Wolf RPG

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After his meltdown after being chased out of Redhawk caldera the coywolf made his way further away from all he knew. Away from the mountain, away from the glen below, and most of all, away from where he was born. He didn't want to be reminded all the time of what was wrong in his life. Redhawk caldera hadn't worked out, because it was still too close to home. Too many known faces.

He stumbled his way across the southern mountains after making sure to avoid the pack that was settled between the caldera and here. Charles ran and ran and ran until his lungs were weary and the terrain became too unsuitable to run any longer. On a mountain pass leading towards the Tuktu hinterlands the coywolf paused around the late afternoon. Only when he allowed his lungs and muscles a moment's pause did he realise just how hungry he was; but, well, nothing to do about that, now.

As dutiful as ever, the Overseer was patrolling the Heights, looking out for potential recruits and intruders. 
Nyra spotted the tired coywolf with a settle of piercing hellfire gold eyes, and approached with authority and purpose.
"Running from something?" The bestial She-Wolf purred, stalking toward him with a raised tail. 

What was he doing here?
thanks for joining :D

Charles felt his gut clench when someone approached him just as he was taking a little breather. The way she walked reminded him of Bronco's mother, and that wasn't a good thing. She pointed out that he was running away; he didn't like that, because running seemed to be the only thing he was good at. And that wasn't exactly a good thing.

Immediately the coywolf defensively said, No, and he took a few steps back while he observed her dominant posture and raised tail. What do you care? He eyed her warily, afraid she might respond poorly to anything about him; his pointed coyote-like ears, the wounds on the bridge of his nose -- they looked more like some kind of rash or irritation, since he'd scratched his nails across until the skin eventually broke -- or just generally being ugly trash. Could he make a fresh start again with her, like he had with Bronco and Lunaria and Dhalia in Firefly Glen? Maybe if he hadn't just been run out, if his head didn't still pound from hitting himself...

But as things are, Charles' confidence was running low. The smacking of his lips and his tail that was tucked between his hind legs were subconscious signs of submission that showed as such. His raised hackles and the fire in his eyes when he asked his question were the only sign of fight left in him right now.
Nyra smiled softly as the coywolf answered defensively. Ah, a kid, she supposed. 
A yearling maybe?

What do you care?

"Easy, tiger." She chuckled, "If you're running, perhaps me and my pack could teach you how to fight, so you don't have to run?" 

There. An offer for recruitment. It may or may not settle the kid's ruffled feathers, but it was, at the least, some version of extending the olive branch.
Even though he was a year and a half now, Charles didn't feel very adult. Maybe it was because he was relatively small, or maybe because it was because everybody was still telling him what to do all around him. Even this chick who didn't even know him seemed intent on telling him what to do. Well. Offering something for him to do, anyway.

The encounter with Bronco's mom was still fresh on his mind. Charles scoffed when she said that he wouldn't need to run if he knew how to fight. If only life was that easy. What could he have done differently? Beat her up? The thought seemed ridiculous. Even if he would learn how to, he'd still be small and scrawny and everyone would still hate him for looking like a coyote. That's what Draper said, wasn't it? That was the problem. That he was just some ugly trash scavenger. Learning anything wouldn't fix that.

For some time, Charles was silent after he'd scoffed, just staring into nothingness while he considered things and thought about his shitty-ass life. His hackles had smoothed again, though his tail still hung low just behind his hind legs.

Perhaps it was the fact that she did want him where everyone else turned him away for being shitty that piqued his interest. Charles was a little worried what they might do if they found out he was shit at taking care of himself and not very good at hunting at all.

Okay, he agreed eventually, almost a little defeated, as if instead of gaining something, he was giving something up. Or perhaps because the realisation settled in that he didn't have anywhere else to go, anyway. Some pack of wolves he didn't know seemed about as good as it would get right now.
Nyra waited patiently as he seemed to be thinking it over. She watched his hackles smooth, and in return she took a more casual stance, more relaxed, though her tail was still raised enough to signal her rank. 

When he finally agreed, she offered another smile, more pleased, less vicious. 
At that, she gives him the necessary info so he isn't walking in blind. 

"I am Nyra, the Overseer and second alpha of the Saints of the Dying Light. You may have heard of us, and we have plenty of enemies. But, we protect and defend our own as any other pack would, If not better. All our wolves are working toward one trade or another. Most of us fighters, others medics, some spiritualists. No matter what you desire to pursue, we strive to make our wolves the best version of themselves they can be." 

That all said, Nyra swayed her tail slowly in a friendly manner, not yet motioning for him to fall into step beside her. That would come only if he agreed to stay after what she had said. 

"If those are not deterrents to you, then Welcome to the hunt." 
She introduced herself as Nyra. There was something vaguely familiar about her, the coywolf realised when he looked at her and heard her name. However, Charles honestly remembered few wolves — mostly Leta and Kaito, and of course Valette — from Easthollow, and he had also both repressed and reshaped a lot of his Easthollow memories. His brain didn't really get to any conclusions while she introduced her pack as the Saints of the Dying Light. How ominous. Charles thought it sounded a little edgy, but he also had come to realise that he was perhaps not the cool dude he liked to think himself, so maybe edgy would fit him just fine.

I haven't heard of you, Charles said. His words were matter-of-factly, and honestly it wasn't like he was well-travelled that he should know these things, but there was a silent challenge in them. Perhaps if he'd been in Firefly Glen's inner circle he'd know about the Saints, but as things were he did not.

The only thing that stuck was that wolves were working towards trades. Charles had never heard of trades. His trades were:
— being a cool dude™
— collecting sticks
— doing bad things
— making others feel shit about themselves so he could feel a semblance of self-respect for a fleeting moment
(the latter two exemplified in his previous statement)

So he just asked, What trades are there? What do... He struggled to remember the right word, spiritlist? What's it mean? Charles hated feeling dumb, but he couldn't contain his curiosity. The moment he said it he regretted asking at all, though. Pretending was so much easier than actually trying to figure anything out.

She then said that if those were not deterrents (Charles had no idea what the word meant, but was ok enough able to tell from context), he was 'welcome to the hunt'. Ironic, considering he was such a shit hunter. Okay, he agreed simply again. Yes, I will come. Do you have food? It was a bold question, he realised, but the coywolf's hunger was becoming more and more bothersome; he could really do with some food in his stomach.
It became quickly apparent to the Overseer that either this kid was really sheltered in his previous abodes, or...yeah, it was probably that. 
But as he expressed his curiosity, Nyra found she wasn't annoyed with him. He was, after all, a kid. A yearling, but a kid nonetheless. 

"We've been around for almost a full year, so far. But in that time, I suppose I've become accustomed to other wolves hearing of us. It's alright though." She responded to his first words with a genuinely accepting tone.
Offering for him to walk with her, she slowly padded forth down the mountainside as she continued to answer his questions. 

"A trade is best summarized as a skill you learn and master. There are plenty to choose from, I personally pursue those of a warrior. But, there are wolves who are more drawn to religious means, worship and whatnot. There are also wolves who have an affinity for studying nature, or who have a knack for healing. Also yes, we have food." She chuckled softly as she answered his final question, hoping her words were useful to him so far, explanation-wise.
Apparently, many wolves knew about them, but not Charles. He shook this off easily enough and just nodded at the statement. There was a feeling - regret? - that she hadn't taken the bait when he challenged her on her statement of how well known they were. It didn't seem to prove the statement, to him, of how tough they all were. Then again, Leta had said that Osiris was nice and sweet and friendly and he had turned out to be a box of dicks, so maybe that didn't say much anyway.

Though he felt like a right idiot, Charles was glad that she explained about trades. She didn't really tell about the options, though — how would he know what to be? — and it sounded like a lot of work. His mother had never had trades, so they didn't seem so important, but apparently they were very important here. The coywolf wondered if there were any trades that involved stick-searching, but he stopped himself before he said it. It sounded like a dumb thing to ask.

When she walked away, Charles initially just stayed and blinked in confusion, but then realised he was (probably??) supposed to follow. He wasn't very good at catching these sort of invitations, but was luckily usually brazen enough to invite himself.

Charles had never heard of religion, and so he still did not understand what she meant. Religious, worship; they were words that he did not know very well at all. However, he'd already asked once, and the last he wanted was to look dumb because of all the questions he was asking, so Charles merely nodded. He licked his lips — an involuntary gesture born of hunger — when she mentioned that they had food. His thieving action on Redhawk Caldera had been a bust, so he was really hungry and could use the food. To get something offered would be great and was exactly what he needed.

Are there any trades for to find sticks? Charles asked ineloquently eventually. His tone was neutral and casual, though he watched her expression closely to see what she thought of this. He wondered idly what her name was again — Nala? Nina? — and realised he hadn't even given his own yet.
A chuckle was earned from Nyra's lips.
"A trade for solely collecting sticks? Not that I know of. But perhaps you could be a medic, or even a spy?" Nyra suggested easily, loping and climbing down the rocky mountains with newfound ease after living here so long.
Charles felt stupid for suggesting becoming a stick-searcher for a trade. Of course that wasn't a trade; it was pretty useless. Just for fun. Nothing for anyone but Leta.

He quickly distracted himself with Nyra's question about trades. What's a medic and what's a spy? he asked a little uncertainly; he was not sure if those were words he was supposed to know. It wasn't totally new to Charles that he did not know as many words as most wolves, and it was a creeping insecurity.
Uncharacteristically patient, Nyra steadfastly remained ready to answer his questions. 
"A medic helps heal wolves through natural means, such as plants. A spy sneaks around and gets information on other, enemy packs' business without getting caught." 
The battlemaiden turned her head to look at him briefly, seeing if her words were easier to understand.
If she thought he was a total idiot for asking these questions, then she sure wasn't showing it. Charles didn't see himself as a medic really, but being a spy sounded pretty cool. He had no idea that you could get trades to start with, but he certainly hadn't really thought there would be so many cool ones. Spy sounds kinda cool, he said, opening up just a little bit more as he said it, his voice more confident than before. He was fast, small and not super unusual in appearance and colours, so maybe a spy would be something he could actually be good at.

What are the wolves like in the pack? Charles asked as he kept his eyes on the road they were walking, trying to seem casual even though of course, this question would determine much of his immediate future.
She smiles softly as he seems to ease up a tad. 
Watching the curiosity on his features from a sidelong glance, the battlemaiden answers
"We are all very protective of our territory and of each other. We are willing to draw outsider blood if provoked, and if needed - we kill." 
The notion of killing wasn't always well-digested, but maybe the youth would surprise her.
Seemed pretty regular wolf stuff, to Charles. He remembered watching the wolves of Easthollow tear someone apart. It had filled him with a strange, unconformable feeling inside to watch it, even though he had been on the right side of the fight. Anyway, he nodded. Yeah, that's cool. I can do all that stuff. Charles flashed her a grin -- it was clearly meant to be charming, cool, or both -- as he said it.

He could not help but wonder, How many wolves have you killed? Meanwhile, he was already coming up with a lie in case she'd return the question, since his own resume wasn't very impressive.
As uncertain as the kid seemed two seconds ago, Nyra silently called bullshit when he said he could do all that stuff

"Given your uncertainty a few moments ago, I think you're lying. And that's a bad thing to try and do to me." The Battlemaiden warned, but answered his questions anyway. 

"So far though, just one wolf. But I've also killed a bear, too. Her Ursine corpse sits upon our northern borders." 
Charles felt a pit in his stomach when Nyra called out his lie. He just wanted to seem cool and confident. He licked his lips submissively and looked away when she called out his lie, though there was also something in his gut — excitement? — because she noticed him, at least. That was what Charles wanted in his life: to do good things and be noticed, or to do bad things and be noticed. A dull life without attention wasn't any good. And, well, it just so happened he wasn't very good at doing good things, he'd found, so doing bad things was just a lot easier.

It made him want to lie again. See if he could get away, see if he could get punished, his face shoved into the dirt where it belonged. What is wrong with you, Charles? he berated himself as he found himself thinking those things, but before he could think of another thing to lie about, Charles found his gaze snapping back to Nyra in awe as she mentioned killing a bear.

Snap, tear, jerk, and they were both gone.

And she'd killed that?!

Don't lie to me, Charles said, his mood suddenly plummeting further. He must seem quite manic to her — from shy to insecure to a liar to brazen — but the thought of any wolf killing that was laughable to Charles. He just couldn't believe it true. Bears outright slaughtered wolves; that was the only thing he'd seen them do, at least.
Nyra let out a laugh that may have sounded like a guttural growl as Charles tried to call her a liar. 
Looking at him, she kept a Donovan-worthy grin on her face as she explained casually

"I didn't kill her alone. It took many of our wolves to wound her, and it wasn't just me who went for her jugular. Thankfully nobody here died that morning. But I'll happily show you her corpse if you absolutely need proof." 

The challenge was there as she stared at him with unsettling gold hues. After this thread, little did she know he'd find out for himself.
She just laughed at him at first, which made Charles feel all sorts of things — none of them good. He frowned as she explained that it had taken many wolves, that she wasn't alone. Charles wondered if... Perhaps, if he hadn't stood rooted to the ground, he could've saved them. His mouth felt dry at the thought, his head swimming, but he couldn't allow such thoughts to overtake his mind.

As usual, it wasn't about whether or not one of his new leaders had killed the bear; it was about his own inner turmoil. Charles shook his head swiftly and said, No thanks, as she offered to show it to him. He wasn't too sure he was ready to see such a thing. Too afraid it would remind him of the wolves he had lost; of the reason he had run away.
we can wrap this up and archive with your next post if you'd like? <3

At his quick decline, her grin softened into a face a mother might make when looking at a loved child. 
Sighing softly, the Overseer picked up the pace again "Let's go then. There's much to show you." 
yes! <3

The face of a mother looking at a loved child was not something Charles was accustomed to seeing, so he stared back at her with a weird look on his face. Actually, he said, Is there something on my face? and regretted it seconds later. He'd been a quiet and timid child, but after Firefly Glen had made him find his tongue it seemed that it was hard to put that back right where it had come from.

Never mind, yeah, let's go, the coywolf said and he quickly started on his way again, allowing Nyra to lead the way towards the Strath, his new home and his new life.