Troubled Woods chapter 1 & 2 + 3 beginning {magistream}

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Troubled Woods chapter 1 & 2 + 3 beginning {magistream}

Postby dinsfire24 » May 14th, 2018, 11:03:35 pm

This is an alternate Magistream universe where the more intelligent creatures, such as direwolves and dragons, can talk.

Chapter 1: Mother

Niko was in trouble. Again. She waved her tail at her magi, Aether. The magi was scowling at the little Direwolf, but a spark of affection glowed in her emerald eyes. "Niko..." There it was, the stern tone of voice Aether usually used when scolding the misbehaving pup. "You can't go in the forest yet because-" The sharp yip! of a Pugeon interrupted her. The magi took the letter from its mouth and quickly read the scrap of paper.

"Aether, what's that message about?" Niko looked worriedly up at Aether. The magi's brow was furrowed and she fidgeted uncomfortably. The direwolf gently nudged her. "Did something happen with Theo again?"

"No, not this time... Listen to this." The magi sat down wearily and began to read. "It's from Magma. 'Hello, sister. I hope you and your creatures are doing alright. Mother has fallen ill. She will recover, but for now she is too weak to write this letter herself. Mossi and I should have her healed by next week. I hope I see you soon! Love, Magma.'" She paused and then murmured, "I wonder how Denis and Red are doing?"

"I can't say, but I hope your mother gets better soon," the pup replied. Aether put the letter on her desk and grabbed a dagger. Then she whistled and a yellow-marked Northern Raza Cobra appeared. It shook itself and snapped up the mouse the magi tossed it.

"Let's go into the forest, since you want to be in there anyway. Laken should protect us just fine."

Niko and Laken followed the magi as she walked out the door of her room and through the outpost. They went first toward the nearest exit and then toward Silva Forest. Little did they know trouble awaited them amid the deceptively peaceful trees...

Chapter 2: Torrek Trouble

Niko peered at the forest while Aether and Laken hovered at the edge. An older direwolf owned by a different magi trotted over to the group.

He dipped his head to Aether and said, "Be careful. There's a bunch of Torreks running around here." The direwolf paused, then snarled, "Doesn't anyone around here know not to release them? Anyways, be careful. They're in a foul mood from what I saw."

"We'll be careful," Aether replied, then muttered under her breath, "They're always in a foul mood, the little devils." She beckoned to her creatures and walked into the forest. They walked along for a while, stopping every few minutes to listen for Torreks. Once they had gotten quite a distance away, the direwolf pup paused, tipping her head up at her magi.

"Don't you think we should stop? We've gotten pretty far in a-" Niko cut herself off at the unmistakable cries of a Torrek in the distance. Signaling to her comrades, she slowly withdrew, with Laken eying the bushes around them fiercely. He was poised to attack, hissing as he slithered along. A Torrek suddenly shot in front of them and leaped for Aether. Both Niko and Laken lunged at it, and as they did, Niko slammed into its side and staggered, nearly getting stabbed by one of its spikes. Laken let out a cry of rage and lunged at the creature, narrowly missing it and instead whiplashing his tail across its face. It staggered at the strength behind the cobra's tail, giving the direwolf pup a chance to pin it down and snarl.

"Don't attack a group with a direwolf and a Razan Cobra in it!" The Torrek looked up in defiance, but then noticed the cold glare Laken was giving it. It immediately tried to wriggle onto its feet, and Niko dug her claws into its shoulders. She stepped back queasily and stared at its departing back. "You should've known not to attack us!" Niko called after it.

Aether frowned and said, "That was weird. Why would a Torrek back down? They never do that, even against a creature much larger than it."

Niko replied, "I guess we should try to figure out if something's wrong with them." She dipped her head to Aether. "What should we do?

"I suppose you should... follow its scent, Niko. Laken, perhaps you should stay here to protect me." He nodded and she continued. "Be careful. Don't be spotted, but get as close as you can and gather information. Once you think you've figured out what's happening with them, come back and make sure you aren't followed. Understood?"

"Understood, the pup replied, daunted by the task ahead of her. How could she mask her scent? At least Aether and Laken believed in her. She kept that in mind as her journey began, but she couldn't chase away a distinct feeling that there was something horribly wrong with the Torreks that even the most powerful of her magi's creatures could not fix.

Chapter 3: Spy

While the pup trotted away, questions wheeled around in her head like broken merchant's carts. How should I do this? The scent trail is clear, but won't they scent me too? Then another thought occurred to her. Aether once told me they have bad senses of smell- but what if I get lost trying to find them? Could I follow my own trail back or would I have to find a path? Will Laken be enough protection for her? As she pondered these questions, she realized the scent was getting stronger. She shuddered, thinking, I'm getting close to them. I should be more careful. Niko pawed the ground and slowed her pace. She could hear a loud commotion up ahead, which had to be where the creature was headed. Creeping forward, she listened for any sign of safety. Praying that her gray coat would hide her, she slunk out and looked around.

What she saw shocked her. There could well be hundreds of Torreks, young and old, scurrying around a huge clearing. There couldn't be this many someone owned and then suddenly released. Most magi didn't mass release, and anyways, Torreks cost money. The thought chilled her. Had someone been breeding them? Why this many, and why release them all? Perhaps some of them had been released, but hundreds? Were they under some sort of spell? Did the older direwolf's magi have something to do with it? Was this normal behavior, somehow? It seemed more than likely that the Torrek from earlier was part of this... thing, whatever it was. As these thoughts circled ominously in her head, she realised her first concern was to find a place to hide and safely observe things. Niko quickly withdrew and shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts and think rationally. Where had she observed the most chaos? No, it would be hard to make out individual words. She wanted to find a place where enough Torreks passed by that she could draw useful information from it, but not enough to clutter the words... or put her in danger. After a bit of scouting and risky peeks into the clearing, she found a place that seemed decent.

It was under a large fern whose drooping leaves would hopefully cover her. As a bonus, the earth reeked strongly of mushroom, nearly overpowering even her sensitive senses. The path was new but already well-worn, and even as she got into position, a pair of Torreks passed by her, gossiping loudly. Most of it was useless to her, such as a new source of prey or a prank played by the group. Some of it, however, was useful.

"Did you hear the Crysting declared we can't hunt too far from here unless we're on a mission?"

"Yes, a few days ago, from Tearney. It's ridiculous! He says the Crysting says it's 'so as not to compromise the anonymity of the project', or whatever that means."

"Tearney? Isn't he on border patrol today?"

"Yes, he's been for a few weeks now, but during his break sometimes he and I chat. I haven't seen him today, though... I hope he's alright." With that, they fell silent and soon walked out of earshot.

Hello! Welcome to my signature. I love animals (especially dogs!) and I would love to have any dog/wolflike creatures; these include Pugeons, Direwolves, and Tenera Dogs!

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