Wolf RPG

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Njord feet grew tired, and he knew he must travel back home soon. His soft pads ached from maneuvering across the rocky and uneven terrain of the Sunspire range. He felt very much like an outsider, once again. An islander. A greenhorn. Even so, his endurance increased every day.

Eventually the mountains receded into wetlands. Here, Njord followed a river which dwindled into a creek. He stopped by the water’s edge to take a drink. The cool stream quenched his dry throat.
Laurel was out taking a walk away from the Bypass when she happened upon the peculiar-looking wolf. At first she thought it was a pile of autumn leaves swaying on the wind, but when she came closer she soon realised that it was a wolf instead. Laurel did not feel very much like socialising, all in all, and she felt nervousness when thinking of meeting another man, especially out here in the open.

You know what happened last time. Nothing had happened. You looked like an idiot, my dearest. Nothing happened that time.

Laurel hesitated as she watched him take a drink; frozen in place, looking like a deer caught in headlights while she considered whether or not to come closer.
Njord lapped at the water, parched, until the sound of gently crunching snow caught his attention. His head popped up to spot a woman in the distance watching him. Droplets fell from his maw as they stood in silence, regarding one another. The stranger was especially frozen in place, and it was clear to see her body posture was guarded and uncertain.

“Ahoy!” he called to the lady. Njord, the cheerful sort, took it upon himself to spring across a thin part of the trickling stream to try and greet her. He was hungry to learn more about this part of Teekon.
Laurel didn't remember anyone ever greeting her with 'ahoy'. Although his demeanour seemed friendly, almost in a bubbly way, Laurel still felt guarded as he approached. Perhaps because that demeanour meant that he might overstep her comfort zones. Still, when he jumped over the stream and approached she forced a smile onto her face, not wanting to seem like a sour old prune (turning five this year was getting to her more than she liked to admit).

Hi, she said, and though it was easy enough to put up her mask and look friendly, there was still something guarded about her body language that warned not to get too close; a tense guardedness that made her look a bit bashful, while the demon inside her head whispered all of her worst fears into her ears.
The stranger did not flee as he approached, but Njord was keen to her apprehension. He did not push into her space and changed his posture to a calm, easygoing stance. His tongue washed over his nose as he took a moment to shake his pelt – a disarming social gesture. In all, it spoke: I am friendly, I mean no harm. Perhaps his older brother might have been more brutish or forward, but as the little brother, Njord had an acute empathic quality.

Hi, she reciprocated in a friendly tone. Njord was close enough to observe her in better detail, but could not glean scent from this distance. She was a woman broaching middle age, cobby with a thick winter pelt of rustic browns ranging from cinnamon to shale. A liver nose (which Njord had never seen) complimented her warm look. The clean sheen of her fur suggested she was apart of a pack.

“I’m a scout lookin’ ta learn this ‘ere terrain. Get a better understandin’ of tha mountains an’ valleys. I live by tha coast with my pack. M’name’s Njord Sveijarn-Corten, what’s yours? Do ya live ‘round ‘ere?” he asked, not realizing she was apart of Rivenwood.
Although she felt tentative towards him, at least he did not approach her too closely. Still, when he neared she could not help but take a small step backwards that showed how guarded she was, despite the smile she had forced onto her face. Everything in her screamed to run, but something made her stay. She wasn't sure what it was, precisely, but she liked to think it was certainly not what the voice inside her head was hissing into her ears.

He introduced himself as Njord, a scout. It had been some time since Laurel had met any scouts; well, outside of territory, anyway. She'd been within Easthollow for some time, had travelled for another good time of her life. Those times when she travelled had often been some of the best. Perhaps because no pack had ever truly felt hers; not even Bearclaw Valley, which she had ruled alongside Xan. In the end, it too had crumbled, and now it was no more than a pit of vipers she longed to see destroyed.

This Njord wolf had a funny accent she didn't recognise very much. The fact that he was from the ocean explained the salty scent that hung about him — or did she imagine it just because he said it? — that reminded her of Lucas. Oh, sweet baby boy Lucas...

Having no desire to lose herself in grief for her firstborn and decidedly best son, Laurel said, I'm Laurel. I live... She seemed to hesitate for a moment as her head raised a bit and her ears folded back uncertainly. Then she added, gesturing vaguely towards the east, In that direction, with a pack called Rivenwood. I'm new there, I don't know if I'll stay long. There was a certain sort of anticipation in the way she said it, and a keen wolf would see that there might be some fear lingering in those words. Perhaps because it was a lie; she hoped she might settle in Rivenwood and live a quiet life there, but she did not want all the men she ran into out here in the wilds to know about that. She didn't need another —

Me, my dearest? But I'm so much fun to have around.

— And even though this guy seemed pretty laid back, if there was anything Laurel had learned in life, it was that everyone wore a mask. And everyone tore them from their faces to tear you to pieces at one point in their lives.
She remained skittish despite his best efforts. Though he knew some wolves were wary by nature, it made him feel a little… bad? Njord, ever the extrovert, wished he could whisk away Laurel’s stress. “It’s alright, lass… I be meanin’ ya no harm,” he said gently and took a step back.

“’Tis a pleasure, Laurel,” he added. The next bit of information caught him by surprised. “Rivenwood?” She gestured to the bypass. Had they moved? Last time, when he met Sequoia, Rivenwood had relocated deep in the Northeast. Laurel added that she was a new recruit to the pack, uncertain if it was the right fit. He took the comment at face value and didn’t look any deeper.

“Yer leader’s Mahler, right? I met a crew member of yers not too long, ago. Name’s Sequoia. ‘Av ya met one another?” he asked. Njord recalled the skirmish over Sapphique’s proximity and the aggressive marking the wolves of Sagtannet employed. In the end, it had been Sagtannet who was displaced. The rebranding was curious, though, and Njord wondered what internal affairs had gone down to cause the disruption. Sequoia was a nice enough wolf, and Njord thought the two pack’s relationship could be mended. For now, it was useful information that they had moved even farther away.
He knows you're afraid. Laurel stiffened when Njord said that she he meant her no harm. He's playing you. She shook her head — not at Njord, but at the voice between her own ears — and said defensively and with a quiver in her voice, N-no, I'm not... But then she let it rest, because he had only said that he meant her no harm, after all, not accused her of anything. She hated being afraid so much.

Instead of further replying she shook her head again as if to say 'no matter' and focused on the rest of their conversation. He seemed surprised to hear Rivenwood's name, but maybe it was because the direction she pointed in was their new home? He might have known them from before.

This was confirmed when he asked about Mahler. Laurel nodded, twice, when he asked about Mahler and then mentioned Sequoia. Yes, we have. She seems, uhm, nice. She'd been very bubbly, but then again, so had Laurel at the time. Do you know Mahler? she asked, curious. It was interesting to hear that wolves had been living in these lands for so long — as long as herself — that she knew nothing of, Mahler himself one of them.