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Westering Holt
Holt Mistress


Posts : 131
Join date : 2011-06-15

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PostSubject: Grass, Grass Everywhere   Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:58 pm

Role Play Forums » 13,398 Season of Hot Sun: Grass, Grass, Everywhere, and Not a Tree in Sight » Grass, Grass, Everywhere
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Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 11, 2009, 12:14am

Mist weighed his waterskin in his hand. It was nearly empty, and there was no water within sight. The heat from the day still lingered among the tall grasses, and sweat trickled down his spine. He'd discarded his tunic long since, and it now traveled rolled up in his sleeping fur, across Whitecold's haunches.

He looked around him. His tribemates were all around him. They weren't showing signs of deprivation yet, but soon they would if they didn't come across water soon. The hunting had been thin, as well. Everyone was hungry and thirsty. The unshaded heat of the day made sleeping difficult, which left them all tired when the sun set and it was time to travel again.

Sunsong rode beside him, eyes closed and unusually quiet. No humming, no singing, no twittering of birdsong. It was almost more worrisome than the lack of water.

Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 11, 2009, 12:44am

Tallspear looked at the grass surrounding him, and wished it was tender spring grass instead of sun-scorched, brittle blades. He could chew the grass and swallow the spit to wet his parched throat. If grass weren't too tough to digest, he'd swallow the chewed mouthful as well. But the dry grass would choke him; it had no moisture to give. Worse, even if he managed to swallow it, it would go through him like a handful of burrs.

The last of the day's heat seemed to shimmer around him. What little game they'd found hadn't filled anyone, and Tallspear gritted his teeth as his stomach complained loudly.Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 11, 2009, 3:15pm

Longdusk kept quiet, scanning for any sign of other vegetation except for grass. His tongue seemed to have been replaced by a piece of leather in his mouth, but he wasn't complaining. Hé dgiven the last drops of water to his mother, who seemed exhausted. Still, he felt proud that she didn't complain.

Lightgaze hissed softly when she touched her face. The sun had been merciless, and her normally pale skin was now red with sunburn. The tips of her fingers brought some cool feeling, but it didn't last long and it made her skin hurt even more. So far, the journey had been tough on her, and she had often wondered why she'd tagged along. She cast a short glance at Redthorn behind her, digging her fingers in her wolf's pelt. She was having trouble maintaining to sit up straight, but she refused to give in to the exhaustion just yet.

Firecat realized she was getting paranoid. This endless grass was just like a steady relationship, she mused, and at times, the grass seemed to be closing in on her. She'd scream if they wouldn't be able to see at least *something* other than grass.
Leaving the rubbles of the mountain had left her with an uncomfortable feeling, and that feeling hadn't gone away since. She fixed her gaze at the horizon, and bit her lip. If she'd never see grass again in her life, she would die a happy Wolfrider.Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 11, 2009, 6:28pm

Redthorn watched her soulsister silently struggle to stay mounted with much difficulty, wishing she had but a few drinks left in her water pouch. Only a few swallows were left over, and those were saved for her Silvercub. The cub was now shielded in a cloak of one of Evenstar's light skins, huddled against her father.

Watching Lightgaze slump slightly, Redthorn turned a reluctant to be directed anywhere Whitecrest to her mate's side and slid Silvercub onto her wolf-friend's back. Urging Whitecrest forward, she lurched to Lightgaze's side. **She's like a breeze, even under a sun that burns us to bone.** Redthorn smiled weakly, her cheeks and exposed forehead also a swollen red color. She tugged Lightgaze's hand and rested it on Silvercub's cool, pale shoulder.

------------------

Softling's brains felt like hot mash, especially as wet trickles streaked down her neck and around her ears. Everything about this felt horribly wrong. There had to be something at the end of this. There just had to be. She couldn't keep losing faith in their chieftess. She just had to keep walking. 'And keep my mouth shut.' She tried to scowl at herself, but it hurt around her lips.

It just felt so helpless. Nothing she could do to save them from the sun, no say in where they would go from here. Snapbone had been a resilient pup so far, but she ached to see him so ragged and parched, panting the little water left in him as he straggled along beside her. It couldn't be helped. Water must go to the cub first, and the scouts who meant to sight them precious trees. She had no quarrel with that.

-------------

Evenstar let her long legs slip down Farpace's sides until her feet drug against the hard dirt and harsh yellow grasses. How was Firecat holding up? She forced her head up to look at her sister's face, to find it twisted in an odd expression. High Ones, Evenstar wondered faintly, is she gone and maddened by the heat? Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 11, 2009, 11:17pm

One foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other.

One foot . . .

We should go back the way we came.

Stormfire shook her head to clear it. The sky was darkening, and yet the air was still heavy and hot. Sweat soaked her hair, trickled down her neck, her back, her stomach; her feet felt slippery in her boots. She didn't dare take them off. She'd tried, and the dry grass had cut her toes and soles. Even now, the sweat stung in the tiny cuts.

There weren't even any birds in the air. Stormfire glanced up at the expanse of darkness above, but nothing stirred. If only there was a breeze! High Ones, a little breeze would be so welcome . . .

She gritted her teeth and forced her mind back on the journey.

The Wolfriders had no food. They had no water. And there was no sign of either in this sun-burnt grassland. Stormfire raised her head and sniffed the air; the smell of baked earth and dried plants came to her nose, but not the least smell of water.

"Quit that," Whirlwind growled. "You're making me nervous."

"I'm not making you nervous. The heat's got you on edge, like everyone else." Stormfire took off her headband and wiped the sweat off her forehead and temples. After a moment, she licked the moisture off her hand.

Whirlwind made a face. "Yuck."

"I'm not wasting moisture."

"Don't expect me to do the same. Salty, warm sweat--yuck, I say." Whirlwind blew her breath out sharply. "How can there be so much grass and no water?"

"Maybe it rains for one turn of Mother Moon, and never again for a year?" At Whirlwind's snort, Stormfire hung back and strode over to Redthorn and Lightgaze. **Why don't you see to Softling?** she lock-sent to Whirlwind. **Poor cub's got her hands full with Snapbone.**

**You've got it, chieftess,** and Whirlwind fell in step beside Softling.

Stormfire turned to Redthorn. "How are you holding up, Redthorn?" she asked, putting a hand on her tribemate's shoulder. She put the other hand on her waterskin. There wasn't much there, but if an extra drink would help Redthorn, so be it. Silvercub needed her mother more than Stormfire needed a swallow of water.
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 11, 2009, 11:25pm

Whirlwind fell in step beside Softling, wincing to see how badly burned the cub's face was. "Yowch," she exclaimed. "Wish we had something to smear on that sunburn." Sighing, she tugged at her hair. "This heat makes me want to strip down to my bare bones. And then I'd probably roast that much faster."

She paused. "Hey, Softling. Snapbone's looking a little ragged. Why don't you let me carry him a bit?" She pulled up her waterskin. "I've gone easy on the water, so I can spare a sip. Have some."Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 12, 2009, 12:47am

(OOC: I clarified a bit in the post, but Snapbone's probably a little big to be carried by elf arms. I imagine him a half grown wolf, not large enough to ride, but quickly getting there. Think gawky teen wolf phase. I'll answer generally and the other offer. Sorry!)

Softling shook her gold mane roughly. "No..." The offer was pleasantly surprising, yet worrisome. Did she really look that worn out? She didn't want to cause trouble or waste time. "He'll get along. I'll carry him if I have to." Softling could almost laugh at the idea. Her short frame carrying a gangly, half grown wolf? If the other wolves could manage, even with riders, she knew Snapbone could. Although... "Do you have enough for just a bit for Snapbone?"

"I've kept a little water for me, kept a little left." The words came out slightly more awkward than she meant and she blushed over her burn. "I'll manage." Softling kicked some grasses clumsily that caught on her sandal. "I wonder if we'll be red after this. Burned deep enough." She wondered out loud. Softling turned her head to Whirlwind suddenly. "How is...?" She switched to locksending, embarassed to be overheard. **How is Chieftess Stormfire? What does she think?**

-------------

Redthorn waved Stormfire's offer away gently. "I'll admit, I can't say I've seen a thirst like this in all seasons past, not in Sureshot's holt, but we're a fine set of Wolfriders, Chieftess." She smiled slightly. "You chose well. We'll make it through to whatever meets us."
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 12, 2009, 1:04am

High Ones, the heat! Shellslip could swear she was melting. It was a good thing she had insisted her clothing be so lightweight; otherwise, she wasn't sure hot she would manage. The skirt was cooler than trousers as well. Yes, the redheaded gatherer was determined to be good-tempered about something. Anger made one hotter and drained too much energy.

Sniffer was panting beside her, but after every few pants he gamely tried to sniff out food. There were bugs he caught and gladly chomped on, but that wasn't enough to fill his stomach, no matter how much he ate. At this point, he would have happily pounced on some wild rhubarb or even a sick gopher.

Then again, so would Shellslip. She had a little water, but it was torture not to drink it, and some dried meat, but that was it. She longed for a river to dive into, to drink from, to look for mussels and clams. High Ones, just one little freshet, she prayed, and sighed deeply. "This can't last," she said aloud, mostly to reassure herself. "It'll be fine."


=========


He felt as though he was boiling, but after seeing several tribemates' skin turn red under that sun, he thought it prudent to keep the hood of his mantle drawn to the bridge of his nose. It shaded his eyes, too.

Silent gave himself a sip of water, then poured some on his palm to give to Wanderlust, which she gratefully accepted. **All right?** Silent asked his friend, ruffling her ears.

**Been better,** Wanderlust replied. **Hot. Thirsty. Hungry. Unhappy.**

**Me too,** Silent replied with a measure of guilt. Wanderlust had wolfsong that blurred the moments, but she was still conscious of her discomfort. He had something more, and he could forget his physical needs. It was why he was walking rather than riding, why he still had some water left, and why he was carrying all of his meager possessions, bundled in his sleeping fur; he could forget the weight. **If you find food, don't feed me,** Silent firmly instructed. **Eat it all.**

**But-**

**Eat it all/[determination],** Silent reiterated, not allowing any room for argument. Wanderlust laid her ears back and whined, grinning submissively, and did not object. **Good girl/That's better.**

Ahhh, if only there was something to find! Silent shook his head, growling under his breath. There had to be something- even something as small as mice or other burrowing rodents would be welcome. Where was the game? Where was the water? That was the most important question.

The silver-eyed elf blinked in thought, then adjusted his grip on his supplies and rested a hand on Wanderlust's shoulders. **I need to lean on you/[please let me]-[I need your strength],** he sent to his friend, and the she-wolf immediately walked a little straighter. This she could do; she had aided her elf-friend often enough.

Silent closed his eyes and opened his mind, stumbling a bit and closing his hand into a fist in his wolf-friend's fur as the Song once again came into focus. The essence of heat, the wind in the grass, the dry soil, earthsong, wolfsong, the sun, the clouds.

Chase the clouds

Follow the wind

Seeking

Seeking

Where is it?

Seeking....

I will find it. Somehow....

Scent of dust

Scent of deathRe: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 12, 2009, 12:51pm

Windsoft’s nostrils twitched as, once again, she caught the scent of living animal. It wasn’t a familiar scent, and it was faint, although fresh. Where in this endless lake of grass, was fresh game? It had to be somewhere!

The tribe had been moving since before the sun went down, none of them having rested well in the humid heat that had saturated the day. At least with the sun’s setting and the cool, silver light of the moons the heat would fade. That would make traveling more comfortable, if one could ignore hunger and thirst.

Wolfriders could ignore hunger with some ease. Thirst, however, was a different story. Windsoft couldn’t remember a time when she’d been short on water and hadn’t had a stream, river, brook, lake, or pond close enough to refill her waterskin.

*It must rain often here, for all this humidity and the lack of ground water,* she sent to the hunter who paced beside her.

Oakstaff snorted. *Then we’re here in the dry season, because there’s not a cloud in the sky.*

*It rains, often,* Sunsong said, her send joining theirs even though there were several Wolfriders between them. Oakstaff and Windsoft hadn’t been locksending and their thoughts were open to any of their tribemates. *The grass remembers it. Their roots are deep, though, to let them survive the heat and dry time of this moon.* She ran her fingers through her hair and sighed. *At least it’s starting to cool.*

Mist drifted by them, his eyes half closed, and brushed his hand along there arm. A brief warmth suffused them, then the nagging, tender pain of their sunburns eased. Oakstaff opened his mouth to thank the healer, but Windsoft stopped him with a gesture.

*He wouldn’t hear you, anyway,* she advised him. *He’s helping us all.*

One by one, Mist lightly touched each of the Wolfriders, healing the sunburn that drained their energy when they needed it for other things. He was frequently past an elf before he or she realized he’d come near and what he’d done.

Stormfire he touched last, and he frowned at her as he came out of his light trance. *Do keep your boots on, Chieftess,* he scolded gently as the tiny cuts were soothed away. *There’s a reason we wear them that has nothing to do with decoration.*

Windsoft smiled at the healer's chiding of the chieftess, then turned around and looked for Evenstar. *Evenstar, I smell game. Faint and fresh, which means small, but it's still game. I just can't see it. Can you 'look' for it?* If her own eyes, ears, and nose couldn't find what they needed, maybe Evenstar's animal-bonding gift could point them in the right direction!

((OOC: yes, there are animals about. They're diurnal, however, which is why our poor elves aren't seeing them! We're crossing a prairie, so naturally there must be prairie dogs! Very Happy ))

Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 12, 2009, 10:02pm

Evenstar was startled by the request. She had used her small gift to predict the direction of game the Wolfriders had already detected, or to sense the health and age of a creature, but never to seek prey completely strange to her. Her gift had certainly never made her an apt hunter. She had even tried to quietly 'look' for any game hiding amongst the grass, but barely touched skittish lizards. What had the tanner missed?

*I'll try.* Evenstar sank forward on Farpace's shoulders, blocking out the sounds of her fellow elves and the panting wolves, listening through the faintly grinding dry grasses. Grinding...She flicked the sound away in annoyance and sank more into the sentience of the creatures of the plains.

A few minutes later, a small, mindless lizard scampered away from her prying. Windsoft couldn't be wrong, and she certainly wasn't scenting lizards. Grinding..."Oh, tanner's needles!" She mumbled. "Hush you stupid grass!"

The grinding paused, startling Evenstar. She halted Farpace, who huffed at Evenstar's oddness. Grinding...Evenstar suddenly felt the faint sensation of being compacted, the feel of hard earth under her palms and all around, and everything felt thunderous, like a skyfire shower around her ears. Fear, fear and the desire to go deeper...dig?

Under the ground?! Evenstar almost tumbled off Farpace, who huffed again, with more concern. She brushed grass away as she pressed her ear to the ground anxiously. The grinding was tiny feet scratching tiny burrows, but what was in the burrows? Were there openings? "Windsoft!" The tanner switched to sending to share her discovery. *My brains may have melted as I slept, but I swear it! Under here! Under the whole awful place! Digging! Dens!*Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 13, 2009, 9:39am

Surprised, Lightgaze looked up as Redthorn suddenly rode next to her, and she smiled when she felt the she-cubs cool skin. **Wonder how she does that,** she muttered. **It's a gift.**
Trying to focus on the road ahead, Lightgaze noticed that her hands started to lose strength. Her arms trembled from keeping herself straight up, but still, she tried hard to not let anybody know. If a cub could hold on, so could she, she scolded herself. Then, the sudden turmoil of Evenstar's discovery made her tilt her head, but she was too tired to actively respond to it.

~*~

Quickly joining her sister, as Evenstar told everyone about her discovery, Firecat was overly happy to hear that they weren't alone there -- even though the beasties were underground. *What kind?* She felt slightly confused, because she hardly knew what to do with the situation. Were they supposed to dig, so they could eat ? Her stomach rumbled -- she wouldn't mind that option, actually.

~*~

Longdusk heard the excitement of Evenstar's mental voice, but he hardly responded, but with a sigh. He knew he couldn't discard the discovery before knowing more -- the tribe needed to eat, after all. But -- digging took time, time they wouldn't be able to get across this nightmare, and they'd need lots of those critters to feed properly. *How far below are they?* he asked, still having his eyes fixed on the horizon. If there was going to be something else than this stinking grass, he'd definitely find it, he swore to himself.Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 14, 2009, 12:45am

Whirlwind waited as Mist walked by them. One touch of the healer's pale fingers, and Softling's sunburn faded as though it had never been. Whirlwind grunted as the healer did the same to her, inwardly relieved that her skin no longer stung or burned like fever.

"Show-off," she threw after Mist, winking at Softling. "Mustn't let his head get too big. Healers need to keep their feet on the ground." Whirlwind considered Softling's question as they walked. **Stormfire's holding up,** she replied. **She knows we have to find water and food here somewhere. Whoever heard of a land where grass grows, but no birds nest? Even snakes--** Whirlwind stopped in her tracks as Evenstar's sending hit them all.

"Hear that, cub? Where there's digging and dens, there's food! Hah!" She sent to Evenstar. *Nice work, tanner! Think the wolves can help dig 'em out?*

Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 14, 2009, 12:58am

Journey stifled a groan as the evening finally began to cool. He didn't know how humans could stand daylight. Then again, they hadn't seen a living thing here--for all they knew, any humans had long ago dropped from heatstroke.

Windsoft lead the scouts on a search for water and food. Journey kept close because he wanted to be sure his mother was all right, and because hanging back with the others was boring. Back there, they sent about whether or not they'd ever find food, if it ever rained in this place (a question he was happy to hear Sunsong answer) . . . and where they were going anyway. Up with the scouts, the questions were to the point: where can we find food, and where's water?

Water . . . by the lost dwelling of the High Ones, he'd give every single treasure he had for a drink from a cold spring. Journey had left most of his prized possessions behind, although he still carried the bracelet he'd found at the crumbled mountain. He wondered, if he came upon a troll who offered a dice game for water, would he really wager the bracelet?

"Oof!" Someone stumbled into him; Journey fell to the ground, gasping at the impact.

*Watch it, you--* He saw it was Tallspear, and swallowed hard. *Ooops.*

*What are you doing?* Tallspear demanded, hauling Journey up to his feet.

*Thinking about water,* and Journey jumped when Tallspear, irritation clear on his face, thrust his waterskin at him. *I've got plenty of that, Tall--*

*Just drink,* the hunter ordered. Making a face, Journey took a sip of water, wincing as the warm, leather-tasting stuff went down. All he could say in its favor was that it was wet. Tallspear took a sip from it as well, and peered around him. *Evenstar may have found something,* he said, and clamped a firm hand on Journey's arm. *C'mon, you. Quit tripping me up and let's see what it is.*

Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 14, 2009, 7:23pm

Evenstar tried to answer their curious sendings the best she could, already worn from heat and thirst, as well as the shock of actually finding something. *I don't know what they are, their minds are like ravvits, but they aren't.* She pushed her gift again at the creature under their feet. *I can only see what it sees, so I don't know what they are. They're food, though, I wager.* The tanner sighed and slumped with her legs out in front of her. She had heard of animal bonders who could touch a creature's memories, see what it had seen or felt in the past, not just the moment. She had never developed her bit of magic past some helpfulness. What good would it have been to know what the meat in your bellies remembered or thought about? Now she reconsidered that idea.

*If the wolves are up to it, we could dig it out, but there's tunnels all over. I think it'd be quick. We'd have to dig fast, or find the openings.* She looked at Windsoft. *There must be openings?*

----------------

Softling sighed as Mist's healing revealed a Wolfrider's pale skin rather than the angry mess it had been moments ago. She started to wonder how much it cost him to use his powers, whether it robbed him of strength or was just like a thought to him, but was drawn back to Whirlwind's locksend, then Evenstar's open call. Food? Her worries of Stormfire faded into the background of her empty belly.Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 16, 2009, 6:57pm

Windsoft smiled at Evenstar. *There have to be,* she agreed. *Just like hunting rabbits,* she added, glancing around at her tribemates.

*Except we,* Sunsong interrupted cheerfully, *don't know these rabbits boltholes! I have an idea.* And with no other warning than that, Sunsong sat down in the groun, closed her eyes, and dug her fingers into the soil almost hidden beneath the thick mat of grass.

She extended her awareness down into the plants that surrounded her, seeing a verdant map of vegetative life around her - and the holes where that carpet of green growing life was interrupted. With gentle, irrestible persuasion, she hastened the growth of grass into thick barriers around all of those openings. Any animal with sharp teeth would be able to gnaw it's way out soon enough - but not fast enough to avoid the digging Wolfriders.

She opened her eyes and smiled at her watching tribemates. "There. If Evenstar will tell us where to dig, and if we do it fast enough, we'll have a mouthful or two tonight!"

Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 17, 2009, 12:17am

Stormfire shook her head as Sunsong worked her plantshaper's magic. "I've no idea what you just did, but if we end up with full bellies tonight, I'll be grateful. Evenstar, you can feel where these little beasts are--put us where we can grab 'em!"

As Evenstar directed the hunters, Stormfire found herself passing Whirlwind and Softling. Whirlwind had her sleeves shoved up almost to her shoulders, saying, "You see movement, reach down and grab!"

"But not if it's a mother with young," Softling reminded her.

"Of course not, cub. I know the Way!"

Stormfire headed over to Windsoft. "Windsoft," she said quietly. "We can see this plain all the way around, and it doesn't look like there's any water anywhere. But," she added, forestalling Windsoft's reply, "if those animals underground are here, there has to be water somewhere. I'm coming with you to find it. Grab whatever pops out of the hole, and we'll be off."

"Chieftess?" Windsoft raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure?"

Stormfire met her gaze with a level look of her own. "Worried I'm going after another stone egg?" She softened her words with a wink, and then plunged her hand into a burrow as she saw movement. In the same moment, Windsoft did the same, over a nearby burrow--and both came up with handfuls of squeaking, wriggling rodents. Stormfire broke her prey's neck, dropped it, and waited patiently for another. When she had three, she walked over to Snowtreader and dropped two in front of the she-wolf.

"Here you go, friend," she said, and skinned hers as the wolf ate. Several mouthfuls of warm, bloody meat made her feel better at once; she didn't care for the taste, but food was food. Stormfire finished her catch and got up to find Mist, locating the healer sitting with his own catch skinned and half-devoured.

He looked up at her, his expression already wary. "Chieftess?" he asked.

He was never that distant with Sureshot. Wonder what's got into him with me? Stormfire squatted down in front of him and smiled.

"I'm going to lend a hand to Windsoft and the others, and see if we can't find water. There has to be some around here, somewhere." She smiled wickedly, half-enjoying watching the storm gather on Mist's face. That's what you get for being so stand-offish with me, elder. Let's see how long you keep this up. "While I'm gone, you're in charge. Don't drive the tribe too hard, and seek shelter as soon as the sky starts to lighten."
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 17, 2009, 7:15am

Firecat looked in awe, when the wolves started digging and the little beasts were trapped. "Say, Sunsong," she told the plantshaper, "isn't it far more convenient to trap these little critters in the vines you're creating anyway? That way, we only have to dig them out instead of catching them, too." She was momentarily distracted, when one of the little beasts surfaced and she made a dive for it, but it got away and she smacked to the ground. *There he goes,* she mentally cried out, a little embarrased, when the animal desperately tried to get away from it's prey.

~*~

Though reluctant at first, not wanting to waste the precious energy he had left, even Longdusk had tried to catch some of the little animals when it became clear that the attempt, in fact, proved to be useful. Swiftly, he trapped one, broke its neck and handed it over to Lightgaze, whose purple eyes looked grateful. It wasn't exactly water, but the moisty flesh would definitely do some good to her dry mouth. And Longdusk was determined to keep his mother on her feet -- she was more important to him than anyone else, right now, even if the hunger radiated inside him. Silently, he went to look for another, his wolfish instinct maxed out.

~*~

Lightgaze had gratefully accepted the animal Longdusk had given her. Mist had lightened the burden of sunburn moments before, and it made her feel slightly more elf again. She took a bite, spit out the fur, and took another, quickly chewing the fresh, warm meat.Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 17, 2009, 7:14pm


May 17, 2009, 7:15am, viola wrote:
Firecat looked in awe, when the wolves started digging and the little beasts were trapped. "Say, Sunsong," she told the plantshaper, "isn't it far more convenient to trap these little critters in the vines you're creating anyway? That way, we only have to dig them out instead of catching them, too." She was momentarily distracted, when one of the little beasts surfaced and she made a dive for it, but it got away and she smacked to the ground. *There he goes,* she mentally cried out, a little embarrased, when the animal desperately tried to get away from it's prey.


Sunsong blinked at Firecat, then flashed her a smile. "No vines, fisher!" she said merrily. "Grass! And there is no grass in their little burrows." She giggled and pounced on the animal that had evaded Firecat. She offered it, still alive, back to the other elf. "They look like tailless squirrels, don't they?" she observed.



May 17, 2009, 12:17am, kris wrote:

"I'm going to lend a hand to Windsoft and the others, and see if we can't find water. There has to be some around here, somewhere." She smiled wickedly, half-enjoying watching the storm gather on Mist's face. That's what you get for being so stand-offish with me, elder. Let's see how long you keep this up. "While I'm gone, you're in charge. Don't drive the tribe too hard, and seek shelter as soon as the sky starts to lighten."


Mist's eyes narrowed at Stormfire's pronouncement. Again she planned to go off without most of her tribe and leave him to watch over them. An inaudible growl vibrated in his throat before he clamped down with stern control. He didn't want to be chief of the tribe. He didn't want to be thrust from the Now by having to think far ahead, or worry about the stupid cub's dubious safety.

And he knew, oh, yes, he knew that Stormfire derived more enjoyment out of tweaking his tail than she should. 'When she gets back' he thought grimly, knowing he couldn't forbid her to go any more than he could question the wisdom of her decision over a relatively minor issue, 'I am going to lay her over my knee and spank her til she'll have to walk to the new holt.'

Instead, he swallowed his anger and presented her with a mild expression and tone. "Stay out of Windsoft's way, Chieftess, and she'll find water for you."

Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 17, 2009, 11:36pm

Shellslip cried out, and she and Sniffer gladly got to work. The maiden found a hole and beat on the ground above it, and wonder of wonders, an animal shot out, squeaking. Sniffer leaped high like a fox and came down on it, breaking its spine, and started gnawing. Encouraged, Shellslip hurried to find another hole; the odds of another animal coming out the same way weren't very good. Changing her mind at the last second, she went to Sunsong and Firecat. "Let's work together," she said. "I'll beat on the ground if you two can catch them."

=====

Joy interrupted his search, and Silent blinked himself to awareness, gazing at everyone in confusion. Wolves were going nuts and hunters were capturing little burrowing creatures, and feasting. Wanderlust bolted from under his hand to pounce on one that almost got away, and rushed off to devour it in peace.

Food. Food! That was wonderful! One problem solved. Silent smiled and half laughed, the sound cracked by disuse and a dry throat.

Mist brought up the subject of water, and the quiet one's thoughts were brought back to what he had been looking for in the first place. Food could wait. He hurried to Stormfire, grabbing her shoulder. *Let me come/[pleading]-[faint pink hope]/[purpose],* he requested, for once daring to meet someone's eyes. Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 17, 2009, 11:38pm

"Should I stay and keep searching for these grass squirrel things, Chieftess?" Evenstar called to Stormfire, oblivious to the tension between the healer and chief in all the excitement and blood scent. "Or should I help with the search for water? This good luck won't be our last I think!"

With that she pointed suddenly to a few paces away. "Oh, there! There's one!" Redthorn's old Whitecrest, now adept at the new hunt, pounced before even his elf-friend could, eagerly scratching up the hard earth. He pulled up two in grinning jaws. "Oh..." Evenstar laughed quietly. "Two I guess. They think so similarly, it's hard to keep track. Tailless squirrels is right..."

------------

Redthorn eased one of the creatures from Whitecrest's teeth and handed it off to Icemark. Her cub already had a piece of bloodied meat in hand, sucking on it quietly as she watched the ruckus with wide violet eyes. Whitecrest tore the other open eagerly.


----------

Softling knelt into the grass and tore into one of the creatures without even bothering to skin it, relishing blood that relieved her aching throat. Snapbone already had two between his paws, though he had sat like a dumb stump until Softling showed him just what the other wolves were leaping after. One more lay beside her. Should she try to save the meat? Eat it all now before the sun spoiled it? More unassured, should she share it? She glanced about, but brought her mind back to the task literally at hand. If the other Wolfriders wanted her help, they would ask. She hoped.

Where would they go from here, she couldn't help but wonder.Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 17, 2009, 11:44pm


May 17, 2009, 11:36pm, multifacets wrote:
Mist brought up the subject of water, and the quiet one's thoughts were brought back to what he had been looking for in the first place. Food could wait. He hurried to Stormfire, grabbing her shoulder. *Let me come/[pleading]-[faint pink hope]/[purpose],* he requested, for once daring to meet someone's eyes.


Stormfire met Silent's eyes, struck again by the strangeness of his sending. Most Wolfriders' sendings were rich with emotion and sensation; Silent's sends were like rivulets of water flowing into a pool--they plunged, settled, and rippled through her mind.

On the other hand, if anyone could sense water, it just might be Silent . . .

She laid a hand on his shoulder and held his gaze. *Come then,* she assured him. She glanced back at Mist, whose face, as still and quiet as stone, made her want to giggle. **You know, Healer, maybe you'd like to come too. We can always have Wingfoot look out for the tribe, you know.**Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 17, 2009, 11:56pm


May 17, 2009, 11:38pm, peachbug wrote:
"Should I stay and keep searching for these grass squirrel things, Chieftess?" Evenstar called to Stormfire, oblivious to the tension between the healer and chief in all the excitement and blood scent. "Or should I help with the search for water? This good luck won't be our last I think!"


Stormfire looked about at her tribemates. They were eagerly hunting burrows, pulling up handfuls of the strange little grass-squirrels. "I'd say our hunters here can handle it," she noted, grinning as the piles of dead grass-squirrels began to rise. "Food's one thing. We need water, fast, and your help would definitely be welcome, Evenstar."Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 18, 2009, 12:03am

Evenstar smiled and nodded, calling her Farpace back to her.Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 18, 2009, 1:01am

Windsoft watched with wide eyes while Stormfire gave permission first for Silent, then for Evenstar to come on the hunt for water. The chieftess didn't seem to think about it - just blithely said yes! She liked Silent and Evenstar, but what benefit could they be on a fast scouting foray? Silent had an odd way about him, but Windsoft couldnt' see how that would help them. He would slow them down. Evenstar - she'd found food, but what benefit would her tanning or animal sensing gifts do them in a search for water?

"Chieftess." Windsoft cleaned her bloody fingers and stood up, stepping closer to Stormfire and focusing her eyes on the ground. She wasn't challenging, oh, no. Not a bit. "Perhaps only the experienced scouts should go? We'll be moving swiftly, and invisibly. Our magic users are too are not trained as scouts; dare we risk them when it's not strictly necessary?"

She glanced around at the tribe, seeing that most were watching. "Evenstar's talent is useful here, catching more of these ground squirrels to take with us, in case our next camp is even more barren. Silent..." Windsoft trailed off, trying to think of a kind way to explain her objection. He was a good cub, although long past the age of being a cub. But he'd never shown an interest in being a scout. She just couldn't see how his inclusion would be more than a hindrance. "Silent unique sense may be more help when he can concentrate on it, and not be distracted by the need for speed and stealth."Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 18, 2009, 1:29am

She said yes! Stormheart actually said yes, and took him seriously! Silent couldn't believe it. He smiled and projected his gratitude to his chieftess, showing throat respectfully.

And then Windsoft approached and spoke up. Her words cut deep because they were partly true. He was generally quite useless, but out of all the magic-users, he was also the most expendable; if something happened to him, it wouldn't be a loss.

But he wasn't simply "Silent" because he didn't talk.

The silver-eyed elf gently removed Stormfire's hand from his shoulder and deliberately started walking backwards. Grass whispered about his mantle as he passed through, the thick soles of his boots making barely any noise as they made contact with the dry, powdery soil. Years of being alone, of being quiet simply because he thought there was nothing else to be, made Silent as soundless as most other Wolfriders.

Silent stopped when he was two elf-lengths away from Stormfire and Windsoft, then came back, still virtually soundless. *I can be useful/[let me have a use]-[let me prove myself],* he sent, pleading with Windsoft to understand.

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PostSubject: Re: Grass, Grass Everywhere   Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 18, 2009, 2:05am

Windsoft almost winced at the pleading in Silent's sending, but his eyes she would - and did - meet as she answered him. Her request to Stormfire had been verbal, and all the tribe heard it. They deserved to hear this, too.

"Yes, cub, you can be useful. You will be. But each of us is useful in different ways. Guards make poor gatherers, so we don't expect or ask it of them. You're neither guard nor gatherer, but something else, something akin to the gifts of the High Ones. Everyone knows that using that magic takes focus and concentration. That's not something you can do riding a running wolf while you're trying not to be seen." She glanced towards Evenstar. "Just as our tanner's animal-bonding will be more useful with the rest of you. Water doesn't have a mind to be sensed, so her magic won't show us where it is."

She stepped away from Stormfire, who seemed to be listening and watching how Windsoft dealt with the young male. The scout put her hand on Silent's face, caressing his cheek soothingly. "You have a gift none of us have, and none of us can tell you how it best serves the tribe. Only you can figure that out. So while we scouts do what we do best - ride fast, far, and unseen - we must trust you to do what you do best."

Mist stepped forward and put his hand on Silent's shoulder. "This way you have of sensing things... it tells you much," he said gently. "Can it tell you where water is? The chieftess and Windsoft can't cover every direction."
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 18, 2009, 3:34pm

*Yes! I'll show you now!* Silent affirmed, and swayed slightly as his eyes went blank and his mind opened to the Song again. The "sounds" became louder as the elf drove his consciousness deep into it. Urgency

They don't trust me

Not surprising

Distance heat death dry air dry ground dry waving grass everything too dry

Farther and farther

Wait- Stop

Where....?

Crystal notes sense of cleanliness faint phantom taste bright in the dust and heat

What is it?

No, I remember! I-

Pain shot through Silent's temples and he gasped, barely covering his nose in time to stop the blood. *There!* he sent triumphantly, and pointed the way as he wobbled and sank to his knees. He had never sent his mind so far before.

Behind the group, Shellslip yipped in excitement as she finally caught one of the prairie dogs, and immediately killed it to skin it.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 18, 2009, 7:37pm

Evenstar stepped out at Stormfire's thoughtful silence, accepting Windsoft's suggestion as wiser than her own eagerness to assist. A sadness drifted briefly through her as she walked delicately over the grasses, 'listening' for flittering minds. It really did feel good to be useful again, after so long unable to tan or produce anything. A huntress she was not. Maybe at the new holt, she could be more than a tanner.

A few moments later, the scent of elf blood caught her nose, and Silent's sending broke through like blinding rays of the sun. Worry passed quickly, as she realized the emotions behind the sending. Had he found water? Evenstar clasped her hands together and turned away smiling. Of course they could rely on Silent to find the invisible!

----------

Softling had started toward Windsoft and Stormfire, hoping to find some use in the renewed search, but felt a rush of embarassing jealousy along with her natural relief at Silent's sending. The sending overwhelmed her, cowed her like only wolves like Whitecrest and Snowtreader could. Water. How could he possibly see that? Mist and Sunsong had the strongest magics, and they hadn't found anything over the whole journey across the dry grass. Thank the High Ones if he found it, she admitted gladly, but I wish I'd been the one. Softling scuffed the grass with a frown, but sighed and continued walking to the small group. Maybe she could still do something, even small.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 19, 2009, 8:37am

"Well, can't you point the grass upside down, then?" Firecat laughed, happy that Sunsong had been able to catch the prey that had tried to make a run for it, "I mean, if it hurts us, then it'll thefintely hurt them, right?" Her mood had instantly been lifted when the food had been discovered, and without even thinking, she broke the squirming creatures neck, before she took her knife and skinned it. Evenstar might have some use for it, and she wasn't that desperate that she would eat it with fur and all. With the plantshaper's next question, she studied the half-skinned creature she hold in her hand. "Aye, they do look like those. Though I prefer their tree-dwelling kind better," Firecat told her after testing the meat.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 19, 2009, 8:02pm

"Picky, picky," Shellslip sassed Firecat through a full mouth, and swallowed happily. Funny how food could improve one's mood. "I got rather sick of squirrels myself while we were near that pile of rocks." She grinned unrepentantly, knowing that made her sound picky as well. "These taste different. I could get used to different while we're on this High Ones-cursed plain."

Sniffer pounced on another of the rodents, and warned off another wolf with a snarl before eating in peace.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 19, 2009, 10:56pm


May 18, 2009, 3:34pm, multifacets wrote:
Pain shot through Silent's temples and he gasped, barely covering his nose in time to stop the blood. *There!* he sent triumphantly, and pointed the way as he wobbled and sank to his knees. He had never sent his mind so far before.



Stormfire stared in amazement as Silent fell to his knees. For a moment she thought she might do so herself.

She glanced at Windsoft, whose advice she'd been mulling even as the scout reasoned with Silent. She'd just avoided a mistake, Stormfire realized, and ruefully considered that there were times when common sense should outweigh generosity. But she also savored a flare of triumph. She had a strong feeling that Silent had done just what he promised--found them water.

And as she met Windsoft's eyes, she felt a twinge of regret. Windsoft knew what she was doing--Stormfire should step aside and let her do it. She thought of their trek to the Broken Mountain, and inwardly winced. True, it was a chief's job to face danger for the tribe. But Stormfire had a feeling that Windsoft would tell her to her face, if the whole tribe weren't standing by, that it was also a chief's job to keep out of danger as well.

She bit her lip, raised her eyebrows, and finally shrugged. **Windsoft,** she told the scout, **choose your own scouts. They won't include me. I belong here with the tribe, not under your feet.**
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 19, 2009, 11:14pm

Windsoft stepped aside as Mist knelt down next to Silent. The healer closed his eyes and touched the young elf's forehead gently.

At Stormfire's lock-send, she returned to the chieftess' side. **Stormfire, you would not be under our feet. But you're more than just another young hunter now.** The scout's gentle send, began to warm with approval and pride. **I am your arrow, chieftess. Say but which direction you wish me and your scouts to fly.**
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 19, 2009, 11:23pm

Stormfire smiled wistfully; Windsoft's praise was welcome, as she was beginning to wonder if she wasn't making herself look cowardly by staying behind. Where it's safe . . . although it's not all that safe . . .

**Want to try Silent's direction? You could still send some of the others on another path, just in case.**
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 20, 2009, 12:50am

**Silent's direction it shall be,** Windsoft agreed readily. **I'll keep us together; I have faith in the cub. He's never been so certain of anything before.**

"Longdusk, Softling, Tallspear, Thornberry," Windsoft called her chosen scouts and hunters to her. Truthfully, she would have preferred to leave Softling behind, but the cub was training as a tracker and Scout, and learning how to move in an unfamiliar environment would, hopefully, not be an opportunity that came her way too often.

"We follow Silent's direction. We ride fast. Combine all the water into as few skins and possible, and bring the empties with us. We'll ride fast for a night's travel, rest, then return to the tribe with the news of what we found. And water," she added, turning a smile on Silent.

Mist looked at her sharply as he took his hand away from Silent's forehead, having stopped the bleed in the nose and soothed the ache in the young elf's head. Sunsong knelt beside Silent, gently cleaning the blood from his face.

"It hurts when you first start actively using a gift and you stretch too far," the plantshaper murmurred soothingly. "But the more you practice it, the sooner the hurting stops." She brushed her lips against his cheek. "You've done well, silent one! Windsoft will go find your water!"

Mist patted Silent on the head, sending him wordless encouragement and pride. The healer moved to join Windsoft and Stormfire. "You must take water with you, as well," he said quietly. "We're all near sick from the lack."

"We will," Windsoft assured him, touching his shoulder quickly. "We'll leave most with you, take one with us, and all the empties. They'll be full when we return!"

Mist turned his silvery-blue gaze on Stormfire. "And you will be back by tomorrow's resting time?"

________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 20, 2009, 12:59am


May 20, 2009, 12:50am, Anna wrote:
Mist turned his silvery-blue gaze on Stormfire. "And you will be back by tomorrow's resting time?"



"I would if I were going, Mist," Stormfire returned, watching Windsoft gather up her chosen scouts. So she's taking Softling! Good, good . . . the cub needs to get some experience.

She looked back at Mist and added, "I'd go if I could. But Windsoft made me think of something Sureshot once told me. A hunter can risk any danger to herself for the tribe's sake. But for the tribe's sake, the chief can't do the same." She sighed at the memory. "If he saw me go off with Windsoft, he'd tell me if I really wanted to abandon the tribe that badly, I should go throw myself on the mercy of the Tall Ones."
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 20, 2009, 1:13am

Mist held Stormfire's gaze for a long moment, his own sharp and searching. Finally, he smiled. It was a smile Stormfire hadn't seen for what seemed like a long time. There was no trace of distance, no aloofness, no barrier behind that simple, honest expression of approval and ... relief.

Mist was relieved. He'd been concerned after the collapsed mountain foray. Stormfire's initial intention to go on this scouting mission had deepened that worry. But this - this was the sign he'd been trusting would come. It was sooner than he'd really expected. And, again against his expectations, it came at her own will.

"Your sire was often wise, and I would take it as a great favor if you'd avoid the Tall Ones, Stormfire," he said now, with every appearance of calm - except for that warm smile he still had.


________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 20, 2009, 1:41am

Stormfire ducked her head at the healer's open smile, blushing at the implicit approval in his words. "Well . . ." She couldn't think of anything to say, and then it came to her. "It's not like there are any Tall Ones around here anyway!"

She turned away quickly to wave at the departing scouts, among them Tallspear and Softling. Stormfire couldn't hide a grin as she saw Tallspear fall in step beside golden-haired Softling, and wondered if she should tell the maiden that Tallspear liked golden hair. One of the many reasons, she told herself wryly, that I'll never take him as a mate. No lovemate or lifemate of mine is going wish any part of me different.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 20, 2009, 2:19am

Mist's hands were cool and soothing. He sighed in relief as the throbbing at his temples faded to nothingness, and gave a small whimper of appreciation, much as a pup would under their mother's tongue. Sunsong gently took care of the blood, praising him, and gave him advice that was so sensible, he realized he would have to force himself to remember it if possible.

Being fussed over, however momentarily, warmed him. And he was being taken seriously, too! He could to work with the Song, rather than just drifting through it aimlessly. It gave him something to work towards, anyway, if he never had a use again.

Windsoft smiled at him too, and Silent found himself beginning to blush. It was all starting to be a little overwhelming, but it was so, so sweet. Even when people started leaving to collect water bags, the warm glow lingered.

Now he could get something to eat as well.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 20, 2009, 6:44pm

Softling brightened at Windsoft's beckoning; the huntress had always been something of a mentor figure to her, and the journey from the holt had only deepened her admiration for Windsoft. A bit of almost smugness came over her. So what if the quiet elf could find water? There's no way the Wolfriders would have a drop.

Softling handed over her waterskin to be drained and tucked the empty thing away, mulling over the joy of returning with it bursting full.

She ordered a whining Snapbone to stay behind. He wasn't ready for riding, and it would've ahrdly been sensible in this heat to press him any farther. It was best he stay.

As the tracker started forward with Longdusk and Thornberry, she noticed quickly Tallspear sliding in behind her. She blushed, but didn't say anything, and tried not to speed up and draw attention. If he wanted to be odd, let him be odd by all means.

Maybe he wasn't acting odd, she considered. Maybe she was the one out of tune with things, being too suspicious, too out of touch. This only made her flustered more.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 21, 2009, 5:26am

Firecat snorted, but laughed at Shellslip. "Sassy or not, I'm eating it, right? Though, if we'd have a plentiful hunt and stocked storages somewhere safe in a place we call home -- I'd be more picky. Eh?"

When a few hunters were being called for a scouting party, Firecat tilted her head to see what was going on. "You better find something," she called out to them, being more cheerful than she was moments before.

~*~

Lightgaze looked up when Longdusk's name was being called, and watched her son move closer to her. "What's--" she said, but Longdusk only took a bite from his latest catch, and grabbed her waterskin. "We won't be long," he grunted, and Lightgaze didn't ask any further. "Be safe," she whispered, before Longdusk teamed up with Flea, and watched them depart.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 21, 2009, 10:36pm

*Bye, Softling!* Whirlwind sent, pleased to see the youngster chosen for the scouting party. The glee she sensed from Softling made her laugh. Skyfire and wind, but the cubling needed a little responsibility to bring her out of her shell--and High Ones bless Windsoft for giving it to her.

*What about me?* Tallspear sent as he passed her. Whirlwind made the worst face she could muster, laughing as Tallspear pretended to pout. *Oh, fine. Be that way. I'm going to drink your water as well as mine, for that.*

*Hah! You'll be lucky not to fall on your face in a mud-puddle,* Whirlwind taunted. She wagged a finger at him. *Just take care of Softling--and I don't mean, take care to roll her into the furs! That can wait, itch-breeches!*

*Go poke a troll,* Tallspear returned with the same good humor, and Whirlwind chuckled as he rode off.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 21, 2009, 10:40pm

Stormfire sighed as Windsoft and the scouts moved away. "I really should be with them," she muttered. As she put a hand on her hip, moving over her belt-pouch with its stone egg contents, she caught sight of Mist, and realized he'd heard her.

"I can't help it," she exclaimed. "There could be humans or bears, or worse. I don't know what trouble might cross their paths."
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 21, 2009, 10:51pm

Hearing that, Silent stood and touched Stormfire's shoulder again, trying to be soothing. *No trouble,* he assured her. *I didn't hear any. They'll be fine; please don't worry, Chieftess.*
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 21, 2009, 11:14pm

Mist chuckled and shook his head. "There, you see? Silent says there's no danger. Come, chieftess. Lead your tribe and trust your scouts to do what you've asked them to do."

The healer headed for his wolf, burying his hand in her ruff as the tribe started moving in the direction Windsoft had led her small band. Oakstaff sighed mournfully at being left behind, but drifted to the outside of the tribe, taking a guard position.

Sunsong hummed quietly to herself, her stomach comfortable, but not overstuffed. She wished they'd had time to dry some of the meat, but they hadn't. At least now they knew how to find the little beasties!

Skipping to Stormfire's side, Sunsong linked hands with her friend and smiled. "I'm surprised you didn't go with Windsoft," she said lightly. "You'd enjoy that much more than lagging behind with us!" She winked at Silent. "Although, we are the more interesting group!"
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 21, 2009, 11:31pm

Softling's eagerness spilled into her return sending to Whirlwind, not words, but hopefulness and giddyness. Useful, she wanted to be valuable. Surely things would make more sense if she became a resource for the Wolfriders.


May 21, 2009, 10:36pm, kris wrote:

*Hah! You'll be lucky not to fall on your face in a mud-puddle,* Whirlwind taunted. She wagged a finger at him. *Just take care of Softling--and I don't mean, take care to roll her into the furs! That can wait, itch-breeches!*

*Go poke a troll,* Tallspear returned with the same good humor, and Whirlwind chuckled as he rode off.



Softling's ear tips turned red as she tried to pretend she hadn't just been aware of that open sending. The concept of joining was certainly not new or odd for her, but she felt out of place within the group, much less finding lovemates or more. Yes, she told herself with humorous certainty. 'With the way I make myself to be, Snapbone will be the closest thing to lovemate, Recognition, and cub I'll ever get!'
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on May 22, 2009, 12:21am

Evenstar stood away, humming, her hands clasped over her full belly. Soon there would be water, no doubt. The experiences till now, the mountain, the hunts, now her new use of her gift, they gave her a strange feeling she hadn't had before. *We will build a fine holt, Chieftess.* She sent without looking back. *When we find it.*

Confidence sprang in her. Even the Now was simple again. Whether it was the pleasure of fullness after want, all her worries melted.

------------

Redthorn watched her soul-sister's son join the scouts with approval. Keeping the grown cub busy, perhaps they could they avert his worries for the Wolfriders and his mother for awhile. His burden of concern hadn't seemed to have lifted as much as she'd wished for. The huntress feared she was being no help, having expressed her own concerns so ambiguously after they'd discovered the mountain place. She needed to be a better support, a stronger elder.

Redthorn walked to Lightgaze's side and touched her arm thoughtfully.

**Meith.** She sent her shared love for Longdusk, of course mixed with her own love of Silvercub and Icemark. Her precious ones. She sighed. **High Ones know I never dreamed us taking a journey like this before our spirits left us! I can't imagine how Longdusk and I would have fared without you.** She paused deeply, and sent with humor.

**What an adventure Sureshot and Waterdance's daughter has made for us, hm?**
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 23, 2009, 11:11pm


May 21, 2009, 10:51pm, multifacets wrote:
Hearing that, Silent stood and touched Stormfire's shoulder again, trying to be soothing. *No trouble,* he assured her. *I didn't hear any. They'll be fine; please don't worry, Chieftess.*

Mist chuckled and shook his head. "There, you see? Silent says there's no danger. Come, chieftess. Lead your tribe and trust your scouts to do what you've asked them to do."



Stormfire threw Mist a wry smile. "Don't worry. Trust in my tribemates, I've got." She paused, and then added in a lock-send, **And in you too, Healer. No matter how much I tease.**

She turned to Silent and clasped his hand quickly. "Thanks, Silent. You know, you may have done us a great favor this night. Even if it takes all night and day to find water, at least you've assured us that it's there."

Silent's joy was palpable as he fell into step beside her, and Stormfire found herself a little more light-hearted. Perhaps this was what she needed to learn--how to stay, to comfort and raise her tribe's hearts through something else than just daring. She remembered her words to Longtooth. Well, she'd forgotten that a chief had to be parent as well as leader. Thank the High Ones she was beginning to understand just what that meant . . .


Quote:
Skipping to Stormfire's side, Sunsong linked hands with her friend and smiled. "I'm surprised you didn't go with Windsoft," she said lightly. "You'd enjoy that much more than lagging behind with us!" She winked at Silent. "Although, we are the more interesting group!"



Stormfire squeezed Sunsong's hand. **Windsoft knows what she's doing,** she sent. **And I need to stay so I can learn what to do.**
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 24, 2009, 2:42am

Interesting? He was interesting? Silent's pale cheeks slowly flooded with pink, and he pulled the hood of his mantle a little lower to hide it. Stormfire's thanks made the blushing worse, but it also made him smile.

Now it felt as though he did have a right, however temporary, to walk beside the chieftess.

Wanderlust approached once they got nearer to the others, holding one of the prairie dogs in her mouth. **Full,** she told her elf-friend, and stretched her neck to offer the small animal to him.

Silent gave Wanderlust profuse thanks, and took the animal, widening a tear in its skin and biting deep. Rich blood and soft flesh washed over his senses, and he closed his eyes, relishing it.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 24, 2009, 4:51pm


May 23, 2009, 11:11pm, kris wrote:
Stormfire squeezed Sunsong's hand. **Windsoft knows what she's doing,** she sent. **And I need to stay so I can learn what to do.**



Sunsong considered Stormfire for a long moment, then leaned over and brushed her head against her friend's shoulder. **You are a good chieftess,** she said simply, her trust and love a bright rainbow behind her sending.



May 23, 2009, 11:11pm, kris wrote:


Stormfire threw Mist a wry smile. "Don't worry. Trust in my tribemates, I've got." She paused, and then added in a lock-send, **And in you too, Healer. No matter how much I tease.**



Mist looked at Stormfire and arched his eyebrows at her. He'd never doubted that she trusted him. Why had she felt the need to tell him so?

He dropped back to ride amidst the rest of the tribe as Silent settled himself at Stormfire's side, basking in the glow of her approval. He needed to think, and Stormfire needed to lead.

He buried his hands in Whitecold's ruff and bent his gaze to the wolf's ears. He trusted the scouts, guards, and hunters that road on the outside of the group to alert them to any danger, and he allowed his throughts to spiral inward.

He had dismissed Stormfire's teasing over the past moons as the same as ever it had been: a cub pouncing on an elder's tail, growling and wrestling as she practiced skills she'd need as an adult.

Her send, however, had undertones that challenged those assumptions. HE had never questioned her trust in him - but she obviously had given it considerable thought if she felt the need to reassure him. And the teasing...a cub didn't think about teasing. She just did it. Stormfire had just all but admitted to doing it on purpose, and when a elf maiden teased, there was often a very different purpose behind it.

At that point, his mind balked at going any further. Stormfire was a cub. His best friend's youngest daughter. He'd cleaned her bottom not so many seasons ago. He'd taught her to swim, when she'd been too impatient to wait for one of her parents to do it, and had refused to ask Firecat to do it. He could remember, so clearly, holding her slim, child's body in the water, explaining how to float and how to move her arms and legs. He remembered her coming up for air, spluttering water in his face and shrieking with laughter when he splashed her.

The same with sewing - she'd come to him to learn the skill, instead of the tribe's weaver. Mist never knew if Lightgaze had realized Stormfire had done so. He could see again the frown between her brows as her tiny hands pushed the needle through the bit of cloth he'd given her to practice on, and him explain the purposes of the different stitches.

'She's a child!' he thought, what he knew conflicting sharply with the new perception his thoughts had led him to. 'Sureshot's child, his precious girl cub. I have no business - I will not - assume she means more than that. Just because she's beginning to act like a chief doesn't mean she's not still a child.'

His decision made, Mist blinked and brought himself out of the depth of his thoughts and into an awareness of his surroundings again. From the position of the moons, he could tell some time had passed. He stubbornly ignored the niggling doubt that scratched at the back of his mind, the doubt that told him that he was making a mistake.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 24, 2009, 5:29pm

Journey chewed his lip as Bigears strode through the tall grass, wondering if he hadn't made a mistake.

Why hadn't he joined the scouts?

Well . . . for one reason, because his mother hadn't asked.

It didn't rankle. Journey knew Windsoft; his mother would pick the scouts she felt would have the surest chance of finding water. With his mouth aching for cool, sweet water--and not the stuff in his waterskin that tasted like a tanning pool's leavings--Journey hoped they'd find it soon.

But waiting back with the tribe for the scouts to return?

Boring.

He sighed. Whirlwind was walking beside Wingfoot, and Stormfire and Sunsong were hand-in-hand. Tallspear was off with Softling with the scouts. And Silvercub was sweet--but she was, after all, just a cub.

A nagging voice in his head said, if you do this, Windsoft will be very, very angry with you.

And if I don't do this, I'll die of boredom, he answered it back. The voice shut up, and Journey made up his mind. He lowered his head to his wolf's. "C'mon, Bigears," he urged. "Let's go!"

The wolf shot through the grass, and Journey closed his ears and minds to the sends and shouts that followed him. One made him wince; it was Stormfire.

**Journey, you feckless cub! Get back here or I'll pin your tail to a tree when we find you!**

Ohhh, she was angry. Journey just hoped it really would be easier to beg forgiveness when he got back. He kept his head low and let Bigears race through the grass after his mother and her scouting party.

# # # #

Stormfire saw Bigears flee, with Journey clinging to his back, and her first thought was, He's found game! Then Journey kept on going, and she realized, Game? If he'd found game, he'd tell us! He's going after the scouts--the crazy little treewee!

In that moment, she understood how Mist had felt. Time she could have spent making sure the rest of the tribe was fed and keeping up their strength would now be time spent worrying over Journey. She was sure her sending made him crackle between the ears, and she planned to give him a couple of thumps that would make them ring, too.

"He'll be all right," Sunsong tried to reassure her, although her friend's eyes were worried as she looked into the distance. "I'm sure we'd have heard if the scouts met up with anything!"

Stormfire gritted her teeth. "He'd better hope so," she muttered.

"Don't worry, Chieftess," said Wingfoot, coming up behind her. Stormfire glanced sidelong at him; he gave her a half-smile and added, "It's only natural for the young to want to risk danger for their tribemates. Or with them."

Stormfire stopped in her tracks. She heard Sunsong's intake of breath, but only saw Wingfoot before her--with that mocking little half-smile. She'd never been slow at hearing what wasn't said as well as what was. Sureshot had made sure of that.

They'll test you, he'd said, but she hadn't expected this kind of test from this particular elder.

"I made the decision to stay here for the tribe's sake, Wingfoot," she said, holding his gaze with her own. "I am chieftess, but more, I am Stormfire. I proved myself to myself long ago. But if you feel otherwise, I'm sure you can find the way back to Sureshot."

She turned and continued walking. After a moment, Whirlwind sent, **Sister? He didn't--**

**He's old enough not to need you making his excuses, Whirlwind,** Stormfire returned, and kept walking.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 25, 2009, 3:02am


Quote:


**Meith.** [Redthorn] sent her shared love for Longdusk, of course mixed with her own love of Silvercub and Icemark. Her precious ones. She sighed. **High Ones know I never dreamed us taking a journey like this before our spirits left us! I can't imagine how Longdusk and I would have fared without you.** She paused deeply, and sent with humor.

**What an adventure Sureshot and Waterdance's daughter has made for us, hm?**



Lightgaze looked up, and realized she'd been staring in the direction in which the hunters had departed, and forced herself to smile. It hadn't been the first time that either Redthorn (or Longdusk, for that matter) had shared their appreciation of her coming along. But herself, she still wasn't sure. She wasn't made for these kinds of hardships, but returning wasn't an option anymore. For that, they had wandered too far already, and going back on her own would absolutely result in her death.

**Aye,** she sent back and wanted to add more, when Stormfire's voice filled the surroundings, and violet eyes followed the chieftess. "What just happened?" Lightgaze answered clueless.

~*~

It wasn't the first time that Firecat cursed the cubs on their travels, and now that Journey took off, she did it once more. "These cubs will be the end of us someday," she muttered, taking one last bite of one of the ground-squirrels.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 28, 2009, 11:06pm

Journey's departure, and the clash between Wingfoot and Stormfire, had cast a pall over the tribe. Conversations were limited and quiet, or sent privately between two or three. Thirst also sapped the energy from the Wolfriders and now they simply rode and endured, their thoughts more with the four scouts than with their immediate surroundings.

The night crawled by, moons passing overhead as endless grass passed underfoot. Mist and Whitecold had ridden up through the pass to ride to the right of, and just behind, Stormfire. His position gave unspoken voice to his support of the young chieftess. Sunsong had kept her position right beside Stormfire, although no one had ever doubted her unswerving loyalty to her friend.

Stormfire called the tribe to a halt as the sky started lightening where sun-comes-up. Oakstaff approached the chieftess and offered her his waterskin, half-full with tepid, leather-tasting water. Stormfire took a drink and passed it on to Sunsong. The plantshaper had hours before given her own to Icemark and Silvercub.

After taking a bare sip, Sunsong handed the skin back to the hunter and wearily slid from Shade's back. "I'll make some grass dens for us."

As the other elves passed the waterskins around and tended to their tired, dehydrated wolves, Sunsong sat in the grass and buried her hands in the dirt. The daily exercise of her gift had greatly increased her skill, and she quickly got beyond physical distractions and let her consciousness merge with that of the growing life in the soil.

In a ring around her, the grass grew quickly, braiding together in unnatural and supple ways. The grass inside that ring stayed just as it was. In a fairly short time, the first grass den was done, and the second had begun.

By the time Sunsong had finished the fourth, and last, rounded grass dome, she was exhausted and the other Wolfriders were moving in and starting to bed down.

"Do you think they found water?" Oakstaff asked quietly as he helped her stand up.

"Yes," Sunsong said firmly. "They did."

"Ever the optimist," the hunter teased wearily. "Time to rest, plantshaper."
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on May 28, 2009, 11:24pm

Stormfire lay down beneath the den of woven grass. Her attention was caught by the intricacy of it all, grass caught together at angles like a spider's web . . . and it made her smile. If Sunsong could do such work as this, Stormfire could hardly imagine the wonders she'd work when they found their holt.

When . . . not if. No longer if. The small, nagging doubt that had plagued her since they left home had vanished. She knew, just as she knew Windsoft would find water, that her tribe would find their true holt.

She hadn't been able to explain why some places, despite being near game and reasonably far from humans, had left her cold. But when Sunsong had taken her hand and assured her, **You are a good chieftess,** Stormfire had finally understood what she was looking for. It would be a home they could hold in their hearts, a place where they could feel, if not completely safe, then secure--as secure as she felt among her tribe.

She'd held back the fear of not just being a failed chieftess, but a bad one. But, from Windsoft to Sunsong, her tribemates had shown faith in her. Stormfire smiled to herself, thinking of Silent's joy at being needed, at Longdusk and Softling going off on the same scouting trip . . . and of Mist's smile of approval.

A snort accompanied that last image, but Stormfire felt her smile grow to a grin. She closed her eyes and hoped that Windsoft would find them a nice, large lake to swim in. She rather hoped she could convince Mist to take a dip with her.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 29, 2009, 2:37am

Tired. Almost comfortably tired. Silent crawled under one of the shelters Sunsong had managed to shape, laying down his bedfur and his mantle, then placing his weapons in easy reach. His belt, shirt and gloves came off next, with the shirt folded around the accessories to make a pillow.

Wanderlust had wandered off again, but that was no problem. She was well-fed, and her fur would make things uncomfortably hot in the little shelter. Besides, Silent had the memory of the day to keep him company.

He lay down, head on his shirt, and closed his eyes, but rather than dozing off, he remained awake, and could not understand why at first. He was feeling good, happy, and even his thirst wasn't so bad now, after feasting on three of the little burrowers.

So why couldn't he sleep if he was so content?

Content?

Silent sat up. Yes, he was content. Too content to be alone, as he usually was. He didn't want to let the warm feelings fade into wolfsong, or the Song that also ate his memory from time to time. He didn't HAVE to be alone; he just usually was. Of course it wasn't certain that someone would want to be with him, but he would ask anyway, while he still had some lucidity.

The silver-eyed elf sent openly. *[pale blue questioning]-[soft red desire for companionship/to touch-be touched-held-still accepted]-[request/please] [faint pink hope]*


======


Aaahhhh, High Ones, what a night. Shellslip crawled into the second den and stripped down, removing all her possessions and clothes. She would sleep with her skin exposed to whatever wind would come their way, and feel better because of it. Anyway, the grass beneath her was soft thanks to Sunsong. The gatherer shot a thought of quick thanks towards the treeshaper, and made a pillow of her dress and vest. "Nobody is to wake me on pain of getting their nose bitten," she declared. "If someone does wake me, it had better be for a very, very good reason." **Good morning,** she sent to Sniffer, and received a similar sentiment from wherever her wolf-friend had chosen to bed down.

Hopefully when she woke, the somewhat flighty red-haired elf would be able to dig up some more diggers before they got going. Shellslip was beginning to believe it was best to face the unknown with a full stomach.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 29, 2009, 3:22am

Now Longdusk wasn't here, Lightgaze noticed how heavily she had leaned on her son in the previous days. She felt nervous and insecure, and while she'd been watching Sunsong creating the dens, she was unsure where she would stay. Actually, she had presumed the search party would have returned before they went to sleep, but the sky had turned purple and there was still no sight of them. **Redthorn? Can I stay with you and your family?** she asked her soul sister. Apart from the anxiety she felt, she liked Silvercub. The innocent little cub added another perspective to everything.

~*~

Firecat had dove in one of the dens as soon as Sunsong had finished it. She was confident that with fine hunters as Longdusk and Windsoft and Tallspear, the search would be a success. And also, a small party moved more quickly than the larger party with cubs.
She had been wondering if she could get Sunsong to spend the day with her, but the female seemed exhausted after she had shaped the hideout for the day. And they all were. Firecat was just too chipper to sleep right now.

She mused about the new holt, for the first time in a while. Up till now, it had just been an adventure, but she longed to have a perminent residence again. One where she could have her stuff lying around without worrying that she might forget to take it. Solid, warm sleeping furs, instead of the ragged ones she now had. Besides, the blistering sun made it so that she didn't even need them. Ah, if they would only move to a thick, dense and cool forest!

Then, Silent's request touched her mind. She thought the elf was slightly weird, but she
wouldn't refuse anyone. Getting on her feet quickly, she moved out the den, leaving it available for someone else. **Have me?** she sent to Silent.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 29, 2009, 3:43am

An answer! How wonderful! **[happy assent/pink gratitude]** Silent returned, smiling. Firecat was a bit high-spirited for his taste- well, no, perhaps not. Longmane was high-spirited, and he had loved her. He didn't love Firecat romantically, but there were still enough parallels that he felt even more comfortable.

Besides, having a cuddle -or perhaps more- would be a perfect way to end the evening.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 29, 2009, 7:45pm

Sunsong cocked her head as Silent's wistful, yearning sending reached them. She grinned at Oakstaff merrily. "Silent wants company. I think I'll join him. Coming?"

Oakstaff chuckled and shook his head. "Thank you but no, plantshaper. The cub's a little too full of dreamberry fluff for me. I'll just go see if our chieftess wants to cuddle up for the day."

Sunsong giggled and danced to the hut that she'd seen Silent go in. Firecat had joined the young elf already. "Good morning!" Sunsong chirped. "Room for one more?"
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on May 29, 2009, 9:12pm

Another answer! Now that was really unexpected. Silent smiled up at Sunsong. **[welcome]** he projected, and held out an arm, quickly looking at Firecat to see if she would mind.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on May 30, 2009, 3:32am

Firecat smiled brightly. Some wished did come true, and she nearly purred of contentment. **Happy to have you, plantshaper,** she told Sunsong with shimmering eyes. The more, the merrier, she figured -- especially when it was Sunsong. "Not too tired, are you?"
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on May 30, 2009, 8:39am

With a flash of mischief, Sunsong widened her eyes and gave Firecat a confused expression. "We're denning for the day. Aren't we all supposed to be tired?" she asked innocently.

She reached for Silent's arm and cuddled against his side. "Of course, it's been such a tense few days, we'll need to relax first. I'd rather not drink any tasteless teas, so that leaves only the other alternative, doesn't it?"
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on Jun 1, 2009, 9:15pm

Stormfire woke up as someone approached the den. *Stormfire?* It was Oakstaff.

*What are you still doing up?* Stormfire half-scolded, half-teased. *Get in here and collapse. We've had a long night.* Oakstaff crawled in beside her, and Stormfire sighed contentedly. *Hope you don't mind Whirlwind,* she added. *She should be along . . . *

*Stormfire? Oh, here you are. Oh, move your big feet, Snowtreader,* and Whirlwind pushed into the den, dropping down on Stormfire's other side. She let out a huge sigh and made a show of wiping her brow. *Well, here's to a nice place to rest! Give Sunsong a little time, and she could make us a holt out of all this grass.*

*No,* Stormfire blurted, aghast, and Whirlwind and Oakstaff both laughed. *I've had enough of all this grass! I can't wait to see trees again.*

*And water,* Whirlwind put in.

The three agreed simultaneously. *And water.*

As Stormfire fell asleep, she dreamed of a great waterfall that fell straight into a wide, green pool; it was so cool and refreshing that, as she slipped deeper into the dream, she could feel its mist upon her skin.
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Westering Holt
Holt Mistress


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PostSubject: Re: Grass, Grass Everywhere   Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:53 pm

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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 1, 2009, 9:42pm

((Jumping ahead several hours because writing about a bunch of elves sleeping is just boooooring))

Mist woke from his day's sleep quickly, going from dreams to awareness between one heartbeat and the next. Nothing had startled him from slumber; he usually woke so and never suffered from the befuddling haze some elves enjoyed as they crossed from sleep to awareness of the world around them.

The sun was still high overhead, but had passed the midday point. He lay still for a moment, mentally reaching out and placing each member of the tribe. Stormfire slept with Whirlwind and Oakmist, a comfortable table of cubs -

'-not cubs, Shae,' Mist reminded himself. 'Not cubs. Adults, with adult names, adult responsibilities. Even if you caught them as their mothers birthed them, and cleared the fluid from their lungs so they could take their first breath.'

Sunsong he could hear with his own ears, and she would always be a cub in his eyes, with that innocent joy that she greeted her life with. Only cubs could be so happy all the time, and share that happiness with others. He smiled, listening to the song of a nightbird that he hadn't seen since entering the grass plains.

Others were stirring and Mist sat up himself. He'd stripped down to his loincloth for sleeping, knowing that the heat and humidity of the day would make sleeping in his leathers uncomfortable. He moved quietly to avoid waking anyone else, dressing and heading outside to see if they could collect any more of the little rodents they'd 'hunted' the night before.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on Jun 2, 2009, 2:21am


May 30, 2009, 8:39am, Anna wrote:
With a flash of mischief, Sunsong widened her eyes and gave Firecat a confused expression. "We're denning for the day. Aren't we all supposed to be tired?" she asked innocently.
She reached for Silent's arm and cuddled against his side. "Of course, it's been such a tense few days, we'll need to relax first. I'd rather not drink any tasteless teas, so that leaves only the other alternative, doesn't it?"



Suddenly shy, Silent brought the two women close in a comfortable hug. **I-I'm not tired, but.... I just wanted to be with someone,** he admitted to them, and nuzzled Firecat's cheek before turning his head to nuzzle Sunsong's nose. **I'm happy,** he said, his sending displaying the depth of the emotion. **I haven't been happy since my brother Recognized. I wanted to share that.**

His hands wove through his momentary companions' hair, deftly smoothing it, and let his fingertips linger on the backs of their necks. **Thank you for being with me,** the quiet one mentally whispered, truly grateful.
________________________________________
Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on Jun 3, 2009, 11:50am

"Hmmm," Firecat said, when she turned around between two warm bodies. She had to take a moment to figure out where she was -- and with whom, but it didn't take very long for her to realize what had happened. Then, a lazy smirk went across her face. The day had been unexpectedly pleasant. Though Firecat would not say no to anyone when they asked for a roll, she hadn't shared with Silent before. But, she told herself, it would not be the last time, either.

She had felt somewhat uncomfortable with Silent's revelation when they had just entered his temporary hideout, slightly taken aback by his deep emotion, but it had soon be forgotten. Still, she wanted to have some privacy, as well. Trying to be silent, not to disturb her furmates, she tried to move.

She pushed herself up, looking around for her clothes, and after she'd spotted them, she quietly moved over to her leathers.

~*~

Lightgaze had been trying to get some rest, but her dreams had startled her, and she had been awake for quite some time already. She figured it had something to do with Longdusk's absence, but she didn't want to say it out loud. She didn't think it was really healthy for her to lean so heavily on her son.
It did, however, keep her awake, and quietly, she had moved outside. The sun stood high in the sky, though, and she kept her hands just above her eyes to protect them from the light.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 3, 2009, 12:24pm

"Lightgaze?" Icemark rounded the grass den-hunt and was surprised to see his mate's friend already awake and outside. As exhausted and worn as they all were, he had thought many would sleep for as long as Stormfire would let them. He had trouble sleeping during the daylight hours, however, and had risen as soon as he'd woken. He couldn't accept that a place could be completely devoid of all edible plants, and he'd spent the last while exploring the area around their resting place, sure he'd find something besides last night's rodents for his tribesmates to eat.

"You look troubled, my friend," he said now, approaching Longdusk's mother.

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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on Jun 3, 2009, 12:53pm

Lightgaze was slightly startled, she thought that she had left the hideout without waking someone up. "It's nothing," she told Icemark, "I just keep having these dreams. Of home," she confessed. She turned her head and stared over the grass plains. "Sometimes I still wonder if I made the right decision," she quietly said. "I dream of Sureshot, of the tribe, when everything was still good. And yet... we aren't there. Any of us..." Her voice drifted off. She wasn't quite comfortable in telling anyone this, though she had mentioned her dreams to her soul sister.

"I think I just miss them," she continued softly. "And now the party's looking out for water, I miss them, too. I just... I just need to find out where I am, what I'm supposed to do in the new holt, if we ever find it. I'm a bit lost."
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 4, 2009, 12:32am

"This is new for all of us," Icemark noted. "I'm not surprised your having dreams and feeling unsettled. I think we all are, to some extent." He smiled again and clasped her shoulder gently. "You'll feel better once we find our new home. We'll have our place to belong, then." He cocked his head to one side as Stormfire sent a call to the tribe, telling them to gather up and get ready to go. "Our young chieftess seems equally restless," he noted with a chuckle.

As he turned to find Redthorn and Silvercub, he paused and looked back at Lightgaze. "You know...you're welcome to den with us, when we find our holt," he offered. "Or before that. Home is more people than place, don't you think?"


# # # # # #

Sunsong had been showing Mist some seeds she'd found when Stormfire's summons went out. The healer and the plantshaper walked to their wolves together, still discussing the possibilities of the unfamiliar plants. Oakstaff edged himself between the two and firmly curled Sunsong's fingers around her seeds.

"Enough. It is far too early in the day for you two to be so alert and thinking. Pack it up and get mounted. Stormfire's anxious to get started today."

Sunsong laughed and tucked the seeds into a pouched tied around her waist. "We're all eager to find water, and Windsoft did say she'd be back today, with or without."

"Hopefully with!" Mist said as he mounted Whitecold.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on Jun 4, 2009, 9:13am

Lightgaze smiled and nodded when Icemark told her it wasn't strange at all, and she was grateful for the support. "She is," she answered in regards to Stormfire. "And I hope it will. I'm depending too much on Longdusk now, he should go and spend more time with the rest of the group, as well. I feel like I'm using up all his time," she added, a bit sheepish. When he offered to den with them, she hesitated. "I'm going to have to think about that, but I really appreciate the offer," she nodded.

~*~

OOC: Since I wrote before that Firecat left the hideout when Silent and Sunsong were still asleep, let's just say that had been before Sunsong woke up?

Firecat had spent her time trying to dig up some more of those creatures, but unfortunately, the holes that she tried were empty. Those little critters must've scattered away as soon as they'd realized they were easy prey. Too bad, she snorted.
She was getting hungry again, and already was thirsty, but at least she had saved part of those ground-squirrels. It would be far from tasty after a day in the sun, but it was better than nothing.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on Jun 4, 2009, 4:18pm

Silent jerked awake, disturbed by the call. Even before he was fully aware, though, he was scrambling to dress and get his weapons, and roll up his bedfur. *Coming, coming,* he sent haphazardly. **Wanderlust!**

The she-wolf appeared with a snake in her mouth, which she held out to her friend. **Is good,** she told him.

Silent gave the snake a dubious look, but it was obviously meant for him, so he thanked Wanderlust and worked on skinning the animal with his nails after he had shouldered his belongings.


Shellslip had just finished putting on her boots when Stormfire summoned them. Sniffer, who had been lying beside her, stood up immediately, tail wagging a bit before settling down. "All set, friend?" the gatherer asked her wolf, also putting her things across her shoulders.

**Set,** Sniffer affirmed. **Will walk careful.**

"Me too." Shellslip scratched behind his ears as they approached Stormfire.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on Jun 6, 2009, 12:41am

(OOC: Okay, guys, Stormfire's group has been on the move for some hours--we're about to meet up with Windsoft again!)

The ground-squirrels were good meat when one was hungry, but Stormfire found herself wanting a handful of cool, clear water. Or two handfuls, one to drink and one to pour over her head. She'd never been so tempted to cut off her hair until now--at least, to lop off all the curls except for the chief's lock.

She snorted. And wouldn't she look strange like that?

I really, really hate plains. Stormfire half-listened to her kindred's sends around her, wishing she felt like taking part in their conversations. Brittle, sharp blades of grass scraped against her legs, and she winced as one scratched her knee. And I hate grass even more than plains. If I could, I'd take all the grass we've walked across for the last hand of days and give it to the humans for their cook-fires. She kept a lookout for any sign of Windsoft, worrying at her lower lip with her teeth. If something had happened . . .

. . . and she stopped as Snowtreader sniffed the air and whuffed. Ahead, the grass was moving--as if someone was running, still hidden by distance.

**Windsoft?** Stormfire locksent, her heart racing as the forms in the distance grew more distinct. A howl split the silence, and Stormfire did a standing leap of joy. "Ayoooooooooooah! Windsoft!" She turned back to the tribe. "It's Windsoft and the others! They're coming back!"

The howls from the tribe and the oncoming scouts filled the air with a rousing melody, one that made Stormfire want to leap on Snowtreader's back and race across the plain to Windsoft. Instead, she started forward at a steady jog. *Keep your eyes open,* she urged her tribemates. *Let's not pass over any danger in our way.*

It seemed as though only moments passed before Windsoft and the scouts burst through the grass. Windsoft dismounted and headed for Stormfire, a triumphant smile on her face as she held up a bulging waterskin. "Silent was right, chieftess!" the scout announced. "We found water!"
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on Jun 6, 2009, 3:59am

Sniffer yipped and Shellslip howled joyfully, pleased to see her tribemates again, and ran to give the nearest one a hug. "You're back! That's wonderful!" She would not admit it, but she had been slightly worried about them. And now they had returned triumphantly, with water, and with their hides in one piece.

Few things could be better.


Wanderlust yapped a greeting and rushed to meet the other wolves. She would give her due as the low one, and then perhaps get some of the water she smelled. Silent, jolted from his usual trance, smiled to see the scouts safe, and projected a sense of welcome.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 6, 2009, 10:38am

Sunsong gave a joyous howl and hurried to relieve some of the scouts of their water skins. "Oh, just in time! I don't know how much longer we could have gone without this!" she said, dancing off to distribute the skins among the others. "Here, Icemark - Silvercub's wilting!" she said, pushing one into the gatherer's hands before moving off.

Mist grinned at the returned scouts and took his share of skins, too. As he passed among the Wolfrider's who'd suffered worst, he gave his healing touch with the water. **Well done, chieftess,** he sent approvingly. **Very well done!**

Oakstaff let the others tend to the elves: he spread a one of the furs they'd been using to sleep with, turned it over so the tanned skin showed, and called Journey over to help hold it into a bucket shape while water was poured into it for the wolves. The pack gathered around eagerly, lapping up the water they'd been needing so desperately.

"Lad, you're in a hill of trouble," he advised the youngster in a low voice. "Do you know what you'll say to Stormfire?"


Windsoft stayed by Stormfire as the other scouts dispersed among the tribe. "If we keep riding, we'll reach the water by sunrise," the lead scout informed her chieftess. "It's a river and while it's still on the plains, I could see trees on the horizon. We'll be in forest again very soon!"
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by viola on Jun 7, 2009, 1:14pm

Firecat bolted towards Tallspear, desperately wanting some water. "Normally I'm happy to see you," she grinned widely, "but you can't imagine how overjoyed I am now!" Windsoft's words made her day even more brilliant. A river, for them alone! Oh, she was so going to take a swim tonight!

~*~

Longdusk avoided Firecat and went straight for his mother, leaving Windsoft to inform the chieftess. As she had been leading the small party anyway, he figured it would be her task. He wanted to take care of his mother and her soulsister's family first, and then, he wanted to get back to the river as soon as he could. They would need to ride through the sun this time, but sunset should be doable and then, there would be the night ahead.

~*~

Gratefully accepting Longdusk's offer of water, Lightgaze gulped some down, barely noticing some streams dripping off her chin. High Ones, she hadn't thought she would be so happy to have water again! It refreshed her, and seh instantly felt better, and she passed on the waterskin when she had enough to the elf next to her. "I'm so happy you're back," she smiled at her son, realizing this was exactly what she had pondered about -- clinging. But she couldn't help yourself, not after worrying for so long.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on Jun 7, 2009, 2:56pm


Jun 6, 2009, 10:38am, Anna wrote:
Mist grinned at the returned scouts and took his share of skins, too. As he passed among the Wolfrider's who'd suffered worst, he gave his healing touch with the water. **Well done, chieftess,** he sent approvingly. **Very well done!**



Stormfire grinned at Mist's send. **Don't look so surprised, Healer,** she sent back, letting him know she was still teasing. **And get one of those skins for yourself. I won't have you falling over after tending all of us!**


Jun 6, 2009, 10:38am, Anna wrote:
"Lad, you're in a hill of trouble," he advised the youngster in a low voice. "Do you know what you'll say to Stormfire?"



Journey swallowed hard at Oakstaff's words. He had been very, very careful not to attract Windsoft's attention again; her anger, far more than the cuff she'd given him, had gone home and stayed there. He hadn't even thought of Stormfire. **I don't know,** he sent to Oakstaff. **Too bad the ground-squirrels' burrows are too small. I'd hide there.**


Jun 6, 2009, 10:38am, Anna wrote:
Windsoft stayed by Stormfire as the other scouts dispersed among the tribe. "If we keep riding, we'll reach the water by sunrise," the lead scout informed her chieftess. "It's a river and while it's still on the plains, I could see trees on the horizon. We'll be in forest again very soon!"



Stormfire had hugged Windsoft on seeing her again, exuberant at the scout's safe return as well as the welcome water. Once she saw everyone had a skin, she accepted the waterskin Windsoft handed her and took a long pull at it. Stopping to breathe, she gasped, "That's the best news I've heard all night, Windsoft. And trees!"

She caught sight of Journey and lowered the skin. "I see your cub made it to you," she remarked to Windsoft, and took two strides forward. To his credit, Journey advanced toward her--or it could have been the shove to his back from Oakstaff that propelled him through the grass. Still, he walked until he reached her. I have to give him credit, Stormfire told herself, as her displeasure simmered. At least he's coming to face me.

"All right, Journey," Stormfire ordered, bringing him to a stop. "Do you care to explain that ravvit-witted chase you went on after Windsoft and the scouts?"

Journey winced. Oh, lad, I haven't even raised my voice--Sureshot used to bellow louder than any troll, and you'd grin at him! But Journey barely raised his eyes and got out, "I'm sorry, Chieftess--I won't--"

"DON'T YOU TAKE THAT TONE WITH ME!" Stormfire's displeasure ignited at last, fired by Journey's meekness. If he thought to win her forgiveness by playing such cub's games, he could think again. "Stand up and look at me, Journey! Do you think I've got the brains of a gnat, to fall for those fluttering eyelids and squeaky voice?! Tell me--now--why did you run off? Did you think once that you could have run into hunting humans, or encountered any other danger? Did you ever consider that you could have been seen, and once seen been tracked back to us?!"

Journey flinched, and sent. *No,* and his sending was full of pleading, to the point where Stormfire was confused. *I just wanted to be with the scouts--to do something. I didn't think you needed me here!*

Stormfire clenched her fists. It was tempting to knock Journey head over heels, but it was clear that Windsoft had already smacked a little sense into him. "You're lucky you're alive," she told him. "You're even more fortunate that no one saw you dart away from the tribe like Bigears' tail was set on fire, and found us!"

"But you were going to go with Mother too!" Journey shot back.

"I was going to leave with the scouts--not race after them like some scared cubling bawling for its mother! I thought, with the exception of Silvercub, that I was bringing along tribemates I could depend on, Journey. Can I depend on you? Should I?"

Journey stared at her, hurt and shame both apparent in his gaze. Stormfire didn't let him look away. She had adored Windsoft's cub from the moment he could walk--but this wasn't a friend whose follies she could explain now. She was chieftess, and he was a tribemate who was beyond tardy in doing his duty to the tribe.

Just when she was about to speak once more, he turned his head away, showing throat. *You can, chieftess,* he sent. *I promise.*

The murmurs of approval from the tribe made Stormfire's eyes sting for a moment. She didn't dare move towards Journey, but only said, "All right, then. If you haven't had any water, get some. And I think we still have some meat from last night."
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 7, 2009, 5:27pm

Windsoft's heart stuttered in her chest when Stormfire stepped towards Journey. The scout was almost surprised at the surge of protectiveness that caught her. She'd taken two quick steps towards the two of them before she stopped herself. She clasped her hands together, pressing them had to the base of her throat. She couldn't breathe...

When Journey began making his apology and Stormfire shouted at him, she jumped and a faint whimper escaped. Everything in her wanted to leap to her cub's defense, no matter how great her own anger and disappointment had been. Journey was her son, and no attack on him could be allowed! But her instinct to submit to her packleader was as strong as her instinct to defend her cub, and she was torn between the two.

"Easy, Windsoft," Mist murmurred, resting a hand on her shoulder. "She won't hurt him, and this is necessary, for both of them."

Oakstaff came to her other side, putting a soothing hand on her back. "He's a good, strong Wolfrider," the hunter added. "He's just learning the limits."

Their reassurance didn't help and Windsoft whimpered again. When Journey showed throat and assured Stormfire that she could depend on him, the scuot's body went limp with a sudden release of tension.

All would be well!
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on Jun 8, 2009, 9:28pm

"You're wonderful, all of you! It's good to have you back," Shellslip sang, taking a waterbag and having a swig, while Sniffer shouldered his way into the pack for a drink of his own.

Someone passed Silent a waterbag, and he closed his eyes for a long swallow. Somehow, water had never tasted better, especially since he had found it, and had been taken seriously enough for someone to find it.

The Song buzzed with happiness, the assurance things would be all right for now. That made him smile as he poured a drink into his palm for Wanderlust.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on Jun 8, 2009, 10:37pm

Evenstar practically danced her way to Silent, her head spinning it's own circles. The fresh water had given her an almost dreamberry like happiness. "Oh, Silent, you've done it, really done it!" She almost tackled him breathlessly, waterskin in hand.

----------------------

Softling lay on her back as Snapbone wiggled his way in among the full grown wolves, clutching a waterskin to her. She'd had a good fill when the scouts had discovered the river, and now she just basked in the goodness of being a Wolfrider, ignoring the scratching grasses and hard earth for the sounds of the pack and tribe scrambling and rejoicing amongst themselves. Journey's scolding had been surprisingly quick, however harsh, and Softling didn't dwell on the fellow cub's mischief.

--------------

Redthorn glowed at her soul sister's son; now this was a hunt he could really treasure, and cubs of the new holt would hear of the scouts that saved the Wolfriders from drought as they crossed the great expanse of grasses. Even Silvercub grinned her pup's grin at Longdusk, her belly full of water.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on Jun 9, 2009, 1:52pm

"Gwah!" Silent yelped as Evenstar exuberantly threw her arms around him, and staggered, nearly tipping sideways before somehow righting himself. *I-It wasn't hard,* he "mumbled". *I just liste-stened.*

Wanderlust nudged his thigh. **More,** she requested, and Silent turned in the tanner's arms to give her another drink.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on Jun 11, 2009, 12:08am

Tallspear grinned at Softling. "Now we get to show them where the river is," he said. "And next time we go tracking water or game, you'll come with us." He rode past Longdusk and Lightgaze, nodding to them both, and dismounted as he came up on Journey.

He saw Whirlwind advancing. She threw him a wink as she sidled up to Journey's right. Tallspear came up on the lad's left. As Journey looked up, his downcast face suddenly clouding with suspicion, Tallspear and Whirlwind threw their arms over his shoulders, neatly locking him between them.

"Hey," Journey protested as they strode towards the front of the tribe. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Making sure you don't turn tail and run the next time Stormfire sets eyes on you," Whirlwind murmured, smirking.

"Sureshot never taught you the most important lesson, cub," Tallspear continued, keeping his eyes straight ahead. "When you've taken your licks, don't skulk."

"But I'm not," Journey began, and the two hunters speared him with identical scowls. "I'm not!"

"You're hanging your head and walking around like you think someone's going to kick you," Whirlwind returned. "That, my dear, is skulking."

"You used to mouth off to Sureshot the minute he finished blistering your tail," Tallspear added. "Stormfire didn't even singe your ears that badly."

Journey's head hung even lower, and he muttered something Tallspear couldn't hear. "What?" Tallspear gave him a quick shake. *C'mon, Journey. Stop acting like a sun-addled mouse and spill.*

* . . . mother's probably ashamed of me now.*

**Windsoft?!** Tallspear and Whirlwind exchanged glances once more, and Tallspear searched for the scout. Windsoft, ashamed of her cub? Maybe disappointed that he'd shown less sense than a day-old treewee, but . . . ashamed? **You're an idiot,** Tallspear informed Journey, who raised his head long enough to glare at him. **Your mother thinks you hung both moons. You'd have to toss Silvercub to a ravening bear before she'd be ashamed of you.**

**You know what would make you feel better?** Whirlwind arched an eyebrow. **An apology. You've shown throat to the chieftess--now it's time you let Windsoft know you've learned your lesson.**

**Right,** Tallspear cut in. **By not acting stupid.**

Journey bit his lip and stared at the ground. Good thing we've got hold of him, or he'd trip, Tallspear told himself. He let go just as Whirlwind did, and Journey quickened his stride to join Windsoft. Tallspear watched as Windsoft reacted to her son's presence, reaching out to lay a hand on his shoulder as the youth took Whirlwind's excellent advice.

**Some of us can't wait to leave the den,** he told Whirlwind. **And some of us never leave it in spirit, no matter what we do in the flesh.**

**And some of us are just full of hot wind,** Whirlwind jibed.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 11, 2009, 10:16pm

Windsoft hadn't failed to notice that Journey had avoided her since he'd joined them. That hurt. But after her reaction to him, which shamed her greatly, she couldn't blame him. She'd never struck Journey before. She couldn't believe she had this time. That she had lost such control, with her own cub, for what was, in essence, a childish, willful, thoughtless stunt… How many times had he done something similar before, in the safety of the holt?

"Cub?" she asked when he stopped in front of her.

Journey swallowed. He'd never done anything he'd had to apologize to his mother for. Sureshot had dealt with his escapades at home, and until now he hadn't endangered himself--at least, not much. This time, he had to admit that Windsoft, Stormfire, and the rest of the tribe were right.

"Mother . . ." He decided to send the rest. **Mother, I shouldn't have run away from the rest of the tribe. I shouldn't have followed my own whim instead of my duty. You taught me better than that. I'm sorry. I've disgraced you and the trust everyone had in me.**

Windsoft hesitated, then reached out and put her hand on Journey's shoulder. "You disappointed me, but my shame is for myself. You didn't disgrace me; I did that. If I'd taught you better you never would have left Stormfire. I'M sorry, cub. I failed you, and you are the one who's paying the price for it."

Journey stared at Windsoft in shock and dismay. "But you didn't fail me," he insisted, keeping his voice low. "Mother--I--" He swallowed the lump that rose in his throat. **Mother, I failed you. I'm not a cub any longer. I remember everything you've taught me. I just didn't want to stay behind, where nothing was happening. I wanted to do something. I should have asked to come along with you and the scouts, instead of waiting until it was too late.**

Windsoft moved her hand from his shoulder to cup his cheek. "And that's how I failed you, Journey. I failed to teach and guide you. If I hadn't, no matter what you wanted to do, you would have resisted the impulse." She sighed and glanced away, her eyes filling with tears as she considered what could have happened, simply because she's indulged Journey too much as a cub, and not really taught him the importance of putting the tribe first - or that every action had consequences. "It's past now, Journey, and we've both learned."

Saying "I'm sorry," wouldn't remedy what had happened, Journey realized. He couldn't think of anything else to say. Windsoft knew his remorse, and yet it hadn't fixed anything. He sighed; with Sureshot things had been easier--and yet he could just hear the chief tell him that it was past time he grew up. "What must I do now, Mother?" he asked, steeling himself for the unpleasant list of tasks he'd probably have to complete to regain the tribe's respect.

"Do?" Windsoft repeated. She thought for a moment, then sighed. "I won't tell you what to do, my son. Your choices are your own. If you're asking for my advice, however, I can only say this: decide whether you're a cub, or not. If not, then you must figure out what it is that you have to do." She lifted her other hand to his face, so he was cradled between her hands. "But if you are still a cub..."

Journey put his hands over his mother's and met her gaze. "I'm not, Mother." He fiercely stamped down the inner voice that protested he was giving up his freedom for nothing but responsibilities. Nothing was worth losing the tribe's respect--and his mother's. "I'm not, not anymore."

"And that makes me proud."

“It does? But I haven't even done anything--"

"But you have," Windsoft assured him, pulling him closer and folding her arms around him. "Growing up isn't age, or size, or accomplishments, Journey."

Bewildered, Journey returned her embrace. He wasn't sure what he'd done or said, and he was pretty sure he'd just ended the days of exploration and treasure-hunting. If this was what growing up was about, he was sure he'd never envy Stormfire being chieftess.

"Now, let's lead our tribe back to that water. I desperately want a swim before I sleep again!"
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 11, 2009, 10:59pm

((Time jump ahead! It seems everyone was done posting the arrival of the water, soo... ))

Icemark felt much, much better after the water. Silvercub had perked right up, too, and had spent the last hours chattering excitedly about the river that Windsoft had promised they'd reach soon. Icemark smiled as he listened to his little girl cub go on and on. Her voice was one of his favorite things to hear.

Whitecrest paced beside Icemark's Grapple, and Icemark smiled as he basked in the contentment of having his mate and child so close to him. He reached out and took Redthorn's hand, looking at the sky stretching endless and dark above them, pricked with bright stars and the light of the moons.

*There!* Windsoft's send was bright with excitement. *There is the river!*


Sunsong had been riding beside Mist, humming softly as they road. Mist was a quiet companion, but not surly or sullen. Just calm and peaceful. Sunsong enjoyed his soothing company, and long stretches of silence had been interrupted with short conversations about various plants that they passed. Being a healer, Mist knew much about herbs that she didn't. They were also making plans for establishing herbs he was familiar with close to their new holt. Sunsong was looking forward to the challenge.

"I smell water," Mist said, lifting his head and looking around.

Nearby, Oakstaff titled his head back and took a deep breath. "I do, too."

Windsoft's send reached them, then, and all three straightened with sudden, eager excitement. Sunsong and Oakstaff exchanged a glance, then suddenly tilted back their heads and let loose a howl that rose clear and pure in the night air.

*The river, Stormfire! Shall we race to the bank and go for a swim?* Sunsong laughingly sent, open for all her tribemates to hear.

Beside her, Mist chuckled and shook his head. "Perhaps just a bit more caution, plantshaper?" he suggested mildly.

"Windsoft was just there and it was safe. The path back was clear. We can see a days ride in any direction around us. What could have changed in such a short time?" Sunsong asked cheerfully.

Mist looked around the flat plains and had to admit Sunsong had a point. Surely Windsoft would have noticed an encrouching herd or invading humans before she'd returned to them?
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by kris on Jun 11, 2009, 11:41pm

Snowtreader's ears perked, and she grinned with her tongue lolling out; Stormfire felt her spirits rise as a familiar, welcome odor teased her nose. "Water!" she exclaimed, and heard several tribemates join her.


Quote:
*The river, Stormfire! Shall we race to the bank and go for a swim?* Sunsong laughingly sent, open for all her tribemates to hear.



*Once we reach it, yes!* Stormfire agreed, unable to keep from grinning at Sunsong's eagerness. *But not at a dead run!* She held a hand up to halt her tribemates. The light of Mother and Child Moons made the night nearly as bright as day, and in that light Stormfire intended to take no chances. *Windsoft didn't spot any dangers, but she also had a long ride back to us. Carefully is how we'll go.*

*You're being a real killjoy, Chieftess,* Whirlwind sent as the tribe proceeded at a slower pace.

*Cross paths with a rattle-tail or a hunting human, and tell me that then,* Stormfire retorted.

# # # #

Tallspear deliberately fell back by Softling as the tribe marched on towards the river. *Softling?* he sent. *Want to come with me and make certain no one's trying to sneak up on us?*

# # # #

Whirlwind shook her head as Tallspear dropped back to Softling's side, chuckling. That lad certainly seemed to like the shy cub. Tossing her hair over her shoulder, Whirlwind closed in on Longdusk.

*So,* she sent, giving the scout a wicked grin. *Up for a nice swim, Longdusk? I'll bet you a nice, soft pelt I can beat you across the river and back.*

# # # #

Sunsong joined Stormfire, and reached out to take her hand; the chieftess returned her friend's clasp, and Sunsong smiled warmly at her. *I don't see why we can't race once we get there,* she sent. *It's been so long since we've had a decent swim!*

*I know! Don't remind me.* Groaning, Stormfire swept her hair out of her face. *Won't it be nice to be clean? I'm coated in sweat and Snowtreader's--* She grabbed hold of the she-wolf's ruff, urging her to a stop; Sunsong nearly fell off her own wolf before she realized Stormfire had come to a stop.

*What is it?* the plantshaper asked.

Stormfire locksent to all--**WAIT**--and beckoned behind her. She heard Mist, Windsoft, Oakstaff, Icemark and Firecat hurry to her side, and pointed at the scene that lay almost out of sight.

Windsoft drew in a sharp breath. So did Icemark. But it was Sunsong who gave voice to their single thought.

*Elves! There are elves down there!*
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by multifacets on Jun 12, 2009, 1:15am

**WHAT?!** Shellslip sent to Sunsong and Stormfire in sheer astonishment, and grabbed Sniffer's ruff to keep him from bounding forward and possibly ruining something. **How?! Why?!**

Silent was just as rocked. Elves! Other elves! Where had they come from? Would could they have come from? And what did this mean for the tribe?
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by peachbug on Jun 12, 2009, 1:28am

Redthorn squeezed Icemark's hand and gazed lovingly between cub and mate. When they were so near, it truly seemed like all the happenings in her long Wolfrider's life had led specifically to these perfect moments, good and bad. All was worth it.

She laughed as Whitecrest rolled his eyes from the chittering cub back to his elf-friend with a look of odd resignation. *You old thing,* She smiled, leaning to rub his forehead. *You've been through worse than a happy cub! You know you love her as you love the pups.* Whitecrest snorted.

---------------

Softling considered Tallspear's suggestion with wide gold-green eyes for a moment, then nodded. *Alright.* The Wolfrider's excitement and celebration was not lost to her. This had lifted her spirits in such a way she hadn't felt in so long she couldn't remember the last time she'd felt it! Not that she'd bother, when all the good feelings were now.

-------------

Evenstar rode beside her sister Firecat, chatting and giggling about the fun to be had at this river, when Sunsong's sending broke through. Elves? Her brain could only stutter.
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Re: Grass, Grass, Everywhere
Post by Anna on Jun 13, 2009, 3:00pm

OOC: Okay, everyone by Meimei has signed on and had a chance to post a response to this, so I'm assuming everyone who wants to, has. Meimei doesn't have any characters in this group, so I'm locking this thread and everything now shifts over to the At the River thread.
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