Crysalys and Mryth sat next to each other as their parents talked about the training they would soon undertake. Boys started training when they were four, girls when they were two. Both were nearing that time.
“I know Myrth wants to be a necromancer.” Garther said, “But I believe it’s best he becomes a warrior.”
“Why on earth would you think that, Garther?” Lilly scolded, “You know as well as everyone else here that all the men in your family have always become necromancers. You also know that Myrth will become a necromancer just like yourself.”
“I agree with Lilly,” Issa chimed in braiding her straw, “Children should follow in traditions. If they don’t who knows what’ll happen in the next generations to come?”
Lilly nodded hearing her friend, “That’s why no matter what, Crysalys will become a healer. It’s in her blood, as necromancy is in Myrth.”
He sighed, “He will be following traditions.” Garther argued, “Every man in Issa’s family have become warriors. Why shouldn’t Myrth?”
“Remember our laws, Garther,” Lilly warned, “When married a woman becomes part of the man’s family. Myrth will be a necromancer, as it’s written in your family history.”
“And what about, Crysalys’s father?” He almost snapped, “Last time I checked you came home after dark one night, and a few weeks later you were pregnant, what’s up with that?”
Lilly sighed knowing she couldn’t hide what had happened anymore from her friends or her new daughter. It had to be said, she had to tell them.
“Crysalys, didn’t come from a man I would have loved.” She started picking her words carefully, “I was out picking herbs, and a stranger approached me, we began talking, and before I knew it, he had me tied down.”
“Oh, Lilly.” Issa sobbed and wrapped her arms around her friend. It was tradition for the women to save themselves for their husbands, anyone who went against that was to be killed. Who knows where they would have been. But there were always exceptions.
“I didn’t mean to.” Lilly said holding back tears, “But when you think about it, it’s not that bad. I have a beautiful little girl. She’s everything I could ever want. And she’ll be the next greatest healer alive.”
Crysalys had to look down after hearing that. Not at the fact that she was illegitimate, but because her mother wanted her to be a healer. Not even two and she already knew she could never be that. She was fascinated by the animals all around them. She could talk to them and have an understanding of them when no one else could. She’s never told anyone though, she knew better. Crysalys was too reckless to be a healer, she’d need all the healing. And just sitting around bothered her. She knew she was gonna let her mother down, but she didn’t know how to tell her.
Loud snarls came from the entrance of the cave.
“All women and children back!” A young beast master yelled into the cave as he and three more pulled a silver wolf into the cave. It had chains around it’s neck and each paw.
Everyone pulled back afraid of the beast, all but Crysalys. She ran forth, past her mother, her friend, and the beast masters straight to the wolf.
“Crysalys!” Her mother yelled.
She sat down right in front of the wolf, and it whimpered.
“Oh.” She gasped, then turned to the beast masters hanging on to the chains staring at the little girl. She had dark brown hair, and piercing green eyes.
She grinned up at them and said, “She’s having babies now.”
The wolf whimpered again and everyone understood. Myrth grabbed her hand and pulled her back as everyone prepared for a littler of wolf pups.
“outrages!” Joseph yelled pacing around the room again, “This cannot happen!”
“I’m afraid it had sir.” An alchemist told him, “They’re preparing. I’d assume to get to the other side of the river for more medicinal herbs. They’re healers require them.”
“Then stop them at all cost.” He demanded, “We cannot allow them to get stronger.”
“Yes sir.” All his advisors said and left.
“Father,” Young Trevor asked his father, “Why do we hate them so much?”
He looked at his son then out the window. He wasn’t much older than Trevor when he found out about the gruesome tale.
“It’s and ancient history we have,” He started, “Son, you’ll be a man soon and as a man you’ll need to know this. A long time ago, well before I was born, all practices of life used to live in harmony, to a degree. But you see, one night a young healer came into our town. We always stick to our own territories, however it wasn’t uncommon for us to bump into one another. She was caught stealing some herbs, apparently for her sick mother. She was aloud to go. And the next morning a dozen innocent gunners were murdered a placed on the town hall steps. They initiated the war, and then said that we killed one of their own. It’s crazy the way they assume that. The head at the time didn’t lay a hand on the girl. Probably killed her themselves to make it seem like it. Their ignorant, son, you can’t trust any of them.”
“Why is it father,” Trevor began, “That we can’t just leave the past in the past and move on?”
“It’s exactly that kind of attitude that gets men killed.” His father hissed.
Trevor looked down ashamed he had asked such a stupid question. Still he wondered what they were really like. If they were demons and evil and all as his father had said. He wondered if they were actually human, could they leave the past behind them? If they could, what would happen?
“How many?” Crysalys asked one of the beast masters who pulled in the she wolf earlier.
“Thirteen.” He said looking down proudly at the little girl, “But one’s a runt, it wont last very long. How did you know she was pregnant?”
“What’s a runt?” She asked.
He laughed lightly, she was still a young girl, he thought. One day she’ll know all this.
“A runt is the smallest baby of the pack.” He told her kneeling down to be more at her level, “They’re so small they can’t fight the others of the litter to get their mom’s milk. So he’ll die eventually.”
“I wanna go to him.” She said firmly.
“He’s about to be killed.” He said as softly as he could.
“No!” She shrieked and ran off as fast as her legs could carry her.
She finally got to the execution rock deep in the cave, and snatched the small pup off the rock just as the axe came down.
“Little darlin’ you can’t do that.” The strong warrior man said.
“Why?” She almost snarled at the man, she knew her manors like any girl should, but she wanted to know.
“He’s gonna die soon, honey, he can’t get milk from his mama.” He tried to explain, “Now give him her.”
She held the little ball of skin close to her chest not about to give it up.
“I’ll be it’s mama.” She told him, “I’ll feed him, and make sure he grows big and strong.”
“And how do you suppose you do that?” He asked her with a sneer.
“Awkie.” She replied, “She stole a bunch a stuff from towns and all, I’m sure he’ll have something.”
The warrior sighed, He wasn’t about to win with her. Expecaly because she was Lilly’s daughter, and everyone knew how she felt about giving everyone an equal chance.
“Alright.” He told her, “But the thing’s your responsibility, you can’t take care a it, I get it.”
“I’ll take care of it, I promise.” She said and smiled.
Then headed off to find, Awkie.
Awkie was a slim young man, small for his age, but cunning. He was never good at fighting like all the other man in his family so he could never become a warrior. He became a thief instead stealing good things for the entire cave. He had scruffy red hair and brown eyes. And he was not surprised to see the young Crysalys holding a runt wolf in her arms.
“Awkie.” She said sweetly, “I need your help.”
“What with, little lady?” He asked bowing to her making her giggle.
“They wanna execute him because he’s small, I wanna make him big like his mama would. Can you help me?” She asked.
He took a good long look at the little thing she was holding close to her.
“Wait here.” He told her.
He went back to his off set cave chamber. Each person had one of their own, covered by an animal pelt.
He dug around in his many chests and sacks before he found what he was looking for.
“Here you are.” He said and handed them to the little girl.
“What are they?” She asked looking them over.
“This,” He said holding up a soft coloured square of material, “Is a baby blanket. It’ll keep your little wolf warm at night. And this,” He held up a clear bottle with what looked like a nipple on the top of it,”It’s a baby bottle. This thing comes off, “He pulled off the nipple to show her, “And goes on. You put milk in it, have it near a fire for about five or so minutes, and you give it to him.”
Her face lit up, “Thanks Awkie.” She smiled grabbed it and hugged him best she could, then ran off to her cave where she knew her mother had a fire going.
“You’re gonna nurse it?” Myrth asked as Crysalys filled the bottle with milk from a buffalo.
She nodded putting the bottle on a warm rock near the fire. Then she repositioned the pup in her lap covering him more with the blanket.
“You’re gonna nurse a runt?” Colis, a soon to be warrior in training asked. He hair light brown hair and blue eyes.
“Yup.” Crysalys replied holding the pup closer to herself. It whined slightly, “It’s almost warmed, just wait a little longer please.”
“A runt?” Colis asked again.
“There’s nothing wrong with a runt.” She argued.
He rolled his eyes, “I give you a week before it dies.” He told her.
“We’ll see.” She came back with.
“What are you gonna name it?” Myrth asked his friend.
“I don’t know. Do you have any ideas?” She asked.
“Not really.” He said.
“We’ll think of something.” She said taking the bottle, swishing the milk around, testing it on her wrist. She found it was warm but not too warm.
She brought the young pup up to her chest again and held the bottle for it to drink. It lapped the warm liquid down quickly.
“You’re quick as lightning ain’t ya’? She giggled.
“That’s what you should name him.” Myrth said, “Lightning.”
Crysalys thought for a minute then shook her head, “But Silver isn’t out of the question.”
“Silver?” Myrth and Colis asked.
She nodded, “Lightning is silver. And he’s a silver wolf. He’s Silver.”
Myrth laughed at his friend’s connection between two things. But he couldn’t agree more.