define('WP_CACHE', true); Crossed Paths – Logs – Page 10 – The Story Thus Far…

Chapter 3: Meeting Arrin

Chapter 3: Meeting Arrin

In Which Soquan Takes Jozra to His Hometown.


Arrin Woodgreen: The otter grins happily as the smell of wood smoke fill his nose. “Man, there’s nothing like a familiar surrounding to relax a guy!” The village is a small one, a place where everybody knows each other. The houses, it seems are meant for colder weather and the clothes the other beasts wear are heavy, winter coats.

Yazeth: The ferret nods her head and smiles. “Almost like that little town my ma used to send me into to sell spare tomatoes when I was a cub…”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins. “C’mon… This way…” He turns to his right and stops at a house. He feels cautiously in front of himself, anticipating the steps up to the door.

Yazeth: Jozra watches as the otter climbs the steps with familiarity.  She grins and follows him up.

Arrin Woodgreen: He knocks on the door and after a moment it swings open, revealing a red furred otter. She stands still for only a moment before throwing her arms around the otter nearly knocking him over. “Soquan, it wonderful t’see yeh!” Soquan grins and returns the hug. “It’s good to see you too…”

Yazeth: The ferret stands on the step below the porch, politely keeping her silence.

Arrin Woodgreen: The smaller otter looks over her brother’s shoulder at the ferret.  “Who’s yeh’re friend?” Soquan grins, “That’s Jozra, she saved my life a while ago.”

Yazeth: The ferret grins and bobs her head modestly. “Err, pleased to meet ya.”

Arrin Woodgreen: The female grins and throws an arm around the ferret. “C’mon in then, any friend of Soquan’s is a friend of mine!”

Yazeth: Jozra grins broadly and follows the two otters into the house.

Arrin Woodgreen: She beams at her. “So how did you save my brother? What kind of trouble did he get himself into this time?”

Yazeth: The ferret glances at Soquan first. “There was a band of ruffians trying to rob him.  I ran them off and helped Soquan get everything all back together…”

Arrin Woodgreen: She chuckles. “Well I’m glad you did, I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to my big brother…”

Yazeth: Jozra grins. “He’s been a great traveling companion too.”

Arrin Woodgreen: She grins again. “I’m sure he is…” She pauses. “I was just about to make dinner, how do you feel about spice soup?”

Yazeth: “Sounds delicious!”

Arrin Woodgreen: She continues to grin. “Alright, you two can stay here, I’ll be in the kitchen.” She walks off into the next room.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan chuckles, stepping beside the ferret. “She’s really taken a liking to you.”

Yazeth: The ferret blushes slightly and grins. “I, uh, didn’t catch her name.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He laughs. “She didn’t tell you her name. It’s Arrin.” He motions towards the couch. “Have a seat.”

Yazeth: Jozra meanders towards the couch. “Arrin? Pretty name, that.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods. “Yeah, dad always said that too…”

Yazeth: The ferret settles herself on the couch and looks around the room.

Arrin Woodgreen: He makes his way over, sitting beside her. “So… When do you want to head to the mountains?”

Yazeth: Jozra shrugs. “For some reason, getting rich doesn’t seem as important anymore, though I would like to see these mountains.  How long would it take to get there anyway?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He shrugs. “Just a couple hours.”

Yazeth: The ferret’s ears prick up. “That close?!”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods. “Weren’t you watching as we came into town?”

Yazeth: The ferret chuckles. “Well I saw mountains but I didn’t know it was THOSE mountains.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He laughs. “We’ve been following those mountains for two days; I’m surprised it didn’t occur to you…”

Yazeth: Jozra grins. “Well, when I was traveling up north in the first place, all the directions I got went something along the lines of, ‘Just over the next hill.’ And when I got over the next hill, there was nothing there.” She chuckles. “So I’d find somebody else and ask about my destination and be told the same thing only to find the same nothing.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He laughs. “That sounds very disheartening…”

Yazeth: She chuckles again. “It was a bit at first, but after a while I made it into a game to see how knowledgeable various villagers are of their more than immediate surroundings.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods. “Sounds very amusing.”

Yazeth: She nods. “It kept me entertained.”


Chapter 2: Companions

Chapter 2: Companions

In Which Soquan and Jozra Decide to Travel Together.


Arrin says: After a while the otter groans, shifting slightly.

Catamount says: Jozra mops the otter’s brow with a damp cloth she salvaged and tries to get the otter to drink a little from her canteen.

Arrin says: He groans again. “No more… Please stop…”

Catamount says: The ferret looks at the otter quizzically then speaks. “You’re all right now. They’re gone.  You do need to drink something though.”

Arrin says: The otter’s mouth opens slightly and he drinks the water.

Catamount says: The ferret smiles encouragingly. “There. Feel better?”

Arrin says: The otter nods slightly.

Catamount says: “Good.  Will you be okay while I get a fire started?  Let’s see if we can get some food in you…”

Arrin says: He nods slowly before falling asleep.

Catamount says: The ferret watches the otter for a bit then begins gathering firewood.

Arrin says: The otter curls up slightly, brow furrowed.


Catamount says: A few minutes before dawn the ferret wakes.  She checks that the otter is still sleeping then scouts about their meager camp.  There’s no trace of the others except for the dead stoat in the ditch.  Fortunately, the body hasn’t begun to stink yet.  She returns and begins making breakfast as the sun rises over the trees.

Arrin says: The otter groans and shifts as he wakes up. He sits up slowly, his ears perked up slightly. “Hello?”

Catamount says: The ferret looks at the otter quizzically for a second. “Good morning. I have some breakfast if you’re hungry.”

Arrin says: He frowns. “Who are you?”

Catamount says: The ferret dusts some crumbs off of her muzzle and replies. “Just a wanderer.  My name’s Jozra.  Who are you?”

Arrin says: He gives a gruff grunt as he rises. “T’name’s Soquan.”

Catamount says: Jozra indicates the other breakfast cakes. “Well then, Soquan. You hungry?”

Arrin says: He nods. “A bit.”

Catamount says: The ferret frowns slightly but says cheerfully. “Well, I have breakfast over here near the fire. Help yourself.”

Arrin says: He rises to his paws, and slowly begins to feel his way towards the fire.

Catamount says: Jozra cocks her head quizzically and then realizes something. “You can’t see very well, can you?”

Arrin says: He barks a laugh. “Smart one, aren’t you?  I’m blind…”

Catamount says: The ferret shrugs. “It’s not like it’s obvious until you start feeling around…” She stands and brings some of the cakes over to the otter and presses them into his paws. “Here.  Breakfast.”

Arrin says: He nods his thanks and munches on one of the cakes in silence.

Catamount says: A thought suddenly occurs to the ferret.  “I think I gathered all of the stuff your attackers dropped when they ran…”

Arrin says: He nods again. “Thank you.”

Catamount says: The ferret resumes eating her breakfast cake. “No problem.”

Arrin says: He goes back into silence as he finishes his meal.

Catamount says: Jozra begins cleaning up around camp. “So… If you don’t mind my asking… How did you get into that situation anyway?”

Arrin says: He shrugs. “They jumped me, stole my stuff, and beat me up…”

Catamount says: She scowls. She knows exactly what Soquan is talking about but doesn’t let it show. “Well, they’re gone now and they left behind a money pouch and a pack of supplies I’m assuming is yours.”

Arrin says: He nods.  “Yeah, it is…they didn’t happen to leave behind a staff, did they?”

Catamount says: Jozra raises an eyebrow. “Yeah, they dropped one when they ran off. I thought it belonged to them but…” She retrieves it and passes it to the otter. “Here it is.”

Arrin says: He grins as he receives the staff. “Thanks.”

Yazeth: Finishes cleaning up the camp and hoists her own pack. “You’re quite welcome.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He rises to his feet, groaning as the bruises all over himself complain loudly. “I guess I’ll head off on my way then…”

Yazeth: Jozra eyes the otter and furrows her brow in a concerned manner. “Where are you heading, by the way?”

Arrin Woodgreen: The otter shrugs slightly, leaning heavily on his staff as he flexes a leg experimentally. “Nowhere in particular.  Wherever my paws take me I guess, what about you? Where are you heading?”

Yazeth: The ferret smiles sardonically to herself but says in a cheerful voice, “South! I’m off to visit my family. Or at least see if the farm is still there.” She pauses, “I could use a traveling companion…”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods gratefully. “It would be a lot better to have someone watching my back… Especially this far north…I heard that wolves live up here…”

Yazeth: Jozra chuckles, “That they do, but they tend to keep to themselves. You’re more likely to have trouble from roving bands of brigands… err.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He chuckles. “I guess I found that out the hard way… Well Jozra, we better head off if we want to cover a lot of ground today.”

Yazeth: The ferret hefts her pack a little higher on her shoulders and straightens some folds out of her cloak. “Right.” She leads the way to the path going south, taking care to avoid going to close to a certain ditch.

Arrin Woodgreen: He follows, his brow furrowing, as he smells the beast in the ditch. He doesn’t say anything but he hefts his pack. “So how far do you think we’ll get today? Three, maybe four miles?”

Yazeth: Jozra frowns slightly but then considers the conditionals, as well as the fact that she is slightly ahead of schedule. “Perhaps that. We can take it slow today, if you like. Give you a chance to recuperate a bit from that beating.”

Arrin Woodgreen: Once again, the otter nods gratefully. “I appreciate that…” His nostrils flare slightly as he sniffs the air again. “I’m guessing you’re a ferret, am I right?”

Yazeth: Jozra chuckles again. “Yeah, you’re right. Forgot to tell you that when we traded names and such.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He chuckles also. “Yeah, you did. So what’s a southie like you doing this far north?”

Yazeth: “Aw, that’s a long story of youthful foolishness and a genetic predisp’sition to wandering.” She grins. “Actually, in a nut shell, I got bored of the farming life and wanted to see the world. I suppose I was also hoping to strike it rich.”

She bends a crick out of her neck and continues, “Heard there was riches for the taking up north and struck out that way at first.  Never did get wealthy and I finally got homesick, so here I am, walking home.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He laughs. “The riches are supposed to be much further than this… There’s gold in the mountains… I can show you to them if you want…I used to live in the area…”

Yazeth: The ferret glances at the otter, “Really? I had heard there was this mining camp and so I went there first only to find the whole place devastated by plague.  I wandered for a bit after that but I ended up more on flat, snowbound tundra.  Must have missed those mountains of yours…”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods. “Really, there is… you want to go?”

Yazeth: The ferret mulls it over a bit, “Perhaps someday soon, but I really would like to see how the ol’ family is getting on.  I’m actually kind of worried about that plague spreading, that’s why I spent two seasons in the wastelands. To make sure I’m not contaminated.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He shrugs. “Suit yourself, it’s a pity my sister would of loved to meet you…” he stumbles over a root, grabbing Jozra for support. “Sorry.”

Yazeth: The ferret pauses to steady the otter. “No problem.  Besides, who says we can’t make our way back up north?  If we make it home about the first of summer, well, my home that is. But that gives us a whole season to travel south and if we leave not to long after, we have a good season and a half before the possibility of the deep snows setting in.” Jozra shrugs and continues. “Or, if not, we could always start out north again next spring.”

Arrin Woodgreen: “I haven’t seen my sister in a long time… I think we can get north quickly, we can make it in a couple weeks of traveling, stay there a couple days and head back down… I think we can make it.”

Yazeth: The ferret lifts her eyebrows. “Really? I hadn’t realized it was so close.” She chuckles. “Considering how far north I think I’ve been, I must have assumed you meant very north.”

Arrin Woodgreen:  “You must have missed it. It’s not directly north, it’s to the west…”

Yazeth: She thinks for a moment and then nods. “Yes, that’s probably what happened. I was traveling in a rather easterly direction, now that you mention it.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins. “Come on then, lets get going, we need to travel fast. I think I can speed up a bit. You just need to be my eyes…”

Yazeth: The ferret grins as well. “Alrighty.  To the west and north then?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He nods and waits for her to change direction. “Yep.”

Yazeth: Jozra alters their direction and leads the way. “Any particular landmarks I should look out for?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He chuckles. “You’ll see the mountain tops, they sometimes look like they’re clouds. That’s just cold weather coming in.”

Yazeth: “Hehe, alright, I’ll watch for them. Oop, watch your head, there’s a low branch right here.” She raps the side of the branch, hoping the blind otter can pinpoint the location by simply listening.

Arrin Woodgreen: He ducks his head as they pass by the branch. “Thanks Jozra…”


Chapter 1: A Rescue

Chapter 1: A Rescue

In Which A Ferret Happens Across Some Robbers.


Arrin says: Somewhere to the east, an otter lays on his back, trying to protect the blows coming from his own staff, which is now held in a rat’s paws. A ferret maid now holds his money. Near unconsciousness from the beating, his blocks become weaker and weaker.

Catamount says: Somewhere, not too far away, a lone traveler hears the commotion.  Curious but wary, she keeps her blades close at paw and pulls a hood over her head, hiding her features and species.  She creeps closer and observes the altercation for a bit.  She has seen this rat before, and she has no kind feelings for him.  Once again he has shown himself to be a brutal thug, but not much more than a bully.  She stands and approaches.

Arrin says: His consciousness finally leaves him and the small group of beasts continue to beat him.

Catamount says: She speaks sharply, catching the rat’s attention.  “Dromb!” The rat turns and scowls at the newcomer.  “This is nona yer business!” He spits. He is about to resume beating the unconscious otter when a glimmer of warning appears in his mind. “‘Ow doyer know my name?”

The cloaked one grins ferally and replies,  “Oh you know me. I see you’ve picked up some new henchmen since last we met.” The rat stares, trying to pierce the shadows created by the hood.  He makes a small signal with his tail.  Though a bully, and rather stupid at that, he does have a few good plans and this was one of them.  Dromb’s cronies began to slowly, almost unnoticeably, approach the newcomer.

Arrin says: The rat makes his way close to the creature, staff held tightly in his paws.s

Catamount says: Suddenly, the hooded one smiles wickedly at Dromb and flicks her wrist.  The stoat that stood as look out before hand falls to a small, black blade piercing his throat.

Arrin says:  The rat moves closer, staff raised in a harmful intentioned manner.

Catamount says: The hooded one smiles.  “What’s the matter, Dromb? Don’t recognize me? I felt sure Tanya would…” The ferret maid jumps at her name.

Arrin says: The rat’s eyes widen. “Jozra! You’re back!”

Catamount says: Jozra laughs. “And I see you’ve learned nothing from our last encounter.  Picking on helpless creatures again?  What loot did you find?”

Arrin says: The rat shrugs. “Just some coin and a staff…”

Catamount says: The ferret allows the hood to fall back; it’s point now moot. “And was it worth it?”

Arrin says: He shrugs again. “We got experience…”

Catamount says: Jozra frowns. “Experience ganging up and beating a lone creature?”

Arrin says: He brings himself up to full height. “He’s an otter! You’ve heard stories about otters beating up three beasts at once just as much as I…”

Catamount says: She grins. “That is true. But then, it doesn’t look as though you three suffered much damage yourselves. Well… “ She grins wickedly. “At least not until I got to your new friend…”

Arrin says: The rat harrumphs.

Catamount says: The ferret cocks an eyebrow at Dromb. “Tell me, do you remember what I last told you?”

Arrin says: He shakes his head. “No.”

Catamount says: Jozra frowns. “I figured as much…” She sighs. “I knew I could have made a bigger impression on you…” She scrutinizes the rat for a bit. “You do at least remember why I left?”

Arrin says: He shakes his head again. “No.”

Catamount says: The ferret sighs. “Well, it has been a while…” She suddenly turns to the side and nails the other ferret in the stomach with her foot. “Now Tanya… What did I tell you about sneaking up on me?” Tanya just clutches her stomach and groans.

Arrin says: The rats eyes widen and he backs up.

Catamount says: The ferret bares her fangs. “Apparently neither of you learned a thing.”

Arrin says: The two remaining beasts suddenly run for escape.

Catamount says: The ferret sends another blade zinging after them, hoping to at least wound one of them.

Arrin says: The rat yelps but they continue running.

Catamount says: Jozra snarls then turns to the still unconscious otter.  She glances at the dead stoat and feels a small pang of regret.  Glancing back at the otter, Jozra grips the stoat and pulls him into the bushes, dumping his corpse down the embankment into a muddy ditch, but not before pillaging anything useful.

She returns to the clearing and gathers up the stuff the others dropped when they made a break for it.  Jozra wrinkles her nose, returns to the spot where the stoat had died and does her best to disguise the bloodstains and the smell.  After a last check of the clearing, she approaches the prone otter and begins tending to his wounds.