Two weeks passed till Blood Paws saw the White Banner bearing the Black Tongue approach his camp
A guard of the Omega held this giant banner which was to be worn on Omega Black Tongue’s back in the upcoming war
The wood shaft was painted white and covered with bloody hand prints
The guard approached Blood Paws and bowed, “Hail Alpha Blood Paws”
I knew what was asked of me, they needed my blood to prove my allegiance and the allegiance of my Wolves
I ran my hand along the edge of my battle axe until the blade became coated in warm crimson
The guard lifted the banner toward me
I gripped it firmly, staining the white wood with my bloody hand
“Thank you Alpha Blood Paws, we set off tomorrow,” With that he walked off
“Hear that old Red Eye, we march to war on the morrow”
Blood Paws sat down with a smile on his face and scratched Red Eye behind the ears
Blood Paws gripped his battle axe tightly in his sleep as he dreamt of glorious battle and delicious food
Chopping down a door with his Axe to reveal a room filled to the brim with meat and cheese
He woke up; he wiped the drool from his mouth and shoulder and caressed his battle axe
It’d be a good day today, and a damn fine day to march
He strut out of his tent and into the middle of his camp, “Blood Paw's Wolves!”
They gathered around to hear their Alpha speak
“Today we march to War, if you leave here; tis likely you will not return; Do not be troubled, you will be one less mouth to feed, haha”
Everybody laughed, it was all too true, War did not just bring food, but it brought death which allowed greater rations
“We will show the Omega that Blood Paw’s Wolves are the hungriest and the BLOODIEST; Onward my brave wolves we will feast on the flesh of horse and devour the Sillar’s warehouse stores”
With that everyone gathered their gear and prepared to march in formation
Blood Paws stood at the head, Bright Fang his Wolf Sergeant stood beside him
The Wolves stood in a column 5 Wolves wide and 100 Wolves long, 500 Wolves total
Blood Paws issued two horn blasts from the massive tusk, blackened with age, the endings bound with iron
It is also inscribed with the name and symbol of the Alphas that held it before, when Blood Paws dies his name and symbol, the Red Bear Paw, will be inscribed upon the horn
Bright Fang shouted aloud, “WOLVES FORWARD, TO WAR!!!”
The 500 Wolves set off and began to chant the only song worth marching to
Oh the hills so bright and white
The rock is black as frosty night
Never to return from here
The war has come, The war has come
Shout up high, Shout up high
The war has come, The war has come
Shake the ground with fiery step
Death will come, Death will come
Weep not my wife, Weep not my son
Food will come, Food will come
Axe through bone and Teeth through meat
Food will come, Food will come
Foot through door and Food in hand
The bounties won, The bounties won
Weep not my Wolves, Weep not my Lord
The War is won, The War is won
Journal of H. A. Grimma
I do not know what happened
I cannot remember the past few days, or weeks
I have no way of knowing how long it’s been
My clothing was splattered with all manner of substances
My face was covered with a thick-black combination of blood, sweat, and dirt
Many pages of my journal were torn out
I noticed one page had the same scribbling in it
Written over and over, theWolftheWolftheWolftheWolf
I have lost my nerve, how can I save my family if this can happen to me
I still have many questions even though I know the Worr to exist
I still do not know what they want with us, or why they curse my family
The Valkyrie and the pocket watch, my mind always returns to those two things
My answers lie within them, I am sure of it
I found myself at the end of a tunnel; it opened into a valley not far from Wolf Manor
I had been here before
When I was a child my father would often take me down here to catch frogs
A cold stream ran out from the tunnel and collided with a nearby river
The roar of the river bounced around my skull
The reflection of the sun off the ground seared my eyes
It was as if I hadn’t seen daylight for some time
The sun comforted me; it took some of the chill from my bones
But not all of it, this chill was deeper than what a cold night could bring
Once I had my senses about me, I sat against a tree and pulled out my books
It was time to find answers to the Valkyrie, the Worr, and this pocket watch
I delved into the ancient book from the library
I began to notice something
There appeared to be pictures on the pages
They weren’t boldly drawn; they were made out of words
Specific lines of specific words and letters connecting to form this picture
The pages were worn making it difficult to fully see, but I saw a battle
There were Great winged angels upon a hill overlooking a valley
In that valley was a small group of men
Some with long braided hair and beards
Others with shaved heads and war paint
They were all clad in an array of weapons and armor
With as many weapons strapped to their bodies as could fit
On the opposite end of the valley their looked to be a pack of large wolves
It was clear, these men aimed to fight the Worr
They were vastly outnumbered
I turned the page and saw another picture of the same battle
But the placements were different
The two forces had grown closer
The angels on the hill were Valkyrie; they looked both troubled and delighted
On the face of these men only determination could be seen
I turned the page again; the two groups were soon to collide
The Worr leapt, the men raised their blades and shields
I kept turning the pages watching the battle unfold before me
I could smell the foul breath, metal, and blood in the air
They fought with equal ferocity
The Worr lost many and retreated
No victory cry was heard from the brave men
Their youngest had fallen; his father fell to his knees
He watched the Valkyrie descend upon the valley
Taking the cursed souls of the Worr away
They also came for the man’s son
He could see them
He grabbed an approaching Valkyrie by the wrist and thrust his blade into her gut
The Valkyrie let out a cry and all the men fell dead except one
The father still stood
They picked up a Worr, threw it on him, and thrust a sword through the two bodies
They kicked him to the ground and cursed his name
I examined a few lines on the following page,
Promised immortality and mountains of gold
These warriors fought proud and bold
Forsaken when the young one went cold
To question the Valkyrie and the wisdom they hold
A curse fell upon these warriors of old
The fate of the Nameless Grimma is told
(The preceding parts can be found here, Wolf Manor(ALBUM)
Henry Archibald Grimma’s Journal
5 January, 1920. I sat at my desk. It was late, although the hour was not what piqued my interest. The moon was strange to me. Its glow pierced through the fog looking almost like a hand of pure light was reaching down to me. I could not shake this feeling. I was in the safe confines of the manor, but I could have easily been convinced otherwise. I could not smell the leather of my chair or the papery dust of my books, not even the rich smoky lacquer of my desk. I’ve never felt so naked and cold. The cold ate at my bones and gnawed on my mind. Why was this night different than the rest? I finished my glass of scotch and put on my waist coat. I pulled out my pocket watch; it was 1:11 A.M. The watch was an heirloom passed down from my grandfather to my father and finally down to me. It always comforted me as if it held some hidden power. Etched on the back was a Valkyrie, the Norse believed Valkyrie decided who would be slain in battle. Although it holds no weight with me, I have never been in a battle, nor do I plan to be in one. The fiercest battle I have faced is that which is against the cold and a warm hearth always brings me victory. As I strolled out of my library I heard something stirring upstairs. It must be Miss Belcourt. Out of the corner of my eye I saw black gleaming eyes poking out behind the wall leading to the dining hall. As I turned they disappeared and something stirred behind me. It was like heavy scraping upon the wood floor, but there was nothing behind me. I looked in the library and watched the shadow from my chair stretch forward then rear up upon the wall. I spun around toward the stairs of the front hall. I could hear it making sounds in such a way that it felt like it curled up from my neck to my ear. Something is wrong, I’ll record this later.
6 January, 1920. The events I am about describe still baffle and horrify me. After leaving my desk the second time, I noticed there was something behind my banister. Its visage was menacing and it looked like a wolf red as blood. The hairs on my back stood up as a shrieking howl sounded off, tormenting my ears till I fell to my knees blacking out entirely.
I remember the blackout somewhat clearly because I instantly began to dream. I understood the feeling all too well. Weightlessness combined with pictures, images, and realities that constantly shifted with no direct connection to each other, but still felt real somehow. There was one memory my mind always went back to, it was stuck upon this one short moment in my life.
In the summer, ten years ago, I hosted a party. It was a party unlike any other that had been witnessed. Music was pounding through the lavishly decorated rooms and halls of my residence Wolf Manor. Glasses of every assortment of liquor were circulated throughout the rooms on silver trays. There were three bands playing that night, one in the entry hall, one in the ballroom, and one on the balcony. Try as you will, but no one could escape the sound. The rooms were filled shoulder to shoulder with men in dark sharply cut suits and women wearing every manner of extravagant color on dresses styled to their seductive peak. Nights such as these pass swiftly by, this one surely did, but not before my gaze was stolen by a fair lady of unworldly beauty.
She stood amongst the dancing crowd with golden hair and a golden dress. I cleared my throat, straightened my necktie, and made my way through the throng of dancers. Her icy blue eyes caught mine, I was several steps from her, my heart beat uncontrollably and every instinct was telling me to turn away. When we finally stood in front of each other she looked shyly at the ground and I stumbled out an introduction. “Hello Miss, I’m Henry Archibald Grimma, son of Grandhoff Grimma, and I welcome you to my summer party.”
“I’m Aurore Ansel, I have never seen such a party.”
“Nor have I,” I couldn’t help but smile as I spoke; her voice was enchanting and infectious. It was a night with no equal and the warm feelings faded away as the dream shifted to blank darkness.
The thick pounding of my heart woke me up. My head felt smashed open and my ears had bled. I looked to the window behind me. The moon was still casting its bright rays upon my desk. I checked my watch; it was still 1:11 A.M. My heart near stopped, what was happening. Two knocks buffeted the door, “Mr. Grimma, Mr. Grimma, this is the Redfield County Police.” I rolled over, stood up, and stumbled over to the door. I yanked it open and two officers in snazzy dress stood before me. They both had thick mustaches which spilled over their lips.
“You look like shit Mr. Grimma.”
“Don’t insult the man Dent and stop blurting.” The officer on the left hit the officer that spoke behind the head.
“Why are you always hitting me Graham?”
“Because you make us look the fool.”
They both turned to me as if they had forgotten I was there.
“Ah yes, Mr. Grimma, my name is Roger Graham and this is my partner Peter Dent, we are here because of a disturbance some passersby heard. May we come in?”
“I’m sorry officers, but its late, come back on the morrow.”
“It is 2 P.M. Mr. Grimma.” I felt frozen I couldn’t move, the palms of my hands began to sweat as I reached for my pocket watch. It read 2 P.M., in that same instance night turned to day and moon to sun. I staggered back and covered my eyes, the light pierced through the palms of my hands. Shock surged through my body and I fell to one knee gasping for breath. I felt strangled by madness…
I felt asleep and yet I knew I was awake. I could not move, I was petrified, and I could not see the world. Everything was a shapeless white. It felt as if I was floating in the air. Officers Dent and Graham hoisted me up and dropped me onto a sofa. I heard Dent whispering to Graham, “I am going to take a look around, he is not acting right and something about this disturbs me, keep an eye on him.”
“Yes yes, toddle on.”
The white light began to fade into red. Then I saw those eyes, black eyes, the eyes of death itself. At some moment I lost consciousness, I dreamt of nothing but those eyes. Staring into my soul with devours gaze. Light broke through those black pupils and I woke up. My hands were cuffed behind a small metal chair, the metal bit into my flesh bringing a reminding pain. A highly reflective and brightly lit table was before me, the effect of which was quite blinding. Across from me was Roger Graham, although I couldn’t see him too well so it could have been any other man with a brimming mustache. “Good, looks like you are up, welcome back Mr. Grimma. You are being questioned because your maid Miss Belcourt was murdered, and you must comply with our investigation.”
“We found her body by the stairs; her throat torn and lacerated.”
My mind started to drift back to those eyes and that wolf, I could not shake it. It gnawed at my mind just like the metal cuffs and chair cut into my flesh. And for all I knew I could have murdered her, there were many hours unaccounted for. “What did I do? Did I do something, what did you find?” Rage started building; I struggled in my chair, “Why am I cuffed?”
Roger Graham raised an eyebrow, “Because we believed you to be unstable and prone to fits of rage, which is why Miss Belcourt was found in such a state.”
I stopped struggling. This was unlike me. I have always been stable and calm. I started to feel scratching at the back of my mind like there was something I had forgotten. Then it came to me, my watch, the time, and all my questions. Each question led to more questions, but without my watch I felt empty. A hallow shell with no substance, it continued to scratch at my mind. It must mean something. The watch must be the answer somehow. For reasons I cannot ascertain I felt as if I was late. Late for some meeting I never knew existed, I implored Officer Graham, “Where is my pocket watch? It is not here. You took it didn’t you?”
“Why do you have plans? You aren’t leaving.”
“Give me my watch!”
“You are handcuffed a watch would do you no good.”
“At least tell me the time.”
“It’s 5 P.M., happy?”
The scratching continued, knowing the time did nothing, why did I think it would do something? I shook in my chair, my head rolling around, I wanted out, my mind wanted out. I felt like I was going mad and Roger Graham looked at me horrified, “Are you okay?” I could not see it, but I felt the blood dripping from my ears and mouth. It was pouring out from some unseen wound. I started to choke, coughing blood from my lungs, struggling desperately to survive. It is about here that I start to question the validity of my memory as I write this down. God…what have I become?
Henry Archibald Grimma’s Journal
7 January, 1920. I don’t know what happened at the police station and maybe I don’t want to know.I blacked out again, and all I saw was that bloody wolf. The incessant scratching stopped.What does all this mean, there must be a reason. I feel as if I am not alone.The cold I felt, it felt like it was a part of me somehow.What am I saying?Maybe I’m just mad, maybe I’ve always been.Do the sick know they are sick?
After the police station I woke up in the woods, my clothing was tattered and blood stained. There were holes in it that looked like bullet holes, but I had no wounds of any kind. My hands were soaked with blood, as if they had held a beating heart in their clutches. I couldn’t wash it off in the river. I was stained. Stained and yet I haven’t a clue why.
As I take a moment from my story I will reiterate. My name is Henry Archibald Grimma, and I don’t have anyone to pass this journal onto. I don’t even know if anyone will end up reading it, but if you are somehow, then you must do something. There must be something someone can do. Whatever is happening must be stopped. I fear what may happen. At that moment I noticed I had my pocket watch and I held it to my breast. It felt warm somehow, it comforted me, for a while all the questions vanished. I thought to the inscription on the back, maybe I am in a battle and maybe the Valkyrie will pick me to live. If all else descends into madness perhaps I’ll live.
I stumbled through the woods with the pocket watch at my breast. It adopted a pinkish red hue from my stained hands. My heart beat slowly, yet powerful as if I had the heart of some great beast. My watch bounced off my chest with each thudding beat. I did not know where I was going. I was blindly hoping I’d stumble upon Wolf Manor. I needed to see it, where it happened. It was all that mattered to me now. I had to know. I had known her for some twenty years. Miss Belcourt was a friend whom I trusted and respected. Now she was dead, brutalized by some evil that dwelt in my home. I have been walking for hours, each step sent shards of pain up my legs. Then I saw Wolf Manor off in the distance, its three stories, massive windows, and gothic appearance. Then I looked to the Gargoyles that sat upon each corner. They really failed their job… If I make it out of this, the first thing on the list will be to take down those Gargoyles and replace them with a team of priests. They’d need hats to avoid sunburns, I’d probably need multiple shifts of them to cover the different times of the day, hmmm, it could work I think.
I stopped dead in my tracks. I was being followed. I could sense it and the hairs on my neck rose. My ears tried to pinpoint the sound. I stood there not wanting to turn around, but I knew I must. I slowly turned and I felt relief, nothing was there. I turned back around and there it was before me. I could feel it breathing on my face, it stood on two legs with its eyes so close that they enveloped my entire vision. Everything turned to darkness. I stepped back and noticed it was coated in fresh crimson, dripping in it. Its dead eyes followed me and the corner of its mouth rose in a grin. I was crushed by its presence I stumbled to the ground and crawled backwards. It opened its mouth and howled at me, the shrieking howl that plagued me before. My hands went to my ears and I curled into a ball. I was helpless. I’d black out soon, and who knows what would happen. The world already began to darken, shift from day to night almost.
Then I felt the warmth of my pocket. With all my might I ripped my hands from my ears. It was more painful than anything I could imagine. I stood up holding the pocket watch in front of me. In defiance I stood before death. In faith of that watch I stood saying, “Come take me demon. You will find no victories here.” The wolf stopped looked at me, grinned again and vanished as mist in the wind. I fell to my knees, the pain did not leave me, my ears felt cold, burning from the cold of Hell’s fire. The scratching in the back of my mind returned. It was stronger than ever. I felt it taint my mind with cold. The cold that gnaws at your thoughts and as I wept my tears rolled down my cheek then froze. The cold was consuming me slowly.
Thewolf was gone, but I still felt its presence. It was still with me somehow. Time seemed to speed up and the sun retreated behind the mountains. The sun was scared of what I saw. It grew deathly cold, a cold which crawled up my spine and wrapped its hands around my neck. It whispered in my ear, “Your mine.” I ignored it. I kept moving toward Wolf Manor in the moonlight. Its silver glow comforted me. It made me feel warm, complete almost. I began to gaze at it. I felt lost in its sweet embrace. It made me forget about the cold scratching at my mind. Always scratching, so cold, and yet the moon made me forget. It made me forget about what happened at Wolf Manor.
I approached Wolf Manor and it did not welcome me. I felt as if it fought my every movement. It did not want me here. The Gargoyles looked as if they were staring at me. Utter loathsome stares, perhaps they knew I planned to replace them. The house had police tape at the door. No living soul was around for the hour was dark. I crossed the threshold and I felt a surge of cold bite my bones as it did the first night. The windows were open and the curtains danced in the wind. The moon illuminated the now grim looking hall. I did not know what I would see upstairs, but I had to prepare my mind for it lest it be torn in two.
I haven’t the slightest clue regarding what’s going on here, but I intend to record every last event. If I die, my hope is someone will take my place and solve this…This, I don’t even know what to call it.
I approached my desk and began to skim through a story I am quite fond of. It talks of a man who lost everything. A man who stood against death and in defiance stood against fate. In the end he cried at the sky because his memories brought pain. All he knows was gone, this man died, but his memory lived on. In the wake of his death it was written the people avenged him. True story or no, it speaks of justice even if it’s delayed justice. And so I ask the same of you unknown readers of my journal. Should I fall forget me not, bring your vengeance and your fury. I have no family; they left me some years ago.
Here I sit in Wolf Manor alone, writing to you. It has been like this some time, I dare not think back to Aurore and her fate. Her memory is so sweet and yet like a dagger it cuts into my heart. Then there are the questions, why did she have to die? Why did I never find her? I didn’t even have my wife to burry. It was like she was wiped from existence. Aurore with her golden hair, sweet demeanor, and bright pink lips, I wish she was here to comfort me. Aurore was my rock.
I tightened my fists. I am ready to face what has befallen Wolf Manor. As I walked up my moonlit staircase I began to think. I am very much like the moon, alone in darkness. My love is alone in a much brighter and better world, one that basks in the sun. When I set she rises, when she sets I rise to the cold silver darkness. Each step up the staircase brought a weight to my heart. The burden of what I may see, what I may realize.
As I write this down I still wonder if I can live today, maybe life is not my path.
I gazed upon the massacre, so much blood. The whole place smelt unholy, the floor boards were slashed and splintered. The walls were stained, the rug was soaked. I sat against the only wall without blood splatters. I closed my eyes trying to forget about the blood. Attempting to focus, to remember, then I felt something. Air brushed down the back of my neck, soft with the force of a whisper. And yet I heard nothing but the rustling of the curtains as they danced solemnly in the wind. I got up and looked upon the wall. Blood was dripping in a line out of its seam. I placed both hands upon the wall. It was cold and it licked at my hands. With the force of the world I moved the wall, revealing a room I had never known to exist.
Bodies were lined against the wall, the smell of which nearly knocked me down. They were colored silver by the skylight overhead. The throats of each were torn asunder. The further I walked down the hall the more decayed the bodies became. At the very end it was only skeletons. I grew very cold. It was different this time, as if the cold was embracing me. It felt evil, as if I was being transformed. I grasped my watch and held it to my breast. It kept fire in my heart while the cold started to gnaw at my bones. I entered the next room, an archive crowded with rows of shelves stuffed with thick tomes. In the very back was a lone desk and chair. It was encased in a circle of silver light from the window above. One small book lay upon the desk. I wiped the dust from the book, a note sat upon its cover. To my son Henry Archibald Grimma. Here is what the note said.
I hope that you never have to read this my Son.
There is much to our family, our manor, our legacy that you do not know.
I wish I could have told you in person, there is so much your mother and I wanted for you.
I did not want you to follow this path, Wolf Manor is not well.
If you are here then it has started, the change has begun.
I couldn’t stop it Son, but I hope that with my knowledge you will prevail.
The pages of this book hold all that I discovered.
It contains the secrets that cost my life, but I had to know.
I had to make the questions go away.
Scratching always scratching.
So many questions.
I skipped to the last page, I could never wait to get to the end.
I don’t have much time, it is coming.
It has a place for me; I won’t resist it any longer.
I just want you to have a chance son, the chance I did not have.
My tears darken the pages as I write.
I left you my pocket watch and the manor for a reason Archibald.
The manor must be in the possession of a Grimma.
Should it pass to another family, the result would be chaos.
Keep your watch close it holds great power.
Power which I failed to discover.
So I tell you this now son. That watch is the key to everything.
The key to all the secrets of the Grimma’s, our origin, our past, and our present.
Follow the fading wind. Beware of the wolf red as blood.
My time is nigh, good luck my Son.
I sat down in the chair. Slumped in like a mindless zombie. I was in shock, I poured through the pages of my father’s book. I could not believe what I was reading, more importantly I did not know where to begin. My family’s past was disturbing to say the least. There are so many unexplainable events and tragedies, Aurore’s end being chief of all. Then my father mentioned the Wolf, now that I think about it, that Wolf was familiar to me. It was if I had seen it before, but no longer remembered when. I could not bring my eyes from the page. I had to read every last word. With each word read I become more captivated and disturbed until I finally passed out with my head on the dusty desk.
I woke up to the burning heat of the sun overhead. The wolf haunted my dreams throughout the night. I can’t let my father or family down; I am the last of the Grimma family. I must make what was wronged right. I slammed my fist into the desk, a torrent of dust shot in my face. As I entered into a fit of coughing I noticed something. There was a sword on the ground beneath the desk. Its scabbard was knocked into the corner. There was old blood on the blade. As I held the aged sword in my hand I recognized it. My father, Grandhoff Grimma, used to wear this sword with his uniform. The sword was in rough shape from the years of neglect and it had seen battle. Along the bloodied hilt it read, Vi Veri Vuniversum Vivus Vici. I said aloud, “By the power of truth I while living have conquered the universe.” I remember this from Faust, but I don’t remember this being on my father’s sword. Faust made a deal with the devil, why would my father draw a connection to Faust near his end. Father, what madness overtook you? I left the hidden room and took my father’s book and sword with me. I grabbed my journal as well so I could record on the move.
8 January, 1920. By the time I got outside I could hear the police walking down toward the Manor. It sounded like Roger Graham and Peter Dent. I could vaguely hear Dent say, “I don’t want to go back here, not after what happened at the station.”
“Just calm down, it was a freak event, nothing more; Grimma must have snuck out in the chaos.”
“You aren’t getting me Roger, it wasn’t right, what it did, that thing.”
“Enough! I do not want to hear any more about your conspiracies, keep your composure.” Roger lowered his tone to whisper. Good God man we are officers of the law, we have a reputation to uphold. If we are scared how do you think the people of this town will feel? Pull yourself together!”
“I just can’t shake it, the beast, and the cold. It was unholy, evil, it wanted us dead Roger.”
“Well it failed didn’t it. We got a couple flesh wounds nothing more.”
“How can you be so calm Roger, it is unnerving.”
“Someone has to! We can’t lose our heads at the first sign of danger.”
“Do you think Grimma killed her?”
“Undoubtedly, no living family members, not a friend in the world since the parties stopped. He’s been locked away in his manor all that time, and you saw how he acted in the interrogation room. What happened to Mrs. Grimma alone would have been enough to drive him to insanity.”
“I don’t know Roger, he doesn’t seem like he’d actually kill someone, yes he is a bit eccentric, but what rich person isn’t.”
“You can see it in his eyes Peter.”
They were getting close. I had to escape to the woods. I needed to get to the library; they had a massive archive of old mythology. It could be my only chance at discovering the secrets of this watch.
I ran through the forest like a madman. With haste in the same way a crazed ghoul in search of flesh is imagined to have. The secrets were all that mattered. My thirst for truth blocked out the incessant scratching. I had my journal and my father’s book in my coat, my pocket watch tight to my breast and the sheathed sword in my right hand. I grinned; I was beginning to look like a plucky hero straight out of a classic novel. But this was no story, no fantasy, this was real, this was my life. The swish of pen would not decide my fate. I held my life in my own hands. My actions in of themselves would choose if I am to live or die. I was beginning to understand why, in the face of defeat, warriors of distant lands would take their own life. They did not want their death to have no meaning; they wanted to die by their choice, by their hand. To have control of one’s life was to have control of its legacy. To die with honor was a choice. If I were still a man of faith I’d say my life was in the hands of fate, but alas. To be alone in the world, so young, was a fate crueler than could be written. To be truly alone was purgatory and perdition. Though I wish things were different, I wish I could plead to the heavens to smite mine foes. The sun was beginning to fade. I was near the archive now. I was a long ways from the Manor. I decided to stop by a stream and drink. I ate some food I took from the Manor’s pantry. Dried meat and rolls oh so sweet. In that moment I forgot of all my problems and fears until I sensed it or at least the hairs on my neck did. The wolf was near, the sun finally retreated. The moon was weak tonight A thick fog rolled in, I could hardly see the tip of my own nose. I kept turning around; it felt as if someone was behind me. I drew my father’s sword, “I won’t let you take me!” In my ear I heard the voice of a thousand whispers echoing, telling me, “Your father can’t save you, no one can save you, even if you still believed in God he couldn’t save you. I know your heart and your thoughts; I hold your life in my hands.” In the same instant the voices and fog vanished and the moon grew greater. I fell to my knees, wishing I had the faith to pray, or a friend to pick me up.
(The rest of Wolf Manor will be revised and posted as I complete it. Check out my new blog! http://solemnrealm.blogspot.com/)
Bright Fang approached Blood Paws still kneeling upon the earth
“Blood Paws, the Wolves found some Sythe scum with leg wounds, too slow and stupid to flee”
“Break their arms and tie them to a tree, let the wolves of the wild feast upon them”
“As you wish Alpha Blood Paws”
“We camp here tonight, have the wounded prepared for the morrow, any unable to march will be left behind; search for rations among the bodies of the Sythe”
Bright Fang bowed and walked away
They camped down the road some ways to avoid the vile stench of death and rot
No one slept well, too on edge after the ambush today
Blood Paws was stuck in a trance of sorrow the likes of which no one knew
But how could they
They call him Blood Paws because of what he did, in rage, in grief
He had just returned from a successful campaign
He had a sack of food slung over his shoulder
His battle axe in the other
He came to his house to find no one home
He found a note on his table
It said that his wife had fallen ill and was being held in the Hospital Chambers of the Gororoth
Blood Paw's heart dropped so deep that he nearly felt it touch the depths of hell
He dropped the sack of food from his hand, but his axe he held painfully tight
He ran to the Gororoth in a frenzy of grief, love, and anger
He kicked in the door of the Hospital Chamber to find his wife upon one of the many sick beds
Three healers surrounded her
Blood Paws yelled, “Whats wrong, whats wrong with my Love”
He ran to her, dropped his axe beside the bed, and held her hand in both of his
“My Love what has befallen you, look at me my Love”
She opened her eyes just barely and smiled
“My Beloved... You have returned to me, we got the report of Farrow Creek battle, they thought you amongst the dead, but I knew... No one could kill my Beloved”
Blood Paws began to weep, he kissed her forehead, it was death cold, “That’s right my Love, no power in this verse or the next can keep us apart”
“You remember that my Love, my life will depart from here, but my soul will be with you; Always with you, Always my Love…”
In that instant she was gone from this world, so fragile yet so powerful one life can be
What one can mean to another, the bond between two, can tear a hole between time and space
Blood Paws wept
Then his sorrow turned into fury, into rage
“My Love… Why didn’t you save her,” he mumbled it, barely audible
He stood up and spoke louder like a rising wave, “Why did you fail your only duty; I upheld my duty and you failed your single task”
He gripped his battle axe in both hands, “You let her die, you let her life slip through your fingers, you will feel my pain”
He swung his axe back, the 2 healers in front of him had no time to run, they were both sliced in half in one singular swing
For the third healer he pulled out his dagger, threw him against the wall and cut his chest open
He drove his hand in, and ripped out the man’s heart
“Now you know my pain, you know my hurt, my heart was hers and now it’s gone, all gone, and dead just like you”
He walked from that Hospital Chamber, his hands stained deep crimson
They held firm and did not shake, one on his axe, the other still tightly clenching the man's heart
From that day forth he was known as Blood Paws
Normally he would have been executed for this behavior, but Omega Black Tongue had felt a pain similar to his some years ago
The Wolves under command of Alpha Dark Mane arrived the following afternoon
They looked like starving dogs that had taken to gnawing at themselves
Dark Mane’s army was never known to be kempt or organized
There are many stories of their raids and pillages
Oddly enough they all have the same moral of the story; take your own life before Dark Mane’s bastards get to you
Dark Mane himself was on the tall side
As his name suggests he has thick, long, dark hair
His beard is short, scruffy, and incomplete due to extensive scars from blade wounds
Dark Mane strode into Blood Paws camp
“Alpha Blood Paws and Wolf Sergeant Bright Fang, how’s the campaign treating you; I am guessing well, you bastards already look pudgy”
The three of them had a good laugh at that
Blood Paws stood from his seat, “Well, we were fortunate the villagers kept good stores”
“Bah, I wish I could say the same, there was nothing left, the Sillar dogs let rats eat all their stores; It was one hell of an infestation”
“Don’t worry brother Alpha, we have enough food for the lot of us, we will eat like kings till we reach Sila the Emerald City”
“I see that, what are your numbers currently your ranks look thin; surely these villages didn’t give you that much trouble”
Bright Fang cut in, “The Villages no, but we got hit by a Sythe ambush, filthy dogs, we are sitting at 300 strong now give or take”
“Damn shame, no sign of the Sythe since then; I’d hate to take a Sythe raid once we besiege Sila”
“None, we killed a good number of them, near 400”
“Aye, well a good Sythe is a dead one at any rate, let’s hope they lost their stomach for it”
Bright Fang nodded, “Indeed”
“My Wolves need to eat before we march”
“Very well, Bright Fang ensure that they are all properly fed, it is a long march to Sila”
Journal of H. A. Grimma
I left Sir Rigar Finch at the library and thanked him upon my passing
He gave me another piece to the puzzle
The leather cover of this book was tattered and worn
It looked as if it had caught fire once upon a time
I returned to the woods and by luck happened upon a cave
There I sat in the darkness resting my head against the wall
With my book and watch held to my breast
I would study the book in the morning; I then fell to dreams of struggle
I woke up; the sun had not yet risen
I began to doubt my chances of survival
Judging by my past and the fact no one had yet to survive
I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched or followed
I kept seeing eyes from the cave entrance
Looking at me almost tenderly for a moment to make sure I did not sneak off
I felt trapped in a prison
A prison created by the crimson Wolf and the cold in my mind
The Wolf’s eyes kept peering at me from the corner
I do not know if it is real or if I have lost it, my mind
Either way it froze the blood in my veins
The only thing that gave me warmth was my watch
Today I’d delve into its secrets
Failure is no option; I must avenge my family and gain them passage to Heaven
Even if I do not believe in it myself, I must for their sake
I must change it, change it all
Its chaos what has happened, these wolves, this curse
It’s unholy; I keep feeling the need for a priest
And sadly wishing I was one
I’d be nice to have faith in something
To be able to wield the word of God against Evil
It would have already come in handy at any rate
Maybe it would make that crimson Wolf leave me be
I don’t know what it wants, but I know it wants something
I can see it in those cold eyes; it’s as if they whisper their desires to me
The sun finally rose, I felt instant relief
I dusted off my waist coat and ran my hands through my hair
I stared at the crimson sky
Soaking up its warmth and beauty
In that instant I was no longer a cursed Grimma
I was simply a man happy to be alive
Sadly my mind did not allow me the luxury to forget for long
I checked the earth outside the cave for wolf tracks, I found none
This did not comfort me; I needed to get back to Wolf manor
I cannot study in such conditions
I should need my study chair and a glass of scotch
Ah… I think that’d do just nicely
(Sorry it has been so long since I wrote more, do not worry I will finish this story(:
I Simply Am (A tiny story for the TheSerpentTheCharmer's illustration Herbert & Isle)
“Robot, do you think there are more like us?”
“Robot… May I ask you something?”
“Why are you always so sad?”
“Because one day you will fall from my shoulder.”
“Don’t we all die?”
“I do not.”
“Bird, I am a machine, I am not alive, I simply am.”
“Were there others before me?”
“Tell me about them.”
“There used to be a snake that would coil around my arm, a frog that would sit on my head, a rabbit that would hop by my side, a mouse that would sleep in my hand. They are all gone my dear sweet Bird, and you are the last of those living things…”
(I love this illustration, and I am glad my remix is getting so many hearts!!!)
Journal of Henry Archibald Grimma
I made my way back to Wolf Manor
I was kept company by the rhythm of snapping branches and squishy mud beneath my feet
A raven landed on a branch before me
He looked right at me, into my eyes
He crowed at me as if he did not want me here
As if I was some evil that did not belong
I know one thing, if the wildlife turns on me, I’ll know I am too far gone
I had the feeling I was being followed the past hour
This was different than the feelings I had before
I caught a glimpse in my peripherals
I threw my head to my right and I saw it
It was a wolf, not some creature of devilry
But a wolf, a real one, with thick lush brown fur
One of his eyes was slashed closed, but the other was a big beautiful yellow
Almost golden his eye was, he knew I spotted him
He did not care; he stared back at me, opened his mouth and panted at me
If I didn’t know any better, he was smiling at me
Then I heard it, hounds, the police had begun the manhunt
The wolf ran off, it was sad to see him go, it felt as if he was a friend
My walk turned into a run, I needed to get as far from those hounds as possible
I was hoping to sneak into Wolf Manor and hide in the secret room
I have lived in Wolf Manor my whole life and did not know of this room till recently
Any chance of the police finding it is slim to none
I needed peace and quiet to study this book
It’d be no simple task to discover the secrets of my watch
And establish some means to communicate with the Valkyrie
Which I realize sounds crazy as all hell, but bare with me
I hope to prove my case in this journal
I ask this of you, my unknown reader
Whatever should befall me, my family, and Wolf Manor
Do not think less of me
(I would like to take this time to give a special thanks to all my readers for the nice comments, recommends, and views. It means so much to me as a writer, even more so since I am just starting out and I am still struggling to get recognition.)
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 1:
My name is John Sire. I am a test subject for the new medical breakthrough NuroMaxx. I will be leading the human trials of NuroMaxx Mark II; I am a volunteer. They say my IQ will increase exponentially because it unlocks sections to my mind that I never even knew existed. They refer to it as a key, a key that unlocks the deepest darkest parts of your mind. I am a little hesitant; do I really want to know what I have in the deepest darkest bits of my mind? What is lurking that I wanted to forget? They say it will bring my memory to 100% and I will gain full recollection of every single second of my life. I don’t know what to think about all that, but it does not matter anyway, I need the money.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 2:
The NuroMaxx Mark II will be surgically implanted in my brain today. They are going to put me under, slice open my skull, and attach the chip. Once it’s installed, I will be put into a coma for two days while the chip “restructures” my mind.
I don’t know who exactly will end up reading this, I am sure you think I am crazy, but my back is against the wall here, I have no other options. I understand the risks of being the first human subject, but that also means better pay, and maybe my small part will help someone.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 3:
It’s been four days, just woke up from the coma, I feel normal, like nothing has changed, but also different. I am me, this is my mind, but I know answers to questions I never dreamed of answering. Beyond that I am thinking of questions I never dreamed of asking, and what is even more astounding, I feel as if the questions and answers don’t stop. I just keep answering them, and then asking more, and then answering, I am like a machine; my mind doesn’t trip over itself anymore. It simply does.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 4:
Day 5 since I woke up from the coma, I didn’t make any entries because I was too consumed. Too consumed with all the questions that needed answering, but that’s the thing with answers, they always lead to more questions. In my supreme knowledge I have realized that the questions will never stop. I am losing it, I am starting to see my thoughts, actually see them. I talked to the doctors, they say it’s due to my sleep deprivation, but I know what is happening. These words in my head, I can’t stop them, all this shit circling my head.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 5:
Day 6, the words are still everywhere, but it is worse. Everything is coated with words, almost like words are the foundation for life. I regret so much, I am still asking questions and answering them a moment later, so many questions prompting so many answers.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 6:
Day 7, they won’t let me leave the test facility; they say I am unstable, and prone to bouts of rage. I don’t believe them, I am level headed and thinking clearer than I ever have in my whole life. The Memory improvements kicked in today, I was knocked cold for a few hours while my mind replayed my whole life thus far. I feel traumatized, I was basically forced to relive every regrettable moment I have ever had. Now that I look back, most moments were regrettable, but that makes me determined. Even though I regret this chip, I am going to use this new found enlightenment and efficiency to my own good and the good of others.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 7:
Day 8, they gave me a chalk board today. I still had questions, I still had answers, and I still saw words everywhere, but now I felt compelled to solve all of this once and for all. I would use numbers and equations to answer one last question, the question to it all, the question that will have the answer for everything. Only then may I find peace and put my brain to productive use. Right now I am working at 100% efficiency, but the questions I am answering with 100% accuracy are random and unimportant. Intelligent it may be, but groundbreaking, no.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 8:
Day 11, I tried, couldn’t answer it, there is no answer, I can’t answer the question.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 9:
Day 13, words and numbers, all I see are words and numbers, life as we know it is words and numbers. They won’t let me leave; I am stuck here within this room.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 10:
Day 14, I smashed the chalk board. I had run out of chalk and I had begun using my nails to scratch in equations. I got control of myself temporarily, mental control, where I could make a decision that wasn’t based upon questions or answers. Those infernal numbers disappeared the moment the chalkboard was splinters, but the words remain, it would appear I can ignore numbers, but not words, why words?
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 11:
Day 15, doctors talked to me today, this is the first time in days, but I know they have been watching me since I was chipped. They gave me their apologies; the chip they put in my brain malfunctioned because a rival company implanted it with a virus. Again, they expressed their deepest apologies; I asked if it could be removed, a question with an answer I hoped would be good. The answer was not good; to remove it would mean certain death.
NuroMaxx Medical Journal Entry 12:
Day 16, this will be my last entry. They offered to remove the chip and put me out of my “misery;” They agreed to richly supporting my dependents for life, I signed the contract today. I don’t regret the chip, its more money than I could have ever given them. It does not matter to you who they are, what matters is that they are finally cared for…
(Big thanks to Metaphorest, her NuroMaxx (What if?) inspired me greatly. I wrote all of this last night, anyway, I hope everyone enjoys it.)
Tau Ceti - Europa Colony 2247
Date, October 3, 2900
Location: Cetus Star System
“It’s dark in here, night vision on. Peter and the rest of you scientists stay right behind me.”
I believe that is the first time he got my name right.
We passed the bloodied body of Pawn, I could hardly see him in the darkness, but I knew he was there, I could feel the dread. It was as if even in death Pawn was still there, warning us it was not safe. Pleading at us to turn back. Turn back we did not; we entered the black gates of Hell and then walked further.
Walking forward felt uneasy as if my soul was trying to drag me away from this place. Why? Why did this tunnel feel so God forsaken?
Rook raised his hand up, “Hold.”
Sergeant Isaac walked up to him, “What is it?”
I could hear a strange sound going off, with each passing second its pace quickened.
“Gamma radiation sir, high content, we need to get moving.” He moved his Geiger Counter over the group to pinpoint the location, “Behind us sir.”
Knight was at the rear, he raised his rifle the Balthazar Mark II, 35 pounds of automatic fire breathing hell. It is standard issue to the Templars who tend to favor pyro based weaponry.
We all saw something stir in the shadows, then we heard it. A sound which will forever haunt my dreams.
Knight was grabbed by the neck and lifted in the air; we heard a sickening shing sound and Knight fell limp to the floor. His head toppled down to the ground.
The dank dark tunnel lit up like a firestorm and all I could hear was gunfire.
I could see Knight’s body as the flames danced from the gun barrels of my company. Blood dripped down his chest piece, his neck was sliced clean as if it had been hit by a guillotine. The monster, this otherworldly being was long gone, but they kept firing in grief and rage.
(I am looking for an illustrator if anyone would like to draw scenes or characters in this story.)
Journal of H. A. Grimma
For some time I sat at my desk
I felt glued to the seat as I pondered the riddle
I did not want to rush my mind into solving it
I must have the correct answer
I must be sure
My father always told me, regarding riddles
You must let the answer reveal itself to you
Do not poke or prod, just open your eyes
The answer always lies within the eyes
But whose eyes
There is something I am not seeing, I can feel it
It’s right in front of me and yet I feel as if a shroud is snuffing me
Blinding me from the truth
I decided to dive back into my father’s journal
I will find my answers there; I know my father will guide me
Grimma these entries are from many years ago, read them carefully
You are destined to redeem our family
My father died, he left me his sword
I feel lost in this world
I saw them, my family isn’t crazy, the Worr exist
I nearly had my throat ripped out today
This war stretching back generations is nothing to be taken lightly
It’s voracious, it’s real
I found a note in my father’s sword addressed to me
It contained a riddle
“What lurks in the dark and loves the light”
“What seeks out blood and cries in delight”
“What will hunt you in the night”
“Draw your sword mirror bright”
The answer to me is obvious
It’s a description of the Worr, their behavior, and our interactions with them
It does not comfort me though, the Worr are unholy
I would have preferred something else
I was stunned, we captured it, one of them, a Worr
I was starting to think they could vanish in thin air
I know now they are not creatures made of shadow and mist
We couldn’t stop it, the cold
Even caged up it was gnawing at our minds
We had to kill it, had to stop the cold
We studied it as best we could, we discovered vulnerabilities
But, we did not want to risk madness for the sake of discovery
The beast’s mind was stronger than ours no doubt
He sought to bend us to his will
We have seen those of less constitution corrupted by such tricks
Influence on a weak mind is a powerful tool and it would appear these beasts have many thralls
We are losing this war, I have no doubt I will die by the hand of the enemy
This war, this blood feud, will be the death of our family
A grand old legacy that only a few will know
I am starting to wonder if we have been forsaken
It has only been months, but the war is getting to me
The cold has hallowed my bones
The constant gnawing, I feel brittle
My son Henry is a fighter I can tell
I expect the war will consume me, but I have faith my Son will save us
(A quick note, I am going to put aside my other projects and focus on Wolf Manor until it is finished.)
(If you are looking for the earlier portions of Wolf Manor, they can be found here Wolf Manor(ALBUM)
Journal of Henry Archibald Grimma
One word kept circling my mind
It weighed heavy on my heart
It was my problem, my enemy
The Worr are the reason my family is cursed
They are the cause of my forefather’s purgatory
I have heard the word before; my father mentioned them a few times
I wish I had paid better attention, I know he must have written books on them
I looked behind at the mound of broken shelves and book rubble
Somewhere within that heap were my answers
Once I understand the Worr, I should be able to understand the Valkyrie
These are the pieces to the puzzle I need
I can feel it; salvation for my family is within my grasp
I will not falter; I must not, for their sake
I began the slow process of stacking and looking at each book in the pile
Coughing all the while, considering the amount of dust and paper particulate floating about
I came upon a black book bound by ivory, no title
It smelled of scotch, definitely written by my father
I began to read it,
Within these pages is all you need to know about the Worr and more than you’d want to know
I am still haunted by what I have learned and what I had to do to learn it
I believe the Worr to be inherently evil
They exist to bring treachery and punishment
Why they plague our family I am not exactly sure
I stopped reading; I heard a crash, sounded like a stampede was charging through Wolf Manor
I take it the investigators have a hunch and have turned to searching every nook and cranny
They are persistent, I am sure they will discover this passage; I must find a new safe haven
I ate some stale bread and proceeded to running my hands along the walls
Knowing my father and my family, there would have been a secret exit to this library
With each passing moment I felt closer to being discovered and the police sounded closer to this chamber
But it would appear I am not entirely unlucky, I found the exit in due time
There was a chip in one of the stones and all I had to do was place my thumb in it
The chip pushed in and a door opened slightly
I pried the thick stone door the rest of the way
It was a small opening with only a descending ladder
Judging by the size of this opening
I’d say it runs down next to the chimney, it was the only way to hide such a thing
Into the black I descended
Into the black I was accepted
Into the black I found my new home
(As most of you know, I have been looking for someone to illustrate Wolf Manor. I have had several that wanted to do it, but they all ended up dropping the project for some reason. Anyway, I have found another illustrator and hopefully I'll be able to present the last few portions of Wolf Manor with illustrations[=
(Photo was taken in Georgetown then edited on picmonkey)
For those of you just joining, here is the album where the rest of the story resides, Wolf Manor(ALBUM)