Ashes Scattered to the Wind

Caldron Pool(#270R/GKLM)

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The best word for the spot where you stand would probably be.. grandiose. To the west is a roaring waterfall, where (presumably) a river from somewhere in the western wilds falls over Narnia’s western border-cliffs to create Caldron pool. You are standing on a path that forks three ways – east, to follow along the bank of the Great River (which begins here!), north, fording the relatively small ‘river’ and continuing into the forest homes, and south where it curves around the pool and to an opening in the cliff.

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You can go: The Gathering Circle <N>, Along the Great River <E>, South side

of the Pool <S>

Contents:

A wolf with a gray coat and blue eyes (Hafsa)

A wolf with grizzled coat and emerald eyes (Glyn)

An unicorn stallion with emerald eyes (Petraverd)

Hafsa chuckles at Petraverd’s words. “That’s a good sign, I’ve heard.” She looks to Glyn, keeping her gaze steady. “I’m getting along alright,” she says, “I’m just getting… anxious. I want to train with a Hunter as soon as possible, but the Alphas haven’t assigned me to anybeast yet.”

Glyn says, “Ah,” and nods. “Like I say, the Alphas weigh these decisions carefully. It might take some time. In the meantime, I don’t think you’re prevented from target practice. That’ll be the first thing a Hunter would take you through anyway.”

Caileana pads in the from the north.

Hafsa nods eagerly, “Oh, yes. I’ve been practicing as much as possible on the straw targets in the Practice Cavern. I’m just keen on moving on to sparring. Would Nevarre and Eirwyn be upset if I tried sparring a bit before I’m assigned a hunter?” Hafsa juts a nose in the air, nostrils flaring as she catches wind of Caileana. She gives a wide smile to her in greeting.

Petraverd answers this one, “Probably, though I’m not sure I can speak as to the degree.” He lets out a whinny in Caileana’s direction as she pads through.

Glyn cocks an ear as Caileana approaches, and dips his head in her direction. Returning his attention to Hafsa’s question, he frowns and replies, “Indeed. They would be very displeased. You don’t want to know the trouble I got into for hunting before I was deemed ready.”

Caileana smiles to Hafsa and Petraverd, and nods to Glyn. She comes to stand by the group. “It would be very ill-advised. Most tenderfeet aren’t allowed to spar at all until they are on the very cusp of promotion.”

“Ah…” Hafsa says sadly, the smile on her face vanishing, replaced with a disappointed frown. She stands and moves to Caileana, nipping playfully at her ear before asking, “How have you been? I haven’t spoken to you in quite some time.”

Petraverd remarks, “Although I’ve never known them to discourage observation of spars in the meantime. And sometimes you can learn a good deal from watching a spar, too.”

Glyn watches the two she-wolves interaction quietly for a moment, before looking up to nod at Petraverd’s observation. “Ah, so it’s not just my passion then?” He flashes a grin.

Caileana’s tail swishes amicably. “I’ve been good,” she says, her tone rather content. “Just the usual patrols and whatnot. You?”

Hafsa grins, “I’m doing well, thanks. I should head back to the den, though. I don’t want to stray too far for too long, Nevarre and Eirwyn might be upset if I’m doing as much prowling around as the scouts.”

Petraverd flicks an ear as he glances to Glyn. “Well, you probably know by now I’m all about the mental portion of it. Tactics, strategy, the like. I can pick up a few pointers from watching as much as I can from being in the thick of it myself.”

Glyn acknowledges that readily enough with an incline of his head. “It certainly helped in my training, before I had the chance to join the fray. And it still does, of course. A good spar between Hunters or experienced warriors is a thing to see!” His eyes gleam.

Caileana says to Hafsa, “Oh, I don’t think they’d mind too much. They like to see initiative, so long as you’re not breaking any rules.” She grins toothily at Petraverd and Glyn’s conversation.

Hafsa nods, “I should be getting some rest anyway, now that my thirst is quenched. Sleep well, all of you.” The she-wolf nods to each beast in turn before padding away, back toward the den.

Petraverd chuckles, shaking his head at Glyn even as he lets out a whinny of farewell in Hafsa’s direction.

Glyn lowers his head at Hafsa’s departure. Then he turns to regard Caileana and Petraverd. “I suppose I should be heading back to the den soon as well.”

Lovisa arrives from the north.

Petraverd nods. “Take care then, Glyn. I’ll see you later, I’m sure.”

Caileana nods to Hafsa with a smile as she goes, and looks back to Glyn. She nods again. “Sure. Rest well.”

Glyn gets to his paws and nods to Petraverd. “We can continue that patrol another time.”

Petraverd is about to respond, when another stallion walks through the pool, apparently looking for someone. Petraverd whinnies, and the two exchange a quiet word before the other nods and heads off to the south. “Which I should get back to myself,” he responds to Glyn.

Lovisa comes in sight of the far side of the pool, leaning down toward the water to dip her muzzle in.

Caileana tilts her head up. “Good to see you, Petraverd. Have a good night,” she tells him.

Petraverd nods to Glyn and Caileana in turn with a smile, then trots off, his posture alert.

Petraverd trots south.

Glyn dips his head to Petraverd. “Of course. Have a safe patrol.” His gaze follows Petraverd’s path away when suddenly it lands on Lovisa. He stiffens and gets to his paws. “Lovisa,” he states.

Lovisa looks up once she has slaked her thirst, giving a brief nod to the other wolves.

Caileana looks up sharply at that name. A flash of apprehension crosses her face, but she maintains her composure and bows her head to the other she-wolf with perfect politeness. “Hail, Lovisa.”

Lovisa cocks an ear forward. “You weren’t expecting me?”, she asks mildly. “I informed your alpha Eirwyn I would be returning, having done as she asked.”

Glyn tilts his head. “I noticed that your scent disappeared on my patrols, but I had thought your business here was over.”

Caileana glances at Glyn. “I was,” she replies in the affirmative. “I understand you still have business to finish with the Alphas. And – that you wished to speak with me.”

Glyn glances at Caileana in mild surprise.

Lovisa says firmly, “I do wish it.”

Caileana nods, and her bearing becomes resolute. Her tail rises. “Then, by all means, don’t let us keep you from your rest, Scout.” She tells Glyn, almost formally.

Glyn’s eyes darken slightly. He nods, rises and walks toward Caileana, pausing beside her long enough to say something quietly in her ear.

Glyn mumbles “I say this as your friend, Cail: nothing good will come of anything she has to say.”, to Caileana.

Glyn mumbles “I … … … your … Cail: nothing … will … of … she has … say.”, to Caileana.

Caileana seems stronger than before. She eyes him, and nods once, speaking quietly in return.

You mumble “Nonetheless, I will hear what she has to say.”, to Glyn.

Caileana mumbles “… I … … … … has to say.”, to Glyn.

Glyn narrows his eyes, but nods. Giving Lovisa a long, measuring look, he pads northward, saying, “Good evening, Scout… Lovisa.”

Glyn trots north.

Caileana nods to him. She pads closer to Lovisa, and sits down, tail fluffing out behind her.

Lovisa keeps a little distance between them. “You have an idea of why I asked your alphas if I could speak with you?”

Caileana dips her head once. “I understand you have a message for me. I am told it is either from Tempest or Drune.”

Lovisa replies, “The latter. He wishes to offer you…an apology.”

Caileana blinks. “And what has he to say?” Her tone is steady, but less steady than it was a moment before.

Lovisa’s expression is not unkind. “Simply that. He wishes you to know how sorry he is for what took place.”

You ask, “That is all?”

Lovisa’s tail swishes in gentle motion. “It is not enough? He thinks of you still, I assure you.”

Caileana looks out over the Pool. She takes a deep breath and is silent for a long time. Then she looks back to Lovis and looks her in the eye. Her voice is firm, but calm. “No. It is not enough.”

Lovisa lifts her shoulderblades in a lupine shrug. “It is what I have to offer you. Other than that he is well. Perhaps, once I am done here, there will be more.” She smiles a very wolfish smile.

Caileana looks over Lovisa’s head, choosing her words. “That is not for me to say. You may tell /your/ packmate that I have accepted his apology, but it changes nothing. Tell him I have made my decision, and it will not now change. There is nothing, not a spark, not a hope of friendship, left between us. Only ashes scattered to the wind of what once was.”

Lovisa asks her in a quiet tone, “What, precisely, passed between you that he has lost your goodwill entirely? Winterden and Ulfden will not be always at odds.”

Caileana says, “This is not about Winterden and Ulfden. This is about me and my choice.” She smiles a toothy smile without warmth, but with conviction. “You may tell him I have remembered my loyalties.”

Caileana afixes her with a stare. “My loyalty is first and foremost to the Lion. But that is expressed in my loyalty to my pack, for it was Aslan who put me here, and I will serve him in Ulfden as he directed me, as I judge fit.” She stands. “And I must return to the den for the night. Good night.”

Lovisa nods in answer. “I will tell you, Caileana, since you have answered with some frankness. I am here to ensure that there will be a new peace between the packs. You may sacrifice your finer feelings if you wish, but it will be unnecessary. They do your pack no discredit. Good night to you.”

Caileana looks at her, nods, and pads away.