Lost Creek Hollow I was in soil, on hands and knees
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#1
All Welcome 
White clung to the trees and bushes. It was a thin layer, but it painted the world in bright snow.

Crowfeather stepped through the hollow, eyes searching for signs of prey within the thicker bushes and foliage. He watched a squirrel race across the ground in two small leaps and then scale the bark of a tree. The scampering of its paws was heard for only a moment before the small animal had vanished from his sight.

Their numbers were small. They would need food for the winter, to keep them healthy enough to continue establishing their home. The tripod wondered if he would be able to find other joiners. He liked the wolves who lived in the hollow. It was difficult to think of changing that dynamic.
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#2
surprise! hope this is ok <3

she was not entirely unfamiliar with their neighbors.

nor was she unfamiliar with the concept of trading. so she had come with a few plants from kvarsheim. the last of useful things she could find that were not for their own stores.

upon the edge of the hollow she stood, with a bundle of herbs at her paws and nervously her voice raised into the air.

she had thought she may have seen somebody up ahead, but she did not wish to assume.

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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Absolutely okay! Omg! <33

A voice called out to them and froze Crowfeather in his tracks.

They were near! His three dark legs carried him toward their border. The chill of the snow had seeped into his paws and made him tread awkwardly. When he drew near to the pale figure, he offered a nervous smile and flattened his ears apologetically. Though he hadn’t been far away, he didn’t like the idea of visitors waiting on the edge of their land.

Greetings, he said in a soft voice. The wolf who stood before him was unlike anything he’d seen before. Such a great white coat. You are… amazing. The words fell from his mouth before he could stop them. He gaped, horrified.

Ah, I’m- I’m Crowfeather-
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#4
bjarna had not a clue what was said.

only that this man all at once, became black bear in her mind. a three legged bear, making his way in the world. he said a name but that too was far too long!

so she sheepishly nosed forth the plants she had brought. remains of ginger that had been stored and a few berries to compliment.

ah, um, she struggled all at once. wondering how she could tell this man things.

you. she said, and rolled a berry towards him. waiting for but a moment before she offered more words. accented, but smoother than anything else she had said so far!

bjarna. kvarsheim. gently she tapped her chest and then looked back towards the stones she called home.

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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Me?

Crowfeather was not upset that her language skills didn’t match his own. He felt bad that she was forced to try communicating without having a strong grasp on the common tongue. The dark figure wanted her to feel welcome, of course. They were a neighboring clan. Silvertongue had spoken fondly of them and had said that they would be good allies.

Thank you… Bjarna. He hoped he had gathered that right. A name and where she was from.

Nodding down to himself, he offered her a shorter version of his name.

Crow. Me.

The tripod sniffed gingerly at the herbs. Faun would make use of them, certainly. If she did not, Crowfeather could add them to the small herb caches he had created around the hollow. It was a lovely gift. He wished to give them something, in return. Knowing that they had some prey stored, he lifted his head and smiled to Bjarna.

Come, visit? Food?
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#6
she was scared to try his name.

what if she butchered it? what if it was horrible and she offended him?

but he was warm. inviting. surely he would not be angry if she failed on speech some. her shoulders rolled as her paws shifted for a moment. hesitant. croo? she tried, a bit clumsy and far less defined than his own.

but it felt close, it seemed close.

regardless, she made herself a bit smaller. prepared to follow as his body language might suggest.

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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It did not matter that she hadn’t managed the shortened moniker he offered. It only mattered that he had found a small way to give some communication back. So, when Bjarna spoke his name as ‘Croo,’ the dark tripod nodded his head.

Yes, Crowfeather confirmed with a sweet smile. The honey color of his eyes sparkled on her.

Bjarna was large, but she still looked young. He wondered if she was a child to one of the members of Kvarsheim. It was impressive that she had journeyed to the hollow on her own, even more so that she had brought a gift with her. The shadow did not think he had ever had such manners as a boy.

The pale polar bear girl stepped to follow. Crowfeather led her into the hollow to the water’s edge. There was a cache had been filling with prey; something to keep them fed through the first stages of winter. He unearthed his treats and selected a bushy-tailed squirrel with plump hind quarters.

For you, his words muffled around the creature as he placed it before Bjarna.
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#8
she brought her gifts with them, so that he may not forget them. also so that none might take them. these were for croo and croo's people. none others. not the birds nor rabbits that might find the berries fitting.

but now she set her gifts down once more, croo unearthed something.

presented it to her.

a plump rodent. her eyes, sunken by nature, became wide as saucers. the importance of food had been a lesson learned very young. now this man gave so freely! such a plump beast! in the cold!

quickly she clipped her teeth down on her own tongue, suddenly embarrassed and flushed.

so flustered that she could not even form words!

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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#9
It felt like the perfect gift.

Until the dark figure lifted his gaze to her face and saw her shock. Crowfeather feared that he had done something terrible, that he had insulted her offering of the herbs with an exchange of meat. As if those two could be considered the same. Bjarna didn’t touch his squirrel.

S-S-Sorry!

Crowfeather could eat that, then. She didn’t have to. He could find something better. Perhaps, a fish would appeal to her tastes more. Herbs and fish also did not seem like a fair trade to the tripod. He knew what good the medicinal plants could do.

Fish? Um… he nosed around the prey cache anxiously. Oh… rabbit?
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#10
suddenly it felt like static in the air.

croo spoke more words again. familiar sounds in a way, but none ones she could directly pair an image to. especially not as she wondered how she could salvage this.

so she did what she could only think to do at a time like now.

flopped to her side, belly half exposed. she crooned a low note in the back of her throat. trying to give off as many signs of great gratitude as she could.

without words, of course.

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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The pale girl plopped to her side and revealed her belly to him. A small sound was made from the back of her throat. This was a strong showing of gratitude. Crowfeather didn’t believe that it was necessary. He had misunderstood her silence, forgetting that their languages were vastly different.

It’s okay, he whispered to her, cheeks growing warm. The tripod returned from the cache, having selected a vole for himself. He liked that they were small and easy to eat. They were easy to catch, too. There were many of them near the banks of the river. The shadow had started to learn to hunt well, again. They were one of his favorite things to chase.

Crowfeather seated himself, smiling invitingly to Bjarna. She could sit, too. They would share a meal together and then he would find a place for the herbs she had brought. Though he wanted to say something, he wasn’t sure that he could. The young wolf feared overwhelming her. She was a guest, after all.
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#12
he accepted.

so carefully she rolled back upright. small already and yet feeling smaller somehow! but now they were both seated with their very kindly presented meals.

bjarna wished to bring it home.

she also wished to obey whatever rules it was that croo operated by.

but a thought struck her! she remembered those in the far away land over the mountain, who ate berries with their meals. that was a kinder memory than remembering the blood bath that had followed.

so she plucked up one of the ones she had brought with her. gently setting the blackberry at his paws. nodding softly with an encouraging look. she wished for him to try!

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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The polar bear girl looked as though she was mulling over the meal. Crowfeather didn’t understand that she wished to take it home, to her clan. He thought that she had traveled to see them, so it seemed right to make sure that her energy was restored. The young tripod knew how difficult it could be to traverse the wild. To do that without eating, and on her own…

Bjarna surprised him by placing a dark berry at his paw. The warmth of his eyes fell to it. She wanted him to try that, too. There was no hesitation in the dark figure. His tongue lapped it up and felt it burst against the roof of his mouth. The flavor was sweet and tart. A smile pulled at the dark of his face.

Mmm, he offered aloud. Crowfeather pushed himself to his paws and nudged one of the other berries she had brought. One for him and one for her. Eating the sweet fruits was something that he could get used to, he thought.
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#14
mmm.

this was a good sound! she knew it to be so! and a goofy smile took place on her wrinkled, boxy face. even more so as he presented her with one of her own berries! croo was a kind man. unique and unusual, but above all kind.

carefully, she plucked it up. she recalled how it had burst beneath her paws before.

now it would be in her mouth. an explosion of sweetness meeting tartness that she never grew used to. gently she shook her head.

then laughed! warm and bubbly.

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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The girl accepted the berry, scooping it up onto her tongue. Content that she had allowed him to share her gift, Crowfeather stepped back to his place and sat down. When his gaze met the girl’s, she was shaking her head. Though her face was odd, unlike many wolves that he had known, he could not discern any disappointment from her expression. The spike of anxiety he’d felt was hushed, for a moment.

But Bjarna laughed. The sound filled the air, light and pleasant.

Crowfeather smiled at her, mesmerized by the open show of happiness. The tripod couldn’t help that his tail thumped against the ground. It was good that she enjoyed herself. He wanted their neighbors to feel welcome, to know that they could visit Riverclan’s borders at any time. If they grew close enough, he didn’t think that would be hard.

The shadow glanced back to the herbs she had brought for them. It dawned on him that she would need something for her journey back home. He sprung up from his seat and rushed back to the cache. When he returned to Bjarna again, he had the rabbit he had offered instead of the squirrel. The three-legged wolf dropped it near her paws.

Take it home. For… Kvarsheim.

Crowfeather knew they needed their prey, but he also knew that they were few in numbers. Most of their caches had a few meals in them, still. The water would provide them with fishing opportunities, if it didn’t freeze over. Giving Bjarna a meal to take home was the right choice.
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#16
it was a wonderful thing that they cultivated.

her mother and gunnar would surely be thrilled to know the hunters that laid here were welcoming to them. that they could trade for meals even! croo presented her with a rabbit.

kvarsheim.

she became bashful with gratefulness once more. eagerly nodding as another idea came upon her.

croo kvarsheim. an invitation, for whenever he wished. her tail tentatively tapped against the earth.

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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The tripod was not certain, but he believed that she was inviting him to see her home. Honey gold eyes grew wide with surprise and wonder. He had never visited the other clans in his homeland. They were protected well, with a meeting ground that existed outside of any claim the wolves had made. Crowfeather had seen the way Mereo was protected, guarded. He had seen the pride that the Pharaoh had held in his heart for the land he’d claimed.

The shadow did not want this. He wanted to share and to build.

Yes, I will visit Kvarsheim. Would she know what he said?

Crowfeather whined in the back of his throat. His ears fell to his narrow head. In a gesture of appreciation and affection, the dark figure nudged beneath Bjarna’s chin. When his eyes had met hers again, he bowed his head in thanks.
Kvarsheim
Nornir
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#18
he repeated the name of her home.

she trusted this to be a promise that he would come see them. at once she began a list of things she might like to share with him. meat and knowledge. perhaps words so they might communicate better!

she wished there was a way to tell him too that she wished to heal, to give care. that he might find it at kvarsheim if needed, in her. alas.

it mattered not. she exchanged these touches with him. nudging under his chin and briefly along his jaw. soft touches, sounds of gratitude. then once they had done their due diligence to one another —

bjarna...go? here she sought his permission before she departed. she knew gunnar would wonder where she had wandered off to for so long, but she would come home with gifts and knowledge.

note: bjarna speaks primarily in icelandic with a poor grasp of english
hover/click speech for translations!
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A new friend had been made and she looked eager to take the gift back home to her family. The tripod glanced up to her when she seemingly asked his permission to leave the hollow. Crowfeather burned through his cheeks, hot with embarrassment. He wouldn’t have kept her there, even if he had wished for her to stay.

Yes, yes, go.

The dark figure wagged his tail and smiled to her. Bjarna gathered her things and then made her way out of the hollow. Crowfeather followed her, only to the border. On the edge of Riverclan, he looked out at the rest of the world and wondered if what he was doing was the right choice. Unable to answer, he turned back to his home and sought Silvertongue.