-The bullhorn resounded again through Fjords of Greyfell. Natsiya nodded to her other three riders, with a second warning glare shot towards the young male. The large riding wolves growled lowly then leaped forward with restrained anticipation. Covering large ground they galloped down the tracheas cliff side along a narrow path usually meant for humans.
The third wolf, who bore no flag or even packs, was Natsiya’s second in command. As the wolves ran her white cloak flew from her head releasing the long silky black hair to flow with the wind, a female ice wolf. They took a turn around a large boulder and came out onto flat land. The path of the village just ahead of them.
“halt,” Natsiya called out to the wolves. The flag bearer and the young male stopped behind the two females. Natsiya nodded to the male carrying the light blue flag and he handed it off to the second in command.
“I and Kazia will approach first, when we call out, then you may follow,” she said to the two men.
“Is all this precaution really that necessary Natsiya,” Kazia asked as they egged there wolven mounts to continue onward towards the village gates.
Natsiya chuckled and smiled at her companion, “not really, but I don’t want that pup thinking I’m any different outside the den, he acts like he still needs to suckle his mother’s teat,” she commented with a short snort.
Kazia returned the sound and gave her pack leader a meaningful look, she was a wonderful alpha, and though very rough with the males, as they should be, she cared for all of them deeply. One might even say Natsiya loved her pack members openly, though the hard expression she wore for the most part might have told someone differently.
As per usual, the Ice wolves didn’t feel cold temperatures, and could dress in most clothings that one might see in summer settings. Mostly made of animal skin, furs and leather. Both Natsiya and Kazia wore fur skirts and a cropped leather tunic that hugged there skin. There feet were bound in leather and had a layer of fur wrapped over the tops of their boots. Kazia’s black wolf tail was wrapped around her waist while Natsiya’s was in full display at the side of her hip the end of it doing a slight happy little wag.
The ice wolf’s mount’s came to a stop as the village guard were seated lazily on either side of the village rode. About four of them, leaning on their vicious battle worn axe’s and a face to match them. They were skilled worriers, they didn’t need to be standing at the ready for action, they were already ready. Many of the inhabits stole glances at the strange riders, it had been a full year sense the Vollan wolves had come down from the mountain’s to visit the village. In that year, leaderships could have change, loyalties, and even feelings towards the wolf shifters.
“hail, The Vollan wolf pack come’s for trade, we bring with us are fur’s from the season and offer a portion of this season’s battle beasts litters, they are well trained wolves, great hunters, and even more ferocious killers in battle,”Natsiya said, not hiding any facts on why there pack had shown up.
“We have been listening for the bullhorn, we hope it’s arrival of the trade ship, some of our supplies are wearing thin,” her second in command spoke up as well.
Being women many would have probably waved them off, but the village had encountered ice wolves before, they knew that the females were in charge in there den’s, they would never let a male handle the affairs of the clan, even with outsiders. That and female ice wolves have a nasty habit of making ice spikes grow out the ground if you pissed them off enough.
“Aye, the ships have returned, you wolves weren’t far behind, you must have been sniffing at our heels for days,”one guard said, a big hulking man that when he stood, seemed to just continue to stand until he touch the sky.
“can you blame us, we have needs to, and rabbit fur and deer carcass only go so far,” Natsiya responded and nodded waving her hand towards the other two wolf riders that were waiting.
The two joined them and two of the guards approached the sled wolf inspecting there cargo to be sure they were telling the truth of what goods they were carrying. There were no wolf pups, instead there was a roster listing names of pups and the sir and dams. Pups would be delivered on a separate occasion.
Once they completed the task they waved them on through. They continued walking Natsiya leading them towards the docks. Some might have given them quick glances, others stared openly, and children most of all, would run up and steal quick touches on the giant wolves sides given them little scratches that the wolves didn’t seem to mind.
She was pretty sure, that the chieftain would hear soon that the Vollan pack was in the village. She hope so, she did have a few things to discuss with the Ghar, particularly about problems they were having with another wolf shifter tribe trying to intrude on the hunting grounds they shared with the Ghar house.-
The whistle sound of the shield being thrown, hummed through the air and thankfully, our cranky Viking was paying attention. Never turn your back on an angry woman. He had learnt this before, and would have suffered again, had he not spun round at the dying seconds, with his battle axe aloft and struck at the spinning shield, sending it off course and hitting the ground hard. For all her ranting, he had to concede one fact, she was mighty pretty when mad.
Grunting angrily, he gripped his axe and proceeded to march up towards his Father’s main meeting hall, where the council of elders and his Father; the Chieftain would be waiting.
Sure enough, the guards were stationed outside the large oak building, and stood aside as Valkrik entered the double doors. A hush fell over the room, as Valkrik walked between elders and fellows alike, till he came to stand before the podium where his Father’s fur covered throne sat. His father looked every bit the Chieftan as he nodded to acknowledge his son’s return.
Valkrik knelt before his father, lowering his head in recognition and respect, while the large fire pits burnt brightly either side of Honrick’s chair. There was silence for a moment, and then the Chieftain spoke.
“Valkrik, you have returned to us victorious, with a good bounty of goods and slaves. Already the traders are champing at the bit to see your cargo. Odin be praised.”
There was a cheer from the surrounding elders, and Honrick gestured for his son to stand. The Chieftain came down from his chair, and placed his right hand on Valkrik’s left shoulder firmly. “I wish I could offer you as good news, Son. But alas, I must inform you that your Uncle Tebas passed away during the last week of your voyage home.”
This was a shock to Valkrik, who had learnt so much from the wise and powerful warrior in his youth. Valkrik’s eyes were full of questions for how he died, and the Chieftain recognized this at once. His fingers dug into his son’s shoulder, as though it pained him to say it.
“Hunting….he was hunting Elk…and killed by a great bear. He died with his sword in his hand. The bear was captured and slain.” Valkrik let out a sigh, for at least his Uncle died with honor, carrying his weapon to the very end. It assured him passage to Valhalla. The Chieftain lowered his hand from his son’s shoulder and then walked with him to the large window that overlooked the village, gesturing to his Uncle’s house.
“Today we go down and ask one of his women to join him on his final voyage. I want you to come. The Angel of death must perform the rites, and prepare his ship for the passing over.” Valkrik knew what this entailed, and kept his silence, only nodding in reply. It was not openly spoken about what happened when a noble died. Steeped in tradition, they had customs to perform that would shock those of the southern lands.
“I shall go with you, as you wish, Father.” Valkrik replied, as his father looked on, thankful to his son’s loyalty. The Chieftain then noticed the drops of blood, coming from Valkrik’s nose and pointed at it, saying; “Eyyrs?”
“Need to get her married. So she can beat up someone else.”
It took some time for Eyyrs to calm down after the fight with her brother and she was feeling pretty low for her behavior. Valkrik had just gotten back and she went at him like the devil. Her love for him demanded she apologize, but her pride as a warrior would not let her.
With a sigh, she gathered up the things she needed to launder and a rock cake before leaving her hut and heading to the river.
There were a few other village women tending to their own things and after greeting the daughter of their Chieftain, they left her alone. She found a secluded spot out of view of the others and set to cleaning her clothing, checking to see if any of her garments needed mending or replacing as she did so.
Setting them across some rocks to dry, she removed what she was currently wearing and waded into the waters to cleanse her body more thoroughly then she had when she was with Soren.
With the water lapping at her thighs, she dipped her hands into the clear liquid and splashed it against her skin, shivering a bit at its coolness. Taking up the rock cake, she rubbed it along her arms and legs as she began to sing a song.
Her soft voice carried with the breeze, unknown to her, and several people stopped to listen for a few moments before they continued their activities.
One of those who heard the sweet sound was Quartermaster Soren, who’d come down from the Fjords with a new group of horses to house in the stables. With a wicked grin, he passed on the duties to a stableboy before he went in search of Eyyrs. The wench was going to warm his furs whether she liked it or not.
He quickly sought a path that would bring him behind her and out of her line of sight and he salivated as he watched her bathe. Her back was to him and he itched to get his hands on the rounded globes of her bottom as they glistened with water. She bent over to wash the lather from her legs and he nearly moaned when he caught a glimpse of that place between her thighs were he had planted his mast only hours before. He wanted to do so again and felt himself harden at the thought.
Grinning, he quickly stripped himself of his outer breeches and braes until he stood naked, proud as any warrior in the village and erect.
Trying not to splash to alert her to his presence, he slipped up behind her, slipping a hand between her thighs as he did so.
Eyyrs, who had thought she’d been alone, screeched like a banshee when she felt the hand between her legs caressing her sex. She recognized the hand, having just been with him that morning. She shoved herself away from him, turning at the same time, covering her breasts as she did so.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” she yelled, glaring at him.
“I’ve come to claim you as mine. And make no mistake Eyyrs of Ghar…you will be mine before this day is out.” Soren grinned. Eyyrs cursed herself for not bringing her weapons with her…but she wasn’t exactly expecting to be stalked while having a private bath.
“Come near me and I’ll kill you.” she hissed. Soren took up her challenge with gusto, charging at her full speed. Eyes wide, Eyyrs knew she didn’t stand a chance with her being naked. She was beginning to regret being with him, if this was the result. She turned as much as the water would allow and made a run for shore.
She had just reached the edge when she was tackled from behind. She fell to the ground, the wind knocked from her as Soren flipped her onto her back, pinning her arms to the ground. She started to kick, hoping to catch him off guard and between his legs, but he simply used one hand to pin her wrists and the other to grab a leg to pull her open. She fought all the harder as she recognized what he was about to do.
His head descended and he bit at her left breast, causing a flare of pain through her body. She was beginning to become frightened.
“Get off me, you great oaf!” she shouted.
“When will you realize that you are mine. I own you.” Soren grinned, planting his larger body between her legs. She could feel him, large and hot against her thigh. She fought harder but it was like moving stone with a feather. He began to slide into her and she screamed loudly, the sound echoing across the valley.
No sooner had Valkrik left the main hall after hearing of the news of the death of his Uncle, he suddenly heard the screams of a woman, and it was coming from the River. At first he just stopped at the sound, but then…he recognized the voice.
“Eyyrs” He muttered. What on earth had she gotten herself into now? Always so willful and wild, it was bound to catch up with her, as she held no respect for men, her father or him. The screams rang out across the valley, and many stopped on hearing it. Most cast their eyes down, for they knew better than to get involved in some domestic. Perhaps she had been toying with a man from the village, and he finally came to took what he believed was his. Words that she had said earlier played out in his mind, as he broke into a run, racing for the place where the screaming was coming from. Like the very wolf of the night, he sprinted into the forest, ducking and weaving. The fact was he was one of the fastest men in the village, but little did they realize there was a reason for this. It was not some natural ability….for he was not a true human Viking. He was something that even the Gods would fear.
He finally broke through the clearing and there on the bank of the river, was his sister, being raped by QuarterMaster Soren. Valkrik skidded to a halt in the river stones, at first shocked at what he was seeing. The brutality that this man displayed as he ploughed into her vigorously, grinning as he did so. And then…he made the fatal mistake. He turned his head and saw Valkrik standing there. Soren just smiled wider and went right back on to biting Eyyrs’s breast aggressively, to mark her forever more as his.
Something inside Valkrik snapped. The very air in the clearing grew colder as the winds picked up and blew about the trees. Valkrik’s eyes turned to the colour of coal, from their usual blue as his fists curled up in rage. Then a god awful howl emerged from his lips, as he raced straight for Soren, gripping the man by his plait and tearing him back off his sister so violently, that he actually tore the man’s scalp. Soren was now hanging up at Valkrik’s hand, his eyes wide in terror, as a demonic voice croaked out in anger.
“Wae-de-de qae-de-peah-teaez ooahee, z-haohq-fe.” (“Hell welcomes you, Spawn”)
In one sickening movement, Valkrik’s right fist blasted through the man’s chest, ripping out his heart that was still beating and tore it free. Soren screamed in agony, as blood spewed across the Viking before him. His body jerking out of control before his soul finally left his body, bound for the pits of hell.
Valkrik tossed the blooded corpse to the side where its blood flowed along the pebbles into the very waters of the River. He fell back and then held up his hands, realizing what he had just done. The viking started to go into shock, for the truth of what his nightmares had foretold had now been played out to the full. He no longer even knew what he was anymore. Staggering back further he let out a cry that was inhuman, before turning and running off into the forest, leaving Eyyrs to the villagers that may well have been near.
Eyyrs lost track of time as Soren rutted above her. She began to wonder what she’d done to be treated this way. She hadn’t lead him on, hadn’t given him any type of encouragement and yet…
She shuddered violently as he continued, wishing for the torment to be over.
And then…it was…
One moment Soren was between her legs, the next he wasn’t. Blinking she raised her head to see Valkrik had Soren by the throat and watched in surprise and no small amount of glee as her brother ripped out Soren’s heart through his chest cavity, tossing away the body in a howl of rage.
“Valkrik?” she muttered, watching as whatever rage had overtaken her brother disappeared into the wind. He seemed to be in shock as he stared at the blood upon his hands. He turned away from her and ran into the woods.
Eyyrs stared at the spot he disappeared into, eyes wide, before her gaze was drawn to the dead body of the former quartermaster. She gathered herself together, wincing in pain as she did so. Stumbling back into the river, she washed away the evidence of Soren’s savagery before she pulled on her clothing. She was worried about her brother and was unsure where to begin looking for him.
She needed to speak to her father. Only he would know where her brother had gone…she hoped.
Gathering her things, she headed back to the village, moving as quickly as her aching body would allow.
Honrick of Ghar had left the Grand hall after speaking with his son Valkrick; who had just returned from a long voyage with much cargo and slaves for trade. It had brought him comfort to know that his son fared well on his first journey beyond their lands, and while they had serious matters to deal with, he knew that Valkrik would have other dealings before he could meet up with the Chieftain at the house of his dead brother.
There was much activity down beyond the housing settlement, where the trade halls were established. Already there were many traders lined up to see just what had been brought back on the ship and they were not dissapointed. At least thirty slaves and a good quantity of furs, weapons and goods that had been seized during the raids.
One of the ship’s second commands, was overseeing the handling of goods, as it was set in piles, and being accounted for, while two guards ensured that the slaves were locked up and unable to be a danger to themselves or their traders. The Chieftain entered the hall, commenting to his off sider that the ship had indeed brought back a good bounty, that would ensure that those that traded with the settlement did not go away empty handed. The family also benefited from this, with the jewelry and weapons that were seized. Valkrik had done his father proud.
Already, one of the slave masters was sizing up the women that had been brought back. Tilting their heads back with a walking stick that had a knarled end. He also checked their teeth and hair. No doubt the women would need to bathe, for a few smelt pretty bad. That would have to wait of course, till after the trading had finished.
she had to smile at the young male who had taken her gutting threat seriously, though it probably didn’t help that some had scene her gut a rival wolf female in front of the pack like a hog hanging in the meat locker.
“natsiya, we’ll be getting new slaves right,” Kazia asked looking over at the lines of slaves being locked away, the slave masters examining the ‘merchandise’ before market. Natsiya made a face her lips pulled back in a slight grimmish.
“no not this time, the last two we bought died before winter had barely started, and i don’t see any from here look like they can handle the winter den’s,” she said, referring to their den caves high up on the mountain where normal creatures would lose toes to frost bite with in hours without proper warmth. Though it wasn’t like they really needed slaves, it just kept the den tidied.
she walked to their sled wolf and checked the cargo again. picking up the roster for the battle beasts she passed them to the quiet male, “if someone shows interest, mark the name’s and how much silver they are willing to offer, if they have anything of value that might be worth the pups weight in silver, we’ll take it,” she ordered him and walked off.
“Natisya! where are you going!” Kazia shouted at their pack leader.
Natsiya waved an arm at her, “to warn them about the werewolves….and not us,” she said and kept walking her feet crunching in some of the pebbles on the ground.
Natisya walked towards the other end of the village towards the grand hall, she was only taking a wild guess, but if the trade ship had returned, then it’s captain would have gone to talk to the chief, and the chief was probably in the grand hall, if not, she was sure their guard could point her in the right direction.
sure enough she spotted the grizzly man his hair greying in places. Natsiya walked a sure path her head held high as wind from the sea tossed her short curly white hair all around her face.
“Honrick!” she called out waving a hand through the air at him, she didn’t know if he would still recognize the she-wolf or not, as last year this time was the last time the Vollan pack came to the village.
“Honrick of Ghar,” she repeated as she got closer, “greetings! I am Natsiya of Vollan, Alpha of the Vollan pack, do you remember me,” she said still drawing closer, she would have stopped a few feet from him, a respectable distance that would allow either party a chance to react to volatile situations.-
As Eyyrs stumbled through the woods, a sound to her left caught her attention and she paused, trying to breathe through her nose as she listened. It was the sound of footsteps, heavy.
“Brother.” she whispered, abandoning her plans to tell her father what had happened. Her brother meant more to her then anything, and if he was in some kind of distress, she needed to help him.
She turned and followed, catching a glimpse of Valkrik’s plaited hair in a gap through the trees. She rushed to catch up to him.
“Valkrik! Wait! Please?” she begged.
What happens when a man realizes that he is not a mere mortal, but able to commit such violent acts and with such power to kill another man instantly? Everything Valkrik believed himself to be was shattered within a split second, as soon as he held the still beating heart of the Quartermaster in his hand. The anger and rage had subsided, but been replaced by bewilderment and shock. He kept hearing that dark demonic voice in his head; whispering and taunting him to just let go. Valkrik came to a clearling and feel to his knees, reaching up to the sides of his head and banged his fists against it to make the voice stop. But the truth was, it was his inner self calling out to him. Trying to soothe his troubled mind.
“You are what you are.” The voice repeated with a menacing echo. Valkrik wailed and leaned forward, as he started to be physically sick, but at the same time, great wings erupted from his back. This scared him to death. He jumped to his feet, as his wings flapped independently and he started to lift off the ground. His leather sandals tore away as taloned feet replaced his normal human looking feet. His face was riddled in horror as he drew up his hands before him, seeing the long black claws. His face even started to change. Longer with a defined chin, and cat like eyes of yellow replaced his sea blue ones.
It was then he heard his sister; Eyyrs. She was looking for him and finally caught up.
“Valkrik! Wait! Please?”
He couldn’t let her see him like this. He curled his wings around his body and huddled near a large oak tree; crying out;
But would she?
“Go away!” she heard him shout. She shook her head. She wasn’t going to leave him to whatever demons were chasing him away from her.
She burst into the clearing and at first she didn’t see him. There was a large mishapen form sitting in the middle of the dirt, moving slighly, small snuffling noises coming from it.
“Valkrik?” she whispered, moving closer. Though he was not a true brother of her blood, there was a bond of love between them and she could always sense when he was near. “Brother.” she stated. She reached a hand out and placed it lightly upon where she assumed his head was.
“Brother…look at me. Please?” she whispered, swallowing back her apprehension. Something had happened to him, something it seemed even he could not face. She would be damned if she was to be chased off in his time of need. She loved him too much to simply abandon him. He had not abandoned her in all the years they’d lived as siblings.
Whatever happened…they would face together.
She moved around to his front and saw the tips of the wings covering his form. She sank to her knees before him, running her hand along the leathery texture. She could hear him, crying behind his protection and she reached a hand between the wings, pressing it to his rough cheek, feeling his tears as they slid across her hand.
She was a warrior and she was unafraid.
She waited him out, waiting for him to lift his head and see the one who loved him the most, kneeling before him and lending him support.