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don't cry for me — Oak Tree Bend 
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Played by Shadow who has 477 posts.
Inactive I. Leader
Corinna Donata
@Ruiko first - the rest of the pack can join in shortly.

Morning - Very low light. Freezing temperatures and high winds after a blizzard.

Gone Tomorrow

The wolves of Oak Tree Bend had been beaten down by wind, snow, and ice. A winter blizzard had swept down from the crags of Serpent's Pass, and they had no choice but to seek shelter where they could find it. Corinna had taken shelter next to a tree, burrowing into the snow next to the trunk to try and avoid the worst of nature's wrath. But when she awoke that morning, Cori had to push her way out of the snow cocoon that had formed around her.

While the snow itself had stopped, the weak light of the sun offered no warmth. Frigid winds sent shivers up the leader's spine and she couldn't help but whine pitifully as the snow seeped into her paw pads and began to freeze. This was a more bitter cold than she had ever remembered before; yet another sign that this winter would not pass by unnoticed.

Shaking herself to force herself into action, Corinna set off towards the pack den. She had been further out at the onset of the storm and had been unable to get back, but she was sure that her pack mates would also gravitate towards the epicenter of their territory. Breathing in the cold arctic air in preparation of howling to her family, the shock to her lungs was enough to cause the leader to lurch forward and stumble in the snow. Gasping for breath, Corinna settled for a grunt before regathering herself and pushing through the snow. She needed to get back, they would need to reassure one another that everything was alright despite the cold.

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Played by Rachel who has 545 posts.
Inactive No Rank Deceased
Ruiko Tainn
The storm had come as swiftly as the grey clouds had rolled overhead. The wind had been fierce and frigid, while there was no seeing past the swirl and billow of snow as it fell from the sky and swept forward from the ground in the perfect winter storm. Ruiko had huddled with @Aeylen, his large form wrapped protectively around hers as they sought shelter beneath an overhanging rock ledge. It was not much, but it was better than nothing, and with each other for comfort of warmth, they waited out the storm together.

Yet his worry did not decrease as the snowfall ended. The fierce winds whipped past, and as he pushed the snow away and propel himself forward, his tongue smoothed quickly over the crown of his mate’s head as he took a silent departure from her – he needed to reassure himself the rest of his family was fine.

The silence that met him was almost unbearable, especially after the howling winds the day prior. Shaking his pelt, Ruiko began a quick lope, his tawny form easily spotted in the landscape of pristine white. Having not been far to the pack den site, he came upon it within a quarter of an hour – something that only should have taken him moments, and yet the deep snow had hindered his travel.

He could tell without swinging his muzzle in that Corinna was not within the den walls. Such a thing was not terribly odd – the boys were older now. With a grunt, the golden male backed away, his paws sinking through the snow as he began to travel once more, his paws leading him to where his nose determined her whereabouts as best he could.

He came across her, his bright amber eyes flashing with worry as he seen her once powerful form so slumped within the snow. Leaping forward to shorten the distance between them faster, a rumble of greeting escaped Ruiko’s muzzle as he worriedly assessed her, his eyes roving her form as his muzzle bent down in submission and to lick her cheek. “Come, you need rest.”
(This post was last modified: Jan 16, 2014, 01:20 PM by Ruiko.)
Played by Staff who has 4,805 posts.

Look Out!

A young pronghorn has fallen behind its herd and starved in the snow. +5 Health

Played by Shadow who has 477 posts.
Inactive I. Leader
Corinna Donata
<3 Yay! They can get some food! Some PP to get them moving, can change if needed.

Gone Tomorrow

Every step was more tiresome than the last, and it didn't take long before Corinna's eyelids were coated with frost, forcing her to squint. The snow had piled up, and while she was still able to walk, she sank down further than she was used to, and pushing herself out for the next step was exhausting work. Her shoulder was still hurting from where it had been injured in the previous pack hunt, and the cold had not helped with its healing. But eventually Corinna reached the next growth of trees, and she was able to stick close to their trunks to help avoid the merciless wind.

Corinna was quick to fall again though, her lungs assaulted by the sting of the air. So she stood, barely standing and gasping for breath, when Ruiko found her. His scent preceded him, and her tail was already meekly wagging before she caught sight of him through squinted eyelids. Her brother licked her cheek, and she nuzzled her head into the nape of his neck in return, happy not only to see him and see that he was alright, but for the warmth that the contact offered.

Ruiko spoke, and she nodded in reply. They would all need rest, no doubt. "Is Aeylen alright?" she asked. As much as she wanted rest, right now her primary goal was to ensure that her pack mates were all safe, though she doubted very much that Ruiko would have left Aeylen's side if the steel gray lady had not been okay. "Have you seen any of the others? Serach and Sceral were playing, so I'm not sure where they ended up," she confessed. As much as it pained her to do so, Corinna had begun to withdraw from her sons and her watchful attention had begun to wane. They were growing fast and did not need her constant protection as they once had, but that did not stop her worrying.

Silently, Corinna began to move again, towards the direction that Ruiko had come. The pair walked single file, the snow making it far too difficult to walk side-by-side. The leader was more than content to follow along behind the large Tainn - his larger size made pushing through the snow a somewhat easier task, as did sticking to his previously made path.

They didn't make it to the den, though, before Corinna's nose began to tingle. Breathing in, choking down the cold air as it shocked her senses, the leader sorted through the scents. There was something there that had caught her attention, and she called out to Ruiko and came to a stop. Wearily, she looked around, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but her nose was more certain now and the increased amount of saliva in her mouth was enough for her to want to go searching for it. "Do you smell that?" she asked her companion, looking in the direction where the smell was strongest. "Something died. We should bring it back for the others, they'll need their strength," she said, not waiting for a response before plunging ahead into the snow.

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Played by Rachel who has 545 posts.
Inactive No Rank Deceased
Ruiko Tainn
He had, in his lifetime, dealt with the fickle plans nature had set out before him. The wildfire that had devoured his home and his family.. the cut off from water. He was ending the prime of his life, and while he had considered to have endured trialing times, none would be worse than this very winter. The cold consumed him from the inside out – the hunger gnawed at his stomach and drove him to a state of constant irritation.. and while he felt just as helpless as he had when the flames had consumed his birth pack, he also had not been present at the time.. he had only come face to face with the aftermath. Now, he was a player in the game of wits and survival offered by mother nature, and it was only a matter of time before someone would fall victim.He gave a gentle nod to the query of his mate – he wouldn’t have left her side had she not been, and so his primary concern was now the she-wolf by his side and her children. Worry chewed away at him for Triell as well, but he knew the ebony male was likely fine. It was the mention of his two nephews though that drew a shake of his muzzle – he had not seen them, and already knew her primary concern would be with them. With this in mind, the tawny beast shifted, plodding forward to the direction of the main den site, his travel slow but sure.

Every so often he would cant his muzzle back, his amber eyes settling upon her figure as she moved with great difficulty. His own eyes squinted against the frigid winds, and while he worried for the boys, he worried more for her. Before he could voice this, she put her nose to the air, taking in a scent just as he did as it wafted over them. Food was a concern, and pulled between the two directions, Ruiko simply blinked in response, about to shake his muzzle once more – they could come back after.

But Corinna did not wait for this, and without him, the sinewy she-wolf began to plough her own path through the snow now. He made to lope up to her side, greatly slowed down by the depth of the snow. “Corinna, we should go back,” he murmured, his voice dying with another gust of wind that pressed past them. The scent of blood was strong, and it churned his stomach with desperation. But none so much as what he felt for the safety of her and the boys. She did not stop though, and with a grunt, he followed suit, enveloped by his own wildfire of fear as it consumed his heart.
Played by Allie who has 85 posts.
Inactive IV. Subordinate
Aeylen Onida

This winter was unlike any she'd experienced before. Nearly two years ago she'd come to Relic Lore in the midst of winter─she'd even crossed the mountains to get there─but even then the snows were far less merciless. Tucked away beneath a rocky overhang, curled into Ruiko's muscled form and the warmth it offered, she would drift in an out of sleep, thinking and dreaming of her children. Months ago they had each departed to find their own paths out into the world, and every day since she hoped for them and for their safety. Their success. Now, when it felt as though the cold had inescapably set into her own bones, she fought the worry that sometimes settled in her brows and struggled to push away the memories of the children she'd lost. The stirring of her swarthy mate woke her from her dreams of them all; blinking her heavy eyes as his tongue trailed across her crown, Aeylen watched from the corner of her teardrop-shaped eyes as he slipped away into the winter white.

For a time she remained there, soaking up the last, fleeting inklings of warmth that Ruiko's body had left behind. Hunger that once was sharp was now a dull ache that throbbed in her belly, the biting winds and the way they cut across her aging face the only things to temper the pain. She couldn't stay there, and she didn't want to with a pack she knew was as hungry and chilled as she not far from here. Assuming a role and finding a task for the day would do herself and them some good, and so the tawny lady set out from the overhang toward the pack den.

For a time she forged her own path, but upon coming across Ruiko's forged path─already dusted with a fresh layer of windswept snow─she decided on a change of course. Perhaps he'd taken off to link up with the others or to patrol the borders; with her muzzle tucked to her chest protectively against the winds, she followed it. When his form finally appeared visibly in the distance, he was not alone, but accompanied by Corinna. It wasn't apparent from her position, but as she closed in on the two the worry that was settled in Ruiko's body language stood out like a sore thumb. "Corinna, we should go back," his words barely audible and swept into the wind as she appraoched. Her wide amber eyes cast warmly and with concern over the queen before seeking her mate's. "Is everything alright?" A question posed for either one.

Played by Shadow who has 477 posts.
Inactive I. Leader
Corinna Donata
<33 It's been a wonderful run. Since Aeylen has already posted, the rest of the pack is able to as well. Remember, this would have taken place in early January, so if your character joined afterwards, they wouldn't be here yet.

Thank you everyone for the wonderful run. I've played Corinna for 3 years, and I'm so thankful for the stories I was able to write about her life with all of you. <333

Gone Tomorrow

Corinna had lost all feeling in her paws. The pure cold of the snow and ice had frozen them, and slowly but surely the feeling was beginning to creep up her creme legs. The harshness of the wind had forced her eyes to close, unable to handle the sharp sting any longer. The steam of her breath froze near instantly, and before long, she could not open her eyes even if she wanted to - they had been frozen shut. Panic began to set in when the realization of her blindness hit her. Breathing heavily, she tossed her head from side to side, but it made no difference. Try as she might, she could not reopen her eyes.

Unable to see and slowly losing feeling in her body, Corinna was thankful at least for the ability to see and smell. The scent of the carcass was still as tempting as ever, she used it to guide her as she plunged through the snow. Ruiko was there too; she could hear the exertion in his breath as he broke through the deep snow to catch up to her. The concern in his voice was more than pronounced and she turned her head towards him, to reassure him that it would all be okay even though she was absolutely terrifying. But her words were cut short by another voice and another smell - one that was almost as deeply entrenched on Ruiko's fur as his own. Aeylen was there, asking after them as well. No... she thought, it isn't alright. But she could not tell them, did not want to panic them. There was food, and they would be fools to pass up the chance to grab it before other creatures just as desperate as they were did. "Yes," she said, tilting her head in the direction of the scent they were following. "We should bring it back for the others. The snow's too deep for us to reach our caches now." Once again, she did not wait for an answer, but struck out once again to seek out the pack's next meal.

But this time, her paw did not move as it should. The numbness was being overrun by sharp pain - the harsh sting of frost bite. With a high pitched whine, Corinna fell to her stomach. Instinctively, she pulled her left foreleg up close to her body in order to avoid putting weight on it. But all four of her legs were screaming in protest, unable to hold her weight without pain. So she lay, crumbled in the snow with all four legs tucked beneath her body. What heat her stomach was able to provide, though, was cancelled out by the chill of the snow beneath her and the vicious wind. "I can't...I can't..." she whimpered, her resolve disappearing as the realization of what was happening set in. Unable to see and unable to walk, she would not last long in the cold temperatures, and though they might try, Ruiko and Aeylen would not be able to save her. After nearly six years, the Oak Tree Bend matriarch had taken her last steps.

In defeat, Corinna's head dropped to the snow. The will to fight was slowly leaving her as the cold crept deeper and deeper into her body. The warm coat that had kept her safe from the cold for all those years was helpless in the face of this onslaught. Winter had come for her, and there was no escaping it. "Go," she breathed, her voiced low and panicked. "Find shelter." Don't go. Please don't go! Blind to their faces, Corinna could still imagine them and feel them next to her and despite her verbal instructions, she desperately hoped that they would not leave her to meet her fate alone. Rihael, @Kisla, @Fenru, @Aiyana, Rissa, Torrel, @Sceral, Serach, @Triell, @Ice, @Jessie, @Arlette. The names and the faces ran through her mind - wolves she had loved and who she had lost, none of whom she would ever see again. "Keep them safe...." she murmured, lips barely moving as the cold crept closer. "Tel..tel...tell them...I love them." It took the last of her energy, but as the faces disappeared from her mind's eye, she could only hope that Ruiko and Aeylen had heard and would fulfill her final wish.

Her life had not been easy - her joy derived primarily from her children and her family. Winter's fury had sapped at her strength before Death himself had come to claim her. Corinna Donata had the last laugh, however. Even greeted by Death, she had remembered her children and her pack and the legacy that she had left behind that would continue to thrive without her. The thought dulled her panic, and as she took her final breath, she hung on to that thought until there was nothing left.

Played by Rachel who has 545 posts.
Inactive No Rank Deceased
Ruiko Tainn
@Sceral, @Serach, @Fenru, @Triell, @Nayeli, @Drestig, @Aeylen, @Jessie

His worry was not eased when he felt the familiar touch of his mate’s grace by his side. His eyes did not shift from Corinna as she fought against the elements, noting the way she turned her head sharply. A rumble of displeasure escaped him, and while the silver she-wolf answered Aeylen in kind, the tawny wolf gave a grunt that revealed his own thought son the matter – though the wind would swallow it away.

Nudging Aeylen, the golden wolf quickened his pace as best he could, his strides long throughout the snow, causing him to jump at times to move more swiftly. Something was terribly wrong, and while he could not see it coming, the darkness that enveloped his heart was but a preliminary of the emotions he would soon grow accustom to. He caught up to her then – the determination that propelled her forward seemed to be waning, and his eyes drifted over the carcass with disinterest, despite the sharp pain in his stomach. They could barely travel as it was – they would not be able to take it all back.

He could not voice this though before the Leader soon gave in to the pull of fate. His eyes blinked as Corinna collapsed then, her paws folding beneath her to tuck closely to her chest. He looked to her more sharply then, noticing the frost of ice over her lids – she could not even see!

Ruiko crooned then, bending down to wash his tongue across her face, hoping to alleviate the pain. Understanding or acceptance did not grasp him at that moment, not until she whispered dreaded words. ‘I can’t.’ “Get up,” he demanded then, fear beginning to creep to the deep vocals of the usually stoical wolf. It was sudden when she began to talk about farewell, and only then did panic begin to surface to the Tainn.

“Corinna,” he rumbled, his muzzle now nudging against her cheek, as if he could make this go away. It was then his large frame would move behind her, his figure sinking down to the snow with her as he made to wrap himself against her, hoping the warmth from his body would aide her. But it was all for nothing – Ruiko Tainn had rose this very morning and would witness the death of the she-wolf who had been one of the first he would meet and accept after the death of his parents. The she-wolf who had bore his brother’s children time and again, and who had taken his abandonment with a strength that so many would not have been able to do.

Corinna’s last breath was like a shutter from her body, and the moment she stilled, a part of Ruiko Tainn died with her. Mesmerized by how still she suddenly was – how quiet, his eyes would flicker to his mate’s, stunned. He would have requested her to call to the pack had he felt it proper, and yet deep down.. he knew he would have to inform Triell of what had just occurred. He did not stir from his position, so intent on comforting the female that no longer graced this earth.. Instead, his muzzle would tilt back now, summoning the pack forward -- calling to Triell and the terrible news that would await him. In his tone was the echoing sadness he felt at their loss.. and how he had come home, only to witness his sister's death.
(This post was last modified: Feb 04, 2014, 02:30 PM by Ruiko.)
Played by Lightning who has 727 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Jessie Tainn
Normal routines were something that Jessie had found impossible over the past months. The bizarre weather conditions were making it harder to do her normal tasks as the days went by. It seemed now that the days were getting colder and even more bitter. She wished that things would get warmer so that she could be able to possibly track prey once again, if they even returned to these lands once the winter ended. The way things were ending up right now, Jessie worried for Ice's sake, still he had not returned and Jessie was desperate to see the white Guardian to return to his home. There were more worried about the children and her leaders. Everyone had been working hard to ensure that the pups had been healthy but no the gray woman worried for her alpha as well. Jessie had seen the woman's slip during their hunt and the Scout had been trying to keep her eye on the lady, clinging onto the hope that she would be able to make it through the winter. Unfortunately, like usual, anything she hoped for would be denied.

When a call from a somewhat familiar voice summoned the pack Jessie froze in shock, hearing the tones of sadness within the male's voice. Something terrible had happened and Jessie's mind began to race with the possibilities of what it could be. Snapping out of her thoughts, she took off in the direction that the male had called from and Jessie hurried her steps, trying to make sure that she would not trip over anything. Her heart was pounding in her ears and her heart stopped for a moment when she saw the motionless body in front of her. A dry sob tried to work its way out of her throat, but she forced it down, not wanting these other two wolves to see her weakness. Sadness did flow to her emerald orbs, which had been so familiar to Corinna's, and her head moved towards the two other wolves, her gaze narrowing in on the now familiar man. She briefly recalled meeting him with Hotei so long ago, just remembering that the two were related somehow. Swallowing, her eyes raked towards the unfamiliar female before turning away from them and letting her gaze settle back onto their fallen warrior. Bowing her head out of respect and mourning, she awaited for the other members of the pack to find their fallen leader, mother, and partner.
(This post was last modified: Feb 05, 2014, 03:29 AM by Jessie.)
Played by Mimi who has 64 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Sceral Donata

Sceral had been asleep, curled up in his old birthing den—had it always been so small?—to escape the bitter blizzard and freezing winds that had battered the territory. The flurry of white fell thick and fast, clogging the narrow entrance like an icy door. Where the others had rested—where Corinna and Serach had sheltered—was unknown to the young Aesir and as his muddy eyes fluttered opened to be greeted by the wall of snow, he realised just how bad that storm had been. It was his first winter and he hoped to whatever god or deity existed that they would not all be this brutal.

The pale cub shuffled forward, eyeing the snow that blocked his exit. Lifting a paw, Sceral scooped a small amount of the powder from the rest, watching silently as it crumbled and fell to the floor. Looks like he was digging himself out today. With a quick shake of his head to rid himself of sleepiness, the lad began to paw at the snow, dull claws and wide paws working at tunnelling his way out of the icy den. Once he had made deep enough an imprint, the faceur in Sceral made its appearance. He thrust his face into the snow, yelping at the cold that stung his nose. He nosed upwards, clawing away at what snow he could before it toppled down on top of him. Clumsily, he desperately wriggled free from the icy snow cave just in time to hear a summoning howl fill the air. The tones of sorrow laced in the mournful cry caused Sceral to falter briefly—he'd never heard such a sad sound before.

He quickly set off, though, bounding through the thick snow in the direction he had heard the howl. Frozen winds blasted him, almost rendering his winter coat useless in its endless attacks. The Aesir lad pushed himself as much as possible, careless as to whether or not he was wasting energy—he could smell his mother, just barely, and wanted to be there as soon as possible.

Nothing could prepare him for the sight he arrived to though.

Two wolves stood and two more laid on the snow, as if they were embracing. For a brief, fleeting moment, Sceral thought it was his father who had returned. Ice was back! A wolfish grin threatened to make itself known, yet the cub stopped. No. No, that was wrong; he couldn't smell Ice. He drew closer, battling the winds, as he pushed onwards towards the figure curled in the snow. Curiosity and confusion laced his loud voice as he barked. “Hey! 'S goin' on? Why—” His words became choked in his throat, brown eyes widening as he stared at his still mother. His voice became a whisper. “Ma, why ya' on the ground?” He slunk closer, ears folded back. “C'mon, ma, get up.” Dropping to his pale belly, his tongue flicking out briefly in a clear display of nerves and worry, Sceral wriggled closer still. “Ma? Ma!” A pitiful whine escaped him, stress evident in his gaze as it briefly darted to Ruiko before returning to his mother, his most beloved. “This ain't funny!” A sharpness found its way to the boy's tone, hatred for the wolves who were now present. Why weren't they helping?!

Because she was dead.

The realisation hit him like the kick of a bull moose, a burning pain worming its way into his heart like a disease, hungrily clawing at his very soul. Corinna was dead; his mother was gone. Sceral shook his head. “No. No, no, no, no.” This couldn't happen—it wouldn't happen! His mother was invincible, she was his saviour and his guardian. He needed her. “Why?” Shock grabbed hold of the pale lad, sneered and shook him about as if he were a rag doll. “Why didn't ya' help her?!” Half way between a shriek and a snarl, the boy immediately got to his paws, stumbling backwards with a growl which was followed closely by a whine. His muzzle wrinkled, a feeling so foreign when directed to his elders. It was their fault she was gone, their fault that she hadn't survived. But what could Sceral do to bring Corinna back—what could he offer to bargain with? His own life? If he could he would. He hadn't even been able to say goodbye, to kiss her. He just wanted one more sunrise with her so that he could tell her he loved her.

The anger and sorrow bubbled up in the crest-fallen Aesir, clawing at his tongue for release. The pale lad threw his head back and let loose his pain, his howl battling the vicious wind that whipped his pelt. His mother was dead.

(This post was last modified: Feb 06, 2014, 12:30 AM by Maksim.)