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Away we Go — Spectral Woods 
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Played by WildFlower who has 84 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Luca Denahi
Luca, the sudden rattle of Yellow Rattle flower pods catches your attention.
Backdated to the morning after Destiny thread, 10/20/2023.

A groan left his leathery lips as he rolled over, bumping into the tight walls of the burrow. Whatever it had once belonged to hadn't been very big. They had spent the night cramped and pressed up uncomfortably against one another. He grumbled, crawling his way out from the entrance to sweet sweet freedom. He stretched deeply forward, then backward. "C'mon kid, wake up."

Luca didn't wait for a response, merely shaking his pelt and walking off slowly. They needed to keep on the move to get there within a reasonable amount of time. However, given the child's state, he didn't want to push their luck. The man took a deep breath in hoping to catch wind of something edible. It seemed fate was on their side today. "Pan!" He called out more sternly this time, "Let's go, I smell breakfast."

Luca broke out in a light trot towards the stench of the carcass. Had to be at least two days old given the odor that wafted off of it. Fresh or not, they needed substance and he was keen to put some weight on the pup. The man halted at a strange nose, turning his head sharply with the flash of his teeth. With his hackles raised to appear larger and more threatening. A low rumbling growl signaled his intent to stand his ground. Nothing was going to lay a paw on that kid or their breakfast.

"HE SPEAKS"

(This post was last modified: Oct 27, 2023, 12:44 AM by Luca.)
Played by Molo who has 47 posts.
Lone Wolf Pup
Pan
The den had been tight, cramped. And in it, Pan had also realized that she had been growing, too. Her legs were getting longer, she was getting taller, and it was no longer as easy to fit inside dens as it had been when she was a pup. Even so, it was still probably the best night of sleep she’d had in a while. There was no reason to fear when Luca was here. He wasn’t her dad, but she was still pretty sure he could protect her from almost anything.

Pan stirred relatively quickly at his verbal prodding, already finding more energy in her body than had been there recently thanks to his meal and her rest.

”’Kay!” She called out as he spoke of breakfast. A rumble in her tummy indicated just how much she actually needed it. After a brief stretch, she started to follow him, while also trying to smell what he had. Trying to watch and mimic him as he tracked the scents.

There was something else, though. A rattling noise. In an instant Luca was growling, a noise Pan instinctively knew indicated something bad. She paused, sheltering a bit behind him, but not hiding herself entirely. She was curious to see what had spooked her new friend.
Played by WildFlower who has 84 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Luca Denahi

Deep pools of chocolate stared forward through narrow slits. His tail curled over his spine like a banner warning any potential company that he wasn't in the mood. He continued to growl with his teeth exposed and he clicked them together in the open air. Nothing moved, and no new scents reached his nostrils. Wairly he took a step in the direction the noise had come from to inspect the area thoroughly. He walked around sniffing and posturing, but it seemed nothing was there. Then the noise came again, catching him off guard, and Luca jumped. His eyes caught the target this time and he chuckled, "It's alright, I'm just tense...look." He called out to the girl and gestured towards the flower pods with his nose.

Luca shook his pelt, loosening up his muscles and easing his nerves. "C'mon, the deer is this way." The man took off at a brisk trot, "Do you know how to track?" He asked her, but didn't wait for an answer, "You can look for prints, blood trails, scat, and with deer they'll sometimes leave scrapes on the trees. Scent trails get distributed by the wind and on warmer days rise."

"HE SPEAKS"

Played by Molo who has 47 posts.
Lone Wolf Pup
Pan
He was just tense, he said.. and then he was pointing at something with his nose. It was some sort of a flower that had made the mysterious rattling noises they’d heard, which Pan moved forth to investigate. She could not stop a giggle, either, as she turned to look back at Luca after examining it.

”A flower scared you?” She teased lightly, finding herself smiling wider than she had in a while. Here he was, the big, strong adult - scared by flowers. On some level though, it was also reassuring. She trusted him to protect her if there ever actually was a threat.

This way, he urged again, before launching into an explanation about tracking. ”Kinda,” she murmured in reply to his question. Pan listened, ears cupped forth, eyes attentively scanning the area ahead. She had already been taught or been able to piece together some of that stuff, but actually having him here to walk her through it was an helpful experience.

”Like this?” She inquired, gesturing with her nose to an indentation in the ground, where a trace amount of what seemed to be aged, dried blood was.
Played by WildFlower who has 84 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Luca Denahi

The best medicine for a bitter heart was the laughter of a child. Luca cracked a lopsided grin, nodding his head with the shrugging roll of his broad shoulders. It was amusing to find the threat had been no threat at all. A flower to remember, he supposed...like a Snowdrop. The thought sent a pang to the man's heart. The old frustration that he thought had fizzled out threatening to boil again. He lost his pack for a girl who went and slept with another. What had he expected though, honestly? They weren't mates. He'd been foolish. Beyond foolish. He just had to tell himself that was another life, a different version of him.

He was a new man. Luca kept the pace, one ear constantly turned towards her while the other was ahead. It made sense for a pup her age to not know a whole lot about tracking. He would have to do what he could to remedy that, while they were still together. Like this? Luca turned to look at her discovery and beamed at the hoofprint. He came to a stop and sniffed the stale blood, "Very good Pan!" He smiled broadly at her, "Now, I want you to try and lead from this point." He wagged his tail while nudging her shoulder encouragingly. "I'm right behind you if you need help." He had faith that she could handle the task, given how fast she'd caught onto the trail. Heck, she caught a detail he nearly passed up!

"HE SPEAKS"

Played by Molo who has 47 posts.
Lone Wolf Pup
Pan
His praise indicated she was correct, and once more the child felt herself beaming with pride. Pan nearly gasped when he said that he wanted her to lead. She had learned well from her time on her own, and now was learning from him. But for an adult to trust her?

The child’s confidence faltered for a moment, but she took a breath and nodded. She could do this! If only her parents were here to see her do it…

”Alright, hmm..” Pan leaned in closer to the mark, taking a big sniff to try to really get the scent. Eyes squinted and head held low to the ground, she started forth, sweeping left to right and back again until she found the next mark. And then the next, and so on.

As the trail ventured into a rather dense thicket of shrubs though, Pan faltered. There were clear indicators that something had passed through here, from the way things were trampled or bent, but she wasn’t quite sure how to decipher a direction from it.

A tad disappointed, she glanced back. ”Should we.. go through this?”
Played by WildFlower who has 84 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Luca Denahi

Her face lit up at the praise, making his tail wag harder. He was enjoying this time, bittersweet as it was, knowing goodbye would be around the corner. She seemed to hesitate and he offered a gentle supportive smile and then waited to see if she'd accept the opportunity. If she were too timid he'd do it alongside her, if not simply guide her through each step. The child took a breath and accepted, he noted her ability to self-regulate through pressure. He assumed it was part of why she'd been able to survive alone.

Luca was ever the encouraging and enthusiastic presence as he followed behind the girl. A sense of pride grew stronger and stronger in his chest as she put together pieces of the puzzle. Finding new marks quicker than he'd anticipated. He would confirm with his nose occasionally.

She stopped, looking at him and asking for guidance. The man jumped so that his front paws planted themselves on a nearby tree. He overlooked the bushes, "Sometimes it helps to get a different perspective." Just beyond the shrubbery he could see an antler jutting up. A grand prize for a pup, he figured. Although he hoped the carcass was close by for the sakes of their bellies. He touched back down on the ground, striding forward to point his nose at broken twigs. Quietly he took the lead and pointed out the most subtle of indicators as they went. A minuscule speck of blood here, the specific curvature of a broken twig there, and so forth. "Small details matter when tracking." He came to a stop, still within the foliage, and waited to see if she could find the antler on her own.

"HE SPEAKS"

Played by Molo who has 47 posts.
Lone Wolf Pup
Pan
A different perspective… Luca offered, planting his forelimbs on a nearby tree, boosting himself up. Pan followed after him, but instead jumped up to carefully balance on the trunk of a nearby fallen tree, to use the extra height to her advantage just as he had.

”That’s so smart..” she murmured again, studying the area again to see if she could make out any pattern to the way the brush had been trampled. Pan liked to think she had done alright on her own, but.. she wondered how much more she could’ve learned by now if she hadn’t been.

And what of her parents? Did they still worry - or had they forgotten, by now?

She tried to listen as Luca proceeded without her, though she’d spotted.. something, up ahead. Marking it’s general direction in her mind, the child jumped from her perch to bound after him, making mental notes of the subtle clues he pointed out. Silently, she nodded, taking in each thing and trying to remember it for reference next time.

”Did you see that thing, over there?” It felt like a good time for the question, so Pan pointed with her nose to where it (the antler) had been.  
Played by WildFlower who has 84 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Luca Denahi

Luca looked down at the girl smiling as the words left her mouth. Work with your weaknesses, not against them. He thought, taking his small height into account.

The man failed to notice she had fallen behind, obliviously continuing the lesson. Thankfully the child was still listening, lest his words be wasted breath. When she came beside him and asked the questioned he beamed down at her like a proud father, "Excellent! That is an Antler, and sometimes, where there's an antler there is a..." He trailed off to see if she'd finish his sentence. His tail wagging ever so steady behind him as life seemed to fill what had been dulling brown eyes.