Perhaps changed most of all out of all of the packs is this place. It was stripped out of its forested home and now instead lays at the edge of an ocean. The vast sparkling eternity of the water lays to the south of the land, while the rest of the land is made of rocky outjuttings. Gone are the trees, and all that remains for greenery are the short shrubs that dot the paths in the rock, and the moss that grows thanks to the spray of the waves. Further toward the shore, barnacles are a plenty, and look to cut the pads of those who slip on the wet surface. These extend out into the water itself, and the tough land has multiple caverns scraped into it, providing ample dens for the wolves that live there. Depending on the tide, however, the lower caverns may flood, and the vicious swirling water may prove to be dangerous as there is a strong undertide ready to pull unsuspecting swimmers to their doom. Even the tide itself is powerful enough to push intruders against one cliff or another. The ocean does provide, however, plenty of food for those who brave the waters - there are many breeds of seals and sea lions, though the males that protect each of these are vicious and territorial. There are also turtles that come ashore to breed and to lay their eggs - both the adults and the eggs themselves can provide sustenance to the wolves. But they must take care - the water is deep enough to allow sharks to come to shore from the depths below. Those unwilling to venture the waves or wet their paws with the moist sand of the shore can find snakes and hares in the rocky outcroppings, but they must beware the Komodo dragon and other monitor lizards that perch upon the shore - they are swift and move in groups, not to mention they carry venom in their bite that causes immense pain, paralysis, and prevents blood clotting. This is not the land for the weak of heart or the weak at all really. This is Uyaraut - ‘The Diamond in the Rough’.


FROZEN MASS GRAVE [athene, open]


Approximately twelve hours after Kershov had stalked into Bright Moon—after he’d rubbed a thin yet distinct line of his musk across the gates and welcomed in the wolves that now made his pack—he stretched into alertness and strode out of his makeshift den. The space had been halfheartedly carved out from under a fallen log by lazy claws; the original architect hadn’t bothered to reinforce the sides so that Ker woke to loose dirt sprinkled into his alabaster robes. As a ganglord, the newly crowned King was more than used to roughing it . . . but he took the poorly constructed sleeping place as an example of how far the territory had declined. Who ruled before me? And how long were they gone before everything started looking like . . . this?

Wolves were not environmental engineers. They did pave roads or fell trees, reroute rivers or sculpt stone—but certain signs of wear and use naturally appeared when a pack settled into their home. Bright Moon did not feel settled. It felt wild, desolate, its forest reaching for lupine fur and paws to fill its emptiness, its leaf-laced skies resonating with howls long finished. Of course Frekari had pranced past his scent marker without a second thought—how could she have known it was the entrance to a kingdom? Surely more wolves would make the same mistake, not recognizing the bleak wilderness as a consolidated territory. Unless Kershov—unless his pack—stepped up to rebuild what was theirs.

He followed the scent of Athene, aiming to recruit her for Bright Moon’s first official patrol. The brindled warrioress had presented herself as a seasoned soldier—strong of body and of mind, the sort of packmember Kershov hoped for in any army he ruled. This early in the morning, the sun still smoldered a sleepy blue that transformed the slowly rising forest mist into a lilac smoke; even the Pharaoh’s breath had taken on a dragonlike quality, vapor condensing on his whiskers as he spoke. “Athene?” She had probably already sensed him coming—Athene did not strike him as a wolfess who bedded down before learning everything about her environment—but manners were still important to Kershov after all these years. “Fancy a morning run?”


【Free – tied to none – father to Kirastasia and Kavik – LSVK】


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