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Monday, February 6, 2012

Moon Chapter Three

“Is it weird being the leader’s daughter?”

Tyvana didn’t respond as she checked her arrows. “Sometimes,” she muttered as she stared straight ahead. “ Alright, so we came here to show you the forest. We’re right now in our pack territory. To the west and south there are more packs; to the east are the hills; and to the north is wilderness. If you’re smart, you are never to cross the creek that runs a few daywalks ahead. That would be death, human. We are taught to protect our lands from intruders of any kind.”

The faint light streaming through the canopy pierced Tyvana’s wolf eyes. Jena tried again. “Why is there no one living in the north?”

The wolf girl turned away with an exasperated sigh. “Bad prey. Plus the land’s too small to support any pack. It runs for a short while before opening up into coastal cliffs.”

Jena looked at Tyvana’s short tied hair and contemplated her long, loose style. Unlike Wolf-girl, she had no bangs. “And the hills?”

The teenage hunter smirked. “Can you imagine us eating grass?”

Jena wasn’t really that curious about the territories. She was just trying to figure out where she had come from. “So, about my arrival. Am I really going to stay with the pack? Will everyone accept me?”

Tyvana glared at her. “Until further notice, yes. Lahon wants Resmorha to keep a look out for signs, and he’s going to assign you tasks pretty soon. As for the rest of the pack -” Worl-girl smiled, “that’s your problem.”

Jena let out a stream of mental curses at Tyvana. Who does she think she is? Just because she’s the leader’s daughter doesn’t mean she has to be this cruel!

Wolf-girl stopped in a clearing a while later. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t forced to… Like, a child would know this already… “ She closed her eyes and went on. “But, as Dying Earth deepens, we have different prey, and we can’t rely on plants anymore.”

“What’s Dying Earth?”

Tyvana rolled her eyes. “You know, that season when all the leaves turn color and fall off?”

Jena started. “Oh, you mean autumn!”

“Yes human. I see you know some old terminology as well. We don’t use human words since they’re really not appropriate to our way of life. But since you mentioned it, I’ll give you the four seasons: Dying Earth, Cold Earth, New Earth and Full Earth.

"With each Tree Passing there are twelve moons, sometimes thirteen. The Tree Passing officially starts with the first bud, and we celebrate it with a large festival."

“So, is the Tree Passing something like a year?”

“Yes,” Tyvana drawled then froze. She looked cautiously through the trees and whipped out an arrow. She cocked her bow, then released as a flash of silver fur blurred in the distance.

“What was that?” Jen whispered.
“My grandfather.”

One look and Jena needed answers. “How? How a wolf?” she pleaded.

Tyvana’s face was rigid as always. “Though we all share the same… hybrid biological structures… there is a difference between the genders in a spiritual sense. When a hierarchy reaches a certain age – that’s our word for a man – his wolf aspect turns on is human one and starts to devour it.”
Jena’s hands turned cold.

“Eventually there is nothing left but wolf. It happened to my grandfather when he was of sixty Tree Passings. Mages always know. Resmorha ordered Lahon’s father, then leader, to send him out into the forest. To save him Resmorha ripped out a bit of his human aspect and put it into a jar. No one likes to haunt their pack as a complete wolf.”
Okay, this was now too weird. “What do you mean, haunt?”

Tyvana gazed at her carefully. “When a demon – us – dies, their two aspects still walk with their birth clan for as long as they lived. Then they disintegrate. If a mage doesn’t want a certain member to haunt the pack, they could do a banishing ceremony. But they generally don’t do that, because everyone needs a place to haunt after death. Their aspects would weaken from the exile.
“I remember when I was a child, I’d always see an old face at the foot of my bed at night. I’d always freak out, but then Resmorha told me it was just my great-uncle watching over me.”

“But I still don’t understand. How can spirits – or aspects or whatever – walk with you?” Jena stated.
“They really do walk and live with you. Most people can’t see them – even in the night when they’re the strongest – but like always, mages know. And I know. And that’s why Resmorha wants me to become a mage.”

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