Private  December 08, 2018, 04:15 PM
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For @Ephraim; this takes place in Monolith Forest.

For my own reference, five month old Koi’s build, head shape, and size: i · ii. Coat length is slightly shorter; ears are a titch taller, and tellingly tufted.

        There was no sign of @Thresher here amongst the ancient sequoias, so despite @Sixgill and Koi’s ardent pleas, the sheepdog forbade them from trying to find a way into the heart of the Sound. Genially unperturbed, the third- and lastborn Volkodav-Cortens gamboled gaily through the frosty forest, winding around the thinner tree trunks like oversized weave poles and counting how many koilengths — a measurement just shy of a sixlength — it took to circle the oldest denizens. The gold cloud child and his black pearl tagalong wrestled merrily on the mossy forest floor in the shadow of the Appa Tree — the largest tree in the world, according to their inexpert and incomplete census — but when Koi broke free and sprang away, she was quickly distracted by a pale flash in the trees.

        “Treasure!” she thought, but kept quiet. She and Six had been wrong a lot — and Coelacanth had reacted each time with the ingenuously wounded expression of a dog on the receiving end of a broken promise. (What? You mean, you don’t have a treat in your hand? You mean, you pretended to throw the ball? You mean, we’re going to the veterinarian instead of the park?!) It turned out everything kind of looked like Thresher when you really wanted to find her. Sand, shadows, rocks, foliage, other animals…

        …so, yeah. Koi didn’t say anything this time around. She “alerted” sharply, ears perking so vivaciously their tufted tips tangled together, and chased down what she thought was her favorite sister. She was just about to make the kill — i.e. pounce on her wayfaring littermate and keep her from getting disappeared again — but when she rounded the bend and leapt, her quarry turned out to be a creamy pale length of…bone?


        Whatever it was branched outward like coral, with rounded prongs and fanlike fronds, but it wasn’t coral. The few experimental licks and nibbles she dared were more reminiscent of antler than bone, but this was bigger than any antler she’d ever seen, so she convinced herself that it was whalebone. Perhaps she could be forgiven her mistake; caribou didn’t visit Wheeling Gull Isle. She worked her teeth delicately around the midsection and began to drag it back toward her mother and brother, but trying to maneuver it through the trees was a difficult task for the finespun puppy. Somehow, she managed to get it stuck between a particularly dense section of groundcover and exposed root — and the harder she tried to free it, the stuck-er it seemed to become.
January 06, 2019, 01:31 PM
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So sorry for the wait on this!

He left the safety of Drageda's claim without any concrete goal in mind and wandered down through the forest to their south, mulling over clumps of frosted moss and shriveled leaves as he went. Nothing here seemed useful, not that he knew what to look for anyway, so he quickly abandoned each piece of detritus he examined. There was nothing here that couldn't be found in Dragoncrest's forest, he concluded, and made to be on his way.

Only there was a creamy flash of something in the trees that made him crouch down and creep forward on quiet paws. It thwacked against trunks as its owner, a lithe black wolf-dog with a paler hind that was hidden from him in the shadows, attempted to drag it away. Ephraim's own ears perked with every thunk of antler on bark, and he stole ahead like a little cat with his long tail swishing behind him. Usually he would shyly announce himself, but his focus was on the tines rather than Koi as he broke cover and streaked around a tree to seize a piece of the shed antler in his jaws with a tug.
January 25, 2019, 07:58 AM
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Ditto! ;-; ♥

        Koi was so deeply absorbed in her tugging that she didn’t notice the attention she’d drawn, and Ephraim’s abrupt arrival all but knocked her flat with surprise. She flattened instantly, a spilled drop of pearlescent ink on the forest floor, her teeth still closed stubbornly around the midsection of antler, and peered up at him with wide cerulean eyes. At first, she saw Thresher — the pale flash of buttermilk fur made it hard not to — but when the proverbial dust began to clear, she recognized her error. It was his eyes, all champagne and chardonnay instead of whiskey and bourbon.

        Thoroughly wounded, she relinquished her grip on the antler but placed her two tiny forepaws where her mouth had been. “Peace be,” she greeted him in a lilting singsong, tilting her head from one side to the other as she regarded him. He looked less and less like Thresher the longer she stared, and though his patterning was beautiful and there was a certain sameness to be found in his oversized ears and lissome musculature, looking at him made Koi sad. Still, she was a mannerly creature, and if this was his whalebone, she would drop it. “You keep it? Do you?” she asked shyly, dulcet timbre edged with the silver-gray of wistful sorrow.
January 27, 2019, 10:16 PM
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He'd expected to be met with the same rough-and-tumble attitude most of Drageda's and Trigeda's youths had, but instead Koi seemed to shrink down. She didn't relinquish her hold on the antler, for which he was privately glad, but her reaction wasn't what Ephraim anticipated and it made him pause. He went slack-jawed, allowing the tine he'd seized to drop from his lips as she spoke in a hushed voice, then asked a question that, to him, didn't make a lot of sense.

What? he inquired, neither certain what 'peace be' meant nor sure exactly what she was asking. Did he keep it? Sure, he would keep it if she gave it to him, but he'd really just been meaning to have a bit of a game with the antler. He so often felt he had to keep up appearances in Drageda that when he had an opportunity to loosen up without anyone seeing how childish he could be, Ephraim was happy to seize it. But it seemed she was less inclined, as his eyes panned over her dark-to-light configuration and the almost submissive way she clutched the antler with dainty paws while melting into the ground. His gaze lingered on her curious ears for a moment before he decided to try another tactic, one he probably should have started with.

Do you know tug of war? he wondered.
March 19, 2019, 04:24 PM
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        “What?” he asked, brilliant gold and cool turquoise and warm umber by turns, but Koi couldn’t seem to find the courage to repeat herself. A tremor ran through her, equal parts puppyish excitement and shy trepidation, and she was still trying to figure out what to respond with when he asked, “Do you know tug-of-war?”

        Comprehension flashed across her young face, tufted ears popping animatedly to attention in tandem with a spirited flourish of her feathered tail. “Yes!” she piped joyfully, bouncing from side to side. So that was why he’d grabbed the antler — he wanted to play! The pearl had no hope of winning, being the smallest of her siblings, but she didn’t play tug to win; she played to get jostled and squashed, jiggled and joggled. Daringly, she tiptoed forward and set her teeth against the antler’s midsection, her tail wagging so furiously her entire body seemed to vibrate along with it. A soft, kittenish growl burbled mischievously in her throat.