Tokota: Remington 19726
Handler: Travis Cochrane
Remington wandered into his pack’s barn and looked around, his boys have been lazy lately. There was very little food and it had been a while since anyone but himself and Kitten had brought home of anything value to show Travis their thanks for giving them a place to sleep at night. Padding to the back of the barn he stopped at a door and grabbed the large rope knot that hung down from the handle with his teeth then pulled back on it and opening the door, their stored items were sparse and Remington frown deeply. This would not do, he had to find a way to get his boys to be more productive and go on some hunts and explores.
In the meantime Remington himself could do something about it, he rummaged around in the storage room until he found his caving gear and then off he went. Not wanting to be followed he snuck out the back of the barns and with 8 other pack members was shocked that he made it into the forest undetected. Luckily for Remington, there was a cave nearby and it was the perfect size for some serious cave exploring. Hopefully he would find something worthy to give to Travis, on the way to the cave looked up and noticed that his white owl companion had joined him and was flying above to scout out the trail for him, not long after noticing her; a black cave lion appeared and fell into step behind them. This was good. He’d need all the help he could get during his caving trip.
It wasn’t long since Thorin’s last venture into the caverns - he had just taken his daughter on her first trip into the earth. However she was slow and so unsure of herself. Her nerves were unsettling; his headstrong pup was reduced to jumping at bats and cowering at the steep drops and curves of the rock. It would take time for her to become accustom to it. Thorin himself knew he was meant for the caves from as far back as he could remember. He tunneled in the dirt and ducked away into small caverns until he was finally old enough and had earned the acceptance of his elders to go into the true depths the caves had to offer.
Thorin decided to let Krae rest up and explore on his own for a while. There were many caves throughout the lands and someday, he surely would explore them all. On this night however, he took to scouting a cave that he’d heard of, but never experienced for himself. It would be safer to travel without an inexperienced pup alongside him.
Just at the mouth of the cave he spotted a black cave lion. He was honestly stumped at why would would come this far out of the cave. Thorin approached the lion warmly, he loved befriending all the creatures he came across. As he started to coo at the lion, he saw another figure just ahead. The lion wasn’t alone.
Remington looked up when he heard movement at the mouth of the cave, he had expected to see his lion moving around or looking for shiny things but what he saw was another toki like himself. “Hello.” Remington called as he moved towards the guy. When Remington was standing in front of the strange toki, he took a moment to look him over, he was an odd one, he had fur that was similar in color to Logan’s but where Logan had a light colored mane, this guy had a black one. Similar eye color to Logan though. Had he not know for a fact that Logan had no known relatives that were tokis he’d have shown this guy was related to him. Remington smirked slightly at his thought processing then turned his steel grey eyes back to the other toki.
“My name is Remington, I’m not overstepping my bounds by wandering into a cave that’s been claimed am I?” He asked quietly. Remington was a very proud tokota, he held both his tail and his head high and though on paper he wasn’t an Alpha; his entire pack saw him as such and treated him with all the respect that was due. One look and anyone who was around enough packs could tell he was a leader.
“Huh? No, of course not.” Thorin ducked his head in a small bow to the other toki. Thorin was a proud tokota, he’d gone to great lengths to earn his Alpha status, but he never felt himself above others around him. His knowledge and experiences were vast, and humbled him from his reckless youth. “I was in a nearby cavern recently with my pup… We heard of this being a more expansive cave. I thought I’d take a look around, see what awaits within before bringing her along too.”
He regarded Remington carefully. The other was clearly someone not to take lightly. He carried himself well, and with authority. Certainly not someone Thorin wanted as an enemy. “So, Remington, you said. I am called Thorin, and would travel with you through the caves, if you and your companions will allow.”
Remington looked Thorin over carefully, he seemed to be every bit the leader that Remington himself was, which Remington thought was good because he surely wasn’t looking to find another straggler who wanted to join his pack. He never intended to become the leader of a pack, but once Ash came the rest started showing up one by and and alas, here he was the leader of a pack of nine. Go figure.
“Well then, it is nice to meet you Thorin, and no we wouldn’t mind at all.” Hedwig puffed up her feathers, well…. perhaps she minded; thankfully it wasn’t her call to make. Remington was about to say something to the crotchety old bird when a rumble of thunder rolled through the cave signaling an oncoming storm. “Well, let’s head further into the cave then shall we?” Remington smiled and nudged the lazy black cave lion to get him up and moving.
“Yes, let’s.” Thorin glared at the sky for a moment as the wind grew more forceful. He tilted his head towards the grumbling owl and offered a soft noise of reassurance. He meant no harm and hoped the owl would come to accept this.
The cave entrance was modest, almost small. Nothing spectacular about it, truly. It... looked like most caves. Thorin plodded along with his new ally and flicked on his headlamp. His opinion of the cave quickly shifted however. The mouth of the cave opened up into a huge chasm before them. It was a stunning sight to behold. Crystals peaked through the rocks and lava flowed from the walls. Beautiful. Thorin loved everything about it. A soft screeching noise came from the ceiling as a bat shot past them. Well, he didn’t love the bats. But he could overlook that. There were two distinct paths already carved; a steep winding passage down to the floor of the chasm or there appeared to be a tunnel behind one of the streams of flowing lava. “So. What do you think, Remmington? Down to the bottom of this thing? We could also see how far back that tunnel behind the lava runs. Up to you.” Thorin nodded at his companion and took a moment to enjoy the feel of the cool air that flowed through the chasm. It would pass as they delved deeper, but it was pleasant while it lasted.
Remington smiled at Thorin, “Don’t mind Hedwig, she’s just a crabby old bird.” He then shrugged out of his pack and began ruffling through it. When he finally stood back up his headlamp was on his head and the light turned on, afterwards he put his pack back on then followed the other toki further into the cave. He silently padded along letting Thorin lead the way, even though he had intended this to be a solitary trip, he had to admit that it was nice having some company along. Bless her heart he loved her with every inch of his being but Kitten spoke to much and drove him absolutely nuts; the fact that Thorin seemed as quiet as he was, was awesome.
When Thorin lead them to a ledge that lead further down into the chasm they were staring down at and asked if they should propel down it, he nodded. “I think we should, could find some nice stuff down there. I usually like to try and take the paths less followed.” He smiled then once again shrugged out of his pack and began rummage through it for his climbing gear.
Thorin nodded and grabbed his own gear. His rope was starting to show signs of wear. With a grumble he acknowledged he should find a replacement in the future, perhaps a nice set of crafted gear would be in order. With a few practiced motions his rope was secured and he rappelled down the steep rock wall into the chasm floor. It was even more gorgeous down on the ground level. The rock walls were strewn with crystals and shiny gems that just begged to be stowed away and brought back to the surface. It would take effort to select only a few items. As he shown his lamp on the various surfaces a particular chunk of rock stood out among the rest. “Check this out Remington, this looks like something of particular value.”
The foreign stone seemed to be bursting with a soft glow from within. Even without the direct light from the headlamp it shone brilliantly from the right angles. Thorin pressed a paw to the strange rock. It was surprisingly warm to the touch. “Fascinating.” He mumbled aloud as he padded around the stone several times. “We should really hurry and bring this to the surface… I’d like to get a better look at it in the sun’s light.”
Remington hmm’d and them moved over to look at the stone Thorin had found. He also touched it and felt it’s odd warmth. “Yes, this is very interesting, do you think there might be others nearby? Maybe we should take a look around it? Make sure it doesn’t have a sibling hanging around?” He suggested and then began to search around for a similar stone.
After a few minutes Remington spotted a similar shine on the rock face, he moved closer and smoothed his paw over it’s surface, wiping away the dust and uncovering another of the same stone that Thorin had found, “Hey Thorin?” He called softly, “I think I found another one.” He said as he dug around the stone to try and free it from the rock face. “Did you find any others? If not then let’s go ahead and go back up to the surface and see what these are? Should we tie a string around a rock and trail it behind us so we won’t get lost if we want to return?” He wondered as he stuffed the stone in his pack and pulled his rope back out.
Thorin tucked his own strange rock away and followed Remington in reseating his rope to pull his way back up the steep path. It took far longer than the way down, burdened by treasures and warm stones. He was sure that their find was well worth the extra effort. Glowing rocks usually are something, anyway.
Once the wall was cleared Thorin promptly stashed his gear and tucked his lamp away. He needed to hurry back to his daughter. He dreaded the thought of her waking to find him missing. And on a caving expedition without her… he’d never hear the end of it. Maybe the shimmering rock would distract her from her frustration… at least for a few moments. He chuckled at the thought of his fluffy pup and quickly cleared his throat. “It was a pleasure, Remington, but I fear I should make haste for my camp.” Thorin gave another polite bow and smiled and his newfound friend.
Remington bowed back and smiled as well, “It was a pleasure meeting you Thorin, thank you for caving with me and hopefully we shall meet again.” And with that he turned on his heel and padded home.