Nightingale Blackbird

Johanna

POSTED: Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:03 am


The dark furred adolescent crawled gingerly through the budding underbrush of the Dampwood. Spring was in full swing in the land, and the boy's father had thought that it would be a good idea to teach his son about hunting that evening. Of course, the pups had spent their earlier days chasing rabbits, squirrels, and voles in the field, but today their target would be something bigger. Remus had suggested that they go on horseback, bringing Orion a sling of arrows and a communal bow to practice with, but the dark faced boy shook his head at these. "No, I want to run." He informed his father, who stood there in a somewhat bewildered trance as he watched his son shift down into his original form. "I guess, then.." The other, older wolf spoke sheepishly as he scratched at the mane of locks tumbling down the back of his head.

In all actuality, Remus couldn't recall the last time he had gone for a hunt in his four legged form, and he couldn't quite guarantee that he would be any good at it, but nonetheless, the male stripped off his shirt and black slacks, and shifted down. Green and yellow eyes watched as his father shifted, he looked rusty at it, as though he'd been standing on two legs since the first time he'd traded in the front ones for arms. It was a couple minutes later that the pair of males moved out. The dark furred boy, just trading in puphood for adolescence, ran with long slender legs behind his more fully muscled father, until they picked up the scent of a game trail, and followed the path out into the surrounding woods, beyond pack borders and towards the moonstone lakes.

"Stay back, stay quiet, when we get close enough, I want you to run out and startle the deer, I'll come in for the kill from a different angle." Remus told his son, Orion's tail swishing once or twice as he listened, eyes alight with young eagerness, though he said nothing save for emitting a soft chuff of air. Orion followed his father, eyes scanning the surrounding brush, ears flicking like satellites as he skulked, but something, a sound, a rustle of brush in a slightly different direction, caught his attention, and the male wandered off a short distance. He came upon two other wolves, they didn't look too ragged like he would expect of loners based on what he'd heard, one of them was a grizzled old grey wolf, scarred and missing a good bit of an ear, Orion's eyes didn't linger long on this one, it was the girl that had caught his eye. "прекрасный.." He murmured under under his breath, inhaling deep as though he had just caught his first breath of fresh air.
Casa di Cavalieri
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POSTED: Tue May 14, 2019 3:14 pm

The silver girl huffed to herself, though loudly enough that her chaperon could hear it. "Attitude won't save you." he chuckled lightheartedly, already undressed to shift down into a four-legged form. His daughter, however, was very stubbornly standing with her arms crossed, not willing to give up the new legs that she had found and taken a liking to. "But can't we just, I dunno, hunt like this? Or even go hunting a different day?" Ever since she had shifted for that first time a few moons ago, she had yet to shift back, a process that seemed daunting every time it came up.

Yellow suns gazed at her in an empathetic, but still firm expression. "Sweetheart, what are you going to do if all you have on hand is your teeth and claws? Before you can think about surviving with tools, you need to learn how to survive with nothing but what comes natural to us. And besides, even if you like standing on two legs, sooner or later you'll have to walk on four again, trust me.
Better to master that now than later."
he lectured, and Johanna nodded in compliance, though not without a face like she just tasted something sour. Listening to her father's bones and muscles crackle into place, she watched as he slowly sank down onto all limbs, his hands reverting back into toes and paws before he stood before her, shaking out his coat with a shiver.

Sitting back on his haunches, he flicked weathered ears forward and began to instruct the child. "Now, concentrate. Visualize what you just saw happening to you, and think back to what it felt like to run as a pup. The feeling of grass sweeping under your paws, all four of them, equally. Remember that feeling." And with a low groan, Johanna closed her eyes and knelt on the ground, contorting the image of her father changing into that of herself, and tried to recall the months before where she would run among the snow. As her body began to pull on itself, she let it flow, not trying to push it too hard, just letting what came to do as it pleased.

She could remember how the wind felt, being low to the ground. The biting breeze always brought with it a chill, but also a breath of air. She remembered how confident she had become in her own stance, over time, and ran towards every adventure with a pulsing heart. Her brow creasing, the adolescent gritted her teeth, and could feel her body moving, shifting, but it didn't hurt. It felt more like, a good long stretch, after a peaceful nap. And after a couple minutes, when she was done imagining herself on four legs and the pulling stopped, she peeked a little bit, and saw that she was standing normally, hunched on the ground with her paws all how they should be, and her dad smiling proudly.

With a whipping bent tail, Johanna began to dance around and spin in circles, ecstatic with her transformation. "I did it! I did it!" she exclaimed, her face darting over to look her father in the eye, tongue lolling as she pranced in place. The grey wolf laughed deeply, still larger than the teen, and smiled as he beckoned her out past the lakes. "Come on, let's book it out of camp. Got to get you used to running on all fours again." he said, rising to his feet and turning away from the tents. Johanna glanced around her once, giving the tower a wistful look before galloping up to Lukos, as the two of them broke off from camp and raced off into the wilderness, looking for game to hunt.

Had the wind always been this strong on her muzzle, on her chest when she ran? As the two bolted into the breeze, the ground rippling past them with Lukos leading the way, everything about Johanna felt more rooted, and yet more free to touch the sky. The more experienced hunter began to pull back on the throttle, easing into a trot as to not scare off any potential prey by going thundering through the forest. As they progressed through the blooming brush, the wolf began to move into a stalk, and the smaller wolf-dog tried to mirror his movements, crouching low as they slowed up. She could smell that deer had traveled through here recently, probably eager to graze the new grass that had begun to spring up from the ground.

The grizzled male had slinked to a stop behind a bush, certain he could smell their goal just around the bend, hearing them pawing at the ground for food. With a commanding gaze he signaled for Johanna to move around the other side, with the intention that she'd drive the herd to him. Johanna looked at him for a moment before realizing he was trying to tell her something, and nodded vigorously before slinking off his shoulder and off into the brush on their left to get a view of the deer. Strangely, however, the only thing she saw was a dark face with discolored eyes staring right at her, causing the ashen girl to freeze in her tracks.

Lukos looked over to see what the hold up was, and noticed the stranger that had wandered up to them. Before he could even give a puzzled look, the boy said something, to which Johanna gave an indignant expression and stood up a bit more clearly. Realizing that things were about to go a bit off plan, Lukos tried to hiss "Wait, Johanna-" before his daughter got out a very not quiet and disgruntled, "What did you just say to me?"

And as she realized her mistake, she turned her head to stare directly at a group of white-tail deer, all alert and glaring directly at a wolf that just gave away her position. She felt like what little color was on her fur just drained right through her paws, and giggled nervously out of sheer panic. A few of the deer snorted and stamped around at this, flicking their tails as they all sat glued to the now very noticeable silver wolf. Out of the corner of his muzzle, Lukos rumbled a "Don't. Move." to her, wildly thinking about how they were going to salvage this mess. Of all the places, they just had to run into someone else looking for food right here, right now. His luck always seemed to run against him.
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POSTED: Mon May 27, 2019 8:21 pm

It was a long journey between their home inside Casa di Cavalieri, and the teaming forests of the dampwoods; at least, it may have been the longest distance that the adolescent had ever traveled. It was invigorating, however, to be able to run on all fours, to stretch his legs, and feel the earth shift silently beneath his paw pads as his claws sunk into it to gain him traction and speed. His first real hunt was to be an exciting time for him, something that Orion had silently been looking forward to since he'd first seen a large creature of the forest brought back and butchered by his father and grandfather.

They, however, came and went on the backs of horses, great beasts of burden that the wolves seemed to have enslaved rather than eaten, but Orion didn't see the joy in going out and shooting his meals from afar, he didn't see the sportsmanship or the drive there, it seemed to him like hunting in such a way was purely for ease. That was only one of the reasons why Orion insisted to his father that they hunt in their four legged forms; the boy simply preferred four legs over two. True, in Optime, he could perhaps see farther, being higher up off the ground, but apart from that, he felt that all his senses were perhaps heightened in his four legged form, though that could have been wishful thinking on his part as well.

Things of this nature were all Orion thought about as he and his father loped through the undergrowth of the dampwood, seeking out the trail of some unsuspecting deer, the wind tousling his fur and teasing his nostrils with the tantalizing smells of the forest and prey. It would seem, however, that Orion was not the only adolescent out for a daytime hunt with their father, as events had somehow unfolded so that Orion wound up face to face with the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen. It took him a moment to register what she had said, to process her reaction, and green gold eyes flew wide. "Н-Ничего такого- I-I mean nothing!" He stammered out, to which a few of the dear began to panic and scatter towards the other side of the clearing, while others, namely the buck, stood their ground and eyed the wolves hard.

Orion ducked his head and flattened his ears, his cheeks burning with shame and embarrassment and something else below his off-colored eyes by the time Remus padded over to what was now a small group, eying his son in frustration. "We need to leave, now." The grey Knight urged underneath his breath, his eyes meeting those of Lukos a moment later as his own sparked with recognition, but he said nothing more.

"What?! But Dad, I-" He began, only to receive a solid cuff to the head with his fathers heavy handed paw. The buck was on them now, head down as he pawed the ground, sharp prongs facing the youngsters and their fathers with intent to drive them off or stab them to death. Orion's fur bristled up along his spine, stiff legs carried him over between the girl and the buck as he bared teeth at the creature.

"Orion! Get away from there or I swear to Fenris!" Remus barked, sharp and demanding.

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Corie
Luperci

POSTED: Fri May 31, 2019 8:15 pm

The boy seemed a little slow to the teenage girl, after he took a few seconds to say anything in his defense. He was a curious one all right, with his big green eyes ogling her. Wait, his eyes are both green and yellow, that was something interesting, and definitely new. Johanna remembered that he had mumbled something towards her after barging in on them and rolled her eyes, noting how the boy was tactless compared to some.

Her slip-up was less than graceful itself however, as Johanna winced as the dominoes began to fall and watched the deer that were staring her down now stampeded away, glancing at the irritated frown her father sported. To the grey wolf, as amusing as the distraction had been, it cost them the element of surprise, one of if not the most important element in hunting. Johanna was about to get a crash course in a more difficult hunting situation than he had hoped for.

Looking to their new acquaintances, the elder one seemed familiar. One quick sniff could tell anyone they were Cavaliers, not far from their borders, but this earthen male that appeared by the boy stirred the memory in his mind. "What's the hurry, leaving will make things more difficult for both parties." he said, weighing the odds that either one would find deer before sundown again after this encounter. "Don't I know you, Sir?" he said in a lightly polite tone, with a creeping smile.

Johanna looked to her father with a confused expression, he didn't normally talk to people he knew in such a manner. But both of them forgot about the others as the buck began to challenge the group. To Johanna's surprise, the dark stranger leaped out in front of her, arising to the challenge as he showed off his fangs. Lukos was not impressed.

Not one to waste an opportunity, the grizzled veteran barked out his command with a single word: "Johanna." Looking to her father for guidance, she broke away from the engagement to follow in pursuit as Lukos circled around the buck's flank, cutting it off from the herd and forcing it to choose between one side of the attackers. If the knight would be so kind to put his honor where his mouth was, perhaps they might come away with some happy compromise.

Still unsure of herself, Johanna glanced towards the scarred scholar. "What should I do?" "Keep your eyes on the herd, make sure no one else gets any brave thoughts. I'll handle this side." he ordered, hackles raised as he paced to and fro. All they needed was a stroke of luck.
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POSTED: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:59 pm

As the chance meeting progressed, the events unfurled like a snowball rolling downhill, growing faster and further than the boy had expected. Things were awkward, and tense, not entirely to the fault of the two pre-teens that awkwardly observed and drew conclusions about each-other, while their fathers underwent some other kind of unspoken communication. They were obviously thinking things about each-other, but the air was heavy, as if Orion could cut the tension with his teeth. The old grey one spoke directly to Orion's father suggesting that if the pair leave, it would make things harder on everyone. It seemed that both adolescents were confused by the act of the eldest male in the bunch. He seemed nice enough, but there was something weird about his smile and the tone of his voice when he spoke.

Looking back at his own father, he saw Remus' citrine eyes narrow as if he was looking out at the sky on a bright day, the skin of his brow crinkling. "Of course, where are my manners?" came an equally strange and strained sounding response from the second eldest of the bunch. "You're one of the old Anathema leaders, aren't you? I remember you from the, ah, "event" that was held. I know your boys." Remus finished in a polite yet low tone, not even really looking at the other male before the buck lowered it's prongs towards the pale coated female, and Orion moved into the way of it. For all Orion cared, the old men may have been speaking another language entirely. He didn't know what an "anathema" was, he didn't know what event his father referred to, or which boys he knew of. There were plenty of boys in Casa, Orion supposed.

His mind wandered and reeled as instinct drove him to try and protect the other youth, but the demanding bark of his father had him flinching, his ears flicking back and his body lowering for half a moment. It was then that the grey wolf barked a name at the young girl, and they both skirted around to the other side of the antlered beast. "Johanna..." The boy whispered underneath his breath, something like electricity running up his spine as fear and excitement intermingled with a strange warmth in his chest, and he shivered and shook out his pelt, which fluffed up along his spine like ruffled duck feathers, his heart racing. The buck turned towards Lukos as he ran around, shaking it's head threateningly, but wavering as the old wolf stood his ground and paced near it with worn fangs bared. It was a test of will, and the old wolf seemed too stubborn, or maybe not entirely sane enough, to give in. "Alright, Orion, with me, on your feet..." The jaded Cavalier spoke, watching as the buck considered the grey wold before breaking and turning to flee. "Ah, uh, yes Dad!" That was the moment Remus moved, giving chase, at the beasts flank, and Orion was hot on his heels.
Casa di Cavalieri
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