by means of opposites

POSTED: Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:25 pm

He didn't like that his bow was smaller than his father's, but Bennett had accepted that his youth had limitations. Though old enough to hunt, though, and his voice had begun to change. His body was changing too, and so were new urges – things he did not entirely understand.

It had meant a shift in focus from their old man. Linden had begun coddling them less as they grew older, and had indeed become a stern sort of superior who Bennett both fiercely loved and resented. Discipline was hard for him, as was recognizing what behavior was right and wrong. This was getting easier to do, but he was still young and largely isolated.

On foot he could not go terribly far, especially on two legs, but he was eager to make use of his weapon. They were allowed to use real weapons now. It made their training different.

Everything was starting to feel different.

The autumn's colors were a fair camouflage for the wolfdog, who was unburdened by clothes and carried only a small collection of arrows in a quiver slung over his shoulder and low down his back. There was a little sack closer to his hip – snacks and a good place to carry anything good he found along the way. Bennett liked how fast he could grab the arrows, since he missed exponentially more often than he ever made contact. He wasn't strong enough to do so otherwise, though his frequent attempts were improving this.

Little animals were too hard to hit. He needed to find something big and fat, like a rabbit or a groundhog. Maybe he'd find a big fat stupid bird. The thought of it made his stomach rumble, though Bennett ignored the sound and went back to sniffing after the trails in the forest.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:24 pm

Optime | NPC: Glade (+488)

Hope this is okay! Figured it’d be a good way to tie both scenes together! Let me know if you want me to change anything!

The seasons were changing again. Greens faded into yellows, sometimes further into oranges or reds, though, all eventually turned to a dead brown. The trees that shed during this time of year were slowly becoming more and more barren as the autumn winds raked them of their leaves, scattering them across the land and creating piles for lower creatures to hide in. Ragna’s marten friend knew this best, and it was why the little mustelid dove headlong into the leaflitter, sniffing and scurrying about as he searched for a hidden gem beneath them.

Ragna, meanwhile, had her sights set on something larger. While the pair had plenty of meat—dried, stewed, or salted—in their home, there was little to lose from stocking the communal storage. With a pack as peaceful as the Vale, there was little for Ragna to actively practice her fighting skills on. There were few fighters, or, at least, none close enough to her skill level to be worthy of practicing with. It was frustrating, but, a vice she had learned to deal with since becoming one of their number.

It just meant a lot of lonely training sessions with her invisible enemy. Thankfully though, her archery skills had not been left to suffer. There were plenty of lesser creatures to practice shooting a moving target upon.

Her glacier eyes swept left and right in search of viable prey. Her dark ears swiveled as sounds reached them. With the change of the season, more and more animals could be found out and about as they had to search longer and farther for food that grew scarcer as the winter season approached. Some prepared caches, others fattened up.

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement. One of her hands deftly plucked an arrow from her hip quiver, notching it as she slowly angled her head towards what had caught her attention. It was a bird, a fat pheasant, male judging by its colorful plumage. Its wide, yellow eyes stared at her as it stood stock still where it had been foraging. It had seen her, though, perhaps her earthen hues had made it doubt her presence there a few yards from it.

The string on her bow grew taught as she readied her arrow. The bird’s head moved in jerky twitches as it shifted which eye to look at her with. Slowly, Ragna turned her body, and when the sound of Glade nosing in the leaflitter nearby spooked the bird, the scout made a hasty calculation and fired her arrow. The large bird dropped out of the air, sending a few female pheasants that had been nearby scattering for new cover.

Ragna stalked towards her downed prey, nodding approvingly at her arrow that protruded from the bird’s breast.

Her pride in her skills was short-lived as she heard her companion chatter loudly, “No shoot! No shoot! Not food!”

Ragna Eklund

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

POSTED: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:25 pm

He was on the right trail, he thought. It was getting fresh, his nose told him, and he thought it was a bird when he saw the little scratch marks in the dirt.

Noise ahead confirmed his suspicions, and he notched an arrow with surprising speed for a boy. There was little grace in the movement, and he looked sloppy, but he was too eager to care. That would be a prize to bring home, Bennett thought. Wouldn't that be something to talk about, then?

He was looking for where the disturbance had come from and was surprised by a sudden warm, musky scent. It made his fur prickle and his curly tail flag. Instinct warned him that even this was a predator, and when the sleek little weasel came into his sights he drew his arm back in surprise –

– that same surprise almost saw him loose it before the animal talked, and with that Bennett dropped his stance at once.

For this he was particularly glad, for a tall, grim-looking woman with scars on her face soon appeared on the scene. Bennett's ears fell back, and his eyes flashed nervously.

I didn't do anything, he blurted out.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:37 pm

NPC: Glade (+326)


She snatched the bird by its neck when she heard Glade yell. The hair along the back of her neck rose as she stood and quickly ran in the direction of the mustelid. Ragna had few companions left form her old life, and had gained marginally little in her life post-Boreas. She’d be damned if she let someone kill someone so precious to her, packmate or not. Aggression coursed through her body, sparking like electricity across a conductive surface as she came onto the scene.

Her glacier gaze fell coldly upon a boy of auburn hues. His fur was thick, his winter coat coming in thickly around his neck and tail. Feathering crept down his arms that were slack despite the bow and arrow in his hands. Golden eyes looked up at her, and it was clear that he had no intentions to carry out using his weapon in that moment. Ragna let out a breath as his scent filled her nostrils.

Glade immediately leapt out of the pile of leaves and scurried over to his Luperci companion, climbing up her clothes with practiced ease until he perched across her shoulders. “He didn’t,” the martin confirmed quickly for the boy’s sake, “Stopped real quick.”

Ragna blinked, accepting that there was nothing more that needed to be spoken on the subject. She looked the young Mistwalker up and down, the tension in her stance relaxing by a fraction. “You’re Linden’s boy, aren’t you?” The scout had never spoken with his sons before, had only seen them doing as children did from afar. Her gaze shifted to his bow. “What are you doing out here?” She had gifted the Aatte one when he had first arrived in the Vale, and she was curious as to whether the warrior had taught his sons how to use a bow or if the youth before her had merely pilfered it for his own amusement.

Ragna Eklund

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

POSTED: Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:52 pm

The slick-looking weasel scrambled up the scarred woman until it wrapped its way around her head. It was very fast – fast enough that Bennett's eyes had been fooled by it, though he realized this had happened soon enough. Out in the wild, this might have kept the small creature alive. Bennett was still too slow, still developing his reflexes and learning when to trust the impulses to action.

Hesitation had been important this time, like it had many others. He was learning through deferment, and by being conscious of the ever-present danger.

Even though he could not remember the woman's name, nor clearly identify her face, he was curious to her identity and took a louder few sniffs to try and see if he could recall anything. She knew who he was, anyway. Not that it was very hard, Bennett thought – he and his brother looked like each other, and they both looked like their dad.

He sniffed again, and used the back of his hand to wipe his nose when it itched. She was big and tough looking, but she didn't seem mean. Besides...

Yeah, the boy confirmed. I'm Bennett. I was looking for food, he further admitted. His eyes darted down to the still-warm bird carcass in her hand. Where'd you find that? Are there any more?

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:38 pm

(+360)


He sniffed at her in a way a youth might, loud and unabashed, oblivious or uncaring at how obvious he was. The boy was no doubt curious, and from how he went about it, Ragna wondered as to whether or not Linden’s boys had interacted much with their packmates, or, if she had merely been more reclusive as of late. She would haven’t been surprised if it were the latter. After all, she had never really been a social butterfly.

The boy confirmed his relation to Linden, even going so far as to produce a name and answer her question all in one breath. His golden gaze shifted to the dead pheasant, prompting her to bring it up so that she could retrieve the arrow from its breast. Hers never left him though. Nonchalantly, Ragna jerked her head in the direction that she had come from. “Back that way. There was a small flock of them before they scattered when I shot this one.” With a sharp tug, her arrow was wrenched free. She brought the arrow up for inspection, eventually declaring it still useable.

Using the pheasant’s own feathers, she wiped the arrowhead and top of the shaft clean of blood. Not like the bird would have cared anyways. It was dead. “Have you tried shooting birds before?” The scout asked him as she deposited the cleaned arrow back into her quiver.

Glade decided to speak up then. “Oh! Oh! Hunt with us, Bennett, yes! Bring back food, lots! Have full belly, yes!” He chattered excitedly at the prospect of more meat to be eaten.

Ragna let out a sharp exhale at the marten volunteering them for more work. “I’m Ragna, and this is Glade, by the way,” she introduced gruffly. The Eklund supposed helping the kid out—if he even needed it—wouldn’t have been such a bad thing. As part of the next generation within the Vale, it would have been beneficial for Linden’s son to know how to properly shoot a bow. If he could hit a flighty bird, he might be able to hit a coyote between the eyes.

Ragna Eklund

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

POSTED: Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:59 pm

[WC: 225]

Oh, he said, disappointment obvious. If the birds were gone he wouldn't be able to find them again anytime soon.

He was expressive, owing to his breeding. His face betrayed more in its sharp lines and bright eyes than Bennett might have liked, but he didn't think too heavily on it. Isolated, he had little consequence for his behavior and indeed Linden tolerated far more than one might expect. It allowed Bennett to remain fierce and hot headed, even if his arrogance was tempered by a teacher who did not give him any quarter.

For reasons like that, it seemed very important if he take a bow he make use of it. Otherwise, his father might not allow him to carry it so freely.

Yeah, I've shot birds a few times, he admitted. It sounded violent, but he viewed these living things as food and put this singular value to them. I sometimes miss. Are you good at hunting birds? Does he... the wolfdog paused, then thoughtfully looked at the marten. He understood well enough that things which could talk were closer to Luperci, and deserved this acknowledgment. Do you help? I've seen Walter hunt, but he doesn't need help. He's a cat, Bennett further explained. You think there might be more birds? Or maybe something bigger? His tail began to wag, envisioning the possibilities.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:22 am

NPC: Glade (+411)


The kid sounded disappointed, and she eyed him for it. There would be more birds. It was merely a matter of finding them if he wanted to kill one so bad. They were relatively easy to track if one simply knew where to look for them. It was sometimes easier to send out Glade to find pheasants or other fowl since he could traverse the trees. The feathered creatures often perceived him as less of a threat than they did a careless Luperci stalking nearby.

Ragna held her tongue from saying anything to the boy. If he wanted to catch any—any with her help anyway—he’d have to speak up.

Bennett confirmed that he had hunted birds before, though, reasonably enough, it appeared that he was still mastering the technique. He was still young, and had likely only been able to hold and effectively use a bow for a month or two at most. Birds were trickier than shooting deer or boar, even rabbits. They were flighty things, and, once they were airborne, the chances only increased for error. It was why Ragna regretted not learning falconry in her younger days. Having a hawk around to do the dirty work would have been exponentially easier.

She shrugged nonchalantly to his question, “I have to be decent if I want new fletching for my arrows.” It wasn’t like she had hours to kill searching the territory for molted flight feathers. Her glacier eyes shifted to her marten companion then. It wasn’t often he was addressed like the intelligent creature that he was.

Glade bobbed his head. “Help, yes! Help lots! Helped Ragna long time,” he chattered. “Expert small prey. Finding too. Tree hunter.” He held up one of his little hands, flexing his toes for emphasis of his tree climbing abilities. For whatever reason, the marten felt it important that the boy knew his role as Ragna’s partner in hunting.

“Hnn,” she grunted to the boy’s growing excitement, “Sure, kid.” She shifted her weight from one foot to the other. “We can find more birds and I can show you how to use their flight feathers for arrows.” She motioned to the dead pheasant in her grasp. “Or we can find something else. I smelt group of pigs the other day. Deer are pretty much everywhere.” The scout looked down at her quiver, inventorying the arrows that were within it. “What do you want to kill?”

Ragna Eklund

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

POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:00 pm

[WC: 287]

All of the frigid looks and catty responses formed an impression of Ragna at once. She seemed very serious in a way which reminded him of his father, and this alerted him to keep aware of her tolerance level. Before this place (he knew it was not terribly old) most people had known another life. Ragna's was most assuredly full of fantastic stories and conflict. That much she wore on her face, where the long scars reached towards her eye.

Glade seemed nice. The first weasel Bennett had ever met, the sleek-looking creature moved with even more dexterity than a cat. He was instantly cognizant of its potential threat – it had been so fast, the moment between the marten disappearing into the brush and getting onto the she-wolf. If it could do that, it could do the same to him. How bad could the marten bite? Glade had notable pointy teeth that flashed each time he talked. He was big too, at least in Bennett's eyes. As he considered these things, Ragna reached her decision.

The fluffy dog wagged his tail with excitement. His lack of experience made it hard to judge which was the least favorable option. He was curious about what Glade could do, and thought how cool it would be to take down something huge and surprise his family. Failure haunted his thoughts, a worrisome spectre that made him hesitate long enough to consider all the options.

He looked between the pair of predators and after careful consideration answered. Let's find more birds. That way he could see the marten at work, and he could spend more time learning from Ragna, and then maybe he could convince her to take him hunting again.

when the wind blows, the grass bends
Mistfell Vale
Hawkesond
User avatar
Mel
Luperci
anger is a gift
dig two graves

POSTED: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:35 pm

NPC: Glade (+450)


She left the floor open for his decision, and she was curious to hear which he would choose. His choice would have said a lot about his character. Would his decision be decided by his pride for what he could bring back? Would it be decided by his arrogance of what he could bring down? Or would it be decided by what he was capable of successfully killing?

A deer was, by far, the more challenging of the three choices. The animals were fleetfooted, and while more worthwhile in turns of products, food, and materials gained from their felling, required more work and tactician to outsmart, outmaneuver, and to kill.

The choice of a pig would have been the easiest, however, would have required a more aggressive technique and was the most dangerous option. Their tusks could rip a distracted Luperci wide open.

Choosing a bird would be the least risky by far, though, the chance of success depended solely on if the boy could evade detection or if something else spooked the birds. If they took flight, he would have to be quick on the draw and able to predict their direction.

In the end, Bennett chose the birds, and Ragna nodded in both acceptance and approval. She still would have taken him after whatever quarry he chose; however, her opinion of Linden’s son might have been altered accordingly. The Eklund reached up and grabbed Glade by his tubular body, setting him onto the ground so that he wouldn’t have to scale down her clothes. “See if you can find some more pheasants,” she advised the marten.

He nodded eagerly before turning his beady gaze onto the now much taller Bennett. “Lot out lately cause season. Easy find, usually.” He explained before skittering off. They could hear his short body cross across some leaves before he eventually took to a tree, his claws digging into the bark as he shimmied his way up.

Ragna jerked her nose in indication that they should loosely follow the mustelid. “Tell me, what do you know about hunting birds already?” She asked, feeling it safe to talk. The likelihood of any birds still being in the area after her dash through the forest would have been slim to none, that, combined with her killing one of their kind meant that there would be a short buffer before any returned. With any luck though, the hens that the male pheasant had been with had not gone far.

His answer would determine how she went about the hunt, whether she should be giving him pointers and advice, or whether her presence with him was more to make sure he didn’t mess up.

Ragna Eklund

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

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