Regrouping [Event]

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By Sylphier
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Not for the first time today - or at least he hoped it was still the same day it had been when he entered the darkness - Beloved wondered if the overwhelming dark that suppressed even the light of their lanterns, and the natural sounds of the world, would drive he and Alice both mad before they could retrieve some of those lost and escape it. Alice still pressed close against his side as they walked, her half a pace behind him and both holding lanterns aloft as a feeble attempt to light their path. The lanterns did provide a small globe of light within the dark, but with much less reach than it should have had and instead of fading off into the shadows slowly, it cut off suddenly only a couple feet out in each direction. The flowers of the vale, barely blooming as spring had only taken hold days ago, seemed to drink up the light of the lanterns as it flowed over them - the plants seemed to shift of their own accord, moving from a sad wilt to a more alive setting with petals reaching eagerly toward the little flames. There was no sound save the near inaudible rustle of the plants reactions - no bird sounds, not even the sound of a strong breeze pushing through the vale.

So far the pair had encountered few signs of life outside the plants, only a brief meeting of Freyja as she offered them cryptic words that felt like a weighted mantle around their shoulders, urging them to find those lost and save Ulfrheim. Alice was keeping watch to the right as they walked, while Beloved divided his attention between their path, and the darkness ahead and to the left. With the light only giving them a few feet of visibility, going was extremely slow as they made sure they didn’t stumble into anything dangerous or miss any signs of one of the lost vargs they were here to find. Neither were sure how long they had been walking now, though Beloved was beginning to think they should get one of the water skeins out of their satchels soon to take a small drink and use it for a moment of rest. He stopped suddenly, staring hard at the ground and shaking off his ponderings of taking a break, and Alice stopped with him, hyper aware of his location at all times in case they got separated - they had a rope looped at each end and slung around their necks loosely to tie them together as a precaution, but neither trusted that enough to let the other leave their sight.

“What?” Alice asked, trying to keep talking to a minimum as she felt the darkness almost watching them. Beloved silently pointed with a paw toward the edge of their light bubble where it met the ground - the flowers that had been their only companion so far in this dark desolation in that area where crushed as if someone had walked through them heedless of damaging them. Alice lowered her head to inspect them better and the pair crept closer to the patch of destroyed flowers - it appeared once they got closer than it had indeed been part of someone’s path through the vale - the trail was fresh, as the petals of a few flowers still weakly twitched toward the lantern light as it drew closer. This was a curving piece of it, seemingly where one or more vargs had wandered past in a less than straight path through the dark, and it led off into the blackness. “They can’t be far, this is a very recent trail…” Beloved whispered, and Alice nodded agreement. The pair stared at the swath of broken stems and crushed petals thoughtfully, trying to determine which way the unknown varg or vargs had been going - it seemed that the stems all broke to lay in the same general direction, and so Beloved turned that way and set off once more, Alice falling into step with the fur of her shoulder brushing his own once more.

Their ears still felt stuffed with cotton as they walked, straining for any sight or sound of whomever had left this trail through the dense flowers as they took one slow step at a time along the path they had found. How far ahead could the mysterious fel who left this trail have gotten? It had clearly happened only moments before they would have been able to see them passing, but they felt like they kept on for long minutes with no sign yet of those they sought. Silence stretched out until Beloved wanted to scream, but suddenly there it was - the soft sound of a paw meeting the earth with no stealth attempted in the step, the rustle of grass and flowers as the step landed. Alice’s ears twitched as she also caught the sound, and they took even more care with the placement of their own steps than before, wanting to get a glimpse of whomever this was before they had to face it head on - after all, while it was likely to be a varg lost within the darkness, or another party from their own pack out searching, there was still the chance it could be something malicious - something that might have brought this darkness on to begin with.

Both breathed a sigh of relief when their light bubble was suddenly much larger, another pocket of light within the suffocating black meeting their own and giving them a clear view of those making the trail. “Minerva! Ansger!” Beloved called out, recognizing his packmates despite the fact that he rarely socialized in the camp. Both were fairly well known, Minerva because of her position as a leader for one of the packs many work groups, and Ansger because of the circumstances that had brought him to the pack, fairly recently. The standard male still walked with a slight hitch in his gait, though his face was set to keep any sign of pain it might still cause hidden, as he had been brought in for a severe leg injury not long ago and was only just being allowed up and about again - that must be the cause of all the crushed flora in their trail, as the male still didn’t have full use of his leg. Minerva startled, spinning to face them as the oppressive silence that had surrounded them all was broken by Beloved’s greeting, a lantern dangling from her jaws that joined the light of their own to widen the small bubble of visibility a bit more. Ansger probably couldn’t carry one easily yet - how had he even managed to convince the healers of the pack to let him pair up for this dangerous mission when he was not fully healed? Alice visibly sagged in relief as Minerva and Ansger turned to see who had found them. “Bless…” Beloved muttered to himself, before joining the other pair of packmates with Alice by his side. “What a relief it is to see some familiar faces out here.” Beloved greeted them, and was met with nods from all 3 of the others. Now that they had found another pair from their pack, things would be easier, but they all needed a moment to regroup and share any information they had gleaned during their searches before they could move on. Alice went right into explaining their meeting with Freyja herself, as Beloved fished out a water skein from his pack and passed it around for everyone to take a small drink while they spoke. A few moments rest was very welcome for all four of them right now.
1,277 WC

Event piece for myself and Inkasaurus-Rex 

Link to import/ID#: ID#4036 Beloved
Link to Tracker: Felvarg Activity Tracker 2.0
Activity: Love is in the Air - Darkness Over the Vale

Link to import/ID#: ID#767 Alice
Link to Tracker: Felvarg Activities Tracker
Activity: Love is in the Air - Darkness Over the Vale
© 2020 Sylphier
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