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.
The snowflakes were thick and fluffy, managing somehow to stick to the desert sands of Vor’asa. It shocked Liadan that the snow had managed to penetrate the borders of Kairos, an empire built on desert heat and muggy swamps. She was glad, at least, of the warm apricity that such a climate permitted, knowing that those further northeast were not so lucky, though it was not enough to melt the snow collecting on her back. A shiver whipped through her and the shudder dislodged some of the cold debris.
It was not the first time Liadan had seen snow, but it was the first time she had seen it so pervasive. The cold-blooded creatures that usually scuttled around the sands were deep in brumation, and Liadan felt a little concerned for the pups that would be attempting the Agoge soon. It was no easy task on a good day, let alone when the weather was freaking out. One of the many reasons she’d travelled to Vor’asa was as a sort of scout, just to check things were safe for when the young ones arrived, though this was a fact she had not yet admitted to herself. While she was maturing to be sure, Liadan was not entirely ready to let go of the sour exterior she had cultivated.
When Liadan breathed out, tendrils of hot air snaked out before her, evaporating into the thick air. Her paws left deep wounds in the snow, making her easily trackable. Not that anyone would want to track her, unless they wanted a fight. There were few people who wanted anything to do with her, and the way she felt about that tended to oscillate. Sometimes, she missed interacting with others. A few recent chance meetings have proved to her that she did not have to be an island. Other times, however, she was desperately glad of her solitude, and did not want to be disturbed.
She could not tell what mood she was in today, though she imagined that the arrival of company would be the only way to tell.
Liadan’s jaws parted in a wide yawn, a high-pitched noise whining its way from her throat as they snapped shut again, and she shook her head a little to throw off the sleep that clung to her. The cold and her tiredness made her eyes red and watery. Perhaps she ought to hibernate like some animals did. It would certainly solve the issue of her exhaustion, but in truth, she did not enjoy sleeping much these days. Nightmares and troubling thoughts haunted her each time she closed her eyes, and she could imagine nothing worse than a months-long nightmare.
It didn’t help, either, that Liadan had already been struggling to eat before this harsh winter had settled upon them. Cryothia might have juicy reindeer and subnivean voles to feast on all year round (and, she supposed, the dangers of blizzards and glaciers all year round, too), but here the fauna were not so used to the snow, and most were either dying off or deep in a slumber. Liadan was not sure what the pack would do, though she could always have another go at an alligator if they got truly desperate.
A smile lit her face briefly at the memory before the wind snuffed it out again like a candle. Little Kotys was sweet. Liadan hoped she would last the winter – something told her she would. Perhaps it was because she saw the same fire in her eyes that had lit Liadan’s way as a pup. She saw strength.
Lost in thought, Liadan did not notice the enormous, ghostly apparition that loomed ahead, obscured by the creeping ocean fog, until she was almost upon it. For a moment, her heart stopped, thinking it was some sort of monstrous creature curled up against the wind, groaning in pain; and for a moment, she felt like a lost pup.
But the moment passed as soon as it had arrived, and Liadan realised it was just the wooden contraption that had seemingly always lain here, and she breathed a quiet sigh of relief. It would make good shelter and a brief reprieve from the wind and snow, so she trotted eagerly toward it, squinting her eyes against the flurry of snow that the sea breeze buffeted her with.
Inside, though it was holey and damp, the temperature change was noticeable. The thick walls kept the ship insulated enough for Liadan to curl up in relative comfort in a little nook for whatever rest she could manage. Outside, the howling wind seemed to taunt her, and the wood continued to creak and groan.
Post by NPC/Prizes on Dec 28, 2018 16:16:23 GMT -6
With the harsh weather wrecking havoc upon Anikira, some wolves aren’t able to keep their worries beneath the surface. You come across a wolf who looks completely terrified, frozen to the spot almost as if they’ve been turned to ice. Do you: Approach the stranger(or pack member) and try to reassure them OR do you approach the stranger(or pack member) and ward them away.
This account is designated for distributing contest prizes that require the item to be purchased and distributed. This is so Uru can actually keep her own points on her account.
It was not often that Sabaoth wandered from Ale’ina these days, and if he did so, it was only briefly. He’d once thought that the seclusion of the territory he’d been appointed as General might drive him mad in the days after his mate’s death, but instead he’d found it was quite the opposite. There was the occasional Kairos wolf that he stumbled upon there, though often he left them to their own devices in favor of simply watching from afar and patrolling the borders, keeping them safe. He had settled into his routines with relative ease after a time, though the one thing he had found himself missing had been his children.
On this day, however, Sabaoth had chosen to briefly cross the border into a territory which he’d once frequented often, back when he’d volunteered to train young wolves participating in the Agoge. And indeed that was why he’d crossed again – not to train them, but simply to see for himself if the brutal festivities had begun. He knew that Kairos was constantly cycling through new batches of young, hopeful warriors-in-training, more so now that Hyperion’s reign allowed females to participate. Would he find scores of determined little whelps, sparring their way through eagles and moas to claim their eggs? The memory of it almost made him smile. Perhaps it would be good for him to resume his duties and assist with their training and ceremonies after all; what good was he, anyways, wasting his skills away moping in the bitter cold, withering away to nothing but memory and legend?
He mulled it over as he moved, his large paws leading him deeper into Kairos territory. The snow was not as thick here as some places within Ale’ina, but it was still heavy and formidable, and would inevitably cause more trouble for the pups that would soon swarm the shores. Poor bastards – they’d find a much more difficult time of it than those who had come before them, but it would only serve to make hardier warriors out of them. He chuckled lowly at the thought.
At that moment the wind shifted, and he smelled it, the telltale scent of someone near and dear to his heart. It seemed as if he hadn’t been the only one with the idea to scout Vor’asa for the upcoming Agoge; he should have known that his brilliant daughter would do the same. Altering his path just slightly, Sabaoth followed the scent of her towards the hulking ship on the horizon, noting that whatever path she’d taken, the snow had covered her tracks well. In fact, had it not been for his keen nose that always seemed to be readily searching for a hint of his family’s scent, he might not have detected her at all. It also meant that her trail was incredibly fresh; she could only have passed by just a fraction of a moment ahead of him, and soon enough, the winter would obliterate her scent entirely. His, then, as well.
The wind seemed to increase in speed and ire as he moved, angrily tugging at the strands of his fur as he moved. The closer he grew to the ship, the louder the wind became, whistling noisily through the hollow points of the massive wooden structure. His ears twitched in irritation at the sound of it, and he shook his massive head to dislodge the flakes that had settled along his cranium and snout, snorting out a puff of hot air. He was grateful for the shelter of the structure once he came upon it, and as he stepped into the innards of the remains, he paused to fully shake his partially-dampened fur. Then, his pale eyes roved until he found her, curled against a corner of the wood: Liadan.
He stood for a moment simply observing her, glad to note that she was safe and whole. Then, he took a few lumbering steps forward and offered a gruff but strangely warm, ”Don’t tell me that you’re attempting to hibernate in here. You’re lucky I didn’t sneak up and flop right on top of you.” It’d been something he had been fond of doing when she was young – partially collapsing onto her so as to not fully crush her but to prevent her from wriggling away, pretending to be asleep and snoring while she wriggled and protested.
He tried to fight his grin at the memory and took another step closer – which was precisely when he noticed it. A pang of alarm ripped through him and he froze, hackles raising upon his spine as his pale eyes flickered past Liadan, to what had once been a room before half of the structure had been torn away. It was out of sight of his daughter’s chosen resting place, just so; had his height and position not granted him the luxury, he might not even have seen it. But standing in the midst of it, almost out of view, was an unfamiliar figure.
A low growl started in his throat, rumbling up and out of his scarred muzzle, which peeled away to reveal massive teeth. He did not bother warning Liadan; she was smart and fierce, and she would surely know that something was amiss. ”Who are you, and what are you doing on Kairos territory?” He demanded, his harsh, booming voice a stark contrast to the low warmth of it when he’d spoken to Liadan.
The sound of the creaking ship and the buffeting winds had soon sent Liadan into a doze, one that she quickly snapped out of when a familiar voice carried across the howling winds. Of all the faces Liadan expected to see when she awoke, her father’s had not been one of them.
He looked so much older than the last time she’d seen him, so much more… tired. For a moment, he looked like a ghost come to haunt her, but his voice had sounded so real. The sight of him made Liadan want to cry as her younger self crawled out of the box in which she had compartmentalised it and reached the surface. “Pa--?” was as far as she got before a completely new scent distracted her, and fear roused her from her sleepy state. Sabaoth flicked into defensive mode, another sight which made her feel like a child again. While she could not see the stranger, her father could.
It had been a long while since she had felt unsafe in Kairos territory, but her father’s presence had thrown her off. Normally, she would have confronted whoever was here herself, but now she was not so sure. She was not even sure that the wolf was trespassing. Kairos welcomed new wolves all the time, and stragglers arrived all the time in the hopes of being accepted into the ranks. Perhaps her father was being overprotective, given that she was here. She wanted him to know that she didn’t need protecting anymore.
“Wait,” she muttered. Slowly, she extricated herself from her position and moved toward her father, bright green eyes still staring at him as though he could not possibly be here. “They might not be an enemy,” she added, hearing a softness in her voice that she had rarely heard before, and clearing her throat as though to get rid of it. While she wanted to give her father a hug, to assure herself he was real, she figured it was more important that the situation at hand be dealt with, and her eyes began to rove the labyrinthian ship for the intruder.
They were likely just seeking shelter from the snowstorm, though, of course, one could never be too careful. Liadan’s hackles raised almost against her will, a frown appearing on her forehead. If this had happened closer to Roka’s death, Liadan would have attacked them with very little provocation, as she had attacked Kratos. While nowhere near the state she had once been in, Sabaoth’s appearance had brought back the feelings she had already sorted through, and she felt like more of a live wire than she had recently. She could feel her heart beat faster and her good will ebb away with every moment the stranger did not announce themselves, and she risked another glance up at Sabaoth, curious as to how he would proceed.
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Jaidah is one of the albinos on the site, a brand new character brought to life by a brand new player. It is interesting to see how such a pure looking being could be wrapped up in the angsty claws that is Irkalla! We will definitely be staying in-tune with this character to see just what heights Bird is able to take her!
We would like to offer a large thank you to several members that put significant work into the new design of the forum. Thank you to Zen for the work on images for the skin. Thank you to the stock providers for this skin: AdenarKaren on DeviantArt and Kalliysgraphy on Deviantart. We would also like to thank Tril and Bacon For work on the coding and a big thank you to
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