This story about our history has been handed down since the founding of the modern Black Wolves almost three decades ago.
Jalek waited in ambush off the side of the road. Scouts had reported an elven caravan headed towards the settlement, on the Darkstone Bay coastline. Founded by humans, and now claimed by Elves as their own, the settlement was little more than a couple of tents, no main structures. Jalek hated Elves his whole life. He and his group had been hitting Elven caravans just to get provisions they needed.
This caravan that was coming seemed to carry something of importance for it had four guards, rather than the usual two. There were two covered wagons and two guards up front and two in the rear. Jalek was to put an arrow in the front right one.
His friend from childhood, Bram, was across the way set to take out the front left guard. He didn’t know who was set for the rear guards. The people in the wagons never put up much of a fight. Most of the time, there was never a need to even kill them, beside the fact that most of the time they were Elves.
Jalek’s keen hearing picked up the sound of travelers on the path coming up the way. He waited about a minute before the caravan came into view. It was just as the scout had stated, there were the four guards. The drivers were human slaves, who seemed to have one foot in the grave. They wouldn‘t put up a fight, in fact they would be happy to be freed. The two wagons were not as desscribed by the scout. One was a covered wagon. The other however was a carriage, which had very elaborate carvings. Someone of some importance must be inside.
The front guard approached the small acantha plant that Jalek used as his marker to fire his arrow. With stealth and grace he raised his bow up and prepared to fire. Five more feet…..three more…..one. With a sharp twang, the arrow was released and found its mark in the guard’s throat. Bram had taken out his guard as well, the back guards fell from their horses and Jalek could only assume that they were dead as well. All four men rose from their positions.
What happened next none of them could have foreseen. A human wizard and an elven cleric stepped out from the wagon. All instinctively nocked another arrow but it was too late for them. Jalek did manage to let one arrow fly, however it slammed into some kind of wall and fell to the ground. The cleric had been chanting upon stepping out, and after Jalek’s arrow was released the four ambushers were frozen in place. They were aware of what was happening but their limbs failed to respond.
The wizard and cleric approached Jalek, being the closest to them. The cleric motioned and Jalek was free from the spell. The wizard said "I am Aramur Forean. Who might you be, and why have you attacked us?"
"My name is Jalek and I am a member of a local group here, we are an organization trying to free the humans from the bonds of elven slavery. We're trying to give back to the humans some piece of land to call their own. We attack to collect goods, money and wares, and also to drive the elves away."
"Nonsense! Elves are kind and caring of the human race. I myself was raised in Ta’Illistim in an elven house. The elves have showed me a great deal and even trained me in the ways of magic. Save your lies for Lorminstra and see if they can weasel your soul into her gates." Aramur was a bright shade of red from the anger invoked by the young man's words.
"I speak only the truth. If you do not believe me, come and I will take you to our refuge where I can show you some of the hardships we have had to endure under the hands of elves. You can also meet the leader of our group."
At this time the elven cleric traveling with Aramur leaned forward and whispered something to him. Aramur seemed to be contemplating what was being told to him with a serious look upon his face. The elf finished speaking to him and moved a few steps to the left. Aramur took a minute before speaking, most likely weighing the pros and cons of what the elf had to say. Aramur looked up at Jalek with his blue eyes "I will go with you to your group's homestead."
The elf’s arms shot into the air "Aramur, the things he is going to show you or tell you are most likely false! Besides as I said it’s a trap!"
"I can handle myself, you know that" he retorted.
"Teacher will not be pleased. I will give you three days travel time and one day of talking. If you are not back in four days I will find you.." With that the elf proceeded back to the caravan.
Aramur and Jalek made their way towards the tent outpost. From there they could skirt the outside of the makeshift town then cross the bridge spanning the river and head up the bank leading to the base for the group. Upon reaching the town they headed southeast still covered by trees.
They crossed the makeshift rope bridge and climbed the bank leading to a road which had mine cart tracks. Following Jalek they came to an apparent dead end. Jalek pointed at the ledge far above. Aramur just blinked at the great distance "How are we going to get up there?"
Jalek began climbing a high pine tree. Aramur followed and found the climb rather easy with many thick branches and lots of places for footing. In no time at all they reached the top of the tree and gracefully hopped onto the ledge. Jalek proceeded east till they came to a cave. Outside the cave two men were stationed as guards. Jalek went over to them and had some quiet words. Then he turned and motioned for Aramur to follow him in. They went through the tunnels to the first four-way, and made a right and then proceeded down some steps which led to a gate. This had more guards at it, not many people were passing and all were men.
Upon entering the gate they proceeded to the back of the cavern to a desk with a man behind it. The man was tall, and if Aramur didn’t know giantkin did not exist in this area, he would say the man was a short giantman. He even had the build of one, very large arms and a huge two handed sword to match his arms strapped to his back. Jalek stepped forward and said to the man "Fenog, this is Aramur. He was in a carriage in the caravan we were to capture.’
"Good, a prisoner. We can always use them." Fenog stated smugly.
Aramur turned red at this. "I am no one’s prisoner! If anything, I should take you as mine for all the crimes you have committed against elven caravans in this area. I was on a simple retreat when my party was attacked!"
"We commit no crime! Criminals have no rights and since the elves are nothing but criminals. I consider myself their warden. It is my duty to enact some kind of justice for the human race. You're a traitor to your people!" Fenog fired back.
"Why am I a traitor? I know working hard to make a living is the right way and you simply steal what the workers have worked so hard for!" rebutted Aramur.
"They work hard making sure the human men work hard for them. Even the human women work hard in elven kitchens and are expected to perform in bedrooms! Like my sister who now is with elven child!" retorted Fenog.
Aramur was taken aback by this last comment. Most of his life he had known nothing but elven rule and how the elves did things. But perhaps he had been deceived, for his studies took up a great portion of time. He hated being wrong, however he was going to have to look into this man’s allegations of rape and slavery. It was only reasonable to look into all the possibilities.
"Do you have any proof of this?" Aramur did not want to look helplessly lost.
"Take some time with Jalek and he will show you all the problems in this region alone." Fenog stated calmly.
Aramur of course accepted the offer and after three days of exploring and staking out the elven outpost, Aramur came to the conclusion that the elves, at least in this region, were treating these humans very unfairly. One incident occurred on the last day he spent with Jalek, which made him come to that conclusion.
While walking they came upon two Vaalorian guards beating an older human man of about sixty years of age. They were shouting in elven which Aramur understood, being raised in the Elven Empire.
The guards were telling the old man in elven that this is what trespassers get and that next time he’ll obey the laws of the liege lord. Jalek turned to Aramur "See, look how they beat us. Most he probably did was try to steal bread for his poor stomach. They are mad, I tell you!"
Aramur motioned for Jalek to lead on. As they were leaving the scene, Aramur halted Jalek. He turned to the man, who was near the point of death by this time. He knew the man had surely done something wrong, however he couldn’t let this scene continue.
"Wait here." Aramur instructed Jalek as he proceeded to step into the open.
The two elves stopped beating the old man when they saw Aramur approach them wearing an elven made robe. The robe was definitely of Ta’Illistim design the colors noted it as such, plus the peacock on the breast was a clear giveaway. Why was a human wearing it was their question?
The older of the two elves asked Aramur in elven "Who are you and where did you steal that robe? Actually it doesn’t matter, you‘ll meet the same fate all the thieving human scum get."
With that both elves drew their blades. Aramur quickly uttered some quick words calling upon the elements. He quickly pointed at the elves and both fell fast asleep.
Aramur and Jalek helped the old man back to the cave that they called a base. "So Aramur what have you come to see?" asked Fenog.
"I have come to see what you mean. I will be staying to help you in your struggles. I can be of some assistance if I may. I know something about warfare, and my magic can help as well. I learned a great many things from the elven scholars of Lumnis." Aramur turned to meet Fenog’s stare to see what it held.
"I would be happy to have someone of your skills among us." was all Fenog responded.
"I just have one thing to do before I stay. I take my leave for one night.."
Aramur proceeded to gather some provisions and headed to where he knew his childhood friend would be waiting. His friend still looked the same as when they first met, even though he had gone from a hundred and sixty to a hundred and eighty nine since Aramur had known him.
"What do you mean you are staying? Do you know what teacher is going to say when he finds out? You know once I leave that’s going to be it between us, you will be considered an outcast. You can never come back to Ta’Illistim.." his friends gaze avoided his.
"I understand, farewell my friend." Aramur turned his back and walked away.
To shorten the story I have shortened the time period greatly. This period may be addressed in the future.
Over the next year and a half Aramur and Fenog had become good friends. What Fenog lacked in brains he made up for with the heart of a lion. He knew he needed Aramur, because he needed someone to be a true leader. He didn’t posses the flair for it, however, he was a good warrior and knew the direction he wished to take.
Aramur showed them new tactics on posting guards; there was now one at the top of the tree with bow and arrow if someone needed to be stopped before climbing it. They delved deeper into the mountain as well. Setting up a school, infirmary and even a nursery. Fenog’s nephew was the first of the babies to be in the nursery.
They found a natural well and built a man made one around it to draw up the water. There was even enough room for Aramur and Fenog to both get their own rooms. Aramur constructed a hidden room on top of his, a workshop for his studies.
The group was growing rapidly. Fenog referred to it as a pack all the time and Aramur came up with the name for the pack, the "Black Wolves". The name stuck, and soon the elves even began to know of the name. They stayed low for a little while, giving time for Aramur to enchant some of the swords and armor they had.
Then after completing this work on the armor and weapons, there was a large gathering of the pack in which Aramur and Fenog announced an attack that was planned to drive the elves back across the Dragonspire Mountains, back to the Elven Empire.
The attack was somewhat of a success most of the elves in the region were driven away, not all however. Some managed to stay in small pockets. Being better woodsmen then the humans they stayed well hidden and even had bird calls to signal each other. Aramur know it was impossible to drive them all, but the main town of tents was in ruins, at least for now.
Fenog had of course saved the heads of his victims for drying out and mummifying, a tradition he had started with his nephew’s fathers head.
After this final attack that drove away the Vaalor elves, the predominate force that had been in the region, there arrived a message from the Elven Empire for Aramur. The scout, a boy of no more than sixteen years of age, had gotten it from an elf who said to bring it to Aramur Forean. Aramur thanked the boy and took the message to his study.
There Aramur examined the message. It was sealed with his friends wax seal that of a dove in cupped hands with an acantha leaf in its mouth. Aramur broke the seal and opened and began to read.
Congratulations on your latest victory. I have had the opportunity to move up my service in the ranks of our teacher. Through this opportunity I give you one bit of secret information. There will be a shipment of an amount of silvers,the likes of which you have never seen passing through your region of the world. The silver is going to a race unknown to Elanthia, they are being paid to eliminate you from the picture. If you can capture this silver it would mean preservation for you and failure for the elves. It will be guarded by a troop of Vaalorian elves; I think you can manage that.
I grant you this advice for my own purpose. I want to see the Patriarch fail on this venture. I may explain in the future.
Your former friend,
With this Aramur went to Fenog. "Yes I believe your friend is right; with this payoff we will be able to have most of the local officials in our pocket. With these funds we will be able to build a fort outside and breathe the fresh air again versus the stagnant air of these caves. What part of the road to hit them is the question?" with this said Fenog rubbed his chin thinking.
Aramur glanced over at him "We should hit them at the elven village, the one not too far south of the glacier. They will be at their lowest guard there. They will not expect us to go out and meet them. We will have surprise on our side and should have them outnumbered as well."
Fenog smiled "A great plan, we will hit them in the village. I will gather everyone from the heads of each group. Do you have a map of that region from your studies?"
Aramur simply raised his head up and down once, and then proceeded to his chambers to gather his Atlas of maps.
They assembled in the Council Chamber of the den where they went over positioning and strategy. A retreat plan if at all needed. As well as how to carry the weight of the silver back to the "Wolves Den" as they now called their homestead.
In two days time they left to meet the small troop of Vaalor elves in the small elven village which had been there for some time now. As they approached the village they fanned out and formed ranks. They were four deep at any point and were seven hundred strong.
There were four quick blasts of the horn to signal the attack. The back row launched a hail of arrows towards the Elves as the first two lines broke for the village. Before the front two lines even reached their destination the archers released another volley of arrows.
Some of the people in front carried torches, being it was night. The elves were able to see them but they needed a way to see the elves. The second row carried lances and awl pikes to reach over the first row in the attack.
The elves were quick to organize and formed up ranks. However the village was small and lightly populated. They managed to form ranks two deep at some points. The front row was ready with short swords and shields. While the back rows had bows and were pretty accurate shots in the dark with their night vision. Aramur wanted to do something to protect his men.
Only one spell came to mind. He couldn't light the village on fire as that would give a distant warning to the troop of soldiers coming from Ta’Vaalor. He began to invoke his elemental magic. After no more than a second Aramur unleashed a cone of lightning behind the Elven defenders which decimated their back lines. After three of Aramur's casts the elves, not being real warriors, started to break ranks. They did have a small death toll under their belt. About twenty-five Black Wolf members had fallen to arrows. Aramur ordered the fallen be carted back to the den with three men he had assigned for this task after the first attack.
"See if the empaths can do anything for them" Aramur directed, "if not have the clerics try and retrieve their souls or send them to Lorminstra." Then Aramur made the sign of the gate over the fallen and sent them on their way.
"Aramur, the elves are fleeing. Should we hunt them down and silence them?" Jalek asked, being one of the major group leaders and also one of the youngest.
"No Jalek, mercy is not a lost gesture. They are fleeing in the wrong direction to meet up with the Vaalorian troop that is coming. I'd rather we prepare for what lies ahead of us. This next battle coming is going to be taxing. My magic will not save as many lives as it did just now. Plus their magic is going to be just as good as mine if not better."
About an hour had passed when Aramur received word that the Vaalorian escort was coming. People began to take places. There were ten to fifteen members in each building. There were also, about fifty members just sitting around fires with cloaks pulled low to hide their faces. The rest of the Black Wolves were positioned to the east and west of the village with about a hundred Wolves on the south side ready to charge them head on. The only option for them to retreat would be the way they came, and there was a plan for that as well. A contingent of about a hundred troops that were on the right flank would swing behind the elves and contain them. They were ordered to not worry so much about the elves, but rather the carts that carried the silver.
The front of the column of troops entered town with no weapons drawn, for there was no hint of trouble. Then when about sixty elves had entered and started towards a group of cloaked clan members it began. From a tree on the right side, Bram marked the lead man by him raising his hand in greeting. Then he placed an arrow through the Elf's hand. Before the elves realized what was happening, the cloaks were dropped, a horn was blown, and the other members ran out from the buildings. The cloaked members had awl pikes and stabbed the horses, throwing their riders to the ground. A volley of arrows flew from all three directions at the main body of elves cutting a handful down. That was the signal for the charge. As they did not want to cut down their own members, only a select few archers would keep their bows, everyone else switched to swords.
Next an Elven cleric of Kai cast a fire spirit to shine some light upon the situation. What Aramur saw troubled him. There had to be about a thousand elves still standing on their feet. Aramur began casting cone of lightning. He managed to get two off and then he found himself covered by a red tinge, though he was able to prepare the spell, he was unable to cast it. Someone had corrupted his mana. He should have figured there would be one sorcerer amongst the troop. Thank goodness they had some skilled warriors on the front line.
The warriors began tackling Elves to the ground and springing back up to warcry and inspire all those around them. Fenog himself was up front, always leading by example. He kicked an elf in the chest so hard the elf went flying ten feet into a group of elves advancing on him. The elves believed if they could take Fenog out it would break the spirit of these humans. Suddenly, the group of Wolves that had charged from the front was sucked into a rift in the fabric of space.
Aramur managed to cast a cone of lightning again, the caster of the implosion was probably the same one keeping him in check. Aramur managed to get another spell off and swirling mist appeared that he stepped into. He was now behind the elves with his wolf familiar. At this point Aramur had enough. He began to cast, and after a second raised his hands skywards. Nothing happened for about twenty seconds. Then the back of the elven army began to get slammed by meteors swarming down from the sky. This devastated the elves and broke their morale...
They turned and began to flee. The hundred troops were in position and began to cut them down with arrows. They slammed one of the elaborate looking carriages with arrows and let the elves flee as they cut down the horses drawing the carriage. Aramur quickly proceeded towards the carriage after casting a wizard shield around himself. He opened the carriage door and found nothing inside as far as a chest; however, he did find something of importance.
Aramur blinked once his mouth agape. In the carriage was the Patriarch’s son, the prince of Ta’Vaalor, with an arrow stuck into his right side just below the armpit. Aramur at once knew the complications if the Prince died at the Black Wolves’ hands. He took the boy into his arms and took him out of harm's way. He was still breathing, but had already lost a massive amount of blood.. Just then Fenog approached and saw the royal seal on the boy’s breast through the blood.
"We have to try and keep him alive. We are being set up; if this boy dies we are in trouble the likes which you have not seen. There is no silver and there never was. This setup is so we would kill the Prince and someone else can take the Elven throne. I have no idea why the prince would come out this way. But, he has and if he dies by our hand someone else is going to win and I am a puppet to no one!" With this declaration, Aramur rubbed a black wolf amulet on his neck. In a flash Fenog, Aramur and the prince where standing at the gate to the Wolves Den, by the barracks area.
Upon the disappearance from the battle of Fenog and Aramur the Black Wolf forces began to fail. After both sides sustained heavy casualties, Bram and Jalek ordered their troops to retreat with as many wounded as possible. They were chased back to the Wolves Den where they held at the tree with archers up top like Aramur had planned.
The elves backed off and started to survey the area and situation. It was still night and they had time to do things in the dark at their own pace. Liabo was nowhere to be seen in the night sky giving the elves even more cover. The scouts reported back to their general that there was no way off the mountain without going through the elf encampment.
Three days after the attack, elven reinforcements began arriving. Just enough to keep the Wolves at bay. The Patriarch was rumored to be among them as well. They stayed there for about three weeks at which point the den was running low on food. They had enough water from the well and it was not tainted by the elves. The Prince’s condition had not improved, the best healers had tried to save him but he would only last another week or two at the most he couldn’t even eat anything.
Another week passed and some people actually passed of malnutrition, and there was rumors that the bodies had been consumed, even though Aramur had ordered the bodies cremated.
After two more weeks all food was exhausted and the Elven Prince had died, his body left to rot on the bed in the infirmary. It was at this time a member came into Aramur’s room and handed him a sealed message, "It was on an arrow that hit near the cave entrance." stated the messenger.
Aramur opened it and began to read:
To my former student.
We have parted ways, this much is true. However, I do feel the need to give you warning. Your last battle, which ended in the death of a young Vaalor prince, has not set well here in the lands of the elves. You have drawn powerful eyes your way. A fortnight from now a full legion of Ta’Vaalor's finest warriors are being sent out to deal with you and yours. My advice to you is to try and leave and head for the south. There is no way your band will survive against the full force of Ta’Vaalor. They shall arrive when Lornon is full.
Even more troops, as if starving wasn’t bad enough! Now they were going to downright slaughter them. Starving to death, they didn’t have enough energy to fight back. Aramur himself had managed to save some strength and Fenog as well. Everyone else was tired and sick. Aramur managed to get the remaining heads of the clan together. Those present where Fenog, Jalek, Bram and Aramur himself.
"We have only one way out as far as I can tell and that is to try going down the well and follow the river there. Maybe it comes out somewhere safe. I can’t gate everyone out either I can only do it for myself or a small group. The gate doesn’t stay open long." Aramur looked at the other three.
"NO!" Fenog glared around at the other three. "We will stand and fight off anyone attempting to enter here and then we can eat their bodies seeing that they are animals they would be fit for consumption."
Jalek and Bram both agreed with Fenog being with him since the beginning. Aramur simply shrugged his shoulders.
When Lornon was full the final battle of the Black Wolves began the guards at the tree were easily cut down by elven archers. Ladders where brought in and swarms of elves entered the den that night. When they entered the Chapel of the Den, they saw a gruesome mass suicide scene, where women, children, and men took their lives instead of face the elven army.
There was next to no resistance aside from the threesome of humans crouched behind a white altar. A human with a giant two-handed sword and two with bows. They were finally overcome but not until after they took countless elven lives.
Aramur was in his workshop preparing for the worst. He had sent his wolf familiar to the sea coast and could gate to her if need be. Suddenly he had the strangest feeling he was being watched.
In a puff of smoke Ethernal appeared. "Greetings, old friend" he said with a smug smile upon his lips.
Aramur gazed upon his old friend "I don’t understand why you are here. I understand why you had me kill the prince I think. But, why are you with Vaalorian troops now?"
Ethernal chuckled "It is all very simple. I wanted the prince dead because I am working for someone in the house of Nalfein who is second in line for the throne. With the Prince out of the way he can now accomplish that. Plus, to make himself look good in the eyes of the elven nations he has lent aid to avenge the elven prince's death. Hence my being here, I am leading his contingent of troops. Teacher told you to leave but you didn’t; now you must face me and I will bring you to Lorminstra's gate by my own hand."
With that Aramur cast the spell that opened the swirling mist and quickly stepped through and Ethernal followed.
There are many rumors surrounding Aramur and his death. Some said he committed suicide, others say he stepped through the mist and lived. No one knows for sure. But one thing that is certain is that the elven prince's body still lies in Wolves Den to this day, and that the place is now haunted by those who died there in a horrible death.
I would like at this point to thank Primum Defendere, Baru Serpentslayer, and Anthel Notzu my father for hunting and releasing the fallen in wolves den for a good amount of time and to take interest in the stories behind the nowadays hunting area. Also, their push that started the reformation of the clan.
Compiled and transcribed by my hand.