Masters of the World

The Lay of Wulfsunu

Through tangled vines of wisard-lines
Gardeners duly mark off heritages,
Selecting the best (or most convenient)
To let spill forth new fruit.

One trunk stands fast, unculled,
No pruning shears could touch it.
The Sons of the Wolf, malleable,
Form and ferocity taken from namesake.

Arcturus, to show his blood’s strength
Must track and lead, yet never guide,
Fight prepared, without worry.
Wield a staff but never lean on it.

Wisard’s orders most dire send him
In pursuit of two odd criminals,
Noble-slayers, grave-robbers,
Burners of what is proper lordly.

With the Leypawolf run two more,
Mages, former comrades in crime,
Now active captives, Wolf-advising.
Their words give him ward against harm.

The tracking is easy for wolf nose.
A lonely copse, with stashed horse,
Much like the grove where burned
A mage’s body, away from mourners.

In the shape of a man he approaches,
Not dreading his doom. An arrow strikes
From front to back, piercing his heart.
A glorious shot, but he smiles.

Such things are like mist to him,
Thanks to friends’ foreknowledge.
The weapons of his enemies are lost,
His own remain, made mage-mighty.

Only a betrayal saves the criminals,
Those same friends who bought safety
With most telling tales of past battles,
Discard their purchases and join combat.

(Their choices may be more forgivable
Than it currently seems, they knew
Of that Leypawolf nature, unlike the two
Who greeted parlay with archery.)

Tahquil’s power swirls about,
Provokes the Wolf Son to drop
Pretenses of the ordinary,
And rise himself to true height.

Bloody and desperate the fight is,
Fortunate that to the test,
The Shape leaper brought unwisely
As many foes as friends!

Iridan’s bolts fly true, searing off
Fur and fervor; Arcturus slumps.
There in the grove burns brightly,
A mage’s body, away from mourners.

(Though in some nights Nemith fears
That as they rode away, planning flight,
He turned and looked and saw a breath,
Though feeble, life-giving still.)



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