Submission (#8) Approved
Regional Affinity: Kyendi
Claiming Regional Affinity for: Wick [ELN856]
The winter months were particularly hard for Wick. As a very social kittom being cooped up was no good and yet again Kormir, Wick’s guardian, had left Wick with his brother while work increased for the nobles that could travel in the winter. At least Bazil had kittoms around their family residence in Kyendi. Wick wasn’t as close to his brother as he was to his niece and nephew, Hanami and Mallow, perhaps due to the age gap. Wick had been slow to grow which may have been for the best for Kormir. It was likely the little yellow kittom would lead quite the adventurous life and bring many headaches to others but at times Kormir caught sight of the natural born leader in Wick. There was a charisma about the kittom that even Bazil acknowledged with a careful eye regarding his own kittoms.
Today was one of those days that charisma shined again. Mallow watched Wick pace back and forth in their room. Every once in a while Wick stood on his hind legs and popped his head up to peer out the window. His little eyebrows furrowed. The fog in Kyendi seemed heavier this time of year. He could barely make out the floating islands and there was a purple tinge to the horizon from the miasma. Moving from the window he gazed around the room. It had an oriental influence to it a traveling stranger had once commented, though Wick didn’t know entirely what they meant by the word. The cold wooden floorboards creaked a bit beneath his paws and the floor mats. The place was a bit drafty probably due to the mountain altitude and air. With a glare at the sliding doors to the outside of the room that had to be closed for the winter months Wick resolved himself to bring his outdoor adventuring inside.
The pacing could only go on for so long after all. Sliding open a closet door he began to dig out blankets. “Mallow help me!” His tiny voice piped up to the other kittom that had been standing there gawking. Mallow was a bit curious about what Wick was trying to do and while not the strongest kittom Mallow did have some stamina to keep up with his friend. Together they dragged the blankets and a bedroll or two out to lay on the floor. “We’re making a fort. Try to find some higher furniture we can use to cover.” He commented, his eyes panning across the boxy room to settle on a dresser of sorts and a tall mirror. Those would be a start. Dragging a light sheet he used a desk beside the mirror to get to the top of it with intent to lay the cloth over the top. The mirror was propped up neatly and much to Wick and Mallow’s horror fell when pushed too far out from the wall. Mallow let out a startled squeak of a noise and both kittoms closed their eyes tightly for the expected sound of a crash. Luckily the mirror fell on their unfurled bedrolls and didn’t shatter.
They both released the breaths they had held in and their relative Anko stopped in later to help them prop it back up with a chuckle and gentle scolding. Wick swallowed hard at the thought of how lucky they had been. If Bazil had found out he surely would have been far sterner and fort making plans would have been cancelled entirely. Back to work they went building. Using the desk and a few chairs from another room they succeeded. Between the bed rolls they slid a short table between them. Wick usually wasn’t one to make things too fanciful but a side comment from his niece Hanami about how dreary their fort looked had him pondering decorations.
They swiped a few silk sashes and cloths to drape over the sides before the two kittoms settled to sit inside it. Something still felt like it was missing though. Wick with Mallow in tow snuck through the house to retrieve a few paper lanterns they usually decorated with in Kyendi for other festivals. Hanging them up Wick stuck a few crystals with glowing properties inside that Kormir had gotten from Zevija and gifted to him and the two kittoms lounged contently in their new fortress of blankets and pillows. Pushing aside one blanket they had left it loose so they could peer out the window. Across the city as the sun waned lanterns began to light over the stone paths that wove between the buildings. The mountainous region always had been hard to force a path through so many instead followed the natural curves of the rocks. Weather, time, and paw steps wore away at the stones surface. The only thing missing this time of year was the market that lit up the pretty oriental houses and buildings in the area.
For a while the kittoms stared at the fabrics as the lanterns and sliver of remaining sunlight cast shadows on the sides. They chatted and shared stories, though Wick knew a few more due to his age and experiences. He still wasn’t satisfied with this though. Wick still felt a bit bored. For a while he entertained listening to Mallow’s chatter about plants and how he had wanted to start a proper greenhouse of sorts this winter. Wick grew bored of the subject though finding the right time to suggest they do something else otherwise he never would hear the end of plants.
Their next activity was a continuation of the decorating of the fort. Wick procured a stack of colorful papers and Mallow’s sister Hanami taught them how to fold an assortment of small paper animals. Birds, fish, and the like they beaded the creatures on fine threads with wooden beads to space out the chains of them some. Hanging them with pins from the draped blanket forts ceiling it became quite the wondrous imaginary castle. Using a few lamps they used some remaining paper to cut out shapes reminiscent of Kyendi’s misty mountains and set the cutouts in front of lamps to imitate the world just beyond their walls.
Despite there being no actual magic in the space there was something very charming and creative about it. Wick was probably the last kittom to fall asleep amongst a few more blankets they had dragged in around the table as the group soundly fell asleep huddled together. Their small backs could barely be seen among the pillows until anyone got close enough to see. By the time dinner rolled around and Anko peered in to check on them she left only to return with her brother Bazil at her side. “You were worried they would be down all cooped up inside these months. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the foods father sent from the market near his study in Bellmoril but I don’t think you’ll need to worry too much. Wick’s a little ambitious but I’m sure it will be a fun winter for your kittoms.” She assured him. After all Hanami was always outpacing Mallow when they played together. Even Bazil was impressed, despite not seeming all that thoughtful at a glance Wick had brought the two siblings together over the course of the night and made sure they could all play without anyone being left behind.
Crawling partially into the fortress with a little difficulty he nudged the kittoms awake. “It’s time for dinner you three. I want you to tell me about how your day went while we eat. Kormir sent some treats for you all.” His eyes were gentle. Anko had told him about the little mirror mishap earlier that day but seeing this he couldn’t very well stay mad. He would caution them to be more careful next time. Wick and the kittoms perked up at the sound of a tasty meal and treats. They had been so engrossed during lunch time on completing the fort that they hadn’t eaten as much, eager to get back to their activities. Maybe the winter wouldn’t be so bad after all Wick thought to himself, nodding slightly. Yes. Not so bad after all.