ORIGINS (AND END) OF COMMANDER WOLF
Prowling through the underbrush of the forest, rookie commander Henry Wolf and his squadron of soldiers advanced towards where their scouts had placed the bandits lair on their map. As the smell of smoke filled his nostrils, Henry signaled the company to stop. Peering around the trees , the young commander spotted a pair of bandits harassing a caged wolf in a small camp clearing north-west of the troops current position. One taunted the animal with a strip of meat while the other threatened it with a short sword when it advanced towards the food. Feeling his blood begin to boil, Henry tightened his grip on the hilt of his sword. An attack on these men could spoil their attempt at taking the main bandit camp, Henry's brain told him but something deeper, more primal than logic told him he needed to rescue this beast.
Tugging his long sword clear of its oiled sheath, Henry burst from the tree line and charged the pair of bandits, much to the surprise of both his troops and the bandits themselves. Clearing the small fire in the center of the bandit camp, Henry's long sword lashed out and buried itself deep into the meat-bandit's torso. With the time bought by his companion's death, the remaining bandit quickly turned and brought his short sword to bear on Henry. While the man's attacks were wild and uncoordinated, they pushed Henry back and prevented the soldier from pulling his sword free of the dead man's chest. "Thanks for that matey, one less to split the bounty with." the bandit said, forcing Henry back towards the fire. "Can't collect a bounty when you're pushing up daises." Henry countered. A look of confusion briefly crossed the man's bearded face before a spearhead burst from his chest. The dead man made one last slash at Henry but the blow lacked any strength and was easily sidestepped. "Well timed, Lieutenant." Henry stated, patting the man on the shoulder as he walked past to retrieve his sword.
Its situation remained unchanged at the moment, the caged wolf watched Henry 's approach with wary eyes. Recovering his sword from the dead man's torso, Henry also picked up the strip of meat. Brushing the dirt from it, he offered it to the wolf who remained on the far side of the cage. "Come on, we're not gonna hurt you." Henry said, trying to coax the wolf closer. Tearing the meat into smaller pieces, he threw one to the wolf while using the others to make a trail. "See? We're friendly." Henry offered the wolf the back of his hand to sniff. "Commander, we need to get a move on. No telling who heard that." the Lieutenant Lando stated. "Right you are... One moment." Pulling a dagger from the dead bandit's belt, Henry broke the cage's lock and opened the door. "Freedom is yours, my friend."
The wolf remained in its the cage, watching as Henry and company fell back in formation and faded into the tree line. Taking one last look in the human's direction, the wolf sprang free of the cage and disappeared into forest. Unfortunately for Commander Wolf, those weren't the only eyes watching. Crawling out from under the collapsed tent, a third bandit emerged. Salvaging what he could from their camp and his dead companions in a hurry, the man took off in a third direction. Somebody had to warn the Boss that troopers were in the area.
As Commander Wolf and his troops resumed their march, Lieutenant Lando approached. "Are you alright sir? You didn't seem like yourself back there." Henry waved off the man's worries. "I am now." Reading the man's questioning look, Henry explained. "Wolf is more than just a name to me, I've always felt a deeper connection to them. I think it originated from Beta, a pet dire wolf my father used have." His curiosity satisfied Lando fell back in formation.
As the archers took their positions on the ridge overlooking the bandit camp, Henry and the remaining troops lurked in the underbrush observing what they could of the bandit's movements and numbers. A rustle in the bush behind him registered but Henry rode it off as one of the men getting settled. At the lead-archer's signal, Henry waved the company forward. The bandit sentries were quickly silenced and their bodies hidden in nearby bushes. With their lookout's dead, the troopers pressed onward into the camp with a couple of soldiers cutting open the backs of tents and slaying their inhabitants. That was when all hell broke loose. Spilling from what were thought to be supply tents came an horde of armed and angry bandits. The hunter had become the hunted.
Crashing into the company's flanks like an ocean wave, the bandits swarmed the unprepared troopers. Taking heavy losses the troopers recoiled into a circle formation. As the fighting wore on, the circle began to shrink one at a time until finally a lone arrow streaked out of the woods to take a bandit in the neck. The lone arrow was quickly followed by another... and another... and another. As the rain of death began to pick up speed, the bandits quickly lost heart and started to scatter. The vengeful troopers were quick to rally and pursued the fleeing mob. Finishing off a bandit, Henry caught sight of a heavily armored individual limping clear of the fight. Giving chase, Henry came upon the man in a small clearing with his blooded sword drawn and ready. An arrow jutted from the man's left leg just above the knee. "Come git some you lap-dog bastard! I'll show you who's boss!" With adrenaline already pumping through his veins, Henry quickly rose to the challenge and charged. Despite the man's leg injury and heavy armor, he proved a nimble fighter and Henry quickly amassed a handful of more cuts. "What's this, rookie day? My ten year olds got more moves then you." the bandit lord taunted as he danced around another one of Henry's attacks. "That all you got?" Rising to the man's taunts, Henry's attacks grew wilder and wilder until a nearby wolf howl brought him back. But that lapse of concentration was all it took, the bandit lord lunged and his sword pierced Henry's stomach. "Nighty night bub..." the bandit lord said, wrenching his sword free and letting Henry fall backwards onto the forest floor. Listening for signs of battle or pursuit, the man resumed limping and disappeared into trees.
Barely conscious Henry lay where he fell slowly bleeding out, warm blood seeping through his fingers as he tried to apply pressure to the wound. Suddenly something clamped onto his forearm and started to drag him towards the bandit camp where the troopers were wrapping things up. As the beast neared the edge of the camp and sounds of people grew louder, she released Henry's arm from her mouth and gave him a couple tender licks on the face. Henry screamed out in pain as she suddenly sank her teeth deep into his shoulder, seeing his rather short life flash through his eyes before darkness claimed him.
The following day, Henry awoke to see a blurry outline Lieutenant Lando standing beside him. "Holy shit, you're alive. What happened to you?" Equally confused, Henry flipped aside the sheet that covered him. Encircling his stomach and much of his lower torso was a large red stained bandage. Upon further inspection the only other injury Henry could find was strange one on his shoulder in the shape of a bite mark but that one looked almost a week old and Henry didn't remember getting bitten by anything. Running his fingers over his scarred shoulder, he looked up at his lieutenant. "I don't know..."
"Help me up Lando," Henry stated, extending an arm up from his place atop the bed. "You sure you should be walking in your condition? I mean you were next to dead like an hour ago." Lando asked. "I said help me up." "Yes sir." Lando answered, helping Henry into a sitting position before pulling him to his feet. "I'm gonna get my bearings and head to my tent. Also remember double duty on perimeter watch tonight. The bandits have fled but that doesn't mean they're defeated." Lando nods. "With all due respect sir, their leader has fled and the bandits have scattered. Let the men enjoy their small victory while you continue resting." Henry rubs a hand across the stubble of his face as he considers the man's request. "Very well then, no double duty. Just make sure the men are ready for their shifts as soon as the sun goes down." "Yes sir." Lando says, saluting before turning and walking away.
With Lando gone, Henry leaves the medic's tent and began walking towards his tent which somebody (she-wolf) had kindly set up while he was unconscious. All the while Henry couldn't help but touch the bite mark in his shoulder, hoping the strange injury would help refresh his missing memories. Once within the privacy of his tent, Henry slowly removed the bloody bandages around his lower torso. "Let see how bad the damage is..." He muttered. To his shock, he found nothing. No stitches, no scar, not even a bruise. "What.. the... tha... that can't be possible." After a couple of minutes of being in complete shock he decided to keep this discovery secret and quickly rewrapped the bandages about his 'injured' torso. With the bandages in place again, Henry donned his freshly repaired leather padding and chainmail shirt. With the familiar weight of his armor settling comfortably about his shoulders, Henry strapped on his sword belt and left the tent in search of something to fill his rumbling belly.
Unbeknownst to Commander Wolf or his troopers, multiple eyes watched the soldier's encampment from the shadows, one set friendly... the other set not so much. Having spent much of the previous day nursing his own injuries, a task made much easier with the help of a couple healing potions he'd hidden away, Kyrill returned to the site of what used to be his latest bandit encampment. Hidden as he was, the former Bandit Lord waited till sunset before setting his trap for the young upstart of a commander who dare attack him. Revenge was near and it would taste so sweet.
A few hours after sunset, Lando found Commander Wolf sitting beside a campfire socializing with a handful of other injured troopers. Noticing the concerned look on Lando's face, Henry quickly disengaged himself from the conversation and joined Lando just out of earshot. "Patrols A and C haven't reported in. No sign of a struggle or anything, they've just disappeared. I've pulled more men into rotation but they remain in the dark of the situation at hand." "Told you those bandits weren't done with us yet..." Henry replies, loosening his sword in its sheath. "Round up a couple of our scouts, we'll take them with us and get to the bottom of this situation." "Yes sir." Lando says, hurrying off to round up the scouts. A short while later, Lando rejoined Henry accompanied by three of their group's rangers. The camp perimeter was a big circle with overlapping fields of vision and patrols of soldiers. To have two of those pieces removed without raising the alarm was not just an attack... it was impressive. "And so the hunter becomes the hunted..." Kyrill mutters, slipping deeper into the forest.
As the group began their search of the wooded area surrounding their camp, Henry started to feel strange. An hour into it, Henry could no longer claim he felt fine. Sweat formed in great amounts on Henry's forehead despite the cool temperatures the night air brought. Searing pain lanced through his body over and over, finally bringing the young commander to his knees. Seeing this, Lando ran over and pulled him back onto his feet, giving him a shoulder to lean on. "Told you should have stayed back at camp. You're sweating up a storm and its freezing out here." Surprisingly Henry made no witty reply. Shrugging Lando wrapped his commander's arm about his neck and trudged on, oblivious to the fact that Henry's eyes had gone from their natural brown color to a piercing yellow.
As they neared a clearing, one of the rangers could be seen waiting for them beneath the full moon. Suddenly lurching upright from his zombie-like shambling, Henry pulled Lando to a stop with iron-like grip. The scent of blood was in the air. Surprised at the sudden strength Henry displayed Lando watched with increasing terror as the man's hand slowly began transforming. Then, he was falling. Two arrows thumping into the ground where Lando stood moments ago. With the reflexes of a jungle tiger, Henry flung Lando out of harm's way... and face first into a tree. Mirthful laughter echoed through the small clearing. "Saves me the trouble of killing him myself." Kyrill declared, leaping from his perch. Dropping his bow, the Bandit Lord drew same sword he'd previously gutted Henry with. Henry wanted to curse the man with all his strength but his body was not his own. Nearly unbearable pain roiled through his body, his muscles warping and growing while his bones broke and reformed.
With the black void of unconsciousness beginning to close on his mind, Lando looked up to see a large wolf-like creature standing in Henry's place. Confused by this development he muttered, "H.. Henry?" The beast's ears twitched in response to his words but he receive no verbal answer before blacking out.
Likewise surprised to find himself standing toe to toe with a freshly transformed werewolf, Kyrill backed off a couple of steps. "Well that explains ye speedy recovery..." He mutters, drawing a short sword from the dead ranger's belt. A glint of moonlight reflected off the man's swords was all it took to trigger the werewolf. In a flurry of movement, the bandit lord and beast clashed. Within moments, Kyrill found himself gripping the hilt of a now broken short sword and bleeding from a handful of lacerations. The beast formerly known as Henry likewise injured with a shard of sword sticking out his left shoulder. With a feral grin, the beast tore the broken blade from its shoulder. Discarding the broken hilt, Kyrill laughed. "Werewolf or not, you're still..." The man's words faltered as the beast's shoulder injury began to seal itself. "Motherf..." With a bloodcurdling howl the beast pounced. Too little too late, Kyrill now realized his mistake. Steel was useless against a werewolf, even against a pup.
Kyrill's screams shattered the silence of the night. With the troopers already on high alert it was not long before a squad of them burst into the gore soaked clearing. Dripping with the blood of his victim, the beast Henry had become stood victorious over the bandit lord's scattered remains. However the haunted image need not plague the soldiers long as they quickly met a similar fate.
"Trouble approaches." A smoothing voice states, snapping Henry out of his feasting. Near the edge of the clearing leaned a beautiful female werewolf, similar in coloring to the wolf he'd freed from the bandits. "You!" He said, pointing a bloody claw at her. "Velva." She answers with a smile. "But save the pleasantries for later, as I said trouble approaches." "Trouble? What kind of trouble can possibly harm us?" Henry asks, slightly drunk on the power of his new form. "That kind." She replies, quickly disappearing into the trees.
Turning to look, Henry is emotionally kicked in the gut as he recognizes the man leading this new group of soldiers. His father, Arcus Wolf. Similarly Arcus takes in his blood soaked surroundings before his icy blue eyes settle on Henry. "Henry..." Despite the carnage that surrounded him, the beast form Henry wore was still clothed in tatters of his armor as well as a necklace his father had given him. Unable to bear his father's gaze, Henry dropped to all fours and fled after Velva, the female werewolf. A silver arrow thudded into a tree to his right as he retreated. "My son... My son is... a werewolf." Arcus Wolf muttered, shamed by this discovery.
-Based on character(s) owned by Kyle/Riggles96
-Written and edited by Viper9000