sensitive topics FEAR LIKE BLOOD ╱ (SEVERAL) INJURIES

HOUNDSTRIDE.

𝐌𝐄𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐈𝐄𝐒 & 𝐅𝐄𝐄𝐋𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐒 ⋆。˚ 𓆝
Jun 7, 2022
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please wait for at least one: @citruspaw @Raccoonpaw @FORESTKIT.

[ cw: eye injury [predator], injury [all four of them], blood, concerns of child death (no actual death) the description of hound's injury can be found in the ooc section below the post ]

( ᴛᴀɢs. )  ❝  It'd taken more'n a moment to recognize his wound. Something hot and sticky had coated his shoulder– in the riverbank tussle, he'd thought it mud. Funny how sure the mind can be that all is well, when it's the only thing keeping you on your paws. Numbing adrenaline an' exhilaration beginning to burn. Pain charred the synapses, brought his mind to its knees. There was nothing. There was only this dull throb, and the paws that slowly stopped holding all his weight. Looking at it'd been what brought it all back. The racing of his heart, the flecked ivory fangs and dark, wild eyes. It'd been the scuffle to alert him. Not a word or a sight, but the panic that filled the air, the fur that dusted 'cross the ground. "Citrus!" had been the first name off his maw. A russet snout grasped her throat, pinpricks of red welling up.

He'd thrown himself into the fray past that. Sold his soul to that devil's elixir that adrenaline was. Forestkit'd been thrown to a bush of thorns, Citruspaw plucked from its jaws. Hound stood between the beast and Raccoonpaw no matter the wounds it left on him. Not a thing in this world mattered more to 'im than those three fragile lives pinned in the muck. That'd be the end of him, wouldn't it just? One of these days his strength and heart would fail him, and all that he had loved would be for naught. Premature grief spurred him to panic. From there, Houndsnarl found his way through the rumbling waters to rage. As the fox's teeth tore at his shoulder, his claws raked through its eyes.

Blood is still fresh on the tips of them as the wearied band draws back to camp. Looking at them, the pain of his wound is long forgotten. Each limping step is one closer to safety. A den for the three to curl up in, with a kind soul to watch after them as they heal. Beesong'd keep them safe. Healthy. Some far moons in the future, this'll be nothing more than a ghost of time. A hovering memory written to his shoulder's scar. Hopefully none'f theirs would follow his same path, though he's little hope for Raccoonpaw's healing pretty. But they were alive. Stars above they were alive, and nothing that could be offered is worth more than that.

"You've been brave as can be, all'f you. We're almost there." With a soft, shaky exhale that betrays the pained hitch of his step, Hound lowers his head to take Forestkit by the scruff, pulling the youth near the level of a warrior's eyes as they step into camp. Above the child's head, his own verdant eyes dare them to offer even a word of cruelty to those that follow him. It means near nothing, with the weight of exhaustion and blood loss making a mess of his head. There's no real weight to his anger. Not that there ever really was.

He sways on his paws, barely manages to set the black kitten back on his footing 'fore Hound's own crumble beneath him.
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    ooc: hound saved citrus, raccoon, and forest from a fox attack. he now has a pretty gross flesh wound on his left shoulder, which has been bleeding pretty profusely but has by now scabbed up some. he is conscious and still halfway standing, but it sucks to put weight on.
  • ──── houndsnarl. trans male, he/him pronouns.
    ──── approximately 30 moons old, or 2.5 years.
    ──── bisexual with firm male preference; single.

    ──── a chocolate tabby with ( stylized ) low white and intense lime eyes. lean and lanky,  with whiplike musculature and a long, quick stride. hound's notable features include his impressive height, the long scar across the left side of his face from nose to jaw, his very deep, dense fur, and the confident manner with which he conducts himself.
  • "speech"
 
HIS LAST BASTION OF MODERNITY

It hadn't meant to end like this, no. Please, stop, come back! We're gonna get in trouble! Her pleas had landed on deaf ears as the apprentices had found Forest wandering the territory. She had never wanted to disobey the rules, never had imagined it'd end like this. Never imagined that Hound would have to swoop in and save them. She had been the distraction as Raccoon did their best to fight off the fox to protect Forest, but Citrus was built to look for pretty things, not fight, not speed, especially not agility. One singular wrong step had been her demise, a stumble was all it took for the fox to wrap fangs around a glass throat and blood begins to leak from where they had sunken in. The next thing she knew was that she was being shaken around, fangs gripping tighter in to her throat and she could feel herself losing consciousness. Citrus was convinced that she was gonna die here, throat torn out by a monster with no regard.

Hound jumped in. Shes not sure what he did but she tumbles unceremoniously to the ground, coughing and hacking with newfound air. Everything was spinning and the world is moving so terribly fast that she barely recognizes her own paws. She's not dead, not yet, but as she tries to rise to her paws to go back to help she stumbles and falls, crashing against the earth, a keening cry of pain. Everything else is a blur.

"I'm sorry, i'm sorry, i'm sorry," strings of apologies bubble from bloody lips, her voice barely recognizable to herself. Everything is so, so far away, its like shes been plunged into the icy river and held there. She had tried, tried so hard to do the maneuvers she was taught in passing but she failed, failed to protect the others and now Hound paid the price for it. "I'm so sorry," tears slide from misted eyes as he says they've been brave, she certainly did not feel brave.

They're in camp and everything happens so fast, Hound sets Forest down and crumbles and she stumbles to him, pushes her face in to his fur, cuddles up and begins to wail, wail for help, wail for not being able to do more. Her thoughts are full of fear for punishment, full of fear of the fox, appreciation for Hound but not a single coherent word comes from her. It almost feels like Hound is glass, and Citrus needs to make sure he doesn't shatter.
 
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Who are you really?

In truth this was all of Forestkit's fault, he had snuck out of camp in curiosity, his father mentioning something about a fox and being young and filled with wonder the young kit had wanted to see one. He was unaware how dangerous these creatures were and what made things worse, the young kit had been spotted by Citruspaw and Raccoonpaw, both having desperate pleas to get the kit back to the den in fail attempts, hazel eyes rolling slightly as they continued on their path, and before the three had known it, they were face to face with a fox. Hackles had risen but it was Citruspaw who was quick to distract.

Everything had happened so quickly, both Citrus and Raccoon quick to defend against the fox, and yet it did not take long for Citrus to become a chewtoy for the fox and Raccoonpaw desperately trying to fight off the fox on their own. Suddenly, Forestkit was tossed into the air, landing into a bush of thorns, pain flaring through the scrapes of fur, and yet it was for his own safety. Stunned the boy wiggled slightly as more thorns continued to stick to his fur.

As fast as it had started, it has ended, Houndnsarl valiantly defending the three but not without great cause. Fearful eyes wondering as he backed further into the bushes, but Houndsnarl had easily scooped the kit out from the thorns and soon they were back in camp, ears flattened on his skull with a guilty look on his gaze as he was dropped on the ground, Citruspaw collapsing into Houndsnarl, and out of the four, Forestkit was the least injured by far thanks to Houndsnarl, but they were injured, no thanks to Forestkit for sneaking out of camp out of his own curiosity. "I am sorry, father said that there was a fox and I got curious because I wanted to see how one looked like and did not calculate that they were dangerous" he said with a tiny voice, his gaze staring down at his own paws, not able to look at the face of his clanmates. His aunt will be so mad at him.
"speak""Thoughts"
 
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It was suppose to be something fun, something light hearted- yet it some how turned terrible wrong. Raccoonpaw had found themselves following after Forestkit and Cituspaw as the kitten spoke of seeing a fox. They had assumed it to be kitten jokes or banter, so it wasn't taken seriously at first. Then the stench of red fur and the sight of black legs made them all freeze. Or well Raccoonpaw froze, and stared up into beady brown eyes for what felt like a lifetime. Hot adrenaline rolled through their body as the creature lunged for them, for Forestkit.

They had moved without a second thought. Rushing forward to lunged for the elongate muzzle, sink their claws into its cheeks and hang on for dear life. The fox shook his head viciously, snarling and spitting in irritation at Raccoonpaws' attack. Eventually the creature was able to dislodge the white bodied apprentice. Throwing them directly into a willow tree trunk, knocking the wind from their body but it was enough to distract the fox from the other two. It training death-filled eys on them and they quickly scramble to their small black paws, narrowly dodging the snap of jaws at their face.

Raccoonpaw moved around the fox with claws raking down its flank, but they couldn't get away fast enough. Jaws clamped around their fluffy, black tail, and pulled hard to which sent Raccoonpaw flying upwards into the air. Blood dripping from their tail as they came back down, but made sure to land on the foxes' back. From there they froze in fear, they couldn't fight this on their own. Though they had to make sure that Citruspaw and Forestkit where safe.

The lost grip on the foxs' back and fell to the ground with a hard thump and they waited for teeth to meet flesh as the fox lunged for their body. Sharp as needle torn through the flesh across Raccoonpaws' right shoulder, removing skin and fur all together. Leaving behind an open gash across their blade, and the collapsed to the ground. At least the would go out being a warrior of a good group of cats.

Yet the attacking ceased, and they peaked open their orange eyes to see what could be preventing their death- it was Houndsnarl. Desperaetly trying to their paws, Raccoonpaw had every intention of helping the brown warrior. Maybe with two of them they could chase it down? Though the warrior sustained injuries of his own in his brief fight with the fox, and soon they found themselves limping after the group. Trying to keep pace with them as their leg hurt to put weight on and had to hobble along almost. At least they were alive.
 
She's just outside camp, red tail lifted high and her mouth full of gleaming silver fish. It's heavy, and she's eager to drop it, both to see the looks of envy on the other apprentices' face and to let her jaw relax. It's been a rough morning, a long few hours of sitting stock-still and waiting for the water to ripple. Even her lungs ache, as though she'd held her breath and dived beneath the water for hours.

But she does not quite make into the confines of their willow-shaded home. The reek of something horrifying hits her nostrils, and the fish thuds to her paws. Slowly, terror shining in her amber eyes, Foxpaw turns to look at the cats pulling themselves through the reeds. Blood hangs like smoke around them, and the fur clumps into spikes on her spine, but worse -

Worse is the smell of -

"The monster," she wheezes, backing away. "Y-you saw it? Found it?" Her voice is raspy with her fear. Houndsnarl is bleeding badly, wound bubbling, and Raccoonpaw, who is old enough to be a warrior, walks with a limp. The other, younger cats stumble - Citruspaw looks far away, eyes glazed with pain, while Forestkit looks at the earth without comment.

But all she smells is the monster.

"B-Beesong," she mewls, her voice high like a kit. "Beesong!"

// went to get @BEESONG

PENNED BY MARQUETTE
 
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− ♱ ABOUT : it’s the smell of blood that draws the phantom from his willow den — a glint of ice amongst void, burst of ivory and shadow looming forth in too - long strides. it’s a siren call, scent thick as honey and he feels it on his tongue, sliding down his throat in viscous globs and pulling him forward, smattering itself upon the scent gland at the roof of his mouth, which hangs open just a bit, as if still trying to catch the scent. his features are hard, brow drawn and ears angled back, concern blanking his bicolored expression until the scene lies out before him, blinking pale eyes against the harsh midday sun. three children, and a too - familiar, dark - striped tabby matted in red and — suddenly the world feels too dark. too light on his paws, as if his marrow itself now fills with air, threatening to take him off of his paws should he place a wrong step. forestkit, the young child of spiderfall, citruspaw, the bright young apprentice, and raccoonpaw, set for their warrior ceremony very soon . . and houndsnarl, wavering upon dark paws.

mangled.

houndsnarl — “ it’s choked and he hates the way his accented vocals grate from a sore, razor - wrapped throat. too - long limbs tremble and his chest burns and he longs to scratch and maul and tear at whatever he could in retaliation, but he does not. he merely stumbles forward, listening to foxpaws shrill call for beesong, beesong!, trying to assess the damage along his shoulder beyond the clots and scabbing tissue, still raw and pink around the edges. he sees the way blood welts with every breath, pulsing from ripped flesh, a promise of a heart still beating underneath his torn skin, “ fox, a fox . . what happened, how did forestkit get out, where — “ he’s babbling, half - finished thoughts as his mind struggles to process, coping slowly with the image before him. it’s only when the man slumps does he release a sound ; a half - gasp, circling the tabby and aiming to press as delicate as he could against the man’s uninjured shoulder. get it together. his thoughts bite at him, violent — do more. despite the fear that pulses through him, he aims to bring his tail around the man’s side, hoping his presence was at least a fraction of comfort enough to relax into, “ come, lean. ease with me, now. we don’t need you hitting your head, too. “ the german murmurs, forcing his tone still after a hard swallow, and slowly aiming to guide the man into a lying position, still propped against his side. beesong could treat him better with his injured side exposed.

it is his own, budding anger that keeps him from heeding the fire behind verdant eyes, his own blue - fire unfocusing with grief, head spinning until his chest settles upon a deep, horrific fury. a kit. a kit, out of camp, with two apprentices following close in tow. two apprentices, he says — one, twelve months. his gaze locks on raccoonpaw and perhaps it’s harsh, but his lips rip into a snarl, exposing fangs and tender, pinks gums, “ who allowed this? i know it wasn’t houndsnarl, as he isn’t fish - brained enough to let a kit from camp. “ it’s dripping with venom ; a shout, loud enough to draw those around them from their dens by the sheer noise. a fox. he could have lost him. he could have lost forestkit, cirtuspaw, he could have lost raccoonpaw. it’s borne from his worry that he digs unsheathed claws into water - damp soil, his fur puffed and bristling and furious, “ citruspaw, a moon of camp probation unless you are on patrol with your mentor. and RACCOONPAW “ his accent slurs with the emotion in his voice and now is no exception, his head pivoting to focus fully on the wounded feline.

you are twelve moons old — soon to be a warrior. i will not have any warriors of riverclan as irresponsible and careless to let a kit out of camp on speculation of a FOX. you are to report suspicion of predators to your mentor immediately, do you understand me? “ his voice is rough now, jagged with effort, but his last word snaps final, “ you will be punished as a warrior, as you are old and surely wise enough to be. enjoy beesong’s den in recovery, as it will be the last bit of rest of you get for moons.

  • CICADASTAR ; he / him. roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − handsome, lanky black smoke tortie chimera with curly fur and icy blue eyes
    − gay. speaks with a thick german accent, former marsh cat, penned by antlers

  • none.

 
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Who are you really?

Foxpaw's shrilled panicked voice made Forestkit flinch slightly as he looked up from what he had been staring at. All this had been his fault, he was the one who had snuck out of camp, and no one knew about it, Citruspaw had tried to stop him and so had Raccoonpaw and their bobbed tail twitched as a frown slipped on their maw. He was not going to allow the others to take the fall for him, Roachkit or maybe Leafkit would but not him, he learned better than to do that. Their gaze landed on the angry form of their leader and he felt his stomach drop seeing how mad he was at the two.

"Citruspaw and Racconpaw tried to get me back in camp, I snuck out and ignored them out of my own curiosities, please don't blame them for my own behaviors" the child quickly spoke up, being honest as their hazel gaze tried to find their leader's eyes. If anyone deserved to be punished for what happened today it would be Forestkit. He had put not one, but three other cats at risk for their own foolishness of wants and needs and had left the careful yet watchful eye of his own aunt who had been exhausted and was forced back to the medicine den by her own mentor to allow her injured ankle to heal. Spiderfall had filled his head with stories about a fox and so he...all he wanted to do was see one, he did not realize the danger behind it, next time he'll ask aunty Frostpaw about something, or maybe Cicadastar since the tom seemed to have a soft side for him and his siblings.
"speak""Thoughts" Currently uses She/Her pronouns
 
The sharp tang of blood eviscerates the air, and Beesong fears how familiar the scent is to him now. Gathering up cobwebs and a moss ball, the medicine cat stumbles from his den and-

Stars above, what happened?

Houndsnarl stands- no, to say he is standing would be too generous of a statement. He struggles to stay upright in the middle of the camp's entrance, swaying on three paws. Flesh and sinew upon his shoulder is torn away, raw and pink, with blood glistening in the sunlight. Behind him, Raccoonpaw, Citruspaw, and Forestkit stumble. Beesong is quick to the warrior's other side, with only a furrow of their brows betraying the lump that has begun to gather in their tight throat. There's a forced stillness to their paws as they press cobwebs into the worst of the wounds, which is the gaping gash upon Houndsnarl's shoulder, teeth gritting behind pursed lips. The moss ball has been dropped somewhere off to the side, and Beesong murmurs to anyone nearby, "Dampen the moss in the river, please."

Close enough to detect the stench of the fox that clings to the four now, Beesong's snout creases into wrinkles, but they do not speak on it. They bite their tongue as Cicadastar scolds the trio that had followed behind Houndsnarl, barely suppressing a flinch as the leader's voice rises. Aqua eyes burn, and the medicine cat sucks in a breath as their heart thunders in their ear. Stay quiet, and they won't be hurt. Even if Cicadastar would never hurt them, even if they are not the one who is being reprimanded, the fear is ever persistent; drawn out of hiding by the rise in pitch too similar to how his father would yell.

Forestkit intervenes with a rushed explanation, and Beesong nearly misses her words in the midst of his silent panic. Raccoonpaw and Citruspaw caught her sneaking out, and tried to return her to camp... Beesong risks a glance towards the furious leader, swallowing past the considerable lump that has settled in his throat.
 

GOT A HEAD FULL OF SPIDERS

Although Frostpaw had gone to rest once more to allow her fox trap injuries to heal the girl had realized Raccoonpaw had not been around which, was worrying as the two were both healing together and had found comfort within the warmth of their shared nest. Not only that, her young niece had also disappeared as well. Her mind was a whirlwind with thoughts that forced her to be unable to rest and then...blood hit her nose mix with that of fox as well as the shrill cry of Foxpaw.

The young apprentice quickly rushed towards the scene eyes widen with shock and horror at the sight she had seen. Citruspaw, Raccoonpaw, Houndsnarl, and Forestkit all injured, Houndsnarl having the worse of this. Cicadastar lecturing them while Beesong was quick to tend to the words. "Do you need more cobwebs, Beesong?" she would ask gently before fixating her attention onto the four despite their already scolding.

"Raccoonpaw! You're still healing from your other injuries, what if Houndsnarl couldn't get to you guys in time? I was so worried because I didn't see you, please ust stay close to me. Citruspaw, I am also glad to see you're alive but please next time tell me that Forestkit snuck out okay? And Forestkit, you're still so young, if if they weren't there to save you...I...stay in the nursery from now on" the girl began lecturing the three, worry oozing out of her maw, she had been so scared, and half of her was relieved they were safe while the other was mad that they did something so dangerous.
"speak""Thoughts"
 
HIS LAST BASTION OF MODERNITY

Cicada enters the scene and everything happens so fast that shes practically shoved out from Hounds side, and then Cicada is yelling and she can barely hear him as she crouches low to the ground. Everything is spinning viscously and the words they spoke sound so far away, underwater, loud, screaming. Who allowed this? I know it wasn’t Houndsnarl, as he isn’t fish - brained enough to let a kit from camp! She wants to argue back. She wants to tell him no one did. She had tried, tried so hard. Citruspaw can't help but feel as if he had turned all his anger on her and Raccoon. She had tried to be brave. Words catch in her throat.

Tears flow freely down her cheeks and mix with the blood spatter around neck wounds. Lips tremble as does a tiny body, Beesong is there but hes taking care of Hound and shes shaking so bad from Cicadas screaming form. She wants to do nothing but disappear, disappear beyond the camp and run away from this all. It's so loud, so loud, she can't breathe-

Frostpaw is there. It's the only solace she has aside from Hound, which had been torn away from her. She rises shakily to her paws, she wants to throw up and scream and the pain from the bite wounds is replaced with anxiety. She stumbles to Frost, barely comprehends her scolding words as she aims to collapse in to her side, sobs now coming. She hiccups, still can't breathe, paws go to her throat. Matted fur of blood, she can still feel the warmth, she doesn't want to imagine what would have happened if Hound wasn't there. She would have died, the fox would have crunched her throat and threw her away like nothing. "I'm sorry, i'm sorry, I tried," its all she can say, shaking like a leaf in a tornado, but nothing else would come out. Paws won't work. Shes useless, she can't help Beesong, she shudders and gasps for air as a fresh wave of pain rolls over her. Silly Citrus.
 
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The young cat flattened their ears against their head at Cicadastars' scolding, and they lowered themselves to the ground. Hes right They think desperately and dig their claws into the groumd, they where almost twelve months old and should've known better. Should've not reated it like such a silly little kitten game or something close to that. Houndsnarl could die because they had thought Forestkit was just being a kid and there was no real fox. Raccoonpaw felt tears well in their eyes- would this effect their ability to become a warrior? Were they now stuck for another who knows how long in being an apprentice? No, just threats of warriorhood being hard within the moments they return from Beesongs' den. Shame burned in their face and they looked down at their paws, then Forestkit spoke up.

Raccoonpaw was quick to respond directly after the kitten, "No, you're right Cicadastar, it was my fault. Entirely my idea! I didn't believe Forestkt in that there was a fox, and wanted them to prove it," They lifted their head and glanced to the young kit before back to their leader, stepping forward with their tail attempting to place it over the kits mouth, "Don't listen to her, shes just trying to cover my butt," A glowing sunset met an icy, furious blue as if to dare him to question them otherwise.

Then Frostpaws' words cut through their confidence and their eyes widened a bit, turning to the blue feline with a meek smile as they had no idea what would've happened if it wasn't for Houndsnarl. Raccoonpaw had been entirely ready to die for the safety of Forestkit and Citruspaw, but that didn't seem like something to say to her. She was worried and her words tugged at their heart strings, playing it like a delicate harmony, and they softened a bit, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to worry you," They spoke softly and lifted a paw to Frostpaws' cheek, and then looked back to Cicadastar.

Citruspaw then collapsed to the ground in sobbing ball of orange fur, and Raccoonpaw gave a sympathetic look, "You did try, and I'm sorry I was too stubborn to believe otherwise," They apologized to the young apprentice and lowered their head towards Citruspaw.
 
( ᴛᴀɢs. )  ❝  Stars above but he is tired. The blood crusting along his shoulder, poked and prodded at by the medic that'd come in a whirlwind, pressing into the wound and making him hiss through his teeth. The pain of it had faded from the front of his mind, numbed by adrenaline and exhaustion, but each press brings back sparks of memory. Bits of the fight that'd since escaped him in the rushing water of their return. Those claws'd been sharper than he thought they'd be. Not a dog's blunt digging, but another cat's tearing, pulling. For a moment, he is certain that Foxpaw's fear is from the mess'f his skin– then he processes it. The way she shrinks back, the word monster on her tongue, and Hound remembers all that'd brought her here. His heart plummets like a rock. She's gone already, the bustling medic in 'er place, but still he wants to call after her.

Too many to protect now. Fox, Raccoon, Citrus, Forest. He looks at all of them, searching for words to comfort every one'f them until Cicada's body presses up alongside his own. One of the few cats in RiverClan that presses past his own height, and for once he's glad for how smothering it is. He follows him without question, sinking into the soft curl of smokey fur and closing his eyes. It's easier this way. His head spins with the anger and the apologies that follow, pulling himself up just slightly to be better on the leader's level. Perhaps another, saner soul would hesitate to push back against the man, but Hound'd known him when he'd just met the river. Being the leader of it didn't change anything now. "Enough'f that, Cada," he sighs, though his voice is firm and final. "We're alive." His anger comes from fear, and so Hound soothes it. The finality of his voice bleeds away to a murmur.

"We're alive, Cicada. Forest's curious, that's all. Raccoon tried to fight off the damned beast– Citrus was brave enough to try an' draw it away from him. Nothin' here's worth all that anger." Even softer, he murmurs, "Let it go." Were Citrus not so far away now, he'd turn to comfort the apprentice. She's curled herself up by Frostpaw, who's taken to a scolding of her own, and he sighs softly as the cycle's picked up by another soul. Least Flint wasn't here yet. The tom'd tear his ears off his head with his worry. Perhaps that's why he's so used to this kind'f stuff. Anger from fear; fear from love. It's the way a family communicates, wasn't it?
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  • 50335651_ibz4tSApItgOjRI.png
    ooc:
  • ──── houndsnarl. trans male, he/him pronouns.
    ──── approximately 30 moons old, or 2.5 years.
    ──── bisexual with firm male preference; single.

    ──── a chocolate tabby with ( stylized ) low white and intense lime eyes. lean and lanky,  with whiplike musculature and a long, quick stride. hound's notable features include his impressive height, the long scar across the left side of his face from nose to jaw, his very deep, dense fur, and the confident manner with which he conducts himself.
  • "speech"