Boreon the Alpha inhaled the air. In it he could taste the hatred, the sadness, the surprise, the pain of the two victims. Yet he saw no bodies, no blood trails. The scent of blood had lured him here, and now what kept him here was the stink of Gaia’s Touch. Her intervention was clear. Wolves often avoided places touched by the Mother’s magic
He sniffed, something must have happened to the bodies. Then he caught it – something he had missed due to the overwhelming concentration of Gaia’s touch – a mistake like that could get him skinned. He looked for it, scanning carefully – he saw it. The trees. Five towering Elder trees in a grove of Pines and Lockwood. He neared them and as he did they whispered to him. This was not the way of the trees. This was the way of men. They never spoke to Wolf Mages unless Tapped. Yet these seemed to whisper to him. Wolf Father, please, deliver us from ourselves, we know now why Mother cries.
“And why would I intervene Tree children?”
A war has come, one that none of us will win. There will be no victors. Extinction will find us all. Even the wolves. The Conqueror has arrived.
“That, tree child sounds like a threat.”
I am Clou Deathsung, I knew the conflict of the Ari and the Wandborn. I died in defense of a dream created by men and imposed on us as will of the Mother spirit. In death I have learnt the truth. We must survive and our abilities must be made one again. The Ari hold true to the ideals of their elders but not to that of the Supreme Mother. The same can be said of the Wandborn. We will bestow upon you a boon – one that only our kind can give – use it to show Men the truth that all wolves, willows and wildlife know. Become more than what you are now – go forth as Earthsung and proclaim it: Envrese and Instinct are two parts of one whole. The Guardians were neither Wandborn nor Ari. They were Earthborn.
“Never has a Wolf done the will of the Trees; and never has a Tree done the will of the Wolves. I will trade however. If I accept this boon, I will desire the power to save my kind. As you say a war is coming and I need stronger soldiers to fight He Who Slays. I will it that any that I deem fit shall be made sons of mine. Are you amendable to such a condition?”
You may have a select few; we will commune over your selections as Luna speaks; only at the height of Luna’s song will you have the power to make them yours. Do not forget the Deathsung will watch you and only the Deathsung will keep this bargain. You fight for survival not dominion.
“This I can tolerate, only if their offspring are mine!”
The trees creaked, If that is your desire… However their offspring shall not be what their fathers once were. I will mark you hence forth, never again will you be a Grey, for you are now touched by Luna’s light, the Bonds of Death and life in unison, and the Elements that we represent. You are Diana’s child, but Gaia’s knight as well. You are the Brother of all Deathsung. Silver shall adorn you and yours. And elements speak your rank. The Life that flows shall mark your eyes, and So the blue of water for you are King. Green for the Mages who are your kin. White for those born as knights. Black for those who sing your Ash. Greying hair for those you claim but no sign shall begin for all Wolvesbane. A bite will seal their fates.
A blinding yellow glow surrounded Boreon, his pelt began shedding, replaced by a new one and then shed once more. His bones bulking up, breaking and knitting once again, over and over; muscle torn asunder and reformed, then torn asunder once more. The process mimicking the natural strengthening of evolution. His coat finally regrew a grey nearer to white and a silver ridge that ran from snout to tail. He howled in agony as his muscles turned to a malleable new fiber and snow poured into his slack jaw. His eyes bled, watered and began to rot in his skull. Helpless and lamenting he tried to loose another howl, which came out as more of a choking. His bone turned to something stronger and more flexible. new bones grew and old bones split and he fell out of waking.
Waking, he felt sluggish, his form unwieldy. But his thought was sharp, he could feel his bulk was tensed and powerful. A coiled snake ready to strike. He sought the river for his fiery thirst and in his reflection he saw eyes a fierce blue. He saw the ridge of silver and the fur that looked an icy grey. He was the Alpha, King, as Clou Deathsung had proclaimed, of a new race comprising of one.
As he put his tongue to the slowly flowing river it shrank. He drew his snout back and his tongue lengthened. He leaned forward once more, yet his tongue again shrank. Perplexed he leaned further and tried again, his snout touched the water and the water drew him in. He fell into the freezing flow. Yet, his body was not that of a wolf’s as he bobbed back up, he looked down to see the body of a man. Boreon began to panic; his body was again that of a wolf. He desperately swam for shore. Jumping out and shaking off his soaked and dripping pelt; he looked out at the water. Tied to it as he was now, he looked at it reverently: the catalyst to his change. His thirst was dire. How would he drink? His desperation was all pervading. He howled a sorrow filled cry. The water rose, an orb floating before his snout. He lapped greedily at it and heard a distant whisper.
Wolf to man, man to wolf. Paw to hand, desire it and water complies.