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by NightMare & bitter.
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A relatively small group of men, who has been sent out to search for the last Changeling to exist. Believing that the Astaroth family had been dead for almost 20 years now, which spark a large war on their behalf. The Astaroth House had been the Northern protectors, protecting the Ulsa Realm from the mythical and terrifying beasts that laid claim to the rough, snowy terrain beyond the Realm. But, the King hated most anything that was not human and had the Astaroth family killed in their own castle in the dead of night. Nymeria was the only one who managed to escape with the help of her father's guard, Aster Belldom. He was a kind, older man that held much respect for the family. He managed to save the youngest daughter and get her overseas, where no one could touch her. He handed her a pouch of gold and told her to never come back to Ulsa. Of course, the Changeling Princess would have to come back eventually, being older and ready to take on what threats would come to her. She was done living in hiding across the black sea. 20 years later and the girl was coming to take her revenge and her claim back on her Northern Kingdom.
A set of yellow eyes watched from the bushes at the group of men hooted and hollered about how the Changeling had been seen in the Western Kingdoms and that they were going to take her head straight to the King to get the large box of gold and the castle that would be promised to whomever got a hold of the female Changeling. The Southern King knew the threats that were posed by Nymeria and the fact that one or more of the Kingdoms would rise up against them if they caught wind that the Changeling was definitely back. The Astaroth family had a peculiar look about them. Unmistakable when you see one. Their white hair, unable to be dyed anything and their piercing yellow eyes were always a dead give away. The few friends of the family had shown their loyalty when they recognized the once young girl, now a full grown woman with revenge in her eyes. She had support growing, slow, but growing.
Carefully, Nymeria slinked out of the bushes before walking straight up behind the largest man of the group. Her piercing yellow eyes stared down through the helmet upon the man before her before she drove her dagger into his back, ripping it from his body before pushing him over into the fire that they sat at. The other two men scrambled to get up, basically pissing themselves. They both were mumbling about its her, a ghost, before holding up swords against her.
“Two against one, especially a lady. That's not particularly fair,” Nymeria dodged the first attack before she unsheathed her sword. It was a long, board sword with a skull of a wolf on the hilt, which was also made out of leather and moonstone. The sword, itself, was made from dragon glass, a type of material only found across the black sea where dragons still existed and weren't hunted for sports. A woman of her size should not be able to wield such a great sword, but the years of practice and training that she endured to secure herself when she made the journey was grueling. It was worth every moment of it as she swung her sword, cutting one of the men in half before she turned on the last one.
“I'm only allowing you to live to go tell your masters that I am still alive and I will be coming for his head,” Nymeria sheathed her sword before watching the blood splattered man scurry away. She knew now that there would be even more people on her trail, so moving North or East would be in her best interest. Finding a town or even a small village that would protect her for a short while.
For now, Nymeria rolled the large man would of the fire to enjoy the little bit of warmth that it provided for a short rest as she cleaned the blood from her long sword. She rested it against her leg that was crossed in front of her. Using a soft, stained rag, she wiped the blood clean from her blade once more, as if it was an act of love. It was a soothing moment for her as the fire crackled. Her sharp yellow eyes softened for a moment, looking at the moon in the reflecting of the blade. For a moment, she found herself in deep thought of whether it was worth it for her to come back to a place that had probably long forgotten the importance of the Astaroth family. She could turn back, go back to a simple life. Good food, better win, and silk beds. War did not exist, like it did in Ulsa. Hate was a powerful thing and being different never went well in the long run.
After sitting for a short while and feeling rested, Nymeria sheathed her sword once more and began on her way. She was headed towards a small fishing village right off the river and eventually, she was going to follow the river to the Eastern wetlands to speak with her family's previous bannerman, hoping that the loyalty may remain.
Wealdstone is the village deep in the Spiraling Woods. Spiraling Woods name, changed after all the deaths that occurred in the middle of the night. Blackwoods is what is referred to now. Everyone in the general area knew, not to step foot outside at night. There were many predators waiting to strike, wolves being the most persistent. Being located deep in forest made it hard to grow crops, but there were some benefits from it. Wealdstone had vast amount of hunters and black-smiths. Using what the forest had to offer they were able to make decent amount of weaponry. They also had hides, furs, meats, and even timber for trade. It thankfully drew a lot of people into the growing village. All seemed peaceful, or at least at first glance it did.
“A wolf in sheep's clothing is more than a warning…”
Most the villagers lived in constant fear. Wolves were constantly attacking the village.The closer it got to full moon the worst the attacks were. Killing at least two or three people, every full moon night. The villagers decided to sacrifice livestock in hopes it spare a life or two. It seemed to have work, the attacks lightened. Every night of the full moon the villages would sacrifice animal to beasts. The villagers still feared nightfall, and what lurked in the dark. Some villagers even tied wolfsbane in front of their doors hoping that ward off the wolves. Rumors quickly spread throughout the village, there was a werewolf amongst them. No was yet to be accused…
Sol-Leks was sheltered from the dark secrets Wealdstone's harbored. He knew it was dangerous to be out at night, Sol was always by his mother's side. She was kind-hearted woman, but her body was sickly. She often fell ill, leaving Sol to do most the house work. He did not mind because he cherished his mother. She taught him many things, cooking was one of those things. He enjoy cooking with her, she always made it fun. She also taught him how to read and write vaguely. Sol hated it, he would of much rather been outside, playing with some of the other villager's children. Sol-Leks father was often hard at work, he was the black-smith's apprentice. In time he hope that Sol-Leks would be an apprentice, right now he was still too young.
Not long after Sol-Leks had turn 10, his mother had become pregnant once more. Sol-Leks was excited to have a younger sibling, but in his mind he worried about his mother. Sol-Leks did he best to help his mother out as he could. The time finally arrived for his mother to give birth. The doctor from Frostford had come to help deliver the baby. The woman struggled, but was able to give birth to a beautiful baby boy who she named Jasper. Sol-Leks didn't get to meet his baby brother until next night. He was happy to meet his baby brother, his heart sank seeing his mother in such a sickly state. He remembered her telling him to take care of Jasper in their father. It hurt Sol, hearing his mother speak that way. By the next night she had passed away. For a while the wet-nurse that his father was able hire, wasn't sure if the infant would survive. Jasper did survive, Sol was thrill to have younger brother. Jasper had the same chestnut color hair and blue eyes just as Sol did. You could tell the two were brothers. Sol was so happy, he still missed his mother dearly. He would often visit her grave and leaving her wild flowers that he had picked from the forest.
One harvest moon night, the wolves rampaged throughout the village. Wolves attacked anyone or anything, they could sink their teeth into. Sol hid with his young brother Jasper in the loft above. Hearing the wolves at the door made Jasper cry loudly. Sol did his best to comfort his young brother, in hopes he would stop crying. Their father was trying to keep the wolves from breaking down the door. It seem their father wasn't strong enough, the wolves busted through the door. Killing his father with one fatal bite to throat. Jasper by this point was screaming, causing the wolves to howl and whine. They wolves tried several time to get up to them but were unable too. Sol let out a heavy breath as he thought they were safe. That was until he felt someone or something pushed him down from the loft, falling right before the wolves. Sol struggled, was able to get up thankfully. Jasper was surprisingly unharmed. He took off funning the wolves quickly followed after him. His only chance of survival was to make to church Stoneview. Before he could even get there he was pounced on by a large black wolf. Jasper fell from his arm, the child was screaming until silence. Sol-Leks eyes widen as he saw the monster crush his brother's head in one massive bite. Tears fill Sol's eyes, as he was sure he too would suffer the same fate. Sol scream when he felt a sharp pain of a power bite. After they everything went black.
Sol's eyes flashed open, he soon realized he was still alive because of the amount of agony he was in. Everything that happened, the night before was a blur. One thing he did know, is he didn't make it here on his own. How did he get into Stoneveiw? A raspy voice spoke to him, startling him. I am surprised you are wake. Sol's sapphire colored eyes locked on to priest who seemed to be tenting to his wounds. The man said he was lucky to be alive. Sol nodded, as the memory of his baby brother dying right before his eyes. Tear swelled in his sapphire eyes, streamed down his cheeks. Sol was now an orphan. He was only 13, if he was lucky he might be able to find work somewhere. Priest was kind enough to let him stay there until he was able to obtain a place of his own. Sol made a fully recovery except, he was left with a few scars on his neck, check and back.
Sol-Leks was thankful that Father Thomas allowed him to stay there. Sol-Leks spent most his time in his room alone only coming out once a day to eat. As it seem that grief and guilt plagued his vacant mind. He was depressed losing everything he loved in an instant. As the full moon drew near, Sol-Leks found himself with a pounding headaches and sharp pain. When the full moon did occur pain spiral throughout his body causing him to scream. Of course when anyone tried to approach, him he only scream louder until they pin to his bed. The young boy would cried in agony, until mornings light.
Father Thomas wrote a doctor in Frostford. Frostford is a larger village at least 10 miles north of Wealdstone. It is known for having scholar and doctors. They often did business with Wealdstone, buying meats and other thing they had for trade. When they received the letter from Stoneview. They knew it was urgent, sent help right way. It seemed the doctor was being tailed, by a special kind of hunter. Hearing about what had happen to the young boy, they knew there was a chance of him being a werewolf.
“Will the man become a monster or will the monster become man?”
Tailing after the doctor, the two men known as the William brothers. Following the doctor into Wealdstone. The two brother decided it would be best to start in the town. As the made it to town they told their tales of the werewolves which seem to strike fear in most of the villagers. Before long a small riot began to form as they stormed the church looking for Sol-Leks. It seem the priest had tried to hide him from the anger crowd, but the brothers found him. The William brothers were well known hunter at the time claiming to have kill at least 3 werewolves. Were they really killing werewolves? Or just couple of murders?
Sol-Leks was beaten mercilessly, it still did not stop the boy from glare at them. Which only seem to anger the brothers more. One of the brothers threaten to pluck out his eyes if be didn't stop. They never did pluck out his eyes but they did wound his right eye.For days the beat, whipped him hoping to break his will and that he would admit to being a werewolf. No seemed to care that he was being beaten. Some of the villagers found it as entertainment. They had suffer for so long because of the wolves. Sol-Leks cried out telling them that brother were lying but no one seemed to believe him. Sol surely thought he was going to die this time. He was unsure how he was able escape death the first time. Before chaining Sol-Leks to a tree in the middle of the forest, one of the brother decided to brand Sol-Leks with seal of wolf. Sticking the hot branding-iron into the fire, it was then place against left side of Sol-Leks chest. The boy scream in pain, but it seemed no could hear his cries.
Sol-Leks had lost consciousness from the pain. He had been torture for at least three days, being made into a show for the towns people. Sol-Leks woke to some wet, touching him. When he opened his eyes he could see a cinnamon colored wolf. It was licked his cheeked again and whining at him. Sol-Leks was startled, but he couldn't move even if he wanted too. The wolf open his massive jaws and snapped the chains, of course Sol-Leks flinched from fear. Was this wolf really trying to help him? The wolf nudged him until he was standing. The slender boy shiver as his clothes were nothing more than rags now. Sol weakly followed the wolf back into its den. He was greeted by other wolves. He shivered again from the cold. Sol felt something soft a warm being draped over his shoulder. It was the skin of a wolf, with fur as black as night. Sol felt as if his head was spinning. This was all a dream right? Deep down the boy knew what to do, pulling the fur over his head it was if his body had become one with. Now he too, was something people would soon dread.
Sol-Leks sapphire colored eyes shot open. It seemed he had that dream once again. The dream of when he was a child, he got attacked by a wolf. Then he became of the wolf and attacked the village. That dream was more of a nightmare. Sol-Leks was now in mid-twenties he was still have nightmares of his childhood. Sol-Leks heard a familiar whimper, he looked up at white wolf who was lay behind his head. She instantly started licking his cheek. “Hi Maya” he said as he gently stroked her muzzle. It was then another sound was heard, more of grunt to be exact. The darker color wolf was not happy to be woken up so abruptly. “Sorry Lathrop” he said with soft sigh, dark wolf snarled at him. Sol-Leks sat up and let out a yawn, it seemed the sun had just set. It would time to get moving again. Sol-Leks really didn't have a clue where he was, as it seemed to had gotten lost somewhere in the Blackwoods. Was he truly lost when the forest had been his home for over a decade now? Every once in a while he would run into another person, but that was rare half the time when did they tried to kill him or his wolves. Let just say they didn't have a happy ending.
Sol-Leks was basically raised by wolves, they were his family now. Although they use to run in a much larger pack, they were still his family. Over the years Sol-Leks learned to survive on his own, was constantly being followed brother and sister. The three had become fearsome, making people once again dread the night. Sol had become skilled hunter, and even learned how too wield a sword. His favorite type of fighting was when he shift into a wolf. The feeling he got when he sunk his sharp teeth into their delicate flesh. Perhaps it was the feeling he got when he tore it off the bone. Sol let out a soft sigh as he finally stood up.
Sol-Leks wasn't the tallest man around standing at about 5'7'. He might of been a little shorter than most but it didn't seem to bother him. His chestnut brown hair was rather messy, it wasn't like he had anyone to impressing anyway. His leather armor made him move seamlessly in the night. The black fur that was currently displayed as shawl, shimmer in the moonlight. The raven colored fur was soft and silky to the thought, if you were able to touch it. You were too late, death would shortly follow after. Sol followed to two wolves that lead him to the river side. Sol knelt down and scooped up a handful of water. The cool liquid felt great going down throat. It seemed his throat had become rather dry. It was then something seemed to catch his and the wolves attention. The sounds of light foot-steps, they were getting closer. Sol-Leks looked at the wolves they both ran off hiding amongst the lush canopy. Sol-Leks stay behind waiting to find out what was coming closer. Strange scents flooded his nose. For now he would put his wonders to rest, as he scooped up some water this time splashing on his face. Sol-Leks would pretend to be just an innocent forest dweller. Keeping his short sword, and other weapons hidden under his fur shawl. He continue to crouch down by the water, lying in wait.
A sort of creatures lived in the woods and Nymeria's ancestors had connections to them all. The Ambrose family had always connected deeper with the wild life, creatures, and even the fearsome werewolves used to serve under the Ambrose House a very long time ago. Those connections had been broken long ago once humans began to corrupt and defile the lands. The forests weren't plenty and the fields were covered in cobblestone buildings and ugly castles. Nymeria could almost just live out her days in the forest, the longer she stayed under the thick canopy.
Her head jerked to the right at the scent of wolves as she ventured deeper within the woods, looking for a source of water to fill her canteen. She knew that she had smelt wolves, but there was a soft undertone of human as well. Not human, but not wolf. She moved through the overgrown bushes and ducked underneath a few low hanging branches before stopped as the smell had gotten much stronger.
“I intend to cause no harm,” Nymeria directly spoke to the person among the trees as she moved closer to the water source. She pulled out her canteen, showing it off as she settled down next to the river.
“You smell of wolf and human,” she pointed out, knowing exactly what he was without even having to say what he was exactly. “I hope you and your pack do not mind that I camp here tonight, my destination is further than I originally intended it to be," she was not in familiar territory currently and could not find herself to camp without asking permission first. Wolves were quite particular about their company and space, so Nymeria respected it.
She then turned back to the filling her canteen to consume the liquid within it before filling it once more. Nymeria tucked her canteen back into its rightful pocket before standing up to remove her helmet. Revealing a rather feminine face with a set of bright, yellow eyes that pierced through the darkness right at the male before her. Her hair was long, but braided resting against the entire length of her back and several scars telling a story across her pale face.
“My name is Nymeria Ambrose,” Nymeria introduced herself, in hopes that maybe he would recognized the ancient family name of the North, but he seemed too young to actually know the history of the country that he lived in.
The footsteps continued to come closer and closer, until finally a feminine figure emerge from the shadows. A non-threatening voice spoke to him. Saying she intended no harm, a low growl escaped his pale rose colored lips. “And you smell of iron and death… Such Irony in the words you speak…" he said dryly. Watching the woman closely as she filled her canteen, guzzled down the water. The chestnut haired male stood up fully. He was taller than her but he did not toward over by any means. Listening to the woman speak again seemed to catch him off guard. By now people either ran from him, or were trying their hardest to put a knife through his back. Sol-Lek let out a small chuckle she asked him permission to stay. “Kind of you to ask…I don't care if you stay or if go, your safety isn't guaranteed here.” he said with a low snarl.
His sapphire colored eyes narrowed as he watched the woman removed her helmet. She even formally introduce herself. After studying her face, for a while. Seeing as she did have the piercing yellow eyes and white hair. A strange scent started to stir, a scent that Sol-Lek had never smelt before. This woman was dangerous to say the least, but perhaps that was because Sol couldn't tell what she truly was. “What are you?" he said with a low growl as he exposed his sharp teeth. Sol-Lek was starting to get irritate with this woman. Speaking to him so calmly, and even introducing herself. It was as if she wanted to be his friend. There was no such thing of having friends when you had a monster running through your veins.
The sound of a snapping branches seemed to cause Sol to look away from Nymeria. Which was something he had not planned to do. It was no surprise that other wolves has started to stir. The sound of growls and snarls could be heard from a distance. It was no surprise, as it was hunting time. Despite the woman's strange scent there was another fragrance that seemed to tickle Sol nose. The scent of deer and iron soon polluted his nose. It would seem that his pack-mates had found dinner. Sol could feel the low rumble in stomach, his mouth even started to salivate a little. It had been at least a day, since truly eaten something other than berries. The sound of loud howl echoed through out the forest. It was Maya calling to him, he knew the white wolf was anxious especially since he told them both to go ahead.
“I think it is time we part our ways…If you stay a long the river you should avoid most of my kind. Good luck… ” he said with a low growl. He then turned from her started to walk away. His foot steps were light but they were also clumsy, thanks to his poor eye sight. He could find his way to Maya and Lathrop simply through smell. Straying away from the river bed, the sound of crunching leaves, snapping branches could be heard. It alerted the two wolves they both came running to him wagging their tails, as if they were dogs happily greeting their master. Sol-Lek smiled when he looked at the two wolves. Maya nip at his sleeve pulling him towards the large buck carcass. “Good job, you two are excellent hunters." he said as delicately ruffle Maya fur. When he petted Lathrop, the wolf snarled at him but accepted the pet anyway. The three really did look like family despite their differences. Sol-Lek eyes wonder back toward the river, why couldn't he get that strange woman out of his mind?
Perhaps it was because it been a long time since he actually had a conversation with someone other than his wolves of course. It had also been a long time since he came across a woman in the forest that wasn't a witch or sorts. Sol shiver as he felt a cold nose touch him. It was May, she looked concern. “Sorry girl, it is nothing…let's eat" he said softly. Sol-Lek pulled the raven black wolf pelt over his head. With the sound of cracking bone, the man that stood before them disappear. In its place now stood a large wolf. A wolf with chestnut colored fur and sapphire eyes join in devouring the carcass. Upon closer look his fur was a variation of warm and dark browns. This was how he looked when the moon wasn't full. When the full moon occurred his fur become black as night, his eyes are deep burning amber. Even his wolves that cling closely to him are afraid of him, fearing what that powerful beast might do. Although it seem he had some control of over the wolf inside him, there were time it became difficult. His mind became numb, he would often rampage throughout the forest. Looking for some pathetic soul to devour, whether it be animal or man.
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