am no storyteller, so perhaps I should have asked my sister
to tell this tale. However, I shall do my best, as this howl
is a howl for chiefs and for our new "Way."
We are wolfriders,
decendants of Timmorn Yellow-Eyes and his daughter Rahnee,
who was the first true Wolfrider. Our Tales say that after
her long healing sleep, Rahnee awoke and Recognized many times
again, creating the beginnings of a new tribe of Wolfriders.
One of her children,
named Kinshah, became our first chief. He was the one who
led us from barren lands to a lush land full of game and good
hunting. The land was also one of unpredictable weather--nature
could be docile one moment but strike hard the next. Because
of this, Kinshah named our new home Stormrise. And that was
a time of peace.
The lives of three
more chiefs of Stormrise passed -- Blacktooth, Snarl, and
Treeleaf -- before we learned what it was to be at war.
Crimson, our fifth
chief and my Mother's sire, so aptly named because of the
ever-presence of blood on his blade, led us against the humans
who tried to drive us from our home.
lasted again through the rule of my mother, Plainswalker,
and through nearly five tens of turns of the seasons after
I, Wildlight, tied my hair into the chief's lock.
This is where our
story truly begins, for when you reach its conclusion, you,
too, will see that our lives can never be the same.
My sister, Wren,
was young when the changes to our tribe began. She had only
found her soul name
and had earned her adult name for her hobby of talking to the
smallbirds of the forest, when a heart-wrenching cry came from
the woods near our home.
It was Wren, kneeling
and keening over the newly-slain form of her wolf-friend,
Brightfire. The wolf had dragged himself back to her before
he died. An arrow protruded from his side and he was covered
in gashes as the last of its lifeblood drained to the ground.
I knew within my heart where that arrow and the wounds had
come from, but I didn't want to believe it. I had foolishly
hoped our troubles would just go away.
And Wren hated
me for that. She sent, **I'll prove the picture is more than
what it seems,** and didn't speak to anyone else for what
seemed like many dances of the moons.
Time passed, and
my sister seemed to draw within herself more and more. She
spent more time in the forest with her small feathered friends,
speaking to them with her strange way of making perfect bird-call.
We worried over her. She would speak to no one else. Never
had one who had lost her wolf-friend taken the death so hard.
But we could hardly
expect what would happen next.
My sister had been
gone, withdrawn, missing, away from the holt, without word
to any of us. Sends went unanswered.
We had feared she might have taken her own life. With heavy hearts, we gave my sister up for dead.
Many dances of the moons later, out
of the sky, we heard a sending--It was Wren! She had returned
to us--riding one of the creatures from the great lofty peaks--a
griffin! My sister, who had such an affinity for birds, had
found a way to bond with one of the fearsome flying creatures
from near the sea.
Somehow, I suppose
I shouldn't have been surprised. But now others of my holt
have bonded with the great beasts, too. It is the beginning
of a new way.
now, I hear the whisperings of war on the winds of the coming
The humans have
returned, and they no longer build houses of skins to take
with them as they move. No, they build houses of immovable
stone. They build great stone circles and grow crops in patches
they dig in the ground.
The humans are
here to stay.
Will our new flying
friends be an aid to us in this war? The High Ones only know.
I would have it that we would live in peace with the tall
ones. They really aren't that different from us, from what
I see-- they love, laugh, and smile, just as we do.
But the humans
won't see it that way.