A Winder Reaches Mossflower
OOC: Open to whoever feels like replying xD
The bright sun stretched its rays across Mossflower, wiggling its fingers through the trees of the forest with hope of touching sweet soil. Mossflower was silent, despite the fantastic weather. It was odd how on such an amazing day the forest could be condemned from life. Yet, at the same time, it was understandable. After all, on the war-torn isle of Villenth, it didn't matter how gorgeous the day was; the forest could be silent as the grave. Unfortunately, this also meant it was a giant grave for unfortunate beasts.
So, to Kaden Winder, the self-exiled vermin prince from Villenth, it was just another day. The awkward silence that surrounded Mossflower didn't effect him in the slightest. In fact, if it did anything at all, it made the traveling insomniac weary. The blond furred weasel adjusted his black coat uneasily, realizing it was only attracting whatever heat crept through the tree tops.
His lost gray-blue eyes were half open, unamused, and showing every sign of a desire to sleep. The vermin yawned weakly. Sleep. It called to him unmercifully. Kaden had to fight it though. Growling to himself, he grabbed his arm and dug his claws into it, forcing himself to stay awake. Three long days Winder. You've been awake three days. You're looking to set a record. He thought smirking to himself.
The weasel scanned the forest as he walked. He hadn't eaten since the day before and that was breakfast. To make matters worse, judging by the heat and the position of the sun, it was noon. It was only going to get hotter. Sleep called for him once more. His stomach roared in hunger. Shaking his head, he forced himself to continue onward. Unfortunately, like all beasts, the more one doesn't sleep, the more psychotic one becomes. The insomniac groaned as his trail began to mentally fork. His eyes began to betray him. Knowing all too well he was losing his mind from exhaustion, he realized it was time to answer sleep's call.
Taking off his coat, he revealed red, blue, and black tribal tattoos that lined his arms and torso. The weasel shook his head once more, trying to prolong the his sleep for just a little longer. Taking his sheathed curved longsword, Duskbringer, off the belt on his jacket, he dropped it next to a tree. The weasel then proceeded by laying the jacket up against the trunk. A moment later and his body had forced him to the ground with his back up against the tree.
Slowly, he grabbed Duskbringer and pulled it close. In his other paw, he held onto his sheathed dagger on his waist belt. A couple minutes of sleep wouldn't hurt, right? Remember, you're a vermin in the eyes of everyone here too. He warned himself before drifting into a dark slumber. Effected by his final thoughts, the tired weasel dreamed…
_"Mother," a young Kaden whimpered.
"Yes my Kaden," a beautiful yet aged weasel dressed in elegant robes and jewels asked softly, taking her bruised son in her arms.
"Why?" He inquired weakly, not caring to elaborate.
"Why what my child?"
"Why are we this way?" The young beast not much older than a dibbun cried. His older brothers had once again "sparred" too hard.
"Because it is our nature…We are vermin." She responded, looking hurt by her own words. The young child looked up at her, lost, confused, and feeling cheated. To this day, he still felt cheated..._
A young wolf strolled through Mossflower Woods happily, the sights and sounds of the afternoon forest life soothing to her ears. She absolutely adored the woods, and would more often than nought spend the night in the shadows of the trees, or even in the branches, the ancient wonders bringing comfort to her through the night. Though she was quite fond of Redwall Abbey, she would much rather spend her time exploring Mossflower.
Temperance Macayle was a young wolf at the tender age of twenty-one. She was of average size and build, if you could call a wolf walking on two legs that is roughly the same size and height of a twenty-one year old woman, that is. However, years of training as a soldier had left her toned and taut, and she was corded with the muscle and sinew that it takes to make a good soldier.
Though she looked normal, she was a fairly peculiar sight to behold: her fur was a light tan, or beige if you will. Her ears and tail were a beautiful mahogany color; she also had patches around her eyes that were the same hue. That and, the fur from her elbows down to her fingers, as well as from her knees to her toes, were the same. She had a lovely shade of strawberry blonde hair that she kept back in a messy bun; her bangs were tapered, the shortest strands just above her eyes, the longest down to her chin. Her eyes, were probably her best feature. At the present time, they were a beautiful shade of blue-green. These she kept open wide and curious, taking in the many sights that she loved so much.
Once upon a time, when she was fairly younger, she was a mercenary-for-hire. Now, she was just a simple rover. She wore a loose traveling cloak, the material a creamy off-white color. Underneath, the garment hid a pair of twin sabers that were strapped to her back. The blades were simple, but well crafted. The hilts were bound in black leather, and opals were incrusted in the pommel. The olive green tunic she wore was….in tact, for the most part. The sleeves on the garment had been torn off many seasons ago, said shirt ending just above her navel. A black leather belt held up the baggy black pants she was wearing, these too ripped in several places. She also sported a pair of black boots, a dagger concealed in the left one, it's hilt the same as that of the twins she had.
Temperance hummed softly to herself, closing her eyes momentarily as she felt the warmth from the afternoon heat. She finally opened her eyes, and was shocked to see that she was possibly a hair's breadth away from tripping over some slumbering beast. On closer inspection, it was a curiously colored weasel.
Avalon looked up at the apples dangling from the limbs of the tree high above her, the black vixens eyes seeming to be glowing with a feeling of happiness as she threw on of her knives up into the air. Avalon was rewarded by an apple falling to the ground just in front of her footpaws, the blade still sticking halfway into the fruit. Avalon knelt down to pick it up and frowned suddenly getting the instinct to look up “Ohhh boy.”
Avalon’s left eye closed while the right stayed open as an apple landed on her noggin and a few others hit the ground around her “I need to stop throwing so hard, keep hitting the branch with the hilt.”
Avalon stood up and tilted her head slightly seeing a wolf standing with its back to her in the distance.
Winder's eyes twitched with every step closer that she made. His dream had made him restless, causing him to slip closer and closer to consciousness. The closer he got to consciousness, coincidentally, the closer Temperance had gotten. Finally, the last poke at his sleep was made when she was close enough to the point that she'd step on him.
The weasel mercenary's eyes snapped open, and his gray-blue eyes were wide open. Kaden growled to himself and rolled away from the trunk, ignoring his jacket. With one fluid motion, he finished rolling and hopped to his footpaws. Unfortunately, his brief sleep still left him weakened and dazed. Hunger gnawed at his remaining strands of energy. The weasel slumped up against the nearest trunk, and slowly unsheathed Duskbringer. He held it low, his energy mainly being used to focus on what exactly was going on.
The dazed weasel's eyes wandered up and down the wolf. She was vermin. Like him. He was safe, in theory. She was armed, but she didn't look like much of a killer, or at least what he perceived to be a killer. The weasel panted, shaking his head and trying to focus his vision. What does it take to get sleep? He thought angrily.
Kaden's gaze narrowed, examining the wolf more. He was lost as to what he should say or even really do. She obviously wasn't a real threat so far. If she wanted she could have just killed him and taken his stuff in one quick movement, but instead she almost stepped on him. Growling in disbelief, and hoping it wasn't an illusion due to the lack of sleep, the weasel spoke.
"What are you doin' eh?!" he scowled, "need to watch where you're going…" Kaden murmured at the end, still debating what he should do.
He was about to speak once more, but the dazed weasel found himself shocked to see another figure, Avalon, in the distance behind Temperance. Slowly, he looked to Duskbringer and then back to Temperance. Maybe he was in trouble?
Temperance arched an eyebrow and crossed her arms across her chest. "I need to watch where I'm going? Methinks you have this backwards, Sir Weasel. You need to watch where you're sleeping. Dozing around all sprawled out like is fine and dandy, but when you're snoring away in the middle of a path, one could only imagine what would happen."
She eyed his blade for a moment, then looked at the creature himself. To put it bluntly: he looked like death warmed over. But she had no doubts in her mind, that if he really wanted to use the blade he probably could, even in his weakened state. "You have no need for yon blade Sir Weasel, I am no threat to you. You are in fact the lucky one; methinks the vermin in this area would have made short work of you if they were the ones to stumble across you, instead of I."
Temperance, being a wolf and therefore classified as "vermin", always thought the best of creatures, no matter what species. She believed, that if she could be a goodbeast, anyone else could be. She was, however, wrong about this theory on occaison. She continued to study the weasel, unaware of the fox behind her.
Avalon picked up her throwing knife with the apple still stuck to it and looked at the wolf, if there was one way to find out if a beast was friend or foe this was it… well atleast one of the ways
Avalon began walking towards the wolf, who was blocking her view of the weasel, and held her throwing knife back as she shouted (though not hostilely) at the wolf “Ahoy, catch!”
Avalon flung her throwing knife forward but didn’t let go of it sending the apple spiraling off the blade at an arc which would land it in the general area of the wolf.
Kaden's gaze only narrowed more, and his cold eyes became more frigid at Temp's first remark. The weasel was about to take a step forward, but she had spoke once more. His ears flattened in disbelief at what followed. She mentioned something about vermin in the area making short work of him. One, he smirked at that and thought it was foolish of her to say something so "absurd" in his mind. However, the weasel deduced something that made his spirits lift ever so slightly.
He was hesitant at first, but eventually, Kaden sheathed the elegant blade he was wielding, and slumped back up against the tree. His half open eyes looked to her, before peering at the ground. His ears flicked up, and he realized Avalon, the figure originally in the distance, had begun approaching. The weasel slowly leaned up of the tree, and went to go pick up his coat.
"Yeah, sure. Thanks I guess," he murmured, pulling on his coat, hiding his tattoos. The weasel was a little cold in his response, yet there was a slight hint of sincerity.
The weasel wasn't focused at first, completely forgetting Avalon as he slipped on his coat. However, after he heard Avalon yell, the weasel snapped to full awareness and held out a gloved paw.
" 'ey! Watch out!" He yelled to Temperance, hoping the wolf would turn around. His tired state made him unaware of the fact she had just thrown the apple.
Temperance turned around and saw the apple, though she wasn't quick enough to catch it. Instead of hitting her full-scale in the face, it bounced from inbetween her ears and flew behind her. The juicy fruit hit the weasel on the head, bounced back up, hit the trunk of the tree, and landed to rest right between his ears.
Temp rubbed the top of her head ruefully and turned around, seeing the shiny red fruit. She removed it from the top of the blond weasel's head, studying it for a moment before she turned to look at the fox. Her eyes moved from the fox, to the apple in her hand, then to the weasel. She couldn't help but giggle. "If it weren't for yon fox, I'd say the tree was trying to tell you something, Sir Weasel."
Avalon looked at the wolf and weasel then raised an eyebrow upon Temperance’s comment “Heh… So what are two beasts like yourselves doing out here looking at each other?”
Avalon sheathed her throwing knife and put her other paw on the side of her lower torso.
The little event happened in a blur for Kaden. The blond furred weasel realized it was the apple that had taken flight, after it struck Temperance between her ears. However, the exhausted traveler was unable to stop the things that followed. In the end, the apple had ended up on his head after striking it.
Before he could even think, Temperance had removed the red fruit and spoke. She even laughed, something the weasel was not used to. To him, jokes were cruel, vile, and in many ways violent. His brothers only knew such jokes, and thus so did he. "Sure, I guess." He whispered, turning away.
Avalon then made her approach, and the weasel was perplexed. Standing out here looking at each other? The weasel scoffed at the idea of it. He had to keep moving, and find a place to rest. Shaking his head, he held up a gloved paw, dismissing the very idea of a conversation.
"Nothin'." He put simply, his voice emotionless. The weasel buttoned the mid button of his jacket, slipped back on the sword belt, and slung Duskbringer over his back. "You two 'ave fun, I need to…leave." The weasel spoke, unsure of what to say.
"Actually, I almost tripped over Sir Weasel." Temperance said to the fox. She polished the apple on her cloak and took about bite out of it, smiling a juicy smile. "Mmm, 'tis just right."
Then she turned her attention back to the weasel, a slight frown creasing her brow. "Pray, what is the matter Sir Weasel?" She studied him, and went over his demeanor and emotions in her mind, perplexed by it. What could have happened to this poor creature to live him so? Perhaps there was more to this weasel than she first thought, and she was determined to get him out of his shell.
"Come, help me with this beastie, miss." Temperance stopped him in his tracks and pulled one of his arms around her shoulder. "It is not safe for you to sleep out here, methinks you'd be better off in a cozy bed where you're out of danger." she looked at Avalon and motioned for her to take the other side with her head. "It will be easier if we both escort him, Miss Fox. I know of a place where he can rest easy." Providing he didn't attack her of course.
Avalon’s left eye opened wider as Temperance motioned to her “No, escort yes but get in close, no. I’m not getting near that blade, besides I don’t want to make him feel restricted… its not like he’s going to try and run, unless… No what an absurd thought.”
Avalon took out a throwing knife and tossed it in the air neatly catching the blade between her paw toes as it fell before twirling it “Well I suppose I could stick close but I want to be sure that neither of you will go trying to lob my head off, especially him… he looks edgy, tired but edgy.”
The weasel found himself once again, unable to stop Temperance from pursuing her actions. At first, when she approached, he had shut out every last word she said. It was like going through a funnel; sure the words stuck around for a bit, but in the end, they all leaked out. Or simply, they went in one ear and out the other. Kaden merely pursued on, almost stumbling at times.
When she asked what was the matter, he simply raised up a weak paw, mentally shoving her off. Before he realized what she was about to do or implying, she had taken his one arm and slung it over her shoulder. The mercenary's eyes widened, and he growled fiercely, his right paw grasping his blade hilt, but he stopped, and very hesitantly lowered his paw.
Tired. Weak. Frustrated. No matter how hard the weasel tried, he couldn't bring himself to fight her or say anything in response. He merely nodded, and mumbled curses to himself. Why was she helping him? And furthermore, where exactly did she plan on taking him? The questions scrambled his brain and only made him more tired.
When Avalon spoke, the weasel brought up a snarl. His cold gray-blue eyes locked on her and he went to reach for his blade, her words greatly angering him. However, once again, the weasel stopped himself and shook his head.
"Ya can bite me," the weasel scoffed at Avalon. She was right though, he was tired, and very edgy.
I'm losing time. What if they know I'm here? I'm so… tired though. The weasel thought hopelessly. His half open eyes found their way to the sky thanks to the weasel tilting his head. What was to become of Kaden Winder, prince of the Winder family, and most importantly, "vermin".
Temperance didn't realize she had been holding her breath, until she let it out. She almost sighed in relief, but decided against it. She shrugged her shoulder at Avalon and went on down the path, calling back to her after a while.
"Do not be so quick to judge negatively miss. You could have quite easily slain me while my back was turned to you, and Sir Weasel could have killed me at any time, even in his state. Yet, here I am, right as rain." The Abbey was the first place she had in mind, but she was not completely sure that that would be a good idea. Nevertheless, she hoped the fox would change her mind. While the young wolf was very strong; Sir Weasel was rather heavy.
Avalon followed the wolf and listened as she spoke. The black vixen waited until Temperance was finished before commenting “True, but how was I to know you two weren’t putting on a show… Now that I see his attitude and heard your explanations for having encountered each other I’m reasonably sure you two haven’t met before though.”
Avalon looked closely at the weasel who was facing the sky with a look that indicated his thoughts were drifting “Is something bothering you… besides us sir??? Err, say what are your names anyway?”
Kaden was silent. His mind was wandering. It traveled through the strands of time back to his mother once again. He thought of days when he wasn't running all the time. Back when he could literally do whatever he wanted and face no repercussions. Well, almost whatever he wanted.
The weary blond weasel's ears perked slightly at Avalon's words. He realized too, that Temperance had asked him what was the matter too. Silently, he just shook his head. Ignore them Winder. The weasel scowled to himself thinking about the dreaded day. He wanted to sleep beyond all belief. A bed sounded like a grace!
Maybe he should try to suck up to them? After a moment of thought, he still decided against it. Kaden had to stay on the move. His brothers would hunt him to the ends of oblivion for their father, and bring back the weasel's head. Yet, when he thought about that, he thought about his mother, the only person who cared about him. Well, maybe there was someone else. Borus, the mouse slave who forged Duskbringer for him. No, nevermind. The poor beast probably hated me 'till his dying breath.
Then, the weasel was dragged out of his thoughts by the name question. He just wasn't going to be able to think peacefully would he? The weasel grunted and sighed.
"Kaden. And nothing is wrong." He growled, letting them both know he didn't want to be asked about his thoughts, quite rudely. As for their names, he technically didn't care. Regardless, he knew he'd end up receiving theirs. How far is this bloody place?
Temperance noted the growl in his voice, and smiled slightly. "Temperance Macayle. But you can call me Temp or Mac, it does not matter which. A pleasure to meet you, Sir Kaden."
She decided that the best place to take him was this little abandoned cottage she stopped at from time to time. She'd found it a while back, and took a shine to the place. Over the months she patched it up and restocked it, replacing all the furniture in it and making it quite a cozy little home. Temperance often sent travelers and friends there when she knew they would be in the area, opting to share the little home. Though she didn't claim it, it was essentially her very own home. "I am taking you to a place where you'll be able to rest fully and have a decent meal. Yon cottage is not much further from here, so please bear with me until then. I am going as fast as I can, but you are quite larger than myself, Sir Kaden."
"Temperance Macayle. But you can call me Temp or Mac, it does not matter which. A pleasure to meet you, Sir Kaden."
Avalon knew by Kaden’s tone that he was lying about nothing being wrong but decided not to disturb the weasel any further and instead commented to Temperance “Well good day to you Temp, my names Avalon Sure-eye.”
"I am taking you to a place where you'll be able to rest fully and have a decent meal. Yon cottage is not much further from here, so please bear with me until then. I am going as fast as I can, but you are quite larger than myself, Sir Kaden."
Avalon inspected Temperance and Kaden who she was carrying “Heh, I know for a fact that…”
Avalon stopped deciding not to insult the weasel “That I wouldn’t have the strength to carry him and his sword… heh I can barely fight weasels paw to paw let alone carry one!”
Kaden rolled his eyes as the two spoke. Although he didn't particularly care, he did find himself mentally jotting down their names and faces. Temp and Avalon? The weasel sighed and tried his best at this point to stabilize himself a bit more, and help Temp out with the journey. His eyes searched their surroundings for the cottage. A meal and rest sounded divine. His ears perked and a little bit of peace came over him.
Sure, he didn't like his predicament. Sure, he needed to keep moving, but at the same time, maybe the weasel was wrong. After all, he had such a head start maybe he could take advantage of the possibilities that were starting to unfold. Sleep, eat, rest. Maybe then find a place for a week. After that I should be fine to keep moving, the weasel thought eagerly.
However, like a tortoise, he retreated those thoughts and himself into his shell. After all, they couldn't really be trusted. They would be helping him now, but when things are on the line, a vermin regresses. Or, so Kaden thought.
His right ear rose while his left flattened. He wasn't quite sure what the Sir Kaden thing was about. It reminded him of home when he was royalty. Oh, the things he could do. The weasel smiled almost cruelly at the thought.
Then Avalon spoke once more. The weasel's eyes averted when she stopped herself. Obviously she wanted to say something originally, but stopped herself. Aye, hold your tongue. He thought ruthlessly.
When she finished speaking, the weasel rolled his eyes. Were weasels a threat in this particular area? Heck, he still didn't even know where this was. Sighing, the weasel looked between the pair.
"Sure. Where are we anyway?" The weasel asked uncertainly.
"Nice to meet you too, Miss Avalon." Temperance veered off the path and took them farther into the woods, skillfully bypassing bushes and low branches. "We are in Mossflower, Sir Kaden. Judging by that question, you are not from here. I will not pry, you do not have to go into detail. Ah, here we are."
As they entered a clearing, a quaint little cottage came into view. The establishement looked very cozy, and welcoming. "You are welcome to stay here as long as you wish to, you will be safe. I do not really claim this to be my own, per say, but I guess if you get right down to it, this is my house. That being said, my home is your home, so long as you don't have the notion to trash it, Sir Kaden." she smiled slightly as she pushed the door open to the cabin.