Featuring Rhinestone, Lyanna, Skyla, Raiden, Felina, Pharaoh, Aodhan
Spring, Year 760 of the New Age
Winter had given away to spring as it always does, the snow melting and leaves beginning to form on the bare skeletal trees. The scenery had definitely improved and it wasn’t so cold that everyone wanted to just cuddle up and do nothing. Nobody felt like doing much in the winter, except for those stags who fought for does. Fawns had begun to drop and spring forth like flowers, dotting the land with their tiny bodies, filling the air with their sweet little bleats.
Rhinestone had been on the move all day, checking in on a few of the does that he’d mated with in the past rut. Three of his fawns had been born so far this spring. His first-born son had been one of the first to make his appearance. He was a dark silver seal buckskin colt, not technically ‘blessed’, but it didn’t matter to Rhine. He was also dark, he didn’t care what color his offspring were. At the end of the day Rhine always came home to Lyanna, so he definitely saw Raiden everyday.
Adalia, the lovely little filly out of Jade had made her way into the world as well. She too was dark of pelt, being a silver dapple, but she would grey in time. One day she’d become white. She was a fiery little one and he’d already grown attached to her.
The third fawn that was born… he was not allowed to see. He’d seen the little one with it’s mother and suspected it was a filly, but he wasn’t allowed to go to see his fawn. Syn and Ameera wouldn’t allow it. Ameera’s behavior towards him was absolutely mind-boggling. What had he done that was so horrible to make her hate him? He had no clue.
The silver blood bay stag let out a low grunt, shaking his head as if to chase away his thoughts. He was going to be old by the time he was fifteen if he kept this up. Not only was he stressed he also wasn’t feeling very good.. He felt as if all of his energy had been drained. His face hurt where he’d been burnt with boiling water by that dratted Oakfern doe. He felt as if it was hard to lift his legs anymore and he was really just hoping that he could make it back home to Lyanna before they gave out on him.
Thankfully, home was just around the corner and before long he was there, walking over to Lyanna and flopping down by the fire that they had going to stave off the rest of the cold. Most of winter’s cold bite was gone, but the spring nights could still be rather chilly.
The stag didn’t say a word as his eyes wandered towards Lyanna and his son.
Lyanna had been laying down most of the afternoon. Her son,Raiden laying down next to her tucked in with her tail around them both. The cool air of winter was almost gone but the little fawn would still get cold once in a while, his scrawny little body still getting used to the wind and climate of Silverthorne. Like his sister Raiden had been born a darkling, but his muzzle and belly were yellow in color instead of Skyla’s red and his mane was a nice creamy white making him lighter than his sister.
A nice breeze brought Rhinestone’s scent to her but when she turned her face fell to worry. The red stag had all but slumped near the fire she had made, looking tired and weak and the scar that was now on his muzzle and face looked worse than she remembered.
“Rhinestone” she said catching his eye, her voice firm “Are you feeling ok? Does your wound hurt?”
He really looked like he had a fever and she was already preparing to get to her feet if he admitted to not feeling well, if he was stubborn though then that will only make her act faster.
“Found it” said the darkling happily as she got her teeth onto a small berry.
Skyla had been happy that spring had come, and she had been ecstatic though a little scared when her new little brother finally came. Unfortunately the little foal was still too weak to play with her and he preferred to stay by their mother most of the time. So the bored filly had gone to find a kind of berry that she loved eating once in a while and take it back to her mom, maybe Raiden could have a piece too.
Wagging her tail happily the filly made her way back to her new home. However when she got there her tail dropped. Rhinestone lay by the fire looking sick while Lyanna looked at him worried and trying to figure out what to do. Skyla gave her brother a glance before prancing towards Rhinestone and laying the berry by his nose, berries always made her feel better so maybe it would do the same to him. Still the filly couldn’t help but sniff at the wound he had gotten fighting that Oakfern back in the winter, it did not smell healthy like it had before.
“Mother, I think he needs a herbalist, the scars smell weird” she stated before she began to lick at the scars trying to clean them like her mother had done once.
Out of the corner of her eye he saw the buckskin doe get to her feet, Raiden giving her a look of confusion.
Raiden had been asleep, tucked safely against his mother’s side until Rhine came in. Mother shifted and he was pulled from sleep, blinking against the light of the fire and yawning. Blearily he gazed up at his mother, then looked towards his daddy who had just come back. He wanted to try and go over and say hi, but he frowned when all daddy did was lie down next to the fire. What was wrong with him? Blinking, he heard some more noise and saw the one his mother called Skyla, his sister, come back in too. Everyone was coming home. Raiden yawned again then shifted as mother got to her feet. He half stared, half glared at her as she did so - he got cold when she wasn’t there. Why did she need to move? Then he looked back at Skyla and saw her with daddy. She looked worried. Raiden didn’t know what to do...he didn’t want to sleep anymore.
The doe’s swollen sides had driven her to take a walk once more, her son dutifully by her side. Smiling gently at her son, nosing his baby down black mane, Pharaoh glanced back at her. The weanling was happy to be enjoying more solid meals and less dependent on his mother- however he was just as content to spend time with her nonetheless. Although after meeting Ruibh, the colt had accepted him into the little family, Felina knew she and her son’s bond was irreplaceable.
Her ears swivelled faintly, head lowered in a relaxed manner as they moved forward. Every so often her son would bounce forth, rearing and demonstrating some part of his sparring with the other colts, or further explain a new adventure he and his best friend, Hekla, had managed to venture on. Listening patiently, the doe hoped her son never grew out of his love and respect for her. Raoh was such a good son, he made her proud every day. It was him that gave her hope, that maybe Grian would give her son a chance amongst the others of the herd. Gods above knew no colt had a purer heart than he.
After Rhinestone’s arrival, she often found herself with the instinct to check on him and ensure his safety. Her fawnhood friend had always had a knack for trouble that made even the most patient firebringers groan at the colt’s antics. Growing up, Fel had loved them dearly. They were a key part to her fawnhood, and had helped to keep her stable and away from the negative sides of her upbringing. Ears swivelling, the doe paused, as her son bucked and reared, dancing around her, a grin on his maw. He looked so much like Fel’s own mother, and reminded her so of her father’s good natured heart, it almost made the doe miss her parents even more. Before Juno had gone down the path she did after the untimely loss of her father. Fel sighed softly, mane twisting in a gentle breeze as she watched her son. Glancing back to her flank, smiling as her tail gently wrapped around Aodhan’s, nosing him to go play alongside his adopted sibling.
Momma had asked him to accompany her while she took a walk. “Your little brother or sister is restless tonight.” She had told him. A stag’s job was to protect the herd members, including the unborn ones. Feeling safe and happy, the colt could barely contain the previous day’s adventures with his fellow friends and mischief managers. As they walked, Pharaoh found himself telling her of the excitement and battles waged!
The tall colt had found the sparring to be unfair, as he was larger than most of the other colts his age. Glancing at Aodhan, who was usually quiet and listened with Momma. Raoh wasn’t sure he liked sharing his mother’s attentions, but she assured him it was part of giving back to the herd to help others. Flicking his tail, he pondered his new siblings. Aodhan was well.. shy, and quiet, and often didn’t play with the other colts. Taller and bigger, Raoh often won their sparring matches anyways. Bolder, rather. But he enjoyed the other colt’s presence. An almost protective, big brother like bond had formed between the two. Whenever a different colt dared to threaten his adopted brother’s shyness, the larger colt jumped to defend him. No bullies dared to trouble Aodhan when Pharaoh was around. Though Raoh sometimes ventured off on his own with Hekla, those days Aodhan just stayed near Momma.
The pale colt stuck close to Felina’s side, as close as he could get without being in her way. He watched Pharaoh bounce around them, telling of the times he had spent with his friend Hekla. Aodhan had begun to think less about his mother and father now, and more about Fel and Raoh. He hadn’t yet figured out why his parents left, or why Fel cared for him instead...he just knew that he was as happy as he could be without mother. He still wanted to be confident, but he no longer suffered for his shyness as Raoh always stuck up for him when other colts were mean. Though he still wasn’t too sure what to make of the bigger colt - whether he was truly happy to have Aodhan around all the time - he knew they were friends. They played together and Raoh was kind and strong and had friends...just like Aodhan wanted to be.
Aodhan jumped slightly as the feeling of Fel’s tail entwined with his own brought him out of his thoughts. She nosed him forwards, urging him to go to Raoh. Feeling happy and confident with his new friends, Aodhan uncurled his tail and bounded over to Raoh, almost colliding with the other fawn as he skinned to a halt. He shoved his nose into Raoh’s neck, interrupting the colt’s tales, in a quick greeting and pranced on ahead, looking over his shoulder at Raoh and Fel to make sure they never got too far behind.
The dark stag laid his head down upon the cool surface of the den’s mossy floor, letting out a soft sigh. He wasn’t going to lie, he probably did need help, but he wasn’t going to go into detail about his pain and illness.
“Yes, they hurt.” he said simply, long tail wrapping about him. “I think that I might have an infection.” he said, closing his eyes. Sweat continued to pour down his sides and neck- as if he was still exerting himself even though he was laying down here, relaxing and attempting to cool off. Despite the sweat trickling out of his pores and seeping through his coat he was cold. Cold enough to shiver lightly, forced to keep his mouth closed hard so that his teeth wouldn’t clack together. He definitely was sick, but he wouldn’t admit it.
His eyes went to his son who lay curled by his mother’s side. “H-hey, little ma-an.” he greeted his son, teeth clacking together against his will. That’s when Skyla returned, carrying some red berries in her mouth and looking rather pleased.
When she turned her head, spotting him, he saw concern settle in her dark brown eyes. She made her way over to him. When she declared that she thought he needed a healer he didn’t reject. She was probably right so he stayed silent.
When the dark filly started licking at his wounds he flinched, not from the physical contact but from the intense stinging of his wounds as she did so. He didn’t stop her, allowing her to try to clean out the re-opened wound, though he knew she wouldn’t be able to do so without some sort of herb.
“I-I re-opened it.” he forced out. “-a while back.” It must have gotten infected then. He had to admit that he had slipped on caring for the ugly wound… and this was his punishment.
The buckskin doe could only sigh as Rhinestone admitted to having re-opened the wound and sent him a half-hearted glare.
“With some luck this will teach you not to repeat that again” she said almost like a mother to a child before walking towards him and checking the wound closely, it looked worse up close. Her stare hardened and she turned to her children, her voice firm. “A simple cleaning won’t make this better. I’ll go find a herbalist. Skyla you are in charge, make sure Rhinestone doesn’t move, Raiden you listen to your sister”
With that Lyanna turned and walked away from their home, hoping a herbalist was somewhere near by. Skyla was old enough to keep her little brother at bay for a while if he decided to run off, though Lyanna didn’t think he would do that, that was Skyla’s thing. Rhinestone looked too tired to even try to act stubborn and uninjured, so right now her only worry was to find a herbalist.
“Yes, mum” Skyla said in a soldier-like manner as her mother turned and headed off to find a herbalist.
The small darkling turned to her brother then, the poor little guy was probably confused with all that was happening.
“Alright then soldier” she said in a foalish voice “The General has given us clear orders to keep the injured from doing something foolish, like going off and hunt a lion.” She began to pace, her legs stretching wide in a march “I am in charge now while the General finds a healer, your orders are to keep an eye on your dad: like this!”
Then she snapped her head on Rhinestone’s direction, her eyes open wide and unblinking. Now there was no way the big red stag will ever leave her sight this way.
Raiden blinked as he watched his mother walk away from him. She talked to daddy in exactly the same voice that she did him - he thought that was very funny. Then she left the cave and Raiden followed her with his eyes. Where was she going? Mommy wasn’t supposed to go without him. He wanted to go too! He was about to get up onto his wobbly legs when Skyla spoke up. She called him “soldier”...what was a soldier? The little fawn was confused, even more so when Skyla began to pace. He jumped slightly when his sister whipped her head around and fixed daddy with a stare. That expression scared him slightly and he launched himself up off the ground, going head over heels at first, before finding his bearings and making it across the cave to snuggle in daddy’s thick fur.
Felina ambled along, smiling at the pair of colts. Pharaoh blinked as his adopted brother bumped his nose into his neck, interrupting his story. Shaking her head slightly, the doe scented the air around them carefully, the need to protect her fawns and herself in her vulnerable state was overwhelming. Then she noticed the buckskin doe, and the scent of fawns, milk, and Rhinestone hit her. Sickness hung faintly in the air. Ears flicking back, “Miss?” the doe called, trotting over, her wide belly swaying as she did so. It caused a fierce ache in her back, but something seemed amiss.
Pharaoh saw a chance to bounce after her, and took off, leaping alongside her. The tall colt skidded to a stop alongisde Felina, glancing back to see Aodhan, and make sure he was tagging along. “Is everything alright..?” The perolino mother to be asked, ears swivelling as she wondered. Glancing at her own fawns, then the new doe. She was certainly pretty- but Felina wondered whether the scent clinging to the air was something the buckskin would know about. She must not have had her fawn long ago, based on the slight baby fat that clung to most does after pregnancy.
Her tail swishing anxiously, the doe tried to suppress the thoughts swirling at the mere scent of Rhinestone. Bright blue eyes were focused on the new doe, while her son watched curiously, then the new doe. Rhinestone.. What had he gotten himself into now? Her fawnhood love, and friend, Felina could never shake the friendship nor concern that came with it. Startled as she felt her son’s tail touch her flank, attempting to reach out to protect her. A smile touched her maw as she leaned down to nuzzle the colt, before looking at the other pale colt reassuringly. Already her first born was a natural protector, Pharaoh’s chest had puffed slightly as he had noticed his mother’s nervousness.
The tall colt blinked as Aodhan had almost slammed into him, before shoving his nose into his neck and rushing forward, glancing back. Raoh glanced at mother, who moved along. Prancing forward, rearing slightly before leaping forward and playfully butting his forehead into his adopted brother’s shoulder, tail flagged out behind him. The black maned colt was careful not to knock him off his hooves- as Raoh was taller and tended to accidentally knock Aodhan over when playing.
Turning startled as his mother broke into an awkward trot towards a new doe. Racing to catch up, the colt’s long legs covered ground as he bucked and lept into the air, tossing his head and kicking out with his hind hooves. Slowing into a long strided prance of his own, the colt glanced back to make sure his pale adopted brother was coming as well. As Mother slowed to a halt, speaking to the new doe, Pharaoh’s ears flicked back as he heard the nervousness in his mother’s tone asking to ensure everything was well. Frowning slightly, ears swivelling as he listened to their words. Gently, the colt brushed his tail against his mother as he had seen her do so many times. What could be bothering her? Mother never worried so. Never got upset or nervous like this!
Arching his neck, standing tall and looking up at the buckskin doe, the colt snorted softly, making sure to stand ahead of Aodhan. Tail lashing uncertainly, the colt frowned up at the new comer. What happened to upset mother? Too young to understand and know the scents of the fawnlings around him, he didn’t understand all the new smells. Simply that they were of the same herd. But a weird smell clung around the air too.
Aodhan yelped a little in excitement as Raoh’s head slammed into his shoulder, though not too hard. He shook it off quickly and tried to catch up to the bigger fawn, but stopped at the same time as Raoh spun around, when Fel trotted off. Aodhan noticed the new doe and stood stock still, not wanting to get left behind but not really wanting to meet someone else either - he would only end up hiding behind Fel and Raoh. The other colt went to catch up to his mother and once at her side he puffed himself up confidently...Aodhan wondered how he always managed to make himself look bigger than he was. He trotted up behind them and stood right behind Raoh, hiding behind the other colt’s protective stance. Then Fel glanced at him and he shifted quickly, gaining confidence in being watched. He slipped round the backs of her legs and pressed his body into Fel’s other side, ducking one head under her neck to watch the new doe with wide, curious eyes. What did the new doe want?
The groggy red stag’s ears pinned to his skull and he gave Lyanna a small, but not really venomous, glare as she nagged him about taking care of his wounds and being more cautious. She was right of course, but he refused to acknowledge that, atleast not right now when he was feeling so awful..
He watched as the buckskin doe left the den, tail whisking out behind her before she disappeared completely. His gaze turned towards his adopted daughter, Skyla, now. The dark filly had already started to bark out some orders as if she was a soldier. He couldn’t help but find some amusement in it, letting out a little chuckle that sounded more like a raspy cough than anything.
However, when Skyla laid down in front of him and continued staring at him he found it a bit irritating. The red stag let out a gruff snort. “I’m not going anywhere, Skyla, you don’t have to-” his quiet and raspy voice broke off into a bout of horrid, hacking coughs that left him breathless, with even less energy than before. He laid his head down on the den floor, sides racked with fluttery, heavy breathing.
He gave Raiden a tight smile as his firstborn son scrambled to his feet and ran over to him, tripping and stumbling over his own feet. The warmth of his son beside him was slightly comforting, but he also couldn’t help but be a bit concerned. He wasn’t sure if his son should be here or not, but it didn’t look like he had much of a choice.
Lyanna hadn’t gotten far from the den when she heard a voice.
‘Miss?Is everything alright?’
The buckskin turned to meet a light colored doe with blue eyes. The doe was pretty and kind-looking, with a big belly that was a sign the fawn she was carrying would be delivered soon. Behind her were two little colts, a buckskin just like herself and a colt even lighter than the mother with blue eyes much like the doe’s. The buckskin colt snorted softly at her and she raised an eyebrow before glancing at the lighter fawn hiding by his mother then back at the doe. Perhaps she could help.
“Not as alright as I wish it was” she answered “Perhaps you can help me. Do you know any herbalists near by? Or do you by any chance are one? My mate has an infected wound made by an Oakfern, apparently he didn’t take care of it properly and now he has a fever.”
Lyanna hoped that this doe could help. Many does turned to herbs in order to help their mates, who were almost always soldiers, but Lyanna had never learned them herself. Yet she remembered seeing this doe around once or twice, mostly with the king’s brother Ruibh, so perhaps she did know enough to help Rhinestone.
The darkling could only pout as her little brother scrambled to his feet and hid in Rhinestone’s fur, apparently scared at her actions.
“Scaredy Cat” she muttered and slumped her shoulders.
Yet the moment Rhinestone tried to speak her ears went straight up. He sounded horrible, and he hadn’t even gotten to the middle of the sentence before he started coughing. Skyla blinked a little as he slumped his head back on the ground, looking tired, a really sick kind of tired.
With a worried ear twitch Skyla made her way to his side and lay down by him. If he sounded like that then he was probably not in the mood for games, or anything at all really.
“Don’t worry Papa, Mom will come back with a herbalist to make you feel better again” she said meekly, not really knowing what to do in this situation. “Then you can run away before she decides to lecture you as a punishment for being careless.”
The last sentence was ended with a grin.
Raiden couldn’t decide which scared him more; his loud but loving sister’s orders, or his daddy being so weak and making horrible sounds. When Skyla came over and lay beside daddy with him, he knew that it was bad; Skyla looked like mummy now. Skyla looked scared. Feeling even worse, Rai shuffled awkwardly round to her side and tried his best to snuggle up to the both of them.
“Ba,” he managed to bleat, nudging Sklya in the shoulder as he tried to tell her he was scared. His tail curled around his side in an almost protective manner.
Felina nodded, “I can try my best, and take a look in the least. I’m not herbalist, but I’m familiar with them.” Her tail swished as she ambled closer, “Lead the way?” She asked, blue eyes intent on the new doe. Ears perked, glancing to her little ones. Smiling reassuringly at her colts, before nosing their foreheads. “You both must behave yourselves, there is a sick stag and we must help him. Can you do that?” She asked, expectantly.
The pleasure it brought her to see Pharaoh nod bravely, answering back with a brave “Anything to help.” and wrapping his tail in his brothers and giving it a tug before prancing forward boldly. Raoh one day would be quite something, Fel was sure of it. She hoped, they would be able to accept him and move past his birth in the least. “Aodhan, stay close to Pharaoh.”
Stepping after the buckskin doe, her sons racing ahead of her, Raoh glancing back to assure himself that the new doe was leading them towards the fawnling in need of help, and that his mother and brother were still in tow. Fel’s sides swayed with the weight of her unborn fawn, an awkward gait but one she did her best to keep swift.
Raoh had listened to the new buckskin doe, his ears pinned forward alertly. A fawnling in need? Could Mother help them? He hoped so. His Momma was a good doe- and she always did her best to help other fawnlings. Glancing at Aodhan and nudging him with his nose, he listened to his mother’s words intently. “Anything to help.” He piped up. The black maned colt twined his tail with his brothers as an offer of support.
Gently tugging it, before slipping away to prance forward, head held high and looking about curiously. Where was this stag? Warm brown eyes scanning their surroundings, the colt lept forward, racing a bit ahead to try and see this fawn. Pausing a few strides ahead to look back and examine the little band following him.
It was good to be able to help, to belong and be able to do more than just sit. It made him happy to see Aodhan, and his Mother going to help a new fawnling they knew nothing about. They had good hearts. Grian and Adhar should smile on them with good things, Raoh thought.
Aodhan listened solemnly as the strange doe asked Fel for help, and Fel accepted. He felt Raoh nudge him, but didn’t take his eyes off the strange doe. Then the pale doe turned her head to him and Raoh, and asked for them both to behave. Dutifully Aodhan nodded his assent.
“Yes, anything to help,” His voice was hardly anything near as loud as Raoh’s but at least he had managed to speak in front of a stranger. Pharaoh’s tail wrapped around his, and the bigger colt gave it a quick, but not hard, tug as he pranced away. Flicking his ears forward Aodhan jumped after him, at first trying to catch up, then slowing down to keep an eye on Felina and the other doe. He wanted to get there and see what was happening but he didn’t want to go too far and lose Fel, not when he didn’t really know where he was.
The red stag’s eyelids felt heavy… All he really wanted to do was sleep, but he needed to watch over the little ones until Lyanna returned, hopefully with a herbalist or someone who had knowledge of healing… He certainly didn’t feel good.
Skyla’s words made him smile widely. He loved it when she called him Papa… She really did feel like his daughter and he would do anything for her… If or rather WHEN Lyanna parted ways with him he felt his heart might break from missing them both… He would just have to visit often… Surely Lyanna wouldn’t wish to stay with him forever, although he would let her. She’d been here for three seasons already… How much longer would she stay?
Raiden let out a frightened little bleat and the big red stag curled his tail tightly about his dark little son, trying his best to make the little one feel better.
Lyanna nodded, better than nothing she guessed, and turned to walk back to the den.
She kept herself from going faster than a soft canter, she knew how heavy the doe’s belly must feel with the fawn she was waiting for and how hard it was to do more than a walk in that state. After a few minutes of walking they got to the den and Lyanna moved some branches out of the way. The buckskin couldn’t help but smile as she saw both of her fawns snuggled up to Rhinestone.
“Rhinestone, i found someone who might be able to help” she said before laying down near him to give the newcomers room.
The little darkling had wrapped her bushy tail around her brother to comfort him and had just started to lick Rhinestone’s injury yet again when her mother came back. Her ears perked up when Lyanna said she had found a herbalist and so she gave one big,sloppy lick to her brother’s head on a whim before staring at the ‘herbalist’.
It was a doe, light with pretty blue eyes and a big belly just like her mother’s had been before Raiden was born. Near her legs were two fawns, both of light color, one with the doe’s eyes. Skyla hadn’t seen the doe amongst the herbalists and so tilted her head before asking.
“Can you really help Papa?”
Raiden felt daddy’s tail curl right round him and he instantly felt a little calmer. Skyla added her tail too, and Raiden felt warm and cozy but still too jumpy to sleep like he would if mommy was here and daddy was behaving normally. He buried his head in Skyla’s shoulder, shifting slightly when Skyla licked him, only to sit up bolt upright when mommy came back. She said something to daddy and Skyla then came to lie by them. Now she had moved Rai could see a strange doe in the entrance of the cave. She was very big and pale...like mommy, but lighter. She had two fawns by her legs, one the same colour as mommy and one of them pale, paler than he had ever seen. Raiden flicked his ears in their direction. He didn’t often meet other fawns. These two were bigger than him, the darker one slightly bigger than the light and both bigger than him...but he wanted to meet them and play with them and be a big boy. He was about to get to his little feet and go over when he remembered daddy...the thought made him lie still and silently, waiting for the strange doe to do something.
Fel’s ears flicked forward as she smiled gently at the little fawn who asked if she could help her papa, little did the filly know the perolino had known Rhine longer than she could even remember. Smiling sweetly, she nodded, “I will do my best little one.” Heavy belly swaying, the delicately framed down ambled closer to Rhine, shaking her head slightly. What had he gotten himself into this time? Ambling over to the dark blood colored stag, the soft colored pearly herd member sighed softly, “Oh Rhi..” Shaking her head, blue eyes closing. The wounds smelled of infection, and like it needed to be cleaned out. Glancing back towards her fawns, the doe’s ears perked up as she smiled slightly.
“Pharaoh, do you remember the plants Mommy taught you to get when you got a cut playing with the other colts? And Aodhan? Can you help your brother?” Her voice was gentle, sweet. Looking at the little colt curled so close to the dark stag, and smiling sweetly, the doe licked the little fawn’s forehead reassuringly. Wincing slightly, she turned to the buckskin doe, a pang of pain flickering in the back of her mind. So Rhinestone had found a family like he always wanted. As long as he was happy- that was what mattered, right? And he even had two beautiful fawns. Tail swishing, a hint of sadness in her blue eyes, looking to the other doe, Felina gently murmured. “His wounds are infected, they need to be cleaned and covered, I can make a simple tincture. Luckily it isn’t too serious an infection. My sons will be able to gather the herbs I need, and I’ll begin work on cleaning it. If you could have your little ones, or if you could fetch water it would be appreciated.” Felina smiled warmly and kindly before beginning to look over Rhi’s other wounds. Long mane trailing, the heavily pregnant doe murmured so softly that only her fawnhood friend could hear her. “I’m going to help you, Rhinestone. But you need to try not to move too much, it’s going to hurt.” Tail swishing gently, she touched his flank with the soft curls of her tail.
She could hear her colt’s resounding hoofsteps as he bounded off to go find the herbs he’d been shown so many times. Thoughts and memories resurfaced with a flash of pain, but she pressed them down, knowing that she needed to help them. Her thoughts and memories could return later, when she was alone and safely nestled in the comfort of flames. Fel’s ears twitched as she gently reassured the stag with a touch of her nose to his ear, and then hesitantly she reopened the wounds and winced as the scent of puss hit her nose. It couldn’t feel good she imagined.
The golden colt watched as his mother ambled over to the weak looking red stag. Ears twitching, Pharaoh followed on her heels, examining the new fawns and stag curiously. The red male had a funny smell about him, a weird sweetness that clung to him aside from the musk of a stag. When his mother asked him to go retrieve herbs she’d often helped him to find for his own scrapes and cuts, the colt turned to Aodhan, putting on his best grin. “Ready Aodhan?” The colt asked, before beginning to bound off, black rimmed ears pinned as he sniffed the air for the plant that worked as an antiseptic and would also work to keep it sealed.
It didn’t take the colt long to shout out for his brother that he’d found what they were looking for. Grabbing a few mouthfuls, the colt began the trek back towards his mother. Something about the sickly sweet smelling red stag made the colt uncertain. Momma seemed sad when she saw him for a moment, curled up with those other fawns. Did they know each other? The colt glanced back to make sure Aodhan was coming, ears perked as he nodded proudly at his littler brother.
Aodhan hid behind Felina’s legs upon entering the cage...but she quickly moved away from him, leaving him exposed in the doorway. Not that he minded too much; there was a stag that looked really quite sick, and two fawns and none of them were focused on him. Until, that is, the youngest fawn turned his head to him and Pharaoh. He stared right back at the spotted darkling nestled at the stag’s side.
Fel asked them to fetch some herbs, and Aodhan nodded as Pharaoh asked him if he was ready. He didn’t really know what he was looking for but he’d follow Pharaoh anyway. Aodhan turned and bounded after the other colt.
Soon enough Pharaoh called out his success and Aodhan bounded back to the cave, Pharaoh ahead. He was curious about the other fawns, and wondered if Felina might work better if they weren’t so close to the sick stag…
“Hello,” he murmured, stepping closer to the two darklings.
The sounds and the movements of the fawns became nothing but a blur as the stag fell into a semi-conscious state. He could think and he could feel, but he no longer paid attention to the voices of the fawns...Not until a couple new ones piped in.. He recognized both voices…
The stag’s eyes opened, becoming half-lidded as he watched Lyanna and Fel-Felina? What was Felina doing here? His mind was so muddled up, he could hardly think straight. He offered a delirious smile to both does as they approached him, tilting an ear slightly as Felina told the two colts to go on and find something… One of them must be the crossbred.. Rhine was pretty sure he knew which one.
At Felina’s words that it would hurt Rhine turned his head, looking to Skyla and Raiden. He didn’t want Raiden to be any more scared than he already was. He lifted his eyes to Lyannna. “Why don’t you take them a little ways away? Skyla, take your brother to your mother.” He mumbled lowly at her. “I’m sure he’s hungry anyways.” At that the red stag laid his head back down on the cold den floor, eyes closing as he waited for Felina to do something.
With a small nod to the blue-eyed doe Lyanna got to her feet. Something told her that Rhinestone knew the stranger and the atmosphere had gotten a bit uncomfortable for her now. When she was at the mouth of the den she looked back at her fawns.
“Come on Skyla” she called softly “Bring Raiden too, we are going to go get water for your dad”
When both fawns were at her side she made her way to a small stream nearby, making sure that both of her little ones were following. She took the biggest leaf she could find and filled it with water. The young mother took her time to go back to the den, if they were talking about something then she’d rather not hear it, if the treatment was painful then she’d rather Raiden not see it. Still the buckskin could feel her daughter’s eyes staring at her with worry as they walked back into their home.
“Ok” she said lightly to her ‘dad’ and her mom before she got to her feet.
Skyla nudged Raiden’s side gently to help him up and they both walked over to Lyanna. Skyla could feel something off about her mom now, it wasn’t too bad but it was like a hint of ...sadness? It was very small but Skyla could see it, she wondered if Raiden saw it too. The small darkling opened her mouth but closed it again, she had no idea what to say to make her mom feel better.
“Keep close to big brother now” she muttered to Raiden as they got to the lake, the memories of that Oakfern still fresh in her mind.
The walk back to the den was a quiet one. Skyla kept wondering what had happened to make the atmosphere like this with her mom.
Raiden was about to go over to the pale fawn when papa spoke and he instantly looked back at him. He told Skyla to take him to mother, and suddenly there was nowhere Raiden would rather be. Mother would make everything alright. Skyla gently nudged him up and they went over to momma. She still didn’t feel like normal, but neither did everyone else. Raiden followed docilely as they made their way to...the lake! Raiden liked the lake. He couldn’t help himself; though not actually going away from mother and Skyla and therefore not really disobeying Skyla, Raiden bounded into the very shallow water at the lake’s edge. The water barely brushing past his feet. But his enthusiasm was doused like a flame in the rain when momma and Skyla were too preoccupied to play with him. Momma? He pressed himself against her forelegs on the journey home, his tail loosely wrapped around her hind leg. Papa would be okay, wouldn’t he?
The doe took the herbs from her son more than gratefully, nodding to him. Gently pressing the pus from his wounds until they seeped only clear, clean liquid, Fel winced at the scent. Turning to take the herbs as Raoh retreated after the others, she set about working on a balm silently, wrapping up in her own thoughts. Fool, letting his wounds go unattended. How careless could he have been? Sighing, tail lashing, oddly enough, as the perolino seemed to never grow agitated. As she finished making the balm, the doe sniffed the wound. It already smelled better, and a lot of the inflammation had been reduced greatly. Smearing the balm over the wounds, Fel nudged some water towards him. “It’ll help bring your fever down..” She murmured softly, eyes filled with concern as she watched her old friend. Too many thoughts and emotions swirled through her head, too many memories. Seeing him like this hurt her, knowing how little she could do to directly ease his pain.
“I’ll leave you these, it’s an easy balm.. Just smear it and apply.” The doe was anxiously curling and uncurling her tail as she watched him. He already seemed to be feeling better. Hopefully all would be well, Felina was no healer- but she did her best from what little she knew. The doe knew no proper names really, or anything of the sort- but it was her job to try her damnedest to help. And hoping she had, the doe turned away from him. “I will leave you to the able hooves of your mate and fawns and collect my own fawns. I’m sure they’re eager to return home.” She murmured softly. With that, the softly colored doe hurried away, hoping to run from those memories, feeling too much pain, anxiety over the state of the stag. Her little ones needed tending, and it was her job to tend to them, too.