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The Songbirds are Gone — Dead Empress Backwater 
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Played by WildFlower who has 48 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater Pup
Sonnet
RE:Sonnet, you notice a pair of tracks in the snow that have been following you….

The child didn't get out much, far too fearful of becoming lost. She never wanted to be alone like that ever again. Not for a minute. Even in the den, she didn't want to be alone. That fear was what finally had her out and about, in hopes of crossing paths with a packmate. She didn't care who, as long as they allowed her to follow them around. She just couldn't bare the awful feeling that if she didn't find someone soon she'd never see another wolf. Anxiety had her convinced that they would all vanish into thin air. Rationally Sonnet didn't believe they could vanish, but her heart thudded widely in her chest and her throat tightened up every second that she didn't see someone else. It was hard to breathe when no one was around her.

After awhile of tracking @Viorel unsuccessfully she circled back around to follow her pawprints home. The girl stopped with knitted brows as a peculiar shape in the snow caught her eye. It wasn't made by her and didn't look to be canine at all. She wasn't sure what animal could've made the mark. Song bent down to sniff it and scrunched her nose up at the heavy musk. Her instincts told her to hide, and she didn't need to be told twice. Carefully she veered off the trail, being mindful of how heavily she stepped. She hunkered down into the snow and partially buried herself.

"Speak"

Played by Greyer who has 36 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
Since joining the wolves of Dead Empress Backwater, Anatole kept to himself. He seldom spoke, but when approached he was civil and polite. He often made sure @Brielle was on her best behavior and did whatever he could to earn his keep. Usually, this was cache-filling and counting. Crow-tracking at this point had been reduced to a hobby.

Chilled to the bone, the youth opted for a stroll to get his blood pumping and warm up a bit. His breath rose in small wisps. The cold stung at his nose. It took some inner pep talk but he managed to drag himself to his feet and get going... For a while, he meandered until a particular set of tracks crossed his path. He set his nose to the ground, sampling the scent only to discern that it did not belong to his sister.

He sighed. While not the most social of creatures, he figured a bit of small talk was in order. Anything to help further ingrain the siblings into their adoptive pack. Besides, laying about and trying to regain his stamina was becoming tedious. A body in motion stayed in motion, as his father usually said. Trembling paws came to a stop as he heard something scurry across the snow. Curious, he followed the girl's trail, suddenly stumped when her footprints veered away.

A small shiver raked down his shoulders but he shrugged it off. "'Allo?" he looked around, wondering if she might appear. Then he picked up on the strange musk in the area and, after a few blinks, he noticed the other marks. "Everything... all... right?"
there used to be a greying tower
ANATOLE GERAU
alone on the sea
Played by WildFlower who has 48 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater Pup
Sonnet

The small girl haunched belly down into the cold snow. Her muscles coiled tightly in anticipation, her breathing as quiet as she could manage. Green eyes constantly surveying her surroundings. Something was out here with her, that she was sure of, and it wasn't wolf. A chill ran down her spine, she could feel eyes on her. Then there was a strange voice calling out to her. Breaking the silence, but not the heavy tension that hung in the air. The pup shifted her body slowly, willing herself to move.

Sonnet sprung forward towards where the voice had come from. Desperately she searched the scenery for the other wolf and with fate on her side, spotted him a few short yards away.

Her decision to bolt triggered a chain of events. First, a gentle thud as the predator gracefully landed on the snow, dropping down from the looming trees. With swift movements, the feline darted after the fleeing child. Little Song didn't dare look back to see what was chasing her, only ahead. Her body wasn't used to the sudden surge and instantly ached at her efforts to make it to him before the animal made it to her.

"Speak"

[Image: 7Afz1Ny.png]Tonight we make our dreams come true
**Sonnet hasn't spoken since losing her family.
Played by Greyer who has 36 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
Furrowed brows touched above narrowed brown eyes. So far, there was nothing. Then, without warning, he heard it: the poised landing of something heavier than a rabbit... and then frantic scurrying across hardened snow. His attention snapped to where the sound had come from and his tail came up. He might not have been an intimidating sight, having lost some weight and all, but he had not lost his vim.

Everything in his body started to tense, instincts taking over. The longer he stood there, the more he realized that something was wrong and they were not alone. Despite noticing that the scent markers did not match, he woofed, "Brielle?" He looked from one side to the other, surveying the forest floor until he saw a flash of white headed towards him. His tail gave a small sway. For whatever came next, he could only be glad the girl had come when called.
there used to be a greying tower
ANATOLE GERAU
alone on the sea
Played by WildFlower who has 48 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater Pup
Sonnet
Swear word

The pounding of her heart drowned out the sounds around her, she could see his mouth move but all she could hear was thud thud thud. Song kept running to him regardless. Whatever he said, it didn't matter. What mattered was the ever presence of something behind her. The sensation of eyes following her every movement, the vibration of paws hitting the ground in sync. The girl was closer to him now, almost at his side, so she stole a look. Turned her head over her shoulder to peer at what was chasing her. The freight of seeing such a beast stiffened the child. She came to a skidding halt with a spray of snow and stared blankly.

Sonnet was frozen in fear, her tail curled between her rigid legs. The cat was big, to say the least. She'd never seen anything like the sandy-colored beast before. It too skidded to a halt, baring its fangs and hissing loudly. She flenched, although the feline's display was directed towards Anatole. She wasn't alone anymore, and the cat didn't seem to like that, it was hesitating.

At last, the child moved. Her paws shuffled backward with eyes pinned to the cougar. She kept going until she felt herself bump into the other wolf and looked up at him with big beady eyes that seemed to say what the actual fuck.

"Speak"

[Image: 7Afz1Ny.png]Tonight we make our dreams come true
**Sonnet hasn't spoken since losing her family.
Played by Greyer who has 36 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
It seemed to happen within the turn of a head and the blink of an eye. One moment she was several wolf's lengths away, then next she was right there against his side. There were no words to exchange, for as soon as she glanced at him, he saw the mountain cat in plain view. Its teeth bared and powerful paws ready to rip them both to shreds. It wanted the wisp of a pup and it wanted her bad.

"RUN!" he jolted, ducking his head and nudging the youth along into a full-on sprint. "Go! GO!"

At present, he didn't care who she was or where she had come from. All he knew was that he needed to get her to safety.
there used to be a greying tower
ANATOLE GERAU
alone on the sea
Played by Greyer who has 117 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater VII. Medic
Oleander Valle
Oleander had been nearby when he heard the panicked cries. "RUN! Go! GO!" With the snowstorm, Clover's injury, and Sage's night-walking, he shouldn't have been surprised. Lanky limbs carried him through the woods, and everything in him started to worry. Frankly, worrying was all he did these days.

A quick sprint and there they were, that new recruit with the sick little one his father and mother had taken in. Only when they had rushed past did Oleander see what they had been running from. Sand-hued pelt, long white whiskers, agility, and grace. A mountain lion.

He didn't have time to curse in his head. There was only one thing he knew he could do. Jaws parted and snarls abound, he charged at the predator. It had no right to be here and he wanted the creature to know it.
they say pray it away, i swear,
OLEANDER VALLE
that I'll never be a saint, no way
Played by WildFlower who has 48 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater Pup
Sonnet

At a moment's notice he was pushing her along and yelling for her to go. Sonnet hesitated for but a moment. Wouldn't it keep chasing if they kept running? The persistence of the male paid off, the girl relenting to run alongside him. Soon enough they were passing a large white male.

Little Song briefly looked at him as they passed, hoping that more were coming. She didn't know how many wolves it would take to scare off the feline. With her weak body already protesting, she didn't know how much longer she could run for. I...I...can't. The thought echoed in her mind as her legs started shaking violently. Her speed dipped down gradually, vision blurring.

Sonnet's legs gave out beneath her and her body came slamming down against the ground. For a moment the world halted. The lights were out and nothing mattered. Then it all came hurtling back with her eyes opening. She panted heavily, trembling against the cold forest floor. She knew she needed to get up, they were in danger, but she was exhausted. What had just happened? One minute she was running the next she was sprawled on the ground. Did he leave her? The pup looked frantically about herself for Anatole.

"Speak"

[Image: 7Afz1Ny.png]Tonight we make our dreams come true
**Sonnet hasn't spoken since losing her family.
Played by Greyer who has 36 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater IX. Scout
Anatole Gerau
Anatole tried his best to keep pace with the small girl. Oftentimes, he surged ahead, and he had to stop instead of circling back for her. "Go on," he panted, encouraging her as best as he could. They hurtled past a tall white wolf but Anatole had no intention of stopping. If he had seen his pack mates running, he would've turned tail and followed after them. A quick glimpse over his shoulder, though saw Oleander rush straight into the feline.

Without warning, the girl slowed. Anatole tripped over himself trying to stop. Nose to the dirt with all his limbs straight out behind him and his rump in the air. Oof. Heart thudding against the forest floor, the masked man pushed himself up. He darted to the youth's side, touching his nose to hers. She had blacked out, but not for long.

"Hey," he couldn't catch his breath as he towered over her. He looked to the wilderness where a fight was sure to break out, panicked. He whined, startled when she came to. "Whoa," he braced himself, afraid she might take off running. "Hey, hey, it's okay. We're okay." For now. "Can you get up?"
there used to be a greying tower
ANATOLE GERAU
alone on the sea
Played by Greyer who has 117 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater VII. Medic
Oleander Valle
Oleander: 15 + 1= 16
Cat: 6+ 1= 7
Hit.

Gone was the calculating and cautious over-thinker that was Oleander at his best. In its place was a creature even Oleander himself had never known. A terrible thud told of their sternums crashing into one another. Feline claws found his side and his open jaws grabbed hold of the side of his opponent's face. A solid bite and a jerk of his neck. It was enough at least to get the mountain lion off of him and onto the ground. Naturally, they were near-equal competitors. Yet, where the cat had bite, the wolf had height to his advantage.

Growls continued to thunder from him as he rebounded. It must've been young, or simply inexperienced because one slap of his paw distracted it with ease. He aimed for the underbelly, jaws apart once more. A last warning. Come on. Lucky strike.
they say pray it away, i swear,
OLEANDER VALLE
that I'll never be a saint, no way