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Unexpected Guest (Glen)

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1 Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:00 pm

[Continued from Drive to Freedom.]

Eleint 8th, night.

Glen is exhausted when he returns home.

His clothes may be clean and his sword sharpened and his boots polished, but he's far from recovered from the battle in the slums. He's tired from chasing after the tiefling woman he lost, and the muscles in his arms and legs sing a song which reminds him that, no matter how good a shape he may be in, the muscles used in rappelling down buildings are not ones accustomed to flexing in that manner.

What's more, he needs to replenish his stock of arrows in his quiver; Luther's people didn't replace what he had lost. He'll have to raid his stash at home and gather more from the barracks tomorrow. At least Dolores doesn't demand an accounting of every arrow he uses; he's not quite sure how to explain a pitched battle in the Westside streets between privately-hired security and underprivileged-but-probably-criminal Brilight citizens. He has a feeling that today's events may file under "what she doesn't know won't hurt her".

The sun is setting fast when Luther's carriage trundles through the city gate, and in the early autumn evening the night comes on fast. His house is dark and cool when he steps inside. But his senses tingle and he knows something is very wrong: there is body heat here that shouldn't be present, and the soft breathing of something which is not himself.
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2 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:59 pm

Glen peers through the darkness, glancing quickly around the room at the various shades of grey around him. His darkvision isn't perfect in total darkness, but he should be able to at least make out the shape of whomever is in his house. He considers using his sun-touched ring for the second time that day, but decides instead to save it in case he needs to surprise and blind the intruder.

Maybe it was the general success of the day's events; maybe it was the unexpected kindness he'd been shown by Luther, Thorn, and Quivyll; and maybe it was his growing feeling of power, a deepening of his ability to connect to the natural world somehow, but his heart was unafraid. Uncertain, yes, and hesitant, but not fearful. When he speaks, his voice is clear and dispassionate.

"Who's there?"
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3 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:12 pm

A soft whine, pained and panting, is his only answer. He looks in that direction but sees little of the shape of the intruder, even with his elvish sight. His ears, however, are certain that whoever it is has not moved.
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4 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:20 pm

"Hello?" Glen slowly and carefully reaches down to the little table that sits beside the door. He always leaves a candle out on the table with a few matches in case he comes home to a darkened house. He reaches down and strikes the match against his boot, lighting the match. He brings it down to the wick of the already partly-used candle and lights it, casting a warm flickering light around the room. He looks up from the candle, his eyes adjusting after being so close to the flame, and waits for the intruder to come into focus.
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5 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:40 pm

A young panther, barely more than a kitten, lies panting on the floor in the corner. It is badly wounded, with an ugly gash in its front paw from a hunting trap it has somehow managed to escape.

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6 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:49 pm

Glen gasps, seeing the hurt panther. He sets down the candle and his weapons, then his bag. He crouches down and opens the bag, trying to move as quickly as he can, and pulls out a book. He thanks Obad-Hai that Luther's driver let him stop and pick up a book on natural magicks as they were returning to his home, as he is trying to understand his new powers better. He leafs quickly through the book and rereads a page he had been looking at about the healing powers of nature. He starts to sweat.

Glen rises, book in hand, and pads softly over to the wounded animal. He speaks softly, soothingly to it. "Hey there little friend. How did you get in? What happened to you, huh?" He slowly kneels a step or two away so as to not scare it and holds out his hand for it to sniff before getting any closer.
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7 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:58 pm

The little guy makes another pained sound, frightened but not moving. Leaning forward, he sniffs uncertainly at Glen's hand, then takes it gently between his teeth. Worried eyes look up at him, unsure if Glen can make the pain go away.
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8 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:10 pm

Glen doesn't shy from the young panther's teeth. "Hi buddy, I'm Glen." He lets the panther keep his hand between its teeth to reassure it. He slides forward a little bit on his knees. He reaches out his other hand to gently rub its head between its ears. He knows it isn't going to like him having a closer look at its paw, so he wants to build up a little trust first. "You get caught in a trap?" His voice is quiet, gentle, soothing. While he's rubbing, he tries to get a closer look at the wound without touching it yet.
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9 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:14 pm

The little panther lies his chin on Glen's hand, eyes still watching his face with plaintive worry. The paw has been ripped badly--it looks as though the little one stepped in a bear trap and pulled himself free with a combination of persistence and being smaller than the target prey, and therefore able to pull through the gaps in the teeth of the device. He then limped his way here, picking up thorns and mud along the way to mix with his blood.
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10 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:34 pm

He continues petting the panther. His voice is still soft and soothing. "Ouch. You must be a tough little guy to get out of a trap. I wonder how you ended up at my house. But, it's a good thing you did, because I think I can help."

He stops rubbing and takes the book out from under his arm, where he stuck it so he could get down on the floor. He opens to the page on healing magic again and sets it down on the floor, open. He reads it again.

"Hang tight, buddy. I've never done this before."

Glen closes his eyes. He listens to the quiet, pained breathing of the animal. In his ears, he can hear the whispers of the wind in the leaves of the deep forest. He can smell moss and underbrush. He can taste rainwater. He can feel the sun on his skin. He reaches out to touch the source of those senses.

The source reaches back, and his blood again courses with nature magic. He opens his eyes and his free hand glows very softly, a warm golden color, like the setting sun as it dips behind distant mountains. He slowly brings the hand down and gently touches the creature's paw, doing everything he can not to hurt it with the pressure of his touch.

The glow flows from his hand and into the paw, infusing it with healing energy. Glen inspects the little panther to see if the magic really worked beyond the glow, and to see if it needs further healing. He feels like he has more energy to spend, if he has to.

5 healed
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11 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:14 pm

New skin knits together where the old skin was torn, fresh and tender to the touch. The little panther makes a sound that isn't quite pain and isn't quite surprise, then bends to lick at the fresh skin. The crusty mix of blood and mud is probably too much for the kitten to clear away on its own, but now that excruciating pain isn't holding him back he has to try.
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12 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:23 pm

Glen takes a deep breath in quiet wonder at the sight of the skin just patching itself up. He looks at his hand, turning it over, the gold glow having faded away. He looks down at the panther's paw again. "I... I did it!" A broad grin breaks out across his face. "You're okay! Oh, but you'll need some help getting cleaned up. Here."

Glen gets up and grabs a wash basin from a shelf and a clean cloth. He pours some water from a nearby pitcher into the basin. It's a warm evening, so the room temperature water should not be cold. He gingerly picks up the kitten's paw, dunking the cloth into the water, and starts to clean away the mud and the blood. He rinses the cloth in the water and it quickly becomes cloudy. He keeps cleaning as long as the kitten will allow his help in getting clean.
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13 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:54 pm

Kitten isn't sure how he feels about this; he squirms a little and nips Glen's arm once when he has to tug a glob of mud off the sensitive new skin, but he does try to hold still and be good.
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14 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:18 am

"You're doing great buddy, just keep staying still and we'll be done in just a minute " It's certainly not the most efficient method of cleaning, but his touch is gentle and caring. Glen keeps cleaning until he's got a relatively clean panther in front of him, one that isn't much dirtier than any other young critter that pounces and rolls and plays on the ground. He reaches up to grab a towel and gingerly dries the panther as much as he can, also toweling off his hands. There's water everywhere and his pants are very damp, but he really doesn't seem to mind or notice.

"There. Feel better?" He gives the panther another once-over to make sure he hasn't missed anything.
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15 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:49 am

The baby flops on his side and begins rubbing his face against the ground, marking this place as his. He makes a soft little rhythmic exhaling growl, which Glen recognizes after a moment as a big cat's purr. This place is good.
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16 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:58 am

"Well, you're certainly making yourself at home." He grins. "I bet you're hungry, and thirsty too." He hops up, leaving the cub to his rubbing for a minute. Glen goes over to a little kitchenette where he has a few bowls and plates and such, gets a bowl and fills it with water from the pitcher. He also grabs some of the jerky that he uses to make ration packs and brings it over on a small plate. "It's no fresh fish, but it will have to do for now." He sets the plate and bowl down in front of the panther, picking up the towel and cloth and wash basin. He sets them down in the kitchenette, to take care of later. He also packs the book on nature magic away as well. He kneels back down by the kitten to see how it's doing on the little meal he's put out.
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17 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:55 am

The jerky is quickly gobbled down, followed by the water in great slurps, followed by dipping his newly healed paw in the water and licking it clean for good measure. When Glen kneels, the big baby crawls onto his lap despite the lack of room, and straddles his legs uncomfortably while purring his deep growling purr.
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18 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:20 am

Glen is surprised and hasn't shifted his weight to have a very large kitten straddling his legs and putting its weight against his chest. "Hey, wait just a--" The weight of the panther cub pushes him backwards onto his back, sending his legs sprawling and leaving the kitten standing atop Glen's chest. Glen can't help but laugh, smiling at the affectionate little creature, and pets it along its head and down its back. "You're bigger than you think you are, little guy."
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19 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:22 am

The panther looks smugly sure of itself, settling in to lie on Glen's chest and purring proudly. Two massive paws flex in place, not quite kneading but making the comforting motions.
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20 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:25 am

"Well, just make yourself comfortable anywhere, I suppose." He chuckles, breathing not quite as easily as before under the large baby's form on his lungs. "Do we need to get you home, little guy? Do you have a family to get back to? I still can't for the life of me understand why you'd curl up at my house after getting caught in a trap."
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21 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:12 am

The panther licks his hand until the rub of the sandpaper texture becomes profoundly uncomfortable, then stands and stretches. Taking another lap of water, it jumps on Glen's bed and flops again, spreading out for a nice sleep. There is just enough room for Glen to join the baby.
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22 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:18 am

Glen sees that the cub has just... decided to set up shop here. It's getting late, and Glen is tired, so he decides that figuring out where it came from can wait until tomorrow. He takes a few minutes to remove his armor and starts changing into his loose-fitting, comfortable meditation clothes when he suddenly has a thought.

A very special black cat for the nice boy.
...
Yours is outside. I'll send it to be delivered.


As he pulls the loose tunic over his head, he walks over and bends down, rubbing the kitten's head. "Did old Hacari send you? Did you get lost and end up in a trap, little one?"
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23 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:19 am

The cat just purrs louder at the head-rub, lifting his chin so Glen can give scritches.
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24 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:32 am

After a brief bout of scritches (because, honestly, who could resist that face?), Glen leans down and gently touches his forehead to the kitten's, giving him a little headbutt. "I guess you're going to be pretty tight-lipped. But you're welcome to stay; Hacari was right, you are special."

Glen clambers into the bed, again a mess of limbs as he tries to contort himself around the large mass of fur taking up basically all of the space. Glen wonders how he's going to meditate with a giant space-heater in the bed.

"If you're going to stay, I think you're going to need a name, though." He puts his head back on the pillow, fully expecting and welcoming the cat to readjust to an even more obtrusive and uncomfortable angle now that he's in the bed as well. He starts thinking of names. He looks out the nearby window up at the stars. "What about Elen? Like the stars that shine in the night sky over the Silverwoods, ever watchful and vigilant even in the silent darkness of a new moon." He turns it over in his head and in his mouth, saying it out loud a few times. "Elen. What do you think, little guy? Is that your name? Elen?"
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25 Re: Unexpected Guest (Glen) on Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:23 pm

The panther curls happily against him, fitting the length of his warm little body against his new elf. At the name, his tongue darts out to lick Glen's ear once. Then he settles his chin on Glen and purrs quietly until he falls asleep to dream whatever a baby panther dreams.
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