Redtail Rise The Imaginary
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#1
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Njord ranged outside of Dragoncrest to hunt in the cold early dawn. A twinkling frost over the ground sparkled as the sun came up and by early morning Njord had made it to the small rise, called Redtail, south of Nova peak. His nose tipped to the air, smelling for game, but a sparkle of white in the distance caught his attention.

Had he never noticed it before? The shards of ice poking out beyond the Morraine to the East. Was that… a glacier? Njord had never traveled far enough inland to spy it. Had he been this close the whole time? To find the glacier of his ancestors was the whole reason he had swam to Teekon in the first place.

So stunned was he, Njord didn’t even realize a deer bounding through the forst behind him, white tail flashing in the light.
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Angler came forth from the forest in high chase after the deer, yet his stance left something to be desired, an obvious lack of training in the art of pursuit hunting. He ran at full speed, eyes set on his prey and mouth wide open in a pant. The wolf looked ahead of his prey to calculate where it would go, and in the dark and frosted over clearing he sees Njord's fiery tail first, and the rest of the wolf second. His anxiety spikes, what would this stranger do now that he was seen? Yet, he would have some faith in hospitality. so he calls out to Njord.

"Good morning! Mind-" He gasps as the deer makes a sharp turn and he too has to do so, energy running dry, "Mind helping?" Angler begins to slow down, his speed lost as his body demands rest, yet he fights the burn and keeps on the prey's tail.

[Image: fs.png]
FEEL FREE TO MISGENDER ANGLER. At a distance he has some more masculine behaviors, at least from his pack's culture, but up close it can be discerned that threes a disparity, if one cares enough to look.

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Thanks for joining!

Njord was entranced by the distant crowning glacier as he remembered the stories of Duskfire and the tragedy of his lineage there. Sveijarn, he thought to himself — just as he reflected during the great falling star many months ago.

Suddenly, the sounds of heavy breathing and hard paw-steps snapped the redtail out from his reverie. He turned sharply to see the retreating deer and a black wolf between the trees. Njord’s hackles spiked in surprised, but quickly smoothed when he realized the wolf was not pursuing him, but the doe.

They were of middling size and athletic looking. The dark coat and slim face reminded him of Chacal.

“Oh, aye,” Njord agreed after a momentary pause to get up to speed, “I’ll help ya!” It would be advantageous to hunt together. A party of two was much more likely to be successful. “Let us run ‘er till she can’t run anymore,” Njord advised, kicking against the ground as he broke into a slow canter besides the other wolf.
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#4
[no problem!]
.
Angler matched the wolfs pace, his tail went from a focused and rigid position to a wag, it was exciting to pair with another for hunting. Perhaps this wolf had better skills than he did, yet based on the smell of his coat and the dotting salt he probably hailed from a coastal pack. No matter, If he was out here, maybe he knew what he was doing.
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"Sounds good!" Angler turned back to the doe but his mind was on his partner. "I almost though you wouldn't, you seemed caught up in a brainstorming session, ha!" Angler titled his head at the thought. "Though I do wonder what you were doing, a wolf out where there's prey but with their head in the clouds is a weird little combination."
.
As he spoke, the deer began to lead the two up the rise, its hooves clashed onto the cold of the climbing rocks and rung out in a blast, it made Angler think of getting his head kicked in, which made him flinch. He slowed as they approached the slope, the doe struggling as well. With its hooves beginning to slip under the wet surface, it now ran down hill. 

[Image: fs.png]
FEEL FREE TO MISGENDER ANGLER. At a distance he has some more masculine behaviors, at least from his pack's culture, but up close it can be discerned that threes a disparity, if one cares enough to look.

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Njord ran at a comfortable pace alongside the black wolf. It was a predator’s advantage to have the power of endurance. Soon, the doe would begin to tire. Even if the pair lost sight of their quarry, their nose would lead them in the right direction.

Njord let out an sheepish chuckle when the stranger pointed out that he had been distracted – day dreaming. Rosalyn would have his hide if he had missed such a hunting opportunity. It was fortunate this stranger came along.

“I saw tha glacier in tha distance,” Njord explain honestly, “an it took me breath away. It’s where my ancestors are from.” The Sveijarn name had been born there and where the red fur on his pelt derived from. Ach,” he shook his head, like wiping an etch-a-sketch clean, “no excuse fer almost missin’ a good hunt, though!”

The doe scrambled up rocky terrain and down they went as the hillside sloped. Njord saw their opportunity. This one was swifter than he, and the Sapphiquian thought of an idea. “I’ll bite at tha haunch, you go fer tha throat,” he suggested. With his larger size, he might slow the animal down enough for the black wolf to land a killing blow.
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Angler chuckled at Njord's head shake, "Its all good, it can happen to the best of us from time to time, especially with such a touchy subject."

The two are now staring down the deer as it prances across the hillside. Njord says his plan and Angler falters. His confidence is low, and that job seemed higher than his skill lay, but this wolf seems experienced and confident.

"Good idea, I think it'll work if we both hit it out right."

With that Angler takes off, he now trails behind the doe, slower than he was earlier. His eyes flicker between his hunting partner and the doe, waiting for the prey's rear to tear open before going to secure the prize.

[Image: fs.png]
FEEL FREE TO MISGENDER ANGLER. At a distance he has some more masculine behaviors, at least from his pack's culture, but up close it can be discerned that threes a disparity, if one cares enough to look.

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The red-tail watched his hunting partner for their stamp of approval and noticed the flicker of insecurity across their face. Perhaps it was Njord’s venture into fatherhood which had made him more sensitive to seeing emotions in others. The seafarer shot them an encouraging grin, knowing too well what they were feeling. A distant memory – hunting last season with Kigipigak and failing miserably.

Despite this, the dark wolf agreed. Njord bellowed a happy “Aye!” with a little kick in his step.

The doe’s energy visibly waned. They waited for their moment… as the black wolf slowed down, Njord sucked a deep breath in and surged forward. The doe, caught by surprised, staggered and tried to change direction. His red tail wind-milled to adjust his trajectory and he managed to bite down firmly on their quarry’s hind thigh. Locking on the brakes, Njord pulled his body to the earth like dead weight to slow the deer’s momentum and provide a window of  opportunity for his cohort to seize the windpipe.
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With the slowing of the deer as Njord dragged his own body down with it, Angler surged forward. His claws dug into the grainy earth as his locked eyes on the doe's throat. Each step rung emptily in his ears, his mind gone as his instincts took over. bared teeth came to meet with coarse fur, digging through and securing the prey. The doe called out as Angler shook and tore, trying to get as much damage in as he could. The doe struggled hard, rear legs kicking back at her rear assaulter, front legs and head swinging around at the one on her jugular. hooves clashed with Angler's check, small grazes now crossing on his face and withers.

Soon enough the struggle stopped, mountainside falling silent as Angler realized he fought the meal he'd won. He let the deer from his grasp and stared.

"Well."

He paused longer, heart swaying as his adrenaline rush came down. He did not feel for the doe, it was food, but he did feel for himself, as if he'd demonstrated a skill for an elder wolf for the first time right. It made him pause as he was thrust back to a time of accomplishment he hadn't felt in forever.

[Image: fs.png]
FEEL FREE TO MISGENDER ANGLER. At a distance he has some more masculine behaviors, at least from his pack's culture, but up close it can be discerned that threes a disparity, if one cares enough to look.

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The doe was feisty! It struggled beneath Njord’s fierce grasp and bucked to fight for its life. Hooves and hocks met his sides, almost knocking the wind out of him, but the Sapphiquian held fast. Though he lost sight of his hunting partner, he could feel when they made contact. They were able to hold their prey in one position as it bleated and struggled, until it finally succumbed to the hunters.

Plumes of steam curled from Njord’s mouth when he finally released his teeth from their prey. He panted from the effort, exhausted by the fight, and knew he would be feeling a bit bruised tomorrow. His gaze darted up towards the black wolf and smiled from ear to ear. Well, the other said matter-of-factly.

“ha-HA!,” Njord bellowed in a Jason-Momoa style laugh. “’At’s ‘ow ya do it! Yer a braw ‘unter, er…” Njord fumbled, realizing he didn’t know their name. “What do ya call yerself?”
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"Ah" Angler's ears perked up, remember that this wolf was a total stranger to him. He sat down next to the carcass and shuffled awkwardly in his spot.

"My name is Angler, and yours?"

Was that a normal name for a wolf in these wilds? Angler felt his tail go to curl under him thinking about how stupid his name could sound to outsiders of his home. It wasn't his fault! Back at home a wolf was what they did, and Angler... angled.

[Image: fs.png]
FEEL FREE TO MISGENDER ANGLER. At a distance he has some more masculine behaviors, at least from his pack's culture, but up close it can be discerned that threes a disparity, if one cares enough to look.

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“Njord Sveijarn-Corten, at yer service,” the seafarer replied as he took a seat at the opposite end of the carcass. With the chase over, the man could get a better look at his company. They were female of middling size, with pale moon-colored eyes which contrasted against their dark, charcoal pelt.

“Angler, eh?”
he ruminated as he smelled the deer’s fur. “Are ya a bonny fisher?” Such a skill would be useful in a seafaring pack such as Sapphique… and his mind turned to recruitment. With winter approaching, it would be helpful to bolster their numbers. Plus, Rosalyn and Erzulie always seemed to prefer having women in their ranks. “My pack could always use a good hunter, if yer ever lookin’ fer a ‘ome. We live by tha sea.”

He sunk his teeth into the deer’s meat. There was plenty to go around and this wolf hadn’t shown any indication of being greedy. Njord would fill his belly as much as he could and planned to carry some back home for the kids.
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Angler chewed a bit of the catch, he took note of Njord's name, perhaps he should give out his last name but the moment had past he felt. Njord than went on, asking Angler a question he wasn't sure of the answer to because of the colloquial slang thrown in. His spit out some fur from his mouth before answering uneasily.

"Er... I believe so? I am a fisher, yes, my birth pack actually got most of their meals from fishing, outside of winter that is."

He could feel the wolf eyeing him up as they spoke, this part of meeting wolves was routine for him, any kind didn't matter, be it hostile or temporary companion, each wolf looked at an outsider to summarize, see if a wolf was a problem or a weakling. When Njord spoke, Angler was surprised. Unless Njord's tongue was fooling his ears, he believed he'd been offered a spot in his pack. A splendid offer for a lone wolf, but yet again Angler's small skill set would become a hindrance.

"Ah, well you see that offer is very generous, I would love to take it up, but I've never fished at the sea. I found a place in pack as a river wolf, I was even suppose to manage a salmon run." Angler's ears swiveled as he spoke, a nervous tick of his. " The sea... I'm not useless, but I'm barely better than the average fish wolf."

He tore off another piece of the carcass and set it between his paws, something to chew on after finishing.

"I'm excellent on a river and lake, even a delta, and on all those I can ice fish too."

[Image: fs.png]
FEEL FREE TO MISGENDER ANGLER. At a distance he has some more masculine behaviors, at least from his pack's culture, but up close it can be discerned that threes a disparity, if one cares enough to look.

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#13
Last from me!

Njord listened as he ate his fill – it was nice to have a good meal in his belly – but his offer was met with hesitation. Insecurity bled through Angler’s words… or perhaps it was a way of politely declining.

Either way, Njord shrugged with a roll of his shoulders. “Well if ya change yer mind, me pack’s name is Sapphique an’ we live that-a-way,”
he gestured Westward with a sweep of his head. “Tha name of tha territory is Dragoncrest Cliffs,” Njord added.

He began to work a the joint of a leg, and with a great heave of his body broke the limb from the carcass. Food for his children. “Good work Angler, it was a fine time huntin’ with ya. I ‘ope you ‘av fairweather travels,” Njord said as he lifted the meat and turned away. If nothing else was said, he would hurry back to the pack, a piece of his kill in tow.
Members of Sapphique are welcome to join all threads and power-play Njord (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not he's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!



 
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Angler took note of the pack's direction, he was heading to the coast, and while Njord seemed friendly, it was best he avoided stepping on a pack's beach, He'd have to head a little farther south to avoid the pack grounds. As he sat thinking of how he would avoid Dragoncrest Cliffs, a wet pop and tear sounded, and Angler's eyes snapped back to see Njord carrying off some haunch.

"Thank you, you as well." Angler replied, he watched the wolf turn away before setting back into the food. Deer was a weird change from fish and roe, yet he supposed he should get used to it for the coming winter.

[Image: fs.png]
FEEL FREE TO MISGENDER ANGLER. At a distance he has some more masculine behaviors, at least from his pack's culture, but up close it can be discerned that threes a disparity, if one cares enough to look.