November 2011 Featured RP: Friends Lost, Friends Gained

Lewis once wrote that friendship first arises when two people say "What? You too? I thought I was the only one!" Petraverd and Glyn, throughout their talks since the melee, have begun to see the truth in that, and Petraverd's openness begins to lead to the same on Glyn's part...

Gathering Circle
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 Cauldron 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.
You can go: Clearing , Into Lantern Waste , Cauldron Pool , Base of
the Cliffs

Petraverd trots into the circle from the east, shaking a stray leaf or two from his mane.

Glyn slinks in from the west, keeping low to the ground and trying to stay obscured in the underbrush.

Petraverd doesn't seem to have noticed Glyn, nosing about in a patch of grass.

Glyn comes to a halt several yards off from the unicorn and stays quiet for a moment before poking his head up with a grin. "Hello, Petraverd!"

Petraverd gives a short whinny, clearly surprised, but not particularly dramatically. "Oh, Glyn! Didn't see you there. Evening."

Glyn emerges fully from the undergrowth and shakes out his coat before taking a seat near the unicorn. "I've been trying to practise sneaking a bit during my patrols. Sometimes it's important to go silently, after all."

Petraverd nods a little. "It is, though you've got to be careful about it, too. It can easily be taken the wrong way, when you come up on someone unexpected like that." He chuckles a bit. "Not that I need to worry much about things like that. You can't do much about hiding it when you've got hooves."

Glyn grins and nods. "I'm sorry about that. I certainly wouldn't try surprising someone I didn't know well."

Petraverd says, "It's just something to be mindful of. How've you been?"

Glyn says, "Well enough, thanks. Working hard with Virika. Trying not to think too hard about everyone who's been *watching* me lately."

Petraverd flicks an ear, tilting his head a degree. "How do you mean?"

Glyn says, "Well... you were there when Eirwyn and Virika observed me together, right? There have been a few occasions like that. And Virika's been correcting me a good deal more often."

Petraverd says, "That just goes to show how you've improved. Virika's probably not content to see you're getting the gist of it anymore - she wants to make sure you've got all the details straight as well."

Glyn nods. "I'm sure that's right. But with the Alpha taking interest too... I don't know, but it might mean that she's considering me for promotion. That's something to keep OUT of my mind."

Petraverd looks somewhat confused at this comment, tail flicking uncertainly. "I'm not sure I follow."

Glyn glances at the ground. "Well, I don't want to freeze up because I'm worrying about being evaluated. The melee was nerve-wracking enough, but it's not like anyone was watching me closely. Until the end, anyway."

Petraverd ahs quietly. "That makes a bit more sense, then."

Glyn shakes himself vigorously--almost fiercely. "But it'll be fine. I'll be fine."

Petraverd tilts his head, flicking an ear again. "You sure? If you need to talk it out, I don't mind... besides, we're both kind of in the same position, at least in part. I may not be a wolf, but I certainly feel like I've been watched rather more closely after the melee myself."

Glyn tilts his head. "Watched by whom?"

Petraverd says, "Anyone who gets the chance, really. Zayev approached me often for spars afterward, and Skarlieth's done a bit of the same as well. Even you've been keeping a close eye on me when I spar, I've noticed. I've got something of a reputation now - and while it's an honor to have it, it's something to live up to now."

Glyn cocks his head thoughtfully. "Huh, I'd never thought about it that way. It just seemed natural to pay closer attention, especially with how highly Eirwyn regards you as a friend and opponent. But if everyone starts taking notice at once--yeah, I can see how that might be overwhelming."

Petraverd hehs and nods. "It's taking some getting used to, that's for sure."

Glyn says, "Is it... well, is it really that uncomfortable for so many opponents to want to practise with you when you *are* such a strong combatant? I mean, really, you are"

Petraverd is quiet for a moment or two before he asks a question of his own. "You've watched me in a few spars by now. Have you noticed what my tendency to do is when they're over?"

Glyn says, "Um... well, usually you ask to make sure that they're alright..."

Petraverd nods a bit. "Truth be told, I'm still a little uncomfortable with fighting on the whole. I don't particularly /like/ inflicting pain on someone, especially a friend. I see the use of it, and I like the strategy behind it and the exercise I get out of it, but... well, let's just say it was never something I expected to be /known/ for."

Glyn frowns and considers a moment. "I guess. I'm surprised how good you've become in spite of your discomfort. It must have taken a lot of dedication."

Petraverd hehs quietly. "I lost a friend to werewolves, and blamed myself. Irrationally so, though I didn't realize that for a while... but anyway. That's part of what spurred me to it, so to speak. Before that, I'd run first chance I got. Now... well, now I've got something to defend, to protect. I did then, too, but I guess I... saw how important it was to do my part, after that."

Glyn goes rigid as Petraverd recalls the loss of his friend, and his eyes lock on, asking quietly, "Who - who did you lose? What happened?"

Petraverd is again silent for a bit, before he says, "I'm... not entirely sure it's my place, but seeing as I brought it up already..." He gestures with his horn, indicating he feels the Gathering Circle might not be the place to talk.
Petraverd offers to lead Glyn.

Glyn slides onto his paws and follows mutely.
Glyn decides to follow Petraverd.

South side of the Cauldron Pool(#278R/KLM)
Hereabouts is a small path that borders the Cauldron Pool. It curves
northeast, crossing the smaller stream that flows out of the pool just north
of here, and leads to the north side and the wood that lies beyond. Where you
stand now is clear, but sheltered by the cliffs. To the southwest, a cave
opening can be seen leading into a den of some sort. Further on to the south,
the path continues and eventually disappears into a lush green little meadow.
The south side of Lantern Waste stretches on to the southwest.
You can go: Into a Meadow , Downstream , North

Glyn comes trotting across the stream toward you.
Glyn arrives, following Petraverd.

Petraverd walks along the edge of the pool at an easy pace, collecting his thoughts. After a moment, he says, "I've already told you about that brush I had with werewolves myself, when Eirwyn defended me... that was the night he died, though we didn't know that for some time."

Glyn follows Petraverd closely for several paces, before coming to a sit by the edge of the pool and listening silently.

Petraverd says, "I was in the Gathering Circle when he came running by me. I didn't think anything of it at the time. He was quite clearly in a hurry, but I didn't think there was any need for me to ask why. There wasn't, really... I had no way of knowing what was going to happen, and I'm not sure he did either. But the next thing I knew, I was attacked, and a few days later we figured out he died that night himself. I was probably the last one to see him before that... and I felt guilty. That if I'd done something different maybe things would have turned out better. "

Glyn frowns deeply. "That's horrible. That those creatures would do such evil to the herd. I don't understand why they would target both you and your friend like that in one night."

Petraverd hehs and shakes his head. "Did I say it was a friend from the herd?"

Glyn flicks an ear, taken aback for a moment. "Oh, I'm sorry, I guess I just assumed... who was your friend?"

Petraverd again seems to resort to his usual tactic of responding to questions with another question. "Have you heard much of Sir Alden yet?"

Glyn's eyes widen slightly, but he admits, "Only a little. He was Alpha many years ago, before even Ryalt. He was a knight?"

Petraverd nods. "He was, and a skilled one at that."

Glyn murmurs, "So that's what Nevarre meant when he said Ulfden had not had a member of the Order in many years."

Petraverd hehs. "Like I said, I'm not sure it's my place to say it, but... well, I was a part of things that night, however you look at it. But yes, I'm sure that's what he meant."

Glyn looks up at Petraverd. "Was he a close friend? This was many years ago... he must have been among your earliest acquaintances in the Waste."

Petraverd nods. "He was, and the best friend I had in the pack at the time. I never felt that the widely different viewpoints we held as two very different creatures was ever a barrier... nor did I feel he thought any less of me because of it. That was a bit of a problem between myself and some of the other wolves, then."

Glyn says quietly, "Certainly, everyone I've met who remembers him speaks well of him." He pauses before going on, his voice a little strained. "I'm sorry that you lost someone so close to you. I think I understand. I truly do."

Petraverd is quiet a few moments before he says, "That was about when I first started entertaining thoughts of pursuing knighthood myself. But I think I would have been doing so to... attempt to make up for a mistake that I didn't even make. Try to... become his replacement, so to speak, on account of not having been able to prevent his death. It wouldn't have been for the right reasons."

Glyn's ears flatten to his skull, and his body language turns stiff. "Well, it's certainly not right to blame yourself. But is it wrong to pursue knighthood in honour of a fallen friend? To make sure that the next time danger threatens, that you are ready to do what is necessary?"

Petraverd shakes his head. "Of course it's not. But it wouldn't have been for his honor - it would have been more to ease my own imagined guilt in the situation. I didn't need the title to prepare for the next time. I think I've proven that well enough by now."

Glyn's expressions softens and he shakes himself. "Of course you have. I'm sorry, I'm being inconsiderate. And a little selfish. I... failed a friend too."

Petraverd flicks an ear as he asks, "Failed a friend, or only feel like you have?"

Glyn looks around the clearing carefully before regarding the stallion, his expression hollow. "Only Virika knows this story in full. You won't tell anyone?"

Petraverd replies simply, "If you trust me enough to tell me, then I will not break it if I can help it."

Glyn nods and says flatly, "My brother died because of my mistake. My father took us on a hunting trip when I was just a pup. He was a tyrant. Always pushed us to be strong. No tolerance for weakness of any kind. He sent us to take down a stag on our first outing, wanting to see Gaurav and I cooperate to bring it down. I was supposed to distract him with a bite to the leg while my brother went for the kill." He swallows. "But I stumbled and missed, and the stag brought its rack down at just the moment that Gaurav leapt."

Petraverd absorbs this in silence, though his expression softens considerably as he listens. He says quietly, "I take it that's why you're so intent on learning all you can to improve your ability now?"

Glyn doesn't answer directly, instead pressing on bitterly, "I lost my entire family that day, my father included. I failed my brother when he most needed me. And now that Ulfden has blessed me with a new home... and a new family, I will *never* let that happen again."

Petraverd flicks his tail again, looking unsure of exactly what to say. He does manage to say, "We can't always prevent it... all we can do is our best. And even the bleakest of circumstances can lead to something good... Alden's death hit me hard, but it showed me just how much I needed Peridot, too. I suppose in a roundabout way that's what led to me asking her to be my mate, even."

Glyn nods and flashes a weak smile. "Clearly some good things came from your sorrow. I'm glad to know that, at least."

Petraverd nods a bit himself, smiling a little in return. "There's always a silver lining somewhere. You just have to hold out hope for it." He glances back to the south, saying, "Although speaking of Peridot, she'll probably be wondering where I got to if I'm out much longer... I didn't realize just how late it was getting."

Glyn glances up too in surprise. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't be burdening you like this at such a late hour." He looks back at Petraverd. "Thank-you for sharing your story, though. I didn't realise... well, I think it's something I needed to hear."

Petraverd chuckles, shaking his head. "It's not burdening at all. What are friends for, if not to provide an ear?" He smiles, saying further, "I'm just glad it helped, in some way."

Glyn gets to his paws. "It's given me much to think about, certainly. Maybe we can talk more about it another time. But I shan't keep you from your mate. Have a safe and pleasant evening, friend."

Petraverd dips his head. "I would be glad for it, if you're willing as well. You too, Glyn. Take care."