Ravensblood Forest The one that will occasionally openly steal babies
All Welcome  July 13, 2019, 03:11 PM
Dragomir
Lone Wolves

Vague-ity vague, set sometime after this and this and this now too.

Vercingetorix's flight from Rusalka had been abrupt and without explanation and his mother's discussion thereafter exhausting, leaving Dragomir more foul-tempered than ever as they settled into the heart of the forest by the sea. Aurëwen and Isilmë were nowhere to be found and he wasn't in any mood to try to pry further answers out of his now injured father, so the cub took off on his own, stomping through the wet undergrowth with a stormy expression. Rain was falling from the canopy, but by the time it reached the ground it was reduced to mere mist. Somehow it soaked into his fur more readily than rain in the mountain had.

Shouldering through a colossal fern, Dragomir let his mood melt away as the promise of exploration overtook it. He had no idea how dangerously close they still were to Reyes' pack, lucky for him. He might have been inclined to go looking for the other boy if he knew it was just a short jaunt across an open field. Instead he decided to stick his head into a soaked and rotting log, where he found several large centipedes scurrying away from his intrusion.

QUENYA · ROMANIAN · TRIGEDASLENG
Thread titles are quotes from Welcome to Night Vale.
July 14, 2019, 06:11 PM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

        touching the shadow had planted a memory in merrick’s mind, one he would rather not have recalled. indra reaching down to him, eyes alight with love.
        the boy woke in the heat of the day, choked with rage that his mind should so betray him, and said nothing to astara as he stalked away. a forest soon rose before him, and merrick did not hesitate to slip into its cool embrace. 
        for some time he wandered, enraged, but with no outlet it soon turned to little more than a heated boredom. tail flicked between wet leaves; ears swiveled at length, for suddenly merrick found that he was not alone.
        breath even and silent, the young coywolf crept through the misted foliage until the burn of his copper eyes fell upon a pup, far younger than himself.
        several moments’ more observation revealed that the child was alone, and merrick’s heart began to beat with an untoward excitement. he thought of breccan, of the rabbits; he crouched in his shadowed place, still as a stone, eyes affixed to the boy while he thought of how best to enact his desires.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 14, 2019, 08:10 PM
Dragomir
Lone Wolves

Dragomir watched the centipedes scatter, then set his nose to the sodden wood to capture their scent. The smell of rot traveled up his nostrils and slammed into the back of his throat, making him cough and pull back, but beyond that stench he detected something both wooden and spiced. The centipedes? Only one way to find out.

Snorting to clear his nose, the cub leaped over the log and dropped his muzzle to the ground, inhaling deeply in the direction he thought the centipedes had gone. Aha! There was that distinct scent. Tail bobbing merrily, Dragomir began to follow the miniscule trail left by the insects, through it proved significantly more difficult than following prey trails. Their smell was so similar to the surrounding forest that he couldn't be certain he was following them at all. Perhaps he followed an imagined trail and the centipedes were long gone in the opposite direction.

After a few minutes of this, Dragomir came to an abrupt stop and lifted his head, sniffing the air suspiciously. The wolf scent had grown stronger. Isi? he asked, swiveling his head and ears both but failing to notice the pair of eyes watching him from the shadows.

QUENYA · ROMANIAN · TRIGEDASLENG
Thread titles are quotes from Welcome to Night Vale.
July 14, 2019, 08:26 PM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

        merrick’s head had begun to pound with glee as still more time passed and no one came to fetch the child, who had engrossed himself even more fully into the world of invertebrates upon the forest floor.
        he padded noiselessly after the boy, noting the dark fur, similar to his own. perhaps — perhaps he might pretend this was some younger aspect of himself. mind latching to the idea as soon as it had erupted in the fetid soil of his mind, the coywolf licked his excitement-dry jaws and paused as the pup lifted his head with a sudden awareness filling his sharpening gaze.
        should he reveal himself now, risk frightening the boy, risk losing him in the tangle of underbrush more easily navigable by a smaller body? isi. what was that? a name? some childish babble? 
        merrick backed into the darker recesses of a nearby tree, suddenly at a loss for what to do, how he might use all his cunning in this moment. 
        ”what is an isi?” merrick settled on, attempting to make the deepening tones of his voice vividly fill the space between them. but he was no actor; there was little hiding the ragged edge of excitement beneath his inquiry.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 14, 2019, 08:53 PM
Astara
Lone Wolves

feel free to skip me!
the little wraith stalked after her shade’s scent, perplexed by his reason for leaving with little warning between them. she knew the boy to be a stalker by trade; in light steps she followed after, sticking close to dappled pools of shade where she would be least detectable. 

astara came across merrick, but he was not alone. a youngling perhaps half her age had taken notice of her companion’s presence. breath hitched in her lungs as she watched, leonine and curious for what might unfold.


brother, sister too - do what you must do,
»» don't trust people you meet ««
they may promise you that the river ain't too deep.
 
July 14, 2019, 09:41 PM
Dragomir
Lone Wolves

Dragomir expected silence as a response, or maybe a mischievous giggle from the undergrowth. Perhaps it was his mother following him even after he requested time alone, or possibly Vercingetorix come to find him and shepherd him somewhere else. The absolute last thing Dragomir expected was a stranger's voice. He may have mistaken Merrick for his father but for the question itself; Vercingetorix would never ask that, so who was this?

The boy whirled in a tight circle, searching frantically for the owner of the voice; in his haste he passed over Merrick twice before his golden-brown eyes snagged on the autumnal orange of the watcher's. With a blink, the boy stiffened and felt his guard hairs creep upward. Sanguinus? he wondered, mistaking the other wolf for his mother's so-called protector in the dim light of the forest. This time he had no reason to rail and fight against the man; Aurëwen hadn't left him without an explanation this time. The terms were his own.

Or so he believed.

My sister, remember? he reminded the other, squinting in the gloom. Mother's looking for you, Dragomir pointedly told Merrick, trusting that the man would understand exactly what he meant by that. Even if Aurë wasn't really looking for Sanguinus, he was her friend, wasn't he? Dragomir didn't want to hang out with him, so best send him to her. For now, he didn't notice the second shadow lurking behind the first.

QUENYA · ROMANIAN · TRIGEDASLENG
Thread titles are quotes from Welcome to Night Vale.
July 14, 2019, 09:52 PM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

        astara’s arrival went unnoticed save for the flick of one ear. she was a welcome presence, but for now, the boy commanded all of merrick’s attention. 
        he was addressed with a cool, mature familiarity that he did not expect from one so young; it thrilled him, and he dropped the pretense of trying to lure the child forth with insipid things. holding the young hazel  stare, merrick let his lips curve in a faint smile and stepped from cover as if he had been waiting for the boy to notice him.
        ”i know,” he told the child, opting to play along for now, though he did not understand the situation. it added a tantalizing edge, merrick decided: the prospect of being found out. choosing not to approach for now, he nodded sagely, pleased with his speech, how it was hoarse but not much as to be unbearable. ”she sent me to find you.” 
        the boy was an intelligent sort; best not to overstep the flimsy boundaries of the game, as he did not know if this mother would suddenly burst upon them.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 14, 2019, 10:10 PM
Astara
Lone Wolves

still totally skippable but wanted to chuck in another post so it counts towards scout stuff!

astara felt the cool brush of autumn fire in merrick’s gaze. she had been detected by one, but not the other. it prompted her heart to race; in a way it was like a thrilling hide and seek, though dragomir knew not the cost of the game, nor the game he played.

she settled against the rough bark of a birch, pleased the wind was in her favor today. the small shadow’s gaze focused curiously on dragomir, wondering if he would fall for the ploy laid out before him.


brother, sister too - do what you must do,
»» don't trust people you meet ««
they may promise you that the river ain't too deep.
 
July 14, 2019, 11:15 PM
Dragomir
Lone Wolves

I know, said Merrick-AKA-Sanguinus, earning a cocked head and a frown from Dragomir. If he knew, why was he still standing here? She sent me to find you, the shadow added, causing Dragomir's frown to deepen into a full blown scowl. He hadn't seen his mother that long ago and had been, he thought, very clear about his need for space. It seemed uncharacteristic of her to set someone to watch him when she so often had left he and his sister alone in their infancy... But she had seemed pretty sad that he'd refused to go foraging with her...

Maybe Aurëwen had sent Sanguinus to fetch him because she wanted Dragomir with her but knew he would reject her if she came herself. That thought made his belly tighten with displeasure. He directed his nose up into the air, standing before Sanguinus with a little of his own authority as he said, I told her I wanted time t' myself.

It wasn't in his nature to be outright disobedient or quarrelsome, but Dragomir nevertheless told Sanguinus, you can tell her I said no an' no means no.

QUENYA · ROMANIAN · TRIGEDASLENG
Thread titles are quotes from Welcome to Night Vale.
July 14, 2019, 11:27 PM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

        so things were not all right with mother and child. merrick found this particularly ironic, given his own disowning of indra. he rolled his shoulders with a knowing nod. ”she didn’t tell me that.”
        it was a bit of mean-spirited deceit on merrick’s part, but why should he care? obviously this woman had angered the boy so much he had sought his own space from her. and no mention of a father, which the young coywolf found curious.
        ”i’ll leave you alone then,” merrick murmured, sensing that his opportunity was at hand. ”there’s a coyote pack in the forest. i was going to run them off,” he added casually, glancing in the direction of the hidden astara.
        ”might need help,” merrick finished, though he did not look at the boy again as he took a step toward the darkened foliage, leaving the invitation without pressure and open-ended.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 14, 2019, 11:52 PM
Dragomir
Lone Wolves

Figures, thought Dragomir with his teeth pressed hard against his tongue. He couldn't fault his mother for being lonesome and nervous after everything that happened, but he thought she at least respected him enough to heed his words. He was three-and-a-half months old and growing up very fast. He was practically a juvenile, or at least he felt like one. Maybe if they stayed in Diaspora he wouldn't have to feel so grown up, but he would never know.

Sanguinus knew all the right words to say to pique a growing boy's interest. Dragomir wasn't used to being treated so much like an adult. To be invited (he thought) to chase off coyotes? That was something he didn't think either of his parents would have offered. That should have been the first red flag, but he was too busy feeling good about someone treating him with so much respect to wonder what they would or wouldn't have said about it. Eyes alight with interest, the boy visibly cheered up and said, oh, okay!

He cast one look around to make sure no disapproving eyes were watching, then quickly followed after Sanguinus. Now that Aurë had at least told him what was going on, it was easy enough to trust the man. As a stranger, Sanguinus had seen the worst of Dragomir, but as a friend of his dam, perhaps the man would see the best of him now. I don' really know how to fight, he nervously admitted, peering up at the wolf he thought was his mother's guardian. Is that okay?

I'm good with any amount of damage as long as it isn't fatal, if the thread goes that way!

QUENYA · ROMANIAN · TRIGEDASLENG
Thread titles are quotes from Welcome to Night Vale.
July 15, 2019, 12:18 AM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

        merrick had thought he knew what he wished from this meeting: the fulfillment of a swift and demented desire. but there was more here: the promise of destruction, a deeper and more complete ruination than could be provided by an hour of torments.
        he was flush with the pride of his success; how easily the brightened boy followed him into the wood! how beautiful was the flinty glow of astara’s eyes as she melted into the shadows alongside the pair, her form suited for it, all devil-smoke and silent padding.
        he could turn on the child now, at any second, snap the delicate muzzle in two, crush the young ribcage. the thought fired merrick to heights of impulsivity not before felt, but he kept himself in check, thrumming with his own power.
        ”just watch me,” merrick instructed. ”coyotes are nasty but they’re also pretty stupid. lots of teeth. no brain.”
        the branches were beginning to thicken overhead, their interlacing providing more cover for the pair and the one that followed. merrick remained torn, so intrigued was he by his own ability to sway the boy.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 15, 2019, 09:56 AM
Dragomir
Lone Wolves

Coyotes are nasty but they're also pretty stupid. Dragomir couldn't remember ever seeing a coyote before. He once watched Diaspora hunting a moose and he'd seen countless mice and rabbits in his time, but nothing fitting Sanguinus' description came to mind. He imagined a single-minded creature with an enormous head full of huge, dagger-like teeth and tiny black eyes crowded together over its nostrils. He guessed it was a lizard of some kind. Yes, that sounded like a nasty but stupid beast indeed. Dragomir was certain he could help; he hadn't caught anything yet but he'd come so close on so many occasions that he considered himself a pretty good hunter, even if catching something of his own wasn't a realistic goal at his age.

Where are they? he asked, lifting head to sample the forest breeze for an unfamiliar scent. For the first time since first encountering Sanguinus, Dragomir was starting to feel a little nervous. Not just because he didn't know how to fight, but because it felt like they were going pretty far and no matter how mad he was at them, the boy didn't want his parents to worry about him. Thank god he didn't know about the second wolf prowling silently along with them. That would have set his danger sensors off completely, but Astara was a master of her craft and continued to go unseen and unheard by the cub.

I don' think I can go much farther, mother will be upset, he said, slowing just a little. Surely Sanguinus understood. Aurëwen was equal parts completely irresponsible and frantically protective and Dragomir just knew she wouldn't want him going too far in an unfamiliar place, even though he wasn't a baby anymore and could take care of himself. Or so he thought.

QUENYA · ROMANIAN · TRIGEDASLENG
Thread titles are quotes from Welcome to Night Vale.
July 15, 2019, 11:06 AM
Astara
Lone Wolves

astara stilled as the boy and his soon-to-be tormentor turned off into the woods. she did not pursue them immediately -- for the wind had shifted away from her favor, and if she advanced she would be sure to be discovered. waiting until the mercurial summer winds settled, astara watched merrick lead the babe deeper in the woods in some twisted and macabre design.

she would wait under the arm of a particularly low hanging spruce; here the scent of pine and conifer was disorienting and ripe, and she was unlikely to be seen unless she moved or dragomir happened to walk straight into her. the wraith had no plans of her own here. it was merrick's show entirely; she would wait for any signal on her companion's part, and would play whatever grim role the stage of his cruel game demanded.


brother, sister too - do what you must do,
»» don't trust people you meet ««
they may promise you that the river ain't too deep.
 
July 15, 2019, 12:10 PM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

        surely it could not go on for long; he must choose, and choose well. merrick was not a large wolf; his ability to drag a sinewy pup through the forest was compromised immediately.
        but he was not alone, though he dared not glance in astara’s direction, unwilling to give away her presence until it was necessary. the child alongside him had begun to hesitate, and merrick made a sound of awareness low in his throat. ”not far,” he assured the boy with another friendly smile.
        ”they’re —” and here the coywolf galvanized himself into swift action, ducking low to shoulder the pup roughly and violently against the unyielding bole of a nearby tree.
        with any luck, the small head would strike the hard bark, but his own movements must be controlled. death could not come; not yet. the idea of being directly responsible for such a quick and dire end was distasteful to merrick.
        once more he sought to drive the boy harshly against the tree, once more for good measure, and came away panting, looking proudly to astara now with a delighted curve to his plume.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 15, 2019, 01:03 PM
Dragomir
Lone Wolves

Not far, said Sanguinus, but Dragomir continued to hesitate. Maybe fighting coyotes wasn't such a good idea after all. He wanted to help but he still didn't know how to fight properly, and what if he was injured in the process? He couldn't very well be angry at his parents for going off and getting hurt if he did the same thing. Fidgeting his paws on the ground slightly, the boy tried to think of a way to turn Sanguinus back toward his family, but then things took an abrupt turn.

Dragomir wasn't prepared at all for the sudden movement. He flinched instinctively, but it did nothing to save him from the sharp impact of his body against the sturdy trunk of a tree. He felt a crack in his limber body and an explosion of fire that could only be one or more of his ribs breaking and his lips parted in a shrill scream. What was happening? Why was Sanguinus doing this? The world was awash in bright white as pain rippled through him and soon the scream died in his throat. Shock was quick to set in, quicker even than his assailant; Dragomir's eyes were clouded with it when Sanguinus slammed him into the trunk again, and this time his skull hit the bark with a thwack and he slumped to the ground, unconscious.

Skippable for now.

QUENYA · ROMANIAN · TRIGEDASLENG
Thread titles are quotes from Welcome to Night Vale.
July 15, 2019, 01:14 PM
Astara
Lone Wolves

there was her cue. 

astara rose in time to hear the sick crack of skull and bone. a glance in merrick’s direction and she knew the outcome of that disastrous noise; the boy’s body spilled across the ground, limp.

the wraith did not immediately set in on their new victim then. she stood over the boy, a thin sneer across her features as she met merrick’s prideful gaze.  with a flicker of her indigo gaze, astara seemed to ask: now what?


brother, sister too - do what you must do,
»» don't trust people you meet ««
they may promise you that the river ain't too deep.
 
July 15, 2019, 01:36 PM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

        tremours raced the length of merrick’s body as he gazed back down at the little boy, the last echoes of the shriek reverberating in his head. so overcome was he that words dried in his throat; with a choking cough he turned away, putting several firm paces between himself and the small body slumped on the ground.
        he fought for control, unseeing, shaking, and only when his breathing had normalized did he turn back, reining in the almost uncontrollable desire to break more of the delicate little bones.
        his sense of self-preservation swiftly returning, it was with a more somber expression that merrick glanced to astara. the boy would need to be moved, and quickly; they must cover their trail as best they could. he had no way of knowing if she would condone what he had planned for the child, but that was a discussion for another time.
        at present, the yearling stole forward and grabbed at the pup’s nape, testing the slight weight. he could carry the boy after a fashion, draped across his withers, but astara’s help was necessary to ensure he did not fall. quietly he waited, still thrilling with the darkness of what he had done, of what was to come.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 15, 2019, 07:08 PM
Astara
Lone Wolves

merrick strode away in stiff coughs, followed only by astara's gaze. what was he to do with this child? what was his purpose? her tongue thumbed curiously at the tip of her teeth, but she made no move to follow.

he came back, settled now. the boy was still unmoving; had astara not heard the light flutter of his breath she would have thought him dead. in time he would wake, but for now he was beyond the realm of those that walked this world.

merrick moved to worry the child's neck. astara stepped back, filled with a strange calm. where merrick seemed tangibly excited by his new plaything, astara seemed to take it in stride; as if this were simply another day, another mark. one could argue it was because she did not know the gravity of the situation -- but she did. she glanced around them warily, motioning for merrick to go; she would scout ahead, or follow behind -- and make sure no eyes were watching.


brother, sister too - do what you must do,
»» don't trust people you meet ««
they may promise you that the river ain't too deep.
 
July 15, 2019, 07:25 PM
Merrick
Lone Wolves

last from me! will tag you both in a new thread ♥️

        astara gave to him her support, and with some maneuvering, merrick managed to heave the limp body over his shoulders. long-legged, the child’s legs hung down one side, his head the other. 
        stumbling a bit under the unwieldy new weight, merrick sauntered to and fro, finding his footing. his delight had been tempered with reality, and intellect told him they must be off, quickly.
        a body of water then, to throw off followers until merrick had accomplished what he wished.
        thus burdened, the young coywolf slid deeper into the wooded darkness, gaze traveling with a dire glint to astara, the one he had come to treasure above all. she was instrumental to this, even if it was not yet known.

[Image: snake2.png]
July 15, 2019, 07:34 PM
Astara
Lone Wolves

last from me! left it on an open note, feel free to archive as is or throw in a final post

a silence descended the copse in which dragomir had fallen. astara busied herself as merrick settled with the new weight saddling his shoulders. first, she attempted to obscure what little marks were left in the grass and pine-straw from merrick's assault on dragomir -- then, she scratched heavily along the ground where the boy was dragged. visually, it might throw off any trackers -- but there was no magic potion in the world that would obscure their scent now.

she flitted ahead, swift as a little blackbird. she did not go the same path as merrick -- she took cares to make tracks hither and yon, to stump any pursuers. the wind was sampled and measured, the way carefully scouted -- she lead merrick and his charge down along the sap-addled forests, making off in the direction of a stream where their tracks might currently throw off any wolves hoping to intercept them.


brother, sister too - do what you must do,
»» don't trust people you meet ««
they may promise you that the river ain't too deep.