His story begins in the days of myths and monsters, magic
and the sword. He arrived in this world like most other children,
confused and naked, without the ability to live on his own.
His father, the village blacksmith, was overjoyed with the
prospect of his first born being male. But his mother would
last only feel the joy until the sun set that night. Problems
with the pregnancy had troubled her for months now, but she
never let it be known. In the fleeting moments of her last
breath, knowing that his life would not be complete without
her, the blacksmith took his life, and lay dead at her side.
The village had an orphan on their hands.......
The baby grew to be a child, the child
to a young man. A son with no father or mother, the village
his only family. But his family taught him everything it
knew, and soon the young man became a wealth of knowledge,
a fount of everything the village could teach. Many times
he spent his free time in the swamp adjacent to the village.
He taught himself things about it, studied it. He wanted
to understand how it worked, how it "thought".
He lost himself there sometimes, his mind wandered about
in the strangest ways.
On his 18th birthday he was presented a sword, crafted for
him by his father. The last wishes of the former blacksmith
were written on a tear stained scrap of leather, found at his
side after his suicide. It told the boy, now man, why 18 years
had past without anything to link his life to his mother and
father. The note read.....
"To my most beloved son. You will
never know how hard it is for me to write this to you. 18
years will have past to this day that you read this. You
have no doubt become a strong man now, and all men need a
weapon. For the day will come that you will go out and seek
your destiny, and you will need protection. For that I crafted
this sword of the finest materials in all the land. In your
hands son you will become a strong warrior....
Peace be with you son, and carry on
our lineage to your own children...I love you....."
The town elders place the young man into the care of the warrior's
guild. He learned how to use his weapon, to brandish it well.
He learned the skills of the warrior clan and was granted permission
to be night watch for the village. Night watch, he learned,
consisted of keeping the slumbering town safe from marauders,
and the occasional wild animal. Not much of a challenge for
him, until he met her.....
She was always the shy one in his study groups. He never really
noticed her, until she snuck up on him during his evening post.
Eventually it became common for her to show up during his watch.
He enjoyed her company, and she his. The two fell madly in
love and had made planned a secret wedding. But his life was
about to take a dramatic turn.
On his final watch of the evening , he was to keep the fires
burning for the hunting party that had departed two days ago,
the village was in need of some fresh meat and the surrounding
mountain ranges provided enough food in one expedition to feed
the village for six months,. His plan was to allow the hunting
party access and when his relief came, he and his future bride
to be would sneak off into the sunset and live forever together.
When he heard the screams of the hunting party, he assumed
them only the happy shouts of glee. what he saw next haunts
him to this day......
The shouts and cries turned bloodcurdling. The young mans
hair stood on edge, gooseflesh encompassed him. The shouts
and cries abruptly came to a sudden end. Silence, eerie silence,
surrounded him. He cried out to the party, but there was no
answer. He felt something looking at him, something not right
in his scheme of things. His mind began to draw pictures in
the surrounding swamp. He saw things that were not there, or
were they? His mind raced, his adrenaline pumped through his
body, his senses began to react to the air around him. Something
was out there.
To this day he wonders why he went into the swamp that night.
Why, in the very face of danger to the village, did he leave
his post. Why he searched out that swamp until stumbled upon
the very thing that had killed the hunting party.
When his eyes met the beast, it looked into his very soul.
The werewolf was tall and powerful, its teeth and fur stained
with the blood of the hunting party. It growled at him in a
register so low it made his very being tremble. He dared not
look away though, his warrior training told him that. But had
he noticed that the creature was only a mother protecting its
cub he would have never attacked it.
He lunged into the beast, missing it by mere inches. The beast
on the other hand found its mark on the young man with a sickening
thud to the young mans chest. Blood rushed from the wound,
poured and mixed with the murky swamp water around him. And
in that moment he noticed the cub, barely old enough to be
away from its mothers breast. It was then that he realized
how the hunting party met their demise. Maternal instinct is
a powerful thing, especially in an animal such as this one.
They young man pleaded with the beast, but the beast kept protecting
its young. As teeth met bone and claw met flesh, the man begged
for his life....his body breaking and bleeding before him.....
When he awoke he was in the swamp. The sun beat down on his
face like a shower of golden light. Groggy and bewildered he
wondered if it was all a dream. When he finally mustered enough
strength he rose to his feet, and looked himself over. His
clothes were torn and blood soaked, yet he had no visible scars.
His body felt strange and nauseous, and he passed out again.....
When he awoke the second time it was night. He felt a great
thirst in his mouth, and crawled on his hands and knees to
a shallow pool of spring water. The light from the full moon
illuminated the pool and reflections bounced around in the
pool, like hundreds of water nymphs dancing in unison. He took
a long cool drink, splashed his face with the cool liquid,
and looked into the pool. His eyes grimaced in horror of what
he saw looking back at him. He no longer looked like himself,
now he looked like the beast in the swamp. It was then he knew
he could never go back to his village, or his true love. Destined
to live in solitude forever.
With the light of the full moon at his back, the young man
ran off into the swamp. Never to return again.
And this story is true, for you see, I am that young man.