[P] Six is like they’re gunning for you
#1
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See galleries for credit.

The ravens had been reporting strangers -- wolves -- wandering in some number in the territories surrounding Inferni. While this could still be nothing -- packs sent envoys all the time -- Vesper was fast to take precaution and send scouts out into the woodlands and foothills to ensure these strangers weren't threats. Clover was one of the first canines to volunteer for this, of course; she had plenty to prove.

She wasn't entirely pleased with the partner assigned to her, though. Trudging through the wooded hills, Clover hung her head and stared suspiciously at the armored back of her companion -- wondering how quickly he would be able to move encumbered by the spiked leather, if he turned on her.

She huffed. Smell anything? she demanded of the dwarf coyote, and stalked past him. Her Secui form carried more than enough bulk in the form of muscle and fur; she probably had almost fifty pounds on him even in his Optime. How big were these groups? she asked, stopping to snuffle suspiciously at a fern, and then turned around with a scowl.

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[html]<div class="clovSig"><div class="text">I can feel the thunder that's breaking in your heart<br/>
I can see through the scars inside you</div></div>

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#2
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Word Count → 425 :: Out of Character text

His temper had soured since the moment they'd left the borders to venture off toward god knew where. The ravens had called, mentioning outsiders, groups of canines that were gathering in number around the territories surrounding home, groups of canines that they did not recognize. His own raven, Speedy, a scout that often attacked anyone on the basis that they were intruders, had been one of the few reporting in. That was possibly why Basilio had been one of the first, right after Clover, to show some interest in venturing outside of Inferni's borders.

As an outsider, at least in Basilio's opinion, she could not be trusted as fully as a regular member of Inferni. He had dealt with whatever ailed the relationship between Jehan and himself by simply staying away from the dog. Irregardless, he still wasn't sure whether Cartier had blabbed to Clover about what had happened to her friend when he'd been beaten.

Quietly, he'd taken the lead in venturing onward, red eyes scanning the trees before him with a mixture of curiosity and poised response. Cautious by nature, perhaps due to everything that had happened to him, the pygmy Bellator wouldn't have put it passed the other woman to turn on him at a moment's notice. After all, it was often said that companions were a lot alike and she had already proven to be mouthy in the past when he'd approached her and Jehan that day near the medical hut.

Armored, and definitely aware, he could feel her eyes on his back as he strode forward, never looking back to peer at the grey clad woman, not even when she moved passed him, demanding an answer to a question he would have already stated one to had he smelled anything whatsoever.

"Just dog," he replied earnestly, a callous frown tugging at the corners of his maw, glancing her over. "I'm not sure. They were scattered from the ravens' report. We just have to keep looking. I'm sure we'll come across something," he managed, looking away from her to the trees. "We'll be fine, though," he half-promised, though even then he couldn't be extremely of that..

In all honestly, the only thing he could smell of her was Inferni, that and her own scent which he never settled long enough to catch fully. He glanced up into the sky, letting his eyes train on the black speck of his bird behind them. "I did tell him to fly in front of us. It seems like he's hanging behind for some reason..."

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#3
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--
Oriole is in secui.


See galleries for credit.

Throughout the day, Oriole had heard talk of wolves. These were hushed conversations, whispers and careful remarks, obviously not meant for his young ears. Not that he considered himself young, anymore. They were just trying to protect him- he could see that- but he wasn't a baby anymore. It was time for his dads to let go.

So he crept quietly, stealthily-- taking a page from Magpie's book (not that he'd ever seen her read one). He couldn't afford to be seen. Hours earlier he'd heard his dads and Clover talking. Clover was heading to the borders to check out the ravens' claims. And Oriole followed.

His ears were pricked as he held back, keeping their back's just visible and his senses tuned towards them. They wouldn't see him so far behind and his scent could be dismissed just as easily. It clung to Clover's fur as well and could be easily mistaken as a trace of the night before when they'd laid side by side.

Oriole had never been so close to the border before. More than once his gaze wandered to take in a new sight, or investigate a new smell but these forays were short-lived. He couldn't stand to lose focus or he'd lose them entirely. One such time had him hastening his steps, chasing a scent; a scent which led him straight towards Clover's turned back. He caught himself before he reached them but as he halted a twig snapped beneath his heavy secui paws.

He froze dead in his tracks when he saw Clover stop. She turned and her brown eyes grew wide.

He'd been spotted.

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<span class="Or1SigName"><span class="if">Oriole de l'Or</span></span>
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[/html]
#4
202 words.

Clover curled her lip and growled when he mentioned he smelled only dog. “Sorry your nose doesn’t work right,” she hissed back, but focused on his proper answer with the seriousness due. If nothing else, he did outrank her; Vesper would expect her to follow his lead if it came to a decision. When he attempted to reassure her (as if she could believe in his honesty), she sighed and stopped to sniff again—at least until Basilio looked back at his bird.

“Maybe there’s someone following us,” Clover suggested, and then a snapping twig confirmed her suspicion. Immediately she swung around, lowering her head and lifting hackles as she growled—but then wide-eyed shock overcame her face, followed by an expression even more stormy than the last. “Oriole!”

She glanced at Basilio to see his response but didn’t hesitate before bounding toward the golden coydog, immediately lifting a paw to cuff him. “What do you think you’re doing?” she growled. “You’re not supposed to be out here—we need to go home now.” There was no way she was letting him walk back alone, and it wasn’t like they’d found anything yet anyway.
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I can see through the scars inside you</div></div>

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[/html]
#5
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Word Count → 330 :: So sorry guys. ;-;

Clover had no restraints when it came to reprimanding others as she saw fit, even though she was much less in rank than even the pup that had managed to follow them. He felt a frown tug at his lips with the sudden realization that they'd been followed. If Speedy had not noticed or been circling above the spot where the boy was, if the boy himself had not made a mistake in making himself known to the duo of scouts, he'd have never known that Oriole was close behind them or on their path.

Dark eyes, wine splashed, lavender spritzed, focused on him before his arms folded over his chest. He wouldn't say anything, not really. He didn't deserve to after his meeting with Cartier to explain to him what had been going on with Jehan and himself.

The idea that he couldn't call someone out on their misdeeds in the midst of troubling behavior really bled home in his growth. At one point, things could have been different. He had no inspirations when it came to rising anymore in rank.

In the past, before he'd left Inferni last, he might have been one of the first in line in trying to rise to the two ranks higher than the one he now held.

"We drop him back home and then we come back out," he stated, frown creasing tighter at the corner of his maw as he glanced between the path stretching forward and the one that lay in the direction of home. He doubted that Clover would budge when it came to the safety of one of her friend's children. Looking at the boy, though, Basilio was somewhat reminded of himself at that age, so ready to prove himself in battle that he'd approached a loner on the borders, one who was breaking the skulls that Inferni had worked hard to put into place.

"Stick close," he managed before inching in the direction of the other two.

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#6
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--


See galleries for credit.

Aunt Clover! Oriole whined, just missing her punitive swipe as he ducked his head. His tail tucked and his ears fell as he cowered down. He straightened a little a moment later when both she and Basilio agreed to take him home.

I'm not going back. He protested, sounding braver than he felt. Please don't take me back, he pleaded. I want to help! His voice was full of conviction; it wasn't bred from a desire and thirst for battle like a young Basilio's, it was bred from a desire to protect his family and his Clan. More than this Oriole knew had his dad's injuries permitted Cartier would be here. So here Oriole stood in his place.

Please

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<div class="Or1SigOuter">
<span class="Or1SigName"><span class="if">Oriole de l'Or</span></span>
<div class="Or1SigSplit"></div>
<div id="signature-icons">
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Stormie" target="_blank" title="PLAYER WIKI" class="player-wiki"></a>
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Characters.OrioleDeLOr" target="_blank" title="CHARACTER WIKI" class="character-wiki"></a>
<a href="#" class="reply-fast" title="REPLY SPEED: FAST"></a>
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<a href="#!" class="secui-preference" title="No form bias, see OOC."></a>
<a href="#!" class="skill-spirituality" title="Character is a devout Catholic."></a>
<a href="#!" class="skill-fighting" title="Character is a developing feral and hand-to-hand skills."></a>
</div>
</div>
[/html]
#7
Clover turned, hackles raised, at Basilio’s approach. If she had been on edge partnering with him for this patrol before, it was much more apparent now with her nephew here. She didn’t know what the Bellator would think about the overeager youth, and didn’t know his thoughts about the coydog pups in general, if their connection to Cartier and coyote heritage at all protected them from his distaste.

But her ferocity was turned back on Oriole as he pleaded to be allowed to stay with them. She snapped her teeth. “You can’t help. You aren’t trained to fight, Oriole. What if these strangers are dangerous? They could kill us.” Her gaze was stern, solemn, and she bristled all over from the prospect. She wasn’t going to shy away from telling him about the risks.

“Let’s go,” she insisted, and began to lead them back down the path; she would push Oriole if needed.

And then, no sooner did she take a few steps—

Whoosh!

An arrow flew past her head, an entire volley of them, and Clover turned to yell at Oriole to get down when one grazed her shoulder deeply, and she snarled and stumbled.

“To cover!”
[html]<div class="clovSig"><div class="text">I can feel the thunder that's breaking in your heart<br/>
I can see through the scars inside you</div></div>

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[/html]
#8
[html]

Word Count → 391 :: He avoids the arrows and is now trying to get a shot on the ambusher but doesn't know where they are.

Basilio knew the dangers outside of the border. The boy was still a pup in most everyone's eyes. To Basilio, he seemed too eager, like Basilio had been when Loki and himself had found the loner on the border, the one who had been wrecking skulls and that had needed to be put down by both Loki and himself. Basilio had been injured then, too. A large stick had been broken over him, leaving splinters in his skin, bruising his arm and ribs where it broke, twisted over his back and splintered free of the other part. If Oriole remained with them, it was only a matter of time before he ended up like Basilio had been or worse and then Basilio would catch the blame. He was the ranked member out of the three. He growled lightly to himself before stepping onward.

It was then that he really noticed Clover's disposition toward him. It had been relatively constant since they'd left Inferni on this little scouting mission of theirs but not this bad. The approach of the pup had done this, he thought to himself, not that he really cared. It was easy to understand why the woman was on edge, if Cartier and Jehan had mentioned that it was Basilio who had hurt him or that the two of them had already bumped into each other and at least one of the pups once more after their initial fight.

Still, he wasn't truly focused on her or her hackles rising.

He sensed the presence of someone in the woods around them, heard a snap of a twig just before arrows started bellowing toward them and he was quick to move behind a tree, narrowly avoiding the brush of an arrow that, unfortunately for his companions, couldn't be said of at least one of them. Clover had called out before him but he saw the cut of blood dribbling down her shoulder and his eyes quickly averted toward the boy to see if he, too, was injured.

"Can you see where they're coming from?" he shouted in the other's direction, reaching for his own bow slung over his back. He was quick to tease an arrow at the strings, glancing back over and passed the tree now and again in an attempt to see where the arrows were coming from.

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[/html]
[html]
<div class="BasiSig">
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/Qgb2UcH.png" style="height:200px; z-index:-1; margin:0px 0px -40px;" />
<div class="buttonblock">
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Packs.InferniAdoptable#adoptables"><img src="http://pile.randimg.net/0/87/21920/inferni-adoptables.png"></a>
<a href="http://soulsrpg.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=14"><img src="http://inferni.soulsrpg.com/public/images/pride/inferni88x31_kae.gif"></a>
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Characters.Hope Lykoi"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/MtwN9oZ.png"></a>
</div>
<div id="signature-icons" class="iconblock">
<a href="#" class="optime-preference" title="OPTIME unless otherwise stated."></a>
<a href="#" class="apparel-accessories" title="Japanese style katana and leather armor"></a>
<a href="http://soulsrpg.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=23468" class="external-link" title="Player UPDATE"></a>
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Characters.BasilioLykoi" target="_blank" title="CHARACTER WIKI" class="character-wiki"></a>
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Dread" target="_blank" title="PLAYER WIKI" class="player-wiki"></a>
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[/html]
#9
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</style>

--


See galleries for credit.

Oriole noticed how Clover wheeled on Basilio and the pure unbridled fury with which she faced him. His dads had warned him about the size challenged coyote, however the details as to why we're unclear. Jehan didn't want to talk about it and Cartier said little. Seeing Clover's behavior now Oriole felt a prickle on anxiety.

Her fury at Basilio's proximity was then repurposed as she spun back to Oriole bristling and snapping her teeth. Instinctively he cowered, tucking his tail and lowering his ears. He was much less bold now but no less stubborn. He'd never seen his Aunt Clover this angry or at least not directed at him. But he still wouldn't go,. He wanted to help!

I can fight! He argued, perking up if only to cower again. Everyone could fight. He had fangs didn't he, and claws. He wasn't helpless. But Clover wasn't having it. When she insisted they leave he stood with his paws rooted to the spot. He didn't budge. And then.

Whoosh

He saw them, hundreds at least, a volley of arrows soaring overhead. A later account of the attack would slash that number appropriately but Oriole's sudden flash of fear quadrupled their number. He crouched down low, flattening himself against the cold ground and whined.

His Aunt Clover snarled and Oriole opened his eyes enough to see her stumble. He got up to rush to her side but stopped in his tracks as an arrow planted right next to his foot. He gazed at the quivering shaft a long moment, his heart racing in his chest until Clover's voice tore him from his trance. His head whipped around as he turned and in that moment something sharp tore through the skin on the right side of his muzzle. He tasted blood and made a break for the trees.

He heard Basilio's voice somewhere behind him but was in no position to answer. His own heartbeat drummed in his ears a swift and erratic rhythm. His breathing came fast. The arrows whizzed and whipped around him, punctuating his steps as they came crashing down around his paws. He felt one or two more stings but he kept on running... home.

<style>
@import url('http://sleepyglow.net/rp/post.css');
</style>[/html]
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<div class="Or1SigOuter">
<span class="Or1SigName"><span class="if">Oriole de l'Or</span></span>
<div class="Or1SigSplit"></div>
<div id="signature-icons">
<a href="http://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Stormie" target="_blank" title="PLAYER WIKI" class="player-wiki"></a>
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<a href="#!" class="secui-preference" title="No form bias, see OOC."></a>
<a href="#!" class="skill-spirituality" title="Character is a devout Catholic."></a>
<a href="#!" class="skill-fighting" title="Character is a developing feral and hand-to-hand skills."></a>
</div>
</div>
[/html]


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