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Set Fire to the Rain
Near Soulfire Territory, Partly Cloudy, Afternoon (Volcano) AW

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Name Player
Astred Valfreyja Lilja
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Since her travels with Benvolio, Astred was all but relieved to be rid of his presence.  They hadn’t found any tribes, which was a con.  Needless to say, Astred was better off on her own.  At first she didn’t notice the black smoke creeping ominously across the sky until it was hardly unnoticeable.  Unsure of what the cause could be, Astred carefully smelled the air and made notes as to where the smoke had started.  She couldn’t see beyond the horizon, so wherever it was, she was in no immediate danger.  Still, curiosity nagged at the female until she was trotting due south with the wind to her face.  Thick and tasting like ash, even from the distance she was at, Astred could still witness disaster up-close.  The femme’s nose wrinkled in disgust and she tried to block out the smell, but after time, she gave up.  There was no point.

She’d been walking for at least a half an hour when her lungs gave out.  It wasn’t just the ash in the air, which was minor.  Astred had always had lung issues, something she rarely liked to admit.  Struggling for breath and clawing the ground, Astred glanced around the area until she spied something that may help her.  A shallow hole in the rocky ground, about three feet deep and four feet across.  The hole didn’t concern her.  The rainwater collected inside did.  Dunking her face in the water and coughing into the hole, her chest contracted until she could breathe normally again.  That was better.

She sat there for a few moments, taking deep breaths and looking at the sky.  She needed to find somewhere to stop, eventually when night came.  She couldn’t go on like that forever.  Hesitating a moment before letting out a loose howl, Astred pinned her ears to her head nervously and waited for a reply as she continued to watch the smoke float across a blue sky.


Dec 15, 2017 06:48 PM

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181713
Name Player
Benvolio Nym Matti
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2mos profile
 

Benny had been enjoying his time back in the mountains. The little basin he had stumbled into proved a nice place to rest his weary head when he got tired or sniffing around in other places. Today as he was out wandering about the mountain pass, it seemed that all of his senses were trying to share strange information with him.

The sky had been growing darker and Benny was watching it nervously from under a shallow, rocky outcropping. The air smelled weird, and it took him a long moment to realize it was small bits of ash floating through the air. Benny knew what a fire was - he had seen lighting strikes cause them in his home - but he didn’t smell smoke. Where was this ash coming from?

A howl rang out, and while Benny likely would have ignored it on any other day, in favor of staying in this place that definitely wasn’t on fire, he was surprised to realize he knew the voice. His paws started to take him in the direct of the girl he had met without much thoughts on the matter.

It took a little while to find her, but he was glad to realize that nothing was on fire in this direction either, even if he did constantly have ash flying around in his face. He had to stop a few times to cough the nasty pieces out that he was accidentally breathing in.

“What the shit is going on with this ash?” He asked the familiar, tawny girl as way of greeting when she came within sight. His voice sounding plenty confused by this all.


Dec 15, 2017 09:11 PM — Post #1

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181721
Name Player
Astred Valfreyja Lilja
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Just when she thought no one else was coming and that she better get moving, a familiar scent reached her nostrils.  She thought she’d left him back in the earlier parts of the mountains.  Apparently not.  “Never thought I’d see you again,  She commented as an answer.  Astred clearly didn’t know what was going on with the ash.  Her best guess was a large-scale forest fire.

The mysterious smoldering earth was slowly growing on Astred’s apprehension list.  What would happen when the fire spread, if it were a forest fire?  They’d be relatively safe in the mountains, but there was still plenty of dry grass beneath their paws, and bushes to catch flame.  They needed to go farther up into the mountains where grass would be replaced by rocks and the altitude would make the air cooler.  Plus, from a higher vantage point, they may be able to see what was causing the smoke.

Motioning her head towards the incline, Astred translated her intention to Benvolio without words.  “Do you think it’s the end of the—”  She broke off, another coughing fit beginning, this one worse than her first one.  The dry air made her vocal cords rub against each other, the abrasion causing pain.  She was gasping for air, eyes tearing up.  Trying to regain some dignity in front of the weaker male, Astred tried to talk, but continued to hack up what might have been her worst attack ever.


Dec 15, 2017 10:05 PM — Post #2

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181806
Name Player
Benvolio Nym Matti
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2mos profile
 

Benny wasn’t sure how the girl meant her comment. Was it a good thing, or a bad thing that they’d run into each other again here? Benny was gonna go with it being a good thing! He gave a small chuckle and closed the remaining space between the pair. “Yeah I figured we wouldn’t run into each other again, but what good luck!”

This was the only wolf he had managed to stick around for any real amount of time now. She was very big, and didn’t otherwise remind him of his sister, but she was a girl, and pretty looking, and she didn’t yell at Benny very much it seemed. He liked her.

She tossed her head as if to motion they ought to go up and slope and Benny was quick to follow along. He didn’t think about why they were going this way, that she might want to get away from the flammable brush. Benny was just along for the ride, wherever it took him.

Benny was going to nod enthusiastically at her unfinished question until she broke into a coughing fit. He pressed next to her, ready to be a support if she needed it. “Are you okay? Do you need water? Maybe we shouldn’t go higher where more of the ash will blow around?” It was probably Benny’s only useful thought of the day to suggest they don’t go where the air was thinner. For all he didn’t know Astred all that well, he didn’t want her to fall over and die, that’d be awkward.


Dec 16, 2017 09:38 AM — Post #3

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181893
Name Player
Astred Valfreyja Lilja
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“Are you okay? Do you need water? Maybe we shouldn’t go higher where more of the ash will blow around?”  Benvolio moved closer, causing Astred to skitter away with a look of disgust.  But it wasn’t for him.  Not directly, at least.  After what seemed like an awkward pause, Astred was able to regain her breath.  “No, I’m fine.”  She insisted.  Getting to the top of that mountain meant getting potentially life-saving information.  Astred didn’t care what it took or what the outcome would be for her.  “We head up.”

The ash was beginning to look like snow as it fell, disintegrating under the blonde fae’s paws.  It landed in her fur and clung to her tail, refusing to be shaken out.  She’d have to take a bath, eventually.  When the world ceases to end.

The terrain was getting harsher as they climbed, the ash making the ground a wee bit more slippery than normal.  There were several times when one of Astred’s paws lost it’s traction and she’d had to save herself from falling.  It wasn’t until the ash was growing thicker and the air shorter when she began to regret her decision.  Clenching her teeth and hiding her face, Astred only began to walk faster, not being able to admit her mistake openly to Benvolio.

She almost walked past the looming cave that stood open to the world.  Pausing and shooting a glance to the smaller male, Astred debated going in until she involuntarily swallowed a piece of ash.  Coughing it out, she ventured into the darkness, making out the edge of the cave about seven feet back.  “This’ll have to do.”  She proclaimed, hoping to wait out the initial blast of ash that was currently storming around the hills.  Though she was less than content with being holed up in a dark and dreary unknown dwelling, there was nothing much to be done.


Dec 16, 2017 05:40 PM — Post #4

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181900
Name Player
Benvolio Nym Matti
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2mos profile
 

The girl skittered away before Benny could get all that close. What was up with her? She said she was fine, and wanted to keep going. Benny rolled his shoulders in a little shrug and continued after her.

“I was born in the mountains, and grew up in some. Way, wayyyyyy east of here. My sister and I always explored and we climbed up some places like this, but…” Benny had gotten himself started on a story when a bit of ash flew straight into his open mouth. He had to stop talking to cough and sputter for a moment, hacking the disgusting fire-dust back out. ”...I’ve never climbed a mountain during a fire. Hmmm, I wonder where it’s coming from? I just see the dark clouds and ash, but nothing else.” The horrible ash-filled air couldn’t even manage to stop Benny from talking aimlessly. He was fairly oblivious to the girls bad mood as she hiked ahead of time.

Benny just followed her tail upwards, wanting to talk at her more, but not wanting more ash in his mouth either. He didn’t hardly notice the cave until they were walking into it, and the girl was claiming it would do. Benny paused a gave a good shake, scattering all of the collected soot and dust out of his fur. “Are we stopping? This place will keep us sheltered until the fire is all blown out I suppose.”

He paced further into the area, seeing it was small, but suitable. No wind, no ash, enough light to see around a bit. He turned back to the girl. “Why are we climbing the mountain anyway?” He finally asked. “Just for fun, or…..?”


Dec 16, 2017 06:16 PM — Post #5

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181901
Name Player
Astred Valfreyja Lilja
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Does he ever stop talking?  Astred wondered as she sat near the edge of the cave, staring out into the ash-filled air.  The lightness of it reminded her of snow, and therefore her birthplace.  Unlike the story Benvolio told about his home, hers, however, wasn’t a happy ending.  She’d lost everything almost a year ago.  It was dangerous to dwell on the past with so much happening in the present, and so Astred managed to focus on Benvolio instead.

“Why are we climbing the mountain anyway?  Just for fun, or…..?”  Astred’s brow furrowed and she spared a glance back that may or may not have been a glare.  “Do you think we’d go through all that trouble for <b>fun?</b>  She retorted, shaking her head and returning her gaze to the outdoors.  Benvolio was talkative, to say the least, she’d learned.  A bit like a honeybee.  Harmless but rather annoying.  She didn’t know why he’d followed her up the mountain.  Most wolves she’d just met would’ve left, or she’d isolate herself and ignore them, which is what she would proceed to do to Benvolio until he got the hint.  Getting attached was dangerous.  It only made more room for betrayal and hurt.

“If you didn’t know why we were climbing the mountain why did you bother to come with me?”  She asked, not expecting an honest answer, or caring.  She wanted desperately for the ash to cease so that she would be free to go.

There were a few hours until nightfall, and Astred wasn’t sure what to do.  She decided she’d give the ash another half an hour to calm down before attempting to leave the cave and find something to eat.  Her lungs would hate her for it but it was a chance she’d be willing to take.


Dec 16, 2017 06:40 PM — Post #6

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181904
Name Player
Benvolio Nym Matti
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2mos profile
 

Benny missed the glare from his new female friend, his own attention caught looking around the cave that they were sheltering in. Her tone of voice made him look back though. Was she annoyed? Just cause he’d asked a question. His sister never seemed to mind when he just chattered about things. Benny gave another little rolled shoulder shrug. “I don’t know….it’s kinda fun…I like the mountains.” He didn’t know what else to say.

Her next question sounded the same. She was just looking outside, back at the ash fluttering around. Benny brought himself closer and sat down a few paces off to the side. “I don’t know…” He said again. He’d just followed her cause she’d nodded her head up like he ought to go too. Benny just followed his sister wherever, he’d never had to think about why before. ”...Cause you nodded your head this way, so I just…followed…” Benny’ voice was sounding a bit more dejected.

She still hadn’t answered his question either. He just wanted to make friends with someone, and have someone smart, and nice he could follow after like his sister. She had seemed smart, but maybe not so nice. Benny stared at the girl for a minute, then glanced back at the floor. How could he make her like him so he could keep following her around?


Dec 16, 2017 07:14 PM — Post #7

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181906
Name Player
Astred Valfreyja Lilja
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Astred did nothing but sigh.  ”...Cause you nodded your head this way, so I just…followed…”  Dammit.  Benvolio was making her feel guilty, and guilt was not a good thing to feel.  Actually, feeling anything at all was out of the question.  So how could she escape this?  She couldn’t.  The only thing that would come out of venturing into the ash by herself would be a loss of direction.

“We came up the mountain to get a vantage point of what may be happening in the distance, whether it’s a forest fire or something else.  And, if necessary, the rocks farther up the mountain won’t catch flame like the brush back in the pass.  Heat rises, but it won’t have much oxygen to spread with high altitude.”  She stared at the rocky ground, trying to think of what to say next.  An apology?  No.  That would be exposing herself too much.  So she let the matter hang, continuing to scout for any movement both in the distance and on the ground.

“How’d you get to the valley?”  She wondered after an awkward moment of silence.  Why Astred was inviting Benvolio to talk again, she didn’t know.  Once he started he probably wouldn’t stop.  But ignoring someone like Benvolio was harder than pretending to listen.


Dec 16, 2017 07:39 PM — Post #8

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182004
Name Player
Benvolio Nym Matti
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2mos profile
 

Benny wasn’t convinced he had yet made her into a friend, but she answered his question this time. “Oooooh.” It sounded like a very good answer, official, and correct. Benny nodded as if he understood, but he didn’t really. It reminded him of the kind of explaining Perdita would do, but Benny often didn’t understand that either.

He thought he got the basics of it however. “So we’re safe from the fire up here!” Benny figured that was good. The cave was all stone and dirt, so it did seem reasonable that it wouldn’t burn - it’d probably be super hot - Benny wanted to pant just thinking about it. Though it reminded him of another place safe from fire. “There’s a pool, lake, pond thing not that far from here too, though kinda far, back down, and it belongs to a pack.” Benny supposed Stephan and his kids would be safe from the fire too, they could just stand in the water, cause fire couldn’t burn that!

At her next question Benny’s ears perked up, very interested. “I wandered through the dessert, and then the hills, mountains, grass-lands, mountains again - basically. But I came from mountains east of here. My sister and I were traveling west together, but we got separated…” Benny would not mention that they yelled at each other, both ran off, and then he at least tried to find her but couldn’t. “So I’m just wandering around sorta. I was hoping I might stumble into my sister since this is the first interesting place I found. Otherwise I’m not looking for anything in particular, just….others to be around.” He shifted a tiny amount closer. “How’d you get here?” Benny was just a giant smile as he looked at the girl to ask.


Dec 17, 2017 09:16 AM — Post #9

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182117
Name Player
Astred Valfreyja Lilja
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“There’s a pool, lake, pond thing not that far from here too, though kinda far, back down, and it belongs to a pack.”  That got Astred’s head spinning.  The thing she’d been looking for since the very beginning of her travels and Benvolio just thought to mention it to her now?  She felt like throwing her paws up in exasperation, but Benvolio was already continuing with a story.

“Otherwise I’m not looking for anything in particular, just….others to be around.”  As Benvolio subtly inched closer, Astred huffed and positioned herself farther away.  “How’d you get here?”  And then the conversation froze.  Astred scowled, turning away towards the entrance of the cave where the ash now looked more like snow than ever.  Reminding her of her homeland and what she had lost.  “How I got here has no business with you.”  The words came out cold and harsh, harsher than Astred meant them to be.  Trying to backtrack before she hurt Benvolio’s feelings again, the blonde female searched for the words to say.

“You’ll give yourself a headache.”  She clarified, shaking her head.  Before an awkward silence would begin to take over, Astred got to her feet and peered at Benvolio.  “Anyways, you said something about a pack?  And water?”  Two of those things sounded good to her.  “You sure how far it is?  Looks like the ash let up a little bit.”  Astred was ready to go again.  And perhaps, if Benvolio was telling the truth, they could reach the pack lands by nightfall.


Dec 17, 2017 06:05 PM — Post #10

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182123
Name Player
Benvolio Nym Matti
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2mos profile
 

Benny shrank away as the girl spoke harshly to him. “I just…was curious….” he said, frowning at the floor again. She was kinda mean it seemed. But then, she spoke again, and this time her voice was less cruel, though Benny completely did not understand what a headache had to do with it. He would have asked, but then she continued with more questions, and answering questions was honestly one of Benny’s favorite things.

“Yeah! The Soul-something cove…nant. Yeah, that sounds about right.” He’d only heard the name once, but that was a pretty good approximation of what Stephan had said the pack was called. “They live in a basin, with a pool, pond thing in the middle. It’s not far at all, I know exactly where it is!” And Benny did. He had been hanging around there and venturing into the mountains in the day, but he had a good sense of direction and smell, he’d get them back there no problem.

Benny stood, trying to take a tiny step closer to Astred without her noticing too much. “It’s just back down the way we came, and then a bit off to the west from here.” Hopefully the ash would be better going the opposite direction now. His tail wagged once, he was feeling like he might win this girl over yet, she seemed really interested in the pack.


Dec 17, 2017 06:34 PM — Post #11

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182372
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Astred Valfreyja Lilja
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“It’s just back down the way we came, and then a bit off to the west from here.”  Astred’s ears perked up, swiveling to the direction of Benvolio’s voice.  That didn’t sound far.  They could definitely make it before sundown, and with Benvolio’s guidance, maybe they wouldn’t get lost.  A feeling of elation bubbled in Astred’s stomach until she was visibly grinning.  “Okay, then.  Lead the way.”  She ventured outside to where the initial cloud of ash had almost moved on, and it was much easier to breathe.  Peering into the distance, Astred was only able to see an unnatural whitish gray swell in the air that was most definitely not a cloud. 

“What do you think that is?”  She asked, since it was clearly not a forest fire or whatever she’d initially thought it was.  It was far enough away in the distance to not be of any immediate harm to herself or Benvolio, so therefore it was not one of her priorities.  However, if a large-scale cloud of ash had reached them from that distance, what would come next?

As she began descending the mountain to the spot where she and Benvolio had met up, she gestured from where he’d been walking behind her so that he could lead the way.  She would follow.

{Are you okay to fade, Matti? :)) }


Dec 18, 2017 03:51 PM — Post #12

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182438
Name Player
Benvolio Nym Matti
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2mos profile
 

Benny was not used to being in charge of things! He loved that the girl wanted him to go first, he could show her how to get to the basin and obviously she’d be so thankful and happy that she’d….let him hang around more? Benny wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted but this seemed like a great start. “Yes! Off we go, leading the way back to the basin,” He chirped, taking a little hop and skip to get them started back down the mountain a bit.

She asked what ‘that is’ and Benny swiveled his head around to look at her, and then some more to try to figure out what she was referring to. “Uhhhhh….” he started, a bit dumbfounded until he finally figured she was asking about the clouds dumping ash on them. “Hmmm, no idea really?” Did this mean she didn’t know either? Benny had the impression that girls basically always knew everything, his sister always seemed to know everything.

“It’s smoke like a forest fire, but like….a really….really big forest fire.” He didn’t know though, it was just smoke in the distance - and ash dropping down on them now, but still a mystery either way.

[Fade/continuation?]


Dec 18, 2017 09:37 PM — Post #13

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