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Sea Shanty Setka was the first to wake, early in the morning. The sun had not yet appeared on the horizon but the stars were slowly beginning to fade into the expanse of the sky where they showed in the gaps between the clouds. She staid still where she lay upon her sleeping bag listening to the quiet breathing of Kibwe beside her. The dire would likely be awake soon as well, but for the time being their camp was still as everyone slept. The loudest noise came from the large tent across the camp where the six puppies had clambered in with their handlers; Setka was not entirely sure, but she assumed the borderline thunderous snoring was coming from either Cyrus or Folklore, with the bright tawny pup being the most likely. As she looked up through the pine canopy above her, her mind was blank and at peace for some time. Kibwe stirred beside her, turning her head to look at her handler without lifting it from her paws.
Reading Maps A chill had settled over the land almost overnight; the air was colder and each of the travelers’ breath hung in front of their faces mingling with the fog that drifted between the trees as they walked. The five Tokotas bearing riders were well laden with supplies, enough to last their handlers for several weeks if need be. The handlers themselves were bundled up in their warmest clothing to guard against the cold as snow drifted down from the heavy gray clouds, making a blanket over the landscape that crunched under the Tokotas’ paws. Snow had fallen deep enough during the previous night that the wagon they had brought along had had to be converted to a sled. It was now equipped with long ski long runners against the bottom of the wheels, allowing it to glide smoothly and easily over the ice crusted snow. Frost was still clinging to the boughs of the pines, even as the sun reached the highest point of its path th
Show TimeThe sun was shining brightly for the first time in many days though a thick blanket of snow still covered the ground. The warmth in the air was enough to bring out the group of Tokotas and their handlers, along with a rather rambunctious group of young pups. Kibwe lead the group, the dominating female merle dire making it clear that she would follow no one, especially not in this group. Between the apparent laziness of Vanner and Pigwidgeon’s small size, there was very little reason for her to afford any of the other Tokotas respect. The pups may have had potential somewhere within their ranks, but there was no way to tell at their age; with the constant shrill yapping and attempts to wrestle, both Kibwe and Setka were highly doubtful, but said nothing to avoid offending anyone unnecessarily. Something like that could make the rest of the trip far more awkward. The only one who dared to walk close to the wild natured pair was Tofi and Saila. Tofi was just happy to have ano