Wheeling Gull Isle yippee-ki-yay
December 02, 2018, 10:20 PM
Willis
Approved Members

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
Coelacanth
Undersea
Aralez
@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
Driftwood
Undersea
Seawolf
         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.
January 25, 2019, 11:29 AM
Coelacanth
Undersea
Aralez
        “Seelie!”

        The sheepdog whipped around at the current of panic in Driftwood’s voice, hopping to all fours and meeting him halfway with her own alarm bells clamoring. As he rolled through a frenetic interrogation — “Are you hurt? What’s wrong?! What can I do?!” — she conducted her own silent interview, her muzzle seeking to poke and prod at his body to discern if anything was amiss. Aside from the bitter tide of fear that tinged his scent, he seemed hale — and then she realized that all that stress and all that anxiety was for her. Her heart melted and she quieted immediately, shaking her head slowly when he inquired about Thresher. He was such a good wolf.

        “My baby,” she whispered simply, finding that it was easy in this moment to keep her emotions under control. If someone else was panicking, she couldn’t be, so Driftwood’s anxious nature actually helped more than she could’ve described. Of course, she wouldn’t have known how to put this into words — I barely do, and I have written her posts for, like…a bazillion years, through all her various incarnations.

        Anyway, she found Driftwood’s presence immeasurably comforting, and leaned forward to press a soft kunik to his cheek. “Hope,” she wished him quietly, her cerulean eyes as steadfast as they were sorrowful. She would work to instill it in each of the seawolves, and then perhaps she’d feel a measure of it herself. With her slender muzzle, she butted lightly at his shoulder, trotting a short distance down the beach. She made certain to move westward, for she knew he wasn’t terribly fond of the horses, and entreated him to follow with a flick of her feathered tail and a soft whuff.

January 30, 2019, 03:36 AM
Driftwood
Undersea
Seawolf
         Seelie leapt to thoroughly investigate him, which threw Driftwood for a moment. He lifted a paw uncertainly but stood there obediently as he was given the once-over, quirking his ears worriedly down at her form as she went up and down and over his body with her nose atwitch. What was she looking for? Was there perhaps disease or other contagious problems the seawolves might inadvertently be finding themselves carrying soon that now suddenly required leaders to inspect everyone? Drift's worries surged for a moment, then subsided partway as Seelie's frantic energy calmed somewhat and she gravely shook her head at his queries. At the same time his heart sank, even as he tried to remind himself that no news might be good news in this case...hadn't he just been fretting over what condition Thresher might be found (or, horror of horrors, her body?)? So if she wasn't stranded someplace obvious she was probably up and about and seeking out other wolves and able to do for herself. He hoped.

         Driftwood folded back his ears and pressed his muzzle alongside hers, trying to project warmth and reassurance. Hope, he agreed quietly, if not quite so breathily as the Aralez herself. We have to hold on to it. Thresher is counting on us to keep it alive. As if her nose had poked a button on his shoulderblade to start its motor up, Driftwood's tail offered up a brave wag. Then he perked his ears again and hastened to follow the beckoning black tail of Coelacanth in turn. Have you been holding up all right? he asked as he half-loped to catch up with her footsteps all the more quickly. And, uh, did you have someplace in mind for where we're going? Drift wasn't sure if the choice of direction was deliberate or simply happy chance, but either way he was grateful. If Aditya was going to somehow invade from the opposite side of the island then the horses would have to be the ones to stop him, or somewolf else, because Driftwood wasn't going to patrol over thattaway, that was for certain... though he'd obsessively tried to cover most all the rest of the island recently.
March 15, 2019, 01:38 PM
Coelacanth
Undersea
Aralez
I apologize for the wait. ♥

        Yes, yes, yes! That was exactly the right idea. If the seawolves continued to nurture the glowing embers of hope, surely in time they would kindle a signal fire that would guide the little girl home. Seelie was relieved to witness the staunch whirring of Driftwood’s tail and was comforted by the companionable echo of his broad paws. A decisive shake of her head and a saucy flick of her tail answered his question with an untroubled, “Nope!” She had no idea where she was leading him; she just wanted to be somewhere physically distant from her moment of grief. For Coelacanth, the line between tangible and intangible was blurred in spots — sorrow and joy had their own flavors and colors, and the land itself was a veritable memory-vessel. The swath of land she’d paced upon was bad, now, and wouldn’t be fit to stand upon again until the healing lap of the sea washed her impatience away.

        To truly outweigh the badness she’d felt, Seelie needed to feel happy somewhere else — and that was easy with Driftwood at her side. He was silly and sweet and loyal, and the little Aralez turned impulsively to bathe his beloved face in kisses. “Drift!” she exulted, whipping around and dropping into a playful bow. She shimmied backward and away from him, but darted in with a few exuberant boofs. A little playtime would work some of the tension out of her system until she could search the mainland.

5 hours ago
Driftwood
Undersea
Seawolf
Don't fret, things've been iffy with me IRL anyhow too, and interfering with my writing more than I'd like as a result, pfft. It happens! *shrug*

         Driftwood didn't really know what he might have said or done to help, but Seelie seemed to be cheering up again—something he was thankful to see regardless of why it might be happening. He gave her an only slightly-tremulous smile, hoping to bolster her own bravery with his own brave optimism...though he really wasn't sure if he could fool anyone on that score, on some level, much less the sensitive and perceptive Seelie of all people. He was taken aback a little more by her easy admission that no, she had no idea where they might be going— but he hardly hesitated before obediently continuing to trot along in her footsteps. He jerked in startlement and stopped hsort however when Seelie spun around unexpectedly and rained playful kisses on his face. He stared down at her for a moment, his paws stiffly akimbo, as she bounced down into a play-bow pose and then scooted back along the sand. Almost like a big hairy overgrown black crab, he thought, and stifled a small snort of laughter at the thought.

         He wasn't at all unwilling to join in however, only surprised. His brain was having trouble quite keeping up with what seemed very sudden and unexpected mood swings here from his leader. Driftwood supposed that was just par for the course with female hormones in a wolf of any rank sometimes, however, right? He let out a little woof of his own and galumphed after Seelie, poking his long tan muzzle out mischievously toward her before scootching back and angling his paw to swipe a clumsily wide swatch of pirckly pine needles and dirt in her direction. He managed to prick his own paw with the evergreen's leavings in the process, which left him shaking the slight sting from his pawpads for a second, after he danced several broad steps backward to make himself a slightly-less-easy target for Seelie to retaliate against. Not that he didn't intend to let her win...eventually...but he didn't want to just roll over and hand that win to her. Nosiree.