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light and paper thin
W/ AJ and Aura | HY4 FC LA | AW

Name Player
Maya Kess Quinn Staff

Her feet had been itching to move from the moment AJ had told her the Alliance had split up. It was a wonder she had been able to hold off as long as she had. But no more.

Her feet were finally back in the range were the rise rested and Maya would not stop until she was near to the old Alliance territory. All along the way, there was a small hope that AJs news had been false. Not a lie, because AJ wouldn’t lie to her, but just incorrect. She still didn’t want to believe that the Alliance was gone.

But, as they neared, the evidence was obvious. Or, the lack there of. There were no fresh markings along the way, and Maya knew the places where marks would have lain were far behind them, now. There was little else she could do but let her ears droop, her tail hang slack at her hocks as she moved. She couldn’t deny it anymore. Not with the rise this barren of wolf scent. The rains had surely washed them all away the moment they’d left.

Well,” Maya muttered, the last few steps she took cresting the top of the rise. She paused, just to take in the view for a moment. In this instance, it didn’t bring her the comfort it had in previous days. This time, it was the source of the sadness that welled in her chest. “Here we are.”

She sank into a sit, a deep breath exhaled. “And here they aren’t.” She could feel her eyes prickling, but she fought it back with a sniffle. She couldn’t cry, it was silly. Besides, she hoped to find Jay, and it would be hella embarrassing to talk to him with puffy eyes.

Jun 06, 2018 09:26 PM

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[ Edited: Jun 14, 2018 10:27 AM by Maya ]
Name Player
Jaylan Chris Staff

The storms had passed, and if it hadn’t been for the worry he held for Maya it would have been the perfect trip. AJ had two awesome girls at his side and a great place at the meadow to make sure they wintered well - if he could pursued Aura to stay longer than just the trip to the Rise that was.

He climbed up beside them both, making little attempt at conversation like normal, and when they were atop the rise he reached out to boop Maya with his muzzle - nothing like the usual overbearingly playful gesture she would be far more used to.

“Chin up Maya.” He murmured, looking around at the deserted hillside. The place even looked lonely, grass golden and brown and died off, waving in the wind. A lone falcon perched some distance from them on a rock, tearing at some small animal it had caught. “At least they’re all okay. I mean-” He cut himself off. He’d been thinking of when the angry pack wolves attacked he and his friends back at his birthplace, and split them apart.

At least that hadn’t happened here.

Jun 06, 2018 10:03 PM — Post #1

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Name Player
Rowan Jill

(tumbles in obnoxiously, sorry)

The rain had been unkind to Rowan.

Bereft of any dignity at all, he lumbered about the lower reaches of the Rise on sore paws and hunger-thinned legs. His look was topped off by a disheveled coat, the work of the fur-stylist that was the recent storm. It had muddied his whites to an unpleasant, dingy beige.

Eating and grooming just hadn’t been prioritized as much as covering ground.

He’d come to this upshot of terrain because of trails which lingered around its perimeter, the sort that consisted of worn earth and suppressed grasses. He recognized them as the same border-patrol trails the savanna boasted. They spoke of wolves, of a pack, but as he wandered the territory, Rowan also began to see hints of otherwise. Here and there, the golden stalks had recuperated. Like someone hadn’t passed by in a long while. They were starting to stand tall again, just before winter would knock them back down.

Maybe he’d made a wrong choice in wandering this far, thinking someone would be around to help him.

With his tongue rolling from his jaws, he continued to pace upon the yet muddy ground. At least, with the cooling temperatures, he didn’t feel quite so exhausted as he did under the overbearing summer sun and his thick coat.

(a round or so away, hasn’t quite noticed them yet)

Jun 07, 2018 05:14 AM — Post #2

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Name Player
Auracilla Solaris Syrup

The trip from the floral meadow had been one of the easier ones for Auracilla, but in turn, she realized it had to be the most trying for Maya. The morning they had left, she remembered, had begun with a bloom of hope. She could have described the way it filtered through the darker female’s gaze, the sheer, raw optimism that whatever and whomever she wanted to see at the end of the earthen rainbow would meet her with just as equal joviality.

Unfortunately, she had been forced to watch the anticipation slowly fade from her eyes as they proceeded further into the rise of hills. While the petite girl had never been in this area before since she entered Horizon, it was disheartening to notice that she couldn’t decipher any wolven musk through the dampened ground. Every once in a while, she’d look up to check on Maya, to try and grasp onto what she was feeling—but the slope of her emotions only went downhill, instead of the Rise she was promised. Still, Auracilla fought to stay positive for her newfound friend.

It was the end of their journey now, and she stood adjacent to AJ as the tears welled in Maya’s eyes. Whining out of sympathy, the she-wolf padded forward, nuzzling the underside of her chin with the top of her head as a form of comfort. She stayed to the side of her as he spoke, nodding along with a hesitant smile.

“But .. here we are,” she murmured, licking the side of her shoulder, attempting another shot at a happier moment. “And we won’t leave.”

Surveying the expanse of territory, now vacant, she tried to get Maya to focus on the beauty of it. “It is a sight to see, Maya. You were right.”

Jun 07, 2018 06:58 PM — Post #3

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Name Player
Maya Kess Quinn Staff

Of course her mood would drag her friends down, too. Maya hadn’t thought much of it, selfishly wrapped up in her own mind, her own turmoil of emotions. It’d been quiet, Maya realized. Quieter than any trip Maya and AJ had taken before, and in hindsight, she felt bad for not trying to keep spirits high.

It’d been so hard to stay upbeat when she realized the usual scents blanketing the rise were long gone. She’d waited too long and now there was no pack waiting here on the rise for her anymore. She’d been able to picture it, at one point - the Rise being home. Now, it just made her heart hurt.

But only briefly. Because nearly as soon as they’d come to a stop upon the top of the rise, AJ and Aura were both there, offering comfort that sent a warmth through her. She was glad, at least, that they had come with her for this. Another sniffle, and Maya offered a watery smile at both wolves, ducking her head. “You guys are the best.” If she could have leaned into both of them at the same time, she would have.

When Aura spoke up about the rise, Maya allowed her eyes to focus on that again - the view, the endless golden grasses dancing in the breeze. You could see so much from up here. It was part of the reason she loved it so. Her gaze softened when her eyes landed on the falcon resting upon a rock some small distance away, her tail flipping against the ground. Of course, the one bird the rise derived it’s name from would be here when she arrived. She couldn’t help but think there was something symbolic in that - the falcon’s taking back falcon rise. If it did not belong to Atlas, it was only fitting that the falcon’s would rule again. She grinned, finally, a glance over at Aura.

It really is one of my favorite places. I just wish they were still here,” said with a sigh. “I’m gonna call for...” But Maya cut herself off, eyes finally picking up on the white figure moving through the grasses towards the bottom of the rise. “Jay?” Her voice rose, surprise evident in the word. The color was right, but this wolf looked far too haggard and weak to be the Jay she remembered. She rose to her feet, eyes pinned on the figure, trying to decipher if this really was the wolf she’d come looking for.

/// hope he was close enough to see! Just so it’s clear i guess, she’s only spotted him. She’s not trying to get his attention or anything yet. :c

Jun 07, 2018 10:02 PM — Post #4

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[ Edited: Jun 07, 2018 10:06 PM by Maya ]
Name Player
Jaylan Chris Staff

AJ wasn’t surprised to see Aura move in to Maya’s other side to comfort her. Maya seemed to respond too, trying a brave smile even though she was definitely feeling shaky, her eyes bright with tears. He booped her gently when she thanked then, making a small huffy sound to indicate she never had to thank him for being a good friend.

“I won’t either.” He vowed when Aura mentioned not going anywhere. He smiled over at Aura as well when she mentioned that the view was something - and man, it really was! He would have enjoyed it more if he wasn’t committed to cheering Maya up.

But moments later she spotted someone, and he too picked up a dirty white coat. He squinted, but shook his head. “Thart’s not Jay - the build is wrong.” He was certain in that. “Let’s go see - whoever that is doesn’t look great.” The white wolf wasn’t just a different build than Jay. They were underweight.

Jun 07, 2018 10:36 PM — Post #5

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Name Player
Rowan Jill

A tightness in his stomach told him he ought to consider heading, at the very least, onto the flatter stretches of grassland closer to the sea. While not the most experienced hunter, Rowan did have success in chasing down the occasional varmint in the tall grasses to keep himself alive. But more than that… Man, was he missing the cache Bucky and the others worked so hard to maintain down at the savanna.

Still, hope held out that he’d find his mother and Aunt Reg. He couldn’t shake the feeling they’d changed their minds, come back, thinking he and his siblings had already moved into these heights, as intended. Naturally, that’s where Mum and Aunt Reg would think to look, right? The very place they’d wanted to move them all to, to start a new life.

Huffing a sigh, Rowan lifted his blue eyes to the enormous foothill before him, appreciating its vastness and wishing that to find answers would be as straightforward as scaling its heights.

He didn’t expect to see movement upon those heights. His eyes widened at the sight of other wolves upon the rise.

Bucky’s words would forever echo in his mind. Bad wolves. He’d met several aggressive, smaller predators in his wanderings, those who would protect their meager kills from him. But strange adult wolves, and three of them, were in an entirely different league of danger.

Hope still held out that they’d know where his family was. But with no one to have his back—he was not in Ranger territory anymore—worry also held his tongue.

He could only watch them for now, the dark speck and the two tan ones beside her.

i guess i should say—ro is def underweight, but not in any danger of like, keelin’ over any time soon. :) but it would be noticeable.

Jun 07, 2018 10:46 PM — Post #6

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Name Player
Auracilla Solaris Syrup

The petite female stood stark against Maya’s dark russet coat, her face pointed towards the slope of territory that bellowed out from the Rise. She made a distinctively warmhearted face when her two travel companions agreed: the view was impeccable, even as abandoned as it was.

Her attention was short-lived. Having not been paying much attention to anything other than her friends, she had not caught on to the approaching pup.

“Jay?” “That’s not Jay-” “—doesn’t look great,”

Her body swiveled about, perplexed and curious. She hadn’t heard that name before, and even if it wasn’t the wolf that was approaching, she still had questions left on her tongue. Putting them aside in favor of concern, she found herself agreeing with AJ. Yes, the stranger walking towards them wasn’t looking their best. She chuffed softly, pinning her ears back against her skull.

The girl considered she was the first to call out, after Maya. While she spoke, her feet took a few tentative steps forward.

“Are you alright?”

Jun 08, 2018 07:16 PM — Post #7

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Name Player
Maya Kess Quinn Staff

Not Jay and Maya might have realized that sooner had her hopes not surged so high at the sight of a white coat. It was easy to see that this wolf wasn’t Jay once the thought had fled from her mind.

Concern rose quickly in place of Maya’s hope. She could see that the figure looked quite ragged, thin, too. It was easy to push away all of the things that had been bringing her down in the face of someone who might need help, but even so, the thought that maybe she was too late stayed in the back of her mind.

She nodded when AJ suggested they check on the wolf, stepped forward with Aura when she moved to lessen the distance between them. But she didn’t stop - knowing both AJ and Aura would likely follow kept her feet moving. Her slowly wagging tail would hopefully be enough to assure whoever this was that she only meant to help.

Jun 09, 2018 08:27 AM — Post #8

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Name Player
Jaylan Chris Staff

He aimed another nuzzle at Maya, knowing she had wanted to talk to Jay, to see one of her old friends - AJ hadn’t formed any strong opinions of him when he was at the Alliance and had briefly met him, but then he’d mostly been focused on getting Maya away from that nutty Astred woman.

Maya wanted to see him, good enough for AJ.

He ambled down the slope with Maya and Aura, and once they were close enough AJ whisked his tail readily, his jaws parting in the friendly grin that was rarely too far from his face. “Hey man!” He called out easily, not bothering to repeat Aura’s question. The skinny guy looked - young actually.

“I’m AJ, and this is my best girl Maya and the amply awesome Aura.” He was pretty proud of that alliteration, really.

Jun 10, 2018 08:14 AM — Post #9

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Name Player
Rowan Jill

Oh, snap. They noticed him, too.

Rowan slowly pulled his ears back, and his dingy, muddied tail curled between his ankles. Something instinctual told him to submit, possibly the resounding notion that was he wasn’t in his pack’s territory. His tongue flicked out to lick his nose.

His precautions seemed unnecessary, though, when he considered the concerned tone of the strangers’ voices and their wagging tails and friendly postures. To his young eyes, they really didn’t seem all that bad. He wasn’t comfortable enough to return his stance to something a little more square, but he could at least answer them in a clear, direct voice.

“You mean me?” Huh. That was probably a little silly, right? He was the only other one around. “I mean, yeah! I’m okay!” He was still walkin’ and talkin’—and that was good enough for him.

As the trio of adults drew near, he flicked his gaze to each of them. Two females, one dark and one golden, and a timber male. The latter introduced them all, and Rowan felt his lips tugging up.

“I’m Rowan, but… Ro is fine, too. Do you all live here?”

Maybe the trails he’d seen earlier had been left by these wolves. It hadn’t smelled like they’d peed on them, so maybe Bucky had been wrong about pack wolves marking everything? To a younger Rowan, just… going on whatever had seemed a little silly.

Jun 10, 2018 08:43 PM — Post #10

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Name Player
Auracilla Solaris Syrup

Her face was twisted into a mask of friendly concern. Upon further inspection, she noticed that the incoming boy was a lot smaller and a lot thinner than her companions, herself included. That was saying something for Auracilla—she barely reached an ‘adult’ level height, and still only barely scraped the shoulders of her timber counterpart, AJ. Wiggling her nose to try and catch a better reading on the pup, she eased her tension when he called out that he was okay.

“Nice to meet you—Ro!” She was pleasantly surprised he had given a nickname to use, especially after seeming so cautious before. She couldn’t blame him, anyway.

Her side moved to brush comfortingly against AJ’s as she laughed about him asking if they lived here. Glancing over at Maya, she remembered the reason they had came to the Rise to begin with. “No, we don’t live here. Our friend Maya here wanted to see the Rise. She thought her friend would be here.” A beat, and a small frown. He looked still a bit young to be off on his own. “Where do you live, Ro?”

Jun 12, 2018 11:35 PM — Post #11

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Name Player
Jaylan Chris Staff

Well, Rowan looked like he was in good spirits, even though he was underweight. AJ was a bit worried, and began subtly sniffing around the fringes of their little gather, checking if there was prey scent. Maybe he could nab the kid something. “Nice to meet ya Ro!” He adapted to the nickname quickly. Then offered a little more detail onto Aura’s explanation. “Friends of Maya’s used to live here - a pack, Stormborn Alliance. Don’t suppose you’ve seen a big burly white dude called Jay around have you Ro?” AJ checked.

Jun 12, 2018 11:39 PM — Post #12

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Name Player
Maya Kess Quinn Staff

Not a Jay - but a Rowan. Maya was simultaneously disappointed and relived. At least this skinny little boy wasn’t Jay. It would have been terrible to find Jay in such a state. On the other hand, she couldn’t help but want to help the poor kid. Where were his parents and why weren’t they making sure the poor boy had food to eat?

She smiled as AJ and Aura both spoke up, explaining why they were here. She nodded, smile fading just a little. “I was hoping to catch them before they all left,” Maya elaborated, sinking into a sit at AJs side.

Jun 13, 2018 04:43 PM — Post #13

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Name Player
Rowan Jill

Processing the statements of three different wolves was a little difficult. Rowan found his eyes darting between them at a dizzying speed. But there was something familiar about this, too. A talk where everyone seemed eager to get something in.

It reminded him of family. The notion squeezed his heart, but he maintained his wobbly smile anyway.

“N-Nice to meet you all, too.” He offered a small dip of his head, never one to forget his manners. He could only imagine how Ash would have received their greetings.

Oh yeah, with a grunt.

Rowan’s ears turned forward at talk of a pack. He hadn’t been wrong, wolves had lived here, just not recently. AJ, Maya, and Aura… Aura-something were apparently looking for them, though. The boy felt a surge of kinship, being in not so dissimilar a predicament.

“Jay? No…. No, I’m sorry. I don’t know him.” The frown that overtook his face was genuine. “I’m looking for someone, too. I live, uh.”

He squinted and looked across his shoulder. Directions weren’t really his forte, at least while the sun wasn’t in a position to give away east or west. Rowan did his best to face the coast where the Rangers lived.

“Over that way.” For the time being, anyway.

He turned rapidly back to the group, eyes widening with hope. “I’m looking for my mom—or, well, Holly. She’s white, too. Black ears, though. I thought she’d be this way. Maybe. You… have you seen her? Or a smaller tan wolf? Regent?”

Jun 14, 2018 01:42 AM — Post #14

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Name Player
Maya Kess Quinn Staff

Maya smiled bright at the boy, tail waving. It was kinda cute how nervous he was. It reminded Maya of herself, really. She could be outgoing as all get out, but meeting a group of strangers on your own was so nerve wracking sometimes. She hopped their friendliness put him more at ease, in the end.

The smile she wore faltered a bit when the boy confirmed he didn’t know Jay - that he might not be here anymore. Maya frowned, fell quiet for a moment. This was nice and all, but she was wasting time not trying to find Jay. Her ears fell back, and she glanced back over her shoulder, up the slope to the rise.

Her eyes swung back to the boy to offer a look laced with apologies. “I’m sorry, I haven’t seen either of them,” A frown, a look to AJ, and a nudge to get his attention. “I’m gonna go find Jay,” She explained. Or try. “I’m sorry, Rowan, it was good to meet you. I hope you find who you’re looking for.”

She booped her nose to AJ’s shoulder, an apology to him as well, before she turned and made her way back up the rise, nose sniffing for any traces of the big white wolf.

/// Exit for Maya unless spoken to further

Jun 14, 2018 10:20 AM — Post #15

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