2019-08-02 - A Hunting We Shall Go


Fenris takes Astryd on a hunting trip.

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Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Aug 2 06:14:54 2019
Location: {$location}

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Now that Astryd is feeling better, she's convinced Fenris to take her hunting. It's something they both enjoy - the thrill of it and given it's physical nature, something the Valkyr is truly ready for. By Hunting, Astryd didn't mean the type that's done with rifles and scopes. She meant spears and knives and … for her … wolf back. Probably Cuan.

"Where are you taking me, my heart?" The blonde asks Fenris as she joins him, dressed in hunting leathers, her hair tightly braided, a bow and spear in hand.

Yes, she's looking forward to this. He can tell from the gleam in her eye.

Fenris rather likes hunting and this is something that he and Astryd have done many times over the years. He hunts as a beast, she as a woman of thousands of years ago. Of course, for it to be fun they have to go somewhere with creatures that are worth hunting and that just isn't Earth.

"Do you remember the Drakenwald? I figured we could find something suitably large in there. Maybe an Arachana or a Katerwaul or something that will put up a really good fight." And make a good meal, so okay maybe not the bug. Fenris and Astryd do not waste kills.

"Are you up to that Cuan?"

"Oh yes, I remember. That was a fabulous world. We're going to stay a few nights then? Give us time to dress and prepare our kills." This has more and more appeal to the Valkyr. The lease of life she's gained from having the geas removed is wonderful.

"I am, Grandfather. It will be good hunting and even better at your side and with Astryd." beat "It's been a while since we all hunted together."

"Let us go then, my heart. I don't wish to delay another minute." There's something almost reckless to Astryd but that's understandable, isn't it?

Fenris opens the Way and steps through. These pathways are twisting and often dark. But they're normal to Fenris and Astryd. Both have walked them for many years. Only Fenris knows how to get into them of course but Astryd has travelled through them often.

When they arrive it is to a world of dark greens and browns. Tall trees - some as tall and thick as buildings on Midgard, and deep shadows. Shadows so dark that even Fenris' excellent eyesight doesn't penetrate them.

The Old Wolf takes a deep breath. "Mmmmmm. There's something nearby already. I can smell it."

Astryd knows the Ways well enough but also knows that to try and follow them without Fenris is … difficult. Hers are the paths of the Underworlds and whilst she could have led them through those, this is less dangerous.

Stepping into the wooded area, the blonde breathes deeply. "It has been too long, Fenris, since we've done something like this." beat "Cuan, do you have the scent that your Grandfather does?"

"I do Astryd." The wolf drops to its front elbows to enable the Valkyr to mount. She does, storing the spear in the holder on the saddle he wears. The bow is drawn as the grey eyed woman blows a kiss to the Old Wolf.

"We ride, Fenris, and we hunt! Away, Cuan…"

The giant wolf leaps away, tearing around in a circle to come from upwind on the beast. They can't see it, but they can soon hear it as moves through forest.

Fenris laughs and chases after her. Well, after Cuan. The younger wolf is fleet and can fly but Fenris is tireless and cunning. They're making a great deal of noise as they move but that's fine. Wolves want their prey to run. Earth wolves don't want it to fight. Fenris has no such compunction.

He darts off to the right, trying to trap the source of the noise between he and Astryd. It may still bolt. Likely in a third direction. But that's fine. The long chase is something he is well suited for.

The creature - they still aren't sure what it is - moves faster. They wanted it to run, they wanted to hunt. What good is a hunt if it's not a challenge and Astryd has Cuan and Fenris with her - an unfair advantage if ever there was one.

Swinging around as Fenris branches off, Cuan moves fast towards the noise.

The leonine head can be glimpsed between the trees, the creature veering slightly to its left to avoid the wolf and rider.

Fenris gets glimpses the tail and haunches. This thing would be nearly as tall as him at his full height.

A worthy creature to hunt.

As the creature presents its shoulder, Astryd draws her bow and lets off shot, nocking another arrow and letting fly again. She's using her knees and thighs to hold onto her mount, trusting in the wolf to guide them true.

Fenris starts to grow. He doesn't need to - and shouldn't - call on his full power to do this but he is going to want to be a little bit bigger. As Astryd comes in on the creature he comes in behind it and bites at the ankle. Wolves do that, they try to hobble and bleed their prey, tiring them so that eventually the only thing they can do is lay down and die.

It's a brutal way to hunt but it has kept Fenris fed for thousands of years. It helps of course that he doesn't NEED a pack. Though he certainly likes having one as he does now.

"Careful of it's tail!" Fenris has seen that it's barbed and spiked and heavy.

It's not just the tail. As Fenris draws near, the creature has armoured plates covering its body. A worthy foe for the Pack that's chasing it now. His bite finds the weak point and the leonine beast roars in pain, blood fountaining as makes it run through the forest. It's tail lashes out, taking chunks out of a tree to Fenris' left, sending debris flying and whistling at him. It lashes back and forth trying to get the Old Wolf to back off.

Astryds arrows hit true and stick into the plating but not enough to slow it. The blonde growls and urges Cuan around. "Head it off, Cuan. Face on." Wild eyed, the Valkyr draws her spear.

Fenris has to weave and veer off his attack to jump over a collapsing tree trunk and then again to jump over the tail. He makes it look easy really but he's been doing this for thousands of years. For him a lot of this is muscle memory. There's still danger of course. It wouldn't be fun if there were not.

Astryd does manage to slow it down and he gets right back on it's hind quarters, biting. He doesn't need any one bite to cripple it. The blood loss and running will do that if this goes on for long enough. But this thing? This is a predator. Will it keep runing?

Of course it doesn't and Astryd was betting on that, swinging Cuan to face it head on. The beast bellow shakes trees and ground alike, whipping its tail around again to try and shake Fenris. When it can't, it spins with incredible agility and leaps for the wolfs throat with a growl.

Cuan howls and takes the air, moving so Astryd can aid her Lord with a strike.

They just need the right angle …

Fenris goes low. This thing is bigger than him but he can flip it on it's back if he gets beneath it's center of gravity. All he has to do is…

Get clawed. He avoids the teeth. Letting this thing latch onto his throat would be a big problem. But it DOES manage to rake his side with its claws and that hurts. It hurts a LOT and he growls as he starts to bleed, even as he butts his head and body upward, trying to knock the thing back. That should put it right in the path of Astryd's spear unless this thing has another trick. Which it very well may.

The lion-beast is flipped, claws taking chunks from Fenris' hide, the tail used as lever to turn itself over.

Just quick enough for Astryd leaps from Cuans' back, landing on the beasts back, and driving the spear down between the plates.

Another bellow, the tail whips round and hits the Valkyr, spiking her but not knocking her clear. She holds her ground, leaning against the spear and driving it deep.

The leonine creature, starts to roll.

Fenris yelps as his flanks are gouged but he continues the attack. He's bleeding now, a thick and sluggish ichor rather than conventional blood. Well, he ISN'T a real wolf. He's a supernatural force of nature that happens to be wolf shaped.

When the thing starts to roll he lunges toward the nearest point and winds up grabbing the base of the tail and pulling back, trying to stop the roll and drag the creature away from Astryd.

Of course he can't talk like that. Only growl and hope that Astryd does something productive with the opening.

Fenris can smell blood. The creatures and Astryds. That tail scored a hit on the blonde.

"Astryd." That's Cuan, who's landed and baiting the creature, drawing its attention to give both Asgardians a chance to do something. He might be a little concerned for his rider too.

Astryd draws her spear out as Fenris drags on the beast, stepping a bit to maintain her balance. As it's leonine head whips around to snap at the Apocalypse Wolf, the blonde plunges her spear again, this time through the spinal cord … The beast roars in pain as Cuan darts in, strong jaws clamping down on its throat.

Fenris doesn't let go of the tail. If he does he'll get smacked and smacked hard. Instead he keeps pulling, dragging it back and in a circle to the left to try to stay away from the head which now has a spike sticking in the base of it. He knows this thing is finished. All he has to do is wait for Cuan and Astryd to make it stop moving and try to prevent it from hurting them while it expires.

Which it eventually does, and Fenris lets it go. "Astryd, you're hurt I can smell it."

Astryd has to hold on while the beast goes through its death throes. Fenris dragging it, twists its back - Cuan helps now he has jawful throat - they can hear the backbone crack as they do this.

Eventually it twitches and lays still.

"As you, my heart." The Valkyrie turns to the God Wolf, eyes flashing as she draws her spear clear. "It was a good hunt. A good hunt shouldn't be bloodless for the Hunters." Reckless. She was reckless, far more than she has been before.

Cuan trots around the massive head of the beast, muzzle covered with blood, and just looks at Fenris.

"Mmmhmmm." Fenris eyes her. But she doesn't appear to be impaled or needing a retreat to some place safer. Which is good. They can dress the kill here but there are other monsters about. Predators that might come try to steal the carcass.

"Well done, Cuan." The Old Wolf says as he transforms back into his mortal guise. Hrm. He's going to need a big, big knife for this.

Do you want a few bites before I hang it up to drain it?"

That's mostly to Cuan and teasingly to Astryd. Because, you know, she's acting wild.

"What?" The blonde moves gingerly as she climbs down from the beast. She got one of those tail spikes in her side. The leathers took some of the impact, her Asgardian physiology more of it but still … it hurts, an awful lot. "How badly injured are you, my heart? That was a good hunt, was it not."

Joining him, the Valkyr presses a kiss to his lips, giving him a saucy look for the teasing. He'll do most of the dressing but she'll help.

"I do, Grandfather." Cuan bows and takes a bite or two from the carcass.

"I'll save you some to take home to the Pack, Cuan. You served me well again, as you always do." Astryd answers, helping Fenris move the carcass (carefully) to hang it.

"My flanks are torn, but I'll be fine." The cuts were not deep enough to impair him, despite what they looked. Fenris is an immensely durable being. Being the bringer of the end does have some perks, after all.

"You were rather… bold in your approach Astryd." Fenris doesn't say reckless. But she was a lot more asgardian than previously. Asgardians leap into the frey, heedless of danger. Fenris and Astryd cannot do that. There's only two of them and despite their great power they can be brought low. It would be particularly dire for Fenris to be laid low. Doing so might trigger an… episode.

And what might it do to him if Astryd were injured and required assistance? He would, as he did, try to draw attention and risk getting himself hurt to save her, wouldn't he?

The blonde looks Fenris over and nods slowly. "I will tend you when we are done here." They have to hoist the carcass up so they can bleed it. The blood will be collected and either used or disposed of later. She hands a knife from the pack that Cuan had on his saddle.

"Was I? I must be feeling much better than I was." She can sense his regard though. "Were you worried?"

He would. Fenris is much more able to take the hurt than Astryd. He's sturdier and more physically powerful. But that also has it's risks. Against a terrible enough foe, that might well drive him to desperation. And a desperate Fenris is bad for everyone.

"More so than usual. Perhaps it's just that you're feeling alive again." Fenris says as he cuts the throat and then helps tie the feet so they can get the beast hung up.

"But yes, I was worried. Another tail strike would have been bad for you."

Under other circumstances, Astryd would do almost anything in her power to ensure Fenris wasn't pushed to desperation. Certainly putting herself at risk like that is uncharacteristic but she's done it before, hasn't she?

"I might not have, but I had faith in you and Cuan to do what was needed to bring the beast down." The blonde looks at Fenris, who's being his usual controlled self, even as he works. "I do not think I was in much danger, Fenris. I adjusted for the tail, after all."

Fenris looks at Astryd again but nods. She is not badly hurt, perhaps he's overreacting. Perhaps she's just feeling her oats, as the human saying goes. She wasn't too reckless. But the fact remains that she wasn't nearly as careful as he's known her to be. And over the centuries she's gotten very, very canny. That was almost… reverting to type. Stereotypical asgardian.

Fenris hauls up the kill with help and lets it start to drain. It's got a LOT of blood.

"Alright. Let me take a look at you now."

Astryds cold grey eyes meet Fenris' as he looks at her. She doesn't seem to be more atypically Asgardian than usual except during that fight. There is a lot of blood and catching it all isn't going to be possible.

Cuan slinks off and watches one of the edges of the clearing they're in. If trouble comes from that direction, they'll know.

"I'm alright. If anything, I should be looking at you." The blonde answers, turning still so he can see her side. It's deep, though much of the impact was taken by her leathers and her Asgardian physiology accounts for much. Still, it will need cleaning and dressing. She's not been injured like this, in a hunt or something recreational, for a very long time.

"Well I'll tell you what. I'll show you mine if you show me yours." The Old Wolf takes off his shirt and yes he is sort of torn up. There are long furrows on his flanks. They're not bleeding, not in the traditional sense but they are weeping ichor ever so sluggishly. Fenris does not bleed, not in the normal way. He doesn't HAVE blood in the normal sense. The stuff that makes up his being is far, far more exotic.

And also black.

"Mmmmmm. That needs to be cleaned. Did you bring bandages, Raven?"

That type of ichor makes Fenris that much more interesting for other beings and he needs to be careful. "You know how to tease a girl, my heart." The Valkyr murmurs as he strips of his shirt. She can see the furrows and winces. "I have the first aid kit, of course. Not that we often need it." She fetches that and hands it over before examining Fenris wounds.

"You were hit fairly well, my heart. You're healing of course. It wouldn't have take much worse for you to disappear and find a safe place to recover."

Thankfully that hasn't happened in many a year. The last time he'd ended up wedged between their bed and the wall in his wolf form until he'd recovered. Astryd hadn't been impressed, at all.

"I think this was the tonic I needed though."

The predators here would surely love to get a taste of him and were they actually to defeat him they would become immensely more powerful and dangerous. Another Fenris, in fact, but with the mind of a twisted beast rather than a person. He does not fear being eaten like that but he DOES indeed need to be careful.

"It could have been close if it brought that tail down on me. But then it would have hardly been a worthy hunt without it. Would it?"

He examines Astryd a bit closer. "Hrm. Come on over to the stream here." He says as he takes the kit. There's clean bandages in it and antiseptic wipes not that either of them generally worry about disease.

"This may sting."

"That is why we took the hunt, right? We wanted the challenge." And Astryd had wanted to feel alive again. Celebrate the removal of the geas.

"Are you going to get me wet again, Fenris? The last time it was snow if I recall correctly." The Valkyr teases a little, letting him tend her. She'll clean his wounds as well in a moment. Most diseases don't worry them but who knows what might be out there? Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Cuan lifts his head, nose twitching a little "Grandfather, Astryd. Something is circling. Still some distance out, but they are growing bolder." The wolf with the ruffled coat says in that growly voice he has.

To Fenris' ears, he can hear something moving through the forest. Is it getting closer?

Fenris reaches into the stream and splashes the blonde. He smirks. Then he gets back to bandaging her up, after he wipes her down. Yes it does sting a little.

The Wolf-Made-Man lifts his head and sniffs. Yes there's something there. More than one something. "Get closer Cuan. If we need to leave it'll be in a big hurry. This is his kill and he will defend it but he won't do so at the cost of his life. Or Cuan's. Or Astryd's.

"The blood must be drawing them. They know that something has made a kill." They may also know that Fenris and Astryd are injured, depending what they are.

It's possible they know that Fenris and Astryd are injured. They're still circling and it's going to be a while before that beast can be dressed fully.

Astryd yelps a little as Fenris splashes her, splashing him back in return and gasping at the sting of the antiseptic. It's not long before she's seen to and is return the favour to the God-Wolf.

She *miiiiight* be a little more gentle than he, but it still might sting.

The flying wolf backs into the clearing, not taking his eyes from the forest. "Build a fire, Fenris. They shouldn't come closer and I won't leave our kill for the scavengers." Astryd answers as she works on him.

He might not wish to stand, but she does.

Cuan does glance to Fenris at that.

Fenris looks back. Yeah this is worrying. "There might not be time." Fenris does have tools to build a fire but there's not much around to burn but ground cover and Fenris isn't about to start chopping tree limbs. He does find a few pieces of deadwood and gets a spark to take but it'll take a moment before that's a blaze. This is as dangerous to them as it is to the creatures, as well. There is no containment. It could well spread and spread out of control.

"To the left… and to the right. They're circling opposite one another. Two… maybe three. They're trying to hide their scent. Back to the river. They'll have to come into the clear if they want to get to us."

Fenris changes into a wolf and starts to grow. He's going to need power for this.

Setting her leathers in place, Astryd retrieves her spear and turns, tracking the sounds as the creatures circle the clearing. Would it be such a shame to leave the carcass of the beast they butchered? Normally Astryd would be urging them all to leave. But she doesn't. There's a gleam in her eye as she relishes the challenge.

Fenris can't see it, but the mark over her heart glows a little. Maybe he'll sense it.

"We will hold, my heart?" She murmurs as she takes a position by the river. It should be safer this way. The two or three creatures have to come through the forest.

There's a low growl to Fenris' right, he gets the scent good and strong. A pig-like snout pokes from the bushes and starts to rush him.

Where are the other two?

"We will do as we must." Fenris growls. He glances to Cuan whom he knows will cover Astryd's flank. That will be key because while Fenris is big enough to take a rush of several creatures Astryd is the size of a human and must rely on her weapons and positioning to keep from being overwhelmed.

As the first one comes out Fenris stomps forward one step and brings his jaws down. This little piggy is not going to market. If he remembers right, these creatures often hunt in packs larger than just two or three. So are these three what's left of a failed pack? Are they siblings? Or are there more out there?

Cuan moves to provide the cover for Astryd as the pig like creature leaps for the God Wolf. It's a desperate move, to attack like that. There is only one coming at him too and he might notice the scars and wounds it's sporting. It's hurt. And probably hungry, and likely desperate.

Several rows of needle like teeth can be seen as the pig-thing screams at Fenris.

Behind Fenris, he can hear the rest of them. They're rushing from the forest at Astryd and Cuan. Did they assess the threats and try to distract the God Wolf, while the remaining … two … no three now … attack the more easier of the group?

Cuan bellows and knocks the one that attacks Astryd flying. There's flurry of claws and teeth as they roll.

Astryd holds her position, setting the haft of the spear on the ground behind her. The next pig thing is going to have to get by that.

Fenris snaps his jaws twice but doesn't catch the thing. He's trying to hold his ground an that limits his options considerably. He chases the thing back and then turns to get the one that Astryd is blocking with a head butt. Then he throws his head back and howls. It's a massively loud sound but it's more than that. It's a hunting cry as old as the stars. A thousand worlds have heard it since Fenris left Asgard and known the terror that it brings.

Of all his weapons, Fenris' howl is his most underrated.

The pig-thing attacking Fenris, tumbles when its knocked back, shrieking in painfully high pitched squeal. It will hurt Fenris' ears. Will it disable the God Wolf, maybe not but it might slow him a little.

Not soon enough to block the creature leaping for Astryd, it goes rolling as the blonde spins and tries spit the oncoming one. She misses, leaving her flank exposed …

Fenris' howl saves her, as the creature is left in a state of terror. It won't last long. Cuan is still engaged with the first one - he's got his jaws clamped over its throat.

The other three start to rally and rush the God Wolf and Valkyr again.

Fenris comes in low now. He pins one entirely beneath a massive paw and snaps the other's hind quarters in his jaws. The Old Wolf shakes the thing viciously back and forth. There's a lot of squealing. A lot of cracking and snapping and then he just tosses it to the side, AT the third one. The one he's got pinned… he might have possibly broken its ribs. What? Fenris is heavy in this form. Astryd has a spear. She can handle the third one. He hopes.

And this one beneath his paw if it's still alive when they're done.

If these hunt in much larger packs, there's only four of them to deal with now. Where's the rest of the pack? Hard to say but it's likely 'dead' is the answer. Two of these four were already pretty banged before they attacked. The other two seem quite young - they're not going to get older though.

Cuan shakes the ones he's got pinned. It's neck and backbone snapping when he does.

Astryd moves mostly fluidly - her wound catching a bit - driving the spear into the one that lunges that her. The impact drives her back a step but she twists the thrust and throws the pig-thing to the ground.

The one under Fenris paw, struggles and screams before those too fade, leaving four more carcasses strewn around the clearing.

"Well, that was invigorating." Astryd declares, cleaning the point of her spear as she glances again.

They'll have to drag these carcasses away but the forest around them seems to be clear. Maybe they'll get their kill dressed and be on their way without further ado.

Or they could dress these kills. Though maybe they'll just leave them to feed the forest. Fenris likes making sure things stay in balance. He's spent a lot of time on earth cultivating that balance for example. The right words here. The right presence there. Anything to nudge fate where it should go.

Which is sometimes a little bit of a trick.

"Invigorating is one word. Is anyone hurt?" Anyone being Astryd and Cuan. And hurt being… more hurt than they are already.

"Not this time." Says the wayward Valkyr who returns the looks that Fenris and Cuan are giving her. They could dress these ones, or some of them and let the others feed the circle of life. Sif might enjoy the meals that Astryd will create with all of this meat, some recipes from home and all that.

"A few scratches and bites, Grandfather, nothing of note but I wonder at the recklessness of some." Cuan answers dryly. It's a pointed comment, not directed at the God Wolf of course.

He pads over to the fire though and lays down, putting his head on his paws. "I smell nothing for the moment. We should be clear for a while. Hopefully long enough for you to finish the work here.

"Be nice to your rider." Fenris murmurs though he is quite concerned. It's not like Astryd to be like this. Mortals say things about life changing near death experiences all the time and maybe Astryd had one. But magic being magic he is awful suspicious.

Perhaps he'll investigate some. But at the moment it isn't actually threatening them and he puts it out of his mind. They can dress their kills in peace, stoke the fire a little and enjoy some of that mead he brought before they butcher their meals and head home. Yes. Some people are going to get some interesting dinners in the near future.

And Cuan's pack will eat well.

"Come Raven, help me with this."

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