Prologue

Long ago, there lived but four kingdoms, each ruled by a separate king. The four kings of old had once lived in peace, but a sudden illness came to befall the Eastward king. When he died his son, being only ten years of age, took the throne. His name was Damian.

Damian knew not how to rule a kingdom, nor how to provide proper justice to his people. He lived for the thrill of violence and bloodshed, and as he grew older that lust for blood grew greater, as did his need for power. His advisors, being afraid of him, never questioned his authority.

Damian would often sentence people to death just for displeasing him. Therefore, his people, more often than not, chose to solve their problems without their king's council. Damian's lust for power was not yet satisfied however. Ruling over just his kingdom was no longer enough. He wanted more power, more land, and more soldiers, more everything! It was then that he decided, the long rain of peace was coming to an end.

In the northern kingdom, on the night of the eastern king's death, Queen Lyanna gave birth to a son. "Benjamin," she whispered as her maid handed her the newborn child. "Yes," said King Edger, "A fitting name. I believe he's a strong one, born to be a quite noble king to be." And noble he was.

Benjamin had a love for all things. He loved adventure and exploration. On more than one occasion he would scale the castle walls and go wondering through the city to play with the children in the streets. He made several friends on these adventures. One such friend was a boy named Daniel. They were as thick as thieves. They went on adventures throughout the entire city. Occasionally they went on adventures through the woods. On one such adventure they came across a litter of wolf pups, which had been abandoned for some time, for all were dead – except for one. It was this one that they named 'Whitewind.' They decided to take turns caring for the pup, and Benjamin determined that Daniel would be the first to have him.

When Benjamin left the castle the next day he immediately had the sense that something was amiss. He hurried down the street toward Daniel's house and about halfway there was when he noticed the fire. Terrified beyond belief, Benjamin rushed to find Daniel and his parents. He found a crowd had gathered in front of Daniel's house. He pushed his way to the front and found that Daniel's mother was sobbing hysterically.

Without even realizing what he was doing, Benjamin rushed into the burning building, ignoring the shouts of protest behind him. He found Daniel huddled in the corner, almost completely engulfed in flames, clutching Whitewind in his arms. Not knowing where he found the strength, Benjamin lifted Daniel and the pup into his arms and carried him out of the burning building. When they were a safe distance from the flames, Benjamin collapsed. He found his mother next to Daniel's, trying to console the hysterical mother. Benjamin's father is amongst the men who were still trying to douse the flames.

When they saw him collapsed on the ground with Daniel in his arms, everyone rushed to their aid. Daniel's father took him out of Benjamin's arms. He looked at Benjamin with tears streaking down his face and whispers, "Thank you."

Before his father took him, Daniel handed Whitewind over to Benjamin with shaky hands. "You'll take care of him for me while I'm gone, won't you?" Benjamin could only nod before breaking down into sobs.

Daniel died three days later, for the burns he suffered were far too great for any healer. Benjamin vowed that from that day forward, he would let no harm befall his wolf, nor anyone else he cared about.

About a year after the birth of Benjamin, Isac, the old king of the west, was blessed with his tenth daughter. She was given the name Alexandria. Bright, cunning, and a tad boyish, Alexandria was nothing like her nine older sisters. She loved all things to do with the outdoors. When asked to sew, or sing, or dance, Alexandria would beg to be able to ride her horse, swordfight, and read books of adventure. One day, when King Isac finally got tired of all the complaining, he told Alexandria she could do as she wished. He bought her adventure books of all kinds, let her ride out on hunts with the boys, and he even let her train in swordsmanship. Alexandria grew into a beautiful young lady, with the fierceness of a lion, the stubbornness of a bull, the whit of any nobleman, and the fighting skills of any knight.