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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Creativity Forum --> Personal Creations --> Leaving the Pack, the start of a short story.
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Shield Wolf
Alpha Beard
Karma: 49/2
1066 Posts


Leaving the Pack, the Story of Wolf Blacking

On the fringes of society, at the edges of what most would consider civilized culture, lies a small, secluded village hidden carefully off into the great forest known by most as the Wild Woods. It was in this village that the animagi made their home, only wandering out from time to time to barter with the other races of the land for the few things the forest and its inhabitants could not provide for them. For generations this is exactly how it was, for generations no animagi dared to travel more than a couple miles from their forest sanctuary, none had the desire it seemed. That was until a young man known as Wolf came of age and set out to see what was beyond the woods, what the world had to offer, and what secrets his people were missing out on. This is his story, so sit back and enjoy and learn what happens when someone breaks from the norm of their society and dares to be different.

But before we can get to that I think it is only fair that I explain exactly what an animagi is and why they lived this reclusive life for so long. On the surface these proud forest dwellers appear human in every way, the only tell-tale difference being that every animagi has black hair streaked with silver, and in fact before Wolf's adventures many of the other races assumed they were nothing more than uncivilized humans afraid of change. In actuality though, the animagi are much much more than human, they are shape shifters, more specifically, they all possess the extraordinary ability to assume the form and ability of any animal. This means that an animagi who assumes the form of a falcon gains the bird's amazing eye sight as well as the ability to fly, and one taking the form of a cheetah could run just as fast as any other cheetah, and one taking the form of a spider or scorpion would be able to poison those who threatened him with a bite or sting. Not only that, but an animagi can communicate perfectly with any animal while in the form of the same species, birds with birds, felines with felines, and so forth. It was these amazing abilities that had caused the animagi to go into a self imposed exile many, many generations ago, seeing their gift as a blessing from the powers of nature and change, but having the foresight to know that humanity is a jealous race and would be envious of these abilities, perhaps even afraid of them and seeing them as monsters. So for many ages the animagi have lived on the edge of an ever expanding human culture, moving as required to stay hidden for the most part, and the majority of them were more than happy to live this life.

Wolf Blackwing was the youngest son of a large family, even by animagi standards, and as such had many, many different influences in his life, not only his parents, but their parents, his aunts and uncles, and his many siblings and cousins as well. Through the years he listened to the stories his family would tell, stories of life in the woods, the creatures that they shared the woods with, and even the occasional tale of a brief trek to the nearest human village to trade. The tales of life beyond the forest had long been Wolf's favorites and he would ask to hear them again and again, fascinated by the thought of people who were locked into a single form for all their lives, but even more fascinated to hear of the many things these people could come up with to make up for their obvious flawed inability to change forms. These fascinations only got worse after his eighth birthday when one of his uncles brought him back a book from a trip into "the world beyond the trees" as the young boy had come to refer to the outside world. The book chronicled the many adventures of a group of brave adventurers, a human knight, a half-elf sorcerer, and an elven healer, as they fought injustice in the world and stood up for the weak. Needless to say, this young boy had read the book cover to cover many times over the next couple years, until he had practically memorized it word for word, telling the stories to his friends around the village. Eventually he began to make up new stories, telling new tales, tales of an animagi who left his tribe to find a place in the world beyond the trees, a fanciful foreshadowing of his life to come. It probably goes without saying that many of the older members of his village thought such tales were childish and foolish, and many hoped that he would grow out of it soon and give up these delusions of a great life outside the forest they had called home for ages.

As was the custom of his people, Wolf was trained in the arts of tracking and hunting, how to survive on the woods and what was provided by Mother Nature. By age 12 he was one of the best young hunters in his tribe, regularly bringing in good catches, supplying much of the village with good meat. And even though he had found a nice niche in his society he never truly gave up on his obsession with the outside world. He no longer referred to the rest of the world as "the world beyond the trees" though, he had grown to understand that the forest was not a separate place, but a part of the world that was ever growing around them. He trained harder than most of the other young hunters, mastering not only his bow and blades, but also the use of the animal form that was his namesake, the wolf, he learned quickly that no matter how good his eyes were, the nose of a wolf was always better for tracking his prey, and he could usually keep up with a wounded animal better on four legs rather than two. By no means was he the first to hunt in the form of an animal, but he was one of the youngest to figure out these tricks and master them in ages.

Over the years he grew not only older, but more skilled in his hunt, on two legs and on four, but no matter how old he grew he continued to remain fascinated with the cultures beyond their borders. Each year on his birthday he would go further and further, getting ever closer to the borders of his home, getting closer to the land beyond, but never fully leaving the forest. That all changed on his nineteenth birthday when he finally made it to the fringes of the forest. Before him stretched grassland as far as the eye could see, the blue sky was vibrant and clear with only a few scattered puffy clouds in the sky. The sun beamed down, much brighter than he was used to under the cover of the trees, but his eyes quickly adjusted. Curious to see more he shifted into a falcon and flew up high above the tree tops to get a literal bird's eye view of the broad new world that had opened up before him. From up here he could see for miles and miles, tracing the horizon with his keen eyes he spotted a small village, wispy trails of smoke rising from the little stone houses, and before he even realized he was doing it he was soaring off toward the village for a closer look. By the time he snapped out of it he was nearly half way to the village, several miles from his forest home. He quickly remembered that the village was counting on him to bring back food and quickly turned back toward the forest to complete his hunt and get home for dinner. Leaving the nest would have to wait for another time when he wasn't obligated to his people and family...

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This is about the time the creative juices stopped flowing, so I tied it up as best I could and will continue as more comes to me.

Feel free to comment, ask questions, and even offer criticism, I'm looking to improve my skills, and any tips are appreciated.
If you think I need to add anything, or omit anything, please let me know.
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Posted on 2009-11-09 at 06:39:56.
Edited on 2009-11-19 at 22:43:47 by Shield Wolf

Kyle
Epic Level Bard
Karma: 31/3
557 Posts


Continue

Kyle leaned back and took a sip from his mug, “Very nicely started,” his hand moved to the handle of his mace, “but please let it be known. I anger when I have to wait long for the story to continue,” and with a smile Kyle called for the Inn Keep to fill the Mug of Nomad of the Raven clan.


Posted on 2009-11-11 at 15:30:51.

Shield Wolf
Alpha Beard
Karma: 49/2
1066 Posts


Thanks

Thank you much for the kind words, and I hope not to anger you, but sadly my muse has been rather lazy of late and inspiration seems to evade me.


Posted on 2009-11-14 at 06:02:58.

Shield Wolf
Alpha Beard
Karma: 49/2
1066 Posts


The story [finally] continues!

Getting back to the forest he quickly shifted back into a wolf and began to sniff out some suitable prey to take in this evening. Stalking through the dense cover of the forest he caught the scent of a couple of other hunters, apparently stalking a boar, as he could smell it as well. Deciding it was best he leave the boar to the others he headed the other way, quickly picking up the trail of a stag. Silently he followed the trail, easing closer and closer to the mighty animal, and as soon as it was in sight he shifted back into his humanoid form, drew his bow and let fly an arrow, which struck the large buck in his throat but not doing enough damage to take him down. Panicked the stag bolted away from Wolf, his mighty legs pushing him deeper into the forest faster than Wolf could keep up on two legs. Realizing that he may lose his catch the young hunter shifted quickly into a wolf once again and sprinted after his prey, quickly catching the wounded animal and pouncing on it bringing it to the ground hard. The proud stag would not go down without a fight, and managed to hook Wolf in his shoulder with one of his antlers before the hunter's sharp canine teeth managed to tear open its throat ending its life quickly. Unfortunately for Wolf the antler had cut pretty deep, and would need attention from one of the village healers if it was to heal properly. With only one good arm to pull his catch into the village with Wolf realized he was going to need a much stronger animal than a wolf to make it back before sunset. Wasting no time he quickly shifted into the strongest animal he could think of, a large bear, and scooped up the now limp deer in one of his mighty arms and began the trek back to the village, his other shoulder still bleeding the entire time.

By the time Wolf had made his way back into the village he had already lost quite a bit of blood and was getting fairly light-headed and weak. Noticing this several of his family members rushed over to help him, a couple of his brothers taking the stag off to get prepared for meal time, and an aunt and sister helping him to the healer's hut after he had shifted back to human. As soon as they laid him down on the makeshift bed he passed out, which made the job of stitching his wound that much easier for the healer, but had his family worried sick. Once his shoulder was patched up the doctor applied a salve of herbs and bandaged the area tightly so the herbs could do as intended. For several days the young hunter showed no signs of getting any better despite repeated healing spells chanted over his bedside. His breathing was steady, his heart rate normal, yet still he slumbered sweating through a mighty fever. The healer could not determine what was wrong with him, and the village shaman had not been able to get any insight from his communion with the spirits, it seemed as if no one had the answers. Only time would tell if the great hunter would wake up again.

As he laid in that bed for days several thoughts occurred to Wolf's semi-conscious mind and he realized many things that he may not have realized in a fully conscious state of mind. He realized he was in this particular predicament because he had let his mind become distracted from the important things, and that distraction had lead to him getting majorly wounded for the first time since he had started hunting. A revelation then occurred to him, if he was ever to redeem himself in his own eyes he would have to give into his temptation, leave the village behind, and confront this distraction head on, ending his curiosity by giving in. At this basic realization he opened his eyes for the first time in a week, took a deep long breath, and sat up looking around the room he had spent a week sleeping in. Two things occurred to him almost immediately, the first being that he was still in his blood soaked hunting pants with no shirt, the second being that he was incredibly hungry.

It was about this time that the healer noticed he was up and rushed over to his bedside, making sure he did not overdo anything, seeing if he needed anything at all. Wolf smiled kindly to the old man and asked for the two things he felt he needed most, "If you could please wise elder, I would like a change of clothes and something to eat, I am famished." The old healer nodded and headed straight out to notify Wolf's family he had awakened, retrieve a set of clothes, and some food. Moments later the old man returned to find Wolf up pacing around the hut, and asked him, "Hunter, you seem troubled, are you certain you are well enough to be up and about?" The old healer placed the clothes and small plate of dried meat and bread on the end of the bed and added, "Your parents are quite eager to see you as well youngling, I advised they wait for you to come to them though, would not want you to have too much to worry about so soon after just waking up." Wolf nodded his appreciation and looked to the food, frowning slightly at the small portion of meat, "It looks like the hunters haven't been able to get enough meat without me, such meager portions would not be if I were still bringing in my share of the meat." The old healer just chuckled a bit, amused at the hunter's inflated ego despite the fact he had just awoken from a tragic hunting accident, but such were the ways of overconfident youths.

Quickly wolfing down the meager portions of food the old man had brought him Wolf put on his change of clothes and grabbed up his hunting gear which had stayed by his bedside the entire time. He was still hungry, but he would have to find food later, right now he had to let everyone know that he was okay and let them know the decision he had come to...

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I'll end it here for now, let the suspense build...
and in case you thought it was, the pun in that last paragraph was not intentional
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Posted on 2009-11-19 at 22:26:46.
Edited on 2009-11-19 at 22:28:28 by Shield Wolf

   
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