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 Post subject: Amid the Lichen and Scrub [Song Formation]
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Mystery
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Location: Land of Caves and Bones
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Vigil of the Lonely Hunter was stalking his prey, a late-season lemming trying to forage the last few nutritious tufts of grass from the tundra before they disappeared from the tundra for the weeks of darkness. Even now, the sun was only just peeking above the horizon before returning to it's bed for long hours. The tundra had been given it's first blanketings of snow some days ago, but it wasn't yet deep enough to completely cover the short foliage that grew over the summer and the lemmings weren't yet content to retreat to their burrows for the winter.

Vigil had spent the summer wandering the vast, open spaces of the summer tundra taking easy meals from the plenty of the season until he had chanced upon this small area which housed a large lemming colony. With a wary eye on the position of the sun as it dipped toward winter, Vigil viciously cleared out the small stoats and foxes that had claimed the area before he arrived. The raptors who stole his lemmings from the sky where he couldn't attack them were an annoyance, but they had since moved on with the migrators and only the snowy owls were left to poach his meals. For now, Vigil crouched amid some leafless scrub trees, counting on them to mask the shadow of his antlers over the ridge.

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The lemming was fat. It waddled and hopped it's way cautiously across the packed snow, stopping every few hops to look around as it ventured toward the exposed tuft of grasses. Vigil was tense; the hunter's mind within him was at war with itself as he craved the violence and satisfaction of the kill, but knew that he couldn't pounce until the lemming was far enough from it's shelter that it's demise was inevitable.

Closer...closer....

A breeze shook the short limbs above his head and for several moments the lemming paused and stared directly at him. Vigil held his breath, willing his heart to beat softer, lest the tasty critter hear it. Fortunately, lemmings were dumb and so nearly color-blind that it didn't seem to notice the vibrant red antlers among the branches.

...Almost...

Vigil gathered his legs beneath himself and prepared to spring. Technically, he could live on twigs and grasses just as the lemming did, but his Sa'krien biology gave him both a viscous temper and the desire and ability to dine on meat, which was much more nutritious... not to mention fun to acquire. Suddenly, the lemming crossed the point of no return, too far to retreat to it's den with the kind of speed Vigil could muster. His vision narrowed and the edges of the world went fuzzy as his bloodlust settled upon him and he launched himself from cover onto the small creature. The lemming squeaked, huddling into the ground in fear as Vigil closed on it, killing it almost painlessly quick with a neck bite.

Pleased with himself, Vigil settled in to dine.


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 Post subject: Re: Amid the Lichen and Scrub [Song Formation]
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Mystery
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Warden of the Desolate Tundra scratched absently at the ground, her large toes sinking into the grayish soil. The bountiful yet fleeting summer months were nearly over, and the icy grip of winter would soon take hold of this land, sending it’s hardy plants dormant and much of its’ wildlife as well. The cyclic progression of seasons was nothing new to Warden, but this year’s turning had caught the mare somewhat unprepared.

In order to survive the long winter, a thick layer of fat would be essential, to conserve heat and to sustain her when the grazing would be covered with thick drifts of blowing snow. Normally Warden would have spent the entire summer rebuilding her depleted reserves, This past summer has been anything but normal, she thought with a rueful shake of her head. but now is not the time for reminiscing! I have a good deal of feeding to catch up on.

While the late autumn tundra was a veritable buffet of mosses, sedges and lichens these plants did not pack the powerhouse, of nutrition the mare would need. No, the fastest way to add to her bulk would be to seek out the richest source of calories she knew of. With a decisive snort, the mare consulted her mental map of the vast territory she called home and headed westward, her destination a small stand of tuber-bearing plants a day’s journey from her present location. The root-like structures, while bitter and unpalatable, were a rich source of nutrition and desperate times called for desperate measures.

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