The Bracken Woods Weep for yourself, my man
Private  March 03, 2018, 06:33 AM
Arrluk
Approved Members


At times, he regretted having left his place of birth. The pack still thrived, each year bringing with it the births of new northerners, oftentimes belonging to separate generations. They were strong, sturdy, the winter survived and the springtime just over the horizon. These reasons, accompanied by the prompting of his mother and even his grandmother prior to her passing, are what drove him to leave his familial pack; the death of his grandmother was the final push he had needed, offered the opportunity to be the one to inform the great uncle he’d never met. And so he left the north behind him, traveling farther and farther south, the vague directions given to him playing over in his head constantly.

*        *        *

Arrluk shoved through the thorny underbrush of the woods, cursing under his breath each time he was pricked by a thorn. A scowl had formed just moments after entering the forest and refused to leave for as long as he remained there—which, as of right now, he could determine not when he might be freed of the prickly situation he’d gotten himself into. He was unfamiliar with his surroundings, the entirety of the wilds unknown to him, and he had neither friend nor scent to guide him. He was left to maneuver on his own, and he tried desperately to do so without tangling his fur in the underbrush—but it was difficult to avoid and he found himself stuck several times, leaving clumps of loose fur in his wake.
March 04, 2018, 04:44 PM
Alarian
Easthollow
Family
set a couple hours after this thread
The boy had retreated to the Bracken Woods once again after his talk with Lennon. He was trembling, mouth dry, as he slipped between sharp-toothed bushes and past massive trees. Many were dormant, and it was one of these that he choose. Ali put a single paw on the trunk, hesitating.
It didn't last long. The boy found purchase and hauled himself up into the tree with little effort, nails tapping lightly against the wood. He didn't want to think about what the earlier conversation meant. Truthfully, Ali had no desire to lead alone-- he wasn't even sure he had the ability. But he could not let Lennon down-- or the others. If they were going to be a pack, someone would need to lead them. And Alarian could not imagine where everyone would go, if the group disbanded.
He didn't want to think about that, either.
Climbing quickly turned to delicate, calculated leaps between trees. Each time, the boy became more daring, chancing a higher branch or a longer distance here and there. The thoughts cleared from his mind with each jump. He would have been content to continue this way until he fell or got tired; one was as likely as the other.
It seemed he wasn't meant to be in solitude now, though. The boy scented a stranger faintly, and his gaze turned to the ground below, searching. He saw nothing at first. Suddenly curious, Alarian dipped his head further down and inhaled, trying to pinpoint the direction of the scent.
Ali wasted little time when he thought he had it. He opted to stay where he had the advantage for now-- in the trees-- but turned to follow the scent. The boy was too focused, maybe, on finding the other to be as careful as he normally was. Several times he almost slipped, but ultimately his efforts were rewarded. His paws hit the branch and he found balance just in time to catch sight of the stranger. Ali stilled, ears pricked, and studied the other from afar. The breeze brought to him the knowledge that this other wolf was male-- and, from the looks of it, he wasn't having a very fun time.
For a moment he lost sight of the pale man, but then he came into view again-- closer, this time, and Alarian's curiosity got the better of him.
The slim boy made his way down to the lowest branch and hopped to the ground, trying to ignore the ache in his feet upon the slightly rough impact. He had landed a couple yards from the other, and found himself a bit grateful for that; it might have been bad to land directly on top of him. Alarian turned his gaze on the other with a dip of his head, tail swishing gently behind him. He said nothing for now. The boy lacked in energy and words, and for once had little inclination to waste them on someone who might not care for them anyway.
March 04, 2018, 10:41 PM
Arrluk
Approved Members

The regret that he felt towards having entered the forest wove down deep within his chest, settling, too, into the distal regions of his body; every fiber of his being became pure regret, though the dramatics of it all went right over his head. He repeatedly told himself how he should have turned around immediately, but it was too late now to actually do so—he’d made this much progress thus far, he might as well persevere through the rest of his prickly situation and hope like hell he was close to breaking through the treeline. The only silver lining he could see to it all was that he’d managed avoid the pricks from the underbrush, being stopped now only by the occasional tugging of his pelt; although it was often the loose fur that snagged and was removed, a patch of attached fur got caught here and there. Thankfully, it was only uncomfortable, at worst.

With a break in his near future, Arrluk slowed—doing so made maneuvering easier, which was equally pleasant and frustrating—but did not yet stop. A rustling in the canopy spread out before him caught the male’s attention, ears swiveling forward to listen closely to the sound, but his gaze did not lift from the forest’s floor. It was easy to assume that the noise was made either by squirrels or some birds, and neither of them were a particularly large threat to him. Proceeding with said assumption in mind, it came as quite the shock when a wolf dropped down several yards in front of him.

Immediately, his hackles raised and his legs forced him to take several steps backwards. Suna ikumatsuak?! exclaimed the Inuk, slipping into his mother tongue. Was he seeing things? Surely, a wolf had not just fallen from the branches overhead. Skeptical, he peered up, searching for anything that might suggest there were more of them—but he found nothing, and so his attention snapped back to the scarred male. “Kinau—” he cut himself off, doubting the stranger’s ability to understand; he’d been warned prior to leaving that their language was not as common beyond the northernmost settlements. “Who are you?” He had a noticeable Inuit lilt, pronunciations rough.

Even as he stared the other male down, gaze nearly unblinking, the tension in his muscles did not ease up. The male had not only descended from a tree, but he’d done so without a single word to spare—what could his intentions be?
March 04, 2018, 11:57 PM
Alarian
Easthollow
Family
Perhaps it was unfitting for a leader, but the boy's ears swept back in dismay and his head lowered further when the stranger's hackles rose. Conflict was the last thing he wanted right now. Any other day, Ali might have openly admired the other male; he was striking and handsome, alabaster with a hood of smoky grey continuing down his back. Today, he only felt apprehension.
Alarian tried not to tremble at the other's words-- the language was foreign, but he understood the wolf's tone. He wondered if this wolf didn't speak the common tongue, but not for long. Caught off-guard, the boy only stared for a moment.
Alarian. It was almost a whisper. He scolded himself internally for sounding so timid-- he was supposed to be a leader! The only one, now. Ali stared hard at the ground, trying to will away the flood of cold dread in his chest at the return of the thought. Desperate for some distraction, he forced out his own mirror of the question. Who are you?
After a few beats he dared a brief glance over the stranger. Are you lost?
March 05, 2018, 12:26 AM
Arrluk
Approved Members

The longer he stood there, watching the other male, the more he calmed down. There was nothing about the stranger’s body language that made him out to be a threat—if anything, he seemed like the exact opposite, and the scars that marred his face suddenly became far less worrisome. Gradually, his fur smoothed out, but his ears remained erect and gaze honed in on the wolf, whose body he finally stole a glance at; small and feminine, dyed with colours extracted from the earth. Arrluk inwardly chastised himself for having retreated and reacted as if the other was a threat, when, outwardly, he seemed not to be; that looks could be deceiving, he did not consider.

When the male spoke, he was quiet, the name almost not heard. Alarian. This was not his great uncle, then—not that he thought there was a possibility of that beforehand. Between his demeanour and appearance, it was obvious the boy was not of northern descent. “Arrluk,” he returned, his voice significantly louder. He thought about leaving then, only to stop and straighten out when he felt eyes on him. His own muted gaze sought to meet Alarian’s, curious and careful not to let his posture fall; the way in which one presented himself could say a lot about him, and the young northerner was decidedly against coming off as anything other than confident—even when he wasn’t.

“No,” was his simple response, a more cryptic version following just moments later. “I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m not lost.” That he was on a journey away from home did not seem important enough to mention, nor that he was interested in finding a distant relative. “Are you lost?” He didn’t think twice about asking the question back, even if the manner in which he spoke was mildly immature.
March 09, 2018, 01:15 AM
Alarian
Easthollow
Family
Alarian relaxed as the other seemed to calm, tilting his head slightly at the name offered. It was as foreign as the language he had spoken at first. He flicked one ear and raised his head, appraising the male silently. Everything about Arrluk spoke of confidence, sending a mix of heat and chills down the boy's spine. He almost reminded him of someone-- inexplicably his heart quickened, but the other male was speaking again before he could pursue the thought.

The answer made enough sense to Ali. He typically hadn't a clue where he was going-- and he typically wasn't lost, either. That Arrluk asked if he was lost brought him pause, if only because he realized for the first time he could point somewhere and say 'that's home'.
I'm not lost. Alarian tipped his muzzle in the direction of the pack-- his pack. The boy adopted a slightly more confident posture, though the change was small because he would always be a pansy. My pack has settled in one of the territories just outside this forest.
March 10, 2018, 10:10 PM
Arrluk
Approved Members

Internally, it was a constant battle of should I stay? and should I leave? Arrluk, as unaccustomed as he was to speaking with those beyond his family, was not necessarily rude in nature, which made it easy to stay and converse; a small voice continued to nag at him from the recesses of his mind, insisting he had something to do and could not stick around, but it was notably weak and unable to truly influence him. Still, he considered where the conversation might even go, with neither lost nor in need of the other—but then he heard the word pack and his ears perked whilst his posture straightened. Although it was not his primary reason for having left the north, he did intend to seek out his great uncle at some point or another, whose home he’d been told was south—had he travelled southwards far enough to have been deposited just beyond the elder Inuk’s home? It was a possibility worth considering.

“What is the name of your pack?” he asked. Though Arrluk could not recall what name he’d been given—had he even been given one?—he hoped to hear something that might click in his head; a name once whispered from wolf to wolf in his homeland, some fragment of the northern tongue, anything.
March 11, 2018, 11:17 PM
Alarian
Easthollow
Family
The boy mistook Arrluk's change in demeanor for interest in joining his pack-- and suddenly found himself hopeful. It would be nice to have another guy around, mostly because there were so many girls. Ali typically preferred friendship with women, but at some point it became suffocating. Five females to two males was... a little bit suffocating.
We're the Bracken Sanctuary. He raised his head a little higher, gold eyes gleaming as he recalled his conversation about it with Lennon. Ali ignored the sting that accompanied thinking of his lover now. A new pack, but not small; myself, my Consultant (the rank he had given Lennon during his temporary absence from leadership) Lennon, and... all the girls. (it's important to note these last few words were almost desolate as they fell from his mouth)
He floundered for a second, trying to make a mental list of all their names. But he was stressed and tired, and after a moment gave up and moved on. Are you traveling alone?

Alarian glanced briefly past him, but all his senses told him it was only the two of them. His eyes returned to Arrluk after a couple beats, and once again he noted that the other male was rather pleasing to look at. This time his appreciation showed, only for a moment, in his wandering gaze. In the next second, though, he had shoved it away and once again attempted to mask what was usually an open book of facial expression. For some reason he doubted the other male would take kindly to his admiration.
March 25, 2018, 04:33 AM
Arrluk
Approved Members

Bracken Sanctuary.

The name was not given in his mother tongue, nor did it stand out to him in any way. Apparently, despite having travelled so far south already, he’d not gone far enough. This male before him likely knew nothing of his family, nor the relative he was curious to find; Arrluk made these assumptions freely and without pause, the chance that his thoughts might be inaccurate never once crossing his mind. That the pack was new and carrying a name formed by the common language was all the evidence he needed to know that he would not sate his curiosities there—but then he heard something about girls and his ears perked, interest shifting; the male was not a Casanova wolf, by any means, but he couldn’t deny the allure of a mass of women unrelated to him. “How many women?” he asked absentmindedly, oblivious to what offense his inquiry might cause; with the other male speaking so freely of his selection, how could he be angered by the northerner’s interest?

Attention was turned back on him and he focused on the male, watching him as he looked past and then at his body. Beneath plush fur muscles tensed, head then raising slightly as his entire posture straightened out under the smaller wolf’s gaze; he spoke and smelled of others, presenting a potential threat to the loner who could not tell just how close to the pack’s territory of choice he was. “I am,” was his answer, simple and to the point. He readied himself immediately after to sprint, ears swiveling every which way that they could, searching for any sounds that meant they were no longer alone.