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[P]  The Food Chain

Crow Apr 1 2020, 9:57 PM
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Crow dips her neck to nose as the wet snow that dusted the mountainside. This high up the air was thin and bitterly cold, cutting through the slimmer, summer coat of the dire and bringing a shiver to her spine. A hint of copper is churned up with the invasion of her nose, mixing the scent of fresh snow with aged blood. It was sour, yet her mouth salivates all the same. Her prey was likely still injured, if not incapacitated from its wounds by now. Wide feet spread to accommodate the uneven terrain of the cliff side, claws out and flexing to hold her steady as she bunches her muscles and hops up another ledge. Knocking a collection of pebbles loose, her ears fold back at watching them roll off the edge and kiss the tops of the wilds that spread out before her.

She'd attacked the goat at the base of the mountain, having broken a bone and tore its haunch with the impact. One of its horns had gotten her in the side, marking her fur with dried blood, thus allowing it to escape up a narrow rock face that she could not scale. Still, it was no good to its herd now, and if she wasted any time in tracking it it would be sooner picked off by the eagles that scoured the peaks. Contesting the great birds for a meal was not something she was keen on doing again, as the scars on her back told of the last encounter she'd had with one.

Crow's ears lift against the howl of the wind against the rocks, catching a faint cry drifting into range. The snow crunches under her pads, leaving a set of massive tracks that could only belong to something of her sheer size. Proportioned more like a big cat than a wolf, the dire's feet carry her through the treacherous climb up to the dying goat with deft balance. Her weight shifts in an effortless grace bestowed with age and practice, undaunted by the silver hairs sprouting on her muzzle. Hauling her thick form up the final ledge, the bleating is low and pathetic--confused due to loss of blood and pain. The goat is lying beside a large stone, legs folded beneath its heaving chest. Red is smeared along its haunch, one leg awkwardly poking out away from the others and twisted.

The dire approaches with bared teeth, green eyes sharp and unmoved as the goat attempts to rise. A paw on its shoulder pushes it back to the ground, taking a moment to regard the creature before she leans down and fixes her fangs into its throat. Its life is warm and pleasing on her tongue, its choked gargle for breath soon cut short as its windpipe collapses. She made it quick for prey, as there was no joy in killing something that stood no chance of fighting back.

After all, she was not cruel to things that could not understand their place.

Dropping it from her jaws, the dire lets her tongue smooth along her lips and spread a red smile into her fur.

"This is an odd place to find another," She calls to the other form that she can see crouching in the snow nearby, almost hidden by the dark stripes that run along his body, "Were you waiting to see it claimed?" Crow sits beside her kill, neither inviting nor shirking the presence of the dire.
Offline Ivandriel Apr 12 2020, 11:47 PM
  • Khogate
  • Age: 30
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Kin
  • Total Posts: 61
  • Played by: Isilzheha
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The heat was the most welcome to the kin who had grown in an area of Kho’gate that fostered such temperatures well. He preferred it more often than not, even when he found his way to the mainland and stirred whatever trouble he could find within Dorsum. Sometimes Svalbard, if he was feeling so bold, although he hadn’t been there much to really say anything about it. There was a desert there he might have found appealing if it wasn’t such a dangerous endeavor these days, as it had always been for his kind when they became the hunted. Ivandriel was instead in the mountains here upon the island, fighting the bitter cold that sunk down deep into his relatively thin pelt accustomed to the warmth he adored. Sometimes there was prey that could be found here and nowhere else, just given the change in the climate the higher one climbed, and the elevation took some getting used to. Ivandriel’s claws made it easier to scale the icy rocks and jagged, jutting boulders that made up the tough exterior.

Wanderlust was not uncommon for him, and while he didn’t particularly need the food right now he wouldn’t have turned it down should he have found something worthwhile. As he went along, that wasn’t really anything he needed to worry about. All there was at the time was the howling of the wind in his ears and the crumbling of stone beneath his testing weight. Faithful leaps and bounds brought him to level ground, as level as it could be between two of the peaks. Snow hissed around his trudging steps, the climb taking a bit more out of him than he ever would have admitted to anyone out loud. Not that there was anyone around. He turned his nose into the wind and found it unyielding and unwilling to part with any scents he might have been able to use. For a second he thought he might have smelled blood, but it was gone within the same instant it appeared. His tail swayed lazily behind him, Ivandriel heaving a sigh as he started to paw against some of the untouched snow.

He dug at it just enough to burrow himself into it, the cold starting to get to him as it raked chilled claws down his spine. Ivandriel spun in a circle, stamping down the snow until he lowered himself forcefully to his belly, planting himself in the midst of it. Just as he had begun to settle in for a moment of rest there was a struggle happening beyond one of the ledges. Something hard was clattering against the stone in frantic rhythm, a tattered ear twitching as the dire lifted his head towards it. Golden eyes stared, unblinking, as a horned figure almost drunkenly stumbled its way into the space he had temporarily claimed. He blinked then, the stench of blood soon to follow the appearance of the goat. Ivandriel saw it before he smelled it, dark red smeared through the coarse coat as it limped with a torn haunch. His nostrils flared, but all he did was shift his weight to tuck his paws beneath him much like a reclining feline.

The wounded creature collapsed onto its side beside one of the rocks strewn about, limbs quivering as they kicked into the snow only to tuck to its body. Ivandriel simply watched it struggle, wondering if he should muster the energy to get up and put it out of its misery. Whatever had hurt it hadn’t exactly finished the job, as that was obviously seen. Before he could come to that final decision there was more movement at the ledge. Another dire, from the looks of it, scarred up and brutishly large. Where had he seen this one? The scent was vaguely familiar, as were the scars that littered her face, green eyes locked upon the goat. Ivandriel still didn’t move, gaze narrowing slightly as he watched her sink her teeth into the goat’s throat. Its desperate bleats and terrified kicking ceased, more blood spilled and melting away the white as it soaked it up. She was licking her black lips, blood drenched along her muzzle and a portion of her side. The goat fell limply to the ground, Ivandriel tilting his head in silent consideration.

This is an odd place to find another,’ she said plainly, the dire straightening out as he was addressed although it didn’t come from a place of respect but of awareness. His ears pushed forward, nostrils flaring as he continued to breathe in the thick scent of iron. ‘Were you waiting to see it claimed?’ Ivandriel glanced to the goat, then back to the other dire, and let out a small huff, “No.” He didn’t move from where he laid, tail swishing from one side to the other behind him. “Kinda sloppy. The kill, I mean. It almost froze entirely by the time you caught up to it.” His jaws parted in silent laughter at that, tongue lolling out, “Could gimme some, though, for keeping an eye on it for you.