Wheeling Gull Isle yippee-ki-yay
December 02, 2018, 10:20 PM
Wild Fauna

The first of Undersea’s storm plot threads. Characters attempting to earn the Naturalist or Meteorologist trades, or those particularly attuned to nature, may feel free to start feeling that a storm is on the horizon.

        Beneath the boughs of the ancient spruce, the sheepdog etched a roughhewn ring. Her restless circling had burned a perfect, pale halo around the mother tree, bright amongst the blue-green needles.

        Coelacanth had wanted to strike out for the mainland immediately once @Thresher had turned up missing, but the needs of the remaining Five kept her tethered to Wheeling Gull Isle’s shores. It was her duty, but it wasn’t a chore; she loved all the island’s children with intrinsic fervor. The abundance of anxiety that coursed along every nerve lent her enough energy to care for her family and worry the weight off her bones. @Mur, Fern, Grayling, @Sixgill, and Koi were lovingly tended to by every loyal seawolf who had chosen to remain, and in truth, the little wolfdogs were probably more closely guarded than they wished to be. They were growing quickly, eager to wander and explore the glimmering unknown, but the former Aralez had placed a ban on wayfaring until Thresher was found.

        The temperature had dipped severely since the first of December, and the spruce trembled as a particularly fierce wind winnowed through her shorter brethren and laced her gnarled trunk. She knew, though she would never tell a soul, that the wilds were keen to test her mettle; she could taste a heightened, bitter-metallic breath of saline and rain in the soil, on the wind. The Old Ones could feel it as keenly as their prickly Mother. Perhaps the most sensitive of the wild creatures, too, would be able to feel that faraway crackle of electricity along their guardhairs — but they were not as wise, nor as long-lived, as trees. The ancient spruce had seen many creatures come and go.

posted by coelacanth.
January 12, 2019, 05:43 PM
@Driftwood, do you want a slightly backdated pre-storm thread? Seelie would love the distraction, and we haven’t had a thread in quite a while!

        The atramentous Athelas found that even her restless pacing could not satisfy the itch beneath her skin. She was as electric as the distant storm, buzzing with worry and heavy with defeat, and by the time she broke away from her obsessive circling (after one last circle, then two more, then three, until she’d reached a coveted six) she was panting and feverish. She flew to the water’s edge, where @Stockholm and @Komodo’s comingled scents lingered; they had crossed to the mainland to start searching, and she was both furious and relieved that she had not been invited.

        There was part of her that wanted to search alone — the, “If I want something done right, I had better do it myself,” mentality that sometimes got in her way.

        Grief-stricken, the little wolfdog threw back her head and mourned, long and low — but there was no song to be heard, just an endless, undulating sigh.

January 12, 2019, 10:22 PM
         The creaking of the undulating giant spruce seemed ominous, but Driftwood only paused a short moment to regard it with nervously flickering ears and upraised paw before he stalked forward again. He rubbed a paw across his eyes and warily regarded the tree as he drew closer, but not too close...the grandiose wooden monster and all her children were slowly performing a swaying dance today, as they often did, but something about the motion stirred an uneasy feeling deep within him. Were they trying to tell the wolves that passed beneath their boughs something? The air seemed to hold a certain tension in general, and Driftwood had to wonder if perhaps the majestic spruce and its kin somehow knew something he didn't.

         Maybe he was just a little sleep-deprived and paranoid, though. It seemed quite possible...even probable. But any and all concerns about the behavior of any trees or his own state of mind were swept away in a sudden wave as the sudden motion of a familiar black shadow went whooshing past in a graceful blur of fur. Driftwood's head pivoted to follow Coelacanth's exit to the shoreline, and his gaze sharpened and his own pace reached a concerned gallop as he saw her agonized silent pseudo-howl. Seelie! he yelped, his own worry ringing loudly in his ears as he galumphed up to her with a much less graceful spray of sand pluming up as he skidded to a stop just shy of her feet. He didn't see any signs of injury but she sure looked like she was in the most exquisite pain imaginable, as he desperately sought to look into her eyes and tried to divine what might've happened. Indeed, not just her howl of misery but her voice entirely seemed a dubious thing—she was never a loudmouth at the best of times but her posture of extreme anguish was such that Driftwood genuinely wondered if she'd be able to speak aloud of it at all. He tried to cover his bases verbally too in the meantime though just in case: Are you hurt? What's wrong?! What can I do?! His paws danced uncertainly in place as he jittered to and fro and tried to figure out how to fix this. Please just tell me, I'll do anything... He hated to see anyone in such pain, admittedly, but with sweet and kind Seelie of all people it seemed utterly unbearable. ...A recollection of recent events flashed through his mind, and his own mirroring misery deepened in response, if not nearly so bone-deep a feeling as she was obviously experiencing. Driftwood visibly hesitated before asking, very softly, Has... have you heard anything of Thresher?

         He was praying mightily within, meantime, that there at least had been no bad news, and that the girl was still alive and in one piece out there...somewhere. Else he feared his merely asking might in fact be making things worse. And that was the very last thing he wanted to do, right now, with Seelie sitting here looking like this. But it wasn't just for her mother's sake that Driftwood had to ask; he too was worried for the island's young Treasure, and in what condition and on what unfamiliar shores she might have washed up. Not every place was as diligently open-armed in their welcome of strange Tauhous as Undersea after all, particularly with one as innocent and vulnerable as Thresher would be, especially if she had gotten hurt or exhausted herself trying to swim against the current or— no no no, don't even THINK it, Driftwood. As if the mere thought might somehow will it into reality. But he hadn't heard if there was any news yet, and the least he could do was wait until after he heard something more definite before he started spinning up catastrophizing stories. Right? Theoretically. He stared at Thresher's mother with deeply worried golden eyes as the less-sturdy of his eartips drooped sadly earthward.