Private  I see, said the blind man.
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Canine 2yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 17 posts 0 Honor 313 ☪ peasnqueues
Wallace opened his eyes. Only a moment ago the sun had been shining brightly enough that he had almost forgotten how cold it was. Now it was dark. He had lost his sight! Oh, woe is he! How was he to wander the world to tell his tales when he couldn’t even see the nose at the end of his face? He howled his sadness as tears salted the fur around his eyes. His life was over! It was all over for Wallace the Wandering Storyweaver! Nevermore shall he spread the heroic ballads to the uninspired. Never again would he--

Wait a second.

As his eyes adjusted to the darkness he began to see the stars glinting in the sky overhead. Oh, glorious day--night! It was a miracle! Wallace could see his own breath hang in the frozen air as a vapor. He sent up another warbling howl to the gods, thanking them for returning his sight. He was eternally grateful to their magnanimous, merciful selves.

He lay there on the icy, pebbled shore on his back with his wings laid out on either side of him. The curved, ivory bones of some giant beast rose up to his left. They seemed almost to glow in the moonlight. Wallace admired them for a moment as he puzzled through what had happened to him. He had been on a boat. The sea had been fair--up until it wasn’t. The storm was fuzzy in his mind, but it was easy to infer what had happened. Wallace was sure that his waterlogged feathers had been frozen to the beach, but he hadn’t gotten up and tested his theory just yet.

That was a problem for the Wallace of the future. The present Wallace wanted to take a moment and be thankful that he was still sighted and alive -- if rather cold and stiff.

Canine 3yo Genderfluid, Average & Average Immigrant 36 posts 0 Honor 687 ☪ Marina
It could have been a beautiful place, were it not for all of the dead things hanging all around. Which, Taggard supposed was beautiful in its own right. She could have stood there, staring at the remains of large creatures, trying to figure out the mystery of why they were beached, or how they had died, but there were more pressing matters at hand. Most importantly: her nose hurt. The cool silver of their nose ring burned, and Taggard often licked at it in an attempt to warm the skin on her nose. This only made matters worse, and so the horned wolf was stuck nearly constantly licking their nose.

Hopefully if they continued south, the weather would warm and they could stop dealing with the dumb piece of silver on her face. Why she had ever allowed her sister to convince her to get such a silly accessory was beyond even her own comprehension...

Awooooo. Tagg's ears perked at the sudden howl, and one that she thought particularly odd. Was it a living version of one of the large, fallen creatures? This time Taggard was too curious to let it slide by, and so they followed the sound. It was closer to the sea, but there was no sight of a large, monstrous creature. Instead, they saw something a little more familiar in shape: a wolf whose fur and feathers may have been frozen. They paused for a moment, holding their breath as a panic came over them.

But then Tagg saw the mist of the frozen wolf's breath and allowed themselves to exhale. Still cautious, the horned wolf took a step forward. A million questions raced through their mind. She glanced around, only to find that it was just her, the frozen boy, and a pile of bones. "You may die there, laying in the cold like that," she spoke loudly, hopefully to rouse the wolf from slumber (or near-death). She stepped closer once more to give the boy's face a firm nudge. "Are you present, frozen boy?"

Canine 2yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 17 posts 0 Honor 313 ☪ peasnqueues
Perhaps it was the way his mind lingered on the miracle of his life and the greatness of the gods both above and below that left him unaware of the stranger’s approach. Maybe it was just the cold that slowed his mind and made him feel thick and dumb. A voice reached his ears and he twisted awkwardly to try and put a face to it. Yellow eyes rolled in his head and finally settled on the wolf with the fancy horn and the glittering ring in their nose. He stared at the jewelry and wondered what he might look like with one. He wasn’t sure that he would be able to pull off such an accessory. This stranger seemed well suited to it, however.

It wasn’t until the fashionable stranger spoke again that he remembered he had to actually speak. “I think so,” he mused thoughtfully. They were right, of course. He would freeze to death if he lay there for much longer. Wallace strained as he attempted to roll over onto his side. His big paws clawed at the air. As he had theorized, his feathers were stuck tight to the ice and the stone. He fell back with a huff and cracked open his muzzle to pant. “I seem to be stuck! I would say that it’s bad luck, but it would be worse luck to be dead already. Or blind!”

Wallace tugged at his wing, trying to pull it into his body and winced as the feathers pulled painfully at his skin. “Owowowow,” he sang and gave up once more. “Maybe,” he began, “if you were to lay upon my wing your body heat would melt the ice enough for me to roll over.” He smiled pleasantly up at the horned wolf who held his fate in their paws. “Of course, you are more than welcome to leave me here to die. I’ve heard that hypothermia is a rather nice way to go. You simply become sort of numb and fall asleep. There are much more gruesome ways to meet your death than that.”

Canine 3yo Genderfluid, Average & Average Immigrant 36 posts 0 Honor 687 ☪ Marina
Taggard watched the frozen boy carefully as he began to finally rouse. A faint smile found way to her features as he finally spoke. Giving him a little bit of breathing room, the wolf waited for him to get up. But he did not, and instead struggled and announced that he was stuck. She had to give it to him, at the very least he was being positive... if not a little odd. "I do not believe death cares for who is lucky, or unlucky... or blind."

Taggard watched him more closely at his second attempt to get up, watching as the feathers on his wings clung to the ice. She was lost in thought for a moment, trying to think of the quickest way to offer the frozen boy aid. Soon he was complaining, and then continued to speak. He may not have been just moments before, but now he was very present. She paused her own thought to give him attention, but this time she was not smiling. His words, while truthful, deeply concerned Taggard. How could someone speak so candidly of their own death, especially while facing it right then?

"It would be a sad death, to die in the cold all alone," Taggard quietly said, carefully stepping over to one of Wallace's frozen wings. They carefully laid down on top of it, trying not to put all of their weight on the fragile wing. "I will not leave you," Taggard spoke confidently, and offered him a reassuring smile.

"I am Taggard Swift, frozen boy. Tell me how you find yourself in this... predicament."

Canine 2yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 17 posts 0 Honor 313 ☪ peasnqueues
It was true, death did not care much for a creature’s situation -- only that when it was time, it was time. As for his cavalier tone, it was possible that the cold had numbed his fear. Perhaps he was simply putting all his hope on the chance that this stranger’s heart was not hard enough to walk away and leave a pathetic beast to die when there was nothing at all to be gained from it. When the horned stranger spoke again, he nodded sagely. “Ah, yes. A sad death indeed. The sort of death that would rouse no singers and stir no hearts.” He sighed regretfully, though it seemed he would be avoiding this particular fate.

The wolf came closer and lay delicately upon his outstretched wing. Almost immediately he could feel the warmth leaching away the cold in his bones. He sighed, a long and drawn out sound of relief. “Taggard Swift, I will tell the story of your kindness and warmth until I am an old, grizzled man.” Bright eyes closed as he revelled in the other wolf’s body heat. It was only for a moment, however, and then he eagerly began to speak once more.

“My name is Wallace. Just Wallace, I’m afraid. I have yet to earn myself a name and title more awe-inspiring.” He wasn’t certain whether it was Taggard’s closeness or the act of speaking, but he was starting to feel much better already. “I am a storyteller! For the past year, I have been traveling across many lands to gather and share all sorts of myth and lore and news to those I meet along the way. I kept right on going until I met a sea-faring clan that lived along a rugged cliff and they built me a lovely boat. Really, it was wonderful. They carved it right out of the trunk of this old oak tree with tooth and claw and magic! Wallace had a way of speaking when he told his tale that beckoned the listener closer and closer. It was as though he wove a spell with his words and brought the images to life in the mind.

He paused thoughtfully and mused aloud, “I wonder where it is now. In any case, there was a storm, I suppose. The details are regretfully fuzzy, because I’m sure that it would have made for a thrilling story. The darkening sky and the swelling sea! The crack of lightning and thunder and the roar of the waves! Oh, it would have been wonderful if I had not been tossed about in it, of course. Then, I woke up here thinking I was blind! It was daylight when last I was aware, you see.”

Canine 3yo Genderfluid, Average & Average Immigrant 36 posts 0 Honor 687 ☪ Marina
He was... strange. Not to say that Taggard was not strange themselves, because you could not help but to just be strange after so long, but he was... youthful. Perhaps blind to the real harshness of the world, and hopeful in a way she could only dream to be. Already, the wolf felt a fondness for him. "I am simply doing what any good wolf would do," she shrugged and studied the colors of the feathers on his wings. It was a strange mish-mash of reds and browns and grays, and Taggard could not decide if the colors were part of a molt, or if it was only an attempt at something that wasn't quite considered beautiful.

Soon frozen boy was no longer frozen boy, because Tagg had a name to put to the face. Their ears perked when Wallace gave no last name, and again she felt concerned for the boy. Where was he from, to not have a place with any last name? She could not pry so soon, as he was soon telling her his tale. "By sea?" they mused, again looking at the young boy's wings. "That is..." the wolf paused, their paw going over the feathery appendage in thought. Some of the frost had melted, and now Taggard was left with wet feathers and a wet stomach. "That is an interesting way to travel, with wings upon your back. Do you not like to fly?" Taggard had loved to fly, and enjoyed the feeling of wind beneath her wing, and a weightlessness that came with gliding. The wolf carefully moved to the other wing, again gently settling down on top of it. She shivered and licked at the stinging metal on her nose.

"You are very courageous, Wallace," she commended. "You have made a treacherous journey and still have breath in your lungs and liveliness in your eyes. I am certain the gods are at your sides, and that you are meant to do good things." Was this what this life had for them? Was it fate that they was to travel south from their family and find a small, frozen Wallace? Taggard believed in many things, and in many gods. The horned wolf smiled at him again, this time not holding themselves back. "But I suppose first on our agenda is to get you unstuck."

Canine 2yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 17 posts 0 Honor 313 ☪ peasnqueues
Wallace could almost feel the question before Taggard had even finished asking it. The frozen boy turned his head away in embarrassment and cleared his throat before speaking. “Yes, well. You see.. I.” He hemmed and hawed for a few moments more until he became completely frustrated with himself. “I’mafraidofheights,” he blurted out as one word. There, it was out in the open now. “Feel free to laugh at me. I know that it’s ridiculous. I was born with wings, but I am afraid of heights. My head starts to spin and my stomach flips and flops all around. Flying lessons as a youngster were a nightmare, let me tell you.”

The pathetic creature turned his head back to look at Taggard as they heroicly settled onto his other wing to free him from his predicament. “I threw up all over my papa’s back. It got all over his fur and feathers. He was one of those sympathetic vomiters too, you know. My sister was unfortunately in the way of that. It was a mess. Figuratively and literally.” Wallace smiled a little as he recalled the tale. Such fond memories. “I do know how to fly. I would just much prefer to keep my feet on the ground and my supper in my stomach.”

He began to tentatively pull on his first wing to separate the feathers from the frozen ground below. It took a few tugs and a bit of wincing, but in the end, he was able to tuck the wing in against his body. When Taggard rose again he would repeat the process with the second frosty appendage. Once all was as it should be, the lanky fellow, with a great deal of effort, managed to roll himself over and stand. Tufts of fur and downy feathers clung to the shore to mark where he’d been, but he was free.

“My hero! My savior!”

The ridiculous wolf fell into an equally ridiculous bow of gratitude. He moved so stiffly that he was sure that Taggard could hear his bones and muscles creaking. “I owe you my life, little though it is, and I offer you my companionship until this life-debt has been repaid.”

Canine 3yo Genderfluid, Average & Average Immigrant 36 posts 0 Honor 687 ☪ Marina
Wallace blurted out his fear, and Taggard looked towards the sky in an attempt to understand. It didn't seem so scary, but who were they to judge another wolf's fear? He seemed embarrassed and, still, Tagg did not understand. He went on of his past experiences and the horned wolf did her best to not react to his story, if only because she was entirely unsure what type of reaction the story warranted. A smile, a laugh? Was Taggard supposed to feel concern, or pity? She tried to gauge the boy's own reaction, which seemed nostalgic despite the messy story. As lost as ever, the wolf simply shrugged. "You should not feel so ashamed of a fear. It is courage in itself to speak your fear. To have a fear, no matter what it may be, is only to be alive." They offered the boy a hopefully reassuring smile.

And then was the process of removing the poor boy's frozen wings from the icy ground. As the boy tugged his wing from the ground, Taggard winced. Wallace was without a few feathers and a small handful of fur, but at the very least he was free. Taggard shook themselves off to ward off a shiver, and the young boy was claiming her to be a hero. She did not think herself as one, but could not find it in her heart to speak against his praise. He spoke so cheerfully, even if all she had offered was some company and a little bit of warmth. What wolf would would refuse the youngling that?

As Wallace's bones loudly cracked and he indebted himself to her, Tagg considered his words. "I am traveling south, in search of a pack and a new home," they explained, "and we wolves are not solitary creatures. I do not think it polite, nor wise, to refuse your companionship." Not to mention that they didn't think that Wallace could survive another boat ride like his previous one. "If you think yourself well enough to travel, we should leave this icy place. I pray that as we continue south, the weather will warm and we may find ourselves in more..." they glanced towards the pile of bones, "lively... company."

Canine 9999yo Genderfluid, Tall & Bulky Native 23 posts 0 Honor 99,395 ☪ Staff

An Elemental Orb has been discovered!

Canine 2yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 17 posts 0 Honor 313 ☪ peasnqueues
The boy felt a shiver ripple the length of his spine and he shook himself vigorously to get his blood flowing once more. Bits of ice and water flew this way and that as it came free of the fur and feathers. Feeling the chill had to be a good sign that he was stepping further away from a frozen death. The thick fur around his throat and chest ruffled much like a bird’s would until he looked well and truly fluffy. The air trapped in this fur would insulate him against the cold air around them.

Taggard hadn’t laughed or even smiled, really, at his story which, to be quite honest, surprised him, but he did not let it get him down. Wallace pulled his wings in tight to his sides and gave a nod of his head. “Quite right. I am fit to travel, at least for a while. It would probably even help to warm me up.” The lanky youth bid farewell to the frozen shore and the monstrous bones littered along the water’s icy edge. “I dare say I will not miss you at all!” He thought his voice was thrown back to him by the bones as though to echo that the feeling was mutual and he snorted a laugh.

“Well, Taggard Swift, I shall follow your lead! South we go. May the gods grace us with good fortune.”

Canine 3yo Genderfluid, Average & Average Immigrant 36 posts 0 Honor 687 ☪ Marina
Tagg beamed at the young boy as he spoke to the sea. They took a step, but then something strange happened. The pale woman stood defensively in front of Wallace as an orb of light appeared before them. They looked towards their companion, "Do you know what this is?" But he seemed to be just as perplexed as she. Taggard nudged him around it, giving the strange ball of light a wide berth. "We should not meddle in things we do not yet understand. Come, we will continue on our journey, and I pray we find another being to explain this magic to us." Once again taking the lead, Tagg glanced at the strange colorful orb one last time before hastily making off, in hopes for warmer weather.

— End thread!