Moonspear lovers walk
who stole my toe?!
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#1
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The moondrop had spent only a single night upon her sacred mountain since she had been back. Many things called to her! Mother, sisters, prospects. The latter was why she came today. Her heart sang when she walked upon Moonspear's slopes. Sixsix whirled above, swooping and croaking above. The woman could see he was happy to see familiar sights.

She, too!

Sialuk walked the paths of her ancestors, taking a long moment to stop at the place where the strange storm had struck her home. It was not but a strange sight now. A garish healing scar amidst the greenery. But life returned, she had learned in her travels. Moonspear was no different. Sialuk said silent prayers for those who had gone to the dancing lights that day.

And then, she listened. Her ears open to the words of the spirit of the mountain. What would she say?
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Bridget hadn’t been to this place since the rockfalls. She still was wary on mountains, especially now, but the slopes offered some gorgeous views and some amazing endurance training. She was huffing lightly by the time she created a ledge a distance up, but paused to take in the view before her.

It was amazing, that a place could see so much death and still be this peaceful.

Bridget breathed in, then looked down to the distant caldera. She loved home but it might be time to start traveling a bit more. Eljay was a capable midwife, and she would help in keeping him supplied, but she imagined he would have things pretty well handled this spring. Teya would have Bronco, hopefully actually here this time, and she could see a bit more of the world. Maybe help some people who didn’t have a healer on call.

Letting out the breath she had held, Bridget smiled. She liked the sound of that.
who stole my toe?!
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#3
She closed her eyes.

A husband. A wife. Children. A sister.

The words came to her, one by one. She saw images, but she could not make out the figures. They were hidden in fog, hidden from her vision. She let the words and the images slip away and opened her eyes.

Ah, but what was this! A wolf upon her mountain. Sialuk's heart beat strongly in her chest, and she found herself protective of the place once more. Yet she knew this was not known to others. The raindrop had only just returned.

The star approached with a friendly stance.

This woman greets you, she said, eyes assessing the new face and her missing leg.
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She was just about to turn and continue when she heard someone approach. Instinctually she took a step more away from the edge, but when Bridget turned, it was with a friendly smile.

This woman. Grateful for the clarification or I might have been confused. She chuckled briefly to herself, then relented. Sorry, don’t mean to be rude. My name’s Bridget. I didn’t think anyone actually came up here anymore.

She was certainly odd at first impression, something Bridget definitely didn’t mind. Sometimes the oddest wolves were also the friendliest in her experience.
who stole my toe?!
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#5
Sialuk laughed gently at the retort. Her spirit journey had taught her many lessons, and knowing that her cadence with words was strange to some was one of them. It is good to know your name, Bridget. I am called Sialuk.

To her second sentiment, the raindrop hummed, thinking of Moonspear and its previous life. It has been many seasons since Moonspear knew life. She is lonely, this mountain. I think she should know her people again when the snow begins to melt.
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Pretty and a sense of humor. Be still my heart, Bridget thought jokingly, though she could at least appreciate those things in strangers in passing. It sounded like she was preparing to set up a claim of her own here - she or someone she knew.

It’s nice to meet you, Sialuk. My pack actually lives just down there - Brecheliant. If you’re looking to claim this place, I’m sure they’d love to help however they could. I can at least speak for myself. She had no knowledge of the history that had existed between Brecheliant and Moonspear, but she did know that Maia and Teya both tended to enjoy fostering relationships with the neighbors.

I haven’t been up here since, well, after. Came up to see what help I could give, but I didn’t find much. It’s nice to see how far it’s come. She glanced around, then back at Sialuk. Who would ‘her people’ be?
who stole my toe?!
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#7
Bridget spoke of the caldera, once a village of Redhawks. Sialuk had not set foot there, but she felt as though she had, hearing of it from so many of the faces she knew. Towhee, Meerkat, Fennec, and more. She knew Alaric's sistraa made a home there.

This is kind of you, Sialuk said, I will make a journey there soon.

She has many scars, but she heals well. It was on her slopes that my mother gave me life, and after many months of a journey, I come home to be with Moonspear again. Kukutux—my mother—makes her home on the spine. Sialuk gestured toward the ring of peaks, visible from here.
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Bridget listened, noting again (with amused delight) how poetic her speech was. You’ve got quite the way with words. ‘She heals well’ indeed. It’ll be nice to have neighbors, so long as you don’t mind us. Don’t worry, most of us don’t get out much. She chuckled, thinking fondly of Eljay and the kids. Though who knew how long that statement would last towards the latter? Ceridwen had already struck out on her own.

It makes a job like mine easier, if a bit boring. If you ever need an extra medic on retainer, don’t be afraid to ask. Hell, I might even consider it a favor. She blinked, then looked off towards the range Kukutux spoke about. It was good that she was familiar with mountains then; Bridget probably should have known that from the way she held herself.
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#9
Sialuk gave a surprised smile at the compliment given to her. There were times when she felt as though she did not speak well, especially among those who did not know the northern languages. Having spent so much time in the company of her mother, she had picked up on her way of speaking since she was a child.

What is retainer? Sialuk asked, not familiar with the word.
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I actually had to google because I realized after reading this I have no idea XD. Thank god Bridget apparently knows

It means on kind of an as-needed basis. When things are slow at home, I don’t mind helping wherever else I can. She paused, then laughed a bit, good-naturedly. You might need to call a little ahead! But I swear I’m worth the wait. She didn’t mind poking a bit of fun at herself, especially when that second comment got to roll off right after. It didn’t need to be a line… but it could be.

Do you have much help yet, setting up here? She’d said her mother lived over on the other range, which meant she’d likely grabbed a few to get her started. Maybe Teya or Maia would appreciate the chance to send a little help of their own this way.
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Ah, so it was like a trader. Bridget would come by when the patients were many to help. And so generous! I could also be on this retainer for village Brecheliant. Come when there is help needed. A small trade between the two villages would make them closer, bring peace among them.

The raindrop shook her head at the question. Only this woman, but I meet many faces and invite them to listen and see if Moonspear calls to their hearts.

Her eyes fell once more to Bridget's single back leg. The back one, does it ache? Sialuk had met others with this condition during her travels, and it was the most common complaint she had heard from them. With one leg bearing more weight than it should, it seemed to wear down more quickly than the others.
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Perfect. We might be able to use the help this spring, with a few families growing. They seemed to manage fine while I was… well, gone with this. She gestured idly towards the stump of her leg. But we’ll see what this year brings. Same offer for you. If it’s needed, no matter how busy, I’ll make time if it’s important.

There was a hierarchy of priorities that Bridget followed closely and medic was above most everything, including pack. No leader would ever order her not to help a wolf in need, even if they ordered her from their lands to do it. She prioritized emergency work, then smaller caregiving, and then the rest.

She didn’t offer right now, but she tucked the thought away and would bring it up to Maia that they might send help this way. By the time she did, however, things would be a mess back home, and letting even a few members go would be impossible.

Mmm, sometimes. The hip and my lower back too, if I strain them too much. I’ve worked up to being about where I was, but it’s a slow trip. Do you have much experience with this? Bridget had treated a pretty vast field of injuries in the past but never something like a missing limb. She was navigating it as best she could but most was guesswork and she hadn’t quite figured out her limits or how to counter the pain that sometimes would appear out of nowhere. Thankfully it did not happen often.
who stole my toe?!
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#13
Brechliant expected new life! Sialuk felt delight at the idea of helping mothers bring children to the world. She had seen Kukutux give life to children twice now, and her experience there would be useful if and when village Brechliant needed her.

Sialuk shook her head at the question. I have seen it before, and the hurt it brought them was the same as yours. There is a thing I saw once, with an elder: a healer stood atop him while he lay on the ground. The bones did a loud sound inside his skin, and it brought some relief to the aching one. Sialuk had thought it strange, but the elder had seemed much more pleased after.

Another village taught their people to move in slow ways, holding their bodies and breathing in and out, so that they might stretch themselves out of pain.
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Bridget wasn’t sure how sold she was on the bones thing, but the stretching had some merit to it. When it happened, I made a point to walk as much as I could as soon as I could. Not to overwork it, but because I knew if I let things stiffen it would make everything harder. Maybe stretching would have been the better option. Bridget looked at Sialuk gratefully, then shook her head.

Not that I had much help, in that regard, at the time. There were a few others even worse of than me, if you can imagine! So most of my walks were to visit and help to take care of them. It’s easy to wonder, sometimes, what might have happened to them. She didn’t tend to dwell on past patients, and if her tending had done anything measurable, but on the occasion she could send out a hope that they were recovered and happy.

These other… villages? Are they nearby? Her terms were strange but Bridget could get a sense, for the most part, of what she meant. If they were she might need to visit.
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mind if we fade with your next? trying to wrap up some older ones!

She listened to the descriptions given by Bridget. The starwoman was interested in hearing more about the others, but she did not press for further information.

At the question, Sialuk shook her head.

Far away. I took a journey to see many places and learn many things. A great cloud hung over me for many months, and so it was needed. Leaving had been difficult for the young woman, but she was now glad that she had done it. She felt refreshed, and the mountain had called her home when the time was right.

My mother taught much of what I know. Perhaps you talk to her, too? Village Moonglow is just there, she said. Sialuk gestured toward the ring of mountains which had been home for many months.
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That was too bad. I’ll take any pointers either of you has to give. I’ll have to take a trip that way. Bridget looked off, gauging the distance. It would be a bit of a longer trek but it would be doable, hopefully, even alone. The only concern she ever really had was feeding herself along the way, but as long as she found water, typically she could manage something.

Bridget would hang out a bit longer, asking minor questions about the village Sialuk hoped to found. It was a different culture from anything Bridget had heard about before, and it made her even more intrigued to visit her mother’s pack too.

At length she would need to return, however, and excuse herself back down the mountainside.