Quick History & Current Storylines Summary

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(Return to the River Twine Holt website.)

by Whitney W. and Holly H. (updated 03/03/15)

This document is updated on a regular basis, but may not contain the most recently-posted stories or storylines. Take a look at the last update date above, and consult the Current Stories page of the website to see what has been posted since then.

RTH was founded in June of 2006, which corresponds to our timeline date of mid-year 2500. The fictional tribe's history goes back to Year 0, when the High Ones arrived in their Palace. All of the tribe's history, from Year 500 (the founding of this tribe in this location) to the present, is open for club members to explore through fiction. The fictional timeline proceeds at a real-time pace (one real year = one RTH year).

In June of 2010, we implemented a time-jump, which advanced the RTH timeline from summer of RTH 2504 to summer of RTH 2509.

This summary is intended to give new members/readers a quick introduction to the background and highlights of River Twine's history and storylines, up to the present. Our writers have averaged between 50-60 stories per year since the group's founding.

Not every story is summarized or linked here; this summary only lists things that are considered "newsworthy" to the whole tribe, and that we feel that members/readers need to know happened. Many individual characters have personal storylines, which are usually described and linked from their CISes.

The full history and list of all stories can be found on the Timeline page of the website, which includes a snapshot summary of every story in our archives. Each character's CIS (including ancestors) also has a list of all stories that character has appeared in, categorizing them according to the character's level of participation in the story. Our Story Collections page is the place to find guides to various storylines, as well as all art related to a storyline.

Note: almost needless to say, this document contains SPOILERS for all stories mentioned here!

RTH 0-499: The Time of the High Ones

Please see the "History of River Twine Holt" document for a summary of the background of the Holt's founding.

NOTE: While we understand the appeal of stories dealing with RTH's early history, we much prefer keeping the focus of the club on the RTH wolfrider tribe, its current characters and established acestors. Currently, we generally will not accept stories dealing with the Firstcomers prior to Wolfsister's departure. We also discourage too much focus on the "legends" that our tribe may tell about that time period. (An exception to this is stories that deal with troll history.) If you need to refer to something that relates to that time period, please discuss it with the Council first.

RTH 500-666: Chieftess Wolfsister’s Years

The first years of the tribe’s settlement were a time of fierce growth. Times were tough as the tribe carved out its territorial borders and learned the secrets of its newly-claimed territory, but times were also good: there were many Recognitions, and the tribe’s healer (Wolfsister’s lovemate Feverease) helped “spark” additional pregnancies, leading to a swift population boom. Wolfsister herself bore several children by several different fathers (starting with a son, Badger, in RTH 501).

Note: when the elves arrived in the area, they found evidence that trolls still lived there. The elves who arrived with Wolfsister had heard stories about trolls, but none were old enough to have had direct memories of them or of the War that drove the High Ones away from the Palace's landing site. Wolfsister's tribe was prepared to face hostility from the trolls, but instead, they found that the trolls avoided them completely, and rebuffed all attempts at communication. The elves adopted a "live and let live" approach to the trolls, and the rule became to leave the trolls alone.

Wolfsister encouraged strength and leadership amongst her children, and never clearly claimed an heir. Wolfsister died in a hunting accident in RTH 666, and her death led to a physical challenge fight between her first- and second-born sons, Badger and Burn. Burn won, and ruled his chieftanship with a tight fist.

RTH 666-827: Chief Burn’s Years

Burn held his chieftanship for only a relatively short time before he and a hunting party were caught in a grassfire on the eastern plains. All of the party managed to escape, but not before Burn, Bravestride and Raincaller were all burned badly enough to die later of their injuries, before they could get home to a healer (or a healer could reach them). Burn left behind three children – two sons, Red and Javelin, and a middle daughter, Foxsly. Javelin had the ambition to be chief, but it was quirky Foxsly whom the tribe (with Red’s encouragement) ultimately looked to as their next leader.

RTH 827-1502: Chieftess Foxsly’s Years

Mercurial Foxsly broke the mold from her father & grandmother’s reigns – she was a spontaneous, impulsive and fun-loving personality, who had little patience with the daily chores of staying alive. She was, however, a savant at tactical deployments and leading hunts, and was always at her best during moments of crisis. Foxsly happily delegated out the “boring” oversight of the tribe’s resource stockpiling, relying in turn on others (such as her brother Red, her Recognized Reedweaver, and her children Easysinger, Frost and Leather) to take care of the day-to-day business of the tribe. She was known to disappear for weeks at a time along with her soul-brother/lovemate Crest.

In early 1502, signs were discovered of a new troll tunnel. Later that year, Foxsly and Crest were both killed while investigating another new tunnel entrance.

RTH 1502-2325: Chieftess Easysinger’s Years

Foxsly’s eldest child, Easysinger, took up the chieftainship without dispute, and Easysinger’s first command was to forbid any exploration of the troll tunnels. To this day, the elves are still keen on finding troll tunnels and on tracking the above-ground movements of their enigmatic neighbors, but following trolls into their lairs is firmly forbidden.

Easysinger had the longest reign of any of the River Twine chiefs to date. She was a highly intelligent, calm soul who was quick to assess the individual qualities of her tribemates, and make keen use of them. Easysinger avidly encouraged her tribemates to cross-craft and to pursue new skills and technologies. During the first two hundred years of her reign, the tribe experienced a steady population increase, and grew to its population peak in late 1744 (at 53 elves). Easysinger Recognized Oakhand, her Hunt Leader, and their daughter Hope was born in the first month of RTH 1743.

  • Three tragedies befell the tribe during the unusually cold winter of RTH 1744: an outbreak of a deadly virus coincided with a brutal blizzard, and a quarter of the tribe’s population (including several children, Easysinger’s own firstborn among them) died. The losses drove Owl, the tribe’s healer, mad with grief. He grew dangerously unstable, and when he started causing harm to his tribemates, Easysinger was forced to kill him. This left the tribe without a healer – a terrible prospect indeed. (See story: "The Lesson of the Last Healer".)
  • Without a healer to sustain their numbers, the tribe’s population slowly began to dwindle, as births failed to keep up with deaths. Easysinger and her kin nurtured the hope that eventually, another healer would be born to them. When young Newt was mortally snakebit, Easysinger made the decision to place the boy in wrapstuff, (See stories “Going to Sleep”, “A Pledge to the Sleepers”). He would be the first, but not the last. (See the Collection: "Wrapstuffed Tribemates - Background")
  • Easysinger herself Recognized a second time, this time to the young, ambitious hunter Blacksnake. Blacksnake lifemated with Easysinger and Oakhand, and eventually, Blacksnake and Easysinger would have three children together (Riskrunner, Windburn, and Chicory). When Oakhand died in RTH 2045, Easysinger named Blacksnake Oakhand’s successor as Hunt Leader.
  • In RTH 2097, a family hunting party of Cedarwing, Shyheart, Lynx, Frost, Brightwood, Farscout and young Cloudfern had the tribe’s first encounter with humans, as they encountered a war band of the nomadic Fierce Ones, far to the north of the tribe’s territory. Only Farscout, Brightwood and Cloudfern escaped the encounter alive, and Brightwood was so badly injured that she had to be placed in wrapstuff. (See the Collection: "First Encounter with Fierce Ones/Humans"). Easysinger rallied her tribe to the defense of the Holt against a human invasion which never came; indeed, it was nearly 500 years later before any further sign of the Fierce Ones was found (See story “Edge Of The World”).

It is during this period that Easysinger has the tribe’s remaining plantshaper, Sunlight, develop a Thornwall for the defense of the area closest around the Holt's Dentrees. Over the years, Sunlight and her plantshaper nephew Cloudfern would continue to develop, fortify, and maintain this defense. (The Thornwall, however, is not regarded by the elves as an impenetrable defensive wall. It is intended to discourage human movements, steering them around the tribe's Dentrees; or, in a last resort, to slow down humans determined to invade, giving the tribe time to evacuate.)

  • A second son, Windburn, was born to Easysinger & Blacksnake in RTH 2146.
  • In RTH 2208, Riskrunner, Windburn, and Farscout discovered a drowned troll washed up near a seal colony cavern along the coast. They came back to the Holt with the troll’s metal knives, and Farscout’s mother, the smith Ice, became obsessed with duplicating the trolls' metallurgy. She defied the command against entering a troll tunnel, and was killed. (See the story: "Brightmetal"; and for the trolls' perspective, see the stories "Strength in the Tunnels" and "Leftovers".)
  • Easysinger’s oldest son and heir-apparent, Riskrunner, died of injuries after being attacked by a lynx in RTH 2210. (See story “Flesh & Blood”) The tragedy was followed by a third Recognition for Easysinger and Blacksnake, and their last child, Chicory, was born in RTH 2226. (See the story: "Cubname".)

RTH 2325-2500: The early years of Chief Windburn

Chief Windburn’s years have been eventful and challenging.

  • Several more (Bearheart, Birdcatcher, Cider, Dreamberry, Rhythm, Ringtail) were killed in a raging forest fire in the summer of 2484 ("The Loss of Birdcatcher").
  • Peaceful human Ebean colonists arrived in RTH 2471, causing the tribe to retreat from parts of its long-familiar territory. (See the Collection: "Humans Arrive in the RTH Woods".)
  • Then in RTH 2493, a refugee band of Bukno-Baha humans arrived in the tribe’s territory. Working quickly to localize the threat, Windburn used trickery to lead the Bukno-Baha to the Ebean settlement. The humans settled down together in apparent harmony, and Windburn and his wolfriders retreated further in an attempt to live in secret from their human neighbors. (See the Collection: "Humans Arrive in the RTH Woods".)

RTH 2500

RTH 2501

  • 02 - Longshot and Evervale are noticed to be a bit of an item, especially by their respective fathers ("Opposites Attract").
  • 04 - A human catches a glimpse of an elf for probably the first time, even as Farscout watches him back (but the elves remain unaware of this). ("Through Other Eyes")
  • 08 - Tension between Evervale & Longshot's wolf-friends heightens ("An Interlude")
  • 10 - While out on patrol, Farscout is attacked by stranger-wolves; his wolf Bracken is killed, he is injured. ("Whitechest") Without quite knowing what she is doing, Willow heals him. ("Secrets") Farscout takes his suspicions to Cloudfern and Blacksnake, who decide not to tell the chief, but wait and watch. Low-ranking wolf Flea attaches herself to Farscout. ("Flea-bit"; see the Collection: "Willow Discovers and Develops her Healing Powers".)
  • 12 - Kestrel finds the body of a drowned human child; witnesses a combined party of Ebeans and Baha retrieve the body and grieve over it. ("A Lost Child")
  • 12 - Willow is having trouble adjusting to her powers; she is experiencing a frightening feedback problem. At Windburn's orders, the tribe is leaving her alone (to avoid pressuring her), but that isolation is backfiring. Eventually, Blacksnake privately decides to defy Windburn's orders, and confronts Willow; in the course of their argument, Willow starts to see a path towards perhaps getting a handle on her problem. She vows to stop isolating herself and seriously begin seeking to master her powers. ("Fight or Flight, Pt. 1", "Pt. 2"; see the Collection: "Willow Discovers and Develops her Healing Powers".)

RTH 2502

  • 03-04 - Crawfish's killing alarms the tribe; many think that it signals increasing danger from the humans (which many have feared would someday happen). True Edge proposes to Windburn that the elves reveal themselves to humans, in order to warn them off. ("Hard Choices") Blacksnake disagrees with this suggestion, and confronts True Edge about it. ("Meeting of Minds") Blacksnake concentrates again on the plans that he and Easysinger made back in the aftermath of the Fierce Ones' attack; he approaches several tribemates to feel them out, then makes sure that Windburn has not forgotten what his parents taught him. ("Plans", "Nothing New") Windburn remains uncommitted to any specific plan, though. (see the Collection: "Responses to the Human's Killing of Beetle's Wolf-Friend")
  • 03 - Anticipating that the day when the elves in wrapstuff may be healed and awoken, Greenweave renews his vow to stay with Cloudfern this time, rather than to reunite with Honey, and expresses his intention to offer to adopt Newt; Greenweave offers his soul-name to Cloudfern, who reciprocates. ("A Changing Season")
  • 04 - Beetle bonds with one of that spring's new wolf-cubs, named Rooter. ("Rooter")
  • 04 - Pathmark confessions his love to Evervale, which will lead to a three-mating between Evervale, Longshot, and Pathmark ("Confession").
  • 04 - Putting together the clues, Windburn confronts Blacksnake over his interference with Willow. ("A Lesson Re-Learned")
  • 06-07 - Notch decides that if the chief isn't going to respond to the death of Beetle's wolf-friend, someone else should. Along with Foxtail, and enlisting Beetle's help, he comes up with a plan to play pranks on the humans, targeting the one who killed the wolf. (This expressly goes against the chief's orders concerning humans; "The Third") When they are finally caught, despite Notch arguing his case before the entire tribe, the three pranksters are punished heavily by Windburn (12 days of shunning, and 6 months of restricted movement and hard work). ("Move, Counter-Move", see the Collection: "Responses to the Human's Killing of Beetle's Wolf-Friend".)
  • 08 - Having grown close while Beetle was helping Willow master her healing powers, the two eventually realize the depths of their feelings. By late summer, they have admitted this to themselves and each other, and have become a couple -- although they aren't using the word "lovemate" to describe themselves, and have not yet decided to den together. (see the Collection: "Romance between Willow & Beetle")
  • 08 - One-Leg begins to make plans of his own, worried at the approaching conflict with humans that he thinks is coming. After talking with Beetle ("Hope"), he starts to formulate an idea to designate someone in the tribe as a "human-scout" (his choice is Notch), but Windburn, tired of the recent spate of secret-keeping and plans made behind his back, rebuffs him. ("One Too Many", see the Collection: "Responses to the Human's Killing of Beetle's Wolf-Friend".)
  • 10 - Stung by her humiliation and punishment by her father, and their exclusion from the team chosen to learn the humans' languages, Foxtail and Notch begin plotting ("New Tricks, Old Treats").

RTH 2503

  • 01 - Anticipating the healing and waking of the wrapstuffed elves leads Snowfall to think back to the time before she Recognized True Edge, when she and Kestrel were lovemates. ("Reminiscence and Reflections") Her desire to help her old friend/lover, and her desire to help Kestrel take care of Fadestar when she is unwrapped, leads to the three of them deciding to three-mate. ("Family"; see the Collection: "Three-Mating of Kestrel, Snowfall & True Edge".)
  • 05 - Longshot loses his wolf-friend, Icestalker, in a challenge-fight with Evervale's wolf, Halfmoon ("Moon Rise", "The Calm Before the Storm"), but this incident only strengthens the bonds between the new three-mating between himself, Evervale, and Pathmark.
  • 05 - With the long-awaited healing of those in wrapstuff beginning, the tribe is more anxious than ever to see the rest healed. Responding to the pressure, Willow takes a foolish risk, which leads to further censure for her and restrictions handed down by the chief ("Old Greedygut").
  • 07 - The failure to heal Fletcher causes many to have doubts about allowing Willow to open Brightwood's cocoon and try to heal her, not least because Brightwood was so badly injured, not to mention pregnant, at the time she was wrapped. Some, including her closest family such as Farscout, Cloudfern, and True Edge, want to wait before taking that step, in order to give Willow plenty of time to practice and master her healing powers before they take the risk. But it isn't clear why Willow could not heal Fletcher, and she insists that she is certain that, with that experience behind her, she will be able to heal Brightwood. Caution and the desires of Brightwood's family overrules her, and the chief sides with Farscout and the others. However, Willow darkly sees this as a lack of confidence in her, and an unwillingness to believe that she knows her powers the best; and she is afraid that as long as the last cocoon remains, the chief and the tribe will restrict what she can do and where she can go. Without anyone else's knowledge, she takes it upon herself to open the cocoon and begin the healing. (See: "A Long, Difficult Path", "Brightwood", etc. - see the Collections: "Wrapstuffed Tribemates are Healed and Rejoin the Tribe" and "Consequences of Willow's Rogue Healing".
  • 07 - Although Brightwood and the unborn baby are successfully healed, many in the tribe are angry at Willow for her actions -- defying the wishes of Brightwood's family and the chief's orders, taking that choice away from them and taking a risk that might have turned out tragically. It's up to Chief Windburn, with some input from various elders (including those who speak in Willow's defense) to decide how to punish her ("The Morning After"). In the end, Willow's punishment will be a 4-day shunning, and just before that, the elders who were alive at that time show Willow memories of Healer Owl’s last days in an attempt to show her why her recent actions angered so many in the tribe ("The Lesson of the Last Healer"). This gives Willow a great deal to think about ("I Am Not Him", pending). Only after the shunning is over is a Howl held to welcome Brightwood back to the tribe. See the Collections: "Wrapstuffed Tribemates are Healed and Rejoin the Tribe" and "Consequences of Willow's Rogue Healing".
  • Through the rest of the year, the word-hunters continue to make their trips to try to glean more of the humans' languages (see the Collection: "Learning the Humans' Languages").
  • 12 - Cinder is born to Whispersilk and Windburn; and this brings some of the tension between father and daughter to the surface ("Cinders").

RTH 2504

  • 06 - Copper is born to Brightwood and Farscout ("Copper").

RTH 2504-09 Time Jump

In mid-2504, as mentioned above, the group made a time-jump to 2509. For that reason, there are generally fewer stories to be found set during later 2504-2508, and fewer major plot points.

RTH 2505

RTH 2506

  • 08 - Foxtail, too, is finally allowed to join the Word-Hunters ("Earned").

RTH 2507

(Just tribe business as usual!)

RTH 2508

RTH 2509

(Just tribe business as usual!)

RTH 2510

  • 11 - with Otter's adulthood comes the answer to a long-standing mystery, as the tribe realizes that his father is Greenweave ("Bitter Knowing"); this is the final straw in Otter's romantic hopes towards Newt, who just wants to be friends ("Hope Lasts Eternal").

RTH 2511

  • 02 - Fadestar begins to apprentice with Farscout as a long-range scout… and on her first trip, the two find more than they bargain for, when they happen upon a hunting party of Fierce Ones ("First Patrol"). The entire tribe mobilizes to meet this new potential threat, with some going to keep watch for further incursions by the human enemy, while others make preparations in case the tribe must flee the Dentrees to greater safety at the refuge of Bluestone Cave (see the Collection: "Return of the Fierce Ones").
  • 03 - Fadestar develops gliding powers during the crisis ("Lift Off").
  • 04 - when the crisis has passed, the tribe comes back together and decides what to do ("After the Storm"). A course of action is decided on -- to keep closer watch on the local "non-threatening" human tribes, with an eye towards possibly approaching them as allies; continuing to prepare Bluestone Cave as a refuge in case of invasion; and increased patrols and watches set, for early warning in case of the Fierce Ones' return. These strategies will continue to be employed for the next several years, through the winter of 2513/14.
  • 04 - Wasp, Blacksnake's wolf-friend and the chief-wolf of the tribe's pack, is killed while hunting. (Story pending.)
  • 05 - the death of the wolf-pack's male chief is followed by a challenge to Whirl, the chieftess-wolf and Windburn's wolf-friend, and she is killed in the contest. Starlight, Kestrel's wolf-friend, becomes the new chieftess-wolf, and her chief-wolf is Halfmoon, Evervale's wolf-friend, who wins out over Notch's Beauty. ("Just Like Mother Used to Make".)

RTH 2512

RTH 2513

(Just tribe business as usual!)

RTH 2514

The "present" year of River Twine Holt. Major plotlines will be noted here as they happen.