But Who’s Going to Save a Little Warmth for Me

For old man Esqueleto

POSTED: Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:46 am

(410)

For Esqueleto! Dated to December 23rd in the Halcyon Mountains.

Whoever—or whatever, he supposed—created mountains sure as heck hadn't designed them with wolves and other canines like him in mind. His legs were short and stocky! His entire body could be described as short and stocky! Absolutely nothing about him meant or implied that he was built for climbing or doing other activities that involved fighting the affects of gravity! And sure, he climbed trees and did owl impressions in them whenever he wanted, but that was never easy. It was a skill he earned after months of experience and a whole lot of falling.

He wasn't really meant to climb and mountains were included in that list.

Which was a shame, really.

Mountains usually had the best kinds of adventures hidden in them. Like when he had a den in one before! It was there he met a fellow adventurer and decided to start calling himself one too, committing himself to a life of going wherever his four trusty paws could take him. And he had also made an unexpected and very grumpy friend there. Together they had learned that it could snow and thunder at the same time, which was really cool but also really, really terrifying. But he was getting off topic.

The point was that mountains—mountains had a lot of good in them, if you knew where to look. Which was why Cottongrass had decided to dedicate this particular day to scaling such a mountain and discovering its secrets. It would be hard work—heck, it was already proving to be a lot of hard work—but it would keep him busy for a couple hours and that's all he ever really wanted in life.

As he made small headway on climbing a particularly tough slope, Cottongrass slowed to a halt. There was someone nearby. Maybe even more than one someone judging by the smells in the air and the voices he heard. One scent in particular stood out to him with its familiarity. It wasn't the kind of familiarity that meant he might have knew them, but instead meant that he was just experienced with something about them. They smelled like home in a weird and almost comforting way. His ears twitched and his head cocked as he considered his options.

And never one to say no to his impulses—Cottongrass dropped to his belly and set about creeping forward in the underbrush, closer towards the duo and wherever they had settled.

Mistfell Vale
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Emmett
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POSTED: Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:35 pm

OOC: 659 words

The winter battered Leto around without mercy. He'd felt plenty of cold before in previous years but the furious winds and unrelenting snow had never done the old man such damage. Stiff beyond compare, the old dog was just glad he had two youngsters to look after him and their home. The building was holding well through the cold, a good sign of Leto and Beanie's work throughout the previous year. Which boded well when Leto spent most of his time trapped inside, body too tired to move and the air outside deadly for his thin fur and old joints. On the occasion Leto would leave, escorted to the town by one of the youngsters or just to walk around the home.

Then on a rare occasion, when Leto was drowned in pain-killing herbs, did he agree to go on an adventure with Zebedee. The boy was a talker, and he enjoyed exploring as if he'd never seen the world before. Coming from so far south meant Leto had seen all he needed to see, but in Zeb's case, he'd only known one home and one sea. These lands were new and different to the one's the boy had known, and it was much in his interest to get to know as much as possible. The old man owed the boy something for his help around the home and for keeping Leto company, so on one day when the snow was fading and the sun was high, the pair started travel.

The last time they'd gone to the mountains, Leto was convinced Zeb was going to get them killed on the dangerous cliffs. This time, the old man tried to keep open minded, sitting on the cart as the two goats pulled him up the steep paths and slopes. Zeb was holding onto his book with a smile. The leather-bound collection of stories seemed to be attached to the boy's hand, he was never without it, too prideful to let go of his writings for his deity. Leto had to admit after story after story about this 'Lord', he was actually beginning to have interest in Zebedee's beliefs. The idea of a heaven, a painless place of love and peace, seemed unbelievable and yet brought such reassurance. Or a powerful spirit of the skies that looked down with love. At first it had made Leto feel bitter, to think this 'Lord' claimed to love everyone and yet suffering happen, then the old man tried to understand that not everything could be stopped. Perhaps he could give credit to this 'Lord' for giving him Sabina and Zebedee, or their home.

The old dog was still unsure, but at least he didn't pass off every story Zeb told with disregard. The boy spoke now, as they reached the peak of one mountain crest. "It was one of the first of the Lord's servants who made a climb like this. He was sent to the highest mountain to seek the Lord's guidance." The ginger coated boy began, turning to help Leto out of the cart with a smile. "When he arrived, the Lord used heavenly light to carve rules into stone, rules he wanted his people to follow in order to remain good in life."

Leto chuckled, stretching out his stiff limbs and looking up to the blue winter sky. "You think he send light now? Give us rule stone. How about rule like: don't steal Leto's paints?" The old man joked. Zeb echoed it, both hands moving to his book.

"I'm almost certain I asked before I used them, thank you, but I remember Sabina told me that you had a selective memory. Besides that, you have to admit they went to good use." The boy finished, gesturing to the art on his leather book, the golden cross he'd painted on the front.
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POSTED: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:57 am

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It wasn't like Cottongrass meant to eavesdrop, or anything. It was... It was just something that happened. He didn't plan it and it certainly wasn't something he had in mind when he decided to drop onto his stomach and crawl after the mysterious duo as they went about their day. Though maybe he should have expected something like this to happen when he thought it would be a remotely good idea to follow complete strangers after struck by a combination of impulse and vague predatory instinct.

But it—it wasn't for the canines!

He wasn't a cannibal or a monster!

No, the instinctive part of him said that he should stalk and hunt and chase because of the smell the animals the duo had pulling their cart. The impulsive part of him? That part said he should follow them because he didn't have anything better to do and it wasn't like he was planning anything nefarious. Though his stomach kept trying to say otherwise. He could smell the goats from where he was hiding and his brain—the part that had been raised in the far north where the only things a good wolf needed to worry about was food and staying warm and other parts of the circle of life—said he could definitely take one if he wanted to. It would no doubt still be warm and steaming if he killed it. But that wasn't the point.

And truth be told, there wasn't really a point to what he was doing, but it definitely wasn't killing some poor strangers' pets or livestock or whatever word they gave to the animals they didn't eat immediately. Two legged canines were so weird like that. They would eat certain animals but only after a seemingly random amount of time went by while insisting that other animals wouldn't be eaten at all. At least he knew that, now, sort of. He wasn't the kid he used to be where anything that didn't have paws was free game.

He was getting off track. (Though could you blame him? He was a lone wolf and goats just seemed like they would be so easy to hunt, especially if they didn't expect it and were used to being around canines.)

He shook his head and continued his slow pursuit of the strangers. They were talking. One of them seemed to be, at least. They were—they were telling a story? Talking about someone they called Lord that had servants and a higher power that let them carve rules into stone with light, or something. He was pretty sure that meant it wasn't a real story. Not that kind that involved real people and real events because there was no way anyone was able to use light to break rocks. Unless two legged canines had somehow all conspired to keep four legged wolves like him from learning of their light controlled powers.

It was something he would need to investigate later, when the other half of the duo—the one that spoke with accented words and smelled achingly and vaguely familiar—wasn't speaking. Something about light and new stone rules and paint? He didn't understand it and he didn't really care to. No, his interest had already been piqued. He wanted to learn more about the mysterious and apparently otherworldly Lord figure the other boy had been talking about. Food and common courtesy could wait.

He wanted to learn. He wanted to discover. Because stories? Stories always called out to him and it didn't really matter if they were true or not. He just liked collecting them and sharing them whenever possible. He rose onto his paws and made his presence known, stepping out from behind the brush he was hiding behind near where the duo travelled using carts and goats.

"What's—who's the Lord?" He called out, head tilted and ears rolled forward in interest. Behind him his tail wagged slow and friendly.

Now, it was just a matter of whether or not the duo would be willing to share their knowledge with him. He was willing to bargain whatever meagre possessions and information he had in return.

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Emmett
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Sticks and Stones