Rhialee: Chasing Tails

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Rhialee: Chasing Tails

Post by Marion Valmere on Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:57 am


What is the Rite of Passage, of Adulthood? Why do the Arathorians hold it so dear?

Rhialee finds it out for herself as she is send out into the wilds to find answers to lessons which need to be learned.

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Follow your heart, he said. Surely easier said than done...

Her large brown eyes look across the grassy hills, her arms wrapped around herself as she rubs the bare skin of her sides while biting her lip in thought. It has been a few days now since she left Stromgarde, the sun already setting over the mountains in the distance and guiding the night in over the plains she has been crossing. Her feet are battered from climbing the hills, her stomach growling of hunger and though the weather has been fair, she is starting to feel chilly.
She has grown used to being exposed, though it was hard the first day. She stayed low to the ground, took cover in the undergrowth and bushes to not have any travelers catch a glimpse of a naked girl running through the tall grass, but as the hours crept by and the feeling of solitude settled over her, she has kept herself upright and with an alert eye upon the surroundings rather than hiding out of prudeness. It is liberating, like a reminder that she no longer has to hide her true self behind dresses and make-up; this is how she is, this is what her parents gave her.
She has been searching, looking and listening but so far she hasn't sensed anything out of the ordinary. The Dank'thar told her to follow her heart, but how do you do such...? He has been helpful and welcoming since her arrival at Stromgarde, like a big brother or something close to it, but this journey is something she has to do on her own. All he could give her was advice and she is grateful for it; she can't let him down... nor herself, especially herself.

Up another hill and she grasps for a tall rock which forms the peak, leaning against it while catching her breath and having a look of the surroundings. The scenery around her looks familiar with the river cutting through the green like a silver glistering snake and certain rocks in the east looking like a large stone table while a line of trees can be seen in the north.
“I have seen ye before, haven't I..?” she mutters as she runs her hands across the rock she leans against and sighs deeply as her eyelids roll to a close, drooping her head forward to let her forehead rest against the rough texture,” I have...”
She was already wondering about it, but now it got confirmed; she is lost. Though she has not seen a glimpse of the city of Stromgarde and seen different villages in the distance, she knows she is far from any civilization and the place she calls 'home'. It doesn't worry her all too much that she lost her way in lands she never even explored before, but she is starting to feel lonely and the loneliness is beginning to make her aware of how tired her body is.
The darkness of the night is beginning to spread as she makes her way down the hill, this time in another direction to not walk the same patch again and she keeps her head low, her hands clasped over the back of her neck as she tries to think. Hungry and thirsty, the pain in her bare feet noticeable with every step she makes. Her thoughts are heavy, a pressuring weight upon her whole being while she tries to keep her spirits up.
When she left her only remaining family member to find her roots and come at peace with her heritage, she didn't expect to find herself completely alone; nobody to talk to, nobody to listen to and nobody to look up to. She is all alone.

As she wades through the tall grass, a high pitched noise makes her slow in her steps and raise her head to listen, eyes large in startle. The noise which halted her repeats itself, a long high-pitched yelp which echoes over the hills towards the star speckled night sky, causing the hair on the back of her neck to rise, goosebumps appearing all over her skin as another howl can be heard.
What is--a wolf...? No, it almost sound like an ordinary dog. Short barks with a shrill tone rather than the deep burly howls which wolves are known to have. Maybe a traveler’s companion or a guard dog of a small settlement? The urge to find out begins to burn inside of her and though it is now silent around her, she advances in the direction of where the noise came from... or at least where she guesses it came from. In between two hills, the gentle flowing of water can be heard and soon enough Rhialee's foot sinks away in a cool wetness, splashing water as she stumbles back quickly with a surprised yelp of her own; seems her search brought her to find a small shallow brook. She stares down upon the water which continues to stream down the hill as if she never disturbed it and she licks her lips, feeling they are dry and her throat parched. She drops herself down on her knees upon the wet soil and dunks her face into the cool water without a thought, keeping her head down in the stream before jerking it up with a loud gasp. Hair dripping, water running down her face and chin onto her hands and she lets out a short laugh under her breath as that simply felt divine after wandering around under the burning sun with hardly anything to eat or drink.
“Ancestors, I needed that...” she mumbles with a weak grin upon her lips and brings a hand up to wipe her face and comb her wet black hair back before cupping both her hands together to collect some water to drink. She sits there in silence, drinking deep from the water and the enjoyment and salvation it brings, feeling her strained body settle and relax until an eerie feeling begins to crawl up her spine. A feeling of being watched...
She is not alone anymore.
Water falls back into the creek as she slowly parts her hands to stop drinking, her large eyes scanning the surroundings with a certain curiosity but also caution, her wide-eyed gaze gliding over the rocks, the edge of the water and the lush growth until a gleam makes her heart pound in her chest. A pair of eyes stare at her from a high bend in the hilly landscape, the first pair of eyes she looked straight into ever since she left the elder, the Dank'thar and the Dýrtola behind to start her rite to become a woman.
Curious, just like she is. The eyes she met show no fear or anger, just curiosity.
Slowly sitting up, Rhialee dares to finally blink as she allows herself to see to whom the pair of eyes belong to, finding it to be a canine creature with big ears and a greyish brown pelt with a bushy tail. The wolf of the prairie, the coyote... She can't help to be in awe at the sight.
“Ye must be the one who made those noises,” she whispers, not daring to raise her voice and she chuckles softly as she watches one of the coyote's ears flick as it picks up on her voice,” ye led me to the water. I thank ye... I really do. Ancestors know I needed a drink, heh.”
She bites her lip in excitement and anticipation as she watches the coyote to see his response to her voice and words and she begins to shuffle to get back up on her feet, freezing in the careful motions as the coyote turns his head away to look towards something in the distance. She can hear it... a soft yipping noise though it is faint. The coyote stretches in his posture on the hill, ears turning forward to where the sounds come from, the bushy tail wagging rather casual and he lets out a rather long high-pitched howl before it stammers into barking. A moment of tense silence and then the furry creature sprints off, into the direction of where another coyote called.
“Wh-wait! Please wait!” Rhialee calls out after the coyote as he suddenly runs off and she forces herself forward, eyes tightly closed as she jumps into the cold swallow water and pushes herself through it to get onto the other side of the creek to pursue the coyote, almost slipping over her own feet and the mud. She grunts as she tries to keep her balance before making her way through the lush growth till her feet meet dry but grassy soil once more. A grip under her bruised and bleeding soles of her feet and she runs to where the grass rustles and where the starlight shimmers upon the dark fur of the coyote's back, guiding her.
She doesn't want to be alone, she has to keep up with him, she has to push herself to the limit to try and find that which she is looking for.

She runs, laughing as she finds the coyote make high leaps to peer over the tall grass and look back towards his pursuer before dashing off once more, certain of his path but fooling around a little with making unexpected turns before returning to the way he should go and take. It makes her heart swell with joy and her laughter flows over into a mimic of the high noises which have accompanied her and brought her into this little chase. A high 'ooowwooo-oo-o-o-aw' which makes her snort in laughter and embarrassment, almost faltering in her rushed steps with it though she brightens up as she can hear an answer nearby. The other coyote...
She comes to a skidding halt as the coyote she was following disappears all of a sudden from her sight among a collection of rocks and trees, a yelp escaping from her as she makes a tumble down the grassy hill she climbed, followed by a rather rough landing at the foot of it. She comes to a rolling and groaning stop in a huddled up position and forces herself up on her knees while cursing under her breath, her eyes scanning the surroundings to find the coyote she had been following. She should have minded her step than to get lost in the excitement... another lesson learned. Her knees and elbows are scraped, her cheek hurts and stings but nothing broken.
So easy to get hurt when not wearing anything...
Rhialee stands up as her eyes settle on the rocks and trees around her and she perks her lips slightly in thought before she clears up in her pondering expression as noises can be heard, soft noises from a collection of rocks. She is fast with acting, making her way over to where the noises come from before ducking away behind a birch tree as she can see movement in a clearing among the rocks in the dim light of the night. Small fuzzy forms which whine, yip and bark as they all seem to fall over each other to gather around a familiar figure; the coyote which gave her a rather playful chase.
Are these his pups? Where is the mother...?
As a silent answer to the girl's question, a sleek form comes prowling from between the rocks and joins the coyote and the pups with a whine of her own before the pups come at her like a wave to greet her and the black haired girl presses herself against the pale tree she is hiding behind as a warm smile forms upon her face, watching the group of coyotes in silence. His family... and it seems to be growing as with the minutes creeping by two more coyotes join the small group among the trees and rocks. Surely relatives, maybe siblings or older offspring which remained with the pack rather than setting out to find their own place.
Rhialee slinks down into a sitting to simply watch from her spot behind the tree, watching them feed, watching them play and watching them rest while they don't seem to mind her presence. She is certain they know she is there, observing what they do and it is proven when two of the pups begin to scramble her way, sniffing the air as they try to figure out the scent of what is a human being. She grins to them and peeks out more from behind the tree with a soft 'boo', causing one pup to start barking at her, the other scattering off with a yelp as his sibling startled him. Their father comes pacing their way as they make the racket, not all too alarmed though a little worried and nudges them back towards the other pups after looking towards Rhialee, just as observant as she has been this whole time. She remains an outsider after all... no matter that she feels like she has been accepted and invited into his territory. She would almost feel like a part of his family, no matter that she is of another species.

The hours fly by and the watching and observing begin to turn into dozing off. The eastern sky is already lightening up, a sign that morning is about to chase the night away and though Rhialee has been trying to keep her eyes open to remain awake, the twilight hours teared at her to sleep after all the running and walking aimlessly around, the high noises of the coyote family her lullaby.
Though a sudden shrill noise causes her eyes to snap open and makes her heart skip a beat and she jumps up to her feet, her arms clasped around the birch tree for support as she tries to shake off the sleep she almost surrendered to.
What was that...? It sounded horrifying.
Growling can be heard, barking and snarling and the same noise can be heard again, piercing her heart with despair.
One of the pups!
She comes out of her hiding, finding the burrow and the clearing empty though she can hear soft whining noises coming from one of the holes which lead into deep tunnels underground. She yells in startle as something large runs past her and almost knocks her over, large paws clawing their way up the rocks, a small form dangling from the creature's maw and Rhialee stands frozen in fear as she watches a large feline run off with one of the coyote pups.
“Nae! Come back!”
Her voice echoes after the cougar, about to throw herself forward to chase after it but a vicious growl and snapping teeth force her to change her direction and avoid coyote and cougar alike as they are in a struggle with each other. She falls back against a rock after losing her balance to avoid getting hurt and presses herself against it in panic as she watches the fight with large eyes, staring at the flashing of teeth and claws, the flying fur, the red color which begins to well up from wounds inflicted by those sharp natural weapons while the snarling and growling almost deafens her..
Cougars... they must have sneaked into the burrow grounds while everyone was resting, snatching away one of the pups which wandered too far out.
She watches the coyote which made her laugh and no longer feel alone fight the large cat which remained behind, trying to force it away, trying to protect the remainders of his offspring with only his fangs and wits. She can almost taste his despair, pain and anger... his determination; he is willing to lay down his life to protect his family. She swallows down the big chunk which blocked her throat as she gathers her thoughts and guts and places her hands behind her against the rock she had pressed herself against to get up, her eyes remaining pinned up the fight between canine and feline. She circles around the two to not get in their way before reaching down to pick up a gnarled dry branch which has fallen off a tree, old and leafless but thick. Weighing it in her hands while trying to think clear and straight, she looks up as a high yelp snatches her full attention, seeing the cougar's claws rake through the coyote's flank and causing him to fall and whine as one single swipe immobilized him. She grits her teeth, feeling a heat burning in her chest as the one she admired has fallen and she screams, throwing herself forward to swing with the branch at the cougar before it can do anything more to the coyote.
“Get away! Get off him!”
The branch hits, a heavy tremble going through the wood and Rhialee's arms and the large cougar snarls while shaking its head in pain and confusion, quickly pouncing aside before hissing at the young human with its ear flat against its head. She acts quick and takes a stance in between the feline and the fallen coyote, huffing while raising the branch to prepare for another swing, hissing through gritted and bared teeth,” leave my durei and his family alone!”
The cougar licks its nose as it stares to Rhialee with large piercing eyes, beginning to compose itself from the hit it received against the side of its head and it flexes its muscles, shoulders rolling before it leaps at the girl, claws tearing through flesh, a sharp scream rolling over the hills and almost silencing the thunk the branch makes as it once more connects to the cougar's head. The beast is thrown off and to the side but with less damage than it caused to the human; blood begins to seep and crawl down her bosom from long claw marks across her chest. She pants and groans, knees and hands shaking through they remain clamped around the branch which gets raised once more for another attack.
No shouting this time, not from her though the other coyotes speak for her with their howling, barking and growling as they come lurking past the rocks and inch closer towards their fallen leader and the bleeding human that is trying to protect them all. They rush forth with a joined ferocity after trying to assess the situation and sniffing the coyote which lays still, the cougar forced back as it is clearly outnumbered. Rhialee sets a step forth before swinging the branch towards the feline, releasing it and having it twirl through the air before it hits the ground as a final warning and she glares to the large creature, huffing through clenched jaws. A deep hiss and the cougar sets a few steps to the side before leaping away over the rocks to join its mate which ran off with one of the pups, disappearing as quiet as it came to the burrows.

Silence returns to the clearing.
Rhialee stares to where the cougar ran off to, her arms hanging limp by her sides while her bleeding chest heaves with deep trembling breaths, blinking her eyes as she slowly draws herself out of the haze she slipped into. She turns her head to look behind her, seeing the two coyotes sniff and lick what she assumes is their father and she grimaces, wanting to draw closer but feeling she might be intruding. She watches as one of the coyotes lick the gushing wounds inflicted by the cougar's fangs and claws, hearing him whine and she lowers herself to sit on her ankles while clasping her arms around herself, hugging herself tight while keeping her eyes on the canines. Tears sting behind her eyes as a deep sadness overwhelms her, watching the nurturing and care the coyotes show before they move away with soft whines, returning to the underground tunnels where the pups and their mother are safe.
There is nothing more they can do... they said their goodbyes.
She remains seated there, biting down hard upon her lip while keeping herself as small as possible as she watches the coyote until a sob escapes her as that bushy tail flicks weakly and those brown eyes meet her watery ones. She sobs more and more, her shoulders shaking uncontrollably as she cries with tears rolling down her cheeks, not able to hold back on the grief and pain she feels surging through her.
He made her laugh and he made the loneliness go away, he taught her to be mindful of her actions and to learn from her mistakes, he showed her how precious family can be and that it needs to be protected. They may be so different, but he taught her so much and became an equal, her equal.
“Aye...” she whispers with a broken voice and she unwraps her arms from around herself to crawl over towards the coyote, reaching out with a shaking hand to stroke his bloodstained fur with the tips of her fingers before she bends over him to take the dying lean canine in her arms, hugging him against her bleeding chest while his life slips away,” thank ye... durei.”

Rhialee smiles slightly as she looks towards the walls which surround Stromgarde, standing up on a hill with the sun shining upon her back, casting a long shadow down over the tall grass which sways with the warm breeze which rolls over the highlands. The claw marks over the left side of her chest and breast have stopped bleeding during her journey back home and in her hand she holds a bushy black tipped tail; a token of her connection with a lost brother and tutor, a remembrance to lessons learned.

Marion Valmere

Posts : 42
Join date : 2011-05-23
Age : 34

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