Broken Antler Fen Indigo
All Welcome  March 14, 2021, 02:46 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
@Tambourine 

Though the few men of the pack did a pretty good job at covering the relevant parts of the borders, now and then Wraen thought that she should join the shared efforts to keep the scent sign "Private Property! Beware!" as neon bright as it already was. It was also a nice way for her to get an update, who had come by the fen and left a message, who had passed the invisible borderline during the night and hopefully meet some new folks without having to go out in the world to do it on her own. 

It was true - time from time her heart ached for the thrill of adventure and long journeys and it was a little painful to remember, how effortlessly she had been able to do it before and how much she had to plan in advance now. She was happy to have a stable home, but it was hard to accept that, while her heart was still young as it had ever been, her body had difficult time to keep up. It was even more unbearable to think that things would not improve, but quite contrary - grow increasingly harder. 

But this was not the mindset she wanted to be in today. She caught sight of a little mouse, shuffling through the leaves, and glad for a distraction from unwelcome thoughts, Wraen froze and got ready to pounce.
March 14, 2021, 03:48 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
Not long after his encounter in Lost Creek Hollow, Tambourine headed due south before hanging a right and walking into the sunset. He would never know it but he came very close to reuniting with "Fish," whose pack resided a few miles southeast of Serpent Lake. He spent a night on the shore, then continued west in the morning. He passed through a gloomy forest and began to drift north when he caught the scent of wolves near the base of the world's ugliest mountain.

Before he could approach and make inquiries, he incidentally frightened a rabbit in the brush and gave chase, which led him south again. He lost it at a stream and never found the trail again. When Tambourine loped along the waterway, he emerged on the bank of another lake, this one so large, it made Serpent Lake look more like a pond.

He wandered around the shore for a while before abruptly remembering the pack he'd smelled. Tambourine glanced off in that direction, then squinted as his face slowly turned to his left. He lifted his gray snout into the light breeze and caught the scent of wolves again, this time originating from a wetland a little further west.

Deciding to check out the nearer pack first and double back later, Tambourine approached a clearly marked borderline. Before he could consider sending up a call, he saw a figure in the distance, head cocking as he watched the she-wolf prepare to pounce some invisible opponent.
March 15, 2021, 05:35 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen made her move, but a second too late. She felt the mouse slip through her paws and disappear in the leaves hastily. She made a half-hearted effort to shuffle around there, but eventually decided that this much effort for such a small prize was simply not worth it. Another time. She lifted her head, looked to the left and her green gaze met with that of another's. It was a middle-aged, silver-agouti wolf, having seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

"Hey!" she greeted him, closing the distance between them, tracing his features and trying recall, whether she had seen this face before, but finding no match at present. Three years for a wolf with a life expectancy of 8 - 9 in the wilds feels like decades. No wonder you lose track of acquaintances you've met only briefly. "May I help you?" 
March 15, 2021, 09:14 AM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
He couldn't see the mouse from here, though he certainly recognized hunting behavior when he saw it. He continued watching in amusement, rooting for this stranger to make her tiny kill. But when she straightened up a few moments later, noticed him and approached, Tambourine saw that she was empty-handed.

"Hi!" he returned her amiable greeting, bowing his head respectfully. "Sorry for your loss." Realizing how that sounded, Tambourine snorted at himself and shook his head. "I meant your prey," he explained with a sheepish grin. "My name's Tambourine and I'm just sort of trolling around, finding out about the local packs. I grew up in the area but I haven't spent any time here in years. The whole scene has changed, as you might imagine." He clicked his tongue and wondered, "So, what's this place called?"
March 17, 2021, 03:51 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"That mouse's family certainly isn't," Wraen replied and offered him a smile in return. What she observed right away was that it was easy to in his company and he tended to speak at length just as much she did. "Tambourine the Troll," she repeated his name, which stirred an old memory in her, as if it was not the first time she spoke it out loud, but did not get much beyond that. "You have come to the right place then - this is the Enchanted forest Brecheliant and we are home not only to wolves, but a couple of dragons, fairies and... I think that a trickster poltergeist was a recent addition," she referred to Jackalope, who had stopped by a week ago or so. 

"We have a vacancy for a troll. Giant too, but there are certain size requirements for that," she suggested, still smiling. "And my name's Wraen Warden hag of the area. So there you have it - a package deal." 
March 17, 2021, 08:27 AM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
His whole life, Tambourine hadn't bothered with surnames, although he was immediately tempted to go with this woman's spontaneous suggestion. He snorted, his eyes flicking upward toward her face for the first time, just for a glimpse of this silver-tongued storyteller as she spoke of enchanted forests, dragons, fairies and... what was a poltergeist?

"Gesundheit," he offered, realizing his gaze was lingering on her apple green eyes for a moment too long. He dropped his own, staring at the ground now and missing her playful offer even as he thought, Can it be...? Tambourine did catch one word: her name. That more or less started with an "R," at least phonetically.

"Wraen?" he repeated wonderingly, raising his eyes again but being careful not to look too directly at her. "Did you used to live on a mountain called, um... Moon... Moons... something?"
March 20, 2021, 04:08 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Now, this is interesting..." Wraen remarked, when recognition sparked in the man's eyes and this prompted her to take a closer look at him too. "I happened to run with Moonspear, yes. But that was a long time ago. I was young and pretty then," she smiled. "Now I am just pretty," she said with a tilt of her head and a little flirtatious flicker in her eyes. Unfortunately for Tambourine she still could not find his name and picture in her memory files, but even so, she did not mind getting to know him again. Something about the ease of the conversation they were having now - even after such a short while - made her wish that he did not leave early. 

"Were you with the mountain wolves too at that time?" she asked, but it did not seem likely. At the time and even later there had never been too many outsiders in the tight-knit family that had been ruling the lands. "Or were you a then the resident Casanova of the lands charming your way through the valley and hearts of women?"
March 21, 2021, 06:50 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
"Moonspear!" he blurted, then offered an apologetic grin and let her finish speaking. He laughed warmly at her comment, dipping his snout—causing his ear to flop endearingly over his temple—and waving his tail in sincere agreement. They had both aged, enough years passing in between their meet cute and the present that they both struggled to recollect the details. But there was a fond familiarity between them. And she was certainly easy on the eyes.

"Nah," Tambourine drawled offhandedly, "neither. I was a wanderer then and for several years after we crossed paths. I think I actually regaled you with some tales about that first year or so of globetrotting. In any case, I've gone through some... lifestyle changes, recently, I guess you could say." That was a kind way of saying he'd escaped a years-long toxic relationship. "I'm finally ready to stop my wandering ways and rest my head somewhere. Did you say you have a vacancy for a troll? What are these size requirements you mentioned?"
March 22, 2021, 03:01 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Well, with so many years of globetrotting under your belt now, I will be glad to be regaled with new stories," Wraen replied, finding that lopsided ear of Tambourine's adorable, but when she caught that giddy, girlish thought by the tail, she turned her muzzle sideways briefly to hide the smile. "I don't go out much these days and it is great to have the world brought to me. Kind of convenient," she added. 

"You do know, what they say - you will have your rest in the grave?" she pulled his leg for his choice of words, when declaring his reasons for joining. "And though we have some nice hang-out places for ghosts, the lively and living are very much appreciated," she said. "Since, you will be our first troll, you will set the requirement bar for any other that wishes to join our ranks," Wraen told him. 

"So, what talents and qualities you have picked along the road?" she asked.
March 22, 2021, 03:56 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
He knew he was getting ahead of himself but Tambourine couldn't help but picture the two of them relaxing somewhere and telling stories. He wanted to be able to greet someone at the borders and declare, "I don't go out much these days!" It sounded so darn restful.

Tambourine laughed out loud when Wraen appeared to read his thoughts and remark about resting when they were dead. He supposed that was true, though it would still be nice to slow down a little. He hadn't had a home base since he was a kid. Maybe he would end up going stir crazy... or maybe he would finally find his elusive happiness in stillness.

She told him he would get to set the bar, though she asked a question about his skills. Although he hadn't ever properly joined a pack, this seemed like a fairly standard line of inquiry. His eyes danced across Wraen's face—pretty, indeed—briefly, trying to gauge whether she wanted a sincere answer or if he could keep up this lighthearted rapport.

He met in the middle and said honestly, "Well, my life's been an experience for sure, so I'm a little bit good at a lot of things, like hunting and basic first aid. I'm also pretty good with kids and I have plenty of dad jokes. My social skills might need some work otherwise. But I'm sure that's somewhat expected with a troll."
March 23, 2021, 01:00 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"You got me at the story-telling about your adventures out in the world. But good with kids? That's amazing. That will level out the male population here, who run screaming at the notion of little sharks running after them," Wraen laughed, thinking about Jackalope and not considering Penn to be a fatherly type either. Arcturus and Khali she did not know that well, so that left Eljay. He would enjoy having a companion. "Though, frankly speaking, I will be glad too to have at least two people, to turn the wave of puppies to," she grinned. 

"Well, I think that you have passed the preliminary requirements for filling the vacancy," she told him. "But - now the important part - what's your take on dragons and witches?" she asked. 
March 23, 2021, 01:16 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
She seemed particularly pleased about the mention of kids. Tambourine felt a jolt of guilt. He liked to think he'd done well by Lele and Harps, though he could never forget the others. It had been Larkspur who'd killed them with her negligence, yet Tambourine held himself responsible in part. He never should've given into temptation. Hormones were really no excuse. Well, he would never make that mistake again, he'd seen to that.

Banishing thoughts of Spur from his mind, he told Wraen, "I raised a couple daughters. And part of that was telling them tall tales, when I wasn't busy torturing them with dad jokes. So I've got tons of experience with dragons, witches and all manner of folks from fantasy land." Tambourine lifted his left paw to tap his temple—revealing two missing toes—then set it down and admitted, "Still dunno what a poltergeist is though..."
March 23, 2021, 01:23 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Well, grandpa, you live and you learn. I will introduce you to our resident poltergeist," Wraen told and really did not see any point of further deterring him from joining. And if he turned out to be a bastard, there were plenty of people around (and a couple of dragons and handy curses and hexes) to drive him out and be done with it. Or worse - turn him into a frog and make sure that he's never kissed by a pretty princess ever. 

"Welcome to the Enchanted forest," she stepped aside to let him in, though it was purely symbolic step. "Brechelient is a fancier name of the same place and that's the one we use to impress potential joiners or scare away wrong-doers," she explained. "And I have to forewarn you that we have four ladies in the leadership ranks and that basically means... a lot of work for men to impress them," she smiled. "But you are off to a good start."
March 23, 2021, 01:29 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
He knew Wraen jested, though her comment made him wonder: could he have grandchildren out there, via Lele or Harps? Maybe he ought to have put a little more effort into locating the girls, though it was a little late now. And he deserved a bit of a break, after dealing with Spur's bullshit for so many years. His daughters were grown now, they didn't need him, though he would be very glad if they happened to cross paths someday so he might meet any of their offspring.

Setting that thought aside, Tambourine followed his old friend and new leader into this so-called enchanted forest. He smiled, a careworn and content thing. It really was good to find someplace to settle down, to slow down. His head cocked—sending his unruly ear flipping and flopping again—when Wraen mentioned the matriarchy.

"I assume you're the queen of the castle," he drawled, "but could you tell me about the others? And anything else I should know about... Brecheliant?" If "poltergeist" sounded like a sneeze, then the pack's name was a cough. But it didn't matter one whit, since Tambourine would think of it by a simpler name: home.
March 23, 2021, 01:53 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Oh, no - a spider would be a more correct term," Wraen replied. "I sit in the middle of my carefully woven net, unseen and unnoticed, pulling strings as I deem necessary," and she left the rest of it for Tambourine's imagination. "We have a shared leadership - split between three wise heads that have elected a fourth - the wisest and fittest - at the very top," she elaborated on, how their pack worked. "The rest are considered family, no particular ranks there, but you can work out the terms of subordination and seniority among yourselves as long as it happens peacefully," so far no one had complained and seemed to enjoy the relative freedom of the group. 

"The Auspex - the most important leader here - is Ibis, she's my niece. Then there are three - Maia, Teya and me - in the Council," she told. "You'll like them and I think - but you have yet to prove me wrong - you'll find them awesome too," she said. "Then's there a couple of rambunctious Blackthorns - Penn and Jackalope - that are up to mischief and adventure, and carefree life. We have a solemn and contemplative wolf by name Arcturus, descended from the royals in the mountains. There's Eljay, who is a little unconventional Blackthorn, but has not a single bad bone in him. And... Khali - a quiet and polite man, an acquaintance of Ibis's, and a Bridget - former fairy," and that was about all of them. 

"In a nutshell there's a person for each day of the week and mood, and if you do not feel like socializing at all, then you can go off and explore the fen. The territory is huge!" she toold.
March 23, 2021, 03:27 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
It was probably pretty anticlimactic but all Tambourine could say was, "Wow." That was a lot of names to remember—and, truthfully, they probably wouldn't stick until he had some faces to go with them—but he appreciated the in-depth rundown. Every single detail intrigued him, from the mismatched Blackthorns to the solemn royal. Tambourine hoped to meet each and everyone, in due time.

"I can't wait to meet everyone and I'm eager to get the lay of the land too," Tambourine said after a moment, "but before anything else, I'd love to find a spot. You know what I mean? Like a—do you remember that secret hideout you took me to? It doesn't have to be exactly like that," he explained, "but I'd love that same vibe. Somewhere I can relax. And sleep. Every night, even." Oh, what a marvel that would be.

Without realizing it, he echoed something else from that rendezvous of yore by saying, "I'm really glad I ran into you today, Wraen."
March 28, 2021, 09:18 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"That old thing? Yeah, I remember it. Unfortunately it split in half and died a year or two after. Sadly - such hideouts are one-of-a-kind. Once-in-a-lifetime kind, to be honest," Wraen reminisced about her willow tree and, how its life had ended after a storm or a similar devastating event. She found solace, however, in the idea that it must have had a very long and fulfilled life and that, hopefully, after couple of decades of peace and quiet, it soul may have preferred a different body to inhabit. 

"There's "Arthur's seat" - a big rock that I like to sunbath at and nap most days, but there's hardly any place there for two to nap," she mused, indicating indirectly that this, in fact, was Her Spot and she would share it very, very unwillingly. "But the territory is vast and you just may find a place that vibes with you the most. I spend my days exploring the lands and there is a new and interesting landmark I find day by day. I am sure that Tambourine's Tunnel or Burrow is just waiting for you to discover it somewhere," she said.

"Have met me for a moment and think that I will be 100% joy to have around forever?" she teased him and chuckled. "Haven't you considered that I just may be that evil sea-witch, who steals appearances, to hide her own wicked, wrinkly mug?"
March 28, 2021, 07:59 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
Post 300 for you!

He frowned a bit at this sad news, though he supposed it didn't matter much. He'd only visited it the once. Tambourine would find a spot here, one he could visit day after day. That old hideout would serve as the perfect inspiration, existing only in memories now.

Wraen deflected his heartfelt remark with some banter. Happy to rise to the occasion, he let her know, "I don't trust anyone who's jolly 100% of the time. It's totally natural to be cross sometimes, or sad, or simply hangry. I won't like you any less, rest assured." He almost told her he'd spent the last several years with a real witch, though Tambourine decided to refrain from mentioning Larkspur, now and maybe ever.

Reflecting on what she'd said about her favored sunbathing location, he queried, "Would you show me to this Arthur's Seat? I want to see this tuffet of yours." Well, that came out sounding unintentionally suggestive. Tambourine huffed a laugh, holding back a comment about how perhaps two might fit if they sat exceptionally close. She was lovely, though he liked to think of himself as a gentleman, and they barely knew one another properly yet.

Of course, he hoped to change that, though one step at a time... :)
April 02, 2021, 02:40 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"That's wise. There was once a wise guy, whose name is lost to the history, that living for the sake of being happy is not exactly realistic," Wraen remarked and her narrator encourages to check out the source comic about it in the OOC section. However, one also comes to such conclusions over the years too after trying out several formulas on how to live "the best life possible" and finding out that no one else but you yourself can tell, what exactly it is. As for her - she no longer had great aspirations in life, goals that she wanted to achieve, things she wished to do (thought that she must do) - she was content to live one day at a time.

"Okay - let's go," she beckoned him to follow. "So - your daughters, what are their names, what are they like?" she asked.




I always liked this comic by The Oatmeal - https://theoatmeal.com/comics/unhappy .
April 05, 2021, 08:59 AM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
I love it!

He could only nod in agreement as he fell into step with her. They hadn't gone far when Wraen asked him a question he was all too happy to answer. Tambourine sometimes felt sheepish about this subject though. He loved his daughters dearly, as well as the ones who hadn't made it. But neither of his litters had been planned, nor born in wedlock. He just hoped it wouldn't change Wraen's opinion of him too much.

"Lele's my eldest. You couldn't find a sweeter person. She doesn't have a bad bone in her body," he replied, borrowing her own words because they suited so well. "She actually stayed with me—with, ah, us—until not so long ago. She wanted to find a mate and start a family. She'll make the most wonderful mother. As for Harps, well, she's sort of quiet and soft-spoken. She was always independent from the start and dispersed as a yearling."

That "us" lingered in his mind well after he finished. He wondered if Wraen would pick up on it and ask for more detail. Surely she was curious about who'd mothered these pups. He didn't want to harbor any secrets, though Tambourine didn't look forward to discussing his tumultuous relationship with Larkspur. It probably wasn't a good look either. He had stayed with her for far too long, in hindsight, and wasted a lot of his life orbiting around a woman who despised him, not to mention their children.

He swallowed a sigh and steeled himself with a lopsided grin. He could talk about Spur, he thought, as long as he kept in mind that she was firmly part of his past. His present and future would be much happier in comparison.
April 07, 2021, 12:46 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen had been more conservative in her youth - thinking in blacks and whites than in shades of gray. By now, however, she had witnessed and learned the myriad of ways relationships could bloom between most unlikely people and see great love wane between those, who had appeared as soulmates first. So - even if Tambourine had mentioned to her that he had had a wife/lover/friend- enemy with benefits that would not have influenced her opinion of him at all. Everyone had baggage this far in life and - frankly speaking - she found golden oldies more appealing - they had great stories to tell. In comparison: youngsters tended to have big dreams and opinions.

She picked up that there had been a female figure in his life once and it was not there anymore, but she did not press on the subject further. Her brother's short-lived marriage had been a good lesson on, how to remain tactfully silent on the matters, unless the person affected brought it up themselves. "Well, maybe either of them will come by here someday and I will be able to meet the proud father's girls in person," she remarked. "So, with half of your life lived already - do you have any other plans for your future? Other than sleeping and enjoying boredom?" she asked him. "Any dreams you wished to fulfill and finally have time to do so?"
April 07, 2021, 02:19 PM
Tambourine
Brecheliant
Eun Liath
It didn't seem likely that either of his girls would turn up here one day, though stranger things had happened. It was kind of miraculous that he'd stumbled across this place. For a second, he remembered that he'd meant to check out the other pack he'd smelled, further north. Oh well, he was stuck here now and happy about it.

He laughed a little at Wraen's question, taking a moment to consider it. He had always lived day to day, never really planning for the future. So that was a brand new opportunity, one he didn't want to take lightly. "Let me think about it and get back to you. There's so many possibilities," he replied warmly, eyes twinkling a little.

He could think of one thing right off the bat, which was the idea of courting Wraen. But it was far too soon to broach that subject. Just because she had both beauty and brains didn't mean they should jump into a romance, especially not so soon after Tambourine had disentangled himself from Larkspur. He would much rather they nurture a friendship first, see where things went naturally over time, plenty of time...
April 07, 2021, 03:13 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Had Wraen known, how many of Brecheliant men were vying for her favour and affections, she would have felt honoured, indeed. Who would have known that at five years of age she would have thrice as more suitors as in the whole of her lifetime? But, since she had shelved all dreams and ideas of matrimony, intimate relations and having a family a long time ago and accepted the idea of holy spinsterhood to the end of her days, she lived in a content oblivion. Now and then Arcturus would cross her mind - it pained her to see him betting all his life on an empty lottery ticket and she often wondered, what else could she do to make him see, how pointless it all was. Yes, there was her fault in this too - though she had told him openly that she saw him as a friend not as a lover, she had given him hope. One day at a time. But it had been then - when their days had been closely knit together. Now... with the pack and everything else happening inbetween, he was distant, she was away and their conversations were sporadic and rare. And no seedling - be it an actual plant or a metaphor for a budding relationship - can grow on willpower alone. It needs sunlight, it needs water. It needs care and nurture. It needs time and devotion. If there had been even the slightest chance, it had wilted away by now.

Therefore Wraen found it easier to make and keep friends, who did not expect anything else from her, save for good company and adventures to share. Thinking all this and other pleasant things, she walked alongside Tambourine - contemplative and smiling.