maximize stability

POSTED: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:02 pm

He was easy to see in the snow – the blue garment seemed a bold choice against the desaturated world, but so too did Bennett as a whole. If his goal had been to disappear, he would have needed to do more than throw on shirts. His ginger fur would be hard to blend into the winter landscape.

Since he was not naturally disguised, Bennett had learned to rely on other talents. His small size (loathe as he was to admit it) and his intense training helped him when it came to sneaking around. Besides, he'd change his shirt if that was the case – and he wouldn't go out in daylight.

Today wasn't about hiding. It was about measuring how well he'd be able to move when he was full armed like this.

The bow was slung over his shoulder, ready to return to his hand once the rest of his party arrived. He had brought what seemed to be the maximum amount of arrows that could fit in his current quiver without compromising the speed of his draw. It was the sword which felt especially strange. Until recently, he had not been permitted to carry it in public.

The attacks on their people had woken caution in his father, who responded by preparing for nothing short of war. He had taken to making arrows again. Despite the weather, Linden often took his horse and disappeared for long hours.

They lived like strangers sometimes.

In addition to the sword, Bennett had acquired a pair of leather bracers from his father. They were not exactly sized to him, but close enough to fit comfortably over the long-sleeved shirt Bennett wore beneath everything else. It helped keep his body heat in, and provided extra padding against the weight of his chunky sword-belt and quiver. Today he felt like he needed it – there was a chill in the air even if there was no wind.


« ∙ when the wind blows, the grass bends ∙ »
avatar art: lin | signature art: despi

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Mel
Luperci Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
anger is a gift
dig two graves
live free or die
sasāra
bodhi

POSTED: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:23 am

Optime | NPC: Einarr (+420)


Einarr had been quick to shut his mouth the moment the words had left it, but, the thought still lingered heavily in her mind despite the time in-between. She tried to not think about it. Her mother was not one to throw her praise lightly. She was not someone to say something she didn’t believe. Still, there was a nagging whisper in the back of Skadi’s mind. Had she truly earned the right to carry weaponry? Or had her mother’s hand been forced with the problems arising on the Vale’s borders?

She took a steely breath, holding her chin a little higher as she marched through the snow to the meeting point for the patrol they were set to go on with Bennett. Her brother, Einarr, treaded beside her, never one to miss out on an opportunity to prove himself, too, to the pack. In her hand, she held a bow. It had been pilfered the local storage, the Wolverthorne not yet owning one of her own and not daring to touch the sacred one that was her mother’s. At her side was the extra hip quiver her mother had bartered for during the fall. It was the first time she had brought weaponry out with her on a patrol, but, with the recent reports of trespassing, she figured she couldn’t be too careful.

Besides, it made her feel more like an adult, even if some part of her felt cheapened by how it might have come to be.

It didn’t take the pair long to find the familiar figure of Bennett. His bright coat—and clothing choice—made him stick out like a sore thumb against the monochrome environment that surrounded them. Skadi offered a wave to the older Mistwalker as she and Einarr closed the distance between them.

Her glacier eyes honed in on the sword at his side, a teeth-filled smirk curling at the edge of her lips. “Don’t you look ready for battle.” He had the looks of a fighter, wearing bracers, armed with the blade and his own bow. She was largely bare in comparison.

“Pfft, neither of you have anything on my claws,” Einarr pipped up jokingly.

Skadi let out a sharp exhale. “Tch, whatever, Einarr.” Her gaze shifted to look at the Hawkesond’s face. “What’s the plan, fluff?” As the oldest and most experienced one of their group, she immediately differed to him for how they would go about their patrol.

Skadi Eklund

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Luperci And the serpent released its tail

POSTED: Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:58 pm

[WC: 326]

Well, seeing as my brother is neither a bear nor present, carrying the sword makes sense, don't you think? He quipped back.

For as much as it could be an advantage, his size provided a handicap – his reach. A larger opponent would always have that advantage over him. Skadi had certainly been able to figure that out when they sparred.

Two bows would almost certainly ensure they took down any problems they might encounter. More importantly, he thought, was seeing how a trespasser would behave. They'd look quite intimidating, he thought, though it would have been better if Skadi or Einarr had been armored. Well, they were still basically kids – though of the trio, Bennett was certainly the smallest.

I was thinkin' we'd go right up to the Mire and then just work our way down. All the trouble seems to be coming from that way. Besides, that other side of the river is always so boring, he complained. Anyhow, we can make our way around Noxweald and see what it's lookin' like from there.

Over time, patrols and other travel had helped wear places around the borders easier for travel. Bennett already had a route mapped out in his head, though he was yet undetermined about how far they would go. As useful as a task like patrolling was, it could be terribly boring, and he didn't know if Skadi and her bear-brother would have the patience for the work. Bennett certainly found it capable of being an excruciating matter.

With their route determined, Bennett took the lead. He was a speedy walker, and seemed content to move at this relatively brisk pace – though it might not have been that way to someone whose stride was longer. The wolfdog was an ill example of what his ancestral bloodlines had once created. There was too much wickedness in him, some might say.

You're both all good, yeah? Haven't seen anyone weird or anything?


« ∙ when the wind blows, the grass bends ∙ »
avatar art: lin | signature art: despi

User avatar
Mel
Luperci Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
anger is a gift
dig two graves
live free or die
sasāra
bodhi

POSTED: Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:59 pm

NPC: Einarr (+427)

Feel free to PP Skadi and Einarr around!

“Tch.” She had no way of arguing that.

Attention was given to the oldest member of their group as he decided their heading and area of patrol. It was true, his comment about the Saint John’s River. In this time of the year, when the water was freezing, one would have to be a fool or desperate to cross it. Besides, like Bennett had said, all the “fun” action with those mysterious trespassers had happened on this side of the river anyways.

Einarr and Skadi both nodded their heads in agreement and acknowledgement of the Hawkesond’s plan of attack. “If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll find one of those Loners and scare them off.” It had been frustrating, knowing that there were Luperci flirting with the Vale’s boundary lines, and not one had been caught or chased off yet. If they thought they could try to outsmart or harass the pack without consequence, they were dead wrong.

“Just make sure you don’t miss,” Einarr teased, alluding to a recent hunt where Skadi had overshot the target by accident. His remark earned him a harmless shove in the shoulder by Skadi as she moved past him to follow after Bennett. After a chuckle, the bear followed too.

For a short Luperci, the de l’Or certainly did walk fast.

Even still, they managed to maintain his pace all the same. The siblings took up a fan-like formation, with Skadi choosing to walk on one side of Bennett while Einarr took up the other. Having gone on patrols both with their mother and on their own before, they didn’t need further instruction on what to do. They knew what to look for; signs of trespassing, Loner activity near their borders, or encampments that were built too close for comfort. Tracks and signs of dangerous, big game animals in the area were always good to note too.

“We’ve done a few patrols,” Skadi answered the older Mistwalker to give him an idea of their experience.

“We helped Rialu dispatch some Loners that killed on Vale territory,” Einarr chimed in, pausing and sniffing at a particular evergreen bush before loping to catch up with them.

“We haven’t seen anyone weird lately though, just smelt where they’ve been,” Skadi continued, her glacier eyes searching out over the great expanse of territory they still had to cross just to reach their starting point. She glanced over to Bennett with a slight scowl. “They seem to be as fond of berries as Einarr is.”

Skadi Eklund

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Luperci And the serpent released its tail

POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:59 pm

[WC: 333]
I feel like they can follow find the trail of someone who gets away before they see them! :o

Yeah that's what I'd like, he agreed, flashing his teeth in a grin. It would be exciting to face down a stranger and send them packing. He wanted to prove himself useful in combat, knowing he'd be good at it.

Still, he understood the safest way to live was without violence. Preparing for war and entering it were two different matters. He had struck out against an enemy once before. Each time he thought about that he grew more and more frustrated. The wound hadn't been nearly enough.

They had killed his mother. They deserved punishment.

Huh, he said, curious as to what the trespassers Skadi and the others had encountered had looked like and whether or not they were the same. It was one thing for a trader or visitor to show up unannounced, but another for someone to dare to cross pack borders chasing prey. It was a universal rule, Bennett thought. Breaking it was absurd. Maybe you'll recognize 'em again, if they come back. They must be pretty stupid people to come around and mess with a pack, he scoffed, peering out towards the borderline ahead.

Their patrol was, by and large, unexciting. A thin and winding trail had begun to wear in places where other patrols passed, but they often diverted from this when something of interest caught their attention. A curious smell, a bright color, a sound that was peculiar – all of these things lured them off course, but they were young, easily distracted, and less concerned about sticking to a specific route.

When they did find the stranger's scent, Bennett bristled with excitement. He dropped to a crouch to point out signs of the trail – most notable, a broken branch where someone's leg had brushed too close. He showed the siblings his findings.

This is low, so he's probably on foot. We'd have smelled a horse now otherwise, he added. Between the two Luperci and the bear, one of them would have picked something up.


« ∙ when the wind blows, the grass bends ∙ »
avatar art: lin | signature art: despi

User avatar
Mel
Luperci Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
anger is a gift
dig two graves
live free or die
sasāra
bodhi

POSTED: Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:32 pm

NPC: Einarr (+457)

Feel free to PP Skadi/Einarr!

Skadi shrugged, smirking with a bit of teeth over to the older boy. “Doubt those ones will be back any time soon.”

“Rialu shot an arrow through one of their hands, and Skadi and I tag teamed the other one,” Einarr explained with pride. “They were pretty stupid though.”

“Yeah, seems these newer ones are just the same,” she growled with distaste. From the few reoccurring scents she and Einarr had smelt in recent days, none of them were familiar to the trio that Skadi, Rialu, and Einarr had encountered in the beginning weeks of winter. There was a similar pattern, however; camping close to the borders, lingering, general trespassing. It seemed being a Loner meant they lost a few common sense brain cells, either that, or they were arrogant enough to think themselves above any possible consequences to their actions.

Onward the trio of Mistwalkers went until they finally managed to find something that was more promising than anything else they’d found on their patrol. It was Bennett who spied the first visible mark, and Skadi crouched beside him, leaning forward on splayed hands as she took an inquisitive sniff at the ground around the broken branch. Foreign. Male. Luperci. Yes, they were definitely still on track.

“A horse through here would also leave left behind noticeable footprints too,” Skadi commented. At least, her mother’s horses, Brimstone and Jack’s, would have. They were heavier creatures, with hard, rounded hooves for feet that tended to sink rather than spread out. In areas with soft or wet soil, their presence was unmistakable. With the trail they had found, there was hardly a distinguishable footprint in sight to go off of. The path was well traveled, the snow already packed tightly.

“He came up through here,” Einarr called to the two archers. The bear had been sniffing about and had moved on ahead of them. He stood beside a noticeable break amongst a thick line of thorny bushes. It looked like a popular game trail given the way the snow was piled higher on either side of it. “It was probably quicker than going around.”

Skadi stood and moved to join her brother. As she went to pass through the thorny thickets though, she stopped, her brows raising high as she reached over to pluck a tuft of hair that had been caught on the end of one of the thorns. “Whoever they are, they have dark fur,” she said, looking over her shoulder and holding up the pinch of hair to the boys.

She maneuvered back off the trail, holding out the tuft for the bear to sniff. While he memorized the scent, she looked over to Bennett. “Think they’re still in the area?”

Skadi Eklund

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Songbird
Luperci And the serpent released its tail

POSTED: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:30 pm

[WC: 585]

Did she? That sounds pretty cool, Bennett said. There were plenty of people in the Vale whom he did not really know, but if the archer was skilled enough to blast a raider through the hand, they had to be a good shot. If not, it was lucky – and either way, he imagined the sight was spectacular. What a small target! What an impression that must have left on the unfortunate poacher and his partner. He hoped they had been hurting when they were run off.

The wolfdog nodded in agreement to his companion's thoughts when it came to the possibility of the trail belonging to a rider. A horse would leave behind a collection of droppings too, and it was doubtful anyone would stop long enough to clean up after their ride. No tracks and no droppings meant no horse. Riding in the snow risked plenty on its own, though Bennett didn't think to explain all of this to Skadi.

He was considering which way the trespassers might have gone when the bear called out from ahead of their position. Quick on his feet, the young man trotted up to where the bush had been disturbed. Sniffing and examining the breakage up close, Bennett growled with annoyance.

How close were they? The cold weather affected the way things smelled. He couldn't hazard a proper guess – the bear might have better luck, with his nose closer to the ground.

Skadi's secondary clue had them off in the right direction again. She passed him the piece of fur, and he tucked it away in a little pouch attached to his belt. They could turn it in to someone when they got finished with their patrol.

I hope so, Bennett practically spat, wishing they would come across the people responsible for all this trouble. He was annoyed by what was happening. Mistfell Vale had been a peaceful place for as long as he had lived within its borders, and despite a hostile ghost (or so they said) there was no reason for conflict to touch them. These strangers who kept pressing into their land claim did so because they were attempting to take which was not theirs. It broke an old law of their kind, and that alone warned Bennett that they were facing wicked people.

If he's on foot he's probably moving pretty fast. If it was me, I'd get in and get out. Get as far ahead as I could, he said. Escaping capture had been a part of his training all his life. It seemed reasonable for him to consider what drove the fleeing trespasser.

Bennett slowed on the trail to allow Skadi to pass him when Einarr made a low noise ahead. He turned to check the path behind them and ensure no one had followed them. They were not merely out looking for deer or other prey, but following a Luperci who was likely to have companions with him.

People who were evil and bold enough to cross pack borders might be bold enough to lay traps or try ambushing an unsuspecting patrol when they came to investigate.

All he saw was the snow covered forest. It was cold at night and often flakes came across the Loch or the nearby bay. They would be dealing with unfavorable terrain throughout the territory, for winter had grown increasingly dangerous as the days went on. Bennett wondered if the approaching ill weather would favor the loners as they tested the Vale's borders.


« ∙ when the wind blows, the grass bends ∙ »
avatar art: lin | signature art: despi

User avatar
Mel
Luperci Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
anger is a gift
dig two graves
live free or die
sasāra
bodhi

POSTED: Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:31 am

(+430)

We could probably wrap this up with them losing the scent and tracks at a stream or something? :O Unless you need more words?

She hoped so too.

It would have been more fun for them if they found the individual. Perhaps they could get some answers as to why there was a sudden interest with the Vale’s borders. Or, maybe, they could make a point, pass a message that might send the suspicious Loners scrambling for a new place to harass. Skadi wasn’t about to let her home become a soft target for thieves and bandits. Her mother’s blood in her veins would make sure of it.

“We should probably pick up the pace then and see if we can cut him off,” she suggested, nodding her head for Einarr to take the lead down the pathway. The quicker they got to the bottom of all of the suspicious occurrences at the borders, the better. The pack was on edge, particularly since they had yet to put a face to the various scents, tracks, and other evidence they’d found thus far of the Loners’ presence.

The group started again, and Skadi strained her ears to listen for something, anything that might be the target of their pursuit. She sniffed at the air, and her glacier eyes swept over the snow-covered landscape around them for anything that stuck out, that didn’t belong. Someone might have been hiding, a trap might have been laid out. Her mother’s sharp corrections during their lessons hissed in her mind.

At one point, Bennett slowed enough to allow her to pass him, and it was then that Einarr let out a warning, bear-like groan. Skadi picked up her pace to see what it was about, leaving Bennett to watch the group’s back. The bear was standing on his hind legs, staring intently in a particular direction that looked over a tall mess of dead vines and brush. He was still, but his nose twitched wildly as he sniffed.

“Einarr, what is it?” Skadi asked as she crept beside him. Her gaze shifted to search the immediate area around them.

“I heard movement, fast movement. Like someone making a break for cover,” he whispered. He fell back onto his four paws once more, sniffing at the path for the scent they’d been following. “I saw the tracks in the snow over this thing.” He gestured towards their temporary cover before looking back to Bennett. “No Luperci though.”

Skadi cautiously peaked over, squinting at the empty landscape of forest that greeted her. “Do you want to spread out and search?” She asked the leader of sorts to their little scouting party.

Skadi Eklund

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Songbird
Luperci And the serpent released its tail

POSTED: Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:15 pm

[WC: 558]

When the bear stood up, Bennett felt his shadow.

He glanced back at them once – the tall she-wolf and her brother, towering near the trees. They looked fierce and wild standing their together.

He felt a strange rush of something in him then. It was strange to quantify the feeling, and Bennett could not. Pride was too simple, and joy did not touch his heart. Not even love seemed appropriate. What he saw in them there was the sort of bond that made him want to protect his these people, and confident they would do the same for him. Kinship, perhaps. Something like brotherhood in arms. They felt like warriors, awaiting a conflict. Bennett wanted so badly for them to find someone out there – anyone. Confronting a trespasser, defending their land together, that would preserve the feeling.

Yeah that sounds good, he told the pair. There were tracks in the snow, and the bear had said he heard something. Bennett hopped up besides Skadi and peered towards the forest ahead. If the snow was passable, his speed could help him catch up with the would-be trespasser. A good shot could slow him down. Staying within earshot would give them a chance to cover more ground, and this was about the length they took when they headed after the tracks.

At first, the frantic trail was easy to follow. It diverted suddenly in a direct line, as if whoever had been here had chosen to flee as quickly as they could. They had run towards a creek.

Bennett spotted the pawprints in the soft, damp ground and suddenly realized their problem.

Oh damn it, Bennett cursed. He scampered after the tracks and saw where they had plunged into the running water. Beyond the dark bank across from them them he could not see any sign of a crossing. The snow there looked undisturbed, as if their prey had disappeared into thin air.

Damn it. He barked again, and bristled around his nape and tail. He hated thinking they had been outsmarted. Annoyed, Bennett hunched over to examine the trail on their side of the creek. The paw prints in the cold mud were large and spread out. They vanished into the running water, where their scent did not carry and where tracks would be washed away. Whoever they had been following had known enough to try and hide their scent.

He must have gone into the creek. That's gonna make it way harder to find him, Bennett said. The wolfdog lingered at the edge of the water, scowling. Their options were limited, and they would run out of daylight if they spent too long going the wrong way. They ultimately made their decision and sought a trail further downstream, but found no sign that anyone had come back across.

Eventually, Bennett realized they had lost the man they were after. He stopped and called for his companions. When they were reunited (equally empty handed), the trio agreed they had most likely lost the trail. It was disappointing .

Let's head back and report this, Bennett conceded. A mounted scout would have better luck chasing someone down, though he was eager to do so himself. Darkness would be upon them in a few hours regardless, and he had no desire to be caught out in the dangerous night.


« ∙ when the wind blows, the grass bends ∙ »
avatar art: lin | signature art: despi

User avatar
Mel
Luperci Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
anger is a gift
dig two graves
live free or die
sasāra
bodhi

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