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You're No Longer Alone {Attn. Cerise}


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OOC: Sorry for the delay on this.


  Starlight filtered through the trees in a forest south of Tar Valon, mostly diffused by the thick foliage.  What was faintly revealed among the roots of a mighty oak, in what remained of the soft light, were a man and two wolves huddled close to share heat.  They woke suddenly, looked at each other and stood to prepare to leave, despite it being only an hour or so past midnight.

  One wolf, a large white male, trotted down to the stream for a drink then returned to help remove traces of their camp by burying the remains of the small fire his campanion had used to cook last night's meal, while the other, an equally large black female with white paws and a belly full of pups took longer to leisurely drink her fill.  Meanwhile, the young man was gathering the few belongings he had with him.  Only twenty years old, he was the largest man in the kin, and he'd yet to meet anyone elsewhere that stood as tall or was built as large.

  Despite the cold Burrich, for that was the man's name, dressed in a simple pair of leggings and a loosely-tied vest.  His belt held an axe at each hip and also served as his pack, holding flint and tinder, extra bowstrings, and some medicinal and cooking herbs in pockets around his waist.  his vest had clips sewn into it to hold his quiver of arrows over his right shoulder and his battleaxe over his left.  He put on a dark brown hooded cloak, picked up his unstrung bow that he used as a staff and surveyed his surroundings to be sure they'd left as little trace of their passage as possible. 

  "Let's go, we've a long run ahead of us if we hope to get there before things get any worse," Burrich said to the wolves beside him.  Storm Hunter nuzzled his cheek against that of his mate, Snow Paws, and ran ahead to scout the trail, leaving Burrich to keep pace with Snow.

  As a Guardian Burrich was in training to become a Ranger, a protector of the wolfkin.  As part of that training Owen had asked him to accompany one of the Watchers to a village just outside of Tar Valon.  The trip was peaceful and they'd only just parted company the day before.  On his first night of the return trip he'd entered the Wolf Dream to report his progress to Owen and been met instead by Winifred.  She'd shared that the wolves had passed word of a young woman going through the Howling, and having a rough time of it at that, including a recent attack from her fellow villagers.  Winifred had asked him to make sure the girl was safe and bring her back with him as there were no Trackers nearby to do so.

  So now he and his 'brother' and 'sister' were taking a slight detour to Braem Wood, hoping to reach the girl before things with her neighbors got out of hand.  He laughed to think of Snow as a sister but this trip had helped to bridge a relationship between them.  Two years ago when he'd gone through the Howling himself Storm had adopted him as a little brother and gone with him to the Stedding.  Until this trip Snow had tolerated his presence for Storm's sake but hardly ever spoken to him.

  But one week into their trip she'd gone into heat and become a mother-to-be.  Amazingly enough, that had been the turning point in their relationship, and while he never expected to be as close to her as he was to Storm he truly felt that she was a sister to him in much the same way that Storm was his brother.  And he was probably as anxious as either one of them to experience the births of their pups.  Which is why, despite the great need, he was reluctant to run at top speed, fearful that too much exertion would not be good for her.  Snow soon laughed at him and took off, calling with her mind that she knew what was best and they still had plenty of time.

  Near dawn they followed the directions of a local pack to find a young woman asleep in the woods.  Burrich built a small fire and Storm returned a short while later with a pair of rabbits that he skinned and put on a spit to begin roasting.  As they turned he rubbed in some of the herbs he brought, allowing the fragrant aroma to fill the woods.  Roasted rabbit may not be the breakfast she was used to having but he'd always heard the Trackers say it was better to meet a Wanderer with food than without.

  So he sat on a stump with Storm and Snow cuddled together beside him, and waited for her to wake, curious how she would react to his presence but ready for anything.

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Her eyes; a yellow beacon of light in the night, suddenly started to slightly and slowly open up to the surroundings in the wood. Everything was blurry and her body still ached a lot but she feared the villagers would come back. Then it hit her, she was not alone as her nose felt the scent of some kind of herbs and the scent of something else. Cerise tried to pull her up but it was futile there were no way she'd be able to walk at her current state, but maybe after long time of rest and something to eat and drink. Suddenly she felt a austere tongue licking her wet in the face and when she looked up she saw a wolf's face trying to wake her up. Now Cerise saw that at the campfire sat a large man and two wolves cuddled together.


She didn't know what to think or say to all this that is happening to her, but maybe this man was like her. Cerise tucked her warm cloak more now and brought down the hood to hide her face and to get warmth. A sudden image of a female wolf coming closer to where she was disturbed her and got a shivering feeling in her aching body. All this she was seeing now spinned in her head all over again, and she could still not understand why it had to happen to her. She had a good life with the people back home, a warm house and bed to sleep in. But now it was all over for Cerise, she could never go back there ever again. This large stranger and his two wolves was her company for the days to come, and their food seemed so tasteful, but then she hadn't eaten real food for days. Her empty belly suddenly gave out a growling sound and the man turned around to look at her hidden face.


Then Cerise saw it; the yellow colored eyes, she was not alone anymore. He was just like her, the same but seem to be intone with his destiny somehow which made her more curious about him now and his company he kept beside him. Just as she was about to speak up, an image of a wolf sitting beside her came into her mind which made no sense, she had no one beside her. But when she looked on the ground she saw a shadow of a wolf and so she looked at her side and got a shock, as a gray colored and quite large female wolf looked at her with yellow colored eyes with an ounce of loneliness which got Cerise and she slowly and gently put her hands on the she-wolf and felt warmth and started gently stroking the wolf's back. Then she finally turned to the large man who was still sitting on his stump, and she finally opened her mouth "I am Cerise Merlan, I-I am sorry. For my silence, but um..is it.." her voice nervous and very weak at that but her tone was gentle and tender. Cerise gestured at the roasted rabbit on the spit.


OOC: I hope this works. And don't worry about being late. ;D

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   As the first rays of light peeked over the horizon Burrich saw a gray wolf approaching.  Storm sat up on alert but Snow just rolled her ears forward in polite interest.  Burrich opened his mind to her and sent, Thank you for leading us here and watching over her and keeping her safe until we got here.  Will you be staying?

   In answer the new wolf walked over to the girl laying on the ground and started licking her face to get her up.  The girls's belly growled its emptiness and looking over Burrich caught the first sight of her eyes, confirming that she was indeed the one he'd come looking for, not that the she-wolf hadn't already done that.   She looked around bewildered for awhile apparently trying to get her bearings and process where she was and then spoke, "I am Cerise Merlan, I-I am sorry.  For my silence, but um..is it..." while gesturing at the brace of rabbits roasting over the fire.

   Burrich chuckled mutely and answered, "Aye, lass, this would be breakfast for you if you're interested in having some; they've been ready for some time, I've just been keeping them warm until you awoke.  My name is Burrich Fallstar.  I am here to help you.  I can answer most any question you might have about myself, my friends here, and the reason you're eyes as well as mine are golden.  But first, would you like to join me here by the fire?  You are free to refuse of course, but it really is much warmer and it looks like it will begin snowing again soon.  Ask me anything you'd like, I am here to help you adjust and learn about yourself."


OOC:  I was hesitant to speak for you so I didn't want to go too far into the explanations yet without knowing what questions would be most important to her.  So go ahead and eat some rabbit and get the conversation going.

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"Breakfast" This man had made her breakfast and even taken the time to roast the rabbit on the fire, Cerise looked at him and decided it was okay to go over there. And so she limped forward a bit slowly 'cause of the ache and pain in her body, but she did try walking though. She sat down at the warming fire and felt a warm fussy feeling in her body now and sat a little closer to the fire and just as she was about to eat, the large gray she-wolf laid down beside her for some reason she still not understood. "Burrich, was it?. I was chased away from my family, mom, dad and my sister by villagers. They all called me evil, but I don't feel evil..j-just different." She ate some more roasted rabbit meat and felt the little juicy meat filling her belly and making it less growly, which was a wonderful feeling she had missed for sometime now.


Her voice was still weak and her body too, and would need rest and healing so she did not pass out again. "I-I..." She paused a brief moment and spoke again with a bit more steady voice "I don't understand!" Cerise eyes suddenly shined like nothing before, like a bright star shining on the ground at night. Without noticing what she was doing with her left hand, she stroke the wolf again, on it's back. "These wolves beside you, why do they accompany you? They seem close to you, like a friend." Her tone was gentle as the last word lingered a little longer than the others did. A sudden image struck her head in an instant The image of a large gray female wolf in a big field with sad eyes. The other wolves seem to have gotten the same image or more detailed perhaps as they both raised their heads slightly and back down again.


"I'm sorry to ask, but maybe..just maybe, can you explain what is happening to me? Am I very ill or changing somehow? I don't understand any of it. And why is this wolf following me and laying beside me." Cerise glanced at the man hoping for an answer she was looking for or at least something to go on, as she'd keep looking for it. She truly wanted to understand this illness or whatever it was, because she had never felt this weak or strange and lonely ever before in her entire life. She almost had small tears creeping down her rosy cheeks. Cerise was indeed a beautiful young lady, even though short. "C-can I..can I s-stay with you? I don't want to be alone." Her voice held a tad sad tone to it as she sat there waiting for his response.

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  The food seemed to be doing the young woman some good and soon enough she worked herself up to asking her questions.  Fortunately they were as yet all questions he could answer.  "I would be happy to explain what is happening to you, that's part of the reason I'm here.  First to settle your fears, you aren’t a darkfriend or shadowspawn no matter what you might think or what others might say.  What you have is a gift from the creator; and there are others like you.  We’re known as the wolfkin, we’re a community and a family.

  "The wolfkin are people who can communicate with wolves.  As the wolves say, two-legs who run with the wolves.  You probably hear voices and have seen wolves in your dreams, don’t worry it is what we call the Howling.  It is the time when you learn to communicate, share, and hunt with the wolves.  As I said there is a community of us; we live in a place far away from here.  I cannot tell you more about our community until you agree to join us; but like I said, I will answer any questions you have about what is happening to you, to help you decide.  I know it is frightening and different, but ask anything you wish to know."

  It was much the same initial explanation Eyota had given him over two years ago and while it didn't explain everything it served well enough to start.  Storm begin nudging his toe and looking up at the girl and he remembered there had been more to her question.  "You can stay with me as long as you like and you are free to join the community I'm a part of or not as you see fit."

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Burrich's answer lingered in her head as a echo, that didn't want to stop bouncing inside her mind. But one thing made her smile though Whatever people tell you or what you may think, you are not a dark friend. Those words settled her biggest worry she had and her parents would've been so happy to hear those news. Sadly she could never go back there ever again, or only when she could control her gift and then maybe...just maybe she'd be able to visit them to re-assure them she was safe now. And even the wolf beside her crept closer to her now to make her feel more at ease with it all, and strangely it did help a lot.

Cerise looked at Burrich with a slightly bigger smile now and said with a smooth tone to her voice "Who are these wolf kin you talk about? I wish I could meet them, they seem to understand my problem." But then she remembered something he had said about being able to communicate with wolves..she had nightmares about wolves coming and most of it she didn't understand at all. "Burrich, how come we can communicate with the wolves? And why..why did this happen to me?" Her voice got a little questionable. She had too many questions and too little information. Even though he had told her she was not alone anymore, it did give a little less fear but even more questions instead.


Cerise glanced at his wolves and finally sat down on the ground along side her new found company with her feet crossed, feeling the warmth of the glowing fire , Burrichs presence and the wolves. She started feeling more and more at ease now being with them, even though she didn't knew them at all. "Excuse me, but..um those wolves beside you. Could you maybe tell me..a little about you and your company? Maybe how you met" She hoped her questions didn't bring back bad memories, she was just getting interested in him. Cerise stroked her wolfs' back again. This meeting was getting to be a light shot from the creator for her, from the moment she got this gift. 

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  She was curious, as one would expect a new Wanderer to be, but she also seemed very resilient.  She was in fact coming to terms with the situation she'd found herself in sooner than most did.  That was a relief, as Burrich thought about all the stories he'd heard from the Trackers he was grateful that this meeting was going relatively easy.

  The only real trouble was himself.  He was one who liked to think and carefully choose his words before saying a single word aloud.  It often left people thinking him slow-witted but he'd long ago learned to accept being underestimated in that regard.  Unfortunately, in this instance the habit meant that with each of her questions he was still forming his response when she had moved on and asked another.  Finally she seemed willing to sit stroking the fur of the wolf beside her and await his response.

  He chose his answers with care, trying to answer as well as he could without wasting any breath with unnecessary words.  "The Wolfkin are a community of people that, like us, have been gifted by the Creator with the ability to speak t the wolves and other gifts as well.  It is an ability older even than channeling, though it was lost for countless generations and has been a closely guarded secret since its rediscovery.  I can tell you more about the kin and its history on our way there, if you decide to join us that is.

  "I couldn't begin to guess the Creator's wishes in giving this gift to some and not to others so I can't say why you've gotten it.  But I will admit that I've often wondered the same thing myself.  The best advice I know to offer on that score is to accept and embrace it as the gift that it is.  Even with the troubles you've had with your neighbors, there are many among us that experienced far worse when they went through the Howling.  Truly, it may not seem this way now, but you will move on from this; you will find a family and friends amongst the kin to ease the pain of the loss you're experiencing now.  I know I did."

  Burrich looked down fondly at the two wolves lying contentedly together next to him and told Cerise about the interesting relationship he had developed with them.  "As for me," here he paused to determine just how much to share with one he'd just met, "I spent most of my formative years as a page for the Illianer Companions.  When I went through the Howling I was forced to run in fear from the 'uncles' that I had come to know and love.  I was found by Eyota of the kin and brought to my new home.  On the way I met Storm Hunter here, or 'he-that-is-large-and-terrible-like-a-storm-but-hunts-as-silently-as-one-too' as the wolves know him.  He recognized that because of my size I'd always had trouble accepting who I was and fitting in with those around me.  He decided to adopt me as his little brother and spent the next year or so treating me like the puppy he thought I was despite my eighteen years.  We've moved on though and he now sees me nearly as his equal, and we are truly brothers.

  "Shortly after we met the kin Storm decided to introduce himself to the local wolves in the area and met Snow Paws here.  She started off barely tolerating my presence and only putting up with me for Storm's sake, but she seems to have opened up more in recent weeks.  I'm thrilled to call her my sister now as well.

  "So tell me, has this beautiful creature introduced herself to you yet?  If not you may want to ask her to, and she may also share the name the wolves have picked for you.  That is, if they've picked one yet.  Some wait some time before the wolves give them a name, others like myself are given one before they even go through the Howling.  They call me 'Mountain Fury', or 'a-volcano-sitting-dormant-and-peaceful-but-deadly-to-all-nearby-when-it-finally-erupts'.  In other words, I've got a long fuse on my temper but there's no telling what damage i might cause if I lost it."

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  • 4 weeks later...

Cerise listened with care to each word that was spoken so she would not miss any detail that may help her understand her new path of destiny. "The wolves call me 'Mountain Fury'" Cerise gave him a gentle smile and looked at his two companions as she pondered what she may be called by these creatures before her. Suddenly the grey female wolf that was lying beside her nudged her and sent the image of a bright burning star, but she did not understand at all what it meant, but it seemed the other wolves got the same image and nudged Burrick too.


"has she introduced her self to you yet?" That made Cerise look down with a puzzled expression which the wolf reacted to by slightly lifting her head a bit and with her gentle yellow eyes looked at Cerise and send another image to her which described the name of the female wolf quite well. It was an image of rain pouring down, which suggested her name being 'Rain' maybe something very sad had happened to her in the past. But Cerise still didn't understand what these bunch of images really meant, well not yet anyway or maybe simply didn't try to understand them. Suddenly she remember something "This kin..." she paused for a moment and collected her thoughts and calmly said again "This kin you speak of as a family, I would be honored to meet them." Cerise still sat by the fire and pondered about her new life and where it would guide her.


OOC: So sorry for such a long wait..and also for short post. I wasn't sure what to write.

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  "Well then meet them you shall!"  Burrich stood and began cleaning up their impromptu camp.  "We have a long journey ahead of us, so we'd best start now.  There will be plenty of time along the way to ask any other questions that you have.  I'll be happy to tell you anything you want to know."


  Storm and Snow both loped on ahead at an easy pace and Burrich led Cerise on the first steps toward her new home.




OOC: very short post but I'm not sure if you want to continue this thread or not.  Either way is fine, there's still plenty for them to talk about.  But, I should have a post up in the Stedding for you soon to announce your arrival and have you meet a Sage to get officially checked in.

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