A/N: Hurrah! I finally got over my writers block and the first chapter turned out very nicely. Hope you like it! I'm very sorry for the long wait and from this point on, I'll try to update faster.
This is my first WolfQuest fic, so go easy on the criticism. People know me for writing Mario, so if I'm wrong on things (places, landmarks, etc.) tell me in a review. However, I've renamed most of them (humans named them, so how would a wolf know those names?) so I'm not really sure it matters much. A full key of Human Name vs. Wolf Name is on my profile page under "The White Wolf Pack Stats".
Disclaimer: I do not own WolfQuest. Well, I've downloaded the game, but I do not own the trademark, the rights, etc.
My feet pounded against the ground as I ran towards the oncoming herd. I easily picked out the weakest cow elk and pushed on the speed. It was night, the moon was full, and I was hunting tomorrow's breakfast. Night was the only time I could really focus, and when the moon was out, I was unstoppable.
My name is Luminara, and I am the White Wolf. As you may have already guessed, I am no ordinary wolf: I am only two years old, yet I have a territory of my own. I am a lone wolf, but my territory stretches across half of Amethyst Mountain: all of the Dead Forest, the Silvam Hunting Grounds, and a little bit of the Dry River Territory. I am an orphan, but I already know all that I need to: how to hunt, fight, and communicate with other wolves.
My parents, Nigr and Rufona, were exceptional hunters and fighters, and taught me and my only sister, Vena, everything they knew when we were only pups. All of the packs of Amethyst Mountain had feared and admired us greatly.
The placing of our territory was actually quite strategic, but resulted in the formation of enemies looking to expand theirs. We lived in the Deep Valley, and no wolf that lived on Amethyst Mountain would dare climb down the steep cliffs to get to us. In fact, the only wolves I knew that could climb up and down the cliffs were my sister, my parents, and I. We also had a secret hunting ground, the Cervum Hunting grounds.
But like I said before, enemies were made. Numerous packs that came from the distant lands of Slough Creek were looking to expand their territory, and tried to drive us out, but my parents fought them off, until Scar came, and he was looking for much more than just land.
Scar was a wolf as deep gray-black as an oncoming storm cloud, and had a personality like thunder and lightning combined. A deep red scar over his left eye made his presence all the more disturbing and frightening, also hence his name. He was a wolf like my parents had never seen before, and his pack resulted in their downfall. He did not take our land, however. But he did take something very dear to me.
He kidnapped Vena. I vowed revenge, but my parents' dying wish was that I would stay on Amethyst Mountain and compete in the Pack Games this coming spring. I had no choice. My lifelong dream was that, after the Pack Games, I would find Vena and crush the foreign pack that kidnapped her.
Why Scar took Vena was a mystery to me. Why he would just come and ruthlessly conquer was even further perplexing…
It was nearing the end of winter and the snow was turning to slush, and the normally dry creek was beginning to fill. The bears were awakening from their hibernation and the elk, thankfully, were becoming more active. Speaking of elk, I had just brought down a fine looking one indeed. I began to drag it back to my den.
The late-winter air was cool and biting when I reached the fallen trees that served as my den. The trees had fallen on top of one another, and their branches created a perfect shelter, if you added the ones that I put on top as well. I also dug a deep dip underneath them to serve as walls. I placed the elk meat outside of my den and walked inside. Immediately, I felt a wave of fatigue. The moonlight always gave me strength, and the moon was not visible from inside my den. I soon fell asleep and dreamed of the Pack Games…
The Pack Games were the events of the year, hosted at the Lone Dead Tree. When they were not serving their pack, wolves spent all their time training for these games. Two year old wolves would compete for the best mate, and older wolves would compete for pack status. There were various events: hunting bull elk, herding elk over the edge of the cliff, races, marathons, wolf versus wolf fights, just to name a few.
The next morning, I woke up and stretched my sore bones. The sun was shining and I could feel it in my blood that spring was here before I even stepped outside. Once I did though, the sun was near blinding. I widened my eyes to see that the snow had almost melted; small brown patches of once-frozen grass dotted the landscape of the Dead Forest. The dry river actually showed signs of moisture!
I could also see a wolf hunting in the distance for elk near the Saltus Hunting Grounds. I knew him; his name was Duxas, the alpha of the Rubiat Pack. His yellow-tan pelt shone in the sunlight like mine did in the moonlight. He was the sole alpha and only about two years old. He, like me, was a wolf who possessed extraordinary skill in all areas.
I turned toward my breakfast, captured last night, and growled menacingly at a coyote who had tried to sneak a bite. The coyote scurried away in fright. I began to eat, and then proceeded to mark my expansive territory.
Today differed from the norm in two ways, first, that I could detect the scent of other wolves in my territory. The scent was old and stale, but the fact that it was very near to the Silvam Hunting Grounds worried me. The second way was that I discovered where the scent was coming from via other border markers: Festire wolves. Festire wolves had been hunting in the Silvam Hunting Grounds: My hunting grounds! The twilight was nearing, but I needed to go talk to the Festire Pack's alphas: Agros and Flume.
This was not unusual these days; wolves all over the mountain wanted their hunting grounds back. I was willing to share it with them, but in every peace treaty I would try to negotiate with every alpha (that would always fall through), the neighboring pack would want more than their share. Both the Capion and Festire Pack alphas wanted not just the whole hunting grounds, but also a sizeable percentage of my territory.
I was not stupid. The message was clear: they wanted me gone.
The only pack that had not tried to negotiate for the Silvam Hunting Grounds at all was the Rubiat Pack. The hunting grounds were no use them anyway, for their camp was too far form the Dead Forest.
Therefore I was on good terms with Duxas and the Rubiat, and they were a good ally to have.
I was surprised of the lack of security the Festire Pack had for their territory; the barks and howls of alarm did not rise up into the air until I was a mere one hundred yards away from their camp: a grove of ash trees sheltered by tall grass that came up to my knees.
I could hear heavy footsteps plodding toward me, and I stopped in the middle of a patch of tall grass.
A small group of betas, one omega, and Agros stopped in front of me.
"What do you want?" Agros growled, "You are intruding a well distance into our territory!"
"What do I want?" I said, though my voice was hoarse from lack of use, "I would like some information," Agros momentarily lost his composure, but regained it soon enough. "I would like to know why I found Festire scent in the Silvam Hunting Grounds!"
Agros was infuriated. "How dare you accuse us of something that we as a pack did not do! You are trying to stir up trouble and take more of what is rightfully ours!"
It looked as if a fight would be starting soon, and I'd had enough.
"Listen, a fight is not what I, what we, want right now. I just want you to question your wolves, and if they stole elk, they stole elk. However, if you did plan this…" A growl rumbled in Agros's throat. "…I just want you to know that I have a nose!"
Agros snarled and stalked away. His betas followed him, but the omega stayed behind for a minute. I wondered what she had to say.
"Well?" I said. "If there's something you want to tell me, go on!"
The small, gray-brown omega wolf took a deep breath and said, her eyes darting around the plain landscape,
"Well… I kind of wanted to… to…" she stuttered, "to participate in the Pack Games this year…" I wondered where she was going with this exactly. All of a sudden she blurted, "It was I who stole the elk!"
I narrowed my eyes at her.
"And why exactly did you bring up the nerve to tell me this?"
"I… I don't want to be an omega anymore. I can hunt elk as well as all of the others can… How do you become a single-wolf pack, like you did?"
Ah… I get it now.
"Well, Duxas is in charge of those things, but what about the Pack Games?" I truly mentioned the Pack Games, not because she would never survive them, not because I was a single-wolf pack by a loophole only, but because she would never survive as a single-wolf pack either, even if she could hunt.
What was I supposed to do? If I sent her to Duxas she would surely make a coyote of herself…
I sighed in exasperation. Why did I even care at all? I had lived on my own for almost a year now, a solitary wolf in the Dead Forest. The only wolves I had ever cared about were my mother, my father, and Vena. So why is this so hard?
I looked around; we were still in Festire territory and Agros and Flume might come looking for me once they found an omega wolf missing…
"Let's take a walk, shall we?" I suggested, still undecided about my motives and unsure of where we would go or do. We started in the general direction of the dry creek.
The little gray and brown dappled wolf was about the same age as me, but considerably smaller. She reminded me of Vena in a way, but gray-and-brown-dappled was a common coat pattern amongst wolves, unlike mine, a stunning moon white. I couldn't see why she was an omega though, for usually an omega's status is the result of a birth defect or a permanent injury. There was no such thing about her, and she could clearly hunt well.
"How did you become an omega?" I asked.
She took a deep breath and answered, "My father was a traitor to the pack." I nodded. Sometimes packs would assume traits about wolves just because of something their parents had done. "Agros and Flume expected me to be just like him, and they made me a permanent omega so that I couldn't rise up in the ranks of the pack," she paused, "No one's ever really cared too much about me."
A part of my heart that hadn't awoken since before Scar warmed up to the little wolf, and I found myself saying, "What's your name?"
"Well Kyla, you can stay with me tonight," I said.
Kyla looked scared, almost frightened. She shook her head. At once, I figured out what was going on.
"What rumors have been circulating about me?"
Kyla relaxed, "They're only rumors? Oh, well… um…"
I laughed, "Maybe wolves think I'm a rabid, power-hungry wolf who wants to take over all of Amethyst Mountain?"
"Something like that,"
By now, we had entered the Dead Forest. Kyla looked around in awe at the stark white trees. We reached my den shortly, and I went hunting while my new adopted sister crashed in my bed of leaves. Later, frustrated because no elk had been brought down, I slept outside of the den in the moonlight. I would have to face the Festire in the morning…
All of a sudden, I had a thought. What if I was no better than Scar, kidnapping wolves? Then, I remembered that it was Kyla's decision to leave, and that Agros hadn't even told her to keep with the pack when they left. Comforted slightly, but not quite, I fell asleep.
The next morning…
Kyla was gone. Had she gone back to the Festire? Was she merely a spy, reporting on me to Agros and Flume?
Feeling betrayed, I called, "Kyla! Where are you?" when I heard a shuffling behind me. I turned around to see none other than Kyla, dragging a good-sized elk back to camp.
"Breakfast," she said. I smiled.
"You can HAVE her," Agros was in my face, not quite realizing that I was twice the size of him. As for me, I couldn't quite believe my ears. I had expected Agros to be quit a bit more reluctant to just give away a member of his pack. My teeth were bared. Relations between the Libratus Pack (what Kyla and I call ourselves, for that was the name of my parents' pack, in the ancient wolf language "Libratus" means "freedwolves") and the Festire Pack were getting worse by the second.
"That's fine with me! You'll regret it, for she's the best hunter I've ever seen in the rank of an omega!" I stormed away, running back to our camp in the Dead Forest. For a second a fleeting look across Agros' face told that he was going to send the betas flanking him after me, but he must have decided against it, because it disappeared as soon as it came.
As soon as I got back, out of breath, Kyla asked, "What went wrong? Are they going to take me back?" I shook my head in a "no" gesture.
"He was fine to let me have you! He sounded like he wanted to get rid of you!" I began to pace the yellow grass in front of my den. All of a sudden I noticed a dead tree where there wasn't one before; it had fallen over and it looked like it had been dragged to the clearing, judging by the rut it had left behind. "How did that get there?"
Kyla blushed sheepishly. "I was going to expand the den."
Filled with pride, I suggested, "Well, the Pack Games are coming up and if we want to prove Agros wrong, you need training! You have extraordinary skills for an omega, but to harness those powers, training is necessary. Shall we start now?" Kyla nodded enthusiastically.
We started with hunting. Having a whole hunting ground to ourselves had its advantages, and we were completely undisturbed as I taught hunting techniques to Kyla that I was sure no other wolf knew. After Kyla's techniques were significantly better, it was dark and we began to head back to the den. Kyla instantly crashed in the den, but I stayed awake, sitting outside in the full moon.
"I'm going hunting," I said to Kyla, who had almost, but not quite, fallen asleep. She hadn't the faintest idea that I had no intention of going hunting at all, but rather, I was going to see Duxas. The Pack Games began in five days, and I had to speak to him about a matter.
About an hour later, I reached Rubiat territory, located in the Soda region of the Pine Forest. I wanted to maintain peace with the Rubiat, so I waited outside the border for a scout to come and get me. No scout came, instead, Duxas himself padded through the bushes. He must've known it was me.
The yellow-tan wolf named Duxas was only slightly bigger than me, being male. He was one of the only wolves I could look straight in the eye, rather than having to look down at him, which in itself was awkward.
I saluted him, but he said in his deep throng of a voice, "There is no need, Luminara. What brings you all the way to Soda?" Duxas and Kyla were the only wolves who called me by my name, Luminara.
"As you may know by now, the Festire Pack has willingly given me one of its members, named Kyla. Together we form the Libratus Pack again. I just wanted to register this with you and the plans for the Pack Games." I said, but Duxas was laughing.
"Really Luminara, I know you. You would not come all the way to Soda to simply register another pack member with me! Tell me, what is on your mind?" Duxas laid down on the ground, and to be polite, so did I.
Duxas and I go way back; his parents were friends of my parents, and as a result, we became best of friends. When my parents were killed and our old territory lost, the Rubiat offered to take me in, but I refused.
From then on, I was independent, and always would be.
Until I met Kyla, I was a single-wolf pack. I refused to become a dispersal wolf, for dispersals, like omegas, do not compete in the Pack Games. I wanted to carry on the name of our pack, Libratus, and obey my parents' dying wish, so I fought to maintain my status as an alpha. Eventually, Duxas rose in power and aided me by finding a loophole in the rules.
I sighed, giving up, and said, "You remember Vena, right?" Duxas nodded, not even flinching at the sound of her name. "I have reason to believe she's still alive. After the Pack Games, I'm going to go to Slough Creek and look for her."
"So why do you come to me?"
"I need someone to look after Kyla and the territory while I'm gone. The Pack Games only last a few weeks, and already the Festire have their eyes on the Silvam Hunting Grounds."
Duxas nodded again, but he was staring off at a point somewhere over my shoulder. Eventually, he replied, "The Rubiat would be happy to assist you," but he still had that faraway look on his face.