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[attr="class","commoninfo"]C O M M O N • G R O U N D S
The Somnus common grounds lay in the heart of the territory, where the rivers, forests and rolling hills of Somnus empty into a grand clearing. The terrain is mixed, from tall woods to the lush undergrowth of the clearing. Among the more wooded area are the densites for the Somnus wolves, where they primarily sleep down in the long grasses or by a fallen tree, while others choose to make burrows of their own. The branches are low and create fine closure for slumbering wolves. The most abundant prey here are squirrels and birds, but the pigs also live nearby. Be careful not to rest your head on their night-time pathway!
Post by Alphess Eureka on Jun 3, 2019 9:31:42 GMT -8
alphess of somnus
- the constant happiness is curiosity -
T I M E S K I P 2-months
Nothing about this was easy, or safe. She'd casted upon herself a forbidden form of spiritual self harm as she removed herself from her family, hiding away in the burrow where none would find proof of the bastard residents she carried inside of her. The pack was busy enough being entertained by the sudden bouquet of little paws, and showed little concern; Ocean and Azaelia's royal three, and Draco and Aelin's unexpected six.
Eureka wanted to be happy for them. She watched how the mothers embraced the claws at their underbellies without complaint; how fathers effortlessly, joyously even, hunted daily to feet the mouths of the pups and their mothers. Eureka wanted to support them. It was her duty as their family, and her duty as their leader. But the task was impossible for her. The same claws of her attacker would soon carve into her stomach as his did, and bastard pups would forever go without a father to feed them while Eureka reclused to whimpers in solitary.
Though she could not empathize with their mothers, she bore no dissent towards the children. Weeks ago, she told the pack she'd fallen with illness, and would be at rest until she recovered. None but Murdoch seemed skeptical, and Eureka began to realize the fault of her design. Then, the litters were born. There was no possibility of denying Eureka her privacy when the risk of illness could take the lives of nine newborns. Their arrival had given her weeks of time to remain untouched in her den, starved but the mice that crossed her door.
She didn't have the mother's soul for these pups that Azaelia and Aelin did. As they grew inside of her, she felt them stealing her life force. He had planted them there so she could never escape his grasp. No, she was not a mother. These were not her pups. She was not pregnant. She was a host, and these were parasites.
She still was without a reasonable plan to escape motherhood once they were born in a few days. She fantasized taking them to the far east, where the coywolves once resided, and perhaps still did, and leaving them there. But each time the thought crossed her mind, she bit down until her tongue bled and her jaw throbbed. She would not allow her heart to blacken.
She peered out of her den for some time, assessing the activity in the commons, before her body was lifted from the ground. It took several attempts to push herself out of her burrow; she hadn't stood on her feet in several weeks, and now a heavy stomach was too much for her thin legs.
Numb paws walked her silently, and slowly for the unbearable weight of her abdomen, into the forest, where she dreamed to do the only thing she thought possible to solve her problem; to end her life...
...until sudden, severe waves of burning sensations began to dash across her stomach. She winced in pain, and upon opening her eyes found blood dripping to the ground from her abdomen. Her scars were reopening with the stretch of her stomach. Her heart began to race, and her face went cold. Her legs wobbled and could take her no further. She looked back into the clearing once more, expecting to call Murdoch for help, but she collapsed unconscious onto the ground before she make herself known.
Post by Alpha Draco on Jun 3, 2019 21:05:55 GMT -8
D R A C O D E L T A S O M N U S
Draco’s body shuffled a bit, the warmth of his mate pressed against him as his ear flicked, listening to the quiet chirps of birds that were slowly coming to life after the harsh winter’s grip was finally being released from the territory. Brown eyes opened slowly, morning light flooding into the ever larger den he had made for himself, Aelin, and their six little bundles of joy. A smile was permanently planted on his face as his tongue pushed against the forehead of the smaller white lupine at his side, inhaling the scent of her, the scent he knew all too well, now mixed with milk as their pups were nestled at her belly, sleeping happily. They were old enough now to have their eyes and ears open, but not yet old enough to walk and talk, which was completely fine by him. Draco had never imagined that he would become a father, nor this early. He had hoped he’d have more time to prepare, but alas, fatherhood never came to those that actually were prepared. It was unexpected but wonderful. Alongside their wonderful litter came three other pups from Azaelia and Ocean, an awaited pair since Draco had been a small pup. Violet had also seemed to become closer with Corvidae, one of the wolves that had come in from the borders before he and Eureka had made it back from the expedition to Noctis. He was happy to see that the older wolves of the pack were finally settling down, and even with the tragedy that endlessly struck the territory, they persevered and were bringing new life into the pack.
Hearing the small squeaks from his pups, he looked down. It was an even mix of males and females, and almost an even mix of pelt colors. The one that was squeaking was indeed the runt of the litter, Arya. She was the smallest, and the oddball, being a complete black compared to her siblings’ lighter brown and cream colors. He wasn’t sure where exactly she had gotten the black from, but alas, he still loved his younger daughter all the same as the others. As she stirred, it seemed that the others would do. The eldest was located next to her, being a cream colored female by the name of Daenerys. She was not the largest of the litter, but was indeed the head of the litter, as she pushed her way past her other siblings, taking the food she wanted before letting them do so. He saw himself in her just a bit, but alas, she seemed more like her mother than anything. Then came Jaime, the second born. He was stuck close to Cersei’s side, the two, not even knowing each other by name, but only by sight, were very close together no matter if they were feeding or not. He could see them becoming rather close siblings, something he wished he had with his two that were still living. Eureka and him, although having grown apart at first, had quickly grown back to being more siblings than strangers, him trying to offer her help in her times of need, and him being there for her whenever she needed him. He cared for her, and he beat himself up over the fact that he had treated her so horribly in the past couple years since Abel and Ariel had died. Luke would always be his brother, that was no doubt a fact. But their bond would not be as strong as if they were in the same pack.
The others of the litter stirred. Benjen and Oberyn fighting over one area of Aelin’s belly, wanting food from the same place. He smirked a bit, leaning forward and nudging the two apart and towards separate areas with his nose. After doing this, he decided that he would surprise Aelin this morning with a small gift. With spring just around the corner, animals had to be leaving their dens to find food, much like he was. Getting up, and making sure to take careful steps towards the entrance. Draco was a large brute, so doing this required extreme caution. He didn’t need Aelin waking up to a pup having been squished underneath his paws. He was already terrified that would happen. Thankfully it hadn’t, and he wasn’t about to make it happen. After he finally made it to the entrance, he let out a small sigh of relief and took his leave from the den. The morning air was crisp and greeted him with a small shiver running down his spine. Shaking it away, he was heading towards the forest, when a chilling sight brought him to an immediate stop. His blood ran cold, and his heart stopped with it.
There, unconscious, lay Eureka. Her body surrounded by a small pool of blood. He had noticed her belly growing, and he only feared the worst for his sister, but she had kept herself away from the pack, not wanting to tell them of the horrors that had happened on their way home. Frantically, the large brute brought himself to his sisters side, nose sticking to her neck as he checked for a pulse. He was on the brink of tears.
“Murdoch!” He screamed, his voice cracking with fear as he called for the Salutary. “Corvidae! Immediately!” He commanded, not giving them any context. He looked down to his sister, curling himself around her side, her blood staining his belly as he frantically looked over her. “You’re going to be okay. You have to be okay,” He whispered, tears falling as he looked down at her. “I can’t lose you. Please, Eureka. Please!” He cried out. “Murdoch!” He screeched, not caring if the male was near him or not. “Please don’t leave me…” He said, bringing himself protectively to curl his large body around his sister, only moving once the Salutaries would appear. This couldn’t be happening. This can’t be happening. Not now, not after everything had been so extremely perfect. She needed to meet her nieces and nephews, to see that Azaelia and Ocean were finally happy together. She needed to know that her pack was flourishing, that her family had been waiting for her to be well again. That he loved her. He had never said it to her before, but now more than ever, he wish he had said it more. For her to know that he loved her, and that he couldn’t lose her.
She pondered what it was she had done in her life to deserve the sacred gifts snuggled between her body and that of the boy she loved, both who held her soul in their herts. In all aspects of her life but this one, she knew she had failed. She had failed to protect her father, to love her siblings, to lead a pack, to give Ocean the love and compassion he deserved from the beginning. This, motherhood, she would not fail. This was her promise.
But she did not feel this way throughout the last months. She faced many emotional challenges through her pregnancy, the design of an impeding mass in her brain that often vanquished her compassion to replace it with bitterness and resentment, even towards her unborn children. She had been void of such manifestations since the birth of her perfect litter, and she trusted in her heart that whatever force was causing this--karma, illness, her mother's or father's spirit, the universe--was no match for the love she felt for her family.
Sweet morning dew wet her nose as an adventurous Link leapt across her tired face in pursuit of poor, unsuspecting Midna. The little obsidion rock seemed to have little interest in either of her siblings, but was particularly piqued by Link's outrageous displays of fortitude. Zelda, on the other hand, preferred to observe. Such beautiful, watchful eyes gifted to the young princess, who stuck close to her parents and followed directions without quarrel, determined to succeed. Azaelia knew this too well: this trait of Zelda's would either save her or destroy her.
The sight of Draco made Azaelia's heart leap. She was not the only new parent of the pack, and she was equally as enamored with Aelin's bundle as she was her own. Okay, maybe I like mine a little more, she mused in her head with an audible chuckle. Her tongue brushed across Ocean's chunky cheek in her attempt to wake him. It was almost impossible to make her way over his enormous body and out of the den, especially with pups still begging at her abdomen.
Some, she assumed, would criticize Azaelia for leaving her pups with their father so often. It's expected that a mother remain attached to her pups until they can get around on their own. Azaelia, however, was independent even in motherhood, and she needed her personal time. Ocean had these liberties as much as she did, and they were both responsible for ensuring the pups were taken care of when the other is away. A strong mother needs her sense of self, and so will her children become the strong leaders they are destined to be.
She didn't make it halfway to Draco when she saw exactly what turned him to stone. Eureka. The alphess - no, but a baby. A child rushed into responsibility; another one of Azaelia's failures. She ignored the ache in her maternal bones as she rushed back to her den, yapping to Ocean with urgency. "It's Eureka. Hurry. I'll watch them," she urged, though with the same poise she carried since childhood. She would not teach her children to panic, to let worry cloud their minds.
She made way for Ocean and entered the den quickly. She curled around her pups for comfort and peered from her den with unbearable angst. She mouthed the things she expected pack members to do as she watched them jump to aide, things she would be doing if she could be there. Her heart beat hard against the little bodies of her babies, who rested at her sides, innocent and completely unaware of the troubles outside.
It was a strange feeling, not being the first to respond to action. Instead she was hidden away inside of her den with three little creatures who somehow made everything seem like it'd be alright. Maybe she was more dependent than she liked to believe.
Post by Sentinel Aelin on Jun 4, 2019 1:22:49 GMT -8
The girl with a golden heart
It was the warm, comforting touch of her mate's loving tongue against her crown that woke Aelin from her peaceful sleep. A soft murmur grumbled in her throat as she nuzzled into the brute that had wrapped himself around her and the six little blessing that had nestled themselves against her stomach. A smile cracked itself across her lips as golden eyes fluttered upon to look down upon her pups, love and pride warming her heart to see such precious creatures that she could call her own.
It had been a difficult pregnancy with six pups cocooned inside her belly, her stomach had become swollen quite quickly, and the weight of so many children had made it hard for her to do the Sentinel duties that she loved so much. The labour had been the worst of it, but thankfully she had the guidance of Murdoch and the support of Draco to help her through the hardship.
And it had all been worth it. She had been gifted with six healthy, lively babes. Daenerys, her first born, quickly asserted herself as the leader of their group, and Aelin could already tell that the little female would grow to look just like her mother —though the amethyst eyes had thrown her off, she was more than proud to call the little bundle of fur her firstborn daughter. Next had come Jaime and Cersei, the two following each other closely during the labour and now even closer during their first few weeks. But before she had given birth to Cersei—whose emerald eyes threw her off almost as much as her older sister's— she had welcomed the little male Benjen into the world, immediately fawning over the baby boy that she knew would look exactly like his handsome father. Next had come another son, Oberyn, who hadn't stopped wriggling ever since his birth, and had never failed to leave Aelin with a dull moment. Just when she thought she had finished delivering all of her pups, one last bout of contractions had hit her, and she delivered the midnight black daughter named Arya. The runt of the litter had befuddled both her and Draco, as she looked nothing like either of them, but the little girl was just as loved as the rest of her siblings.
One of Aelin's proudest moments had come when her babies had all opened their eyes for the first time, and she discovered that most of them sported her signature gleaming golden eyes. That had been great bragging material against proud-dad Draco who had claimed that most of them would grow up to look like him. But Aelin didn't really care about any of that nonsense, she was only happy that they were all happy, and she hummed as those six pups nuzzled into her stomach, each searching for their morning milk. A quiet laugh chimed through the den as she watched Benjen and Oberyn fighting for a place to drink, their father guiding them apart as per usual.
The wall of warmth at her side eventual moved, and she grumbled her disapproval of Draco leaving the den so early. Her gut churned, wanting to grab his tail between her teeth before he could tiptoe out of the den and pull him back into the cuddle pile. But he obviously had something to do this morning, so the little she-wolf simply curled herself tighter around the pups as they finished drinking and dozed back to sleep. Aelin let her icy eyelids close, eager to do the same, but was abruptly pulled from her peace as her mate's voice echoed through the commons like a gunshot.
"Murdoch! Corvidae! Immediately!" His rattled voice left her feeling numb as terror quickly settled in her stomach. He was calling for the Salutaries, which could never be a good thing. Aelin swiftly unfurled herself from around her six bundles, trying to ignore their displeased cries that sent a pang of guilt through her chest as she stuck her head out of the warm den. Golden eyes were frantic as she scanned every inch of the Commons until she saw the massive figure of Draco in the distance against the tree-line. She squinted, trying to see what he was crouched over. Or who. Eureka.
Her heart instantly sank as the smell of blood finally reached her nose. The Alphess was injured, and she was stuck glued to her pups, unable to do anything. She looked to Azaelia as she too poked herself out of her den to see what the fuss was, but was also blessed with the gift of her own pups, yet cursed with their dependancy. Aelin's pearly brows furrowed as she could only watch from afar, hoping that the Salutaries would be able to help Eureka with whatever ailed her after all these months of having shut herself away in her den.
For now, Aelin could only return to her crying pups, wrapping her warm body around her pile of babies and licking each of their heads until they stopped squirming and squeaking. "It's okay, my loves," she hummed, "everything is okay. I'm here." Aelin nuzzled her pups lovingly, yet couldn't starve off the worry that had her heart beating so fast. She could only hope that Draco would come back to tell her what was happening, or that the lovely face of Blue, their guardian, would pop into her den and take over the care of her pups so that she could offer her help if it was needed. But she doubted the deaf Guardian would hear this morning's commotion...
Post by Hunting Superior Jolon on Jun 4, 2019 19:11:47 GMT -8
--Time skip 2 months--
Two months in this new pack, he had yet to meet the Alphess, she had secluded herself in the den as soon as she had returned to the common grounds, and they had all taken Uzumati away to be buried. So much tragedy in the first day of his arrival had put the silvery-white male off, he was still unused to tragedy, the sting that loss brought, even when you didn’t know the wolf who was gone. However, soon after the extinguishing wind of death, the spark of life has been ignited, Azaelia and Ocean, and Aelin and Draco, four friendly enough wolves had been gifted with pups. He was still not too friendly with everyone yet though, not out of choice, he had just been much too busy trying to keep everyone fed, and make sure hunts had the highest probability of success in order to feed so many hungry mouths and pregnant mothers. Now, both Azaelia and Aelin had given birth, nine in total from what he had heard, but he hadn’t had time to stop in and see the adorable creatures, the tiny ones he had always found so precious and lovable. Jolon’s thoughts were solely on providing enough food to pull his weight and at least half of the pack, because if he could do that then there was no way the mother’s would go hungry, so far he had a fail rate of about 70%. However, if you’re constantly hunting, and out at all times of the day and all time of the night and if you were out for hours at a time you were bound to bring in enough food to feed at least most of the pack.
Jolon currently had been out for about four hours, enjoying the beautiful nature that the pack’s lands encompassed and hunting anything he could catch the scent of. He trotted briskly through the new growth, the strong scent of the two dead hares, which weren’t the fattest he had ever caught but were beginning to bulk up after the winter, clogged his nose. Jolon also carried a dead fawn, he had run up on a herd unintentionally a newborn fawn had tried to run away with its mother but instead had met its end when Jolon snapped its neck in one easy squeeze of his powerful jaws. The three dead carcasses he carried made his stomach growl, but he was intent on feeding the mother’s first and whatever they didn’t eat he would gorge himself on. Amber eyes scanned the ground as the puffy silver-backed male trotted along, but he was nearing the common grounds, so it was doubtful that any possible prey had traveled so near.
As the hunter neared the common ground the stench of blood filled his nose, for a second he figured he had just busted an artery on one of the animals hanging from his jaws, but the scent was different, and it wasn’t nearly as strong as it should have been. Jolon’s eyes widened, fear pricking at the back of his mind, immediately Jolon sped up until he was running, dragging the animals in the dirt as his head bobbed. He slowed as he entered the common grounds eyes searching and then he spotted Draco, his large white body wrapped around the Alphess, he watched as the Salutary and Corvidae hurried towards them, but Jolon knew nothing of healing. The amber-eyed male changed course headed towards the den which had hidden away Aelin and her six pups, Jolon dropped the fawn and one of the hares before ducking inside, his eyes searched carefully so that he didn’t step on any of the pups by accident. “A-Aelin? I brought you something to eat, gotta keep your strength up!” The bright-eyed smile that always seemed to be there when Jolon was talking landed on Aelin as he dropped the hare in front of her, tail wagging slowly behind him as he watched the pups squirm next to her belly. He knew he had to be careful, but his puppyish excitement was flaring up, he hadn’t seen pups in so long, and he always loved when the little things were about. “How are they doing? I haven’t had time to drop by since they were born, been busy with the hunting duties, but they’re absolutely gorgeous little things!” Jolon lowered himself a bit to get a better look at them, his tail continuing to slowly wag and his smiling face glued to the pups as they squirmed about.
Post by Salutary Murdoch on Jun 4, 2019 19:13:51 GMT -8
Murdoch, Salutary of Somnus
urdoch had woken extra early for the start of the day for two main reasons. The first was that they had two births, totaling into nine pups. The most Murdoch has ever been around and his experience is zero. This makes him a little nervous so he likes to be up earlier than the parents just in case of emergencies or needs from the moms. The second reason was he had planned an early morning herb hunt with his Apprentice Nevermore. He enjoyed her talks and her company, finding her presence to be calm and soothing, even if she spoke a lot more than himself. Corvidae was the same, he enjoyed the males company and his mind. However, he didn't bring along the male because he had done something one on one just a few days ago.
Murdoch liked to spend his time as a mentor in two ways, in group learning and individual. He balanced those out by group activities during the day, and individual activities in the early mornings or late nights. Thankfully, both wolves were knowledgeable and just needed focusing and fine tuning. He enjoyed having wolves who could understand his craft and felt a little more at home being able to talk freely about herbs. He has even gone so far to have mentioned more of his past to the two, talking about his mother and vague references about his father and uncle. Mostly discussing how he learned his craft and that the skill was passed on to new generations.
The morning was looking to be quite lovely and joyous as the two reentered the commons, mouths full of herbs. His den was still far from the main area, just in case they needed to quarantine a wolf they would be far enough away. So as he approached his herb scented home, he spotted a panicked gathering of wolves. Hurriedly he dropped his herbs at the den site, very faintly he heard his name being yelled.
"Somethings wrong," he muttered towards Nevermore, his tail immediately going to straight so she could use the touch to follow him. "We gotta run," he said, as soon as she was ready he started a light job before picking up speed. Wasn't a far run but as he entered to the rim of the main commons area, the scent of blood hit him. In disregard to his blind friend, he went into full sprint. Not even fully registering that he no longer felt her at the other end of his tail.
Coming to Draco hovering over the body Eureka had Murdoch temporarily still. Eyes wide as he took on the full site of her, her belly had grown. But her hip and shoulder bones poked out, she had been sick and refused most food that was brought to her. He felt a sick realization wash over him, his own stomach clenching into a fist as his veins ran cold. This was just like his mother.
However, this did not stop him from stepping into action. He quickly dropped forward, pressing his head against her chest, hearing for her heart. Faint thuds were heard, stepping away he moved to her belly. He saw the cuts he had treated months ago, now tearing wide and some smelled of infection. Murdoch kicked himself for not pushing himself into her den for further inspection, but he wanted to respect her boundaries. He wouldn't even use training as an excuse.
Now he pressed his ears against her belly. If there was any talking he would tell everyone to be quiet, in a kind but very stern voice. Eyes closed he concentrated, in Azaelia's and Aelin's late stage pregnancy he was able to hear the very faint, combined heartbeats of the pups. He wasn't able to count them, as he predicted only three for Aelin, but she birthed six, so he gave up that method. Pulling away, the pups inside her were okay, at least, from what he could hear and the tiny kick he had felt when he first pressed himself there.
"Ocean, Draco," he said turning to them with stern looks, "I want new bedding for the patient and fresh kills brought for her to eat, she is malnourished." While he talked, he had gone back to examining her, he lifted a lip and the gums were pale. Definitely malnourished and dehydrated. "We also need a moss ball with water soaked so we can try and re-hydrate her," if Draco hovered, or even Ocean, he turned to them. "Trust me, she needs these things when she wakes up so she can get strong, Corvidae, Nevermore, and I will treat her from here," he assured them, but would not let them hover if they persisted.
Turning his attention he began to make a list of what they would need. Cobwebs to help clot the bleeding, a list of herbs for the infection, possibly a small remedy of other herbs for strength and to help with milk growth, although he would confirm the later. He would not force her to help produce healthy milk if she wanted to give the pups away to another nursing mother, if others would take her future litter in. If Eureka would consider that a possibility.
"Nevermore, I need you to gather Burdock Root, Chervil Leaves," he instructed, these were both sharp smelling plants he had shown her earlier that week around the commons.
"Corvidae, please bring me webs and poppy seeds, if you see Marigold or Horsetail bring that as well," he also instructed, he couldn't remember if the last two they had in stock or not, but they were a little harder to pick out from a pile for Nevermore. Or at least, he hadn't discussed those yet so he wasn't sure if she was familiar with them when they were dried or not. His list to Corvidae should be at his den site.
While the two were away, he began to clean the infection. He would spit out the pus, avoiding ingesting any of the fluid. He did not want to risk being sick from that as he knew he could. When everything had been cleaned properly, he would wait on his apprentices arrival, as well as Draco's and Ocean's.
Post by Apprentice Corvidae on Jun 4, 2019 23:22:00 GMT -8
He'd learned so much over the past couple months! Murdoch was an amazing mentor, and the OCD-stricken wolf couldn't be more grateful for the male's patience with him. He had managed to keep the rock Kebechet had gifted him with him as time passed. There were a few times that he had tucked it away in a corner of Murdoch's den, especially when he was out collecting herbs. But he always quickly swapped the two. He couldn't last long without gnawing down on something with the fear that Somnus would go hungry. It had been a difficult, and incredibly steep learning process when 9 pups had suddenly been born into Somnus. Well, not suddenly. It was obvious that they were coming, but to have nine new lives that he had to make sure were all okay was a shock, to say the least.
This morning, he could feel the weather beginning to warm up. Snow still covered the ground and inhibited the growth of many herbs, but at least he could feel it getting warmer. He had become quite close friends with Nevermore over the past couple months as well, liking her ability to talk for hours, especially when he couldn't talk due to herbs or a rock in his mouth. On this morning he was up early, not nearly as early as Murdoch was, but definitely ready to take on the day. It seemed that his day was going to start much faster than he anticipated.
His name being bellowed from Draco's mouth, of course, accompanied by Doc's, startled the male into action. He shot to his paws, mismatched eyes scanning the commons for the male who was obviously in distress. Instantly, he was by the side of Murdoch and Nevermore as they ran at an increasing pace towards the Delta. As Murdoch sprinted away, Cori quickly extended his tail to the blind she-wolf so that she could still have some guidance on their way to whatever seemed to be happening.
Upon arrival, the Apprentice's heart sank. He had scented the blood on their run to the site, but seeing the Alphess so skinny but bloated and with her sides splitting and leaking blood and pus wasn't what he had expected. The male had hardly known that the Alphess had wounds on her sides, and with the entire commons smelling of pups and milk, it was hard to tell that the Alphess was pregnant. It was hard to deny. Her stomach was swollen so grotesquely in comparison to her nearing skeletal frame. "It's Eureka," the male murmured, not sure whether or not Nevermore could smell through the cacophony of scents, and knowing that they had arrived at Somnus together.
Concentrating intently, he tried to think of what to do. She was skinny, she definitely needed food. His jaws clacked the stone between his teeth faster; it was a useless effort to ensure that prey would remain plentiful. She probably also needed water, something that moss could do., or just the snow. However, she didn't seem to be conscious, so trying to get any food or water into her wouldn't first on the list of things to do. Her wounds, bleeding and a few infected, his mind instantly jumped to cobwebs. Those were always a go-to medical tool. And the infection could use some marigold, but he knew they didn't have much left in stock. Winter and flowers didn't tend to get along.
"Nevermore, I need you to gather Burdock Root, Chervil Leaves. Corvidae, please bring me webs and poppy seeds, if you see Marigold or Horsetail bring that as well," Somnus' Salutary directed his apprentices. Nodding firmly, Cori pressed his shoulder against Nevermore's, guiding his companion back to the medicine den as quickly as possible. Darting inside, he knew not to underestimate her. She could find the herd Doc has asked for on her own, and that left Cori free to nose through the oldest stores. He scanned for a yellow flower, likely turning brown or wrinkled, but hopefully still useable. Scanning through the stores for horsetail, the Apprentice couldn't find any, or maybe he couldn't identify it. Trading his stone for some cobwebs, a pod of poppy seeds, and a clump of dried marigold, Cori fought the urge to smash his teeth together and anxiously gnaw. He knew that he couldn't though, so he resisted his urges to and collected Nevermore again, guiding her by the shoulder back to Eureka. Depositing the herbs he brought near Murdoch, who had cleaned out the wounds, the Apprentice knew how he wanted some of them used, but he was a bit rusty on the order. All of his healing had been used for the recent births, wound treatment wasn't all that fresh in his mind. Intently watching Doc's movements, Cori hoped that the Alphess would regain consciousness soon.
Make room for the things that add beauty to your life
Over the past two months, Merida had made the effort to befriend as best she could every member of the pack. Most obliged to her incredible social skills, so she thought, but others weren’t so easy. The mothers and fathers became difficult to communicate with as they became respectably invested in their pregnancies, and now parenthood. Eureka hadn’t spoken a word or even come out of her den since she fell ill. Her situation seemed very out of place, and some seemed skeptical, but Merida chose to believe the likelihood of a wolf catching an illness from the rogue lands after leaving the safety of a pack. And she chose to respect Eureka’s privacy.
She had become very fond of wiggles over this time, and was happy to see him helping with the pups after struggling with his friend’s death. In fact, everybody here seemed to be coping very well, and she suspected that the litters had a lot to do with it. She couldn’t believe her sister was a mother now. Merida always thought she’d be too concerned with her duties to ever think about settling down with a mate and a litter. She was living the life Merida always prayed she would. Seeing Azaelia mother her pups and treat her mate with such compassion immediately incited Merida’s forgiveness over what Azaelia has done to her own mother, and what she let happen to her father. She had always blamed her sister for ruining the family, but she realized now that she had nothing to do with their demise.
“Morning, sis,” she gleefully greeted upon seeing the new mother walk out of her den. But before she could say anything more, both sisters were startled by the scream near the treeline. Her immediate thoughts went to Eureka, knowing that’s where the mysterious alphess was residing. Her ears fell back in worry as the salutary and his apprentices rushed to the scene. Azaelia was already calling for Ocean and retreating to her den. Merida followed the jet gargantuan closely. She could not sit back and hope for the best. She had to help.
“I want new bedding for the patient and fresh kills brought for her to eat. She is malnourished.” The patient, he said. The term lacked the true urgency of their situation; this was the alphess. The commons were silent as Murdoch put his ear to Eureka’s belly, and Merida was both terrified and eager. It made sense now, why Eureka had been so quiet on their way to Somnus, why she seemed so tired and empty. Merida was heartbroken, unable to bear the thoughts intruding her mind, but she had the utmost faith in Eureka and the life she might be carrying. No matter what, Mer would be there to help.
She locked eyes with Draco. He wouldn’t be able to carry enough bedding on his own. Merida would have gone with Ocean if she wasn’t so terrified of getting in his way. Azaelia talked like he was a harmless little cub, but she didn’t deny his temper, nor his strength. She shivered as she followed the treeline, digging the soft undergrowth with her paws where she saw fit, and carrying the remains in her mouth until it was full. On her way back to the site, she contemplated whether this would be enough, but hopefully Draco or Ocean would bring back the remainder of what they needed.
Saliva dropped from her maw as she began to dig out the dead leaves and rough, dry dirt from Eureka’s den before replacing it with the fresh grasses and soil held in her maw. She organized it nicely, a very unnecessary touch of Merida to comfort the alphess in her den when she returned.
The rest of the work, she imagined, would be left to the salutaries. She kept her eyes on Eureka as she made her way back into the clearing, where several pack members waited anxiously. Her services were needed here now. She approached her sister’s den with caution, afraid of how her sister might act towards vibrant Merida when under pressure. She knew how her sister hated feeling trapped.
"Everything is going smoothly out there. She’ll be okay," Merida, of course, had no idea if this was true, but it was the least she could do to comfort her sister, besides feed her. On that note, she trotted off with eyes darting back and forth between Eureka and the wolves in the commons, until she found herself by Aelin’s den, where Jolon excitedly interviewed about the litter of six.
”Hey Jolon, is there anything left from your hunt today? Zee and the pups could use something to eat, too,” Merida inquired politely. She cast a smile on the sentinel, daring to take a peek at all of the pups by her stomach. She resisted the goggling gaze beginning to creep into her expression, albeit very, very poorly.
Post by Sentinel Aelin on Jun 5, 2019 20:42:18 GMT -8
The girl with a golden heart
Anxiety bubbled in her gut as she feared the worst. Eureka had been hidden away for months, apparently ill after their journey through the rogue lands—which made sense after the way she had acted upon their arrival home. But now she had left the confines of her den, and something was wrong enough to spook Draco and warrant the need for the Salutaries. Aelin hummed a gentle song to her pups as they wriggled against her belly, Benjen and Oberyn fighting for the warm spot under her forearm, Daenerys struggling to get comfortable against her abdomen, Jaime and Cersei yapping as they were jostled by their siblings, and little Arya trying to worm her way up under Aelin's chin. It seemed they were all restless this morning.
“A-Aelin?" She shifted herself to gaze at the figure that stood in the entrance of her den, a smile appearing as she looked up to the familiar face of Jolon. "I brought you something to eat, gotta keep your strength up!” Aelin gratefully took the rabbit that he had caught for her. "Thank you," she spoke through mouthfuls of meat as she ate, occasionally glancing to the wonder that had set itself upon Jolon's face as he watched her babies wriggle in their pile. Aelin realised that this was his first time seeing all of her pups, and an amused smile spread over her lips as she retracted from them ever so slightly, giving him a better view of the children she was already so proud of.
“How are they doing? I haven’t had time to drop by since they were born, been busy with the hunting duties, but they’re absolutely gorgeous little things!” She hadn't seen much of Jolon after she had given birth, but from the time she had known him during her pregnancy, she could tell that he was still as kind and thoughtful as always. "They're doing great, all six of them are as healthy as they could be," she stated proudly upon finishing her fill of the rabbit, "you haven't met them yet, right? Let me introduce you," Arya squeaked as Aelin shifted, the little girl having just gotten comfortable nuzzled into her chest. The mother chuckled and licked the raven-hued baby on her head, "this little one is Arya, don't ask where she gets her colouring from, we've got no clue." Aelin mused before looking to the rest of the pups that seemed to be staring up at Jolon in amazement. "This is Daenerys, my first born. Cersei, my other daughter. And then there are my sons, Benjen, Jaime and..." Oh no, where was he? The mother's heart stilled in her chest until a small lost squeak came from behind her rump. "Oberyn." She finished, reaching over to grab the little adventurer by the scruff and gently place him back with the rest of his siblings.
Aelin looked to Jolon, keen to gauge his reaction to each of her pups, but the two were interrupted by the welcome presence of Merida. She had come looking for Jolon and the meals that he had caught, casting Aelin a warm smile that was quickly returned. Like the proud mother she was, she shifted once again to let Merida have a look at her six little bundles, eager to show them off to as many pack-mates as possible. But Aelin only ended up reminding herself of the pack-mate that might never see her babies if things were as serious as they seemed to be. She ended up gazing towards Jolon. He wasn't Blue, and probably had zero experience with pups, but Aelin didn't doubt that he could play Uncle Jolon for just a couple of minutes while she figured out what was happening.
"Would you mind watching them for me? I'll only be gone for a few minutes at the most, I just want to make sure that the Alphess is alright."
Post by Hunting Superior Jolon on Jun 5, 2019 22:46:11 GMT -8
“Thank you,” came Aelin’s voice as she ate the meal he had brought her. As she finished the hare the proud mother answered him quickly, "They're doing great, all six of them are as healthy as they could be, you haven't met them yet, right? Let me introduce you, this little one is Arya, don't ask where she gets her colouring from, we've got no clue." As the little squeak from the tiny raven-colored pup escaped her Jolon looked like he was melting, his tail, thankfully facing the opposite direction of the pups, was wagging non-stop as he watched Arya squirm about near her mother's chest. When Aelin mentioned not knowing where the coloring came from Jolon’s smile widened if that was even possible, giving a soft chuckle at the little joke. When his gaze shifted to the others he gazed down at staring eyes and his heart melted even further, Jolon’s ears slowly pushed back against his skull as he watched them, barely holding back the whines in his throat from the overwhelming happiness he felt at just being near so many little ones. Finally, the proud sentinel mother continued naming off the pups, "This is Daenerys, my first born. Cersei, my other daughter. And then there are my sons, Benjen, Jaime and..." Jolon nodded along as he took in all of their names before Aelin stopped, she had only named off five, but Jolon knew there were six, there had been six of them since the moment he walked in, yet here they were with only five.
As soon as Jolon sensed Aelin’s panic his tail ceased its frantic wagging and Jolon slowly pushed himself back up, ready to spring into action, but as soon as he did the tiny pup made his presence known with a small squeak from behind Aelin's rump, and Jolon’s own panicking heart began to slow. He took a deep breath as he slowly lowered himself back down to better see the pups in front of him once again, as Aelin finished naming them off, "Oberyn." Jolon nudged each of the pups gently with his nose, making sure to be careful not to hurt them, or fling dirt at them from his frantically wagging tail. As he was acquainting himself with each pup when another voice spoke up, breaking through his thoughts and he turned to meet Merida’s eyes as she asked, “Hey Jolon, is there anything left from your hunt today? Zee and the pups could use something to eat, too.”
Jolon was quick to answer her, “Oh, yes of course, I left a fawn and a hare outside the den, I meant to bring it to her, but I got a bit distracted by the pups here. If you wouldn’t mind actually taking one of them to Alphess Eureka whenever Murdoch is ready for it that would be great actually!” Jolon patiently waited for her response, giving her a smile and a quick nod regardless of whatever she said, before once more returning his attention back to the pups and Aelin, as he continued to nose around the pups with a wonderfully bright smile on his face.
Just as the big male was about to get up and leave the mother to rest she once more spoke to him and her words almost made him jump for joy, "Would you mind watching them for me? I'll only be gone for a few minutes at the most, I just want to make sure that the Alphess is alright." Jolon froze for a second and then he nodded vigorously, “Yes! Yes of course, I would love to, I love pups, they’re so precious and cute, please, go enjoy your time Sentinel Aelin, I am more than thrilled to watch them for you.” Jolon’s ears pricked forward in excitement as he waited for Aelin to respond and make her way outside the den, then as she did so Jolon replaced her, careful not to sit on any of the pups as he laid down and curled his bushy tail around the tiny little ones, as well as his body, easily keeping them warm with his thick pelt. His face was soon covered in his placated smile, as happy as he could be while he quivered from the excitement of being left alone with Aelin’s most treasured possessions, and if he was being honest, his as well.
Post by General Ocean on Jun 6, 2019 17:51:22 GMT -8
O C E A N somnus
g e n e r a l • o c e a n a reckless wolf with a selfless interior
Ocean didn't always wear the invisible shroud of blackness many had chosen to define him by. He knew how the newcomers feared him, even some members of the old crew. His own mate sometimes; he couldn't imagine that she did not sometimes fear his wrath. And for a long time he went without the attitudes and manners of empathy, which turned many away from him, all but the one who continued to love him through everything. And now he was the father to her children, the cloak of unfeeling now lifted. He felt everything now, and it was more than he could ever have dreamed.
A soft, wet press against his cheek inclined his tired eyes to break from dark cover. Morning light peered through the den, something he had never appreciated until recently. How much beauty he saw in every day he had the gift of sharing with his family had Ocean waking earlier in the mornings than before, spending more time with his packmates than starting fights with the cougars in the east, and being more open to change. Once acting on impulse and finding an excuse after the fact, Ocean considered every thought, primarily the thoughts of others, before making any decision. In every sense, he was a traditional wolf, but changing tides meant he'd have to learn to accept new challenges and opportunities. Becoming a father was one of them.
His minty optics finally adjusted to the beautiful figure hugging his giant frame, and the three nuggets squirming all over their poor mother. The first sound from his dark, velvet voice on this day was a laugh. The next, however, a rumble of fear, with sadness, for he'd known for some time that there was something wrong with the alphess. "It's Eureka," his mate murmured. Had they been wrong to obey her? To trust that she would recover from whatever ailed her? To trust her at all?
He quickly exited the den, mindful, though, of the small creatures tossing around inside. He didn't agree with coddling, or being so frightened of a few scratches, but Ocean's size was no trifle regarding the tiny, precious lives he'd nearly killed a few times from his weight alone. He'll never forget Azaelia's face. "GET OFF! GET OUT! YOU'RE KILLING THEM! YOU MONSTER!"
That's how he remembered it, at least. And though it was no laughing matter, his eyes watered in mirth every time.
With other matters at hand, Ocean assumed his authority and left his mate without question. He had no doubt of her strength and ability to take care of her pups when under stress; she was far better at it than the brute was. Legs even more gargantuan than before took him quickly to the scene in question. He'd become much more active in hunts with Jolon, who had done surprisingly well in taking Uzumati's place as the star hunter. He never hesitated, and actually seemed to thoroughly enjoy, helping out with the pups as often as he could. Ocean was grateful, but this had never been made known. Maybe he wasn't so changed after all.
He could not bear the sight of Eureka's bloody, skeletal and pregnant body on the ground. He knew now that she had formulated her lie out of fear, and more importantly, shame. She did not choose this. Ocean was certain of it. He felt himself becoming lost in the torment his brain had fallen into, a feeling so long cast away since Francesca's death. He could not resist his eyes as they pulled undesirably to Draco, saying, "how could you let this happen?" But Ocean remained silent. He didn't know the situation. All he knew was that Eureka was in trouble, and they had to save her, now.
"I want new bedding for the patient and fresh kills brought for her to eat, she is malnourished." Ocean's eyes searched for what his nose had found. A deer, and a hare. But the scents soon became clouded by the intrusive wave of rogue dirt at the borders. A growl formed in his throat before he called to Merida, who had finished helping with the bedding, and was now conversing with Jolon. He assumed she was bringing Jolon's kills back for Eureka.
"Merida, hurry up!" Ocean barked unapologetically. If she had arrived with the fresh kills Murdoch had requested, he lowered his voice and dipped his head. He was quick to shout when he was anxious. "Good. Thank you." Eureka had bedding, she was fed, and Vespen was bringing the contraption Doc wanted. But Ocean would not leave until things were settled. Unless, of course, the alphess went into labor. He didn't need to witness that again. The blood... the smell... the consumption of placentas...
Ocean called once more to Merida, hoping she was still around to hear him. "The rogue at the borders. Keep them away from here until Eureka is awake. Go," he insisted. He remained close to Murdoch in case he would order anything else from the surrounding wolves, who were arriving every minute. They'd need to give Eureka space once she was awake.
Post by Alphess Eureka on Jun 6, 2019 20:34:42 GMT -8
alphess of somnus
- the constant happiness is curiosity -
When the curtains closed, she was swallowed by emptiness as she watched herself be erased by darkness, left alone only to contemplate if she'd see the light again. She remained this way for what seemed like years⏤in fact, when she awoke, she would recall snippets of pictures she could only assume were her future. Most involved blood, but some of them, though they were brief and flashed dimly with feigned hope, felt soft like her mother. She could feel the heartbeats of the pups; in one image, their beats stole hers until death, and in another, they gave her everything. The few moments of bliss in those images sent a very clear message to the sinking alphess: she had to survive, if not for herself, then for the life she carried. To show him that what he had done was not enough to end her.
She felt so blessed to greet the morning shine, though shaded by the many silhouettes towering above her. She blinked once, and again, and continued to beat her eyes until the stings of pain returned to her, and they were glued shut once more, this time with the squeeze of intolerance. The pain certainly wasn't as severe as before, such that she had lost all consciousness. She hadn't a clue what Murdoch had done for her, nor the apprentices, but she knew they saved her. Those were her first thoughts: to be grateful.
But the manifesting thoughts that followed did not incite Eureka to give her healers the greeting they deserved. As she opened her eyes for her final adjustment, the bodies became clear, and so did her situation. Her stomach, the blood, her lie, her shame, the pups... they knew.
The forces converging against her position held a pillow to her mouth and nose, a pain worse than any scar across her body, and worse than death. Only enough air to sustain her breathing could pass through the invisible binds around her neck, and the lump in her throat only pursued her life further. She couldn't think about her attacker now in fear his effect would show on her face, but she failed even at this. All he had was an illness, and all she had were feelings. To know he walks unfazed while Eureka suffers, and her family suffers, enraged her. Her body trembled, and a glint of suppressed anger passed over her face before she whipped herself from the ground, only to be stopped by what she knew was coming all along.
They were here. His children were here. She was their host, their carrier, and they were telling her, "it's time. Let us out." But she refused. They would not come now, not here. They⏤he⏤would not have the privilege of devastating her body any further in front of her family, of revoking her privacy, of humiliating her.
"You will wait until I am ready,"she scorched audibly to the air as she began her trek into the eastern forest, where none had ever ventured and returned since the war. Let them⏤him⏤have a piece of her strength, and let them⏤him⏤see that she will not be broken by what she did not choose. You will see. You will learn.
She did not make eye contact with anybody, not one. Not her brother, not Murdoch. She did not record the events happening anywhere but in front of her, to the east. She walked and walked, ignoring any of her pursuers. She ignored the liquid spilling behind her, though she limped and heaved terribly. She ignored the whimpers incited by the drilling contractions in her abdomen. They will wait. When she gives birth, it will be her choice. Let me have this, you sick...
Post by Alpha Draco on Jun 6, 2019 21:54:17 GMT -8
D R A C O D E L T A S O M N U S
A blur of movement was all that he saw, not even recognizing words as he stood, there dazed. His sister, his beloved sister, was being whisked away from him, and if he hadn’t known it was his own pack mates, he would have lunged for any and everyone that took her from him. He didn’t hear anything Doc was saying, choosing to ignore him instead. He wanted to be with his sister, he didn’t want to leave her. He couldn’t make him. As Eureka awoke, she dashed for the woods to the east, and his heart dropped to his stomach. What was she doing? That was coywolf territory! Quickly sprinting after her, he followed her, knowing that he needed to be there. He couldn’t not be there for her.
Post by Alpha Draco on Jun 7, 2019 16:50:08 GMT -8
D R A C O A L P H A S O M N U S
-Timeskip: 2 months-
After Eureka had promoted him, he had stayed with her in the grotto, catching her food, and making sure she was well enough to return to the pack. Once her pups were old enough for her to be gone from them, they explored the new territory they had found. It seemed that the coywolves had left the territory alone, and were gone from the looks of it. They discovered a beautiful forest, that was named Abel’s Forest. After their dear sister had been killed by the monster of a coywolf. Next was Ariel’s pool, and finally the Grotto they had not named after any of their family members, not yet anyways. Maybe they would in the future. But the homage to their two sisters who were no longer with them brought Draco happiness. While Eureka slept, he made sure to keep watch, but also brought himself to the pack ever so often, making sure everything was running smoothly, the pack knew of his new title now, and almost all were happy for the male.
Eureka had returned to the commons a month after the birth of her pups, and with everyone on guard to make sure that she knew she was protected and loved, they grew up under the protection of many watchful eyes. His own litter was finally able to walk and talk, all developing their own little personalities each. Daenerys was indeed the leader of the litter, Arya following her close. Cersei and Jaime stuck together, often taking off to play with each other, and leaving their siblings out. Oberyn and Benjen either went off with Arya and Daenerys, or stayed close to him. He adored his two sons, he adored his other children as well, but they were by far his favorite from the males. Cersei, even with the attitude that she had, was his favorite girl, Arya being a close second. Not that Draco should even be picking favorites, but even Aelin couldn’t deny that although she loved their children, she did tend to have a couple favorites.
He was currently residing in their den that he had to make even bigger once the pups were old enough. If he could, he would immediately have moved them into a large cave, considering the amount of dirt he had to dig out in order to make a home big enough for him and his mate, along with their six pups. Who ever thought it was a good idea to have six children? Smiling a bit at that, he was currently sitting outside his den, looking upon the commons as he usually did in the early mornings. His eyes rested on Eureka’s den, wondering how she was this morning, and how her children were as well. He hadn’t interacted with them much since his pups had started wandering further and further out of his sight, but thankfully Jolon had been a watchful eye when it came to their whereabouts. He was glad that the male was getting along with his pups, and the Alpha had found a friend in the male to say the least.
His pack would wake soon, Azaelia and Ocean’s pups soon to appear, and his pups would to. Somnus could not be thriving more than at this very moment, and it was something he wish his mother and father could be alive to see. But alas, they were watching from above, proud of what their children had become. He had also heard from some border patrols along the Noctis area, that Luke had his own children. He would hope that his brother would bring them to visit soon, along with his mate. Laying down, he waited patiently for everyone to wake. Maybe today Eureka and him could introduce the pups to each other.