Lost Creek Hollow Found somethin' there, chief?
All Welcome  January 04, 2019, 08:23 PM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
It was fortunate for the wolves of the Hollow that they were as far inland as they were. Though the winds ravaged the coast, Joss felt quite confortable hidden withi the woodlands he now called home, even though it didn't feel like much of a home. Whenever he was found, he tended to get called upon for this task or that task. Guard the borders. Catch food for the caches. He was always doing things for others, at their command, and having to surrender his comfy napping place or the meal he'd caught for himself, so that he almost always felt hungry. Whenever he did catch something, he had to wolf it down, frightened that someone else might find him, and come and take it away from him. 

Small things like mice were easier for him to catch and gulp down before anyone could ever demand that he give it up to them. He'd caught two in the morning, and by mid afternoon, when the skies had started turning grey, his hunger made his stomach clench, twist and growl angrily. He was starving, and even though he'd been low on weight when he'd joined the pack, he was even lighter now. Had he made the right choice to stay and be their captive? Not if he starved to death.
January 05, 2019, 08:56 PM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
Treason had finished a patrol and wound her way away from the borders and in towards the heart of the territory.  It was becoming more clear that she really should go out and recruit.  Maybe there would be some interesting people in the vicinity that might be useful for her plans -- or at least the pack.  It gave her something to think about when things were being boring, as they often were.

Anyway, a familiar scent was pretty nearby so she turned to intercept.  This time Joss wasn't going to be able to avoid her, and she came upon the scene, her glance as scathing as usual.  Did he always look like that?  Previously he was drenched so it wasn't like that was particularly appealing to start.  She frowned. You look pathetic.  Treason was totally the kindest wolf in the world, wasn't she?  Either way, she wasn't sure if she was misremembering or not, but at the very least she could drag him along and set up the tasks she wanted him to complete.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 05, 2019, 10:30 PM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
Joss poked here and there with his nose, usually investigating near tree trunks or anything that stuck up out of the snow, as that was where mice and other small creatures chose to burrow out. He was in the process of investigating a semi-promising hole in the snow when he heard someone approaching, and whirled around to see not just one of his packmates approaching, but the one he'd been trying to avoid, as she often put him to work- and made him feel like he was less than dirt. He wasn't even sure he could eat from any of the pack's caches, as he was still more or less treated like a prisoner. He turned toward her and lowered himself onto the ground, covering the mouse hold as he did so...He'd come back to it later, if she'd let him- but for now, he hoped she hadn't seen it. 

His stomach was the only thing that responded to her accusation, with a low churning rumbling sund that he resented immediately. He flattened his head against the ground, ears turned back and plastered against the back of his head. His dour, murky gaze focused vaguely on the ground at her feet and he simply stayed where he was, but had all four paws tucked neatly beneath him so he could hopefully scuttle away the moment she released him from her keen gaze. Part of him agreed with her, and forced him to nod slightly. Pathetic? He was the epitome of pathetic at that moment...But there wasn't a single thing in the world that he could do to fight back against that accusation.

"- Am pathetic," He wheezed softly, voice crackling slightly from having not been used much. He cleared his throat, but didn't reiterate what he'd just said, figuring that doing so might be redundant. As long as he agreed with her, maybe she'd go easy on him. Part of him hater her, and wanted to ask her if it really made her happy, starving and forcing  captive into doing work for her- but he'd bide his time. He wasn't sure if he ever wanted to risk getting revenge- now wasn't the time to plot anyway. He was too starved and weak. But he was interested to know if she felt even the tiniest bit bad about what she was doing.
January 05, 2019, 11:26 PM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
Maybe he was useless.  That'd be unfortunate if she had gone and found someone who didn't have a choice but to submit and he turned out to be a waste of space, but if that was so, at the very least she'd use him until he wore out and then find a new toy.  Maybe then she'd just kill the next trespasser.  She was pretty sure nobody would care, then. Treason also paid no attention to his mouse if she'd even noticed it in the first place.

If she'd known that he'd been avoiding taking from the caches, she probably would have said that his state was his own doing, in more ways than one.  After all, if he'd been paying attention in the first place, he would have been free to do whatever, You're no use to anyone if you keel over. Come.  She turned and took a few steps then looked back at him to make sure he was following before continuing on her way.  To save some time, Treason was leading him to the cache closest to her den.  She wouldn't exactly talk much on the trip, but she would stop and wait when she arrived.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 06, 2019, 12:40 AM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
While there wasn't exactly pity discernable in her voice, Joss couldn't help but think that maybe she was going to show him a bit of mercy; the words she'd spoken inferred that she was going to take somewhere and find him something eat- either that, or make him hunt...If it was the latter, he was certain she'd be disappointed; he'd resorted to hunting small game so that he didn't have to expend what little energy he had left. He wasn't exactly sapping the resources the pack had- a courtesy he afforded the pack as their slave- but he hadn't exactly been able to contribute to them, either. Aside from doing the occasional patrol, and hunting for himself, he'd been of very little use to anyone in his state. Not a waste of time, but a simple place holder, it seemed. Not a very pretty one, though. 

He followed along after her like a starving dog- not too closely, and he tried not to get his hopes up. She could have been leading him to a quiet spot to slaughter him for all he knew- but he'd follow simply because there was some tiny hope that she might give him a bit of food. He wasn't sure where that hope came from- he hadn't had any since he'd joined the pack- save for a bit of what had felt like hope kindled from a tiny bit of kindness from Mona. His breath came in soft whisps as he followed Treason wordlessly, ambling along behind her with a slight hitch to his step; evidence of his malnutrition. If nothing else, he could at least follow orders- but he didn't exactly possess the sort of independant thinking with which to employ himself, and gain himself a bit of respect.
January 06, 2019, 01:11 AM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
At least he seemed to be obedient.  He hadn't fled while they'd been off at the Yule thing and now he shadowed her without complaint.  Good.

At the cache, she spoke to him again, If you fill the cache, you can work to help keep it fresh.  Take out the old before it spoils -- but if it is entirely emptied, then there is a problem.  She narrowed her eyes a bit at that, to make sure she got the point across. Certainly everyone would be able to tell who had been greedy.  The joys of wolf noses!  And since this was the one closest to where she'd be spending a good deal of her time through the spring, Treason would likely be the one to discover it, and that would not end well for him.  But if he took out what everyone else wasn't too stoked about eating, honestly she didn't care.

There was probably a pretty wide range of things in this cache -- a number of which had been stashed here by Treason herself as she wanted to make sure there was easy access for later.  Get something for yourself.  Seeing his choice would be interesting, though she wasn't sure if she wanted to wait for him to devour whatever he dug up or if she should immediately hustle him off to assign tasks for him to complete in the not-too-distant future.  She did lower her head to sniff around near where she'd stopped.  It was near where she'd buried a rabbit recently.  She could move it back to her den area for later in the day at least...  At least the winter kept things significantly fresher no matter what.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 06, 2019, 01:28 AM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
So this was what this was?

She'd led him to a cache, and his hopeful expression faded back to a plain, somewhat pouting one as she started schooling him on how caches worked. He turned his ears back as he nodded obediently, but when he caught the threat in her voice, he flattened his ears and hunched slightly. "I don't take anything from them, honest!" He pleaded, but before he could further defend himself, she prompted him to take something from the cache. He snapped his jaws shut at that request, and looked up at her, surprised. She'd started to sniff around in the general area, so he- still dumbfounded that she actually wanted him to eat something that a real pack member had caught, silently started doing the same, keeping his eye on Treason the whole time. 

Obviously, anyone who tried to steal from her was an idiot. She was an ideal, for a wolf, as far as he could tell. She had the type of brawn he could only hope to have one day, though even if he did put on muscle, he still wouldn't be as beautifully proportioned as she was. He told himself to stop sneaking glances at her, and stopped when he could smell something, and started scuffling at the ground, scratching some of the snow away to reveal the earth which had obviously been disturbed several days ago. He huffed, to catch her attention, and quickly backed off. 

She'd told him to get something- but he was fairly certain she was just testing him. "Smells like bird." He said quietly, looking almost enviously at the place he'd scuffled the snow away, and licked his lips. He gritted his teeth together for a moment, and pinned his ears back, turning his nose away to stare over his shoulder, as though to try and distract himself from the temptation of smelling the buried food. "I catch my own food...So I don't take yours. Can't be a waste of resourc-." He said, and his voice cracked lightly. The surprise on his face showed, and he turned himself away slightly so that she might not see the shocked expression on his face. The words he'd just spoken had been ones he'd heard too often before, and still triggered him slightly. He did his best to keep his breathing calm, but he wasn't sure if he could reply to her if she asked him any questions now.
January 06, 2019, 05:37 AM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
Apparently with Joss she needed to be completely clear.  No obvious implications that required a bit of thought, not cutting words to have a pleasing turn of phrase.  He just didn't strike her as particularly clever -- which was probably good in a minion, he'd ask less questions.  You aren't in a position where you deserve the best cuts, but if something has been there a while and you are adding kills of your own, you can take it.  If nobody else wanted it or needed it, then it is available as long as there is other food in the stores.  If problems happened, he'd be the first one to axe on the roster.  But if this territory started running low on food too, she was gonna be pissed -- just not at Joss, then it was maybe Rannoch's fault.  Or was it Wraen?  Who found this place again?

Joss himself was a weird one.  It wasn't like she pried into anyone's backgrounds, but certainly not his since he wasn't worth the effort.  She wasn't quite sure why he seemed to have kind of skewed approaches to things, but it wasn't like she'd ever been in much of a bad position either -- she'd just use brute force to get her way if needed.  You need to be healthy enough to work until I'm convinced you've learned your lesson.  This is punishment, not pity, but if you really want to damn yourself to extra suffering then that's on your head. And he'd best sort himself out before she decided he'd be better dead and they could save the extra effort.  She wanted someone who would do her bidding without much question, not to have to repair them first.

Then, impatiently, So pick something or we can just go see what I want you to do instead.  This wasn't rocket science.  Get some damn food.  She finally located and started to uncover the rabbit in question.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 06, 2019, 02:36 PM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
It didn't make sense to Joss that Treason was actually allowing him to take from their caches, assuming he was able to refill them. He didn't like those chances, really, as he knew exactly how capable he was at hunting- and how often he would miss, too. Presently, he knew he'd have to take more from the caches than he could put back, until he built up the strength and energy to pull his own weight. Maybe, he decided, maybe she was telling him that the old stuff was OK for him, but nothing else. Maybe that's what she meant, so he nodded. He would take care of older stuff without complaint- though in the winter, the frost and temperature would keep things in better condition for longer. Still, nobody really wanted to eat stuff that had gotten too freezerburnt- nobody except Joss, of course. Still clenching his teeth and holding his breath, he nodded again to show that he understood. It was easier for him when she just talked at him; then he didn't have to explain anything, or come up with excuses. 

When she chastized him on making himself worse, he shook his head in reply. He didn't want to waste away to nothing, nor did he want to suffer whatever punishment she might deliver if she found him half dead. Something she said puzzled him a bit, though, and as she began to dig up her rabbit, he moved back toward the place where he'd smelled a buried bird and began to dig there. She made sense- he couldn't contribute if he couldn't even stand on his feet. He uncovered the bird which didn't have much on its bones to begin with- and the feathers, frozen to its small body, would make it tricky to pull apart, even though it was small and brittle. It'd been in the ground for some time, so he gave her a glance- flipping it over to show off exactly how frozen solid it was and how little meat it had on it, as though to seek permission. Was this meagre enough? Something like this he could probably replace...As it wasn't like he was taking too much, anyway. 

What confused him was the fact that she was so hell-bent on having him do something at all. The pack seemed to have a good number of perfectly healthy, capable wolves, so he didn't think he was really integral for the survival of the pack, nor was he nearly as welcome or wanted as a proper, healthy stranger might be. He sat down and stared at the bird for a moment, and then quietly spoke. "You don't need me..." He said quietly, giving her a dark, mistrustful look, which for him, meant that something somewhat vulnerable was coming next. "Thank you." He wasn't useful for the pack, and yet he had a home. He'd only ever seen worse before, and it partially made him wish that he'd been born in a place like this- that his sister had, too. Maybe Treason would have understood better...Then again, maybe she wouldn't have shown any pity or mercy, either. He wasn't quite sure...But she was fearful enough that he knew better than to forget his manners.
January 06, 2019, 06:03 PM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
There was a slight tip of her head at the thanks.  He had to be thankful about everything, so did that make it worth more or less?  She wasn't sure yet.  Again, it wasn't like Treason had any experience with that.  Even though she was almost to her second year, there were still a lot of things that she had simply skipped over.  Extreme hardship was one.

Still, it wasn't like Joss was saying anything that wasn't true, and Treason was practical about the whole thing, No.  We're all capable.  But I'm sure there are mundane things that we're not fond of doing, so that's what you get to do.  You will be useful because it's in your best interests, don't you agree?  Obviously the answer was almost certainly yes, but she was going to raise her brows like this was some big uncertain thing as she looked his way again.

Either way, his choice from the cache apparently appeased her because her only comment about it was as follows, Bring it, I'm not going to wait.  She leaned down and picked up the rabbit before turning and heading towards her little hideaway.  One ear tilted backwards to make sure he was following along.  It wasn't going to be that long of a walk and her first action was going to be to stash the rabbit for a little later anyway.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 06, 2019, 08:07 PM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
He frowned when she implied that he would be useful because he had to; like a slave. What he failed to see, just yet, was that had he wanted to join the pack, he would have contributed without complaint or being asked to do so. And it wasn't as though he'd been admitted to a pack that was full of lazy, incompetend wolves which meant he had to pull extra weight; the only reason Joss had to be reluctant to do anything was simply because he had no choice otherwise, which was a foolish reason. There was no difference in the endgame- he was in a pack, and he was expected to pull his weight, whether he'd joined the pack voluntarily or not. It shouldn't have made much of a difference, but Joss was stubborn, and while he wasn't exactly willing to rebel, he wasn't going to skip to his duties merrily, either. His motivation was coming from the wrong sort of source, and with the wrong methods. Being told and threatened simply made him less motivated...But not so much so that he could ever refuse. His proverbial arm was being twisted with every request, but at least he'd been smart enough not to refuse and get himself really punished. 

He felt like stating that his case was different than the other pack members- but in the long run, it really wasn't, and that was likely what Treason was trying to get across. Sure, the tasks asked of him weren't terribly enjoyable, but was there anything else he'd rather do? Not really. He had no other skills to volunteer, other than being a professional mope and pain in the ass- and this pack didn't seem to have much of a use for that kind of wolf. Of course, his answer was yes, and he nodded silently. He'd do what he was told, whether he was good at it or not, and whether he enjoyed it or not. It kept him alive, and in one piece. 

She seemed to allow him to take possession of the frozen bird- but apparently he wasn't going to eat it. He sighed softly and picked it up, following her obediently, assuming sourly that he was going to be bringing it to another pack member, rather than eating it himself. Just the thought of surrendering the bird to someone else made him unhappy, but for now, he could at least carry it- and drool unforgivingly all over it as he did so.
January 12, 2019, 02:28 AM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
She was not taking him to someone else, but of course to her den, and honestly wasn't thinking whatever obviously-not-reality things he was pondering.  Treason's mind didn't wander too far from reality, from the logical and reasonable, and she certainly wasn't aware just how screwed up Joss apparently was before she even got involved.  Either way, the walk to her den wasn't a particularly long trip.

The area was quite obviously hers, as there was no denying the proliferation of her scent here.  Yeah sure, there might have been a few others buried which were from other wolves stopping by, but this was almost certainly an area that Joss had avoided like the plague.  She came up to the snow-covered thornbushes behind the den entrance, dug a shallow hole in the snow next to them, then placed and buried the rabbit there for later.

Then she turned to Joss, When you're not hunting or occupied by others' more immediate tasks, your fall-back option will be to widen this den.  You don't have to finish it, just get it close to proper size.  It had obviously been dug by something much smaller than Treason -- a fox, coyote, something in that range.  Though she'd done a little to start to widen it for a creature closer to her size, it had been slow progress, mostly completed when she was bored.  Either way, she'd liked this location and wasn't too keen on actually digging.  So now it was his job!  She'd finish it up once the hard work was done.  Or was the hard part just digging out the initial hole in the first place?  Treason wouldn't know.  It's not a rush -- too big of one, at least.  You'll have a few months to get around to it, but I expect it to be done.  And she'd certainly get more on his case if he delayed too long.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 12, 2019, 09:59 PM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
Joss continued to dither along behind Treason, his grey gaze more or less fixated on the ground just behind her heels. He didn't particularly care where they were going if she was going to make him abandon his meal to someone else. It had started to warm up and loosen up a bit in his mouth, and he continued to drool down the feathers on either sides of his lips. He did lift his wary gaze, though, when he caught Treason's scent markings, and gazed around, recognizing this particular area as one he'd been avoiding as much as possible. This was where Treason lived- so why the hell was she bringing him here? He gulped. A few likely impossible situations filled his head, but he stopped and gave her a confused look when she halted. 

She instead commissioned him to widen the den, so he dropped his partridge to move forward and take a closer look. With the ground frozen, this would not be an easy or enjoyable task. Her instructions were a bit too vague for him, so he crouched slightly, submissively, and asked her a quiet question. "When you say 'reasonable'," He said, and slid his gaze up to meet hers. "You mean for one wolf...Or for a family?" He asked. He didn't want to read too far into what she'd said- but by indicating that he had a deadline of a few months, he could only assume that Treason wanted him to enlarge it so she could fit herself and others in it. As far as Joss had known, Treason hadn't had a man- and she didn't seem like the type who would really need one or appeal to one. Too tough, too stern, too commanding.
January 13, 2019, 12:46 AM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
To a certain point it wasn't his business, and if he hadn't looked even more submissive when asking, she maybe would have have actually said so.  Okay, maybe he needed to know a little.  And of course, she wasn't going to share the inner workings of her plan with him, of all wolves.  There was no way Joss would ever make it to her shortlist so he didn't even need to know the game existed.  Would he even be able to get back to a healthy weight before the season was over?  At least that meant he probably wasn't going to head off spawning a ton of illegitimate pups if he looked like a freaky skeleton boy.

Unless told otherwise, plan for the latter.  There was still the chance something in her plan would go completely wrong, but as long as nobody did anything stupid she didn't foresee any problems.  As long as Terance didn't randomly keel over dead or go back on his word after finding himself this year's edition of Seabreeze. At least right now, she didn't have a backup plan if that happened.   I'll do the final finish.  So don't worry about the details for now, just make it workable.  Unless he seemed likely to finish early, as unlikely as that seemed.  Maybe he'd surprise her, but she wasn't expecting to be impressed.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 14, 2019, 01:00 PM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
Joss' ears flicked forward when he finally roved through the order in which he'd said things and figured that she meant he should plan to widen the den to suit not only one wolf, but a family. He licked his chops as he looked at the den, frowning softly still; it wasn't very big...And Treason was a much larger wolf that he was, so he stole a glance at her and then frowned at the small den again. He would definitely have his work cut out for him- but if he had time, he could just do it bit by bit, without hurting his paws or breaking a claw. He looked up, puzzled, and frowned when she mentioned whatever final finishes were, so he shrugged and nodded. He could dig a den out roughly so that it was big enough for a wolf and kids, as long as it didn't necessarily have to be pretty. Digging in the winter meant that every clawmark would show, but if she was alright with that, then he could at least pass this test.

"Probably bad luck to say congrats now then." He said, so he didn't go back and say it. He turned his muzzle in her direction and nodded, albeit somewhat stiffly. It was a bit of an awkward topic, given that she said that it was only a possibility. He wasn't sure if that implied that she was simply being realistic and acknowledging that females didn't always get pregnant when they tried, or that she wasn't one hundred percent sure she'd even have a father by then- so he kept his trap shut. "I'll do it." He said, simply. It was almost reassuring to have a task he knew he could handle- and he might even be able to beat her expectations. And whether he realized it or not, he sort of liked the idea of Treason having kids...Maybe then she would be distracted from picking on him.
January 16, 2019, 01:29 AM
Treason
Lost Creek Hollow
Exalted
Treason was a realist.  There was always the chance something would go wrong in one way or another, so her response was basically just a noncommittal, Mm.  It wasn't like it was a particularly congratulatory thing to her either -- like oh wow, you could breed!  It's not like that took a high degree of skill, as certain other wolves had proven.  It was what they ended up with in the end that would be more of a show, and she wanted soldiers.

Joss didn't really have much of a choice, anyway.  It was just much easier when people were cooperative.  Good.  Whether you do so quickly or spread it out, I don't much care.  Just make sure that it's done.  And with a sharp nod, he was dismissed to take his drooly bird.  She'd probably see enough of him in future days, just due to this task.  Treason stretched, turned once and lay down.  She was apparently just going to relax a bit before having her meal and figuring out what else to do with the day.

Treason is often not a nice person and will think mean things without acting on them.
If you aren't sure whether her snarky thoughts might be readable, just ask! IC≠OOC
January 16, 2019, 02:26 PM
Joss
Lost Creek Hollow
Punished
Who could it be? Then again- who did he even know in the pack yet? Joss tried to picture the kind of fellow that would go for someone as intimidating as Treason- but could only imagine someone who was even larger and more intimidating than her...And he found himself sincerely hoping that such a man didn’t actually live in the pack with him because sooner or later he’d catch sight of Joss and he’d surely disapprove of...Well, everything. Somehow this guy had to have a look even more disapproving and disappointed than Treason- if that was even possible. Maybe she’d scoped someone out that lived in another pack; Joss could only hope. 

She dismissed him and he lurched for the bird he’d dropped to the ground, snatching it up and trotting a few paces away. He stopped though- as he had been taught some form of manners. Turning back, he looked at the den, as though sizing it up so he could make plans, then he looked to Treason. Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. But watching her disembowel that rabbit didn’t make him feel so sure. He grumbled a low note of appreciation, nodded his skeletal head to her and trotted off with his lunch.