What a sweet place you have wandered to. The forest trees here are scattered across a soft meadow of heather and wildflowers, and the sun dapples the ground through the leaves above. This is a wide section of earth, and it seems to be a gathering place–indeed, there is a ring of stones in one side of the open clearing where it seems fires have been built over many nights. To the south, a worn path leads to the Caldron Pool and the waterfall that feeds it. You can also see a path leading west toward the cliff-face. To the east the path leads into the deeper forests of Lantern Waste.
You can go: Clearing <N>, Into Lantern Waste <E>, Caldron Pool <S>, Base of the Cliffs <W>
Contents: Aliyah and Pheeobe.
Caileana sits atop one of the long flat stones that provide seating around the main firepit, her ears perked alertly. She curls her tail neatly around herself and over her front paws.
Aliyah pads into the circle glancing around. Spotting Caileana, she moves to a stone nearby offering a nod. “Hey there.”
Caileana dips her head. “Good evening.”
Pheeobe follows shortly behind Aliyah with her tail up high and ears perked. She lets out a warm bark in greeting to the others and lopes to another stone to sit.
Aliyah scents the air, ears flicking. She appears to be looking for something or someone. Hearing the bark, she turns, her tail thumping against the stone. “Pheeobe! How have the two of you been?”
Caileana nods to Pheeobe, then glances back to Pheeobe at Aliyah’s question. “Well enough,” she says, after a pause.
Pheeobe grins, wrapping her tail around herself. “I am well. How are you?”
Aliyah offers a faint smile. “I am doing okay. Crenna showed up a few days ago looking for me and Drune. I almost didn’t recognize her as covered in mud and leaves as she was.”
Caileana tilts her head. “Mud and leaves?”
Pheeobe also tilts her head.
Aliyah nods, laughing. “I was stalking her like she might be some kind of food. her scent was hidden quite well. She said she lost her way and fell in a mud pile. Not sure where that would have been. Somehow she strayed from the river path we usually travel. I am glad that’s all that happened. I was worried something worse may have happened in the Woods.”
Caileana wrinkles up her muzzle. “I suppose it has been an unusually wet spring…”
Pheeobe grins. “It has been! The plants have been growing amazingly!”
Aliyah says, “She will like that. She is always searching for new plants to use for healing purposes.”
Caileana sniffs. “Makes prey harder to track, though, between the rain and the undergrowth.”
Aliyah nods in agreement.
Pheeobe glances at Caileana and then goes quiet.
Caileana scratches an ear. “Although even the prey seems more plentiful, so it hasn’t been all bad.”
Aliyah tilts her head. “Yes. We can be thankful for that much this year.”
Pheeobe nods and then looks to Caileana again. “So what are we here for?”
Caileana looks to Aliyah. “Winterden wished to discuss the current political situation, if I understood correctly.”
Aliyah nods. “Yes… Technically Drune’s idea. Guess he is busy being a boulder somewhere though.” She smirks.
Crenna emerges from the thicket to the north.
Pheeobe nods to Aliyah. “I see.”
Caileana’s lip curls away from her teeth in amusement.
Aliyah tries to speak with a straight face. “He is the rock of our pack… Literally at times. So silent.”
Crenna comes trotting into the Circle, following a scent. Her face lights up when she sees the little gathering, “Hello there!” The small Wolf picks up pace towards the others.
Pheeobe’s head perks again at the familiar voice. “Crenna!”
Aliyah moves to Crenna’s side and nudges the smaller wolf. “Ah, there you are. Seen Drune by chance?”
Caileana says dryly, “So stoic.” She nods to Crenna.
Remulus emerges from the thicket to the north.
Crenna dips her head to Aliyah, “Of course not. We don’t see Drune until he wants us to see him.” She smiles at Pheeobe and Caileana, “It is so good to see you both!’
Aliyah snorts. “Almost sounds like some royals.”
Pheeobe grins at Crenna.
Caileana, seated on one of the large rocks placed near the firepit, tells Crenna, “And you as well.”
Remulus strides up and seats himself, alert.
OOC> Aliyah says, “matter*”
Crenna smiles at Calieana, “It has been awhile.”
Aliyah’s ear twitches as Remulus approaches. She barks in greeting.
Glyn arrives from the west.
Caileana asks Crenna, “And how are things with Winterden these days?”
Aliyah looks from Caileana to Crenna waiting for the little she-wolf’s response since she sort of hasn’t been back to the woods in a while.
Pheeobe hums quietly to herself, waiting for the meeting to start.
Crenna sits down, “We are doing well considering. A solemnness has fallen around the Woods and the Cair.”
Glyn plods silently from the northern clearing, his shoulders stiff and his head low, brooding.
Caileana nods soberly. “The Waste is only now beginning to recover from the initial shock of it, I think.”
Crenna says, “I can’t imagine…” As Glyn approaches, she gives him a smile, “Hello Glyn.””
A few other Ulfden wolves, mostly Scouts, trail in after Glyn does and seat themselves on the outskirts of the gathering to listen.
Aliyah frowns thoughtfully. “I can imagine. It must be hitting very close to home for the residents of the castle in particular.” She glances up as yet another of Ulfden approaches. She studies Glyn, concern flickering over her features.
Pheeobe looks over to where Glyn has entered and friend.
Glyn manages a taut smile in greeting to his packmates, his ear flicking in mild surprise at Crenna’s presence, but his welcome is no less friendly. After a moment’s consideration, he moves over to sit beside Pheeobe and says, “Evening, everyone. How are we bearing up?”
Remulus makes a noncommittal grunt.
Caileana inclines her head to Glyn and glances around at the others to guage their reaction to his question.
Crenna sits a bit straighter as the other Ulfden wolves appear. She dips her head, “I imagine we are doing as well as we can.”
Pheeobe gives Glyn a weak smile and then looks around at everyone else, ears still peaked.
Aliyah returns to her original stone and sits, glancing around. She clears her throat before speaking a little hesitantly. Her paw traces a pattern on the stone. “Drune wanted us to meet… I had hoped he would be here to represent Winterden, but since he’s not…” She looks at Crenna. “As you all know, Drune and I were here at the time of the disappearances, and we’ve never left. We wanted to speak with those of you in Ulfden to see what your feelings are concerning this matter… To figure out what we all want to do really. I think now is the time to come together even if we are of two separate packs.”
Crenna looks proud of her packmate as she lets the other Wolf lead.
Caileana glances around at her packmates, particularly Glyn and Remulus. She says, “Unity could only do us good in times like these. We are all Wolves, after all, and I believe the two packs are of a similar mind when it comes to our role in Narnia.”
Glyn’s ears lift with both surprise and attention at Aliyah’s short speech. “I see…” He glances about the Ulfden wolves. “I suppose both Uldfen and the Northern Guard are here in sufficient capacity to talk seriously on this point if you like, although I imagine any official decisions would have to await consultation with our superiors.”
Pheeobe nods at Caileana’s words. “The most important thing will be to show unity.”
Aliyah nods to Glyn. “Of course, that makes complete sense, and I would expect nothing less. I suppose the biggest questionr ight now is…” She takes in a breath and then exhales slowly but loudly. “What should become of Narnia? Who is the most likely candidate to lead us all forward in a proper manner and can continue the legacy left behind if you will?” She looks around at some of the scoutss. “I have heard rumors, and honestly… I feel at a loss.”
Remulus’a ears prick. “Rumors?”
Caileana looks to Crenna. “What news have you heard out of Sted Cair?”
Glyn cannot help but stiffen as the question leaves ALiyah’s lips, but he nods. “That is precisely the question. What rumours do you speak of, though? I must confess it is a worry of mine that far too many Narnians will rush too hastily into filling that void.”
Remulus nods, murmuring to himself. “Too many leaders…too many changes…too often.”
Crenna looks solemn, “Nothing has happened to my knowledge. I have heard that the council is still debating. It has led to some…tension and uncertainty of the unknown.”
Aliyah nods, agreeing with Crenna. “Some do not believe the Guard is doing enough.” She barely keeps her gaze from flicking back to the wolves she doesn’t know because she doesn’t want to look like she’s blaming someone in particular. “It is said there should be a new ruler in place since the council is not familiar enough with the Northern border to protect it as King Peter was…” She frowns.
Pheeobe shivers a little and looks through the trees.
Caileana rolls her eyes. “Unless word reaches beyond our borders that the Kings and Queens are gone, the peace King Peter orchestrated should last. And we’ve plenty to guard the border, as we did before the Giant Wars. The real issue is succession, because the vacuum of power is ripe for abuse, as Glyn says.”
Glyn’s frown deepens with concern. “If the Guard is not doing enough, they should say, and we will do more.” He pauses and tilts his head in thought. “I see the point that the council may not know how best to defend the northern border, but then, did any one of the Royals know the best of every situation? If the ruler–whoever they might be–is wise enough to consult the wisdom of their entrusted subjects, then isn’t that the best we could hope for?”
Crenna nods in agreement with Glyn, “I believe that whoever is chosen will have the protection of Narnia in mind.”
Aliyah shifts uncomfortably. “One would hope at least. I suppose I would question the ones starting such rumors then… If their motives are sincere or if they might misuse information… Might try to take control themselves. Does that even make sense?” She looks to Glyn. “I know I have not been here in a long time, but from what I saw, th eGuard was doing everything they could. I even remember Skarlieth warning me away from the border because of the potential for problems.” She sighs. “And of course I ignored him like the crazy wolf I was.”
Caileana says, “If they don’t, they’re not fit to rule.”
Remulus speaks in a slightly disconnected-sounding sing-song. “The old Queen protected the borders…kept everyone out.”
Pheeobe nods to Caileana.
Lanisen comes walking toward you from the south.
Glyn flashes a wry grin at Caileana. “Well and plainly put.” Aliyah’s words trouble him, though. “If there are troubling rumours, then I for one think we should chase them down. Anyone who would seize control and undermine the established order might think they have the good of Narnia at heart, but they could do untold damage on the way.”
Pheeobe nods again. “Glyn is right. We must do everything we can to keep the peace. We must put the good of all at the center.”
Caileana chimes in, “Does the Council even have any candidates to rule in mind? Of tradition, Narnia has been governed by Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve, but there are few enough of those, and even fewer that could be said to be more Narnian than Archenlander.”
Crenna looks slightly startled at Remulus though she addresses the group, “I think we are not giving enough credit to our fellow Narnians. After all, we are not savages. Peace has not been lost, there is just fear of the unknown.”
Glyn blinks at Caileana’s suggestion of Archenland, but does not immediately dismiss it.
Aliyah stops circling her paw as Remulus speaks… or sings. She gives him a concerned look. Still eyeing him, she addresses Glyn. “I agree and would be willing to help squash such rumors if I can in any way. Of those of us here though… Crenna? Any idea if the council has anyone in mind?”
Crenna flicks an ear, “I have not heard anything though I am not part of the council.”
Lanisen follows the path north from the Pool, but slows at the sound of voices. He steps out from between the trees and pauses curiously, his forehead furrowing slightly at the sight of the assembled wolves.
Aliyah nods. “I know. I just thought those pesky birds might have heard something and started trying to tell the world… Like they did when I thought you died? Why did I listen to them again?”
Caileana gives Crenna a doubtful look at her more optimistic statement.
Glyn’s lips draw tight, businesslike. “Well, if we are agreed on that, let us all agree at least to be vigilant. And also to share information so that we might move together and wisely: Winterden, Ulfden, and the Northern Guard.”
Caileana says, “Perhaps that could be something we agree on. We need more information, since the messengers too have fallen into disarray. Perhaps we should send an envoy from the Wolves to the Council to see who they propose to crown and what their suggestions are.”
Remulus says, “Birds can spread news. Past the borders. Nest in the ears of giants.”
Aliyah lets out a low growl, shuddering at the thought Remulus has now put in her head. Her ears flatten. She tries to shake it off, albeit unsuccessfully for the moment.
Glyn frowns at Remulus. “They are Narnians. What makes you think they would?”
Remulus shakes himself, looking at Glyn, eyes slightly more focused. “What?”
Crenna nudges Aliyah, giving her an encouraging nod.
Pheeobe frowns at Remulus for a long moment before turning her attention to Caileana
Glyn tilts his head at Remulus. He says evenly, “The fantasy you just mused upon would be treason. I respect that you bring the concern to our attention, but be careful with your words. Words like that can burn what they touch.”
Lanisen’s eyes dart from speaker to speaker with some comprehension and then quickly avert. He looks past the gathering, where the easiest path into the Waste disappears into the trees to the east, and shifts uncertainly.
Movement catches Crenna’s eyes and she sees Lanisen. She tries to catch his eye.
Caileana frowns faintly at Glyn and flicks her eyes at Remulus in a meaningful ‘go easy’ manner.
Remulus frowns. “Yes. But not all Birds have always been on one side. I remember.”
Aliyah grows tense. Her gaze flicks from one wolf to the next. it briefly lands on Lanisen as well.
Glyn also turns as more gazes turn toward the newcomer. His ears lift in surprise. “Good evening, Son of Adam,” he calls out in a clear, carrying voice.
Remulus shifts uncomfortably. “I only mean…” he trails off.
Pheeobe follows Glyn’s gaze and grins widely when she spots the Son of Adam.
Caileana says firmly, “None of us are so far removed from less peaceful times that we cannot remember what’s at stake. Vigilance serves us well.”
Glyn glances between Remulus and Caileana, pausing before nodding. “Quite so. Apologies if I mistook your remarks, Hunter. Put that way, I quite agree.”
Remulus starts again. “I mean the secret won’t keep forever, whatever we do.”
Lanisen ducks his head apologetically and offers a sheepish smile to those he knows. He gestures toward the east path in explanation for his presence and begins that way.
Aliyah watches the interaction among the Ulfden members with interest. “He might have a valid point…” She speaks almost inaudibly.
Caileana inclines her head to Remulus in agreement. “The more reason to seek out knowledge, and perhaps hasten along the talking heads in Cair Paravel.”
Glyn says, “Agreed, Remulus. Let us hope the council moves wisely and swiftly, and be on our guard in the meantime.” He looks over at Pheeobe, curious at her friendly behaviour toward the Son of Adam. “You know him?”
Crenna frowns slightly at Caileana, distracted by her words, “I am sure the council is doing all they can do to make a good decision.”
Aliyah eyes Crenna, not fully convinced.
Pheeobe listens to the group and then only quickly says back to Glyn. “No. Just being friendly.” She shrugs and then nods to Caileana. “We should send a representative.”
Aliyah mumbles “… the … optimistic … It really … taken too … … … now.”, to Aliyah.
Remulus growls softly in Aliyah’s direction. “Speak up.”
Lanisen skirts the gathered wolves on his way through, careful not to look directly at anybody for too long or to appear too interested in what they are saying.
Caileana glances at Lanisen for a moment as he walks by their gathering. “Be that as it may,” she tells Crenna, refocusing her attention, “it would not harm them to have our representative among them. Further, why should the Wolves not have a say in a decision of this magnitude? We contribute much to the guarding of the borders and the protection of the land.”
“At the very least,” chimes in Glyn, “we may be of some help to the council in their deliberations.”
Glyn smiles at Pheeobe. “Ah, of course.” Then, perhaps feeling chastened, he raises his voice, “Come closer, Son of Adam, this is not a secret council. You may listen, and speak too, if you wish.”
Aliyah says, “I agree with Glyn and Caileana. It seems it is taking too much time… To me at least. They do need a good fighter on the council… Someone who knows these borders well. I think it is also prudent to be more realistic opposed to having eternal optimism to err on the side of caution.”
Pheeobe looks at Glyn with a small grin and then watches the Son of Adam, waiting for him to make a decision.
Lanisen hesitates on being addressed, turning toward the grizzled wolf. “I was just passin’ through,” he says, ducking his head again. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were– I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
Caileana makes a vaguely disagreeing face at Glyn’s statement about secret councils, but she does call out kindly enough, “We are hardly in a private spot, after all.”
Crenna raises her eyebrow at Aliyah, “I would prefer the council to take all the time they need to make a good decision and I do agree with a representative though I think we need a mix of strength and wisdom.”
Glyn replies firmly, “It is no interruption, I assure you. The Gathering Circle is a place for all. If our council were private, we should have moved it elsewhere.” He flicks a glance at Caileana. “But I don’t believe I know you, sir. What is your name? I am Glyn, a wolf of Ulfden and a member of the Northern Guard.” He inclines his head politely.
Lanisen shifts at this introduction, turning more fully toward Glyn with interest. “I’m Lanisen,” he answers, dipping his head politely. “Um, I’m– I’m from Anvard, visitin’ Ja–um, Adara. It’s good to meet you.”
Glyn’s right ear pricks straight upward at that name. “Indeed? Well, you are certainly welcome. You are just visiting the Lantern Waste?”
Lanisen says, “Yes, sir.”
Pheeobe greets Lanisen as well with a small dip of her head. “Pheeobe of Ulfden. Welcome!”
Remulus sniffs experimentally. “What does Anvard say?”
Crenna gives a smile to Lanisen, “Hello Lanisen.” Her ears flick to Remulus.
Caileana says, “Yes, you were here during the Hunt, when the Kings and Queens disappeared, were you not? What are your thoughts on the matter, Lanisen?”
Aliyah looks at Crenna and speaks softly. “I am sure there is a combination among the wolves. We aren’t all crazy sparring machines.” She smirks and then focuses on Lanisen awaiting his response to Remulus’ question.
Lanisen turns in place to greet the others that address him, dimpling up. His eyes fix on Remulus with uncertainty, and he blinks at Caileana. “Um– sorry?”
Caileana asks, “Does Archenland have an opinion on the disappearance of the Narnian Royals?”
Lanisen looks rather alarmed to be asked to speak for all of Archenland. “Ahhh,” he says, and offers a small worried smile. “I work in the kennels?”
Caileana tilts her head. “The…what?” She looks like she wants to be disturbed but can’t be sure she knows what the human is talking about.
Glyn chuckles. “I don’t know what these… kennels… are, but I’ve certainly done my share of the work in front of me. Speaking of which,” he says, glancing at the stars, “I need to check on the night patrol rotation. I should bid you all goodnight.”
Crenna dips her head, “Farewell Glyn.”
Aliyah says, “Have a good evening, Glyn.”
Lanisen says, “Um,” and falters. Fortunately he’s saved from explaining by Glyn’s departure. He ducks his head and takes a step back. “Evenin’.”
Aliyah chuckles at Caileana’s confusion. “It’s a place where the Archenland royalty keep dogs.. for hunting I think?” She looks to Lanisen for confirmation.
Caileana bows her head to Glyn. “Take care.”
Pheeobe smiles at Glyn. “Goodnight. Be safe.”
Glyn dips his head to all assembled, and returns Pheeobe’s smile. “Be safe, all of you.” He pads off toward the northern clearing.
Caileana glances between Aliyah and Lanisen, and then she gives herself a shake and turns back to the council. “Crenna is correct. We should also send representation from both packs.” She looks around at everyone. “I will confer with the Alphas on their thoughts, though I am certain they will agree to send someone.”
Crenna stands to her paws, “Agreed, this does not have to be a rushed decision on our of the packs part either.”
Lanisen flushes at Caileana’s reaction and presses his lips together. He draws back from the circle of wolves.
Caileana asks, “Perhaps you two could consult with Drune in the meantime?”
Aliyah looks from Crenna to Caileana, pressing her mouth shut.
Crenna dips her head, “Yes, we will discuss it with Drune. Speaking of, I am going to go see if I can find him.” She trots over to Lanisen, speaking to him quietly.
Crenna mumbles “I apologize for the seriousness … … conversation. Please do not feel like you … … however. As Glyn mentioned, … … a … … for …”, to Lanisen.
Lanisen lifts his eyebrows at her, then lets out a small breath of laughter and makes the sort of guilty face that means he knows she’s just being nice.
Lanisen mumbles something incomprehensible to Crenna.
Crenna gives him an encouraging smile before turning to the group, “I hope everyone has a good eve and I hope we can continue to discuss these items.”
Aliyah stands, shaking out her coat. She moves to Crenna’s side. “Should we split up to find the elusive creature known as Drune?”
Pheeobe gets up and stretches. “See you all at the next meeting.”
Remulus rises and wanders away from the group.
Aliyah waves to Pheeobe.
Caileana glances over at those Scouts who are supposed to be on night patrol pointedly, and some of the assembled Ulfden Wolves depart. Her gaze flicks north, where Glyn disappeared, and goes distant. Then she sits up straight and nods to Crenna and Aliyah. “Thank you for calling this meeting. Ulfden will keep the dialogue open.”
Crenna nods to Aliyah, “Let’s go.” The Winterden Wolves disappear in go find their packmate.
Lanisen watches them go, his face thoughtful.
Caileana gets to her paws and gives herself another shake, hopping off the flat rock. She calls, “Good evening to you, Lanisen,” and then pads off towards the western cliffs, quickly joined by several of her packmates.
Aliyah offers a nod to Caileana before moving in the opposite direction from Crenna. “no problem. I hope we can come to a solution sooner than later…”
Caileana inclines her head to Aliyah as she goes, looking rather in agreement.