Wandering Soul Far From Home (Ana, Braelyan, Shadow Flame)
Murky plashets of rainwater dotted the muddy ground underfoot, like a naughty dibbun overeager to eat had slopped his morning porridge over the table. The trees themselves seemed as if they were weeping, droplets of crystal clear rainwater clinging desperately to the tips of lush, green leaves. Sunbeams valiantly attempted to muscle through a sky asphyxiated by ominous black clouds, almost snuffing out the sun like a candle around bedtime. In spite of the seemingly dank and melancholy appearance, there was a certain serenity to Mossflower after a bountiful rainstorm. Wildlife sang gaily at the reprieve of the weeping heavens, and bounded fleetingly from tree to tree, announcing their joy.
On the dirt path below, Lina Eagleye pressed onward in the direction of Redwall abbey. The mud caked her footpaws, and each step was accompanied by a moist squelching sound, the very ground groaning under paw. The hunter green hood of her sopping wet cloak was drawn up, having been shielding her lithe body from the brunt of mother nature's relentless berating.
The squirrel looked up, her heterochromatic eyes catching the looming, crimson wall stones of Redwall in the distance. A delicate smile creased her lips, her eyes glistening with a newfound hope and determination. She had been everywhere Mossflower had to offer, except here. Lina never had visited Redwall, and she could nary think of an excuse as to why she hadn't. She simply speculated that she had never had the time, as pathetic an excuse as that was. Today, that was going to change. The ranger pressed ever forward, knowing Redwall became that much closer with every step.
It had only been approximately ten minutes, and there she was. The mighty walls of Redwall towered above the squirrel, making her seem an insignificant ant to the magnificent structure. She felt her breath whisked away from the recesses of her chest, and suddenly her heart twinged with the regret of having never visited before. The staggering beauty of this place was awe-inspiring, and only now did Lina realize what it was she had been missing out on.
Just feet in front of her stood the gatehouse, its giant, oaken doors sealed tightly shut, and undoubtedly locked. After regaining her composure, the squirrel took one deep breath and yelled a single announcement to any passers-by or guards who may be on the other side.
The Abbey was a quiet place, with many of the inhabitants doing their duties, and avoiding the dreary rain that washed over the red sandstone walls. One beast in particular, who laid on the infirmary beds, was quite bored with it all. The day prior to this, he returned with Bradley, Redwall's champion, after a long and grueling journey. Their journey with Jared to the far side of the country proved to be tough, even for the bed ridden warrior.
Oliver Swiftstream, the large squirrel warrior, was feeling off for once in his life. He was usually happy and cheery, but his frequent bouts of bloodwrath during the battles really took it's toll. He quickly sat up, inspecting his bandaged muscular body while feeling the aches, the pains which were caused by his travels.
Oliver slowly stood up, making his way toward the door while trying not to catch the attention of the infirmary keeper. He eventually made his way out of the Abbey building before walking up the walltop stairs. That's when he noticed a figure out in the woods. "Who could it be.."
Braelyan Swiftstream had always viewed rainfall as a blessing. After the rain, fish were always more active, easier to catch… and the sounds of the world recovering after a storm were peaceful. All right, so Braelyan couldn't hear it as well here at the abbey as well as he had many seasons ago, back in Mossflower, but he could remember, and his memory was just as sharp as it had always been.
He let his mind wander as he sat on the still-damp grass a few inches from the edge of the pond, his dark eyes staring into the clear water. He didn't fish here, had decided to leave the pond's inhabitants alone soon after he'd come to the abbey so long ago, but watching them slip through the water had always calmed him. It helped him relax and think a little more clearly about the small family he'd left back in Mossflower Woods, and, as usual, he wondered idly if leaving had been the right choice. But then he thought about the friends he'd made during his time here at Redwall, and didn't feel too bad anymore.
He wasn't sure how long he sat there, staring into the rippling water, but he was dragged from his thoughts at a shout. Normally, he would have ignored it, but there was something almost... familiar about that voice. Of course, he couldn't just ignore it then, so Brae pushed himself up to investigate. It took almost no time for him to get up to the top of the wall surrounding the abbey, peering over the edge at a shockingly familiar face - a squirrelmaid he'd met before he came to the abbey. Lina, wasn't it? Amazing with a bow, hadn't missed a single target he'd pointed out. Good to see she was still alive and well.
"Well aren't ye a sight for sore eyes!" he called down, grinning broadly. " 'ang on, I'll let ye in!"
Another bright smile played upon Lina's lips as she laid eyes on the otter on the ramparts just above. How pleasant it was to see Braelyan again! It had been too long since she last saw him, her sojourn to his abode a brief one. They had talked and laughed, and she had come to grow fond of the beast in their brief time spent together. She hadn't expected to see him so soon again, and at Redwall of all places. How had he wound up here?
"Brae!" she announced cheerfully, rushing over to the barred doors of the gatehouse. Her heart bounded with excitement, her paws raising to her head to pull down the hood crowning her head. The crisp, damp air was a welcome feeling to her, having been tucked away inside of the cloak for the better half of the day. She bobbed up and down rhythmically on the tips of her footpaws, waiting with unchecked anticipation for the doors to swing open.
The large squirrel looked over and saw Braelyan peering over the edge, greeting the newcomer fondly. "Ah, so 'e knows this new creature." He said quietly to himself. Oliver looked back over the wall from his end and saw the figure come closer. Before he knew it, she was in plain view and close enough to see clearly.
Oliver's dark green eyes scanned her features, her height, her size, the possessions she carried that were in view. Her bow caught his attention as well. He hadn't seen such a wonderfully crafted bow in a few seasons now. He noticed her eye colors, something he hadn't seen before in a creature. He was somewhat stunned by her appearance, she was a pretty looking warrior in his eyes, which made him feel a little nervous.
"I wonder what 'er name is? I think I'll just let Braelyan let 'er in fore now. Then I'll introduce myself! I 'ope I look presentable, I'm all bandaged up an' look like a mess." He kept talking in his mind, as he moved away from the wall top, making his way down the other side.
Brae hurried from the walltop, noticing Oliver only as he passed and flashing a broad grin at him. "Glad to see ye up an' movin', Oliver!" he said as he scrambled down the stairs and ran for the doors. He hadn't been so excited since… well, since the last feast, honestly. Redwall's feasts always excited him. But this, this was far better than even a great Redwall feast! He hadn't seen Lina in so long, after all.
He pulled the doors open, just enough to allow Lina to slip through, and wrapped her up in a tight hug. She hadn't changed too much since the last time he'd seen her, and hadn't grown an inch either. He could still easily lift her off her feet, which he did. "Me favorite brushtail!" he said cheerfully, laughing as he set the squirrelmaid back on her feet and pulled back to look at her. He reached up and tweaked her left ear, the one with the tip cut off. "Missin' a few parts, but what's a bit o' ear? Come in, ye must be tired."
OOC- Don't mind if'n I do!
IC- Lipton thumbed through his book thoughtfully, reaching for that darn apple with his left hand. It was morning and the abbey was peaceful right now. Not like he was going to get much time to himself after daytime rings tolled from Mathias's bell. Dawn. Best time of day.
Rain pattered against the Great Hall's window-panes and he subconsciously smirked. The tinkling created an unfathomable vibration in the air that almost wasn't real. He full on smiled. Like Magic Rain was good. Rain was happy, in a painful way. It pulled gentle memories from your unforgiving past and found you wrapped up in a corner. If you were lucky, with a good book next to a fireplace. And worthy vittles. Almost like a good apathy. That's what rain was. When you became old, you learned to appreciate such things. Small things count, because you can't very well look forward to small-time adventures anymore.
The smell of half-cooked grits wafted from the open kitchen door and stole the better part of his attention. He continued to read, but the poetry lost potency. His eyes grazed the words thoughtfully, but absorbed almost nothing in return. The abbey would awaken soon to Friar Jetwing's savory smells. The book spine drooped and he raised his aged snout to meet the aromas. Eyesight, hearing, memory, a leg, all that is expendable. But may I never lose my snout or my maw. Food… is happiness.
Almost on cue, the one-legged mouse heard beasts chatting right outside his door. The door grated open and he glanced at the party with disinterest.
Lina couldn't help but giggle jovially as Brae embraced her tightly, lifting her up off the ground in spite of the fact her cloak was soaked. It took the squirrel no time at all to shed the from her body, hanging the garment up on a wall peg to dry. The rest of her body had remained dry during the course of the storm, as well as the yew wood bow strung across her back.
She half flinched, half dodged as Brae flicked at her left ear. She shook her head playfully with a smile on her face before responding.
"Thank you," she started, "Don't mind if I do." The ranger stretched her limbs, head pivoting this way and that. Truth be told the rain made the air slightly nippier than usual, and she sought a nice fire to curl up next to should the opportunity present itself. Her stomach grumbled softly, though Lina herself showed no outward signs of being hungry.
"What are you doing here, Brae?" she inquired curiously. "Last I saw you, you were living out in Mossflower. Is Redwall your new home now?" The squirrelmaid grabbed her bow delicately with her paws, sliding the sinew string over her head to remove the weapon from her person. With a light rap upon the floor, the bottom nock rested on the stone to lean against the wall. Soon the quiver was by its side, and she was free of her armaments – save the sgian dubh at her left calf.
Oliver stopped dead in his tracks and smiled. "Well I guess I can't sneak by everyone.." He turned his head over to the voice of the Otter. "Thank you Brae, I'm feelin' better than ever!" He said before finishing his descent down the stone steps. The large squirrel watched as Braelyan opened the door for the squirrelmaid.
He made his way towards the two, hobbling slowly on sore limbs and slightly torn muscles. His eyes still had a faint hue of pink to them, which he had forgotten about. It was a sign of his bloodwrath fading back to his body, which at the stage of bloodwrath he was at during the battle, took a while for it to be completely hidden. Hopefully this wouldn't be a problem for his own introduction. Oliver loved meeting new creatures that entered the Abbey.
It took him awhile, but he finally was only a few feet away from the pair. When he caught a closer view of the newcomer, he started to feel slightly nervous again. Being around pretty warrior maids always made him feel a bit nervous. It caused him to over think on what he wanted to say. It also didn't help that his legs were so exhausted at this point that he wanted to collapse. He should have stayed in bed longer, it had to be at least a week of recovery before he could be walking about again, not a few days.
Brae nodded eagerly. It had been so long since they'd seen each other, after all, and Brae had indeed been living in Mossflower at the time… right on the river, too. Those were the days. "Aye, actually packed up and came here soon after the last time I saw ye," he said, scratching the back of his neck sheepishly. He had been comfortable out in Mossflower, had been perfectly settled before meeting the wandering squirrelmaid, and her roaming spirit had dragged him out. Hence, Redwall, where he again settled, and had remained so, for nearly 8 years.
He saw movement out of the corner of his eye, and glanced over to find Oliver only a few feet away. The large squirrel looked a little worse for wear, still, and Brae wondered if he was even supposed to be out of bed. Probably not… the infirmary keeper was probably going mad trying to find him.
"Oh! Er, Oliver, this's Lina." One could say many things about the riverdog, but being rude was not one of them. "We're old mates, from before I came 'ere to th' abbey."
OOC- Here I am, wondering why my post was fairly well ignored…
And then I see that (Ana, Braelyan, Shadow Flame) thingy... ::)
Do you need me to delete my post? I didn't mean to intrude on any kind of exclusive club session.
((Sent a PM to Creigon. I'm taking my post ahead of his, since neither of you took the time to introduce Lina/Lipton!))
"Pleasure to meet you, Oliver," the squirrelmaid replied with a courteous bow, giving the squirrel a polite smile. He and Brae seemed to be friends, and Lina was happy to see one of her own friends in such a positive situation. "Yes, Brae and I have known each other for a while," she continued, "although admittedly a wayward soul can never stay in one place for long. It seems Brae caught the bug!"
Lina's eyes resumed scanning the gatehouse, and soon they fell upon someone she hadn't noticed before. A mouse, who seemed to be slightly perturbed as to their presence. He was undoubtedly, given his languid approach, enjoying the rain and quiet before the trio of talkative beasts had barged in, uninvited. Nervously the ranger cleared her throat; an attempt to attract the attention of Brae.
"Who's your other mate?" she asked Brae, waggling her eyebrows as her head bobbed in the direction of the mouse. Not deigning to wait for an answer, Lina made to approach Lipton, her best, most genuine smile dancing upon hep lips. She knew it was highly probable she appeared rude to the mouse, having not taken note of his presence beforehand, but it was an honest mistake. She didn't have an excuse.
"'tis a pleasure to meet you as well," she said to Lipton. "My name is Lina. Lina Eagleye."
OOC- Oh, CQ will do.
The brush-tail swayed to a stop right in front of him. Lipton could smell the wetness from her cloak and the energy waiting to spring from her, like it was bottled up tight. That energy danced in her eyes and in the way she thrust her paw forward in greeting.
Her paw hung in the air for a few brief moments whilst he eyed her. Her cloak had also extended and drops formed on the end. Down they dripped, the time passing frustratingly slow. And they splashed obscenely onto the open page.
Lipton again raised his gaze and pulled his book back, protective of any further abuse. "a-Hem, well, nicely met, me lass." He ever-so slightly shook her paw with the grip of a beast holding old socks and retreated slightly into his parchment. "Just don't trip on my cane." And he gestured toward a crutch leaning against a desk.
No rudeness was intended. But new faces made him nervous. Partially, he wished for her to move along and find somebeast else to bother. But as luck would have it, his wish wasn't heard.
OOC: woah woah woah, I retracted my post, so I could fix it. I told ya this is why I don't post late at night. I was way too sleepy and forgot to include Creigon's character, I was gonna fix my next post. I think you left the chatbox when I said that, Ana. I didn't want to mess everything here up. Looks like my plan didn't work out too well. I'll just make a new post after Braelyan posts. I'm a little confused right now as to what just happened.
((It seems there's some confusion, so I'll try to clear it up.
Neither of you introduced Lipton, and I admit I was at fault too when I didn't acknowledge him in my post, which in turn gave him a weird opening to work with about really getting into the RP. Because of that, I decided to take my post before his to actually get him included. I also apparently got Oliver's race mixed up, because a name like Swiftstream is misleading. Preferrably the posting order will now be:
So Shadow, make your post next to respond to Lina. She as acknowledging him after Brae introduced him to Lina. Brae can then make his post to include Lipton, then I can go, then Creigon, and boom. Things will continue as normal.))
Oliver stood up straight as Brae said his name, introducing the squirrel warrior to the squirrel maid. "Old mates you say?" He looked over to Lina, a small smile crossing his face. "E-'ello there, Lina. I'm O-Oliver, Oliver Swiftstream." He managed to stammer out before regaining some of his composure. "I 'elp out in the kitchens an' teach the in'abitants of this Abbey self-defense. Awfully sorry fore 'ow I'm presented, I kind of just got back from a long Adventure a few days ago.." In his mind he felt excited, he managed to talk better this time around compared to other times.
He took a deep breath and relaxed himself a bit, hoping he would not fall over or anything of that nature due to his exhausted state. He was just happy to be out of the infirmary and outside, even if it was raining. It always cheered him up to see new faces as well. "It's a pleasure to meet ya too.." he said. He turned over, noticing Lipton. Oh no, another one to catch me out of bed when I shouldn't be. I 'ope 'e doesn't say anythin'..
"'Ello Lipton!" Oliver said with some renewed energy. "I 'ope none of us disturbed you too much now.."
Okay, so maybe somebeast could argue that Brae could be unintentionally rude. He had been so excited about seeing Lina again that he hadn't noticed old Lipton. "Oh, sorry," Brae said, grinning sheepishly. "This's Lipton, Lina."
As he watched his friend and the old mouse, Brae thought over their conversation thus far. Caught the bug, indeed. But Redwall… he couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Traveling, perhaps, perhaps visiting some other places, but living? No. Redwall was his home now, and he would always return. After all, he had friends like Oliver and even Lipton here.
And, thinking of Oliver, Braelyan turned his gaze on the squirrel. He had long ago noticed that his friend got a little nervous around pretty maids, but Oliver seemed to be doing quite well with Lina. Brae was proud of him... though it was always amusing to see the big warrior squirrel stumble over his words around a pretty face.
The ranger felt a sluggish wave of disappointment wash over her. It seemed to her that the mouse, Lipton, wasn't quite fond of her presence. Whether it was because of her unintended rudeness earlier, or another reason entirely, she didn't know. She hoped that in time he might come to trust her, but she likely wouldn't be here long anyway. A week at the most, and then she would be back on the road like she always was.
Unable to voice a response to Lipton, Lina could only give him a meek nod. Her bright smile had diminished, reduced to a half-hearted grin. Quickly she tried to compose herself, not keen on allowing her emotions to show through on the surface for too long. She hoped the other people of Redwall were more receptive of her arrival than Lipton seemed to be. If they weren't, it seemed she would be leaving sooner than she had anticipated. As dear as Brae was to her, she didn't want to be surrounded by beasts who were leery about her presence.
"No need t' apologize, Oliver," Lina responded to the squirrel, her lovely smile back to full strength. "M'best wishes to a hasty recovery." She too had taken note of the timidness that he seemed to be consumed with. To her, the gesture was cute and adorable. She looked forward to getting to know Oliver better in her stay here before she left. The squirrel also seemed to be wary about something, particularly pertaining to Lipton. Then again, he was injured… he probably wasn't supposed to be out of bed just yet.
Opting to remain quiet, Lina waited for someone else to start a discussion or redirect them somewhere else. She felt as if she and the others were intruding on Lipton's privacy and space, but she didn't know where else to go. She was a stranger here.
OOC- Dead end. Let's change the scenery, shall we?
IC- The Matthias Bell boomed quite suddenly and startled the four creatures. Perfect timing. He snapped his book shut and smoothly shoved it into his satchel dangling from his chair. "Sorry to leave such 'n… Enthralling... conversation, but I'm afraid food calls." He stood and took a few hops over to the crutch leaning slightly against the Recorder's Desk. The blighter probably wouldn't mind anyway. Creigon usually slept in until high noon.
With his own cloak about him, he hobbled over to the door and opened it to the smell of both rain and breakfast. Indeed, a pleasant combo. Lipton tilted his head back slightly and bid farewell. "Close the windows when you are done." And began treading awkwardly across the great lawn. While he half-sorely wished to be alone, he found himself in company, once again.
He smiled back, feeling good about her upbeat responses. "Thank you! I shouldn't be all wrapped up like this fore long. I'll be right as rain by the end of the week."
Oliver looked over to Lipton, noticing the sounds of Matthias and Methuselah bells as well, which were signalling for lunch time. "Yes, yore right Brother Lipton, it is time fore chow. I guess we shall see you later then.." The large squirrel said, watching as his elder trudged off.
"Well you two, I guess we should go eat lunch before everyone else devours it all." Oliver walked his way towards the doorway, watching the rain slow up only slightly. He made his way out the door, using the wall to help him stay upright. "Brae, if you could lead the way please." He said, showing signs of hunger, and excitement in his body language.
Braelyan perked up at the mere mention of food. He'd forgotten how close it was to lunch time… probably due to his lengthy time sitting beside the pond. Yeah, that was probably it. "Of course!" he said brightly, though he cast a worried eye over his friend. He was leaning a bit heavily on that there wall, after all.
"Ye need some 'elp there, mate?" he asked, hesitating instead of taking the lead. "I can't carry ye on my back, but I can offer a shoulder to lean on."
Had Lina not been there, Brae was sure the offer would have been taken up on instantly, but he also knew that the fact that the squirrelmaid was indeed there might change Oliver's answer. There was no shame in accepting help, but it wouldn't help if Oliver was trying to impress Lina.