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they think they're working for themselves — Dead Empress Backwater 
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Played by Tasha who has 69 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater XII. Yearling
Torianna Valle
6/25/2023 @ approximately 3pm.

RE: The heat is unbearable lately, wolves everywhere need to find a way to cool down. This change in weather causes the sky to suddenly darken and then light up with heat lightning over the Blackberry Fields.

Tori is 5.5 weeks old: the gradual process of weaning begins and they can now follow adults for up to 1 mile from the den. With being allowed to accompany adults, learning continually advances with the aid of social interaction. Vocabulary lists proceed to grow and social or pack norms are picked up on. Estimated human age: 4 years old.
It's time to strap our boots on
Conquest
This is a perfect day to die

Torianna had been slowly expanding her horizons. What started with the small clearing near the den had slowly expanded into the bushes and shrubbery around it, and from there into the woods that Dead Empress Backwater was tucked into. There was no doubt parent supervision, a watchful eye over her for her wandering tendencies, but if there was then she did not notice. Besides, she knew her siblings caused quite enough strife on their own and when it came to her parents, there were only two.

Which was what had brought her all the way towards the water’s edge, her nose twitching from the musty scent that came from the wet terrain that surrounded it, a healthy dose of mud covering her paws for her proximity to the shoreline as she splashed about in the water. The tiny girl had been getting stronger with her running, with her speed, though she was still notorious for tripping over her paws that seemed to grow more clunky by the day in comparison to her still tiny frame.

That splashing drew noise, drew attention, but the girl seemed to pay it no mind. Just as wild as the water that flew through the air and sprayed anyone who might dare to get too close to her, or have the misfortune of stumbling upon her path all the same.

(This post was last modified: Sep 09, 2023, 02:45 AM by Torianna.)
[Image: EMlxZQq.png]
Played by Cade who has 499 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
Eros was coming to get a drink when he spotted the small girl playing where water met land, and his heart missed a beat. Knowing Sephrina had drowned, he felt a fear that had never been present before regarding the wetter parts of their territory. Part of him wanted to shoo Tori away entirely, but he hesitated rather than acting on the impulse. Their backwater had never hurt anyone from the pack before, its depths far more shallow than the mountain lake.

His ears tipped back, and he briefly recalled that first fishing lesson with his brothers. They were Valles, meant to coexist with the water, not fear it.

Eros took a breath and gave himself a shake, as though he could throw off his anxieties before approaching. She was making a mess, but he didn't mind the flecks of mud dotting his coat as he drew closer. One of his paws brushed against the sopping mud, and he tossed some gently at the young girl.

"Watcha up to, whirlwind?"
Played by Tasha who has 69 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater XII. Yearling
Torianna Valle
It's time to strap our boots on
Conquest
This is a perfect day to die

The question would not process in her mind at first as she continued to shake and splash around the water, finding herself soaked and sending sprays of mud flying about… that was until her older brother spoke, her head snapping with a hint of a vicious grin sliding across her features. “Muddin!” She stated, though with how fast and slurred she spoke it was unclear if she meant mudding or ‘nothing’. It would be up to Eros’s interpretation as to what she said.

Whirlwind. She didn’t know what that meant, but she certainly liked the sound of it. She’d giggle in a way that only a child truly could as he flung some mud on her, and without question she was dropping into her back, absolutely coating her entire backside in mud that her parents would have a fun time cleaning off of her. There was no verbal response, just her giggles and antics continuing.

It was only that she was covered head to toe that she managed to speak, finding a sole word to describe ‘what she was up to’ as the adult had asked of her. “Fun!” She was up to fun, or at least what she thought was fun. She wondered if any of her lame and boring littermates would also consider this fun, or if they would complain about getting their paws dirty.

(This post was last modified: Nov 07, 2023, 11:26 PM by Torianna.)
[Image: EMlxZQq.png]
Played by Cade who has 499 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
She reminded him of @Nix. He thought wistfully of those days when his baby brother and sisters had been just that- toddlers, playful even if sometimes grumpy, no true cares outside of 'who stepped on my tail' and how to escape bath time. Eros pushed the thoughts away before they could mist his eyes, focusing on the little sister he did have. The one he could still keep safe.

He reclined down onto his haunches and watched her frolic with an amused smirk.

"It is fun," he conceded, though did not move to flop down alongside her as he would have when he was a teenager. He had a lot of fur, it'd be quite the effort to get himself sorted again! It was tempting though...

Eros stood again, and took a few steps into the backwater, until the mud squished all around his toes and up to his ankles. His muzzle wrinkled, but not exactly with disgust. In the shallows everything was warm, but the deeper they went (or sunk), the colder it would get.

"You know what's even more fun?"
Played by Tasha who has 69 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater XII. Yearling
Torianna Valle
It's time to strap our boots on
Conquest
This is a perfect day to die

It was going to be a nightmare for her parents to get her fur cleaned again, but she didn’t care about that either. They could dote upon her all they wanted. “Fun! Fun!” She would add in with a Cheshire-like grin on her features and a hint of a giggle slipping out before she managed to rein such a reaction back in. The fact that he agreed with her just further reinforced the fact that she was completely and utterly right all of the time.

You know what’s even more fun?

She couldn’t think of anything more fun than mudding! It was messy, and smelled interesting and different from everything she had been used to in the den or even it’s surrounding location. “What? What? She was merciless and demanding in her tone, which no doubt did not quite hit right with how high pitched her puppy voice was.

Her tail would wag, flinging loose mud in every direction as she began to make her way towards her older brother, stumbling and faceplanting into the mud. Her head would pop up and she would exhale to shoot mud from her nose and try to shake it more clearly away.

[Image: EMlxZQq.png]
Played by Cade who has 499 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
'What? What?' Eros' smile lifted and he walked further into the water. Tracking through the backwater was a skillset all its own, the terrain beneath the surface more often than not miring and hazardous. He'd been roughly Tori's own age when his father had given himself, @Archer and @Oleander their first introduction to fishing. He picked his steps carefully, and expected that his sister would be guided by instinct to learn from his showing.

Then she faceplanted, and he bit his lip to keep from laughing. That worked too. He watched her a moment to make sure she hadn't hurt herself, and then continued. Part of him wanted to clean her face, but that was the whole point of why they were doing this, wasn't it?

When he was just deep enough, he stood still and waited. It took only seconds for the smaller fish to dart back into their places, investigating his limbs and nibbling at the floating strands of his fur.

"Wait for it," he cautioned Tori. If she didn't scare them before he could manage it, Eros would slowly bring his muzzle closer to the water until they were used to his shadow, before suddenly plunging his face in. Lifting it to show off three little minnows flapping betwixt his teeth.
(This post was last modified: Nov 29, 2023, 12:50 AM by Eros.)
Played by Tasha who has 69 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater XII. Yearling
Torianna Valle
It's time to strap our boots on
Conquest
This is a perfect day to die

Hyper was something of an understatement that came with a near-manic Tori looking for her next conquest… something that Eros had triggered inside of her that had her hopped up on the energy and adrenaline that she found came easily to her with a fight. Eros’s attempt to keep from laughing went entirely unnoticed by the youth, who was more focused on the adventure that was placed in front of her. There was a twinkle in her eyes as she watched her older cousin carefully, watching his movement before his face disappeared below the water.

Her eyes widened when she saw him return with three tiny fish caught between his teeth. Woah. Her tail began to wag furiously from side to side, her eyes glistening in the amazement of it… it was something her cousins seemed to be quite skilled with.

That meant that she needed to become a master, so that she might best him in his own craft! The student would become the master! She had little doubt that she would be successful. “How did you do that? Show me! Show me!” She’d bounce her paws up and down, no doubt creating a disturbance, but the pup didn’t know much better.

(This post was last modified: Nov 12, 2023, 03:19 AM by Torianna.)
[Image: EMlxZQq.png]
Played by Cade who has 499 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
That she even gave him the time and space to make such an effort was promising in itself. Eros was well aware of the quartet's individual strengths as well as their weaknesses, cottoning on far more quickly than he had with the triplets. The experience he had gained since the year before showed in such things.

"You know how one'a your super powers is your go, go, go?" Eros moved his limbs with the words, running in place and sending waves and sprays of water. The fish scattered in a blink, instinctively fleeing from the thrashing.

"You got another one, but it's much harder," he stilled, watching Tori with a sparkling gaze as he gave her tell of challenge, "I think you're strong enough, though.

If you can be still, and patient... you can almost be invisible."


They swum on the peripheral, hesitant to return to familiar depths after such disruption. Still, the fish were visible, watching with gullible eyes.

"Wait long enough, they'll come right to you. Then... when they least expect it..."

With the same slow crouching, Eros waited for them to give in, coming close again to investigate the hairs adorning his long legs. This time he only managed one, but he still was able to strike and catch another minnow.

"See?"
Played by Tasha who has 69 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater XII. Yearling
Torianna Valle
It's time to strap our boots on
Conquest
This is a perfect day to die

Tori's eyes widened in fascination as Eros demonstrated his fishing prowess. She absorbed his every move, her energetic demeanor momentarily subdued by the prospect of learning this new skill. When Eros finished his explanation, Tori's excitement bubbled over, and she couldn't wait to try it herself.

"Whoa, that's so cool!" Tori exclaimed, her tail still wagging but now with a more controlled enthusiasm. She watched the fish with intent focus, determination etched on her young face. As Eros spoke of being still and patient, Tori took a deep breath, attempting to calm her boundless energy.

"Still and patient... Got it!" she declared, though it was evident that staying still wasn't exactly her forte. Nevertheless, she made a valiant effort, freezing in place with her eyes fixed on the water.

Time passed, and Tori's excitement threatened to overflow. She twitched a couple of times, but she fought the urge to pounce. The fish, cautiously returning, seemed to forget the disturbance and swam closer. Tori's eyes sparkled with anticipation.

Then, with a sudden burst of energy, Tori pounced, attempting to mimic Eros's swift and precise movement. Her attempt was a bit clumsy, but to her delight, she managed to catch a single fish between her teeth.

"I did it! I did it!" Tori cheered, her tail now wagging with unrestrained joy. She looked at Eros with a triumphant grin, eager to show off her newfound skill. "Thanks for showing me, Eros! I'm gonna be the best fish-catcher ever!"

[Image: EMlxZQq.png]
Played by Cade who has 499 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater II. Leader
Eros Valle
Eros' pride only continued to grow as the impromptu lesson went on. He could remember well what it was like to be so young and have so much energy, how difficult it could be to listen and wait and hold still. Clover's latest brood seemed to particularly struggle with such things, excepting moseying little @Tuwile, and yet Torianna tackled the challenge head-on. He was immensely glad that her efforts were rewarded with success, and his own forepaws reared into the air as he cheered for her, sending stripes of water flying.

"I bet you will!" he beamed back at her, "Took all your uncles much longer to catch their first fish."

There was something else to be happy about, as well - this little training exercise had helped clean some of the mud from the young girl, especially her legs. Her parents could deal with the rest.

"We gotta show this off, c'mon!" he bounded out of the water and back onto solid ground, nose twitching to pick up either Clover or Vayko's scent...