[AW+] out tonight and the beat goes on
Setting Generator Prompt: It's midnight near home, and there's a downpour.
Your character thinks they just saw a ghost.

The rain didn't let up. It fell heavily throughout the night, and the sound of it could be heard even in the room that Whisper shared with her sister. With Azalea moved out, she and Lilium had more space but still often slept next to each other. Sometimes Lilium didn't sleep at night, and stayed up late with a lantern or candle to work on the stories she scribbled down. Whisper did not sleep throughout the entire night either – it was no in the nature of wolves to rest the way that cats did, after all.

On this night, she roused herself from slumber at the urging of a too-full bladder. A constant stream of water-sounds did not help with this, and loathe as she was to go out into the mess, Whisper could not ignore the pressure below her belly. She left her bed and shuffled to the door. The rest of her household seemed to be asleep, and Whisper did not think to alert anyone to her absence. She didn't intend to be out long anyway.

She pulled a cloak down from a peg near the door. While not waterproof, it would help ward off the worst of the deluge.

Whisper left her home and hurried towards the open area beyond the chateau, sticking close to where her family kept their horses. There was comfort in the idea of these big animals being nearby, though no real danger ever got this close to the Ruins. Violence was largely unknown to Whisper, who recognized it only in terms of hunting and training. She was aware that Outsiders often dealt in such terms, but Whisper herself had yet to deal with real danger. Despite this, the need to be aware of her surroundings kept her from half-dozing in the rain as she relieved herself.

After she had peed, Whisper hurried back to the safety and dry ground beneath the overhead roof. It was here, as she pulled off the cloak and shook out the excess water, that she first saw the strange shape.

She didn't really see it, though – just a glimpse, that was all, something out of the corner of her eye. Despite this, the fur on the back of her neck bristled. Had that strange figure been there? She could not smell anything over the rain, nor did she see anything now, but the uncomfortable sensation remained.

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Aidan rarely slept for long stretches, and laying on the skins and furs in his home held little appeal for the Warden.  The rain bothered him very little, and autumn rains were often warm, despite their strength, even in the night.  So rather than prowl around his home, he’d left to wander his pack’s lands.  Heavy rains could often be dangerous, dragging the scent of others to the ground and filling everywhere with the smells of leaf mould and rain.  In the dark, and with a nose severely compromised ambushes were far more possible, although harder to spring, for the same reasons. 

Tonight there were no bird sounds, and even the insects were muted.  Overriding them all was the steady and unrelenting sound of the autumn rains.  Pooling in leaves and dripping to the ground, or collected and waiting for the unwary to crash into the tree holding it, dousing them, like some childish practical joke.  As always, Aidan remained alert, his mis-matched but serviceable knives his constant companions.  Despite his alertness though, he had no destination, and allowed himself to simply walk the lands, trusting that he would always be able to find his way back to his shelter, or at least a shelter.

The flicker when it came, was at the edge of Aidan’s vision, and he turned towards it, but there was nothing there.  Still, there was an afterimage in his memory, and Aidan did not suffer from the uncertainty that many others did when questioning their eyes.  The Warden was sure he’d seen something, and so moved in that direction.  Once again Aidan saw the flicker at the edge of his vision, this time in a different direction.  Drawing one of his knives, his hackles itching to rise, Aidan changed direction once more.  After a little way he emerged from the trees, looking around for what had caught his eye.  As he scanned, his gaze locked with another a short distance from him, and Aidan became aware of where he’d walked to.  Aidan nodded respectfully, glancing around again in search of the strange flicker.
She stared ahead, into the darkness. If there was something present, Whisper believed it would show itself again. Prey animals rarely ventured so close to the Ruins, where the Luperci and their companions resided, but it was not unheard of. An unknown danger, like an infiltrator or assassin, came to mind – she and her family did not live very far from the Boss, and if an Outsider was trying to strike at the Thistle Kingdom, what better way than their witch Queen?

With her senses attuned to this unknown, Whisper soon spotted movement. To her surprise, it was not a stranger, but a man she knew from sight. He was among the upper ranks, and from his strong looking shoulders and build, a fighter. This was more apparent when she caught sight of the knife in his hand and his tense, aggressive posture.

He acknowledged her and gave no sign or other warning to make her think there was true danger nearby. That, she thought, or he was keen on keeping a low profile. Unsure as to what she should do – speaking would undoubtedly bring attention to them both – Whisper stood where she was and waited.

Then she saw it – briefly, for only an instant – a light that winked in and out of existence like the flash of lightning. Whisper clapped a hand on her mouth and pointed.

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The tall youth looked back at Aidan, the warmer tones of her pelt lost in the poor light of the evening.  What light managed to shine through the less dense parts of rain cloud, was mirky and almost felt second hand, like it’d been through a good few sets of eyes already.  The pair didn’t speak to one another, the Warden’s ears swivelling and nose twitching as he scanned around. 

For several moments the rain continued to fall, the sound of it filling the world.  Once again Aidan was reminded that this wasn’t a night to hunt.  The grey eyed male’s patience was rewarded though, and when the flash came, the youth’s pointing was unnecessary.  With the reactions of one who’d honed their reflexes through years of rigorous training, Aidan sprang into the trees.  When the flash had come he’d kept one eye closed, ensuring that any light wouldn’t blind him if it vanished.  There was nothing there though.  Circling a few times, examining the woods and looking to see any disturbed earth, a fool’s errand in this weather, Aidan found nothing.

Emerging near the home again, Aidan moved to the youth.  As he neared her, the scent of horses came to him, and once again he nodded.

”There is no scent, and I can find no tracks, though I know of nothing that makes a light so bright and wanders on land.  Other pack mates have insisted that there are such things as spirits to me, and if that light is one, then there is very little that can be done with teeth or claw.”

Though Aidan knew the youth on sight, and guessed her family given the home she stood before, he decided to introduce himself.

”I am Aidan Blacksun.” his tone was a flat expressionless thing, with an inscribable face to match it. ”Did the light wake you?” Aidan asked, drawing the conclusion as to why the youth would be up at this hour.
Super sorry for the delay!!

He pursued the strange light and left Whisper alone in the dark. She stood there, ears pricked. It was hard to make out the sound of the fighter in the rain, especially when he disappeared into the night. The possibility of an attack had never occurred to the young woman before. Now, suddenly, she wondered if what she had witnessed was the start of such a thing.

Several long moments passed. There was no snarling, no sounds of battle. She did not see the light again.

Suddenly, the man was back – whole and untouched, if dampened for his troubles. Whisper exhaled. Her reaction had felt very foolish to her now, but she was glad she had not raised any alarm nor roused her sleeping family and neighbors (the thought of disturbing the Boss was mortifying) and breathed out. Though she made friendly signs towards the male, Whisper's hawkish eyes and unchanged face made her come off as aloof. In reality, she was very glad for his presence. He had confirmed that there was no danger, only perhaps something neither of them could touch.

“You think it's a ghost?” The yearling asked. She peered at the dark path and brush over his shoulder, but the rain made it all the more difficult to see.

His name was of a House noted in their history books, and whose symbol Whisper could recall because it resembled one of her own. Pleased by her own memory and cleverness, the wolfdog turned to face the warrior fully. “No, I was going back to bed. I'm Whisper Eternity – my family lives here. Are you on a patrol?”

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OOC: I'm very sorry, I've been hosting family.  Happy to continue with this, or if you'd like to fade out, happy to do that as well.


”It was a light upon the lands of Salsola, that is all I know, drawing further conclusions than that is something I don’t believe is constructive.”

Aidan paused for another moment, again considering his words.

”I have never come across a spirit or a ghost, and though others assure me that they exist, I have seen no evidence of them.  I spirits are often used as a crutch to explain a situation that Luperci don’t understand.”

Aidan spoke with no anger, or disdain.  He had raised himself for the most part, and learned to rely on his senses.  He was never drawn into flights of fancy, and he’d never experienced something that could not be fought.  To him, the idea of the dead wishing to walk among them, or restless spirits felt a difficult concept to understand.  Why would the dead wish to remain in one place? Why would anyone worry about such a thing, when blades or bows could not hurt them?

Once more he glanced into the woods, the rain becoming more intense.  The sky growled with thunder, the sound of it thrumming through his chest.  Soon enough though, the sound faded into the constant hiss of rain.

”I do not sleep a great deal.  I often wander the Salsola’s lands.  The pack have been good to me, and the best way I can show my gratitude is to ensure its safety.”

Aidan looked in the direction he knew there were stables

”I believe that horses may not enjoy this sort of weather.  I’m not skilled with the prey, but if you need help to keep them calm I can help.”

After all, the patrol could wait if his help was needed here.

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