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 The Redlance Sagas Return

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Wiseshaman

Wiseshaman

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Join date : 2012-06-23

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PostSubject: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyThu Mar 26, 2015 12:04 am

*comes walking in carrying a large trunk and sets it down in the middle of the thread before sitting on it. Pulls out a colorful bandanna and wipes my forehead while speaking*

Wow...this thing gets heavier and heavier each year...

So, after having my stuff deleted by a hacker or sorts I'll be putting it all back up. I'm hoping to be pretty regular with the updates so keep checking back...

And away we goooooo....

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Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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Wiseshaman

Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Please read....   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyThu Mar 26, 2015 12:08 am

Well, here’s the Redlance Saga’s, more to the point the start of the whole damn thing. This is the first story and a LONG one so you’ll have to hang in for a bit to reach the end…trust me it’s worth it. I also learned a valuable lesson early on too, the benefit of a disclaimer…

Please read before proceeding.

1. If you like you’re Elfquest in its nice original box with the pretty pink Pini ribbons then stop reading now. This is not a rehash of some story line from the old books. This is an original, out-of-the-box-staying-just-in-the-lines-alternate-universe story. If you want a story from the old books then search the EQ forums for others writings, there’s plenty to be had and all are extremely good, dare I say fantastic. Mine is brand new.
2. I’m not going to try and stay in canon with the characters. I will have them act and do as I have always seen them in my heart. Some have called this an ‘author’s indulgence’, which it may be, but if that is not to your liking then don’t read on.
3. The chapters are long, some going as much as twenty pages, so if you don’t like to get that involved then you might want to stop now. I can safely say some of the chapters are pretty intense and some character driven so if you stick around you may end up liking it.
4. This is all written with an emphasis on Redlance, the main character. Do not complain or call it a ‘Mary Sue’, you have been warned. Cutter, Leetah, Nightfall and the others are here too. They just don’t play as big a part as our treeshaper. And yes, you will need to get used to pet names like ‘our treeshaper’ and ‘my love’ so just prepare yourselves.
5. There will be elf sex, joining, sharing, and all that comes with it. There will be steamy scenes which may or may not offend depending on your upbringing. Just a warning, skip it if you need too.

Here’s a little background information that will help keep everyone up to date what’s happening in this alternate universe.

1. The story takes place 1 year, or turn of the season, after the battle with the Djun. The Wolfriders have since tried to start a new Holt in new woods. If I had to put it on a timeline I would say just before 1300 AD.
2. Cutter and Leetah have yet to move into Redlance and Nightfall’s den.
3. The Palace is somewhere, no one is sure where, with Skywise and Timmain and the Sun-Folk. The Wolfriders can’t use it to travel. They all left together shortly after the Djunn was defeated and the stargazer chose the star song over the wolf song.

That’s about it. If you like the story or I’ve managed to make you mad enough to wish a grisly death upon me then please send me a message or a PM describing it. I may use it in a story. I’m listed at the bottom.

Now, here we go with the beginning of the Saga’s. Please keep hands and arms inside the car at all times until the ride has come to a full and complete stop…

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G0lden

G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyThu Mar 26, 2015 12:14 am

yay. The Redlance Sagas and Wiseshaman are back cheers

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Wiseshaman

Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Prologue   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyThu Mar 26, 2015 12:24 am

Yes G0lden I am back and all my stuff as well...so sit back and enjoy...

Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper


Prologue



“Are you sure, that you want to leave?”

The question from Cutter came out so disconsolate, so forlorn that it shook the stargazer to his core almost.  He knew his brother was hurting and his leaving was not going to make things any better, but could it really be this bad?  Ember had chosen Howling Rock over this new forest and Holt, had chosen to lead her tribe over coming home with her father and her mother, Leetah.  Skywise knew it hurt his ‘Brother in all but blood’ to lose his daughter so quickly after the war with the Djun.  He knew Cutter well enough to see the pain every day, oh, he could hide it from the others but not his soul brother.  And now, just one turn of the season from that painful day, here he was ready to leave in the Palace, the elves ancient ancestral home.  Skywise was its Master, the one who flew it to the stars, his beloved stars.  Yes, how he had longed to see them up so close his stars, and with the Djun defeated he could do just that, fly to see them, experience them personally and not like in some dream.

“Yes Cutter, I want to leave.  You know I do.” He whispered trying to reach his brother through the hurt, trying to ease the pain of what he was about to do.

That wasn’t the complete truth, but it was close enough to say it a loud.  Skywise had held the Sun Folk off long enough from their constant request to leave the forest and to find a new home. They wanted a new place to live, maybe one among his beloved stars or maybe a new one in a new desert.  They didn’t like the woods these desert dwellers, to them it was too scary and wild.  So they had been pleading and imploring for him to take the Palace and find a new home for them.  He had kept them at bay first, wanting to be near Cutter, needing to keep an eye on him, but the longer Skywise watched his brother the more he discovered what ailed Cutter was beyond him to cure.  The longer he stayed he found he began to resent his brother for keeping him here.  Skywise needed to be away before what love he had for Cutter was gone, lost.

“But, I thought you wanted to stay, build a new Holt with us, with me?  We talked about it, so much,” Cutter asked with the loneliness still thick in his voice, the desperation making it sound so painful.    

Skywise bit his bottom lip before answering.  Didn’t he see it?  Once the wolf blood was removed by Leetah from him the Wolfriders, the Holt, it was no longer his home.  To make a new Goodtree’s Rest was no longer in his heart, even though all those he cared for would stay behind to make it so.  Leetah and Cutter, Treestump and Clearbrook, and he had to admit Strongbow and Moonshade just a bit.  No, the Palace was his home now and as much as it hurt his brother this was where he belonged.  The Wolf Song had ended for him but now, oh now, the Star Song called and it pulled at Skywise to fly with his Palace.  He sighed and shook his head whispering.

“No Cutter, as much as I love you I belong in the Palace now.  It’s my home now.”

“So you won’t stay?  Not even if I beg, not even  if she asks you to stay?”

Again, with a slow shake of his head, Skywise rejected his brother.  Even if Leetah came to him and asked him to stay Skywise would say no, and the stargazer knew this was true because she had come to him all ready making that same plea.  The look of pain in her eyes was almost as much as he saw in his brothers, but for different reasons Skywise thought, had to be different he told himself.  He wasn’t sure why Leetah was pained or if she even felt the same as Cutter did when it came to his leaving.  When it involved Leetah he had a harder time reading her than his brother.  They had played at being lovemates time and time again, but nothing ever came of it.  There were the stars, always the stars calling to him.  There was the openness of the sky beckoning him away from her, away from Cutter now.  Did she love him?  Maybe, but the time for that ‘den’ had passed and now they travelled different paths.  The proof of it all was simple.  She wasn’t here to see him off.  She had done that down by the oak that served as Father Tree now, had held him coldly and whispered she was going to miss him before breaking and heading off into the woods.  Did she love him? Probably not…

“No Cutter, not even for her can I stay.  The Sun Folk are waiting…I have to leave.”

And there it was, the final try to make him stay.  Now that it was done Skywise watched and waited knowing almost at once what his brother would do.  Cutter shuddered for the briefest of moments then with a deep breath he gathered himself, straightened his shoulders, and looked Skywise right in the eye.  Gone now was the sad forlornness and in its place Cutter’s will was displayed, the strong rock, fortitude of a Wolfrider chief.  

“Will you come back, when you can?” Cutter asked flat and cold, no emotion.

The stargazer shrugged his shoulders and whispered.  “I don’t know Cutter.  The Sun Folk search for a new home and that kind of journey takes as long as it takes.”

“Then be careful brother,” The chief of the Wolfriders replied after taking a long slow breath.  Skywise could see his brother fighting to hold back the pain of this, the loss of another loved one so soon.  “Be safe and return to us when you can.”

He could have walked away right then, just turned and walked through the door of the Palace to end this.  Yet that wasn’t his ‘Way’, if you could say that still about Skywise.  He stepped forward and took Cutter in a hug while sending to him and only him.  Do not worry for me Tam. I am happy among my stars in my Palace. Go, build a new Holt and lead the Wolfriders.  Don’t wait on my return like you did before, just go and live.

Skywise felt Cutter shudder again, from his feet to the top of his head as the send went quiet.  He held his brother just a moment longer waiting for what he knew was coming, and then with a slow move Cutter responded.  He raised his arms and hugged the stargazer, his Skywise, as hard as he could while sending to him and only him. I will miss you Fahr. Now go, find your home among your stars my brother

It was done, mercifully over, and yet Skywise couldn’t let go.  He had said his goodbye, and even though it hurt his brother like nothing he had ever known, Skywise thought Cutter understood now.  Maybe he ‘saw’ what he didn’t see before?  The stargazer finally let go of his brother and leaned back enough to put his forehead to Cutter’s and send one last time.

Goodbye Tam,

He felt one last send from his brother, filled with love and sadness. Goodbye Fahr,

Then he was gone, the woods and the Wolfriders and even his brother in all but blood.  Skywise looked back once to see Cutter walking into the woods, leaving before the Palace was gone in a flash of light.  He thought he saw him stop, saw Cutter put his hand on a tree to steady his body, but Skywise closed his eyes.  He didn’t want the last image in his mind to be that.  He wanted to see his brother running free and wild in his new Holt, his new home.  The Palace left the new Holt to points unknown and as it did a pair of dark green eyes hidden back in the dark of the trees watched as tears slowly rolled down his cheeks.  A small voice whispered to the spot where the beautiful Palace once stood.  “Goodbye stargazer, may you find your home among your stars.”


The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette


She pushed the fur pile around and against the wall of their Den.  She did it again and again and again because it never felt right.  Truth be told nothing in this Den felt right to her, it hadn’t since he left.  Every Den her beloved Redlance created felt wrong, so hollow.  Nightfall sighed, chided herself for being this way, and moved the fur pile one more time.  It didn’t look right again, didn’t feel right, and she just gave up.  She had to accept the truth, that none of it felt right since Cutter left when Leetah returned.  Oh, how happy she was to see her healer and her chief together, lifemates again, but soon after that night her Den began the long walk to being a stranger to her.  They had tree’d with Cutter and Leetah after she returned, twice, and each time it had been sweet and each time had given her some peace for a bit, made the Den hers again.  Yet that was long ago, so long ago that her and her treehsaper’s fur pile had found many a new place in the Den.  Nightfall sighed and shook her head wanting those nights and days back with Cutter in their Den.  She wanted Leetah too but, did the healer want her and Redlance though?  She longed for all of it so much she barely heard the flap open and turned just in time to see the treeshaper sit down by the entrance.  The look on his face was enough to tell her what news he had, the sadness in his eyes striking her to her core.

“He’s gone, isn’t he?”

Redlance half smiled trying to hide his pain.  “Yes, but we knew he was going to.”

“And Cutter, is he well?” She asked even though she knew the answer.

“He’s hurting, but he’ll be fine.” Redlance answered.

The huntress only nodded and sat there on her knees feeling so tired, so worn.  There was no peace in this Den, in this Holt.  There was no peace for them anywhere it felt like.  Ember leaving and her daughter following in the new tribe and now Skywise, how much more were they supposed to take? How much more loss to their tribe, to their chief?  She felt the first tear roll down her cheek and then another.  Nightfall chided herself silently again for crying as anger filled her belly, but it couldn’t stop the tears as two more fell.  Suddenly she couldn’t stop crying as it all spilled out, all the frustration and the rawness of her emotions.  Then he was by her side holding her to him, hugging her as he whispered low and loving.

“I’m sorry my love, my precious Twen, don’t cry, Cutter will be fine.”

“I miss him Ulm. I miss Cutter so much.” She whispered between breathes as she brought herself under control.  “The Den, it feels-“

“Empty, I know my love” Redlance finished for her.  The two sat there till he finally moved her to their furs.  He undressed her then slid in next to her and held his huntress as she slept.  Across their lock-send he sent all his love to her letting her take it in and find some solace.  In his own heart he felt the same, a longing for those nights again where he held his chief.


The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

           
The flap to the Den opened with a small shove and he saw her all ready in the furs.  On any other day he would have slid over and kissed her before getting in the pile.  Today though Cutter could barely move, his heart and soul were ripped, shredded it felt like.  He only wanted to sleep, to let all this pain go and find peace in a deep slumber.  Leetah didn’t stir as he pulled off his leathers before crawling into the fur pile.  She only moved after her had lain still for a moment and then all she did was roll over and put her hand over his heart before whispering.

“I’m sorry he would not stay beloved.”

“He has to find his home lifemate…even if it’s not here…with me…us” Cutter whispered in return hesitating to catch his breath between words.  He won't cry even though he needs to she thought.  Maybe he all ready has and it wasn’t enough.

Leetah slid close and rubbed his chest whispering one last time. “He is happy my love, but will you be?”

There was no answer, only the silence.  Cutter had no answer for his soul mate because he had no answer for himself.  He only lay in his furs unable to sleep as his soul ached from feeling abandoned once again.

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
The Redlance Sagas Return Combo_1


Last edited by Wiseshaman on Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:26 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Timmain

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyThu Mar 26, 2015 12:38 am

Thank the High Ones!!

wait...

I just thanked myself...

*chuckles* Welcome back I love you

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Wiseshaman

Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter One   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyFri Mar 27, 2015 4:00 pm

And who better to thank then one's self Timmain...I mean if you don't toot your own horn who will, huh?

Now, for the next piece...


“Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
Oliver Wendell Homes

Chapter One

The light of the day-star shone through in long spear-like shafts of bright yellow light that stabbed the ground slipping past and around the leaves from a thick canopy of tall trees, so dense it seemed to form a natural roof for a giant hut. Green, the color of life, was everywhere in this old place, and it was so ancient. Branches thick and strong ran to and fro from tree to tree like trails in the sky leading to areas unknown. The floor of the woods below the canopy was alive with all the life an old forest would provide. Bushes bloomed with round wild berries. Flowers blossomed on vines of ivy that took generations to grow the full length of the aged trees. And every path was marked by animal tracks of all sizes and types. This place, these old woods, and forest, it was the most perfect of scenes for him and his family that he had ever witnessed or would find he decided as he looked around and discovered its marvelous serenity. He felt a connection to these woods, to this place of beauty as he walked its worn but familiar paths, which went so far beyond just a feeling or a desire. As he moved through the brush, the plants, the trees, and the flowers greeted him, words only he could hear, understand whispered to his pointed ears. They welcomed their old friend home, his home. He was supposed to be here, he knew, the plants told him gleefully. These woods were his sanctuary, and no other place on Two-Moons would ever be that to him.

And there, deep in the middle of all these lush trees and foliage, nestled away in a clearing only visited by the lucky few to find it was the Master of these woods. The tree was venerable and unique as it stood tall and straight, reaching up into the canopy and beyond. Its branches were thicker than the other trees in the woods, and its trunk was so wide it would take a group of humans or elves to reach around it completely. The wind slowly blew through the clearing, and the Master shook its mighty arms rustling with a sound from so long ago he had forgotten its deep baritone, a voice he had lost in his memory till now. It was then, that very moment when he knew where he was and why he had come here like this, in a dream. The One had returned fully grown to his old glory, and he was waiting for his family to return, to come home to their forest. The wind blew again, and the Master spoke to him one last time, words that shook his very soul and woke him with a start

Goodtree’s Rest

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

The furs were too warm this day, like being cuddled with itch weed, and she rolled around, trying to find a sweet spot in them. The green growing season was coming; it was hot already, and she tried to sleep, but it was too hard. Slumbering was like fighting the trolls, and when she finally did drift off, she just woke up scratching and cursing. Nightfall felt so lost these days, and now what small solace she had found with sleep was only secured with her precious lifemate and his love, which strangely wasn’t here at the moment. She reached over looking for him with eyes still closed, needing him, and only found empty scratching fur where he should be.

Her eyes popped open as she felt her heart skip. She looked up and around their den for him finding her precious lifemate by the entrance with the flap open. He was staring out into the light of the day-star, out unto the Holt where they lived. The same woods the tribe landed with the Sun Folk a season ago in the Palace after defeating the Djun. He was looking out on a forest that he never really cared for; she knew. These were new woods, new plants, and green growing things, and though he would never say it out loud, she knew her treeshaper never felt as one with these trees or forest. Redlance had shaped their new Father Tree with just the Dens that were necessary for the few of the Wolfriders who had stayed with Cutter, their beloved chief. There were Treestump and Clearbrook, who left a son and daughter at Howling Rock and never shed a tear until they were away and alone together. Strongbow and Moonshade chose Cutter over Ember, and that may have been due to the distance the young chieftess and the elder tanner felt for each other. The archer’s son Dart turned down Ember as well when asked to join Howling Rock. He wanted to stay at his father’s side after being away for so long with the Sun Village, and with him came Newstar, a blooming love between the two pullings her along with him. The last of the rest was Suntop, the young son of her chief, who was a powerful sender. If Ember had asked him to stay at Howling rock Nightfall often wondered if Cutter could have let go of his son. They were small now this tribe called the Wolfriders, so few after the Palace and the Sun Folk left.

“Beloved,” she called to him with a whisper rising to her elbow in their furs, “Is everything all right?”

He turned away from the entrance, looked at her with eyes wet from tears, but not of pain or fear or sadness. He was happy, joyful, and that made her happy as well. She smiled as he spoke to her in a send. I am fine, my Twen, happy actually, but why are you awake? Was it a bad dream again?

No, my sweet Ulm, she replied with a loving touch of her mind to his, and a raise of her hand to him, these furs do not fit me as you do… lay with me?

He didn’t answer her, only nodded slightly before closing the flap to their den and sliding over to her. Nightfall leaned up and kissed him deeply as he reached her side, her hand coming up to cradle the back of his neck and squeeze lovingly. Again she sent to him, and only him, as she felt a need begin to grow. Love me, my sweet Ulm, let me feel your love so I may sleep again.

The send lit a fire in his blood, touched him, creating the very same need to be fulfilled as his lifemate felt. He gently took hold of his huntress, lifting her from the furs so she could wrap her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck before he set her gently back on the furs. Their sharing was sweet, deep, and gratifying, and as Nightfall fell back into sleep lying on him with her head on his chest, feeling the scratch of the furs, no more Redlance stayed awake. He thought of the dream of those spectacular woods and Goodtree’s Rest. And there, in the clearing waiting for him to make it home was the new Father Tree. He had grown back. He had come back to be their home for them.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

He had gone by the time she woke. It had been this way since Skywise left, almost a full turn of the season. Leetah rose from the furs and looked to the folded pile of leathers she needed to put on and sighed. There was no rush to get dressed. She had nothing to go and see. Yet, to stay in the den without her lifemate was too painful, so Leetah forced herself to dress and climb down the short distance to the ground. The small numbers of Wolfriders were moving here and there getting ready for the night, which the air of was already thick and steamy. The Green Growing Season and its changes were here, and it seemed to only add to the sourness of all living in this new Holt. Ember took in a few of the elves with her when she stayed at Howling Rock to build her tribe, and those who remained to stay with Cutter soon took to his disposition, lost and confused. It was more than likely they all missed their chief as Cutter was not the leader he had been in the past these nights. He was hurting, torn inside, but none would dare say a thing to him, to offer help. His mood wouldn’t allow that kind of closeness. They knew he hurt and would help him with anything, but one must know what to heal to help, and no one knew what was hurting Cutter because he was not talking to anyone.

“Good eve Leetah,”

She looked over to see Redlance kneeling by a bush, working his magic on it, making it grow and bloom. Leetah only smiled, not wanting or feeling to offer more to him as she walked by on her way to where Treestump and Clearbrook were standing. She didn’t see his warm smile or small nod as she passed. She didn’t see his eyes take in her walk, her body movements all telling him she was as hurt and as lost as his Nightfall and his beloved chief. Beside him, his lovely soulmate noticed little holding her bow upright with the lower limb braced by the ground. She leaned against the weapon with her forehead resting on the wood grip, trying to sort out a soul that missed another so terribly.

“Where is Cutter?” Leetah asked, hugging herself, holding back the loneliness that tried to pull her back to her den.

Clearbrook barely smiled as she replied with her heart and mind somewhere else as well. “He went out with Strongbow to try and find some tracks, game to hunt.”

“Aye, he hopes to make a kill big enough to feed us all this night,” Treestump added with the same absent feeling in his voice as was in Clearbrook.

Leetah only nodded, knowing that also weighed on her soulmate. The hunting was near nonexistent. As if every animal had been warned and taken leave from the forest around them. She knew that wasn’t true though; even with a healer’s mind and soul that knew little of the forest, she sensed the animals around the Holt. No, the Wolfrider's obstacle with hunting was with them. The greatest hunters Leetah had ever seen were now as lowly as the Sun Folk, unable to track prey, and why? She was not sure, but she felt it had to do with this place, this new Holt that once might have been a shelter to the tribe but now turned on them every night it seemed. How and why she wasn’t sure, but this place was not their home anymore.

“Would anyone like a sweet berry?” The treeshaper called standing up from the bush he had been shaping. No one answered him. He stood looking to Leetah and Clearbrook and Treestump waiting for one to say nay or yah, but they never responded, almost as if he wasn’t there to them. He smiled and turned to his lifemate and held out his hand. “Do you want a sweet berry, my love? They’re perfect. I made sure.”

Nightfall didn’t speak. She only shook her head slightly. There was no food she wanted, had taken to enjoying these days. Redlance drew his hand back as his smile slowly faded before putting a berry into his mouth. He chewed it feeling the sweet but tart juice flow down his throat to his stomach. He looked out across the clearing seeing the others just as detached as this small group he stood by. Moonshade and Newstar sat at the tanner’s rack staring at a single pelt. The same piece of leather they worked on the day before and the day before that and the day before that even. He sighed and looked to just over from the tanning rack to where he saw Dart kneeling and staring at the small path out of the clearing. He was trying to find a track, a sign of an animal passing by Father Tree. Redlance ate another berry noting the young elf would find one, but following said tracks to the creature itself was more than this little band could do these nights, then he saw Dart suddenly stand and look back across the glen.

Redlance turned to see two riders approach from out of the forest, Cutter, and Strongbow both on their wolf friends. For a moment, they all perked up this small band, their eyes looked to their chief and his archer for good news, for a kill. Only there was no kill hanging between the wolves, no significant amount of meat would be coming to the tribe this night in the way of a good hunt. The treeshaper sighed again, noting he only saw two rabbits, two squirrels, and a bird in Strongbow’s hand, not enough to feed them all Redlance thought. The catch wasn’t much, and as the tribe always did, the lifebearers were first to eat, only tonight, not a one readily reached for the small amount of meat. Clearbrook and Moonshade finally did because, in the end, it was silly to waste even a bite of precious meat. Newstar took a small taste as Leetah finally did as well, a token gesture from two who rarely ate meat if ever. Finally, Nightfall took her bite and swallowed it quickly, getting the whole ceremony finished and just in time as Dart reached in and took a bite for himself and his father. Treestump took one, and then he handed one to Nightfall with a nod as Suntop followed his mother’s steps in taking a small token bite. “Here’s a piece for Redlance.”

She reached up to give it to him, but the treeshaper just shook his head with a smile. “I’m good, give the meat to someone else.”

“You turn down meat for berries?” A voice hissed across the group.

The treeshaper looked up to see his chief glaring at him, angry and heated, but Redlance just shook his head. “Only for this night, my chief, I wanted the hungry ones to eat fully from what you brought us. I am sorry if I offended you.”

Cutter sneered and shook his head. “I don’t blame you. I’m not eating either.”

“Beloved?” Leetah asked softly, the worry in her voice and face so intense.

“No, look at us, eating the cast off because we can’t find one deer or tusk hog. What have we become? What kind of chief leads like this?”

“The only one I will follow is the one who leads us.” Redlance snapped back, so quick Cutter looked at him long.

“Then maybe we’re both fools.” He whispered before looking down to the ground. Leetah closed her eyes and looked in pain, but she didn’t respond to her lifemate. She knew him well, and right now, he just wanted to be alone, or to talk with someone who had chosen to leave.

The clearing grew quiet and sullen as all looked at the meager scraps of food and then to where their chief stood. “Do we want to try some berries?” Dart suddenly asked. His belly still not quite full.

“Go ahead; a few might not hurt. It might even stop my hunger.” Moonshade whispered, resting her hands in her lap, shaking her head. Oh, how she hated saying that, how it hurt her heart and her lifemate’s. Dart shifted back, leaned away from the small pile of bones on the ground, feeling like asking to eat a berry had been the worst thing ever said. Though what he said did not match in shock, what was about to be spoken.

“We can leave these woods, Cutter. We can find new hunting grounds in a new forest. We can find a new home.” Redlance offered suddenly.

The remark brought a chorus of silently raised eyebrows, Cutter’s raising the most. As the treeshaper swallowed hard, his mind screamed like a cub. Just what in the Two-Moons are you doing you foolish treewee? Don’t tell them you saw Father Tree in a dream. They’ll think you’re sick in the head. This is no time to talk of dreams. He pushed the thoughts out his head and smiled and spoke, “I know of a beautiful forest we can claim, and there is a special tree that would make a strong Father Tree.”

“You ‘know’ of a forest?” Cutter asked coldly, distant.

“Yes,” Redlance coughed, trying to find the words to explain the dream but finding not a one on his tongue. “I…saw it…in my head when I shaped the trees here.”

He hated this, being the center of attention, and for the moment, he was better than the meal, so everyone had their eyes on him. The thick, steamy air made Redlance sweat, or maybe it was just the look his chief was giving him. Not another question popped out his mouth, which only left the others to grill him like a piece of meat on a Go-Back fire.

How did you ‘see’ another forest? That doesn’t happen when you shape, does it? Strongbow asked with a look of disbelief.

“Well, no…I mean I talk with the trees-“

“Is it a big forest, bigger than this one?” Newstar asked excitedly with a young elf’s beautiful curiosity, or maybe she was just glad not to have to look at the meal anymore.

“Well yes, from what I was shown-“

“How far away is it?” Suntop quipped, jumping in with both feet.

He sighed, thinking the young ones were ready to leave and tonight if they had anything to say about it. Redlance smiled and sighed. “I’m not sure how far, but it may be a change of the moon or a turn of the season.”

And with that, the elders looked on him with the same mood as they had for the meal. “You’re not sure how far? Are we just supposed to follow a whim?” Moonshade asked with a sigh.

“And the ‘trees’ showed you this special one? How does a ‘tree’ show you another tree in another forest?” Treestump asked with a cynical tone.

Well, this could have gone better Redlance thought as he held up a hand. “I can’t tell you how I know, I just do.”

“I say we move, or at least go and see this special tree,” Dart said with an air of an elder who was not going to be swayed from his decision.

No son, we cannot up and move to another new forest, especially one we know nothing about and not a clue where it is. Strongbow sent with a shake of his head.

Suntop, usually quiet during the councils, spoke up with the same energy of his friend Dart. “We can go…me and Dart, take a look and see if it’s fit for us.”

“You are not leaving the Holt kittling!” Leetah suddenly ordered with a shake of her head, mirroring the archer.

And that is when the group just fell apart completely. The elders fought with the young ones who fought back with all their energy. The elders brought wealth and depth of knowledge and experience derived from years in the woods to bear when they argued that moving was out of the question. The tribe was small, weak, and unable to hold off an enemy if needed. They had no idea where this forest was that Redlance wanted to go to or what inhabited the woods there. They could be moving into a nest of humans for all they knew. The young ones did not know what it took to live in the woods, especially the ones from the Sun Village. Yet, what the youth lacked in experience was more than made up for in desire. And there was no reason to stay here, they thought. This forest, this Holt, had long given up supporting them. They had to move the young ones said, and even though it would be hard they could survive, would survive because they were strong, they were Wolfriders. The groups nipped and snarled at each other, but it was all for a show because the final word was that of their chief, and they knew this, at that very moment though Cutter looked to Redlance with the same cold expression he had worn all night. It felt like he was silently telling the treeshaper ‘look, look what you’ve done, broken us the rest of the way.’

“Quiet!” Cutter demanded, commanded in a deep growl, and almost at once, they all stopped and looked to him. He looked to them all and then stopped with the huntress, Nightfall, and spoke. “Do you think we should move?”

In a blink, she was in a nightmare. Nightfall looked to her chief, who she loved and missed so desperately she cried herself to sleep some days, and then she turned to look at her beloved soulmate, her Redlance who she could never see herself living without him. This was an impossible choice. She couldn’t decide; there was no mark for her to hit with her bow or her words. She closed her eyes and saw only one choice, one right path to take. Nightfall whispered, feeling the small piece of meat flip and flop in her stomach as it rolled. “I chose to follow my chief.”

It was over, the discussion done. Order restored with the last words from their chief. “We’re staying in the Holt; no one is moving to this new forest.”

The group looked up at their chief for the time he stood staring at them with a distant gaze as if he felt so disconnected from them. He finally turned and walked away toward the forest and to who knew where. Leetah sighed, laying her hands gently in her lap, wishing Ember were here to give her lifemate solace. She wished the stargazer were here to go with him, talk with him, but no, he was not here either. There was no one Cutter could speak with, was there? To her side, stubbornly keeping away from everything, sat Nightfall with her eyes shut closed. She couldn’t open them and see her soulmate, no, not after choosing against him like she just had, but then a soft, gentle send touched her mind and with it a strong and fierce love.

It is all right, Twen, my love. You did just what I would have done. We always follow our chief, always and forever. Open your eyes so their beauty may greet me.

Nightfall opened her eyes at his request, never being able to deny him and looked into his sweet smile and eyes as he knelt by her side. I am sorry, Ulm, so sorry…I didn’t know what to do.

He only smiled as his send touched her with so much love You did just what I would have done. We always follow our chief, always and forever. I love you, my beautiful huntress with all that I am and will be.

Thank you, my Ulm, what would I do without you? She smiled, kissing him gently.

You wouldn’t be put into spots like you just were, now go and play…I need to go and see something. Redlance replied, savoring her kiss before standing and walking away toward the forest. She watched him leave then rose and checked on her wolf-friend before deciding she had enough of the forest and headed back to the den.

Leetah left the clearing soon after the huntress finding no peace from her soul or her feelings by the small stream that flowed by the new Father Tree. The usual bubbling of the brook as it passed over the stones of the stream bed cured nothing for her, so she rose and left for her den, to wait for Cutter when he returned. And when he did, there were no words exchanged. No sends as he climbed into their furs lying down on his back. She proffered no exchange on her part, no send as she rolled over into the crook of his arm and held him. A den above the same took place for Nightfall as Redlance crawled in. The huntress only squeezed her treeshaper as he rubbed her back and sided lovingly till she fell into a restless sleep,

Not a soul in the small tribe brought up the new forest or moving to the new tree again until four nights later when the decision to do such was made for them.
 
The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

The storm had been small with no rain, but the wind and sky fire had been so intense it drove the tribe into their dens. Redlance held Nightfall as stroke after long arcing stroke of white light slammed down in varying distances from the new Father Tree. With every round of sky fire, the rumble of its arrival shook the tree and the Wolfriders inside like treewees. Somewhere between the sky fire strikes, Redlance noticed smoke begin to rise from where it had struck before. He gasped and sent to Cutter he saw a fire, the forest was on fire now. On their chief’s order, the tribe began to scramble, getting their things, whatever they could grab, with one hand while they looked out their den’s entrance to see the smoke growing, billowing now. Treestump could see the flames snap high into the air, whipped by the wind of the storm, as he shoved sleep furs and anything else into pouches while Clearbrook did the same. Leetah barely made it to ground as she watched small and medium-sized animals run for their lives. She jumped up behind Cutter on his wolf-friend as he grabbed her arm to pull her into him. The heat of the conflagration was overpowering now, burning skin when it was still so far away. It would take the entire forest, consume it. Everything that could not outrun the flames would fall to them.

And the race was on, the pack fleeing the massive wildfire along with birds, deer, and large antlered zwoots. Nightfall pushed her wolf-friend on as Redlance held onto her. The pair more than once ducked a low hanging branch that would have torn them from the back of the huntress’s wolf mount. Behind them, the fire roared, screamed as it tried to catch them. The heat swamped the tribe members, cooked them almost. The trees caught fire in a flash and then exploded as they succumbed to the inferno. Cutter forced his mount on faster, and his wolf-friend responded as they bolted down the trails. He wasn’t sure where he was leading them; only that behind them was death, and up ahead was life wherever that was. Then, just as the fire was about to take them, both the wolves and their riders bolted out of the forest and onto a plain of low grass. Cutter kept them moving at a sprint, keeping them moving away from the fire and the forest till he felt safe. When they had climbed a small rise, and the burning woods far behind did they finally stop. He looked as the grass behind them burned, but that was small compared to the blaze they had just outrun.

“Is everyone here?” Cutter called out quickly.

They all called back, and only after a moment did Cutter respond. He had checked his mental tally and noted all had escaped. He sat in silence, watching another forest burn. Another home was taken from him, and it all ripped at his already torn soul. He turned to his tribe and growled. “Now, we can move to Redlance’s special tree.”

“Can he lead us there?” Moonshade asked with the fear of the last moments just at the edge of her voice.

“Does it matter? We have nowhere else to go…” Cutter stated so flat and emotionless it scared them.

No one spoke, and no one tried to say a thing as he urged his wolf on farther onto the grass plain and away from the burning forest. What need was there? Leetah clung to him as she closed her eyes, pushing the images of the last moments out of her head. Nightfall and Redlance fell in step as did the others, and so with long dirty faces, this band of Wolfriders began the slow travel to a new home…and if the treeshaper could help it, one that was an old friend to some and waiting for them all.

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
The Redlance Sagas Return Combo_1


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Wiseshaman

Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Two   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptySat Mar 28, 2015 11:03 pm

And here is the next piece...


Chapter 2

The air, so filled with smoke and ash that it was hard to breath, finally began to clear as they rode away from the raging forest fire toward an unknown and uncertain tomorrow. Cutter picked up the pace of his wolf-friend and put him into a gentle run as he guided them to…what, a new forest? where? He wasn’t sure where they were going and even what this ‘where’ was? Some woods with some special tree that the treeshaper saw when he ‘talked’ with another tree. And how far was it to this forest? Oh, no one knew, not even the one leading them. And were they supposed to ride on their wolves all the way there? He ground his teeth hard as the next thought swept through his mind and his soul ripped just a little more. They could send for Skywise and the Palace and ask for a ride…that was if the Master of the Palace was here on Two-Moons and could or would answer the sends for help. He had been having Suntop, in complete secret, reach out for his brother shortly after he took to the skies with the Sun Folk, and for a brief time Skywise answered giving a small measure of reassurance at first but then the feeling turned on him and before Cutter was ready the loneliness felt harder, the need to see his brother so much stronger than he could hold back. His soul tore just a little more with missing Skywise and it tore just a little more when Suntop stopped getting answers. Where was Skywise? Was he even on Two-Moons or was he up there among his stars? Oh if he could count all the times he asked himself that question and with no response from the stargazer Cutter just grew more and more sullen.

The grass plains finally broke as another forest loomed ahead, the trees making a wall of brown and green which reflected the rising day star. Cutter took them right in without hesitation moving them off the exposure of the plains and into hiding again. They continued on in for a great distance putting as much room between the world past the tress and themselves as possible before stopping and circling round in a protective wall. The wolves sat next to their riders or lay down by them as Cutter looked to each member and in each eye he saw the horror of what they just rode through and worse, the anxiety of what to do now. He turned slowly to each one of his tribe and tried to think of what to say, of a way to take that anxiety and unease off their shoulders and put it on his, but there were no words. What could he say to ensure them this all would be fine and how could he say it with any kind of conviction. He just stared ahead and pushed the doubt away. He was their chief and he would lead them. “What did we get away with? Food, furs, weapons?”

I have my bow and a few arrows. Strongbow sent from where he knelt on one knee by Moonshade.

“I have my bow as well, and some nuts and berries in my pouch, but I only got one fur.” Dart added still clutching the fur.

“I have our furs and my knife, but I lost the pouch with…my things.” Moonshade whispered her voice cracking just a little as she started to give in to the emotions she felt.

And so it went, from one to the next, all whispering they had weapons and furs and not much else. It had been taken in the fire, wiped out with a rush of heat and flame. They had some berries and nuts and a few sprigs of root to eat which made Cutter even angrier for some reason. A voice in his head kept saying over and over that he should have been prepared, should have been ready, only he knew better than that. He lived in the ‘Now’ taking each night and day as it came. How could he have been ready for…this? With a deep breath Cutter brought it under control that sudden flash of anger and bit his tongue.

“We can hunt lad so we can feed ourselves.” Treestump suddenly said speaking up.

Cutter turned to his elder and uncle with a sharp eye and his lips locked in a tight line. Hunt…was he really thinking that? They could barely eat back in the other woods and that was with a Father Tree and knowing where to hunt, what were they going to do now that they had neither? Yet again he fought himself to keep from lashing out. He only nodded and forced out his words. “We have that, but we’ll need help.”

He looked to the treeshaper and nodded once, short and sharp. “You’ll have to do twice the work Redlance, feed us till we find meat.” Then he looked away to nowhere in particular because he really had no idea of where they were going to go and finished. “And get us to this special tree of yours.”

The wolf chief didn’t wait for a reply from the treeshaper before simply turning and walking away a short distance. Redlance was about to respond with a smile saying he would always provide for his Wolfriders, his family, but he didn’t say a word. It didn’t seem…wanted, and then he watched silently as everyone went to resting or fixing pouches or bundles. He looked over to see Nightfall turned away as well looking over her wolf friend making sure she wasn’t hurt or needed help. Some might have been hurt by the abrupt overlook they gave him, but Redlance only smiled and went to talk with his trees and see if they could tell him the way to Goodtree’s Rest. He doubted it. They were so far away it felt like and in more than distance. He looked back once to see his tribe, his family, and it was too easy to see they were broken and bruised, a shell of what they had been. I can’t let them live like this he thought as he sighed and asked himself what he could do to help them. Then the image of Father Tree came back so strong it practically leapt into his mind and he knew, oh did he know, that getting them there would bring them back. Redlance smiled a little more, a little wider, because now he had a plan and sometimes that was all you needed.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

So they began the undertaking to travel to this special tree that night after the day star fell below the horizon. Redlance didn’t tell them it was Father Tree he was leading them too, he didn’t want to crush what spirit was left in the tribe if he couldn’t get them to their old home. He didn’t have to worry much with being the center of attention either, which suited him fine, because Cutter set him to watch their rear. It wasn’t like they needed him in the main group anyway. He gave a general direction to Cutter to follow and his chief just grunted telling Strongbow to scout ahead that way. Redlance noted too most in the group didn’t think much of his ability to find the ‘special’ tree, like Moonshade and Treestump, so it was best just to keep low. He was to ensure no one followed and clean any back trail they left, which again suited the treeshaper just fine, better in fact. He could take his time and ‘talk’ with this new forest, these new trees. Redlance only nodded to the order from Cutter and then watched his family slowly begin the journey. Nightfall hung back as the last to leave him staring deeply into his eyes from her wolf-friend as the group walked farther away up ahead. He only smiled back, kissed her hand, and asked her to watch over their chief. She just nodded curtly and turned to ride after the tribe. No, she didn’t want to leave him in back like this, unprotected and vulnerable, but what was Nightfall to do? A long sigh exhaled from her as the feeling of loneliness in her soul pulled at her once again while she rode up to the group.

He watched her leave worried for his lifemate and then waited till he felt they had progressed far enough to start walking in that direction. Redlance picked up a branch from the ground and with a little shaping magic he made the perfect walking stick, just a bit taller than himself, and with a straighten of his oblong pouch on his side he was off following where his tribe had been. When the night had passed and it was time to hide for the day Redlance followed the trail to where the tribe had stopped ensuring as always their back trail was clear. He found the other sitting around a meager meal of some animal killed by Strongbow or Nightfall, an amount of meat so small it barely fed any of them. He passed around the berries and nuts and roots but no one wanted such faire, and yet they ate because it was necessary. It was better than starving. Then once it was done and the bones and scraps of the kill buried the tribe moved into the trees to hide and rest. Cutter barely acknowledged anyone during the meal and only waved everyone to the trees before hiding himself with Leetah behind. Later as the treeshaper laid up in the branches of a tree holding a sleeping Nightfall on his chest he thought they had made it through their first day, had started on the path to Father Tree. The first day was always the worst and they had seen it to the end. Now they only had to do this who knows how many more times and the tribe would be fine.

The small joke didn’t make him feel any better.

The next night as the day star once again dipped below the horizon disappearing under the treetops the Wolfriders gathered and readied themselves. Redlance said goodbye to his lifemate as she rode off with the group and he sat and waited to follow with his walking stick ready to talk with his tress. At the end of the night he walked into where the tribe was to hide for the day and once more the kill was small, little meat to pass around. Once more he gave them the berries and roots and nuts he had ‘grown’ while following. It was the same for the next night and the next and the one after that. The nights melded into the other and the days were long and drawn out melancholic affairs that only ended when they had to move again. Dart actually wished for something to happen, anything, because seeing the trees flow by at a crawl with Newstar riding behind him on his wolf-friend was going to drive him out of his mind. Two nights later he got his wish.

The tribe had been following Redlance’s directions loosely heading in a general direction where he pointed every night, only this night though the path led them almost into a human village. Strongbow had noticed the signs of human like tracks and long lines dug into the train where the humans pulled what they called ‘carts’ along. Cutter stopped them off the trail and went out with Strongbow to take a look. When he returned from seeing the village, which the archer said wasn’t as big as the Djun’s but still big enough, the chief ordered to change the direction they were heading to give the village a wide distance between them. That meant longer on the trail and being this close to that many humans meant no meat. No animal would live that close to them. After a quiet council they moved out and the mood soured more amongst the tribe over the next days as they slowly moved past the humans and no one became more inhospitable than their chief himself. Cutter became a bear to be around, barely speaking to anyone and barely giving orders to his tribe in a language other than a grunt. He had become sullen even more and every night he was given the same wide berth as the human village.

Before anyone could count the days of the green growing season was almost done and the cold of the death season would be here. A half turn of the season had passed and still no new forest, no new Holt, and no new Father Tree. Redlance could see them, his loved ones, slipping farther downward into despair and for what? A dream he had every night of Goodtree’s Rest and Father Tree? A possible path to reach them given to him in the small bits of sleep he was able to get after soothing his precious lifemate? And what little sleep he found Cutter found less. Redlance would watch him leave his hide and Leetah to go and walk in the woods, short trips where he would find a spot to look up in the sky and just stare. The treeshaper knew what he was looking for, who he was longing to see, and it broke his heart to see his beloved chief longing for something that was gone and may never come back.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

Every day he looked to the sky and everyday Cutter saw nothing but the clouds and the day star and…nothing else. And really, what did he expect, for Skywise to suddenly drop from the sky like one of the giant birds of the Gliders. No, he thought closing his eyes. The stargazer was home among his stars. So then why did he come out here every day looking up the sky? Why was he in so much torment, so empty inside? Cutter looked back down to the ground and bit his lip as he thought about having to move out again when the day star was low. How much farther did they have to ride? Oh yes, that’s right, no one could really tell because Redlance was the only one who ‘talked’ to the trees. He was the only one who knew where they were headed…kind of…it was just a general direction and nothing more.

A bird screeched and Cutter looked up quickly his eyes scanning for the Palace. He looked left then right and then after a moment back to the ground. What am I doing he thought? There was nothing here for him so Cutter turned and headed back to his sleep spot to try and get some sleep or rest. There sleep spot was in the low-to-ground boughs of a tree Redlance had fixed for them making the branches move to give them room. He slipped in not noticing the eyes of one treeshaper watching him as he did and there by the tree’s truck were his sleep furs. Leetah was all ready in the pile sleeping soundly as always, or so she wanted him to think. He could tell she wasn’t and as soon as he sat and began to remove his tunic and shoes she turned to him.

“Why are you awake?” He asked with a heavy sigh.

“Because you are beloved…you need to sleep more than I do.” Leetah whispered reaching out for him, to console him.

She was trying to help, and he loved her for that, but for what reason he wasn’t able to explain all her worry and words and concern, it was all a knife to his heart and he wasn’t sure why. He turned slightly away from her touch and lay down in the furs seeking just to be alone, but then Cutter knew what he had done. He instantly chided himself in his mind as he moved to take her in his arms. Leetah’s fingers hung there in mid air for a moment as her eyes closed, oh the pain she felt tear into her but then he was rolling over and taking her in his arms and it was forgotten. He was hurting and he needed to find some solace anyway he could Leetah told herself and there they lay in silence trying to will away a hurt that would not go. When it came time to leave they cleaned the spot in silence, dressed in even deeper silence, and left separately. As the day star disappeared from the sky behind the trees and night descended the small tribe gathered. Once again, like so many nights before, Redlance gave them a general direction to head in and just like before he watched them leave heading that way.

The tribe followed the direction and moved out of this new forest to a large open grass plain, nothing to cover them as far as the eye could see. Cutter stood at the edge of the forest and stared out trying to make a decision on what to do, go out in the open and hope another forest comes up to hide in or try and stay in the forest for as long as possible with no game. He looked back to Strongbow and sent. Has there been any tracks, any sign of game?

No my chief, nothing, Strongbow replied curtly.

The same, everywhere they went it was the same. No game…no hunt…no meat. Cutter bit his bottom lip again and growled as anger filled his heart, frustration made him clench his fists as he looked back to the grass plain. There was nothing back where they came from, nothing here where they were, which only left out there. Suntop, tell Redlance we’re moving out onto this grass so be prepared when he follows./[i]

[i]Yes father,
the young magic user answered before he followed his father and the others and the wolves out into the grass.

They rode and walked in the grass keeping eyes peeled for the horizon, scanning and looking for any sign of an enemy approaching. The tension was thick, hard as bright metal, and it kept them moving slow. Soon though the day star was starting to rise and any kind of cover from night was fading as fast as the light was growing. Cutter looked around and growled again and shook his head, there was nowhere to hide except the ground under furs keeping an eye out for anything coming at them, and with the heat of green growing season the day would be especially long. He took them as far as he dared, as deep onto the plains as he could before finally deciding it was time to hide. They stopped and quickly formed a circle with their backs almost touching knocking the grass down as they did. Then they put out sleeping furs in the same circle and finally laid down noting they could just barely see over the grass, not much of a hide but enough to make it through the day. As he sat down next to Leetah he noticed two sleep furs bare of bodies and after sniffing the scent he knew they belonged to Nightfall and Redlance. Speaking of the treeshaper, where was he Cutter thought? He propped up on his elbow and noticed the huntress kneeling by the grass they hadn’t flatten to make the sleep spot, waiting patiently for him with her bow’s lower limb on the ground and leaning on the weapon.

He wasn’t sure why, wasn’t sure if it was even true, but an image of her in a den came back like a flash of sky fire in his mind. She was waiting by the entrance, waiting for her lifemate patiently but with worry, just like now. Cutter sighed heavily as he tried to remember, force that misty orb up there in his head to tell him something, only nothing came. Where was this, when? Then suddenly she rose up just a bit, just enough to look over the grass and Cutter knew she saw him approaching. He lay there with Leetah sliding under his body getting as comfortable as she could by burying her face in his chest and using it to block off the light with his mind still trying to remember where he had seen that image. Then Redlance appeared out of the grass in a trot stopping once he reached her side. Nightfall only smiled and nuzzled his cheek with hers, sniffing his scent and taking it in. She always did that when he came back his mind suddenly whispered, it was a simple act of love, of devotion, and he had seen it so many times…but where? He watched with a lost look at the pair as he sent something to just her and she giggled quietly before the pair moved to their furs. Cutter’s eyes never left him as he sat down next to Leetah on his fur with Nightfall by his side. The pair got comfortable, she pulling off the cap that held her hair back and he pulling out a sack of berries from his oval shaped pouch.

Would you like a night berry my chief?

The treeshaper pulled out a berry as big as his thumb from the sack and smiled. The smell touched Cutter’s nose a moment later and another memory flashed across his mind. It was the same den again and he was laying in his furs, no wait…the furs were theirs…and he was waiting for Redlance to return…waiting like she was. And then there he was in the entrance smiling and carrying a sack in his hand…a sack of…

Yes, I think I use to like them… Cutter sent with a pensive touch. He took the berry as Nightfall leaned back to look at him and reply.

After Redlance begged you to try one you almost wouldn’t eat anything else. He had to run out two or three times to keep you fed.

Would you like one Leetah? Redlance asked holding out the sack.

Leetah looked up from where she was laying on her side with a concerned look and a quick curt send. No thank you. When did you get Cutter Night Berries?

When you were gone…in the Palace. Redlance answered somberly before Nightfall added trying to lighten spirits.

Are the furs not to your liking Leetah?

The healer gave the fur she lay on a small hit with her hand as she sent curtly again. Nothing could make this fur pleasant to sleep on.

Here, let me try a trick Nightfall sent crawling over to the healer. She quickly took some of the grass and pushed it under both of the furs making a bulge that she hit twice before looking at them. There, that should be just about right.

Leetah looked to Cutter who only looked back as he chewed on a berry, one eye squinting shut from the severe tartness of the taste before being so sweet it made him smile. The berries were exceptional…he wanted another he thought as Leetah laid down and suddenly found the furs so much better. She snuggled in hoping to get some sleep as Nightfall crawled back to her spot and did the same with hers and her lifemate’s. Cutter watched the pair now with a keen eye taking note of all their little movements. He watched how Redlance covered Nightfall’s face with her cap to give her respite from the day star. He watched him take her hand in his, their fingers entwining in a loving touch as he did. Cutter laid his head down on the bulge and another memory flashed back, Nightfall had done this for him in the den as well. She had made sure he slept while he held her and Redlance, while he fought against the nightmares. He closed his eyes and tried to find sleep but only found memories of them, of love and devotion. He tried to find peace and only found confliction, what was he missing really he asked himself abruptly and found no answer.

Mercifully the night finally came with a welcomed coolness that alleviated the heat of the day. They awoke this small band of Wolfriders and prepared to ride. They packed as Cutter talked with Redlance on what direction they were to head in. The treeshaper told him to head the way they were going, that by the rise of the day star they would find a new forest ahead. It would be large and better suited for travel. Cutter felt a strange wonder at the way the treeshaper knew there was a forest ahead and that it was large, but then the anger and the sorrow of his soul took over and before he could do anything he huffed and shook his head in frustration at the revelation. Why did I do that he asked himself as he ordered them to move out? Why did he do such things he scolded himself as he rode away with the group taking one last look over his shoulder at Redlance getting smaller in the field?

The night wore on as they travelled slow keeping a watchful eye just as the night before, but for Cutter he kept seeing memories flash across his mind. He was lying in the furs crying because he missed his Leetah so terribly, a pain as deep as he felt now, and then there were arms holding him and soothing him. There was his arms, Redlance’s, holding him as cried her name with desperation. Her arms, Nightfall’s, caressing him as he sought refuge in sharing and her touch was just like Leetah’s, so much so that for those moments when they were one he had his healer…he had his soulmate and not Rayek. Cutter felt a tear roll down his cheek as he looked over at Nightfall and felt Leetah’s arms wrapped around his waist. He rode on feeling more and more from the memories, emotions that didn’t churn his soul or drive it below, but embraced it, lifted it by giving warmth. Yet, as much good as the memories gave they left him conflicted, so confused, and just as predicted by Redlance a new forest came into view as the day star began to fall into the horizon again with Cutter’s soul not knowing which way was up or down. The tribe moved into the forest and the trees quickly disappearing from the plain with the exception of one.

Redlance trotted into the edge of the forest moving as quickly as he dared making sure the trail behind was minimal at best. He left two or three false ones to follow so if anyone tried to track they would get confused very fast. As he came to the spot where the tribe had stopped he could see the dejection in their face. No game…no hunt…no meat. They were so close to just giving up. He had to find a way to show them to live. Redlance stepped off the trail and quickly ‘grew’ more berries and such for them. He came back and laid out what they all hated now but grudgingly ate. It was better than starving Redlance kept telling them. When it was time to hide the tribe all moved off slowly to the trees, as if it mattered little to any of them to hide. Dart and Newstar trudged along to find a spot while Treestump and Clearbrook stood deciding between two trees which had the same shape and thus would provide the same protection. The treeshaper sat and watched with a heavy heart as his tribe fought just to remain one step ahead the dark that tried to drag them all down.

A small hand took his and he turned to see his huntress who was ready to find their spot and sleep off this night. He only smiled and followed till they found one tree that ‘spoke’ to him, offered a peaceful rest it said. As he slipped out of his shoes he felt her hand rub him again, a touch seeking the need to share, and he gave without hesitation loving his huntress into a deep slumber with the knowledge she needed another to end her sorrow. It was the only way she slept these days, to push back her own anguish, to have something of her chief even if it wasn’t him really. Redlance rubbed her back and side as he drifted off finally resting himself.

He rose again from the furs to do what he always did this time of day. Cutter left a still Leetah in the furs to find what his heart desired. He thought she was asleep but as he slipped away a set of deep green eyes watched with a small tear at his leaving. Cutter walked quietly through the woods but when he should have kept going forward to find the open sky of the day he turned right and followed a scent. It pulled at him, tugged and drew him off the trail to a tall wide tree with thick boughs near the ground. He stopped a few steps away and stared at the conifer with wet eyes. A small part of him wanted no piece of what the large part was about to do and it scolded him, but Cutter didn’t listen. He took those short quiet steps and knelt ever so gently and moved the leaves and limbs enough to look in and see the pair sleeping there.

A pair of strong arms held the huntress safe, arms that once held him. The memories came back again, stark and so vivid it made him blink, of nights when the sharing was rough, when skin was torn and bitten because of the anger and the hurt and the torment. He let me hurt him, let me unleash my outrage at losing my family on him with scratches and bites. Then, when it was done and there was nothing but an empty vessel in need of filling she took over giving him love and warmth, giving him his healer who was gone. Cutter slowly lowered the branches back in place to give the huntress and the treeshaper peace, something they deserved. He rose and on unsteady legs he walked back to his sleep spot and with each step he felt the confliction grow and deepen. Did he miss Skywise so much or was it something deeper? Something so much deeper…


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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptySun Mar 29, 2015 2:29 am

I really like this story. Glad to see it back again.

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptySun Mar 29, 2015 1:37 pm

I missed your stories so much! I'm glad to seethem back here as well!
I really love this story, you make me love Redlance even more now! I can't wait to read what happends next!

I see the second chapter is allready up! Shocked Read it right away! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptySun Mar 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Just readed the second chapter!
I feel bad for Cutter... Missing his soulbrother, having horrible memories that plague him... but I feel bad for Redlance as well. They are all giving him a bad time! I really hope he will act a little nicer to Redlance though goes to the rest of the tribe as well!

Man... Redlance really is like an angel. So incredibly sweet. I really love your stories Wiseshaman! You're are an amazing writer!
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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Three   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyMon Mar 30, 2015 12:45 am

Thanks G0lden and wolfmoonsky for those words that inspire, and yes wolfie, the fact you like my work makes me just want to write more for you all to read...

So now, on with the story...


Chapter 3

The day star fell gracefully to the horizon and below as the night greeted the tribe. Strongbow rose and helped his lifemate pack their things, though there was no rush to complete it. He wanted to leave as much as he wanted to stay equally, both almost next to nothing, no desire for either. What the archer wanted more than anything was the hunt, the stalking and tracking of game. How long had it been since he found a track that made any sense to him? The other night he thought he had found the set of a nice sized buck, had tracked it hoping to find its home and make a kill, only what he found was something smaller than a runt black-eyed cat. He fumed making his way back to the tribe berating himself with every step. For the archer, there was no greater measure of success than to watch his tribe eat what he had brought down for them. There was no greater joy then to feed the ones he loved and his tribe, those were the ones he loved. These days though, his heart felt lower than any other point in his long past and he had felt no joy for so long.

Now, he felt like a failure as he watched his precious lifemate gnaw on a stick given to her the night before by the treeshaper. He felt like a fool as he packed the sleep furs and rose to find his wolf-friend when he saw Dart eating a handful of nuts. Oh, more than a fool, that is what I am he thought walking quickly away from everyone. Treestump watched his love and lifemate Clearbrook walk aimlessly to her wolf-friend, passing the skulking archer, and he could see the weight of this time of travel on her spirit. To watch a son leave was enough, to watch a grandson leave and grow without being able to see it, well that was almost unbearable. Now, add the loss of their home, their den, and it was enough to make anyone want to find a bole hole to crawl up into and forget the night.

Leetah finished packing and left the sleep spot looking for her lifemate. He had gone out earlier and then come back so quick she thought maybe he was done with looking to the sky for the stargazer, but as soon as he was in the furs she knew better. He slept away from her on his side shaking, from anger or fear or what Leetah wasn’t sure. She was afraid to touch him or talk to him. Either, was never welcomed these days it seemed. So, she closed her eyes and lay quietly with a small tear rolling down her cheek till she felt him rise and leave. Then she rose herself alone, packed, and now was walking up to his side as they readied to leave.

“Which way are we going this night?” Cutter asked loudly of the treeshaper who was standing by his lifemate while ignoring Leetah.

“The same my chief,” Redlance smiled and nodded.

Cutter looked at them and felt his heart speed up. From the image, last night of them sleeping in a loving embrace, opened the blocked stream of his memory and a flood of emotions came rolling into his soul. A yearning so bright and clear was taking hold in him and as much as he asked why now, with this want for others, the dark fought against this new invader and Cutter got no answer but rage. Suddenly he wanted to be with them again, the huntress and treeshaper. Oh, High Ones how much did he want that, but what good would come of it the anger hissed at him behind his melancholy. They wouldn’t have you anyway, just like the others, it spat as he felt his empty belly rumble with pure fire. “Are you sure? Maybe we should go this way, or that way? Maybe you should council with a tree first before saying a direction to point us in, eh?”

He tossed a hand one direction then another making no determination as to why he did so, just mocking everything the treeshaper offered. When he was done with his rant he saw the look of shock from them all, his tribe, from the archer to his uncle to the very pair his heart wanted. He gasped fighting to get himself under control, where was this coming from, this pain he was causing? Cutter turned to see his lifemate with a look of concern and it tore into him more. He hated himself suddenly, violently, and he needed to get away, but there was nowhere to go. So, he did the only thing he could and jumped on the back of his wolf-friend. He held out his hand to Leetah expecting her to take it, but there was no move to grab it by her at first, the large green eyes filled confusion and fear, but then she finally did and climbed on with a pull. Cutter looked to the pair of Nightfall and Redlance one last time and his heart longed for them again, for the love and warmth they had given him before, but the torment in his soul won once more and with a turn he led his wolf-friend away in the direction Redlance had given.

“I don’t like this beloved. I don’t want to leave you behind.” Nightfall whispered holding her lifemate’s hand as she watched Cutter ride away.

“No, my love, ride and watch him please, for me.” Redlance asked with a kiss. She didn’t nod or accept his plea, just turned and walked to her wolf-friend jumping on her back with a graceful leap. She looked back once and felt his loving send touch her mind. Watch him please. He needs to know we are here for him.

I will my love, please be careful. She replied before riding off leaving him alone to wait to follow.

Up ahead they rode in silence and stunned shock. Strongbow looked to his lifemate who looked to her chief with worried eyes. What was wrong with him they asked themselves, which was second only to the real question, could he lead them to this new Holt? The archer wanted no taste of trying to take the top knot again, but what if there was no choice but to confront Cutter on his actions. What if he and Treestump had no choice between Cutter and the safety of the tribe? And while they confronted their question of how far do they ride with a chief battling himself, the leader of the Wolfriders fighting his own inner turmoil.

“Why…why…why?” He mumbled over and over. Why did he do that? He hurt the ones who had given him so much, love and warmth and devotion, why was he mad at them? Why…why…why? Behind Cutter, riding in fear, sat his lifemate as she felt his pain, his anguish and the anger that churned in him. She could sense it with her healing magic and see it in his body. He was hurting so much she had considered calling the circle, bringing the tribe together and ridding him of these pains, but they were so small and so fragile now, could they do enough to rid her love of all this darkness? Leetah wasn’t even sure if her love would come to the circle, so she rode in quiet waiting for a sign to tell her what to do. They all rode in quiet and inside themselves, so much so they all missed the small tracks of a human, fresh and going in every direction possible.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

Redlance started out after waiting his usual mental count falling into a steady gait. With each step, he let his mind go over what had happened with his chief, the way Cutter had acted. The treeshaper skipped past the words, as hurtful as they were he had felt nothing when his chief said them. That wasn’t Cutter on his wolf-friend. That wasn’t his beloved chief at all. No, what he saw at the end, the look of pain that caught his attention like a net cast over a bear, held him now. There was his chief, his beloved Cutter, and all the treeshaper needed was a way to reach him, to pull him back from the edge of the pit he stood next to.

The treeshaper followed the Wolfriders trail, or what little they left, as his mind worked the new problem in front on him. He was so engrossed in how he could help Cutter he almost missed the new tracks on the ground, but then he saw them. Redlance stopped and looked at the new signs of life on the trail with a sideways expression. The tracks were human, but entirely too small to be any kind of a threat. The foot prints looked almost like they belonged to a cub.

“Bunny-bunny!”

His eyes shot up and there in the middle of the trail in the moonlight was the owner of all those little tracks. The human cub stood maybe waist high to Redlance and couldn’t have seen more than three full turns of the seasons. She was pretty with long flowing brown hair that circled a full face with fat cheeks. The treeshaper noticed the cub was wearing a small gown and no shoes, as if she was ready for sleep.

“Bunny-bunny!” She squealed again with a clap of her hands.

What’s a bunny-bunny Redlance thought as he stared at the cub? All right, the treeshaper thought, if I back away slow she won’t follow me, maybe. He took a cautious step backwards away from the cub and got maybe halfway through the move when she let out another squeal and ran right for him. “Bunny-bunny! Bunny-bunny!”

Redlance took two quick shuffle steps backward trying to get away from the cub but she was in a full shambling run right for him. He looked to his right and there off the trail was brush thick and full of leaves, enough to hide, and that’s just where he went. With a jump, he sidestepped right and ran straight into the brush ignoring the scratches and stings of the limbs snagging him. The cub went past the point he made his move and for a moment the treeshaper hoped the small one would leave him be, but then the tiny lifebearer squealed and ran right at the bush he had leaped in. He slipped in deeper into the brush stepping past limbs and leaves trying to get away from the cub and when he looked back the poor thing was all hung up and stuck. The treeshaper sighed and began to work his way out the bush when he heard the approach of feet. He stopped instantly as these feet were bigger, a large warrior maybe. Redlance looked back to see the child sitting quietly now puling at her gown trying to free it from a thorny branch. He turned back round to see the night being lit up by a torch and a large human walking fast down a small fork in the trail screaming out. He wore clothes that looked like the kind the humans wore at the Djun’s city, but then these were so different, more homemade like Moonshade’s leathers. The human had a thick beard and long hair down his back.

“Magdalena! Magdalena, where are you?”

There was no answer. The child was just playing with her gown now sitting in the bush like it was any regular night. Redlance looked to the human on the trail and wanted so bad to tell him the cub was right there, just over there sitting and playing. Only he couldn’t and the large human looked all around like he was lost as well. The treeshaper sighed then found a small pebble which he tossed down the trail by the cub. Surely the human would find his cub now. Nope, the treeshaper watched stupefied as the human turned and walked the OTHER way down the main trail away from them. Redlance sat quietly as the human screamed out the name of the cub then turned heading back up the small fork trail toward wherever. As the light of the torch dimmed and dark took over the treeshaper crawled out and looked around. The moon was high and he was already so far behind the tribe. He would have to run t-

“Bunny-bunny!” The cub cried again and Redlance turned to see the bushes rustling. The cub was still out here, in the dark with no help coming. He felt a sudden bite of a paradox, do you leave the cub to fend for itself to catch the tribe or do you somehow lead it home and then face whatever wrath your chief chooses? What do you do treeshaper?

“Bunny-bunny!” The cub cried again this time, on the verge of frustrated tears, and that was all it took.

“Puckernuts!” The treeshaper whispered as his mind started to turn over just how he was going to fix this. Then he remembered something and smiled, maybe the solution was as simple as a little treasure hunting.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

Oblivious to the treeshaper’s predicament the tribe moved along the trail through the new forest. Strongbow took the lead and as he directed his wolf-friend he searched the ground for any sign of game, anything that would feed the bellies that grew tired of roots and berries. His sharp eyes though saw nothing but small markings, animals that would barely feed one wolf least of all most of them. He sighed in frustration as he reached out in a send to his fellow elder. I have nothing here Treestump, do you see anything?

No archer, his fellow elder replied with a muddled send, I don’t have anything, but my mind is so twisted right now I could have walked past a full buck and never spotted it.

I know, what do you think we should do?

The send was blank for a moment, no energy flowing and Strongbow knew his friend and elder was thinking carefully of what to say. Then he felt the touch of Treestump’s mind to his and the response. I won’t challenge him Strongbow, I don’t have it in me. All I ask is you think hard before you do. Are you ready to walk the path of chief?

I don’t know Treestump…I don’t know at all…


The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette


A long line of sweet berries lined the trail, a proverbial path that led from the bushes where the tall human stood in the small fork trail back up toward somewhere. Redlance tossed a few more down the trail back toward the cub. He stood still after the last one bounced twice waiting for the cub to come out and start eating. It had to be hungry right, only it didn’t move from the bushes. He sighed and furrowed his brow thinking. He looked around then popped a sweet berry in his mouth eating it in a single bite.

“Bunny-bunny!” He suddenly called out and in almost a blink of an eye the cub squealed and stepped out on to the trail. Redlance scurried out of the cub’s vision before it could see him and let it look around. He watched through the branches of the brush as the cub looked around curiously for its bunny-bunny before looking down and spotting the berries. The cub let out another squeal and squatted down grabbing the berry before standing back up, staring at it, and then eating the whole thing with three chomps.

Redlance smiled as the cub looked up the trail toward him, spotted the next berry, and ran right to it. The little cub followed each one to the next right up to the fork, then stopped and looked around lost again. She stood perfectly still till the treeshaper looked out from behind a bush and called. “Bunny-bunny!”

The cub spun toward the noise, a lot better than the big human who went in the wrong direction. She did the same with these berries, a perfect dance of shambling steps, squat to get the berry, and then eat the berry before moving on to the next one. And so, the treeshaper drew the cub along the trail to a dwelling in the middle of the forest, a hut out in the wilderness all by itself. Once or twice the cub stopped short and he had to toss a new sweet berry out to attract her, but with a patience set in stone he lured the cub all the way back to what he assumed was its den. The only problem was how to get the little one to follow him out in the open back to the dwelling. He only had one or two more berries and it would take a lot of the sweet treats to get her close.

“Puckernuts!” He whispered again looking at the cub then the den. Well, only one way to do this, hope I don’t get caught he thought stepping out on to trail.

“Bunny-bunny!” He chirped with a quick head shake, his braids swaying wildly.

A look as bright as the day star came over the cub’s face and she squealed again running for her bunny-bunny. Redlance smiled and hopped backward twice before turning and shuffling with a sideways step, just enough to stay out of her grasp, just enough to keep her moving with him.

“Bunny-bunny!” The cub cried with a happy laugh that infected the treeshaper.

“Ha, yes! Bunny-bunny!” The treeshaper laughed keeping one eye on the cub and the other on the dwelling. The pair reached half across the open space when the door to the den swung open and he saw the same tall human warrior step out followed by his mate, a small lifebearer with the same long flowing brown hair as the cub.

Almost at once they saw her. There was they’re child, running up the trail that led from their remote home. They never saw the small elf leading her along the same path as the treeshaper made a quick dash and leapt over some wooden rails that held an animal like a zwoot. They never saw him as the only object they cared for was right there on the trail in front of them. “Magdalena!” The mother screamed and took off running after her lost baby. The father was right behind and as she picked up the child he grabbed them both in a hard hug.

From the safety of the wood line he watched and in a flash Redlance saw his Tyleet, her scent and her face coming back so strong a tear rolled down his cheek. Oh, how he missed her and how so full of joy would she be with what he had just done. Of course, he would never tell anyone, it was not his ‘Way’ to stand in the day star's light and seek adulation. No, that was not him he thought as he watched the cub and its mother and father walk back into the hut. He smiled and turned to begin running to catch up with his tribe, his family.

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyMon Mar 30, 2015 1:06 am

More to read. Does happy dance.

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyMon Mar 30, 2015 11:18 am

I'm glad that it makes you to write more, Wiseshaman!
And I love to read more!

Just readed chapter 3!
Cutter need to take a chill pill... for real. I'm curious how the confrontation between Cutter and Strongbow will go. I hope Cutter still gets to be chief!

Bunny-bunny! Laughing That was so cute! with an good ending as well! Redlance is such an good elf!

can't wait for the next chapter! You're real fast with writing though! How you do that so fast?
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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyMon Mar 30, 2015 9:47 pm

*watches Golden do her happy dance and chuckles*

Oh there's so much more to read wolfmoonsky, I have a WHOLE trunk just filled to the top with stories about our treeshaper...

And tomorrow I'll gladly update and put out a new piece in all my threads...

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyMon Mar 30, 2015 11:09 pm

Continues happy dance for more stories on Redlance.

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyMon Mar 30, 2015 11:54 pm

Ugggghhh Mad Tension!! I can't stand tension!! *hides under a blanket until it's over*

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Four   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyTue Mar 31, 2015 11:08 pm

@Kindredsoul wrote:
Ugggghhh Mad  Tension!! I can't stand tension!! *hides under a blanket until it's over*

Well this next part just might send you off the edge Kindredsoul, but I won't let anyone fall far.

And the next piece...

Chapter 4

They waited silently off the trail they had been following all night, the path set forth by the treeshaper earlier who by now was considerably late.  They watched the trail for him, hungry and worried for him, but just mostly hungry.  The unlucky cloud that had hovered over the Wolfriders in their task of hunting in the old woods followed them to these new woods and against the impossible may have even gotten worse.  There was no meat tonight, no meal except what the treeshaper would provide for them in his little sacks and pouch.  They sat and watched the trail for any sign of him and as the day star slowly rose above the trees and the forest woke around them for a new beginning, a fresh start, hearts began to beat faster.  Spirits all ready low fell a little farther as worry broke out among the small group.  A single form sat away from the rest, as close to the trail as she could get waiting for him with eyes that took all of the forest in with sharp intent while behind her in the shadows another pair kept a watchful eye as well, two large blue ones and a pair of green seeing just as much as her brown ones.

Do you think he’s hurt? Moonshade asked in a send filled with worry.

I don’t know, Strongbow replied with a worried look of his own before turning to his fellow elder Treestump, do you think we should look for him?

“No, not yet…maybe he had to hide from something…” Treestump answered with his voice in a low whisper as his lifemate spoke up with concern.

“If we lose him we lose our only source of food right now.” Clearbrook added as her mind ran rampant with a fear of not having a full belly and as if on cue a rumble rose from the side and all four turned to see Dart kneeling with Newstar, a sheepish smile on his face.

“Sorry…I'm just hungry.”

Moonshade smiled back as her heart sank at hearing her cub’s emptiness, a hollow feeling she had feared for so long.  Across from the elders in the shadows of the tress Cutter stood keenly watching the trail needing to see Redlance so much, and it wasn’t for the fact his stomach needed to be filled.  No, he watched because his heart had fought all day against his darkened soul to see the treeshaper, the yearning to be with him and Nightfall again gaining enough of a foothold to make him wait with urgency.  So, here he stood and watched with the huntress, waited to appease a longing heart.  And next to his side she stood, he looked back once to his precious Leetah and saw her looking down the trail as well.  She tried to hide the pain in her heart he knew, the hurt and the loneliness he saw there in her eyes he also felt in his soul every day and every night.  He can help her Cutter thought, help me so much, but how do I get him to take us back…together?  Then he felt the anger clawing its way back in, the rawness of his spirit cringing with fear as the rage was rolling again through him.  He turned back to the trail wondering where he was, why was his treeshaper late?  What if something happened to him? The questions whispered in his mind as Cutter felt a fear for his treeshaper.  Vivid memories of sharing and of loving tenderness tried to push back the torment but the joyful thoughts were quickly losing to the waiting.  Cutter was ready to just walk away, the treeshaper wouldn’t want him like this and if that was the crux of it all then so be it.  He was better off al-

Then Nightfall abruptly stood up looking out in the forest and as every eye looked with her, strained to see, they saw with joy a red-haired elf come running up.  He trotted along almost skipping with glee taking his lifemate’s hand in his without stopping.   The pair ran easy to the mass of the tribe without stopping by the wolf chief or his mate, without noticing the looks of relief and anger they gave him.  Redlance smiled and breathed heavy while speaking, “good morn my tribe!”

“Where have you been?” Treestump asked quickly with a stern tone.

The heavy words didn’t pass by the treeshaper as Redlance blinked and then reached into his oblong pouch pulling out the small sacks he used to being them food in.  The Wolfriders were familiar with those sacks, too familiar some would say, and as he brought each one out the tribe knew hungry bellies would be filled even if appetites were not.  As he put each down giving them the pick of what they wanted Redlance spoke. “I’m sorry for being late.  Here, I got more berries and some brown nuts that tasted very good.”

Everyone reached in, even Treestump who a moment before had questioned the treeshaper briskly, gave up the need to know where Redlance had been to eating.  All had forgotten to ask why he was late choosing to take a berry over a reason, all but one and with a growl he appeared from behind.  

“Treestump asked where you were. Why are you so late coming in?”

The small group froze at the sound, the anger in the voice.  Redlance turned round to see his beloved chief, or what should have been Cutter, standing just a short distance away.  Now it was just a surly rage filled wolf with a clenched fist growling deep.  The treeshaper could see just to his chief’s side his beautiful lifemate Leetah standing clear with a look of terror across her face and just to her side was Clearbook with the same horrified look.  The treeshaper swallowed hard and spoke choosing his words so very carefully.  This was not his chief, not his Cutter he kept telling himself as he did.  He wouldn’t fight back if it came to that.  

“I’m sorry for being late my chief.  It won’t happen again…I promise.”

Red, bright in his eyes and roaring in his ears took control of Cutter as he stepped forward slow but with so much menace he could see the tribe inch away.  “I didn’t ask for your sorry…where were you?”

As the others moved back slowly just a bit Nightfall went forward as the instinct to protect her family pushed her forward toward her only love.  Yet as she did a hand took hold of her wrist and pulled the huntress back, out of the way of what was about to happen.  She turned to see Strongbow holding her still as his send touched her mind with an order.  Don’t move to Redlance…don’t do a thing!

“I came across a human cub my chief.” The treeshaper whispered avoiding eye contact, giving his chief the sign he would not fight.

“A human…you had contact with a human.”  The beast that was Cutter now growled so deep his voice rumbled.

“It was just a human cub my chief, a helpless cu-“

Before Redlance could say more, before he could explain it was a beautiful little cub he could not leave in the forest to die Cutter leapt at him.  His chief’s left hand slammed into his chest grabbing skin and leather tunic in a single bunch then with a great pull the treeshaper was flung down the trail fighting to keep his feet under him let alone his balance.  If not for the wolf chief hanging on and refusing to let go Redlance might have fallen.  Someone behind them screamed and another yelled Cutter’s name but he was no longer here.  The wolf chief had been replaced by nothing but fury, a snarling animal with no semblance of being a friend to any one this morning.  He yelled and bellowed with words that flew from his mouth like fire at the treeshaper.  Gone was the want to be held and loved again.

“YOU THINK THIS IS A GAME? WE EAT STICKS AND TWIGS WHILE YOU PLAY WITH SOME HUMAN CUB!”

“No Cutter, I-“Redlance answered keeping his head down trying to stop the confrontation but knowing there was no way to.  This was going to end with nothing but blood.

“WE STARVE AND YOU DANCE BACK TO US WHEN YOU WANT!  YOU LED US TO DIE OUT HERE!”

“Cutter Stop Please!” Someone yelled but the beast was loose and his pound of flesh would be exacted with no one opposing or stopping him.  

“No Cut-“Redlance tried once more holding his hands up but keeping his eyes down.

The blow, one of two, was fast and as solid as being hit by a rock.  The treeshaper never saw it coming but felt it crash into his cheek with such force his head snapped back on his neck.  His feet slid in the dirt as pain as bright as the day star erupted in his mind.  

“No Cutter! Please Stop!” A lifebearer wailed from behind.

Redlance didn’t try to fight back.  He wouldn’t have, not against his precious chief.  He simply held his hands up and looked away as Cutter struck the final blow, another fist hitting Redlance on the side of his head by his left eye snapping his head back once again as the hand holding him in place mercifully let go.  The treeshaper stumbled back but this time free of his chief’s hold.  Fiery pain flashed in his mind again and even as the instinct to fight back screamed for him to lash out he would not.  Redlance simply fell back, retreated another step holding his hands up as the tribe screamed.

“STOP PLEASE!  STOP HITTING HIM!” A voice cried out, wailed to end this, but the beast wasn’t done just yet.

“GO, OUT TO YOUR WOODS TO LIVE WITH YOUR HUMANS! GO AND LIVE WITH YOUR STARS AND NEVER COME BACK! GO OUT AND NEVER COME BACK!” Cutter screamed so loud his throat hurt, his lungs burned, and with the act finished the rage that fueled the beast died.  His sides bellowed as he gasped for air, the only sound in the small clearing now. It was done.  The red wave of anger was gone.  No one moved because they couldn’t.  They were too stunned and shocked and afraid.  With it finished, with nothing left but an empty void in his stomach Cutter looked at his treeshaper now with clear eyes and what he saw sickened him.  His body began to tremble, shake uncontrollably as he saw Redlance straighten his back but with a lowered head.  Cutter could see the cut cheek and the redness growing there.  He heard words as soft as the breeze whisper to him.

“Yes my chief…I will leave.”

“No…no…please no” Cutter heard and he turned to see Nightfall behind Strongbow who stood protectively between him and her and just to her side Moonshade trying to hold her back.  The archer look scared but ready to hold his chief back if he came for them as did his son Dart who was standing between him and a crying Newstar and his son, oh his precious Suntop.  And then there was Treestump with a look of stark confusion and devastation on his face while Clearbrook held his lifemate, his precious Leetah away from him.  Cutter shook as all the looks crushed his spirit, they were afraid of him his mind screamed, fearful of what he had just done, appalled of what he had become.  The beast had left nothing but pain in its wake, terror and anguish for them all.  He looked down to his hand as it throbbed and he saw the blood…a mix of his and his treeshaper’s.  What have I done his mind whispered?  Oh High Ones what have I done it asked again?  A branch cracked and he looked up to see Redlance stepping back down through the brush leaving as he was ordered, backing away slowly from them all.

“Please Cutter…don’t do this…” Nightfall begged through tears shoving her way past the archer and the tanner.  “Don’t send him away…I can’t live without him.”  

But he couldn’t speak.  Cutter stared at his beloved treeshaper and felt the final piece of his soul rip and pain flooded his center swamping him.  What have I done he kept asking as he looked down at his hand and the blood there.  What kind of monster am I? Oh High Ones, what have I done?  He couldn’t answer the question as much as he could stop Redlance from leaving.  He could only watch as the pain in his heart exploded and he shook more.  Cutter reached up and out with his hand as he tried to force a word to come out…no please…don’t leave me…not you too…DON’T LEAVE ME!!

“Cutter…please…don’t send him away!” Nightfall cried trying to follow her love, but Strongbow grabbed her hand holding her still again.

You can’t follow him!  He’s been cast out! Strongbow sent with a hiss trying to keep this misfortune from taking another.  They couldn’t stand to lose their huntress.

“Lad…call him back…he’s the one who feeds us these nights.” Treestump finally spoke up with a hoarse whisper, a coarse demand.

Why couldn’t he stop this?  Why…what is wrong with me?  Oh Cutter wanted to call his treeshaper back but he couldn’t.  All he saw was each blow in his mind, Redlance’s head snapping back each time, and the pain now running through him amplifying with each replay tenfold. His heart beat so fast his chest hurt and his head pounded like a human drum.  Cutter gasped for breath as the confliction of these last days turned to terror.  He was losing another loved one…driving them away.  His mind screamed at him as his spirit plummeted downward away from all of this, all of what he had done.  Cutter stepped back away as he watched his treeshaper leave…because of him.

Go Redlance, you’ve been cast out…just leave and we’ll talk to Cutter to get you back. Strongbow sent to Redlance.

“No, no,” Nightfall spat yanking her hand out and away from the archer’s, “don’t you send him away!  I need him!”

“We have no choice…it’s done…you can’t follow…” Clearbrook whispered watching the nightmare unfold ever so torturously with each word.

“NO!” Nightfall growled stepping away from them then she looked to see the last of her lifemate disappearing into the forest.  Her heart simply stopped as she screamed…everything she needed gone.  “NOOOOO! LIFEMATE PLEASE!!!”

And in it all, lost in the ruin that was once a tribe, was Leetah.  She gasped in horror and then terror as her lifemate struck the treeshaper for nothing more than being late because he had to hide from a human.  She felt her stomach cramp so hard it hurt and then just drop through her feet into the ground as the words left her lifemate’s mouth.  How could he do this?  Oh how could he do this?  She reached out for him as she saw the reality of what he had done hit him driving what was left of her Cutter away.  Leetah felt the tears run down her cheek as she cried his name while trying to just touch him.  Her fingers brushed his shoulder and the contact felt so cold, distant as he jerked away.

“Don’t...Don’t touch me…just leave me alone…just leave me alone!” Cutter hissed before bolting from them in a head long run through the brush to get away.  All he wanted was to run, just run and get away for what he had done.  His mind screamed at him why…why?  Behind him he never saw his lifemate’s reaction at being shunned so suddenly, at how her knees buckled and if it wasn’t for Treestump grabbing her Leetah might have struck the ground.  He sat her down as she cried so hard her body shook, then to their side a wail went out as Nightfall clutched her lifemate’s pouch to her chest and screamed.

“Nooooo, no, no,” she wept in a sob before Moonshade was by her side pulling the huntress into her arms.  The tanner cried with her knowing every ounce of pain of what it felt like to have your love taken.  She looked up to her Strongbow with lost eyes and all he could do was look to Clearbrook for some guidance, only she had no answers.  What were they suppose to do now?

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

He just ran till he crashed into enough brush and trees to stop him.  He was scratched and cut and battered, but it was nothing compared to his spirit and soul.  The pain that wracked him, chased him down and ripped at him was like a thousand knives stabbing over and over into his heart.  He ran into a low hanging branch and Cutter’s head cracked back from the blow sending him spinning and stumbling to the ground.  He hit with a thud and sharp pain ran up his back and side but that wasn’t what made him cry now.  No, it was what had been building and tearing him down for this last season.  It was all the torment and now the confliction that finished off his tired spirit that made him cry.  It was the need to find the one who he yearned for but had sent away in a terrible despicable act.  Cutter lay there trying to get up, wanting to get up and run more, but the strength to do it was gone.  So he sat there gasping from all the running while crying out for his treeshaper.

He wasn’t sure how long it took to get back up, all Cutter knew he was up and stumbling again as he staggered through the forest.  He pushed past branches and brush till a scent touched his nose, the one he had been searching for.  Cutter turned and started to follow it still feeling every stab of pain in his heart and with a small falter he shuffled out into a clearing with a stream running through it.  Cutter searched as the scent was so strong now, sending his heart racing, and there laying face down by the bank of the stream was the one he needed.

“Redlance?” He whispered as he started to walk up.  The treeshaper didn’t move though, didn’t look up or respond in any way to Cutter.   The fear of losing him passed up though the wolf chief like a Glider from Blue Mountain heading for the sky.  He gasped and cried and took two more steps calling out again with a crack in his voice.  “Redlance…please?”

Yet again the treeshaper didn’t answer, only laying there with his face over the edge of the bank.  Don’t do this…please don’t leave me Cutter’s mind pleaded as he walked up almost next to Redlance intent on falling down on the ground, intent on doing whatever he had to do to keep his treeshaper.  Yet just as he reached his prize the treeshaper suddenly rolled over and tossed a large sized fish right at Cutter.  Before the wolf chief could do a thing he was holding onto a flopping, thrashing, cold, wet bundle while his treeshaper yelled.

“Don’t let it go Cutter!  It’ll feed us for a whole day!”

The fish’s tail slapped Cutter three swift times across his face and its body gave him two hard gut blows as he fought to keep the thing in his grasp.  He spun and took a step backward which was the wrong direction he realized too late as he started to fall into the stream.  With one last move Cutter tossed the fish onto the bank giving up the fight to stay on dry ground, only as he did something grabbed onto his wrist and his backward descent came to a sudden stop.  Cutter looked back to see the stream was just to close then forward to see he was a standing on the edge of the bank at a precarious angle…and the only thing keeping him dry at the moment was his treeshaper.  He looked to Redlance and saw a loving smile, the same loving smile that reached through the pain and touched his heart with a sweet shock.

“I love you Cutter Kinseeker…with all my heart-”

What…did he just-

“-but it's time to swim my beloved chief.”

It was simple immediate move and before he knew it Cutter was pin-wheeling with both arms for all he was worth, in an instant Redlance just let go of his chief and sent him falling backwards into the stream with a splash as loud and as wild as any he had ever seen.  As soon as the water enveloped him and the cold sunk in Cutter was getting his feet under him popping up in the waist deep pool gasping for air and pushing his hair out of his eyes.  “You…what in the name of Bearclaw’s beard are you doing?” he laughed turning to the bank just in time to see Redlance leaping right at him with a cross body block.

“Oh Puckernuts!” Cutter gasped just as his treeshaper landed on him driving both down into the water.  The wolf chief felt Redlance swim away as yet again he fought to get his feet under him so he could stand up.  As soon as he was up and gasping for air again he turned looking for…

”What are you trying to do, drown me?”

Then Cutter saw him, or just the very top of his head.  A pair of eyes looked up at him from just above the water’s surface, which glinted and shined from the day star so bad the wolf chief had to squint, with two long red braids floating like snakes.  Then with a plop he was gone, those pair of eyes, and Cutter knew the game had begun.  He started to drop down to defend the attack he knew was coming when a bubble rose up from behind him.  Cutter spun toward the noise and in his haste he did he knew he had made a costly mistake of immeasurable proportions because before he could get back he was caught. A wall of water splashed over his shoulders just before a pair of arms grabbed him so hard in such a vicious lock his breath left him.  With his arms pinned to his sides Cutter felt a heave as he was lifted off the stream bed before the arms were squeezing inward playfully crushing him.  He kicked and then yelped as he knew he had lost this fight.

“You Win Fahr! You win!”

And the arms which had been so playful just a moment before abruptly dropped Cutter back into the waist high water with another plop.  He landed and turned expecting to see the stargazer, but Skywise was gone.  He had been gone now for almost two full seasons. The only one there was the treeshaper and he was all ready back at the bank climbing out.  Why…why did I call him that Cutter thought?  All the playful feelings which had filled him just a moment ago faded as he watched his treeshaper walking away.  All the pain that had been pushed away somehow came crashing back, all the fear of losing Redlance smashed into Cutter sending him into a panic.  “Wait Redlance…don’t leave!” Cutter yelled as the treeshaper rolled out of the stream.

Alone…all alone the fear screeched at him…all ALONE!

“Redlance! Wait, please!” Cutter yelled trying to stop the treeshaper.  The panic exploded in his heart, so stark and strong it tore and slashed into him, and what was left of Cutter’s spirit ripped almost into.  

Another one has left you…ALONE!

He flashed back to the day Skywise left and the feeling of being so utterly alone that came back pulling him down so fast Cutter couldn’t breathe.  Cutter watched his precious Ember leave and his spirit cracked like a stone hit with a Troll hammer.  He started to jump out of the stream reaching for the treeshaper, needing to scream for him to stay, but his legs didn’t go high enough and the bank had no support for all his weight what with the clumsy attempt he made to get out.  All at once the bank gave and he was falling back into the pool, back away from Redlance.  His head struck the dirt and rock side with a whack and the world spun before he was under the water one last time.  Cutter couldn’t breathe and it didn’t matter as the pain from his wracked spirit made his heart hurt and the anguish of the morning pulled him down like a weight.  He was falling, just falling as the terror pulled him down screaming over and over

Alone…alone…

And then a set of arms had him, pulling him from the water and the fear in one great rush.  Cutter could hear words and a voice but the pain of his heart and soul was too much as he inhaled air into his burning lungs.  He gasped as the arms held him up while the words tried to soothe him.

“I have you Cutter! I’m here!”

He felt the arms guide him back to the bank and then with a strong heave push him to dry ground.  Cutter rolled over on his side as sobs so deep and consuming they made his body jerk and spasm wracked him.  All the hurt and the loneliness of the last turn of the season came pouring out as he cried out.  “Redlance…Don’t Leave Me!  Please…”

The treeshaper dropped down by his chief’s head pulling Cutter up between his legs in a hard hug. “I’m not leaving you Cutter! I’m here! I’ll always be here for you!”

Cutter grabbed at Redlance, grabbed his arms with a strength fueled by the terror he felt as his head laid up against the treeshaper’s chest.  He pulled at the arms and cried. “Don’t…don’t…leave…please”

“No Cutter, I won’t leave you.  I would never leave you, never.” Redlance whispered rubbing his chief’s back lovingly and reaching out with a lock send.  

Almost at once he felt the pain in Cutter’s tormented soul as the two connected.  He could feel the dark loneliness that had grown in his chief’s spirit and using all his love for Cutter Redlance threw back the dark there.  He sent image after image to Cutter of the times when he felt the most affection for his chief.  He sent images of when he was the proudest to stand with him.  He sent him all the nights they spent together when Leetah was gone and he shared his body with his chief, nights so sweet it made him cry.  Redlance whispered lovingly as he gave Cutter all his strength to throw back the dread and come back to him.

‘“You’re never alone my chief…I’m always at your side. I wasn't leaving you...I could never do that.”

Love so warm and so deep flooded Cutter’s soul pushing back the dark and all the pain.  Devotion so strong and loyal started to heal his broken soul as he felt his body begin to drift away.  Sleep that had been denied for so long by anguish began to take Cutter as he whispered one last before letting his weary body go.  “Please…I don’t want to lose you too...I can’t lose you too...”

Redlance shook his head as he felt his chief finally rest, finally let go and take his love to heal and fight off the dark.  He whispered one last as he hugged his beloved chief to him, a tear roiling down his bruised cheek.  “No…you’ll never lose me my chief, my Cutter.”

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

The day star crossed the midway point in the sky and that was all she would have, all she would stand for.  Nightfall sat there clutching his pouch to her chest inhaling his scent taking in what might be her last of him in the boughs of a tree next to a dozing Moonshade and Strongbow as a sudden conviction that was so strong it bordered on crazy pushed Nightfall to decided she wasn’t giving her soulmate up...for anyone.  Yes, she would have to go against Cutter’s will, his order, which meant she would cast out as well but that didn’t matter to her.   One time not so long ago Leetah told Rayek Cutter just wasn’t her lifemate or her soulmate but her very soul.  Well, that’s what Ulm was to her, more than life itself because if he wasn’t at her side then there was no reason to be alive.  If she didn’t wake up to him every night then what was the reason to get up, why even face the night or see another day star rise if your soul is missing from your side.  She closed her eyes, set her will and mind to the task, and with a swift rise stood up and slid her cap on her head.

Where are you going? Strongbow asked sitting up from his sleep fur.

“To find him…to stay with him,” Nightfall whispered in a thick strong tone, like the bright metal that New Moon had been forged from.

“You can’t, he’s been cast out.” Moonshade added as her lifemate got up.

“I don’t care.  I have to be with him.” Nightfall hissed again and turned leaving the safety of the tree.  On her heels Strongbow strode intent on keeping her with them because they had all ready lost two others, too many for this day.  

As she stepped out in the light of the day star she took his pouch and put the strap over her shoulders then reached down to pick up her bow where it had fallen on the trail.  She hadn’t even thought of her trusted weapon till her hand touched it and images and memories flooded back of her soul making the bow, of him holding her as they sat by the den entrance watching the Holt below, and just him standing there. Nightfall gasped savoring it all and turned back to see Treestump had joined Strongbow and Moonshade while behind them Clearbrook stood next to Leetah just past the tree they had taken her to.  Then there was Dart and Newstar and Suntop watching it all with the same look of horror on their faces from earlier.

“You can’t leave us lass.  We can’t stand to lose another bow, especially yours…” her elder said calmly, almost asking her to stay, but this had gone so far past the point of asking.

“I can’t live without him Treestump…I won’t live without him.” She stated cold and determined with more certitude than she had ever used before with her words.

“We’ll get him back Nightfall.  We’ll talk to Cutter and we’ll get him back, I promise.” Moonshade pleaded and in a flash the huntress remembered Blue Mountain, when Strongbow had refused to stay and left and she gave her bow and arrows to them with tears in her eyes.  Funny, how you think you have life by the tail and then it turns on you.

“And how are you going to ask Cutter to bring my Redlance back when we can’t find him?  Am I supposed to wait and whither while we search the woods for our chief?” Nightfall asked with a whisper.  They all knew she spoke the truth.  Dart had gone out to find Cutter and had tracked him to a small open glen but after that the wolf chief had just disappeared.  

Yes, because we need you Nightfall.  We need you to stay alive till we find Cutter. Strongbow sent reaching out his hand to her.

More tears rolled down her all ready red puffy cheeks and she shook her head wondering if she could just stop crying for just a moment.  She shook her head because she was going to find him and stay with him and that was it, end of talking.  “No Strongbow, I won’t stay…not without him…I can’t stay without him.”

“You don’t have to leave Nightfall.”  Dart suddenly said with a low confused voice.

“You’re not listening t-“Nightfall hissed griping her bow tighter in her hand as frustration grew in her heart.

“No, he’s right here Nightfall.  Redlance is right over there…and he has Cutter too.”  Newstar whispered in the same low tone.

So deep in determination and so lost in their fight to either leave or keep one from leaving that no one saw the approach of the treeshaper carrying his chief in his arms.   Treestump, Strongbow and Moonshade stood watching in mild shock as Redlance walked up and past them with Cutter sleeping soundly, his head in the treeshaper’s neck.  Nightfall dropped her bow again as she stepped to her lifemate’s side with a wide smile, her heart skipping as she saw her precious soulmate was all right.  “Are you all right? Is Cutter all right?”

“Cutter’s fine, but where are his sleep furs?  He needs to rest.” Redlance asked eyeing Clearbrook and Leetah.

“This way,’ Leetah responded worried but happily guiding the treeshaper past the branches of the tree and inside it to the trunk.  She quickly sat down then watched as with the gentleness of handing over a sleeping cub Redlance laid her lifemate in her lap so the side of Cutter’s head rested against her bosom, her heartbeat continuing to lull him in a peaceful slumber.  Leetah cradled him to her feeling the part of her that had been ripped away just that morning replaced.  She barely noticed to one side of the kneeling treeshaper Nightfall knelt while to the other Clearbrook waited.  The spot was cramped, so packed, but she didn’t care.  Leetah didn’t care because she looked to Redlance with warm eyes filled with more tears.  He brought her soul back from the darkness she heard whispered in her mind.  The treeshaper had brought her love back to her and did so after being struck so viciously.

“What happened?” Treestump asked from outside edge of the tree.

“He found me and then I found him,” was all Redlance offered taking his pouch off of Nightfall’s shoulder and opening it.  He quickly pulled two small leather squares out and handed one to Clearbrook.  “If he won’t let Leetah heal him then use this red leaf to clean the cuts, to keep them from burning and itching.  Just squeeze three drops from the leaf into a bowl of water and rub it on, understand?”

“Yes,” Clearbrook nodded taking the first square which held a folded red leaf.  She looked up to see him hold up the second leather square.

“Have him eat this green one if his head hurts or his stomach sours.  Have him eat the whole leaf, stem and all, understand? Red for the cuts and green for his head and stomach.”

“Yes, I understand.”

The treeshaper simply nodded as a voice tinged with fear and desperation whispered.  “You’re not staying?”

He turned to see his lifemate with a quivering lip and a look of such confusion and fear he could barely stand it.  Redlance reached up and caressed his love’s cheek and whispered.  “No my huntress…I have been cast out and I’ll never go against my chief, even when he is not himself.”

“But I need you,” was all she could mutter as her heart fell like stone once again, too soon a second time.

He shook his head slowly while reaching down and taking her hand and with a gentle touch lead her to Leetah’ side where she sat.  He took her hand and put it to Cutter’s heart, over it as he sent to her and only his Nightfall with all his love for her.  And you need him.  Oh my sweet Twen, all those times you came to me for sharing to find sleep…you didn’t need me, you were looking for Cutter.  He needs you now to heal and you need him to heal your own pain and so does Leetah.  All three of you need each other now, go and let your weary souls rest and take in the love you have for each other.

Nightfall looked down to see Leetah and the pain there in her green eyes, those beautiful pools that held so much life.  She felt the beat of her chief’s heart in her hand and with each thump the hole in her soul, the need for him began to close.  From the simple touch of his skin on hers the huntress knew where she was needed, where she had to stay to begin to climb out of her own darkness.  Nightfall slowly slid into the healer letting an arm slowly slide over those strong brown shoulders that slumped so these days.  She rested her forehead to Leetah’s temple as the healer whispered low while covering the hand over her lifemate’s heart with her own.

“Please stay…don’t leave us huntress…”

“No, friend of my spirit, I will never leave you again.” Nightfall whispered as Leetah sighed heavily.  They both held the one they loved while watching the one they would soon come to realize was the one they would need leave quietly.  Soon after both the lifebearers slept so soundly dreams came to them, as the day passed on the Leetah fell into a sleep that was needed, a deep slumber where she dreamt of her Cutter holding her, but then she saw the huntress and the treeshaper with her.  They were all entwined, legs and arms and hand and fingers and hearts, as one and it felt so very right, so very natural to be with them like this.  Nightfall dreamed the same, four bodies living as one heart and one soul in a beautiful forest that protected them…their family.

Treestump stepped back a step as Redlance walked out of the tree intent on heading back out to the forest.  He put his pouch over his shoulder as the elder spoke to him.  “Where are you going?”

“Back to a stream I came across.  I’ll bring everyone some fish later after I catch some more.” Redlance answered with a calm tone while setting the pouch on his hip just so.

“You don’t have to leave.  We’ll talk with Cutter when he wakes.”  Moonshade spoke up trying to stop him from leaving.

Only Redlance wouldn’t stay, not even if they assured him they would talk to Cutter.  His chief had spoken and only his chief could let him come back to his tribe Redlance thought while shaking his head to her.  Then he looked to Strongbow and Treestump as his back straightened and his shoulders flexed just a tiny bit.  He rose to his full height as his voice dropped low coming from the center of his chest and he locked eyes with them, unwavering and unflinching.

“Don’t challenge Cutter for Chief.  Don’t try to take his top-knot while he is weak because I promise you I will take it back.  One or both of you it does not matter, I won’t let you hurt him more.”

Treestump looked to the treeshaper and knew from his stance, from his unblinking eyes that Redlance meant every word.  Gone was the Wolfrider who let his chief hit him without ever offering any counter or defense, hands empty and eyes down, and now in his place the wolf protecting its family with its very life.  Redlance could never hit Cutter, if needed he would take any pain for him, and if it came to it the treeshaper would fight them all to the death to keep Cutter’s top-knot and in truth the elder would do the very same if pushed.  “I promise lad, no one will challenge him.”

I promise Redlance, I have no intention of challenging him. Strongbow sent to them all as Treestump finished.  For in the eyes of the treeshaper he saw that Redlance would follow no other but Cutter.  He was just as loyal and brother wolf to Cutter as Skywise had been and the archer knew without the treeshaper this small band of Wolfriders would fare no better than the humans who had crawled by Sorrow’s End that night so long ago in the desert.  They would have died long ago if not for the berries and roots he brought them.

The treeshaper looked to them all one last time taking in each feature and nuance.  From the deep color of Moonshade’s eyes to Strongbow’s hard chin to Treestump’s curly face fur.  He saw Suntop’s youth filled eyes and Dart’s strong jaw and Newstar beautiful face.  They were his family and even with being denied to be with them he would look after them always.  He looked to Clearbrook and saw the motherly face staring back as he whispered.  “I’ll be close but out of sight...I’ll keep watch, go rest.”

“Thank you Redlance,” She replied in a whisper not sure what else to say.

He only smiled finally and then turned heading back out of the small clearing, back to the forest and the stream to catch more fish.  As he did he felt a single send touch his mind, one from a young magic user who only wanted to say one last.  Thank you Redlance…for protecting father.

I will always look after him Suntop…and you too, Redlance sent back as a small tear rolled down his bruised cheek.

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
The Redlance Sagas Return Combo_1


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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyTue Mar 31, 2015 11:38 pm

Yes another chapter. Hopefully it will al work out and Redlance will be back were he belongs.

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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Five   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyWed Apr 01, 2015 11:20 pm

@G0lden wrote:
Yes another chapter.  Hopefully it will al work out and Redlance will be back were he belongs.

No need to worry G0lden, Cutter will remedy all here soon.

Now the next piece...

Chapter 5

He floated along a swift soft river of warmth, his body-less soul carried by the love and devotion of the three who loved him the most. Cutter felt like this was a dream, a walk on the other side, and if it was or was not he didn’t care. His broken spirit soaked in the tender healing provided as did his soul while he floated along. He let the anguish and the pain that had so long assaulted him fall away and dissolve to nothing like great globs of dirt in a stream. He smiled as the image around him changed and the sounds of the old Holt, the one he grew up in and loved so much, Goodtree’s Rest, surrounded him.

“I thought your father said we were to leave the dream berries alone?” A very young Nightfall hissed at Cutter as she watched him put his life in danger.

“I know, but Skywise said if we get them for him he’ll take me hunting for a tusk hog.” An equally young Cutter grunted back stretching from the limb he had crawled out on. His fingers could almost touch the big bunch of sweet smelling dream berries that hung on a separate branch from the one he laid on. Just a little farther was all he needed to gain his prize. The future chief clung to a large branch over a deep black pit that some of the Elders told them had no bottom. The young cubs didn’t believe them, everything has a bottom and this did too they assumed. It was probably just a bunch of craggy rocks.

“This isn’t going to work Cutter! Come back and let’s just forget the hunt.” Nightfall spat getting more and more worried and thus irritated.

“No, I want a tusk hog! I’ll prove I’m good enough to him!” Cutter grunted stretching out just a bit farther for the dream berries. ‘Him’ was Cutter’s father, the wild eyed Bearclaw, and Nightfall only sighed at this seemingly endless battle between the two. The pit, she was sure it had a bottom, but the rivalry between son and father, no, that for certain had no bottom. No end as she shook her head watching her friend risk his life. They had just ended what might have been a chance at being lovemates, or she had ended it. Love was supposed to feel a certain way, what way she wasn’t certain of, but it wasn’t what she felt with Cutter and for now they remained strong friends.

Then the branch cracked, loudly, and Nightfall gasped. She could see Cutter falling right down the center of the pit, falling end over end right to that probable bottom. “Get back Cutter! Get back now, the branch is breaking!”

“No, I almost have them!” The future chief grunted stretching even more.

The branch cracked louder than popped with a snap as Nightfall almost yelled. “Get back now!”

“No!”

And then the branch finally did break, with a loud crack and hiss, the last either saw of the dream berry bunch was it falling end over end down the pit, down to that bottom that was probably very craggy, according to everyone not an elder.

“Nooooo…puckernuts!” Cutter whined sitting there on the branch looking at his hopes for a tusk hog fall away.

“Just come back, maybe Skywise will take us on the hunt anyway.” Nightfall smiled, secretly relieved the berries were gone.

Yet Cutter knew better and a night later he stormed back to Nightfall shaking his head with a look of frustration and disgust all over his face. The young huntress sat there just off the trail that led away from Father Tree with her bow and arrows ready for a hunt she knew was not going to happen. She had all ready guessed what the stargazer had told his friend, though she just needed a little confirmation. “Skywise said no?”

“I told you he wouldn’t take us. No dream berries to trade so no tusk hog!” Cutter snarled.

The young chief stormed around the clearing muttering about the mating ritual between the stargazer and a few animals from the forest. Nightfall just shook her head and sighed. “We can find a deer maybe,”

Cutter was about to say no, he didn’t want a deer but a tusk hog, it had to be a tusk hog or Bearclaw would show him little to no respect. The young chief was about to state he would just find a tusk hog on his own when a voice called out to them, a familiar one that Nightfall had been hearing in her dreams for some time now, ever since Redmark had come back from finding Bearclaw’s Stag. She felt her heart skip as she waited to see him, wanted to see the one who spoke so very much.

“Are you two looking to hunt a tusk hog?”

They both turned to see the red hair of the treeshaper, or at least one of them was hoping would be. Redmark walked out a little more from behind a set of trees and smiled as Cutter snorted. “We were, but Skywise won’t take us unless we get him dream berries.”

“Do you know where some dream berries are? We don’t have much to trade though.” Nightfall asked, making sure the treeshaper knew the pair couldn't barter much.

“Oh, I know where there’s something better…a nice sized tusk hog.”

The huntress’s eyes popped practically, almost leaping from her head as she turned to Cutter. Only the young chief wasn’t being as swayed as easily as his friend. “And what do you want from us for this tusk hog?”

“Nothing, but that you both listen to everything I teach you. You want to go on a tusk hog hunt then I will take you and teach you as long as you listen to me, bargain?” Redmark countered.

The night grew quiet as the biting bugs started to fly about with their buzzing sounds. The young chief studied the offer, or at least think about it. “What are you going to tell Bearclaw if we can’t kill the tusk hog? That you killed him and we were just there to watch.”

“No, my young chief, I want no special treatment. I will tell all you two hunted the hog, you two felled it, and that I was there just to make sure you were safe.”

Nightfall’s eyes misted over as she smiled dreamily at treeshaper. “You would do that, for us?”

Redmark just nodded smiling.

Cutter looked to his friend with a raised eyebrow wondering what was wrong with her before turning back to the probable treeshaper. “All we have to do is listen to you?”

“And learn,”

“And you’ll tell everyone we tracked the tusk hog and killed it, Nightfall and me?” Cutter asked again.

Redmark just nodded, again, and held out his hand. “Do we have a trade?”

The young future chief looked at the hand wearily, right up to the taller Redmark, and then back to Nightfall who just told him to make the trade. They could hunt the tusk hog and maybe even learn some new things, and if they didn’t fell the animal themselves Redmark would tell everyone they did when he killed it. It only took a moment more before Cutter shook the possible treeshaper’s hand and later that night as the tribe gathered round the fresh kill of a rather large tusk hog, with Bearclaw smiling like a proud father and Skywise shaking his head confused how a couple of cubs found the beast, Cutter just smiled. True to his word Redmark had told everyone the future chief and Nightfall had tracked and felled the beast like true hunters. No one ever found out that he had to actually kill the hog because his two young hunters had missed by agonizingly large measures when the time came to let their arrows fly straight.

He has always been there for me, for her. Cutter saw him, his treeshaper, always there being as loyal and as loving as a brother to him, a protector…a follower…and a lover. The images swirled and flowed again as he floated along the warm river of love feeling his soul knit itself back together to a lone night in a den he had forgotten about. Memories he had pushed away to keep the pain of loss at bay now came to him with no distress. He watched as he saw himself in the furs coming out of a nightmare looking round for her and then realizing she was gone. His precious Leetah, taken by an elf crazed out of his mind. His very heart broken and dying till a pair came to take him in and care for him, with so much more than words. He felt the empty furs next to him with panic and then a small hand rubbed his back and words so full of love and ardor soothed his suffering, dulled it to a mere ache.

“Come Cutter, lay with me.”

He turned to see Nightfall lying with him in the furs and as she opened her arms to him he slowly fell into the loving embrace. He gently bit into her neck and the soft flesh there as his hand slid up her body to touch her bare breast ever so gently. She moaned at the sweet caress speaking loving words to him. “Yes, my love, I am yours always, but rest now please. Let us hold you to sleep and rest.”

Us…there were three he knew…there was supposed to be three and then Cutter felt the loss of his treeshaper. He pulled back slowly from her and yet needing her all at the same time. He felt his heart hurt again as Cutter whispered with tears in his eyes. “Where is he, where’s Redlance?”

“He went to fetch your night berries my chief. He’s almost back.”

“He left…he’s coming back, isn’t he?” He asked shaking with fear while looking to the den entrance earnestly.

Nightfall only nodded and pulled him back to her sending to him with all her love. His breathing was heavy, fast, as Cutter fought the fear of losing his treeshaper. He was about to tell Nightfall to send for him, to please just ask him to come back, when the flap moved and Redlance slid in with a silent step holding a bag of berries. He looked up and saw his chief awake being held by his lifemate and the treeshaper smiled lovingly while whispering. “I’m here Cutter and I have your berries.”

He didn’t care. He didn’t want the berries and as the treeshaper slid over he simply grabbed him around the waist and buried his face in his treeshaper’s chest. Redlance held him tight and whispered soothing words as Nightfall did the same, the pair giving all their love to him as he held the dark at bay. When he fell back asleep finally, still clinging to Redlance, Nightfall covered him with a fur. She went to remove her hand and he took it quickly in his, pulling her to him, putting her palm to his heart to relieve the fear, to reassure him he wouldn’t be alone.

They took such care of him, gave him everything from their furs and their hearts to their food and their love. They gave him their bodies and their Den. Oh, how he missed being loved in such a way. Even missing Leetah and agonizing over her Cutter felt no other love like theirs and as he floated on, and with the light getting so bright it hurt his eyes, he knew what he missed now.

He knew where he wanted to be.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

Cutter’s eyes fluttered open to see the last light of the day star filtering in through the branches of a tree that he somehow ended up in. He looked down to see his top removed and two arms holding him tightly, as if afraid to let go. He blinked again as he noted the darker one was his lifemates and the other was Nightfall’s. He knew their arms anywhere, and as he looked up slowly out past the limbs of the tree the memories of what had happened just that morning came back. He looked down to his bruised hand as a sweet voice gently inquired.

“Beloved?”

It was so sweet, how Leetah’s voice sounded to him at this very moment he thought, so soothing it felt as he replied with his own whisper. “I hit him, didn’t I?”

“Yes,” Leetah answered reluctantly with a whisper. There was nowhere to hide behind a lie.

He sighed and closed his eyes as he asked what he knew all ready. “I sent him away too?”

“Yes,” Nightfall answered this time, her voice tinted with sadness and loss.

He closed his eyes and took the hands over his heart, one in each of his own, and slid out of the embrace they had slept in. He kept his eyes closed as he rubbed those small hands with his thumbs. “He carried me here after pulling me put of the dark, didn’t he?”

“Yes,” they both replied softly.

He took their hands and leaned down into the palms nuzzling the soft skin, inhaling the scent of both and filing his insides with their essence. Cutter took all he needed, their touch and affection, as he felt them both cup their hands to press them into his loving caress. He waited feeling his soul and heart begin to glow, then spoke after looking up from the cuddling. “I love you both so much.”

Nightfall smiled pressing her hand top his face again while Leetah nodded with her impossibly beautiful green eyes showing him all her love. “We love you our soul, and we missed you, both.”

Cutter smiled weakly as he held their hands. “Thank you my precious ones, but I want him back. I need my treeshaper back with his tribe.”

Almost at once the huntress gasped unable to speak for the joy she felt and Leetah was left without a word to say as well. Her lifemate was coming back, and it was all because of a red-haired treeshaper. Oh, anyone might argue, but Leetah knew better as she felt her heart leap as her soul whispered more. “Whatever he wants, whatever it takes, I want him back! I need him back with me, with us.”

“He’s waiting for us my chief, please let me go to him. Like you, I need to see him and hold him.” Nightfall pleaded with a love filled whisper.

It took less than the blink of an eye for Cutter to stand up then pull up his lifebearers. At that moment, both looked to him with warm loving smiles as he led them from the tree to the outside. The tribe was all ready up and a small cook fire had been started which Dart tended to as Newstar and Suntop squatted by closely watching him intently. The scent of fresh fish hit Cutter’s nose and he looked around to see several large ones laying on spread out broad leaves. Berries and nuts and roots sat in the treeshaper’s little sacks around each fish as he smiled. They were fed now. No more sticks and no more twigs.

“He said he’d bring us some fish, but I think he forgot we’re not that many.” Treestump quipped suddenly while cutting into a fish as his lifemate ate a chunk that filled her mouth to overflowing. Across from them Strongbow took a bite from Moonshade almost swallowing it whole as she giggled while looking on.

“I’m going to eat till I pop!” Suntop laughed as well before biting into a chunk he had grilled over the fire. Dart and Newstar laughed with him before eating their cuts.

Cutter sighed with love for his treeshaper, for looking after them all even after what had happened, then he was taking Nightfall and leading her to the trail. “Go get him, whatever it takes my huntress, bring him back to us.”

She nodded and then kissed him gently on the lips and Leetah as well before whispering. “I love you both. Thank you, for letting me go to him.”

“Anything he wants Nightfall,” Cutter reiterated as she ran away down the trail. He watched her till she was no longer in view then turned to his lifemate and whispered with love as he touched her cheek with his fingers. “I’m sorry my lifemate, my soul…I’m so sorry.”

Leetah shook her head and leaned into his touch with a smile so loving it stirred Cutter’s heart. “No beloved, I am only happy to have you back. I am only happy to have my soul back.”

He caressed her cheek more while sending to her all his love, all his need, and then leaning in he kissed his Leetah deep and profound. He hugged her into him with an arm around her waist as she reached up and stroked his face gently. As they broke and she looked into his eyes, she smiled. “Will you eat something for me beloved?”

“I’ll eat a whole fish if you want my desert flower.” Cutter whispered back. Leetah only leaned in letting him kiss her forehead before she broke from him ever so gently. She led him back to the tribe, back to the food the treeshaper had brought them, and as she watched him eat and converse with the others like he did so long ago she felt her heart begin to heal. Oh, my Tam, you have come back to me she thought to no one else but herself.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

Nightfall ran as fast as her legs would carry her and for every step she sent to him, calling to him with his soulname with every ounce of need she had for him. Her heart needed be touched by his desire, her spirit touched by his devotion, and her soul longed to be held by his love.

Ulm? Ulm?

She ran not knowing which direction to go and it didn’t matter. If she had to, she would run all over this forest looking for him, sending to him with every breath. Nightfall reached a tree and picked up his scent. She made a quick turn to her left choosing a path barely visible and ran head long down it. She crashed past branches pushing the leaves and limbs out of her way.

Ulm! ULM WHERE ARE YOU?!

Why wasn’t he answering? Why wasn’t he-

Twen…what is wrong? Is it Cutter or Leetah? Are you three all right?

Then, there he was, appearing out from behind a tree, his shirt off and barefoot. She cried out unable to hold back her tears of joy any longer. She ran to him, crying for him, and with a leap she jumped into his arms where she buried her face in his neck. Nightfall cried into his soft flesh as her arms wrapped around his shoulders. Her hands and fingers buried into his hair as his scent wrapped around her. She felt him hug her hard to him as her feet dangled and still she cried for him.

“What is wrong my love, is Cutter all right?” The treeshaper asked with a whisper.

“Don’t you ever leave me again! Don’t you ever leave me!” She cried into his neck, her body shaking as sobs finally broke through. “I can’t live without you my Ulm, my very soul.”

He only smiled and whispered her soulname with all his love. “Yes, my Twen, never again.”

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
The Redlance Sagas Return Combo_1


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wolfmoonsky

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyFri Apr 03, 2015 10:32 am

Just readed chapter 4 and 5.... It's amazing! I really love this story! I'm pretty sure everything will be alright between Redlance and Cutter! Smile
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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Six   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyFri Apr 03, 2015 5:25 pm

@wolfmoonsky wrote:
Just readed chapter 4 and 5.... It's amazing! I really love this story! I'm pretty sure everything will be alright between Redlance and Cutter! Smile

Thank you wolfmoonsky it makes my heart glad to know you are enjoying the story so much.  I write so others may feel joy as they say...

So here is the next piece...


Chapter 6


“He’s going to stay out today?” Clearbrook asked.

Nightfall returned, dancing almost, back to the tribe leaping over a bush and then another, which wasn’t much of an indicator on her happiness until you realized she could have taken the trail which was much easier. Leetah stayed by the tribe while Cutter went down to wait by the trail. Before that, she had eaten grilled fish and watched her lifemate closely while he ate chunk after chunk of raw fish enjoying each bite, and after each piece he would eat two berries exactly, one piece of fish and then two berries, never once deviating from this till he finished and told everyone to rest before packing to leave. Then Cutter walked down to wait for Nightfall, to wait for Redlance to return while she stayed and helped seal up the left-over fish, which much was not left, for the night’s journey. Dart put out the small cook fire but only after giving one last piece to Suntop, Newstar, and the healer. Leetah had eaten so much of the grilled fish and nuts she thought she might either grow scales or sprout a leaf from somewhere on her body. She giggled thinking what her treeshaper might do with her if he saw a limb sticking out of her, and then Suntop spoke up.

“Father sees them,”

Yet, when it was just the huntress and no Redlance, everyone slowed in what they were doing and watched carefully. Why wasn’t the treeshaper there? Cutter was pleading for him to come back and what? Did he refuse to come back? Genuine tendrils of fear crept into Leetah’s heart as she thought of not seeing his smile again, wait, she meant Cutter not seeing his smile again. Nightfall stopped by her chief, whispered something in his ear to which he nodded, and then both started toward the tribe hand in hand. As the pair approached Leetah felt a warmth bloom in her heart and she smiled uncontrollably, they were such a perfect match, so in love with each other.

“Oh, that brings back memories!” Treestump smiled packing up the last of the meal scraps to be buried.

“It does, I always thought those two would be something.” Moonshade spoke up while loading her pack onto wolf-friend.

“They are,” Leetah whispered with a joyful smile seeing the image in her mind, the dream of four being one, and the warm feeling in her heart bloomed even more as she thought about a red haired treeshaper.

The group gathered around as they approached and before anyone could ask the healer handed over a leaf filled with fish to Nightfall with a warm greeting. “Here, we saved this for you my huntress.”

Nightfall took the leaf and its content with a loving smile and a nod, “thank you my sweet healer.” The look both drew from Cutter, the loving smile, made them blush for a moment while the rest just stared at them with raised eyebrows. When did they start using ‘my’ this or ‘my that’ Dart wondered but never asked as his mother Moonshade spoke up? “He’s not coming back to us?”

“Not yet,” Nightfall answered with a shake of her head eating a cut of fish. And when Clearbrook asked if he was truly staying out the huntress smiled and shook her head. “He’s talking with his trees. He said he’ll be in when we settle for the day, not to worry.”

The look in Cutter’s eyes flashed with pain for a moment, and a day ago that would have worried Nightfall and Leetah, but now they could see where he gathered himself from a new inner well of strength and only smiled crookedly to his tribe. “Then we’ll greet him with a meal. Go hunt and find us the biggest buck in this forest Strongbow.”

All at once, his chief’s words inflamed and incited Strongbow, roused him back to being the hunter and the provider because he had been given a order to be what he had always wanted to be for his Wolfriders, needed to be. The archer’s shoulders stiffened and set as rock hard as his jaw as he smiled and nodded silently. He would find the fattest biggest buck and he would run it down like the wolf he had been, that he would be again. Moonshade felt a surge of pride for her soulmate, her love as she sighed, and when Cutter gave the word to begin the night’s journey she jumped onto the back of her wolf-fiend and followed her archer with a loving smile.

“Can I ride with you Nightfall?” Suntop asked walking over as everyone began to leave.

“Yes, I would love to have you ride with me Suntop. Here, climb on,” she replied with a smile and pulled the young elf up behind her on her wolf friend.

They all rode out of the clearing with full bellies, a new purpose, and as the night hid them Leetah looked back at the clearing and wondered if she would remember it. This was the place that saw the Wolfriders endure, face the probable end of the tribe and yet live on. It could have been the spot where they all broke, but now they rode out with a chief who had been pulled back from the edge of some dark pit to lead them proudly. A hunter and archer ready to bring them food upfront in the long line of riders and a protector fighting any evil for them from behind. Leetah watched the clearing disappear from her view as she held Cutter in a tight loving embrace from behind, and as the spot left her vision she thought about their protector, her valiant treeshaper. What would he do once he passed through the clearing? Would he mark it in his memory as the spot where he saved Cutter as he travelled through? She wasn’t sure but she might ask him one day…she just might ask him.

Along the trail, the tribe rode silently till just a bit away from the clearing Nightfall brought her wolf-friend in close to Cutter and Leetah, riding at the back of the pack. The healer smiled as her huntress smiled back lovingly while Cutter spoke. “What did our treeshaper tell you?”

“He didn’t want the others to see his face Cutter and be reminded of what happened. That’s why he didn’t come in.” Nightfall explained with a sigh.

“How bad is it?” Cutter asked quickly but quietly, as if hearing the answer would cause this all too happen again.

Nightfall smiled half heartedly trying not to hurt her chief. “His cheek is the size of two sweet berries and his eye is just as black.”

The healer felt her love sigh then shake his head before whispering. “I hurt him so much, maybe too much for talking?”

“No my chief, he’ll never turn you away.” Nightfall added with a loving touch of his leg as she moved her wolf-friend next his. “Go to our treeshaper and talk to him my chief, see how he only loves you.”

“Yes father, Redlance won’t turn you away, he’ll protect you always. He even said so.” Suntop suddenly added.

They turned to look at the magic user and saw the huge smile across his small face. “How do you know that kittling?” Leetah asked laying her head on Cutter’s back, feeling that warm bloom in her heart slip slowly into her soul.

“Yes, what did you overhear my son?” Cutter asked with his crooked smile back.

“Before Redlance left he told Strongbow and Treestump not to challenge you to be chief, that if they did he would fight them to take your top-knot back, both if he had to. He told them he wouldn’t let them hurt you.”

Suntop’s smile got a little bigger as he saw the look on his mother and father’s face. Cutter closed his eyes as his smile turned blissful, a memory bringing light to his soul while Leetah had the same look to her face. The young magic user wished he could see what his father and mother were thinking, but it was Nightfall who whispered aloud what they all felt.

“Oh, my sweet gentle one, how you amaze me…”

The tribe rode on through the night in quiet. Strongbow looked along the trail for tracks, signs of game. He searched for the biggest fattest buck in the forest just as his chief had ordered and his eyes scanned the ground for any slight change, any sign to tell him where this buck could be hiding. Yet there were no signs, nothing but those of small black-eyed cats and squirrels. The archer didn’t give up though. He didn’t give any ground as he moved along still driven by Cutter’s request.

And at his usual pace following behind Redlance came across the remnants of what was once the small camp of his family. He cleaned up any sign they left behind from making sure the small cook fire had been properly disguised to shaping the trees to hide any indication someone had crossed through the clearing and stayed. The treeshaper was almost done when he came to the spot where it happened, where his chief had struck him, and without a pause he swept the ground clean with a leafy branch one his trees had graciously given him. When he was done, he took the branch and grew it back to the limb of the tree, and thanked it for lending him such a grand broom. Then he turned and left the clearing leaving behind no trace of the Wolfriders or what had happened there, much the same as he did in his heart just after his chief had hit him.

Then, just before the night ended, a send from a small magic user touched his mind with a request from his father.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

The day was going to be hot, Cutter could all ready tell, and it was just starting too. This season of green growing would be strong making the forest full and lush with foliage, good for hunting and hiding. He smiled feeling alive for the first time in so long and as he walked he realized he was thinking of what his treeshaper could make with all the new plants when they arrived at their new Holt, their new ‘Home’. He moved a tree branch aside as he followed the scent trail Redlance left behind, a musky essence that was easy to track, pulling at him as he walked. Cutter steadied himself for what he knew he was about to do, to ask for forgiveness of doing the worst thing possible, and what it might cost to be forgiven. He wasn’t afraid of being told no when he asked Suntop to tell Redlance to stay out so they could talk, of being told he had to make good to his treeshaper for hitting him, not one small touch of fear tainted his spirit this morning about the chance of being turned away. He knew Redlance would never reject him, no what Cutter feared was being held away from him. He feared his treeshaper would hold him off for what happened the day before and if that came true then Cutter was only sure of one task he would do, that he wouldn’t walk away. He wouldn’t lose another loved one. High Ones, he didn’t know what he would do to keep his treeshaper with him, but whatever Redlance asked he would do it. He sighed and set his mind to what he had to be done to get where he needed to be. Time was of no consequence to him, he waited for Leetah to return and he would wait now to return to his second family, even if he had to beg.

He turned around a small sapling and walked past another large tree to finally find his treeshaper, standing without his tunic on in a small glen looking up at the tops of all the trees in one end of the clearing. Cutter stopped before entering, smiled even more as he stared at the unassuming elf that looked so deep in thought one might be able to walk up and knock him flat, but the wolf chief knew better. He stood still watching, taking the form of the treeshaper in so much he lost track of just where he was.

Good morn Cutter, how are you?

The send surprised the wolf chief. He guessed Redlance wasn’t the only one deep in thought. Good morn to you Redlance, what are you doing?

The treeshaper turned and when Cutter saw the large bruised cheek and heavy black eye his heart felt a massive hurt and his soul felt deeply afflicted. Puckernuts, what did I do he thought? Why would I do this, to him? Whatever I must do I will do to get him back? The questions assaulted him like thrown stones as guilt churned his insides, just as the pledge fought back against the guilt. The wolf chief walked over slowly as the treeshaper smiled. “I was just wondering if these trees would make a good bow for our huntress and archer.”

“I don’t know,” Cutter replied trying to sound somewhat all right and not stare at the bruise while walking up and standing next him, so close their shoulders touched, “the wood seems to be a good choice.”

Redlance turned to him and whispered with a wink. “Between us, they keep telling me they would make an excellent bow, but I’m just not that sure.”

Cutter looked to the treeshaper with wide eyes and whispered back, the churn of emotion in his soul slipping away with a welcomed ease. “The trees, they really told you this?”

“More or less, in their way,” The treeshaper said absently rubbing the face fur on his chin as he went back to eyeing the trees. Cutter just looked at him with a bit of awe. He never would have known or assumed Redlance could really talk to the plants, it just seemed too much to consider, but if you really thought about it for a moment there had to be some kind of communication between them, some kind of a give and take.

The wolf chief nodded and waited just a moment more, just long enough to draw a breath to speak, and then there was no going back. “Can we talk Redlance?”

It must have been the way he said it because the treeshaper turned and looked at him with a loving smile, the same one he used when Cutter was living with him and Nightfall in their Den while Leetah was gone, the same one from the day before when he was hanging on by a hand-hold from falling into the stream. It was that smile that made his heart feel full, made his broken soul breath and fly. The treeshaper simply nodded to the request and turned holding out a hand toward the open space under a large tree where his stuff sat. “You never have to ask my chief. I’m always here for you.”

The offer was apparent and Cutter slowly moved toward the tree, but he stayed by Redlance’s side not wanting to take the lead. He didn’t want to be anything but Cutter now. He didn’t want to be the chief of the Wolfriders, the one who fought for the Palace or defeated the Djun. No, he just wanted to be an equal to the treeshaper, to be loved for being just...Cutter. When they reached the tree Redlance sat and Cutter followed taking a spot next to the treeshaper, their shoulders touching as they looked out on the glen. A moment passed as Redlance waited for Cutter to start, this was his council he had asked for and the treeshaper merely one to talk with. It was Cutter’s to do with as he wanted, as he needed.

The words were gone, what he had thought of as he walked here. All the words Cutter wanted to say just disappeared from his mind. All the strength and conviction he had gathered for this admission, this confession, was all just gone like the smoke from a cook fire. The bruise and black eye hitting him just as hard as his fist could have hit his treeshaper. Cutter finally whispered though, with a sudden shaky voice, looking away from the glen and to the treeshaper. “I’m sorry my treeshaper…so sorry…please don’t hate me…”

Redlance looked to his chief seeing the hurt in those blue eyes, tears beginning to roll down Cutter’s cheek. He slowly reached up and put his arm around his beloved chief and pulled him in close then reached over and took the bruised hand in the other. He reached out with a lock-send connecting with his chief on a level that was almost soul to soul. The pain was still there, the dread and the despair of being left by the ones he loved so much, but it was less now. The agony had stopped, he had pushed almost all of the dark back, and yes Cutter had done it with his help, but the treeshaper's chief had done it on his own nonetheless. Yet, now just in the back of Cutter’s hurt he could sense the fear of being turned away again, of being rejected by another one he loved. It was small, this fear, but still there ready to grow if given the chance. The treeshaper smiled and whispered with all his love flowing across the lock-send to help his chief heal, to push all the turmoil back farther. “No Cutter, there is no need to worry about hate because there is no feeling of anger toward you. I love you Cutter Kinseeker and I always will. No hit or foul word can stop that. I am your loyal follower and your friend till my last breath and it’s not because you’re my chief, it’s because my heart is with you. It has always been yours.”

He shuddered as the words lifted his heavy heart and the love running through the lock-send warmed his soul and spirit. Cutter pushed into his treeshaper harder pulling on the hand of the arm across his shoulder with his other one, seeking the peace he had felt denied for so long. He breathed deep as he heard Redlance whisper. “They wouldn’t have stayed Cutter, Ember and Skywise, no matter how much you asked them too. You know that, don’t you?”

“I know,” he whispered back feeling the pain of watching his daughter and Skywise leave try and take him again, only now he fought against it with the love of his treeshaper helping him, “Ember wanted to stay to help, but Skywise, he just wanted to leave. I wanted him to stay, so much. I argued for him too, came so close to begging him too, but…did I drive him away Redlance? Did I do something to make them leave my treeshaper?”

“No Cutter no, you didn’t drive either of them away. They both felt a pull, a need to be where they are now. Ember wanted to rid the Abode of Winnowill’s monsters just like her father, a great chief, because that is what she needed to do. She’s a chief like you Cutter, strong and proud and brave.”

Cutter smiled as he felt the love across their lock-send build, his own now flowing to Redlance. He loved the treeshaper and he reveled in the feeling, drank it eagerly. The memories of those days in the den with Redlance and Nightfall surfaced in his mind as he listened intently to every word the treeshaper spoke. He breathed deep the musky scent of Redlance and Cutter felt that desire long forgotten breath within him again.

“The Star Song took Skywise my chief, long before he finally left. The stars and their ‘Way’ was his calling and no matter how much you wanted to change that, it was not to be. He chose to leave, he wanted to leave, it was his choice to follow his path. It doesn’t make him wrong or evil for staying true to his self, it means Skywise was just as strong as you Cutter when you went to find the Palace. He followed his will to be what he wanted, the Master of the Palace.”

“Then why did I fall apart like this?” Cutter asked after a moment of silence, of taking in his treeshaper’s words.

“You haven’t fallen apart Cutter, just come undone a bit is all.”

The wolf chief chuckled small while shaking his head. “It feels like the string has broken and everything spilled out.”

The laugh, no matter the size, felt so wonderful to Redlance, Cutter was coming back to his tribe, back to him. “No, when Moonshade makes us new leathers, she always does so with everything a little loose because she knows the new ones might bind and tear until all it all shrinks to fit. Your soul was weary after defeating the Djun and then you watched your precious daughter leave and there was a rip in your soul…then Skywise left when you wanted him to stay, needed him to stay so much, and that rip became a tear so big you couldn’t stop the pain.”

“And how do I fix it, my torn soul?” Cutter asked with a whisper as he squeezed his treeshaper’s hand once more.

“By letting them go, not forgetting them, but knowing they are where they want and need to be. Let your heart and soul heal Cutter and love the ones here who love you back with all they are.” Redlance whispered with a smile as he sent more of his love across the lock-send to Cutter.

The day star warmed the glen even more as they sat embracing, Redlance giving Cutter all the love he craved while Cutter let his love flow back Redlance feeling his heart heal. Then the wolf chief slowly sat up from the treeshaper though deep down he didn’t want to ever let him go, not ever again. Deep down he just wanted to sit there basking in the warmth of being loved and needed, what Redlance was giving him freely, and not because he was chief or such. Cutter wanted that more than any new Father Tree and more than the Palace. He knew what he desired now and where he wanted to be. All the thoughts the day before, all the memories stirred by seeing Nightfall and Redlance, had brought back an old feeling he had long locked away. The dream had been a sign, a marker for him. He had a second family, ones here who loved him back with all they were, ones who he loved so much in return. Cutter smiled as he stared at the bruise and swallowed hard before whispering. “Will you go to Leetah, let her heal you, for me?”

“Yes Cutter, I will go to Leetah for you.” Redlance smiled that loving smile that made Cutter feel even more wanted and deep down he felt his soul knitting back together. The treeshaper sat up from the tree and then held out his hand to him. “Now, come help me make bows and arrows for you and Clearbrook.”

“Bows for me and Clearbrook? I thought you said you were making the bows for Nightfall and Strongbow?” Cutter asked being helped up then refusing to let go his treeshaper’s hand.

“They have bows already, and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for you.” Redlance winked before turning and heading back to the tress.

Cutter laughed and followed staying close and as he watched the treeshaper do his magic he kept a hand on his back watching every move with love. Redlance finished both quickly then walked back to his pouch and pulled out a ball of bowstring. With Cutter’s help, he strung one and gave quick test pull as Cutter did the same with his before smiling. “As fine a work as ever my treeshaper, fine work, but we still need arrows.”

“Yes, you do, and I’ve been working on those these the last days as I walked. I had Moonshade make two quivers from some leather I rescued from our last Holt. One for you and one for Clearbrook, I left everything with her the last time I was in.” Redlance smiled brightly.

The glen was silent suddenly except for the wind and the birds who called to their own families with long, loud, melodic calls. Cutter held the bow in his hand, felt the love that it was made with, and found the strength to ask what his heart truly wanted. He didn’t think about it, didn’t consider once what the outcome might be or what would happen from asking to be where he wanted. He just asked and hoped for so much. “I want to go back to your den Redlance…I want to live with you and Nightfall again.”

The treeshaper stopped what he was doing instantly, all his focus going from testing the bow to looking at his chief with surprise. The words were out and on the wind, filling the treeshaper’s heart with a joyous thundering beat, but he tempered that happiness with a small nod before walking over to Cutter, who stood perfectly still watching and waiting for an answer. Cutter’s breath was caught somewhere between his chest and his throat as Redlance reached him with one last step. “To tree, is that what you want Cutter, to share our sleep furs for one night?”

“No, no,” Cutter hissed biting his lip and looking down before continuing, “I want to be more…when Leetah was gone, the love you showed me, gave me…I want that again. I want that more than any Palace.”

Redlance shook his head and whispered as comforting as he could. “Lovemates Cutter, that’s what you want, to share ourselves and be more to each other? Is that what you desire?”

His head shot up and Cutter’s blue eyes locked with Redlance, tears streaked his cheeks. “Yes, to feel whole and strong again…what I feel now. I want you my treeshaper, more than anything.”

“And I am yours Cutter, my handsome chief. I would never deny you my love, friend of my spirit, but to be what you wish to be, you’re not ready for. Leetah is not ready and she must come with you on her own, no following because she loves you and wants to be where you are. She must ask just as you have because her heart wants what you want.”

“I know…I know now,” Cutter whispered looking up to the sky wishing he hadn’t said anything now. Why would he ask for such a bond when he was still hurting from Skywise and Ember? Why would he do this without going to Leetah first? All he wanted was to be back there with them and now what a mess had he made of it all? Then he felt his treeshaper’s arms embrace him again, a forceful tight hug, and then a hard bite on his neck that caused him to moan and close his eyes as a want for the treeshaper hit him, so massive it shook his core. The lock-send flooded with a desire so strong and powerful it swept over the wolf chief and his broken soul lit a fire and blazed. He reached up and grabbed Redlance back as hard as he could squeeze with his arms as his knees weakened and a hoarse husky growl came from his lips. He groaned Redlance’s name with a passion so thick he lips quivered while across the lock-send with the blazing desire the treeshaper’s voice echoed.

Will you come to me when you are ready Cutter? I will wait till my last days in the forest for you…to give you what you long for.

“Yes…I will come to you…” Cutter murmured barely keeping his focus, barely keeping his legs, for if it wasn’t for his treeshaper holding him up he might have fallen to the ground. Then it was gone, slowly subsiding and leaving nothing but the immense feeling of it all. The bite on his neck faded as he opened his eyes to see Redlance smile and felt his treeshaper’s forehead touch his as a gentle hand reached around his neck sweetly. Across the lock send, he felt the love flow again replacing the desire and filling him, healing him.

When your soul is healed and your heart open and ready then your wish will be, but only when you are ready to stand strong. Only when Leetah is ready to accept what this mating will be and asks as well.

Yes, when we are ready we will come to you my treeshaper, both of us, for I want to come back.

“Good my chief, now let’s put these new bows to the test. Let’s go get some meat.”

“Where? We haven’t found a deer or a buck in this forest since we entered it. Strongbow and Treestump didn’t find any tracks last night.” Cutter stated flatly.

“Not a single sign or small track?” Redlance asked with a sly grin.

Cutter started to answer then noticed the smile, and he instantly knew something or some game was being played here. He grinned and asked just what, “not a…wait…what do you know?”

The treeshaper winked and whispered. “There’s a cave not far from here, I followed some tracks to it, so many tracks Cutter.”

“So many tracks, eh? Then let’s get the others…and hunt!” Cutter growled back squeezing his bow hard as the hunter in his new soul howled.

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
The Redlance Sagas Return Combo_1


Last edited by Wiseshaman on Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wolfmoonsky

wolfmoonsky

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Age : 26

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyFri Apr 03, 2015 7:43 pm

@Wiseshaman wrote:


Thank you wolfmoonsky it makes my heart glad to know you are enjoying the story so much.  I write so others may feel joy as they say...


You're very welcome, Wiseshaman! I'm glad my comments makes you glad! I do feel a lot of joy from reading your story. I'm pretty sure the others do as well.


Just readed chapter 6. I knew everything would be allright between those two! Smile Love the talk between them! I also loved that little moment of Suntop, cause it was really cute! *image a child say something like that*
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Wiseshaman

Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptySat Apr 04, 2015 11:10 pm

@wolfmoonsky wrote:
@Wiseshaman wrote:


Thank you wolfmoonsky it makes my heart glad to know you are enjoying the story so much.  I write so others may feel joy as they say...


You're very welcome, Wiseshaman! I'm glad my comments makes you glad! I do feel a lot of joy from reading your story. I'm pretty sure the others do as well.


Just readed chapter 6. I knew everything would be allright between those two! Smile Love the talk between them! I also loved that little moment of Suntop, cause it was really cute! *image a child say something like that*

Suntop did sound a little like that, didn't he? Laughing

Maybe he'll do it again later for us wolfmoonsky, but for now here is the next piece...


Chapter 7

The cave looked perfectly ordinary from the outside, just a simple hole in the side of a hill. The entrance was on a small rise and across from it on another higher rise was the tree line for the forest, and between, a wide running gulley and open terrain. The light of the day star barely penetrated the dark of the cave’s entrance and what could be seen showed no sign of life. The wind was low and life moved little around this place. The tribe surrounded the cave with quiet steps, slow and methodically placed to ensure no sound was made. They stayed downwind of the entrance to ensure what was inside would not scent them and be alerted to flee. They spread out with their bows at the ready, carefully placed in the tree line on the higher rise that circled the cavern. Cutter put them in the perfect position to fell whatever came out, a cross fire of arrows. He placed Strongbow and Dart on the right side while he took the left with Nightfall and Clearbrook. Anything wishing to run into the trees and freedom would have to pass through five excellent shots with bows and a pack of wolves. With his tribe all set, the only question the wolf-chief had to answer was simple…who was going in to the cave to send whatever was in there out?

Are you sure there’s a buck in there? Those tracks look just like the ones I followed the other night, led to nothing but a small black-eyed cat. Strongbow sent with Moonshade sitting beside him.

There are a lot of tracks in and out of the cave Strongbow, too many to be a black-eyed cat. Clearbrook replied.

Well, we’ll never if it’s a black-eyed cat or a buck in there unless someone goes in and sends it our way. Treestump added.

Cutter sat and listened to the discussion from his hunters while staring at the entrance. He grunted as his options looked limited, almost none actually, when a send popped up making the choice easier. I’ll go in and send the deer out Cutter.

He turned, as did Nightfall and Leetah, to the treeshaper. Redlance was between them kneeling and pointed to the cave as he continued. I’m the only one who can my chief. You need the hunters here with the bows and you can’t expect Leetah or Newstar or Suntop to go down there and go in.

The wolf-chief didn’t respond, just ground his teeth and eyed the cave harder. Was he actually about to send into the cave the one elf he didn’t want to put in danger, because his treeshaper made a good point. There was no one else but him or Treestump. As Cutter sat there thinking the tribe waited in silence watching the cavern closely, well…almost in silence.

Wait, what if there’s a bear down there? It will attack anyone going in. Dart asked, and pointed out rather starkly, suddenly.

The question brought three shocked, mouth agape looks from Cutter and Nightfall and Leetah and all in his direction. They all ready had reservations about sending the treeshaper into the cave and now this? Why in the Two Moons would you say that now Leetah thought as the image of a large snarling bear erupting from the cave chasing on the heels of her treeshaper abruptly went across her mind? Mentioning a bear might be the cave’s possible inhabitant at that moment only made the decision that much harder for the wolf chief, and what Redlance did next did not help.

I’m not worried about a bear Dart. I’ll have my lucky stick with me, the treeshaper smiled holding up a piece of limb the length of his arm. It was a stick he just happened to pick up from the ground where he was kneeling as he mentioned it.

A lucky stick? Dart replied with a totally confused look. Didn’t you just picked that stick up off the ground?

No, this is the luckiest stick in the forest. Redlance smiled holding the branch up for all to see.

Now all three of the elves by him, and the rest of the Wolfriders for that matter, all looked at him with shock. Leetah’s mouth fell open just a little more as the treeshaper only smiled and added quickly. I’ll be fine my chief. We need to see if the tracks are truly deer and if the marks are then we know what sign to look for when we track them. The only way now is to let me go in.

Cutter sighed again, looked to the cave and then back to his treeshaper’s lifemate, and then his soul Leetah. In their eyes, he could see the fear for Redlance, going into somewhere dark, somewhere where he couldn’t protect him. The chief turned and looked back to his treeshaper and sent with a calm but stern request. You and Treestump go in, but if you sense something more than a buck you run out sending so we don’t shoot you, understand?

Redlance only nodded before moving off down the rise toward the cave. Leetah held up a hand wanting to give him a quick word of caution, of her growing concern. She didn’t like this plan, not one bit. He would be in there with High Ones knows what, it might even be a bear! What would he do if it was something dangerous? Then she lowered her hand, the fear in her stomach keeping her need to say something quiet. Oh please be careful my treeshaper, she wanted to say just before Nightfall did. Please be careful beloved…we need you back in one piece.

Oh, yes, we do Leetah thought as Treestump followed behind Redlance. Clearbrook sent to her lifemate as she sat and watched him quietly move with the treeshaper. Be careful, you old wolf. I don’t want to lose you!. A small send touched her mind in reply; no words just love as her lifemate reassured her with what he knew would work. She sat with an arrow nocked trying to control her breathing as Nightfall, drawing on years of hunting experience and discipline, slowed her heart and breathing with ease. She nocked her own arrow as did Cutter and the rest.

Strongbow kept a keen eye on the entrance and readied himself for the sudden appearance of the inhabitants of the cave. He sent to his son without moving or losing eye contact on the cave. Do you have your other arrows at the ready?

His son nodded looking slightly just to his right where four more arrows were stuck point down in the ground, nocks up at the ready to grab. Yes father, I’m ready.

Good…

They all watched intently as their fellow Wolfriders approached the cave entrance in a trot at first, then slowed to a stalking step, slow and precisely placed. They walked low with their legs bent keeping their profiles small in case whatever was in the cave decided to look out. The heat of the day star bathed the elves on the rise making them sweat as they watched with tensions running as high as the clouds that passed over head. A bead of sweat rolled down Leetah’s side into her leggings as Cutter felt a similar bead of sweat roll down his back. Nightfall and Dart both licked their lips as they held their bows low at the ready. They watched intently as the pair stopped at the entrance, watched the treeshaper sniff the air before Treestump sent to them all.

You think we can outrun a bear lad?

I don’t have to outrun the bear, Redlance squinted looking into the dark of the cave trying to see through the black to what was beyond, I just have to outrun you fur chin!

The remark had an instant effect. Dart suddenly snickered as did Moonshade and Newstar sitting by him while Strongbow grinned as well as Cutter. Leetah and Nightfall both giggled while the only one who seemed to take some small offense was the matriarch of the clan now, Clearbrook. That’s not funny treeshaper! she smiled shaking her head.

Oh not to worry my she-wolf, because if there is a bear in there the only thing the treeshaper here is going to see is my rump ahead of him, heading for the light. Treestump answered the joke with his own as he looked into the dark as well and getting the same results.

This time everyone gave a small laugh and the tension dropped like a stone among them, as if the whole scene was played out just to get the archers to relax. They watched as the pair gave one last look back then with a quick step entered the dark. Nightfall took a breath, a deep one, as she felt her heart slow. Behind her, Leetah watched and quietly in her mind said a prayer over and over for him, her treeshaper, to be safe. Cutter gripped his bow tighter as he unknowingly thought of almost the same prayer as his lifemate, a small chant over and over just as she did, while a flying bug landed on his steady hand. He must be safe the wolf chief told himself, he has to be safe. The day star inched along over head as the trio sat and watched as the others. The cave couldn’t be this deep Clearbrook just to their right thought, it didn’t look that big to take this much time to explore. Her hand squeezed and let go of her bow in small nervous grips as the wind barely stirred a leaf or a branch. What’s taking so long Moonshade thought sitting and watching, doing the same squeezing on the handle of her knife as Clearbrook did with her bow? And all the while Strongbow sat not moving, not sweating, just staring at the cave like the wolf he was. This was the hunt. This was his world and one where he was more patient than the wolf stalking its prey.

Then a send, loud and powerful, filled their minds with a flash from the treeshaper.

HERE THEY COME!!!

Before the send was done, a loud noise of hooves came from the cave filling the air, and just as fast the bows of the Wolfriders came up. The fletching of arrows touched cheeks, bow strings strained being pulled back, and all at once the archers were ready with a snap. It was just in time as well as the first of the group of deer exploded from the cave entrance, their hides gleaming and shining in the light of the day star. A large buck with a rack of large brown antlers led the deer out. He made for the rise this proud warrior sprinting and jumping across the gully, but he never sensed the ones waiting for him, the ones who fired on him. The first of Strongbow’s arrows slammed into his chest instantly followed by Cutter’s, both shaft’s burying deep into his chest. The buck gave no cry of pain, no yelp of fear. He just fell into the ground as his front legs gave out, flipping him end over end onto his back.

Nightfall and Dart struck the one right behind the buck, a doe trying to flee with her mate. The huntress led the deer perfectly letting her arrow loose just at the right moment and she snarled like a she-wolf as she watched the missile strike into the deer’s side. It tried to jump away, to escape, but it was not able to leap past Dart’s arrow as it struck her chest dropping her to the ground by the buck.

The archers reached for second arrows as three other deer tried to make it up the rise between them, dashing for safety. They cried in loud snorts and bleats as they ran jumping over the others who had been felled all ready. Cutter drew his bow string back quickly, almost faster than the eye could follow as he sighted and let a second arrow loose on the fleeing ones. His arrow struck one in the side with a pop followed by one from his huntress’s bow. The deer fell but wasn’t dead and started to rise before an arrow from Clearbrook finished the small doe. Dart and Strongbow dropped the fourth trying to make the top of the rise while letting the last one go over the top of the rise to freedom, that was if the deer could outrun the pack.

The large buck, the leader of this group, snorted and rolled trying in vain to rise and run once more. His heart still pumped, still tasted the wild, and his mind wanted to run even if his failing body would not. Cutter quickly rose and ran to the beast dropping his bow just as he reached the buck. He looked down at the animal while slowly drawing New Moon from its scabbard. Cutter stared into the buck’s dark eyes and there he found the hunt again, found the old feelings that made him the wolf, the proud hunter of these woods, the leader of this pack. The buck had been the chief of his group, its leader and protector. He had ruled this small piece of forest with no challenger able to drive him off, but this day his reign had come to an end as all things must and do. Cutter knelt putting a knee to the buck’s side to hold it still and with a hard thrust he drove New Moon into its heart finishing the hunt. As the warm blood spilled across his hand the wolf chief stood and looked at his tribe of hunters, his Wolfriders, and he smiled from pointed ear to pointed ear. He breathed deep filling his lungs with the air that tasted of life now, of being one with the great energy of this domain, this forest…his woods now.

The others felt the same, the rush of it all now blazing through their blood. They all stood and looked to their chief, their beloved Cutter with the same savage smiles. Strongbow could see his lifemate beside him, her knife drawn and gleaming in the light, and to his side his son still gripping his bow tightly. They all felt the connection only hunters after the kill would know, drawn to be more than just elves, and as they watched their chief they breathed just as deep. Leetah rose and moved to stand by her huntress placing a hand on her back as she watched her soulmate with large eyes. And when the Wolfriders finally let out their joy in one long echoing howl to the sky a shiver ran down the healer’s spine.

They had returned these mighty hunters she thought as she shuddered and the howl rolled across the rise. They had come back with the hunt, had come back so strong and bold as to take her breath away. She held a hand to her heart as it swelled from the sight of her lifemate with his hands raised high over head howling so loudly to the sky, proclaiming his mastery of this place now. He was the hunter, the chief. He was Cutter Kinseeker and he was alive!

We got one! We got one! Redlance sent with a yell suddenly.

The Wolfriders all stopped howling at the same instant and looked back to the cave entrance, back with a look of shock. There were more? And just then a second buck broke from the cave snorting low and grunting in anger because of the two elves wrapped around his neck trying to bring him down with their bare hands…and one lucky stick. The deer spun in a hard-right circle trying to sling the two would be attackers off, throwing up dust and dirt while on the rise the others could only watch wide eyed as the two elves fought the buck. Treestump had the deer’s neck in what might be called a neck lock with one arm while trying to keep his feet on the ground and behind him Redlance tried the same hold with one arm while swinging wildly with his stick in the other trying to beat the buck to death, hopefully.

Only with every swing of his stick the treeshaper missed and whacked poor Treestump right over the top of his head. The first swing slapped the elder and he yelled. “OW! You’re Hitting Me!!”

The first crack of the stick made the others on the hill go even wider eyed in shock before the deer spun in another circle and Redlance lashed out with his stick again while screaming. “We Have to Kill It Treestump! We Have to Bring It Down!”

The branch slammed down on Treestump’s noggin with another crack as he howled once again while just trying to hang on. “OW! You’re HITTING ME!”

The second blow made Cutter start to laugh at his tribesmen in such a hilarious predicament, and he wasn’t alone. Strongbow and Dart both let out a laugh as Moonshade giggled by them. Suntop, over standing by his mother, pointed and started to howl in his own right as Leetah and Nightfall only put hands to their mouths in disbelief at their treeshaper before giggling out of control. Clearbrook laughed loudly and called out. “Just Let It Go!”

But it was too late to just let go of the buck. It made one more viciously hard swing and Redlance let out a loud battle cry swinging his recent lucky stick right down on to Treestump’s head a third time with a heavy wallop. “STOP HITTING ME!!” The elder screamed one last time before his arm gave out, and the neck lock as well. With a blink, he was flying away and landing onto the dirt of the trail that led to the cave’s entrance.

With the weight on its neck greatly reduced the buck gave one last spin putting all its energy into the sling, and it worked as the treeshaper went flying in a cloud of dust to the ground y Treestump. The buck then jumped and bolted up the rise through the mass of elves who never took a shot at it. They were all too busy laughing so hard they couldn’t hold their bows anymore. Cutter looked over to see his lifemate and huntress holding each other crying tears then he turned back to see Treestump sitting up holding his head.

“Why were you hitting me you red-haired treewee?!” He growled at the treeshaper who sat up as well almost next to him.

“You have the same hair color?” The treeshaper offered with a smile and a shrug of his shoulders, the now crooked gold circlet on his head flashed in the sun. Redlance held up his lucky stick and gasped in mock shock to see it broken in half, and then tuned to back to Treestump. “Ohhhh, you broke my lucky stick!”

That was it, for some it was the last thing they could see or take. Moonshade suddenly chortled and ran for the trees behind her hoping she didn’t have an accident from laughing so hard. Newstar was right with her laughing so hard she could barely run. Strongbow tried to stand back up from being bent over holding his knees, but it only worked for a moment as he watched his friend and elder growl deep and grab Redlance. “I’M GOING TO TAKE THAT LUCKY STICK AND BEAT YOU TO DEATH WITH IT TREESHAPER!”

Cutter watched the two began to wrestle over a broken branch and he howled for a second time as he took three steps away from the buck before collapsing to the ground holding his sides. He looked up to see Nightfall and Leetah fall over arm in arm cackling like crazed lifebearers while his son rolled around holding his ribs and screaming that he couldn’t breath.

Over on her own Clearbrook howled with laughter feeling so relieved that her lifemate didn’t have to outrun the treeshaper out of the cave fleeing a bear.

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Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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Last edited by Wiseshaman on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptySun Apr 05, 2015 3:13 am

Well you got to admit it, Redlance does have way a with creating havoc; as well as making everyone else laugh at his or in this case Treestumps' expense.

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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Eight   The Redlance Sagas Return EmptyMon Apr 06, 2015 12:37 pm

Yes G0lden, our treeshaper does possess a certain way of creating a mess...

Now, onto the next piece...

Chapter 8

They sat round the largest of the deer they had felled, the buck taken by Cutter and New Moon, and they ate like days gone by. The light of the day star showed their skill at dismembering the deer, at cutting it into pieces for all the ones who squatted and knelt by it. The Wolfriders had picked the large buck and the doe for themselves while letting their wolf friends take the two others. They all ate and all filled on the meat of the hunt, all but three who sat back and watched with full hearts. Leetah watched her Wolfriders feast, and even though she would not partake of the raw meat, some would be set aside for her and for Newstar and Suntop. Dart or Redlance would start a small cook fire and let them cook their meal, speaking of her treeshaper, where was he the healer thought with a small smile, and there he was, walking out of the forest and right to them.

“Here, I have a surprise for you three.”

Suntop and Newstar looked on eagerly as the treeshaper knelt in front of them with his old friend, the oblong pouch, opening the flap on the large bag. He smiled as he pulled out first, one medium sized bag filled with something that he handed to Suntop. The young magic user opened the sack, looked inside, then back up to the treeshaper with a large smile. “Barhi Fruit!”

Redlance nodded and smiled while pulling out a second sack and handed it over to the young lifebearer with a gentle hand. As Suntop pulled one of the thick brown fruits from his sack and took a bite Redlance spoke. “Your favorite Suntop, and for our young lifebearer we have her favorite.”

Newstar could barely contain her excitement till she looked in and then gasped before looking back to him with a smile just as big as Suntop’s, just not as loud. The young magic user finally looked over into her pouch and then laughed loudly. “Sweet plumps! He found a whole bunch of sweet plumps!”

The treeshaper just smiled more as he watched Newstar pull one of the plump fruits from the bunch in the sack and plopped it into her mouth. She bit the plump and then sighed before speaking with a full mouth, “that is so good.”

“What did you get Mother?” Suntop asked biting a piece of the thick brown Barhi in two.

“Oh, now what would our beautiful healer’s favorite fruit be?” Redlance asked putting his hand back into his pouch. His eyes went from Suntop to Leetah and stared deeply into those green pools feeling lost for a moment. A small twinkle glinted back as she smiled at his sweet words, feeling her heart skip just a little and her stomach begin to warm.

“I don’t know,” Newstar offered dropping another piece of plump into her mouth, “if i remember, she’s never said what her favorite fruit is.”

“I’ve never heard her say anything,” Suntop added.

Redlance smiled and turned back to Suntop and Newstar as his hand pulled out a large round piece of Orange fruit with a rough skin. Both young elves gasped as he held it up, but it was Leetah who whispered its name with surprise, “bumpy melon, but how did you know?”

“Do you know why it’s her favorite?” He asked still smiling while pulling his knife from his belt and with a quick cut sliced the fruit in half long ways, and as no one answered he continued while handing the fruit to Leetah, who took it with shaking hands. “When you two were young, what was your favorite game to play?”

“Hide-n-find!” Dart called out excitedly from where he ate with the others downing a chunk of meat.

Newstar smiled and nodded. “We use to play it with sweet plumps- “

“And Barhi fruit!” Suntop laughed excitedly again.

“Yes, yes, you did,” Redlance nodded with a chuckle as he pulled two more bumpy melons from his pouch and held them up, “you three use to run all over the village looking for the fruit, and it was the same for your mother and her sister, Shenshen, when they were cubs. Just like you three, they would wake one morning and find a seed next to their heads in their bed, and they knew if they found the hidden treasure that came from that seed it would be the sweetest bumpy melon they would ever taste. Two beautiful cubs, running and laughing and playing a game without a care in the whole Abode, now I would give up a walk in any forest to see something like that.”

And in an instant, from his words, Leetah was back in Sorrow’s End running with Shenshen head long down every walk and pathway laughing so loudly as the day star warmed them. They ran looking in every jug and pot and anything else that would hold and hide their precious bumpy melon, and each time there was no treasure both would squeal so happily with glee the elders around them would try and shush them. It never worked. It probably still doesn’t work on Shenshen these days and nights Leetah thought as she remembered, how when they found the fruit they’d run back to their mother holding it high and giggling like mad. How did he know about the game? How did he know it was bumpy melon that was their prize? She smiled a little warmer as she remembered Suntop and Ember running alongside Dart and Newstar with her brother Wing just behind all screaming and squealing just like her and her sister had done so long before. Leetah would laugh as all five would run back to them holding the sweet fruit high like proud hunters. She stared at Redlance with wet eyes while he gave her the two other melons. The warm feelings she felt in her stomach from the memories suddenly made her heart skip again as he looked at her, and a flood of warm devotion swam over her for him from somewhere in the healer’s heart. She smiled realizing this had been all for her and Newstar and Suntop, it had all been to make them and her feel happy and alive and part of the meal. The Wolfriders had their hunt and now she had her memories of a game from days gone by.

“Do you know who used to hide the fruit for you?” Nightfall asked with a wink to her chief.

“Mother and father, I think,” Newstar stated with a reverence that made everyone pause. Images and memories of Woodlock and Rainsong flowed back from the mists of their memory to each of these wonderful Wolfriders, of their kin, until another voice brought them back.

“Father hid mine,” Dart answered after swallowing some meat

“It wasn’t you mother or your father Newstar, and it wasn’t your father Dart. It was the very one kneeling right in front of you Suntop. I caught him hiding the melons one morning and he swore me to secrecy.” Clearbrook said with a smile sitting away from the meal now that she was full.

“You hid the fruit?” Dart exclaimed with a smile looking to Redlance.

“It was really you the whole time?” Suntop smiled also, and just as big as Dart.

“It was you, all the time?” Leetah asked with her son in a low whisper only Cutter and Nightfall noticed.

Cutter smiled and looked to his lifemate. “He came to me and asked if he could do it. And he made me promise not to tell anyone including you lifemate. I didn’t understand why at first, but then when you told me it was a game you and Shenshen use to play it made perfect sense. You thought it was Resada who left the seeds for the cubs, the same as she did for you and your sister when you were playing the game, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” Leetah answered feeling her stomach swim with what she learning, like everything was being turned upside down just a bit.

“Why did you play the game with us?” Suntop asked taking a bite of the Barhi fruit

Redlance looked down to the ground and spoke with a pureness as he started to build the small cook fire for them to grill they’re meat. “I use to get such joy watching you three romp through the village trying to find the fruit and when you did, oh my, the howling and yelling you all would make. It was one the sweetest sounds I have ever heard.”

“Those were happy days.” Moonshade smiled with a whisper while sitting back from the meal as well.

Treestump looked to her and nodded. “It was a rare sight to see Strongbow out in light of the day star, among the villagers, but he never missed the cubs when they were running around searching for the fruit.”

I was just as fond of it as our Chief, who if I remember, told us all when the game would start so we didn’t miss a thing. The archer smiled looking to his son with a crooked grin.

“Cutter was so proud when Ember and Suntop would come back with the fruit.” Nightfall smiled as she looked at her chief, who only smiled back warmly to her.

“Yes, he was,” Leetah added taking a bite of melon as she stared at her lifemate first and then the treeshaper. They made a striking pair, opposites in every aspect, and yet matching in way that you had to look beyond the surface to see. The warmth in her stomach was now a glow in her heart.

Redlance suddenly laughed and smiled as the small cook fire came to life for the three. “The elders didn’t enjoy the game. Afterwards everyone would come hunting me down and threaten to send me off into the desert with not a single water bottle or bite of food. ‘Why do you have to ruin the quiet?’ they would scream.”

“The elders didn’t really threaten to send you away, did they?” Newstar asked quickly with worry.

“Yes they would, and every time they came crying like a bunch of treewees I would tell them my treeshaper was going nowhere. If they didn’t want to hear the screaming, then they could be the ones to leave.” Cutter answered.

“It was worth the price of being cast out to hear you three laugh, it was like music to my pointed ears.” Redlance smiled sticking the meat set aside for them on branches to hold over the cook fire. Then he stood up, winked to the young elves before heading over to the group eating from the buck. Newstar blushed as did Suntop, but it was Leetah who looked at him with an intense stare taking in every step as he walked over to his lifemate and hers. Memories came back to her, of him and all the small things he did like this, he did for her. When they fled the Djun he had looked after them, her and her kittlings, with such protectiveness but never being so close as to crowd them. And even before then, memories from the Sun Village of his attentiveness to her and Cutter came to the front, images of the time when she left the village to find her lifemate, and there he was helping her and ensuring she was safe and not scared, but never overbearing or crowding. With every memory, the feelings in her soul healed, broken pieces knitted and bloomed.

“Here lifemate, your portion of the hunt,” Nightfall smiled handing over a broad leaf with large cuts of the belly meat of the deer. The treeshaper smiled and pulled out yet another small pouch from his top as Treestump laughed.

“Just how many of those pouches do you have?” The elder asked with a nod to the sack.

“Oh this, it’s my last one, and one of my favorites.” Redlance smiled with a wink as he pulled a large purple berry out from inside and whispered, “Bitter berries.”

Every mouth dropped open as the wind wafted the sweet smell of the berry among them making mouths water. Redlance took the pome and folded a piece of the meat over it before stuffing the entire roll into his mouth and biting. Dart slowly mimicked each of the treeshaper’s bites with his own trying to somehow imagine how the berry tasted. The treeshaper finally swallowed and sighed before looking to a frozen Treestump and smiled holding up berry, out teasingly. “Would you like one Treestump?”

The elder only nodded leaning forward to take it when Redlance pulled the berry back with a raised eyebrow. “No hands Fur Chin, you have to catch it from a throw?”

“Catch it?” Treestump asked back to which Cutter asked a question of the treeshaper.

“No hands?”

Redlance turned to his chief with a questioning look. “Do you think I’m going to miss his mouth?”

“No,” Cutter remarked with a wicked smile while turning and eyeing his uncle, “I was thinking how could you miss a target that big?”

The group went silent with a couple ‘Ooo’s’ on the wind. This time it was Treestump’s eyebrow that rose ever so slowly before whispering, “Throw the berry lad.” A moment passed, the wind slowed just a bit as a bird somewhere screeched, and then with a fling Redlance tossed the berry on a lob trajectory just to the side of the elder’s head. Treestump didn’t move till the last possible chance to grab the berry and then his head jerked to the side just enough to allow his mouth to snap on the flying pome. As soon as he swallowed everyone broke out laughing and cheering, and then Cutter reached into the sack and pulled out another berry, “Strongbow, catch!”

The archer moved to his left and caught the tossed berry with great big bite and a smile that went across his whole face. Then Redlance threw one to Dart who popped up off the ground to grab his. Moonshade clapped and howled loudly, anyone easily seeing the pride on her face for her two warriors. Cutter even tossed one to Clearbrook, who caught it, and started to laugh falling against Treestump. Redlance nudged his chief and then tossed one high into the sky which Cutter caught with a lean and great hurrah from everyone. The Chief tossed the same to Nightfall as she ducked under the flying berry, catching it, and then cackled with joy before falling into her eternal love. Even Suntop and Newstar got in on the fun catching two perfectly thrown berries from Redlance and Cutter. Nightfall grabbed one and threw it high for her lifemate who seemed to swallow the berry whole making her cackle again with laughter. Then there was just one left, and as Cutter looked over to Leetah she just smiled and gave a small nervous nod. He gave the purple pome a throw and the healer snatched it out the air with a small lunge, then sat back covering her mouth with her hand, wide eyed and laughing. She felt her heart soar as Cutter leaned back into Redlance and Nightfall cheering while everyone howled and yelled for her, and then the treeshaper laughed and called out, “now that’s my healer!”

Oh, how true that is you have yet to find out a voice whispered in Leetah’s mind as her heart bloomed from the love for her lifemate and now the treeshaper and huntress.

The Redlance Sagas Return Vignette

Cutter gave the word no travel would happen this night. Rest was the order from the wolf chief, for all his tribe and wolf pack. The smiles went up as soon as it was given and Cutter felt his heart beat harder as his tribe, his Wolfriders, were coming back to life. He watched Moonshade and Newstar help Dart take the hides from all the deer to make more pelts for new leathers. He looked over to see Strongbow, Nightfall, and Treestump with his treeshaper looking at the feet of the buck, noting with keen eyes the kind of track the deer would make. Over there, Suntop put out the cook fire while over there Clearbrook checked all the arrows pulled from the animals to make sure the bolts could used again. He was reveling in watching his little band go about their duties when he felt a small hand take his and when Cutter looked over he fell helplessly into the green pools of his lifemate, her eyes sending him love and warmth.

“Go and rest my weary tribe,” he ordered with a smile as all the duties came to an end. The unused bits of the meal were buried and the elves headed back to a clearing they had found off the trail, a small spot secluded and safe. Trees grew tall reaching for the day star and all its life-giving light. Cutter and Leetah found a nice young oak willing to take them in, or so the treeshaper told them as he helped the large boughs near the ground angle down and provide the pair cover from the light of the day star. Both only smiled as he whispered to the tree, as it moved for his magic, and when he was done he thanked it for protecting his precious chief and healer. They watched him go and do the same for the other Wolfriders, prepare sleep spots, with loving smiles before sliding in to their spot. Leetah smiled and hummed as she pulled out their sleep furs laying them out on the ground, she even made the small bulge by the head and gave it a good whack with her hand giggling.

“There, I think-“she started to say when she felt him kneel behind her, into her with just enough pressure to let her know this was more than an embrace. Cutter’s arm slid around her waist pulling her to him strongly as he buried his face into her hair inhaling deeply. Leetah gasped as Cutter reached out with a lock-send to her and in an instant, she felt a burning desire and vicious need to share. She grabbed the trunk of the tree in front of her and breathed deep struggling to talk as he sent to her I want you my precious lifemate…I need to be one with you now

A hunger she had held down for these last two seasons came back with a cry as Leetah moaned and leaned back into him, into her very soul. “Take me my Tam…take me for I am yours’ always…make us whole…”

Then he stood up pulling her up as well, holding her to him while the world spun crazily to Leetah. Her blood boiled as she gasped from being taken this way, a path she enjoyed when her Cutter did it. He pressed her gently into the trunk, again not enough to hurt her but enough to say she was his and would be forever. Cutter bit into her neck causing a small moan of pleasure to escape her lips and when his hands slid down pulling her leggings down Leetah moaned again in anticipation, yet with a nimble move Cutter knelt leaving her standing against the tree, until he turned her to face him. Then she almost screamed out in ecstasy as he began to kiss and bite on the soft bare flesh below her navel, the edge of her heat. It was her secret spot, the place to drive her passion so high it would make her almost faint. Her hands dug into his hair and pulled at his top-knot as she breathed and growled with her lust. Then he was pulling her down into the furs and they were joining, becoming one soul in love.

Later, after a sharing that rivaled those first nights in Sorrow’s End when they shared, they lay together refusing to be apart in the furs, refusing to be even the smallest piece of separate. Cutter lay on his back with his head propped on the bugle and she across his chest and down his body, her eyes closed and a content smile across her face. She felt his fingers and hand run lazily through her hair, stroking and touching with such love it filled her. She sighed happily and then their ears picked up another laugh, one that sounded just as happy as they were. Cutter looked over with a chuckle and lifted the branches in the way to see who he knew was there. Leetah only smiled wider as she saw Redlance run away from the tree he had carried Nightfall to when they hid. She could see the huntress leaning out of the limbs and giggling like mad as he ran off in nothing but his leggings.

“What is he doing?” She whispered happily while captivated by the scene.

Cutter sighed, the one he used when he was lost in a loving thought, and smiled. “She wanted a berry or two probably. When you were gone, he would go out and fetch me Night berries or nuts or whatever I would ask for. He would come back, and then hold me while I ate.”

“What do you think she asked for?” Leetah sighed while reaching up to caress his cheek.

“I asked him to be lovemates again this morning. I asked if I could live in his den again.” Cutter suddenly said, maybe too fast as he looked back down to her.

“Oh beloved,” Leetah whispered feeling shocked and worried all together from the abrupt confession, “why did you do that?”

He ran his fingers through her hair as he looked into her eyes and spoke from his heart, from his want, “because my heart, my soul, wants to go back there, to their Den and the love that I felt when I was there my precious lifemate. When Redlance held me this morning and showed me those nights long ago, it began to heal me. The pain of losing you, I wouldn’t have lived without them my sweet lifemate. Their love, it’s like a drink of water that I want more of. That’s where I want to be my love, and I want you to go with me.”

Now the worry rose in her chest, seemed to slide up like cold fingers sending out small waves of terror in her soul. She blinked and whispered, “It’s too soon my love, to quick to be like that after what you have been through.”

“He said the same, told me I wasn’t strong enough- “Cutter smiled.

“And you are not.” Leetah quickly added hoping to stem this discussion, stem the fear rising in her. A fear of going back to those days they had just passed through, of being held at bay with cold hands. No, Leetah so wanted to stop this from going forward, and the chance of falling back to that cold dark.

Only her lifemate was not wavering. “I will be, with his help I will be again.”

She sighed and laid her head on his chest feeling dread again, not from the dark, but of being rejected with a turn of a shoulder and whispered low before she could stop it. “But…what if he doesn’t want me, what if they don’t feel the same for me beloved?”

Cutter took her chin in his fingers and turned her face back to his seeing the fear in those lovely green eyes, a look he had rarely seen from her. “Do you think he doesn’t love you? Are you afraid that he’d reject you?”

How could she explain it without hurting him now after getting him back from such a deep darkness? What could she say that wouldn’t end this happy day for him with dashed hopes? She sighed and shook head hoping the move would let her escape this frightening talk, but it didn’t. Cutter slowly reached down and pulled her up to him, not forcefully but gently, so their faces were barely apart. The memory of the lovemaking from just moments before came back and Leetah felt a tear roll down her cheek. She laid her head in the nape of his neck as Cutter whispered with such devotion to her she suddenly felt safe, secure with his assurance.

“He would never turn you away lifemate. He did not punish me for what I did and I should be. Instead he showed me love, so much for me and for you, so much love. He would never hurt his precious healer because he cares for you beyond words.”

She shuddered from hearing his last words, precious healer, and closed her eyes. “But what if he does turn me away? Sharing the sleep furs for just sleeping is one thing beloved but to go where you want to be…that...”

“Takes a heart ready to be filled, I know, and yours is not?” He asked rubbing her back in long slow strokes.

Leetah smiled with joyousness savoring the feel of his hand rubbing her while snuggling into his neck deeper and whispering with a love just as deep. “No, my heart would love him so easily, too easily I’m afraid. But I will follow you anywhere beloved for you are my soul, even to their furs for sharing, even if he does not think of me in such a way. I thought Skywise felt more for me but…I was wrong and now…I don’t want to be wrong like that again.”

“No, my love, he won’t hurt like that. He never could. It is why he said you must come on your own, with your heart open, so you can trust who he is. He knows you were hurt by Skywise’s leaving like I was, he knows more than you could imagine.” Cutter whispered.

She took in a breath thinking of where they were now, not just in the talk but in all of this. Did she have feelings for him, true heartfelt feelings? Yes, emotions had been slowly building in her heart and soul for him over a long life, but what if he didn’t feel the same or worse? What if he just took her in because she was the lifemate of the chief. She looked up into his blue eyes and whispered her heart and her fears. “I think I may have feelings…it’s just…I’m scared my love, so scared.”

Cutter may have started to answer, but he stopped when they both felt a gentle attentive send touch their minds, just before their treeshaper slid in-between the branches of the tree. Good morn my chief, Nightfall had a taste for some berries and I thought you might as well.

Leetah looked up with a smile to see him lean in over her to hand one of his endless supply of small sacks he carried it seemed to her lifemate. She wasn’t covered and neither was Cutter and she made no move to pull a sleep fur over her. He never stared at her in any way that made Leetah feel the need to cover herself. It was quite the opposite actually, and he proved it with his words.

“Good morn healer…you look very beautiful with your hair down.” Redlance smiled that same affectionate grin that made her heart warm.

“Thank you my treeshaper,” she whispered slowly blushing suddenly.

The wolf chief only smiled and nodded his head, “yes, thank you my treeshaper, for always thinking of us.”

“You and our healer are never far from my thoughts my chief- “

Is my soulmate over there giving you berries my chief? Please, tell him I may have to howl in hunger over here if he doesn’t return soon.

Leetah giggled as the treeshaper’s eyes popped open and he whispered. “I don’t think she misses the berries, do you?”

“Oh no, she misses something else entirely. We all do my treeshaper.” Cutter whispered with a grin. Leetah caught the message, its true meaning, making her smile sweetly as her heart warmed. She sighed as the treeshaper only nodded and whispered.

“Soon my chief, and my lovely healer…soon…”

And then he was gone, silently running back to the tree where his lifemate waited just at the edge of the branches. Cutter lifted the leaves again to look out and smiled even more as Leetah looked up from his chest to watch. She sighed yet again as she watched the huntress jump into his arms and kiss him deeply, so deep that Redlance just carried her back into their sleep spot still in the embrace. Oh, to feel their love, to have it wrap around you and hold you, Leetah closed her eyes and tried to imagine.

“You have no worries to fear my love. I am sure our huntress and treeshaper have feelings for you, and not because we are one.”

She looked back to her soulmate and saw the love in his eyes for her and she felt a small surge of hope, of possibility. She grabbed onto that wish with both hands as she spoke quickly. “You think so? You think he…cares for me, and not because I’m your lifemate?”

“I think you need to go to Nightfall and council with her. You need to hear from someone else to assure your heart he cares for you, loves you. She will tell you what I already know, what you know in your heart.” Cutter whispered running his hand through her hair again. Leetah closed her eyes holding onto that small piece of hope and the dream that came from it, of being held in their love so tight it made her warm and safe.

She fell asleep soundly, as did Cutter, after he ate every berry while looking out at the tree he saw Redlance disappear into, “soon my treeshaper…not soon enough for my heart, but soon.”


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Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
The Redlance Sagas Return Combo_1


Last edited by Wiseshaman on Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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