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Howl to Me III: Blood & Crystals

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Corax

 

Originally, Corax had been planning to explore the lake's new boundaries until they returned to the Hallowed side of the valley, but when the thick mist that smelled faintly of rot suddenly rolled in she changed her mind. Although she wasn't completely blinded due to her ability to sense heat, being stuck in the middle of the damp, grey fog wasn't very pleasant and she readily followed Torque as he took off back for Hallowed territory. In any case, she knew that the Cursed side of the valley had a lot more water now, and that was enough for the time being. Though something seemed strange about this fog. Corax was no expert on the weather, but it seemed unusual for such a thick fog to roll in so quickly, and they definitely weren't supposed to have the smell of decay about them. Was a wolf causing this? Corax couldn't sense any wolves besides her and Torque in range, but she couldn't imagine there being any other cause for the fog besides natural ones. Hmm . . . Come to think of it, she didn't know what Torque's power was, did she? "Torque," Corax called out to the wolf running in front of her, "You aren't doing this, are you?" She didn't think it was her companion, there was no reason for him to summon a fog bank out of nowhere all of a sudden, but she couldn't get the thought out of her mind that there was something abnormal about this and she needed to investigate anything that might possibly be the cause.

 

Uriel

 

The white wolf stopped listening to anything Umbria said as soon as she mentioned she was originally from the Cursed pack. The fact that she was no longer a member did not matter to him. As far as he was concerned, once a Cursed wolf, always a Cursed wolf and he would show no mercy to any of them. He might tolerate wolves of Cursed origin that had been accepted into the Hallowed pack, but only because it was up to those with greater authority than him to decide who became a member of the Hallowed. Uriel was willing enough to grant leniency to a loner now and again, but they had to have been born a loner. A low growl rose in Uriel's throat as he pulled his lips back in a snarl, showing his sharp fangs. His claws ground against the rocky cliff surface as he flexed his paws in preparation to attack. Umbria seemingly hadn't noticed his change in attitude as she continued to chatter on about unimportant things. Good. If he caught her unaware, hopefully he would be able to take her out without suffering any injury to himself. It would be the easiest thing in the world.

 

The remaining Gamma and Delta in his patrol looked at the situation unfolding in front of them worriedly. As they had softer hearts than their leader, they had no desire to see a wolf that had left the Cursed pack die; yet they feared that if they tried to stop Uriel, the wolf would turn his fury onto them, as he was known for having a bad temper. When they saw Uriel turn away, they hoped that she would run off, but unfortunately she turned back. Hopefully she would notice what Uriel planned to do before it was too late.

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Keeping his mouth shut and his breathing as restrained as possible, Torque delayed answering the question until finally, they crossed the border into Hallowed territory, where the mist had thankfully ceased spreading. It was so peculiar, watching the wall of fog just be there, unmoving, as if suspended in mid air, but Torque was relieved to breathe clean air once more.

 

Did I do this? -he repeated the question and shook his head- No, but I sure wish I could have. within the confines of that fog, little sunlight reached those walking on the ground. In that grey abyss, Torque felt powerful, as if he was in night perfect darkness, capable of using his abilities to their full potential. Though as nice as that seemed, he still had his reservations about inhaling that mysterious mist. Who knew what long term exposure would have caused them. He decided to elaborate and clear the air with his new companion, for it seemed to be in his best interest to have at least one other someone he could trust.

 

You see, I grow stronger in the dark, and with that mist blocking out the majority of the sunlight, it'd have been useful for me to be able to spread that as I pleased in order to simulate darkness. Damn right I wish I could do that, but no. I can't, and I doubt I ever will. -he explained as they went on, moving to higher ground to get a better view of things, and avoid being engulfed by more. They had no idea how far that fog went on for, but if they had to judge by the massive wall of it that rolled right over them, only something exceptionally powerful could have caused it.

 

First it was the earthquake, now this. Makes you wonder what's next... and more importantly, where is it coming from. The only thing I can think of that has the capacity to do things like this is the source of all our powers, and it's currently in the paws of the Hallowed. ...what the hell going on over there?

Edited by Brotato

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LARK

 

Lark's branded wings stroked the air as she staggered atop of the boulder that trapped Cave inside. Finally, his muffled voice floated through the rock, and like the others Lark leapt away from the boulder just as it shifted to allow passage for their Gamma. She glided a few feet from the rubble and gave herself a quick shake. As Cave took off against orders, Lark approached Ulra again. "Well, at least he's alive enough to do something useful," she commented, her tone borderline dry. Lark would have offered to join Cave on the hunt, but Ulra assigned Ambrose to the job and the winged Gamma remained quiet. After all, she was still wary of the possibility that Cobalt was still ordered on a hunt, and hunting with him was the last thing Lark intended to do today.

 

"Ser, is there anything I--" Lark started, but she stopped short as a peculiar sight unfolded before her. Dropping down from the mountains like an avalanche was a thick, curling mist. At first Lark wasn't sure what it was-- it was so thick, it almost looked like snow, but moved too slowly and strangely to be so-- but as it pooled into the Cursed camp (Lark realized now from all sides), she felt the familiar tug at her lungs as the heavy fog suffocated her breath. She inhaled deeply, and nearly retched when the smell of rotten meat wafted into her nostrils. Not that Lark was unaccustomed to such a smell, nay it was almost familiar given the Cursed's circumstances, but it startled her and she looked around quickly for the source. It took her a long moment to realize the smell was drifting in on the tidal waves of fog.

 

"What is this?" she wondered aloud with disgust, fanning open her feathers. She gave a few pumps of her wings to clear the fog from her immediate area, but discovered that it merely danced around and settled back quickly from its displacement. She stared over at Ulra; the Alpha was a mere outline from where they stood a few feet away, and Lark was only able to recognize them from the shape of their silhouette and the faint cream color that could barely be made out against the white-gray mist. "Alpha...?"

 

Lark looked all around her. Everything was covered, even the sky, and she crouched low to the ground to smother the whine that built in her throat. This fog made her uneasy. Something had to be causing it; this couldn't have been natural. Maybe even the earthquake wasn't natural.... maybe Cave was right. As Lark gazed around, she noticed a dark shape standing far from the others. It looked clearer than any of the other wolves around her, and she stared at it. The shape of a wolf? The dark figure lingered only a moment longer before the fog swallowed it again, and a second later the figure vanished. "Who the hell was that?" she barked, getting to her feet again. A sense of alarm itched in her blood and she crept closer to Ulra's shadowed form. "Did you see that?"

 

COBALT

 

Cobalt hadn't been entirely interested in the earthquake after the shaking and the landslide subsided. The only fun in the aftermath was the panic that gripped the wolves as they ran around trying to fix the damage. The white warrior chuckled to himself from his perch on a stone that had tumbled down from the mountain and settled in the center of camp. He wondered briefly what became of his sisters, especially since Spitfire had left on a patrol, but the thought was fleeting. Spitfire was probably okay-- not that he cared much, of course.

 

He was lazing about on his new rock, grinning down at the wolves that scowled up at him, when a collective silence dropped over camp. He followed the other wolves' gaze up the mountainside to where a dense fog languidly stretched toward the ground, coiling and weaving like smoke with a purpose. Cobalt tilted his head, the crooked smile replaced by a thoughtful frown. He didn't know anyone who could do anything like that, unless he had forgotten to pay attention to the younger wolves again and someone's misty power had slipped his notice. It wouldn't surprise him. Or perhaps a newcomer was announcing their arrival in some sort of overly dramatic production to impress their Alpha. He glanced over to Ulra, but as the fog dropped into camp and filled the surrounding area, Cobalt lost interest in their Alpha for a moment. Standing several feet away, near the trees (and in a completely different direction than Lark was staring off in), was the tall shape of a dark wolf. It was still, and for a moment Cobalt wasn't sure if it had eyes or not. It's eerie presence didn't do much to unnerve the white warrior, but rather pique his interest. He stood on all fours and swung his ears towards the figure in the mist. With a soft exhale, Cobalt launched a gale of wind toward the figure; the mist swirled chaotically as the wind cut through, though like for Lark it simply swirled around and did not dissipate. The moment the arc of wind reached the figure however, the mist covered the figure and it disappeared.

 

Cobalt tilted his head the other way, mystified. "Ooh, this is exciting," he said, mostly to himself. A wicked grin spread across his face as the fog settled back into place, shrouding everything and everyone around him.

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Ylva

 

At first, they thought Pierce would surely leave them behind in the dirt. However, the Alpha's pace soon slowed and Ylva took relief in being able to move without falling every few steps. As they drew closer to the location of the Life Crystal, the oracle similarly noted the growing silence, their body gradually becoming more and more on edge.

 

"Stay here." Pierce didn't have to instruct Ylva twice, the blind Delta more than ready to oblige. They sat where the Alpha had left them, shifting their weight nervously and doing what they could to avoid noticing the various throbs and stings that layered their paws and legs. Silence was nerve-wracking, Ylva's ears swiveling every-which-way and straining to pick up any sound. Left to their thoughts, they worried about what would be discovered and they began to think of worse-case scenarios.

 

Unfortunately, upon Pierce's return, one such scenario came true. "It's gone. The Crystal is just... gone." Ylva's blood ran cold, terror slithering into their body. They didn't know if it was solely due to the information that the Alpha had revealed or if it included their reaction to Pierce's strangely calm voice.

 

"G-Gone? But... But how?" the Delta questioned, tone rising with panic at the end. Their mind wanted to go into overdrive, to think of every possible outcome that could result from this occurrence. They shook their head instead, shoving the thoughts down and lowering their ears in distress.

 

Ulra

 

"Indeed...," the Alpha replied to Lark's comment, only turning their head to face the Gamma once Cave and Ambrose were out of sight. Ulra waited as Lark began to ask a question, frowning when she suddenly cut off. Glancing over their shoulder to see what had caught the female's attention, Ulra's ears perked as their eyes widened. Something... fog perhaps, was rolling down from the mountains and descending upon the Cursed territory. The ripe stench of rotting flesh filled their nostrils and throat, making them gag briefly as they were unprepared for the mild assault.

 

"What is this?" Ulra didn't know, gaze skimming the now obscured area. They could only make out the vague forms of wolves who had been within feet of their position. The low visibility put Ulra's senses on alert, ears erect and nose flaring. "Alpha...?"

 

Turning at Lark's questioning tone, Ulra's frown only deepened, their rubbery lips quivering only slightly in a threat to reveal their teeth. This fog was far from normal, that was certain. But Ulra had no inkling of knowledge as to what - or who - the cause was. And that greatly aggravated them. As they opened their muzzle to respond to Lark's uncertain words, the Alpha caught sight of a shadow in their peripheral vision. Quickly, they focused their gaze and attention on the shadow, eyes narrowing at the sight of a figure within the fog. Body ridged and ears back, a low growl rose from their chest.

 

The presence of the unknown wolf did nothing to ease Ulra's nerves but, before they could demand to know who the figure was, the shadowed form seemed to disperse into the fog. "Who the hell was that? Did you see that?" Feeling Lark move closer as she barked her alarm, Ulra shifted their gaze. The Alpha didn't miss the Gamma's eyes focused in another direction. Were they surrounded then?

 

Quickly, Ulra looked around, spying the few shapes of pack mates that they could but unable to know if they saw similar figures that vanished. The Alpha's ears twitched in agitation, hackles raised. "I saw it too. I don't know who it was that I saw but I fear we could be surrounded or someone is playing on our fears," Ulra replied, voice level to avoid alarming Lark further. Lifting their voice to be heard by the rest of the camp, Ulra lifted their head in a short howl. "Visibility is obviously low but it seems we are possibly being watched. I want everyone in groups of at least two. No one is to be alone. I would much prefer it if everyone gathered to be seen by fellow pack mates. However, that is a secondary concern," the Alpha instructed calmly. "Stay together and alert me if you spy anyone or anything that is unfamiliar."

Edited by Narvix

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Corax noted how the dense fog came to a halt immediately after the two of them passed the scent markings that effectively made up the territory line between the Hallowed and Cursed side of the meadow. That . . . was quite suspicious. She was unsurprised as Torque denied being the cause of the fog, and from his tone it was clear that either he was telling the truth or he was a much better liar than he'd shown himself to be thus far. What did surprise her was when Torque went on to explain to her the nature of his powers. She had not expected him to be so open with that kind of information, particularly since if it became necessary to defend himself against her with them, having the element of surprise on his side would be a significant advantage. Not that Corax was planning to attack the other wolf, but you could never be too careful.

 

"Are your powers really that sensitive to changes in light? It wasn't all that dark in the fog bank," Corax noted as she followed Torque up the slope of the valley. It wasn't like light or darkness-based powers changing strength based on the amount of light out was new to her, but while their vision had certainly been obstructed, the actual amount of light hadn't changed all that much. It had certainly decreased, but no more than it did on an overcast or rainy day, still more than enough light to see by if the mist hadn't been in the way.

 

Corax then huffed out a short breath and decided she had stalled for long enough. Torque had been kind enough to tell her about his powers, and he must have noticed the thin white plumes of steam rising from her dark coat as the droplets of water that had gotten caught in it as they passed through the fog earlier evaporated due to the heat she'd accumulated and stored earlier. "I can draw heat from any object, alive or otherwise, and store it inside myself," Corax explained. That was hardly the full extent of her abilities, but she could tell that Torque hadn't told her everything that he could do, either. Well, telling each other the full details would likely take more time than they had to spare right now, anyway.

 

"Can the Life Crystal really do something like this . . . ?" Corax asked no on in particular. Although she had always known that it was the source of their powers, she had never thought that it could have such an immediate effect on their environment. Leeching the Cursed land of nutrients sort of made sense because it was through the earth, but this . . . this was weather. Now that they'd gained some height, Corax turned back around to look back the way they'd come, and saw the thick fog blanket the entire Cursed Territory as far as the eye could see in every direction, and without a doubt beyond that. Corax felt a little bad for suspecting Torque for being the cause of this now, since it was clear that the fog was spread over far too wide an area for any one wolf to be behind it, although there was no way for her to have known that at the time.

 

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((No clue what to do with Symaro right now. I guess I'll keep him idle.))

 

Not just light, direct sunlight. we could be blinded by dispersed light for all my powers care in that fog, but I'd still be at my strongest, just because the sun's rays aren't touching my pelt. -he elaborated, comfortable with sharing this information. After all, Corax didn't seem dangerous at all. Besides, Torque never really revealed his actual abilities, merely a weakness.

 

Yes, that sounds interesting. -he commented, after hearing of her own abilities, but at that moment, he really considered that knowledge irrelevant. After the day they'd had... the earthquake ripping the terrain asunder, this malodorous fog rolling in over the entirety of the Cursed territory... It has to be the crystal. I mean, what else can do all this, if not the source of all our powers? -he commented hesitantly. If this was happening, and the crystal was responsible, that meant something was very very wrong.

 

Had Pierce lost it and started abusing the blasted thing's power? It didn't fit Torque's initial impression of the Hallowed leader, but then again...

Oh ...no. -his eyes widened. It made sense all of a sudden. If Pierce felt threatened, then she would have every reason to try and reinforce the Hallowed territory by tampering with the crystal. despite the fact that Torque knew next to nothing of the mystical crystal, he knew it was powerful, and he knew who it benefited the most. Could it be that Pierce felt threatened after his skulking around the night before?

 

This, this puts a huge dent in my plans, and a few other things. -he commented quietly, looking towards where the Hallowed camp resided. His next course of action would require the cover of darkness once more. I'll check things out on Hallowed territory tonight, and if my suspicions turn out true, then the Cursed are intentionally under attack now.

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Uriel

 

The she-wolf finally noticed his hostile intentions and began to run Uriel sprang, causing him to miss her entirely. It didn't take him long to recover and begin to pursue, but she had a head start now, heading down towards the border dividing Hallowed and Cursed territory, which he just now noticed was completely coated in thick fog on one side. If she was able to reach that fog bank, it would be almost impossible for Uriel to find her. Unfortunately, it didn't look like his remaining patrol members were going to join him, fools that they were, so this was up to him.

 

Uriel was able to close the gap between him and the wolf he was pursuing, but the border was nearly upon them. He fired off two shots of blinding hot light, but his aim was poor, and they both barely missed the other wolf. Uriel followed the wolf for a short while after she crossed the border, but stopped when he realized he had lost her trail in the heavy fog. Returning to his patrol where they waited on the other side of the border, snorting softly at the faint scent of rot that seemed to pervade the air on this side of the border, Uriel harshly barked out an order for them to return to camp, and the three of them started out on their way. He was seething inwardly that the soft-hearted fools hadn't joined in on chasing the she-wolf down once they had learned she was originally of the Cursed pack. With another wolf, he would have been able to flank her, and perhaps then he would had caught her. But Uriel didn't think that giving a direct order would have been a good idea at that time. As reluctant as they clearly had been, they might have refused, and even if they didn't, it was possible that they might have complained with having to carry out that order to one of the Betas or the Alpha, and that might compromise his chances for advancement in the future. No, as much as the Cursed wolf getting away bothered him, being able to take her down wasn't worth that.

 

When, after long last, the three wolves returned to the Hallowed camp, Uriel couldn't believe his eyes. Everything was in disarray, injured wolves sprawled out all over the camp, healthy ones calling out for friends or family members, Deltas running around trying to dispense medicine, pups underfoot everywhere, and the trunk of a huge tree lying smack in the middle of the camp. Neither of the Betas nor the Alpha was anywhere to be found, and the only Gamma who even seemed to be trying to maintain some sort of order was an older male Uriel vaguely recognized as Aegis. He immediately headed over to the other wolf as the remains of his patrol melted into the chaos of the camp, hopefully to make good use of themselves. "What's going on here?" Uriel asked Aegis, his tone sharp. He tried to keep the anger in his voice under control - after all, Aegis was doing nothing wrong here - but he simply could not fathom what could have happened to call away all of the ranking wolves so that a Gamma had to take charge of the camp during a situation like this. One or two of them being away he could understand, but all of them? "Where are the Betas? Where is Alpha Pierce?"

 

Corax

 

Corax went cold for a short second when Torque said that the Cursed wolves might be under attack - after all, even though she had abandoned her former packmates to follow her own path, it wasn't like she wanted them to die. However, after a moment, that sensation faded, and Corax was able to think rationally again. "Something doesn't seem quite right about that," she said slowly, sorting out the arguments in her head as she spoke. "The current alpha of the Hallowed pack hasn't been that aggressive towards the Cursed, at least as far as Hallowed alphas go. Even if something did cause her to change her mind, though, why now? This is hardly a good time for an attack. There was an earthquake only a few hours ago. The Hallowed still have to fully recover from the damage it caused. Why intentionally do something that will potentially drive the Cursed pack into Hallowed territory, putting them at risk for attack there, when they're already weakened? It doesn't make sense." And yet, Corax was having trouble coming up with an alternative theory as to what might have happened. She was silent for a long minute as she thought, and then asked Torque, "Do you think it's possible for the Life Crystal to do something like this on its own?" After all, it wasn't like any wolf controlled the Life Crystal when it came to giving the wolves of the valley their powers. Maybe it could do other things on its own as well.

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PIERCE

 

The Hallowed Alpha stared blankly over at Ylva, though the blind oracle wouldn't have noticed. Was it even possible? Pierce hadn't a clue. Before today, she couldn't even imagine the Life Crystal could even be touched by another living creature without consequence, much less be moved somewhere else entirely. It wasn't something that just up and disappeared. After a tense moment of silence, she closed her eyes and shook her head. The initial shock was beginning to wear off, to be replaced with a gnawing dread that ate at her belly. With the absence of the Life Crystal, there was no saying what would become of them, or even of their territory. Lore stipulated that it protected their pack from harm; outbreaks of deadly disease, famine, etc. It provided their land with sustenance. Now that it was gone-- what did that mean for her pack, her family? Would her home crumble into despair, much like the Southern lands where the exiled could barely thrive?

 

Pierce shivered. Someone had to be behind this. There was no reason for their Crystal to vanish. And the only creatures capable of such a feat, if it were possible-- though she had seen it for herself, she continued to deny it-- were the ones lying in wait on the other end of the valley. If anyone knew about the Life Crystal's whereabouts, it would be the Cursed. Pierce was sure of it.

 

Or was she? What if they weren't behind all this...where would that leave her? Pierce shifted on her paws, acknowledging the ache in her hind leg. It would do no good to venture into Cursed territory weakened and injured; that would only cause more issues than she cared to deal with at the moment. And what kind of Alpha would she be to send her own wolves in her stead, to what could very well be certain death? She had very few options at this point, given the unstable and uncertain nature of their new reality. Glancing over at Ylva, Pierce started hesitantly, "Help me get back to camp. I'll need Symaro's medicine. I don't know what happened here... but Ylva, you must promise me you'll speak to no one else of this." Her eyes burned fierce for a moment with conviction. "No one else in our pack may know. If word that the Crystal has vanished got out, could you imagine the panic and mayhem that could cause? Or worse, if the Cursed found out before I had a chance to confront them myself? They could take advantage of us, of me, and our situation. We have enough to worry about with the earthquake destroying a good portion of our land. If anyone asks, the quake caused the cavern to cave in on itself. The Crystal is safe as far as anyone else is concerned."

 

Pierce's gaze softened, and she looked down at the earth. It pained her to give those directions, but it was necessary. An Alpha should never lie to their pack, but it had to be for the best, to protect them from causing further chaos. The Crystal's whereabouts would be easy enough to gloss over, as the reasoning was sound behind the cavern's collapse. What made her the most uneasy about the situation, however, was having to explain to her wolves why she was going to cross the borders herself. Of course there would be no way for her to convince them she needed to go alone-- how suspicious would that sound?-- and she wondered just how long she would be able to keep the news about the Crystal's disappearance from her wolves before the truth slunk out. It wasn't as though she could trust the Cursed to keep their maws shut, even if they weren't the ones behind it. Pierce held back a growl. Leading a party into Cursed territory was going to be difficult in itself without getting into a fight with their warriors. How easy would it be to waltz in and expect an audience without a little bit of bloodshed? Pierce hoped for none, but...well, she was the Hallowed Alpha. It felt like she was asking a rabid bear for a bite of its fresh kill.

 

"Let's go. I musn't be too long, or else they'll start to suspect something," Pierce said, exhaustion ringing in her voice. She teetered forward a few steps and then paused to add, "The earthquake must have been caused by the Crystal when it disappeared. You were right. If you have any other...visions, tell me immediately." Grunting softly, Pierce started toward the trees again, limping every so often.

 

She cursed her misfortune as they traveled. Though she pushed herself to a brisk walk, her energy was so low her pelt had lost the violet luster of lightning altogether. She had never felt so physically drained in her life, and part of her wondered if the news of the Crystal (and perhaps the absence of it as well) played a part in the ebbing of her strength. By the time the familiar bustle (though slightly more pronounced from the shock of the quake) of camp reached her ears and she could smell other wolves near by, she was ready to fall over and sleep for five days straight.

 

Pierce hobbled through the bushes and stopped short at the sight of the massive tree trunk dividing the camp in half. Well that certainly didn't make things easier, either. She studied it a moment, trying to make sure no one had gotten caught beneath it-- luckily enough, no paws or tails could be see sticking out from beneath the log, nor did it appear that the fallen tree had caused irrevocable damage. Some dens appeared crushed, but that was the least of her worries.

 

A few Gammas noticed her standing at the edge of the camp and rushed over to the injured Alpha. She touched noses briefly with them, grateful now that her energy was so low that touching her packmates was now possible without harming them in return. "Fetch me Symaro," she instructed one of the hunters. He gave a curt nod and dashed off to find the Beta. She turned her weary gaze toward everyone else in camp. "Report; how many hurt?"

 

"Not many, just a pawful. The Deltas are tending to them as we speak," the other Gamma said. "We're shaken up, but not badly. I think there might be another patrol going out soon, as the quake frightened off the game. Your hunting party brought back a stag, though, so that should sustain us for a little while."

 

She gave a nod of dismissal and thanked her. Food sounded like a miracle now; she lifted her nose and sought out the deer where he lay on the other side of the fallen tree. Other wolves were gathered around, gazing at their meal hungrily, and wagged their tails at the sight of Pierce approaching. The flesh ripped loudly as she tore a forelimb from the carcass, leaving behind a trail of congealed blood in her wake. With a huff of breath, she turned from the stag for the others to take their share. Wherever Tobias was, she did not know-- she could only hope he was helping out somewhere, and not trapped or injured.

 

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Meanwhile, amidst the hustle and bustle of the pack, Symaro and Solla were idly conversing as they watched the other deltas tend to the remainder of the injured. The vast majority of wounds had been dealt with, and there had thankfully been no casualties.

...and that's why I never use Snappervine for antiseptic solutions any more, it just decays way too... "Excuse me, sorry. Solla, hi. Can I borrow our beta for a moment, Pierce has returned, she sent me to fetch you." A faint sigh of relief escaped both the beta, and his assistant. Good. Okay, take me to her. -with talk of what had happened while Pierce was away on his mind, Symaro thought it best to keep such information as contained as possible. Err, Solla, if you would, please remain here. These deltas might need help. Arcing an eyebrow, Solla nodded quietly, but didn't argue.

 

Soon enough, he was lead to the carcass, where Pierce and some others were feasting, no doubt trying to recover her strengths.

He quietly approached and smiled lightly. Good grief, you're finally back! -he exclaimed, ultimately relieved to see her in one piece. His smile immediately vanished, however, when he spotted the state of Pierce's injured leg. The improvised bandage had come loose and wasn't helping at all any more, for who knew how long since Pierce's rather spontaneous departure. Curiously, the wound wasn't dropping blood any more, which meant one of two things for the concerned Beta. Sighing, he silently walked over and re-fastened the bandage, so that it covered the wound adequately. It would need to be changed in the late evening, but would still suffice for the time being. On the upside, her facial injury seemed to have ceased bleeding, indicating it was most likely only superficial. Whether or not it would scar, however, was difficult to tell at that point. His inquiries about her whereabouts and findings would have to wait...

 

How do you feel? Particularly, do you feel numb around the legs? Can you feel your feet? The tips of your toes?

 

((Slightly pressed for time, replying to Corax soon.))

Edited by Brotato

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((Oh god... such a poor post x.x))

 

Aegis stood among two wolves, all of whom had returned to inform Aegis of the progress within the camp. The wolf who had returned from where the delta's treated the wounded had updated him on their progress; reporting zero casualties but many wounded as well as Symaro's return. The fact that there were no casualties from today's incident brought a deep sigh of relief from Aegis. This moment of relief however did not last as the second wolf interjected... his news bringing a deep look of concern. Tobias was still nowhere to be seen.

 

"Both of you..." he paused, reaffirming with himself that this was the right course of action. "... I want you to find out from the other wolves where they last saw Tobias today and then focus your efforts there... it is of utmost importance that we locate our Beta"

 

As they left, Aegis was approached by a fellow gamma; Uriel. His presence back at camp lifting a large weight of Aegis shoulders.

"I'm afraid I do not have the full details" replied Aegis, relief in his voice as he noted Uriels return as well as two other wolves from the patrol, that was three more names off the 'unaccounted for' list. "From what I have been told, Alpha Pierce led a hunting party during the early break of dawn..." Aegis paused and took a breath. "After the earthquake, Symaro along with the oracle Ylva led some delta's out in search from them. However I have just been informed of Symaro's return not to long ago, he should be where the delta's have gathered to treat the wounded". Aegis stopped and surveyed the chaos in front of them,

 

"There is still no sign or word regarding our Beta Tobias, I fear for the..." he was interrupted as a commotion began to take place near the entrance. Several gamma's rushed forward and soon small shouts of joy and relief could be heard as they welcomed back their Alpha Pierce.

 

"Thank the heavens..." muttered Aegis,the relief sweeping over him. He glanced at Uriel, "I must inform her about Tobias..." He took his leave and headed towards their Alpha, unsure as to how he should inform her. He still held out hope that one of the wolves he had sent out earlier had brought news about his whereabouts... but alas, that did not happen and soon he was standing before her. "My Alpha.." he paused, taking a submissive stance and averting his gaze. "We have not been able to locate our Beta; Tobias..."

Edited by TotallyDrow

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Ylva

 

Listening to Pierce's silence made the blind Delta nervous. What was the Alpha thinking about? Then, she began to talk about getting back to camp, commanding Ylva into silence about what had transpired in the next moment. "I will do my best to keep my tongue curbed, Alpha," they stated. As Pierce began to limp back, the Delta pressed their flank against hers to help steady her. They had noticed the lack of electricity sparking the air and deemed it safe since it was clear the Alpha's leg injury was bothering her.

 

The walk back was slow and quiet, the Alpha seeming to have nothing more to address with Ylva. Still, it left the Delta nervous once more, fretting about what might transpire now that the Life Crystal was gone. Surely, Pierce was in the same mindset. However, if she were, the Alpha didn't give any physical indication that the Delta could perceive. Soon, though, the sounds of camp reached their sharp ears and Ylva couldn't resist the wash of relief that swept through their body. No other misfortune seemed to have befallen the pack while they were absent. Though, by the sounds of it, Aegis still hadn't located where Tobias was.

 

As Gammas swarmed the Alpha, Ylva stepped away to make her presence known among the Deltas. Perhaps something useful could be done about that tree....

Edited by Narvix

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Uriel flexed his claws in the dirt in an attempt to work out the irritation he felt as Aegis explained to him that the other wolf did not know everything himself; he'd known that that was likely to be the case when he asked Aegis, but hearing it actually said to him only served to further aggravate the white wolf. It then turned out that Aegis did at least have some information on Pierce and Symaro, the new beta, though the other beta Tobias was apparently still missing.

 

"Symaro is here?" Uriel asked Aegis abruptly when he volunteered the news, head raising and ears pricking upward. "He's with the Deltas? I see . . . " He turned his head towards the group of Deltas gathering near the wounded where, now that he was looking for him, he could indeed see the newly-made Beta . . . apparently chatting easily with a subordinate Delta, completely ignoring the situation around him. Uriel couldn't believe what he was seeing. He had personally been against Symaro being made Beta in the recent election - it wasn't that he didn't respect the wolf, not at all, Uriel actually greatly respected his abilities as a healer - but he had always thought that the position of Beta was best reserved for wolves who were able to provide for and protect the pack against outward threats - in other words, those in the Gamma position as opposed to the Delta. However, he had decided to respect the decisions of the larger pack - but he would never have thought Symaro would be so foolish and irresponsible as to just sit back and relax while the entire pack was still in danger, and let subordinates try to keep things in order without apparently bothering to make sure that they were doing so. "Of all the idiotic . . . I know he's newly-appointed, but that's no excuse for this," Uriel muttered under his breath darkly. "Aegis, hold on just a second. I'm going to have a few words with the Beta over there, and then I'll be back to help you out."

 

With that, Uriel broke away from Aegis and strode off over towards where Symaro was sitting, his every move radiating purpose. He had to change his direction slightly when Symaro suddenly got up and headed towards a wolf heading into camp that he realized was the Alpha, but not even that could deter him now. Symaro needed to know that, in a situation like this more than any other time, he needed to act in accordance with his rank if he wanted to keep it. As he neared the Beta Uriel snapped at him, careful to keep his voice low in order to not cause undue panic among the rest of the camp, "Symaro, what do you think you're doing? You're a Beta now, and the Hallowed pack is in the middle of a crisis! You need to be taking responsibility for the situation and making sure everyone is all right! Because you haven't been doing your job, the Gammas are having to step up in your place!" He guestured towards Aegis with his head, who was giving Pierce a report at the moment. As far as Uriel was concerned, the other wolf seemed much more like a Beta at the moment than Symaro did. Frankly, Uriel was disappointed in Symaro. Even with the background of a Delta, Uriel would have thought that Symaro would have been able to do a better job than this.

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Sighing deeply and rolling his eyes upon hearing Uriel's words, Symaro quietly excused himself from the Alpha's presence with a court nod and a simple "Just a moment.". He looked towards Uriel, sat down, then spoke calmly: The Gammas' aid is greatly appreciated, but their action is not a consequence of any inaction on my part. My abilities are best placed where they are most urgently needed. Were I shirking my responsibilities, then there would have been casualties, especially where the deltas resided. -he scowled, his tone of voice growing slightly hoarser and louder as the irritation of Uriel's implication started to really set in- After I had made sure the Deltas had things under control, and all significant injuries were dealt with, I proceeded to my den and did one of the things that I am best at. Just outside is a large amount of pain suppressing brew, specifically designed to aid the injured in coping with what damage they may have sustained. I believe that by now, it should be at least half empty. -his face started to contort into a subtle grimace as his tone grew louder.

 

Furthermore, our very alpha is in a worse condition than the majority, if not any of us here. She's the one who needed immediate medical attention, especially considering she's expected by each and every one of us to guide the pack through this catastrophe! I gave the rest what aid I could provide, but so long as no one's life is in any immediate danger, Pierce is my priority for the time being. -standing up, he squinted and continued- I wasn't appointed Beta to track, manage or to run the pack in Pierce's absence. That is what Tobias is here for, and I hold no responsibility for or over him either. My duty is to offer immediate and effective medical aid to those who most desperately need it, act as a catalyst to the duties of the deltas, a source of insight to those who can use my knowledge, such as Solla, just a little while ago, and prime researcher in the field of medicine and certain kinds of mysticism. I do not impose authority. Unless I absolutely must.

 

Had you come asking questions, I would have gladly explained my actions to you, but instead you approach me gung-ho with unsubstantiated accusations and so much gusto, that one should assume you've been a healer far longer than anyone else here, and know which course of action is most efficient right off the bloody bat! -he resumed with a low growl- Never, ever assume I'm twiddling my thumbs while the pack suffers. It is the greatest offence you can use against me, and the fastest way to get on my bad side, so henceforth kindly keep your misinterpretations of my actions to yourself. -he finished speaking just as a sharp stabbing pain shot through his chest. His speech had aggravated his chest condition and his broken rib was not faring so well as a result. He coughed out some blood, took a few calm breaths, shot Uriel with a searing glance, then spat some blood right between the wolf's legs. It'd take a little while before Symaro could muster much more than a whisper, or a gurgle when trying to speak now.

Edited by Brotato

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Uriel felt a growl begin deep in his throat as Symaro began to pompously attempt to defend himself against the Gamma's accusations, clearly not seeing any problem with the actions he'd taken, despite the fact that he'd risked putting the well-being of the entire pack at risk with them. One thing was very clear to Uriel: Symaro was still thinking of himself as a Delta, not a Beta, and he would undoubtedly cause problems for the entire Hallowed pack in the future unless he realized that fact. "Preparing medicine for the injured is of course important, but there would have been any number of Deltas available to perform the task," Uriel told Symaro, nodding briefly at the large number of wolves of that rank currently milling around them. "There was no reason for you to need to prepare it yourself. And of course the health and safety of the Alpha is of the utmost importance, but for crying out loud she only just arrived in camp! I would have expected better of you than to offer up such a terrible excuse."

 

Uriel continued, "It may generally be Tobias's job to manage the pack in the Alpha's absence, but as you may or may not have noticed, he isn't here right now, and no one seems to know where he is. In his absence, the responsibility should have fallen to you to manage things, not Aegis. Like it or not, it is a Beta's job to impose authority, Symaro. That is why the position exists, and if you don't like that, you should return to being a Delta. And frankly, I wouldn't really want to serve under a Beta who would so easily put the lives of his subordinates at risk because he thinks somebody else is supposed to be taking care of things he doesn't think he needs to be bothered with, anyway." Uriel began to turn around, still keeping an eye on the other wolf. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm sure you've noticed Aegis has his hands full making a report to Alpha Pierce, so I'm going to see if I can help out and keep things under control while he's doing so. It's my duty as a Hallowed wolf, after all." With that, Uriel headed off to the place where Aegis had formerly been standing, hoping to be able to run interference for him until he was finished speaking with Pierce. Hopefully Uriel would be able to distinguish himself a bit this way as well, even though being absent from the camp during most of the chaos had prevented him from being able to take a real leadership role before now.

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COBALT | LARK

 

At the Alpha's command, Lark remained close, occasionally sneaking a step closer to her leader whenever she glimpsed something move in the depths of the grayness. Anytime the mist swirled ominously, Lark's hackles rose and her wings twitched, as if she were fighting the instinct to take to the air and fly away. What didn't help was the white warrior, Cobalt, leering at her from atop a rock only a few feet away; even in the dense fog, she could still recognize his lanky, looming figure. Besides, he kept blowing wind at her and buffeting the feathers along her backside as if their situation was some sort of game.

"Knock it off," she growled, baring her fangs at him after a small gale struck one of her wings and forced it open out of instinct. She had jumped at the contact and nearly collided with Ulra. "This isn't funny!"

 

Cobalt snickered from atop his rock, but the wind he conjured died down after a moment of dancing the mist around the winged huntress. Lazily, he slid off his rock and sauntered over to where Ulra and Lark stood. "Just making sure you're on your toes," he responded idly, though his crooked grin suggested a more sinister motive. He paused and glanced around for a moment, his long face tilted upwards to sniff at the fog that curled around them.

 

Lark's amber gaze narrowed as Cobalt drew closer, but she stood her ground and lifted her muzzle in defiance of the older wolf. The scar he had left nearly a year ago across her snout was a reminder of what the white warrior was capable of when defied by younger, less experienced wolves... but Lark would not let that stand in her way now, especially since she had just earned her title of hunter after years of sitting stagnant as an Omega. A low growl rumbled in her throat at Cobalt, but he seemed to ignore her.

An unnatural quietness took hold of the camp. Lark took her gaze off of Cobalt for a moment to peer around. The mist seemed to have settled once Cobalt stopped messing with her, but she couldn't shake the peculiar feeling that something was dwelling deeper in the fog, watching them while they looked around blindly for the rest of their pack. Occasionally, Lark could hear howls or barks affirming the location of their packmates, but otherwise the stillness was unnerving and Lark found herself tensing like a rabbit awaiting a predator to pounce.

Then, one of her ears flickered. A low, strange sound caught her attention. Lark cocked her head, searching for the source, wondering what it was she was listening to. The sound was hushed and deep, almost like.... Lark's brown eyes widened just as a small cyclone tore through the mist and caught her square in the chest, knocking her clean off her paws. She opened her wings just in time to keep herself from sprawling onto her backside, but the wind staggered her and she lost her balance momentarily. She barely managed to push herself off the ground against before the twister sent her flying toward Ulra, and with a stroke of luck Lark tucked her legs and glided with only a few inches to spare over her Alpha's head. With a snarl, Lark dodged the remaining burst of wind before it disappeared into the fog without a trace.

Anger burned in her eyes. Cobalt was standing only a few feet away, staring in toward the mist with his back turned as if he hadn't noticed Lark getting tossed around like a leaf. Lark made an instant dive for the warrior, and without slowing she barreled into him from above, snapping and snarling with as much strength as she could muster. Cobalt's deep snarl echoed with hers as he fought off the smaller wolf. His long limbs struck Lark easily, but she was quick, grabbing at his throat and nose without relent. Her teeth latched onto his jowls and tore open the skin easily, and then Cobalt snatched the top of her muzzle in his jaws and bit down hard, causing her to squeal in pain. Her paws scrambled to find purchase on the warrior's soft under belly as he flipped her onto her back, smashing one of her wings into the frozen ground in the process. He grunted as her nails ripped into his abdomen; blood stained his white fur and dripped down Lark's hind paws. Dark eyes narrowed, Cobalt gave a vigorous shake of his head, bloodying Lark's face as a result. She dug frantically at his chest to push him off, but he held her down firmly, giving no sign that he was ready to let her go.

 

PIERCE

 

The black wolf shredded the deer leg in mere moments as if her hunger could never be sated. She hadn't realized just how hungry she was until the warm meat touched her tongue; even with her audience of concerned packmates, Pierce devoured her share of the kill as if she hadn't had a meal in several days. She glanced up as Symaro made his way toward her, and she gave him a brief wag of her tail in greeting as she finished the rest of the meat stuck on the bone. "Oh, quit your worrying," she said with a yawn, stretching out her injured leg and wincing slightly when a thrum of pain shot up her thigh. "It's still attached, nerves and all." She flexed her toes at him to prove her point.

 

Pierce opened her mouth to request Symaro's private attention-- after all, his methods weren't as popular among the others as what most of the other Deltas utilized-- but a Gamma approached her with another report, and she switched her gaze to him in curiosity. Tobias was missing? Pierce frowned. It was unlike her Beta to go missing without a trace, especially during a time of disaster. Dread fell upon the Hallowed Alpha again; could something have happened to him? She closed her eyes momentarily. Between her own injuries, the disappearance of the Life Crystal, and now the mysterious fate of her trusted Beta and friend... The little confidence she had left in herself was stretching dangerously thin. Pierce was still only for a moment more before she slowly dragged herself to her feet again. "Thank you, Aegis," she said, sighing softly.

 

A commotion caught her attention; Uriel and Symaro were arguing, it seemed, and Pierce managed to get ear of several comments flung from the Gamma warrior. A low growl started in her throat. With an obvious limp, Pierce shouldered her way toward her remaining Beta and Uriel. Whatever had happened, Symaro appeared to be weakened from the confrontation, and Pierce remembered that the Beta hadn't fared much better than she during the earthquake.

"Uriel, hold your tongue," Pierce snapped, eyes shining a vibrant purple. The small meal had endowed her with enough energy to send a warning flicker of light into the air with an audible crackle. Glaring between the two, she added with irritation, "If you are so concerned about the workings of your authorities, Uriel, then stop wasting your time chastising Symaro when you could be doing something more useful. And I will remind you of your place, unless you'd rather be reminded of what happens to those who defy their Alpha. Symaro came here after direct orders from me. And, just so everyone is clear--" Pierce's voice rose in volume, and several other wolves turned their heads to listen, "--Should you have issues with how this pack is run, then you will address these concerns to me. I will not tolerate contention like this in my pack when there are other problems to take care of first!"

 

Her chest heaved, but her eyes were bright, and a few forks of lightning managed to snake across her dark fur out of her frustration. Teeth bared, she turned around with some difficulty and bellowed, "And would someone please get me word on Tobias?!"

 

RAJ

 

The fog that rolled languidly over the Cursed territory appeared to hit some sort of invisible barrier as soon as it touched the lush grass of the Hallowed. Almost as if it were alive, it recoiled from the border and curled back toward the decaying land of the Cursed; nestled several yards into the fog, a dark shape watched the border in silence. The mist caressed the figure where it stood. From the Hallowed's wide meadow, a white and blue wolf bolted through the grass as if he were hot on the heels of a trespasser, when in fact there was nothing but the wind leading him over the earth. The figure watched him, although obscured by the fog, as the Hallowed's Beta pursued whatever shadow he saw directly into the haze as if he hadn't even noticed it was there.

 

A small, faint smile turned at the corners of Raj's muzzle. To others, he would appear differently; a graying old wolf from the recesses of an Elder's fading memory, or perhaps an aged version of someone's deceased sister. There was no telling who he looked like to each wolf he came across. He was everyone, and no one, all at the same time.

The ice wolf skidded to a stop just as the fog parted, revealing Raj where he stood. The Beta's eyes widened for a split second; then, the fog crashed around them again, swallowing them whole.

 

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Tobias's absence was mystifying bit of news for Symaro. His fellow beta was usually so strict, and reliable, so where could he have gone to? He certainly hadn't gotten trapped in one of the dens, for there was only one cave-in, and all the residents were evacuated in time. The ground in the Hallowed Camp hadn't shifted enough to form crevices for him to have fallen in... and knowing him, he would never have abandoned his post, or responsibility to Pierce without a very good reason to do so. Could it have had something to do with Pierce storming off like she did a while ago? There were so many questions, but what mattered most at that time, was that Tobias is found. The thought of him being the only casualty drifted around in the dark recesses of Symaro's mind. "What if..." But Symaro simply couldn't continue that sentence. What if Tobias was indeed in trouble, but where, and most importantly... "Why?!"

 

Taking a deep breath, he reassured himself that Tobias would be found soon, and looked over towards Uriel, who'd just finished getting his scolding from their Alpha. Whatever that wolf's problem was, he would need to learn his place, and understand that some things are simply not intended for him to understand, let alone dictate. And yet, he had a small point. Symaro's reluctance to assert himself had always been a bit of a fallback when it came to his position as one of the betas.

 

Since being appointed, many had come to him for orders, and he'd always redirected them to Tobias. But what could he do? He was no hunter, nor warrior. His life revolved around undoing damage, rather than causing it, and his position as beta was a godsend to him, as the once obnoxious close-minded deltas were finally opening up to learning new techniques and embracing new, previously viewed as barbaric ways of doing their jobs.

 

Uriel had a big mouth, and had stepped out of line, but although his words were disrespectful and highly uncalled for, they held a grain of truth. In times when things go to hell, adaptability is what would see one through the worst of trials and tribulations. Symaro's reluctance to accept the burden of his authority was a liability towards the pack. Some day, they might well have to rely on him for that kind of guidance, and it was his duty to be ready for that now. He would have to speak to Tobias for advice, once he was found. They had a lot to discuss.

 

Good grief... -he rasped quietly as his throat finally started to settle down. Swallowing dryly a few times, he cleared what little blood was left there and tried to speak normally. Tobias, Tobias should be here. He'd never just up and leave. Especially not now. While I was preparing the medicine, he wasn't in the beta's den. The only one that collapsed was the deltas'den, but I evacuated it before anyone was seriously hurt. He has to be here, but I haven't seen him since things went to hell. Why did this happen, anyway? Did the Cursed do this?

Edited by Brotato

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Ambrose

 

Outside of the camp, Ambrose managed to hunt down a pair of rabbits as they fled into Cursed territory, panicked by the earthquake. His mouth salivated but he refrained from devouring the fresh meat. It would do him no good to have Ulra turn on him because he undermined their authority. As he crouched down to bundle the rabbits together and bring them back, a thick fog silently rolled towards him. Confused, he stood there.

 

Despite the aroma of the rabbits in his mouth, the stench of rotted flesh stabbed his nostrils, causing him to huff with disgust. It was stronger than what was typically scented around the territory but, fortunately perhaps, it wasn't overwhelming. Still, he could have done without it.

 

He thought about heading back. He should have started heading back. But a shape in the corner of his vision caught his attention. Turning his head quickly, he blinked at the figure before him, hazy through the fog and some distance away. "Who's there?" he called, hoping it was just a pack mate trying to frighten him.

 

Swallowing nervously, tail lowering, he noticed the sound of running paw steps. Ears perked, he looked for the source, spotting a white and blue wolf he didn't recognize as the fog parted to clear the wolf's path. Was the stranger responsible for the fog? Dropping the rabbits on the ground, hackles rising, Ambrose began to growl warningly. However, before he could shout at the wolf to announce why he was there, the fog collapsed on the trespasser and he vanished from sight.

 

He inhaled sharply, surprised by the sudden occurrence. Quickly, he turned tail, scooping up the rabbits into his mouth at the last moment, and raced back for camp.

 

Ulra

 

As Lark and Cobalt began to have a brief spat, Ulra had to refrain from rolling their eyes. Quickly, though, their dispute ended. The Alpha was vaguely relieved; they were on edge from the strange fog and the disappearance of the unknown figure. Having their pack mates bicker was not productive.

 

Motion stirred beside them and Ulra turned their head, watching as Lark struggled against a conjuration of wind. Reflexively, they duck as the Gamma was shoved over their head. Thoroughly confused, the Alpha hurried to understand what had just occurred. Then Lark was attacking Cobalt, likely in response to the latter striking her magically. But, something didn't sit right with Ulra.

 

The Alpha lurched forward while Cobalt clamped down on Lark's muzzle and pinned her to the ground. "That is enough!" Ulra bellowed, their markings liquifying as oily tendrils shot towards the clashing wolves. The tendrils struck at both, thickening as they slipped between the thrashing bodies and grew, becoming unyielding walls to separate the two. "Cease this squabble, now! I will not have fighting within my pack! There will be no mindless attacks!"

 

Separating the wolves, Ulra moved to stand between them, glaring fury at both. "I expect better behavior between two, fully grown wolves! Or do I have to subject you both to ranks of pups!" they snarled, the oily tendrils receding into their fur. "In case you two aren't aware of the situation, something unknown has befallen this camp and it is important for us to figure out what. We can't do that if petty fights break out within the pack! If I ha-"

 

"Alpha! Alpha Ulra!"

 

With her scolding interrupted, Ulra whirled on the source of the disruption and nearly lashed out at Ambrose but the rushed expression in his gaze stopped them. A pair of rabbits rested on the ground at his feet and they noted how close he'd gotten to recognize them. "What is it?" they demanded, eyes narrowed.

 

 

Sucking in a large breath, Ambrose took a moment to steady his heart rate before speaking. "Someone entered Cursed territory from the Hallowed boarder! A white and blue wolf, I think, but they vanished before I could approach and find out their purpose! I think they created the fog because it was parting for them as they ran before they disappeared within it."

 

Ulra paused, absorbing the news. A white and blue wolf? From the Hallowed? Ulra knew who the Betas and Alpha were for the Hallowed, just as they knew who the Betas and Alpha were for the Cursed. If Ulra remembered correctly, it was likely Pierce's Beta, Tobias. But, for the moment, the Alpha couldn't recall what his power was. The more pressing matter, however, was what was he doing in Cursed territory? And what connection did he have with the fog? Finally, "Thank you for the information, Ambrose. Put the rabbits where they belong. The pack is free to feed without my first bite. I need to think on these recent events." With a warning glance at Cobalt and Lark, Ulra stepped away without another word towards their den.

Edited by Narvix

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((I'm gonna introduce Otto now. I have a bit of a plan for him and my other characters, but for starters, I think I'll have him be the first barer of bad news for Pierce, regarding Tobias' whereabouts and the fog over the Cursed lands. Solla (my other unofficially introduced character)) is gonna have to wait a bit. I'm thinking of sending Otto to interact with Raj, since he seems like such an interesting character.))

 

 

Not everyone could appreciate the calmness and quietude of a life spent in solitude, with no one but the wind, the rain, and the forest fauna to keep one company. However, it was the perfect lifestyle for one perpetual loner, who'd been peacefully haunting the woodlands between the Hallowed and Cursed territories for several years now. With other wolves frequently walking around his new-found home, it came as no surprise that he'd been spotted multiple times, but only briefly. He valued his privacy, and refused contact, in addition to almost always staying detached from his body, as nothing more than a wandering spirit. As a result, some rumors were spread among the two camps some time ago, about the ghost of the forest. Most didn't care, and Otto would not have had it any other way. His life had, up to that point, revolved around keeping as low a profile as possible.

 

On this day, however, the white-furred one's world was shaken, quite literally, as an earthquake ravaged his home grounds, and torn asunder his modest subterranean den, modest as it was. As if that wasn't bad enough, it took him no more than a short trip to the Hallowed grounds' border to see the thick cloud of fog perfectly engulfing the Cursed territory. One earthquake, as unusual as it was for their region, was acceptable. Seismic activity was not a novel concept to Otto, but the fog specifically covering only one camp and smelling of death had intent written all over it. While it was not in his nature to meddle in the affairs of the two groups, their pointless tussle had started affecting him now, and he simply wouldn't have it.

 

Having left his body in a secure location within the forest, Otto moved alongside the border between the two camps, hoping to find something, anything, that would give him some answers. His muted state would prove to be a difficulty for interacting with the other wolves, and he felt on-edge from even the mere thought of looking another in the eyes and actually speaking to them. After several years of solitude, it seemed new, and frightening.

 

Soon enough, he halted once another wolf came into view. It looked as if he was chasing something, but Otto could not see what it was. The stranger ran right into the cursed grounds, and was consumed by the fog. Otto could not make out what had happened to the stranger, but he approached the spot where he'd disappeared, and paused for a moment. He sensed someone, but was unsure of who, or what they were. Something was obscuring his perception of them, and it wasn't the fog... Whatever ti was, it was some sort of magic, and it was trying to play tricks on Otto's mind, but was in conflict due to the fact that the way the white-furred one perceived the world without his body tethered to his spirit, was not the way his physical shell would process what it's eyes, ears and nos could see. He squinted slightly, trying to make out a clear image.

Edited by Brotato

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AEGIS

 

Aegis nodded, noting her sigh. He did not wish to inform his Alpha of unfortunate news, yet it was required of him. Now, more then ever the pack needed all of its leader's, the integral structure that held their motley group together. Aegis half turned, his intention to return to helping the others retrieve the injured as well as to gather any additional info he could from the scouts he had from the wolves he had sent earlier. His objective however was halted as the sound of an argument reached his ears. His instinct were to intervene, however Pierce had beaten him to it; his Alpha barging past as she neared the quarreling wolves. Uriel and Symaro had exchanged harsh words with one another and for his part, Aegis could understand where both parties where coming from. He too had his own frustrations in regards to the matter, however he sought to keep them to himself; at least for now.

 

"With your command, I will round up our best trackers and formulate a search party... " began Aegis, closely approaching the spot where the argument had taken place. "If our Beta, Tobias can not be located within the camp, then perhaps our luck will fair better outside" he finished, lowering his gaze while in the presence of authority. He did not mean to step out of line, but with the situation in its present state, he felt that he had no choice but to offer his services and suggest a course of action.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FENRIR

 

Fenrir stirred, the herbal aroma that the delta assigned to look after him was beginning to take its effect on the young fatiged hunter.

"Slowly... don't push yourself" spoke the Delta, as she hurried to Fenrir's side. Bringing with her a medicial root. "What... where am I?" began Fenrir, slowly opening his eyes and looking around, the blurred vision of many wolves rushing about causing him great confusion.

 

"Shh, there's no need to think about that now... chew on this, the sap from the root will help replenish your energy. Recovering should be your only concern right now", the young delta placed the root by his side, "..once you've recovered, then you can worry about what is and isn't going on" as she finished, the howl of a wolf in pain caught her attention as she rushed towards the source.

Edited by TotallyDrow

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Uriel's ears flattened and he cowered a bit, even from the distance he was at, as Pierce chastised him. He still did not think that he was wrong, but the instinct to defer to authority ran deep inside him, and there was no greater authority than the Alpha. What surprised him more than anything was that, from what he could tell, Pierce seemed to approve of Symaro's behavior during all of this. He would still have to have a respectful word with her later about his concerns, but Pierce was right about one thing - now was not the time. He was finished with speaking to Symaro anyway.

 

"My apologies, Alpha. I have just returned to camp myself and did not know that Symaro came here on orders from you. If I lost my temper earlier, it was only because I was concerned with the well-being of our packmates in the wake of this disaster. I will endeavor to make myself useful in any way that I can from this point forward." After saying that, he turned his attention back towards a wolf that was slowly approaching him. They were clearly hesitant to address him after he had just been scolded by the Alpha, but with Symaro and Aegis attending to Pierce, there was no one else for them to report to. Uriel gave the wolf what he interpreted as an encouraging smile, and they slowly began to tell him what they wanted to say. Uriel felt a sense of relief well up inside of him. Hopefully, now he could begin to make for his earlier mistake and show the Alpha that he could still be useful in a leadership role.

 

OOC: Short post is short, and bad . . . I couldn't think of much to write, but at least now I won't be holding anyone up . . .

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Tobias, Hallowed Beta

 

Tobias slunk through the fog, his blue orbs squinting as he grew more and more puzzled, feeling lost. Just where was he? What was this murk enveloping the wolf of ice? The Beta suddenly froze in place, the echoes of paw-steps taking him off guard, the rigid blue-tinted fur on the wolf’s spine rising. Who was there, and what did they want? Tobias swallowed a low growl, pressing his body against the earth as his blue gaze darted about. The pawsteps seemed to pause, however, another pair echoed in the distance. I’ve got to get out of here while these characters are distracted! Slinking off, Tobias found his heart racing faster and faster, moving away from his “company” with is steps silent. His fur remaining bristled, the Beta pushed himself on, his head lifting as the mist seemed to slowly thin out. He was coming to an exit! A familiar scent wafted past his nose, a scent that screamed “home”. Deciding that he was far enough, Tobias stretched out his legs, bending his back to gain speed as he raced in the direction of this scent. Eventually, the fog lifted, however, the Beta was left blank. What had he been running from, and from where had he come? Slowing his pace to a cool, steady trot, the wolf continued on aimlessly, raising his nose and letting it twitch as he sucked in the scents of his home.

 

I’m home...so I’m safe. Still utterly confused, Tobias raised his head, in search of some packmates who could help him out. He was safe now, correct? Perhaps his packmates knew something he didn’t? Hopefully they did, he was very much puzzled. All he could remember was this fogginess, a fogginess that seemed to block his memories of events from moments ago. It was bothering him greatly, to the point where he just wanted to sit there and let out a loud, endless howl of frustration. His search for a patrol unsuccessful, Tobias veered in the direction of camp, quickening his pace once more. He hadn’t been missing long, had he? The last thing he remembered was hurrying out of camp, probably helping out with patrols or looking for a lost wolf after the earthquake. Flattening his ears, the pale wolf poked his nose into camp, gazing around before hesitantly entering. Who should he ask for help? His partner in crime, of course!

 

"...Symaro?" The beta called out in a soft tone, his voice thick with uncertainty as he pushed the rest of his body through the came entrance. Symaro would help him, yes, they always helped each other, therefore, he was a reliable source for information and help. However, Tobias had no clue whether or not the Beta was in camp, but he was sure he'd come running to Tobias's side if he heard him. His fellow Beta was loyal to the core, just like himself, another reason why Tobias saw him as such a good friend. While he waited for Symaro to possibly show himself, the wolf of ice let his gaze frolic about camp. It seemed exactly the same, exactly how Tobias left it, with only a single collapsed den. Surely he hadn't been gone long...

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