Chapter Four: The Gentle Soul
The night past in a wealth of rain and darkness. Like any storm, it seemed to either drag on or pass as a blur depending on
who witnessed it. Those who loved the fury would say is passed much too quickly - others would say it took too long to pass
Temperatures dropped, and the puddles of rain clinging to the ground seemed to become ice. Mist slithered it's way across
the lands, taking great care to caress and soothe the wounded lands. Broken trees lay scattered amongst the remains of
the wind's rage, snapped and twisted like a cubling's toy.
As the night went on, the downpour had increased in it's vicious attack. It took no prisoners as it assaulted the world,
drowning and flooding all the nearby flatlands as the rivers and lakes overflowed. The damage would take a few days to
heal, especially as these lands were outside claimed territories.
There would be no Azama, nor Coraz Spirits, to heal the wounds from the storm. It would be left to repair itself on it's own, in
the natural way. Tree Spirits would wither and die at first light, when the damaging rays would eat away at their now exposed
nesting grounds. Uprooted trees, they were unrepairable once their Spirits died.
Wulvfskins patrolled the forests, their beady red eyes always seeking some sort of gift from the storms. It was their belief
that everytime the rain fell with such force as it had the night before, their Guardians were passing judgement on them. And
if a gift awaited them before dawn, then they had pleased them greatly.
The fall of a Dragon and it's cargo had been such a gift, but only three packs were able to lay claim upon it. The other two
were left to search for their own claims. For no more than three packs could ever indulge itself in one gift.
As dawn approached, and pastel light stretched across the lands, the Wulvfskins returned to their shelters, and other locals
began to wake. The Sharaihka uncoiled from their nests, and began their morning hunts. Varishi hunters left their travelling
parties, seeking to find food so that they may start the day anew.
And Raveens, usually travellers only seeking a quick route to The Valleys, would begin their own hunts. By the time the
planet of Yein had risen in the sky, and it's light flooded the lands, there a wasn't a single being left sleeping that shouldn't
In a clearing on the East side of the forest, a young Raveeness was stalking her prey. It was a Tahruna-ke, a type of
squirrel beast that was the size of a large hare. Brown in coloring with splotches of green, it was made to blend in to the
forest. Not overly smart, a Tahruna-ke would sometimes think it's camouflage more protective than it truly was.
Which is why the Raveeness was only too amused by her breakfast. It was sitting no more than three feet in front of her,
boredly just staying in one spot as if completely unafraid of being seen. The white Raveeness had to bite her tongue to
keep from laughing.
Too easy... She thought to herself, as she stalked slowly forward. Her movements were slow, intentionally only moving
forward by inches at a time to make it seem to her prey as if she weren't truly moving. Her silver wings were plastered
securely to her side, and her twisted black horns refused to reflect any light.
Two hoop earrings were laced through each ear, and white feathers hung loosely from each. Around her neck she wore a
simple leather cord with an intricately braided set of feathers hanging in the front. They were the only sets of jewellery she
wore, the only decoration she ever prided herself enough for.
Her sky blue eyes, so pale they were almost closer to being crystal blue, were filled with mirth. As she closed the distance
between herself and her prey, she couldn't help the snort of amusement. It was enough of a warning for the Tahruna-ke to
jump away as if burned.
Yet it wasn't enough warning for it to escape, as the Raveeness pounced and procured her morning meal. She picked up
the dead creature, her sharp teeth digging in to it's still warm flesh. With a gleeful grin she turned and began walking back
to her place of rest.
The forest was easily moved through, even without a clear path to follow. She had lived in the forest enough nights to know
which areas were safe, and which were not. So within only a few minutes she was at her resting spot -- a boulder cave which
was hidden behind a thick enclosure of bushes and small trees.
She slipped through this natural fence, and once inside she had to stop. Something wasn't right. The air was unsettled, and
there was an unknown scent carried by the faint breeze.
Slowly she dropped her kill on the forest floor before her, and slunk down in to a defensive posture. "Who's there?" She
demanded, her voice soft but only in a deceiving way.
A flicker of movement within the cave only served to make her more suspicious. Someone had found her current home,
which never bode well. At worse it was a stray Wulvfskin, lost from it's path and seeking shelter from the light. Her lip twisted
in to a snarl at that thought.
"I'll ask again - Who the hell are you?" She growled out, her claws unsheathing as the movement started to come closer to
the cave's entrance. As light rats dimly lit the face of the Raveen, and blood-red facial markings came in to view, the
Raveeness slowly began to relax. "Natuuhara..."
The Raveen came to a stop once outside the cave, and fully exposed to the Raveeness. His eyes examined her, taking in
the bloody state of her front paws and the morning kill resting on the forest floor. "I interrupted your breakfast," he
observed, his tone almost apologetic.
The Raveeness blushed, knowing that she probably looked like a feral beast with the Tahruna-ke's blood all over her. "Um,
no worries," she offered a faulty grin, before it faded and she looked more serious. "Why are you here?"
Ebony eyes glanced back to the cave, before the Raveen frowned and looked back to the Raveeness. "It was the only place
I could think of to come," he admitted darkly.
Natuuhara met the Raveeness' gaze as they fell in to silence, one curious, the other too guarded to tell. "I need your help,
The white Raveeness blinked, her silver wings readjusting in a nervous response to the words. "What could you ever need
my help for...?"
Natuuhara looked back to the cave, and motioned for Hanami to move closer. She did so, but her movements were hesitant
and unsure. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she was finally able to make out the shivering form of a cubling, she
"What is this...?" She looked back to Natuuhara, whose gaze was more guarded than usual.
"His name is Yuukanda," Natuuhara said softly, "And his parents were killed during the storm."
Hanami's eyes widdened, and she turned her attention back to the cubling. "By Yune..." She moved swiftly forward, her
breakfast forgotten as she took in the sight of the sniffling cub. She stopped before him, and laid gently down a few feet
before him, trying to look as unthreatening as possible.
"Hello," she spoke gently, offering a smile, "I'm Hanami."
The cub's green eyes looked up at her, but he said nothing.
"Are you hungry at all..?" Hanami tried, "I have a freshly caught Tahruna-ke.. You're welcome to have it."
No words were spoken, but the soft growl of a cubling's stomach was enough of an answer. Natuuhara left to retrieve the
kill, and dropped it before Hanami who offered it to the frightened cub. The two adults held their breath, and exhaled when
the cub took the offering.
Hanami smiled, but worry danced in her eyes. She glanced up at Natuuhara, unsure of what they were to do from here on