Willow Snow – Tasha Nungester

” The Mischievous Monk”

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The story of Willow’s true origins remains forever lost, deemed an orphan not long after her birth. One story rises due to her rare color of fur speculating that she is of a clan far north into the mountains. Places where snow falls in abundance and any unwary traveler could easily be lost to their death. It is speculated that her clan befell a tragedy, leaving her the sole survivor. The question of how she came to be in the deeper and warmer parts of the jungle. From there arises another rumor, that due to her runty nature and unusual coloring, she was deemed not strong enough to survive and thus abandoned by her clan to die alone as a young cub.

Fate would deem it otherwise and rule in her favor. It was during the day when her people, the Tabaxi, would meet up with their neighbors to the south, the Elves, for trade. They met at the boarders between the jungles and the forests. At first, she went unnoticed, her soft cries and mews unheard. Then she began to cry louder, almost until her voice was raw. A search began of the area by both parties until she was found by a Tabaxi by the name of Art Shadow, at the base of an old willow tree and shrouded by its branches. Thus, she was named Willow Snow.

The trade meeting was quickly concluded after and Willow was whisked back to the abode of Art as she was had been on the verge of death. Even though fate had spared her, the elements of nature had not been so kind. Starvation and dehydration had easily paved the way for hypothermia to set into her cold, wet body. Fate had placed her in one of the best places for her to make a full recovery, for Art was a Tabaxi monk who lived in a small monastery in the jungle.  This monastery  had been selected by the Tabaxi people to handle all trades with the Elven people, so it was always stocked with a variety of goods. With the help of other monks from the monastery, Willow not only survived, but began to flourish in her new environment. A search was conducted to attempt to find her clan, but nothing was turned up. Though young, the monastery all agreed she would be raised there by everyone around her. Yet, it was the monk Art that she grew attached to and saw as a father figure.

Willow was an extremely curious little individual as she began to grow up in the monastery. Without others her age, she quite often she would get into trouble. Though it was all in innocent fun, rooms would fall into complete disarray when she was around. Random tidbits would come up missing out of trade rooms, usually things of a shiny nature.  Sometimes she would take things she didn’t understand, just to study them and learn what they do. Often, Art would find it all hidden under her bed and then proceed to punished Willow with extra chores.

One day, she snuck into one of the training rooms during a martial arts session. A place where she wasn’t allowed to trespass at her early age. Almost immediately she became enamored with everyone’s movements as they studied. She began to mimic their movements in an ease of fluid motion. It was almost as if someone hit a switch in her head. Her shenanigans decreased around the grounds by a noticeable amount. When her secret was found out, they didn’t stop her from attending. Instead, they invited her to more sessions and increased her other lessons as well.  If they kept her mind engaged and involved, she offered little want for mayhem.

As she grew older, Willow was taken on hunts to learn trails and trapping methods. She learned migration routes of animals as well as gathering locations. It took some time for her to learn. Like most youth, she was impatient. Her first solo hunt had been a rather rough one. On the trail of a deer, quietly following, she was startled upon seeing a much larger animal that appeared to be watching her. The moment she locked eyes, it charged after her. Quickly trying to step out of the way, she stumbled and fell into a small ravine. Bruised and battered, she crawled back out prepared to face the animal again, but it was nowhere to be found. There were no tracks, no broken vegetation, no sign of it anywhere. The corner of her eye caught sight of what looked to be another Tabaxi running. Then there were a few more. Willow reach out to stop one, but they ran right through. It was as if they didn’t notice. Confused, she chased after them. She followed them into a clearing and they just vanished into thin air.

Willow went home with a smaller prize than the deer for her hunt after that. Instead she had a couple small birds and eggs she managed to scavenge up. She told the story to her adoptive father, Art, who told her she must have been imagining things or hit her head when she had fallen. An incident like that never happened again.

As she grew older, the monks of the monastery would give her more and more responsibilities. She began to accompany the others on their trading expeditions with the Elves. Learning how to communicate as well as the values of the goods they dealt in. Often Willow would make weird or outrageous offers just to try and obtain random shiny trinkets. Sometimes even stories as she relished hearing tales of the past and of other races. In the brief time being with them, she grew quite fond of the Elves. So much so, Art had to convince her many times to stay in the jungles. Their people needed them to help keep peace and trade.

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Tasha Nungester

We will have Tasha’s personal Bio at a later date. Thanks for your patience!