an advanced play-by-post realistic wolf roleplay
NORTHOFNOWHERE


[AW] Howls in the Snow
#1
f r o j a · a f r e a l e

A grumbling stomach greeted her upon wakening, but the freezing temperature did nothing to faze her. Even after the recent snowstorm, the den she had now called home was not lost to her; she had been out hunting that day when it happened, but she was used to finding her way through such an obstacle. In fact, the den had never been more comfortable after that. Autumn leaves certainly served as vibrant colours to decorate a place so dilapidated, a den that once belonged to the Tiamats, but nothing could beat fresh snow. At least, that was what she thought, until the lack of prey struck her hard.

Ice-blue eyes closed as she sighed, before bringing herself up. Her movements had become sluggish, but only just. There was still enough fat stored in her, and she was built to withstand such weather. Up in the mountains, temperatures could dip even lower, with storms that raged on for days. This was nothing, she hoped. But the lack of companionship was getting to her. It was too quiet. She had expected Nassar to stop by, but still no shadow of hers arrived.

Froja sniffed the air. The scent of the pack that took hold of Pine Grove was still missing. Despite her situation, a smile crept up her face, for she was now free to roam wherever she wished.


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#2
a s t o l l o · a n o u i l h

He moved through the skeletal forest. There was no longer any distinction between Pine Grove and Purgatory Forest; both were comprised of black forest starved of life and vitality. Perhaps he would hold some sympathy for them if he was not starving himself. Pink tongue peeked out between his cracked lips as he halted to taste the air for potential food. Or threat. A slight shiver of shame thrilled through him and he exhaled a weak sigh. As expected, there was nothing. If the forest was nearly devoid of life, then he could not imagine the suffering other places must be enduring. The bareness of the coast and the bleakness of the tundra would offer no shelter for prey and predators alike. No, the forest was the place to stay if he wanted to live. It was his home anyway.

He moved through the woods, his eyes, nose, and ears remaining vigilant. Minutes, or was it hours? He could not be sure. In winter, the flow of time became loose, spilling over edges of reality; it was tomorrow when it was supposed to be today. No, today was yesterday. The white, the ice, the cold, everything remained identical day in, day out. How could he know how much time had passed when there was no change in the landscape? Anyway, some time had passed, before a faint wisp of scent reached his senses; it held a familiar tang. It quickened his heartbeat.

Should he know the scent? He wasn't sure; it was not wholly familiar, but it was enough to shake him a little. Ears flicked. But it was momentary. The scent was spirited away by another gust of wind, only to be replaced by another. This one was stronger but less familiar. Astollo raised his head high, seeing a white wolf shape standing alone in between trees. He furrowed his brows, due to wariness and the itching ache the cold brought to his eyes, as he waited.


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@Froja
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#3
f r o j a · a f r e a l e

It felt long ago now, when she was able to roam the parts of Pine Grove without a care in the world. Nassar had been kind enough to act as her guide, warning her of the dangers before. She had only learned of the death of a friend then — Dak — but that, too, felt long ago. There was still a lingering sadness, but oh, it was so much bearable now, as if the arrival of snow had cleansed her heart. With the lack of food, Froja never had the time to ponder on the wings that Aely had told her of either. She had grown rather bored contemplating on her own, never to arrive at a satisfactory answer, and now she had learned to let go, willing to let nature take its course. This was who she was, a wolf who never allowed worries to capture her soul for far too long.

Froja was intent on detecting a scent, any scent, amidst the cold air that penetrated her nostrils each time she drew breath. Perhaps a small rabbit that had decided to leave its burrow, or a doe that had strayed from its herd? She sniffed hard once, then twice, and on her third, a gust of wind found its way towards her, and that was when she smelled him. A wolf.

The winterling blinked, taken by surprise, and she turned. The pleasure of finding a companion made her grin, and with a touch of shyness, and perhaps, a tiny bit of cautiousness, she called out with a gentle, "Hello?"


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@Astollo
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#4
a s t o l l o · a n o u i l h

The lone wolf appeared to be oblivious to Astollo's presence, her muzzle lifting heavenwards. She was not near, but she was not far away either. Her glistening white fur matched the colourless environment and he felt dislike beginning to grow. Perhaps in any other season, he would have admired the pristine whiteness that embraced her form and the shimmering river of highlights that rippled across her coat whenever she moved. But now, she was the perfect winter princess, walking through her realm of ice and snow. Looking down on those who shrivelled in the snow, and those who had frost forming on their coats and trembled under their touch. She would look upon him with disdain; he, a lost wolf of the sun, who drowned amidst the frozen whiteness.

Lines wrinkled his corroded muzzle as he continued to stare, discerning the entirety of her appearance. The coat that adorned her lithe - and bigger - form appeared to be thick, offering an extra layer of insulation he lacked. Clearly, she was a wolf of the north who had wandered too far south. Another unnecessary wolf coming to take shelter and prey away from those who were struggling to live here. She should return to the tundra; the coat of hers would ensure her survival there.

"Hello?"

The word was small and sweet. It almost swayed him, enticing him into believing that she was as innocent as the word. But he fought it off with a deeper frown, which remained upon his brows until he walked toward her. "Hello. Not as sweet as hers; it was rather rough, as scarred as his tarnished face. Winter had found and invaded his throat, the sharp cold rubbing the inside raw until his voice could no longer create soft and beautiful words. "Why are you here? Are you from the tundra?" Why would he need gentle words? Sentences he constructed were not beautiful, and they would never be.


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@Froja
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#5
f r o j a · a f r e a l e

Froja didn't know how she could miss him. The wolf who had presented himself was tan and gold, a coat that held no similarity to hers, and in the snow, in the sunlight that shone through the trees, he was easy to spot. The grin remained upon Froja's lips, but she faltered slightly when she registered the frown that dominated the stranger's face. The greeting that was uttered suited his countenance, his voice rough from the cold. Froja's eyes lingered on his scars a second longer, suddenly reminded once more of the evils in this world, and the wings she had struggled to find last autumn only to fail.

"Why are you here? Are you from the tundra?"

"I've a den not too far away from here. I've only come out to look for something," she replied easily. "And no, I'm not a native." Hopefully, the cream on her shoulders could prove that. She would be on her guard too if ever she were to meet a wolf from the tundra, and she didn't want him to misunderstand; the tension that would hang in the air would be deplorable. Froja might have stopped worrying over certain things, but she would never forget who it was that killed Dak. "I actually prefer the forest than the tundra, if anything."

Asking the same questions he did her would be useless; it was obvious that he was from the forest, but was he a native? Was he one who was against outsiders like her? The thought made Froja nervous, but it easily came and went.

Her stance remained relaxed and friendly as she asked, "And you? What has brought you here to this part of the forest?"


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@Astollo
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#6
a s t o l l o · a n o u i l h

A smile ventured upon her lips and yet the girl faltered once their gazes met. The simmering hostility in his scorched any hopes she might have harboured for a warm interaction. Her crystal blue eyes roamed over his face and he had not missed her swift glance at the tears upon his muzzle and neck. The sight did not please her. Of course, seeing a cross wolf with scars littering all over his body would not reassure anyone. Still, he could not suppress a slight twitch of his tail, betraying his insecurity and the great discomfort it brought him. With a single glance, the maiden had snatched away the veil of ignorance and reminded him that he was still wearing the face he loathed.

"I've a den not too far away from here. I've only come out to look for something," Astollo gave the tiniest nod. Of acknowledgement, more so than acceptance. "And no, I'm not a native." She offered as if it was an explanation that would satisfy the sunlight wolf. Perhaps she was hoping to garner sympathy from him? Or maybe she meant that she was not native to the tundra. Either way, he did not care; she was thriving better than him and that was enough to rouse bitterness within. And she had also made him feel unpleasant. So screw her. The vision of the winter princess lodged in his mind, now decorated with sweet smiling masks and false comforts.

"I actually prefer the forest than the tundra, if anything." Ah. Ah. His frowning stoicism finally broke with the lifting of a brow. "Good to know you can pick and choose." A cynical sneer roused his lips ever so slightly. To her, it was a throwaway pleasantry, but to him, it confirmed his lingering suspicions that she had wandered, not out of necessity, but of preference. Privileged cur. And yet, she continued, maintaining her easy and relaxed stance; "And you? What has brought you here to this part of the forest?" A shrug came before his verbal answer: "Survival." Sapphire gaze drifted from her face briefly, "I live here. Or maybe, I should say I'm stuck here." Actually if he had a choice, he would remain nevertheless, but she did not have to know that.

Deep blue returning to meet her shallow pools, "I can't find food elsewhere, but here. Even then, it's hard." Smile faded and corners of his lips dropped, "Maybe it would be easier if it weren't for wolves like you. Picking and choosing to come here to fill your stuffed bellies." Then a tch burst out of him.


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@Froja
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#7
f r o j a · a f r e a l e

The fierceness never once left his body. Froja couldn't understand what had gotten him this bitter, but then comprehension finally dawned when he expressed his thoughts further. They only served to increase her nervousness, but she continued to hold her ground. The smile on her muzzle dropped even further, and even so, she was determined to keep it up. Relentless was what she was, and though it hurt to continue to stay in this situation, where tension rose up from the very wolf standing in front of her, Froja knew from experience that it was possible to turn it around. Even if it wasn't possible, she'd like to take the risk.

His stinging tut was lost to her as she said, "If... it makes you feel better, I haven't eaten in a while. Even now, my stomach grumbles and yearns for some food. My colouring may betray my place of origin, but my skills, it seems, are still not as good as the others in my birth pack." She gave an awkward smile. If the alpha knew what a state she had gotten herself into, he would be sneering at her, but who cared what he thought? Throughout her life, he was the only wolf she had brought herself to dislike so much thus far. But that was enough of thinking about him and her past life. Froja chided herself for letting her memories take over, and quickly shook herself from it. She regretted nothing, and it would remain so for... well, forever.

At that moment, snow began to fall. Froja looked up, blue eyes twinkling with delight as, on a whim, she took a snowflake into her mouth and grinned, tension in the air forgotten, just in that instant.


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@Astollo
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