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Westering Holt
Holt Mistress


Posts : 131
Join date : 2011-06-15

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PostSubject: Blue Rubble Mountain Explorations   Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:51 pm

Role Play Forums » 13,398 Season of Hot Sun: Blue Rubble Mountain » Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
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Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 18, 2008, 10:04pm

"It makes me feel strange," Sunsong said quietly to Oakstaff, clasping her arms around her torso and shivering as she eyed the mountainous bulk that the moonlight had turned black and ominous.

Oakstaff glanced at her, then at the looming mountain. "I know what you mean. It's steeped in magic."

Mist eyed the mountain uneasily, then smiled as Sunsong's bright laughter lifted the moment of gloom. Strange or not, the maiden's spirits were seldom dimmed for more than a passing moment. Even with the strain showing on her face, her loss of weight, and the weariness dimming her eyes, her spirits remained high.

It was his concern for the plantshaper that prompted him to urge Whitecold forward to ride beside Stormfire. She had been leading them in easy stages, stopping for a two-day rest every eight of days. It was time for another such stop, and there were plenty of trees here that they could sleep in the branches without Sunsong needing to do more than a little shaping. Or, better still, they may find caves.

"Chieftess," he said quietly once Whitecold settled beside Snowtreader. "The woods are thick here. Perhaps another rest when we reach the mountain's base? There may be caves to shelter us."


Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 18, 2008, 10:21pm

Stormfire couldn't take her eyes off the mountain.

It had the strangest shape. She'd seen peaks, smoking mountains with flattened tops, odd furrowed mountains that were little better than hills . . . but nothing like this truncated silhouette. There was no peak. The top was a jagged stump. If it had been a tree, Stormfire would have said it was blasted by sky-fire. Nothing explained this.

But she could feel the weird emanations from it. Like moonlight that you could feel pour over your hands, the magic that radiated from the mountain both thrilled and chilled her. She wanted to see it. She also didn't want to go anywhere near it.

"Chieftess," and Mist came up beside her on Whitecold. Stormfire, startled, drew a deep breath to calm herself. It was so still that she couldn't even hear the night-birds sing.

The healer continued, softly. "The woods are thick here. Perhaps another rest when we reach the mountain's base? There may be caves to shelter us."

Oh, no. Stormfire almost said, No, we're staying in the woods. But she thought of Sunsong. Poor thing it was to wear her friend out, shaping den after den for them. She glanced at the trees. Although smaller than what she was used, the trees were thick-branched and barely let in any light. They could stop here, and nestle among the boughs. Or . . .

She looked at the crumbled shadow on the horizon, and blinked. Did I just see something?

That odd tug came at her again. Come on, it urged. Come closer. You want to see what it looks like. And you can feel it deep within--elves were once there.

Stormfire sighed. "We'll do it," she told Mist. "Let's stop for a little food, and I'll tell the tribe."Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 18, 2008, 10:28pm

"This place gives me the creeps," Whirlwind muttered.

Tallspear snorted. "You and I both." He slid off Longlope's back and began walking ahead of the wolf. Longlope whined a little. "It's all right," Tallspear assured the wolf. "I just need to be on my feet for a while."

"Look at that," Whirlwind continued. "I never saw a mountain like--"

*Stop talking, cub!* Wingfoot ordered, riding past them. *Humans could be anywhere in these woods!*

*If they were, we'd smell them first,* Whirlwind retorted. Tallspear noticed she stopped sending, and hid a grin. The huntress growled under her breath as the elder rode off. *Fire-stinking, troll-poking, sour-faced old . . .*

*Hey.* Tallspear motioned with his head to the head of the long line of Wolfriders. *Stormfire just stopped.*

*Huh.* Whirlwind stopped as well. *Wonder why?*

*Don't know. Let's go have a look, shall we?*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Oct 19, 2008, 8:26am

The trek had been heavier than Longdusk had expected, but he had also had left part of him behind. It felt as if he moved lighter, thought lighter and sometimes he even lifted the corners of his mouth. Mostly around his mother and his aunt, though. Sunsong hadn't managed to get a smile from him. He remembered her promise to him when he heard her light laughter.

His mother -- he'd never envisioned her to come along. She had worked on his travelling leathers quietly, and at the day of their departure she'd rushed out her den with new leathers for herself as well, calling her bond and telling Sureshot Stormfire might need another elder. He had been stunned, but she hushed him when he wanted to ask why she changed her mind. He could've guessed, but the fact that she did come along was enough to make him shut his mouth about it. He'd guarded when they took rest, hunted if they needed meat -- in fact, just doing the things he'd promised Stormfire to do.

~*~*~*~

Now, she was riding her wolf next to him, when they stopped. They rode quite in front of the line of wolves, and Lightgaze was swiftly to dismount. *It seems something pulls as closer we get to that mountain. I'm not sure if I like it.*

Her reasons to go on this journey were her own. She still wasn't sure if she had made the right decision and she had slept badly for days, making her feel tired. But she had realized her life would move away from her - her cub, her soulsister and her family, her once-apprentice Evenstar... She had remembered Sunsong's words and had felt what she had meant when it had been almost too late. She could take her memories with her. Tracker's spirit would always be with her, she knew that. All she left behind now was her sister -- a sister she had never had a tight bond with.

Still, the journey had been hard for her. She had never been more than half a day's ride from the holt, at least none she could remember. Everything was strange, weird and frightening. She kept remembering herself that she was a wolfrider and that she would live through it, but those humans were even scarier than they were in the tales.

When Longdusk rode forward to see if they were staying here, she slumped back to Redthorn, Silvercub and Icemark to get some moral support.

~*~*~*~

"I wonder what lived here," Firecat whispered to Evenstar, continueing in sending. *This place is soaked with magic. And it makes me feel.. uneasy. It's too quiet, that's not normal.* Not even a small stream nearby to make any sound. She shivered slightly. *Are we going to camp here?*

The fisher had made the right decision in the end. She had wanted to go not to bolt awat from Hazel, but to rediscover herself. She had remembered how she had been like before Evenstar, and that was the person she wanted to find again during this trip or in a new holt. She just hoped that holt wasn't going to be somewhere around this pile of magically soaked rubble.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by oddsong on Oct 19, 2008, 2:37pm

Thornberry felt his lips pull instinctively back to show his fangs as he leaned low, hugging Smirk's ruff and looking ahead from between the wolf's ears. Feeling the warmth and closeness of his bond's body was good. This place was wrong - wrong in some wretched way, reeking of magic that, even if it was elf magic, was strange and alien - not for them. Were it up to him, they would've changed their course at once and never gone anywhere near it.

It was not up to him. During their long journey, sometimes Stormfire took his advice, and sometimes she didn't. He respected her now more than he did when they set out, was more willing to follow her - all of them were still alive and unhurt, and that was proof enough of her having talent from which skill might grow, and wisdom. But the going had been easy. And easy never lasted...

Feeling the hair on the back of his neck standing, as though he was sensing the gaze of a predator in the woods, he urged Smirk forward and joined Mist next to the chieftess. "Are we headed towards that mountain? Must we?"

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by multifacets on Oct 19, 2008, 4:37pm

Wanderlust whined, uneasy because her friend was uneasy, and because his hands were twisting in her ruff to the point of pain. Silent was shuddering uncontrollably, eyes wide in panic.

It was the most horrific thing he had ever "felt". The "notes" of the place were jagged, hissing, writhing things that drove him half mad with trying to ignore them.

He'd felt it coming, in a way: Yesterday night, around the time of moons-high, a new thread of "sound" had caught his attention, and he'd spent a lot of time trying to make sense of it. It had made him uncomfortable, but he hadn't said anything, not wanting to look foolish; he had not been sure how to explain what he was feeling, or if he have been heeded.

But now the tribe was close, very close, to the twisted, distracting source of tangled "notes" that were just plain wrong. And some of the tribe was actually talking about exploring it for caves!

*I'm not going there!* Silent cried openly, and Wanderlust yelped, dumping her friend to the ground when his hands tightened too far. The wolf shook herself and rolled in the dirt to rub her shoulders.


(OOC: I'm sorry if this seems like too much. I couldn't think of how to soften it. Sad)Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 19, 2008, 5:14pm

(Just play Silent in character and don't worry about it. Smile It that's how he'd really react, then it is what it is. Wink )Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 20, 2008, 11:13pm


Quote:
Feeling the hair on the back of his neck standing, as though he was sensing the gaze of a predator in the woods, he urged Smirk forward and joined Mist next to the chieftess. "Are we headed towards that mountain? Must we?"


Stormfire turned towards Thornberry. "We," she began, and Silent's sending crackled through her head.


Quote:
*I'm not going there!*


"Oh, puckernuts," Stormfire muttered through gritted teeth, watching as others picked Silent up from where his wolf-friend had dumped him. I don't need this. She looked at Sunsong, and felt her heart sink. She doesn't either. The urge to protect friend rose up along with the instinct to protect tribe.

Something wasn't right with that mountain . . . and as Stormfire looked again at it, she thought she could almost put her finger on it . . . but it was like standing in a strong storm, with the wind blowing a multitude of scents past your nose at a speed likely to tear it off.

The tribe gathered around her. Stormfire could feel the elders watching her, especially Mist. Their watchfulness was like a rough hide thrown over a raw skin-scrape. She tried to weigh the alternatives. Stay in the woods, and have Sunsong make them another makeshift den, when she was already so tired? Or drag the tribe into something that could be more dangerous?

"All right," Stormfire declared, her voice sounding unnaturally low and soft in the thickness of the surrounding trees. She switched to an open send. *We've done a good deal of traveling. Sunsong's shaped our dens for us all the way. But we've got a choice now--we can go on, towards that mountain, and find caves to shelter in. We'll take a good, long rest there. We'll be close to water, we can hunt, and we'll be able to keep a sharp watch for humans.

*I know the mountain feels strange. I can feel it too. But I'll tell you this: I can also feel our kindred. There were elves there . . . and if they were there, then we must be feeling the magic they left behind.* Stormfire drew a deep breath to settle her nervous stomach. Snowtreader grunted once, but made no other sound. *We've heard the tales before, of how our ancestors tried to use their powers here . . . and how, sometimes, the magic went bad.

*That may be what we're feeling now.* She looked at Silent. *But if it is--if that's what it is, bad magic, then we need to find out. You see, I remember those tales. I remember what they said happened sometimes, when living things encountered those pools of magic. We can't leave it for something or someone to find. If we can find it and deal with it, it won't harm anyone. And, most importantly, it won't be able to follow after us.*

She waited, certain this was the moment where her tribemates would turn and head back to Sureshot. She wasn't certain she wouldn't be right behind them.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 20, 2008, 11:24pm

Sunsong wasn't quite sure why Stormfire was sending, but it didn't really matter. She followed her friend's lead. *It'll be fine, Silent; there's nothing to really worry about!* she reassured the slightly older elf. She nudged Shade and her wolf-friend eased up beside his own Wanderlust. Sunsong reached out and took his hand. *With all the fine hunters we have, I'm sure there's nothing that can hurt us.* Sunsong grinned at Thornberry and Longdusk, Tallspear, Oakstaff, Windsoft, and all the others with them known for their skill as hunters and warriors.

"Trusting sort, isn't she?" Oakstaff drawled to the rest of them. "Now I'll really feel bad if she stubs a toe."

Windsoft swallowed a chuckle, but rode up beside Silent herself, touching his cheek lightly. "It'll be fine, cub," she murmurred reassuringly.

Mist didn't say anything. He burrowed his hands in his wolf's fur and looked between Silent and Stormfire. He lowered his head, hiding his faint smile from her view. He'd noted that she'd been - not quite uneasy, but close - around him since they'd left Sureshot's holt. He could understand that. He was her father's friend, and not much given to long sojourn's away from the familiarity of the holt. She had to wonder why he'd come.

She could keep wondering. It made her think twice.

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by multifacets on Oct 21, 2008, 1:45am

Surprised by, but intensely grateful for the contact, Silent squeezed Sunsong's hand tightly and leaned his head against Windsoft's fingers, pressing his palm against them. Stormfire's explanation made sense; it had to be bad magic that was distorting the Song. That gave him some clarity, but he was still shaken.

Stormfire was also right about sparing Sunsong, though. The whole tribe could have napped in the branches without any shaping, but it seemed they were more inclined to follow Stormfire and explore. What the chieftess had said about dealing with whatever was there also made sense.

If only she could feel was she was feeling, but he was afraid to try sharing it.

No choice, then.

*I-I-I-I'll c-come to th-the b-base,* Silent sent weakly, releasing Sunsong and Windsoft. *I c-can stay there with Wanderlu-lust. I wouldn't be a-any use lo-looking for the s-source, anywa-way.* Some fear slipped out before he clumsily reined it in and replaced it with a shaky determination. To add weight to his thoughts, Silent remounted Wanderlust, who had been sticking close to Shade. Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by oddsong on Oct 21, 2008, 4:57am

"No."

It took Thornberry an instant to slide off Smirk's back and position himself between Silent and Stormfire, facing the young chieftess. The poor elf behind him was trying to be brave perhaps, but even with Sunsong and Windsoft holding him his sending wavered like that - Thornberry dreaded to think what might happen closer to the mountain. Not just to Silent, but to all of them. Why was Stormfire so eager to ride into things?

"This isn't our rotten business. If there is something dangerous in that place, what do we care if someone finds it? Let the humans find it! If we don't come near it, it won't follow us. We are a tribe, chieftess," he leveled a look at Stormfire - using and meaning the honorrific, but reminding her of her duty, as well, "not a warband on a quest."

If the others would think him a coward, let them. A hunter was not a warrior - a hunter lived to provide, and if the prey was too strong, there was no shame in running. Even good magic sometimes made Thornberry uncomfortable; the thought of running headfirst into a nest of bad magic tasted as sour as sickness.
Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Oct 21, 2008, 9:42am

"I agree." Longdusk had rode forward and posted himself next to Thornberry. Continuing in sending, he looked to the vicinity of the woods, eyeing it suspiciously before turning back his gaze to Stormfire. A bit more tactical than Thornberry's blunt words, he said: *We're in search of a new holt. We can't discover everything that sparks attention. This place is soaked in magic and it doesn't feel well. Everyone can feel that. Stormfire, you really want to put the tribe in jeopardy just to discover something that pulls on you?*

He narrowed his eyes. *Tribe comes first, chieftess, and that pile of stones breathes danger.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 21, 2008, 9:50pm

First Thornberry . . . then Longdusk? Stormfire looked from one to the other, hackles rising at the challenge from each. They're going to test you, her father's voice echoed in her head. Well, here it was.

And neither of them were Skystrike or Longtooth. They were solid hunters, good tribemates.

But Stormfire met their eyes without flinching.

"All right. I've heard you both." She stepped closer to them both, keeping them before her. "And I say that leaving this behind us would be as foolish as walking away from a pack of spear-carrying humans. Worse, because if it is bad magic, it's elf magic. Can't you feel it? It's not just there--it's calling us. Reaching out to us! It's a mess we don't dare leave alone, whether it hunts us or others. Because if it does go after others, how does that make us any different from humans who lay traps and dig staked pits for us and the pack? Aren't we also doing harm by doing nothing?"

She had no idea who heard her and scoffed, or who listened. But Stormfire had no intention of leaving that mountain unexplored. Even as part of her cringed at the thought of going near, she recoiled at the thought of anyone else encountering it.

"I'll never ask any of you to do what I won't or can't," she told Longdusk and Thornberry. "But I won't leave a threat at our backs just because it had nothing to do with us. And I won't leave a danger for others simply because we've nothing to do with them."Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 22, 2008, 12:22am

Icemark rested his hands on Silvercub's slim shoulders, looking between chieftess and the two hunters. He was concerned. Stormfire's reasoning was very sound. However, he was the father of a young cub and he had no wish to take her into danger when it wasn't absolutely necessary.

However, he couldn't let danger brew behind him when it could someday follow and put that same cub at risk, when it was stronger.

*The chieftess is right, but so are you two,* he finally sent, nudging his wolf closer to the trio. He glanced at Mist, wondering why the healer hadn't spoke yet. *We can't leave this pooling magic unexplored, but there's no need to risk those who are most vulnerable. Some can pull back and wait at our last camping grounds, while others go to see what danger there is in the fallen mountain.*

Windsoft frowned, but nodded. "Sunsong didn't unshape the dens this morning, so that location is safe. Icemark is right; Silent and Silvercub, with a few others, could go back and wait for us to rejoin them." She gave Longdusk and Thornberry very level looks. "Elfin magic is elfin responsibility, my friends. We dare not leave it festering if we can dispel it or keep it from harming others."

Sunsong patted Silent's thigh gently, then nudged Shade to go to Snowtreader's side. She didn't say anything, and her gaze was anxious as she looked between Longdusk and Thornberry, but her positioning made clear what she intended to do.

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 22, 2008, 12:31am

Stormfire drew a deep breath at Icemark's words, but her spirits rose as Sunsong came to stand beside Snowtreader. So, too, did Whirlwind, Tallspear, and Journey. Tallspear made a point of standing just behind her on the right-hand side, gripping his spears lightly as he met first Thornberry's, then Longdusk's eyes.

**No matter what you decide,** Tallspear lock-sent to her, **we're with you, chieftess.**

Stormfire looked again at Thornberry and Longdusk. "You two are good hunters and guards," she said at last. "Will you stay and guard those who return to the dens? Icemark is right. We cannot risk everyone--and many who stay will need protection."Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Oct 22, 2008, 11:55am

Longdusk looked at Thornberry, feeling that they were cast aside like little pups. The young ones seemed to gather as one behind their new chieftess. Loyalty was one thing, but risking your life for something nobody knew was another.

*Sometimes you need to turn your back. You can't face everything and sometimes it's better to leave things be which are above your power. From bands of humans we can turn, we must turn, because we cannot slaughter every human band on our path. That's not who we are. This is something else. This is pure, twisted magic.*

He felt as if Stormfire wanted to prove herself, but lining them in the face of danger was hardly proof of good leadership.


~*~*~*~

Lightgaze bit her lip. *Stormfire... what you're basically saying is that you don't know what's out there, that it might be evil magic, and you want to split up the tribe because you want to investigate it?* She lightly shook her head. *Listen, I'm fully aware of the fact that I'm not the bravest of the bunch, but...*

She hesitated a bit, but made herself to go on. *We're so few already. Splitting up and leaving two of your finest hunters behind cripples your group, if you want to go to the mountain. What if something happens to you? We wouldn't even know what happened if we go back. We rode for about a day. We'll be well out of sending range if we go back to the dens Sunsong shaped this morning and we're moons away from the old holt.*

She turned to Windsoft. *I agree partly with you, Windsoft. Elfin magic is elfin responsibilties, but this is strong magic. We all feel it. What kind of strong magic users do we have to counter anything shaped magically? Our swords, arrows and spears? It might not even be something we can actually fight.*

~*~*~*~

*But we can only find out when we approach it,* Firecat told her. *If we don't know what we face we don't even stand a chance. You can't tell me that hunters aren't cautious. Because we are.* She snorted at Longdusk's remark. To her it seemed he was acting like a coward.

*This might be pure elf magic, but we have something our pureblooded ancestors had not, and that is wolfblood. We are faster, our senses are better, and we are more cautious. I think we can face it.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by oddsong on Oct 22, 2008, 4:37pm

Catching Longdusk's gaze, Thornberry clicked his teeth and lock-sent a wordless impression, agreement and mutual strengthening. Stormfire's words, and Windsoft's backing, went clear over the hunter's head. Elfin responsibility? To whom? Theirs was not the task of safeguarding the lives of bear cubs and deer young and human spawn. His ears twitched irritably. She was trying to prove something, he thought - no, worse. She was drawn to that wretched place, and not her alone.

He was not. Firecat had a point in a sense - the wolfblood, strong in him, resisted the sense of the magic and its whispering. It told him to stay far, far away. To take the pack in a different direction entirely and never return.

He was not leader of this pack and didn't mean to become that.

"Maybe we can, but why?" he snapped again. "For whose sake? I don't care about holding myself better than the humans, I care about surviving. We didn't set this trap that it's our place to tear it down." A trap, yes, it could be... elves lured in with elfin magic, who knew what beast of magic-gone-bad could be lurking within in, waiting for them like a spider in its web. "Don't lead us into an open maw on the faint hope we can stab what's inside."

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 24, 2008, 11:42am

**Unless you two plan to challenge for the chief’s lock, show throat and back off. You know better than to confront a new alpha still establishing authority.** Mist advised calmly. **You objected, she listened, and then revised her plan. She even gave you a choice. Sureshot would not have. He’d have sent you whimpering back to the holt with your tail between your legs. You have the luxury of seeing no further than the immediate tribe. She doesn’t, so either follow her to face the danger or guard those she sends back to safety. The choice she left to you, you’ll note.**

Mist gave the two a stern look, then turned his ice-blue gaze to Stormfire. He gave no sign of the lock-sending he’d done to Thornberry and Longdusk. Stormfire didn’t need to know about it. Perhaps it undermined her authority a little bit, but it was either that or knock the two skulls together. They were so intent on what they thought and wanted they weren’t listening to the cub, nor acknowledging the fact that she had listened to them, and heeded their protest as much as she could.

Cubs. All of them. Even those that were old enough to know better.

“The concern appears to be that you itend to go howling into the very jaws of the monster, Chieftess,” he said mildly. “You’re clever, so I doubt very much that’s your intent.”

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 25, 2008, 2:40am

Stormfire glanced from Lightgaze to Thornberry to Longdusk to Firecat, and then back to Mist. Father, I wish--and she stopped. It wasn't Sureshot's authority she wanted. Sureshot's way was to remind, quietly, that he was chief, and then to slap skulls if he didn't get the result he wanted.

Waterdance, Quickflight . . . it's you I need, more than ever. Your quiet strength, your wisdom; let both flow stronger in me now.

"I've no intention of splitting the tribe up, Lightgaze," she said. "I'm taking scouts; that's all. We're not going to challenge anything that's there. We're going to see what's at that mountain, make sure it's safe, and then come back. If it's safe, we'll den there and rest for a few nights. If not, we'll stay in the last den Sunsong shaped for us.

"Longdusk, Thornberry, you seem to think I'm going to go raging in, spears at the ready. Do I look like a maddened bear to you? It'd be a stupid thing to do, and against the Way. I'm going because I want to make sure that what I'm feeling, which is what you're feeling, isn't something that'll follow us or anyone else. And because it's dangerous, I'm only asking those who want to, to follow me there. I call no one coward who won't go. You have to decide what's right for you.

"And, Mist . . ." Stormfire swallowed as she met the Healer's gaze. She wasn't sure what to make of his demeanor; her instincts shouted that he was behind her, loyal, faithful, even as she suspected him of mocking her. She raised her chin, the better to look him in the eye. "You should stay here," she said. "I'll be back, but until I return, you'll speak for me."

She looked around at her tribemates. Some looked at her in approval, but the rest clearly thought she was barking mad. I'm not sure I'm all that sane either, Stormfire thought wryly. But the pull from the mountain would drive her out of her wits; that much, she knew. Leaving it behind would never be a choice; she would have to face it, or kill herself trying to forget it.

And if there was something or someone there who could hurt her tribe, Stormfire intended to leave it a lot less lively.

"I've got Windsoft, Tallspear, Whirlwind, and Firecat," she announced, ignoring Sunsong's sudden gasp. The treeshaper needed to rest, and Stormfire resolved to see to it if she had to club her sunny-natured friend. "Who else?"Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 25, 2008, 11:22am

"Me," Oakstaff said promptly, then frowned at Stormfire. She should have known that without him having to volunteer. He followed his chief, wherever she went.

Mist watched Stormfire and his expression, now, was completely enigmatic. After scolding Thornberry and Longdusk, he couldn't very well question her now but he didn't like this. He had no wish to stand in for her as chief, but more - she was heading towards the danger while the others headed away. She was more likely to need his healing than the others. He wanted to snarl at her and ignore her command...

...and that very urge was the reason he didn't say anything. That pull was on his elfin senses. The danger wakened the wolf. He could maintain his balance between them, but it would be hard when stressed so. He'd do as Stormfire ordered and simply be ready should they sense any harm befalling their tribemates.

Windsoft simply nodded at Stormfire's decision, then glanced towards Journey. She knew what choice her son would make and while it worried her, it was his right. At least she'd be there, too, and not back with the others, waiting.

Sunsong bit her lip and watched Stormfire with wide eyes. Stormfire had turned her away, but had also explained it. She was taking scouts - and Sunsong was no scout. Still, she wanted to go and see what was in the mountain. What elfin lure was being cast at them and why?

But she was no scout. There would be no need for a plantshaper, and therefore she would add nothing to the party, but be one more thing they'd have to look out for and take care of. Sunsong sighed, reached out and patted Stormfire's arm, then urged Shade to step away from the group gathering around Stormfire and join Icemark.

"She's not shunning you," Icemark said softly, reaching out to take her hand as she got closer.

"I know," Sunsong murmurred. "I'm not a fighter. I don't scout. I wouldn't be any help to her - but I might be some to you and Mist." She gave the gatherer a smile - not as bright and sunny as her usual, but an honest smile still - and clasped his hand in return. "Mostly our trails have gone together, Stormfire and I. Sometimes they diverge, but they always come back together."

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 26, 2008, 1:17am

*Well, I'm glad you're coming,* Whirlwind sent to Tallspear.

*Wouldn't miss this for anything. I wonder what's in that mountain?* Tallspear arched an eyebrow as Journey and Windsoft moved to join Stormfire's growing band of scouts. "Looks like we're going to have company," he murmured to Whirlwind.

**Let's hope he doesn't get distracted by butterflies and wander off,** Whirlwind returned. **Or he'll put Thornberry in the right.**

Tallspear grinned. **Sounds like you've got a bone to pick with Thornberry.**

**And I have to get through skin to reach the one I want,** Whirlwind returned. **Pity!**

Stifling a laugh, Tallspear glanced over at the elders who stood with Mist. Mist did NOT look pleased; in fact, Tallspear noted, he looked as if he was on the edge of revolting. He couldn't blame the healer; the fact that Stormfire was leading this trip instead of staying behind with the tribe worried him. He knew she wasn't delicate--he'd watched her on the hunt far too often--but Stormfire burned with the need to prove herself a worthy protector. Tallspear trusted her not to risk their lives. He simply didn't trust her not to risk her own.


In fact, there wasn't a single happy look on the faces of any who remained behind. By contrast, Tallspear noted, many of the scouts were ready to go. He sent to Journey. *So what's up, treasure-hunter? Why are you going?*

*Same reason you are,* came Journey's calm response. *For her, and for the rest of us. And I want to see the mountain.*

Mentioning Stormfire first had not been an accident. Amused, Tallspear thought of telling Stormfire she had a new admirer . . . who knew? Maybe she'd relax a little with some attention. High Ones knew very few were comfortable enough with her to make their wishes known, and any time he'd spent with her had been simply to confer and discuss possible quarry for the hunts.

*Hey, Tallspear?* Whirlwind sent. *Ride with me? We need to talk.*

His reverie disturbed, Tallspear answered quickly. **Whenever you want,** he told his friend.
Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by oddsong on Oct 27, 2008, 11:54am

Though it didn't show, Thornberry bristled at Mist's sending. Elder or not, the healer had no business chiding him - his place was to advise, not to serve as Stormfire's fangs. Either she had her own that she should show or she did not - and she would not grow any if others chewed her meat for her. **This is between chieftess and tribe, healer,** he snapped back, a brief retort, not inviting discussion. He respected Mist, as was the older elf's due, liked him even, yet this was no time for such things.

He kept his eyes on Stormfire, not glancing at Longdusk - not caring whether the other supported him or not, really. He wasn't resisting for resistance's sake, as much as he could and did do that at times. When worded this way, Stormfire's concern was not without its sense - if that was what it was, and not just the young chieftess' need to satisfy her curiosity. And not just hers, either - half the eager young hunters in their band, no, tribe was riding out. He had no idea what any of them was thinking.

"I'll stay and stand guard," he said, scowling. "But it won't be easy to feed and defend the tribe if half its hunters go off and don't make it back, chieftess and all." She had to consider that as well. Almost all their able fighters were going.
Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 27, 2008, 1:26pm


Quote:
**This is between chieftess and tribe, healer,** he snapped back, a brief retort, not inviting discussion.


**Challenge to show throat,** Mist repeated sharply. **Otherwise, you divide the tribe for nothing but your stubbornness and pride.**

Mist nudged Whitecold and the wolf stepped away from Stormfire, backtracking a short distance back the way they’d come. Icemark, with Silvercub looking disappointed, followed him. Sunsong followed, as well, but not without giving Stormfire one yearning look.


Quote:
"I'll stay and stand guard," he said, scowling. "But it won't be easy to feed and defend the tribe if half its hunters go off and don't make it back, chieftess and all."


“Last I knew,” Oakstaff drawled, planting his quarterstaff firmly on the ground and leaning casually into it, “Mist wasn’t a bad hunter. Sunsong herself can get a seed or two to grow, and Icemark could gather more things than we could eat. So if you’re worried that your skills are so poor that – ow!”

“Do not mock him for his concern,” Windsoft reprimanded the younger hunter as she released his ear from the sharp pincer she’d made of her thumb and finger. She gave Oakstaff one more silencing frown.

However, as wrong as Oakstaff’s sarcasm was, his point was not unfounded. She had her own concerns and felt uneasy. This was … not right. When Thornberry had first mentioned coming, she’d feared this. He had paid no attention to her words then, and it saddened her. How could Stormfire be their chief when Thornberry stood ready to challenge ever decision he didn’t like? Why couldn’t he just trust her leadership? Thornberry was challenging without challenging. It felt wrong to her, off balance and unwholesome.

“Oh, please!” Sunsong slid of Shade’s back and darted between Longdusk and Thornberry, placing a light hand on each arm. “Please, why must there be a fight amongst ourselves? Thornberry, Longdusk, you know Stormfire wouldn’t risk anyone’s life foolishly! How is this stalk more dangerous than going after a bear with the foaming sickness? And surely, surely, if we can sense it, it can sense us! Isn’t it better for us to know what it is, what the danger is, rather than to have it turn around an hunt us, and we not know anything?” Sunsong looked between the two hunters, blue-green eyes wide and pleading. “Those most at risk will be safe. Those best skilled in tracking and staying hidden will go and see what the danger is. It is sensible. It is wise. It is not ideal, but isn’t it better that we be the hunters, and not the hunted?”


Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by multifacets on Oct 27, 2008, 1:44pm

Why can't we just leave now? Silent thought unhappily. Everyone's made their points! I just want to go and clear my thoughts and try to keep that THING out of my head.

He whined once, very softly, but kept waiting, hoping at least one hunter would go back with him, rather than argue some more. Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Oct 27, 2008, 3:36pm

Redthorn shuddered at the magic washing over her. She had never been much at sensing magic, even next to elves completely devoid of the ability, so the overpowering blackness of the sensation made her slightly nauseous. She looked back at Icemark and her cub, Lightgaze beside her. Her soulsister and her cub had a strong point, but the answer wasn't as clear as she would have liked. She would rather stop when they reached a safe and fruitful holt place for her lifemate and cub, not explore the random complexities of the land. She looked to her cub once more.

Silvercub seemed to be a bit confused, but otherwise unharmed so far. Part of Redthorn pulled to find a clue to the origins of the magic feelings, but the calling did not seem entirely from herself, she realized, something else pulled her. She did not like it, but the idea of leaving her chief and friends to an unknown fate was tortuous. She looked down at Whitecrest, every inch of the alpha screaming dislike. 'Caution is a wise wolf's bounty and curse it seems.' She thought sadly.

*I stay,* She sent to those gathered at the site. *It feels as though something creeps, watches. Protectors are needed here, Stormfire, especially if you enter that place. I wish you the best, but...take caution in your steps, I beg you.* She looked away, twisted inside at what she had decided, the echo of the magic call still in her mind. Redthorn looked up at Icemark and Silvercub.

Suddenly, she felt as though she was sinking, the face of her cub and lifemate blurred as though water was smearing her vision and she gasped. cold water met her lungs and she gasped again, stumbling into Lightgaze.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 27, 2008, 8:57pm

"Lifemate?" Icemark felt, through their bond, the swamp of memories that flooded through Redthorne, briefly pulling her away from the present. He cupped her face between his hands. "Breathe, Redthorne, listen to me," he said calmly. **Listen for me. We're here; come back to us.**

He was glad she had chosen to come with them, back to the den they'd left this evening. He'd never have asked it of her, but that she volunteered freely eased his heart.

Memories. The Now usually protected Wolfriders from being caught in them. But sometimes it wasn't enough.

**Come to me, Bree. I am here.**


Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 27, 2008, 11:04pm

Stormfire drew a deep breath and looked at those tribemates accompanying her. *Until we know what's out there,* she sent, *just send. Don't make a sound if you don't have to.* She glanced at Oakstaff. *Ride with me, Oakstaff. Tallspear, Firecat--take the rear. Don't let the pull from that mountain distract you.*

She waited as her group assembled itself. Snowtreader snorted as she mounted, but the she-wolf made no other sound as they padded off towards the shorn-off mountain. And Stormfire winced as the pull intensified.

It didn't feel like a threat. It felt . . . it felt like a skyfire-storm, brooding over the tree-tops until it finally broke. Stormfire realized that she was waiting for it to do just that. She marveled at it; how could she, an elf with no magic in her at all, feel something like this so clearly? If she'd put her hand out to a tree and shaped it into a den, she couldn't be more stunned.

She sent farewells to her tribemates, smiling sadly at their muted distress--even Thornberry, High Ones bless him--and feeling a few tears sting at Sunsong's mental touch. There was nothing she wouldn't do for Sunsong, but the treeshaper no more belonged on this trek than she would be able to sprout wings and fly.

Mist, on the other hand . . . Stormfire bent her head to hide a smile. The healer's goodbye had been terse, controlled, and all too open as to how little he liked being made to stay behind. She paused, then threw caution to the winds. *Don't worry, elder,* she sent. *I'll be certain to get us all back before your bedtime.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 27, 2008, 11:11pm

Mist, as per her orders, didn't make a sound, but his snort of disgust was audible to all nonetheless. *Concern yourself less with my bedtime, cub, and more with returning unhurt. Whoever's hurt has to get to me before I can heal them, remember!*

But as the distance grew, so did Mist's worry. Just before the nightshadow's hid the scouts completely, he added more gently. **You've made the right decision, lass, but keep your thinking clear. That mountain is clouding everyone's brain. If we don't see you by moonrise tomorrow, we'll come looking.**

Turning back to those that were remaining behind, he gestured for them to mount up. Without another backward glance, he led them back to the den they'd slept the day in. Sunsong lingered at the end fo the group, watching Stormfire until there was nothing more to see.
Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Oct 27, 2008, 11:15pm


Oct 27, 2008, 11:04pm, kris wrote:
She paused, then threw caution to the winds. *Don't worry, elder,* she sent. *I'll be certain to get us all back before your bedtime.*


Oakstaff slapped a hand over his mouth in just enough time to stop the laugh that threatened to explode. His shoulders curved forward, shaking hard as he tried valiantly to stifle his amusement.

Windsoft's own sending carried a bright tickle of merriment. *Twist his tail enough, chieftess, and even he will bite. The healer, despite popular perception, does have a temper, you know!*


Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Oct 27, 2008, 11:30pm


Quote:
*Concern yourself less with my bedtime, cub, and more with returning unhurt. Whoever's hurt has to get to me before I can heal them, remember!*


Stormfire squeezed her eyes shut in mock dismay--Mist's reply was as sharp as she'd expected, but Oakstaff's attempt to keep from guffawing nearly made her burst out laughing herself. Tallspear and Whirlwind's sends were equally full of laughter.


Quote:
Windsoft's own sending carried a bright tickle of merriment. *Twist his tail enough, chieftess, and even he will bite. The healer, despite popular perception, does have a temper, you know!*


Stormfire grinned wickedly. *I'm counting on it,* she told Windsoft.

Teasing Mist was only a moment's relief, but it was a relief. He'd been Sureshot's friend since they were both young elves; he'd even been present at her birth. If I can't tease Mist, Stormfire thought as they rode, then I'll know the world's gone moon-mad.

But it wasn't long before she felt Mist again.


Quote:
**You've made the right decision, lass, but keep your thinking clear. That mountain is clouding everyone's brain. If we don't see you by moonrise tomorrow, we'll come looking.**


The lock-send warmed her, all the more for it being private. She held on to it for a moment before sending in turn. **Thanks, Mist. We'll be back as soon as we can . . . I promise.**

She waited a moment before adding, **I'm sure you'll have time to take a nap before then . . .**Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Oct 28, 2008, 7:20pm

Softling had slipped among the hunter's ranks as Stormfire bid farewell to Mist and the remaining tribe, ignoring her wolfblood's howl of discontent. Snapbone, ever dull for a wolf, had sniffed the air warily but continued on with little complaint.

The tracker watched the others turn back to the dens with some longing, but knew she could not leave these worried wolves and their curious mounts to whatever called in the rocks. It pained her to see the tribe split even for this short while, to see alpha separated from his mate on the whims of the chieftess.

'The chieftess better have a good idea of what she's getting us all into,' She thought nervously as they turned away. 'This mess does us no good now...what point in pursuing it, elves or not?' She thought of sending her concerns to Windsoft and Mist, but thought better of it. They seemed clear enough in their thoughts, and she would only sound foolish pressing them. She could be of some use here, at least.


Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Nov 2, 2008, 9:35am

Windsoft followed Stormfire as they drifted through the forest. The diminished tribe had spread out, and only experience and keen elfin eyesight allowed her to see the rest of them as they got closer to the mountain.

But eventually the sheltering trees came to an end and they paused in the last of their concealment to evaluate what lay before them.

A tumbled tower of boulders, ranging from giant to pebble sized, resting on a solid mountain base. It looked like a giant troll had taking his hammer and smashed the mountain to bits. What could possibly of done this?

*The magic is coming from the mountain itself,* she sent gently. *Neither good, nor bad. Just...strong. And lonely.*


Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 2, 2008, 2:21pm

Softling shuddered at Windsoft's sending.

*Lonely?* She followed, studying the broken rock. *It feels like sickness here.* Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Nov 2, 2008, 2:32pm

Oakstaff turned and stared at the young elf, then shook his head impatiently. *You think anything that feels elfin is sickness, infant,* he retorted. *You need to spend less time with wolves and more time with elves. It's not sick. It's just other than what is naturally found on this world. You've heard the howls about how we came to be here, and how our magic is quite in sync with the world. Difference isn't sickness.*

*Hush. Pay attention.* Windsoft ordered Oakstaff and Softling as she knelt on the edge of the trees.

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 2, 2008, 3:06pm

Stormfire drew a deep breath, letting her senses sift through its taste and scent. She smelled aged rock and dust . . . what was that beneath it? Death, likely. But the death of what?


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PostSubject: Re: Blue Rubble Mountain Explorations   Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:51 pm

Quote:
*The magic is coming from the mountain itself,* she sent gently. *Neither good, nor bad. Just...strong. And lonely.*

Softling shuddered at Windsoft's sending.

*Lonely?* She followed, studying the broken rock. *It feels like sickness here.*

Oakstaff turned and stared at the young elf, then shook his head impatiently. *You think anything that feels elfin is sickness, infant,* he retorted. *You need to spend less time with wolves and more time with elves. It's not sick. It's just other than what is naturally found on this world. You've heard the howls about how we came to be here, and how our magic is quite in sync with the world. Difference isn't sickness.*


*Quiet, both of you,* Stormfire ordered. She fixed them both with a glare. *If you want to snap at each other's muzzles, lock-send.*

She looked at the mound of crumbled rock, and winced as a wave of feeling washed over her. It was steeped in a sadness . . . a grief close to despondency. Hopelessness. She shook her head to clear it; High Ones, what had happened to the elves here? For they had been elves. That much was clear.

There was elven magic in those smashed boulders, a magic that radiated a fading warmth like spent embers. But it was clearer than any trace of magic Stormfire had ever felt. The elves had been strong . . . and yet they had probably died in the rubble of the mountain.

*Stormfire?* Whirlwind sent, an edge of anxiety to her thoughts. *Do you think . . . perhaps it was a ground-quake?*

Stormfire looked at the mountain. *It's the only thing I can think of,* she answered. She bit her lip as another wave of grief welled up in her. *What happened? Did they all die? Or did some of them die at first, and others lingered . . .?*

*Don't,* Tallspear returned grimly. *Just . . . don't.*

Journey advanced forward, his eyes wide with wonder as he looked over the mountain. *We might find out if we go closer,* he suggested. *Who knows? Sureshot always said the spirits of our dead kept close to the Father Tree. Maybe these spirits are holding close to what remains of this mountain.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 2, 2008, 3:45pm

Softling resisted the urge to snarl at Oakstaff, his words an arrow to her being. **I know we are elf.** Her sending raged. **But are we better for it? Timmain chose to be enough without...**

Whirlwind's sending caught her thoughts and she left her sending at an end. Death...the idea of elves, wolves or not, dying in such a cold place twisted her insides. She sent her wordless feeling agreement to Tallspear and Stormfire.

Journey advanced forward, his eyes wide with wonder as he looked over the mountain. *We might find out if we go closer,* he suggested. *Who knows? Sureshot always said the spirits of our dead kept close to the Father Tree. Maybe these spirits are holding close to what remains of this mountain.*



Softling started at the suggestion, turning on the elf. *This is not a Father Tree! If there are dead...* She turned to glance at the rubble. *They are not our dead.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 8, 2008, 12:27am

Journey heard Softling and answered, *They're not Wolfriders, true. But they're still elves, Softling.* He turned to give her a quick grin. *And who knows? Maybe they'll be friendly.*

*That's enough,* and Whirlwind gave him a not-so-friendly cuff on the head. *You're scaring her.*

Stormfire gritted her teeth, knowing the only reason the edgy bantering behind her was chewing her nerves was because they hung by bare threads. As Snowtreader began to sniff around the pebbles at her feet, Stormfire turned to the rest of her tribe. "Let's sit for a moment," she said. "We'll rest and see if there's anyplace we can use for a den."

"I'll go," Journey offered.

Stormfire fixed him with a level stare. "You'll sit down, Journey. Now's not the time to go flying off. We need to stick together." Chastened, the youngster dropped down on the ground.

The Wolfriders ate and drank a bit. Stormfire wrapped her arms around her ribs, hating the feeling of desolation that seeped into her. She knew it wasn't her emotion that weighed on her. The very rocks were chilled with old grief, a torpor that made her want to curl up, sleep, and never wake up.

She jumped as Tallspear sat down beside her. Stormfire gave him a wry smile, which he returned. "You look like a bent sapling ready to snap," he said. "Lean back, chieftess."

Stormfire obeyed, chuckling as Tallspear began kneading her taut, aching neck and shoulders. **Thanks,** she sent, unable to express her appreciation in words as muscles too tightly-strung flowed under Tallspear's nimble fingers like Evenstar's softest leather.

**No need.** Tallspear eased her back against him; Stormfire leaned into her dear friend's chest, savoring the comfort he offered. **This place feels like the humans' burial place,** he sent. **Barren and sad.**

**I know. And yet . . . Tallspear, have you ever had an itch where you couldn't scratch?**

**Not particularly,** the hunter returned drily.

Stormfire smacked him lightly in the ribs. **I'm not talking about that kind of itch. It's like someone rubbed poison ivy inside my head, and I can't get in there to scratch.**

**Mist could cure that, I believe.** Tallspear held up both hands in surrender as Stormfire turned on him with fist upraised. **I'm joking! I know what you mean, Stormfire. This place makes my skin crawl.**

Stormfire bit her lip and sat up, rummaging in her belt-pouch for a strip of dried meat. She offered some to Tallspear, who took it. They ate in silence.

At last she got to her feet and walked along the edge of the rock-pile. She shook her head in disbelief at the size of it. The mountain must have been huge. What had happened? She couldn't believe it was a ground-quake. What quake could be strong enough to bring down an entire mountain?

And the rocks . . . Stormfire picked up several pebbles and held them up in the softly fading moonlight. They gleamed, smooth and polished against her hands; pearlescent radiance made her skin look rough and dull. And yet the pebbles were full of magic. It sang a wistful, wordless tune that ran through her mind like a mouse through a tangle of ivy.

Softling must be ready to chase her tail, poor cub. Stormfire hesitated, and then shoved the pebbles into her pouch. Mist will want to see these, I'm sure. At least, to look at. He might just throw it at my head. The thought of Mist's expression when she handed him a palmful of rocks made Stormfire chuckle wickedly as she traced her steps back.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Nov 8, 2008, 1:38am

Firecat suppressed a shiver running down her spine while she stood at the foot of the mountain. The wind played with her hair as she lowered her head, to investigate the stone. There was nothing here, not physically, but the creeping feeling that something was really off, here, was something she couldn't shake of.

She moved over to Stormfire who was closeby, gathering pebbles. *The magic feels old. Much older than wolfriders. The mountain... do you suppose the mountain was shaped by rock-shapers before it crashed down?* It was something she could hardly believe. The pile of rubble they were in front of was huge already, and she could barely imagine the grandeur of the mountain as it was before it collapsed, let alone a mountain shaped in rock shaping magic.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 9, 2008, 5:26pm


Quote:
She moved over to Stormfire who was closeby, gathering pebbles. *The magic feels old. Much older than wolfriders. The mountain... do you suppose the mountain was shaped by rock-shapers before it crashed down?* It was something she could hardly believe. The pile of rubble they were in front of was huge already, and she could barely imagine the grandeur of the mountain as it was before it collapsed, let alone a mountain shaped in rock shaping magic.


Stormfire arched an eyebrow as she picked up another piece of rock. This piece was larger, and had oddly smooth curves--stone didn't curve like vines, and certainly not with such a sheen. "It does feel like shaper's magic," she admitted to Firecat. "Like Journey said, it's a little like the Father Tree." She suppressed the shudder that went down her spine. She didn't feel the dead here; she wasn't even sure what that would feel like--but the traces of magic and sensation were too strong to ignore.

"I'll have Sunsong take a look at it," Stormfire told Firecat, and put it in her pouch. "Want to go hunt for caves? I don't know what we'll find here, but I'd rather have shelter than sleep in the open next to this."Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 9, 2008, 5:40pm

*Well, isn't this a welcoming sight,* Whirlwind sent to her companions, as they examined a pile of boulders.

Out from beneath one of the large rocks, veined in a strange, vibrant purple, jutted what appeared to be the remains of a hand. As Tallspear moved some of the pebbles and rocks away, something gleamed in the light.

"That's a bracelet," Journey noted.

*Send,* Whirlwind ordered. She knelt beside Tallspear, who freed what was an elfin hand--the fingerbones were scattered among the pebbles, but it was easy to see the hand had possessed four fingers, not five. The hunter raised the bracelet up to the moonlight. Underneath dirt and lichen was the unmistakable odor of gold. Whirlwind shook her head. *I don't want it.*

*I do,* Journey offered.

*You would, magpie,* but Whirlwind grinned as she handed him the trinket. *You've learned bad habits from the trolls, no mistake,* she added teasingly, watching him stow it in his pouch.

*Look at this,* and Journey tugged on something dark that fluttered from under the rubble. As soon as he did, it disintegrated to dust. "Oh, no," he groaned.

Tallspear coughed as the dust blew across his face. *Nice going,* he sent to Journey.

*Come on. Let's try on the other side of these boulders.* Whirlwind got up and headed to where the boulders formed a spillway down to the foot of the mountain. *This looks like it's the actual mountain, and not just a pile of rocks.*

*Careful,* Tallspear warned as they approached. *It could fall on our heads too.*

*Nothing's going to fall,* Whirlwind retorted. *Quit going water-spined on me, Tallspear.*

His furious riposte was lost as the three elves saw a fissure in the rock. "Hey," and Whirlwind forgot to keep silent as she bounded up to it. "Look at this!" She examined the fissure; it was taller than she was, and shaped oddly, narrow at both ends and wide in the middle.

"I've never seen a cave mouth that looked like this," Journey remarked. He put his face to the fissure and breathed in, then drew back with a grimace. "There's a smell of death, but it's mostly old dust in there I smell."

Tallspear leaned forward and inhaled. Whirlwind decided to let the better hunter of the three of them get whatever scent there was in his nostrils; she'd take his word for it.

*There's death, and dust, but nothing more. And it's been long ago. There's no threat . . . and we can even get the wolves in.* Tallspear stepped back, snorting. *Stormfire! Everyone! We've found a cave!*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 9, 2008, 6:11pm

Softling stood trembling beside the dark rubble in front of her, not from any cold, but the sensation like worms from the dirt crawling over and under her skin. She had wandered a short ways to ignore Tallspear and Stormfire's affections, which had quickly ended her sympathies for the young chieftess. Her nose was keen, and so close, she scented the earth laden bones that Journey had uncovered without even looking their way.

The now distant voice of her chieftess shook Softling from her daze, and she quickly recognized she was now alone. She turned and ran to the sound of Stormfire and Firecat, welcoming the company of living wolves and elves alike.

(OOC: Is this cool?)Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 12, 2008, 1:05am

Stormfire paused at a mound of rock, crumbling into dust even as weeds pushed up through it. She looked at Firecat, and the two stared back at the sight before them.

It was metal, rusted from the elements. Firecat squatted down on one side and Stormfire on another; the pair began to dig the rocks away from it, even as the wolves sniffed, snorted, and circled them warily.

The larger rocks had to be set aside carefully. They were heavy, and shaped so strangely that Stormfire found herself exchanging bewildered looks with Firecat every time they lifted one. Odd square-shaped fragments had symbols shaped all over them. There were fragments that curled like ferns, or fanned out like tufts of grass. Some were smooth; others felt weathered.

"Is there any end to it?" Stormfire wondered as they reached a mound of fine pebbles. Firecat scraped half away, and started as her work revealed the odd, talon-shaped contraption was held in a skeletal hand.

(Note: this is well before Tallspear's send. We can play this out a little.)Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Nov 12, 2008, 1:18am

Windsoft had left exploration and discovery to the others while she utilized her scouting skills. The area that most of the others were exploring she had already deemed 'safe.' Nothing living moved there, other than small rodents and plants. Old death, dusty bones and stones, and magic saturated rubble. No danger.

The longer she spent near the broken mountain, the more certain she was that all that was to be found here was memories, the quiescent essence of elf magic, and sadness.

So she slipped from shadow to shadow, pausing often to stretch her senses for anything that could be scented, heard, or seen. She stayed within sending range, and kept a light touch with her chieftess so Stormfire knew where she was and that all was well.

The wind shifted and a new scent teased Windsoft's nose. Unlike everything else, this was a living scent. Fresh. *Stormfire,* she sent softly, as well as the memory of what she was sensing.

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Nov 12, 2008, 9:41am

Firecat's concentration wavered when she continued to scrape away the dirt around the figures. Though the figures interested her, the job wasn't what she liked to do. Hunting for caves was fine, they might need a shelter for the night were they to stay here, but uncovering rocks wasn't her idea of investigating danger.

When Windsoft's open send direct to Stormfire reached her, too, she veered up. Living scent? Something was here? It made the hair in the back of her neck stand straight up.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 15, 2008, 4:31pm

Softling was crouched behind Firecat, nervously observing the strange findings before them. 'What a weapon!' Softling thought at the sight of the strange sharp talons. She shuddered privately at the idea of confronting such nasty blades, as an animal or elf. As for the strange rocks now piled around them, shapes like grasses and clouds. 'A false world...' She wondered in awe and horror.

At Windsoft's sending, Softling unconsciously looked up at Stormfire, seeking the chieftess's thoughts.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 16, 2008, 12:00am

*Stormfire! Everyone! We've found a cave!*

Stormfire sat bolt upright at the news. And just then, Windsoft's sending reached her. *Something's alive here?* She reached for the javelin she'd laid on the ground and got to her feet. *Windsoft, we're coming. Firecat, Softling, let's go.*

She headed over the rubble, testing the scents that came her way, even as she made sure that Softling was where she could see her. Stormfire wasn't sure what to think. A scent--a living scent? And not an enemy's, clearly, or Windsoft would have sent 'danger'.

The trek to Windsoft took them up over a mound of rubble. Stormfire came up to Windsoft and laid a hand on her shoulder; Windsoft turned and shared, again, the memory of the scent. Stormfire stopped and breathed in the air, tasting the various scents . . . and the strongest scent was the living one.

*An elf,* she sent, shocked.

*And it's male,* Windsoft returned.

"High Ones," Stormfire breathed, forgetting momentarily to send. Firecat and Softling's faces mirrored her alarm. *Is he still here?*

Windsoft sniffed at the rocks, and shook her head. *I don't think so. This scent's more than a day old. Maybe two.*

The others had caught up to them, and heard Windsoft's final send. Whirlwind snorted as she glanced around at the rubble. *Whoever he is, he isn't a Wolfrider,* she sent.

*Maybe he's hurt,* Journey sent.

Oakstaff shook his head. *No chance, cub. You'd smell blood or sickness if that were so. Where's the scent lead, Windsoft?*

Tallspear joined Windsoft as she knelt to find the trail. Stormfire looked around, her heart pounding with wariness and anticipation. What would an elf be who wasn't a Wolfrider? She couldn't fathom it. The stories told that Timmorn had had many children in and out of Recognition--but that didn't mean anything. Cubs died, especially in the cold. And this was not a Wolfrider's scent.

*He couldn't have lived here all this time, could he?* Tallspear remarked.

*Sure he could,* Journey stated. *He might have been the only survivor when the mountain fell.*

*How do we know it's even his tribe?* Tallspear tossed back. *For all we know, he could be some foamsick outcast.*

*From where? Not our tribe!*

*Quiet,* Stormfire ordered. *It's no use wondering who he is until we find him.*

Windsoft sat back on her heels. *The trail leads up there,* and Windsoft pointed up at the summit of the rubble hill. *Whoever or whatever he is, he went that way.*

Stormfire sighed. There was nothing she'd have liked better than to go back to the cave Tallspear and Whirlwind had found. Still . . . *If he's up there, he might know why we're feeling what we're feeling--and whether or not it's a threat.*

*Or maybe he's as lost as we are,* Journey quipped.

*If that's so, I'll send him back down with you, magpie,* Stormfire returned, grinning. She took a few steps forward, and waited for Windsoft to catch up with her. *Well . . . * and she looked back at her tribemates. *Since we're paying a call, why don't we all go just to be polite?*

She took the first few strides forward, up over the rubble.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 16, 2008, 12:15am

Softling was numb with shock as she heard Windsoft and Stormfire exchange thoughts. An elf...with no wolf or wolf blood? The thought of being without the possibility of a wolf friend, a pack. What could that mean? "He must be lonely." Softling blurted quietly, then felt very childlike and shut her mouth quickly.

At Stormfire's summons, the first, stubborn part of her tongue wanted to complain, protest the continuation of such a disturbing discovery. Her young curiousity, her wonder, prevailed however, and she quickly stumbled after the chieftess, sniffing the air for the aged scent.

*Stormfire?* Softling sent as she studied the rocky hill before them. She rarely brought herself to completely thought send to the chieftess, so wary she was of the new leader, but her curiousity overwrought all. *What will we do if we find something?*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Nov 16, 2008, 8:21am

**Hush!** Firecat's sharp sent towards Softling slipped out before she could hold it back. **Send, don't speak.** The youngling might have blown their element of surprise here, and she suppressed a sigh. Listening to the mind-chatter of her fellow party, she shook her head lightly. *Let's go,* she nodded to Stormfire, *No use spreading around 'maybe's' and 'perhaps' before we find anything.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Nov 16, 2008, 1:15pm

**Gently, Firecat,** Windsoft scolded gently, looking towards the huntress. **She's been no noisier than the rest of us and I don't see, scent, or hear anything close by.** Which didn't mean there wasn't. Firecat had a different angle. **Do you?**

Windsoft meanwhile gave Softling a reassuring smile and gestured for the cub to join her. Softling was twitchy enough and a reprimanded that was more the result of Firecat's nerves rather than honest fault with Softling would do the cub no good. Still and all, silence was preferred. And this would be a good teaching opportunity for the cub, too.

Windsoft looked over the gathering Wolfriders and subdued a sigh. Hunters and fishers they were, all young, and not really an experienced tracker or scout amongst them but herself. All hunters were trackers to some extent, and Softling showed a marked preference for tracking, but her youth was against her. It took a slightly different mindset to be a scout rather than hunter: instead of focused on one quarry, one had to be focused on all possibilities.

*Chieftess, the scent trail follows the easiest path up, but I suggest we scatter among the rocks and stay in shadow. The wind has shifted, carrying our scent away, so we need to concentrate on stalking unseen. Shall I lead?*

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 16, 2008, 1:33pm

Softling nodded at Windsoft's summons, flushed with embarassment at Firecat's reproach. She tried to read Windsoft's expression as she looked over them, but elves could be so much subtler than wolves at times, so many more thoughts. As if that helped.

At Windsoft's sending, Softling nodded again to herself. There was little Softling could dispute with the huntress, with her wisdom and years, even if she wanted to. Now though, Softling thought it best to follow and stay close to their wise huntress. Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 16, 2008, 10:41pm

*But if we split up, we won't be able to greet him . . . * Journey's sending trailed off as the hunting party turned, almost as one, to stare at him.

*We're aren't inviting him to a howl, Journey,* Tallspear sent curtly.

*But what if he runs away?* Journey persisted. *We'll need to catch him, won't we?*

*What do you think the wolves are for?* Whirlwind snickered.
Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Nov 17, 2008, 8:03pm

*Journey, it will be the Stormfire's decision when - or if - this unknown elf knows we're here,* Windsoft gently reminded her son, and not so gently eyed Tallspear and Whirlwind. *We are scouting,* she reminded them all, *not hunting. We're not a tribe of ravening humans who think first of harming, and only then of understanding, are we?*

She was quickly becoming both concerned and impatient with the younger ones - and some of the older, too, who weren't here to continue the quarrelling - and their divergence from the wisdom of the Way. They were too eager for confrontation, too willing to risk without sufficient information. Too willing to attack before the stalk had begun.

She sighed silently as she motioned her companions along different paths, all deep in moonshadow, and took the most difficult for herself. This was her strength. Her arrows may not always strike true, but at scouting her skill was unquestioned. If there was still a elf on this pile of rubble to find, she'd find him.

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 18, 2008, 12:20am

**Windsoft...?** Softling's sending was hesitant, humble to the older tracker. **May I follow your steps? I will be silent.**Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Nov 18, 2008, 3:43am

At Journey's send, Firecat rolled her eyes. Honestly, if they wanted to bring this scouting mission to a good end, she truly didn't know why Stormfire had allowed cubs to take part. Both Softling and Journey were hardly grown up, and though it wasn't her place to say something about them tagging along, she grew mildly irritated. She preferred experience, and in her mind she scolded Longdusk for being such a pain in the butt.

When Windsoft suggested to split up, she hesitated. Though she was eager to search for an elf, wolfrider or not, it was not the safest thing and it would lay bare every weakness. *Pairs, or scatter alone?* she ask Windsoft with a hint of doubt.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Nov 18, 2008, 2:41pm


Quote:
**Windsoft...?** Softling's sending was hesitant, humble to the older tracker. **May I follow your steps? I will be silent.**


**Of course, cub,** Windsoft reassured their youngest member quickly. **How else am I to teach you?** she added teasingly.


Quote:
*Pairs, or scatter alone?* {Firecat} asked Windsoft with a hint of doubt.


*Pairs,* Windsoft assured her, turning her head slightly to catch the clearest, freshest scent on the skittering breeze. *And keep in sending-touch so we know as soon as you do when you notice something. We need to stay close to each other, but not clumped together. It's easier to hide that way.*

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 18, 2008, 9:37pm

Softling gave a quick nod and stepped in behind Windsoft, watching the others take to pairs and find footing amongst the rocks.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 18, 2008, 11:28pm


Quote:
*Stormfire?* Softling sent as she studied the rocky hill before them. She rarely brought herself to completely thought send to the chieftess, so wary she was of the new leader, but her curiousity overwrought all. *What will we do if we find something?*


*We'll see what it is, first,* Stormfire reassured the youngster. *Elf or no, we're more than he is, Softling. But we won't go rushing in. Quiet and careful's the way.*

She could tell Firecat and Windsoft were on alert, even as the cubs did what cubs usually did--act on their eagerness and fear. Journey settled down with his mother's rebuke, and Softling kept close to Windsoft. Stormfire felt a smile spread over her face, as nervous as she was, to see it. Softling needed to spend more time with the elders. Time with the wolves was one thing--and Quickflight had once said that perhaps Softling would make a good wolf-healer. But time with one's tribemates was better spent. The poor girl was too much alone with herself.

Watching Softling, Stormfire wondered if she shouldn't say something about her to Mist. The healer might have once been like her, after all.


Quote:
*Pairs,* Windsoft assured her, turning her head slightly to catch the clearest, freshest scent on the skittering breeze. *And keep in sending-touch so we know as soon as you do when you notice something. We need to stay close to each other, but not clumped together. It's easier to hide that way.*


Stormfire looked at Firecat. *Pair up?* she suggested. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Whirlwind set off with Tallspear and Journey in tow. **And don't you three get any ideas,** she warned. **If you find something, send!**

**Oh, you're just full of joy and sunshine, aren't you?** Whirlwind returned, her laughter filling Stormfire's head.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Nov 19, 2008, 10:16am

*Sure thing,* Firecat smiled. She wasn´t eager at all to go off alone, so she was happy that they´d go in pairs. Though the young ones showed it, she felt the same curiosity and slight fear. **Let´s cover some ground here, and move up a bit away?** she suggested.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Nov 20, 2008, 12:28am

*Good idea.* Stormfire fell in with Firecat and they headed up and away from their tribemates.

There was little to scent on the trail--dust, of bones and rocks; a faint odor of bird that truly puzzled Stormfire, for it hinted at hawk, and yet was much sharper than any hawk she knew of. A smell of metal . . . gold, perhaps. Stormfire shrugged, feeling the melancholy return. The trolls at home would have loved this much more than her tribemates.

I wish I hadn't insisted on this, she told herself. What a waste of a night it's been. One cave found, bits of junk, and one lone elf . . . whose scent comes and goes on the wind. Puckernuts, I'd give anything to be gnawing on a little food and curled up on a branch.

She and Firecat stopped to take a breath, and the smell of live elf grew stronger . . . somewhat. At least, Stormfire surmised, it was a sign that something had been where they walked.

Windsoft was moving up closer to the summit, seemingly tireless; Stormfire envied the older elf her energy. The little rocks slid under her feet, throwing her off balance; walking in them was like climbing a snow-covered hill.

*Stormfire?* Windsoft sent. *Hurry! There's a shelter up here!*

Stormfire and Firecat exchanged glances and then ran as best as they could up the hill, reaching Windsoft and Softling together. The scout crouched behind an outcrop of rock, in the shadows of the oddest shelter Stormfire had ever seen. Moonslight picked out its hard, angular shape, like something trolls might have fashioned. But trolls wouldn't have carved the beautiful, whimsical symbols along the straight slabs.

And it all smelled of elf.

Stormfire touched Windsoft's shoulder. *I'm going to look inside.* Windsoft nodded, and Stormfire crept along the rocks, keeping low to the ground. At the rocks' edge, she bounded to the door, then slipped around its edge and crouched down. She inhaled deeply and looked around her.

*See anything?* Windsoft sent.

*Not yet. Hold on.* Stormfire could tell at once that no one was inside. And yet the scent was--wait a minute, what was that?!

She whirled around, and stumbled against the wall in shock.

Something . . . Stormfire knew her mouth was hanging open, and fell seat-first on the hard stone. A perfectly-formed egg, a mass of curling, opalescent stone, floated up to her and hovered before her face. The glimmers of light from outside shone coldly on the egg's intricate surface.

*Stormfire?*

*Hold still,* Stormfire ordered. She swallowed hard and put a hand out to the egg. It hovered just beyond her fingertips. Oh, High Ones--whoever this strange elf is, this must be his handiwork!

*There's no one here,* she told Windsoft. *I'm coming out.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Nov 20, 2008, 1:48pm

Resisting the urge to jump from one foot to to the other, Firecat impatiently waited for Stormfire to come out. Her send had sounded anxious -- no elf, but she had found something else. *What is it?!* she couldn't refrain from asking. *If not an elf, then what?* The trek up the pile of rubble had been surprising to say at the least. *Do you think trolls were here?* she added, remembering the faint smell of gold. Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Nov 20, 2008, 10:02pm

Softling sniffed the air curiously at Stormfire's sending. Her sending implied more than the words. She glanced to Windsoft, then Firecat, then just waited with some apprehension, gripping the hilt of her dagger without thinking.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Dec 13, 2008, 5:16pm

Windsoft glanced at Oakstaff as the hunter slipped up beside her, then turned her attention back to the dark entrance that her chieftess had entered. A shifting of shadows and the pale gleam of flesh in moonlight. As Stormfire moved to rejoin them, slipping through shadows, another flicker of movement in the doorway caught the scout's eye.

It was ovalish, more narrow at the top than the bottom. And small - about half the size of Stormfire's hide, but mostly in width, not height. The surface seemed irregular, although distance and darkness kept the details unseen.

**Stormfire, there's an egg following you,** Windsoft locksent carefully.

Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Dec 20, 2008, 5:50pm

Stormfire froze. *There's a WHAT?* she fired back.

She could feel something behind her that radiated magic, and turned her head slowly to see. Something caught the moonlight, gleaming, and she pivoted around to see just what Windsoft said it was.

It was the egg.

The floating egg.

By the High Ones! Stormfire edged up to it, watching as it spun slowly in mid-air. What's making it spin?! She raised her head and sniffed the air, but . . .

*Anyone see that elf?* Without waiting for an answer, Stormfire put out both hands and caught the egg in her palms.

She marveled again at its strange weaving of symbols, some recognizable, some not. Hoping to catch its maker's scent, the chieftess leaned in to inhale its scent, and caught nothing but the faint, nose-tingling sensation of elfin magic. What is this?! Stormfire slipped it into her belt-pouch and hurried back to her hunters.

*Let's get to shelter,* she told them.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Dec 20, 2008, 6:16pm

Firecat looked surprised. *What? Why? I mean, sure, but what happened?* She felt confused -- they had to come up here to investigate and now they would leave without finding anything? Oblivious of the findings, Firecat turned her face away from the chief. It hadn't been her intention to question Stormfire's words, but she was curious what this meant.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Dec 20, 2008, 11:34pm

*I'll show you all when we get to a cave,* Stormfire reassured her confused tribemates. She put a hand on her beltpouch, but the egg no longer moved. She shook her head. *I've never heard of anything like this in the wildest dreamberry tales!

*If the stranger comes back,* she added, *we'll be ready for him. But for now, we're going to get shelter, eat, and hold a council.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Dec 25, 2008, 1:08am

*Timmorn's blood, we're taking it with us?!* Softling couldn't contain her exclamation much past an open sending. *What if the strange elf left it as a trap?* She didn't particularly not want to investigate the strange, floating object, but the whole situation really ran her the wrong way. With random floating objects, who knew what magics this place held?Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by Anna on Dec 30, 2008, 10:53am

*If it was a trap, we didn't spring it,* Windsoft noted, turning to lead the way back down the mountain.

*If it's a trap, it won't matter if we sprang it or if mystery elf sprang it. We're still in it." Oakstaff hung back, letting his tribemates follow Stormfire first and taking rearguard himself. *Chieftess, maybe we should head back to yesterday's camp instead of a cave under all this rubble?*


Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Dec 30, 2008, 1:22pm

Softling flushed and was quiet as she sped up to keep close to Windsoft. She felt foolish for blurting her thoughts so bluntly, but she had feared no one else would have the same thoughts.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Dec 30, 2008, 4:52pm

Stormfire considered Oakstaff's suggestion. The thought of staying put raised her hackles; something was out there--more importantly, someone was out there, and although they hadn't caught a scent of anyone else, it didn't mean they weren't in danger. The weight on her hip was all the evidence she needed of a powerful elf who, with a pile of rock and a handful of Wolfriders, could probably hold his own.

Although Whirlwind was quiet, Stormfire knew how her sister would react to that notion. Toad turds to that! A well-aimed arrow beats a floating rock any time, chieftess! And they had enough hunters to take out one rock-shaper.

Still, Sureshot would advise taking the safe course, and that was to head back to camp. But that was a long way away--and from Stormfire could see, dawn wasn't long off. She hated walking in daylight, when humans were up and about. Nor did she want to risk her tribemates to certain danger for the sake of escaping one that might not even be real.

But what about the egg?

*We'll talk this over, Oakstaff,* she sent. *First, let's get to shelter. I want you, Tallspear, and Firecat at the entrance with the wolves, weapons ready. Keep an ear on the rest of us. It's stay here for a day, and away from humans, or take the trek back to the old camp and risk crossing them. Keep that in mind until we start council.*Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Dec 30, 2008, 4:58pm

*What about me?* Whirlwind sent. *I should be on guard too.*

She snorted at Stormfire's pungent retort. Whatever had happened on top of this rubble-mountain had her chieftess-sister ready for a fight. Whirlwind glanced back at Oakstaff; for certain, he wouldn't give Stormfire one, but she found herself liking the idea of high-tailing it for the old camp.

Tallspear just shrugged and kept walking, but Journey blurted out, "That's it? We climbed up this pile of rocks for nothing? We didn't even find any--" A sharp look from Windsoft and Journey closed his mouth. Whirlwind hid a grin as she passed Softling, giving the she-cub a pat on the shoulder. Softling might be quick to speak, but at least it wasn't squirrel's chatter.

**Hey, cub,** she sent to Journey. **Follow my lead. I'm walking with your mother and Softling. You could learn something from the shy little one, by the way,** she added, as Journey came sulkily to heel beside her.

**She never says anything,** Journey returned.

**As I said . . . you could learn something,** Whirlwind noted.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Dec 30, 2008, 5:59pm

Arching an eyebrow at Whirlwind, Journey crossed behind her and fell in beside Softling. *Look what I found,* he told her, and pulled the bracelet out of his pouch. It was dirty, and he rubbed some of the grime off so the old metal caught a little moonlight. It was a delicate thing, twisting grape-vines, just the thing for a maiden's wrist. He handed it to Softling. *I think this would definitely suit you better than me,* he sent, winking at her.

**Ooooh, cub,** Whirlwind lock-sent, warningly. **If she smacks you with that, don't say I didn't warn you.**Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Dec 30, 2008, 7:48pm

"Eh..." Softling stared at the shiny trinket, startled at Journey's offer. She looked at Whirlwind beside them, then back at the trinket, flushing quickly. She couldn't help at glance at her own leather wrapped wrist, then back, before thrusting it out to him, head lowered away. *It's from one of those gone elves!* She stepped a few steps ahead quickly. *I-I might lose it.* She added.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Dec 30, 2008, 10:19pm

Journey grinned. He'd noticed that quick glance Softling gave her leather-wrapped wrist. Wouldn't it be something, if the holt's shyest maiden also had a liking for shiny things?

He offered it to her again. *You won't lose it,* he remarked, *if you put it on.*

**Well, well. Taking lessons from Tallspear, are we?** came Whirlwind's amused lock-send. **Careful, Journey, you might just flirt your way into her heart if you're not careful!**Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by peachbug on Dec 31, 2008, 12:35am

Softling noticed a glance between Whirlwind and Journey and flushed more with slight irritation. Undoubtedly Journey was getting put up to this somehow, if not by Whirlwind, then someone in the party. *I...I really don't want it!* She sent decisively. *I'm sure there's someone else who can wear it better!*

Softling suddenly felt a rush of guilt at her harsh sending to Journey, and sped up more. She really didn't mean to be offstandish. To lose a rare thing for a moment's flirtation...it just didn't feel right to take the trinket thing from him. Such a strange, precious thing from the elves who died here; she could only imagine playing with one of the wolves and breaking it. 'Why do I sound so cold?' She thought in frustration. 'I don't mean to hurt him...but he shouldn't tease me!'

Oh, how she wished the healer were here...she could talk to him from time to time.Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by viola on Jan 5, 2009, 3:33am

Firecat nodded at Stormfire's words. *Aye,* she agreed, not having troubles with having to stay on guard while the rest slept or figured things out. She swiftly looked over to Oakstaff and Tallspear, who would be there with her, before she cast a mildly annoyed glance at the two youngsters. The way they reacted wasn't their fault, she knew, it was because of their age.
Deep within, she still thought that it had been unwise to let those two tag along. Stormfire wasn't the most adult-like, either, but over the past moon she had matured swiftly because of the responsibilities she bore. These two, however -- they were still cubs. She would've preferred to have them kept safely with the others.



Re: Blue Mountain Rubble Explorations
Post by kris on Mar 5, 2009, 12:32am

The wolves refused to stay in the cave. They nosed around, sniffed at the walls, and pawed at rocks, but while their elf-friends hunched in a circle, the wolves paced restlessly in and out. Stormfire noted their behavior, even as Whirlwind said, "The wolves know something's not right, chieftess."

"They sense something. It may be the magic." Stormfire opened her pouch and took out the egg. "This was all but handed to me," she told them. "I don't know why . . . but I'll keep it. I do know one thing: we can't stay here."

As the words left her lips, Stormfire saw her tribemates visibly sag with relief. "I know," she admitted. "I don't think there's anything for us to fear. But this place feels wrong."

Whirlwind snorted. "You said it! My skin feels ready to leap off my bones."

"Well, I'm not--" Journey began, and Windsoft gave him a level look. "I'm not afraid!" he blurted. "I don't see why we can't look around once it's daylight."

Stormfire chuckled. "Look all you want, Journey. I'm sure you can find plenty of shiny things to keep you happy. But what of you, Windsoft?" She sent to Firecat, Tallspear, and Oakstaff. *You three can tell me what's on your minds too. I know none of you are happy right now.*

*I'd just as soon tail it back to the others,* came Tallspear's blunt reply. *You've got a pretty rock, Stormfire, but there's nothing in this entire pile of rocks that makes me feel good about sleeping in or around it.*
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