Jennifer R. Dinger 1992
edited and revised by Chief LoboLoco 1992/1999
"Other elves". . ."More of us out
there". . ."Why didn't we know?" Words spilled and overflowed from the mouths
of the group of Wolfriders surrounding Rahnee She-Wolf. She stared back at them,
some her brothers and sisters, but all related to her through Timmorn. One voice--the
leader's--stood out: "Nita's told us of the Flight."
These words tore Rahnee completely
out of the Wolfsong and answered the near-mob. "What of it? You have heard the
stories of the Coming and the Slaughter by the Old Ones since you were born.
Have you never considered what came afterwards?"
"But. . ." Rushwind faltered. "They
never seemed true before! They're out there! We have to find them!" he exclaimed.
"The High One told us we could form an ex--expe--expedition," he stumbled over
the unfamiliar word. "Nitas said he could send over the area we enter and search
for them mentally while we look for them physically."
Rahnee turned her violet-eyed gaze
to the flame-haired High One, one of the few who not only associated with the
"Wolf Children" but taught them as well. "Did you, Nitas? You have things all
planned, don't you?" Rahnee asked in a quiet voice. Then, in a private sending
for Nitas' mind only **Why do you encourage them in this? You know there are
none left! All were killed by humans or by their own weaknesses!**
**But there are others! I
have felt them!** he returned. The lupine chieftess and ethereal High One locked
stares, the beginning of a challenge. All held their breath for a moment, but
the High One broke the silence. "There are other elves, and we'll
"What do you wish to do about it?"
"Leave the Frozen Waste and search
for them!" Rushwind interjected.
"I'll not destroy the Wolfriders on your
foolish dream, going South where humans live! Did you hear me? HUMANS!
The ones who killed so many of us in the first place! Rushwind. . .Nitas," the
She-Wolf stared at each of them in turn, "if you truly believe this, I'll not
make you stay, but I will not accept it. Leave tomorrow with what supplies you
need and those that feel as you do; otherwise, never mention it again."
"Farewell, granddaughter of Timmain,"
"We will mourn you death, for you
will be dead to us." the chieftess finished and turned away from them.
"We will find them! And no
'humans' will stop us." Rushwind said, more to himself than anyone, in a voice
bordering on obsession.
But find elves, they did not, though
the "expedition"--Nitas, another pureblood, four children of Timmorn, and ten
Wolfriders--searched many turns. Instead, they found only remnants of others:
a shaped tree, a rock that looked and felt odd, elven jewelry, and, mostly,
fragile elven bones. They also found their once-mythical nemesis--humans!
The elves fled the humans, going
farther South than ever they dared, coming at last to a land of tall grass and
the golden sun. Here they stayed a turn of the greater moon to rest. . .and
mourn the death of Rushwind, their first chief, though he had never been acknowledged
Rushwind's daughter Coldstar became
their chiftess, determined to find what had eluded her father. The Wolfriders
became swiftly moving nomads; the pureblooded elves continued using their mind-searching
skills to look for elves. Another step was added to their search by Coldstar:
human slaughter. As with Coldstar's father, her obsession caused her death--not
from one of the humans she so despised, but the death-challenge issued by her
cousin, Shadorun, over her killing-lust for humans.
Shadowrun put an end to their nomadic
life. He, with his wolf Thorn, lead the tribe back to the plains, the land the
Wolfriders had continued to return to since the death of their first chief,
to make it their home. Although Shadowrun did not seek the human genocide as
Coldstar did, he allowed the elves to continue killing the humans until there
were no more on their land. For the first time, a chief lived to a ripe old
Shadowrun's son Eagle became both
Eagle's Strength and chief in his place. The years of living in the sun
and grass had turned the fur of their once-gray wolves into a tawny, grass-gold
and the skin of the once-pale elves to a burnished tan. They now truly belonged
to the Plains, and, in turn, needed to discard the tents they had lived in during
Shadowrun's chieftainship and find their permanent homeplace. With the help
of Masnos, the last living pureblooded elf, Eagle's Strength led them far across
the plain to a place of plateaus, canyons, and hopefully, peace. The plains
elves could feel the past-presence of living elves and their death-presence.
Eagle's Strength chose the tallest, most memory-filled place of the canyon and
began his work. All at once his budding rock-shaping powers matured, and the
rock flowed under his hands like water. He shaped the rock in a frenzy, and
no one, not even his life-mate, Morningsong nor his wolf-friend Dragonfly, could
understand his work or reach through to him. Whispers of madness began. At the
dawn of the fourth day since reaching the canyons, a scream from their chief
was heard. As the Golden Wolfriders awoke and rushed to their chief, they saw
in the rising sun a great wolf's head shaped into the living rock of the canyon--a
symbol of themselves and their spirit--and found the body of Eagle's Strength
at the bottom of it.
Eagle's Strength's brother, Sun's
End, became chief after his death. His was the first truly peaceful time, marred
by few tragedies and deaths. Several caverns of the Golden Wolf Holt were explored
and a treasure of the High Ones found: a deep, clear well into which the High
Ones had poured their memories into at death, to preserve for a time when other
elves would find their death-place and understand its importance1.
Under Masnos' direction, the Well of Memories was explored, and the Wolfriders
relearned much of their once-was.
Crimsonfire became chieftess after
her father's disappearance. She was the first to drink of the Well of Memories
and receive the gift of her elfin heritage: firemaking2, an ability
so uncommon that only the Dreamseekers had any memory of it at all. She began
the tradition of giving the dead to the Well to add more memories and allowing
those coming of age to drink of the Well to take some of the memories and learn
who they were.
The murder of Crimsonfire ended the
Age of Peace and re-began the Time of Humans. Blackmercy, her son, avenged his
mother's death and turned the leviathanian holt into something of a fort.
Within a hand of hands of turns, the humans were gone from the plains--either
killed or banished--but almost half of the Golden Wolfriders, Including Blackmercy,
had been maimed--injured beyond the healing abilities of Bluespear--or dead,
their memories added to the Well. The time after the Human Battles was known
as the Healing as Sleeping Bear, Blackmercy's son, took his father's place as
chief. Countless turns passed with Sleeping Bear as chief, humans were a distant
memory and Sleeping Bear and his life-mate Brightwater brought a new cub into
Four-eights (16years) later, Sleeping
Bear, Brightwater, and seven others left the holt on a moonless night. Their
departure was silent and mysterious. Sleeping Bear sent to his sister's mate,
Dreamshadow, informing him of their departure and instructing him to aid Lobo
in assuming his birthright as chief. Dreamshadow agreed but wanted to know the
reason for the sudden departure. Sleeping Bear's only answer was "May the High
Ones be with us. . ." and they were gone.
* * *
Now, eight-eights and six turns(70
years) later, it is the time of LoboLoco. Will it be a time of discovery, as
with Rushwind's and Coldstar's? Will it be peaceful as Shadowrun's and Crimsonfire's?
Will there be beauty and treasure as in Eagle Strength's and Sun's End's time?
Will there be pain as in Blackmercy's or Healing as with his father, Sleeping
Bear's time? Or will we find more elves as was our first dream? Only the passage
of time will tell.
1 The Well of Memories is first mentioned in "Genesis" by Richard
Pini, Lynn Abbey, and Marcus Leahy in Wolfsong, Blood of Ten Chiefs Vol.2
2 Zarhan Fastfire, Rahnee's lifemate, was the last firemaker. He
could set anything that would burn naturally on fire just by thinking about
it; she can set anything on fire.
Golden Wolf Holt, its characters and likenesses are ©Michael Garcia 1985-2001.
LoboLoco is ©Michael Garcia and cannot be used without permission.
ElfQuest, its characters and likenesses are ©WaRP Graphics.
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