His broadsword was buried five hands deep in the tortured ground beneath him. Rivulets of blood flowed from hilt to earth, staining the ground a deep earthy green. This bloody war had gone on far too long. This meaningless conflict between friends, escalated to a bloody massacre a thousand years in the making. The figure looked out through the heavy grey mists to the shimmering emerald forest beyond. The Amaranthine-the source of the greatest well-spring of raw power the world has ever known; and also, the cause of the bloodiest war ever fought upon this earth.

He bent low and scooped up a handful of blackened dust and cast it to the wind. Six of them now lay dead. Six of the seven Old Ones lay dead due to his sword. "Deceiver," he whispered to the wind, "why have you betrayed your kin? Was it for power, your own selfish ambition?" The earth trembled with his growing rage. "Was this what you wanted!" he roared to the heavens "you foul and treacherous murderer! Lorias the Betrayer I name thee, their blood is on your hands. I, Khayer the White Wolf of the North do name thee as prey. You shall pay for what you have done." Khayer pulled the sword out of the ground and held it to his face, his forehead lightly touching the steel of the blade. "This I swear" he whispered softly. The blade flared bright red in his hands. "We accept your Oath, Guardian." the voices within the blade replied.

He told me the others wanted the power and that I needed to claim it before they all did…to keep it safe.

He told me….

He told me…

I believed him…

They all had said that to him as his blade cut each and every one of them down. They whispered it as they fell like sacks of grain. He quickly strapped his sword to his back and turned away from the forest. His nose twitched; someone was approaching. A lanky ginger haired man approached him waving as he came. "Hail Wolf Lord" he called. Khayer grinned slightly and relaxed. It was only Damien the Fox Lord, his friend and companion.

"Hail Fox Lord," he shouted in reply, "what news bring you?"

Damien was only a few paces away now. Khayer calmly took in his laid back appearance. Damien was wearing a light orange silk shirt and black leggings, no armor whatsoever. Clearly he had returned from peaceful territory.

"Peace," he said as he reached Khayer, "the High Lord has declared that we may open the Gate once more."

Khayer nodded. "Good" He said. And truly it was an excellent thing to hear. With Knojrom's Gate reopened, the flow of time elsewhere shall begin once more and this horrific war shall be only a legend and a memory. "And Darria? How is she?"

Damien smiled "she and our little ones are fine. All three of them are prepared for time to start again." He gazed towards the forest, "All of them are ready for this war to be a memory, little Kiritari especially. If this works, your little ones should have no fear of any other elemental attacks. The Amaranth will be safe." Khayer whistled and the ground thundered. In moments a massive white wolf, ten hands from paw to flank, stood beside him. "But for now I must be off; you return to your family and I shall return to what shall soon be mine."

Damien laughed, "That is right isn't it; you left behind a heavily pregnant mate didn't you." Khayer gave his friend a hard stare; he didn't see what was so funny. Damien grinned, "She's going to be so ticked off at you when you return; you ran off to fight and left her behind."

Khayer growled. Damien was right, his mate would have him sleeping outside for the next year; she would not be happy with him for leaving her behind to 'protect' her and their pup. "I made that bed and now I have to sleep in it" he muttered. He lifted his pack from the ground and strapped it to the wolf's back. He turned back to Damien. "Travel quickly and be safe. I've yet to find Lorias; he may still be out there."

Damien nodded.

"I will"

Khayer nodded to Damien as if to say 'it is time'. They both turned and faced the west, the sun frozen in mid-set. They stretched out their hands toward the setting sun, rods of white lightning resting in their hands.

A screeching wail ripped through the air as silver lightning burst forth from the white rods and raced towards the sky, tearing the fabric of reality around it asunder. When the forks of lightning reached their pinnacle they turned towards one another and soon all was silent. In between the three bars of flickering lightning was a vast blackness; a door shaped hole in reality. The two men turned the lightning rods sideways and pushed towards the void. There was a rush of wind and a blinding flash of light from with in the void and the air was filled with the sound of life. Time was flowing again, life began again.

Khayer nodded and climbed onto the back of the wolf. "Our work here is done" he said, "Farewell." Khayer whistled sharply and his mount raced off towards the sunset, towards home. Damien shook his head. The Wolf Lord was never one for goodbyes.


Khayer traveled across the open plains of the Middle Kingdom as fast as he could. Northreach was many days ride by horse, and a few more by wolf, and he had to be home in less than two. "Hurry now, my friend." He whispered to the great white, "May many miles pass swiftly beneath your paws"

The ground beneath the wolf's paws blurred. Miles were compressed to meters, days to minutes; Khayer grinned. They were in the Summerlands now; he was almost home.

But something was wrong. He held up a hand and the wolf stopped running. He slid off of the beast's back and felt a soft crunch beneath his boots. He looked down. His feet were an inch deep in a patch of snow. Snow in the Summerlands was quite unheard of. He bent low and held a hand above the snowy patch. "Be like a river and melt" he whispered as tendrils of fire sprouted from his finger tips and tried to burrow themselves in the snow. The flames touched the snow but would go no further, the snow would not melt. "By Fang and Claw" he muttered, "what kind of witchery is this?"

He looked up from the ground. He could see no sign of grass or tree, stone or gravel. All that lay before him was a flat, barren plane of crystal white snow. "Lorias", he said, growling. He leapt back onto the wolf's back. "Onward to Northreach! Hurry!"


Khayer slowed to a stop at the gates of Northreach. His grand city, defiled. There was ice everywhere, from wickedly sharp spikes to smooth thick sheets- there was no living green thing in sight. It was a dead city, just like all the others he passed on his journey. He had no more tears to shed.

Khayer dismounted and dismissed the wolf. He strode solemnly through the gates and down the snowy streets towards the center of the city, where his castle lay. There was no doubt about it; this was the work of Lorias. There was where the cart of Margaret the fruit vendor had been, and over there was where Hahren told stories to the city's children. None of that remained. There was no scent of blood, no signs of struggle or resistance. What had happened here?

He stopped before the castle steps and gazed towards the massive oaken gates. His nose twitched. He was here. Lorias was here. Khayer climbed the stairs slowly with a dread filled leadenness to in his steps. He stopped. Was he not the Wolf Lord, the White Wolf of the North? It was Lorias who should be afraid, not he. With renewed determination and vigor he charged up the stairs and shoved the gates open. The sound of heavy wood cracking upon ancient stone reverberated through the castles empty halls. Let it be known that he was here, let Lorias know and be afraid.


The demon smiled when he heard the thunderous crash of the gate. "Your precious mate is here, my dear." he said as he turned to face the heavily pregnant woman in the far corner of the chamber. She gasped and tried to stand, but stumbled over the chains that bound her feet to the throne. Lorias stood and walked towards her, his heavy plate mail clanging with every step. He caught her by the throat as she fell and lifted her up. "Do you think," he hissed to her, "that you can somehow warn your beloved of the doom that awaits him. Foolish child!"

He drops her suddenly to the floor. She moaned in pain and clutched protectively at her rounded stomach. Lorias turned towards the door. He turned his icy gaze back to her. "Softly now child, mustn't alert your lover to your presence."

He lifted her back up and held a hand over her mouth. "Look child, your hero comes." He whispers from behind her. She whimpered at his closeness, at his sharp nails pressing into her stomach. The doors slowly opened. Khayer stepped into the room; his slate grey eyes now molten silver with righteous fury. "Get you cursed hands away from her" Khayer growled out. Lorias scoffed.

"Is that any way to greet your superior, Wolf Lord?" he said as pulled the woman closer to him. "Why'd you have to interrupt us? We were having so much…" he leaned close and licked up the side of her neck. She shuddered. "…fun."

Khayer growled. "Put her down Lorias, your quarrel is with me, not with her."

He looked back up at the angry Wolf Lord. "As you wish. It is a shame though, that you chose a mortal bride." he said. He snarled and sharply bit the soft flesh of the woman's neck.

"No!" Khayer shouted, but it was too late. Lorias' dark taint was already beginning to seep into the woman's veins. Lorias dropped the now catatonic woman to the ground and leapt to the side as Khayer lunged at him. Khayer dropped to the floor when Lorias moved. He rolled back up into a crouched position, drawing his blade as he moved. He looked down to his right at his mate, her skin a faint sickly grey and slowly darkening; he didn't have much time.

Lorias circled Khayer slowly; his hands glowing with an eerie blue light as a long blade of ice formed in his right hand. "So, you want to fight me, Wolf Lord?" Khayer turned around along with Lorias, "What did you expect, traitor?"

Khayer darted forward, driving his blade sharply downward. It met Lorias' sword with a thunderous clang. "Traitor am I?" he hissed out. He spat in Khayer's eye and flipped backward as Khayer lowered his guard. Lorias waved his arm in a wide arc, firing sharp darts of ice towards his foe. Khayer blinked and rolled out of the way. Small balls of fire ignited in the place of the ice darts. Lorias smirked at Khayer. Khayer nodded his head slightly in reply. Moments later they were inches away from each other, blades crossed once more. Khayer twisted his blade to the right and pushed it forward, lightly grazing Lorias' cheek. Lorias winced as small tongues of fire licked at the wound. The dance began again. There combat was elegance in motion. Not a single movement was wasted nor without purpose. Their swords clanged in strike and counterstrike, white flames collided with blue-white ice. Suddenly Khayer flew backwards towards the wall. Time seemed to slow as he landed feet first on the ice encased stone, and then pushed off—rocketing towards Lorias as a missile of white fire. Fire exploded all around them as Khayer collided with Lorias. When the dust cleared, Khayer was an inch away from Lorias' face, with his foe's weapon piercing his stomach. Khayer grunted and slid off of the crimson stained blade of ice. He fell to the floor like an old sack of grain.

Lorias smirked and circled around Khayer, like a cat watching its prey. "What a shame to see the White Wolf of the North fall so far." he said, "Such magnificent power you once had, now wasted upon a foe you could never defeat." Lorias laughed. He looked down at Khayer. "It is a pity that you neglected to call upon my brethren, whose power you bear in that sword of yours, to aid you." He kicked at Khayer. Khayer rolled over and tried to stand, clutching at his bleeding stomach. Lorias snapped his fingers. Snow gathered from the corners of the room and swirled around Khayer and the catatonic girl. Both of them vanished. Lorias strode over towards the throne. He ran a finger over the carven stone now encased in ice. "It is a shame" he whispered to himself, "that I could not fight you at full strength." He sat down upon the seat of the throne. "But now, your kingdom is mine."


The snowstorm deposited Khayer and his mate onto a mound of snow in the middle of nowhere. He crawled over to her and cried softly, more out of grief than pain. Her once beautiful skin was now darkened to a near black shade due to Lorias' taint. He breathed in slowly. He must be calm to do this, he must be focused. He blocked out his pain, he suppressed his fear and whispered, "Live." His tears fell from his eyes as little drops of liquid fire and splashed onto her dead skin. He stared down at his mate. It wasn't working. The taint was spreading. Soon it would consume both her and their pup, and both would die. He refused to let Cara die.

"Live!" he shouted as his hands burst into flame. He pressed them down over her heart, and she gasped. White smoke rose from her body as the darkness of the taint slowly receded. She screamed. Khayer looked back down at her and then at the ground between her legs. She was in labor. His pup would be born tonight. Khayer smiled as his vision was swiftly shrouded by darkness.

As the Wolf Moon began to set, the morning air was filled with the wailing of a newborn. As Khayer's son breathed his first, his father breathed his last. Cara held their newborn son in her arms and traced the faint swirling markings on his tiny arms. Lorias' taint could not be removed completely; it lingered on in her son's blood. She turned and looked at Khayer's slumbering form. "I'll name you Na'Caern", she whispered, "the noble son of Khayer". She stood and walked over to her mate's form. She kissed his cold forehead. "Farwell my love" she whispered, holding back tears. She regretted that she would be unable to bury him as she would've wished, but she must move if she wished to stay alive. She couldn't keep herself and little Caer alive in a wasteland; she needed to find somewhere to stay.

We will give him the burial he deserves, child….

Cara startled. "Who's that? Who's there?"

Do not fear us child. We are the remnant. We will take care of him.

Khayer's sword began to glow. It was a soft comforting glow and seemed to assuage Cara's distrust. She nodded slowly. "Alright" she whispered. She stood, tears dripped slowly from her crystal blue eyes. Little Caer began to cry. "Shhh, my darling" she whispered to him, "Mother is here…." She looked back towards Khayer and his sword, but they were gone. Her eyes widened. In their place was a massive white marble statue carved into the shape of a wolf. She smiled softly. "Remember Me" she said, reading the golden plate at the statue's base. "I'll never forget" she whispered. "No one will ever forget."

She turned and walked slowly away. "Now, my son" she whispered, "may you live to see the day that the usurper falls from your father's throne…."


"Good People of Northreach" Lorias cried from the castle steps as the city's residents resurfaced. "Your Lord and his family are dead. It is I who is your ruler now." There was a collective shiver throughout the throng. Dark times were upon them at last.