Roleplay > Nardir

earthshift | pack plot start (read)

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Mother Moon:
Something is very wrong. In some instinctual way, you know this, but try as you might you simply cannot place it. It was almost like the calm before a massive storm, the air electric and thick with tension you could almost bite through - it makes you nervous. It’s getting late, the sun dipping further and further toward the western horizon. Maybe you’re just tired, you try to reason with yourself. There’s obviously nothing wrong, right? No smoke on the horizon, no strange smells of---

The ground was trembling. You feel it in your paws, a shockwave of worry radiating unpleasantly through your body. The birds around you are going absolutely crazy, panicked screeching filling the evening air. Then, as soon as it began, it stopped. What was that? Your mouth and throat are dry, and it hurts to try and swallow for a few moments. You think it’s over.

It isn’t.

It begins again, more intense this time. Looking down, you can see small pebbles bouncing along. Everything around you, you yourself, is shaking, trembling. The earth beneath your feet begins to shift, small cracks appearing like tiny black caverns. You stumble backwards, falling in the process. It gets progressively worse, the world violently thrashing as though angered by the tiny pests upon it, trying to throw them off. You’re scared, your heart racing - where are your loved ones? Were they safe?

You can’t take your eyes off of those tiny cracks in the earth. A cold sense of panic washes over you, adrenaline spurring you forward. You can’t stand, so you crawl instead, the world itself tossing you onto your side more than a few times. There are bruises, you’re certain. These bruises do not matter - not right now, when you hear the trunks of trees snapping as rocks and soil come crumbling down upon them.

The shaking stops. Is it over?  Please, you plead with whatever deity there is, please let it be over.

It isn’t.

The earth all over Nardir begins to shake once more, giant boulders and earth sliding down the mountainsides towards the Blooming Fields. You can’t see this, but you can hear it - rumbling, crashing, snapping from all around you. You hear the mighty groan of ancient trees as they are uprooted and toppled over. All you can do is huddle against the shaking earth, thankful that you had been mostly out of harm’s way.

Once and for all, the earth settled. Loose soil and debris continued to slip down the sides of hills and mountains, but eventually these, too, settled. It seemed like an eternity before you moved again - really, it was only a few moments. Shock made you numb to the aches all over your body, and worry directed your attention to the others, to Nardir. There were plumes of either smoke or dust in multiple places.

A howl rings out over Nardir, summoning those who can make it to the center of Nardir. Not knowing what else to do, you move in that direction, eyes unblinking.

As the dust settled on Nardir, the Queen could only look over the destruction in dismay and shock. There were thick clouds of dust rising from all different parts of Nardir from what she would learn were landslides. She could feel her heart beating rapidly against her chest, threatening to shatter her bones with the force (or so it seemed). She had heard of earthquakes, but had never truly considered it a threat.

She noticed there was a sharp pain in her thigh, and upon looking back discovered her white fur stained red. Alana stared at it for a few moments, almost as if she was trying to figure out what it was.

When had that happened?

A tentative bend of the injured leg proved it usable, even if it was a little painful. Alana had witnessed tragedy strike her home before. Harsh winters, Sun Fever, famine - the Nardiri had even been ousted from their original homeland and yet, they still managed to survive. The Nardiri had strong spirits, indomitable. The Queen had to make sure her people were okay, that her family was okay. The trip to Lake Deephaven seemed like it took ages, but her paws reached the debris-littered shoreline at last.

Numbly, she lifted her muzzle and tried to howl, but couldn’t. Her throat was dry, too dry. The water of the lake was brown and dirty, but it smelled fine. Looks better than most of the water we had in the marsh, she thought. That thought seemed to kind of drag the white wolf back down to reality, seafoam eyes blinking rapidly as she inhaled deeply. She was the Queen of Nardir - they needed her now, and she had to be there for them. Alana drank just enough of the water to wet her mouth and throat before raising her muzzle once more, this time managing to release a howl. It summoned all Nardiri who were able to meet at the northeastern corner of Lake Deephaven.

That was the first step. There, she could assess what resources they had, who was able to help and who needed helping.


Akutan and his family had retreated from the forest when the earth suddenly heaved violently under their paws. Rapture, who had been playing with him before being tucked in for the night, drove her face in his scruff and was shivering with terror. Sara's eyes were wide with unbridled terror as she gathered Beatrice and Aeneas to her chest. Byakko stood over over them as they pressed their bellies to the ground. It was hard to hear over the rumbling but he was growling and his eyes had the telltale glow of a wolf threatening to fall to the Fury. Akutan's face was half terrified and half-something almost akin to anger, his mind firing through every single story from his ancestral homeland to see if there was a way to explain this unnatural shaking of the earth.

Ticonderoga was also flat on his belly, eyes shut tight and his ears pinned to his head. After a few seconds, which seemed like an eternity, the earth finally stilled. The adults slowly got to their paws while the pups were crying in various levels of sound. Rapture was the quietest. She remained on the ground, her claws embedded in the soil and shaking like leaf. "What in the name of the Black Wolf was that?" Akutan half-growled. "Something I've only heard tales of but never thought could actually occur. Tales that tell of the earth heaving and shifting as if it were water. Now that I've borne witness to such a thing, I'm of the mind that something as solid of the earth should never move." Byakko replied as the glow faded from his eyes. They heard a howl in the distance and knew it was Alana. She was calling all Nardiri to her at the lake. "Let's go. Before something else happens." Ticon suggested.

Sara only nodded mutely before picking up her son by the scruff of the neck. Byakko followed suit with Beatrice and Akutan did the same to Rapture. All three pups were limp from shock and didn't fight them. Rapture's ears were drooped and her bi-colored eyes were staring unseeing at the ground as it passed under the paws of her older cousin. As the X Clan made their way across the packlands, they took in the damage. Several trees in the copses scattered around were down (making them wonder about their dens back in the small forest) and large dust clouds were issuing from the walls. Doubtless rock slides were involved and Akutan, ever the Maelstrom, was already planning on calling his Jovians together, splitting them into teams and sending them to various sectors around the border. They had to see what the damage was and work to re-secure the border.

When they reached the lake, they saw that the water was murky. Alana was there and they could smell blood. She seemed fine otherwise. They approached her and set the pups down. Rapture immediately tipped over onto her side, still in shock and tears still leaking from her bi-colored eyes. Sara and Byakko set her siblings down with her and the Halo immediately started grooming them, hoping against hope to allay their fears and to help them through the trauma.

She'd been working, trying to familiarize herself with this new territory, with the scents of those who called this place home, with whatever herbs and other resources that were here and so many other things. It left little time for sleep and while she could hunt for herself she had been worrying about what others would think of her hunting methods, especially as they had been questioned before though the one who had questioned her hadn't realized that she was the one who was responsible for the 'destructive' hunting methods so she'd been scavenging, eating the remains of kills that others here didn't seem to want and eating insects when there was nothing to scavenge. It was an ironic thing really that she had eaten better and slept better when she was on her own in lands that others deemed as highly unsafe than here inside Nardir's borders that many would call safe. Life was full of ironies though she supposed.

She was ghosting through the trees trying to not disturb anyone or anything when she felt something. It was a feeling that something was wrong and she didn't like it. She immediately began scenting to see if someone, anyone was there, perhaps ready to spring an ambush but while she could scent others in the area none of the scents were strong enough to devote any kind of intense focus to. That made her like it even less. There was something wrong, so so wrong and she couldn't quite place it but she knew she had better listen to it. She just wished she knew what..and then she felt it. Vibrations in the ground. Before her mind could even fully process it, could fully call up the memories she had of shaking ground she'd wheeled around and was racing, sprinting towards open ground to get out and away from the trees.

It was as she ran that her brain caught up and the memories finished filling in, back when she was a small pup who had not yet encountered Nardir. The ground shaking and the mountain, no, the volcano exploding, the landslides and mudslides that had followed, as well as the burning and the ash. Trees had been death traps, and so had boulders. Neither had stopped the mud from swallowing the ones who'd taken refugee there whole. She shouldn't have survived the conditions then, as small and as young as she'd been. But she had. She'd seen the devastation, parts of it at least that occurred even away from the immediate area of the volcano but hadn't been caught by them. Her father had not been overly fond of plants and so the den had been away from them, not completely perhaps, but enough so that no tree had fallen on it. And it hadn't been on a too steep had been nearer to the flat lands, to where the mountains merged with meadows.

The birds were squawking madly and making an escape of their own, they too knew the trees held only death, if there should be a previously undiscovered volcano here or if it was simply a a mud slide from a previous storm. Then it stopped. The vibrations stopped. Part of her was saying it was over, that it was safe now, that she should stop running and try and see if anyone needed help. Another voice though said no. It said to keep running. It said that things were far from over. She heeded that voice. It had kept her alive so many times when she should have died that she listened to it and kept running, kept running towards the meadows and open ground.

She could see it now, through gaps in the trees. She was almost there. She kept running. It was good that she did because the shaking started again. This time though it was harder. It was like the mudslides that became interrupted before continuing again, and like the volcano when it had erupted, at least that was her first thought, but then she realized there was yet something different about this. Something not like the volcano or the mudslides that she couldn't place but there were similarities enough that history would once again repeat itself. As she had raised the alarm before, in flight for her life the day Zvulun had attacked and nearly killed her, she would raise the alarm again not to warn of a flesh and blood attacker but of ones born of the earth that now betrayed them. "Get clear of the trees! Keep clear of the trees!".

Who would hear the warning she called out she didn't know, but as she heard the cracking and snapping of timber beginning to echo all around her she hoped her alarm call had helped someone, given them warning enough to at least stay alive until it was over because fire and floods she could deal with, blizzards could be managed as well but there was nothing she could do to stop a falling tree and even less that she could do about several. No, all she could do was try and go back for anyone once it was it was over. She cleared the treeline just in time as it was no longer tremors but violent shakes. She was good at maintaining her balance even under rough conditions but the violence of the upheavals now occurring swept even her off her paws sending her onto her side with enough force to knock the breath out of her. She didn't stop though. She forced herself to roll over onto her stomach sliding along the ground to get clear of even the trees shadows.

Then suddenly things are once again still. She heaves herself to her paws thinking that perhaps now it was over but the voice is still saying no. The voice it still saying to run. It seems odd to her, surreal to be looking at the start of a field so full of flowers while the voice screams danger. She listens to it though and is running again though where she is running to she doesn't know. She simply knows she must run. Briefly she worries about the flowers she is running through and trampling but then she hears it a loud roar, and one that she has heard before but never so loud as this. The earth is giving way. She knows it is it stupid, foolish even, but still she turns her head to look back over her shoulder and sees it. A huge wall of earth and clay cascading her direction. There is distance though, so much distance that one not familiar with how far slides could travel might think it safe to remain there and watch but she does know better and moves as fast as the shaking earth allows.

Always moving, never remaining still. It has been a constant part of the story of her life and once again it play a part. She runs but she still feels it and knows she can't out run it so instead she jumps, she leaps forwards as loose soil and mud tumble underneath her. She can't remain airborne though as so into she lands. It is an awkward landing caused by an unstable launching platform but at least the mud negates the shaking and she can swim. It is more difficult than managing the water but she uses the currents she can feel to keep herself as close to the top as possible. She is still swept under briefly once or twice and has to fight her way back up before the speed declines sharply and then stops. She is tired and exhausted and up to her belly in the the aftermath of the slide but her head is free and she can breath.

She takes several deep breath of air and then begins using her jaws to dig out her front paws enough to pry them free and then leverages her body to work her back legs free as well in their turn. It takes time, more than she would like as there is still a feeling of urgency despite the earth having not resumed it's shaking as it had before. In the long run though she supposes it doesn't matter. She has already heard a call from Alana, she heard it while still digging herself out and so she already knows to head there and so she does.

She arrives covered, literally, from nose tip to tail tip in dust and mud and even some blood. There are others already gathered here and while she doesn't wish to walk through them she does want to get to the water. Murky though it may be, after digging herself free with her jaws she needs the water. She listens to whatever is being said by whomever it's being said by but remains silent drinking and gulping down water. When she is finished she still does not feel great and perhaps looks even worse but she has skills, and experience that could help here and so she speaks. "I want to help with search parties". Because there was so much to search for and who else had spent years searching for what so many had said could never be found.

"IT'S GONNA EAT ME IT'S GONNA EAT ME!!!!" the blue wolf ran hysterically in a circle, howling her distress. The earth was shaking violently and had thrown Raka to the ground where she just couldn't get her feet under her, and thus could not get Shimmah under control. What new terror was this? Finally the shaking stopped. The black female drew a breath and gave a sharp bark - Shimmah's body was on autopilot and when her ears registered the authoritarian sound, her feet stopped but failed to take in account her momemtum.

Raka watched with barely disguised irritation as Shimmah went ass over teakettle. The young wolfess crawled to Raka and buried her face in her surrogate mother's chest, panting. The two lay for a moment, trying to get their bearings. Why did things always happen when she went out hunting? Raka thought wryly. And then remembered Byakko, and her grandkids. Oh no... She shoved Shimmah to her feet and the two ran over to the family den - Shimmah leading since Raka had forgotten the way.

No one there. Were they safe? Had they run? A howl summoned them to the centre of Nardir. Raka growled and continued sniffing the ground, trying to track her family. It was Shimmah who asked that maybe they'd find them there? The black female nodded and the two ran off.

"Lookum Raka they there!" Shimmah cried out. Relieved, Raka huffed and ran straight to them. She first went to Byakko, nuzzling him and checking him over for any injuries, then she gave Akutan a quick once over before going to Sara. Her daughter she licked on the cheek and then helped lick the pups, crooning softly under her breath to help them calm down.

Shimmah stood an uncomfortable distance away - as yet she hadn't been formally introduced to the whole clan, and she didn't know what to do. She puffed up her lightning marked ruff and tried to look helpful.


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