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The Direwolves' Secret (Silva Forest)

Legends of the creatures
By: SLIS (2009 Legend Contest Winner)

All magi know that Remy's Inn was the only place Direwolf eggs could be found, for no egg has ever touched the Stream. All magi have seen glimpses of the wild direwolves when they travel in the thick forests, going about their business. Few have noticed that only Remy seems to know where to get their eggs. Fewer still realize that no one but Remy have ever found the egg of a Direwolf in the wild. The few who realize and ask the innkeeper only get a mysterious, sad smile and the cryptic comment 'Maybe you're looking in the wrong place'.
      Every time Remy is asked about the mystery of Direwolf eggs he feels the phantom pain of jaws clenching around his leg. He remembers the darkness, pierced by mournful howls of sorrow. Most of all, he remembers one of his oldest and dearest friends, and the promise he made her.
      It was in the thickest forest of the world, that he found them. A forest so thick, no winged creature could penetrate, and light was quickly swallowed up by the shadows. It was the perfect place for the Direwolves to go about their secret lives. What the magi didn't know, was that the forest was alive. It had breathe, and thoughts, and, most of all, a heart.
      Remy hadn't known all this when he came across her. She was a young Direwolf then, caught and injured by a Gryphon on the edges of the forest and utterly mistrustful and vicious. Barely an adult, she had the recklessness of youth and paid for it in blood, or she would have, had Remy not nurtured her back to health.
      It had been a trying time, she had sniped and snarled and bitten him whenever possible, making it almost impossible to treat her unless she had faded into unconsciousness from pain and exhaustion but he persisted. His leg ached from her bites. Had the magi who visited the inn known about the story, they would have asked if it had been pity that had led him to care for her, but that was because Remy would never have told them, never betrayed her secret. It had been curiosity that had spurred his actions for the young female had fur as silver as the moon and stars against the night sky.
      Months passed, she grew stronger, more trusting, and that was when he found out of the now legendary loyalty of Direwolves. When she was well enough, he ventured into the forest, with her as a guide and it soon became clear that the forest was her home, for she navigated its twist and turns with the ease of one who had walked them her whole life, her silver fur a glinting beacon for him to follow. At times he would catch glimpses of other Direwolves, some a lighter brown than normal, some with silver streaks, but none with her unique coloring.
      With her aide, he explored the forest, staying close to the outer areas for fear of what lay within, until one day, she disappeared. He searched for her, calling desperately for his now dear friend, but she never appeared, until one month later, heavily injured.
      It had been a shock to him, for her new injuries had opened up old scars, scars that once almost taken her life and now surely will, for she was now beyond help. He had approached her, but before he could touch, she had backed away, still looking at him, still asking a question tho he knew not what it was. All he could do was follow as she kept waiting and then backing away, leading him further and further into the forest, until he reached what he now knew was it's heart.
      It had looked like a mixture of a rock and tree, covered with vines, with a flat head that would have cast a shadow on the narrower body, save for the gentle light it gave out. Surrounding it had been a Direwolf pack unlike any he had ever seen, for the entire pack was the same silver as his friend.
      Stumbling, his friend had made her way to the only part of the structure cast in shadow, where no light glowed, and that was when he noticed the eggs. Before that day, no magi had ever laid eyes on a Direwolf egg, the heavy brown eggs the same color as the normal Direwolves, but he knew what it was that lay under the structure. Direwolf eggs. The pack growled as he made his way to his friend, the female touching an egg that was not quite under the shadowy area with her nose. At this point, she was so weak she was laying on the ground, her legs no longer able to support her. Kneeling by her side, her stroke her as her pack watched with wary eyes - so like hers when they first met - and growled if he got too near the eggs. He knew they were only tolerating him for her sake. Sighing, his friend looked at him as she took her last breath and left this world.
      Remy fought back tears as the pack howled their sorrow, the forest carrying the answering cries of the other packs. The egg she had been touching was lifted by one of the silver Direwolf's, shifting it into the shadowed area. That was when he noticed that the structure was giving off a strong magical presence he had missed, concerned as he was for his friend. The magic was absorbed by the eggs, but there were too many for them to belong to this one pack, in fact, there were enough eggs here to belong to all the Direwolves in the world. Which, he realized, was quite probable. This pack must have had their fur bleached due to constant exposure to the structure, the other Direwolves he saw were here to hatch their eggs or to pick up their young. This was why none had ever seen a direwolf egg, because they were born and hatched here!, guarded by the silver pack.
      Closing the eyes of his dear friend, he began to stand, not wanting to intrude any longer on this precious place, when one of the vines grabbed him! Another vine lifted the egg that had just been shifted to the shadow and placed it in his hands, and again, he felt like a question was asked. That was when he realized, "All these eggs... are orphans."
      The whole forest seemed to lean in, confirming his statement, and yet the question remained, poised in the air.
      "Do you want me to find them a home?" Joy. Trust. Warmth. Care.
      The emotions of the forest reached him and he realized it had been watching. Watching as one of its guardians left her duty for him. The days he explored the forest, the forest had been learning about him, watching his interaction and growing bond with his friend. Now, thanks to her, it was revealing a secret that had been kept hidden since the Direwolf race was born, because she trusted him.
      "I'll find them a home then, I promise I will. I promise her I will." Remy still keeps his promise to this day. Selling his eggs and keeping the secret of the Direwolves close to heart, in her honor.
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