Chapter 1

A wolf howled towards a clearing. Plateaus surrounded the clearing, there was only one opening and the wolf was standing atop one of the southern plateaus. The entrance was to the west, and the Rockfall, from which the Packs met together in peace and shared news, was on the eastern side of the Clearing. His black and white coat was turned pale in the moonlight. Another wolf, which had silver fur, trotted towards him, they nodded to one another.

"Hello, Sholan," says the silver wolf. The white and black wolf looked away. Then he mumbles, "Hello, Vanessa, and welcome to the Clearing." He fires another howl. Vanessa looked at the clearing, and then at a large group of wolves heading towards it. Sholan starts to make his way down towards the clearing.

"Ah, the Clearing," barks Vanessa. Sholan ignores her and continues to go down the rocks to the clearing. Several wolves looked at him. A black wolf with graying hairs on his muzzle padded towards him. It was Arden.

"Hey, son…" began Arden. He was interrupted, however, by the wolves standing on several choice boulders. There were seven of them.

"All Packs shall now share news underneath the Star Ladder upon the Rockfall!" howled all the wolves together, all seven.

A solid gray wolf looked at a dusky brown one and barked, "So Heather, do you wish to start?"

"Indeed," howls the dusky brown wolf. Sholan watched Heather pad forward towards the edge of the boulder that represented the Pack of Grass. He felt excitement burn inside of him. These were all seven Pack Leaders, announcing news! Every Moon of New Pups the seven Packs would gather together to share news. Only in emergencies did the Packs meet any sooner.

"The prey is running well in the Pack of Grass. We have some new wolves who have earned their names. Sadly, we lost many in a battle with the Pack of Fire. Other than that, everything is going well," Heather looked around, glaring at the wolves from the Pack of Fire, then looked at the solid gray wolf, and then said, "Well, Rocky, I believe it's your turn."

Heather padded away from the edge of the Pack of Grass's select boulder and glared at the solid gray wolf. The wolf walked to the edge of the Pack of Fire's marked out boulder and howled, "Yes, the Pack of Fire admit we had a battle with the Pack of Grass. But we lost many as well, and we're fit to fight any other Pack! Do not think we are weak! We have a whole new litter, and some wolves who have earned their names. Everything is going well."

The wolves continued. Maroon, a dark red wolf with white paws, green eyes, Alpha Female of the Pack of Lightning, Breeze, a gray wolf with white ears, top of her tail, and muzzle, with blue eyes, Alpha Female of the Pack of Heather, Sunny, a golden-brown wolf with brown eyes, Alpha Male of the Pack of Darkness, Slither, a black wolf with a gray tint to his fur on his back, gray eyes, Alpha Male of the Pack of Rock, Thunder, a golden-brown wolf with black paws and ears, blue eyes, Alpha Male of the Pack of Blood Moon, all said things about wolves earning their names, new litters, and how the prey was running. When the wolves were finished, wolves all around Sholan began to disperse and go to their Pack leaders. Vanessa was the last at his side. "Why did you leave?" she asked before she left him to his thoughts.

What was the Pack of Grass fighting for? He was utterly bewildered. He sat in the middle of the clearing, alone. "I can't believe this!" Sholan yelled. "I thought the Pack of Grass and the Pack of Fire weren't fighting anymore!" He looked at his paws. "So many wolves…dead! Just because of me."

He got up and walked towards the Rockfall. He leaped up and got a paw hold, from which he hoisted himself onto the boulder from which the selected Alpha of the Pack of Fire would speak. His paws slipped into the leaders' paw prints worn down into the rock. He lay down, exhausted.

Sholan woke up to find something hard beneath him, it was breathing! He opened his eyes with a start. He leaped to his paws to see a little white cub lying right next to where he had been. He stared, his flame-colored eyes wide with shock. The little pup awoke. "Hello?"

"Um…hello," murmurs Sholan. "Who are you?" The little wolf got to her paws.

"I'm Snowy," she barks, "Anyway; can we have something to eat? I'm starving!" Suddenly, Sholan sees how skinny and puny she really is.

"Sure!" he barks. He could now see how dull Snowy's green eyes were. I think it would be best if I took her in, Sholan thought. Sholan trotted off to go hunt. Soon, he found the place he had been looking for, a tall oak with its branches leafless. It had tall grass all around it and was a popular place for prey.

He lowered himself into a crouch and sniffed the air. He pinpointed a fox hunting for prey, however it would put up for a fight, Sholan knew it would be a good meal for him and Snowy. He crept forward silently, then leaped into the air and bowled the fox over, sinking his claws into its side. It howled with pain as it was knocked off its paws. Sholan sank his teeth in its shoulder. The fox tried to throw him off but couldn't. Sholan finally let go and was sprawled on the ground. The fox growled at him and leaped, but Sholan was ready. He rolled onto his back and clawed at the fox's belly as it flew over him. The fox dropped onto the ground, and Sholan leaped on it, dispatching it with a swift bite to the neck. He then trotted back to Snowy, carrying the fox in his jaws. The little she-wolf must have smelled the prey, because she leaped to her paws and padded over to join him.

Sholan put down the prey and silently thanked the Pack of Sun and the Pack of Night for its life. The Pack of Sun and the Pack of Night were their ancestors, when wolves died; they had a choice, if they wanted to be in the Pack of Sun or the Pack of Night. The Pack of Sun was where you would live in the sun, of course, and they visited certain wolves during the day, and when you were turning into a leader, you could also choose which Pack to visit you. The Pack of Sun grants you ten lives, and you are guaranteed to lose at least half of them quickly, but the others would be lost less as quickly. The Pack of Night visited wolves in their dreams. They would grant you only five lives, but they would be guaranteed to be very good lives and wouldn't be lost as quickly. The Pack of Night and the Pack of Sun would also visit wolves at Rockfall. Sholan had been hoping to get some dreams from one of the two Packs. He had been unsuccessful anyhow.

He and Snowy tucked into the fox. The only thing left were the bones. Sholan dug the bones down into the earth. Then he looked at Snowy. She was trying to lick every last trace of the fox off her jaws. Sholan's tail curled up in amusement. "Hey, you need to learn how to hunt," he barked. Snowy looked up and slowly nodded.

"Come on then," Sholan barked. Snowy followed Sholan. Sholan spotted the oak and signaled with his tail for Snowy to halt, and then he sniffed the air. He pinpointed a vole nibbling on an acorn and crouched down. A loud bird call split the air. Sholan looked up. A large eagle dove towards the vole. Just as it picked up its prey, Sholan leaped on its back. The eagle cried out but Sholan's weight was dragging it down slowly. The eagle beat its wings frantically but Sholan had already pinned it to the ground. Snowy was rather impressed but didn't say a word.