Welcome to Canis Major

a wolf and animal rpg (role-playing game)

Canis is a writing community for play-by-post (forum-based), freeform roleplay set in a fictional dream world in the intrusion fantasy genre. Most characters on Canis are wolves; many play elements are focused around wolves and canids, but the world makes room for a large variety of other animal characters such as dogs, horses, cats, bears, deer, and many, many more.

Our community is focused on flexibility, creativity, and collaboration. That boils down to a few important features:

  • There is no set activity requirement to write
  • The setting and plot are member-created and staff-supported
  • The game is continuously improved to increase fun and decrease stress

Learn more in our Rulebook!

The Cousin of Death

Evening Overcast
09-12-2023, 04:55 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2023, 04:56 AM by Velyre. Edited 1 time in total.)
It has to hurt, a voice whispered.

She drew a deep breath. The scent of fresh rain felt as pungent as mint.

When Velyre opened her eyes, she was alone.

She stood up in the shadow of a tall, straight stone, her legs a little unsteady. Four legs. She looked back: a body covered in pale fur, ghostly in the gloom. But she was no ghost, for she felt pain in her head, her paws. She lifted one: there was a deep scratch on the underside.

She instinctively licked her nose. Dried blood.

The urge to panic filled her. It has to hurt, she told herself. She looked back at the grave behind her. The markings on its surface meant nothing to her.

Her head hurt so, so much. She stepped a few paces away and leaned against a cold stone wall.

She opened her eyes again. A growing hunger gnawed at her belly, but the pain in her skull had lessened.

Velyre did not know where she was going. She focused on taking one step at a time, her injured paw held off the ground. Water, she decided. She needed water.

She passed among the looming shapes of tombstones. To the buried she spared no pity: they had it easy.

“You could at least try to help,” Velyre growled at a grave marked with ominous engravings of skulls. “Why am I always the only one awake?”

the staff team luvs u
09-14-2023, 04:23 PM (This post was last modified: 09-25-2023, 08:26 PM by Wake. Edited 2 times in total.)
This was a place close to home, but Wake had avoided it.

She had not the fierce spirit-beliefs of her wife, but she could feel it. The way the land seemed haunted. How odd structures (they called to her as if familiar, though) stood tall and cut through shrouded mist. She had only come here to see if it was as horrible up close as it was from far away. So far she wanted to say yes.

The structures trickled from large to small.

A stony figure was the tallest and it stood proud over the rotting structures below. Structures that she picked through when the scent of another danced across the ground.

Now she searched for life, instead of ruins.

“You could at least try to help,” Her ears stood tall and her spine stiffened some. Surely the stranger had not directed that at her. Wake did not think she gave off a particularly cheery helpful look about her anyway. Yet the woman's voice continued and it seemed as if she thought she was the only one awake at these hours. Perhaps it would have been wisest to return home to her wife and children then.

“Perhaps you are just looking in the wrong places.”

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[Image: Nopeita-Wake.png]
09-16-2023, 06:59 AM
She walked directly into a stone in her shock.

It took her a moment to realize that no, the dead buried under her paws had not spoken. The words had come from someone standing nearby. A four-limbed figure—a wolf. She gaped.

Then she shut her mouth. Velyre was not accustomed to hearing wolves speak, but this at least seemed more reasonable compared to a reanimated skeleton. Considering she was now also a…wolf, she assumed.

She tried to reach for the darkness again. There was nothing there but her own thoughts.

Wincing, she stumbled back from the stiff gray stone, and unconsciously sank into a submissive crouch. She felt the strange urge to make herself look smaller, less threatening. Weird. She’d spent most of her life trying to do the opposite.

Vel collected herself as much as she could. She took a steadying breath.

“Are you a witch?” Velyre asked. She looked closely at the other wolf, but she felt no flicker of recognition. She was not the entity that had brought her here; Velyre would have recognized that presence, she thought.

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09-18-2023, 05:25 AM (This post was last modified: 09-25-2023, 08:27 PM by Wake. Edited 2 times in total.)
adventurer: recruiter

Her lips curled at once into a smirking feature.

The woman before her seemed to cower and ask of witches — Wake could not hold such a title and nor did her wife but it was close, no?

“I am married to a Mystic of the sea. Close, no?” She licked her lips in thought for a moment before she dared a step or two closer. Watchful of the other woman in case that smaller posture turned hostile. Wake knew better than to corner someone, to force their hand. She had no interest in that here.

“Are you in need of those that wield magic and spirits?”

A deal could be made if the price was right.

the staff team luvs u
[Image: Nopeita-Wake.png]
09-18-2023, 07:42 PM
So she was the witch’s wife. She denied her own power, but she spoke like a dealer of magic and spells herself.

Witches could not be trusted. Some were more benevolent than others, but there was always a price to be paid. Nothing was ever given for free. She would know.

Vel watched her, stricken. Her first instinct was to snarl and say she needed nothing. She still wanted to scream. But she couldn’t. She clamped her jaws shut, mouth a tight line. And then, suddenly, the tension in her shoulders slackened. She stood up straight, though her head and tail were still low.

“That depends on what you want in return,” Vel said with more calm than she felt.

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09-19-2023, 01:03 AM (This post was last modified: 09-25-2023, 08:25 PM by Wake. Edited 2 times in total.)
adventurer: recruiter

It was wise to ask. Wake did not operate on only the kindness of her heart. She could not afford to!

“Depends how much you need, how much you take,” She drawled slowly as she watched the woman. A bit straighter now, not so limp in the knees and spine. It was good to see. The softest might be devoured hold by either land or other worldly forces.

“I only ask back for whatever you take.”

Perhaps that was in and of itself was a sort of kindness. To not reap back more than whatever might be needed of her.

“So what is it that you need?”

the staff team luvs u
[Image: Nopeita-Wake.png]
09-19-2023, 05:30 AM
Return whatever you take. Velyre tilted her head in mild surprise. No matter how she turned the words over, she could find nothing objectionable. A fair bargain. Fairness was a difficult quality to find, in life and in others. She relaxed the slightest bit.

What did she need? To know if my friend’s alive. To know what I did was worth it.

What Vel said instead was: “Somewhere to sleep that isn’t full of dead people.”

Elegant as ever.

the staff team luvs u
09-19-2023, 05:43 AM (This post was last modified: 09-19-2023, 05:47 AM by Wake. Edited 1 time in total.)
phone post! will format later :>
adventurer: recruiter

The stranger asked for very little, but Wake could give it easily enough.

“I claim a stretch of a wooded coast. If you can handle the sea, then the Saltwoods can be that place as long as you need.”

Another body was always welcomed, especially those that were female aligned. All of the men proved fine so far but she still held her own judgements.

“No dead people, promise.”

Only five children who might keep anyone up instead. She need not reveal the newest bodies in the Saltwoods yet though.
the staff team luvs u
[Image: Nopeita-Wake.png]
09-19-2023, 06:00 AM
What little composure she had slipped. She didn’t realize it, but she looked a bit like a child herself just then. Wide-eyed, high-strung, yet with a touch of something she hadn’t felt for a long time.


Not entirely trusting herself to speak, she nodded first.

“I’ll return what I take,” Vel promised. She might be powerless now, but she could do that much.

the staff team luvs u
09-20-2023, 04:15 AM
adventurer: recruiter

Wake had hit something.

Emotion like a well-spring. It may not have touched her so deeply if she had not seen that look before. Often upon the face of her own young. As if the world had not yet wronged them. The two of them here knew that was surely not true, but there was this moment.

She'd remember it.

“Why don't you come with me then? Tell me the things you like to do.” It would be important to know what others might look to this newcomer for. Maybe she'd be a roamer, come and go as she pleased with only the Saltwoods as a resting place. Maybe she had secret knowledge of medicine — it would be nice.

Either way, Wake turned with a soft wave of her tail. Invitation for them to get moving.

the staff team luvs u
[Image: Nopeita-Wake.png]
09-25-2023, 08:17 PM
Velyre hesitated—more from stunned relief than anything else. But it was only for a moment. She stumbled a bit at first as she made her numb, unfamiliar paws move. Holding the injured one close to her body, she limped after the she-wolf—whose name she still did not know. If she cared to be known by a name, that was.

“I study herbs,” Velyre responded automatically. Would this world even have the plants she recognized? “I like to know how they affect…us.”

Mainly others, actually. Vel had enough self-preservation not to test things on herself. Though, it wasn’t as if she was going to be brewing any potions with these clunky paws.

“My name is Velyre,” she added after a brief pause. “I’m a…scholar. Learner.”

Or more crudely: witch.

the staff team luvs u
09-25-2023, 08:24 PM
adventurer: recruiter


The Saltwoods lacked a dedicated member in that depart. Perhaps it was a blessing in this cursed place, to come across the near-newborn. Wake had been there once too. Spat ashore by the sea, perhaps she would have perished had someone else not done what she did now.

Something about karmic balance in the universe.

“Wake. The Saltwoods Captain — but my wife, @Esmerelda, is the Mystic as I said. You might scratch your scholar itch in her company more than mine.” Her lips twisted with a humored grin full of genuine warmth. Velyre was not so terrible company. “Unless you like to learn how to swim or fish.” She just might need to, but that could be fretted about later.

More important was that limp, a favored paw cradled close to the woman's body.

“How bad is it?”

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[Image: Nopeita-Wake.png]
09-25-2023, 09:02 PM
Captain Wake. And Esmerelda—her first mate, it seemed. Quite literally.

Velyre looked at the grey-furred woman with her grinning muzzle, the smell of salt and pinewood heavy in her coat. Other scents mingled with hers—though it would be some time before Velyre would learn to pick them out with the new nose she had been granted.

Vel had never been to sea herself. Still, she had grown up with stories of battles between ships with tall wooden masts, of cannon-fire and ill-begotten treasure. Wolves did not sail, yet Velyre recognized a captain and her crew all the same. She did not know her well, and she had yet to meet the Mystic, the Saltwoods’ dealer of spells and bargains. But from what she did know, Wake seemed just the sort of captain a cabin-boy could hope for. Cabin-girl. Cabin-wolf.

She did not know how to express that, so Vel only offered her own smile in return—tentative, small, and brief. A rare event for Velyre, though her new captain couldn’t know that yet.

The muscles in her face felt strange, even if the motion was familiar. This was going to take some getting used to. Especially the fishing and swimming part.

At Wake’s questioning, Vel looked down at her paw again, nosing at the scratch. Her vision was not as sharp as it had been before—but she was startled to discover what she knew just from the smell, a mix of earth and dried blood.

“It’s superficial,” Velyre answered. Painful, but far from the worst pain she’d ever experienced. “I need to clean it. It should heal well, as long as I don’t go trodding through horse-shit.”

She shut her jaws instinctively, though it occurred to Velyre that a sailor probably wouldn’t mind such crass language.

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