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-  The Hunt
Saturday, 21:00 24-July-2021,
Asher's Residence/Downtown
Clear, warm
Tags:Solo,
Turned by Unknown
Post What?


28 Posts
6 Threads 91.32

Born 1-1-1860
161 years
Appears Forties
6'5"
Broad, muscular
Hazel eyes
Dark brown hair
He | Him
He/him

Written By
Vex
Post May Contain

Blood 0 
Sex 0 
Violence 0 
Drugs 0 
Abuse 0 
-Isms 0 
Taboo 0 
Death 0 

#1
2021-Oct-07, 05:12 AM
Twilight brought with it the crackle of flame as Asher set alight the kindling of a fire he’d built outside the hall on his property. It was here that the pack congregated, their ‘home base’ so to speak, only a few acres separate from the alpha’s personal lodgings. This fire was ceremonial; not a large bonfire, but rather a small source of light, contained in a drum, that would last the majority of the night and, with its end, signal dawn. Once done, he took a seat on the stump he often sat upon to wait, whilst the smoke called his pack to him.

They arrived one by one - a small group, for now, containing no other means of leadership. Asher had yet to take a second in command, nor to find any elder worthy of guiding his decisions. For now, the buck stopped with him alone, and he carried the burden well, he thought. Perhaps this was because there were only two to his pack for the time being; two women, youths to be sure, though Audrey had flourished in leaps and bounds since he chose her. Gazing upon her now as she approached the fire, he felt a sense of pride swell in his chest.
      ”Audrey,” he greeted, looking up through the long threads of hair that fell around his face. “You’ve been meditating, I hope?” The ghost of what might have been a warm smile twitched at the corner of Asher’s lips before he turned to the other presence apparating from what had become a tentative darkness. “Cassidy.”

He exchanged nods, then proceeded through what was not dissimilar to a briefing. “This isn’t the first time we’ve met before a Change,” he began, before gesturing to the fire. “Like before, this will signal the length of our Hunt. Only, tonight, we have a specific target - at least, more specific than before. I want a mage. I’m curious about the effect that the Turn will have on them - preferably more than one if we can manage, just in case there’s a death.” He said these sorts of things in an offhand manner that he usually managed to pass off as compartmentalisation; death was a necessity that he didn’t particularly enjoy - or, at least, that was the image he wanted to maintain with his pack for now. They were ruthless, but not because they wanted to be; because they had to be. He found that the guilt could be mitigated in the newer, more naive members, if choice was removed from the equation. “Audrey, you know your target. We don’t have all the intel on him and that’s okay, but I want you to try and find him, alright?” He levelled his gaze on hers and awaited assent before continuing.

      ”Remember that if you do not secure your prey, there’s a chance that we will be exposed. It is expected that, if there is no chance of getting your target back to the Hall, you kill them. If there is an escape, you are expected to report it immediately, and secure assistance from the pack. Our safety in secrecy is paramount, understood?” Asher paused to accept their agreement, which he clearly expected within the very brief timeframe that he allowed. “Of course, fun is a primary objective. I know you understand this,” he directed at Audrey, another small smile gracing his lips, “Being a wolf is our natural state - what we’re meant to be. If it weren’t, the Change never would have taken. Revel in it, in your power, in the wind as you run. Stretch your legs. When we go, we go together - we’ll split off in the usual place.” His spiel wound down at just the right time, as darkness encroached upon their little makeshift campsite, and the Moon began to make an appearance. “Shall we?” For the first time over the course of the night, a wolfish grin lit up Asher’s face, and he looked ten years younger - but no less terrifying.

He stood from his perch, stretching as he prepared for the pain that would inevitably come with the Change - but he was used to it by now, and all was forgotten once he was on four feet. Personally, Asher preferred not to strip before a change; his excessive wealth meant that a new pair of pants every month didn’t put too much of a dent in his budget, but he did come to every Moon shirtless. It wasn’t a lewd state of undress - rather, he looked very much as though being shirtless was entirely natural to him. Somehow, it suited him. He stepped past his pack members and turned his face up to the sky, the two others each on his flanks so that they formed a triangle between them, with him at its point.

As the Moon crested the tops of the trees, Asher closed his eyes and let it bathe him in the white light, feeling at first the pinpricks of a tingle, which escalated from pins and needles to a vibration across the entire surface area of his flesh. Soon, that escalated until the skin could no longer hold itself together, and began to bubble, then tear apart. The audible groaning and cracking of bones filled the night air then, and the wolves emerged, fur sprouting from bodies, limbs elongating, snouts forming.

Paws hit the ground; first Asher’s, and then his two pack members, almost in sync. Briefly, the alpha paused to shake off the pain, then he lifted his chin and howled. It was a sound of glee, of anticipation - an undercurrent of malice. Like a warcry, it echoed through the lakeside landscape and was joined by Audrey and Cassidy’s melodious voices. Then, they ran.

The soft thudding of paw pads as they loped, nearly silent across the expanse of Asher’s land, around the lake and through the sparse trees. The enhancement of scents, hitting them as one, a joined mind buzzing with the shared pleasure of the Change. Each sensation rippled through the three of them almost in unison, passed between them via the mental link that they shared only now. Asher didn’t push into their minds to determine whether or not they were following instruction or to gauge their level of excitement - he simply assumed it, and likely correctly. There was a shared freedom in being this creature, this pack. And likewise, a shared sense of duty and community. Upon approaching a rocky outcropping, the three of them split ways, though their minds remained entwined, intermittently flashing scenes to one another as they went.

Asher considered following Audrey in order to help her, should she actually sight the man they were after - but she had been impressing him lately and so, with his mind made and never wavering, he let the physical image of her fade. Occasionally he’d request updates, and be met with a particular street name, smell, or landmark. But for the most part, he put his nose to the ground and stayed out of sight while tracking his prey and allowing the girls to do the same.

***

The smell of magic was not dissimilar to a glass of lemon lime and bitters, to him. Fizzing, sweet, and tangy, it tainted the air and remained ingrained in the footprints left behind by those imbued with such talent. Each sort of magic seemed to have its own additional bouquet, but Asher wasn’t as attuned to those; he could simply tell them apart if ever given the option between two different kinds. So he found a trail that reminded him of his favourite non-alcoholic drink and set about finding the one who left it.

He tracked her for three hours, maybe four, on her roundabout meandering through the streets of Greenbrooke. Perhaps she was a delivery girl, or some kind of extreme socialite; Asher could have sworn he caught her scent on every residential front door he passed. It was at a business, though, that he finally came to the end of the trail; a small herbalist, with no scent leading away. Either this was where the woman worked and lived, or she’d be exiting the building at some point in the night. With the practised pragmatism he was known for, Asher took a post not too far away that meant he’d be out of sight while maintaining vision of the exit. Here, he laid in wait for another hour.

When she came, Asher noticed before she even got out onto the street; the flicker of the front light and the creak of the door urged him to his feet. He watched tentatively from his crouch in the bushes as a woman dressed all in black exited the building. She carried a basket, presumably of supplies that, at this point, left the alpha to assume that she was some kind of late-night courier. Briefly, he considered that she would be known by many - perhaps missed. He avoided what pleasure he might find in that sentiment, shoving the thought aside before it made its way to his pack members, and instead waited for her to head down a nondescript alley.

Over the years, Asher had determined a method which prevented his victims from making too much noise, and it was beautifully simple, if he could say so himself: he tore out their voice boxes. If they were to die instead of Turn, they wouldn’t need them anyway - and if they were to Turn, their wounds would heal and regenerate as necessary - albeit not without a barely-visible scar. And so, this is what he did to the poor mage he’d chosen as his target tonight.

Dark and silent as a shadow, Asher stalked her into the night, down an alley. If she did have time to make any sort of noise, most people would be hard-pressed to hear it.

***

Back at the camp, both of his members returned too, Asher looked down upon the bodies each of them had produced. None were the man he’d hoped for, but all had that same fizzy, tangy smell to them - one stronger than the others. Perhaps this was because she was the only one still breathing, still potentially amenable to the change.
      ”Well done, Audrey. Not exactly what we hoped for, but a good runner-up…” They all looked down upon the mage as she twisted, beginning to writhe in the pain that would likely have overcome the threat of death - a pain worse than any she would ever have felt before. And then it began; the crunching, popping, bone-breaking symphony that would ultimately lead to the reveal of a wolf.

Her fur was white, her eyes frightened and rolling, and she no longer smelled of lemon lime and bitters. Nor did she survive the fight that followed.

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