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Training begins attn: Raithgar


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The cool morning wind greeted Nightsfire as he stepped from the Ranger training barracks and peered up at the cloudless blue sky.  Today was a day for new beginnings and a lopsided smile crossed his face as he squinted against the bright sun. 


Anton had left the stedding and Nightsfire had been asked to take over the training of his student Raithgar.  From what he had been told the young man was well on his way to being very well versed in the art of combat but that was not all there was to learn.  After all he himself had believed that weapons were all that needed to be mastered to be an elite Ranger.  Chuckling as he walked from the training compound he thought back to just how wrong he had been.


Deciding to begin Raithgar’s training with the mastering of his newly enhanced senses and combining a bit of herb lore he made his way toward the lake where he had sent word for the young man to meet him.


The houses and buildings of the stedding village left behind him Nightsfire made his way up a well worn path that led to the lake.  Pushing through some foliage he emerged in a clearing overlooking the large lake and sat down next to a tree to wait. 


Quickening’s thoughts entered his own and he saw images through the big she wolves eyes of deer and felt the thrill of the hunt as she prowled with her brothers and sisters.  A moment later a rustling in the trees announced the arrival of his charge and a young man emerged with dark hair worn in a Shienarian style top knot. 


Rising to his feet Nightsfire smiled and held out his hand.


“I am John Dunbar it is a pleasure to meet you.  As you may have been told I will be taking over your training from Anton.”


The lad had the look of confidence in his eyes which was good and he stepped forward to take his new mentors hand in his own.


“We will be working on senses and herb training today.  But before we begin please ask any questions you may have of me.”


OOC: John is about 5'11 medium build mousy brown hair and a medium build.  His wolf name is Nightsfire and his wolf companion is Quickening.

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Raithgar stepped through the clearing, thoughts of Anton lodged in his young, battle hardened mind. The Tracker had repeated often that he wanted to leave; still, it came as a surprise to wake and find him gone. All of it mattered little; that was the past, this is now. He had asked Peace favor Anton's staff, and that was all Raithgar could do. It was time to move on, and learn exactly what was happening to him.


A tall man greeted him; taking Raithgar's hand into his own. On first impression, this John Dunbar seemed strong, confident, and polite. Familiar traits to the true bred Shienarian. "I'm sure you know my name, but just in case it is Raithgar Urion. I am honored you have accepted me as a student." It never hurt to return pleasantries. Especially not with a man he was sure could tear him apart.


Finally, he was offered answers. "Well, if you insist. What exactly is happening to me? I've noticed I see better in the dark, can smell food a league away, and I swear I can hear mouse steps. I can tell its all related to wolves, from these flashes that keep on popping into my head. Most importantly, can I ever return to Shienar? The Blight has grown restless, and I swore an oath to protect these warm southern lands. I do not intend to break an oath I swore on my hope of Rebirth and Salvation." His tone was neutral, and he worked hard to keep it that way. He wished not to reveal the myriad of emotions that flew through him. Anger, fear, sadness, hope, all of it buried beneath those golden eyes.

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Nightsfire covered his mouth to suppress a chuckle at the young man’s questions.  Raithgar was a Shenirian through and through and his sense of duty and honor showed in his words.


“Lets sit and we can talk.”


Finding a shaded spot beneath a large fir tree the two men seated themselves and the Ranger took a moment to compose his thoughts.


“You have been given a gift that few can ever understand.  This gift will be seen as a curse by those who do not understand it but make no mistake a gift it is.”


Raithgar listened with a thoughtful expression on his face as the older man spoke.


“You have been given this gift for a reason and it allows you to commune with wolves.  You draw many of their characteristics in you such as increased senses and the ability to walk in the wolf dream.  In time and with training you will learn to use these new gifts as well as your ability to communicate with wolves.  Do not take what you have been given lightly for you will be more than most people once these gifts have been understood and mastered.”


Pulling his pack open Nightsfire took out a waterskin and handed it to Raithgar who paused then drank deeply.


“As far as returning to the blight border, one day perhaps when you are properly trained.  I know you feel your sense of duty obligates you to return.  What you must realize is that the oath you took was altered when you were granted your new gift.”


Raithgar handed the waterskin back and Nightsfire took a long pull on it.  The young man reeked of emotions the confusion and turmoil easily detectible by the Rangers honed senses.


“Returning to the blight now would be a fatal mistake Raithgar.  You are still too young in your new abilities and it you could loose yourself if you rushed into a situation that you are not ready for.  Your family is here now, in time if it means that much too you I will take you there myself.  But make no mistake they are no longer your people we are.”


Leaning back against the trunk of the tree he gave his student a few moments to ponder his words.


“Tell me Raithgar have you been contacted by a wolf companion and have the wolves given you a name?”

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Raithgar took every word to heart with a clenched jaw. He would return to Shienar. He would complete his training, he feared what effects this gift might have if left unchecked. Still, the Dark One himself couldn't keep him from returning to the fight along the blight; his trollocs had tried. Still, he calmed himself; this man seemed to have a far to in depth understanding of the boy's emotions. He wished not to insult the man, who tried so very hard to council him.


"A wolf's name? A wolf companion? No, I do not believe I have either. Wolf's thus far have only given me flashes of thoughts, enough to direct me where they felt I needed to go. Along the border, one directed me to the man who led me here." He kept both his words and thoughts from mentioning his lecture. He knew he was excitable; quick to rage at even the thought of some things. He prayed that his mentor either made no note of it, or simply understood it and left it alone.


"What exactly is a wolf's name, and do I have one faithful wolf as a companion? I had thought it more likely that I would simply commune with the wolves in the area. I've only ever learned three things of them. They fearsome hunters, they share our hatred of shadowspawn, and they travel in packs. I do not think I'd like to tear a wolf from his pack. Being separated from family is never a good thing." He thought briefly of the scarred old man that was his father. His one good eye full of joy, no matter the horrors that he had seen and conquered. No, it wasn't a good thing to be ripped from ones family at all...

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Smiling Nightsfire emphasized with the warring emotions Raithgar was trying to come to grips with. 


“A wolf name is what the wolves refer to you as.  It is more an image of how they see you, wolves have names for themselves as well and in time you will come to know many of theirs.”


Almost by design a big grey she wolf emerged from the trees and approached the two men.


“This is Quickening she is the wolf who found me and helped me become whole again.”


Reaching out he ruffled the wolves hair and was rewarded with a lick from her.


“Most of us are contacted by one or more wolves that we share a bond with that goes beyond the other wolves we commune with.  Quickening is my friend because she chooses to but I would never ask her to leave her pack and stay with me instead.  She does what she chooses and thankfully she choose to be my friend and companion.”


Quickening sniffed Raithgar then curled up next to Nightsfire and let him stroke her thick coat.


“You speak of a pack and how you would not tearing a wolf away from one.  Know this Raithgar you are part of a pack now as well.  We are your pack would you rush to tear yourself away from us in order to risk your life on the bight border?  The last battle is coming and we will go into it side by side with our brothers and sisters both two and four legged.”


Standing Nightsfire stretched his legs and motioned for Raithgar to remain seated. 


“Think about what I have said, I know it is difficult for you right now but in time I hope my training will bring you peace.”  Ask me more questions if you like but while you are doing so I want you to close your eyes.  Reach out with your sense of smell and hearing and tell me what you find.”


OOC: Just describe what your heightened senses can detect that a normal person would miss.  The sounds of animals the smell of food or a fire whatever you want.

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((Heh, sorry this took so bloody long.))


Raithgar nodded, putting the thoughts aside. He would brood on it later, but for now, he was here to learn. Obediently he closed his eyes, reaching out with the senses that he'd always used, but had taken a back seat to his eyes. He took in a large whiff of the air and concentrated on the smell, while straining with his ears. He was amazed at what he found.


The smell of the small game hiding in the bushes, rabbits and fowl, quivering in fear of the large predators near by. He heard the rustle of the snake slithering its way through the thick underbrush, searching always for a tasty meal to unhinge his jaw for. Further off he smelled fire, roasting some game, causing juices to fill his mouth. He smelled the wolves surrounding them, heard even their near silent footsteps on the soft ground. A smile crossed his features, thinking of all the world he had missed before, and opened his eyes.


"I've smelled both predator in prey in the woods, and the juices of a roasting rabbit. I heard the snakes in the brush, and the wolves chasing their game. I... I can't believe all that I'd missed before." His voice was somber now, as he took another breath through his nose, taking note of the man beside him. More than sweat and wild did he smell of, yet he couldn't place it. He suspected it might be his emotions, but couldn't sort them out by smell alone just yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Smiling Nightsfire stood and pulled Raithgar to his feet.  “You have just begun your journey into a larger world my friend.”


Leading the young man up a path that wound through the dense brush he discussed the advantages of using your other senses when one was used to relying on sight.


“Your eyes can deceive you what you think you may see can often be misleading.  By using your enhanced sense of smell and hearing you can discover that which would otherwise be hidden from you.”


Emerging into a glen the Ranger scanned the ground until he found a herb he was looking for.  Stooping down he picked it and held it out to Raithgar.


“This is called goatsbane it has a particularly pungent scent.”


Raithgar smelled the herb and his features winced at the unpleasant smell the herb gave off.  Chuckling Nightsfire pulled out a strip of cloth from his pack and handed it to his student.


“You will wait here I will go and find a place to hide myself not far from here.  When you have counted to 300 tie that strip of cloth around your eyes.  I will be carrying this herb with me and I want you to find me while blindfolded by using your other senses.”


Without waiting for a response the Ranger slipped into the woods.  There was a small cave in the hillside not far from his student and it was there he sat down to see if he would be found.

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