February: the Revel
[It's all you, Rafael.]
my whole life is thunder.
[I haven't forgotten! I've just been crazy busy. There will be a post here soon!]
Wolf's been quiet most of the moot. Lies in repose in his most wolfish form, white ears turning to follow the words, the barks, the howls. Yellow eyes glimmering in firelight, watching the challenges, the face-offs, the arguments. The rites, too. The holy things and the glorious ones.

Now, at last, the hour of the Ahroun. The last of the tales told, the last of the songs sung. A restive murmur in the crowd. The rustling of fur, shuffling of feet. No elder steps forward. No athro, no adren. Not even a fostern. The center of the gathering yawns conspicuously empty.

Wolf's been in the city months and months already, but still he's a stranger to most. Knows better than most what it is to not belong. To not feel fully in possession of one's own destiny, birthright. If he hesitates, if he thinks at all, he wouldn't do this. So he doesn't.

Pushes suddenly to his feet. He's not the only one. Other young wolves, barely-known wolves see their chance. Three wolves come out of the crowd, white, grey and mottled brown. Brown one cows instantly; shrinks back before he reaches the center. White and grey keep moving, surging up into enormous prehistoric monsters.

Crowd can feel it before it comes. Sharp crackle of rage, stink of mutual offense, two wolves raising their hackles and snarling through snapping teeth. Start to circle as they close the distance: a stone's throw, an armsreach, and then nothing at all.

Come suddenly and electrically together, an explosive collision of fur and teeth and flashing eyes. Crowd roars in collective bloodthirst. Fight lasts barely a second. Fire paints their tangling shadows across the dirt; then blood paints the dirt.

Loser scrambles loose and yelps off to the shadows. Winner, red splashing his white maw, shoves his forepaws into the earth, rears onto his hindlegs. Tears up into his largest, most warlike shape. Lets loose a raw, violent howl. Sound is so full of such savage, untempered, uncontrolled victory that almost at once, and almost as one, the gathering breaks. Scatters, surges, tide-like. Roars and howls and pours out from the heart of the Caern, into the black night, frothing mad, fearless.

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