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  1. ((Bleh, hate to submit this, but I've been a long time coming with Raith's intro.)) A moment of shock caused him to inhale sharply. A smile spreading over his lips, and he looked to the rugged man who had took him thus far. He smiled, and spoke in that deep Shienarian accent of his, "Peace, you going to stand there all day grinning like a pup at his first kill?" Raithgar shook his head, the man's normal gruffness wasn't in it today. They continued tracking through the forest, the heavy foliage and heat not faring well with the native Shienarian boy. Still, the most disturbing thing was knowing that he was being watched, worse yet was that he could feel the watchers. "Don't worry, they are just patrolling." He nodded, and tried very hard to ignore them. To his surprise, it worked. Wish I'd known that sooner... It was nice to have his head to himself again. A bit further in, he noted a building, and looked to the tracker, "The sages will explain everything you need to know. Just keep up, we're almost there." Raithgar again nodded, and his smile only grew. Finally, he'd get all the answers he needed. The tracker led him to another cropping of buildings, specifically to the largest one, and took him inside. Once inside, he was told to wait, and both men did. Raithgar perhaps, a bit more impatiently..
  2. It was a slow week for the most part, but after how it had started, that had been completely fine with Anton. All he'd been doing was leading Anabel along, a couple of days ahead of her and setting the challenge of following his trail, and then this Lianrin had appeared. It was rather queer as a whole, the wolves had not told him anything beforehand, perhaps they thought they were Trackers now. They should have known better, but then they heeded their own counsel. Wolfkin were not above wolves, they only co-operated and helped as they wished to or as they deemed it necessary. A warning would have been nice considering the bizarre happenstance of coming across bandits. The Band of the Red Hand kept these lands rather safe, how the bandits had managed to drift into the area was beyond him and he hadn't recognised them so they weren't locals. Well, he didn't think so, maybe they were from a farmstead, both relatively isolated and uninformed like Lianrin's home. But they didn't look local, perhaps they had been deserters from the Band. He would have to ask Carnhain about it the next time he visited the Citadel. Anabel had also been somewhat quiet with their new find. Anton was unsure why, probably because he had made the first contact so she was happy to simply remain in the background. He would have to talk to her later about that after they had seen Lianrin to Miryana and they could speak in private. A Tracker had to be able to talk with Wanderers freely, though she was getting better at least. There was a time when she would have spoken to no one, progress had been made in long strides since then. She still refused to allow anyone except him know her true name though, to Lianrin she was still Timewalker. The trees and the undergrowth were growing thicker as they walked. Anton was aware of at least several of the eyes that were watching them, though he knew Lianrin would not have a clue and that Anabel would have only picked out perhaps one, two at most. The Rangers always used this as a chance to practice their skills at waiting in ambush as much as it was for safety. To make sure the wanderer that was brought behaved themselves as well as making sure that they were not followed. Personally, Anton had come to find the practice somewhat disquieting, but that was rooted in his own problems with some of the Rangers. Thickening, the undergrowth made it harder to push forward, but they did nevertheless. It was almost like a green curtain, a veil that Anton was happy to pierce as they made their way through the worst of it and stepped into the sunlight, clearing the last barrier to find the Stedding settlement before them. A collection of homes and buildings sat next to a small lake, all of them dwarfed by the inn that sat in the centre and towered above them with its two storeys. The sounds of people going about their business carrying to them upon the breeze. "Just so you know, Lianrin, no one will talk to you or acknowledge you when we first arrive. It isn't personal or because they dislike you, each new arrival must be welcomed by the Sages before anyone may speak to them. Don't ask me how it got started, I've been here for awhile and I still don't know." Anton smiled slightly as he began to lead the way. "I assume its for safety though, they check to make sure you aren't so steeped in the Howling that you aren't going to be a grave danger to those around you. That and so you don't get crowded, some Wanderers can be particularly skittish. So, our first stop is the infirmary, Miryana should hopefully be in." Well, she would be in, Anton was fairly certain that there were less reasons than there were fingers on his hand that would cause Miryana to leave the infirmary. But that was neither here nor there. Passing into the settlement, the people continued their daily routine as if they weren't there, as if they did not exist. It meant they reached the Infirmary with no interruption or delay, and that suited him fine as he opened the door for Lianrin and Anabel to enter the large building. Stepping inside after them, Anton noticed that Anabel was already taking a seat in the waiting room and had invited Lianrin to take one of them as well. Well, maybe she wasn't as shy as he'd thought she'd been. "Just take a seat, I'll go and see if Miryana is in." "I am, how are you all?" Looking to the doorway to find the older dark haired Domani smiling at them, Anton nodded as he pointed to Lianrin. "Lianrin al'Emerie could use some attention. She got waylaid and I did what I could but she could probably use a new dressing, a mentor as well. Lianrin, this is Miryana." Anton Averdal Farpaw
  3. It had been an eventful week when all was said and done as far as Anton was concerned. He liked to keep his students under watch, so he'd taken them to the hut that was essentially more Sohvi's now than it was his. Now that had been fun straight away, Sohvi had been out the door in a flash and taken a good while to coax back to meet the new guests who would be staying with them for at least the night. Of course, then Katrina had assumed Sohvi's fright and meekness around strangers was his fault which had triggered her defensive feelings. It had almost come to blows right then and if Korrena hadn't jumped in with the random inspiration to hug Sohvi who freaked out from the touch and ran again. Koramena at that point decided to side with Katrina in her opinion of why Sohvi was as she was and if Timewalker had been there, she probably would have been laughing up her sleeve. Anton had effectively lost his hut that night, and had the next day had been spent supplying the hut with the extra things they would need, like a couple more beds. At least Timewalker had been around then to help, though he was certain that he'd smelt the amusement wafting from her. That experience alone had been enough to confirm for him that if he ever had children, they were going to be sons or he was going to pawn them off to whoever would take them. Most likely the gaggle of girls he had to take care of now. And of course, the attempts over the following days to teach them had proven fruitless. As a group they were impossible, Korrena was overly excitable and quick to lose her attention, the twins were inseperable and Katrina's suspicion of him had deepened and was affecting Koramena in turn. After several days of no success, as well as a good measure of frustration, he'd decided to split them up. Now that had really exacerbated things. Korrena didn't approve because it wouldn't be fun without her sisters, or something, and Koramena didn't want to be apart from her twin sister as their initial split had been bad enough. And, of course, Katrina felt that it was all part of some evil plot on Anton's part if the rise in her homicidal rage had been any sort of indication. It hadn't been much of a surprise at that point when she'd offered to be taught first. That, of course, had led to Anton making a very simple decision about where her education would start. So it was that he was waiting for her a good twenty minutes walk away from the hut. He wanted her seperated so he could deal with her directly and he knew that what he was going to have to do wasn't going to be pleasant. But, it was going to be necessary if he was going to establish some order and make sure that things could be kept relatively civilised. Not that it was entirely Katrina's fault. Apart from whatever there was motivating her, there was also her wolfish side that was going to be fighting for dominance. Not just over her, but it would lead her to try and assert it on some of those around her, those she felt were threatening. But, there was going to be a leader to this pack and he was going to be it, otherwise he would not be able to teach her anything. Hence the pair of staves he had picked out, one resting on his lap as he sat there and the other resting on the ground a dozen paces away. While they were at it, he'd be able to measure her ability with a weapon and refine it a little once they'd established the teacher and student relationship. It was awhile before she appeared, but she was about on time so there was no need to quibble. Instead, he got to his feet and gestured with his stave to the one he'd picked out for her. "One of the first things a Wolfkin must do is learn how to defend themselves. Seeing as you've been champing at the bit to take a swing at me since we met, here is your opportunity to show me what you have. If you can knock me down, you'll get Timewalker for a teacher and you won't have to deal with me again, neither will your sisters. If you can't, then you're stuck with me." "Sound fair?" Anton Averdal Farpaw
  4. Shaking himself as he stepped out of the cold water, the first thing that Anton reached for was a towel. Light help him, hygiene was all well and good but some days you had to wonder whether the Creator really intended for man to bathe regularly when every water source was more frigid than an Aes Sedai. Well, that thought was slightly unfair, but there it was nevertheless roaming through Anton's mind as he dried himself as quickly as he could as the dawn of the day broke the horizon. Sooner he was dry, sooner he could put some clothes on and the sooner he could put some clothes on, the sooner he could get away from the creek where the wind cut across the water with a particular cruelty this morning. Slipping his clothes on with unnatural speed, Anton packed up his things and quickly made his way up the bank and onto flat ground. Just eighty yards away, the lodge that he had built with the help of a few others here and there. The old Tracker hut had been handy as a place to keep materials for teaching and a few other odds and ends, but Anton had envisaged something better. That and he needed something to occupy himself since his ability to travel had been somewhat curtailed as the Head Tracker. Janna had meant well by it, and it had taken a great deal of trust for her to pick him, but he often wondered whether he was the best choice. He disagreed with too many things that had become accepted within the Stedding, perhaps that was one of the reasons he had chosen to create an alternative. Not that there were not homes outside of the Stedding, Anton had lived in at least two others, but he had wanted somewhere that he could think of as... free. It was a simple place, a single storey building that had its own kitchen, a dining room that also served as a classroom, several bedrooms for people to stay and a store room for supplies. It had taken time, but Anton wasn't finished with it by any means. He would expand on it with time, until it was as independent as he could make it. Besides, every man needed a labour to keep him occupied, this was his. Even if he wasn't the best leader the Trackers had ever had, he would at least make something of which his fellows could use between their extended travel out in the world. But, that wasn't something to be dwelled on. No, today was going to be fun, perhaps tonight as well. His students had Timewalker to watch over them, and that in turn was a lesson for Timewalker because she had to become more used to responsibility and more importantly, the people around her. He would take the day off, to a degree for there was still things to be done, but it was a day off nevertheless. Today he was going to go and visit with the Band of the Red Hand, something he had only done a few times when he'd wanted to trade for some things or simply get away from the Stedding, but it was good nevertheless. Perhaps he'd even see Carnhain there if the man was around, after all, it was his duty to cut that man down to size... It probably shouldn't have taken as much time as it did, but Anton had loafed a little as he had made breakfast. Breakfast was good, breakfast was warming, warmth was a temptation to go back to sleep and forget about the rest of the day for at least an hour or two as he was in no hurry. Temptation was also something that Anton occasionally indulged in, so the sun was up and perhaps it was about ten in the morning when he was finally ready to depart. His packs filled with fur cloaks and hats that he'd made himself over the past couple of months, they were but a couple of the things he was taking with him to trade. Maybe he'd be able to get some glass panes for the windows, wooden shutters were all well and good but some glass would be really nice all the same. Maybe some more crockery as well, and some more utensils, they would also be quite handy. Perhaps he could skim some Band surplus as well, he'd have to talk to Carnhain about that. The man was usually willing to help out after he'd been heckled a little. And a toasting iron would be wonderful. Picking up his staff that was resting on the door frame, Anton opened the door and stepped out into the cool morning air only to pause as he saw a figure in the distance who was following the creek. Someone coming to visit? It took a bit of focus as he extended his senses, but as the person approached he was able to figure out who it was and it puzzled him. Adine Sedai? Her warder wasn't with her, and she was seeking him out? Not in a hurry either so it wasn't an emergency. Sighing, Anton disappeared back inside as he unslung his packs and left them behind the door, he would attend to that later. A guest was a guest and besides which he was curious as to what this was all about. Going into the kitchen to get a small fire started, water was set so it would boil and he left the kitchen to go and greet her. She was taking her time approaching, but at least it gave time for the water to boil, that and for Anton to contemplate just what exactly she was doing. Anton Averdal Farpaw OOC: Left it open for you to decide whether you were riding a horse or just walking, and its about 10am :)
  5. Sighing, Anton nodded at Aleeza and thanked her for the favour she'd done. As the Wolfsister departed, Anton focused on the favour that Aleeza had granted. Korrena, the youngest sister of her three students, a bundle of trouble that he had trouble keeping tabs on and a truant from the lessons he was meant to be giving her today. The idea of being able to talk to wolves and play with them might have captured the girl's attention, but when it had come to the prospect of training, the girl had proved entirely recalcitrant. Well, not so much training as a whole, she had been happy to go to classes that were shared with her sisters. The moment that Anton had split the classes up, the girl had become completely disinterested with the notion of training. Even now, the girl was fidgeting as he looked at her, and she wasn't making eye contact. Well, at least she had the grace to be a bit shamefaced about all of this. Caught helping herself to some of the sweets at the inn where she was caught, he'd have to go and settle that bill no doubt with Wall the next time he was there. At least Aleeza had bailed her out before Owen had turned up, Owen probably would have thought Korrena was a darkfriend and tried to kill her. Well, maybe not, sweets from the inn weren't his beloved flute that he used to torture the surrounding woodlands. He'd probably have to go and get something for Aleeza as well to make up for having to involve herself, be a good chance to get to know her properly as well. He'd been meaning to speak to her since he'd assisted with her training but never had the right excuse. Anton almost gave into the temptation to berate her, no point in that though. Now was the time for teaching, he could tell Korrena's sisters what she'd been up to and let them deal with it, they'd have a better chance of getting through. "Its nice to finally have you here Korrena, I was almost beginning to think that you weren't going to show up." Using his stave to help haul himself to his feet, now that she was here, in the area of the wood that he had taken to using for training, far enough from others that they wouldn't be disturbed, man or wolf. Reaching to his belt, Anton produced a long strip of cloth that he tossed to his apprentice. "Blindfold, tie it on and take my hand. The first step of your training will be to train your senses. One of the gifts a Wolfkin receives is an enhancement of each of these. While your eyesight naturally improves because we constantly use that sense consciously, the others need a bit of work to develop. Hence you need to deprive yourself of your sight to better understand these." As soon as Korrena had complied, Anton took her right hand and led her deeper into the woodland, taking care to make sure she wouldn't trip. As much as it was about the senses, this particular part of the test was about trust. Eventually, Anton came to a stop as he spoke. "Now, I'm going to let go of your hand. You're to use your senses to determine what is around you, describe each new thing you surmise as you go." Letting go of Korrena, Anton stepped clear and allowed her to begin. Anton Averdal Farpaw OOC: Describe our setting :) Also, your talents will allow you to pick up a couple of things that you mightn't otherwise, up to you to decide what they are. Perhaps there is moisture in the air that you can smell clearly because of a slight damp in dead wood around you, etc, whatever you choose :)
  6. WolfLover woke the children early and prepared them for the long walk ahead of them. “Today we are going to an old cabin to collect some things for the garden. It will be a long hike, but I know you will love it. Dust and Storm will go with us and maybe we can do a little hunting on the way back.” “But Mama,” Strider yawned. WolfLover held up a hand to stop the complaints before they got started. “We are going and that is final. Now, get up and get dressed. Breakfast is waiting for you on the table. Strider and Ariset whined all through breakfast about being tired, but they wisely never made a complaint about the upcoming hike planned for them. They were only 3 ½ turns old, but they had learned early on that if they complained, their mother would find something much worse for them to complain about. They left the cottage when the sun was barely up. The stedding was still quiet, people yet to begin their day. The cabin was a good hike from the stedding and with all luck, they should arrive before lunch. The early part of the morning was uneventful. Midmorning they came upon a clearing and the wolves began to pace around the three of them. WolfLover could smell the other and knew it to be a brother. She could sense that they had surprised him a little and he was hesitating at the edge of the clearing. She could also sense his uncertainty, but about what she could only guess. WolfLover called out to him, her voice gentle and kind. “Dust and Storm will not calm down until you show yourself young man. Please, the children and I would like to meet a new friend.” Although her voice was accepting and friendly, she had pulled the children behind her in a gesture of protection. She hoped that would not be seen negatively, but her children came first. “Who is it, Mama?” Strider asked. “We won’t know, love, until he shows himself.” She looked out toward where he was shadowed but continued to speak to Strider. “If he wishes to remain unknown, we will be on our way in a short time.” “He’s like unca River, huh Mama?” Ariset said happily. “He’s playin hide-n-seek.” WolfLover chuckled and glanced down at the little girl. “Well, it is possible. But he must tell us if he wants to be found. If not, we will go on our way and let him be.
  7. It had taken her some time, but Sohvi Darwin was finally climbing out of her shell. Mind you, it was a very deep and dark shell where the shy wolfkin had hidden herself away in, but after a few months at the stedding, carefully introducing herself to some of the people there, she felt she could finally go for a walk without feeling the urge to run away from the first stranger she met. Eyes High seemed to smirking with amusement in her mind. That was ok though. She’d gotten used to that as well. The wolf had been with her since the first few days of her wolfkin existence, and she wouldn’t know what she would do without him. “Of course that doesn’t mean you can make fun of me in front of other people.” She said, giving the wolf a glare. The dark wolf seemed to grin again. He did have a tendency to make her look silly whenever he could. She suspected that it was his way to force her to get over her shyness. Anton seemed to be his favourite audience so far. That too made sense in a way. Though Sohvi had many unpleasant adoptive sisters, she didn’t feel as shy around the women she met here as she did around the men. Even around Anton, who had done such a nice job picking her up. With a sigh she walked on. “Well, I am getting better, even though you seem to think I’m not.” Again the amusement, but something else as well. She got the feeling he was trying to point something out to her, but it was terribly vague. She felt as if she was missing the point completely. That wasn’t the only thing she was missing though. From out of nowhere a rather tall young man appeared. Right on her path. Sohvi could do nothing to prevent smacking right into him with a loud “Oof!”. Being the graceful person that she was, she instantly stumbled backwards, tripped over a branch, and landed on her backside. Another “Oof” left her mouth. Somewhere in the back of her mind Eyes High was laughing his tail off. Closing her eyes for a moment, Sohvi tried to regain some of her newfound lack of shyness before looking up at the man she would have bowled over if she’d been a bigger girl. “Ehm… hi. I’m Sohvi.” ~Sohvi Darwin Shimmer
  8. “I don’t know!” Now that she’s actually shouted the answer out loud to Eyes High she felt a little silly about it. But he had been annoying. Yes, she had dreamed silly dreams of late, that seemed to have no meaning to her every day life what so ever. No, she had no idea where they came from. No, not even the slightest idea. She didn’t know. She could feel the wolfs amusement in the back of her mind even as she was pondering on ways to apologise to him. Not that she needed to. Eyes High understood Sohvi’s frustration better than anyone. That was part of what made him a very annoying wolf right now. Go see Farpaw. Sohvi could pick up on what Eyes High meant with ease now. It didn’t always work as well with other wolves or people, but she figured that that was mostly because she chose to avoid people as much as possible. Timewalker with her constant amusement. The Candarr sisters with their constant questions, arguments and bouts of random laughter. She shivered slightly. It was good that she had her own home now. She’d used Anton’s unwillingness to let Eyes High stay inside as an excuse to leave, but the truth was that she would’ve gone mad if she had stayed there any longer. People. People, people, people, people. More people. At least here she had some privacy. Not a lot, but enough for her to grow accustomed to her new life. “Fine. I suppose I should… but what if…” Just go… She could feel that even Eyes High was getting a little impatient with her shyness now. According to him she already knew Anton well enough for her to be over her dislike of people around him. Of course. It made sense. And yet not… she’d left his hut, after all, and they’d argued about the presence of wolves in houses and… well “What if he doesn’t want to see me?” The wolf answered that question my taking the hem of her dress between his teeth and dragging her out of the hut. “Alright, alright, I’m going! You pushy little mutt…” again she felt the amusement in his mind. The wolf seemed to think she was awfully funny most of the time. Soon enough she found herself standing behind a tree, watching as Anton stealthily moved through the fields that separated their huts. He was close enough for her to call him now, but… “Ow!” she cried out when Eyes High forced her out of her hiding place by leaping up against her. Wolf and girl fell in a heap next to the tree, in plain sight. “Uh… hi.” She said when she saw that Anton was standing quite close now. “So… what are you up to?” ~Sohvi Darwin Shimmer
  9. Adine cursed silently as she stumbled over a dead branch, and was steadied by Leila's helping hand. She would never have been this ungainly under normal circumstances, years of training in elocution to make her seem less a farmgirl at the White Tower had seen to that. But with her round and plain face, all the grace in the world still made her seem perhaps a village wisdom at best. None of that mattered at the moment. What mattered was that she was blindfolded and being led to meet a group of...what had Leila called them? Wolfkind? Kin. Wolfkin, that was it. And she was more than a little nervous about it. Not the meeting itself, for which she had been assured that she would be allowed the use of her eyes, but for the fact it was in a Stedding. Which meant that she could not use the One Power. That was what had made her stumble, excuses about loose branches aside. She had felt that cold chill of entering a Stedding, and the loss of saidar. Not as though she were shielded, but as though the One Power simply did not exist for her. She felt a wave of reassurance tinged with worry through the bond, and clasped Daishell's hand tightly, as much for comfort as to reassure him. Outwardly, she tried to remain serene. They had been assured safe passage, and she had agreed to this mad scheme, against her Warder's wishes. Blindfolded and in a Stedding! What could she have been thinking! She kicked herself mentally for it again. But then, she knew what she had been thinking, had hoped. Still hoped. She needed allies now, more than ever. And this group of Wolfkin had somehow escaped the Tower's notice up to this point. It would be something if she could return to the Tower with such allies. If she ever returned to the Tower. If such would even be possible now. Lanfir has stopped answering her pigeons weeks ago and Adine had no way to know how things fared in the rest of the Tower while she was cut off from her Ajah. What was intended to merely look like a complete seperation from the Tower had become one in truth. Adine broke off from her thoughts as she suddenly heard others nearby. Very near from the sound of it. They were not loud, and without saidar she could hear only soft murmurs, not able to detect words. And then Leila stopped her suddenly, telling her to wait. She strained to hear the other woman but heard nothing for several seconds. Then it was only the lull of Leila's voice, she recognized the timbre even if she could not make out the words. Another voice answered, male, she thought. And then moments later the blindfold was removed and Adine was left blinking, trying to allow her eyes to adjust to the brightness. "I am Adine Sedai," she said with a slight nod of her head, "I am honored that you have invited me to your home." She tried not to be unnerved when several pairs of yellow eyes turned to face her. There were no other coversations now. Yellow eyes. Each and every one of them had yellow eyes. -Adine Thorfin Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
  10. Eyes High was near. Sohvi could feel him, sometimes a little closer, and sometimes a little farther away. Always a little to the right, in the woods while she and Anton travelled over the empty road. Well, road… she supposed it was a rather big word for such a small and lumpy thing. No wagon could actually ride there. Anton had already explained to her why they were taking this road, and Sohvi was fine with it. Small road meant less people. Less people meant less of a chance to be killed because they thought she and Anton were Demons. Which they weren’t. Not at all. What they were… well, that was a little more complicated. No matter how often Anton or Eyes High had tried to explain it, Sohvi just didn’t understand. Something about things from the past, echoing through to the now. It was all very complicated, if you asked her. Of course no one actually asked her. In fact, she was the one doing most of the talking, or at least most of the asking. There was a lot to learn, after all, and Anton seemed to know a lot more about it than she did. Which wasn’t all that strange, she supposed. He’d been a wolfkin a lot longer than she had been. “So tell me about how your Howling went.†She asked him, glancing at him. He was a few paces on her left. It felt good to know that she had Eyes High at her back, when… if Anton turned out to be a demon after all. Or maybe she should be glad to have Anton at her back in case Eyes High decided she was snack food. A sense of irritation washed over her, and she knew that only some of it came from the wolf in the woods. It was one thing to realise that people and wolves were good, and another to accept it though, and Sohvi was still having a hard time with accepting it. “And where are we going again? Isn’t it awfully cold there this time of year?†the questions just kept coming. She usually wasn’t such an inquisitive person, but today she felt the distinct need to know more about her current situation, and perhaps a little about her present situation as well. “and what happens when we get there? Do I have to ask people to stay there? What if they don’t want me there?†She wouldn’t be too surprised if they didn’t want her there. Only her mother had ever wanted her in her own family, and the rest was probably still dancing on the tables, celebrating the fact that the wolf girl was gone. Rita was probably hiking up her skirts and showing off her legs for anyone to see. Sohvi sighed, suddenly glad that she wasn’t there anymore. Wherever she was going, it couldn’t be worse than the farm. ~Sohvi Darwin Shimmer
  11. As the sun went down, Dautry bleakly surveyed his surroundings. There was no one in sight, except for Red of course. And a couple of wolves. Also, of course. The panicked fervor of his initial escape had long since been replaced by growing fatigue and an ever-present dull ache. He knew now that he would never see his father again. Most likely, Lord Byron's lackeys had made sure of that, one way or another. Dautry reflexively wiped his eyes for tears, but they no longer came. That well had dried up days ago, filled with an emptiness so deep that he doubted he would ever cry again. He had made his escape to the east, toward the Plains of Maredo, figuring it would be harder for anyone to sneak up on him in the open, and Red would be able to outrun everyone else. For the most part, his plan had worked flawlessly, if not easily. He hadn't seen another human in days. He just hadn't expected the wolves. They were always there. On the edge of his vision, in his dreams. It was like they were watching out for him, but that was impossible. Surprisingly he hadn't had to struggle to find food so far, because it seemed a rabbit here and there stumbled into his path just when he decided to start looking for one. It could have been coincidence. It could have been, except for the fact that a wolf was always standing there watching until he noticed him after taking down the rabbit with his bow. He almost would have preferred going hungry. Almost. The sizzling, savory rabbit smelled delicious, but thinking of how he had come by the meal always made it taste like ashes. So he tried not to think about it. He hadn't gone hungry, but he hadn't slept well in days. His dreams of late had been consumed with running, but not the fun sprints and long runs he could remember since he was little. He was running in fear, terrified of something unseen but heard in the distance. Dogs barking and men shouting. Lord Byron's men. Those dreams had wakened him several times, but they were just normal nightmares born of his situation. He could live with those if he had to. It was the others that woke him soaked in sweat, the dreams of running with the wolves, that convinced him he was losing his mind. In those dreams he wasn't running away from the men and dogs, but towards them, teeth bared in the hunt. The wind whistling in his face felt rapturous as the ground flew under his feet. The wolves ran beside him, urging him to run even faster. It felt real. It felt too real. And it scared him to death. Sitting alone in the dark, his fire long since gone out, Dautry dreaded closing his eyes. But he couldn't stay awake, not again, so he checked to make sure he was alone. His only company on the empty, rolling grasslands was Red and the wolves, and as sleep stole over him, he knew they would come close again. He felt them watching, waiting for him to sleep. They found him in his dreams.
  12. It was cold. Sohvi supposed that made sense, because it was cold out, and she was… well… out. Had been out ever since her father, or at least the man who had raised her tossed her out of his home and called her a demon. As if it was her fault that she had crazy dreams and that her eyes had changed from almost black to something a lot more yellow. Sohvi was convinced that a lot of kids her age went through changes like that. She sat by a little pond, staring at her own reflection. Her eyes, mostly. They were so strange, it was hard to get used to them. Other things had changed too. She’d noticed that when she came near a village at some point. Oh, the smells. The horrid smells. She had never realised that humans stank all that badly. There had been a sense of mirth somewhere in the back of her head, which told her that someone thought that was very funny. That disturbed her too, because she’d never had things like that in her head before. She fled from that presence as well as the village. It was a lot harder to get rid of the presence though. It was around her, all around her. Sometimes nearby, sometimes farther away, but always questioning. Sometimes they went away for a while, when she thought of a certain image. The snow, and the reflection of a person on that snow, in the sun. It was hard to describe, and yet when she pulled that imagine into her mind, the prodding sensation went away, only to be replaced with other images. She saw one of a young wolf, staring at the sky. When she looked up at the sky with him, she saw thousands and thousands of stars. “Eyes High.†She’d muttered when the image faded. There was a sensation of amusement again, as well as a bit of pride, as if she’d done something right for the first time in her life. She was thrilled with that sensation, for as long as it lasted. The truth was, Sohvi was getting more than a little worried. She’d taken very little with her when she ran. In truth, nothing more than the dress and the shoes she was wearing. It hadn’t even been her favourite dress. It was dark blue, and while it fit her well enough, it was definitely not her favourite cut or colour. She liked Taraboner dresses, or even the ones from Mayene, which her mother had always said were scandalous. They made a person look beautiful though. Well, some persons at least. Sohvi was pretty sure she was a lot cause, with her straight hair and her full lips, and her lack of broad hips and apple cheeks. She picked her cheeks again as she stared into the pond, trying to get some colour into them. Ah, she could hear Rita now. Her youngest sister, no more than eight months older than her, complaining about how she could never take Sohvi anywhere, because Sohvi was too ugly. And then there was Runa, her second to youngest sister, who had said there wasn’t a bonnet deep enough to hide her horrible face. In a way Sohvi was glad to be rid of them. At least now no one would call her ugly again. But it also meant she was without a family, and without a home. And it was getting cold, and the coat she took from the washing line was far too big and not really warm either. All in all, Sohvi realised that things were looking down for her. A single tear slid down her cheek as she yearned for the time when her mother had still loved her, and when she didn’t have voices in her head. ~Sohvi Darwin Shimmer
  13. Janna narrowed her as eyes critically as she wiped the back of her hand across her sweaty brow, inadvertently smearing soil across her forehead. The autumn day was unseasonably warm but instead of bemoaning the heat Janna tipped her face towards the sun and let it wash over her, so few things warmed her these days. One of those few things bounded out of the forest toward her, white fur sprinkled with the fiery leaves of fall. Janna winced as she realized the cub held something furry and limp between her jaws. I caught it! I caught it! Silver deposited the dead rodent proudly near where Janna knelt in the long row of fennel. It was sooooo fast you wouldn’t believe it, Chime but I was faster and when it tried to run I grabbed it and shook it hard…. The young wolf tensed suddenly, catching a new scent on the breeze and leapt back toward the forest, unsettling several of the plants in the garden. Janna suppressed a groan and a giggle as she watched the hard work of the morning nearly undone. But the cub didn't notice, intent on new furry things to chase and....shake hard. Wryly she considered the corpse Silver had left behind. Poor thing, she thought with a sigh, at least you can help the plants grow.Surreptitiously and quickly she buried the baby squirrel amongst the rows of plants. A shadow fell across her just as she patted the soil into place over the tiny grave. Squinting upwards Janna smiled sheepishly, “It’s good to see you out and about, Anton. Any chance you could help repair the havoc Silver has wrought on the herb garden? If the whole thing isn't weeded by nightfall Miryana will have my hide.†Janna Telenvar Head Tracker and Wolf Sister Twisted Chime Companion to Silver OOC: Thanks for the list hun ;)
  14. After all he'd been through, and all he'd learned, since coming to the Stedding, Burrich was being entrusted with the training of a new Wanderer. And yet, this Wanderer was unlike any other, since he'd been here before and knew more of the history of the Wolfkin than any other outsider ever learned. Thus the training would be different as well. Burrich would not be able to progress through Anton's training in the same manner John had guided him through his. He'd left a note for Anton to meet him at the break of dawn just out back from the inn. This had left him plenty of time to do his normal workout this morning and still arrived ten minutes or so before Anton was due to show. But, Anton was already there. Good, punctuality was something to be desired in a student. "Well Anton, I know you've spent some time here but before we get started on your training I thought I'd give youu a chance to ask any questions. Learning about us and becoming one of us are different perspectives on everything. I remember what it was like to go through the howling so I'd be glad to help you any way I can."
  15. Janna sighed as she watched Silver bound ahead, crisp Autumn leaves crunching beneath her paws as she followed the scent of a squirrel. So much for stealth, the Tracker thought with resignation. They were close enough to the Stedding that it shouldn’t matter. The Rangers knew they were approaching even without the young wolfs antics. Still, she’d have to rethink taking the cub with her in search of Wanderers, at least til she had grown a bit. Matured. Last night she had dreamt the strangest dream…of Windracer. He and Silver had been playing, wrestling with one another on the floor of her isolated cabin. Four times the size of the cub Wind had been tolerant and amused as he taught the young wolf to fight through playful nips and bites, finally holding the nearly white wolf down with one paw as he regarded Janna with what could only be called….a wolfish smile. She will learn. Janna had woken crying…something she had hidden from Anton. Her heart ached just thinking of the old wolf. The dream had been so vivid she’d wondered if it was the Dream. But that was impossible. Wind was dead and nothing could bring him back…except dreams. She shook off the thought and turned to her companion, “Do you recognize this place, Anton?†The Wanderer nodded, it hadn’t been that long ago he had visited the Stedding in pure human form. Janna motioned to the left, “My cabin is along this trail, if you ever have need of me.†“You don’t live within the Stedding?†Anton sounded slightly panicked but his emotions were a whirlwind…one moment strong and confident that he’d found his calling…the next fearful and confused that this was all in his head…a hallucination. Janna shrugged, “I don’t like being penned in, cities and villages make me….nervous. I prefer to be….outside.†When she had left the Stedding nearly a month ago the trail to the village had been nigh untraceable. Now, however a clear path showed the way and Janna cringed. They tried to vary the trails, so none became too obvious but it appeared everyone and his brother had utilized this path since her departure. She’d speak with John and Owen about that at the first opportunity. Leading Anton off the main trail she approached the Stedding from the east, through dense woods and brush. Still, within a hundred yards of the Stedding itself a Ranger stepped from behind a tree, crossbow aimed directly at them. He lowered it immediately as he recognized Janna. With a nod he stepped back and vanished, casting a tolerant glance at Silver who was triumphant at having sniffed him out. A bit late…but she has a good nose. Ha! I found him Chime! Did you see that? I found him and he’s a Ranger but I still found him.. Janna agreed with her thoughts, hoping to quiet the cub some, Anton was still very sensitive to the thoughts and emotions of wolves around him. And there were many wolves here…both in the Stedding and outside of it, roaming the hills and mountains. Best to keep Silver’s chatter to a minimum. With an encouraging smile she sent the wolf ahead, to warn the Sages of their arrival….though they already knew. She pushed aside a heavy branch and turned to smile back at her charge, “We’re here.†They stepped into a clearing, natural but expanded by the Woflkin to accomadate their growing numbers. The Inn towered over the center of the small community and it was a bustle of activity at this time of day. Women and children surrounded the well, gossiping and playing. They greeted Janna as she and Anton passed but kept well back at her warning glance. It was custom that a Wanderer only be greeted once the Sages had seen to him or her. The Infirmary was larger than its predecessor, which had been leveled by fire. Janna grimaced to remember that night. Aurin’s grief had nearly cost them all…..not Aurin…Eyota, she reminded herself gruffly. As she approached the entrance a young girl, perhaps fourteen summers darted out and dropped an awkward curtsey. “Hail, Tracker, Wanderer. Miryana awaits you within.†Janna bit back a smile and thanked the girl solemnly, leading Anton into the building. Several others waited in the large entrance, one man with a runny nose and red eyes…a girl heavily pregnant….a mother clutching her fevered child. Janna greeted them all by name and motioned Anton to a chair nearby. “Miryana will be here soon. We need to be sure The Howling hasn’t….affected you adversely.†Even as she said the words Janna shuddered, hopeful she had brought Anton to the Sage soon enough. “Don’t worry Anton, we’re only here to help you.†Janna Telenvar Head Tracker Wolf Sister Twisted Chime Companion to Silver OOC: Post your reaction to arrival at the Stedding and Miryana will post after checking you out ;) After I'll open the thread to everyone for a meet and greet.
  16. It had been a week since the wolves had started following him. Feeding the roaring blaze before him, even Anton Averdal's frantic industry couldn't hide the fact that he was bone tired. After parting ways with certain woman and taking to the road by himself in Tarabon, he'd begun to notice that he wasn't alone. Wolves, wherever he went they followed and had done so for over a week now. That in itself was not cause for the trouble which Anton felt, his time in the Wolfkin Stedding had given him a chance to learn more about the wolves, and he knew he they wouldn't attack him. No, that wasn't what had led him to a small ravine in the hills north of Elmora. If he were simply prey that would be far easier. Dark clouds rolling over windswept plains. Wincing as he staggered forward back a step, Anton shook his head as if it would rid himself of what plagued him. They were touching his mind, whenever he thought he was alone they did it. Or he was going mad, he wasn't sure anymore. He would find himself thinking thoughts that were not his, feeling emotions that were someone else's. With it always came the presence, he knew it was the wolves that followed him. With his eyes opened in the Stedding so long ago it was impossible not to acknowledge what was happening. That knowledge was proving little comfort though, not with the wolves sifting through his mind, picking out his thoughts and his memories at seeming random. With them putting their thoughts in his head, their feelings, their being it wa- Warmth running down jaws, last quiver as prey passes on, scrabbling on moss and lichen to water pool, wind whistling and leaves rustling amongst great oaks. Collapsing to his knees as he clutched his head, a groan escaped him as he fought the surge of images and emotions that bombarded him. Mind racing with foreign thoughts, Anton clawed onto his sense of self as best he could, as if he were holding onto a log that was being swept down a mighty river. Sweat poured from his face and his forehead was furrowed with strain even as he attempted to weather the worst of it. Paws that have known; snow, grass, sand, rock, stone, river and salt waters from many different ranges. Farpaw. Anton howled. Anton Averdal Howling
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