ell looked up at the full moon that was rising over the stone cave and remembered the events of the past year as well as what happened with his beloved sister Larka. He stole a glance at his mate Tarlar and smiled for she was currently nursing their five newborn cubs. They had decided to name them after Fells past, therefore the names Huttser, Palla, Kar, Ottol, and Larka, now belonged to the pups. Huttser was dark grey in color and already resembled a great hunter. Palla was a light grey, with a sleek, slender frame. Kar was brown with a black stripe down his back with a stocky build. Ottol was shiny brown that reminded Fell very much of the wise beaver that had helped him save Alina just over a moon ago. Larka was pure white just like her aunt and resembled her so closely it brought tears to Fells eyes. Fell trotted over to Tarlar and nuzzled down next to her.
"How long has it been since we have been this happy?" she asked her mate.
"Too long," he sighed.
With that in mind, they turned to look at the cubs and at the same time each let out a quiet howl filled with so much emotion that all the lera who heard it scurried into their homes filled with fright. The howl was filled with happiness and anger, grief and love, and above all it had longing in it, for the wolves that unleashed it on the world longed to have all the events of the past years erased from existence. They wished that Larka had never died, that Jalgan had never hunted Tarlar, and that Palla and Huttser hadn't died that night below the stone den.
Long after Tarlar had fallen asleep Fell lay gazing at the cubs as memories both horrible and wonderful filled his mind. He remembered going on his first hunt with Huttser and of Brassa telling him and Larka stories of the varg gods Tor and Fenris. He also remembered playing with Larka by the stone den, how they would chase the grasshoppers together, and his mother's endless tolerance for his petty questions. However, all good things must come to an end. His memories eventually drifted to Larka's death, and saving Alina. Images of Morgra and thoughts of his dark upbringing filled his mind like boiling clouds. With these dark thoughts still lingering in his mind he drifted into a fitful sleep.
Tarlar woke with a start the next morning. She glanced around but saw nothing that would cause her to wake the way she did. She sniffed the air and a strangely familiar scent reached her nose. She peered over at Fell who was just waking up from the night's rest.
"We should go hunting today." Tarlar spoke.
"I agree, you need all the energy you can get to feed the cubs." Fell replied.
Once the sun was breaking over the mountains, Fell went off to hunt for his family, while Tarlar guarded the family. Tarlar was struggling to keep the cubs from straying too far when Fell walked up carrying two rabbits and a pheasant.
"Dad, when are you going to teach me how to hunt?" Huttser asked.
"When the time comes, you, along with your brothers and sisters, will learn how to hunt but not 'til then." was Fells reply.
He smiled down on the cub, as he reminded Fell so much of himself that it was heartwarming.
A little while later Fell and Tarlar had finished their meal and the cubs were sucking greedily at their mother's warm milk. Tarlar settled in for a long wait as Fell came up behind her.
"Should we tell them?"Fell asked his mate nervously as the last cub drifted off to sleep.
"I don't know. It seems they have a right to know where their names come from." Tarlar said. The couple had concealed all tales of Larka and Fells adventures, in an attempt to shield the cubs from the past.
"If one of them asks straight out, we will tell them." Fell decides after a moment's consideration.
Tarlar just nods her head as she rests her head on the ground next to the cubs. Fell looks with love filled eyes at his family before going to scout the area around his family. Kar often asked him why he was so nervous all the time but Fell always avoided the question and normally went scouting again soon after. The truth was that Fell was extremely nervous that some part of his past would come and threaten the life of his little family.
While out scouting Fell stopped and lapped some water out of a mountain stream to quench his thirst when he saw an image form in the water. The image forming was that of a young woman who he soon recognized as Alina. He looked on in shock as Alina began to talk to him.
"Fell!?,Help! I need your help!, Fell!" her troubled cry came from the water and seemed to squeeze Fell till he could hardly breath. However the scene kept playing. Fell could easily see Alina being ambushed and dragged away. The fear in her eyes seemed to scream at him as she looked wildly around for some sign of help.
The image faded into darkness and within seconds Fell was once again staring at the cool clear water however a sudden darkness had been cast about the sunny day. Fell turned on hiss heals and ran to his family.
A Fairy-Tale Ending
Alina looked in the mirror and could hardly recognize herself. She wore a green garb that was complete with a silver and jade comb that was placed at the crown of her head amongst the pile of long hair. She had changed so completely from the girl she had been a year ago, she had grown her hair out till it hung just above her waist and she had lost the skimpy look that she had carried for so long. Catalin came up behind her and snuck his arms around her waist.
"You're too beautiful for your own good," he whispered in her ear earning a smile and a blush from Alina.
"You think so?" she asked.
"Definitely." He breathed into her neck with a lust filled aura flowing from his words.
Alina blushed deeper and dipped her head before expertly wiping away all traces of the blush.
The two had recently started dating since the ordeal with Alina's heritage. Alina didn't know but in the time span of one moon Catalin was planning on proposing to the love of his life, but for now the pair was off to a banquet in honor of Catalin's father, as today was the 1 year anniversary of his death.
They headed down the passage before entering the great hall and taking their places at the dining table already full of nobles.
Even thought she had now spent a year in the castle royal life was an adventure, in its own way. There where laws to pass, speeches to write and give, and the occasional weapons demonstration that Catalin and her hosted occasionally to show people how to use swords and bows.
She glanced around the room there was a plentiful feast laid out before her, as well as a shrine to Lescu placed in the center of the table. She smiled sadly at the thought of the man that had trained her. She then turned her attention to the people sitting at the table.
"Today we honor the man that trained me in the skills I know as well as the father of Catalin. He was a great man who beyond deserves to be here today, sadly, he gave his life defending Catalin and I, and that in itself is an act of great honor, today is for the man that was willing to go to any length for what he believed in. To Lescu." she said while lifting her glass and taking a drink.
"To Lescu." The nobles raised their glasses and followed suit.
That evening Alina was lying in bed when she heard a timid knock on her chamber door. Alina quickly adjusted her gown before calling out. "Come in"
To her surprise it was Catalin who came through the door.
He bowed respectfully until Alina told him he could rise then he pulled her in for a tight hug.
"I love you" he stated.
"I love you too" was Alina's reply.
She heard him audibly gulp.
"Is something wrong?" she asked him worriedly.
"No it's just that…"he trailed off.
He knelt down to one knee and looked into her startled eyes.
"Alina, will you marry me?" he asked.
Catalin looked deep into Alina's eyes trying to contemplate the pool of emotion he found there. He could tell she was shocked at this sudden question and that worried him he truly believed that she would say yes however now he was not so sure of his earlier assurance.
"…Ye" she started to say when suddenly all the lights blew out with a frigid wind and the room was left dark. Catalin acted quickly by grabbing her arm and pulling her down the hallway to where some guards were stationed. There the lights where lit and both he and Alina were perplexed over the situation. They took a candle from the guards and went back to Alina's chamber Catalin then re-lighted the lamps before turning around. He gasped at what he saw; Alina shaking on the bed and the room around her destroyed. He hurried over and sat next to Alina holding her in his arms.
"It's gone, it's gone, it's gone." was all that Alina could say Catalin stayed by her side all night holding her never asking the question burning inside him.
In the morning they woke up having both fallen asleep Alina was startled at the fact that they had spent the night together however Catalin seemed unphased.
Catalin got up and started to pick up the room before he realized something.
"Hey, Alina, what's gone?" he asked her in a quiet voice.
"The sword" was her barely audible reply.
He gave her a questioning look causing her to continue.
"The sword your father made for me" she whispered
Catalin dropped the torn book he was holding and a shocked look crossed his face.
"What do you mean gone it was locked in the cabinet wasn't it?" he asked her.
She nodded before saying.
"Everything is gone"
They both hung their heads and a grey cloud seamed to envelope the room.
A Race Against Time
Tarlar looked up with shock as she saw Fell dash into the clearing and skid to a halt.
"Where are the cubs?" his voice demanded that Tarlar waste no time in telling him.
"They are in the den sleeping, why?"
"Alina is in trouble." was his curt reply.
Tarlar let a stunned look cross her normally calm face.
"How is that possible?"Tarlar questioned in awe.
"I don't know, but I do know that I have to help her."
A wave of understanding washed over Tarlar's face.
"I understand just promise me one thing…promise you'll come home safely."
"I promise, now stay hidden with the cubs I'll be back soon."
And with those few words Fell dashed into the forest once more toward the castle that Alina lived in. As he ran at astounding speeds Fell's thoughts where on only two things; Alina, and whether or not whatever happened to her would threaten his cubs.
After three exhausting days Fell topped the last hill and saw the castle in the valley below. With renewed vigor Fell sped down the slope and into the castle the guards let him through without a word, apparently Alina had given them orders to let him in if he ever showed.
Once in the castle he sniffed around desperate to find Alina's scent. He found it along a narrow tunnel that was covered in the scent of fear. Although the scent worried him he started to crawl through the passageway without a glance back.
Alina turned quickly at the sudden noise only to find herself expertly gagged. She searched the dark for her captor but found nothing, she heard not a sound come from the expanse of black before her. She heard the blood pounding in her ears drowning out all other noises. She instantly realized that she needed to calm herself and think this through. Before she was able to contemplate her situation she felt a gruff hand grab her throat, she started to struggle against the grip and screamed into her gag. Her attempts where worthless, a slimy voice started to whisper in her ear and she felt cold steel on her neck.
"I'm trained you know" the voice said, "and if you struggle too much I may have to go against my orders and do something far worse to you."
Alina suddenly froze in fear as the knife left her throat but instead stated to trace circles on her chest getting lower and lower with each circle.
"You do know what I'm talking about don't you? Well now you have your warning so get up bitch!"
Alinas only choice was to comply, she stood up and her captor hurriedly tied a blindfold around her head. Alina was led away down a passageway. Once Alina was gone Catalin stepped out of his hiding place behind the curtains. His face was contorted into a scowl and his eyes burned a hole through the darkness. He quickly ran after Alina after grabbing his bow.
Catalin peeked around the corner he could just barely make out the flickering shadow from the candle Alina's captor held. He expertly stalked the person till he saw them throw Alina into a filthy jail cell in the dungeon of the castle. The captor whispered one last warning to Alina then turned and left through the door used by the cleaning staff. Catalin grabbed the cell keys off the hook and hurried to Alinas cell.
Alina heard the sound of keys in the lock and she started to panic, worried that someone had come to kill her. Suddenly comforting arms where around her and she recognized the scent of the person holding her even though she still had a horrid smelling gag in her mouth. Catalin untied Alinas bonds and slipped the gag out of her mouth before kissing her passionately.
"Come on" he whispered," there is a way out near here we can escape to Oshikhan."
"Oshikhan?" Alina questioned.
"It's a neighboring kingdom they have been our allies in many wars and from what I've heard they hated the previous king so I'm guessing they will like you." Was Catalins swift reply.
"Then how have I never heard of it?"
"Few people do, they requested that, to stay safe."
"Oh, then how do you know about it?"
"My father and I used to go there to sell supplies that we made."
"Ok, then how do we find this route?"
"There should be a small metal ring marking it."
The two searched to cell only to come out empty handed. Suddenly the sound of boots on stairs reached their ears. They shared a quick glance; both saw fear in the other's eyes. In a last ditch effort Catalin pushed on the wall and to their surprise it gave way.
"Come on" Catalin urgently whispered.
Together they started to crawl through the tunnel they hoped would take them to safety
Fell was covered in dust and surrounded by the smell of urgency. All in all, he was very uncomfortable. However, he knew that he had to save Alina so he trudged on. Eventually he saw a light looming up ahead, he pushed on the wall with his muzzle and it gave way just like the one before. He crawled out of the opening and stood in awe at the sight as this was Fell's first time in a city larger than the Helgra village. Soon he came to his senses and began to search the area for a sign of Alina.
Fatigue soon overcame the old wolf and he lay down to sleep knowing he would be of no use to Alina in this state. In the morning Fell awoke refreshed and ready to look for Alina again, while bending down to get a drink from a puddle of rain water an image started to form. First he saw Alina being captured again but then a new image began to appear, his cubs where on a hill outside the stone den with Tarlar watching their play. Fell smiled at the picture until he saw a large grey wolf standing above his family glaring down on them. He knew that this wolf was a danger to his family and that he had to save them, the only question now was who to save? Alina or his precious family? He was torn in half until he saw a new image begin to collect on the water, one of Catalin holding Alina protectively in his arms. Fell had made up his mind Alina had Catalin but his family was alone and venerable so he faced out of the city to help them.
Oshikhan part 2
Catalin pulled gently on Alinas hand.
"Come on" he encouraged her. She smiled bravely in return and together they pushed into Oshikhan. Alina looked around in wonder at the sight but Catalin pushed her on.
"We have to make it to the castle as soon as possible" he tried to reason with her, his only reply, a silent, quick, nod of the head from Alina who was still shocked at what she was seeing.
Eventually they made it to the castle and Catalin immediately asked to see the King telling the usher that it was Alina and Catalin from Castelu. He nodded his head in understanding and walked off at a fast pace. Suddenly, without warning all the guards that where standing at their posts where surrounding Alina and Catalin. Catalin was looking at them in rage and Alina's face was contorted in bewilderment. The knights parted and in walked Corporal Feriander one of Alinas fathers most trusted men.
"Welcome" he said coldly.
"Why are you doing this? Catalin asked furiously.
"It's rather simple really," Feriander drawled in a bored tone, " I'm here to take the throne" as though stating the obvious.
"What?!?" shrieked Alina.
"I'll never let you do that" Catalin stated defensively.
"Too late" Feriander said in a mocking tone at that instant an arrow shot with uncanny precision flew through the air and pierced Catalins heart. For Alina time seemed to freeze, Catalin lay falling through the air with blood covering him blood spattered on the guards armor and on her face. Catalin turned his head to look into her eyes just as he hit the ground.
"You monster!" Alina screamed at Feriander befor turning to kneel next to Catalin. A single tear slipped down her face, she opened her eyes only this time instead of pain and shock, they where dripping with malice and will to kill. In less than a second she had de-armed a guard and knocked him out. She turned to face Feriander wielding the guard's sword.
"Your time ends now" she spat at him before lunging toward him.
The Wrong Choice?
Fell dashed through the woods worried for his family when he got to the den he found, to his dismay, a pool of blood surrounding Ottol. The scent of fear lingered in the air but Fell could tell that he was far too late to save his family. He trotted into the stone den only to see the wolf from his vision towering over the only member of his family left, Huttser. The young pup had grown in the short time Fell had been gone. As Fell looked on Huttser lunged straight up at the older wolves' throat and easily made a kill of a much more experienced hunter. Fell trotted all the way int the cave making his presence known to Huttser. The pup wore a forlorn look on his face over the deaths of his sisters, brothers, and mother.
"I saw him coming papa, I saw how to kill him" the pup told his father.
"You possess the sight as I do don't worry ill teach you all you need to know but for now we need to take care of our family." Fell said.
Huttser nodded in understanding and the two got to work after caring for their family Huttser and Fell lay to rest next to them. Huttser had fallen asleep when another wolf topped the hill. She saw the two wolves and hatred burned in her heart with a feral snarl she lunged down the hill straight at Fell.
"You should not be alive!" she shrieked.
Fell dodged her attack just in time and her cry awakened Huttser who ran to the large rock near the stone cave knowing that he was no match for this she-wolf. Fell looked to make sure Huttser was safe and the she-wolf saw her opportunity to strike. She expertly sunk her teeth into Fells throat earning a small gasp from him. Fell struggled to stand but he managed to leap and snap one of her legs. Huttser heard a snap from behind the rock and he peeked out only to see both Fell and the she-wolf on the ground. Fell was barely conscious while the she-wolf was dead. Huttser ran to his father.
"I'm sorry Huttser," Fell said, "Morgra as my last wish as a living varg please help my son to understand the power of the sight." And with that Huttser was left with nothing.
Alina felt un-measureable anger in her heart. She was so far gone that her vision was clouded with black, relying purely on instinct she swiftly decapitated Feriander and all the guards. She sat shaking next to Catalins body until her mother showed up and put a comforting hand on her daughters shoulder.
Three days later Alina stood next to Catalins grave as sorrow consumed her heart. She heard a whimper next to her only to find a wolf pup that reminded her of Fell. Suddenly the pup spoke to her just as Fell used to.
"Are you Alina?"
"My father is Fell he died protecting me and someone told me to find you."
"Then welcome little pup and we shall begin anew together."
Huttser nodded his head and they both looked into the new sunrise.