If Storms Are Breaking over Great Escapes

For Cedric

POSTED: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:39 pm

For Cedric on December 19th in between Cour des Miracles and Casa di Cavalieri where Ethereal Eclipse meets the Shattered Coast

The weather was warm. And it might not have been the kind of warmth one could find on a spring or summer day, but when Cottongrass was used to winter consisting of almost perpetual darkness and angry winds, he took whatever kind of pleasant weather he could get. He even considered the rain pleasant. There was nothing wrong with rain in his books. And he might have been soaked to the bone and his paws were that awful combination of muddy and cold but it wasn't anything he couldn't handle.

Besides, there were bigger things afoot.

Like the scent trail and path of destruction he had been following for the better part of the day. As what had once started as innocent exploration in the thick woods to the west had quickly turned into a hunt that led him into thinning forest in the east. Whatever animal he was following was big, branches and trampled bushes littering its trail. He wondered if it was a horse. The horse that one boy had seemed pretty big from his perspective. Although, it might have been the fear of the moment speaking and exaggerating things.

To Cottongrass it was just another good reason to continue his tracking.

His nose was kept close to the ground and he followed the thick and heavy scent of the creature as its trail blew upwind and piled in his senses. If it wasn't a horse, maybe he would try and take it down. There was no such thing as too much food in his mind, after all. Or maybe it was a monster, one that was out to terrorize the nearby packs. In that case he would take it down and parade its awful head around for all the world to see. He would show it to Falcon first, of course.

His tail wagged and his paws crept faster along the beast's trail, the suspense almost becoming too much for him to bear. He wanted to see what the creature was! See how and why it left such obvious trails of destruction in its wake. Every step forward had the creature's smell growing stronger in his nose. It was right in front of him now, in the clearing where the forest grew thin and turned to rolling plains. He couldn't wait.

And without hesitation, he burst through the clearing, ears forward and body tense as he stood tall before the no longer mysterious creature. But what greeted him was no creature of childish legend. No, instead what he found was far more real and all the more terrifying because of it.

Stood before Cottongrass was a bull moose. Its rack was massive and still intact, the creature shaking its head and stamping mighty hooves nervously and in warning when its pitch black eyes settled on his form. Its breath panted out harshly into the coolness of the day and curled around its snout. And lastly, the animal's salmon pink tongue uncurled from its mouth to lick at its lips. Cottongrass was pretty sure the bull wasn't trying to seduce him—though he would be flattered, really!—and hurried to scramble back when the creature began to charge.

Loners
Wolf
User avatar
Emmett
Non-Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:46 pm

OOC -sorry for the delay! - 570 words

If I can live through this, I can do anything

Patrols didn't always need to be condensed to the pack lands, in fact exploring out of the territory could be just as useful. Cedric had met a few skulking strangers in Casa's borders, but he'd not met any just outside before, the kind planning on entering. Doing this also opened the window to all the other scents in the neutral lands, the kind that could tell Cedric who was going by, what prey was about or what dangers he needed to be ready for. Yes, the boy would always prefer staying inside the metaphorical walls of Casa, but he was trying to give himself more reasons to go further out, other than to visit Cidro. Winter feet stepped lightly over the snow and mud, mixing silver and brown as Cedric marched. His nose was damp against the crisp air, picking up each change in the clear breeze.

Cedric would always enjoy the cold months. He'd been born amongst snow and frost. Even when his coat was thin and puppy-like, the boy had enjoyed nothing more than jumping into piles or snow or daring to swim across rivers. Now Cedric's mind was far from thinking about playing in the snow, but he still welcomed the chill around him like a friend, thinking back fondly of his puppy months.

Cedric moved closer to a clearing, licking his drying nose and checking the air once more. There was a thick smell here, something new and unfamiliar. It wasn't canine, so the boy's hackles remained relaxed, but he still pressed closer to investigate. As the boy's golden eyes looked to the far side of the clearing, he watched as ivory spikes emerged from the forest, followed by a hulking, muscular and furred body. The creature's steps thumped into the mud, and a grunt from it's thick chest shook the air around them. Judging from the kills he'd seen Isaac deal with, this was an elk or moose. Big prey, not something Cedric would have any hopes of taking down. They were the kind of dangerous creatures that should be avoided unless hunted in a group. Pouncing one alone would be a death wish.

And yet Cedric looked on in surprise as a lone wolf burst from the bushes behind the behemoth and tested it. The wolf seemed confident for a split second before their mind seemed to catch up with their actions. Just as they came to the conclusion that they'd made an error, the bull charged. And Cedric, he charged too. Loner the other may be, and a possible threat to his pack, but right now they were just another life in danger of being trampled or impaled by the moose and Cedric couldn't allow that. His purple cloak billowed as he ran, preparing his shield as he tried to curve around and cut off the moose from the other arctic wolf.

Cedric's shield collided with the beast's thick neck, doing little to bruise the creature but more than enough to shatter its charge. Without balance, one hoof mis-stepped over the other and the great moose soon tumbled, crashing into the bushes with a shuddering impact. Cedric pulled back to avoid the exposed and dangerous hooves that swung wildly as they looked for purchase, before moving to step between the other wolf and this natural threat.

Cedric Stryder
A Knight is sworn to valor, his blade defends the helpless
Casa di Cavalieri
First Cadet
User avatar
Jazzy
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:36 pm

(1005)

It's fine! Also, don't feel the need to mirror! It's mostly just SoSu rambles~

It was official.

Cottongrass was going to die. Killed by none other than his fabled enemy—which was anything that weighed more than him and had the weaponized feet many fools called hooves. It was a shame, really. He was still so young and handsome! Not that he really had anything else going for him in terms of a life when he thought about it, but that wasn't the point. The point was that he couldn't do anything to change his fate.

No, he could only accept it.

Embrace whatever it was the universe had planned for him whether he liked it not with his entire body and soul. Because he had cheated death in the past, before, once. He had fallen into icy waters only to be pulled out and given a second chance by a strange and mysterious wolf that had stood only on their two back legs as opposed to four. It had been the first time he ever met such a creature. But luck wouldn't have it again. Not when he was Cottongrass No-Last-Name, the only wolf in the entire world to be cursed with such bad and horrible luck. It only made sense for the universe's cruel sense of humour to catch up with him sooner or later.

He just wished he might have been given a little more time.

But there was no bargaining with Lady Luck. And besides, maybe he would finally get a chance to reunite with his ataatatsiaq. Or maybe—just maybe—he would achieve his life long dream of becoming an owl when his body died and his spirit lived on, set on the path to be reincarnated time and time again. The first option would solve the numerous questions that had plagued him ever since the elder's disappearance in the dead of night during a winter snowstorm while the other was just a dream of his. Really, he wasn't about to be picky about what the afterlife could offer him. Those were just his top two options.

And with his final thoughts in order—Cottongrass braced for impact. His ears rolled back against his head while his eyes clamped shut in fear all while he reared onto his back legs, body giving one last frantic and desperate attempt to move out of the monstrous creature's path while a silent yelp flew from his parted jaws. If he didn't escape, the best case scenario would be that maybe, maybe his trampling would be quick and painless! As quick and painless as being stepped on over and over by a thousand pound creature could be, anyway.

His body hit the ground. And nothing—nothing happened? There was no world of pain and hurt swallowing him whole like he expected when a moose stepped on him a bunch. It was a little uneventful and really confusing, really. He questioned if anything had even happened. Was the moose just a figment of his imagination? Did he stumble upon a creature with strange and otherworldly powers that could create hallucinations? Or was death simply that pain free and instantaneous? He didn't know, he had never died before, and Cottongrass' yellow eyes fluttered upon in search of answers.

What greeted him upon opening his eyes was the backside of a cloaked figure. The cloth they wore was dark purple in colour and unfamiliar and he already knew that he just needed to know more about the man. During this the sound of a thousand confused question marks and a few exclamation points went off behind his eyes like the world's worst ever firework display. In the process of identifying—and totally not ogling!—the person that had just saved him, he caught a glimpse of the once charging moose. The creature now laid on its side against the forest floor with its spindly legs and dangerous hooves kicking and thrashing as it struggled to get itself back onto its feet.

Whatever.

His mind disregarded that completely in favour of processing the fact that the man had just saved him while a near infinite amount of questions bubbled up from somewhere inside his throat. Did they kill it? Was the creature going through its death throes right before their very eyes? And if it was dead—could he have some of the meat, since he just totally and absolutely helped take the beast down? Yet the only word that actually made its way past his tied tongue was a soft, breathless, and dizzy—

"Wow."

Thankfully, it didn't take more than a second before his overworked hamster of a brain to catch onto the sheer stupidity of his initial response. Because really, wow? Someone just saved his life and that's the best his thoughts could come up with for him to say? What a horrible first impression he was no doubt making. Whatever. He pushed himself upright from where he had fallen in his earlier haste to—you know, not die—and onto his paws, white tail wagging quick and eager while he took no shame in further hiding behind the protection of the stranger, body brushing against a muscular calf while he came to a stop near their side.

"You—you saved me!" He barked, disbelief rising in his voice and stars in his eyes. And sure, the moose was still nearby, but Cottongrass only had eyes for his—his hero. The fact that he had very nearly died poured over him like water down a duck's back. Not much phased him, anymore, to be honest. One could only face so much trauma before it just got old and became another part of daily life. Besides, it wasn't the first time his own impulsiveness and childishness nearly got him in serious trouble and it wouldn't be the last.

He could have a freakout and panic attack another day if he really wanted or needed to. Because right now, all he wanted to do was preen and swoon over the man that had just put their life on the line for his.

Loners
Wolf
User avatar
Emmett
Non-Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:15 pm

OOC -559 words

If I can live through this, I can do anything

Moments like these were good reminders to Cedric that it wasn't just the canine world that was dangerous. Nature had a means of striking fear and death just as well as any weapon-wielding person could. The boy had heard of giant creatures with masses of fur called bears, savage foxes or other small creatures. And then the elk and moose, the usual prey to packs and canine, they could be the most dangerous of all. Their hooves hit at hard as a maul, and the horns on their head could impale just as heavily as any spear or pike could. Of course much of Cedric's training revolved around fighting his fellow canine; knowing how to block a sword or avoid the swing of a great axe. Not much prepared the young Stryder for dealing with aggressive beasts, but instinct was always there to fill in the gaps of knowledge.

With the moose collapsed, Cedric felt a prick of a hunter's desire crawl up his back. He had his sword, a few good stabs might end the moose and bring Casa a very decent meal. But Cedric also saw a body packed with muscly hide, not something that would die in one swipe. And with each hit Cedric could be risking a kick or bite from the beast as it tried to survive. No, the boy wouldn't risk such a thing, no matter how grand the reward would be. Instead he remained in place, fur on edges to make his arctic coat look poofy but bigger, and golden eyes fiercely placed on the moose.

Cedric had almost forgotten he was here to save someone, only remembering as he felt a body rub against his leg and a voice call out. One ear flicked back, but the eyes didn't leave the danger. "Are you hurt?" Cedric asked simply, not smelling any blood in the air. "You should stay behind me." Cedric recommended, just as the moose rolled itself to place it's deadly hooves back on solid ground. The boy's lips curled up, pearly white fangs exposed and a growl rumbling from his chest to make it clear to this mighty creature that he wasn't backing down.

The moose grunted, a sound so guttural and low that Cedric felt it shake through his rib-cage, as it rose to it's full height. Cedric was ready to try and batter it away once more, or even fight the giant thing. But, wise to the odds of survival and the chance of injury, the moose gave the pair one last grumble before turning away. Cedric snarled as it left, a predatory sound strong enough to urge the beast to quicken it's pace as it launched itself out of the forest and away from the two canines. With a huff, Cedric began to calm.

His golden eyes relaxed just as the fur on his exposed body did as well, and finally Cedric looked down to the four-pawed victim. "That was a very dangerous situation. What happened to make the creature so mad?" Cedric asked, before nodding his head. "I am Cedric Stryder, from the pack Casa di Cavalieri, not far from here. We are a pack of warriors and knights, so you are lucky this happened so close by that I could help."

Cedric Stryder
A Knight is sworn to valor, his blade defends the helpless
Casa di Cavalieri
First Cadet
User avatar
Jazzy
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:15 pm

(717)

The stranger who saved him asked if he was hurt. Cottongrass could only shake his head no even though he couldn't feel the boy's eyes on him, bright yellow eyes instead transfixed on the massive and just as equally terrifying beast made of a mountain of muscle and fur with antlers that swooped and curved atop the bull's mighty head. His hero said to stay behind him. It was a request he was all to eager to follow, body remaining pressed against the back of one of the boy's long and muscular legs while he peeked out from behind them at the creature.

It was a growl that called his attention upwards towards his hero's face, their features contorted into that of bright white bared teeth. Somewhere in front of them the moose bellowed once in return, the beast finally rising to its long and deceptively thin legs. Cottongrass couldn't help it, the energy was too much for him to deny, and he stepped forward until he was beside the boy instead of behind them. His thick and white tail rose in dominance over his back and his hackles raised while he bared his own teeth, pink tongue pressed aggressively against the back of his canines. No growl left his own two lungs, however.

No, there was too much energy swirling inside of him, and not enough of it was it was negative for him to make such an animalistic noise without risking breaking into laughter.

He didn't have to, however. His hero's display—and maybe even his own—was enough to have the moose retreating back into the woods whence it came. It was nothing but a looming and dark shadow as it returned to the shadows of the trees it belonged. With the danger gone for real this time, Cottongrass' yellow eyes snapped towards his saviour who broke the tension with a question.

'What happened to make the creature so mad?' They asked.

"No idea!" He chirped. Cottongrass only wagged his now relaxed tail and leaned more of his weight against one of the boy's legs, yellow eyes bright and shining and jaws parted in blind adoration. If you asked him, the moose had attacked—or at least tried to—without reason and had simply been out to get him because he was the living embodiment of innocence and good will. Never mind the fact that he'd been tracking the beast for much of the day and no doubt leaving the hulking thing on edge only to rush out at it for a moment before realizing his mistake.

His own view of the events that had just transpired might have already been romanticized and shaded in with a rose coloured hue for later retelling.

It wasn't like he was hurting anyone.

And there were much grander things afoot, anyway. Like his hero! The one who saved him! And was currently talking to him!

"I'm Cottongrass." He was quick to introduce himself after the other boy did, eager to be acknowledged. He might have bore no last name or fancy rank and he hailed from no noble pack like the mysterious and heroic Cedric Stryder did, but he wasn't about to let that get in the way. No, there were too many questions swirling and storming his thoughts, and he wasn't about to let his hero go without a thorough grilling.

"You're so cool! And strong! And brave, too!" And cute, and adorable, and handsome, and a thousand other adjectives he could have easily listed be didn't. He settled for stamping his four paws in excitement and wagging his bottlebrush of a tail like crazy. "I can't believe you just, you just came in and, and charged like that! With your shield! And your sword!" Had Cottongrass had hands he would have no doubt been gesticulating like them lazy crazy, but he didn't. The other boy was just so amazing and utterly perfect!

(Although that might have been the hero worship speaking.)

"How did you learn to move like that? Is this the first time you've ever faced a moose?" And—oh, oh! He knew a good one to ask! "What's the biggest beast you've ever brought down? Have you ever fought a monster?" Cottongrass asked, all in a quick succession and with one deep breath.

Loners
Wolf
User avatar
Emmett
Non-Luperci

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