From the Shadows

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Greenie

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#1
dark_forest_by_serjio_c-d6ppm0g.png
For the time being, it was a peaceful night, a light cool breeze passing through the thick dense forest. Owls hooted in the distance while firelies flitted about, their little bodies tiny bright lights to behold. It almost seemed wholesome.
For those who dwell in the shadows biding their time, whether it be for good or evil, it was merely a fool's calm. Ruled by a king bent on the extinction of anyone with magic, their world was one of strife and hardship, with little kindness and even less trust. Those who rose against the evil found themselves greeted by Death faster than anticipated.
Still, even in the darkest of times, there has to be light.

***
Slinking between the trees, a large black cat made her way, each paw placed carefully on the ground so as not to make any sound. Ears twitching, she was aware of the sounds surrounding her. To a mere human the night might have been silent, but to her there was much to be heard and contemplated.​
Her destination wasn't too far, a nearby stream that lead to the cave she claimed as her den. She had been gone for a couple of days, hunting and stalking prey, and was at last returning home. First, however, she deemed a drink or water was in order.​
It wasn't long before she reached the small stream. The sights and smells were familiar, causing her tense stance to relax momentarily. She was finally home, and home meant safety. Padding forward until she reached the water, she looked around one last time before lapping at the clear, cool water.

KJDarKnight KJDarKnight
 

KJDarKnight

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#2
Not far away, upwind of her, a wolf stalked its prey. A big buck grazing in a field.
Strangely the wolf had no pack and was much too large to be anything but a dire wolf, or a werewolf. The two often mistaken.

Black as the shadows he had the advantage of night for cover. He wasn't as silent as a cat but quiet, just not quiet enough. The buck jerked its head up then bolted.

The wolf took off after it. Launching himself at it just as it reached the river. Both of them plunged into the water, the buck thrashing and the wolf ripping at its neck.

The buck managed to catch him with an antler ripping open his shoulder and throwing him off on to the bank.

Oblivious to anyone else there at the moment he attacked as the buck climbed out of the water, sure force knocking it to the ground.

The battle didn't last much longer after that as the bucks throat had already been ripped open and was bleeding out.
Not hos cleanest kill but food none the less. He hoped he could get it back to his hidden den. The injured shoulder would complicate things.

Only after he tried putting wait on the limb and it giving out did he notice the cat up the river. He growled and moved to stand over his kill, ears pinned back and hackles raised.
 

Greenie

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#3
With all the ruckus from the hunting wolf, it was no surprise that the cat not only noticed but felt the newcomer through the water. Ears flat against her head, her fur and tail puffed up, making her seem larger than she actually was. A low growl left her, warning the large wolf. She wasn't going to pick a fight with him, but this water was close to her den. If she backed up and ran away, he would think she was giving up her territory!​
Tail lashing back and forth with irritation, she waited, watching to see what the wolf would do next. She didn't want his prey, she was full and would remain so for another day or so. She could only hope he would leave without a fuss.​
 
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KJDarKnight

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#4
He growled back. Not wanting a fight either but he needed the food. Slowly he grabbed the antler with his powerful jaw and started to drag the kill away but it was difficult with a bad limp like he had now.

He stopped after a few feet, panting, his eyes still on the puffed up cat. He hadn't meant to invade her territory but he supposed animals didn't understand that
 

Greenie

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#5
Seeing the large wolf moving away quelled her growls, though her ears remained flat, still suspicious of the wolf. However, this was when she realized that the wolf was injured. Her previously hostile stance relaxed as she sat on her haunches, amber eyes following each movement of the canine until he stopped.​
Was it wise to help him? Who knew who its masters were. He was no ordinary wolf, that was for sure- she suspected perhaps someone cast a spell on him or some such... But no. What reason would such a wolf have for hunting? The fact that even with an injury he was dragging that buck meant he hadn't eaten in a while.​
"You," she spoke telepathically, against her better judgement. "I can help."
 

KJDarKnight

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#6
The wolf looked up at her, seeming to connect who was talking to him. Who else but her? All the other animals had scattered and he smelled nobody else close.

His ears twitched a little, should he trust this stranger? He wasn't so sure. Then again, he did need help, injured like he was.

"I would be greatful" he responded telepathically
 

Greenie

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#7
There was a look of surprise on the cat's face. She had expect a response, yes, but something in the way of an animal. A bark perhaps, or a whimper, even a growl. These were proper words though, meaning that this person was no mere animal. Spelled? A shifter? Something else? There were plenty more suggestions where those few came from, but she pushed them away.​

One thing was clear to her; whoever this was probably knew this was her territory. With the small possibility that he worked for someone unsavoury, it was suicide leading him to her den to get fixed up. She would have to go and return by herself to be on the same side. Hopefully he was hungry enough not to leave the buck's side.​

"Stay here," she ordered. "I will be back soon." With those curt words, she turned around and slunk back between the trees, disappearing from the wolf's sight.​

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KJDarKnight

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#8
He watched her go, laying down to rest his leg while he waited for her to come back. Psrt of him worried she might be a shifter who worked for the king but his instincts told him she was safe to trust, at least a little.

And so he waited, licking the wound. The buck had really gotten him good. Normally he was more careful but he was weaker than usual. Finding good prey was getting harder this time of year and being a lone wolf now, it took more effort to bring down any big game
 

Greenie

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#9
It was a little while before the cat returned... except there was no cat at all. Instead there was a dark haired woman heading the wolf's way, as quiet and stealthy as a cat.​

27c38e4e9c60a9d7eb8e96cda36239c1~2.jpg

She had a satchel over her shoulder which she was making sure to keep a hand on, just in case it slipped off her shoulder.​

"Maybe go after a rabbit next time," she muttered under her breath, approaching the wolf, though she didn't come too close. "You best not attack me. I won't be happy if you do."​

KJDarKnight KJDarKnight
 

KJDarKnight

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#10
regardless of form change he knew who she was by her smell and voice. He was still laying down waiting..he hadn't brought clothes with him, not anticipating the need. Wouldn't do for her to return to a naked man.

"you have my word I will not harm you" he answered, laying his head and ears down to show submission
 

Greenie

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#11
Even if the wolf wasn't telling the truth, Haala was sure she would be able to take on the injured animal. However, she wanted to make sure he knew exactly who had the upper hand at this moment in time.​
She knelt down next to him and pulled the satchel off her shoulder, setting it down on the dirt, making sure it wasn't close to the water. Within the satchel were bandages along with a jar with rather strong smelling poultice. She could only imagine the scent was even stronger for the wolf.​
"this should help with the pain as well as speed the healing," she informed him, carefully dabbing some on. "It smells funny, but better your nose suffer from a scent than your shoulder from a wound."​
 

KJDarKnight

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#12
Mathias drew back his head instinctively at the smell, he huffed once to try and clear the smell away but did little good.

He didn't flinch at all however as she treated hos wound, watching her every move "why choose to help me?" He asked curiously
 

Greenie

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#13
The woman was quiet as she concentrated on her task, looking up only after she was sure the bandage was tied tightly and wouldn't simply open up due to a little movement. She shrugged her shoulders as she put her things back in her satchel and stood up.​
"People helping others has always been the right thing to do," she muttered. "You're hurt, I'm not just going to walk away. Clearly you're no normal animal, but I doubt you'd be able to harm me at this time." She turned around and started upstream, though after a few steps she paused and looked back.​
"You can stay here, but see that you don't follow me. Just because I helped you does no't mean I trust you."​
 

KJDarKnight

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#14
Mathias watched her work, silent and being careful not to flinch although he did whine just a little when she cleaned it out. That part was never pleasant. "In my experience, moat people have forgotten what the right thing is" he said "I'm glad you have not"

He watched her stand up and start to go "Mathias" he said "my name is Mathias. I owe you. If ever you're in need come find me" he said.

He couldn't stay there though "thank you. But I must get home" he stood up again and grabbed hold of the buck again to drag it away
 

Greenie

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#15
The woman named Haala watched the wolf drag the buck away until he was far enough that she could only see his outline. Sure that he wouldn't be able to follow her, she turned once more and started back through the trees, following the stream uphill until she came upon a small den hidden partially under large gnarly roots of a ancient tree. In less than a moment's time she shifted to her cat form and slunk inside.​
There wasn't much, but it was much larger on the inside than it would seem from the outside, with enough room for furs to sleep on, clothes, a few weapons, and even a small alcove in the soil, sturdy enough to hold a mortal and pestle along with different dried herbs. Once she shifted back to human form, there was enough room for her to stand, an even move around. Essentially this was her home, one she kept hidden from the rest of the world at all cost.​
Feeling tired, she shifted back into her human form and settled down on the pile of furs, pulling one over her. Whatever the consequences of helping the wolf, she would deal with when she woke up.​
 

KJDarKnight

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overly fluffy sweet stuff, furry
#16
Mathias had to take breaks dragging the dead buck but eventually he managed to pull it into his den, essentially a hole in the ground hidden under some underbrush. Big enough for him to drag the dead animal in.

It wasn't much, he had been driven from his home amd forced to hide. Inside an albino pup yipped and ran over to Mathias, nuzzling him. Mathias licked her head and laid down, letting the pup eat her fill.
It was safer right now to mostly stay in wolf form. Fires were risky so only lit on rare occasions.

Right now they two wolves slept on dear skins over a bed of dead grass.

When she finished eating he ate some as well before he shifted back to human form to skin it and strip it onto jerky. This should last them a little while at least.

The wolf pup curled up beside him while he worked. He wished he could give her a better life. He was managing though.

(Ok... how do we get them together?)
 

Greenie

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#17
About a week or so passed before Haala headed out once more. This time however she wasn't in cat form, having decided human would be better for when she wished to travel through human ground. She was a rather large cat as it were and would have looked suspicious walking through a human village in that form.​
Winter was coming, and it seemed as if it would be stronger and longer judging by how cold the nights were already. Haala wasn't sure she wished to stay in the den under the tree once it was covered with snow and inescapable... and really, she was used to living in a proper home and had resorted to her current home because she no longer had her previous one. Houses cost gold though, and she currently didn't have enough for one. The remedy for that was earning some by hunting, but since game was scarce she wasn't having much luck.​
For the time being, she had with her a couple of rabbits and a few squirrels tied together and slung over her back. The village she was headed to wasn't too far, only a quarter of an hour's walk away. Perhaps she'd find more game by the time she reached?​
 

KJDarKnight

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I'm game for almost anything, just ask
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overly fluffy sweet stuff, furry
#18
The buck they had caught had helped Mathias and Ruby get by but more food was needed and supplies for winter were a must. The den would be plenty warm but food would be hard to get. He needed to purchase supplies that would last in the winter. Besides that he had promised Ruby a trip to town, so they head out.

It was daylight and she was sensitive to sun so the little girl wore a hooded cloak in her human form. Her skin and hair white and eyes red like rubies, hence the name.
The girl was young, maybe four a five years old. She held on to her fathers hand but got distracted seeing a brightly colored butterfly fly past. Letting go she ran after it. "Ruby don't go too far" Mathias called after her.

Ruby jumped into the path right in front of Haala as she tried to catch the insect. Though it escaped her by mere inches. She froze, red eyes wide as they landed on Haala. Her father had warned her against strangers, so much so she was terrified and frozen to the spot.
 

Greenie

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#19
Haala's eyes widened, not expecting a little girl to come in her path. It seemed the same could be said for the little one. A small sniff told her all she needed to know; this was no ordinary little girl. In fact- she turned to face the trees, sniffing carefully. Of course. She could smell the scent not only on the girl, but from th tree as well. It was a werewolf, the same one she had helped.

"It's okay little girl." She broke the silence between them, trying to sound as kind as possible. From the little she could see of the girl, Haala could tell she didn't look normal. Her skin was much too pale. "I'm not going to hurt you."
 

KJDarKnight

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overly fluffy sweet stuff, furry
#20
Ruby stared at her, backing away slowly not saying a word to her.

Mathias soon enough caught up. He had smelled Haala but wasn't worried she would hurt a child. "Ruby" he said gently. The girl turned and ran to him, hugging his leg and looking at Haala. "It's ok sweetie, she's not one of the bad ones" he soothed picking the little girl up. She seemed tiny compared to him "hello again miss" he said politely. He assumed she would be able to tell who he was by scent just like he could tell who she was.
Ruby hid her face against Mathias, clearly shy, maybe even afraid. It was a scary world they lived in.