Greatwater Lake gillyweed
All Welcome  June 13, 2017, 02:13 AM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

Scouting ahead from @Nyx and @Saor, Dirge came across the lake purely by mistake. The forests had covered them as they ventured out from the mountains, the winding curve of the natural pathways cradling them along. The heat of summer licked at his heels as he ventured, the air so thick with humidity that had he been a knave instead of a wolf, he could have cut it clean with a knife. But seeing how he was the latter, the best he could do was pant as he pushed on, driven by the great divining rod in his head, that great directionless compass that said today, boy, you're going this way.

And this way had revealed the lake.

It beat the streams that they had been drinking from for the last few days. It also beat the dew that he had been rolled through that very morning, just before the sun cranked up the temperatures and decided to roast them. Dirge considered for only a moment whether or not he should have threw a call back to his sisters. They would have benefited from the waters that beckoned him, sure. But instead he broke out into a run across the open expanse leading up to the lake and jumped in, figuring a quick dart in and dip would be excuse enough to bring them back. Especially if the water was cool.

tags are for visibility, as always. :)
June 15, 2017, 01:42 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
Nikai had been taking a little time off his trip with Keoni to explore the area by the lake. He didn't intend to go very far, of course — he was just spending some time exploring while he could, while Keoni was resting up. Soon he'd have to return to her, but for now he decided to stick around a little longer before they continued their journey.

He hadn't really had any intentions to come nearer to the lake; Nikai was just on his way back to his sister when he noticed someone racing through the grass a while off and he turned to fully look at what was going on. To see a stranger made his stomach churn nervously but also excitedly. Nikai trotted towards the water's edge, just in time to stand by the edge as the adult made ready to dive in (though Nikai was of yet unaware that that was his intention).
June 18, 2017, 03:21 AM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

Moments before he hit the surface of the water, the only thought in Dirge's mind was greeting that summery warm water. Only the water that greeted him was much colder than that. It was a far cry from being a chill in his bones, but it wasn't anything like the waters he had been used to back home. He dipped below the surface for only a moment before bobbling back up with contentment spread across his face. A quick twist around in the waters also turned up something he hadn't seen — and somehow, narrowly avoided hitting — another wolf.

Whatever brief contentment he had was suddenly stowed away as he drew in the other, only to make the realization that it was just some kid. Considerably grown, but still younger than his present company. Great. By the looks of him, he didn't seem too sure about being where he was either and Dirge could hardly give him fault over that... he had just almost been splattered along the bank. Likewise, Dirge could have easily ate mud.

"Don't tell me you're afraid of water," he cheekily said in lieu of an apology... and hoped he wasn't about to hear some words about being lost in return. He knew firsthand how mothers were over their children and the last thing he was looking for today was trouble.
June 19, 2017, 01:38 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
He hadn't seen the splash of water coming as the other wolf crashed into the waters and jumped back in surprise, only narrowly avoiding being soaked. Nikai hadn't swum much in Easthollow, but the ease with which this other wolf did it was encouraging. Ears cupped forward as attention came on him and the wolf called out to him, seemingly friendly. He was wary after what'd happened to his sister on one of her travels, but as far as he could tell, this wolf wasn't of the bad kind.

"Of course I'm not afraid!" he called back, feeling the need to prove himself somehow. Nikai stepped forward and dipped a toe into the water first, then slowly continued into the water to make sure that it wouldn't go deep suddenly or he'd step on something weird.
June 19, 2017, 05:26 AM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

The dark youth's declaration was that he wasn't afraid, but Dirge couldn't help but feel that was not quite the case. He watched as the lad dipped his toes into the water first before wading out, and even then he didn't dare push himself into the depths. Fair enough, Dirge decided as he kept himself afloat. On top of not wanting to be in charge of some wayward youth he also found that trying to save him from drowning was not exactly high on his list of things to do.

Of course continuing to tread water like he was didn't happen to be too much higher on that list either; he didn't fancy wearing himself out when he knew he would have to be making that eventual trek back. And most likely again, since he wouldn't be getting the smell of lake-water out of his coat any time soon. Giving space to boy, he drew in towards the shore. When his feet found the watery earth, he couldn't resist letting a contented sigh out.
June 20, 2017, 12:56 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
Swimming looked so easy when the other wolf did it, but Nikai wasn't about to get himself in trouble because he thought he could do more than he actually could. Just as he was in belly-deep the other wolf came towards the shore and passed him. The swim seemed to have really relaxed him and Nikai stared at the alluring deep waters ahead; he was tempted, but then he reminded himself he was out here in no man's land and he should better keep a swimming practise 'til he was with Keoni again.

So instead of going out further he turned around and waded around the shallower end. He then asked the other wolf, "Are you part of a pack..?" Before realising he hadn't introduced himself at all yet. With a start he hastily said, "Oh, I'm Nikai. From Easthollow." He wasn't sure if the wolf would even know where that was, since they had travelled quite far, but it still seemed appropriate enough to include it.
June 20, 2017, 06:11 PM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

Silence didn't last long, but Dirge had the neggling feeling that it wouldn't. There had been a time once in his life (however short it had been) that he had been unable to keep silence. Of course, that much remained the same now as ever, no matter whatever sort of neutral mask he donned.

But he hadn't quite expected the question of whether or not he had a pack he belonged to. It had come in the past but he had never been the one to answer it, that had usually fallen to Nyx or Saor, whichever one held the faster tongue on that day. But it was simply him.

His gaze found Nikai again.

"Does your mother know you're out here talking to strangers?" He avoided the question by waving it away with another. "Though I suppose if I give you my name, I'm not a stranger any more," he went on to muse. The logical had holes in it naturally, but he found he didn't care either. With the pace that they had been keeping, he doubted that he would ever see the wayward youth again.

"I'm Dirge."
June 21, 2017, 01:23 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
The question wasn't answered, and Nikai was taken aback when instead of an honest answer he received a retort that seemed designed only to tell him off because he wasn't interested in answering the question. Nikai wasn't very used to situations like these, having been around mostly honest wolves most of his life. He felt a little nervous suddenly, thinking back to Keoni. What if she'd gotten hurt because she thought she could trust a harmless stranger and then they'd attacked? He felt vulnerable in the water and started making his way to the shore, making sure to keep space between himself and the stranger.

In all of this he'd forgotten all about answering the question, a thing he only realised when the wolf started to speak again and continued to be amicable again, then adding an introduction. Nikai had just come out of the water and he smiled a sheepish half-smile, clearly feeling a little nervous, as he said, "It's nice to meet you." There was a brief pause as he thought of what to do or say next. He then wondered out loud, trying his hand at a question again, "What are you doing here?" A variation to the last question, but still different.
June 21, 2017, 01:35 AM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

The boy made his way towards the shore and Dirge took quiet note of this, knowing full and well he had served to alienate himself. This wasn't the first instance of such either; he had done the same to others before, including his own siblings. Chalk it up to how he had been raised, or maybe not. His mother had always had love for him. It was the rest of things that just didn't fit in properly like they should have. Still, in some way, Dirge felt it was for the best to keep his cards close to his chest and his heart far, far away from his sleeve.

As a sheepish smile snaked its way across Nikai's features, he felt his own lips tug into a feeble attempt at a return. It was shortly whisked away by the question on the youth's lips and this time, Dirge held his tongue from asking if his actions weren't obvious.

"Every wolf deserves a dip in the water once in a while. I felt like a change of pace was due," is what he said instead. He drew his gaze away from the salt-and-pepper boy to look over their surroundings for a moment. There really wasn't anything that held his interest more than being chest deep in cool waters. He didn't fancy going off too far that he couldn't convene with his traveling partners either, so the lake had been as much of a break from the monotony than anything.
June 21, 2017, 04:46 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
When the wolf's response came, Nikai felt as though he was being defensive over the matter, and he decided it was maybe better to stray off this topic. "Oh, right," he said nonchalantly, keeping himself from thinking too negatively about the encounter; Dirge probably just didn't have his day, or the subject was too sensitive. And apparently, Dirge wasn't very good at saying 'I don't want to talk about this'.

Instead Nikai was silent for a while as he tried to think of what else he could talk about. The first question that popped up was 'have you seen much of the world', but considering the dodges on the previous attempts Nikai thought it might still be hitting home a little too closely, that one. It was hard to find questions that had nothing to do with Dirge's personal situation, though, since Nikai knew nothing about him yet. "Have you been in this general area long?" Nikai asked after a lengthy silence, hoping that this one was acceptable because it was a bit more abstract.
June 21, 2017, 05:12 AM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

The next question to come from the youth was much more broad, making up for the silence that had come between them. Not that Dirge had minded the lapse in conversation. So far all he had seemed to do was stonewall conversations left and right, present company excluded. At least the boy took it better than previous encounters.

"Not really," he said. The least he could do was humor him, he decided. "A few days, maybe." Maybe a few more than that. Every day had put him a step further away from home and those were the things he counted. Dirge pressed ahead: "I'd imagine you were born around here. A forest, perhaps?" Easthollow certainly sounded like it belonged to a woodsy locale anyway. Names for places and the canines therein had become more common the further north the trio had come at least.
June 21, 2017, 06:02 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
Luckily his companion took this turn in conversation much better, and Nikai felt secretly proud that he'd been able to steer the conversation towards a positive point again. It served his practise as a counsellor well, especially considering Dirge had been a stranger not long ago. It turns out he was new to this area, and Nikai nodded with interest and enthusiasm brimming on his face. It was clear from one look at him that he had a hundred more questions, but simply didn't know where to start without becoming too personal again.

When Dirge asked him where he was born, albeit indirectly, Nikai at first said, "Yes," but then as Dirge elaborated he realised he didn't really know the exact place of his birth. "Or, well... Me and my sister Keenie were born somewhere 'round here, but I don't know where exactly. We moved a lot when we were little, so I don't remember." There was little emotion to his voice; he barely remembered his deceased mother and he didn't remember anything about where he was from. Nikai didn't care much for any of that; the family and home he had now were most important to him.
June 21, 2017, 03:30 PM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

The lack of emotion that followed the boy's words made Dirge wonder about him for the briefest of moments. He couldn't have imagined what it would have been like to try and move around with pups in tow. It couldn't have been an easy feat for the parents involved, and that was assuming they didn't have others with them. It was certainly the last thing that Dirge would have planned on, but truthfully he had no plans about settling down. It seemed too much of a hinderance and well, he had already been on the receiving end of what happened when things went somewhat unfavorably. His mother too, for that matter.

"Probably better that way," he said, though he imagined the words would be of little comfort. Through with treading water where he was, Dirge moved to the shoreline and began to shake the water from his coat. There was also no way he'd be getting the smell of the water out of his coat now either — he'd be back to this place again before the week was out. But with no plans to currently go trotting off from whence he came, he cleared his throat instead.

"What else do you know about this place? Any place you and your sister aren't supposed to go?" So far they had been directionless in their ventures, but he wouldn't pass up the opportunity to glean a little information.
June 27, 2017, 12:51 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
Nikai remembered that his youth had been turbulent, but he didn't remember a lot of the details around it. He remembered there'd been a lot of pain, but again, no specifics. But Keoni was still here, and he didn't even remember anything about his deceased mother today — so he was happy enough, knowing that he had his sister still.

Dirge said it was probably better that way, which left Nikai to wonder what his own youth was like. Was it bad and did he remember it? Did he wish he also didn't remember much about home? Or maybe he was homesick, like Nikai felt towards Easthollow right now.

Unfortunately, Nikai wasn't a very good guide. "I haven't explored much yet," he admitted. "There's nothing we're not supposed to go that I know of." But then as he said it, he remembered something. With an 'aha' look on his face he shared, "There's a march to the east where my mother's seen a cougar once."
July 06, 2017, 02:42 AM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

The unexpected came in many forms. At first he found himself not too surprised that the boy hadn't wandered far enough to be told one thing or another, and then he dropped word of cougars. Great. Dirge had never tangled with them personally, but he had known those who had; the end result was never pretty. And to make matters worse, it hadn't been any more than a handful of days since the trio had been loitering around in that area. A certain grimness laid over him as an unseen weight.

Of course, it all begged another question.

"How long ago did she see the cougar?" Chances were, Dirge wanted to think that it had passed. He had likened the tarns to a marsh in their travels so to him, it seemed the likely place that it had been in. But what did know about cougars wasn't a lot either; his homeland had been thankful only to deal with them once in a great while. They'd never been an active threat. This seemed more of an active threat. Maybe. Jumping to conclusions was easy.
July 06, 2017, 09:25 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
He asked how long ago, and truthfully Nikai didn't really have the answer. He wrinkled his nose thoughtfully before he answered, "I don't know." He remembered that she had told him her mother'd seen one there, not in the favourable sense, so probably a while ago. "It was probably a while ago, but you can't be too safe." Nikai, at the least, preferred staying safe and staying far away from the place his mother'd pointed out as cougar territory. It seemed, from the adult's response, that he had good reason to.
July 14, 2017, 12:34 AM
Dirge
Lone Wolves

Didn't know. Dirge felt a sigh build and dissipate in an instant. It was easier just to assure him that the cougar was probably long gone and didn't go about mauling anyone. The boy had a good point though — neither of them could ever be too safe. There were many things Dirge was, but complacent was not one of them. The only complacency he had grown to was the constant call of the wild and the wandering therein. Which at that point was something he was beginning to feel a pull too, for more than one reason.

"Good point," he conceded after what was a lengthy pause. "You'd do best to stay safe yourself. A cougar wouldn't mind a snack like you." Granted, for as lanky as the wolf was, maybe it would pass thinking he was not of particular worth. That was perhaps the best thing any of them could hope at least. "I should be on my way now. Try not to get bowled over by anyone else out here, hm?" His gaze settled on the speckled face of the wolf for a moment, and then he was off towards the tall grasses and the forests beyond.

seemed a good ending point i guess? hope that's okay.
July 14, 2017, 05:55 AM
Nikai
Easthollow
Gamma
Nikai felt a little nervous when he was told that he should be careful because a cougar might want to snack on him. He nodded in acknowledgement and said, "Thanks, I'll be careful." Hopefully he wouldn't need the advice too much.

"Bye Dirge," said Nikai when Dirge said he would be leaving, and he smiled briefly at the advice not to be bowled over by anyone else. "If you're ever in the area, feel free to visit me and my sister at Easthollow! It's to the east, past the mountain range." With those parting words, Nikai realised he should be heading back to Keoni and he offered a final smile before Dirge set off, and Nikai did too.