an advanced play-by-post realistic wolf roleplay
NORTHOFNOWHERE


[AW] The Calling
#1

It was the cold winter winds that pulled him from slumber, violent in their essence; assault unrelenting against his mind's eye. The cry was haunting, piercing through the thick stone walls of the cavern in which he lay. ”Crixus.” She called to him, for her love was undying. "Crixus... come." And should he dare step from the recesses of his holdings, there she would lay in waiting, a dagger held taut in her left hand. A mad lover singing for blood, a blade whose phosphorescence shimmered in the dying light.

But he was none so bold. Or should he say, foolish.

Let the winter maiden depart from this world empty-handed. A game of hunter and prey they played, but he was none so inclined as she. He would remain here, in his cavern of lost dreams. Even now, they escaped him. And as he remained, the stone would pluck away at the heat coursing through his paws. Perhaps, eventually, he would be overcome by the elements.

Perhaps. But not today. Not now.

Let the ghosts speak for him. Their whispers were an echo on the edges of his mind, and silvered eyes pierced the dusk. Cold, but not cruel. Frigid. An inkling of something more fluttered upon the crystalline perimeters of iris, his breath but a billow of frozen air. It was oxygen that poured from his lungs and froze immediately upon contact with the outside world. A wonder, wasn't it, when the very blood that beat within him was laced in ice. He was Heilis. But even Heilis were wolves, creatures built from flesh and blood.

”Crixus…. Crixus….”

No.

He rose to his paws, a phantom with striking eyes. The flesh felt brittle against the stone, worn and cracked from constant wear - a dull throb he acknowledged, but thought little of. He was thick despite the hard months. Musculature rolled affluently within him, thick fabrics shielding him from the brunt of winter’s touch. And yet, hunger toiled within the pits of his stomach.

The Great Beyond had been kind to him, thus far. He was alive. But he knew instinctively that he could not survive here for much longer, hidden away in a broken alcove of the mountain’s side. It were as though the tundra herself held him hostage. He would have to brace the storm, eventually, if her rage could not be quelled.

He would pay dearly for his sins, one day. Ignorance bartered a high price. But would he be taken so quickly? It would be no crueler for him to be taken now than the pain and destruction that had befallen the native lands... He could accept this fate.

But what of his family?

’Don’t think about that now.’

He sat upon his perch overlooking the valley, a silhouette against the cavern’s opening. Here he could watch the storm in all its fervor, the violent winds that tore the snow from the clouds above. Hell itself rose from the frost-laden floor.

He could see nothing. And it was that fact alone that angered him.

"we're all young and naive still"

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Malgorzata Frej & castlegraphics
REPLY
#2
Æthelwulf
we tried to fight, and we fell - we were all brave, I assure you


Perhaps he'd failed. As he struggled through the storm with legs begging for relief and head tucked close to his chest, Æthelwulf felt the toxicity of doubt. It'd been a foolish attempt from the start, after all. How could he have hoped to find his father in lands so fast? He bore the consequences of his ignorance along his body for all to see - to judge him for, to gawk at. He wondered if they told lies. If one gazed upon them, would they think him a warrior? Would the fear him? If he were to perish now, to die within the cold arms of the storm, would his father find him?

Would he look down at his son's frozen bones, know that they shared blood, and know he tried? Æthelwulf hoped he would be proud. Because above all things, he did try. And he was brave. And still; he fell. The man simply could not fight away the demand for rest any longer. His limbs had long since given up, and even now as he slowed to a stop, they trembled with the effort of holding the starving male up. The bastard child stared into the expanse before him, its plains vast and empty. His heart promised victory if he could only take a few more steps.

Just over the horizon, Æthelwulf. He's waiting.

"I can do that. I can make it there," his promises were just as weak as his body, and he would be unable to keep them. He lifted a foreleg to take another step, and instantly his other limbs buckled. Æthelwulf crumpled into the snow with a soft grunt. The cold he detested so now felt comforting, its embrace one the man did not have the strength to escape. Perhaps he'd lay here. Perhaps he'd lay here, and he'd rest, and when morning came he'd find father.

Some part of him knew he would not last the night. It hollered at him to rise once more, to seek shelter, but it'd screamed its voice raw long ago, and now Æthelwulf heard only faint whispers.

He wondered if his mother was proud.

"..."

table by soar | art by x


@Crixus come meet your bastard brother
REPLY
#3

There. Just over the horizon.

”I can make it… “Her vehemence swallowed the words whole and he thought, for a moment, that he’d imagined them.

But then a silhouette meandered upon the cliffside, peltage torn and mangled by the cold winds. A shadow was all he was, so consumed by the storm, and he seemed to sway beneath mother winter’s influence. The ice fractured his bones and plucked the heat from his flesh, so greedy she was… and, he wondered, how long this foreigner would last. Not long.

He watched, glazed iris laced in permafrost as he observed the man from his stonework pedestal. Something resembling interest brought color to his expression as he watched the spectacle, a vague hue of blue amidst the monochrome. He remained there for several moments, just… watching, observing how the man trembled beneath the weight of the elements. Despite the impossibility of his struggle, all wolves held within them an animalistic instinct to survive. Through the force of their own will, they would press on. And yet, nature would take its course anyways. The weak would be eliminated. The stupid, the naive, the broken. This man would die tonight.

He could scoff at the wolf’s ignorance. Even the youngest of Heilis whelp were warned not to wander away while the tundra screamed her fury. He lacked the capacity to understand the logic behind this man’s thoughts, if there was anything there at all.

His gaze was the same when the stranger succumbed, finally falling in a blanket of snow.

He rose once again to his paws, pads cracked and worn against the stone. He remained there for only a moment longer, as though lost in thought. Pondering his entry to the outside world, perhaps, how he would be received. But there was nothing welcoming about the mother’s touch as he wandered outside the cavern. Iron and ore pummeled at his core while heat escaped him, snow littering his brow. ”Crixus…” The ice was frigid against his skin, and he dared not to look away from the path ahead of him.

He descended the trail of boulders that led to his perch in the mountain side, until the cadaver lay beside him. The wind whipped him fervorously, but his body was well equipped to tolerate such unwarranted attacks. Not like this man.

Pathetic.

”Get up. Now.”


"we're all young and naive still"

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Malgorzata Frej & castlegraphics



@ÆTHELWULF
REPLY
#4
Æthelwulf
we tried to fight, and we fell - we were all brave, I assure you


The wind ran its fingers through his fur, gentle and soothing, as he lay within the snow. It reminded him of his mother. Perhaps it was. Perhaps, even in her death, she wished for her son to be at her side. Perhaps this journey was hopeless on purpose - maybe she'd wanted her son to perish soon after herself. And now, as he rested against the cold door frame of death, she comforted him. Encouraged him to sleep. For the briefest of moments, he thought to listen.

"Get up. Now."

The howls of the storm kept the stranger's approach from Æthelwulf, but it was likely the man was too focused on the mirage of his mother to notice regardless. He nearly missed the words said to him, even. They were cold like the ice that fell from the sky. The River child thought to listen anyway. Pale eyes rolled to stare into the face the flurries clouded out. It was not his father, this much he could tell, for the wolf was no larger than he and did not bear the trappings of kings.

... Was it death? Come to take the child and his failures to whatever life remained after, its voice frozen with disappointment? No. Death did not harbor eyes so clear nor a pelt so icy. Then who? He supposed it did not matter. They seemed to offer aid in some way; encouragement in the form of distaste.

A sigh. One of defeat, of self pity. His legs trembled violently as they struggled to lift him, and when he rose to his full height, the wind's might nearly sent him to his stomach once more.

"I'm so tired," came the whisper. He didn't think this stranger cared, in truth, but he was too weak to stop the words from tumbling out of his throat. "I have to find him, but I'm so tired."

The bastard child's head hung in his doubt, far too heavy to lift above his shoulders. The journey was long and perhaps not yet over. For every mile he trekked, he seemed to give a portion of his life back to the earth. How many to go before he slept?

"..."

table by soar | art by x


@Crixus
REPLY
#5

"I’m so tired…”

”Yes... I wonder why that could be.” Sarcasm chipped the ice of his tongue, something resembling irritation flickering on his gaze. Yet the tone of his voice was cold, as though the words themselves were encased in snow. It was rare, indeed, to get a rise out of such a man. He was not so easily swayed. To the lingering eye he might appear to be some stagnant phantom, the mirage of some lost soul taken by the elements. Yet the winds tore fervorously at his fur, gilded in silver and embedded with snow and maelstrom. He exhaled, slow and long.

The monochrome hue of his gaze grew frigid as he observed the mongrel before him. His very being was split between two worlds, the earth and snow each battling for dominance; surely, the result of a union between two wolves who had no right of being together. But that was of no concern to him, and he lacked the capacity to care in this moment.

”Come. Before I change my mind, and eat you for dinner.” He had heard stories of those who came before him. When wolves were new to the land, before the Heilis stayed a dominant hand upon the tundra. Worthless entities who could not thrive without feeding upon the flesh of their brothers and sisters. Until his ancestors had granted them their guidance.

Insignificant wolves incapable of truly caring for themselves, constantly dependent on others. Those who would sacrifice their own blood for the sake of individual survival - immoral, at best. So he had thought at the time. But times like these were hard… and it was not family he would be forfeiting, if the need to do so became prevalent. Should the stranger die during the night, he wondered if he would be capable of such a deed.

There was no need to ask. He could… and he would, if it meant his survival. No matter how repulsive it seemed now.

He did not turn to see if the creature behind him would follow, nor did he slow his stride for the sake of this stranger. He ascended the cliffside with ease, taking care not to slip on the ice.


"we're all young and naive still"

table x manip ▶▶ claerie. stock ▶▶ Malgorzata Frej & castlegraphics



@ÆTHELWULF
REPLY


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