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🌲🌕 The Ashen Cypress Legacy [ Read Only ]

🌲🌕 The Ashen Cypress Legacy [ Read Only ]
Posted 2021-02-28 17:27:33 (edited)

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🌕 The Ashen Cypress Legacy 🌕

Hello to anyone that has stumbled into this little nook of mine, and welcome to the legacy story for the Ashen Cypress pack! 👋🏼🐺

Upon realizing that death is pretty much inevitable here on Wolvden, and having been an avid The Sims™ player in my youth, I had the bright idea of turning a good-sized chunk of my den towards this new little project—a legacy story that would begin with Ashen Cypress' founder, Talayazhi, and her future female heirs. Funnily enough I was also a big Warriors fan in my youth as well—and let's be real, their clan hierarchy and naming conventions works wonderfully for a wolf pack setting—so I have gathered a lot of inspiration and adapted elements of this series to Wolvden lore and this story as a result.

As is the natural cycle of things one day the current Moon of the pack will have to cross the veil and become part of the Moon Pack in the afterlife, before a chosen heir will become the new Moon that leads the pack until their own passing.

Once I had decided to embark on this little adventure I was absolutely delighted upon finding that others had taken similar approaches with their own dens, and a few had also been inspired by the Warriors series just like I had too!!! As a result I've decided to list them all at the bottom of this post—if you enjoy the story I have to offer with the Ashen Cypress pack then be sure to check them out as well! 🥰

That said since this is simply a legacy story and not a challenge I won't be bothering with too many rules:

  • All of the Moons (i.e. lead wolves) must be direct descendants of the founder Talayazhi. If a wolf is not a descendant of the founder in some way they will be ineligible to be leaders of the pack.
    • In addition the heir must always be female, no males will be allowed to become Moons of the pack. This is simply because I wanna run a matriarchy, and Moon of the pack sounds like a cool female lead position.
    • Also a heir cannot be inbred in any way, shape or form—if repeat ancestors are found anywhere in the entirety of their ancestry they will be disqualified from being actual heirs of the pack.
    • A heir can be made official once the current Moon reaches five years of age. Additionally, if the current Moon feels none of the eligible heirs are acceptable enough, they can abstain from choosing one until they are on their death bed.
    • If the lead dies before an official heir can be named then the oldest and closest female living relative will become a temporary Moon until a sign from Star Pack reveals the true chosen.

  • No inbreeding will be allowed within the members of Ashen Cypress, and any wolf found breaking this rule will be immediately banished from the pack along with their progeny.
    • I, personally, abhor this practice, so I won't be actively making any pairings that could result in inbred pups.
    • However for the sake of lore and good stories, and because at some point the lineages will get absurdly long in this legacy, the pack ICly will only consider a litter inbred if there are repeat ancestors in the primary page of both the parents & the pups in question. This exception only applies to packmates, not heirs.

  • All pack females, including the lead, will be unable to breed until they've either reached Lvl. 20 or are at least 4 years of age or older.
Should any additional rules arise in the future they will be added to this master list. Additionally if this ever get a big following, and I am unable to decide between multiple potential heirs, I might consider doing a pole or something similar to allow readers the ability to influence the story and who will be the next heir from my top three choices... but let's be real, I'm probably getting too far ahead of myself here with that. 😂

Table of Contents
🐾 Talayazhi's Legacy 🐾

Please always remember that, as the author of this legacy, I do reserve the right of artistic liberties and freedom... basically the rule of cool wherever I see fit. I love good story lines, both the really happy ones as well as the tear jerking options, and as such many elements in this story will not accurately reflect the RL events that played out in my account during RO and similar things. Things will be shifted whenever I deem it necessary, and that includes origin stories for any wolves coming or going from Ashen Cypress.

I believe there's at least one other writer, KittyKookiez from Heartlands Kingdom, who was also doing a Warriors approach to their den too. I started reading theirs after I had mapped out a lot of things for the pack's story, and had also made some Wolvden purchases, so apologies in advance if anything seems familiar—I promise I'm not trying to plagiarize anyone's hard work! 😰

I really encourage you all to check their story out too, it's a really good read! 💕

Like reading stories about packs? Then be sure to check these out!!!

If you like what you're reading, then feel free to subscribe! 🔔
If you're wondering donations are always welcomed and appreciated! (っ˘ڡ˘ς)

Also this was a pain to code using the regular post maker... so I had to use Notepad++ to finally get it decent looking. 🙃

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-02-28 17:28:09 (edited)

Prologue: Founding of Ashen Cypress

Spring, Year 01

They had always been together, since the day Talayazhi had been born to her, and the thought of her mother one day leaving her side was something that had never crossed Tala’s mind… until now. Her fur was still damp from an earlier spring drizzle, and the soil still clung stubbornly to her claws, but all of these discomforts were minor and easy to ignore as her olive eyes remained glued to the fresh mound of dirt before the coywolf.

”Goodbye mother… I’ll miss you.”

A long sigh escaped from her lungs as the female finally stood, her muzzle coming closer to the mound before a damp nose touched the earth gingerly in a last farewell. For the first time in her life Talayazhi now found herself alone in this vast world. She had never experienced life in a pack, such social constructs were not things that coyotes like her mother strived for, but deep inside her heart Talayazhi had always yearned for a large family of her own… and this desire to lead and care for others had only heightened once her elderly mother had passed onto the veil beyond.

”I suppose I should be thankful to my father for this feeling… time will tell, I guess.”

Not that she even knew who or where her sire was, but Tala supposed this mattered not in the end. With her mind made up the coywolf allowed herself one last glance to the fresh mound, dipping her head, before the young one finally ventured back into the undergrowth and in search of her new destiny. Life on her lonesome proved to be harsh and challenging, but her lithe and agile frame was perfect for chasing down the various critters that called the forest home. It wasn’t a doe or an elk, sure, but it was what Talayazhi had always known and what had sustained the female through her life so far. Besides with only herself to feed for now even something small like a beaver would’ve been too much to consume in one sitting.

Before Tala knew it she had fallen into a routine of her own: wake up before dawn and sniff out some breakfast. Then came the endless walking while the sun was up and high in the sky… every day the coywolf traversed miles of trees, rivers and bushes as she crossed through various territories while on the search for a patch to call her own. As dusk neared she would sniff out dinner before finding a quiet shelter away from any unknown scents, and once the night settled in Talayazhi would attempt to rest before repeating this pattern over and over again.

She hadn’t thought finding land to call her own would be this difficult, but most of the good spots around the parts Talayazhi had been born and raised had long since been claimed by existing packs. Fighting any of them was out of the question for a loner as herself, and she had learned long ago that joining them was almost impossible. She looked different, acted different and even smelled different… it didn’t take long for them to figure out something was up with her heritage, and once that happened Talayazhi had always found herself being rejected and chased off their lands. No matter, it just meant she would have to make her own home in the world instead.

Forest had given way to grasslands, and those in kind eventually gave way for rocky outcrops and higher elevation as the coywolf now reached the mountains. It was far, further than her wildest imagination as a pup, and yet somehow these parts felt like home...and that’s when she had appeared.

Their friendship certainly had quite the rough start, Talayazhi already wary of others like her after the countless negative experiences the coywolf had endured during her journey. Most wolves seemed to find offense with her scent, confused or simply irked by the coywolf’s mixed heritage, and yet this particular rogue hadn’t seemed to mind. Slowly Tala had allowed her defenses to lower along with her hackles, and that’s when they both discovered an unexpected kinship when introductions were finally had.

”I’m’s short for Talayazhi.”
”Wait, no way... really?!”
”What, you think I’d lie about my name?!”
”Ah no, sorry, that’s not what I meant at all! It’s just funny… you see, I’m called Tala!!!”

It was such an improbability that neither creature had ever experienced it in their lives, and yet as the females looked into the eyes of one another they couldn’t help but burst into a fit of laughter as realization dawned upon them. Whatever lingering traces of doubt Talayazhi might’ve had against Tala had ebbed away then, as the females began to spend more time with one another in the following days to come.

”Oh yeah, finding unclaimed land is quite difficult around here… buuut I do think there is a place still unclaimed!
”No way… for reals, Tala?”
Mhmm! It’s a bit of a dangerous land, lots of cliffs and tricky things through it, but I think you’ll do juuust fiiine, won’t you little Tala
”Only one way to find out… lead the way, older Tala~”

Surprisingly, as the females explored the lands that Tala had found, Talayazhi was forced to admit the black she-wolf had not been bluffing around… the available land wasn’t exactly prime real estate, and even finding a wide enough area that could be converted into the pack’s camp with a den had been a hard task. Somehow though they had found it, the nook under a large and ancient tree providing just enough space. It would need to be dug out more to be accessible, and of course turned cozy and welcoming with time, but the deep roots of the evergreen tree served to safely anchor the land and everything around it. Comforting really, considering the area was right besides a cliffside… but that only meant it’d be a strategic point to defend against intruders, right?

”Just be sure to never leave any pups unattended, little Tala… nature isn’t always kind, after all.”

Right, pups… Talayazhi hadn’t even thought that far ahead, but now that Tala had brought up the topic the coywolf couldn’t help but nod in affirmation. One day pups would also call this camp, this pack, home—though it’s not like Talayazhi could give birth to pups on her lonesome. Surely this matter would need to be looked into, but the hybrid felt somewhat relieved at knowing it wouldn’t be for a while longer.

”What…? Why are you looking at me like that, Tala?”
”Oh, it’s really nothing, little Tala…”
”Yeah, well, that snickering of yours doesn’t sound like nothing to me.”

The rest of the day was spent patrolling her new territory along with the black she-wolf, Tala proving to be a magnificent guide as she showed Talayazhi the most likely places where prey could hide around these parts… and even imparting some combat lessons for the hybrid as well, but man was this rogue tough! It wasn’t until the sun begun to dip that the dark female finally bid farewell, but not before delivering a parting quip upon sighting a newcomer that had slowly approached them.

Mmm, he sure smells nice… I can hear the sounds of puppies already!”
Talaaa, ssshhh!!!
”See you later, little Tala!”

He was a large male, larger than even Tala herself… and as a result he definitely made Talayazhi feel dwarfed in comparison besides him. Mackenzie was his name, or at least that’s what he had said, and while there was little doubt the brute could’ve been an intimidating foe he had instead remained amicable and talkative. Apparently he’d been getting chased out of territories left and right the last couple of days, mostly by jealous sires that had feared losing prospective she-wolves in heat to Mackenzie, and the male was just glad to finally find somewhere he could actually rest after all that running around.

Before Talayazhi had realized it they had been talking most of the evening and late into the night together, getting to know one another and sharing tales of their travels amidst good company. What was more he hadn’t seemed off-put by her scent, unlike most of the wolves Tala had met in the past, and that alone had certainly warmed the female up to him more.

Sooo... there’s nowhere in particular you're traveling to then, Mack?”
”No ma’am… never had a goal in mind when I headed out if I’m honest.”
”Well… you’re welcome to stay and rest here then—if you’d like to, of course!”

He had given her a leisured smile then at those words, his tail thumping against the ground appreciatively, before the male finally inquired more about the name of this pack that Talayazhi wished to form one day.

Hmmm, I never really thought about it.”

A frown pulled at Tala’s features then as the pair began walking back towards the new den, the looming shadows of the ancient cypress catching the coywolf’s attention as they neared it. She glanced up then, marveld for a few moments at the grayish hue that now tinted its bark under the full moon, before a smile slowly pulled at Talayazhi’s muzzle as realization dawned on her at last.

”How about the Ashen Cypress pack…? It has a good ring to it, don’t you think?”

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-02-28 17:28:27 (edited)

Prologue: Founding of Ashen Cypress

Spring, Year 01

As the days passed and Talayazhi got to know Mackenzie more the she-wolf had to admit part of Tala’s advice had been right, it was easier to form a pack with a companion by your side instead of on your own. From the start Mackenzie had been more than willing to aid out wherever needed, and more often than not the large brute willingly offered to scout the unknown areas around Talayazhi’s new territory.

”It’s dangerous out there, and there’s a lot of strangers too… but they’ll think twice before trying to snap at me, though.”

His words held truth to them, should any rogues spot the coywolf they would no doubt think of her as an easy target though the same couldn’t be said of seeing someone like Mackenzie walking around. Besides her own lithe frame gave Talayazhi an edge when it came to hunting critters in her--their--new lands, and no pack could ever be sustained without a steady supply of food. Besides this also allowed Talayazhi plenty of time to discover the secrets in their new lands as well, and there was certainly a lot of discovering left to do.

Tala continued to be a friend to the newly formed pack, occasionally popping by for a visit whenever the dark rogue was close to the territory. She was full of knowledge and friendly advice, and Talayazhi was more than thankful for everything the she-wolf had to offer.

”Honestly, it’s a blessing to have you around… there are so many things I don’t yet know about my wolven self.”
”Don’t worry about it, glad to be of help! Speaking of help though… might wanna think about getting more wolves in your pack, it’ll be all paws on deck once puppies start popping around~”
Talaaa! It’s not like that… Mack’s just a very good and helpful friend.”
Mhmm, of course that’s all… that’s why you call him Mack instead of Mackenzie, right?”

There was a flustered look on the younger coywolf’s face before she snorted, turning away from her older friend as the she-wolf burst into a round of laughter. Teasing the hybrid was easy, and there was nothing like young love… but sometimes those younglings needed a push in the right direction.

Before Talayazhi knew it two full moons had come and gone, and with the passing of time her own worries lightened. Company was a foreign concept to her after all, more so when it came to the company of other wolves, and every night before she slept the coywolf had feared waking up to an empty den. She had feared that one day Mackenzie would be gone, but with each passing morning that Talayazhi woke up—with the bigger male curled by her side—the hybrid felt those irrational fears slowly dissipating.

Her first pack member… a smile tugged at the corners of her muzzle at the thought, the hybrid staring at the male besides her with warmth in her eyes. Talayazhi couldn’t have hoped for anyone better than him.

Today was supposed to be a normal day like any others before, they had shared breakfast together in camp before Mackenzie had headed out to continue exploring the southern areas of the territory. Talayazhi had some leisure time for herself in the cave, before she too had emerged to start her own day—her paws quickly taking her down a trail that led to a nearby river she and Tala had discovered. The flowing current was soothing for the new and young alpha, and its cool and crystalline water always served to parch her morning thirst before tackling the long day ahead.

S N A P !

”Who’s there...?! Show yourself!!!”

The unexpected sound caused Talayazhi to whirl around, hackles raised and ears flattened on her head before the coywolf barked commandingly in the direction she suspected the noise to have originated. Lips curled upwards to reveal sharp fangs, and even her tail stood high in a clear display of dominance… these were her lands and she would let any stranger know at a simple glance. A moment passed, then another, before finally some nearby bushes began to rustle just as another low growl echoed in the hybrid’s throat.

Hmmm yes, that is a good posture… not bad lil’ miss, it’s always good to be wary of strangers.”

Finally a figure emerged, his large paws carrying him closer to the river bank even as his yellow eyes observed the hybrid carefully. He was massive in size, almost as big as Mackenzie if Talayazhi had to guess from her current distance, and with his brown coat the coywolf couldn’t help but be reminded of a bear. ”Who are you, and why are you here?” though her initial growling had ceased, at least for the time being, Talayazhi still held the same dominant posture as before as she eyed the newcomer warily.

”Just a loner passing by, nothing more. I was parched and caught the sound of a flowing river, though I wasn’t aware these lands had finally been claimed...” A roving glance was given to their surroundings, before those piercing eyes focused back on Talayazhi once more—sharp and calculating as this stranger seemed to study her. ”... gotta say though, you look kinda young to be leading a pack lil’ miss.”

He was teasing her now, no doubt testing the waters to see what he could get away with as the rogue seized her up. One wrong move could mean he would think her weak, an easy target, and such a fight could ensue perhaps for the very ownership of these lands. ”Looks can be deceiving, stranger, wouldn’t you agree?” Talayazhi refused to allow such an outcome, not after she and Mackenzie had worked so hard to turn these lands into a home. Once more her hackles had risen to their fullest, head and tail held high as the coywolf refused to give in even a single inch in the presence of the male.

Hah, indeed they certain can be! Perhaps you do have some promise after all...” There’s a smirk that pulls at the corner of his muzzle, an amused glint now crossing his gaze as the rogue finally lies down on the pebbled bank of the river. ”Name’s Erwin, what about you lil’ miss?”

She wasn’t sure what Erwin had been looking for then, but at least it seemed Talayazhi had passed an invisible test for the time being. There was a moment of pause and consideration, taking in the new and unassuming pose of the rogue, before the coywolf allowed her hackles to lower. ”I’m Talayazhi, alpha of the Ashen Cypress pack.” There was a sense of pride that swelled up her chest as those words spilled from Talayazhi’s tongue, before she coughed lowly to try and mask those feelings once the hybrid remembered she was in front of a stranger.

”The Ashen Cypress... yes, it has a good ring to it. Not bad, lil’ miss.”

Erwin is hard to read, and the female can’t be certain of the male’s intentions, but she’s also unwilling to let anything slide by her right now. Talayazhi. Her name is repeated again as she looms closer to the stranger, looming over the now resting male, even as her jaws click shut audibly for added impact.

”Right, Talayazhi… my bad, I’ll be sure to commit that name to memory. I do hope you don’t mind a lone rogue like me passing by your lands… they are quite the sight to see.”
”So long as you have no ill intent you are welcomed in my lands, Erwin… but be sure to take nothing without proper permission.”
”Why of course Talayazhi, I wouldn’t dream of it—”
”Talayazhi…?! Tala, are you alright?!”

Just then the sound of sturdy paws trampling their way towards the river could be heard by both wolves, their heads turning in unison as their conversation came to an abrupt halt when a large gray figure burst forth from the tree line. It was none other than Mackenzie, his hackles raised high even as those piercing blue eyes seemed to zero in onto the new stranger. A low growl emanated from his frame as he walked closer, occasionally interrupted when the male panted as he worked on regaining his breath after rushing here with all his speed.

”I’m fine, Mack, really… this is Erwin. He was just seeking passage through my—through our lands.” There’s a momentary pause from Mackenzie at her words, his ears pricked forward even as his tail wagged softly behind him. Still there’s no friendliness or excitement left in his eyes once they turn back to look at the newcomer, a snort leaving Mackenzie’s nostrils. ”Yeah, I recognize his scent… it’s the same as the one I picked up at our southern border.”

The rogue’s amused smirk is still present, perhaps more evidently so as Erwin takes in this new development—he’s certainly entertained at the very least. Aaah yes, I meant to wait there—now don’t growl at me like that, I truly did—but I was simply parched as a cactus! When I heard the sound of the river I just couldn’t ignore my instincts… I just wanted to quench my thirst after so many days of traveling, that’s all.” The smirk remains, almost teasingly so, though Erwin doesn’t attempt to rise from his resting position upon the river bank.

Perhaps this rogue wasn’t as much of a clueless and reckless fool as his façade currently portrayed… or, at least, that’s the thought that crossed Talayazhi’s mind as she observed him.

”Here, what about this? It’s clear we’ve all started off on the wrong paw here today… allow me to make it up to you both.”
”Really now? Do tell, how exactly do you intend to do that Erwin?”
”Well, if lil mis—I mean… if Talayazhi here allows it I’m willing to go and procure us something filling for an afternoon meal… a nice doe perhaps for the three of us?”

Phew, he managed to correct himself just in time… though Erwin couldn’t help but grin as he took in the puzzled look on the gray male as he seemingly tried to figure out what had happened. Golden eyes turned then to look at Talayazhi as Erwin addressed her, the rogue bowing his head down to the leader of this small pack in respect.

”After all these types of, aaah, conversations I suppose usually go down better when there’s a juicy bone one can gnaw on… wouldn’t you both agree?”

He truly is a tricky one to read, and if Talayazhi is honest with herself the hybrid can’t seem to figure out heads or tails about this loner… though the coywolf doesn’t sense any ill intent from Erwin either. ”Very well then, Erwin… we’ll take you up on that offer, and you have my permission to go out on a hunt in these lands.” There’s a gruff sound besides her just then, Talayazhi can tell Mackenzie doesn’t seem as welcoming of this stranger as her, but whatever problems the scout might have with his alpha’s decision are swallowed down with a final growl.

”Go on then, show us what you can do.”

With a final dip of his head the rogue turns around and disappears into the undergrowth, trailed moments after by both Mackenzie and Talayazhi as they keep tabs on the newcomer’s movements—though they are merely observers as Erwin sets out on his hunt. The stranger proves to be true to his words, and while Mack isn’t exactly fond of the male even he had to admit the loner had talent—Erwin had managed to track down, chase and finally finish off a young doe all on his own, exactly as the rogue had promised. Talayazhi is also impressed by Erwin’s results, her lithe frame would never be able to bring down such sizable prey on her lonesome after all, and once the kill is done she and Mackenzie approach to help Erwin carry the doe back to camp.

As the three settle down for a hearty meal the coywolf can’t help but think that perhaps the rough loner wasn’t bad news after all...

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie
Hunter(s): Erwin (Chaser)

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-02-28 17:33:43 (edited)

1.02: A Stranger in Need

Spring, Year 01

Each day that passed felt better than the one before, easily flowing into weeks… before the trio of wolves knew it another full moon had come and gone as another month flew by. While their initial meeting had a rough start eventually the pack had started to sync and fall into a routine of sorts. Granted, on occasion Erwin’s personality seemed to tick Mackenzie off (it didn’t help that the former also seemed to enjoy roughling the latter’s fur a bit too) and even Talayazhi had found herself snapping at the bear-like male on more than one occasion… but overall he wasn’t a bad wolf, and he sure performed his hunting duties well too.

Although at times the trio would hunt together more often than not the responsibility of keeping them all fed fell onto Erwin’s shoulders. Mackenzie was busy scouting unknown areas, it was best to know more about their neighbors (and possible enemies) before any trouble came knocking at their borders, and Talayazhi herself was often busy still exploring all the unknowns these newly claimed lands were hiding from the young pack. Today had been one of such rare days where the three had hunted together, and their teamwork had been generously rewarded with a juicy and fat buck that currently lay on the ground between the three.

”You both go on ahead, I’ll drag this one to camp myself.”
”On your own, Erwin…?”
”Surely it’d be best if we all helped—”
”Nah, I got dis’un lil’ miss leader~ You both go on and scout more of these parts, by the time you come back to camp this baby here will be all ready and waitin’ for ya.”

There was a glint to the male’s eyes as he caught Mackenzie’s own in his sight, a quick wink given to the gray stud that caused him to snort and look away in response. Erwin had noticed the way the male looked at their lil’ coywolf alpha on more than one occasion, and with the sun now starting to set he’d figure some time alone for the pair might do them good. Soon enough the brown wolf was locking his jaws tightly onto the buck’s neck, ensuring a firm grip, before he grunted as Erwin began the hard labor of bringing their prey home.

”Well Mack, are you coming along then?”
”Wha—uuuh yeah, I’m coming...!”

The voice of the female besides him had finally snapped Mackenzie from his own thoughts, somewhat surprised and perplexed at this thoughtful generosity that Erwin had given him, before he nodded in Tala’s direction and fell in line besides the coywolf. She was lithe and petite, almost like an adolescent pup when compared to someone as him, and yet that tiny body housed so much will and spirit… perhaps it should’ve been no surprise that the male had fallen head over heels for the hybrid long ago. Mackenzie had been curious to learn more about her as a result, and during many moonlit chats the male had slowly come to learn more about Talayazhi’s past as she began to feel comfortable enough to share.

”Hey Mack, can you hear that? Mack…? Mackenzie!
”... huuh?! Oh, hey Tala—what’s up?!”

He had been too absorbed into his own thoughts as they had walked through the underbrush, barely paying attention to their surroundings and mostly guided by the lithe she-wolf besides him instead. It wasn’t until a pair of jaws had snapped shut loudly, right besides his ear too, that the male finally snapped out of his own daydreams and focused on Talayazhi’s exasperated expression instead.

”I said can you hear that?... something wrong with you today, Mack?”
”N-No, uuuh, nothing at all… I just, uuuhm, I thought I saw a weasel back there…?”
Uuuh huuuh, suuureee… well, whatever made that noise didn’t sound like a weasel to me. C’mon, let’s see what’s up...”

There was a soft snort by the coywolf before she resumed walking, her tail thumping against his front leg as Talayashi walked ahead, and with an audible sigh Mackenzie finally nodded and followed. His ears pricked forward, straining to catch whatever noise Tala had heard before in the hopes of bettering the she-wolf’s current view of him after his small blunder. For a moment nothing seemed amiss, the only noises the pair could hear belonging to the usual fauna that also called these lands home… until a soft snap caught their attention, the recognizable sound of a twig snapping as someone carelessly stepped on it. Before either one could reach another noise could be heard, a hurried shhh echoing from a nearby bush before it actually wiggled as something inside it shifted.

”We know you’re over there…!” The coywolf’s voice rang loud and clear as she spoke, but Talayazhi tried to keep any hostility hidden for the time being… whoever this was wasn’t really that good at hiding anyways, so she doubted they were seeking any trouble. ”Come on out… I promise we won’t harm you so long as you have no ill intent, stranger.”

There was a pause, some words quickly whispered but inaudible to the duo, before finally the leaves of the bush parted to reveal a dainty form as she stepped through.

”I see… your hiding spot is commendable, staying downwind certainly ensured we couldn’t catch your scent—oooh!”

Well now, it seemed the young she-wolf wasn’t alone after all… two pudgy and dark figures soon stumbling out after her from the same bush. No wonder she’d been unable to remain hidden, pups this young would be hard to keep silent and still for long. A slow lookover was given again to the female as she lowered her snout to lick at the slightly lighter of the two, trying to hush the pup’s whining before she looked apologetically at the two adults before her. She was certainly emaciated, but even in her stage her bellies still held a faint and firm rotund form to itself that signaled a pregnancy in process.

”F-Forgive us!!! We didn’t mean to intrude on your lands… I swear we’re just passing through and will be out of your hair in no time, so pleeeaseee don’t hurt them...!”

The young adult is quick to assume a submissive posture as she lays down low, her body also serving to shield the two young pups in the process. Her frame is shivering even though it isn’t really cold this evening, and there’s a panic glint in her eyes when the darker pup manages to wiggle her head out from below the female and yaps in the direction of Talayazhi and Mackenzie. The coywolf can only begin to imagine what terrible encounters they all must have already sustained before arriving here, and her tail lowers as a result to signal she’s not hostile towards any of them.

”Oh no, please, we would never even think of harming them.! How… where have you all come from?”

Mackenzie follows the coywolf’s lead, his posture also relaxing before he even gives a wink in the direction of the second pup that has now poked her head out as well. He can tell Talayazhi’s already made a decision, one he isn’t about to question in the slightest, as the female walks closer to nudge the stranger’s shoulder with her snout.

”W-We… uuuhm, we’re from—”
”Actually no, don’t answer that for now. You’re all nothing but skin and bones and probably starving...”

As if on cue two audible and high pitched growls echo from under the she-wolf, the puppies’ stomachs rumbling in response to the coywolf’s words. She blushes in return, noticeable even with her warm fur, as Mackenzie lets out a chuckle by mistake. Whatever their story was it wasn’t important enough to have such young pups with empty stomachs out here, although the scent of sooth still clings strongly to their furs now that Talayazhi had come closer.

”A-Are you s-sure…?”
”Trust me kid, she ain’t gonna take a no for an answer today.”

The deeper voice of Mackenzie causes the stranger to flinch at first and Talayazhi can’t help but shoot a sideways glare at him when the smaller pup also wiggles back under the stranger’s body for shelter as a result.

”Our camp is not far from here, and our hunt finished not long ago… you’re more than welcome to eat your fills and rest from your travels with us.”
”R-Really…?! I… we… oh, thank you!

It’s the first true word the stranger has spoken without a stutter or wariness, and Talayazhi is able to see the sincere gratitude behind those chocolate eyes of the female as she stares at them. It’s enough to reassure the alpha that her choice is the right one as she offers a soft smile in return to the disheveled trio.

”Mack, you go on ahead… let Erwin know we’ll be having some guests this evening.”

With a final nod the male turns and takes his leave, his heavy footsteps echoing against the forest floor until Mackenzie is finally out of range. Once he’s fully gone the stranger finally lets out a long and relieved sigh, her posture visibly relaxing from the tensed up state it had held all this time. For whatever reason she had seemed more wary of the male than the coywolf from the start, something that Talayazhi had picked up from her body language as a result, and with Mackenzie now gone perhaps the stranger will truly feel safe at last.

”You’re safe… I promise. Now come along, the den is just a little farther up ahead.”
”... Duskleaf.”
Mmm, come again…?”
”M-My name… it’s Duskleaf.”
Ah I see… I’m Talayazhi, and it’s nice to meet you all today.”

There’s a shy smile that forms on the warm colored wolf’s snout before she nods, before her head lowers to pick up the darker of the two pups by the scruff of her neck. Once Duskleaf has shifted, a signal that she’s alright accepting the coywolf’s assistance, Talayazhi reaches slowly for the tinier pup before both females begin to make their way back to camp together. Eventually the terrain gives way to rockier paths, and before long they are now at the heart of the Ashen Cypress’ lands. The pups gasp in awe upon seeing the large and ancient cypress tree that grows in the camp, its roots serving as a sound structural support for the dens the trio of wolves have begun to carve out into their home. Mackenzie and Erwin are already there and waiting, and upon catching sight of them once more Duskleaf can’t help but freeze in her footsteps.

”Erwin won’t hurt you or the pups either… none of us would, I promise.”
”R-Right… I k-know, it’s j-just...”
”I’ll wait inside the den… already had my fair share anyways while waiting.”

There’s a look of surprise as the coywolf turns to look back at Erwin, he’s an awfully perceptive male for one that’s also so gruff at times, and true to his word Erwin soon disappears into the comforts of the den he’s dug out for himself. Mackenzie too mirrors the same look in Talayazhi’s face, just as surprised as her, before the gray wolf gives a nod and walks a distance away to lie down.

”I’m so-sorry...”
”It’s alright, don’t worry, take your time to fill your belly and theirs.”

Another soft nudge is given to Duskleaf’s shoulder by Talayazhi, smiling softly at the she-wolf, before she watches the dark pup that the female had been carrying bound right on over to the kill and begins feeding from the spot that Erwin had already torn open. Eventually the other one follows, the scent of fresh meat and blood hard to resist, and with a final nod Talayazhi leaves them to eat as she walks over to lie down besides Mackenzie for company.

”Not mad about missing the first bite?”
”Nah, sometimes you need to bend old traditions a bit anyways… right?”

He thumps his tail approvingly before the duo watch as Duskleaf and the young ones eat their fill. Eventually the pups’ bellies are big and round, filled with delicious and nourishing meat, and just as one of them yawns loudly Erwin finally steps out of his den. Immediately Duskleaf seems to tense once more, and for a moment Talayazhi and Mackenzie both fear the worst, before the brute’s voice carries loud and clear.

”Ain’t gonna hurt them, but my den is warm by now so figured the pups could sleep comfortably in it for a while.”
”I s-see… we’ll t-take you up on t-that offer t-then.”

Erwin nodded in return at that before stepping aside and clearing the way, watching as the she-wolf and the pups slowly disappeared into his chambers. The pups soon are huddled together and fast asleep in record time, and after a while Duskleaf emerged once more to join Talayazhi and the others as they feasted on the buck. It is then, finally, that the young wolf’s façade finally crackles away and she regales them with their tale.

They had belonged to a large and harmonious pack far away from these parts, tier alpha and his mate being kind and sympathetic leaders that only wished for the well being of their pack. Their lands had been fertile and prosperous, a paradise on earth one could almost say, and for many seasons all had been well…. Until a few years ago. Suddenly droughts had become longer than ever before, and the plants had shriveled and dried up as a result. Even the recent winter hadn’t been enough to revitalize their flora from its state, and one night the she-wolf had awoken startled by the close sound of rumbling thunder. They had cheered at first, hoping for a much needed downpour to nurture their lands… but instead everything was suddenly engulfed in fire and smoke.

She had recently become a pupsitter at the time, and the two pups traveling along with Duskleaf had been her first charges when the fire had broken out. As the flames fanned and grew stronger and more intense they had huddled together inside the den as the other adults had tried to keep the fire at bay from their camp… but once it was clear hope was lost their own alpha had stumbled into their den and gotten them out.

”He t-told us to get as far away as p-possible… t-that everything would be f-fine...”

Their pack, once large, had drastically been reduced in numbers as the dry seasons had persisted and prey had become scarce; most wolves had either left the pack or succumbed to old age by now. She and the pups had been the youngest then, and the pack had always done everything in their power to protect them and keep them safe… down to the very end.

”N-Nightpup is the oldest by just a bit… she’s always b-been a brave one too. I k-knew she would be able to f-follow me on her own, even if it was a bit r-rough, so I grabbed Ashpup and we r-ran as far as we could...”

Duskleaf had made sure Nightpup had kept her jaws locked to the tip of her tail the whole time to not lose the pup as they went, carrying the younger Ashpup by the scruff of her neck as they had left. Upon finding a safe spot they had curled together and waited for days, Duskleaf still kept hope that someone from the pack would come find them soon and bring them back to camp once everything was safe… but that time never came. Eventually she was forced to face the cruel reality that their pack and home were both gone, and ever since she had been wandering the lands with the two in search of a new place to call home. At one point Erwin had inquired about the sire of Duskleaf’s own forming litter, but when the she-wolf suddenly felt silent and stiff Talayazhi had taken it upon herself to shit the topic into other matters as the night slowly enveloped them all.

Everyone had their secrets, and it wasn’t right for the alpha or anyone else to pry them out onto the light if their owner didn’t want to share them at the time.

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie
Hunter(s): Erwin (Chaser)
Pupsitter(s): Duskleaf
Pup(s): Ashpup, Nightpup

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-03-02 12:46:20 (edited)

1.03: Old & New

Spring, Year 01

There was a time where he had been respected, regaled even, and the brute had enjoyed the attention and admiration of others… a time where he had thought to himself he mattered, oh but how wrong he had truly been. Sure, so long as he was useful, his old packmates would sing praises at his feet—but once the ache began to settle on his joints, and his reflexes weren’t as sharp as they had once been, they had been very quick to change their tune.

”Help you? Hahahaha, why should we help you, old man?!”
”Can you believe he even suggested that?! As if we owe him anything… your fault for being old, gramps!”
”Damn right, should’ve stayed in shape if you wanted to survive, now scram off my lands before we force you out, slowpoke!!!”

Perhaps he should’ve counted himself a lucky one, his joints having at least carried him through the winter season right until his old pack had cut him off in early spring. Critters were plentiful this time of the year, and so he had managed to avoid starving as the weeks had rolled by. Now, however, summer was quickly approaching… and he very much doubted he’d be as fortunate as he’d been this spring when hunting by his lonesome under the scorching heat of the sun. No, if he wished to survive he would need to join a pack… but what pack would want someone as old and useless as him?

”Perhaps this is punishment from the great beyond… aaah, I really should’ve respected my own elders more when I was but a pup.”

It had been the law in his old pack, the strong survived while the weak and useless were discarded. During his prime, when he had been strong and able to do what felt like anything and everything, the male had never once considered that one day he too would be old and frail and discarded like so many others through his lifetime… but no one could run away from time, just like no one could outrun death forever He would die, alone and forgotten, just like many before him.

A sudden jolt of pain snapped the loner from his thoughts, wincing in response as he instinctually lifted his left hind leg… an injury he had sustained just as the frost had begun to melt and give way to spring. Even in his old age he had managed to keep up with his packmates until that fateful hunt, his nose one of the best when it came to catching the fresh trail of prey even in the most unwelcoming of weathers. The hunt had been going smoothly just like every other day as the squad had begun to chase the prey into a trap, when a single misstep unleashed an unstoppable turn of events.

The rocky outcrops were treacherous areas, he had always known as much, but the thrill of the hunt had made him believe that he was always in full control… boy, were they quick to remind him who truly was in charge around there. Before the loner had realized it he’d been tumbling down a ravine, flailing as his body continued to move at the mercy of gravity, before he’d finally come to an abrupt halt on the river below. His only stroke of good luck really, for without the cool waters to lessen his fall the loner very much doubted he’d be alive today.

His salvation had come with a price however, a sharp rock having jabbed itself firmly onto his haunch somewhere during his tumble, but adrenaline had pulsed in his veins then and caused him to not notice as the male had swam for the shore with all his strength. Somewhere along the way the rock eventually dislodged and fell to the bottom of the river, the rushing waters cleaning the debris from his wound, and by nothing short of a miracle he had managed to avoid any infections while it had healed… even though his pack had deserted him shortly after the event.

”It wasn’t luck though… I know that much.”

No, a swift death would’ve been too good for the likes of him, the loner was aware of that… the fates just wished to toy with him more before his ultimate demise, no doubt getting a good laugh from seeing him struggle in vain with every passing day.

Perhaps he should be grateful for one thing, without that incident and everything that had transpired afterwards as a result he might’ve one day died while on the hunt without ever realizing the eeors of his way and that of his old pack. It was never easy to admit one’s own shortcomings, and often enough others preferred to run away from their ugly side instead of facing it head on. Granted, in his case the loner hadn’t had much of a choice, but he had never been a quitter before… and he hadn’t been about to start being one now. He had walked a long way ever since leaving his homelands, both physically and figuratively, but only one regret still lingered.

If only he could’ve gone back in time to fix his old ways, if only he could’ve known then what he did now and raise his own pups to be better versions instead of copies of his old self. Slowly though he had come to accept this truth as well, some things were impossible to achieve no matter how hard he struggled against the world… he had just about made peace with that fact too when the fates would once again deem it proper to flip his whole world once more.

At least this time it wasn’t a literal thing, but more of a figure of speech… but man, these fates were quite the fickle things.

A meek and whining yelp echoed through the trees, a desperate cry for help, and it had caused him to look upwards instinctively just as a large bird fluttered past with a struggling bundle wriggling in one of its talons. ”A pup… that was a pup, wasn't it…?” Wide and astonished eyes had looked at the figure as it soared further ahead, before it had finally decided to perch on a sturdy branch, no doubt eager to enjoy its tender meal. The young pup squirmed and whimpered, his whole spirit pouring into gnawing at the rough flesh that covered the foot of his opresor… but without sharp teeth his gums didn’t really seem to bother the avian at all. The bird had turned its head then, a wide eye peering curiously at the young pup in its grasp, but before its sharp beak could strike down with deadly force and accuracy the nearby forest vibrated with an unexpected sound.


It had been enough to startle the avian who screeched in response, its grasp on the pup slacking just enough to allow the young one to wriggle free at last… and plummet towards the ground. Before the pup could impact the soil beneath the loner had leaped, managing to catch the young pup in his jaws, and with the victim save he quickly whirled and shot off in the opposite direction of where the bird had been in the hopes of making a clean getaway from the scene.

Only when his leg had begun to ache once more did the loner slow down his pace, the limp now returning with a vengeance after having overexerted his limits. A groan echoed in his throat, muffled by the bundle he still carried between his teeth, before the rogue shakily laid down at the base of a nearby tree. His jaw slackened then, depositing the pup unceremoniously into the ground, before the brute focused all of his efforts into catching his ragged breath instead.

”Oh thank the moon, you saved him!!!”

He hadn’t heard the approaching male, and as the unknown voice suddenly boomed from behind the loner couldn’t help but scramble right back to his paws with a low growl. From the trees a well built figure appeared, the gray and white fur barely concealing the muscles underneath as the male’s blue eyes rested on the young pup that now lied between them. ”F-Forgive me, I swear I never harmed this pup…! If he is yours then,, please, you are more than welcomed to take him...” It was clear as day that, should a fight break out, the loner stood no chance against the younger male. As such he kept his head low in reverence, the snout quickly pushing the young pup in the direction of Mackenzie even as the young one whined in protest.

”Wha—oooh!!! No, please, don’t worry—the pup isn’t from our pack actually. I just happened to spot the bird carrying him earlier, but it had slipped from view before I knew it… I’m just glad to see someone managed to save the pup after all.”
”I s-see...”
”I must thank you though, without your help I doubt this pup would’ve lived for much longer.”

Slowly Mackenzie had moved closer, watching as the loner had sunk even further into the ground as a result, before the scout inspected the pup over. He yipped and wriggled in displeasure, but aside from some scratches, a bruise or two and disheveled fur it looked like the pup was otherwise fit and healthy.

”N-No, there’s no need to thank me… I was just lucky enough to be resting below the tree that bird decided to perch on for lunch.”
”Still, you decided to help him instead of just ignoring the situation… for that I must thank you. Come, it’s close to meal time in our pack and I’m sure our alpha would not mind sharing room for one more.”

There was a pause as the offer was made, a moment of hesitation that crossed the stranger as he seemed to weigh the options and any possible risk associated. Cautious eyes watched as Mackenzie finally picked the pup by the scruff of his neck, the male beginning to walk away with the small charge before stopping and looking back to the loner. A soft wag of his tail was given as he patiently waited and, finally, the older male got up to his feet with an audible groan and quietly followed behind the scout.

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie
Hunter(s): Erwin (Chaser)
Pupsitter(s): Duskleaf
Pup(s): Ashpup, Nightpup

Gest(s): Loner, Rescued Pup

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-03-02 12:53:20 (edited)

1.04: Embracing Traditions

Spring, Year 01

Mackenzie’s arrival to the camp that evening had been an unusual one, the scout carrying a pup of unknown origins by the scruff of its neck… while an older looking rogue followed a few steps behind. At one point Erwin was sure he’d seen the old man limp too, but before the brute could get closer to inspect Talayazhi was already cutting his path. A low warning growl had invertebrates in her throat, even as her jaws snapped shut audibly enough to catch the hunter’s attention.

”A’ight lil’ miss alpha, I won’t start no fuzz...”

Instead the chaser chose to stay where he was, his tail thumping on occasion to prove some amusement to the two young pups crowded by it who were still very much unaware of what was going on. Ashpup and Nightpup had quickly warmed up to the brown furred male, much to Duskleaf’s own surprise, and while the female herself still seemed cautious at times it looked like she was finally starting to relax and feel at home in their pack.

”Ready for a third one?”
”Oh my… the poor dear looks as young as Ashpup and Nightpup!”
”Seems these two are getting a sibling sooner than they thought.”

After all it still looked like Duskleaf’s own litter still had a while to go still before they popped, but already the warm colored female was looking with concern towards the yipping puppy that Mackenzie had dragged into camp. She was definitely a caring one, always looking to help and prioritizing everyone above herself… a trait that often irked Erwin, but one he also couldn’t help but be fond of when it came to Duskleaf.

It took a few moments for Mackenzie to relay what had happened during his scouting mission, the young pup eventually handed over to Duskleaf once everyone had eaten their fill from a fresh buck and a couple of hares. Carefully she and Erwin carried the younglings inside a freshly carved out den, readying them for bed, and once they were sound asleep the pair had returned to join the rest of the pack in the middle of the camp.

”Wait, hold up. You’re saying you don’t have a name…?”
”Well, at the time no… I discarded my name a while ago, and never bothered to get a new one.”
”B-But… how do others know what to call you then?”
”Erwin… Duskleaf...”

A low sigh escaped Talayazhi as the pair continued to bombard the older male with questions (though in the case of Erwin it was often more like thinly veiled accusations), and the younger female finally seemed to realize she might be noseying too much and making their guest uncomfortable.

”O-Oh…! I’m so-sorry, I didn’t mean to…!”
”N-No… it’s alright… you couldn’t have possibly known anyways, so no harm done.”

Eventually the talk had moved on, the matter of the nameless pup one that required their attention. It was then that Duskleaf piped up again, the female regaling the old naming convention her previous pack had followed. ”You s-see, we’re all part of nature—and will eventually return to it once more—and for as long as my pack could remember they were inspired by nature for our names, and every alpha since followed these rules for packmate names.” Upon birth all pups would be given an initial name, often by their own parents, and in many cases it would highlight some physical trait or conditions surrounding the newborns that seemed to describe them best—and the suffix of -pup would be attached to that name.

”Once the pups grow old enough to begin learning and contributing to the pack life that suffix is then changed to -paw. It’s also at that time that each pup is assigned a mentor to look after and guide them, often one not related to the adolescent to avoid playing favorites.”

As the conversation continued the female seemed to gain more confidence, the occasional stuttering slowly disappearing as she spoke and the rest of the pack listened attentively. Duskleaf proceeded to explain the way these mentorships often worked as well as the benefits that both mentors and pupils gained from them. The young ones were able to have close one-on-one guidance and learned from an experienced adult, and in turn the adults also got time to know more about the young ones individually in order to better guide them through their life path.

”When the mentor feels their pupil is finally ready—though usually that’s when the pup reaches adulthood, although sometimes it can be extended past that time—a ceremony is held to shed their -paw suffix from their name. It’s then that the alpha gives them their true name along with their role in the pack, and a celebration follows shortly after to welcome the wolf into their new step in life.”

The interest of the rest of the pack had persisted throughout the explanation, and any questions asked were always happily answered by Duskleaf in kind. After a moment Talayazhi decided to offer the stranger an opportunity to join their pack fully, with Duskleaf’s old pack naming convention as a source to decide a new name for the aging male.

”Y-You… you would have me join your pack…?”
”Of course, both you and the pup are welcomed to stay if neither has nowhere else to go.”
”I… Him I can understand, but me…? I’m old, Talayazhi, surely I’d be nothing but a burden—”
”You’re not old, you’re wise. I’m sure there’s plenty of things we can all learn from someone like yourself, and there’s still plenty you can do to serve the pack as well.”

There was a thump besides the female as Mackenzie’s tail wagged in approval, and while Erwin himself gave a roll of his eyes the brute didn’t contest the offer in the slightest… not when Duskleaf already looked so excited to help Talayazhi figuring out two new names! After some deliberations the name for the young pup was swiftly decided, unbeknown to Spottedpup as he peacefully slumbered inside the den with his new littermates. Choosing the loner’s name was a lengthy process as everyone (‘cept for Erwin) gave their grain of salt, but finally the rogue accepted the name of Sandwhisper that Talayazhi offered him with a nod.

The wolves then chanted and howled the new names in unison, welcoming both Sandwhisper and Spottedpup into their pack officially, before eventually the adults had dispersed for the night. A few moments later, while Talayazhi was conversing with Mackenzie, a shy Duskleaf scooted closer to the alpha before whispering something into her ear.

”Oh, he does now… hahah, I’m honestly not surprised.”
”What…? Who does what now?”
”Erwin… it seems he wants a new name as well.”

A puzzled Mackenzie looked between Talayazhi and Duskleaf with confusion, his head cocked to the side as he tried to figure out why on earth Erwin of all wolves would want to change his name so suddenly. Talayazhi however had noticed how the male had almost bore holes into the back of Sandwhisper’s skull as the she-wolf had been excitedly helping pick out a new name for the older wolf, and after some additional debating a new name was chosen for the pack’s chaser.

”Step forwards, Erwin… from today forwards you shall now be known as Bearpelt. I hope you continue to work dutifully as you’ve always had for the betterment of our pack.”

The brown wolf nodded before bowing down before the coywolf, allowing Talayazhi to come forward and press her snout onto his forehead as a blessing. Once more the pack erupted into excited barks and howls, chanting the name of Bearpelt just as they had for Sandwhisper and Spottedpup moments earlier. Eventually Duskleaf would excuse herself for the night and return to the pup den, curling herself around the sleeping trio before being joined by Bearpelt a while after.

Talayazhi and Mackenzie would remain outside along Sandwhisper until late into the night, the trio chatting and conversing as they shared life stories before eventually returning for some well deserved rest as well.

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie
Hunter(s): Sandwhisper (Tracker), Bearpelt (Chaser)
Pupsitter(s): Duskleaf
Pup(s): Ashpup, Nightpup, Spottedpup

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-03-04 08:04:50 (edited)

1.05: Helpful Stranger

Summer, Year 01

Rapid pack growth in spring also meant more mouths to feed, but thankfully the season had been plentiful in the mountains and prey was more than readily available for their two hunters. Sandwhisper proved to be a fantastic tracker with his years of expertise, finding even the faintest of trails and able to discern between small and large prey with ease. Bearpelt also performed his duties with excellence, it was a rare day when the male missed to bring down a doe or some other delicious morsel on legs, and as a result the pack was always more than well fed.

Mackenzie too continued to work hard on his scouting expeditions, having first discovered the nearby grasslands and later on the deciduous forest across from them. It seemed a few packs had also made sections of these areas their homes, just like in the mountains, but with prey plentiful no one seemed to be stepping on each other’s paws and creating tensions. Talayazhi also took her own duties seriously, scouring each and every part of her new home carefully to identify any potential risks as well as hidden boons that nature had to offer.

On the few days where Sandwhisper and Bearpelt returned with empty jaws and rumbling bellies the pack was often able to still feed well through the various rabbits, stoats, weasels and occasional rats that the coywolf brought back from her trips. Duskleaf was always at camp, the she-wolf wagging her tail happily and greeting everyone as they came back home from an arduous day… unless otherwise busy inside the den while taking care of the three young pups the pack now nurtured. With prey plentiful, and spirits high, it wasn’t uncommon for the wolves to occasionally feast as if a celebration was going on… and often their voices carried on through the night as the pack bonded closer.

”Mooorniiing guys!” A cheerful voice had resounded over the camp early one morning, rousing the three males as they had slept close to the cliff’s edge the night before. Tala had become a frequently known face for the pack, the black she-wolf occasionally popping by to check on them or share the latest tidbit and gossip that she’d heard around the place. ”Well, well, well... you three sure are looking friendlier with one another these days~”

Upon realizing that he was actually nestled between Mackenzie and Sandwhisper the brown male had suddenly jerked back to his feet with a low and embarrassed growl, mumbling something beneath his breath before Bearpelt stepped off towards the pack dens instead. Tala and Mackenzie both chuckled in response, while the older male looked worriedly at the disappearing chaser.

”Don’t worry about him, pops. Honestly, Bearpelt’s friendlier than he wants to let on.”
”I hope you’re right… I’d hate to go back to fighting after we’ve finally been doing well in our hunts.”
”Mack here is right, Sandwhisper! He wouldn’t have been sleeping sooo peacefully between you both if he didn’t felt at home—”
”That voice… is that who I think it is?! Tala, is that you?!”

Their playful banter was suddenly cut short as the worried voice of Duskleaf carried over to the trio, the she-wolf popping her head out of the den in which Bearpelt had disappeared mere moments before.

”Yes, darling, it’s me… is everything alright, Duskleaf?”
”Oh thank the sky above…! It’s Talayazhi, she… she hasn’t been feeling well since last night, and now she’s been shivering and complaining about chills!”
”Oh no… is she still inside?”
”Yes! Tala I have t-tried everything I can think of… oh but nothing seems to be working, and I don’t even recognize half of the herbs that grow around here…!”
Shhh, it’s alright Duskleaf—you did very well, you hear me? Come, let me take a look...

Within moments all of the wolves had gotten to their feet, Tala quickly following Duskleaf into the den just as Bearpelt finished herding the three pups out to give the adults some additional space. Besides him Mackenzie pawed at the ground nervously, the male unable to stay still as he paced back and forth while awaiting more news.

”How come I didn’t notice…!”
”It happens at times, Mackenzie, some illnesses spring forward suddenly...”
”Hey man it’s cool, it’s Talayazhi! She’ll be fine in no time, so calm down—”
”Right, because you’d be sooo calm if it was Duskleaf or the pups instead of her—”
”Alright boys, that’s enough! Break it up before I force you both to break it up.”

At some point during their conversation both males had begun to raise their hackles at one another, growls echoing inside their throats even as the young pups had huddled closer to Sandwhisper with hushed whimpers. It had begun to escalate just as the black she-wolf stepped back out of the den, her voice assertive and her posture dominant as she snarled at both Mackenzie and Bearpelt in turn. Behind Tala another figure emerged, the lighter frame of Duskleaf serving as support for Talayazhi as they walked.

Lil’ miss!”
”Tala, is she gonna be alright…?”
”Calm down, all of you! I’m not sure what’s wrong… but I know an old friend not too far from here that can help us.”

It took some moments, and a few low growls and snarls, but finally Tala had managed to get the males to sit tight at camp and not let the pups wander off on their own while Duskleaf and her took Talayazhi for a medical check. The black she-wolf was more than able to keep them all safe on her lonesome, a fact that soon became clear to Mackenzie especially after he narrowly avoided a snap of Tala’s jaws on his ears when things had been escalating. Besides too many wolves together would slow them all down, and right now speed was of the essence.

”It’s ok-okay Tals, just a little bit more…!”
”Take it from me kiddo, you’re doing a-ma-zing! Just a few more steps and we’ll be there…!

Even with the occasional stumble the group managed to cover more ground than Tala had initially thought possible, and before long they had arrived at an ancient and gnarled tree… another figure mulling at the base as the she-wolf inspected a clump of arnica growing by its roots. Upon sensing them the she-wolf had turned, her tail wagging softly in greetings, before the loner tensed as her icy stare got a better look of the coywolf the two were guiding.

”Boy, am I glaaad to see you today!”
”Oh no, poor dear… how long has she been like this, Tala?”
”Since before dawn apparently… please tell me Herbert isn’t sleeping today.”
”Oh yeah, he’s wide awake today… after all summer has just begun, it's hard for him to hibernate once the heat rolls in. Come, I’ll show you in!”

There was another reason why Tala had refused to bring the two young males along for this trip, and once the group got inside the rogue was glad she had followed her gut instinct. Even sweet Duskleaf had gotten defensive the second the massive grizzled bear had come into view, a nervous growl and bark escaping the young female, but eventually she calmed down upon realizing he was here to help instead of hurt them. Talayazhi had already laid down, feeling tired and hurt all over, and in her current state she didn’t seem to mind or care about the huge bear in the room as they examined the coywolf.

”It’s an infection.. but we’ve caught it in time.”
”Oh good…”
”D-Does that mean she’ll be okay… !?!”
Mhmm, we have all the necessary herbs here to prepare a salve… but we’ll have to wait until she regains her strength before she can go back to her pack.”

”I’ll stay and wait… you go on and let the others know Talayazhi will be back before they know it, and feeling just like her usual self.”
”O-Okay, I’ll see you s-soon then…!”

Sure enough, under the care of Herbert and his latest pupil, Talayazhi had made a full recovery in a matter of days just as promised by the rogue. The coywolf was reminded one last time by Herbert to continue applying the salve to the wound in her leg, and sure enough they were all ushered out of his home as the grizzly decided it was time for a well deserved nap after all his hard work.

During their stay Tala had introduced the she-wolf to Talayazhi as the coywolf recovered, and the three had enjoyed amicable chatter as the days had gone by. It turned out the she-wolf was a rogue, much like Tala was, with an innate talent when it came to using growing herbs and available minerals to cure the ailments of others. She had seemed surprised upon learning that Ashen Cypress lacked a trained herbalist among their ranks—the closest to that had been Duskleaf, but even she only knew the bare minimum of herbs, and plenty of the ones growing around these parts were unknown to the she-wolf.

Upon seeing their alpha finally return the group had been met by a chorus of barks, yips and excited howls as everyone cheered. A celebration was soon in order, and of course both rogues had been invited to share in the festivities that carried well into the night.

”Talayazhi, may I have a word…?”
Hmm? Oh, but of course, what’s on your mind tonight?”

The coywolf’s tail wagged softly in greetings as the gray female approached, nodding to a space by her side that she was free to take if she chose as they talked. Eventually the rogue had expressed her desire to become part of the pack, something that made Talayazhi quite happy and excited to hear about. The alpha assured the herbalist that she had no objection to the idea, before a second and less expected request followed.

”You wish to have a new name…? You don’t have to change your name to join us, our traditions aren’t exactly set in stone—”
”Oh, yeah, I understand that… but I would be honored to partake on them, and I was never attached to my current name anyways.”
”Very well, if that is what you wish for then who am I to deny it?”

With that the coywolf stood, clearing her throat to catch the attention of her packmates and Tala before they all gathered around closer.

”My beloved Ashen Cypress… we have gathered another reason to celebrate tonight in full, for tonight our pack grows by one more! From henceforth you shall be known as Mudtail, and also the first herbalist in Ashen Cypress’ history… welcome to the family, Mudtail.”

A harmony of cheerful barks and howls followed the announcement, the new name chanted by the adults of the pack as they welcomed the herbalist as one of their own. The chorus and cheers would revive the festivities then, which lasted well into the night. Ever since Mudtail took her role seriously, making sure everyone in the pack was well and healthy. The pups had continued to grow well under Duskleaf’s care, now able to venture out from the den and rough play about the camp, while Mudtail made sure that every step of Duskleaf’s current pregnancy moved along without any issues.

”They grow up so fast, don’t they…?”
”Very much so, they’ll be grown adults with pups of their own before you know it.”
”You’re right… I can only hope they’ll be happy when my own pups arrive.”
”I’m sure they will be… you’re like a mother to them after all, so I’m certain they’ll love these pups dearly.”

Duskleaf nodded softly, the she-wolf currently resting close to the den as she kept a watchful eye on the pups. Nightcap was currently trying to bait Spottedpup for another wrestling match, much to his annoyance, while on the sidelines it seemed Ashpup was trying to find a different game that all three could enjoy together instead.

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie
Hunter(s): Sandwhisper (Tracker), Berpelt (Chaser)
Herbalist(s): Mudtail
Pupsitter(s): Duskleaf
Pup(s): Ashpup, Nightpup, Spottedpup

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-03-04 15:23:32 (edited)


Hello, everyone!

I hope you've all been enjoying the story so far... it has certainly been fun for me to write! That said Ashen Cypress Legacy will be taking a short break; I need to wait until Duskleaf is old enough and mated so I know what her puppies will actually be like! 🤣

Once this is done then the story will proceed as usual, and thank you in advance for your patience! 💕

EDIT: Good news, Duskleaf is finally pregnant! Soon as her pups are born I'll work on a new legacy update for the pack!

- Rizu 🌺

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-03-04 21:33:14 (edited)

1.06: Stages of the Sun

Summer, Year 01

Spring had proven to be a plentiful season and, as the weeks rolled by, it certainly seemed like summer was heading in the right direction. Duskleaf was often busy back at camp as she watched over the pups, her own belly having swollen and doubled in size… according to Mudtail the she-wolf was due very soon. Ashpup was the mellowest out of the trio of pups under Duskleaf’s care, always sticking close to Duskleaf and keeping her company. Nightpup was often stalking and roughhousing with Spottedpup… even on the times he didn’t want to play. Often enough the she-wolf had been given a fright or two when the male of the trio was seemingly missing, having gotten quite good at being sneaky in order to avoid his unwanted antagonist and her advances.

Mudtail was equally busy as well, the herbalist having an arduous job of gathering enough herbs and ingredients to properly stock her stash upon moving into the pack. Herbert had been kind enough to give her a few of his own herbs to get her settled at first, and they had come handy when it came to treating open wounds that the hunters sustained in their chases, but they certainly wouldn’t last forever… besides she also needed a wide variety to cover other possible illnesses, especially with Duskleaf due so soon and the young pups frolicking about camp. Even hardworking Talayazhi received the occasional wound or two, the alpha often out turning over every leaf and stone in their territory to help keep everyone well fed—when she wasn’t chasing off unwanted intruders and competing predators, of course.

Even with their small numbers the pack always managed to make it through, and what’s more Ashen Cypress usually found itself with a surplus of carcasses and critters. No one ever went to sleep hungry, and every adult agreed the pups were quite adorable with their round bellies and their tongues lolling out as they slept peacefully and without worry. It was a hard life for a young pack, but those little moments often made their work and efforts worth it in the end.

Finally the awaited day arrived, Duskleaf had gone into labor while inside the pup den. Mudtail had just returned not too long ago with her latest stash of herbs when a young Ashpup had hurled out of the den with a worried look in her eyes, calling frantically for the healer to follow. Inside Nightpup and Spottedpup had been huddled near a groaning she-wolf suffering her contractions, confused and unsure of what was happening but worried for their surrogate mother all the same. Their anxious yips had reached Talayazhi’s ears as the alpha had returned from her own activities, and quickly she had ushered the pups out of the den to give Duskleaf privacy and Mudtail room to help the new mother bring her litter into this world.

The alpha had been utterly relieved when the familiar face of Mackenzie had arrived from scouting the northern borders of their territory, the various questions by the pups—especially those of Ashpup—having left the alpha exhausted and in need of a break. He had been more than willing to turn the attention of the pups to himself then, Talayazhi taking the opportunity then to slink into the pup den and check on the progress inside.

”How’s everyone doing?”
”You’re doing great, sweetheart, look here’s your second pup—a boy this time!”

Already one pup lied at Duskleaf’s side, the blonde and beige female audibly suckling as she pawed at Duskleaf’s belly for more nourishment. A second pup had just been born, and as Mudtail worked on cleaning the boy Talayazhi could see his fur wash a brighter color compared to his sister.

”Oh, what’s that purplish stuff Mudtail?”
”This salve...? It’s meant to help avoid wounds from festering, Herbert taught me to always apply it on a pup’s belly right after removing the cord to lower the chances of an infection forming or spreading.”
”I see, it smells nice… is that oregano?”

The herbalist nodded in affirmation, a smile spreading through her muzzle even as she continued to care for the second born of the litter. It was nice to have other wolves be interested in knowing more of her cures, and even she had to admit Talayazhi had a good nose when it came to the scent of some herbs and flowers… a pity the coywolf was already too busy with her leading duties, otherwise Mudtail would’ve considered mentoring Talayazhi. Now, armed with new knowledge, the hybrid could see the faint purple stain on the first pup’s belly as well as she shifted position, giving a soft nod to both she-wolves before exiting the den and allowing them additional time and privacy.

When the sun had begun to set the last members of the pack had finally appeared, Bearpelt proudly carrying back the fresh carcass of a bighorn sheep ram. Sandwhisper was also with him, though whenever the older male attempted to help Bearpelt would often brush him aside. ”Leave the heavy lifting to my younger shoulders, old man… just tell me where to go so I don’t trip, can’t see a damn thing with these horns in my face!” Over time their teamwork had begun to mesh better, a low chuckle escaping the tracker before he noticed the three of the adults and the pups sitting outside on the camp.

Hmmm... you’re all brimming with excitement... Has it finally happened?”
”Who’s brimming...? What happened?”

It only took a glance for the wiser male to quickly catch up on the unspoken news, his younger companion finally letting go of the carcass as it thumped loudly onto the ground, before Bearpelt’s confused gaze looked over Mackenzie, Mudtail and finally Talayazhi.

”They’re here! They’re here!”
”’bout time they got here...”
”Wait, hold up Ashpup, who’s here again?!”
”Our brother and sisters!”
”It’s Duskleaf, she finally had her pups.”

The moment Bearpelt placed down the ram he quickly found himself surrounded as an excited Ashpup ran around the male in circles while chanting excitedly. Not too far off the dark form of Nightpup huffed in annoyance, spouting something Bearpelt couldn’t understand, before finally the words of the calm Spottedpup made the older male’s mind click at last.

”... Duskleaf!?”
Mhmm, her pups finally arrived.”
”Go on and see, she’s resting inside the den… oh, but no sudden movements, Bearpelt, the pups and her need all the rest they can get!”

The excitement quickly spread through the male’s face as the news sunk in, anyone that didn’t know the situation would’ve thought the pups Duskleaf was carrying were his. After a quick warning from Mudtail the male was finally off as he disappeared into the den, his eyes slowly roving over the three bundles at Duskleaf’s side.

”Hi Bearpelt...”
Shhh, no, don’t try to get up Duskleaf just rest… they’re beautiful.”

Soon as he had seen the she-wolf begin to shift Bearpelt was quick to close the remaining distance, lying down close to the female as he wrapped his larger frame over her own. Duskleaf’s tail thumped quietly in return, a grateful humming escaping the new mother as she nodded at his words.

”Have you named them already?”
Mhmm... Talayazhi and Mudtail helped me choose the names. Duskpup, Sunpup and Dawnpup...”
”Fitting, each one’s a tiny bundle of the sun just like their mother.”

Not for the first time Duskleaf found herself quietly wishing Bearpelt would have truly been the sire of her litter… though he was often gruff and rude there was no denying he was also a gentle soul in his own way. He truly cared over Ashpup, Nightcap and Spottedpup as if they had been his own… and now it seemed that same devotion would also be passed along to her first litter.

”Thank you… for everything.”
”Hush you, you’ve nothing to thank me for. Wait here, I’ll get you some fresh ram.”

Already the pair could hear the loud commotion outside as the rest of the pack celebrated the birth of the first pups to bless Ashen Cypress, a revelry that would last well into the night… though Bearpelt himself would choose to celebrate quietly besides his pair bonded and her new brood instead.

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie
Hunter(s): Sandwhisper (Tracker), Bearpelt (Chaser)
Herbalist(s): Mudtail
Pupsitter(s): Duskleaf
Pup(s): Ashpup, Dawnpup, Duskpup, Nightpup, Spottedpup, Sunpup

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺

Posted 2021-03-05 08:19:51 (edited)

1.07: Diverging Paths

Autumn, Year 01

The once dark green leaves in various trees had now turned into varying shades or reds, oranges and yellows as the new season arrived. The usual cool undergrowth of the forest was also now tinted in the same shades, the dried leaves that now littered the forest floor also presenting a new challenge when it came to stalking prey. As his paw pad stepped on a particularly crisp leaf, an action that earned the stalking male a loud c r u n c h in response, Spottedpaw watched in dismay as the quail he had been stalking became alert and—before the adolescent could react—it quickly fluttered away.

Argh... damn it!!!”
Hah, hah, hah!!! I told you to watch your steps boy, the dried leaves in the forest ain’t as forgiving as the nests back in the pup den.”
”Yeah, yeah… dumb bird.”

A low and frustrated growl echoed from the teen as he walked back to his mentor, Bearpelt letting out another hearty chuckle as he carefully watched the youngster. Spottedpelt had gotten big, but his bigger frame had also come with some… issues. His body had grown faster than the youngster could keep up with, and as a result movements he’d found simple in his youth were now proving a bit more meddlesome in his adolescence. Compound to that was the fact that Nightpaw would often not leave him alone, the she-wolf always wanting to compete over this or that when she wasn’t getting Spottedpaw to wrestle, and Bearpelt couldn’t fault the teen for being angsty as of late.

”Don’t worry about it, boy, I’m sure Nightpaw won’t hate you too much for coming back to camp with empty jaws...”
”Are you kidding me, Bearpelt?! I’d never hear the end of it, and you know it!!! Piss off with that, we ain’t heading back until I have three… no, at least five of these damn birds!”
Oh hoo hooo! Alright, this I got to see… lead the way, young Spottedpaw!”

His golden eyes almost glowed with pride and glee upon hearing those words, the brown male allowing Spottedpaw to take the lead as they headed further into the forest in search for more prey. He’d already noticed a while back, but without doubt once this youngster was fully mature he’d be bigger than both he and Mackenzie. At first he had worried that the laid back male wouldn’t live up to his full potential though, but now Bearpelt felt more secure in the knowledge that he had been wrong… though in large part he had to thank a particularly bossy little teen.

”Wha—but I haven’t even asked anything yet!?!”
”Doesn’t matter, the answer is still no.”

Said bossy she-wolf was currently whining at the scout by the bank, her dark fur fully saturated with water as she had waddled out of the river. Nightpaw had proven to be quite the efficient hunter when it came to critters in the woods, but when it came to fishing and swimming the teen was an absolute disaster. Mackenzie had managed to overhear the female challenging Spottedpaw just before they had left camp for training, boasting about the larger amount of prey she’d haul back today compared to him… and as a result the male hadn’t been able to contain himself, deciding to give Nightpaw a true challenge.

So far the count was Nightpaw zero, and the fish in the river had a solid ten.

”This is a waste of time, Mackenzie! I could’ve caught a whole flock of grouse in the forest already instead!”
”Too bad we’re not hunting in the forest today, then.”
”Mackenzie!!! If I come back empty then Spottedpaw’s gonna win today!”
Mmm you don’t say… that mouth of yours better start to do less yapping and more fishing then.”

In comparison to her denmates Ashpaw was the sweetest and calmest teenager so far to have lived, the young she-wolf more than happy when she had been assigned under Duskleaf’s care for her mentorship. Currently she was inside the pup den with her surrogate mother, having brought over a medium chunk of meat for the nursing she-wolf to consume as she cared for her brood.

Oooh, are you sure this isn’t a mistake Ashpaw? You could’ve been out there hunting with Sandwhisper… or maybe exploring and learning more about herbs with Mudtail instead.”
”I promise it’s fine, Duskleaf, I’m perfectly happy staying in camp and learning more about the proper care needed for young pups… besides, that means I can spend more time with them, too.”

A soft hrrrmph echoed from the older female as she shifted, the sound of suckling loud as her three pups hungrily latched on. They were getting bigger now, with their eyes open and their ears finally unfolded, and as a stray tooth bit down accidentally the she-wolf quietly reminded herself to begin weaning them soon.

”I know you love them dearly, Ashpaw, and they most certainly love you too…”
”Exactly! See? There’s no problem at all then—”
”I just don’t want you to miss out on your own childhood while you’re caring over the pups and myself, child.”
”I’m not, Duskleaf, really! I’m the happiest being able to do this, I promise you.”
”If you say so my dear...”

A defeated sigh left Duskleaf, a soft smile forming on her muzzle before the she-wolf dug into the flesh that the teen had brought over. Satisfied with their conversation Ashpaw eventually went out to get more nesting materials to ensure her pseudo-younger siblings and surrogate mother were comfortable. She still vividly remembered the fires of that night long ago, aware of the fact that she probably wouldn’t be here right now if it hadn’t been for Duskleaf’s own selfishness that day.

’I’ll learn how to properly care for our youngsters… that way I’ll be able to protect and save them just like you did for us, mom.’

🌲 The Ashen Cypress Pack 🌕

Alpha: Talayazhi Moon
Scout(s): Mackenzie
Hunter(s): Sandwhisper (Tracker), Bearpelt (Chaser)
Herbalist(s): Mudtail
Pupsitter(s): Duskleaf
Pupil(s): Ashpaw (Duskleaf), Nightpaw (Mackenzie), Spottedpelt (Bearpelt)
Pup(s): Dawnpup, Duskpup, Sunpup

⮌ Table of Contents

RizuChan 🌺