[RO] The Den By the Wind-Bent Trees
OOC: Backdated to the beginning of June 2019, and set around the coast of Timber Cove.


All her muscles ached after the hike up the cliff-side. Storms and snow-melt had worn at the rock over time, eating at trails until they were unsteady gravel. Fragments of stone scraped her calloused feet, their tender parts starting to bleed. The broken skin on her feet stung from dry sea salt and sharp, loose terrain. Shale was glad she didn't fear heights, glancing down one too many times to see if she could make the climb for the beach. Her one hand constantly grabbing and scrabbling at sharp, shallow handholds helped neither nerves nor balance.

She'd hiked only a few minutes into the Cove's hardy forest before dropping to its floor. Flopped down among the needles and the cones, Shale had little want or will to move. Thirsty and aching, she waited for the sun to pass from its zenith, sipping from her waterskin as the day cooled. Once the burn in her limbs became a dull ache, she stiffly rose from the ground with a grunt, shaking out her legs. Stretching her arm with a pop, the snap of releasing tension jolted the nerves in her stump. With a wince and a growl, she shifted into the clumsily-strong Secui, digging around the roots at a ragged pine's base. Tossing her dirty, blood-flecked coat to dry over nearby roots, Shale curled into a weary ball to rest.


The next time she awoke, it was to the faint cry of seagulls and crickets chirping in evensong. The shadows were long and opaque, the spaces between the trees dark and foreboding. An uneasy growl, a shift, a stretch and a sniff later, Shale was up on two legs. Circling her small camp, slow and careful to not trip or leave traces, she found no tracks but her own and those of lesser beasts. Fox, rabbit, a runty doe that had passed a day or so ago - no Luperci or other canines, at least. Pellets and feathers beneath a taller, spindly pine confirmed an owl and a osprey made a home in the area.

Despite the temptation of the seals below, Shale was in no mood to climb the half-gravel trail again. Stomach growling, she slunk through the trees in a semi-crawl, licking her lips at the smell of a rabbit. It squealed and escaped her arms and jaws, bolting awake and away when she tried lunging into its den. Shale almost wedged her head between the hole's thick roots, swearing as she banged her sunburnt nose against them.

Trudging back to her den-site, Shale looped around for one last patrol before settling in. Finishing off her waterskin, the dark wolf watched as the sun dipped below the horizon. The sky was pink and fiery red, promising of a clear day to come. Leaning against the roots of the tree, pulling her legs close, Shale sat in silence as an owl began to hoot. The wolf could try following its scent later, hoping to see where the bird did its hunting. Stick-and-stone traps wouldn't be difficult to set up there, but she'd have to find something to use as bait. Were blueberries in season? Shale couldn't recall, but she could hope, at least.

Forum Jump: