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[Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Printable Version

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[Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Storyteller Dark - 09-01-2020

Like Cats and Dogs - Lionshadow

The day was overcast: an ominous gray, the shadows of the skyscrapers soft and blending with the darkness that ever pooled between the rubble at their bases. For the colony of feral cats--generation after generation of scrappy little fighters--living in these ruins, this place was home; and the gray day, promising the occasional dreary drizzle, would be good for hunting. The rats and mice that hid from the blazing sun of summer would brave the gray, instead, as autumn threatened to encroach.

But these cats, as it turned out, would have something else on their minds than hunting, today. And something other than the oppressive, ongoing predation of the local feral dogs: the dogs that had been, in recent days, cutting the edges of the cat's home; the dogs that had taken two young cats as prey, and left the colony in frusutrated, furious, terrified disarray. No, that was not for today...

They had fallen asleep--all of them, despite their wakefulness, disregarding the goings-on around them--and strange dreams had taken them. Dreams of a dark place of tangled thorn-vines. A promise of savage survival. A strengthen of sharpened claws and fangs, a blessing from the essence of Hunters, of Predators and Prey. And when they awoke...

They could think.

More than that: they could speak. And it was perhaps not unexpected that the first to do so was Shadowfang: the sleek black tomcat that jealously lurked the colony's edges, though his name would not yet be known to them as such. "What beneath the Two Moons is this?!" he cried, his yowl echoing through the cloud-muffled quiet of the city. From somewhere farther east, up on a ruined ledge that had once been an apartment's porch, came the voice of Echo: the gray daughter of the colony's queen. Her voice, as it turned out, was as snooty as her attitude. "I--I can think! -And speak! Mother? MOTHER?!"

Skyshine was next, the silvery tabby; she bolted into the alley's open roadway, her green eyes wide with fear. Her tail was puffed like a pipe-cleaner as she stared up at Echo's balcony. "It-t's not just me, then-?"--and her words were wavering.

Knowledge came to them all, then: a quiet murmur through their minds. It was a perfect mirror of the dreams they'd shared that night, a voice rich with domination and purring power.

"You have fought... long, and bravely, and well. You, who have always walked in the lion's shadow, you, tigers taken in miniature form. I gift to you Lion's-shadow now the tools to continue to fight. To survive. And to win. Take your claws, and your thoughts. Your teeth, and your minds. ...And above all else: survive."

There was a beat of perhaps three seconds, and then Shadowfang's voice again rang out: "And what the hell was THAT?!"

This thread is for the Chosen awakening of the Lionshadow cat colony. Other Dark-aligned characters may arrive and meet them, but new threads (taking place after this one in the timeline) should be created for all other open interactions, for example with the Rusthounds.

New players may adopt the NPCs at any time; these, along with further plot information and a non-exhaustive list of colony cats, may be viewed here: 'Like Cats and Dogs' Information Post. New colony members can also be made, or other Dark characters may arrive to interact with them and take part in this event.

Players are encouraged to make and complete as many threads as they wish for this plot: Storyteller additions and NPC play will periodically occur. Remember: the OOC event rewarding thread completion is also on: additional exp can be claimed for each 10+ post-count thread completed through the end of September, with additional bonuses (see prior link) for three, five, and ten finished threads. (These three rewards can be claimed on any character.)

Have fun, and feel free to post any questions in that thread or in the Discord!

The Lionshadow counterpart to this thread can be found here: Click Here.

@Moonscar @Stargazer @Emperor

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Emperor - 09-01-2020

Emperor had woken up and immediately latched onto the voice, the yelling, the panicking. They jumped up and quickly ran forward, confused and stressed. They looked around for anyone who had even a semblance of what was going on, before shaking their head and lurking at the edges of the crowd, brows furrowed.

Idly, they looked at themselves, staring at their paws and biting their lip. They were... intelligent. Smart. Capable, all of a sudden.

They stood up and inhaled, before letting out a loud yowl, "HEY!!!"

"Stop yelling!!", they yelled, doing their best to help, which wasn't a lot.

It was kind of useless, anyway, and they soon realized, shoulders slouching as they grumbled.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Moonscar - 09-01-2020

Unlike those unsteady days of recent weeks--that teetering on the edge of survival, of existence, the uncertainty of whether he would be alive or dead come morning, or which of his family might die in the night--the dream had been almost pleasant.

The sensation of power, of surety, was intoxicating--not for anything so crass or cruel as domination, but simply for... For, if Moonscar had had time or the mind to realize it, for its lack of fear. A fear that had haunted him--likely haunted all of them--for months, now. For a few hours of strange and magic slumber, he had felt safe.

When he woke, it lingered. He stretched, feeling the overcast warmth brushing his fur, that electric sense of encroaching winds, feeling the prickle of his claws on concrete. And then, voices. For an instant, it didn't occur to him as strange that he could understand; he simply did, completely. And then his pale eyes blinked, and he turned, staring into the alleyway.

From where he'd slept atop a stack of cinderblocks--an old, faded rug long ago abandoned atop them--he leapt down, a fluid feline movement, and began to slip between the shattered beams and twisted steel of the ancient city. Scent and hearing guided him to the center of the colony's territory soon enough, even as Echo was shouting, even as the strange voice powered through his mind. It held the same powerful sense of life as had the dream, and Moonscar paused to consider the meaning of this.

Blessed, he thought, his mind musing over the word. We are blessed. -Is it all of us? As though his mind were rusted by years of disuse (but it wasn't; it had never been used, it was new, it must be broken in) he had to slowly move over these thoughts. Like the cat he was, like a predator, prowling over words, batting at them tentatively, only slowly discerning true and deeper meaning.

Moonscar had always somewhat standoffish--not deliberately aloof, but simply a quiet, cautious sort. Even now he came to a halt, a flick of his tail the only betrayal of his interest, his confusion, as he looked among the gathering cats.

A glance was cast toward Emperor, half-surprised, when the long-haired tom yowled, and Moonscar found himself musing: what would each of them sound like? Who would each of them be? Would language be a revelation of hidden personality, of intent? Or would it be like... strangers, unexpected changes to those whom he'd known his whole life?

He looked up, at last, and then around, his gaze settling on the small, shy female; and--his voice wavering, a little--he spoke for the very first time.

"It wasn't just you," he assured her, softly, and glanced around again, as if afraid this new voice might bring down something terrible. But nothing happened, and he took a breath, fear pounding in his chest, and pushed on.

This new sense of self--a him he'd never known, a personality he hadn't expected he possessed, surged in him. Carefully, cautiously, he said: "I think... I am Moon-scar." It was how he'd always thought of himself, after seeing his reflection, once: one green-yellow eye, one pale, clouded by half-blind cataract after a fight and a nasty scratch. Like the moons, one green, one silver-blue. "You are all... family." It was a slow statement, made with wonder, with confusion, with dizzying awe.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Storyteller Dark - 09-06-2020

Though the cat colony awoke in peace--albeit with promises of strength and fury--that peace was now slipping away. One of the Rusthounds--long enemies and predators of the cats--was trotting languidly through the center of the colony.

She was paying them no mind--she had other things to think about, now. Like her new awakening, her new thoughts. And she had not, as yet, heard them speak. Her body was large--almost fat--thick with unshed fur, her browns and blacks pointed with white. And her face and muzzle showed the scars of many fights, and many brutal hunts--she was, herself, not an unfamiliar face among the Lionshadow.

Unaware that the cats were sentient--unaware that they'd remember her depredations, the five or so cats and kittens that had fallen to her jaws in times of hunger, when she'd dug them out of rotten-rug-and-cardboard-box dens or chased them through the alleys--she was loping obliviously, single-mindedly, back toward her pack.

At once, the eyes of the other Lionshadow fixed on her. The cats went silent, and several began to slink into the shadows, to prowl alongside... hungering for revenge, hatred in their hearts, but their bodies to small to safely take her.

@Moonscar @Stargazer @Emperor

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Emperor - 09-06-2020

Emperor went silent at the scent of dog, eyes watching the other cats slowly slink into the shadows. They looked up and jumped onto the ledge of the crumbling floor of a building, claws digging into concrete as they peered down.

... They recognized the dog. Not only as a killer, but as the killer that took their mother from them, causing the death of their siblings as well.

Teeth were bared and Emperor lunged with reckless abandon, claws extended and tail swirling about angrily. The cat fell further and further before letting out a rageful yowl, yellow eyes flashing as each paw slashed mid-air, like they were a flurry blender or something.

Land on the dog.


RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Stargazer - 09-08-2020

She dreamed. That might not have been strange—surely, she had dreamed before—but when she woke, the memory of it curled around her mind and she had spent several moments reflecting on it, thinking, wondering what it meant—

Thinking. A wave of uncertainty filled her, but not that which was fear of change. It was more like... like...

"What beneath the Two Moons is this!?" Her ears twitched and she pulled herself forward on her perch, peering down at the others with her hazed vision. The others were also aware. Had they all dreamt the same thing? Of shadows and vines, where it felt safe, despite the darkness?

She did not want to come down. Maybe she was still dreaming. She retreated back into her small nest and curled up again, waiting for some wandering kitten to rouse her later, in the real world, where, surely, she was still asleep...

But there was a voice, it purred inside her mind and she could not ignore it. Her head lifted again, searching for its source, but then the others below began to speak again too. They'd all heard it, then? Her head again peeked from the edge of her perch, listening, watching, knowing.

Moon-scar. Family. That was her brother. What was... brother? He was her brother, but she was older. The others were a part of them, too, even if they did not once enjoy the same soft belly-fur of their mother. Moonscar. She smiled at the name, and decided for herself after an equal amount of careful thought: "Stargazer." Together, two pieces of the sky.

Her voice felt strange in her own throat. It was raspy, wise, and a little crackly. She was content to watch from her nest, but a mongrel stray had other plans. Though her vision was milky, hazed, and especially blurred at a distance, she could make out the larger animal as a dog almost immediately. Some sort of instinct that told her, "Look! Danger!" so that she could avoid it. And again, the voice touched her mind: survive.

A darting black shadow dropped from a higher floor, aiming right for the dog with an ear-splitting yowl.

"You idiot!" she yowled from her own high spot, leaning over the edge with her fur raised, claws gripping into the matted, soft piece of rug that clung to the overhang. Well, now she definitely wasn't going down there.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Moonscar - 09-10-2020

Moonscar had turned, eyes wide, at the soft sound of a new voice. It was a little distant, higher up, and after a moment of searching his gaze found his sister.

Stargazer..? he thought, and then marvelled over it--tasting the meaning in his mind, rolling it over, admiring it. His expression grew warm as he eyed his sister--...Stargazer. So that is what my litter-sister sounds like, he thought--but before he could dwell on this for too long, another, sharper sound snapped his head around.

He'd had no time to notice the scratch of approaching paws--Emperor got to that before him. And for some godforsaken reason, the black cat went straight for the dog. Moonscar's cat reflexes had him scrambling back, tail already a bottle-brush, darting into the grating and open rubble that formed dark clusters beneath Stargazer's perch, even as his mind caught up and recognized the canine. It was one of those that had so dogged their colony, digging out kittens, relentless and tough. One of the biggest--and here one of the colony was attacking it-!

Moonscar scrabbled through the dark and hidden dust, feeling his pupils wide, his heart hammering, his breath coming in jagged rasps. He clawed his way with rapid, springing leaps up the inside of the structure, then scrambled out and along a beam until he came up alongside his sister. Stargazer. He had no time to marvel over that, or to think about Stargazer herself; he checked on her from time to time, an affectionate greeting, but he was never particularly close to the other cats. Still, now he found himself drawing up alongside her in a prowling crouch, eyes wide and black as a night sky (or rather, one cloudy), ears first flattened back, then rammed forward toward the scene.

"What is he doing-?" Moonscar hissed to his sister, and his voice was filled with horror.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Storyteller Dark - 09-10-2020

The dog had not been hunting, and her mind was certainly elsewhere as she loped her ragged-furred way through the center of the colony. Emperor's sudden attack was certainly unexpected, and the dog leapt forward and to one side in utter shock as claws tore into her thick fur. They scored a couple of shallow cuts through the matted undercoat, and the dog, for a moment, was too thick-bodied to quite snag Emperor off her back easily. The result was a huge, spinning mutt, snarling with a guttural, roaring snapping of jaws across her own back as she tried to reach them.

Her teeth closed around the cat's back, and she jerked them away, the throaty growl filling their world as she shook them violently. It didn't break their spine, but it would leave bloodied punctures, bruising... and then she flung them away, darting toward them with a sharp series of warning snaps, the growling again a roar. Eyes blazed, hackles up, tail flagging, every piece of Brute the sign of a savage predator.

The dog had not been hunting. Her mind was elsewhere. She was giving Emperor a chance to run--if they attacked her again, she was very likely to kill them.

Small clumps of torn-away fur, white stained gray and yellow with time, rusted brown and black, drifted away and tumbled over the abandoned street.

Rolling for Brute to close her jaws around Emperor.


@Emperor @Stargazer @Moonscar

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Emperor - 09-10-2020

Emperor found the world suddenly spinning and slammed into the ground with a snarl, rolling a few feet before struggling to get up. Their back bled and they hissed, furious. Not only did the dog bite them, but it would scar, and they hadn't yet gotten their revenge.

"You killed my mom you beast!", they hissed, every hair on end, their hackles raised and their teeth bared in a vicious snarl.

They were easily the biggest cat there, with a thick neck and shoulders, with thick fur over their body. Their size gave them just a smidge of confidence... but they weren't stupid. They were the last of their family.

"I hope you become riddled with sickness," they hissed, backing up and jumping onto a ledge, their wounds stinging and their back aching, "I hope maggot eat you from the inside out!"

With a final hiss, they retreated to lick their wounds, still stewing with anger and bitterness. No one else even tried to help.

RE: [Like Cats and Dogs] In the Shadow of Lions - Rakesh - 09-11-2020

In the shade of a crumbled down building a male tiger was laying flat on his side, resting, eyes almost closed as sleep would surely claim him shortly. With each breath he took a low chuff would follow, the sound rumbling in his chest like heavy rain beating down a rusted metal roof. A sign of pure bliss, even his awakening hadn't been enough to disturb this beautiful moment.

Just as expected Rakesh's eyes were eventually closed completely, the oval shaped orbs but thin lines at this point. There was nothing but darkness in his mind, a comfortable emptiness with no one to bother him with their silly words. This is how he liked it, if only he could sleep forever and be rid of the earthly struggles.

If only.

The sounds of loud commotion, however, stirred the tiger awake from his light sleep taking away the dark veil that he had hid behind despite wishing hard for it to never be pulled to the side. Who dares? Rakesh's eyes snap open and every muscle in his body tenses up, sharp claws poking out of his paws scratching the floor underneath him.

The pleasant chuff had changed to a ominous growl that escalated into a loud roar which was enough to get the male tiger up. Who was so eager to get themselves killed today? Ears flicker, picking up the sounds of a heated struggle once more and with heavy steps Rakesh moves closer to the source.

A fight between a cat and a dog had broken out, the mutt spinning around in circles like it was chasing its tail, trying to get the feline off of its back. Then it was all over and the big ball of dark fluff hissed some curses at the dog before withdrawing into safety to lick their wounds. Rakesh felt no sympathy towards either side, anger still boiling within him waiting for its release.

"The hell are you idiots making so much noise for?" Rakesh growls, his tail swishing recklessly behind his back. "Your face is annoying, what are you even staring at me for, huh? Piss off!" The tiger unleashes some of his anger, this time on the poor dog since they happened to be the closest. "Tch! Can't even get a little shut eye here anymore…"

Never before had the cats caused a scene like this, in fact the smaller felines had been pretty tolerable neighbours. Until now, of course.