You stand in the midst of a clearing in the woods. Tall trees surround you on all sides, with a wooded hill looming over you to the west. Little sunlight streams through the foliage of the trees above. Rocks jut from the ground and hill, giving the clearing a wilder look. Jutting out of the wooded hill to the west is a rocky overhang casting a slight shadow around the entrance to what seems like a cave. A scraggily wolf pads back and forth before the entrance, glancing your way.
The clearing ends in a rock path leading through scattered trees to the east. A small cave entrance dwells underneath the overhang to the west.
You can go: In the Cave <W>, East <E>
A wolf with half of a left ear (Virika)
Virika sits in the clearing, speaking with Beo.
Caileana pads along the path into the Clearing briskly.
Glyn comes trotting out of the den to the west.
Eirwyn comes trotting out of the den to the west.
Glyn pads along the path, coming back from patrol.
Eirwyn pads out of the den, giving her coat a good shake.
Virika looks up as she is joined. She bows her head to Eirwyn and nods to the Scouts.
Caileana pads over to Virika and sits down. “Alpha. Hunter. Scout.” She nods.
Glyn bows his head to Alpha and Hunter in turn, and nods to Caileana before sitting next to his sister.
Eirwyn pads further into the Clearing, giving a nod to each of the other Wolves. She sits across from the lot of them, but still close enough to comfortably speak with them.
Virika asks to those who have returned, “Any news?”
Caileana speaks up. “The Human’s scent stops where we warned them to turn back. I followed it back into the Waste, but lost it near the Gathering Circle. Seems safe to say they returned to the shelter. Also, I can report that Drune and Tempest have left the Waste, as will Zayev as soon as he gives Petraverd a spar he promised him.”
Glyn listens attentively to his fellow Scout, nodding occasionally. When she mentions that Drune and Tempest have left, his ears perk, but he says nothing.
Eirwyn gives a small nod. “Good. I have heard bits and pieces of the business with the humans, but I would like to hear the full story.”
Virika gives a small nod, “It began shortly after you went on patrol alpha.”
Caileana adds, “I had just come upon Virika and Glyn along the cliff path.”
Virika says, “We saw a man with a pup–I believe he said something about it being two–moving along the cliffs and trying to blend into it as much as he could.”
Glyn says, “He really looked like he was trying to sneak along the path, and so Virika greeted him and gave him a friendly warning that the path ahead wasn’t safe and that he should turn back and find shelter for his pup.”
Eirwyn listens to them as they speak. She says, “Go on.”
Caileana nods as her packmates speak, and she looks to Virika to tell the main bulk of the story.
Virika says, “I noticed him first and when he realized we saw him, he stopped and immediately gave attitude. He did not seem pleased that we were curious to his presence and was increasingly defensive. I asked him about his pup, which he didn’t like and inquired as to the reason of his travels.”
Glyn says, “He seemed adamant that he would travel where he would, no matter what was ahead. It didn’t make sense. He also knew that that way led to our den, which was worrying. He made a point of mentioning it. And he moved… I don’t know. Like a hunter.”
Eirwyn continues to listen closely, but she allows them to continue.
Caileana scowls a little. “Mostly he seemed intent on provoking us.”
Virika nods, “While he insisted he was no threat, he’d… get a dangerous look about him. Now that I think on it, his features were very… plain–nothing that would really stick out–except he had dark eyes and black hair. He had a look about him, like he’s seen things and knows things he shouldn’t. He seemed to make a point he knew we were here and where he was going, and not even be bothered by bringing his pup there. He even once brushed the top of his boot. It seemed like a reflex… I’d like to know what he had there.”
Glyn says, “And then a Daughter of Eve arrived. Seemed to be his mate, or at least the pup’s mother. She didn’t seem at all alarmed at the Son of Adam’s behaviour, and protested that we were mistreating him by questioning him. She talked about reporting our behaviour to the Royals. She claimed to have their ear.” He glances to his sister. “Virika was thinking otherwise…”
You say, “Furthermore, I caught her moving stealthily, sneaking basically, along the cliffline before she made her presence known.”
Eirwyn frowns deeply at the mention of reporting behavior to the Royals. “Did you ask them for their names? Did they actually do anything threatening? Where exactly were you?”
Virika says, “We were where you left us Alpha. Not terribly far from the list but off the normal track. I did not ask for names. I was really hoping they’d just go back towards the more populated areas of the waste.”
Glyn says, “We were… firm. Not threatening. The female seemed to want to goad us into fighting, suggesting that we could spar as a way to settle the matter. Virika declined.”
Virika says, “She suggested the three of us spar the man.”
Virika says, “We were also chided about how much we think the paths are ours and reminded about the King’s decree. I responded that they were free to complain and that I myself would go to the King for a reprimand if he felt it deserved.”
Eirwyn says, “Where I left you was still a rather frequented pathway. There are a number of smaller ways to access the woods through there and the paths to the north of it. If the man knew enough to know the general location of the den, I would assume he knew about the ways into the Woods. What he does with his pup is his own business. Further… if I recall, the woman Raistlana was also one to goad a reaction, but is kept in high esteem by Their Majesties. How many have tried to goad us before? And yet no one even asked them for their names.”
Eirwyn adds, “My point is, I don’t like the sound of these humans… but I’m not sure they did anything terribly wrong, aside from look suspicious and being rude. It was also during the Christmas Festival, and we are supposed to be welcoming. If you thought they posed a genuine threat, then you should have gone straight to Curiate Tumnus or Their Majesties. But it doesn’t appear like they did. They sound rude and possibly suspicious, but that’s also little to go on. You did the right thing by declining to spar or fight, and I’m proud of you all for that. Is there anything more I need to know about this?”
Virika says, “Well, we pretty much ended it with asking them not to go any further, and despite their attitude, they did not. So they did as they were asked.–I tried to make it clear that turning them back was for their own good and their pups. These paths are no place for a human pup, and it was little. I also offered to make arrangements if they needed a room at the Inn which they showed no interest in.”
Glyn looks uncertain at Eirwyn’s words, but nods as Virika speaks. “We didn’t stop them from doing anything, or even threaten them. We warned them, and tried to persuade them to go back. I didn’t think we did wrong, even if we were supposed to be welcoming.”
Virika says, “I also would like to add that at no time did I speak in an inappropriate manner, keeping my voice as calm and even as possible. I thought that offering to get them a room if needed would also be a sign of our good will towards them.”
Caileana nods at this. “It was their mannerism that was abrasive, and Virika was quite patient with them, by which they merely seemed more offended.”
Virika pauses, “Although I did snort when he said he was law abiding and we were molesting them.”
Caileana offers a faint, dark grin at that.
Eirwyn asks, “So they were abrasive and you were polite. Good. I am glad to hear that despite their manner that you still tried to show good will and help. But… is it our business what they do with their pup? No. We might not agree, but we can’t tell them what to do with their pup. It was good that you were willing to tell them the easiest paths to shelter, but if they refuse to take it, then you did all you could and it’s out of our hands. So you warned them about there the paths led, and that’s fine. But if they choose to go off into the woods, that’s their business. I just… I fail to see what the real problem is here aside from some abrasive, sneaky humans. However, I would be concerned by their sneaking about. Do you think that such behavior warrants a discussion with Curiate Tumnus?”
Glyn decides to hold his tongue and look to Virika.
Virika pauses a moment. “As they did as we asked, no. As long as they do what we ask, they can be as rude and impertinent as they want to be.”
Caileana shrugs lightly, and accepts this with a nod.
Eirwyn nods once more. “Very well then. I won’t bring it to his attention if you don’t feel it necessary. Thank you for giving me the details. Is there anything else?”
Glyn shakes his head.
Virika shakes her head no as well. “Not to my knowledge. The borders remain quiet and the festivities lovely.”
Caileana grins smugly and gives her tail a flick. “Besides the fact I nearly bested Zayev in a spar this morning, no.”
Glyn glances at Caileana in surprise, but he grins toothily.
Eirwyn says to Virika and Glyn, “Good.” She then looks to Caileana and gives a half-smile. “How nearly?”
You say, “It was close till the end there.”
Glyn grins and says, impressed, “Well done. Zayev is tough–I found out how tough first hand.”
Virika mumbles something incomprehensible to Virika.
Eirwyn smiles. “Well done, indeed. I’m glad you were able to keep it close and give him a run for his money.”
Caileana gives a nod at that. “As well he should be.” Her expression sobers a little as something occurs to her. “He told me why we have heard so little about Blizzard lately.”
Virika nods to this.
Virika frowns, looking to Caileana, “Oh?”
Glyn tilts his head at Caileana.
You say, “She is ill – he thinks she is dying. He said he did not know how much longer she could hold on.”
Eirwyn tilts her head at Caileana’s first mention, and then frowns as she continues. “I had heard she was ill, but not that it was so serious.”
Glyn asks, “Blizzard is Zayev’s… mate?”
Virika asks cautiously, “Do you think he might… be unintentionally exaggerating and perhaps… only saying such as he is that concerned?” She looks to Eirwyn, “I mean… if he’s worried, he might jump to conclusions as he is a very passionate wolf?”
Virika says, “I mean… if she was truly that ill… he wouldn’t leave her right?”
Caileana says quietly, “No, I do not think he was exaggerating. There have been numerous small signs in his demeanor. And he seemed more concerned for Tempest than for himself, asking me to,” she shakes her head, “Send her a friends note at some point. Furthermore, some of Tempest’s attitude towards me is…well explained by this. When we met in Madderholt, she was very…angry when she heard how difficult things have been with my mother since her return.” She looks to Glyn and nods once in answer to his question.
Glyn looks thoughtful.
Eirwyn continues to frown a bit. In response to Caileana she says, “I am sorry that things seem to have been taken out on you with that situation, and to hear that it does seem that serious.” She says quietly to Virika, “If she is that ill… I cannot understand how Zayev left her. If I thought Nevarre was dying…” she pauses, “I wouldn’t let him out of my sight. I couldn’t get him to leave me alone when I only had a small sparring injury. I cannot speak for what Zayev’s reasonings or thoughts are, but I am surprised that it is so bad and he is so far from her.”
Caileana says to Eirwyn, “It is a small matter. I consider Tempest a friend – and we did not part particularly well today. As well, had she told me /why/ my frustration with Indra offended her so much, I would have understood. And though I had not thought of it, it does seem odd that he would leave her.”
Virika pauses, then says quietly, “Perhaps it is his only way of dealing with the grief.”
Glyn adds, “And it’s especially curious that Zayev would choose such a time to speak of sending his Wolves on adventures outside the Great Woods.”
Virika adds, “And there’s no one else who could accompany Tempest and Drune really.”
Caileana glances at Virika, “I would not be surprised. He brushed the matter aside quickly enough after he had brought it up.”
Virika looks to Glyn, “Those are only wishful thoughts Glyn.”
Virika says, “Perhaps the only way to alleviate his fears for his mate are by such thoughts.”
Eirwyn nods. “We cannot say what he is thinking or why.”
Glyn tilts his head at his sister. “You know they’re wishful? Have you spoken with him?”
Virika shrugs, “Well, the’re pleasant and noble sentiments from what I heard. And who doesn’t like the idea of an adventure?”
Virika looks at Glyn, “When I was a pup and things got bad, I used to day dream about Narnia and all the adventures I’d have.”
Caileana frowns and retreats into her thoughts at the mention of these adventures, looking pained. “What precisely did Zayev mention to you all about these “adventures”?” she asks a moment later.
Eirwyn says, “He mentioned nothing to me.”
Glyn shrugs. “In the Shuddering Wood, he spoke to me about gathering competitors at the Great Woods, partly to train his pack, and partly to gather intelligence of evils abroad. He spoke of sending his Wolves out to deal with those evils. Drune said something similar, although maybe not the same. He wanted to see Winterden extend its protection to all of Narnia.”
Virika says, “If that isn’t wishful thinking, then I don’t know what is.”
Caileana takes a breath. “Drune mentioned something similar when I spoke with him at Madderholt, as well. A group of Narnians, primarily wolves, he said, to patrol and hunt down evils in the name of Aslan. A joint effort with Ulfden. At the time, I thought…” she shakes her head. “I could see the merit behind the idea. Now…it seems wishful indeed, particularly as he had not brought it to the attention of anyone beyond Zayev, who supported it. That is why I had not brought it up.”
Virika glances at Caileana, observing her a moment. Her half ear flicks.
Glyn snorts. “Well, he seems to think it worth bringing up with any Ulfden wolf he meets.”
Eirwyn adds, “Except the Alphas.”
Caileana says quietly, “It is a dream, a dream of peace stronger than mere ceasing of hostilities. I told him, at the time, that I would do what I could to support it. If it could be pitched to you,” she nods at her packmates, “as a way of proving to Ulfden that Winterden is not a lot of talk, I thought it might have a chance.” She shakes her head slightly and falls silent.
Virika says, “Well…. if we both had larger packs and no borders to worry about it might have been a good idea.”
Eirwyn says, “A dream which is most appropriately discussed with Their Majesties first and foremost, as we have an order of knights already serving Narnia at large. Nevarre has told me nothing of this, so I believe that neither Zayev nor Drune has told us about it. And to pitch the idea to practically all of the Wolves of Ulfden they see before the Alphas… I do not appreciate it. I understand why you didn’t bring it up, since it is still all tenuous at best.”
Glyn regards Caileana intently, his expression unreadable.
Caileana nods to Eirwyn. ‘I told him the same.” She looks away and mutters something to herself.
You mumble “I was a fool.”, to Caileana.
Caileana mumbles “I … … …”, to Caileana.
Virika says, “Well… good news. With everything over the Waste should go back to its nice, quiet self.”
Eirwyn says to Caileana, “Thank you.” She then nods her agreement with Virika. “I hope so.” She then gets to her paws. “I should get some rest before my early morning patrols, though.”
Glyn lowers his head to Eirwyn. “Rest well, Alpha. If you would like my report from the Shuddering Wood, perhaps tomorrow?”
Virika blinks and looks to Glyn, “Shuddering wood?”
Caileana looks to Virika. “I for one will be glad for that.” She nods and then bows her head to Eirwyn as she rises.
Eirwyn ahs. She says to Glyn, “Yes… we were unfortunately distracted by the festivities before we could attend to that. Yes, tomorrow we will discuss it.” She then nods to the Wolves and says, “Good night to you all.” She turns and pads into the den.
Eirwyn trots west. Beo gives Eirwyn a slight nod and a gentle growl, allowing Eirwyn to pass into the cave.
Virika ohs, “I thought you were going back.”
Glyn shakes his head to Virika. “Nothing that can’t wait, but I should tell her what happened.”
Virika gives a soft ‘ah’ and nods. She rubs the back of a paw against her eyes.
Caileana eyes Virika with a similar expression on her face. She sighs so quietly it almost can’t be heard, just seen.
Glyn eyes his packmates for a moment. He suggests quietly, “Perhaps you two should rest up.”
Virika says, “Rest sounds good. I can’t wait for all this business to die down. Beruna was much better suited for it.”
Caileana snorts and nods. “/Away/ from our territory.”
Glyn chuckles. “I suppose. One can leave Beruna when it becomes too much.”
Virika chuckles and nods, “Indeed. It is much better to visit than host…. or here’s an idea. Set it on the southern border where it’s always nice and quiet. Give them something to make a fuss over.”
Caileana grins. “The fauns would be quite welcoming, I’m sure.”
Glyn shakes his head, grinning. “Still. At least this way we all got to attend the festivities.”
Virika snorts, “I didn’t even get a morsel! The bear got it all by the time I got there.”
Caileana shakes her head at Glyn’s statement, but she giggles at Virika. “And I was patrolling during the evening festivities.”
Glyn barks out a laugh. “You should have been watching the sun, Hunter. You were an HOUR late!”
Virika eyerolls. “I had duties to attend to earlier.”
Caileana lapses into silence.
Glyn simply smirks.
Virika glances at Caileana, “Well. We all have patrols to ready for. I think we should get some rest. I also need to focus a bit more on bringing in a few extra foxes while the games still about.”
Caileana flicks an ear at Virika’s glance, seeming faintly surprised by it. She nods. “So we do.”
Glyn looks between the two uncertainly. “Well. I’m taking my patrol now, then I’ll rest. Good luck tonight, both of you.”
Virika nods, “Good night brother.”
Caileana hesitates in getting to her paws, but she nods. She seems weary, not necessarily tired.
Glyn nods and trots off to the east.
Virika trots west. Beo gives Virika a slight nod and a gentle growl, allowing Virika to pass into the cave.
Glyn trots west. Beo gives Glyn a slight nod and a gentle growl, allowing Glyn to pass into the cave.
In Lantern Waste
Lantern Waste is a dense and varied woodland. It consists predominantly of oak and white pine trees, with a variety of other groves growing here and there. Down here the undergrowth is quite thick, making it rather hard to see any distinct paths leading in any particular direction. Above you, the blue sky and bright sunlight are barely visible through the thick canopy of leaves overhead.
There is a thicket of holly bushes growing here.
You see no obvious way out.
An unicorn stallion with emerald eyes (Petraverd)
A wolf with bright yellow eyes (Zayev)
Petraverd chuckles a bit. “Were travel more feasible these days I might take you up on that – but my place is the waste for now, at least until the foal arrives, I think.” He flicks an ear. “But I would be glad for an opportunity to visit down the road. It has been some time, after all – and my mate and I have a soft spot for Sted Cair.”
Caileana pads along, sniffing every now and again.
Zayev nods, “Of course my friend, Duties first. But you are always welcome there.” he chuckles, “I need such a challenge as you from time to time.” Spying movement he turns and nods to Caileana in welcome. “Hail.”
Petraverd gives his tail a pleasant flick. “As do I,” he says simply in reply. He lets out a light whinny to Caileana as she approaches.
Caileana raises her head at the scent of unicorn and wolf. She pads over to them. “Evenin’.”
Zayev asks, “Out on patrol?”
Petraverd flicks an ear. “Evening, Caileana.”
Caileana shakes her head. “Nah, its Glyn’s patrol. Thought I’d do some hunting, though that can wait.”
Zayev nods and turns back to Petraverd, “When is the foal expected?”
Petraverd says, “Still some time out, I think. Peridot’s certainly showing, and she tells me she’s starting to feel movement, but I get the feeling we’ve still got something of a wait.”
Caileana sits down to listen to the conversation.
Zayev nods and licks a final time at one of his wounds as it finally seems to stop bleeding, he stands gingerly, streching a bit. “It is good to hear all is well.” The ghost of sadness flickers through his eyes before vanishing.
Caileana catches this from Zayev, and her own eyes echo it, not for him but for herself. She looks away to simply nod in agreement with his words.
Petraverd nods once, and shakes out his mane. “Indeed. But speaking of my mate, I should likely return to her – it is growing late, after all.”
Zayev nods in agreement, “As should I, I have been gone long enough. Thanks again for the spar, both of you.”
Petraverd dips his head with a low chuckle. “The pleasure was mine, Zayev. I was looking forward to it.”
Caileana tilts her head in a “I /know/ it’s late!” fashion, but she nods and offers Zayev a grin. “Indeed, twas my pleasure, Zayev.”
Zayev smiles and stands, “Aslan guide you both. Farewell.” he says as he retrieves his pack and slings it on his back.
Petraverd fetches his own pack, nodding in return. “And to you as well, Zayev. Until we meet again.” He looks to Caileana and gives another nod. “Good night, Caileana. Good hunting.”
Petraverd trots southward, disappearing through the trees.
Caileana dips her head to Zayev and Petraverd.