In our great land, there were once many ways to defend against the nature of things. Traditions, treasures and gifts commonly carrier by the wary traveler of the plains.
Witches were of the first. Sometimes a problem in their own right—they frequently began as consorts of devils, which sometimes addled and confused them—they were also the only allies of humans with any power. They consorted with the fae, and learned magic words and runes to harvest the powers of nature the fair folk represented.
These men, women, and other were the first and oldest fighters of the shadow children.
They gave us charms, and spells that made us seem flavorless to the shadowchildren who rise from the Mists of the Undying Sea, and toys to distract the fair folk. They wrote lore, to teach us to deal with devils, run from the mer, flatter elves, not to wake the trolls, sacrifice to the goblins, and to distract the fairies and run. Taught us to combat the shadowchildren with weapons forged by the mountain-beasts or elven-wood. Taught us of the oft cursed line of the shadowchildren, and ways to trick their strange obsessions and weaknesses.
However there were not enough of them to help. Those that were so often turned to seclusion and madness from the touch of the fay, that those who would defend us knew that the witches alone would not be enough.
A fay witch of the devils’ fire captured the noble spirits of strong wolf family heads. Alphas, as they are now called. Under a blue moon on the 24th of December with the blood of a white wolf, they turned men’s blood to beast, and their souls to noble protectors through love.
The brothers took to their task of protection well, they learned to hunt and to track and to guard lands. They became gifted and learned to share their gifts by sharing blood in friendly scraps. They bore proud scars, though they healed quickly. There are many generations of noble wolf families, father passing to son passing to son, growing with strength and ability with each coming generation through both training and their gifts of blood.
We who are given highest duty
We whose blood howls of wolves slain
We whose minds ache with the desire to hunt
We who must look into the yellow eyes of those not strong enough—and slay them
We are strong
It used to be that every high family and every village had a wolf, but sometimes the young babes were ill and died, or men’s ambition for glory tainted them. Sometimes the new spirit they held’s pain was beyond them, and they went feral.
Wild Wolves had no less strength than their Noble brothers. They often killed whatever they came across when hungry, slaughtering men and livestock alike. They were hunted with silver, poisoned with wolfsbane, and they were angered. For those who had done this to them sought to destroy them on site.
The survivors of the cleansing of the wild beasts bore rage towards mankind, strengthening with each generation and fallen clan member. Their fear and rage and pain passed onto those that changed with their fangs. Some generations of the wild became too encompassed by beast rage to more than kill, and some simply killed whenever a pure moonlight struck their flesh.
From time to time, noble wolves would try to tame their wild brothers, give them back their reason and their order. Sometimes this works. But the blessing is mixed. For sometimes the legacy of pain and the legacy of protection blend, and the new generations have wars in their minds and hearts difficult to sort. Sometimes this is circumvented by not bringing the wild wolves into the family while still helping to tame them, but the danger is always there.
Wild wolf packs are rarely families. They are angry gangs with top dog bully alpha at the top, and bullied omega at the bottom. All enforced by violence. They cared for each other sometimes, but the abuse in wolf (and human) forms remains too often constant.
Thus there had to be men, women and other to hunt the wolves. Borrowing from witch lore. Soon, the traditions began to take on the lore of the witches to learn to kill the shadowchildren, and even some of the younger fair folk. Families were established around the hunting, for protection of the land, for sport, for the supremacy of humanity. Some simply take to it like a business, most are some of both.
Today there are estimated to be five families of nobleborn wolves, and the feral wolves are commonly hunted by the orders of protectors and nobleborn wolves alike.
Thus, we hunters do what we can. Trying to balance knowing magic is our greatest resource with not getting owned by it. For once you tie your success to your blood there is only death to follow. We have to stand on our two feet, against all the odds.
We often die, but every person has to eventually. Or else rise from the Undying Sea as something…else