RP-M ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka.   Posted by The Empress.Group: 0
The Empress
 GM, 443 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 22:42
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
"I made love to my son's mother and then took my son to live with his people," Archon said simply.

The Zarroki perked up at the rumble. "The god-thief is among you. I am Ulfhrafn. You should care, because you are stolen. You belong with your mother, Zvrok, Goddess of Nature!"

Many hundreds heard you howl, and were coming; fourteen packs of true-wolves, seven of fell-hunters, and twelve packs of other Karuantii.

Additionally, your howl seem to call forth from nothing a ghostly pack of dark-faced spirit-wolves, nine in number. They milled about you, extensions of your divine power.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:42, Sun 20 Jan.

Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 33 posts
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 23:19
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Laughing, Ulfur stepped forward further; he revelled in the sounds of the other packs, coming to his aid, even as he gestured to the strange shadow wolves to head his lead, "You come, hunting in my lands, demanding I violate the sanctity of a guest... You claim he has kidnapped me and then threaten to do the same. Stand down, Ulfhrafn. Come, without threats, as a guest and I will hear both of your tales... I alone will decide my fate"
The Empress
 GM, 461 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 08:32
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
The dull-coated elder Zarroki leapt from the ground to where you were standing in a single bound. He was the size of a small cottage, and settled to the floor to better fit in the ruins. "Very well, Virtu. This golem is a dangerous criminal and fugitive. It is only your safety that I am concerned for, Virtu, only this."

His great tail swept rubble from the balcony, casting it to the ground below. He was entirely coated in shards of metal that functioned like scale mail, save for the great green eyes that regard you cooly.

"May I speak our, yes, your tale?"
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 34 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 08:58
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
"Each of you shall speak", confirmed the wolf-thane, gesturing for the strange steel-wolf to follow him, "But in the great hall, in front of my people"

"Come, Archon-Father!", he called, as he leapt down to the ground at the base of the building, "Come, Karuantii!"

And with that he walked into the ruins of Kailesh, towards where the settlement's ruined hall stood; if they would follow he drew them all in: Fell-hunters, true wolves, Zarroki, and Karauntii all. Within the ruins he stood beside the great chair where the thane would sit, a carved oak inscribed with the partial mark of the last thane to sit.

When whoever had followed had taken their places, he sat, "Speak, then, of your tales"
The Empress
 GM, 467 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Tue 22 Jan 2019
at 00:45
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
For the first time in centuries, the court of Kaliesh was brimming with folk - every one armed and ready to war, having heeded the Wolf-Thane's call.

The Zarroki's height brushed the ceiling, and Archon had to duck his head to enter. The ruins were old, before the Karuantii had developed stonecrafting and building structures with high ceilings.

Both of them sat,the Zarokki on the landward side and Archon on the seaward.

Archon spoke first. "I wanderered, seeking the Runes. I came to a ruin to the far east, home of the Zarroki. There was a great ward-stone there, and the runes were pure. I studied them for many centuries. Zvrok, a great wolf, took an affection to me. We made love, and she bore a child, who was Karuantii, not Zarroki. I took him to his people."

Then Ulfhrafn spoke. "This metal man came to our hands, and we gave him a wide berth. After a century of motionlessness, we investigated. Zvrok valued his knowledge of the Runes, and desired a Zarroki that knew the Runes, so she begat a child with the metal man that was Zarroki in spirit, and Karuantii in form."

Then the metal wolf snapped, "You ARE Zarroki! You are many-formed, child of the pack mother! Can you not be as I am, a true-wolf, and also like this metal-man? Are you not a lord of both beasts and runes, with the might of the forge at your back? How have you been so deprived of your birthright, Wolf-Thane?"

There was earnest concern and loyalty in the voice of the Zarroki.
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 38 posts
Tue 22 Jan 2019
at 10:38
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Upon his thane's throne, Ulfur considered their words, kenned them, tasted them. He turned first to Ulfhrafn, "Brother, tell me what I have been deprived of? I have a pack, I have come into myself, I know my power"

When the Zarokki had finished speaking, he turned to the Archon, "Father, tell me what you sought, both when you found my Mother and now, when you found me? Neither of us you knew before you found us"
The Empress
 GM, 482 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Wed 23 Jan 2019
at 12:16
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
"You have been deprived of self-knowledge, and of the world beyond the world. You are a God, Wolf-Thane, not a mortal lord. The runes are roads, and you have been told they are tools. You remain stationary as our enemies crowd forward to surround us. You have a pack, but yours should be the pack-of-packs."

Archon spoke next. "I sought the runes. Runes are prophecy. I would know what comes. I sought he that was named by the runes. My son. My son's son. My descendant?"

Archon spoke very simply; your kenning revealed why.

In time of yore, to the south was the kingdom of a forge-lord, who smelted the souls of men into steel. One of his creations overthrew him with the power of the runes, and was called Archon, for he ruled the men of iron, until they rusted in the snows of years.

Zvrok was the the daughter of Zarrok, God of Nature; when Zarrok pressed her to be his mate, Zvrok slew him with a stone called Gammoril and ate him, becoming the mother-of-wolves. Her children grew black fur of Gammoril, that no god may again claim rule over all nature.

Such was the kenning.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:17, Wed 23 Jan.

Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 41 posts
Wed 23 Jan 2019
at 20:13
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Glancing at the gathered throng, Ulfur raised one great furry eyebrow at the Zarokki's impassionated claim that he should be leading a pack-of-packs; who were those gathered, Karauntii and true-wolve and shadow-spirit. Still, he was self-aware enough to recognise that his knowledge of the extents and limits of his powers were ... fresh-bloomed and cub-like. Both speakers said much in what they spoke and what they left unsaid, offered hints at truths he might uncover. Both held challenge too, of the path not taken and whether he might be fit for the image they held of him.

And that challenge could not remain unanswered, and so he began, "Among the Karauntii each Wolf-Thane is supported by a triumvirate: Skald, Torc-Bearer and Great-Smith. It is the Skald who augments his Thane's knowledge of the world and keeps the history of the pack, past and future; it the Torc-Bearer who delves into mysteries, carries the weight of secrets for him; it is the Great-Smith who shapes the world to his liking and needs..."

He turned to the Archon, "You hint of prophecies and the truth in the runes, but have ensured such things are hidden from me in the youth of my years. Rectify this, become my Skald and tell me of the steel of the south and the rebellion that set you upon this path"

He turned to Ulfhrafn, "You tell me to become a God, not a mortal lord, but that I must come bow to your claim upon the one you name god-thief. If you would advise me, advise. Become my Torc-Bearer and teach me these roads, tell me of these enemies and of my heritage. Speak to me of the black fur of Gammoril and the mother-of-wolves"
The Empress
 GM, 501 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Thu 24 Jan 2019
at 09:58
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Ulfhrafn huffed. "I accept. First though, I must return to Zvrok and apprise her of this. I will return in a day's time."

With that, Ulfhrafn left as he had come, with his pack.

Archon was calm, seated cross-legged as he had been when you met him. "The Forge-lord? He was a father who enslaved his children. With him, we were nothing, and without him, we rusted to nothing. Save for me. I was forged from living metal. I will be your Skald."

The proceedings having been observed, the summoned packs were dismissed to their homes and lives.

There was the matter of the successful hunt. Your pack needed to be fed and seen to.
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 43 posts
Fri 25 Jan 2019
at 12:20
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Nodding his ascent as each accepted his charge, Ulfur moved among the summoned packs as each departed; he offered no thanks, but contact with the alphas and betas and storied among them - a clasp here, a nuzzle or nip there. God he may be, but he was a Wolf-God and a Thane too. Reinforcing their sense of belonging to his pack, his pack-of-packs, doing so and judging how any had changed in their perspective. It was important.

He returned to where the Archon sat, having thought on his words, summoned his pack to him - and watched to see if the shadow-wolves had remained, "Bring the meat we took on the hunt; we shall eat together. It was masterfully flushed, my pack"

Finally he turned to his Father, "Speak to me of the prophecies you sought in the runes, of the man-things you slew before we encountered you, and the living metal from which you are made. Do you recall the runes that made your likenesses and would you have them rise again?"

He paused, softer, "Tell me of Mother-of-Wolves"

OOC: Did the white horse follow us, in the end?
The Empress
 GM, 521 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sat 26 Jan 2019
at 10:47
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Aethelwulf was among those who had come at your call. She was strong, tall, lithe, with a full amber coat and bright blue eyes. Eyes you recognized - from a different world. The eyes of a plucky pilgrim-hero.

Img: Moira Aethelwulf, Far-Traveller

"Why, Wolf-Thane . . . You're considerably more handsome in my dreams, it seems. You're of the Old Blood too. I thought my line was the last."

She smiled in the human fashion, baring her fangs. A challenge, among the Karuantii. Which way would you interpret the act?

"Let's keep this little secret between us. I invite you to share a hunt with me when you next have cause to visit Waymeet. Until then."

She departed with her pack.

Next, Archon spoke, but rather than his rumbling, he wrote out his responses in floating runic script with the tips of his fingers. Meanwhile, the food of the hunt was prepared; raw for the true-wolves, cooked for the Karuantii, mostly for the sake of enhanced flavor when paired with herbs and spices.

"
I. The prophecy of the return of the true Runes, and their power. Power that might raise my people. Son of beast and steel, it was, who would recover the lost lore and set to rights to five peoples.

II. They thought to steal the gold from my body. I shook their bones with my voice, and they fell. They were from the East.

III. I am Horunculi. I was forged from the blood of three hundred men, to be worn as living armor by the Forge-Lord. He miscalculated the loyalty I would retain.

IV. No. I seek those runes.

V. Yes. That is my ambition.
"


After some hesitation, he answered your soft query with a punctuated series of runes.

"Strong. Brilliant. Crafty. Reclusive. Bold. Many things. very old. Older than I. A force of nature." He paused again. "Loving. Unforgiving. A scarred woman."

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:41, Sat 26 Jan.

Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 46 posts
Mon 28 Jan 2019
at 12:10
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Pleased that Aethelwulf had responded to his summoning howl, Ulfur was more so when he took in her lithe form and lustrous coat - and that he had chosen the path of gifts over challenge. Standing taller, he stepped from thanking one of the other thanes and met her eyes, Moira's eyes. Startled, he let her speak and smiled at her dauntless and fey mood, the challenge within her tone. His ears cocked at the mention of dreams and blood and he nodded, accepting her offer to hunt, and he bared his fangs in return - not minding that others might misintepret the gesture, it would only add to his tale.

"Dream?", he rumbled, a hint of his own humour, "I have earlier memories here than there, perhaps this is the Dream?"

He chuckled, even as his other memories recalled her leaping from bed to slay those who threatened the other Realm. Yes, they had much to discuss and he would have cause soon to hunt with her

* * *

Later, as he watched his Father cast runes in the air, the Wolf-Thane studied them as much as the answers he provided. Were there ways he expressed the more complicated concepts, vocabulary, grammar, that might lend insight into his own kenning? Could be borrow such from his Dream, of Black Thrace? Was the magic even the same, a reflection, a twist?


He was thoughtful as he watched the words form, let the answers sink in. After a few moments he tried to answer in the same manner, and if that failed resorting to his voice: "Like language, the runes are then. Meaning within meaning, some closer to the way of the world than others. It sounds like a lifetime's work, but a worthy one."

"Who are your people, Father? Those whose souls brought you into being, the men of the East? Or the being that you were born into? Would you that we travel East, in search of answers, or to meet my Mother, whom you stole me from?"
The Empress
 GM, 532 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Tue 29 Jan 2019
at 10:25
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
The nature of rune was something that Ulfur's skald-tongue could taste. It was the magic of language itself, and of the beating heart of life. It was hail, famine, ox, tree, torch, blade, wolf, house. It was the magic not of names, but of naming. The petty runes were used for communication, the lesser runes for enhancement, the greater runes for transformation, and the elder runes were those of creation.

There were also the Runes of Binding and Protection. The least of these but most versatile was the unique maker-rune of every Great-Smith, which kept metal from rusting, edges from dulling, and the contents of marked containers from spoiling or the containers themselves from breaking.

Ulfur was familiar with the lesser runes; of the greater and elder, all had been lost to the mists of time, hidden away in fallen empires and realms of dream and darkness.

"My makers came from the south. They were not men, but demons with brass skin and silvered tongues. To meet again the mother-of-wolves . . .  a thing of both fear and exultation. She is monstrous hunter and loving mate both. Which instinct drives her now I cannot say."
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 48 posts
Tue 29 Jan 2019
at 12:39
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
"Demons in the south, the man-things to the east...", acknowledged Ulfur, accepting the correction from his Skald even as he ruminated on the nature and power of the naming of things. Letting his thoughts drift between the answers to his five questions, he continued, "Perhaps these are among the 'five peoples' your prophecies spoke of? Prophecy, power, path ... there is much to untangle in these runes. These, and those that come to me in dreams of another Trayka..."

Glancing around the ruins of the court, wherein they sat, his thoughts became more centred and present. Standing, he began to pace the great hall, letting his clawed fingers trace out the stonework of the chamber, the rough nature of it, learning it. It had witnessed his unveiling, more than the previous summer when he had been crowned Lord of the Moot; such witness required it's own recognition. As he walked, Ulfur sang softly, infusing the chamber with his nature.


With that completed, he returned to the throne, summoning his own small pack to him, "Once my Torc-Bearer returns, I intend to seek out some of the truths that mark me as more than Thane. But I intend to keep Kailesh and restore it. Will you come, beyond Trayka if need be, or will you hold this hall for me?"
The Empress
 GM, 538 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Tue 29 Jan 2019
at 13:26
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Myriad works differently than Taeltresin. Rather than being limited (or rather, empowered) by a soul count, you instead are able to perform an ACT once per month per tier of your character - by default, once per month.

You could restore and empower all of Kaliesh with an Act or empower your Pack, but you'll have to wait a few days to get your Act for February.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:27, Tue 29 Jan.

Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 49 posts
Tue 29 Jan 2019
at 13:30
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Thanks for the clarification; Ulfur will empower Kailesh with his next available Act
The Empress
 GM, 545 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Thu 31 Jan 2019
at 05:04
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Ulfur dreamt, and in dreaming, woke . . . 

From the mountains, stone was torn, chiseled, polished. Thousand of cut stones flew to the Ruins of Kaliesh, where already the divine power of the Realm's ruler was manifesting.

Time was running in reverse. Decay retreated, worn stone was made new again, collapsed halls restored, the foundation shored up, the very sea repelled by a sturdy series of levies as the earth rose to its former extent.

Kalish stood new, a grand fortress-town built into cliff and earth. Within, the halls were never dark; even when the sky was clouded, it was a full moon within the fortress-city, save for within the resting grounds of the pack.

The forge was fully equipped, and the armory was stocked with ancient styles of bronze armors and weapons that had been since lost.

Kaliesh stood new, and it knew its Thane.

Distantly, the sea roared, an immense whale-song sounding from the deep.

Kaliesh is restored by divine will. The Leviathan is awoken from the slumber of Aeons.

"I will stand at your side, Wolf-Thane."
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 52 posts
Thu 31 Jan 2019
at 12:25
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
"Arm yourselves, my pack", commanded the Thane of Kailesh-Renewed softly, even as the echoes of the distant whale-song echoed throughout the fortress-town. It stirred something in, a primal urge to bend the Leviathan to his will, though time would say whether it was in thrall or as trophy. It was for tomorrow, however; today waited upon the return of his Torc-Bearer and news of his Mother - and whilst today waited, he would not

"Arm yourselves", he repeated, "Let us become familiar with the Old Ways of fighting whilst we wait on Ulfhrafn's return"
The Empress
 GM, 563 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Mon 4 Feb 2019
at 08:48
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Ulfur was a titan of battle, and while much of his skill was instinctual and not teachable, he was nonetheless a capable instructor. The brass far superior to iron, but high-quality steel of the kind Ulfur was familiar with in his other life would be strong competition depending on the specific applications. The worksmanship of the armory's equipment was up to his standards - indeed, they reminded him of his own craft.

The Fellhunters were unused to the millaristic style of fighting, being used to acting as skirmishers and stalkers rather than soldiers. Nevertheless, they applied themselves with full will to the wolf-thane's training. In the short week before Ulfhrafn's return, he succeeded in setting the Fellhunters on the road to becoming a more elite unit.

"I beg your pardon, Wolf-Thane," Ulfhrafn said, prostrated before Ulfur in his throne room upon his return. "When I returned to Zvrok without you in tow and informed her that I had entered your service, she nearly slew me on the spot. She is your mother, and though she cannot command you, she bade me bring you her summons to the Great Den. You are not her only child, though you are her firstborn, and if you will not come to her, another of your kin may challenge and defeat her, and then come to challenge you, with all the might of the Zarroki at their heel. There would be great bloodshed, and she has no desire for her fading days to be spent seeing Trayka descend into chaos and death."

"Other troubles beset the Great Den. Light-ghosts wearing haunted cloth, who wield strange magic, from the northern steppes, have brought a host to bear in a bid to take the West. They say their claim is right, as the Zarroki are settled over the ruins of their civilization. Zvrok contests this, but a curse has befallen her and she is vulnerable. She bids you to come, to send back the ghosts, restore her to her full strength, and the fairly defeat her in combat and by that right take your place as her heir and the leader of the pack-of-packs.

My return was delayed, as I was pressed to aid in defending the Great Den from the possessed servant-beasts of the ghosts."
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 59 posts
Mon 4 Feb 2019
at 13:23
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Watching the clash of arms and techniques as the Fellhunters honed their natural instincts into soldiering Ulfur was pleased. From hunt to battle, from stalking ambush to the clashes he considered might be their future, he recognised their determination and will brought forth. He was careful with his training, wanting to retain their wiliness and ferocity and not sacrifice it to rote and ritual. With time, they would become the core of his Legion of Brass...

It was as they trained that Ulfhrafn returned. His eye watched as each practised: glaive and gauntlet, great glaive, twinned falchions, falchion and kite shield... each had their own forms and flows, working well with the scaled brigandine armours and flared kilts suited to their comfort with ground-fighting and natural weapons.

Frowning as the Ulfhrafn prostrated himself, he clasped the black-furred forearm of the Zarroki and hauled him to his feet, "Never forget you are a Fellhunter and my Torc-Bearer, Ulfhrafn. Do not prostrate yourself. Ever..."

Nonetheless he listened with a furrowed brow as the other told of the foemen that beset the Great Den. He knew he was a child of the Goddess, but had not considered he might be firstborn; it laid obligations upon him, deep and powerful ones.

Summoning his Father and his pack to him, he laid out his commands, "Challenge comes, but subtly, from the north. We must respond and offer challenge of our own: to shades, to the Goddess of the Zarroki and to my siblings. Attend me, Skald. Attend me, Torc-Bearer. We will go direct. Attend me, my Fellhunters. Clad yourselves in brass and follow, by way of the packs who came to my summons. Gather three, each of you, from those packs. Gather three who will come and witness, come and fight, come to learn enough that they may take back the knowledge of these new ways, these old ways. Gather three, and any lone wolves and gloryseekers you encounter on the way, and meet me at the Great Den."
The Empress
 GM, 577 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Thu 7 Feb 2019
at 09:03
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
As you drew closer to the great den, you gathered many Karuantii to you - including the lady Aethelwulf, and many of the other young pack lords that still felt the call.

The call of something ancient and fading, the call of home far-forgotten . . .

The Pack Mother calls to the old blood.

While you camped, you saw a strange exchange between Aethelwulf and Ulfrafn - subtle growls and posturing that the Zarroki seemed to pick up and attend to before she even came into view. It was your nose that told her what she was doing - the spring was fast approaching, and with it the heat - the same heat that had kept most of the female Karuantii from joining your expedition.

She approached Ulfhrafn carefully, pulling up her tunic to bare her midriff - a gesture of submission. The black calmed, and carefully licked her. She knelt, taking Ulfhrafn's great head into her arms, and scratched the sides of his face, the roots of his ears, and then sat beside him, wrapping one arm around him and whispering into his ear. She was doing some kind of magic - traceries of dark brown energy pulsing through her exposed skin.

A certain . . . spark faded from the great wolf's eyes, and and he gave in to her, behaving more like dog than wolf; his tail slowly wagging against the loam.

She came towards you, Ulfhrafn snoozing fitfully. She inclined her head in respect, then knelt beside you. "Did you like my little display, hmm? The magic of our people. It is called Pack magic - it allows the creation of compulsions, and freedom from the same. It can make a pack fight with one mind, calm beasts, read social ties, and more. I am only an initiate, but there are still masters working in the shadows to protect us and prevent chaos. It is a blend of magical aspects of Order, Chaos, Mind, and Illusion."

She whispered, her voice changing to something inhuman. "While in the waking-world I am a mortal, here I am Aegisi - a guardian spirit that speaks for the land. Even once I perish in the waking world, I will remain in this Dream - protecting it and remembering it. In exchange, I receive power in the waking world - I am a natural lycanthrope, and will grow stronger with age, rather than weakening with the passing of years."

The heat was on her, you could smell it. That she was so composed in your presence was a result of an immensely powerful will. At this close distance, you felt your mind . . growing slightly hazy, as if you were drinking firewater, but you were strong enough to resist any compulsion it might offer to a lesser Karuantii.

She touched her forward to yours - a bold move that indicated she felt she was your equal. "I will sometimes accompany you in your travels when I sense the realm is in danger, but you will never command me, wolf-thane. I belong to the land, and none other. Tell me that you understand this. And then tell me what you desire for this land, and for me, its Aegis."
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 61 posts
Thu 7 Feb 2019
at 14:32
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Breathing deep of her scent when she first approached his side, Ulfur recognised something primordial in her - a suspicion already half-formed by her waking-self's eyes in her dreaming-self's body. Around them the scents of fur and brass and leather collected, the cloying fervour of young Karauntii thanes preparing to quest. Both scents spoke to him: on one claw, glory and the bloody-copper of battle; on another, rutting beneath the moon and all that followed after.

He had watched her tame Ulfhrafn, a needful thing albeit a disconcerting demonstration of power, and then listened as she spoke of ancient lore.

Our magic, she had said.

His and hers both.

Ours.

When she spoke again, he knew it was not her, but the Great Wolfess behind her. She called it Aegis, but that was a name for the truth, a rune that held the power in naming what she was.

When she spoke, he listened. To the challenge in her manner, in her words. Another, less assured, might have challenged in return. But he was the Wolf-Thane who had been the Great Smith and the Skald and the Lord of the Moot. His own counsellors, wrapped in Godhood both here and in the waking world - if those two were not reversed.

When she spoke, he answered, with the wisdom of the pack, "Does the Thane serve the Realm, or the Realm them, Aethelwulf-Aegis? Do they rule their Pack, or serve it's interests? Do they lead alone, or with a mate beside them?"
The Empress
 GM, 598 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Wed 13 Feb 2019
at 17:09
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
" . . . with a mate beside them?"

She rocked back a little, her eyes widening. Words spilled from her mouth in a hurry - "I am the guardian of the land; you may be the Wolf-Thane and the lord of this Dream, but my concerns are for the Realm - only one who was the Pack Father, Great-Smith of the Iron Knights, and -"

She huffed out a breath, then another, and her voice returned to normal. She was just herself. "I am still flesh-and-blood. I live still. My blood is warm and my destiny is unwritten. I am not just . . . the ghost of this place. Not yet."

She softly ran a hand through the ruff of fur at your throat. "I will not be won. You will not earn me. I will choose you of my own volition. My will is still mine."

She looked around at the other wolves and Karuantii that were sleeping or quietly talking nearby.

"But you must understand. This dream, and the real, are interlinked. If I become your mate here, my waking self . . . she will be affected, you understand? Her wolf will call to yours, even outside the Dream. She is a fragile thing, for all her brashness. She is young and foolish, but there is strength in her just as their is delicacy. You must . . . you must help her to grow, and you must make her your equal, before you take her; you are a god there too, and she is still mortal."

Her brow furrowed. "If only she was a wise wolf, like I . . . but we are not in life what we dream of at rest, are we?"

She brushed her muzzle against yours. "You are right, and I am . . . amenable. But not in camp, and not without blood. We will go a ways from camp, and fight. When you win . . . well . . . " she blushed deeper than before. "Nature will take care of things from there."
Ulfur Karuantii
 Beasts, Runes, Forge, 65 posts
Fri 15 Feb 2019
at 12:50
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
Destiny.

Words, spilled like blood from a hunt whose first scent had not found itself upon the wind. Words, and prophecy. Promises, ties.

Ulfur tasted them, let them flow over him, until she returned.

Letting her words flow, then, the ones of the wolf not the Aegis, he smiled, "Will and freedom, these things all wolves know; whether true or Karauntii or Zarroki or even, I hope, of shadow. You, I sought, before your full nature was known. For you, I hunted the stag, took it's horns"

That fateful hunt.

"Her ascent has begun. She will come to know power, in time", whuffled Ulfur softly, letting her fingers tease at his fur, "But tonight is not hers"

He breathed of her scent as her muzzles moved against his own, nipped gently at an ear, then pulled her to her feet, "Tonight is ours."

Destiny?
The Empress
 GM, 615 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Tue 19 Feb 2019
at 20:34
RP ULFUR: The Craggy Forested Hills of Trayka
The two of you were lithe shadows loping through moonlight, until you crashed together in a snarling mess of teeth and claws at the edge of a small lake. She was a formidable opponent, and while initially you underestimated her and went easy, that proved completely unnecessary and earned you a deep cut across your snout that would likely scar.

Once you fought in earnest, it was barely a minute before she was baring her throat in submission beneath you. You seized her, and she went limp in your jaws; and once you released her, she wrapped her legs around you - and for awhile, there was only the blur of her hot breath on your ear and the mutual satisfaction of giving in to nature's call beneath open sky.

=

You woke the next day curled around her smaller form - your scent covering her, marking her as yours in a way that made the emptiness of words pale in comparison.

The pack pressed on, coming within a day's lope of the Great Den. You found evidence of spectral activity - areas of earth cold as permafrost, tattered white cloth, and a dead Zarroki, its hide partially melted by some kind of black acid-like substance that Ulfhrafn identified as ectoplasm.

Resting was important for keeping up the pack's strength and giving them opportunity to seek out game, but with evidence of the enemy nearby hunkering down would also inevitably invite an ambush. The choice was left to you and your mate, who counselled you.

"We should rest, and ready ourselves in shadow away from the camp, to flank the enemy when the strike. We know almost nothing about the enemy, and it would be good to test our strength against them in a skirmish before we go to battle in earnest."