OOC Hey! It's Ruki! :D Been workin' on a new skin, which is why I haven't posted much, and it's finally done! Mostly anyway. Change it to Umber Fields and you should see all the fun. There are bound to be a few kinks in the display, so please tell me if there's anything wrong, or if something just looks odd to you, like if the font's too small. :C I'm thinkin' it might be. Staff ppl should pm me with 100x100 icons. Also the mini-profile circle images are 125x125. I thought they were 100x100 at first, but no, I forgot about the circle border edits. |D Couldn't have gotten it done without the codes from the people in the credits, so silent shoutout to them. Staytuned for more weird updates. Might do some re-arranging of the boards. Anywho, hope you like it!
OLD: 4/04 Ruki says: NEW SEASON! Spring has started! We might start advertising places again now that midterms are over for all of us, and posting is back up. Not exactly OOC news, but Enheit Alpha Sinead has PUPPIES. If you wanna adopt the last one, the adopt thread is HERE! Ody and Raven have their own rules for this, so read them and adopt a pup if y'all want. SPRANG BRAAAAKE.
2/26/15 WHY HELLO! Guess who it is again. Ruki. I've been busy condensing rules and tips into a handy updated guidebook here on THIS PAGE! with the help of my fellow staff buddies. It's super important to read and make sure you get all the fun info down. The newest rule is about ALPHA ACTIVITY, so be sure to read the Lands and Territories section. The gist of it is that yall leaders gotta post once a week. If you don't POOF. No more land for you. This is a new rule, but if you haven't posted within the next few days and haven't been active in a while, you best get on that 'cause yo' land's 'bout to be snatched.
IC Spring is here at last and the land is beginning to flourish with new life once more. Young animals are plentiful and slowly others are rousing out of hibernation. April showers rain down, and springtime flowers are budding out from their winter beds. SPRING will last from April 1st - June 1st
The scene had unfolded near the southernmost edge of her borders: where the sparse trees thinned and gradually gave way to rocky outcrops and shrubland stretching south. The tel-tail scent of blood lingered in the air, calling to any carnivore with a growling stomach that might have been in the area. If the brief scuffle hadn't attracted anyone then it was possible that the stench surely could. There could have been more a mess than there was, really, but the poor creature hadn't put up enough of a battle to warrant prolonged suffering or a messy kill. Ida had dispatched the young deer's life with a burst and a tackle and a swift clamp to the neck. It had been over quickly.
It were times like this she felt lucky stumbling across a lone and naive animal that hadn't yet mastered its surroundings, though she did hope any upstarts weren't dumb enough to cross into the nearby border. She might have been a relatively small wolf in comparison to some of Ravensbruck's residents but she certainly made up for it in moxie and a keen eye. Where others used brute strength she was more inclined to weaponize words and agile actions.
It hadn't been more than a few weeks since the she-wolf had staked her claim. It wasn't as if she'd come to this region expecting an unoccupied speck of land to fall under her nose this easily, but when it had she had not wasted any time in making her mark. The area wasn't near as expansive as some of the space larger packs held but it was enough for her and a few others to live comfortably if she so choosed. Nobody had yet to cross her path as it was and this day she was still as alone as when she had fled the chills of the north.
The victim of her hunger was quickly made a meal of as she scarfed down its sustenance, tearing away at the most tender and nutritious bits with swiftness. Ida might have possessed more confidence than could barely fit in her narrow body but she also wasn't foolish enough to think herself unconquerable. If some rowdy piece of work had been attracted by her kill and not discouraged by her show she could have easily lost it. Such was the way of the world and she didn't stop to savor the carcass as she would have liked.
She ate as much as could fill her belly and then unceremoniously stashed the rest under a tree. Really, it wasn't much a hiding spot, easily found if someone merely looked, but it would keep it from disappearing under the constant dusting of snow slowly falling from the heavens. There was enough for two more servings for a wolf of her lackluster size and she settled down under an adjacent tree to keep watch. Winter was coming and she'd be damned if she wandered off now and lost her prize to some unworthy, thick-headed intruder.
The snow fell in thin sheets, blanketing the world in white. As the massive silvery brute moved slowly across the land, he left bright specks of red in his wake, startlingly crimson against the ivory. Dark maroon dripped down his haunches, stemming from a wound he’d taken to his left flank near his hindquarters. It was a gash, undoubtedly deep and a tad bit wide, situated high on his haunch, nearly on his back. Each step caused a burning pain, feeling very much like what Rowan assumed fire would. Gritting his teeth again the irritating sensation, he pressed onwards, head bowed low as he plowed through the snow. He longed to find somewhere that he could wash the thick blood from his shining pelt, and if he was lucky he would find some useful herbs along the shore. He knew very little about healing plants, only what he’d seen the shaman of his last pack use whenever there was an injury, and he highly doubted that any shrubbery would be left alive with the cold weather and persistent snow. If he kept it clean, he would be alright, but that was easier said than done.
It was only when he came along the wide curve of a stream did he allow himself to breathe easier. It was frozen solid, the ice thicker where he stood, but perhaps if he followed it long enough he would find an area where it was thinner. Beginning his trek, Rowan was so focused on observing the ice that he didn’t catch the scent markers indicating that he had crossed into someone’s territory. Onwards he went, huge paws leaving deep prints in the snow, always followed by a splatter of red. It was still bleeding, incredulously, and Rowan’s lips pulled upwards into a snarl. He could remember so long ago, seemingly, when the little she-wolf he’d encountered in the mountains had joking warned him of slavers. He’d scowled contemptuously at her then, but she hadn’t been wrong. They’d come upon him while he feasted on a scrawny hair, all of them smaller than him, and yet their numbers were larger. Four of five of them he’d counted as they circled him and attacked. Their strategy had been admirable; one or two would distract him with feints while another leapt in to claw or bite at him, and then leaping away the moment he whirled, too quick to catch. But they’d been desperate, and he’d learned their game soon enough. He killed two of them before the other three faltered, seeming to reconsider. In the end they’d come after him again, and Rowan knew they must have been truly desperate for sklavins. One of them caught his flank, sinking teeth in to the gums, and that was when he’d fled. They were smaller than him and quicker, but his stamina was greater than theirs, and he used the landscape to evade them. All the days spent running the mountain paths in his youth had paid off; he’d escaped them, narrowly.
Now his hindleg twitched and trembled with protest as he went, but the stream seemed to be thinning. He came to a place where it looked particularly weak, driving his paws into the ice with all the force of his body before tumbling back as it blessedly cracked. Breathing hard from his labor, Rowan carefully laid down alongside the water, cautious not to fall in. He would surely freeze if he did, as the water was shockingly cold when he cupped it in his tongue and dribbled it down the wound. So cold, in fact, that it stung. When he finally finished washing the blood from the wound, he stood and stared around him, ice already beginning to crust where the fur parted from the gash. There was scent in the air that washed away the telltale scent of a claim: blood, fresh and hot somewhere. His stomach gave a noisy growl, but Rowan hesitated. There was a chance that it was a kill that had been abandoned, but there was also a chance that it was not. Already wounded, he had no interest in running headfirst into the paws of another irate wolf. But he needed to keep his strength up now, so cautiously he proceeded.
It did not take him long to find it. The carcass of a half-eaten deer lay beneath a tree with bare limbs like spindly claws. Rowan lurched forward, eager, but then he drew up quickly and stopped. Curled in the snow before it was a light colored femme, surely defending her kill, and suddenly Rowan realized his grave mistake. He had so foolishly entered someone’s territory, and his muscles tensed as he warred with himself – fight or flight? And then suddenly he caught the angle of a thin, elegant muzzle, the soft colors of the pelt, and the bright gray-blue eyes.
”Ida,”he said, the wind carrying his voice across the space. It was a statement, not a question, for now her scent came to him and he shook his head ruefully. He did not bother to try and hide the way his back leg trembled just slightly, or the way he avoided putting weight on it. It was quite sore now, and it would have likely done more harm than good if he tried to front and hide it. ”It’s fairly difficult to surprise me, but you’ve certainly managed. I didn’t expect to find anyone here…much less you.” As rude as his words might have sounded, his gruff tone giving them a hard edge, it was truly a compliment, and a hint of admiration shone in his bright eyes. She’d made a name for herself and found her a home after they’d parted, and even Rowan could not begrudge her for that.
She'd spotted the approach long before he spotted her. The silvery outline of the figure grew larger, more imposing with each lumbering step through the sparse trees and sea of snow. Tucked away under the low-hanging branches and in the dim light of clouded skies, the she-wolf must have been difficult to spot. Lean muscles jumped beneath her pelt, nearly forcing her upwards and either back or forward. She really wasn't sure what her plan of action should have been, but it didn't sit well in her full belly to face down what she had feared since the day she had claimed this land. She was faster, but they were bigger. And if she had been a lesser wolf she might have lost her calm at the sight. It was difficult, but she allowed herself to remain frozen where she was with a fading hope that the other hadn't seen her. Once she could discern whether or not they had, she would go from there.
At first it was the mere scent on the shifting winds that struck her, though for a prolonged moment the familiarity didn't click in her head. As they ambled nearer all that registered was that the figure was male and so much larger than her. Her mind swims in an ocean of crashing waves as she considered the myriad of possibilities and not all of them in her favor. She could spurt from her cover and leave the kill so she might fight another day, but that seemed a coward's way out and wouldn't stamp her mark on these lands so well. Ida was not a coward. She could also try and outsmart him, for in Ida's experience the other gender seemed the dull, thickheaded sort. And perceptive enough to catch it, it did not go unnoticed that he was limping, which surely tipped the scales. Fighting would have been dangerous but sometimes one had to take their chances to achieve great things.
And then, when he were just a few yards from her and frozen in place, the pieces found their way together. He was staring straight at her and it was only in this moment that Ida came the realization that she knew this wolf. "Rowan," it's said not a second after he'd uttered her own name. She does not try and mask the frown that falls over her features though she isn't all too sure how to process his sudden presence. She had not expected to see him again, after all. And if Ida were being honest, she hadn't spared the memory of him much thought. Should she be glad to find a friendly (she hoped) face where she before she thought him an enemy, or irked that he had crossed so unabashedly into her land?
"I think you allow yourself too many compliments, brute," the words are steely and so is her gaze, "it's been exceptionally easy." She had been much more docile and much more accommodating in their initial meeting far in the mountains. Now, with a home to protect and a kill to guard, Ida was not sure and not so unassuming of his intentions. For many seconds the she-wolf lay still where she was, regarding him with clear uncertainty. But he had not made a move to attack nor had he attempted to run away with her catch. And as her sharp gaze flicks over his form she notes the gash on his hip. It looked as if it had been haphazardly washed recently, though the chill had quickly formed icy crystals along the fur that rimmed the edges of the wound. And it was then that Ida concluded he probably wasn't looking for a fight in that condition.
Sliding a piercing gaze over his large, albeit injured frame to pick out any hint of deception, she finds none. Flicking her eyes back to his face, she finally allows a smile to break the tension that hung heavy in the air between them. He must have been hungry and called by the scent of blood on the wind. Yet she wasn't so sure if she felt inclined to give him any. The she-wolf allows a moment to consider why she should and even the lingering possibility that perhaps what stood before her was her first pack member. She hadn't a clue as to why Rowan had come searching these lands, but she also was not blind to what his arrival could mean. And indeed, the she-wolf had no qualms about jumping at every opportunity. Possessing the company of a hulking, stony male would surely ward off foolish intruders better than she could.
She doesn't divulge her thoughts to him, but she does raise to her paws. As calm as the slow and methodical sprinkle of snowflakes, Ida strolls away from her kill and under another tree a yard, maybe two away. "I suspect you came here looking for food. I'm feeling generous, so eat." Her tone is enough to suggest she was offering this only once. Maybe, if he didn't provoke her, she'd allow him shelter as well. Ida felt a bit conniving despite the fact that she was giving him her meal, but she was eager to see where this took her. There was certainly no harm in having him around. He was injured right now but he still had his jaws and his size that was enough to scare even a bear away. She muses over this as she watches him.
The surprise of seeing Ida was neither pleasant nor unpleasant. Rowan was uncertain of how she would reaction; they were not friends, after all, and he had boldly trespassing onto her land. He wasn’t overly concerned with her attacking due to the considerable size difference, but then again he was injured, and he saw her take not of it. He was vulnerable, as much as it irritated him to realize it, and fighting would likely worsen the injury or worse, re-open it. If it began to bleed again, Rowan wasn’t sure if he would be able to make it stop. Already the tiny icicles that clung to his pelt were proving to be irksome, occasionally jabbing the wound and sending a fresh wave of pain through his haunch. Indeed when she spoke, her voice was less that kind, and Rowan steeled himself for the encounter.
She stood, and Rowan instinctively took step back, widening the space between his legs as he took up a familiar defensive stance. And then she was speaking, tossing words towards him as she moved away from her kill. "I suspect you came here looking for food. I'm feeling generous, so eat.” Her attitude left much to be desired, and for a moment Rowan considered scoffing and turning away, his lips already beginning to pull upwards…but then he stopped. He desperately needed his strength, and to turn down her offer now would be beyond foolish. Relaxing just a fraction of an inch, he crept forward, inclining his head in polite thanks before digging into the kill. It was still warm, heating his empty belly seemingly from the inside out. As much as he wished to gorge himself and fill his stomach entirely, he stepped away after a moment, licking the blood from his lips. He’d left enough for at least another serving for her, for surely if she’d guarded it so carefully, she intended to eat more later.
The massive brute backed away and sat back on his haunches, observing Ida. The last thing he’d expected was to receive a welcome from her, although it was less than warm. ”How long have you reigned here?” he asked, straightforward as always. Rowan didn’t bother with niceties or chit chat when he truly preferred to get straight to the point of things. There were a million questions running through his mind, and he had plenty of time to ask them. It would be rude to leave so abruptly when she’d offered her hospitality, and Rowan didn’t particularly care to travel in his condition. He paused to twist and lick the hardened snow from his wound, huffing his agitation. It figured that he would be in this position, entirely at the mercy of the little she-wolf who sat before him. If he was lucky, she would offer him shelter, and he would be able to recover in peace. But there was always a chance that she would not, and the longer he traveled with his wound, the weaker and more prone to infection he would become.
A second thought stuck him then. He looked around, perhaps expecting to see another wolf or two come bounding across the snow. He glanced back towards Ida, adding as an afterthought, ”And do any others reside here with you?”
Ida was pleased to find that the brute was as smart as she'd given him credit for. The momentary hesitation had passed quickly and he had not denied her generous offer, filling his belly instead of letting stubbornness rule his emotions. And when he at last pulled back from the small feast his face was coated in dried blood like gruesome warpaint. Though the female was not a violent creature and was rather opposed to it should more peaceful means be available, she could not help but imagine it was the blood of her enemies that stained his fur. The idea was one that had great appeal to her, warming her under the coat, swarming her mind with his possibilities, and as his eyes finally locked with hers once more she let the corners of her muzzle tilt slightly upward. Only momentarily did her gaze flick down to the remains of the kill, impressed that enough remained to satiate her later. What a gentleman, she mused with great humor.
"Only a few weeks," she finally responds to his question. "It's somewhat small but bountiful enough. Seemed too ripe an opportunity to pass up." Why did she discern these details to the brute? Was she making an effort to recruit? He would be of great value to her. Yet if Ida were being honest, she had to admit to herself that half of her didn't expect him to remain. If he had turned and skulked away back the way he'd come she would have been offended but not at all surprised. This though... this was a pleasant turn of events. While luck might not have been on his side, perhaps it was on hers. Observing with a keen eye to the way he licked the hardening wound, she quirked a brow. "Can't say I've had the pleasure of anyone's company yet. But, then, the wolves in these lands seem hesitant to play the friendly neighbor. Can't say I blame them."
Rising from her spot beneath the bows of the tree, the she-wolf stretches out lean muscle with effort near cat-like, before swiftly gathering the remains of her kill. Its weight was greatly reduced now, no more than an unrecognizable tatter of bones and flesh that had once been a deer, which aided in her effort to haul it along. She offered the brute no more words to mull over - he wasn't much for them, anyway - and instead flicked her gaze with a beckoning call. Then she turns, trotting onward and deeper into the sparse woods of her territory. She spares no glance over her shoulder, assuming he would take her silent offer and follow or decide her aide was no longer worth it to him.
Her travel is near silent, brushing along the narrow, spindly trees, low underbrush, thinned snow until a well-concealed mound appears from the vegetation. It splits in two, both empty doorways covered lightly in near frozen and near dead vines and roots. It's unassuming, unimpressive even at first glance and it is not until her paws breach one of the entrances that she finally chances a look back. Dropping the kill to the threshold for a moment, she tosses over her shoulder in case he indeed had trailed after, "make yourself at home. I care not which den you use." Indeed, either of them were unremarkable. Nothing some effort and time won't fix, she thinks with the proud lift of her skull, searching the delicate woods for her guest before slipping inside with meal in jaw.
The words of the smaller she-wolf had Rowan snorting, casting a disdainful glance at his wound. The wolves he’d encountered weren’t friendly to say the least, and therefore he could not blame her for not yearning for their company. If he’d had it his way, he wouldn’t have encountered them in the first place, and then he wouldn’t have stood where he did, covered in snow and at the mercy of Ida’s hospitality. It made him feel weak, and that wasn’t a feeling that Rowan was used to experiencing. Being as large as he was, it was an odd turn of advents, putting him in a position that he’d never hoped to be in.
He glanced at Ida as she rose, a hint of curiosity sparking in him as she turned and gestured for him to follow. He hesitated for the briefest moment before he trudged after her, not daring to break the silence that stretched between them. It was pleasant in a way that she did not attempt to force conversation or wheedle questions out of him. Rowan had never been one for idle chit chat with strangers, and it seemed as if this female wasn’t either. Moreso, she wasn’t offended by his abrupt nature, something that was very much unfamiliar to him. She-wolves, he’d decided long ago, were dramatic creatures that flared at even the smallest hint of disdain. Ida, however, appeared to be different.
He allowed himself to be lead to her shelter, and he made no comment as he surveyed it, taking note of the way Mother Nature herself seemed to have formed the dens. They would certainly be warmer than the frigid air that bit at his pelt, and drier that the insufferable wet snow.
"Make yourself at home. I care not which den you use."
Silently Rowan watched as Ida disappeared beneath the mound of earth, his mind working. Normally he would not have hesitated to crawl into the opposite den far away from company so that he could lick his wounds and escape at the first possible opportunity without being heckled. Now, however, he frowned in consideration. She had behaved generously when she’d had no obligation to, and it was to her that Rowan would owe his life. With a soft sigh meant only for his own ears, he followed her into the den she’d chosen, settling himself against the wall furthest away from her. He was a considerably sized brute, and he did not want to impose on her space by drawing too near to her. Rowan turned to lick at his wounds, cleaning the ice from his pelt again and wincing at the throb of sharp, cold pain that lanced through his hip. It would heal cleanly if he kept it dry and clean, something he would certainly need Ida’s assistance for. Without the warmth of her offered dens and the prey that certainly filled her territory, he would be much worse off.
”Thank you,” he said after a moment, turning his pale blue eyes on her as he shifted his weight, getting comfortable. It was the first time he’d said it in years he realized, something that made a slight smirk pull at the corners of his lips. Then he sobered, considering the implication of the words he would utter next. It was a thought that had occurred to himself only moments before, but already it was settling in his bones, urging him to speak.
”Would you be opposed to me staying here and assisting you in exchange for your hospitality?” He asked, expression grave, as if he were asking for her first born child instead of shelter and a home.
Ida settles along the furthest wall of the space and drops the remains of her kill without a spare glance over the shoulder. If he did not turn away from her offer she would hear him trudge one way or the other soon enough. And so she settles down with the scraps, gnawing away at the remaining morsels that he had left for her. Admittedly, she was quite impressed that he had enough restraint to pull away from such a great meal. She knew too well the desperation brought forth by wounds and hunger.
It might a have seemed a foolish thing to turn her back on a strange male she knew so little about. He could easily have overpowered her or slain her if he wished, but Ida was no fool. There was caution and there was paranoia, and she certainly did not harbor enough of the latter. Caution, however, was still very much coursing her veins. Despite her eyes being elsewhere, acute ears were pinpointed behind her. And in the end, Ida had long since gathered the distinct impression this brute meant her no harm, as easily as he could have inflicted it. She more expected him to turn away grumbling than she did for him to try something funny, as if he couldn't be bothered.
When heavy footfall bounced off the confines of the den only then did she stop eating and cast her eyes over his frame. The she-wolf was slightly startled that he had taken the path she least expected him to tread. She did not think he would have turned her down - for surely he was not so stubborn or proud - but merely occupied the opposite shelter. Yet she was pleased by this unexpected outcome and mirrored the ghost of a smirk that danced between the two. "You are welcome, Rowan." No longer was her voice laced in quiet command or passiveness, but sincerity. Surely she could have lived with herself if she had turned him down, though Ida was not one for needless death. Plus, his presence gained her far more than it took away. With him here, even if briefly, she would surely face no opposition from her neighbors.
Inclined to return back to her meal once more, Ida found her head whipping back to the brute when he speaks again. Stay? She banishes the shock threatening to spill onto her features before it can betray her. Immediately her process of thought jumps from food to once again the possibilities. He was a strong male, defined with thick muscle, laced with a no-nonsense attitude and piercing, hard eyes that could ground near anyone dumb enough to oppose him. Oppose her. Yes, she certainly wanted him to stay. For not the first time she felt rather devious and conniving to so readily use what he had for her own whims and desires, though she was offering him valued things in return. "My hospitality can be extended to however long you wish to remain." Truly, she wanted him to heal and regain his strength for he was a far stranger and more welcome brute than many of his kind. She would not turn him away.
The male took up a large portion of the space and she noted his effort to remain as far from her as physically possible. She smirks to herself yet makes no comment and returns to the scraps for a moment before speaking again. "May I inquire as to how you received your wound?" She is not looking at him, curious to the answer yet not demanding he give her one. She had long since figured out he did not care for idle chit chat. "Was it very near my borders?"
"My hospitality can be extended to however long you wish to remain."
Her reassurance took much of the worry from Rowan’s mind. He nodded once, settling back against the wall of the cave and taking a moment to pick stray twigs and bits of ice from his fur. He’d fled through Schreien forest when the slaver-gatherers had attacked him, ignoring the snags of brambles and branches that reached for his thick fur. Only once he was neat and clean did he lay his large head on his paws, watching Ida as she picked at the remains of her meal. He was unsure of how long he would stay; long enough to regain his strength, certainly, but what then? It wasn’t as if he had anywhere else to go; he certainly would not go to Irrsin or Einheit after the rumors he’d heard, and he would not dare venture to Groavche or Suden when two brutes large enough to rival his own size reigned. Here, where he had been welcomed by Ida, seemed to be the smartest of choices should he desire a permanent home.
"May I inquire as to how you received your wound? Was it very near my borders?"
Rowan glanced up to find that her eyes were not on him; indeed she seemed disinterested in whether or not he responded to her, but it was information that would be useful to her, so Rowan did not scowl or scoff. He shifted his weight just slightly, shaking his head as he did so despite the fact that her eyes were not on him.
”No, not terribly close. A group of slave-gatherers spotted me as I was passing Auktion Rock,” he said, frowning to himself. ”I assumed that I’d given the place a wide enough berth, but I believe they were searching for loners to enslave when they found me. I killed two of the five before running.”
A spark of anger lit his gaze as he reflected on the moment they’d approached him, circling him like a buzzard wheeled over its prey. They’d been a disgusting pack of mongrels, leering at him and spitting insults, but there had been too many for him to take alone despite his size. He glanced up at Ida again, gesturing east with a sweep of his paws. ”I fled through the Schreien forest, but I was careful to loop around near the mountains before venturing here. I’m certain that they didn’t follow.”
Rowan was thorough in those things, always. He had been trained to serve as a bodyguard of types after all, and he was careful in everything that he did. He inclined his head just slightly, beginning to be swept away by his thoughts before he stopped and glanced at Ida again, a new thought occurring to him.
”Where do you stand with slavery?” He asked, careful to keep his voice neutral. Until he learned of her views, he would not dare offend her. ”Do you desire to keep them? Or otherwise?” It was a question that had not plagued him before, although he realized it should have been asked long ago.
"A group of slave-gatherers spotted me as I was passing Auktion Rock.”
A small smile slipped across her maw when he said this, though it was without humor or malice. Finally her head inclines towards him and the she-wolf gives him a long, hard yet curious look, interest piqued by his depiction of events. After their last meeting and before her claim of Osten she had ambled the way of Auktion Rock, only to turn south long before she got there. Ida would be lying to herself if she said she wasn't afraid of the tales heard of free wolves falling victim to slavers, though she liked to think it was her own wits that had pointed her farther from that place. She wanted to tell him that if he thought he gave a wide enough birth, he should have tripled it, but she remains silent. He had his own mind and his own reasons and he did not need her jests or lectures. And really, all that mattered is that he had escaped with his life, that he had not lead the mongrels here. Surely he would not go back now. And surely, it would tempt him to stay.
"Slaves are of little concern to me at this moment," said the she-wolf honestly, "though admittedly I do not adhere to violence when it is not needed, something slavers and some of these dominors could learn. But many of the slaves in this place lead good lives, secure in their borders with full belies and comrades." She watches Rowan closely to catch any hint that what she said might irk him, but she did not fear her own opinion over the matter. "I have heard many horrific stories of what goes on at Auktion Rock. Perhaps someday I will go there to see for myself, once I am known well enough not to fall prey. If the stories of the atrocities are indeed true I would like to improve conditions. Starvation and violence only do so much and some dominors in these lands are biting themselves in the foot. Surely they could do better with healthy subjects. Trust, not fear, is the foundation of a pack."
Ida had only been in Ravensbruck a few months, had only owned Osten a few weeks, yet her goals for the future were quickly taking form. She wished to build a pack; a pack strong where all knew their place and cherished their home and leaders, but did not cower before them without cause. She did not think owning slaves in itself wrong, only the way the trade was executed. If her members respected her, loved her in some way, looked up to her, she would have a far stronger backing than if she instilled fear in their hearts and minds for merely being what they were.
Rising to her paws briefly, Ida stretches long her back and toes before circling in the opposite corner of the brute and laying once more. There were no edible bits left of the kill and she would dispose of it when next she left the den. For now, she was content to merely lay in the warmth, far from the cold. And even though Rowan was adamant about remaining as far from her as possible, she found that his large form still made an excellent heater. "I think yes, I will own them," she finally goes on, resting her head upon her paws and letting her eyes drift slowly, "but I will not abuse them."
Rowan listened to her speak without so much as a nod or a shake of his head, giving no indication of how he perceived her words. Truthfully he cared little for the slave business. He did not hate it, nor did he actively support it. He was indifferent, much like he was about everything else in his life. He found that he could not muster up the energy to care even if he had wanted it; in fact, he had never thought much about it before. But here, laying in the cave with what he could loosely consider to be his new alpha, he thought it was of some importance. If he did stay, and if Rowan knew himself then he thought that he would, he would obey and follow her in whatever she decided. Still, it was almost a relief to hear her reassuring words.
"I think yes, I will own them, but I will not abuse them."
It was only then that he nodded, despite that fact that her eyes were closed. It was the best answer that she could have given under the present circumstances. Despite his lack of concern for the slaves, it would be easier if they were not treated harshly right beneath his nose. He admired her all the more for it; he had seen how most alphas and dominors treated their sklavins, and he had seen the hungry look in the gatherers eyes as they’d gauged his size and usefulness.
”We did not keep slaves, far north,” he said quietly. It was surprisingly difficult for him to talk about his past life, despite the fact that he had suffered no great trauma. Perhaps it was from a lack of never speaking of it before. He had never felt inclined to explain himself to anyone, and yet with Ida, it was as if something wanted to speak to her. If he would serve her, he would have to redeem his previous terrible behavior. While he might never be warm to her, he would at least be amiable. To an extent. ”It is a practice that I have seen very little outside of Ravensbruck. We had attendants who would willingly serve the larger packs, like the one in which I was sent to by my father. I saw them often and they were not unhappy. That’s why it is such a strange notion to me, this slavery thing.”
He shrugged his large shoulders, laying his head on his large paws. The den was pleasantly warmer than the outside world, and he was comfortable as he laid there in silence, pale blue eyes half-lidded as he thought. He could see himself getting used to this strange land with time. It was not so different after all.
”I have no complaints about you keeping slaves, especially if you will treat them fairly,” he said after a moment, before echoing the words that he had spoken to his queen so many times in the past, before the sickness took her. ”I protect and serve.”