One group stands alone against an army of demons created by dark mages to wipe out the planet. And the story begins...
 
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 Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)

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PostSubject: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sat May 16, 2009 11:09 pm



Prologue

Long ago as the last ice age was melting, humans were beginning to make their marks on history. Most lived in villages, and they sought power. They believed animals had powers beyond their own, so village mages captured and tried to utilize their power. Instead they created monsters out of these animals, and did nothing to stop them. They let the demons free into the wild, and most humans refrained from creating any more of them.

But, however, a small group of mages created some of the most powerful demons the world had seen - and sent them out to destroy every other bit of life. But one group decides to come together in an attempt to stop them.

And the story begins...
-------------------------
Character Name Pronunciation and Species List

Dire Wolves (Canis dirus)
Dzetre (d-ZIT-ray)
Nanook (na-NUK)
Kaze (KA-zay)
Dyrej (dare-EH-j)
Jager (YAY-jur)

Saber-Tooth Cats (Smilodon fatalis)
Ratri (RAT-ree)
Razi (RAW-zee)
Zhar (Zar)

Short-faced Bear (Arctodus simus)
Haseo (Ha-SEE-yo)
Konque (CON-Que)

Foxes
Shira (SHY-Ra)

Cave Lion (Panthera leo atrox)
Sutekh (SOO-tek)

Auroch (Bos primigenius)
Asyro (uhs-EYE-roe)

Chapter Directory






UPDATES

-There is now a pronunciation guide and size chart in case you get confused with all the funny names.
-ALL chapters are being rewritten and reposted.
-From chapter 7 and up, the chapter banners will be clickable so you can skip to the page of the chapter you want!
-Retaliation's SECOND birthday is coming up!
-Chapter 7 is up! Finally! Very Happy

* If you have any questions or comments you would rather not post here, send me an IM (over MSN only) or email me at (wolfiedude@hotmail.com).


Last edited by Wolfie on Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:51 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed May 20, 2009 3:10 am



The air over the forest seemed still and dead. Mighty conifers rose into the air high above the ground, as if reaching for the sun that made the blanket of snow resting on the forest floor glitter. Every now and then a mound of snow would fall from a tree to the ground with a muffled thud, which quivered through the air like the boom of distant thunder. It seemed to be the only sound in the stillness that swallowed the woods.

“This snow will melt soon,” a growl said, splitting the silence. A large wolf demon lay in the snow, his brown, red-tinted fur standing out against the frozen ground.

“Perhaps, Dzetre,” a larger saber-tooth cat demon said as he flexed his claws in the soft earth. His fur was white and his eyes cold, like the snow itself. He shot a glance toward another massive wolf demon with jet-black fur. “Quit fooling around, Jager.”

“I’m hungry, Zhar,” the demon complained. “And these flies... they’re getting stuck in my fur.”

"Quiet, you two," Dzetre hissed, turning his head toward the west. In the distance, a thick ice that coated the surface of the river was splitting apart. Spring was well on its way.

Dzetre stood up and shook himself, ridding his pelt of snow. With a grunt he turned, walking toward the river for a drink. Zhar lumbered after him in a considerably quiet manner, especially for his size, and Jager ran ahead, srtetching out his tired limbs.

Zhar looked down into the glittering water while Dzetre leaned down to lap up the refreshing substance. Every now and then a quick flash told Zhar that the salmon were returning. It reminded him that the time of renewal was here – it was like the forest was coming back to life. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of something disturbing the bracken upriver.

“....Do you hear that?"

* * *

A young dire wolf with a beautiful coat trotted quickly through the bushes, not worrying much about what could be listening. This creature, with the true markings of the Wolf, had been wandering alone for some time. His family had been ambushed by humans and he wasn't able to find them afterwards. He had a dark personality, most likely from being alone for so long.

Looking around cautiously to make sure the coast was clear, the wolf walked out from the safe haven the foliage provided into the clearing – just a few yards across to the river. But even a few yards could mean danger. A few seconds could mean death. He had to be prepared.

He began to drink his fill when he heard a hungry growl from behind him. He turned around, only to miss by a mere whisker's length the enormous paw of Zhar. Jumping back in surprise, the monstrous cat started toward him.

'W-What in the world is that thing?!' the wolf thought, backing out onto the ice. He soon realized it was a mistake.

“Son of a wolf,” he mumbled angrily.

Zhar slammed one of his paws onto the weakened ice by the bank. Cracks began to form and chunks began to split off and flow downstream. A frightened snarl was the last the demon heard as the wolf disappeared in the water and under the ice. A growl of satisfaction, and Zhar was off again.

Another dire wolf was hiding downstream in the bushes, blending in perfectly with his pure white coat. He had seen the whole thing and was questioning whether to help the poor soul that may have already drowned. He waited until a trace of fur appeared in an opening in the ice before standing up to go help the drowning wolf.

Something, however, stopped him. A streak of golden-brown flashed out of the trees, faster than the white wolf could ever imagine, snapped its two large fangs over the drowning wolf's neck, and leaped, clearing the gap in the ice in a single jump. It landed on the other side of the ice and jumped onto the rocky shore before dropping the waterlogged wolf's numb body on the ground. The saber-tooth cat unhinged its powerful jaws and aimed for the fatal blow.

“Wait, don’t kill him!”

To be continued...

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed May 20, 2009 3:15 am



Scarlet drops of blood dripped onto the pebbles on the riverbank. The attacker raised his head to look at the snow-white wolf, whose fur was now damp with spray from the river. The smilodon's eyes flashed with anger and his two long sabers glistened in the sunlight.

“Survival of the fittest," the cat hissed bitterly.

“If you kill him," the white wolf stammered, "that demon might come back. You saw him, didn't you? He'll kill us."

'That's just what we need,' the soaking dire wolf thought sarcastically. He stood up slowly and hung his head, the water making his pelt heavy. He looked furtively at the smaller white canine.

"Who are you, Wolf?"

“My name’s Nanook,” the wolf replied, giving a questioning glance to the bulky cat.

“Ratri," the smilodon growled. The angry facade he put on hid the enthusiasm he felt for being the center of attention. "And what would be the name of my potential supper?"

“Dyrej," the young wolf stated. "Are you a... saber-tooth? Haven't seen one of those for a long time..." he said thoughtfully. "I would thank you for saving me if I knew it wasn't so you could kill me."

“Since killing you would make me no better than those low-life demons," Ratri said, "I'll spare you. For now."

“Yeah. Thanks."

Dyrej moved forward on his own power, heading for the shelter of the trees. When the two back at the river didn't budge, he called out, "Well? Come on! Those demons might come back!"

Nanook loped after Dyrej and Ratri followed a bit less enthusiastically, staring at the ground in shame. These two were so forgiving to someone they didn't know... even after he almost killed one of them?

About an hour and a half after traveling away from the river, Nanook's stomach growled. He trailed off from the other two, who he knew would wait for him. Crouching behind a bush, he saw just what he needed – a plump squirrel, having just emerged from its home in the trees to forage for food. Nanook crouched, camouflaged by his coat, and crept forward. He then leaped over the bush and snapped the squirrel up into his jaws, laying down to eat with a satisfied "huff".

Another wolf about Nanook's age had heard the intruders trespassing on his territory and had gone to confront them. Enraged at the sight of one of them killing his prey on his land, the wolf readily attacked the unsuspecting Nanook.

"Get out of my territory!" the wolf snarled, pinning Nanook to the ground.

Nanook stared at him with his tail in between his legs and his ears flattened against his head, whimpering apologetically. The wolf felt bad about spooking a younger one like Nanook, but he had no choice. He knew he had to display dominance to protect what was his, or he could end up like his father. “Get off my land. And tell your pack the same.”

“I don’t have a pack. My friends Ratri and Dyrej and I are heading to the valley, where it's safe from the demons. They attacked us. Dyrej almost drowned. He's a dire wolf. And Ratri, he's a saber-tooth. You should see the size of his teeth! I'm surprised he can even talk!" Nanook rambled. He hung his head a bit. "S-Sorry. I'm rambling. We'll just be going... the valley should be out of your territory."

The wolf began to feel ashamed for what he had done. "Listen, wolf... my name is Kaze. Allow me to escort you to the valley."

_______________________________________________________________________

“All taken care of,” Zhar said as he walked back to Dzetre and Jager. Dzetre nodded and shook out his pelt.

“Now, what do we do to pass the time...?” Dzetre wondered aloud.

"There is a human village around here," Jager said. "East of here, to be precise."

“Then let's go," Dzetre growled. “Besides. I think some of the... others might be there.”

“The others?” Zhar said. He smirked, laughing slowly and deeply. “Then let’s go.”

_______________________________________________________________________

“Say... doesn't that smell like smoke?" Kaze asked. "You know. Smells like one of those human villages."

“Smells like they just got back from a hunt,” Dyrej said. “Smells like... saber-tooth.”

“What?” Ratri said angrily. “Let’s go; hurry up!”

The cat bolted off through the trees, with Nanook, Dyrej, and the newly-added Kaze in pursuit. As soon as they came in sight of the village, Nanook, Dyrej, and Kaze crouched in some bushes. Ratri, however, ran straight into the village. Nanook looked at Dyrej and sighed. “Idiot...”

To be continued...

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed May 20, 2009 10:21 pm

I like it. Now I really want to go on the RP

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed May 20, 2009 10:48 pm

Yay! God I missed this. Haha. I love Dyrej and his bad attitude...cuz he's me! lol! Keep going Wolfie, I can't wait to get to some new chapters I've yet to see! Haha. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:13 pm



“Kaze? ... KAZE!"

Kaze heard his name, and he was immediately drawn back to the present.

"What's wrong?" Nanook asked.

"This village..." Kaze mumbled. "I lived her when I was younger. Perhaps... perhaps some of the humans may still recognize me."

Ignoring Nanook's shouts to stop, Kaze stood up and walked farther down from where Ratri had entered. No need to attract more attention than necessary. He walked into the busy little village that was lined with Indian-style huts and men and women tending to business. He walked up slowly to an eight year-old whom he recognized from earlier years. The father watched quietly from a distance, seeing how close in proximity the wolf was from his son. When Kaze licked the boy's cheek, the father snapped, "Get away from my son!"

"Now," Dyrej membled to Nanook, his attention turning back to Ratri.

Dyrej ran out into the village and picked out the closest target. He jumped through the air skillfully and landed on the man's back, knocking him to the ground. He grabbed hold of the human's arm in his teeth and shook it violently from side to side. Nanook followed the invasion.

The father of the son picked up a spear and lunged for Kaze. The wolf hopped from side to side, dodging each potentially fatal blow until he saw an opening for an attack. Seizing the chance, he leaped onto the man and pinned him to the ground, the force knocking the spear away. Kaze bit down on the man's neck and began to suffocate him.

Ratri was standing over a wounded man as soldiers from the village began to circle him with bows and spears. Just before they commenced an attack, however, a little human "cub" rushed over to Ratri, squealing with laughter and wrapping his arms around the big cat's neck. Grasping the child's arm lightly in between his teeth, Ratri yelled, "Don't move, or I'll kill him!"

Watching everything carefully, eyes darting back and forth, another saber-tooth stood at the edge of the treeline. Her steel-bound muscles flexed, eager and ready to pounce. 'A wolf and a saber-tooth fighting? That's odd... unless they're here by coincidence.'

The soldiers stopped dead in their tracks. All they could hear was an angry hiss from the cat, but they knew Ratri was holding the child hostage. The she-cat's eyes gleamed in approval from her hiding spot.

Dyrej barked when a spear narrowly missed his chest. He dove at the man who had thrown it; biting at his feet and making him fall. Hopping atop the man's stomach, he called to Ratri, "Hey, Cat! Look over there! Above the fire!"

Ratri stopped watching the small crowd to catch a glimpse of a large male saber-tooth roasting over the fire in the middle of the village, already skinned and prepared. He snarled in anger and lunged forward toward one of the humans. However, the hidden she-cat stepped out into the open and let out an ear-splitting roar. Ratri turned quickly.

“Stand down, Miss,” Ratri said kindly.

“No way, big boy,” she purred, stepping up to him, almost as a challenge. “See that hunk of meat over there?”

Ratri turned his gaze to the carcass resting above the fire.

“That was my man,” the cat replied. “This is my fight.”

Figuring he had no other choice, Ratri nodded slightly and backed up a little to watch.

“What do you know?” the female said with a sly smirk. “You’re smarter than you look.”

“Thanks,” Ratri mumbled.

With a low growl, the female struck out her paw, sending a fatal blow to the man she recognized as the one who sent the killing spear to her former mate. The force of her attack crushed his chest, half the ribs on the left side, and his spine. The man fell, writhed for a few seconds, stiffened from paralysis, then died. The female yelled before the others could attack, “There! Kill them now!”

‘It’s my turn now,’ Ratri thought. He rushed in to a selected three men and pounced on one, sinking his two large fangs into its neck. Almost instantly the other two lunged at him with spears, and Ratri struck the closest one with his paw, snapping the man's neck in half. He turned to the other one and just barely missed the spear aimed at his chest. Ratri moved quickly, and then leaped at the man. The man drew the spear across himself defensively like a staff, but Ratri broke it in half with a swing of his paw. In midair, he bit the man's neck and dug his claws into the back of his neck to hold it in place while he cut the jugular vein. After he did so, he jumped away and landed on the ground as the man fell to the ground, dead... All in one leap.

“Bravo, Cat!” Dyrej said, diving beneath Ratri, “But watch your short little tail!”

Ratri looked back at his tail. ‘It’s not that short, is it?’

Dyrej came up on the other side of Ratri and pounced at a man with his spear raised high, bringing it down at the saber-tooth. The wolf jumped and snapped his teeth at the human, hitting him and knocking down, which also sent Dyrej crashing down onto the man. The spear pierced the wolf’s ribcage from the side, but he ripped at the man’s stomach. At the same time, Kaze saw one of the humans with a bow. He pounced on the human, snarling as he felt another arrow rip through his shoulder. He bit his attacker’s neck quickly and cleanly killing him instantly. He backed up slightly wincing from the pain in his right shoulder.

Ratri growled as the humans retreated. He sat down and lifted his paw, closing his teeth around a spearhead embedded deep into his paw that had broken off from a spear. About a third of it was sticking out from his paw. His teeth slipped, but after a second attempt he pulled the sharp rock out. He shook a bit of blood off his paw. He heard a voice next to him. “Does it hurt?”

The female cat looked at his paw. He half-lied, “Not much. It will in the morning.”

Kaze pulled and arrow out of his shoulder with his teeth. Dyrej walked over to them with the spear jutting out of his ribcage as he stood by the fire. “I don’t think it hit anything major... but it hurts.”

Within a few minutes, Kaze dragged a dead human to them. “Time to eat.”

“Humans are odd-looking,” Nanook said with a mouthful.

“Nothing but fat,” Kaze joked. He continued chewing until all that was left was a bone. He tossed it away seeing it hit a tree. Kaze sniffed the air. He smelt a familiar scent but soon shook it off. ‘Nope, couldn't be. He wouldn't come out here. Even if he was looking for food....well he might. The valley leads to a river where salmon are.’

Meanwhile, a short-faced bear walked along the woods. He stopped to sniff the air. He smelled blood. ‘It was a nice fight, I presume. Wonder who won. Maybe the humans did, after all these years. Always seems to be the rogue wolf packs that do.’

The bear dug his claws into the snow. It was getting thinner day by day. He struck out at a tree and watched some berries fall to the ground, swiping them up into his mouth with his tongue. ‘Greatest berries ever.’

The bear continued walking. He walked into the village, seeing blood splattered across the ground. He spotted Kaze. ‘Does he not remember me? How sad. My own grandson doesn’t even remember me.’

The bear walked up to Kaze and rolled him over with one of his large paws. His only reply was, “Go away bear. I don’t have any business with you.”

“Yeah, get outta here,” Ratri said. The bear roared at him and Ratri’s fur puffed out. The bear wiggled his ears at Kaze, then wiggled the wolf’s ears with his paws. Kaze looked surprised for a moment. “Grandpa?”

“I think I’m missing something here,” Ratri said. He shook himself and let his fur rest.

"This is my grandfather, Papa Bear. Well his real name is Haseo, but we call him Papa Bear. After my father died, Papa Bear met me and my pups of siblings. He also met my mother. He saw how distraught we were and decided to help get us back on our feet." He said to him.

Haseo lay on his stomach. "Yep, your mother says hi as well. Now that you have your own territory with your brother and sister she doesn't see much of you."

“Interesting,” Razi said thoughtfully. She looked at Ratri. “This whole group is.”

Ratri turned to the female saber-tooth. “Will you join us, Miss?”

“A pretty girl like me,” she said with a slight purr, “get my paws dirty? Hm... I don’t think so. And my name is Razi.”

“My name is Ratri,” he said, circling her. “I’m the leader of this pack of scraps.”

“Since when!” Dyrej said.

“If he dies,” Razi said, looking at Dyrej, “I call dibs.”

Ratri looked at Dyrej. The wound on the wolf’s side hadn’t stopped bleeding for a long time, and still blood dripped silently onto the ground. Ratri thought for a moment, trying to recall what to use to stop bleeding. He paced back and forth a bit for a time, staring at the ground, looking up, at Dyrej’s wound, and back at the ground. The pattern was completed a few times before he stopped and said, “Wait here. I think I know how to stop the bleeding.”

He trotted out to the woods. Busy thinking and looking at the trees, he did not hear the soft breathing of a fox crouched behind a bush. He stumbled over the fox.

“You should watch where you’re going,” the she-fox said bitterly.

Ratri growled, and then began running again, remembering his former quest. Without him noticing, the she-fox followed curiously. Ratri searched the trees and sniffed the leaves on the ground until he found a cypress tree. He used his powerful back legs to jump and swat some fresh leave down, which he took in between his teeth and carried over to a flat rock. He set them down and mashed them up. He made a quick trip to a puddle across the ground left over from the snow and lapped some up with his tongue. He didn’t swallow it, instead brought it back to the mashed-up leaves and mixed it in. After the mash was completed, he took it in his mouth and ran off. The fox still followed. Ratri ran into the village and up to Dyrej, where he set the mix down and began patting some onto the bleeding wound with his paw. He left it after it was covered, but a bit of blood seeped through. It would dry later, and the next task was to find out about the fox, who had stayed behind at the entrance to the village.

Ratri walked out to the edge of the village where he spotted her. He looked down at her. “What is your purpose?”

“N-Nothing really,” the she-fox replied. “I’m just wandering around. Lonely. Name’s Shira.”

“We’re forming a group,” Ratri explained, “to come together and take down a group of demons that are trying to destroy us. Will you join us?”

Shira said with a light laugh, “Since you’re begging me... sure.”

“I’ll help out too,” Haseo said, walking up to them, after hearing their conversation. “Least I could to help out my grandson.”

The three walked back to the group who was just finishing their meal.

“We should get going,” Nanook said, “before the demons come back.”

Before heading back out into the forest with the group, Ratri hopped up onto a pile of demolished wood from an old hut to get everyone’s attention.

“This group we’ve formed,” he said. “I thought... perhaps if we all come together and gather more like us, we could take down the demons trying to destroy us. I mean it’s possible, as long as there’s motivation like ours within our kind, and someone’s got to stop these demons... right?”

“Well, I'm all for it!" Shira commented. "With all of our powers combined, we could all work together and take the demons out one by one!"

"Listen to me cat. We alone are too weak... but... the demons...trying to destroy everything....aren't there others besides them... demons not wanting to kill everything? What if...what if they could be convinced to..." Dyrej cleared his throat and looked up, "What if not all the demons are trying to kill us...and what if they can be convinced to help us?”

“Exactly,” Ratri said.

“Where are we going to find them?” Dyrej growled.

“On the way to the valley,” Ratri replied.

“Why not,” Dyrej said. “I’m in.”

“I guess we can beat them,” Kaze groaned. “But I’m not 100% with you on this.”

“Then so be it!” Ratri said confidently, looking over the group. “Now begins our retaliation!”

Nanook sat down and lifted his head to the sky. He howled. Kaze, Shira and Dyrej joined him, and they were followed by roars from Haseo, Ratri and Razi.

This is where the real story begins.

To be continued...

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:25 pm



Nanook lifted his nose and looked around the forest. He smelled the air – fresh from the melting snow, as if it had just rained. He spotted a young peccary shoat trotting across the clearing in the distance to follow its mother. Ratri’s ears twitched as the group walked, picking up all the sounds the forest had to offer. Scuttling among the damp, leave-covered forest floor told him that the prey was returning quickly from their winter burrows to gather food. It also told him to be aware of bears, which had awakened from their hibernation. The distant call of an elk signaled the return to life in the forest.

The small orange fox ran ahead of everyone, stretching her legs out and enjoying the sun. She stopped every now and then to let everyone catch up.

“You shouldn’t do that Foxy,” Kaze said with an apparent nickname in mind, “you’ll get tired.”

“This is how I am,” Shira said, “and I can’t change- oh, shiny!”

“Psh, shiny objects,” Kaze said with a laugh as Shira came back with a spearhead.

Shira looked at him, and then sped up again.

“Think you’re fast, Foxy?” he said, catching up to her.

“Of course,” she said, passing him.

“Be careful!” Ratri yelled. They nodded.

Kaze eventually advanced ahead of Shira, just slightly. Shira glanced at him, turned to look in front of herself, then at him again. She jumped, landed on his head, jumped off and ran out in front of him. Kaze, however, was at his top speed. He stopped and looked at Shira, panting, “Alright. You win.”

When the rest of the group caught up, they found the fox and the wolf sitting next to each other, both worn out already. The bear stopped next to Ratri. “Have fun, children?”

Kaze grinned sheepishly. “She’s a tough opponent.”

“It was fun though,” Shira said.

“You alright Pappy?” Kaze said, eyeing Haseo.

“Oh, yeah,” Haseo said, shaking his head slightly. ‘I’m way too old for this. How will I help the team fend off demons? If I get swatted by that ole’ demon that gave me a one-two back in my day, I’m done for...’

“What’s on your mind, Bear,” Shira asked.

“Nothing,” he said after looking down from the sky.

“Pondering about the mysteries of the world?” Ratri asked, knowing what he was thinking and helping him to reassure Shira.

“Ratri, can I talk to you over here?”

Ratri looked at Haseo, half-surprised from not being called ‘Cat’. He followed the bear for a bit through the trees until they were out of earshot of the others.

"Ratri, if I die facing the Demons... Help take care of Kaze for me please. I don't want him to bum out and die himself." Haseo said to him. His face was emotionless and his eyes were pretty much lifeless from the look of another. “We both know it. This'll be my last fight. I am way too old to be going on like I used too. But then again I'm not going to just sit back while my friends get a beating. I'll fight alongside you guys. But just in case I do fall, please take Kaze in as a child. I took him in as my own when his Father died. And he might need another 'Father' to help him get by.”

Ratri purred lightly and brushed against one of the bear’s large arms reassuringly. “I will. Or try my best to, at that.”

“Thank you,” Haseo said. He started walking back to the group, and then motioned his head toward Ratri in a silent ‘let’s go’.

________________________________________________________________________

Dyrej lifted his nose and sniffed the air. The sun was still high in the expansive blue sky, but it was beginning gradually to fall. Nanook copied him, making himself feel a little older. That is, until he caught a strange scent. He shook it off, but apparently Dyrej caught it too. ‘Hope it’s not a demon...’

“There’s a strange scent in the air,” Nanook said to Dyrej and Haseo.

Haseo looked at him and nodded. Dyrej looked at both of them. “Yeah, I smell it too.”

“Nanook, Kaze, and Shira,” Ratri said. “You three go check it out.”

Nanook called leader for himself. With his tail raised, happy to be the leader of anything, even a small platoon of three, he trotted into the woods. He remembered that with his white pelt he could probably be seen a mile away, so he crouched and crept forward. Kaze had already been crouching until his stomach about touched the ground and Shira was short enough to simply follow quietly in their footsteps. It wasn’t long before Nanook spotted two large figures in a clearing. One looked like a thin, oversized auroch, and the other looked like a very large wolf. Nanook whimpered.

“What’s this?” The horse-like demon said, spotting Nanook. Nanook stood up and snarled, and his hackles rose.

“They’ve found something,” Ratri said to Haseo quickly. They ran after the source of Nanook’s snarling.

‘They haven’t seen Shira or Kaze yet,’ Nanook thought. He jumped out and ran at the horse-like demon.

The other demon bared his fangs at Nanook, and the horse demon simply said, “So... we’re a threat?”

Nanook stopped suddenly. “You’re one of them, aren’t you...? One of the demons trying to kill everyone!”

“A demon, yes,” The horse-like of the two stated.

Nanook ran at the dog demon with a growl and snapped at him.

’Stupid mutt,’ Ratri thought, hiding in the bushes next to Haseo. ‘He’s going to get himself killed...’

The dog demon moved out of the way. The horse demon looked at Nanook. “We’re not a part of that.”

“A demon not tearing things down?” Kaze growled, standing up. “Seems pretty farfetched to me.”

“Don’t you dare make false accusations,” the dog demon snarled.

“Wait,” Ratri said, stepping out into the open. All eyes were on him as he explained how they were trying to gather more to try and take down the demons, how, where they were heading, and lastly, why the two new-found demons should join them. After a long moment of considering, the horse demon decided to speak up.

“...We don’t think it would be a good idea to join you,” he said. Both the dog demon and the horse demons walked away.

________________________________________________________________________

A few hours later after continuing to the valley, the sun began to sink in the sky. The group, disappointed from the loss at gaining such a great amount of power, decided to stop for a rest. Nanook remembered last time, and raised his head to sniff the air. A few others followed. ‘Another odd smell...’

Confusion started to settle within the group. Another scent? Obviously it wasn’t the demons again. But whatever it was, Shira seemed to recognize it but couldn’t recall exactly what it was. She looked at Ratri and Dyrej, who were sharing their thoughts about whether or not to keep going the way they were heading or to try and go around the scent.

Shira listened to them for a moment, and then looked around. She trotted farther into the woods, taking the matters of finding the source of this new mystery into her own paws. She stopped occasionally to sniff the ground. Her ears swiveled back, catching the sounds of a bleat of an Auroch, but figured it wasn’t much of a threat, as long as she didn’t try anything stupid around it. She kept walking silently, quickly, as sly as only a fox could.

She stopped as she reached a clearing where the density of the trees began to fade and boulders dotted the horizon. She looked around and down at the ground, where a shadow formed from a tall boulder, that extended for several yards. She looked up to see what the shadow was; expecting to be blinded by the sun, but something large was blocking it. Sitting atop the large boulder was a large animal that almost looked like Ratri, but much bigger. The animal also lacked the two sabers, but made up for it in size. A set of elongated fur sat around the animal’s neck and blew in the wind. The animal, which Shira guessed was some sort of cat, raised its head and let out an ear-splitting roar and jumped down from the boulder in front of the fox and started walking toward her. Shira crouched and started to back up slowly.

“Uh yeah, I know you’re probably mad and everything that I disturbed you,” she began, he voice shaking. “I’ll just, um; I’ll just be going now...”

“I don’t think so,” the cat said with a growl.

“Hey!”

The cat looked to the side. Ratri and the group had heard the roar. Ratri stopped in front of the cat.

“That’s a cave lion,” Haseo said. “Not many of them left.”

“What a strange little group,” the lion commented, looking at them all. “What is your purpose?”

“We’re joining together to try and stop the demons,” Ratri said once again. “The ones trying to destroy everything. We’re traveling around, gathering more like us. Or... trying to.”

“That’s very interesting,” the lion said to himself. He pondered several moments before saying, “My name is Sutekh.”

Nanook’s eyes lit up, thinking for a moment that they would have another one added to their group.

“I’ll join your group,” Sutekh said with a pause, “if the two saber-teeth and the fox can beat me.”

The hope in Nanook’s eyes disappeared.

To be continued...

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:10 am

I need to know more...I missed alot

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:21 pm

Chapter V is going to be up and revised soon. Read it again, it has some new material you won't see in the RP... >:D

In the meantime, I'm trying to organize the posts so all the chapters are together on the first page. ...Yee.

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:42 am



A small fox's heart raced. A saber-tooth's paws shuffled nervously. Other than that, everything was dead-silent. The group was about to face one of their toughest challenges yet, one that stood much taller than them. Not to mention it had four legs, claws that could shred steel, and a weight that could crush bones.

Shira growled at the lion. Sutekh began to circle them slowly as two predators would do before combat. Ratri took him off guard by jumping in without warning and snapping at the larger cat's shoulder. Sutekh was quick, but not quick enough to avoid Ratri's teeth. He tried to jump back with a minor scratch, but felt Razi's teeth clamp over his left hind leg. Shira pounced onto the lion's back and bit into his ear. Sutekh shook them off, sending the two saber-teeth tumbling to the ground and the fox skidding to a halt beside them.

Ratri took the scruff of Shira's neck in between his teeth and lifted her to her paws. "I admire your bravery."

"Maybe that's because I'm more optimistic than any of you," she said. "Nanook's the only one that comes close."

Nanook's tail wagged a bit as he sat and watched the duel from the sidelines. Shira circled the lion cautiously. Sutekh struck out at her with one of his massive paws and Shira evaded it, only to feel herself stop in midair when Sutekh's jaws closed around her. She yelped and scratched at his eyes and nose until he let her go. She darted back.

Feisty little mutt, Sutekh thought angrily.

“Stupid overgrown hairball of a cat,” Shira growled.

“Name-calling isn’t going to do much, Foxy,” Kaze said, watching the lion.

Shira gathered up her courage again and ran at Sutekh, taking hold of his tail. As the lion turned to strike her, Ratri sank his fangs into his throat. Sutekh roared in anger and knocked them both away yet again.

"Impossible," Ratri growled in frustration.

"Do you guys need help?" Kaze asked, sitting lazily beside Nanook.

"Well, I've got a plan," Ratri said after studying the surroundings.

"Mind telling me?"

Ratri whispered in his ear. Kaze laughed quietly. "Kitties... afraid of water."

_______________________________________________________________________

"Are they getting ready?" A feminine voice asked.

Somewhere in a dark, stone room, a woman sat on the ground, draped in a heavy cloak. She stared into a circular mirror that was hung on the wall. A purple substance seemed to swirl behind the glass in hypnotizing patterns, and something seemed to be moving behind the purple substance, although it was too thick to see clearly.

"Yes," another voice replied, a bit higher than the first. "What's wrong with the mirror? Is something--"

"Quiet!" the first woman hissed, striking the other with the tall walking stick that lay beside her on the ground. "I can't concentrate with so many interruptions... just get the demons prepared."
_______________________________________________________________________

Sutekh leaped at Ratri. The saber-tooth ducked with his cat-like reflexes and jumped out of the way, causing Sutekh to slam into the tree behind him. With a roar, Sutekh began to shake the snow that had falled from the tree off his face, until Kaze bit his tail.

"Come on Kitty, stop running into trees!"

Sutekh turned and lashed out at him blindly.

"I'm no fly. Don't swat at me like that."

Kaze backed up and stopped at the edge of a steep incline that dropped off into an icy river. With a snarl and a flash of teeth, Sutekh disappeared into the icy waters below.

“It does appear as though we’ve won,” Dyrej said with a low growl. “Now we’d better fish him out before he drowns.”

The three on the sidelines ran to the riverbank and stared down into the water. Kaze was the first to spot the lion just below the surface. He bit down on Sutekh's tail and started to drag him out. Ratri and Razi took hold of his hind legs and helped Kaze to drag the shivering cat out of the water.

"A lion on our team!" Shira shrieked in delight. She looked up at Sutekh, who nodded.

"Perhaps the odds against the demons are beginning to level out," Dyrej mumbled, although a hint of hope flickered in his eyes.

"Then let's keep going to the valley," Ratri said, looking at Sutekh. "Welcome to the pack."

_______________________________________________________________________

"I thought I told you to go away and leave me be!" the woman said once more, glaring back into the darkness.

"I simply thought you'd like to know that they have reached the valley," the other voice replied.

"Excellent... I hope they enjoy the weather, seeing as though it's going to be the last day they have to enjoy it."

Cackling laughter bounced off the stone walls and echoed through the room as the mirror began to clear.

_______________________________________________________________________

"Water!" Shira said happily, running toward a stream.

"Be careful!" Ratri warned, although his voice wasn't strict. He raised his head. The sun was about an hour from dipping behind the mountains. The reddening light from the massive star lit the lush, green grass that stretched across the valley. Flowers were poking up from the newly-grown shrubs, and there wasn't a bit of snow in sight. Most of all, there wasn't a single demon for miles.

Or so it would seem.

"Shade..." Nanook mumbled gleefully, laying down under a rock that jutted out from the face of a cliff and gave some relief from the heat of the sun. He closed his eyes. Dyrej, deciding Nanook looked quite comfortable, trotted quickly toward the rock overhang. The wolf let out a sudden, high-pitched yelp, and was gone in an instant. Nanook looked up.

"...Dyrej?"

_______________________________________________________________________

Dyrej hit the boulder. “What the-”

A furious snarl and a painful sensation in his back interrupted Dyrej as his attacker sank its teeth into his spine. Dyrej turned his head a bit to see a large wolf demon, whose brown-colored pelt nearly blended in with the rock, dragging him backwards.

Kaze and Shira hurried to Nanook, who was sniffing the air where Dyrej had been. He stared at the overhang as Shira asked, "Where did Dyrej go?"

"Up there," Nanook said as he backed up a bit. He ran forward and jumped, landing on the overhang and nearly slipping as he landed. Shira followed him, but gave no second thoughts as she raced at the wolf demon.

Dzetre ducked and tossed Shira up into the air with his muzzle, turning his head upward to the sky and opening his jaws to catch her when she came back down. Nanook leaped into action and slammed his body into the wolf demon's side. Dzetre stumbled and lost his aim on Shira. He glanced toward the trees, laughed, then looked back at Nanook. "She'll handle your little fox friend over there."

A large, black fox demon stalked out of the trees, her red eyes glowing angrily as she lowered her head and snarled at Shira. "I remember you. You stole my elk some time ago."

"What is going on?" Ratri demanded, glaring toward Kaze. Before he could answer, however, another much larger wolf demon with a jet-black coat shot out of the bushes and bowled Kaze over. With a yelp he tore into the neck of Jager, but couldn't get back on his feet before Jager struck him in the ribcage.

The biggest of them all – a bear demon that towered over the rest and looked as if he could snap a conifer like a twig – lumbered out of the trees. A lion demon that, although not as big, looked just as fierce as the bear demon followed suit. Even Ratri wondered how two huge beasts such as the demons could have hidden anywhere near.

From behind a mess of fallen boulders, a familiar smirk that spread across a great saber-tooth demon's face appeared when Zhar jumped onto the ledge. "It seems as though they've been trapped."

"Just as planned," the lion demon cried in triumph, looking up at the bear demon beside him. "It also seems as though Jager gets that meal he's been aching for."

"Jager, Simbal, Zhar," the bear demon said. Immediately the black demon stopped fighting and looked at him. "Kill them."

Zhar, huh? Dyrej thought as the monster cat approached him. Must have been the one trying to kill me.

"Of course, Konque," the lion demon responded, only to have his attack interrupted when another large, black wolf demon raced out into the open and stopped.

"What in the world...?" Jager growled. He snapped at Konque, "What is that?"

"It appears to be a demon," Konque said thoughtfully. "Though he isn't one of us."

After the words ‘not one of us’ hit Ratri’s ears, he began to realize, perhaps before or after the others, that these were the pack of demons – the strongest ones, that were sent to destroy the order of this world to create a new one. Someone sent them out to do it... but who?

The wolf demon snarled. “Come on then, pick on someone your own size!”

Jager left his quarry and rushed at the wolf demon. The two clashed and tumbled across the ground. The monstrous lion ran toward them and jumped over Jager as he fell to the ground, landing in front of the wolf demon. With a flash of teeth, the wolf demon lunged for the lion’s neck, only to find himself biting down on the wrist of the demon. The demon tore his wrist away and sank his teeth into the wolf demon’s neck. The force knocked them both over the boulder, and Nanook had to hop to the side to avoid them.

The lion demon lost his grip and slammed onto the ground beside the wolf demon. When he looked up, he saw the wolf demon already had run to Kaze.

‘Such speed,’ Razi thought as she watched the wolf pick up Kaze. She was so mesmerized by the demon that she never heard Ratri calling to her.

______________________________________________________________________________

“Thor right?” Shira asked, dodging a few deadly blows from the fox demon’s paw.

“What’s it to you?” the fox demon snapped, creating small craters in the ground where her paws touched.

“I just like to know the names of the ones who are afraid of me!” Shira said with a bit of a laugh, jumping to the side and biting down on Thor’s tail.

“This isn’t a time for jokes, child,” Thor spat. With a flick of her tail she effortlessly knocked the small fox away. Shira landed on the ground with a thud.

“Everyone, follow Haseo, quickly!” Ratri yelled as loud as he could, turning on his toes and following the bear. One by one the group abandoned their fights to run toward their only way out.

“Guys, wait,” Nanook said, looking to the wolf demon. “We can’t just leave him!”

“Oh yes we can!” Shira called, continuing to run.

Nanook turned to see the lion demon running at the wolf demon to finish him off.

“Hey! Furball! Leave him alone!”

“My name is Simbal,” the lion demon snarled angrily, stopping and turning to face Nanook. The little white wolf streaked across the clearing and jumped, closing his jaws around Simbal’s throat. Outraged, Simbal raked his claws down Nanook’s back and threw him to the ground. He let out a terrified yelp as Haseo picked him up by the back of his neck and kept running. The wolf demon followed, and Simbal let them go.

From that point, through the wolf demon’s eyes, everything moved as if it were in slow motion.

Yet it happened so fast.

Haseo roared loudly, running toward the place he saw open – a small space in between two rocks jutting out of the ground like pillars. Shira ran in a zig-zag pattern, dodging small rocks that were obstacles for ones her size skillfully, Ratri, Razi and Sutekh ran beside each other in back of the bear, and Kaze ran on the other side of Haseo in the beautiful full stride of a wolf.

Konque wasn’t so happy about the idea of his prey leaving.

Running so much faster than Haseo himself, Konque lumbered toward the smaller bear. Haseo saw him from the corner of his eye. Maybe, if he could just make it in between the two pillars, Konque wouldn’t be able to fit...

Without warning, Haseo snapped his jaws over Nanook’s nape once more and tossed him as far as he could in between the two pillars, and reached over to toss Kaze forward with his paw in Nanook’s direction. Ratri looked at him like he was crazy, but would later understand (after the shock of it all) the reason why. He looked to Haseo’s left, right in front of himself. In the next second, there was an even bigger bear to the side.

Konque slammed his head into Haseo’s side. Skidding to a halt, Ratri watched in horror. In a brave attempt to protect his leader, Haseo limped in front of Ratri, his crushed shoulder refusing to work with the rest of his movements. Before anyone could do anything, Konque landed a direct hit on the side of Haseo’s head – with his claws.

That day, the rest of the group was finally able to see what kind of power this bear demon held.

Fallen and bleeding, Haseo looked at Ratri and Kaze, who were stopping to come back for him.

“No, keep going,” Haseo urged. “I’m too old to help you out anyway... just go.”

“But-” Kaze began.

“Go!”

Ratri and Kaze kept running, both of them looking back to see a grin on the dying bear’s face.

“Pappy!” Kaze finally yelled, stopping to turn around.

The wolf demon, who had Dyrej in his enormous jaws, managed to scoop Kaze up as well and jump in between the two pillars. Before any of the smaller demons could get to them, the group had no choice but to leave the hero behind – the wolf demon in pursuit.

To be continued...

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:42 pm

wow I missed too much

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:17 am

Sorry for the wait. The nearly 1-year wait. But here it is! In July, like I promised!

-----------------



Although the group’s stamina was great, the demon’s was greater. Soon they became exhausted and collapsed into the grass when their legs could carry them no further. Ratri forced himself to his paws and glared up at the wolf demon. The wolf demon lurched forward slightly, allowing Kaze to slide off his back before setting Dyrej softly onto the ground. He turned and began to walk away.

“Ratri.”

The saber-tooth turned to see Shira staring up at him.

“What is it?” he asked.

“The fox demon... Thor,” she said with a flick of her tail. “She said she wanted to be... normal. That she was once.”

Ratri stared at her for a long time. The word “normal” played over and over again like a broken record in his mind. Then he turned to follow the wolf demon into the forest.

“Demon,” Ratri said when they were out of earshot.

“Great, another cat,” he mumbled, turning his head slightly to look back at Ratri. “Just leave me be.”

“Sorry, it’s just that… the way you fought back there,” Ratri started. “We… well, I… just thought you would make a good addition-”

“The way I fought back there?” the demon gave a snort of indignation. “Yeah, sure... I’m a demon, cat. Find others of your own kind.”

A harsh feeling of rejection washed over Ratri. He managed to straighten himself.

“We’ll be here if you change your mind.”

The demon turned to look back, but the saber-tooth was gone.

_______________________________________________________________________

“Is everyone all right?” Ratri asked, stepping into the clearing. The lot nodded their heads slowly, except for Kaze, who was nowhere to be seen.

“You should check on Kaze,” Shira mumbled to him. “He’s not too far from here. You know. About Haseo and all.”

“Haseo,” murmured Ratri. “Right.”

________________________________________________________________________

“They escaped the valley,” the woman said, looking at her cohort sitting in front of the mirror.

“WHAT?” the one in front of the mirror snapped.

“They escaped the valley!” the voice replied again, louder.

“I heard you the first time!” she said with an annoyed tone, standing up. She turned her head to look out at the rain.

“Fetch me Motya. We’ll try fighting fire with fire.”

________________________________________________________________________

“How’s… How’s it going?” Ratri asked, looking down at the young wolf lying in the grass.

“Pappy’s dead,” he mumbled sadly.

“Everyone has a time to go,” Ratri said, sitting in the grass beside him. “He died a hero more or less.”

“I suppose,” Kaze sighed.

“Come get something to eat,” he said. “The rest brought down a-”

“What in the world?” Kaze asked quickly, jumping behind Ratri. The cat looked up to see the wolf demon lumbering toward them.

“Decided to come back, then?” Ratri asked. The demon nodded.

“Demose.”

“Ratri,” he said. He looked to Kaze. “And this is Kaze.”

“Hello, Demose, whom I wasn’t afraid of for a minute…” Kaze said.

“Come on back. I’ll introduce you to the others.”

________________________________________________________________________

“-and you’re trying to kill these demons?” Demose asked.

The group had settled down to a meal of auroch upon becoming acquainted to the newcomer. Kaze swallowed a piece of meat before replying,

“Before they eat us all.”

Ratri had noticed that ever since Demose appeared, he had been watching Dyrej very carefully. More seemingly out of curiosity than anything else.

Sutekh suddenly straightened himself, sitting up and brushing a bone to the side on the ground. The group stopped to look at him.

“How many of you have heard of the battle of Sage River?” he asked. “I’m guessing none of you.”

Ratri looked at him inquisitively. “I’ve only heard of it.”

“The one the river was named after… Sage,” he said, pausing to reminisce. “He was twice as big a cat as I am. The ones who fought by his side, however… most are long gone. Besides me, that is.”

“So maybe some of them are still alive!” Shira exclaimed. “They could help us!”

“Well hold on now, shorty,” Sutekh said. “It’s not likely a lot are alive. But Sage is still around. If we can find him, … well, that would be equivalent to two or three of me.”

“And what happens if he isn’t alive?” Kaze mumbled. “We spent days traveling there for nothing?”

“It’s worth a try,” Nanook said. “I’m with Sutekh.”

“As am I,” Razi said. Demose nodded in agreement.

“Then it’s settled,” Ratri said. “We’ll leave tomorrow.”

________________________________________________________________________

The next morning, Ratri was walking along by himself. How he loved the sunrise – when the crisp air settled over the land and the sunlight began to melt the frost-kissed leaves. When the air was still, like the water in the stream – only disturbed by the occasional splash of a fish or the quiet humming of a dragonfly creating ripples along the surface.

Until, that is, a large, dark figure moved out of the brush.

Ratri hissed and jumped, fur standing on end.

“Calm down, cat,” Demose said. “It’s just me.”

Ratri’s tensed muscles relaxed. “A little more warning would be nice.”

“I needed to talk to you about something. Two things, actually.”

The two walked beside each other, enjoying the fresh spring air and the little flowers poking up from the ground. All seemed to darken when Demose began to speak.

“The first thing… is about the demons.”

“The demons?” Ratri asked, looking up at him.

“They – er, we – were created by a force that rivals the power of that which makes the moon and the seasons change. Magic, Ratri. They were mages. And they created the demons for reasons I am not sure of myself.”

He continued, “They say the moon gives them power. At the harvest moon they will be the most powerful. We have a few months, but I overheard two of the larger demons talking a while back. They said…”

Both were silent for several moments.

“They said something horrible was going to happen.”

“All the more reason to take them down,” Ratri said. His voice nearly broke from fear, but he managed to keep talking. “What else was it you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Dyrej.”

“I’ve seen you watching him.”

“It’s just…”

Demose sighed.

“Ratri, will you promise not to tell him?”

“I promise.”

“I think Dyrej is my brother.”

________________________________________________________________________

Ratri sat at the edge of the forest clearing. Nanook sat beside him, watching Demose walk away to find his lost family member. The white wolf was smiling; to him it was like a fairytale coming alive. Two brothers are separated and find each other years later, and everything turns out happy.

“Dyrej?” Demose asked, looking down at the wolf.

Dyrej grunted and stopped chewing on the auroch carcass’s horn.

“Yes, what is it.”

“You lost your brother all those years ago, didn’t you?”

No answer came from the awe-stricken wolf.

“I’m your brother, Dyrej,” Demose said, lowering his head a bit. “I’ve finally found you.”

More silence.

‘Is he excited? Upset?’ Demose wondered.

Dyrej rose to his paws and turned, walking toward the rest of the eagerly-waiting group. Demose followed. There was silence between each anxious figure. The only sound was the wind stirring up.

Then the silence broke.

“Goodbye, Ratri.”

And with that, the wolf walked out of sight.

To be continued…

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:27 am

WIN CTS NAO
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:29 am

VSNGTKRNKRWGW <3 *Glomps* It's awesome. XD Keep it up please. OrI'llorderItachitokillj00. XP
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:30 pm

Good story but quick question. Now that your posting the stories up are we good to RP again, andI mean in the Retaliation RP not the other ones

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:32 pm

Yeah, you've been alright to RP this whole time, though I'm not caught up with the chapters, I almost am, so it's a green light. XP

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:36 pm

Thank you. Now if you don't mind CTS

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:33 pm

I left the forums, all of em, for awhile. I thought I was gone for good... But then yesterday I got the urge for rp-ing. Then I remembered this. I felt bad for leaving. And Wolfie, I read about your little accident in hawaii and everything.... How long was I gone? heheh...well... I'm back. I've missed this story, this rp, so much. I'm back! Come on! Everyone, with meh, CTS WOLFIE! I wanna keep it going! Whoo! Yeah Retaliation!
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:38 am



Whispering surrounded him. The stone ground was cold beneath his fur and the wretched stares of several pairs of eyes gnawed at his conscience.

Ratri lay in the middle of a circle of smooth stones and burning incense. His large paws, which he could usually move with ease, seemed to be glued to the ground. Above him was a full moon, the eye of the Highest that called to all living spirits on its day of age.

How did he get here? What was going on? Why couldn’t he remember what had just happened?

There was something about that full moon. But try as he might, he couldn’t grasp it.

Suddenly, something was blotting out the moonlight. As his vision straightened out, he saw a woman with fair, dark hair leaning over him.

The mage.

Everything that had happened came flooding back into his mind all at once, making his head buzz. The voices around him rose into a chanting. He hardly had time to scream before the knife was plunged into his heart.
______________________________________________________________________________
“Hey, Ratri,” Nanook called. “Ratri! Come on, we gotta go!”

Ratri opened his eyes. The morning sunlight nearly blinded him as it cast down on him through the trees.

Thank heavens. It was only a dream.

“You said it yourself! We have to go!” he cried excitedly.

Momentarily the pack was off, dashing soundlessly over the land, Sutekh in the lead. Ratri and Razi were rather slow, but what they lacked in agility, they made up for in brute strength. Tearing through the crisp air as silent as the ancestors that ran with them, the family was unstoppable.

For four suns they ran, their progress made sluggish by the group’s healing injuries and Ratri, who seemed to be lagging along behind the rest of the group.

Every day Ratri couldn’t concentrate. Couldn’t hunt. Couldn’t sleep. He kept telling himself it was only a dream, only the visions of another world that lurk in the minds of the unconscious, beyond one’s control, and that he shouldn’t worry about it. He couldn’t even recall the mage’s features, yet, the very thought both enticed and frightened him. Though it was but a vision, he could feel an odd power radiating from the woman, a powerful presence that tugged at his very being, demanding obedience…

‘No. Don’t think about that.’

But still, instinct pulled him toward these people whose prowess could cause destruction not only to their own species, but to life itself. But how? He had never seen these humans. He knew the one’s face. He had seen it, even if he couldn’t remember. How was it possible?

“Look alive, Ratri!” Sutekh called as the group stopped.

Ratri nearly ran into the lion. Shaking himself, he reared up on his hind paws to get a better view of what lay ahead. Amber tussocks that were as tall as full-grown human males dotted a treeless plain just beyond the ravine they were trekking across. About a four-minute’s lope out, the towering piles of grass ended and a bare, open space of nothing but weeds and grass took hold of the land until the trees began not an hour from the horizon. Mountain peaks rose farther in the distance, the snow still afresh. A river cut straight through the vast expanse of open range just to the east.

“Sage River!” Nanook shouted, leaping forward. Sutekh grabbed him by the scruff of his neck.

“What are you doing, boy?” Sutekh said, dropping him. “Don’t you know what’s out there?”

Nanook whined and licked his muzzle apologetically. None of them had ever been out of the open forest before.

“Terror birds,” Sutekh growled. “As tall as trees. Beaks that’ll snap ya in half.”

Nanook whimpered and slunk back to be with Kaze. Shira loped up beside the lion and looked down the ridge. “Sutekh… there’s nothing out there. No giant birds, no nothing.”

She was right. The world was quiet where they stood. The wind was hushed for a time, the trees silent with their ancient language.

Something caught Sutekh’s eye. He shifted his gaze to the left.

A large, white figure was standing over a tawny-furred creature much smaller than itself. Sutekh immediately realized the torn carcass as his fallen comrade.

“Take the group to the river, Tiny,” the lion said, looking down at the young fox. “Don’t leave until I come back. Understand? Think you can be the leader for a while?”

Shira nodded and, jubilant to be leading a group of giants, zipped down the ridge with the group in tow. She had to leap as high as she could just to see the pathway around the massive land-reeds.
______________________________________________________________________________
“He did what?” a voice cried.

“Foolish!” snarled another, the familiar, dark voice of the woman with the mirror. Angered, she kicked some ash from a lifeless fire. “I warned you. The hoofed one was trouble from the beginning.”

“He left, Ezra,” a third voice exhorted. “The bear, Konque, overthrew him as leader.”

“Quiet! Both of you!” the dark voice cried. The woman looked down into the mirror once more.

“Ah,” she whispered. “They’re at the river. As is the auroch. Motya has her stage set.”
______________________________________________________________________________
“You… monster!” Sutekh cried as he ran toward them. “You killed Sage!”

The big, white mass wheeled around with amazing speed for its size – and only then did Sutekh get a good view of just what had killed his comrade.

An auroch. It stood nearly seven and a half feet at the shoulders and its horns spanned a full four feet. Nearly normal, despite its snow-white pelt. Sutekh took a step back, snarling.

“Demon!”

“Sage…” the demon mumbled, looking back. “What is a ‘Sage’?”

“You killed him!”

“He came after me!” the demon boomed.

Sutekh nearly flinched at the demon’s defense. Though it was instinct to do so, he decided against accusing the beast of lying – after all, what proof did he have? Sutekh lowered his head.

“Prove yourself, demon.”

“You accuse me of lying?” the auroch said, calmer now. “I do not like being referred to as ‘demon’. I do have a name. Asyro.”

“B-But you take orders from the mages,” Sutekh said stately. The auroch stopped him.

“How dare you,” Asyro growled. “I would never take orders from such… such… monsters. Not all of us do. They may be our creators, but were we not of your flesh and blood beforehand? We are all children of the Universe, so who is to say that one may take a brother’s rights from him?”

Sutekh stared at him for a long time. He recalled the years of his youth, and remembered his hot-headed friend. He realized with a pang of sadness that Sage brought his own death upon himself, and that this demon simply wanted to be normal again.

‘Perhaps prejudice gives all demons a bad name.’

“To what pride do you belong?” Asyro asked curiously.

“I’ve been a loner up until recently,” Sutekh said, choosing his words carefully. “I soon accompanied a group with the intent of stopping demons – the ones who DO take orders from the mages. We have nothing against demons personally.”

“Of course you do, you all do,” Asyro said, approaching the lion now with caution. “But it’s understandable. Most do not take time to understand our nature. I myself was created by one of the mages, the Light one. I broke away on my own free will.”

“What about the others? The ones that are still obeying them?”

“I was one of the first,” he explained. “More and more of the mage’s creations began to leave their sides, so finally they put the remaining under a curse. They are bound to the mages, and they must fight for them to the death.”

“But not all of us were created by them,” Asyro continued. “Some of us were created by less important mages whose power was not as strong. Their ‘demons’ had an easier time breaking away from their Creators.”

“You do not believe in the intent of the mages?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Then come,” Sutekh said. “I will bring you to my leader and you will help us fight.”

______________________________________________________________________________
“That’s your leader?” Asyro asked. “The vertically challenged cat?”

Before Sutekh could reply, Ratri dropped a foreleg taken from an unidentified ungulate carcass in front of the bull.

“Eat up,” he said. “We don’t know how much longer it will be until we eat again.”

Asyro gazed down at the meat for a moment. He breathed in its scent and rolled it over with a hoof. Setting his eyes on Ratri, he said, “I’m a vegetarian.”

Ratri stared. It took a moment or two for the situation to sink in, and all at once he fell to his belly and began to laugh. He greeted the warm, tickling sensation happily as he rolled onto his back, letting stress and anger go with the wind when he howled in delight.

Kaze snarled and turned his head to the plain.

“Fire!”

A wall of flames was spreading quickly across the still land, and smoke began to swirl into the sky, entwining its scent deeply into their fur as it engulfed their senses.

Ratri rolled to his paws swiftly. Nanook, slightly panicked, immediately took off toward the trees for cover, Shira in tow. The sabertooth and the auroch exchanged glances.

“It’s hit the edge of the forest as well!” Razi yelled as she stopped to wait for the two left behind.

“How did it spread so fast?” Ratri asked.

“The mages,” Asyro murmured. Though he was heavy, he moved quickly toward the trees’ haven, which was soon to be no more.

Ratri was the last to follow. Smoke rolled over the plains impossibly fast. It made his fur bristle and his throat tighten. The sound of paw steps became muffled, as did his breathing. The heat made him desperate, and in instinct’s reaction, he opened his jaws to take in cool air. Smoke and ash blocked his airway and his watery eyes shut out the dry poison pulling his senses away. He crashed into a young tree and fell. Before he was seduced into unconsciousness, a pair of thin, hairless paws took hold of the charred scruff around his neck and began to pull him into the darkness.

To be continued…

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:57 am

Yesssssss, I love you Terra. <3 Awesomeness, thanks for taking the time to write this out.
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:16 pm

I was scrolling through documents and found I had this chapter kind of scribbled out on paper so I just typed it up and made it all poetic and whatnot.

There's some useless updates and the first page has been updated for looks.

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:53 pm

*Sniffle* I

WANT

MOOOOAR Suspect

"But still, instinct pulled him toward these people whose prowess could cause destruction not only to their own species, but to life itself. But how? He had never seen these humans. He knew the one’s face. He had seen it, even if he couldn’t remember. How was it possible?"

That was an amazing paragraph. |:

I'M SCARED FOR RATRI |:>
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:49 am

Great Gazooks. Im not the only one posting here any more...Too bad this happened when my iTouch broke (Thats how I was able to keep an eye on the forums for so long). Ill take the Lone Survivor name off and you can continue when possible.

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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:48 pm

You need to add Asyro to the front page, when you have the time too. Istilllovethatchapter.
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PostSubject: Re: Retaliation (CHAPTER VII: MUSE)   Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:26 pm

I Love It...only...well...two things involving my characters....

Wheres Demose?

And...Dyrej left already at this point... :/

It was amazing through, don't get me wrong. Very Happy
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