The introduction

A slightly edited version from that on Elfwood.
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He backed off slightly and the dark wolf glared, bearing it's teeth, growling with new ferosity at the show of weakness. Sticky saliva dripping from it's jowls as they chomped on the shirt which had been ripped off the man's back only moments before.

He still held his longsword in his weak quivering hand, given to him as a present from his father on the 17th anniversary of his birth, the day that he would have to set out for the wild, alone, to "prove prove your worth," his brother had said, to "kill some ravenous evil creature from the wild... Or at least attempt it, but knowing you..." His brother continued in a vain and mocking tone, he of course ever the warrior, had 'proven his worth' the year before, even though he was a year the younger.

What stood confronting him now seemed to fit the characterisation given by tradition he mused. I'm going to die now aren't I, boy? He thought, commenting on the canine quality of his foe, then snorting at the irony; he would die a boy. Would that be how he was remembered? He thought of the times the castle dogs had come back with limp bodies of small mammals in their jaws. He hadn't wondered about what it would have been to be that rabbit just before it was killed, but reflectively he thought he had a good idea now.

"Realisation is hell..." He said out aloud, the black wolf returning only the same monotonous and ever threatening growl, dropping the now mangled shirt as a red steaming pile on the cold frosty ground. Luthan's sword shined as he foolishly stepped back once again into a slight clearing in the woodland canopy, showing the weapon's hilt encrusted by rubies and emeralds befitting his position in life. A position he would loose if he ran; a boy would inherit nothing that men had achieved.

The wolf saw nothing to the weapon but the long thin part, which it knew would kill anything with half a chance. It's eyes were fixed. Nothing else mattered at the moment. It would pounce and go for the kill, but not yet. There was death held in the man's hand, but so to there was life. Food was a necessity. Death was a necessity. This kill was a necessity.

At that moment Luthan thought he saw his chance, watching as the wolf's yellow eyes, seemingly distracted and enraptured by the sword; he spent the next few moments in indecision. Here is my chance I can run over the rise behind me and turn again to fight. I can't die, and re-grouping myself on a more defensible position would give me a better chance... wouldn't it?

"To survive for your family is all that should be in your mind, equal with thoughts of the fight." Foolish words of the Master of Arms, sworn to his father. And as such, bound to say this and other quotes from the father who thought little of Luthan, in the short-time that he had spent in sword training. I can't do this. Why make me do this, dammit!? "Damn-you-father!!" And he ran back, dropping his clumbersom shield and sword waving wildly in the mad dash to somewhere he could feel safer.

He did not find it.

The wolf jumped, claws out-stretched, mouth wide open with saliva escaping at the edges as it flew through the air landing with a triumphant, ferocious, final growl before it bit into the back of it's neck.

Luthan screamed, pain shot through the whole of his back with inch long claws taking hold. He felt the wolf at the back of his neck and moved just in time before half of his neck was ripped away, instead little was taken but the shock of it caused him to flip as a reflex claws ripping out of his back, he turned onto his now tattered back. His scream ended as his eyes saw the horror of his death. The wolf side on planted it's paws onto his chest and it's head rose up in a tremendous howl, it's whole body siluetted by the brilliant light of the sun hidden from view. A black monster, dripping blood; his blood.
Realisation is hell...

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