run, after all?  He shot a desperate look toward Archelaus and Baug.  Pleading.  Pleading that someone else would make the call.

There was little enough time to make it, or the chance this brave, heroic fool had bought them would be squandered, her sacrifice for naught.

[[ Avatar drawn by nanuukk, chibi by sucioperro 
commissioned from my account "goatkisser" on DA ]]
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