Black admonitory cliffs, and the sea exploding

POSTED: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:17 pm

[236] Near Phlegethon Passage. Lupus form.

Thread Prompt: Not every nook and cranny of our old territory has been explored yet. From treacherous passages in the mountains to the burnt ruins of the city, there is always something new to discover and ample opportunity for something to go wrong!


In the mountains north of the caverns — which some had jokingly taken to calling “Hellfire Hollow,” a name that would soon enough stick — a passage carved through the cliffs, one that Vicira was determined to find.

Long ago, the passage had served as a quick, neutral route to the coast. Its location was hinted at only through proximity to packs that no longer existed, though Vicira knew that the land she had reclaimed formerly belonged to others, wolves. She knew that it was north, that was all, and thought that she remembered some scouts remarking upon it from the occasional pilgrimage to old Inferni land — a tradition she hoped to make frequent now that they were mere miles from the old beach where the coyotes first sang their clan song.

However, as she jumped up a rocky slope and peered down into a low valley, she realized that the passage was no longer a safe one.

Rushing water broke through from ice and ran onward between sharp rocks and young vegetation, fed from cold streams that trickled down from higher elevations. Some stones jutted from the water’s surface, glistening with ice, and a recent elk carcass lay bloated on the shore, mangled from a fall down into the water. It was enough to make the bold Aquila recoil, her claws digging into the earth and her ears twitching high in surprise.

There went her plan.
Inferni
Aquila
User avatar
Raze
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Multiple Co-ranks Mate to Redtooth Level III Rex Chaos Star oderint dum metuant
cinder and smoke
ash in your mouth

POSTED: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:28 am

Optime | Death Mountains | NPC: Eidolon (+591)


The day was cold, the mountainous north, colder. It had been a part of the new territory that Shikoba had been quietly dreading, and had purposely avoided when taking Scuttle out for on-the-job training. The rocky region was too unpredictable, particularly, with all of the snow on the ground as it was. The reminders of his previous winter in these lands, with young Bronx, had made the guardian reluctant to risk the girl’s life unnecessarily. A mere trip, a misstep, and the coydog could have easily found her death. It was best to wait until spring, when they could truly see the shifts and turns of the land and not have it hidden beneath a layer of white powder.

Just because it was dangerous for his charge though didn’t mean he could avoid patrolling it. It was part of his duty as a scout, after all, to know the layout of the pack’s territory and make sure its borders were secured. He couldn’t very well do that standing down in the valley below and starring unhappily at the uncharted terrain. The Whiplash had taken his hawk, Eidolon with him, however, the raptor had kept mostly to the high sky, gliding wherever it suited her at that given moment. While she was sure to keep her rusty-furred companion well within eyesight, there was little she could do in the exploratory expedition besides warn him of potential dangers as she saw them.

He had traveled up some ways, enough that, if he looked back and out to the valley, he could see the old human ruins of the Concrete Jungle by their tallest buildings. Every so often, he would glance up at the sky to see where his bird companion was in relation to himself. She was never out of eyesight, and she made no warning calls down to him, so, he felt it safe to assume that the paths that he chose were safe enough by the bird’s view.

After a while, the exploration had started to bore the Sciens, however. Rock. Snow. Rock. Shrub. Rock. Snow. Rock. Boring. If there were any Loners that were persistent enough to launch an assault from the mountainous region, Shikoba might have commended them. From what he had seen, there appeared to be little in way of sustainable food for a Luperci, and the slopes could dangerous frighteningly fast.

Shikoba had been about to let up a call to bring Eidolon back to him, content with the extent of exploration he had done that day, when his wasabi eyes happened to spy a familiar ashen-hued pelt. A wide, mischievous spread along his lips as he changed his course, the trek home forgotten at the potential for some old fun. He moved as quietly as the crunching snow and rocky terrain would allow him at her back.

The closer he moved to her though, the quicker he realized that surprising the Aquila where she stood would be a disastrous idea. Damn, oh well. He decided to forgo masking his approach, preferring that she heard him than be spooked and end up sliding into the cold stream that flowed a bit further down. “Ooooiiii, Chiefy,” he greeted when he came within talking distance of the Lupus woman. His wasabi gaze flicked to what she had been staring at.

He frowned at the sight of the deceased elk. “You’re starin’ at that fatass pretty hard. ’E your secret lover boy?” He asked, grinning. “Hope Redtooth don’t know.”

Shikoba Whiplash

Inferni
Quintus (NPC)
User avatar
Songbird

Break me down

POSTED: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:33 pm

[244]

She might have tumbled down and landed beside the elk had Shikoba not crunched his way toward her over rock and snow, calling out to her and -- as always -- following his greeting up with a joking remark.

"Oh, what Redtooth don't know won't hurt him," Vicira replied, waving her tail almost flirtatiously, but she grinned back at him and shook her head. She couldn't deny that she'd had feelings for Shikoba -- how could she not, when he was such a handsome and charming man? -- but fate had led them in different directions and she wasn't ashamed of that.

She was glad he was here, in the end, because he made a good clanmate and a good friend -- and she could still look at him all she wanted. (She took a brief moment to do so.)

"Good place to get rid of folks who do know too much though," she commented more gravely, frowning back down at the bloated carcass and digging her claws lightly into the rock. "I heard a long time ago you used to be able to walk through that valley down there -- figures this place wouldn't be so friendly to us anymore." She huffed and lifted her tail. "I plan to whip this land into shape for us, though. We can make some use of it."

She glanced up at Shikoba again, twitching an ear. "You find anything more useful than this scary old river?"
Inferni
Aquila
User avatar
Raze
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Multiple Co-ranks Mate to Redtooth Level III Rex Chaos Star oderint dum metuant
cinder and smoke
ash in your mouth

POSTED: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:55 am

(+255)


He laughed, his grin widening—if it were possible—at her retort. Try as he might, he could never catch the Tears off guard. She always had a reply ready, some witty retort or insult to swing back at him. Shikoba swore sometimes, the woman must have practiced them in her free time, picking from a plethora of snarky remarks from her internal library when the need arose.

Shikoba hummed, forcing a frown at the comment the Aquila made about the treacherous waterways. “Plan on killin’ someone, Chiefy?” His wasabi gaze flicked to the elk’s bloated carcass, gasping dramatically, “Don’t tell me your lover boy there knew to much and you’re just here checkin’ out how he’s settlin’ in to his new home?” He made a sound of disapproval. “Gotta say, Chiefy, ya’ did a poor execution of it. Five outta ten, ‘cause ya’ left the evidence lyin’ about.”

His tail wagged behind him to indicate that he was teasing if she hadn’t already picked it up from his playful overtones. To her question, he shrugged. “Rocks and more rocks and a lotta snow. Oh, and a shrub. So, unless ya’ count usin’ rocks for killin’ someone, snow for desperate drinkin’, or the shrub for peein’ on, I ain’t found a damn thing up here.” He sat down then, itching a spot behind an ear lazily. “What about you, Chiefy? Ya’ got any particular reason for bein’ up here other than checkin’ out your secret lover’s decayin’ ass?”

Shikoba Whiplash

Inferni
Quintus (NPC)
User avatar
Songbird

Break me down

POSTED: Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:56 am

--

Oh, but consider -- Vicira turned around with a little flourish of her dark tail and grinned at his usual theatrics. Maybe I meant to leave him lyin' out to serve as a warning to everyone else. She laughed, a lighter sound than her spirited retorts would suggest. She'd no reason to hide her amusement and delight anymore. It's my family's style after all.

Her smile faded a little when Shikoba reported finding nothing interesting up in the mountains, but she shielded her disappointment the best she could as she looked back down into the ravine. Not really. Like I said, I was just interested in the passage and wanted to see if we could cross it.

She remained silent for a little longer. Minute shifts of her lips and brow suggested that she was thinking, but she didn't voice her thoughts aloud. Not this time. She had shown enough vulnerabilities in front of Shikoba, and while she considered him a friend, their time apart had made her wary again of exposing weakness. She couldn't break down, couldn't ask him if the land was really so terrible, couldn't ask him if she'd done the right thing bringing them here.

It wasn't appropriate. Dead elk jokes were easier.

Fuck it, Vicira said suddenly, and slipped over the lip of rock, picking her way down a barely-there ridge toward the angry river.

Inferni
Aquila
User avatar
Raze
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Multiple Co-ranks Mate to Redtooth Level III Rex Chaos Star oderint dum metuant
cinder and smoke
ash in your mouth

POSTED: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:46 pm

(+512)


He laughed, reminded of the skulls that Inferni used as their border markers. There were more than just wolves used, even if they made up the majority. Enemies of Inferni were kept there too, their uselessness while living made up for after they had long since passed onto the next world. “Y’all’er touched.” It was a joking insult, for, it was directed towards the Clan, to include himself and young Scuttle.

Vicira seemed a bit deflated at his lack of findings, the wide smile she had worn previously slacking and her icy gaze shifting elsewhere. Shikoba let out a soft sigh, wishing he could have something to offer to make the Aquila not look so disappointed at the news. There was truly nothing though, at least, nothing to be found in the middle of the winter season. Perhaps, when the snow melted in the spring, the mountainous region could yield something of worth to the Clan. As it was now though, it was largely barren.

“Y’know of somethin’ interestin’ on the other side?” He asked after a beat when he noticed her appear to be thinking about something. Surely, there had to be something important about the passage that Vicira wanted to seek it out. Was there something down in the valley that was worth the deadly trek dowards? The ashen female had started off, throwing caution to the wind as she descended down towards the river.

Shikoba felt his heart race at the danger and the thought of being suddenly left behind. “Oi oi oi! Maldita sea, Chiefy,” he grumbled under his breath. “Give me a fuckin’ minute before ya’ go galivantin’ off tryin’ to commit suicide.” As quickly as he could, the Whiplash tried to follow after the Tears woman, grumbling and swearing under his breath the entire time.

“Sorry, Toothy, yer wife’s a wild one, shoulda known that.” The terrain was a little harder to navigate on two legs, and Shikoba had to resort to a strange dance of switching back and forth between his belly touching the rocky terrain or his back. “Crazy like my damn horse.” He was sure to keep his claws extended, wanting every bit of grip he could get on the rocky terrain. “Jumped headlong into her death, she did.” He frowned when the soil beneath one of his feet slipped out from underneath him, sending a bit of sediment tumbling down into the deadly, ice-covered river below. “Better count your stars that your kids didn’t inherit that shit.” As difficult as it was in Optime, if worse came to worse, it would be easier to fish the Aquila out of the water with his hands than having to use his teeth.

Eidolon watched them from above, however, the hawk was wise to keep her thoughts on the Luperci’s antics to herself. When he had nearly caught up to her, Shikoba let out an exaggerated breath of frustration. “Whatever’s down here better be worth it, Chief. I don’t wanna end up like your elk buddy.”

Shikoba Whiplash

Inferni
Quintus (NPC)
User avatar
Songbird

Break me down

POSTED: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:57 pm

His characteristic oi! shouted behind her, but Vicira was steely in her resolve despite her determined legs and cool exterior shielding a rapidly-beating heart. The water beneath her was no sweet stream with its ariose babbling, but a raging torrent, and she knew all too well what would happen if she slipped. At the same time, she needed to know that this apparent deathtrap of a territory held some potential, that she was right for bringing them all here.

She needed a sign.

(And ignored a blatant one in the bloated, rotting carcass of the hapless elk.)

Four strong legs granted her balance, and her body was trained to adapt to the rock and pitch of a horse; could steep slopes be that different? Carefully, the coywolf wound a trail down closer to the water, moving horizontally where she could. Behind her, Shikoba was grumbling, and dirt and pebbles skidded down from above. She only swiveled her ears back to listen for cries of alarm, inwardly pleased by the show of loyalty in that he came with her (complaining the entire way or not).

Finally, Vicira stood at river-level, her paws splayed over snow and stone and her breaths shallow as she looked out at the churning waters. This used to be a pass to the beaches beyond here, she said, belatedly answering his question as she glanced over her shoulder at him. Inferni's old territory lies on the other side. It would be a quick way there, if not an easy one -- not if the river couldn't be tamed.

She started to inch along the bank, between the angry river and the steep stone of the valley, pausing to test the ground before her for slickness or cracking ice. It became obvious very quickly that she would not make real progress. Even in light of this, her eyes narrowed and she became almost violent in her movement forward.

Inferni
Aquila
User avatar
Raze
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Multiple Co-ranks Mate to Redtooth Level III Rex Chaos Star oderint dum metuant
cinder and smoke
ash in your mouth

POSTED: Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:40 pm

NPC: Eidolon (+361)


Eventually, the pair had made their way down to the riverbank without any mishaps or slips. It was something to be grateful for, for, Shikoba highly doubted they’d be able to get a medic to their location quickly enough, nor, be able to build a fire—should one of them had fallen in—with any great haste with what little the land around them provided for kindling and shelter against the elements.

He brushed off the dirt and snow from his hands as his wasabi gaze looked up and down the length of the frozen river before them. Where the ice had broken, the dull roar of the moving waters could be heard, and promised a miserable death to any that fell in.

He moved to stand beside Vicira as she spoke of the past, explaining how the waterway had been used many years before the Clan had found a home in the plains on the southern side of the Halcyon mountain range. The mention of beaches had Shikoba curious, wondering how one so far northeast might look. Would it be sand? Rock? Pebbles? “You ever been to the old place? Where Inferni came from?” He asked as she led them along the riverbank.

When her movements became more bold and confident, Shikoba shuffled to keep up with her while also being mindful of where he placed each foot. The last thing he wanted was to slip and somehow end up crashing through the ice and into the river. “Oi! Careful, Chiefy! It ain’t goin’ no where! And I’d rather not be fishin’ your pretty ass out of the drink!”

His eyes shifted heavenward, searching quickly for his hawk. He let out a high-pitched whistle, calling the raptor down to their level. “Eidolon!” He called up when she glided down close enough. “Find us a safe path so Chiefy here don’t end up havin’ a conniption fit.” The bird let out a cry in acceptance of her task before pumping her wings and flying further up the river.

Shikoba returned his focus on the ashen woman before him. “So, we find a way across, then what?”

Shikoba Whiplash

Inferni
Quintus (NPC)
User avatar
Songbird

Break me down

POSTED: Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:13 pm

Vicira picked her way around icy rocks and butted her shoulder against steep cliffside as she followed the river, imagining a time when the valley was a dry trail cutting through the mountains. It had been a river first, probably – eroding through stone, dried up after decades, only to find new, turbulent life again. Much like the woods had lived and burned and grown again, although the passage was decidedly unfriendly.

“Yeah,” she said. “We went the long way around the mountains. Inferni’s old land is mostly shoreline – barren. Hell’s Coast.” There was a reason she had settled them in the forests and floodplains rather than that dark strand.

Shikoba called out a warning, moving close after her, and whistled for his hawk. The rose-white bird flew away again to find a view, and Vicira finally stopped. She looked at her friend as if she had an answer, but the facade dropped.

“I don’t know.”

Frustration bled from behind her mask. She dropped her tail and looked at the water, lapping at the ice inches from her paws. “Travel for treacherous miles until we get to look at a dead old beach, I guess. Fucking stupid.” The fight gone out of her, she grimaced and continued to avoid Shikoba’s gaze.

“I just wanted to see if it was possible. If there was something useful in this damn place.” Her voice was low. “You can call back your bird. We should get back up and try to find things like food.”
Inferni
Aquila
User avatar
Raze
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Multiple Co-ranks Mate to Redtooth Level III Rex Chaos Star oderint dum metuant
cinder and smoke
ash in your mouth

Dead Topics