The Claw: Fury of Wolves
Fenris, a ferocious and ever changing world of fire and ice, unforgiving as it undoes the life of the weak while the strongest struggle to survive. In records, Fenris is little more than a harsh deathworld of ice, floating in space near the innermost sectors of Segmentum Obscuras. To those who know, those who call it home, Fenris is more than just a world of cold and death. It is a place where warriors are made, gods walk amongst men to venture across the stars and defeat the horrors therein. These warriors are the Space Wolves, who some might declare as barbarians and others heroes’ greater than any other.
High upon the greatest mountain of Fenris’s largest continent, Asaheim, lies the Fang; mighty fortress of the Space Wolves and one of the most impenetrable bastions in all of the Imperium of man. This fortress, this hollowed mountain, serves as home to the Space Wolves, piercing the very sky like a spear pointed towards the great moon.
All; The Fang looms high in the distance, even so far away as it is now, on the mountain cliffs at the edge of Asaheim. You look to it for a few moments before turning to the fire and the other forms gathered around it. It had been two months since you had last set foot in the halls of the Fang, in that time you had traveled across half of Asaheim on foot tracking a great razor-ursid. For some of you, this is not the first of such ventures, but rather a tradition that held its place from your former leader Kjarl. But for others amongst you, the tracking of the great beast was the first true act with your pack-brothers, with your claw.
The journey had been long, you had been dropped at the edges of northern Asaheim to seek the tracks of one of the continents deadly creatures. Clad only in furs and armed only with spears and knives, you had discovered tracks of a razor-ursid and stalked the beast. The creature, from the tracks alone, was a massive one, easily four times the mass of any of you and greater in size, and adding to that it was a wizened beast for it had eluded your pursuit on a number of occasions. One week ago, the hunt came to its climax when you had happened upon the creature, catching it downwind of your scent during a storm.
You and your brothers had come upon the creature, fighting a shifting game of cat and mouse as some took up advanced positions to surprise the creature while others acted as bait. Once, the creature had cornered Tyr along a cliff face, nearly ending the wolf’s life if not for the quick thinking of Keris and Frostulfr, offering their larger brother support to escape the cliff face and climb higher. It had been Krahl who struck the killing blow, shoving Alrik aside and nearly into the path of the beasts massive claw so that he could thrust his spear into the creatures eye, circumventing the armoured bone, and into its brain.
Alrik, Yngvar, Tyr, Frostulfr, Heimdall, Njord, Krahl, Azhad, Hrothgar, and Kjartan; You gather around the fire that you had managed to build, kept mostly alight from what fat remained of the ursid. Over the flames the smell of cooked meet washed over your senses, the smell of the last of the creatures meat that you had taken with you being cooked. The fight had been a truly epic one, something that would impress other claws, of that you were certain. But still, there was but one more task left to be done, to return to the Fang with the pelt as proof of your kill and completion of this task. As you sit around the fire, upon a flat overlooking some of the mountain ridges between you and home, Alrik and Tyr tell tales of past glories, of the fighting on Hecutor for Tyr and the Horrors lurking within a space hulk for Alrik.
Vermundr, Iorek, and Keris; You also sit by the fire, but there is something else on your mind, an obstacle still in your way from here and the Fang. Before you had set off on this hunt, Vermundr had sought the approval of Ragnar Blackmane, liege-lord of the young pack leader’s company. Permission had been granted with amusement, with a word of warning given before the two had parted ways months ago. Others would be watching them, to try and block their success and rob the pack of its glory were it to lax. In these two months, there had been no sign of who, or what, lord Blackmane had warned Vermundr of and now that they were returning to the Fang it was all the more likely that they would soon encounter it.
In these weeks, Vermundr had spoken of this warning to Iorek and Keris, not entirely sure of its meaning but wanting others aware. Now though, you contemplate on who, or what, the warning may speak of and whether or not it be best to reveal this to the others of the pack.
[Hello everyone, welcome to the start of Fury. Not much going on in regards to action, more of a little introduction for you lot; let you interact with one another and recall the last few months of your lives. About seven months ago, the Fist of Russ returned to Fenris and the Pack had been reforged to twelve strong. In the following five months, you had trained together, become a family. For some of you, this has been an adjustment, being the ‘older’ wolves when not so long ago you had been much the same. For others, to be chosen by someone under the eye of a wolf lord, was an honour you had only dreamed of since your trials had ended.
The Fang is little more than a day’s journey away from here; what are your thoughts on these last two months? What about the next twenty four hours, in the case of those aware of the warning?]
Tyr had the full attention of his younger pack brothers as he told them war stories of Hecutor. He was currently at the part where he, Alrik and Morgun had defended a Comms room from inumerable traitor guard before finally breaking their enemy's back as the rest of the pack met up with them with the Inquisitor.
"That's when four Ogryn made their way through the broken blast doors, uglier than Alrik himself, and yes that is possible." he nodded his head to emphasize this before continuing, "They shot at us wildly as they ran into the room, their human allies filling with courage as they saw this and coming back at us with more energy, but we would not have it. We charged at the beasts, howls upon our lips as we cut into them, and they cut into us," he pointed at the huge mass of gnarled scar tissue on the right side of his chest where the Ogryn had torn into him with its massive blade.
He went on to tell about the battles after the rest of the pack had met up with them and their second encounter with the traitor legionaires and finally reaching the final battle aboard the Fist of Russ with the deaths of a few of the legionaires and the escape of the sorceror. "Traitors have no backbone brothers, remember that, they are so weak willed it is disgusting." he leaned in close to the fire so that it lit up his face, "But there is no better feeling then pounding a traitor into the dust and killing them so deep that they feel your hatred for them even after they are dead. You know what I do to traitors and cowards?"
He punched his left hand into his bionic hand as leaned back and looked at Hrothgar who was sitting to his left before saying, "I break them." he stared at his pack brother with a serious face for awhile as a silence came over them all, he strung it out as long as possible before breaking into a large smile and slapping his packmate across the back as he laughed, "Come Alrik you can talk just as much as I can, tell them some stories to ease the pain of looking at your face." he chuckled at his little joke as he crossed his massive arms across his even larger chest as he thought about returning to the Fang.
It was very close, not over 24 hours away, he fancied he could smell the mead and roasted meat in the dining halls. His mind fell back to when he had been cornered on a cliff face by the mighty beast they had been hunting, he was most certainly not the best cliff climber of this he was certain, there was usually never enough space for him. He had had no room to move and knew himself dead had Keris and Frostulfr not come to help him so that he could pull himself higher up onto the cliff face. One of the few times he had thought himself fat, he had told himself to not eat as much when he got back to the Fang but he knew it wasn't going to happen, he would have eaten that whole razor-ursid if his brothers had allowed him to.
He flexed his right hand and looked down at the bionic replacement, moving each finger seperately and then together. He could see part of the scar tissue on his chest and thought about all the scars that their pack now had, they had truly been through much at Hecutor and that campaign had scarred each of them in a different way. Many of them bore blatant physical scars from that campaign, him, Alrik, Iorek, but all of them had been changed mentally. They had lost a lot of brothers to the traitors including their own pack leader Kjarl. At the thought of his old pack leader Tyr fingered the necklace around his neck, his lord had given it to him from Kjarl's own personal armory and it had meant more to the large wolf than Blackmane could have ever imagined.
It had numerous runes of protection and bravery on it but one large one stuck out the most and was set right in the middle, the rune of the guardian, this coupled with Tyr's belief that he was here to protect his brothers and his lord had given him much inner strength and he had yet to take the necklace off after receiving it. Without realizing it his normal hand came up and he touched the large burn mark that covered the majority of the left side of his face and then the scar on his chest. He had suffered grievous wounds on Hecutor yet when he had received them he had thought almost nothing of them, instead using them to fuel his hate for his enemy, now he realized how close to death he and many of his brothers had come to and come out on top.
He smiled at the thought, that had to be one of the reasons Lord Blackmane liked fighting alongside them, they had the luck of an older pack but the burning vibrant and sometimes hard to control fire of the younger wolves, he fancied that they reminded Blackmane of himself when he was young....er. He was getting anxious now just sitting here around the fire, he wasnt showing it but he didnt like waiting here and then heading to the Fang in the morning, his breathing quickened a little bit but not too much as he sat and listened to the rest of the pack talking.
Krahl`s grin had not left his face since the beast had been felled. The spear he had used stuck in his grip like an extension of his own arm, for reasons most wouldn`t bother to guess. Krahl had claimed vigilance of course, for who knew what kind of creatures may come across the party at any time, drawn by the scent of cooking meat or the noise of a group of travellers.
In truth however, Krahl was reluctant to relinquish the feel of such power in his hands. With this very spear he had killed the great ursid. With this kill he had accomplished the Claw`s task. Why shouldn`t he savour this glory?
He sat opposite the fire to Tyr as the older pack brother told his tale, a compelling story of tainted brutes that had given the grizzled wolf the scars he bore down his chest. Cracking a few jokes at Alrik`s expense and drawing a few laughs from Krahl among others, Tyr passed the torch to Alrik.
Krahl took a moment to stare into the fire as the laughter receded. Perhaps only slightly, the grip on his spear had begun to relax, and he lowered the weapon to the ground. Momentarily he noticed a few of the older pack brothers had remained oddly silent by comparison. Not in a cold way, but even so, they seemed distracted.
Bah, it`s none of my concern what gripes they may have. Krahl told himself. We won, and we`ll be home in a day. If they wish to grieve their former brothers I will leave that to them.
The lapse in his attention was quickly put aside as Alrik began to speak.
Vermundr watched carefully for the longest time. He had absolutely taken his duties as pack leader to heart. He hadn't realized it before, but going from what was technically the temporary leader to a permanent one made a huge difference. He scanned over each of the new faces time, and time, and time again.
"So many thin faces in the pack," he said to his two pack brothers Keris and Iorek who sat beside him on a fairly flat but large rock, which had likely been part of the nearest mountain ages ago. Keris was facing in the opposite direction, looking off into the distance. "not that I have much on them really, but I'd say its pretty clear by their faces alone how new they are.
He sat with one arm across his knee, his other hand gripping the thin but strong threads of rope that tied the pelt into a bundle, which lay on the cold stiff ground by his feet, the countless hairs which still looked alive fluttering in the breeze. Vermundr's nose caught the breeze as well, and he turned his head, catching eye of a distant but likely approaching storm. He turned back to face the fire again, surrounded by large bodied Astartes freshly made for war.
"Some of these thin faces have definitely stuck out to me more than others. Krahl is one of course, but I doubt I am the only one of us three sitting on this rock who knows Alrik will not let Krahl's actions go unchecked."
Vermundr had attacked the Ursid himself as little as possible during the fight with it, trying to allow each of the new pack members a chance at experience, as well as further practicing his own ability at giving command and keeping morale.
"Though this venture has taken longer than I expected it to, I am certainly glad we have what we sought for," he gave a hard pat to the enormous pelt, "and with no casualties."
he paused for a moment making sure Iorek and Keris were both thinking the same thing he was before saying it, "Whatever our Lord warned us about, their last chances at stopping our successful return is quickly approaching. With only one day left of travel, any attack or act of thievery would have to be made soon. Likely in the sooner half at that, as I cant imagine any rivals committing their deviant act at the base of Asaheim. "
"With only a day left, I see little harm, if any, in telling the rest of our pack here. It would be better to have all eyes looking sharp, and all toes ready to pounce. Would you agree brothers?"
Hrothgar sits with his pack mates around the fire as he listens to the older wolves tell the stories of their recent battles, listening intently Hrothgar merely wishes that he was a few years older and that he had been chosen earlier as he then could of maybe joined the older wolves when their claw was first made instead of joining several months later on. Hrothgar continues to listening intently to Tyr with a grin on his face when Tyr says about breaking traitors and cowards who have turned away from the All-Father. As Tyr turns and gives Hrothgar a silent and serious stare Hrothgar's face twists into a frown wondering why Tyr is looking at him like that before he ends up laughing and gets slapped arcross the back by the older wolf. Letting out a laugh aswell and slapping Tyr on the back he says in his usual loud voice "That was a great tale Tyr! One day i hope i will be able to top that with one of my own!". As Tyr goes silent Hrothgar turns his attention from his pack brothers and stares in the direction of the Fang, his home.
While turning his attention to the direction of their destination Hrothgar starts to think on how he misses the fang that has become his new home and where all of his brother-wolves currently reside while not doing Russ's and the All-Fathers work amongst the stars. As Hrothgar continues to think on the fang he does his best to remember the events that led him to where he is now, and what little he remember of his previous life. He remembers the battle in which he had been 'killed' and picked by the Wolf Priests of the Space Wolves chapter to be taken for the trials and tests to become one of Russ's wolves. While thinking on the basic training and the more advanced training after that he remembers that only one wolf within this claw has been beside him from the very beginning and who he hopes will be with him until the very end, Frostulfr.
Turning his head to look at his brother-wolf Hrothgar remembers all the times he and Frostulfr have trained together and their maby brawls other things that are of no importance to the other members of the pack. Finally looking away from Frostulfr Hrothgar returns his attention to the ursid meat currently cooking about the fire they had managed to build, his new enhanced sense of smell picking up the rich flavours that he had some to enjoy over the last few days of eating the creatures meat. As a small bit of saliva runs down from the left side of his mouth Hrothgar runs his tongue over his lips and his new fangs which he is still getting used to. He remembers when they had started to grow after receiving the implants that made him into an astartes he had bitten his tongue on a number of times due to not being used to their size and sharpness, but now he was starting to get used to them. As he continued to smell the flavours and scent of the cooking meat infront of him Hrothgar's inner wolf wanted to force him to leap forward and sieze it with his fangs but he knew he must do all he can to surpress his inner wolf as allowing it to take hold would mean his degeneration from a noble warrior into one of the feral wulfen.
Hrothgar looked left and right at his pack mates before wondering who was going to take the next part of the ursid meat so he decide to try and luck to take part of the meat which he remembered would of been part of the creatures flank. As he reached out towards the meat he saw a hand to his left reach out towards it aswell, letting out a small growl Hrothgar turned his head to see Frostulfr reaching for the meat aswell. With his inner wolf snarling a challenge Hrothgar knew exactly what to do. "Frostulfr! you are trying to reach for the piece i am reaching for! Let us settle this in our usual way! With an arm wrestle. What say you!?"
It was cold, but hell, it was always damn cold on Fenris. Kjaratan rotated his neck around, being rewarded with a few cracks and pops, has he attempted to alleviate the tension. Their task was complete, but not without due suffering and sacrifice, their time in the wilderness had been exhilarating, it had been a test, a chance for him to prove his worth to his pack brothers, to make an initial place for himself within the claw. He had failed in this task. He wasn't even particularly close to the razor-ursid when it was slain by Krahl, albeit done so with less than disciplined decisions. The pack-brother had simply shoved Alrik out of the way and claimed the kill himself. For that he was still considered the slayer of the beast, so doubt, but Kjartan couldn't help but not feel pride for his brother.
Still, he had contributed only so much to this task and therefore couldn't raise complaint to anything his pack-brothers had done. Putting the thought from his mind he turned his head, half-hearing the story being told by Tyr, and gazed at the Fang. A days travel if weather and conditions permitted, although Fenris was a fickle world, one almost with a mind of its own. Once they returned great stories would be told by his brothers, especially Krahl for slaying the razor-ursid, and a number of his other brothers. He would be oddly silent he knew, he wasn't a braggart ... well not as much as some within the claw, but he still wanted great stories of his own.
'Soon ...' he thought solemnly, 'There will be some Ork warboss or some heretic who demands to be killed and I'll claim my stories from their death ...'
His mind somewhat at ease, Kjartan turned his head back towards the fire, just in time to hear Tyr's story come to its relative conclusion as he seemed to pass it onto Alrik. Kjartan gave a general grunt of amusement, the story had been funny even though he'd only kept his mind half-attentive to it.
The journey had been long, it was not a trivial task for Frostulfr and for many of the other pack brothers to track the great Razor – Ursid and slay it. A deadly beast it was, yet still there were other things which presented more danger then this beast and this comforted Frostulfr. He did not bother with the tracking and let the more experienced pack members track it down for him, he understood from what they said that it was a rather large Ursid, this made him even harder to kill and much more dangerous. They tracked it for a long time, none gave up, not the beast and neither did they, it was a wise creature, at least tactically as it managed to avoid them on several occasions but this ended a week ago when they finally traced the creature finding it as he was on the run away from them. Frostulfr managed a smile then, he knew that the journey home will begin shortly.
Unlike Alrik or Krahl, he did not participate in the killing of the beast, instead Keris and he helped Pack Brother Tyr escape from the clutches of the beast by helping him climb up a cliff to escape the beasts range of attack, from there Frostulf watched as the battle unfolded, he saw how Krahl pushed Alrik aside so he would be able to strike the killing blow, although it was a great feat to kill such a beast it still was foolish of him to push Alrik in this way as he would have been brutally wounded easily by the creature if Krahl missed the strike, luckily he did not.
Frostulfr returned to reality, blinking several times he refocused on his surroundings. He was staring at the fire in front of him, it kept his body warm, a gust of wind passed which resulted in him tightening the wolven pelts he had, even for a Fenrisian the weather was never to warm in this time of the year. The smell of the beast did not leave the pack as it was used to keep the fire burning, it was a good pack, he did not dislike anyone here yet but maybe it will change and he also got to keep his friend Hrothgar with him, they’ve been through the harsh training together, and both of them survived each with the others help. Moving forward Frostulf torn a piece from the creatures meat and stuffed it in his mouth, it tasted well. As he sat there he could hear his pack brothers talking, mainly Tyr who was sharing stories about the Hecutor campaign he participated in. Frostulfr reminded himself to keep his senses sharp and not to drown in the pleasure of the kill as they still had the task of returning the pelt to the Fang.
Frostulfr had noticed something; it was not the first time that he noticed that yet it occurred to him every time anew. There was some sort of a barrier between the older pack brothers and the younger. It was weird, maybe they have gone through terrible things in the time before the new members’ arrival. He sighed, he hoped that soon this barrier would shatter and they will be able to act as a whole and not as two different packs.
Deciding that food will take his mind of such things Frostulfr moved his hand towards a piece of the creature’s flank, as he reached out with his hand he heard a growl of dissatisfaction, looking to his right he saw Horthgar, apparently the man already eyed that piece, Frostulfr was about the back away as he did not want to get into a brawl yet it seemed inevitable, snarling Hrothgar shouted at him, challenging him to an arm wrestle for the piece of meat, before he could verbally agreed he already knew that the fight was on, he won’t let this challenge go unanswered. Nastily smiling back at Hrothgar, Frostulfr bellowed back at him, “I accept your challenge!” Frostulfr knew that he was stronger, and bigger. Yet he knew that Hrothgar must have some trick or a nasty plan in mind so it will enable him to win this fight and thus he prepared himself.
Standing up from the stone he was sitting on Frostulfr pointed at it, showing Hrothgar that this was a suitable place for the competition. Both of them knelt on the ground, their heads were now nearly at the same height. Slamming one palm against the other made a small booming sound, both of them grabbed the others hand strongly. Both of them counted to three, “One! Two! The meat would be mine Hroth!! Three!!!” He shouted and then smilingly he began pitting his strength against Hrothgar’s strength. Although less resilent and weaker then Frostulfr Hrothgar was still a worthy foe and he did not give up, he knew that this would be a long and tedious battle as none of them pushed yet but neither let down any ground as they both knew once someone gets the advantage he will most likely win. Although expecting Hrothgar to use some dirty trick he did not expect what was going to happen next. They both continued wrestling with their arms, three minutes have passed and not he or Hrothgar seemed to give an inch, slowly beginning to apply more strength Frostulfr began winning, slowly but steadily pushing Hrothgar’s hand down, as he was halfway to his victory he saw Hrothgar smiling, a second later he was pushed back, stars filling his eyesight, he was confuse for a moment and then understood that Hrothgar headbutted him. The little trickster, he will pay for that! He saw that Hrothgar used the moment to his advantage and began pushing Frostulf’s hand down. A cruel smile began to stretch on Frostulfr’s face, something that his opponent did not notice, with a quickly swung his left arm which was free and smashed it into Hrothgar’s face while succumbing to an endless laugh, he laughed friendlily and full heartedly, he laughed so hard that his belly began to ache and he did not even know why, it was not that funny after all yet he still laughed, This evening just became much more interesting and entertaining.
OOC: We've already worked this out, so no godmodding here :P
Not my best post though, still need to get into that wolfish head.
Amid the snow, the Wolves of Fenris hunt.
Gene-enhanced, muscular-augmented and fur-clad figures stalked, spears clutched tightly to chests, sniffing and grumbling.
I stalk left, my movements nonchalant, bundled in grey-speckled hides. Across my chest, in a mammoth-hide scabbard, I wear the flaying blade. Fur-trimmed gloves and boots are the only other clothing upon my body. A hood, shaped into the countenance of a howling wolf, is pulled over my head.
I am an imperfect sculpture, unfinished by the Allfather; cursed by horrible scarification, gifted with bundles of taut, oversized muscles.
With a quick, narrow-eyed glance towards my flanks, I spy Vermundr moving towards my right, keeping back; observing the younger Packmates, and we share a nod. Once, our bond had been fractured; but those days are gone. We now regularly confide in one another, honing our skills with blade and axe, jesting and discussing - With a mixture if seriousness and playfulness.
Through the snow flurries, I witness movement. It is cumbersome, moving on heavy, but powerful legs and growling inanely. I know what it is: the razor-ursine. We have stalked it for days, hunting the mountain of caked fur and naturally attained muscle; slavering feverishly, longing to taste his throat.
Even from a distance, it is monstrous. Old, pale scars snake across his haunches, snout and chest area, where it has survived through countless bouts with other beasts; rending and gnawing.
A warbling howl arises from the throats of the Pack.
My own, ululating howl joins the melancholic cries.
The razor-ursine twists around, and I lock eyes.
Black, thin slits meet crimson, beady orbs.
The Hunt is on…
…In the distance, the Fang punctuated the sky. Even from such a great length of land, the structure was immense, a giant to the snow-capped children around it. Alrik Firehawk, sat, cross-legged and dour faced, firelight seeping amongst his scars; bathing his accursed countenance in vibrant orange. He averted directly looking at the flickering, molten fire.
It only sought to destroy his vision, and despite his advanced ocular systems; the darkness still seemed evermore dark after a look into the flames. Distant, bloodcurdling howls sounded.
Instinctively, he seized the haft of his spear, which lay in the snow nearby. His fingers, raw in the cold, crackled and bled. With his free hand, he drew his mantle of furs tighter around his shoulders and throat, feeling snow land upon his exposed torso. Not even his advanced physiology and metabolism allowed him to withstand the winds for long, even he knew that.
When Tyr had finally fallen into silence, the attention was turned upon Alrik. He smiled, his snaggletoothed smile, wetting his lips with his tongue.
‘You wish to know of the Harmonious Descent, dearest Tyr,’ He rasped, looking at his overly large brother. Tyr was forever jovial, his bionic hand humming ominously. ‘Of the nightmares and horrors, which lurk in the darkness? Then,’ He smiled again, thinly. ‘It shall be so.’
‘The Harmonious Descent,’ He muttered, remembering the day. ‘Had arrived on the fringes of our system, and the honour of eradicating her populace, was gifted to Lord Blackmane and his Company. I, along with Iorek,’ He nodded towards the pale-fleshed, claret-eyed Marine. ‘And the grey-haired fisherman, Njoror, were amongst the force.’
‘The Harmonious Descent was a particularly horrible gathering of vessels, a piece of a world, given flight. Over the years, ships had been attracted to it, and lay broken upon the expanse. We stalked through the thing, facing.. Insects, with oversized talons and agility that was akin to the beasts of legend. Purple hided, bulbous of skull..’
‘We clove our way through them, purifying the shattered hallways and collapsed tunnels. With sword, bolter and flamer. The older Wolves led us, Kjarl at the forefront, we following obediently. I was blessed, in not sustaining any injuries; but gifting many upon the Tyranids. Even the white-bastard fought well,’ He added a mirthless chuckle, a deep rumbling from within the depths of his throat.
‘But there was other, worse, things inhabiting the hulk. Outlawed men, bearing foul mutations and walking hand-in-hand with the Xenos, walls that moved and gibbered, crushing men between them. And Astartes.’
‘It was said, that one of the Grey Hunters was taken into the cusp of the Wulfen, gnawing and clawing at his brothers, renting throats and guts. I saw none of this - But rumours spread like wildfire, and it was soon in our ears.’
His eyes, narrowed in resentment, darted from face to face. He hated the newcomers, they were not worthy of their positions in the Pack. Worst of all, was the one they called Krahl, ever-grinning, having nearly killed Alrik…
…The Razor-Ursine roared challenge to me, and my hands tighten around the haft of my spear. It is humungous, thrice the size of even Tyr, shaggy fur draping from it like a cloak. Teeth and claws, like daggers, glisten wetly.
My spear whistles in, embedding itself in the flank of the creature. Blood gushes from the wound, turning the haft of my spear red. It freezes almost instantaneously.
Krahl, young, untested and utterly idiotic, rushes in my flank. I cannot help but to detest the young Wolf, cocksure of his abilities, longing to establish a reputation..
I throw myself in again, striking out once more, spearhead penetrating flesh, drawing more black-red blood. It roars in defiance, launching a tremendous backhand, but I duck beneath its flaying claws. It turns its attention to another of the Pack; and I breath between gritted fangs.
‘Die,’ I manage, chest lifting and collapsing rhythmically. ‘Now.’
And then, as though abiding to my words, it twists. A predatory smile, teeth glimmering in the moonlight.
I am about to launch forwards, but something stops me, rough hands push me aside, and I fall closer to the creature’s clicking claws. It swipes, and then…
…Krahl had, in a matter of seconds, nearly killed Alrik and had stolen the bear’s hide.
‘Why do you grin, wyrm?’ Alrik growled from across the fire, one of his hands tightening upon the hilt of the flaying blade. He pulled it ever so slightly, so the black blade was revealed. ‘What great accomplishment have you partook in, to wear a joker’s smile?’
He could kill him now, if he truly wished… Spill his throat, cut him from groin to nape…
He stood, furs seeping along his back. ‘Know this, Packmate - If you lay hand upon me again, place me in danger, the snow will run red.’
And with that, he retook his seat, snorting in derision.
A bitter wind sliced across Fenris, rumbling howls within her mighty bellow, cut at the pelt he bore around his shoulders, it bit deep into the fur and attacking his very core. Strength found wanting, it snarled and hurried on to trouble others elsewhere.
He sat together yet alone. He liked it thus, just far enough for solitude, close enough to be considered at one with the others
Yet he was alone.
Tyr's tale chased around him, as eyes fixed upon his great form, Ioreks own fixed upon the bionic of his right hand as it gesticulated with gusto. Whole again, stronger in fact.
His own fingers probed delicately around the empty socket running over the great rivets upon the left side of his face.
He would never be whole.
There was a hole in his heart, compassion and love lost, destroyed, torn asunder and replaced with fear and hatred, emotions of the twisted and the damned.
Bitter laughter rippled around his mind
"Silence" strength reverberated in his voice, dominated his own mind with ripples of pure fury. The laughter receede, withdrew to niggle at his subconscious once more. Thought deserted him and his single eye closed and he plunged himself into the calm balm of darkness.
The red eye opened once more and fixed upon a new speaker.
The firehawk, he too brutally disfigured talked of times long past, a name long retired never forgotten brushed his ears and his right hand gripped his hip bone, nails digging into the skin, lips fixing together.
He longed for his pistol, the wolf snarled yet Iorek slapped the sound away, with a spear of thought.
He longed for the emptiness its motion brought, the playful push of the recoil against him, the effortless click that brought death onto his foes.
Two short knives crossed his back, two long fangs, thin and balanced, built for speed and accuracy rather than pure power nudged against his vertebrae.
He had worked relentlessly, speed and pace, his movements lithe his blade strokes sure. He had much to work on... so much to pay for, this hunting trip an irritating aside he wished he could avoid, yet the packleader had spoken, he must obey.
The leash tugged at him, subservience a niggle he had never noticed before, yet Vermundr had grown, an assurance laced his stance as he lounged upon the rock, he would be great one day, it was obvious indeed. The story rose and fell, the teasing asides falling upon deaf ears as Iorek's mind followed his own thoughts that day.
He would not speak of that day
Never... that fallen grey hunter could one day be... dont say it... dont think it
Blood spilled over his fingers as his nail pierced the pure white skin at his hip and he embraced the irritating flare of pain that erupted in his mind.
He longed for solitude yet now words reached his ears. Words in the packleaders hushed tones, meant for his ears.
His own eyes flittered to the other listener, the ice blue eyes of the sage met his own then moved on.
Another that had grown, another reputation that shot forth, another that would go far.
Two blood claws grappled, their arms rock, unwavering, unbending, granite met granite, its strength tested by not taxed as they sought the advantage.
"Some of these thin faces have definitely stuck out to me more than others. Krahl is one of course, but I doubt I am the only one of us three sitting on this rock who knows Alrik will not let Krahl's actions go unchecked."
The older wolfs face was fixed upon the frozen smile upon the young bloodclaws face and Iorek nodded in agreement, yet he spoke not. The animosity was not his domain, that was the packleaders concern, yet he could not condone the young ones actions.
Thrusting a brother into harm to gain a killing strike was ruthless, not a brother he wanted at his back.
The wrestle was ended with a thump as one smashed his face into the others to gain the advantage.
A little snarl bit across his lips and he spat, friendly play maybe, yet it was another he did not want at his back.
Yet he would need them, if Blackmanes words were true... the thoughts were disrupted by Vermundr's own musings
"Whatever our Lord warned us about, their last chances at stopping our successful return is quickly approaching. With only one day left of travel, any attack or act of thievery would have to be made soon. Likely in the sooner half at that, as I cant imagine any rivals committing their deviant act at the base of Asaheim. With only a day left, I see little harm, if any, in telling the rest of our pack here. It would be better to have all eyes looking sharp, and all toes ready to pounce. Would you agree brothers?"
Iorek's bitter laughter rang through the clearing
"With our Lord's decision to run with us he honoured us and taxed us. Those that respect him wonder what metal we bear that lead him to choose us, those with animosity long to prove us suspect, to cast doubt upon his prodgidies. All i can see is they wish for us to return empty handed, bruised, battered and defeated. It would be wise to warn the others, but I would not. Forewarned is forearmed yet I would see how these brothers of ours react when they are the ones being hunted, when the shadows cause a menace. Of our number there are 4 i would walk into russ's hall alongside, if we are to face the serpent once more I would wish to trust all 12. Tell Alrik and Tyr if you must yet I would like to see how that one..."
He inclined his head towards the headbutter who still grappled in friendly animosity with his brother
"reacts to being tricked rather than playing the trickster."
The scar across his chest rippled and seered and he ran an icy finger along its length his eyes moving up to fix upon the mountain in the distance.
There was much to do when he returned... so much to do
Heimdall stared at the crackling and roaring fire, a beacon of light and warmth in the harsh wilderness that was Fenris. He was grateful that the claw had set up a fire for warmth and to cook the meat of the huge and deadly razor-ursine. All that him and his genetically enhanced brothers wore were simple pelts of fur for warmth in these harsh conditions. Heimdall would never get used to it, even though he had spent his entire life on Fenris, either in his former life before the chapter or when he became one of the Emperor's Angel's of Death.
Fenris was one of the harshest climate's known to the Imperium, more deadly than most worlds. This was shown in the quarry that they had tracked, huge deadly and smart it could of ripped through an entire tribe, even unprepared initiates. However he was a member of the pack now, and as long as they worked together they would survive and succeed. He respected his brothers that had fought alongside Wolflord Blackmane, though they were more distant to him and the newer members of the pack.
Alrik was particularly hostile, but Heimdall cared not. He would prove himself eventually, patience was all that was required. A hard thing for him to do, he was used to acting impulsively and was known for his short temper. He had played a part in killing the beast. Not as great as some of his other brothers but still, he played his part. He longed to have his flamer back in his hand, the rush of roaring flames once more. However for now he would have to make do with his spear, one which was close to him even now. They were close to home, close to the Fang. But they still had a little way to go and Heimdall would not let his guard down.
Alrik, spoke to Krhal, who had put him in harms way to get the killing blow. Heimdall felt for neither of them, he wouldn't want Krhal behind him, and he wouldn't want Alrik either, he couldn't trust the new members like a space wolf should. They were all off the same chapter, and the new members had been chosen to fill the void where others had fallen.
Heimdall sighed as he watched two of his brothers fight over meat, three sat away from the group conversing too quietly for his enhanced hearing to pick up. If it was anything important then he was sure that the rest of the pack would be informed. But when? The older marines would converse, plan with each other, but not with the newer members of the pack. It did not bode well in Heimdall's opinion, but what could he say.
He stood slowly, drawing his spear close as he turned away from the fire. He would be vigilant in case some wild beast, or pack, caught their scent and decided they would be a fit meal. Heimdall doubted it, but he would watch out nonetheless. If his newer brothers wanted to fight over scraps of meat they could, and if the older ones wanted to keep secrets that was fine by him. As long as it didn't threaten the new Claw, which he was now a part of and had a responsibility to.
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