The Wolves of Durwol

The Wolves have lived on Durwol for thousands of years. Only once have they ever encountered humans, and with that encounter brought hatred and fear to the Wolves. Now, a second encounter threatens war between both the humans and the enemy Felines. But a new generation of humans and wolves could change the way all their Elders think.

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2. Chapter 2

     I sat in the middle of the clearing, overseeing the training of the younger wolves.  The mentors would show the battle moves once, and let the pups mimic it.  I watched as Gunnolf demonstrated how to get out from underneath your opponent.  He rolled on his back, pretending there was a foe on top of him.  Through the mind-link, he told the pups

    If you get pinned like this, use your hind legs and claw at their belly.  Tuck your head to your chest, NEVER leave your neck exposed.  The Felines will take every chance they can get to kill you.  They do not have the honor we have.  That being said, they are also easy to fool.  Go slack, pretend they have won, and once you have them thinking that they did, throw your whole body upward, launching them the other way, or at least knocking them off balance while you get up.  

    The pups nodded and broke off into pairs, one attacking, the other defending.  They would not be considered Wolves until they reached fifteen years of age.  Pups began training once they turned 3, by then, they had become big enough to withstand the play fights they would be required to do.  After that, the pups training finished when they were fifteen.  They would be initiated into the Pack at the full moon, when we could lift their spirit to Fridolf.  

    Gunnolf looked my direction, his eyes reflected my own determination, but worry for what was to come.  I had grown up fighting the Felines, and with every year that passed I saw how much stronger they became.  These pups would face the same fate that I had, and learn the one lesson that could not be taught, only felt; I had to fight for everything I cared about.  

    Just as I was about to turn around, a scout, who I recognized, his name Ajax, came running into camp.  His side had been ripped open, blood pouring everywhere.

    Altha!  I thought, to our healer, but she had already come.  We were able to heal rapidly, but wounds as significant as these, were beyond our healing capabilities.  Her eyes shone with the wisdom of the stars, and of infinite knowledge of healing.  She nosed the wound, though we did not need her to confirm what we already knew.  He was beyond us now.  He would now run with Filtiarn, the lord of the wolves.  My father padded toward us, his mind already searching the scout’s.

    Ajax, what have you seen?  The labored breaths of the Ajax were coming quickly and shallow now, the life was almost drained out of him.  Getting what he needed from Ajax’s mind, my father retreated saying a final goodbye over him.

    You have served us with your heart and soul.  May your paws be swift and quick as you have your final hunt with Filtiarn.  May you be among the stars, moon, and sky, to watch over and guide our own paws as we continue the battle that has raged for years.  And may you live in peace forever, brother.  The last of the light shone out of his eyes, leaving the clearing in silence.  Wolfrik turned his massive head to look at the pack gathered around in the clearing.

    Ajax has fallen, let it be known, that whoever has done this will fall.  He will be avenged.  Throwing his head back, a mournful howl was let loose.  It was a howl that no one would who heard would ever be able to forget.  The tune was like no other, pain, loss, and sadness laced with anger and revenge all in one haunting note.  One by one, the wolves raised their heads in answer.  As the last note died out in the valley, a she wolf came forward.

    My son, my beautiful son.  She thought, and dropped to her front legs, in a bow.  Resting her muzzle on his head, she closed her eyes and said one last thing to her son in farewell.  

    I will lay vigil over him for two nights, then we may lay him to rest.  My father nodded, this was customary for a fallen wolf.  Two nights was the time it took for the spirit of the wolf to reach the forests of Filtiarn.  If the wolf had no known family or someone in the family that chose to acknowledge the lineage, a close friend or upper ranking member would sit vigil in memory of the warrior.  In this time, the vigiling wolf would not eat or sleep, signifying the sleepless journey the spirit took.  

    Pay your respects, then come see me in the den.  My father thought to me, so no one else could hear.  The circle that had formed around Ajax parted for me, as was necessary due to my rank.  I lay my muzzle on top of his head, and thanked him for his service.  I had not known him personally, so I did not linger in the circle for long.

    Turning around, I padded back to my father’s den.  It was toward the back of the clearing; most of the other dens were scattered in the thick of the forests within a mile or two radius from the clearing.  Within the clearing was where the three to seven year pups would train, the healer's den was placed, and a massive rock shot up in the exact middle.  It was a pretty open space, given it was in the middle of a forest.

    I nosed my way through the leaves that covered the entrance.  Shaking myself out as a few of them fell on top of me.  I sat down, a respectful distance to where my father lay, and waited for him to speak...well think.  He took a deep breath, and began.

    Amoux, a Feline attacked Ajax.  But within the last thoughts of Ajax’s mind, a surprising image appeared, one that may change the way Wolves think forever.  Cocking my head to one side I tried to imagine what this may be.  

    A Feline attacked him.  A Feline?  It was too early for them to be here, how was that possible?  They would not come for another six moons.  As if sensing what I was thinking, he raised his head, staring at me, holding my whole being in place.

    Listen carefully, Ajax did not escape alone.  A female, a human female helped him.  I looked at him, looking for some sort of joke, but did not find one.

     Show me what you are thinking, Amoux.  If I am to die, you are the one that must take charge of the pack.  You are the one that must solve this once and for all.  The Elders have their ways, but I cannot continue to watch the generations of young wolves tirelessly preparing for war.  We are always expecting an attack.  Since your generation was born, you have been taught to fight, and sleep with one eye open.  If what Ajax said is true, then we must seek this female of the humans out.  She may be our only chance to change history, and keep it from repeating itself.

    This coming from the wolf that had promised the destruction of all humans?  My mind battled with the idea of seeking out a human for help.  What could they possibly help us with?  Their paws were tiny, and they seemed so off balance walking on just their hind legs.

    Father, I will not argue with you, but I do not know how these Humans can help us.  You told us that they brought the Felines here, and you promised their destruction.  My claws dug into the soft Earth.  Rising to his paws, he stood, it was only then I realized that I had become a head taller than him, and I noticed the grey forming around his white muzzle,

    Amoux, go find these human girl, and bring her to us.  No matter what force you must use.  The power behind his voice forced me to obey, though I knew if I tried, I could break his hold on me, my power as Alpha was growing, soon to match even my Father’s.

    Yes, father.  I hear and will do as you wish.  

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