Running from the Tide

POSTED: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:44 pm

((OOC: if it's not clear, Alma is in her Optime form))

Alma skittered along the beach of Drifter Bay, trying to avoid the rising tide. Although she'd seen the ocean many times while traveling along the coast, the coywolf still found it fascinating. She was tempted to stay and investigate the shells and driftwood scattered along the beach, but she intended to reach her destination before the sun went down. Besides, she thought the sea air might have worrying effects on her bow...

She traced her fingers along the edge of the curved wood, wondering idly if she would have to replace it soon.

The sand receded into grass the further she went. Some of it had been traveled on before - the long grass was no longer standing upright but pressed down against the earth. The scent of prey animals, and the occasional canine filled her nose. Someone had been here before.

Alma had been told that somewhere nearby, there was a pack of coyotes with a fearsome reputation. Curiosity compelled her to investigate if the claims were true - yet, she also welcomed the thought of being among her own kind, assuming they would think of her as such.

She spotted the border before she actually reached it. Someone had placed a wolf skull on a long wooden pole, splashed with what looked like blood. Scents of coyote rose up as she came closer; she was sure she was in the right place. Alma sniffed the skull curiously, recognizing the scent of death and... paint? She blinked, then shook her head. Even if the blood was fake, the message still mattered.

She set her bow and spear aside, to show she had no intention of attacking, then sat down. On second thought, she placed her flax bag on the ground, too. She would wait. She would not howl, for she found the thought immensely uncomfortable. Could she even make that sound anymore?

POSTED: Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:28 pm

Sorry for the delay! Word Count »

For Enkiel, it was surprising to run into strangers. He had spent many months in the clan (years, soon) and he had kept to himself for the most part. His cousins and Sa’adat had been the few people the jackal had warmed up to, and even that was pushing it. Warmth from Enkiel was like that of the crocodile whom he called kin. Fall’s encroaching weather meant that he had taken up his woolen mantel, traveling with the gray colored poncho while he went about his duties. The greenhouse served to host most plants, but some bushes grew best in the wild.

He was returning from such an expedition when the sight of a woman caused him to slow. She was a coyote, without a doubt—but large for the breed in the way that Ezekiel and Talitha were. Picking up his pace once more, the grayscale healer approached without fear. “What is it you require?” His deep voice called out, a surprising thing for his otherwise small stature. Sangria colored eyes turned over the weapons, immediately wondering as to her skills with them.

POSTED: Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:12 pm

Alma recalled her pack days, when she was young, and remembered how her mother or Aden would expect her to show submissiveness. The same could be required of her here. She pressed her ears downward and did not meet his eyes. If she could have placed her tail between her legs in her current sitting position, she would have.

"I...." She opened her mouth to answer his question, and all her thoughts bubbled up at once. Were they really vicious? Would they be willing to teach someone that sounded so stupid? Would they accept her as a coyote? Certainly, no wolf looked at her and thought of her as a wolf. Would they see the same thing?

She glanced up for just a moment. Alma saw the black-and-white ‘coyote’ and was briefly confused. She’d never seen a coyote that color before, with the exception of her siblings....

Her ears perked up at the sudden realization. She had no idea what a jackal was, and had certainty never seen one, so she made the only assumption she could make: another half-wolf, half-coyote. Perhaps they are more accepting than I thought. "I wish to join," she said at last.

POSTED: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Sorry for the delay (again)! I should be faster now, work has slowed down some. I'll keep this thread short, though I do quite enjoy your writing.Word Count »

The girl (though she was hardly a girl, and appeared to be his age) appeared nervous. Enkiel watched her impassively, dark ears forward and high. While he did not afford the rank of leadership, he was a higher ranking member of the clan and a long-term one at that. His cousins led this clan; why wouldn’t he behave as if he might have reason to assume their thoughts? Talitha was easy; she disliked wolves (to a point), dense women, and generally wanted more than simple skills. Ezekiel was just the same, though he waivered when it came to sympathetic stories. In some ways, he was more yielding than his sister.

“Very well,” he motioned for her to rise. “Tell me your name, and where you lived before this. I see your weapons; how well can you use them?” Short, simple. He was not the type to make small talk, and especially not with strangers. While his English was clear, his accent lingered—he enunciated the words in the way that only well-educated foreigners did, lacking any accent beyond that of his native Arabic.

POSTED: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:54 pm

((OOC: Thanks. n.n Short is fine.))

Now that she was standing up, she found it curious that the 'half wolf' who was interviewing her was not so tall. Alma would have been 5'10'' if she stood up straight, but as it was, she was a little less than that. Her siblings were the same height or taller than her; she hadn't heard of a short half-wolf, half coyote, though she supposed it was possible...

Though Alma detected a slight, unfamiliar accent in his voice, she felt more relaxed than she had been. It still hadn't registered that he was something other than wolf and coyote. "My name. Is Alma." Her speech was halting and slow, and did not flow as well as it should have. "I come from very far southwest of here. Wide open fields. Lots of grass. Less water and rain." She paused for a moment, as if thinking over her next words. "Father disappeared one day, I left my pack to look for him. I did not find him. Two years since I left." She conveniently left out that insignificant 'angered the alpha and was reduced to omega' event. That wouldn't turn out well no matter how she spun it.

She occasionally glanced up at the Jackal, but for the most part did not look at him directly. Her tail was pointed downwards, while her ears were almost flat. "I hunt with the bow and fight with the spear. I have not had to do much fighting, only hunting." She was not a skinny coywolf, despite having to hunt for herself. "I have more skill in making bows and spears than in fighting, truth be told, but I wish to learn more." Her ears shifted towards him slightly, as if awaiting his response.

POSTED: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:59 pm

:DWord Count »

There was an odd speed to her speech. He would have noticed it even if he was not a foreigner, for her pauses were deliberate. This tall, reddish woman (who reminded him of Talitha, actually) was obviously not unintelligent despite her way of speaking. She must have not been around others much, he reasoned, if she did not speak in manners similar to them. Even Ezekiel often spoke oddly, something Enkiel likened to his low-speech.

“The leader here, Ezekiel, he hunts with a bow,” Enkiel offered. He was certain that this skill alone would endow her to the golden Aquila. “Come, I will take you to him.” This was partially out of his own desire to return home. If he managed to intercept the scarred hybrid there, he could drop the woman off and be on his way. “I am Enkiel, Inferni’s healer.” And scout, he supposed, but this rank was secondary in his mind. As the only capable healer within the clan, he considered himself far more valuable than most.

POSTED: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:27 pm

((Kind of light-headed... Having a hard time focusing.))

"We have a common interest, then." The idea of crossing the border and meeting the leader filled her with trepidation, and at the same time, excitement. Her tail twitched as she attempted to contain her emotions. Alma looked at the border, at the skulls lined there, then at the 'half wolf' who had extended the invitation. She could not reject it, and it had gone well so far - far better than she thought it would go.

"Nice to meet you," She said, not sure of what to say. Ezekiel and Enkiel. I hope I don't get the two confused.

The rust-colored coywolf picked up her bag and tied it around her waist. With one hand, she carried her spear and the other her bow. Nervously, she wondered if she would have to provide an example of her skill. She hadn't had anyone watching her hunt since she was a child.

That wasn't her only concern, however. Her quiver had broken while chasing a deer one morning, and she hadn't yet found a replacement for it - or the arrows she'd lost when the bottom fell out of the quiver. If she had to provide an example of her skill, she would surely look stupid for lacking arrows.

POSTED: Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:17 pm

I'm accepting you now, but we can continue this if you want. :>Word Count »

The lack of arrows did not go unnoticed, but after the raid on AniWaya there had been a surplus of well-crafted weapons. Two new horses too, but these were less useful in Enkiel’s eyes. He disliked horses, as he did most animals. After all, he had feet—he could carry himself as far as he wanted. This was how he made his way all the way from Egypt, travelling with boats and strangers and finding his purpose along the way.

“Inferni is quite large,” he explained as he turned to follow a well-worn, wide trail. It had been carved over the years and widened with the addition of horses. At least that, Enkiel agreed, was useful. Travel within the territory was easy. His pace quickened and within almost half-an-hour they had cut close. The dip in the valley was obvious, and within this dip, a collection of caves rose from the ground. Rocky and grass-covered in many spots, they were a site. Some, too, had décor marking them—Ezekiel had mounted one of his sister’s painted skulls over his own, and it was here that a large black bird perched. Ibsen cawed loudly, and from this, drew a blonde figure from his home.

“That is Ezekiel,” Enkiel motioned. And as the jackal excused himself, the Aquila trotted towards the pair. He shot the healer a questioning look. “This is Alma. She wishes to join. She has hunted with a bow and uses a spear. I will leave her to you.”

The scarred coyote, pleased, looked to her for further information as Enkiel began heading off eastward.

POSTED: Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:17 pm

<table class="infotable"><tr><td><b class="header" style="font-size:15px;text-transform:uppercase;">Welcome to <span class="if">Inferni</span></b><b class="subheader" style="float:right;"><a href="">RANKS</a> · <a href="">SITE</a> · <a href="">WIKI</a> · <a href="">NEWS</a></b>

<p style="font-size:13px;font-weight:bold;">As a new member, why not:</p><ul style="list-style-type:square;">[*]Create some AW (all welcome) threads in our territory and meet some of your fellow clan members. Alternatively, you can join another member's AW thread (open threads are found <a href="">here</a>) or request for some private threads for plot purposes in our <a href="">thread request</a> forum.</li>[*]Add your character to our <a href="">member list</a>. To do this, please post your character's information in <a href="">this thread</a>, using the form provided in the first post. NPC characters and NPC open characters of Inferni can be added as well, and will be displayed in their special sections of the list.</li>[*]Check out our <a href="">pack game</a> and start earning points! The game is a great way to get fancy titles and icons for your character.</li>[*]Take a look at the thread prompts. Every month, Inferni puts up three thread prompts, intended to promote activity and get Inferni members to know each other better both in and out of character. The list of current thread prompts can be found at the bottom of our <a href="">Inferni Information Portal</a>, as well as beneath the prizes on our <a href="">game page</a>.</li>[/LIST]<p>If you're confused about anything regarding Inferni or being a member of the clan, feel free to PM one of our <a href="">pack leaders</a>, and they can help answer your questions!</p></td></tr></table>

POSTED: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:09 pm

Alma's head turned this way and that, trying to take in her surroundings and noting landmarks. After two years of travel, she did this almost automatically.

Scents of coyotes and prey animals rose up from the trail, prompting her to search for movement. She saw nothing more than the occasional songbird flying south, however. Perhaps they were making too much noise, or the scent of coyote was too strong on the trail.

She shook her head, and tried to focus on keeping up with the 'half wolf'. As her eyes came to rest on the path ahead, she happened to notice some particular hoof prints in the ground... horses! Alma saw them occasionally when she traveled, though caution compelled her to stay away from a rider on horseback. They were much faster than she was in her two-legged form, and had the potential to trample her if they were so inclined. Still, the power alone was alluring, and she wouldn't mind trampling someone like Aden if she had the chance to ride one.

Her thoughts wandered on a similar path as they walked, and only the sound of a loud caw jolted her out of it. The rust coywolf blinked and looked up to see a raven perched upon a pair of skulls, and a pale coyote not far behind.

Alma nodded as Enkiel introduced her, making sure not to look the Aquilia in the eye.

"...I will leave her to you." The coywolf looked at his retreating form, alarmed, and rather like a scared puppy being abandoned by a thoroughly disinterested mother.

Not that she was attached to Enkiel particularly, she just wasn't sure what to do. Alma coughed, and composed herself, trying to pretend as if she hadn't shown a moment of weakness.

"I-I am pleased to meet you."

((Not sure the scared puppy bit is appropriate, but it's the only way I can think of to describe the face she is making in my head.))

POSTED: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:25 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Works for me! :D We could have them discuss the idea of trading in this thread and then have another where the trade actually happens, if you want? :> Word Count » --

Ezekiel had to admit, his cousin was hardly the welcoming committee that he imagined newcomers expected. The same went for Talitha, though she had been holed up recently. He was glad for that, though it worried him; his sister had a habit for doing that. Yet his attention remained on the rust-colored woman, who was quite pretty in his opinion, and smiled broadly at her words. While it was not entirely false, his smile fell short of his hawkish eyes. “Same here,”“I don’t know how much Enkiel explained to you, but I am the Aquila here.”

Even if he had been cited, he still wished to make his rank known. It was best to impress the newcomers, given his elder members viewed him with spite. “May I see your bow?” He asked suddenly. This was a test unto itself—he had constructed his own as per Tristan’s education, but found that the others he had seen who used such weapons often employed different techniques. If her own was well-made and she the maker, he would certainly find use for her in the future.

POSTED: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:19 pm

((That sounds good, since they'll both need time to make the objects for the trade.))

Alma nodded politely as he mentioned his title. From the context, she gathered that it meant he was the leader. She knew not what to make of his smile; she'd been so long without contact from others that she couldn't tell a false smile from a real one. Despite this, her first impression was that the Aquila seemed to be friendlier than she had expected.

"My bow?" She hesitated for a moment, then gave the bow to him. "Of course."

The bow was clearly a longbow, because it was almost as long as Alma was tall. It was made of red oak, with a surface that had been sanded smooth with a pumice stone. The wood had no visible crack or deformities, and no decorations either. Plain, but functional.

Alma's nervousness manifested as a pair of twitching ears and a sudden urge to chatter. Not that she hadn't wanted to talk to someone who shared her interest. "Oak." She said, "is not my favorite wood to use, but it is the easiest to trade for. I never had time to dry wood properly while traveling. Had to deal with others to get seasoned wood." One thing she looked forward to, as a result of staying in one place, was cutting her own wood down and using it. Alma disliked trading with others for wood, because the non-archers were unreliable and didn't know what was suitable for a bow, and the bow-makers rarely wanted to trade for what she had.

POSTED: Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:01 am

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

hurrr I am slow Word Count » --

As his rough fingers ran over the well-smoothed wood, he found himself admiring the craftsmanship of the bow. It was something he himself had never tried—he had been given his, as he had been given the arrows. Yet the fact she could make these was something he intended to see used for Inferni. “Do you think you could make more?” He asked, looking up at her. “We don’t have many archers here besides myself, but I want to make sure all my coyotes learn how to shoot.”

Tactics, even now. Low ground meant that they could shift positions and use other weapons, but arrows were easy. They were simple and they were something that could kill from a distance. Most coyotes were too small to fight wolves head on, and he had seen more and more of them wearing armor. Teeth and claws could not break through such things, but sharpened stone (or metal) might. “I can make you something in return, of course. You seem to be without a quiver, hm?” A smile, honest for once.

POSTED: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:33 pm

((Not sure if this is too much dialogue or not...))
Alma gave something like a smile. "Of course." It then occurred to her that she would be creating several at once and all sorts of horrible things could wrong and-and... That dampened her smile somewhat. Still, she wasn't going to back down now that she had already said yes.

"My quiver broke down not long ago while I was traveling. It was not something I was taught, so I do not know how to make another." The rust-colored coywolf said, hoping he would understand that the quiver's demise was not the result of her poor craftsmanship. "If you could create one for me, that would save me from having to trade with someone else." She suspected, since she was a packmate now, that he would create the quiver with better craftsmanship than those she had traded with previously. You couldn't create something shoddy and give it to someone you knew and saw often without facing shame.

Besides, in the unlikely even that he did create something shoddy she would just run off with all the bows.

"How many bows would you need? I am not sure how many I can create at once, but I can at least cut all the wood down at the same time. It will need time to dry." She paused. That might be a problem. The air was so humid here that it might not dry at all.

Her father had a faster way of drying wood, but she never learned it. He had disappeared before she could be taught that. Something like a frown appeared on her snout, briefly. At least she knew it was possible.

POSTED: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:31 am

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

I suck ;-; Wanna wrap up soon and then we can have one with their actual trade? Also, what kind of quiver do you want? :D Word Count » --

He continued to smile, his face honest and open despite the wolfish gleam in his eyes. “I made my own quiver,” he explained. While he did not have it with him, whatever Enkiel had told this woman might give her an idea of his familiarity with the weapon. Two years and a teacher whose skill was beyond measure had given him an advantage with the art.

Blonde hair turned with the wind, unkempt around his face as it often was. It was kept short, unlike his father had worn his own. Ezekiel had little desire to fret with his hair, though he suspected that cutting it had ultimately worked against him. Still, he ignored the strands as they tumbled about his face and focused on the brightly-colored, pretty girl before him. “Well, that’s up to you. I’d like at least two. As far as drying, the caves here aren’t bad.” As if recalling she was new, he let out a short, barking laugh. “You should probably settle first, though. We have a few open places here,” he gestured to the rocky area behind him. “Or if you follow this path, you’ll end up at the Mansion. Either are options for you to stay in.”

Dead Joiners