F’hank ‘he wolh spirhts

A night in the woods with welcoming guests

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:08 am
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F’hank ‘he wolh spirhts

Ashan 16th, 716

Bright groves of flowers speckled the trail along the shores of Lake Lovalus, stony crags and waves lapping at the cliffs to one side, and a deep forest of bright green trees to the other. In the air, a sweet lavender clung to Egaro’s nostrils, filling him with a sense of ease as dawn turned to dusk in the rolling Breaks, his mind wandering with peace as he opened it to the spirits he came across, thinking to them.

Before a shrine of stacked rocks he’d set up the season prior, the man knelt down, setting his walking stick by his ankles and restacking the earth that had been knocked over by the elements, recreating the geometric representation of a rising mountain. “May the earth be peaceful to the citizens of Rharne,” he mumbled, looking over his shoulder at the sea of blue comprising this vast great lake. “And Lovalus bountiful to the fishermen who respect her waters.”

Rising with that thick stick in hand, the man set on towards the dimming light as the temperatures dipped for the evening. “Hummm,” he sang, enjoying the life he led. It was his calling, after all, to see to the spirits of Rharne and the surrounding lands. “Hm, hm, hm, the farrowed earth and the sea did meet, they filled the cracks and muddied the fields~” he chanted as he walked along.

The path changed, dipping towards a lower elevation that had him taking shorter steps on the mossy stones inset into the trail by those who blazed it long ago. “ --And lowly belowly the seed of life did take hold, to grow between those mossy stones. The cycle we thrive in meets the cycle we find our end, and life begins anew. Praise the spirits, praise the spirits--”

Bright blue eyes settled on an overgrown stone chapel, three crows perched in its rafters. Egaro itched his chin, scritching at the coarser hairs of his stubble. “Swear that wasn’t there before.” A shrug later, adventure called. The black-feathered birds took flight one-two-three in a synchronized display that clung to his mind and dimmed his heart. ”Were they omens?”

Peeking around through the brush, he stepped and collapsed the overgrown brush beneath his boot, twigs and vines snapping with a rewarding crackle-and-pop. The air was damp and musty as he found the yawning archway leading into the structure. Much of the place had been reclaimed, its symbols faded from rainfall -- its roof had fallen away, dark grey clay tiles littering the grassy floor growing into a foundation of soft, rotten wood.

There wasn’t much here, so he took one look inside and began to look away - movement caught his eye, a flicker in the low green light. From out of the shadows a snout moved, two bright blue eyes staring him down. Then, another pair, and another, an avalanche springing forth.


Egaro’s heart sank, and then quickened. His face paled, and he turned back from the church as a sea of colors erupted from the monument. “Wolves!” he shouted, double-stepping across some thorns by driving his thick stick into the earth and swaying across it. “Curses.” He felt them on his heels as he turned the corner and twisted to jab at the first massive canine to rush around the bend.

It snarled, biting at the wooden pokey thing, and Egaro got in a quick kick to its nose that had it reeling and snorting. Having earned a pause in the hunt, the wilderman turned and ran back up the path. Lungs burning, he found himself at a fork he hadn’t noticed before, and he wasn’t sure which direction he had come from. The cliffs were too tall and dangerous to dive from, so he took the path opposite the lake and ventured further into the woods.

Jogging along, he ventured a glance back down the trail and saw a pooling mass of beasts catching up to him. A moment later there was one crashing through the bushes on the side, and howls haunted his racing heart into despair. Higher up the hill he saw that glorious, beautiful creature glowing, nearly bigger than a man but possessed of these bright scintillating colors that warmed his heart. Even being hunted, he appreciated their majesty.

More of the wolves took point ahead, circling him. Egaro stopped in his tracks, peering around. “Gah, I’m sorry about trespassing, lads.” He’d been told as a child to shout and look aggressive when predators were afoot. Looking scary seemed like a good idea. “Git!” he shouted, waving that stick high in the air. It gave them pause, but he whipped around to shout a beastly roar at the brave wolf that inched closer.

The muffled snap of stones and vines popping alerted him to a heavy figure moving on the hill. Its jaws were open, jowls pulled back, muzzle twisted in a vicious growling attack as it soared through the air. Egaro brought the stick in front of his face in a panic, and the wolf’s jaws grabbed hold. He felt it cracking under the strain, but the weight of the tackle sent him tumbling down a forested hill through roots and vines, claws and fists dancing in a scraping scuffle all the way down.

A heavy force hit him in the neck as he bounced and rolled down the deceptively rocky growth. “Argh!” Then, ice. Frigid, cold water from a deep stream he’d splashed into. The well-camouflaged wolf that tackled him had found purchase on a branch further up the hill where it clung to it, scampering to try not to fall. “Well, that’s what you get!” Egaro mocked, but he didn’t have the time as he limped across the stream with pain racking every inch of his body.

More wolves were already meandering down the hill as Egaro tore through the brush to make it more difficult for the wolves to get to him. When he found a big tree with hollowed-out roots, he prayed he wouldn’t get bit by some poisonous spider as he ducked into the crawlspace beneath them and positioned his feet by the entrance.

From his spot in the dark, he could hear the bushes rustling as the wolves sniffed around for him. A few moments later he heard the sound of chuffing breath, and he held his own to stay hidden. A shadow moved over the darkened entrance to his little muddy home, hands scraping on the mushy, living insides of the tree caked with insects of every variety. Digging his nails in, he took a clump of earth and tossed it the moment one of those big canid heads poked through the roots, striking it in the face.

A bright alarm of beautiful colors played across the surprised wolf’s hide. It gave a loud bark, and Egaro knew in that moment he’d be here for the rest of the night. He jammed his heel down at the beast when it tried to scramble inside to get at him. It must have hurt, since he heard the mongrel give a chirping squeak with such intensity that his ears stung.

The current pressing matter was shoring up the hole, scraping with the heels of his boots to pile earth on the entrance. He heard them digging, and saw faint light begin to pool from another side of the roots. “Oh no you don’t. Hyah!” In one motion, Egaro drew a knife from his boot and swung it up to the new hole. He heard another injured wolf-squawk as the blade bit at its paws, and from then on things were silent.

He wasted no time in freeing earth with his knife to mush against the tree roots, sighing once it was fully dark. The bugs were beginning to crawl over his face, so he freed the cloak tucked into his belt and covered his face with his hood, listening to his surroundings.

His voice was muffled by the fabric. “F’hy f’hank ‘he wolh spirhts fhr prohekting mhh,” he said, making a gesture over his chest. “Yh’re r’hying mhh phtienhth thoh.” Something slick and grubbery was moving over his ankle. ”Oh, that better not be a poisonous slug.” It was better than becoming wolf chow, but he wasn’t sure how long he’d last like this, stuck in this claustrophobic space with the critters moving all over, sending shivers through his skin. He had to appreciate how much life there was in the muddy detritus found in the roots of a tree.

The bits rolled on, turning into Breaks. The insects bit, stung, and crawled into his clothes, but just when he thought about leaving he’d always hear one of those wolves sniffing through the grass. They knew he was there, and they were hungry enough to wait. ”I have to wait them out,” he thought. ”I have to.” The bugs were so irritated he wanted to cry, but he endured.

The night was humid, his own warmth both a blessing and a curse as it drew even more skittering bugs to smother him in Lsirra’s kisses. “Agh-h-h-h,” he shuddered as the bugs crawled where they shouldn’t. Though he was tired he could not sleep, not with the threat of wolves and the discomfort across his body.

When he saw dawn’s light and heard no wolves, he waited still until the sun was nice and bright. “I’m going home,” thought Egaro. ”A nice warm bath at the inn sounds nice.” Eventually he felt it was time. A blackened, dirty wild thing emerged from the den, caked in mud from head to toe. “If anything, this’ll mask my scent. Nobody ever told me Lumen Wolves were this aggressive.” He retraced his steps and followed the disturbed foliage back to the path where he shambled back up towards the city.
word count: 1678
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Pig Boy
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Re: F’hank ‘he wolh spirhts




10/10 these points may not be used for magic


Meditation: Prayer to the spirits
Singing: Singing on a walk
Discipline: Fighting the fear of being hunted
Detection: The crunch of creatures moving in the brush
Field Craft: Sheltering in tree roots
FIeld Craft: Covering the nose with a cloak to stop the bugs from buggering it






Comments: Nice descriptive opener that pulled me right into the story. Well written throughout.

You made what otherwise might've been a day in the life of an ordinary man, a fight for survival. Quite thrilling.

It's a shame the wolves went home hungry, but somebody had to come out of this encounter at a loss.

word count: 122
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