Description: What happens when a dark wolf meets a white fox? They both answer their primal instincts and heed the call of the wild, hunting as one and running into the wild.
The Full Moon Society.
Kiyomi had heard the name in Norwegia, the night of a full moon. It had been an intriguing encounter, to say the least -- enough to rouse her curiousity and make her travel.
Through her search, she had heard the rumors amongst Darkstalkers she had met : of this place, where one could seek shelter, for those who did not wish to fight humans but live in harmony with them. Partial information at best and generally vague, she had been able to track down the whereabout of this society. She had to see for herself.
While Kiyomi did not travel alone, she ventured into the forest of Southtown on her own. Never assuming her humanoid form during her travel, Kiyomi favored her vulpine form. A slender and athletic white fox, with a myriad of tails swirling in her wake. In this form, she was swift and agile, and in the middle of the night, she is probably just as unseen as she would have been during the day.
Alone during her stroll in the wood around midnight, the vixen was drawn to the forest clearing. She pads carefully foward in the fox, her keen ears perked high up atop her head, alert for any noise, any indication. Her slow movements remind those of a predator on the hunt. In a way, this was a hunt, but a much different one than the ones she usually shares with pack of wild wolves in the wild.
While there is always some manner of truth in rumors, it is always the choice of the listener to decide what they will believe.
Because rumors and whispers are all that one would get when actively looking for the so called Full Moon Society. A group of Hunters and Darkstalkers that have banded together for the good of all, some rumors say. Lead by a legitimate God, others say. Created for an even greater purpose than just peace in the world, they are banding together to form an army to oppose something bigger, something evil that is coming soon, and would slaughter humans and darkstalkers alike.
Rumors, stories, tales, nothing concrete, but news of such a group would travel far, particularly because many of them have appeared in live television to announce their claims. Although the kitsune would find nothing that would fully explain what exactly is this Society about, short of running into one of its members, she would have sufficient information by asking in certain circles to know where many of them are congregating.
Follow the path to the forests outside Southtown. There you will see an abandoned Shrine. You will find what you seek there.
And indeed, there was an abandoned temple in the location where she was directed. There is something that the kitsune would really instantly though, and that is that the Shrine is not truly shinto, but a strange amalgam of different cultures instead of being exclusively oriental, a sign that it perhaps represents the Society's intention of union between all.
The most striking aspect of this shrine would be the many Dream Catchers that are hanged on the tree branches surrounding it. A perplexing sight indeed, as the last thing one would expect to see in a Shinto shrine would be Native American ornaments, so far from their lands of origins. It is a curious sight, too strange in fact, someone deliberately put them there for a reason, and as Kiyomi might realize should she open her senses to attune to the spiritual flows of energy, they are there not for decoration..
The Dream Catchers are an alarm system.
Soon after she pads into the clearing towards the shrine, a fellow prowler of the night comes to greet her. A large wolf with a dark as night pelt emerges from the woods and moves directly towards the elegant fox, eyes glowing in the night.
"Hello sister." The wolf speaks in the tongue of humans somehow. "Have you come to join us?"
This had been a different sort of hunt, tracking down something that is barely whispered about. Every drop of information she could muster about this society only thickened the mystery that shrouded it, and only served to titillate her curiousity.
Following up her lead, the white fox slowly studies the shrine from a distance. The glee in its eyes betrayed a cunning and intelligence one would not expect of a beast, though by her demeanor, the creature was wairy and alert. It is not her first time in Japan, and she knows what some priests in Shinto shrine believes of her kin, and more specifically what they think about Yokais. Though this shrine seems particulary different, both in its archetecture, but also the various decorative ornaments that surrounds it.
She felt a strange aura and energy emanating from those dream catcher. She studied them as she carefully approached. Obviously, they were not only for decoration... Protective charms, perhaps? She can only wonder...
Her ears twitch and twists in direction of light footsteps she hears in the snow. The moment the fox turns in the direction of the large wolf, he speaks to her and greets her. The creature shifts her body to face the larger wolf -- he was contrasting her in every way : his built massive and powerful, with a pelt as dark as the night, while hers was slender and petite, with a pelt of immaculate white like the snow. Though for a fox, she was certainly massive and large.
The fox tilts its head, the tails swaying like a mass of tendrils behind of her. She studies the wolf -- and after a moment, she approaches him, padding carefully, slowly in his direction. Her nostrils twitch as she inhales his scent when she draws closer, and she slowly circles him.
A feminine voice finally answers him : soft and gentle, it felt like its voice came from the back of your head, "You are... Different," She says, "Unlike any I have seen before..." She muses. She tilts her head and then asks, "Join you?" She asks, "Where is your pack?" She adds, ears perking up, her muzzle rising up to stare off at the distance curiously.
The dark wolf is a stark contrast to the white fox in every way, and yet at the same time, it seems to be so very alike too.
The wolf draws nearer as the fox approaches him, also sniffing the air around the fox to catch her scent and memorize it. Acting every bit the predator it appears to be, the wolf allows the fox to start circling him, but only because he too mimics her motions and begins to move counter clock wise. The dance of the predators if there ever was any, seizing each other up, figure out their intentions, friend or foe or maybe something in between?
But the fox is correct in her assumptions, this is no ordinary wolf, just as he can tell that she's no normal fox either by her obvious tails and mysterious white pelt.
The wolf's ears twitched as the fox spoke, taking note of the way in which she communicates. There is no such a thing as a 'regular Darkstalker' for they are varied and different even within the same species, and while the wolf seems capable of speech despite not moving his mouth when talking. The fox in turn appeared to use some kind of different method given the strange sensation that hearing her voice caused.
But it was enough to be understood and the wolf replied whilst he continued the circling dance. "I am neither Darkstalker nor human, yet I am both."
"My name is Nightwolf, and I am the speaker of the Society. As for my pack, they seldom stay in one place, for we are scattered across the globe to be wherever we are needed most."
"What of you, sister? What is the tale that brings you here?"
The shroud over this whole society only seems to thicken the more the wolf before her speaks. He was in many ways similar to her precious Lune in his younger days, he who taught her so much about this world. A powerful wolf, who exuded a little something special, yet his scent was very different from Lune's one, enough for her to know they were fundamentally different even if they might have looked the same physically.
Once the white fox is done seizing up the larger wolf, she stops turning around of him. The tails behind her back that kept on swaying back and forth idly flattens on the snow, and the majestic fox bows her head and leans back gently, both in deference and submission, like a predator who ackowledges the strength of the other and submits to it. It is more a gesture she does out of habit, having lurked in the wild for so many years.
When the vixen straightens herself and finally sits, her cunning eyes fix the wolf's one, "My name is Kiyomi, but amongst the children of the night, I am known as Renard," She tilts her head to one side and says, "I have spent many years, roaming across the land to help those like us, when I have heard the tales of this mysterious society..." There were obvious hints of curiousity in her gentle feminine voice. "And I have travelled a long time, seeking to see this for myself..." She admits.
She tilts her head back, glancing up at the moon for a moment, as if caught in her reverie. "Would you like to run with me, in the woods?" She asks. A sudden change of subject in the conversation, and a request that might seem just as sudden.
Though there are no better way to bond with one another than the call of the wild, and the intoxicating feeling of the moonlust. No better way to gauge someone..
Even though Nightwolf cares very little for formalities, he understands their power they have over people. Saying and doing the culturally right thing can mean the difference of making a powerful ally or offending someone. This is why he doesn't return the fox's bow despite being overly polite sometimes. He knows of the law of the wilds, and that the submissive gesture is a sign of respect between predators. Would he to return it he would just making himself look weak, no such thing as humility when one is a predator, humbleness is naught but weakness, and a weak leader cannot hold the pack together.
Its why Nightwolf simply accepts the deferent bow, nodding his head in acceptance to Kiyumi's acknowledgement of his position here. It is necessary to respect the pack leader after all, particularly when you are in their hunting grounds.
With the 'pleasantries' out of the way, Nightwolf takes a seat in front of the fox so they can carry out their meeting in a more comfortable position. "Hmm.." The wolf muses loudly as the fox introduces herself with two names. "To be part of two cultures can be as troubling as it is rewarding. I know of the path that you follow, for it is the same as mine." He makes no attempt to decide which name he's going to use to refer to the fox, letting her pick that for herself.
"You came to the right place if your heart is set on helping others. However, as you might have heard, the Society has both Darkstalkers and Human members, many of the humans were at some point Hunters too. We are here to help all who live within Earthrealm."
The wolf nods though as he pauses, it has been long since he went for a run, and it would be good if they talked of this in a more comfortable setting. "I will lead the way." Says the wolf as he stands and begins to trod out into the woods. He's been living here for a good long time and has mapped out the best places for a run.
Nightwolf is a true wolf and he's always ready for a good run.
The fox's ears twitch at Nightwolf's words, but nothing betrays her inner feelings about Nightwolf's speech. Never could the dark wolf be more wrong when he says she bears two different culture. She had shunned away every trace of her humanity a long time ago, using her appearance only as a tool and weapon to perform the deeds she must for the greater good of her kin.
One day, Kiyomi is certain, he might know the truth about her feelings, but this day is not now.
The vulpine creature nods her head and she rises, ready to follow Nightwolf. This was his territory, after all, and he allowed her to stay and run with him in the wild and, who knows, if they stumble upon a prey, perhaps even let their chase lead them to a hunt.
The white fox follows him with remarkable celerity and agility, her steps as light as a feather against the snows, her tails instinctively sweeping the ground behind her and kicking up the snow to cover her own trail as she follows him. Despite her slender frame, the fox posssesses enough stamina and vigor to follow him, obviously used to rough, demanding sprints in the wild.
Ah, but Kiyomi assumes too much in that regard. Nightwolf doesn't know she's jumping to conclusions, but he really just meant having both Japanese and French cultures rather than Human and Darkstalker. The dark wolf has many ploys of his own, as Kiyomi might one day find out. Nightwolf is not the speaker of the Society because he's the most powerful, the scary thought is that he's far from it, he speaks for the pack because he's the most cunning and the fox's assumptions that she can outwit him might cost her in the long run. Nightwolf doesn't catch her inner feelings, but he's under no impression that Kiyomi favors one nature over the other. He knows very well of the danger that is assuming things you don't know for sure.
But tonight is not the time for sinister ploys and deceit.
Tonight, they run!
Nightwolf breaks into a fast dash at first, his powerful frame belying true speed beneath that strong build. The run begins through a well used path where human and animal footprints alike have flattened the area for easy accessibility, but Nightwolf quickly jumps into the woods proper where things begin to turn more interesting..
Leaping through bushes and mounds of snow alike, Nightwolf runs through fallen logs that provide makeshift bridges for chasms, giving an impressive look of the snow covered valleys beneath where some herds of deer can be seen. The cold wind blowing across his fur affects him not, as he continues to speed across the wilderness, weaving through tree trunks with the practice that comes from having hunted in these lands before. "It is good to run again." He's heard musing whilst dashing across the snow, always keeping a wary eye on the fox behind him. Both to see that she can keep up and that she's not trying anything suspicious, foxes are very willy creatures after all.
Tonight, there would be no deceit or trickery : only the call of the wild that draws them to run, allowing their primal instincts to take over. It's the sort of feeling that cannot be described, only felt. It was a unique sensation of bliss that the run gave, nothing could make one feel more free than at this moment. It was like letting your innerself take over... The feeling of the breeze against the fur, the deep panting from the run, letting the moonlust take over. How is it possible not to answer the call and give in to those intoxicating and primal instinct, once one has dwelled into them?
The white fox dashes after the wolf : her smaller frame and less powerful legs not allowing her to surpass Nightwolf, but where she lacks in pure power she has in endurance and agility, rarely having to slow down to avoid obstacles. Her senses are alert, the longer the run lasts the more she seems to grow aware of her surrounding. She runs by his side or behind -- never ahead, following him, running with him as one.
Despite being unfamiliar with those lands, she runs with the confidence and poise. She leaps gracefully through the bush, breaking through the small branches, unphased by the scratch they might leave on her thick, yet smooth pelt. She follows through the log, her slender frame allowing her to pass through with relative ease, even with her countless tails. Her gaze studies the deer a moment, as they run, and then back to Nightwolf -- the desire to chase them is strong, but the fox knows better and ignores them for now. It is not her place to decide whether or not they should hunt, not after she had shown her submission to Nightwolf.
Kiyomi had no ill intent this night, craving only to enjoy the run, to make bonds and gain Nightwolf's respect and friendship, most likely. Though if she does share the same nature than foxes, he has all the reasons to remain suspicious about her.
"Don't you run with your pack during the fullmoon?" The fox asks, her voice sounding surprised, "How can you resist the moonlust, the call of the wild?" She asks.
It was freedom.
Nightwolf had tried to describe the feeling to others who do not share that kinship to the wilds. Every time he did, he always concluded that it was just that, freedom, in its purest form. Go where you please, do what you please, with nothing but the bright moon overhead to judge you.
To many, if not all who are affected by lycanthropy, it was a sensation that was impossible to resist. When one lives a life full of rules and boundaries and cultural restrictions and responsibilities; job, school, family, friends, the gym, the fights, the career, the economy, foreign relations, worry over worry, to be able to let go of it all was simply too tempting for a new lycan to deny. More often than not, newly formed lycans lost all control of themselves as they were subconsciously all too glad to put their past behind them and never look back. Who would trade all this freedom and power for cumbersome responsibility? Why sit alone and afraid, when you can run free with your pack and partake in the thrill of the hunt?
Why would anyone want to give up this?
"Not all in my pack are wolves like me." Nightwolf explained calmly as they ran, ears twitching towards the fox behind or beside him to see where she stood. He continued talking as they passed another set of natural obstacles, weaving and dodging despite his bulky frame. "And even if they were we could not partake on runs all the time."
"Though I revere the moon and hunt often, I have pledged my life to a higher purpose that supersedes all my desires. I am servant of Earthrealm, a Defender of the Realm, I live, fight and die, in the service of this world and those who call it home. None shall threaten it as long as I live."
"Long have I made peace with this duty. Being a wolf is part of who I am, but it is not my whole self, it does not define me."
He comes to a stop upon a cliff, the deer herd have circled around are now are moving along beneath them again, looking for places where they can keep themselves warm. Nightwolf overlooks them and sniff the air, even as his thoughts are still on explaining the fox how can he resist his instincts. "I have too many to look for to allow myself to be governed by instincts. It is I who controls my emotions, not the other way around." And even now he proves that by looking down at the grazing deer. "The herd looks inviting, but I have taken too many of their herd this winter already. It would be cruel of me to take another one for sport."
Nightwolf sniffs the air some more and looks down on the snow noticing rabbit tracks. "A suitable alternative. Follow me." Says he as he descend towards the side of the cliff and towards where the trail leads.
Kiyomi was not a slave to her instincts -- she was able to control herself, but having shunned her humanity for so long, she hardly sees the need to resist the urge. Why deny yourself such a natural pleasure, something that is an intrinsic part of yourself?
It was this very nature she used to repress until she has been shown to accept it. Learning to accept it wholely is a gift that requires time to accept, and her experience allows her to at least understant those who do not give in fully to their instincts.
When Nightwolf's pace slows down, so does Kiyomi. She gracefully approaches the dark wolf until she stands by his side, atop the cliff. Her tails sway gently behind her as she stares at the deer herd from above.
His words rouse many questions, but Kiyomi does not wish to discuss about the fate of Earthrealm for now, not in this form. An amused voice replies to Nightwolf, a gentle echo in the back of his head, "One deer would be too much for us," It's hard to know whether she means too much of a feast for them, leading to wastes, or that the hunt would be too strainful and dangerous considering their number.
Imitating Nightwolf, the fox sniffs the air, catching the same evanescent scent. She moistens her lips and leaps after Nightwolf, descending down the cliff behind Nightwolf, leading her instinct guide her, following the usual pack tactics to split up and trap the prey.
"Hmph." Even in his wolf form, Nightwolf can be seen that he blends as much animalistic instincts as he does human characteristics, such as grunting with amusement. "You would be surprised." He answers, which also implies several things, such as that he's confident the two of them can take one deer, or that their appetite might be voracious enough to eat one whole by themselves. Nevertheless, its clear that Nightwolf has no qualms about taking a step back from his duties and rely solely on his instincts, to ignore them fully would only serve as a betrayal of his own nature. Sometimes, it is best to heed the call of the wild, even if his duty to Earthrealm is ever on the back of his mind.
But as said before, tonight is a night for hunting. A task that was more often than not a very solitary endeavor. It was good to have a pack mate for a change, made things more enjoyable for the hunter.
Leaving the subject of duty to rest for now, Nightwolf concentrates on following the hare trail until he finds their prey. He recognizes Kiyomi's movements, she has hunted with a pack before, and thus doesn't bother explaining the plan.
The dark wolf circles around the clearing where the lone rabbit is sniffing about and suddenly bursts towards it from the front. The rabbit turns and flees in the other direction, which is exactly what Nightwolf wants, as it is now speeding right towards the waiting Kiyomi.
Easy pickings for two veteran hunters.
The hunt was another of those pleasure life had to offer. Something not even humans can understand -- to chase and run after a prey, the taste of fresh and warm blood filling one's maw when they snuff the life away from their prey. It was not cruel, merely the survival of the fittest. The bliss that came from this act a mere reward, a stimuli meant to encourage the predators to hunt for their survival.
The vixen circles the trails so the two can corner the unsuspecting rabbit. She moves with grace, her steps hardly making any noise as she positions herself. When the rabbit sprints and dashes off in an attempt to escape from Nightwolf, it runs straight into the Kitsune. The majestic beast popping out of what seems to be seemingly nowhere, her white pelt acting as a perfect camouflage.
She stands, paws stretched and tails spread out on display to appear more imposing and threatening. She snarls, showing her fangs menacingly as she lunges foward to snap the rabbit. Unfortunately, the frightened little thing manages, at the last minute to avoid Kiyomi's snapping fang, trying to find another way to escape, darting back, only to find Nightwolf back in its path.
The hesitation and panic from the rabbit though proves to be lethal for the small mammal as Kiyomi manages to catch up with it. In a matter of a flash, the fox's fangs sink into the rabbit's neck, the strength of her jaw breaking the neck of the rabbit, piercing the flesh. The rabbit's blood gush into her mouth, and the rabbit squirms and bucks against Kiyomi's jaw. A vain attempt as she snuffs its life until it no longer move.
Respectfully, Kiyomi approaches Nightwolf with the spoils of the hunt. She bows her head gently and lets the corpse of the rabbit fall in the snow, taking a step back, offering Nightwolf the first pick after their hunt.
Cornered and nowhere to go.
Such is the life of prey, to struggle uselessly against the inevitable jaws of a predator.
Nightwolf understands that such are the laws of nature. There is indeed no cruelty behind it, as it is only the means that predators like themselves survive. To take what they need from nature so that they might continue the cycle. Kiyomi does not yet know it, but there is a big difference between Nightwolf the wolf and Nightwolf the man.
Nightwolf the man bows, he shares, he gives, he leads, he shows mercy.
Nightwolf the wolf does not bow, he takes, he kills, he hunts.
Neither of them is better than the other, they are simply parts of what makes one whole.
As such, when the rabbit helplessly runs back and forth between the dark wolf and the white fox, ultimately just to end on the fox's jaws, Nightwolf accepts the tribute given to him.
Nightwolf the man would take his knife and split the hare into equal parts.
Nightwolf the wolf leans down and viciously tears a leg off the rabbit, claiming his tribute as the pack leader.
No malice behind it, or posturing, that is simply the law of nature.
"You hunt very well, sister." Says the dark wolf as it tears through the hare's leg, warm blood spilling from his snout and into the once clean white snow, staining it red. "It would be good to have you with us."
The rabbit was his tribute. A legitimate offering, considering that Nightwolf allows her the luxury of hunting on his territory. The alpha leads the hunt and his the first one to serve himself. The others wait, out of respect, and feast upon the rest.
It was the laws of the pack of wolves. The ones that Kiyomi knew, despite not being a wolf. The same laws she had been taught by her tutor and her own pack leader.
The blood of the rabbit was obvious on her muzzle, considering its snow white color. "Years of experience," The fox replies. The fox sits a few feet away from Nightwolf's feast for now, waiting patiently for her turn.
"I would like to learn more of it, to see the others like us..." Her intonation sounds a bit amused and she adds, "... And be able to join you on further hunts in the wild,"
Nightwolf takes a moment to tear through some more of the rabbit before responding. Running always gave him a fair degree of hunger, because while he doesn't let his instincts rule over him, he does not ignore them either. To not eat the rabbit now would simply be a waste.
Having taken a larger part of the rabbit for now, the dark wolf tears another large slice and moves away, giving Kiyomi the opportunity to eat from the still plentiful bounty. A moment that he takes to respond too. "That can be arranged." Says the wolf, licking his bloody muzzle, watching her as he invites her to dig in. "I can introduce you to the rest of the pack and to our mentor. Though I am the pack's war leader and speaker, it is he who watches over us, for he has defended Earthrealm for countless centuries."
"My people know him as Haokah, but currently he goes as Raiden."
That is 'The' Raiden by the way.
"The God of Thunder walks amongst us and approves of the Society's mission. With him by our side we cannot fail."
The fox waits patiently -- in her youth, she had often tried to take her part of the bounty before the proper time, and more often than not she had to answer the growls and snarls of those higher than her in the natural hierachy of the pack. Obviously, she had learned from her errors and does not risk angering the dark wolf when he takes his due.
Once he moves away with a part of the rabbit, the fox leans in and approaches the rabbit, sniffing it before she lets her fang sinks into its warm flesh and ripping through it, shredding and chewing on it.
She lifts her gaze up at Nightwolf, "Thank you," She says, her voice grateful, "I would be honored to meet the rest of your pack... Those who have come to you, seeking refuge,"
After all, Kiyomi said that she sought to help Darkstalkers who were in need, and one thing she wants to see is how they are treated. Especially with potential humans about.
Soon, she will see for herself, but now, she had a feast to devour.
Log created on 12:03:07 01/23/2015 by Kiyomi, and last modified on 18:00:25 01/23/2015.