Aspen is a Starfa Rikr in Vinátta, where she arrived scared and injured. She now serves as Livestock Manager, Cook, and Stable Hand. She and Ascher Stormbringer were mates from April 2014 to May 2015, and have two daughters: Shore Stormbringer and Ode Stormbringer. Aspen is a small wolfdog who is generally submissive and shy, sometimes to the point of being fearful around unknown males. Once she is used to someone, she is kind and helpful.
Vinatta members can reference seeing Aspen around the livestock and horses.
They can also mention that Aspen helped their characters with horses or livestock.
If you have something specifically that you wanted her to help with, PM me and we can either have a thread for it if you'd like, or just so I know and can also reference it.
Species: Aspen's wolf heritage is entirely dominant in her shape.
Fur: Her dog heritage has caused her fur to have some lighter greys in it, and be a little bit thicker than normal, as well as shaggy, and wavy.
Optime Hair: Aspen's hair is a wild, dark grey mass of curls. It is commonly in her face, and sometimes she uses it to hide behind.
Facial Features: Light blue eyes stand out from dark fur. Her face is clean of scars, although her hair often covers it and her gaze is usually on the ground.
Build and Size: Aspen is large for an Alexander Archipelago Wolf, but still on the small end of the wolf range. She is slender in all forms, and almost delicate looking.
Lupus: Aspen's body is thin, although this is partially hidden by her thick fur.
Optime: Still thin and frail, Aspen's figure is modest, though not boyish. It is not uncommon for her posture to be hunched and for her to be displaying submission.
Humanization: The main form of humanization are the two necklaces Aspen wears: her Frithr necklace, and a wooden flower, which hangs above the Frithr pendant. She sometimes wears a gold cuff bracelet as well.
Fur: Aspen's fur is made up of the three shades of grey, darkest on top, lightest on her underside.
Various scars: three claw marks on her right shoulder, diagonally to her sternum. These are crossed by a single perpendicular slash. Her wrists have single scars, and one can be felt on the left side of her neck as well.
Quite small compared to many other wolves. She is slim and light, which allows her to be agile.
100 lbs (45 kg)
32 in (81 cm)
Her Secui form is more bulky than her Lupus form, and her fur gets shaggier. Aspen is only very rarely in this form.
120 lbs (54 kg)
5ft 2in (62 in) (157.5 cm)
In this form, Aspen is bit too slim with a small amount of definition in her lean muscle. Her hair is dark, wavy, and slightly wild.
Aspen is a very submissive wolf, sometimes to the point of fearful. She does not handle change well, and the result of major change is a jumpy, agitated wolf. If faced with a confrontation, Aspen more likely to fight back out of fear than aggression. She prefers not to cause scenes, being more comfortable slinking in and taking what she needs, rather than smashing and plundering.
The wolves Aspen likes best are the ones who don't press her to come out of her shell. She is more likely to open up to someone like that, and once she is comfortable around him or her, Aspen’s underlying personality will show through more. Under the timidness is a kindhearted, wolf to those she likes, who enjoys telling the occasional joke. She can even be a bit cheeky if she's really at ease.
There is no innocence left for Aspen; she knows how the world works. She also has a bit of a wildness about her, not quite tame from all of her time away from canines in general, other than when she needed something from them.
Even with those that she's comfortable around, Aspen has a hard time communicating what she wants. She usually goes with the flow so she doesn't draw attention to herself or create waves. Aspen also doesn’t get too attached to many people; she simply assumes wolves will eventually leave and enjoys the company of those who stick around long enough to earn her trust while she can. This is a defense mechanism that grew from her inability to handle change.
The sheepdog in her is also evident in her instincts. Aspen likes to herd animals, be it sheep, horses, or even geese, given the chance. She even likes to herd pups, though that doesn’t last too long because of how quickly they grow. It’s something she tries to quash because of the prejudices she’s come across, but it doesn’t make the drive any less strong.
Palaydrian Soul: the two officially met during a deer hunt and Aspen slowly got to know her afterwards. Now she considers Drin to be a very close friend, and looks up to her strong nature. She is the first canine Aspen thinks of when she needs advice.
Bran Stormbringer: although she is a bit shy around Bran, Aspen considers him a friend. He taught her a bit about fighting so she could better defend herself.
Chloé Moineau: one of Aspen's friends. Aspen 'rescued' her from hungry goats and the two have llamas that they got at the same time.
Taro Kurosoul: Aspen got to know Taro a little bit on a walk after her kidnapping. The two traded for llamas on a trip to the Outpost with Chloe.
Ascher Stormbringer: Aspen and Ascher were mates from April 2014 to May 2015. The romance between them bloomed slowly with a few hiccups along the way, and a lot of shyness from both sides.
Ombre: a friend from Inferni. They had a livestock breeding program going before Ombre's death.
Xander Eidebjorn: the two met before Aspen went to Vinatta. He was one of the reasons she joined.
Xiphos: Xiphos was a member of Aspen's birth pack who treated her very poorly. Along with Evelyn, He showed up in Vinatta late March 2015, where he continued to intimidate her. He was eventually chased out after trying to steal Aspen's horses and injuring her.
4. Skills and Inventory
Through experimentation, Aspen has learned how to cook rather well. She has found combinations of spices that she and others like. Occasionally she will still make something that does not taste that great. Aspen also learned how to dry fish.
Herding and Livestock Care
Aspen's herding instincts are quite strong, and she came to Vinatta with some knowledge of horse and livestock care. She has learned more from Jindabyne and Joondalup. Aspen also had a breeding program started with Ombre before Ombre's death.
Flint Knapping (Creating Arrowheads)
Through copying other arrow heads, as well as learning from Chloe Taregan, Aspen has learned to make decent arrow heads, which she uses for trade.
Reading and Writing
These skills have not come easy to Aspen. She finds both very difficult and is still at a beginner level, despite many lessons from Ascher Stormbringer. The reason she is learning is so that she can record the combinations of spices she uses as a cookbook.
Aspen started practicing archery at the end of December 2014 after a lesson from Lyris Stryder. She is still very much a novice.
This is a skill Aspen does not use much, so she is rather rusty. She was taught to use daggers while still living in her birth pack by a male named Moss Opera.
Aspen owns cooking supplies, pelts for her home, daggers that were part of her Vinatta welcome pack, and a little bit of jewelry. She will admit to liking pretty jewelry quite a lot.
Aspen usually trades for livestock or for spices and cooking supplies. She generally has arrow heads, dried fish, and various pelts to offer.
Born in 2011, Aspen didn’t have a chance to find out what a ‘normal’ pack was like. Hers was full of mounting tension between several of the leaders. The pack was on the verge of splitting up, and the disagreements often spilled over into very public fights. The dissent carried through all ranks, and the tension had all wolves on edge. With her parents involved with the pack issues, and Aspen being the runt of the litter of four meant the little wolfdog didn’t get the attention she required. An elder of the pack did her best to help, but it was difficult for someone of that age to keep up with an energetic puppy.
This meant that Aspen often found herself the target of the bigger pups without anyone to defend her. The frustration they felt with the lack of a stable pack caused them to act out the only way they knew how: by bullying her because it was a way for them to have control over one aspect of their lives. They teased her for everything from her size and wavy fur to desire to herd their pack’s small number of animals, and they often didn’t quit until Aspen had fully submitted to them. Even after they sometimes pushed things further with physical assaults until an adult stopped them.
The alphas held the pack together for as long as possible, but it didn’t last. When Aspen was about six months old, the pack finally split. It was a very scary even for the young canine and she hid from the fighting that ensued. In the end, her father and two brothers died, leaving Aspen, her brother, and Mother to go with one of the groups that formed from the fractured pack.
Aspen's hopes that the newly formed pack would be better than the last quickly faded when it devolved into more of the same. Her brother did little to protect her from other pack members and her mother wasn't always able to. That pack managed to stay together for nearly a year before once more, dominance fights took over. It wasn't until then that Aspen had managed to make friends with one member of the pack, a male whose pack made the mistake of merging with Aspen's. He was larger than her and decided it was his job to protect her. He taught her some skills with a dagger, and also how to steal.
Before the fighting could dissolve the pack, several of the members angered a newer by pack by forcing one of their females. The other pack retaliated with an attack that wiped out almost all of Aspen's pack. She took off into the night after her mother was killed without seeing if her brother survived and ran without looking back until she couldn't run any longer and collapsed from exhaustion. For the months after the last attack, Aspen was almost constantly on the move. She learned to hunt through necessity, and got much better at stealing. For a while, Aspen looked for the one friend she had made, unsure if he even survived the attack. Eventually, she resigned herself to the idea that he did not.
Soon after arriving in 'Souls, Aspen joined Vinatta after meeting some of the members. One such meeting ended her thieving ways. Due to her shyness, she has had trouble getting to know her packmates, but she did her best to contribute to her new home from the beginning. Joining Vinatta began to boost Aspen's confidence, at least enough that she heard a cat being toyed with by a coyote and decided to save him. The cat, Major, decided to stick around after he was healed. Although he was grumpy towards everyone, Aspen included, he slowly softened to her and became her first real family member in Vinatta. In October 2014, Aspen met Ombre of Inferni and the two started a livestock breeding program between the two packs.
During this time, Aspen was getting to know one of her fellow Vinattans, Cody Rhiannon, and a budding romance began to form, however it was interrupted when Aspen took a trip outside Vinatta in November 2014. She met Belial Massacre and made the mistake of accepting food from him. It was laced with a drug that made her unable to move and he kidnapped her and took her to Halifax. Here, he tortured her for blood rituals. The ordeal left her with new scars and eventually muzzled her as punishment for trying to bite him. When she finally escaped him, her wounds were infected and she wandered through the snow in a daze. Near New Dawn, she was found by Vidar who helped her get back to her packmates who were searching for her. A few weeks later, Cody vanished, leaving Aspen feeling abandoned and alone, although Major stayed with her as much as possible.
As Aspen continued to recover from her kidnapping, she began spending more time with Ascher Stormbringer. His quiet demeanor made him easy for her to be around, and she got to know his children as well. The two became closer and a romance grew between them. They were tested briefly by the reappearance of Sequoia, the mother of Ascher's children, in February 2014. Aspen was worried about what it might mean for her and Ascher, as well as his children. Because Sequoia had left them once before, Aspen was afraid she would do it again, and this time the two would remember. She also secretly hoped that Sequoia would leave, although she felt guilty for it. In a way, Aspen got her wish, with Sequoia deciding that New Dawn was a better fit for her pack-wise, and so she did not stay in Vinatta.
In the meantime, Aspen was promoted to Starfa Rikr. Her comfort in Vinatta was rocked, though, as Florina Soul declared herself the new leader of Vinatta when Saul Stormbringer departed. Aspen silently supported those who were opposed to this change before devolving into a panic attack and running away to the stable. Ascher followed her and offered her comfort. Soon after, in April 2014, she and Ascher officially became mates. A few weeks after that, they discovered Aspen was pregnant. Since Aspen knew that puppies would mean some time away from work, she traveled to Inferni to visit Ombre to discuss their livestock breeding program, only to be met by Asher Thompson instead, who informed her of Ombre's death, effectively ending the program. In June 2014, Aspen gave birth to their two daughters, Shore Stormbringer and Ode Stormbringer. Becoming a mother helped Aspen gain even more confidence, although she remained submissive and a bit shy. She enjoyed raising her daughters a lot more than she expected she would.
August brought more hard times when Ascher left to search for Saul Stormbringer. Once again, Aspen felt abandoned, but this time was different: she also felt angry. When Ascher returned, she made sure he knew it, which was a first for her. Things slowly returned to normal and Aspen did her best to put Ascher's leaving behind her. In November, Aspen decided that she would visit a relatively new nearby pack called Krokar for a couple of days. She hoped to start a livestock breeding program with them after the one with Inferni fell through. Here, she found Vidar, who she barely recognized at first due to his Optime form and scars. She also met Milos Parhelion, who gave her a tour to see all the animals, and they agreed to start a breeding program. Near the end of December, Lyris Stryder came to make her monthly payment for the boarding of her horse and gave Aspen basic archery lessons.
The puppies were quickly growing up and in January, Shore Stormbringer shifted. Aspen was able to help her through it, although her bossy older daughter seemed to handle it well. She then immediately ran off to show Ascher her new form. Shore then proceeded to want to learn everything all at once, which Aspen tried to slow down. It was the staff fighting lessons that made Aspen the most nervous, simply because her daughter was learning to fight, but she also knew that it meant she would know how to defend herself. The year started with another surprise as well: Aspen's llama, Thistle, gave birth. Aspen and Major named him Hemlock.
Unfortunately, the peaceful winter did not last. Aspen was drawn out into a snowstorm by Arno Rousseau, whose mother had gone missing. Eventually, she was found dead and Aspen and her family attended the funeral. This sparked a discussion about death and afterlife with Ode. This discussion ended with Ode shifting. About a month later, in February, a new pair of canines showed up, looking to stay because the female, Evelyn, was injured. It was the male that caused Aspen to panic. Xiphos was from her birthpack, and for a while, she thought that he had managed to somehow follow her to Vinatta. However, his reappearance was by chance. He threatened her, and so she remained silent on who he was and how she knew him until Ascher finally asked her what was going on.
March 2015 brought heavy rains and lots of flooding. Although she usually did not mind storms too much, Aspen found this one especially unnerving because it seemed like it was never going to stop. She was also still nervous about Xiphos being in the pack, worried that he might make good on his threats. This had to be pushed aside while she took care of the livestock.