“Winema, there is--” He broke off as a thunderous snarl broke the silence between the two packs. The falcon’s feathers ruffled, his sharps eyes cutting toward a large brown he-wolf running toward them from the Aryn border. An ambush?!
The snarl from the brush, made Winema pull her fangs back. Turning toward Athena, she bared her fangs. “What is the meaning of this Athena?! We were on the verge of PEACE, and you attack my wolves?!” She couldn’t; she wouldn’t wait a reply from the alpha, not when a wolf was barreling upon them. Throwing her head back, she howled; signaling her wolves in the treeline it was time to protect themselves. If Athena ordered this onslaught, then so be it. She had not drawn back for the first blow.
Time was moving too fast, fixing her eyes on the male wolf who had fastened his sights on Caspian beside her, she snarled and shoved her son aside. Having little time to react, she met the large male wolf with teeth and claws, rearing on her hind leg to push him away from grabbing her son.
The dark Warden watched Crash and Bloom with cool yellow eyes. He was pleased, even if it didn’t show much. Everyone was where they belonged. He glanced at Athena. This was it. It was all over, and now they could go home. But the tension was clear in the air still, and Alcatraz could hardly wait for them to turn around and this whole moment could be over.
And then the worst happened. Alcatraz stood in shock for a moment, his jaw dropping and his eyes widening in horror as Rhaegan attacked. “Who is this wretch!?” Alcatraz snarled, the fury clear in his voice and he tensed, ready to leap forward and defend not Aryn, but Winema herself and her young pup. The Blutwald wolves cried out in shock and Winema wailed accusations as she defended her young son from the enemy and Alcatraz realized that a quick rush forward would only lead to further misunderstanding.
The family was on the verge of going home. His side was pressed against his Mother’s and sisters’. He could feel the tenseness roll off their body in waves. The sudden snarl of a wolf made Caspian cower. A large brown male was charging straight for the Blutwald group. Had Aryn sent an attack? The Aryn wolves looked more stunned as the Blutwald wolves did.
Within seconds the wolf was barreling through their ranks. He finally realized that the male was aiming at him! He stood frozen in fear, staring his pale blue eyes at the snarling wolf. The male probably fastened those dripping fangs on him if not for his mother shoving him out of the way.
“RUN CASPIAN!” Winema shouted as she met the male with tooth and claw, no doubt saving his life. He was the youngest in the ranks of Blutwald and had little to no combat training. He knew his older sister’s would be able to hold their own, though he feared for Bloom, who’s withered form had turned to face the raging male also. Taking his mother’s word, Caspian split off from the fray, trying seek shelter in the thicket.
The happiness Estella felt at having her sister back was short lived, broken when the massive male charged the Blutwald wolves. Her hackles raised immediately - before she even knew who the voice came from she was ready to fight for what she love most.
Nothing could jeopardise her family, not now when she had only just been reunited with Bloom, and not ever!
But realisation sunk in, and her determined expression changed horribly. Not him! Why him!? He was no wolf of Aryn, she knew this! This was not likely to be Athena’s plan, but Aryn’s choice or not the outcome would be the same. Rhaegan would stop at nothing to get what he wanted, she was sure of this by now. Her head spun and it felt like her heart had been stabbed, there was so much more she wanted to feel, to do, to say.
At his ‘cowardly’ attack directed at her brother her snarl intensified and her determined expression returned fiercer than ever. Before she could be there, the Blutwald Alpha met the male head on, and Caspian escaped to safety.
What if Aryn believed Rhaegan? She saw the soldiers coming, whether or not it was after Rhaegan to follow his lead or stop him didn't matter, she would not let them near her family; the Ace ranger would fight with everything she had.
In this moment Estella was no diplomat, she was a wolf fighting for what she believed in.
“We stand together!” Her howl briefly joined her mother before she lunged
forward at the oncoming wolves.
This is it. This is it. He thought to himself over and over in his mind as Ruebane and the rest of the Red Pack marched into Aryn’s territory. The climax of the Blutwald and Aryn War was here, and frankly, Ruebane’s life in Blutwald. It’s been nearly a year since the young wolf was found on the mountains of Blutwald’s land by the large golden Alpha. At first he thought he’d found a home, but as time went on Ruebane ceased to feel any sort of happiness. It first began to dwindle when Ocala disappeared during the harsh winter and was never seen again. After that, every wolf he talked to up and left for some reasons unknown. Even the mighty Alpha was gone now, leaving Blutwald in a more fragile state than ever. By the end of the summer season, there wasn’t a single soul in the pack that Ruebane knew or even talked to. He felt empty, fidgety, and without a purpose. He knew, whatever the outcome of this meeting will be, that he no longer had a home in the Red Pack.
The light brown male was ordered to stay in the shadows of the tree line with a few other Blutwaldians as Winema and some important others attempted to negotiate with Athena. Athena. The she-wolf that Ruebane had met in Autumn when he was hunting near the edge of the border. Way back when she looked scrawny but still lithe and agile. He had taught her how to catch fish in the river and the two played like pups in secrecy of the pack.
Now, looking up at the dark Alphess, his eyes were swelling with a mix of disgust and sadness. She was one of his first acquaintances after he joined Blutwald. But look at her now. Standing tall with a whole armada of wolves behind her. They all seemed strong and healthy, but he knew every wolf was stiff with anxiety as the exchange of Winema’s family was made. His ear flicked as he watched the Alphess reunite with her young ones, but no real emotions were portrayed on his face. He hardly knew any of these wolves or anything about this War as a matter of fact. Even after Winema’s agreement to Athena’s terms, something in the air felt off. It wasn’t over. It couldn’t be that easy. Just as Ruebane was going to turn and head back, a deep bellow filled the eerily silent meadow the wolves were in. The brute whipped his head just in time to see a huge, muscular brown wolf along with a few others charging towards the Blutwald wolves. Dammit Athena, I thought you were better than this. He snarled, charging through the undergrowth towards the madness. This was the reason he was brought here; to fight. Even as bloodshed was about to be avoided, all hopes of going back now were carried away in the wind. Blutwald and Aryn were at War, and War always includes blood.
It was surreal… a nightmare wrenched into the present world. For a moment, Rhaegan’s ambush left her stunned. Precious seconds were lost in her hesitation, and Athena, who always had a plan, always had a clever word, could do absolutely nothing to stop the onslaught. It was happening too fast, and she couldn’t keep up. Her grey eyes were wide, paled with fear as Winema made her accusation and called the Red Pack to battle.
“No!” Athena cried, but the word was lost in the fury of growls and barks. They were beyond words, now. She heard Estella, once a diplomat, sound a rallying cry. She saw Ruebane, the carefree young Ranger, lead the charge. Rhaegan and Winema were meeting fang for fang. And in them all, there was only anger.
A heaviness fell upon the ebony she-wolf - the crushing weight of utter defeat. There will be no peace… For the second time in her life, Athena felt utterly, incomprehensibly powerless. In desperation she turned to look at Alcatraz beside her, as though he might have an answer. But the beta could no more stop it than she could.
Something in the Warden’s yellow eyes spurred the Lady into action. Her fear sparked to fury - at Rhaegan for his all-consuming hatred, at Winema for her eagerness to blame - at herself for being so blind. Even the One himself, who’d allowed them to come so far only to have it snatched away so cruelly.
Left with no escape, she could only hope for Aryn to gain control of the battle. With a sharp, urgent howl, Athena summoned the pack and braced herself for the assault. “Wolves of Aryn! Defend your home!”
But then everything happened so fast. No, no no! The Warden thought frantically, and he stepped forward as the wolves of Blutwald roared their anger, his white yellow eyes desperate, “Order Aryn to hold their ranks, Athena! Quickly!” he pleaded softly to Athena, confident that if Aryn did not attack with Rhaegan than they could not be blamed for this. But his heart sank as the Blutwald wolves charged forward. What was Aryn supposed to do, just not defend themselves? And for a moment his fury was directed solely at the oncoming Blutwald wolves. Whoever this wolf was, he was no wolf of Aryn. Although there is no controlling lunatics like him, there should be control over a pack. Blutwald’s hasty assumption was truly what had caused this to happen and they would not listen any longer. They wanted this!
He looked at Athena again, and his pale yellow eyes met her lovely silver gaze. In them he could read her only option. They needed to fight back. He returned her gave gravely, telling her silently that he knew, and he stepped forward to stand beside her, his large mane of dark fur bristling threateningly and his lips curling back to reveal his pearly dagger-like fangs. Standing side by side in battle with Athena reminded him of another battle they had faced together, against a coywolf pack. They had lost that battle, two loners forced to flee for their lives against the onslaught. This time he would not let that happen. He would defend him home, his friends, and his Lady, with everything he had. It was war.
Tobias watched the scene unfold, his hindquarters trembling slightly from the restrained energy of the moment. He blinked down at the small fox entwined about Athena’s legs, noticing the fiery creature bristle at Crash’s disrespect. Toby’s lips pulled into a tight wince. Joseph was not the only one present to be unsettled by the arrogant display of the spy… His breathing quickened for a moment, sky blue irises searching his alpha’s features for a sign of anger, but she restrained herself, her claws pressed into the earth below. After all this time, things may have at last fell into place… But it was not to be.
A large wolf burst into the clearing, rushing past the Aryn ranks, his fangs flashing. Toby reared, pausing on his hind legs in shock as the field erupted into chaos. The old wolf was bewildered, and horrified. Who was he?? The beastly male was certainly no wolf he had ever encountered. What was he doing? The agreement had been made- His spindly legs danced uncertainly in place, before he found himself being carried with the wave of snarling Aryn wolves, headlong into the charge. Tobias had led the solitary life of a loner for so long… He suddenly realized with awe and dread that this was his first (and perhaps his last) taste of true battle. He caught a glimpse of Athena, a dark shadow rushing forward, howling a battle cry. Despite his shock at the madness which had so quickly unfolded, his heart stirred at the sound of his Lady, her noble form arching in smooth rhythm. “Heavens help us,” he cried, his legs unfurling and hips flexing into full stride, grey tail streaming behind as he dashed into the fray…
Staggering back as a snarl echoed through the valley, she half turned and froze. Feeling her sister react to the wolf she knew, made her wonder what her sister had gotten into. How did she know Ivan’s son? Her Mother had already raised the alarm to attack the Aryn wolves. NO! This wasn’t right! He wasn’t part of Aryn, it was a trick! Quickly she looked for Athena in the mess of bodies, her eyes frantic and worried. It wasn’t supposed to end like this!
“MOM, NO! He’s not part of Aryn!” She cried, but her voice was whipped away as her Mother lunged to meet the male, her voice lost in the snarls of the two wolves. The Blutwald wolves were exploding into action, going after the Aryn wolves. No. No. NO! Jumping away from the fray, Bloom searched for Athena among the bodies of wolves. She had to get to her, she could stop it.
Staggering away from the battle, she tried her hardest to get back to Athena. Hoping to not get caught by an Aryn wolf in a fight, she needed to reach Athena!
She listened anxiously as the Alphas spoke, emerald eyes worriedly searching all the faces around her. Her skin prickled. Something was coming... Something felt.. Wrong. Gabi bit her lip as the captives were released and quickly moved to their side of the meeting, happy (or more or less happy) reunions all around. She was happy, for those who got their children back, but she couldn't help but feel like this wasn't over.
As the captives return to their pack, Gabi moved forwards slowly, closer to Alcatraz's back right side. She doesn't say anything, but stands quietly there. That's when it happened, an unknown wolf barreling out if their ranks from the woods. Eyes widen, startled. Who was that?! But all she could say was, "No!"
The chaos erupted. Blutwald and Aryn wolves clashed viciously, each fighting for their own pack. Each trying to survive. Gabi's heart raced, she hoped Alcatraz's training shown bright. Lips peel back to bare fangs and without another thought the pale Vicar throws herself forwards.
He really thought that everything would be alright. The wolves that were prepared to help fight would not be needed, and Blutwald would be able to go home without licking wounds on the way. The appearance of the loner ruined everything. Quentin’s hackles raised, and he snarled as the Red Pack’s wolves started to fight. He glanced around to look at his packmates, trying to quickly figure out where he should go and what he should do. As Lady Athena called to her pack, he leaped forward to protect Aryn’s border and snap at those who came close enough to him, not exactly in the fighting yet but willing to jump in to try and save anyone if needed.
Right now, he was going to protect their border so that no-one went farther than a few feet, if most. While he was willing to fight and definitely knew how, he would be better at keeping other wolves away from going into Aryn’s territory, his swiftness making up for his average fighting skills. Quentin growled loudly at the Blutwald wolves, glancing around the throng of wolves to keep tabs on everything that was going on to see who was hurt in case they would need extra help from him.
Confused and in a state of denial the male watched dumfounded as the peace he had worked so hard to orchestrate was shattered before him. Gapped mouth he watched as this, this stranger billow past him, leading all of Aryn into a battle charge. Anger flushed through him, and he had half a mind to go after this warmonger, but his lady’s words called his attention. She was calling them to protect their home, to fight for Aryn. The words rang in his ears, validating his worst fears. War was upon them. The thought sent the wolf into such a rage he had to back away from himself, battling internally over the scope of this situation. Everything had gone horribly wrong. It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Terms had been met, there had been peace. Not any more.
A deep growl burned at the back of his throat, and his eyes tore through the crowd. It was her fault. She could have stopped this ages ago. Her and that mongrel male had destroyed his attempt at peace. Before this meeting was called he had made a promise to himself not to let her cower away. She would see the destruction she helped cause. And so help her if the battle reached the den where he had instructed Echo to stay, he would tear her limb from limb. Stirred by the heat of war Varrick barreled through the madness, aiming to cut off the Beta’s foretold escape.