[M] The Glory Days

Draggie. o3o

POSTED: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:21 pm

WARNING: This thread contains: tables with images and graphics of an explicitly violent, gory, or racy nature. Sensitive readers are advised to disable images or to read in a text-only format.

[[Taking place years ago, when Shaamah was Alpha of the Grey Paw Pack of his past.]]

GET OFF OF THE FRONT LINES



Shaamah's frame rumbled to wakefulness, the deep growl that lingered in his throat rising with his body as heterochromic gaze opened wide. Jumping to his feet from his nest in the corner of the deep cavern that was his claim, his eyes scanned the darkness. Early morning's dim sun and heavy scent of the salty, filthy mire that sat outside the gaping stone mouth. He was alone, but even still his hackles rose to the sky, his growl remained, and the brilliant white of teeth from beneath his snarling lips glinted in the shadow of his den. It had been a nightmare, but so had every day in this foul mire. They'd earn their reward. The Red Paw would never have their rage and their raw malice. The Grey Paws would take over the rich lands to the north. It was Shaamah's purpose over all else. He would have the Red King's head, and that skull would remain on the stake that it had earned.

Shaking himself free of the never-ending tension, the hulking soldier left the Lord's Den and moved out into the sun. The hot, musty air filled his lungs and weighed him down. The humid wetness that sat heavily on his shoulders was ignored as the sharp eyes reached over anyone that might be side-tracked from the Grey Paw purpose, Shaamah's purpose. Everyone stumbled to their feet and made quick work of themselves, but they did so silently when usually Grey Paw were constantly at each others throats. He frowned, his features foul and coarse. They knew what they were in for later that day and if they managed to work their hands to the bone, then he might not have them do it past the moon's rise. Anyone with energy left at the end of the day? Well, they would be cursed with his presence for longer than they'd ever dare to challenge with sloth again.

Broad arms, roped with thick muscle, moved at his sides as his brawny frame took stride to the training area not far from the dens. He needed the solid sound of the fight, more importantly, the suffering of a particular youth that thought war was a game. Her novelty with this fight had rubbed his patience like sand-paper, and he was prepared to let her know exactly what this battle was about. There was no pride in this. No joy. No reward. It was a rite of fate. What his eyes did happen upon, however, was the ever vigilant and toiling work of Temuri. A man who understood what his purpose was here,” Temuri,” He called, a demand and an order. The only way Shaamah would speak to those beneath him, despite their loyalties,” Where is Jilta?”
Salsola
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POSTED: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:52 pm

(Latey mc lateface!)

Temuri, Grey Paw, Warrior.

The Swamps were his home; a wide, sweeping vista of... mud-coated embankments, clogged streams and little lakes, with copses of tangling trees seemingly creeping in from every angle. Sometimes the mornings or the evenings granted him a visual treat of the sun burning low and potently, an orange glow that seeped through the experiences of his life being molded in a land he felt contempt for, with people that made him bristle.

Even in this morning, when he'd manage to rise and leave before Father had returned from another patrol, the sticky humidity wore at him, a fine grating upon his nerves, but that was merely one of many caveats of living here.

Supervising one of several training grounds in the mired kingdom, if one could call it that, Temuri circled about, the shaven branch in his dominant hand prodding at the ground heavily to set a vague rhythm as the few Luperci here sparred and honed their abilities, most retained the youth of body, but surely the hearts of older at this point.

He hadn't expected to be under direct attention of the man whom fancied himself Warlord, at least so soon in the day, so when his name was called out in that deep, baritone voice, he stiffened momentarily, eyes squeezing shut, before he'd turn about and present himself, posture straightened but at ease.

Warlord, Alpha, Shaamah, a man of few scruples from what he had managed to learn of this towering, scarred male, but Temuri didn't live with him, didn't need to fear for every little motion, for Shaamah was not Father.

He presented himself to speak.

In years to come, he'd look rather different; tall, solid, a light pelt adorned with scars and markings inflicted by his hands and those of others, a mane that looked similar to the Warlord's own.

In this age, Temuri had the darkened, short pelt of a young man, no deep scars to speak of, only some markings that suggested he was better at deflecting and avoiding the claws and blades of a hated foe, more likely received from those whom had power over him.

Even with his eyes standing out like stars amidst a clear night sky, he was ultimately quite unremarkable.

But while his ears and tail dipped instinctively, Temuri did not prostrate himself so deeply as to earn contempt for a lack of spine, he was a statue of serenity compared to some of the hot-blooded Greys who by day whimpered in submission and by night sharpen their blades in poorly-planned bids to take power.

"She is training, sir, to better herself as intended," He respectfully intoned, dipping his head briefly whilst resuming the beat of his branch to the ground, a wordless signal for those whom stopped to continue. Jilta... the girl was a youth, like many, like he had been not long ago, the dark-coated male shifted himself, relieving the tension-induced pressure in his neck, the instinct to protect his fellows evident. Dishonesty was subdued in the man, more-so when addressing a superior; a blessing and a subtle curse for he put the hackles up of anyone with a thin skin and an excess of pride. "She will return soon; Hasken required physical labour with her fishing baskets, Jilta was volunteered." He reported fairly concisely with, he dared to express, a glint of a grin that wiped itself away as he briefly glancing to one side, momentarily casting his light gaze upon the uneasy frames of those who were present and sparring.

Temuri was correct; one of their number who lacked the destiny of a soldier but the appreciable usefulness to feed others had a knack for catching edible, almost wily things where others of blunt eyes and minds would ignore in favour of throwing themselves at something far meatier and more dangerous. Hasken was no soldier by profession, but that did not stop her making idiots, friend and foe, reconsider themselves when presented with a barbed spear.

So he waited, still near-absentmindedly emitting dull thuds with the branch that doubled as a unnecessary walking aid, and a pokey-stick if need-be.
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POSTED: Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:04 pm

Temuri turned and postured at his beckoning, and it adhered to the Lord's better judgment. The wolf that pounded his wooden staff against the wet earth was the head of his battalion's training schedule, and the similarly greyscale male knew just what to do to to keep the King as sedated as any Grey Paw could manage. Such a trait did a great deal of good for him, but Shaamah wasn't so easily skirted of his fury at Jilta's folly. The child had contested his orders, and he was going to assure her that something like that just was not an option. Certainly, he could straighten her up in battle in contrast to the consequence if she maintained her immature mindset.

Shaamah's eye moved from Temuri to the soldiers that worked their bodies for the sake of Shaamah's design, and as his trainer spoke, he listened with hot blood,” To better herself,” He echoed, the words spat like venom. If she could better herself by labor, then there would be no need to cull mutineer for treason. There wouldn't be any treason. Grey Paw lifestyle didn't make anything easy. Temuri reported her assignment and dropped Hasken's name along with it,” Hasken. A better soldier than Jilta could ever become,” Which was saying a lot. Hasken was a fishermen before a fighter, but Hasken's ability to listen with obedience topped a great deal of the others that resided in the mire. Heterochromic gaze caught the shiver of a something other than a pure gaze, were it his own paranoia, or Temuri's actual action,” If she is to return soon, then I will wait for her to report to you. Then, she is mine,” The man shouldn't dare contest it.

The roil of a threatening growl tempered his throat, though the young man he stood beside would know that Jilta had earned it, not he. The Swamp Lord wasn't so keen as to veil his anger and if she came home with a spear hole from Hasken's demands being ignored as well, then it would be the first of many more troubles that she'd incite on herself,” As for the rest of your soldiers?” The warlord moved on. He'd enjoy Jilta's regrets when she arrived, for now, it was time for talk of how this motley army summed up.

Battle had been sloppy by more than just Jilta's mistakes, and several soldiers needed to chisel themselves into a better machine, ignore the pain of battle, and cover ground. So far, they were lacking of all three and it was disgusting. As if those training around had heard the question, a few of the more bold sought to work their training a great deal harder than when only Temuri had been present. They were showing off, when there was nothing to brag about. Shaamah's brow furrowed as he scanned over the sloppy, rag-tag troops.
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POSTED: Sun May 06, 2018 2:52 pm

Temuri had imparted upon Jilta the seriousness of her errors, and though it would potentially prove impossible to have her fully acquitted of the Warlord's displeasure, but at the very least Temuri could feel just a little happy to have the youth temporarily detained with a less dangerious task of assiting a spear-wielding woman in her fishing endeveour. Perhaps Hasken might find some use before the otherwise ill-destined child was judged by Shaamah himself, to have enough time to think over her actions.

Even as he explained in simple terms, Temuri's youthful hackles threatened to rise as Shaamah towered and generally did not seem very impressed; Temuri's own words were repeated as though poisoned from how lame it might have sounded, visiting a flicker of worry over the dark-hued man himself. The sturdy branch was hefted and lowered against the ground still, creating a ryhtem of sorts for the training bodies nearby, and acting as an anchor for the smaller male; any moment now he thought, and he'd perhaps become the target of rightfully-deserved scolding.

A roil of deep thunder occured, not from the hot skies above, but from something far less impartial.

A moment's hesitation followed before such fury passed, focused on something – or somebody very much in particular, instead Shaamah managed a scintilla of praise for Hasken, but delivered a command that Temuri hummed in submission to, ears flattening briefly as he kept his stance cool despite the tension in his spine. “As you wish.” The tone was as always a constant calm even in a place that did not promote it, with a giant looming over all he looked down upon, perhaps unintentionally aloof from the knot that formed in his ribs.

Jilta is, or perhaps if all went wrong, was, one of Temuri's own to train and condition in one field or another; any failure of those under his limited command ultimately passed their fallacy to him, as it should be. The Others... his Betters like the blue-pelted general and his ilk of Shaamah's more direct henchmen would only lick their lips in knowing a Lesser had been the focus of wraith.

As father had instilled upon him quite thoroughly through sheer force of presence and experience. Father had also insisted on a back-bone, one that did not bend for others by words alone, even from a grey giant who could snap it in half.

Breathing out, the dark man lapped as his muzzle briefly, panting quietly, letting humid air stick to the inside of his maw, only vaguely cooling him down.

Shaamah wanted to know of the rest of his lot. A mixture of half-soldiers, half-everything-else'ers, adults and probably more youthes from the last headcount; Temuri already knew there was little excellence that would glean an iota of pride in the field of conflict; he trained his lot to be disciplined and useful in ways not purely focused upon mud-soaked skirmishes. They were swift and diverse in function, not for the grinder.

Shamaah asked of the matter that he must have already known, of a mere fragment of a greater whole – again Temuri imagined his Betters of intellect and brute-strength were smiling, more-so as he laid eyes upon those present as they struck and parried, practiced and growled, some apparently showing off in an misplaced effort to impress the one man who actually looked disgusted with more than just the heat and air-borne moisture.

“As you were, Tuan, direct them for me.” Temuri thrummed out, his voice carrying much further than intended, authority dimished as it floated away, not intending to drown out Shaamah's overbearing presence, but what is done is done, let it be. Tuan's light-pelted frame perked up and took the esteemed position of chanting and pummeling out a beat, taking a more hands-on approach to let Temuri focus on something rather more pressing.

He huffed lowly, a drawled noise both thoughtful and resigned while he turned back, fixing the Warlord with a direct if soothed gaze; a honest, thick backbone was worth something.

“Elements,” He wanted to say stragglers “, from your fellows are present here with a few of mine training in melee.” A obvious statement considering the situation, the contrast in experience from one to the other, and the notable absence of most of Temuri's lot, but an question asked from Shaamah demanded an answer, so it will. “Laniv has a pair in the east, hunting, Hyan has three staggered groups patrolling our outer eastern borders, tending posts and traps.” Hardly an esteemed area for it was far from the centre of conflict with the dreaded Reds, but Grey-Paw territory butted right up against the coastlines, so it was also functional given Hasken frequented the streams leading into the sea, and by virtue Jilta with or without aching muscles from her deserved 'betterment'.

“...Sondaq has three others with company, tasked with clearing suspected bandits.” That last report was delivered in a bland tone; Temuri had little personal authority over Sondaq, over his own father, despite the latter stepping down or being beaten down over matters he was still bitter about. But Shaamah's crimson-colleague did have a measure of command over Sondaq, something that elicited uncertain feelings in the dark male as he shifted, tension coiling and uncoiling in his chest, appearing outwardly collected and for the most part, inwardly too, but he never truly felt too certain of himself.

Especially when comparing himself to those above his station; he wished to better the pack somehow, even if it was in some way constructively rebelling against his father, or the Warlord somehow.
Jhiral
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POSTED: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:28 pm

Shaamah's threat rolled over unkindly, but Temuri remained outwardly in a headspace that did not send the Lord into retaliative means. Even the slightest show of submission with a voice serene despite had done Temuri much good beneath the tyrant's rule and would continue to do so as long as his brigade could hold their own. So far, his soldiers were doing less than Shaamah would have hoped, and the beast cared little for the inner runnings of the army. Let the army feed themselves, then they would learned what want was; then they would fight for the bounty that grew freely to the north. The notion grew like a wild weed in the back of his malicious mind.

“As you wish.”

As it should be.

The power that Temuri's command rang with incited quick action from Tuan, and the battalion leader gave Shaamah the direct attention he was deserving of. Though, as soon as Temuri had started, the Marsh King's features portrayed his disgust quickly. Following through with less vague information, Temuri listed where the rest of his lot was at and what tasks they were performing. That idea that mulled in the back of the Lord's mind was starting to look better and better.

“Bide your tongue, Temuri. Fellow is a name given those that win wars. Not even your false King could claim that rite by me,” As the man was murdered for it, dethroned on his funeral, and left to rot beneath the canopy of the mire, as so many who crossed Shaamah were destined to. There was a sharp glare through the corner of his eye given to Temuri and the Alpha bristled,” Sustain your patrols, posts, traps and search party,” An exhale came with the makings of a harsher tone, still sleeping in his chest,” Bring your hunting party home. Now,” Shaamah insisted. If his 'fellows' wanted to work at half pace, they could eat at meager ration.

The sudden vigor of the others seemed to drop, and as they trained now half-hearted, curious eyes found Shaamah in suspicion. No one approved of his schemes to make them work harder, and the mutineers proved it. Yet, there were always the few that could prove they could go the mile and reach their limit, to not be completely useless in the eyes of their King. It usually saved them all,” Stoke the fires of their vigor a new way. This is a war, not a game to be played. Consequence will befall those who put all else before the front line,” The last words were spoken with a low growl and the clack of tense jaws. Heterochromic eyes swept about those around him. He dared them to retaliate. He dared them to be an example,” Feasts will be offered the night before the front, and should you win, the marsh hunt continues where it left off. Tuan, you barrack with these men. Spread the word,” The order came above Temuri's own, but with no intention halting the man's rhythm at this moment. Night was the time for spoken decree's to filter through the land.

Never mind the fact that the marsh was waning of meals as the land to the North offered more land to produce their food. Let the Red grow fat and heavy. Lean warriors, hungry for more than just a fight, had something better to fight for. Their stomachs. The herds that moved into the wetlands would grow with the new lacking threat. Ultimately, leading for a more robust future than continuing to hunt them as they were. Perhaps, those that found themselves hungry might even think to take from the Red and their stock. Thieves in kind to the incestuous god-king's ranks would prove their loyalty. It was always about the wording, wasn't it?

Before the weight of the situation could seep into the denser soldiers, it seemed that the group of Hasken's kind had split through the maze of wet forest and had come in just the right time. They had heard it all, even as they stood at a greater distance than those that trained to Tuan's thumps. Good. The last meal will be a gorge of filthy fish and the next weeks hungry stomach's will earn their next reward. Hasken was silent of it all, and behind her, Jilta had slithered barely into sight. The rest of the fisherman's company took their steps back. Everyone had seen Jilta's folly on the field, and no one wanted to pay for her overconfidence,” Temuri. Bring that cur to me,” He growled. He could see the fear in her eyes, and he was not about to chase that cur throughout the marsh if she ran for her life.
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