Welcome! We recommend starting here.
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:54 pm
They were, perhaps predictably, forbidden from traveling to Cour des Miracles.
Bennett hadn't understood at first. He had raised arguments, cited a desire to explore and see and that he was technically old enough to do what he wanted, and as the argument spiraled and spiraled until finally, when Linden had realized his stubborn son might just go ahead and travel without allowance, he explained why.
The Queen of Cour des Miracles executed your mother, Linden had explained. He looked strange when he talked about her. It made Bennett increasingly uncomfortable, but he was caught in the need to know. Neither of you should go near that place. Not now, not yet. We have sanctuary here, but beyond Misftell Vale's borders our protection wanes. There are certainly people who would do harm to you, or to me, if they were able.
But...but why were they allowed to kill her? That's not right!
Linden hadn't really been able to give them an answer. The talk had gone on late into the night, and Bennett slept poorly when he finally gave into exhaustion. He had wanted to talk to his brother about it, but he didn't know what to say. His father and brother were gone by the time Bennett woke.
After eating the cold remnants of a breakfast he had missed, the boy slipped away from his home. The revelation as to his mother's untimely passing and their reason for being kept away from the world had put things into a very sharp perspective. He wanted to run, and so he remained on all four – a small, bright streak cutting its way through the damp snowy forest. He thought to look for his family, but made no effort to find them. Instead, he tore through the forest, racing along the river's edge westward towards the bridge.
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:16 pm
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:01 pm
Though he was quick, Bennett was small and his stride not very big at all compared to the larger wolves among his peers. His babysitter, old Posey, she was big – her daughter was big too. Most people were bigger than him, a sad fact that made Bennett more conscious of the danger that now seemed so prevalent in the world. Out there were people who hated him and wanted to hurt him and kill him because of who he was.
It made him angry.
The ground was ripped by his claws as he tore along the path, kicking up dead leaves and dirt as he went. Stealth was none of his concern. Mistfell Vale was safe, his father had promised, and Bennett badly wanted to believe him. This was difficult. He no longer knew if the people here could be trusted, or if they too might seek to harm him one day.
A target had been put on Bennett by giving him his mother's name. He might have been colored like Linden (Bennett made many a fierce expression like Mistral, however) but anyone who had known her as an enemy would certainly connect the two. Had she succeeded and come to rule, perhaps he would have been the king after her.
He was angry about this perceived loss too. Fate had stolen so much from him. It had nearly stolen his life, according to his father. Linden had not told them how much he had truly lost in coming here, though Bennett now wondered at the implication.
Ahead of him, a voice called out. Forced to recognize this as a superior, the young man slowed his pace and approached the dappled wolf at a slower speed. He seemed wary about getting too close, but made cautiously friendly signals in greeting.
Yeah? He asked, sniffing at the two-toned woman curiously. She looked weird, but not in a bad way.
Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:35 pm
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:38 pm
She didn't snap at him about his tone or berate him for his presence, but Bennett remained stiff and closed-off.
He was still processing the newly-revealed truth of his origin. Others knew, surely – Linden had said as much – but they still required secrecy. How was he supposed to talk through his feelings when he wasn't supposed to talk about it at all? This was more than the adolescent wanted to deal with. His life had been much simpler when he had just been Bennett, and not a man in exile. What a strange thing to think of, being forbidden to walk freely in the land of his birth. To fear that saying his name to certain strangers who were otherwise meant to be allies would be dangerous made him anxious and fearful.
If he was to survive, he would need to become stronger and smarter. He would need to find teachers, and make allies, and learn who he could trust. Everyone he had met in his young life had seemed older, wiser, and somehow stranger in ways he was just beginning to recognize. Isolation made it difficult to see what passed for normal. Everything was beginning to seem just a little off-kilter.
I guess, he offered without enthusiasm. Most of his exercise was regimented by training. Running just for the sake of running was pointless, but exercise made it sound like he was doing something of importance, and he didn't want her to think of him as lazy. Now that he was an adult, he was expected to contribute.
Sometimes he tried. Mostly he got frustrated.
What are you doing? Bennett asked the Starkhelm, slowly growing emboldened by her patience. Undoubtedly she would be among those to travel south for the festivities, given her position and role as a diplomat.
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:12 pm
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:42 pm
In a small, dark corner of his heart, the hurt rooted in black, senseless anger and began to settle.
He didn't look touched by it yet, but he wore his face with that vague hostility clear. It was the look of a stray dog uncertain of a stranger – but still wanting and hoping for acceptance and attention. Not everyone he had been kind to him, but most people were.
Saga didn't seem bothered by him, at least. She let him sniff her, and made friendly signs that he responded to little by little. He was still a young canine and still eager to play, though the she-wolf's answer drew a frown to his face. It sounded like everyone was going except them. At first Linden had made up excuses about “watching things”, but as long as Bennett had been in Mistfell Vale he could not remember a time when any threat existed at the pack's borders.
The real danger, it turned out, was out there. Exactly where everyone else would be traveling, socializing, and enjoying themselves.
Oh, he said with plain disappointment. Well, I'm not going.
Walking into a place like that would be certain death. Beyond that, it was forbidden – even if he left, Linden would find out. Then his father would never let him out of his sight again! That would be the absolute wortst. It was already bad enough thinking that all the pack's leaders and his old babysitters probably reported his whereabouts anytime they saw him. Linden always seemed to know what his sons were doing.
Realizing he sounded very much like a petulant child, Bennett's ears fanned backwards and the up once again. He tried to hide his embarrassment, flushing beneath his fur.
I mean I can help you still, anyway, if you want. I've been hunting before. I could help.
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:22 pm
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:24 pm
Later, even Bennett would agree that the decision was proper. There was a real danger in any of them going, and he and his brother were too young to properly defend themselves in the event of a crisis.
It was a very long road south. Anything could happen.
Yeah, he confirmed. She did know who he was. It bothered him he could not remember her name. They were strangers, though, kinda. He would be able to remember the woman's face, with it's bright eyes and snowspots. Thinking of how best to deflect this, he tried to recall manners and struggled to do so. What d'you want me to call you? Bennett asked instead, shifting his paws on the cold ground.
What are you looking for? He pressed on, turning his nose to the wind. She was bigger than him, but he wasn't sure how large her prey of choice was. As far as he could tell, the day was likely to be fair. It was cool, but the sun was coming up behind clouds and a sheet of gray covered the sky. He would be less vibrant under the indirect light, and her pelt seemed a natural camouflage. In any case it would be good to see how she went about things.
Smaller prey, like rabbits, would be easy to find. For how many people were going it might have made more sense to find something larger, but as far as he could tell, she was alone – and hunting bigger prey without assistance seemed foolish. Of course, he was here now. That gave her more options.
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:26 pm