Lodge of the Grey Wolf, Taljia
32nd Tyli, Year of the Wolf 1165
Recollections of my Spirit Quest
I have found myself in a strange land. I am called “Andy Dymond” here but people have heard of me and hold me in high esteem but I, as Andy, have not heard of me.
So it begins:
I found myself asking “Why am I here at the Hylia Valley Gathering?”
I stepped up to the window and put down my money, looking up and catching the gatekeeper’s eye.
“By Fecultia!” the gatekeeper said loudly, obviously in awe of who stood before him, “I can’t believe you are here in the Hylia Valley!” while pushing my money back towards him.
“No no, you’ve mistaken me for someone else. I’m just here to look for some amulets and maybe a couple of stones.”
The gatekeeper smiled a knowing smile, “Okay sire.” As he painted a glyph on my wrist, I felt something run down his spine. In spite of the warm sunshine, it was a distinct cold chill which caused me to shiver.
I shook my head and stepped through the gate, flashing my glyph. As I stepped past the guards, there was another stronger shiver pass through my entire body. “What the fuck?” I thought to myself.
I picked up a map of the Gathering and scouted out which stalls he wanted to visit. It looked like not only was it more expensive this year, the selection of vendors was down. “Must be the economy.” said a voice beside me. Looking around, I saw. Shaking my head again, I thought to myself, “The sun must be stronger than I thought.”
Turning to the left, I started walking around the Gathering and found myself driven to keep walking. Stopping at a few of the vendors who were set up and I looked briefly but found myself walking further around the circle of the Gathering. I looked at the map and found that I had entered at the four o’clock position and had made his way around to noon. In the center of the circle, a large ritual circle was flanked by four smaller ritual circles marking the cardinal directions.
As I completed his first lap of the Gathering, I found himself pulled forward towards one of the stalls. As I stepped into one of the tents, I found himself drawn to an small carved wolf. As I picked it up, I heard a howl which caused me to drop the carving. (Could the Great Wolf have been with me as I traveled?) As I picked it up again, I heard the howl again. I looked closely at the wolf it seemed to be watching me. I quickly purchased the wolf and put it into the empty small leather pouch I had on my belt.
As I completed a second circuit, I had purchased the wolf, a walnut sized piece of hematite, as well as three spheres: citrine, jade, and obsidian. As I stood by the entry gate, something told him to continue on, one more circle and then I would be done. “So far, it’s been a pretty good Gathering considering the turn out.” I thought to myself.
The first step into my third loop around the Gathering, I felt a flicker of warmth within and stopped to refill my water skin. I passed through it one last time.
Just before leaving, I noticed a tent that I’d not seen before. Stepping into the tent, my attention was drawn to a sphere of jet that was sitting in a corner with a wolf statue in front of it. As I approached it, the shopkeeper, in a husky voice, said to me “Aye, be careful of that jet. The wolf will get you if you are not worthy.”
As I turned to face her, she wasn’t there. I was alone in the tent. As I reached towards the jet, I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise. As I put my hand on the sphere, I looked at it and realized that the wolf was no longer in front of it and a feeling of warmth and strength passed through me.
I looked around and saw that the owner of the tent had reappeared. I started to ask how much the jet was, when she interrupted my thought, “Maikyl Greywolf, you honor me with your presence, but I could not sell you that jet.”
The strangest part of it all was I found myself saying “I’m not Maikyl Greywolf. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I am Andy Dymond.”
The crone let out a wheezing laugh. “Of course,” she responded before looking at me with an intensely piercing look and a grin on her face, “I must be mistaken. How would an old witch like me know your name, Elpa Maikyj?”
“Maikyj.” I felt a blast of energy like a hot flash pass through me as she addressed me. It was ‘right’ but didn’t know why. As I haggled with the crone, she finally relented to taking a small ‘gratuity’ for being the stone’s caretaker to get it to me.
(How did she know who I was? Who was this old woman who was gifted with sight beyond sight?)
As I put the sphere of jet into the pouch, a gust of wind blew open the tent flap and pulled my attention outside. Looking out, I saw that the sky was growing dark. I quickly scurried out to the path and started heading for the exit by the admissions area. Just as I was going to turn and exit the Gathering, a gust of wind drove me forward. A final step pushed me into a third complete clockwise circles around the Gathering. Suddenly, I felt a sense of anger towards the impending storm.
I turned and headed towards the center of the Gathering, walking around the edge of the South ritual circle and the raging bonfire within it. I made my way to the empty central ritual circle. My anger carried me forward to the center of the ritual circle. As the wind picked up, I noticed it was a chilling wind driven forth by the storm. What had been a dark sky turned threatening with heavy drops of rain falling and lightning crashing all around.
I turned around and surveyed the Gathering around me. A storm would likely cause injuries and damage. However, the storm was approaching so rapidly, it would be almost impossible to get the tents collapsed and people to safety in time. Another biting cold gust of wind buffeted me, but I noticed that it didn’t affect the tents on the edge of the ritual area. “It was as if…as if…the storm was coming for me!” I thought as my pulse raced. I laughed at myself and turned to face the storm. As I did, I saw the storm clouds lower and a torrential rain swept across the Gathering. A cacophony of screaming and yelling filled the air as vendors and attendees alike tried to find shelter from the storm. Pausing for just a moment, I turned to the storm.
“How typical. For all their love of nature and their rituals, they can’t avoid the forces of Nature.” Laughing to myself, I found myself thinking “Like this will do any good but it can’t hurt.”
(Why do I not think that I could do these things? Why do they rely on such showmanship? So little belief in Nature and in themselves they have.)
“Do your best.” I screamed to the storm. It let up for just a brief moment, then returned even more intensely.
I found myself screaming even louder, “You will not take me. I am Andy Dymond and I will remain. You will disperse and return the sun to the skies!” the storm started to look even more menacing.
I reached down for the leather pouch on my belt moving in the gusting wind. I took it in my hand, feeling the four spheres and the wolf sculpture in it. My hand started to close around it as a bolt of lightning struck the pole in the East Ritual circle, setting the Flag of Air ablaze.
A voice seemed whisper in my head to take the pouch off my belt. I took it off and clenching it in my upraised fist; I screamed, “If it is me you want, then come for me, not all those around me. I am just a man.” As I said ‘just a man’, the leather pouch glowed as brightly as a spotlight, a blue-white beacon in the storm. The beacon shot up into the storm and as quickly as the storm and laid siege to the Gathering, it was gone. There were scattered fair weather clouds, but it was as if the storm had not been there. I paused. “I know what I said, but there’s no way…the storm is gone. Was it really,” I shivered involuntarily, “after me?”
As I looked around, my vision was much sharper and he could smell the remnants of the storm and all the people. I brought his arm down and looked at the leather pouch in my hand. The four spheres were still present but the wolf sculpture was gone. I looked up my sleeves and on the ground, but the sculpture was gone.
Suddenly, the world started to fading to black and I found myself falling.