Sink In Your Claws and Fly

[AW For One Or More]

POSTED: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:05 pm

What had brought the crow to this barren waste? Once, this had been the home of a doomed pack, but Dogmeat didn't know who. All she saw were the remains of snow-covered buildings. Around them, there were the scant tracks of some livestock and canines, and scat. Old, moldering scat that marked the ground like many ugly signs. It was a fitting addition to this dead, wrecked place, with black trees so weak the wind snapped them in half.

Dogmeat should've stopped being so curious a long time ago. Especially with winter now here, flying to random places could be the death of her. There was plenty of fresh prey by the ocean; the waves kept the water thawed and the tides brought good fortune. Instead, because she'd never explored this part of the coast, she'd coasted on a storm-led win to here.

Now that storm had turned around, and the temperature ha dropped. Dogmeat had dropped altitude so the moist air wouldn't freeze her wings. Somewhere in this mess of dead flora and jagged rocks, she had to find somewhere to shelter. After that, she had to find a bite to eat, having not fed herself in a day. Between the cold and fighting the weather, she'd never have the strength to leave without it. Nighttime's approach made things even worse - she'd be blind and stuck in that long stretch of dark.

Circling above, Dogmeat scowled as much as a bird, head turning left and right. Her beady eyes searched the ground below, picking out every detail they could.
Creatures
Fish Crow
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Dale
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POSTED: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:26 am

Vesper was curled up at the mouth of the cavern when Clover found her, rather than in any of the warmer rooms deeper within the earth. She’d checked them all with mounting concern, but now that she watched the old coywolf, bony and yet seemingly content with frost sparkling on her whiskers, that concern was replaced with irritation.

“You’re real keen on freezing your fucking face off,” growled the dog.

“Shush, you,” Vesper replied in a rasp, not bothering to turn her head. Instead, her mangled ear twitched back in the dog’s direction. “I’m tired of playing groundhog. I need a breath of air every once in a while, even if it means ‘freezing my fucking face off.’ At least remind myself I have a face.” She did look at Clover as she said this, snide.

There wasn’t much left to freeze, Clover thought. Vesper’s narrow muzzle was pockmarked with scars and scabs, thinning around the eyes. The eyes followed Clover with their same cold keenness, seemingly unaffected by the cloudy blue sheen that covered the pupils. When she licked her lips, her tongue brushed yellow fangs, and ground-down teeth, and empty pockets in the reddened gum. The last year had been very unkind to the former Infernian.

Clover sighed and plopped down beside Vesper, leaning her larger, fluffier body against the skeletal old hybrid. Ves didn’t protest, only returned her gaze to the outside world, her good ear pricked. It was only after a while that Clover realized that she was watching something in particular: a black dot wheeling in the sky.

“It’s not one of mine,” Vesper said after a minute.

Clover frowned and squinted up at the small black bird gliding over the barren wood. She couldn’t tell the difference.

“Not many outsiders fly these skies. The flock can get nasty. Too cold for any sensible raven to be out today, though.” Her mouth quirked before Clover could make a remark that the Ravenmaster’s birds were smarter than she was. “I’m curious, though,” she added, and that was all the further preamble before she got up and limped along the narrow trail leading from the caves. Clover trailed her closely, head in line with her spine and her tail dusting low over the ground.
Loners
Dog
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Raze
oderint dum metuant
cave canem
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:09 am

Dogmeat spotted the mouth of a cavern, small as an ant-hole from where she flew. The dead trees loomed over its maw, skeletal branches like thin bird-feet as they reached over. The crow tilted her head, flying lower as she circled back around the area. A cave could mean someone was living there, and - ah, yes. Now she saw a dog loping out from the cavern. Surprised to find one here, Dogmeat wondered if it was a particularly-resourceful Wolf-Folk. Dipping her head, she spun down for a dainty landing on a low branch.

"Caw!" she shouted at the dog, trying to get its attention. She hopped from branch to branch, twigs cracking as they slapped against one another. The dog might note that Dogmeat was smaller than most, with an odd, ocean-colored sheen to her feathers. She had the nasal voice of a baby crow, but her plumage was too smooth for a youngling. Watching the dog with attentiveness, the crow waited for some kind of greeting. Though she spoke no High Speech, Dogmeat could likely get across she wanted food and shelter.

"Awp awp! Caw! CAW!"

Unfortunately, she hadn't seen nor realized the trees were home to a flock of ravens. If she had, she wouldn't have been so loud and boisterous. The squeakier the chick, the faster the fox would find it should it fall.
Creatures
Fish Crow
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Dale
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POSTED: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:00 pm

Only Vesper would wander out into the cold to look at a bird, Clover thought.

She kept pace behind the old coyote, her large paws stepping into the smaller prints the limping female left behind. Walking single file was a skill picked up over the years, though on her own her trail meandered like a proper dog’s. Her head leaned forward in case she needed to nudge Vesper back up onto her feet, too, but Ves was having one of her good days; her joints just locked up sometimes when the cold and wet became too much to bear. It was a good thing, too; Vesper would resent her for helping out.

No, the former Aquila looked confident as she strode out beneath the dead trees, her mangled ears pricked to listen to the caws. When her keen blue eyes spotted the bird at last, she tilted her head. “That’s interesting.”

“What is?” Clover asked. Vesper didn’t answer. Clover squinted at the bird but didn’t see anything interesting about it, other than its size and nasal cries. Perhaps it was a late hatcher?

The old coywolf sat down, wrapping her bushy tail around her bad leg, and called back to the bird with a raspy caw of her own, lower in pitch. Her voice was different than the fish crow’s — a dialect of the large ravens native to the area — but corvid low speech was similar enough at its base that there could be some understanding. Vesper understood food and shelter at least, and hoped to convey in her response that these resources existed here.

Vesper added a low ku-uk-kuk, turning her head to look pointedly at the trees. Clover had heard this sound uttered when the ravens were chasing each other aggressively; maybe Vesper was warning the little bird about them?

Huffing boredly, the dog plopped her haunches in the snow and began to scratch one of the mats forming behind her ear while her mentor cawed.
Loners
Dog
User avatar
Raze
oderint dum metuant
cave canem
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:44 am

Dogmeat, at first, couldn't figure out what she was hearing. There was Crow-Talk on the wind, but it was all wrong: more guttural, more raspy, more forced. It didn't have the hollow sound a bird's throat made, the bill and wide mouth perfect for long, loud notes. Uneasiness came with the watch-out croak; Dogmeat looked around the trees, anxious. Other birds? Where? She didn't remember seeing any on the flight in!

After a moment's hesitation, the fish crow called back. Food-shelter-acknowledged was the sound, followed quickly by friend-not thief-flying-passing. Dogmeat scanned the trees once more, and then took off with a rattle of branches. Her blue-green shimmer glinted like jewels: a burst of color in a wintry graveyard of trees. Angling down, the crow stopped when she spotted a pair of canines, landing on the nearest branch. Her beady eyes couldn't help but stare - they looked awful. One had to be almost as dead as the silent woods around them.

Dogmeat cawed once more, the sound careful and uncertain. Sickness? Death? No food? Her eyes didn't move from the pair below.
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Fish Crow
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Dale
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Eastern Realms