Frogspawn Swamp thousands of years, an eternity, without changing
Loner

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#1
All Welcome 
On today's whim, and feeling whole enough when it occurred to him, Antares set out to stretch his legs. First it carried him further down the coastline away from his Stavanger haunting grounds, meandering through the old charred woods, then across an expanse of a plateau to an eventual beyond as hours ticked away behind him. There, momentarily, the windswept Ostrega weighed his options. Not often pressing his miles in this direction, but feeling aimless, he decided to carry on. As felt right, and considering the summertime, he found he made the most miles beneath the satisfying cover of night, so ultimately--all time well wasted.

Somewhere along the way (and not ready to return to the Bay area yet) he rested up, loitered, and chose his path on the first thought that sparked anything at all in him. He was testing the feeling, more and more, letting some wind soar beneath his hesitant, regrowing wings, even if his miles were yet few on the great, grand scheme.

When a humid afternoon began to creep in, he followed a river that splintered and went flourishing into an entire swamp. He definitely took that route, and took the opportunity to wade whenever he could as his paths looped around, deep into the recesses of the mirelands. 

Antares' scouting eventually passed on through lowest, dampest area of the swamp; he surfaced somewhere closer to its southern reaches, his furs slaked merrily and stomach full of bullfrog. He supposed he may as well begin to head towards more solid ground, and carry on to see what he could find next. But, not in any hurry and not really knowing where he was going, his gait was a slinky walk with his nose carried low, like he prowled for some purpose on the edge of the swamp.
mostly in the interest of @Charles if he'd be up this way ^^
Saints Of The Dying Light

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#2
Being with the Saints was kinda suffocating and neither did Charles really wanna go out towards the Copse just yet to live there. His whole life felt like it was zeroing in on him and slowly taking away his breath. He wanted to be a father to Lotus, but he had absolutely no clue how to. Maybe it would be easier when she got a little older and bigger? Maybe when he could talk to her he could ask her about what sorta stuff she wanted to do and he could just... play with her and stuff? Now, he didn't know how to be a father to her in any other way than bring her the occasional chew toy and provide Nyra with the occasional piece of food, which was probably a lot less than he should do.

So he had fled, sort of. Well, he didn't like to think of it as fleeing, but perhaps it sort of was... With head full of thoughts Charles found himself north of the Saints' territories, close to a swamp. As he made his way into it to... heck, let's say 'explore' so he felt like he was being useful, he was startled out of his swimming thoughts by a dark man that looked like he'd been exploring the swamp rather... thoroughly.

The coywolf froze and just stared at him, waiting to see how he would respond, finding himself guarded in the face of a stranger. Charles didn't yet realise that he was looking at Antares, someone he'd seen back in Firefly Glen at the meetings and hunts and the likes, of course, but had never interacted too closely with.
Loner

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He had traveled quite a while without seeing anyone canine-shaped, so supposed it was only a matter of time when he saw silhouette first. The swampy dampness he had been so immersed in and his unfamiliarity with the place kept him at a disadvantage, he thought, but didn't concern himself with it much yet. His route went on, pressing closer, now with a new look on.

But soon after he realized the other party was frozen stock still did it rile a proper suspicion in him. Past initial judgement narrowing his eyes, he sniffed pointedly, and stayed forward enough in his approach. There was something else, though, something that took him time to sort through fully. Familiarity sparked some eventual realization. You, he chuffed, somewhere on the edge of a question with a few more long strides closer. He couldn't prove the thought otherwise, so pinned his focus right on Charles outright.

It had to be the odd coywolf from the Glen, who made him think of Leta, who led him right to Osiris with a mournful grimace. I wondered where you took off to.. Antares looked him up and down. He might've been lucky that he got out when he did.
Saints Of The Dying Light

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#4
When the other turned towards him and said a pointed you, Charles felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. He wondered if this was a 'you, Charles', 'you, coyote' or 'you, Saints' sort of 'you'. There were many options these days, it seemed. What he didn't expect was that it was someone from his previous life. He'd buried that far and deep behind him. He thought he had, anyway, but when Antares said the next thing Charles finally realised that it was someone from Firefly Glen. One of Osiris' brothers.

With a job of guilt he was reminded of Leta and Osiris — guilt for his crush on his leader, guilt for forgetting that his best friend had died — and Charles swallowed thickly as he tried to force away the feelings of grief and loss. He'd run away for a reason. He wasn't very good at dealing with emotions. Better to run from them. Now the new life he'd built seemed threatened once more.

Ah, he said, a little off-handed, Uh, Tares, wasn't it? He honestly didn't remember precisely. He knew the other one was called Atlas. Now that was a name that he could remember. Now what, though? 'How are you doing' wasn't really the right question it ask, it seemed like. Charles didn't smell pack on Antares, and he guessed that even though it'd been like... a while by now, those deaths still haunted Antares. They sure did Charles, anyway.
Loner

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#5
Now that he had pressed the encounter just enough, he was already starting to wish he didn't recognize him.. now that he didn't know what to do with this--let alone what he wanted from it. Firefly Glen, still a touchy subject for him, was his only real point of reference to this coywolf. With an air of tension keeping his neutrality a little coarse, Antares eyed the other looking for something else, but beyond the strange scents he wore now, he didn't get much out of it besides more questions to consider. Antares, he corrected rather indifferently since he was close enough. Aiwë's suggestion be anyone hummed somewhere in the back of his mind, making him wonder if it would be easier to let it all go that way. It didn't matter what he called him anymore, anyway.

I haven't seen anyone in a while, and never come this way. So is your pack near here? he asked, never quite able to ease off the squint entirely. Curiously wary was the best way to put it because he thought he recognized something suspicious when he saw it--maybe more than the fact that out of everyone, Charles had managed to survive too, and gone off to join the Saints. Antares had stayed so removed from everything else lately that it had been easy to forget about the faraway packs, ones beyond the Wilderness and even now the coastline he was getting acquainted with.
Saints Of The Dying Light

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Antares' correction was met with a nod. Charles didn't really know what to do with this guy or this encounter. He wasn't too sure what to say or do. Honestly, Charles just wanted to leave — wanted to leave behind any memories of Firefly Glen, of Osiris and Leta — but he felt obligated to stay and chit-chat for at least a little bit before he could excuse himself.

Antares said he hadn't seen anyone for a while. He asked if Charles' pack was around here. Charles said, Yeah, it's in south. Even though he hoped that Antares wouldn't really show any interest in his pack, he also could not help but add, considering Antares' statement that he hadn't seen anyone in a while: You on your own?
Loner

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#7
South. He could vaguely catalogue that, at best, and resisted the urge to let his sights wander that way. It seemed right to want to know more, from when he had packs to concern himself with, and interests to maintain for some greater good. The precise location of a pack such as his could have been useful information to his parents, if they did not know already.. but that was now nothing but a dead end; a ruined mountainside could not care less.

Mostly. No pack, anymore. he shook his head softly, not wanting to out Vallkyrie as his primary company, not when he didn't completely trust the southern pack, or the coywolf he would be telling directly. You got out before it got worse, he remarked, if he was remembering the timing right. The bear that demolished so many had once been the worst thing he could fathom happening, and yet.. So what else is south of here? Are there other packs? he asked Charles, aiming for some sense of a neutral interest; he was a scout after all, and these were new avenues to map potentially.
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Talking about this made Charles feel too much about what he'd lost. Oh, how he missed Leta and Osiris. But he could not give in to these thoughts. When Antares offered him a new subject to latch onto, he did so immediately. Other packs? He thought back to Redhawk Caldera, Bronco's pack, where he'd been chased out.

Yeah, there's a few. He thought back to travel; he had passed another pack on the way to the Saints. After a small pause he said, You don't want to join my pack. He wasn't sure why he said it. Maybe the skulls and bones at the pack's entrance and genuinely wanting to preserve his old packmate, or maybe because he didn't want a reminder of what he'd lost around, here.

So he said, Other packs a bit more southeast is Redhawk Caldera, and there's another pack in a fen between here and there. Dunno that one. Maybe one of them had something good for Antares. A new life.
Loner

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#9
The scout nodded slow; other packs generally led in the direction of interests, in one way or another, be it through other wolves or more. He then didn't stop the tilt to his ears. Why not? he pressed with a lick of curiosity there, already wondering why that might be true for his pack. There were a few directions he could guess in. A fallen straggler from his parents' mountain was probably not a smooth fit among the Saints, anyway. Not that I am looking to join anywhere, necessarily, right at this moment. Antares clarified, so he wouldn't need to worry about seeing him around every day, if that was going to be some issue. He just wanted to hear about the packs, maybe be nosy, looking for distraction above all. Just wanted to see what else was out here. Beside the scenery, he supposed.

Beyond that, he had less to say about the Caldera--also firmly not a place he was going to consider joining any time soon. The fen place was simply noted. If it was too close to the Redhawks, then he had no interest. He didn't want to think of the last trip there he had made trailing Vallkyrie, not yet, or anytime soon really.
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Of course he had to ask for an explanation. Charles grimaced, clearly unsure what to say. He honestly didn't know precisely why. It wasn't that the Saints were a bad place to be. He just didn't want any ghosts from his past lingering about. It's a violent pack, he said eventually, clearly picking his words very carefully. Too... ah — Charles tried to find a word, but could not find anything that came close to what he was trying to say with his limited vocabulary. — rough, I think, for someone like you. Antares was too refined for the gritty life of the Saints of the Dying Light, surely. Charles didn't think it'd be a good fit.

Perhaps if they'd talked about their experiences at Redhawk Caldera they might've found a common ground to talk about, but Charles did not. He presumed that Antares held it in high esteem since it was also the place where Bronco was from originally. Besides, he didn't really want to talk about Redhawk Caldera or his past.
Loner

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A violent pack, one too rough for his tastes, evidently. Something about this description, or its inherent assumptions of who he presented for them to see, drew a small glint of a smirk. Ah, perhaps. And it suits you fine? he asked, never having pinned Charles for the particularly coarse sort, but as he glanced over him, notched in small scars here and there, he wondered if he should rewrite that assumption. Not that he had known the coywolf all that well before, either. Or really let himself be known to any great length.

Either way, it is what it is. I'm content to roam and scout around for now, and at least you've a home to return to when it's all done, he supposed, no matter what it was for Charles' day. And, Antares believed he was suited to going without one right now, it seemed. He hoped this sensation would be on its way before wintertime began to creep into the lands, but for the time being, he was not going to settle for less, not now. If nothing else, he intended to explore the coastline better, not join a pack just because it was the convenient thing to do.
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#12
Charles struggled to provide a good reply to Antares' question. Did it provide well for Charles? Did it suit him? He wasn't too sure. He didn't think that it suited him very much, when he thought about it, but he didn't want to just disregard them either. They'd taken him in, after all, after he had been chased from Redhawk Caldera. Yeah, it's alright, he said sort of noncommittally and he hoped that'd keep things in their conversation light and casual. Casual was good, casual he could do.

Yeah, that's true, Charles responded to Antares' next statement. Hey, uh, good luck man. Charles didn't really know what Antares was looking for. Perhaps hoping to find ghosts of the past in the rubble. Charles knew that he certainly didn't want that. Life was alright as long as he forgot about all the shit that happened, about the shit he saw. Antares was an ugly reminder of that.

See ya around. And with that the coywolf nodded at Antares and he turned away, hoping that he would be able to just walk away from this, and maybe forget all about this meeting — so that he could forget all about what had happened to Leta and Osiris.
Loner

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#13
The answer wasn't much, but Antares was in no place to press for more. His interest halfhearted at best, born from just trying to understand what it was Charles had done with his life to get away from everything that had gone wrong. He had pried enough, most likely. And, when the coywolf made a move to conclude this not long after that, neither did the Ostrega argue with that flow any. In fact he was content enough to be on his way, having nothing to really gain or lose in this besides time, and not at all bothered by the notion that this could easily be the last time their paths crossed.

Same to you, he supplied. After, Antares chuffed a low goodbye, and turned to his own road away too.