Wulfen Greymane

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Wulfen Greymane
High, in the Frost Blood Mountains…

The wind turned wild. It’s untamed gales battered the tent,
blowing snow in through its small opening. Wulfen walked over
to the flapping hatch and fastened it shut. A fire blazed in the
centre of room, painting the walls a fiery amber, like the inside of
a dragon’s belly. In the corner, bundled in blankets on a bed of
thick furs, lay Freya. One arm out stretched, she clawed at the
air.
‘She doesn’t have long’, Roke said, stepping out from the shadows.
Wulfen swung around, startled. ‘How long have you been there?’, he asked.
‘Long enough,’ replied Roke, solemnly.
Wulfen picked up a chunk of Elder Oak and lobbed it into the fire pit. It landed with a thud, splashing greenish, pink embers.

The fire crackled and spit in agreement. ‘Wulfen…’, said a voice, but only a whisper. It was Freya.

In an instant, he appeared at her side, taking her outstretched hand in to his. ‘I’m here, mother’, he said softly. Her head turned to him, but her eyes looked straight through.
‘I’m sorry’, she said. Wulfen’s brow furrowed, trying to understand.

‘You were just a pup…’, she said, her breathing became panicked.

Roke hurried over, joining Wulfen at her side. ‘Shhh, mother’,
he said, stroking her greyed hair. ‘You need to rest’.
Freya’s eyes returned to the room, no longer looking through, but at them. With a quivering hand, she gently touched the cheek of Wulfen, then moved to Roke’s. ‘My boys’, she said. ‘Fine Greymanes, both of you’. A silvery bead ran down her cheek. ‘Look
out for one another’.

‘Always’, they said in unison, like a rehearsed response to a well known prayer.
Reaching under the blankets, she pulled out a gold pendant with strange markings. Wulfen and Roke, having never seen it before, exchanged confused looks.

‘Remember’, said Freya, pressing the pendant to Wulfen’s chest, ‘no matter what, you are mine’.

Roke placed a hand on Freya’s head. ‘The fevers getting worse’, he said.

Freya’s mouth moved, shaping words, but only silence came out. Looking straight at the ceiling now, her eyes started to glass over, losing their bright, sapphire colours. Twisting his head,
Wulfen lowered an ear to her pallid lips, trying to catch a trace of
what she was trying to say.

‘The pendant… You… another brother…’ The words were dry, barely audible, especially with the wheezing – every breath seemed like a tall order. ‘…Neverwinter…’, she continued, ‘the
pendant… find its twin… you must find him…’

A long sigh escaped her, then, she was gone.

‘Take Ulfric’, said Roke, lifting the chunky wolf pelt onto Wulfen’s shoulders.
‘I can’t,’ said Wulfen, raising an arm to protest. ‘He was your first’.

‘Take it, little brother,’ said Roke. ‘I won’t be there to save your
hide.’ He resumed lifting the pelt onto Wulfen’s back. ‘Ulfric has
always kept me safe’, said Roke thoughtfully. ‘I’ll feel better
knowing he’s with you.’
‘As you wish,’ said Wulfen, smiling. It was no small token, the
pelt of you’re first kill. A sacred moment in a Greymane’s life.

When you turn sixteen, The Elder’s leave you alone, somewhere
in the mountains, usually in the middle of winter. You’re drugged,
so you can’t count the footsteps or try any other tricks to figure
out where you are. Unceremoniously, you are thrown into the
wilderness, a knife chucked at your feet. You must hunt alone,
slay your first Frost Blood wolf, and find your way back to the
village. To do this, symbolises you’re entrance into manhood.
Making you a true son of Fenrir; a true a Greymane.
‘Wolf brothers,’ said Wulfen.
‘Aye, wolf brothers,’ echoed Roke.
Their two mighty figures slammed together, in one final embrace.
Then Wulfen left, making for Neverwinter, the mysterious gold pendant around his neck, the cryptic message from his departed mother ringing in his ears. A brother, thought Wulfen. He thought he knew who he was, his place, how he fit into this world. But now, there seemed so much he didn’t know…

Wulfen Greymane

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