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I Come on the Wings of an Epidemic


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#1
Nosferatu

Nosferatu
  • South Alps
  • 49 posts

Du erscheinst in meinem Traum
Du liebkost mein schwarzes Herz

[OCC: {private} Hitora]

Spendest Licht dem Lebensbaum
Du befreist mich von dem Schmerz


There was little going on in these dark territories, and though Nosferatu embraced the occasional calm he began to abhor it if it was allowed to go on for too long. One could only remain idle and enjoy it for so long before one's legs grew restless. The vampire was old but did not benefit from remaining stagnant for any extended periods of time; sometimes his limbs would ache without reason and force him to rest more than he liked, but for the most part he was relatively well-off for a canine of his age and background. Thus, Nosferatu had left whatever dark hole he had previously occupied without any set goal in mind, traversing the dismal Southern Alps in the hope to find something to occupy himself with - perhaps he would be in luck and find a stray dog lost within these vast, perilous lands. A canine who did not belong to their pack was free game, and one would be a fool to miss out on such an opportunity. Nosferatu rather doubted that he would be so lucky as to find a loner to sink his teeth into though, and as he sighed he wondered if it had been the right choice to lend himself to this pack of villains and misfits.

What, then, was there except roaming around the country alone, seeking something to drink at night and sleeping at day, or joining an already existing pack? The mix knew how to lead a pack and from previous experiences he had learned some valuable lessons which he would not soon forget, yet Nosferatu had not attempted to assemble his own group. Mayhap it was laziness or a dwindling desire brought on by old age, but his thirst for power still remained. It was simply a whole lot easier to make one's way into a well-established pack and work one's way up, it didn't even matter if he got to be the top dog or not; he had not been the subordinate of anyone in the past yet he had adapted well, even though there had been little to no orders to follow so far. But the thought itself he had grown accustomed to. Not to say that Nosferatu didn't consider himself superior to the leaders of the Southern Alps - one could be sure that the vampire considered himself superior to nearly every person he came across - but it did not bother him as much as it would have in an earlier stage of his life.

Despite having come to terms with his position, there was still one fact that remained unchanged. Power meant more possibilities, and vice-versa, which meant it was still worth striving for. Nosferatu would have liked to overthrow the current leader and take his place, if only for the prestige that such a title meant, but there were better things than being a leader. This realisation had come gradually to the Romanian, it had grown with time until finally it had settled its roots firmly into the soil. Leading a pack meant that many things were dependent upon you, and you would be bothered to make all kinds of decisions, even a poor or negligent leader would still feel the hard stare of his or her subjects at all hours of the day, but for someone who was of lower rank yet still retained more power than that of a mere soldier would have the perfect position. Taking advantage of those said soldiers would be an easy thing, Nosferatu believed, and though this might not amount to anything it would still give a great boost to his ego. There was little reason for him to ruin what had already been built upon these lands, if anything he wanted to help it all prosper like it had never done before - so what did it matter that he was also driven on by selfish, bloodthirsty needs? There had been a time when the dog had made reckless or even stupid decisions, but now he knew enough to not let them be repeated. He would see to it that the deeds would not be made by the younger generation, if not for the sake of the remainder of the pack members then at least for his own sake.

Word Count: 788
Table picture by Klomonx




"I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness."

#2
Hitora

Hitora
  • South Alps
  • 174 posts

Things were changing, changing. Raidon had returned to the lands again, an act that always filled the brindle female with a sense of purpose. It was always there, of course, but when the Akita appeared it burned with an intensity like never before. There was the desire to do more, to be more. It was time to stop floating. It was time to start finding more dogs, more soldiers, more dogs that could take on ranks and could perform. It was time, in short, to begin building their army to the standards that it should be. Though neither she nor Raidon were old yet by any means that did not mean that time was on their side. Time was a swiftly flowing river and it only ran in one direction, ever relentless. The more time that they wasted the less that they had to secure their hold and their reign.

The problem was figuring out which dogs were best suited for those ranks. In any pack there was often squabbling and rough actions for positions of any sort of rank. In a pack such as their own? There very well could be bloodshed and much more than the general mild amount of blood that might be shed in a normal fight. There were numerous things to consider; how loyal and faithful had a dog been, how skilled were they, had they joined simply for a home or did they have other reasons? Hitora was not in the least bit unaware of some of their members' more... interesting appetites, at least mostly. Even if she didn't know she could guess and make assumptions about those, even the more metaphorical types of appetites. Did you promote a dog that might make the irrational choice in the height of a fight but who had been here since the pack's inception or did you choose a more level headed dog that had not been here as long? It was a dilemma, to be sure.

Hitora was no stranger to leading a pack and yet, at the same time, this was all new to her. She had been the head of her hunting pack when she had lived with the humans. Yet many of the decisions were made by the humans and not by herself. When they were out hunting she gave orders but it was the humans that had dictated where they were, what they would be hunting and had trained her and the other dogs. Now she was in the position of full power (or almost completely full power) rather than having the illusion of it.

It was as these thoughts were flowing through the brindle female's mind that she spotted one of their pack members. It was rather hard to not miss Nosferatu. Be it day or night, the older dog was larger than many members of their pack. He certainly stood out due to that great size, although he had a certain bit of an advantage in the night with his black fur. Hitora did not believe in being overly friendly with the members of the pack - not unless it was to her advantage to be so - but she did not ignore them either and she did not ignore the need to keep the bonds of the pack together. So she was not going to ignore the large dog. A few words in passing, unless he felt like a discussion, and her duty would be filled for the time being.

So the lithe female continued forward, tail and ears held in a dominant cant although she was not pressing her superiority or dominance either. As she drew near to the larger canine, Hitora gave a brief dip of the head in acknowledgment of the older male. "Nosferatu."



I know, no matter what
no matter who
no matter what I do
somebody hates me
and I hate somebody too...

somebody like you

#3
Nosferatu

Nosferatu
  • South Alps
  • 49 posts

Du erscheinst in meinem Traum
Du liebkost mein schwarzes Herz

[OCC: Fail post. ]

Spendest Licht dem Lebensbaum
Du befreist mich von dem Schmerz


"Nosferatu."

The dreaming eyes of the lumbering beast light up, his ears twitching slightly as he turned his attention towards the sound of the voice that had called out his name. With a nod of his own Nosferatu showed his respect for the second-in-command. "Lady Hitora," the dark voice of the mix broke the silence abruptly, but it was a sound which it would have to get accustomed to. It had been a while since Nosferatu last saw this second leader of the Southern Alps, and longer still since he had been able to speak to her. Now seemed as good a time as any to initiate a conversation. "Excuse my sudden question, but I have heard word of the return of Raidon - pray tell, are they mere rumours or truth?" His curiosity was natural as he had yet to catch a glimpse of the leader, and simple gossip amongst the members of the pack was not enough to satisfy him. The opinions of others simply stained his own view on matters; if you wanted the real truth then you had better seek it out yourself and see it with your own eyes.

Despite this, it was impossible to not form some kind of image of the recently absent Akita. Chances were that Nosferatu would not approve of him - yet Nosferatu approved of so very few. Tolerated, yes, but there was a great difference between the two as the former suggested safety in acceptance, while the latter merely allowed a false, temporary sense of safety to be erected. Hitora herself had so far managed to gain the seed of the vampire's respect, though it was still a bit too early for him to let his opinions and ideas root themselves within his mind. Nosferatu was a prideful being, confident in himself and his convictions, but took care not to make any hasty assessments. It was far from impossible to gain his approval, his comrade Dupin was the living proof of such though it was only natural for the Plott Hound to attain that rank in the eyes of his "friend". The sleuth had great, useful skills at his disposal which rendered his age and other so-called "disabilities" almost invisible.

"In any case, I take it that everything is well?" Had this question been uttered by someone else it might have been taken the wrong way; indeed, it was probably generally a bad idea to be on such friendly terms with one's superior, especially in this kind of pack. However Nosferatu's age and old-fashioned manner seemed to justify such inquiries as it was the natural way to act for him. Why should he not be curious of the state of the pack, or even Hitora herself? If it turned out that his concern was unwanted then it was easy to apologise, for Nosferatu's pride was not so big that it disallowed him from being polite, in fact it appeared to be a virtue which he followed relentlessly. Should his anger be evoked or his irritation be kindled by the word of some fool, then he would somehow still remain the same gentleman as before, if a slightly less well-meaning one. A vampire devoid of manners was usually a worthless one, no matter what kind or sex.

Word Count: 619
Table picture by Klomonx




"I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness."

#4
Hitora

Hitora
  • South Alps
  • 174 posts

OOC: this is so short ;-; I apologize.

The smaller canine listened to the larger male as he greeted her politely, dipping his head in acknowledgment of her presence and of her higher rank. Her ears twitched a tiny bit as he asked a question. She could have chastised him for being impertinent and asking questions that he might not technically hold a right to. Yet Raidon was the acknowledged Leader of the pack. It was not odd that a member of the pack should ask after a rumor of his return. In fact, many of them would be pleased to hear that he had returned - sure that this would mean that their plans could come to fruition sooner rather than later. She nodded her head once in response to the question. "They are not rumors, but the truth. He has returned." She didn't add 'for now'. It was well known that the powerful Akita had the urge to wander.

The shrewd, brown eyes watched the large mix carefully as he spoke. She was always on the look out for meanings beneath any words although one would be hard pressed to find too many ulterior motives in the simple idle small talk. And, indeed, Hitora did not exactly encourage familiarity. She was cordial (for the most part) to members of the pack but very rarely did she come down off of the pedestal that she had placed herself upon. Only her Leader, her sons (in a way, Rhyzik and now Soleks saw anything other than that... and not all of those were seeing the true her. After all, she had twisted Rhyzik and Soleks' loyalty towards her by being much more motherly and open than she ever was normally. Still, she couldn't fault the old dog for asking. She didn't see Nosferatu that often.

"Yes, everything is well," she told him truthfully. For the most part, everything was well. There was little reason to lie and if she didn't want him to know anything she could merely lie by omission. She was quite used to all the subtleties of getting around in conversations. "Perhaps you would care to walk with me some?" she offered the older dog. She didn't normally extend the courtesy of the invite except to veterans, largely trusted canines. But then you never got anywhere if you didn't extend some trust to others. Besides, she didn't know much about the dark and mysterious male that had come into their pack. She might as well learn all that she could.



I know, no matter what
no matter who
no matter what I do
somebody hates me
and I hate somebody too...

somebody like you

#5
Nosferatu

Nosferatu
  • South Alps
  • 49 posts


Du erscheinst in meinem Traum
Du liebkost mein schwarzes Herz


[OCC: ]

Spendest Licht dem Lebensbaum
Du befreist mich von dem Schmerz


"They are not rumors, but the truth. He has returned."

Despite any delusions of grandeur, or otherwise jealous feelings rooted in an inherent desire for power, Nosferatu still felt glad when he heard Hitora's words - a pack whose leader was absent for a large amount of time would, sooner or later, descend into chaos, or at least become unbalanced. Without someone to lead the members of the group things would soon go awry, others would try to ascend to the top rank, and fights would inevitably break out. Even if it didn't come to violence, chances were that the morale would sink so low that the remaining dogs would split into several, smaller groups and go their own ways, instead of waiting for a leader that never showed up. "I am glad to hear that. I do not doubt your skill as the second-in-command, yet there are those who feel uneasy when their leader is gone for any longer amount of time." Naturally, he himself was not included in this group. At most he would feel annoyed and without purpose, but if there was anything he had in abundance, it was time and patience.

There was no doubt that the large St. Bernard and Great Pyrenees mix had felt a sting of intrigue as soon as he had laid eyes upon the red tiger; his knowledge about the female was limited, very limited, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that someone in her position had to have shown her worth in order to stand upon their pedestal. It was obvious she wasn't just a lover of Raidon, doomed to produce heirs until her body gave up.

"Yes, everything is well, Perhaps you would care to walk with me some?"

Even if he would have rather avoided such, Nosferatu didn't really have a choice in the matter - turning down the request of a higher-up was quite an offence, unless one had a good reason to decline. In any case, he was the one who had wished to speak with Hitora in the first place, so saying no would be folly. "Naturally," he said and took a few steps towards the Kai Ken so that he could walk beside her as they spoke. At first he was silent, allowing the silence to settle down until all one could hear was the soft sound of paws sinking into small heaps of leaves, or the low rustling as a paw rose, disturbing their rest. Nosferatu would have been able to walk in this silence for a long time, perhaps forever, but chances were that Hitora would not, so after a short while the older dog spoke up again. "This old man is thankful that you are taking your time to walk with him. It is a calm day, though I cannot savour it, so I am glad to have someone to speak to." It was a strange thing to hear the gargantuan canine say. An old creature like him ought to take advantage of these calm days, yet the active, bright eyes beneath the drooping eyelids made it clear that the lumbering beast had much energy to give, no matter what other signals the rest of his body sent out.

Word Count: 643
Table picture by Klomonx


 


"I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness."

#6
Hitora

Hitora
  • South Alps
  • 174 posts

For a brief moment, Hitora was moderately annoyed by the older male's statement. In general, when others rushed to assure you that they did not doubt you it meant that they did. However, she did not doubt in herself or her skills. She had kept this motley pack of canines together in Raidon's absence and many of them, in some ways, held more allegiance towards her than they did Raidon. A treasonous thought and a dangerous one, were she to even think of acting upon it. As it stood now, it was just the simple truth. Nosferatu, however, had at least given no clues that he did feel that way. His polite, unassuming demeanor made it easier to not bristle at the words (although she wasn't stupid enough to completely believe someone just because they seemed one way). It would bear some observing but she was not going to take him to task for something he might not have even meant. "Yes, I could see how that might be a concern," was her only response. She had heard others voice similar statements and even she had worried and wondered. Hitora was enamored of power, however. That was what had attracted her to Raidon in the first place; he was a powerful canine, a mighty foe. When she had allied herself with him, she had gained that power by leaps and bounds. In his absence, she had practically hoarded all of the power of rule for herself. Many of their goals, she felt, would be much harder to obtain if Raidon vanished forever but she certainly could not deny how much she liked being in control of this pack of murderers, cannibals, vampires and other outcasts.

The Kai dog's eyes watched the larger mix as she offered for him to join her. There was a moment of hesitation and then a smooth acceptance. He took a few steps towards her. She neither turned towards him or made way or room for him; she was giving him the pleasure of her company, after all. She was not going to make too many allowances for him. The walk was a fairly long, rambling one; it was meant to take her all over the territory, checking for problems, making sure that the few patrols that they had were indeed running smoothly. The silence didn't bother her. Nosferatu had sought her out and had expressed his desire to speak to her. She was not going to initiate conversation just because of that. He would find the words that he wanted in due time, surely. And after they had been walking long enough to have moved out of the initial area that Nosferatu had met her in, the older dog spoke. At first, Hitora just inclined her head in acknowledgement of his thanks. At least he realized that this was not something that happened very often. He had always seemed quite intelligent to her; he just continued to prove that as time went on.

The rest of his sentence caught her attention, ears flicking once or twice before she turned her head towards him. The brown eyes swept over the mix's frame. He seemed as if he should be a slow, doddering, lumbering giant. Yet he still moved with the grace of a younger and lither dog. His statement was a fairly odd one given that he was older but, then again, he hadn't seemed the type to just idle around - none of the dogs of the Southern Alps did. This wasn't a retirement pack by any means, after all. They might not be waging war currently but they still had to work hard to survive. But although they were by no means an idyllic pack that basked in the sun and did nothing but play, they certainly were allowed to relax on calmer days, enjoy the sun. A pack that was nothing but work was a pack that would never last. Most dogs would not put up with that at all. After a few seconds, the female's head cocked to the side just slightly as she peered over at Nosferatu. "And what prevents you from enjoying such a fine day?" So far as she could tell, there should be very little stopping him from doing so. She certainly hadn't forbidden him from it. It was perhaps another curiosity about the other dog, another sign that she had not yet unlocked the secrets from him. Perhaps today would be a good chance to do so.




I know, no matter what
no matter who
no matter what I do
somebody hates me
and I hate somebody too...

somebody like you

#7
Nosferatu

Nosferatu
  • South Alps
  • 49 posts


Du erscheinst in meinem Traum
Du liebkost mein schwarzes Herz


[OCC: ]

Spendest Licht dem Lebensbaum
Du befreist mich von dem Schmerz


"Yes, I could see how that might be a concern,"

It was not unlikely that Nosferatu was aware of how his words might have been interpreted – yet his voice had been devoid of any traces of urgency, of a desire to assure his superior of his own stance. He was an old man speaking casually about his fellow pack members, pointing out things he had noticed; and why should he not? It was vital to be on top, to know what was going on within the boundaries of one’s territory and the general state of things, and discussing all of this with the ones in command seemed equally vital. They might already know about everything going on inside their realm, but to assume such was a massive flaw. "Many of them are young, eager, and unaccustomed to the ways of the pack," Nosferatu rambled on. "They shall learn in time, and their worries will be buried deep." Ah, how the old vampire hoped that this was true. He tried to have faith in his fellow canines, but oftentimes he found such hard, even more so whenever their age was deemed insufficient - indeed, he had met some that showed promise within the pack, individuals of intriguing character, possessing qualities he had at first doubted.

"And what prevents you from enjoying such a fine day?"

Nosferatu was hardly the type who got excessively friendly with those he had known only for a brief amount of time; still, there was a kind of openness in his demeanour which made others quick to speak to him, sometimes even opening up more than they had at first planned, which was always met with quiet amusement from the older gentleman's side. This quality seemed odd when mixed with his prejudices, always there, bubbling beneath the surface. But this was just one of the many enigmas the vampire carried. At first glance one would have hardly suspected Nosferatu to be as calculating or observant, nor as intelligent as he was. From the corner of his eye, he saw Hitora react to his words, and her somewhat puzzled reaction hardly surprised him. He gave the younger dog a sideways glance. "The fact that it is day, and not night, is one thing," he said, eyes narrowing slightly as the rays of the sun penetrated the foliage, as if to mock him. "Restlessness would be another. I may be getting on in age, but there is still power to be had in these old bones." Now, Nosferatu definitely enjoyed his fair share of rest, but he had never been one for lethargy. Though age had been less kind to him in some ways, the downsides of old age seemed hardly to sap any strength out of him. Instead, it almost appeared like the aching limbs made him all the more determined.

”The idleness that comes after duties does not suit me, I am afraid,” he continued, thankful that the trees had once again covered up the unrelenting sun and its bright face. ”You see, I thirst not only for blood, but stimulation as well.” A grin spread itself across Nosferatu’s lips, as the sharp, yellow-tinted teeth glistened amongst the black. Ah, there were many more things he thirsted for – power being one of them, but such needed not to be said out loud.

Word Count: 650
Table picture by Klomonx


"I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness."

#8
Hitora

Hitora
  • South Alps
  • 174 posts

Hitora kept pace with the larger dog, for all that his strides were much longer than her own. She might have been a smaller dog, but the Kai dog was fit and trim and Nosferatu certainly wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere. His strides were longer but his gait was a kind of ambling one; perfect for walking throughout the territory. The brindle female listened as he spoke again. Though she was a suspicious sort, she really couldn't hold his earlier words against him too much. After all, he had been stating a simple truth (albeit one that would bear some watching of) and she knew very well that their pack was filled with restless canines that had been promised a war and wanted that war. The young, hot-headed canines that filled their ranks were certainly would never be content with waiting - although they did so out of respect for her more than anything else. "Your words are true," she finally spoke. "I can only hope that they keep such a level head about it as you yourself seem to have." It was, perhaps, the benefit of taking on dogs that were a bit older. They balanced out the younger, rasher canines.

At the older male's words, Hitora's brown eyes shifted upwards towards the dense foliage and the rays of sunlight that filtered through them. The words brought up a fair amount of confusion, given that she had hardly ever heard of any dog that was bothered by sunlight. But the Southern Alps was a pack full of varied individuals with varied needs and histories and if there was one thing she had learned it was that it took all kinds. She vaguely remembered some of the discussion that had occurred when Nosferatu had requested admittance to the pack and while she was not a canine that knew of the lore of humans and so-called vampires she could accept that perhaps this was a curious side effect of the other dog's more... specific appetite. "I see," was her only initial comment to his words, filtering that information into the back of her mind along with the rest of the little tidbits that she kept there about her pack. It was good to know everything about the dogs that you ruled - both because it forged a sort of bond but also because it helped expose weaknesses if someone got delusions of grandeur. "Well, that I can understand. There is always much to be done and lying about certainly does not get it done. Perhaps you would like some extra tasks to keep you from feeling restless?" Not that she was exactly insinuating anything, but if he would rather be doing something then he might as well benefit the pack while he did it.

The smaller dog turned her head just a tiny bit as Nosferatu continued on. Stimulation? Well, there was little of that to be found if she were honest. Hunting and patrols did not give much stimulation and she had, rightly, banned the members of the pack from fighting. She did not trust them all enough to trust that, in a fit of anger or blood lust, they would not terribly injure or cause the death of another canine in the pack. They continued on for several paces more before she spoke again. "And what would you suggest then? What would be preferable for yourself?" If it was a good suggestion, perhaps she might implement it. An outrageous one, or a suggestion that assumed too much familiarity and preference, would be shot down. But Hitora was at least willing to listen to those that she ruled over. It certainly would not do to alienate or infuriate those that were, in the end, there to help them achieve their goals after all.




I know, no matter what
no matter who
no matter what I do
somebody hates me
and I hate somebody too...

somebody like you

#9
Nosferatu

Nosferatu
  • South Alps
  • 49 posts


Du erscheinst in meinem Traum
Du liebkost mein schwarzes Herz

[OCC: This is so bad, I am sorry. : (]

Spendest Licht dem Lebensbaum
Du befreist mich von dem Schmerz


"Your words are true, I can only hope that they keep such a level head about it as you yourself seem to have."

Nosferatu knew all too well that it was folly to expect others to keep themselves as level headed as he, no matter how much he'd like to believe so, it was a difficult task. He was torn between the desire to trust in the younger members of the pack and his knowledge that, no matter how mature a canine may seem, they would eventually show signs of their age - ah, he could not hold it against them, but he certainly wasn't obligated to like them for it, either. It certainly did not help that the old man was critical to the greatest degree, yet he had the intelligence to try and look past his prejudiced thoughts - naturally, he did not always manage to look all that far, but it was a solid effort from the dusty old vampire, who hailed from a different world and time. "Hope does nothing but cloud the mind from the facts," Nosferatu stated, "yet sometimes it is the only thing one can do."

"I see, Well, that I can understand. There is always much to be done and lying about certainly does not get it done. Perhaps you would like some extra tasks to keep you from feeling restless?"

Perhaps another dog would have felt the jab of embarrassment upon hearing Hitora's words - however Nosferatu was past this feeling by several years, indeed, it was difficult to imagine that the black beast had ever been flustered, even in his infancy - or they would have taken offence by her confusion, but it hardly affected the aged male. Almost did it seem like he was oblivious to his own words and the effect they might have on others, who were not accustomed to his small eccentrities. If there was one thing Nosferatu had in abundance it was confidence, but without the blind stubborness that so often came with it, and so what did it matter if others knew about a petty weakness or two of his? There were no use in worrying - for after all, did he not have plenty of time on his hands? "Indeed, sloth is a sin I cannot condone," he said with a firm nod, "I would be glad to help in any way I can, you need only point me in the right direction." His words were loyal, though perhaps not blindingly so - some desired their subordinates to be without a mind of their own, and while it could certainly help in some situations, it could just as well destroy others.

"And what would you suggest then? What would be preferable for yourself?"

Had the topic been brought up, Nosferatu would most likely have frowned upon the idea of having pack members fight against each other. While it would certainly provide enough stimulation, it would also provide them with a few neat corpses to line their territory with, and while it gave food to the likes of himself, it was hardly a good idea for a pack that wished to prosper. As amusing a proposal as that would be, it would bring ruin to the Southern Alps in the long run. "I simply want to find a way to contribute more to the pack than I already am," Nosferatu replied. "It does not do well for an old man to sit on his resources, without the means to pass them onto the younger generation. I want to see this pack grow, and if I have something of worth that can be used in our favour - I would not have it go to waste." His archaic words were sincere, and there was no doubt that his intentions were true. Age did not matter, and age would never matter; he did not long for rest, though his

demeanour might appear lazy at first there was energy to be seen in the fiery eyes amidst the mass of dark fur. What he longed for was the blood of the battlefield.



Word Count: 769
Table picture by Klomonx




"I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness."

#10
Hitora

Hitora
  • South Alps
  • 174 posts

Had Hitora begun ruling the pack when she was a few years younger, Nosferatu's words would have been met with a sharp snap of teeth that was meant to hurt and to punish. She had ruled her hunting pack thus - proud and haughty and full of herself. After all, she had only made one mistake on a hunt and had still come out the victor. Being selected as the favored dog by her humans, being allowed to rule over the other dogs, it had all given her a fair amount of assurance in herself and anger at those who would dare defy what she perceived as the set way of things. The turning of her packmates into mindless things of savagery, the ruthless eradication of those that she had always known by the humans, had changed at least the outer layers. She had more experience now. She was not kind nor patient by any means, but she had learned to listen and hear the words that were unspoken. And even if words pricked at her inner core full of pride in herself, sometimes it didn't do to lash out even verbally at someone who was merely offering their own opinion or advice. At least not when you wanted to keep on their good side and perhaps cultivate them for your own purposes. "It can be a powerful thing, however." After all, hadn't it turned the tide of many wars waged in the past?

Though Hitora's words had not been meant to really pick at or insult Nosferatu, there was almost a sense of disappointment that he hadn't reacted adversely to them. There were some dogs who would have spilled all sorts of assurances or a string of perceived sins that they had wracked up. However, Nosferatu was old and either he was wise enough to not allow himself to ramble in such a fashion or he just didn't really care much about what someone said, whether a blatant fact or an implication. It was something to remember. The old dog was steady; that was the best word that she could think of for him. He might be different, might have strange interests (but then, what member of the Southern Alps didn't have some sort of strange interest?) but he was steady. It was fairly likely that he had seen many things in his time. Most of the antics and problems that the pack might pull off wouldn't rock him much. It was good to have someone of that nature. Though she couldn't help but feel a twinge of irritation as he didn't precisely answer her. Oh, he gave her words but he was laying the duty of assigning something solely upon her shoulders. Which, she supposed, was fitting given that she was the leader - or one of the leaders, anyways.

As she considered his words, a slight smirk tugged its way up along the edges of her muzzle and the smaller female couldn't help but give a small laugh at Nosferatu's words. It wasn't so much that she was laughing at him, but his words had surprised her a bit. "You make yourself sound like an ancient storyteller." Which, she supposed, was something that came with old age. Even if there was always a contained strength and fire in the older dog's eyes that spoke of his being more than just a doddering old fool he was still old and there were things that one did when they reached an age. There were stories to reminisce about and things to complain of. Nosferatu seemed to have escaped most of that but then, how well did she know him? Not well enough. "But perhaps that is something that might be of use?" It was certainly not a position of power but who knew what he might be able to teach them or what wisdom he might be able to impart? Hitora might lead those that were unaccepted by society but that didn't mean she would neglect opportunities that might arise right in front of her.

And, of course, with more responsibility would come more trust and more power. Within reason. Hitora very carefully watched those around her and selected them based off of what she saw. There were dogs that would never make it to power because they wanted too much. She would never be willing to sacrifice her own hold for someone else, not even her two sons. They would have to fight and scrap just as much as the rest of the pack if they ever wanted to usurp a rule in an unnatural way.




I know, no matter what
no matter who
no matter what I do
somebody hates me
and I hate somebody too...

somebody like you

#11
Nosferatu

Nosferatu
  • South Alps
  • 49 posts


Du erscheinst in meinem Traum
Du liebkost mein schwarzes Herz

[OCC: ]

Spendest Licht dem Lebensbaum
Du befreist mich von dem Schmerz


"It can be a powerful thing, however."

Nosferatu had long since learned how to appropriately react to the words and actions of others - or rather, he had taught himself how to figure out what outwards reaction was the best to showcase, while keeping his true feelings tucked away beneath the mask. A leader who possessed these qualities and was able to keep calm, or at least managed to uphold the façade of tranquillity, was bound to go far. Indeed, there had been many leaders in the past who ruled by fear and their physical strength, and this only, the late Hougen being one such example; there were many ways to rule a pack. Likewise, there were also many ways to instil fear in one's subjects, be it by one's appearance, words, or sheer cunning - they were all methods that could be used, and sometimes the pack members would hardly know what, exactly, it was that sent a shiver down their spine. "Yes," Nosferatu mused, "I would say it is a double-edged sword." But to him, the act of hoping was closely connected with the idleness of those who wanted things served on a silver platter. Those who waited for a blessing to descend from the sky, to give them wealth or happiness or love, instead of going out to find their own happiness, by their own means. He knew this was not what Hitora had meant with her words - yet the thought of "hoping" brought these thoughts up and left him with a bad taste in his mouth.

"You make yourself sound like an ancient storyteller."

It was not too hard to assume that the brindled female wished for more direct replies, yet Nosferatu felt it to be more appropriate to leave the deciding to her. She was bound to know what it was that the pack needed, though the old man could indeed come with a few suggestions. As she made a comment about him sounding like an ancient storyteller, he shook his head lightly and let out a brief chuckle. "Well, perhaps that is the case at times," he said, "I am sure that I have a few stories that would be interesting to tell to willing ears." At this, Nosferatu let his voice trail off slightly in order to allow the silence to take its place. Despite being an aged creature, he had an exceptionally good memory and was able to recall details dating back as far as his early puphood; some parts may have been altered slightly due to the ruthless passing of time, and other parts may have been almost completely refurbished, but a great deal of his memories were still intact. Some were simply stories of misery, others stories of great pleasure and happiness (though this may, in some cases, be subjective); yet others were cautionary tales and useful lessons learned through a long life in the harsh wilderness.

"But perhaps that is something that might be of use?"

The ear of Nosferatu twitched, and he gave a nod to acknowledge Hitora's words. "I am sure there are some useful things I may tell of, and if someone asks me a question I may be able to find an answer. If you wish, I could serve as an advisor whenever you need one. I have seen the battlefield quite a few times in my years, and I might have tactics that could be of use." A true battle between the Southern Alps and another pack might be a few ways off, still, it was important to have a tactician of some sort for when the moment a

rose. As the pack grew, their needs grew as well. Without dogs to fill certain spots they were bound to fall into disarray sooner or later, with battle scars to prove it.

Word Count: 712
Table picture by Klomonx




"I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness."

#12
Hitora

Hitora
  • South Alps
  • 174 posts

The Kai dog considered the older male's words for a moment before she dipped her head once in acknowledgment in the wisdom of them. She was a prideful, proud thing, and would never quite unbend enough to say that even the leaders could learn things. It was an admission of weakness, after all. A leader could only display weakness at appropriate times and not as it came to them. The memory of it would fester much as a wound or infection, until someone came to root out the cause of it. There were times when a leader could show weakness to instill the emotions that they desired from their followers, but now was most definitely not the time. "Yes, you speak true. I suppose one could say that many emotions are like that." Hope, after all, brought a lift of spirit to those that needed it... but it also meant that it was harder to grind an enemy who had hope into the ground. Anger gave one strength and determination, but it filled your mind so much that you could not think. Kindness was said to be a virtue, but while it could be helpful it could also leave you vulnerable to any who would exploit you. Displaying and feeling emotions were dangerous, especially in their world. "I do not discredit hope when it is a useful tool. I try to not encourage it as to be solely relied on, however. Nor do I try to encourage it in my enemies." Not that they had struck many blows against said enemies, but even back with the humans she had squashed hope out of those that wanted to take her place as lead dog of their hunting pack many a time. It was no different here.

The brindle female gave an amused snort of her own as the older dog chuckled some at her words. She wouldn't have cared if he had felt insulted (for Hitora was quick to remind everyone that she was in charge and if they didn't find it funny then that was their problem) but it was nice to know that even an old man's sense of humor was still in place. "In times of rest and idleness, I am sure there are many who would be willing to listen to stories of the past." She had little doubt that Nosferatu had many stories of his own, as well as many he had heard. It was no great desire to get in touch with the past or the land or ancestors; nothing of any of the sort such as Ohu might use it for. No, she wished to glean information from a mind that had experienced much. She wished her pack to hear tales of things to be wary of, to learn from an older dog and to apply that to their lives. And she wanted to keep them busy. Nosferatu had been right about dogs being idle and having little to do; it bred irritation and it bred thinking. Hitora did not mind if her pack was full of free-thinkers but allowing them too much time to think was never a good thing. If they were listening to stories they weren't thinking about their boredom. "Perhaps we should schedule some times for you to regale the pack with your tales."

Hitora's brown eyes slide over towards Nosferatu as he continued on. She had certainly not anticipated the other dog stating this. He hadn't shown a desire for power such as she was familiar with. And yet, he was an old veteran that had lead before. He might very well want to do something that at least gave him something similar to what he had had in the past. And he was a grizzled dog that had seen years of different situations; from leading to being a follower, from being in the hands of humans and from being free. His scars showed and just because a dog was old did not mean they were washed up. After all, many of the soldiers of Ohu were supposedly old as could be; older even than Nosferatu and Leviathan. And even if he couldn't fight, which she doubted, someone with tactical knowledge would be an asset when the time came to really begin to plan their assault on the dogs up north. "An adviser, yes, that would be useful," she admitted. She had not quite said something else; general, lieutenant. Something of a higher rank than just a follower or a soldier. But it was there, on the tip of the both of their tongues. And it was something that the Southern Alps needed. They needed a wise, confident dog that knew the ropes - one that wasn't planning on getting too ambitious but still seized the power handed to them with gusto, who could lead in an emergency and defer the rest of the time. And the fact that Nosferatu knew tactics for fighting and had experience leading was a great plus in his favor.




I know, no matter what
no matter who
no matter what I do
somebody hates me
and I hate somebody too...

somebody like you

#13
Nosferatu

Nosferatu
  • South Alps
  • 49 posts


Du erscheinst in meinem Traum
Du liebkost mein schwarzes Herz

[OCC: ]

Spendest Licht dem Lebensbaum
Du befreist mich von dem Schmerz


"Yes, you speak true. I suppose one could say that many emotions are like that. I do not discredit hope when it is a useful tool. I try to not encourage it as to be solely relied on, however. Nor do I try to encourage it in my enemies."

Just like most leaders, persons of power, or simply those who wished to acquire these things, it was important to keep one's weaknesses hidden away. Many were the enemies who would happily take advantage of any and all faults in their adversaries - yet, as Hitora had just stated, many emotions could be double-edged swords. He, if anyone, would know this well, as he had seen dogs blinded by rage tear up their enemies with unparalleled ferocity, wounding their fellows as they saw red and no longer could distinguish friend or foe. Indeed, Nosferatu had tasted this madness first-hand himself, albeit under slightly different circumstances. "I could not agree more," he said with a sagely nod. Hope could be extremely useful, especially when distributed in small quantities in order to raise the morale of a pack. The way Hitora spoke reminded him much of his own way of thinking, which simply paved the way of his respect to her as a leader - he was sure they were bound to have their differences, but one was capable of respecting others despite differing greatly in both personality and ideology.

"I believe you speak as a steadfast leader. Hope can be a beacon for those who would otherwise doubt one's plans, but if too readily relied upon, and without a resolution that lives up to the expectations of one's subjects, all progress made could be destroyed in an instant and leave only shambles behind." And this, the ruination of one's hard-earned triumphs and the shattering of one's pack, often meant the end of most pack leaders with a vision that was to be won at any cost. Not all of them let events like these keep them down for long - some of them rose to stand taller than ever before, while others kept repeating the same old mistakes. "Oh? But instilling false hope in one's enemies can be advantageous. It is a risky business, but lulling them into a sense of security would leave them open and nearly defenceless. One would have to take care not to fall in one's own trap though; there is always the possibility of the enemy seeing through the ruse, and in turn taking advantage of this."

"In times of rest and idleness, I am sure there are many who would be willing to listen to stories of the past. Perhaps we should schedule some times for you to regale the pack with your tales."

Nosferatu knew how detrimental prolonged rest and idleness could be to a pack's health, and if what he had to offer could help prevent this in one way or another, he was glad to contribute. Though he may not be the top hen of the yard, he would make sure to shape the pack in ways he saw fit, be it only by telling tales of warning or passing on useful tactical advice or other tips to help in fights. "Though it might be a weary cliché, it is still true that there is much to learn from the past," said Nosferatu and could not help but grin slightly at Hitora's wording. "I am sure it will be a feast for many to enjoy." Just like the female second-in-command, he knew of the dangers of too much free-thinking, and would not mind trying to halt some of this in its tracks. True, perhaps one could argue that the vampire's own stories were capable of sparking certain rebellious traits in the idle dogs, but to do so was to grossly underestimate the old man's intelligence - not to mention the two leaders of the pack's, as well.

"An adviser, yes, that would be useful,"

It was as good as a green-light, although nothing had been truly set in stone. Nosferatu knew and was content with having presented the idea, as well as having informed Hitora of his abilities and what use they could be of in the pack-life. A higher position suited the ragged old dog well; though his dreams consisted of ruling in a greater scale, he could not dis-credit the increased amount of freedom in being just a step below emperor in the kingdom of the Southern Alps. Not to say that being a tactician or advisor was in any way connected with idleness - that loathed word - but certain things that more concerned the leaders of the pack were taken off of his mind, allowing him to concentrate on the things he

excelled at. Were Nosferatu's request to be accepted, he would most likely enjoy his position far better than anything else, and thus perform results to be reckoned with.

Word Count: 897
Table picture by Klomonx




"I shall rise from my own death, to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness."




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