Summer has finally arrived! The sun has melted the snows in the north and the southern territories are beginning to grow uncomfortably hot and dry. Pups are being born and life seems to finally be getting back to normal after the cure for the disease was found. But how long will it last?
The cure has been found! Wolves on Anikira are recovering from the disease and life is moving forward with the promise of pups in many packs. And yet darkness looms on the horizon, daring the creatures of Anikira to relax and allow themselves to get comfortable once more.
[attr="class","post"]The hours bled into days, the days into weeks, and before Cardan could blink it was spring. Not that he was complaining, perhaps for the very first time in his life. He dreaded the frigid bite of winter, and the way that his favored foliage withered and died, leaving him in a barren wasteland that frankly bored him to tears. Spring…well, if he had a favorite season, he supposed it would be second only to autumn. The temperature was tolerable enough, with a cool breeze that ran windswept gusts through his fur, and everything was in bloom again – no more desperately seeking warmer climates to indulge in his favored catnip.
But catnip was not what had brought him to Vesyth today. No, rather it was a sense of restlessness, the very same that seemed to plague Cardan’s days and nights as of late. There had been some days where he’d been able to occupy his time with pestering wolves, such as Cirdan of Mythos, and others where he’d been able to stave off some of his pent up frustrations – with Tupoc, whom he certainly had not minded spending time with in the least – but since then, Cardan had been alone. As usual.
And so it was that his footsteps lead him deeper into Vesyth, the very air around him changing the further that he traveled. The breeze carried to him a soft, sweet scent, fresh and floral and more than a bit tantalizing. It was a smell that promised blooming life, and the closer that Cardan grew to it, the more promising the scent became. Curiously he found that the climate surrounding him began to grow slightly warmer as well, spring’s faint chill bleeding away, surrendering to a heat that was subtle but comforting. Closer and closer he drew to the source of this change, until at last the ebony brute found himself wandering into what he could only describe as paradise.
Cascading boughs of gentle lilac flowers tumbled towards the earth, bowing silently over pools of hot springs that bubbled softly, the sound scarcely discernible beneath the rustling of the leaves. Petals of pale pink swirled around his large frame, catching in his fur for precious moments before somersaulting away, coming to rest silently upon the downy earth beneath his paws. All around him were blossoms, so numerous in their number that it was dizzying, and the tiny green buds that dotted the branches promised many more to come. It was…
Well. It was exquisite, and Cardan found himself happily splaying upon the ground, content to breathe in the fresh smell of earth and flowers that surrounded him. Here…yes, here was where he would find himself slumbering throughout the season, for though the springs were not a viable option for drinking, he had crossed a babbling brook on his way through Vesyth. It was lovely, and though he could not have began to explain why, he found himself drawn to this place, comforted by it.
Which was why his irritation spiked so very high when something suddenly made a terrible racket in the branches of the nearest tree.
His eyes, which had flitted closed without his realizing, snapped open. They narrowed almost instantly as he gazed towards the offending foliage, wondering who had come to disturb his peace now. With a heavy sigh that he did not bother to keep quiet, Cardan pushed himself to a seated position, ears splaying back against his skull as his eyes traced the wild shaking of the branches. Whatever perched there seemed to be distressed, or perhaps dying, if he were lucky. Then he would be left with peace again, and perhaps he might even be able to nap before the growling of his stomach roused him.
Briefly the rustling quieted, and Cardan was almost content to resume his lazing – until quite suddenly there was a flutter of wings, and something dark swung downwards from the innards of the tree, dangling precariously from the bough. Squinting, Cardan slowly rose to his feet, languidly strolling forward as if he weren't completely baffled until he came to stand almost underneath the thing, head tilting back as he gazed up at it. It was…strange, and difficult for him to decipher what he was gazing at. Fur here, slick wings there, tucked close to conceal most of the weird little body. Perhaps this was one of the demons that his mother had always accused Cardan of being? Or perhaps some deformed creature, abandoned by its dam and left to fend for itself?
He was amid his musing when a damp little nose emerged from the cocoon of wings quite suddenly, followed by a fur-clad muzzle and huge, limpid black eyes. The two of them blinked almost simultaneously, but before Cardan could utter a word, the creature shifted its body and suddenly tumbled from the low-hanging branch, colliding with the petal-clad earth between Cardan’s paws. It shuffled into a half-upright position as he stared down at it, one of its wings held oddly against its body, screaming of an injury – and indeed, he could see some sort of cut that marred the leathery membrane there, half-healed but red and apparently painful.
”Well,” Cardan drawled quietly as the strange beast blinked up at him. He had never seen anything like it, and frankly, he was a bit disturbed by how very wolfish the facial features of it seemed to be. Not the same, to be sure, but…similar. His paw lifted, edging forward in preparation of putting the poor thing out of its misery, and earning his peace back. He did not particularly like to kill things, not at all, but nor did he wish to listen to it in the final throes of its life if it could not care for itself properly. ”You’re an odd one, aren’t you? Perhaps you’ll understand the sentiment when I say that this is for your own good – “
And all hell broke loose.
There came a great screech of indignation from the creature that had Cardan swiftly snatching his paw back, his bottom tumbling back and colliding with the earth as his eyes widened. Still the creature continued to keen, rearing back and flapping its good wing furiously, the chattering noises emitted from its open maw making Cardan’s ears twitch.
”Shut up,” Cardan demanded instinctively, his voice dipping into a low growl – but it tapered off a moment later when he realized, joltingly, that if he listened closely…he could understand what the creature was screaming about.
”…the nerve of you! Don’t even bother trying to help, do ya? Nope, you’d rather snap my neck and be done with it! Well I won’t have it, not today. I’ve lost enough and I don’t need some…some…” Her screeches – for the voice was clearly feminine – were dying down now, and those eyes had grown wider, and – shit. Was she going to start crying? Cardan found himself at a loss, and it was staggering; he simply stared down at the animal as she tucked herself close, her body trembling as she glared half-heartedly up at him.
”I…” He what? Cardan hadn’t the slightest clue what to do. He hadn’t expected this, had never spoken to a creature who was not a wolf before, and he certainly did not know how to handle femmes on the verge of tears, no matter the species. And so he blurted the only thing that came to mind: ”What’s your name?”
Her sniffles quieted, and her glare softened a fraction, suspicion shining in those big, dark eyes. ”My name? It’s…it’s Nicasia.” Not a demon after all, then; or at least, he didn’t think. He’d never heard of demons to sniffle and sob, at least not in the gruesome tales that his mother had told him to frighten Cardan into submission. Strange – everything about this day was strange. Before he could begin to wonder what else he was supposed to ask, however, Nicasia readily supplied the information herself. ”There was a terrible storm, and I got separated from my colony. The wind blew me into the trees, and I hurt my wing. I…I’ve never been alone before. I don’t know what to do.”
In that moment, visions of Myrcella flashed before his eyes – and then so quickly that he almost missed it, memories of himself as a pup, afraid and alone, cast out of the dens as thunder raged above and lightning split the skies. Cold, wet, alone. Afraid, confused, hurt. The feelings swirled through Cardan, overwhelmed him, until he gasped and reeled back from them. Nicasia was still gazing up at him from beneath her wing, and in that moment he knew that he would not be able to snuff her out as he’d originally intended.
”Perhaps I can help you,” he said, so softly that he was not sure she heard, until he saw her ears twitch. And then, in usual Cardan fashion he added, ”As long as you promise to never shriek as you did before. You have the power to make ears bleed across the continent, and I quite like my own in healthy condition, you strange little beast.”
”Bat,” she informed him, attempting to sound indignant but failing as a smile spread across her muzzle. ”I am a bat.”
”Then hello, Nicasia the Bat,” Cardan said, so formally that it was immediately silly. ”My name is Cardan the Wolf.”
Words: 1,562 Tags: open! Muse: Excellent Notes: just Cardan finding his companion. If anyone wants to hop in, they can!
Vira let out a little sigh, she didn't enjoy traveling under the increasingly warm sun as much as her sister. In fact, she preferred traveling at night and sleeping during the day, but needs must. Stretching out more fully under the shade of the trees she supposed there was no harm in returning to this place after all the wolves had dispersed and it was rather striking. She knew her sister wanted to travel north, but she wasn't so sure. As far as she knew they would have to pass between the territories of two different packs which was something she wasn't keen to do without knowing anything about them. But her sister was right that it would suit them best to go in that direction. Letting herself drift off to sleep for a short while she resolved to give it a bit more thought once her mind wasn't so foggy.
Lira was...restless. It was time to start moving even further away from here. She wanted to go, but Vira had decided on a nap and she delayed urging her to leave a bit sooner. It was difficult at times to understand her sister's hesitancy. Wherever they went they would make do her concerns about the packs she had heard of quite irrelevant, however, the darker female hadn't had much time to process her request so perhaps she would let the idea roll around in her head a bit before truly pushing the issue. Then she might be more receptive to her idea. The pair of females were slowly circling around a mutual idea, however, Lira had always been more ready to instantly pursue such a thing than Vira had been to instantly agree. She had to admit it wasn't something that a wolf should begin too casually. In moments like this, it seemed like the perfect compromise. It was rare, she mused, to catch herself thinking about something so deeply for such a long time, but her thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a sound that grated on her ears drowning out anything else or any hope of an uneventful walk. Which really wasn't such a loss to the female at all.
Trotting easily towards the source of the commotion she was rather surprised to find a rather large black male who, while still not quite her size, was certainly larger than most of the other wolves she came across. He had a rather striking appearance from what she could see, although it was the tiny thing at his paws that drew her attention. It rather appeared as if it had frightened him, with the way he sat back on his haunches. "First a wolf with a hawk, and now a brute with a bat, what's next? A flying squirrel?" There was a tiny bit of a huff at the end of her words as if to imply laughter without actually bursting into it. Light danced in her eyes at her own humor even if nothing she said was particularly funny.
Looking a bit closer she could tell that there was something not quite right with the tiny creature. She couldn't quite tell what it was though or why this wolf hadn't decided to simply put the thing out of its misery if it was badly injured. Although there was no reason for her to do it herself and start a fight if the male had decided not to for whatever reason. If anything the little thing looked more like a fighter. Thinking back it was probably the bat that had screeched, she hadn't encountered many of them but their chatter would fill the night sky they traveled under occasionally. Vira seemed to enjoy the sound of that more than birdsong for whatever reason Lira couldn't discern. Just another thing that differentiated the two sisters. She wondered if Vira would find this scene as intriguing as her.
word count|| 647 tagged|| Cardan notes|| I apologize, she has no filter evidentially XD Kati H.
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[attr="class","post"]Scarcely had he finished his brief and, for a brute such as himself, touching introduction between he and the bat before a voice sounded nearby. Nicasia gave a hiccup of fear, surging forward and clinging to his leg so fiercely that Cardan was surprised. But his head was turning, body angling slightly so that he did not dislodged the bat, even as he shifted to find who it was that had spoken. Already he felt strangely protect of the emotional, leathery creature, for reasons that he did not wish to ponder when in the company of others. Cardan did not do well with showing weakness, instead preferring to lash out in childlike insolence to whoever might challenge his stunted behaviors.
The she-wolf who stood observing him was monstrous, larger even that he; Cardan was not much of a fighter, and he knew if it came to such, he would flee with Nicasia rather than succumbing to a brawl. But it did not seem as if the femme was on edge or likely to attack at that moment; she seemed more amused than anything, and true to fashion, Cardan found himself slipping into his usual mask of bravery. Dark eyebrows quirking, he let his mismatched gaze rake across her, mulling over her words quickly and briefly before posing a retort of his own.
”If a flying squirrel decides to attach itself to a wolf, I hope sincerely that it is not me. I fear I am already outmatched by the bat who clings to me as if I’m her mother.” Nicasia huffed softly at that, half-hiccup, but did not seem to object overtly to his tone nor his words. She crawled limb over limb up his fur, her weight and tugging limbs unfamiliar to him as she settled on his side, making him grimace faintly. He washed the movement of his face away a moment later, languidly and slowly sitting back on his haunches so that he did not disturb the bat, but so that he was still the picture of arrogant comfort that he preferred.
”It seems as if you have no strange animals clinging to you yourself,” he noted, a dramatic sigh bubbling forth from his lips. ”It seems as if not everyone who visits this luxurious oasis leaves with an additional mouth to feed. So why is it, then, that you’ve found yourself here, stranger?”
Post by Lira | Vira on Aug 5, 2020 22:00:25 GMT -6
[attr="class","pltxt"]Lira Speaks | Vira Speaks | Ipsum | Dolor
Lira let out a little huff as the male reorganized himself and took her in. She didn't mind when other wolves sized her up the same way that Vira did. Rather the female quite liked the moment as it gave her a chance to do a second sweep of the brute with her gaze. His expression was arrogant, but the fact that he had a little leather furball clinging to him slightly detracted from the otherwise rakish image he posed. She laughed a bit at his retort, she wasn't quite sure whether or not he was trying to be funny but she found the exchange more amusing than anything else. Although if he chose to be offended she certainly couldn't stop him. After a heartbeat of laughter, she closed her mouth and let the heave of her chest carry through her nose a bit before finally replying breathily "I meant no offense friend, but I will admit that you make a much finer mother than I."
While Lira herself was no stranger to relaxing in the company of strangers, her confidence in her own skills and sheer size being deterrent enough for most wolves that she came across (the fact that she traveled with her sister didn't hurt matters either) she was less used to other wolves being relaxed enough in her presence. Not to be outdone and the laughter still in her eyes even as her respiration slowed to a more normal pace she flopped down on the ground with an audible oomph and whoosh of air. While the brown female didn't care to arrange herself in as careful a portrait as the male did she still made a striking image with her paws outstretched on the ground and her muscles languid in a way that belied their ability to snap to attention like an adder.
A slight quirk in her lips as his tone changed and she responded with ease "I find myself wandering to and from various places, here seemed better than most though a little to warm for my tastes." The information flowed free and easy from her lips, unlike how it would have been with her sister, but she could not begrudge Vira her caution. Not that this brute looked more dangerous than the rest, he certainly had more for flair and gumption than the others which made him supremely interesting, but not much more dangerous. Perhaps a little larger than the rest, though, again, the bat clinging to him certainly detracted from the image.
Remembering her manners and curious herself the female hazarded to ask "And yourself? Were you seeking companionship because you couldn't have pups of your own or did you come here for another reason?" She quite liked to joke and while this brute seemed rather more serious and affronted he still provided good enough banter to keep her entertained and give her a reason to laugh. There were only so many giggles her sister could tolerate towards the few words she was inclined to speak after all.
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