He sat there staring at the ground, thinking to himself, why! Why couldn't he have done something? As he was thinking, he thought of how he would never see his mother or father again…He was alone is this world now, and what were those things chasing after him? He kept staring at the ground but then noticed something strange… there were tracks pressed into the dirt of an animal, an animal he had never seen before. Surely these could not be of a human or dwarf, but he just couldn't figure it out. To Alakai it looked like a dog or wolf of some kind but not the kind he had ever heard of, to his own knowledge, wolves don't walk on two feet. This was strange to him, it seemed adventurous to follow but dangerous at the same time seeing as he had no idea what was in store for him if he found the beast, ultimately he knew he should not follow the tracks but he just could not help himself, he had always been a risk taker.
As Alakai followed the mysterious beast's tracks for a few hours he came to a burnt out campfire.
"Could this be possible?" He asked himself aloud.
This was the third strange thing that had happened already today, first his parents dying and those men following him, second finding mysterious animal tracks of a dog or wolf type animal walking on what seemed to be two feet and third, while following the tracks he stumbles upon a camp fire where the tracks had suddenly stopped then started on the other side. Now Alakai knew something had to be up, he knew dogs don't walk on two feet and was almost defiantly sure they couldn't build campfires. Suddenly the trees on his left side rustled and he heard the dry leaves that lay beneath and around him crunch. Could this be those black hooded men that were following him before? What did they want? Alakai stood there and waited, silent, impatient, his heart pounding so hard it seemed it might burst from his chest at any moment.
"Show yourself!" he screamed, "Show your faces you cowards!". At the exact moment of his thought, a giant gray beast flew out from behind a tree and landed directly on Alakai's shoulders, the weight making him buckle under the pressure and collapse to the ground.
"Get off me! I'll kill you I swear!"
"Calm yourself child, you have nothing to fear here" Said the mysterious beast in a soft spoken slow voice. The beast got up and Alakai felt the pressure release off him, he sat up and stared at where the beast was standing to realize a giant smoke gray wolf standing before him. He thought this beast must have been nearly 7 or 8 feet tall, carrying a long knight type sword attached to a silver crested belt. Alakai could hardly believe what he saw but he had no choice not to, everything that had happened to him in the last few hours was unusual. "I am Faran, king of the Greybacks and leader of the Narzak" He said in his slow voice as he bowed to Alakai. A few moments later a second wolf stepped out from behind the brush. "And this is Rangore, my second in command". He too bowed in respect for Alakai.
"What??....What are Greybacks?" Said Alakai, "And why are you walking on two feet?".
"Greybacks are and ancient race, a clan of wolves taught in the knowledge of the elves thousands of years ago" Said Faran as he gestured to himself and his other. "We are on a task of great importance to find a young man who is in grave danger, Perhaps you may know of him? His name is Alakai". Alakai just stood there in shock of what he had just heard. Why were these beasts looking for him and why was he in danger? None of this made any sense to Alakai. He paused wondering whether to tell them that the boy they were looking for was him or not for fear of his life.
"I am not the boy….but I do know him! He lives on the nearest farm from here about 2 hours away in that direction" Said Alakai, pointing towards where his cottage used to be. He was afraid the wolf people had mind reading abilities or something because they seemed not to believe him for a second. It was either that or his terrible lying skills.
"Thank you young child" Faran said, bowing once more as he acknowledged Alakai. "We are in your debt". The wolf said no more than that and quickly turned and took sprint, Rangore following. It may have been Alakai's own imagination but the wolves seemed to run with incredible speed and agility beyond anything he had seen, dipping and dodging with so much ease as if they were lifting a finger. He watched them disappear into the far brush then turned quickly eager to get as far away from here as possible, hoping that those things won't realize that he is lying anytime soon and come back for him.
So onward he headed walking for what seemed forever just thinking about his mom and dad, every now and then whilst passing a giant greenish brown oak tree he sat down underneath it to rest. As he rested Alakai thought to himself how peaceful the tree was with its taller branches flowing with the wind like skilled dancer. It was just placed here in the middle of the woods without a care in the world, nothing to bother it or hurt it like he had been hurt. Soon as he thought more of what had happened more tears flowed from his eyes, not of sorrow, it was the longing for the answer…Why? Why had this happened to him? Alakai did this every hour or so, just resting and thinking, soon it began to get dark and he realized he hadn't eating which brought up the hunger from his belly. It was growling at him like an angry bear cub, so he decided to go look for something to hunt, preferably a rabbit or small animal of some kind…one he could kill without to much time and skill. Even though his father had told him many times, Alakai knew he was never a skilled hunter.
As he searched around he found a medium sized rock with a small jagged edge to it. As tip-toed through the brush and amongst the trees, looking for small prey, he heard a crackling or a rustle of some kind.
"Not again!" He whispered, edging in closer on the sound. Then…more crackling and rustles, Alakai had had enough campouts in the forest to know that this crackling was not of footsteps but of a campfire. As he edged closer he found out he was right when he saw a small campfire with about four men sitting around it and one seemed to be pacing back and fourth as if bothered by someone or something. Alakai stood for a second then saw a giant oak trees just like all the others but this one was HUGE, it must have been the size of a great Dangak Elephant! Even though he had not personally seen one he had heard of how big these legends were. He quickly, but stealthily hopped over and behind the great oak and peered around its curved edge to see more of these men.
As Alakai peeked he realized that the men were in fact soldiers! With their bluish black armor and piercing blood red capes they were feasting so fast as if they had been starved. As he looked in closer he noticed black helms with three spiked curves on each and the great king Theroths sign on it. What Alakai had thought was true! They were the king's men but not of the kind that came looking for him before, killing his mother and father and burning his house to the ground only to leave ash and dust. These men were regular soldiers, probably recruited from villages from all over Fallacre; they looked nothing like the other ones. No dark torn hoods covering their faces, and no pure white beetled eyes staring around. Maybe the men before weren't the king's men? Maybe these men will help me? "Nah!" He thought, it's too risky to reveal yourself now.
Alakai soon enough, after looking at the delicious meat, decided to tough it out and turn tails on his journey to who knows where? Maybe a new life. He turned quietly to leave when he stepped on something that made a loud "CRACK!", Alakai jolted his head down to see what he had stepped on sure enough…it was a fallen branch. He then quickly turned top look over where the men had been sitting…and to his surprise, they were all gone! Not one soldier was left there, just an open campfire. Alakai sighed in relief and turned to make run just in case they came back, "SMACK!" came a noise, when Alakai's skull smashed into a hard metal surface, making him plummet into the ground.
"I think we got 'im boys!" sounded a voice with pride. Alakai looked up to see a soldier standing in front of where his feet were looking down at him, grinning.
"No more runnin away fer you now! You're coming with us..."the soldier chuckled as if he just caught the biggest buck he had ever seen. As Alakai looked he saw the other four soldiers standing behind the tall man also chuckling. The soldier bent down and grabbed Alakai by the scruff of his shirt and hoisted him up onto his feet, Alakai acted fast and broke free of his kidnappers grasp turning to run when a giant fist came up around to make contact with the right side of his face, knocking him out cold. Alakai awoke with a searing pain in his right temple, looking up he saw the man laughing more while standing over him.
"You thinking you're gonna run from us…" Chuckled the soldier, "…who do you think you are boy?". He moved to stand directly over Alakai's stomach, looked at him only for a mere second then grinned with an evil smile. Alakai knew that only something bad was about to come from a smile like that, and just as Alakai predicted, the soldier raised his right hand in the air slowly forming a tight fist. Alakai shut his eyes tight and waited for the blow, when he felt a small slice of air shoot past just a few centimeters from his head and then…a cold gasp followed by a shudder. Alakai opened his eyes to see a familiar blade stuck in the middle of the soldier's chest! The soldier was gasping for air, fist still raised as if to strike but fell backwards into a small pile of dry mud leaves. The rest of the four soldiers, startled as they were, crouched low and drew their weapons.
"Who's there?" Shouted the soldier closest to Alakai.
"Show yourself now! In the name of the king!" He shouted again. As the soldier stood, Alakai could see fear riddled upon his scruffy face, just waiting and anticipating on what had just attacked. The rest of the men all had the same expression too as they too were waiting for their attacker.
Then, Alakai saw the soldiers readied their stances as if to brace for impact and stop their gazing to a certain direction. Alakai whipped his head around in the way they were looking and saw the two giant wolf beasts running toward them at full speed. As soon as they reached Alakai, Faran jumped in the air but leaping more forward then up. He landed right on top of the dead soldier pulling the sword that Alakai had now figured he had thrown, right out of the mans chest with ease. Alakai, frightened as he was, started crawling backwards to get away but without taking his eyes of the scene. The rest of the soldiers ran to attack but Farans second in command; Rangore, leaped fast to attack! Taking out the first two would-be attackers out with one strike of his glazing sword. Alakai watched in amazement as Rangore attacked another soldier, this time bringing his sword hard down upon his helm allowing the blood to flow like a river down the mans face. The last soldier hesitated for a second but then lifted his sword high above his head and charged not at Rangore, but at Faran. Alakai thought Rangore would stop the attacking soldier but he did not, in fact he stepped back as if to let him pass.
As the soldier drew closer everything seemed to be moving in slow motion and Alakai watched as Faran stayed in his place still, motionless with his head lowered as he knelt over the commanding soldier's dead body.
"FARAN!" Screamed Alakai, bellowing so loud his voice seemed to crack.
"FARAN! WATCH OUT!" He screamed again, but Faran did not budge. Alakai couldn't just stand by and watch as someone who had saved his life die. He stood up and reached for Faran's shoulder to yank him away from the soldier but he would not move. The soldier sprinted his way towards Faran sword raised till he finally reached him, let out one final yell and pulled down his sword upon the statue like wolf. Alakai could not bare to see this but he knew he had to stop it, but how? He tried all he could to move Faran but the beast would not budge.