cast your shadows

POSTED: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:50 pm

15.10.12 . 2pm . close to stellarton mines . optime form

Shiloh had returned the day before, Niernan and Fritz having accompanied her to Freetown for a trading trip. The boy had placed his 'order' with his Aunt the week before, when she'd asked him if there was anything she could get him. His fascination with his aunt's staff had manifested and he'd asked her for a similar weapon, as well as a knife he could use for skinning. He was getting adept at hunting and his practise with his fathers bow was beginning to yield results. He wasn't yet comfortable shooting at prey, so he'd been practising on a stretched rabbit pelt outside his home, re-using the arrows when he retrieved them from the target. He was perfecting the technique first- getting his drawing speed faster, his accuracy spot on, before he attempted to kill anything with the weapon.

Despite his reservations about using the bow, he didn't hesitate to continue hunting. Every couple of days, the boy would go out to bring something home. Living in Jordheim, and having everyone else in the village, it was easy to catch something and have it eaten. A lot of the time, he would take his smaller kills to his fathers house, where Lilin and Colibri and the over-flowing amount of siblings and cousins. Today, however, his stubborn nature had refused to allow him to give up when the doe he was chasing exited Vinátta's borders and had made for the mountains. He gave chase, stripped bare of the trees he usually leapt from, he'd had to give chase on foot.

The staff Shiloh had given him was strapped securely across his back and the antler-handled knife strapped to his thigh. He would have to get used to the feel of his new weapons and the restrictions it would cause on him. He was growing tired though and he'd dropped back when the doe had hit the mountain. Allowing the animal to have a semblance of peace for the moment, he began to stalk it once more. He knew it was as exhausted as he was, but he'd lost sight of it a little while ago, allowing his sense of smell to guide him further along the mountains and away from Vinátta

POSTED: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:05 pm

OOC: PP Approved

IC:

The grizzled grey male crouched, unmoving, in the undergrowth of the mountains. Once again he had left the confines of Anathema’s land to learn the territories surrounding it. The doe had come crashing up the slopes, making enough noise that Einarr had been able to drop into the undergrowth without fear of being heard. Now, tired and scared, the creature stopped, ears twitching and nostrils flaring, taking in great lungfuls of air, but the wind was moving between the two, so Einarr was unable to scent it, and it was unable to scent him. Transfixed the tactician watched the pulsing of blood in the doe’s throat, the quivering of her muscles and the sheen of sweat upon her light brown body. She began to walk again, her legs wobbling slightly, as those of a newly born fawn, her trajectory bringing her tantalisingly close.

The day was a glorious one, sunshine dappling the forest floor and casting wavering shadows as the trees swayed gently in the breeze, into which a chill had crept, promising the tightening of winter’s inexorable grip. The breeze seemed to fall though, time slowing with the doe’s heartbeat. Another small stumble, a changing swirling gust, another lungful of air, and a turn of her head. For an endless moment the two stared into each other’s eyes, the connection between them undeniable. Einarr could see it then, see the muscles preparing, see the blood beginning to pulse once more, it all seemed to happen so slowly.

With a snap reality came crashing back, the doe turned, but too slowly, Einarr’s almost seven foot optime form exploded from the bush in a graceful, the speed and reactions trained from many conflicts. A moment suspended, but knowing that his trajectory was perfect, and he was upon the creature, his jaws falling towards the throat…Pain exploded in his shoulder, and he grunted in surprise, the doe being swept off its feet as the two were lurched sideways by the blow. With reflexes honed, and perhaps better suited to a cat, Einarr grabbed the weapon which had struck him, still unable to see his assailant, there was a tug and the weapon came away in his hands. The grizzled and scarred optime rolled, adjusted the wooden staff, assessing its weight, and coming back to his feet, in such a smooth motion, it might have been a wonderfully choreographed dance.

His attacker was a blended mix of shades of dark grey, in optime form and with an expression Einarr did not bother to register as it was unimportant. In the time it takes to take a breath, the old tactician had assessed his target and looked straight into the other’s startlingly blue eyes, then he struck, like a viper. Although he had always preferred his claws and teeth, Einarr was no stranger to the staff and swept a fast and low blow at the others legs, intending to take the other’s feet out from under him, and then finish the job with a swift blow to the skull.

POSTED: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:54 pm

15.10.12 . 2pm . close to stellarton mines . optime form

He'd moved forward, stalking through the sparse rocks and cover that littered the mountains. There were bushes here and there, but there seemed an ironic lack of trees- Temeraire's preferred medium. He much preferred the cover of the branches, the high vantage point over his prey, the rough bark between his paws. Up here on the mountain, he had to trust more on his basic instincts to guide him. They were well honed and within a few short moments, the doe had come into sight once more. She'd stopped, panting and shivering for just a moment. She thought she was safe, close to a bush that might have obscured his view if he'd come up the mountain from the other side. Unfortunately, his sights were set now and there was no stopping him.

The emergence of a dark, grizzled grey male not only froze the doe in place for a moment, but the shock of finding himself with competition for the doe freezing him for the moment. It didn't last long and with a surge of anger, the male instinctively reached for the staff strapped across his back. He didn't think about it, just allowed his body to move forward in a swift move, the staff arching over his head as the grey male made his move. The crack of wood on flesh jarred up his arm and for a millisecond, the boy was once again in shock.

The wood was wrenched from his grasp before the grey luperci rolled, adjusting the weapon and coming back onto his feet. Enraged that his weapon had been torn from his hand and was now being used against him, Temeraire allowed a rumbling growl to rip forward and as his own weapon was swung towards his legs, he drew the knife from his thigh and dropped into a crouch. The staff struck his arm and ribs, causing a grunt in pain but otherwise no damage. He moved with a hunters grace, springing forward to try and get past the staff, knife in hand to slash towards the males upper arms. While he was enraged that his weapon had been stolen and his kill gotten away in the haste of the chase, he wasn't interesting in killing anyone.

POSTED: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:51 pm

Einarr watched his opponent drop and take the blow to the arm and ribs, the thunk solid, but the other was not unbalanced. The doe had scampered off, his chances of a meal disappearing with it. The dark grey male had drawn a knife, the light catching the sheen of it and. Einarr’s world contracted to encompass only the two fighters, the knife appeared sharp and would open his veins easily, but the staff had greater reach. The other’s thrust was fast, but Einarr’s staff was faster, as the weapon came for his arm, he brought the staff up in defence. There was a thunk as the two weapons met, but the tip of the blade opened a shallow gash, not serious, but blood began to ooze from the wound, filling the air with a metallic tang. Einarr barely noticed the injury, there was no anger in his face, or in his movement, to him this was another training exercise. Using the other’s momentum, he guided the knife away from himself, sending a kick at the other’s stomach, intent on winding his attacker and relieving the stranger of his knife. The autumn breeze gusted again, and his white flecked, grey mane blew about him. His heart pounded and the sound of blood rushed through his ears. He had intended on leaving his conflict behind him, but why did it feel so good to be fighting again?

POSTED: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:50 pm

<33

His opponent was fast and as Temeraire moved to strike at the male, his own staff was raised to block the blow. Temeraire hadn't had chance to practise with his knife or his staff and he had had very little training anyway. He was perhaps fool-hardy, a little too confidant and reliant on his temper to get him through. As his staff came up to block his blow, he gave another snarl. He didn't need this fight- he was more of a hunter than a fighter, but he wasn't about to let himself be walked all over. He'd seen the male rise from the bushes to take his kill and that had enraged him. The scent of blood, however, caused him to flinch. He hadn't wanted to cause harm, though the drawing of his knife had perhaps said otherwise.

The staff moved to deflect his knife and the move was so swift that Temeraire didn't have time to react. The males leg came up quickly and connected with his stomach. It was hard and fast, knocking the breath from him. Reflexively, he tipped forward, the air rushed from his lungs. The hard knock to his stomach caused spasms and he found that he couldn't catch his breath. Dropping the knife, he backed up. He wasn't able to breath properly and as such, the fight appeared to be knocked from him also.

"You were gonna take my doe" He wheezed, his empty hand now outstretched to ward off any further attack. He had no desire for this to escalate into something more dangerous than a few blows over a deer.

POSTED: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:48 pm

Deflect, strike and repeat. Muscles, staff and body moved as one, the scent of blood triggering an almost instinctual response. The grizzled male watched his attacker move back, the glittering blade, smeared now in his blood, falling from a spasming hand. His opponent was weaponless, his tactician’s mind knew that it was now time to press his advantage. With a smooth spin of the staff, Einarr moved forward, low and quick, smashing the staff down on the knife which jumped into the air, he caught it and tossed it out of his opponent’s reach. He spun the staff again, bringing it in an arc to finish this encounter.

”You were gonna take my doe.”

The words made it through quickly and Einarr stopped the staff inches from his attacker. The quivering bark stayed there for a moment as the blood roared through his ears and his heart returned to its normal rhythm. Looking at the upraised hand Einarr realised how young this wolf, he had been about to kill a hot headed yearling. He lowered the staff and planted the butt of it in the ground, holding the haft, just in case.

”Your doe?”

His tone was devoid of all anger or any emotion for that matter, as though being attacked and delivering swift retribution was a routine occurrence.

”You are in neutral territory, there is no “my” here. I have been exploring these lands. I saw the doe approach so I chose to hunt it, I did not see you. Had you allowed me to kill the creature and then told me, we would both have a meal now, instead, I have a sore shoulder and you nearly lost your life.”

Einarr was more concerned than he liked to admit that he had not sensed the other wolf, this youngling clearly had great potential as a hunter, impulsive, but youth often was. The grizzled male mentally chided himself, he was no old enough yet for these thoughts.

”Who are you? And who taught you how to hold a staff?”

POSTED: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:59 pm

yaaaay, only 15 posts to go for you!! <33

He didn't register the knocking away of his knife until it clattered to the floor. Annoyance rose in him- he'd only had the weapons a day and he was already losing them. His annoyance was short-lived- his lack of ability to breath knocked most emotions from him. He saw the curve of his staff towards him before his wheezed words managed to stop the arch of the wood. The male's arm stopped its swing and Temeraire felt a breath of relief wheeze from him. Thinking perhaps he could breath once more, he took a deeper breath- only to find his diaphragm still spasming and he reverted back to the short, shallow breaths he'd had to take. He'd never been winded before, but this was certainly it. The male's incredulous tones caused him to look up, thinking perhaps a nod of his head would earn him at least a whack to the head.

Noticing the male had lowered the staff to the ground, the boy sat back on his heels, still finding it difficult to catch his breath. It was getting easier, he felt and after a few seconds, he rose to his feet as the other began to speak. The insolent scowl on his lips said that he had a differing opinion and as the male finished his rant, the male opened his hands in a gesture that said he had no weapons before pointing out his own opinions. "Point taken, but I'd been chasing her since home, all the way up to the mountains. I'm bound to feel a little protective when I've chased her up a damn mountain..." He offered, a shrug lifting his shoulders. He had no guarantee that, had he allowed the male to make the kill, he would have see any of it.

A huff was given, but it was clear to both of them that this was just a misunderstanding. The male's demands caused a further scowl from the boy, but he threw it off. "My name is Temeraire Stormbringer... and my Aunt taught me how to hold a staff... yesterday, to be precise. Who are you?" He asked in return, curious now that they were no longer trying to hurt one another.

POSTED: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:52 pm

Damn, he was a cub, this Stormbringer was just a child. Einarr tried to remember what he had done at that age, but he was met with a thick opaque wall that only allowed the smell of snow and the sound laughing to pass through it. The boy, for he was no adult yet, was cocksure and filled with a mixture of arrogance and naivety. Another gust of wind, a little strong and a little colder this time, his shoulder ached and his grey and white mane flicked this way and that for a moment. He grunted, but made no reply as Temeraire finished speaking, instead he turned and moved towards the knife, picking it up from the ground and balancing the weight of it. A sturdy tool, well made, but designed for a hand that was not his. Looking about him, he spied something and moved to the spot near the bush he had been concealed in, he bent down and used the knife to hack at the thick growth. Standing again, Einarr held a dripping root, he squeezed it over the cut and winced slightly. He held the two bits of skin together, the colourless sap went pink and hardened almost immediately, stopping the blood flow. Taking a leaf he wiped the blade clean of blood and sap before moving back to the figure still on his heels.

”I’m the wolf who didn’t kill you, my name is Einarr.”

He stared at the boy, assessing him, an implacable expression on his face.

”Why are you hunting alone instead of having sex with females your age. There is lots of time for blood and fighting when you’re older, you might regret not forgoing it now.”

He wasn’t sure why he’d said that, damn this boy. Einarr was tired and hungry, and faced the prospect of another long walk home on an empty stomach, something he was used to, but a flicker of annoyance sparked in him that it hadn’t had to be this way. He tossed the knife at the boys feet.

”And don’t listen to your aunt.”

Einarr continued, holding the staff out before him and placing his one hand high and the other slightly lower than middle.

”Hold it like this, and don’t strangle it like a snake.”

He tossed the staff after the knife and made his preparations to leave. He paused and turned back to the boy again.

”What is the name of your pack?”

POSTED: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:46 pm

yaaaay, only 15 posts to go for you!! <33

Breathing was beginning to get easier, the boy found. The strike to his stomach had winded him badly, but he was upright again and trying hard to soothe to ache in his gut. Taking a deeper breath, he was pleased to find that he was able to take it without spluttering. Blue eyes watched warily as the grizzled male picked up his knife, weighing it in his hand. He wanted his weapons back, but felt perhaps if he demanded them from the male, he would receive more hassel than he wanted. Instead, he watched as the male dropped down and cut at a plant. He hadn't really ever inherited his fathers passion for plants, but he watched with interest as the male poured a clear liquid from the plan on the cut, eyes widening slightly as he watched the liquid solidify.

It was then that the grey male answered his question and the boy fought a snort. Now that the adrenaline had worn off, he felt once more confidant. He thought that without a doubt there had been no danger to his life. But he refrained, simply inclining his head to accept and acknowledge the name given. His next words, however, caused his nose to scrunch in a way so similar to his fathers that it was uncanny. He remembered the conversation he'd had with his father about sex and shuddered slightly.

"I don't think so, thanks. I prefer hunting, to provide for my pack." He said, his nose still scrunched in distaste. The knife was tossed at his feet and the male was quick to scoop it up and replace it in its sheath on his thigh. Einarr's voice caused him to look up and he couldn't repress the snort as the male told him his aunt was wrong. He had the distinct feeling that Einarr and his aunt would come to blows over that opinion. He didn't comment however and furrowed his brows as he watched the male 'demonstrate' how and where to hold it. He chuckled softly at the males words, before catching the hunk of wood as it was thrown to him. The grey male turned to go, it appeared, before he paused and questions him. "Vinátta... what about you?" He was curious as to where the male came from.

POSTED: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:38 pm

Einarr didn’t laugh anymore, he hadn’t laughed for a very long time in fact. For so long it had been dangerous to give away your thoughts that he had buried them deep down, masking them with brutal efficiency, so Temeraire couldn’t have known how amused the grizzled male was by his statement that he would rather hunt than chase women. Einarr’s lips parted briefly in a smile, perhaps the most emotion he had shown in…well a long while, but the emotion disappeared as quickly as it had come, and the mask once more fell over his features.

”My pack is Anathema.”

He fell silent, peering into the distance. This was perhaps the longest conversation he’d had with another creature since arriving here. He faced the boy again, his arms crossed.

”Pack is important.”

He said stonily, one ear twitching, clearly keeping himself alert, even when in conversation.

”But if you don’t chase females, you will not find a mate, and while pack is important, family make life worth living.”

He fell silent again, completely shocked at himself for saying what he had, it was as though his mind had dis-engaged form his mouth and his heart had taken over, it was utterly shocking, but he made sure that none of it registered on his face. He snorted another breath, realising that he was sounding like some grandfather.

”But you won’t listen to a stranger, because you know best and don’t need to listen to anyone. That’s your decision, it is your life of course.”

POSTED: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:44 pm

:DD 13 more to go haha

The awkward smile that cracked from the males lips looked like it hadn't been used in a long while, but it was encouraging enough and Temeraire felt a smile in response. Temeraire wasn't the type to smile mindlessly for no reason, though there appeared to be a crooked smile that hovered between amused and mocking. His own smile now was just a twitch of his lips in return. He was shaken and still irritated that his prey had been lost, but there was an interest in the older male. He was a seasoned warrior, that much was certain and he seemed confident in his skills. For now, he listened to the words spoken, cataloguing the information and nodding softly when the male spoke of the importance of pack. "It is the most important thing to me." He offered in return, sincerity clear.

His attention however had turned to the males next words, which seemed odd to him. He didn't want to have sex with females and he snorted once more as Einarr spoke of chasing females. While he automatically rebelled against the idea, a figured popped into his mind. Holding Lena felt right to him, it was comfortable and where he wanted to be. Banishing the thought, he shrugged his shoulders at the male. "I think I'll wait a bit before... chasing females." He offered, thinking perhaps the male did not have a mate himself. He was a little too insistent and Temeraire held back the question.

"Do you have a mate?" He questioned, perhaps trying his luck a little. He understood the importance of pups in a pack and that came from mateship. But he was young- not even a year old yet, and the thought of a mate and offspring caused a shiver up his spine that was not at all pleasant.

POSTED: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:17 pm

He knew it wasn’t that long ago, only a few summers, and yet Einarr found it hard to believe he had ever been the age of the male before him. Had he not been chasing when he was Temeraire’s age, or was that indeed too young, but perhaps love was something that couldn’t be rushed, and no youngster could truly understand love. He huffed again, today seemed the day for him to think granddad thoughts.

”Do you have a mate?”

Well it had been an inevitable question perhaps, but still one that Einarr did not wish to answer, but there was no tactical reason why he should not, there was no way the information could be used to compromise him. He flex the fingers at the end of the cut arm, the skin was tight, but the sap maintained its grip and no blood leaked out.

”I did, she is dead now.”

The statement was delivered deadpan, there was no sadness, no grief in his tone at all, but repeating the words hurt, it seemed to somehow make it real again. For an instant he saw her mane whipping about her, saw the movement of her lithe body as she ran and could almost remember the scent of her, but as another gust of autumn air flowed around them, the memory was taken away with it.

”Perhaps you are too young.”

He pointed up the mountain.

”Your doe went that way, you may still catch her, she looked exhausted and fear will lend her strength, but it often asks a great price in return.”

POSTED: Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:45 pm

:DD we can finish up shortly?

The answer he got from the grizzled male had not been the one he was expecting. Despite the unkempt appearance, it was clear the wolf wasn't particularly old- Temeraire guessed no more than three or four. As the words registered, he felt a lance of regret for asking the question in the first place, his ears lowering to indicate this. He couldn't have known however, had thought the male a little too young to have found a mate. At the same time, he knew his father was young- he would be three in late spring and he'd found a mate and had two litters of pups. Albeit the first being illegitimate and unknown by the male, his progeny was still strong and healthy. While Temeraire knew it wasn't his fault, and he hadn't known about the incident, he couldn't help a soft apology.

"I'm sorry for asking, Einarr. I didn't mean to upset..." Temeraire was not a boy who apologised often, though good manners had been instilled into him at a young age. He had grown into the belief that meaningless words got him nowhere and he refused to say something just for the sake of it. However, he truly felt that he'd made a mistake in asking the male about his love life and had apologised as such. The male's offhanded words, that perhaps he was too young, were met with a shrug. Perhaps he was too young to see the meaning of it all just yet- at such time, he didn't know if he had an interest in females, it wasn't something he considered deeply.

A quiet washed over the pair for a moment, before the grizzled male pointed towards the mountains. His words were useful and Temeraire nodded softly as he finished. "Thank you, I'll got and track her down." He said, unwilling to let his prey escape. He'd chased her all the way from Vinátta and he wouldn't give up. "I appreciate the lesson, I'll work on my staff skills. Goodbye, Einarr." He said, before setting off in the direction the male had pointed. He hoped for his own sake that his prey hadn't gone too far- it was a long walk back to Vinátta.

POSTED: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:32 pm

Einarr listened to the apology, it was not the young boy’s fault, and there was no need for it, but the grizzled male acknowledged the other’s words with a nod. It was strange that he had not thought about her in such a long while, perhaps not allowing himself to do so, not wishing to relive their last moments over and over again, there was little point in dwelling upon something he was unable to change and that only brought him sorrow. He said nothing more, only listening to Tremeraire’s parting words and watching him disappear off after his prey. The day was growing more mature, and Einarr still had a long journey back to his own pack’s lands.

Once Temeraire was out of sight, Einarr raised his muzzle and sniffed the air, his stomach growling in protest at a meal missed, but the grumblings were not too loud and at least he knew that there were caches at home. He began his walk towards Anathema, which turned to a lope, which turned to a run, allowing the here and now to cleanse the past’s memories from his mind.

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