[P] Spirits in my head and they won't go.
for O'Brien!
Quote:Hunter II Prompt: Discover the migrating patterns of our herd animals.

+418 words

The long-earred wolf was having a rough start to her week. Life just felt like it was coming crashing down after it had been going well for a while. She was second guessing every decision she had made and her heart was tense with the feeling of wrongness that had saturated her days since she discovered a certain dark wolf was a Caledonian. Her sleep had been disrupted and her brain felt clouded with it, no matter what she was doing.

It was for this reason that she had decided today she would focus on something that would take up all of her attention: tracking the movement of herds within New Caledonia. While she had tracked down the bedding down place of elk with Solveig before, now she needed to see where they had moved. Keeping track of their common haunts was important and good for the pack. Especially if - she hoped - she could convince them to join her someday in a good old fashioned four legged hunt. At least some of them would surely enjoy it as much as she had when she had hunted with Oberyn and his quiet mate. Hell, it'd be even better if it was with her pack. That was the bonding she needed, especially now when she felt disconnected from what she had thought.

Battalion was headed toward where she had last seen them on four legs. It was easier to track with her nose to the ground than it would've been on two legs. It also felt... safer. Although supposedly being a member of New Caledonia kept her safe from the Reaver's thievery, she didn't feel like it was true. What was to stop the Escal from doing as she pleased? The burly female certainly did so outside of pack territory and who would care if she chased a Commoner away? Who would even know if Hokori made it seem like she had just decided to leave?

No, she thought forcefully to herself, this was precisely why she was out here. To stop thinking about all of that. The day was young and she wanted to try and make it better than the days had been for her recently. Focus. Accomplish something. Forget about the way her world was falling apart. Everything was going to be fine. Maybe. But she wasn't going to think about that right now. She was going to track the elk through the River Valley and find where they moved so she could be an informed hunter.

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
[Image: bronze.png] Hunter I [323/1000] Discover an animal that often calls New Caledonia home and keep note for future hunts!


Finding safe refuge for his child was all the single father could ask for; it was such a great weight off his chest knowing that Beth had pack and even family to care for her in his absence. Rarely had he been able to travel and hunt without either her accompaniment or constant worry that trouble might find her. Now, though, he trusted that she was with her uncle, granting him a clear mind as he roamed the lowlands in search of prey to bring back for them.

Hunting was one of the few ways he thought he could contribute to the kingdom for the duration of his stay here — a basic skill, to be sure, but O’Brien was a humble provider at heart. How many times had he come back to the Troupe, rabbits bound over his shoulder, smiling softly as the others crowed for dinner?

He splashed through a small stream, one of several that branched from or fed into the rivers that were the lifeblood of the valley, pausing to shake out his coat on the other side. While more commonly seen in his Optime form, O’Brien preferred hunting in his smaller, faster Lupus unless he was merely collecting from snares; he could chase down rabbits and pheasants or swim after muskrats easier this way, his body guided by traits bred into his bloodlines long ago.

It was smaller prey that he sought now. He could get lucky sneaking up a duck, which would be enough of a meal to allow him to travel farther, or if he were especially lucky, he could find a beaver dam to come back to. But, in the end, he found neither of these things.

The dog let out a low woof when he spotted the coffee-colored she-wolf roaming between the rivers, and cantered to catch up with her. ”Tracking something?” he asked with an uncertain wag of his tail.
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Quote:Hunter II Prompt: Discover the migrating patterns of our herd animals.

+452: total 870/2000 words

The elk seemed to have been near fairly recently. The rivers were likely a big draw for a lot of prey animals, though. Everyone needed fresh water, from the smallest to the largest of animals. It was actually the reason behind a lot of migratory patterns and pack locations. Her nostrils were easily picking up their scents, though, and their hoof prints were also rather blatant in the softer ground. The wolf looked at them to see if she could discern how many had been at the river recently. Quite a few, it seemed; the elk herd here seemed robust enough, it was probably in need of culling some members. Which was something she hoped to help do soon.

A sound drew Bat's attention. Normally she was a kind, enthusiastic packmate who longed for company. Tension had dug its claws into her now, though, and she felt less than enthused at meeting someone new. The scent she caught was unfamiliar, too. Not even just I haven't met them, but she didn't think she had scented it around the pack at all. Which could just mean that they didn't go in similar areas. The wolf had certainly missed Hoko's scent which should have warned her of the dark figure's presence inside pack territory.

She did wag her tail slightly as she turned to look at the stranger. It wasn't his fault that she was dealing with all this turmoil, after all. He had slightly floppy ears and a heavily dog-blood look about him. He was the second newcomer, then, that was more dog than anything else. Tali thought fondly of Clyde. Hopefully this dog was similar to him. For once, her gaze didn't immediately flicker to the ground or his shoulder. They were probably evenly ranked if he was new. Plus, his general mannerisms seemed meek enough to suggest he wasn't a high ranked member. She didn't stare in his eyes, but she did keep her gaze on his face instead of shifting it away quickly.

When he asked if she was tracking, she nodded. "Elk. I found their scent the other day and tracked it to where they bedded down, but I want to see how they're moving. I think I may suggest a pack hunt to Iomair for one of them soon." she said with another slight wave of her tail. "I'm Bat." she didn't bother with her usual "my full name is Battalion, here's my nickname" speech because she was tired. And it didn't really matter. They'd end up using a nickname anyway, she might as well pick one and just give them that. Maybe later he'd wonder who the hell Battalion was if someone referenced her, but oh well.

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
[Image: bronze.png] Hunter I [641/1000] Discover an animal that often calls New Caledonia home and keep note for future hunts!

[318] Feel free to pp him walking etc as much as you need :>

A light sway of her tail reassured the dog that he wasn't intruding on her solitude, though he maintained a polite distance until she invited him closer with other signs.

O'Brien wasn't enthusiastic about meeting new people, either, though this was mostly because of his private nature rather than a dislike of company. Company was fine enough as long as small-talk was bantered back and forth, or if in a group people spoke with each other, allowing him to sit back and observe. However, he was aware that, for as long as he remained in New Caledonia, making connections would be important; he would need them to ensure that Beth had the best chance at a good life in the pack.

He was relaxed now, however. Hunting was a simple, safe topic.

"Hopefully a group o' females," the dog considered. "Ah dinnae usually go efter them, but if Ah remember right, they'll be in rut soon." Most deer fought each other for the right to mate in the autumn months, and the summer was nearly at its end. "Ah dinnae fancy gettin' chibbed by a bull elk," he joked, flashing the female -- Bat -- a slanted little smile.

"Name's O'Brien," he said, his tail wagging a little more. "Ah'd be happy tae help ye track them doon, sae Ah kin see them fur masel'. Ah'm new tae th' pack," he added, by way of explanation. It would be good experience, even if he didn't intend to prey upon the elk himself; he could still keep tabs on the herd for when they calved, in case there were any youngsters too ill or weak to survive to adulthood that could be kindly culled sooner.

He dropped his nose to the soft earth and snuffled, his tail raised behind him as he began to pad in the direction of the tracks.
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Quote:Hunter II Prompt: Discover the migrating patterns of our herd animals.

+438: total 1308/2000 words

He had an accent that reminded her of Clyde. Like the tall dog, the speech sounded muddled to her but it was mostly decipherable. What she didn't pick up right away, she figured out via context. The long-earred Commoner was also rather fond of Clyde, so hearing someone with a similar accent made her feel slightly better at the thought of the fisherman. Although of course that didn't mean they were similar at all; after all, she had Hokori spoke with the same accent, and they weren't alike at all.

"Yes, they were females. Although you're right that the males might be closer right now or will be soon, given the season changing and the rut coming." they'd need to be cautious in their approach. As those hormones fired up, all sense for the creatures seemed to fly out the window. Not that they had much to begin with, so it was really easy for them to lose what little they had. "We should see if it seems like some of them are starting to separate out into mating groups." it would help assess the likelihood of calves for next season. Those who didn't end up in a mating group could also be vulnerable during that time, because they'd have less protection from the stronger members who were off getting pregnant. It might be a good time to take one down.

Her tail waved slightly again. "Good to meet a fellow hunter, O'Brien, and welcome to the pack. I'm happy for the help tracking." that seemed about as much as she needed to say. They both set off along the scent and hoof trail, which was easy enough to follow as they had stayed on this side of the river.

Before too long, they came to where she had first seen them bed down. There were signs of where elk had been, but they weren't there currently. It wasn't night, though, so they probably had other places they grazed and spent time before they came back for the night... as she took in the scents, though, they seemed older than that. Like the elk hadn't been here the night before, either. She sniffed around, trying to find the newest scent to follow. They might head up into more mountainous territory before the winter season, she thought, though the coastline should also be fairly cool... Bat glanced over at O'Brien. "Seems like they didn't stay here last night, this is where I saw them last though." and certainly there had been enough of a trail to follow here. It must've been fairly recent that they changed their sleeping location.

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
[Image: bronze.png] Hunter I [950/1000] Discover an animal that often calls New Caledonia home and keep note for future hunts!

[309] -pulls up a dozen tabs on elk hunting-

This was why O'Brien preferred to stick to rabbits and muskrats. Large herd animals were dangerous beasts even without a pair of weapons jutting from their brows and the aggressive hormones to back them -- as a bull elk in rut would be. He hadn't observed elk enough to know whether they separated into smaller groups during the mating season, only that the bulls would be very protective of their females. It was a risk he preferred not to take, even if they would just be skirting around the herd today.

The pair of four-legged hunters set off, the dog occasionally weaving away from the trail to pursue other recent scents for a beat before he returned, keeping the river at his shoulder. Sometimes they crossed other tracks of prey that came to the water to drink; sometimes he caught whiffs of packmates he'd yet to meet. The trail of the elk themselves was a few days cold, however, and as they arrived at an area sheltered by a stand of trees, Bat confirmed that they'd bedded down here before.

"Dae they graze in th' same place, ye ken?" O'Brien asked, tilting his head at Bat. His penny-colored eyes swept from the meadows along the river uphill, toward the mountains. "Might be that they bed doon oan th' slopes whaur it's wooded." And they'd have a higher vantage point to look for predators -- if that factored into it. It was difficult for a canine mind to fathom why prey did certain things, even though they were all beasts driven by instinct to an extent.

Although, as a hunter, O'Brien didn't often need to know the "why", just the "what" -- the routine of creatures running along pathways to the water, their propensity to startle, their cycles of sleep and play.
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Quote:Hunter II Prompt: Discover the migrating patterns of our herd animals.

+440: total 1748/2000 words

The blue-eyed Commoner was still learning about how elk traveled. Though she knew that they separated into same-sex grouping during the seasons other than rut, she assumed during rut that they mixed at least some. More than likely they took some females off on their own once they... won them? The rut itself was a strange thing. Showing of prowess and fitness while also possibly getting injured all just for the sake to breed. As someone who didn't currently feel any desire at all to breed, Battalion had no idea why someone would risk life and limb for it. Were offspring really that great?

Her ears twitched as she scented the bedding down areas, noting there was a bit of blood on one spot. Someone in the herd had been injured, she noted, though of course it was old like the rest of the smells. Which meant that the elk that had been injured had moved along with the herd. It was good to note for potential future hunts, though, as an injured animal was a better target than a fully healthy one. It didn't seem like a lot of blood, so it might not matter; perhaps the wound would be healed by the time any of New Caledonia decided to hunt elk.

She listened to Obi's comments and nodded. "I suspect they move through a cycle of grazing areas, as the plants get cropped too low to be useful they move on to a different spot, then eventually come back around. May be that they are the same with their sleeping spots." perhaps this was where they had bedded when they were eating from one grazing location and they had now moved on to a different one.

"I wonder how that pattern will change with the rut, though. I think one male takes the females he plans to breed with into their own little herd for the breeding season. If I remember correctly. It's been a long time since I monitored large hooved animals." the main reason she remembered as much as she did was because she had enjoyed it so much. Even in Silver Falls, she had always wanted to be a hunter. There, she would've hunted always on two legs with a careful eye to local herds and no desire to roam outside of her pack borders. Life was different and yet some parts remained the same.

Her tail twitched. "Let's see if they went up farther into the wooded area, like you said." Bat followed a scent that was old like the rest around the bedding area, with the hopes it'd become fresher as she walked.

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
[Image: bronze.png] Hunter I [1164/1000] Discover an animal that often calls New Caledonia home and keep note for future hunts!

[214] I feel like my posts keep getting more bland and for that I apologize lol

Bat's explanation -- or theory -- made sense enough to O'Brien, who again couldn't help but to draw comparisons to animals he was more familiar with. His mother's clan herded sheep from grazing spot to grazing spot over their little claim of moorland; he suspected the sheep were too stupid to rotate between spots on their own.

"If some females are left unprotected, that's guid fur us," he mused. Whether the bull separated his choice partners or merely took over a preexisting herd of females would make a difference, though one male couldn't hope to protect everyone -- unless the flood of hormones turned them into pain-tolerant monsters. He snorted and gave his dark ruff a shake; he didn't want to be the one who found out.

With a flick of her tail, Bat turned to pursue one of the trails, and O'Brien trotted after her. "Ah'm sorry Ah'm no' helpful," he said, twitching his ears back. "Ah'm a rabbit hunter, ye see. Eager tae catch anythin' Ah kin chase doon alone 'n' fit in mah own mouth." He offered her a humble smile full of good humor. Reserved as he often was, the dog was still happy to make light conversation as they walked.
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Quote:Hunter II Prompt: Discover the migrating patterns of our herd animals.

+320: total 2068/2000 words

Pffff, a bland Raze post? Never met such a thing!

Battalion was learning as she went along about exactly how the elk traveled and lived out here. It wasn't like she had previously had the stability to follow herd patterns. This was going to be interesting, to see them calve and watch the herd for those that would be best to cull. She was sure the elk would disagree, but it was truly a mercy to keep their herds healthy by taking out the ones that were weak. The strongest survived to pass on their genes and the weak were killed off to fill the bellies of the local predators. Such was the way of the world from time immemorial.

"It'll show which are weak, to be sure. Some of the yearlings from last year's calving may also show their weaknesses when they're divided like that. Could be good to get an elk or two to smoke before the colder seasons hit." she once again found herself wondering about why they didn't seem to have organized pack hunts here. Although she was new, so maybe they sometimes did, she'd have thought someone would be organizing one every month or so. New meat to prepare, store, utilize for pack larders. The cold season would yield far less to the realm; they should have a strong back stock to keep them all fed in case they weren't able to hunt for a long time.

When he apologized for being more of a rabbit hunter, she smiled. "That's fair enough. I hunt more rabbit than elk, but I think it'd be good for the pack if we got some bigger game. Plus I wouldn't mind having the pelt to use for something. Haven't cured an elk skin before." she glanced at her companion. "Have you been a loner for some time, then?" if he hunted mostly rabbit, he wasn't hunting in a pack. It wasn't like hunting rabbits in a group made sense.

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again

A wistful hum was his response to mention of smoked elk. It was, of course, why the pair of hunters were scouting for the herd now, but the image of it (as olfactory as it was visual) made him long for the end result. Perhaps, once the elk dropped their antlers and were weak from the hunger of winter, he could assist with one of the hunts. In a pack this large, it was probably necessary to bring in large game as often as they could. In recent years, living in a small group or a pair, O'Brien had always seen the prospect as a feast -- an occasion to celebrate, the privilege of not having enough food to eat for days without worry.

He nodded at Bat's musing, huffing as she mentioned using a pelt. "Hevnae learned th' trick te tanning lairge hides, masel'," he admitted. Small pelts, like rabbits, could cure by drying -- at least well enough for him to use for minor things, or trade to those who knew how to tan them properly. It would have been a useful skill to learn, and might have been an honest livelihood for the hunter, but there was an adage about teaching old dogs new tricks. He could only hope that Beth had the opportunity to learn all the things she wanted here.

"Aye," O'Brien answered. He would have been content to leave it at that, but after a stretch of silence, focused on climbing the slopes, he reluctantly elaborated. "Hevnae bin a pack sin' Ah wis a lad." Clan, tribe -- they amounted to the same thing, even though they were wildly dissimilar to New Caledonia. "Ah preferred loner life, bit Ah hev a kid now. She deserves th' comfort 'n' safety o' a group."

He stopped to sniff around the base of a pine, one deep snuffle sticking needles to his black leathery nose. He snorted these off and looked farther up the slope, his tail wagging.

"Smells a wee bit mair fresh."
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"I wouldn't say tanning is my passion, but I do know how to do it really well. It was one of the main things I did when I was on the road." no one else in the trade group had wanted to take part in the often smelly and messy task of skinning and then tanning their catches. Then again, they also hadn't made a lot of the catches themselves. Sometimes Bat wondered how they were faring without her, now. "If you ever have a hide that needs tanning, just let me know, I'm happy to help." whether that meant tanning it at her home for O'Brien or helping him set up a spot for it to tan wherever he was living.

He preferred the loner life? Her ears twitched and she gave him a surprised slantwise look. That was strange, for a wolf. Wanting to be alone didn't come naturally to them. Their bodies were made to flow through a hunt together, to sleep beside one another, to howl at the moon together. She didn't mean to judge him, but she was certainly confused by it. "I was afraid when I was a loner, anxious every night..." she said thoughtfully, trailing off as she wasn't sure what to say about his preference. It simply was, it wasn't brave or impressive when it was just his nature.

However, she could say, "you have a child? A pack hunt would be even better for the young ones, I think. I don't think any of our younger members have hunted as a pack and they're such good skills to learn young." although maybe she was presumptuous to think so and certainly she was not ranked in such a position to coordinate that. Certainly she didn't mean to suggest that Obi's child couldn't hunt or didn't know how to group hunt. It was just something she felt New Caledonia needed; more pack unity, more pack bonding, more wolf stuff that seemed to have fallen by the wayside in favor of riding horses and tending gardens. Those things were well and good, but one also needed to know how to hunt. They needed to bond as a group.

When he caught a fresher scent, she made a soft woof of approval. Her tail waved in beat with his, pressing her nose to the ground to follow it more closely. They would need to be quieter now that they were near to the herd. As it turned out, a splinter of the herd she had originally seen. The groups were starting to break off for mating season. Mostly she saw females, but she was sure the buck was near. Her ears twitched. "We'll need to be careful. I don't see the male. If they're splitting off into mating groups already, he's got to be around here somewhere, and extra twitchy." she whispered to her companion. She was glad to have found this group, though she wondered how many others there were and where they were.

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
[Image: lantern.png]  Wordtober (Consolation Corner)  afraid


"Thank ye," the dog replied, smiling at her offer. "Ah'd be happy te give pelts fur ye te uise. Ye'd fin' better uses for thaim anyway." Including trade. It worked this way often; he'd worked at the lowest level of production as both a hunter and a shepherd, trading pelts and scoured wool to those who could turn these things into cloaks and yarn. He supposed if he wanted a nice, comfortable hide for bedding (for their eventual home), he could have the huntress tan one, too -- but not without compensating her.

Her sidelong look of confusion made his ears twitch self-consciously before he elaborated. "Ah wisnae always alone. Th' best days o' mah life, Ah traveled wi' a group. Small, bit like family." Nostalgia with all its sad wistfulness twitched his lips into a melancholy smile, and he stared forward again, into the pines. "We wur no' strong like a pack, bit Ah wisnae lonely or afraid."

He fell pensively silent, but his ears stirred again as Bat mentioned a pack hunt for the youth. "Ah think Beth wid like that," he said, though he didn't know if she was suited for it or would enjoy it after the first chase. Beth jumped at any opportunity for something new, but he couldn't envision her as a four-legged hunter. She'd always enjoyed splashing in ponds over chasing even rabbits.

Doineann, he thought, would have relished it -- the chase, the wolfsong, even the blood at the end.

He shook his head.

"Ah cannae remember hunting in a pack much masel'," he admitted. He'd done so, helped run down weak deer, baying at their heels -- but, again, he preferred smaller quarry. "Might be a dug thing," he said, grinning with a shake of his floppy, doggish ears. Of course a wolf would instinctually want to hunt in a pack, but the majority of his bloodlines wanted merely to retrieve.

The pair dropped their heads to snuffle at the scent trail, their breaths disturbing pine needles and dirt as they stalked quietly along the winding paths of the wooded slope. At last, Bat's pale blue gaze landed on the herd they sought, and she whispered caution to him.

"Ah'll be canny," he murmured back. He broke away from her only briefly to lope around the bedding herd, spotting more females before he circled back to reach Bat's side, butting his head lightly into her flank. "Dinnae see him yet."

It was then that a loud, harsh call echoed among the pines, spiking O'Brien's fur on end.
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The first thing on the elk bugle link for me is an ad for Mint Mobile with Ryan Reynolds in it, so I had to laugh thinking "wait... they hear RYAN REYNOLDS!?" XD

"We can set up a trade, if you'd like, I can give you a certain amount back while retaining the others as payment or something." she said. Although generally she thought she should do things for her packmates just to improve their lives without recompense, she also recognized that what she did had value. Besides, her ability to trade would also improve the pack. And she could put some of them into the communal storage and/or The Trading Company's wares to trade. She would want to give him back some of it in compensation, though. It wouldn't be fair to just take what he had and give him nothing, even if it would've been wasted otherwise. He was still providing her something and she should provide in return.

The Commoner thought of what he referenced as not being a loner, so much as a smaller traveling group. Although she supposed that it was not a pack, which meant some might consider it more of a loner band than anything. Any group was better than being alone, though. "I hope you can find some peace here, too. Even if it isn't what you want right now. It's good of you to do what is best for your daughter." not every parent could or would do that for their children.

Beth, that was a cute name for a girl. Short and to the point, she wondered if it was a nickname; even if it wasn't, though, it was a good name. "I'll make sure to let you know once we get it started. And even if sometime just you and Beth want to hunt with me... I'm always up for company." as long as it wasn't Hokori Tanaka, but he really didn't need to know how the burly she-wolf was currently living rent free in her head. "I mostly hunt with my bow and arrows for bigger game. So if Beth is interested in that... I'm also happy to mentor her. Although I don't mean to presume you don't have those skills, just... trying to make sure my own are transparent." she said with a brief wince. Sometimes she worried too much.

She laughed when he said being a dog might make him less incentivized to hunt as a pack. "Perhaps it is a bit of a wolf thing rather than a dog thing. A variety of skills makes a group strong." and clearly he was a fine tracker, if nothing else. Though she suspected there was plenty more that he could also do well. Even if pack hunts weren't his area of interest or ability.

Obi walked around to check if he saw the male elk and she waited, her ears perked and nostrils flaring. He had to be nearby... there was no way that he had left his bedded done harem at risk of predators. Or (probably more concerning to the male during this season) a rival that would take them for his own. When her packmate bumped her flank, she turned to look at him and frowned slightly at what he said. Before she could remark on the strangeness of that, she heard it. The sound echoed through the crisp morning. The herd of females got to their feet rather quickly, because they knew the sound of the stag could mean danger. Battalion crouched even lower, pressing her belly to the grass so that she was as low to the ground as she could be while keeping her legs ready to run.

"Do you think it saw you or something else?" she whispered, looking at Obi, then back at the herd. Although she was tempted to just leave, what if it was something else that had made the male bugle? Perhaps there was another predator that had it spooked. Or maybe it was just another male... but she didn't hear the call of challenge and responding bugle that would've come with that...

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
[Image: lantern.png]  Wordtober (Consolation Corner)  chilling

[360] lmao yes - I figure we can wrap this up in a couple posts? :>

Reticent as ever, O'Brien merely nodded at her offer of trade, then twitched a short-lived, guilty smile and averted his eyes when she spoke kindly of his choice. It did not make him feel like a good person, staying here only for his daughter's sake while speaking wistfully of his past. Finding peace seemed impossible.

Talk of hunting was simpler, and the dog wagged his tail. "Rabbits, mibbie, or quail," he suggested -- small prey that could be caught by a lone canine without risk, but could be hunted in a group, too. Many times Beth had flushed prey for him to chase, a task she enjoyed and excelled at, thanks to her loud barking. He couldn't help but grin at the thought of this, and of Bat showing Beth archery.

He shook his head. "Na, Ah cannae even stab things wi' the right end o' a knife," he joked; aiming with an arrow seemed impossible. "Ah'm sure Beth wid be curious, at least. Ah knaa she'd like retrieving, if she's anythin' like me," he added. She hadn't had the opportunity, but swimming out into a pond to fetch felled ducks was a task O'Brien had enjoyed in the past. Any reason to get in the water.

He wished he was looking for dead waterfowl now, rather than creeping around in the territory of a bull elk. The bugle rang out in the crisp air, a chilling and almost alien sound that made him shiver. Bat crouched down, and he took a step closer to her, as if the rangy dog could protect her.

"Might jist be showin' aff?" O'Brien joked. A good, hearty bellow was one way to advertise one's virility. But the cows looked spooked rather than impressed, glancing around and twitching their ears, and he didn't really want to stick around to answer Bat's question.

"C'moan," he woofed instead, nudging her hip with his nose and starting back down the slopes. "We foun' whit we wur lookin' fur, efter all."
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This is... mostly just rambling. This might be a good stopping point but I'm fine with a few more posts if you want 'em. You know I'm always game for writing with youuu~ :D

"Well, anytime you or Beth want, I'm always happy to have help and teach about hunting." she said with a wag of her tail. Although she hadn't done much any teaching of youngsters, she figured there was no way to learn except to try. And if Beth was anything like O'Brien, she thought that she'd like the girl immediately as well. Tali was glad that she had met Obi and hoped this wouldn't be the last time they'd work on hunting together.

Battalion hoped that if O'Brien knew that he had spooked a bull elk, he would've told her. It wasn't exactly something they'd want to stay around to see. His good nature continued to shine in his joke, but she made a whuff of agreement and brushed her own muzzle against his flank as he turned to leave. There was something so nice about that. The casual touch of packmates that meant nothing except "I'm here, we're in this together, we're Pack"; she marveled at the niceness of it. At the easy way that they had associated with each other upon first meeting. This was what she had expected when joining New Caledonia from everyone - or at least most of her packmates - and yet found lacking.

In her heart of hearts, she wanted to stay a New Caledonian forever. There had been something here the minute she joined that made her want to stay. There were other factors too, of course, that made her want to stay connected to the pack. Her friends that she had made, the Guild she sought to join, the relationships she was building. There was a core that she felt was missing from it, though. Either that or she just hadn't felt looped into it yet. They needed more community. A stronger sense of oneness than what they presently had with each other.

Of course - the thought crept down her head and into her belly to curl uncomfortably there - there were some she didn't feel oneness with and would never. Hokori Tanaka key among them. She wondered, a bit, if she should abandon this place and go seek out Oberyn's group. Perhaps there, a oneness would be felt more strongly; a place where wolves were wolves and not so ... "civilized" that they had forgotten how to bond together as a pack... she thought she'd seek first to find that feeling here, though, in New Caledonia. Then if she didn't, she'd leave after the winter and seek it elsewhere. Hopefully she could find sense of a community here, even if it wasn't with everyone. Certainly she already felt the glue of it beginning with O'Brien; they barely knew each other yet she recognized him as Pack.

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again

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