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.
Wide paws fell alongside similar, but smaller white ones as a pair of creatures moved silently through the Nyjoro Hills. Pharaoh was large, nearly as large as the tiger that padded smoothly alongside him. The pair had been inseparable since they were young, both barely old enough to take care of themselves but enough to take care of one another. Thirteen was the only creature that Pharaoh had ever bonded with, even over his own family. He had known his half-sisters, but none of his siblings had lived or stuck around for long. His father had died not too long after his birth, and everything had seemingly spiraled downwards from there. He had been part of multiple failing packs, and he now traveled with his feline companion alone.
It seemed as if packs were not worthy of their patronage, and their borders also did not intimidate them. Therefore, when their paws crossed the border of Caurus and back into Tiayr, they did not bother to pause. The hills extended over the border anyways, and as they had come through this territory on their way to Caurus originally and had found no interference, there was little point in going all the way around. But they had no particular destination in mind. In fact, they did not travel too far into the seemingly empty lands, for there was something that drew Pharaoh to the edge of Caurus's border once more. Thirteen humored him, for she had smelled the female's heat as well, but she did not bother pretending to be fond of the idea.
Pharaoh was not meant to settle down, and the tigress was not about to risk losing him in favor of a relationship. Still, she would perhaps allow him to enjoy his urges if he truly needed to. But she was more wary of packs now, at least joining them anyways. They were not worthy of the pair, and they would no longer waste their time pledging allegiance to anyone else. A silent look passed between the two creatures as Pharaoh turned his attention back to the border once more, and only a soft rumbling growl from the female silenced any words that might have risked slipping from his jaws. He wanted to turn back, but she knew that space was good for him. She could not have him falling for the female wolf, after all. He was better that that, and much too good for anyone, especially a pack wolf. She had sworn her allegiance to not one, but seemingly two packs now, and the tiger would not allow Pharaoh to fall down such a hole. Not again and not ever.
To distract him she pounced forward, spooking a hare in his direction that had been laying still and silent in the snow in front of them. It had escaped the male's attention at first, but the sudden movement and twisting hunger in his belly made him leap after it, satisfying the tiger as she watched the chase. She allowed it to continue for several moments before she joined in, circling around and closing in on the helpless creature as if it were a toy they were competing over. And, as always, Thirteen won. The white hare was dead in her jaws in a matter of seconds, and all Pharaoh could do was skid to a stop and spray snow over the feline's paws. He offered her a mock pout as she flaunted her victory for a brief moment, but she tore the carcass in half to toss the upper half to him anyways.
Things had changed in Tiayr as of late. His son Nefarian first disappeared without a trace- and though Ragnarok had searched long and hard for any signs of the black sheep of his children, it seemed Nefarian had been quick to leave Eden territory once he was old and strong enough to fend for himself. While a large part of him hoped that his son was alive and well somewhere, a stronger part feared that he had somehow failed Nefarian by not being more present as a father, by not paying more mind to his son's ambition and his want to be stronger than the rest of his siblings. Nefarian's distaste towards Ragra and her disability was something he and Ragnarok had never seen eye to eye on, but he loved his son just the same, wanting what was best for him. He knew Nefarian had not followed the ideals of Eden as rigidly as his siblings, wanting to break free and explore on his own, but he'd never dreamed that it would potentially drive a wench between he and his son. Add that to the fact that he had seen precious little of his family- even Soifra- besides Ragra as of late, and the old brute was beginning to wonder if he had somehow failed yet another set of children he had taken under his wing, all because he had not been as present as a parental figure and mate as he could have been. Not only that, but the changes to the pack made in recent times- he was still not entirely used to referring to the organization he had pledged his loyalty to so long ago as Ilanux rather than Eden, though he accepted that Shekinah might have wanted to move away from the legacy of her father at long last- had left his thoughts tangled in recent times.
As always, he had turned to patrolling as a way to take his mind off of such troubling matters, but even attending to the borders of Tiayr seemed to bring him more worries. The scent markers that claimed the lands as Ilanux's were distressingly faint when he came across them, and with every one that he was forced to renew his sense of disquiet grew. He had seen precious little of Shekinah lately, either- what if Ilanux was in fact in danger of dissolving, and what if its borders remained vulnerable because of this? The pack had always been low on numbers, after all, and it was sorely lacking in capable warriors that could defend the borders for as peaceful of a pack as it was. It was a matter that Ragnarok had meant to bring up to his superiors at several points, but he had either never found the time to get them alone or it had simply slipped his mind when he had been in their presence. Though the northern lands had not seen even a whisper of combat in all the time that he had lived there, Ragnarok knew better than to let himself become complacent. Just because you did not see signs of war did not mean that there weren't any, after all, and he would rather fling himself off the cliffs that bordered the edge of Tiayr before he willingly allowed Ilanux to become endangered by outside forces. Though both his mind and body were beginning to decline, he could at least do that much with the precious little time that he had left on this earth. He owed it to whatever members of the pack remained to keep them as safe as possible, even if it would mean his own death.
So it was that when an unfamiliar scent came into his nostrils- along with the scent of freshly spilled blood- Ragnarok immediately went on the defensive, hackles raising and nostrils flaring as he set off in the direction of the scent. He smelled no other scents of wolves in the area to indicate that a member of Ilanux had been harmed, but the issue of this stranger apparently having enough balls to hunt upon claimed territory without a thought as to the consequences was enough to make Ragnarok's blood boil, if only just. Though his muscles ached from arthritis at the best of times and kept him from being as agile as he had once been, Ragnarok was still more than capable of putting up a decent fight against a younger wolf, and should this stranger be completely unapologetic about their misdeed they would be getting quite the lesson in etiquette from the mixed brute. His anger driving him onward, Ragnarok only managed to stop when he crested a hill and saw that only was the male in question much larger than he himself was, but he had a massive cat of all things with him as a companion, meaning that he would be more outmatched than he had first anticipated if the situation escalated to a fight (and that was assuming that this creature was loyal to the wolf in question, and had not simply been attracted by the smell of a free meal). He would have to proceed more delicately than he had first intended in order to attempt to get through to the trespasser. The Ragnarok of long ago would have given in to anger and let it control his emotions. The Ragnarok of today knew better.
So it was that he stepped forward after a moment, coming as close to the other male and his companion as he dared while speaking softly and firmly. "I am loathe to interrupt what seems like a perfectly decent meal, but you do appear to be hunting upon claimed territory, and that would make you a social pariah in some places." A beat, and then Ragnarok was continuing. "Luckily, I am far less judgmental than some of my companions would be, and I also hardly wish to get on the bad side of you or your companion. And considering my age, I tend to not be very interested in engaging in unnecessary combat, these days." He stiffly lowered himself into a seated position then in an attempt to look less intimidating, still trying to keep a tab on the tiger's whereabouts with his one good eye. "You don't seem to be here to cause trouble, either, so I will assume that this was a simple misunderstanding. I am not so brutish as to take a meal away from someone who needs to eat. I will only offer to escort you out of Ilanux territory once your meal is finished, but that decision is entirely up to you. Be assured, my intentions are the farthest thing from hostile imaginable." Figuring that extending an olive branch would be the best choice for this encounter- and also inwardly hoping that the male was at least sensible enough to not want to pick fights with someone who was clearly elderly and at a distinct disadvantage- Ragnarok sat there, cocking his head in slight curiosity as he spoke again. "Though I must say, I haven't seen markings like those in these parts, or a cat of her species. Therefore I assume you're not from around here?"
notes: I mean I'd like for them to not fight so Ragnarok will...at least attempt to be civil here xD tagged:Pharaoh word count: 1,200 image source:here
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2020 22:15:46 GMT -6 by Ragnarok
RAG-na-rok Nine years | Male | Mackenzie Valley X Red Wolf | Keala bound
Slowly his eyes lifted. Thirteen was a bit more quick to react, and her curved ears perked and twitched slightly as a stranger approached them and opened his mouth to speak. Pharaoh lifted his head lazily, blue eyes tracing the other male's movements before finally settling on his scarred face. The other wolf was clearly older than he was, and easily smaller. He allowed the other to speak, his head tilting ever so slightly as the words fell on his relaxed ears. There was no tension in his form, nor did he move to leave after they were 'reprimanded'. "If these lands are claimed, as you say, should we not have been confronted at the border?" He asked, letting his nose twitch slightly and ignored the soft grumble of annoyance from the tigress beside him. "That, and I am certain an active pack would mark their borders more clearly." He added, inhaling deeply for a moment and lifting his nose as if he were scenting the air for signs that he knew were not there.
Perhaps he was in the mood for a fight, but against a weak, old male was pointless. It would be no fun and he would run the risk of accidentally killing the poor creature. Perhaps he would feel pity for the other wolf if he cared for the feelings of others, but he most definitely did not feel fear or anxiety. He was certain that even if there truly was a pack there it was weak and not likely to back up this male's claims. After a moment or two of pause he lowered his head to continue his meal, glancing up at the other male as he ate and Thirteen sat beside him staring at the stranger suspiciously. She hardly ever spoke to him, let alone to strangers. They had practically been raised together, and though she knew wolf, she did not use it often.
Instead they typically communicated with looks and the odd sound and frequent touch. The two of them were so in sync with one another that they really did not need words. He knew she was annoyed that he toyed with the stranger, but she was just as confident as he was that they were in no immediate danger. The wolf before them was old, and though likely experienced, his strength and skill would not even hold a candle to their combined power and ability. Pharaoh had his fair share of experience in fights, and though he bore a few scars here and there, he hid them well under his handsome coat and behind the charming face he typically let strangers see. That is, if he felt like being friendly. Perhaps if this wolf did not bother them too much he would allow him to share the meal they had brought down together.
(Ragnarok - this is as close to behaving that Pharaoh gets)
[attr="class","pltxt"] The other male lifted his head lazily to meet Ragnarok's gaze, acting rather sedately for someone who was sitting upon lands that were claimed- or at least gave the illusion that they were claimed- and though Ragnarok might have ordinarily bristled at how casually the stranger was treating his potential trespass, his state of exhaustion over current events meant that he simply silently regarded the action, his yellow eye meeting the other brute's blue as he spoke. Cautiously flitting his gaze to the tiger as she let out a low growl under her breath, not wanting to find himself in a fight with the massive cat should the situation suddenly turn hostile, Ragnarok tried to judge her reactions as he listened to the male's words. He asked if they should have been turned away at the border if the lands were claimed, something which the former Ilanux member couldn't help but sardonically chuckle at in the moment. Had he been younger and therefore more impulsive, Ragnarok might have thrown out a sarcastic remark about the male not knowing how to use his own nose in order to sense that he was stepping onto claimed lands- but instead he simply delivered his words casually, as though he was discussing the local weather conditions rather than attempting to passive-aggressively lecture the younger male.
"Were I in a more confrontational mood, I would ask if you do not possess a sense of smell in order to discern where the borders are, to keep yourself from stepping over them and thus prevent such a situation," he grunted out, his drawling tone making it unable to discern whether he was joking or not as he swiveled his good eye from the cat back towards the male. "But what do I know? I am old and somewhat stuck in my ways, and at any rate you appear to not be causing any trouble thus far. I am from a more combat-based pack originally, and I suppose it is hard to put aside thoughts that an intruder may be seeking a confrontation of some kind rather than passing through. I will apologize for accusing you." Temper. Above all, Ragnarok had to keep his temper in that moment and moderate his words, lest he find himself on the receiving end of angry teeth and claws. His nerves may have been shot from the majority of his family disappearing and Ilanux being on the brink of falling apart entirely, but it had been quite a long time since Ragnarok had allowed his temper to get away from him in such a way, and he was not about to allow it in a situation that could so easily turn dangerous for him.
"Perhaps you are right. I have not seen many of my fellow packmates for quite some time. I suspect we are an active pack no longer. We may be on the verge of dissolving, to tell you the truth." Though Ragnarok was aware that perhaps giving this information to a complete stranger was not the best action to be taking in that moment, he figured that being honest would help his chances rather than attempting to bluff and bluster and pretend that Ilanux was a stronger pack than what it was. "I have been tending to my duties the best that I can, but I can do nothing to stop the decline. I find myself rather at a loss as to what to do, so I cling to what I know, and that is defense of a territory that seems to no longer be my home." Shifting in an effort to take some of the weight off of his sore limbs, Ragnarok finally sent a small and sheepish smile in the other male's direction, ears pinned back slightly out of embarrassment. "Truth be told, many events in my life have left me out of sorts lately, but of course that is no excuse to bluster at you as I did. You must think me rather foolish, and I can't say I blame you. I will at least let you put a name to this foolish face, however, and say that I am Ragnarok."
word count|| 694 tagged|| Pharaoh notes|| Ragnarok you are NOT helping your case here
Had he been more interested in the other male's opinion, the words that were spoken might have angered him. Instead, he simply yawned and glanced over at Thirteen who still bristled slightly. However, the older male before them seemed to backpedal and apologize as well as speak of how his pack was likely no more. Pharaoh's head tilted slightly, before he stretched slowly and then stood up to his full height. "Well, good luck with your declining pack, I suppose." He said, glancing over at Thirteen and deciding that he preferred not to mar either of their pale coats with blood for the time being. However, if they stuck around much longer then he was certain things would end in a fight. A fight that the old male before him would no doubt loose. He doubted that the stranger would attack them now, and instead of bothering to give his name or any other information about himself of Thirteen, he began to move somewhat stiff-legged around and away from the other male.
His movements were a slight challenge, almost as if daring Ragnarok to challenge them before they made their way west. He had no desire to stick around in such a boring territory, and as there was nothing in particular to hold his interest there, he would search further west for something better to entertain him. Perhaps someday he and Thirteen would finally settle down somewhere successfully, but currently that was simply not an option. With another slight yawn he made his way further from the other male, not at all surprised that Thirteen took her time and moved several feet behind him to keep an eye on Ragnarok. "I wouldn't recommend following us or attacking. She's not fond of tag-alongs." He said, smirking slightly as he glanced back at the tigress, who growled at him indignantly. It was true, but she wouldn't admit that Pharaoh was right in his teasing.
Eventually the pair made their way several paces away from the other male, and from tehre Pharaoh picked up a lazy trot in the direction of the western border. Perhaps the packs and loners to the west would bring more enticing conversation. Though they were slowly nearing the end of the breeding season as well, he could still also scent females heavily in the direction he now moved. Perhaps he would get lucky and enjoy some time with the sources of the smell before he finally wandered south once more. Though he kept an ear trained carefully backwards in case the male chose to attack, he doubted that the old creature would bother. His life seemed to be in shambles, and even with experience he was still no match for a young male Pharaoh's size and a Tigress like Thirteen.
(Ragnarok - hopefully you're alright with Pharaoh exiting here?)
[attr="class","pltxt"] It was no use. For all his attempts at trying to extend an olive branch and make a connection with the other male, the stranger continued to view him with thinly-veiled disdain, perhaps thinking of him as a foolish old man whose life had fallen to shambles around him. As the gold-marked brute practically sneered out his words, wishing Ragnarok luck with his 'failed pack', the former Ilanux member simply narrowed his good eye into a thin yellow slit, heavily resisting the urge to spit out a sarcastic remark of his own in response to the stranger's words- perhaps something along the lines of wishing him good luck with his apparent occupation of antagonizing complete strangers. But Ragnarok forced himself to hold his tongue instead. He hardly wanted to get on the wrong side of the brute or his large companion, after all, regardless of his skills in combat likely being even greater than those of the youth in front of him. His joints and limbs ached far too much for him to be able to succeed at fighting another wolf at the current moment, and he hardly needed to add a tiger's claws raking across his face to his list of worries.
So it was that he simply cooly regarded the male as he stiffly stalked around him, seemingly looking for a fight that he would not be recieving. Only raising a wry eyebrow in response to the stranger's clear challenge, Ragnarok listened to the other brute's words calmly, opening his mouth to deliver smooth speech of his own. "Oh, wouldn't dream of it. Unlike certain parties, I have no wish to be hostile towards complete strangers." It had been quite some time since Ragnarok had fully embraced the sarcastic and witty side of him that he normally kept hidden away, but now that there were no superiors around to moderate his behavior- and now that the male seemed intent to vacate the area in the first place- he felt no need to temper his words. While he would not physically engage with the gold-marked pissant, he could still give just as good as he recieved when it came to witty banter, and it showed in the way a smile that didn't quite manage to meet his eyes had suddenly formed on his face. "And I'm not much of a fan of wolves who seek to take advantage of another's hospitality, but to each their own." Rising to his feet, he began to move away from the male himself, but not before tossing one last set of passive-aggressive words over his shoulder.
"I would say it's been a pleasure, but I've never been one to lie to others." With that, Ragnarok was stepping away from the scene, winding his way back through the hills as a world-weary sigh escaped his teeth. Though he knew he could not afford to stay here in Tiayr and watch as more and more disrespectful loners invaded the lands he had once tried so hard to protect, he still held a sense of duty to the pack that had given him a second chance after he had been damaged beyond repair, the pack that he had pledged his loyalty to for the last years of his life and where he had found his one true love. If that meant staying here in order to both keep his family safe and drive loners who would seek to take advantage of Ilanux's abscence from these lands, then so be it.
With any luck, the next loner to pass through these lands would be more respectful towards another wolf's presence.
word count|| 603 tagged|| Pharaoh notes|| Fun getting to explore Ragnarok's sassy side. xD Thread end!
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