Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'owen'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Getting Started
    • Introduce Yourself
    • Announcements & Other Info
  • Wheel of Time Discussion
    • Wheel of Time TV Show
    • Wheel of Time Books
    • Off-Topic
  • Game of Thrones fans's Discussions
  • JordanCon family's Discussion
  • Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere's Discussion
  • 4th Age Podcast Listeners's Discussion
  • DM Writers's Discussions
  • Bela Fan Club's Discussion
  • The Black Tower's Black Tower Forum
  • Shayol Ghul's Shayol Ghul Forum
  • The Band of the Red Hand's The Campfires
  • The Band of the Red Hand's The Stables
  • The Band of the Red Hand's Band of the Red Hand Forum
  • The Band of the Red Hand's The Range
  • The Band of the Red Hand's The Barracks
  • The Band of the Red Hand's The Arena
  • The Band of the Red Hand's Recruit Business
  • The Ogier's Ogier Forum
  • WoT Role Play's Bios (Inactive)
  • WoT Role Play's Dragon Reborn RP OOC
  • WoT Role Play's The Welcome Inn
  • WoT Role Play's Bios (Active)
  • WoT Role Play's Dragon Reborn IC - Main
  • WoT Role Play's Revolution One RP
  • WoT Role Play's Dragon Reborn IC - Retro
  • WoT Role Play's RP Archives
  • WoT Role Play's The Training Grounds OOC
  • The White Tower & Warders's Blue Ajah
  • The White Tower & Warders's Brown Ajah
  • The White Tower & Warders's Green Ajah
  • The White Tower & Warders's Warders' Yard
  • The White Tower & Warders's White Tower Public Forum
  • The White Tower & Warders's Ideas Board
  • The White Tower & Warders's Aspirant Quarters
  • The White Tower & Warders's Gray Ajah
  • The White Tower & Warders's Hall of the Tower
  • The White Tower & Warders's Red Ajah
  • The White Tower & Warders's White Ajah
  • The White Tower & Warders's Yellow Ajah
  • The White Tower & Warders's Lecture Hall
  • Mafia Games's Mafia Board
  • The Kin's Topics
  • The Kin's Kin Forum
  • Entertainment Club's Entertainment Games
  • Entertainment Club's Entertainment Discussions

Product Groups

  • Robert Jordan eBooks
  • Brandon Sanderson eBooks
  • Jason Denzel eBooks
  • ** Tor eBooks **
    • Tor.com short fiction
    • Classic Titles
    • Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Dan Wells
    • John Scalzi
    • Steven Erikson
    • Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert
    • Orson Scott Card
    • Peter Orullian
    • David Farland
    • George R.R. Martin
    • Jacqueline Carey
    • Jo Walton
    • Daniel Abraham
    • Elizabeth Bear
    • Piers Anthony
    • Cherie Priest
    • L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
    • Morgan Llywelyn
    • Kage Baker
    • Charles Stross
    • Cory Doctorow
    • Fred Saberhagen
    • Glen Cook
    • Steven Brust
    • Robert J. Sawyer
    • David B. Coe
    • Charles de Lint
    • Larry Niven
    • Felix Gilman
    • Jay Lake
    • Gene Wolfe
    • Elizabeth Haydon
    • Ed Greenwood
    • Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
    • David Weber
    • R. A. Salvatore
    • Terry Goodkind
    • Melanie Rawn
    • Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Robert A. Heinlein
    • Mercedes Lackey
    • Isaac Asimov
    • V.E. Schwab
  • Tor.com short fiction
  • New eBook Releases
  • Upcoming eBook Titles
  • Wheel of Time Re-Read
  • Independent eBook Titles
  • Bundled Deals
  • Wheel of Time Jewelry
    • Silver
    • Gold
    • Bronze

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Categories

  • Books and eBooks
    • The Eye of the World
    • The Great Hunt
    • The Dragon Reborn
    • The Shadow Rising
    • The Fires of Heaven
    • Lord of Chaos
    • A Crown of Swords
    • The Path of Daggers
    • Winter's Heart
    • Crossroads of Twilight
    • Knife of Dreams
    • The Gathering Storm
    • Towers of Midnight
    • A Memory of Light
    • New Spring
  • Community & Events
    • JordanCon
    • DragonCon
  • TV Show
  • DM Website news
  • 4th Age Podcast
  • Fantasy Reviews
  • Fan Art Friday
  • Theory Blog
  • Rotating Features
  • Humor Blog
  • People
    • Harriet McDougal
    • Brandon Sanderson
    • Robert Jordan
    • Jason Denzel
  • Graphic Novels
  • Audio Books
  • Merchandise
  • Video News

Categories

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Found 24 results

  1. Rhya halted abruptly at the edge of the village, bending to remove boots and socks with uncharacteristic impatience. The previous day seemed to have left her with a bone deep feeling of constraint. She wasn't quite sure how to get rid of it...how to regain the freedom of spirit normally provided by the Stedding. She wiggled her toes on the soft carpet of the forest, breathing deeply of the scent of pine needles and stretched her arms high, elongating her spine in a satisfying stretch before padding off in the direction of the tree house with a sigh of relief. The trip back to the Stedding from the cave that morning had been a trial despite being all downhill. The atmosphere had been more than a little tense. What sleep she'd been able to get overnight proved insufficient as a restorative, leaving her with a lack of energy, a brain that wouldn't function and a very much lowered mood. Conversation had been somewhat desultory as a result and they were no sooner home than Rhya went straight to bed. When she eventually woke some hours later, considerably more herself, she didn't know for sure where Owen had gone but his office seemed most likely. No doubt to deal with some of the usual mountains of paperwork that awaited him there. Rhya had taken herself off to visit Aislyn, always her port in a storm. The older woman had become something of a cross between older sister and favourite aunt; a vessel for Rhya to pour all her troubles in and, in return, gain much needed insight, wisdom, and practical advice. Today had been no different and the Sage had lavished comfort and food on her, then forced Rhya to look at her recent reactions and assumptions carefully, and to consider whether there could be another interpretation. If there was, Rhya couldn't see it; she was nothing if not stubborn when she got the bit between her teeth, but Aislyn had at least planted doubt. Enough doubt that Rhya was still thinking everything over through the afternoon as she worked on her herb garden, becoming more unsettled with each passing hour. Unable to concentrate on her work, she headed indoors to prepare their evening meal instead. Whatever the truth, all she wanted was to talk to Owen, to get rid of the wrongness that was suffocating her. As if thinking of him had the power to summon him, she heard his voice drift up from ground level as he conversed with another and stiffened slightly, uncertain for once as to what Owen was thinking or feeling and of how she should proceed. For all her internal debate, she hadn't truly considered just how to broach the subject or how to explain herself.
  2. 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
  3. Burrich maneuvered his way around buildings and people as he ran through the Stedding from the Ranger training grounds to the inn. As a Guardian he'd been invited to move into the Ranger barracks, but he had an Ogier-size bed at the inn so he'd decided to stay there until he could find or build a place of his own. As he ran people and wolves alike dodged out of his way, looks of worry and curiosity creasing their faces as they wondered what could send the gentle giant running with such concern on his face. Many called out to him, but in his haste he didn't even hear them until he was well past. He didn't slow down until he had barrelled through the door to the Hole in the Wall and saw Storm Hunter and Snowpaws look up in alarm from their place in the corner by one of the fireplaces. The beautiful black she-wolf with the white paws lay surrounded by two-day old pups hapily suckling away, while the giant gray male sat a silent guard over his family. Storm jumped to his feet when he saw Burrich, concern flooding the array of images he sent the man's way. 'Are we attacked Little Brother?' Burrich rushed to assure his brother, 'No, no, I'm sorry I upset you so. You can relax, your mate and her pups are safe, Brother. We are not under attack.' Buurich's words though did nothing to soothe his friend. 'Then tell me what has awakened your anger Mountain's Fury. I've never seen you like this.' Burrich replied as he walked up the stairs to his room. 'I was training with Owen and some others when a message came from the Watchers. A Wanderer is experiencing an especially difficult Howling. His village has locked him up and plan to execute him for being a shadowspawn or darkfriend, they aren't even sure which to accuse him of being. Owen sent me back to exchange practice lathes for my real weapons and gear and to gather food for the journey from the inn. I should be back soon, don't worry.' He took the back stairs from his room to go through the kitchen and store-rooms on the way back to the front door. When he got there he found Storm waiting patiently and looking as though he planned to go along. 'Storm, thank you, but we both know Snow can't leave the pups yet. Who will hunt for her if you leave with me?' Storm gave him a look that spoke volumes about how silly he thought the question was and then sent, 'We are pestered constantly by both two-legs and four-legs with offers to help care for the little ones. This is a large pack we're a part of now Mountain, I have no need to worry, Snow and the pups will be well taken care of. It is our duty to protect the pack, even those who don't yet know they are.' Burrich had no argument to offer and he didn't want to leave the wolf behind anyway so together the two of them headed back to the Ranger barracks. By the time they arrived Owen had gathered the rest of the rescue party and they were soon ready to leave. OOC: I wasn't sure if we'd be taking horses or not cus even though they would be faster I didn't know how comfortable the rest of the party would be with riding. If we do take horses, maybe somebody else could have saddled and brought midnight out for Burrich since he was gathering food for everyone? Midnight is a dark black stallion and the only horse in the Stedding large enough to hold him. Thanks!
  4. Kai woke up. Blinking sleep away, she tried to focus. It was dark, she was outside and it was raining. “Perfect,” she mumbled, and closed her eyes. Pillowing her head in her hands she tried to fall back asleep, too weary to get up and return to her hut. But she couldn't sleep. Hunger gnawed at her stomach, her throat felt raw, and the rainfall was heavy. Rolling on her back, Kai opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue. The rain was cold and tasted sweet. Hunger... Thirst... Confusion... Drink from running stream... Eat deer... Full belly... Feeling of warm sunshine on fur... The feelings and images raced through her mind, but they weren't her thoughts. Over and over, the strange thoughts came, just as they had come for days. Kai opened her eyes and looked around, desperate to find something to focus on, something real. Her hut. It wasn't that far off. She could see it, only about 200 paces away. Her eyes locked on the sight, and she stood up. Hut... Running... Kai began to hum, trying to chase the stray thoughts away, humming had worked before. She headed for the hut, trying not to stumble. Reaching the door she stopped. A wolf stood in the center of the small room. “It's not real,” Kai said, squeezing her eyes shut. “It's not really there. It's not really there. It's not really there.” When she open her eyes again, the wolf was staring back, his yellow eyes unblinking. “You're not real.” Kai took a step forward, then another towards the beast. “A real wolf would run or growl.” The wolf didn't move. Hunt rabbit... eat... You are not real.” She reached out a hand, gasping when she touched the wolf's head and felt fur beneath her fingers. The wolf wagged its tail. Kai fainted, landing in a heap on the floor. The wolf buried his nose in her hair, her armpit, smelling. The two legs was weak, had been starving herself for days. He had tried to convince her to eat, to show her that everything would be all right, that he did not want her to die. But she would not listen to him. Others were coming though. They would try. He walked to the door of the hut and lay down to wait.
  5. The day had started out innocuously enough. She’d woken early, unable to sleep any longer and, as soon as she’d washed and dressed, had made a strong cup of tea before padding on bare feet out to the balcony. Curling up on her usual pile of cushions, Rhya sat in the half light of dawn watching the sun rise. She liked this time of day, often finding that the myriad colours washing the sky simultaneously washed clean any troubles weighing on her mind. It was not, however, working on this occasion. She was restless, filled with an urgent need to be doing something... anything. Had been for days in fact. She was happy with her own company, enjoyed the solitude and peace that surrounded the tree house. No-one bothered her here save for the occasional visitor looking for Owen and nine times out of ten that suited her just fine. Unfortunately, this day wasn’t one of those nine and she suddenly craved company. Not just any company either as she didn’t know many people here in the Stedding. Mostly my own fault, she thought but still couldn’t dredge up the slightest interest in making any effort in that direction. She missed Maradon, missed the hustle and bustle of the town’s streets where there was ample company without actually having to speak to anyone. Her days had gone from being filled with meetings, trips to the warehouses, doing the accounts and attending social engagements to... essentially nothing... which explained why she looked forward so much to those evening interludes talking to Owen or listening to him play his flute. Her mouth curved in amusement at that thought. More often than not though he was busy with some business or other about the Stedding, off doing the Light alone knew what and she was left to her own devices. She’d had no complaints about that. Until now. Working fingers through her heavy mane of hair to comb out the knots which managed to mysteriously form overnight, Rhya’s eyes dropped to the clearing below the balcony, knowing that Owen should be returning shortly. He ran every morning with his fellow Rangers so he’d informed her a few days after her arrival and she wondered if he ever actually slept. She wasn’t a great sleeper herself but when she did it was as one dead and nothing short of the house falling down around her would wake her up. Suddenly impatient with herself and exasperated by her mood, Rhya stood up and headed back indoors. By the time Owen walked in, she had rinsed her cup and was busily tidying the kitchen area in an attempt to distract herself. “Good morning, Rhya.” “It is? I hadn’t noticed,” she replied with heavy sarcasm, ignoring the raised eyebrow and slight amusement on his face. “Got out of bed the wrong side did we?” She turned briefly, scowling at him, even more irritated that he was so unperturbed by her evident grumpiness. “I got out of bed just fine thank you very much. We can’t all be morning people. Sleep is good for you, you should try it some time.” She knew she was being churlish but the words were out before she could stop them and she bit her lower lip in consternation as she went back to wiping the work bench. It wasn’t Owen’s fault after all. “Alright Rhya what’s wrong?” his tone was as laced with amusement as his previous question and she sighed, throwing the cloth into the sink and turning to face him. The grin on his face had her smiling back ruefully. “I’m sorry. I’m just going a little crazy and it’s not doing much for my manners,” she explained, blushing slightly. She paused a moment then carried on, “I know you’re really busy Owen, but I need to get out of here. You’ve never taken me with you when you go anywhere and... well, I don’t know the area myself and since I lost my horse I can’t go riding and if I don’t do something soon I’m going to burst... but I’ll understand if you can’t of course.... She trailed off, looking at him hopefully.
  6. Continued from here for Rhya: 1,000 Points of Light From outside Owen’s treehouse the sound of a gale blowing and rain lashing the windowpane meant that Owen had decided to start the herb lesson indoors. He was teaching both Rhya and Zie how to recognise the various herbs that were used to heal various injuries and illnesses. In front of Owen, on a small table was a selection of herbs, herbs used for healing any manner of ills. As Owen was contemplating the display of herbs in front of him, Rhya and Zie waited patiently for him to say something. Looking up at them. Owen started to explain what the lesson today was about and then handed the various herbs first to Zie and asked her to pass them on to Rhya, letting them get a good look at them, a feel for their various textures and in some cases their identifying smells. “Now the first one I want you to learn to recognise is Flatwort. This can be used to relieve fatigue, and also clear your head, if say you have got a headache, or have been knocked out.” Owen handed over the Flatwort and then went on to explain it was best mixed in with a cup of Tea. “Another herb that has the same properties is Andilay Root. If you cannot find any Flatwort then as long as you can find Andilay Root you will be able to use it the same way.” Owen then started to discuss, further, the two herbs with Zie and Rhya and even sliced them up to see what they would look like when prepared. Once they indicated they were certain they would recognise them, Owen moved on to the next two herbs he wanted them to memorise. "This is referred to as either Grey Fennel, or Powdered Peach Pit, it is one and the same, but is very poisonous when ingested, either in a powder form or like this." He tossed the seed to Zie and wiped his hands. “Not all herbs are used for a good purpose, unfortunately there are many who will use the deadly ones for purposes that all decent people would never think of doing.” Seeing the look on their faces Owen continued quickly. “It is important we know as many herbs as possible, only then can we guard against their effects.” Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader OOC: I hate herb lessons so the quicker we do this the quicker we can move on to something more interesting*g*
  7. “So you see it is not so hard to do but you do need to pay attention .If you do not you run the risk of catching a finger in the blade and that means goodbye to the finger.” Owen was demonstrating how to make a quarterstaff to a small group of Guardians. Although they all carried enough weapons top outfit a small army there was always times when even this vast an armoury would run out and one needed to use what one could find. “Obviously we do not always have access to equipment such as you see here, but if you can find a good straight length of wood and a knife, you can over come that and produce a passable quarterstaff.” Owen finished what he was doing and held it up so that everyone could see what he was on about. “Now your task for the rest of the day is to take only a knife, whatever knife you have with you, and go in search of a stout length of wood and return here no later than sundown with your finished quarterstaff.” Realisation hit the group as they contemplated a journey through the forest in the pouring rain. It was not the sort of day to be outside, nor was it the sort of weather to be hunting that elusive tree branch. But as Owen had often told them when they had complained, they were not Aes Sedai, and they were not able to control the weather. That meant they had to be able to do what was necessary come what may. Slowly they trouped out of the shed they were in, and Owen and John collected all their weapons, even those that were hidden, which the two Rangers always managed to find, and made their way into the sodden forest in search their ever-elusive quarry. Once John had departed, to keep a wary eye on the group, Owen returned to the workbench but instead of settling down to continue his work he spoke in a soft voice, “You can come out now, they have all gone and no one will disturb us.” Owen was not entirely sure who it was that had been spying on the lesson he had been teaching, but their scent was familiar and as she stepped out from the gloom of the shed he smiled to himself. “So would you mind telling me why you were skulking back there and why I should not turn you over to the Sages to show you the error of your ways?” There was no threat in his words, if anything the over riding emotions was amusement. The lesson this day had not been anything that he would not have gladly taught to anyone who had asked so by hiding out, this miscreant had not learned anything secret. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader
  8. Owen’s smile matched the others as they saw Cham’s reaction to his entrance to the Stedding. It was this moment, this change that made all the trials and tribulations worthwhile. “Yes Cham you are home, you have just breached the barrier that surrounds the Stedding. Beyond this barrier is home and safety. But, we still have a few hours of travel ahead of us so shall we be on our way?” With a big grin on his face, Cham fell in besides Owen with the other Rangers following behind. As they made their way through the trees Owen explained how the Stedding was ringed by the Wolves and the Rangers, with help from the Guardians, and that it was these that ensured the safety of the Wolfkin, “It is virtually impossible to gain access to the Stedding without one of the groups providing warning, that and the fact that no one can channel within the boundaries make this a very safe place.” It took just over three hours for the group to traverse the forest and finally reach the outskirts of the where the Wolfkin made their home. The first building they came across was Wolflover’s cabin, it was the outer most dwelling and Wolflover had only recently returned to the Stedding and re-occupied it. Not long after that they came to a clearing and this signalled the beginning of the area the Wolfkin lived in. The main building here was the infirmary and it was to this that Owen led Cham after saying goodbye to John and Lorelai. “In here you will be checked over by Miryana, the leader of our Sages. She will make sure you are in good health and offer you a place to stay until you are ready to find a place of your own. When that day does arrive, you can count on any of us to help you move and only have to let us know that you want our help.” Owen opened the door to the Infirmary and led Cham inside. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader
  9. Continued from: Sage Check Up Rhya had been staying at Owen’s treehouse for a number of weeks and had seemed to have settled in well, much to Owen’s surprise, even though Ice had tried on may occasions to tell Owen that she would. At first Owen had felt uneasy about having a female stay in his house, to him it felt like he was betraying the memory of Iris and no amount of remonstrating himself had helped, nor had talking to Wolflover, he just did not feel anyone could truly understand his feelings for Iris. But, much to his astonishment, Owen had come to appreciate Rhya’s company, she was quiet, but loved to talk. She was not messy and seemed to understand that there were times when he needed to be alone. This helped Owen to come to terms with her precense much easier than he thought he would. There was still the odd occasion where he felt awkward around her, and there had been that embarrassing morning when he had totally forgotten she was there and had wandered out of his bedroom totally sans clothes only to be scared witless by her scream of fright. But other than that the two of them had settled into a comfortable relationship. However that relationship would now be tested to the utmost as Owen had decided it was time for Rhya to learn to master her new abilities and tonight was to be her first lesson. Owen and Rhya had taken to spending their evenings on the veranda that ran around the outside of his home, sometimes talking sometimes Rhya would patiently listen to Owen’s flute playing, which was a lot better than he realised, or anyone would tell him. Owen had broached the subject of training Rhya but had not pushed himself forward as her mentor. He had offered his services if she wanted to take him up on it or find another mentor was entirely her decision. However she had decided to take Owen up on his offer and so this night was to be her first in learning the mysteries of the Wolf Dream. “Now before we begin I have to warn you that entering the Dream before you are prepared can be very dangerous. What happens to you there can affect you in the waking world. You can just as easily die there as you could here, and if you die there you die here as well, there is no second chance.” Owen did not want to scare Rhya but she had to understand this was not without it’s hazards. Glancing at her face, Owen was beginning to wonder if she was up to this, but eventually Rhya nodded her head for him to continue and Owen then started to explain to her how to enter the Dream. “The first step is to enter the Dream itself. Don’t let it bother you if it does not happen at first. It is difficult at best to make yourself fall asleep. The best way is to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes." Owen watched as eventually Rhya did as he said. . "Do not try to force it. Just relax and drift. Feel your muscles relaxing; you’re breathing easing. Focus on the wolves, and moving to a spiritual place." Owen kept his voice soft and quiet, not wanting to disturb Rhya’s concentration. Soon her breathing slowed and her body, visible, relaxed, slumping where she sat. Owen waited a moment, making sure she really was asleep, then Owen closed his eyes and stepped into the dream world. Owen had selected the cottage where Wolflover lived as their meeting place and he emerged from the surrounding trees to wait for Rhya to make an appearance. As he sat on the bench, Ice came over to him and nuzzled his hand. Owen scratched behind her ears, and the two of them talked until Rhya popped into the Dream. Owen The White Wolf Ranger Leader
  10. Owen's Post: Owen had arranged to meet Speed an hour after sundown, in his home, knowing how he was about punctuality, Speed arrived at the appointed time and after they had exchanged some small talk, Owen led him outside to the small balcony that ringed his home. “I always like to conduct dream lessons outside if I can, for some reason I find it too claustrophobic in doors.” Seating himself on the wooden floor, Owen indicated Speed should sit opposite him. “Now before we begin I have to warn you that entering the Dream before you are prepared can be very dangerous. What happens to you there can affect you in the waking world. You can just as easily die there as you could here, and if you die there you die here as well, there is no second chance.” Owen did not want to scare Speed, but he had to understand this was not without it’s hazards. Glancing at his face, Owen was beginning to wonder if anything could scare Speed, such was the confidence of youth. Owen then started to explain to him how to enter the Dream. “The first step is to enter the Dream itself. Don’t let it bother you if it does not happen at first. It is difficult at best to make yourself fall asleep. The best way is to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes." Owen watched as Speed did as he said. "Do not try to force it. Just relax and drift. Feel your muscles relaxing; you’re breathing easing. Focus on the wolves, and moving to a spiritual place." Owen kept his voice soft and quiet, not wanting to disturb Speed’s concentration. Soon his breathing slowed and his body, visable, relaxed, slumping where he sat. Owen waited a moment, making sure he really was asleep, then Owen closed his eyes and stepped into the dream world. Owen had selected the cottage where Wolflover lived as their meeting place and he emerged from the surrounding trees to wait for Speed to make an appearance. As he sat on the bench, Ice came over to him and nuzzled his hand. Owen scratched behind her ears, and the two of them talked until Speed popped into the Dream. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader
  11. Owen had arranged to meet Zierna, a new Wanderer, at his house, an hour before, and was patiently sitting on the balcony of his tree house rewrapping the leather bindings on his sword hilt, when he was hailed from below. Getting up from his chair, Owen leaned over the balcony and shouted down to Zierna to come on up. The climb up to his house was not difficult, but could be unnerving seeing as his house was built in one of the tallest, and largest, trees in the forest. Eventually Zierna reached the balcony and Owen invited her to sit down in the chair opposite him and Owen poured her a mug of tea and refreshed his own, after putting his sword down. “Now before we begin I have to warn you that entering the Dream before you are prepared can be very dangerous. What happens to you there can affect you in the waking world. You can just as easily die there as you could here, and if you die there you die here as well, there is no second chance.” Glancing at her face, Owen could see that Zierna was slightly confused, but this was to be expected, as this was here first lesson in the Wolf Dream. “It is easier to show you than to explain to you but first you need to know how to enter the Dream Don’t let it bother you if it does not happen at first. It is difficult at best to make yourself fall asleep. The best way is to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes." After a moment’s hesitation Zierna did as he said. . "Do not try to force it. Just relax and drift. Feel your muscles relaxing; you’re breathing easing. Focus on this balcony and me." Owen kept his voice soft and quiet, not wanting to disturb Zierna’s concentration. Soon her breathing slowed and her body relaxed, slumping where she sat. Owen waited a moment, making sure she really was asleep, then he closed his eyes and stepped into the dream world. Owen had deliberately selected his home as the place for them to meet in the Dream World, as it was an easy place to memorise. As he sat on his chair, Ice came out from the house and nuzzled his hand. Owen scratched behind her ears, and the two of them talked until Zierna popped into the Dream. Owen The White Wolf Ranger Leader Zierna was nervous, she was starting her training with Owen in the wolf dream which was strange just by its self since she had never known that it existed. Following the instructions she was given it took her a little while to find Owens home, she would have found it sooner if she had just looked up on a few occasions. She shouted up to him when she finally realised where his home was and almost laughed when his head popped over the side of balcony and told her to come on up. She looked around and finally found how to get up there and climbed up to where he was at and sat down when he motioned her to. She took a sip of the tea he gave her and listened to him intently, there was so much that she still did not know and she did not want to do any thing wrong. “Now before we begin I have to warn you that entering the Dream before you are prepared can be very dangerous. What happens to you there can affect you in the waking world. You can just as easily die there as you could here, and if you die there you die here as well, there is no second chance.” His warning about the wolf dream gave her pause, she could understand why concentration was so important the smallest thing could cause large problems. It was just hard to actually visualise what he meant by it being a danger, his next words confirmed what she was thinking. “It is easier to show you than to explain to you but first you need to know how to enter the Dream Don’t let it bother you if it does not happen at first. It is difficult at best to make yourself fall asleep. The best way is to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes." When it was time for her to try and enter the wolf dream she closed her eyes and relaxed, allowing her breathing to slow. She could still hear Owen talking but it seemed more soothing and helped her to fall in to a sleeping state, what she was not ready for was popping in to the dream on the balcony and seeing Owen sitting there already. Startled she woke up and grumbled, there seemed to be a smile on Owens face that she ignored and tried to fall in to a sleep again. This time it was easier for her to fall asleep and when she popped in to the dream she kinda knew what to expect and seeing Owen sitting there did not brake her concentration. She gave him a small smile and then took the time to really look around, every thing seemed so different. There was light every where but it did not seem to be coming form any real source and that was not some thing that seemed normal. In some cases the colors were more vivid that she had to shield her eyes occasionally at the brightness. It was some thing that had never happened to her, having her eyes be sensitive to colors normally it was just the light that was a problem. Relaxing she was not aware that her clothing seemed to be changing from one color to another while Owen's stayed as they were the whole time. " It would be hard to believe that the wolf dream is real unless you have actually been in side of it and seen what it looks like. It is almost hard to tell the difference accept for the light that seems to be coming form every where and no where at the same time. Is it always like this?" Zie Owen watched as Zierna looked around, her reaction was typical of someone who was in the Dream for the first time, and it never failed to amaze Owen at the reaction they showed. It truly was a thing of wonder to enter, and the more you learned here the more wonderment you could find. But as with anything good, there was also danger, and that was enhanced in the Dream more so than in the real world, and the dangers here were much greater for the unprepared. “It can be many things here, but there is always an ethereal quality to the Dream, we have to be careful to not let our curiosity get the better of us here, that can lead us into danger, sometimes that danger is so great it can cause us real harm, before we are aware of what is happening.” Owen stopped talking, allowing what he had said to sink in. Warnings were not always heeded by Wanderers, they had so much to learn in such a short period of time and many of them tried to run before they knew how to walk. “In the Dream control is everything, and that is what you are going to learn first. Your first lesson will be to control your clothing, at the moment your emotions are interfering with your control. That is why you clothing flickers like it does. Now you need to hold an image of your self, and how you want to look, in your mind. Once you learn to do this then this will not be possible.” To illustrate what he meant,Owen concentrated for a moment, and suddenly Zierna’s clothing solidified into something that he was sure she would not normally wear, not even in her wildest dreams. “Check your clothes now, Zierna, I think you might be a little bit over dressed for this occasion.” Owen had changed her clothes, and appearance, into something a Domani woman would have been shocked to wear in public, so shear was it. Owen did his best to suppress a smile at her reaction, but he did not try very hard. “This is your first lesson Zierna, and for now I want you to try and change your clothes and your appearance back to how you want. Concentrate on how you want to appear here, your clothes and your hair. Picture yourself in your mind and fix that image there. It will take you some time to be able to do this without conscious thought, but we have plenty of time for you to practice.” Owen The White Wolf Ranger Leader “In the Dream control is everything, and that is what you are going to learn first. Your first lesson will be to control your clothing, at the moment your emotions are interfering with your control. That is why you clothing flickers like it does. Now you need to hold an image of your self, and how you want to look, in your mind. Once you learn to do this then this will not be possible.” There was something about what he said that caused her to pause, what couldn't happen? She knew that her clothing was changing, flickering between color and style of clothing regularly. While Owens clothes were constant and never changed unless he wanted them to change. Every time he talked about the dangers he spoke of control and staying in control of your emotions and thoughts. “Check your clothes now, Zierna, I think you might be a little bit over dressed for this occasion.” She looked at herself and blushed bright red, in all her years she had never thought that what she was wearing would ever be warn by any one. The only thought that made her blush even more was that Anton might like it, suddenly she understood his warnings, in the dream the smallest lack of control could cause major problems or even embarrassment. In this case it left her red in the cheeks and Owen not even bothering to hide his amusement. “This is your first lesson Zierna, and for now I want you to try and change your clothes and your appearance back to how you want. Concentrate on how you want to appear here, your clothes and your hair. Picture yourself in your mind and fix that image there. It will take you some time to be able to do this without conscious thought, but we have plenty of time for you to practice.” Zierna sat there for a moment and built the picture in her mind of what she looked like and how her clothes were normally. Once the picture was there she concentrated to try and change what she was wearing, at first nothing happened. Realizing that Owen had more practice she knew that it was going to take a few tries to undo what he had done to her. Closing her eyes she tried again, the picture came to her easier this time but she only managed to change just her pants. Sighing she tried again, the picture was easy and she worked harder on keeping the image and changing every thing back at the same time. Again she managed to get half of her self changed back to normal but she was not going to give up, there had to be away to get all of herself in the right clothes. With each try she as getting better, more of her would change back to the original version. It took only about three more tries and she was able to get all of her to match the picture in her head, once she did it she practiced a few more times with changing color before stopping and looking over at Owen. " It's harder that it looks to keep your clothes set to where you want them but I think I have the hang of it. Practice seems to make it easier but some things seem harder than others, especially when some one else changes it." She started practicing again changing small things and then larger things about herself and her clothes. After a while it was fun to see what all she could do and the combinations that she could come up with, some made her laugh while others made her blush. Soon her clothes changed again back to her original set of clothes and stayed that way, she still had to work at it some to keep it that way but it was getting easier. Zie Owen watched Zierna intently as she tried to change her clothes to the ones she wanted. It took a while, with many false starts, until she was absolutely satisfied with her appearance. But just as Owen was about to compliment Zierna on her performance her clothing changed, suddenly she was clad in armour, from head to toe. Owen waited until she had noticed this and Zierna had changed her clothes back to what she wanted. “What caused that Zierna?” Looking slightly abashed Zierna said it had been a stray memory from her past that had caused the sudden change.” Actually that is a good example of what I have been saying. Concentration is everything here, if we allow ourselves to be distracted, even momentarily, we can be taken by surprise. Of all the lessons you will learn with us, the lessons you learn here could be the most important, please bear that in mind.” Zierna looked crestfallen at Owen’s admonition of her, but she realised he was not being spiteful; merely helping her to understand this new environment she was in. Owen stood up, after Zierna had assured him she would try harder in future, Owen indicated that she should walk with him. “The next part of this lesson is slightly more difficult, but again at its core is control.” Owen showed Zierna a rock he had picked up. “Now what I want you to do is try and change this rock to something else, what it is, is up to you.” Just then the rock in Owen’s hand changed into a lifelike image of a woman, complete with golden eyes. “Now obviously your first attempt will not be like this one, so I suggest you try something simple for now and see how you get on.” Owen handed the now normal looking rock to Zierna. “Now just picture an every day object, or an object that is very important to you, hold that focus as intently as you can, and aim it at the rock. This is not an easy task for someone who is inexperienced in the levels of concentration needed, but it is a task that helps one to learn the concentration needed to survive here. Owen The White Wolf Ranger Leader She was still thinking over her slip when Owen started talking about her next lesson, realising that what she had done was a challenge this next one was even more so. To be able to keep her clothes the same was just a matter of concentration and know what you wanted to look like, this was changing some thing in the dream world so that it was what you wanted it to be. Before even trying she thought about the different ways to aim and send your thoughts at some thing out side your mind which was not an easy thing since she had never thought about it. How was she going to get it done, it was probably some thing simple but required a lot of concentration. Looking at the rock she tried to get it to change in to some thing simple at first, her favorite flower, but nothing happened to it while she stood there. Chewing on her lip a little she tried harder picturing the flower with great detail in her mind again, this time she felt a small tug and it wavered slightly before staying a rock. The more she tried the more it would shift but not stay how she wanted it to, rethinking the way that she was trying to get it to stay she came up with an idea. It could almost be though of as hunting, make your thoughts in to an arrow shoot them in to the object in order to change it. Wondering if it would work and stay that way she tried again to get the rock to change, this time it stayed changed in to a flower. The only thing that was off was the color and when she tried to adjust it went back to being a rock. It was a lot harder than it looked but now she was starting to see what she had to do and the concentration to took to be in the dream world and make changes to it or keep your own clothing from changing. She was proud of herself when it came to her clothing, that at least had not change from what she had set it to be before they started the next lesson. Going back to the task at hand she continued to practice making the rock change in to her flower, after a short time it was easier but on occasion she still had to start over. Slowly she started to expand the image by adding to it, the leaves were harder to get to come in as she wanted them. The shadowing on them never seemed to be just right when it was a completed image in her mind. Working on it at a steady pace she was able to get the leaves and the flower to come in perfectly, not realizing that it was several hours later. " Every thing that you learn here is some thing that you have to practice, once you get the general idea of how it has to be perfecting it and adding more detail comes with time. How long can you stay in the wolf dream? Is there any thing bad that can happen if you are in here to long?" Zie Zierna’s first attempt only lasted a few seconds and it was a flickering image not a solid one, this was to be expected, Owen was trying to get Zierna to master one of the more difficult and important skills the Wolfkin had to learn. Controlling now only your appearance, but the environment around you was essential in the Dream, and the more practice you had the more chance there was that you would survive in the Dream. Owen allowed Zierna to continue trying and she made small improvements with each effort, until finally she was able to make a flower appear. As this changed back to the rock she turned to Owen: “Every thing that you learn here is some thing that you have to practice, once you get the general idea of how it has to be perfecting it and adding more detail comes with time. How long can you stay in the wolf dream? Is there any thing bad that can happen if you are in here to long?" “It is not a good idea to remain here too long, our bodies do not get as much rest when we are here, as they would do were we not here. This can creep up on someone and sooner rather than later, they will start exhibiting the effects of fatigue. Although the dream is a wonderful place, it has its price and there is no avoiding that I am afraid.” Owen stopped talking, considering her the other part of her question, there was a lot that could go wrong if you stayed in here too long, but he did not want to scare her away with any horror stories. “As well as the fatigue issue, the longer we are in here the more energy we expend, that means we need to eat more to help replenish that energy, if we are to be able to function properly in the waking world. I was once told that for every hour we spend in here, we lose two hours of proper sleep. It is something for you to consider when entering the dream.” Owen had Zierna practice for a while longer then announced that the lesson was over for the night and that they would resume the next night. “Meet me here an hour after sundown and we will continue then, good night Zierna.” With that Owen sent her back to her own body and then went about his own business in the Dream world. On their last night in the dream, Owen and Zierna were walking along a tree covered path, the branches of the trees forming a canopy above their heads and the light around them had a green tinge to it because of this. As they walked further along the path, Ice disappeared without Zierna noticing and quickly the female wolf made her way through the trees, knowing exactly what White Fang wanted her to do. Eventually she found a spot that would allow their plan to work, and made her way into the lower branches of the tree, laying full length along a branch and watching the trail. Eventually, Owen and Zierna came into view, the trail here had narrowed and Ice waited for Owen to pass before pouncing on Zierna as she passed under the branch Ice was on. The weight of the wolf bore Zierna to the ground, and as Ice stood on her chest, her long red tongue came out and started to lick at Zierna’s face. All the time this was happening Owen stood off to one side, a smile on his face, although he and Ice played this trick many times, it never failed to make him smile as he observed the reactions from the one who had been pounced upon. Owen The White Wolf Ranger Leader It was not surprise that Zie felt a little tired as she walked towards Owen's home, being in the dream really did mean less sleep but it was still fun to learn about it. He was right about not getting enough sleep if you spent too much time in the world of dreams you started to miss getting a full night’s sleep. Her mind was on other things as she moved, wondering what she might learn tonight as they moved though the world of dreams. Control was some thing she was actually starting to get better at; nothing seemed to change her clothes once she had them set on entering the dream. Although she was not sure if a shock would cause her to falter, it was not as if she had any way to check that thought or prove one way or another. In no time at all she was in the dream world and walking next to Owen, and for the first time they were just there. She thought it was a little odd that he was not explaining what the lesson was or telling her some thing important about the dream world. It was the first time she was able to relax some what while being in the dream world, as soon as she did there was a change in the feeling of the dream. A sense of peace and harmony, being one with the dream which was some thing she had not felt before this night. With a smile on her face she turned to ask Owen about what she was feeling when a shocked cry escaped her instead. One moment she was walking along and the next she was flat on her back with a large wolf sitting on her chest. Her first reaction was to try and protect herself but it happened to fast for her to actually do any thing about it. Surprise was written all over her face as she landed and was licked by a very long tongue. At least she had the answer to her earlier question, a smile came over her face as she realized that her clothes had not changed. Looking at Owen she could see that he was watching to see what her reaction was, and she was proud of herself since she did not panic. “Would you mind getting off me?” The wolf just looked at her, sighing her eyes went back to Owens and she waited for him to do some thing. The wolf that was happily sitting on her had to be one of his, the amusement she saw on his face was enough to have her pushing at her licker. Zie Owen was impressed by Zierna’s control, not every Wanderer he taught showed such control so early on in their training and once Ice had stopped showing her appreciation for Zierna Owen helped the young girl to her feet and the two of them, accompanied by Ice, continued their walk along the trail. As they walked along, Owen continued to talk about the Wolfdream and explained as much as he thought was prudent about how things worked here. He realised that a lot of what he was talking about must have seemed very strange to her, but he reckoned that she was a fast learner and could possibly be one of the few of his students who could grasp what he was talking about without then going off and getting into trouble by trying to [i[run[/i] before they could walk. There was one more lesson that Owen had for Zierna this night, and as they walked the trail grew narrower and so Owen let Zierna take the lead. As she passed through the narrowest point in the trial, the trees on either side forcing her to squeeze through the narrow gap, Owen hung back, knowing exactly what was going to happen. It only took a moment before Owen heard Zierna’s cry of alarm. She was slowly sinking into the ground, already the quicksand had consumed more than half of her and she seemed to be at a loss as to what to do to escape. Owen knew there was no real danger here, he could easily save, but a test was not a true test if there was not an element of stress involved so he turned hi back to her and started to walk away, wanting her to either ask for his help, or free herself. The first was the most obvious course of action for her, but Owen thought she would only take this route as a last resort. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader
  12. Author Message WhiteWolf Joined: 16 Feb 2006 Location: UK Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:26 am Post subject: Start Something Attn Cham -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen had never been in Murandy before so before he left the Stedding he sought out those of the Wolfkin who had travelled there before, questioning them on the lay of the land and what he could expect from the inhabitants It was the usual tale of prejudice and hatred, but there were isolated areas where a more enlightened attitude existed. This enlightened attitude did only meant the inhabitants were more likely to turn a blind eye to a person with bold eyes rather than report them to the authorities. Owen had been riding for nearly two weeks, pushing both himself and his horse to the limit. It was not a short journey to find this new Wanderer, and as a precaution Owen had taken along a spare mount. He did this for two reasons, one he could switch mounts and thus maintain a greater speed, and the second reason was that he did not know if the Wanderer had a horse. It would take far longer for them to return to the Stedding if one of them were on foot, it would also make dodging any pursuers much harder. Many a time when Owen had been asked to find a Wanderer the Wanderer was running for their life from an enraged mob, or just family members who thought the change in their eyes was a sign of the Dark One. Owen slowed his pace, letting his horse get his wind back, if a horse was ridden hard and not allowed time to let it’s muscles and breathing return to normal it could suffer an injury and in the wilds that would mean only one result. When he was satisfied his current mount had recovered, Owen dismounted and started to remove a couple of bags from the other horse. When he had these secure on the first horse, Owen mounted the second and set off again. As he rode he pulled a lump of cheese, wrapped in grease proof paper, from a bag at his waist, he cut a piece off before replacing the rest in the bag. When he was finished with the cheese Owen took a drink from one of his two water skins and then fished around in the same bag for the hunk of bread he had there. That was his meal, he did not want to spend time building a camp and preparing something hot, there would be time for that later. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader OOC Cham, Owen will not find you until my next post, so in your post just bring us up to date on what you are doing IC,ok? _________________ "So let it be written So let it be done I'm sent here by the chosen one So let it be written So let it be done To kill the first born pharaoh son I'm creeping death" Back to top Doselan Joined: 15 Jun 2007 Location: Alabama Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:24 pm Post subject: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The morning was cool, dew had settled across the ground in the night to form a thin blanket of moisture. Cham was down on all fours slowly putting one foot in front of the other, trying to stay as low to the ground as possible and be careful of the short stick he had in one hand that was sharpened to a fine point. It had been almost a week since his father had disowned him, and even the thought of it still brought him a deep pain, like a weight bearing down on his chest. But the pain that he felt this very moment had nothing to do with that. The pain he was now feeling was the pain of deep hunger, he had not been able to eat anything besides certain leaves and flower petals since he had been here; and those seemed to have less appeal than they used to. Normally under such circumstances he would have hunted with his bow, or set up rabbit snares but when he was banished from the farm, he had not stopped to get anything. He had simply run as fast as he could, hoping he could outrun what he was becoming; a shadowspawn. So he was left with no choice. His father had always said, “When you have nowhere else to turn and nothing left to do, just do.” So, ignoring the sudden heavy sadness that settled upon him, that is just what he did. He had been creeping like this for more than twenty minutes starting at the forests edge and moving out into this small clearing, trying to get as close as possible to his future breakfast, a small doe. She had been grazing on the bushy grasses that grew in the clearing when he first caught her scent from a hundred or so paces away. He now used every bit of stealth he could muster to get close enough to take her down and it was sheer luck that she had not yet looked in his direction. He was now close enough to hear the deer’s slow, steady breaths taken between bites. Just another few paces and he would be able to leap toward the animal. Slowly he let his left hand land on the ground with no sound and began shifting his front weight onto it, feeling a twig that was buried under the grass begin pressing into his palm. When he had enough weight applied to the hand, he lifted his foot and repeated the process until his foot was well in place. And continuing the slow process, he lifted his right hand and began to place it ahead of him when all of a sudden the twig beneath his left gave way and snapped. The noise was not very loud, however it was enough to send the doe’s head into the air quickly to look around, eyes as wide and round as they would go. Seeing him crouched on all fours less than two paces away, the animal leaped into the air and upon landing, bolted into the woods. As soon as the deer had moved, Cham was on his feet in pursuit entering the forest right behind her. He could feel the rush of excitement as the wind blew past his face and the ground seemed to come up to his feet in mutual agreement. Every step was sure and every sense was working at what seemed to be the height of their potential. He was giving this chase his all, dodging around trees, jumping over the large stones that were littered across the forest floor. After what seemed hours of running, Cham felt his body grow tired. If I am to do anything, it must be now. Awkwardly, he pulled the sharpened stick back behind him and with all the strength he could muster, he sent it spinning towards his prey. Cham watched in despair as it struck the animal blunt side first, and bounced off onto the forest floor, which seemed to remind her that someone was giving chase. Suddenly, she almost doubled her speed. Cham tried for a few seconds to pursue, but before he had time to think, the animal was thirty or so paces ahead of him. Cham slowed to a stop and watched his breakfast run out of sight. Anger seemed to envelope him and he knelt down and picked up a stone that was nearly as big as his fist. “You bloody, milk drinking sheep kisser!” he yelled after the deer, throwing the stone in her direction. The stone barely flew anywhere before it struck a tree and tumbled to the ground. He stood for a few seconds before he realized just how out of breath he was. Suddenly feeling very weary, he sank to his knees, and began sucking air into his lungs. Once he had his wind back, he struggled back to his feet and began walking back the way he had come, scanning the ground for his sharpened stick. His hunger pains seemed to have doubled and were now accompanied by a sense of hopelessness that he had never experienced before. Not even on the night that… Once again, his chest felt heavy with sadness at the thought and he let out a long sigh. A moment later, he laid eyes on his stick. He picked it up and examined it to find that it was undamaged as far as he could tell. He took the small stub of a weapon and walked over to a large stone that looked comfortable, and took a seat. What was he to do? He couldn’t go anywhere that people could see him. They would surely know him for shadowspawn the first time they saw his eyes; but if he stayed out here, he would surely die. It might be better for the world that way. The thought distressed him, and seemed to spark anger within him, a spark added to the blaze that was already there. Still sitting he reared back and threw the stick once more. He was about to drop his head onto his hands when he heard a deep, thud. Finding the source of the noise, he stared incredulously at the short length of sharpened stick stuck firmly into the trunk of a nearby tree. The sudden laugh that erupted from Cham’s throat had no mirth in it. _________________ Last edited by Doselan on Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:32 am; edited 2 times in total Back to top WhiteWolf Joined: 16 Feb 2006 Location: UK Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:35 am Post subject: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The light rain that was falling did not help to improve Owen’s mood, that and the mist made navigating a real problem and Owen had to concentrate fully on using all of his enhanced senses to guide his horse through the mist. After what seemed like days, the mist started to lessen as a breeze started to blow leaving tendrils of mist across Owen’s path. The drizzle, however, continued, Owen was thankful for the heavy cloak he wore he kept the majority of him dry, but could not stop him feeling damp. As the afternoon wore on the rain eased and the sun finally made an appearance from behind the clouds, which were now scurrying away to the south. Owen flung back the hood of his cloak and let the late afternoon sunlight bathed his pale, almost luminescent, skin. He shook his head, several times, to work the knots out of his long silvery hair. Owen was an albino and the lack of skin pigmentation combined with his golden eyes made him a fearsome sight to those who did not know him and to some who did. Looking around at the countryside, Owen tried to spy any landmarks that would tell him if he was getting close to where the Wolves had told him the Wanderer was. Owen remembered them describing a large forest that was bordered by a range of hills to the south, and a road to the far north edge of the forest. Owen had crossed that road the night before last and had been steadily moving southwards, now it was time to turn east and enter the forest itself. Owen stood very still, straining his senses to their maximum, he had heard something from up ahead, laughter of all things it seemed. Moving in the direction of the laughter, Owen made every effort to keep himself concealed, he did not know who had made the laughter and did not want to walk into something he could not walk out of. A young man sat on the ground, gazing at something Owen could not see, but it seemed whatever it was it was the source of his amusement. Just then the young man turned his head in Owen’s direction and Owen saw the sunlight gleaming on the young man’s golden eyes. So this is who I am here to meet, I hope this laughter is a good sign and not one that he has gone mad. Stepping out from behind the tree Owen kept his hands away from his body, palms facing the man across from him. “Hello there, my name is Owen, or as the Wolves call me, White Fang. I mean you know harm and only wish to help you. I have been asked to come and find you and explain a few things to you. Can I join you?” Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader OOC: Cham, Owen has left his horses away from where you are, after your next post he will go and retrieve them. _________________ "So let it be written So let it be done I'm sent here by the chosen one So let it be written So let it be done To kill the first born pharaoh son I'm creeping death" Back to top Doselan Joined: 15 Jun 2007 Location: Alabama Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:16 am Post subject: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cham laughed so hard that he fell from the stone he was sitting on and resumed his seat on the leafy ground. He did not understand his laughing, he was neither happy nor amused; he was enraged. But he could not stop this sound from erupting out of him. Am I going bloody mad? The thought scared him greatly. What if he was losing his mind to the shadow? His laughter only grew more uproarious. Suddenly the wind brought him a strange smell and he quickly fell completely silent, spinning his head to look in the direction of the smell. His breath caught in his throat as he saw, standing before him, what could only be a shadowspawn. The tall man-like figure stood there with his pale skin almost glowing in the sunlight and his silver hair that came down below his shoulders seemed to come alive as the light wind lifted and swirled it around; but what was worst of all were the golden eyes that stared out of his pale face, seeming to glow brighter than the rest of him. Cham started as the stranger began to speak in what seemed to be a normal enough voice, if deeper than his own. The stranger said something of wolves but Cham could not make himself hear what was being said, nor could he look away from those golden eyes. One thought was dominant in his mind. The shadow has come for me. Cham leaped to his feet and ran over to the tree, retrieving his sharpened stick. The stranger made a step toward him and he turned to face the man, if man it was indeed, and pointed the sharpened stick in his direction. “Keep away, shadowspawn. I know that they have sent you for me, but I will not become a child of the Shadow! Now leave me be!” He shouted the last words in rage before turning and darting away. Once again he felt the wind rush past him as he ran full speed, but this time the excitement was not there, this time there was only anger and fear. His ears caught the sound of footsteps in the leaves behind him and he glanced back quickly to find that the shadowspawn was following him. “Leave me be!” he shouted over his shoulder without breaking stride, but it kept coming at him and he knew he would soon be caught. Cham quickly veered off to the left and kept running at full speed. The shadowspawn kept pace easily and was not thrown off-kilter one bit. Cham began formulating a plan in his mind. Having grown up in the area, he knew the layout of this forest and knew that somewhere near-by, there was a twenty pace drop off that lead down into the river. He quickly changed his direction so that he would be heading there. He and his friends had grown up daring each other to jump off of the small bluff and into the river. He had come to find out which places were shallow and which were deep, a thing that could not be determined easily from looking at the surface of the water. He was hoping that he would be able to hit one of the deep spots and the shadowspawn would hit a shallow, either breaking it’s leg or worse. After a few minutes, he began to feel a slight weariness and was sure that he could not run much farther. Suddenly he saw the bluff come into view and quickly grew intensely focused. The distance shrank steadily, sixty paces, fifty, forty, thirty; then suddenly, less than ten paces ahead of him, a large grey wolf stepped out from behind some undergrowth and blocked his path as a myriad of pictures flooded into his mind. Shocked, Cham tried to stop and change directions at the same time, and ended up tripping over his own feet. He tumbled to the ground rolled towards the large animal and stopped with his face just inches from it’s snout. He quickly stumbled back and held himself up with his hands. The wolf was like a statue, standing firm in the middle of this forest with a sort of majestic grace that only kings could manage. His legs were each firmly planted on the leafy ground, and his head was held high, and he had peace and unbreakable resolve painted on a face that held the same mystic golden eyes that Cham had recently acquired. It was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. Cham stuttered to himself as his mind tried to form the pictures into words. He saw a huge open meadow with a sky that was covered in dark gray colored clouds. The clouds seemed to swirl while sitting still, to move with grace while standing firm as a rock. Cloudy Sky. Suddenly he saw another image of a creature with only two legs running which then came to a sudden stop and stayed where it was. Before his mind could put pictures to the words he felt a hand descend onto his shoulder and provide a firm grasp that felt oddly comforting. _________________ Back to top WhiteWolf Joined: 16 Feb 2006 Location: UK Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:04 am Post subject: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here we go again, another bloody Wanderer who runs at the first sight of me. If it did not happen with such monotonous regularity, Owen would have smiled at the situation he found himself in. Running through a forest, tracking his quarry, was something that Owen had spent a lot of years doing, and no young cub was going to escape him, even in unfamiliar surroundings. Owen followed Cham, not hurrying nor tarrying, keeping to a pre determined pace that ate up the ground and not his energy and stamina. Owen used his enhanced senses to keep track of Cham, it was not difficult as the young man had no idea how to shield his emotions and that meant Owen could sense almost everything Cham was feeling. Because of this Owen knew Cham was planning something, his scent had changed from frightened to what Owen could only class as scheming. Just then a presence entered his mind and spoke to Owen. Owen introduced himself and as best as he could explained why he was there, thankfully the Wolf knew of White Fang and sent Owen a vision of a female Wolf carrying a cub in her mouth away from a stream. Owen thanked the Wolf and slowed his pace knowing now that Cham would not be able to run much further. Owen found Cham standing stock still in the middle of the trail, his attention totally focused on the large Grey Wolf that stood before him. Owen sensed a feeling of awe that was followed by gratitude? Owen was not sure, but he was glad that the chase had ended sooner rather than later and that neither of them were hurt. Gently he placed his hand on Cham’s shoulder and turned him around to face Owen. “Your friend there would prefer it if you did not go running heedlessly through the forest again, and so would I, it would be a shame to have come all this way only to return alone. As I said before, my name is Owen; I am here to help you and will do everything within my power to see you safe from harm. You may choose to sit and talk with me, or you may leave, but if you choose to leave now you will never know the truth about yourself and will forever be pursued by claims that you are Shadowspawn, something that neither of us are. If we were our friend here would tear us both apart and not think twice about it.” Cham stood there, obviously trying to digest everything Owen had just told him, it was a lot to take in and there was even more to come that would be equally hard for Cham to comprehend. “The choice is yours, my friend, you can sit with me and talk, then leave, you can leave now, or we can talk and you can return home with me to be with others of our kind.” Owen backed away from Cham and went and sat down with his back to a large Ash tree, he wanted Cham to fully understand that he was not being forced here, the choice really was his, and his alone. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader _________________ "So let it be written So let it be done I'm sent here by the chosen one So let it be written So let it be done To kill the first born pharaoh son I'm creeping death"
  13. “That Rhya was the boundary to the Stedding. This place once belonged to the Ogier and they allowed us to live here because their numbers had dwindled and this Stedding is so out of the way that they thought it would serve our purposes very well. No one can cross that boundary without feeling something, to some it is a feeling of wonder and joy, to others it is a feeling of loss and despair, it all depends on what you bring with you.” Owen’s smile was a genuine one, this was his favourite moment with any Wanderer when they first felt the tingling, the awakening, what ever you wanted to call it or however you wanted to describe it, this was to him the start for them. “Come on, we have a ways to go yet before we actually reach the place where we all live and I for one intend to have a tankard of my favourite ale tonight, I have been too long away from the Stedding.” Now that he was home Owen’s step was lighter, the weight of doubt and uncertainty lifted from his shoulders as yet another Wanderer was safe from harm. They had been walking for a while when they came across a large snow-white Wolf blocking the path, before either of them could move the Wolf sprang forward and almost knocked Owen to the ground. Rhya let out a partial scream, but seeing the look on Owen’s face she managed to stop it becoming a full blown one. Grinning from ear to ear, Owen buried his face in Ice’s fur and threw his arms around her neck, holding her close for a moment before breaking the embrace. “I have missed you as well Ice, but we have a guest and you should say hello to her as well you know.” As if she could understand every word Owen said, Ice turned to look at Rhya, her deep blue eyes seeming to bore a hole into Rhya. Slowly Ice did a full circuit around Rhya, sniffing at her clothes before coming to stand in front of her. “Yes Ice she is a new cub, this is her first time in the Stedding and I am taking her to see Miryana to make sure there is nothing wrong with Rhya. Come on Rhya, if we let her Ice will have us standing here all day.” Owen’s words broke the trance that Rhya had been under since Ice’s appearance and the two of them continued along the path, Ice forcing her way between the two Wolfkin. As they walked Owen noticed Rhya tentatively reach out and stroke Ice’s fur, gaining more confidence as she realized Ice did not pull away. “She particularity likes having her ears stroked, but if you start she will try and keep you at it for the rest of the day.” Not long after meeting Ice, the path they were following suddenly started to rise, the trees lessened and suddenly they were in a more open space. Across the way from them was a largish building with people lounging about outside what appeared to be the main door. When Owen was recognized many of the people shouted out greetings to him, and asked him who his companion was. Most of these were younger members of the Wolfkin and they soon started to bombard Rhya with questions, where was she from, what was her name. Owen soon realized that this was getting to be too much for Rhya and he quickly enquired if there was not work around the Stedding that they should be attending to instead of wasting their time hanging around the Infirmary. It was amazing how quickly so many people could disappear. Grinning to himself, Owen led Rhya into the Infirmary and stopped a young prentice and asked where he could find Miryana. The prentice said she would go and find Miryana and suggested they wait in one of the side rooms. Once in the room Owen removed his cloak and backpack, placing his bow next to his backpack he sat on one of the chairs and indicated that Rhya should do so. Ice joined them and sat with her head on Owen’s knee, obviously wanting his attention. For a while Owen spoke to her, not out loud though, as what he had to say was between himself and Ice. Once he was finished he started to explain to Rhya that until she felt confident enough to find her own home in the Stedding she could stay in the Infirmary. “There are still some abandoned homes around the Stedding, or you could build your own.” Seeing the look on Rhya’s face Owen continued quickly. “Do not worry Rhya, we will all help you out building your home, or fixing up an abandoned house. We look after our own here and you only have to ask and we will do what we can to see you comfortable, please do not forget that.” Just as Owen finished talking the door to the room opened and a woman entered who was about 5’10” in height with long red hair and golden eyes. “Rhya this is Miryana one of our best Healers. For now I will leave you in her very capable hands. If you need to find me Miryana will give you directions. Just remember this, you are safe here and among friends, even though you may not realize that now.” Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader
  14. WhiteWolf Joined: 16 Feb 2006 Location: UK Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:44 pm Post subject: Make a Move: Attn Rhya -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It had taken them well into the night to answer all of Keyl’s questions and that combined with the lack of sleep either Aleeza or Owen had had in the past few days made the decision to spend the night where they were easier. Owen had cooked the evening meal using the supplies they had brought with them. Keyl seemed more at ease after the meal, and so Owen proposed an early night and an early start the next morning. But the best-laid plans of men always go astray when dealing with imponderables, and that was how it was this night. No sooner had Owen closed his eyes than he was contacted by a small pack of Wolves, they were tracking a Wanderer on the fringes of a large wood. Because they had contacted him in the Dream, Owen was able to get a good idea of the location of the Wanderer. ”WhiteWolf gives his thanks Wind over the Water. May your pack grow strong and live long.” Owen did not actually speak, all communication with the Wolves was done using images and the Wolfkin had to interpret these images to understand what message it was that the Wolves were sending them. Even for the more experienced members of the Wolfkin, talking with the Wolves could often be a battle. Thankfully this night Owen was able to easily understand what he was being shown. Waking from the short sleep he had had, Owen quickly gathered his gear, and then placed his saddle on his horse before strapping his gear to the horse. When all his preparations were complete, Owen quietly woke Aleeza and with her still clearing the sleep from her blurry eyes Owen recanted his Dream. “Is this not unusual Owen? First our being sent to find Keyl, and now this?” “If I live to be a hundred years old Aleeza I doubt I will ever fully understand the minds of the Wolves, even Ice is a mystery to me at times. But we will have to leave discussions of this nature to a latter date, I must be off. You know how to get yourself home, make sure you stay out of sight and travel as safely as you can. I will do my best to catch you up, but do not tarry for me, not unless you have no other choice. Find me in the Dream if your need is urgent and I will do all I can to find you.” With that Owen mounted his horse and slowly rode off into the darkness, his pale skin shining with the glow of the moon when it broke through the trees, his golden eyes burning with a passion born of many years of responsibility to the his brothers ands sisters of the Wolfkin. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader OOC: Rhy, in your response bring us up to date with what has happened to your character so far. Some thoughts on the changes you are going through etc and then Owen will find you in his next post. _________________ Taymist Joined: 23 May 2006 Location: Scotland Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:03 am Post subject: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rhya was still. Still as she could be given that all of her limbs felt like jelly. How far and how fast she had run was a mystery to her but it had been far and fast enough. She listened intently, all of her senses on alert, eyes scanning what she could make out of her surroundings in the grey half light of dawn. Nothing. Silence. She slid thankfully down the tree trunk beside her and allowed her head to droop. She wasn’t certain when the pursuers had picked up her trail. A few days past at least. Not long after she’d left that last caravan. They’d been hard to shake in spite of her efforts at doubling back and looping around them during the night. Finally though, it seemed the three had been left behind for the moment. Rhya sighed softly as she got her breath back. She needed to eat but couldn’t rouse herself to move and open her pack. Instead, she unstoppered her flask and drank greedily of the fresh, cool water. One thing about woods, there was usually water to be found. Taking a last swallow, she lay the flask beside her and looked again at the area she was in. Not far from the edge of the woods by the looks of things, she mused as she spied open fields through the gnarled trunks of the old oak trees. Where she sat was merely a small, open patch of mossy ground, not large enough to be a clearing but plenty big enough for a few people and with space for a fire. Not that lighting a fire was a risk she was prepared to take for now. Leaning back against the trunk, her mind turned again to the question that had bothered her most over the days since leaving home. Where would she go? She barely knew where she was, although if her sense of direction was right, Caemlyn lay not far off. Should she head for her mother’s family in Tear? Rhya laughed mirthlessly. She’d get no welcome there. The looks she’d had from the traders had taught her that if nothing else. Some were speculative, some wary and all were unpleasant. No, not Tear. Dredging up some last bit of energy, she pulled her pack over and rummaged for some cheese and bread, silently thanking her father again as she did so for seeing that she was well provisioned. Her fingers curled around a lump of cheese and as she sat back once more to eat, she speculated on the wolves. She had gradually come to accept that she was not going mad. She no longer saw the same wolf as in Saldaea. In fact, the wolves changed regularly over the weeks she’d been on the road, leading her to believe the contact changed as pack territories changed. Not that she knew much about wolf habits but what little she knew from books suggested this was the case. The contact was always in the form of a dream and hazy at best, going as quickly as it came, leaving only vague impressions. The latest dream had been more solid though. Rhya knew this wolf had been close by and sensed, somehow, that it knew of her pursuers, knew she was lost. Shaking her head, she smiled sardonically at her own fancies and repacked the last of the cheese. Her fingers brushed the edges of a small object as she did so. A box that contained a small necklace given to her by her father before she left. “This was your grandmother’s”, he had said, looking more tired than she had ever seen him before. “You look like her.” Rhya battled the feeling of desolation that swept over her. She missed her father, the home she’d grown up in, her friends. Why had this happened to her? Was she truly a darkfriend? She didn’t think she was evil. Were there really others like her? She remembered the uncle her father had mentioned. What had happened to him? So many questions. And she was out of answers... Loneliness, exhaustion and heartache swept through her and before she had time for rational thought, her head tilted and she howled. Long and high. Pitched at the moon waning on the horizon. As the sound died, Rhya slumped, spent, against the tree, lashes sweeping her pale cheeks. Her final conscious thought was that if her pursuers found her now, so be it... _________________ WhiteWolf Joined: 16 Feb 2006 Location: UK Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:55 pm Post subject: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The howl of anguish cut through the night and Owen realised he was near now; soon the confrontation would begin between Wolfkin and Wanderer. One in full control of his abilities, the other just coming to terms with the sudden changes to their senses, never mind the dreams. Owen remembered how confusing those early forays in the Wolf Dream were. Owen waited until the sound died away, turning his head one way then the other as If trying to discern the direction the howl cam from. He knew it was a human voice that had uttered that howl, no one who heard it could mistake it for a Wolf and Owen hoped that he was the only to hear it, if there were two-legs about then trouble would not be far away. Owen coaxed his horse off to his right, using a small animal trail that went roughly in the direction he wanted to go. Soon though, he was forced to dismount and lead his horse to avoid the low hanging branches that almost turned the trail into a tunnel. Soon he emerged from the trees into a small clearing, one created by two fallen trees. Over to one side a figure was slumped on the ground, her hair obscuring her face and Owen thought he could hear quiet, almost desperate sobs, The feelings of loneliness and desperation coming from her were almost too over powering and Owen had to fight to control the sudden influx of these emotions. Calming himself, Owen dropped the reins of his horse, knowing that he would not go far as he had been well trained by Owen. Slowly, not wanting to startle the girl, although he knew as soon as he removed his hood that his albinoism would more than likely do that. “Please do not run, I am here to help you. My name is Owen and I know what you are going through, it happened to me as well some time ago.” Keeping his voice soft, Owen continued talking, almost as if they were having a conversation, hoping to put the young girl at ease. “I come from a place to the west of here. A Wolf who told me about you and asked that I come and help you contacted me. So here I am.” The last was said with an ironic sound to Owen’s voice, once he removed his hood he doubted his words would be remembered. “Please do not run, I really am here to help you and if you will let me I will see to it that no harm comes to you. All I want is to sit and talk with you for a while, to explain some things to you that will help you face the challenges before you.” With that Owen carefully sat down and then slowly removed his hood, revealing pale skin and silvery hair. “Do not let my appearance trouble you, I have always looked this way and it has nothing to do with what you are experiencing right now. Come; sit with me for a while. Ask the questions I know you are burning to ask, I will try and provide all the answers I can.” Rhya did not move, she had raised her head when Owen had first started to speak, but that had been the only sign she had given that he was there. Now he hoped her curiosity would get the better of her and over rule her first impulse, which must be to run. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader
  15. ***This is a compilation of all the post between Owen and I from the old boards.*** Post 1 The sun was midway in the sky when they reached the backside of the old cabin not far from the beginning of the stedding. WolfLover stopped and took a deep breath. She was returning home after a very long time away. Will I be welcome? I left so suddenly, and when I was needed. She looked down at the new wolves with her and their charges. I wonder if we will all be welcomed back. There was no turning back now though. The trip had taken longer that she had planned and they were running low on supplies. She had been dodging humans for days. They looked like the Band if she wasn’t mistaken. Could this have something to do with the Alliance Ehlana and we set up so many years ago? Has Owen brought the Band back here? “Come children, just a little farther and we can rest.” She said quietly to the little ones with her. “Awww mama, please we stop. I wanna play.” The little boy said. His sunkissed light brown hair and blue eyes shimmered in the sun that slipped through the treetops reminding WolfLover again of her reason for returning. “Please mama, please?” echoed the little girl. With dark auburn hair like her mother and jade green eyes that sparkled with mischief, the child had a knack for wrapping people around her little finger. It had definitely worked on her uncles. “You two,” WolfLover said shaking her head. “So like your father, the both of you,” she scolded mockingly and shook her head. “I’m sorry loves, but we have to get to our destination before nightfall. I’m not sure exactly how we will be received.” “We love you mama.” They said in unison. WolfLover bent down and hugged them both. “It never worked for your father or uncle Darren or uncle Riverwind. You know it won’t work for you. Now, be quiet and lets see if we can make good time.” The children were a little over 3 years old now and the trip had been hard on them. Riverwind hadn’t agreed with her leaving, but he understood her need to go. Darren had left a couple months before, off on some mission. It wasn’t long before they started seeing other wolves. WolfLover stopped and looked around. She sent a call to the wolves of her return, searching hopefully for one she could recognize. The children moved closer to their mother and practically hid behind her skirts, but remained silent. It wasn’t long before a man stepped silently from the trees and approached her. He said not a word at first but WolfLover could tell he was measuring her worth. “The wolves say you have returned. They say you have been gone a very long time.” WolfLover nodded. “I have.” She stayed in a protective stance guarding the children. He took notice of the little ones but seemed not to care in the slightest. WolfLover knew that was not the case however. This one had been trained well. “I will take you to Owen. He should recognize you.” The ranger turned away from her and began walking away. WolfLover didn’t move. “Owen is here?” She swallowed hard. She had hoped he would be and now she was not so sure it was a good thing. She wasn’t sure how he would even want her back after the way she had left. “Can I have your name, Ranger?” He stopped and looked at her. “Quickshade. And yes, Owen is here.” He turned and started walking again. WolfLover and the children began following him but he soon was quite a distance away. “It is quite alright Quickshade,” she called out. “You need not lead us to the stedding as I know my way. If we are keeping you from you duties, I’m sure the wolves have informed all that we arrive. The children are tired and move slower than your trained legs carry you.” Quickshade stopped and waited until they were closer. “My ‘duty’ is to see that you are escorted to Owen.” He glanced at the children with no expression. “I will remain with you until he meets us.” “You have nothing to fear from me, Quickshade.” WolfLover said softly. “I would do nothing to harm the Kin.” WolfLover looked away for a moment. “After all, it was one of the reasons I left.” She looked back at him and straightened her pose. “Well, if you don’t mind slowing your step a bit, I would welcome the company. However enigmatic you may be.” The children still remained close to her skirts. They had never seen another like their mother beyond Darren and Riverwind. Especially one so distant and dour. I wonder if it was really a good idea to bring them here. When they entered the boundary of the stedding, WolfLover took a deep breath and relished in the feel of the peaceful feeling that washed over her. How ever many doubts she’d had, this was home. The children cried out softly and clutched their mothers legs. “Hush little ones, it will be fine. This place is safe and magical. Take deep breaths and close your eyes. Your father once told me that stepping into the stedding was one of the reasons that he traveled so much. Stepping across that boundary always told him that he was home. Quickshade had stopped, appearing to stand patiently while the three of them adjusted. He didn’t fool WolfLover though. She knew he heard every word she said and that he was eager to continue. WolfLover smiled and nodded in his direction when the children were more at ease. It wasn’t long before the edges of the village came in site. It had grown over the years but she still recognized it. They hadn’t made it far when a familiar face stepped away from the treeline and Quickshade disappeared back into the trees. The children pressed tighter into her legs behind her skirts.. WolfLover Post 2 Sitting in his office, Owen had plenty of time to consider the news the Wolves had passed onto him. They have been vague about the direction, but that was nothing new with the Wolves, quite often they only gave a general impression of directions, but the more experienced of the Wolfkin were very adept at interpreting their messages. So it was that Owen was standing just off the path as Quickshade and Wolflover approached his position. Stepping out from the darkness, Owen thanked Quickshade for escorting Wolflover then turned to face his old teacher, and mentor. “I do not know if I should be happy or sad to see you old friend. So many nights I wished for your counsel, and for so many nights after you left I cursed your name. When you left so did many of my friends. I lost my mentor, my friends, and now you just walk back in here, alone, as if you have not been away for more than a day.” Owen was not angry with Wolflover; he had come to terms with her reasons for leaving, even why Darren had gone with her. But that did not mean he accepted her reasoning, nor did he think he ever would. Had it not been Wolflover who had convinced him the Wolfkin were his family? She had had some help from Aragorn at the time; it is hard to argue with anyone when they are beating sense into you. To leave at a time when there was need though, need for her exceptional skills as a healer, and her skills as a leader was something Owen could not forgive. They had left him feeling like the whole well being of the Wolfkin had been on his shoulders, and that weight had been heavier than death. “Are you returning for good, or will this be a short visit?” There was a slight edge to his voice, noting too aggressive, but he could not help the bitterness he was feeling now, her reappearance opened more old wounds than he needed “We have kept your old home in decent repair, would you like to go there now or visit mine? I have enough room for everyone and we can always visit your old home tomorrow when it is light.” Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Post 3 WolfLover schooled her features and straightened her poise as Owen spoke. Even though he didn’t appear angry, the blame was still there. Did he not understand what I had tried to do? Of course he didn’t. None of them did. Not even Riverwind had understood at first. ““My intention is to stay if I am welcome. I can promise nothing more. You say I’ve come here alone, and yet you know I have not. But I do wonder if you know who it is I have brought with me.” Her skirts rustled again and small voices became loud in the sudden silence. “Uh oh Ari, mama’s not happy. Someone’s gonna get a scolding.” “Is it us Stri?” WolfLover had been watching Owen when the children spoke and the look of mild surprise on his face was almost humorous. Almost. “Strider, Ariset, that’s enough. Run off and play with Dust and Storm and stay ‘out’ of trouble. Owen and I haven’t seen each other in a very long time and we need to talk in private.” She looked at Owen and a look of concern crossed her features. “I can assume they will be unharmed here?” Owen’s look changed from mild surprise to cold withdrawl. “As always, none will be harmed here.” “Mama? Is that Uncle Owen?” Strider said peeking from behind her skirt, his voice full of awe. “Yes love, it is.” She mussed his thick blonde hair that Darren had been teasing into dreadlocks before he left. She bent and kissed him on the forehead. “Please, stay with Dust and Storm and absolutely no trouble. Understand.” Strider giggled. “Ok mama.” “Ok mama.” Ariset echoed. WolfLover shook her head and kissed the little girls head. “You two are going to get us expelled from the stedding before the morning. ” She joked lovingly. Although inside, it was almost a serious thought. “Run along now.” She looked at the two wolves, conversing with them silently. She watched them run off before turning back to Owen, her voice changing from warm and loving to distant and professional. “Forgive me for delaying you. I care not where we go, but perhaps you might have some tea available and a quiet place to talk that is not far from here?” He raised an eyebrow at her. “Dust and Storm will drag them to me should they get into trouble.” He turned from her and led the way. “Your cottage still has there what you left behind.” WolfLover didn’t move right away. “Owen.” He paused his step and turned slowly to look at her. “You will never accept or understand all my reasons for leaving when I did. But please understand that I left for the sake of the kin.” She moved to catch up with him as he began walking again. “If you wish me to explain, I will do my best. But it took Riverwind many months before he finally understood. And Darren never will.” She sighed softly, a hint of sadness escaping her control. She spoke softly. “I will not ask for you to forgive me Owen, for I know you cannot. I will leave if you do not want me here. I only ask for a couple days of rest and some fresh supplies and we will leave.” “No Mama! I like it here!” Strider cried from behind them. "Dust and Storm like it here." WolfLover stopped and tried to school her features as all sorts of emotions played on her face for a moment. She turned to the child. “Strider, I told you we might have to move on. Go and play please and let the grown ups talk.” Strider stomped his foot. “Uncle Riverwind said…” WolfLover interrupted him. “Strider!” she said sternly. “Go now.” “Come on Stri.” Ariset said pulling on Strider’s arm. “Mama will do what’s best.” She turned back to Owen. “I apologize. Sometimes he is so like his father that I wonder how his parents survived raising him.” Her eyes were glassy with unshed tears but she swallowed them back. “Come, let us have that talk. And maybe you have something a little stronger than tea?” WolfLover Post 4 “You are correct, I will never understand your reasoning for leaving. As to whether I forgive, or that you are welcome here? Do you honestly think I would let anyone come here who was not welcome? You would have been stopped and shown the error of your ways a long way from here.” So much had changed since she had left, so many battles fought, so much death and destruction, but Owen would not lay that at her feet, although her prescience would have helped greatly with the care of the wounded.” Forgiveness will have to wait; there is more than enough that I have to deal with that I truly do not have the time to worry about whether or not you are forgiven. Come, we had best use your old place as mine is not close.” With that Owen turned on his heel and stalked away. Whether Wolflover knew it or not, whether she sensed it or not, this was not the Owen she had known. Experience had hardened him, tempered him in the fires of battle, loss and worry. Life had not been kind to him since that night her and Darren had departed and many of the events had left festering wounds that no one had been able to draw. “Owen slow down will you, we have come a long way and these old legs are not as strong as they used to be.” There was humour in her voice, but also and old trace of command, something that Owen guessed she would never lose, and why should she, she was one of the oldest and most experienced among the Wolfkin. Owen did not acknowledge her words, but he did slow his pace and soon they were walking side by side along the trail. “Things have been hard for many of the Wolfkin since you left. We have had to fight many a battle, often against odds that seemed insurmountable. Thankfully we have allies who were up to the task and have remained true to our cause. Even though they be two-legs they have proven trustworthy. In many ways the Stedding is now far safer than it ever was, but at the same time this safety had also made us more visible.” Suddenly Owen stopped in his tracks and in a much softer voice, so soft that Wolflover had to strain to hear. “I lost both of them Miryana. Ehl was butchered by a mob of Seanchan. ‘Ris? Well we tried to find out what happened to her, we only just escaped with our own lives and only more questions about her whereabouts. There is nothing left now but duty and honour, without that it would be someone else you would now be talking with.” That was all Owen could bring himself to say to her about the two he had loved more than life itself. How was he, the leader of the Rangers, supposed to accept the loss of the two he had promised to protect. No one had blamed him for the deaths; they all knew there was nothing anyone could do to prevent what happened. But Owen blamed himself, and that was worse than anyone one else’s blame, or scorn. Because of his preoccupation Owen almost walked straight past the fork to Wolflovers cabin, and it was only her gentle touch that made him realise where he was going. Sighing, gently, Owen turned off the main path and made continued along the other path. This track was much narrower than the last, and somewhat over grown through misuse. Wolflover walked it as if she had been doing so for without a break and soon they came out to the edge of the lake. Owen heard a slight gasp from Wolflover as her gaze caught sight of the Inn they had built. Owen guessed the gasp was more from astonishment than anything else. The Hole in the Wall had been built with Ogier help, and almost looked like it had grown out of the forest, so skilful had the Ogier been. “That is one of the changes you will have to get use to Miryana, we had some help building it as you can see, and it has proved to be a valuable addition to the Stedding.” Wolflover looked once more at the Inn then turned to look for her old home. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Post 5 “Owen slow down will you, we have come a long way and these old legs are not as strong as they used to be.” She tried to keep the humor in her voice, but the trip had been a long one and she was tired. He had made a point. If he didn’t want her back here he would never have let her enter the stedding. So why do I suddenly feel like I am intruding. Perhaps it is because of the children? She had known her departure had been hard on the Wolfkin, the wolves told her bits and pieces. But she would have been no good to them in her condition. The Dream had been lost to her for a time, her mind had lost the ability to stay focused in reality. She would have been a bigger danger to the ‘kin if she had stayed. But that was something no one knew about. Darren and Riverwind had attributed it to grief, but they had no idea. WolfLover could tell that Owen had grown and changed. This was no longer the boy that lead with his heart. He was a leader now, in every sense of the word. I wish he’d never had to become a leader this way. Could I have saved him that if I’d stayed? No, I only would have made it worse. She thought as she listened to what the ‘kin had been through. When Owen stopped unexpectedly, WolfLover sensed the turmoil that he was suddenly unable to hide from her. When he spoke, it was so soft that if she had not been Wolfkin she would have missed the words. “I lost both of them Miryana. Ehl was butchered by a mob of Seanchan. ‘Ris? Well we tried to find out what happened to her, we only just escaped with our own lives and only more questions about her whereabouts. There is nothing left now but duty and honour, without that it would be someone else you would now be talking with.” Tears welled up in her eyes but she refused to shed them now. He didn’t seem to realize that he had begun walking again, so lost he was in his thoughts. WolfLover understood such preoccupation and so remained silent. Nothing she could say would help him with his loss, she knew this. Only time would ease the suffering he felt but it would never go away. Not entirely. WolfLover laid a gentle hand gently on his arm, as he was about to pass the fork in the path that would lead to her old cottage. Owen sighed softly and turned off the main path, and still WolfLover remained silent. When the path opened up at the edge of the lake the sight was wondrous until she caught site of the building that seemed to grow right out of the forest and disrupt the serenity of her lake. No, not my lake anymore. Life had to move on without me here. This too I will learn to accept. She caught herself gasping at both the beauty of the building and the changes it represented. “That is one of the changes you will have to get use to Miryana, we had some help building it as you can see, and it has proved to be a valuable addition to the Stedding.” Owen said quietly at her side. For the second time since her arrival he had used her human name, a name she hadn’t heard since Aragorn’s death. She took a deep breath struggling to keep control of her emotions. Miriana Arwen was lost to her. That woman no longer existed. She wasn’t even sure if she knew who she was anymore. She looked once more at the Inn and then turned in the direction of her home. The cottage itself had been tended well on the outside except for the herb garden, which was overgrown and hadn’t been used in a very long time. “I’ve brought seeds with me. I can replant.” She said quietly to herself. As they stepped inside she could tell no other had stepped beyond the threshold since her departure. “Well, it’ll need cleaning, but home is home. Enter Owen and know you are always welcome in my home. I think I have some wine hiding in one of the cupboards. It should be well aged.” She sighed quietly and began looking for the wine. It was the strongest drink she would have kept in her home. She quickly dusted off a chair and indicated that Owen could take it. Finding two clean cups and the wine she poured some and dusted another chair for herself. She lit two lanterns and handing a cup to Owen she sat and took a deep breath before really looking at him. “I am sorry for your loss Owen. I know that doesn’t help, nor will any other words I would normally impart. Battle takes those we love most from us,” she choked up a little and stopped for a moment, looking away. “I must say you have done a wonderful job. You have continued on where I could not.” Owen made a sound as if he would say something but she continued on quickly. “You are not the same Owen, I know this. But neither am I the same as you once knew.” She turned back to him and looked into his eyes and said softly. “If I had stayed, more would have been lost. I left to protect the ‘kin. None are more skilled than I am in the dream and healing, you know that. With that comes the responsibility of also being a very skilled silent killer.” Her voice lowered as if it hurt her to say it. “I have spent the last four years regaining the control I had lost. I was lost to you before I ever left.” She knew he could smell the truth of her words. “That is all I will say on that unless there is more you want to know.” She lifted her head and swallowed hard. “So, where shall we begin?” WolfLover Post 6 Owen sniffed at the wine Wolflover offered him. It was not his preferred vintage, and smelled rather strange to him, but Wolflover knew what she was doing so he took the proffered cup, but did not take a drink from it. “We all change old friend, that is the passage of time and the effect this world has on us. But when change is forced on us then it is much harder to deal with. I was once told that I needed to be more like the Willow than the Oak, I guess it is one lesson that I will never excel at.” Owen did not want Wolflover to be guilty, guilt was an emotion that never did any good, and if she continued to think she had guilt to carry, then it would blight her life. But it was not within his power to take that guilt from her, only she could remove that and he doubted that she realised that just yet. Given time, he had no doubt she would understand this, but for now it did not seem she did. “Of course there is more I want to know, wasn’t that how it always was with me, poking my nose into places and things that I should have kept out of?” A ghost of a smile brushed Owen’s lips, but it did not take away the hardness from around his eyes. “I am guessing it would be a conversation better left until another day though. As you said you have had a long hard journey, and with two cubs with you it must have been fraught with worry. Why do you not bring them over to my home tomorrow and we can continue our conversation then.” It was not a request, more of an order, although obviously Owen did not put it that way. He had got so used to having to issue orders that it had become a habit that was hard to break. Usually it emerged at times of stress, or when he was uncertain how to deal with someone. He had no idea how to feel about seeing Miriana again. It was a reunion that was totally unlooked for and one he had never thought to have. He needed the night to sort through his emotions, she no more deserved his anger or mistrust than any of the other Wolfkin did and she had said she had very good reasons for leaving. Although he did not think there ever could be a reason good enough to abandon ones family, a sudden memory shed light on that, and in a way he could totally understand. Just as he reached for the door he turned to face her. “No matter how we parted, nor the cost of that parting, you will always be welcome wherever I am.” Not waiting for a response, Owen slipped out the door into the night. Not far from the cottage a large wolf padded up to his side and nuzzled at his hand. ”I know Ice, I was not as good mannered as I could have been. I will try to make amends tomorrow.” Wolflover is as much to blame as you White Fang Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Post 7 WolfLover leaned back in the chair as the door closed quietly behind Owen. He was right, tomorrow would be a better day for this talk. WolfLover looked around her and realized that she had some cleaning to do before she could bring the kids in. Four years of dust was piled on everything. She pulled a rag from a drawer and shook it out. She began doing a quick clean just for the night and was done in short order in the front of the cottage. When she stepped into the bedroom to tidy up her heart nearly stopped as a flood of memories rushed over her. She let them come, one after the other until they were done and she could breathe again. She smiled softly and a few tears escaped her control. She shook her head slightly and started tidying the room. The house still smelled slightly musty and so WolfLover opened the door and did a quick sweep of the floor. This will have to do until tomorrow. She left the door open and went to find the children. It was almost full dark now and they all needed their sleep. She found them playing close to the lake, their small packs with them. Storm, it seemed, had drug WolfLover’s pack with them. In the nervous excitement of entering the stedding and seeing Owen again, she must have set down her pack and not realized it. “Thank you my friends.” WolfLover said to the wolves watching her children. “Come along children, it’s getting late and I’ve prepared a place to sleep.” Strider got and excited look on his face. “We can stay, mama??” “Well of course we can stay, silly. My old home is small and we will have to share a big bed until I can make you a room of your own. But I didn’t think you would mind too much.” “I don’t wanna sleep with Stri, mama. He makes noises in his sleep.” Ariset said before yawning. “Mama snores.” Strider said with a big grin. WolfLover looked down at her son with mock shock on her face. “I Do Not! Where would you hear such stories?” “Uncle Darren said so.” Strider looked very serious and Ariset was nodding in agreement. “I will have to have a word with him when next we meet.” She said sternly and the smiled. “Hurry up. Lets get some sleep so we can start fresh in the morning. We are going to Uncle Owen’s house so he and I can finish talking. Maybe you can see his friend. I’m sure Ice has grown much since I saw him last.” Then Next Morning WolfLover woke just as the sun crested the horizon. Strider was wrapped around her back and Ariset was snuggled to her front. Carefully she pried the children from her and, leaving them sleeping with Dust on guard, she jogged down to the lake with Storm. Finding an area that was furthest from prying eyes she shed her clothes and went for her morning swim. The lake was a little colder than she was used to. The last four years had been spent in a warmer climate, but she would soon readjust. Returning back to the cottage she prepared a bit of porridge and the last of the fruit from her pack. After the kids were up and everyone was ready, they made the trek across the stedding to Owen’s tree house. “Owen.” WolfLover called up. “I hope it’s not too early sleepyhead.” There was a smile in her voice. “Now you two behave,” she said to the children as they began to climb the hidden staircase to the top. “I hope you have some tea on. I could use a cup,” she called out. She stopped at the top, the children just behind her, waiting for Owen to grant them entrance. WolfLover Post 8 Owen was sat in his normal chair, enjoying his breakfast when he heard Wolflover’s voice from below. “Come on In Miriana, you do not need to ask.” Placing his plate on the small table at his side, Owen went over to the trapdoor and helped the three of them, it was not an easy climb if you were not used to it. “I don’t know Owen, but I am sure you made this as awkward as you could to get into your house.” Wolflover was smiling as she said this and Owen briefly smiled back at her“ “Once a Ranger always a Ranger my old friend. You should know me well enough to know I do not like surprise visitors, and the difficulty getting up here is enough to stop most.” Owen bade them to sit down and then disappeared into his house quickly returning with three mugs and a steaming hot pot of tea. Placing them on the table to Wolflover’s left, Owen disappeared again, this time returning with a pot of honey and a small jug of milk. “Help yourselves, and while you do I will just finish off my food.” Just as he returned to his seat a snow white wolf padded across the veranda and stood there sniffing at the new smells in her home. “Yes Ice, Wolflover has come for a visit and brought two others with her, keep an eye on the small ones.” Owen had long ago taken to the habit of speaking out loud to Ice, although that was not how they truly communicated, although Owen would have put money on her understanding what he was saying. It did not take Owen long to finish his breakfast and once he had taken the plate into his kitchen, he returned to his seat and refilled his mug and Wolflover’s. Placing the mug on the table Owen looked over at Wolflover and wondered whether she would be the first to speak. On his morning run Owen had decided that there was no use in him letting his feelings get in the way of their friendship, it was not his way nor the Wolfkin’s. “I think it best if we start off on less contentious issues, there is no point in any animosity between us. You know as well as I do that if it were not for you and ‘Gorn it is doubtful I would have survived those first few turbulent months. So if my words last night sounded harsh I apologise. It was not my intent to cause any harm ” Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Post 9 WolfLover relaxed back into the chair and sipped at the tea. “I was on the defensive last night. I have to admit that I was not sure how my return would be received. I’ve been away far too long and have spent too much time in seclusion.” She set the tea down. “I must also apologize. I did not intend to appear so distrustful.” “I agree, less contentious issues would be best. I am not angry with you Owen, nor have I ever been. You will always be my friend.” She adjusted in the chair and listened quietly for a moment to the sounds around her. “On traveling here, I saw much has changed outside the stedding. I have not kept up with the news of the world.” “Yes, many lands have reunited and become one again.” Owen said quietly. “Ice has grown much these last years. I had not expected him to be so big. Dust and Storm are still pups, barely older than the children.” She said changing the subject. “There were five pups in all, but these two chose to stay with me. They protect the children as if they were their own.” She smiled then, “The children have heard many stories about you. Some I think Darren should not have told.” She looked at Owen then with a suddenly puzzled expression. “Owen, why is it you have not asked me about them?” WolfLover Post 10 “As always, my old friend, you ask more questions than you answer, and they are not always prudent ones.” Owen sighed in resignation. Now he would have to tell her about Irlen, and yet another wound would re-open. “Come with me Miriana, I have something to show you in way of an answer to your last question. It is not deliberate, I just cannot deal with them now.” Owen got up from his chair and led Wolflover to his bedroom. In one corner was cradle that he had made. Instead of saying anything, Owen merely pointed to the cradle then went back to his chair on the veranda, his expression totally neutral. Eventually Wolflover remerged from the house and sat back in her chair. Owen could smell the remorse from her and decided to speak first. “We were up in the mountains, hunting some brigands who had captured to of our kin. Eventually we freed the captives and found out that the brigands had been in two groups. The one we encountered was only a small fraction of their number.” Owen carried on talking, recounting the battle that had taken place in the miner’s village. It was almost as if he had returned to that place and time, so vivid were the memories, his voice low Owen continued with his story. “When we had killed all of the brigands, we found they had slaughtered a all of their hostages except one, a month old baby boy. ‘Ris fell in love with him there and begged me to allow her to raise him as our own. We made sure that he had no surviving family and with the blessings of the miners we took him with us. Since that day we have had an agreement with the miners. We ensure they can go about their business without interference and they pay us a small tribute in exchange. We also helped the Band attain a contract with the miners to provide soldiers to guard the caravans that go from the mines to Baerlon.” Owen had to stop there, the memories so strong he could smell the blood lined walls in the house they had found Irlen. The coppery taste of blood was thick in his mouth and he had to take a long sip of his tea in an attempt to wash it away, it did not help though, but it did allow Owen to gather his thoughts before he continued. “Not knowing my father I did not know whether I could cope with a baby. The fact he was not my own did not bother me; I just had no idea what to do, but, as always. ‘Ris did and so we brought him up as our own. It felt so good, so strange as well.” It was hard to put into words what Owen had felt about Irlen, something so unlooked for, yet he had made Iris so happy that Owen was happy as well. “Then one day ‘Ris came to me and asked if she could go visit her folks. I was against it, as I could not go with her. But you know what she was like when she got an idea into her head; there was no stopping her. So one morning I escorted her to the edge of the Stedding and then watched as she and Irlen disappeared into the distance, little suspecting I would never see them again.” Owen stopped there not wanting to say any more for fear his voice would break, his heart had a long time ago. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Post 11 WolfLover stepped slowly into the room as Owen spoke of the child and his loss of them both. She lowered herself to her knees in front of him gently laying a hand on his leg. She could smell the devastating sadness that had engulfed him. She could feel the tension in the air from his sharing of something so painful. “My friend, I did not intend to cause these painful memories to surface. Battle and tragedy takes those we love from us, and no matter how strong and diligent we are, how talented and brave, when the wheel wills it is their, time they are taken. I know this does not help your pain.” She looked up into his eyes, her own glassy with tears. “No words can be said that will ever help lessen the pain. Only time can do that.” She took a deep breath and looked away from him. “If you had kept her here, she would have felt a prisoner in her own home. If you had gone with her, you may have been lost to the kin yourself.” She looked back at him. “I can understand now why Strider and Ariset’s presence affect you so. Owen, I will not force the children on you. They were excited to meet the man that Riverwind and Darren have told stories about. But they are good children, perhaps with a streak of mischievousness of their father, but good none-the-less. They can be patient and wait until you are ready.” She stood and moved to her chair. “Have you tried searching the Dream, Owen? You said you looked but only found more questions. If she is gone from this world she may be in the dream for a time yet, or perhaps may have left you a message.” Owen sat very quiet not really looking at her. “If you have not, I will be happy to go with you.” WolfLover Post 12 “You are not the cause of the pain, old friend, nor do you need to keep them away from me. I am just not used to the flood of memories that your reappearance has caused. I take it Darren is the father?” Owen did not want to pry too much; he knew Wolflover would tell him what he needed to know, and what she wanted him to know. However, the two were not always the same, as he had found out many times in the past. Owen and Wolflover returned to their seats and continued to talk. “Yes I have been searching for her. After we got back from her village I spent nearly every night trying to find her. You would think it would be easy after the training you gave me, but there is no sign of her. At first I did not let this concern me, she was never that able when it came to entering the dream. But as you know that is not a problem for someone with our experience.” From inside Owen’s house there was the sound of laughter, no doubt the children were enjoying Ice’s company, whether Ice was enjoying there was another thing altogether. “I did hang on to the hope that she had lost her memory and did not know who, or what, she is. But the more time that passed has not given me one shred of evidence to bolster my hopes. For all intents and purposes she is dead, and so is Irlen. You know, I never thought about children. I mean just look at me, I look like a freak even more than the rest of the Wolfkin, who would have thought there would be anyone who wanted to know me, never mind have children with me.” Iris and Owen had never been able to find out why Iris could not conceive, but after they had found Irlen that had not seemed to matter. Iris had given her all for that small bundle and would never have let any harm come to him. “But, as Irlen grew so did my love for him, although he was the most puzzling creature.” A wan smile appeared on Owen’s face, totally in contradiction to the sound of his voice. “If you feel you can have more success than me, or if the two of us together could have, then I am more than willing to try again, but I think it would prove no more conclusive than my previous searches.” Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Post 13 I take it Darren is the father?” WolfLover heard the question but she didn’t answer right away. Instead she sat and listened quietly as he spoke of his attempts to find Iris and Irlen. She smiled and glanced in the direction of the children when their laughter rang out reminding her and Owen that they were still close. “If you feel you can have more success than me, or if the two of us together could have, then I am more than willing to try again, but I think it would prove no more conclusive than my previous searches.” Owen said with an expression that belied the emotion his voice conveyed. WolfLover spoke softly. “If you feel you need to attempt one more time with my help, you know I will be there for you. I brought it up only because sometimes in our grief and times of stress, we tend to forget there may be another alternative. Most would never think of searching in the dream for a lost loved one. Not knowing makes the grieving harder and more painful I am sure. I suppose I was lucky in a way to be able to say goodbye.” The laughter of the children rang out again and the question he had asked earlier came back to her. “Darren is not their father by blood, although he made a very good one when he was needed. With the stress I was under just before I left, I did not notice the signs of my pregnancy until we had been away from the stedding a few weeks.” She looked back over at Owen, her eyes glassy but the tears left unshed. Her voice dropped to barely a whisper. “All I wanted was to be able to hold Aragorn one last time. They are the only reason I fought so hard to come back from wherever I had gone.” She blinked and tears fell. WolfLover looked away and wiped at them hastily. “They were conceived the night before the battle that took their father from me. He told me as he was dying to love again, but I’m not sure if that is possible for our kind. I want to believe it is, but for now I have Strider and Ariset to give my love to.” She sniffed softly and wiped at a tear that had escaped as she heard one of the children close. Strider looked at both her and Owen before speaking. “She’s thinkin’ bout our papa again huh? It’s the only time she cries.” He said from the entrance to the room. “Yes Strider, I was thinking about your father." WolfLover answered. "I was telling Owen about how I found out you and Ariset were coming to join me in this world.” She smiled softly at him. “Did you need something, love?” Strider nodded his head. “Dust and Storm are outside, can we go?” WolfLover smiled down at him. “Sure, be very careful climbing down and promise to stay close.” Strider grinned and left quickly. She took a deep breath, shaking away the memories that would bring the flood of tears. “Darren and Riverwind took great care of them when I was unable to. Strider and Ariset were born a little early, but they were very healthy. They are also very bright for their age. They are comfortable in the presence of wolves and those like us. They have never really been in village and seen the two-legs, and they never question what that is when I use the term.” She chuckled slightly and shook her head. “However, having been around primarily Riverwind and Darren since birth, I’m afraid that their father’s mischievous streak was cultivated a little too well. As I am sure you will undoubtedly discover when they become comfortable here in the stedding.” WolfLover stood and stretched a little. “So tell me more about the changes in the stedding. How fares my…” she paused and glanced at Owen with a slight smile on her face, “pardon me, the Infirmary?” WolfLover Post 14 Impossible to love again Those words cut Owen to the core; he had hoped that this was not true. He had only ever loved two women, his sister and Iris, and now hearing that it could be impossible to love again Owen felt as if he had been punched in the stomach. “I am not happy to hear that old friend, not happy at all. We have both lost much, ones we held close and thought we could not live without. I really do hope you are wrong in this, to spend the rest of my days without finding anyone I could share with, would be a burden hard to carry.” Just then the two children burst out of the house and onto the veranda asking if they could leave the house for a while. Once Owen was satisfied they had made it safely to ground level he returned to his chair and their conversation continued. Wolflover’s words invoked good memories of times spent planning jests and pranks and all the escapades that used to occur whenever Darren and Aragorn were around. “They were good times old friend, and we could sorely use some mirth around the Stedding. Times are troubled and I am afraid that is reflected even more so in the Stedding. Our new alliances are good ones, but against the coming storm are they enough? We are such a small group that it is hard to know what to do for the best. Should we hide away and not have any part in these troubles, or should we continue to pursue the path we have been, doing what we can where we can. The Council is still not sure which is the better route, so I took it upon myself to choose the path, I hope we have the courage and strength to see it through.” They continued to talk Owen trying to remember to tell Wolflover all the major events since she had left. Not all of them were sombre ones, and their laughter drifted down to the two children as they played near the base of the tree, brining smiles to their faces to know their mother was happy. “The Infirmary is much the same as when you left, still over flowing with Wanderers who have not yet found the courage to find their own homes yet. There was a fire, thankfully though it was discovered in time and only one room and part of a hallway was damaged. It was lucky it was discovered when it was as it had the potential to destroy the Infirmary and the whole Stedding.” Owen was not exaggerating there, the fire had happened at the end of a long dry spell, and the whole forest surrounding the Stedding had been tinder dry. In the previous weeks there had been small fires springing up, so much so that with the help of the local villagers, patrols had been set up to watch for these fires. “I think they could benefit from your knowledge though, but I am not going to press you on this, it would have to be your choice.” Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Post 15 They talked and laughed over memories for quite a while. Owen told WolfLover about the Infirmary and the small fire. Her heart nearly stopped when he said that they could have lost the whole stedding. “Yes, Luckily it was caught in time.” She agreed. She would have to stop and take a tour of the building on her way home, to see for herself that no lasting damage was done. “I think they could benefit from your knowledge though, but I am not going to press you on this, it would have to be your choice.” “I would be more than happy to begin training again, Owen. Let me get my home in order first and then I will begin. It needs much cleaning and the Garden plot needs to be prepared for seed again.” She smiled at the sound of the children laughing from below. “Do we have anyone in the stedding that can build onto homes? I think I am going to need another room added to my little cottage?” She chuckled softly. “There is barely enough room for one to live in, let alone three.” WolfLover
  16. 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
  17. ~Owen~ The early morning sun had just crept over the forest around the Stedding. An ethereal quiet hung over the forest, it was the time when the nocturnal predators had found a safe place to sleep, and the day time predators had not yet woken up. Owen loved this time of the day when anything seemed possible, a hope and confidence filling him as he worked through his loosening up exercises before starting his morning run. This morning he felt the need to push himself further, to truly exorcise the demons that plagued him since the return. As Owen jogged over to the place all the Wolfkin met at who took part in the early morning run, Owen offered greetings to those who were there ahead of him. Everyone knew the search for Iris had not been a success, but only those who had been on the search knew the full extent of the events in that light blasted village. A new dawn for a new hope These words spun around in Owen’s mind, and he did not truly understand why. The journey back had provided a certain amount of time for him to come to terms with the loss of his mate, but not enough time would ever pass for him to truly get over that loss. There had been much speculation on the nature of relationships within the Wolfkin. Were they like the Wolves in that sense, and mated for life, or where they still like the humans they had been and could take as many partners as they wanted. There had never been a consensus on this matter, like many of the topics that involved anything to do with their lives now. There always seemed to be more questions than answers and this was a puzzle and a concern to many of the Wolfkin. Once the morning run was over, Owen returned to his home, meeting up with his wolf companion on the way. Ice was fully grown now, and had turned out to be one of the largest wolves anyone could remember seeing, she was also one of the most protective wolves in the Stedding. Owen put this down to the bond they had between them. He had rescued her when her mother had been killed and Ice was only a few weeks old. As they finished the walk to Owen’s home, they talked about recent events, and Ice reminded Owen that in her opinion he had been foolish to the extreme to leave her behind when he had gone in search of Iris. Owen tuned the sound of Ice’s voice out, when she was in her mother protector phase, Owen found her a little too earnest. Quickly Owen scrambled up the tree he had built his house in, Ice however choose to stay on the ground, and started to wash herself, content to wait for Owen and the two-leg to come down. Once Owen had climbed up the tree he arrived at a trap door that led on to the balcony running around his home. The solitude here was the main reason he had built his home so far away from the main part of the Stedding. The only other Wolfkin who had ever built their home so far from the center of the Stedding had been Wolflover, and her home had been deserted for a few years now. Once through the trap door, Owen went into the main room of his house and turned for he kitchen. He tried to make as little noise as possible as he did not want to wake Dilora just yet. She had been exhausted when they had reached the Stedding the day before, and no doubt would sleep late. Owen did not know how long she would stay with the Wolfkin, or with him, but for now he was content to just have the chance to make amends with her. She had been a great help with their recent problems, and Owen had not reacted well to her. Leaving the kitchen, a mug of tea in one hand, a small loaf of bread and cheese in the other, Owen went out onto the balcony and say down in his favourite chair to enjoy his breakfast. Before he could start to eat though, Ice told him she wanted to come and join him, so Owen got the sling from where it was kept and attached it to a long rope which the threw over the railing around the balcony. He waited until it had hit the ground then started to pull it back up, slightly. When the sling was partially raised off the ground Ice stepped into it and waited for the journey to begin. She had done this plenty of times since Owen and Iris had lived here, but she was not at all comfortable about it. Eventually Owen had hoisted her up to the balcony and through the trap door. Removing the sling Owen returned to his seat and continued with his breakfast, Ice by his side, and this was how a blurry eyed Dilora found them some time later. “Good morning Dilora, I hope you had a pleasant rest?” Ice turned her head towards Dilora and regarded her with pale blue eyes, almost as if she thought Dilora should greet her. ~Dilora~ Eyes blurred with mist and memories, Dilora sat upright in her bed. Her arms did not bang into the familiar wall of her wagon, instead they touched open space and more of the mattress, which confused her but she couldn’t for the life of her think why. Sunlight too advanced to be the early morning filtered through the window to shine on her face. A hand went to her eyes to rub the sleep away from them, and as though a veil had been lifted, Dilora remembered where she was. I’m with the wolf-folk. I’m right in the middle of their den. She did not feel a trace of worry: Dilora had come through the events of the previous day or so and retained her composure for the most part, and even though she felt wary at her situation and ashamed for being taken so for a fool, she stretched languorously and told herself to stop being foolish. The golden-eyed chap had said he was going to make amends, and she believed him. He’d just better do a good job with her wagon or she would be chasing angry villagers with pitchforks from here to the Fingers of the Dragon. Dilora chided herself for such thoughts. Whatever had happened, he’d had his reasons for doing what he had done. It was the accusing stares of his companions that had been the hardest to bear, and the journey to this place had been rather tense. Still, as sunlight chased away the shadows of the night before, today was a new day, and Dilora intended to make the most of this. This was, Dilora reflected, an opportunity not many others would have had. Her mind was open to new things and new experiences, and this proved to be one of the most memorable in a long time. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and touched her bare feet down on the floor, wondering where they were. Still rubbing her eyes, she opened the door to the room she was in to find the man she had saved and then endangered seated in a chair opposite her. On the floor near him was a wolf, whose magnificent piercing blue eyes were staring at her. Dilora felt momentary nerves in the pit of her stomach and looked to the man for reassurance. “I have to say I have not had such a restful night’s sleep in a long time, thank you for asking. I don’t remember my head hitting the pillow and I had no dreams. Somehow though, this morning I feel very rested and well.” She saw him nod, and then something occurred to Dilora. “How long have I been asleep, and where am I? More importantly, how are you feeling now?” ~Owen~ Owen smiled at Dilora’s words, Iris had said much the same thing the first night they had spent together here, although then there had been far more entertaining things to do than sleep. “I do believe it is the swaying of the tree, or just the isolation here. I purposely built this place away from the Stedding to get some peace”. Owen was not going to reveal all the reasons why he had built the house here, some of them were just to personnel to reveal to someone he hardly knew. “As to how long you have been asleep? It is now midmorning, so I would say you have had at lest ten hours, obviously the stress of the last couple of weeks has caught up with you. As to how I am feeling, I will manage for now, but the loss is still to recent, and if I dwell on it to much I can feel the despair nibbling away at my mind.” It was not Dilora’s fault she had asked that question, no two-leg would ever know what it was like for two Wolfkin to mate. Owen called Dilora over and indicated the chair opposite him. When she sat down there was a sudden surge of anger inside of him, he had never realised just how protective of ‘Ris he still was and to see a stranger sitting in her chair was stranger to say the least. “If you are hungry then I have some porridge on the stove and can quickly rustle up some toast as well. I still have some preserves left to go with the toast, and I believe we have some salt and sugar, I usually don’t add anything to my porridge, but I know others like to.” Although Owen was not the cook ‘Ris had been, he still found it hard to think of her in the past tense, he could at least feed people without them becoming ill. “After you have eaten you can accompany me to the archery range, or go about your own business. You are free to come and go, as you like while you are here, but I would ask that you do not leave the Stedding on your own. We have Rangers patrolling the Stedding perimeter, and although they are aware of who you are and what you have done for us, we would prefer it if you told us you wanted to leave.” Seeing the concerned look on her face Owen tried to reassure Dilora. “This place has been kept secret for more years than I can remember, and it has to stay that way, I hope you will understand?” Once she understood Owen’s reasoning the cloud of uncertainty receded and she told Owen that breakfast sounded wonderful. Owen went into the kitchen and soon returned with her bowl of porridge and more tea. “You get started on that, and I will see to the toast.” It did not take Owen long to prepare the toast, and soon he returned with a plate piled high with toast. Sitting opposite Dilora, Owen could not help but stare at her, it was just so strange seeing someone other than ‘Ris in that chair. ~Dilora~ She set to the porridge as if she’d not seen food for a week, drizzling a little honey on both the breakfast and into her tea. Dilora had a sweet tooth. She enthused about it’s taste and thanked her host fulsomely for providing such a meal. On the road she might not have eaten in such comfort, barely taking time to fry up a couple of pieces of bacon and sticking it between a couple of slices of bread. Her belly becoming full and contented, Dilora sat back in the chair and considered her host again. She still regarded him with suspicion but the forgiving part of her nature told her to stop being silly, and she smiled. Pretty soon she found herself scraping the spoon around the bottom of the bowl to make sure she’d got all the porridge out, and Owen came back then bearing a plate of toast and he sat down across the table from her. If he looked oddly at her, it was probably the seclusion. Then she remembered the reason for their encounter in the first place, and Dilora looked around as if seeing the slight feminine touches here and there for the first time. She lived here too, and I’m likely treading on his memories… She chewed and swallowed the remaining piece of toast in her hand and then dusted the crumbs off her fingers onto the plate in front of her. Suddenly her appetite wasn’t as great as she had imagined it would be, but that was likely rushing her food done that. It also made Dilora feel unimaginably lonely, realising that she did not share her life with anyone and she could not even empathise with the man. My life is the road. Is there more than this? Dilora shook her head to clear the sadness that overtook her. Pushing her plate away from her, she rose and looked at Owen, once more expressing her thanks for the food. As soon as she had made herself a bit more presentable, wanting very much the services of hairbrush and a wash, she vowed to go to the archery ground with him. Washed and ready, Dilora flexed her fingers as she walked out to meet Owen once more. “I’m ready to go,” she told him, and started walking towards the door. Her hand turned the handle and Dilora stopped suddenly, looking out on trees and realised one foot was held over precarious nothingness or more precisely, a long drop to the ground below. They were in a tree? She had to applaud the man’s ingenuity for “getting away from it all” and brought her foot down to rest firmly beside the other one, and took a step back to be on the safe side. There were still peddling adventures to be had yet! Dilora turned to look at Owen who, in spite of everything seemed to have an amused glint in his eyes. “Ahem, how do I get down?” ~Owen~ Owen had been intentionally smelling Dilora’s emotions since she awoke. At first there had been confusion, that was soon replaced with hunger, but then that had changed as well and her scent became prickly and confused and if Owen read her right, embarrassment. Although all Wolfkin could use this skill that did not mean they automatically knew what the different emotions meant that they sensed and this was how is was now with Owen. After living with ‘Ris he had come to understand that women were far more emotionally complex than men where, and trying to discern their emotions was akin to walking blindfold through an enemies stronghold. Once Dilora had finished broken her fast, Owen took the crockery back to the kitchen and quickly washed up, leaving them to dry in a small wooden rack, he had made, by the window, the sun would help fry them. Returning to the main room he almost died of shock as he saw Dilora precariously balanced over the hole that allowed them to climb down the tree. Before he could do or say anything she backed away from the hole and turned to face him. “Ahem, how do I get down?” Smiling at the look of consternation on her face Owen considered his options. He could show her the cleverly crafted steps in the trunk, or he could offer to carry her down, a reverse of the trip the night before. “Well, you could climb down, it would be more dignified than the way I brought you up here. But if that is not to your liking, I can carry you again, as long as you promise not to squirm too much.” Owen smiled at her to show he was making fun of her, and hoped that his smile would not be mistaken for something else. ‘Ris had told him that at times his smile reminded her of a hungry wolf about to pounce on it’s pray. “If it is not too much of an imposition I would prefer to climb down, not that I don’t trust you Owen.” Dilora added quickly. “In that case, let me go first and I will guide your feet.” With that Owen disappeared through the hole in the floor and once he was past the first steps told Dilora to lower her leg. Grabbing her foot, Owen placed it on the step and they continued like that until Dilora could see where to put her feet without his help. Once on the ground Owen and Dilora started to walk towards the Ranger’s Barracks, Owen’s bow was there as well as many other weapons. As they walked Owen knew that Ice was keeping pace with them, but had not decided whether to show herself to Dilora or not. By the time they reached the Barracks, Ice was there to meet them, standing in front of the door as if she was on guard. “Dilora I would like you to meet Icewind on a cold dark night, or Ice for short. She is my companion and has been with me since she was a pup. She is not sure about you yet, so if she seems a bit off with you do not be offended. Although I trust you, Ice is very wary around two-legs. She will grow to like you in her own time, I believe.” Oven gave Ice a strange look; as if he had heard her respond to his statement to Dilora and for a short time he did not speak again to Dilora. “I apologise for that Dilora, I was not ignoring you. Come one lets get my bow and a few quivers then we can head out to the archery range. Oh and I took the liberty of bringing your bow and other weapons here. We have a blacksmith here and he has been repairing your weapons, hopefully he will have finished by now.” Once Owen had got his bow, and the pair of them were loaded down with quivers, Owen led Dilora, and Ice, to the Smithy. Even though it was only midmorning, the Smithy was working flat out, and the heat from the furnace made Owen wonder how anyone could stand to be near it for any length of time. Because of this they did not linger long, just long enough to thank the Smith for his work and then beat a hasty retreat back into the sunlight. Soon after that they were at the archery range, and after setting up some targets Owen asked Dilora to shoot first, all the better for him to gauge her proficiency with a her bow. ~Dilora~ The blacksmith passed her weapons back to Dilora, who thanked him and started to buckle them around herself. She supposed that you got used to the amount of heat from standing over a fire all day – women that tended hearth would have to, as the men would not often cook unless their wives or daughters were severely ill. The sweat blossomed on her brow and her fingers itched to wipe it away, but she held back, not wanting to add to the sweat on her palms in case the bowstring slipped too early and she accidentally shot some poor inoffensive tree. It felt good to have her bow back in her hands. It was the weapon she preferred to carry for hunting and Dilora felt at home with the smooth length in her grip. The targets had been set up a fair distance away, she judged, and it would take a fair bit of concentration in order for her to hit them with any great accuracy. With the way her breakfast sat quite heavily in her belly and the sun beating down ferociously, Dilora wondered if she would manage to hit the target at all, but she had to try. She chose an arrow from her quiver, feeling the quality of the balanced arrow in her fingers before pulling it to her cheek and aiming it at the target. She loosed the quarrel. The arrow flew at the target, relatively straight but it hit one of the outer rings, nowhere near the middle. Well, it was her first attempt. She looked over at Owen, and wondered what he was thinking. ~Owen~ Owen watched as Dilora prepared herself, she seemed to have the basics worked out, but there were many rough edges that they would need to work on. With any luck though she would be a quick study and Owen doubted she would have any trouble with his instructions. “Your stance is good Dilora, but you could raise your elbow more, I think that is what is causing the arrow to fly off to one side like that. “ Owen asked her to take her stance again, and pushed her elbow up until it was at the correct height. “See what I mean now? By letting your elbow droop like you were, it was causing the arrow to fly to the right. If you hold your elbow where it is now you should be able to fire and hit where you are aiming for. Owen motioned for her to try again and this time the arrows flew much straighter. “Now something else for you to consider. When there is a breeze, even as slight as it is now, it will alter the course of the arrow, only slightly maybe, but that could be the difference between a clean kill and a wound. If you are hunting then a clean kill is always preferable, only a very callous person would injure an animal rather than kill it outright. So we now need to allow for the wind, which as I said is not very strong today. So what we will do is start the targets swinging, not too fast, but enough so that they present a whole new challenge for you.” Owen walked over to where the targets were and started to swing them; once this was done he hurried back to Dilora’s side. “Now when you aim, try and lead the target with your arrow. If you fire it at the center of the target you will at best hit the outer edge. Instead try aiming for the outer leading edge, that should allow you to get much closer to the center.”
  18. OOC: For those interested….this is the beginning of Mikala’s return. Not sure where this will go, but it’s a nice beginning… Mikala sat on the hill overlooking the stedding. She’d hoped that things would have changed too much for her to come back, that with one look she could leave and not have to have to face a past she’d tried so hard to forget. But to forget was not as easy at it seemed when she left the stedding. This place was her home, as familiar to her as her own face, as familiar to her as the wolf lying next to her. “What am I doing here SilverRose?†she asked as she absently stroked the wolf’s thick fur. Home………… The word resonated in her mind as images coursed through her. Her cabin. Owen . The library. John. The archery range. Wall. The waterfall. Snipets of a life she had run from for her own sanity. A life she had run from for the safety of those she cared about the most. A life she’d not stopped thinking about since she left without a word. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut, hoping that the images would fade. But they didn’t. They only grew stronger. The feel of the Stedding weighed on her, her skin tingling at its touch. Soon the memories came. Memories of a time she’d spent years blocking from her mind…but no longer. They came unbidden, and Mikala was helpless to stop them. At her side SilverRose let out a low whimper….. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* “Mika! Stop! Mika!†“….Mika, what is it? What’s wrong with you?†“You can never run from me…†It had all started with the headaches. Soon the headaches turned to nightmares, nightmares so horrible that the Dream was lost to her. A man so vile that the mere thought of his name made her skin crawl. Where had it all gone so horribly bad? When had a nightmare, a dream, taken her life away from her? When had this all sent Mika running into the night years ago? There were no answers for Mikala, only more questions. Questions she knew she would never have answers to, for she would never…never…tell anyone what she had seen in the Dream that had sent her as far from the Stedding as she could go. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Mikala breathed deeply, letting out long, slow breaths. Letting go of the memories that tried to consume her. Again, her gaze feel to the stedding. She knew it wouldn’t be long before others knew she was near. But she wasn’t ready to face them just yet. Wasn’t ready to explain where she had been and why she had walked away from her family…why she was back now. SilverRose nudged her leg….. …Home…… Once more the visions of the Stedding, of the life she had known, ran through her mind, but this time she let them come. “Home,†she whispered to the wolf. “It’s time isn’t it girl?†The question was posed more toward herself than the wolf. The sun rising over the Stedding hills while dew drops fall softly on the untred ground signaling the beginning of a new day… Mikala let out a little chuckle as she raised her eyebrows at the wolf, “Yes…Dawn of the Morning. I know the name as well as you SilverRose. It’s mine after all. But you’re right. It is a new day. It is time…†Mikala stood and brushed off her pants. Picking up her pack and her bow, she inhaled deeply, then one step after another she made her way toward her past…and her future….. To be continued…….
  19. Owen had been practising his weapons since dawn in the ranger barracks, he fully believed you could never be too prepared and always believed in sharpening his skills. He worked hard first with his sword then with his axe. After that he moved on to the bow and was just about to start shooting when Burrich entered the room. “Good morning Owen, are we going to start on the next set of lessons today?†“Morning Burrich, it is good to see you are punctual, that is a trait worth keeping, I trust you are well rested and ready for the rigours of the coming day? Burrich nodded his head, eagerness showing on his face. The two men exchanged small talk, bringing each other up to date on carious events around the Stedding. Eventually, Owen strolled over to where a large wooden dummy was set up and climbed over the guardrail that surrounded it, he motioned for Burrich to stay on the other side of the rail. “Now this will be what you start on to learn how to fight without any weapons but your hands, feet and elbows. Let me demonstrate.†Owen punched out at one of the pads and as he connected he threw his opposite arm up to block the corresponding blow from the dummy. Owen kept this up for a while, using both his hands and feet until he was sure Burrich had the idea. “Now when you get more competent at this you will be able to move much quicker than I just did, and you will start to approach the level you need to pass this lesson. Watch and learn Burrich.†With that Owen started once more, only this time he did not hold back and went through his routines at full speed. He became totally engrossed in what he was doing, and his concentration was at such a pitch that he did not realise he had broken the padding on two of the arms, not until he stopped and realised what he had done. “Well it would seem I got a little carried away there Burrich, help me to rebind the padding then you can have a go.†Once they had secured the bindings, Owen instructed Burrich on how to stand, making sure his balance was correct and his feet were not wider than his shoulders. “Do not hit with your fist, that is an easy way to break your hand. Instead use the heel of you hand like this.†Owen demonstrated how he wanted Burrich to hit with the heel of his hand. “Now remember Burrich, every action has a reaction, try and anticipate what will happen when you do something and be ready with a counter to that. This is a skill that will take you a while to truly master, and will I think leave you with many bruises and cuts, perhaps I should get a Sage to attend our sessions in the future, just in case.†Owen The White Wolf Ranger Leader
  20. Nights stared down from high atop a ridge that looked down on the area known as the Two Rivers. The wind was brisk this morning and whipped his cloak out behind him as he stood vigil. Further down the trail leading up to his perch Owen waited for their guest to arrive. How odd it was to be waiting to lead an Aes Sedai to the ruins they had found. In his wildest imagination Nights would have never envisioned this scenario. Of course Quickening still wanted him to leave with her and go hunt rather than trust the Aes Sedai. ~Come away and hunt Nightsfire~ The image of stalking a deer floated through his mind and the Ranger smiled. “I cannot my friend, my duty lies with the Wolfkin.†Quickening pouted if wolves could be said to do such a thing and stayed hidden in the trees not far off. After the meeting with Adine had concluded Owen and Nights had made camp not far off and discussed the days events. Over the next few days the two men spent time visiting friends in the area and gathering supplies. Now three days removed from the meeting with the Aes Sedai the two men waited for her arrival. Of course her Warder would be with her but that was of no concern to Nights. Their journey to the ruins would be slow as they navigated through trails covered over with years of neglect. With a sigh Nights put away the pipe he had been smoking and continued to wait. He went over their last trip to the ruins in his mind so that he could visualize the route they would take. A whistle from down below told him that Owen had spotted the Aes Sedai and would be bringing them up soon. Their journey to the ruins and possibly a new way of life was about to begin. As if reading his mind Quickening again urged him to forget this madness and run away with her.
  21. It was a cold starless night; the wind was blowing from the mountains and gave a cold edge to the air. Owen and Burrich were at the Rangers training field, it was to be Burrich’s first lesson today, and Owen could sense his eagerness and curiosity. “I think the first thing we need is a run to warm us up, and from tonight I expect you to run this course everyday, stamina and endurance are needed more by the Rangers than any of the other groups in the Wolfkin, even the Trackers.†Without any more talking, Owen started running, using a long loping stride; one designed to cover long distances easily. Burrich fell in beside Owen and the two of them headed towards the hills and a trail Owen knew would not tax Burrich too much. “Tonight I will start to instruct you in the Way of the Warrior, it will not be all about using weapons, and you may find parts of it confusing at first. A Warrior should always act with the highest regard for the people he is protecting, even if they do not appreciate or desire his help. We do what we do, not for thanks, we do it because it is right, that extends to two-legs as well.†Burrich seemed surprised by the mention of two-legs, it was widely known among the Wolfkin, that Owen had no love for them. Knowing what Burrich would be thinking, Owen smiled slightly. “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 have heard 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.†The two of them 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, Burrich was puffing a little, but had managed to keep up so far. “Gather some dead wood Burrich, we will start a small fire and then continue with our lesson.†While Burrich gathered the wood, Owen scraped a fire pit out of the ground, using one of his daggers. When the young guardian returned, Owen asked him to build the fire and light it. When the fire was going, Owen sprinkled some incense on it, the smell permeating the area. “Clear your mind Burrich, focus on the flames and seek that that is within us all, the centre where we are at peace.†Owen’s voice had taken on a very soft inflection, one that Burrich could hear only because of his 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. Owen The White Wolf Ranger Leader OOC Burrich, start your post with a retrospective on asking Owen if you could join the Rangers. Then give your reactions to what Owen is teaching you. It is preferable that you do not succeed the first time you try this, it is like nothing you have attempted before. So realistically, it is unlikely that your char would achieve his Wal straight away. If you have any questions, or need any help, PM me.
  22. Nighsfire grumbled as he packed the things he would need for his trip. He had just returned from a meeting with Owen and a cloud hung over his emotions. The Ranger leader had summoned Nights after he had met with Leila and learned of an Aes Sedai in the Two River that the Watcher leader had encountered. Recalling the heated conversation he had with Owen Nights was surprised his argument had not swayed his friend. “Light Owen this is an Aes Sedai we are talking about! You want us to hand ourselves right up to her so she can make the rest of the tower aware of our kind?†Owen held up his hand to calm Nights and explain his rational once more. “I told you John from what Leila has told me I do not think she will give us up to the White Tower.†His features somber the Ranger leader made it clear to Nights that they were going and the decision was final. “Besides John we cannot let an Aes Sedai roam in our country without knowing her intentions fully. We owe it to the people we have sworn to protect to meet with her.†Strapping his bastard sword on his back Nights walked out of his cabin into a morning that was filled with grey clouds and the promise of rain. “Just wonderful.†He muttered under his breath. A trip in the rain just topped off this morning he thought as he trudged toward the stables where Owen waited for him. The two men traveled through the mountains the better part of the morning with the rain mercifully holding off. Nights had calmed and he and Owen spoke at length about the caution they needed to take when dealing with the Aes Sedai and her Warder. Quickening had joined them not long after they left and shadowed them in the tree line not far off. Her obvious displeasure at where they were going had been made known to him from the moment he told her who they were going to meet. ~This is foolish Nightsfire~ She had told him more times than he cared to count causing him to sigh. Wolves did not like women who could channel and made no secret about it. Nights greatest fear, and in truth many of the wolfkin’s, was that the White Tower would find out about their kind and send Aes Sedai to study them. Owen did not seem to think this would be the case and Nights hoped the man was right. His friend had always had good judgment and excellent intuition so the Ranger put his faith in his mentor. As it neared mid day the rain began to fall. Both Owen and Nights pulled up the hoods of the cloaks as it began to fall harder. Getting off of their horses as they began to descend a steep hill covered in loose rocks they led the animals down. Nights was in front and picking his path carefully when the unexpected happened. Stepping on a loose moss covered rock his footing gave way and the Ranger hit the ground hard and began sliding. The wet stones offered nothing to grab on to and Nights began to slide faster. Cursing he reached for his knife at his waist in the hopes of using it to slow himself. Before he could get it free he felt a jarring impact as he landed on a large jagged rock. His right leg had taken the brunt of the impact and an audible snap could be heard causing him to cry out as his vision clouded. Owen ran to where Nights lay sprawled out wincing and clutching at his leg. Nights shin had been snapped cleanly in two and the pain was excruciating. “Damn it Owen I told you this was a bad idea.†Owen gave Nights a hard piece of leather to bite down on and examined the leg. “On the contrary John if what I know of Aes Sedai’s is true then our meeting might be more urgent now that you have managed to mess up your leg.†Nights scowled as Owen helped him up on his horse and soon the Ranger leader was leading them on toward the Two Rivers.
  23. Owen had been presented with a most unusual problem concerning training, how to train a blind person. It was not something he had had to consider before, and looking through the records, in his office, neither would it seem had any of the previous leaders of the Rangers. Owen had tried out several ideas, enlisting the help of two of the Rangers, Galdrian and his brother Aldreas, they were unique among the Wolfkin being brothers. Although the ideas had seemed good ones at the time, once put into practice, the three Rangers soon became convinced that they would not be that beneficial, so Owen had retreated to his office to do some more thinking. The rest of the day passed slowly for him, and as dusk gathered Owen decided to call it a day and head to the Hole in the Wall for something to eat and drink, ever since Iris had left, Owen had spent most evenings there, enjoying the company of the other Wolfkin who liked to be sociable. It was some time later, after a satisfying meal, and a tankard or two of Lentrian Red, that Owen finally realised what he needed to do to help Firion out with his training. Making his excuses, Owen left the small gathering of Wolfkin, and headed back to his home. As he neared the tree where his house was, there was a slight rustling in the underbrush, and a large white female wolf appeared out of the shadows. Grinning to himself, Owen greeted his long time companion and the two of them continued on their way to Owen’s tree house. The next morning dawned clear and bright, and another hot day was in order as Owen finished his morning run and made his way to the Rangers training area which was also used for any weapons practice, not just that which applied to the Rangers. While he waited for Firion to arrive, Owen busied himself, setting what he needed to help Firion learn to handle a staff and defend himself. Owen was still not sure his idea would work, but it had a better chance than anything else he had been able to think of, so he was quietly confident that this would solve his problem. It was not long before Firion arrived, and Owen greeted him warmly, even though the two of them had not really met before. Owen asked Firion about his experience with weapons, and was surprised to learn the young man had had no previous training, which was a first as far as Owen was concerned. Owen led Firion over to a rack containing staffs of various heights and thickness and asked him to choose one that was to his liking. When this was done Owen explained to Firion what today’s lesson would be about, and how he was to proceed. “I have set up two hollowed out pieces of wood, circular in shape, and inside they are half filled by various seeds, this is to allow you to hear them as they swing back and forth on the ropes they are suspended on. One is about waist height, maybe slightly lower, and one is about chest height. As I swing them so the seeds inside them rattle about against the wood. What I want you to do is to hold your staff across your chest, with your hands spaced evenly apart. As you hear one of the targets get close to you, I want you to try and block it with your staff. As you have had no experience before with anything like this, I think you will suffer a few knocks and bruises, but preserver and hopefully you will make progress.†With that Owen moved aside and after making sure Firion was ready, started to swing the two targets back and forth, not to fast, but fast enough to leave a red mark if Firion did not counter them. Owen The WhiteWolf Ranger Leader Firion, this is going to be very awkward for you at first, and you will suffer many a bruise. So for your first post I want you to give your reactions to meeting Owen, and to what he is asking you to do, then post trying to block the targets as they swing back and forth, and make sure you read my PM to you before responding to this.
  24. Stifling a yawn Nightsfire blew out the candle on the nightstand beside his bed and let his head hit the pillow. After a hard day of training in the wilderness he looked forward to a good nights sleep and closed his eyes. The sound of crickets and other nocturnal creatures could be heard through his open window. A cool breeze blew through the room and within moments Nights drifted into a sound sleep. The mind often plays tricks when in the deep recesses of slumber and with the wolf dream one had to be careful. It seemed only moments from when he had closed his eyes that he was awoken by the sharp cries of men. Men it would seem preparing for battle. Sitting up Nights was sure for a moment he was still dreaming. His room was gone and in its place a field full of men armored and looking anxious surrounded him. ~Hurry Nightsfire rise this place smells of evil~ Turning his head Nights saw Quickening standing off a few feet away. The big grey wolf smelled worried. She was crouched low to the ground viewing the field around them with caution. Standing Nights looked around at the field of men staring off into the distance. ~What is this place Quickening.~ Quickening flooded his mind with visions of a time long past. Visions of ancient Mantheren and a battle that destroyed the magnificent kingdom and scattered its people. A battled that ended with a desperate stand in which the Aes Sedai Queen leveled the trolloc army with the one power killing herself in the process. ~How can I be in a battle that happened hundreds of years ago?~ Quickening had no answer for that. ~The others are here Nightsfire we must find them.~ Scanning the ranks of men the distant sound of fighting spread through the camp and the warning of trollocs approaching echoed in the distance. Others? Quickening showed Nights images of Owen and Janna and the other Wolfkin spread throughout the camp. She also showed him an image of a hill to the back of the camp where a regal woman stood watching over the field. A woman who had to be Aes Sedai and wore a crown on her head. She was surrounded by guards and her face was hardened in resolve. Relieved to find his sword beside him Nights quickly strapped it on his back as the sounds of battle drew closer. The men in the camp paid him no mind, in fact they almost seemed to not realize he was there. The guttural sound of trollocs began to mingle with the cries of men and Nights quickly darted off in search of his brothers and sister. Quickening ran beside him the hate the approaching trollocs filled her with radiated off her as they went. The sound of men and trollocs dying filled the air now and small pockets of the shadow spawn could be seen engaged in battle with the army. Nights could smell the desperation in the air as the enormous trolloc army poured over the river pushing the defenders further back. There were just too many of them and the end was already predetermined. What mattered now was finding his friends and trying to make sense of this madness. Surely this had to be the work of the dark one or at the very least one of the Forsaken. As he ran Nights kept low and ran in the direction Quickening had shown him the Queen to be located. The smell of blood and death mingled with the vile smell of the trollocs filled the field. With a growing sense of alarm Nigths searched for his friends as the trolloc hordes began to overcome the army pushing it further back. Fades came in view now driving the trollocs forward wanting a quick and deciding victory. Quickening snarled and turned toward one of the eyeless. ~No we must find the others.~ With great willpower the wolf turned away and the two resumed their hunt in earnest. Suddenly the low hill came in view surrounded by elite guards. The Queen stood in its center defiant as ever. ~Nightsfire Twisted Chime and Windracer.~ Sure enough the tracker leader was advancing toward the ring of guard with Wind in tow looking as uneasy as Nights was sure he did himself. Calling to her Nights ran to greet her and embraced her in a tight hug. “Thank the light I have found someone.†Just then a familiar head of white hair came in view and the keen eyes of Owen found Nights and Janna. Nights could not be sure but he thought the Ranger leader had others with him. “John and Janna to me!†The two ran toward Owen’s position and stopped. The field was in desperate straights now the trollocs advancing at will. Smoke drifted over the battle obscuring the lines as the group waited for the end that would come sooner rather than later. ooc: enjoy all more to come
×
×
  • Create New...