[P] What On Earth?
Since their adventure, where Elkin had taken Vannin to the ends of the Earth, where Masra showed the rippling path across the endless expanse of water, Vannin had been gaining strength.  He’d put on weight, and of course, muscle.  His sense of humour had returned, as had his slightly distracted smiles, as though he was seeing something no one else was privy to.  Occasionally he might mutter something and tilt his head slightly as if listening for an answer, but for the most part, he was present again.  He was there for their little group, and in the evenings, he would curl around his brother, their scents mingling with one another, so that despite not being with their birth pack, they brought a little bit of home wherever they travelled.

Now though, the two brothers stood side by side, both looking at the most bizarre prey either of them had ever seen.

”I thought you were joking.” Vannin whispered to his dark pelted brother.

When Elkin had described the ridiculous looking beasts they now found themselves looking at, Vannin had laughed.  Here they were though, standing, milling about in between the trees.  The creatures were squat by caribou terms, they moved gracelessly, and their expressions seemed at best, absentminded and at worst, vacant.  They were horned and appeared to eat anything that they came across.

”You want us to hunt these?” Vannin whispered, his tone somewhat bemused.

Vannin wondered what the animals would taste like.  They smelt okay, but those horns. And did some of them have beards?  Vannin was always willing to try for an easy hunt, and if these creatures were slower than their usual dinner then fine, but these animals were an unknown.  Vannin’s whole body signalled uncertainty, curiosity and determination.  He looked to his brother.  Reluctant he might be, but there was no doubt, his leadership qualities were undeniable.
Location: Shiloh Hills || NPCs: -- || Form: Lupus

After he had first discovered the shaggy, awkward-looking ungulates, Elkin could hardly wait to share his description of them to Vannin. The robust laughter and amused skepticism that he had seen in his brother's eyes back when he had described the outlandish things vanished the moment they had at last tracked them down. Now he could see for himself these Goddess-forsaken monstrosities were, indeed, not a figment of Elkin's prankish imagination.

"Pfft, as if I'd ever do a thing like that," the darker brother replied quietly, playfully feigning hurt.

Because, the fact was, Elkin had very much hoped that Vannin would carry on believing that he was joking. Partly because the great reveal would be that much more rewarding, but mostly because it was so comforting to see his brother smile and laugh and play again. Since he had reconnected with the spirits, Vannin's soul seemed to be healing at last. And, with it, so was his body and mind.

Being downwind from the scattered herd, their heads lowered to pick at the vegetation sprouting from between boulders and rocky outcrops, the boys had some time to watch the beasts. They were different — unlike anything they had hunted before — and Elkin didn't blame his brother for being uncertain. But Elkin had given them chase the first time he saw them and they didn't seem to act all that different from other hoofed prey.

If he had chased them a bit longer, however, he might have discovered that they had a proverbial ace up their sleeve: a sure-footedness that allowed them to navigate rocks and cliffs.

But Elkin did not yet know this, so he gave Vannin a reassuring nose-bump, his lips puckered confidently, and held his curled tail a little higher.

"I want us to hunt these," he confirmed with undeniable conviction, his voice low. "Just think of how proud Harley'll be when we bring one of these back!" He paused then and grinned impishly. "I bet it'll make Prissy good and jealous, too."

Just the dumb look on Priscilla's face would be worth all the energy they would undoubtedly expend on the hunt and dragging the thing back.

"Anyway, we just need to pick out a smaller, weaker one. Oh, and watch out for the pointy end," he added with humor. "But we can do this, Van."

[WC -- 401]
OOC: Here are some inspirational images of feral goats in a habitat that might be similar to Shiloh Hills: one | two | three | four | five
Vannin had never been one to disbelieve his brother, and he was aware of how good a pair of hunters they made, but it still felt odd. 

”Okay, okay.” Vannin confirmed, nodding his head in agreement.

He fell silent again and looked at the odd and shaggy creatures, milling unsuspectingly in the clear before the two brothers.  How had such prey managed to survive?  They seemed so awkward and so…inattentive.  Still, Vannin knew that they would be linked to the spirits in some way, and that this hunt would not be simply for sport, but for food.  Vannin never merely chased for sport, and he knew no Luperci that did, although the Luperci knew it did occur.

”The usual manoeuvre then?” Vannin asked, tilting his head quizzically. 

While Elkin nearly always led their hunts, the two brothers had a range of strategies, though the one they employed more than others.  Elkin would run towards the prey and Vannin would do his best to come around and steer the frightened and running beats in a direction they wanted, towards water perhaps, or where the footing would be harder for the animals to escape.  They would always slow and tire rather than confront directly.  Injury was a real and present danger and especially when dealing with a foe they weren’t familiar with.

”Also, you really should make peace with prissy.  Harley loves her, and I’m sure she only antagonises you because she knows it makes you react.  If you were nice to her, or at least, just ignored her, she’d be fine, and I’m sure Harley would be less grumpy about the two of you.”

It was true that Vannin had tried to eat the weasel, but it had been in error, and he’d apologised to both their companions for it.  While the smaller creature still viewed Vannin with suspicion at least they left him alone.  However, it seemed that Elkin and the small creature had a battle of wills, and neither would back down.  Though, it was a fairly harmless relationship and perhaps neither would be without it, it did make for a measure of disharmony in their small group.
[Image: lantern.png]  WordtoberConsolation Corner  Gaunt

Location: Shiloh Hills || NPCs: -- || Form: Lupus

Elkin scarcely had to consider his brother's question before wagging his tail in agreement.

"Oh yeah," he said through a toothy grin. "These things don't look like they need any fancier strategy."

In fact, to Elkin, the shaggy prey looked as though they'd throw themselves right off of a cliff if they lead them to one. And they definitely didn't look like they had much in the way of stamina, not with those squat bodies and thick legs. Compared to a deer, these things looked like they'd be about as much of a challenge as a fish in a dried-up pond. With any hope, they'd taste better than that, though.

"Only if Prissy makes peaces first," the darker brother countered puerilely, giving Vannin a petulant frown. "Besides, she's the one who started it." At least, he thought so, although the memory was so distant now that he couldn't precisely remember.

Together, they scanned the scattered herd and the surrounding landscape. It was quite uneven, with hills and stones and steep drops that Elkin thought would make a flat-out chase a bit difficult. But if they could corner one of them — one that looked young or gaunt or injured — then maybe they could wear it out with enough nips and bites to render it safe to deliver the finishing blow without it becoming a grand, lengthy ordeal.

Elkin shared this plan with his brother then and, once Vannin agreed and the two of them had found a small handful of seemingly suitable targets, the hunt began.

[WC -- 265]
OOC: Feel free to PP Elkin starting the chase if it helps to move things along! >:D

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