The truth is stranger than all my dreams

POSTED: Tue May 08, 2018 10:02 am

It's noon in Saint Croix Highlands, and the sun is shining. Your character is having a nightmare. Gen is in her Lupus form.

Thunder boomed in her ears and shook the earth under her paws. A flurry of wind and rain batted against her face, blinding her and threatening to sweep her way into the darkness. She felt clawed hands sink into her fur, biting into her skin. They were trying to keep her there, to not let her get stolen away by the storm.

However, Generosity wasn't in the storm, not truly. The little wolf was safe and tucked away inside the shell of a barn. Only two walls and less than half of a roof were remaining but it was enough to shade her from the sun and protect her from a faint breeze.

A bed of decayed hay and fresh wildflowers pillowed her. Somewhere nearby was her mother—she was going off hunting, she told Generosity, and would be back soon. She was to watch the cow but Gen was so tired...

Milkie wasn't one for wandering and chewed her cud in silence. The heifer was tied to a rotten beam that, if she tried, she could drag down with enough force. But she was a docile beast and cared not of freedom. Dark eyes adorned with long lashes blinked as the little wolf began to writhe in her sleep.

Paws swat at empty air and muffled, strangled whimpers and yelps escaped her.

Salsola
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Shannah
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POSTED: Sat May 12, 2018 9:40 am

They had followed the St. John's River south from Krokar, leading Jack along by a lead attached to his halter. Behind him, pulled along by the strength of the dark caribou, there was an empty cart that Milos had hoped would be piled high with the fruits of their labor.

Or, perhaps meats would be more appropriate. They were hunting, after all.

Except, whether due to the noise of the cart or simply because of rotten luck, they had not been successful. So they kept moving south, eventually crossing the river where they could and following game trails south through The Borderlands and into the St. Croix Highlands.

"This is fec-FREAKIN' lame," his niece complained, catching herself from swearing and interjecting a more appropriate (if still classless) expression in its place.

But for Milos, seasoned hunter as he was, this wasn't unexpected. It was precisely the reason why he decided to bring Elle along in the first place: to get her out of Krokar for a while and set her mind on something more productive than how angry she was at her mother. Ever since Ailie had returned to them, Milos had felt a palpable tension between mother and daughter. Whatever attempts at reconnecting they were trying, it didn't seem to the Quartermaster that they were succeeding.

"Jus' th' way huntin' goes sometimes, I reckon," he replied, turning to look at his niece. "Gotta have patience, Elle. In more'n one thing that life's thrown your way." Milos looked meaningfully at her but if his words resonated with her, he couldn't tell.

He glanced away and looked ahead again, his sunny eyes catching sight of the rotten barn in the distance. "Gonna have t' try tyin' Jack up somewheres safe'n goin' out a little bit without 'im." Millos pointed to the barn. "Let's try puttin' 'im up in that barn."

Elle grumbled something that Milos couldn't decipher, shrugging in an exaggerated way, and followed him down toward the barn. They smelled the cow first and heard the yelping second.

"Stay here with Jack'n th' cart," he said sharply to Elle, who thought better than to argue. Then, stepping cautiously toward the barn, hunting spear in hand, Milos Parhelion found a dark wolf paddling in the air and whimpering pitifully against a cushion of wildflowers and hay. "Hey, hey," he said gently, setting his spear down and regarding the cow only a moment before reaching carefully out toward the dreaming girl.

[WC — 420]

Krokar
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Mandi
Moderator Luperci Mate to Eliza Drover, Leatherworker, Tailor Little Bandit
can you pull down the dawn?

POSTED: Wed May 16, 2018 3:04 pm

The nightmare was something new that plagued Generosity. It had been rare for her to have dreams to begin with—her world had been small a few moons ago, so her mind reflected that. The most exciting thing she saw when she had slept was the thought of chasing ducks that would always elude her.

But her sleep had not been peaceful for the last moon, when the reality of her situation and what had happened truly sank in. There was no going back to the way things used to be since that stormy night. And it scared her.

Louder than the thunder and the rain, a voice rose. It was not one she heard before, what was it doing here? It was then that Generosity realized that she was asleep and the voice was not in her mind but in the real world. Her paws stopped flailing and she blinked her bright eyes open. Sun replaced the darkness and she saw a man hanging above her.

She started but her paws couldn't find the ground and ended up wriggling more than anything else. Eventually she was able to roll onto her round belly and looked up at the stranger, her tail stiff behind her. "Who's you?" she slurred, her words muddled. Her mouth was still trying to catch up with her from the sudden awakening.

Salsola
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Shannah
Luperci dusk stars
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POSTED: Wed May 23, 2018 9:19 am

He had tried to be gentle, speaking in low and soothing tones as he did to his children when they slept fitfully, tangled up in the webs of nightmares and dreams. "Shh, it's okay," he cooed, "Hey, shhhh." Whether the girl was actually fighting with the demons of sleep or convulsing in a fit of some sort, however, Milos did not know. He could only reach out towards her and speak softly until she came to or stopped paddling.

Both of those things happened simultaneously. With some surprise from the Krokaran as well, the girl's golden eyes appeared and her legs went still. And then, perhaps (reasonably) shocked by the sudden appearance of a strange man looming over her, the girl scrambled and wriggled and tried to right herself. Milos lurched back and away from her, losing his balance and landing on his rump with a soft oomf. He held his hands up, palms out, in an attempt to convey that he meant no harm. Useless on the ground lay the spear and Milos hoped that it would reinforce this expression of goodwill.

"Sorry! Sorry!" he said, lowering his ears. "En't meant t' scare ya. Jus' heard ya yelpin'n got real worried ya weren't all right." Milos gave his tail a reassuring wag and patted his clothed chest. "Name's Milos Parhelion. I'm from a pack north'a here called Krokar."

From outside the barn, waiting impatiently with the caribou, Elle took a few steps forward and tried to see what was happening in the barn. When she coudn't, she sighed a loud and growly sigh. "Oi! Wha's happenin' in theore?"

Glancing toward the opening in the barn, Milos explained, "That's Elle, m' niece. We were out huntin' when we heard ya." He paused, looking back at the girl. "Ya okay?"

[WC — 310]

Krokar
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Mandi
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can you pull down the dawn?

POSTED: Wed May 23, 2018 2:16 pm

The man seemed so big and scary until he landed on his rear like someone had pushed him over. Still, he was bigger than her, and that meant he was probably faster, too. And so she stayed put and cowered on the ground, laying herself flat and stiff. The disturbed hay tickled her nose and she wanted to sneeze.

He rose paws at her, but not threateningly. His was barehanded and carried only a face that was soft with surprise. She spotted the spear, but it stayed on the ground. She glanced around—where was Milkie? Was she still here? Did they steal her?

The cow was still here, still chewing her cud. The sudden commotion made the beast stir a little and she backed away from the wolves. But it seemed the stranger’s calm words abated any stronger reaction and the beast stilled.

But Generosity was not so easily placated. A look of confusion crossed her face when the man said she was yelping. Was she? She didn’t know enough to refute him, so she accepted it warily. He patted his own chest and claimed he was from a pack. It wasn’t Mistfell Vale, though—Krokar. There sure were a lot of packs around here, wasn’t there?

When another voice came from outside, Gen’s owlish eyes glanced where it came from. It sounded younger and girlish, which was a whole lot more comforting for her, even when the voice sounded annoyed. Milos introduced the voice as Elle and explained they were hunting. Why didn’t pack wolves stay on their pack lands? She thought better than asking, though.

“’M fine…” she answered quietly and moved from laying on her belly to sit on her haunches. “I was just sleeping.” She didn’t want to tell them she was dreaming, even though it might have been plain as day. She felt insecure that she had drawn attention to herself like this.

“I’m Generosity. My mom is out hunting, too, and—“

A familiar bark in the distance cut her off and the little wolf’s ears perked up.

“What’s this?” a tense voice called as it approached closer, seeming to approach Elle and (unbeknownst to Gen) the caribou. It belonged to a white wolf that carried a dead rabbit by its ears in one hand. Despite the confidence in her voice, her body language was wary, clearly perturbed by the large beast that accompanied the girl.

Salsola
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Shannah
Luperci dusk stars
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fleeting heart

POSTED: Thu May 24, 2018 8:55 am

Giving the cow a cursory glance, Milos was relieved to see that she wasn't spooked. Docile though they sometimes seemed, cows were enormous animals, capable of causing grave harm to careless Luperci... which was precisely what the Quartermaster realized he was being. But with his focus so pointedly on the young girl, he had forgotten all about the cow until the girl had turned to look at her. That was good luck, he thought. The Goddess was watching over him, it seemed.

Listening as the girl spoke, Milos swiveled an ear toward the opening to the barn then turned his head to the bark outside. He heard a tense voice and then, from his niece, he heard a response.

"Tch. Wha's it look like?"

Milos blew out an aggravated sigh and scrambled to his feet, giving the youth a quick glance before jogging out of the barn. "Hello!" he called out cheerfully to the ivory wolf with the rabbit in her hand. He shot Elle a look of warning, then smiled back to the woman. "That's a caribou." He slowed as he neared them. "We were out huntin' when we heard cries from th' barn there. D'ya happen t' be Gen'rosity's ma?"

Standing with her arms crossed defensively over her chest, Elle watched the exchange with furrowed brows. When she realized that her uncle had left his spear in the barn – a fact that Milos, himself, seemed unconcerned about – the young woman rolled her eyes emphatically.

"Seems she was havin' a bad dream is all," he explained quickly. "But she's all right."

Giving a quick look to the barn, Milos returned his sunny eyes on the white wolf and scratched at the back of his head. "Sorry for th' concern, missus," he said sheepishly, then introduced himself and his niece. "We're from Krokar, north'a here.

[WC — 314]

Krokar
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Mandi
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can you pull down the dawn?

POSTED: Fri May 25, 2018 6:23 pm

Hearing the voice of her mother, Generosity clambered clumsily to her paws. They were still too big for her body, but she would grow into them eventually, she had been told. She must have been talking to Elle since the disembodied voice of the girl responded back. She glanced at Milos as he rose, yellow eyes meeting his, and followed his lead as he left the barn, staying low to the ground.

As Milos talked to her mother, the girl rounded around his ankles. The white wolf seemed agitated at the trio's appearance and the man's explanation did not smooth her face—in fact, it'd be hard press to determine if she was listening, the way she was staring so intensely. But her gaze broke when she saw the little shadow lurking at Milos' legs and flicked her free hand.

Following the silent instruction, Generosity scampered from behind the man. It was then that she noticed the... thing. The caribou. Her eyes widened and wasted no time in retreating to hide behind the calves of her mother, mooning over the docile beast that Elle had. It was not like anything that she had ever seen before.

The mother's eyes had followed Gen until she was squared behind her, and she looked back at the man and the girl. Her gaze was still intense, but her shoulders appeared to relax a degree. “I am indeed her mother. I am Grace.” She touched a hand against her chest but then let it fall to her side. There was scant kindness in her voice but neither was there aggression.

Grace appeared unmoved as the man explained what happened to her pup, but seemed more interested when he made mention of Krokar. "Krokar?" she echoed.

"It's a pack," Generosity peeped up helpfully, peeking out from behind her mother's calf. The white wolf didn't look at the darkling and refocused on the man. "You keep these things in your pack?" She gestured to the caribou. It looked too healthy to be a wild beast.

Salsola
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Shannah
Luperci dusk stars
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fleeting heart

POSTED: Sun May 27, 2018 7:15 am

Like a shadow, Generosity slipped quietly from behind him and joined her mother, all the while gawking up at the caribou in wonder. Milos smiled warmly. He understood the awe and curiosity that the magnificent beasts commanded; once upon a time, he, too, had experienced the very same feeling from them. Very few outside of Krokar, he had quickly grown to realize, were familiar with them.

"It's a pleasure t' meetcha, Grace. Name's Milos'n this's Elle, m' niece," he introduced jovially. When her name was evoked, the curly-coated Cormier jutted her chin upwards in a quick jerk and flicked a short greeting with loosely outstretched fingers. Though her social skills were far from polished, Milos silently praised her for not at least keeping her mouth shut.

Of the beast himself, Jack seemed unperturbed to the newcomers now that it was clear his handlers were relaxed. Curiosity returned to him and, giving his head a small shake, he stretched his shaggy neck toward the white wolf and her darkling daughter. Dark eyes peered at them from beneath long, elegant lashes and his velveteen nose twitched and flared as he scented them.

Milos watched him with that same bright expression he always seemed to possess, then turned to Grace with a nod. "Sure do! Got a whole herd of 'em, in fact." He grinned. "This's Jack. Ya can greet 'im if ya like; he's 'bout as friendly's they come!" Milos turned sunny eyes to Generosity, then lifted them to Grace. "Where'bouts are th' two'a ya from?" he asked conversationally. "Saw ya got a cow. This your homestead?"

[WC — 275]

Krokar
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Mandi
Moderator Luperci Mate to Eliza Drover, Leatherworker, Tailor Little Bandit
can you pull down the dawn?

POSTED: Mon May 28, 2018 7:37 pm

Grace only granted Elle a cursory glance as Milos introduced her. It seemed that the two women had more in common, Generosity thought. They both didn't like introductions. That suited the white wolf just fine and took no harm from the girl's silent greeting. Her eyes immediately drew towards the caribou as it moved, even if it was only to crane its neck towards them. She was still apprehensive.

Meanwhile, Generosity was enamored. She let the adults do the talking and focused on Jack. At Milos' invitation, the girl immediately left the safety of her mother's legs to approach the beast. Grace's hand moved as if she wanted to grab her child and pull her back, but a half moment later she let it fall to her side, limp. It was clear that she did not have any faith in what was occurring, but appeared to think better of it.

"No," Grace answered flatly, as if she was a bit offended that the man would think the run-down building was their home. "We aren't from around here. We came from the south, about a couple of days' journey." It took them longer than "a couple of days" to reach where they were when they were herding around a cow but the woman was familiar enough with the land to give the man an accurate estimation.

Generosity, with her tail stiff and nose outstretched, took a cautious sniff of Jack's hoof.

"We're just passing through," Grace said. She offered little else in the way of explanations; it would be hard pressed to admit the predicament the group was in, especially to a pair of strangers. They seemed kind, but... Grace glanced at Generosity.

"Thank you for helping Generosity." The girl lifted her head at the sound of her name. "Even though she wasn't suppose to be sleeping." The head immediately lowered. "Not everyone would be as kind as you two."

Salsola
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Shannah
Luperci dusk stars
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fleeting heart

POSTED: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:24 am

As Generosity stretched herself out to sniff at his hoof, Jack gave his short tail a little waggle and lowered his head to snuffle back at her. He was a gentle, curious and welcoming of his Luperci handlers, and even strangers were generally met in a friendly way. Elle watched passively as the caribou and the darkling girl greeted one another. There was another to be afraid of from Jack, she knew. Among all of their stock, Jack was perhaps the best one for canines new to caribou to meet.

Lowering his ears apologetically at Grace, Milos scratched sheepishly at the back of his head and listened as she continued, offering him a glimpse into their situation. "Th' south, huh?" he replied with a nod, letting his hand drop away to his side once more. It sounded to him almost as though the pair had a destination in mind. But if they didn't... "Krokar's jus' north'a here, up beyond th' river," he explained cheerfully. "If ya find yourselves needin' a place t' stay, don't reckon we'd turn th' pair'a ya away."

Chuckling warmly, Milos waved Grace's gratitude away modestly. "En't like t' do no harm t' nobody, 'specially not young'uns," he said, his face dropping a little somberly. He gave a small nod. "But you're right t' be cautious, I reckon. Plenty'a bad folk in th' world." It was the sad truth and Milos knew this only too well. "Anyway, your cow's a lovely creature," he said, abruptly changing the subject. "'Side from caribou, Krokar's got a few cows'n other stock, too." He smiled and then, suddenly remembering the spear he left behind in the barn, snapped his fingers. "Heck. Left m' huntin' spear back in th' barn. D'ya mind?"

Now that it was established that they were using the barn, if only to stop and rest, Milos didn't want to assume it would be okay to return there without their approval. If they wanted to escort him back, he wouldn't be offended.

[WC — 350]

Krokar
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Mandi
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can you pull down the dawn?

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