Lanisen sits quietly against the bole of a tree on the southeast side of the gathering circle, soaking up the reddish evening sunshine, reading a letter.
Crenna comes padding into the clearing, looking a bit weary though in good spirits. She seems to be heading to the shelter when she stops in her tracks, sniffing a familiar scent. She turns her head and smiles, “Lanisen?”
Lanisen lifts his head at the sound of his name, glancing to either side and behind him. “Crenna!” he says, lifting his eyebrows in pleasure and getting to his feet. “Hey, hi; I didn’t think to see you here.”
Crenna pads forward, chuckling, “I am a bit surprised to see you myself, Lanisen!” She nudges him in greeting, “Are you here on business?”
Lanisen says, “Oh,” and shrugs, dipping his head once to either side. “Visitin’ a friend, mostly.”
Crenna dips her head, “Oh, I am glad that you were able to take some time off. I hope I am not interrupting your solitude?”
Lanisen says, “Oh! No, no, not at all, I’m glad to see you.” He folds up the letter and tucks it away. “What about you, what’s brought you up here?”
Crenna flops down next to him, “Oh, Officially, I am here to check in with our sister pack and generally see if anyone requires assistance. Unofficially, I get the wanderlust sometimes and like to travel.” She chuckles, “I can be quite a homebody though there are some times where I just want to leave for a few days.”
Applebud scampers through the bushes above, glancing down on the gathering.
Lanisen mms softly. “I understand that,” he answers, then glances up toward the rustling overhead.
Crenna’s ears twitch and she also looks up. She gives a big smile, “Hello there!”
Applebud squeaks and hides under the leaves, peeking carefully out again.
Lanisen blinks. He steps out from underneath the branch to get a better look at whoever’s up top. “Evenin’!” he calls, and then, “Oh! Oh, I know you.”
Crenna offers, “My name is Crenna, healer of Winterden. What is your name?”
Applebud says, “A-Appplebud.” She chitters excitedly when Lanisen says he knows her. “You–you’re one of the humans are you? From the big party!”
Lanisen says, “Mm-hmm! And you’re… ahh, I know your name, I do, it’s a fruit… Apple? That’s not right, that’s not all of it, is it.”
Crenna chuckles and offers quietly to Lanisen, “Applebud.” She calls up, “Nice to meet you!”
Applebud chitters happily, she moves over to a lower handing branch which is near the human. “Momma callls me Applebud.”
Lanisen is standing under a tree near Crenna, talking with Applebud, who is in the tree. “Applebud! That’s right, I’m sorry, I’ll remember next time.”
Applebud exclaims, “It’s okay. You can call me Apple cause it’s shorter and I like apples!”
All but vaulting over the little stream to the south, Ayla skids to a hault, nose twitching, ears flattening as the scents of more than two others in the Gathering circle assault her. Her eyes flick toward another wolf, then to the tree overhead in which Applebud appears to be, then to Lanisen; without a word, she begins slinking backward the way she has come, eyeing the crowd warily.
Crenna chuckles and calls out, “Apple it is then.” As she hears rustling, her ears twitch again and she scents out the area. She spots the new Wolf and barks out a greeting, “Hello there!’
Lanisen startles slightly at Ayla’s entrance, but gives her a quick friendly grin.
Pheeobe comes running after Ayla. “Ayla! Wait! You are much fast–” She stops, almost running in Ayla.
Crenna grins wide at the sound of the other voice. She stands up and calls out, “Pheeobe, you just need to practice more running and less climbing trees.” Her eyes dance in amusement.
Applebud watches all of this with some confusion.
Pheeobe jumps up a bit in excitement, “Crenna!” She lopes over and nudges her and nods her head to Lanisen, “Hello!” She doesn’t spot Applebud yet, too excited to look up.
An uncertain whine is Ayla’s response to Pheeobe as she finds herself, suddenly, in the Gathering Circle with four others; it is clear by Ayla’s cringing hesitance that crowds, even small ones, are not her strength. Casting her gaze toward Lanisen, she does relinquish a small wolfy grin in his direction, but creeps toward the west as if fully intending to zip toward the cliffs and out of sight before daring to try a multi-sentient interaction.
Crenna gives Pheeobe a nudge back, laughing, “Hello, dear friend. It is very good to see you.” She turns her gaze to the other Wolf, giving her a sympathetic look, “It is alright.”
Faltering after Crenna’s words, Ayla glances to Lanisen, then to Pheeobe before settling back on her haunches; she is still clearly discomforted by so many, but at least appears to be willing to make an effort.
Pheeobe looks over and frowns, running back to Ayla. She smiles at her and talks to her quietly, “It will be alright. Nothing will happen.” She sits next to Ayla, calmly.
Lanisen lifts his eyebrows at Ayla and tips his head in invitation. There is a juniper shrub next to him underneath which somebody could sit partially hidden: he glances at the space, then back at Ayla.
Crenna sits back down, not wanting to crowd the young Wolf. She smiles warmly at her, “I am Crenna, Healer of Winterden.”
Ayla measures the space between herself and Lanisen’s indicated shelter before flitting toward it after a few moments; she seems to gain a bit more confidence when she can only be half seen. “I am Ayla,” she tells Crenna, bowing her head before tucking herself behind branches and juniper berries, peeking out to watch for a little while, clearly much happier to be an observer than a direct participant in the conversation at this very instant.
Lanisen moves away a little bit from the shrub, giving Ayla her space. “Oh,” he says abruptly. “Crenna–”
Pheeobe watches Ayla and then looks up, “Oh hello!”
Crenna lays down, resting her head on her paws. She quips, “That’s my name!”
Lanisen says, “I was gonna, I wanted to tell you, I’m– uh, besides visitin’ my friend, I’m here to learn from Panacea too.”
Crenna perks up, looking very interested, “Oh! How wonderful!” Her tail wags as this is her favorite subject, “I learned a lot from Panacea. She is very wise.”
Peering out from within her juniper sanctuary, Ayla seems quite interested in this talk of healing, even if she does not yet give voice to that interest.
Lanisen agrees, “She knows an awful lot. And she’s been real patient with me, I like her.”
Crenna smiles encouragingly at him, “Lanisen, you will do great.”
Lanisen shifts and pushes his mouth to the side. “There’s a lot to learn.”
Crenna smirks just a bit, “I will let you in on a little secret. I have studied healing for two years and I am still learning.”
Pheeobe smiles at Crenna and then at Lanisen.
Lanisen says, “I’m not sure if I’m relieved to hear that or daunted.”
Pheeobe laughs, shifting her weight, “I would think both is expected.”
Crenna chuckles, “I mean it to be encouraging. It means that everything you do learn about healing is a victory.”
Lanisen tilts his head and concedes this.
Ayla lies down in her half concealment of a juniper bush, eyeing Lanisen and Crenna, ears pricked forward to capture their conversation.
Belgwyn bounds into the clearing. He seems quite winded and tired indeed, he does still spot the group in time ti bound over and lay down next to crenna he nudges her in greeting with the side of his head before resting it on his paws.
Crenna says, “If you need help practicing…” She trails off as Belgwyn appears, “Why hello there, Belgwyn!”
Pheeobe grins at Crenna and then shrugs, “Everything worth trying is hard.” She watches Belgwyn as he bounds in and greets him, “Hello.”
Lanisen says, “I’m not– I’m not really– I’m just learnin’ herbs, so far…” He blinks at Belgwyn.
Belgwyn blinks back at lanisen and grins before flipping toward Pheeobe, “Hey you two.”
Crenna nudges the Otter, “If I had known you were traveling up here, we could have come up together.”
Pheeobe smiles at Belgwyn and then looks to Crenna.
Lanisen watches the interaction between the Wolves and the Otter, half-fascinated.
Whining lowly, Ayla straightens in her concealment before burrowing deeper into the juniper bush until she has vanished from sight completely. It is clear that this meeting, fraught with several near interactions is more than the young wolf can handle. Branches move and leaves rustle before the sound of paws is heard racing off to the west, clearly fleeing the crowd she has unwittingly stumbled upon.
Belgwyn sighs and curles up aside Crenna, “Ooh that would have been alot of fun, But I usually don’t travel throught the woods.”
Pheeobe looks to Lanisen, “Have you two met yet?”
Crenna flicks her ears, nodding. As she hears the rustling, she sniffs the air before looking over at Pheeobe, “New Tenderfoot? Or Rogue?”
Pheeobe sighs and looks to Crenna, “New tenderfoot…trouble is we don’t have anyone to help guide her yet.”
Lanisen turns toward Ayla as she begins to make her escape. He takes a half-step after her, his face creasing up with concern, but lets her go.
Crenna looks concerned, “Oh…” She looks off in the direction of the young Wolf’s departure. “She reminds me of myself when I was that age…” She looks thoughtful, her tail tapping on the ground. “Have you not been made her mentor, Pheeobe?”
Belgwyn glances between the three but remains silent
Pheeobe laughs quietly, “I don’t think I am meant for that quite yet. Not that I wouldn’t mind it, I think I would have a lot to learn from her. I think Caileana will when she returns.”
Crenna dips her head, “Caileana will be a good mentor as well but don’t sell yourself short, Pheeobe. You have been with this pack for two, three years?”
Lanisen asks curiously, “Mentor?”
Pheeobe looks to Lanisen, “We train our young pack members on a one to one basis.” To
Crenna she shrugs, “I am not sure that years are all that they are looking for.”
Crenna nods, “Generally a mentor helps the young pack member learn the ways of the pack, answers questions, help them train, that sort of things.” She smiles at Pheeobe, “Of course, A mentor should have strength of character as well.”
Lanisen says, “Like a, like a knight-squire partnership?”
Pheeobe tilts her head, “I am not too sure.” She then looks back at Crenna, “Of course. I can’t imagine anyone better than Caileana.”
Crenna looks at Lanisen, also a bit confused, “I am unsure of what a knight-squire relationship is like…”
Lanisen says, rubbing the back of his neck, “Um– it’s– I’ve, I’ve never had a normal one, but– like that, I guess. I think.”
Pheeobe smiles at Lanisen, “I am sure you understand though. We just watch over each other and learn from each other till we feel comfortable.”
Crenna nods in agreement.
Lanisen says, “Oh.” He nods a couple times. “That sounds, that sounds nice.”
Crenna nods, “It is nice. I had Layavin and Drune as my mentors. They were tough but gentle.”
Pheeobe smiles, “And I, of course, had Caileana. Also tough but gentle. Maybe that is the key.”
Lanisen agrees, “She seems like she would be.”
Crenna looks at Lanisen, “What is a knight and squire?”
Lanisen says, “Oh, um– um– a knight’s… somebody who’s… um, Lord Peridan’s a knight, and so is Sir Darrin? And, and Dame Megren now too. Dame Megren was Sir Darrin’s squire. It’s, it’s a soldier, sort of, but they have to know lots more.”
Crenna ohs, “I see. Kinda…Perhaps one day, I can visit Archenland and learn all about the country.”
Pheeobe smiles, “Only if you take me! I have always wanted to travel further South!”
Lanisen lowers himself to the ground near the juniper bush recently vacated and sits cross-legged.
Crenna grins, “Of course. You do need to come visit the South.” She paws at Pheeobe, “Now that I think about it, I never told you what I’m doing here.”
Pheeobe tilts her head, “And what /are/ you doing here?”
Crenna quips, “Spying.” She smirks at that joke.
Lanisen lifts his eyebrows and glances quickly at Pheeobe to see how this is received.
Pheeobe grins wolfily, “Oh yes…on who? I need all the details?”
Crenna whispers, “Well, you know that we have a sneaky tree root king down in the south. Now, we think he has a cousin up here in the north.”
Belgwyn seems confused by the last change of events as well
Pheeobe grins, “Oh yes?” She looks around sneakily, “And where do you think his cousin is?”
Crenna grins, “That is what my mission is, shhhhhh.” She looks at the confused faces around and chuckles, “You must think I’m mad.”
Lanisen says gravely, “I wasn’t gonna say as much.”
Pheeobe shakes her head at Crenna and sits back down quietly.
Crenna pokes Lanisen, “I’m sure you have said some crazy things yourself.”
Lanisen squirms away from the poke, grinning. “I never!”
Pheeobe laughs at Lanisen, “We all have our madness.”
Crenna smirks, “I can sniff out lies, Lanisen.” Her tail is wagging.
Lanisen narrows one eye at her.
Crenna just gives a wolfie grin.
Pheeobe eyes the two and then gets up, “I am going to leave before I see or hear something I regret.” She shakes out and heads out.
Crenna calls out, “Bye Pheeobe!”
Lanisen spreads his empty hands in a ‘whaaat’ sort of way as she goes.
Crenna chuckles, “I think our conversations are enlightening and not regretful.”
Lanisen says, “Full of pith and wit.”
Crenna smirks, “And quips and laughter to go along with it.”
Lanisen says, “Yes, all of that.”
Crenna turns to Lanisen, “So what piqued your interest in herblore?”
Lanisen says ruefully, “A book.”
Crenna tips her head, “A book?”
Crenna adds, “Here I was hoping I had something to do with it.” She chuckles, winking at him.
Lanisen snorts at her, then shrugs. “I went to the healer at Cair Paravel, and he had some books, and he let me borrow one, and then I had questions and there were more books and then it was just…” He shrugs again.
Crenna nods, “Well, I am glad that you are interested in it. I think Healing is a skill every one should have some knowledge of.”
Lanisen says, “I knew a little, from the hounds, but…” He shrugs and looks at his hands. “I got– I got friends who are knights, and friends who are guards, and I’m not any of those things, and…”
Crenna nudges Lanisen a bit, “There is nothing wrong with that.” She smiles at him, “I think everyone was created with a special gift where that is to be a warrior, hunter, healer, or parent.”
Lanisen says, “Well. I just– would like to be able to… do somethin’. I don’t think I’ll ever be a, a /healer/, but if I can be useful, I’d like to do that.”
Crenna hmms, “There are many different ways to be a healer. Not just in medicine.”
Lanisen glances at her.
Crenna says, “I have come to learn, through my own experiences and observations of other’s experinces, that wound come in all forms not just physical.” She looks down at her paws, “I will never be a great physical healer. I am limited to what my paws can do. However, what I can do is listen and counsel and let others express their pain.” She looks up at Lanisen, “You want to help others. And that is wonderful. But do not limit yourself to thinking that help only comes in one form.” ”
Lanisen studies the ground as she speaks and nods, a little absently.
Crenna notices this but doesn’t press. She stands to her paws and nudges the Son of Adam. “Excuse me, Lanisen, but I must retire for the evening.”
Lanisen says, getting to his feet, “Yeah, of course.”
Crenna dips her head, “Good night, Lanisen.”
Lanisen says, “‘Night.”