Birth of Mischief

POSTED: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:29 pm

Terra had been down drinking from the stream when a sudden cramp ran through her body. Looking around Terra wondered what had just happened. Deciding there was nothing she took another deep sip. Again, a tremor ran through her frame. Sitting up Terra's ears flicked forwards, trying to listen. What was happening?

The pups.

As swiftly as she could Terra moved back towards the den she had carved out. Whining she paced outside of it, suddenly suspicious that it wasn't good enough. Stepping in Terra did some more digging, working on settling herself more comfortably. Moving back and forth Terra finally settled down with a sigh, collapsing against the ground. Stretched out to her full length the coyote watched the outside world. She was alone, with no one else near her. The pack was close by, as she hadn't been willing to wander too far, but not close enough for them to know what was happening.

Another cramp ran through her body, and Terra shuddered, muscles clenching as she pushed against it. Instinct took over, her mind blind to what was happening. There was just the sound of her breathing, and the knowledge that the time had come. Every time her body clenched Terra pushed with it. How much time passed she wasn't aware of. It could have been a few hours, or a few minutes as Terra worked to bring her first litter into the world.

At last she felt something slip out. It hurt, but she didn't cry with the pain, too breathless. Whining she whipped her head around, nudging until she found a small wet bundle of fur. She licked at the pup, rough tongue sliding over and over until at last the head broke free. Taking in a deep sniff her tail wagged. He was her firstborn, with the bright red of his father. Not even needing to think about what she was doing Terra nudged the pup to a nipple and let him nurse.

It wasn't the end for her unfortunately. The need to push started again. Terra controlled the urge to pace, not wanting to disrupt her dear pup. Huffing Terra turned, prodding gently at her son before she felt the second one emerge, larger than the first. Terra pulled him forward, cleaning this one as well. He looked more like the coyotes Terra had grown up with, a light brown coat with a rusty marking down his back. He let out a small whine, and Terra nudged him next to his brother. Briefly the two fought before settling down.

Sighing she sank her head down. The pups were born, and she could take care of them. Terra was tired, but she couldn't sleep right now. She needed to eat, and make sure that the den was cleaned from the scent of blood. Lifting her head she howled quietly, asking for someone to help her.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:19 am

WC: 387 | I closed our older threads because my muse fizzled out, but hopefully joining this one makes up for it? ;n;

Hati was in a daze since leaving his mother's side that morning. Ayita had been attacked by some loner the day prior, for no explicable reason. She seemed to be in good spirits this morning, but was obviously in a great deal of pain, which was heartbreaking to see. She would be bedridden for some time, to let her bones knit back together. It was unfair for her to suffer so through no fault of her own, and Hati could not keep the guilt from weighing him down; it would have been better if he was hurt instead of her. Now he found himself wandering aimlessly through the kingdom, too afraid to return home and see his mother's broken body again, too unfocused to work at the stables, too upset to read or look for anything else. Life was confusing for the young adult; things were going wrong for him lately, first his fight with Skoll, and now his mother's injuries. It frightened him to imagine what was next. He found himself near the stream, but he had no recollection of walking that far.

It was then his dark ears perked forward, catching the sound of a faint howl. The cry was muffled, but he recognized the high pitch as Terra's voice. Pale eyes flashed with worry -- she sounded exhausted, had she been hurt as well? He realized he had not seen much of the high-ranking coyote since she had visited to show off her delightful magic tricks; something had drawn her away from their home recently. He tipped back his dark muzzle and sounded a howl in reply, his deep wolf voice carrying strongly over the trickling of the stream. If she was hurt, he could try to help her; Ayita had shown him some basic bandaging and cleaning techniques mere hours ago, and they were still fresh in his memory. He strode along the banks, trying to locate his friend, but she was nowhere in sight. He might have suspected she was trying to draw him into a playful trap, if there had not been such convincing fatigue in the timbre of her voice. "Terra, am I getting closer? It's Hati," he called, frowning as he considered howling again. Please be okay, he added silently, knowing he couldn't handle the sight of another victim.

Table by Alli!

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:49 pm

OOC: yay!

Terra turned her head and began to push at the bloodied sand. There wasn't much, but the need to protect her pups made sure that she did a thorough job. She got the majority, though she was unable to move without disturbing her pups. With how new they were to the world Terra didn't want to do that, just to let them rest and get used to the new world they were now in. Her ears flicked up as a howl echoed through the woods in response to her call. Hati. Terra examined both pups, trying to decide how close she would allow the male to come.

Spotting Hati walking past her den Terra let out a soft yip, ta til thumping. Close. Loki released her, and settled into her side, yawning as he fell asleep. Happily she nuzzled him, taking in his dark red appearance again. Once Ananse finished she stood and moved, digging out the rest of the blood. It sprayed out, pups letting out soft complaints from the absence of her body. Satisfied she had done her best Terra returned and curled around them, waiting for Hati to appear.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:29 pm

WC: 325 | <333

Hati couldn't find Terra anywhere; she was well hidden and remained quiet. A flash of worry made him wonder if she had passed out -- how would he find her then? Luckily, a nearby yip alert him, and he turned in time to see a spray of dirt appear from the mouth of a cavern.

A flood of scents washed over him then, his nose crinkling as he tried to process it all. The coppery tang of blood was present, but not overwhelming, mixed with other heavy scents he could not place. There was damp earth and freshly dug soil, wet fur -- and colostrum, a perfume he would never have been able to recognize if it had not stirred some vague memory of his own puppyhood, nursing with his littermates. Terra had given birth on this day. This was her den, and now she was a mother.

Hati was shocked, to say the least, but immediately felt a swell of pride for his friend; this was so exciting! There were babies in there! He took a deep breath and shifted down to his four-legged form, letting his hands meld back into paws, the dark fur of his mane filter back into the midnight grey-blue of his pelt. He would never fit into the tiny entrance hole as an Optime, nor did he want to crowd the young mother with his presence. When he had completed the transformation, he shook himself vigorously, trying to get comfortable in his own skin. He'd been spending a lot more time upright lately, and it took a moment to readjust. Hesitantly he crept to the entrance of the den, pale eyes peering into the gloom. He spoke softly, not wanting to disturb her newborns. "Terra, congratulations...! I had no idea... can I help you with anything?" His tail wagged behind him hopefully, relieved by the good news. Ayita would be so happy to see newborns in the kingdom again!

Table by Alli!

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:21 pm

Terra watched the dark wolf change, exiting the form she'd been forbidden from for the duration of her pregnancy. As much as she loved lupine form, close to her feral roots, she had missed being able to switch forms whenever she wanted to. She was going to be terribly out of shape when she finally did shift again. The shake brought some soft laughter from her, amused by the silly antic. She didn't shake herself out very often, unless she'd just rolled in something.

He approached the entrance calmly, quiet and making sure to keep his distance. Terra didn't have to snarl at him at all. The pups moved slightly in their sleep, Terra glancing back at them before turning back. Did you think I was just gaining weight? Her smile was crooked, gentle in her amusement. I am awfully hungry. I don't want to leave them though. Her green eyes stared at him expectantly, waiting for him to follow through with the suggestion and feed her.

POSTED: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:17 am

WC: 1130 | whoops, this post length got away from me! xD;; sorry!

Hati really knew very little about child-rearing and parenthood, as he still felt more like a child himself than an adult. The youngest pups he'd seen were Niro and Amaranth's brood, his niece Tasha and nephew Heiro -- and their family was rather private, living off away from the hotel and the rest of the pack, so he hadn't seen much of them except for their visits. It made him very curious, testing the den's air with his nose to try and learn something about the newborns without bothering any of them. Terra was curled protectively around them, so he could not see much, but there were two distinct scents intermingled with hers. His tail couldn't stop waving behind him, and there was a placid, easygoing smile spreading across his features. Something about the scene before him made him feel peaceful and forget about his troubles. They seemed so cozy, even if they were living in a hole in the ground. Some canines preferred life that way, but it was the first time Hati could see that it might be just as valid as his civilized preference for an actual house.

Terra greeted him with a joke, and Hati let his ears fall back apologetically, realizing he had been a little obtuse. "I didn't think that at all, honestly," he assured her, shuffling his paws awkwardly. "I never heard you had a mate or anything, so I just didn't know you wanted to be a mother." Wait, that might be offensive. Hati winced, realizing she must be alone here if she had called for help. He was still naive to the world, and assumed that only a mated pair would have a litter. "Erm, I'll find some food for you, be right back," he stammered quickly, growing flustered by his eagerness to keep her happy. He didn't perceive that the scent of hormones heavy in the air reminded him of his own mother, and the halcyon days of life before thought or memory. He withdrew his face from the den entrance and darted along the stream, nose to the ground.

He had no plan of action, but felt rushed to return to Terra quickly. For a moment he considered running all the way back to his house and carrying cooked food from the kitchen, but that was ridiculous when they were out in the wilderness like this. He needed to hunt, which was a skill he rarely exercised and was not particularly confident about. He swerved from the stream and bounded into the tall grass, dark fur a stark contrast to the golden brown stalks around him. His questing nose picked up small trails, those of mice or voles, but they weren't enough; Terra deserved something rich and filling, to keep her strength up. He frowned, pale eyes peering above the grass as he found a well-gnawed stump to clamor atop. He was in a hurry, he didn't want to wait to ambush something. He had never bothered to practice survival skills like tracking and hunting, because he was born into the lap of luxury and could afford to focus on reading, writing, and more advanced learning. Now he was regretting his lack of physical prowess.

As he grew more desperate, his swiveling ears caught the sound of nearby gnawing. Pale eyes scanned the area, until he spotted it -- a dark furry hump at the base of a tree, busily stripping away the bark. It was a beaver! Immediately the wolfdog tensed, sinking below the grass to hide himself. The stream must be connected to a beaver pond, and this one had left the safety of the water to feed. It was perfect, big and plump, and it might even impress Terra if he could bring it back to her. It was rather large, with those wicked teeth and muscular tail... He had to do this, no use worrying. Calmly he stalked forward, pausing whenever he could no longer hear the chewing noises, edging closer when they started up again. He drew up behind a tree, his prey obliviously gnawing nearby. His heart was pounding with anticipation as he flattened himself against the ground, readying his haunches for the pounce. Ready... set... GO!

Hati flew forward, slamming his paws into the fat beaver as they collided. Instead of being stunned, the rodent squealed in terror and rage, squirming and scratching at his forelegs and underbelly. Yelping, Hati pulled back in time to be slapped by the beaver's powerful tail, a surprisingly fierce blow. A frustrated growl bubbled from his lips, and he lunged in with teeth bared, latching onto a furry roll of neckfat. The rodent lurched and kicked wildly in his grip, struggling noisily as Hati snarled at it, planting his paws firmly on the ground to hold it in place. It was too heavy for him to lift and shake, the death roll that his kind used for smaller prey, and it was too quick for him to try to reposition his jaws on its neck to throttle its windpipe. Hackles bristling from the excitement of the struggle, Hati clawed at its sides, trying to weaken it. It wriggled away from his paws, trying to roll over and wrest away from his grip on its scruff. That became its fatal error. Hati released his jaws and pounced, pinning its fat body with his weight and sinking his fangs into its exposed belly. It gnashed its teeth helplessly as the beady black eyes bulged, but its throes lessened and it finally went limp.

Hati was panting heavily, feeling the sting of small scratches in many places. As he hesitantly withdrew his muzzle from the fresh kill, he realized his face must be stained with blood, war paint from his hard earned victory. It clashed with his fastidious nature, his desire to always appear clean and dignified, but he didn't have the time to groom himself now. This prize needed to be delivered while it was still warm, a goodwill gift to the new mother. He placed his jaws delicately around the beaver's round skull and began the arduous task of dragging it back to the den. It was half his size and very dense, packed with muscle and fat from years of good living. He was quite proud that he had managed a successful hunt, although a part of him was disturbed by the brutality he had found within himself. He was exhausted by the effort it took to haul the carcass to the stream, and by the time the small den entrance came into view, he was ready to collapse. He released his hold on the beaver and wheezed, the closest sound to a bark he could muster. He really wasn't built for this sort of labor...

Table by Alli!

POSTED: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:31 pm

Terra didn't move as he studied them, remaining right as she was. She wasn't going to forget herself and make them vulnerable. It was good to have the calmer of the brothers come and investigate. Skoll might have tried to get into the den with her, a thought that sent her moving so that they were tucked in closer to her body. They weren't going to be harmed. The pups were surprisingly small and fragile. Terra had never seen any pups like this before, only her instincts directing her in what to do. When Hati touched on the subject of a mate Terra flinched. She'd had a mate, or at least someone she thought of as her mate. She just hadn't been brave enough to tell him that he was now a father, instead disappearing inside the pack without a single word. Eventually she would have to go looking for him. Eventually.

He doesn't know. What a mistake! At the time it had seemed reasonable, especially considering how she'd been afraid he would try and kill the pups, something her instincts insisted that the others would do if they got close to her pups. So she carried them and hid herself away, doing all she could to keep them safe. There was a limit on what she could do alone, however. Without someone to help her keep up her strength while she stayed with the pups, either she or the pups would meet death. Vigilante had promised the pack would help feed her and raise the pups at least, so she didn't have to worry about that. She just had to concentrate on her pups, and the rest would take care of itself.

Nodding her head Terra watched him dutifully trot off to find something to feed her. Wanting to be a mother had never occurred to Terra, just knowing that it was something that had happened. Closing her eyes Terra listened to her pups as they shifted in their sleep, and soon entered the dreams herself. It was a simple dream, just her and her pups surrounded by her pack. Not the pack that she knew here, but a more wild pack, wolves and coyotes intermingling with each other. They watched her carefully, some younger ones playing in the background. A perfect pack, all of the descendants going back to Coyote and Wolf, both of the deities standing tall. Coyote was laughing as if the birth of Terra`s pups was the end of a great trick, Wolf standing serious and proud.

The smell of meat woke her up, Terra lifting her head. Tail wagging she whined happily, watching Hati drag a large beaver over to where she was. Snatching it Terra pulled it partly into the den, and began to tear through the flesh, gulping down large pieces. She was starving! No matter how much she ate Terra felt that she could eat more. A third of the beaver was gone before she slowed down, blood staining her muzzle. Happily she looked over to Hati, tail wagging. Thanks, needed that. The beaver would make a good meal for the next couple days.

POSTED: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:52 am

WC: 303 | i am a slowpoke! D:

Hati lay panting beside the stream with his task complete, tongue lolling in an undignified manner. He watched as Terra emerged with a greedy light in her eyes, quickly dragging the beaver carcass into her den and tearing ravenously into it. He settled his chin on his paws, taking the time to rest while she ate her fill. Eventually the sounds of gnawing and crunching faded, and he raised his stained muzzle to peer back into the den, seeing the new mother satiated and pleased. "Happy to help," he said simply, smiling wearily. He always needed approval. "Eh, if... you need more food, I can always help you again. Just let me know." He could bring her gifts, anything from the hotel she wanted here for her earth den. He still felt guilty for having been so oblivious to the pregnancy; he could have been helping her out this whole time. Perhaps she was too proud to ask, though.

His plumed tail thumped lightly, stirring the pebbles at the shore. Terra said the father didn't know, whoever he was; she might need more help hunting or puppy-sitting in the future. He felt a little strange thinking of Terra with some male, and quickly dismissed the thought -- romance was far from his mind, he just wanted to fit in and be useful to the pack. Her pups were his newest packmates, and he would look out for them in any way he could. "So... have you named them?" Hati asked with a smile, belly crawling closer to the den entrance. Would she let him meet her brood now that she was better fed and rested? He was so curious... What would they look like, so young and helpless? Could they walk yet, like a baby horse, or could they imprint, like Niro's birds?

Table by Alli!

POSTED: Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:33 am

Hati looked a touch worn when he lifted his head. Well, he had taken down a beaver all by himself. That was no easy task. Terra would have had difficulty killing it. Truth be told, she probably wouldn't have killed it at all. She was no hunter to be proud of. If Hati had brought back some squirrels or a couple rabbits Terra would have been just as pleased, and thought that he was just as good a hunter. She didn't have anything to offer him in return, the den completely empty save for the bodies sleeping inside.

The crawl towards a den brought a warning growl. The pups were only hours old. She wouldn't let anyone get a peek at them yet. Asked what their names were Terra paused. She hadn't thought of them yet. Turning she looked back at the mixed pups. Both of them were fighters, they had shown that. They had great spirit inside them. One male had a glistening coat, almost as if he had been singed with fire, the other a mix of brown, matching her coat but replacing the vibrant red on her body with a dark maple brown. Not yet. The one reminds me of fire, and his brother's very hungry. Perhaps names to do with that?

POSTED: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:37 am

WC: 300

Hati was proud that he had helped, especially with hunting, a skill he rarely exercised. They were always on opposite ends of the spectrum, he and Terra; Hati was too civilized for his own good. He crawled forward, hoping he had earned his first look at the newborns. His approach heralded a warning growl, and Hati wilted, ears falling back as he retreated on his belly. He was larger than Terra, and he knew that could be intimidating, even though he was utterly submissive to her and always had been. He would get to meet the puppies later, when their mother was not so jumpy and protective. She did not seem mad at him though, merely cautious, so he began to relax again.

She had not named them yet, but she described them, Hati visibly brightening at the thought of her two little coyote sons. They did not need a father, Terra was tough enough to teach them everything they needed to know. They would do well. "You probably can't wait until they're old enough for magic tricks," he commented softly, smiling at the thought. "I don't know about names, most of my reading is non-fiction... feu and faim would be the French words for fire and hunger, but I doubt that's what you want. Terra and incendia, earth and fire in another tongue..." He fell silent, pondering. Terra was a storyteller, surely there were boundless characters from her fables that she could fashion her boys after. "Skoll and I have names from mythology, have you considered anything like that?" His tail thumped against the ground again, intrigued by the intellectual direction their conversation was heading in. All parents must put this much thought and love into their children's names, for those names would shape the future ahead of them.

Table by Alli!

POSTED: Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:14 am

Hati's retreat relaxed Terra, her tail wagging lazily behind her as he backed up. She wasn't angry at him, simply protective of her pups and wanted to make sure that they weren't harmed. Her instincts were currently too powerful to be overridden, even if she had decided that she wanted to do that. He did perk up as she spoke about them, pride glimmering in her eyes as she described the tiny pups. They were even smaller than other pups with their coyote blood, just tiny balls of fur pressed into her body and nuzzling into her warmth. Magic tricks? I can't wait to teach them just tricks. She wouldn't be able to actually teach them, per say, but she could show them and believed they'd be clever enough to mimic her.

Her ears perked up as he said her name, along with one she hadn't heard before. Incendia. It was rather pretty. She would remember that if she had another child that had a fiery streak. His mention of drawing from myths brought her to sit up, glancing at them. Naming them after a myth would be very powerful. For a litter without a father perhaps that was what they would need. Thinking carefully she studied them, remembering their fight for life and pushing against each other. There had been joy in their movement, and they had grown involved. They would be tricky. I think I'll name them after great tricksters. Bending down she licked the red pup gently. Loki. Turning to her other pup she smiled wide, and nuzzled him gently. Ananse.

POSTED: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:32 am

WC: 350

"I'm happy for you," Hati stated, uplifted by the pride and expectations in his friend's voice. He didn't know Terra ever wanted to be a mother - it didn't seem like this was planned, if she still had not told the father - but she adapted quickly, as she did with everything else life threw at her. Hati had a deep respect for his own mother, and he was sure these new sons would do their best to emulate any lessons Terra taught them. The Court would have some interesting times ahead of them, if they did follow in her footsteps.

"When you're feeling up to it, and they're ready, you should bring them to meet Mother... she, ah, she's not feeling well," he said simply, turning away as a pained look crept into his expression. Amaranth and Kable carried Ayita home yesterday, close to death. It would be a long recovery, but she had assured him she would be fine. "Someone attacked her," he finally elaborated, swallowing hard. They didn't know who or why, and it terrified him. He didn't want to scare Terra, though, not with her fierce instincts to protect her newborns. As long as she stayed inside the Court's borders, her family would be all right.

Since their conversation in the spring, Hati had scoured his family's library for information on his namesake. There still wasn't much, but he had at least uncovered a mention of the pantheon by lineage, in the dusty old encyclopedia with its hard-to-pronounce words. It seemed the wolves Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson had been sired by a giant wolf named Fenrisúlfr, who in turn had been sired by the ultimate trickster Loki Laufeyjarson. He had struggled to commit the foreign names to memory, but now his recollection had been stirred -- Terra's son was to be named Loki! It gave them a strange connection, born in the same pack and now carrying the same ancient namesakes. "They're good names... I know who Loki is," he stated proudly, ears perked forward with interest. "What story is Ananse from?"

Table by Alli!

POSTED: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:17 pm

Her tail thumped behind her at Hati's words. She wasn't sure what kind of mother she'd make, but she'd make sure to care for them and that they had the tools to survive. They already owned her entire heart, despite having only been alive long enough for her to listen to their quiet breaths and memorize the beating of their hearts. They weren't even entertaining yet. She still loved them though, and would fiercely protect them. Terra nodded her head, feeling a little bad that she left the house Ayita had opened up to her a couple days ago to create this den. She hadn't been able to stay there, needing to seek out another place for her pups to be born. Her hackles raised at the mention of Ayita being attacked, quickly repeating to herself that there were patrollers out there who would keep them safe.

Straightening up Terra looked at Hati with interest when he mentioned knowing who Loki was. Her tale spoke of Loki as the only coyote foolish enough to challenge fire to a contest, and told of the many challenges that came when he did manage to befriend it. None of the stories Terra knew were written down, of course, so she had to wonder how Hati had managed to hear of them. Well, Loki had been one of the greatest tricksters. Not Coyote, but he was still very good. Ananse is a coyote who never seemed to have enough to eat. He was always scavenging, and he became attuned to the earth and was able to trick it to reveal to him where the prey was hidden, even when food was scarce.

POSTED: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:44 am

WC: 318 | We can probably wind this one down... <3

It was probably for the best that Terra had not remained in the Catori-Haskel household for her whelping, because she would not have much peace and quiet. There was tension there, dark clouds obscuring those who lived under that roof. Vigilante and Skoll wanted to search, but neither father or son had turned up the trail of the one that attacked Ayita. She hadn't told them much about him yet, but it was still fresh in her mind and they didn't want to press her for details. Hati could barely stand to even look, the sight of the knife wounds making him physically ill. He never wanted to leave the borders of their kingdom, not if it was a wasteland of violence and lawlessness. A part of him was deeply glad Terra had the good sense to stop wandering and keep her pups safe the best way she knew how. They would be spared the sight of their mother in such distress, and no son wanted to see that.

The den scents worked their calming magic on him, easing his worried mind into that of a placid, relaxed state. The wolfdog settled his chin on the ground, reclining onto his side to unwind as he listened. Hati had not even considered that the word-of-mouth coyote folktales Terra carried with her could have evolved from something different than the Nordic mythos he read about. The world was so much larger than the one he knew. Blue eyes watched raptly as she divulged her knowledge on Ananse, a coyote he had never heard of before. He and Terra were both tired, and he did not expect her to launch into a full story; she must be ready to sleep, and to be honest, he would not mind a nap himself. "That would be a valuable trick," he murmured with a smile. "They both have big names to live up to."

Table by Alli!

POSTED: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:48 pm

Terra nodded her head, grinning down at her pups. Gently she licked their heads and settled down with a sigh. She was growing exhausted. With the food in her stomach and her pups nestled close she was ready to drift right off. Even Hati looked pretty relaxed and happy where he was, not going anywhere at all. She did rather appreciate the beaver, and there would still be more to eat when she woke up later. Her tail wagged behind her as she curled up around her pups, the quiet movement of her pups soothing the restless female.

Her watchful eyes remained on Hati for a longer stretch, though one would be hard pressed to tell if she was seeing anything or asleep with her eyes open. The gold flecked eyes finally closed, and Terra slipped off into sleep. In this moment everything was right, and there was no need to worry.

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