The cold wind flew through the feathers of a large eagle as it flapped its wings. Smoke from a small burning town blocked its view forcing it to flap its wings to rise into the air and ascend through the clouds above.
Several minutes of flying passed before the eagle tucked its wings in it dived into the moist clouds below. After breaking through the clouds it flapped its wings to pull out of the dive.
The eagle used its large wings to slowly glide while its sharp beady eyes scanned the ground for its target.
There! A few miles away a large group of people were gathered in a hastily made fortification.
The eagle flapped its wings and flew over to the camp to get a better look.
As it began to circle the camp several smaller groups could be seen leaving and returning as they went about whatever task they had been ordered to do.
The eagle looked for anything that could identify who they were. So far the Eagle could not find any flags flying in the camp.
The eagle’s gaze fell upon the largest tent in the middle of the encampment. Some type of emblem was embroidered on the top of the tent.
To get a better look, the eagle again folded its wings and descended hundreds of feet in seconds.
The tent grew bigger in the eagle’s eyes as it grew closer and it was able to understand what was embroidered on the roof of the tent…It was the royal crest of the Beorin.
Swoosh! An arrow flew by nearly impaling the Eagle. With a squawk of surprise, the Eagle flapped its powerful wings and flew out of range of any other arrows.
The camp guards bellow watched as the bird flew away.
“How can anyone live in this crappy place. With all these animals and monsters living here you can’t have any peace there’s always something trying to bother us,” complained a guard.
Akira sat at a table and watched the quiet and unmoving Shaman that was in a trance currently using a specialized skill that some Shaman trained in. They had been waiting in silence for several hours.
Jerking awake the shaman let out a loud sigh.
“Did you find the people causing the trouble?” asked Wulfric.
“Grand elder, I was indeed successful in finding a large group encamped on the open plains of the grasslands north of the swamps near the small city of Madham. I was able to count at least 1000 warriors. I couldn’t count them all due to large groups constantly leaving and returning to the main encampment. The number is probably around 1500 at the most 2000.”
“Did you figure out who they are?” asked Hegir.
“Yes, although there were no flags to announce who they were, I was still able to figure it out. It was as the Grand elder expected one of the northern kingdoms, the Beorin kingdom to be exact.”
“Beorin kingdom? Why should they come all the way down here to bother us? We didn’t even fight them in the last war so there should be no lingering resentment between us,” asked Hegir.
“When they first entered our town I heard the leader of their group shout something about finding the person that was worth over 500 gold,” said Neal the elderly village chief that had led the survivors of his small town to the Bluemoon city.
“Did you find anything else out?” asked Wulfric.
“Only a little, the towns and villages near the encampment of the Beorin soldiers were all razed to the ground. I saw several groups of werewolves headed deeper into the swamps so we should expect more people to be arriving soon.”
“I beg of you to allow us to stay here we can help with whatever you need. The people of my village now have nowhere to go,” said Neal pleading with Wulfric.
“There is no need to act like this, you should already know that there are several houses for times just like this everyone will be able to have a place to stay and food to eat as long as they help out with the work around the city. Things look like they will be getting rather busy soon,” said Wulfric.
“Grandfather what are we going to do? If this continues and nothing is done there could be several hundred more deaths,” said Azura with a worried look on her face.
“There is nothing to worry about it has not turned into a war yet. There still may be hope to negotiate with them to figure out what they want. But first we have to warn the other clans and call an emergency meeting,” said Wulfric trying to calm Azura.
“I will personally relay the message to the other clan’s shaman and warn them to be on guard. Although it takes up so much energy I am the only one able to do suck a large task right now,” said Hegir.
“I’ll leave it to you but be sure to warn them about the encampment and ask them to join us at the Clan Meeting grounds as soon as they can. We’ll have to prepare for the trip and make sure the city is fully alert and protected before we can go.”
“Alright, we all have a lot to do so we will end the meeting for now. Make sure you’re ready by tomorrow morning since we’ll be leaving for the Clan meeting grounds as soon as possible,” said Wulfric.
Akira had nothing to do, so he just stayed with Azura to help her with anything she needed help with.
Azura continued to talk to Neal to further understand everything that was going on. They listened to him explain how they had come from the north and were chased for several days by the soldiers before managing to escape into the swamps.
All through the day several smaller groups of werewolves filtered into the city scared and exhausted from their terrifying flight from the soldiers that had killed many friends and family.
Everywhere Akira went people had gloomy looks on their faces and were whispering quietly about the current events they had heard from the people that had managed to escape.
Something major was happening and nobody knew how big or how bad it would get but they all knew that the future was not looking good.
Several guesthouses had been filled up yesterday and still more people were coming to the city as the small group of elders and shaman gathered to leave for the clans meeting grounds.
Only half of the shaman and elders would be going with Wulfric and Hegir to the meeting.
Akira and Azura stood nearby to send them off. Varbu, Chack, Mileena, and Maya all stood behind them, they were all unsure of what they should do now that something like this had happened.
“Azura you will be staying here along with the other elders and shaman that stay behind. Your task is to help the people that come for protection and keep the city running smoothly. Make sure you don’t let your guard down and keep the city as safe as possible. Double the guards on duty and the daily patrols until we get back. If anything happens that you can not take care of the elders will help guide you.”
“I will not let you down,” said Azura.
“Akira you’re coming with me,” ordered Wulfric.
“I haven’t prepared anything…” said Akira.
“I already packed things for you,” said Wulfric tossing Akira a bag.
“Will all the werewolf clans be there?” asked Varbu.
This question reminded Akira of the whole reason why Varbu had traveled so far from home. It also reminded him of the letter that was given to him by the queen of the mermaids.
“Yes, all the clans will have representatives there,” said Wulfric.
“Grand Elder, can you allow Varbu to come? The main purpose of him coming here was to form an alliance between the orcs and werewolves,” said Akira.
Wulfric thought it over and quietly discussed the matter with Hegir before turning back to them.
“You can come but you will have to wait until the end of the meeting. Since we elders will have too many other important things that we’ll have to take care of before you can speak,” said Wulfric.
“We need to leave now so that we can make the meeting on time. We should be back after a fortnight or two,” said Hegir.
With that Akira and Varbu joined the small group and left the city to begin their journey south to the clan meeting grounds.
While on the journey Wulfric called over to Akira, “Did Azura get to teaching you about the different werewolf howls how to understand and communicate the common signals, commands, and warnings?”
“We covered some of it but before we could go into all of it this happened,” replied Akira.
“Then I’ll just have to teach you while we travel,” said Wulfric.
Akira had expected to escape from the training since such an event had happened but it turned out he was still stuck learning even now!
He was stuck listening and repeating the wolf howls and whistles signals used on a custom made dog whistle that the werewolf armies used. Hegir also taught him several things about various plants raising his herbalism to 20%.
Along the way south they stopped at many small villages and camps of groups nomadic werewolves that were too small to be recognized as a clan and warned them of the enemy to the north.
Their group soon doubled and tripled as the elders of each small town and camp joined them to make the trip to the big meeting in order to represent their small group and have a say in what should be done.
In just under a week the exited the swampy jungles. In front of them, Akira saw a large mountain that was surrounded by many large grassy hills.
“The meeting ground is just ahead of us. Look there’s another group also just arriving to the north of us,” said Wulfric pointing to a group that was just as large as theirs.
With the two groups noticing each other, they walked over to the other and joined up together.
“Grand elder Wulfric! Good to see you although the circumstances of our meeting is not so good,” said another elderly werewolf his youthful red hair had been almost all replaced with white hair.
“Grand elder Carl I am glad to see you. It is indeed a dangerous time we are living in. Let us travel together the rest of the way to the meeting grounds,” said Wulfric.
Akira learned through listening to their conversations that Carl was the Grand Elder of the Redmoon clan who was a strong ally of the Bluemoon clan.
The two grand elders were deep in discussion for the rest of the trip only stopping when they reached the foot of the mountains where there were several other werewolves groups gathered.
Now that they were so close to the mountains Akira was able to see that the mountains had several natural caves and even more that were carved out with tools.
There were several types of sea birds flying around and nesting in the mountains since the ocean was only a few days away.
“Ah, you slowpokes arrived! Now we’re only waiting on one more group,” said a cheerful elderly man greeting Wulfric and Carl.
“Grand elder Garnal, it is good to see you,” said Wulfric.
“What do you expect from us when our clans are so far north,” said Carl.
“There is no time to waste the other elders and grand elders are waiting. I’ll lead you to the grand meeting cave right now.”
“Varbu, Akira, you stay here with the shaman I’ll call you if and when the tribe elders want to talk to you. Don’t start any trouble with anyone were all allies here,” warned Wulfric.
With that Wulfric, Hegir, and the other elders followed Garnal to the meeting with the other clan’s elders.
There were several other werewolves that were staring at Varbu who was out of place in this meeting of werewolves.
“Hey, big guy who are you? I’m known as Yap,” asked a werewolf whose curiosity had gotten the better of him.
“My name is Varbu,” said Varbu not speaking anything more than necessary. The nearby werewolves looked at him with suspicion.
“He is a guest of the Bluemoon clan, a representative of the Orc clans, and my friend,” said Akira backing up Varbu.
“Who are you?” asked Yap. “I’ve never seen you at any of the clan meetings before… judging by your age we should have met at least once before.”
“My name is Akira and I am from the Bluemoon clan.”
“Strange…The Bluemoon clan? Never heard of you before…”
“I have,” the voice of an unpleasant familiar young man came from the crowd of werewolves.
Everyone turned to the person who had spoken. It was Frang.
“Oh great its the little yipping dog,” said Varbu loud enough for Frang to hear.
Frang’s face heated up and turned a red that was almost the same color as his hair.
“You know him?” asked Yap.
“Yes as well as the Orc. Around a month ago they appeared at the trading post used to trade with the Griiq demanding to be brought to a werewolf clan. Why are you guys here? Is it that you’re still so untrustworthy that the elders and grand elders have decided to take you with them to keep an eye on you so that you can’t cause problems?” asked Frang.
“Frang, out of the respect we have for Grand elder Carl and the ties that link the Bluemoon and Redmoon clans together we will ignore your insults just this once,” said Coinin one of the shamans Akira had gotten to know after working to help save Yuki.
“You better watch your words we will not allow you to insult Akira and our clan like that,” said another shaman.
“Just who are you?” asked Frang even more confused after getting scolded by the older shaman.
“I’m no one important just a normal person…” said Akira.
“He is the future chief of the Bluemoon clan,” interrupted Coinin.
“Future chief?” several voices asked. They were now even more curious to find out just who Akira was.
“What’s the big commotion going on over here,” asked a booming voice.
The crowd surrounding them parted as a large domineering man with red hair and a red beard walked through.
“Frang, you’re not causing more problems for me are you?” asked Redbeard.
“No! They started it,” said Frang pointing at Akira and Varbu.
“Hah-…,” Redbeard sighed and looked to the other party that Frang was pointing at.
“Hello Akira, sorry that Frang is causing such problems for you,” said Redbeard. “Frang why are you arguing with your cousin. You two should be getting along with each other since you are both the future chiefs of the Blue and Red moon clans.”
“Wait that little crap is my cousin?” asked Akira.
“How is he my cousin?” asked Frang.
“Hey, Akira name-calling isn’t going to help the situation and Frang, Akira is Grand elder Wulfric’s grandson, his mother was your aunt Zara. So that makes him your older cousin.”