This story is set before the previous two, back when the Wolfriders still lived in the Father Tree Holt.
The human encampment had gotten much larger since the last time the elves had been here. It had been quite some time since they had needed to rescue a captured brother or sister from this horrible place. But this time the humans had made one fatal mistake. They had taken an elf who was prized by the entire village, someone who was very near and dear to all their hearts. But he was especially connected to their chief and his brother. And they were both fiercely protective of their third brother, their little budling. Yes, the humans had been bold enough to take Frostbud, a move that they would very soon regret. Cutter and Skywise were frantic to get the little elf back and this did not bode well for the humans because Cutter and Skywise would not hold back. Now they were hidden in the bushes, along with other elves and wolves from the Holt, ready to ambush the human camp. Down below, the fires burned brightly and the drums beat loudly as the men danced and celebrated the sacrifice they would present to Gotara tonight.
Chowki sat by the fire, trying to avoid being trampled by the energetic dancers. He watched the flames dance higher and lower, twirling and dipping in rhythm with the men leaping and spinning around the circle. But his thoughts were not really focused on the fire. He was thinking about the strange silver-haired creature bound to the ceremonial pillar. The little demon was bound to the rock with strong robes that chafed at his wrists and ankles and he simply hung limply from the bonds. Chowki felt bad for the creature but he knew that this was what Gotara wanted. He had heard all the stories about the demons and he knew that his gods and his people despised the demons and wanted to kill them all. But this was the first time Chowki had actually encountered a demon and this one did not look so evil or malicious as Chowki had believed that he would. Suddenly the drum beats came to a crescendo and with a final cry from the dancers, the circle fell silent. The Shaman stepped forward, standing in the firelight next to the stone pillar. He held a knife in his hand and began to chant. The little demon looked up and saw the knife and Chowki could see the fear in his eyes. But there was also great strength there and he was ready to die with dignity. He had resigned himself to death and would afford the humans no pleasure by hearing him cry out in pain or beg for his life. At that moment, Chowki wished that someone would come along and save the creature, so that it did not have to die. He did not want to see the strength, the fear, the light fade from those eyes and so as the shaman finished his prayers and raised the knife to deal the final blow, Chowki averted his gaze. It was then that he noticed all the glittering eyes in the bushes around the camp. It seemed like everywhere he looked there were glowing specks of light reflected from the fire. And Chowki was afraid but he was also very glad. He knew that these were friends and companions of the silver-haired demon and that they were there to save him. So instead of raising the alarm like he should have, he pretended to have never seen them. He looked back towards the pillar where he saw the little creature watching him. Chowki knew that he had also seen the eyes because there was now a light of hope in his eyes. And it had also noticed that he had seen the eyes and had chosen to do nothing about them. There was so much gratitude and hope swimming in his eyes that Chowki found it impossible to look away. But their gaze was broken by a long drawn-out howl from nearby. Then the demon howled in return and all hell broke loss. Their camp was suddenly invaded by a swarm of wolves and bright-eyed demons with flashing metal swords. Warriors from both sides clashed and though many men were wounded, not a single demon was touched by a knife, arrow, or spear. It seemed as though their strange demon magic was protecting them from attack. As Chowki watched, two creatures broke from the skirmish and ran to the pillar where the shaman guarded the silver-haired demon. As the blonde-haired one fought against the shaman, the white-haired one cut the small demon's bonds and lifted him onto the back of a dark grey wolf that had appeared next to him. They disappeared from the camp and the blonde one, after dealing a blow that left the shaman stunned, leapt onto another wolf and led the remaining warriors out of the camp. They left behind a village filled with wounded men, crying children, and terrified women. Chowki stood in the remains of the fire circle, where only a short while ago everyone had been happily dancing and celebrating the captured prey. Now it was a very different scene. But all Chowki could think, as he stared blankly into the bushes where the demons had disappeared, was that they had seemed so much different then what he had always been taught. They had not killed needlessly, in fact no one had been killed, and the only reason they had attacked was to rescue their friend. After he had been retrieved, they had left, not staying to seek revenge or mercilessly slaughter all in the village. It would have been a simple task since everyone had been caught off guard. Chowki now questioned all he had heard and been taught. It just did not seem right now, he needed to find out more about these demons. Perhaps they were not monsters and maybe… just maybe… there would be a way to live in peace with them.
Back in the Holt, Cutter and Skywise were relieved that Frostbud was relatively uninjured. He had some minor wounds but nothing too serious. He was just exhausted, physically and mentally, and Rain had said that with a little rest he would be just fine. So they had taken him back to their den and now all three of them were curled up in the furs, happy to be back together. Frostbud was thinking about what had happened that day. He had been terrified that he would die although he had held out hope until the very end that his soul brothers would save him. He had felt the hatred and loathing the humans had felt towards him and witnessed their cruelty first-hand. But he had also noticed the one little boy who stayed out of the way and watched everything with disbelieving eyes. All the humans had been taught that elves were evil, cruel monsters but this human obviously did not believe these stories yet. The elves had learned that all humans were foul, soulless beasts who wanted to destroy every elf n the World of Two Moons. Frostbud had seen the compassion, sadness, and understanding in the young human's eyes. Perhaps Frostbud would seek out this boy one day and try to speak with him and maybe… just maybe… there would be a way to live in peace with them.