Devari wrote:Under cover of night, Willem entered (Q-Eight) the lands of the Dark Forest. He prayed that he would be safe, and traveled a ways within the border before finding a comfortable cave and taking a well needed rest...
His last thought as he slipped into the inviting arms of sleep was whether Graygon had made it.
He did not have good dreams that night.
When Willem awoke, he could barely move. Not only had his wounds made his muscles rigid, but a foot of snow had blanketed him during the night. Sitting up and shivering, Willem cursed all the Wolfpack, plus a few other nations thrown in for good measure. He cursed himself, too, for being a fool. He should have know, ever since the Fell War, that the sentiments of the Wolfpack were changing.
For generations since the beginning, the Wolfpack had been nothing more than mercenaries, rogues and highwaymen, preying upon Crusader royals, Fright Knight peasants and even there cousin Forestmen and Dark Foresters. When Willem's father had become King of the Three Daggers, he had attempted to turn the Wolfpack to less despicable ways. He patched relations with Lord Isaac of the Forestmen, and to a lesser extent, the Fallmir Kath of the Dark Foresters. He also got the Classic Emperor to finally recognize the Wolfpack as a legitimate faction, and set of small trade routes with the Royal Knights.
But that was not to last. Even before Willem had romped with the Misfits, diplomacy between Wolfpack and it's lukewarm allies began to waver. When Willem did not return from a simple scouted and his most loyal lieutenant Graygon disappeared too, the Wolfpack soon devolved into their pre-'civilized' ways. Defoe Grimtongue rose to power, and the Wolfpack's fate was sealed. Even when Defoe had been slain by Radjar Kath, heir to the Dark Forest throne, the brooding among the Defoe loyal continued. Throughout the reign of terror BloodVaine unleashed upon Dametreos, Willem Blackcloak's follows dwindles, though conversion and betrayal or by execution by others. Slowly but sure, the leader of the Wolfpack was loosing support.
Then she came. Lady Ciroal Grimtongue, sister of Defoe Grimtongue. While the other factions of Dametreos were distracted with their own pressing problems, the overwhelming followers of the Fair Lady rose and ousted Willem, and executed any who dared stay loyal to the true Wolfpack King. All who vouched their loyalty to Lady Ciroal lived, the rest died. One by one, Willem lost friends and family, until only Graygon was left. Now he, too, was gone, either dead, lost, or going somewhere else.
Willem Blackcloak was alone....
...or was he?
Like a sleek fox, Willem threw himself quietly to the ground. In the distance, a twig snapped. Something was coming! Willem deduced that it was humanoid, and there was only one. Whoever it was, he or she wasn't a Forestdweller, or at least not a skilled one. But who else would be wandering about Fell Isle, a place home almost exclusively to members of the Wolfpack, League Of Forestmen and the Dark Foresters.
Now Willem could see the person. It was a female, tall, with blonde hair almost bleached to white, hacked off at the shoulders. She was wrapped in a cloak usually worn by Forestmen, and she had carried a hewn staff at least eight feet long. She appeared not to be armed. Willem was contemplating whether or not to reveal his presents when the figure called out.
"Come out, Willem Blackcloak. I know you are hiding. You have nothing to fear, I do not seek to harm you."
She stare directly at him and began walking in his direction. Having nothing to loose except his life, Willem stood.
She looked at him with eyes that seemed to permanently wrinkled in sadness and said, "A sad day, indeed, Blackcloak."
"Who are you?" snapped Willem, craning his neck upward.
"I am the sole living person of both the Gladwheel and Turnleaf families." she replied cryptically, "My name is Katherine."