PART TWO: HERITAGE
Since receiving the Grimoire of Queen Aris of the Marsh Kingdom, Talulla spent nearly every waking moment she had pouring over it. She found Queen Aris’ journey to accepting her power as the Lady of Wolves; the Wolf Sayer, truly relatable and insightful. Talulla had already uncovered that the key to the power she had over lycans and werewolves alike was her heart. Emotions were projected onto the lycans in her immediate vicinity and according to the Grimoire, the radius of the power’s effects would greatly increase over time.
Lufian, Talulla’s adoptive father, had ever so graciously agreed to be her guinea pig but she had had far more failures than successes in telepathically projecting her desired emotions onto him causing her Imposter syndrome to constantly reappear and mar her self confidence and thus interfere with her use of the ability. Oracle Tabitha was keen on her progress and was a lot more optimistic about Talulla’s progress, finding her pace of learning remarkable.
As the days elapsed, Talulla made even more meaningful strides and could even project emotions to Lufian despite his resistance. Talulla also grew in stature as she proceeded with her lessons with Queen Anna. Since she was an avid lover of history, Talulla did research about the history of Denary from when it was the Marsh Kingdom to more recent history.
It was clear from her research that the time Aris was Queen, the Marsh Kingdom flourished. The lycans and witch-folk of the country enjoyed uncommon peace and though there were many attempted assassination attempts on the King, Aris’ power rendered such attempts futile. Talulla hoped and prayed that Mialand would flourish as the Marsh Kingdom once did under Queen Aris.
Talulla also learned of the Mythology of the Lady of Wolves according to the lycan mythos. The prevailing mythology lay claim to lycanthropes being descended from common ancestry; a wolf bearing golden fur known as the Great Wolf-Mother. This mythos was encapsulated in the Chronicles of the First People, a series of manuscripts that were noted as containing more fiction than fact by historians but that still possessed great knowledge of how the One True Religion1 was formed.
According to the manuscripts, the Great Wolf-Mother sought peace with the other first people of the world and the witches were the first to accept her offer. As a means of cementing their new found kinship, the Great Wolf-Mother made a unique pact with the each of the witches’ Matriachs, by partaking of their witch’s element. One of those witches possessed the silver attribute to her element and it was with this witch that the pact between lycan and witch was strongest.
It was believed that Ramona Ruxella, the progenitor of the Ruxella clan, was directly descended from the witch that formed the pact with the Great-Wolf Mother which was once a point of pride for witches born before the Puritan War2 and reign of Empress Doris I who had warped lycan and witch-kind relations for centuries. Ruxella herself was disowned and cast out of her family because of her unchanging position of being a lycan sympathizer. Aris, her granddaughter, was, in Ruxella’s own words, a perfection of the guiding principle she founded her clan upon.
“Accepting my heritage, my grandmother’s most earnest wish for our family, became the beacon of light in accepting my true destiny with this great power. I wielded this power with pride knowing I had her blessing and I pray that any inheritors of the power of the Lady of Wolves will wield it with this same pride,” Queen Aris wrote.
Talulla thought about those sentiments as she fell into REM sleep and for the first time in months. Unlike previous nights, Talulla did not have nightmares of the Red Veiled Empress taking her life but instead pictured the days of Aris mastering her abilities to become one of the greatest Queens to have ever lived. Accepting the power was not meant to be easy, Talulla realized, but it was necessary if she ever hoped to become a great queen at par with Queen Aris.
She realized that she needed to make her peace with all the terrible things that had happened to her and Talulla thus began going to therapy to overcome her Survivor’s guilt, childhood trauma and Imposter syndrome. The strides she made were impressive and she was slowly but surely on track to accepting her true destiny.
At the dusk of Sumhain in November, as Talulla continually mastered her abilities, Oracle Tabitha met up with her for their usual meetings over tea together with Queen Anna and Lufian.
“My lady, I am highly impressed with your progress in mastering the power of the Lady of Wolves. I daresay you are even in a position to go on a mission to put those abilities to the test,” the Oracle stated.
Talulla blushed and thanked the Oracle for her compliment.
The Oracle took pause and then continued; “Are you familiar with the tale of the disgraced Prince of Denary, Prince Felan?”
Talulla nodded. “He is part of the Royal family of Denary, all turned werewolves, if I am not mistaken?”
Tabitha nodded. ” You are indeed right, Lady Talulla. Prince Felan is, however, out of all the members of that family, the most likely to break out of the werewolf curse,”
“Is that right?” Talulla asked surprised.
“Yes, indeed, and therefore, I would formally wish to request that you embark on a joint mission to break the werewolf curse of Prince Felan,”
Talulla was too stunned to speak on hearing the Oracle. Had she really come such a long way as to inspire faith from the Oracle? Talulla suddenly felt like an imposter again.
“My lady, is there any way we can postpone the mission until Lady Talulla has fully mastered her abilities?” Lufian asked humbly.
“I am afraid we do not have the luxury of time, Lufian. A tough battle against the wicked Red Veiled Empress awaits us and we need all the manpower we can get. Although the vast majority of Denaranians would agree that the Royal Family should best be left as a distant, healed scar in their collective consciousness, feudal society still holds power and it is its belief that there is infallibility of Royalty. Saving the disgraced Prince’s soul shall be a sign of good faith and will most likely aid in garnering support in the battle to come,”
Talulla began to involuntarily shake as she pondered on the Oracle’s words.
“My lady, I am sorry it has come to this. I understand the risks this mission poses and for your help, I vow to you, that I shall device the means to take down these Feudal ladies and lords, if it is the last thing I do. I do not wish to pressure you but the Red Veiled Empress grows in strength with each passing day and the sooner we engage her in battle, the more assured our chances of victory. It is about time we avenge our fallen, don’t you think?”
Talulla nodded. “I will do it, my lady, I will do whatever it takes to aid in your mission,”
Oracle Tabitha smiled. “Thank you, Lady Talulla. History shall remember how decisive you were when the times called for it. Lufian, I assure you, no harm shall come to your daughter. My party and I are all ready and willing to assist her at a moment’s notice if need be. I do not foresee any threats to her life and I am sure you can understand that we cannot keep coddling her. Talulla must pave a path through history with her own two hands,”
Although Lufian mostly agreed with the Oracle’s sentiments, he was anxious over his daughter’s fate considering she would be putting herself at the forefront of danger. He insisted on them practicing the use of her abilities every chance they got but even the excessive training was not enough to reassure him that Talulla would be safe. And so a mere two weeks after the Oracle’s formal request to utilize Talulla’s Wolf Sayer abilities, they embarked on what would be the journey of a century.
TO BE CONTINUED…
What does fate have in store for the Wolf Sayer as she embarks on her first critical mission? Stay tuned to find out! The link to the previous part in this budding series is linked below. Enjoy!
- The One True Religion: a colloquial term meant to denote the prevailing mythos across the Realms of Baseline Reality. This mythos lays claim to the Progenitor of all life in the universe being the Creator Goddess that goes by many names depending on the people-specific mythos stemming from this belief.
- The Puritan War: a bloody war culminating in the enslavement of races such as the witch-folk and lycanthropes that was instigated and perpetuated by the fair-folk races in 10th Century AD. The enslavement of the races by the fair-folk ended at the turn of the 12th Century when Empress Doris I took over ruling Denary (formerly known as the Marsh Kingdom) and Mialand.