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 Nightsun and Wingfoot

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Westering Holt
Holt Mistress


Posts : 131
Join date : 2011-06-15

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PostSubject: Nightsun and Wingfoot   Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:29 pm

Role Play Forums » 13,398 Season of Hot Sun: Grass, Grass, Everywhere, and Not a Tree in Sight » Nightsun and Wingfoot
http://westeringholt.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=rp3&action=display&thread=379
Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by Anna on Jun 17, 2009, 7:53pm

As the Wolfriders gathered around the travois, Nightsun took portions of meat for herself and her brothers, and drifted to the firepit. It only took a little bit of work to start a fire, and she fed it carefully, slowly, until it was just large enough for her purposes. She needed only to spit the meat cook it; the night was too warm to keep a fire going for long.

She kept glancing at the Wolfriders as they distributed the meat amongst themselves. They acted, in some ways, much like her own long-lost family. There was a closeness there, an instinctive awareness of each other, that made her feel very much the outsider.

That would change. Eventually, she would be included as one of them. She had to believe that, for it was all that had given her the will to insist on leading this course. Now that they had met, she wished to fade back again and let her brothers lead again. They were much better suited to it than she.


Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by peachbug on Jun 17, 2009, 9:51pm

Starpath crept up beside his sister, hot meat speared on a short stick in hand. It was like him to swallow it down blistering, too eager for his share like a child. Being a big brother of course, he always made sure Nightsun had her fill first, and that Ashglow didn't give them all his share in his worries. He tore off a bite, eyes locked on the Wolfriders in their huddle of strange kinship. The wolves they rode rolled and panted for their share, and the way these elves responded, with their soft laughter and words, it was almost as though the creatures were Wolfriders rather than mounts!

**Well...** He locksent midchew to Nightsun. **You brought them here somehow. Any more random plans Ashglow and I should be aware of?**Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 17, 2009, 10:18pm

"I didn't bring them," Nightsun answered mildly, skewering another length of beef onto a sharpened stick and propped it up over the fire before each for another stick and another chunk of meat. "They have been traveling for many moons. I was only told days ago that they were coming."

Setting the second kebob to cook, she looked fully at Starpath. Her brow wrinkled slowly and she bit her lip as she realized that he didn't look happy. He looked...wary. "Are you mad at me?" she asked, reaching out to touch his arm. "I thought you would be happy, dear one. These are elves; they are our kind. You and Ashglow have been alone for so long. Are you not happy that now you will not be lonely?"


Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by peachbug on Jun 17, 2009, 10:30pm

Starpath paused for a long breath. "You and Ashglow were always all I needed, sister." He stated out loud. "It was hard, without the others, but you were both enough. If they make you happy..." He stood, stepping away from her reach, but not unkindly. "Then that's good. The raw meat however..." He wrinkled his nose, making a face much like he did as a child who hadn't gotten just what he'd wanted. "I might ask finding us some elves without that particular oddity. If you try again, that is."Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 17, 2009, 10:40pm

Nightsun looked up at him, hurt that he'd stepped away from her touch, and a tad angry that he was lying. Whether it was to himself, or to her, she wasn't sure. Probably himself, she decided. "They do not force us to eat as they do," she pointed out. Then her eyes narrowed. "It has been many long seasons since our kin parted with this life, Starpath. But, surely, it has not been so long that you have forgotten the pleasures and comforts to be found with those who are not sister nor brother to you? I have not experienced this, and so have not missed it. But you and Starpath are my elders, and even as a kit without my secret name, I knew of the joy you took with the other maids in our band. Does it mean nothing that you may have that again?"

Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by kris on Jun 17, 2009, 11:15pm

Wingfoot ate whatever was handed to him. Red meat? He chewed it slowly and never noticed the taste. Fish? It was raw; he swallowed it. Water? He drank until his thirst was slaked. And in all that time, he kept his eyes on Nightsun.

He'd never seen an elf like her. The humans near the old holt were almost as dark, but Nightsun's skin was smooth and luminous; her eyes were brilliant and warm. There was all that long, black hair that made him want to run his fingers through it--or just wrap himself in it--crowning a sweet face that charmed him out of all wariness.

Wingfoot knew his tribemates' concerns. They didn't quite believe Nightsun, and weren't sure what to make of her brothers. They were justly worried about strangers and strange intentions. But he'd touched her mind, and Wingfoot would part with both arms before he'd ever think Nightsun was capable of doing them harm.

He was also aware that he hadn't felt like this in ages. He'd had lovemates, even a lifemate, and with age and survival had come a lessening in expectations . . . a dampening of passions. Not the Way, perhaps, but the way of an elf who never expected to live as long as Wingfoot had, and wasn't sure what he'd done to achieve it in the first place.

It was strange how one elf could take one's peace of mind, throw it to the winds, and leave one feeling revived instead of robbed.

Wingfoot got to his feet and approached Nightsun. He considered what he'd say to her, when he caught the threads of her conversation with one of her brothers.

"I didn't bring them," Nightsun said in her soft voice, as she skewered meat to roast over the fire. Wingfoot turned his head slightly; the smell was unsettling to his instincts and appetite. "They have been traveling for many moons. I was only told days ago that they were coming." She faced her brother, and bit her lip in a gesture that made Wingfoot's heart melt. "Are you mad at me?"

Who could be? Wingfoot glared at her brother. If he so much as frowned at Nightsun, Wingfoot resolved to throw him into the fire.

"I thought you would be happy, dear one. These are elves; they are our kind. You and Ashglow have been alone for so long. Are you not happy that now you will not be lonely?"

"You and Ashglow were always all I needed, sister," the other male said after a long pause. "It was hard, without the others, but you were both enough. If they make you happy..." He stood, moving just out of Nightsun's reach; Wingfoot suppressed a growl. "Then that's good. The raw meat however..." He wrinkled his nose. As if your fire-stinking burnt meat smells any better, Wingfoot thought. "I might ask finding us some elves without that particular oddity. If you try again, that is."

"They do not force us to eat as they do," Nightsun returned, and Wingfoot grinned. She was soft-spoken, but she made her point. "It has been many long seasons since our kin parted with this life, Starpath. But, surely, it has not been so long that you have forgotten the pleasures and comforts to be found with those who are not sister nor brother to you? I have not experienced this, and so have not missed it . . ."

Wingfoot had to put a hand to his jaw to make sure it wasn't hanging open. A part of him was not surprised; siblings did not mate, not even among the wolfpack. On the other hand--and it made him chuckle--it definitely explained why the young males were so hot-tempered!

But Nightsun . . . Nightsun had never . . . Wingfoot tried to imagine it and failed. His first joining had been sometime after he'd found his soulname. Joining was as easy as breathing; how would it be, he wondered, to live your whole life and never know that kind of sharing with another?

He waited for the brother to leave, making sure to keep out of sight. With a tribemate, he'd simply step in and take Nightsun away for a little while. He didn't even know if she'd welcome him, anyway. But he waited.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by peachbug on Jun 17, 2009, 11:25pm

Starpath's shoulders sagged slightly, and he sighed deeply again. Nightsun insisted on seeing through him, being the nagging little sister she was. "Of course I miss them. I miss all the precious things I shared with everyone who was lost to the sickness. I found happiness with the sweet maidens of our tribe, and it was only through you and our brother that I could break away from the sorrows of their passings. Even now my heart feels too full of feelings...and I..." He glanced with mournful gold eyes at the Wolfriders, who moved so closely together, so similar yet starkly different to the tribe they'd lost. **I am not sure I have heart enough to replace my loved ones, even dead.** He sent to speak the truth. "Perhaps someday." Starpath offered bleakly, fiddling with the cooled meat on the stick he held.

"I know you meant well, sister. But for this..." He waved a hand about wildly. "Spirit talking! It seems you told these 'Wolfriders' before even your brothers?" Nibbling his lower lip, he asked softly. "You didn't trust us with your gift?"

Suddenly, Starpath spotted one of the Wolfriders, the dark brown haired one who had fallen and vouched for his sister's words, eyeing her from afar. **It seems you have an admirer already.** Starpath's sending was bittersweet in emotions. **I do want you to find happiness from these elves.** With that, he moved away to speak with Ashglow before she could protest.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 17, 2009, 11:44pm

Nightsun flinched at Starpath's accusation that she hadn't trusted him, or Ashglow. It had not occurred to her to mention it; she had not even thought of it. She had mentioned the spirits to them, surely? When she said they need to come this way, and along the trail. She must have. They had never questioned her. She had thought they'd known!

"Starpath..." she began, only to be interrupted by his send and swift departure. She blinked, clasping her hands tightly together as she looked after him, worried and hurt. Oh, there was so much she didn't know!

Her lip trembled, but she took a deep breath and turned the meat still grilling before she turned to scan the darkness. Her eyes, however, were accustomed to the bright firelight, and she was not usually a nightdweller. Her searching gaze passed over Wingfoot several times as her pupils expanded to accommodate the lack of light. Still she couldn't pick him out until the spirit that had been his father told her which direction to look. She frowned in concentration, then blinked in surprise as Wingfoot's form slowly became clear to her.

Her searching expression cleared and she smiled in welcome. "Welcome, Wingfoot," she said, lifting a hand in his direction. "Will you come to the fire? It is warm, but the cooking is nearly done and then I shall bank the flames. We do not wish to set the prairie ablaze. Do you wish water?"

She felt oddly breathless as she waited for the Wolfrider's response. Starpath's suggestion that he admired her made her heart flutter, but she had seen the females of his band and doubted that he would find much in her that he did not already have among those he was close to.


Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by kris on Jun 18, 2009, 11:05pm


Quote:
Her searching expression cleared and she smiled in welcome. "Welcome, Wingfoot," she said, lifting a hand in his direction. "Will you come to the fire? It is warm, but the cooking is nearly done and then I shall bank the flames. We do not wish to set the prairie ablaze. Do you wish water?"


Wingfoot eyed the fire and said, "I'll stay back a little, if that's all right." No Wolfrider truly liked fire, unless it was the season of White-Cold, and then so cold that furs couldn't keep off the chill. But he sat close to Nightsun, the better to speak with her, and made himself sit still in spite of the sparks and smoke from the flames.

"I wanted to thank you," he said, "for the meat, and the water. Both were very welcome. We've traveled for some time, and we never expected to meet more of our kin." The longer he stared at her face, the more Wingfoot felt sure that he was in the right place, where he most needed to be.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 18, 2009, 11:22pm

Nightsun blushed and lowered her gaze back to her fire. "No thanks need be given," she murmured. "The prairie can be harsh to those not accustomed. There is much life here, but difficult to find for those who do not know it."

Her eyes flickered up to his face briefly, then dropped again. She reached out and removed the meat-adorned sticks from near the fire, then used a fire-hardened stick push a roughly shaped lidded bowl from where it had been buried in the ashes on the edge of the fire. *Ashglow, dear one, the meal is done if you wish to eat,* she sent to her eldest brother.

She glanced at Wingfoot again, realizing she'd been silent for perhaps too long. She wasn't sure what to say, but felt she needed to say something. "My brothers and I, we have traveled the prairie often. This is the dry season, but at most times, there is much rain." A smile flickered across her lips. "I am glad our own wanderings had us close."




Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by kris on Jun 19, 2009, 1:36am

"So am I," Wingfoot answered, noting her words. He gave her a wry grin. "It's good to know it rains sometime in this place--you called it a prairie?" He looked up at the clear, star-filled sky. "I wouldn't mind a little rain right now, except that it would put out your fire."

She continued to look at him. Nightsun, Wingfoot decided, had a certain keenness to her glance, a directness more accepting than piercing. While soft, her features held no weakness. And despite her quietness, her eagerness to please, Wingfoot wondered if that was due to living for years with no company but her two brothers. Not that they struck him as being all that companionable.

"Anyway," he said, "I'm wondering if you'd like to meet the rest of us. Stormfire's already made herself known to you. Why not the others?" He stood up and held out his hand. "I'd be happy to have you make my tribemates' acquaintances."

Nightsun blushed, which looked lovely on her dark skin, and took his hand. "I would be most honored to do so," she said, smiling slightly, "when your tribemates are ready to be made known to me."

Wingfoot couldn't keep a grin off his face. "Well," he said, moving Nightsun's small hand to the crook of his arm--where he covered it with his own hand--"as my father, whom you know already, used to say, there's no time like the present."Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by meimei on Jun 19, 2009, 10:18am

Ashglow had wandered away from the others to the edge of the campsite, trying to think things through. Nightsun's ability to hear spirits didn't bother him so much. His father had once said that the spirits of the passed watched over the living. It had been shortly after the death of his mother Duneshade, and the words had comforted him. Remembering that the loss of the tribe had not affected Nightsun the same way as Starpath and himself, he wondered how long she'd known of this gift.

As, until this recent turn of events, it hadn't truly been something that would affect their travels, it didn't bother him that she hadn't outwardly spoken of it. But the fact that she'd decided on her own what was right for the three of them did. He'd thought they'd been doing well enough. Had Nightsun been discontent? Had Starpath?

Hearing Nightsun's sending he let the thoughts go for now, wandering back to the fire for the food. He paused when he saw the wolfrider with his sister, scowling disapprovingly. Where'd Starpath gone off to? They had yet to decide if the strangers were trustworthy, and he leaves their sister with them?

"Obviously not." He commented on the wolfrider's words dryly - eyeing where Wingfoot had placed Nightsun's hand on his arm. He went to grab some of their food, but frowned at how much there still was "Have you or Starpath eaten anything?" He asked.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 19, 2009, 12:11pm

"Oh!" Nightsun turned towards Ashglow and blushed, dropping her gaze from his and clasping her hands together behind her back in a habit that he was well familiar with. It was the same response, verbal and physical, she always gave when he or Starpath caught her out in forgetting little things like eating. And sleeping. And coming in out of the rain. Or putting on a fur when it started to snow.

"I forgot," she admitted. "Starpath has eaten, but he is unhappy with me." She peeked at Ashglow from beneath thick, long lashes and bit her lip before sighing. "And you, as well, are displeased."

She glanced at Wingfoot, then back and Ashglow, and was torn. She wanted to be in the Wolfrider's company. His touch made her breath catch and her heart flutter. But she couldn't bear her brothers being angry with her, and now, they both were. She was confused at the source of their emotion - how could they not want to be with their own kind again? Surely, with others, their lives would be much better! Like it was when she was just a kitling, before she'd left on her soulquest... She remembered, dimly, the laughter and the warmth of a mother's touch. The strength and security of a father's voice. Of watching the adults in their endless dances of companionship, joy - the moments of discord that made the love all the sweeter.

If she had told them where the spirits were leading her, and what would come to them there, would they have been angry still? But then, they may have refused, and Nightsun knew beyond any doubt, that this path was the best for them. This way lay life; their wanderings before had simply been existence.

"Perhaps," she said hesitantly, glancing at Wingfoot, "another time would be best for meeting your tribe? Tomorrow, when the sun shines friendly and gentle on us all, and darkness doesn't encourage caution?" She glanced at the fire she'd so nearly walked away from, leaving it unwatched and dangerous. "As well, the fire cannot be left untended until even the faintest embers are cold." She couldn't believe she'd almost forgotten that, too!

Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by kris on Jun 21, 2009, 12:30am


Quote:
"Perhaps," she said hesitantly, glancing at Wingfoot, "another time would be best for meeting your tribe? Tomorrow, when the sun shines friendly and gentle on us all, and darkness doesn't encourage caution?" She glanced at the fire she'd so nearly walked away from, leaving it unwatched and dangerous. "As well, the fire cannot be left untended until even the faintest embers are cold." She couldn't believe she'd almost forgotten that, too!


"Well, we sleep during the day, when it's hot . . ." Wingfoot kept his voice neutral and his eyes away from Nightsun's brother--one of them--knowing he shouldn't interfere with her family. He couldn't help feeling disappointed, but shrugged it off. "Maybe sometime in the afternoon," he suggested. "And I'll stay here with you to look after the fire."

He eyed the fire-ring, not really certain he'd done the smart thing. "So . . . should we extinguish it, or wait for it to burn out?"Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 21, 2009, 12:56am

The smile Nightsun gave Wingfoot was brighter and warmer than the fire that burned within its circle. She settled once more on her knees beside it, and the strips of raw meat still waiting to be cooked. "I would have forgotten these," she murmurred. "The fire shall burn until this meat is cooked, and then I shall smother it with dirt until it burns no more," she said as her fingers once more started threading bloody strips onto sticks and setting them near the fire. She fed two more twists of grass to the flame and watched it rise higher. "I shall cook enough to provide meals for several days, and thereby have no need to light another fire too soon."

She glanced at Ashglow, then guiltily picked up one of the kebobs she'd already grilled and took a bite. Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by meimei on Jun 21, 2009, 1:34am

Ashglow frowned at his sister's guilty response. Obviously she had not eaten. If Starpath had touched so little, and from Nightsun's words, the younger brother was also unhappy about the sudden turn of events. His frown deepened as the Wolfrider volunteered to stay, though Nightsun brightened at the words. Atleast she took some food.

Grabbing up two of the kebobs, Ashglow made a point of sitting down as well. If Nightsun asked him to leave, he would. And he supposed he couldn't stop her if she chose to leave the fire with the stranger. He didn't have to like any of it, though. And he didn't intend to hide his displeasure either.

"You have to be careful on the plains. Fire can spread swiftly. But we've had plenty of practice." He took some fish out of the bowl, nibbling at it along with his kebobs. "Since your tribe doesn't cook meat, I take it you're not accustomed to fire?" He'd noticed that the wolfrider kept some distance between himself and the small blaze.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 21, 2009, 1:40am

Nightsun's head bowed at Ashglow's comment, interpretting that as a reprimand to her. One she well deserved for her thoughtlessness, too! She knew how dangerous untended fires could be, and yet she would have walked away from this one without a thought, simply because Wingfoot had asked her to meet his kin.

She didn't know what to do. She'd seldom had both her brothers mad at her at the same time. It hurt most sharply. She would have to make amends with them, and soon!

Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by peachbug on Jun 21, 2009, 2:26pm

**Ashglow...** Starpath's sending was oddly weary, though it carried no ill feelings. He stepped closer to the fire, barely visible to Nightsun and Ashglow. **Our sister has made a bold choice. Perhaps we should let her experience it. Not to harm's end,** He glanced at the Wolfrider beside her. **But she made a choice without us. What sense in putting our wills on her now?** He crossed his arms, his face stoic. **I say we watch. Nightsun obviously needed this. More elves...you and I can bear the empty plains, but she could not.**

He did not plan to reveal this resignation to Nightsun. He was not ready to concede his feelings yet.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by kris on Jun 21, 2009, 10:47pm


Quote:
"Since your tribe doesn't cook meat, I take it you're not accustomed to fire?" He'd noticed that the wolfrider kept some distance between himself and the small blaze.


Wingfoot wasn't sure he cared for the way Nightsun faded around her brothers. Nor did he care for this one's, Ashglow's, tone. "Fires," he said, keeping his tone light and even, "are a danger. They create a blaze of light, by which one can be seen by enemies. They give off smoke, which can be smelled even by the stupidest of five-fingers. So, no--" And he met Ashglow's gaze with a level one of his own. "We Wolfriders are not in the habit of using fire. It has kept us alive."Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 21, 2009, 11:03pm

"Enemies?" Nightsun repeated the word and looked at Wingfoot with a quizzical expression. She knew the meaning of the word, but she couldn't connect with it emotionally. She had never known an enemy. "A strange thought," she murmurred, turning the roasting meat. "We have always used fire, but have never feared enemies." She frowned and looked at Ashglow for confirmation. "Have we, dear one? Starpath usually marks our course, and I have questioned neither the direction, the time, nor the season. Have we enemies that our fires could bring to us?"

She worried now. A simple thing was fire. A useful thing. She had always assumed it's danger lay in escaping the confinement set for it, and spreading to burn unchecked and savage. Her hand hesitated as she reached for long blades of grass she'd gathered earlier. Plaited together, they would make handy baskets for carrying the cooked meat, and once the meat was finished, they could be unplaited and left behind, to decompose and feed the growing grass.

Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by peachbug on Jun 21, 2009, 11:30pm

**Don't test him, brother,** Starpath urged warily to Ashglow, referring to Ashglow's tone more than the words. **The Wolfriders are many, and seem to have many strange customs. I fear we will learn them well enough with time.**Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by meimei on Jun 22, 2009, 1:10am

Ashglow frowned at Starpath's sending. He hadn't told Nightsun to stay. He certainly would have tended to the fire himself if need be. It wasn't his fault she hadn't eaten before he'd reminded her, either. He was going to respond, but the stranger spoke first. Nightsun's query made him frown.

There was plenty of dangers. But he wasn't certain he knew what the Wolfrider meant either. "Our tribe has always used fire. It keeps the larger predators at bay wherever we travel. Cooks our meat. Helps in the making of medicines." He offered the Wolfrider a wry smile. "It has helped keep us alive."

Starpath's second lock-sending made him pause and he shook his own head in resignation. **So you've made your decision? You say Nightsun couldn't stand the loneliness. But is that all? You're curious, aren't you? I haven't seen you entertain that trait since...**

Ashglow swallowed the last of his meat. It seemed the strangers were already affecting both his siblings. And neither seemed worse for it. He would live with whatever path they'd chosen. "I speak of our tribe, but they are no more. We are all that remains. Living their ways cannot bring them back." He stood, dropping the stick from his kebabs back into the fire. He smoothed his sister's long hair gently as he passed her. *If either of you need me, send.* He wandered back to the edge of the campsite.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by peachbug on Jun 22, 2009, 2:35pm

**I've made no decision. I simply want to watch. I am curious...** Starpath admitted as Ashglow stood and moved away. **But my thoughts are always first for you and Nightsun.** With Nightsun feeling so far from him, Starpath couldn't bear to lose Ashglow to bitterness. They had to stay together.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by kris on Jun 22, 2009, 11:41pm

Wingfoot watched the brothers, sensing their sendings; he closed his mind to them and kept his attention on Nightsun. "Have you never encountered humans, then?" It seemed a miracle to him, that elves could journey through wide spaces for years and years, and never encounter the five-fingered ones. Even on their journey, humans had been a blight on the landscape, like rot in a grand old oak.

He envied her brother the freedom to touch her hair. Although his own hair was dark, and many Wolfriders had dark brown or black hair, Wingfoot could only name Sureshot's lifemate Waterdance as an elf who'd had hair as dark as Nightsun's--and even the chieftess's hair was not quite so lustrous as the maiden's smooth, long tresses. They gleamed like crow's feathers in the sun, shimmering purple and blue in the moonlight.

Wingfoot almost reached for a rock to beat some sense back into his skull. Oh, you're mad, all right. Might as well ask her to lifemate with you already, you idiot.Re: Nightsun/Wingfoot (Starpath & Ashglow, too?)
Post by Anna on Jun 22, 2009, 11:57pm

Nightsun pulled her gaze away from Ashglow's departing back. Her pause before she answered Wingfoot was long, and not all of that was due to thought. Her throat was tight, and she dared not look at the Wolfrider. She could feel the hot ache in her eyes, and the scalding tears she was trying to hold back. She absently pulled the spitted meat away from the fire and carefully, slowly, sifted dirt over the flames to smother them.

She had begun plaiting the long grasses before she felt she could answer. Even so, her voice was softer than usual, and slightly hoarse. "We have, many times, encountered signs of the five-fingered ones. Campsites cold with age, or collections of dwellings that had been abandoned. I have never seen a human, despite all our wanderings." She paused in her braiding and spread one hand wide, palm up, and looked at the sky. "Starpath determines the paths our feet walk. How he chooses our where we wander depends sometimes on the lights that sparkle in the night sky - and sometimes on other things."

As her gaze continued to drift about the starry sky, her hands took up their task again, and the woven grass baskets formed quickly under her practiced fingers. Her voice, in odd counterpoint to the briskness of her hands, was almost dreamy. "I never questioned where we went and why. It mattered not. My brothers hunted, scouted, guarded, and protected. They kept me safe and I had no cause to worry or wonder what dangers there may be." She smiled and finally looked at Wingfoot again. "My brothers have spoiled me quite thoroughly."



Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by kris on Jun 23, 2009, 10:40pm

Wingfoot felt sadder than he had in ages. No, lovely one, what they've done is kept you caged. He tried to imagine how he might have kept himself going for so long with no wolf-friend, no one but siblings for company. Small wonder she was speaking to spirits.

"A good thing you've never encountered humans," he said at last, and smiled to see her so engrossed in her task. She was never truly still, but seemed to be nothing but tranquil in her moods and ways. Wingfoot looked around and saw his kin had taken to their dens. "Nightsun," he said at last, "would you like to take a walk with me by the river? There's no harm to be had from the fire, and it's quite cool now."Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by Anna on Jun 23, 2009, 11:15pm

Nightsun picked up a stick and stirred the buried remains of her fire throughly, looking for the faintest hint of a spark. Nothing glowed, and when she lowered a spread hand over it, no a hint of heat rose to her palm. When she buried her hand in the loose dirt and ashes, they were warm, but it was a fading warmth. "Cutting the grass away prevents the sparks from hiding in the roots from many seasons ago," she said absently. "A fire thought dead could linger unnoticed and arise again all unexpected. This one is gone, and when we depart, I will re-lay the sod and no one will know that we were ever here."

She smiled then, blushing, as she picked up cooled, cooked strips of meat and dropped them into the grass pouches she'd woven. When that task was finished, she rose to her and glanced towards the river. "It's lovely beneath the light of the moons," she said. "A quieter, calmer beauty than the vastdeep waters."

Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by kris on Jun 23, 2009, 11:35pm

Wingfoot got to his feet and took her hand.

"What are the vastdeep waters?" he asked, truly curious. "Are they wider than the river?"Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by Anna on Jun 24, 2009, 12:06am

Nightsun looked down at their joined hands, startled that such a familiar gesture, such a common touch, could be so different. When she held Starpath's hand, or Ashglow's, it was comforting and pleasant. But Wingfoot's hand, strong and warm around her own, was no mere pleasantness. The innocent touch made her feel warm and glowing, a pleasant thrum almost vibrating within her. She raised her hand, his lifting with hers, and marveled at the contrast of light skin against dark.

A warm glow of fondness for this strange, pale Wolfrider filled her heart, completely separate and unique from all the other, merely physical, feelings he'd stirred. She lowered their hands and raised her other, placing it lightly on his arm just above his elbow. She adjusted her step so that she walked close to him, her head resting affectionately against his shoulder.

"How marvelous," she murmurred and sighed contentedly. "The vastdeep waters... They are no simple river, tracing paths through the land, traveling from plain to woodland, to burning waste. They stretch far, much farther than any eye can see. The water seems to live, rolling to shore in rising crests that crash down upon the sand, then receding back from whence it came." She looked at him, and smiled, a teasing sparkle lighting her golden eyes. "It is vast, and it is deep. All the lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams you have ever seen, combined all in one, would be as nothing when in comparison to the vastdeep waters." She sighed, and the teasing smile softened into a dreamy one. "The rush of water on sand, the crash of waves - it is not tranquil as a river tame and mild as this, but it has a lonely peace all of it's own."

Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by kris on Jun 24, 2009, 11:24pm


Quote:
"The vastdeep waters... They are no simple river, tracing paths through the land, traveling from plain to woodland, to burning waste. They stretch far, much farther than any eye can see. The water seems to live, rolling to shore in rising crests that crash down upon the sand, then receding back from whence it came." She looked at him, and smiled, a teasing sparkle lighting her golden eyes. "It is vast, and it is deep. All the lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams you have ever seen, combined all in one, would be as nothing when in comparison to the vastdeep waters." She sighed, and the teasing smile softened into a dreamy one. "The rush of water on sand, the crash of waves - it is not tranquil as a river tame and mild as this, but it has a lonely peace all of it's own."


Her hand was so small and delicate within his own, and the weight of her head against his shoulder made Wingfoot swallow hard to wet a suddenly-dry throat. But her voice was what drew him, that voice that made him think of purple moths fluttering in a summer dusk, deep and warm and vivid. And her words evoked images in his mind of the Vastdeep she described.

He thought of the river that ran close to to the old Holt, and how it raged in spring when snowmelt and rains caused it to swell and overflow its banks. He tried to imagine it covering the forest as far as the eye could see, and had to drive the thought away. It was too frightening--and he knew it could not be what Nightsun meant.

*Will you share a memory of it with me?* Wingfoot sent.Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by Anna on Jun 25, 2009, 12:10am

Nightsun lifted her head from his shoulder and looked at him, a slight furrow between her brows. She'd never shared a memory before. She had not heard of such a thing. "I have never done this before. My brothers and I have all the same memories; we have never shared them before." The little furrow increased as she thought about how to accomplish this sharing. She had no clear and precise images in her head. Her 'memories' of the vastdeep were compilations and impressions, more a sense of it all rather than a visual.

*I will try,* she said simply, opening her mind to him completely, unthinkingly, heedless of all the other memories, thoughts, and feelings within that she had not first shielded in a sheltered corner of her mind.

The essence of Nightsun did not pull him, nor did it enfold him. It surrounded him, but did not confine. Memories of a happy childhood, faces of parents, aunts, uncles, cousins - frighteningly few but surrounded in timeless love - drifted by. The lingering regret and sorrow for parents passed on as spirits, the quiet joy of the rare and precious touch still today. The deep wellspring of love and respect for her brothers, her knowledge of their protectiveness, and an amused acceptance of that care, as well the more immediate pain of knowing that she had, in her wish to ensure their happiness, instead made them unhappy.

Memories of the vastdeep waters, dark and flat in the distance, rolling into hills as they approached the gold-sand shores. White froth of seafoam was accentuated with the sense of wild power, exhilaration, and a lonely, vast peace that settled in the soul and said, “Here, here is strength beyond measure, inexorable, endless, uncontrolled and unconfined. Here is immortality, and permanence ever-changing.”

And within that image, that sense, the reason for Nightsun’s wistful affinity with the vastdeep. Her own overwhelming sense of peace and continuity, her knowing of the endlessness of being, her pleasure in the smallest of life’s joys equal to the greatest. Her spirit was as free and unconfined as the vastdeep, and held to her physical form by mere threads, but threads as strong as spider silk. She had not been lonely over the long centuries of wandering with her brothers, no.

Over all, suffusing the memories of the vastdeep, the steady, timeless span of wanderings, was the warm, pure love that was the essence of one small, dark-skinned and night-haired elf. Amid the sigh of surf, and the crash of waves, the exhalation of wind through grasses, and the rustle of leaves in a breeze, there murmured a simple sound. Under the trickle of a brook, the thunder of a waterfall, the splatter of rain and the cascade of birdsong, the unique sound formed a bedrock. It crystallized the essence of everything.

**Is this how one shares a memory?** Nightsun’s voice whispered, all but lost within the flood. **Do you see the vastdeep waters?**
Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by kris on Jun 25, 2009, 11:15pm

**Is this how one shares a memory?**

Wingfoot couldn't answer. He was swirling in the midst of a sensory flood, Nightsun's memories pouring over him.

Her childhood, her long years of wandering, her loneliness and her power to speak to the spirits of those long passed, all crashed down upon him like the deep gray waters of the entity she called the Vastdeep. Wingfoot shuddered in mingled horror and awe at the images of a sweeping body of water that shimmered and seethed, white-headed waves crashing on rocks, flowing up on sandy beaches, rocking and writhing and rearing. It wasn't like a lake or even a river. It was alive, and it was a monster.

But even as the memories of the swirling waves receded, Nightsun's memories swooped in and threatened to carry him off. Confused and frightened, Wingfoot felt true horror as Nightsun's communion threatened to draw his soulname out of him--and as she bared herself to the point of revealing her own soulname to him.

He pulled away from her, physically and mentally, shaking with the realization of what had nearly happened. Nightsun stared at him in confusion. "Did I do it wrong?"

Wingfoot swallowed to wet his parched throat. He didn't dare send--not after that--not right away.

"Nightsun," he gasped, "you almost gave me your soulname. You can't do that! You can't just give that to me, or take mine without asking!"
Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by Anna on Jun 25, 2009, 11:42pm

Nightsun reached for him, astonished that he would think that she'd have taken his soulname. He flinched away from her and a sharp pain stabbed through her heart. She drew her breath in a sharp gasp and stepped back from him, her arms coming up in an instinctive protection against Wingfoot's rejection, each hand clasping the opposite shoulder.

"I...was sending," she murmurred in a small voice. "I was not reading. I would never take another's secret name, though I have no fear in my own being known. It is who I am and I see no reason to hide that." Her fingers tightened, and she felt her throat tighten as well. No one had ever pulled away from her in fear before, asked her for something, then reject her when she tried to give it. It hurt, with a sharp, piercing pain that was equally unfamiliar. She didn't know what to do with it.

"I'm sorry," she whispered. She didn't want to cry. She didn't want Wingfoot to see it, and think himself the cause. But she was going to cry and she could not stop it. "The night will soon be gone," she managed, only a hint of a tremble in her soft voice. "The sun will soon rise. You must be tired. I will go so you may rest, Wingfoot." She took another step back, and another, then turned to walk back to her fire circle.
Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by kris on Jun 26, 2009, 1:16am


Quote:
"The night will soon be gone," she managed, only a hint of a tremble in her soft voice. "The sun will soon rise. You must be tired. I will go so you may rest, Wingfoot." She took another step back, and another, then turned to walk back to her fire circle.


"Wait," and Wingfoot caught up with Nightsun, placing his hands on her shoulders. She stared up at him, eyes wide and gleaming in the moons' light. "Nightsun . . . I didn't mean to accuse you of seeking after my soulname. I know you didn't do it on purpose. But when you . . . when you opened yourself like that, you nearly--I mean, I almost . . ." He stopped short, gritting his teeth. Words were not going to be enough to explain this--especially not with Nightsun looking at him as if he'd just cut off her hands.

*Nightsun, I could almost touch your soulname, and if I'd wanted to I could have taken it. I know you don't see that as a danger, but you should! What if I'd wanted to harm you, or force you to harm someone else? I could do that if I knew your soulname; I could force my will on you. The name is there for a reason--it's our protection. Your protection, and mine. It keeps us safe from any magic-user who might seek to use us for their own ends.* Wingfoot reached up to touch his fingertips to her chin. *Do you understand?* he sent gently, hoping to ease the earlier sting of his rejection.Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by Anna on Jun 26, 2009, 8:07am

There is only truth in sending, and sometimes more truth than those who were communicating wished or realized. Nightsun reached for nothing, she merely received what he offered her. The emotions and flavors twining within, around, and about his words told her more than the simple words themselves. Should she send to him, he would perceive the same as she.

But she hesitated, still smarting from his withdrawal. It saddened her, this faint, sharp spice in his send that was the lingering fear he'd just felt. Why? Why was he afraid? Of her? His words didn't say, and emotions were too undefined to identify the source. There had been no fear in his sends before.

"No," she said, holding still beneath his hands, but not leaning into him as she had before. "I do not understand. My soulname is the essence of who I am, but any who spend time with me will know that anyway. You do not wish to harm me. Where was the danger? Why would any wish to take my will from me? To ... to force me to do their bidding? Where is the joy in that?" She hesitantly lifted a hand and placed a light finger on his chin. "When we leave this world of touch, taste, and scent behind, we are nothing but our souls. The names we use now are shed with the shell, retained only in memory, given in habit, not need. There is no fear, no danger. If this is so for spirits, why is it not so for us? Are we not strong enough to resist this usage, this robbing of our will? Can any of our kind truly do such a thing to another? I cannot conceive it."

Nightsun dropped her hand and her eyes glimmered in the silver light of the moons. "It saddens me that you can. Has life been so cruel and harsh that you have been used so?" She shook her head slowly, then stepped back. "I am weary, and the day has been long. The sun will turn the sky gold and rose very soon, and I must sleep." She reached up again and patted Wingfoot's cheek gently. "Be peaceful, dear one, and ease your fear. Dream sweetly of that which brings you peace."

She took another step back, out from under his hands, and turned away. She slipped quietly back to her firecircle and found the grass mat she'd woven earlier in the day. She spread a rough-tanned, thick fur on the ground and settled the grass mat over it. She settled on her sleeping mat and curled an arm under her head. The day's heat had faded and the temperature dropped to something pleasant and comfortable. Overhead, the stars shown with a distant, white sharpness. The moons were more gentle, their white luminescence contoured with pale grey shadows. Nightsun's eyes drifted shut and she had no time to consider the emotional ravines and cliffs of the evening. She only had time to realize that she may have erred badly in heeding the spirits who'd led her hear, and that her mistake had hurt the ones she loved most. How would she make it right?



Re: Nightsun and Wingfoot
Post by kris on Jun 27, 2009, 11:42pm

The images inundated him until, at last, Wingfoot found a quiet place in the grass to sit, and let them wash over and through him. Nightsun's life, pouring through him like rain through fresh grass. Her memories bubbled up in perfect clarity, and Wingfoot felt his breath catch in his throat as he realized why she'd taken his fears so . . . so personally.

She'd never known what an enemy was. Her brothers had literally kept her safe from any threat. Wingfoot's appreciation of their scouting abilities increased, as did his admiration of Nightsun's own strange talent. She'd taken what she'd learned from listening to spirits and applied it to her life and her brothers'.

How hard could it be for one who'd never truly known danger to imagine, much less understand, the many threats to elves that there were in this world? Wingfoot had heard tales in his young life about the Wolfriders' first days in this world, how they'd battled their own throwback tribesfolk as well as pureblooded elves who sought to rein in Timmorn's children. The truth in those tales had made his folk what they were. To explain things truly to Nightsun, he would have to tell her those tales . . . explain his folk to her as completely as he could.

Wingfoot got to his feet and retraced his steps. The night, he saw, was the stark blackness one saw just before twilight broke; even as he walked, it began to shade to a vivid, almost quivering deep blue. He came back to the place where Nightsun had been, and found her on the ground, wrapped in a sleeping fur.

He couldn't explain the tenderness that broke over him, like a foam-capped wave, when he saw her. But Wingfoot lay down beside her, placing an arm over her. If nothing else, he would be her protector until day came, and it was time to move on.
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