Bald Mountain Holt is part of the Kshau Protectorate

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Shrike and Cinder


Bonded to: (Three-Fang, wolf, old) , Female blue Ndalnith

Age: 342 Sex: Female
Soul Name: shashKnown By: herself, Cinder
Mate Status/Sex Preference: Lifemated (recognized) to Cinder, straight
Children: has issues, perhaps one on the way
Parents/Relatives: wolf-riding wanderers, Father: Coldwater (presumed dead), Mother: Flutterleaf (dead)
Height: 4'2" Build: even, well proportioned
Hair Color, Length, Style: red-gold mix, very curly and to mid-back, usually tied in a big loose tail with leather twine
Eye Color, Size, Shape: brown, slanted, narrow
Skin Tone: fair to light tan
Voice Quality: a bit sharp, low
Clothing -- Summer: off-shoulder natural colored leather shirt, tan leather leggings
Clothing -- Winter: adds fur lined cloak, fur shoes
Jewlery Worn, Made: hair ornament, gold earrings, gold ring
Tatoos/Markings/Scars: none visible
Pets/Animals Kept: small birds like her, she often has a couple with string tethers
Notable Posessions: a collection of pretty feathers from many birds
Holt Function: huntress, reasonably good scout
Magic? How Powerful? Sending 8/10 (close), 6/10 (distance), Magic Feeling 1/10
Climate/Locations Preferred: Forest, deep woods and heavy brush, enjoys caverns and mossy rocks
General Likes: bird watching, hunting, exploring
General Dislikes: wandering, losing her old holt
Fears/Worries: afraid of truly open lands without cover, that her unborn child will be endangered
Special Strange Info: is terrified that their child will somehow be affected by their wandering, or that it will die
Basic Personality: Direct, sharp and frank. Takes a lot to get on her good OR bad side. If someone is in trouble she's right up front to help. Some see her as haughty, but she's rarely truly that way.
How they feel about
: afraid, they burnt down the holt she was from
Elves -- herders: can't you hunt very well?
Elves -- magic users: it is an honor to carry the child of a magic-user, even if Cinder's powers haven't quite surfaced yet
Elves -- bond-riders: aren't they all there is?
Trolls, etc: unpleasant things, only heard stories of them.
Bond Animal Info if any:Three-fang is getting very old, and is worn out from travel.



Bonded to:  Male Copper Mazruin

Age: 212 Sex: Male
Soul Name: kspi Known By: self, Shrike
Mate Status/Sex Preference: Lifemated (recognized) to Shrike, straight but loves to party
Children: none yet, on the way
Parents/Relatives: wolf-bonded tribe left to wander, Father: Spiritchaser (MIA), Mother: Flamekeeper (MIA), Brother: Glisten (MIA)
Height: 4'0" Build: chunky, healthy
Hair Color, Length, Style: red turns to black tips, very frizzy/fluffy, to high back
Eye Color, Size, Shape: dark brown, medium, rounded
Skin Tone: darkly tan, rosy cheeked and red-nosed
Voice Quality: medium range, rather loud
Clothing -- Summer: one-shouldered long tunic in greens, with wide leather belt and large wooden buckle, sandals
Clothing -- Winter: add leggings in leather, soft shoes, and half-cloak
Jewlery Worn, Made: silver torc around neck, wide wooden bracelets with colorful feathers
Tatoos/Markings/Scars: none obvious
Pets/Animals Kept: Shrike does that
Notable Posessions: whittling knives, he can whittle up anything he needs; a skin of seeds from plants which he knows grow good wine berries
Holt Function: winemaker, potential fire-shaper
Magic? How Powerful? Sending 6/10, Magic Feeling 1/10, Fire Shaping/Starting 3/10 - latent, has not shown yet (shows after bonding)
Climate/Locations Preferred: light woods, berry bushes, scrub and rocky land
General Likes: wine, partying, fire, whittling
General Dislikes: his lack of magic use yet, those who flaunt their intelligence or their power
Fears/Worries: Shrike's problems with children might affect things, he is sure it'll be okay but it's hard to calm her
Special Strange Info: has a knack for learning new things like languages or information
Basic Personality: Not the smartest elf but not stupid. Fireshaping runs in his ancestry but his power haven't manifested and he's ashamed of that. Easy going, loves to dance.
How they feel about
: afraid, almost supersitiously so
Elves -- herders: it's clever, but is it useful?
Elves -- magic users: oh - just shut up.
Elves -- bond-riders: has had a bond wolf, long before now, it's the way things should be
Trolls, etc: never met one, but he's heard they make really good wines!
Bond Animal Info if any: none yet

By the time they'd managed to locate a good place to bed down for the day, it was hardly even light enough to see - and they were both rather put off by sleeping at night. But they were exhausted, Three-Fang was cranky, and it really looked as though the fire was far enough behind them that they were safe. The wind also was in their favor, blowing into their faces, and putting the fire to the south. They would have to cross the edge of the World's Spine mountains, in order to continue north. But for whatever reason, that difficult path was the one which they chose to take.

Perhaps it was that they were trying not to grieve too much. Their Holt had burned - wholly - and the Humans were at fault. Always trying to proclaim the world to be theirs, but what could be more true to the world than wolves and their blood kin elves? Normally jolly and pleasant, Cinder became more serious and silent, while his lifemate Shrike brooded and wore her smile so rarely he wondered whether he'd ever see it again.

Only Three-Fang was agreeable, actually. He was old, already, this wolf with faint hints of elfin blood in his distant lineage. He was worn out, occasionally limped while they walked, but he seemingly didn't care. If there was a dandylion bud blooming he would chase after it. He was all but useless for hunting any more, because he made noise - almost as though he was speaking to himself. It scared off the prey. But it was the one source of amusement that the elves had left, and they cherished the old wolf.

After the Humans had set fire to the Holt, Cinder and Shrike knew that it would be all but impossible to locate all the elves scattered from the place. It was mid-summer, everyone was on long scouting or hunting journeys. Only two hands of elves had even been in the main Holt - which meant that no one was there to help throw water on the burning shrubs and trees. It was tinder by then, hot winds had dried everything out. It was clear that the hot winds had come from this direction, too - the desert beyond the mountains heated everything in its path.

So even if they returned to the burnt area, it would probably be futile to expect everyone to gather. That would probably be dangerous anyway, the Humans encampment was across the wide lake, and was likely untouched by the flames. They would be on the look out for survivors of both elf and wolf. Wolfriders would survive if they did the smart thing: to flee and not return.

There were plenty of other elves in the world, they knew it. After all, their own tribe was a "splinter of a splinter", in a different part of the world than they knew their ancestors had lived. Wanderers both wolf-blooded and pure had been through their part of the forest, and would doubtless do so again.

So it didn't feel as much of a betrayal of their tribe, as a budding flower that they knew would spread their tribe's seed and scent where it could reach.


"Hang on!" Shrike yelled, barely doing just that as Three-Fang galloped over thickets and stones. Where was he going? They couldn't tell, it was one of his spur of the moment jaunts. It might have been a bat, or a hummingbird perhaps. But it drew the pair of elves close onto his cream-colored back, Cinder all but slipping underneath the running wolf in the process. "Puckernuts!" Shrike exclaimed as they went through one particularly stiff bush.

In the process of bolting around the forest, they attracted the ire of a gigantic scoop-horn, the likes of which neither elf had ever seen! Angry at the interruption in his sedate meal, the male bellowed and gave chase - causing Three-Fang to be urged on by the elves instead of begged to stop!

But abruptly, their ride ended - momentarily Three-Fang came to a halt as quickly as he'd started running, in a smallish clearing near a stream. He barked loudly, whining and making all those talking-noises which kept him from hunting properly. They'd lost the scoop-horn to the taller of the rocks they'd had to avoid, but he stood nearby bellowing still, stamping the ground and tossing his huge head back and forth menacing them.

"Well what have we here?" Asked a stranger, a male.

At that, Cinder did drop onto the ground, stunned. Another elf? Here in the middle of nowhere? Shrike started laughing - for the first time in a hand of days, in fact - looking around with her eyes almost shut from the tears of joy they bore.

It was a trio of travelers: a very tall, very strongly built male named Archive, his lifemate, the much smaller and delicate Dreamwhisper, and another female, Moontwin, who was from another completely unrelated tribe. She was of a wolf-blooded tribe, and the lifemates from one which had cat-shapers in their history. So it was plain to the lovemates that the world was filled with elves whose ancestors knew better than to be 'above' the world.

The group traveled eastward now, together. Fairly shortly, they were joined by a pair of plains-wandering elves of pure blood - Bowcrescent and Kid. Though Bowcrescent was a little stand-offish about really letting loose, a taste of the dreamberries that Cinder had brought with him did the trick.

Nightly, one or another pair of elves would go out and hunt for the group, they would travel and eat in the mornings, and rest through the long afternoons when the days were hottest. It was while out on one such hunt, having left Three-Fang back with Dreamwhisper and the others, that Moontwin happened to comment on how good a couple Shrike and Cinder were for one another.

"Do you think you'll Recognize?" Moontwin said, and almost regretted it. Shrike drew up stiffly, turning away.

"I think so," Shrike said. "But... but it's so dangerous, what would happen to a baby out here? Look at Kid, he's so innocent and he was captured by Humans!" That thought ran a visible shake over the wolfrider. Moontwin placed her hand on Shrike's shoulder.

"I think we'll all have a better place to live than just out here," she said. "We're all drawn toward something, something nearby now." She looked up and to the north-east. "It pulls at me now, doesn't it for you?"

She's good at distraction, Shrike thought to herself. "I do, and... thank you. I just... I fear what having a child might do - to me, to the baby. I think... I think I had a hard birth perhaps. I don't know, my mother was killed before I would have ever thought I'd ask it of her. But you're right. This is a new life. If Cinder's soul-name comes to me, I'll bear his child with pride."

They got back to hunting, and by the time they came back - there were three other elves in their encampment!

One of them just... rankled both Moontwin and Shrike, and to a certain extent bothered Cinder but very little would get to him anyway. It was that she - a near-high-one - would complain about the 'taint' in the other elves' blood. Cinder could tell that this angered Archive moreso than his lifemate, even though they were both from the same clan. He knew their proud history, just like Cinder knew the list of wolf-blooded chiefs of his own tribe.

Well, it took all kinds. At least the other two, both males, were proficient in more practical things - and spoke less of what bothered them, than what they liked.

It didn't take very long after that point, before they reached the edge of a rugged hilly land. A mid-sized mountain all but bare of greenery (there were strips of trees lining the narrow areas where layers of rock flattened out) stood before them. And creatures greater than any wandering plains reptile or monster of the forest came to greet them.

Shrike was worried - Three-Fang barked and whined again, would he try to attack this winged beast? Wait... "There's an elf on that thing's back!" She said, pointing.

Cinder and Bowcrescent came to look, and sure enough on both of the leather-winged animals were the distinct elfin shapes. Maybe they were friendly, maybe not. If they weren't, they could easily spear all of this traveling group and have them on spits!

They did not do any such thing, of course. Dreamwhisper had a weird way of speaking when she was 'seeing' things, and what she said about these "dragons" was amazing. They found a good spot and landed, proclaiming that this was the Bald Mountain Holt, and so long as the group pulled their weight they were welcome to join the tribe!

A tribe of dragon-riders!


He was very old, Ndalinth bespoke. Shrike had bonded this midnight-sky colored dragon at Darkling Dawn, after having enjoyed another turn of the seasons with her beloved wolf. Three-Fang was put to rest on the forest floor, carried away in body by the local wolves. They weren't elf-blooded, but they did not need to be. Shrike sobbed into the mane of her bonded dragon, but the hurt was softened by the words of the dragon. He enjoyed his time with you, do you feel him? I can still sense him, he was a little more elf than anyone gave him credit for.

"Really?" Shrike sniffled, "he was a good wolf, but he always was a little weird."

It wasn't all that long afterwards, when Cinder came back from a strange dragonry more distant than most, Eien, and with him was a spectacular copper-colored male.

Who was so full of himself it was a wonder he didn't get them kicked out of the Holt right off. If he didn't set fire to the forest below, they'd be lucky, too. For what else was he planning on doing with that huge gout of flame he would show off? Mazruin liked to terrorize anything that looked like it was a good target. Fortunately, he also loved to fly long-distance, and anything he was scaring or burning down would be days and days away at the closest on foot.

"He could single-handedly convince the Humans that we're gods," Shrike commented to Cinder, as the big copper dragon came back to gloat over another of his big conquests. "If he didn't kill them all first, or get killed..."

By the time both dragons were adults, it was clear that Recognition had finally claimed Cinder and Shrike. This provoked Mazruin that he would have to 'cleanse' the countryside of Humans - but Apogee and her dragon, along with the rest of the Holt's inhabitants, put an instant stop to that. Grudgingly he obeyed, because he didn't want to get his bonded rider kicked out. He was just protective!

Who wouldn't be? There was a child on the way!

Bond: Shrike
Ndalinth (nnn-DAL-inth), female Blue and Black Danachian/DD mutt
Size: 11 feet at shoulder
Powers: Firebreathing, Telepathy, LightShape (manipulate existing light), Strong Spirit-sense (equates to Magic Feeling 9/10 or Deep Sending 6/10)
Parentage: Black w/ Grey Points Affielth & Black Koteneth


Bond: Cinder
Mazruin (MAZ-roo-in), Male Copper Eienic
Size: 14 feet at shoulder
Powers: flame production (his is extremely strong), flame manipulation, verbal speech, telepathic communication, minor wind manipulation
No known parentage