The Snows of White Ridge continues an epic, as blessings, changes, and trials alike come to the newly-named White Ridge Pack, and their allies, the Swift River Clan.
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 Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)

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NocturneIAm
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PostSubject: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Fri May 09, 2008 11:45 am

The journey had been hard, both physically and mentally.
The war... The fire... So many lost.
WaterHawk's wound was healing slowly, her movements stiff as she tried not to show her discomfort too much. The oldest daughter of Cattail and MudClaw still had to show a strong face... She had to... Her sisters, brother and family needed support.
Traveling together with the other packs wasn't easy... Just the idea of having to move with the same wolves who had nearly murdered her whole family was enough to make the Beta's hackles rise. Never the less, it had been agreed upon by all pack alphas, and so respected. But by no means did that mean she had to like it.
For now, she sought the council of CrystalStream. One detail eluded WaterHawk about the ending of the battle, and the new Alpha had been there...
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Wed May 14, 2008 12:48 am

CrystalStream didn't spend a lot of time with the packs as perhaps she should have these days. She had her own way of grieving, and her own way of coming to terms with who and what she really was. She was thankful that within her Pack, only she her trusted Beta, Waterhawk, and her most trusted scout, BitterRain, knew of her secret. If any other were to find out, old wounds could still threaten to undermine her authority. That couldn't happen now... Not when the packs needed unity more than anything.

This particular morning, only a couple days after the packs had settled temporarily on this strange, frighteningly-open moor, she had taken off early, looking to do some hunting on her own, just as an excuse to get away. Unfortunately, the images flashing through her mind would not allow her to revel in the feeling of the breezes rushing through her fur. She still saw her father, pinned and dying beneath the jaws of the wolf she had considered her mentor. She saw the valiant fight of the wolf Deepening Shadows, of the Black Mountain Pack. And then... then she saw her own father... the true father she had never known... the wolf she had grown up despising... rushing to her aide as her former mentor turned on her.

She saw the flames, rushing, closing in around her. She heard the dying screams of her mother, and the dying howls of a dozen others throughout the forest. It was all... haunting her... so much so that she didn't even hear her sister calling her name.

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Thu May 15, 2008 4:43 pm

The lack of a response from her sister was making the Beta uneasy. She called again, trying to find her location... and hoping nothing had happened.
Growling at herself in frustration... Why did she have to be so slow? She should have kept a closer watch on CrystalStream! Damn it... What kind of a wolf was she???
"CrystalStream! Where are you?" WaterHawk howled again, louder than before... more driven to find her sister.
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Fri May 16, 2008 12:33 am

In spite of the mental images driving her onward, even CrystalStream's energy could not last forever. Soon after she reached the river, she collapsed. Her flanks expanded and contracted with each of her deep breaths. She looked at herself in the crystal waters, perhaps wondering at the she-wolf she had become. But was that really her?

She was broken out of her reverie by the sound of her beta's voice. She looked back. "I'm here, WaterHawk!" she called, howling out to alert the Beta to her location.

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Fri May 16, 2008 6:23 am

"Thank goodness..." WaterHawk sighed in relief, as she turned in the direction of the howl.
Her speed couldn't quicken more than a light trot, but for now a brisk walk would do...

She made her way to the river, slowing down every so often as she tired of her faster pace. Eyes scanned for the form of her sister, and finally spotting her silver and white pelt laying by the bank.
"Are you alright sister?" the Beta asked, approaching cautiously... not sure of what had happened. She stopped next to the Alpha, lowering her head to gently lick her face, "CrystalStream?"
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Fri May 16, 2008 10:13 am

CrystalStream took a deep breath, letting it out shakily. "I am... uninjured," she replied, though obviously she was far from 'alright.' She didn't say anything more for a few moments, "I... guess I just needed some time alone... to think over things... I haven't had that chance since..."
She didn't finish her sentence. Both must have known what was on her mind at the moment. Like the beta, she had questions of her own... questions only WaterHawk would be able to answer. Even so, she looked up and licked the older she-wolf's cheep appreciatively.

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sun May 18, 2008 6:04 am

WaterHawk's ears flattened back in sharing in the pain her sister felt, only imagining what she was going through...
With a soft whine, the Beta lay down next to the Alpha and rested her head over her, "It'll be alright, CrystalStream..." she murmured, as a tear formed and silently rolled down her face.
Perhaps now, both could grieve properly over everything that had been lost...
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Fri May 23, 2008 10:34 am

CrystalStream could not help but smile appreciatively at her beta's tenderness. It was good just to have another body near her, caring for her. She hadn't felt that since her mother, Cattail, had nestled the young pup up against her flank. For a time, she lay there, saying nary a word though her mind was a raging torrent.

At last though, she spoke up. "Waterhawk... why did no one ever tell me about my father?" she asked softly, "My... real father... I grew up thinking I was a daughter of MudClaw and Cattail... just like you. Now, knowing what I do... It makes me question who I am... what I am... Has everything I've ever known... been a lie? And if the rest of the pack found out..." She whimpered lightly, obviously dealing with more than the simple loss of her known parents.

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sat May 24, 2008 6:19 am

It had been a long time since the beta had shared time with her sister like this... pity it couldn't be under better times.
Her voice seemed to bring her back from a daydream of memories, and for a moment the Beta fell silent.
"You are still the daughter of the Alphas, and you still are my sister. Nothing will ever change that..."

With a deep breath and drawn out sigh, WaterHawk began to explain...
"Our laws forbid the speaking of the name of any outcast... When Azalea, your birth mother died, I was very young, and mother and father weren't Alphas yet. You had barely opened your eyes when you became my sister... Father was heartbroken when FrostPaw was blamed and exiled for the tragedy. They were best friends, and he was like an uncle to me..."
Her ears flattened in sadness at the memories. She had always found it difficult to believe that the kind white and silver wolf that she would sometimes play with, could be a murderer...
A long moment of silence befell the Beta before she looked to CrystalStream, her mind playing over the final hour of the battle, trying to work out what had happened...
"I have to know... What happened out there on the field... with Silver Rapid? I saw father fighting the alpha of the Black Mountain pack... but..."

OOC: BTW, WaterHawk doesn't know what was said between Cold Mountain and CrystalStream during the first meeting Smile Or that Silver Rapid was the real murderer...
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sat May 24, 2008 10:30 am

CrystalStream listened to her sister's tail without a word. It explained a lot, but if that was what the rest of the Clan thought, she knew it would be even more dangerous for her true origins to come to light.

When WaterHawk asked what happened, CrystalStream closed her eyes, working to fight back the painful memories. "Father... Mudclaw and the Black Mountain Pack's alpha- I think his name was Deepening Shadows- fought, both hard, but that alpha finally got the best of Mudclaw. And yet, in spite of having him at his mercy, Deepening Shadows refused to kill him, saying that enough blood had been spilled, and the war was over."

CrystalStream paused, choking back tears. "You know how Mudclaw would gladly have died defending our pack, our way of life... but he didn't. He was betrayed and murdered, WaterHawk.... betrayed and murdered by the same wolf who killed my birth mother... SilverRapid..."

Her entire body began to shake as the flood of memories rolled back against her like a pounding wave. "The other alpha witnessed it, and couldn't believe what he had seen, so he rushed to confront SilverRapid, but he was tired... SilverRapid had been laying in wait the entire battle, and was fresher, so he gained the upper paw. We wolves of the Swift River Clan never take a life, except in most dire circumstances... yet the traitor latched onto Deepening Shadows' throat for all was worth. I... I foolishly tried to confront him, tried to make him see reason, but he was too far gone. He turned on me."

She looked down into the river now. "I would probably be dead today.... except my father... my true father intervened... I've never seen such pure rage as I saw in his eyes at that point. The battle was long, and brutal, but Frostpaw -Cold Mountain as he's now called- triumphed... And it was a short time later that Sage Ghost of the Black Mountains called for peace."

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sun May 25, 2008 9:59 am

Blood running cold as WaterHawk listened, the Beta's body felt like she'd just swam through a river of ice.
"CrystalStream..." she said soft and fearful, "He knew your origins... He could easily have killed you as a pup!"
Her amber eyes glazed as fur began to bristle at the thought...
"Lets hope he took that knowledge with him. Death couldn't have chosen a more deserving monster..."

WaterHawk growled as tears began to slip. Her father was murdered! Murdered by that beast! How foolish had she been!

"We have to tell Autumn at least. We can protect you better if he knows what is at stake... He's a good wolf and can keep an ear out for trouble... Rainbow and Unknown One still know you as our sister. They don't have to know..." The gravity of this knowledge could split the pack if found out. Still, CrystalStream had been chosen as heir by the Alphas... and no matter what origins, the chosen wolf would have to be recognised as Alpha.
Mudclaw himself had been an omega before... But could that have been what drove that madclaw to such blood lust?
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Tue May 27, 2008 3:27 pm

CrystalStream nodded in agreement. It was fitting that the traitor be killed by the one on whom his crimes had first been blamed. "I... don't know," she said softly, "I don't have any reason not to trust Autumn... but I didn't have any reason not to trust SilverRapid either.

She laid her head in her paws, a single tear dripping from her eyes. "I think you and BitterRain are the only ones I really trust right now," she said, "You because you're my sister, and you've loved me since I can remember... and Bitter Rain... She was there. She saw father killed, and she's all but clung to me ever since. Still... it would be nice to have allies... someone to watch over me if need be."

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Wed May 28, 2008 5:40 am

She leaned to lick CrystalStream's hear and ear, "Let me first break the news that father was murdered, to Autumn... We can see how he takes that, then gage whether he can handle your secret..."
WaterHawk carefully groomed her sister's face, wiping away the tear streaks. "Come on... Lets go back to the pack before they notice our absence... The less reason we give for them to suspect anything wrong, the better."
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Thu May 29, 2008 12:49 pm

CrystalStream wanted to object. Everyone knew that Mudclaw had been killed, but now only three knew that he'd been murdered. If that news was to spread, she could only imagine how the growing distrust would tear the Clan apart. "SilverRapid's treachery may have fare more wide-reaching consequences than we know," she muttered darkly as she stood, "But you're right... Autumn of all wolves should know. He and Father were close as if Autumn had been his own pup."

She stretched her legs outward arched her back for a moment before she tried to take her dominant posture. She held her ears perked, her tail raised like a flag. If she was to maintain control of the Clan, she could not appear weak in her moping... not until she was certain of everyone's loyalty.

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:22 am

The Beta rose with her sister, nodding in agreement. A soft smile took to WaterHawk's face as she watched CrystalStream compose herself, she too, taking up her slightly less dominant stance...
"I'll keep as close as possible, until we are sure all is well in the pack. We can't afford losing you... And besides..." she added, grinning, "I swore to protect you, sister."
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:52 am

CrystalStream turned aside just long enough to affectionately lick her sister's muzzle. "I know you did," she replied, "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that... Whatever my heritage, you will always be my true sister."

She turned and started heading back toward the camp, keeping a relatively slow pace. She had to figure out what she was going to say to Autumn, and to rehearse saying it without breaking down in the process. He had his own scars to worry about without also trying to contend with those on the heart of his alpha.

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:53 am

The day was fairly agreeable in terms of weather. The sun was high, but a chilled breeze blew past the many wolves either hunting, chattering, resting, or watching a few pups.

Heading towards a nearby stream was Autumn, who unfortunetly, was not yet used to having only one seeing eye. His other senses were sharpening however at the loss of his left eye. His ears on occasion flipped in random directions, having picked up on some sound that wasn't really of excessive importance.

The battle had all but battered the Beta. His bruises had healed, and the gashes had left scars here and there.

Autumn drank quietly from the clear stream, finding no other wolves in the immediate vicinity. He did however, hear voices, rather far off. The beta lifted his head, his green right eye watching intently for movement, while his faded left stared endlessly into a world it could not see...
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:12 pm

WaterHawk followed the alpha back towards the pack, she herself wondering how to tell her mate of her father's fate...
It wasn't long before the two came into the view. WaterHawk's amber eyes recognised the distinct colors of her mate's pelt, bringing a warm smile to her scarred face.
He was looking a lot better than a week ago... The battle with those Black Mountain wolves had taken it's toll on both, and both had survived.
"Autumn!" she called, wagging her tail in happiness...
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:24 pm

"Autumn!"

The beta turned his head a slight bit more to be able to see his lovely mate. His right eye shined in happiness, while he closed his left, for the sake that he didn't want people to be bothered or 'creeped out' by his endlessly staring but blind eye. He nevertheless smiled and loped towards the female beta.

It was as he neared WaterHawk that his right eyes sighted upon CrystalStream. He nodded to her as he approached ihis mate.

"CrystalStream, always a pleasure to see you."

Having been asleep and resting most of the week, just as WaterHawk had predicted, Autumn had no information regarding MudClaw's death at SilverRapid's fangs.

And just as CrystalStream predicted, it was not going to be easy to Autumn that his best friend was dead...
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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:26 am

CrystalStream dipped her head. Although she was of a higher rank than Autumn, she respected the beta, as her elder and her father's friend. She did not speak, however. The tale was a painful one, and not one she would repeat if she could help it. She hoped WaterHawk would be able to do so.

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PostSubject: Re: Scars and warning (ATTN: FireStorm)   Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:15 am

WaterHawk stepped towards her mate and lovingly licked him with a warm greeting, before looking to her sister and nodding in understanding.
"My love..." She began, stepping back again to CrystalStream's side, "There is something we have to tell you."
The beta heaved in a deep breath and sighed out as she too had to control her emotions. Her ears swiveled for sound, as amber eyes checked that they were alone before she could continue...
"We are in danger of our pack splitting... and my sister, may be in danger too... as Alpha."
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