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Anras Rune

Howling Nobles: Where They Walk

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I decided that due to the death of the rp that I'd try and write a short story of the it. I already have a proper story in the same timeline partially written, but I'll write this as a different string of events. For a detailed description on the world this is based in check out the discussion thread about it in the RP section. It has race, country and a few other important features described. This, won't be a sign up, but if considering I'll be winging this story, if you have a character bio thats original then by all means, send it too me. Some characters are being highjacked from the RP as well, lol. Anyhoo, onto the intro.

Prologue: Moonlight

The waning moon's gentle light bathed the forested landscape in light; rolling over the treetops with a texture most akin to silk, drowning it in a serene misty veil. It's softness; it's ethereal effect seemed to play with the mind's conception of reality. It made the land seem alive, but then again, the world was alive, should Gaia show anything. The grandeur of the scene was not lost on the individual standing on an overhang nearby the forested scene. He looked on at the beauty of the view, breathing in deeply as if the savour the moonlight itself.

The snapping of tiwgs caused him to turn abruptly, twirling round to confront whatever may be moving towards him. His long flowing robes, and the strange heavy thread seemed out of place in the pristine surroundings. They were obviously manufactured, completely man-made, or dwarf made. The clashing contrast made him stand out even more for what was following him; hunting him. His face hidden in the darkness covered by the ragged, messy hair he sported on his head. His scraggly beard was dark and wet, be it the natural colour of by some other means, it did not fit again. He looked up slightly, the moonlight catching a glimpse of his deep blue eyes, even in this state of panic they were in tone with his surroundings, serene.

Another couple of twigs snapped, and from between the lower tree line three individuals moved out into the caressing moonlight. Two shambled, moving in a rolling gait that seemed unnatural and jolting, whereas the middle individual moved with efficiency, purpose and stood bolt upright. It to took in the moonlight in a massive heaving breath, too large for any living creature to manage. As it did so a soft light shined from various parts of his body, which seemed to become liquid and dark. But when the breath was done, he yet again appeared human.

The man on the ridge pulled something from the confines of his robes, and whirled his wrist in a motion that wrapped his sleeve around his arm. In his hand he held something, the light caught it and the surrounding area was dazzled by dancing lights. The crystal seemed to absorb the light and throw it outwards. But this didn't deter the three creatures as they could only be called so, being to unnatural to be human. They began to move towards the robed man, who had begun to mumble in an low tone, speaking into the crystal he held, as if whispering to a lover. The light seemed to dim around him, and the crystal seemed to be getting brighter. As the three saw this, the middle one stopped and nodded to the other two, who sped up their pace into a shambling run, reminiscent of a bear.

The robed man stopped whispering and his eyes shot up now bright and focused. He screamed an unintelligible string of words, with the crystal outstretched in his hand. The light it had "absorbed" shone brightly in the stone for a moment before firing outwards in three speeding balls towards each of the creatures before him. The two on the sides didn't flinch, continuing their charge towards him and ultimately colliding head on into these spheres of light. Both were knocked back several feet and splayed out on the cold floor. One had caught fire, but there was no movement from them.

The middle creature had dodged the light by rolling his shoulder and bending his back at an impossible angle. As it straightened itself, it looked at him and roared. Its roar was not like anything imaginable, sounding elephantine but as if made by fire and the grinding of metal on stone. It's mouth stretched beyond the limits of any human jaw and a luminesance of purple light came from his throat, eerily moving as if from a fire. The creature shod its human appearance, its skin becoming like a black moonless night, liquid and unnatural. It's neck had elongated as had it's arms and fingers, giving it a simian yet canine appearance. It's eyes were the true testament to it's archaic nature, both eyes being replaced by two eyeless pits that shone with the same purple light. It hunched down onto all fours and roared again, its noise scaring away roosting birds all alone the forest line.

"Who is your master, wraith? Why does he want me killed!?" shouted the robed man, visibly shaken by the creature before him.

The creature tilted it's head, much like a dog would and in three bounding strides closed the gap between the two. The man had little time to react and threw his crystal into the floor, smashing it apart. The light shone brightly, brighter than Sol itself, and burned through the unholy skin of the creature while blinding anything nearby. After almost a minute the creature stood up and searched around for the man, it's tongue darting in and out like a snake, tasting the air around the ridge. It made it's way to the edge of the ridge and saw the robed man at the bottom, spread out and in a small pool of blood. He was smiling. The creature howled and turned around, running back into the treeline and towards his master. He was not going to be happy...

Edited by Emotional Outlet

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Chapter 1:Study

A city lay sleeping on the cold bitter night, few people braving the frigid grip winter had on it's streets. The only signs of life were in the glittering lights coming from the windows on many houses, and the few lamps that had been lit by the Watch that particular night. Sound seemed to have difficulty travelling in this cold, such that the city seemed almost peaceful. But for those that knew this was Hammersmark, they knew that was far from the truth. Almost every inn and tarvern would no doubt be full of patrons, drinking their woes away, or brawling with each other. The occasional light would flicker out here or there, but the city was still awake.

One person was watching it far from the taverns and inns, from the houses and slums, even farther from the forest past the wall. He watched from a small slotted window, several stories up, and did so with a true morbid fascination to what lay out there. Even the Palace was busy at this time of night, the hustle and bustle of guard changes, supplies for the cooks, said cooks beginning their daily gruelling ritual, the list went on. The young man knew he should be doing his duties at that very moment, but the view always seemed to distract him and he found it hard to break away. A sharp rap on his shoulder managed the otherwise impossible and the man startled back.

"Trygr! I will not tell you again, get back to your duties!" said an old hooded man, the one who had hit him across the head with a short stick; a wand. His robes were a creamy white colour, accented with light blue and black on the shoulders and cowl.

"Yes Master Lars, right away!" spoke the young man in return while rubbing his head. He was also in the similar robes, but without the cowl, it was also less ornate in appearance, with less blue and black accents.

The man, Trygr, stood up straight and made his way back to his desk, rubbing his head all the way. He was quite tall, standing a good head over most of the other robed men and women around him. He had the beginnings of a beard on his chin, and a lean face. His body was also quite lean, being thin yet wired. His hair was a dirty blonde colour, almost brown at most angles. His eyes were his most striking feature, having a brilliant blue hue that seemed to shine in the light, typical of his Clan-mates; the Bright-Eyes. As he sat down he inspected the documents before him and wondered where he could be right then and there.

I could be out in the wilderness hunting boar with father right now, or chasing up some women for their fancy. But alas, Luna wills this he thought to himself while poking through the papers in front of him. He longed for more practicals, more action instead of all the theoretical and written work he had to complete. He wrote a few more lines on the parchment absentmindedly while he day-dreamt of faraway lands and exotic creatures.

Another rap on the table coupled by a rough hand grabbing his shoulder snapped him back to reality once again, only to see it wasn't Lars. It was a fully armed soldier.

"Tyrgr Bright-Eyes? You need to come with me a moment." said the soldier, who had Trygr's upper arm in a firm grip. He didn't seem hostile however, just concerned.

"Wha- whats going on?" he tried to ask, his voice catching in the process. Whether from fear or excitement he dared not wonder, the soldier did notice the catch and seemed somewhat empathetic.

"You are going for your Trial. I'm taking you straight to the Huntsman to get you prepared" he said brusquely as he pulled Trygr from his desk chair and towards the door. Trygr managed to catch a glimpse of Lars as he left, who had a look of discontent and concern, the two emotions briefly battling across his worn face. He also saw that Lars had mouthed two words.

Good Luck

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sorry for the delay, but considering no one has even bothered commenting I didn't care much. A bit of CnC would be lovely if anyone reads.

Chapter 2: Trials

The Trial; a coming of age ritual steeped in tradition and history. Some believe it to date back to before the First Wulf, back to when wulves were but animals. Others believe that it is more modern, on of the first acts the newly sentient wulves created to prove themselves worthy of mates, food and status. But it in the current age it is used to gauge quality and weed out the weak. Many a Wulf had been made via the Trial, instantly earning fame and title upon return. But even more had perished in the attempt to prove themselves. Something few went into prepared. But the two Huntsmen that were preside over it weren't worried about the next Trial.

iTrygr Bright-Eyes. He shows promise does he not?" stated one of the Huntsmen, a well built man with broad shoulders and long black hair. His eyes were hidden by his hair as he looked down at a piece of parchment.

"Apparently so. But not as much that we should be overly excited. His father may be worthy but his mother wasn't interested in the Hunt." replied a slender yet muscular woman, her long blonde hair tied into a ponytail. Her face seemed smug, almost marring the beauty she obviously was. She glanced at the man at her side.

"Well, he maybe be his father's son, sister. It is never known who the child takes after til the Trial is completed." he remarked after briefly glancing at the woman. His face was also briefly caught in the light, a splitting image of his sister, but with a more robust frame.

"Maybe."

The pair were interrupted by the loud noise of old doors swinging open. Through these doors came a man in full blue hinted armour, his helm in the crook of his elbow, followed by two others in similar attire if not less adorned and lavish. The unhelmed man seemed anxious, his lean face drawn taught from his current demeanour. One of his hands were rested on the pommel of a sword, but his grip was relaxed. All in all he seemed an agitated man, which seemed to worsen as he reached the pair of siblings that stood in the small, candlelit hall.

"Why could you not have given me more notice? Avila? Why?" said the agitated man, the gap closing between the three. He recognised and knew the person he was talking to. But he definitely wasn't happy.

"It is not our place. We had sent a raven, many days ago, it is not our place to inform you directly." replied the brother, indignant about the newcomer's tone of voice. He shifted his weight, as if awaiting violence but still kept undeniably calm.

"But still Odovacar, I had to travel the entirety of Franclund just to be here. I didn't even have time to get out of my armour. Bloody Trials." commented the man, gripping the pommel of his sword somewhat tighter.

"Hush Colobert, your son approaches!" snapped Avila her head having centred in on the door Colobert had just come through. She smiled as the others turned their heads on the doorway only to hear the sounds of steel boots at a distance.

It took a full 5 minutes until the soldiers and Trygr reached the hall. As Trygr entered he noticed the line of people at the far side, near the steel framed doorway. He first noticed the siblings, their minimal clothing and practically perfect bodies standing out more in the stone halls. Despite his intimidation he met their eyes, both of which replied with a slight nod. Odovacar glanced briefly to his right, a gesture that Trygr followed to see the three armoured men who he instantly recognised.

"Father!" he shouted, having realised his father stood amongst the two armoured guards in Bright-Eyes armour. A pleasant surprise.

The soldiers let Tyrgr run ahead to embrace his father and greet the two men who were with them. His jubilation was short lived however as Odovacar placed his large hand on Trygr's shoulder. Trygr turned on to face the large Wulf and nodded in recognition of the situation. He turned to his father and shared a brief smile.

"Any advice?" he said.

"Find the biggest thing you can, and be persistent. That's all you can really do son."

"It's time Trygr. Please disrobe and Turn." whispered Odovacar as he let go of Trygr's shoulder. He turned back to his sister and opened the piece of parchment again, from which he read,

"Trygr Bright-Eyes, son of Colobert the Burnished, you have been taken here to begin your Trial. The challenge is set, as with all, you must begin as a Wulf and end a Wulf. Your Witness will be Avila the Huntress, She Without Flaw. You may begin when ready and May the Hunt be kind on you."

With that final word both Avila and Trygr turned, both shedding their clothing and haunching down as their bodies quickly made the transition between man and Wulf. Before fully changed Trygr lept through the steel framed doorway; the doors of which had been opened earlier. Before the snow even settled both Wulves ran off into the night, howling as they went.

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This is actually really well thought out so far. I love the attention to detail in your stories and it paints a vivid page of imagery for me. Also, I like how you are able to explain everything as the story goes along. More chapters would be excellent and appreciated!

My only real criticism is the amount of commas that you use. It is ok to make some of these into separate sentences. I wouldnt mention this except that there is at least one comma in every sentence.

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lol, yeah... I have a loving for using the ol' comma. hahaha

well im glad someone took the time to post and actually notice that. tis refreshing. bit of critique never hurt anybody. But anyhoo, for any that lurk the story and such the next chapter should be up in about a day or two. depends on my mood. lol

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Chapter 3: Tracking Distractions

The sound of crunching snow and whistling of wind did much to calm Trygr's mind as he bounded through the forested landscape. He thought back to the tales of his father's trial, so many years ago, when he travelled uncountable miles to bring back a kill worthy for a king. His trial lasted weeks instead of the usual days but he returned a hero amongst his people, having returned with the fresh skull of a frost troll and covered in its incandescent blue blood. The origin of his title and nobility all came back to that fated Trial. Now all Trygr could think of was out doing his father. At least until he caught glimpse of the Huntress beside him.

Her frame as a Wulf was the picture of perfection, something definitely befitting her forms name. Her Without Flaw seemed an understatement in Trygr's eyes as he ran beside her. She wasn't many years his elder in Wulf terms, being only 20 or so years ahead of him yet she commanded respect like she was one of the fabled Apex Pursuant. He was transfixed by her focused gaze as she ran beside him and yet awed by her apparent disdain of the Hunt. It wasn't till she looked back that he tore his eyes from her and centred himself on the task at hand. But in the back of his mind he knew he wanted to impress her.

Trygr wasn't sure how long they had been running aimlessly through the empty forest but felt he needed to rest and get his bearings. He slowed down a little, despite the look of disappointment in Avila's eyes, and made for a small yet cosy clearing he smelt between two barren trees. After reaching the clearing he Turned again, reverting to his human form for his brief respite to think on a plan of action. Avila remained at the edge of the clearing and still in her Wulven form. Once Trygr caught his breath he turned to try and see Luna and judge where he was and what time had passed. His thoughts were interrupted by a gruff voice, the harshness of its tone meaning it could only come from Avila's maw.

"Why do we stop fledgling? Do you tire so easily?"

"No, unlike most I feel preparation is just as necessary when hunting as with anything else. I just want to see where I am, to see where I'll go." replied Trygr calmly as he eyed one of the frost-bitten trees before him.

"You should not think while on the Hunt, you should run. Run and track and kill" she snarled back as she paced the outskirts of the clearing. She made no attempt to enter nor any indication of Turning back, an action deemed extremely rude in Wulf society, something that Trygr took notice of.

"My father spent three days gathering strength and planning his journey before he made his way north to the ice plains. He made sure he was ready for the greatest Hunt in recent history and he did so without complaint of his witness. That is why he is a Margrave, why he is famous and also why he is still alive. I plan to do the same. Now if you would be so kind as to helping me, it would be much appreciated."

With his final words said he managed to find what he was looking for and began to scale the larger of the two trees. Grabbing a low lying branch he pulled himself up, using his feet against the trunk to ease the exertion until he managed to purchase himself on said branch. With as much force as he could muster he leaped into the air towards the next branch, managing only just to grasp its base. After a few more minutes of creaking branches and muffled grunting he reached the canopy and with it the open air. From his perch he could see many miles of his surroundings despite the snow and wind. More so he could smell even more, albeit in a narrowed direction. He soaked in the frosted air, breathing deeply to savour the scent. All the while he was bathed in Luna's light which seemed to revitalise him. He scanned the horizon again seeing nothing of landmarks or buildings which meant he was in the deep woods well outside of Hammersmark's shadow. He knew these lands fairly well, having snuck out on many occasion with his fellow students to hunt deer and rabbit despite the rule against it. He felt elated at his situation and confident in his prowess. A state that was sadly interrupted by Avila's grumpy impatience.

"Come down from there fledgling! Are you a wulf or a bird?"

Trygr shook his head in disappointment and looked to his descent. He found it would be harder to descend than to climb which meant he'd have to jump the last half at least. After much maneuvering he managed too get himself clear of the the lower lying branches and ready to jump. But something made him pause. He caught a faint scent on the wind, a mixture of pungent tons that left a bad taste in Trygr's mouth. It seemed like blood, sweat and worst of all; fear. He could also make out the faint scent of something much sweeter but couldn't quite place its origin despite its familiarity. He was intrigued.

After he managed to leap down he told Avila what he had smelt. She asked him for a few minutes while she pondered its source and what to do, something that Trygr gladly obliged. He used this time to look for imperfections as futile as it seemed but he didn't believe the rumours were true. Her straw blond mane matched that of her hair and was well kept. Even speckled in snow it seemed to shimmer in a different shade depending on how you looked at it. Her digitigrade legs were well muscled and seemed sturdy while her arms were well proportioned. He couldn't find a flaw on her, except perhaps her foul mood. She looked up at him, obviously having caught him leering and growled a low tone in warning which Trygr took to heart. Avila finally moved, gesturing towards where Trygr had said the scent was.

"Shall we find out then fledgling?" she asked in her gravel like tone that still managed to convey derision.

Trygr Turned again and made his way to the edge of the clearing nearest the direction he had caught the scent. His white fur with it's grey flecked mane blended in finely with the surroundings and the snow seemed only to hide him better. He tested the air for hint of the scent once more and picked up nothing, much to his disappointment. But he knew what he had smelt and his Wulf blood begged him to track. To give chase to the wondrous sweet tone hinted by the wind. Now his trial had truly began, or at least that is what he believed...

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