Sheep's Clothing: Honesty or Mistrust? (open)

Nighttime.

What should disturb this peaceful time of quiet and darkness, when goodbeasts sleep and replenish their minds and bodies through soothing sleep?

~

An otter made his rounds, making sure that that stream bank on the eastern side of Mossflower was safe from intruders. There had been no misadventures or tragedies on that bank for nearly half a season. The trees were silent; no birds were stirring in the cool night air. The otter made but little noise, not wanting to disturb others or cause a false alarm.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a small branch shake slightly. Readying his javelin, the otter drew closer, halting a tailslength away from the branch in question. Behind him, a young acorn fell from its tree, plopping in the leaves with a dry crackle. Startled, the otter turned around, brandishing his javelin, searching for a target: something to challenge.

"Calm down," thought the otter to himself, "You're getting worked up o'er nuthin', now just get back to yer post!"

As if in response, he was grabbed from behind by strong arms, and, before he could so much as shout in surprise, a dark, gloved paw clamped itself around the otter's muzzle. Some sort of drug must have been applied to it, because the otter found himself dragged unwillingly into the realms of deep unconsciousness. As his thoughts blurred, a thought occurred to him,

"Will I ever come back?"

After this, the otter's eyes closed, and all was black….
~

"Does anybeast know where Stanley got to? I didn't see him get back this mornin'" Called Ma Greenswift as her many relatives scrambled about on their duties.

The Greenswift abode was up and at 'em early in the morning, but things were not exactly running like clockwork..

OoC//: I'm sort of distracted at the moment. If you can work off of this, more power to you, but, if not, I'll add more later.

"I ain't seen hide nor hair o' 'im, Ma," responded the closest otter in hearing range, one of her sons, "He likes to be alone, and, although I admit missin' breakfast is a little stretch, ye can bet yer apron he'll be back fer the midday meal."

"I certainly hopes so, Clarence, but I can't help worryin' for him." Ma responded, still uncertain.

Clarence the otter picked up the bundle of wood he had been carrying, and hoisted it over his shoulder.

"If'n it makes ya feel better, Ma, I'll search around for 'im after me chores. Big bro'll be back afore we know it."

"Thank you." said Ma, slightly consoled, but, as Clarence left, she still couldn't shake the feeling that something had gone wrong.

Sure, Winston enjoyed his privacy, and basked in his independence, but he had never been away for more than a few hours. Today, as the sun rose higher above Mossflower, Ma Greenswift saw not the forest she had grown in, but trees possibly concealing silent and sinister dangers..

A hare with a black spot over his eye was cutting some rosemary with his sickle, when he overheard the conversation of an otter. He walked into the clearing where they were. "I'm sorry, madame, but I was hoping I could help you with your problem. Oh, sorry Madame, pardon my manners. I may be the famous Black-Eyed Guardian Angel, but I still have manners. My name is Lorsaine, better known as The Black Guardian Angel, or the famous Wandering Healer of Mosswood. So, how may I help, wot?

OOC: Thanks for the help

()()(//: You have a good start, but there is a thing or two you need to consider. Firstly, however small a detail, is the otter had blacked out before he could squeal or scream. Secondly, and more importantly, the time has passed to the morning. It's hard to start writing in the tense of had been(past perfect in case you need to know).

Not criticizing you, but perhaps your entry point could be shifted.

Also in case you didn't know already, you can edit posts at will using a button at the top right corner of your post.

I'll be waiting.

()()(//: A bit of an eager start..
  Regardless, let's get this thing moving.

BiC//: Ma was puzzled at the abrupt appearance of the hare, but regained her composure the same moment.

"A hare! And here of all places! Well, er, welcome to the Greenswift neck o' the river, Mister Lorsaine…. As you probably heard, one of ours has gone missing for a short time, and we're looking fer him. We'd be most obliged if you helped in searching for Winston. Clarence will join in shortly, but he's doing his necessary load."

She was reluctant to ask help of an almost stranger, but on the inside she felt a nervous panic, brought on from her motherly care. She also had heard that hares were extremely apt for that kind of job, or so it was said, and she wanted a search to go on as soon as possible...

"I'm sorry, perhaps I'm a bit forward, but it's not like him to go missin' for so long. Winston was last known to be patrolling the northern bank.." Ma trailed off, self conscious of putting so much trust in one she hardly knew..

The healer stood and listened to the woman. He could tell she was a little nervous about letting him help her find her son. He was, of course, a very large hare, and seemed that he may be the one who might of hurt her son.

"Thank you mam,don't worry about your Winston chap, I'll save his life or find him or stop whatever is happening, I will! Or my name isn't Lorsaine Krumpet Junior! Oh, sorry for shouting. I get excited a little easily. I'll wait for wats his name, Clarence, or I can leave right now. Whatever you wish."

Man, I need to stop getting so excited! Lorsaine thought to himself. Well, I haven't had very much excitement out in the wood. People Have started learning to heal themselves. Also, the problems he now got were usually just a dibbun who had eaten a poisonous berry.

At that moment, Clarence returned.

"Clarence! How are you back so soon? You couldn't have possibly finished your work yet?" the otterwife exclaimed.

"When Roughbank heard, he immediately insisted on taking me chores an' sending me to tell you I'm off…" After he saw the hare, Clarence continued, "Who's he? I didn't know we was expectin' guests."

"No, Clarence, we weren't, but Mister Lorsaine here overheard and volunteered to help search for Winston."

Clarence Greenswift turned and nodded, extending a paw to Lorsaine, "Glad to have someone else aboard, Lorsaine. Let's get goin'." Grabbing his javelin, whick was leaning on the wall, he shouted a small farewell and the two were on their way towards the northern bank.

Lorsaine replied to what Clarence was saying. He grabbed his sickle, and straightened it out. They walked along the riverbank, looking for a trace of Winston.

"Well chap, it seems you have quite a nice family down in your home. Are they always so bally nice, wot? I wish I had such a nice family. I only know one living member of my family. It's my sister. I don't see her very often, though."

He looked around a small bush, and noticed that it had been disturbed, as if something was hiding inside it. He looked around, and found the footprint in the mud of a weasel. Next to it were some footprints, and they seemed to be of an otter. It looked like he or she struggled for  a moment, then stopped.

"Hey, Clarence, it seems that we've found a bally clue! What do you think it means? Should we find some others?"

Clarence stooped over the tracks. He reassured his kneeling position by supporting himself on his javelin.

"These weasel tracks are awfully smudged, as if they turned in place.. come on, there's got to be somethin' else here! If vermin were involved, they'd probably leave a traceable trail somewheres around here… look, there's a javelin!"

He ran over, picking up the strong wooden weapon. Clarence ran his paw slowly up and down the javelin, feeling the scratches and grooved in the shaft.

"Aye, this is Winston's..."

A black vixen darker than a moonless cloudy midnight had been sneaking along through the woods towards the last stream she could remember coming across, a simple landmark that tended to have an ample supply of resources in both food and drink as well as an obvious route of travel.

"These weasel tracks are awfully smudged, as if they turned in place.. come on, there's got to be somethin' else here! If vermin were involved, they'd probably leave a traceable trail somewheres around here… look, there's a javelin!"

Avalon’s eyes grew fully awake from their slight tiredness of walking back to the stream when she heard the voice. The vixen ducked down into the shadows of a tree and listened further "Aye, this is Winston's…"

Avalon popped her head around the tree creating a reflection of light from her dark eyes as she looked at the otter and hare. She blinked and gave a slight smile though nervousness of the hare still echoed in her voice “Oh.. Hello?”

Clarence literally jumped at the sight of the vixen. He brandished his javelin and kept his left footpaw under Winston's javelin.

"W-who are you? Did you see Winston? What are you doing around here?"
Questions like a rushing wave flooded his mind….

~~
In the deep recesses of the eastern forest, other matters were at hand

"So you've gone and started this little game of yours."

"It's no game, I'm serious this time, and it's not like I answer to you, anyway."

"I'm saying it could have been done at a better time."

"My time is the best time. I'm superior in skill, after all."

"…fine, but if this goes awry, many of our lifestyles will be at stake."

"Huhahahaha! Trust me. As long as it's in my paws, you won't have to worry."

When Lorsaine heard the voice, he jumped. He was surprised by the vixen, popping up ever so randomly. Vixens were supposed to be good with herbs and such, though he didn't trust her at all. He had never liked vixens. They were really sneaky.He turned to Clarence and said quietly:

"Never trust a vixen. That is one of the rules I live by. They are always conniving. A vixen is the one who poisoned Lord Unsung the Merciful."

He picked up his spear, and was ready to lunge it. He paced around the vixen, and asked:

"What is your business here? What do you want? And if your going to rob us, that is a jolly insane idea. I may be a healer, but I give one of the best fights you ever saw!"

"W-who are you? Did you see Winston? What are you doing around here?"

Avalon shook her head like a dibbun caught with an open jar of candied chestnuts “I know not of this Winston you speak of….. I apologize for surprising you, I am…”

"What is your business here? What do you want? And if your going to rob us, that is a jolly insane idea. I may be a healer, but I give one of the best fights you ever saw!"

Avalon’s eyes riveted their sights on the spear as the hare circled aggressively causing the black vixen to stutter “W… We, we came here as explorers iv… if we wanted to fight we wouldn’t just walk up to s… some random beast and say hi! How ru, rue, rude of an introduction.”
The black vixen put a paw to her throat and started rubbing it as she shivered “D, d, d, do ya, yie, you, re, re, really have to point that at m, meh, me?”

OOC: You don’t mind if I introduce both of them do you?

A dark wolf hiked his way through the woods, his fiery orange eyes constantly surveying the area before him. His ears and tail were tipped with white, and he was wearing a blue trench coat, a black pair of trousers, and a matching cotton shirt.

His body was sore from a rough night's sleep, his dreams plagued with the face of his murderous brother, Kadan. He had set out from Redwall to search for him, his current direction taking him to the edge of Mossflower River, where they have had reports from passing visitors about possible vermin activity in the area. He had empty hopes that his brother could be near here, steadily building up his vermin forces.

The sounds of rushing water reached his ears as he neared the river. He could smell its natural inhabitants nearby, and started to sneak his way along the underbrush. He observed the otter residents as they went about their tasks. Being a wolf, he knew alerting his presence would cause him unnecessary delays, and the humiliating task of explaining himself as being a good beast. He proceeded further downstream until he started to distance himself from the otter settlements.

As he heard voices up ahead, he crouched low and carefully approached them. He peered at the speakers through the branches and leaves of a nearby bush. They appeared to be good beasts for the most part, although he wasn't expecting the hare. The hare wasn't nearly as conspicuous as the black vixen, who appeared to be a newly discovered encounter.

((Takes place before Bel's last post))
"What is your business here? What do you want? And if your going to rob us, that is a jolly insane idea. I may be a healer, but I give one of the best fights you ever saw!"

Kyrodo couldn't help but stifle a chuckle as he listened to the hare brag about himself. It had been a while since he'd last observed the colorful personalities of hares. The last time he'd ever experienced such was when he decided to make a visit to the great mountain of Salamandastron ages ago.

Clarence narrowed his eyes and adjusted his grip on his javelin as his mind debated on what to do.

"She could be sincere: just a traveler passing by."
"Or a conniving traitor. Remember what Lorsaine said."
"Maybe she knows what became of Winston."
"True, but what if she's here to do more?"
"Keep your friends close…enemies closer. We couldn't attack now without being unjust murderers, no better than we make her out to be."
"Looks like you've arrived at a course of action."

Clarence's eyes lit up with understanding. Aggressiveness was not just in this case, and if woodlanders did not wish to be just, who would? His decision was made. Clarence tapped  the tip of Lorsaine's spear, lowering it. A gentle glance from Clarence was enough to reassure the action.

Turning again to the vixen, he asked,
  "You don't know anything of these tracks, or what became of my brother, Winston?"

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