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Ruler of Everything

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:06 am
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Willow Bark was (only minorly) stressed. The Beta of a relatively small pack of wolves, he held a lot of responsibility, due to their low numbers. He had to fulfill a lot of roles with his days, and it was getting quite tiring. Luckily, Thrust had been successful at bringing more wolves in, but many of them had skills suitable to things like child care and healing, and not so much the protection of the pack, which meant he was currently out at the outskirts of the packlands deep in the forest, stalking around to ensure no strangers were accidentally wandering into their territory.

Beyond the rigors of serving as Beta, just the other day his daughter had shown up. He didn't even know he had pups and here was a full-grown wolf with a face mask that mimicked his own, saying that he was her father. When Ghost Whisper - his daughter, as weird as that felt - mentioned her mother by name, Willow's face had grown hot. The pack typically had rules against liaising with rogues, but because they had low numbers Thrush had decided to relax those guidelines for a bit in an attempt to bring new blood into the pack. Willow just happened to be the first to be successful in that endeavor, but he certainly hadn't meant to. He didn't feel old enough for this, but here he was, attempting to step up and serve as a fatherly figure to a whole wolf. She seemed nice enough - he definitely got her love of others from him - but she was still a mystery to him. She'd immediately requested to be a Protector, saying something about the use of her claws, which he deeply admired. All in all, it would be an interesting time with her here - and he looked forward to getting to know her.

Willow found himself yawning a bit, getting lost in his thoughts and distracted from his duty. His deep blue eyes flashed about, alert for any potential invaders - or new pack members.
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:51 am
      User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show. Minnow had been alone for awhile now. Growing up, Minnow only really had one wolf around her at all times. That had been enough at the time -- she hadn't known better. But as an adult realizing she clearly longed for more? Now that was harder. The decision to leave her home had stung, truly. She loved the swamp and always saw it as her protector, but Minnow knew she wouldn't find more of her own kind there. A pup might wander in and find themselves taken in by her caretaker, sure, but that wasn't enough. She wanted a community. Wolves to wake up to and live alongside.

      You couldn't really get that in a spooky swamp no one wanted to visit, huh?

      So she left. She hadn't asked for directions or guidance; her caretaker had been kind enough as it was and she didn't want to expect them to direct her life. It was her decision, after all. Her story. She only knew from where she came, so that hopefully one day she could return and show her caretaker the story she carved for herself. She was lost, really. Lost in a territory she knew was someone else's, but that didn't deter her. That was good. Maybe she'd find someone.

      She was hungry, however. Hungry and worn. Her paws hurt. She forgot how long she had been walking. Long enough. Breaks weren't a thing in her world currently. She wanted something and was driven to find it, so some nights turned sleepless and others were restless. She had scooped up a few smaller prey on the way, but Minnow was focused. She hadn't really sat down and tried to score a genuine meal. It was starting to wear on her, finally.

      She didn't want to stop, though.
 

Nymphiea
Crew

Shy Wife


Ruler of Everything

Devoted Cultist

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:26 pm
Willow had been padding around for a while when he lifted his nose to the air, suddenly sensing the scent of an unknown wolf. His ears flicked and his head turned, following the smell. He could tell it was a female, but it wasn't familiar enough for him to even determine geographically from where she was coming. So he picked up his pace, trotting in her direction.

Soon enough, she came into view. And boy, was she striking. He could see her icy blue-green eyes from far away, and something in his heart stirred. That feeling was only worsened (was it really "bad"?) when he noted her stature. Even from far away, he could see a slouch in her posture - the tell-tale sign of a worn-down wolf. The Swiftfell were not a cruel or particularly feisty pack; if she needed help, in any way, to get back on her feet, he was sure that Thrush would understand and want to assist. Even better, it might mean a new pack member.

Keeping his pace, he neared her, deciding to call out - she didn't seem threatening in any manner, so he might as well warn her of his presence, in case she was too haggard to be as alert as he constantly needed to be. "Hey!" He yelled awkwardly, entirely unsure of exactly what to say to the other wolf. Closer up, he noticed the delicate and numerous shades covering her coat, but mostly his sight focused on her eyes. They really were something.


Nymphiea
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:41 pm
      He was kind to warn her as, true to his prediction, she was too tired to stay alert. That, or maybe she didn't feel the need to be. She wanted to stumble upon another wolf, after all. Her ears perked up as her head snapped right to his direction, accurately following the sound of his voice. Her bright eyes widened, glittering in an excitement she hadn't felt in awhile. Another wolf.

      Not only that, but he was beautiful. Was that correct? Was that the right term? She didn't have much time to look before addressing him, but she noted his colors immediately. They reminded her of warmth and the earth -- it was comforting. Her eyes drew to his accessories, tail beginning to wag. Did they get in the way of hunting? How'd he get them? She had plenty of questions, but she supposed she ought to start speaking before she asked any.

      "Hello," she greeted, tail still slowly wagging. Another wolf. He looked healthy, too. Obviously this area did him well. She doubted he was a traveler. His scent was familiar only in the sense she had smelled it throughout her prowl in the forest. Clearly this was his home, but there were other scents too. It wasn't just his.

      She didn't move closer (although she wanted to). Misty Elk had ensured she knew the rules of keeping herself safe. Instead, she made herself as welcoming as possible, concentrating on not showing any sign of hostility. This was his home, after all. He'd have every right to defend it.

      "I'm not here to cause trouble," she added softly. His eyes -- were they multi-toned? She couldn't tell from where she was, really, but they were intriguing.
 

Nymphiea
Crew

Shy Wife


Ruler of Everything

Devoted Cultist

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:48 pm
Betraying himself and his position (and the need to remain neutral and discerning), Willow found himself smiling at the way her eyes grey large and lit up, and the slight wag of her tail. She was clearly relieved to stumble upon someone, and it was no surprise as to why - as pretty as she clearly was, she hadn't been properly taking care of herself. It looked as if she'd been wandering Kells for a while.

"Trouble? You don't look like you could cause it if you tried," he spoke, unsure if what he said would be taken offensively. He certainly hoped not. Willow coughed, clearing the air. "I'm Willow Bark, Beta of The Swiftfell. These are our lands - are you lost? I'm happy to help in any way I can." He stood tall, projecting an authoritative aura contrary to his soft voice and gentle demeanor. He just really wanted to make sure she was alright - his heart strings were being pulled left and right, he really couldn't help it. Maybe finding out he was a father made him softer. Maybe it was something else entirely.


Nymphiea
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:59 pm
      She giggled at his response, head tilting. Was that comment on how tired she look? Or did she look harmless? Either way, she probably agreed. She wasn't the best hunter or fighter, although Misty Elk had told her time to time she was a fast one. Maybe if she was healthier she could show the male what she could do. Right now, though, she was far more interested in staying in place than showing off her speed.

      He was a Beta. One of her ears flicked, realization in her features. She was right -- there was a pack. She didn't want to reveal how relieved that made her, mostly because she was not only a stranger but she didn't even know what kind of pack he helped lead, but her interest was piqued. Hadn't she been seeking a community? And she stumbled upon one?

      Her stomach growled in warning, snapping her out of her useless daydreaming. Right. That. She sheepishly lowered her ears as he asked if she was lost or needed help. She couldn't impose, could she?

      "Not lost, no," she offered, noting his stance with an amused glint. He really did suit the power he was trying to exude. Or maybe she was just enjoying the sight. Probably that.

      "I've been traveling. I'm looking for something, but in the meantime I guess I-" her stomach growled again, causing her face to heat. ".... Forgot to ensure I ate... I didn't want to try a hunt when I smelled the various scents of wolves here, since I wasn't sure how you'd feel about someone taking prey."

      Oh she so hoped he wouldn't mind.

      Ruler of Everything
 

Nymphiea
Crew

Shy Wife


Ruler of Everything

Devoted Cultist

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:47 pm
Before she was able to respond, a loud grumble emitted from her stomach. Willow Bark's ears flicked, noting the noise, and realizing for the first time that she was rather thin. It may have been a natural build to her, or she could be lying about how long she'd been out and wandering. Either way, he was glad to be able to provide her a safe place to eat and sleep for the night. He just prayed that Thrush wouldn't mind, but Thrush had a weakness for pretty things, too, so he would likely understand.

"Of course, that's no trouble at all. We have plenty of dens and don't mind sharing food, so long as you don't cause a ruckus." He smiled softly at her, hoping that his demeanor was coming off as warm. Flirtatious by nature, he was actively working against himself not to cozy up to her, considering the vulnerable position she was in. It just wouldn't feel right. But maybe after she'd had some food...

He shook the thought from his mind, exasperated by his own relentlessness. "Care to follow me?" Willow quirked a brow, and turned, slowly padding away, not waiting for her response before starting on, "So, something in me says you're obligated to tell me a little something about how you ended up here. Trying to seek out a missing mate, for example..." He slipped it in quickly, unable to keep from asking her about her relationship status for too long. Of course, he had his own family "drama" of sorts with Ghost Whisper showing up out of the blue, but he was certainly, desperately single. And as fun as that could be, it tended to get old fast. The whole Ghost thing had him rethinking his love for flirtationships, anyway. Deciding not to dwell on that, he turned his head to look back at the female, realizing belatedly that he hadn't quite caught her name.


Nymphiea
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:27 pm
      Ah, so they were the kind sort. Or they were tricking her and leading her into a trap, but Minnow had a feeling that wasn't the case. A smile touched her muzzle, head tilting to the other side.

      "No ruckus plans from me! No worries," she almost sang out, her tail wagging once more. Of course not! She'd never cause those who helped her any grief. That, and she didn't want the striking male to regret introducing her to his pack. Her heart skipped a beat at the realization that he was bringing her to more wolves than she had seen in her entire lifetime. A real pack.

      Which he was the Beta of.

      He padded off after his invitation, although he didn't need to worry about her following. She trotted to his side, a bounce in her tired step. She was hungry, yes, and perhaps even exhausted, but her spirits were lifted. She padded to his side, keeping a respectful distance. She shot a glance at his eyes. She was right -- they were beautiful.

      "Obligated?" Her voice held a light tease in it, although she was a fairly agreeable wolf. She had nothing to hide. "A missing mate? No, ha," she laughed faintly at the idea of it, head shaking. He was the first wolf she had met who wasn't her adoptive mother, after all!

      "I'm traveling, actually. Looking for somewhere... or something. I don't want to steal your ear too long... but the short story is I never really met... other wolves. Other than the one who raised me. So I was looking for company, I guess." She smiled warmly up at him, tail wagging at a soft rhythm.

      "I never thought I'd meet an entire pack."

      Ruler of Everything
 

Nymphiea
Crew

Shy Wife


Ruler of Everything

Devoted Cultist

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:28 am
Willow noted the female's tail wag once more, and smiled softly, his heart warming towards this haggard little wolf. It was sweet that she was visibly excited - it was hard to feign that kind of emotion.

Great! No missing mate. Which means there probably wasn't one in the picture... So flirting could commence, even if it still felt a little skeevy due to her more or less needing his help right now. Even so, she seemed strong - mentally, maybe not physically - so it wasn't totally off-limits. Duly noted.

At the "somewhere... or something" he realized that she must not have a very clear idea of what she was doing out here at all. And then she continued on, and he couldn't help but to drop his jaw, mouth agape. She was clearly fully-grown and had many moons under her claw, so it felt unimaginable that she really hadn't been socialized with many other wolves. What about her parents? Siblings? Mama wolves tended to have multiple pups when birthing, so she must have sisters or brothers somewhere. He cocked his head, the gears in his mind grinding, but decided better of asking. Instead, he quickly shut his jaw and turned back to her.

"That's... incredible. Well, we're certainly not a large pack, but we're steadily growing. Most everyone's really nice, so I think you'll get along with them just fine." Then, he added, "And... just... by the way, we are looking for new members. If you find yourself at home here and you like the forest, we could always use extra paws that can learn healing or enjoy pup sitting." Willow smiled at her, genuine and wide, hoping she took it as the open invitation he meant it to be. "I like you so far, so I certainly wouldn't mind the company." His smile slid into a bit of a smirk as his expression changed into mild flirtation.

"Now, I will warn you, I do have family here, but from what I know they're the kind sort, too. At least Maggie is. Ghost..." Willow Bark trailed off, shaking his head. He was still unsure of her. She seemed like a badass, which she definitely got from her father, but he still didn't know much about her. He paused then, waiting for the other wolf's response before annoyingly diving into his brief life story.


Nymphiea
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:18 am
      She noted his jaw drop, blinking back. Was it that surprising? She hadn't really thought about it much. Sure, she remembered her birth mother, but it was easy to move on when you had someone like Misty Elk willing to rescue you. Her heart ached for a moment, tail lowering for a fraction of a second. No, wrong -- Misty would be happy for her. She needed to cheer up, especially because she knew where to find Misty Elk. They'd see each other again.

      It was her turn to drop her jaw, although admittedly it was less open than his has been. An invitation? She couldn't suppress the grin that touched her muzzle, although she didn't give an answer yet. She needed to see what the pack was about. If they were truly as kind as he proclaimed then of course! But if not... she'd need to get wandering.

      Although she found herself really hoping they were as he promised.

      "I like you too," she barked back, although his flirtations was lost on her. It was true, though. Her first meeting of another wolf was pleasant, and she did like him. She wouldn't mind spending more of her time with him, in fact! If she stayed she was sure they'd become good friends if he was as kind as he seemed to be.

      She did feel a momentary jealousy as he mentioned having a family. She had Misty Elk, but it was no secret Minnow wished she had a sibling or her adoptive mother would settle down. What was it like to have a large family? Willow Bark trailed off, catching Minnow's attention.

      "Ghost?" She repeated in a tone she hoped would encourage him to continue on.

      Ruler of Everything
 

Nymphiea
Crew

Shy Wife


Ruler of Everything

Devoted Cultist

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:50 pm
Willow noted her reaction to his invite to join the pack, if she felt so inclined. For someone who hadn't had much interaction with other wolves, it must have felt like a lot. He hoped internally that it wasn't too forward of him, but then she spoke and he realized he had been right on point. His face grew a little hot at the comment, even if it sounded innocuous. Still, the sentiment made his heart full.

"If you like me so much, maybe you should tell me your name," he blurted, smirking and with an amused glint in his eye. Not knowing her name was a bit odd, but he understood that some rogues (and even particular pack wolves) were hesitant to share personal information about themselves. But they seemed to be vibing to some degree, so he might as well ask/

"Er, Ghost Whisper, yeah. She's... hm." He paused - both in his sentence and physically - before setting his paws back to the forest floor and continuing on. This pretty girl he was looking at might be turned off - from him, from the pack - if he admitted to his rogue dalliance. But maybe not. Might as well trust her and have it bite him in the a** than lie to her, huh?

"Ghost is my... daughter?" It felt weird to say - actually, it was the first time he had verbalized that reality. It sat strangely upon his tongue, but he went forward anyway. "Out on one of my scouting missions, I stumbled upon a lovely wolf - much like yourself -" he added with a sidewards glance, "And I suppose it ended in a swollen belly and, as I'm told, four whole puppies. Well, they're not puppies now. Ghost - she's really quite something - is fully grown and sought out the pack by herself, after her mother told her where I resided." Willow wasn't sure how much detail to give, but he was pretty much an open book, and continued on. "She only arrived a moon or so ago, so I don't know her well quite yet, but she's really... she's beautiful, honestly. It astounds me that I could create something like that? It just doesn't seem real, still. But I'm sure I'll settle into the quasi-father role okay. I just wish I had the opportunity to meet the others - it feels strange knowing they're out there and I'm just... not in their lives."

Finally, he stopped, taking a moment to breathe. His head lowered, a bit sheepish, before glancing back over to her, awaiting a reaction.


Nymphiea
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:33 pm
      Her face flushed instantly. Her name! She forgot! She had been so invested in the conversation that she forgot basic manners.

      "Minnow! I'm Minnow. I totally forgot!" Look, you travel for weeks without a soul in sight and remember what your mother taught you when finally approached by someone. It was a lot! She settled down to listen to his story, hesitating when he did. It seemed... family was complicated? Of course it was -- her own family situation was odd, too. She tilted her head at the comment of a wolf similar to herself, ears flicking. Did he just call her lovely?

      Neat. She quite liked that.

      Honestly, from his description of Ghost Whisperer she saw a wolf she wanted to meet. Driven, adventurous, and knew what she wanted; much like Minnow herself. She hummed thoughtfully, picking up pace so she was closer to the male.

      "I'm sure you'll get to see them, somehow. In the meantime, it sounds like you might benefit from meeting them one on one and learning who they are as individuals." She smiled up at the male, tail flicking once. "I hope I get to meet your daughter during my visit." Visit, for now. Her stomach growled in anticipation, although for something else. She flushed, ears flattening in embarrassment.

      "What is the pack like? Are we close?"

      Ruler of Everything
 

Nymphiea
Crew

Shy Wife


Ruler of Everything

Devoted Cultist

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:30 am
Willow chuckled at Minnow's rather rushed response - it was obvious she felt bad, but there was no need. Still, he appreciated how sweet her demeanor was, that she was typically polite enough to introduce herself to other wolves. Well, maybe not other wolves, it wasn't like she'd met many... but still, a great sign that she was raised well. And it was interesting to note that she was named after such a small, quick fish - she definitely fit the "small" quality to an absolute T. If she was fast, too, she would do great at The Great Rush - their annual race across the pack lands. It always ended in a feast for the Swift Champion, which he suspected she would enjoy greatly.

Nodding at her response, he chose not to not give one of his own. She had definitely helped him iron out the stressors in his life simply by serving as his companion for this time. Even if she ended up uninterested in the pack (or him, for that matter), she had already helped him so much - he was glad to repay her. At her inquiry, he nodded: "Quite close! We'll have a meal for you in no time - there is plenty of game in the forest, so we tend to have much of it around. And the pack... hm. We're, overall, a pretty friendly bunch. We, well, I don't want to say worship birds, but our pack is built around their usefulness to our little society. There are many birds around - often Swifts - and we partner with them, on occasion, to warn us of incoming danger, incoming weather, and the like. I actually recently bonded with a bird of my own - his name is Storm Bringer, he's one of the great ones that warns us about far-off weather patterns." He took a breath, and continued, "It is notable that the pack is semi-nocturnal. I know it's day time now, but we always have wolves out protecting the territory no matter what time of day. It's just most of our activity, like hunting deer or attempting to fish occurs later in the day. As Beta, I don't sleep much. But our Alpha - his name is Thrush - sleeps even less. As we build numbers, it'll get less stressful for us all."

He turned his head forward, noting that he was more or less staring at her, and realized that they were coming upon the dens. Most everyone was asleep, so it was the perfect time to bring a needy visitor in and slowly introduce her to the main pack lands and the wolves therein. "Speaking of deer..." Willow mentioned with a smile, quirking a brow and pointing his nose to an entire carcass that had yet to be touched. "Looks like it's mealtime for you." He was glad that everyone was still asleep, as he realized technically non-pack members weren't allowed within their territory, or to share their food. But he was Beta, and he knew Thrush well, and suspected that Minnow would be amenable to joining the pack. So that kind of eradicated the need for that rule in this situation, right? At least he hoped so. He just prayed (not to any gods, just... to the universe in general) that she stayed - for more reasons than one.


Nymphiea
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:04 pm
      Semi-nocturnal? She didn't mind that. It'd take adjusting, but... at the mention of him bonding with a bird she instantly looked around, trying to spot the creature. Nothing. Still, it was neat. She never had bonded with an animal before, other than her own kind (if she could call this meeting bonding). She didn't necessarily like bird meat anyway, so maybe turning a more favorable eye on them might be welcoming. No -- she loved deer, and it was something she hadn't had in quite some time.

      One ear perked upright as he mentioned deer and mealtime, tail wagging a mile a minute. True to her emotions, Minnow displayed a relief in her expression as her stomach twinged in pain. Food. It wasn't like she hadn't hunted here and there... but it wasn't deer. It was rats and squirrels. On her own she wasn't necessarily strong enough for a healthy deer hunt, but she was a good herder. Unfortunately, unless she tried to herd a deer off a cliff she wasn't very useful on her own with deer.

      She bounced on her paws as her mind reeled. Food, wolves, birds... so much was unfolding in front of her. She didn't see any wolves moving about as they approached, but she knew if she stayed the night she'd see a few. Her heart leaped, pounding against her rib cage as she considered all the faces she might meet. This is why she left home.

      "I can't express how grateful I am," she exclaimed, although her tail and paws probably conveyed it rather well. She beamed at Willow Bark, cheeks heating. He really was a kind wolf. Kind, strong.... handsome. Her head abruptly jerked away at that thought, an ear lowering. Not now Minnow. Especially to a stranger and someone she was sure not only had other things to worry about but wouldn't notice her in any similar way.

      Still, she could appreciate his appearance, couldn't she?

      "Is there a way I can repay the pack?" She could bring back some small animals! Or herbs. Or something.

      Ruler of Everything
 

Nymphiea
Crew

Shy Wife


Ruler of Everything

Devoted Cultist

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:32 pm
Willow Bark, still staring at Minnow, noticed the vigorous change of her expressions. Tail wagging, ears flicking, then pinned - her face moved even quicker than her tail! It was entertaining, how she seemed to convey every emotion through her body language. He wouldn't pin himself as a stoic wolf, but he definitely held himself much differently. The way she did things, however, was quite endearing.

"Repay? I mean, you could join our ranks," he said with a low chuckle. "We could use a caretaker or two to look after pups and anyone who gets injured - we're in short supply there. So, if you happen to have an affinity for little puppies..." He smiled once more, giving a sort of shrug.

"But, uh... one way you could repay me personally is, if you meet anyone, go along with the fact that you're joining? No pressure, I know it's a big decision and something you'll have to mull over, but there may or may not be rules about this kind of thing, and I don't need Thrush up my a** over bringing a pretty lady back to the pack. I know I wouldn't hear the end of it," Willow Bark remarked with a playful eyeroll, still smiling. "But seriously, go eat! And then I can find you an empty den so you can rest for a bit. Once the sun starts to go down a bit, I'll nudge you and introduce you. Ghost Whisper might be around - might be good for you to meet someone else new to the land." It seemed strange, inviting this wolf to meet his daughter on her face day with The Swiftfell, but she seemed interested by her facial expressions when he spoke of her, so why not acquaint the two? Ghost may have advice for her, which could be useful in recruiting her.


Nymphiea
 
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[IC] The Forest

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