thunderfrost

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:09 am

Setting Location Form NPCs
Location: The Pine Barrens, SL
Date: 07 August (backdated)
Weather: Overcast
Time: Morning
Lupus Abendrot

(300)

She wondered, sometimes, if it was peculiar to be this way.

Salvia understood that she was different. There was supposed to be something in her that cared. Whatever had once been there, when she saw her brother with love and not disdain, when she loved her mother, that part of her was gone. It might have been ripped out when the sword pierced her breast. It might have died in the smoke and ashes of her father’s funeral pyre. Now her body was hollow and filled with ice, as if she had come from whatever nightmare kingdom Siv spoke of.

Yet she hardly showed this, though it leaked through her eyes and her voice often. One might not think that she felt nothing. Even the white-flame of her lost virginity had left nothing but a swift-fading memory of a coal-eyed shadow god that spoke in the voice of her father. The nightmares had dulled, as if somehow tainted by the screen of memory.

The pale she-wolf stalked through the Pine Barrens, her steps nearly silent. She moved with the grace and speed of a cat as opposed to a wolf, and this was sharply illustrated by the reddish figure at her shoulder. They fell into time, moving effortlessly over the soft terrain, Salvia’s pace slowing, Abendrot’s quickening. They both stopped almost in the same movement, with the wolf’s head dropping and the cat’s mouth opening to reveal a pink tongue.

It was a unique way of scenting their prey; two different senses offered differing opinions, and for several long moments they remained still and silent. Then the wolf’s head turned sharply, catching a new and noiser sound behind them. Her stance shifted subtly, with a black tipped tail flagging to a high point to match an already black tipped crown.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:26 am

(--)


Draugr is by Haley!

Splashing through the Pictou River, Draugr had come up and into Salsola's territory already tired from her journey. She had been investigating the horse herds that now roamed the marshes between her pack and Inferni in her four-legged form. Still, as soon as she arrived within her pack's borders, instead of heading straight home, the wolfdog veered right and headed along the border, slipping through the twisted pine forests. She was not silent as she moved, for she was not hunting, herself, but scouting, instead. Had she known the presence up ahead, she would have avoided it entirely -- but the wind was against her, too, and she could not smell Salvia. The cross-breeze was blowing their scents away and further inland, as usual with the sweeping bay winds.

Emerging from a clump of low-slung blueberry bushes -- where she paused to sample a few of the sweet berries -- the wolfdog froze suddenly, aware of Salvia's presence. She stared, pale eyes wide, for only a moment before hunkering close to the earth, ears flat and head lowered with submission. Though her gaze longed to linger on the figure of the pack's Cicerone, she forcibly averted them, keeping them on the woman's feet. Occasionally, they appraised the cat at her side, but never did they lift. Dra wanted to run away and run forward at the same time, but she dared not do either. She remained, silent and still, awaiting a command or a curse from the second of her pack.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:39 am

Long before the wolf emerged from the dark mass of trees ahead, Salvia had known it to be friendly. If it had been otherwise, she and the cat would not have waited—both were capable fighters and the lynx still longed to drink wolf’s blood. The pale she-wolf was larger and heavier than the girl, but also nearly a full year her elder. That did not diminish the girl’s size, and it hardly took a wild guess to realize whose daughter this was. From her color’s alone she sang of Siv’s bloodline, though her size betrayed this further. Siv was among the few who managed to crown Salvia.

After a moment of rather appropriate submission, Salvia let out a chuff of hot air and nudged the girl in order to exchange a proper greeting. Abendrot remained silent, amber eyes watching the pair, ears and tongue and nose working elsewhere. He took several slow, creeping steps in a direction opposite of them and made a barely-visible motion to his mistress.

Catching this from the corner of her eye Salvia nudged the younger girl with her shoulder and looked pointedly towards the cat. Between the three of them hunting would be simple.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:57 am

(399)


Draugr is by me!

Although she was lacking in that awed, wonderstruck quality she had in the presence of her mother, Draugr was most certainly afraid, and utterly uncertain as to how she was supposed to act. Submission was instinctual, deeply ingrained, and she was too shocked to stop her body from these ingrained displays of her inferiority. It seemed they were well-received, however, for there was only a noise from the greater woman, and then a nudge against her. The hybrid rose -- on surprisingly unshaking limbs -- to deliver the customary greeting of her pack. As the hybrid brushed the side of her muzzle against the Cicerone's, the timberwolf's scent came to her nose more strongly. There was the acridity of salt and the smells of the Salsolian marshes, and the clearer scent of their Boss, perhaps more strongly carried on Salvia's pelt than any of the rest of them, as was her right. Who else should fraternize with their leader but his second?

Dra could not imagine brushing muzzles with him, but until a moment ago, she could not have imagined doing the same with Salvia, either. Her pale eyes were drawn to the movement of the cat, and it was then Draugr realized their intent to hunt. Salvia's touch against her shoulder awakened the oldest of feral instincts. They had slept through her dog's blood, but they sang strong in her wolf's blood, and she had inherited this from both mother and father. The oldest blood of the oldest and purest wolves of the north, untouched by man even in their heyday. Draugr was a hunter by nature -- she had not needed to learn this skill with the arduous preciseness that she had cultivation and gardenwork. There was no reading involved with learning to hunt. Her puppyhood play had educated her as much as anything else, and by the time she was seven months, there were hunts with her mother and other adults of Salsola, however rare. Then hunts of her own -- and now, hunts of prestige, with the leadership? Her tail raised with the pride of it -- although decidedly lower than Salvia's -- and she stalked after the pair, moving with far more silence than she had in her trampling rush to scout the borders and return home. All tiredness seemed to evaporate with the engaging of the hunter's mindset and stride.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:09 am

(337)

Never once in her life had Salvia ever believed herself destined to live in servitude. She had been spoiled rotten by her parents (though firm hands had come soon enough) and Salsola’s foundation had solidified this belief. When her blood ruled, why not act as a princess? Now, though, she was a queen. She had grown to stand and watch her mother fall, easy and silent and oh so simple. It was an amazing feat to her, as young as she was, and it only further grew the ego that burned with nuclear winter deep in her heart. No part of her was made for anything less than to rule as she was now.

This was why the squabbles of these lesser could not touch her. She viewed them as a sum, as opposed to individuals, and only broke them down when presented with singular thoughts of memory. Certain, stronger personalities, those remained. Others faded and fell, shuffled into categories or back into the mass that was Family when her own blood was not even given such a title.

Without speech, hunting relied on signals of body and eyes. Salvia had picked up on these things from excursions with her father, and then Sirius. Their leader was a feral creature yet, despite his fancy talk, and Salvia knew better than any not to underestimate such a man. It only further encouraged her to push on, and this made her, day by day, into a more savage beast. By embracing such thoughts she was capable of a near mechanical coldness, reptilian and alien in its behavior—but not in the primitive and instinctive programming of thousands of years.

So the tracking went on, relying on nose and tongue and eyes, listening and gauging how far their prey might have gone. The adolescent reindeer (for this path was fresh and betrayed their goal) was, for some reason or another, a bachelor separated from the traveling herd. It would certainly feed them thrice over if they managed to find it.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:19 am

(420)


Draugr is by Requiem!

Scouting and silence she had learned during the war. Her adulthood was begun with bloodshed, and her learning had been soaked in it. It was the coyotes of Inferni she'd followed, the slinking and smaller cousin creatures of the wolf. She held nothing for or against their species, but she had learned from them, and they had risen just slightly in her estimation. Otherwise, Draugr was woefully ignorant of the outside packs -- and preferred it to be this way. They were outsiders and fraternizing with them was not what she did. Well, except for Max -- and that had been alright because he was a coyote, and he was of Inferni. Salsola looked kindly upon the eastern coyotes, after all, and so long as she did not flaunt her deeds, it mattered not.

The darker shadow followed along almost at the heels of the larger wolf, not wishing to usurp for a moment the leader's position the green-eyed woman had occupied by right of strength. Here was the power Draugr did truly respect within the clan -- Sirius was a myth, grown larger than life in his surrounding legend and tale. She had seen him but a sparse few times, and though he resonated with strength, it was women she had respected and followed all her life, and Salvia had been the visible woman at the helm for some time now. Her mother before her, too, weak as the coal-hued woman was. Siv had whispered so, ever so quietly, and what Siv had said would happen had come to pass. Thus, the timberwolfish Cicerone Draugr now hunted with.

The silver-tipped woman's nose caught the scent of a creature, one she recognized as a rarity within Salsola's borders. Her instinct, drawn out of the depths of her mind, now operated her. She slid away from Salvia, creeping along on her own path parallel to the larger woman. Soon, the noises of a creature, ponderously large and moving slowly with the surety of one in its own territory, caught the woman's ears. The only unknown in the equation, the one her instincts were not prepared to deal with, was the cat -- and so she ignored it for the most part, treating it in some vague way like a handicapped Luperci hunter. Draugr had never seen any of the felines within Salsola hunt other than Itzcitla, and his preference for fish and river-dwelling creatures had lent her to an impression of laziness where hunting was concerned.

POSTED: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:08 pm

Though the memory was still fresh of her supposed battle for power, Salvia hardly felt or believed that she would be long remembered for overthrowing a sick woman. Eris would be changed by time, as would the circumstances surrounding her acquisition of rank. It was something that Salvia believed would come as the memory faded, like smoke surrounding a fire, and slowly choke the truth from it. Already the memory of Boreas, and of the lives lost, were fading and healing over with thick, knotted scar tissue.

Silent, secret commands gave wide berth for the three hunters. Salvia often hunted with other wolves, though this was sometimes not of her own lead—when Sirius joined her she deferred to him, though her skills were quickly amounting to meet his own. Only age made her lack, and this was merely in experience. Her body knew what to do long before her mind had slowed to announce this, and the black-brushed back of an otherwise tawny pelt dropped to a slow, practiced stalk.

On one side of her the cat took another of these silent messages and circled wide. This allowed them to form a wide, loose triangle around the buck, which had stopped at what Salvia imagined was a tempting bush. She had never imagined her prey as capable of emotions such as joy or loss, but she did note the plants and areas that they frequented. In her un-romanticized view of the world lesser beasts functioned only on set patterns of behavior. They had no thought, no worth beyond meat.

Salvia urged the triangle tighter. They would need to be close to ensure the wounded animal had no chance of escape.

POSTED: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:20 pm

(376)


Draugr is by Kiri!

The cat moved as others Draugr had seen in life: like water flowing over a stone, sliding over the earth as if their belly and paws were attached to it. And yet, she had also seen cats spring -- even Itzcitla's lazy fishing was accentuated with a lightning quickness Draugr was not quick to discount. Her pale purple eyes watched both the feline and the leader in turn, adjusting herself where necessary. Her hunting skills with others was not great: she had practiced mostly on her lonesome, chasing after the quick rabbit and young deer with only her shadow for accompaniment.

Now was different, though -- she hunted with the leadership, and she needed more than anything not to make a fool of herself. It was perhaps good that Draugr's instincts had taken hold -- she might have spent her time contemplating her next move instead of simply making it. As it was, she read the signals from the timberwolfish woman and followed obediently, drawing closer to the deer. She kept her feet light on the earth and did not stir much more than the occasional blade of grass -- and, with the ever-present wind, this was not a sound out of the ordinary.

A faint tremble swept through the younger woman's body. It was a slight thing, physically -- no more than a second's quake of her shoulders -- but her mind was shaking with the excitement of the hunt and the prestige that came with this particular one. Although Draugr tried to hold herself back and await command, the chance came too quickly for her instincts to ignore: the deer dropped his head to nuzzle at the bush, unaware of the slinking hunters in the grass.

The wolfdog flew, springing with coiled hindquarters toward the deer. One step, two, and the animal jerked in sudden acknowledgement of the hunters' presence, but her jaws were already hurtling toward its hindquarters. Her canines tore through soft flesh and muscle, but the animal was beginning to pull away. With a snap of her teeth, the hybrid sought a hold and found one -- on the thin, fleshless area between the bend of knee and the bony knob of ankle. She bit down, and the crunch reverberated through her skull.

POSTED: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:49 pm

(394)

The instincts of a hunter existed within every carnivore, every beast that lived and died by fang and claw. Only strong wills could survive. The weak deserved to perish. This was her religion—this brutal, simplistic thing that was life. Salvia was a holy woman of this world and knew its prophecies for what they were. She cast for omens in every leaf, looked to trails for signs, and oh there was something true and honest and (if she dared imagine) magical about life. A living thing would die so that she might take its strength. She believed this in a nearly cannibalistic fashion, and in some secret part of her heart, knew that consuming another would give her their power.

Her body was a work of this magic, well muscled and toned, heavy but not as large as her father or brother. She had the long legs of a wolf and used them as if she too was a cat. Salvia’s body was adjusted to make up for such a pace, and she too dropped low and carefully into the predator’s stalk.

The girl moved first. Salvia bristled and rushed forward. Draugr had managed to grab it by the leg. A blur of black and reddish-brown leapt from nearby, amber eyes gleaming, and Salvia spotted her lynx make one graceful leap onto the young buck’s back. Without a growth of antlers to protect him, the big cat was free to dig terribly hooked claws into its back. The deer bleated loudly and then Salvia lunged for the throat.

She closed her jaws around the loose skin and her own momentum ripped it free. It was not deep enough to be fatal, but blood began to flow and splatter them as the reindeer bucked and wheeled in desperation. Salvia sprung away from one razor sharp hoof. Abendrot was hissing and spitting from the beast’s back, aiding to the confusion. The buck arched its neck to try and fight off this terrifying specter and Salvia saw her opening.

With another leap she found the throat, and this time, clamped down hard. Her teeth pierced through the thick fur and grappled the windpipe. It would be a slow death, as evident by the animal’s refusal to stop fighting. He struggled even as Salvia twisted her body and tugged him, inch by inch, towards the ground.

POSTED: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:41 am

304


Draugr is by me!

Perhaps more dog than wolf in that moment, Draugr's teeth found their hold and refused to release it. It was a terrible place to have bitten the deer -- the thinnest part of the leg, bone protected by only the thinnest sheath of flesh and then a bit of skin. There was the stinging and salty taste of blood in her mouth, and Draugr planted her legs and jerked backwards, pale eyes glancing to see the feline now on the deer's back. She did not release her hold, for the deer could not lash out with his hind leg anymore -- the weight of the cat on him and her own crippling blow was bringing him to the earth. And still, he kicked out toward the Cicerone even as she tore for his throat. That provoked a growl even through the flesh and bone between the wolfdog's teeth.

Draugr unhooked her jaws from the leg and sprang away as the deer flailed his good leg, narrowly avoiding the first kick. She circled around, and seeing the animal's head drawn down by the devil at his throat, flailing wildly to disengage the weight on his back, took her chances with the base of his neck. She gnashed her teeth through the thick fur there, tearing and ripping until there was flesh and then blood between her jaws. In the manner of a lioness, she opened her jaws as wide as they would go and sought to clamp down on the animal's spine. Her teeth sank deep into flesh and she found herself with a mouthful so great she could hardly breathe, but still she bit down, all the pressure in her jaws wolfishly strong and competing with the stringy muscle and flesh and hard, sharp bone protecting the animal's spinal cord.

POSTED: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:18 pm

(313)

The two she-wolves had found their holds. Salvia’s eyes caught the cat abandon his position as Draugr rushed in and sensed him retreat behind her. It was a well-timed moved, for no sooner had Salvia’s forepaws hit the ground (whereupon she gave a might wretch) did the younger girl’s jaws finally close shut and crunch together that bit of the spine. With a soundless breath the wounded animal collapsed. He was still alive when he fell, and slowly, as Salvia breathed through her nose and around her black lips in great whuffs of air, suffocated to death. A few final spasms shook the animal, kicked out one leg, and then it went still.

Satisfied only then, Salvia removed her mouth from the throat. She curled her tongue against her teeth to try and dislodge the long fur, looking almost silly for doing so, and then inserted herself at the prime belly area. A low and quiet warning growl was given to suggest she intended to eat first, and even the lynx watched from a fair distance as Salvia ripped open the soft stomach and tore into it. She was after the heart, and by pushing and digging with her strong jaws and hunter’s knowledge of anatomy, broke open the ribs and forced her muzzle into the chest cavity. There, bloodied and reeking of iron, she found her prize.

The whole thing was eaten quickly, in the wolfish way of things, and thus satisfied a low rumbling growl (of a different tone) suggested the other could join her. She felt Abendrot brush against her flank, though he was quick to pull free what his intended meal was and slink away from the noisy wolves to feast. Salvia, though her initial hunger was filled, worked now on the meatier parts of the animal. The other prime organ—the liver—she left for her younger companion.

POSTED: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:25 am

--


Draugr is by Libri!

The great beast fell as smaller creatures fell before her alone, and Draugr felt the thrill of victory in their successful hunt. With the truncated life of the creature, they would eat and continue to live. Her delight was not tempered by the waiting in the least, for she used the time in which Salvia ate to pace outside of their perimeter, head up and ears alert for the sounds of any approach. She was not keen on relinquishing her meal's rights to another higher ranked within Salsola, though she knew she must should they arrive.

More than that, though, she listened for outsiders and trespassers, aware of their relative proximity to the borders. The time of conflict had taught Draugr that even the borders of the great thistle kingdom could be threatened, and none were so safe as to neglect. She abandoned her post with the second low growl, slinking closer with less height to her head and shoulders as she approached the Cicerone. The still-warm flesh was lovely to her tongue. She whined her thanks through bloodied lips upon discovering the gift left behind by her leader, silver-tipped tail swinging with the placating and low wag of a subordinate thoroughly impressed with authority's generosity.

POSTED: Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:08 pm

(346)

Meat kept them alive. Meat was life—they had suckled on milk made from meat, grown on it, and now lived on it as true predators did. True one might sample oddities now and again, but they were, by in large, animals that lived by eating other animals. Their hot breath reeked of rotting flesh and ketosis. One need only smell this to remember that the beautiful pelts and streamlined bodies were made from the bones and blood of other things. They were not gentle creatures nor were they merciful. It was only for the pack that such savage nature could change, but Salsola was not like this. They were a Family, but one that survived because of the paranoia, secrecy, and fear that drove them. Love was a far cry here, replaced instead by the respect that is born out of terror.

So the gift given was one instead of manipulation; it suggested a favor, something that was earned instead of given freely. Salvia was not one to flatter or to give away goods. She did this in part because the girl had helped and in part because it further secured her place. Sirius had taught her this by doing it to her. As he had thrown invisible chains over the Tiger, so she now did with this red-furred daughter of a witch. It was so subtle that she had not even recognized herself doing it. These were the lessons that she had learned being applied in practice, but as ingrained as they were to her nature she barely saw it happening.

Chunks of meat vanished down her gullet, and it wasn’t long after that she withdrew and took up the would-be watch, licking blood from her face and staring into the woods. She remained silent and still, almost statuesque if not for the pink tongue that emerged from her mouth every now and again to clear away the bulk of the red there. Her pale fur would stain until she washed it; perhaps something she would do once the carcass had been picked clean.

POSTED: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:50 pm

652 pp deal with it


Draugr is by Despi!

Draugr ate in the gulping and seemingly half-starved manner of her wolf ancestry. It was therefore only a few moments of tearing and swallowing, ripping and gulping, before she was sated. Belly full and all immediate desires sated, the wolfdog peered toward Salvia curiously, the natural fear of a subordinate in the presence of their leader thick within her still. Licking her dark-hued muzzle clean, she wiped her paw across her face, licked it, wiped it across again.

Sufficiently cleaned, the drab-hued canine crept forward. Her body was in a far lower position than she might have occupied otherwise. The pale silver of her belly almost brushed against the ground as she made her way toward Salvia. As she drew nearer, her tail wagged again in that placating manner, and she whined as she sidled alongside the woman. Draugr lifted her muzzle slowly, ready to send it careening back toward the earth at the slightest displeasure from her master. When there was none, she went so far as to extend her tongue and lick some of the blood from an earthen-hued cheek.

POSTED: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:44 pm

(303) could wrap after this? They eat more and Sal peaces out?

They were both of them creatures of instinct and yet more. A disease—no, a virus—had warped their genetic code and changed such primitive design into something that had grown over time. Those who had not succumb were likely to follow the path of ancient Neanderthal man and fall under the grind of evolutions wheel. Salvia was a part of this chain and given one particular advantage over even her brethren; she was of slightly higher intelligence and thus able to process things much faster and think much quicker. It did not aid her when it came to all things—she lacked the motor skills to produce works of art or even written word, for example. But large, broad strokes were easy for her; killing was one of these things, as was the capacity and drive to rule.

A low rumble, though it was not out of displeasure, escaped Salvia as Draugr went so far as to show this ancient sign of submission. She canted her head so as to make the display one of allowance and remained still. After a time, when she was pleased by the display, she chuffed air from her cheeks and spared another glance to the woods. They had scared off any competition (save for a few noisy crows, which may or may not have belonged to Itachi) and Salvia did not fear interruption. Salsola had few large predators to contend with.

“You may take the hide, if you wish,” she said, speaking for the first time in what felt like ages. Her voice was thick from the blood in her throat. “Whatever we do not finish is to be smoked.” This was her preferred method of preservation. Salt, while abundant from the sea, made for a thirsty meal and lacked the deeper flavor of wood-smoked meat.

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