Death of a Pack.

A place to post stories from the 30th day of Julius 161: the day the Glooms enveloped Velmaneth decimating the population

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dainul
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Death of a Pack.

Postby dainul » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:18 pm

As he runs, the wolf-kin can hear fading cries behind him as the dark-ghosts advanced through the woodland.

Why?

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Two months past.

Kester sits in the sunshine, watching the two youngest members of the pack playing in the dappled light filtering down through the forest canopy. He smiles as one of the cubs makes a spirited attempted to wrestle his mother's tail into submission, and winces in sympathy as she sends him sprawling back into the undergrowth with a growl.

Six months earlier, Steelskin had made the decision to move, to leave the humans and elves with their harans and kings and endless wars, and return to the quieter, simpler life the forest offered. Six good months, overall. The pack was much larger, stronger than it had been at any point Kester could recall, and they had carved a good-sized territory for themselves. Hunting could be hard at times, but there was little the pack couldn't handle together.

A noise draws his attention back to the cubs as the pair together attempted to gang up on a cousin and drag him into some brambles. They would make fine hunters some day.

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The cubs are dead. Steelskin is dead. Tears fight against the wind in Kester's eyes, threatening to blind him as the fear and horror threaten to crush his soul more surely even than the nightmares flowing silently across the ground behind him.

Alongside him, the shattered remnants of the pack press on still, desperate to find somewhere, anywhere they could be safe from the dark tide. But the shadows are abreast of them now, and soon the outermost wolves start to slow, sag and fall. Their kin can do nothing but press on.

Why?

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Two weeks past.

Steelskin had seemed somewhat distant recently, but no-one could get close enough to him to find out why. Kester, while he was the closest to the old alpha, has had other things to be worried about recently. Worried and excited, as his mate had brought a wonderful, strong daughter into the world.

Returning to the den, he smiles as the tiny cub stirs at his entrance. He moves over to her and licks her face in greeting.

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The shadows are closing in, from behind and the sides. Another kin falls, then another. Kester pushes down on his fear, and calls out to his kin, urging them onwards, urging himself on.

Too late he sees his mate, clutching their daughter, has fallen to the rear of the group, and she stumbles and falls beneath the invisible onslaught. He stumbles, and another wolf catches him and hauls him on and away. "Move! Run!"

Why!?

Closer and closer the tide sweeps as the dark creatures to either side move on past the doomed pack.

The answer never comes.
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