A new pack forms.. May 12, 2006 3:17:10 GMT -5
Post by sidian on May 12, 2006 3:17:10 GMT -5
A damp, sodden form moves into the shade of the fallen tree, pausing to shake vigorously, followed by a sneeze, and another shake. A silvery head is lifted, triangular ears swiveling and nostrils a-quiver. New territory, one can never be too careful. Finding nothing particularly worrisome, Silver heaves a sigh, shaking herself again. The swim across the river had been rather tiresome, but she's forded worse, and now she goes about investigating the area, tail flicked upward with a spray of tiny water droplets.
An uncharacteristically dry, equally tired, but much smaller form makes its way through the undergrowth. Noisily the dark-brown creature blazes its own trail, his bounding steps bringing him ever closer to his goal. The river calls him with scent and wonderful sound, its cool embrace so long removed from his sleek fur. Chibi pauses for a moment to stand erect, forepaws braced against a sapling which bends under the strain. His broad muzzle works busily as he scents his closeness to the water.
Silver paws briefly at the ground next to the log, then lifts her leg, tail up high, and marks it. No other wolves scented, good cover, lots of prey on the air...this is perhaps the best place she's found so far, and she intends to make it her home. First, though, best to see if she truly IS alone. For now, the otter goes unseen, as her attention goes fully into tossing her head back and letting out a long, drawn out howl.
In Fallen Log, Silver howls.
In Rock-Strewn Soil, Farhowl howls.
Farhowl has arrived.
The sound certainly does not go unnoticed. Chibi freezes where he stands, totally still except for the unbidden shivers which run down his spine. As the howl wanes the young waterdog is released from his fear just enough to drop carefully into the undergrowth. Not yet daring to back away, the otter plies his limited hearing for any clue of where to run.
Smoke has arrived.
He picked up the call while off wandering through the western part of the forest. The call of another wolf. Farhowl has never been one that has enjoyed the life of a loner - much too, er, lonely, you see - and so he has trotted out in this direction, hoping to investigate. All the while he keeps his nose trained for any sort of territorial markings.. and, once he closes in on the area he thought the sound had come from, he lets out his own call to announce his presence. Pausing between a pair of trees Farhowl waits, ears pricked, eyes alert.
Stalking through the trees and thick under growth she moves as silent as possible with brambles and such combing through her thick coat. Smoke too heard the call of another wolf, an answer, she chose not to answer for the time being. It's best in her opinion, to keep a low profile even though the territory she's entered has lacked any signs of a pack having been established here already, still no reason to rush out to a possible trap of sorts.
Silver trots a short distance from the log, nose to the ground, and leaves another mark. It's then that the otter's scent reaches her. She lifts her head sharply, swinging her muzzle in that direction, but any inclination she may have had to investigate is cut short by the sound and scent of an approaching wolf. Her tail shoots up, hackles raising, ears perking forward. She stands, stiff-legged, and lets out a soft, deep "buff". Her nostrils quiver, eyes flicking over the trees for any sign of the wolf she heard approaching.
Pinta has arrived.
[ Pinta goes IC. ]
Chibi tastes the fear thicken chokingly in his throat as the second call is heard. This one, too, is far too close for comfort. It's all he can do to not burst from his scant cover amidst the brambles. Not even a tree to shield him from view as he cowers. This has got to be the worst moment of his life.. just about to the river, and wolves in his path! Never again will he take to land when the water is so near. The novelty of his recent trip is forgotten in this harrowing moment. The otter hasn't survived this long by being a coward, though. A moment to gather courage and the sleek male begins backing slowly out of the area. The third approaching wolf is of little consequence, being so far away. Hoping that he hasn't yet been noticed Chibi tries to make his escape back into the denser undergrowth a few lengths behind.
Farhowl continues forward, a little more cautious now, his nose taking in the surrounding scents. A squirrel - who is long gone, judging from how old the trail is, an otter and another wolf. It doesn't take him but a moment to spot silver and Farhowl comes to a halt. His own posture remains carefully neutral.. he doesn't want to get into a quarrel with a female.. and he simply gives a faint dip of his head in greeting. His nose quivers as he gets a better scent of the otter but, for the moment, he does nothing. Wouldn't do to make any sudden movements that might seem aggresive on his part, eh? One ear twitches slightly as he picks up a faint rustle.. but unable to determine if it sounds like it would belong to otter or some other forest creature, Farhowl lets it go and allows his focus to fall
back completely on Silver.
Nose lifting into the air, she catches the scent of a female and male, still out of sight of them and to see them, she picks up the odd scent of an otter. Smoke ponders this, perhaps a recent kill? But no blood is noted in the air. She approches, staying out of sight of them, just close enough to spot them both from behind a large tree to conceal her presence. Her nose does pick up the recent markings, which involuntarily makes her lift that tail of hers, along with perking her ears and emitting a soft growl.
Pinta Small ears lift on his silver head, Pinta trots along as he hears a nearby sound. His fur bristles and his legs stiffen as he sniffs the wind. Who is this? he wonders. One or more wolves? Large paws pad along the forest floor, he holds his head high and raises his blunt tail as he investigates.
Silver is startled to discover so many wolves responding to her call. And yet, there seems no indication of a formed pack in the area. Her tail remains vertical, puffed to its fullest, and she stands her ground, not letting her surprise show. She lifts her head high, looking down her muzzle at Farhowl, watching him briefly before turning her attention away. Female...she smells a female out there, and that is her bigger concern, dominance-wise. With a deep-chested rumble, she stalks over to a tree and lifts her leg...a marking display only alpha males and females perform, then scrapes at the ground with her paws, turning to watch the woods again. And then another male arrives...Silver pays him only minimal attention, waiting for the challenge that is sure to come...but then, if there was a dominant female in the area, and so many wolves about already, why wasn't there a pack before she got here? She pushes the question aside for now, and waits..
Chibi finds himself quickly becoming panicked. The adrenaline courses freely now through his body, his small heart nearly bursting from his chest as his breath whistles through clenched teeth. An unbidden tremble sets up in his slender frame, setting the bracken to shaking. Why hasn't he been noticed? This question reaches through the more base instinct of survival and brings pause to the otter's frazzled thoughts. Surely he can't have gone undetected here. He can smell the wolves... so they can definitely smell him. Apparently there's more on their minds than a meal of otter today. The foliage ceases its dance, and Chibi lies still again, flat along the ground, listening.
The scents of other wolves soon become more dominant, drowning out the scent of otter and his slight pang of hunger, which catches Farhowl a little off-guard. He hasn't run into a single wolf since leaving his last pack.. and all of a sudden he's stumbled onto a number of them? Farhowl momentarily worries that he missed an important scent marker, but at the same time he knows that his sense of smell is still as good as it ever was. No.. this can't be a pack. Silver is watched carefully as she makes her mark before taking a few steps in that direction. His dead dips minimally to show Silver that he has no desire to challenge her if she wants to be the absolute top wolf and then he leans over to sniff at her mark, scraping at teh ground lightly with one of his own paws. Turning, Farhowl pivots as if to go and add his own mark alongside Silver's.. but he pauses as the other male comes into view. In response, Farhowl's posture becomes more tense. He doesn't care so much about dominating Silver.. but males are another story all together. His own head and tail lift in a dominant show.. although Farhowl issues no challenging growls or any such thing, so it could almost appear as a casual sort of dominance display. He simply chooses to wait for the time being to see what the other male will do first.
Stays hidden for a while more, she can see the clear markings the female makes, she watches the male to see if he follows suit near hers. With the arrival of a second male she ponders if she has stumbled upon a formed pack, yet with neither male marking with the Silver female she's at a loss. However that vertical tail does not go unnoticed, her's lifts to equal in height, her hackles raise only to lower again, she can't help the poof of her tail but she's choosing to make herself seen in an equal position in what she believes is an unestablished pack. She chooses to step out at the exact moment Farhowl chooses to mark the tree with the females, nearly pausing in her movements it's too late she decides with a split second, enough to make her movements still seem fluid an confident. Several steps are made towards Farhowl and Silver, tail at the same level as the females, though no hackles are raised, or teeth bared.
The large male bares no teeth, though his narrowed eyes keep a sharp look on the others. His ears are erect and forward and his hair bristles more, although it was more like goosebumps to him. Pinta's tail stays up as does his head, and he walks solidly to the tree and takes a moment to sniff and investigate these new faces. Sniff, sniff. A few paces around the trunk and then he lifts his leg and scratches the earth to make his mark. Pinta keeps his eyes on the other wolves, as he awaits their reply.
Silver notes that both males are making their mark, and finds it rather amusing, but it's not particularly her concern at the moment. Her attention focuses wholly on this other female. She puffs up, making herself look larger, tail frizzed and perfectly straight, vertical behind her. She doesn't bare teeth yet, ears pressed forward, head up, looking down her muzzle at the other female, but it's quite likely the next step in this particular dominance dance. She stands stiff-legged and rigid, one paw moving forward, a careful step, preparing for more.
Chibi hears the marking and various huffings of breath as the wolves greet each other. Obviously he's been granted a lease on life and the young male is not about to give it up. A small brown head breaks the cover of the foliage and dark eyes peer cautiously out from behind a clump of soft loam. The otter gauges the positions of the wolves against his best approach to the river and decides that a wide berth is the best course of action. So he begins crawling, nearly on his belly, through the unforgiving brambles. Best to be as unobtrusive as possible...
Watching the second male make his mark near the first, she knows something will happen shortly. She has a lack of interest in figuring out things at the moment she approaches the female slowly, her tail poofed out, but she sees no reason to make herself larger for the time being. She has every intention of challeging within this little band of wolves sometime soon, just not at this time, her stomach makes an audiable call for service of food in the very near future. Yet Smoke has every intention of making herself known in these woods. Coming near, their size is similar as well as height, so they are near equal with the exception of the females fur raised. Coming within a foot or so of Silver she sniffs at her muzzle everything equal, no show of agression or submission at this time. After a brief sniff there, she circles slowly, sniffing the females tail before approaching the tree and making a mark of her own, scratching at the soil, she turns to stand her ground for the moment.
Well, hey now! That's not very nice, marking a mark that /he/ just.. marked. Farhowl's tail remains up, the wheat-colored fur along his back and neck raising. A growl bubbles in his chest as he eyes the other male, obviously taking Pinta's action as a challenge. He isn't as large as the other wolf, but size doesn't always matter.. all that matters is showing who the boss is. His muzzle wrinkles slightly, a flash of teeth shown to the other male to prove that he means business. Farhowl has no desire to get into a huge fight and draw blood, of course, but that's what this display is for.. to try and show the other male that, hey.. I'm in charge here, y'know, and what you did wasn't very nice!
The silver female's lip curls at the blatant display from the other shewolf. So it's going to be like that, is it? She rumbles, deep in her throat, turning to face Smoke, ready to press if need be. She's not greatly concerned at this point, no pack having been officially formed as yet. All it really takes is one male and one female to start, anyway, and there are, apparently, plenty of males to choose from. She makes another mark, leg lifted in dominance. She'd rather not have to fight, it's such a waste.
The larger male's tail raises higher and his fur bristles more. Oh, you want a challenge? Pinta wonders to himself, looking down his narrow snout at the other male. His fur bristles as his upper lip quivers, his eyes still on his challenger. His stiffened form stands its ground, braced and fully ready, his tail almost completely vertical at this point.
As the distance between Chibi and the wolves grows, so does the otter's speed. In just a few moments the smash and crack of tortured foliage can be heard off to the east as the creature takes full flight toward the sanctuary of the river. It may be some time before he comes this way again, especially having just witnessed such an ominous scene. Perhaps the local wildlife would do well to be on guard in the coming days. If only the otter had someone with whom to share the word. Time will tell.
Chibi has left.
Watching the males from the corner of her view, her gaze holding Silver's as the female makes a mark over her's. She doesn't bristle or bare teeth. She simply steps forward, marking the tree once more, scratching deeply into the soil and tossing it at the tree with her hind paws. With that Smoke, tail and head raised high, departs in search of food. She's made her presence known and that is what she set out to do for the evening once she heard the wolves' howls, thus she returns to her previous task at hand, prey.
Well. Farhowl has a decision in front of him, doesn't he? The other male doesn't seem to be backing down and Farhowl himself has no desire to fight. He doesn't have anything to defend, and he'd rather not risk a fight and get hurt. Size may not be everything, but this other male is larger and larger can be an advantage. Especially when Farhowl himself hasn't eaten properly since his last adventure with a pack. Weighing his options, he decides that it's better to wait. Better to see if this little gathering forms a pack.. and if so, to eat well and get settled in for a bit before trying to claw his way to the head of the pack. The fur along his back and neck slowly flatten and his tail lowers a fraction of an inch. With a soft snort, Farhowl breaks off the challenge and pads a few steps away, giving his pelt a quick shake.
Smoke has disconnected.