Wolves of the North.

Blood on the snow.

The Raven rides the Northern winds, feathers shifting slightly it slowly descends towards the snow covered hills and forests. It caws gently to itself as it begins to recognise familiar landmarks. Then it spies a column of blackened smoke and its flight turns more hasty.

The peaceful village lie in ruin, the timber round houses burnt and blackened shells, some still burnt, sending tired smoke into the sky. The Raven landed on upon the remaining gate post, head nervously flitting from from side to side, it looked at the bodies scattered about, all unmoving, broken and bloodied. But there was movement.

Wulf tried to open his eyes, he could still hear sounds, the crackling of burning wood, a bird cawing, but he could  smell death, it reeked. Fumbling he managed to bring a hand to his face and claw at the stickiness that blinded him. His hand came away blooded, wiping again his vision began to clear.

There were bodies everywhere, Wulf staggered to his feet, his clothing hanging off his body in torn rags, he was covered in blood, but after a quick inspection none of it appeared to be his, but what had happened? Why could he not remember? A sound behind  startled him, a low growl, slowly he turned.

The wolf was stood no more than five feet away, and it was massive. Wulf slowly dropped his hand to where his sword should be, nothing, not even the empty scabbard, quickly his eyes flicked to the destruction around him looking for a weapon of some kind, nothing. But he could see more shapes loping through the woodsmoke, more wolves.

Suddenly the cawing that he had heard before grew louder, the Raven appeared landing on the remains of an animal pen. The wolf stared at it for a moment, then growled again, the bird squarked even louder and began flapping its wings. The wolf dropped to the floor whining, the Raven settled. The wolf looked at it once more then barked, then without another look at the human, it slunk away.

Wulf had not moved during this confrontation, but now he could see the other wolves were leaving, but the raven remained, cocking its head at him. Then suddenly he remembered the others, his sister, his younger brother, the twins, where were they? Had they suffered like the others? Where was their father?

Wulf began to search through the ruins…


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