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 Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)

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PostSubject: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:52 pm

((Continued from: http://incendio.forumotion.com/t88p15-hunting-party-1#1422 ))

Xerxses sighed as he headed off towards the mountains, leading his partially formed group as if he knew where he was going. They really couldn't get much hunting done without Laek, so every once in a while he lifted his head to howl for her, then continued on their way. Soon they neared the pack borders, and a strong male scent washed over him. He growled, sniffing deeply and committing the scent to memory. There had been a lone male in the pack lands. He wasn't sure if the others knew about this, but he made a note to speak to his brother about it when they returned. But for now he moved on, waiting for the response to his calls for Laek, whoever the hell that was.

Tessa ran after the two larger wolves, struggling slightly to keep up with the large white male's elongated step pattern. She was much smaller than them both, and although she tried to place herself on the opposite side of Xerxses from Coven, she found herself focusing on the black male's form in order to keep from falling behind and getting lost. The times that Xerxses stopped to call for Laek were heaven-sent, but they never lasted long, and soon she was once again scrambling after them and grumbling in frustration as she fought the snow in front of her, even in Coven's wake.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:45 pm

((Laek continued from: http://incendio.forumotion.com/t84p15-bravery-or-foolishness-open#1453 ))

Laek had been travelling for a few shorts moment when she heard a call for her. Except she didn't know who was calling for her. Slightly confused and disoriented for a moment, she started to walk towards the sound. Just before she found the trio, she rolled over in a stream, hoping that at least some of Casanova's scent would rub off her in a terrible effort to help her cover story. Shaking herself off, she saw Coven and two other wolves. There was a small red wolf, and a large white wolf who resembled Blitz, but Laek knew it wasn't Blitz. Tilting her head, she looked at them, "Sorry. You called?" She both apologized for being late, and asked why she was being called in the first place.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:57 pm

Xerxses stopped when a female wolf came into view, assuming it was Laek when she responded to his howl. He glanced over at Coven for a moment before addressing Laek calmly. "My name is Xerxses, Blitzen's brother. I have been sent out to lead a hunting party on this side of the territory and Pravin has been sent to the other side to do the same. I was told to find you and bring you along. I'm assuming you are Laek?" He asked, picking up the slightest hint of that lone male's scent again. But this time it was closer to them. But once again, he pushed it asside to speak with Blitz about it later. Right now, they needed to go hunting.

Tessa came to a stop at Xerxses' side when Laek came into view, and she couldn't help but smile, simply grateful to no longer be the only female in the group. She wagged her tail slightly, making sure Coven's form was on the opposite side of the white wolf's from her as she looked overa the larger female with a curious smile and waited for her to speak.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:24 am

Laek relaxed when they didn't question her whereabouts. But this was Blitz's brother? That made sense, they looked so much alike. From what he said, there were two hunting parties. Both led by wolves Laek didn't necessarily know. And the smaller red wolf next to Xerxses seemed happy that Laek was there. Which was strange, since they didn't know each other either. But she nodded, confirming that she was indeed the wolf they were looking for.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:48 am

Coven followed Xerxses silently, sniffing constantly for Laek. The wide berth Tessa gave him was gladly received, and he only glanced back at her every once in a while to make sure the little wolfess was not left behind by the pace their white leader had set. She succeeded in constantly staying in view, so that was good enough for now.

Laek's appearance was met with a smile and welcoming tail wag from the black wolf. He had really come to find a friend in Laek and was sincerely relieved to find that she looked alright. Unlike Xerxses who had never met the female, though, Coven could tell immediately that her scent was off, mingled - even though faintly - with an unrecognizable one. He kept quiet and watched her actions carefully while Xerxses spoke, deciding eventually that it wasn't him who was going to ask Laek where she'd been. He didn't really care, which would probably change later, but as long as she was alright, Coven was just happy to see her.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:20 am

Xerxses personally didn't care where the female had been, since she was with them now. They had succeeded in this part of their assignment, and now it was time to hunt. He nodded to Laek and then turned, leading the team off towards the mountains where they would be doing their hunting. His pace was quick, but slow enough to make it simple for Tessa to keep up. It rather annoyed him to have such a small wolf in their group, since he figured she wouldn't be much help in the hunt and simply slow them down. But orders were orders, and he wasn't about to argue with Inferno or Blitz.

Tessa wagged her tail slightly as the other female joined the group, looking up at her and perking her ears slightly. "I'm Tessa." She said softly, trotting after Xerxses quickly to keep up, hoping that Laek would fall into step beside her so they could get to know each other a little. She kept an eye on Coven, but honestly could care less where he was at this point. She was much too interested in Laek right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:41 pm

Laek walked over and joined the hunting party, quickly matching pace with Xerxses. But her ears perked up when she heard the smaller red wolf speak. She slowed herself down just enough to back up and stand next to the other wolf. Tessa introduced herself and Laek was glad to have a name to match to the pelt. "Hello there! I'm Laek." She said, wagging her tail a little bit. She wasn't phased at how Tessa's pace didn't match that of Xerxses, but she was happy enough to make another friend. She told herself to go talk to Coven sometime soon. Laek was sure they'd made friendship during the day, and they'd had fun with it. She also hoped that they would find food today on their hunts.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:54 pm

Coven followed behind Xerxses, focusing now on trying to pick up signs of prey - tracks, broken branches, scents, anything. He was curious about where Laek had been and really did want to catch up with her, but right now they actually had a job to do. The wolf couldn't help flicking an ear back to catch the introductions of the girls traveling behind him. Laek was too valuable a hunter to get caught up in conversation right now; hopefully the talk would end quickly. There'd be time for all of that later, but for now, everyone's eyes would be needed to help find the evasive food.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:59 pm

Xerxses listened to the conversation behind him, glancing back in an attempt to silence it for the rest of the hunt. They didn't need the females scaring away the prey with their voices. But before looking back, he let them chatter for a bit. They still hadn't reached their destination for hunting, so he saw no harm in the two wolves getting to know each other. But when they reached thier hunting grounds, he stopped, waiting for them to silence themselves before moving forward.

Tessa smiled at the welcoming and excited reply from Laek. "It's nice to meet you Laek. I'm glad there's someone in this hunting party that wants me around. The males thing I'm too slow and small and useless, and well, they might be right. I Sib is worried about me here with Coven, but I'm glad I'm not the only female. Although you're probably a much better hunter than I am." She rambled, not knowing exactly what to say, so instead just saying whatever came to mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:52 am

Laek wagged her tail as Tessa spoke and rambled. "Ah I'm sure you'll be of some use here!" she said quietly, glancing around every now and then. She hadn't hunted in a while, but her instincts were kicking in, she just wasn't realizing it. There was a stray track there, and a crunch heard over there. "And Sib....Sibirskiy! I know 'im. And yes, it's safe to assume who's the better hunter her-oh." Laek stopped as she realized Xerxses had stopped, most likely to wait out their conversation. She gave a sideways glance at Tessa, and with a smile, said "Best we continue later." She then looked to Xerxses, shutting herself up, knowing that it very well could ruin the hunt. She knew very well the many ways a hunt could be ruined.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:57 am

Following Xerxses' tracks in the snow, Coven pricked his ears and started focusing even more on the woods, searching for signs of prey. The new silence that followed Laek and Tessa's ended conversation felt heavy with the dire need for success. This hunt was important; even without seeing Blitz and his worry and even without direct confirmation from Inferno, it was easy to sense that the pack was in a precarious position.

The procession moved in silence for a while with no signs of prey. The black wolf narrowed his eyes at the ground, almost demanding it with his gaze to reveal something that would help them get food. It didn't happen. Finally, though, a faint prey-scent wafted past, causing Coven to exhale deeply, slowly and glance over at Xerxses and back at Laek in hopes that they'd picked up the smell as well. It was too faint for Coven to track well yet, but his hopeful gaze back at Laek revealed that he trusted that it was enough for her. Or perhaps Xerxses would prove useful here, too.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:39 pm

Tessa bit her tongue to silence herself as Laek picked up on the sudden group stop and she herself nearly ran into Coven's hindquarters. Her ears flattened to her head and she lowered it slightly, frowning apologetically to Coven with an innocent smile and quick glance to Laek. She looked around and finally over at Xerxses as they waited and eventually moved on, this time keeping herself silent and observant. If she couldn't be extremely useful on this hunt, then maybe she could at least learn a few things about hunting from the wolves she traveled with.

Xerxses moved on as the females silenced themselves, and soon slowed his pace again as his nose picked up the scent of a herd. The issue was, they were downwind, therefore the prey could smell their predators approaching. In a quick decision, he swerved to the side, making a large circle around to put their small group downwind from the prey, so their scent blew away from the herd instead of towards it as he carefully crouched and made his way closer to the animals to observe them.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:47 am

Laek followed Xerxses and Coven as they continued in silence. She caught the scent as soon as Coven had and matched his glance. Soon after, Xerxses caught it and Laek realized what he was doing. The wind wasn't on their side and Xerxses definately knew what he was doing. When they got to the other side, Laek watched Xerxses try get closer. Peering through the trees, she could just see the herd. She quickly saw a weak point and bounded lightly to a place a short distance away. She then mimicked Xerxses and began to crawl. Eventually she got to a place she was comfortable with, absolutely sure that the herd couldn't see her. And also sure the her hunting pack could see her. She looked towards Xerxses, waiting for some sort of signal.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:54 am

When Xerxses got himself into a position where he could easily examine the herd, he turned to look over at Laek, who had positioned herself in a good place to split up the herd. Slowly he turned to Tessa, motioning to Laek. "Go carefully join Laek. You two can spook the herd and separate that weak and sick buck to the right. Then Coven and I can take it down." He said, glancing over at the black male as he said his name. Then he crouched down and inched very slightly forward.

It seemed like forever before the herd wandered slightly closer, and when they had their heads down to nibble at the grass, Xerxses nodded to the females, a sign for them to begin the hunt and drive the sickly buck towards himself and Coven.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:04 am

Laek looked as Tessa joined her and spoke of the plan. But Laek seemed to know what was to happen anyway. She'd seen the sickly buck and she would have driven for that one buck if none were picked. It only seemed the sensible choice, at least to a hunter. The female remained in a crouched position, creeping forward as Xerxses tried to get closer to the herd. A time later, with a glance over, and a nod from Xerxses, Laek whispered, "And here we go." She couldn't help but smile as she ran out from her position. Expecting Tessa to follow her, she went directly to drive a wedge between the herd and the sick buck. The herd scattered, afraid of the new presence. The sick buck seemed confused.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:14 am

Coven crouched down as soon as Xerxses said his name, readying himself to follow the white wolf out. Slowly, the black wolf inched his way up toward the herd, in line with Xerxses but fanning out slightly in preparation to sprint over to the other side of the buck and hopefully keep it more under control with wolves coming in from all sides.

Low to the ground, the black wolf watched from the corner of his eye as Xerxses nodded to Laek. He tensed and kept his eye on the buck as Laek took off. The targeted buck spun wildly for a moment in disorientation as his healthier herd-mate thundered away before he shot off, guided by the gliding Laek, in the direction of the two male wolves. Coven darted out as soon as the buck was in range and rounded quickly, an eye on Xerxses's form as well as the buck, waiting for the white wolf to determine the move and planning to strike at the same time, hopefully to avoid any delusions of fighting that the buck may have been harboring.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:20 am

Tessa crawled over to Laek as Xerxses instructed, and when Laek got the signal, she darted off after her. Soon the herd was scattering, and Tessa was doing her best to stay near Laek and drive the buck towards the males who still waited in the trees. She was having a bit of trouble keeping up, but she pushed herself harder, and managed to stay not too far away, and help keep the buck from darting off to join his herd in safety.

Xerxses couldn't help but smile as Laek took off, with little Tessa scrambling after her. When they separated the herd and started to drive the buck towards himself and Coven, he crouched, ready to pounce as the animal lumbered closer. But not yet, he wasn't close enough to strike yet. When the buck was in range, himself and Coven darted from the trees, launching their large forms at the buck and planning their killing strokes. It was Xerxses that lunged first, sliding his way past the buck's antlers and under it's head, where his jaws snapped at it's throat. His teeth closed on flesh, but his strike had been too low. His teeth were now closed at the base of the animal's throat, the thick fur and fatty tissue preventing him from making a killing bite. But he held on, using his enormous size to drag the animal to the ground so that hopefully Coven could make a killing strike. Hunting wasn't a solitary mission after all, it was a team sport.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:32 am

Laek smiled at her success. She'd guided the buck directly into Xerxses' paws, and surely it was enough. Coven hadn't made a strike yet, but when he did, Laek planned to give the buck a hit if it wasn't dead yet. Glancing behind her, she was glad to see that Tessa had kept pace with her, even with small stature. At this point, Lael was still running towards the buck and at the last minute, changed her plan. Coming up from behind, her long legs propelled her in a jump and she snapped herself to the buck's behind, not only slowing it down remarkabley, but dragging it down. This gave Coven a clear shot.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:47 am

The black wolf had hesitated, giving a low growl in frustration, as the buck proceeded to thrash wildly with its front legs as Xerxses latched on. Fortunately, the white wolf was hanging on out of reach of the suddenly wild legs of the surprisingly frenzied buck, but Coven was forced to waste precious seconds by diving side to side in search of an opening. In no time, Xerxses would have to let go or end up struck, and they'd have to relaunch the attack on the injured deer, which could end up even more dangerous.

Suddenly, Laek shot into view and pounced on the flank of the creature. In a flash, Coven launched himself at the buck's throat as its legs buckled under the force of the female's attack. Coven hit his mark and sliced the jugular with his fangs. With the work Xerxses had already done, and with Laek holding the buck down from behind, the death of their prey came more swiftly and without further event than it would have. The buck's feeble trembling legs finally stopped moving, and the black wolf stepped back, licking the blood from his lips and appraising their kill. He gave a grateful smile to Laek and nodded to Xerxses. He might not particularly like the white wolf, but Xerxses was a surprisingly great hunting partner.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:59 am

Xerxses's eyes were now on the buck's legs, using his large size to push up from the ground and swing to dodge the kicks as he held on, knowing that if the buck didn't come down soon, he would be forced to release it. But thankfully, that's when Laek made her entrance. With her help, they dragged the animal to the ground, and he pinned it down, watching Coven make the killing stroke before shaking the buck's throat and releasing it as the life poured out of it. Then he sat, licking the blood from his lips and panting, nodding gratefully at Laek and chuckling softly as an obviously exhausted Tessa laid down several feet away.

She had done well for what seemed like one of her first hunts. He would probably suggest her as a pup sitter or something, definitely not a hunter or warrior. But as she laid down, he noticed her slightly enlarged belly. Had she been that large before? He hadn't taken the time to notice. She must be carrying pups. Maybe that was why the white hued male, Sibirinsky, had been so upset to part with her. Suddenly her failure to attack the buck seemed like a good idea. He nodded to her as well. She had done well...considering her state. Then he turned back to Coven, nodding and laying down to pant and examine the animal for a few moments as he caught his breath.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:12 am

Laek only saw a blur as the buck kicked. Thankfully Coven took his chance immediately and they had gotten the kill. Laek was the last to drop the buck to the ground. Shs tasted blood and it was fresh food! The rest of the herd had long ago run away, and she wasn't afraid to cheer as she let out a small "Yippee! We've done it!" Smiling a grand smile she took a bit of clean snow to her mouth to wash down the blood. Panting, she gave both Xerxses and Coven an acknowledging nod. They worked well together, she noticed, the three of them. They seemed to work like a machine, knowing exactly what to do next, without actually knowing. She turned to see Tessa on the ground, exhausted. Maybe it were best that she hadn't attacked as well. She may well have died of exhaustion.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:30 am

Coven grinned at Laek exclamation and wagged his tail at her excitement. One buck down...a lot to go. But slow and steady was better than nothing at all. He too was impressed with what a great team the three of them made. Glancing over at Tessa, the black wolf couldn't help but tilt an ear in amusement, though it was only because he could imagine Molly looking exactly as Tessa did now. And he could imagine Molly being just as much help in a hunt. He looked away to Xerxses before the female could misconstrue his laughing gaze and get offended again. "Any ideas on how to get this back?"
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:46 am

Xerxses finally caught his breath and looked back down at the buck silently. It would be too hard to drag the whole thing back, but there were four of them. "We could break it into four pieces and carry those back separately. That's the only thing I can think of. Tessa, are you O.K. to carry a piece back?" He asked, looking over at the exhausted female who had laid over on her side, her slightly enlarged belly obvious now.

Tessa lifted her head as her name was called, and she took a deep breath, nodding slightly. Hopefully it wasn't a huge piece. She was small, and well, quite pregnant. She already had quite a bit to carry. But she wasn't going to say no. She could at least carry a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:53 am

Laek took a look at the kill when Coven asked on how to get it back. It was large and Laek questioned on how effective breaking it would be. Especially with Tessa as their fourth. Laek looked over and tilted her head slightly when she noticed the fact that Tessa was probably carrying pups. Oh. How did they miss that? She shook herself and looked back to Xerxses. "Either that or we all pull it together. I can't figure what would work better." Maybe if they had something to put it on that they could pull together. She had seen the humans use something like that with their dogs. They could carry a lot, but Laek couldn't see anything like that around.
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PostSubject: Re: Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)   Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:19 am

Xerxses' pointed comment toward Tessa drew Coven's attention. He gave her a long, searching look and grinned, shaking his head with the discovery of her pregnancy. Now to answer the question of dragging back the kill...the wolf tilted his head at the buck. Tearing it apart would have been the best bet, but how would they tear it apart? Gnawing apart the connective tendons and joint bones would take more effort than just dragging the whole thing. Coven had seen Inferno drag stuff around on fallen pine limbs, but this was too big for that. He shook his head and looked between Xerxses, Laek, and Tessa. Tearing it would not work, he decided, but dragging it as Laek suggested could work. Xerxses was huge, and Coven wasn't so bad off himself. Laek was strong as a hunter, and any help from Tessa would just make it easier, though he was sure it'd be possible even with the three. "Let's just drag it together, I guess. It's the quickest way, and I think we can do it." With a shrug, he stepped up to the buck, ready to latch on to a shoulder and drag it back. Once they got closer to camp, perhaps Tessa could run and fetch Buck and Inferno for help.
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Hunting with Xerxses (Jenn & Roar)
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