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Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig!! (Jace's Arrival)


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Continued from Pick Up thread:- Finding the Wolves (Outside of Cairhien)



Winifred laughed softly, watching as the young man and the wolf ran around in circles. Emotions were literally pouring from the Wanderer. Surprise, tension, excitement, happiness; they all jostled for supremacy and so strongly that Winifred slammed her own "shields" up to save herself from the onslaught.


They continued their progress upwards for some time under the thick canopy of the forest. Eventually, Winifred called to Jace, suggesting he moderate his pace somewhat before he went headlong over one of the many gnarled roots littering the ground, even on the more cleared track they were following. "I can't think that Aislyn would be too happy if we made it all the way here for you to break a leg right on her doorstep. And here we are..." she added, emerging from the tree line into a large cleared area and giving Jace a minute to absorb his surroundings.


Midnight dropped to his haunches at her heels and River came to stand at Jace's side. Winifred wasn't sure who was more delighted with their new home, the wolf or the latest two legs to grace the Stedding. When Jace returned his attention to the Tracker, she moved on with a inclination of the head indicating their new direction and began pointing out local landmarks. Not so many as to overwhelm, but enough to give some sense of bearing. "That's the Forge over there and the stables there. That large building further off is our inn, the Hole in the Wall. You can be assured of a decent meal, good ale and a warm welcome there any time."


Winifred exchanged waves and nods with various residents who shouted greetings but none of the 'kin came closer or attempted to engage her in discussion. There was an unspoken agreement, mostly adhered to, that a Wanderer would not be approached until they'd been checked by a Sage. It was simply safer that way...for all of them. Particularly if they wanted to avoid one of Fred's rare tongue lashings. "This is the Infirmary, Jace," she said walking towards a long, spacious looking building. Jogging lightly up the steps and through the open door, she led him along a broad main hallway until they reached a small grouping of chairs along the wall. "Have a seat here for a moment. This is where I leave you in Aislyn's capable hands. I'll just go let her know we've arrived." A momentary panic issued from Jace but Winifred patted his shoulder reassuringly. "I'll see you again once you're settled in no doubt. Welcome home."


And with that, the Tracker disappeared round a corner in the direction of Aislyn's office, leaving Jace to his own thoughts.




OOC: Do a quick post covering your arrival and finish up with your thoughts/feelings as you sit waiting. In the next part I'll be posting as our NSW Sage, Aislyn.



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Jace ran. It wasn't the panicked run that he had taken upon leaving Cairhein. Instead, he was full of joy. He cycled through different emotions - surprise and happiness being the two main ones. He hadn't felt like this since he was a child.


In a way, I kind of am a child again. Jace thought.


He ran, following River wherever she would take him until Jace heard Winifred call to him saying "I can't think that Aislyn would be too happy if we made it all the way here for you to break a leg right on her doorstep. And here we are...".


Jace stopped running, putting his hands on his knees and pausing to catch his breath. River stopped and look at him, turning her head sideways. Jace understood that the wolf was making fun of him for being out of energy, and he let out a chuckle. "Sorry, friend," he said. "It has been a long time since I have done that."


Jace took the time to take in his surroundings as Winifred showed him the various places around the Stedding. Jace noticed some other Wolfkin walking around and Winifred greeted them. None of them approached to greet him though. Jace wasn't sure what to make of that, but it was nice to see their yellow eyes gleaming in the sun. For the first time since the changes had occurred, Jace didn't feel like he was alone.


Jace followed Winifred into a building. She had told him this was the Infirmary. She had mentioned that a Sage was going to check him out and make sure that he was alright. Jace usually did most of his own first aid, and so he didn't know what to expect from this check up.


"Have a seat here for a moment. This is where I leave you in Aislyn's capable hands. I'll just go let her know we've arrived." Winifred said to him.


Jace felt some panic rise up. She was the only person who had befriended him and he honestly wasn't sure he wanted her to leave. He had also noticed that River had elected to stay outside.


Winifred patted him on the shoulder and told him, "I'll see you again once you're settled in no doubt. Welcome home." He wasn't sure he'd ever get used to her seemingly being able to read his mind.


Jace sat as Winifred moved to another part of the building. He sought out River and could sense her outside the building. She seemed to be relaxing and waiting patiently. Jace smiled, knowing that she probably didn't want to be around for the check up. It was an affair of the two legs, but his new friend would wait for him to finish.


Jace let his thoughts wander and thought about his trip. He hadn't played dice since he was in Cairhein. He wondered how long ago that had been. It had seemed like a lifetime ago. Jace wondered if any of the other Wolfkin played dice.


No. I've broken off that part of my life and will never return. Jace thought, but in his mind he heard the sound of the dice calling to him. He shook the thoughts free and turned his head as he heard footsteps approaching. This would probably be the sage that Winifred had told him about.


Jace stood, bowed his head, and spoke nervously, "Hello, my name is Jace."

Edited by WolfbrotherKronos
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  • 4 weeks later...

Aislyn smoothed a palm over her greying hair in a gesture that was purely subconscious. Her hair, as always, was precisely in place, tied back in its bun at the nape of her neck. The movement was more about soothing her own ruffled feathers than tidying her appearance.


It had been one of those days. The kind where every little thing that could go wrong had somehow managed to go wrong. Aislyn was certain of one thing. It would be a relief to get to bed time without any further mishaps. She shook her head in annoyance at the thought of the burned skillet and its charred oatmeal contents. The trainee responsible for that particular mess had felt the sharp side of Aislyn's tongue not 5 minutes gone and the only reason the girl was not reduced to tears was Fred's timely interruption.


The arrival of a new Wanderer took precedence over anything else and, following Fred's departure, Aislyn was hastily gathering the shreds of her normal calm and cheerful demeanour around herself like a cloak. She rounded the corner into the long entrance hallway, her tred firm on the whitewashed floorboards and took stock of her latest ward as she descended upon him.


"Hello, my name is Jace."


Poor lamb, she thought, hearing his nerves and taking in the bowed head. A warm, motherly smile spread over Aislyn's angular features, giving them a much softer cast as she laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Delighted to make your acquaintance, Jace. Winifred has told me what little she knows of your story but we won't get into that yet. Standing about in this drafty hall is no way to make you feel welcome is it now? You must be hungry so I think some food and a bath would be the best place to start."


Suiting action to words, Aislyn chivvied the young man further into the building until enticing smells of freshly baked bread and cooking meat made it clear their destination was either the kitchen or somewhere nearby. The Sage's next words confirmed as much. "There's a fresh meal waiting for you. You'll feel better after a plateful..." her eyes took in Jace's appearance once more,"... or two of decent food. I find a good hot meal cures all manner of ills."


She pushed open a solid oak door, revealing a long, high-ceilinged room. Sunlight and dust motes danced between the thick rafters and made pools of golden light on the tiled floor and work surfaces below. Many Wolfkin would claim this room as a favourite place to be, redolent as it was with warmth from the huge fire, the smells of Aislyn's herbs and good hearty home cooking. Settling Jace onto a wooden stool at a central counter, Aislyn bustled around producing a plate, a bowl, a mug and cutlery almost as though from thin air. Within a few minutes, the Wanderer had an appetising array of broth, stew, chunky bread and a hot mug of tea in front of him.


"There now, eat up my boy and when you're done, we'll check you over and see about a bath and a bed. I'm sure you must have questions and when you feel up to it, you can ask away." Satisfied that Jace was making inroads to the bowl of broth, Aislyn busied herself with washing a few dishes. The kitchen was empty at this time of day as people made the most of the daylight hours but it would not be long before preparations must begin for the evening meal and rounds of the Infirmary's current patients would have to be undertaken. Best to make the most of the peace now and get the young man settled in.



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"Delighted to make your acquaintance, Jace. Winifred has told me what little she knows of your story but we won't get into that yet. Standing about in this drafty hall is no way to make you feel welcome is it now? You must be hungry so I think some food and a bath would be the best place to start." Aislyn greeted Jace warmly.


Jace hadn't realized how hungry he was until Aislyn mentioned food.  As she spoke, he put his hands over his stomach in a feeble attempt to hide a growl.  He hadn't had a real home cooked meal since he had left Cairhein with Winifred. He followed Aislyn as she led him to a large, high ceilingind room.  The first thing that hit him was the smell and his stomach growled again for food.


In record time, Aislyn had utensils and food placed before him.  He thanked her and nodded in appreciation for the meal.  He started to eat, trying to keep from eating too fast and watched as Aislyn washed some dishes.  She let him eat in silence and Jace assumed that she wanted him to think more about what his life was becoming.  He ate, thinking of his journey and realized he had no where idea where to go from here.  He frowned before finishing the last bite on his plate.


Jace rose and took his dishes to the sink and thanked Aislyn one more time.  He then moved back to his stool and began to speak.


"I have a few questions if I may." he said scratching his head.  "Ever since I met Winifred, I've felt as if I have had a purpose.  Now that I'm here, I can't help wondering now what?  I'm assuming that I'll learn how to use my abilities.  Also, this isn't meant as an insult or anything, but I felt that many people seemed to ignore me when I first got here.  It seemed like they were wary of me.  I guess I mean, besides you and Winifred, I don't feel like I'm very welcome here yet." Jace grimaced a bit.  He didn't want to say that, but it just came out.  He waited nervously for Aislyn to answer, hoping he didn't offend her.

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  • 1 month later...

Aislyn took the empty dishes from Jace, placing them carefully into hot water to soak, then quickly made two hot cups of tea as she listened to the young man's questions and concerns.


Placing one of the steaming cups before him, the Sage perched herself neatly on a stool at the opposite side of the counter.


"No insult taken at all and we can speak of your training later. It's not surprising you should have that initial impression of the folk here but it's very far from the truth. Left to themselves the other 'kin would have spoken to you but they are not allowed to do so until your check up is completed." She saw the brief confusion on his countenance and elaborated, "We come from all corners of the land, Jace. Different areas have their own diseases or illnesses and what you may well be immune to, could make someone else very sick indeed. Also, you must understand that the Howling is not the same for each person. Some pass through the event with barely a check to their sanity whilst others... well, others find it an extremely challenging and sometimes even life threatening process."


Aislyn did not add that life threatening had become fatal on more occasions than she wanted to acknowledge. A life lost was a personal affront to any Sage and a deeply felt grief for the whole community. Despite their numbers growing over the years, the Wolfkin were still a relatively small goup and every individual was valued and appreciated in a way that was highly unusual in the world at large. Life was precious and not to be relinquished without a fight.


Pulling herself from her momentary reverie, Aislyn's expression lightened as she looked at Jace once more and continued, "It is my job, and that of the other Sages here, to ensure every Wolfkin is as healthy as possible and that newcomers are no threat to those already resident here. Your hearty appetite suggests that you are certainly not sick which is a wonderful start and from the way you talk and ask questions, I think it safe to say you are coping with life's changes for the moment. Now tell me, have you had any illnesses in recent years? Or are you aware of any family health problems that may be passed on to you?"


Giving Jace time to recall such details and think over her questions, Aislyn slipped from her stool and indicated that he should stand up as well. She then proceeded to check him over in a thorough, no nonsense yet still gentle fashion, peeling back both eyelids, peering down his throat, checking his pulse, subjecting his hands and nails to intense scrutiny and having him remove his outer clothing while she checked him over for any obvious injuries, broken bones and malnutrition.


Finally satisfied, she motioned to him to get dressed and made a few notes in a small leatherbound notebook that had hitherto been concealed in the pouch at her waist.





(OOC: We shouldn't need much more on this thread unless there's anything specific you want to cover with Aislyn. Have Jace answer her questions and she'll get him settled into his own room and tell him about his training in the next post.)

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Jace nodded as Aislyn told him that he could be a danger to those in the stedding.  He could understand people going crazy with the realization that they could communicate with wolves.  He thought he was going crazy for awhile.  Jace did as Aislyn instructed, blushing a bit when she asked him to remove his outer clothes.


As Jace was thinking, he recalled the questions that Aislyn had asked him, "Now tell me, have you had any illnesses in recent years? Or are you aware of any family health problems that may be passed on to you?"


Jace thought for awhile before responding as Aislyn continued her examination.  "I'm not been sick much recently.  Mostly I've been in good health.  As far as family history, my father died suddenly from a disease.  I'm not sure what it was, but he coughed a lot and had trouble breathing.  Other than that, my family has been mostly healthy as well."


She finished examining him and motioned for him to get dressed, which Jace did quickly.  He went and rested against the wall while Aislyn wrote some things in a notebook.  While she was writing, Jace looked around and tried to get a sense of where he was.  The stedding was so peaceful and he had not felt this at ease since he left the farm.  Even after the long journey, he felt revitalized here.  Jace breathed a sigh in contentment.


Jace waited until she put the notebook back into her belt pouch. Jace felt fine and was confident that he was in good health as he asked her with a smile on his face, "So, everything ok? I'm healthy?"

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"As best I can tell on so short an aquaintance, yes you're healthy," Aislyn replied absently, making a final notation in her diary and placing it back into its pouch. "It sounds as though your Father may have had a consumptive habit, some kind of infection in his lungs but it's impossible to say for sure. In any case, there's nothing to indicate that you have breathing problems. You're perfectly fit or Winifred would have told me before she left."


The Sage headed to the kitchen door, beckoning Jace to follow her and disappeared into the corridor. By the time he caught up, Aislyn's top half was hidden behind another door a few feet away and he could barely understand her muffled tones issuing from what was clearly the depths of a cupboard.


"Blanket...not that one, too worn...ah yes...and I think perhaps an extra pillow. Now where did I put...got it...and a towel..." the woman righted herself and closed the door firmly with one hand, her other carefully balancing a pile of linen. "Right my lad, let's get you settled into your room." She moved off, leading Jace down a left hand turn off the main corridor. "You'll stay here at the Infirmary for your first few weeks at least, Jace. Most people eventually make their own living arrangements but you're welcome here as long as need be. We've even had a couple of people who ended up making the Infirmary their permanent home but they were mostly in training to be Sages. Plenty of time for you to consider what you'd like to do after you get comfortable here. One thing the Stedding is not short on is accomodation."


They reached the end of the hall and Aislyn walked down a few shallow stone steps, opening a white washed door into a light and spacious bedroom. From the windows on both outer walls it was easy to tell that they were in a corner room, and from the glimpse of a sheltered garden outside, that they were at the rear of the building.


Aislyn bustled about shaking out sheets and making up the bed with brisk, sure movements that wasted no energy and put a large fluffy towel on the room's old but comfortable looking leather seat. Some beautiful hand made drawers sat in a slight recess on the opposite side of the bed and a small desk had been placed beneath one of the windows. Everything was simple, clean and functional but with a homely air provided by the detailed touches like the container of fresh flowers on the desk, the soft, embroidered cushion leaning rakishly against the arm of the chair and the small pictures hung on the wall just beside the door.


Finally, the Sage was done with the bed and she smiled warmly at the young man before her. "This is your room Jace and you won't be disturbed here. We don't have any other Wanderers resident at the moment. There's a wash room two doors back along the corridor, on the right hand side. You'll find a tub of hot water set out ready for you to have a bath and when you're done, you have a few hours to yourself. Feel free to explore the garden or the Stedding, though I'd prefer you didn't stray too far from the Infirmary for now. If you need to, you could even sleep but you might want to check in with that wolf of yours first. Someone will call you when the evening meal is ready and don't worry about getting lost, there are plenty of people to give you directions. Tomorrow we'll see about introducing you to other Wolfkin who will be responsible for your training."


Aislyn gave the room one last glance to assure herself that all was as it should be and gave him one final admonition, "And leave those clothes in the wash room. They'll be cleaned and returned to you later. You'll find fresh ones in the drawers." A brief silence ensued and was filled with kindly words accompanied by her departing footsteps echoing along the hallway, "Welcome home, Jace.....welcome home."




(Up to you if you want to post a response or not. Otherwise this thread is complete and I'll update your ES Score.)

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