new face

Gathering Circle
Lantern Waste

What a sweet place you have wandered to. The forest trees here are scattered across a soft meadow of heather and wildflowers, and the sun dapples the ground through the leaves above. This is a wide section of earth, and it seems to be a gathering place–indeed, there is a ring of stones in one side of the open clearing where it seems fires have been built over many nights. To the south, a worn path leads to the Caldron Pool and the waterfall that feeds it. You can also see a path leading west toward the cliff-face. To the east the path leads into the deeper forests of Lantern Waste.

Crenna is resting under one of the shrubs, her eyes half closed. However, her ears are moving and her nose twitches alerting someone that she may be very much awake.

Lanisen follows the path west in the evening, a mostly-empty gathering sack over his shoulder. He looks tired.

Crenna’s ears perk up and she cracks a eye open. Her tail wags a bit.

Lanisen’s attention is drawn to the movement for a half-wary moment before he smiles in recognition. “Hey,” he says, and turns off the path to approach her.

Crenna yawns and pushes herself up into a sitting position, “Good eve, Lanisen.” Bits of leaves and foliage stick to her fur but she doesn’t seem to mind.

Lanisen covers a yawn, a reaction to Crenna’s, and drops to sit on the ground next to her. “How’re you?”

Crenna asks, “I’m well. Yourself?” She eyes him, “Been busy?”

Lanisen says, “Oh, I suppose.”

Crenna asks, “Still enjoying it?”

Lanisen says, “Hmm? Yeah, yeah. Very much.”

Crenna smiles, “I am so glad.”

Lanisen grins. He draws a deep breath and releases it, then lays back in the grass, his knees still up.

Crenna flops next to him, stretching out, “Mmm I love the feel of the grass.” She grins and whispers, “Sometimes, I like to roll around on my back.”

Lanisen closes his eyes and lets out a breath of laughter through his nose. “You’re a daftie,” he says affectionately.

Crenna looks a bit confused, “A what?”

Lanisen says, “A daftie. A prodigious one.” He giggles a little.

Crenna pokes him in the side with her paw, “Takes one to know one.”

Lanisen lets out a startled squawk and rolls away, curling up.

Crenna lifts her head, “I didn’t poke you that hard.”

Lanisen throws his mostly-empty bag at her. It’s quite light, only a few rejected sprigs of yarrow giving it shape.

Crenna acks. She smirks as she gets up, “Now see here…” She walks over to him and flops down on top of him. Due to her small size, it probably feels like a large hound flopping down.

Lanisen says, “Oh, oof, steady on.” He squirms to sit up.

Crenna grins, “Pinned ya.” Lanisen could kick her off easily however.

Lanisen says, “/Ugh/,” and subsides, still halfway curled up like a surprised pillbug.

Crenna admonishes, “Don’t doubt my ability to squish people. I have to do it to my cousin all the time.”

Lanisen says, “He’s mentioned, I think.”

Crenna chuckles. She finally does roll off the Son of Adam. “Don’t believe anything Dreygan says.”

Lanisen uncurls and rolls back to face the sky, folding his arms under his head. “I dunno, he seems pretty credible to me.”

Crenna snorts. She does a quick look around before rolling on her back and squirm around, her legs in the air. “Sure for tall tales.”

Lanisen glances over at this and gets the giggles.

Crenna falls over on one side. “What, never seen a Narnian do that before?”

Lanisen says, “No!”

Crenna sniffs, “We can still be dignified and get our backs scratched.”

Lanisen says, “You’re very dignified.”

Crenna smirks, “That is what I tell people.” She looks up at the sky, “Oh, remind me to take you to my favorite star gazing spot some time. I think you would like it.”

Lanisen asks, “Oh?”

Crenna nods, “Aye. Do you like to star gaze?”

Lanisen says, “Yeah, I– yeah. I do.”

Crenna grins, “I figured. I can tell a fellow star gaze when I see one. I think too much sometimes.”

Lanisen turns his head to look at her. “Do you–” he begins to ask, and stops.

Crenna tips her head, “Do I…?”

Lanisen says, “Um,” and gestures vaguely at his ear. “Do you, do you listen to ’em?”

Crenna’s eyes get wide, “Oh…no, they do not speak to me. Only the Centaurs.”

Lanisen looks slightly taken aback.

Crenna says, “Have you met a Centaur?” She pauses, “Oh, how silly of me, of course you have.”

Lanisen says, “A– a few, yeah.”

Crenna nods, “I enjoy speaking with them. They are very wise.”

Lanisen says, “Yeah…” He frowns absently, watching the steady fall of leaves from the tree overhead.

Crenna watches him, comfortable to sit in silence with him for now.

Lanisen says suddenly, “That’s not– I know a Bat who can hear ’em.”

Crenna looks surprised, “Really? I must get to know this Bat.”

Lanisen is flopped in the grass under a tree near Crenna, his arms folded beneath his head. “And I’ve– I mean, I– I think…” He looks suddenly unsure.

Crenna is sprawled out beside the Man, grass and twigs clinging to her fur, “Think what?” She says encouragingly.

Lanisen says, “I’ve– I’ve heard… I thought I did, maybe I didn’t.”

Crenna says, “Oh, I am not doubting you. I just have never heard of any beast being able to understand the stars except for Centaurs. But I suppose they share their meanings with whoever they wish.”

Lanisen turns red. “I didn’t– that’s not…”

Pheeobe comes jogging slowly into the gathering circle, greeting everyone with a quick hello before going to Crenna’s side.

Lanisen sits up rather quickly at the noise of Pheeobe’s approach.

Crenna lifts her head up from the ground, as she is comfortably sprawled next to Lanisen in the grass. “Hey Pheeobe!”

A figure approaches from the north, Kiyon glides into the Gathering Circle, his countenance is faded and weary. Watchful eyes dart across the Circle and rest on Crenna, Pheeobe and the second Son of Adam.

Pheeobe smiles widely, “Hello.” She sprawls down too, “Whatcha talkin’about?”

Lanisen says, “Nothin’. Stars.” His attention goes to the Son of Adam passing through, and he goes briefly very still.

Crenna nods, “And star gazing.” Her nose twitches and she looks around. “Kiyon!”

Pheeobe looks over at Kiyon’s name, she examines him and then tilts her head, “Kiyon? Are you okay?:

A son of adam with dark hair and sparkling green eyes (Kiyon) ducks his head in a greeting, “Good evening, friends.” The corners of his mouth turn up slightly, “Yes, well enough, thank you. How fare you all?” His gaze returns to the other young man and he extends a hand. “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Kiyon.”

Pheeobe nods shrugs, “All well here.”

Lanisen relaxes when the Wolves greet the man, and eases further when he comes near enough to recognize without doubt. He gets to his feet and reaches out readily enough to return the handshake, though he seems to have trouble with prolonged eye contact. “Lanisen,” he answers. “I’m– I’m Adara’s friend.”

Crenna just watches the interactions, smiling.

Pheeobe circles around a couple times before playing back down in the grass.

Kiyon firmly shakes the hand and then releases his grip, noticing the tentative behavior. He offers a friendly smile and tilts his head. “Pleased to meet you, Lanisen.” He smiles toward Pheeobe and Crenna, “You two look well.”

Pheeobe smiles, “Well thank you.” She looks back to Lanisen.

Crenna nods her head, “Thank you. How have you been, Kiyon? It has been a long time.”

Lanisen retracts his hand when it is released, smiling in return. He glances at the wolves.

Pheeobe blows a raspberry and looks at the sky.

Crenna yawns, standing to her paws. “Forgive me, but I should retire for the evening.”

Kiyon offers Crenna a smile, “I’m sorry to join you so late. Rest well, Crenna.”

Lanisen steps back slightly. “I’ll see you around?” he asks.

Pheeobe looks at Crenna and nods, “Goodnight.”

Crenna chuckles, “Around a tree? Sure.” She smiles at Kiyon, “We must catch up sometime.” She dips her head, “Good night all.” The wolf disappears into the bushes.

Kiyon watches after Crenna a moment and turns back to the others. “Speaking of seeing each other around, I feel as if I haven’t seen you in too long, Pheeobe. And Lanisen, you must pardon me, I do believe I should have met you sooner. I must admit I’ve been distracted of late.”

Pheeobe watches Crenna leave and then turns back to the men. To Kiyon she nods, “Yes. I was resting for while and I have been busy doing patrol. I have missed seeing you.” She gives him a smile.

Lanisen wrinkles up his nose at Crenna as she leaves, then turns back to face Kiyon and Pheeobe. “Oh,” he says, slightly startled. “That’s– I’m sorry to hear that; it’s, it’s fine, though?”

Kiyon nods, “I’ve missed you as well. And thank you, Lanisen, for being gracious. I’ve not strayed far from patrols or the tower of late. Uncertain times we live in, yes?”

Pheeobe shrugs, “I suppose. I am trying to not think about it as much.”

Lanisen asks, “Is it– have, have things been happenin’, since…?”

Kiyon sighs and gives a half-hearted chuckle, “I wish I could shift my focus as easily. You wolves seem to handle this sort of thing far better than myself.” He shakes his head to Lanisen, “I imagine I have not heard anything more recent than you, I’m afraid.”

Lanisen looks relieved.

Pheeobe nods, “Nothing to worry about.” She sighs and looks up, “I had better follow Crenna.” She shakes out, “It was good to see you, Kiyon. Lanisen.”

Kiyon ducks his head, “Good eve, rest well.”

Pheeobe nods and head off into the trees.

Lanisen says, “Evenin’, Pheeobe.” He watches her go, then rubs his elbow and glances back at Kiyon.

Kiyon watches after Pheeobe and turns quietly back to Lanisen. His eyes dart one way and then the next, perhaps a bit nervously. He takes a breath, “Have – ah – that is, have you been in the Waste long, Lanisen?”

Lanisen answers, “I guess it’s been about– about a month, now.” He pauses. “You’re, how long’ve you been on the guard?”

Kiyon thinks on this a few moments, looking to the leather band on his arm. “It’s been some time now. One of those things that causes the days to blur together, I suppose.” He looks up uncertainly. “You know Adara, you mentioned earlier?”

Lanisen says, “That’s right, yeah.”

Kiyon bites at his lip and thinks to say something but falls silent. “I see.” He manages to think of something more. “Is that why you’re here?”

Lanisen shifts, glancing at Kiyon’s face a little warily. “Yes,” he answers. “Mostly; I’m, I’m workin’ for Panacea a bit while I’m here.”

Kiyon quirks a brow in interest, “Indeed? I imagine that could come in handy.”

Lanisen relaxes. “I’m hopin’ so, yeah.” He hesitates, glancing at the darkening sky. “I shouldn’t– I should let you get back to your…”

Kiyon looks up, recognizing it is much later than he realized. “Ah, yes… well until we meet again, then. It’s been nice to step away from those duties for a few moments. Perhaps we’ll know each other better in time.” He shifts his pack over his shoulder and turns to leave, “Good eve, Lanisen.”

Lanisen steps back, bending to pick up a mostly-empty herb-gathering bag. “Evenin’,” he answers.


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