[M] A violent push in the right direction.

P. Galilani at first, leadership later.

POSTED: Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:04 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.
(Only tagged because of wounds and such.)

Desired Profession Path: Agriculture. NPC's: Five Sheep and a Goat. (Detailed info on Profile)

The morning sky had been streaked with blood. A red sky with little clouds but plenty of fog hovered above Leo. It had been the same the previous morning, if only Leo had cared to think that it was ominous. Red sky in the morning, was a shepherd's warning. But perhaps Leo was just grasping at reasons as to how he should have avoided what happened yesterday. Anything, Leo desperately wanted to find any reason to how he could have avoided everything that happened yesterday. It felt unreal, just how quickly everything happened. From a simple morning, resting in the empty fields of the more southern plains, to... what happened next. Leo felt his legs give in after the torment of running all night, letting his shoulder hit into a nearby tree. The shepherd took a deep breath, trying to find any hopeful scent that he'd finally got close enough. The air was thick with more than enough blood to make Leo's stomach turn, there was only a hint of the smell he'd long since remembered from his encounter on the mountains.

However faint the scent of Aniwaya was, Leo couldn't get up anymore. His arms were next to give up, Leo only managing to let them fall slowly, enough to carefully drop the injured Dawn to the ground. His arms had received a lot of damage. Cuts were dotted all over, from bite marks to claw shaped gashes from when Leo had fearfully covered his face from injury. They were once gloved with white fur, but now they were painted in crimson blood that wasn't just Leo's. Some of the blood, which also appeared in patches over Leo's chest, were from Dawn's injury. The wound in her back, from where the goat had been viciously attacked, when only trying to save Leo from further harm. Since the moment Leo had got her back, the goat had been lifeless. Breathing, but showing no signs of movement otherwise. Leo could only just pray that her back wasn't worse than it looked, that all wounds were external, and his precious goat wasn't going to face any more trauma. Not like Leo, the wolfdog felt like he'd bared the worst trauma of the morning.

If a shepherd had one goal in life, it was for their sheep. When that flock was considered so close, they were practically family, losing a member became all the more harder to bare. Leo looked back at the flock, all five dear family members that had managed to continue to follow Leo in all the mayhem. All he could picture when looking at their blank faces- knowing inside how badly they were mourning- was how he'd decided to run away rather than try and save Taurus. Just like Dawn, the old ram had bravely decided to face the fangs that tore away at Leo, paying an ultimate price for it when the savage red she-wolf decided to focus on the ram and give the others a chance to escape. Leo didn't know Taurus's fate, beyond his obvious demise, but judging by the corpse accessories of their assailant, Leo could guess at an outcome. It pained the shepherd more than his wounds ever could, just imagining what the old and wise ram was put through during his last moments.

But, there were still six others in the flock for Leo to consider, and the events of that morning had been an immediate welcome call for Leo. These lands, like any, would pose all sorts of dangers. And unless Leo wanted to sacrifice one precious sheep each time he was held at the mercy of others, he needed to stop moving. And there was only one place Leo could consider finally stopping at. The one where Leo's trusted friend lived, someone the shepherd was able to judge as gentle and kind from her heroic deeds to helping him before. Leo felt selfish lying half dead at the borders of her pack, just praying to receive help once more. But it was his only choice left. He could only force down the feelings of further betrayal as doing this would go against a lot that the Shepard family once stood for, keeping his mind fresh on what had happened, and what could happen again if Leo continued to face the road like he did. He winced from the pain in his stomach, from the physical wound left there that was easily the worst. A large claw mark across Leo's abdomen, that still patched his light coat with dark crimson after refusing to clot.

But the shepherd could no worry nor care about his own wounds, keeping Dawn alive was all that mattered. If worse came to worse, Leo could only hope Galilani was first to find them at the borders, as Leo could trust her enough to look after his flock if he didn't make it. He kept his goat close, covering her wound with his hand to calm the bleeding. The wolfdog could only offer one desperate cry to the wind as well to hope someone came. Though never before had there been such a fractured and pathetic howl, what could be mistaken as a dying animal, and not a desperate wolfdog. It was all Leo could give from his exhausted state, letting his hope fall to the wind to carry his voice and stench of blood to the pack now.

Leo comes to Aniwaya to seek help/ a safe home after this thread. If we could start with Galilani being the first to meet poor Leo at the borders, and then I'll say whenever a leadership or someone who can allow Leo to join to hop in, if that's ok ^^ He's at the Western borders, and date is August 12th.
Leo Shepard

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POSTED: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:11 pm

[ WC: 1582] (+15) Confirming thread to be set in the wrecked bridge sub-territory. Some mild PP to move things along.

Beast post, meet Jazzy. Jazzy- beast post. ;)
PS. POST 100. Yayyyy!

Sunlight sliced through the palisade of firs and spruce trees. Each one closer and tighter to the one before. They lined the edge of part of the triplet lakes riverbank, towering over the wreckage below. Large metal bars protruded out of wide concrete slabs, forming a failing dam in the increasing currants. The rust and trickling water shoved hard against the last of the broken bridge, whittling away at its memory, and diminishing its former glory into the sand and the dirt.

Stood upon one particularly large wedge of concrete, Galilani rested upon her haunches. Her arms extended forward, crouching her forward as though ready to pounce. Beside her, a bow gleamed in the fading light, and a quiver of arrows rattled upon her back. Feathers and beads littered her body, and a preoccupied smile rested gently upon her lips.

Around her ankles, a serpent slivered against the dirt and rock. His yellow eyes stared intently at the crouching woman, and though his tongue cut gracefully through the air, in and out, his mouth did not utter a single word. Instead, the two remained silent; like statues, listening to the world around them, and the whispering song of water and birds. The soft, warm breeze of summer licked their hides, and dust whipped up into their squinting eyes.

“Duwugotanv gila?” The snake finally hissed, tired of the caws of crows nearby. The scenery had begun to bore him. He blinked slowly, dripping with an aura as though the world should revolve around him, but he remained low, and against the ground. He did not utter the sounds of his ego, but instead, smiled slyly, eager to get back on the path of their hunt. Their afternoon tracking practice had been going well.

“Tla,” Galilani shot back, blank and monotone. Her eyes twitched, though they did not connect with her spirit guide. Instead they turned toward a fallen tree crushed over the stream, and she watched as the water tumbled through it with a roar.

“Ayv adanvtesgv galohisdi ugodidi yeliquu,” she continued, nodding toward the west of the terrain. “Nvdoigaehi inv nidvlenvda diwisdi, ale gawohilvdodi nahnai iduyugodv itsula ugohvgi unvsa oni.”

The snake snorted disapprovingly, though offered no words of correction or advice to the Scout in return. He was happy to let her learn on her own, and if that meant being able to add a couple of told-you-so’s at the end of it, that worked in his favour too. A flick of his tail gave insight to his mood, and Galilani parted her own mouth in objection.

“Gadousdi?” Galilani raised an eyebrow at the snake, reaching for her bow and lifting to a stand. The lack of reply from her guide was unnerving, but the woman knew to follow her instincts. His sarcasm wasn’t always right. Slipping the bow around her back, tightly up against her quiver, she paused a minute to rearrange herself, and allow passage for the serpent upon her body.

The Spirit Guide slipped around her leg first, making his way up her body as though it were just another tree in the forest. He quickly rested upon her shoulders, mouth parted slightly and pale gums on show, as he caught his breath. He inhaled the deep scent of almonds from her beads, and smiled knowingly. What he knew was a mystery, but it annoyed Galilani as intended at least, so his job was done. For now.

“Ulisgolvtanv itsulaayv anagisdi,” she sighed after hearing nothing from the snake, useful or otherwise. She leaped gracefully from one slab to another, splashing in the tiny pools and puddles that had formed in the dips of rust. A bird scuffled out from a tree nearby, startled by the noise from the scout, and Galilani hesitated on her next jump to watch the creature fly. She quickly resumed her step, however, and leaped across the final bit of stream with a lot of force, and an almost stumble into the mud beneath her.

“Navnigesdi,” Digalvnvhi hissed, tickling her ear with his tongue, taunting her playfully.

“Vv,” Galilani replied, breathing deep from the exercise she had given her body, and the adrenaline from almost falling backwards.

“Nasgiuwasv navnigesdi...”

The snake smiled. She was growing. Her confidence improved with each outing they took, and each quick quip that met his ears made him prouder. She wouldn’t see it, naturally, but Galilani was overcoming her darkness. It was an impressive moment to witness, and he felt his ego rise up, and inflate even higher, much to Galilani’s unknown misfortune in future days. Suddenly, both snake and canine turned their heads in unison. A sharp, eerie noise had unnerved them, sending a shiver down the woman’s spine, and rippling the muscles in her bow arm. She twitched her ears carefully, listening for another sign, though met only by the trickling stream.

“Dig,” she whispered, “Nudvnelv nihi—“

“Vv,” he cut her off with his own whisper. “Gohusdi nasginigesvna duyugodv ahani.”

The scent of blood met Galilani’s nostrils. Her lip curled instinctively, dangerously, and her worried eyes found the direction.

“Nahnai,” she barked, moving forward with large, heavy steps. The woman’s pace quickened, and quickened. It was soon a run.

Hopping through tight gaps in trees, and over fallen branches, the woman soon found herself in a clearing. A familiar sight met her eyes, and, for a moment, the woman could do nothing but stand in silence and shock.

“Leo!” The woman gasped, falling almost instantly to her knees at his side. Her eyes scurried over his body, and her lip quivered as the blood’s aroma clotted within her nose.

“Wh—What ha-- happened?” She felt her voice crack and falter. Tears burned her face as shaking hands hovered over the unconscious body of her friend, scared to touch him, scared to breathe.

She hadn’t even acknowledged the flock at first, even though one of the creatures lay tightly in Leo’s grasp. Galilani couldn’t take everything in. She felt sick, and for a moment, she gagged.

Digalvnvhi intervened, however, bringing the woman back to reality, and snapping her mind in to action.

“Adanvtesgv, Galilani,” he hissed, tightening himself around her shoulders as she began to shudder uncontrollably. “Nihi onadv gadousdi hnadvga…”

“I,” she sobbed, staring down at the pooling blood of sheep and canine at her knees. She outstretched her hand toward the barely breathing creature. It was Dawn. Galilani felt tears escape, and bury themselves in her cheek fur. She whined, primitive and lost; a sound not heard from the Scout since the torture in Maine, and the departure of her mother. There was sorrow in the air.

“Digalvnvhi, I—” She ran her fingers through the crimson painted wool. A half-closed eye looked up at the Scout. There was movement, barely, and a soft bleat met her ears. Galilani raised her hand to her lip, instinctively, and shushed the creature. Her brain shot back into action, as the tears still streamed down her face.

Looking back at the slumped, lifeless body of Leo, Galilani’s heart thudded in her chest. Pushing herself up to a stand, the woman pivoted frantically on the spot.

“Balsam!” She barked, partly toward Digalvnvhi, and partly toward the air. She scanned the trees and shrubs around her, remembering her training from the Great Tribe. Digalvnvhi was right. She did know what to do. Now she just had to do it. Grabbing one of the dark blades from her thigh, the metal glittered in the sun. The light was beginning to fade already, and the evening birdsong ripped hauntingly through the air. Galilani rushed desperately toward the bushy, green needles of a Balsam Fir.

Slicing away at the tree with her knife, cones and needles fell at her feet. With a few quick slashes, the woman gathered up a pile of branches against her chest. Turning back toward Leo, she crouched down in front of him one more time.

Her desperate eyes sought movement, sound; anything to come from the male she had grew so fond of. With nothing present, the woman turned back to her task. Dropping the sticks and chunks of blistered wood in her lap, Galilani stabbed the largest welt and the soft, gooey sap of the fir oozed out.

“Vv,” hissed Digalvnvhi proudly, staring at the running liquid with eager, beady eyes. “Iyudina digalvwisdanedi. Equa tsulvwisdanedi Galilani.”

Galilani could barely hear him. Her mind raced, and her chest thumped with the worry that she might be watching her friend die.

“This is going to hurt,” she whispered gently, stutter free and in total concentration, toward both Leo and Dawn. Dawn bleated quietly, as though understanding. Leo did nothing. Galilani hoped, as she slathered the sap upon her fingers with thick, messy strokes, that he would react to the tsunami of pain about to overwhelm him.

The Balsam Fir was a perfect choice of salve, and it would later act as a painkiller when ingested through his bloodstream. But, as Galilani’s shaky hand dripped the liquid closer and closer to the gushing wound, she knew the pain she was about to cause. Mouthing the quietest apologies that only she could hear, with tears still streaking down her face, the woman applied the cold, sticky sap to his abdomen with a hard push, and in that moment, her heart stopped. She froze in fear, hand still upon the wound. She waited. Her world had gone numb.

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POSTED: Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:03 am

There was an eerie silence around Leo's sheep as well. The vibrant bleats from the creatures didn't ring out this morning, even after Leo's attempt to call out for help. They simply stood like woven statues around Leo, hardly even tempted by the greens around them. Perhaps exhaustion as well as yesterday was putting them into a state of shock, unable to stomach any form of grazing. Leo knew it was bad, the sheep had gone a long while without food or rest, but he couldn't do anything for them in his state. His wooden flute at this point was too heavy to lift and use, to send the sheep away and help themselves. Leo's utmost thoughts and fears focused on the sheep, and most important of all the lifeless goat he pulled closer. A weak wind and subtle change in his balance was all it took for Leo to collapse on his side, ear pressed against to the earth to hear the natural rhythm of life. Things moved constantly, and in this silence, the ground hugging Leo's side seemed to vibrate alongside it. The world kept on moving, even if Leo couldn't follow it anymore. Trees waved and rattled whilst birds of summer sung out. It was harmonic, and peaceful, nature's song was something no canine could not adore and respect. It was to this song, and the cluster of movement around Leo, as his flock shuffled closer to their shepherd, standing and lying around him like a short wall, that the wolfdog's consciousness dropped like a rock.

Leo had been prepared to fight off the urge to fall asleep, but it came in such a sudden and dominant way that there was no way to win. A rewind of memories seemed to flash by, all matching the morbid tone that Leo's body and mind were experiencing. That fear and dread present when he'd lost his family, to the point of knowing that he still was unable to save them during the last dawn's attack. The nightmare seemed to repeat itself, prodding Leo with whatever blame it could to make the wolfdog suffer in his guilt and pain, showing him as the coward he was and how misfortune was all he could bring on his family and flock. Whilst his subconscious was ensnared in these awful memories, parts of his reality still existed and demanded to be noticed.

There was the ever pungent smell of thick blood in the air, masking what pleasant smells this pack offered, though with more morning breeze, this changed. Still ever tainted with blood, there was a new smell in the air, fresher and welcome. Some sort of pine, a strong fir smell sweetened the air. Voices too, as the new scent also woke Leo's ears, to what sounds they could grab without moving to purposely catch them. Leo knew the voice, if only in his exhausted state he could encourage his mind to work again. He took a few expensive breaths of air, enough to flush out his groggy head and give the wolfdog the chance to usher himself awake. It didn't come easily however, nor at the right time. As his eyelids forced their way open, making a small slit that only just began to show Leo's ocean toned eyes what was happening, something hit his stomach. The short furred skin around his wounds already spoke up from the sudden influence of cold, but it was nothing but a whisper compared to the siren of pain coming from his open wound. Leo dry mouth burst open with a fresh cry of pain, hoarse howls accompanying them as his body refused to let him contain the sudden and new pain. "N... N-n-noo! St-st...st-stop." Coming to only at the moment the salve touch his wound made Leo question what was even happening, instinct only told him it wasn't good. But the danger Leo assume he was in slowly died down. Beyond the flooded tears in his eyes, as shocked as Leo was, he noticed who it was above him. "G-gali-galilani?" Leo attempted to confirm.

It felt surreal to see her again, even if Leo's only hope had been to find her here. But so drowned in pain and trauma, Leo could only see his friend now as heaven sent, once again heroically coming to his aid. Leo felt a small movement near his arm, vision dropping down to Dawn. She was still just as weak. "Y-y-you... pl-please.. h-h-help D-d-dawn." Leo begged quietly, forlorn eyes watching desperately over his close friend for breathing, trying hard to ignore his own pains for the sake of hers.

Oh damn, pleased to meet you xD
Leo Shepard

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POSTED: Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:54 pm

[ WC: 586] (+5) Muse fails me... :(

His voice broke the silence. It was a cry of pain, but in that moment, Galilani was thankful for anything that wasn’t silence. Completely on instinct, the woman attempted to ameliorate his pain by whispering in his ear. Her shaky hand continued to apply the sap, but with each brush, another tear slipped down her face. She had to do this. She had to fix him.

“It is okay, Leo. It’s okay… It’s me, Galilani, fr—from the mou—mountains…”

She caught his teary gaze. She bit back her whimper, and swallowed away her guilt. Instead, determination wriggled its way across her brow. Her lips tightened into a sorry smile, and she pulled another branch from her lap. Another blister, another stab. She placed the sap upon the wound again.

“It’ll pass. The pain will-- will pass… I pr-- promise.” she whispered, wanting to stroke his hair from his face. She resisted.

“It’s an ant-- antiseptic. It’ll help.” She lifted the leaking branch to the level of his half-closed eyes.

“See… It’s Balsam. It’ll h-- heal you… I-- I hope.”

She sniffed. A wave of concern slammed into her. However, Leo’s thoughts seemed elsewhere. Dawn was thrust into the twigs and branches in Galilani’s lap. She blinked, taking a moment to understand what the shepherd wanted.

“Oh, Leo,” Galilani sighed, feeling the drying sting on tears on her cheek. Her face felt tired. Her heart ached. Clutching Dawn carefully in her lap, the woman pulled away slowly from the wound on Leo’s abdomen. It had slowed, thankfully. She breathed with relief, and turned to the weakening doe. She knew that if Dawn died, Leo wouldn’t care if he lived. There was a connection there that even Galilani couldn’t understand. The woman worked fast.

Using the last of her current branch, Galilani smothered the wounds in sap. The wool clotted and tangled. It was difficult to reach the cuts through the fluff, but the scout prevailed. Soft bleats of pain met her ears, and the tears flowed again.

“I’m sorry,” she cracked quietly, stroking the creature’s head. “I don’t kn- know wh-- what else I c-- can do.”

Galilani tried to see the serpent upon her shoulder. He had gone.

In that moment, Galilani felt truly alone. A chill brushed over her as an unfriendly breeze whipped through the trees. The scent of blood and Christmas met her nose. The woman cringed, and stared woefully at the begging face of Leo.

“I,” she whimpered, staring hopelessly at the blood on her hands, and the goat in her lap. She felt a bubbling rage inside her. Her heart cried, her mind roared. The woman’s eyes flashed dangerously, as tears of sadness turned in to tears of anger. Whoever had done this was going to pay. She would make sure of it.

And with that promise, the woman’s primal instincts overtook. A large howl rose from the pit of her stomach, echoing through her chest, rattling her ribcage. Her heart soared with the song on the breeze, and her eyes closed with the sorrowful tune. Crouched in a pool of blood, goat and sap in her lap, she called for assistance. She called for revenge. She called for help. She called for a miracle.

The howl continued. It rang and rang, whistling through the trees, searching. Someone had to come. Someone would help them. She would howl until they did.

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Last edited by Galilani Adahy on Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:38 pm

Deep down Leo felt like pain was something everyone feared. Leo feared everything, and naturally pain was one of them. But he'd been fortunate enough to never experience it in full force, at a moment when his body was under enough threat to be fatal. When he'd fallen from the waterfall, the impact shoved his mind into a state of unconsciousness, and Leo wasn't awake to feel what pain washed over him from the experience. He'd just woken up with aches, whispering pains that he could deal with. The wolfdog had never experience such an explosion of pain such as this, and it made him terrified. Galilani's words came softly, and Leo had no reason to doubt them, and he tried not to. She claimed this strange, thick liquid would help him, and yet it felt as though the 'Balsam' was just eating into his fragile flesh. He'd never seen this kind of healing done before, or had he? Come to think of it, this smell was familiar as well. It was reminiscent of the oils and palms used by Leo's father long ago. What the pups referred to as father's 'magic oil' that he used on injured flock and mostly on Tucker, as he got into trouble the most.

If that was the case, and Galilani's healing cream was related to the one Leo remembered, then he was all the more desperate for Dawn to have some as well. Her likelihood of surviving was all Leo cared about. And he carefully pushed the goat towards their friend, adamant about his choice. He'd come running all this way in his condition not to have himself fixed, just to have Dawn saved, and a place the flock could be safe from the living nightmare they'd come running from. Leo's eyes glazed over with the exhaustion and pain, though the latter seemed to mellow out. Ever so slowly, it seemed the salve was stopping blood from escaping, and Leo couldn't feel the scrapping pains of crimson blood leaving from his cuts anymore as it was minimised. He watched silently, breath filtering through his heavy chest whilst the wolfdog could feel his torn heart punch against his ribs. He wanted desperately to see Dawn jump to life as soon as she was given the salve, and show them all that bubbly, lively aura she always had. Make Leo smile like he did so rarely, rather than softly whine into the dry ground as he did now. His ears twitched to Dawn's confused and weak bleats when she was given the same care, and he reached a crimson patched arm out towards her. He quietly hushed the goat down, carefully folding his fingers between her jaw and behind her ear, rubbing the thin layer of fur that rested there. "S-sh-shhh... I-i-it's a-all-all r-r-right. D-d-dawn... y-y-you'll b-be be s-s-s...s-safe h-here." Leo muttered, swallowing down nothing but a solid lump of dread, even through his comforting words to the tired and traumatised goat.

There was one thing left going for Leo that didn't just make him want to stop trying and let the sheep be taken by this pack. His heart tore with a new pain, one where he didn't want to hurt his friend. Galilani's tears, the kind of water Leo hated the most, and he didn't want to see more of them. Nor did he want to have this traumatising morning made more so by his own demise. He'd yet to repay Galilani for her kindness on the mountains, and now for this saintly care she was giving him and Dawn. Dying in front of one so desperate to help it made them this full of woe, was not what Leo wanted to ever do. Needless to say, Leo still cared more for Dawn's injury and his flock than he did for his own well-being, but the wolfdog had a small flicker of confidence, backed up by the salves work on muffling the pain of his wound. He knew he'd survive this, all he needed to make sure of now was that Galilani was thanked and Dawn was still with them. A hardy grunt leaving his muzzle, and Leo pulled his arms up and against the ground. He wobbled as he rose, letting out thin whines of pain as his wounds protested to movement. But finally Leo got himself lying partly upright at least, dropping his shoulders down against something sturdy behind him. His sea coloured eyes looked to the side, almost smiling to the long, curtained face of Queen, who lay behind Leo, and now acted as a prop for him to lean against. A fact the quiet ewe seemed fine with.

Leo listened to the last passings of Galilani's howls, as they began their journey towards other ears, listening to how desperate she seemed. They could only wait for the assistance that her cries seemed to beg for. Leo throat was dry, but he continued to force what words he could out of it. "W-w-we ar-are... s-save-saved b-b-by G-galilani ag-again." He commented, his words drooling slowly from his mouth though remained sincere, even though their general slowness and the hoarse voice of Leo's made them seem so much more morbid and final, which he'd not wanted. "T-th..th-thank y-y-you." Leo muttered. And not a moment after, a slightly more elevated bleat came from Dawn. She was still so weak, unable to move her heavy, horned head. And yet she still wished to echo her master's words, and show gratitude to their saviour in her own way.

The pressure of simply sleeping again was resisted by the wolfdog, who occupied his eyes with looking around them slowly, senses open to locate whatever new face Leo would have to soon get to know, from this pack he was determined to stop at.

Open to leadership now me thinks, please ^^
Leo Shepard

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POSTED: Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:25 pm

With Rylan's recent move from the his rank as Sedali, Claudius had been checking in on the young boy every so often to see how he was doing. Similarly, Claudius had been popping in to see what Bowen and Lucid were up to since he was worried about them since their father had disappeared. Claudius was uncomfortable knowing Tal had left so close to Gemma's pregnancy; she had to be ready to deliver any day now! But nonetheless, he was trying to keep himself from stewing on the topic as much as possible. After all, he couldn't let his anger show through.

Today, he was chatting with Rylan and Payne to see what area of war Rylan was interested in pursuing. Claudius was curious to know what kind of weapons with which he would choose to practice and whether he would seek assistance from his father. As AniWaya's highest-ranked War Keeper, Fenrir certainly had a lot to teach his son, though, Claudius wasn't sure if Rylan was ready to accept his help yet. It was important that Rylan establish who he was and what he wanted to do first - this would help him learn in a way that benefitted his needs.

A sudden howl cut through their chatter and Claudius tensed, waiting to hear more. Galilani's panicked call for help made Cladius' hackles rise; he didn't like the sound of that message.

"Kuh-quick, ruh-Rylan, fuh-fetch juh-Joy fuh-for me. Tuh-tell huh-her to fuh-follow ou-ou-our suh-scent. I-if yuh-you suh-see yuh-your f-f-f-father, t-t-tell huh-him to p-prepare himself. Puh-Payne, yuh-you're wuh-with m-m-me," he said. He quickly strode over to where Gda was waiting, alert and ready to go. Claudius gripped his staff and with two long steps, vaulted onto her back. He gripped her tightly with his legs and guided her in the right direction. With a quick kick, he spurred the horse on and he and Payne set out heading west.

Claudius arrived with Payne trailing not too far behind. The scent of blood guided them to the location and Claudius was alarmed to see that someone – some loner? – had lost an alarming amount of it.

“Guh-guh-g-Gali-luh-lani,” he stammered, and then swore. “Wuh-what huh-happened… here? Wuh-what… d-d-do you nuh-need?” he asked, thinking this would be a more necessary question. He hoped that Joy would arrive soon, too; from the looks of things, her skills would be needed.

WC: 395
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POSTED: Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:12 am

[ WC: 576] (+5)

The howl eroded into silence. In truth, Galilani’s throat was raw. Every muscle had tensed and soared a powerhouse of notes into the air. Her chords throbbed. Every part of her throat felt like tiny papercuts had formed, and salt had been placed in the wounds. Her chest heaved heavily, up and down. With sharp, stinging breaths, Galilan’s attention returned, just in time to catch the gentle whispers of Leo and Dawn. Her desperate emerald eyes found his, and she gently placed a quivering finger upon his lips. She felt her hope fading inside.

“S—save your strength,” she croaked dryly. Her chest gradually found rhythm, and her breathing stabilised into quieter thrusts. “Hel—help will be—be here soon, I—I promise...”

The scout pulled her bloodied hand away. She found herself facing the thickets and trees around them, oblivious to the creeping ache building in her knees and feet. Her ears twitched nervously, listening for every sound, trying to determine if someone would come. At first, all she could hear was the broken sounds of Dawn’s breaths, and the thud of her own heartbeat. But, soon, a heavy drumbeat rumbled on the ground. Galilani’s eyes lit up, and she stared, despairingly at the clearing.

It didn’t take long for the sound of hooves to reach Galilani. First she saw the horse. It was Gda, the mare. The scout had only seen her in the distance, running in the fields during her talks with Cody, but it was a welcomed face nonetheless. Second into her view was the Digalawigi Gadui Gatlvska. Galilani’s heart stopped. She hadn’t expected him, though in truth, she hadn’t expected anything. The woman’s mind went blank, and as the trailing steps of Payne thumped close behind, Galilani stared hopelessly at the building crowd.

“I, err, I…” She stammered, panicked again by the crowd and the drama. Her thoughts flushed and her heart jumped to her throat. Shaky, bloodied hands fell to her lap, and she looked between the three canines fearfully. She didn’t know what to tell them.

L—Leo,” she finally managed to stutter, turning to look back to Claudius with desperate eyes. “He—He was a—attacked, I – I think.” Her ears tucked back against her crown, and her gaze turned back to the wounded male. “I—I found him here, like—like this… on, on patrol…”

The tears flowed again. They stung her already swollen eyes and buried themselves down in her damp cheeks. She felt a whimper build in her throat. She swallowed hard. She wished not to appear any weaker in front of the Aniwayan leader than she had already. This much chaos was enough.

“He—He’s a friend,” she babbled on, quickened, panicked. “He is—is a shepherd.” She signalled to the scattered flock around them, and the injured goat in her lap. “He was – was going to—to visit. To he—help with our ani—animals. I… I gave them Balsam, for—for their wounds… He… I…”

Her voice broke off. The fast words and the raw chords took its toll. She felt her voice break, and her body shudder in pain. Her head throbbed from adrenaline, and her spine ached from remaining knelt upon the dirt, rocks and pine needles.

Please,” she managed to utter throatily, looking back toward Payne and Claudius. “I—I don’t know what else to—to do…”

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Keep on Aiming.

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POSTED: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:42 pm

The words of promise met Leo's ears, as did a gently placed finger to his lips. The wolfdog rose his brow slowly to search Galilani's finch green eyes for a sign of truth. Her eyes showed doubt, but Leo still smiled. Galilani was just afraid, and had every right to be, the wolfdog just prayed he'd not hurt her permanently by lying here in a pool of blood begging for her help. No matter what her eyes showed, Leo's lips still rose with a limp smile. He'd trust Galilani, and take her word for it. She promised there would be help on it's way, and the shepherd believed her completely. His breath was tuned with a soft whine, each blink of his eyes took longer and longer, till Leo's eyelids drop closed again. It was only a faint sleep, one content with being dreamless, nor did it last long.

Leo was aware of only one noise, the calming heart beat of Queen as she rested against Leo's back. But her heart beat suddenly danced, to an unnatural beat. The furious vibration continued on, until abruptly stopping. Then there came a voice, and for a moment, Leo thought it was his fathers, in his dreams. But having sleep ripped from him again, Leo's eyes opened to stare, startled, at the two horse-riding canines. His breath was caught as it was violently sucked in, making the wolfdog almost cough. Making a poor attempt to move himself higher against Queen, a tearing sensation in Leo's stomach brought him back down heavily. Whilst she was a calm individual, Queen could only tolerate so much, and the sudden appearance of horses along with the yelp from her master when his wounds flared up forced Queen to her feet. And Leo fell back against nothing, a rolling wave pain moving over him as his back hit the ground. Leo sucked in his further urges to express the hurt, giving up on moving again as he used his ears to listen. Galilani explained the situation, Leo remained quiet as he listened.

From how he lay down, Leo's expression was partly hidden, and the hurt on his face changed from being directed to his own wounds, to the guilt of thinking how badly he was making Galilani worry. She'd done more than enough already, and yet still assumed she'd done little to nothing for the wolfdog and his flock. It brought Leo back to the memory of when Galilani stated her self-doubts, claimed she was nothing special, even after all she'd done then. Now, she'd come here and given Leo and Dawn a fighting chance, and the wolfdog couldn't be more grateful for it. He'd have to speak up for himself, and help ease off the emotional pain Galilani was experiencing with his own words. Leo looked right, the tree next to him hung solemnly over his head, and gave Leo's his next prop, now that his startled flock had moved a couple of feet away. Leo pushed his arms down, dragging himself towards the tree. "O-o-oww, ow ow." Leo quietly yelped, releasing a sigh of relief as he felt the bark pressed against his back.

He could see the new faces now, and the white and tan wolf with a voice akin to Leo's fathers, and his own in consideration of the stutters. Leo didn't waste time staring, sucking in a few breaths of air whilst a dotted hand pressed down on his stomach. "J-j-joi-join... I-I, u-ummm... w-w..w-wish t-t-to j-j-join." Leo stated, as announced as his weak, sand-paper rough voice could get now. Leo paused, glazed ocean eyes looking to his flock, and then over to Galilani. "I-I'mmm... t-t-t-trav...travelling sh-shepard... a-and d-de-decided t-t-to st-stop... s-stop h-here-ere." Leo thought back to his cart, he'd abandoned it when running away. If only it were here now, Leo could offer the pack his goods as a favour, or to demonstrate what he could offer. Leo's face was planted with a moment of despair. He didn't know what was necessary to join a pack, perhaps even in this state, Leo wouldn't be allowed across the borders. The wolfdog's dreary eyes looked further up to the canines on horse-back, "I....if I-I c-ca-can...n-not s-st-stay. Th-then...then pl-please, g-g-gi-give t-them... a-a, u-umm... h-home."

Triple stutter threat :O
Leo Shepard

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POSTED: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:40 pm

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Galilani was frazzled. Claudius knew the feeling well, though, he didn’t think it was hard to spot, he could empathize with her. She offered a name to the loner, Leo, and Claudius jerked his head in a nod, concentrating on the wounds. He didn’t know enough to understand what to do; there was blood everywhere and Claudius had no idea if it was too much, the right amount, or not enough. How could you even know something like that? He was no healer. Leo had been waiting at their borders for some indeterminate amount of time, so Claudius couldn’t tell if he had been like this for hours – or worse yet – longer still.

Claudius dismounted from his horse and walked over to put a hand on Galilani’s shoulder. He tried to see if he could discern anything from Leo’s wounds, but he had nothing; no knowledge to offer. As Galilani gestured to the animals nearby, she explained that he was a shepherd and that somehow, he had made it through an attack with his sheep. Leo must be some kind of miraculous sheepherder if they had followed him and not scattered.

Although Claudius had remained silent this entire time, not trusting himself to say anything quite yet, he squawked out in surprise when Galilani begged him to do something. Claudius let out a hard whoosh of air and then looked at Payne for guidance. She was a warrior, so he didn’t know if she would be of any more use than he was.

Leo then spoke up, deciding that he was well enough to want to join. Claudius couldn’t help it – he burst out with a single, harsh laugh. He wanted to interject to explain his outburst, but Leo wasn’t done, so Claudius waited.

“Puh-p-p-please, kuh-quiet, juh-just ruh-rest. I-i-if yuh-you suh-survive, wuh-we wuh-will t-t-take you in… a-anyone… thuh-that… c-c-can… survive this… will have a… home… in the tribe,” he replied. “I-I wuh-will duh-do wuh-what I-I cuh-can, b-but wuh-we’ll nuh-need our huh-healer, Joy… shuh-she… will… know… what to do,” he explained.

He stood up and stepped back just a bit – so that he wouldn’t be shouting directly into anyone’s ears – and sent out a howl summoning Joy to the borders. Once he was finished, he stepped back to where Leo and Galilani were waiting and knelt down beside them once more.

“C-c-can yuh-you put… pressure… on… your wounds, Leo?” he asked. “I-I’ve huh-heard it… done… before… helps wuh-with… kuh-keeping… the blood… in… I think,” he explained, gesturing to the wolfdog’s chest with his four-fingered hand.

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POSTED: Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:43 pm

It was by some sort of miracle that they'd all... well, almost all, made it. Perhaps the shrouded skies of that fateful morning had given the flock what they needed to escape. And that even though in panic and pain, Leo had enough sense left to consider his only option. He'd thought, whilst running, of nothing else but how to keep the remaining flock alive. As a dedicated shepherd, who viewed his flock not only as precious livestock but also as family, Leo couldn't allow himself to focus on anything else. He'd even clouded his already exhausted mind to believe that there was no hope left for himself.

That little narrative had of course ended, as soon as Leo was approached at the borders. The bubbling and erupting pain from the pine sap that Galilani dressed his wounds with woke the wolfdog up from his morbid thoughts. He'd try to keep up the façade of consciousness for long enough until further help arrived. And once it had, Leo simply needed to ask to join, and beg to whatever higher beings watched them from above or below that the judgement of the white and brown canine was as Leo hoped. From all that had transpired over the last lap of the sun, Leo didn't think he could take another moment of despair. The short outburst of a laugh from the pack's leader, Leo presumed, was going to give the Shepard his answer. But it didn't turn out as he'd assumed.

Leo's mind, though clouded with the painkilling pines and the exhaustion of everything, was enlightened for once by the leader's response. He seemed to see something in Leo's determination to remain awake so long. The wolfdog could hardly concentrate on anything said after hearing he'd be welcome here, and Leo flattened his dark mane back against the trunk of the tree. Letting out a sigh mixed of both pain and relief, Leo's ocean eyes were dropped shut once more. "Th...th-thank y-y-you." He almost fell asleep once more, as quick as one fell down when tripped, but consciousness continued to tug tightly, and Leo made sure to listen to what else the older, stuttering male had to say.

What strength remained wasn't much, but Leo attempted to use it to do as he'd been instructed. His hand had already been pressed against one wound today, so even the dark leather pads and folds between Leo's white fingers were patterned with blood already. He'd been clutching onto Dawn all this time, now finally he'd have to hold down his own wounds for survival's sake. His arm felt as though it was pulsing, pressed down firmly against the warm wound where Leo could feel the beating of flowing blood against his fingers. It was rhythmic, and against the new will the wolfdog had, that pulsing lulled him back into sleep. It was no longer a fight to remain awake. Leo could try with all his might to do so, but there was bound to be a point where his consciousness snapped and the blood loss finally pulled him down. But at least this time he lost knowing that he'd wake up again, and would be waking up to a new life here in the tribe.

Leo Shepard

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