Bearclaw Valley hym
Joining  July 07, 2018, 02:58 AM
Stigmata
Lone Wolves

An overcast night saw the progress of one windswept and weary Stigmata. Some god or another toyed in the skies above him: turning a quiet drizzle on and off, on and off, with the erratic swishes of a loose-handled spigot. The loner trailed slowly over faint lines of sodden wolfprints, following them until a swelling of dawnlight had brought him both a reprieve from the rain and a desired end to the beckoning tracks.

He'd come to the gargantuan mouth of a vale, imprinted heavily by signs of the wolves that flourished here. Had he known of the young here, Stigmata would not have braved the attention of overprotective mothers -- he lacked the spirit of a gambler -- yet as things were, he was swaddled in kind ignorance. And as sunrise gave way to the invasive grey-breezes of morning, the wolf called low and sonorous into the hollow: baying for an audience.
July 07, 2018, 12:50 PM
Indra
Lost Creek Hollow
Recruit
a howl had cut through the den, causing all life within it to pause. indra's gaze trailed to mona's, and the silent exchange between them was enough that she was confident in leaving merrick and the two older puppies under the emberfire epsilon's keen eyes. shaking debris from her coat and setting out from the den, indra marveled at the strangeness of the world: it had been some time since she had fully quit merrick's birth-site, and as grey dawn opened up into a grim morning, she was reminded of how much she had missed while being isolated in her child's stony fort.

in no time she found herself in the presence of a powerfully made man, his fur far more ominous than the dark clouds that gathered overhead. it might have been her first time intercepting a stranger at their borders as a leader, but she had not forgotten the language of her wild cousins. a hard glint harried her amber gaze as she assessed the tall beast, and despite her lack of a tail, her posture dictated well enough the silent question that hung in the air between them: you do not belong, so why are you here?

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 09, 2018, 10:11 PM
Stigmata
Lone Wolves

stigmata listened for a while to the life around him: attentive to the bird-songs and the bee-buzzing. he listened, in particular, to the damp-smelling susurrus of the breeze. he preyed on any changes in the air he could detect, ignoring the extraneous signs of lesser life as the cool winds trickled through leafy branches in airy breaths and brushed down the blades of grass like a comb. he watched only -- tensely -- for the approach he'd beckoned; all of him concentrated wholly on the task before him.

this was as important to him as feeding himself. as important as survival itself. so, rooted and stiff-limbed, the gargoyle waited, and it was not long before the birds became distant and there was a rustling besides the wind-sounds that hailed the careful arrival of another predator.

he was greeted by a wick of fire -- both in eye and fur. stigmata looked at her first, his somber gaze raking the coals of her figure and noting, with mild disappointment, that the sag of her slim breasts indicated a recent whelping. great -- taken and occupied. though he considered her ineligible for his desires, the certainty behind her posture riled him; he would've been glad to compete for her, but his timing couldn't be helped. he couldn't have known he'd be a loner now.

his gaze lingered only briefly. the basilisk cast down his ferreting eyes, and -- with what seemed to be a great effort -- made a show of dismounting what high horse he'd ridden in on, and relieved himself of what patriarchal mien he had left to carry. there was an unmissable pride about the steely male, but he was obfuscating his natural presence in favor of bent legs and half-tucked tail: the tentative submission of a wolf unused to the manner. it was a miserly look on him and one he didn't assume lightly.

when he spoke, it was quiet and slow and straight to the point. "my name is stigmata. i am bereft and in need of an end to my lone trek. i stand here, prepared only to earn my asylum here, should you see fit to induce me."

*tries this lowercase life* :d also, excuse the length. trying to get a feel for this guy.
July 13, 2018, 07:40 PM
Indra
Lost Creek Hollow
Recruit
you're a fkin natural -- but no rly, i do it for laziness

indra was not entirely oblivious to the disappointment that sagged the steely male's countenance; she stiffened, feeling as if she were a slab of meat being admired for its marbled texture or its clean cut -- and her body denounced such bold examination with every hair that stood on edge as if a blade.

nor did she miss the great pains it seemed to take the male to unfurl his figure and cast aside the sovereign indifference in which he seemed to regard the world. it gave her a certain selfish, naive pride to see him humbled before her -- regardless if she earned it or not.

if there was anything at all indra appreciated, it was a succinct and to the point person. she was tired of beating around bushes, tired of dealing with the internal turmoil of people and their ever shuffling masks. that he was direct, made him esteemed in her eyes.

"this is bearclaw, and i am indra, its beta." she found articulating her title was still strange, as if it were a newly clad and foreign cloak about her. "we were founded by asylum. but i did not like the way you looked at me. give me a reason to overlook it, and i will reconsider my first impression." damn -- when had indra become such a hardass? oh -- wait -- since she had learned everyone in the world (except laurel) sucked.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 14, 2018, 03:42 PM
Stigmata
Lone Wolves

with forward ears stigmata listened raptly as indra returned to him the same succinctness he had offered her. her introduction gave him a modicum of hope, but it crumpled as she revealed that his inability to mask his expressions had insulted her. the wolf stiffened -- automatically defensive by the onset of situation he surely did not intend -- but his response was tempered both by her gender and the fact that she had recently whelped. she had reason to judge every iota of his presence, and he took it as graciously as he could.

rolling the tension out of his shoulders, the male stared respectfully at her feet. "i was.. disheartened to notice that you are carrying milk," he admitted unabashedly and without preamble. "i avoid taking risks where i can, and appealing to the mercy of a recent mother is a risk i would have preferred to avoid. i imagined that you would be less inclined to my plights as a stranger -- given that my presence is... naturally a threat to the young children here -- and neither word or action  could convince you of my worth due simply to the fact that you do not know me." he chose to smartly forgo mentioning his additional disappointment about what her having children meant, but he also didn't seem like a wolf easy to coax an apology out of. if he was capable of it at all.

"that being said, it was not my intention to offend you with the assumptions i have made based on past experience." there: a non-apology for the books.

it's actually kinda liberating, tbh
July 14, 2018, 07:51 PM
Indra
Lost Creek Hollow
Recruit
it is.. there are some chars i use proper capitalization for but for the most part it's just easier/faster. also, lol @ the manpology kek

indra kept her eyes on him; he might have been looking to the ground, but she was still resentful of the way he had so casually raked his eyes over her spare frame. she was not used to such a bald and roving evaluation, nor the lingering look of disappointment after.

stigmata's compunction and explanation softened her only slightly, the way water might soften a hard rind. she gave a quiet hmmph following the close of his speech, and for a seemingly almost interminable length of time appeared to be weighing heavily her -- their -- prospects.

at length she gave an answer. "i will reconsider. but first --" she glanced behind him, where the meadow spread thinly away from bearclaw. "we are not in the business of accepting dead-weight. you will need to prove yourself, as we have many mouths to feed." confident merrick would be guarded safely under mona's care, indra motioned with a set jaw towards wapun and then set off in the verdant hills' direction.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 16, 2018, 12:09 AM
Stigmata
Lone Wolves

though a better part of him had been completely spent along the last leg of his journey, stigmata was more than eager to be put to work. he was a wolf burdened heavily by the desire to be needed -- a male whose self-worth was measured almost solely in his physical capabilities -- and, in his not-so-humble opinion, being seen as useless or inept felt a whole lot like a fate tantamount to death. he took after indra's direction like a large, faithful hound, pacing himself at her heel.

the rain had stopped for now, and its wet, dreary air left behind a clean palette upon which only the freshest trails could be detected. it would be easy for the wolves to pick up on whatever creatures that had ventured out into the early morning lull, and as they went, stigmata moved with quiet confidence; assured that they would come across prey in these summery flatlands sooner rather than later. he was a silent companion, all of his senses ranging outward like the swirling scan of a lighthouse, and he mimicked indra wherever she froze suddenly or swept forward like a terribly fleet bird.

at the bottom of an emerald hill, while examining an abandoned set in the ground, stigmata picked up on the recent emission of sheep's urine. quietly, he indicated the discovery to his prospective superior -- deferring to her so that she might decide if this was a task she wished to presently undertake. it could prove riskier than tracking down a rabbit warren, though their chances for success were about even no matter what they did; would it be wiser for them to hunt something smaller? stigmata tipped his head slowly at her, unable to keep the scrutiny from his gaze as he waited her choice.
July 22, 2018, 01:21 PM
Indra
Lost Creek Hollow
Recruit
indra, content by the man's reaction to her suggestion, strode forward evenly with a rolling gait that almost seemed to quietly emulate confidence. perhaps her new role had been good for her; laurel and her contributions had finally been recognized, and as she trailed out of bearclaw and into the emerald hills of wapun, indra silently reflected.

the male, no stranger to hunting, was subtly scrutinized; every pause of his frame and lift of his muzzle was discreetly studied - bearclaw was too small for dead-weight, and indra was testing his instincts as well as his ability to play well alongside others.

they paused, grey-damp grass underfoot -- a thin trickle of preyscent rising in the slowly warming summer air. sheep; indra had not had live fare in sometime, and the prospect of something besides carrion caused her mouth to water. sharing a glance with the male, indra motioned with her muzzle as if to approve such a conquest, and then struck off slowly down the twisting trail.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 23, 2018, 05:44 AM
Stigmata
Lone Wolves

like seeing lightning in the corner of one's eye, stigmata's silver eyes flashed over indra approvingly as she slipped by to redirect them. he watched her as much as she watched him; not so that he could reject her the moment he found ill with her performance, but so that he could know whether or not if she was a wolf worthy of being usurped.

the mottled grey slunk after her, shifting mental gears as he could no longer afford to rent out the space of his thoughts to the bearclaw mother. he probably could have relaxed more. indra's willingness to take him for a test run -- to risk abandoning her children to get more acquainted with his able body -- were positive leanings. but stigmata took little to no joy in the small victories. he was a wolf ever the general, waged eternal in a great war for power. he wouldn't relax until he had it again.

slowly, wordlessly, he pressed in close against her when the sheep's trail strengthened. an electricity passed between them and individual intents became one as the pair of them began speaking in a primal and ancient tongue: the most base, elemental language shared between wolves engaged in a hunt. he was now an extension of her, and vice versa, the two of them splitting like hairs as they aimed to box in their prey from either side.
July 27, 2018, 03:29 PM
Indra
Lost Creek Hollow
Recruit
indra had not had the opportunity to hunt alongside so able a companion since bearclaw's hunt -- it had been a life-time ago and she found herself looking back almost in perplexed emotions. yet her reflections eventually faded like wisps of mist on the wind as instinct sunk deep and took control of her.

they wordlessly assumed their own paths, yet those paths were entwined and ever-shared; a kinetic energy passed through them as they hounded the scent and came upon their quarry hugging a thinly studded grassy range. indra's hungry gaze peered over a shield of tussock as the sheep grazed, a gout of flies warded off by its flapping ears.

she spared only one glance to her companion there before she sunk to the ground, her pelt disappearing into the shivering summer grass. she would wait to ambush, her breath stilled as the sheep continued its blissful and soon-to-be-terminated grazing.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 27, 2018, 09:15 PM
Stigmata
Lone Wolves

intuition had them naturally assuming the roles that suited them best: stigmata as the unremitting wave, with a surprise cameo from indra, the bright and impaling coral. they knew their tasks and took to them without hesitation -- the druid watching as the young mother took to the tall grass like a fish to water, making her assassin's approach to the most advantageous spot for ambush. he remained poised to serve as the catalyst, ready to lord and shepherd this sheep to its death; and he waited until he could feel his accomplice had been appropriately positioned.

stigmata parted the grass like a razortusked boar, tactfully giving the field a great shudder as he began tearing towards their now-alert prey. he didn't give the fleeced fillet time to decide which way to flee; driving her instead right into the waiting jaws of a summer-russet snare -- the snap of a finely tuned trap which effectively interrupted the escape of their prey. the sheep was tripped up and bogged down by indra's snagging teeth and claws, and stigmata streamed in like a black arrow that struck right at the ewe's unfortunately exposed jugular.

their prey died in minutes.
July 29, 2018, 07:10 PM
Indra
Lost Creek Hollow
Recruit
fleeced fillet, i love that

in tandem they worked, plying a visceral trade as old as the dawn itself. from the shivering grass the male's form cut like a blade towards its target; and within seconds their quarry was felled by a flash of summer red and stormy grey.

overtaken by instinct she dove into the still kicking yet subdued creature; ripping sinew from membrane, glutting hungrily as she speared through its soft underbelly and ate from its hot belly her fill. once she had consumed enough she stepped back, her bloodied tongue passing along her meat-splattered mouth.

the two would eat what they could, and then drag their spoil homeward.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
August 08, 2018, 04:45 PM
Stigmata
Lone Wolves

with incredible luck and a collection of skills between the two of them, an efficient kill had been made and indra's family would continue in prosperity for the time being. stigmata was careful not to assume their temporary grouping had meant anything towards his induction, but the moment he had been allowed to share flesh with her, he knew this to be a sign of trust between wolves. this was the signing of a contract, and he was now a relegated part of bearclaw valley.

noticeably, stigmata seemed to relax from that moment on.

*pines for more indraaaaa*