Tundra

Compendium Entry
East: Russian Tundra
West: Alaskan & Canadian Tundra

These lands are primarily cold and barren with temperatures dipping low into the negatives during winter months. Summer months are just warm enough for growth to occur, though most foliage includes grasses, moss, or low shrubs. Precipitation here is low year round, though in warmer months water may saturate the upper levels of the cold ground forming ponds or other water sources.

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Quatre

#1
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@Stjörnuáti or another Greymoor person maybe? If not enough time/too far, then feel free to ignore. XD


In the distance some mountains loomed. As he'd traveled, the world had gotten sparse again. If he stayed on his own, there was only so far he could travel before he'd have to turn around and head back somewhere he'd have better luck. It would be far better for his own survival if he stayed somewhere more plentiful if he was going to stay on his own. Up here? He'd have to be far more careful.

That and his shadowy figure stood out like a sore thumb against any color the earth out here turned -- white, green, or frosted gold, he was still black, for simplicity's sake. He was sniffing around again for something small and snackable, but thus far hadn't found a trail that was both fresh and properly sized -- things were often one or the other. A herd of caribou moved in the distance, but they weren't touchable. They might as well have been mobile rocks given how likely he was to eat one. Just part of the scenery. How long before he'd have to go south?
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#2
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-nabs-


 Valmúa had been tracking the caribou, though she was not in any rush to hunt with her brothers. All of them were giant pains in the asses (pain in the asses? pains for multiple asses?) and it was clear that this would not change. The cinnamon sister had done her best to "lay low," which was a little hard not to do in this vast sea of nothing. As usual, they had chosen a land as inhospitable as they were.
 As she loped across the sparse tundra that day, she found a most curious subject. A wolf, a young wolf, was out on his own. The fire woman did not hesitate to confront him, moving straight toward him with a tail half-raised. If he had family nearby, that would be most interesting.
 She stopped several metres from him, making it clear she did not want to give chase unnecessarily. “What is a fine young boy like you doing out here?” When she spoke, her voice slithered somewhere between a snake and a ribbon of chocolate. It was unclear if she meant the question in a complimentary or entirely sinister fashion, but she grinned slyly all the same.

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#3
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So far he found nothing -- but Vidocq soon found himself not alone. A reddish wolf was heading his way. Not aggressive necessarily, but definitely aware of his existence, as annoying as that might be (for both sides). As she got closer, more detail emerged. Another wolf who leaned older. Why did he keep running into wolves that were basically old farts? He wondered if she'd act the same way as some of the others. If she started clucking like a hen then he'd know soon enough.

But the way she was acting? Mixed messages, so he wasn't keen to trust. He opted to believe she had more nefarious motives, that was safer, at least. At least he was taller than her -- she'd have a hell of a time trying to drag him off to wherever she lived like Baba Yaga or something just based on that. Even when he was smaller he'd been able to be quite a handful to control, now he could be pretty unmanageable. When he replied, it was in a similar tone, but it didn't meet his eyes -- he was definitely standoffish wanderer who claimed nothing. “You don't want to guess? That would be more fun.” Like what was it she wanted? Realistically, he was nosing around for food and somewhere to (temporarily, he assumed) stay until he moved on. He hoped what he'd learn from her response to that would be more telling.
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#4
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 “Guess?” Valmúa paused, and the sly grin she wore became an honest and lopsided smile. What a cute little treat of a boy. His youth was clear from the gorgeous colour of his fur. The red woman had already started to gather subtle grey hairs along her crown and shoulders. He had a baby softness to him too, like she could just put him in her mouth like a puff pastry.
 “You were looking for me,” she answered, stepping forward with as her tail relaxed and she swept into length, dance-like strides closer to him. “You were hoping to ask me nicely so that I share my private cache,” she moved toward his side so that her motions weren't as head-on and threatening. Then, she sat down a few paces from him. “Am I right?”

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#5
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She was damn weird. That was for sure. Did people just lose their minds once they were old? Like was this her version of mother hen clucking or was it something else? Still weird. She didn't seem to be borderline aggressive any more though -- she'd relaxed. He didn't -- he stayed just as standoffish. Strangers were unpredictable, and more and more it seemed like adults around here were moreso.

He hummed. Like maaaybe that was what he was gonna ask... Really though, no. And as she stepped closer, even though it was not so direct, he took half a step back. However he spoke and acted, Vidocq was still cautious and she was still a stranger. Either way, he was trying to play along, but he was young and couldn't say he had the worldly experience to really be silver-tongued. He did what he could, faking not being out of his element. “So you're the type to have something really awesome hidden away, huh? And if I ask, what would I have to do for you to share?” Tilt of his head. She'd sat down, but he wasn't doing similarly.
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#6
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 Her calm was more indifference than anything else. He was a cute little putz, but a putz all the same. Valmúa would play with him until she got bored or he failed to show her his usefulness. She had long had a soft spot for younger men and boys, as they were often more vulnerable to her wiles. The promise of fun was rather tormenting to be honest, but even as the boy backed up, she did not move.
 If he was hoping to bargain with her, that was hardly the way she operated. “Do? You are so suspicious of me,” she said, acting offended. “Stop playing coy and take a blessing when it comes,” demanded the fire woman, her voice firm but hardly mean. Were boys these days always so worried about a free meal? Freyja be damned.
 Valmúa stood and turned, gesturing for him to follow her. He was bigger than her; the fuck was he so worried about?

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#7
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He was unwilling to trust. And now she was basically ordering him to come along. It didn't bode well. Where was she wanting to lead him? Into some kind of doom and destruction? It was a different sort of attitude but it still seemed very much like the overbearing adult thing so he wasn't exactly stoked. He wasn't starving, but he was kind of confused by it all. She was a wildcard. She could be leading him to his doom just as easily as she could food. 

He wanted her to say more, to give him details that made sense and fit in with his preexisting understanding of the world. He had no friends here. And the wolves he'd met were questionable at best. “I've met a lot of blessings that have strings.” Even if those strings were merely Very Annoying People, the end. He took one step. But he was cautious and not entirely sure he'd say or do more -- it depended on what she said. She could very well fly off the handle and really be some kind of crazy Baba Yaga lady or gingerbread house witch.
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#8
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 She listened. Her eyes turned back toward him, stern and hard. She knew well what he spoke of, for all things had a cost. It was true that she was not about to give a free meal without some kind of expectation, but in her case, such expectations were delayed. She expected nothing from him for the moment. It was the future she planned for, as it was all she could do in a world ruled by shithead brothers.
 “Well,” Valmúa took a pause. It was not her job to convince him that she was "safe" because the reality was that she wasn't, at least emotionally. “Here is string.” Her accent shone through more powerfully now. “I need distraction from my family. Can you play part of the distraction for a bit?” It was a serious question. She knew quite well that a boy this cautious was unlikely to be useful long term. He was a cute one though, and the red woman had always been fond of the idea of laying foundation.

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#9
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Aha. See. He wasn't just paranoid. It was reality. This was how the world worked. However, he was curious what she was actually asking. “Hm. That does make things interesting.” Good interesting? Bad interesting? Not sure yet. Tough read all around. Maybe it was because she actually talked kinda weird. Or adults were just psychos. Either one.

So, he watched her, trying to judge her thoughts even before he had a chance to reply fully, “I'm not exactly one who gets looked over very often, can't say I know why.” Uh, yeah, Vidocq, have you seen how you've been acting in your handful of threads here? “But what kind of thing do you need?” He thought it was probably pretty clear that he wasn't gonna risk his own neck unnecessarily. If he had to speak up about it, well, he would, but being forced to do so wouldn't reflect good on her. It was also probably a good thing he wasn't desperate yet.
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#10
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 The red woman rolled her eyes. “I mean you be my distraction. We do something fun, without my idiot brothers around,” Valmúa clarified, moving forward again and flicking her tail toward him like she was going to smack him with it. He was a good-looking boy, but clearly dumb as nails.
 She was already tired of her family constantly being... around. The fire sister couldn't quite shake this feeling like they were waiting for her to do something offensive. The one saving grace was that they had already started to collect strong women. This seemed like a good thing, provided these women weren't there to push her out. “Come.” She demanded.

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#11
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He had thought her being so cagey about everything was because she was wanting him to do something nefarious to her family to make a hilarious mess, but apparently not? She still hadn't said a damn thing what that "fun" thing was, and he certainly felt he'd have to keep on his toes. Depending on what it was, he had a couple of thoughts on how to get outta dodge quick if needed.

But if he was gonna bail, then he needed to at least play along 'til then or he wouldn't have the chance. He did his best to bury his hesitation, it didn't benefit him right now, so best to be curious -- and neutral at very worst, “So then why're you not saying what that might be?” He at least wasn't frozen to a spot any more, but he wasn't exactly running along like an excited puppy after her.
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#12
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 At that point he was still asking stupid questions, and she pretty much gave up. He wasn't stuck to his spot anymore, but when she looked around with rolling eyes at him, she was not impressed or pleased with his progress. She considered just wandering away and letting him up and die here in this madness.
 But she didn't.
 “Well if you were older I would just fuck you, but you are not.” She answered, tossing her head. She moved to walk on, but knew that this would only confuse him and was unlikely to satisfy his idiocy. “I realize how awful it is to trust older woman but I promise I will not eat you.” She said it as a joke, but the reality was she had consumed many a figurative young heart. She didn't bother to answer his question fully because she didn't know or care. It was not her fucking job to entertain his dumbass.

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#13
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His nose crinkled at her. He didn't like that tone. Considering he was an asocial equivalent of like an eleven or twelve year old, it wasn't like he had learned every bit of slang out there as of yet, but the way she said it just sounded kinda gross.

His reply was particularly chirpy, “Sounds like it would be much easier to just be straightforward, now wouldn't it? Then you wouldn't sound like a weirdo. Ever gonna be up for that? Might be nice to not have to say you won't eat people.” A couple of prancy steps to go along with it (but they didn't really cover much distance). But maybe she liked sounding like a weirdo. All the older wolves he'd run into had been slightly bonkers. Hell, even the wolf closer to his age was a doofus. Maybe they all just lost it once they hit adulthood, their brains crawled out their ears or something. The real question was whether or not saying that people might like her more if she was honest was worth her storming off. It was a little tempting, honestly.
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#14
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 Valmúa rolled her eyes as she walked on. Boys. Such idiots, the whole lot of them. The fire woman sneered at his commentary and largely ignored it. She peered up at him for a moment, rather suggestively. “I am not convinced I am the weirdo,” she hissed at him delicately. There was an odd smile present on her rather plump features.
 She didn't fully understand where he was from or where he was going, nor why he seemed so resistant to her. “What is your name?” she asked, lengthy as she walked. She started to push at a gentle trot, hoping that the idiot boy might follow along. He was unlikely of any use to her, but she did not have it in her to just leave him out here in the bleak.

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#15
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Nah, she was definitely weird. See? There she was being weird again. What did she actually want from him? Hell if he knew! Seriously, old people did seem to go kinda nuts here apparently -- look at that smile of hers, perfect example. He was fortunate that he was young and still had his sanity in comparison. “You just said you promised you weren't going to eat me. That's not exactly part of standard conversation. Then again, everyone's so freaking weird here, maybe in backwards land that's totally normal.” It was probably impossible for him to not be snarky. 

But she asked for his name. So, how many different names had he used? Uhh. Well, time to pick another. “Ren,” he said, with just a breath of a delay. He was pretty sure that was one he hadn't used yet, and he also wasn't expecting to see any of the other people he ran across ever again so he didn't plan to try to keep them straight either. “Do you have a name or do I just call you Weirdo?” And yet again, no matter how simple a thing he was asking, there was a barb attached too.
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#16
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 What a little narc, she thought. She had thought it clear that her jokes about eating him had been, in fact, jokes, but he seemed quite serious about the whole shebang. This entertained her, and Valmúa kept grinning to herself, slowly finding it worth keeping the chocolate boy around. She didn't respond to his accusations of her weirdness. She didn't even laugh beyond a breathy exhale, a sound that was close to a snort.
 “Ren,” Valmúa parroted, flourishing the end like it disgusted her and rolling her eyes.
 “It is Valmúa af Stormskýli, but I have been called many a name, and none will bother me,” she answered, flicking her tail and holding it high. They were fast coming upon the place she had buried a pile of rodents, knowing the meal would come in handy. She changed direction slightly to the east. Conifer trees were visible. “Where is your family, little Ren?” she asked as they moved.

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#17
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He did keep an eye on the changing landscape as they went, mostly so he could backtrack if he had to. Since she snarked at his name, only fair he did similarly. “Oh sounds faaancy,” he pondered. Seriously did she really need to have a name that long? Did like.. half of it matter? Probably not. He wasn't too impressed, it sounded kinda pretentious honestly. “And, oh, I'm sure I can think of something that will -- I'm good at that.” Pissing people off, he meant, of course. He'd give it some thought.

But her question about his family was one that had been asked too many times, and he was a little genuinely irritated at having to go over it again, “Not here, don't care, not important.” And he wished people would stop fussing. “Asking the obvious is rather silly.” And such a very dumb adult thing to do. He wasn't some tiny child. It was also a good way to make him consider turning and leaving before getting wherever it was she was taking them. It was a fairly drastic shift in tone, but his patience with it was wearing thin.
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#18
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 He was as much annoying as Loki had been to his family. Once more, the fire woman did not react beyond a vague eyeroll to Ren's less-than-charming way with words. He seemed to be almost determined to have her throttle him in this desolate place. How pathetic would it be for her to end the life of someone so useless and begging for mercy by way of dicktitude? But, all in all he wasn't that bad — he was a typical boy. He was past the cute stage of boyhood and onto the shitty stage of not realizing how small and pathetic you are in a big wide world of muscle and threat.
 Or maybe he knew exactly what he was. He reminded her vaguely of a boy she'd met in the far north, a lifetime ago beyond the skies of this terrible place.
 "Asking the obvious is rather silly." She eyeballed him as they moved and made a face of calm admission.
 “Maybe yes,” she said. “Then tell me something interesting. You are boring me.” They were nearly there; she could tell by the shrub they were passing, which she had marked as a beacon with her scent. A tuft of red fur could be seen strung to it from where she had rubbed against it.

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