The Century Storm
... I was the last of 8 pups born to a female and male of my kind, but these two didn't raise me. My tribe did. Don't think of that as strange. That's how things were done.
I got a lot of extra attention growing up. It wasn't good attention, though. It made me feel dumb. I was called names for refusing to eat meat and lectured for not being interested in fighting. But, the kicker was my belief in something greater than the shaman's gods.
That's what got me kicked out.
You see, I had this hungry feeling that wouldn't go away. Except, I wasn't really hungry. I mean, not hungry in my stomach, at least. Hungry much deeper than that. Hungry in my soul. The teachings of the Shaman would have been alright if our kind were the only things that existed. But, that's not how it was. My land was great and expansive with lots of different creatures. There were bears, wolves, seals, and rabbits, not to mention people and my kind. It made sense that there was something greater than the Shaman's god to hold things together.
So, that's it. My beliefs are what earned me a one way ticket out of that snowy place. The tribe gave me some stuff and exiled me. My mother would have been sad if she were there. It's too bad she wasn't, actually. Maybe she would have stuck up for me. My dad certainly didn't. He was never really the same after she was taking prisoner by that other tribe we often fought. In fact, he was probably the hardest on me. I think I may have been a disgrace to him, if you can believe that.
Things got weird after I left. I marched off into the great, white nothingness that we called home. I turned back a couple of times to see if the tribe was joking, but they weren't. They were standing there watching me until I passed over a great snow dune and they were out of sight. It's probably a good thing they weren't kidding. I'm a whole lot happier now.
Okay. So, things got weird. Yes. I was trudging along in the snow, not really knowing where to go, when a fierce blizzard rolled in kind of fast. I'd never seen on like this before. It appeared almost out of thin air it was so quick. There were great winds and white-out conditions when I had eventually had enough. I settled into an icy enclave and tried to keep a fire lit, but things were really bad. I don't think I would have made it if that storm had lasted any longer. But, it cut loose and I was saved.
Or, was I? Yeah. I was saved. Listen to this! So, I got up, tired and hungry, and on the horizon was a wolf. I couldn't have missed it if I tried. It was bigger than me! And, it looked as unpleasant as I felt. Needless to say, it came at me and we got underway. I tried to use a club that I was given on it, but I hadn't really fought that much before. I hit it on the snout maybe once or twice until it got real nasty and bit me. That hurt. Those big teeth cut into me like you wouldn't believe. Anyhow, I thought I was done. It had me and was shaking its head wildly about. Then the arrows came. They came out of nowhere, actually.
The arrows are what saved me. There were enough of them to kill the wolf. It turns out that they were fired by a man named Anatoli. Anatoli's a good man, indeed. He protects this place called Elysium. In fact, that's where I was sent when by the storm. It turns out that the storm was actually the "Century Storm". According to legend, it comes every 100 years and swallows up creatures. Those creatures are never seen or heard from again. In fact, I remember stories about entire tribes disappearing in them. I wonder if they all went to Elysium?
Well, at any rate, Anatoli told me a little story. It turns out that he's a Guardian. Guardiians believe in goodness so much that they serve and protect it. He looked at me and knew right away that I belonged, so he brought me to see his master, Berberus. Berberus is one of those animal creatures. He kind of looks like me, actually. Except, he's more wolf than anything. He seems to be a powerful one. He leads these Guardians around and has a lot of contacts out here.
What is "out here" anyway? Well, I don't know. But, they call it "The Planes". I guess this is where all of our dead tribesmen go. Except, that doesn't make complete sense, since these Guardians and those animal creatures are alive. Hm. Maybe its like this. This place is like your reflection when you look into the ice. You're on one side, but there's another side. I don't think that I'm in two places at once, no. That probably wouldn't be. Instead, I'm willing to be that this is just some place in another time and place. Yeah, that's probably it.
Anyhow, I'm now a Guardian. Berberus has taken me in and made me one of his kind. I have sworn to protect goodness through warfare and peace. I guess I'll have to sharpen my hand at fighting, actually. Berberus was even so kind as to give me a magic shield and some people to contact outside of Elysium. It should be interesting to meet them. One of them's name is Zir'Fallow. He lives in a place where there are lots of machines - you know, metal things. I hear it's something else. Maybe I'll get there to see him someday. I don't know.
Well, that's it. That's my story so far. I don't know what else to say, exactly. I guess I'm ready to see things and figure out my destiny. I still think there's something bigger than that god the shaman told me about. I bet it's bigger than some of the other gods I've heard about too. Let's take one last look at it, alright? You've got folks like me. A bunch of us. We're organized into tribes. Then there are a bunch of tribes. We don't form a community or anything, but could if we learned to be friends with one another. Let's say that happened. We'd need a leader, right? Yeah. Just like Berberus. He'd be at the top, but who would make sure he get out of hand? And so on and so forth? You get the point?
Okay. So, enough of that. Where are we going?