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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: By the light of the silvery moon...   Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:12 am

And so it begins, the fun and the unpredictability of it all.


The moon hung low in the sky this night, an evening that was cooler than the last and that one cooler than the one before it. The silvery light from the orb gave the trail just enough illumination to aid Redlance in spotting the small and subtle changes in the terrain, a small depression in the shape of a hoof here and a turn of the dirt there meant the tusk hog was still walking along the trail. The chill in the air might be a change in the seasons he considered as he silently moved along the side of trail following the tracks passing two newly web wrapped bundles stuck to the base of a tree. The webbing was still wet the treeshaper thought, the petal wings were up and working all ready, which meant if the tusk hog they were stalking stopped long enough it might find itself wrapped up as well. He didn't hear them behind him but Redlance knew the other hunters were there, the other Wolfriders, waiting to see which way he turned as he followed the tracks.

The treeshaper had come across the tusk hog just after Cutter his chief had sent them out to begin the hunt, and after he and Pike were sure of what they were following, the pair sent to the hunting party they had found something. Now he moved along noting each and every step the tusk hog had made just moments before. We are close, Redlance thought silently as he spotted another small track, so very close. Then his eyes spotted something else, a new track just off to the side of the trail where he was walking behind the tusk hog…stalking it. He stopped and knelt to check this new impression leaning his spear on his side. His fingers reached down and gently ran along the upturned dirt and as the tips grazed the edge of the mark Redlance already knew what animal had made this. It had been a long time since he had come across one but he recognized the track and with that realization came a new revelation.

The hunting party wasn't the only ones stalking the tusk hog…


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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:23 am

He gave pause to his prowling pace for just a moment.  Just a moment to take in the night's scent.  As always, the faint whisper of his instincts reminded him that this wasn't home. Although his soul longed for the woodland birth place of his wolfblood, his heart thrived on the fact that this new grove provided the sanctuary for his tribe and loved ones to flourish and survive.  


Now with his attention refocused to the hunt, Cutter's luminous eyes scanned about their surroundings as his trained senses searched for any sound or scent.  At first, the chieftain ignored the slight pull at his air, thinking it was Pike playing one of his silent games while stalking through the forest, but it soon felt as if an unexpected breeze grabbed onto more strands of his pale mane and refused to let go. With a turn of annoyance, Cutter found a veil of shredded preserver web laced throughout his chief's lock.  

His blue eyes rolled with a low growl, but he pressed on and silently vowed to find Moonshade once they returned to the Holt. Surely the talented tanner could devise a make-shift mouth covering to strap over the head of these preservers before they made this grand forest impossible to even walk through.


As Cutter began the slow hunting pace again, he began to feel uneasy with the usual silence. Redlance always kept continuous sendings to his tribemates even though they could easily follow his scent to know where his tracking trail led him far ahead of the pack, but the silence lingered a bit too long for the chief's tolerable patience.  Although the treeshaper knew not to attempt to take on the prey alone, every experienced hunter knew to always expect the unexpected.  Sometimes the prey became the predator, and all knew too well the damage those lethal tusks could inflict.


Thus far, there was no suspicion of alarm, but the chieftain wasn't taking any chances.  **Redlance? Have we lost the trail?**
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:16 pm

Scot smirked. He elbowed Pike. "What are we waiting for?" Pike shot him a reproving glance, but only shrugged.

Shouldering his spear, Scot glanced around at the gathered Wolfriders. Only half of them were here, mounted on wolves. Many had stayed behind-- to protect the young, just like back home. Krim, too, had remained to help guard the new tree lodges. Scot had resolved to follow the hunters into danger- to see these Wolfriders in action. But the forest was uncomfortably hot. The waiting grew long. And Scot grew impatient.

One elf, the treeshaper, had gone ahead, purportedly to "scout." It didn't seem fair to Scot that one elf should get all the fun and any chance at glory, while the rest hesitated like fearful fawns.

Pushing past Pike, Scot marched up to the leader of these elves. Cutter's wolf mount shifted nervously, his feet crunching in the dry leaves. The Wolfrider chieftain was peering into the darkening gloom of the woods. He seemed to be thinking hard- as if having an internal conversation. Oh right, Scot remembered, sending. He shook aside the shaggy, brown bangs that had fallen across his eyes, and said:

"Say, Chief. If we aren't hunting, why not stab through one of these spider bundles and be done with it? Kahvi would have us chasing stagback by now! You Wolfriders cower like fox kits in a snow burrow. Let's go! Let's catch up with ol' RedBraids and look for game on the way." Out of the corner of his eye, Scot saw Pike slap a hand to his face- and grinned.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:19 pm

Skywise, mounter on Starjumper, was right behind Cutter. He found his gaze lingering on his soul-brother tonight. It seemed to him of late that Cutter was growing into his role as chief. There was some of Bearclaw in him, but more and more, he was turning out to be Joyleaf's son, too. Perhaps Leetah and the cubs were a good influence on him?

Skywise shook his head, and decided to just concentrate on the hunt at hand. There was food aplenty, always to be had in the preserver cocoons, but still, their wolf heritage urged them to hunt for themselves. It was an important part of life - although it did make one feel safer to have all that cocooned meat available, in case the White Cold would be too rough this turn... even if a Wolfrider lived in the Now, some thought had to be given for the immediate future.

The stars glinted high above, and next to the Mother Moon, solitary tonight, he spotted a familiar constellation. The Maiden At The Well, he had named it... he wondered if Maleen, Ruffel and Vurdah still argued amongst themselves about which of them it was named after. Those had been good times...

He shrugged his shoulders. His mind sure was flitting about like a preserver tonight, from past to future. Hunt, he told himself. Chase. Kill. Eat.
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:58 am

Borrowing Strongbow for a bit, not taking total control


The send from his chief touched his mind with an urgency Redlance could feel. Cutter wasn’t worried but he wasn’t about to let a tribes man wander free during a hunt. Still, the treeshaper ran his fingers slowly around the mark noting its size in silence. The four fingered pad was larger than his hand and from its depth the animal it belonged to was large, maybe one of the biggest he had come across. That though wasn’t the thorn in Redlance’s side. They had been here in the Forbidden Grove not quite a full turn of the season yet but long enough that the Wolfriders should have seen this foe if it were living here in the forest with them. Why all of the sudden was it here and how was it staying out of the Petal Wing’s wrap stuff, those questions didn’t bother Redlance as much as to how it was staying hidden from the tribe? As the treeshaper knelt there thinking a soft set of footsteps approached and knelt by him as the heel of a large bow silently rested on the ground. Redlance finally turned to see the stone face of Strongbow staring at the track before looking to him.

**Is that what I think it is?**

The treeshaper nodded slowly then looked out to the forest, **A large longtooth…following the scent of the tusk hog we’re tracking.**

**It’s big…is it alone do you think?** Strongbow asked standing and looking out at the forest as well. The sudden appearance of the longtooth didn’t sit well with the archer but the thought of if it with its brothers and sisters…now that truly gave him concern. Being out in the Holt with one longtooth wasn’t nearly as daunting a proposition as being out in the dark with a few.

**This is the only longtooth track I’ve seen since we’ve been in our new Holt but there could be others…**

The archer sniffed the air before his face scrunched into his usual scowl, **the longtooth’s scent, it’s not on the air like it should be.**

**I know, the treeshaper nodded standing up and gripping his spear tighter in his hand as sent back to his beloved chief and the hunting party. **I have the tusk hog’s trail my chief, but there’s something new in our Holt and its following our meal. We have a longtooth Cutter, a large one, a single track so I’m not sure if it’s one or more. Strongbow and I can wait if you want?**

The treeshaper kept a watchful eye out, as did the archer, while he waited for a response from his chief about what to do next. Redlance’s memories fell back to the night he was given his new name from Cutter’s sire and hoped there would not be a need for a another one tonight.


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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:39 pm

Cutter's jaw clenched with a slight grind to his teeth by the abrupt interruption from the overly abrasive Go-Back.  Once again, the chieftain had to remind himself that the newer tribemate wasn't accustomed to his new “Way”, but the constant comparison to the Go-Back chieftess was truly beginning to wear  on Cutter's patience.  He slowly turned his head and was careful to keep a calm to his composure, yet the chief did allow the alpha wolf flowing in his blood to reveal itself through his piercing blue eyes.  While taking a deep breath, the chieftain spoke barely above a whisper, as a reminder to Skot that silence was of the utmost importance during any hunt. His tone was smooth and mellow, yet his words were meant to hit their mark.  


“My friend, need I remind you that this is not your beloved home of the great white cold? The many predators and prey of this land play a completely different game within the forest than those who dwell throughout your cold Holt.  Big... and even the small can be deadly. You have yet to learn all of them.”  He blinked slowly and sighed, as if tired of having this discussion again.  “Even your great chieftess would know that if she were here...”


Before Skot could rebuttal, Cutter bent himself forward to brace his forearm across the wolf's shoulder's and the other arm propped at the elbow for the chief to lazily point about the forest with New Moon.  He even allowed a grin of temptation to twitch at his lips as he spoke again. “Or, if you wish, feel free to slice open any webbing pouch of your choosing.  May the High Ones keep you safe should it be a hive full of angry sting tails that will chase and stab you all the way to the human village.  Or a stripe back that attacks with such a fowl odor, you'll find yourself unable to stand your own stench for an entire phase of the moons.  Or, stars forbid, a nest of snakes where a single bite may end your life before Leetah's hands could ever reach you.”  



There were many more examples Cutter could have given the Go-Back, but he hoped the few he had mentioned would make Skot stop and think.  True the Go-Back's endured hardships of their own in a brutal cold land, as well as bigger prey and the trolls, but they didn't have half of the smaller hidden threats a forest keeps secret and deadly.


Just then, Cutter's head suddenly snapped up to look directly out into the night with widened eyes and every tone muscle gone tense.  Hearing Redlance's sending, his breath held still for a moment as a silent curse ran through his mind after hearing the new tracks found ahead.  A low growl resonated from his throat before glancing at Skot once more.  “With any luck, you will never have to encounter what our tracker has just learned is sharing the hunting grounds with us this night.”


Looking out to the shadows of the forest again, Cutter's sending was stern, but full of concern.  *Wait for us to catch up, Redlance, but keep your eyes sharp.  Take to the trees if need be.*


The chieftain motioned with his hand for the rest to follow with caution in the air and a sending of warning to their minds of the potential threat sharing their territory.  There were those in the group who knew the chilling threat of such a creature that nearly took his own sire's life.  Although Bearclaw chose to find more humor in the near tragedy whenever the old badger chose to tell of it when Cutter was a young cub.  But even as a youth, Cutter knew better whenever he caught sight of the scars embedded in his sire's flesh the longtooth left behind before Redlance managed to kill the beast.
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:20 am

Scot bristled at Cutter's rebuke- especially when the Wolf Chief mentioned Kahvi! As if the land of white cold wasn't challenge enough! But something in Cutter's eyes made him bite back his retort. And listening, he realized- he really did not know this land. What was a stripe back? And why did it stink? A nest of snakes, he knew, could kill. But what were hornets?

Scot took a deep breath, about to acknowledge his error- but stopped short when Cutter's head shot up. The pale-haired chieftain's eyes went wide, and his next words were enough to make even Scot grow serious. “With any luck, you will never have to encounter what our tracker has just learned is sharing the hunting grounds with us this night.” Cutter growled.

Waving his hand, the Chief ushered his hunters to follow him into the darkening forest. Scot jogged along beside the wolves. He sensed Pike move up beside him. He turned to grin at the jovial red head, but stumbled instead when Piked kicked his shoulder.

*What were you thinking?* Pike demanded. *I told you how things work around here. Or don't Go Backs think to listen?*

Scot easily regained his footing and pace. He shrugged and shot back a grin. *We listen, sure. But it's a choice to obey.*

*Not in this tribe, it isn't!* Pike informed him. But Scot wasn't listening. The hunters had caught up with the tracker. The green-eyed elf with long, red braids was crouched on the ground, examining whatever marks were there with concern. That surly archer stood behind him, bracing himself on his bow. Both glanced up at the hunting party's approach.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:24 pm

(I am assuming the sendings identifying the longtooth were private. If I am mistaken, please inform me and I will fix this post.)

Skywise did not get involved in the argument between Cutter and Skot. The Go-Back was being childish, but it was up to Cutter to stand up for himself, and he did so, showing once again his maturity as a leader. Skywise hoped Skot would behave himself tonight. The Go-Backs still had much to learn, and what they did not know about this land might affect the hunt for the worse.

Then again, though this forest was similar to the one he was born in, it was a new place for the whole tribe. There might be things here the Wolfriders had never encountered, perhaps wrapped so carefully in those Preserver cocoons. What if there was a giant swordfoot lizard here somewhere, like in the old stories? Or some mis-shapen kin of Madcoil's, just waiting to strike?

Skywise noticed Cutter was looking tense and worried. He lock-sent to the young chief only: ~**What is it, Tam? Is something wrong?**~ As far as Skywise knew they were hunting a tusk-hog, which, while a tricky prey, did not merit such concern.



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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:24 pm

Still borrowing Strongbow, not taking total control


As they waited for the hunting party to arrive Redlance and the archer watched the dark of the many shadows thrown by the moons overhead. The treeshaper eyed each spot closely as he held his spear in his hand while beside him the archer did the same with a nocked arrow at the ready. Redlance knew if the longtooth was near it could come for both he and Strongbow with a single leap, kill them before either had a chance to stop it, but he couldn’t shake the feeling something was off with the longtooth and this tusk hog. His hand squeezed he spear’s shaft as he knelt again and then down to the track. It hadn’t changed since he last looked and yet Redlance still studied it, searched its imprint for any sign that might help him in ‘seeing’ more of this foe. He looked back swiveling on his feet to look back farther in the foliage and there he saw a second track, and further back was a third and fourth side by side. Redlance took two long gaits to reach the last track then looked to the left and then right inspecting the ground all around him just as close as he had the shadows.

And then his eyes found what he was looking for, or better yet what he felt was ‘missing’. He knelt and looked at a spot, a small pool of what looked like black dye the tanner might use on her leathers. Redlance reached down carefully and dipped just the tips of his two longest fingers in before pulling them back slowly. The liquid was thick, viscous to the touch, and the treeshaper knew its smell as soon as he sniffed it quickly.

Blood

Redlance rose and walked out to find Strongbow still standing by the trail with his bow still at the ready. **What else did you find?** The archer asked without looking back to him.

**Blood…not much but it was the longtooth’s…and from the looks of the marks on the ground it was hiding back in the brush till the tusk hog passed by.**

Now Strongbow turned to the treeshaper with a confused look, **That doesn’t sound right, even injured a longtooth won’t let a kill like a tusk hog go free.**

The treeshaper only nodded as he replied silently, **I think the longtooth was here before the tusk hog and left before our meal went past.**

**Then what hurt the longtooth?** Strongbow asked turning back to the trail. Up ahead they could see the hunting party approaching swiftly. He finally loosened his arrow as Redlance answered him.

**I know of nothing here in the Holt that could hurt a longtooth this large except one,**

**Humans,** Strongbow snarled as the hunting party came to a stop by them.

Redlance didn’t acknowledge the send from the archer. He didn’t need to. Strongbow knew all ready what else might be wandering here in the Holt. The treeshaper showed his chief the marks, the blood, and then explained what he thought it all meant. Even though he told Cutter he hadn’t seen a human track he was sure the longtooth had been driven into the forest after being injured by the humans. After he was done Redlance could see all of his words turning in his chief’s head and wandered what the rest of the night might hold.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:19 am

*Humans or no humans,* Pike sent, *A wounded Longtooth is dangerous!*

"Can't be worse than trolls," Scot shrugged. "And every warrior here worth his spit has faced down those."

"It could be a bear," Pike offered hopefully. He had taken to speaking again-  like a Go Back, Scot noted. Pike seemed to be wavering in both his sympathies and behavior between the ways of his tribe and those of the two Go Back newcomers. Scot decided to make it easier on him.

*A large bear can take down a Longtooth for sure- I've seen it,* Scot sent. It was an effort, and gave him a slight headache. But... when in the forest, do as the forest-dwellers. *Aren't there other, tough enough beasts besides humans?*

He glanced from Cutter to the grim and silent archer to Cutter's silver-haired second, waiting for either an order or a reply. Dangers be cursed, Scot was itching to stick his spear in something.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:12 pm

((my apologies for being tardy with my reply. Been swamped this week))


Although Skywise's sending was more curiosity than it was concern, Cutter's own worries were not dissuaded as the chieftain returned with his own far more serious locksend. **Stay close and keep your nose alert, Fahr.  Redlance found tracks of a longtooth...**  


It didn't take long for the hunting group to catch up to the tracker and the archer, and with a silent nod to the both of them, Cutter slowly slipped off of Shadowchaser's back to approach them.  He remained quiet and studious as Redlance pointed out the area of the tracks and those of the tusk hog, as well as the traces of blood while explaining his theory of what may have happened.


For a moment, the chieftain examined the tracks himself.  Not because he doesn't trust his own tribemate's observations, but sometimes, another pair of fresh eyes took notice of other possible details that another may miss.  Each of the Wolfrider's possessed their own unique skills and talent, be it they were taught by tribe elders, or by their own experiences which made them more the wiser.  When Redlance pointed out the blood, proving the longtooth was injured, a lesson from the past flashed through Cutter's mind that led to his own  suspicions.


While crouching down down to examine the prints in the ground, the chieftain caught Treestump's scent before the elder reached his side with a whispered open sending, as if their prey and predator could possibly hear.  **What is it lad? Don't tell me there's more than one...**


Cutter shook his head slowly while studying the next track, and then the next until he reached Redlance again. He kept his sending open for all to hear to keep the tribe informed.  **His right side is wounded... either the hip, or the hind leg itself perhaps...** He pointed to the paw print to the rear, and then to the front of the track pattern.  **See how the track behind is much deeper than the one after?  He's leaning his weight off of the injured side.**  Knowing where such a beast was wounded could prove beneficial to the tribe should they accidentally cross its path.  Or even life saving.  Before addressing the hunting group again, the chieftain gave the tracker a proud pat on the shoulder and smiled with a locksend just between them. **Good sights, Redlance.  It's times like this I'm grateful you take the lead.**  


Now addressing the Wolfriders, Cutter reached out to bury his hand into his wolf's fur to help keep him calm.  He knew his bond friend picked up the blood scent and could feel the muscles twitching to either be on the hunt, or avoid being hunted.  **Watch each others backs, my friends.  If anyone sees either tracks of prey or predator, point them out.  Strongbow and Scouter will take to the trees to keep a keen eye from above.**  He slid onto the wolf's back once more with a firm grip to New Moon.  **Redlance, stay beside Shadowchaser.... I don't want to risk you going off ahead and possibly running into that longtooth alone.**


As the group began to set off again at a cautious pace, Strongbow looked to Skot before answering the Go-Back's question.  **Yes, there is...** A rare grin tugged at the corner of the archer's lips. **Wolves.** With that said, the archer took to the trees with Scouter to keep a protective eye over the hunters.
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:19 am

Skywise's eyes widened a little at the information. A longtooth? And a wounded one? Tonight's hunt was turning out to be one of a kind.

At Skot's comment, Skywise replied. **I am sure Pike has told you about Madcoil. The Wolfriders have never encountered another being like that, but it could happen. Or... I suppose a longtooth could be hurt by another longtooth, in a fight over territory for example.** The sending was open for everyone. **But I'd say the humans are the most likely reason.**

Cutter's comment made him smile. **Oh yes... wolves, and wolfriders! This won't be the first longtooth we take down - nor the last.**

Skywise kept his senses alert. The danger was very real. He knew, of course, the story about how Redlance saved Bearclaw from a beast just like the one they were after now. Other elves, in the past, had been less fortunate. Even hunting in a group as they were now, there were risks.
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:17 pm

Redlance stood and thought quietly as the hunting party talked about the longtooth and what might have hurt the animal. His friend since they were cubs, Pike spoke the truth when he said this might have been a bear that hurt the longtooth. He remembered once long ago in the Wolfrider’s past when the hunting party had come across the remains of a young longtooth that had tried to bring down a bear one night in their old Holt. The fight had been ferocious from what the tracks told. The ground was rent and torn in the small clearing where they came across the battle between the pair, and in the end the bear had taken the young longtooth’s life. Maybe this was the case, a large cat trying to kill a large bear that fought back? The treeshaper wasn't sure; something still didn’t sit right with him about that possibility.

And now that he thought of it more, the human part of this wasn’t adding up either. Why would the humans wound the longtooth and then let it go? Its meat and fur would be too valuable to just let slip away into the night. He was by no means one who knew much of how humans thought or acted, except when it came to what they did to an elf after capturing one. Even with the memories of the night he was almost killed by the hand of the old man while tied to the rock at the old Holt flashing back in his mind the treeshaper felt the humans had no part in this either. So what does that leave Redlance asked no one but himself, who or what would have hurt the longtooth? As the party slipped through the brush making not a single sound his mind kept churning and turning over all that he knew. He looked over and saw Skot moving along just as quiet as the others with an eager look on his face. The Go-Back was built for the kill and not the hunt, he preferred the fight over the stalk any night, and with the realization Redlance came too there suddenly came a memory as well.

The Wolfriders were back in the white cold of the mountains, back with the Go-Backs in their home and lands. It was just after they had arrived at the Go-Back’s lodge, not by choice but force due to the Gliders deception, that the treeshaper had gone out on a hunt with one of their groups led by Skot and Kahvi. Cutter was still recovering from nearly dying by being run through with a troll spear and was still resting at the lodge. Nightfall and Skywise had refused to leave their chief’s side as he healed so Redlance had agreed to go along on the bear hunt when Skot had asked. He stayed back in the group keeping quiet as he always did observing and taking in how the Go-Backs hunted the white bears of their homeland, this night following a blood trail that looked just like the one the longtooth was leaving behind. It was revealing to the treeshaper to see how the elves of these mountains never feared what they tracked, neither were they weary of what it might do when cornered as they ran it down sitting atop their stag backs. He was sure whenever the hunting party caught up to the bear they followed there would be no mercy given.

Yet these hard Go-Backs surprised him.

As the hunting party closed in on a cave where the small blood trail led too Kahvi brought them to a quick stop a good distance away from the entrance. The Go-Back chief nodded to one of her tribe, Krim it was now that Redlance remembered, and the warrior silently approached the cave by herself peeking in quickly before running back to them. When she arrived she sighed in frustration and looked at her chief with a hard eye. “It’s a mother bear my chief…giving birth as we speak.”

A low growl of anger went through the party and as Redlance looked to Kahvi the enigmatic chief only grinned and shook her head to him. She knew what he was going to ask before he could say a word. “We don’t kill mother bears who carry little ones Wolfrider, it’s just not done up here.” And as she turned her stag back and rode away with the others Redlance looked back to the cave and wondered if the bear knew just how close she had come to being killed.

Blood trail…little ones…bearing cubs?

“That’s what I’m missing…” Redlance whispered low with a grin. He looked over to see Skot and Pike both staring back with confused expressions. He turned and looked to Cutter and Skywise, both who had heard him speak, and shook his head. “No one has hurt the longtooth Cutter, its bearing cubs.”

The chief only looked back with a raised eyebrow while the stargazer smiled as Redlance sent to all in the hunting party his memory of the bear spared by Kahvi and her tribe that night.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:59 am

At first, the chieftain merely blinked at Redlance and his claim before the dangerous scenarios began to play through his mind.  An injured longtooth was dangerous enough, but a lifebearing longtooth was just as dangerous as the bear perceived in Redlance's open sending.  With a heavy sigh, Cutter gave a slight shake of his head and looked to Treestump to see the elder also looking gravely concerned.  Cutter knew that look was bound to be on every face in the hunting group as he sent to every alert mind.


**We're steering clear of this path, everyone.  There's more than enough prey to hunt in these woods to seek out tracks and follow. Let's head out and track along the other side of the Holt...**  As he guided Shadowchaser in the opposite direction of the longtooth's path, the chieftain gave Skot a knowing grin and spoke softly to ease the Go-Back's mind from all sending.  "You may get your wish yet, Skot.  Perhaps a web coated meal will have to do now that we've had a bit of a set back to our hunt."


Without missing a beat, Cutter then turned to look directly at the tracker with a more serious arch of his right eyebrow and a locksend before Redlance ever had a chance to take a step ahead.  **And don't you even think of running off ahead.  You're staying put with the group until we're safe enough away from that longtooth possibly catching our scents.**  There was a suspicious gleam of humor in the chief's blue orbs, but as quickly as it was thought to be seen, it was gone as the chieftain headed off to lead the way.


For the most part, the trek went on quietly and uneventful save for what smaller creatures were heard scurrying off for safety, or a passing breeze rustling through the leaves.  Mother moon and Child moon were gradually coasting across the night sky offering what light their embracing glow could offer to the hunters below.  But it wasn't sight that found the prey.  Cutter's nose caught the scent just a fraction of a second after Shadowdancer paused and tensed, and  with his ears suddenly drawn back.  Just as chieftain and wolf turned their heads to pinpoint the location of the scent, the tusk-hog came barreling out of a dark thicket with its ear shattering shriek.


Wolf and rider dodged the beast and its deadly spears just as the beast  charged at them with the Wolfriders now hot on its heels.  Instantly, there came that indescribable thrill coursing through their veins; that adrenaline rush within the wolf blood that brought fierce excitement within the elves' eyes as they gave a heated chase.  Trees were dodged and logs and low lining brush were leaped over by swift feet and graceful paws.  

As a team, the front runners were to heard the prey into a panic of misdirection in order to give the archers or the spear throwers a clear shot.  

So consumed in the thrill of the hunt, no one predicted the beast would make its own grave mistake.

So consumed by fear and panic by snapping jaws closing in from behind, the tusk-hog never predicted the thicket ahead was already occupied.

The longtooth was momentarily forgotten during the thrill of the chase until it was too late.  

The combining screams of the fleeing prey and the startled longtooth that was simply out to protect her newborn cubs barely alerted Cutter and the group in time.  Shadowchaser came to such a startling halt with paws sliding across the ground and loosing his balance, sending the chieftain into the air. Trained reflexes ducked and rolled his body against the forest floor with a frantic and piercing sending to warn his tribe to scatter and get to safety.  Cutter wasted no time himself and leaped for the trees while scanning the terrain to be sure his tribemates took heed of his warning.


Meanwhile, the confrontation of wild boar and longtooth finally came out into the open.  But she was extremely weak and vulnerable.  Perhaps that was why the tusk hog took on suck a challenge? Whatever the reasons, as unnatural as it appeared, the cursed hog now chose to charge after longtooth.
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:02 am

"Oh no you don't!" Skot had turned, having scaled the tree after Pike (as per Cutter's orders). What he saw, in a flash, was an enraged and fear-driven tusk hog.. otherwise know as dinner!... about to charge a mother Longtooth. Skot was no soft heart - he was a Go Back. But the Go Backs lived by certain codes. Kahvi had invented the rule that no mothers should be killed in the hunt. And well before Kahvi, the code that no hunt returned empty handed if a single warrior could help it. Here, Skot recognized the chance to honor both codes at once! With a wordless shout, he leaped to the ground and hurled his spear at the charging tusk hog. The weapon impaled the pig deep in it's haunch. Skot hooted in triumph.


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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:15 am

Skywise's eyes widened at the discovery of the new information. A longtooth... having cubs? Not only was this a danger to tonight's hunt, but it meant the big cat had chosen Forbidden Grove as its territory. That was a problem they would have to address at some later time. For now, he knew Cutter was right. They were better off staying away from the protective feline mother.

Skywise and Starjumper followed right at Cutter's heels, all of their senses alert to their surroundings. When the hunt came to a sudden stop, Skywise barely managed to stay on his wolf-friend. He did not take to the trees immediately, and thus was still close by when Skot speared the tusk hog. Skywise saw the animal was wounded, and madder than ever. He rushed towards it, taking care to stay on the opposite side than the longtooth, and sunk his sword deep into its neck. Be dead, please be dead... he thought, aware of the danger he had put himself in. The longtooth was looking at him now... and Skywise found that his only weapon was stuck in the neck of the dying tusk hog!

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:38 am

Upon hearing the command of his chief Redlance jumped and went into the trees seeking refuge and safe haven from the fight below, and just like the others he saw how weak the longtooth was from giving birth and how the tusk hog was more than willing to now take on the weakened cat. With a growl from his chest the treeshaper watched as Skot leapt into the fray throwing his spear with a perfect strike into the haunch of the tusk hog and then the stargazer burying his sword deep into the neck of the hog with a blow that had to be fatal…that was only if the tusk hog decided to lie down and die which it looked from where he stood the animal was not choosing to do. The longtooth though decided to use the attacks of the Wolfriders to her advantage and lash out at the wounded tusk hog as well slapping it with a clawed paw quickly but without any power. The tusk hog only shook off the blow with a loud squeal before turning back to the longtooth eyeing it and breathing hard.

The treeshaper waited only a moment more before reaching up into the canopy of the forest and pulling a long vine free from the branches it was attached too. He threw one end down to the ground and then grew the vine as fast as any plant he ever had induced with his magic while sending to the pair of elves and friends below.

**Quick Skot and Skywise, grab the vine and I’ll pull you up! Get out of there before the animals turn on you!**

And almost as if the pair heard him the longtooth and the tusk hog forgot about fighting each other and looked to the two smaller pickings in the small clearing with them. Why kill each other when there was weaker enemies to attack the animals must have thought and decided to act on turning away from each other and toward Skot and Skywise.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:15 pm

The following actions happened in the blink of an eye.  Just as Cutter caught movement by his peripheral vision, Skot was already on the ground and releasing his attack on the tusk hog, with Skywise right behind him to also lunge at the beast, as well as protect the lone Go-Back.  The chieftain's mind screamed with the horrid possibilities flashing through his mind in a split second, but Cutter drowned his flash of panic and was sending to others in the group as he dashed through branches  to position himself.  


**Treestump! Help Redlance pull them both up! Strongbow! Take out the tusk hog's sight since the cursed beast is too stupid to know he should be dead!**


With the longtooth paying more attention to the pair of elves now on the ground, Cutter rushed through the canopy of trees until he was behind the beasts.  Once ready, the chief leaped down toward the ground, giving Strongbow the sign to take his shot.  The arrow landed in the hog's eye socket with a sickening thud, sending its high pitched shrieks to echo through the forest and thrashing itself wildly across the ground.  That split second was enough to distract the longtooth and see a new potential threat to her cubs.  The plan was simply to distract the lifebearer.  Just long enough to give Skot and Skywise time to reach the vines and climb out of reach.  


He had to blame his sire's blood for such a rash and risky decision.  But it worked.  Only now, the chieftain made himself the new main course.


Or so the longtooth had in mind until Cutter felt another vine slide quietly down against his back with Treestump's scolding words filling his head in sending.  The feline leaned her body into a crouching position, cuing her muscles for attack as Cutter's free hand slid around the vine to twist and wrap it around his wrist.  Just before the beast took her mighty leap, the chieftain felt the hard jerk take him into the air just as the longtooth took a swipe at his feet with a vicious feline scream.  


The creature landed empty handed, but that didn't dissuade her from now circling the area, using her keen senses to sniff out the hunters within the trees.  Meanwhile, Redlance, Treestump, and Strongbow kept a firm hold on the vine with their chief now dangling at eye level with them.  The elder of the group leered his face forward close to Cutter's with a look that could kill.  **You may be chief, lad...but so help the High Ones keep me in check when you go off acting more like your father than your mother!**


For now, Cutter could only grin at his uncle, which only seemed to make Treestump even more frustrated at him.
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:01 pm

Skot grabbed the vine that Redlance tossed to him. He half scrambled up, half was pulled as the treeshaper and burly Treestump hauled him to safety. Clambering on to the branch, Skot helped thread the vine back down to Skywise.

Treestump cursed, cut loose a second length of vine and rushed to where Cutter now faced the weak but angry longtooth. Out of the corner of his eye, Skot saw Treestump hoist up the Wolfrider chief, just in time as the animal lunged.

A shot twanged from Strongbrow's bow- and an arrow imbedded itself in the eye of the stumbling tusk hog. The pig screamed, staggering blindly now- Skot's spear and Skywise's knife still buried in its haunch and neck. 'Well-- that went troll humping wrong!' Skot thought as he watched his weapon get left behind in what was definitely not a clean kill. They'd have to leave the dying animal for the longtooth- and there went both a good sword and spear.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:00 pm

Skywise grabbed the vine Redlance had thrown at them. Just in time, too, he thought as the sharp claws of the longtooth tore his trousers where they were stuffed into his boots. Only leather, though, not flesh, so the mending work would be for Moonshade, not Leetah.

He climbed up into the branches, assisted by his tribemates. He watched Cutter and Strongbow attack the creature. The animal was clawing at Cutter, too, now.

Skywise was glad to be safe - relatively safe, at least, compared to how he'd been moments ago, but there was a problem he couldn't ignore. I need my sword back, the stargazer thought, it's far too good a blade to be lost in this foolishness.

He furrowed his brows, trying to think of a plan that would get him his weapon again. None came to mind outright, but he would not give up. He was sure Cutter would understand. After all, New Moon was the young chief's most prized posession. Skywise's blade lacked such a dramatic history, but it had been with him a long time, and his hand was accustomed to how it felt and how it was weighted.
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:21 pm

With all of the hunting party now in the trees, Cutter too even though he was hanging like a piece of bait off the ground for the longtooth, Redlance turned his attention to the tusk hog. He watched as the beast staggered in a circle with Skot’s spear protruding from its flank and the stargazer’s sword sticking out if its neck. The tusk hog would not be among them much longer the treeshaper could tell, its breathing was more labored now and with all the blood it was spilling the time for its end was almost near. The treeshaper made a quick decision and with a skilled hop jumped over a branch or two or three and stopped when he was over the swaying tusk hog. He looked down to see the beast take another shaky step then fall to the ground leaving its flank, and Skot’s spear and Skywise’s sword, exposed.

The treeshaper smiled and looked over to the pair. “I think we need to get those back.” He reached over and took another vine off the tree growing it quickly before tying a loop in one end. The treeshaper looked over to see the longtooth still eyeing Cutter’s rump with a nasty look before dropping the loop down onto the hilt of Skywise’s sword with a plop. The treeshaper’s smile grew as he started to pull upwards on the sword, but then it faded as he realized the weapon was slightly stuck and wasn’t going to come free that easily.

And then it disappeared as Redlance heard the longtooth growl and he turned to see the longtooth eyeing the vine and now he with a snarl...seems Cutter wasn’t as dangerous now as the one threatening this night’s meal Redlance thought.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:28 am

Seeing Skot and Skywise now out of harm's way, Cutter breathed a sigh of relief as he took Treestump's hand to help him climb upon the branch.  The dying screeches from the tusk hog echoed throughout the forest, but it appeared the longtooth lost interest in it when seeing Redlance's vine attempting to retrieve Skywise's blade.  Puckernuts! the chieftain thought as more of their hunting time began to fade away with shifting moons.

**Strongbow.... try aiming an arrow or two at her feet.  Just enough to startle her back.**


The archer nodded, already expecting Cutter's idea before the chief suggested it as Cutter motioned to the others to gather closer.  He was limited on ideas due to being stuck in the trees, and resorting to shouting and making noises wasn't an option either, since the humans dwelled nearby.  The five fingered ones may shy away from the grove itself, but some still dared to wander within.  **Snap off what thin long braches you can and we'll use them to distract her... shake them, or toss them near her den! We need to get the longtooth to move away from that tusk hog long enough for Redlance and his vine to retrieve Skywise's blade...**  


Using New Moon, Cutter hacked off a long branch with only a swipe or two, then dangled it as low as he could reach and giving it a hard shake.  The leaves rustled, catching the feline's attention and drawing her ears back at the newfound "threat".  The chieftain shook the branch even more, mentally willing the beast to stalk closer, and just as she leaped high into the air, he pulled back with only her deadly claws shredding a few of the leaves.  After showing the others his plan, he pointed toward her newborn cubs.  ** Lets lure her back to her young.... everyone take turns one by one! We don't want to anger her to the point that she won't follow! Just enough to keep her focus off of Redlance and the vine...**
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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:24 pm

Pike saw what Cutter was up to and jumped to follow his chief's example. He grabbed some stones and branches, and went to work. First he rustled a low branch to get the cat's attention, then he tossed to stones to land loudly in the direction of her cubs. The rocks bounced off the trunks and landed on the ground with a thunk. The stones startled the longtooth cubs and set them to squealing. Though one brave little tike was more curious than afraid, waddled over to investigate and began batting a round stone around with his paws.

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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:23 pm

Once again, Skywise thought with satisfaction, Cutter had lived up to his name and 'cut through' the problem with a clever yet simple plan. Skywise did as suggested and began tearing off dry branches to use. He broke them to small pieces, and threw them near where the newborn longtooth cubs were, so it would seem to the mother that the cubs were in danger from whatever must be rustling among the branches. She would go there, he was certain, and protect her young. Wouldn't any mother?

His hand clutched the piece of wood it was holding, squeezing much tighter suddenly, so that it broke in his fist. His own mother... he knew she had protected him to the last, and died for it. It wasn't something his thoughts dwelled on often - the Now of wolf thought made sure of that - but sometimes, there was a reminder, sharp as any sting from a blade.


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PostSubject: Re: By the light of the silvery moon...   Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:11 pm

Sorry for the late response guys, got a little busy IRL...here's the next piece.

His beloved chief had struck on a grand idea and with all quickly moving to distract the large longtooth Redlance smiled feeling better. He quickly convinced a tree to lend him a stick and just as the treeshaper was about to join the hunting party with the distraction he heard a loud screech from overhead. Redlance turned and looked up through the canopy almost at once and just in time to see the large shadow pass over blocking out the moonlight as it went by. Even with all the branches and leaves in the way the treeshaper knew immediately what it was.

It was the shape of one of the Gliders large birds, flying low and quick.

Redlance looked down at the others and noted they had the situation in hand now so he jumped up and climbed quickly up to a clear spot in the branches where he could see out. There, floating on the night air, the large bird flew toward its home and nest in Blue Mountain. With each sweep of its long majestic wings the bird gained on the mountain and moved away from the treeshaper, but it wasn’t fast enough for Redlance not to notice what dangled from its talons kicking and screaming like it was crazed. The treeshaper was about to send to Scouter, the eyes of the tribe; to make sure what he saw was actually what he was seeing. Before the treeshaper could ask though the very elf he was thinking of quickly sent to the hunting party.

Cutter, the Gliders bird has a human in its talon and I don’t think it likes the view.

The treeshaper was about to respond he saw the same when the human in the birds talons abruptly fell to the forest below. If it had successfully freed itself or the bird dropped the human Redlance wasn’t sure as his chief appeared at his side.

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