Golden Glade Astronomy will now be conducting stargazing sessions only with blindfolds
All Welcome  January 15, 2020, 07:09 PM
Dragomir
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It was about time to go home. Dragomir had spent the better part of two days in the Hinterlands, not counting the time it took to travel here, and there was a good chance Hydra would be worried about his disappearance. To say nothing of his sister. He probably should've stuck by her side, but there was a lot happening and he refused to regret taking time to clear his head. He would bring back news of his travels and the continued dismal state of the food chain, so hopefully they would all understand.

Dragomir followed natural scent trails and tracks alike into a forest squashed between the mountains, blind to the pristine beauty of this slice of the wilderness. The glade would've stunned him in the fall, but in winter, it looked just like any other old forest. He didn't waste much time on the scenery, choosing instead to focus on tracking. He spotted a tuft of black fur snagged on an upright twig and picked his way over to it, nostrils huffing in hopes of a fresh scent.

@Phox Tracking thread!
January 16, 2020, 09:32 AM
Phox
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Thanks for starting this. :)

Since he'd been back, Phox hadn't left the Firebirds. Today, however, he was feeling a little bit frisky, so he set out toward what used to be the Frosthawks. They had long since moved on, and he remembered that day when he'd met Rannoch here. He'd been angry, and it took him a moment to remember why. Raven had changed her name. She tossed the Redhawk name aside and replaced it with a new one. Even now, Phox was still a smidge bitter about it, although he knew there was no use in trying to persuade her to reclaim the title that they had been born with.

Phox watched as, up ahead, a dark wolf who could have doubled as Raven sniffed at the ground. Ever willing to join in such things, the Redhawk quickened his uneven pace a notch. Find something? he asked, taking a whiff of the air from a few feet away. Phox wasn't quite close enough to smell it, but that didn't mean he wouldn't try.

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January 21, 2020, 01:11 PM
Dragomir
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Whatever the fur belonged to, it wasn't something Dragomir could remember encountering. It was an uncommon animal in the mountains and that was where the majority of his life was spent. The corner of his lip lifted into a kind of sneer as he drew as much of the scent into his nostrils as he possibly could, committing it to memory, fishing for some recollection that might point to the source... but then a distraction came in the form of Phox.

Dragomir turned and was surprised to find himself face-to-face with a wolf whose fur colour almost perfectly matched the clump on the stick: black but shot through with silver. He didn't think the loose tuft belonged to a wolf, but he'd been wrong before. Phox's limp wasn't missed, but having been injured badly himself when he was younger, Dragomir neither stared nor commented on it. He knew such things did not define a wolf, and knew better than to judge another's merits by the state of their body.

It's not your fur, is it? he assumed.
January 21, 2020, 06:06 PM
Phox
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Wasn't sure if you had an idea for what the fur ought to belong to, but I thought this might be fun. :)

Phox shook his head. Don't think so. I haven't been out this way in quite some time. Not since the Frosthawks had moved here, and they'd been gone since... well, it had been awhile. Fairly confident the black wolf wasn't going to rip his face off, Phox took a few steps closer and inhaled to get a better sniff. Smells like badger, he said. Nasty creatures with sharp claws. Not the sort of creature Phox enjoyed going after, at least not in this state. They typically only come out at night.

He couldn't quite tell how fresh the fur was, but it couldn't have been too old if it was still clinging to the twig like that. If it was something more easily edible, Phox probably would have suggested they hunt it down and share the proceeds, but being blind in one eye and with his leg still on the mend, it didn't seem like the best idea. Still, there were things besides hunting that could be done. Badgers would be a threat to any young wolf pups that were sure to pop up in the next few months, so it would be good to know which places to avoid taking them to.

Might be a good idea to find out where it lives, he suggested.

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January 25, 2020, 10:33 AM
Dragomir
Approved Members

Badger is exactly what I was thinkin'!

Hmm, Dragomir mused when Phox confirmed that it didn't belong to him. Luckily, his adult companion was more knowledgeable about the wild's creatures than he was, so Phox was quick to provide an answer. Badger, Dragomir mentally repeated, filing the name into his invisible hunter's codex. Nasty creatures with sharp claws didn't really sound like a normal prey animal, but times were lean and he wouldn't turn down any sort of meal these days. Meat was meat and if it filled his belly and could fill a cache, that was all he cared about.

They had very different ideas about going after a badger, but to Dragomir's ear, it sounded like Phox was down to hunt. Never one to refuse an offer of aid, the boy nodded. Yeah, that sounds smart, he agreed, nosing the tuft once more before putting his muzzle to the ground and meandering around, searching for another clue or a proper trail, if one existed. It didn't take long to find some tracks, which Dragomir indicated to Phox with an exclaimed, hey, look!
January 25, 2020, 04:06 PM
Phox
Firebirds
Tradesman I
In no time, the black wolf had found something, and Phox moved over to investigate. The size of the tracks were pretty average for a badger, so at least it wasn't out of the norm. Phox had once come across a rather large lynx he'd been forced to fight and put down when it had attacked Cinder. He really didn't think a badger would warrant that, especially one of average size. The black wolf seemed confident and old enough to hold his own if anything like that were to happen.

The tracks led away from where they currently were, so Phox went into his usual hunting daze, even if his intent wasn't necessarily to kill the thing. Knowing where it was seemed more important that getting his face scratched up, which had been done to him in the past by one of these nasty creatures. With his instincts taking over the higher brain functions, it was likely that Phox would merely go through the motions of hunting the badger once they came across it anyway.

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January 31, 2020, 06:53 PM
Dragomir
Approved Members

Falling in line behind the older wolf was natural for Dragomir. Normally it was Arcturus or Hydra and they were leading him around the mountain, sharing battle tactics and insight, but he readily respected authority of any kind. Phox's superior age and experience made him the expert here.

He kept his ears and eyes open for signs of a badger, but not knowing what to expect, he didn't know really where to look. Their path took them over a hillock in the forest, and at the bottom of it was a black-and-white creature with a long, bushy tail. The white stretched from the top of its head down its spine, arcing in the middle to leave a large black patch in the middle of its back. Its face was a little bit rat-like.

Hey, Dragomir said in an urgent whisper, gesturing to the creature down the hill. Is that it? From his vantage it didn't appear to have long, terrible claws, but maybe a badger was like a mountain lion and could hide them.
February 01, 2020, 04:07 PM
Phox
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Phox, in the zone, hardly heard the black wolf's question. He flicked an ear back, and it took a moment for him to register the question and connect it to the creature up ahead. With his right eye, he could see that the colors were similar, but... something was off about it. The shape wasn't quite right, and the tail was bigger than he remembered. It did smell like something buried deep in his memory banks that made him wary of it, but he couldn't quite recall why that was. Phox slowed as they neared it, taking a tentative sniff of the air.

Suddenly, the creature spotted them, turning its behind toward them in the blink of an eye and spitting out the most foul odor toward Phox and his hunting companion. It stung his eyes, and he began to cough violently at the smell. Fucoughckingcoughskunk! Phox fell to the ground, his paws scraping at his face, frantically trying to remove the smell. Any thoughts of the badger were long forgotten with this new stinky scenario. He wasn't sure how much of the blast his acquaintance had gotten, but he now felt bad that he hadn't realized what it was sooner.

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February 04, 2020, 10:35 AM
Dragomir
Approved Members

The "badger" seemed prepared to turn and leave them, but then Dragomir was assaulted by the most pungent, potent stench he'd ever experienced. His eyes watered immediately and like Phox, he had to fall back and lift a leg to scrub futilely at his face. Ugh! he exclaimed, retching. What the hell! What kind of godforsaken creature was equipped with the ability to spray Essence du Flatulence from their ass? Certainly not a badger, Dragomir realized.

Phox supplied the name but Dragomir was too busy trying not to hurl to ask any questions about it. The badger hunt was a forgotten venture; now all he wanted was to get that disgusting scent off his fur and the taste out of his mouth. Water, he choked. Is there water near here? Too bad for them it took a lot more than a dunk in the river to chase that stank out.
February 04, 2020, 12:58 PM
Phox
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Phox barely registered the other wolf's reaction, but now that the very initial shock had worn off to some degree, he heard him ask for water. Still choking and gasping on the smell and taste, Phox gestured to his left. There was a stream up that way, although he wasn't sure how much good it would do. The silvery wolf stopped several times to roll in the snow, thinking that might help the sting and stench, but it didn't do much to alleviate the pungent odor.

When he finally made it to the water's edge, there wasn't much more than a trickle coming down. What terrible luck! That didn't stop Phox from sticking as much of his face as he could into the icy water, immediately regretting that decision. The sudden drop in temperature soon had him groaning and whining for another reason: he'd just set off a migraine. He saw sparks of light, which meant that this was only a taste of what was to come.

He slumped down on the bank of the trickling stream, now in pain in more ways than he cared to think about.

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February 17, 2020, 04:28 AM
Dragomir
Approved Members

He didn't just stink, Dragomir realized once his alarm wore off. His eyes were positively burning, as were his nostrils. Blinking rapidly, the juvenile followed Phox's gesture and stumbled up to the stream, which was hardly more than a dribble of water. Groaning, he abandoned his hope on the bank and flopped down in the snow, rolling vigorously in an effort to scrub the scent off.

It didn't work. Of course it didn't work. Dragomir was still wreathed in the pungent skunk perfume, but at least his eyes were beginning to feel better. From his recumbent position, he had to crane his neck and press his chin against his throat to catch a glimpse of Phox, and he was alarmed to find his hunting companion slouched motionless by the stream. Hey, you okay? he asked, catching his tongue between his teeth moments before spouting off a needless apology. The blame for all this fell solely on the skunk.
February 19, 2020, 05:48 PM
Phox
Firebirds
Tradesman I
His hunting companion, whose name Phox still lacked, seemed concerned, and the Redhawk groaned. Migraine, he muttered, Usually I get more warning. Typically, they took some time before they really kicked in, and Phox could get back to the nest to prepare for the worst. This one was a real hard-hitter, though, and something about the cold water directly on his head had made the onset much, much quicker. He'd have to remember that for next time. Of course, the awful smell and stinging sensation from the skunk probably wasn't helping things either.

This, of course, left his hunting partner in an awkward position. Phox didn't want him to feel like he had to stick around, but at the same time, having somebody around might be a good idea. If only Niamh or Towhee were here. That would be a better situation, even if it wouldn't have been an ideal one. Instead, Phox was stuck out here with a near-stranger, completely defenseless as his head radiated with pain.

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March 02, 2020, 11:13 AM
Dragomir
Approved Members

Migraine. Dragomir wasn't familiar with the specifics, but he'd had a headache on more than one occasion and knew those were bad enough. He was pretty much helpless here. He hadn't learned anything about medicine or healing from his estranged mother, and even if he had, it wasn't a skill he was interested in so his retention was shaky at best. He also didn't know how incapacitated Phox really was.

Can I walk you home? he asked, tentatively biting his lip and casting around as if he could find something that would help. There was nothing. He wasn't smart enough to devise tools from nature, and it was an unnatural thing for a wolf to do, anyway. Dragomir was, if nothing else, a pretty simple wolf. Or... can I find help? If Phox was able to point him in the direction of his home then he could probably fetch help from there, assuming the pack wasn't vicious, which he kind of doubted from this man's personality.
March 12, 2020, 04:53 PM
Phox
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Phox almost shook his head, but he remembered that wasn't a good idea, either. No, that's okay, he replied, I'll just wait it out here. He wasn't even sure he'd be able to give comprehensible directions in the state he was in. Phox took a deep breath and let it whoosh out gently, trying to get the rest of his body to relax.

I'll be okay, I just... need to rest for a while. I don't want you to feel responsible for me. But, uh, what's your name? Mine's Phox. Talking wasn't really helping, but it felt rude to just go silent when his hunting partner had been so willing to help.

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March 16, 2020, 09:54 PM
Dragomir
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Yeah, there really wasn't a lot Dragomir could do once his hunting companion said he'd wait it out here. He gnawed on the inside of his cheek and tried his best not to start panicking. Luckily, Phox was perfectly calm even under duress, and at least this unexpected turn of events was taking Drago's mind off how badly they both stank. Otherwise he might never have stopped retching.

I'm Dragomir, he responded, but sensed that now wasn't the time to continue with the idle chit-chat. Hey, listen, I have nothing else to do right now and I kinda feel like... well, let me hang out nearby, make sure no one comes along. Whether or not Phox gave permission, Dragomir felt obligated to stay. It was sort of his fault they'd been sprayed. If only he'd known about skunks before or if only he hadn't stopped them long enough to ask about it... Just uh, call out if you need me.