It was a gray wolf, common to Transylvania, but its strength and size were unusual. It was clearly a Dragga-an alpha male, dominant in its pack-but it was bigger than most. Its fur was a beautiful glittering silver gray, and its tail was tinged with red. It had a strong, handsome face, with brilliant white fangs and gums as pink and healthy as the flesh of a new plum.
But the wolves had learned from birth to fear the Man above all the predators, for he was a merciless hunter of their kind.
"A pack works together, Bran," he cried. "Don't ever forget that. If we don't have that, what by Tor and Fenris do we have?"
"You could take nothing of the kind, you fool. Besides, we hunt the weakest not just for the ease of the kill, but so that the Herla may go on, too, and feed us in the future. That is the law of the Putnar."
"So be it. "You have chosen your own destiny, Palla. And since you cannot forget the past, then let it return to haunt you-as Wolfbane always returns, the friend of the dead. For you shall truly learn of the past, Palla, when the Searchers are summoned. When Wolfbane's army of the dead come. For they are waiting, Palla, in the cave of the dark, now and always. They are with us here. They wait in dreams and in nightmares, watching and judging. They prowl angrily through the shadows, at the gates of death, waiting to pounce on the living. You talk of bones whitening to feed the crows. Then let them be your bones, scavenged by the creatures of the air. When Wolfbane comes and when the final power is unleashed. And let this be my real birthing gift to you, Palla. For I curse your family and your pack. By Wolfbane I curse you. By the power of the Sight, the power that has cursed me all my life, your little ones shall grow, and as they do, you shall all suffer. One by one your pack will be broken, until you are ready to give me your cubs. And if you do not, they too shall reap your fate. May the past that's dark with crimes, bring revenge in future times! Fear and guilt-here begun, let them break you, one by one."
"Ask a scavenger's permission to eat?" she snorted. "No, Larka, we are Putnar, we ask no one's permission."
"A good lesson for survival, children. When we can't find game, wolves must look to the flying Lera to aid us and scavenge a meal. Although we are Putnar, we must listen for their calls on the air, too, for as the park works together, so all nature must aid itself."
"Damn you. Are you a dragga or not?"
As a she-cub is whelped with a coat that is white,
And human child stolen to suckle the Sight
From a place where injustice was secretly done
Then the Marked One is here and a legend begun.
When Wolfbane is dreamt of with terror and dread,
And untamed are tamed, prepare for the dead.
For the Shape Changer's pact with the birds will come true,
When the blood of the Varg blends with Man's in the dew,
As the Searchers are tempted, who hunger and prowl
Down the Pathways of Death, by the summoning howl.
Then the truest of powers will be fleshed on the bone
And the Searchers tempt nature to prey on its own.
With blood at the altar, the Vision shall come
When the eye of the moon is as round as the sun.
In the citadel raised by the lords of before,
The Stone twins await-both the power and the law.
Then the past and the future shall finally show,
To the wounded, the secret the Lera must know.
And all shall be witness to that which will be,
In the mind of the Man Varg, then none shall be free.
And only a family both loving and true,
May conquer the evil, so ancient, so new.
As they fight to uncover what secrets they share
And see in their journey how painful is care.
Beware the Betrayer, whose meaning is strife,
For their faith shall be tried by the markers of life,
And who shall divine, in the dead of the night,
The lies from the truth, the darkness from light?
Like the cry of the scavenger, torn through the air
A courage is needed, as deep as despair.