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Nova

"Still Moving Onward"

0 · 1,192 views · located in Springwood

a character in “Elemental Battles: Rage”, as played by Krypt

Description

Name:
Nova

Pack:
Ausi

Description:
Nova was not particularly blessed to have a pelt that blended with his environment. Unlike his fellow pack members, Nova has a rather sandy colored pelt with a white belly, owing to not the best camouflage in frosty environments. In regards to stature, Nova is slightly smaller than the average male wolf, and his ability to fight is reduced as such. He is remarkably agile however, the benefit for the trade off of strength, and often is able to outrun any terrestrial wolf.

Personality:
Nova possesses a rather reserved personality, not out of coldness or shyness, he just doesn't like to hold a conversation in length. When he does speak, it is often tinged with satire, and he does contain a good dose of arrogance. His conceitedness is generally in terms of his pack, for as most wolves do he views his pack on a higher plane than all others. He is level headed and rational, and is rarely aggressive. After all, any fight he would pick he would likely lose, and thus he has no qualms about escaping with his life when his is fighting a losing battle.

Abilities:
Nova's use of his innate gift of frost is rarely used offensively, much less from lack of ability than lack of a desire. Usually only using his power for practical scenarios such as freezing bridges or halting water, he is also capable of sending rather sharp blades of ice at his enemies. Due to his lack of practice in combat with ice, or with anything for that matter, he has rarely used his ability when blow does come to blow.

Equipment:
Sharp Teeth
Sharp Claws
Sharp Wit

History:
Nova's younger years contain nothing unusual from the various trivialities and trials that most face in their youth. Growing up with only one other sibbling, a sister, his parents were dutiful in raising him well, and instructed him in the virtues of the Ausi and the vices of all others. As he came of age, his physical appearance and temperament were ideal for a scout for the Ausi pack, and he was soon approached to become such. Due to the packs rather remote location, they elected to send him out first in order to judge enemy pack movements, what other wolves are up to, and the like. He also became in charge of mapping out any route of attack should the Ausi decide to go on the offensive, an act which they should yet to do. Obviously this would be valuable information to enemy packs, thus Nova has kept no maps or charts on him, just his head. Nova has been content with his role, as he knows that he can exert a fair amount of leverage back home with his knowledge, without the usual show of brute strength that other wolves need to get others attention.

In recent times, he has begun to look at the world with a biting pessimism. Constant hardships, protracted adventures, and nostalgia for home has slowly contributed to his decaying outlook on the goodness of the world. Still he manages to keep his head, and though he does not have quite the Ausi nationalism that he once had, he still does not feel all that welcoming to strangers, whom so far has seemed to only lead him into trouble. With the rather recent episode with Rashid, Nova has come away a rather different wolf. Despite his efforts to lead his pack to destroy the cult of Rashid, the failure of effectively destroying Rashid as crushed Nova's faith. He reasons now that the wars will only continue, and despite the efforts of him and his friends Rashid will enslave the wolven race, if they do not destroy themselves first. But that does not mean he will not die trying to halt this disastrous course.

So begins...

Nova's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Prometheus
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The Lands of Nigerius, this was once a peaceful land before the war began. If one could remember past the times of violence and death, a wolf would remember the beauty they saw through their eyes, smelt the fresh breeze enter their nostrils, and felt the warmth of the Sun on their fur. A wolf could walk into any land, without fear of attack, as they once mingled and traded among each other. The land flourished and not a trace of warfare could be seen. Then, the land grew sick. Colors that were once vibrant seemed to have lost some of it's luster. Water was not as gleaming and pure as it once used to flow down the river. The clouds seem to huddle together and darken the skies by blotting out the sun. Storms started to become more frequent in places that it used to be occasional. Even the nights seemed to have grown darker and longer than they should be.

The Wolves took notice of this, but the worse came when they feared their elements would too suffer. Some tried to revive the land but couldn't, even the Aven couldn't fix certain parts of the world. This helped to cement the belief that their elements are becoming polluted as well, and this sentiment spread like a wildfire amongst the packs. Without any other explanations for these happenings, they resorted to blaming the other packs. Perhaps one element is becoming too strong and weakening the others? In order to defend their way of life they had to stop the culprits, and that meant going to war. Then war was waged as it would continue for years and years to come. No one when they entered this great conflict suspected this war would last as long as it did. Many brave wolves's lives were claimed and as Nigerius itself is heading to a boiling point, a last stand must be made.

Despite the war and death that is amassing, within the fires of this conflict heroes have arisen from all sides. Heroes that have tried to their damnedest to make a difference in their world. They have come close to finding an end to the fighting but the forces of evil have succeeded in distracting them and then separating them. Although it did come at a price for their plans as well. For months now a group of allies from all packs have gone their separate ways. Yet, in these coming moments disaster will strike and the journey will resume...

__________

Screams could be heard echoing up into the frosty peaks of the Sharikeres. A most emboldened attack was launched in the icy, Neva City as fires began to rise. Almost like explosions, big bursts of flames were seen coming from several buildings through out the population, yet the biggest of all came from the center up into the highest floors of the Alpha's Palace. The Ausis were scattered and disoriented, surprised by both the sudden nature, and violence of the attacks. Never before had they believe they would be invaded by any outside force. Yet, when one expects something large sometimes, something small, can pass through unnoticed. One side of the large, domed roof was demolished from the largest explosion of flames that any Asui, not in the war, has ever seen. The Snowy Palace seemed to melt along the edges from the sheer intensity of the heat. Out from the large, gaping hole stood an incredibly large, white wolf as he looked down at the chaos caused by his subordinates.

The Ausi were a bit careless in their defense, sure they managed to erect some impressive stone fortifications thanks to their Dimitrios allies, but they felt a bit too secure, confident both the dangerous trek up here would diminish an incoming army to the point they can't get past their walls. It is a sound plan for your average warfare, but Prometheus, doesn't fight like that. This was the best mode of action he could do, being white it was difficult for the Ausi to think of him as an outsider, and due to his size and scars all over his face, they would assume him a soldier. Which helps to explain why he could have gained access to the Alpha's home but as for his forces, he did his best to find white, Tenneth or Canicus wolves, but had to rely more on convincing the Ausi's that these different furred wolves were of Dimitrios descent. Still the plan went off without much a hitch, his followers were loyal and devoted, true extremists in every sense of the word.

He laughed as he noticed a couple of wolves pulling a cart filled up with alot of snow. That was his cue. He looked towards the wolves he would leave behind, many where guards killed in battle, but there were a couple of high profile targets dead. Prometheus laughed as he rushed and jumped from the building. This wolf must be insane to risk such a stunt but his body managed to land into the huge pile of snow softening his impact. Feeling the sudden shake the two wolves mustered up their strength as they continued to pull. Soon they were able to exit the city underneath the cover of chaos.

_______

Word soon reached the Tenneth of this recent attack on the Ausi. While the Alpha still lived, he was badly injured as he struggles to survive from his wounds, in the meantime his Beta has taken on the helm of command and is now leading the Ausi while the Alpha tries to recover. Many where killed in light of this attack including the Beta's son, and this Ausi now had a fire lit up in his belly burning greater than Neva City did that night. The whole city wasn't razed to the ground, in fact, only parts of it burned, this attack was not meant to be the final blow to the Ausi. So it raises the question, why did Prometheus not managed to destroy the Ausi Alpha? Could he have not assassinated him, or is there something else going on here? A gathering of Tenneth have come before their Alpha as they discussed the threat of Ausi retaliation.

"I cannot believe the action's of Prometheus! Why would he have done such a thing!?" One wolf shouted. "Does he not realize that the Ausi will retaliate and they will come for us all!?"

"I agree," Concurred another, "This war has worn us all down, and now with Prometheus fanning the flames it would seem this conflict would be revitalized into a fervor. And this is something that our people don't need right now."

"Well, I believe Prometheus's actions have gained more results than our forces ever could hope for." Chimed in another. "He managed to launch an impressive strike from within the Ausi defenses! We all know that sending a company of our soldiers into those mountains would mean the death of them!"

"He is correct, our wolves would have caught their deaths out there, those mountains are harsh and unforgiving...I think this just proves we need more wolves like him to help lead us to victory." Spoke another.

"Yes, we should really consider making Prometheus a general in our army, if he could do this much damage with just a small group of wolves, then who knows what he could do with an entire army." A fifth one spoke.

"As Kennan, and Moloch said, we should really use Prometheus. He is definitely leader material, he inspires the people and his wolves follow him without question." The third one spoke again.

"And do you know why that is?" Durandel spoke, on the edge of the table. "It's not because he inspires them, it's because he's using them. He says all these great and powerful words but that's just to fool you. Rashid spoke them, and his wolves were forced into bondage to do as he said. Prometheus is no different, he just uses the emotions of the people to enslave them instead of using his powers." Durandel finished.

The Alpha then stood up as the wolves around him grew silent. "Now before you all start arguing over this one Tenneth, what my concern is what can we expect from the Ausi, War Council?" The Alpha spoke.

"Yes Alpha, well we believe that the Beta would be angered enough to launch attacks against our many camps and outposts posthaste." Spoke one of the wolves. "I suggest we send reinforcements to our posts nearest the Ausis and the Dimitrios since they are their allies. Speaking of which, they would most likely be called upon to attack us as well."

"Hm." The Alpha thought. "Are there any wolves to spare?"

"Well are forces are spread a bit thin, but certain areas are not hot spots currently and we could spare to lessen defenses in some areas to bolster others." The wolf spoke again.

"Alpha, if I may?" Spoke the First Wolf. "Instead of drawing up battle plans, perhaps we should appeal to the Ausi? We should tell them that we do not condone any of Prometheus's actions and are acted beyond your approval, or anyone elses besides his own." He finished.

"That won't work out so well." Durandel spoke up. "I have worked with an Ausi before and trust me, they will be anxious to rise up and meet any challenges that stand in their way. Besides they too love their Alpha and their Pack and will fight to the death to uphold their way of life. I don't think they would listen to any Tenneth or anyone else...well, except for maybe another Ausi." Durandel almost murmured as he thought about Nova.

"What was that Durandel?" The Alpha spoke up.

"Well, I do know an Ausi, perhaps I can have him appeal on our behalf?" Durandel suggested.

"Heh! I knew a simple border guard should have not been apart of this council! That is the most ludicrously foolish ideas I have ever heard! What makes you think that your former, Ausi friend will listen to you, let alone be convinced to try and help us, his enemies!? He might as soon kill or capture you than give you time to speak." The Third Wolf spoke.

"Now Ephraim, be kind, at least he's coming up with methods that don't recklessly shed anymore Tenneth blood." The Second Wolf spoke out in defense.

"Perhaps, but as Ephraim pointed out, I doubt that course of action would present us with any fruitful results. Instead I have a better idea." Kennan spoke.

"Well lets hear it?" Ephraim asked.

"I believe we should commission Prometheus to antagonized the enemy by strategically striking at certain points in the Ausi Front. If he can slow down the Ausi threat, then it will be harder for them to amass a counter attack." Kennan answered.

"No way should we use Prometheus!" The First Wolf spoke. "We cannot associate ourselves with him, it will just make the Ausi angrier, we should just rely on our own strength. Besides I don't wish to give that monster any more power than he already has."

"Oh come now, Castor, you need to stop being so rude towards Prometheus, I mean the wolf is undoubtedly a proud Tenneth defending his home, how can that be a monstrosity?" Kennan responded.

One of the wolves gave a low but audible growl.

"Hm? What was that? Did you have something to say Ezra?" Asked Ephraim in a rather sarcastic tone.

"That wolf in not the kind of person you think he is." Ezra spoke calmly. "In fact I think that wolf is a greater threat to us than the Ausi and the Dimitrios at the moment."

"Please! As if you could-!" Suddenly Ephraim was interrupted by the Alpha.

"Enough of these arguments over Prometheus! I have not the patience for it today, instead we are going with Ephraim's plan and I will send able body wolves from our different sectors to bolster our target zones. In the meantime we will continue to have any association with Prometheus and his followers until a time I can decide if his intentions are honorable enough!" The Alpha spoke as the wolves grumbled over their leader's decision. "Although Durandel, I am curious do you think you can communicate with the Ausi?" He asked.

Durandel's ears perked up. "Well, I can try and see if he will listen, I am sure he won't attack me, a familiar face, but I would have to meet him alone so he won't get worked up." Durandel spoke.

"Well, since you have this unique of a position, I want you to try and speak with your old traveling companion and see if you two can work something out to avoid further bloodshed. I have grown weary of this war and I don't want to see anymore proud Tenneth and Canicus wolves die in the line of battle." The Alpha finished.

"Of course." Durandel spoke as he bowed his head.

"This council is dismissed, goodbye to all and my our fire never extinguish." The Alpha spoke as the wolves exited the War Room.

"I still can't believe, the Alpha would be so blind to Prometheus's cause!" Spoke Moloch to Kennan. "Yes, it's sad when an Alpha doesn't have as much love and drive for the Pack as a commoner does. These are quite dark days indeed." Kennan responded. Ephraim then walked up besides the two. "Don't worry, he'll come around to our way of thinking, just you wait, the Ausis are going to strike us hard, and he will see that we do need Prometheus in order to survive." Ephraim reassured the two. Durandel watched in disgust as the three walked off.

"Durandel a moment?" Ezra asked as he walked up to him. "Yeah?" Durandel responded lamely. "If your going out to meet with this, Ausi friend of yours, do you even know where he is?" Ezra asked. "Well...no, not really." Durandel hanged his head in defeat. "Look, I have some friends that could help you out, despite me being an Tenneth, I have made friends across most of the packs. I have some Dimitrios friends still believe it or not. We often communicate in secret to talk about our distaste for the war, I can ask them to speak with the Ausi and help them find out where your friend is." Ezra spoke. Durandel was quite happy to hear this but was confused over how Ezra could keep such contacts. "Well, thanks, and though I doubt you to be a traitor or spy, but how can you talk with people on the outside?" Durandel asked. "Well, I am an advocate for peace, and believe it or not there are many wolves from all packs that want nothing but a peaceful resolution to this war. We've never liked this war ever since it begun, but I don't want to bore you with our political dribbles. Anyway tell me what this Ausi's name is and what he looks like and I'll help you out, trust me as I am trusting you with this information about me, information that would incriminate me in the eyes of the Council." Ezra spoke unflinching in the face of Durandel.

Durandel was surprised by Ezra's forwardness but he respect the wolf and felt he could trust him to honor his word. "Alright his name is Nova and well, he would be easy to spot since he has a sandy colored pelt instead of a white one." Durandel described. Ezra nodded as he listened to Durandel as he even mentioned the Ausi was a spy or map maker or something along those line. Ezra remembered every single detail as he said his goodbyes to Durandel and put forth a request to his friends to find out where Nova is and tell him where he is as soon as possible. Ezra's contacts worked quickly to find Nova, but it would take sometime, and in the meantime, Durandel prepared himself for a new journey beyond the Vulcans. Yet, will Nigerius be the same as he last saw it?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nova
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#, as written by Krypt
The blasted Jera!

Nova could think of nothing but his hatred for his mission and the thirst that would not be slaked. The desert was no place for an Ausi, he complained to himself. Perhaps he should have toned down his exploits somewhat from his last report. After all, with the exploits that he had related and his sister had subsequently chronicled, there were a few pack leaders and many others who thought Nova to be nothing short of invincible. To be able to leave the safety of the Sharikere's was thought to be dangerous by many, but to stay out there for several months? There were many who honestly believed that an Ausi would simply melt away.

Well, I am certainly melting out here.

The whole problem with the request of the Alpha to go and scout out the Jera was not finding where they were, but when. It was rumored that the Jera's could collectively transport their pack to a different spot in time if the need arouse, such as in war. Of course, this has yet to be proven, but after three weeks of searching Nova was sure to believe it. Now the young wolf had no choice but to return to the woods before he perished from want of water. He wasn't even sure why he had to fine the Jera, other than to fill in a hole on the war room map!

The Ausi paused atop one of the large sand dunes. In the distance, he could see the scrub land that eventually molded into the forest. At the edge of those woods he would find what the Ausis called Maxim lake, the great body of water that gave life to many of the regions of Nigerius. The waterway cut through the pass that separated the Vulcans from the Sharikeres, wound through the region the Arlyne called home, began to slow in the swamps controlled by the Hemlock, before cutting down the Kamarian lands and spilling out into another wilderness. Another rumor stated that if one followed the river long enough, an even bigger body of water would be reached, one that was salty to the taste and full of different fish than one could even find in Nigerius.

But of course, it would take and Arlyne to get down there, and the Hemlock and the Kamarians would never let those pacifists through.

With a deep breath of relief, Nova slid down the slope of the sandy hill. It wasn't all bad, he supposed. After all, he did come out with a couple other items that made the direct sun a bit more bearable. The first was clad about him, a set of hardened leather armor that had be strengthened with the bone of sturgeon, an Ausi staple, to both keep the sun out of his fur and to provide a small amount of protection from the wandering brute. The other item upon his snout was a bit more practical, and was the pride of the Ausi craftsman. They were a pair of spectacle, or rather goggles, finely crafted lenses taken from the fragile whinson fish. The fishes scales were thin enough that they were transparent, though with a slight blue tinge, and get turgid enough that they would not collapse with a leather strapped frame about them. They certainly helped keep his eyes from the searing sun. In the end, though, Nova was a bit worried that should blow come to blow, the gettup would slow him down. After all, with his smaller frame, he was more apt to simply run away rather than retaliate. Perhaps he could barter away his outfit. There were some civilized wolves still out there, right?

Soon the wolf looked up as his paw stepped on a dried piece of prairie grass, the first vegetation in weeks. Soon he would be back in the land of green. And it could not come too soon.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Prometheus
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Durandel was impressed with the response time on Ezra's behalf in this current endeavor. He contacted his Dimitrios friends, yes, but not without going through his proper channels. Such channels include communicating with his Avira friends who cleverly used their communications with the birds to send messages back and forth. It wasn't long before his Dimitrios contact, Georges, was snooping around Neva City looking for leads. He of course, had some friends in the Ausi military to help him out, especially since he took the time to meet the warriors that oversaw their fortification project. Yet, it would be their Ausi contacts that would be the deciding factor in getting a read for Nova's location. Georges and his Ausi contact, did what they could and shipped some, new orders, to Nova at a known Ausi rendezvous. One that was particularly close to the Elian Desert, or as close as one would care to be. A copy of those coordinates was sent to Ezra.

With the information in tow, Ezra appeared at Durandel's home the following day with the papers. "Wow, how did you guys find him so quickly?" Durandel asked astonished. "We didn't quite find him, but we were told his last location which was in the Elian Desert. Hopefully he made it out of that sea of sand relatively unharmed." Ezra spoke as he took the paper out of his satchel. Durandel took the paper as he laid it flat on a nearby table to read. "Hm, at least I don't have to travel out into the Desert but it is quite the journey still." Durandel spoke as he wrapped up the paper and tossed in his own pack. "Yes, and it will be dangerous out there. Anti-Foreigner sentiments still run deep into every pack's own prejudices, I would take particular care to not be seen." Ezra warned. Durandel looked towards the orange furred Tenneth and nodded. "Yeah, I understand, well thanks for all of your help! I really couldn't have done it with out you." Durandel lauded. "Of course, it was no real issue. Whatever I can do to help stave off the course of violence." "I hope I can do my part to help as well. Goodbye Ezra, I hope things won't get too crazy before I come back." Durandel spoke as the shook paws. Durandel exited his home and then prepared to descend from the Vulcans.

This wasn't before, however, passing by the latest Promethean Rally. Many young Tenneth and Canicus have gathered to hear the latest speaker praise Prometheus for his actions in the war. They make it sound like attacking the innocent is something to be proud of. The Speaker was spewing nothing but hate speech towards the other packs and these wolves were just eating it up. Of course it was interspersed with some nationalistic dribble, but it was mostly promoting aggression by calling it a civilized response. It made Durandel sick to see his people stoop so low, but the Speaker was correct...the war has gone on for far too long. That is seemed to be the Promethean tagline, desperate times calls for desperate measures if the Tenneth are not only to survive but win the war. The Speaker uses this ideology to not only support but condone the unprovoked Terrorist attack on the Ausi. Saying that the Ausi-Dimitrios Alliance have given the largely singular Tenneth entity no other choice. The Tenneth did seem on the verge of forming an alliance with the Alva, if it weren't for some issues with the command structure of that pack. Which lead Durandel to wonder about that crazy Alva, BattleDemon. No one has seen or heard from her since escaping from Rashid's Prison.

Even he wonders if she was alright. He drowned out those thought as the loudness of the rally increased as more wolves gathered to hear it. That was when he realized a small parade of sorts was about to begin. Her came the conquering hero, Prometheus, as wolves flocked to see him return from the Sharikeres. The soon sparse streets of Hephaestus was quickly becoming crowded as the large, scar faced, white wolf was being carried upon a large float of some sorts. The fervor was rising, as Durandel could not feel anymore disgusted by the display. The wolf was treated like some war hero, and just who knows how many she-wolves and pups were killed during his "civilized response." Normally Durandel would have left by now, but something Ezra mentioned before about how the people seemed to choose him. He was never the most perceptive of wolves and does find it difficult to see the devil in the details. Yet, he could sort of see what the Tenneth was talking about. These wolves supported him, in ways he has never seen before. Not even those that love that Alpha have shown such emotion before, it seemed the very ideal of peaceful tomorrow brought tears to some of the wolves eyes. Durandel supposes this is what makes Prometheus so dangerous, it's like he knows how to get into people's minds....now ain't that familiar?

Durandel left before he got trapped amongst the crowds. He soon found himself descending the Vulcans for the second time in his life. The first was quite the adventure, but he hoped this time would be different. As he said goodbye to few of his old, border patrol friends, he could see the ashen rock and reddened skies disappear. As lava and soot was traded for water and grass, he had left the Vulcans and move forward with his mission. He just hoped he could reach Nova in time before he reacts to what has happened. Yet, his fears may become reality as Nova will not only receive his new orders soon but also news of the attack.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Forest

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nova
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#, as written by Krypt
"Blast it all! Well is she alright?" an irate Nova practically yelled at the Dimitrios wolf that he had bumped into. "Yes, your family was in the village, it seemed that this attack was confined to the capitol" the other wolf replied, shuffling his paw in the dirt. This other wolf had an air of annoyance about him, which Nova couldn't figure out. Of all the news that had to greet him on his return from his trek out east, it had to be that his pack was attacked. The fact was made worse by the fact that there had been practically no carnage in his native Sharikere's since the war had started, save the incident of Rashid and the Kamarians.

In an effort to reassure himself, Nova told himself that it was great that his family was safe, he wouldn't know what he would have done if he had lost them. Unfortunately, the Dimitrios wolf caught the sigh. "You don't know what you would do? I'll tell you what Ausi, you'd be like every other one of us who have had to sacrifice something for this war. You think losing your sister or your parents is a big deal? I think its high time that you get your head out of the glaciers" the other wolf said with an unexpected snarl.

Nova was taken back by the affront, but it was an insult he wasn't willing to just swallow. With a growl, Nova shot back "What do you think I have been doing out here? What do you think I have spent my life doing? Its been serving my pack, and last I checked it was the Dimitrios who came crawling to the Ausi's after the Alva destroyed them in battle. I'd say my pack is sacrificing a whole lot so that you can keep your hide!"

"I don't doubt that the Ausi took advantage of us and put us into practical servitude and labeled it protection, but I've been talking about you. I know about your little adventure this past year with those other wolves, everyone does. Leaving the home behind to do something that you think is grand. While the rest of us have to face cold, hard, doldrum reality" the Dimitrios wolf responded.

Nova couldn't quite get a read on this wolf, whether it was jealous or bitter or just in a bad mood, and Nova being unusually riled up didn't help his read on this wolf's emotions. Instead of continuing this conversation into its probably outcome of a fight that Nova would loose, the Ausi swallowed his pride and withdrew himself with a huff. Before the earth wolf had reported the attack, he had relayed orders to Nova that he was to fetch a compass around Maxim lake to check if there were any signs of further Tenneth activity before he could return home. The lake area had always been a rough border between the Dimitrios on one side at the Onatah cliffs that made up the foothills Sharikere's, and the Tenneth coming all the way down from the Vulcans on the other. Though practically, the Tenneth side was a sparsely inhabited wood, most of the fire wolves preferring to stay in the mountains, so their control over the area was on paper only. Some of the leaders of the Ausi felt that another attack was not far off, and by seeing where exactly the Tenneth were rallying their wolves they could be prepared.

Soon Nova found himself alone in the woods again. It was one of those peaceful, carefree afternoons. A gentle wind played off the needles in the trees above, creating the sound of rushing waters high above him. The occasional twitter of a bird added to the melody, and the sun that could break through the understory speckled the forest floor, making it looking like an incomplete jigsaw puzzle. Nova had been in many peaceful thickets just like this one, though he learned from hard experience that nature was not always telling of a coming danger or evil. He had been ambushed in woods like this one several times, and the birds just kept on chirping without a care.

Glancing upwards at a certain point as he neared the Tenneth side of the lake, he saw a peculiar looking branch. It hung limply from the tree it was attached to, and it didn't really match the color. The point that jointed to the tree was rather thick, seeming to bulge out, and the stick didn't seem to have any leaves on it. When the wind blew, it seemed to flutter more than the surrounding twigs and leaves.

Like a flash it occurred to Nova that that was not a branch, but rather a piece of rope from an old Dimitrion trap. A trap that had once held a wolf he had known. Where was Cerise? Chances are that bubbly Aviran was up in the clouds somewhere, trying to get her people out of the war. She was always so idealistic about things like that. That the nature of wolves was naturally good. Hard experience has told Nova otherwise. How can there be good in those creatures who have been born with so many weapons to kill? Fangs, might, claws, and elements, were all weapons, not tools of piece.

Nova shook his head. There was too much evil in this world for Cerise even to stop. These wolves were going to destroy themselves.

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Durandel descended from the Vulcans as he cautiously looked about, turning his head to each horizon. He didn't see anything that looked like a Dimitrios or an Ausi, but then again he was still in Tenneth territory so he shouldn't see anything out of the obvious. Yet, that didn't bring to him too much comfort since he fears an Ausi attack soon. He continued to cautiously move about the area as he headed towards the new coordinates Nova should be at. Which would seem to take him straight to Maxim Lake. He didn't really like the idea of going near that body of water at all. From what he could understand during his time amongst the War Council, Maxim Lake is a heavily contested spot. Mainly because it seems to straddled the borders for the Dimitrios and the Tenneth. So battles have arose over control of the lake, but so far it remains a neutral zone. "Hopefully this journey will end sooner and without a hitch." Durandel prayed.

As he moved about the sparse trees, he began to see the outskirts of a more fuller forest. It was some miles deeper into those woods that he discovered a cave under assault from a strange grouping of wolves. Furthermore, their target was an equally eclectic grouping of various wolves. Durandel had never seen all these wolves from different packs, work cooperatively towards anything. That wasn't until he discovered that these wolves were under the influence of Rashid. Funny thing about that is that he would have to suffer two attacks and being captured to realize it. That was quite a grim time, and Durandel didn't even think he would survive that ordeal. Yet, here he stands and was treated with much more respect for his actions. It's funny how things end up sometimes, he never would have guessed that his search for better game would lead him to a position of the War Council. If you told this same wolf that would happen to him, a year ago, he would just laugh his head off.

While he is some what grateful to that, he was hoping being on the Council would spare him of having to enter these lands again. A land filled with war and strife, he sometimes he wish he could be the like the chirping birds, and just fly away far off from this place. Soon the Canicus found himself within the thicker foliage as he etched ever closer to the coordinates. He wondered if Nova had heard of the recent news. If he did, then he really hoped that the Ausi won't attack him on the spot. Of course, being a red furred wolf already paints a sizable target for Nova to strike...he's gonna have to hope he will recognize him. Well, Nova was a sensible fellow, and perhaps won't attack the first red wolf he sees. Then again, Durandel should probably call out to him before he comes within his sights just to be safe. As he reached Maxim Lake he didn't see anyone around at first. Perhaps he was on the wrong side of the Lake?

Durandel decided to follow the shore around until he ran into Nova, or another wolf for that matter. As he did so he managed to catch a glimpse of a wolf staring up a tree. It was rather peculiar but he wasn't sure for himself if that was Nova or not. He decided to slow down his pace as to not startle him. As he came closer he decided to call out, "Nova? Nova is that you!?"

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#, as written by Krypt
The sound of his name broke the relative stillness of the glade, and Nova felt a chill creep down his spine, followed by the bristling of fur. The voice had sounded familiar, though Nova could not immediately place the proper source of it. Before cocking his head to the speaker, his mind made a few rapid calculations. If he was about to be ambushed, he could use the lake to his advantage. No Tenneth would follow the Ausi out on an improvised ice barge. All he would have to do was make a defty dash to the right. Perhaps he should not even give the speaker the pleasure of a response. After all, why would anyone besides a hostile Tenneth be over here. But then again, what Tenneth actually knew his name?

Curiosity eventually trumped Nova's natural caution, and the ice wolf turned to meet the speaker, who was standing several paces away. Nova raised a claw to his face to hook the goggles from off his eyes to place them on his forehead while peering at the distant speaker. It did not take Nova long to recognize Durandel, though the normal warmth of seeing a familiar face was replaced with an icy fear. The two of them had not departed on the most gracious of terms, where Nova had rather rebuffed the Cancius by telling him to leave his territory for his own life's sake, despite the adventure they had just emerged from. Now, the tables were turned, and Nova was the foreigner without anyone to support him. The fact that the fire wolves were now aggressors did not help his nerves.

"We-ll hullo Cancius!" Nova said with an awkward stutter, not entirely sure what to do, calling the wolf by his pack name out of habit. He wasn't even sure if he had ever called the wolf by his name, he couldn't remember what it was. If there was a even a hint of foul play, Nova planned to dash for the lake. The treachery of the attack was still fresh on his mind from the Dimitrios report, and though Nova had not suffered personally from the attack, he still felt a natural amount of fire surfacing beneath his nerves at the sight of the red wolf.

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Durandel watched as the wolf seemed to stiffen after hearing his name. He wasn't quite sure if that was a good or bad thing in this case. He began to worry that Nova may flee or worse, attack him. Durandel took note of a nearby tree to run and take cover from just in case. Still those few moments of silence where intense and the Canicus began to assume the worst. That was until the Ausi turned around and spoke to him. "That was a bit awkward," Durandel paused a moment, assessing what he just said, "Did he...just call me Canicus?" Durandel thought a bit confused. Did he really forget his name? Perhaps that was the issue, still it was no matter to him. At least he recognized him and that was the first step. He just wondered how he will take what will come next? Durandel decided to walk a bit closer to Nova, but still kept a fair amount of distance. After all, the Ausi still seemed a bit tense even though he called him by name.

He began to wonder if he's heard the recent news about the attack? He hoped that wasn't the case as he hoped to break it to him here and now. But then again, perhaps it is for the best he knew about it ahead of time. At least now he can just skip through all the unpleasantness and get down to business. Durandel decided to break the ice and speak some more to help comfort the situation.

"Uh, hello again, I'm glad that it's you." Durandel spoke a bit unsure of what to say. "It seems you're doing well and, uh, not dead that's good too." Durandel spoke a bit awkwardly himself. "I'm sure you're wondering what I'm doing out here...well, I'm here out on a mission." Durandel spoke trying to figure out how to say this. "Uh, well, it's important that you listen to me...if you'll hear me out?" Durandel asked. He hoped the Ausi would, it was of the utmost importance.

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#, as written by Krypt
Nova flicked his ears slightly as he listened to Durandel's own stutterings. He couldn't completely understand what was going on, the whole situation seemed a little unnatural. Why would Durandel have a message to deliver to him while he was in the Tenneth lands? Nova's eyes began to flick from tree to tree looking for any other traces of wolves that were about, as the ice wolf didn't doubt that the lava wolf could have confederates hiding in the nearby foliage. His way to the lake was still secure, but the more Nova thought about escaping, the farther the run to the waterline seemed.

Partially in a bid to stall for time to allow his brain to catch up to what was happening, Nova responded "I don't have much of a choice, Cancius, I think I am the guest in your lands at the moment." He was comforted somewhat that Durandel's tone of voice lacked the expected edge, there wasn't a hint of a growl or sharpness. As Nova began to focus less on the surroundings and more on the other wolf, he noticed that Durandel seemed almost as uneasy as he himself did. Why? Shouldn't be be comfortable in his own front yard?

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Durandel took his right paw and scratched the brim of his nose. This was a little more harder than he would of thought. Perhaps it was the weight of what he must tell him. What if Nova had family that was victimized during the attack? What if he will go into a blind rage and attack him? Perhaps he was overthinking it, which he rarely does, he felt a bit silly about to be quite honest. Nova seemed more and more unnerved the longer this strange conversation carried. He has to say something that makes some sort of sense before this gets out of hand. He seemed to perk up when Nova gave him the go ahead. He hated trying to find some way to beat around the bush, Durandel is not the kind of wolf to sugarcoat things...no he was the more forward type. This sort of secrecy and guile was not his forte, he soon grew frustrated with this silly little game.

He then gave a heavy sigh, as a look of sadness was upon his face. "I'm sorry if I'm too blunt about it, but I really have no other way to put it," He then gave another pause, "There was an attack on the Ausi, a couple days ago, and...it was by the Tenneth, but!" He quickly interjected, "That's what I'm here to talk to you about. I really don't know how else to say it, but it wasn't the Pack's fault! The Tenneth behind the attack are a bunch of rogues, working outside of the Alpha's command! And I am sorry if your loved ones or anyone you knew, where harmed in the attack. And I also understand if you wish to hurt me right now, I'd probably feel the same if the Ausi managed to hit us at home as well." Durandel spoke quickly as he gave a loud exhale. "I'll give you some time to digest what I just said, and then...well, I hope you will stick around, because I have more to say." Durandel spoke as he watched the ice wolf. He hoped Nova won't get too angry or aggressive with him, he needs to know he's here to help.

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Somewhat startled by the sudden energy coming from the other wolf, Nova's countenance hardened at the second report of the attack on the Ausi capitol. Much of the edge had been taken off when it had been reported to him the first time, however hearing the details from the very forces that attacked did rekindle a bit of flame.

Never the physically aggressive type, Nova did however think of a few biting words that he could spit out, but refrained himself given he knew from experience that outbursts of emotion, especially in enemy territory, yielded unfruitful. Fighting words directed at Rashid had only resulted in that insane wolf casting the Ausi into those blasted Elemental Battles. Besides, if Nova was to continue to be wary of potential ambushes, it would be better to have a clear head than one filled with passion. Duranel seemed like he was speaking honest enough anyway, the Cancius didn't seem like the type to launch a fire and sword campaign.

Nova masked his feelings with the rather diplomatic reply of "We all have lost something in this war, Cancius, why should my pack be any different?" And, to give the other wolf his requested permission to proceed with the conversation, Nova ended with "Say on. What other carnage have the Tenneth brought?"

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Durandel felt a bit relieved that Nova was taking this better than he thought he would. Perhaps he has heard this all before and has calmed himself since then. Yeah, that must be it. Durandel looked at him as he felt it safe to continue onward. "Well, what you said is true...we all lose many things in times of war." Durandel spoke as his ears folded down. It was a bit hurtful and a bit frustrating at the same time to hear Nova's rather passive-aggressive wording. Still, he supposes he could allow that slight, after all, the mission is peace not war. "Well, that's just the thing, we don't want anymore carnage. In fact that's why I am here, to help prevent anymore death between the Tenneth and the Ausi. It's part of the reason of how I was able to find you, you see...I am apart of the War Council, and before you say anything, no the Alpha doesn't know where we are. He just merely allowed me to go out and find you, because even he wishes to stave off any unnecessary bloodshed between your pack and mine." Durandel spoke as he gave out another sigh.

He wasn't sure how much of this Nova believed or felt comfortable with, but he must say it. "So, as the meeting went on, I told them that trying to convince the Ausi that we are innocent of the attack would be useless. I said that they would only listen to another Ausi...so I said I knew you and the Alpha decided to take advantage of it. He then sent me to try and convince you so you could try and convince your packmates to not attack the Tenneth." Durandel spoke with a huff. "So, any questions?" Durandel asked. He wasn't quite sure what to do beyond this point. At least he expressed to him the mission, but he figured that the Ausi would need more convincing. So, perhaps answering his questions may help in that regard. That and the Canicus is unsure of what else to say at the moment.

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Nova peered at the other wolf curiously. What kind of power did Durandel think that he wielded? A scout, trying to convince the Ausi not to counterattack? Considering how aggressive the Ausi had been in this war, Nova had no doubt that and Ausi force was on the way to the Tenneth this very moment, if the reports of the attack on the capitol were as bad as they were reported to be. What did the lava wolf want him to do, go and halt his own army?

"Don't you think it is rather brazen to ask my pack not to retaliate? I have not doubt that a counterattack is already in motion, if your pack's aggression is as bad as you make it sound" Nova responded after a moment, venting his thought more than anything.

"The conflict between fire an ice, and more so the Tenneth and the Dimitrios whom we are allied with, has been generational and perpetual. Our people won't stop fighting, Cancius, regardless of this little attack. Nigerius will simply continue to soak up blood, and sooner or later our numbers are going to come up. We surely owe fate one with our run in with Rashid, don't you think?" Nova continued, figuring that he should simply put his thoughts on the table. Of the Cancius' sincerity, Novas certainly had no doubt. But the idealism he had...was troubling. How could to little pawns stop this great war game?

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Durandel sort of figured out this plan was probably going to be a bust from the get go. Still the words of Ezra have whittled away at his perceptions of things, and he felt that peace was the answer. Or at least, the only way to stop such a longstanding war. He looked at Nova who he felt would at least see some good in trying. But, he guesses that was just wishful thinking on his part. "Well, Prometheus did assault the Alpha of your pack and wounded him badly, along with whoever else was around him...who knows they could have all died from their wounds by now." The Canicus pessimistically spoke. "Yeah, it may seem foolhardy to ask of them to stop...but, I don't know...I felt I should try something." Durandel spoke as his ears folded down.

Nova told him more of the same, the years of conflict have made them all angry with each other anyway. It really didn't take much to set off a powder keg between the two packs. He then perked up at the mention of Rashid, a time he would rather forget. "I don't know if it was fate...probably, but we did work together to escape as well...I guess I was hoping for more of the same." Durandel then drew a heavy sigh. "I guess this plan of mine was foolish, I was never one to think things through...heh, I often get made fun of by some of the council members for being rather thick." He gave a sort of pathetic chuckle as he spoke. "It's just...that this whole conflict was born of misunderstandings and people being thick like me. It's just....I don't know...things aren't looking too good back home either, and so...you know what never mind, you probably don't want to hear the troubles of a Lava Wolf." Durandel spoke as he hanged his head.

"I guess, I better go back home, and be a proud Canicus and tell the Alpha I could do nothing to stop what's coming." Durandel spoke as he sniffed into the air. "I keep forgetting how nice fresh air smells like without all the ash clogging it up." He spoke as he took in a deep breath.

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As the situation cooled, Nova realized he was getting the upper hand in this rather depressing conversation. The further mention about Rashid recalled a few interesting memories of his, as he temped his brain into trying to recall what instances he and this Durandel had worked together. One of the most notable, of course, is when they dived down together into that water filled cavern. Nova could still remember that feeling of burning within his lungs as he struggled for air in his ice helmet. Who's idea was that anyway? It was brilliant, is what it was. Then of course there was the time that they actually made it out of the underground spring, when Nova had shooed away Durandel and Mydnyte for their own safety. What had happened to the others in that cave?

"You certainly remind me of that Avira, Cerise. She was always looking for ways beyond the obvious to end the conflict. Can't you see it is no use though? With everyone poisoned against each other, what really can we do? Enlist Rashid to brainwash everyone into a peaceful state?" Nova responded half sarcastically. Though only half.

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Durandel began to feel more insecure with all of this. Even the distraction of fresh air could not alleviate this feeling of burden. Still it seemed Nova was not to be convinced to take any course of action besides...nothing. He looked over to the Ausi as he mentioned Cerise. Durandel began to remember that winged wolf, he didn't get much time to speak with her but she seemed alright. It seems Nova has given up all hope and even his sarcastic remark did little to make the Lava Wolf feel any different. Then his mind was called back, to the times Ezra had spoken with him. He felt a bit happy to recall the wolf's words of wisdom, for they seemed different from everyone else who supports warfare. Durandel without turning toward's Nova spoke, "You know a friend of mine, Ezra, said this to me, No one should be eager for war, but rather eager for peace. I think he said that because this is no longer a war for peace but for destruction, especially since we seem all too willing to destroy each other, instead of working together to survive. I think he said that sounded counter-intuitive...the want to die instead of live....that's what he said was at the end of this war, death, not only death on the battlefield but death of all the packs, and of all the elements." Durandel spoke, even sounding confused himself as he tried to mull over those words.

"Eh, I'm not as elegant as he is with words." Durandel sighed as he looked over to Nova. "I guess that's why I and, er, Cerise are trying to end this conflict. Because we both know that everyone will die in the end...no more packs, no more wolves, and no more Nigerius. The only way to avoid it is through peace, as my friend would say." Durandel finished as he look down. "But I guess you don't mind it though, I guess the only way out you see is through death. Ezra had said something about people that have given up hope, he said if they have truly given up then why do they continue? So, why do you continue to be a scout for the Ausi? Why don't you just give up and die? You might as well since that's really what you're doing out here, so why wait?" Durandel spoke as he looked towards the Ice Wolf. He knew his words sounded cold and harsh, but it seemed Nova understood such words better than others.

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Having thought about the questions Duranel had posed on multiple occasions, the response was natural for Nova, although it did take a moment to collect his thoughts. After all, the short cuts taken in the brain while thinking don't work when you are trying to formulate a sentence.

"Like anyone, I suppose that I am assuming that I am going to outlive 'the end', and even if I don't, I might as well make it as comfortable for myself and my loved ones until that point" Nova responded factually, as if Durandel had just inquired what the weather was the day before.

"Mate, I would love for there to be peace. Among other things, I struggled for months during and after our grand adventure to try and get someone, anyone, to listen. The only thing that seemed to spur on any kind of success was when I tried to convince them to unite and fight Rashid, who I described as a common enemy to all in my reports. But when that feign disappeared without a trace, enthusiasm waned" Nova explained on, recalling a few of the events that had taken place in the last month. After Rashid's cavern had been discovered empty, Nova spent weeks trying to convince the Alpha that a group of wolves should be sent out to find the criminal. He had finally succeeded shortly before he had been sent to scout out the desert, and while the wolves had been picked and ready to leave, Nova had no doubt that the Tenneth attack squashed that plan rather quickly.

"I feel that the only time that the packs will actually begin to recognize Rashid as a threat will be when it is too late. And really, what can we do to convince anyone otherwise?" Nova finished, taking the time to scan the trees for other wolves. This conversation was taking a bit of time, and ambushes could form quickly if one wasn't watching.

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Durandel felt like he was going no where with his plan. It seemed Nova was all but content with the way things are, even if he does realize that it is wrong. Durandel felt saddened by this and began to worry about the coming fight, so many wolves, innocent wolves, slaughtered over the actions of a few wrong people. Prometheus was the enemy not the entirety of the Tenneth Pack, but the Prometheans boisterous, nationalistic attitudes and the people's acceptance of them, makes it all look like this was planned. Not to mention the Ausi would just find them all guilty by association, not really by any other pretenses. And of course the Tenneth and the Canicus will not sit back and let these Ice Wolves invade and attack, they are going to defend themselves...to the death if need be. It was going to be a bloodbath.

Durandel looked towards Nova as he began to explain how he struggled to have anyone listen to him. That was when an idea flashed in his brain. If having a common enemy seems to be the only thing the packs will accept then perhaps he can convince Nova, that Prometheus is a common enemy himself. Unfortunately for Durandel and Nova this plan is about to take a serious detour. Unbenowst to Durandel, Ephraim was spying on him and Ezra over the past couple of days. He had suspected those two where up to something, and he didn't like it. Besides he wanted the Council to formally recognize Prometheus and allow him to be one of them. But the Alpha would need convincing and what better way than to frame Durandel as a traitor? If he can convince the Alpha that his council is being subverted then he may accept Prometheus for better protection.

This course of action may have been allowed by the Alpha, but the others do not know of it. His actions will be seen as an act of treason to the rest of the pack, and then faith in the Alpha will be shaken. Then it would be all too easy to convince the Alpha to perform an act that will reassure public opinion of him. And that would be recognizing and hiring Prometheus in Durandel's place, and then the pack will be happy. From there Durandel will be a scapegoat, and who knows, perhaps he can convince them all that he was planning to betray rather than help. Ephraim sent a capable group of Tenneth to find Durandel under the false pretense that the Canicus has left the Vulcans to betray us to the Ausi. Him speaking with Nova will be able to solidify this claim. They were to find him, and of course deal with him and then report back to everyone. These Tenneth were stealthily closing in on them.

Durandel then spoke to Nova, "Then if that was the only point you could make to convince your people, then do it again. Make Prometheus out to be a common enemy to us all. And it's true to boot! Prometheus's actions are not only placing your people in danger but mine as well. He's dangerous and his...idealism is poisoning our society, turning our people into fanatic killers. Ezra even worries that his pull with the people may lead to a division within the Tenneth and could even overthrow our Alpha. I don't know if it will ever come to that, but even I can see that as a possibility. So you see, Prometheus is a danger to us all, perhaps you can convince the Ausi of this and maybe they will see him as the true enemy instead of the Fire Pack?" Durandel asked. He hoped this gambit would work. If not, then he is not quite sure if anything will work.

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Nova struggled with his own desires at the sound of Durandel's proposition. It wasn't that the wolf's plan did not have merit, it certainly sounded better than the last thing he had proposed. Nova's real lack of enthusiasm stemmed from the fact that the Ausi's personal plans would be put on hold if he followed through with the proposed campaign. In fact, Nova had been planning his return home from the day he left his beloved Sharikere's.

The proposed wages he was to receive from this rather dangerous assignment was very generous, six months of food with the option to keep anything he used while scouting. Six months of not having to worry about hunting, fishing, or scouting quite appealed to the Ausi who had had his life is chaos for the past year. As selfish as his desires were, Nova felt quite justified in having a break to do what he wanted, whether it be casting a net, courting a shewolf, or simply lying down and doing nothing. He ran the risk of stepping on the wrong paws if he started up another propaganda campaign, on top of the fact that working itself was not his idea of a vacation.

But it was his duty. He was going to have to swallow his own desires if he didn't want his pack to be dragged into another war. Of course, he though with a smirk, there wouldn't be anyone to bring him his food if they were all killed by the savage Tenneth. Yes, he could put his rest on hold for a bit. Perhaps he could even intercept a war party that was bound to be leaving the Sharikere's right now. Needing to talk to the Alpha could also be a great excuse to avoid having those soldiers ask him to do some more recon.

Amidst the storms of his own thoughts and emotions Nova's ears flicked at the sound of silence that slowly crept into the air. The birds once chirping along were slowly stifling their songs, and the buzz of junebugs seemed to becoming hushed as well. Realizing he had been in enemy territory too long for comfort, Nova decided to agree with the ambitious young Cancius.

"I can't see any harm in trying it, mate. They are already used to hearing me raise a fuss, perhaps they might listen this time." Nova said, speeding up his words as his eyes shifted from tree to tree. He instinctively refrained from looking behind him to the lake again, if there was indeed someone watching, there was no use telegraphing his plan of escape.

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Durandel's ears perked up at Nova's last words. He couldn't quite believe it, but he finally managed to convince the Ausi, someone he was beginning to think would never go along with the plan. Breathing a long sigh of relief, the Canicus bowed his head down to Nova in respect. "Oh wolf, thank you for saying that! And here I was just about to give up...to be honest, I'm not really good at this sort of thing." Durandel spoke as he flashed a quick smile. "Well, now since that bit is over, I'm sure this bit of information is going to make a few people I know quite happy." Durandel nodded his head. "Well I shouldn't keep you here any longer...I really should-," Just then Durandel perked his ears upwards again. Except this time he heard a twig snap in the distance. Feeling antsy, a fireball came flying from out of the brush as it slammed itself right into Durandel's side.

The force sent him flying into the waters of the lake's shore. "DURANDEL! YOU TRAITOROUS FILTH!" Shouted a Tenneth. "Giving up your people before the battles even fought!? Ephraim was right, he is a coward and a rat!" The Tenneth continued to shout as more fire wolves came from out of the distance. "If you thought that fireball was the worse you will suffer, then you're seriously mistaken...you'll be flogged in the streets for this!" Shouted the Tenneth. "Sir, that must be the Ausi he's ratted us out to." Spoke another Tenneth. "Oh, don't worry about this snow rat friend of yours...he'll be the first we burn!" The Tenneth growled. Durandel was groggy from the sudden attack. He wasn't burned from the fire but the impact was no less painful. He tried to rouse himself to his feet.

"N-n-no...you've....got it, all wrong." He muttered. "N-Nova....run!" He spoke as he wobbly stood before dropping back down. "Don't let them escape! The Tenneth need to see this treachery with their own eyes!" The Leader barked as three Tenneth came charging towards the shores.

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#, as written by Krypt
The devil's snout, where did that lot come from?!

Nova felt the icy grip of fear come over his heart as he panicked to control his mind long enough to formulate what to do. There were too many things going on. Wolves were peeling down the hillside, fifty meters, closing fast. Durandel was in no fit to fight, and likely couldn't even run. Snapping a look behind him to see how far he would have to run, his vision blurred as he looked back at the lake, which seemed much farther away than he had thought. He was not a fighter. But he would not be captured. Not again.

It was then that the clearing aura of adrenaline hit. That one piece of salvation that Mother Nature granted her children in distress. And for once, Nova moved without thinking. He was going to have to harness his element for all it was worth.

With a howl, let out more nerves than by anger, Nova dashed down the hill at a speed that led the young ice wolf tripping over his own paws, and his tumble was only broken by the impact of the water. With teeth born he stared at the charging brutes. They were going to make it down to the lake whether he liked it or not. But the Ausi was not about to let them descend gracefully.

Standing in the water, Nova closed his eyes. He imagined the grade of the hill he had just been standing on. He thought of the blades of grass that grew, the small meadowflowers, the clumps of dirt, the pebbles and stones. Slowly, like a light dew descending on a morning field, a crystal of frost began to light upon the grass. The small sparkles were nothing at first, and of course they were easily treaded over by the rushing Tenneth paws that were eating up meters. But soon, even the smallest of sparkles joined with the neighbors, and with a final moment of exertion Nova froze the grassy slope into a frosty sheet, and Nova was proud to see that the pursuing wolves lost all grace as they all slipped. They would come crashing down now, hopefully one of them would get clocked in the head by a passing tree at those speeds.

Realizing that the Tenneth were just moments away and furious, Nova rather savagely tackled Durandel further into the lake. Nova growled an order, pulling on the scruff of Durandel until the wolf would paddle on his own, and said "Come on, lava wolf, its time we take another swim together!"

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Durandel was slowly snapping himself out of his current daze, as he heard the battle cries of the Tenneth. His blurred vision was returning to focus as he noticed three of the Fire Wolves heading straight towards him. He wasn't quite sure what to do when, Nova bit down on his scruff. He felt himself being raised as he met eye to eye with the Ice Wolf. He listened to Nova speak but only managed to understand a few of his words. Yet, when he mentioned a swim, the Canicus spoke, "Yes...wait, what? A swim!?" He said with a mixture of surprise and fear. Durandel hated getting into the water, it's not that he doesn't know how to swim, but water moves so much faster than lava. The Canicus has to exert more force than normal to keep up with much looser, water current. Although it might not be so bad since it's a lake. It shouldn't be too much different than the lava inside a volcano, right?

Still, water and lava don't really mix. The Canicus would be practically defenseless as his lava would harden to stone within this much water. Durandel would have to rely on his Ausi friend for defense, since water is more a friend to his element than his own. Just then the Tenneth were rapidly approaching but thanks to Nova's quick thinking, the stable slope turned into a slippery one as the wolves began to tumble down in a slide. "WHAT THE!?" One of them shouted as he lost footing. The Tenneth were yelling as one sickeningly struck the side of a tree on the way down. The others were quickly falling, heading right for Nova and Durandel. Near the tip of the slope was the Tenneth leading this charge. He watched on with frustration at how easily his soldiers were duped. "YOU FOOLS! STOP PLAYING AND GET THEM!!" He shouted but it was to no avail. He then turned his head to the few around him. "Well don't the rest of you sit on your paws!!! Fire at them!!" He barked as the remaining Tenneth took deep breathes. Then suddenly they began to belt fire from their jaws as streaks fire began to rain around the fleeing wolves.

Durandel then looked towards Nova, "Well, whatever plan you have, now would be the time to do it." Durandel spoke as he looked towards the lake and then back to Nova. "I probably should hold my breath now, eh?" He groggily asked.

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#, as written by Krypt
"Correct" Nova said simply, before shoving the Cancius, assuming he was still confused, under and quickly following him. Even in the blur of the murky water Nova was able to look up to see the flames soar over the once sleepy lake. Did Durandel really think that he had a plan? He would hate to disappoint, so he tried to at least act like he did.

With his racing mind slowing just enough that Nova could take stock of the situation, he realized that while he had the advantage of the wolves in the lake, there was nothing he could do about the Tenneth on the bank pelting them from above. And with what Nova was about to do to their wet comrades, the ice wolf doubted that the rest of the pack would be inclined to come into the water.

Given that freezing substances like water required much less effort and energy than freezing something from scratch, so to speak, Nova quickly rolled through the things he could do. He could perhaps make a bridge on the surface leading back to the Ausi side, but while he could probably manage the hastily made ledge, he doubted Durandel could keep up on the slippery surface amidst the hail of fire. A barge would be too easy of a target, and a wall would be blown down. There was little Nova could do in the long term to ensure their safety. However, the two wolves in the water who were still recovering from their slide had a surprise waiting for them.

The slide had taken them deep enough into the lake where Nova was able to form a block of ice deep below them. The buoyant brick rocketed to the surface, and Nova was satisfied to see both hit their mark. One hit a Tenneth square in the chin, while the other block actually got completely under the second wolf, launching him but a few feet in the air. But a few feet was enough to cause the wolf to be intercepted by a follow up fire ball.

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Durandel was surprised to get a muzzle full of water as he was shoved into the lake. He hoped Nova had a plan, he may be able to breathe under lava but not water. He noticed some of the fireballs as they impacted the water and quickly fizzle out. He was becoming increasingly worried about their current predicament. For all he knew, he was just suppose to swim and swim he did. Yet his attention was distracted by the counter offensive Nova launched as he saw his fellow, Fire Wolves being destroyed by the ice attacks. Still, this was no time to mourn their loss, after all they are trying to capture them.

Back on the surface the leader was becoming frustrated by their actions. "Sir! We hit one of our own!" A Tenneth cried. "Care not for his loss, it was the Ausi's fault not our own. Just keeping shooting at them, they will submit before too long." He barked as his subordinates continued their fire. Durandel wasn't quite sure what to do, he then popped his head up to the surface and shouted, "NOVA! What are we doing!?" He shouted as he ducked an incoming fireball. "I need some direction here!"

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Rather impulsively, Nova snarled at Durandel. He was high strung, to say the least. He thought he had gotten away from this drama, and he was not prepared to live on the precipice where is life was always in the balance once again, as he had been with Rashid. At the moment, Nova could not figure out who to blame for this terrifying situation: Durandel, the Tenneth, or his own naiveness for even thinking he could broker a peace deal with a Cancius guard wolf.

"I have no idea wolf, and I can't give you any more direction than I can save my o-" Nova's bark was cut short as suddenly he felt himself torn underwater by a savage force that gripped his hind leg. In the murky depths the ice wolf screamed in pain, as the slight tug upwards from his leather armor fought against the downward tug of needles in his leg. Briefly Nova was able to struggle back up for air, but as he surfaced he was met by another head that tore out of the water. It was a wolf, light blue and rather lean. An Arlyne, if Nova wasn't mistaken. Before Nova could raise an objection, or really do more than grab some air, the water wolf flashed its claws down Nova's sides, cutting the straps that held his armor turned life jacket in place. As the now useless leather bobbed to the surface, the water wolf dived under again, followed quickly by another tug on Nova's hind leg.

As the Ausi struggled to see in the darks of the deep, he could make out two other water wolves, swimming towards the defenseless Cancius on the surface. Before long, all was dark, as Nova was pulled deeper into the lake.

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Durandel's head shot back after being snarled at. He wasn't quite sure what his issue was, aside from being shot at. Hm, that must be it. He wasn't quite sure what to do in this situation as he looked towards the Ausi. He didn't seem to have much of an idea himself but he could tell he was getting agitated. Before Durandel could suffer from his bark he suddenly was pulled underneath the water. "NOVA!?" Durandel shouted in fear. Just what in the world was going on around here!? It seemed nothing was turning out the way he hoped it would. He then saw Nova return for a gasp of air. "NOVA!? NOVA, WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND HERE!? ARE YOU OKAY!?" He shouted but not too long he spoke a blue wolf came and dragged him under, leaving nothing but his ruined leather armor behind. He was worried, and now felt the fear of death upon him.

High above on the slopes, the leader was watching this development with great interest. "ALL OF YOU STOP FIRING!" He barked. The Tenneth stopped as he gained a better view of the lake. It looked like they were drowning. That was until he saw the shimmer of a blue wolf drag the Ausi under. It was not too long afterwards he saw Durandel struggle as well. Durandel was thrashing about shouting, "HEY! LET ME GO!! NO!!! NO!!!" Then all of a sudden, the Canicus was pulled under. "Sir! What do we do now!" His subordinate shouted. "DAMMIT!" Their leader barked. "There is nothing we can do now! The Arlyne have them now...I hope they drown." He spoke as he spat at the ground. "But sir, we are supposed to bring them in alive!" His associate cried. "Yeah, well if you want to enter a lake full of Arlynes then be my guest, but you'll die and I have no interest in sending my Tenneth into a death trap." He gruffly spoke as he began to walk away. "Come on boys! It looks like we are done here." He commanded as the remaining Tenneth began to leave the area. With a grumble, the leader's assistant walked away as well. Soon the slopes where cleared of the Fire Wolves.

Meanwhile Durandel couldn't see anything in the murky depths. He so wished to fight back but his powers were about useless at this moment. Not to mention he began to black out, was this really the end? And what of Nova, is he dead as well? And Ezra...is he in danger too? All of these worries faded with Durandel in to the darkness.

The setting changes from forest to Nerine Falls

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#, as written by Krypt
It was the smile that Nova first noticed. One of those fake ones, the kind that a den nurse would put on while working with annoying pups. Nova tried to clear his vision, but as his sight cleared, his focus was interrupted by a series of spastic coughs in which much water came out of his mouth. He felt like he had had his chest crushed, and he struggled to breath the sweet air.

As the ice wolf's mind finally caught up with him, he made out the Arlyne wolf that was standing above him, who upon recognizing Nova was back to consciousness, trotted back several places. Rolling up himself, Nova could make out a couple other Arlyne's, two males, and the female who had been near him. Durandel was nearby, laying in the grass, but it appeared he was already awake. The group was on the bank of a river, likely the outlet of Maxim Lake, and Nova could hear the sound of rapids further downstream, probably leading to some cataracts or falls.

"I still think we should 'ave just killed 'em. Woulda sent the same message" one of the males said, likely the youngest of the group.

"No, it would have been no use bloodying the water. It would have just further riled the packs against us and would have disturbed the balance of the lake" the old male replied.

"Are you sure the packs are going to get the message?"

"They better. Our existence depends on the fish in that lake. Ever since the Hemlocks started poisoning everything downstream."

"What about this lot? Should we just leave them here?" the female suddenly chimed in.

"Yes. That way they can report to their packs that the same fate awaits them if they try to bring the war to the waterways. Let the savages continue their fight on the shores, and we will stay uninvolved" the elder wolf replied.

"Aye, unless the try attackin' us again, like those Boraks" the younger one muttered.


The three Arlyne's seemed to assume that their conversation had been overheard by the two wolves, for they made no effort to convey the information more directly to Durandel and Nova. The group drifted back to the waterway, and after a slight spell of lightheadedness in which Nova lost his vision, likely from trying to rise too fast, the ice wolf lost sight of them. Doubtless they were close by, those water wolves were always near the rivers.

Shaking his head, Nova looked over to the lava wolf, and let out a somewhat exasperated chuckle. "Well this ain't exactly what I needed today. Are you alright, mate?"

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Durandel was quite unsure of just what was going on. As far as he could tell, he was wet and coughing a whole helluva lot. Damn, I hate water. Durandel thought as he continued to cough. That was when he realized that he wasn't dead, which was good but now the question is, would he have been better off dead? His eyes slowly opened to the sounds of speech as he began to notice Arlyne wolves chattering amongst themselves. A chat that Durandel hoped wasn't about how to dispose of them. He noticed right away that he was resting on grass, rather comfortable grass. Perhaps these wolves are not so bad, I mean why would captors worry about a prisoner's comfort? Still he didn't get a sense of comfort from those Arlynes, they seemed battle hardened from his point of view. Still he decided to close his eyes and bit and lost sight of them as well.

He wasn't stirred awake again until Nova spoke at him. "Hm, what?" Durandel spoke as he rose to his legs. They were a bit wobbly but he found his center of gravity. He then looked over to his friend and coughed, "Well, uh, I'm not dead so, yeah, I'm good." Durandel then took a look around, the area seemed far more lush and green than a lot of places he's seen. "Good grief, I wish I knew where the hell we are." He spoke as he let out another cough. "I don't know about you but...those Arlynes don't sound as nice as everyone says they are." The Canicus spoke over his shoulder as he looked around. "Do you think they mean us no harm? I mean I know we aren't dead yet...but that doesn't mean we won't be soon." Durandel spoke concernedly. Durandel then groaned, "Oh, why did everything go so wrong!?" He shouted in frustration.

He then began to pace about as he grew more agitated. "It was just suppose to be me, and you, and we talk and we help to prevent a whole lotta of deaths! But no! There just had to be something that just makes everything hard!" He shouted as heat began to rise off of his body. "It's like everyone and their mother is trying to make sure that this war lasts FOREVER!!!" He yelled up to the skies. Then all of sudden a coughing attacked happen as he felt his chest crinkle up inside. "GAH! CRAP! Ugh...," He groaned, "Wolf, I hate water." He muttered.

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If Durandel hadn't beat him to the draw, it would have been Nova doing the yelling, moreso at Durandel than an abstract rant into nature. But seeing first hand how silly someone looks when they are enraged actually took a deal of passion out of his chest. He would have to remember to look at his reflection the next time he got a little frustrated.

Not having an answer of any of Durandel's questions, at least, not the kind that the lava wolf would like, Nova left him to his rants. Now that his head was clearer, he decided to take better stock of the situation. His eyes told him that they were somewhere near the Arlyne's center of territory, for besides their small fishing outposts along the stream they did have their main settlement at Nernie Falls. His ears didn't reveal any out of the ordinary sounds, so if there were any other wolves nearby, they were particularly adept at stealth. Not unlike the Tenneth who had just jumped him, he may add. His nose told him, after a few sneezes, that there wasn't any game nearby, however there was a certain familiar scent somewhere upwind, though he couldn't place who or what it belonged to. Probably one of Rashid's goons, with his luck.

"Yeah? Well, I hate being burned in the mouth. That really hurt when I bit you to drag you out of the water" Nova commented, somewhat idly. It was hard not to fuel the complaining train, and Nova soon followed up with "I don't suppose your sunshiny little plan accounted for being betrayed by your pack. I think diplomacy is out, for the Tenneth at least."

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Durandel managed to catch his breath long enough to not be so annoyed. He then looked around still quite unsure what's going on, or where he is. Still it could be worse he supposes, although he wished Nova was more responsive to him. After all, he did ask him quite a few questions. Still he was a bit relieved when Nova spoke, but only to complain about him biting down on him and getting burnt. "Well I'm sorry that we don't all run cold like you do." Durandel spoke offhandedly. He then glared at Nova after his next comment. "Why no, of course not!" He shouted. "Whatever you think I had to do with that mess back there, you better unthink it! I had no idea that we would be attacked by my own cousins!!" He barked off to the side of them. He then began to pace around again, becoming more agitated.

"No, no, it was because of that damnable Ephraim!" He shouted. "I knew he was a Promethean, I just knew it!" He shouted with sureness. "He felt threatened by us and my plan, because he knew that if I succeeded that it would turn everyone against his precious idol! And no he couldn't have that now could he!? Ezra was right, the system is messed up!" He shouted again as more heat rose off his body. He then looked towards Nova. "Look, we still need to follow through with the plan, we can't allow them to get away with this." Durandel spoke in a more calm tone. "I don't know about you but we need to find our way back and put an end to this madness." Durandel spoke as he began to look around. "Curses, I wish I knew where we are." He muttered.

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Tuning out the lava wolf slightly to better help him get his bearings, Nova calculated where they stood in the map of Nigerius. Although he could confidently say he had never been to this particular spot of Nigerius, he had come from the other side of the falls on his last scouting mission, he could also quite confidently say he knew how to get home. Follow the river. The Arlyne could not have carried them that far down the river without actually killing them, they had probably only been in the water two to three minutes. At the breakneck speed of an Arlyne in water, that meant a great deal of distance, but still it was a simple formula to get home. Go upstream and turn north to get to the Onatah's and the Sharikere's, and turn south the get to Durandel's precious Vulcans. What the fire wolves saw in those great mound of bare rock he had yet to figure out.

Giving Durandel a moment to calm himself, Nova explained their rough geographical location as he figured it. "So its that simple, follow the river, and you'll probably be in the foothills before dark. But if you really think that you can just waltz up the Vulcan's after your pack pulled a stunt like that, then you better be prepared to fight your way home" he explained, making a few gestures with his paw to punctuate his sentence. "I for one am going to ford this river right now. I would rather take my chances with the Arlyne's and Hemlock's than your pack."

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After the Lava Wolf's stomping about, he finally stood still long enough to hear Nova's directions. This caused Durandel to quickly whip his head towards the river. He looked towards the North to see the river flow upstream and figured that was good a start as anyway. He was quite thankful for having Nova around, he was a scout and to his credit should understand geography better than a guard. He then gave an agreeable snort as he walked towards the river. "Hm, yes I suppose that would be the best course of action." He spoke as he looked upstream. He then looked over to Nova and then growled, not at him but at the implications of his words. "No, your right, if Ephraim was behind this attack, then he will have made me out to be an enemy to my own people! It pains me to say it, but...I can't return home right now." He spoke as his nose dropped to the ground. He felt a great pain, a great sadness now that he has been alienated from his home.

With a heavy sigh he spoke, "Well, Nova, I was going to be out of your fur...but, I have no where else to go...there's no one here that I know or can trust besides you." Durandel spoke as he turned towards him. "It looks like I have no choice but to follow your lead." Durandel spoke as he looked towards the Ausi. This was beginning to look more and more like old times...why does he ever agree to leaving the Vulcans?

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While Nova and Durandel were discussing things amongst themselves, and very loudly at times, the Arlyne reported their findings to a larger group of Water Wolves. From there they began to discuss further actions that must be taken. All of this talk about finding a Sandy Pelted Wolf and Orange-Reddish Pelted Wolf, sounded a bit familiar to a certain guest of theirs. "Excuse me," this wolf in particular spoke, "But did you happen to know the names of these wolves you pulled from Maxim Lake?" She asked. "Well, no, we really haven't asked their names, or any questions for that matter. We simply used them as a message to stay out of the Lake, since you should understand that it is quite important to us." One of the Arlyne answered. "Hm, well do you happen to know what pack they belong to? Such as, is the Orange-Red one from the Canicus perchance?" She asked. "Well, he could be, but I assume he's a Tenneth, as for the Sandy One, well, he could have been from anywhere but we did notice that the water dropped quite a bit in temperature...then we noticed the large chunks of ice in the lake, so my guess is that the Sandy One is an Ausi." The Old Arlyne spoke.

That was enough of the information that she needed. "Well, then, if I may ask, what do you intend to do with them?" She asked. "Oh, nothing threatening I assure you, we left them alive so they can send a message to their packs to stop fighting around the lake, lest they wished to be dragged under as well." The Old Arlyne responded. "So, why are you curious about the wolves we picked up?" The young Arlyne male asked. "Because I believe I know the wolves that you and your group managed to fish out of the lake. I would like to see them if I could." She asked. "That can be arranged, go ahead and show our guest to them." The Old Arlyne asked of the Young Arlyne. "Alright, well, follow me." He spoke as they left. Eventually the Arlyne showed the She-Wolf the area they left them in and with a thank you the She-Wolf took to flight. "Hm, I wonder if it's any cooler to fly than it is to swim under water." The Arlyne commented as he returned back to base.

It was after Durandel's last words that she would appear. With wings as bright as a sunny day she spoke with caring and familiar voice, "So it is you," she spoke as Durandel turned his head towards her, it was Alina, "Nova and Durandel, it's nice to see you two again." The Canicus was quite a bit surprised to see two familiar wolves in the same day. "Oh, uh, hello...uh, it's good to see you again." Durandel spoke more than a bit surprised. "Yes, it is, and, well you seem a bit confused...hehe, well I understand, after the reception you two had, it would seem weird if I wasn't in a similar situation." She spoke with a chuckle. "Well, I'm here as a guest to the Arlyne, I mean after all, I do have friends here." She explained. "I will say it's not on the most merriest of visits...I'm here to check on people, they...well, it's hard for me to say it...it brings up a lot of pain." She spoke as she lowered her ears and her head.

"Oh..uh, what do you mean by that?" Durandel asked. "Well...during our time together...I learned that my entire pack was...was...was...captured." She spoke as she swallowed her grief. "Captured? An entire pack? By who?" Durandel asked. "By the Borak." She said a bit woefully. "Oh...," Durandel responded, "...Well, I'm sorry to hear that." He said. "Yes, well, it's been getting a little bit better, so far me and a couple others have managed to free some of my people and that's why I'm here. Some of the Kita are hiding out here with the Arlyne since we have been on good terms with this pack since even before the war began." Alina explained. "So, I was just doing my normal visit for today when I overheard the Arlyne talking about what went on down by the lake...which confuses me, just what was going on over there?" Alina asked.

"Well...that, is a bit complicated." Durandel spoke. "It's a long story but basically, Nova and I were attacked by the Tenneth and during the fight we wound up in the lake and then dragged off by the Arlyne." Durandel spoke. Alina nodded as she listened to Durandel talk about his current situation but the whole answer left her with even more questions than fewer. "But it doesn't make any sense." She shook her head as she spoke. "Why would the Tenneth attack you?" She asked. "Like I said...it is complicated." Durandel spoke. He wasn't quite sure about telling her the whole story...he didn't want to giver her any more worries than she already had.

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The sudden appearance of Alina was a breath of fresh air to Nova, and saved him from having to confront Durandel about the absurdity of his ideas. Did the lava wolf really propose to follow him, even to the Sharikere's? He would be in more danger there than even going back to face a traitor's doom with his own people! This wolf simply did not seem to see the harsh reality of a world at war.

Although Alina had been in the company for a season during the last adventure, Nova really did not know her all that well. She was one of the last wolves to be attracted to Cerise's charismatic company, and she often operated in different circumstances than the ice wolf. Still, it was better to see a friendly familiar face, even in the midst of the Arlynes of all places. At least Alina was one of those wolves along with Cerise and Artemis who he felt comfortable seeing again after their adventure. BattleDemon would be up there too, depending on whatever personality was in her body that day. Interesting wolf, that one. Still, the lot of them had done much to save his life on several occasions, even if being with them is what got him in danger in the first place.

Nova returned his thoughts to the moment as he glanced over to Durandel. Was he just going to opt out of the truth with "its complicated?' Still, it was not Nova's story to tell, so besides his greetings to Alina's arrival, and condolences to the loss of her pack, he stayed silent to allow Durandel to tell what he wanted about this somewhat sensitive story.

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Alina nodded and even gave her hellos to Nova, a wolf that she didn't spend so much time with as others. She looked at Durandel who seemed a bit flustered at the moment. "It looks like you've been through some emotional turmoil, it appears as if you were...perhaps angry?" She guessed. "Yes, that would be it...sorry if I have been vague, but I don't wish to drag anymore wolves into Tenneth business...but seeing as you are an old friend I suppose it wouldn't hurt." Durandel mused. "Please, I would like to hear what troubles my old companion." Alina spoke. "Well, ever since our escape from Rashid, my journeys seemed to have attracted the attention of the Alpha...I guess my working and communicating with wolves outside of our own pack intrigued him. Anyway, I was given a spot on the War Council and for awhile, I said nothing, not even sure what to do. That is where my friend Ezra came in, he is a wise wolf, and helped me situate myself on the council. It wouldn't be until now that I was given a mission, a mission to find Nova and speak with him." Durandel explained.

A bit confused Alina spoke, "Speak to Nova about what?" She asked. "Well, I'm not sure if you've heard but there has been an attack on the Ausi Capital...and worse of all it was committed by a Tenneth." Durandel answered. "A Tenneth? Why would that be a bad thing in your case?" She asked still a bit confused. "Well, this Tenneth is a dirty rogue, he had no permission, no ties to our military to do such a thing! His unprovoked actions have created consequences that both packs will face. That is why I went to see Nova, I've been trying to convince him to convince his pack that the Tenneth and Canicus are not the real enemy, Prometheus the Tenneth that lead the attack, is." Durandel continued. "Not only is he carrying out operation without proper military clearance, he is also the center of civil uproar...Ezra believes this wolf likes to create civil discord in order to gain more power, to which he has quite a bit of sway in my pack, so much so it's like he's the Alpha already!" Durandel spoke with urgency. Alina nodded as she furrowed her brow at this bit of bad news.

"Hm, I can see why you worry...and why you are here with Nova, yet, why did the Tenneth attack you?" She asked. Durandel looked up to her as he began to growl over the memory. "As for that, I believe Ephraim was behind that attack. I don't know how he knew where I would be, but Ephraim is a supporter of Prometheus and sent his Tenneth lackeys to ambush me and Nova. They've labeled me a traitor, a story I'm sure everyone back home has heard. Which is what makes me angry the most! Now I can't even return home without fear of being killed! I just don't know what I am going to do." Durandel spoke as his anger lowered into sadness. Alina felt bad for her old friend and wished she could do something to help, but she is busy with her own crisis at the moment. "I feel awful for you...I understand what it's like not having a pack to go home to." She spoke as he hanged her head down in thought of those still imprisoned. "Thank you, Nova." She responded to his condolences.

"I understand things may look bad now, but you can't give up...I know, I nearly did back in that dreadful prison...I was content on dying in that place, but you guys kept me going you all just simply wouldn't allow me to die...and for that I am grateful. If I died there, then I would have never learned that my people are imprisoned...including my parents. Now I have a purpose and that's freeing the Kitas from the Borak." She then stared into Durandel's eyes. "Don't feel low, Durandel, you have a purpose and that's to see an end to this crisis, I wish you both luck in your endeavors." Alina spoke with a bow to both. "Now as for you," Alina turned towards Durandel, "It seems you have no where else to go. I would suggest hiding out here with the Arlyne but to be honest they don't much care for your kind, after all the Fire Packs have been very aggressive since the war began. Your kin have attacked and invaded many packs, including the Arlyne...I could have you come along with me to see the Aven, but to be honest, they wouldn't be very welcoming of your kind either. They particularly don't like the fact that your pack's battles are too destructive to the vegetation, leaving much of the greenery in ashes after a battle." Alina spoke as she pondered further.

Durandel was beginning to feel a sense of hopelessness, what should he do? Wander the land as a vagabond? "Hm, I'm sorry but it seems you will have to travel far out of your way to find refuge. Perhaps the Alva would be your best bet, perhaps BattleDemon could assist you in that matter?" Alina spoke. Durandel's head perked up as he then began to shake it, "The problem is I don't know where Battle even is. She sort of disappeared right after we escaped to who knows where?" Durandel responded. "Besides I can't leave far away from home, I wish to see this mission through to the end!" Durandel spoke up. "Well, you have convinced Nova to do what you proposed?" Alina asked. "Yes, yes I have." Durandel answered. "Then I am afraid there is nothing more you can do until Nova completes his end of the mission. At this point you are going to have to withdraw to fight another day." Alina spoke with a wave of her paw. Durandel looked down to the ground for the longest time and then nodded.

"I wish I could offer more help but as of now, I am busy with problems of my own...but be sure to tell me how things go, if we ever meet again that is." Alina spoke as she looked up to the skies. "I must be getting back, but don't worry, none of you will be bothered by the Arlyne further. Well goodbye, I hope you succeed." Alina spoke as she flew off. Durandel felt a bit empty after the meeting as he looked over to Durandel. "Well, I guess...this is it, I hope you manage to convince the Ausi in time before any attack happens." Durandel spoke as he looked upstream. "I guess, I'll go upstream and then head out from there." Durandel spoke as he began to move. "Goodbye, Nova, until we see each other again."

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel
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"Farewell, mate. Good luck to you" Nova said simply, as he watched the other wolf saunter off. As he turned to return to his own pack, the ice wolf tried to imagine the pain of not having a home to return to. Surely the lava wolf had a family, what would it be like not being able to return to them, nevertheless the friends, the home, and just the familiarity he was not permitted to go home to. Even in all of his wanderings, Nova always knew he could return to the Sharikeres with a heroes welcome from his friends. Hopefully it will be the same this time.

Nova decided to stick to his original plan and cross the river as soon as possible, as going along with the Tenneth upstream meant chancing the Tenneth again. The most dangerous pack he would encounter on the other side were the Hemlocks, their marshes skirting the Arlyne lands right next to the river. He had discovered last time he was in the area that, after Nernie Falls, the river slowed significantly, and the resulting stagnation formed the wetlands that the swamp wolves were so fond of.

A quick and easy ice bridge and Nova had forded the river, and from there he turned North-East, chancing the inland area as the quickest route back to the mountains. With any luck, he could make it to the Dimitrios before nightfall, that way he wouldn't have to camp in any hostile or unknown territory. What was he going to say when he go back? Stop attacking the guys who almost killed our alpha, raided our homes, and tried to have me killed to boot? Nova spent the next few hours trying to see how he could put an eloquent spin on that troublesome piece of information. And the more he thought about it, the more he realized there was a reason he was not a public speaker.

The setting changes from nerine-falls to Rocky Wasteland

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Character Portrait: Nova
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Nova skirted through the trees as the adventurous afternoon turned into a tranquil evening. The light of dusk shot through the trees in the many hues of splendid gold, and even the shortest of objects jutting out of the ground sent out its own majestic shadow hurling into the east. The peaceful melody of the Arlyne's brook that coursed through the Land of Nigerius that had long faded into the distance once again began to be picked up by the ice wolf's ears as a change in plans had led to Nova straying back towards the lake. He was thirsty, and the hike home was going to be quite long before he reached the snow line.

The rolling hills that flowed with earth signaled that Nova was entering into the territory of the Dimitrios, if he were but a click or two inland he would be able to see the famous Onatah Cliffs that the earth wolfs pocketed and lived in, though he wouldn't be surprised to see a few of them closer to the lake, as any other water ways weren't until further in, where snow-melt from the Ausi lands drained into the gorges between the larger cliffs. In any case, the wooded area had slowly faded into the rocky wasteland that formed the chaparral at the base of the cliffs.

The whole of the lake was a radiant orange by the time Nova had lain his eyes on it. The surface was like an uninterrupted golden disk nestled in the grass. Upon closer examination, however, Nova came to realize that the reflection was not an uninterrupted scene like he supposed, in certain patches, the sight of the sun was strangely distorted. The patches were long and narrow, slowly drifting along with the mild undertow. As a smaller patch drifted to where Nova stood on the bank, he immediately recognized it. It was a piece of ice. But Nova had created nearly as much ice when he had been in the lake earlier that day, and if had, it would have largely melted off. Puzzled, Nova began to trot along the bank, only to discover a few minutes away several sets of paw prints going to and from the lake sunk in the mud, as well as a deep groove where something heavy and board-like had once sat. Nova reeled back a few steps out of surprise. No doubt about it, someone had crossed the lake on a bridge of ice.

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Nova's puzzling over the miniature glaciers that floated in the tranquil Maxim lake was broken by a jet of flame in the sky, illuminating the landscape like a second sunset in the north. Biting his lip, Nova spared only seconds to lap up precious lake water in slake his thirst, before dashing off to see what had happened. There hadn't been any other disturbances since the initial flame, and in the twilight Nova could scarcely position where his nemesis was before he was practically on top of him.

What he saw cleared his panic, but it was no less shocking than if he had run into a Tenneth raid. On the contrary, while there were Tenneth there, they were in no position to do any fighting. Shackled to a sledge, Nova watched a Tenneth wolf drag along another unconscious fire wolf on a hastily made wooden sled, guarded by three Ausi's. A few meters away was a similar group, though there was only two guards for that pair of hostages. It was a great tactic, Nova thought, to shackle the active prisoners to the ones that had taken more of a beating. It would be very hard to fight while carrying the weight of another wolf. But where had they come from?

"Oi! Scout!" Nova practically jumped out of his skin when the guard bring up the rear approach him from behind. When Nova inquired about what had gone on, the guard wolf was only too proud to report that, while the Alpha was still recovering, a group of soldiers seeking glory for their leader had descended the day before to try and rattle the Tenneth a bit. That very afternoon, they had saw a disturbance near the lake, and moving in to inquire, they jumped a small group of Tenneth weary from fighting a skirmish with an unknown group of wolves.

"Think about it, mate. Hostages to make the Tenneth think twice about attack'n. A claw in the face of Tenneth pride. Metal armor with the help of the Dimitrios. If the Tenneth even try attack'n again, we can always threaten to execute 'em" the guard explained, justifying all the reasons of their little raid.

"Though I wouldn't put it past those savages to attack again anyway" another Ausi said, overhearing the small talk, glaring at his Tenneth captive who had growled at his last remark.

In some ways, Nova was relieved. If this little group of heroes in any way represented the Ausi, then his pack wasn't planning anything major, at least while his Alpha was recovering from the last attack. But would this attack just fan the flames of a larger disaster? Would the fight ever stop?

The setting changes from rocky-wasteland to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova
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Well, if those goons who had orchestrated the attack on him and Durandel that afternoon had been captured by the Ausi, Nova figured there was no reason to stall the lava wolf from returning home. The Cancius seemed to have much more of a pull on the Tenneth than Nova ever could on his own people. He was a lowly scout, Durandel had a position on the Alpha's council! Perhaps with the renegades out of the picture now, Durandel could calm the conflict on his end. Besides, the Ausi seemed more content to sit and wait for a second attack than launch a campaign of their own, at least while their Alpha was in the infirmary.

Deciding to put his homesickness on hold for just one more night for the sake of his new friend, Nova turned away from the Sharikere's. With a deep yawn into the approaching darkness, the ice wolf soon reached the lake once more. Forming stepping stones just large enough for his own paws not to slip off, Nova began to glide atop the lake. He had been through, under, and around this lake, why not above?

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Mud clung to Nova's legs like boots as the young wolf pulled his way up onto the shore of the lake. His escapade across the lake having been successful, Nova glanced over his shoulder back at the path he had taken. Having been careful to freeze only where his paws would land, the path he was taken was partially covered with small dollops of ice pieces, already starting to drift apart. Hopefully the next day's sun would melt away any evidence of the two crossings that had happened, no need to get the Tenneth riled up again.

It was a quiet time of evening, and like most wolves when trying to sneak around in a quiet every movement he made seemed to be no quieter than the sound of a collapsing wall. Still, it would be easier to hear Durandel if had stuck around here, like he had originally planned. A small burst of light like a sunbeam bursting through the morning forest caught Nova's attention, and figuring that the Tenneth were the only ones who could be around making light at night, Nova became wary. Had the fire wolves found out that the Ausi had been over here already? Were they going to try to attack back? Questions like these raced through Nova's scouting brain.

Unaware of what he was doing, Nova put a paw forward towards where he had seen the light. Then another. And another. Loping towards where he had seen the light, he bit his lip in fear on who he was going to come upon. His ears flicked at the sound of voices. Another step. Voices that were...familiar? Another step. There were only two speakers, were there others around? Another few steps. Could that voice...be Durandel? Who was he with?

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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It did not take much more listening for Nova to ascertain who Durandel was talking to. It was that fierce, and quite strange, shewolf BattleDemon. Mixed emotions greeted Nova as the realization more fully dawned on him, like how the initial spark of a candle being lit is followed by the flame flaring up as the dry wick is ignited. Although he considered their last adventure to have ended on somewhat friendly terms, especially compared to their rather strained encounter when he had been ordered to kill her, he knew her to be unpredictable at best. Perhaps her alter ego...WarriorDemon, was it? Perhaps it was THAT soul that he heard talking to Durandel, although Nova had though the bear had slain that side of her. What if there was an even more unpredictable wolf out there?

Duranel seemed to be carrying on a steady chat which eased Nova somewhat, and though their words were hard to hear without getting in spitting distance, their tones were reasonable. It would be a quick fight if the shewolf out there turned aggressive with the two of them on her, so as often happens logic prevailed over emotion given enough time, and Nova proceeded forward to the talkers, being careful to approach from Durandel's side as to not surprise anyone

As he was called out a salute to them both, he found his words had been wholly obliterated by a sudden sharp noise, as if a nearby tree had split in twain. Light followed to blind Nova's night-adjusted eyes, as he cried out instinctively over the din "What's going on!"

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel was hopelessly lost over the situation that had developed. Sure, he decided to be polite about it and make the assumption that Dey said who she said she was. Still, it was Dey's next responses that continue to push him further into a state of confusion. Deny it all that she wants, she acts awfully alot like BattleDemon as far as he could remember from what he knew for himself and what the others told him. She was quite angry that he bothered with her and wasted her time. For which he understands, he supposes he wouldn't have liked that either, especially with all of the chaos that ensued. He hanged his head down feeling rather ashamed over the whole thing. Yet, what bothers him the most, is still the fact that he can't help but believe that this is BattleDemon.

She looks, sounds, and if he took a whiff with his nose, smells exactly like BattleDemon. Could he possibly ignore what his senses are telling him and take this she-wolf's word for it? She may call herself Dey and no longer remember her old companion, but he cannot believe that his senses are failing him for if they were, he would be as good as dead. It was then that Dey went still and this troubled Durandel, he began to feel a bit cautious. He too began to feel about...uncomfortable as if he was being watched. It was then he was disoriented from the loud bang as he barely missed the very ground disappearing from underneath Dey. It was then he nearly jumped out of his skin when Nova suddenly appeared.

"Nova!?" He then coughed as the strange smoke began to surround him. "Is that you!?" He asked. He then looked around as best he could but the orange smoke was beginning to cloud his vision. "I-I don't know...one minute, I was talking to Dey...then the next, this happened!" He then paused for a moment, "Dey! Are you alright!?" He shouted.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Nova hated the Hemlock's element, probably more than most. He had learned to dislike their poison on a personal level owing to the accident in which he had bit Schemeko, an error in judgement that almost killed him had it not been for the help of Cerise, BattleDemon, and Schemeko himself. He could still feel the acid in his mouth from that day, and remembering the convulsions that tormented his weakened body made Nova shudder, even now.

These poison wolves looked vicious, and Nova knew that his next poisoning would not be accidental. The situation was probably the bleakest yet, which is a lot considering the day so far. BattleDemon and Durandel were each about to be attacked by a pair of wolves, leaving Nova with a lanky green tinted wolf that somewhat reminded Nova of Schemeko, and perhaps even as crazy. As Nova sized the other wolf up and tried to think of which way to run, he couldn't help but hear the taunting of Vitani.

Distracted, Nova would have been floored by the leaping green wolf had Durandel not been hurled into him as a result of his fight. Knocked flat, the green wolf sailed over Nova. If the green Hemlock had been surprised, he certainly didn't show it. Why shouldn't he be confident? It was five on three!

Scrambling to his paws, Nova's heart raced as he readied a spear of ice in midair to shoot at his attacker. A motion out of the side of his eye made him miss his mark wildly. Realizing what was happening to his Alvan companion, Nova desperately yelped "Battle!" It was the only thing he could get out before being clawed in the face by his attacker.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel's senses were being blocked by the strange colored smoke and by his own worries. It was then that the shock of being attacked all but overcomed the bewildered Canicus. Hearing the words seize them was followed by his body being knocked into the body of his poor friend. "WHAT IN BLUE BLAZES?!" Durandel shouted in dismay. He snorted as he began to fear the worse, have the Tenneth returned to attack them again!? No, it wasn't the Tenneth, an acrid stench assaulted his nostrils. It was the smell of poison and it came from his attackers. "Hemlocks?" He began to question in his thoughts. As Nova wriggled from out, underneath him, Durandel hoped to his paws and looked at the large wolf who decided to bash right into him.

"What do you Hemlocks want with us!? What have we done to you!?" He shouted. Yet reasoning with these wolves doesn't seem to be much of an option here. It was then Nova prepared his attack only to shout out Battle's name. "Battle!?" He sputtered in fear. When he turned to face her his scruff was bitten down by the large wolf as he tossed him aside. Durandel began to panic, was he poisoned!? Perhaps he was? Or maybe not? He wasn't sure but he rose again and as much as he wished to assist his friends the brute would not have it. He wasn't sure if they would kill them but he did hear the words sieze...he's going to take a wild guess but assume they want them alive.

Still, he understands that being captured ain't much better. He decided to attack the wolf before him. Yet the large wolf took his large paw and slashed Durandel good across the face. This wasn't going his way, he would use his ability but at this range with his friends quite near, he may wind up hurting both parties. No, he will have to rely on physical fight which this wolf just about matches him size for size. Still he is a Canicus and he will defend those he cares about with pride. He rose once again and charged but this time bit down on the leg of the brute's next sweep. The wolf howled in pain but continued his attack by biting down on Durandel's ear forcing him to let go. He wriggled out of the wolf's bite but nearly at the cost of his ear. He then bit the wolf on the nose, forcing him to take a few steps back. Durandel then lept and bit down on the wolf's scruff. His fur was horrible and tasted of rotted flesh as Durandel coughed, releasing the brute. The wolf growled and knocked Durandel to the ground, it was then he had him pinned. Durandel made some furious slashes at the wolf but couldn't reach his face. This wasn't looking good...

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Blood blurring his vision, Nova stumbled backwards a pace from his enemy's lash. This fight was doomed to start from, and though he had a brief glimmer of hope when he saw that BattleDemon was alright for now, his faith was crushed when he saw that Durandel was downed. Should he run? Should he get help? But who would help? The Ausi? No, they wouldn't want to help a Cancius, and especially not an Alva. What about going and getting the Tenneth? No, they would kill him before he got out two words. Maybe he should just jump in one of those traps. It would be safer to be five meters off the ground anyway.

Nova breathed. He was thinking to much and fighting too little.

Just then, a bolt of flame soared over his head and crashed into the forest behind him, starting a small fire. There was shouting and war cries coming from further up the hill. It was the Tenneth. Nova took this moment of confusion to send two icy blades at his attacker, and was satisfied to see one clip the ear and the other to slash the flank of the other wolf. Nova hurled himself at the other wolf. So what if the Tenneth overtook them. At least he would take this demon down with him.

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When things appeared at their bleakest for the Canicus a surprise came in the form of fire and ice. Their attackers were distracted by the sudden attack from a group of Tenneth. He then heard, "THERE, THERE THEY ARE!" It was during this confusion that Nova took advantage of their lowered guard. With the power of the Ausi's element, ice flew and struck into their Hemlock foes. He heard the largest one bark at Nova's attack, but it was enough for Durandel to counter. With some of his weight lifted off of the Canicus, Durandel quickly over powered the surprised wolf as he bit down on his neck once again and forced him to the ground. The big lug fell with a huge thud as Durandel had him pinned.

Yet the wolf thrashed about trying to free himself. Yet Durandel growled and began to violently shake his head, throttling the wolf's neck. Throwing the whole of his weight into, one might have heard a sickening crack as the wolf laid dead at his paws. It was then Durandel feverishly spat out the horrible, icky fur that tasted of something rotten. "BLEGH!" He shouted in disgust. It was then he saw Nova furiously fighting against the others, and thankfully Dey seemed to be alright at the moment. It was then the noise maker went off as Dey's attacker was caught in the trap. How lucky. Yet he could hear the Tenneth howl as more fire came flying at them. It was then on fire ball nearly hit poor Durandel.

"HEY YOU IDIOT, WATCH YOUR FIRE!! WE NEED DURANDEL AND HIS BUDDIES ALIVE!!" The Tenneth barked. This wasn't good, they were being accosted by enemies on two fronts. At least, it seemed the Tenneth wanted them alive unlike these wolves. The noise was bother Durandel and the others around him. They have to get out of here. "NOVA! DEY! WE NEED TO ESCAPE!!" He shouted as Durandel charged into another wolf, supporting Nova. "We can't get captured! Not here and not now!" He shouted as he bit at the other wolves. "ACK! What is that sound!?" A Tenneth shouted. "I don't know! But I need two of you to get down their now and secure them!!" He shouted as the Tenneth moved to take part in the scuffle.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Escape he said. Run she said. Well, Nova was always one for following orders.

Blood in one eye, the mist of battle fury in his other, Nova felt entitled at least blinding the brute whom he had been fighting. Tit for tat, right? That having been accomplished, the ice wolf lept off his prey, appreciating Durandel for keeping the other wolf off of his back. He managed to catch a glimpse of BattleDemon's tail as she bolted into the woods, but that was enough. His weary limbs had given their all today, and the only thing that kept them going was adrenaline.

Assuming Durandel would be close behind, Nova dashed into the trees. They were headed towards that blasted Maxim lake again, and if he hadn't been so winded he would have shouted to Battle to hook right so that they wouldn't be cornered. He wondered what would happen when the Tenneth clashed with those Hemlock wolves. Would they stop and scuffle? Or would they ignore each other and chase after them? Nova doubted the latter, for the only wolves he knew to willingly work together across packs were the ones he was escaping with right now.

Drawing in all the air he could, Nova drove further into the trees.

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Durandel nodded when he heard Dey asking them to run away. Yet before he could do that, he did his best to secure Nova's escape from the fight. After blinding his opponent, Durandel watched him dash off away from the sounds of battle. Yet, Durandel had a delayed start since the wolf he was currently distracting had no intent of letting him escape. It would seem he would have to kill this wolf as well, if he were to escape. Then suddenly, the Tenneth came barging in and attacked the Hemlocks before him. The Venom Wolves were surprised by their sudden charge and proceeded to defend themselves. Taking advantage of this chaos, Durandel sped off, following in the direction he saw Nova run off to.

They were a good many steps ahead of him, but despite his tiredness, Durandel pushed himself forward running for his life. Durandel then made headway into the thick foliage, further aiding in his escape. Back at the fight, the Tenneth and Hemlocks fought against each other. Despite some of the injuries inflicted upon the Hemlocks from their previous scuffle, the noise coming from the trapped helped to even the odds. Some of the Tenneth howled in pain at the sound coming from the noise maker, making it easier for the Hemlocks to penetrate their guard. They managed to poison some, but the Tenneth were much healthier and fresh for the fight. Their stamina and numbers were beginning to win against the Venom Wolves.

Eventually the Hemlocks saw no point in continuing this battle and decided to flee. The Tenneth also retreated having their fill of the smoke and noise. Soon the battle was over with casualties on both sides. Yet when the smoke and dust cleared it was apparent that their targets had run off. "BLAST!" A Tenneth shouted. "They escaped! Alright, those who can continue follow me! As for the rest of you, return to the mountains and please do and try not to get yourselves captured, Prometheus will not be happy if you do." He warned as he ran off with the rest of the able bodied Tenneth.

Durandel soon caught up with Nova. "Hey Nova, now what? Where do we go from here?" Durandel asked, curious as to where they are running off to.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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"By the fang, mate, all I know is that I am starving" Nova gasped, taking several breaths between each part of his sentence. He had not eaten all that day, and it was beginning to wear on him. Nova began to slow to a more maintainable pace, for though he prided himself for his agility, he could not endure a dead sprint for long.

Mulling the question over in his head for a little longer, he considered possible destinations. It was strange that, no matter how big the world was, if some wolf wanted you found, you would be. There had to be some fringe of society they wouldn't be pursued to! The obvious move would probably be the Sharikere's, however they would probably be overun before they reached the mountains. Even if they weren't, it would be impossible to stop BattleDemon and especially Durandel from being arrested as soon as they stepped foot on Ausi lands.

Two places did come to mind, however. The first was going back to the Elian Desert. That wasteland had almost engulfed him when he had been scouting for the Jera, and he doubted that their pursuers would follow them there. However, there was little food or water out there, which was a two edged sword. The other option would be hiding in the Dimitrios lands in the cliffs. There were enough crags and caves in there that they could never be found. They would be safe there.

When he caught his breath enough to relay his thoughts to Durandel and BattleDemon up ahead, Nova did so, ending by asking what they thought.

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Dey stopped running, and immediately found herself confronted by Nova. Or so she thought, as he was just asking what her thoughts were on destination. She glared at him fiercely and looked about ready to hurl an insult at him when her legs gave out on her.

With her eyes closed and chest rapidly moving up and down, was able to let out a few words, "I..." Gasp. "Hate..." Another gasp. "You... both..." More gasping. "Already..."

Dey was in a shambles. Her paws were shaking (along with her tail), and her brain was just not comprehending how she was able to even move in that... fight. Questions from inside were assaulting her and she felt that answers were being held behind that clouded dam in her head. She attempted to break through it again but was only rewarded with an acute pain...

Dark, somewhere dark... It so dark... It hurts!

Dey flinched and pulled herself back from that dangerous darkness. Had she the courage, she may have kept pulling at those painful threads of memory and maybe would have crushed whatever thrall was over her. Yet, she did not know that, and Dey was as ever, more confused by what was going on.

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Nova had to dig his paws into the ground to keep himself from colliding with BattleDemon's sudden stop after they had been running in rhythm for several minutes. Shocked at her sudden intensity, he shot back at her verbal lashing with "Yeah, what else is new Battle." He knew that she never had liked him.

He began to regret what he had said after he saw her continue to break down, rather than getting back up after a moment's rest. The fury on her face was replaced by a pained fear, and Nova refrained from saying anything further hurtful. With one ear tuned for pursuers, he heard nothing for the moment, and figured the three of them needed a rest. Taking stock of his own body, he was frustrated to find that the gash over his eye was still fresh from where he had been clawed, although it didn't feel infected. Yet. Other than other slashes and scrapes that he had sustained throughout the day, he found himself fortunate to have not broken a leg or worse. The fact that the other two were still able to run was a good sign as well.

Turning his attention back to Battle, he hesitantly inched closer to examine her for any hidden wounds that she may be suffering from. "BattleDemon, are you alright?" he probed, unsure of how to help.

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"Yeah, what else is new Battle."

Dey winced at the sudden hostility coming from the wolf before her. She hadn't been ready to receive sharp words from a wolf such as him, and oddly, despite just meeting him, felt that the exchange of hurtful words would have been normal... had she known him from before this moment.

As Dey was too tired to offer a cutting response, just focused on breathing and glaring daggers at the stranger. I just need to calm... be calm... She repeated the thought, trying so hard not to focus on just what had happened moments before... "What's the matter, she-wolf got your tongue?" Dey almost whined at the memory of that venomous she-wolf, and how she had nearly killed Dey.


"BattleDemon, are you alright?" Dey was still reliving the ambush when she realized the stranger was talking to her. Irritated, she realized that before, he might have actually been calling her Battle and not that... I'm so dumb... "Why is everyone calling me that?" She muttered to herself, and growled at the stranger. "My name is Dey not whatever it is you both keep calling me! Does it look like I even know you?"

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#, as written by Krypt
Well that was a new one, Nova had to admit. "Dey huh. Well that's certainly less of a mouthful than your last one, anyway. WarriorDemon, wasn't it?" Nova retorted, more to think out loud than to respond to her directly. Why was she so upset about her name, anyway? Wasn't it just short for Battle DEY-mon or something? Then again, her 'WarriorDemon' side never cared for being called BattleDemon.

Puzzled, Nova tried to figure out what was wrong with her. Her demeanor was always rather coarse, but she was usually more cool and calm, not fiery and yelling. An icy stare was usually the most reaction Nova was able to get out of her. And did she even know him? Was that supposed to be a weird rhetorical question?

With a sigh, Nova decided to answer. It took a moment to level his voice to not show any signs of sarcasm or anger, as he didn't want to escalate this situation into anything worse. He was already running from a pack of enemies, no need to make a new one. "Well I'm still Nova, for the record. And for all the adventuring we have been on, I should say we really don't know each other that well, more like a strained working relationship. I don't even know your favorite color" he replied smoothly, trying to figure out what point she was trying to make. Had she been this harsh to Durandel?

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"Dey huh. Well that's certainly less of a mouthful than your last one, anyway. WarriorDemon, wasn't it?" Nova retorted. What is wrong with this brute!? Dey rolled her eyes at him, not even knowing what he was referring to.

"Well I'm still Nova, for the record. And for all the adventuring we have been on, I should say we really don't know each other that well, more like a strained working relationship. I don't even know your favorite color.

Suddenly, Dey cooled down a bit and without even replying to his explanation, which she totally ignored, spoke, "Okay, fine, rude wolves. I don't really care what you call me, but since you strangers get to call me that, then I guess I'll just get to do the same." Her eyes began to gleam dangerously. "I'll get to rename you both!"

Dey was suddenly sitting up a little, a philosophical look on her face and she began to mutter names under her breath. "Sandy? No, that's too... obvious for you." She looked pointedly at Nova's pelt. "Hmm, maybe Smut, but then again smut is more of black color than brown...." She began reviewing different names, most of them meant to goad Nova even further.

Breaking off from her newfound task, she changed to Durandel. "You, I'll just call you Khan."

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Nova couldn't help but smirk at BattleDemon's name game. At least she came up with a good one for Durandel, she seemed to be a fan of shortening names. Despite himself, Nova was feeling more irate by the minute by how absurd she was acting. Why did they ever want to go find her?

"Well, dearest Dey, I've been called anything you can fathom, being a spy n' all. Just don't call me late for supper" Nova replied through the fakest smile he could muster. He didn't even know what to say to her antics, and cast a wary gaze over to Durandel. This seemed to be only the second normal conversation he had this day, and it was with a former "friend" who seemed to have a greater and greater desire every minute to throttle him.

I wonder when she is going to start making me have nightmares. Bad dreams would be better than this reality.

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"Well, dearest Dey, I've been called anything you can fathom, being a spy n' all. Just don't call me late for supper."

"Like I would ever make you supper or even call you for it." Dey retorted. "You could starve for all I care. And don't say my name that way." She was beginning to realize that Nova was... annoying. I don't know if I should throttle him or... Oh well, I wonder what his companion would think of that.

Surprised that Durandel was silent throughout their exchange of heated words, Dey glanced over the wolf and found that he appeared uninterested in their conversation... If you could call it that.

"Great... I don't know where I am or what's going on and here I am... Stuck with two brutes who claim to know me." Dey got to her paws, finding that the shock of having been thrust into a fight slowly receding. She wasn't shaking as much, and was happy to turn her back on Nova. It would probably be best I leave them, as they are of no use to me... At the moment at lea-

"Bloody hell!" Dey whipped around and sprang behind Durandel and Nova. "What is THAT!?" She yelped out as she glanced from behind Durandel at a creature lying in the grass. It was just a snake.

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#, as written by Krypt
Mildly amused, Nova glanced over at the creature in question. It was a common grass snake, the kind that always slithered near the lake. It gazed at them with curious eyes, black tongue slithering back and forth out of its dark green head. The yellow color around its neck was its only distinguishing feature, and as soon as it figured that the three trespassers were not a threat it turned away to better prospects.

"Something that I never would have believed her to be scared of" Nova muttered to himself and Durandel. She had definitely cracked, Nova concluded. Either she was playing some kind of stupid game or she was suffering from a head injury, for she certainly was not acting normal. How are you even supposed to act around a belligerent amnesiac wolf, anyway?

"Something that would not make a good meal. We should probably find a better one, if either of you are as famished as I am" Nova said normally, much louder then his last line. Perhaps if he could steer this confrontation to a neutral subject that they could agree on, he could ease her into staying. He didn't believe she would do well in her current condition on her own, and despite all the times they bashed heads he didn't want to watch her go off and get into trouble. And, well, he honestly was hungry.

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"Something that would not make a good meal. We should probably find a better one, if either of you are as famished as I am." Dey tried hard to not shudder as she watched the legless creature slither away. It's movement's too boneless like for her.

Surprised Nova could think of food at a moment like this, Dey was about to reply at his oddness when her stomach grumble almost as if it were agreeing with him. Caught in an awkward position between following her stomach and following her head, Dey tried to concentrate on where and why she was going wherever she was going. Where was I going again?

Dey glanced between the two male wolves and the forest.... You need to EAT!!! Her stomach was practically eating itself now and the thought of her last meal was what led her to look at Durandel, "Please tell me at least one of you is a decent hunter?"

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#, as written by Krypt
Still a little flustered from arguing with Dey, Nova sniffed the air and stared into the trees, as if he could will it to be that they were not there and he could see through them. But it was not to be. In fact, his depth perception was a little off with his left eye blocked from the injury he sustained. While it appeared that some friendly wolf spirit was helping them not get caught for the moment by their pursuers, Nova doubted that they had the luxury of time that hunting required. Well, hunting on land, anyway.

Overhearing Dey, Nova couldn't help but remark to his own defense "Well, it all depends how much you like fish. I'm plenty good at hunting those." Grabbing a meal out of the water at the lake seemed like a better idea than tracking down a deer or the like. It was easy. Spot a fish, freeze a fish, eat a fish. While his pack was known for the fresh fish caught in nets and their freshness was much tastier, they would have to make do without.

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"Well, it all depends how much you like fish. I'm plenty good at hunting those."

Dey glowered. Maybe I should shove him in the water and sit on him until he drowns. The amusing thought planted a faint grin on her face before she remembered something. The color blue flashed in her minds eye, followed by echoes of emotions she could not fully grasp. Wha-What was that? She looked around, then finding herself just staring into space she walked into the middle of a stream that appeared to be a tributary to the lake and began to stare intently at the water, waiting for a silver shadow to flit inside her range.

Perhaps, a recollection of feelings instead of actual memories. She mused faintly, and was vaguely aware of her surroundings until a small shadow flickered near her paws. Instincts brought her back to life as she pounced into the water, surprisingly send up a large splash zone that included Nova and Khan. She missed.

Growling, and already frustrated with everything she shook out her wet coat. Figures... I guess I didn't grow up around food from the water world. She glared at Nova, daring him to say something about her lack of fish hunting skills. The look on her face stonily saying 'Say one word about and I will hurt you!'

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#, as written by Krypt
The spray from Dey's failed attempt at stunning the fish showered Nova, though just moments later the water glistening on his coat frosted into powder. Nova resembled a wolf that had just come out of a light snowfall as water froze into ice, and he shook out his coat before strolling a little bit further up the bank. He didn't think much of her missing stunning the fish, he wouldn't expect an Alva to know much about fishing. Pity, those land set wolves miss half the food Nigerius has to offer. Her expression did make him smirk however, and he wasn't afraid to let her see that her overreaction amused him.

A moment later he spotted a silvery trout pressing its way against the current, a determined and content look on its features of a trout that had a mission. Well, at least it would die happy, Nova considered. Moments later the trout floated to the surface, encased in a block of ice. Nova allowed the fish with a thin layer of ice on it to float down the stream to where the other two stood, before looking out for the trout's mates that he could freeze.

Commenting more to Dey than Durandel, he started "Careful not to chip a tooth on that, it would be a shame..." He let his voice trail off before he said something about a chipped tooth making her stop talking, leaving a somewhat awkward hanging sentence. He turned back to 'fishing', and after spotting another fish, he froze it.

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Dey was not happy, not happy. At all. It didn't help that Nova was being such a... Anyways, she tried to think positive, tried to ignore that sudden pit in her stomach. Why? Why is this happening to me? She tried to focus again, but as her wandering mind couldn't settle, and after failing at catching several more fish, she stopped.

Dripping wet, and even more pessimistic than before, Dey walked out of the stream and growled, "What-" "Careful not to chip a tooth on that, it would be a shame..." Instead of firing back some fiery words, Dey looked off into a space before she flinched as if expecting someone to tackle her. Chip a tooth, break a tooth... Tooth... Fang... BrokeFang. The name broke through the dam of amnesia, lazily floating through her head, yet there was no image, no feeling that came along with it. She got the vague feeling that...

Shaking herself out of her reverie, yet again, Dey went about making a fire, not a big one to emit a smoke trail to lead their enemies to them, but big enough to warm up the fish Nova had caught. Slowly, as if her limbs were slowly aching from soreness, she moved about. There was a seriousness in her walk that gave off the feeling of in depth thoughtfulness.

After the fire well lit and crackling with heat, she lay down having already forgot the reason for making such a fire... Her thoughts twisted and curled, instilling a feeling of worry and turmoil deep inside her chest. Finally, after a long moment, her head popped up, "Blue! My na..." She caught herself, finding the strange word having messed her up what she had initialing been trying to say. "My favorite color is Blue."

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#, as written by Krypt
It took several more minutes of patient fishing before Nova felt they had enough food. It was actually quite the catch, and the Ausi figured that him being hungry caused him to catch a few more than normal. Pleased that one of the others had managed to get a fire started, Nova's mood finally began to relax somewhat at the chance of having a good meal in the near future. Before returning to the stream to clean his wounds, Nova lined up the catch on a flat stone near the embers to allow them to thaw.

At the water again, Nova eased himself into the water, his muscles relaxing as the cool water flowed in and around his fur. Grime and muck of the journey gradually flowed off, and with it seemed to go a few of the stresses of the day. It was ridiculous how many times he had to fight for his life that day, but at least he could enjoy this lull. The woods were beautiful to look at when you had time to appreciate them, certainly different than back home. This distant howl of the wind in the tree tops created a soothing white noise that one didn't hear in the mountains. Those mountains that it would take a miracle to be able to go home to.

Wounds cleaned and looking forward to a meal, Nova returned to the fire in time to hear Dey's remark. For once it wasn't a jab at him. Responding in kind, Nova said that it was his too. "It's an easy one to have, all you have to do is look at the sky to feel a bit happier" he expounded.

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Durandel panted after the gang decided to stop for a moment's reprieve. He then was subjected to one hell of a show as Dey's and Nova's banter went back and forth. For his own sake, he decided to just stay the hell out of it. He then snorted at the new name given to him by Dey. "Khan?" He spoke with a whine. He didn't particularly like the new name and was apt to remind her of his apology. It was then the issue about food sparked a diversion in the current banter. It was undeniable, the Cancius was hungry as well. He looked down and felt the low, grumblings of his stomach. "Yes...I'm starving as well." He agreed. He then watched as Nova decided they should fish in lieu of hunting, since well, they are being hunted as well. Durandel nodded.

He watched as Dey failed at her attempts to catch a fish. He would laugh himself if it wasn't for the fact he can't fish worth a damn either. Instead he held back a snicker as he watched Nova transform into a fishing machine. He was quite thankful as more fish started to pile up. It wasn't long before Dey decided to start a small fire...which is better for her to do. He would start a forest fire more likely with his lava. She decided to melt away the ice to better eat her piece of fish. Durandel didn't have need for the fire, his natural element allows him to melt through the ice with ever bite. Steam can be seen coming from his mouth with each and every bite. He just had to take care as to not slobber all over this bounty.

Durandel did notice that Dey was deep in thought. Perhaps it's over the days events which could have, for all intensive purposes, could have gone so much better. Yet it seemed like a painful memory to his eyes but before he could console, she snapped alive, claiming her favorite color to be blue. Despite his rocky relationships with the wolves here, he was grateful to have seen them again. He never thought he would be happy to know and be around these wolves. Even though he's sure they don't feel the same. He continued to eat as he spoke, "My favorite color is yellow." Just as he continued to finish off his frozen fish. "I know we are enjoying the silence and calm, but, well, I hate to be a downer but we are still in danger. I mean, we are being attacked by the Tenneth and those, strangers, and we are definitely not pass any imminent dangers. If I recall one of you mentioned finding refuge in the Onatah Cliffs. Well, I do believe we should head in that direction. At least the Tenneth would not dare to enter into Dimitrios territory for fear of assault." Durandel spoke waiting to see if the others are agreeable to that suggestion.

__________

Meanwhile, a tangent of Tenneth and Canicus roam the forest. "Damn! Durandel got away again!" shouted a Tenneth. "Yeah, why is this guy hard to pin down?" A Canicus chimed in. "Well, you should know Hogarth, he is one of us." Commented another Canicus. "Alright you three quiet down...I have a plan." Spoke a Tenneth. "What is it then?" asked Hogarth. "It seems direct confrontation has proven to be...ineffective with these wolves. Not to mention we can't return to Prometheus empty handed...he'll have our hides for sure." He spoke as the others nervously agreeed. "I suggest we follow them, but from a distance and watch them, waiting for the right opportunity to strike!" He spoke. "Yeah, a sneak attack might work." Answered the other Tenneth. The rest nod in agreement. "Good, lets continue forward...I don't wish to be attacked by the Hemlocks again." He spoke as they moved forward. Unbeknownst to them however, they too were being watched from afar.

In the distance the shadows swirled and melted away revealing two Kamarians. "Mydnyte did you hear that?" One of them spoke. "Yeah I heard...it seems one of my old acquaintances has gotten themselves mixed up with Prometheus." Mydnyte spoke. "Shall we follow?" The Kamarian asked. "Yes, quickly! I don't wish to waste anymore time on this." Mydnyte commanded as the Kamarians disappeared back into the shadows.

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#, as written by Krypt
Nova was too focused on satisfying the monster in his stomach to notice the nuances of their dinner conversation, though after gulping down a fish and before starting on another, he took time to agree with Durandel in between Dey's comments. "Yeah, from what I hear they have caves in there that even the Dimitrios don't know about. The only thing I would worry about is being able to find our way out if we end up hiding out deep enough. But I agree it is well worth the risk, I'd give up these fish to not have to fight for my life again today."

Dey's sudden subject shift caused Nova to quickly take a bite of fish in order to hide his surprise. Couldn't she figure out who they thought she was? They had, well at at least HE had, called her BattleDemon enough times that he hoped she would have caught on, but all she had done was deny that name fervently.

Her tone startled him enough that, despite his conviction she was who he thought she was, he looked her over quizzically again, this time without making quick assumptions. She still sounded, smelt, and looked pretty much like how he remembered BattleDemon. She even had that one Borak's charm around her neck. Though somehow, she looked a bit more...sleek, in a way. She wasn't as well muscled as he had remembered, and now that he looked more carefully he could see that she was missing the battle scars on her body that had once defined her. Sure scars fade, but could that many fade that fast?

"To be honest, I'm still pretty sure that you're BattleDemon, the Alva who traveled with me and him a few seasons ago. Can you not remember even the slightest thing about our adventures? You have the Borak Summanus' charm about your neck, if I'm not mistaken."

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The Canicus wolf nodded as Nova explained that their are caves, hidden even to the Dimitrios. "Well, we will just have to mark the area with our scent in order to keep us from getting lost." Durandel spoke. He then took another bite of the frosty fish. Durandel then looked at Dey with another biteful of fish as he turned his head towards Nova with confusion upon his face. He then swallowed as Nova answered her curious question. Durandel then spoke, "Well, like he said, you remind us so much of that Alva she-wolf. Even though you claim to not be her, you are surprisingly the splitting image of her, right down to your scent." Durandel added. "Anyway, if you say you are not this wolf, I guess who are we to tell you otherwise? Still doesn't change the fact that there are way too many similarities between her and you." Durandel spoke.

He then paused as he looked down to the she-wolf's neck and noticed a Borak's pendant as well. He didn't quite pay attention to what Summanus' pendant looked like. He was pretty distracted by his sword and odd appearance. Not to mention he was imprisoned by Rashid most of the time he was around him...that in of itself is entirely distracting. Still now that Nova drove his attention towards it, it would be far beyond happenstance to see an Alva with a Borak pendant around her neck. "That's true." Durandel chimed in. "Borak's never part with their trinkets unless it was for something serious...like escaping from a mad wolf's prison." He finished.

Durandel took to eating one more fish, finishing it off in no time at all. "Well, at least I have some food in my belly. We should get moving soon, I suggest you two eat what you can, while you can. Who knows when we will get another chance to eat again." Durandel spoke. He then turned to Dey. "Also if you are still confused about all of this, we can talk about it, once we're safe that is."

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Battledemon

Dey was yet again confused by the terms Nova and Durandel were throwing around. Alvan? Borak? Summanus? She wanted to ask more questions right away, but then Durandel suggested they talk about later, when they were safe that is. Glumly, she agreed by nodding her head slowly. They think I look a lot like her. She looked down at her paw, trying to hunt down the characteristics these brutes seem to think she shares with this... BattleDemon. The name sounded terrible, not even really a wolf's name but a word you would use to describe a killing machine. Or monster, the fear in her head whispered softly, What if they're describing a monster. Are you a monster? The thought sent a shiver down her spine.

"I'll hurry and eat then," Dey walked over to the pile of frozen fish to, grabbed one and set it down by the fire. She lay down to stare at the fire, her nose twitching at the heat, or maybe, silenced fear. Her behavior now more downcast as she tried to exorcise her newly found phantoms that lurked inside.

Blossom

Blossom ignored Tiberius, knowing that the talkative wolf would go on and on if she encouraged his current behavior. She stuck her tongue at him, and finding herself still filled with joy from her claws to her ears, continued to prance about. That is until a white rabbit came into view, falling for Tiberius's trap rather easily. Blossom froze mid prance, standing only on her right front leg and left back leg. She looked nearly comical if it weren't for her sudden fear that the... trap... wouldn't work...

She hoped Tiberius wouldn't be mad when the trap didn't work due to her vine trick earlier. That is... Oh!!!! IT's a white bunny!!!! Her heart melted at it's pink eyes and pink nose. Normally, she wouldn't be the one hunting as her current thoughts were the reason she rarely ever caught any prey.... It was... "I can't take it!" She jumped up, and shouted at the rabbit, "Run away! Don't come this way!" The rabbited spooked and took off.

"Ah," relieved that the poor bunny wouldn't be her dinner today, Blossom fell over, afraid that her body couldn't take much of her erratic feelings that always seemed to burst out without her knowledge.

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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Encouraged by Durandel's sensible words, Nova made quick the remainder of his meal. He ate ravenously, and his appetite was only tempered by the need to still be able to run quickly without cramping up soon. As his mouth was occupied, it freed up his brain for moment to think. They were to be going right back near that terrible prison, or whatever remained of it. The outlet of it has been in the Sharikere's, and Nova had no doubt that an entrance to that terrible place was somewhere in the cliffs they were about to flee to. What if they stumbled upon it? What if Rashid had come back? Where was that blasted wolf and his minions? If that wolf is allowed to run free, Nova had no doubt it would mean the end of Nigerius. Well, if this endless war did not destroy it first.

"Ready when you lot are" Nova said, straightening out his legs and standing up. It wasn't terribly far to the cliffs, although it would require cutting through the Arlyne's territory along the river if they wanted to get there faster. Either that, or face a long trip around the lake. And with a pack of bloodhounds on them, Nova was doubtful that they could shake them for that long.

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Durandel looked towards Nova who voraciously, finished off his catch. He then gave a nod to Nova's question as he stretched and limbered up for the journey ahead of them. He then looked over to Dey who was melting down her food for consumption. She seemed saddened and distant all of a sudden. Was it something he said? He then walked over to her. "Hey, are you alright?" He asked concerned. He wasn't quite sure what else to say to this wolf, so much was happening all at once and he had no wisdom to give in this situation. In fact he wasn't very wise at all, not like Ezra. He would know what to say for times like these, but wishing for his guidance know is but a fantasy. He can't be distracted by things like that in times like these. Instinct, he must rely on for his survival.

"If you don't feel like answering, you don't have to you know?" He added. He felt a bit awkward at the moment. He's not use to being the sympathetic type. That and well, he hoped she would hold off on an answering, considering he wasn't sure what to say or do for her if she asked for his help. How awkward would that be? Him stumbling over what to say or what not to say. Well, at least he could say he is confused as well. Someone who looks like BattleDemon but calls herself another name and forgets everything they've been through...yeah, confusing.

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Battledemon

"Hey, are you alright?" Dey was startled and a tad bit confused when Durandel came forward.... as if trying to offer comfort or something of that sort.

"If you don't feel like answering, you don't have to you know?" He added

Dey could tell from the frantic look in his eyes that he was uncomfortable. She tried not to smile at the poor wolf's attempts but Iit was just... she smiled, "I'm fine, nothing to worry about. " of course the words were a lie but Durandel looked as if had enough problems on his shoulder already. "Like you said, I can hold my questions until we're in a safe place." The words were monotonous, something you'd expect from someone nearly to their breaking point.

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Durandel then nodded even though he felt bad for Dey. He has quite possibly ruined any chances she had for a peaceful life. He decided to turn away feeling ashamed. He then looked towards Nova, "Well, I'll follow your lead, as a Wolf from the Packs of Fire, I have never stepped once into those cliffs. I would be a terrible guide." He spoke, a hint of sadness in his voice. He then looked off in the distance, he felt tense looking out into the great wide yonder, never knowing if you'll be safe or not. Who knows what lurks out there in the world. Especially since it feels like the world has gotten much darker than it should be. There is something foul on the wind...it does not bode good tidings for their futures.

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#, as written by Krypt
Nova


"We'll have to go through Arlyne country. I don't think we'll run into any if we stay away from the main crossings. I know of one that shouldn't be watched" Nova said decisively, feeling that some kind of definitive plan were needed for this downtrodden lot. He was more than aware of the heavy air that had descended on the group, it had come as quickly as the fiery aggression that had suddenly enveloped him and Dey earlier. Pulling his own emotions in and locking them down behind a neutral facade, he covered Dey's embers as soon as she was done as to not leave behind evidence, and began to move down the waterway.

As prominent of a role as rivers, lakes, and streams had been in their journey so far, Nova feared that fresh water and more importantly food would be in scarce supply once they entered into the maze of cliffs. Sure there would be springs, for those who knew where to look. There were settlements and roads of course, but they would have to stay off of those if they wanted to lose track of their pursuers. From the time he had spent with the Dimitrios, he learned that their land was rugged and could seem quite arid, with enough crags and twists that any wolf not carrying a string behind him would never be able to double back. Landslides could occur at whim. Rockfalls were sure to block their path more than once. Caves could offer peace and safety, but go in too far and you would find the ghoulish Dhvani, a wolf pack that the Dimitrios regarded as half savage.

Lost in his thoughts, Nova almost didn't notice the reeds in the river that had begun to poke through the surface. Sure there were reeds all along the bank, but these were in the middle of the stream, evidence that it was shallow enough there for plants to grow without being drowned. It was their crossing. No Arlyne had been seen around so far, but those wolves didn't just stick to land. Nova didn't fancy they would like seeing Durandel and himself again after their last warning. Hopefully they didn't lead Dey into senseless capture.

"Come on now. Keep quiet. Remember, the water has eyes here" Nova warned, before dipping his paws into the river and beginning to cross.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Battledemon

Battledemon. The name sparked a feeling of having been abandoned in this idle reality. What is this.... An echo of a memory caught her, engulfing her in its dreamy tendrils.

"Come on now. Keep quiet. Remember, the water has eyes here. "

Dey blinked her eyes remembering where she was and what they were doing. What was that? Did i just...? Confused by what she glimpsed, she nodded her silently to whatever Nova said and began to follow him into the water, letting the coldness numb her paws.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel followed Nova as they begun to enter Arlyne territory. It wasn't really long at all since they last been here. If they wind up being caught again, the Arlyne would most likely have no tolerance for them. Not to mention they can't expect to rely on Alina helping them out again. It would be best if they can pass through without drawing attention to themselves. At least Nova had a good sense as to WHERE they should be crossing. Otherwise if he led them he would have bumbled their way into another capture. This would be the first time he ever crossed into the Dimitrios territory if they managed to make it. He hoped he was making the right call to hide out in the Cliffs. After all he was pretty sure the Dimitrios would flog him in the streets if they found him. For the longest time the Tenneth and Dimitrios have seen themselves as rivals.

Even before the Great War, there have been documented cases of the many times the Tenneth and Dimitrios have quarreled. Mainly over territories and big egos. Both packs are considered the largest in terms of population and territory, the Super Packs if you will. Yet our egos will not allow one pack or the other to become the dominant pack of all Nigerius. The Tenneth are too hotheaded and the Dimitrios are too stubborn to ever consider making peace with one another. Then this war broke out and it was the very thing both packs needed to finally put their longstanding feud to rest...except neither side believed the end would be this bloody. Even despite the losses we cannot seem to swallow our pride and allow this war to end, not until one of us becomes the victor. Now this war is not only blowing up but it's about to boil over.

Before the rise of Prometheus, the Ausi-Dimitrios Alliance has lead to an imbalance in the face of this war. They have been killing every Alva they've come across and not too long ago the Tenneth met with an envoy from the Pack of Fear and Death. We never would have thought the Alva would consider an alliance but apparently their current Alpha, Oakleaf is more sensible than past Alphas. He knew that the Tenneth have added the Ausi to their list of foes and believed that we would want to tip the scales in our favor. Normally we wouldn't have wanted such an alliance but our pride would not allow the Dimitrios to gain the upper hand. Talks have been in the works but Ezra has warned against it. Not that he doesn't trust the Alva but rather feared the consequences of making such a pact. No doubt the Tenneth would move to assault the Ausi and Dimitrios with their Alvan allies in tow. It would be a bloodbath.

Then word got out about the Avira possibly forging an alliance with the Ausi and Dimitrios in response to our failed attempts of conquering Era. What a costly move on our part. Our Alpha was obviously nervous over the thought of three large packs banning together to destroy them. Now with Prometheus's attacks on the Ausi, it's beginning to look like the Alpha will make that alliance in order to bolster our ranks. No doubt he would want the Alvas enlisted within Prometheus's ranks. If that were to happen, there is no telling how much death and destruction he could cause if he had the Alva's abilities at his disposal. Luckily the Avira take a long time in delegating over any action, but we don't. Durandel was lost in thought as well, he left on his current mission before he heard the Alpha make a final decision on the matter. Thanks to him and Ezra, they at least made the Alpha hesitant in forming an alliance, but now that he's been declared a traitor...Ezra alone cannot sway the Council's future decisions. It was then Durandel snapped back to the present as Nova gave them a warning before he entered the river. Durandel nodded as he cautiously began crossing the water.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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#, as written by Krypt
Sticky mud grabbed at Nova's paws, and each step he took it felt like the ground was trying to pull him into its murky grasps. The croaks and groans of the small animal life living nearby the river broke the monotonous silence, and as they forded, Nova carefully looked up and down the stream. No sign of wolf life to be seen. Strangely enough, in this tense situation Nova could only think about how tired he was. It had to have been one of the longest days of his life, and now that he had food in his belly, his mind was beginning to demand the same attention. Put it to rest. It has been used enough today. In the arms of sleep, the world would make sense again. He could dream of a better world than this, a world without war, a world were wolves could enjoy what mattered most: home and family. Isn't that were all joy is found?

Almost to the other bank now. Only a half a league or so more, and they would be safe. Nova looked down at the swirling current beneath him. Peering, he realized something about the water didn't seem right. He froze. The water was red. The claws of fear gripped his heart as he traced the trail of what could only be one substance through the river. Not three lunges away, and Arlyne wolf lay slumped against a rock in the middle of the river. There was a deep gash in his side, and he was bleeding badly. The wolf stared weakly at them, a look of remorse in his eyes. Nova then saw the second wolf who was next to the first, lying senseless in the water. The only thing keeping that wolf alive was her companion's pained efforts to keep her head above water.

"...why did you bring the war to us...flee you three...while you still control your fate...!" the conscious wolf whimpered, before fearfully looking up the river. A series of howls from up the stream split the air from an unseen foe. Nova's weak nerves snapped. He did as he was told, and bolted, assuming the others were behind him. Was anywhere in this world safe?

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Blossom Character Portrait: Tiberius
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Blossom

Blossomed nodded, following Tiberius to the dam, feeling that his obsession with this dam to be a little peculiar.

"Now how do we get on top? I bet there is a door up there" Tiberius guessed, peering upwards. The valley walls on the sides of the dam were rugged enough to make climbing them impossible, and there weren't any stairs or anything to get up. "You could use your new vine trick to pull us up there, maybe? If ya could like, started it from up there, maybe" he wondered, thinking aloud.

"Hmm, I don't think I can do.. that." She was sat down and made it so that she had her paws held up, sort of like she was begging, which she really wasn't. She appeared to be trying to gauge the actual size of the wooden structure. "There has to be plants already growing on it in order for me to be able to do that."

Battledemon

"...why did you bring the war to us...flee you three...while you still control your fate...!" Dey looked at the injured Arlyne, not yet fully understanding that this place she knew nothing about was at war. "Wha-" A series of howls filled the air splitting the heavy silence that had made them so on edge.

Despite hearing the howls, Dey didn't run... that is until she saw Nova bolt and surprised by his actions, she moved to follow him wondering why they were running. And of course, as she's not used to running in water, she tripped, rolled and slid on the water surface... right into Nova.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel paused when he saw the river run red with blood. Stepping in it made his skin shiver right underneath the fur. It was then his attentions were drawn to the source of the blood. A group of dead and dying Arlynes...just who could have done such a thing? Durandel didn't like the looks of this and began to wonder if the Tenneth, specifically Prometheus, had anything to do with this? He really didn't get a chance to ask who was responsible for this bloodshed when the Arlyne told them all to flee. Durandel didn't feel right just leaving the Water Wolves here to die. It was then howls broke the silence of this grim scenery as Durandel perked up and heard the howls coming from up the river bend. It would seem the ones responsible were still around and it sounded like they are still in the mood to draw blood.

It was then Nova bounded off, followed by Dey. Durandel wasn't going to be left behind and quickly left to follow them, but not before saying sorry to the Arlyne. As he ran after them he began to worry about them escaping into the Cliffs. What if they didn't make it? What if they were caught by the wolves who did that and end up the same? It was then he saw Dey slip and slide right into Nova. Worried, he stopped dead in his tracks. "Whoa! Is everyone alright?! Please say that you are, I don't want to hear that someone broke something when we are trying to run away." Durandel spoke as he looked at his friends shuffle in the murky water. "Do you guys need help?" He offered.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

"We're fine, keep going!" Nova grunted, hauling himself out of the water. He was a bout to snap at Dey for tacking him as he was getting out of the river, when he realized she had simply tripped and was not being malicious. Yanking her up by her scruff in an effort to keep moving, Nova let her go as soon as she had gotten her feet under her. He took a moment to rub his chin with his paw where his head had struck a stone when he went down. By the claw, he was getting more banged up than a fish in a net full of rocks today.

The moment of respite allowed Nova's ears to tune in one a peculiar sound from coming up the river, who until now had been covered up by the roars of the wolves upstream. It was growing loud and stronger in intensity, sounding like a strong gust of wind moving through a canyon. Turning, the Ausi was horrified to see a monstrous wave of water coming down the riverbed, the size of the wave dwarfing the normal banks of the river. Logs poked out of the waves like deadly spikes, and the whole thing became darker as it picked up more mud.

"I think the Arlyne are counterattacking...Lets go!" Nova muttered, his voice weak with fear before rising to shout the order to run.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Blossom Character Portrait: Tiberius
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Battledemon

Dey felt teeth dig into her scruff and lift her to her paws. She would have snapped at both Nova and Durandel if it hadn't been for that rising water in the back of them. "I think the Arlyne are counterattacking...Lets go!" She quickly shook our her fur and then began to follow after Nova. "WHAT DID YOU TWO DO?!" She snarled.

She had no qualms about following strangers - she actually did, but wouldn't say so - but it seemed that since she met Durandel, bad things have been happening, even more so now that Nova was with them. "The both of YOU!" She screeched at them both while running, finding it hard not to lose her footing again. "Trouble the both of you!"

Blossom

"Well, could we just look around some more then? There's gotta be something about where my parent's tribe went 'round here." Blossom didn't like the disappointed look on her friend's face, but what she had said was true and her powers seemed quite useless in this situation. "Maybe we could make a slingshot with my vines and we could test it out with a few animals and if it works I can send you right to the top!" She grinned at Tiberius at the idea, the look on her face suggesting that really believed such and idea would work.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel

"Why does this keep happening to us!?" Durandel shouted at the Heavens unlike Dey who was confined to blaming them. He ran as fast as he could but found it difficult to move through the water and mud. Luckily he made it out with the river with the others but that wave still looked as if it could sweep them all away. "We need to find high ground and quickly!" Durandel shouted motioning to the wave. Durandel then spotted a sizable hill off to their left. Durandel then shouted, "Hey lets pass the blame when we are NOT in life-threatening danger! Nova! Do you see that hill? Think it can save us from this huge wave?!" Durandel suggested. If all else failed he supposes he could cause an explosion of lava to halt as much of the wave as he could. Yet their was the possibility that the steam it would cause would alert whatever wolves attacked those Arlynes. Assuming they survive the rest of the wave that is.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Rocky Wasteland

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Taking a step back from the situation even as he began to run forward, Nova couldn't help by wonder if he had been cursed with bad luck for working with a Cancius. The absurdity of this whole situation was appalling, and in the perspective of all that had happened that day, Nova actually felt his fear of the impending wave of doom coming their way start to melt away. He barely even registered Dey's snark or Durandel's desperation. Really, could anything else REALLY go wrong in this situation? It really couldn't get any worse than this. He even started to chuckle as he thought of different ways it could get worse.

"Oh sure, sure, I think it'll work, Khan! And I think it is actually a volcano too, swarming with Alva and soon to be struck with Borak thunder! Don't forget an impending Dimitrios landslide!" Nova laughed unseemly, most of what he said getting drowned out in the roar of the wave. He then started to wheeze since running and laughing don't exactly go together. Two weeks ago the most danger he had been in was deciding if he wanted the chicken or the fish for dinner. He had had his life in peril so many times that day, that he refused to be angry at it any more. Besides, it looked like they were going to make it out of the flood plain. They were getting to be in the rocky wasteland leading up to the Onatah's that he had run into those Ausi raiders earlier.

"Up we go, lets ride it out!" Nova shouted, a little more levelheaded as they started up the hill.

The setting changes from rocky-wasteland to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Battledemon

Durandel then shouted, "Hey lets pass the blame when we are NOT in life-threatening danger! Nova! Do you see that hill? Think it can save us from this huge wave?!"

Dey was no amused by Nova's suddenly supposedly cheerful attitude and decided when this was over she was going to happily, and painfully pay both brutes back. Damn slaphapp- She tripped yet again, this time landing in the mud after having stepped on a sharp rock. "Curse you Nova!" Despite being behind Durandel, far from Nova, she instantly blamed him for her having tripped (yet again) as he had been the reason she hadn't been concentrating on where she was going. Now soaking wet, covered in mud and with an injured paw, Dey was in a worse mood, worse than from before, if that's even possible. She began to grumble and mutter under her breath about her two terrible traveling partners.

Dey followed Nova and Durandel suddenly going silent as she quickly sat to inspect the cut in her paw pads that had been caused by the sharp rock from earlier. Wretched water, wretched mud, ugh! "I hate this place..." She grumbled before she began to lick clean the injury so that it wouldn't come to infection.

A little relieved that they were on dry ground now, Dey stepped gingerly foward, trying hard not to put too much weight on her injured paw.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel

Durandel huffed and puffed as he continued to run up that hill. That damn, muddy water was difficult to sprint like he did, through. Although, he cannot contribute his tiredness to that alone, all day was one great, big nightmare. Now if only he could wake up from it! Still this was for real and despite Nova's sarcasm it really wouldn't surprise him if things did manage to get worse. He then saw Dey slip once more and began to curse Nova. Everyone was becoming more and more irritable and...he's beginning to feel it too. "GODS! Can we not get anywhere we need to be without all of Nigerius trying to kill us!?" Durandel shouted once more to the heavens.

They managed to make it up the hill as he watched the waves crashed and wash over the land below. Dey began to lick her fresh wound after expressing her hate for the very land they are in. He was beginning to agree. At least they managed to avoid being washed down the river along with whatever else was caught in that attack. He decided to take a breather and after catching his breath he spoke, "Well...let's just take a break, yeah?" Durandel then sat down as he watched the raging waters before them. "Wonder how long this is gonna take?" He asked to no one in particular.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

At last, they were on top of the hill. Though it seemed that he was not out of danger, if dearest Dey had anything to say about it. He was still riled up from the run, and given the breath to laugh at the situation was now available he did so. "Oh, aren't we the sorriest lot in Nigerius. A naive Cancius guard who think he can stop a war, a hapless Alvan amnesiac in denial of who she is, and...whatever I am. A stupid Ausi spy who should have retired yesterday" Nova commented with a chuckle.

There wasn't much to see down below, the water was beginning to recede. For as damaging as things like fires and floods are, they really don't last all that long. Still, the land down below was pretty torn up. Trees were uprooted, the ground was covered in river sludge, and there was still a lot of water that had yet to drain away in the already saturated ground. Who in the world had the Arlyne destroyed their own home to stop? For as much as he liked to complain, he realized that the wave couldn't have been meant for them. The Arlyne wouldn't have done that over three wolves, no matter how misfitty or dangerous they looked. At least this should have washed the Tenneth off their trail.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Battledemon

"Oh, aren't we the sorriest lot in Nigerius. A naive Cancius guard who think he can stop a war, a hapless Alvan amnesiac in denial of who she is, and...whatever I am. A stupid Ausi spy who should have retired yesterday" Nova commented with a chuckle.

Dey flopped to the ground, growling as she covered her face with her paws, "If you don't shut up, I'll hurt you." She didn't specify how she would hurt it him but the seriousness in her tone suggested that she would probably tackle him and bite his ears off. "Khan, please make him shut up." She shut her eyes tight, reliving the memory she had remembered just before they had run into the injured Arlyne...

White, everything was white but the grayness above her, signifying that is it was cloudy. The ground was white, sparkling, and cold to the touch, yet it gave way when she had stepped into it. Specks of white fuzz drifted through the air, slowly, nearly dancing, it would fall to the ground and join the rest of the whiteness. Then... blood, blood on the white crystals. Howls, snarls, growls echoed through the dreary grayness.

"I remember... something... about white stuff. It was everywhere, falling from the air, and it was... Cold!" She tucked herself together, nearly turning into a ball of fur.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel

The Canicus sat there as he watched the overflowing river beginning to recede. While it might be safe to traverse he could help but look at the devastation. It's no wonder the Arlyne have managed to stop all invaders in their lands, including the mighty Tenneth and Dimitrios. One should know better than to underestimate any one pack, and this proves it. Yet, he never thought the Arlyne would cause such destruction even if they were capable. The Arlyne have always been seen as a peaceful lot, but this war seems to be corrupting more than just the land. This made Durandel sad as Ezra's warnings about the war began to set in. "Remember this Durandel, if this war is not stopped soon...I'm afraid the packs will lose more than just some land. Something much more valuable will be lost...even more valuable than their lives."

Ezra said that yesterday to him and now he was beginning to see what he meant by something more valuable than lives or land. He then heard more sarcastic comments coming from Nova. Obviously the Ausi didn't want to be dragged back into the madness that was their daily lives for a time. He'll admit he didn't want to either, but, he had to do what he could to help. Yet, it seems all of this might be for not. If only he could convince them that this course of action will be worth it all in the end. Yet, there was nothing he could say or do to change their minds. Well as he brought up, their pursuers will have either died or lost their trail in that attack. He then looked over to Dey who told him to make Nova shut up.

Durandel then stood up. "Well, I see no point in sitting around and complaining...the only thing we can do is to keep moving forward, away from all this death." Durandel spoke. He then watched Dey blurt out something rather odd. "Cold white stuff? Do you mean snow?" Durandel asked. "The only time he saw anything like that was near Rashid's Prison. He didn't pay much attention to it at the time, but it was cold and hard to walk in. He began to wonder how the Ausi do it everyday. They must have warm paws.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Not terribly ruffled by Dey's threat, Nova nevertheless didn't have much else to say to her for the moment. She was just having another one of her visions. Durandel was right though, there was no situation so bad in the world that complaining could not make it worse. It even warranted Nova to issue a very quiet apology, as if it could help

It didn't help that the three of them had gotten off on such bad footing together, particularly him and Battle...or whoever she was. If only Cerise was still around, that winged wolf had a wonderful knack for seeing the goodness in everyone. She had saved several of many of them from dying and comforted them in their injuries, and Nova could vividly recall the time that she helped revive him from Schemeko's poison. It was because of her the three of them had even met, and she managed to make a motley group of wolves from rival packs at the very least respect each other for a time. No other wolf he knew could do that. She had been with them from SkyDancer to the Elemental Battles. What a wolf. If anything, it truly was a shame BattleDemon couldn't remember even her now, who must have played such a role in her life. "I bet Cerise could put a positive spin on even this..." Nova said with a sigh.

The foothill they were perched upon was as good a spot as any to start into the Onatah's from. To the north of them, the snowy Sharikere's loomed like jagged teeth, and leading up to them was the rugged corridors and cliff sides that the Dimitrios called their home. If he recalled right, one of the main roads leading into the cliffs was not far from where they were now. Before the war, it had been a major thoroughfare wolves, Dimitrios, Ausi, and otherwise. In fact, the safest route into the Sharikeres through the Falcon's Pass was formed by a spur off the main road. Since the conflict, that route had been closed, necessitating all who wished to go further up into Ausi territory to take a more perilous route. Though none of this really mattered to the three of them now, as the best policy for hiding out was to not use the main road. And navigating the Onatah's was going to be next to impossible without a guide.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel

Durandel roused to his feet as he saw Nova preparing to move on. It was then he mentioned Cerise that his ears perked up. "Oh yeah, that one." Durandel spoke rather somberly. He didn't know her for as long as Nova did but that wolf really did seem to be the mortar that held the bricks together, as the Dimitrios would say. "Never known an Avira to be like that...like a leader of sorts. Didn't know her very long but Ezra reminded me alot of her." Durandel spoke. He then looked to Dey, if she is BattleDemon, then she knew her for alot long than him as well. He then looked up to the Cliffs and could see the Sharikeres. Best they avoid those snow covered mountains for his sake.

_________


Else where, they were watched from afar by a mud covered Tenneth. He watched as the group turned their attentions towards the Cliffs and moved towards them. He wandered off in the other direction. He then returned to his group which were laying upon a recently made rock formation, courtesy of the Canicus's lava and the Arlyne flood. The Tenneth returned. "Boss, I found them and well, you ain't gonna like it." The Tenneth spoke. "What is it now Vernon?" Their boss asked. "Well Durandel and his pals are heading into the Onatah Cliffs." Vernon hesitantly answered. "WHAT!? Are you sure!? Why would they do that!?" The boss yelled. "I don't know! That's their plan!" Vernon cried.

"Wait..., I bet it's to deter us from following. They know we wouldn't dare set foot into Dimitrios territory, that's why they are doing it!" The Boss exclaimed. "Yeah but Durandel is a Canicus like us. Why would his Ausi friend lead him there?" Asked a Canicus. "Well...they aren't seeking refuge with the Dimitrios...I guess they figured the Cliffs could protect them...the mountain paths are numerous and twisting...it's easy to lose pursuers in there." The Boss answered. "So, do we follow them?" asked another Canicus. "Yes, I'm afraid we are, we can't leave empty handed...especially with the boss planning another attack soon." The Boss answered. "Do you think they know about our planned assault on the Dimitrios?" Vernon asked. "Shut up about that! We don't need some lucky fool overhearing our plans. Anyways, no, those fools don't suspect a thing...and lets keep it that way!" He barked. "Now lets go before we lose them up there." The boss commanded as the Fire and Lava Wolves moved on.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

"Really, can this get anymore disastrous?" Ash looked at her reflection in the water, grimacing as she tried to use her powers to get the mud out of her coat. "Maybe if I hadn't been doing what they told me NOT to be doing... then maybe..." She rolled her eyes, completely at ease with talking to herself. "Now when I get-" She dug her paws into the ground, and appeared to be pulling back from an invisible force that was tugging at the mud In her fur. "Home, Hazel will-" She sat down with her teeth bared, feeling the clumps of mud forcibly roll out of her coat, taking some of her beautiful plush, fur with it. "Kill me!"

Suddenly she flew backwards, head over tail, completely free of mud. Amazed that she was able to fix her mud problems herself, she leaped to her paws with an excited gleam in her eyes. "Yes!" She shook out her coat, sat down and began to groom herself back to perfection, not noticing the mass of mud that seemed to fly across the lake.

How she got into her curtain location due to being the stubborn and bratty she-wolf she was, had begun to dig for gems in a part of the Onatah cliffs that was off limits to her family's mining business. Of course, how she got muddy and sort of wet, was because she had tapped into an aquifer, the reason that area was off limits to mining for gems, and other worthless stuff... Ash thought as her mind was suddenly drawn to the war that was going on, and how her family were mining for gems, metals, and other valuable minerals that helped the her kind, the Dimitrois wage their war.

Too busy thinking of herself, her coat and and her dismay at having found no gems, Ash didn't hear the voices of several Non-Dimitrios wolves nearby...

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Ready to find a cave and sleep the rest of the day away, Nova stood up to shake out his coat and signal for Dey to get ready. It was going to be impossible to find their way in and out of those winding cliffs, but at the very least they were going to lose their pursuers. And maybe get a few months of rest while they tried to work their way out. The thought in his mind, Nova looked back over the valley again to see if he could make out any of the Tenneth who were pursuing them, or even those Hemlocks. No groups of wolves it seemed. But there was a Dimitrios washing herself not too far away down the side of the hill. Hopefully she didn't go sounding the alarm about a traitorous Ausi bringing the enemy into her pack's homeland. Maybe...well, it would be risky...but maybe she could 'help'.

"Either of you two want to be my prisoners?" Nova asked suddenly, still glancing over at the Dimitrios. Without pausing long enough for them to try, Nova continued in a hushed voice "My pack is allied with her pack. At the very least, she shouldn't go sounding the alarm about an Ausi going into the cliffs. If I make up some story that I'm bringing you two back to be questioned, but need some place to keep you while I get a couple more guards, perhaps we could get her to lead us in. We are going to be hopelessly lost if we don't have a guide."

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

Durandel quickly stared at Nova with an incredulous look. "You've got to be joking right?" Durandel asked in disbelief. "Your not seriously considering throwing out that old routine are you?" Durandel continued to sound surprised. He then looked down the hill and watched a Dimitrios clean her coat, he then looked back at Nova. "She hasn't noticed us yet, can't we just sneak around her?" Then Durandel was reminded of their need of a guide. While he could admit that a guide would be helpful, just how much can they trust this wolf...or in this case, how much can she trust Nova. He then shook his head. "I don't know...I mean, a guide would be nice, but...what if this doesn't work out, what if she thinks your lying?" Durandel asked. "And even if she does believe you, what if there are more Dimitrios in the area and then she says", "Oh there's no need, there's a squad of Dimitrios nearby that would happily help you escort me and Dey all the way to the prisons in Stonehold!" Durandel exclaimed in a hushed tone. He then looked towards Dey who has been silent for the most part. He hoped she might agree or have an idea of her own, admittingly since he doesn't have any bright ideas himself.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Battledemon

Dey shot her head up at what Nova said, and felt like exacting her revenge right then and there before he went and did something incredibly dumb. Great, now we'll have to reel in his confidence later if this place actually worked.... But, I'm pretty sure I can just go ahead, turn around, and pretend I never met either of them....

"You've got to be joking right?" She let out a sigh of relief that she wasn't the only way that felt that way about Nova's plan.... that is until Khan started to lose it. "While I entirely agree with Khan here, I however think that the decision doesn't have to emit that much anxiety..." Completely perplexed at his reaction she got up to poke him with her paw, "Hmmm, well my paw didn't burn up-" She looked at Nova, "are we sure this is Khan?"

"Oh well, since I can't trust that this entirely the rightful Khan, I say go right ahead." So amused by their current situation that she had forgotten what had made her so upset before... And it didn't even occur to her that if they go along with Nova's plan it would mean they'd have to trust Nova, practically, entirely place their trust in him. A trust that she, perhaps, had already given to the Ausi.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Nova

Smirking at Dey's remark about Khan, er, Durandel, Nova figured that a two vs one vote was going to be all the needed for this hasty plan to move forward. They were going to have to do something before dark, after all, and no other plan was forthcoming. Besides painting themselves like earth wolves, of course, but that was even more reckless. And they didn't have paint.

The more he thought about it, the more he confidence he felt that it could work. It was as if he was talking himself into doing it. Sure it was the oldest routine in the book, but it was still in the book for a reason, right? Besides, if worse came to worse they would just be running for their lives again, and Nova had become a little desensitized to that by now.

"Alright then, stop acting like friends and look defeated" Nova said quickly over Durandel's protests. Without warning the other two, Nova froze the grass that was beneath their paws in an effort to get them to suddenly slip and fall. It looked a little more convincing to be taking care of a couple of fugitives if they weren't standing up bright eyed and healthy.

"Hey miss! Can't you make a couple of stone collars for these two invaders right quick! They'll run straight into the Onatah's if you don't!" Nova howled frantically down to the she wolf who had yet to notice them, hyperventilating for additional affect, and speaking every bit the truth. It would be easier to earn her trust if he spoke as little falsehoods as he could. There was no need to scruff up his fur anymore to make it look like he had been in a fight, he had been in enough of those already today. He hoped that she would take the bait, otherwise they would be helplessly lost in the Dimitrios' lands.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

"Hey miss! Can't you make a couple of stone collars for these two invaders right quick! They'll run straight into the Onatah's if you don't!" Startled from her very important duty of self-grooming, Ash jumped up, seeing a tawny brown wolf with two other wolves behind him. A solid black she-wolf, and a fiery, she is assuming, Tenneth. It took her a second or two to realize that the tawny one was asking her aid him in safely detaining the other two. Fear seeped into her as she realized that they were not Dimitrios and as she never had ANY experience with outsiders, other then the stories her parents and elders had shared with her, she over-reacted. Seriously over-reacted by creating the ground under the two disappear...

Well, not entirely disappear, but it did fall, with the two detainees, 10 feet down to create a earth cell.

Battledemon

"Ahh!" Battledemon didn't have time to even do or say anything before the ground beneath her fell away. She shut her eyes and after falling, and landing on Durandel - which she was very grateful for - groaned, "Remind me to never EVER encourage any more of Nova's plans..."

Groaning, from having fallen ten feet, Dey gingerly stepped off the Tenneth. "Sorry, Khan." Finding that it was a bit dark where they were she nearly panicked, but remembered that a certain landing cushion - Durandel - also had the ability to make some light. "Mmm, Khan, how about a candle or something of that sort?" It is too dreary, what with it having been cloudy and downcast, but now... Now... "Nova's gonna pay for this..."

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Nova

It was just one of those days, wasn't it? Well, at least she didn't overreact and crush the three of them with a rock slide. How was he going to play this off? Maybe it would be better to let them stew inside for a little bit. After all, they would probably be safer down there from any of those Tenneth rouges that survived the flood. "Whoa, good call miss!" Nova panted, looking up from where the earth ate his friends and trying to hide the shock from his face, though not very successfully.

"I was just scouting around the Ausi and Dimitrios lands when these two came along. I think they are a couple of fugitives, earlier they had some Tenneth coming after them from what I saw. Who knows what chaos they would have brung into our homelands" Nova explained hastily, kicking some of the frost on the grass that had survived the cave in and watching the crystals sparkle in the weak sunlight. This wolf was certainly big enough to be a decent fighter, perhaps he should have looked for a more mellow target to try and be their guide.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

Okay, I'm pretty sure I overreacted judging by the look on his face... She purposely let the thought slip from her mind, and now that the obvious threats to her were gone, she sat. "I was just scouting around the Ausi and Dimitrios lands when these two came along. I think they are a couple of fugitives, earlier they had some Tenneth coming after them from what I saw. Who knows what chaos they would have brung into our homelands." I could be digging up gems while he drones on... Ash rolled her eyes before she spoke in a tone that sounded like she truly was a caring person, "Yes, I guess I must thank you for doing your duty yada yada yada," then huffed and let that almost authentic tone drop, revealing the frosty coldness of a high ranking she-wolf.

"Now tell me, why didn't you go bother someone else with your problems?" Ash glowered, "I mean, what, did you really think you could just walk up to me and expect me to help you? I have things go, more valuable, and worthy things to do..." She stopped herself there, realizing she sounded a bit like her mother. Great, now I sound like that old flea-bag... Whoa! Wait! I know!

"All right, let's start over: My name's Ash and yours is?" Without skipping a beat, she smiled politely, "Anyways, I have a grand idea as to how you can help, and I can help you." Using her powers, she moved a boulder to the side, a boulder that had been inching ever so closely since she began talking to Nova, revealing gems. Bags full of gems. "Perhaps, we can use those two prisoners of war to carry my precious jewels back to mining HQ's..." She arched an eyebrow and and cocked her head to the left, as if hoping he'd say yes just because she was beautiful - in her opinion anyway.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Nova

Trying to form a halfway polite response to her first haughty comments, Nova would have completely missed her offer had she not so suddenly changed her tone. Use them as pack mules? I'm sure that they would love me for that. He thought that it was actually a good idea, though that was coming from the wolf who thought painting themselves was a good idea. At least it would be a good way to get them into the cliffs before they ended up suffocating in that pit. As soon as they got in, they could ditch the packs and leave this blue-blood to carry her own precious gems.

Formulating his response carefully, Nova swallowed the frustration that was building up so that he could respond levelly and naturally. "M'names Nova, miss. Sounds like a good plan to keep them quiet, anything to help a lady" Nova responded lightly, letting an adoring tone ooze out onto his words. He even made a show of staring wide eyed at the gem stones for a moment to soak in their natural beauty. She seemed to want to control the conversation, and Nova was fine letting her do that as long as she got them moving in the right direction. If his recent misadventure of meeting Dey showed anything, it was that he was no master of good conversation. Maybe if he just stuck to giving compliments and agreeing, wolves would like him more. Hard to do sometimes, when the other wolf was being an airhead.

Realizing that being too agreeing might actually be suspicious, Nova took a chance and backtracked a little with "Do you want me to send some warriors to guard you while you load them up? I'm almost off duty and should be heading back to report the intruders."

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

"AAAAHHHH!" Durandel yelled as he fell with a thud on the hard ground. This plan was already going south much sooner than he expected it to go. It didn't help matters any better when Dey came tumbling down upon him, as if he wasn't hurting enough! "OOF!" He shouted after her body slammed into his. He watched as the She-Wolf stood up, looking more healthier than he. He then wobbly stood up as he looked at the walls around him. "Well, it ain't Stonehold...but I wasn't far off." He remarked. "Anyway it's alright...I mean...who would of ever guessed a Dimitrios would ever act rashly towards a wolf from the Vulcans?" Durandel spoke sarcastically. He then looked up and noticed that Nova was not among them...meaning the Dimitrios She-Wolf must believe in him some what, otherwise he'd be stumbling in the dark as well.

Durandel then looked towards Dey who suggested he make some light. He then shook his head, "I could but unfortunately you'd be cooked alive in this small a space, and I don't think you would want that." Durandel answered. He tried to overhear their conversation and while the walls served as bit of a muffler he could hear a slight echo. He then reported to Dey what he could hear, "It sounds like an argument but I think Nova convinced her." Durandel spoke. He couldn't quite get all of it but he got enough of it to feel disgruntled. "I don't know but it sounds like you an I are about to do some manual labor...this plan just keeps getting better and better." He spoke in an unhappy tone.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

Hmmm, strange name, she smiled, "Well, Nova," she purposely put an emphasis on his name, showing that she thought the name odd, "No need to bring in the soldiers, I mean, they're pretty busy at the moment." She walked over to the pit of a cell, looking down at Durandel and Dey. "What are their names?"

Normally, she wouldn't ask for such things but these wolves... The black she-wolf looked strange, while the supposed Tenneth looked familiar. Ash thought back to the time she had spied on a meeting that consisted only of the generals of her packs, which also included her father. They spoke something of a wolf, and described him as Ezra, and there... there was some others too, but this guy.... I can't remember that well. Not at all afraid for herself, she nodded to Nova, "Well, I'm going to bring them up but your gonna need to have those packs ready." She motioned to the leather packs, she had used to get the jewels there by dragging them, sled-like.

Without further hesitation, she stamped her fronts paws again, but this time, the ground beneath the prisoners shot upwards and like a catapult, launched both wolves into the sky. "Oops." Her ears went back against her skull as she smiled nervously to herself about using her power so openly.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Nova

"Well, they ain't going to be much use to us with broken legs, miss" Nova commented dryly, not at all sympathetic to her not so little goof up. Ice wasn't the best element for breaking someone's fall, unless it was a very thin layer of it over water, so there wasn't much he could do to help soften the blow. Luckily for them, the ground had been quite churned up by all the manipulating that Ash was doing, so it would be closer to landing in mud than hitting compacted dirt. Still hurts, just not as much.

"Heard her calling him Khan, don't really know what her name is though" he said in response to her earlier question as he went over to get the packs. They were well made for someone who was willing to drag around rocks, but not exactly to keep someone restrained. Making a show of fumbling with the straps or something, Nova stole a glance over to Durandel, whom he was sure had heard the comment about there not being available guards around. If that was true, and they weren't too injured, they may as well just ditch the act and force Ash to just show them some back way in. As for Dey, Nova figured that the more pain that this little plan of his put her through, the slower she was going to make his death later. Maybe it would be best if they just ended it right here, before this ditzy Dimitrios accidentally causes a landslide.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Battledemon

Dey was greatly disappointed in Khans' response to her question about lighting up the cell. Even more so when he told her of potential manual labor for the two of them. She frowned, her ears beginning to twitch violently as she tried not to focus on the shadows, but on something brighter. Fat lot that would do me, she thought angrily, already a tad bit frustrated with what they were doing.

And as if to make their plight even worse, they were thrown into the air, which wasn't at all surprising... Yet the feeling of her stomach being thrown around like a ball, nearly made her faint. And as she landed, thankfully, yet again on Durandel, she felt the air get knocked out of her.

Gasping for breath, and trying not to vomit, she gave Nova a dirty look just before she got to her paws, which were shaking from the sudden adrenaline rush. "Ohh," Dey moaned, and hunched her shoulders while digging her paws into the ground, "That was too exhilarating for me... but thanks for catching me, Khan. Would have been pretty painful to have landed in the dirt myself." Despite getting bruised, thrown in the ground and air, she was able to show a hint of humor.

Ash

Ash watched the two foreigners land, and found the whole scene rather... exhilarating, much to the misfortune of Dey. "Hmm, that was a funny sight, maybe I should throw more wolves into the air... " She watched the face on the black she-wolf change from that of a slightly-smiling wolf to that of a infuriated devil wolf. "You! You did that on purpose?!"

The nervousness Ash had been feeling earlier dissipated completely, "Of course not." She cocked her head, and grinned devilishly as she changed the landscape around them with a sudden ease that belied her earlier actions. An earth wall that reached ten feet high came up from behind the Dey and her group, cutting off the route they had come from. And it was decorated with imprints of flowers.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

Durandel felt the land beneath him heave and upturn as he flew up to the surface. "WAAAAAAAAHHH!" He shouted as he fell flat on his face again and then Dey landed on him once more. "Not...again...," he wheezed as he looked towards Dey, "...Yeah...don't mention it...please, really." He gasped. He then shakily stood to his paws once more as he gave a glare towards Nova. Given his unspoken criticism of his plan thus far. Dey on the other hand looked even more displeased with his plan. Especially at this Dimitrios who seemed to have fun throwing them about like rag dolls.

Then a huge wall appeared behind them and it seemed that there was no other options left but to go on ahead. Perhaps they could drop the act since this Dimitrios is the only one around. All of this ruckus would have certainly drew more wolves to them, but it hasn't. So as far as he could tell they were alone. Still Nova is keeping up the charade as he tries to place a harness on Dey. Durandel sighed. "Curse you Dimitrios and Ausi dogs, you can chain me and work me like a slave but my pride shall never die like the eternal flame of my lord, Phoenix!" Durandel spouted the prideful dogma of his people just to further the charade. He hoped they wouldn't have to act forever...Durandel was terrible at theatrics.

_______

Meanwhile, the group of Tenneth and Canicus crossed the receding waters of the recent flood. "It looks like they've entered Dimitrios territory." spoke a wolf. "What are they crazy? That fool, Durandel, would be killed on sight!" claimed another. "Quiet! We're going in there!" Barked their leader. "You can't be serious?!" "I am! Now move! I would rather face the blasted Earth Wolves than Prometheus's anger!" He retorted. They cautiously enter. They soon were becoming lost until they heard the rumblings of the Earth. "Sounds like a fight's going on." Spoke a Tenneth. "Well that's a good sign for us, perhaps it's Durandel that's being attack. Come one lets go." commanded their leader. Soon they continued to move cautiously towards the direction the rumblings came from.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Battledemon and Ash

Dey shook out her coat, and was surprised that Nova was trying to place a harness on her. Wide eyed, she jumped back, "Wha-" "C'mon, shewolf, before Ash here makes this wall fall on you." She sputtered for a moment, trying to come up with an intelligible response, when Durandel sighed, "Curse you Dimitrios and Ausi dogs, you can chain me and work me like a slave but my pride shall never die like the eternal flame of my lord, Phoenix!"

Her ears went up, and her tail went still, as she slowly remembered that they were lying their snouts off to this... one, lone, dimitrois she-wolf. Oh, drat. Dey arched her neck to see Ash and then look back at Nova, her eyes already conveying that of a irritated and exasperated she-wolf. Oh come on, it's three against one and your still gonna go on with this charade?! A soft growl erupted from her as she - without words - began to ask Nova if he really, really was gonna go with it. Not waiting for him to respond, she lied down with her eyes daring him to attempt to place that damned harness on her, clearly indicating to him that she would not go with this plan.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

The harness still hanging loosely from his jaw, Nova's features hardened after Dey's resentful growl. Why did they keep looking at him with such doubtful eyes? If they just dropped the act and trampled Ash, they'd be slammed against this new wall by an army of Dimitrios! Ergh, why does she always have to be so difficult! She agreed to this stupid plan. He was rather tempted to just drop the heavy harness smack on her head now that she was lying down.

And so he did, just a bit more gracefully. He took her implied dare and threw the shoulder harness at her, aiming so that the ring of leather would land around her neck. "Oh shaddup already, you think you can overpower me? I'm in my element here, shewolf!" Nova challenged, amping up his earlier growl, feeling the fur on his hackles rise. His was letting his fear translate into anger, but there was a method to his madness, he realized afterwards. If Dey decided to accept his challenge and fight him, it would just look like she rebelled and then she and Durandel both would have an excuse to coerce Ash into leading them as well, while keeping himself looking innocent when they get caught. Though if she is smart and just agreed to pull the stupid gems, they were going to be a lot less sore that night.

"And you! Tenneth! Stop whining about your Phoenix and get into that sled!" Nova barked, taking his attention from Dey.

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Battledemon

"Oh shaddup already, you think you can overpower me? I'm in my element here, she-wolf!" That idiot! Dey growled already jumping onto her paws to meet his challenge when she realized that he'd thrown the harness onto her already. You'll pay for this, she shut her mouth, gritting her teeth as if she were in pain. I guess, I'm going with it... but I don't have to do it happily or without causing him pain. She was already thinking of ways to get him back for this and she took her chance when his attention was moved to Durandel.

Dey lunged forward and bit his tail, careful not to pierce skin, and harshly yanked it so as to cause him pain. Take that! As soon as she did so, she let go and quickly walked over to gems, acting like she had done nothing but be a demure little prisoner. I hate this...

Ash

Not seeing Dey's defiance, Ash walked over to Durandel and held out a harness to him. "Better take this nicely, Tenneth, as I am not keen on physical violence." She smiled devilishly at the lie.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel


Durandel chuckled at the sight of Dey resistance against Nova. It was rather comical, her biting his tail in defiance. Still he had to play it cool, but, dear lord it was hard. To lie bold face like this and pretend that this is reality. He can never see how certain wolves actually do this for a living. Worried that he may break his act he then made a real growl when he was called a Tenneth. He knew Nova was keeping up appearances but it was a knee jerk reaction for him. It was then that the Dimitrios came up to him with the harness, she too made the mistake of calling him a Tenneth.

"Grr, I am not a Tenneth for your information, I am a Canicus!" He bellowed with pride. He then looked at the harness as he nearly forgot that he was bluffing. "Err, but you will have to force that thing on me." He stammered. As he tried to look defiant. Should he have said that? Gods, was he making the right or wrong choices here!? He never had to think about what he should say to ensure cooperation or defiance or whatever the hell this is! He just hoped their bluff will hold.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Nova

Dey's quick movement catching him off guard, Nova swallowed the yowl of pain that he instinctively was going to let out. Intending to return the favor, Nova turned about to give her a savage kick, when he remembered that they were actually supposed to be friends or something. Besides, Ash didn't seem to notice, and Dey was doing what she was supposed to be doing. Now she is, anyway. "We better be careful, dearest Dey, we might forget that we actually like each other" Nova snarked under his breath, as he connected the harness to the sled with a couple of leather loops that were made for the task.

Walking over to Durandel, whose performance seemed to be laying it on thick, he decided to try and intervene before Ash did something crazy again. "Look fire wolf, you're all the same to me, you are going to pull this sled, or I'll freeze the blood in your veins and stop your heart here and now" Nova threatened, more than aware that he had never done something like that. It was actually rather a dark threat, he probably should have toned it back a bit. Freeze a Cancius' heart? What kind of rubbish is that? As Ash was not looking his direction, Nova's face did not match the harshness of his words, and instead he calmly motioned for Durandel to just do what he was asked to do. Ash was too unpredictable, and unless they wanted to go into another sinkhole, they should just act nice, and ditch her at the first fork in the road.

"You think we can lock these two scum in your gem cave over night? Might give 'em time to cool off before they get to the rest of the Dimitrios" Nova said to Ash as he waited for Durandel to saddle up.

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Battledemon

Dey saw Nova ready himself as if he was going to return her bite with a kick and she felt an odd memory twitch at the back of her mind. Silently, an image of some pass memory flitted through her head of three wolf cubs playing about with the feeling of carelessness. She realized that if this hadn't have been in their current situation, she would have liked to have challenged Nova to a mock fight.

"We better be careful, dearest Dey, we might forget that we actually like each other." When Nova brought her back to the present with those words, she shook her head and pretended to ignore him. Maybe I should have tripped him instead of just biting his tail. That thought was quickly followed with her imagination conjuring up images of several ways to make Nova look more like a fool in front of Ash and Durandel.

Ash

A Canicus? Ash was surprised by the information he just willingly gave, but since she had a superb poker face, didn't show it. Instead she smiled mockingly, "Really? I didn't know that, but I do know that you poor fellow, may not survive today if you don't-" "Look fire wolf, you're all the same to me, you are going to pull this sled, or I'll freeze the blood in your veins and stop your heart here and now." What a pain you are, she thought vehemently at her so-called ally.

"Now now," She rolled her eyes when Nova wasn't looking, "I think that would be a little overboard..." She got up to walk toward the entrance to the gem-stack, which is what she sometimes call this maze of a place where finding gems was liking finding a needle in a hay stack... "You think we can lock these two scum in your gem cave over night? Might give 'em time to cool off before they get to the rest of the Dimitrios."

"No we can't. We have to leave now so that we won't get caught in that maze of a place at night. It would be difficult to go through the entire thing while avoiding nocturnal predators that we would usually not see during the day," Ash replied adamantly, Especially, since I can't be out too long or the entire pack will notice my absence.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

"Grr, fine, you win this round Ausi." Durandel growled as he slipped on the harness. He tried to keep up a sour face to show is displeasure of the whole situation. Which wasn't too awfully hard to do since the harness itches. Durandel looked between Nova and Ash wondering how this facade will continue. It was then Nova suggested they go into the gem cave. A cave? That brought on some unpleasant memories. Last time he was in a cave he was forced into some sick death match with these very wolves. So, he wasn't exactly jumping up at the chance to go underground again.

That was when the Dimitrios said no. Which brought some relief to Durandel but now what? Where do they go from here? Are they going to keep lying or are they going to attack? Just how are they to convince this wolf to guide them through the Cliffs?


_______________

Meanwhile, the Fire Wolves continued their pursuit as they stopped in the middle of a road. "Was the sound coming from here? Because I don't see a thing." Spoke a Tenneth. "Grr, this place echoes too damn much." The Leader growled. "What should we do now?" Asked another Tenneth. "We'll back track and pick up their scent, because I ain't smelling another wolf around here." The Leader ordered. The Fire Wolves nodded as they moved out.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Nova

"If you say so" he said in response to Ash, speaking as a soldier who was trying to reason with a naive civilian. As long as she started leading them into the cliffs, he didn't really care what he had to listen to. In fact, the sooner the left the plains and those bound to be pursuing Tenneth behind, the better. If his allies wanted to drop the act as soon as they were in there, fine, they weren't going to listen to him for a long time after this anyway. He would just have to memorize the way back out so that they wouldn't become entangled in the maze.

Placing himself behind Durandel and Dey, Nova continued with "If you lead the way I'll bring up the rear", noticing her anxiety to get going.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

"Alright then, let's go." She nodded to herself, not noticing if her prisoners were hitched up or not. She began to walk into the cliffs.

Battledemon

She growled softly at Nova when she noticed that Ash had walked out of earshot, "Nova I swear I will-" She cut herself off, as she stopped to listen. A tingle worked down between her shoulders, a feeling that felt more like a warning. Confused as to what her instincts were telling her, she shut up and after a moment of creeping dread, she whispered, "Never mind, can we just get moving?" She began to walk after Ash whilst dragging a load of gems.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

Durandel grumbled as the harness tugged on his torso. It was uncomfortable but it seemed he would have to endure for their sake. After all, getting lost in the Cliffs doesn't sound like a good time either. Durandel felt better that they were finally moving on. He wasn't quite sure if he could keep up his act any longer. Now all he has to do is look like an unhappy prisoner, which wasn't as demanding on his part. Now it's up to Nova to keep up the act that he doesn't know them and believe us to be foes. He was worried about Dey though, could she keep up the act any longer than he?

She seemed just as upset over her current situation...maybe even more so. It was strange when her attitude changed as she grew more anxious. Durandel then spoke, "What's wrong?" He wasn't sure if pressing the issue would be a good idea, in fact it might not be. Still he was curious, something seemed to have bothered her some what, but what could it be? There were no enemies around, save to say Ash herself. Yet the she-wolf didn't even register as a threat to Dey earlier. What could have set her off?

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Wistfully looking behind, Nova watched as the winding corridor slowly blocked out the clearing they had been in just moments before. They were officially in the canyons now. Looking about, he was relieved to see that the path they were on was quite straightforward for now, at least, they hadn't taken any forks in the road yet. Studying the ground, Nova figured the route they were on was used to light to medium foot traffic, and as such it would be unlikely that they would be alone on the trail for much longer.

His allies seemed to be holding up, Dey was being her usual anti-Nova self and Durandel seemed to be relieved that he wasn't having to act anymore. There isn't much to staging a wolf pulling a cart, when indeed you were a wolf pulling a cart. For his part, Nova tried to help when he could. Push to help get out of a ditch here, move a couple rocks out of the way there, all while occasionally grunting a loud "keep moving" for the benefit of Ash. That she-wolf didn't really seem to care about anyone except herself and her gems, and as long as she just worried about that, they shouldn't have to worry much about her.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Battledemon and Ash

As the began moving along and farther from the entrance of the Cliffs, Dey's sense of dread began to ease. Durandel then spoke, "What's wrong?" Startled from her subdued and anxious trance, she quickly checked her surroundings and whispered back, "I don't know... But I feel that something... is..." She fumbled for words that would best convey what her instincts were telling her.

"It's-" Just then Ash noticed them whispering and barged in on their conversation. "What are you two whispering about?"

Irritated, that Ash had interrupted her, Dey glared daggers at her. IF LOOKS COULD KILL.

"You know," Ash stopped walking to look Dey full on, a smirk on her face. "You know, If looks could kill, I'd probably be dead by now. Buuuutttttt," She purposely made the word sound longer than was necessary to emphasize her next words. "They don't. And since I'm in this position to educate you, I'll let you know this." Her eyes became slits, her words were ice. "I can do whatever I want right now."

Dey's hackles went up, her dark black fur bristling with hate for this she-wolf. Her teeth grinding together as she attempted to eat words she'd rather throw at Ash's face than swallow.

Ash could see that Dey hated her guts, and that she was near her breaking point. Good, that's what I want... For her to break. She didn't know why she was suddenly filled with the need to start something, but she felt that Dey's false servitude... Did not fit her... And she knew that there was a lie in the midst and that Dey was most likely the one to reveal the truth. But what is the lie? What is it?

She chuckled softly, "I have my gems, I have you two for my slaves at the moment, and I have," she jerked her head in Nova's direction, "him." And when she motioned to Nova, that's when she saw Dey crack.


Now, Dey broke, and perhaps it was because she didn't know why she did, that made her even more pissed-off and confused. Maybe it was because she just couldn't take Ash's bratty and minx-like behavior anymore, or maybe it was because she was just tired of playacting, but she knew that the real reason escaped her... That she could not take. Yet, her true feelings were different. Filled with turmoil, she hadn't recognized that the emotion she was feeling was actually jealously... followed by some possessiveness.

Either way, nothing stopped Dey from leaping at Ash with her teeth bared.

SHE HAS A CRUSH!!! The moment that Ash realized it, was exactly when Dey slammed into her. Sending them both rolling. It wasn't exactly what she'd been expecting nor did her intuition tell her that this was the big lie, but she felt satisfaction in at least knowing something about Dey.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

Durandel wondered what she was going to say next until he was so rudely interrupted by Ash. He couldn't help but glare as well at her intrusion. Still he had to hold his tongue lest he may give them up. It was then that the Dimitrios decided to work on Dey's nerves, pushing her and pushing her. Durandel began to worry about her exploding...so far the she-wolf has been shown to have a temper. It didn't take too long for the situation to escalate from antagonizing to fighting.

Suddenly Dey lept forth and tackled Ash to the ground. "DEY!" Durandel shouted. He then looked towards Nova hoping he would have an answer to this. Unfortunately for them, this little outburst will be the least of their troubles. Then over the next horizon came a group of Tenneth and Canicus as their leader shouted, "NOW!" Soon the two Canicus howled and stomped on the ground as an eruption of molten lava separated Durandel and Nova from Ash and Dey. "NOVA!" Durandel shouted as he quickly bit down on his scruff and with his strength forced him off to the side, narrowly saving his hide from a splash of lava. The lava slathered itself all over Durandel as he growled. Soon his harness was melting away from the intense heat.

"DURANDEL! You traitorous filth! Not only you consort with the Ausi but now the Dimitrios as well!? Oh ho, ho! We are going to enjoy watching your public execution!" The Leader barked. "Now Tenneth seize Durandel, they want him alive, but no need to be gentle." The Leader ordered. "What about the others?" A Tenneth asked. "Seize the Ausi and the Dimitrios, kill the nonessential." The Leader ordered. The Wolves nodded as they moved in.

"Nova! We need to get out of here, now!" Durandel shouted as he moved forward and spewed lava to halt the Tenneth advancement. "Move in Canicus don't let his lava stop you!" The Leader ordered. Soon they moved in as well. Damn, what could they do? He looked over to see if Ash and Dey were alright. Luckily they rolled far enough away from the splash zone but only barely. "You two, get up and move! The lava will reach you soon!" He shouted.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Battledemon and Ash

Dey wasn't entirely sure what she was doing once she had pinned Ash but before she could fully understand when she just did, they were attacked. The ground shook, and the sudden heat made her gag. She pulled away at the second, barely escaping the molten lava's fiery doom.

Ash was surprisingly quiet when the attack happened, but as she didn't want her pelt to burn, she knocked Dey off her and was already her paws. What is going on here!? She was actually very surprised by everything, but even more aghast that the supposed Khan was actually Durandel. She had head his name at the last meeting of the generals... but she'd never thought he'd be snooping around here... She wanted to think more on the matter, but for the moment she put her thoughts on hold and bolted before Durandel even suggested it.

"You two, get up and move! The lava will reach you soon!" Durandel shouted.

Dey on the other hand, was confused and didn't know what to do. What do I do? What do I do? I can run but... I might get lost, I might not find Khan or Nova.... I'll be alone again... She was at a total loss of what to do. She whined and paced, but she could that the lava was getting hotter and hotter. The other wolves hadn't come after her yet, but the heat was beginning to suffocate her... She wanted to cross, to be back with Khan and Nova, but she couldn't... What do I do!? I can't.... I can't....

Anxious and afraid, she turned and bolted, going in a completely direction than Ash....

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Standing on shaky legs, Nova immediately wished he had not risen as his eyes were instantly assaulted by ash. That is, the flying blacks stuff, not the wolf. Having dropped back a little to examine what he had thought was a trail marker on the side of the cliff, Nova was completely caught off guard with the explosion of activity that had suddenly appeared. Trying to make sense of what was happening, he heard Durandel speaking to him. Leave, yes...they needed to leave.

"They're awfully persistent..." Nova said with a slur, watching Durandel fight back. The heat would be choking to any living thing, and molten rock was all the more debilitating to an ice wolf. Taking a few steps backwards -thankfully the right direction- Nova couldn't help but think about the time he had been in that forest fire. That was exhilarating. The only problem was that that had just involved burning trees. Now he was facing wolves spewing burning rock.

He wasn't going to do any wolf good by passing out, so fighting against the lightheadedness he turned around and fumbled backward through the smoke caused by newly burnt ground cover. Funny, they had gone to such lengths to get into these Onatah's being undetected. In one short moment, they had probably become the most interesting thing these canyon walls had seen in a long time.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

The situation went from bad to worse in a few moments. Not only were they effectively separated his allies were failing all around him. Well it's no surprise, they have been run ragged by the ordeals they have all faced in such as short amount of time. He couldn't see too well, but he did notice the lack of another wolf behind him. "Dey!? DEY!" He shouted as he turned to growl at the Canicus. The snarled at Durandel as they nipped and bit at him. Durandel raised a paw and performed a swipe at the two Lava Wolves but they stayed out of his reach. He noticed Nova head for cover and he wasn't looking so hot himself. It must be the lava, it's detrimental to his element!

But what can he do? He could recede the lava pit to a smaller, more manageable size, but that will take time, time he cannot spare. Perhaps Ash could move the Earth and have the lava sink into a deep pit? It was then fireballs went whizzing over his head at the sight of Dey fleeing. "Don't bother! These are the wolves we want, make sure that Dimitrios has no where to run!" The Leader barked. The Tenneth had their eyes trained on the escape routes she could make on foot, making any more escapes rather risky. Durandel continued to fight off the Canicus as he shouted at Ash.

"Hey, She-Wolf! I need you to listen to me! We need to manage the lava from this pit, the heat is messing with my friend over there and we need all the help we can get to fight these wolves off! So I need you to create a deep pit and have the lava sink into it, hopefully we can reduce the heat!" Durandel barked. "Fools! Your plans will amount to nothing! Give yourselves up now and maybe we won't break a leg or two!" The Leader threatened. "Wolves, see Durandel's friends do anything I don't like, light'em up." The Leader ordered his Tenneth.

__________

"Are you ready?" "Ready."

Then suddenly, what looked like shadows moving on their own, burst from the shade of the nearby cliff walls as they darted forth and quickly spirited away two of the Tenneth. This made the Fire Wolves jump at the sight of their disappearance. "BOSS! I-I don't know what happened...but, something got Aedan and Conley!" A Tenneth shouted. Looking around and feeling confused he decided to stare at the wolves before him and barked, "They must have done something! Fire at them!" The remaining Tenneth shot fireballs at their general direction. "You two down there, hurry up and capture Durandel!" The Leader shouted. At his request the two Canicus's launched themselves at Durandel as they began to wrestle him down.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

Ash's escape was cut off by a tenneth, and as she quickly changed direction to her last attempt, it was cut off too. Corned she bared her teeth, Damn! Her wolf-ish instincts weren't especially strong in her, but at this moment, they were roaring at her to shake the earth and force these Tenneths to take a dirt nap in order to survive. But if I use my powers, I may not be able to control them.

In the melee, she realized that the Tenneths that had ambushed them were trying to take Duranel and Nova prisoners... So why are they doing that? Why is a Tenneth traveling with Nova? She growled in irritation when she realized that all three had probably been playing her.


"Hey, She-Wolf! I need you to listen to me! We need to manage the lava from this pit, the heat is messing with my friend over there and we need all the help we can get to fight these wolves off! So I need you to create a deep pit and have the lava sink into it, hopefully we can reduce the heat!"

Ash snarled over at him, "Oh go f-" Her response was cut off as the ground began to shake. She fell to the ground shouting, "Earth quake!" Maybe a more ambitious Dimitrois would have taken credit for an earth quake, but Ash wasn't so. Those damn Canicus! Pulling Lava to the surface... Just when the quake was over, she yelped as a large boulder just fell from above and shattered into pieces near her. "YOU IDIOT FIREHEADS!" She howled at the Tenneths and got to her paws as the ground began to shake again, but for the reason that the cliffs around them were beginning to crumble into a..... Landslide!

The earth above them began to growl, and roar as the debris from above became loose and began to rush down the side of the cliffs.

"Nova! Khan!" She barked for them as she reached them just in time to pull open up a pit beneath them. She knocked them into it and sealed up the opening. The sound from above was horrendous. "Is everyone okay?" She asked the darkness.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

His eyes struggling to pull any light out of the darkness so that they could adjust and see, Nova recovered from a fit of coughing that came from the ash and dust that had been stirred up. Lying weakly on the dirt floor of their shelter, he wondered how much rock had just fallen on top of them. "Probably about as okay as any wolf with ten tons of ore teetering over their head" Nova groaned when he had enough breath to speak.

Blast, if only they were still above ground. The lava, he could have relied on Durandel for that, or at the very least he could have run away. Under this mound of earth, the only wolf they could rely on to escape was Ash, the wolf whom they had just conned. He didn't fancy that she would crush them, she just didn't seem to be that kind of wolf. But he tried to refrain from any further snarky comments that would give he a good excuse to do so. She had just gone from the duped to the one holding all the cards. A lot of use his element had been on this journey. Some wolves have it all just by having the right parents.

Listening to everyone's breathing, he realized that they were short a set, and was rattled when he recalled that only three of them had been pushed into this hole. "Did Battle get...out okay?" Nova couldn't help but ask, fearing the likely answer.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

Since they were in her element, literally, Ash felt better now that she was more in control of the situation. Especially now that she could interrogate them properly and they'd be more encouraged to speak the truth due to their location. She sat down and hummed, "Hmmm, ahh, well let's see. I don't know where your precious 'Dey' that's her name right? I know where she is, but I do know that your two sitting ducks down here with me and if I were you..." The hint of a threat coated her words, "I'd start talking...." While she could definitely get of their newly found giant den, she could leave them there to rot and die of dehydration, but since she actually had a thing called mercy, she was giving them a chance. Besides, she was intrigued by them.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Scratching at the ceiling above his head with a claw, Nova was rewarded with a couple of rocks chipping off into his eyes, and he silently cursed his luck. Ash's insinuation was almost enough to make him forgo his earlier resolve not to mouth off at her, punk as she was, but he felt that Durandel's health was more important than a few verbal victories. As for his own health, it was clear that fate thought little of it.

"Well, its clear that you would lack the patience for the long version, and we lack the oxygen to tell it, so here is the short version. We were running from those wolves you just killed and needed a place to hide, and these cliffs seemed perfect. Your kind doesn't really like my friend here" Nova paused, gesturing to Durandel, or where he thought Durandel was. Realizing that nonverbal gestures didn't work in the dark, the ice wolf resumed.

"Anyway, since he and Dey would probably be killed before stepping paw in here, we decided to put on a show for you to try and save our hides from those renegade fire wolves. You just happened to be in a position to help us" Nova concluded. He didn't trust Ash in this place, her supposed control of her element thus far represented a pup trying to control a butterfly. Not much.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

"Well, its clear that you would lack the patience for the long version, and we lack the oxygen to tell it, so here is the short version. We were running from those wolves you just killed and needed a place to hide, and these cliffs seemed perfect. Your kind doesn't really like my friend here," Ash rolled her eyes, knowing that Nova had realize the idiocy of gesturing in the dark too late. "Anyway, since he and Dey would probably be killed before stepping paw in here, we decided to put on a show for you to try and save our hides from those renegade fire wolves. You just happened to be in a position to help us."

Maybe I should leave them here in this hole... but then this is way too good to pass up. Ash yawned, "I think I just saved your miserable lives..." She was glad that there was no light to show that she was smiling devilishly, "I think you two owe me now, especially now that I have decided to be merciful." With that, using her powers, she made it so that they began to rise while the ceiling began to crumble. They, Durandel and Nova, were showered in small bits of dirt while none fell on Ash as they arose to see the devastation of the landslide.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Astonished at the destruction that was before them, Nova gawked for a moment before slamming his jaw back up. The entire western cliffside had given way, leaving nothing but a pile of rubble filling in the canyon floor. There was not a trace of lava or wolf, or any living thing for that matter. Nothing could have survived that.

"I owe just about everyone, you'll have to get in line" Nova mumbled as the novelty of the sight slowly wore off. Well, the whole reason they had come into these cliffs was to throw off their pursuers, and now that those wolves chasing them were dead, there wasn't much reason to wait around and see what other wolves would show up. The only hitch was BattleDemon, where had she gone? Hopefully she survived the crush.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

If only... Ash looked at the devastation with hardly any expression on her face, yet, she felt the envy coursing through her veins. "So..." She stuck her chest out, and arched her tail over her back, "Everyone ready to move forward?"

Without hesitating, she took a jump off the platform they'd been standing on, and onto a boulder. "Hmm, I didn't think to ask earlier, but is the black she-wolf, Dey, in a relationship with either of you?" Perhaps she just wanted to have fun or she was just being nosey, but Ash really was curious about the black she-wolf. "I mean, she did nearly bite my ear off earlier."

She began jumping across the fallen debrief, more like she was trying hard not to look at any of them.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Nova

Giving Durandel a questioning glance, Nova wondered if they should even still be sticking around this Ash. But, as she was heading down the rubble in the direction that Dey had apparently gone, there wasn't much of a choice but to go along with it. His mind not in the conversation, he absently responded that if there was any relationship, it would probably be one sided. "After all, I was ordered to kill her once, and probably would have if she didn't jump me first" Nova added with a little laugh. That incident, and all of his other shortcomings, would understandably be hard to forgive.

Sticking to her general path, he over-stepped every now and then and bumped into her. Every time he did so he froze to watch the gravel trickle down to for larger clumps of moving rocks down the hill, imagining what it would be like to fall down the side. "Your a good guard rail" Nova said after the third time, never a fan of heights and vowing to step more carefully.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

The Canicus listened to the conversation between Nova and Ash. He hoped the Dimitrios would show some mercy on them, otherwise, everything they've worked towards is for nothing. Although Nova condensed their current situation he wasn't sure if the she-wolf would even care. It turned out that wasn't the case, arguably, it might be worse. She decided to place them in debt! He would groan if it wasn't for being buried underneath all of this rock.

It was then Ash freed them from the darkness as they rose above ground. Soon he could see just how much the landscape changed from a simple landslide. There were rocks everywhere and hardly any road to see. One thing he did notice beyond the smell of dirt and rock, was the distinct scent of blood...wolf blood. He could see across the way a mangled paw barely rising above the rocks. "Well, it looks like we won't have to worry about them ever again." He spoke monotonously. He then looked around as fear began to show upon his face. "I hope to the Gods that Dey is alive." He thought to himself.

He then looked over to Ash, and sighed, "Well, thank you for what you did for us, but, I think we should move on...we've drawn enough attention as it is." Durandel solemnly spoke. It was then Ash decided to move on herself. Best they move quickly lest they wish to explain things to curious Dimitrios. He then followed Ash and Nova downward. He too wondered about Ash, but there wasn't many options available to them. "Other than a friend? No, well, not even sure we are that anymore...or were." Durandel answered.


___________

Mydnyte

While he couldn't be surprised at her decision he wish she would have listened. Of course he felt that her action would be as it was, he remembered the Alva to be quite fearless. Yet the scent of fear was pungent upon her, just what happened since last they met? BattleDemon got quite a ways ahead of them since she ignored the sharp rocks unlike them. Still her fall made it easier for them to catch up to her, yet not in the way they hoped. The two Kamaria Wolves stood over the battered and bloodied BattleDemon as Mydnyte sighed.

"Fang, we need to get her out of here." Mydnyte spoke. "I'll raise her up to your back so you can carry her out of here." He said as he performed said actions. "Of course, but where do we go from here?" Fang asked. "Well, our best lead to find out what Prometheus is up to is to get Battle healed, and for that, well I know of a contact with the Aven, we'll have to take her to their woods." Mydnyte answered. "That'll be the trip, you think this she-wolf will make it?" Fang concernedly asked. "This wolf is more tougher than you think, trust me, this isn't the first time she will have faced death. Even so, lets not press our luck, we must move on." Mydnyte finished as he walked forward followed by Fang with BattleDemon in tow.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

Ash was somewhat surprised by Nova's answer, as the answer just made her even more curious about the trio. Hmm, sounds like potential 'unrequited' love triangle going on here. Not minding that Nova kept bumping into her, she moved further ahead from them to look back at their trail to see Durandel hanging back. Appears he's got a conscious... how pitiful.

"Other than a friend? No, well, not even sure we are that anymore...or were."

"Hmm, so why do you say that?" This is entirely too intriguing for one like me to keep from asking questions. Especially since Nova tried to kill Dey, and this simple dummy here appears to be attached to Dey already. How wonderful their agony will be like in the future.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Listening to the others, Nova began to realize that Ash was taking a lot more than she was giving. She was beginning to pry for a deeper history, and all they really knew about her was her name. It is what it is. He would just back out and return to the comfort of his own thoughts. Nova was just happy that their boulder to boulder leaps had translated into more of slippery hike along an angled gravel pile. Not doable without concentration, but manageable with. A loose rock slipping inwards would land him with a nice sprained paw, and outwards would send him tumbling down the side. Not the most comforting thoughts, actually, so he decided to switch channels.

He didn't know why Ash was so concerned with something as superficial as their relationship, when she could be asking more about why the heck they were here. Relationships seemed so fickle now, everyone was looking to either use violence or exploitation to get what they want, and it was only marginally better within packs. No one seemed to really care about other wolves' happiness. In fact, the last wolf he truly did care about was the only one who could make him genuinely laugh and smile lately. It was a tragedy there weren't more wolves like Cerise.

Looking up to where they were going, Nova peered down the bend of the canyon, past where the rubble had come to a stop. Were those...figures? It appeared to two black wolves walking along the canyon floor, one being rather large or just carrying something. His heart skipped a beat. The last thing they needed now was more wolves.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

Durandel absent-mindedly responded to Ash's question. "Oh...well, it's hard to explain, if I can even explain it." Durandel began to think back to when he met these oddball wolves and went on these perilous adventures with them. BattleDemon was the most mysterious of all, with all of the weirdness that seems to have happened to her. Especially from what he heard when he asked wolves like Cerise about her. He didn't think Ash would understand or even care to understand which made him stop and think about her actions.

"Huh? You're quite curious all of a sudden. But I guess that doesn't really matter." Durandel spoke retracting from his inquiry. He wasn't in the mood to trade words with the she-wolf. He was just tired and felt down on his luck from this whole mission. It was to be one of peace not war. How did it go so wrong? Durandel continued to cautiously walk down the rugged path as he noticed Nova stop. "What's wrong?" He asked. He looked down the canyon bend and noticed more wolves, well, rather two.

"Oh...that, I hope it's not Dimitrios coming to investigate...no, wait their walking away. Good, maybe we can avoid them altogether." Durandel optimistically spoke. He then looked at Nova, "Well, what do you think?"

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

Ash wasn't at all surprised when Nova back out of the conversation, since his socials skills weren't quite as rusty as Durandel's. "Oh...well, it's hard to explain, if I can even explain it." Oh give it to me, I want my scoop! She was hooked by their words, their perspectives and relations, treating them more like an open book for the taking. That is until her pop-up-and-living-talking-book-characters stopped walking. She moaned, "Oh what now?"

"Oh...that, I hope it's not Dimitrios coming to investigate...no, wait their walking away. Good, maybe we can avoid them altogether." Durandel optimistically spoke. He then looked at Nova, "Well, what do you think?" So he's asking Nova what to when I was practically leading them to their black she-wolf...

Ash growled at them, irritated, "Well, we may as well let them know we're here..." Without thinking, she jumped forward and let out a howl, "Hello!!"

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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"I think that even if those stupid wolves capture us, at least we'll have a nice cage to sleep in" Nova grumbled, watching as Ash squealed at the distant wolves. He wanted to be mad at her, he really did, but her actions were so...her, that it didn't feel right. Besides, he was sure that he could collapse into sleep on this rock face if he wasn't so paranoid of heights. Amid all the running and fighting his body was now begging louder then ever to stop and rest.

Looking up the rockfall, it was apparent that if they started now, they could probably pick their way up the grade before the wolves came for them, and if they made it to the plateau they could make good time away. Away from the carnage, away from Ash, away from the Dimitrios. And away from BattleDemon. Blast, did they even know if she was still alive? Nothing could have survived the crush, and in order to spare his emotions he he began to force himself to give up on the notion she could have survived.

"Blast it, we should just leave while we still can. They'll kill you as an enemy and kill me as a traitor, and I don't think Dey would appreciate seeing us so soon on the other side. You still have your peace to bring to the world" Nova said, suddenly firm. He didn't know what peace he was really referring to, their previous peace accord had so far failed epicly. But Durandel seemed to be the only other wolf in the world right now who yearned for peace, and they may as well try to keep that hope alive.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Durandel

It seemed that their choice was made for them. Durandel couldn't help but growl at Ash for betraying their anonymity. Now what? Will they be forced to fight once again?! Nova was on the verge of collapsing and even himself wasn't far behind. Could he handle another battle? He felt that he didn't have the strength to fight anymore, no, they need to think of something fast. It was then Nova spoke and he felt surprised at his answer. "My peace?" He thought.

Has Nova finally start to come around? Has the days events seemed to have change his mind about finding peace yet again? Even though pain was radiating through pretty much most of his body, a smile crept upon his face. He felt his moral rise rather than sink like it has been for most of the day. Durandel nodded, "Right, let's make our escape, it will be hard for them to run so fast uphill, especially with how rough the land is!" Durandel concurred.


Mydnyte


Mydnyte and Fang turned towards the sound of the howling greeting as they looked up hill. There appeared to be three wolves standing up there and the one who howled, he did not recognize. "Great, what should we do?" Fang asked. They were standing a good distance so Mydnyte could not make them out, they could be foes. Yet, why would an enemy reveal themselves? Wouldn't any would-be attacker want the element of surprise. It was a bit suspicious.

Luckily they were standing downwind from that as Mydnyte sniffed the air. While he smelt dirt and dust, he smelt faint traces of sulfur and blood and then finally, the familiar scent of a certain Ausi and Canicus. "Well I'll be...," Mydnyte trailed off. "What? What is it?" Fang asked. "They survived...I guess I shouldn't be surprised." Mydnyte spoke. "They are your friends? But wouldn't they have been buried in that rock slide?" "It seems they've managed to cheat death once more...Fang stay here, I'll go and retrieve them. I don't want to take the chance if something bad happens and both you and Battle wind up in even direr straits." Mydnyte ordered. "Of course, be wary." Fang warned. Mydnyte nodded as he moved towards the three wolves.


Durandel

Durandel saw one of the black wolves move to their location. Great, they heard them. But why would they send only one? Wouldn't be better if both of them came after them? And the one that is coming, isn't exactly charging for them. Could be the difficulty in reaching to them but it doesn't matter. One wolf or two, Durandel wasn't in the mood to do more fighting. "Here they start to come, if you guys got a plan better speak up now!" Durandel shouted as he began to move further away from the direction the black wolf is coming from.

It was then that they heard a howl from down the hill. It came from the black wolf, but the howl wasn't threatening, it was actually...friendly? But, how can that be? Or better yet, why? Confusion ran across his face as he looked at Nova, wondering if he just heard what he think he heard?

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Ash

Honestly, at the back of her Ash had been thinking that she'd been stupid to blow their cover, but when it appeared that the strange wolves were friendlies, she let out a breath. I didn't even know I was holding my breath, she turned to look at Durandel and Nova, "Hah! Now if they offer us food and a safe place to sleep, you both have to bow down to me and say I was right to do that." With a smirk on her face to let out a friendly howl in response to the stranger's howl.

"Come on! It'd be rude to let him come all the way over to us and not meet him half way!" With a flick of her tail, she created a rock bridge that would keep them from having to go the long way around. She began to trot down the newly made bridge, looking a lot more confident then she really felt.

Battledemon

Dey was in a daze, and was beginning to whisper words, most were insensible, but others were clear as day. Most of the clear ones were names. Others, were times and sayings. "Shira!" Why- "Nova, idiot... Khan..." Her ramblings went on....

"Blue... My name-" She groaned and tried not to move from her... perch, or whatever she was. Honestly, she didn't care anymore. She just wanted to sleep but... Everything was harsh to her, the light behind her eyelids, as well as the sound and feel of the wind dragging its fingers through her fur. She moaned and winced when she felt movement. Faintly, she could feel that she was moving, but could not move. Why... is that? She moved and let out a gasp as her muscles rebelled and began to ache instead of move. She closed her eyes again, feeling the world move and- it stopped.

Unable to bring herself out of her hazy stupor, she moaned yet again, Where.... She didn't finish her thought as that's when she entirely fell unconscious... but unknown to her, she still kept talking, even in her sleep, and she mostly kept saying her mother's name. "Battledemon...."

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Nova

A little confused at why Ash would need to be offered a place to stay in her own pack, Nova nevertheless began to plod after her, shrugging to Durandel at who the owner of the howl could be. It did sound familiar somewhat, but it seemed out of context. Kind of like when you are used to seeing something at work or on patrol, but suddenly seeing them at the fishing pond. It just didn't quite fit.

Happy to have the rock bridge, Nova began to walk a bit more confidently towards the other wolves. He had about zero reason to trust anyone that showed up, so he figured he would get just close enough to talk, and nothing more. Edging closer, he confirmed that there were indeed three of them, one being carried upon the back of the other...a black shewolf. "They found her..." Nova whispered, relieved.

Forgetting his caution, he trotted as quick as safe down the bridge, soon to arrive in front of the other wolves, arriving at the one who had come up to greet them. He scarcely heard Dey mutter her name in the distance, which was good, because it meant she was breathing. Taking a moment to remember the other wolf's name, which he seemed to be having trouble with recently, Nova said warmly to Mydnyte, "Long time no see mate, you seem to have a knack for showing up on time."

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Durandel and Mydnyte

Durandel groaned at Ash being so careless as to go and greet these wolves, and even more careless is to make their trek to them even easier! Still it seemed Nova decided to go along with and reluctantly he followed. As they etched closer to these new wolves he eventually made out that one of them was carrying Dey! She survived! He felt many times better to see her but then he worried if it was just a dead body. Yet upon coming in closer there were the faintest of mutters coming from her that his ears barely picked up. She was alive.

Within this close proximity Durandel looked upon the wolf before them. While the one carrying Dey was a complete stranger, the other wolf was one they met before, the Kamarian. After Nova greeted him, the Canicus blubbered, "Mydnyte?" The Kamaria Wolf looked at them both with a smirk. "Yes it has and you two seem to have a knack for defying death." Mydnyte quipped. He then looked over to Durandel who spoke his name. "Glad to see you remember me." "Well, nearly drowning in the underground cave is kind of hard to forget." Durandel spoke mentioning the time the both of them escaped Rashid's Prison.

Mydnyte looked over to Ash with an inquisitive glare. "I don't recognize you." He spoke. It was then Durandel said, "Is she okay?" Pointing his muzzle over to Dey. "Yes, BattleDemon is hurt but still alive. She's being carried by my friend and ally, in fact, FANG! Come over here with Battle!" He shouted as the other Kamarian came walking to the group. "Hello, my name is Fang Hunter. Mydnyte has told me alot about you or at least what he remembers of you." Fang spoke. "He too is apart of the Kamaria Pack and has been traveling with me for a while now. Anyway as stimulating as reunions go, I'm afraid we should continue this conversation elsewhere. Not only do we need to get Battle some medical attention, we should disappear ourselves in case curious parties start sniffing around. Especially with Prometheus after the lot of you." Mydnyte spoke as he turned around expecting them to follow.

"Wait!? What do you know of Prometheus?" Durandel asked. "Quite a bit actually and because of that, we have some very important things we need to discuss, but here and now is not the best time. We should move." Mydnyte spoke continuing to walk as Fang followed him. Durandel feeling impatient decided to follow the two Kamarians, he then looked over to the others, "You guys coming?" He asked.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Ash
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Ash

If some great Alpha shows up saying he knew Durandel and Nova, now, I won't be surprised. Ash was very much surprised that the strangers knew her two pets, Durandel and Nova. "I don't recognize you." Shock replaced her current look of surprise. Doesn't know me, puh-lease. Well, she wasn't seen much outside of her pack kin even though her parents were generals, but... It was the first time that no one knew her, it was such a shocker to her, diva queen of the Dimitrois. "Yes, BattleDemon is hurt but still alive. She's being carried by my friend and ally, in fact, FANG! Come over here with Battle!

BattleDemon...? What a monstrous name... but, didn't my father mention that name once... a long time ago... It was a familiar name, one mentioned several times at a few meetings.... BattleDemon!? Ash tried hard not to feeling betrayed by Nova and Durandel, Why didn't they tell me this was... She tried not think the name, or think of what could happen now.

So engrossed with her thoughts of BattleDemon and the way her parents would react if she told them this adventure of hers, she didn't notice the other begin to leave. "You guys coming?" Durandel startled her out of her thoughts and she looked at him, "Coming!"

With that she ran after them, and imediately corned Nova, "Why didn't you tell me that THAT-" She nodded in the black she-wolf's direction - "was the infamous BattleDemon!?" She didn't wait for him to answer, "Wait, scratch that since I know why, but what the..." She fumbled for the appropriate word usage for the situation... "WHAT THE HELL?!" And she totally failed at choosing the proper words.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Onatah Cliffs

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Nova

Annoyed that Ash was boxing him in, Nova returned her yelling with a scowl of his own. "You want to know what? That what is that you can go home now. Sorry again for tricking you, and thanks again for saving us from that landslide you created. Hope you have a nice gem filled life, Ash" Nova said brusquely, though honestly. Pushing past her to catch up with the others, and giving her a literal cold shoulder as his fur touched hers, he gave out a pent up sigh.

He considered asking her to pass on a note to his parents that he was okay the next time she saw an Ausi down here, but she didn't seem to be the type to do favors without a price, and he had nothing to give her. Ayesh, was he really going to walk away from home again? Here he was, practically at the base of the mountains, and yet he was walking away. He told himself that he was protecting them by trying to stop this war, but long term goals don't always satisfy short term feelings.

The setting changes from onatah-cliffs to The Lands of Nigerius

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Ash

Ash was totally flabbergasted by Nova's response. Normally, she'd would have responded with a witty remark, but instead, only said, "I didn't create that landslide." Immediately after she said this, she quickly berated herself for letting such weak words escape her. Oh, you fool!

She watched them, including Nova, walk away. Hmmph! Apparently, I help them find their black she-wolf, who turns out to be BattleDemon and then they thrust me aside like the unwanted dirt and rock in a mine. Ohh! Her fur was bristling, and she was getting uneasy. Those... those... "Uhhhh!" She was shaking with this... this feeling.... Angry, I'm angry! Why am I angry!

Ash was angry and she knew exactly why but, what, why, how? She had been rejected for the first time in her life! Getting rejected from an adventurous group!!!! She sat down, and furiously began to groom her tail, which doesn't exactly work out right when she's angry, but grooming was the only way she knew how to calm herself down at the moment.

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Durandel and Mydnyte


"Huh?" Durandel, confused as he looked over to see Ash grooming herself. "Uh, do you really think now's a good time for that?" He asked Ash. He then saw Nova walking by. "Hey what did you say to her?" He asked. It was then Mydnyte groaned at the hold up. "What the hell is going on back here!? When I say move then that means move." He said sternly. "Sorry it's just that Ash here seems to be distracted...," Durandel said trailing off. "Personal grooming? At a time like this!? You guys can groom when we get to where we are going, after all we have an injured wolf with us! Now it would be rude for us to keep Fang waiting since he's the one carrying her." Mydnyte said gruffly as he continued to move on.

"So...uh, are you even coming with us? I don't know what's going on here?" Durandel spoke. "What do you mean you don't know? Isn't she a friend of yours?" Mydnyte asked. "Well, we just barely met...and not even on good terms...I..., er." "Well hurry up and decide who's coming or going, I can't waste anymore time on this than I already have." Mydnyte finished. Durandel wasn't sure what to do. He looked over to Nova who seemed content on just leaving her, and Mydnyte had a good point. He just looked over at Ash, wondering what her choice would be.

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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Brushing off whatever Ash said, probably just an insult, Nova looked over at Durandel in an annoyed shock. He was as incredulous as if Durandel had just suggested they sleep on a cactus. Did he really just invite Ash to come along? They had been trying to get rid of her practically since they had met her, and she had just recklessly entombed them in solid rock! He knew Durandel had a kind heart, but recruiting everything with four legs that wasn't actively seeking their violent death wasn't going to get them too far.

Instead of unleashing his irritation on him, however, Nova turned to Mydnyte, who was doing nothing useful besides growling and groaning. Growling softly himself, Nova stormed after the Kamarians who had already walked on. Despite how relieved he had been to see them just moments before, he let loose a quiet verbal tirade that he meant for only them to hear. "You think Fang has any right to be uncomfortable considering what I've - er, we've - been through today? I doubt he has been beat, shot at, clawed, drowned, burned, and physically exhausted himself since he got up this morning. But mate, if he has problems carrying a comatose shewolf, let someone who cares about her do it" said Nova indignantly, despite probably being the scrawniest and most ill suited to carry her load of the group of them.

Though tired and bothered he was, Nova quickly regretted his outburst. He knew he was doing nothing but alienating the other wolves around him, and he felt guilty about pinning blame on Fang, whom he barely met. "Er...sorry mates. I'm a little thick sometimes" Nova mumbled, and made an attempt to repent for his mistakes by walking ahead quickly as Mydnyte had wished.

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Battledemon

There are wolves.... talking.... She could them whisper their words from a far off world. She could faintly recall her bodily aches and pains, but here, in the numb blankness, everything was far off. Like she had suddenly been removed from the world, and was watching it from another place, through goggles. Through.... like through other things.... black... formless.... darkness....

If she had eyes they would be squinting, but she felt that wherever she was, there were no eyes. No nothing, nothing.... but shadow... Shadow... shadow.... She was watching the others from below, but her sight was dark and shadowed, like she was looking through a shady tunnel to see through to the other side. But she couldn't hear them.

She felt loose headed, like she could easily cave in on herself, whatever she was. She tried to focus more, to get closer to her friends... and.... herself... Dey saw some brute carrying what looked like her body. Disoriented and feeling like someone had just hit her on the back of her head, she didn't find it odd, but sort of funny. She tried to laugh but no sound escaped from her. She then saw Nova, and another dark wolf... but this one was more irritable. And Durandel... with that earth she-wolf. That stopped her humor, and instead filled her with heavy hate.

*************************

No one noticed anything except that Dey's shadow had become darker and that Dey had laughed a little in her sleep, nothing else.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Forest

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Durandel and Mydnyte

Durandel noticed that Nova didn't seem happy...today had been horrible. Now when rest seemed like the only thing they should do, Mydnyte is pushing them onward. He seemed kind of irritated himself and he didn't want his fellow comrades to be as such. He looked at Ash and said, "Well, you can decide for yourself what you want to do...otherwise Mydnyte's right. I have an injured friend and I need to ensure that she will be cared for. So follow, don't follow, it doesn't matter to me. But thank you for saving our lives." Durandel said with a nod as he followed after them.

"What?!" Mydnyte barked at Nova, and growled as he continued his tirade. Mydnyte seemed even more agitated than before. It was then Fang spoke up, "No, it's fine. I have no issues carrying Battle from here to the Woods." Mydnyte looked over to Fang as he turned his attention back to Nova, still growling. He was about ready to launch his counter offensive, but It was then Nova made an apology. Mydnyte was frustrated but he then sighed. "It's...alright...I understand that I can be...insensitive, but that still doesn't change the gravity of our situation here. Let's keep going that way I can help to make some sense of things." He said gruffly. He then moved on.

Durandel heard Mydnyte's bark and worried that Nova and him, where about to enter a scrap. Luckily for him, Mydnyte seems to have found a cooler head. "Is everything alright?" He asked. "It's fine." Mydnyte answered abruptly. "Um, Nova isn't wrong Mydnyte. These wolves are dead beat tired...perhaps we can find shelter for the night and resume our travels in the morning?" Fang suggested. Mydnyte growled at that suggestion but then sighed after considering it. "Yes...I should think of them and not just my mission...besides they are more of a force to be reckoned with after some rest." Mydnyte mulled over his thoughts. "But, the Alva needs medical attention now. I'm not sure if she'll make it over night." It was then that they noticed Dey laughing and the strangeness of her shadow. "What the?" Durandel said out of confusion. That camping out for the night idea seemed to become wiser at this point.

"Grr...I'm not sure if that's good or bad." Mydnyte growled. "If you are concerned for her well-being, I know of some herbs and plants that can help to medicate her." Fang spoke. "They grow not too far off from here." Mydnyte then conceded with a nod. "Fine, will find some place to hold out for the night up ahead in the forest. Then we'll resume our travels in the morning." Mydnyte decided. It was then the Kamarians carried onward. Soon Fang found a fallen tree that was hallowed out. The entrance had the roots of the once tall, standing tree sticking up in the air. "We'll camp here." Mydnyte declared as he and Fang helped to lower her down on some soft brush. "I'll gather sticks for the fire." Mydnyte spoke as he wandered off to do so. "I'll go look for those herbs to help the Alva." Fang said as he too wandered off. Durandel finally rested his body on the inside of the fallen tree as he breathed a sigh of relief. "Finally." He said with triumph.

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Nova

Finally was right, they were out of the heat of the day at last, and hopefully they would finally be able to get some rest. Nova had cooled down quite a bit over the walk from the cliffs to the forest where they were making camp, and he was relieved to find that his mind would cooperate as he tried to unwind. Nothing worse than trying to fall asleep after a long day, only for your mind to be too busy thinking about what happened to actually shut down.

Watching Durandel snuggle into the crook of the tree, Nova picked for himself a boulder that was still warm from the sun, and rested his back against it as he laid down. The warmth felt good on his tired muscles, and he knew that it would become a familiar icy cool by the middle of the night. Although the Ausi did live in the cold, and ice was their element, they weren't exactly freezing all the time. They got uncomfortably cold like any other wolf, though perhaps their comfort level was much more tolerant than others. However, their thick pelts were much more suited to the bitter climate, giving the illusion that these wolves lived for the chill, when in fact they feel warm in a blizzard.

Glancing sympathetically over at BattleDemon as she rested in the ferns, he considered moving her closer to the fire before the chill of the night grew, but decided that the Kamarians would be able to do that when the came back. "Mate, you sure signed me up for an adventure today!" Nova said with a little laugh to Durandel, as he shifted his gaze to the sky to watch the twilight fade.

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Durandel and Mydnyte

Durandel sluggishly rolled over to address Nova, he then shrugged. "Yeah, I'm sorry...about all of it." He said as he looked up to the sky as well. In the Vulcans you could never see the night time sky because of all the light and smoke the volcanoes give off. That was one thing that he liked about being out here...the stars always looked so beautiful. He then shifted his focus back to Nova. "I don't know what went so wrong...my business was even official...which leaves me to wonder if we were betrayed." Durandel spoke grimly. "I hope everything is okay back home...I left my friends and family back there...I don't want them mixed up in this business." Durandel spoke as he noticed Mydnyte appear out of the dark woods with plenty of sticks.

"I'll start us a fire." Mydnyte spoke as he gathered the sticks in a pile. "Durandel, would you mind providing some heat?" Mydnyte asked as the Canicus sluggishly stood. He then spat a little lava spittle as the sticks ignited. He then returned to his former resting place. "I overheard you talking about some business, for the Tenneth right?" Mydnyte asked. "Yeah, I didn't find Nova by chance, I was told to by my Alpha in order to help establish better relations between our packs...because of...Prometheus." Durandel then looked over to Mydnyte and chuckled. "Oh right, you probably don't know who that is." Durandel spoke as Mydnyte sighed. "I know who that is, and probably better than you do." Mydnyte spoke. "What do you mean?" Durandel asked.

It was then Fang returned with those herbs. "Alright, I'm back. Let's move Battle closer to the fire, the heat could do her some good." He spoke as Mydnyte paused his story to situate Battle. Once they were done Fang went to treating her wounds as Mydnyte looked at them both. "Well, that's what I need to talk to you two about. At this point Prometheus may seem just like another rogue wolf with a mad scheme but to be honest, it's much worse than that." Mydnyte grimly spoke. "How can it be worse than that?" Durandel asked feeling growing concern. "You see, I've been tailing Prometheus for awhile and his ascent to power in the Vulcans was by no means a coincidence. Now both of you brace yourselves for what I am about to tell you next but I have reasons to believe that Prometheus is in league with Rashid." Mydnyte spoke, no falter in his voice.

Durandel shot up, "WAIT!? WHAT!? No! That's not possible!? Rashid! He...he disappeared! And Prometheus doesn't act like he's mind controlled!? It, It doesn't make any sense...how do you know this?! Did you find Rashid!? Did Prometheus find him!?" Durandel went on until he was interrupted by Mydnyte. "If you give me a chance to explain, then you'll understand me better." Mydnyte spoke as Durandel calmed down.

Mydnyte then cleared his throat as he spoke. "Let me start from the beginning. After the search for Rashid ended when we discovered that he abandoned his prison, I decided to continue my search. After all I didn't have much of a home or people to return to since Kaveh sold them off as slaves to Rashid. Trust me, it wasn't easy to find any clues as to where he could have run off to. I had no leads, no evidence, nothing but say instinct to go off of. I searched far and wide and followed rumors that I would hear about. Especially the rumors about brain dead or zombie wolves or about large clusters of Kamaria wolves. Most of the time they were dead ends but sometimes...sometimes I had promising leads. My first breakthrough was a cave fire that happened far off from here. When I investigated I found the charred remains of cages and wolves but little else. This was but the first of several prisons Rashid had left behind. Apparently he's been moving his base all around Nigerius, never staying in one spot for long...that's why no one could find the bastard. It became frustrating after awhile, the feeling of him always being two steps ahead of me! That was until I came across our mutual acquaintance Prometheus. After following a lead about loud howling coming from a cave, I smelt smoke drifting in the air. I immediately knew what that meant as I rushed to the scene of a cave fire. I foolishly braved the blaze to find evidence but nothing was salvageable yet the only piece of evidence I could find was the arsonist himself, Prometheus. I couldn't confront the wolf at the time, the cave was becoming increasingly unstable not the best place for a fight. Once I exited I stood in wait for Prometheus until several Kamarians appeared. I had to make myself hidden in order to not be captured. Once they arrived they spoke with Prometheus complimenting him on another job well done. It was then he was told that he must return home to the Vulcans, that the next phase of the plan was about to begin. They separated. I wanted so badly to confront my fellow Shadow Wolves but I knew that would be a fool move, so I followed Prometheus instead, intending to confront him on my own. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to do so as he ran across a Tenneth scouting party, claiming he just escaped his Dimitrios captors." Mydnyte then took a deep breath as he looked towards his friends.

"I'm not sure what's going on around here, but whatever it is, it can't be good. Once I heard about you're involvement in all of this I saw it as an opportunity to gain more allies in this conflict. Now I know that the both of you did not intend to fight against Prometheus, but I am asking you to now. If we can get to him then we can get to Rashid and make sure whatever he's planning does not come to light." Mydnyte finished as he looked at the both, hoping they will say yes. Durandel at the moment was speechless as he laid down, trying to absorb this new found information.

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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Rashid, Prometheus...by the fang, had he really forgotten their attack on the Sharikere's? Ashamed at his earlier attitude at almost shrugging off the news of the attack once he knew that his family was safe, the full weight of what had happened began to press upon his chest as he listened to Mydnyte. Death had been brought from the front into the homes and hearts of the wolves who had hoped they would never see it. His family, his friends. Well, whatever friends he had left after his crusade to work with the other packs to pound out Rashid. He had taken a few poundings himself over that policy. This same Rashid, who had destroyed Mydnyte's pack, was working through his puppets to end any freedom this torn land had left.

And yet...what could they do to touch him? Nova winced at the physical and emotional pain of one who lacked hope. Upon hearing that Rashid had more prisons than even his nightmares dare conjure, the ice wolf felt crushed that the war was already lost. With connections in the top of the Tenneth pack, what is to say that he had not penetrated the Ausi and Alva as well? Could they even trust their own packs to help them?

But his decision had already been made. From the moment he had cast his lot with Durandel this morning, to the minute he had renewed his resolve atop the mountain after the landslide, he knew that he had to fight for whatever hope was left out there, even if it was not his own. He didn't mean to be dramatic, or the hero type, but those were simply the facts, and he had to face them with bared teeth or cowardly submit.

"If it must come to more fighting, let it be, so that others don't have to. It is really Durandel who has to agree to the capture of one of his own. Whatever he decides I'll stand by it. But can we at least wait until morning?" Nova responded with tired resolve.

The setting changes from forest to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Battledemon

Dey was floating at the fine line between being conscious and unconscious. She vaguely felt warmth beginning to flow through her fur, warming her and chasing away the cold shadows she thought held her from waking up. Slowly, she woke, and found that opening her eyes was hardwork, but when she did open them... She came face to face with a wolf she didn't.

Fear shot her full of adrenaline and through it she was able to jump to her paws... and hit her head on a tree branch. Letting out a yelp, she sat back and raised both her front paws to the top of her head. She whined rocking back onto her hind legs, looking more like a monk that had just begun to pray than a she-wolf that had just bumped her head. It was only five seconds after this that she remembered why she had hit her head in the first place.

Ready to flee, she scrambled to the side and... promptly fell over. Seems her body was rebelling. She whimpered again, and could not help but let out a strained, "Oww!" Her aching joints and muscles hurt!

Dey heard no pawsteps, and wondered why her captor wasn't making a move. She looked back to see... Nova, and Durandel... lying around a campfire... With two strangers. Embarrassment made her close her eyes and cover her face with her paws. "You jerks."

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Forest

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel and Mydnyte

Mydnyte nodded to Nova's request. "Of course, no sense in forcing you two." Mydnyte spoke. Durandel shifted silently, mulling over this new bit of information. "I...never thought Rashid had anything to do with this...how could we have been so blind?" Durandel asked. "Rashid is a master of manipulation, if he didn't wish us to know his allies then he can make it so." Mydnyte answered. Durandel looked over to Nova and then nodded, "Yes, I need my rest if I am to be of any help." Mydnyte nodded. It was then that Fang had finished his part in providing aid to Battle, when suddenly, she sprang to life.

"Whoa!" Fang blurted out as the she-wolf tried to flee again. "No, wait! You shouldn't move, you'll make your injuries worse!" Fang shouted as Dey came to a stop. Durandel and Mydnyte couldn't help but look over at the spectacle. "Dey, are you alright?" Durandel asked concerned. It was then her response pretty much answered that question for him, Dey's back. "Dey? Don't you mean BattleDemon?" Mydnyte asked confused. Durandel looked over to him and noticed the Kamarian's confusion and then he meekly chuckled. "Yeah, the answer would just make you even more confused."

Mydnyte looked over to Fang who shrugged. It was then Mydnyte walked over by Fang and introduced himself, "Hello, Battle, it's me, Mydnyte remember?" He asked. Durandel then coughed to gain his attention, "Uh, not to make you look foolish, and sorry on my part, but that isn't BattleDemon." Mydnyte turned to look at Durandel thinking he's gone mad. "What do you mean that's not BattleDemon? This she-wolf clearly is! Just look at her!" Mydnyte said aloud. "Yeah, I understand but just because she looks like her, doesn't mean she is her. Her name is Dey and well, I accidentally ran into her thinking what you're thinking right now." Durandel explained. "But...that doesn't make any sense! Not only does she look like her, her scent is that of the Alva, my nose can't be fooled as well as my eyes!" He barked. "I'm sorry, I have no other way to explain it...I...I just don't know." Durandel spoke feeling a little ashamed of himself.

Mydnyte looked at the ground then at Dey. "So...you are not an Alva, a Death Wolf?" Mydnyte asked. "Perhaps we were wrong in our assumptions?" Fang spoke up. "If Durandel recognizes her as another wolf then surely Nova does too?" Mydnyte shook his head, "But...this is odd to see a wolf with such an uncanny likeness to another one! I just don't believe it!" Mydnyte spoke obviously confused. Durandel wished he could help clear the air but there wasn't much he could do. Fang then spoke, "Whether or not this is BattleDemon, does not change our plans. I say we still head to the Acacia Woods in the morning, we can still gather more of your old allies." Mydnyte then nodded, "Yes, but, to challenge Rashid's forces we really needed a powerful warrior like BattleDemon on our side." Mydnyte then growled. "Perhaps we all need rest, we have been traveling for a long time ourselves." Fang reasonded. Mydnyte growling died down as he spat, "Fine, I'll take my rest." Mydnyte grumbled as he made a spot for himself to lay down in.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Already dropping off, Nova watch through slitted eyes the ordeal of trying to figure out BattleDemon. Or Dey. He was still pretty sure that she was the former somehow, just with memory loss. Some of her old scarring must have healed too, she certainly looked younger without her war wounds. Bah, he was too tired to think about it to hard, it was just good to see that she was awake. Now, hopefully she and everyone else would drop off into a natural sleep.

...The thought came to him to suggest that someone should keep watch. If today was any signal, it seemed the entire world was their enemy. But it was such an effort to talk, it felt like he was trying to talk through a mouthful of honey. He was sure one of the others would think to do it, they were smart enough.

Shifting his body so that he could get the most out of his warm rock, Nova drifted off.

The setting changes from forest to The Lands of Nigerius

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Battledemon

Dey tried hard not to wince as she began to lick at her torn paw pads, pretending that she wasn't listening in on the conversation going on. Worry and anxiety began to eat at her when Mydnyte, the darkest brute present, questioned her. Do I know him? No, I don't... I.... Oh! She let Durandel explain what was apparently going on, listening as well as Mydnyte was and to her dismay... realized that they had mistaken her for someone else, someone far more important than she was.

Before the tides of jealousy, and disappointment could reach her, that shadowy secret came back to her. The one that had scared her into bolting before. With this secret came even more anxiety, If they knew, would they leave me behind? Would they deem me unimportant and leave me to die? Doubts began to poke and prod her with questions she didn't have answers to, or perhaps, questions she was scared to answer. "-we really needed a powerful warrior like BattleDemon on our side."

Whatever chance of being able to tell them the truth, however slim, were completely dashed when Mydnyte said that one line. I can't tell them now! I've never even been in a fight! They had some hope of the belief that BattleDemon is on their side, but if... If I tell them the truth, they'll... She whimpered and covered her face with paws yet again, wishing that she didn't have the same physical traits as her mother.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon Character Portrait: Shamus
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Durandel and Mydnyte

As Mydnyte laid there he noticed that Nova and Durandel had nodded off. He then snorted as he looked over to Fang Hunter and BattleDemon or Dey or whatever, were still awake. He didn't expect the She-Wolf to take over the first he watch, in fact he suspected her to be too weak to do so. He then spoke up, "Fang, you take first watch, once the midnight moon passes over, I shall take over the next watch." Mydnyte ordered. "Yes, I shall wake you up when the time comes." Fang responded as Mydnyte fell asleep.

Fang looked over at Dey who seemed troubled. He then sighed, "You should get some sleep as well, you're body needs the time to heal. Do not worry, my eyes are exceptional in the dark...nothing harmful will get past without my knowledge of it." Fang spoke reassuringly. He felt bad for the She-Wolf, not only was she hurt but she was mistaken for another wolf. That must be annoying. "Besides we will be leaving early in the morning and trust me, Mydnyte isn't very good at good mornings." Fang chuckled trying to make light of the situation.


____________

Felonious looked over to Shamus who asked him a peculiar question. Felonious shrugged, "Schemeko is complex and at times can seem confusing. Often we are given commands to assist in his enterprises...but the wolf isn't an invalid in the slightest." Felonious spoke as he sniffed the air. "We are nearly out of the Swamps. I suggest we find a dry spot, preferably a cave for our evening rest." Felonious suggested, whether or not Shamus would agree, he didn't mind. He wasn't here to direct, but merely follow. "As for the matter of compensation...well, he's not impoverished either." Felonious answered.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Battledemon

Dey nodded slightly at Fang's words but felt more miserable then ever. She had a secret that desperately needed to be told but... What would the consequences be if it got out? It was like a sudden wound inside her chest, it made her feel like everything was wrong, like she had rabbits jumping around inside her head and chest. Why? Why do I have to have a secret!? I can't stand it!

If anything, Dey was nearly the opposite of her mother, quiet, soft and playful. More prone to running from a battle than into one. She couldn't stand to be serious unless it was absolutely necessary. And my father.... She thought of her father's identity and felt that that was one secret she was happy keeping a secret. I can't keep it a secret, but if I did it would mean... She tried not to think about it and desperately grasped at the wispy tendrils of sleep that seemed to elude her so.

Yet it seemed that she could not sleep. Not a wink for the first half of the night. She kept wrestling with the mind-bunnies in her head that just wouldn't settle down until she came to the conclusion that she had to tell Durandel and the others the truth in the morning. With that in mind, she was finally able to sleep. If only for a few more moments before the sun began to peek above the horizon, greeting the world with the beginning of a new day.

The setting changes from the-lands-of-nigerius to Forest

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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#, as written by Krypt
Nova

Being an early riser is useful. There seems to be more hours in the day, you are able to get where you going before others are out, and there is a certain calm that seems to exist in those early dawn hours. A scout who is an early riser has the added bonus of being able to get into position to spy on others long before they are up and going, setting up a much better day for him. Right now, Nova hated being an early riser. But he was awake, and there was no use trying to force himself back. With a standing stretch, Nova got up and looked over the camp.

Not noticing anything different right away, he decided that he still needed to get blood moving through his bruised and stiff body. "I'm going to find meat nearby" Nova said to Mydnyte, before trotting off through the woods. He was starving, and he was sure that the others would be too when they were awake. The last they had eaten was that fish yesterday afternoon, and his body was dreaming of getting something fresh. His body didn't seem too worse for wear, surprisingly, just a few minor scrapes and bruises that added up to a lot of pain. The ordeals of yesterday should have put him in a clinic, if not six feet under!

The forest was quiet except for the birds, and the grey light of morning was slowly growing brighter. He picked up wind of something a hundred or so yards away, and, dreaming of venison or elk, wandered off to follow the scent.

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Character Portrait: Nova Character Portrait: Mydnyte Character Portrait: Durandel Character Portrait: BattleDemon
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Durandel and Mydnyte

Mydnyte watched over the group once Fang turned into the night. He was awoken a little later than scheduled because Fang watched over Battle until she fell asleep. Mydnyte found it odd but did not question his motives. As he kept vigilance he noticed that Nova was the first to rise without his morning alarm. Mydnyte watched as Nova wandered close to him he then spoke, "Got enough sleep eh?" He asked. It was then Nova said he was going off to hunt. "Alright, I'll stay here and watch the camp for a few more minutes, hurry back." Mydnyte responded. He watched Nova disappear off into the woods.

Some more time passed and with a yawn Mydnyte barked, "Alright everyone, get up!" With the softness of a drill sergeant, Mydnyte roused everyone with his abrupt and stern tone. Durandel yawned and stretched as he lazily got up. "Oh? Wha? Already time?" He asked with a yawn. "Yes! It's time you woke up, we have a whole day of travel head of us! If we make good time we should reach the outer limits of the Aven territories before sunset!" Mydnyte spoke. Durandel nodded and yawn as he stood beginnin