Home » , , , , , » Comprehensive Guide to Lycanthropy-1: Teir'Lorn Clan by Risa Reed

Comprehensive Guide to Lycanthropy-1: Teir'Lorn Clan by Risa Reed

Common confusion surrounds the origins of the werewolf.

The first signs of the virus was documented in Alsace, France 1676. However, the case subject contained infectious symptoms, not that of inheritance, and died in the infirmary before the case study was completed. Thus, the true origin is rather vague.
Comprehensive Guide to Lycanthropy-1: Teir'Lorn Clan
Comprehensive Guide to Lycanthropy-1: Teir'Lorn Clan by Risa Reed
Between 1676 and 1871, the reports of Lycanthropy-1 began to escalate erratically by both inheritance and infection—in Malaysia, then Greenland. Over the timeline, the dramatic distance of the virus grew as well. So much so, that tracking the disease became a game of guess and check, and eventually, a lost cause. As was popular in that epoch, another reason the virus held so few studies was because of the culling habits of man against the unknown. Populations in France, Germany, Malaysia and Greenland alike formed hearty hunting parties wearing ironclad and weaponry heavily plated with iron, believing—to a rather true extent—the eradication of the werewolf would solve the infections spreading. They were not aware it was not airborne until the late 1900's, but by then they had already slain thousands, some innocent of the virus. It was this very reason for which many werewolves fled to states in fear of their and their offspring's safety. This was marked in its infant history as La Pluie de Sang or The Rain of Blood [the blood rain]. The cause of the origin's location confusion is due primarily to the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine in 1871. It was then the symptoms were displayed most startlingly across both regions, creating a blur upon a blur in study of lineage and provincial origin. Many assume the virus originated with the Frenchmen solely because the mass majority of those who displayed infectious symptoms were German. This alone rose the question, was the virus intentionally forged in the name of France's warfare or was it a sheer act of mother nature? Mother Nature As generations of werewolves were born in modern day, diluted became the myth of a creator, science popularized. The genetic virus was seen as nothing more or less than just that, a genetic virus. But those born of yore who remember the solemn days of The Rain of Blood remember as well, Nayla, the riddled mother of all werewolves. However, with every belief comes many paths. Some believe her to have existed on a plane entirely separate of man, where werewolves ran free amongst one another, unafraid. In this, she was always seen as the absolute ruler of them all, her strength and beauty unmatched. Some say it was the challenge of alpha position from a subordinate that began the spread, when Nayla reluctantly damned them all to Earth. This runs parallel with Biblical religions. Some believe she once walked among man and one captured her heart and she, his soul, and thus she wished to make another that held the soul of man and the heart of wolves. The darker version tells it as her lover having become obsessed with her immortality, imprisoning her until she gave him the bite of unending life. Both versions end with Nayla unwillingly delivering the bite onto her lover. And there was not death, but life. There was not weakness, but strength. In both versions they rejoiced and performed intercourse, delivering the first born werewolf. But the most universally believed is one quite simple. It is said that Nayla is no more than a child whose mind neither expands nor ebbs, her powers greater than all of life. Some say she created the werewolf as a lifelong companion for herself and it brought her great happiness. This she wanted to share with mankind. To do so, she would make a werewolf and bestow them onto Earth. This they named Nayla's Trinity. One mate, one friend, one lifelong companion made specifically for another. But most just call it fate. No one knows which holds true, but all believe Nayla to have passed pieces of her heart to each and every one of her children so that they too would know the greatest passion. Common Culture Today's L1 werewolves almost always conform to a common culture. Clan title. Pack size. The two most important attributes that make up any werewolf pack. A clan's title is a mark of pride created by the alpha or starter of the clan. It is not a derivation of any known human or interspecies language. It is a chosen title, absent of underlying meaning. A title, old or new, is seen as a prideful thing among many. Some werewolves of today live to build a title and a lineage that would capture fame before their deaths. But to popularize a clan title, there needs to be numbers, which leads us to the next important attribute. Pack size. There are five roles within a pack. The alpha, the beta, and the three guardians. Each are explored more thoroughly within the next segment. You will seldom find a werewolf pack running with less than a quantity of five and will close to never find one alone. This is primarily due to their measure of safety, believing it is found in numbers and an innately programmed need to group among others of their specie. Even so, a pack is not restricted to wolves. Many a times, other species may join the pack through ceremonial marriage or the initiation ritual. This initiation was adopted—and since discernibly altered—from Norwegian clans in the 1700's. Then, it was necessary for the initiate to be older than fourteen years, set to adequately endure the trials (especially if they were not of the werewolf specie). All existing members of the pack were required to attend the initiation for marking purposes. One mortar of the alpha's blood would be imbibed by the initiate as a symbol of loyalty to the pack. Then each member were to make open-wound claw marks along the initiate's spine as a symbol of loyalty to the new member. Afterward, the initiate received their nihn, a necklace made of magical metal, forged specifically for the new member. On this necklace hung a pendant of sorts and careful masonry of a wolf whose image reflected the male and/or female werewolf. Lastly, the initiate became an official member by swearing the oath, “I, [birth name] of [clan name], am a wolf of Nayla. Through her, my heart beats. I have seen that she is of [clan name], thereby this clan is of me, and I am of it. I swear to abide by her, where blood reigns and defines,” on Nayla's Tome. Typically celebrations were carried out in honor of the pack's expansion. Feasts were held for seven days, the pack's residence lit with howls and ruckus and festivity. Some view initiations as “a fruitful time” due to the carnal nature the werewolves indulged more frequently than was usual. For the most part, this initiation practice remains unaltered. The age has been decreased to ten years, those below exempt from a true title until they came of age (unless born of two full pledged members). It was the more radical practices of dominance which became excluded from common culture. Where the Norwegians typically bedded the initiate, male or female, modern clans have found the practice to conflict with many existing modern day morals and mates. [Note: In the solemn hour of The Rain of Blood, a tome was born of vague hands, those who spoke of Nayla and her will. It was neither definite nor abstract, but logical: Nayla’s Law. Commonly engraved into stone is the English verse, “My clan is my blood, their blood is my blood. My mate is my mate and they are my blood. Through me are they of the clan. Never will their blood spill by my blood.” The conclusive meaning of this line suggests that no werewolf of a common clan are allowed to spill the blood of another clan member’s mate.] Adoption into a pack through a ceremonial marriage is most common with mated individuals, whereby one is an existing member and the other is not. If an individual is married into the clan through an existing clan member, this grants rite of passage. The initiation ritual is not necessary. The ceremonial marriage itself remains a simplistic proposal. The male or female of the pack would gift their nihn to their respective mate. The clasping of the neck piece around the other's neck unified the marriage. But that's just pack expansion talk. What about the true culture of the werewolf? What is it like to live with a werewolf? Simply put: there will never be a dull day. From infancy to adulthood, werewolves are busy bodies. Today it’s uncommon to find a mellow werewolf pup unless traced back to the original bloodlines. Though werewolves are always born in human form (due to sexual activity and gestation only being possible in human form), most parents shift their baby into pups to get them active early. This is done by bringing the infant to an upset state through mild pain or repeated agitation. Once the baby transform into its primary form (the wolf), parents encourage the pup to indulge in many challenges early. Werewolves are both human and animal and will behave as such indiscriminately. That means it is not uncommon to find them sleeping in dirt holes while in human form or watching television, paws crossed, on your sofa. They are perfectly content indulging in intercourse throughout the day, running wild in vast acres at night amongst the pack members, watching over their property and sleeping no more than three to four hours a day. If not this, they are hunting for food, if not that, they are typically fond of talking about anything and everything. Werewolves are highly sociable and do not shrink in the face of new things. This often gets them into fun and dangerous predicaments, but their wily nature never fails to bring them home safely. Pack Status The tendency to travel in packs derived from the traditional roles seen throughout history. Alpha. Beta. Three guardians. Alphas are the pack's leader and commander. It is his or her duty to provide sanctuary and structure for and to the pack members. It is his or her duty to ensure the pack is stable physically, mentally and emotionally. It is his or her duty to assure there is no mistake in who is pack alpha. It is his or her duty to assert dominance where dominance is due. The pack alpha handles all regulatory function of the pack and the society it inhabits. Betas are the pack's secondary enforcers and successor to the position of alpha should death or incapability befall the current pack alpha. They always remain mentally and physically stable in the event they must take the role of the alpha. They must remain up to date on all activity within the pack to report to the alpha. They must not be of a bias heart. They must understand and remain unemotionally involved with the fact that should the alpha have a pup, that pup is in line of becoming alpha. Guardians are the pack's watchers. They are most commonly lean in stature, tall in human form. Werewolves most often inhabit massive amounts of land and live in more rural or mountain landscapes. Navigating these terrains quickly and efficiently are vital. Guardians, despite the name, are not honed specifically for fighting, but specifically for alerting. It is their duty to alert the rest of the pack of impending dangers. Their lithe form allows for speed. As well, a pack hosts three guardians for distance, posting guardians in a pentacle formation about the territory. Often, the distance between one guardian and another play a critical role in a werewolf's nightcall range, or his or her's ability to alert the other guardians. [See Section 4 Functions for nightcall definition.] The lone werewolf is seen as a bad omen due to the belief that werewolves were made to group among others. Often, it is not questioned why the werewolf is alone, only that it was a forsaken destiny. Interestingly so—and contradicting—it used to be that no lone wolf could be rejected if seeking a pack, but this sympathy has bled from the generations the more welcoming a lone wolf into the pack brought about violence and havoc. With that said, if you bring a werewolf home, know their history within the pack and before the pack. This can largely determine if you'll come home to find your house torn to shreds or dinner waiting for you at the table. Section 2 - Lycanthropy-1 vs. Wolf Lycanthropy-1 vs. Regular Wolf What is the difference between the L1 and the L2 werewolf and why is it relevant? For a proper comparison, we must first delve into the contrast of the common wolf and the L1 werewolf. We've talked about the inner culture and pack status of the L1 werewolf, but what about their appearances? L1 werewolves are large, beautiful creatures with a mysterious allure in both their psyche and image. But some of their traits are not seen in the common wolf. Figure A shows us the difference in height. The L1 werewolf is 8 + inches taller than your average wolf. That means the L1 werewolf can grow anywhere from 34 to 40 inches at the the withers as an average. Figure B shows what used to be in popular demand in Greenland. The L1's paw. It was seen as a protection charm, believed that if you had one in your home, you were impervious to the virus. Why is that? Well, take a look yourself. The L1 werewolf has noticeably massive paws that usually delivers the killing blow/s to its victim and used to be said to host magical protection fields. Whereas the common wolf has a kind body-paw ratio, the L1 werewolf's paws are thicker and not proportionate to the limbs' bone mass. Figure C shows what is usually the first telltale sign of the L1 werewolf. Its ears. The common wolf has stout, pointed ears whereas the L1 werewolf has “cupped” ears with two elegant curvatures toward the pyramid arch. Figure D shows the subtler differentiation of the L1 werewolf and the common wolf. If you were to look closely, wolves have diagonal, ovate axises for the eyes. Almond-shaped may be a frequent description. But the L1 werewolf's eyes are hooded in both human and wolf form. This small trait in itself caused a claim of “ethnicity” throughout the werewolf community. This same claim was also cause of many other nationalities to be either torched alive, beheaded or shot dead on the spot with bow and arrow when bypassed by the wrong mass during The Rain of Blood. Though today, to the ignorant eye, it is common to mistake two werewolves as kin when they are in human form. Figure E shows the difference in teeth length. The L1's canines are 40% larger than the average wolf's. The incisors, molars and premolars are 20% larger. Other than these five traits, the L1 werewolf is quite closely related to the regular wolf in appearances. Lycanthropy-1 vs. Lycanthropy-2 Now that we know the differences between a regular wolf and the L1 werewolf, it is safe to assume that any contrast not covered between the L1 and L2 werewolf implies the L2 werewolf shares that appearance with the L1 werewolf. Any appearance not covered between the L1 werewolf and the regular wolf implies the L1 and L2 werewolf shares that appearance with the regular wolf. Let's get started. Figure A & B shows the size and definition difference between an L1 and L2's chest span and hindquarters. Where the L1 has a similar chest span to the common wolf (lean and fit), the L2 has a broad chest and upper body. The L1's chest and back glides in perfect harmony toward the hindquarters, whereas the L2's chest and upper body is not proportionate to its hindquarters. Figure C shows us the difference in coat size. Where the L1 werewolf sheds seasonally and has two protective coat layers, the L2 werewolf has one massive layer that sheds once a year. Figure D shows the paw ratio. Despite the L2's larger size, the L1 werewolf's paw size still outgrows the L2's. The L2 werewolf's paws are of proper limb-paw ratio. Relevance How are L2 werewolves relevant in a guide made for L1 werewolves? As most things go, they share a tightly woven history. The L1 and L2 werewolves are well known rivals of one another. This is primarily due to the hunting parties held around the time the virus was “spreading” in the 1670s. L2 werewolves were violent, crazed beasts in the L1 and population's eyes. This would inevitably draw attention to both L1 and L2 werewolves alike. The L1 werewolves attempted a docile approach to tamper the deadly temper of the L2 werewolf, and in turn, the L2 werewolves saw the L1 werewolves as weak disgraces in the eyes of Nayla. Gradually, the two segregated, unable to find common ground. Where the L1 werewolves were attempting to live amongst the humans to preserve lives, the L2 werewolves were adamant about culling humans in insurgents which was the number one cause of the L1's erratic migrations. [Note: Lycanthropy-2 (Second Strain) and the insurgents are explored more thoroughly in the second volume Comprehensive Guide to Lycanthropy-2: Aeriote Clan. For now, the strain will be hinted at for informational purposes.] Section 3 - Aspects Transformation Ireesha – 1st stage of transformation. The werewolf remains in human form, but the irises become thermal rays yellow to orange. Werewolves enter Ireesha when mood shifts for better or worse, or when the body senses a rise in its hormone level and/or heartbeat. This is a defense mechanism once used to warn off advancing predators. Nyreesha – 2nd stage of transformation. At this stage, the werewolf is still in human form, but they possess the strength of their wolf. Often, this stage is followed directly by nyre but can be put off. Nyre – 3rd stage of transformation. This is the final stage of the werewolf's transformation where he/she are in their complete werewolf form. Decay – disease that renders the L1 werewolf blind. This disease is most commonly seen in a runch [See Section 4 Functions]. Decay is what occurs if Ireesha is entered repeatedly in a short frame of time, typically 72 hours. Wolf version decay: Human version decay: Neire – an invisible layer made of heat energy and storage components. Werewolves express this layer from 1st stage shift to the complete shifting. This layer decomposes anything within a 2.5 inch radius of the man or woman's skin [e.g. clothes, accessories] with the exception of another's flesh. When a werewolf shifts into his or her human form, the neire reassembles all remnants present prior to shifting into wolf form. Often hunters were able to track a werewolf’s direction based off of the footprint or pawprint this decomposing aspect left in the ground. This was when shoes were still uncommon for the werewolves. Neir – sooty residue left after a shift into human or wolf form. Nahla – mystically enforced metal which neither dissipates nor conforms to the werewolf's neire, leaving it visible in and during the shift, whereas any other substance melds into the neire. Nihn are made of nahla. Extraction Points Fangs – extraction point of the virus. The tips of the L1 werewolf's fangs hold the deadly virus. The L1 werewolf tears into its prey and the moment the tips hit the bloodstream, the virus acts fast and viciously, dispersing throughout the prey in a small session of time. Claws – extraction point of the virus. The tips of the L1 werewolf's claws hold a diluted version of the virus. One scathe and the prey falls motionless. Clans are formed as a base of pride, belonging and legacy. We’ve learned that which makes up a pack as well as that which is rejected. The lone werewolf. Teir’Lorn was once a clan dedicated to homing lone werewolves, those who were abandoned, lost or searching. It’s alpha, Dijn of Teir’Lorn, believed in Nayla’s vision of all things love, hope and companionship. He believed in no wolf left behind. But as decades passed, the clan began to disperse for reasons said to point back to the alpha’s overlooked prospect: troubled things packed with troubled things is doomed from the start. Though one young male could not forget this vision. Scythe of Pyran, 1978, revived what is now an up and coming clan known most for its diverse members and the marks on history they’ve imprinted. The Teir'Lorn clan is now an eccentric pack located in Virginia’s Arlington Woods. The pack is young, its alpha being 60 years of age and still learning the ropes and strings of managing ten fully grown werewolves all with a challenging past of their own. Section 4 - Functions Nightcall In the night, when the blanket of stars wrap around dense woods, the crickets buzz their light tune, streams trickle over minerals, coyotes yap and thin wisps of clouds drift by in a dreamy haze, there come times when the woods are not just woods, but a haunting land singing a harrowing melody capable of bringing the sky itself to tears. What is it, you might ask. Why, that would be a nightcall. Nightcall – a triune howl produced solely by the werewolf, capable of containing multiple messages in one projection. The sound can travel 10-20 miles depending on lineage. For example: Wolf A has a vocal range of 11.5 m. and Wolf B 17.0 m.. A & B's pup will have a range anywhere from 11.5 – 17.0 miles. Occasionally, the pup's vocal range will fall short of its respective parents' set intervals by 0.5 or exceed it by 1.0. None are greater than 20.0 m. nor less than 10.0m.. This is important when it comes to the pack's chosen guardians. [See Section 1 Pack Status] A nightcall can only be deciphered by the werewolf specie. To the foreign ear, it sounds as nothing more than a chilling song in the night. Sometimes, it is just that. A song. Nightcalls are made possible due to the werewolf's larynx composition. The werewolf's larynx is composed of six vestibular folds, selective to specific nightcalls to project the intended message. The laryngeal region in the werewolf is one-forth (25%) larger than the common wolf's. The three types of nightcalls: Golden Nightcall – a call of assemblage. The golden nightcall is typically dealt by the pack's alpha after a hunt or battle, but has lessen in purpose since the 1800's. Onyx Nightcall – a call of warning. The onyx nightcall is typically dealt by the pack's guardian from a distance when trouble is spotted. Silver Nightcall – a song. The silver nightcall is typically dealt by the lone werewolf, the musical werewolf and/or the bored werewolf. All werewolves are capable of producing any or all of the three in one howl, but it is often frowned upon when a subordinate produces one, that is, one who produces it out of turn. Aggression Werewolves are known primarily for one thing. Can you guess what that is? As the title of this segment suggests, the answer would be aggression. We've all read the stories of Little Red Riding Hood and we've all seen the movie The Wolfman. Parallels we will find are the saliva dripping teeth and 'W' marked between their foreheads, expressing the purest rage. Why is this such a common attribute throughout the lore? As PEB's studies will reveal, like regular wolves, werewolves have relatively low serotonin levels and high dopamine levels. This not only makes them extremely volatile in social situations but a threat to those around them. A werewolf born of the city will do fine, seeing as they were exposed to it all of their life, but a werewolf born of acres and introduced to the city will end in police sirens and PEB roaming the streets. Many things trigger aggression in the werewolf. One would be dominance, seen in both male and female equally. Werewolves fight. Constantly. For sport. For energy release. For established dominance. They live their lives with a continuous necessity to display dominance to the weak. That does not always imply physical brawls, but many times, it includes political and societal profile. Another would be annoyance leading to aggression. Getting a werewolf riled does not take much more than a funny side glance in their direction on the wrong day. Though the easiest way to trigger the aggressive nature is to intentionally go looking for it. Derision, probing, picking at the dominant nature or any form of malicious contact will sparked their fire. Runch – improperly bred werewolf. Due to werewolves' high dependency on dopamine and serotonin regulation, unmonitored breeding has a 2.89% chance [L1 werewolves] of producing one of three mental illnesses: psychosis, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. 5.43% chance in L2 werewolves due to the culture of their concentrated breedings of low serotonin levels (the most aggressive). Those of unstable aggression are referred to as a runch. Section 5 - Teir'Lorn Clan Clans are formed as a base of pride, belonging and legacy. We’ve learned that which makes up a pack as well as that which is rejected. The lone werewolf. Teir’Lorn was once a clan dedicated to homing lone werewolves, those who were abandoned, lost or searching. It’s alpha, Dijn of Teir’Lorn, believed in Nayla’s vision of all things love, hope and companionship. He believed in no wolf left behind. But as decades passed, the clan began to disperse for reasons said to point back to the alpha’s overlooked prospect: troubled things packed with troubled things is doomed from the start. Though one young male could not forget this vision. Scythe of Pyran, 1978, revived what is now an up and coming clan known most for its diverse members and the marks on history they’ve imprinted. The Teir'Lorn clan is now an eccentric pack located in Virginia’s Arlington Woods. The pack is young, its alpha being 60 years of age and still learning the ropes and strings of managing ten fully grown werewolves all with a challenging past of their own. Let’s Meet the Gang Scythe–pack alpha. Alphas are known to be brute, dominant males with a superiority complex. This guy here is just trying to keep it together. Of the old French bloodlines, pack alpha runs through his veins, but does that make a leader? Anila–pack beta. After losing her mate seven years ago, her priorities lie with ensuring she loses no one else. This generally comes in the form of snapping everyone into shape before they get bent out of it. Terse –pack guardian. Beware, this wolf might think you to death. Silent in nature, the wolf sees all, knows all, carries the wits of ten men—oh, and works at Pizza Hut. Drone—pack guardian. Tall, dark and always annoyed, this male will pick a fight with anything walking. Which is no surprise, he fights for a living. Blue—pack guardian. Sheepish, cute, tasty, lovable, all words used to describe this wolf until you try holding a conversation with him. Victim to memory lost, his head is not always in the game. Redbone—pack member. Active in all things female, this wolf will try to charm his way into your heart by any means necessary. That includes horrific pickup lines. Vise—pack member. Street status: pseudo-thug and womanizer. Drowning out the past with the present, he lives for the next high, determined to capture life before it passes him by. Fang—pack member. Answers to no one, so don't ask. Troubled by past neglect, the wolf has major abandonment issues and this causes for frequent misunderstanding among the pack. Bane—pack member. Protector at heart, to love him is to know the greatest love of all. He will kill for loved ones without a second thought. Rust—pack member. Tattered and broken, this wolf would rather sleep than interact with society, but don’t get on his bad side; sleeping beasts still have teeth. Timbre—pack member. The only nonchalant and normal wolf of the pack. Continue reading for a sneak peek of Ruthless, book 1 of the Teir’Lorn Clan… Chapter One Fang of the Tier'Lorn clan prowled the night with one intention; to see her, the sole being capable of halting the turmoil loose in his head. Below the pooling moonlight was the rustic plane where her cottage sat. Alone. No interruptions. There was grass for acres surrounding the home and an apple tree, large and fruitful posted within the picket fence. Slender hills dipped and dived in zigzags beyond her home. Surrounding this landscape was the Arlington Woods of Virginia. Its trees were malnourished and of the fall tier, the canopies barely hanging on to the sweet end of summer. In their shadows rest his routine station. Here, atop a wide and cracked boulder, was where he settled night after night. Day in, day out. Watching. While some may have called it creepy, a hairy beast lurking in the shadows of one's home, Fang did not. That is, if he went by the what she don't know can't hurt 'er motto. And you could bet that was his motto. Occasionally, Leerah Fetcher would come out to help her mother tend to a sorry garden made of sagging, soft tomatoes and grateful ant vanguards. When kneeling in the dirt, she would take her hand to her nape and rub. And look around. And have questions in her eyes. Is someone watching me kind of questions. But in the end, without fail, she would turn away, seeming to write it off as her own paranoia and go back to playing with worms and dead garden concepts. His chest would then deflate in relief and the pressure in his head would ease. Because God help him if his mate discovered him and the clan's alpha discovered her discovering him. But this guard duty thing wasn't just age-old werewolf games of inherent protectiveness toward their mate. It was not even the addictive sickness he obtained nightly from stalking her, padding from one tree to the next and peering through her translucent curtains. Not the high that came when she was in her bedroom and her fingers would hook onto the hems of her pants. Not the way his mind emptied as her body moved like flowing water from the pants, or how his heart would beat so ferociously it clogged his airways. Until he grew heavy and lightheaded. No, it was none of those things that triggered the stalker mode. It was what she was. The dark elves had been hunted by the light elves for as long as he could remember. Before he was anything more than a twinkle in fate's consideration. That she was a dark elf was his warrant to play guard dog at the edge of her residence. That, and the fact Scythe had given him the third boot this week from his own residence. Well, the pack's residence. Which was some odd acres in the heart of the woods. See, they didn't like Fang chewing on their house or stealing their belongings and burying them outside. Claimed it was not mannerly, because clearly they were not werewolves. But they tolerated it. It was his unkempt fuck all of you demeanor that often gave Scythe a long rod up his rear. And when Scythe got the rod up his ass, it sort of got stuck and he sort of got spitting angry and somehow thought Fang cared. And each and every time he registered Fang gave absolutely no shits, Scythe would get his really mad face on and give that same old rubbish line: "Maybe you need a walk." Aka, beat it. So here he was, watching over his mate, protecting her from the light elves—even though they had not attacked for years. He chuffed and flopped down all recumbent and uncaring atop his rock. A stick lay between his teeth as he gnawed away his frustration. Ears flattened, eyes pasted to her kitchen window. She was carrying a cooking pot from the stove to the sink. There, she tilted it over, a steamy downpour of water flowing out. The downpour of her blond hair was more lovely and how it fluctuated in time with her movement was becoming. How would that hair fill in his hands, slipping between his fingertips? How would it smell if he were to rub his nose into its thick assortment? He had never been close enough to know. He squinted, chewing jaw going slack, saliva accumulating in the jowls. That's right, tonight was spaghetti night. Any moment now she would open the window to air out the beef scented steam. Then he could lift his snout to draw in evidence of his female's provision skills. Often he would have fantasies involving that spaghetti. The American-family-esque: He would be behind her, and they would laugh over shit not really funny, his arms around her, her shrugging him off and playfully claiming they would starve if he did not quit it that instant. This fantasy ended with her bent over the table. The unlikely version: her burning the spaghetti and them laughing as she dumped the failed attempt in the trashcan. He would kiss away her puckered lips of dismay and those kisses would trail. This fantasy ended with him on his knees, the unlikely part being her burning the pasta. The inevitable, recurring version: didn't really have spaghetti. Just dark wounds in the walls where his claws had dragged to remove the worst of his tension as he took her against every unyielding surface. But, like, the thought of spaghetti was still pertinent somehow, somewhere in the lustful oblivion. The harrowing problem with these fantasies was exactly that: they were fantasies. Never-gonna-happens. He would forever be on the outside looking in. Because reasons. Because agreements. Because such and such. She was not even aware of his existence. It was as a thin trail of drool teased downward that he heard them. His ears stood, flicked and swiveled backwards toward the source. It was too early for it to be Scythe. He usually came around sunrise to leash him back to the property and attempt reconciliation via Anila Meatballs. The bastard knew he could never resist her tender, lightly glazed meatballs. No, these voices were unfamiliar. Strange even, though that could have been the distance between them, delivering the noises into high pitched lines none in the clan were capable of. Lines that caused a continuous flickering of his ears' tips. Maybe it was the leftover agitation sending him false sounds. Wouldn't be the first time. Either way, he was pretty sure they were not coming to offer meatballs. “Shut up. You want them on us?” “Last I done checked, they didn't have no super hearing.” “When you check?” The light banter drew in others. All male. “How about all of you shut the hell up—” “What is that?” The moon overhead cloaked the dark woods in a glossy film of blue. Fang abandoned the rock. The leaves of shades orange to brown shuddered away each step he took, the still winds compressing their sound to flat notes of nothing. His footfalls were soundless, whereas he was not. It was only him and his growls causing the woods to shiver and the intruders to fall silent. The last time vagrants had thought to overstep bounds onto the territory, he had mauled them. His mid-massacre apathy had graced some with their lives and a lesson well received, leaving them to scurry back into the shadows with missing limbs and the permanent scars that werewolf gashes left behind. Leerah had been none the wiser. How it would remain. If he could prevent it, his dark little elf would never experience fear. No longer was he padding along in utter stealth. He tore through the trees, a blur in motion. Their voices, feathery and despondent; their breaths, low and far too slow to deem human, sank into his ears louder than thunder. Their heartbeats held familiar patterns of hail pattering a window pane; fast, contradicting. Their scents . . . exotic. Tangy like clipped dandelions and garden roses. It hit him like sweet nostalgia—familiar, familiar, so familiar. It would be nice to open nostalgia's belly and let his breath roll over his canines as he leered into the carnage. Because familiar or not, they were not of the Teir'Lorn clan. They were not of the Fetchers. They were trespassers. He plowed into the nearest figure. Abrupt. Effective. His jaws locked around its face. He cranked them closed until he felt his top and bottom canines meet. Warmth filled his mouth, slipping down his throat. Nails scratched frantically at his fall pelt, tugging and ripping fur free. There was no cry of pain from the trespasser; he felt his paw descend into its throat, sweltering heat bleeding between his toes. Though it was already as good as dead, the connection with his claws caused the body to go spastic and ruined. Unmoving. Next. He whipped around but came up short. Around him, the shadows vibrated. No . . . not vibrated, but moved at impossible speeds. What were once blue-hued shadows now carried the color like a whipping glow stick outlining their bodies. And there were a lot of glow sticks. He snarled and pounded heavy paws into the ground matter—beckoning, challenging those things to come near. “Nooo regulaaar woolfiee,” their voices bled in ghostly tenors, as though the space around them could not quite carry the sound. “Weerewolf.” “Deeeliinqueeent.” “Thizz iz their wooodzz.” Damn right it was the werewolves' woods. For decades, most of the preternaturals in Virginia understood not to come near it—especially the vampires after the number Fang had done on them. News of that mild massacre had spread, enticing all preternaturals to respect another’s territory. So what was possessing these strange creatures? His hairs lifted as a presence climbed up his spine. He snapped toward the whirring motion and came back with a howling creature. It raked at his face, but his flesh and bones were nowhere near as giving. He rattled the lanky body hard like a chew-toy and tossed it in front of him. Familiar, familiar. The ease of breaking the bones. The sweet and sour taste of its blood. He bit into its throat, unintentionally severing the head before it tried to run. As he drew away and the head rolled away, those glowing things hushed closer. He got the sense that they were curious of him. Very curious. That weird observation aside, he spotted one that was not in constant motion but watching him with these big dark eyes and pale features. Vampyric almost. Slowly it ordered, “Fucking kill it already.” That was when he saw, as he turned in aggravated circles, the number of them. Thirty, fifty shadows outlined in blue. So many. Too many. Fang used to think these woods had always been hollow and empty. Seeing so many bodies occupying it was almost surreal. What the hell were they? The answer was delivered in pain when something smacked him in the head, hard enough to lay him out on his side. False stars blended with the night's, blinking into his vision as he peered through watery—no, bloody— eyes. “Bop!” one of the elves shouted. Fang looked at the root sticking up from the ground, his blood smearing along the dirt-crusted curve. Elves were the only creatures known to this world capable of calling up the earth's roots and bending them to their will. Which meant . . . His worst fear had finally come; an invasion. After years of dread, the light elves had finally discovered his dark elf living in these lands, and had sent a surprising many to take her life away from him. No, no! His mouth lifted. He needed the others. He needed to alert the clan— A drawn howl came in from the east, formless and vast. Everyone paused as it sank into them. Even him. The sound was hollow yet thick, traveling through the trees softly yet loudly. Fang felt it stir something in his blood, his throat tingling at the back to rear his head and answer Blue's nightcall, but a second later, another howl overlapped from the west. Terse's. His ears twitched. He saw the fear enter the elves' eyes. Brief, instantly washed away. They knew better than to mess with werewolves, elves whose bones sliced like butter under werewolf teeth. It seemed they were learning the folly of their actions on the spot, learning the suicide forest they had walked into. Another howl poured in from the south. Drone. Howls from all three guardian points had been delivered. Any moment now, he would hear Scythe give the official golden nightcall to gather all of the clan who were not guardians. It was just like those seven years ago, with Anila's mate. Sure enough, Scythe’s vibrant song turned every head toward the direction of the house. He would have to take a rain check. It wasn't his place to alert the others. He was not a guardian. But it wasn't logic that took over him. No, he so seldom used his logic bits. It was instinct that threw back his head. It was instinct that boiled up the onyx nightcall to warn the others that this sector was infested as well and that he had other priorities. Before the air traveled heartily through Fang's lungs, something crashed into him. He was tossed back, hurdling into a collecting bundle of woodland litter. For an elf, it was incredibly strong. He rebounded through the cracking of his spine, chomping his teeth at anything near him. His canines only caught air. “Forget the wolf. Move, move.” It must have been their leader commanding them, because like grass blown in the wind, they flooded toward Leerah's cottage in eerie motions, flying through the night like young wild moneys, racketing off tree trunks, pouncing with momentum, leaping like long crouched panthers. That was when the memory hit him hard. Heady. Needy. Desperate. That blood. That smell. Leerah . . . It was the same scent she carried in her veins. Hell, they were all dark elves. Questions began to combat his clear head, blackening the night further. Through this cloudiness, he ran. He ran after the lot of them, howling a broken howl that was nondescript of the three nightcalls. But what was he saying, who was he calling? If the others had spotted danger at the perimeters of all three stations, then the pack would have their mouths full. He was on his own here. While that was just fan-fucking-tastic, he didn't let up on his pursuit. Not until he skidded to a stop at the outskirts of her cottage. Wait. Why did he stop?! They were flooded around the dainty home like ants crowded a crumb. Purposeful. Fang went from paw to paw, worrying the borders of the declining hill. Rules. Restrictions. Scythe's words. He was to never go near her so long as she lived in this forest of theirs. Rules, rules. A whimper slipped from a desolate place in his belly. It was more than just the rules. Fang knew himself well enough to know that if he got nearer to Leerah, if he got closer than he had in the five years of watching her, whatever line had been drawn in his head by Scythe would be erased. Whatever calm inside of him would erode. Mentally and physically, he would not go back to such unnatural distance. He would bring his fantasies to life. And he feared the manner of which he would go about doing so. Just as he was about to really fuck up royally and barge into the fray below, rules abandoned, a shift of fur blasted past him. In the draft of its wake, he smelled promises of death, smelled the excitement. That was enough. Redbone's auburn coat was the waving flag and Fang was the bull. He charged towards the elves.


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