~ I am going to take some liberties with this story, since I will never be able to perfectly recreate the characters and the world Tolkien imagined. ~
Disclaimer: Middle-Earth Enterprises has full ownership of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
And a final note: Name pronounciations are at the bottom. ;)
I came up with this idea thinking 'Well why just bear skin changers? There ought to be different types of skin changers that Tolkien did not expound upon...hmmm...;)
Before the tale of the wolf woman there had been two wolf children. And before they had been raised by a bear man they had been born to a wolf man and a wolf woman. Due to the circumstances the couple put themselves in, they were unable to safely raise their offspring. Therefore, before the tale of the wolf woman begins, the story of the wolf man and wolf woman must be told. The tale of the wolf children and the bear man will follow after, and then the life of the wolf woman can be properly told without any misunderstandings.
Now, far south of the bear man's Carrock, unbeknownst to the majority of those living in Middle Earth, there lived a pack of wolf skin changers. They were a close-knit community and had no correspondence with the outside world beyond the other two packs whose territories bordered theirs. Each pack's name had been chosen according to their territory: The ForestKin Pack, The ValleyKin Pack, and The RiverKin Pack.
And the wolf man and wolf woman of our focus were ForestKin skin changers.
The wolf woman's name was Erebyss, and she had been the alpha female of the pack.
Being the only child of her parents, who had been the alphas since before her birth and after her maturity, it had been expected that she grow into her dominance and lead the pack once her mother and father stepped down. And while Erebyss had all the qualities of a true alpha, she could not become a leader of her people until she chose a wolf man to be her mate and alpha male of the pack, as was the law of the wolf skin changers.
As spirited and strong-willed as Erebyss was, she respected her parents' wish to help choose an alpha male for her and the pack. She had to show her parents that she did not selfishly want an alpha to suit only her, but an alpha that fit her standards and was capable of leading the pack for many years to come.
Therefore, a wedding ceremony was held a mere 5 years later to cement the alpha status of the new couple, Erebyss and her new mate Iravis.
Iravis was a handsome, muscular man and a powerful, intimidating wolf.
He stood at 7'6, a respectable height among wolf men. For wolf skin changers, as humans and as beasts, they rarely exceeded the height of a bear man; their stature most always past the normal height of men. Iravis not only had the ruggedly handsome features, but had the proportioned muscular physique that further exuded his dominant nature; not lean and not stocky, a solid middle.
As a wolf he was 8'0 at the shoulders with a large, broad head and a thick, muscular neck. His eyes were the common golden-yellow color, and his pelt was dark gray with a lighter shade on the fur of his belly, his chest, and his tail; black, pale gray, and white hairs flecked his muzzle, his ruff, and his tail. While his physical appearance was reminiscent of the typical wolf colors, it was how he carried himself with tail raised and neck arched that made him stand out as a dominant male.
What Erebyss loved about him at first glance was the man's mysterious icy-blue eyes. And over time she grew fond of his teasing and playfully challenging attitude, which he displayed as a man and as a wolf.
He was 40 years her senior, but this was not considered a big age difference among skin changers since they aged quite slowly. But there was talk of the quick union between the two; some believing that they should have waited a bit longer, and others whispering of how the early wedding may be a bad omen for the alpha family, mainly for Erebyss. This was because as an alpha female she could now lose her birthright and new title to a challenging wolf woman.
But years passed and Erebyss was rarely challenged, and those who did were quickly defeated. And the young wolf woman found it odd, since it was no secret that many of the wolf women did not disguise their attraction toward her mate. She had also seen Iravis flirting comfortably around other women, but her love for him had made her blind to what he was capable of doing behind her back.
This was because Erebyss was not a naturally jealous woman, and put her complete trust in Iravis' pledged fidelity. She was also confident in her own skin and knew she was a beautiful woman and creature. She could not help but smile whenever her alpha told her what a vision she was to gaze upon.
Iravis' leadership skills and powerful form dissuaded any male to challenge his status and win over leadership of the pack and Erebyss herself. This rule to alpha challenges was in place because they had no children; so if one alpha lost, the other alpha would remain and become the mate of their new counterpart.
A few years after their marriage, the couple began to try and have children, but Erebyss soon lost her desire to become a mother after her second miscarriage.
And over the span of nearly 10 years, Erebyss became bitter toward her mate. This was because Iravis did not mourn as she did, and did not comfort her as a husband should. Instead he would spend nights away from their cabin and then would return home with poor excuses as to his whereabouts and a desire to take her to bed for another chance at conceiving an heir as soon as possible. He did not tear his clothes, he did not express his deepest sorrow over their loss, and he did not howl with the pack when it came to the end of the mourning cycle.
With curiosity and dread, Erebyss tracked her mate one night and found Iravis in the home and arms of another wolf woman.
Unfortunately, as a female, she would have to beat her mate in an Alpha Duel if she wanted to rightfully strip him of his alpha status. And she knew she could not defeat him; as a wolf he was as quick as she, physically stronger than her, and twice as ferocious when provoked. And in an Alpha Duel, there were no restrictions; one or both alphas could die, and she knew he could kill her if he tried.
The only wolf who could surely take down Iravis was the strong and silent form of Darbin.
Darbin was well respected and was one of the wolf men who had been offered to try for Erebyss' hand and the status of pack alpha. He was the only male who had declined the opportunity, believing that his best friend Iravis deserved the chance more than he did. His loyalty to his pack mate had gone so far as to be the one who pointed out the dominant traits that Iravis shared with the golden-haired daughter of the alphas. After the marriage, he had been appointed as head guard and also became Erebyss' guardian when his friend was away.
Many believed, including Erebyss' parents, that Darbin was the perfect person to protect the alpha female when the alpha male was unavailable. This was primarily because of his nickname 'wolf-bear Darbin', since the dark-haired man was not only unusually muscular for a wolf man, but also stood at 9'0 as a man. As a wolf he was 10' feet at the shoulders, and was as black as night with steel-gray eyes.
So it was Darbin she turned to after finding out about Iravis' infidelity. While Darbin was quiet and slow to anger, she did not tell him of what his closest friend did for fear of him seriously harming or killing Iravis.
Instead she asked Darbin to train her, for while he was not as graceful and quick as she or Iravis, he was infamous for being able to win against his opponents by using their attacks against them. He did not like to win by brute force if he did not have to.
He had refused at first, telling her that she was strong enough and was already the most powerful female in their pack. But at her insistence he finally relented.
And as the months passed, Erebyss slowly began to fall in love with the silent 'wolfbear'. Their friendship grew as they not only trained but talked about their lives and witnessed the gentler sides of each other. Two whole years had passed before she finally confessed to him, no longer able to deny her yearning for him as both a companion and romantic figure in her life.
He denied her at first, unwilling to betray his friend with his own desires. And she knew he wanted her as well, for the anguish and reluctance was evident in the gray eyes she now found to be so expressive. Knowing this was what made her decide to tell Darbin of Iravis' misdeeds.
His eyes had widened in shock and flashed with anger, but what he did next she had not expected. Instead of silently leaving to track down Iravis and beat him to a pound of flesh, his now mercurial eyes searched her own blue-gray orbs for a long moment before leaning forward and capturing her lips in a powerful kiss.
Being a man of actions more so than words, she nearly collapsed against him with the knowledge of all he told her with that one kiss.
He took her to bed that night in her own home; and the two agreed to keep quiet. But not long after their coupling she found out she was pregnant.
She was both elated and fearful, and had told Darbin so as soon as she could without the suspicious gaze of Iravis searing their backs. Seeing the improved mood of his mate, and the new found closeness between Darbin and Erebyss, Iravis began to believe that he was missing something.
Time passed and by the third month Erebyss could no longer hide her growing stomach, for the gestation of a new child was six months for a wolf skin changer. and when Iravis saw he quickly put the pieces together. He publicly announced her pregnancy to the pack, following the announcement by declaring that the offspring were not his and he would challenge her to an Alpha's Duel after the birth of the pups.
'If they live.' he had hissed with a malicious grin as he had padded past her, leaving her shaking with tears full of anger and humiliation.
That night she prayed that the life or lives inside her would grow strong and would be born healthy and beautiful.
It had been a big shock to the pack. Some struggled to process the information, others did not want to judge the alpha female so quickly, and a few had whispered that this was the omen that would befall the alpha lineage. And those who who resented and thought negatively of Erebyss' actions did not dare confront her with the looming presence of Darbin, who was even more protective of the golden alpha.
Darbin and Erebyss' love for each other became even further ingrained as they spent their time together all throughout her pregnancy. He doted on her as a husband should, and had called in the pack healer whenever Erebyss was in pain.
As sympathetic as she was to their situation, the healer threatened to not return to Erebyss' homestead until she was in labor if Darbin did not stop calling her in to help. Both Darbin and Erebyss had shared a laugh over her words after the young wolf woman was gone.
But not long after this incidence, Erebyss being in her fifth month at that time, the alpha female went into labor.
Erebyss' parents and Darbin waited anxiously in the living room. Darbin had closed his eyes at the sound of each groan of pain he heard in Erebyss' bedroom, wishing he could be more useful to his love during her labor pains.
Hours passed, but it was during the fourth hour when she screamed.
All three had jumped slightly, their heads jerking to let their worried and wide eyes fall on the sturdy wooden door that separated them from the woman who had screamed in such pain. Darbin had never heard Erebyss scream out so painfully, and thought that he never wanted to hear such a noise again.
But before he could process the sound further, he froze in his spot at the sound of a wail. A baby's wail. And a few minutes later a soft whimper, though with his sharp hearing it was as clear as the wail that preceded it.
It wasn't till nearly a half hour later when the healer opened the door. She looked haggard and frayed, but a weary smile lit up her tired face.
'Two girls..Erebyss wants to see you...' she spoke softly, looking at all three occupants of the room before resting her soft gaze on Darbin.
'You may go in first.' she replied, smiling as his eyes widened just a bit more. He remained frozen and stiff for a second longer before he was across the room and inside the bedroom in a few strides.
Once again he froze at the sight before him. Erebyss looked even more exhausted than the nurse, but the serenity the new mother exuded made her look even more beautiful to Darbin.
His face softened, his eyes beginning to glow with a proud love in his gaze. Erebyss looked away from the little ones to give him a smile that made his breath hitch.
'They're beautiful..aren't they?' she asked, glancing back down at the two bundles. All wolf skin changer children were proportioned to be slightly larger than children of men, but they looked to be of the perfect size to him.
He looked at the girl in Erebyss' left arm. She was quiet and already sleeping, and looked to be just a little smaller than her sister. Her silence and minimum fussiness made him think of himself and hoped he would be able to teach her the importance of her actions if she was to become as silent as he.
A movement caught his eye and he turned to the other bundle in Erebyss' right arm.
While the babe seemed calmer than she sounded earlier, he saw she still squirmed on occasion. He smiled when she let out a petulant whimper in her sleep, knowing that she would be a little fireball as a toddler. And it warmed his heart to know that he might be blessed with having fathered two daughters who would surely have different destinies.
Erebyss looked back up at him, her gaze full of peace and love; for him and their two girls.
In a few short strides he was at her bedside, lowering himself to give his love a soft kiss.
But the happiness was not to last.
When the news of the twins was received by the whole pack, Iravis came to his previous abode a week later. His eyes had flashed at the sight of the two girls, but he said nothing under the unreadable gaze of his ex-best friend. He had come to remind Erebyss of the Alpha Duel, which would be held in two weeks time.
She did not bother to hide her snarl as she told him to leave; not deigning him with a response. Iravis gave a small smirk as he turned to leave. He needed no direct answer from her anyway, he knew she would honor the challenge. For no alpha male or female would willingly choose the alternative: exile from all three packs.
Iravis, however, would not be the only person to give the couple a rude awakening.
Darbin and Erebyss were awoken in the dark of the night two days later. Darbin answered it to meet a worried and panting Deskin who hurried in under the hulking man into the living room.
The dark-haired man silently closed the door and turned to look at the young lad wringing his hands.
Just as he was actually beginning to look alert the boy blurted, "Iravis is planning to kill the pups!"
It took no time for the man's grey gaze to become steely, his silence no longer because of tiredness.
"When?" he asked the dusty-haired wolf boy, his voice measured but hard.
"Before the Alpha Duel..you have to get them out of here! Out of the territory...where Iravis and anyone who joins him will not follow." Deskin said, his voice becoming desperate with each word he spoke.
Darbin was silent for a short while, long enough to make his nephew worried.
"What are you going to do?" the young teen asked, his voice so small now in the quiet of the room.
Darbin said nothing, but as he walked past Deskin he grasped his shoulder for a moment before opening the door into his and Erebyss' bedroom.
Sensing the tension, Erebyss lifted her head and turned to look at him quietly as he closed the door softly.
"What's wrong?...Who was at the door?" she asked, concern beginning to frame her features.
He said nothing for a few moments as he walked around to stand before her side of the bed, bending down to take the smaller child into his muscular arms.
"Iravis plans to have the pups killed before the Alpha Duel." he said, his quiet voice full of steel and worry.
She was silent as she watched him cradle their child, her eyes slowly widening in horror as she processed his words with her sleep addled mind. But her horror quickly became the indignant rage of a mother who is ready to protect her pups to the death.
"He will do no such thing." she growled softly, sitting up fully and cradling their other daughter in her arms.
"You are right...we will leave tonight." he expressed as he went to their dresser, pulling out both of the leather baby bundles Erebyss' parents had given them as a gift. They were double padded and would secure the girls tightly enough to not be jostled while they were running.
"Leave?! I am not leaving like a coward.." she said, her words ending in a disgusted low growl as she glared at Darbin.
"We aren't...we are taking the pups to safety...someplace outside this territory...somewhere north..and we will return for the Alpha Duel..." he said, seemingly unperturbed by her flare of anger.
Erebyss fell silent for a short while, saying nothing as she numbly watched Darbin wrap up their younger daughter as her mother had shown them. It wasn't until he was almost finished wrapping up their other daughter that she spoke, her voice hollow with disbelief.
"You...you want us to leave our children to grow up or die in a land we know nothing of?" she asked, tears beginning to fill her eyes.
He heard the painful resignation in her voice. He knew he didn't need to say it, but he did anyway. "They will die here Erebyss...someone will kill them here.." he said, the painful realization was evident in his tone as he lifted his head to meet his love's sorrowful gaze.
"We have to make this right Erebyss...we owe it to them to take them to a place where they will have a chance at life..even if it is just a chance." he said, his voice pained but firm.
His own eyes began to fill with tears as he watched hers slide down her cheeks silently. In that shared gaze they were able to see each other's anguish at losing the two things that had brought the greatest joy in their life as a family. They could see their own sorrow at not being able to raise their little girls reflected in each other's eyes. All the anticipation of parenthood that they had felt was gone, and was replaced with the determination to fulfill the most important thing for their two little girls: to keep them both alive long enough to find a safe place for them.
With this in mind, Erebyss gave a small nod and a grim smile. She watched as Darbin grabbed the swaddled twins, one nestled in each arm, and for a moment her heart was filled with warmth again at the sight of how gently he handled his daughters. He would have been an amazing father.
She closed her arms around the daughter that was handed to her, closing her eyes in the same moment as Darbin kissed her forehead softly. She gave a pained smile, cherishing the love and promise behind that kiss before he took her arm to help her stand.
With their decision set, they both opened the door and walked into their living and kitchen quarters.
Erebyss smiled as she saw that Deskin was still there, his soft brown eyes still worried as he looked at the two babes that still slept soundly.
"Deskin..if any of the pack asks where we have gone, tell them we have left to train. And that we took the children with us so that Erebyss may be with them as much as possible before the Duel. We will try our hardest to be back before the Alpha Duel...now..say good-bye to your cousins." he gave a small smile at his final words. His eyes softened in bleak amusement as Deskin took a few tentative steps closer to the two wolf children, the young boy looking worried thats they would break if he touched them. But he looked at both before giving a bright smile, "I love you both...and wish you both good hunting and I hope the stars will watch over you." he whispered, glancing up at Darbin and Erebyss with his final words.
"Thank you Deskin." Erebyss murmured as she bent down to press a soft kiss to the wolf boy's forehead. The young lad turned his head, letting out a soft 'oomph' as Darbin crushed him into a one-armed hug. After a moment Deskin returned the hug, trying not to cry before he was pulled away.
Darbin let a smile grace his face as he looked into his nephew's glassy eyes. "We will return." he assured the boy, letting a large hand encompass the lad's skull as he ruffled his hair. Then without a word both wolf man and wolf woman walked out the door and into the dark.
Deskin waited a few moments, giving a quavering smile before turning sharply around. As painful as it was to watch the large black wolf and the smaller golden one lope away, with the end of the wraps securing each twin held firmly in their jaws, he knew they would both do everything they could to return in time for the Alpha Duel. He winced at the thought, realizing that by returning Erebyss could be coming back to meet certain death once more. But just as Iravis knew, Deskin also knew that she would try her hardest to meet the alpha male's challenge. Deskin also believed that Darbin would still train her and support her, because they were the two most honorable skin changers he had ever met.
Wowwww...I can't believe I did this..been up all night and this thing isn't even polished...but eh..I can go back and edit whenever. Pshhh! Haha!
And sorry about the absence of Hobbit characters..but the 2nd and 3rd Chapters will have Gandalf, Radagast, and Beorn! I think I will probably go with the personality movie!Beorn portrays, with some dashes of book!Beorn when he is raising the two girls.
But anywayyyy...let me know what you think! Any suggestions (no flames) and constructive criticism are welcome! And I will answer any questions that you may have about anything concerning this first chapter; but some I may end up answering with the second chapter. ;)
My question for this chapter: What did you think of Erebyss and Darbin? Iravis? Oh yes! Here are how you pronounce the names.
Er = 'er' sounds like the 'err' in error. ebyss = sounds like 'eh-biss'
Dar = rhymes with 'car'. bin = sounds just how it looks ;)
Ir = pronounced 'eer'. avis = sounds like the ending in the name 'Travis'
Des = rhymes with 'chess'. kin = rhymes with 'pin'