There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story.

Ragna & AW+

POSTED: Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:02 pm

Valeria Redpaw
Valour needs first strength, and then a weapon.

The firelight crackled and popped, brilliant sparks split off from the smoldering logs and floated up into oblivion with wisps of gray woodsmoke, telegraphing the woman's position next to the river in picturesque Foxheel Point. The evening was comfortably warm, with just a touch of a cool breeze in the air every now and then. The river trickled and babbled nearby, and the night was so serene that even the nocturnal animals of the brush felt comfortable enough to pad nearby the predator. Valeria sat on a linen sheet she had brought over, bread and cheese set out on it at her side and a pitcher of refreshing mint water next to it. Even with the nearby fire the sky was so clear that one could see each winking star overhead.

Sighing contentedly, Valeria leaned back onto her elbows to peer up at the cloudless sky. Behind her stretched the wooded area of Foxheel, her own hovel not far off in the distance. Some weeks ago, she and Theo had discovered a tree with a hollowed out burrow and made it their home. It was cozy, and did not serve as a storage place or even a place to have a family, but for now it was a good home for the newlyweds and Valeria had a workshop to store any other possessions. The burrow was a nice, feral home for a feral woman.

As her gemstone eyes peered up into the inky sky she caught sight of Lupo Iwei, a cluster of stars which was said to outline the profile of a great demigod spirit of her people. She cocked her head to better see the Iwei's ear points, and then traced the line of the blade that ran his throat. She missed the legends of her people, and wished she had a reason to tell them to the people here. She supposed when pup season came about she may have the opportunity to spread her tales, if the parents let her...

Why did she still feel like she would be rejected? The Vale had been her home for two months now and everyone was so accepting. She nodded, sitting up straight again and pouring herself a bowl of water. She brought the bowl to her lips and began to lap up the herb-infused drink. It was a splendid summer night.

Word Count: [300+] Form: Optime Date: DD/MM/YY Time: 00 AM/PM

Table by Kitty. Artwork by Jasmae

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Nukiira
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:52 pm

Optime | Foxheel Point | Night | NPCs: Glade, Brimstone, and Jack (+505)


Crickets and frogs echoed their songs out into the night atmosphere, creating a low hum of white noise to be carried out across the land. The heat of the day had died off, but the air was still warm. Most had likely turned in for the day, had wandered back to their homes to bed down with the lack of a source of light to continue further activities. Not Ragna though. With the weather being so nice for a summer night, the scout had decided to go on a patrol. In all honesty, it wasn’t necessary, however, Ragna was never one to remain idle for very long.

She had originally only intended to bring her stallion, Brimstone along, however, Glade had pleaded to let him come along, and, it had almost seemed cruel to leave Jack out of the then-evening outing. The group had gone south out of Winterwynd, and had slowly wound their way around the arching border to the east, moving steadily northward until they’d reached the river. Along this, they’d followed, intending to eventually cross the Northe Bridge when they came across it to finish their patrol.

The smell of a campfire drew their attention away from their intended duties though, and the glow of it through the forest made them curious as to who would be out at Foxheel Point at such a late hour. Most of the Mistwalkers had a place in town, making use of the long-abandoned human ruins or liking the buffer of land between Winterwynd and the packs’ distant borders. Ragna steered their little party towards the source of the fire, weaving through the trees and finding natural paths that the draft-bred gelding, Jack, could follow along easily enough.

Whoever was there would have heard them coming, after all, Jack had not been trained to be a stealthy creature, not like Brimstone. Twigs cracked and leaves crumpled softly beneath his careless footsteps and weight. On this side of the river, Ragna felt a little less concerned about finding a trespasser, and, if she did, god help them if they were stupid enough to not need the subtle, advanced warning of her approach.

With how he leaned so far out from his spot across her shoulders, Ragna could feel Glade’s curiosity growing as they came within view of the fire tender. It was one of the newer Mistalkers, one of the ones recently sorted into the Elkenfrey house. The woman had joined the Vale with her mate, if the scout recalled correctly.

“Redpaw, was it?” Ragna asked, announcing her group’s arrival as she drew the horses to a halt at the edge of the small clearing. Her glacier gaze roved over the little picnic of sorts that the tawny female had had spread out near the fire. “What’s the occasion?” She jerked her head towards the bread and cheese next to Valeria.

From her shoulders, Glade tried to stand a little straighter and chattered, “Lonely out here! Why alone?”

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:23 pm

Valeria Redpaw
Valour needs first strength, and then a weapon.

The clopping of hooves clapped above the whisper and spark of the fire, and the fae's blond-tipped ears perked in response. She had just resigned herself to a lonesome evening, expecting no one to arrive, when the scout and her posse came upon her. At first she peered quizzically, eyes curious jewels, and then she climbed to her feet as the guard came closer. Regarding her colleague with respect, she gave a funny motion that was something between a bow and a curtsey before taking her seat again by the fire.

The grayscale woman regarded her with deference, and Valeria was pleased that the woman knew her name. The elfen female had made it a point to try to at least learn most of her pack mates' names, if not to fashion some sort of relationship with them. Ragna was one she had not yet had the pleasure to bond with yet... but it appeared that was about to change.

Nodding when the scout confirmed her name, she spouted back, And you're Ragna. It wasn't worded as a question, but it sure would be if the woman told her she was wrong. Ragna made a gesture and her attention shifted to the food, and when it returned to her acquaintance there was a welcoming smile on her maw. No special occasion, really, she explained. It's just been a long time since I could spend some time with nature... feel the soothing warmth of a fire, commune with the earth, wink at the stars and be winked at by them. A beautiful night like this... it just reminds me of sitting around the campfire listening to the legends told by my tribe's elders. She realized that she must sound like a fanciful girl and laughed, shaking her head softly. Her hair, which was usually pinned back or braided, was loose and shook about her face and shoulders with the gesture. Would you like to join me? came the offer with a wave.

Her eyes caught the movement on Ragna's shoulder – Valeria was aware of her companion but did not realize he was here until he perked up and chattered. She didn't quite catch what he said though, and either it was a dialect difference or he wasn't speaking the language of the predators. Still, to be polite she regarded him and said, Come again?

She broke the heel off of the bread and proffered a piece, grinning at the marten, Would you like some? Maybe that was what he was saying.

Word Count: [400+] Form: Optime Date: DD/MM/YY Time: 00 AM/PM

Table by Kitty. Artwork by Jasmae

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Nukiira
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:16 am

Ragna was quietly impressed—or, perhaps she was just content—to find a Mistwalker that kept her wits about her even in Vale territory. It meant that she wasn’t too easy of a target, and not so naively trusting of a mere scent marker and a river to keep troublesome rogues at bay. The Elkenfrey was on her feet by the time Ragna had pulled the horses to a halt, offering the Eklund a gesture that Ragna could only guess of its intent or meaning.

It was a bow…of sorts…or maybe it wasn’t, Valeria did something weird with her hands and…feet…

It was something Ragna decided to pretend hadn’t happened, focusing instead on the conversation at hand. The newly-sorted Elkenfrey was observant enough, offering back Ragna’s own name to prove as much. Valeria spoke fondly of the atmosphere and nature around them, her words warm and, dare Ragna say, almost romantic-like in wording. The auburn-haired woman seemed to realize how she must have sounded to the ex-soldier, for she let out a laugh at her own words before asking that the Eklund come join her by the fire.

The offer was not one Ragna had expected, though, then again, she was a rather private and antisocial individual compared to most of her more vibrant and extroverted packmates. Her first reaction had been to excuse herself to finish her non-official patrol. Glade, however, had voiced his opinion quicker, “Yes!”

Guess that decides that…

Ragna began to dismount from her steed, the marten on her shoulder speaking animatedly to the hospitable woman in the meantime. When her feet met the solid earth once more, she turned to give Brimstone and Jack a reassuring pet along their long faces, wordlessly indicating that there was no need to follow her when she moved away.

“You’re speaking too fast, Glade,” she reminded her companion when it was clear that his High Speech had either startled the Elkenfrey, or his chattered words had been too fast for her to understand.

Reassured that her horses wouldn’t ruin things by following after her, Ragna turned and made her way over to the fire side. She seated herself after taking a moment to decide exactly where she wanted to go without being assuming or rude to the woman who had extended the invitation.

Upon sitting down, Glade excitedly skittered down her front, bouncing off her lap and moving over to Valeria as she offered him food. He was hesitant once he came in close though, as if suddenly remembering how far he was out of Ragna’s protective reach. The mustelid paused, whiskers twitching as he sniffed at the offered piece of bread. After a few lingering seconds, he moved forward, taking the piece in his jaws before running off with his gift back to Ragna. He dove into the gap created by her crisscrossed legs, poking his head out and taking the piece of bread between his hands as he took the first testing munch.

His Luperci companion frowned at him. “If he remembered his manners, he’d have said, ‘thank you,’ before stuffing his face.”

“Dank!”

She sighed, figuring that his tacked on word of gratitude would have to suffice for now. Turning her icy gaze upon the Elkenfrey, she asked with a quirked brow, “You mentioned legends earlier?”

Glade suddenly swallowed his bite whole, eager to speak, “Yes! Tell tell! Like stories!”

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:09 pm

Valeria Redpaw
Valour needs first strength, and then a weapon.

The little marten was likable from the start, exuberant and non-apologetic and refreshing. Valeria quietly wished that she could be a little more like the little critter. She had started her time off in the Vale a little bit too timid and apologetic, even though the Mistwalkers accepted her wholeheartedly. It was a side effect of the pack that she had come from, that timid demeanor of hers. It was not that she was actually a demure, bashful person, it was just that she was trying not to overstep her boundaries. Eventually, as her time in the Vale moves on, she will grow to embrace the strong spirit within. Already she was more outgoing that when she arrived.

It's okay, she said to Ragna when the marten tucked into the wolfdog's legs. Sometimes I get so excited over food that I forget my manners, too. She snickered. And then, to Glade, Do you want some water, too? She did not have another cup, but a quick look around proffered a slightly bowed strip of bark. She snagged it and poured a bit of the mint-infused water in it and set it near the pair – the makeshift bowl did a good enough job for the informal moment. Valeria left the rest of the refreshments between them, an open invitation to Ragna to help herself whenever she wanted.

The woman perked with a new vigor when they brought up her legends again. They really wanted to hear them? The Mistwalker seemed cautiously curious while the marten was positively ravenous for a story. And since Valeria was chomping at the bit to tell one, she was more than happy to oblige. Grinning, Yes, yes, okay. Now she had to pick one, but her favorite story was already waiting in the wings.

I will begin with one of my favorite tales, she said, her spine straightening to mimic the elders of old, as they not only told a story but let the spirits and legend of old flow through them, about the creation of the world.

She took a final sip of her own water and placed it on the ground, freeing her hands because storytelling was a full body experience. She began to move her hands in time with her speech, punctuating the events. Many people believe the world was created by gods who look like them, she began. The naked two-legs of old believed that their God resembled their image. The cat tribes of the mountains the same. Perhaps your people as well, little Glade? she asked playfully, smiling. And many wolf people believe the same. But to my people, no, the world was not created by a wolf, but by a caribou, and her name was Wichahpi, which means 'star' because even to this day she runs amongst the stars and watches over all her creatures on Earth.

To understand Wichahpi's story, you must understand that in the sky, things are very different than they are here. They breathe water and drink air, birds prance while cats fly. Every time a mortal disbelieves that something can happen, a god is created in the sky that can do it, her face was bright with glee, for she loved this magic of the gods. So, this being how the sky-world works, the caribou of the sky-world were stronger than the star-wolves. The caribou even hunted the wolves to consume their essence, for though they were weaker, the wolves still possessed a great, powerful spirit which made the caribou strong. After consuming a wolf's essence the caribou could run faster, leap higher, live longer! And for the most part, the sky-wolves did not mind giving their souls to the caribou, for the caribou were great and mysterious beings. Of course, none of the wolves wanted to be devoured, but they would not despair the ends of their lives if it was at the eye of the caribou.

There was a brief pause here, to make sure her audience had a good picture of the world in the sky. She especially peered at the marten, I haven't lost you yet, have I little friend?

Word Count: [600+] Form: Optime Date: DD/MM/YY Time: 00 AM/PM

Table by Kitty. Artwork by Jasmae


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Nukiira
Luperci

POSTED: Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:34 pm

Thankfully, the woman was not at all offended by Glade’s overexcitement with food. She even offered him water, pouring a portion of her own into a makeshift bowl for the mustelid. Valeria was thoughtful, like many of the Vale seemed to be. Mindful of Ragna’s last scolding, Glade did not immediately run over this time, instead, allowed himself to continue chewing his food before swallowing. When he did so, he grinned and wagged his tail much like one of them might have. “You nice lady! Thank you!”

Ragna remained where she had seated, politely declining any food or drink. She knew Glade would likely eat enough for the both of them. When Valeria agreed to tell one of her stories, Glade chattered excitedly, depositing the rest of his piece of bread into Ragna’s hand. He scampered over to the Redpaw and took a few quick drinks from the water-filled bark before carefully dragging it over to where he and Ragna were seated. With it more easily accessible, he skittered back into Ragna’s lap and took his piece of bread back as the storyteller began her tale.

While Glade listened eagerly as he quietly ate his food, Ragna was more reserved. Even for looking unenthused to be sitting there listening to likely some wildly fabled story, she was curious to hear how this woman’s culture fantasized the creation of the world and how it might vary from the teachings made by the Boreas preachers. Valeria was animated as she spoke, and Glade positively ate it up. He giggled when she included him, but seemed more interested in the story she had to tell than explaining whatever beliefs his mother might have told him when he had been a kit.

He pawed Ragna insistently as Valeria described Wichahpi. “A caribou?”

“It’s a type of deer,” the Eklund answered in a hushed tone. She had never seen one herself, but, she had heard of the creatures in their travels from Zion.

Knowing what he should be picturing, Glade quieted once more so that he could listen to the rest of the story. At the mention of gods being created by non-believers, the marten found himself laughing though. There were probably a lot of new gods created because of her. Ragna merely let out a sharp exhale to show that she was not as humored as her small companion was.

The opposites that Valeria listed were interesting, even if the ex-soldier thought they didn’t make much sense. She didn’t particularly care about the thought of being eaten by a creature that was supposed to be prey, but, it was a story, and, the Elkenfrey did not make the wolves out to be as weak and vulnerable as Ragna had originally thought they might be.

At Valeria’s pause to make sure that they were still following along, Glade made a distraught noise. “No no! Keep going! No lost!” He reassured her.

Ragna grunted in amusement, though, she too wanted the Redpaw to continue, if only so that the scout could figure how why a caribou of all creatures might be deemed so important to the creation of the world.

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:42 pm

I'm on the hunt, I'm after you

Reviews from her present audience were mixed, at best. While the little brown marten was enthusiastic and enraptured, Ragna seemed tolerant at best. Still, the woman could decide to up and leave in a huff, which she did not, so that was some kind of a good sign. Ragna still listened, as Glade positively drank in the story. At Glade's affirmation, Valeria continued.

You're my favorite kind of listener, she said, giving him a playful boop on the nose.

Well, the caribou, Wichahpi, she was a young caribou, and a strong caribou, and she had a voracious, insatiable appetite. She delighted in hunting sky-wolves. She would consume them when she was hungry, she would consume them when she wasn't. She loved the hunt, and she loved the catch, and most of all, she loved how strong their essences made her feel.

Wichahpi began to hunt the sky-wolves more than was necessary, more than for just survival. She hunted them for pleasure, and the more she hunted, the harder they were to find. One day, she traveled from one end of the stars to the other, she made a wide, sweeping gesture at the winking stars overhead. And found the last family of sky-wolves that she could find. She hunted them, and she consumed the mother. And she consumed the father. And she consumed the cubs... except for the last one...

The last sky-wolf cub looked up at her, and she was just about to consume its essence, when it said to her, 'Wait, please. I am the last of the sky-wolves. You have hunted all of us. If you consume me, there will be none of us left.' This surprised and horrified Wichahpi, for not only could she hunt no more sky-wolves, there was nobody left to care for this small cub.

Realizing what she had done, the great star-caribou laid down, and her body formed the earth – the mountains are her great hips and shoulders and back, the plains are her flanks and stomach – and Wichahpi wept. Her tears became the rivers and lakes and oceans. Her emotions formed the wind. 'What have I done?' mourned Wichahpi. Then, the last sky-wolf cub nuzzled her nose, and said to her, 'My kind can no longer live in the sky. Please, take me, too, so I may not be alone forever.' But Wichahpi did not want to consume the last of the sky-wolves, she wanted to fix what she had done.

'Little wolf,' said Wichahpi. 'I cannot bring your family back, and I cannot bring myself to consume you, but I know what I have done to you is not fair. I can never give you back the life you once knew, but if you agree to become mortal, I can send you to a place where you can live. This place is called the Earth, and you will be the first of your kind there.' The little wolf did not think this was such a bad idea, especially considering the alternative, so Wichahpi used her great power to turn the last sky-wolf mortal, and he went to live upon the earth that the star-caribou made with her body. And the star-caribou released the essence of all of the sky-wolves that she consumed. They were too weak to ever be sky-wolves again, so they all went to live with the cub, the boy who was the last and the first of their kind. And then Wichahpi used her own essence to create the caribou, and the deer, and all the creatures that the wolves now feed on today, so that her essence might nurture the wolves in penance for what she's done. But because the wolves and all of their descendants understand the story of Wichahpi and the last sky-wolf cub deep within their soul, they know that they cannot over-hunt the caribou, or the deer, or the buffalo, or any animal, lest they become as brazen and arrogant as Wichahpi – then they, too, will have to make a great sacrifice.

The campfire caught on a knot in the wood, and just then a great pop sent crimson sparks into the night's sky. And that is how the world, and all of the creatures within it, was created, Valeria leaned back, her story complete, sapphire eyes searching both Glade and Ragna in turn. Though her people believed the story to be true, she would be happy to know that she had just entertained the both of them for a time. What do you think, little Glade?

ooc I tried to make this read like the stories of ancient mythology. | [wc — 700+] template by hilli

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Nukiira
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:25 am


*O* That was awesome! Such a shame Ragna doesn’t have any kids of her own xD

If you met the requirements you need for your co-rank, we can wrap this up either with my post or with your next one? :O

Glade giggled at Valeria’s comment and her follow-up boop to his little nose. Unlike his very mature and no-nonsense Luperci partner, and despite all of the war that their partnership had put him through, the marten still carried a child-like wonder to his very core. Though he would never tell Ragna, he wished there had been more wolves like Valeria in Boreas, telling stories full of fun and fantasy and innocent lesson-giving rather than of war and how to combat one’s enemy.

He reacted appropriately as the Redpaw continued on with her story; his emotions completely in her control with how she shifted her tone from playful to dangerous to worry to sadness to happiness and understanding to one of awe as the campfire seemed to be working in tandem with Valeria. She was an excellent story teller, using her hands and facial expressions to add to the story she told. It helped enrapture her audience—or, ones that weren’t as non-feeling as Ragna—in delving into this imaginary world of her story.

In the end though, even the ex-soldier was impressed. While she may have been doubtful at the beginning, it surprised her at how it all turned out, and how it actually made sense in the end; why the wolves hunted the pretty animals, and the life lesson there came with overhunting them. Her approval was evident on her face as she nodded to no one in particular. Though, obviously, she did not believe the fantasized part of the story, it melded well, and it was something a child—or Glade—could more easily latch on to.

In a place like Mistfell Vale, where war or conflict was nowhere in sight, the story was one that the youth could enjoy.

“Love love! Wichahpi good god in end! Help little wolf!” Glade chattered enthusiastically, his slinky body full of energy.

“It was a good lesson, Valeria,” Ragna agreed with a single nod and with a more neutral tone than the excitement that her small companion displayed.

“More more! Want hear more!”

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:18 am

I'm on the hunt, I'm after you

Not just the little marten but both of her listeners seemed to like her story. Her ears perked up through the tresses of her chestnut mane and though she didn't mean to gloat, she couldn't help but beam a smile and give a single clap of the hands, sharing in their (or at least Glade's) joy. Trying not to be obvious about it, she gave Ragna a sidelong glance when she noticed the warrior nodding her approval, and tried not to let her grin give herself away. This had been a traditional story of her people, but there were certainly more boring ways to tell it.

Thank you, thank you, she said to each of them in turn. I appreciate your listening to it. Oh, what's this? More? She beamed, giving Ragna a quick look. If there was a warning there, she would figure out some kind of excuse about how one shouldn't indulge on too much in one night, but then promise Glade that she would tell him more later. But... she had trouble reading Ragna. Though she seemed to approve of her story in the end, she wasn't sure what to do. There was a brief moment of indecision which likely only Ragna noticed, if anyone, because Glade was cheering for an encore.

It was my pleasure sharing my story with you, she said, in a mock formal yet still sincere voice. It was a bit of a show for Glade. It can be hard to sit through such a long story. And that is why it should be the only one for tonight – and we must reflect on the teachings of Wichahpi and the star-wolves. But if there is anything you want to know about you can tell me, and I will be ready with that story for the next time.

Her eyes drifted to the campfire, For now, our fire burns low, and I have no more wood. She held her palms out in a helpless gesture. But next time I will bring more firewood and more food... and of course more stories. Maybe, she leaned in close, as though the marten was sharing a special confidence with her, you can tell others about my stories, so they might come along?

With that, she gave the marten one last ruffle of the fur between his ears, and began the work of safely cleaning up the camp for the night.

ooc Got what I need. Thank you soooo much for helping out with my co-rank thread! The end! | [wc — 400+] template by hilli

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Nukiira
Luperci

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