Ribbonwhite doesn't move until the vibrations in the earth tell her that something is coming. She felt it through the whole of her body, hugged snug to the dirt. She couldn't begin to fathom how furred beasts managed to see the world, tottering about precariously on their tiny limbs. It was a wonder, really.
Fenrath appears, and this time Ribbon does not raise her head in a threat posture. He even has company in the form of a rabbit. She does raise her head, now, but only to about head height level with them. The remainder of her length shifts at her base as she continues to hold Noah's hook in her mouth. Fenrath returns quickly, and Ribbon watches his actions with the lidless stare of her kind. The smell of more fish settles on the camp, but the snake is sated. Fenrath and Noah's breakfasts are safe.
He says something. Only a muffled sort of murmur reaches Ribbonwhite's 'ears', since her head is currently off of the ground, but she had years of practice watching the motions of the mouth, and as long as whoever was speaking did so within the broad angle of her field of view, she could understand. What's more, she could mimic!
The white snake extends her head and neck towards the otter - probably not a comfortable gesture - but only deposits the shiny hook on the ground between them before withdrawing and flickering her pink tongue at both of them.
"Yoursss." she says. A snake speaking. And polite enough to return property! What a world!
Her voice is a whispered sigh - like speaking without a voice at all, only using the action of the air passing in and out.
"Osser." Her tongue flicks out at Fenrath, unable to quite get her throat around the "t" sound in otter, before her broad head tilts to fix Noah with the predator's gaze, "Hhaare." Whoops.
Her tail, hidden somewhere in the seemingly endlessly turning mass of her broad coiled form, emerges and presses its tip to her neck, indicating herself, "Rribbonwhiite."
Well wasn't that a poetic name for a killer. Fitting, though.
((Choppy post is choppy!))
By the time she has worked the fish out of her mouth, the otter is all but out of sight. Oh, thank goodness.
"Go." She breathes in his wake. /Had/ he just headed a snake /speak/ or had it just been her hiss and his imagination??
She rushes to the rock, coiling around the objects protectively until she is sure he's gone. Stranger and stranger behavior from the white beast. Finally left in peace, she reaches her neck out to the discarded fish, tongue picking up the taste of metal. Hooked. Her prey had been hooked. By the otter? He'd had his own fish.
Clasping the metal hook in her lips, she braces the fish in her coils and spends a good bit of time working both awkwardly until the hook is freed and she can safely swallow the bass.
As it settles - a noticeable bulge in her middle - her instinct to hunt and eat fades happily into the desire to sit and soak in the warmth to counter the chill of her swim. She pondered her encounter. She'd never met an otter before. A lidless eye watched the hook shine in the grass, and after a time pondering, the snake made a decision.
Wriggling her head oddly in the grass until the yarn went under her chin and the sewn leaves settled upon her head rather like a flat hat, Ribbonwhite gathered her drum and then the hook in her mouth. She had been rude. Hungry, but no excuse for rudeness. And he might want his hook back.
Her tongue flicks beneath her bundle, tasting the grass where the otter had stepped. His scent was fresh, his heat vivid to her senses. It was an easy thing to set off in the direction he had taken.
While Fenrath finds Noah, Ribbonwhite finds his camp. The fire was warm on her scales, and she puts the hook and drum down to coil around them. Exploring the area with her broad head nosing about and her tongue flickering madly at the end of her snout, it isn't long before she sees the fish on the stick…
A more courteous beast would leave it. The goodbeast that raised her would scold her mightily. But Ribbonwhite was still a serpent, and the bass she'd just eaten had not yet gone to her stomach. She was still hungry. A moment later there is a well-gnawed stick on the ground and a second smaller bulge in her middle.
Hissing contentedly, the snake again fetches the hook into her mouth and lays her head on the coil of herself nearest the fire, warming up nicely while she waits patiently for the owner of the camp to return. He would be so pleased, she thought to herself, to see the return of his hook, giving no thought to how it must look to know a snake had followed you home and lurked in waiting.
((Three posts in and I've robbed both beasts. XD))
((Woo! People! :D))
Ribbonwhite stayed submerged out there for a long time, delicately picking her way across the riverbed. She could have stayed and fished from the shore, but the larger fish always lurked farther out, and so she eventually found a likely spot and wedged herself against a rock, only occasionally extending her long body - very slowly - to gulp a lungful of air.
Eventually her patience pays off. A commotion of movement in the reeds; a young bass struggled mightily against some unseen adversary. It jerked and danced up and down to an invisible rhythm, and Ribbon's eyes locked on as she swayed gently, mimicking the harmless motion of a stick. The hapless fish tried to swim away and was pulled back, right across her nose…
Uncoiling with a blinding speed that strikes the fish broadside, hooked fangs find purchase through the slick scales and she yanks the wildly thrashing animal into her coils. Something snaps, like a tension that'd held the fish in place, and snake and fish tumble until the struggle is over.
Righting herself and wriggling swiftly, she surfaces with her prize in her mouth... and a familiar hook and line still imbedded in its jaw. Noah, you've been robbed.
Ribbon makes the shoreline. she was downstream from where she had entered. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem for her kind, but for her... she had left something precious behind. Sunning and digesting would have to wait, though the taste of the fish she held aloft was maddening. Another pang of regret for the past gripped her through the blind instinct of her reptilian nature... her hedgehog benefactor had been able to use her dainty mammal hands to cook fish such as this. They were fine raw but... Oh the miracles the little spiny creature could work with spices and a fire.
Without her head on the ground, and with her mouth and its scenting tongue currently occupied, /and/ with the sun starting to glare down onto too-sensitive eyes, Ribbonwhite is unawares of the big otter Fenrath sharing this side of the bank until the brush parts and there he is in a clearing. She was between him and his camp, and he.. Well, he might miss the little ruined hedgehog drum and funny leaf cap, but he was far too close to it for her liking.
For a moment, she must look rather ridiculous. A big white rope holding up a big dead fish like a dog fetching it for a master, wet carcass flopping on either side of her jaws and a hook and line dripping in the fish's mouth. But for all the humor... that was a snake. A large one. White, it was near impossible to tell its species between the snakes that regularly caught fish - among them such deadlies as the Cottonmouth, Moccasin, and Copperhead. White serpents didn't normally live too long, either, so for this beast to have been around long enough to get this big, it was probably a viciously clever thing.... even if it was carrying its kill for some odd reason.
Startled, and afraid to lose the belongings near the rock, Ribbonwhite arches her neck behind her head, drawing her length around her into a coil, but her huffed hiss of warning is muffled by the fish still firmly in her mouth. She has to slowly lower her head ... intent on carefully wedging the fish against the ground in order to get her backwards-facing teeth to release... That was a big mammal, and she knew knives when she saw them.
((Hello! This is open to anyone who happens to be interested. If I've made an obvious mistake or changing something would make your lives easier, please let me know. It's been a few years since I read the Redwall books. Imma get a few on my nook and rectify that.))
The winter had mostly relinquished its hold on the shadowy woods of Mossflower. It was still bitterly cold some mornings, but once the sun got itself sorted in the sky it quickly became a pleasantly warm day. The evergreens were looking greener and healthier than they had all season, and there were green buds and new leaves and blooming flowers to entice the birds and insects.
Another creature had stirred out of her winter sleep these last few weeks, too. Someone who took most of the morning to get going at all. Ribbonwhite was now slowly uncoiling from the top of the river stone where she'd spent a good few hours absorbing the warmth from the sunlight that splashed through the canopy overhanging the stream's banks. She didn't like the cold, for obvious reasons. Her mellow white scales had no warm fur covering, and her sluggish heart had no ability to provide adequate heat to her long and heavily muscled body. From nose to tail tip, she was several feet now; truly a monster compared to the sickly and starving little hatchling she should have been. Most of that length was hidden for the moment, piled on top of itself to conserve warmth, but lazily her tail droops out of a loop to assure herself that the bundle she'd painstakingly carried this far was still there, leaning against the base of the stone.
Both items were a bit worse for wear. Three broad leaves rubbed with wax to keep them supple were long dead and beginning to crumble, but they had their edges sewn together and were secured by a long loop of braided yarn, so yet kept the sun from her reddish-orange eyes when she wore it atop her head. The second item was a skinny but broad drum set with hammered tin discs in its frame that rattled musically with every strike. There was a hole in its well used head - Ribbonwhite regretted that deeply but she hadn't noticed her fangs rubbing against it until Pop! Edith - or Essith as Ribbon could only ever pronounce - would have chided her for her carelessness with such a lovely belonging. It's birch rim was still painted with a lovely swirl of blue river currents and colorful fish twining around the tin discs. Really, though, in her mouth was the only effective way the snake could think to carry the thing, and she certainly wasn't going to drop it now.
They could wait there for the moment, however. Breakfast was calling. She'd been watching the silvery flashes of fish in the shallows all morning while she waited to warm up, and the water murmured invitingly over its rock bed for the first swim of the year. Her head is the next thing to reveal itself from the seething coils. Broad and elegantly tapered, she lacked the wedge shape of her poisonous Moccasin cousin, but admired her reflection in the water at the base of the rock as she tested the waters with a flick of forked tongue. Cold. Her sides huffed in a short sigh. It couldn't be helped. She was hungry. Winter had been long and her hibernation made for a very empty belly.
With a silent grace, the snake slid fully off the rock and into the river. It met her scales like ice, but after bobbing for a moment she disappeared beneath the dark water, white color plainly visible until she entered the deeper shadows where the fish scattered. Soon, though, they'd be back.
And she'd be waiting.
((Thank you~ I have one more character to get me started, an evil one to balance out the good. I was worried the snake might be asking a bit much, since they aren't traditionally good. Im always open to changes/edits if anything becomes a problem!))
Full Name: Pitch
Species: Ship Rat / Roof Rat
Description: A lanky, scrawny creature that, when standing, seems to be all arm and leg yet folds up impossibly small when she sits or curls up. Black furred with black hands and feet as well, as if she'd stuck them in a bucket of pitch, hence the name. The tips of her ears and nose sometimes appear white with the dried salt on them. She is normally wearing sailcloth breaches fastend 'round her middle with a length of hemp rope that also curls around her torso as a bandolier. At one end a marlinspike, at the other a sail hook. It is equal parts tool, belt, and weapon.
Possessions: The afforementioned tool/weapon, a short knife, and various shiny shells and trinkets hidden in the bottom of a sailcloth sack containing a pan and some vittles.
Rigging Rat: A master climber and a creature at home in swaying branches or stormy rigging.
Small: Her skinny size is sometimes an advantage, as she has been able more than once to pass as a tall mouse to gain access to goodbeast ports. It also makes her ferociously quick and nimble; as there's pretty well no other way to survive being small in a rat family.
Pyrophobic: Pitch hates fire as the result of being trapped aboard a ship that caught fire and sank at sea. She hates even the necessary evil of cooking fires, and large conflagrations might make her panic alltogether.
Small: Pitch lacks strength when it counts sometimes. She does not even lift, bro.
Personality: Quick-witted and clever, Pitch knows the best way to survive being small in a raiding crew is to act even smaller. She does nothing to stand out, deflects praise onto beasts around her, and even acts rather simple. When things go wrong; it saves her life. Other beasts get blamed, when fights break out she doesnt have a target on her back, and when the iron fist of the warlord descends she is quick to scoot the hell out of the way. All the while, she waits at the fringe, ready to pick up the little pieces that no one will miss, watching and learning their secrets whispered in confidence to use to her own advantage.
The smallest in a litter of twelve - twelve! - siblings, Pitch's young life was normal for most rats - scrambling for what food made it to the table, squabling amidst siblings when that ran out, and finally slipping out into the world to steal what was needed to fill her belly. She left on the first ship that would take her and she has been aloft in the rigging ever since. Her small size and nimble limbs made her a natural in the sails, and thankfully most of the brutal drama of the deck level passed her by up there among the clouds and wind. For a time, she knew as close to a sense of peace as a vermin might hope for.
A fire started belowdecks while she was sleeping, and roared through the aging pirate frigate with a speed that overwhelmed the sailors aboard. It was a time of deep pain and panic for Pitch, who was trapped .. well, like a rat .. in a maze of formerly familiar coridoors blackened with smoke, flames licking, dead and dying shipmates clogging doors and screaming below stuck hatches. She was only able to survive by finally brutally clawing and chewing a porthole's wooden ring wide enough for her to rip free, and landing in cold salt water after nearly burning knocked her flatly unconcious. She doesnt know how she came to cling to the floating spar, but she awoke in the morning with the waves slicked with dead pirates and charred wreckage. There was, thankfully, a distant smudge of land, and she kicked herself and her erstwhile floatie to safety.
Now she's hungry again, and looking for a new crew with a weather eye to vittles and violence.
Job: Sailor, Pirate, Lookout
Full Name: Ribbonwhite
Species: Northern Water Snake (albino)
Description: A long, ropey body made up of warm white scales and lightly crossed with brighter silver bands. Typically wears a broad hand stitched leaf over her head, shielding her red-orange eyes from the sun, giving the appearance of a hat or hairstyle. She thinks it makes her look rather dashing… really she just looks like a snake with a leaf stuck on its head.
Possessions: a fine frogskin drum hand-painted by hedgehog hands.
Bard. Excellent memory and recitation skills. Skilled drummer and sometimes poet. Surprisingly eloquent scribe with quill in tail.
Snake. Excellent swimmer, ferociously intimidating, excellent tracking abilities.
- Snake. Sluggish when cold. Carnivore and requires protein meals. No hands to manipulate delicate objects.
- Snake! Instantly considered hostile to all unfamiliar beasts, if not Kill-On-Sight.
- Snake x3. Deaf. Can read lips, but unless her head has contact with a hard surface, somebeast could be screaming at her and she'd have no idea.
Personality: Reserved and resigned to her lot as the tragically heroic outcast…. Or so she'll sigh dramatically. Ribbonwhite is a charming, friendly creature if one can get beyond the obviously offputting scales, lidless eyes, and needled fangs. Except when she is hungry or cold-sleepy - it is at those times instinct overcomes civility, and it's wise to tread carefully.
Hatched with white scales and pink eyes that were at the mercy of the sun, the serpentling wasnt long for the world as is usually the way with those of her kind born so cursed. But when the crows found her and began their deadly assault, something else found the crows.
The hedgehog-marm couldnt stand the beastly black birds. Always yelling, circling, ready to kill as soon as your back was turned. Impossible to live like a civil beast with them around. When she heard the racket, she burst out into the grass, walking stick swinging, to give them a sound thrashing. And so help her, even though their victim was a spitting little snake, she couldnt leave the nearly dead creature to their mercy. She took it home in a reed basket and fed it full of fingerling minnows, intending to heal it and then release it far, FAR away once her concience was soothed.
Weeks later, the serpent she'd come to lovingly call her white ribbon was as tame as a cold-blooded reptile murderess could be; waiting patiently to be fed and curling around the hearth to remain warm, always watching. Then, to the hog's shock, it began to speak, mimicking its benefactor until it came to understand the words' meanings. And so did Ribbonwhite come to be raised by a hedgehog in a story stranger than any fiction of imagination.
She left when she grew too large for the burrow, returning spring after spring to share fish with the hedgehog; the strong young snake able to bring ashore bigger beasts than the aging hedgehog could ever manage. It ended one late fall, after Ribbon had retreated to the earth for a long winter nap. Equally desperate for warmth, lizards from the river stole into the hedgehog's home, murdered the old creature, and took up residence. When Ribbonwhite awoke in the spring, it was far too late for anything other than revenge… but the snake was /very/ good at revenge. To this day there are no lizards on that bend in the river, but home was no more, and the newly civilized serpent found the memories of her strange warm and spiny companion too painful. She gathered the hat that the marm had made for her, and took the drum the hedgehog had taught her to use carefully in her jaws, and left for parts unknown.
Job: Bard, Fisherbeast, hunter of vermin.