Ghost Lion Crag i know there's greed and there's corruption
January 04, 2020, 05:18 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen had not anticipated to take Arcturus down so easily, therefore, when he fell, she lost balance as well and was suddenly lying on top of him in a heap of furs and limbs. She laughed merrily at the impossibly silly situation, did not do much to untangle her, but used her weight to keep the expert mercenary in place (because she wished to enjoy the moment of toppling over a Moonspearan for a while longer), found Arcturus face and told him: "I think I won."

"You are an awfully comfortable pillow to lie on, you know that?"
 she asked, when she had rolled off him and was now lying next to him. "A bit bony here and there, but soft and silky. That evens it out," Wraen leaned forward to nuzzle his nape in a friendly manner.
January 07, 2020, 06:45 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
the mountaineer's tactic to unbalance wraen backfired. in a matter of seconds she was neatly atop him! arcturus shifted under her weight, feeling a light pop of his shoulders as he turned around (or tried to) to at least look upon the woman that had toppled him. he felt something radiant tingle out from him; like sunshine, except crawling under his skin -- and it was a good thing he was wreathed in dark fur, for a deep crimson had risen to his cheeks.

"i could think of better uses than pillow," the beta quipped, squirming just so -- his paw brushed across her thin forearms, and he felt again that riveting sensation shiver down up and down his spine. the feeling was enough that a soft gasp left him, concealed quickly by a rushed riposte. "no fair. rematch." his gaze sparkled -- for the briefest moment, he wanted (but refrained, out of fear, insecurity, lack of confidence -- who knows!) deeply to answer her nuzzle with a kiss of his own; yet the moment passed, and arcturus was left fumbling the metaphorical ball as he felt another, different sensation (that would be quite awkward to explain, if wraen happened to look in the right spot) poke along his belly.

he shifted abruptly, so his stomach was grazing the dirt and that strangeness beneath him hidden. "but maybe next time."
January 10, 2020, 04:37 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Ain't you a bit too young to flirt, boy?" Wraen teased him gently and prodded him with one of her paws. Arthur would probably not understand her joke (it would be a grand day, when he did), but she found great joy in embarrassing him and seeing his strained expression, when he tried to decipher a word-play here and double-meanings there. Come to think of it - she would never be able to win this hulk in a real fight, but she could knead him like a dough with her words.

"Nay, nay," she put pressure on Arthur's shoulder's to refrain him from an attempt to get up. "You stay, where you are. I won't have another chance to enjoy my victory over an experienced warrior like you for a good while," Wraen told him and then asked out of a blue. "Do you know, what a Korrigan is?" 
January 11, 2020, 05:02 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
was he too young to flirt? arcturus looked up to wraen, a grin pressed to his jaws. he was not sure and he did not know about the semantics of his budding body -- but he knew wraen could extract from him something that, frankly, very few (if any wolves) had ever been able to. so he answered with a shrug, the grin remaining. he felt easy in her company -- but in a strange way. it was not a casual feeling he felt, and he did at times feel enormous pressure to either impress or at the very least, not disappoint her.

so he stayed, yielding to the pressure of her weight while all the while, being painfully aware of the disturbance below. 'arthur' was relieved she had yet to notice - for he was feeling quite panicky about it all.

all too thankful for a distraction, arcturus brow wrinkled. "a korrigan? what's that?"
January 12, 2020, 02:48 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Perfect - story time!" Wraen quipped and tapped her paws cheerfully on Arthur's shoulders. He had chosen wisely by telling her that he did not know. She liked his honesty and would never ask him to pretend to be better before her, but it was nice now and then to hear a "white lie", if it meant that it would let her shine and thus make her happy.

"They are like dwarves, except - not exactly. More magic and mischief than living underground and digging for gold or, whatever valuable is under there," she explained. "So, there is a story about a beautiful, but conceited princess, who once met a korrigan and made fun of him. Because - they are not exactly pretty even by the most lenient standarts," Wraen said.

"The very next day the korrigan came by and had brought her a freshly-hunted hare and a small mice too. He said that this was a gift to her and she should have it, if she ate the mouse first," she paused briefly, collecting her thoughts and putting the details of the story in the right order. "She was hungry, so she did as she was told and ate the mouse first, the hare second. And on the same evening she became seriously ill. After a week she gave birth to a child, even though - you know - she did not have a mate." 

"You can easily imagine that this caused an uproar in her pack, especially since the child also reminded less that of a regular wolf, but more like the mouse she had eaten. The princess was cast out, because people believed her to be cursed,"
 she thought that this part of the story should be familiar to Arthur. Because - well - he lived in a very traditional pack. "After wandering around for a long time, she met the same korrigan, at whom she had laughed at. -Not laughing now, are you, darling?- he asked her. Then he picked up the child, murmurd few words and it turned into a mouse and disappeared in the foliage. -Let it that be a lesson to you,- the korrigan told her and disappeared. The princess returned home and never spoke ill of anyone again."

Based on bretagne folk tale "Korrigan's nut".
January 18, 2020, 02:57 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
arcturus -- no, arthur -- listened to the tale of the troubled princess and her korrigan, one ear pulled forward as he pieced together each word, imagining this other-world. he thought the korrigan to be tremendously spiteful -- but he had always liked stories edged with a sharp moral. to him, those stories made sense -- and better yet, they imparted a lesson at the end of their close.

he was silent, ruminating over the brief tale. he supposed the townspeople were petty themselves - perhaps there was more than one lesson to be had in this story. "how do you know all of these stories?" strange how, his question was not about korrigan or the princess or what came after -- but about how wraen had acquired so colorful a collection, and managed to preserve it all in that little squishy case, right between her two triangular ears.
January 18, 2020, 04:41 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"By God's good grace," Wraen replied with a grin and though Arcturus wanted to know the technicalities of the story-telling, she was not quite done weaving tales. "But in reality - I won a wager with a devil," she said. Telling Arthur that she had sold her soul would have been more dramatic, but then again she was not too sure, if metaphysics was his thing and would she be able to explain the next logical question - what a soul was?

"I met him on a moonless night at crossroads. You have to know that the bugger is very eager to all kind of mischief, but loves game of chance most of all. He says to me: "Wraen, if you can prove that a truly just man exists, I will grant any wish of yours." I thought it was an interesting proposition, asked him to give me time until tomorrow and meet me on the same spot.

I thought long and hard about this and that very night my paths crossed with God. And he says to me: "I am a just man." After a little thought I replied: "No, you are not. There are a lot of troubles and tragedies in the world uncalled for and you do nothing. Evil gets away and good people suffer."

So, I went ahead and by dawn I met the Gatekeeper of Paradise. He says to me: "I am a just man." I thought a bit and replied: "No, you are not. You judge people at the entry of the Heaven. Those you like - pass, those you do not - don't." By afternoon I still had not found the answer and wondered could it truly be so that a just man does not exist?

And then I heard some terrible news about a young and promising wolf that had perished during a hunt gone wrong and I knew I had my answer. That night I met the Devil and told him: "The Death itself is the only truly just man in this world. It comes for everyone and it does judge, whether you are young and strong, weak and sick, lucky or ridden by all troubles in the world. It takes us all." 

The Devil seemed disappointed, but he agreed and asked, what I wished for. And I told him that I want good memory to learn the knowledge of the world,"
 she finished. "And that's, how I know so much. One thing is good, two are better, three are the best - want to hear another story?" Wraen asked in the mood to spill more beans.

Adaptation of "Godfather Death" stories from Europe. Surprisingly this motive is found in many different folk tales from different countries.
January 18, 2020, 09:36 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
arthur listened, albeit skeptically. he understood in a roundabout way, that this was probably hypothetical -- but he felt the slightest trickle of defeat that he had not been directly answered. perhaps that is why the two complemented each other so well: arcturus was bluntly literal, physically exact -- and wraen was a weaver of stories, needler of golden threads.

it all stupefied him, in a mystique and enchanting way.

so he listened, his face stoic but eyes resting upon her in interest. he would have asked his own subset of questions (such as: what did the devil look like?) but, upon being prompted if he would like more, he answered willingly and immediately. "yes."

he liked being transported into wraen's world - it was much brighter and more colorful than his own -- and in some sad way, it made him realize all he was missing.
January 19, 2020, 12:55 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Arcturus let Wraen have free reign and before telling the third and the final story of the evening, she studied his face for a little while, searching for signs that would for impatience, barely contained tolerance or boredom. If there were any of those emotions within, the Moonspearan kept his expression stoic and did not let them betray him.

"It is about a vila and a prince. Vilas are mythical creatures - similar to fairies, nymphs, wood sprites. They are very, very beautiful and have a powerful magic. They can do good and give blessings to people they meet, but they can also become vengeful and cruel. And the story is about a vila, who fell in love. 

Once upon a time there lived a king and a queen and they had a son. When he was old enough, they held a big feast and performed the initation rituals into adulthood. And around midnight, when all the visitors had either returned home or gone to sleep, the prince went for a walk in the forest. And there in a meadow, among fragnant flowers and lights of fireflies he met a little vila.

She said: "I was too invited to your feast, but I did not have the courage to join the others, because I am so small. However, I am greeting you now in the moonlight." The prince was smitten with the little fairy-like creature and spent the night talking with her. By dawn he reached to embrace her and ask her to stay, but she ran away and disappeared, leaving only a tuft of soft and silky fur.

The following day the prince kept thinking about the vila and at midnight he found himself once again in the meadow, waiting for her to appear. It did not happen, until he touched the tuft of the fur and vila reappeared. This time she had grown up a bit. They spent this and the next nine nights meeting each other and talking, and by the tenth the prince had fallen so much in love with her that he asked her to stay.

Vila replied: "I will always come to you as long as the moon shines."
But the prince told her that he could no longer live without her and that he wished to make her the queen. The vila agreed saying: "My dearest prince, I will stay with you then, if you promise that you will always love me and me alone." The prince made that promise and the next day they were married.

Years passed and they lived as happily as it was possible, until one day the king died and many wolves from near and far came to pay the respects to him. Among them was a very beautiful princess, her coat shiny and black as coal, her eyes burning amber and trained on the prince from the very first moment. He was infatuated as well and his thoughts began to wander and muse. 

Vila saw this and the magic that had allowed her to remain in this world began to weaken. Over the next few days, as the prince paid less and less attention to her, she began to shrink, until one day she disappeared altogether. The prince did not mourn her and married the dark-furred beauty few days later. But he had not enjoyed his happiness for three days, when it turned out that the other girl was vicious, cruel and spiteful.

He exiled her and only then did he realize, what he had lost. He returned to the meadow, where he had first met vila for every night until the day he died, pleading her to return, but she never did,"
Wraen finished the story, stayed silent for a while, then got up and stretched. "That's enough for today, Arthur," she told him. "I have to head home, but I will probably see you around, won't I?" Wraen asked, ready to go, once the Moonspearan had said his farewells.

Bosnian folk-tale "Little Vila". By the way - Wikipedia says that J.K.Rowling's Veelas (Fleur Delacour) were inspired by these mythical beings of South-Slavic mythology.
January 22, 2020, 06:36 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
arcturus had not a whit of impatience to betray, for he felt none as he listened, enraptured by wraen's ability to weave stories to life. he marveled at her command of words, was in awe of her imagination -- and in the end, when the story was over, he longed for another.

and another, and another. his appetite for the yarns wraen commanded was gradually growing, though he had yet to know. he found her most recent story to perhaps be the most relatable -- the black wolf, in some ways, reminded him darkly of his sister. in some ways, he corrected himself inwardly.

yet it was time to go, and story time had sadly drawn to a close. arcturus stood and looked into wraen's eyes for a long moment, summoning the courage to do what his mind and heart compelled him to do. "goodbye, wraen." briskly, compelled by his own anxiety about his plans, arcturus planted a light and hurried kiss to wraen's cheek.

he withdrew bashfully and quick, but his heart soaring -- and it remained that way for the rest of his walk home.