I was more than happy… I enjoyed my reunion with Chucaro immensely as I honestly didn’t expect to return alive… she had saved my life. For that alone, I will be forever in her debt. As much as I wanted nothing more than to enjoy Chucaro’s company, the thought of Wargie popped into my head. I went from a happy mood to a serious mood.
“What’s wrong?” Chucaro asked, after seeing my expression.
“Wargie will be awake now that the collar is off and the spell is broken.”
“Yes, and Wargie is a full-grown warg… she knows how to handle herself very well.”
“To be honest, it’s not Wargie I’m worried about… it’s the group with her… Winterwulf, Sophwen, Tregoan and the rest. Wargie won’t have any memory of the ordeal she went through and she can turn on them in a heartbeat.”
Chucaro’s mood changed after that, as well. “You’re right, but I think you are under-estimating the group… they won’t go down without a fight.”
“That’s what I’m worried about… I know they will try to do things without hurting her, but when it boils down to survival, they aren’t going to simply give up their lives,” I said, “We’ve come too far to have it end this way.”
Chucaro looked at me and nodded. “Are you ok to travel with the ordeal that you’ve been through?”
I nodded. “I’ve been through worse.” I lied. I hadn’t fully regained my strength, but we had to make sure Wargie was going to survive this.
Chucaro had her doubts as she eyed me over. “Ok,” she said, “we’ll take the trip there, but if there is any action to be involved, I will do it, understand?”
It was all I could do to keep from grinning as she knew me better than I knew myself at times. I quickly thought back to what we had gone through since Wargie was taken. There’s no other warg I’d rather have by my side.
“Let’s hurry back near the entrance.”
Winterwulf’s arm was slowly getting forced towards him by Wargie. Her teeth snapped close to his face. As he kept her at bay with his arm, he saw the warg getting ready to swipe at him. Wargie knew it was a calculated gamble, but it was one she was willing to take… she had the hunter pinned and one swipe with her paw would all but end it. As she went to swipe, he used her momentum and forced her to the side with his other arm as it was freed when Wargie attempted the swipe. Winterwulf rolled over to the other side and got into a crouch ready to defend against her next attack.
She grinned as she slowly got to her feet, watching the hunter. “This is going to be fun.” She said as she prepared for her next attack. She slowly moved to the side, calculating the best way to attack the hunter. As Winterwulf carefully watched her, his hand went to his boot and he had his knife in his hand. That brief moment of reaching into his boot was all she needed. She quickly went stealth and attacked.
The hunter tried to defend himself the best he could, not knowing when or how she was going to attack… he didn’t like being in the cramped quarters he was in. A paw slammed down as his knife hand as she materialized into view. He was able to get his arm in the way of her jaws again, but this time her teeth found the weak spot between pieces of his arm guard. Teeth punctured skin and the hunter heard bones snap.
Winterwulf cried out in pain as the warg sensed her prey was now at a severe disadvantage… she moved in for the kill.
“I see Deathwulf and Chucaro taught you very well.” Winterwulf said through gritted teeth.
Upon hearing those names, Wargie stopped. She released the hunter’s arm and went back into stealth. When she materialized, she was in the far corner… in a defensive crouch, but she was not attacking.
The hunter quickly grabbed his wounded arm and tried to stop the bleeding.
“How do you know those two names?” asked Wargie, as confusion began to enter her mind.
Not taking his eyes off her while still tending to his wounded arm, he started on the story of what had happened to the warg.
Silentknife had enough. He approached Elrond to ask what could be done.
“I’m afraid all we can do is wait. Winterwulf’s explicit instructions to Ellenroh were to erect a barrier where nothing could get in or out. The was all he said, so we have to wait til one, or both, come out so we know what to deal with.” Silentknife was about to blurt out a response, but Elrond held out a hand to cut him off. “I know you feel helpless and want to do something… we all do. But the best thing to do is what Winterwulf asked. I know this is testing your patience, but there isn’t anything else we can do.”
Silentknife sighed and walked away from the elf. He took out his daggers and twirled them without thought. They danced in his hands as if they were simply extensions… no thought was given to them as they cut through the air in an intricate dance of death. The burglar knew he wasn’t going to use them, but he wanted to stay sharp and precise if there became a need. He felt helpless that he couldn’t do anything, so he thought while he practiced.
After a while he turned towards the wagon. Movement from the back made his stop his practice and he returned his daggers to their sheathes… ready to use at a moment’s notice. He stood on guard as he watched.
There was a rustling of the back flap and then Wargie emerged. The burglar looked surprised and his hands dropped to the hilts of his daggers when Winterwulf appeared behind the warg, clutching a bloody arm. Winterwulf nodded at Ellenroh, who promptly dropped the barrier and Sophwen rushed to the hunter’s aid. Wargie stopped to the side and sat on her back haunches, watching the group as they gathered around the hunter. Silentknife watched the warg wearily, but there was no threat posed by her that he could sense.
As Sophwen was tending Winterwulf’s wound, Silentknife spoke, “What happened in there?” he asked.
“Well, I briefly recounted what happened the whole time we have been together. It was actually a nice chat.”
Silentknife looked at the hunter’s wound. “I can see that.” he smirked.
“The talk was after the fact. She actually nearly killed me.” Winterwulf replied, casually.
“What?!?! She nearly killed you and you both walk out nonchalantly like nothing even happened? the burglar asked… his face confused as ever.
Winterwulf glanced at the burglar and simply laughed. “Put yourself in the warg’s ‘shoes’, per sei… what else was she to do? What would you do if you woke up in a strange place with no memory and looking eye to eye at your enemy? Granted, it was a fight I’d not like to go through in my lifetime again, but she now has an understanding of what went on.”
For once, Silentknife was speechless. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. He turned from Winterwulf to think out what he said when his eyes met Wargie’s. She tilted her head and her eyes asked him ‘what?’.
His thoughts were broken as Winterwulf cleared his throat to get the group’s attention. “We need to move out soon, and quickly. The sooner we get Wargie to the ‘Moors, the better things will be.” The others all nodded and went off, quietly conversing with each other. Winterwulf climbed down off the wagon and went to where Wargie sat.
The hunter got down on one knee to talk to the warg. “I know we are very close, but I have to ask you to trust in me one last time. The easiest way for us to get you there is in the wagon.”
“Why can I just go stealth and get to the ‘Moors myself? Most humans I have no problems getting around, and as long as I don’t get near any like you, which would be a nice battle, by the way, I would be fine.”
Winterwulf smiled, in spite of himself. “I made a promise to Chucaro and Deathwulf that I would get you to the ‘Moors safely… I intend to keep that promise. And yes, getting past most of the free peoples will be easy for you, but you have to get past the rangers to get into or out of the ‘Moors, and that will most assuredly get you killed.”
Wargie thought on what the hunter said and got up. “I’ll ride in the wagon then… as long as you will be back there. I don’t know the others enough to trust them yet.”
Winterwulf agreed. “I’ll ride with you until I need to signal the rangers. It won’t be long from that point til you are reunited with your mom and Deathwulf.”
Wargie smiled and hopped into the wagon. Winterwulf looked around the side to give Tracer the signal to move out towards the ‘Moors.
They entered Glân Vraig without a problem. Seeing Elrond sitting next to Tracer was not a bad thing, either. As they traveled the guarded path, Winterwulf could feel the wagon stop. Tracer opened the front flap and said, “This is as close as we can get.”
Winterwulf looked at Wargie and nodded. They jumped out the back and the warg went stealth near the hunter. After they walked a while and got closer to Ost Ringdyr, Winterwulf stopped and whistled a code. The whistle could be heard as it went further down the line. When Winterwulf heard the last whistle, he turned to Wargie. “I’ve bought you a few minutes where they won’t shoot. I wish you the best and am grateful that things worked out the way they did.”
“I’m sorry to say I don’t remember anything, but I still won’t forget the help you and your group gave me, even if I nearly killed you. Thank you.” And with that, she was gone. Winterwulf stood looking out over the hills and valleys, watching the sun beginning to set. He saw Wargie materialize and then saw Chucaro and Deathwulf. They all looked at him and bowed their heads in thanks. The hunter smiled and gave them a small wave, then they disappeared and were gone.
It was a slow walk back to the wagon. “Let’s go back to Rivendell and take Elrond home. Tomorrow morning, we can be on our way,” said the hunter.