The forest, a place where many come to feel at one with nature and all of her beauty. To rest under lushous, green trees bursting with life, towering high above the ground they hide from overhead. To feel the wind as it winds through the trees and rustles their leaves. To listen to birds gawking about what seems like nothing in particular.
For many creatures, this is their one and only home, and the only thing they know. For others, it's a place to hide, or a place to hunt. Whatever their reason for being here, they are the ones keeping the forest alive and well, except for one particular area.
A bird's eye view would show green tree leaves for miles and miles, with the exception of a small circular clearing tucked in the deepest part of the woods. The trees here are dull and lifeless. The bushes and greenery scattered across the forest floor have seen much better days as even their leaves seem to be clinging on to their last breath of life. The overgrown grass seems to be the only thing alive here. A dirt path leads right up to the center of this dead clearing, where a giant, gray, and weathered rock sits too perfectly as if someone had specifically placed it there. And something even stranger sits atop the rock.
A lupe named Dusk, adorned with bat-like wings, a purple pelt, and gray and black markings glances around the clearing with piercing golden eyes. He's over-sized for his kind, but his fluffy yet wispy fur conceals that he's also leaner than average. A skull he wears atop his head masks any scars that he's collected over the years, as it appears that he, like the rest of the clearing he sits in, is in the last leg of his life. Now, his name is all too fitting. Just as dawn and dusk signify the beginning and ending to the day, Dusk realizes that he may not have much time left.
I'm old, but heck if I don't have a lot of life left in me Dusk thinks to himself, contemplating all the things he still wants to do with his lifetime.
The wind in this area is too settled and still compared to the rest of the forest to be a coincidence. One may be left to wonder, did Dusk choose this place because of the way it is, or is it like this because of him?
Whatever the case may be, this is his place. A place where not many have found, and not many would want to be. A place where he can be alone. A place to rest.
A place to think...
Age: Older adult
Eye color: Golden
Build: Large and lean
Father: Duskmere (deceased)
Mother: Vallequin (deceased)
Pups: Syn, Dawn
Current Location: Wandering
Pack position: Loner
Personality: Somewhat unfriendly and distrusting in his later years. He's not interested in making new friends, so he's very distant and business-like in his conversation with new people. Likes to spend a lot of time exploring alone. Used to enjoy living in the tundra/cold climates, but now seems to favor shady forests and jungles. Once he wants something, he will do everything in his power to get it. He's also very determined to fix all the wrongs that he's done in his life and to create more meaning for himself before his time in life is up.
Friends and family
Cool, shady forests
Peace and quiet
Meeting new people
Who needs memories?
The day I was born, my parents were so proud. There were four of us in all, but two weren't breathing when they were born, and the third didn't survive through the night. Those are the risks when you live in the coldest, northernmost part of my homeland, I suppose.
Winterhold is what everyone called our land, solely because it was never coated in anything less than two feet of snow. Only the strongest survived. In this case, that would only be me. The weather had been particularly harsh that year, and there had been a lot less food. There were dozens of neighboring packs who were also competing for food, and there was barely enough to go around. My mother and father were close to malnourished when I was born. It was a miracle that I even survived.
In Winterhold, a few elders controlled the many packs, allowing everyone to coexist peacefully. Territories were assigned, and food was guaranteed. If conflicts between packs arose, the elders would hear of it and settle the dispute.
A long time ago, a war broke out between two packs because they had both settled on the same land here and were competing for the same food. Even though there was plenty of food for both packs, they fought over who would keep the territory. In the end, the two packs nearly destroyed each other. Only three members of each pack, six in total, survived the fight. They agreed that the loss had been for nothing in the end, and vowed that they would never allow it to happen again. They started their own pack, one that shared food and territory equally. They took in travelers, loners, anyone that made it to Winterhold and agreed on peace. The guarantee of food and shelter was too good for anyone to pass up, so it's easy to see how their numbers blossomed. Life was good back then, and there was plenty of land and food to go around.
It was too good. Over the years, the numbers climbed. The territories kept getting smaller due to the soaring population. It got harder to get food. The old ways started to become a problem. The original six had become elders by this point and while their original intentions had been good, the situation had escalated to the point where it no longer worked. Families, like mine, were starving and losing pups. Usually life is survival of the fittest, the weak aren't less deserving of anything, that's just the cruelty of nature. With the weak surviving in Winterhold and negatively impacting the strong and causing them to starve and lose pups, there began talk of a rebellion.
Around this time is when I was born.
Looking back I now know that my siblings' deaths were what pushed my mom over to the rebellion. Even though I was a pup, I can still remember my mother and father's conversations almost perfectly...
- - - - - - - - - -
Val, are you crazy?" my father whispered aggressively through his teeth. "You know the elders have anyone who talks about or threatens a rebellion captured on spot. We can't risk that now that we have Suldusk to look after!"
Duskmere, did you hear what you just said? They're already sacrificing lives for peace! Wouldn't it be better to bring back survival of the fittest? All of our pups could have survived, not just one. Meanwhile weak packs that offer nothing are eating food that we could have had! It makes no sense, Dusk. The old system doesn't work anymore! We're all dying! Packs are alive that shouldn't be that are causing us all to starve!" my mother exclaimed.
I know, I just don't want either of us to get hurt. Can't we just talk about leaving here and starting over new somewhere else?"
Suldusk is too small and weak to travel right now. Besides, this has been our home for years. I'm not going to run when there's a problem. I'm going to stand and fight for my right to live here. Things have to change. We can't have dozens of packs living in one place starving just because six people told us not to fight! It's not right, and you know it! I love you, but I have to do this, especially if you aren't going to. I have to do it so Dusk can grow up and live better than us," my mother said and, with determination as well as fear lit up in her eyes, gave my father one last nuzzle.
- - - - - - - - - -
The memory fades there, but I know that that night, my mother ran off that night to join the rebellion. My father didn't follow her. He was too weak and wanted to still live by the same rules, afraid of something bad happening to us. Well, he probably didn't want to, but he knew it was the only way that he could still protect me and keep me alive. I guess if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be alive. Still, I wish things could have ended differently.
As you probably could have guessed, my mother didn't make it. For months, war raged. Packs against packs. Many ended up fighting to the death, reducing our numbers, just as the rebellion wanted. The elders had abandoned us to seek safety, along with some of their bodyguards. The guards that stayed behind, well, most of them didn't make it. After awhile, a lot of us began to realize that by the time this war was over, not much would be left. And with the elders gone and no sign of return, there was no guarantee of food anymore. A lot of lupes packed up and left while they still had their family members. Many ran away from their families that stayed to fight the war.
My father and I left pretty early on. We didn't hear about my mother until a few months after we got word that the war had ended. By then, we were hundreds of miles away, approaching a nearby city. There was plenty nearby to hunt -which my father taught me to do once I was big enough-, and when there wasn't enough food to fill us up, my father would slip into the city and steal food from some of the humans. I wasn't allowed to go with him when he ventured into the city though, he said it was too dangerous.
Anyway, one of my father's friends from a neighboring pack passed through our area one day. He had survived the entire war until there was nothing left, nothing but enough lupes to form one single pack. A few of them, including him, decided to go alone. There was no getting attached to anyone after witnessing all of your loved ones perish. Father's friend refused to stay with us for a few days, but he did tell us about mom, just so we would know for sure, so we could have closure.
Father was devastated. Sure, we both probably knew what the outcome was without his friend telling us, but that didn't mean it didn't hit him like a brick wall when it became official. That was someone he spent his whole life with, and now she was, for certain, gone, and he'd never see her again. After that, he was never quite himself again. Emotionless, distant. Like his heart had been shattered and the foundation was still there, but there were pieces missing.
I began to go off on my own, both to hunt and to just explore. Father didn't stop me anymore, and never asked me where I had been when I returned. Sometimes I think he began to shut me out so that if I didn't return home one day, it wouldn't have to hurt as bad again. I did return though. I grew up a lot during this part of my life, and I think this part also damaged me in a way. Growing up without a mother and having a distant father, surely this would affect the way I'd handle having my own family. But I never spited him for it. I never blamed him, although sometimes I'd rehearse the things I'd say to him in my head to try and get through to him.
Doing this won't bring her back!
She wouldn't want you to be acting like this!
What would she say if she saw the way you're treating me!
These were but a few of the things I'd say, but none of it would help anything. He probably wouldn't even listen to me, or he'd sit there and take it. For all I knew, my father was just as gone as my mom was. I'd never get him back again.
One day when I woke up, I was surprised to see that my father was gone. Good, I had thought. Maybe he was trying to get better, maybe he was going to try and be himself again. I had high hopes, and I set off for the day myself. I returned to our den under a fallen tree log around sunset, the time I was always home by, but he still wasn't home. I tried not to worry too much. He was a grown adult, perhaps nearing seniority. He could take care of himself. I ate, and dozed off for a few hours. When I woke up, he still wasn't back yet. I had even left the den to look around for him but still, nothing. I thought for sure he'd have returned by then.
I thought he'd had returned by the time morning broke. By the time the next day had rolled around. The next week. I had unknowingly seen my father for the last time, and I hadn't even known it.
I was on my own. Truthfully, I had been on my own for months, but this felt different. Now, even if there was an emergency, I had no one. No friends, no family. Nothing. There was nothing tying me to this area anymore, and I was free to roam wherever I wanted. I had wanted to leave for ages, but now that I was free to go, I no longer wanted to. At least...not until I knew. He had to have gone into the city that day that he had mysteriously vanished. I had to venture into the city and find out what happened to him. Just like with mom, I needed closure.
The city terrified me. To this day, I have never gone back since that day I explored it. More like, survived it. The noises were too much, the people were obnoxious, loud, and rude. Metal deathtraps zoomed everywhere I turned. I'd never find my father, I thought. I'd have to quit and give up never knowing.
But someone approached me. Someone my own kind. A pink lupess, who called out my name. How had she known my name? But it wasn't my name she had been calling.
It was dad's, and I must have looked just like him. She was young, about my age. Apparently dad met her during one of his trips to get food, and they had become friends. Stole food and had to hide in an abandoned building. She said that was the last night she had seen him, and that day lined up perfectly with the day he also disappeared. It turned out that she didn't know what happened to him, and it looked like I would never find out either. I still think about him a lot, and wonder exactly what had happened to him that day. Something deep inside of me knows that he didn't survive that day, but I'll never know for sure.
That drove me to a great sadness, not unlike what my dad had been feeling. It drove me insane, and I traveled to the coldest place I could find to numb everything. I stayed there in the tundra for a long time, and became someone I absolutely hated. I turned into a monster, and took lives that weren't mine to take. I don't know what had come over me. It's like something inside me had snapped. I was sad, but mostly I was angry. Angry at my parents for not taking better care of me, angry that I grew up alone, angry that I had no friends. It took me a long time in the tundra to realize that I was only a monster if I believed myself to be one, and only I had the power to change my destiny, my future. It was harder than it sounds, but I finally came around and had to come to peace with my past, and let it go. I reconnected with the only person I had some kind of a connection to, the pink lupess that had been friends with my dad.
That pink lupess, Vhiy, is everything to me now. I've done some things I'm not so proud of the past few years. We've had to rebuild our pack numerous times, and I've done some things to really damage others. I strive to make changes though, to make amends, and not hurt everyone worse by shutting down like my dad had, and then worse, when things get tough.
Hopefully I'll be able to make things right, and keep them right, before it's too late.
- - - - - - - - - - -
That basically sums up everything I can remember.
Well, besides all of the adventures I've had in all my different packs.
Veluthe, Eldona, Eyeshala, all three of these places I've lived and called my home once.
All that is behind me, though. I've got to look towards the future now.
The forest seems to be a place of peace for me...
What's next, you ask? Well, I'm not really sure.
I guess I'll just have to wait and see!
- - - - - - - - - - -
My heart and soul, or what's left of them, belong to her. I've known her longer than I've known anyone. She knew my father, and I knew she'd be an important person in my life ever since I met her in the city. I'm working hard every day to be the best I can for both her and the pups.
I might have loved Asti at one point. There may be a part of me that still does. We lead together as alphas in Veluthe and Eldona, but we had a bit of a...falling out. We aren't on speaking terms anymore. To be honest, I miss her quite a lot.
My best friend, for life. I will do anything for him. I've known Ang almost as long as I've known Vhiy. He's been with me through just about everything. Friends like this only come around once in a lifetime.
The daughter of my good, but now dead, friend, Yannaja. When she first joined my pack, she was quite a handful. We didn't see eye to eye, but thanks to her, I've learned to open my eyes up to other ways of thinking. I'm so glad I got to see her grow up, she's a great friend.
I've known her as long as I've known Vhiy and Ang. She's sacrificed herself on my behalf on numerous occasions. As a healer that loses a piece of herself each time she saves someone, that means a great deal. She's very selfless, and a true friend, one that I'm extremely lucky to have.
I met him in one of my old packs. He's dependable and loyal; I couldn't ask for better qualities in a packmate. I can't believe he's leading his own pack now alongside Rancune! The two of them seem to be very good for each other. I only wish him the very best.
Woooo! Dusk finally has a shiny new set of lupe adoptables for you! Here's a preview:
A collection of all the art done of me by Julie throughout the years. Some of them are old petpage layouts.
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