A Spying We Shall Go - Open to Wherhandlers [Surveillance]

The lands around New Atricis that are regarded as Atricis' new territory. Not as big as their previous protective range, but still lots of space and wilds to explore. Dragon Flights and Wher Runs also occur across these lands.
Linnea
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Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:30 pm

Rhea kept his sigh to himself at Inggharadube's greeting. The man had been the one to help with his swordskills, so it was a form of gratitude in his opinion. Because there were some people out there that honestly just needed to learn to see outside their own experiences and stop dampening other people's fun. Sure it might be night according to most people's standards, but had they not all just awoken recently? "I wouldn't have brought a weapon with me if I did not feel comfortable in its use," he said with a smile in the man's direction before turning to greet Ferghas who joined directly behind him with a small laugh.

When Inggharadube led them out of the Weyr's grounds, Rhea fell in step behind him when the trails narrowed and beside him when it was wider to allow Rheask the chance to best use his nose. Rask followed behind, both protected as an electrum and one of the few decently clutching females since Serisk's loss, but still prepared to defend from an incursion on the side.

They made it off the main trails and into the untamed wilds before Rheask became momentarily more intent. His nose pressed to the ground, he took a couple steps out of line and sniffed at some bushes and trees. He turned back to Rhea and gave a few chirps as, despite his ability to speak, the brown had always preferred the more traditional forms of communication between handler and wher. "Rheask has it, too," he announced to the group after Inggharadube announced his bronze having caught the same trail.
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Parker
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Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:26 pm

Out of habit, Ferghas allowed the rest of the group to go first while he fell to the back. It was something he had picked up from his days in the caravan as he'd been one of the lookouts and it was best to keep an eye on the entire group from the back. After that, he'd become distrustful and merely preferred to keep his eyes on everyone he was with. Less chance of being stabbed in the back that way. Not that he thought any of his fellow handlers would stab him in the back, but better to be safe than sorry.

Ferghas had mixed feelings about their lack of evidence so far. On one hand it was nice to not have to worry about getting eaten by a feline, but on the other they needed to found these creatures and take care of them. Finally, Inggharusk and Rheask caught onto a smell. Good noses. I not catch. Fersk complimented the two males.

"Finally something." Ferghas said in exasperation. "If there is a scent there may be other tracks as well." He said as he moved forward from his position in the back of the group. Depending how old the scent was would depend if there was any other clues, but it never hurt to look. Ferghas wasn't half back at tracking, or so he declared himself, so he began searching the immediate area for signs of broken branches, tracks, or anything of the like.
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Linnea
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Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:47 am

Rhea nodded the moment Ferghas added his suggestion. "Exactly what I was thinking," he agreed. "Scent trails tell us the felines went through here, but not which way they were heading. Broken branches or paw prints can tell us which way they went. Scat may be able to tell us exactly how old this trail is." If it was too old, their might be little use in following it, but if they could find signs of marking, it could mean the trail was located within the pride's territory or was one regularly used.

That said, Rhea slipped over to where Rheask had found the trail and began looking around for any of the signs he had mentioned.
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LdyPayne
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Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:09 am

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"That is logical," Inggharudube responded to Ferghas's comment. However given the age of the scent Inggharudube didn't have much hope there would be more to learn from this old trail. If it was fresher he would have guessed it was a regularly used path but if Inggharusk thought it was old, it may only been used the one time or infrequently. However he saw no reason not to look for visible sign. A tuft of fur or a distinct paw print could help determine if this trail was from one of the unusually large Felines or just a more typical Feline. 'Feel free to see what you can find, Ferghas."

He barely had a chance to respond to Ferghas when Rhea also piped in about the benefit of finding a trail. Did these men think he didn't know how to track himself? He may rely on his Wher's keen sense of smell but that didn't mean he didn't know how to follow a trail himself. He may not be a master tracker but he lived in the Jungle for several Turns and tracked down escaped criminals and slaves.

"Yes Rhea, a trail could point us in the direction the Feline went," Inggharudube responded. He glanced over at the female member of their party but she didn't seem inclined to add her own two Eighth Marks in. Turning back to Rhea and Ferghas he directed Inggharusk to circle around the area but not venture out of sight nor get in the way of the other Wherhandlers. Might has well have the large bronze alert just in case this old trail was a distraction to a far fresher one just up ahead.

"What have you found?" Inggharudube asked after watching the two men examine the old scent trail for physical signs of their foe.
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Ainokesshou
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Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:15 am

Galana never claimed to have much skill at tracking wild animals, though Galask was quite capable most of the time. She helped track humans, and often they were humans who weren’t trying not to leave a trail. She knew that the felines were supposedly intelligent enough to cloud their trails, though, and had no idea what she could do to help with that. So she had nothing to contribute when it came to finding the big cats.

She was a bit surprised that Galask hadn’t smelled anything, though. He tried harder to catch the scent when the other whers succeeded, but couldn’t manage. Weak scent, old trail, he grumbled to Galana. She nodded, wondering whether that could mean anything other than that the big felines had once hunted here and now did not. “Why would a hunter stop using a trail?” she asked aloud.

Prey gone, Galask answered her idly, as he continued trying to catch a scent. Wrong season. Other hunters.

Other hunters was a frightening thought: if the scent trail was the big felines, what could have scared them off earlier? She preferred to think it was one of the other two causes. "Did they kill so many prey animals they needed to move on?" she asked aloud in response to Galask's comments.
Quiloth     Elahrairath     Nahumth      
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Zenith         Ramlahvas
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   Atumra       Panlovis     Galask  Gask                      
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Isilsk
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Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:09 pm

Between Ferghas and Rhea, your group finds signs of a large creature having been through in the form of large tracks in the ground and scraps of fur snagged on foliage. The tracks appear to lead South, but the large spaces between the tracks on the ground suggest the beast along this path was running through, making the tracks deep, wide, and relatively easy to follow, with the scent getting gradually fresher as the tracks move further south.
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Parker
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Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:44 am

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Ferghas made sure to check in places that Rhea wasn't so they could cover more ground. Fersk stuck closer to him the farther out from the group he got. "There are tracks over here. Heading south. Judging by the placing it was running, fast." Ferghas answered Iggharudube. He knelt down and measured his own hand against that of the print. He gave a whistle of appreciation at the size. No wonder so many of them had fallen to these beasts. They were suppose to take down a pack of these monsters? Ferghas wasn't sure how, but they had to do something to stop them.

"Could be several reasons, darling." Ferghas said as he answered Galana's question. "Could be they hunted all of the prey in the area. Or perhaps they are following a prey that doesn't stay in one location very long. Sometimes a bigger, badder predator comes to the territory and scares them away." He explained as he moved back closer to the group. "However, considering the big baddies we're already dealing with, I sincerely doubt that they were run out of this territory."

Fersk nuzzled against Ferghas, she didn't like all the death that had happened. "What now? Follow the tracks?"
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Linnea
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Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:19 am

Inggharudube had been the type of person Rhea had difficulty getting along with since the moment they met, but that did not mean he would not work with him as effectively as possible. It was why Rhea didn't respond to his barb. Instead, he focused on his search and found some tufts of fur caught on bark, where large creatures had clearly rubbed up against. To scratch an itch? To mark their territory? An accidental brush while running by?

"I have fur," he called out at almost the same time Ferghas called out having found tracks. Slipping into the foliage just a bit further, Rask on close alert beside him, Rhea found the large tracks, as well, heading straight towards Ferghas.

"Tracks here, as well," Rhea added as he popped back out onto the trail, "Creature must've been moving fast with how spaced they are." He held the fur out to show it off before letting it fall to the ground. "It's almost like not all trails tell us exactly which direction a creature headed in," he offered while side-eyeing Inggharudube.

Only then did he suggest to Galana, "With only one set of prints, it's likely not a regularly used trail. It's not that the creature abandoned it, but that they only had need of it once. Prey are the ones more likely to develop regularly traveled trails where they find safety. With as old as this trail is, we can't even be sure that we'll find the creature who made it with how fast they were likely moving, but it's a better option than nothing. I recommend we follow it rather than looking for something fresher."

Rheask and Rask sniffed at the dropped fur in order to familiarize themselves with this particular feline's sent as much as possible.
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LdyPayne
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Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:42 am

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Inggharudube glanced over at Galana when she voiced her question. Inggharudube could think of several reasons, the trail was no longer useful, pray stopped using it or the predator lost territory to another who had no use for it. Or the trail crossed into the territory of something unexpected and they weren't ready to stand and fight.

Before he could respond Ferghas and Rhea both spoke up of their findings on the track and he ambled over to see. Inggharusk joined the other whers in making sure nothing threatening tried to circle in on their Handlers while they conversed. The bronzehandler crouched down and examined the large paw print then looked ahead where others appeared.

"This is one large feline, definitely bigger than any I have dealt with personally," Inggharudude responded. He stood up straight and stared out into the jungle in the direction the tracks led. Definitely heading south at this point but there was no way to say the track wouldn't turn east or west or even double back upon itself at some point. He reached over and grabbed a tuft of fur clinging to a shrub and held it out for Inggarusk to sniff more closely. Might as well let the Wher commit the scent to memory in case they cross the path of this feline in the future.

He would have responded to Galana's questions but Ferghas beat him to it. He didn't have anything to add so turned his attention back to the feline's trail and Rhea's recommendation.

"Given there doesn't appear to be any prey sign or tracks of another larger predator nearby that I noticed I expect our large feline friend was running for reasons only it knew. Perhaps a packmate called out in distress and it ran to help or perhaps it was scouting when one of our earlier patrols scared it off without even realizing it. These Felines seem determined to attack Whers in packs, not individually." Inggharudube said after some thought. "I also agree we should follow this track and see exactly where this feline ran off to but with extreme caution. We may be able to take out one of these large beasts but if the trail is joined by other Felines or any of our Whers pick up fresher and different scents than this old track, it may be best to back off and return with a larger force. Lets also try and follow the trail and stay downwind so our scent doesn't reach our foe."
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Ainokesshou
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Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:23 pm

Galana grimaced at the thought of what could run the felines out if dragons and whers hadn't succeeded. At least she didn't have to worry much about it. Surely something like that would have already come to their attention. Although if it was only one feline, it could probably be run off by a wher or two. The problems they had been having were from groups of felines working together. Individual felines could be easily handled by a group their size.

They weren't here to fight the felines, though, or even to pick off individuals and decrease their numbers. They were here to get information and get out alive. Preferably alive and uninjured, but she would take alive without severe injuries if that was all she could get.

"I agree about being careful," she said, tightly. The problem, of course, was that if they were TOO careful, they would never get an accurate count on the felines, let alone find their den. "How many felines would be too many for our group? Two? Three?" She had never seen one of the creatures herself. Surely with their smaller size, they would have to outnumber the whers to actually pose a threat.

"Are they willing to scavenge, or do they only eat live prey?" she asked, as a thought occurred to her. If they scavenged, maybe their numbers could be thinned with poisoned food. Not everything had to be solved with a straightforward fight.
Quiloth     Elahrairath     Nahumth      
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Zenith         Ramlahvas
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   Atumra       Panlovis     Galask  Gask                      
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