July 1st, 2023
- Wolves who heeded the northern call where Kova, Rook, Shakira, Rowan and Ophaelos
Kova As she remained in the clearing her hues fell to the time of day. The sun would be pulling in and out between some clouds as the sun cast it’s light sparingly. She took in a few deep breaths before she swiftly shook her frame and coat. Now was the time. Now they would rid of their fire. A deep breath escaped her lungs in a long , drawn sigh before she would take another full gap of air into her lungs and let loose a deep, low howl.
A call to those who would be headed north was made as she now faced that direction and would hopefully see each she’s named.
* Rook While others were deep in conversation and conjecture, he would press deeper into the clearing via the river’s shallow crossing. Rook would be on the southern bank by the time the fated call came to gather, and gather he would. Farther south and closer to the Alpha’s stone, he might catch sight of Ophaelos and move to find his spot upon his path and side. What then of the others? Rook would cast his gaze about the clearing and note many who had been present at the naming of the north-bound few…
* Leora the howl would reach her well and clear as she was in the clearing by now, to. She would look out across the horizon and to each wolf who was present. At the howl more began to gather and among them she saw her brother. Her paws quickly ushered beneath her as she aimed to close the distance to him and rather quickly. A low chuff was offered, if only to announce herself.
*Ophaelos When Ophaelos would arrive at the stone, he’d turn his head to observe who was in attendance and who was not. It would seem Rowan and Rook had appeared in time, save for the Lead Huntress who was likely approaching not too far away now. To those who were part of the group, including Kova, he would dip his head toward. However, it would seem it wasn’t just the wolves called forward for the journey to be gathered around the stone, but rather, he would find the frame of Grimolf in the string of wolves. A suspicious brow was quirked his way, but his glance wouldn’t last longer than a few seconds before he would focus on the Alphess’ figure upon the stone. Upon the request of final words, Ophaelos would simply say, “To the North we shall go.” Simple words, short words, yet enough to communicate that the brute was ready for the journey. He would look toward the wolves gathered to see if they held the same sentiments, and would keep his ears pricked should they or should they not
* Rook Regardless of whether Ophaelos felt or noted his presence beside him, Rook would have taken the path to assemble nearest where those going north were. This would likely take him near enough to Leora, and even if not, she seemed keen to be near him at the last. When light met dark in the growing presence of the Alpha’s rock and what decisions were to be handed down from it, dark would take solace in the other’s presence; Rook would be made better for Leora at his side. A kindness was gifted him from her that he could not fully repay, but he hoped that he could in time. Now came the time to listen as the last of the details unfolded. The last of the preparations were to be made, and he would keenly listen to mention of the mask tied to Shakira. It was something he had not fully investigated and so was only slightly less ignorant than most. Others had gathered near the stone that had not been called to the north, which would cause Rook to grant the same suspicious gaze toward Grim in particular before looking to those that were not present. Just how many had made themselves ready should the pack lands come under threat? How could he know when they were not present?
* Shakira Drawing near the Alphas Rock, she would notice a fair amount of wolves near or at least recently near, their scents lingering as if to taunt those that were meant to leave them behind. As Kova approached, she would nose her scruff gently in greeting, giving a firm nod to her words. “I will carry it, the burden was my mothers, then brothers, and now mine.” She responded softly, still unsure of what purpose the mask held within her family, but she would carry the heirloom all the same. Looking to those gathered, she would wait for the next step and move as the Alpha bade.
* Leora She knew the time was now, and the time would tick regardless of how her heart had hurt for it to not feel so pained. She would pull her nose into her brothers chest before stepping back. “Brother… take this tale with you before you go…?” it would be a soft question, but with a following gaze that would hold an eagerness to share.
*Vesper could hardly hear a word or two from the Alphess’ lips, but she saw dark and creamy specks of wolves as they gathered to the Alpha Stone…perhaps any that glanced in the direction of the den-hill would see a faint blob of creamy fur watching from above as well. It pained her to not be down there with them, and she’d let a quiet, anxious whine leave her own maw. How many goodbyes would she miss for good in her whole life? She’d missed so many from her own pack, and now this…
*Grimwolf The scarred brute wouldn’t be surprised to find a few suspicious glances towards his direction, he did make somewhat of an scene back at the meeting, and really wasn’t called upon . Grimolf didn’t pay any mind to them only waiting for Kova’s reaction to the unexpected guest . When her head dipped towards the pair, it didn’t seem like the Alpha was implying that the pledge wasn’t welcome, so he’d stick around until one of them chased him off . “ May warriors fortune shine upon us . “ A traditional Far Northern saying that dated back thousands of moons, it was something that brought confidence to the brute . Grimolf would harbour no regrets or second thoughts . Whatever happened on this trip, he openly embraced it .
* Rook The task of the mask and its keeping were not his, but he would keep an ear trained to what conversation remained thereof while turning a pensive gaze toward his younger sister. With a dark understanding, he spoke quietly and as gently as he could through the resolve his tone likely carried. “I will hear it, dear light. Speak it and I will hear it.”
* Rook What did physicists know of the mass of light? What of its weight as felt on a warm summer’s eve or a cold winter’s morning? No, perhaps the bards and poets knew this one a little better…that light lightened hearts and made burdens to be endured. Still, the chasm that had opened between them had done so with merciless abandon. Absolution resided in that chasm, and he was bade to fall within its depths… Although her tones and words wrought the foundations of this conviction they had gifted him what may be a final mercy and opportunity. “Feicim thú, solas, agus tá aithne agam ort. No matter where I go, I will see you and I will know you. You, who have given and fated name, daughter of starfall and earth…I name you heir of your father and mother in my stead and against all other claim.” Rook would lower his head and press the crown of it to Leora’s, whispering, “Should it try, know that death will not divide us so long as a tale lives within your voice.”
* Rook when the first of a few junctions in the path swiftly arose at the Ancient Forest’s border, Rook, along with those other nearby would stop and listen to Kova’s command. He would not advocate for the others to move through the Ancient Forest, even if guided; so, Rook would begin along the second shortest path toward the Crossing outside of the western edge of the Ancient Forest and north until the sound of stream offered the clearest path northwest.The northwesterly stream would cut through and alongside poplar and other birch forests on its path toward the Great Crossing. The sound of such water might cull the edge from the task ahead or it may hone it to an atom’s thickness like flinted obsidian. Rook would look to those around him to see which of those two options was likely…best to have a lay of the land before climbing the mountain, so to speak.
To Cull The Olc
Beyond the tree line and further up the path the wolves would go. As the party moved along the familiar path to the great crossing, they where afforded a swifter pace for most where indeed familiar with this trail in and out. Nothing of the landscape changed beyond the roaring of water.
A familiar rock outcrop, fresh with fallen rock fall would come into view. Those who where around to see the demise of the three black wolves who didn’t make it out of their home alive, would know what gravely lay beneath. Perhaps a skeleton or two could be seen amongst the rubble, laying just positioned to be in view on purpose. Scavengers having already done their work left nothing but the bone.
* Grimwolf During the long journey that seemed to stretch far and wide the brute was silent not speaking only scanning the horizon for any signs of other wolves . Grimolf’s attention would briefly be displaced by the sight of the large family of elk, he wouldn’t pay them much mind returning his iron focus back onto keeping alert. The scarred brute would be near the back of the group making sure to keep their rear flank guarded whilst the others at the front worried about making decisions on where to go and how best to approach .
* Kova as the group of wolves would continue along their trek towards the north, she would slow when a wayward wind would afford her all the smells of the party, but one that wasn’t called and one not named. The scent was tailing behind. She would begin to slow her pace from a lope to a trot, then she finally peered over her shoulder at Grim who was behind the rest. She narrowed her hues if only to shield against the wind already blowing in their path. She barked low so he could hear. “Grim, you where not called to the north. Are you here to see us to the end of the great crossing?” she only slowed a little, for she would not hinder their progress unless absolutely needed.
* Shakira She would follow after the group, grateful that there wasn’t need to go through the eerie forest she avoided thoroughly, following as the Lore Master curved their path just sidelong of the Ancient Forest and northward along the stream. As Kova rejoined them and took her rightfully assigned place at the lead, she would retrieve her mother’s mask from Kovas maw before again following in silence, her teeth holding the sturdy yet somehow delicate trinket with a gentleness that made her heart pang slightly. When Kova would turn to address the brooder male, she would pause as well and step slightly sideways to look to the male as well and to offer clear vantage for the pair to speak.
* Rook only picky scavengers let bones lie, but Rook might catch sight of the skeletal debris of a once living wolf. Whether it was an Olc or some ill-begotten soul sold on the narrative of fire’s promise was not his concern. Today, ignorance would not be the means of salvation; all under that banner would meet an equal fate if he had his way. Imagine, then, that mindset when someone came along the path they had traveled -hours- on. Rook would take cues from Kova and from Shakira, but his posture would speak less of a neutral pose. What had Grim come to do this far away from the clearing? For Grim’s sake, he hoped it was not to defy Kova’s word.
* Kova A deep breath escaped half parted jowls as the confidence from her soul reached their ears once they where all re-grouped.
“The stone-kin will prove worthy, but we should be ready for what devilry is in place. If stone alone does not kill them, then let us force them to use their tricks from a distance and close the gap swiftly afterwards. Guile, cunning, and steadfast will, will, see us through…” He could only agree that death be the only option.
* Kova there would be a heavy feeling of many things in her stomach, but she couldn’t help but know and feel the warmth of pride for those of her pack and those of her family out weigh most. How strong and true they were. She trusted Shakira’s prowess and her skill and she placed equal to those now present. To Shakira’s words, she’d feel it’s strength. To her courts suggestion, she would give a firm and agreeable nod. “Agreed.” she would look to each wolf in turn. “We see the end of them either by stone, or by jaws.”
To Cull The Olc
The Following Evening
July 2nd, 2023
* Kova as the wolves sought refugee within the smaller cavern, it was enough for all of them to fit rather comfortably. By mid-afternoon the air was growing warmer but still not as warm as the valley below in the clearing itself.
As the day was growing older, the sun was setting just enough to still provide enough light for the wolves and the path made very clear. The fae hadn’t slept much either and she would turn an ear to those who awaited and now their day had come. “Is everyone ready?” she would turn to each wolf now approaching the mouth of the cavern to call those either near or around it. Her limbs would be caked in a small layer of mud. “Shakira, there’s a small mud puddle just nearby I dug through enough to be moist and allow a good coating.”
* Shakira Her ears would perk to the Alphas words and her paws would instinctively lift her to heed the words spoken, a sure nod given as she turned to scoop the mask gently into her jaws before venturing out to where the puddle could be seen dug out. “Ready at your word, my Alpha.” She responded as she set the mask to the side before plunging shoulder first into the mud, not one to shy away from a mess she would quickly roll to her back to cover as much as she could without assistance. Rising to her paws once more, she would resist the urge to shake the thicker clumps from her, relying on those clumps to be her cover.
* Rook After the deed was finished and Ophaelos drew to his flank, Rook would regard the assurances given. “Cunning, and if that is not enough then a ferocity that rips them limb from limb. I will not hope now this close to death, but I will look for the necessary path to see you safely home.” It was all he could say before he turned his entire focus to Kova and the prelude to a dirge.
* Shakira She would release the mask to Kova as she smothered it in the sticky mud as well before pressing it to her face, the mold of another wolf’s face seeming to fit almost flawlessly to her own, as if it was meant to fit her. Dark grey eyes would peer out from the mask as she took in the wolves around her for what felt like the last time, her heart swelling with pride. “I will not fail you, we will see this done, together.” She spoke firmly before pressing her mask clad forehead briefly back against Kovas in as much of a nuzzle as she could offer without disturbing the mud. “I will see you all on the other side.” She said with a last gaze cast to the rest before she would slink off towards the enemies lair, determination in her stride as she kept her eyes trained on the flicker in the distance and the shadows that might conceal enemy wolves.
* Kova she would give a strong nod to Shakira, and her gaze held the fae’s for a moment more. She would find strength in Shakira’s eyes and the determination she had would fuel her own spirit. A heartfelt emotion rampaged through her. A fire and a kinship she’d feel strengthen her own resolve.
@Shakira would notice the same three sentry wolves remained a top the cavern. The familiar lapping of amber light would still caress the dark cavern walls, suggesting that whatever they where protecting, remained so. No sign of Kaylus or sound of her either, but the wolves a top seemed to be relaxed enough. So far… unaware of what was about to happen. She would be greeted with the same howling wind as before and the earth dappled with a late snow.
* Ophaelos .ೃ࿐ “Aye, we will see it done,” Ophaelos says to Rook. His silver, smokey eyes would capture the vastness of the landscape before them with a certain determination sheening against their color. May Fenrir be on their side tonight, and may all of their ancestors grant them their strength.
* Shakira She would move swiftly and silently through the landscape of rocks, carefully weaving through until she drew near the opening, keeping to the shadows as best she could as she noticed the sentries still in their place. They knew the WolfSpirits were coming, surely, though surprise was still on their side with Kovas plan in motion. Pausing as she was within a few hundred strides of the opening to the flickering cavern, she would take a few moments to steady herself, looking to the rocks above as if she could see her packmates, but the distance would be too grate and the lack of light unforgiving. Taking a deep breath, she would wait only a moment longer before stepping from the shadows, the dark mud covering would likely only offer her a few strides before the enemy would notice her.
As Shakira approached the cavern, perhaps she’d feel the very ground becoming harder and strong with each approaching pace. As if warmth of summer didn’t even unfreeze this landscape. Suddenly a low bellowing chuff was given to break the silence. A clear and resounding call of “WARNING” the moment they would notice the dark wolf stepping out from the shadows. Tension would be felt like a fresh storm of electricity in the air ready to strike. The Lead huntress would no doubt cast her eyes to the wolves, she would find that upon observation of the wolves in their sentry positions, there would be a particular wolf that would reach out in remembrance to Shakira’s long lost memories. Shakira would recall this being the very same male her former Alpha female ran off with. What was he doing here? Could it really be him? Just then the mask against her jaws would almost humm? Was that the wind again? A cold chill would reverberate along Shakira’s spine but then grow warm with familiarity.
Was a piece of her past now shared in this mask with her? She’d suddenly see a play on light within the masks reflection. A familiar tawny hued wolf, more straw in color, would come into view running with the mask in maw. Safety is what she felt, then followed shortly in vision would be her brother Syfka with the mask, carefully placing it in a secure place in the territory of WolfSpirits.
Shakira knew this to be a sign of warning and connection.
* Shakira A Huntress by nature and call, she would feel the rush of the hunt urge her paws to dig in and wait for just the right moment before she would turn and race away from her pursuers. She would have only a moments glance to see the gleam of fangs flashing before she would be off, the male who stole her former Alpha away would see his demise this day, her heart boiling at the thought.
Shakira would see the gorge’s entrance and make for it swiftly and with speed. The water would still be turbulant as it would continue it’s meandering course with fresh snow melt. The fae’s skillful paws would see her safely through the narrow passage, and the wolves above in their positions would see her enter first, with 4 black wolves at her heels. There was just enough space between, however, that would afford Shakira a small break before the stones could fall. The time was now.
* Kova she would feel the racing of her heart as her hues fell to the gorge and then back to where Shakira was leading their prey. Swiftly, now, swiftly and carefully she would whisper in her mind as if it could some how touch Shakira.
* Rowan As stones fell, her heart would hammer in her chest. The cloud of dust rose, and the yelps met her ears. It all seemed so.. satisfying. Until, she noticed her mentor was no where to be found. Had the stones caught Shakira too? No. That wasn’t true, she was safe. They just couldn’t see her, right? She was safe. Yellow orbs never wavered as she searched beneath the cloud of doom for movement, she held her breath. Her heart hammering in her ears, almost deafening.
* Shakira She would see the tint of red as it flowed through the water, the stream undeterred by the rocks in its path. With a a soft snort through her nose, she would narrow her eyes to the pile of rock. “May you never know the grace of a gentle spirit, and forever find pain and darkness in your next path.” She uttered under her breath, sealing a closure she never knew she needed. As she heard the cries of her packmates, she would make to move towards the cliffside and offer a loud bark that ended in a strangled cry of her own. As her body stretched to move, she would feel white hot pain along her left ribs and center of her back, her legs crumpling as the adrenaline wore off. Unable to see the gash along her ribs, she would be left immobile for now, though she would find breath enough to emit a low howl so the wolves would know her location.
* Rook Several small fragments of time like shattered glass lay strewn about the fray represented in the hues of stone and blood-washed water. Rook, like his other compatriots, would be caught trying to scramble toward the semblance of hope not dared…scrambling toward the killing field in hopes they had not done the unthinkable. Rook would be halfway down the ledge when he heard or thought he heard Shakira’s howl. It needn’t be questioned, for soon after his court called out. Could Rook hear the desparation in his court’s voice? Had she seen Shakira or the extent of the wounds, or would they each come to her position to see for themselves the cost of their forray into the north?
* Rowan Her yellow gaze observed the very detail that supplied them evidence, the red stream. She was glad the northern wolves had fallen victim, but the worry was had her mentor fallen victim too? She would let the wolves ahead of her guide her, flanking Ophaelos as her thoughts flew through her mind. She held her breath, her paw pads hitting the ground beneath her. Her ears perked, a howl, familiar to her, rang out. “Shakira!?” She whispered subconsciously, head raising as she also noticed Kova’s vocals.
* Rook Movement beyond the fray would be caught before recognition swiftly came after. Would the others know this fae as he had; an unknown but lowly piece of Olc design, or would any know her more than he? Regardless, the Lore Master had settled into the mindset that he had when leading Ayaka toward the Morrigan’s gambit: Fate had taken its turn with the choices they provided.
* Kova as she was already down the slope and approaching Shakira, she would quickly lick the fae’s ears and crown before looking her over quickly. She would be able to make out a gash of some sort along the fae’s back and down the rib, but it didn’t look to troublesome for the moment, for she couldn’t see with the mud in place. She nosed Shakira again.. “and the rock said unto thee, I cannot crush a WolfSpirit.” she ushered to the fae before sighing quickly. “Let me help you with the mask.”