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’.




Morning painted Bright Moon in clean white light, any dew collected from the previous night lifting gently off leaves in faintly shimmering clouds of mist. As Kershov marched through his new kingdom, committing each hollow and fen and cluster of trees to memory, he wondered if this gleaming mist was what had originally given this territory its title . . . since it appeared, night or day, that this land was veiled with a gossamer quality, everything softened under an otherworldly glow. Bright Moon still felt painfully empty, its halls not yet imprinted with the scent of its new pack, but the Ice King knew he and his subjects were well on their way to taming their home. Slowly but surely, with each patrol or hunt, they would ingrain themselves in the dirt, the bark, the stones themselves. Home. The word flickered unbidden into Kershov’s mind as he left another signature along the border—and he did not flinch from it as he thought he might.

In fact . . . “home” was the perfect word to describe this decrepit castle. The Pharaoh had not planned on claiming a pack until he’d spent more time relearning Blossom’s secrets, and yet here he ran—as if he always intended to return to this place.

By the time the sun had reached its halfway point between the horizon and its zenith, Kershov had nearly completed his half-circle gallop around Bright Moon’s edges. In the afternoon he’d charge down the other side, finishing the ring that enclosed his territory and kept his wolves safe. This patrol had begun before the sun’s first red rays had barely limned the sky’s belly; tired yet satisfied, the frost-born beast slowed his tireless pace in order to catch his breath. Perhaps he’d attempt to find Athene for another trip through Bright Moon’s quieter places, or seek Frekari for a little release . . . but the sharp ring of a summoning howl had Ker’s head snapping upright and his pulse throbbing with abrupt alertness, his limbs already carrying him to the territory gates. It had been ages since he’d last heard the song of someone seeking entry to a pack—and the nostalgia it summoned within him ached like a bruise in his chest.

As Ker neared Bright Moon’s outer rim, his bottomless black eyes caught the vision of an ink-colored male running full speed toward him. He pulled up just short of the border, talons ripping up clods of earth as he slowed, and shock froze the already emotionless veneer of his face. Kershov knew this male. He hailed from an Abendrot buried in the past, and though he’d hardly been more than a boy at the time, Mabbit had grown into a fine young warrior. “Mabbit . . .” The Czar’s voice trailed away, words unable to convey his surprise and his relief upon seeing yet another familiar varg. Eventually he settled on wagging his banner, chin tilted upward to peer down at the smoky soldier before him. “It seems you’ve found your way home. Welcome back.”


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


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