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About WhiteWolf

  • Birthday January 1


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    Turn my mic up louder, i gotta say something.

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    NFL, Sci-fi and fantasy, Armour and aircraft modelling, motorcycling, MoToGP, WSB, BSB, F1, Six Nations Rugby, History, annoying Tay

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  1. Owen followed Rhya inside, a slight smile on his face as he knew what was about to happen. Normally when a Guardian successfully completed their training the celebration was held in the Rangers' Barracks, but Owen knew Rhya had close friends outside the Rangers so he had decided it was only fair to break with tradition and choose another venue, and The Hole in the Wall was more than suitable. While Rhya worked the room, enjoying/enduring the attention and well-deserved congratulations, Owen sort out to find Burrich and Ham. “Well now Owen, I see you survived Rhya’s training. There were many amongst the Rangers who thought you wouldn’t.” Burrich smiled his lopsided grin as he said this while Ham handed Owen a tankard of his favourite Dark ale. “So, tell us Owen, was training your wife worse than your own training? I mean if Rhya had not passed you would not be able to sleep anywhere for fear of what she would do to you.” By now some of the other Rangers had joined the three of them and all had smiles on their faces. The ribbing continued for a while before conversation turned to more mundane topics concerning the safety of the Stedding. “Rhyanon Glendawr, front and centre.” Owen had made his way to the small stage and it was from there that he summoned Rhya. Disentangling herself from the throng of Wolfkin still congratulating her, she climbed onto the stage and stood next to Owen. “Tradition is important to the Rangers, as it is to all Wolfkin, and tonight is no different. Rhyanon Glendawr you have shown during your training the steadfastness, dedication and self-sacrifice that marks you out as a Wolfkin Ranger, and as a sign of that we are here to present you with the marks of your newfound station. Firstly, tomorrow morning you will report to the Rangers' Barracks where you will collect your new weapons and your armour. These items have been made to the exacting standards of the Wolfkin, may they serve you well no matter where you find yourself. Tonight however, we have two gifts for you, the first is this.” Owen now handed the package he had been carrying to Rhya and as she was unwrapping it, he continued speaking. “This cloak has no magical abilities, but it will keep you warm and dry in all but the direst of conditions. As we all know, a cloak needs a broach and all Rangers have the same broach.” Owen waited until she had the cloak settled around her shoulders and then pinned the wolf’s head broach to the front of her cloak. As he did so he leaned in close to Rhya and spoke softly enough that only she could hear. “I am really proud of you, my love, I hope you are as happy as I am?” White Fang
  2. "My head was so twisted around that I couldn't see how I'd misinterpreted your words so badly. And you speak of not apologising to me... neither you should! You have nothing to apologise for. I, on the other hand," her lips twisted in self-disgust, "am deeply sorry, dear heart. Forgive me?" Owen was slightly bemused at the sudden about face and by Rhya giving him permission to not apologise to her, but even more so when she asked his forgiveness, an event so rare Owen was not sure he had ever heard her say those words before. Shaking his head at what he perceived as the absurdity of the situation, Owen took both of Rhya’s hands in his and kissed them. “There is nothing for you to apologise for Rhya, the training is taxing and effects many people in different ways. However, it is edifying to know you are willing to acknowledge mistakes even if it is unnecessary.” Whereas before there was an eddy of emotion swirling around Rhya, now all Owen could detect was a strange sense of satisfaction, although calling what he could sense satisfaction was a stretch, to say the least. Her control of her Wal was improving almost daily, but sometimes strong emotion could still get the better of her. It was early evening when Owen and Rhya left their tree house and started the walk to the Ranger Barracks, although not for the purpose Rhya was hoping. Owen had decided to change things this time seeing as she had overheard Ham earlier in the day. When they arrived at the Barracks, Owen asked her to wait outside while he went in. The look on her face when Owen emerged from the Barracks, and took her hand to lead her towards the centre of the Stedding, took all of Owen’s self-control to not smile. What Rhya had not noticed, was the small bundle that Owen carried, it’s shape and size gave no indication what the bundle was. Eventually Owen and Rhya arrived at the Hole in the Wall, all lights were out, and it appeared deserted. Owen opened the door and indicated Rhya shod go first, as she drew level with him Owen spun her to face him and kissed her. Eventually breaking the kiss Owen spoke. “This is your night Rhya, enjoy it." White Fang Whitewolf
  3. Good grief Rhya, give me chance to get in the door before you start babbling at me. “Would you mind if I entered our house before I attempt to answer your questions? Without waiting for an answer Owen gently, but firmly, moved Rhya into their house, indicating she should sit down in her chair. Before she could start talking again, Owen pressed his finger to her lips, silencing her next words. “I will explain everything in a moment Rhya, but I also need a drink, so wait there, contain your impatience and I will make us a hot drink.” Owen quickly prepared two cups of tea and returned to where Rhya was waiting, handing one of the mugs to Rhya, Owen sat down next to her and placed his mug on the small table next to the chair. “What we did yesterday I have done with all the Guardians who wanted to become Rangers, most passed the tests, one or two did not and instead choose a different path. The testing must be difficult; they are designed to push the trainee to their very limits, and sometimes beyond and I make no apology for that. When we are out of the Stedding we must be fully in control, we need all of our skills to survive and more importantly succeed in our quest.” Owen paused, picked up his mug and took a sip of his drink allowing Rhya time to absorb what he had said. “Another aspect of our training is to prove to the Rangers that a recently tested guardian can with stand the rigours of our lives, we must know that the Ranger standing to either side of us can be counted on to do what is necessary, and that brings us to the hard part.” “It is no easy task to leave the Stedding, alone, knowing that every hand will be turned against us and one slip on our part could lead us to our deaths. Alone. No one would mourn us, no one would know our fate. To die for a grand cause seems heroic, noble if you like. To know that our death would be important and mean something makes the choice easier. When it is not for some noble cause, when we are asked to lay down our life in some fly blown hovel in some unnamed village then where is the fame in that?” Again, Owen stopped talking and took another sip from his mug. Eyeing Rhya over the rim of his mug, Owen could see his words were having an effect, which did not surprise him, Rhya had a good brain, when she used it, and was not normally prone to emotional outbursts, well not many. “As for using our relationship against you. I make no apologies for you thinking that; however, it is something we must do, we must induce stress and tension in a Guardian, we must take them to the very edge of what they can cope with. We need to know how a person would act under extreme conditions. I have done this with everyone I have trained, as was done to me and every other Ranger who has gone before.” It was a lot for Rhya to take in, Owen realised that. However he could no more cut off his own arm than he could change the training regime. It might not seem so now, but over time Rhya would come to understand that what had gone on here was exactly what she and the other trainees needed. Succeeding in Ranger training should give a boost in confidence and provide the necessary skills to survive in any difficult situation. “I think before you answer or ask any questions you need to quiet your doubts, calm your mind and try to see this without the barrier of emotions, find your centre, Rhya.” Owen was not being disparaging to Rhya, it was obvious she had had a hard time with the recent lessons, and she needed to see it for what it really was, survival. White Fang Ranger Leader
  4. Owen was grateful that the location of the Stedding was not higher up in the mountains as this meant they missed the worst of the weather that could plague the mountains and at the higher altitudes it was not unknown for snow to remain all year round. Many an unwary traveller had been caught out by a sudden storm and lost more than just their livelihoods. As it was, the wind was stronger enough to take the edge off the temperatures and make some of the Wolfkin scurry for the warmth of their homes. Owen however had work to do and so instead turned towards the Ranger barracks and before starting work he went to the underground archery range that the rangers had recently completed and started to shoot some arrows, more to distract himself from the puzzling reaction from Rhya to completing their training. Much later in the day, Owen left the barracks and started to walk home. Along the way he met a couple of the Wolfkin who were out and about and was nearing his home when Ham hailed him. Owen turned in the direction the voice came from and waved to his fellow Ranger who was returning from a scouting mission. Ham gripped Owen’s arm in greeting and gave Owen a quick overview of what he had learnt while he was away from the Stedding. There was nothing out of the ordinary just conformation of information Owen had heard from the Band's Scouts. “So, I guess I am too late then?” “Too late for what Ham?” “Rhya’s celebration on becoming a Ranger. I take it she passed the tests with ease. How did she take to your trick of throwing yourself off the cliff, I bet she gave you a good roasting for that one?” “Actually, I am not sure how she felt my friend; she has not been herself since the tests so much so that we did not celebrate after her final test. Hopefully she will feel more like herself later and then we can hold the ceremony. For now, I will give her the time she needs to work through whatever is concerning her”. With that Owen bade goodbye to Ham and continued the short distance to his home more concerned about Rhya than he had let on to his friend. OOC: It is up to you whether Rhya hears Ham's comment or not.
  5. As with many of the buildings in the Stedding, the Trackers' Lodge was built in such a way as to blend in with its surroundings. Owen was doing his best to appear inconspicuous as well, although why he thought playing his flute would be inconspicuous was a mystery. He wasn’t playing any particular tune, just a progression of notes and scales, listening for the song. Today, though, there was no song, only a pleasant series of notes, neither mournful nor joyous; but there was emotion, something worth remembering Owen thought. Just then the door opened and Rhya entered the Lodge. No doubt she had the members of the Black Tower and the Band with her. Owen decided to stay out of the way and let Rhya take charge, it would do her good to see the respect from non Wolfkin that she deserved. Owen was sat to the left and out of sight of the doorway to those entering, although he knew Rhya would know he was there, but the others would have to look for him. Turning her head she gave Owen the kind of smile that people reserve for their loved one and Owen could not help but smile back. She had that effect on him. Just then, Ice placed her head on his lap and if a wolf could be said to be content then that was what Owen felt from her. The Black Tower and Band members started to enter the Lodge and Owen drew back a bit, all the more to observe without being seen. White Fang Ranger Leader
  6. With the weather closing in and the wind picking up speed, Owen decided it was best to head straight back to the cave as the last thing either he or Rhya would need was hypothermia. Thankfully Riverwind had ensured there was a rope ladder anchored in place just a hundred paces away. Owen had already disentangled himself from the gorse bush before Rhya joined him. As soon as she hit the gorse bush Owen started to help her get out of the bushes. Under different circumstances this might have been a moment of mirth as they struggle with Rhya’s cloak, which seemed to have deliberately entangled itself in the gorse bushes. However, tonight was not a night for mirth and the conversation was kept to a minimum which meant very few words were exchanged. Owen led the way to the rope ladder and let Rhya go first. She was still feeling the effects of the trials of the day, understandable, and Owen wanted to make sure if she slipped, he was there to catch her. The climb was only a short one and when they reached the top it was only a short walk to the cave where the fire was still burning. Owen quickly built it up and taking out a container quickly filled the kettle with some broth they had brought with them. When it was ready, Owen filled their mugs and handed Rhya hers. Taking his in-hand Owen took hold of the mug and let the warmth seep into his hands, all the time watching Rhya, wondering when she was going to speak with him. She had been emotionally shut down since they had left the gorse bush. Eventually Owen put his mug down and just watched Rhya, giving her the space, she obviously needed. Just as Rhya started to speak the wind outside the cave picked up in intensity and drowned out her words. Owen wasn’t sure if it was irritation or annoyance that he could sense from her, whether at the wind or at him, no doubt he would find out soon. White Fang Ranger Leader OOC Bring it on, buttercup ?
  7. Owen kept his own council as he led Rhya up the trail that wound around the mountain. He was not being rude towards the young Guardian, instead he wanted to unsettle her, place her in the correct frame of mind that Owen wanted her in. The location Owen was heading for was one that he visited on his own, many times and suited his purpose exactly. Finally, after covering a few miles, Owen spoke to Rhya, keeping his comments clipped and letting a small amount of irritation creep into his voice, all by design. “We will make camp a little further on” Without waiting for an answer Owen continued upwards, noticing the snow that was starting to appear, this high up in the mountains the snow was permanent and could often catch an unwary traveller out. It was another hour or so, before Owen and Rhya arrived at the location they had been heading for, it was a large cave, set back from the cliff edge, and it provided a panoramic view of the land below them and on a good day it was possible to see Emonds Field from this vantage point. However, today was not such a day and the lands below were totally covered by thick, grey black clouds that threatened to dump their contents at any moment. Ducking into the cave, Owen indicated where supplies had been stored and told Rhya to start a fire and get a hot drink and some food going. “There is something I have to check on then I will return, don’t venture out of the cave Rhya, it may not be snowing now but that can change in a heartbeat”. Turning on his heel, Owen left the cave, the clouds overhead looking more threatening by the minute. By the time Owen returned to the cave, night had fallen, and there were the makings of a blizzard, the wind was just as strong as before, if not stronger. Shaking the snow from his cloak, Owen quickly made his way to the fire and started to warm his hands. When he had worked the cold from his fingers, he removed his weapons and went over to his pack and found some dry socks, removing his boots he quickly took off the damp sock he wore, and placed them near the fire. While Owen was doing this Rhya sat by the fire stirring the contents of the large pot she was using to cook their food. Owen sniffed at the contents and then smiled at Rhya, “That smells very good Rhya, how long before it is ready?” “A few more minutes should suffice Owen.” Rhya handed Owen a mug of hot tea and continued stirring the contents of the pot. Owen watched Rhya over the top of his mug, it was obvious that she was confused by his earlier behaviour towards her, but Owen had his reasons and if she had not been so effected by the tunnel she would realise why he had reacted the way he had. It was not long before the stew was ready, and while Rhya doled it into two bowls, Owen cut some slices from the loaf he had brought and handed two to Rhya in return for the bowl of stew. “A fair exchange is no robbery.” Owen winked at Rhya as he said it, and then started to eat the stew, occasionally dipping his bread into the bowl and soaking up the gravy. By the time the two of them had finished eating and cleared up, it was fully dark outside, and Owen decided it would be best for them to get some rest. “We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow Rhya and after the climb up here today, I think we could both do with an early night.” With that Owen started laying out their blankets on one side of the fire, the side nearest the cave entrance Later that night, after Owen had assured himself that Rhya was well asleep, Owen left his blankets and quickly got dressed. When he was finished, he gently shook Rhya awake and once she was awake told her to get her things together, there was something that needed doing, and had to be done now. With that Owen left the cave and moved towards the edge of the ledge outside the cave. With the snow swirling around in the increasing wind, Rhya could not see where Owen went, but found his footprints easy enough to follow in the snow in the ground. As Owen came into sight, he had his back to Rhya, and was stood, poised, on the very edge of the cliff. Without turning Owen addressed Rhya. “There comes a time when all of us have to do things that we would rather not, that is what is in front of you tonight Rhya. If you die up here, you die alone, unlamented, and with your body never to be found. You need to face this fear and demonstrate to me, and more notably, to yourself, that you are ready to do this.” Without waiting, Owen stepped out into the abyss and disappeared from Rhya’s view. “Will you follow me into hell Rhya?” Owen’s voice floated up on the wind, before being snatched away.” Snickering to himself, Owen lay in the gorse bushes, sucking on a thorn cut to his thumb, knowing full well what must be going through Rhya’s mind right now, Owen could not keep the wolfish smile from his face. Although the drop was a long one, the bushes at the bottom more than cushioned the fall. This test was a matter of sublimating common sense, and allowing your instincts to take over, Owen hoped that Rhya would have the nerve to do this, but that was yet to be seen. Owen also realised she would give him hell when all of this was over, but it was necessary to explore your own limits, that way in times of extreme stress you knew you had the ability to cope and overcome. White Fang Ranger Leader
  8. Owen was having fun with this now; normally training was a chore, one he was happy to do, but a chore none the less. But watching Rhya and appreciating the effort she was putting in gave Owen a sense of satisfaction that he had not felt for some time. However, he quickly squashed that train of thought as it led to memories he did not want to think about. "This is about self-control, right? Not letting emotions cloud judgement by learning a coping mechanism. Or something similar. Or am I way off the mark?" Rhya’s voice brought Owen back to the present and after clearing his throat Owen answered Rhya’s question. “Often when we are not in a calm frame of mind, we react differently than we would like. This technique allows us to view a situation dispassionately and with a clarity we might not have if we let emotion rule us. It gives us an advantage over those who are ruled by emotion and that can mean the difference between life and death.” Owen gave Rhya a moment to contemplate his answer than continued. “While I clear the fire away why don’t you get yourself down from there Rhya.” Owen had a small smile on his face as he started to put the fire out and scatter the soon cooling ashes all around the small glade, they were in. It would be most difficult for Rhya to climb down without any help from Owen, and the drop was too far even if she could wriggle herself free. Once he had finished cleaning up, Owen settled himself in one spot and watched as Rhya did her best to free herself from her predicament without losing her focus. Owen waited for Rhya to walk over to him, studying her face the whole time, and it was obvious to him that she had maintained her Wal. Not only from the expression on her face, but also from the sense of calm she radiated, Owen did not have to use his enhanced senses to tell that. Owen did not speak to Rhya once she joined him, instead Owen indicated she should follow him, turning he started to jog out of the trees and back onto the path, and headed deeper into the forest. Owen did not need to look to see if Rhya had followed him, he could sense her just behind and off to one side of him, so attuned to her presence had he become. As they ran along shafts of moonlight pierced the trees and crossed their paths, making for a breath-taking sight. Soon the trees opened out and the sound of a stream could be heard as it bubbled over some stones. Owen angled towards the sound, leaving the path behind as it headed off up the side of the foothills of the mountains. Once they reached the stream Owen led Rhya off to one side where a small tributary of the stream disappeared into a small cave. A few feet in and the cave was filled to the top by the brook. Owen started to strip off his boots and removed his shirt when Rhya spoke. “I hope you haven’t dragged me all the way out here just to get me undressed, Owen?” Untying the laces on his breeches, Owen turned his head and winked at Rhya. “And would that be such a bad idea, my love?” “It is when we have a perfectly good, and more importantly warm bed back in our house.” She tried to sound outraged at his suggestion, but Owen could tell she was not. He knew she was a willing partner in all this. “This time it isn’t Rhya, but maybe later I will let you satisfy yourself; Now get undressed and come into the water.” With that Owen pulled his trousers off and slid into the water. By the time Rhya followed him, he had acclimatised to the temperature of the water, and so when Rhya got in, Owen smiled at her gasp as she realised how cold the water was. “Now what we are going to do here, is swim through this tunnel until we come out the other side. It is a long swim, but I know you can do it.” Owen watched her face as he said this, and without giving her a chance to complain he continued. “Of course, you will have to maintain your Wal at all times. Once you are in the tunnel you will not be able to turn around, it can be a tight fit in places, so keep swimming in one direction and I will see you on the other side.” Not waiting for a reply, Owen walked over to the tunnel entrance and taking a couple of deep breaths disappeared into the dark water, kicking powerfully he was soon well into the tunnel and swimming for the exit. He knew his lungs would be bursting when he got to the other end, but this was a good test of control, and it would not do to succumb to panic. This was the ultimate test of ones Wal. White Fang Ranger Leader
  9. Owen waited for Rhya to come out of her trance when she was good and ready. While he was waiting for her, Owen got up and walked around the small clearing they were in, searching for something. Eventually Owen found what he was looking for and returned to Rhya. She had opened her eyes and was watching him as he sat down. “Well now you know what I was explaining to you, how do you feel?” Owen listened intently to Rhya’s answer, smiling to himself as she tried to explain what she had felt. When she finished Owen nodded his head, then grabbed hold of her hand, pulling her to her feet. “Well now that you can do it sitting down and fairly comfortable, how about we see if you can do it while in a less comfortable situation.” Rhya arched one of her eyebrows at Owen. “And just what do you have in mind Owen?” Leading her across the clearing Owen made his way back to the tree he had spotted and pointed to two branches about halfway up. “See those two branches Rhya, the two that wind around each other? Well I want you to climb up there and hang by your knees from them.” “You want me to what…?” Rhya looked at Owen and realised he had that not to be messed with look on his face. At times like this it was better to just do as he said, no matter how brain dead it was. Muttering to herself, Rhya started to climb the tree, Owen close behind her. After a short climb they came to the branches Owen has indicated and they crawled along them “This will do Rhya, now remove your boots and stockings and do as I do.” Owen locked his knees over the two branches and swung himself upside down, crossing his arms over his chest he looked for all the world like a large bat at rest Owen listened to Rhya as she tried to make him believe she was uncomfortable, but he knew what her abilities where and this task was not beyond her. “What now, oh wise one?” Rhya’s question brought Owen back to the present and his smile broadened. “Well ‘Rhya for now I will leave you on your own, but I want you to attain your wal, and hold it come what may.” Rhya threw Owen a sceptical look but knew him well enough by now to know he would never let any harm come to her. Concentrating on maintaining her position she slowed her breathing and then looked to see what Owen was doing only to find no sight of him I hate it when he does that to me Owen had not gone far, he had prepared for this lesson with Rhya and what he needed was nearby. Gathering up the implements that he needed Owen returned to the tree that Rhya was hanging from and started to tickle her feet with a feather, he knew she was particularly sensitive there. He knew this would be a good enough distraction that she would find it hard to maintain her centre. If this did not work Owen had more things he could try; after all he could show no favouritism here and had decided that he would be just as harsh with Rhya as he was with every other trainee. White Fang Ranger Leader
  10. Without any more talking, Owen started running, using a long loping stride; one designed to cover long distances easily. Rhya fell in beside Owen and the two of them headed towards the hills and a trail Owen knew would not tax Rhya too much. “Tonight I will start to instruct you in the Way of the Ranger, being a Ranger is not all about using weapons, and you may find parts of it confusing at first. A Ranger should always act with the highest regard for the people they are protecting, even if they do not appreciate or desire the help. We do what we do, not for thanks, we do it because it is right, that extends to two-legs as well.” Rhya was surprised by the mention of two-legs especially as she knew Owen had no love for them. However Owen divided the two-legs into two separate groups, those he could trust and the rest. “Perhaps how we act around two-legs is even more important than how we act around our own brethren. To them we are Darkfriends, or fiends, the only way to change that is to let our actions speak for themselves. I know you know I do not like many of them and must think this is a strange view to have. But they chose to persecute us, not the other way round, so we have to act with great dignity and moral courage in our dealings with them.” They were just cresting a small rise in the trail, and Owen did not speak again until they were over it and heading into the valley beyond. When they reached the valley floor Owen called a halt to their run, Rhya was puffing a little, but had managed to keep up so far. “Gather some dead wood love, we will start a small fire and then continue with our lesson.” While Rhya gathered the wood, Owen scraped a fire pit out of the ground, using one of his daggers. When Rhya returned, Owen asked her to build the fire and light it. When the fire was going, Owen sprinkled some incense on it, the smell permeating the area. Owen motioned for Rhya to sit opposite him the started to explain to her what he wanted Rhya to do. “Clear your mind , focus on the flames and seek that which is within us all, the centre where we are at peace.” Owen’s voice had taken on a very soft inflection, one that Rhya could hear only because of her enhanced hearing. “When you look into the fire, ask yourself this, where does the flame go? Seek that place and you will find the wal, your centre.” Owen stopped speaking and let his mind clear, seeking out that inner calm that was so different to the Spring and was unlike any other technique of meditation he had heard of before Riverwind had taught it to him. Owen watched as Rhya prepared herself, he had high hopes of her, after all she was a calming influence on him and he knew she should be able to attain her wal with ease. But after a while, Owen noticed her eyes open and a slight smile appear on her face. “Looking at me and smiling will not help you achieve what we are trying to do here Rhya. Now concentrate on where the flame goes and stop thinking about me.” Owen could not help but smile at the small scowl that appeared on her face, he was getting to know her very well and could usually tell what she was thinking. This brought a warm glow in him and Owen could not believe how fortunate he was to have Rhya in his life, no matter how much of a trial she could be at times. “Now clear your mind, steady you’re breathing and concentrate. You can do this Rhya, we both know that. There is one thing though, and this is maybe the most important part of this lesson. I cannot teach you this, I can only act as your guide, you must find your wal on your own Rhya, everybody has their own path they must walk to attain this ability and it will not be an easy path. Sometimes when I try I get near, at others it is like grasping smoke. You will spend more time being frustrated than you would think possible, I know I have.” Owen lapsed into silence and waited to see if Rhya had any questions. The silence of the wooded glade settled around the two of them and despite the slight chill in the air, neither seemed to notice engrossed in what they were doing. White Fang Ranger Leader
  11. I am a man-wolf, I am a wolf man I have half a canine mind I have half the mind of a man I am neither of one kind Maybe it was only an hallucination I made a thorough investigation The image had a power that clings To my jaded imagination My brain has found the bells it rings Sunlight after a long dark night, the sounds of birds singing, a refreshing rain shower after a long dry period, all these things would bring a smile to most peoples faces, but for Owen all of this faded into insignificance at the sight before him. Four small furry bundles nestled close to their mother, sucking on her teats with gusto. Their mother, Owen’s long-time wolf companion, lay on her side and watched her cubs as they fed. Her contentment and satisfaction did not need the enhanced senses of the Wolfkin to detect, it was plain for all to see. However there was also an under lining of apprehension that only Owen could detect and he knew well the source of this apprehension. The outside world had moved on, the wheel had turned and in doing so become a darker place. A place where those who could not defend themselves were prey for the stronger, a land where evil walked in the shadows. In the Stedding the Wolfkin were sheltered from the worst of the ravages and their alliance with the Band of the Red Hand provided outside support. It was a mutually beneficial alliance, the Wolfkin had talents that the Band lacked and vice versa. It was an alliance that had stood for several years and proved the doubters in both camps were wrong. Rising from his chair Owen went out to the balcony and surveyed the forest around his home. Owen had always lived apart from the rest of the Wolfkin and valued the privacy his home offered. It was a home he now shared with Rhya and he had come to love her with a passion he thought he would never again know. Considering his past, the relationship with Rhya was even more remarkable and seemed to grow by the day. His inner musings ended abruptly as he sensed Rhya’s presence as she emerged from their room. He resisted the temptation to go to her as she was as grumpy as could be first thing in the morning and needed her morning mug of tea before she felt able to face the day. Eventually she joined Owen on the balcony sliding her arms around his waist. “Why is it that you always want to have our training either first thing in the morning or last thing at night Owen”? Turning to face her, Owen kissed the tip of her cute up turned nose and smiled down at her. “If we only trained when it was easy where is the challenge in that”? Rhya had no response to this knowing the way Owen’s mind worked she knew he always took the harder path, the more difficult decisions and walked the paths others feared to tread. Leaving her to finish her drink on the balcony and returned to their house to prepare breakfast. He was just putting the food on the table when Rhya entered the room and without ceremony sat down and started to eat the food in front of her. “Today we need to move on with your training Rhya, you are ready for the final test before you move from a Guardian to a Ranger. I know I have been tougher on you than on the other Guardians, but I cannot be seen to be showing favour to the one I love.” Those words came easy to him now whereas a few months earlier he could not even bring himself to think that way never mind voice them. “When you have finished your breakfast meet me at the Rangers quarters and we will begin. Make sure to bring all your weapons and be prepared to stay away from the Stedding for several days, but do not bring any food or water. We will live off what we can trap and forage and drink only from streams and rivers. This will be no picnic for you, but I have great faith in your abilities and believe you will cope admirably.” With that Owen left Rhya to finish her breakfast, collecting his weapons and other essential items he kissed her on her brow and then made his way out of his treehouse. Once on the ground he jogged his way to the Rangers training field, spending his time practicing his archery. White Fang Ranger Leader
  12. Navigation Computer report Orbital status now maintained Target zone vectors logged in The Tube is now ready Please swallow your blue Dreamer And place the helmet on your head Can you hear the lights approaching? There's a sudden rush of sound You laugh but no-one's joking The Dreamer's turned you round And now there's no distraction You've slipped the noose of fate Your dreams are now in colour You've reached your future state The O. G.

    "I have come. But I do not choose now, to do what I came to do"

    Navigation Computer report
    Orbital status now maintained
    Target zone vectors logged in
    The Tube is now ready

    Please swallow your blue Dreamer
    And place the helmet on your head

    Can you hear the lights approaching?
    There's a sudden rush of sound
    You laugh but no-one's joking
    The Dreamer's turned you round
    And now there's no distraction
    You've slipped the noose of fate
    Your dreams are now in colour
    You've reached your future state
    You've reached your future state
    You've reached your future state
    You've reached your future state
    You've reached your future state
  14. @Tay, still in denial i see, such a shame, especially as you are so cute when you try to be annoyed And you only have yourself to blame for nagging me to come back
  15. @Tay There was defiately nagging,wheedling,whining and an attempt to make me feel guilty....and the one weapon you have that no one can resist, your cuteness @Chaelca I know it is hard to believe, but she is a zen master at nagging, i have suffered it first hend for many a year @Lavinya Thanks for the welcome and remembering the training, or was it so arduous you have been scarred for life @Mat Good to see you as well Mat, the last photo of your girls was excellent, i can't beleive how much they resemble you.....and less of the old you
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