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Author Topic: Elftanner's writings  (Read 6160 times)

Elftanner

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Elftanner's writings
« on: March 10, 2009, 11:59:57 AM »

     Self Quest

A story of a tanners search for her soul name.

   The day was gray and getting grayer as the sun descended. The clouds hung low in the branches and cast a chilly fog on the Holt that seemed to keep everyone in their dens unless something of import drove them out. It had rained for the last eight of days and the ground had soaked up so much water that it could drink no more and the water just lay there in large, cold puddles.  For the moment there was a short break in the rain. Moonshade sat at the opening to the den that she shared with her mother, staring out into the misty world. Something had been bothering her as of late and she couldn?t explain it even to herself. Normally on a day like this she would be with her lovemate, Strongbow, hidden deep in his den buried in thick furs keeping each other warm, and busy.  She had had her eye on him for a long time, and he her. The tribe could tell they were fond of each other. Every time Moonshade was near Strongbow he would fumble over whatever he was doing. It was the only time the coordinated elf did fumble. And Moonshade, a shy elf anyway, could hardly get a word out of her mouth when near him. The tribe finally took a hand in uniting the pair by putting them together for a hunt. Clearbrook, One-eye, Nightfall and Treestump were supposed to be there too, but when the hunt got on, they backed off and disappeared, leaving the doe to she and Strongbow to deal with. He raised his bow and shot it through the throat, dropping it to its knees. Moonshade came up to it and dealt the deathblow. It was only then, after working together and bringing down the doe alone, did they realize they were alone.
They looked around, confused as to where the others had gotten to. Moonshade smiled at him, she could feel her cheeks flushing with more then the excitement of the hunt. He grinned and knelt to gut the doe?. From then on they were inseparable. They only needed the push. Moonshade smiled at the memory. But the memory did nothing to warm her heart. Nor was being with her lovemate helping to mend the hole she felt deep within herself. Something was missing, and she had a feeling she knew what it was. She was an adult, though young in elven standards, and had yet to find her soul name. She let out a deep sigh as she came to a decision. It was time.
She felt her mother come up behind her and she looked around at her. Brightwater?s hair hadn?t been done up yet and it hung down over her shoulders waiting to be put up in the familiar braid. She held her hand out to Moonshade.
?My cub. I know what bothers you. Here, take these. They may help you on your journey. It will be a difficult one.?
She took Moonshade?s hand and slid a small pouch into it. The pouch smelled of earth and old leather, with a hint of.. ?Dreamberries?? Moonshade asked. ?You will know if you need them.? Her mother said, smiling at her as she braided her hair and tied it around her head. Brightwater grabbed her spear and left the den to go on a hunt while the rain was busy elsewhere.  Moonshade looked outside again. The sun had made it?s final decent and the world was darkening even more then usual. ?Difficult she says? Of all the seasons I had to choose this one. I?ll likely drown before I find my soulname.?  Now she let her eyes wander around the den. It was littered with her practice leathers. She was being trained by Blackbark in the ways of tanning, and she enjoyed it very much. Though it took a lot of practice. ?What to take? I wont need much.? She thought to herself.
 There was a bow and quiver of arrows. The wet weather has made the string on her bow limp. There were sleeping furs, a couple of oil candles, Her mother?s and her pouch hung from the wall to the right, and a small fern in the corner to her left. Her oiled cloak lay in the opposite corner from where she sat, she stepped over to grab it. ?I will need this if I don?t want to freeze.? She tied her mother?s pouch of dreamberries to her belt; next she picked up her knife. She needed nothing ells and went for the den opening. ?Oohh.? She about stumbled back as Strongbow?s head popped into her den. **There you are lovemate. Will you join me in?Where are you going?** He looked at her with a bit of curiosity in his eyes. ?Puckernuts? Moonshade thought as she pushed past him to get outside. ?I was hoping to make it out of the Holt without talking to anyone. How do I explain this.? She looked at her lovemate as she wrapped her cloak around her. ?Lovemate. I wasn?t going to bother you with where I was going. I? well? I need to go on a hunt? Strongbow smiled and held up his spear. He preferred the bow, but his string too was limp. **I was just going to ask you to join me on my hunt.** He sent to her. She felt sorry for lying to him. ?I am sorry Strongbow. I need to do this one on my own. Please do not be hurt by this.? She leaned in to him and nuzzled his ear then quickly turned away before he could stop her for more of an explanation. Strongbow watched her go. Confusion crossing his sharp features. Bearclaw had taught him to not ask to many questions of the females. They changed their minds as often as the seasons changed. He was hurt to not be included, but let her go alone. He was sure she had her reasons.

It wasn?t snowing yet, but the fog didn?t let any of the cold air escape the ground and it was quite bitter. Moonshade didn?t like the cold so she called her wolf friend to her. **Swift** She got a sending in return. There were no words, just images of where the wolf was and a feeling of excitement at seeing her elf friend. ?Besides, she can keep watch over me on my journey.? She kept walking knowing her wolf friend would catch up with her, besides, the walking was keeping the chill out of her bones. She heard the great wolfs soft footsteps as she padded up behind and to the right of her. Then felt a wet nose press against her hand and got more images sent into her head. This time of the smell of blood after the rush of the hunt, her friend was hungry. She scratched behind the wolf?s ear and realized she was hungry too. She had nothing but her knife on her, but figured she could at least get a couple of rabbits to fill the emptiness of her stomach. The other emptiness can wait a little longer. She mounted Swift. ?All right friend. But only something small? The wolf jumped ahead keeping to her name. Swiftly dodging trees and bushes as they appeared through the fog ahead of them. Behind her she heard the sound of the elves and their wolf friends howling at the Holt. They had emerged from their dens to welcome the moons, assuming they were up behind all of this haze. She wished she could be there, next to her mother and her lovemate, and imagined she could make out their voices. She would miss their warmth where she was going.
She let the howls guide her into wolf thought as she hunted astride Swift. Swift had picked up a scent that in this rain soaked world only a wolves nose could detect. Quickly Moonshade had it too, but faintly. She let it roll through her nose, and imagined the taste of the rabbit flesh on her tongue. The icy wind beat at her face, but she was enjoying herself. The rabbits burst from a patch of tall grass at the base of a large rock and dashed straight ahead. Swift quickly but gracefully switched directions to fallow them. Wolf and elf were right on their fluffy little tails. Moonshade would let the wolf make the first grab, then she would grab for the other. The wolf caught the rabbit in her teeth, and having hunted with Moonshade for a long time knew what she wanted. She sped up so the rabbit was running along side, Moonshade reached down, grabbed it by the ears, and slit it?s throat so as not to waist any meat. After skinning and eating, she rolled the furs together to save them for later. ?These will make a fine pair of gloves for the coming white cold.? She put them in her belt, mounted Swift once again, and led her in a direction she hadn?t been in a long time.

The pair ran until both were tired and couldn?t go any farther. Moonshade got off the wolf and let her go hunt alone, telling her not to bring food back for her. She tried to explain to her friend that she needed to be hungry for a while but the wolf didn?t understand. Eventually, Swift obeyed and left to find food, promising not to go to far.
They had ridden a long way and Moonshade hadn?t been in this part of the woods before. 
She didn?t know quite what she was looking for but knew she would know it when she saw it. She knew it was a safe place to let her guard down. A place where no one, and nothing, could get to her. Preferably a place where humans have never set their five toed feet.
She wandered into the night and slept in the branches of a tree during the next day, thankful that it hadn?t started to rain again. The next night she traveled hard again, pausing only long enough to let Swift hunt for herself. The wolf tried to bring Moonshade food a couple of times, then finally gave up when the elf got mad at her. Moonshade didn?t mean to get mad, she had tried to explain that she couldn?t eat right now, but the wolf didn?t understand. She was only trying to help.
 It was almost dawn when Moonshade found it. A thicket so thick you had to have the eyes and wit of an animal to gain entrance. She wasn?t sure if humans had been here or not though. The rain had washed everything clean. She didn?t care anymore. A human couldn?t get through this if they tried, and she was getting weak with hunger, she needed to stop. She took Swifts face in her hands and looked in to her lupine eyes. She sent images of herself being helpless inside the thicket.**Guard, patience**. When Moonshade knew the wolf understood, she got on her hands and knees and crawled through the mud into the thicket. Thorns clawed at her cloak and her hair trying to stop her from invading its innermost secrets. She didn?t stop. She kept going, deeper, until somewhere in the middle, she found a clearing just big enough for her to sit upright cross-legged.
She settled her self, trying to get as comfortable as possible, and sent to her wolf friend once again, **Guard.** This time she sent feelings of appreciativeness with her words. Then she relaxed, breathing deeply to clear her head; she knew the wolf wouldn?t leave her.
Around her mingled with the smell of earth was the smell of diggers, rabbit and other small animals barely noticeable in the newness after the rain, but nothing dangerous. She let her thoughts take charge, focusing on not letting the NOW of wolf thought take over. She needed her memories and thoughts to be clear and full. She remembered the dreamberries her mother had given her and opened the pouch. There were only a few in there, but that?s all she needed to help her mind remember things long buried. She ate two berries feeling the juice run down her throat. Just as she felt herself drifting slightly, a raindrop hit her nose, her ear?it started coming down, but gently. Moonshade sighed. ?So much for staying dry.? She thought disdainfully. She pulled her cloak up over her head tucking in her long dark curls, making sure to stay covered, and let herself drift as the rain came down and made puddles around her.

She thought first of her Lovemate. How she missed him. How she loved to be near him and to feel his thoughts and feelings flow through and mingle with her own. He never spoke, finding the spoken word to be clumsy. The fullness of sending was much easier to comprehend, and easier to get across, even without words. She sank deeper into thoughts of him and could smell his scent tickle her nose, and his dry hands touch her face. Then she heard a voice. ?Moonshade? She looked around to see BlackBark mixing his leather pit full of new leathers with a long pole. She could smell the potent liquid and feel the wetness on her hands as she dipped them in to the pit, the toughness of the un-scraped leathers before they are turned into soft tunics and boots. She truly took pleasure in the long hours it takes to make useful things for her tribe and friends. She smiled at BlackBark and he pointed at the sky. She realized wolfriders never really paid that much attention to the sky and it?s inhabitants. Wolfriders were of the world and its many things in nature. The trees, the fruits, the animals - wolves. It was a wolf she saw in the stars and it was running right at her!
 All of a sudden she realized she was alone and she became frightened. But not to scared to run away. She stood her ground, and braced for whatever would happen, though she knew not what that might be. At first the wolf was just an outline made of stars, then a glittery mist, then a pure white wolf that ran on the wind. It touched ground a few paces in front of her and just looked at her with what Moonshade thought was expectation in its eyes. Inside, Moonshade could feel?what?? She didn?t have a name for it. Moonshade took a step forward and noticed that the wolf was changing. Its form moved and melted away in places and the fur disappeared. It stood on two legs, and its body grew long and slender. ?Oh Highones!? Moonshade wanted to run away but her feet wouldn?t move. She had never seen magic like this. She covered her eyes and waited for the worst. Nothing happened. Then, she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was warm, and full of power, but it sent a feeling of ease into her body. She relaxed and moved her hands from her eyes to see, a Highone, of course. An elf they were called, pure blooded. Then she knew. This was the mother of the Wolfriders. She was tall and willowy with hair that flowed to the ground like water and glittered like the stars she had just come from, and eyes that could pierce the soul. Her soul. She knew Moonshade?s soulname! Moonshade looked deeper into the eyes of the Highone and saw herself as a pureblooded elf, as tall and willowy as her ancestors. She felt the despair and hurt of loosing friends and loved ones to the humans clubs and the joy of having a cub grow inside of her after centuries of not even remembering the act of love. She felt the power go out of her and the helplessness turn into uselessness at the hands of her own children as they grew stronger then her. She was weak. Then she felt the strength surge threw her weakness. Pushing it aside to replace the helplessness. She was strong and agile, able to take care of herself and feed the others. Moonshade knew it was the wolf blood that did this.
The purebloods gave themselves over to the wolf blooded as the lower ranked wolves step aside for the leader of the pack. She felt her mind drift into the now of wolf thought where sadness and hurt could be pushed away or hidden until she came out of it and time traveled without thought or notice. She understood what the Highones had done to let the elven race survive on this world of two moons.  They combined this world with their own. Giving their children one thing, a gift to always remember where they came from and that even though the blood of wolves ran in their veins, they were also elf. Eyrn, She was Eyrn! The Highone had helped her. Moonshade had forgotten her elven side, like most of the Wolfriders have done at one time or another. She had lost it in the now of wolf thought. But she had her soulname. Finding the elven part of herself helped her to find it. She was Eyrn. She felt complete at last. The hole inside her was gone and a weight she didn?t know she felt was lifted and she felt like howling to release the joy she felt inside.
She was standing next to the white wolf again. The Highone was ready to go. ~*Never forget who you are.*~ The sending was like warm milk to a new born cub. ~*Thank you mother.*~ Moonshade sent in reply as the wolf faded into the woods around her. Then she heard howling coming from those woods, or was it. She felt herself falling back into herself like her spirit was rejoining her body. Another howl. Still sounded distant, and slightly sad. Then she felt her body. It ached from being in one position for so long. But how long? She opened her violet eyes and saw nothing at first. It was dark, but her eyes were strong with the wolf blood her ancestress had given her and they adjusted accordingly. She was slightly damp but not soaked and the ground wasn?t a puddle. She tried to move her legs and a groan escaped her lips. She heard another howl, this time it was closer and it sounded familiar. **Swift my dear friend. You are still here.** She sent her relief to her wolf friend and got the same feelings in return. Apparently a few days had gone by while she sat in there. Swift was about to give up on her.
She stooped low and started to crawl out of her hiding place and felt a pang in her stomach. **Moonshade? Are you all right?** Strongbow?s sending also sent the feelings of relief, as well as worry. This was the second time he had made her stumble. This time she fell into mud and thorns. She had not expected him to be here. She hurried out into the open, and about fainted when she stood up. She felt strong arms catch her and hold her. She became aware of two things: one, his scent was like that of a damp wolf, and she was starving. She let him hold her while he sent to her, feeling behind the scent of Wolf the body of an Elf. Not as tall or slender, but an elf none-the-less, and he had a soul name too. She found herself hoping to find his someday.
**I was worried about you when you didn?t show up at the howl so I tracked you way out here. It was hard to do in the rain but I found you. You were in there for at least two days and two nights. Are you all right? I tried to go in there and get you but Swift wouldn?t let me near the thicket. She kept telling me she was guarding you and about bit my arm off.**  Moonshade smiled as she felt the old wolfs nose touch her leg and she let her hand fall to touch the thick fur. ?You know lovemate, elves are more complicated then wolves.? She looked at him and saw confusion in his eyes. **What do you mean?**  Strongbow was always about the hunt, the howl and the living free. She didn?t know if he had his soulname or not, but he had forgotten about the elf within. He lived in the Now and nothing ells mattered to him. She was sure eventually nothing ells would matter to her either as the now crept back over her. **Never mind, I am starving. Can we?** **You sit down with Swift. I will go get you something to eat.** He sat her down to lean against the wolf then mounted his own wolf and ran off. She was glad he was here. She wouldn?t have had the strength to hunt for herself. She could have had Swift do it for her, but she was also glad that she could lean against the dry fur and warmth of her old friend. ?The wolf still guards the elf after all this time Highone. You chose well.? She hadn?t realized how cold she had been until Strongbow took her in his arms. She snuggled as close to Swift as she could get.
?Eyrn. I am Eyrn.? She fell asleep before Strongbow got back with her food.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 12:16:54 PM by Elftanner »
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Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2009, 12:06:07 PM »

     Here and Gone again.

Clearbrook trotted down the path to the dreamberry bushes. Longreach had asked her to meet him there at sundown and she was late. She had gotten caught up with Joyleaf in a discussion about motherhood. Ever since Rain started to try and force recognition she wondered what it would be like to have her own. She remembered seeing Dewdrop pregnant with Pike. He and his sister Rainsong were the last cubs to be born to the tribe in a long time. Rain had failed to get anyone else pregnant. She and Joyleaf agreed there needed to be more cubs. She saw Strongbow and Moonshade coming from the berry patch in her direction and slowed to greet them. Moonshade had a smile in her eyes that was rarely gone anymore. She and Strongbow had finally become lovemates after seasons of flirting and shyly avoiding each other, and now were rarely separated.
 
"Shade and Sweet water to you Moonshade, Strongbow. Already hit the patch this night I see?"
 
Clearbrook giggled as Strongbow blushed and Moonshade gave her a 'you know it' grin and led him away before he could get to embarrassed. She watched them go for a moment then made her way to the thicket. It wasn't the largest dreamberry patch the Wolfriders knew of but it was the favorite place for the old Storyteller. Clearbrook was almost old enough to be considered an elder, in fact she was the eldest female in the tribe next to Trueflight, but Longreach was her age twice over. She respected him emencly, and was honored when he asked her for advice. She had a feeling that was what he needed now. She stopped and looked around. She spotted his burnt orange hood, a unique addition to his tunic that he almost never wore down. She often wondered how he could wear such a thing covering his ears all the time. It would drive her mad. She walked over to him and noticed that Woodhue was with him. She smiled at her lovemate. They had been treeing together for quite some time now, and she never got tired of seeing him. Lately though, there was a stirring deep inside of her when she looked at him. Like a child excited to see her mother after a long hunt. He was Longreach's brother, but she did not expect to see him here.

"Hello Lovemate, Longreach." She nodded to each in turn. "I am sorry I'm late. Joyleaf and I started talking and you know how she gets." She giggled as she sat down.
Longreach met her eyes with his infinite patience. He never seemed to get mad, no matter what. He always looked on the bright side of things. Longreach looked at his brother and said;
 
"Woodhue, if you don't mind, I need to talk to your Lovemate alone."
 
Woodhue nodded and stood up. He caressed Clearbrook's hair as he walked by. There was that excitement again.
Longreach sat quietly until his brother was out of direct hearing range then looked at Clearbrook with his all knowing eyes.

"Clearbrook, you are wise beyond your years. You have helped me to see things in another point of view when I see only from one side of the tree. I need your help with a decision I need to make."
 
He stood up and stepped to a bush full of ripe berries. He carefully plucked one and offered it to her. She took it and placed it on her tongue. The first rush of juice was her favorite and she loved to savor it. She did so as he explained.
 
"Bearclaw has asked me to do something for him. His requests are never easy, and I'm not sure what to do. He told me to make up my mind soon. It involves the humans, and I am not supposed to tell anyone."

He looked at her seriously now. This surprised her. Longreach was never the serious one when it came to most things, always being laid back, letting things happen as they will, trying not to get into the middle of things. But he always respected his chief, and he had been through four already. She nodded at him.
 
"Alright Longreach. I will tell no one what goes on here tonight." She stood up and went to him. "Now tell me what it is you need from me."

He plucked another berry; this time put it in his mouth. He closed his eyes, then asked her;
 
"I was asked to track the humans. I would be away from the tribe for at least a moon, living near the human camp. Learning from them, about them. Mostly about the human chief. Bearclaw has asked me to do this because I am the only other one to remember what they are capable of. He wants to know how they have changed, yet he has promised Joyleaf he wouldn't go near them unless it was an emergency."
 
He Looked up at the moons and shook his head, a slight smile on his lips.

"Brownberry will not be happy if I do this. She and Joyleaf feel the same way about the humans. 'Let them be' she says. 'Leave them alone and they will leave us alone.' But she doesn't remember them like I do. What should I do? I don't want to go near the humans. I hate them a much as everyone else does, but I do not want to let Bearclaw down."
 
He met Clearbrook's eyes again. They were pleading for her help, yet he was standing in his ever calm way, fingering the leaves of the dreamberry bush. She hadn't noticed that her eyes had gotten wide until he laughed at her. He caught her off guard with this news. She lowered her eyebrows and crossed her arms. She thought to herself.
 
'Now I know why he didn't bring this up to Strongbow. It's against they way to deal with humans. He would not have agreed to this. And neither would Woodhue.'
 
She thought to herself for long moments. Longreach let her, not interrupting her. He put himself to work picking berries that he would dry and store for later use. Finally she said something.
 
"I think you should fallow your gut Longreach. It's been a long time since the humans were around and it would be good to know what the they were up to, and to know their language, but I don't like the idea of having to deal with them at all. If Bearclaw wants you to do this, I think you should fallow your gut. Do what you think is better for the tribe."
 
She left it at that. This was his decision not hers, all he wanted was her advise and that's what he got. He nodded and went back to picking. Clearbrook took that as her queue to leave. She turned and headed back to the Holt.
She took the long way, around the perimeter of the Holt, and in from the back of the father tree. Her den was near the entrance in the front. She made her way to it, hoping Woodhue would be there. She waved at Joyleaf and Moonshade who were sitting in front of Rainsong's den tree to the right, then climbed into her den.
 
"Ahh, Lovemate, lets Gasp!"

She was looking into his eyes, Deeper then ever before. The brownness of them surrounded her and drew out a part of her that she had never shared nor given freely. The excitement in her stomach grew to overwhelm her and she felt faint. Her whole body felt like it was glowing with the heat of the sun and she wanted to be with him like her life depended on it. Reality blurred and she saw him for who he was. She saw his soul, and she knew he could see hers as well. **SUR!**






              Woodhue went back to the holt leaving Clearbrook and Longreach alone to talk. He decided to go straight to their den, he was tired, and he had been tired all the time lately. He even had gone to Rain to see if everything was all right and Rain just told him he needed to take it easy. But take what easy? There had been no real excitement as of late. The humans kept to them selves, staying near their clearing, and there hadn't been any hunting accidents or anything, he just felt tired, like he was, well, he couldn't explain it. He had given up trying to explain it and just took a lot of wolf naps with Nestrobber when he wasn't hunting or doing his duties. He reached the den and climbed in. He tried to make himself comfortable, but he couldn't find a good spot. He finally just settled onto the piled up furs and lay there letting his mind wander.
He thought about hunting, hunting with Clearbrook. He thought about that long silver hair and matching eyes that sparkled like the stars. He thought about the last time they joined and how it felt like something big was about to happen, but didn't, leaving him feeling like part of him was missing. Since then he had been a little grumpy. He tried not to show it. He didn't want to hurt Clearbrook, didn't want her to think he was unhappy with her. Far from it, he was happier then he had ever been, but something was missing, and it made him tired. He closed his eyes. He didn't fall asleep. That feeling was coming over him again, like something big was going to happen. He started to grumble to himself.

"Puckernuts, What am I waiting for?"

Just then he heard rustling outside of his den. He opened his eyes just as Clearbrook's silver head popped through the den opening. She said, "Ahh, Lovemate, lets Gasp!"

He heard his soulname and all of sudden he wasn't tired anymore, like someone had thrown cold water in his face. He was lying down but he felt like he was falling. He threw his arms out to catch himself, but couldn't tear his eyes away from hers. They were more silver then he had ever seen. Shining like the moons. His body yearned for her. His groin pulled at his breaches, he had to have her. What was this? A name, a name was repeating itself over and over in his mind but he couldn't hear it. What was it? His soul reached for it like a hand for a butterfly. He found himself falling into her, or was she falling into him. They were in each other's arms. Touching each other in places never touched before. Was this real? Was he dreaming? He could feel her, but it was like he was feeling it through her. They were one, in body and soul. They exploded together, like so many times before yet with more power. Then he caught the name

 **Wyiss**

              




       Sparks erupted inside her when he touched her. She felt like he was swimming inside her soul. Like they would never separate, and she didn't want to. They joined and it was like the whole world was gone. She could hear nor feel anything but him. Her soul howled with joy for this moment, and when the moment exploded, it was like she was floating down to the ground, like a leaf in the wind. They lay together until the shadows made new pictures on the walls of their den, just holding each other. Quietly rejoicing in their new found wholeness.
Finally, she looked at him, and placed her hand on her tummy.

"Sur." She whispered, "A new life grows within me."
 
Tears built up in her eyes as he laid his hand on hers. He kissed her forehead and said.

"Wyiss, I am so happy. I will always be here for you. Can I call you Lifemate."
 
Clearbrook hugged him fiercely. Tears fell down her face and she agreed to be his Lifemate. With that, he sat up and started to dress.

"Where are you going?" she sounded a little disappointed. "I am gonna go hunting. All of a sudden I have all of this energy." He turned to look at her. "Besides, I want to start taking care of you, and get some food in your stomach."
 
He nuzzled her ear, smoothed back her messed hair, and left the den. Clearbrook flopped back down in the furs and started kicking her feet and laughing. She was so happy. She had to tell someone. She sat back up and called to all of the girls in the tribe.
 
**Joyleaf, Moonshade, Brownberry, Trueflight, Rainsong, Foxfur, Eyeshigh, Rillfisher!! I have news.**
 
She quickly got dressed and headed out of her den. She reached the ground and Moonshade and Joyleaf were there. The rest were coming from their various duties. Brownberry had clay all over her hands. Trueflight lay her arrows down and walked over. Foxfur, Eyeshigh and Rillfisher all came from the stream. And Rainsong came from her father's den inside the father tree. Joyleaf looked at her curiously and said.
 
"What is it Clearbrook? You sounded so excited."

Clearbrook looked at her with a large grin that was not common for her, and grabbed Joyleaf's hands and started dancing in a circle.
 
**I recognized Woodhue. We will be having a cub in just two turns of the seasons!**

Then she grabbed Moonshade and Brownberry and danced with them in a circle as Joyleaf clapped her hands. The others did a group gasp and started clapping with her.
Bearclaw and Longreach appeared from the tree line and saw the women clapping. They walked over to inquire.

"What's going on here?" He said all in charge like with a smile on his face. "Have the women folk finally decided to take over the tribe?"
 
Joyleaf looked at her Lifemate with a practiced look of patience and annoyance.

"Beloved. Woodhue and Clearbrook have recognized.? She walked over to him and put her arm around his. "Won't it be wonderful to have a new cub running around the Holt?"
 
She ran her finger down the front of his tunic as she smiled up at him. Bearclaw knew that look too. He picked up Joyleaf and threw her over his shoulder.
 
"Oh! Beloved!" she sqeeled.
 
Bearclaw laughed and headed for their den.

"Congratulations Clearbrook. We will have a howl tonight to celebrate. Right now I have official chief duties to look to."
 
With that he disappeared into the Father tree with Joyleaf. Clearbrook couldn't help but laugh as well. Then Woodhue was back with a couple of ravvits across his lap.
 
"Clearbrook?"
 
He looked at Clearbrook as he and Nestrobber rode into the circle. All of the gathered women surrounded him and patted him on the back, congratulating him. He blushed as he caught site of his brother standing there with a smirk on his face....

          
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 08:42:24 PM by Elftanner »
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Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2009, 12:08:33 PM »

      Here and Gone Again Continued

Two seasons flew by. Clearbrook's belly grew, as did her appetite. In the last eight moons Moonshade had had to make her three new tunics her belly grew so quickly. And Woodhue had a hard time keeping her fed. But the day came when Clearbrook felt her first pang. She was helping Moonshade clean a freshly skinned hide when she gasped.
"Gasp! Oh my." She dropped the scrapping stone she had and grabbed at her belly.
Moonshade looked over at her and realized what was happening. She called to Rain and he came to Moonshade's clearing. He laid his hand on Clearbrook's belly himself and smiled in his enigmatic way saying nothing but "It is time." He led the way back to the Father tree. Moonshade helped her to lay in a mossy spot near the entrance and to remove her tunic, then sent Rillfisher to fetch some water. Woodhue came racing from the forest with Strongbow at his side.

"Clearbrook are you alright?"

He jumped from Nestrobber to land neatly by her side. He knelt by her and took her hand.
The next few hours were painful for Clearbrook. Rain was getting worried, and that didn't make Woodhue too happy. Rain looked at his chief.

"We should move her inside."

That was all he said, and Woodhue barked at him.
 
"What is wrong with her? Why is she in so much pain?"
 
Rain just looked at him and said. "The baby is a fighter. She does not want to come out quietly."
 
Joyleaf and Rillfisher helped Clearbrook into the father tree. The closest den was Foxfur's, so they laid her there. Another contraction hit and Clearbrook almost fainted. Rain finally said.
 
"You must push now. Come I will help you. Joyleaf, please get me something to wrap the cub in. Rillfisher, hold her hand." Then he sent to Bearclaw. **Do not let Woodhue in here. Not until I am finished.**

Clearbrook started pushing. She knew it would be painful, but she had never seen a mother go threw this much. She was worried. But she did what Rain told her to do. She took Rillfisher's hand, bit into the leather strap Joyleaf had handed her and pushed. She thought her lower half was being ripped apart. Then Rain used his magic and the pain lessoned.

"Oh no." Rain whispered. "The baby is coming out backwards. Rillfisher, do not let her go."
 
Clearbrook didn't know what that meant, but from the sound of his voice...
She pushed again, saw Rain concentrating, felt Rillfisher behind her, and blacked out.

          Rillfisher felt Clearbrook's hand go limp and squealed. Rain could feel a life fading but couldn't tell if it was Clearbrook or the child. He quickly put his hand inside her, grabbed the baby's feet, and pulled as gently as he could. The baby came out, but wasn't breathing. Clearbrook was bleeding. He could only take care of one at a time. He called to the eldest female.
 
**Trueflight, get in here!**

Trueflight heard his urgent call and ran inside. Everyone looked up in surprise when she did. Woodhue could feel something was wrong and started after her. But Bearclaw stopped him by standing in the entrance with his hands out in front of him.
 
"You have to stay out here lad. You will only get in the way."
 
Woodhue struggled for a moment and Bearclaw threatened to have Treestump and Strongbow hold him down. Woodhue just growled at his chief.

"You would only get in the way." Bearclaw said again. "Just wait."
 
Joyleaf and the others started to get worried. 'I hope she is alright' she thought to herself.
Woodhue started pacing like a crazed wolf. Bearclaw was blocking the entrance so he couldn't get in. What was going on in there? He tried to send to Clearbrook but found nothing from her but fuzzyness. He was worried.

Rain handed Trueflight the baby. **She isn't breathing, rub her back until she starts again. I must stop the bleeding or Clearbrook will die.**

He turned to Clearbrook and his magic started to flow. He wasn't the strongest healer the Wolfriders ever had, but he was competent. The blood slowed, then stopped. Clearbrook was still out cold but would live. He turned to Trueflight and the baby. She still wasn't breathing and Trueflight's normally calm face was starting to look concerned. Rain took her in his arms and, though he was exhausted, let his magic flow again. He focused on the blood flowing, the heart beating, and the baby took a sharp breath. The baby as breathing. He handed her back to Trueflight and she wrapped her in soft leather. Trueflight looked at Rain and nodded. He had done his best. Both lived.

Rain sent to Bearclaw that Clearbrook had past out but was fine, and that Woodhue could come in now. Bearclaw let Woodhue past, and he went straight for Clearbrook. When he saw her he saw the blood.

"What happened in here?!"
 
He went to her side and felt her face. Her skin was cool and wet; her hair was matted and shine less. He looked at Rain, and saw the baby in the other Elders arms. Trueflight handed the cub to Woodhue and left the den. Rillfisher fallowed, then Rain started out. Woodhue stopped him.
"Rain, will she be alright?"
Rain nodded, "She is unconscious, but she will be fine." He turned and let the father be alone with baby and mother.

**Wyiss?** He sent to her. **She"s beautiful, please wake up. Wake Up!**

The force of his thoughts on hers, the fullness of his need for her, brought her to the surface. She had sunk into darkness to flee the pain. She could still feel pain, but it was bearable.

**Sur. I am here. I am so tired.**

Her head moved, and he pushed her hair from her face. He held the child, so small. Her head had a glimmer of silver, but her eyes were closed like her mothers were now. Both slept. He lay down next to Clearbrook, put the cub between them, and fell asleep. When he woke, Clearbrook was feeding the cub. He realized they had stayed in Foxfur's den all day.
 
"I hope Foxfur doesn't mind we stayed here."

He looked at the cub latched to her mother's breast, brown eyes, and smiled.

"Foxfur came in to get a few things. She didn't mind, She denned with Bearclaw and Joyleaf when the sun came up."

The next few days were a blur for both mother and father, feedings, no sleep, lots of visitors. Four nights later, Clearbrook woke, feeling like something was wrong. She looked at the hammock that the baby slept in and there was no movement. She rushed to the cub and pulled her out of the hammock. She was so cold.
 
**RAIN! Come Quick!!**

Clearbrook started crying and clutched the cub close to her chest. Woodhue woke up at the sound of Clerbrook's sobs.

"What is it Lifemate? What's wrong?"

He saw the bundle in her arms and reached for it. Clearbrook wouldn't let him near her. Rain came through the entrance with a worried look on his face.
 
"What's wrong Clearbrook? Are you all right?" He to spotted the bundle. "Let me see the cub Clearbrook." Clearbrook looked at him with a tear-streaked face.
 
**She's gone. Rain, My cub's soul isn't here. I send and I send. She doesn't answer.**

She handed the cub to Rain, and collapsed into Woodhue's arms. It hit him then what was happening. Holding Clearbrook, he looked from the cub to Rain and back again. Then he buried his face into Clearbrook's hair. That night, they held a howl for the cub. It was only four nights ago they howled for her entrance into the tribe, now it was for her leaving it. Clearbrook and Woodhue weren't themselves after that. They avoided each other, sleeping apart and not talking. The tribe didn't know what to do. Clearbrook stayed with Trueflight while Woodhue stayed in his den. Finally the tribe had had enough of watching the two suffer apart. Bearclaw held a council and ordered them to stay in their den together,

"You two need to talk. The now of wolf thought will never give you peace if you don't. You are not allowed out of there until you have come to terms with this. It was a horrible thing to happen to you. But life ends. It is the way."
 
Bearclaw stood there as Woodhue jumped up and started to say something back to him. He was shaking all over. He wanted to throw something at him, to punch him, but all he could do was bite his lip. His head fell and so did a tear. Clearbrook took his hand. He looked into her Clear, silver eyes and started sobbing. She held him for a moment, then led him to their den. They stayed in there for days. The others brought them food and water, until finally, Woodhue emerged and called Nestrobber. He disappeared into the woods, and came back with food taking it straight into the den. Later, Clearbrook emerged, and went to Bearclaw,

"We are ready to live in the now again." That was all she said to him. Bearclaw nodded, and Clearbrook walked away.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 08:23:32 PM by Elftanner »
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Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2009, 12:09:44 PM »

Here is the story of Redmark and Nightfall that was requested by Seastorm. I know that Nightfall was young, but I couldn't find any references so I made it up. Hope you all like it.

The Bee and The Blossom

Redmark watched as the girl cub tried to figure out which way the animal had gone. She was getting discouraged but he would let her figure it out by herself. He looked at the branch he was leaning on. His hand felt the roughness of the bark on his skin, the coolness of the leaves. He focused; trying to feel the life-blood flowing through it, to force his will upon it and make it melt into the image in his head. He could hear the music the plant sang, but couldn't change the notes. A little hand tugged on his vest.

"Redmark, are you okay?"

He looked down into the golden eyes. He was frustrated but didn't want her to think it was at her fault so he smiled.

"I'm fine cub, did you find out which way it went?"

He slowly removed his hand from the branch and ushered her over to the spot she had been standing. He might not be able to shape a tree yet, but he was the best tracker in the tribe. He bent down and looked at the dirt as aggravation crossed her features. She twiddled her fingers.

"I tried Redmark. I just don't see any tracks."

He smiled to himself. Teaching her to track was keeping his mind from his bigger concern.

"There is more to tracking then tracks dear one."

He pointed to the bushes, and to his nose and ears.

"You must see all of your surroundings. Use all of your senses. You have wolf blood for a reason cub, you must use it to your advantage."

Nightfall nodded and looked around. She saw the last good print the doe left and then it disappeared into scuffles that led no-where. Her features became scrunched into hard concentration as she studied the bushes to her left and right. There was no blood because they hadn't hurt the animal. Redmark insisted they didn't have to hunt to track. Aahhh! She had found something, in the bushes, a broken branch. Why hadn't she seen it before? She sniffed the leaf, and then the air.

"It went that way."

She stood proud and pointed towards the stream that was a good run from where they were. Redmark had known that since they arrived and smiled. She wouldn't learn if he told her, and she had eventually figured it out. He nodded and let her lead the way.
They ran for a little ways and Nightfall kept watching the ground. She would pause for a moment every now and then and keep going. Finally she stopped, and looked scared. Redmark came up behind her and saw what she saw. Blood. He grabbed her arm and smelled the air. It was faint, but any human scent was rank. He pushed her towards a tree.

**Climb.**

He silently went to the bushes that were strait ahead of them and looked through. Humans. He didn't see them yet but could sure smell them. He felt like a huge fool for not bringing his spear. Bearclaw would have his hide if he found out. He kept to the bushes and went a little further finally spotting them. They had been hunting Nightfall's doe and had killed it.

'Stupid humans'

He thought. A doe is the life of the herd, how did they know she didn't have a fawn somewhere?  He got angry and went back to Nightfall. She was crying in her hiding spot.

**What's wrong cub? They didn't see us.**

She clung to his waist trying to be quiet.

**They killed the doe. I hate humans.**

He lifted her tear-streaked face to look him in the eye.

**You should never hate. Hate can eat you from the inside if you let it. The humans are a stupid clumsy bunch, but they are life just like the rest of the forest, and they need to eat just like us. They do not understand things like we do, but you should never hate.**

Her lip quivered and she nodded as he wiped the tears from her face. He didn't like saying that to her because he all but hated the humans himself, but he didn't like to hate. It just wasn't in him, and he was the forgiving type anyway. He wanted to teach her to forgive, not to hate. Life, not death, if it can be avoided.

**Lets go home, I think you have done enough for today. Your mother is probably wondering where we are by now anyway and Bearclaw will skin me if he knows I am out here with you and no spear. But lets stay to the trees for a little while. Can you do that?**

She nodded, afraid to speak at all. He had to go slow so she could keep up but they made it home in time to say good luck to the evening hunt. Redmark didn't join them, after seeing Nightfall so hurt by the death of the doe he couldn't bring himself to kill anything.



A few years passed by, a blink in the eye of any elf, especially a wolfrider in the now. Nightfall was growing into quite the beauty. She kept up her tracking with Redmark but became more interested in the bow and knife throwing as she got older. She had gone on her first hunt with her age-mate Cutter and brought home a few birds, a badger and a small buck that had quite a story behind it. The whole tribe sat and listened to their story of a weeks worth of nights hunting and tracking. Bearclaw and Longbranch were proud papas. Redmark couldn't help but feel proud too. Nightfall had used all the tricks he had shown her in this long hunt and come out of it safe and successful.

At the end of the gather the tribe dispersed and Redmark went to his den in the father tree. He lived alone, which was fine by him. He used his alone time to try and cultivate his tree shaping abilities. Tree shaping ran all throughout his family. He was distantly related to Goodtree, the very mother of the Father tree itself. Everyone had high expectations of him, especially Bearclaw who had started to pick on him about it. Sometimes he would wear himself out trying so hard. Sometimes he would forget to eat because he would be focusing so hard. This night he would try again.
As Nightfall got older, Redmark found himself trying to spend more time with her or near her. He noticed how she had grown to be so beautiful, and it intrigued him. One night when he could find no credible reason to be with her he was sitting in his den by himself when he heard a voice.

"Redmark?"

It was Foxfur. She visited him sometimes; she said she liked his softness. She would tease him unmercifully until he gave in to her whims. She hadn't come to him in a while though; she had been spending most of her spare time with the young Skywise.

"Yes Foxfur."

He could use a distraction.

She entered his den with a flourish of a furred hat and pounced on him.

"Oohh, I'm sorry, I didn't know I was interrupting."

Foxfur jumped at the unexpected voice and turned to see whom it was.

"Nightfall, hello."

She got off of Redmark so he could sit up. For some reason Redmark was really happy to see her.

"I came to see if Redmark would like to go gathering with me. I didn't mean to interrupt. I'll go."

Nightfall turned to leave and Redmark called out to her.

"Wait!"

Foxfur looked at him funny, then smiled. She looked at the young Nightfall then back at Redmark. With a giggle she placed her great fur hat back on her curls and stood to leave.

"I will go and find Skywise. You two enjoy yourselves."

As she walked out of the den she sent to Redmark privately.

**It seems you have finally found someone to give your sweet attention to tracker. A bit young, but not to young.**

She winked at him and ran to find Skywise.  Redmark lowered his face shyly to hide the blush that Foxfur caused as Nightfall sat at the entrance. He put on his vest.

"I'm sorry Redmark, I didn't mean to make her leave."

He could sense something behind her words to make him think otherwise.

"Do you still want to go gathering Nightfall?"

He grabbed a basket he had in the back of his den and crawled out. Nightfall fallowed him out of the tree.

"What are we going to gather this night?"

She led the way to a part of the woods not far from the Holt.

"My mother asked me to gather some tubers for the howl tonight. She's making such a big deal about this hunt. She says it's the best we've had in seasons."

As she knelt down to turn up the dirt Redmark couldn't help but admire her. She had taken to wrapping a scarf around her golden curls; they got in the way of her bow she said. He noticed how she had filled out and how graceful she was. She turned and saw him staring.

"Well? Aren't you going to help?"

Her smile was so beautiful to him all of a sudden. He shook his head. This is all Foxfurs fault. She got him all ready to go and then left him there. He bent down to help her.

Without realizing it he found himself trying to call the tubers to the surface with his magic. He started shaking with the effort. Then he felt a hand on his, and his eyes met Nightfall's. He looked away with shame. She squeezed his hand to comfort him.

"You will get your talent someday Redmark. Don't force it so. It will come to you when you are ready."

Nightfall was the only one that didn't teas him for not having his magic yet. He found himself relaxing as she pat his hands. "Come, let's dig these up and take them to the holt."
As they walked back to the holt he studied her. She was all of eight-teen turns and full of confidence. The way she walked, the way she handled a bow, the way she spoke. She had learned to be quiet in the forest and fast with the blade. She was smart, and always lived by the way. She didn't understand Redmark's magic, but she respected it, and he loved her for that.

'Love her?'

That thought shot through him like an arrow from her bow. He loved her. But she was so young. He was much older then her, but he had been with her quite often since she was a child. Watched her grow and taught her to track. She always found ways to be near him he realized. And he had missed her when she was away on her hunt with Cutter. Cutter, everyone assumed those two would recognize. He tripped over a root and crashed into her back dropping his basket of tubers. They both tumbled to the ground.

Hahahahahahahaaa

Nightfall was laughing, but not at him he realized, at the situation. They were all tangled up with tubers in their hair and dirt on their faces. It was quite funny, and he couldn't help but smile. Her laugh always made him smile.

"You two sure make a lot of racket." Snicker

It was Pike. He had been in a tree near by snoozing. He jumped from the tree to help them up.

"Sorry Pike, I, well, wasn't watching where I was going."

Nightfall started to pick up the tubers so didn't see Redmark blushing. But Pike did.

"Not watching where you were going hunh? But you were watching something.."

Pike elbowed his friend in the ribs playfully and helped them pick up the tubers.


That morning, as Redmark went to his den for the day Nightfall wanted to fallow him. Her mother saw the longing look on her daughter's face and came over to talk to her.

"You like him don't you cub?"

Nightfall looked at her feet.

"I'm not a cub anymore mother."

Brownberry smiled to herself. Nightfall had never been with a male before and something inside her yearned for it. She found herself gravitating towards Redmark because she respected him as an elf. He was always so sweet natured, and strived to be what his chief expected of him, but he didn't like death. He preferred to gather or track then to deal the deathblow, and she respected that as well. Brownberry recognized the need in her daughter's eyes.

"I, I find myself wanting to be around him all the time mother. I missed him on my long hunt with Cutter, and I miss him when he is not around."

She shook her head feeling at a loss.

"I'm so young compared to all of you. Would he accept me?"

She looked at her mother for an answer hoping it would be the one she wanted to hear. Brownberry grinned in a motherly way.

"You will never know unless you try. I'm sure Foxfur will not mind the competition."

Brownberry motioned over to the creek where she and Skywise were sitting and splashing each other.

Nightfall had always been the courageous one. She straightened up, thanked her mother and walked over to Redmark's den. Inside the father tree she heard him humming and smiled, but she also lost her nerve and couldn't go any farther.

Redmark heard movement outside of his den and caught a familiar scent.

"Nightfall, is that you?"

He waited for an answer, and soon Nightfall peeked around the corner.

"Hello again Redmark. I..I.. hope I am not bothering you. I just wanted to say sweet dreams."

She couldn't bring herself to move away from the entrance.
Redmark smiled and saw her hesitation.

"Would you like to come in?"

Nightfall's insides felt like a hive of bees buzzing and trying to get out. She held herself together for a moment, and then rushed into his arms. To her astonishment they accepted her eagerly.

"Oh Redmark! I want to be with you. I can't stop thinking about you all the time. I know everyone expects me to be with Cutter and I care about Cutter deeply, but it's you I miss when I am gone. It's you I can't wait to see when the moons rise. I know I am young, but I want to grow with you. I want you to touch me like you touch the plants. I don't want to be with anyone else. You taught me not to hate, can you teach me to love as well?"

With all her emotions coming to the surface like that she couldn't help but shed a tear or two. And just like when she was a cub, he wiped them away. Redmark was stunned at her emotional outburst. He didn't know her to be like that, but he couldn't turn her away. He wanted to hold her like she wanted him to. So he did, and they fell asleep like that. The next night, Nightfall was embarrassed at her outburst. Redmark assured her that he felt the same way. They talked about it and mutually decided that because she was young that Redmark wouldn't hold her as his. She would have her freedom until she decided otherwise, but she could stay with him whenever she wanted. That night they spent the whole night in his den, alone, together.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 08:09:20 PM by Elftanner »
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Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 12:10:40 PM »

                                         One-Eye's journey

                    Clang!! Clang!! Twang!! The sounds of swords and loosed arrows mixed with glimpses of blood-covered snow and his friends fighting surrounded him. He turned to see Clearbrook fighting near him and was comforted to see her standing and swinging.

 'She can take care of herself, she is a strong fighter.'

    He quickly looked to the ledge where Leetah was healing his son Scouter to see him still breathing. A yell grabbed his attention back and he whirled around to see a troll attacking him with a twirling spear. He dodged and saw Cutter get a spear in his stomach by another troll. One-eye winced but there was nothing he could do. In anger he spun on the troll and stabbed him in the chest. As the troll fell his sword was pulled from his hand.

*********************************************************

                    Clearbrook's hair was flying like a whip as she maneuvered around the troll she was battling. She saw One-eye stab his troll opponent before the troll she was fighting blocked her view of him. She had a few cuts and bruises but nothing serious, she was full of adrenaline and releasing it on who ever got in her way. Suddenly she felt a horrible feeling and turned to see One-eye falling to the snow, he was covered in blood and she realized it wasn't all troll blood.

*********************************************************

                   One-eye reached for his sword with a grumble and found it was stuck in bone. Clearbrook was watching his back so he took the time to try and free his weapon.


"Rotten troll! Give me my sword!"

                    He yanked on it, but it would not come free. He placed his foot on the troll's torso and yanked with both hands growling with his frustration. Screaming, moaning, death was all around him. The wolf in him wanted to get back to the fight.

"Grrrr. Rotten Troll!!"

                     Something hit his head on his blind side. Searing pain ripped through him and he felt himself falling. Now cold snow was biting at his face, he tasted blood in his mouth. Screaming. so close.

'Clearbrook, must get my sword'

********************************************************

                    Clearbrook felt the strength leaving her body and she screamed his name.
"?One-eye!!"

                     The troll she had been fighting took advantage of his prey's distraction and moved in again. Clearbrook was pulled back to the fight and faced it with tears streaking down her face. All of a sudden she heard Cutter calling her name, he had come to finish the troll for her. She dropped her sword without thinking, not caring if she was hurt or killed in the process. Only barley noticing Cutter was wounded too. She dropped to her knees then fell atop One-eye. He was already so cold.

**Sur! Sur answer me!!**

                   She searched for him and found nothing. Nothing, but darkness.

**SUR!!**

                     She was sobbing now, he was gone and she could feel the emptiness within her already. The sounds around her had faded into a dull ringing. All of a sudden she sat up with a bellow, took hold of her sword and cut her hair off at the nape of her neck. Her hair, it represented their life together. Long and intertwined, woven into one being, and now he was gone. She put the hair over him.

****************************************

                      One-eye felt as if he was floating. He could see Clearbrook fighting the troll; she was crying; and Cutter, wounded badly coming in to save her. It should be him. He should be protecting her, but what was going on? He looked around slightly panicked and saw as Clearbrook crumbled on top of him. On top of him? His body? He was dead.
                       He could feel something pulling at him now. It had to be the palace, the one thing that belonged to no one but the elves. The elves true home. He understood the crazy Lord Voll's obsession now. But he also felt the pull of the land, and something else. He focused and caught it. His soulname! Clearbrook was calling out to him in the most personal of ways. He could almost feel her heart breaking. He couldn't understand why. He was fine; he felt more like himself then ever. The call of the Palace was getting stronger, but the site of her in such anguish held him there.
                      He saw as the strangers rode in. They were riding bucks, great bucks like he had never seen before and were clad in thick leathers. One came straight at Clearbrook as she cut her hair and laid it on his body. He swooped in to block the intruders but passed right through her and fell back into himself. He could feel his limbs; heavy, cold and wet with blood and snow. He tried to get up as he heard Clearbrook's cry of surprise but couldn't move. He tried to call out to her but failed at that too, and he was to disoriented to send. He could do nothing but lay there as she was taken away from him.

                      He didn't know how much time had passed as he lay there. It was silent now. No screams, no clanging of swords? The Palace still pulled at him, He could swear he heard voices, familiar voices calling to him but what of Clearbrook, and his cub Scouter? Did they make it? He had to find out. He tried to leave his husk again. He was surprised at how uncomfortable it had become. Just then he heard something, whining, a wolf. Was it Smoketrader? And something else, that pesky preserver, the one Cutter hated. He couldn't hear what it was saying but just then he started to feel quite calm. Everything fell from thought, the voices silenced again, and he slept.

                      One-eye knew nothing of what went on out side. He knew not that the half troll had carried his preserver wrapped body into his lair and dressed him in shiny armor the likeness of a wolf. He knew not of the war that ensued after his death and how his beloved Clearbrook had gone mad with anguish and revenge. He forgot about seeing her fall upon him and cut off her glorious hair and of the voices that had called to him from the Palace. He had forgotten the fight and felt nothing physically. He did not know how much time had passed until finally he saw a way out of his shell. He burst free with a howl reveling in the pure freedom he felt. He had never felt so good. He heard the voices again and saw familiar faces. Faces he had not seen in seasons. He was full of joy and was ready to see the Palace of legend that they wanted to take him to, but something still pulled at him here. Literally, he could feel great magic and it called to him like a lover. He drifted towards it and found Leetah, crouched over his body. His body. Again he realized he was dead. He looked around and saw he was not in the snow anymore. He was in a strange room full of shiny wearables.

**Come on One-eye, come back to your body**

                     It was Leetah's sending. She sounded desperate and incredibly strong. He glided closer to her and saw sweat on her brow. He knew she was trying to make him live. Part of him wanted to hold Clearbrook again, but he knew he would see her again, and he felt no pain and no longing to rejoin the living. He noticed with a start that his body was breathing. He felt a slight tug from it, but the Palace's tug was stronger. He reached to touch Leetah's face and sent to her. Not words, but feelings and images. He wanted her to give up. He would not rejoin his body. He didn't know if she received his sending but was satisfied when she stopped what she was doing. She pounded his chest and burst out crying, collapsing into her arms. The palace wasn't far, he floated to it and lost all thought.

*******************************************

                      Clearbrook was here, and the rest of his tribe. Treestump held his body in his arms. It looked as if they had been in another fight, and who were these other elves? Cutter had found more elves! One-eye found himself near Clearbrook and was startled by the look on her face. Her eyes were so hallow, she looked so lost as she sat over his soulless body. He looked up as the Highone walked over to her and Clearbrook asked her to bring him back. He nodded when the Highone said it was his choice. He tried to send to her again to reassure her but she was so closed off from everyone and so distraught he could not get through to her. All he could do was hover near her and hope she could feel his presence. He was relieved to see Treestump put his arm around her. She needed the comfort and of all his old friends Treestump knew what Clearbrook was going threw. He wished he could thank him. He felt a presence near him and turned to see Rillfisher also hovering near. Rillfisher and One-eye both wavered as Clearbrook screamed for the preserver to re-wrap him in wrap stuff. One-eye had never seen his serene lifemate act so desperate. It hurt him deeply to see that she would not give up on him.
                      It was then, when he realized Clearbrook would not let him in that he let himself fade into the background. He disappeared into the mist of souls that the Palace held. He let himself mingle with the souls, forgetting his pains in life, and resting like he had never rested before while his body lay in wrapstuff, again.

*************************************************

Something familiar, something that pulled his soul from the rest and brought his consciousness to the entrance of the Palace, it was Clearbrook and Treestump. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen her. His soul glowed with his excitement. Somehow she seemed different. Her long hair was gone, and she seemed less at peace. He fallowed as she walked to the scroll room and sat next to his body, still wrapped in wrapstuff.

**************************************************

She touched the silky threads gently and didn't notice when Treestump left her alone. She sat there and let her mind go over that horrible day with the trolls. She had never gotten over losing her lifemate that day. From then on she had a fog over her that even the Now of wolf thought could hardly take away. Tears slowly made a trail down her weary cheeks.

***************************************************

One-eye felt the Palace shiver. He knew what that meant and let his soul be called with the rest of the dead to bring the palace to life. The destination swam threw him and soon the palace was landing in a green growing place. He couldn't help but smile as Clearbrook and Treestump exited the palace and he caught site of his cub, Scouter, still with Dewshine, and who was the cub on her waist? He lingered as elves greeted elves and he noticed how his tribe had grown. He noticed as other elf spirits also mingled with the living hoping to be noticed by there loved ones.
Soon, Clearbrook was walking Strongbow into the Palace. The archer looked forlorn and One-eye felt a pang for him. He fallowed his lifemate and old friend into the scroll room and over to his wrapped body and watched as Clearbrook spoke to the archer. He caught snippets of their conversation and knew of the elf they spoke of. When Strongbow called out to him asking for his help to connect with the elf Kureel, he gladly obliged. He searched for the dead glider and found him in the pool of souls, sleeping. The glider fallowed him to Strongbow and One-eye placed Kureel's hand into the archer's outstretched hand. As Strongbow conversed with Kureel's soul silently, One-eye's attention was pulled back to Clearbrook. She was cutting open his wrapping with a calm look on her face. One-eye felt as Kureel faded back into the pool and saw the look of surprise on Strongbow's face.      
Then he felt it.
Clearbrook called his soulname again, she was finally letting him go. She was ready to let his body rest. He realized he was never truly free of this world. Part of his soul had been attached to his husk and he hadn't even noticed for it was within the palace. He had always felt the pull of it, but the palace was always stronger. He had never tried to leave the palace but realized he couldn't have if he tried. His body was his anchor. When she called his soulname again telling him to go free, this time he returned her soulname and she was open to him. His body sighed, and his soul howled with the joy he felt, he felt complete. Clearbrook would be alright without him at last and his body would be put to rest for good. Clearbrook and Strongbow picked up his body and carried it outside. With his new found strength and wholeness he flew threw the gathered elves howling and touching each one, frightening and surprising more then a few.

Hew floated, with the rest of the Wolfriders of the past, to the place where they would lay him. He was laid upon a dead wolf-friend, Starjumper from the looks of it, and was given a good howl. He and the others of the past joined in and he felt calm. He saw Treestump put his arm around Clearbrook's waist and was glad she would not be alone, for she would have an old friend by her side, and a soulmate watching her no matter where she went.

                                            S C
                                         1/16/07
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 07:44:41 PM by Elftanner »
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Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 12:14:30 PM »

                   Requested by Lunakat. It is very long so I didn't go into every little detail or it would have been a novel.  :D  I hope you all like it.


                                        Three's a Crowd

Cutter was pouting. Walking threw the woods kicking at stones and anything else that got in the way of his irritation. He was not only in a bad mood, but he was hungry too. The whole tribe was hungry, it had been an exceptionally bad winter and there was nothing left in the woods to eat. Bearclaw and the elders had gotten together to try and figure out what to do, should they move the tribe to a better place with more food till it was okay to return? Should they send their best hunters further out into the un-wandered parts of the woods in search for meat? They weren?t even sure if the migrating animals had even headed back to these woods because the cold was so devastating.  But that wasn?t why Cutter was pouting; it was his season of the right of passage. His time to become a man in the eyes of the others and there was nothing to hunt. He kicked at another stone, but this time it was stuck in the fridged ground, and didn?t budge.

?Owww!!?

He hopped around on one leg and held his injured toe in his hands. All of a sudden he heard laughing. He stopped hopping and with a red face looked to the trees above him where the laughing was coming from. It was Skywise, his slightly older friend, and a friend that had gotten to go on his right of passage hunt.

?What are you doing here? Can?t an elf have some peace and quiet to think??

   Cutter crossed his arms and glared at Skywise. Skywise was still laughing when he jumped down out of the branches.

?Look here Cutter. You know we are not aloud to go anywhere by ourselves. When you left I just wanted to keep an eye on you. Why such the long face??

Skywise fingered Cutters lip that was still hanging down and that just made Cutter even madder. Cutter stomped his foot.

 ?Why do you treat me like a cub? I am not a cub anymore and I can take care of my self!?

With that Cutter swung at Skywise and hit him in the shoulder. The young elf still didn?t have his full strength yet and Skywise didn?t even flinch. Skywise tried not to laugh at his young friend but Cutter saw this and flew at him to tackle him. Skywise stepped aside and when Cutter landed on the icy ground Skywise put a foot on his back to hold him there squirming.

?Easy little brother. I know it is frustrating, I don?t mean to laugh. We are all a bit annoyed and being hungry doesn?t help. We?re all ready to chew our own ears off. Don?t be so upset, the elders will figure out what to do.?

Cutter was still now, the rage gone out of him. He knew Skywise was right, Skywise was always right. He sighed into the frozen grass and Skywise removed his foot, helping Cutter up. He wasn?t pouting anymore, now he just looked anxious. Something had just occurred to Cutter and Skywise knew that look in his eyes.

?Uhoh, what are you thinking Cutter??

?Were not aloud to go out by ourselves??

Cutter trailed off and out of nowhere started running back towards the Holt.

?Hey, wait for me!?
 
As he got to the holt Cutter called out for his father.

**Father! Where are you?**

He ran right up to the father tree and inside, nearly knocking Moonshade over in his haste. He apologized and kept moving until he reached the den he shared with his parents and without so much as an ?ahem? he blurted out.

?Father, I can go with the hunters.?

Cutter was breathless as he spoke. His mother, Longbranch, Treestump, Strongbow and One-eye all looked at him like he had lost his mind. Joyleaf spoke first.

?Cutter, what are you talking about??

Skywise caught up with Cutter just as Cutter caught his breath.

?The black necks, maybe they didn?t migrate back. Maybe they are still out by the marshes. I am supposed to go on my hunt this season but the cold has kept the animals away. I?m not supposed to go out by myself, if I go with the hunters I won?t be alone and I can help bring back meat.?

Cutter stood there all proud of himself for thinking of this all by himself. Behind him, Skywise looked worried, he wasn?t laughing this time. He knew when Cutter was serious and was glad when he heard Strongbow?s open sending.

**You?re crazy cub. And your father?s even crazier if he is considering it. The marshes are a long way off. At least a moons ride. We cant go out there and have to worry about a wayward cub who still doesn?t know his way around a tree without getting lost.**

Cutter?s face was turning red again. Strongbow always had a way of making someone know when they are not wanted. What?s worse, the other elders were nodding in agreement. Joyleaf spoke again.

?Cutter, Strongbow is right. You should wait until the herds have come back into familiar territories. The trek to the marshes is long, and we haven?t got any provisions to send along. Please understand.?

Cutter heard Skywise?s sigh of relief behind him but ignored it. The whole time, Bearclaw had just been sitting there listening. It was very unlike him. Finally, just before Cutter felt like he was going to explode, Bearclaw spoke up.

?I agree with your idea about going out to the marshes cub, but like your mother and the archer said, it is a dangerous trip for someone who has no experience. I say no.?

With that Bearclaw set his jaw. Skywise also knew that look and was relieved again. Cutter wouldn?t be going anywhere. Cutter knew the look on his fathers face too.

?This isn?t fare!?

Skywise quickly got out of the way as Cutter pushed past him. Normally he would go after him, but he thought he would leave him alone this time. He looked back at the elders who were now looking at him and gave a shrug as he too made his way out of the father tree.
Cutter wasn?t running this time, he was storming, arms swinging and feet stomping. He got to the edge of the water and turned to the left. He fallowed it until the father tree was behind him and stopped. His hands were shaking. He was so mad.

?They don?t know what they are talking about. Adults don?t understand.?

?What don?t they understand??

It was Nightfall, can he ever find a place to be alone? She walked over to him with a slight smile on her face.

?I was just gathering some fresh clay for mother. Are you all right Cutter??

He just looked at her all bundled up against the cold holding a damp leather bag full of clay. He shook his head.

?You wouldn?t understand either.?

He plopped down on the ground and watched as a fish made it?s way down the wintry stream. His belly said to grab it and eat it, but he just propped his face in his hands and proceeded to pout again. Nightfall was his closest age-mate, and she had a slight crush on him. The elders believed she was destined to recognize Cutter. She set herself down next to him and was quiet until he was ready to talk. She didn?t have to wait long.

?The elders wont let me go on a hunt with them. They say it?s too dangerous.?

It was hard to be mad around her. She was always so calm and understanding, and she let him talk when he was ready, unlike that good for nothing Skywise who had to poke his nose into everything. He was probably being nosey right now. Nightfall nodded as she spoke.

?I was supposed to go on my first hunt this season too. Looks like I?ll have to wait until the herds come home.?

She calmly patted some water on the bag so it wouldn?t dry out. Cutter?s eyes grew big as he watched her. He hadn?t even thought of that. Nightfall was his age. They were both missing out on the biggest moment of their lives so far and she dealt with it with so much more grace. His face turned red again, only this time he wasn?t mad.

************************************************

Bearclaw watched his son leave the den. Cutter still had a lot to learn, and having inherited Bearclaw?s temper wasn?t helping any. He looked at Joyleaf and the others and spoke to them again.

?Cutter was right about the herds pausing beyond the marshes. They?ve done it before. I am willing to send out some hunters to bring home some meat. Is anyone here willing to volunteer??

**I?ll go Bearclaw, I?m the best with a bow.**

Strongbow?s sending was mixed with excitement and the scent of blood. He was hungry like the rest of them, and anctious to hunt.

?Aye, and I?ll go. My axe could use some blood on it.?

The others nodded and were making plans when they heard a whisper of a voice.

?I think Cutter and Nightfall should go by themselves.?

Everyone turned and looked at Longbranch. The eldest of the wolfriders, everyone respected him and listened when he spoke, but no one could believe his words. He sat calmly in his spot noting the looks on the others faces. Before anyone could ask if Two-Spear had pinched him or something he spoke up again.

?Cutter was correct about not being able to go out alone. And we have figured the beasts are still near the marshes. Both he and Nightfall are old enough to be trusted on their own, and they each have a wolf friend to keep an eye on them as they travel. I think it would be good for the both of them. A good way to show us they can do it.?

He waited for a response. Everyone just sat there stunned. Nightfall was Longbranch?s daughter; they were surprised he would even consider it. Joyleaf, ever the practical one, chimed in.

?Longbranch, Nightfall is your own daughter. Do you really want to send her out there??

He smiled at her words.

?Brownberry will not be so pleased with me. But it is the way??

He paused in his words and looked at Bearclaw.

?And I would trust her to anything.?

He kept his eyes on Bearclaw, careful not to look challenging.

?It is the way for the young ones to show us they are grown. To go on a lone hunt, Cutter has shown us he is ready, and my calm daughter is just as ready as he is though she carries herself differently. They would be a good match on the hunt, with her bow and knowledge of the blade, and Cutter?s spear and willingness. I think they should go.?

And just to make them realize he wasn?t loosing his mind to the foaming sickness He suggested sending hunters out in the other direction toward the edge of the woods, where the tusk hogs migrate. That way they would still be likely to have food brought home even if the young hunters aren?t successful.

?A journey for these two would be good for them I suppose?

Said Treestump. He wasn?t to sure, but could understand Cutter?s need for the hunt. Strongbow just grunted in answer, and One-eye nodded, leaving the final decision to the chief. Bearclaw didn?t even need to look at Joyleaf. He knew the look she would be giving him. He put his hand on her leg and said.

?Very well then. I will trust in the council. We have all been threw hard winters but none so hard as this. I will send hunters to the edge of the woods to bring back what they can find. And I will send Nightfall and Cutter to the marshes. My stubborn cub could use a lesson in life.?

Joyleaf could not argue. She wouldn?t anyway. She didn?t want her son out there so far away from home, but two chances at bringing home meat was better then one.

*****************************************************

Cutter was so excited to be going on this hunt. He got no sleep that day as he went threw everything he had learned about from the other hunters. That evening before the sun was even down, he put on his warmest leathers and gathered his spear, cloak, and hunting knife. He wouldn?t be needing anything else. He climbed out of the father tree and met Nightrunner at the opening. Nightfall was already there with Woodshaver, dressed similarly to Cutter, only she carried a bow. She smiled at him as he exited the tree.

?Can you believe it Cutter? You and me on a hunt. It?s going to be a long ride.?

She happily jumped on to Woodshavers back. Both wolf friends were still young and were jittery with their elf friend?s excitement. They walked over to the group of elves that had gathered at the edge of the holt. Cutter and Nightfall noticed the other hunters. They knew they were going out as well, but they were going in the other direction. At first it irritated Cutter that his father didn?t trust him to bring back anything for the tribe, but Cutter soon resolved to show his father he was wrong.

?Let the other hunters go. I will bring back the biggest buck of the herd and prove them all wrong.?

He thought as he came to a stop in front of them. He saw Strongbow as well as Treestump, Foxfur, and One-eye. Some of the tribes best hunters. Moonshade, Clearbrook, Longbranch, Brownberry, Rillfisher, Joyleaf and Bearclaw were also there to see all of the hunters off. Nightfall climbed down from Woodshaver?s back to bid farewell to her parents. Cutter noticed a few tears being shed by Brownberry, a rare site indeed, as private sendings were shared within the family. Cutter squared his shoulders and walked up to his parents. Joyleaf was quick to wrap her arms around her son; she too shed some tears,

?Now don?t go getting yourself killed Cutter.?

Those were the only words she could get out of her mouth.

**I expect you both to come home safely. You hear me.**

  Cutter hugged his mother fiercely and then pulled himself away so he could face Bearclaw. Bearclaw was astride his great black wolf, not showing any worry on his hard face. Cutter walked up to him and looked him in the eyes.

?I will bring food home to the holt father. I will not fail you.?

Bearclaw smirked at Cutters words.

?I never thought you would cub.?

Bearclaw put his hand on Cutter?s shoulder.

?Now remember, Listen to your wolf friend. They always know things about the world around them long before you do. Travel at night so the humans do not see you. And trust in your hunting partner, you are there to help each other. This is not a race. I want you both to come home alive.?

Bearclaw squeezed Cutter?s shoulder once. It was his way to show affection. He then turned his attention to the hunters as a whole, leaving his hand on his son?s shoulder.

?I expect you all to come home alive. This is a hard journey for all of you. I would not normally send you out like this, but the tribe is hungry, and it is up to you to bring back whatever it is you can find. All of you will be coming home as providers. Some of you will be coming home new elves.?

With this he squeezed his son?s shoulder again and released it. Cutter and Nightfall as well as the others climbed atop their wolf friends. Lifemates said goodbye to lifemates. Mothers said goodbye to cubs. Cutter couldn?t help but notice a certain elves absence. He looked around for Skywise and then called for him.

**Skywise, I am leaving. Aren?t you going to see me off?**

Cutter got no answer, and couldn?t wait for one. It was starting to rain. Cutter and Nightfall watched as the other hunters left, then as their lifemates found shelter in the father tree. Their parents watched as they slowly started into the woods. Nightfall noticed Cutter?s expression wasn?t like hers.

?Aren?t you excited Cutter. What?s wrong??

Cutter got mad at Skywise and decided he didn?t need him to say goodbye anyway. He pulled his cloak over his head and made sure it was tied tightly.

?Nothing, lets get going.?

He urged Nightrunner into a run and Nightfall fallowed his lead. They ran for long periods of time trying to close the distance between the holt and the marshes. Periodically they spotted humans and hid till they passed, or ran past them so fast the humans didn?t realize what they had seen. They stopped only to sleep in the trees, or to forage for edibles. There was no playing along the way. They both took this trip seriously and ran the wolves hard for the first few days.

*************************************************

On day five of their outing, Cutter was trying to sleep in a nitch in a tree when the wind tickled his nose with a familiar scent.

?Skywise??

Cutter sat up and looked around. He saw Nightfall curled up on the branch next to him asleep. He saw the wolves on the ground underneath their tree, and he saw woods. He didn?t see any movement what so ever. He finally chalked it up to his mind playing tricks on him and relaxed back into the tree.

**************************************************

Skywise heard Cutter send to him but didn?t answer. He didn?t want Cutter to see him wearing his travel clothes. When Bearclaw decided to let Nightfall and Cutter go on this quest for adulthood and food, Skywise was not happy. He didn?t think the fool headed cub Cutter was ready for it yet, so he decided to fallow them at a distance and keep an eye on them. He didn?t tell anyone he was leaving. Someone would eventually notice but he would be long gone by then. He fallowed Cutter and Nightfall, always down wind so they wouldn?t catch his scent, and he kept himself hidden. He swore to himself that he wouldn?t interfere in any way on this hunt. He knew that if he did Cutter would never forgive him. He was just along to observe, and make sure they didn?t get into to much trouble. On the fifth day he was climbing a tree to get some rest when the wind changed. He paused and looked in the direction of Cutter and Nightfall. The wind blew right in their direction. He just knew he was caught. He saw Cutter sit up and look around. Skywise stayed as still as possible. In this part of the woods the trees were not all full of leaves like at home. Any movement would give him away, even from this distance. He was glad he sent Starjumper into the bushes. He relaxed only when Cutter sat back again. Skywise sighed. He was also glad that he had given up his usually blue leathers for some dull tan and brown ones, and his tunic had a hood to keep his ears warm and his silver hair hidden. He finished climbing his tree and was soon asleep.
It seemed like only a few minutes past by when he heard Starjumper whining. He quickly sat up and told the wolf to be quiet. The wolf sent images of Cutter and Nightfall leaving their tree, and feelings of Skywise being mad at him if he didn?t wake him up when they did. Skywise then realized it was getting dark out. Resting time was over. He jumped out of his tree and pat Starjumper on his great head.

?Thanks friend. I guess we should keep fallowing them.?

And they did. For days Skywise stayed just out of sight of them, fallowing tracks and scents, foraging for food when he couldn?t stand the emptiness in his belly anymore. One night, he was looking at the stars when he heard Cutter talking to Nightfall. He quickly stopped his wolf.

**Moss brain! We almost ran into them!**

He jumped off and into a tree nearby. There wasn?t a lot of wind today so he got a little closer so he could hear what they were saying.

****************************************************

« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 12:20:15 PM by Elftanner »
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Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2009, 12:16:34 PM »

                  Three's a Crowd continued

After that day Cutter could swear he felt Skywise nearby. He tried to ignore the feeling; Skywise was back at the holt. Or was he?

?Skywise would fallow me like that. He doesn?t trust me to do anything right.?

He put the thoughts out of his mind best he could so he could focus on his travels. He and Nightfall ran side by side every night without incident until one night they finally came upon tracks.

?Look Cutter, tracks. Finally tracks. Do you think we are close??

Nightfall jumped off of Woodshaver and knelt down to take a closer look. Cutter shook his head.

?Those are old. The frozen ground kept them in place. But we now know we are going in the right direction.?

He turned to mount Nightrunner again when he noticed his wolf friend?s ears were up and he was sniffing the air. Cutter motioned for Nightfall to be quiet. She mounted her wolf friend slowly, ready to run if she needed to. Cutter sniffed the air, faintly he smelled ?

?Skywise. I knew it.?

Cutter became red in the face. Nightfall asked what was wrong.

**That good for nothing stargazer is fallowing us. I thought I caught his scent a few days back but didn?t see him. Now Nightrunner can smell him too. He?s here somewhere.**

Cutter looked around, squinting into the darkness. He still couldn?t see him. He decided to let Skywise think he wasn?t caught.

**Lets let him think he isn?t caught. I want to surprise him when he isn?t paying attention. So don?t let on that we know he?s here.**

Nightfall agreed. It upset her that Skywise would fallow them like that, but she trusted Cutter to know what he was doing. If it were up to her she would call him out right now and confront him. Cutter mounted Nightrunner and urged him forward.
They fallowed the tracks until the trees became sparse, and the ground started to become soft. Nearly a full moon had gone by since they left home. Now that Cutter knew he was there he caught Skywise's scent more often. On the last day before they headed out into the marshes they spotted dear. Great black necks. The deer were thin from not eating enough, but were a sight to the elves that had not eaten a decent meal in a long while. Cutter and Nightfall let their wolves take down a small one so they could eat and have some strength for the big hunt the next day, and when finally, they were climbing into their tree to rest before they headed out into the open, he told Nightfall his plan.

*************************************************

Skywise thought he had been caught, again, but to his surprise Cutter just turned around and mounted Nightrunner. When he and Nightfall started off Skywise thought to himself,

?Boy Cutter, I?m glad you don?t trust your nose.?

Thinking he had gotten away with it again he waited in the tree for a bit then climbed down to fallow the young hunters.

When the trees started to become thinner he found he had to stay farther back so as to not be noticed. On the last day before they entered the open marshes Nightfall, Cutter and their wolf friends rested most of the day after taking down a small deer for food. Skywise?s belly growled at the sight of all that meat walking around out there. It took a lot of will power to keep Starjumper from going after it. It was hard to explain to the wolf that they were hiding from their friends. The wolf just wanted to eat. When he finally got the wolf to understand, for the most part, Skywise found a tree that was just within sight of them and planted his rump in its branches.

**************************************************

As the sun rose higher Skywise let himself fall into an uncomfortable sleep. Cutter and Nightfall tracked down the tree he slept in and when they found it, they crept up to it. Cutter had to send to Starjumper to be quiet. It took some doing but he got the wolf to let him come close without pouncing on him. When they were sure Skywise was asleep, they both slowly climbed into the tree and right up next to him. It was all Cutter could do to keep from just pushing the stargazer out of the tree. He was so mad to see him here. Nightfall was stiffeling a giggle as Cutter razed a piece of grass to Skywise?s nose.

Skywise nearly fell out of the tree as something tickled his nose and he jumped. He squealed as he caught himself, then he realized he wasn?t alone. He slowly turned to see Nightfall and Cutter standing over him in the tree. All he could do was smile at them.

?Now Cutter. Don?t be mad, I only fallowed you to??

Cutter punched him in the face. Skywise fell out of the tree and landed with a thump on the hard ground. Nightfall caught her breath, but she didn?t feel to bad for Skywise. She was pretty mad herself.
Cutter jumped out of the tree and onto Skywise fists flailing. He was so mad he couldn?t speak.

**You have no right to be here!! This is our hunt not yours!**

Skywise tried to get Cutter off of him. The young elf?s rage surprised him. Finally Nightfall was there pulling Cutter off.

?Stop it Cutter! That?s enough!?

Cutter struggled only a little as Nightfall pulled him off of Skywise. Skywise dragged himself back a little and looked at Cutter.

**I was? I didn?t mean to?**

Nightfall was still holding Cutter when she spoke to Skywise.

?What are you doing here Skywise? This hunt was not meant for you.?

Skywise pulled himself up and leaned against Starjumper. He could see anger in Nightfall?s eyes too. He didn?t mean to make his friends so mad. He looked at his feet as he spoke.

?I? I just wanted to keep an eye on you two. It?s? well? It?s a hard journey and I wasn?t sure Cutter could make it without me??

With that Cutter started to shake but Nightfall held her ground and held him firm.

?This journey was to prove we could both do this on our own. You had yours and Cutter didn?t interfere, why would you do that to him? Or to me? Do you not trust us enough to let us, let Cutter, make his own mistakes if he was to make them??

Nightfall stood there with her hand on Cutter?s chest, not letting him attack the silver haired elf again. Skywise shook his head.

?I wasn?t going to interfere, just watch. I didn?t want anyone to get hurt. This time of year is dangerous for the elders who know what they are doing, let alone those who have never done this. I was just going to watch.?

?If Bearclaw can trust Cutter and me enough to send us out here on our own, you should have been able to. Bearclaw has more to lose in Cutter then you do.?

With that she let her hand fall from Cutter?s chest. He was still shaking, though not as badly. Skywise and Cutter were looking into each others eyes with a knowing look. Sharing something only they knew, and Nightfall wouldn?t understand. A season or two ago, they had shared a part of themselves with each other that they didn?t mean to share. In the midst of another fight. Cutter let his fists relax. He knew now why the stargazer had fallowed, but he was still mad at him. He walked over to Skywise and put his hand on his shoulder.

**Soulbrother, I want you to go home. Leave now and I will forgive you. This is my hunt, not yours, I need to learn to do this on my own.**

With that Cutter mounted Nightrunner and headed back to the tree he and Nightfall were sharing. He hoped he had made himself clear to his friend. He didn?t always need him. Nightfall watched as Cutter had silent words with Skywise. She knew not of what they shared, but she could see the connection between them. She was relieved to see Cutter just turn around and leave without anymore confrontation, but was saddened by the look on Skywises face as Cutter left. Skywise climbed up onto Starjumper and started to leave.

?Wait, Skywise, here.?

Nightfall pulled out some leftover meat from a pouch on her hip. It wasn?t a lot, but it would put food in his belly.

?We will have plenty more tomorrow. Safe journey home.?

Skywise took the meat gladly, then turned and headed home.

Nightfall walked back to her tree and climbed up to sit next to Cutter. He had fallen asleep already, so she made herself comfortable. She didn?t fall asleep right away, instead she thought of Redmark. He had trained her in the ways of tracking and taught her the ways of love. She was a young elf, he is much older then her, but she found herself drawn to his gentile ways. She thought it was sweet how he avoided death, preferring to work on his sleeping magic talent of stirring the life in plants.

?He will be a great tree shaper someday.?

She thought to herself with a smile. She looked at her sleeping friend. She and Cutter had played at love as well. Him being a young elf and new to it all, he wasn?t as gentile as Redmark. He had a rougher edge about him. They were good friends, and she found herself vowing to always be loyal to him, to trust in his judgment and to lead him in the right direction when he needed it. She liked that she was able to do this hunt with him. He would be the next chief and this is a big step toward that goal. She put her head on his shoulder and fell to sleep. Tonight would be a big night.

**************************************************

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Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2009, 12:18:56 PM »

                        Three's a crowd continued - Again


Nightfall heard rustling on the ground. She opened her eyes and saw it was Cutter, he was sharpening his spear. She smiled and stretched her limbs. As she jumped out of the tree Woodshaver came up to her and sent images of the blacknecks into her head. He was anxious to bring down more deer.

?Patience friend. All in good time.?

She turned to look for her bow and arrows, picking them up and checked the leather straps on each arrow to make sure they were sturdy. Then she checked her bowstring. Strongbow would be very disappointed in her if she had neglected to take care of her bow and arrows on this journey. When she was satisfied, she tied her knife to the outside of her tunic were she would be able to get to it easily. When she was ready, she looked up to see Cutter looking at her with his hand on his wolf.

?It?s time.?

He said. He had a stance about him that she had never seen before. He was growing up, turning into the leader she knew he would be. She nodded and they mounted their wolves.

**There are a lot of deer out there. Most of them are not worth eating. We should go for the fattest buck we can find and one of the does. Lets link minds in sending, and fallow our wolf?s lead.**

Nightfall nodded again, the adrenaline starting to pump in her veins. She could feel the wolf inside her like never before. Nightrunner being slightly higher ranking to Woodshaver went first. They crept into the shadows and silently closer to the herd of deer. A few started to get jittery, some looked in their direction, but none moved until Nightrunner lurched forward.

**Nightrunner, you oaf! Not that one.**

But it was too late. The herd had started moving. Cutter held on as Nightrunner ran next to one of the older bucks.

?Nightrunner!!?

The wolf jumped and caught the buck in the haunches. Cutter growled and had no choice but to use his spear and deal the deathblow.  He put the spear through the buck?s neck and watched it die. He looked up as other bucks ran past him. It wasn?t the buck he wanted, but it would do for the first kill. He looked closely at the herd as it went by him, and there it was. The buck he wanted, with a rack on it?s head bigger then Cutter. Cutter picked up his spear and ran after the buck. Nightrunner came up next to him and Cutter jumped on his back mid-stride. They fallowed the buck, ushering it into a dead end. When they did the buck became furious. He raised his hooves and shook it?s rack at the elf and wolf that were standing in its way. Cutter got off of Nightrunner and circled to the left, Nightrunner going right. Thinking it had more to worry about in the wolf, it inched closer to Cutter, but when it saw danger there, it shook its antlers again. Cutter couldn?t get out of the way quick enough. He thrust his spear in but it got caught in the antlers and thrown out of his hands. The buck charged him, and got him in the ribs. Cutter let out a loud scream as he was thrown aside.

***************************************************

Nightfall saw Nightrunner jump at the old buck out of the corner of her eye. She herself was heading for a doe that had some good meat on her. Woodshaver ran right beside the doe so Nightfall could get a good shot. She raised her bow, and let fly. Twaang! It missed. She growled and pulled another arrow. Twang! This on hit but wasn?t fatal; it got the doe in the shoulder.

?Not a clean kill.?

She was upset with herself as she pulled one more arrow.

**Steady friend. **

She slowly notched and pulled back, closing her mind to everything else around her. Twang! The doe dropped hard. She had gotten her kill shot. Woodshaver slowed and walked back to the dead doe. Nightfall wasn?t happy with herself. Strongbow had taught her better then this. Redmark wouldn?t be happy either. The doe had suffered. She knelt next to it to make sure it was dead. She pulled out her knife and as she slit it?s throat said.

?Thank you friend for the meat you will provide. Go back to the land from which you came.?

She cleaned off her knife on the skin of the doe and looked around. Where was Cutter?

************************************************

Cutter was dazed but not dead. He got up with the help of Nightrunner and looked around. He spotted tracks and fallowed them. He noticed blood. Nightrunner must have bitten the buck to get him away from Cutter. As he fallowed the tracks he held his ribs.

?Owl pellets. One of them is broken.?

He hissed as he raised his spear to see if he could still throw it. It would hurt, but he could do it. He kept going and soon found the deer. Nightrunner had gotten it all right. Cutter didn?t want to get to close this time; he found a good spot and gauged the distance. As he pulled his arm back to throw he let out a hiss, alerting the buck to his presence. Cutter cursed himself and threw the spear with all his strength. It hit the buck right behind the shoulder, and threw the heart. It dropped like a bag of rocks and didn?t even twitch.
Cutter leaned on his wolf friend and tried to breath deep. He was bleeding, but not to badly, mostly scratches. He looked around, he would need some good branches to make a carrier for his kill. He worked slowly, but finally finished one. Nightrunner helped him to get it on the carrier with a bit of scolding. The great wolf wanted to eat some of it.

?Not yet Nightrunner. We have to get back to Nightfall first.?

**********************************************************

Nightfall was cleaning her kill when Cutter finally showed up.

?Cutter!! What happened to you??

She ran over to him. He was doubled over holding onto his ribs.

?I?m fine Nightfall.?

He tried to sit upright and winced.

?Only broke maybe one.?

Nightfall shook her finger at him.

?You should have called for me. You could have been killed.?

She helped him off of his wolf and sat him down under a tree, then proceeded to rip her leather cloak into strips.

?We need to wrap your chest. Sit up.?

Cutter did as he was told. Soon she was finished and asked him what happened. He told her about his buck. How they had it cornered and it threw him. Then he tracked it down and killed.

?Your lucky it didn?t kill you. Are you going to be able to help me clean these??

Cutter nodded his head. He wouldn?t make her do it by herself. He slowly got up and walked to the first buck he and Nightrunner downed. Pulling his knife he cut a hole from its neck to its genitals. He pulled out the heart, the lungs, the liver and all of the other intestines putting them aside. He threw one of the lungs to Nightrunner.

?Here you go friend.?

When he was done with the gutting, he cut the small antlers off and set them aside. Then he proceeded to skin it. He looked around for a stream or some kind of running water. He found some not to far away and cleaned the hide there. He also cleaned the insides of the buck and wrapped them in the skin nice and tight. He cut the meat from the buck in long strips. It was kind of tough; he would smoke it and take it home dry. When he was finished cleaning the buck he looked over to Nightfall, she was just about finished with her kill as well. He threw one of the bones to Nightrunner and walked over to the other buck. This one had more meat on it. He started on it just like he did the other one. When he had pulled all of the guts from the inside Nightfall came over to help. They took off the antlers and set them aside, they would make great knives or decorations. They skinned it and cut the meat off. With this one they also saved the tendons for bowstrings, and the bladder for a water pouch.

?How are we going to get all of this back to the holt??

Nightfall was standing looking at all the meat and innards they had just cleaned.

?Well, We are going to have to dry it I guess. Or we can wrap it in the skins. The weather is cold enough that it shouldn?t go bad. I should make it to the holt okay.?

Nightfall nodded, she wasn?t sure about taking raw meat all the way back.

?We should dry it. At least we know it won?t go bad that way. And I am sure everyone will be just as glad to have the meat even if it isn?t fresh.?

They started a fire and proceeded to dry the meat. The innards they ate that night. It was quite a feast for both the elves and the wolves. As the sun came up they hadn?t smoked all of the meat yet. They decided to take turns sleeping until it was done. Cutter slept first at Nightfall?s insistence. After a day and a half the meat was dried enough to make the journey home and it and the extra stuff was bundled and kept safe in the skins.
The tendons were used as rope to secure it to the wolves as they rode back. It wasn?t as long a journey home as it was leaving. They made it back in much better time. When they got there the other hunters had already gotten home with their kills. Everyone rejoiced in the tribe being together again, and in Nightfall?s and Cutter?s new found adult hood. There was quite the howl, and feast, and storytelling that night. As the greetings calmed down Nightfall was lead away by Redmark. Cutter smiled at them as they walked by. Bearclaw came up to Cutter.

?I am proud of you son.?

He motioned for Rain to come over and heal his son?s ribs. They were still sore and the long ride didn?t help any.

?You did well.?

He squeezed Cutter?s shoulder and walked away to the circle of Wolfriders eating their fill. As Rain finished healing Cutter looked around for Skywise. He was missing again.

?Rain, have you seen Skywise?? 

?He disappeared soon after you did. We all figured he had fallowed you. Almost two eights of nights went by before he returned. Bearclaw gave him quite the scolding for going out alone. He was here not to long ago. Maybe he is waiting for you to find him.?

Rain smiled a small smile and walked away. Cutter knew where to find the stargazer. He walked to the clearing that wasn?t to far away and there he was. Sitting on the hill all by himself looking at the stars.

?I?ll never understand what you see up there brother.?

Skywise didn?t look away from his beloved sky.

?That?s because your head is full of dirt.?

Cutter threw a piece of meat at Skywise and they both laughed.

?Cutter, I didn?t mean to make you so mad out there. I was just worried about you.?

Cutter nodded his head.

?I know. But you had to let me deal with what was going to happen. I needed to do it alone.?

?And you did.?

?Yes I did.?

Cutter handed Skywise more meat. As they chewed Nightfall came into the open. She sat next to Cutter and smiled at them. No words needed to be said. They just laid back and looked at the stars, until Cutter couldn?t stand it anymore?
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Multimedea

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 05:10:59 PM »

It's gonna take me awhile to read through all the stories, but I like the first one so far. Moonshade's search was very moving. :)
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The sorrow of the elves is that
The things they love must die...
(The Tree of swords and jewels waits for me)
Time withers all about them,
Yet the elves it passes by...
(When shall I hang my own upon the Tree?)

Elftanner

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Re: Elftanner's writings
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2009, 10:46:17 AM »

Thank you multimedia. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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