Happy Holidays!!! ( Quick RPG One-Off)
((ooc I thought we might take a short break from the canon material for a small bit of fun?
Come one, come all, to a reuniting of friends, old and new, that spans all of time, space, and relationship! Any character may be used, no matter if dead or alive, for this joyous celebration of the season and its happy merriments! This is not canon at all.
It was a quiet, white-flaked morning in Mossflower Woods. The sun shone down upon the barren treetops, rays scattered from snowy branches onto the forest floor. All was still -- the birds slept, not a creature stirred . . . even the rivers were silent, frosted over by the cold of winter. The wind blew ever-so-gently through twigs and stiffened brush, barely making a rustle.
However, in Redwall Abbey, two creatures stirred.
Icefurr stood atop the ramparts, stretching his limbs and taking in all of the beauty of the icy landscape. "Hell o' a fine morning to be alive, isn't it?" he whispered to himself. The older fox's silver eyes swept over the scene before him. "So serene . . . yet ready to burst into a cacophony of life come spring."
A slender, middle-aged ferret, who stood behind him, nodded in agreement. "That it is, old friend," she murmured. Her black fur provided a stark contrast to the pearly whiteness lining the red Abbey walls. "That it is."
Icefurr turned. "I'm surprised that nobeast is up yet . . . 'tis the day of the feast! This should be a morning of excitement!" he declared, yet still retaining a hushed tone so as not to wake half of Redwall.
Citrine shrugged. "It's the calm before the storm." She looked back at the Abbey commons. "Besides, it shan't last for long . . . my son should be up within the hour. It's rather late for him, actually." She dragged a paw across her brow. Under it, she felt the lines of battles past, of worries and joys and fears, each etching its own mark into her body. "I envy his youth . . . not a care in the world, able to sleep with not a single nightmare."
Her friend put a paw on her shoulder. "I wouldn't say without nightmares," he chuckled. "Your child and his friends have seen their fair share of horrors. But!" He stood tall, still remarkably athletic for his 60 seasons. "We shouldn't dwell on the terror of yesterday, but the happiness of today! 'Tis the season, after all." He winked, then offered his arm. Citrine gladly took it, and the two of them made their way down the stairs from the walltop to the snow-covered grass below.
Elsewhere in Redwall, the same sun shone through a number of dormitory windows to wake a pair or two of resting eyes. Or rather, many, many pairs. In couples and trios, alone or with friends, creatures began to make their way out of their rooms and down to the Great Hall, to eat an early breakfast, then begin preparations for the festivities to come. The excitement began to build, growing with every new member of the muted celebrations, until it was no longer muted. Not a sleeping head was left unwaked, not a creature was allowed to slumber. The noise of sheer jubilation was almost solid, it was so thick in the air.
At the center of it? Aodhán Ó Maoilriain, directing every bit of work there was to be done. "You!" he called, surrounded by mice, badgers, hedgehogs, and huge numbers of other Abbeydwellers. His paw had selected a small group that included a few of the Abbey's growing population of Easterners, as well as a mottle-furred mouse. "Go to the Cellars! Drinks and cheeses must be rolled out to thaw!" The old hare's voice carried such authority that the selected creatures -- known as Gilan Wilder, Katsuke of Ishuni, and a small number of Islanders -- took off immediately to do his bidding.
He looked about, then pointed to a few more creatures, assigning tasks -- whether completely at random, or by carefully selected choice, nocreature could discern, but his commands came thick and swift.
"Retrieve the dried harvest from this year's orchard crop!"
"Go to the kitchens to assist the Friar, wot!"
"You there, speak to the squirrels in the Cellars working on the tables for this evening! They'd jolly well best get a move on if they're to be ready!"
"And somebeast fetch me a pillow!"
"Ah've got ye're pillow right here, auld one." Anghan stooped down to hand the item in question to Aodhán.
"Ah, thank ye, lad." The hare sighed and leaned back in his chair. "So much to blinkin do, so little time!"
"Ah ken, Master Dan. That ah do." The wolf chuckled. "That ah do."
Davbank wrapped his thick winter cloak tight around his body. The gray otter stepped down into Cavern Hole, whistling a holiday tune to himself and inhaling the mouthwatering scents of breakfast wafting through the air. He seated himself at a table and greeted his fellow awake Abbeydwellers. Turning to his left, he spotted a familiar black mouse, fast asleep and snoozing on his arms, his head to one side.
Davbank reached over and lightly prodded the mouse. “Oy, Charlie. Charlie! Wake up, buddy!”
The young black mouse stirred on his arms. His eyes fluttered open. The first thing he saw was his best friend waking him. Charlie groaned and lifted his head.
“Mmm, good morning, Dav. What’s going on?”
Davbank chuckled and wrapped one side of his cloak around the mouse. “Ye’re still in Cavern Hole, matey. Dozed off, ye did!” The otter snickered and rubbed his best friend’s headfur. “But don’t worry! I woke ye up just in time for breakfast!”
Charlie stretched his arms and yawned wide. “Ugh, guess I did doze off, didn’t I?” He laughed to himself and jokingly elbowed his pal. “That’s what I get for staying up all night wrapping presents!”
Davbank nodded and passed Charlie a plate, utensils, and a goblet of pumpkin juice. “No worries, Charlie. Yer gift-wrapping techniques are a lot better than mine, for sure! C’mon, let’s eat.”
“Oh, yeah!” Charlie snickered and patted Davbank on the back. “I’ve seen your gift wrapping, it’s atrocious! Pass me them bread slices, please!”
The two amused themselves watching the sight of the other Redwallers scrambling and dashing every which-way to follow the orders of their supervisor, Aodhán. They waved at Gilan Wilder and Katsuke just before they disappeared to the Cellars. Davbank high-fived a black ottermaid passing from the left on her way to help the Friar.
“Mornin’, Melwave.” he greeted her with a flirtatious wink.
The ottermaid Melwave blushed a light tint of hot pink and rubbed the back of her neck bashfully. “Oh...oh, goodness. Good mornin’, Davbank. Can I ‘elp ye?”
“Well, first o’ all, lemme ‘elp ye wit’ that!” Davbank stood up from his table, leaving his cloak with Charlie, and took the ceramic jug that Melwave was holding in her other paw. He balanced it between his palms, centering its weight on the sides. “Now, tell me: ‘ow’s th’ most beautiful ottermiss in Redwall doin’ today?”
Melwave squeaked adorably and hid her muzzle in her palms. “Er...I’m doin’ a’right, I think.” She jerked her thumb at the Kitchens. “Can ye carry that in there, please? Just put it on th’ counter on th’ left side, beside the dandelion juice.”
Davbank gladly obliged and brought the ceramic jug to its proper place. Once done, he returned back outside and to his seat.
“Ya ready for Christmas, then, Melwave?” He asked as he helped himself to a plate of bread and butter.
Melwave, still hiding her blush, squeaked again and rushed her words through her fingers. “Aye, I am ready! Ready as I’ll ever be! I can’t wait t’ give presents t’ everyone, an’ get presents, too! I’m ready, Dav! I-I mean, oh, great seasons...”
Davbank winked at her again. “Well, ye be a good and beautiful little lady all day, and I’ll give ye somethin’ special, how about that?”
Melwave turned away from the male otter, and without replying, sprinted away to the obey the beckons of the Friar.
Davbank and Charlie laughed out loud and restarted on their food.
“That’s priceless!” Charlie wiped tears of laughter from his eyes and picked up his cup of hot chamomile tea. “But seriously, dude! You guys have been flirting all month and you’ve never even thought to do something together yet?”
Now it was Davbank’s turn to blush, and he shuffled his feet beneath the table and cleared his throat. “No. I ‘aven’t. We’ve never talked about it between us. Why?”
Charlie snorted and bit into his bread. He savored the heavenly taste of melted butter, chewed and swallowed. “I’m saying you two really should go out and do something fun together, especially in this season of giving and gifts and holiday cheer! Don’t give me that look, dude!” He furrowed his brow when the otter stared at him incredulously.
“You promised her something special, you’d better actually follow up!”
“But-!” Davbank looked around back towards the Kitchen. “I’m too scared t’ ask ‘er! What if she says no?”
“Ah...” Charlie gandered at his friend encouragingly. But what if she said yes?”
“Whatcha got in mind, then, Charles?” Davbank raised his eyebrows at the mouse. “I’m open t’ suggestions. Speak up, shipmate!”
Charlie lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned in close to Davbank. “I heard tell that the squirrelmaids set up a mistletoe above the entrance to the Gatehouse. I may be wrong, but it’s worth checking out. Take Melwave out on a stroll around the grounds, just you two alone. Talk about whatever comes into your heads: about Christmas, the season, anything! Don’t force it. Let the moments build as they will naturally and go with the flow of them. Follow the energy, Dav. Then, if you end up at the Gatehouse, do what she says about the mistletoe. Whatever happens, you’ll cherish this night forever.”
Davbank took a minute to process Charlie’s advice, chewing on his bread. He looked over his shoulder at the hectic Cavern Hole.
“Okay, Charles. Ye’ve got a great idea. Before th’ nigh’ is over, I’ll ask Melwave out!”
Melwave twirled a knife between her fingers and began to chop vegetables. She focused her attention to the stalks of leeks on the chopping board. But her mind was on the male otter she’d just talked with outside.
“Davbank,” she repeated his name to herself. “What a flirt ‘e is..” She shook her head in amusement.
“He means well, no doubt about that...” she thought aloud under her breath to herself. “Would ‘e ever truly take a humble simple ottermaid like me?
‘E is so ‘andsome, though...”
As if to punish her slight inattention to her task, the knife almost slipped off the leek and onto the chopping board. Melwave instinctively caught it by the handle and placed it back on the counter without skipping a beat. She inhaled and exhaled calmly to soothe her nerves, then resumed cutting right where she’d left off.
“Christmas is a season o’ romance an’ love for most blessed creatures,” she observed, yet again talking to herself. “Quite a number o’ wonderful couples ‘ere at Redwall. Would that I could be one of them! Could Davbank ever love a girl like me?”
She stopped short of the end of the stalk, thinking deeply. She shook her head, this time in disbelief.
“No, ‘e probably never could. I’m not ‘is type, no way. Davbank deserves better than me.”
Entertaining that notion persistently, she finished the leek and continued with the other veggies.
Yay for old characters! Will be playing with my DAB syndicate.
Stella Streamlily bolted awake, it was Christmas Day! The flying squirrel dubbin woke up her brother Timmy. “Wakey up brotha. It’s Christmas!” Timmy groggily rubbed his eyes and sat up, before Stella’s words sunk in. “Oh, boy! It is!” He said gleefully. Together they dashed over to the other dubbins! “Lenny! Sophia! Wakey up! It’s Christmas!” Lenny the hedgehog and Sophia the pika woke up quickly. “Hurry, tell the others!!” She said, and together DAB ran around waking the other dibbuins. The whole group raced downstairs, dodging adults and creatures, causing quite a ruckus! Naturally, Stella was behind it as she flew down from the staircase to the ground. There were advantages of being a flying squirrel! Timmy was close behind. DAB arrived in the great hall, all bumping into each other at the amazing view before them. Abbeydwellers left and right carrying food, decorations and items scurried to and fro. Beasts at the table eating and chatting away. “To thee food!!!” Stella cried and they converged as a small army to the table. Claiming half a table by themselves, they reached for scones and jams, creating quite a mess in the process, but boy did they have fun! Almost all the dubbins has sticky paws, jam all over their muzzles and crumbs down the shirts. But they didn’t seem to notice as they were all talking about what they were gonna get for Christmas!! Stella was also planning on how to raid the kitchens for fresh candied chestnuts, maybe get Mista A to help.
The squirrel sisters Tessa and Jessie were already up and about early in the morning. They met up with Fabiana Arratay, and treasure hunter Dominique Perrie who arrived late last night to join the festivities. They were at the gate, decorating the doorway into the Abby. Tessa and Jessie were up on they wall, handing garlands over the entrance, Fabi was holding the tail end and Dominque was passing up nails and streamers.
“It’s been so long since we’ve been all together!” Tessa said as she hammered in the last nail. “I feel like once a year is not enough.” Fabi agrees, her accent not from this world. “Back home, we would be singing carols and having parties with friends everyday! This is a nice change from busy stressful holidays.” Dominique chuckled. “Less stressful here? You haven’t been in the Great Hall yet. Utter chaos. Especially with the dubbins running around and that Stella.” Jessie snorted, “Don’t go talking like my daughter is a crime boss.” Stella and Timmy we’re adopted as orphans by Jessie about a year ago. She found the flying squirrels cold and alone at the quarry while exploring. “She is inspired by Tessa. I mean she has told me several times she wants to be Abbey Champion, no wonder with the stories that Sister tells her, she has the blown up view that it’s a hero position.” Jessie shook her head laughing.
Tessa hopped down and landed lightly on her feet, she winced slightly as she stood up. The white hair around her muscle showing her age. “Tho this cold isn’t to happy on my joints. My adventures are catching up with me.”
“Us.” Dominique said, “I’m feeling the same way.” She looked at them with her good eye, the other eye under an eye patch. “Come on, let’s hand up the rest, we still have a whole basket of mistletoe to put up!” She have a grin, “maybe we all get a kiss tonight if we spread enough mistletoe!!”
The group burst into laughter and went along, putting the up the rest of the decorations. Tessa saw Icefur and Citrine coming down, “Season greeting friends! Come join us in hanging mistletoe! We already got the gatehouse, now we have to do all doorways!”
Gilan waved back at Davbank and Charlie, but Katsuke was too busy trying to keep everyone in their group from running off. "Cheeses!" he was yelling. "We have to get the cheeses from the cellars!"
"And the drinks!" Gilan chimed in, snatching a tiny Maraulian squirrel from a nearby table before it fell into the nearby bowl of milk and setting it on the ground. "Don't die," he advised the young one before charging after Katsuke.
The big fox was regathering his crew. "Oy!" He caught a rather stocky Kyunan otter by the ear, dragging him along towards the cellars. "No sneaking off!"
Asa huffed and folded his arms. "But I don't want to roll cheeses!" he grumbled, but let himself be goaded towards their destination.
Katsuke looked about and sighed. Everybeast but him and the two others had vanished, avoiding the work at all costs. "Slouchers," he muttered. "Where's Eolin? Everyone listens to him . . . Eolin!" he called, looking over the other creatures' heads. "Eolin, I need help!" Gilan chuckled, but still helped to look around for helpers, keeping a watchful eye on Asa as he did.
Aodhán wheeled his chair to the door, watching everybeast perform their tasks with every bit of the Christmas energy that he'd expected them to. "Bloomin' busy out here, isn't it, wot?" he asked Anghan, who nodded in agreement.
Then his ear twitched, and he sensed yet another couple of loiterers. His paw shot out. It was directed right at Davbank and Charlie, still sitting inside. "Oi, laddie bucks! Laddies buck? No matter . . . go see who's still asleep in the dormitories, quick as ye like!" the ancient hare ordered. He sniffed and looked about. "Which lazy creatures are still asleep, eh . . . oh, there's a couple o' the Brothers and Sisters, aye? And one or two o' those blinkin' Easterners . . . that Etain, if I'm correct? Good thing she's cooled off a bit, wot? And Ms. Sundance, as well as Mr. Shouroki? And mayhaps a Maraulian or two . . . some of those Sandeye spawn." He chuckled. "My, oh my . . . the Abbey's bloomin' fillin' to the brim with Easterners these days," he commented dryly to Anghan, who was completely not listening.
The wolf was watching a few of the Dibbuns make an absolute mess of the tables inside with a rueful look on his scraggy face. "Ah'll have tae clean that up," he murmured.
Citrine smiled gently at Tessa, recalling the squirrel's face from her memories of days gone by. "Tessa, dear . . . I don't believe I had the pleasure of seeing you yesterday." She walked to the squirrelmaid and gave her a hug, then took Icefurr's paw once more to help him down the last step. The old fox shooed her away.
"Awae with ye, young 'un. I can still manage a few measly steps on my own!" He grinned cheekily.
"Young 'un," Citrine sighed. "If only . . . shall we go sit down with old Aodhán there? He seems to be having a good time of it." She snickered a bit.
"Aye, that he does." Icefurr smirked. "Why not just sneak around to the door in the Kitchens? We can snatch ourselves a late breakfast and laze about. I'd say we've earned it," he said with a self-righteous nod.
"Living!" the old fox laughed. "We're elders now, or have ye forgotten?" He giggled like a mousebabe with an armful of candied nuts and started walking.
Citrine shrugged and followed. "You Streamlily girls, and you, Dominique, ye're welcome to join us," she called, as they made their way to the other side of the Abbey.
Joshua Starheart giggled as Gilan scooped him up off the dining table and put him safely on the floor. He admitted he had been a bit foolish to clamber over to that bowl of milk. “I can take care of myself, Mr. Wilder!”
After the mouse had left, he hurried back to the same table and poured himself a cup of milk before the other Dibbuns could make a mess of it - which they did. One of them tipped the bowl forwards, causing it to spill over the benches and chairs around the table. Joshua instinctively hopped backwards, to a distance that not even a single drop jumped onto his fur. He giggled again and drank his own cup contently.
Eolin Sandeye materialized exactly on cue, pulling with all his strength the others in the group assigned to fetch the cheeses from the Cellars. He noticed many of them were anxious and confused, no doubt born out of the franticness of so many things happening all around the Abbey. As they reached the Cellars and began to load up with cheeses and drinks, Eolin opened his mouth, hoping a song would help to lighten the mood. His smooth Eastern bass-baritone voice composed of two-and-one-half octaves flowed along and through the winter wind, charming those who heard it and bringing joy to many a face.
”Forest snow groves, busy snow groves,
Dressed in bright winter style!
In the Woods, there’s a feeling of Christmas!
Dibbuns laughing, creatures passing.
Meeting smile after smile!
And across all of Mossflower, you’ll hear...”
”Silver bells, silver bells!
It’s Christmas time in the Abbey!
Ring-a-ling. Hear them ring!
Hark, it is now Christmas Day!”
He continued the song in their beautiful seasonal lyrics until they returned to Cavern Hole and delivered the cheeses to the Friar and his diligent cooks. He was humble towards the group’s compliments and thanks for his singing to ease the tension and keep everybeast in the Christmas spirit.
He unmistakably picked out Joshua from amongst the crowd of Dibbuns and shook his head in amusement. “Josh!” he called out to his silly little cousin. “Have you seen your sister?”
“Yeah, she’s still asleep!” Josh answered over the noise. “With our parents! Can you go wake her up? I don’t want her to miss Christmas!”
“I’ll go get her, Josh. Don’t worry.” He skipped over the trail of spilled milk on the floor and leaned down to ruffle the younger Starheart child’s hair, then followed Davbank and Charlie upstairs.
“Sari?” He reached the Starheart bedroom and knocked politely on the door.
“Who is it?” replied the voice of his Uncle Christopher.
“It’s Eolin! I wanted to let you know that we’re preparing for the great big Christmas Feast!”
“We’ll be right out, Eolin!” his Aunt Pearl told him. “Thank you for letting us know!”
“I’m done with the hairbrush, Mother!” came Sariah’s voice. “I’ll join Eolin.”
The door opened, and out jumped Sariah Starheart, who fell into her cousin’s loving embrace.
“Good morning, Eol.” She kissed him lovingly on the cheeks and wrapped her paws around his. “Christmas is here! Where did my mischief-making brother run off to?”
“Cavern Hole,” Eolin pointed their interlaced fingers in that direction. “Let’s hurry before he makes any more messes with the Dibbuns.”
The two cousins laughed as they ran side by side back to Cavern Hole.
Davbank rapped on the door of a particular Brother’s dormitory. “Oy, Brother Bartolomew! Wake up! ‘Tis Christmas mornin’, th’ jolliest day o’ th’ year!”
“No more jolly than Nameday Feast, you uncultured otter!” the voice of the waking Bartolomew echoed back in innocent jest. Unoffended, Davbank laughed heartily and moved on down the hallway.
Charlie burst headlong into his parents’ bedroom and practically threw himself onto their bed. “Mom! Dad! It’s Christmas Day! Get up, get up, get up!”
Beneath the bedsheets, Donatello and April immediately awoke and sat up.
“Hush, Charlie, not so loud.” His mother April told off her son and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. She turned to her husband and hugged him round the shoulders. “Come on, Donnie. Let’s not be late for Christmas breakfast.”
“You go ahead,” Donnie kissed his wife and son and swung out of bed. “I’ll gather the others.”
Charlie and April left the bedroom back to Cavern Hole while Donatello went into the next room over. He barged into his brothers’ room completely unannounced.
“Leonardo! Raphael! Michelangelo! Time to move, it’s Christmas morning!”
Almost instantaneously, the former two hopped out of bed and got dressed in their winter clothes. But Michelangelo was buried in his bed and groaning.
“Just a few more minutes, bro?” he asked, burying himself deeper in the warm and cozy blankets.
Donnie snickered and sat down in the bedside chair. “Let’s go, Mikey. No time to waste, bro.”
“I’m so snug and toasty here, dude!” Mikey turned over so his back was to Donnie and his other brothers. “I ain’t moving!”
Donnie sighed in fake resignation. “All right. Whatever you say.” He stood up from the chair and made for the door. “If you stay here, you’ll miss the delicious sponge cake.”
“I’m up!” Mikey sprang to his feet wrapped in blankets and proceeded to dress himself, and hurtled himself out into the hallway calling out for sponge cake.
“Leo, Raph, go to Cavern Hole and see what Aodhán wants done around the Abbey. He’s giving out jobs to everyone. Spread some Christmas cheer while you’re at it!”
Timmy spilled the bowl of milk everywhere. Landing on Stella, Lenny, and Sophia who screamed in dismay. “Timmy! My new dress!!”
“Oh S’phee! Let meh get for you.” Lenny said attempting to dab at her dress. “NOOO!!” Sophie wailed as he knocked over the jam and spilled on to Stella. Who in turned jumped backward and knocked into Joshua Starheart, knocking the milk out of his hands. “LEEENNNNaAAAYY” she cried out. Getting up, “Sorry Joshua!” She said hurriedly before yanking the cup out of his hands and throwing it at Lenny, spilling milk all over him. “ Stella!!” Timmy said shocked, and all mayhem broke loose within the group of dubbins! “This. Is. War!” And breakfast was being thrown between the dubbins, with Stella leading one side and Timmy the other. Sophie was crying about her dress and Lenny was trying to clean up everything. Somewhere a harmonious voice was singing Christmas songs as everything came screeching to a halt due to the dibbuin food war.
Tessa, Jessie, Dominique and Fabi joined Citrine and Icefurr, “you know, that is a wonderful idea. I know the shortcut to the kitchens. We can slip in and out without being seen.” The group trouped to the kitchen, with Tessa leading the way, hidden behind a shrubbery was a small door. She pushed it open and quietly slipped in. They ended up next to the ovens. “Bingo! Come on guys!” She whispered, grabbing some scones, candied chestnuts and a mug of milk before stepping out the way.
The elder creatures followed closely behind their younger companions, and shuffled into the kitchen behind them. "I feel like a naughty young one," Citrine whispered.
"I am a naughty young one." Icefurr stuffed a scone into his mouth and quickly grabbed a few more, and a nearby beaker of strawberry fizz, then followed Tessa out the door. Citrine went to tail the two as quick as she could, but dropped on of her scones. The black ferret bent to pick it up . . .
. . . and looked up at the surprised face of Melwave. "Oh! Ehm . . . hello," Citrine managed around the candied chestnut between her teeth.
Aodhán leaned back in his chair, sighing, a paw over his brow in pure, unadulterated exasperation. "What in the absolute, flippin, bloomin, blinkin, flyin' world . . ." the old hare muttered, then looked up and ducked as a muffin flew over his head. "Watch it!"
Finally, he simply turned to Anghan. "Would ye mind doin' something about this bloomin' mess?" he shouted over the din.
"Aye!" Anghan stood on a nearby table, and promptly howled as loudly as he could.
The sound was earth-shattering.
Down in the cellar, Katsuke and his crew were rolling cheeses and barrels up the stairs. Gilan's ear perked up.
"What in blue blazes was that?" he whispered.
Katsuke grinned. "I think Anghan had enough," he chuckled.
A pair of electric blue eyes opened to reflect the radiant sunlight filtering in through the dormitory's side room window. They turned to the now-open curtains. "Close them the bleeding hell up!" Etain muttered, rolling over and burying her head in the pillows.
"Watch your language, missy." Hinata flopped on top of Etain's back, poking the back of her neck over and over. "Get up, it's Christmas."
Etain groaned and swatted at Hinata's ear.
"Christmas." Swat. "Christmas." Swat. "Christmas!" Swat swat.
Hinata sighed in exasperation, then bodily flipped Etain over and nosed her cheek. "Please get up?" she whispered.
Etain grumbled slightly, but started to sit up, and kissed Hinata on the nose.
And the door promptly flew open. "Eek!" Etain squeaked at the intruder. "Get out!"
It all happened in a wild blur for Joshua. When Stella fell right onto him, he stumbled backwards flat onto his butt. Stella took his cup and threw it at Lenny; he didn’t even protest. Instead, he hopped right back up on his feet, and dodged and weaved through the food flying all around, catching the occasional bite-sized piece of scone, egg, or muffin in his mouth, laughing wildly. The “food war” was growing more chaotic by the second. And Joshua loved it. It reminded him of his younger days as a little prankster in Maraul.
The earth-shattering ear-splitting howl of Anghan finally broke the conflict. Josh folded his ears and held them over his head to block out the noise, but he’d gotten the message. Immediately, he brushed crumbs off his tunic and began to clean up. Eolin and Sariah arrived just in time to help: with their combined quick thinking and tactical organization, the floor and walls were polished, and the tables reorganized. It looked as though there had been no mess at all.
Pearl and Christopher Starheart and Lucas and Aedlin Sandeye joined their families and seated themselves. They were blissfully unaware that there had been a breakout just moments before. Out of the corner of her eye, Aedlin noticed Sophie standing on the side crying about her ruined milk-stained dress. A candle lit up in her mind.
She went over to Sophie and put a comforting paw on her shoulder. “Don’t worry, we can fix this. I’ve got just the thing, wait here!”
Aedlin hurried back to the dormitories and opened up a drawer under the end table in her family’s bedroom. From it she removed a glass container of a special silver Eastern powder and a small towel, then ran back out to Cavern Hole over to where Sophie was waiting.
“Check this out.” Aedlin sprinkled some of the silver powder onto the towel and blotted it onto Sophie’s dress. “Ta-da! No more mess! Good as new, see?” The Eastern powder had wiped away the wet milk and restored Sophie’s dress to its original shining form!
Melwave folded her arms and raised an eyebrow in disappointment. “And what exactly might ya be doin’ here, Miss Blackpaw? Swipin’ bottles like a sneaky kit? How darin’ o’ ya.” Yet she was smirking in genuine amusement. She winked and picked up the scone that the ferret had dropped, and lowered her voice to a discreet whisper. “Don’t worry, Citrine. I won’t tell a soul ya an’ yar naughty gang were ‘ere. On one condition: a small bite o’ that raspberry scone.” She pointed to said scone in Citrine’s right paw. “Just a nibble on a corner, ‘ow about it?”
“‘Ey, Icefurr!” she called out the door behind the shrubbery. “Take good care o’ that there beaker! I need it back later, okay? Bring it back in good condition or I’ll stuff ya in th’ oven wit’ th’ baked veggies!”
“SPONGE CAKE!!!” Mikey came flying into Cavern Hole, spreading his blanket wide so that it billowed dramatically behind him like a cloak, as he practically sprinted into a seat in front of a pan of freshly-baked vanilla sponge cake. The mouse instantaneously grabbed a slice of the cake in each paw...and stuffed them into his mouth!
Donnie, Leo, and Raph all took seats around their sugar-crazed brother.
“Hey, knucklehead!” Raph firmly slapped Mikey’s wrists. “Save some for others!”
“Ow! Dude!” Mikey’s third or fourth slices slipped from his paws, expertly caught by Leo and Donnie.
“Come on, Mikey.” Leo advised his youngest brother. “Look at it, it’s a big cake. There’s plenty for both of us.”
“I’m hungry!” Mikey argued with his mouth full. “We’re hungry!”
“Let him, boys, it’s Christmas.” April pacified the nice and took a seat next to Donnie, giggling. “Pass me the eggs and salt, please.”
Are those two still asleep? Charlie wondered to himself. He knocked on the door to Hinata and Etain’s bedroom. “Hello? Miss Sundance? Miss Weiss? It’s Charlie Hamato. I just wanted to wake you up and tell you it’s Christmas Day!”
No answer for a couple minutes. Charlie pressed his ear to the door. He could hear their voices but not what they were saying. Not that it mattered to him.
“I’m coming in.” He twisted the doorknob and pushed open the door.
”Eek! Get out!”
“Gah!” Charlie jumped almost a foot in the air and shielded his eyes from the sight of the two vixens still in bed. “Sorry! I’m sorry! You won’t see me again!” He clumsily stumbled out of their room and back out into the hallway, shutting the door behind himself. He pressed his palms to his eyes and growled to himself.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Now I’ll never get that image out of my head!
The dubbins stopped in mid fight and all clapped their hands over there ears. “Owwwee! That so loud!!” Stella mumbled. She glanced up and saw Mista A howling as loud as he could. It was a scary site, Stella backed up as fast as she could. “Mista A is mad!” She whispered quickly, her voice shaking to Timmy and Lenny. “We gotta get out of here.” And quickly the three attempted to sneak away, after this they might not get any presents or food. “We hide in the fort until the coast is clear.” Stella said as they scrambled up the stairs to the library, were tucked in a corner was stack books, sheet covering over and many cushions and blankets. They scurried inside and hid under the blankets.
Sophie rubbed her nose and looked up at Aedlin. “Really? It’s me favorite dress..” her eyes looking so pitiful and sad. She waited by the wall for Aedlin who came back, sprinkled shiny stuff on a towel and soon enough her dress was back to before. “It’s beautiful.” She said, admiration in her eyes, “you make wonders happen!” And for the rest of the day Sophie follows Aedlin around, her new hero!
Tessa and crew froze, “No...” Jessie whispered as she pocketed the food from Tessa. Seeing Icefurr and Citrine get caught but then got the all clear to leave. “Better not break anything” Dominique said playing with her hair, she looked like a dubbin that was caught doing something bad. Tessa and Jessie laughed, “Nah, we will bring everything back just as it was.”
She clapped Citrine, “Thanks for not ratting us out and to your Icefurr.” Sitting on a bench under a tree she payed out the candied chestnuts, scones, milk and rolls. “Second breakfast guys!”
((ooc One more round of posts and then timeskip to the feast? It's supposed to be a quickie, after all.
((bic Etain's eye's narrowed. "Mouse," she simply said, before getting up on all fours on the bed, pushing Hinata off. As per usual, she'd gone to bed fully dressed.
"Wait, sweetheart," Hinata started to whisper, but she slipped on the edge of the bed and landed on the floor beside it with a WHOOMF. Thankfully, Etain's weapons weren't anywhere in sight, but that didn't stop the white vixen from full-on launching herself at the doorway, armed with her tool of punishment -- a pillow.
Hinata struggled to stand because of how hard she was giggling at the sight of the fox swinging a feathery pillow in midair at poor Charlie behind the door, which flew open under Etain's furious barrage.
Citrine nodded, grinning like a naughty kit caught with her paw in a cookie jar, and gave the scone to Melwave. "Have at it, young'un," she chuckled. The ferret followed her companions up and out into the snow once more, pulling her cloak tight around her shoulders. The sun shown beautifully through the orchard's trees' leaves. Citrine lifted her face up to the sky, letting the dappled light bounce off her fur and warm her body.
Icefurr took a seat beside Jessie, and accepted the food. "First breakfast for us," he snickered. "Up at the crack of dawn, and not a thing to eat, eh, Ms. 'My Stomach Needs Time To Wake Up'?" With this, the fox sent a pointed glare towards Citrine, who remained blissfully unaware. Icefurr shrugged in resignation and ate his food.
Citrine kept looking up. She listened to the sounds of work and joyful banter from the nearby squirrels who were setting up the tables for the feast, and sighed, a smile on her face. "Tonight will be an evening to remember," she breathed.
Frosted particles of water drifted from her mouth into the cold winter air, joining the clouds that gathered overhead, heralds of more snow to come in the next few days.
Anghan stepped down from the table. The big wolf rubbed his throat. "Ah'd better not do thae again," he chuckled. Aodhán rubbed his wrinkled forehead in despair.
"How are we going to get every bloomin' thing on today's blinkin list done?" he demanded. Anghan shrugged. The ancient rabbit looked at him with a face of pure vexation and said, very slowly, "Well, if we don't, we won't have a holiday feast."
But the wolf wasn't listening, and had already taken off towards the Cellars. "Ah'll be back, ah jus' remembered ah was gon' tae help the Easterners with the cheeses!" he called back as he ran. He threw his cloak by the Cellar doors, stormed down the stairs, and turn a corner to see . . .
One big wheel of cheese, about the size of a healthy squirrel, rolling at full speed between the barrels towards Anghan. Behind it charged Katsuke, Gilan, and Asa, waving their paws frantically and attempting to catch the massive, elliptical dairy product. "Watch out!" they all cried at once. Anghan threw himself out of the way.
With a huge CRASH, the cheese slammed into a large basket of fall chestnuts, knocking them all to the floor, and landing in a large pile of them.
Katsuke screeched to a stop in front of Anghan, bringing his footpaws together and snapping to a salute as his companions dashed to retrieve the cheese. "Mr. Silverfur, sir!" he shouted.
Anghan winced and put a paw to his ear. "Not so loud, young'un!"
"Sorry, sir!" The fox seemed to have gotten even louder. "We didn't mean to lose control of the cheese, sir!"
Anghan flicked Katsuke in the nose. "Weel then, get over there an' help ye're companions, aye?" he ordered. The fox immediately scrambled to help Gilan and Asa. "Odd one, that," the wolf murmured to himself.
tessa last edited by tessa
Dinner time? Dinner time , idk what we will talk about but I’m game with whatever. Not good at keep characters straight tho.
Stella and Timmy walked with Tessa and Jessie. Stella wearing a simple red and green cotton dress and Timmy a green shirt with a top hat.
“Remember manners!” Jessie said sternly to Stella and Timmy but was meant to the group as whole. Stella winced at the stern words. Her mother wasn’t happy what they did this morning, that if it happens again, they would all be sent straight to bed. Stella was gonna make sure she was on her best behavior.
Tessa and Jessie were similar dressed, Tessa wearing a emerald green dress with gold trim and Jessie a deep navy blue with silver trim. Both were excited to go to the feast and chat with old friends.
“Sophie! Lenny!” Stella squealed and raced off to join her friends with Timmy following close behind. The whole group of dubbins swarmed over to Mista A and Aodhan, “Mista A , Aod, tell us stories!!!”
“Holiday stories!!” Timmy climbed up into Aodhans lap and Stella perched on Mista A’s shoulder. Lenny and the others crowded around or clambered up, waiting eagerly for a story. Sophie of course was following Aedlin around, enchanted and still in awe of the ‘magic’ she performed earlier on her dress, telling her all sorts of things.
Tessa and Jessie found a place at the table near Icefurr, Citrine, Fabiana and Dominique. Tessa’s face fell when she noticed her long time friend and secret crush Oliver didn’t make it to the festivities nor his friend Bradley. Jessie gave her a comforting hug before being caught up in the excitement of talking with Mikey, Leo, Raph, Donnie and April, she was fascinated by the group and soon was caught up in the their vibe.
No one seemed to noticed Tessa as she put some hot pepper powder in a pitcher of water, before getting up and heading to the kitchen. Time to put some fun into the holiday. She smiled to herself, pranking always cheered her up. In the kitchen she pulled out a bag she stashed earlier in the cellar, inside was an assortment of things. Rolling up a smaller cask she placed it next to the door, in this cask was very tart cider. Opening her bag she pulled out some scones she baked earlier today, she replaced them, the 'scones' were full of salt instead of sugar, and put the sugar scones on a separate tray for later. Taking the bowl of blueberries she mixed in dewberries, unless you looked closely it was impossible to tell.
Slipping out of the kitchen she went to the huge Christmas tree and rearranged the presents, 'hers' were in front, but instead of gifts it was filled with feathers. When the user opened it, a spring would trigger, spraying them with tons of feathers. Some presents where wrapped multiple times to make it hard to receive the tiny gift placed in the center.
Fabiana was pleasantly sipping her cider, cheeks flushed as she spoke with Icefurr and Citrine, exchanging stories of pervious adventures, her voice full of excitement as she talked about her friends from the other side of the gate, and blushing furiously at some parts. Dominique kept glancing over at Fabi and laughing to herself, as she engaged in convo with the Easterners, curiously intrigued by their homeland.
At feast time, the Islanders poured into Cavern Hole, dressed in their best clothes. Eolin walked between his parents in his best suit: a white-gray plaid and collared long-sleeved shirt with cuffed wrists, ankle-length dress pants, a rainbow-striped necktie, and black laceless dress shoes, complemented by his usual studded Maraulian belt. A small red lederhosen hat sat upon Eolin’s head, a brown eagle’s feather pointed in an eastward direction on the left side; a few strands of his short wavy hair poked out from underneath it.
Sariah entered behind Eolin beside her parents wearing her usual orange silk shift dress, but in place of her pinafore was instead a tan velvet sleeveless vest adorned by her purple linen sash. She wore ruby red high heels on her feet. Her scarlet locks flowed lazily from her hair from side to side as she moved, accentuated by a winter jasmine behind her right ear. On her left side holding her paw, her younger brother Joshua skipped merrily in a suit similar to Eolin’s, smaller with a sea-blue necktie and hickory-brown dress pants. His small tuft of baby hair was carefully combed up behind his ears.
Charlie clumsily stumbled in behind the Sandeyes and Starhearts, his clothes sprinkled in pillow feathers. He’d just come back from a rather “merciless” beating at the paws of Etain Weiss; his chest, back, and shoulder blades rather sore and aching. Etain had barely even let him loose to go change his clothes for the feast. So he tailed the Easterners in his casual clothes, scarcely prepared for the festivities and nowhere properly dressed. When he finally found his family and told him of what had happened, they laughed wildly. Charlie grumbled and helped himself to food, only half-listening to the conversations his parents and uncles held with Jessie.
Brother Bartolomew waved at the Easterners as they descended the stairs into Cavern Hole, and invited them to join his table. Out of the corner of his eye, he spied Tessa up to some Christmas mischief, and shook his head. He’d keep a vigilant lookout for any accidents as the night went on. While he was no longer a warrior, he still had most of the senses, instincts, and reflexes for the job.
He scanned Cavern Hole, searching for a particular face, and his face fell slightly when it did not show itself.
“Do you know,” he asked Eolin and Sariah. “Your friend, the mapmaker. Where is he? I was wishing he would show up tonight.”
Eolin politely shook his head as he passed a bowl of pastries to Katsuke. “I’m afraid not, Brother. He told us last week that he was going to spend Christmas with his magulang, his parents, who live on the northwestern edges of Mossflower.” He emphasized the word in his foreign Islander tongue, so as to teach it to the harvest mouse.
“Ah, that makes sense.” Bartolomew nodded and took up his mug of hot chocolate. “Family comes first. But mind you, I would be greatly surprised if he did show up tonight! Oh, well...” the harvest mouse laid his arms on the table, his paws cradling his chocolate. “One can hope, I suppose.”
“Ina! Ama!” Joshua asked his mother and father. “May I go listen to Tito Anghan and Tito Aodhán tell their stories?”
“Yes, you may, anak.” Pearl Starheart placed a small bunch of her son’s favorite vegetables, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. “But eat these while you listen.”
“Mabuti!” Joshua grabbed his bowl of greens and scurried off to join his Dibbuns beside his two “uncles”.
“If I may ask,” Bartolomew inquired again. “How do you say ‘Merry Christmas’ in your homeland?”
“Maligayang pasko!” The two families raised their drinks high in the air as they spoke their native language heartily.
Aedlin had Sophie sitting on her lap, holding the pika steady while she served both of them dinner and dessert. She laughed and marveled at the things the dear little girl said and enthusiastically hung onto her every word.
Lucas chuckled at his wife being wide-eyed and entertained by the little Sophie, and turned to Dominique. “If you’re interested, Miss, I’d be honored to teach you some basic words in our tongue, and answer your questions about our culture and how the Eastern Islands work.”
On the other side of the Christmas tree, the white ferret Bandit stepped back and surveyed his decorating work, his paws proudly on his hips and his smile brighter than all the candle- and torchlight in Cavern Hole. The adult male ferret from the Eastern Island of Githinien straightened a few of the ornaments hanging from the evergreen’s branches and nodded in satisfaction to himself. He looked over to Jurou Shouroki next to him and raised his fists to bump.
“Darn good job well done, eh? Marvelous tree, too. I don’t know about ye, but I think we foun’ the perfect tree, Mr. Rouki!”
OOC: Tagalog - “English”
magulang - “parents”
Ina/Ama - “mother/father”
Tito - “uncle”
anak - “child”
Mabuti! - “Good!”
Maligayang pasko! - “Merry Christmas!”
"Aye! That we did." A pair of paws met for the best fistbump ever seen in the Abbey.
Jurou was absolutely nothing but smiles. This had to be the best day of the young ferret's life -- for once, he actually felt really, truly happy. He reached up to adjust one golden ornament.
"Well done, Jurou!" Citrine put a paw around her son's shoulders. "I don't believe ye could have picked a better tree in all of Mossflower."
"Thank you, 'ka-san," he chuckled. "Although it was a bit of a reach getting it back to the Abbey, wasn't it, Bandit?" As he and the other ferret talked and laughed together, marveling their handiwork, Citrine Shouroki looked on in wonder. Her son had used to be such a quiet, withdrawn young creature, but seeing him so open with the Abbeydwellers and other Easterners made her so happy. It positively warmed her old, battle-hardened heart.
"I missed you," she murmured.
Elsewhere, Asa and Katsuke were sitting besides old Dan and the Maraulian cousins, digging into their heaped up plates. The Kyunan otter was shoveling down impressive amounts of a large cranberry tart, but not to be outdone, Katsuke had commandeered an entire plate of assorted cheeses, as well as two enormous mushroom and leek flans. "Good stuff, this," Asa managed around a mouthful of berries.
"Aye," Katsuke responded, accepting the bowl of pastries from Eolin. "Mah-goo-lang," he repeated, turning his attention to the squirrels. "Our word for parents sounds so much different . . . ayan."
"Or oyan, depending on your dialect," Asa added.
"True." Katsuke shoved another pastry into his mouth. "Or yurk if you choke on your food right before saying it."
The fox stood to put his food away, turned, and stopped short. "Uh . . . h-hi," he said, his ear starting to turn red and his face heating up. Of all the creatures, why this one . . . ?
Could it be really good holiday luck? He blushed harder. "Um . . ."
"No, no, just one more flower!" Hinata begged as loudly as she could, straining her vocal cords. She was walking rapidly behind Etain as the Arctic vixen stormed towards Cavern Hole.
"Nope!" Her partner had fought tooth and claw for every single one of the six flowers in her headfur, and Etain was not about to give for a seventh. Six was bad enough. "No flowers! No lilies, no roses, no --"
"But they're just hedge bindweed! They're not even that fancy!" Hinata attempted once more to place the flower, lunging forward. Etain sensed it, dropped into a side lean, tripped the other fox, caught her on one arm, lifted her, and they continued their fast pace, now with arms linked.
Hinata shook her head, dazed. "Uh . . . okay . . ." she murmured.
"Fine. Just the one." Etain grudgingly took the flower and placed it in the collar of her dress, just above her heart.
"Th-thank you . . ." her girlfriend managed.
"You owe me." Etain readied herself, placed a paw on the wooden door, and the two opened it and entered the party.
The pair turned heads as they glided across the floor into Cavern Hole. Jurou's eyes widened from across the room. "Woah," he said, breaking off his conversation with Bandit to look.
Hinata wore a long grey dress, accented with red and hints of green for the season, that swirled at her footpaws and gathered at her waist to create a rather slimming effect, yet allowed the garment to flow across her torso to extend into rather wing-like sleeves. Her headfur fell in long, shining ripples down her back, brushed back until it gleamed. Etain, however, was the less glamorous of the two. Her dress only reached her knees, and was simple and white. It was fit to her body, yet still had room for her legs and arms to move freely. The sleeves were long and flowing, like Hinata's, but instead of extending all the way down her arms stopped short just behind her elbows. The six white hedge bindweed blossoms adorned her bluish headfur, tucking it back behind one ear on the side that wasn't cut closer to her head. One silvery pendant glistened on her chest. Her nakkaru were wrapped in white cloths that matched her dress.
"Pfft," Etain scoffed as they passed one Mossflowerian fox who's mouth was unashamedly open. "Get off it." She chucked him under the chin.
Nearby, Icefurr chuckled at the interaction, then returned to his conversation with Fabiana and Citrine. "So, this . . . 'gate' . . . what was it again?" he asked the two.
Aodhán had his paws in the air, gesturing wildly. "So there we were, old Leo and I, surrounded by the vermin!" He slammed both paws down onto the arms of his wheelchair, startling some of the Dibbuns that surrounded him, and almost knocking Joshua Starheart off of his lap. "And . . . not a single one of them lived to tell the tale. One! Two!" He swiped back and forth with an imaginary sword. "Back and forth! Leo's sword cut straight through their leader's sword, and I went in for the kill. However . . . I tripped."
The Dibbuns gasped in horror. "But!" Aodhán reassured them. "I managed to stab him through the footpaw. He and his band of ne'er-do-wells ran off crying to their mummies." The old hare burst into laughter at the memory.
It was just then that Anghan burst into the room. However, he was dressed rather strangely. He wore a big, red tunic and coat, lined with white feathers, with a silly floppy hat on top of the same colorings. His stomach seemed fatter, almost as if he'd stuffed a pillow down the front of his clothes. "Ho, ho, ho!" he cried, gaining the attention of the whole of Cavern Hole. "Merry Christmas! Where are all the Dibbuns, might I ask?"
He was Santa Paws!
(( ooc couldn't help myself
Feel free to be the blind of Tessa’s jokes.
Fabi played with a curl as she considered Icefurr’s question looking at Citrine before saying, “Well, the gate linked my world with this world, reason we don’t know but I did discover that I came from here when I was just a babe.” She shrugged, “but I was never able to get enough information on who my family was.” She glances at the Sandeye family before continuing, “to add, due to my actions, I can’t return to my world or o face death.” Pulling out a locket she opened it, “this is my best friend Louis and this is my adopted brother Renvi.” She smiled fondly at the picture. And then unfolded a smaller picture. It was worn and tattered but could see a whole group, “This was my extended family when I was in the military, or army.”
She closed it, “On the bright side, if the gate never happened, I would of never met any of you guys! Especially Citrine.” She gave her a hug and said in a mono tone. “Unfortunately due to treaty reasons, the gate has been disabled, its whereabouts shall remain unknown to those who seek it. Sorry Icefurr, my lips are sealed.”
Timmy and Stella held each other, eyes wide at the story, “Nooooooo!” They gasp as the story continued but then laughed at the ending. “You defeat em bad guys with stabbing in foot!” Stella mimicked the action with Timmy falling over in mock pain. He stopped when he saw Santa Paws coming in!! “Santa Paws!!!!” He shrieked and the rest of the dubbins scrambled over to Santa Paws. “I was really good this year!!!” “Did you bring me any presents?” The questions coming from all directions.
Sophie was eating desserts, telling Aedlin about her snowball fight yesterday. “Then it was like wham! And a swoosh and Timmy went down, then I had to fight back and then Mista A joined, and the easterners came, and tis wa-“ She said waving her arms around as she told her story to Hero Aedlin. She stopped as Santa Paws came in, squeaking excitedly she clambered down, tripping on her dress, “I be righ’ back Ms Aedlin!” But she managed to dash over to Santa Paws!! “I’m ‘ere Santa Paws!!”
Dominique nodded, “Oh yes please! I love learning about different cultures and dialects.” She scrunched up her face, “Ok, how do I say... ‘Hi, how are you? My name is Dominique. Goodbye.’”
Tessa popped up from the other side of the tree, “I think it’s the best yet! You guys outdid yourself this year.” She got distracted as ‘ Santa Paws’ came in. “This is my cue to enjoy the festivities! Better grab some scones.” And scuttled off.
Jessie broke off from her delightful conservation to tousle Charlie’s hair, “Cheer up the fun is about to start!” She said, pointing to Santa Paws.
Taking a drink of water from the pitcher. “Ugh, yuck!” She said and spat out the water back into her cup, “my mouth is on fire!!!” She said fawning her mouth grabbing the pitcher of water that Tessa spiked with hotroot and chugging it, that didn’t help either. “Dying..” she gagged, coughing into a napkin. “Tessa!!!” She snarled under her breath looking at her sister disappearing into the kitchen. Thankfully she found an ‘untainted’ pitcher of water which she gracefully chugged while spooning honey in her mouth.
Davbank watched fondly from his table as Melwave brought out a new pair of bowls of baked vegetables. He swallowed his bite of hotroot soup and wiped his mouth with a napkin. He nervously stood up, his eyes locked on Melwave.
Come on, Dav! Ye can do it! Just grit yer teeth an’ do it! It’s now or never!
He left his napkin by his plate and began to make his way casually towards Melwave, who was standing back up.
Melwave turned over her shoulder to see Davbank shuffling awkwardly towards her. She suppressed a giggle and turned her whole self to face him. “Hello, Davbank. Can I help ye wit’ anythin’?”
Davbank cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “Miss Melwave, um...Well, I just wanted t’ let ye know that...erm, after th’ Feast, I was plannin’ on talkin’ a walk around th’ Abbey Lawns, in th’ snow. Nothin’ special, just a casual little stroll in th’ snow t’ burn off all th’ food I ate. Anyway, what I mean t’ say is...I’d like t’ invite ye t’ accompany me. Would ye be interested in a walk around the Abbey grounds...wit’ me?” Why did he have to go red now? Why?!
Melwave felt her breath catch in her throat. She was surprised that she was hearing from Davbank. But it took her only half a second to figure out - he was asking her out, on a date!
She rapidly gathered her wits and smiled brightly at Davbank, as bright or perhaps brighter than the fires that warmed Cavern Hole. “I would love t’ accompany ye on yer walk, Davbank.” she accepted in a genuinely affectionate tone. “That would be a wonderful experience, an’ a perfect en’ t’ an already wondrous Christmas nigh’. My answer is ‘Yes’, Davbank!”
Davbank sighed in relief and dropped his paw from behind his neck. “Thankee, Melwave. Right’ after th’ Feast, then?”
“Perfect, Davbank.” Melwave nodded in acceptance. “No better timin’.” She swung around on her heels and winked flirtatiously at the male otter. “I’ll see ye later, Davbank!” And she took off back to the Kitchens.
Davbank exhaled again in relief and went to return to his table. He was silent and stoic, but his face betrayed a noticeable excitement and shining blushing triumph. He was going on a date with Melwave herself! His feelings were indescribable, even to himself.
I did it! I actually did it!
A table away to his left, he saw Charlie sulking in his chair, covered from head to toe in feathers. Davbank snickered; Charlie noticed and gave him a dirty look, sticking his tongue out. Davbank snickered again and pointed to himself, then to the Kitchens (into which Melwave had just disappeared to fetch the last bowls of the baked veggies), then his thumb and pinky, indicating two together, and finally a thumbs-up, smiling. Charlie’s face brightened, and he grinned back at the otter in congratulations. Davbank nodded his thanks, sat down, and began to serve himself another helping of the hotroot soup. Charlie, his mood improved, began meticulously picking the feathers out of his fur; he’d change into more proper winter clothes later.
Bandit watched with a glowing ear-to-ear smile as Citrine congratulated Jurou, and he thanked his mother in return. “Aye, ‘twas quite a fussy reach indeed, Jurou, gettin’ it back here.” He chuckled and put his paws on his hips, nodding proudly at the tree. “Evergreens can be real stubborn. But, our determination an’ perseverance won us th’ day, huh? That’s what th’ Christmas spirit does! It gives ye strength an’ energy beyon’ anythin’ ye can imagine.” He brushed evergreen leaves and a thin layer of snow off his clothes.
“Hm? Whatcha lookin’ at?” He looked in the direction the other ferret was staring, and his eyes also grew as round as the sun at the approaching festively-dressed vixens.
“Wow...” Bandit could only say breathlessly. “My goodness, they look like angels!” He remarked once he had collected himself.
Bandit dug into a box of leftover candy canes, pulled a pair out, and then rushed over to Hinata and Etain. He bowed very gentlemanly and offered the vixens the candy canes, one in each paw.
“Merry Christmas, my ladies! Bandit of Githinien, at yer service! May I offer ye lovely vixens some candy canes t' whet yer appetites an’ fill yer hearts with Christmas cheer?”
Joshua sat on Aodhán’s lap, transfixed and awed by the hare’s story. Wide-eyed and captivated, he idly ate his vegetables in small pawfuls like popcorn. When the hare slammed his fists down on his lap, he nearly fell over but caught himself at the last second, using his squirrel reflexes to straighten up and maintain his sitting position. When the hare arrived at the part when he stabbed the vermin in the footpaw and drove the rest away, he laughed out loud with the others. Aodhán smiled, picked Joshua up under his arms, and put him neatly down on the ground.
Joshua finished his vegetables, put his bowl back on his table, and rushed over to “Santa Paws”. He waited patiently in line while the other Dibbuns told the overdressed wolf what they wanted for Christmas. When it came to his turn, he perched on Anghan’s lap and whispered his discreet request in the wolf’s ear:
“A new set of jewelry-making tools!”
Aedlin visualized the snowball fight as Sophie described it, imagining snowballs flying everywhere and hitting everybeast from every direction. She laughed at Sophie’s descriptions of whamming little Timmy with her snowballs, while they shared a plate of custard cake. She also stopped at Santa Paws’ entrance and smiled at the pika. “Go ahead, little one.” Aedlin watched the child pika fondly as she ran off to go meet Santa Paws, coming right after her nephew.
Lucas nodded at Dominique’s question. “An excellent inquiry, miss. First of all, our Eastern tongue is purely phonetic, so you would speak the language as it is written and structured. Also, make sure you pronounce your ‘a’ vowels long and wide.
‘Kumusta ka’, is the traditional greeting in the Eastern Islands; it can mean ‘hello’, ‘how are you’, or any number of similar things.” He took a drink of his pumpkin juice before continuing.
“Alternatively, you can say it as ‘Kamusta’, an inversion of sorts. But fundamentally, it is all the same.*
Now, to introduce yourself, say, Ako si Dominique.’ Technically, this translates to, ‘I am Dominique’, but it gets the main point across.” Another drink of pumpkin juice to keep his throat moist.
“Finally, ‘goodbye’ is ‘Paalam'. Pa- remember to say your ‘a’ vowel long - aa - treat this syllable and the one before it as two separate ones - lam. Paalam! Goodbye!
In full, you’d say it like so: Kumusta ka? Ako si Dominique. Paalam! ‘Hi, how are you? My name is Dominique. Goodbye!’”
Lucas exhaled. “Whew, that was long-winded! I should be a teacher, shouldn’t I? I hope I helped you, Dominique!”
Antellia the orange-brown vixen sat on Katsuke’s left, dressed in her usual outfit: an elegant long-sleeved purple robe patterned with red dots over a black blouse and a violet skirt formed her slender and smooth body. She sat with one elbow on the table, her chin cupped in her paw and smiling brightly at fiery-red fox beside her. She giggled at the hot blush that colored his ears and cheeks.
“Hello, Katsuke.” the Ishuni vixen reached out and flirtatiously stroked the back of Katsuke’s paw. “How you doing, handsome? I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas.”
She took a sweetroll from the table and put it into the Senshan fox’s mouth. “Have you had enough to eat, Bakuchiku?” She spoke his nickname, “firecracker”, with a tone of endearment. She stroked him under his neck and chin. “You’re so cute when you blush.”
Antellia couldn’t help but giggle as the fox’s face grew redder and redder. Just the experience of seeing one of her old friends - not to mention her being an early adolescent crush of his at one point in time - filled her heart with merry Christmas joy.
OOC: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bqa_3NS7h_s. Just watch this. It’ll save your sanity. Trust me.
*Technically speaking, there is no real difference between kumusta and kamusta. The former is the correct spelling, but the latter is more casual.
((ooc Alright, I think that in the next couple posts we should bring this one to a close, we can come back later if we want, but I do believe that canon material is demanding our attention as well as the Never Ending Party. However, we can come back and continue it if the wish to do so arises.
Katsuke's ears turned even redder. His paw tingled where Antellia had touched it, and he blinked rapidly, the epitome of embarrassment. "I -- er --" he started to stammer, but was cut off by the beautiful vixen placing a candied roll into his mouth. "Mff!" he tried to protest, but bit down anyway.
Food is food.
He tried to swallow and talk some more, but then came the final blow -- Antellia's paw came up to his white-ruffed throat and drew itself up to his chin with a soft, slow stroke. "You're so cute when you blush," she giggled.
Katsuke's ears turned an unnatural shade of bright pink, his tail stood straight up, and he started purring at a rather mollifying rate. The poor fox stood and promptly tripped backwards over a bench, landing on his behind with a THOOMP. "I-I-I, er, uh," he blabbered. The Ishuni was beyond flustered.
From the other side of the room, Etain spotted the interaction and tugged on Hinata's sleeve. Hinata turned away from the chivalrous Bandit to the white vixen, who was grinning wickedly. "I've got the most horrendous idea," she whispered, pointing to some mistletoe hanging above the main mantle of Cavern Hole. Hinata's eyes widened, and she nodded and started to chuckle uncontrollably as her girlfriend walked quickly to the mistletoe and unpinned it. Etain snuck up behind Katsuke, who was still stammering, and winked at Antellia.
She then held the mistletoe right above the unaware Bakuchiku.
Hinata started giggling even harder.
Jurou stood beside Citrine, still looking at his handiwork on the tree. His mother placed an arm around his shoulders, and he leaned into her. "You did very, very well," she murmured. A contented smile spread across Rouki's face, the first in a long, long time.
He turned and looked up at his mother's face. "Mom . . . I feel like . . . l-like I haven't s-seen you in c-centuries," he stuttered, tears starting to gather at the corners of his dark eyes. Citrine tilted her head slightly, confused, as he started crying more. "I --" He struggled to keep himself together. "I feel like I won't . . . won't see you again . . ." He buried his face in her tunic, and started to sob.
The emotions of the last five years had all come crashing down on the young ferret's head in one torrent of pain and sorrow. It poured out as tears upon the fabric of Citrine's clothes, who clenched him closer to her body, determined to make him feel her presence. "I'm here," she murmured gently.
And Jurou felt happy.
Anghan laughed heartily at Joshua's request, and nodded his big head up and down. "That can be arranged, little lad!" He lifted the young squirrel off of his lap and turned to a bag behind his chair, opened it, and reached in. "Naow . . . Santa Paws happened to a'ready ken whae it was that ye wanted, on account of mah magic powers," he said with a grandiose wave of his other paw.
He promptly pulled out the tiny jewelry-making tools that Eolin had supplied the other day, and placed them in Joshua's paws, then turned to the next Dibbun (Sophie), grinning at Joshua's sounds of pure joy.
Happiness was almost tangible in the great chamber, the Christmas cheer floating on the air like wisps of dandelion seed, or flurries of snowflakes. Aodhán sat up straight in his chair, taking the position of head of the table in the Abbot's temporary absence. "Attention! Attention, please!" he called to the whole room. When everybeast was silent, he turned to the tree. "I'd like to call upon a number o' creatures tonight, to share in the saying of grace. One from each o' the nations, in fact, that we have represented here tonight. And we've got a bloomin' load o' them," he chuckled. He wheeled away from the table and pointed at creature after creature, naming them one by one.
"Anghan Silverfur, from the Northlands."
"Lucas Sandeye, from Maraul."
"Tessa Streamlily, from Redwall."
"Bandit, from Githinien."
"Asa, Etain, and Antellia, from Kyuna, Kanneki, and Ishuni."
"Dominique, from . . . well, Martin knows jolly well where." Laughter.
"And Brother Bartolomew, one of our oldest members at Redwall Abbey."
The hare raised his ancient paws. "May goodwill rest on this Abbey, and all of its creatures," he intoned.
Anghan nodded, and stood from his chair. "Ah donnae have the fanciest o' graces to say," he started apologetically. "But ah do hae one from mah homelands." And he spoke.
"From the great north, tae the warm south
From sungen song, tae word o' mouth
Let grace an' goodwill to creatures below
Bely the whole o' this land covered with snow."
Each creature named had a grace from their home to say. Etain said a prayer in the Kannekan dialect of Senshaan.
Asa said one similar, yet modified for Kyunan monks.
Antellia caught the half-eaten sweetroll when it fell from Katsuke’s mouth and returned it to its plate. She didn’t bother to hold back a fit of giggles at his sheer embarrassment and gasped when the poor red fox tripped backward over the bench. More giggles came at his flustered clumsiness, a heavenly sound enchanting Katsuke and ringing in his ears like silver wind chimes.
“Oh!” She raised her eyebrows in surprise at the sudden appearance of Etain dangling a mistletoe. She bowed respectfully to the other vixen. “Thank you, madam.”
In stark contrast to Etain’s wicked smile, Antellia’s smile was warm, comforting, and beautiful. She knelt down, her knees on the floor, and crawled on top of her male counterpart as appropriately as possible. When he opened his mouth to protest, she pressed a soft finger to his lips.
“Shhh…” she softly shushed him in a tender and calming whisper. “You don’t need to say a word, sweetheart.” Leaning down and closing her eyes, she planted kittenish kisses on his cheeks.
Antellia drew away and straightened up, sitting on the floor in front of Katsuke. She stroked his white-ruffed neck and chin again in a more caring and friendly manner.
“Merry Christmas, my Bakuchiku.”
Bandit couldn’t help but snicker as Etain dangled the mistletoe over Katsuke’s head, and he nearly fell over onto the floor from laughing at loud at Antellia kissing the orange fox. He straightened himself and shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, I’ll just put them righ’ here, eh?” He placed the candy canes on a table between a pair of plates, in plain sight where the vixens could see them.
He kept his distance from Jurou and Citrine out of respect, keeping his head low and averting his gaze to the floor of Cavern Hole.
Bandit looked down to see Joshua Starheart coming up to him, holding a small burlap pack of jewelry-making tools and glowing as bright as the Christmas tree.
“Joshua!” Bandit knelt down on the floor to talk to the little squirrel boy. “Batang lalake, did Santa Paws give ya those new tools?”
“He sure did, Kuya Bandit!” Joshua opened up the burlap sack and showed Bandit the tools that Anghan had given him. His face glowed brighter than the fires warming Cavern Hole. “New files, beading pliers, hammers, magnifiers; the whole lot! All forged of real Eastern metal!”
“Wow!” Bandit chuckled and marveled at the brand-new jewelry tools, holding and turning them over and over in his paws one by one as Joshua showed them. He returned the last hammer to the squirrel boy and patted him on the head. “That is a magnificent Christmas gift, Josh! Don’t forget t’ say Salamat t’ Santa Paws, eh?”
Joshua nodded and turned around to call to Santa Paws, who was helping Sophie. “Salamat, Santa Paws! Thank you!”
Bandit laughed again and picked up Joshua, hoisting him onto his shoulders and bringing him back to his family.
Joshua sat between his sister and cousin and bit into a small scone, and promptly spat it out. “Yuck! Blech! Uck! It’s full of salt! No sugar!”
Wait a minute. Salt!
“It must’ve been Ate Tessa! This is definitely something she would do! Salt is part of her signature!” The little Eastern boy was laughing hard and rocking in his chair. “Yep, that’s her, all right!”
He hopped off his chair and ran to find Tessa hiding behind the Christmas tree.
“Ate Tessa! You were having a prank-fest and you didn’t include me?” He put his paws on his hips and pouted, pretending to scold her.
“Oh, what did she do this time?” Eolin asked, appearing beside his cousin. He knelt down to examine one of the Christmas presents and lifted its decorated lid to take a small peek inside.
The present exploded in the squirrel’s face, showering him in white feathers from head to toe.
Joshua exploded into full-blown laughter, falling onto the floor and kicking his little legs in the air while pointing at his older cousin, who was looking very peeved at being pranked so cleverly. Feathers inside a Christmas present! The nerve!
Eolin returned to his chair covered in feathers and grumbling under his breath. Charlie saw the Eastern squirrel caught in the same predicament he was only an hour ago trapped in himself, and snickered shamelessly.
“Now you know how I felt!” he called out to Eolin.
Everyone immediately gave Aodhán their rapt attention when he called for particular beasts to say their grace. They applauded respectfully as each one gave their grace. Bartolomew joined Bandit and Lucas in front of the tree.
“Well, like Anghan,” Bartolomew began with humble honesty. “I have never been skilled at writing or reciting graces. I am a former Champion of Martin the Warrior, that is true. But I have never been a poet even in my life before being called by Martin. Nevertheless, I will do the best I can.” He folded his paws together, bowed his head, and recited a classic Christmas prayer known by all and beloved across Mossflower Forest.
Eolin, as the Abbey knew of his unique singing talent, sang a short verse and chorus of a favorite Christmas carol from the Eastern Islands in the native language (despite still being covered in feathers). Bandit, not musical himself, recited a sacred Githinien seasonal chant. Antellia added her prayer in Ishuni.
OOC: Batang lalake – “little boy”
Kuya - "older brother"
Ate - "older sister"
Salamat - "Thank you"
Just keeping it simple since I cannot write poetry or song lyrics to save my life.
tessa last edited by
“Kumust ka? Ako su ummm si Dominique... paalam!!” She said giving a smile and wave at the end and giggled, “oh that harder then I thought but really fascinating!” She was about I say more before Aodhan stood up to say a toast. At her name Dominque have a gruff cheer with the biggest smile, “yhar! I come from where the stars meet tah sea!! Cheers to ya good fellow!”
Sophia sat on Santa Paws lap, “Santa Paws! Santa Paws! I wanna dress, just like Aedlin!! Please??!” And out of the sack, came a beautiful dress, “ekkkk yay!” Sophia squealed in excitement. “A’Linn, lookey I got a dress like you!!” And ran over to Aedlin, with the biggest grin on her face.
Tessa gave a big wink to Joshua, “ah come on, didn’t want to take away Santa Paw time. It’s pretty huge that he came.” She ruffled his hair and whispered, “Next time, now watch your cousins face.” She watched Eolin pick up a present and stepped back a few steps as the package exploded feathers all over Eolin. “A hahahaha! gotcha good I did!” She said wiping tears from her face. “That’s what you get for peeking at presents!” Unable to control her laughter she leaned against the wall, clutching her stomach and sat down next to Joshua. “The look... on his face... epic.” She said between laughs.”
At the sound of Aodhan calling for attention she attempted to control her laughter, which ended up being snorts and chuckles into the folds of her dress as she listened to the toast. “A very good year my dear friend” she thought. “Time for me to skip out of the feast. I’ll just stay here.” She said peeking out from the Christmas tree and into face of Badger Mum. “Aww hi.” Tessa said sheepishly before she was grabbed by the ear. “Ow ow ow, no badger mum, please, it was all in good fun, nobody, ow, got hurt.”
“No feast for you. young lady! You ought to know better then to cause chaos for Christmas dinner.”
Tessa tried in vain to escape, and to her relief Jessie hurried up to them, “it wasn’t all Tess!” She said quickly, “the present explosion was my idea! Please badger mum, ‘tis the holiday.”
Badger mum looked at the two squirrel maids and gave a wicked smile, “alright, In holiday spirit, I won’t send you to your rooms, but you will have to clean up after the feast. And clean I mean everything.”
Tessa and Jessie’s face went from shock to dread. “Yes ma’am.” They said before heading towards the kitchen. Once out of range from badger mum they broke into fits of giggles, “so worth it.” Jessie said, slinging an arm around Tessa. “Merry Christmas sis.” “And to you also!” Tessa hugged back before they disappeared to the kitchens to start cleaning up.
Jessie and Fabi smiled at each other, “til new adventures and more stories!” They said enthusiastically after the toast and prayers where done.