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The winds raged around them, biting sleet whipping against Keris’ body and the rolling voice of thunder setting the blood in his veins reverberating, but within the storm there was a deeper rumble that caught Keris’ attention. The sound was unmistakable, yet unexpected and crystalline eyes scanned the coiling false shadows of the storm. Grey upon grey, the flank of the Thunderhawk seemed to materialize out of the tempest itself like the Stormwolf of legend, its blunt nose turned towards the opposite side of the gorge as the craft’s engines fought the clawing winds.

Before he could call out to his wolfbrothers the presence of the Thunderhawk, the wolf in Keris’ soul stirred as its attention shifted. Keris’ nostrils flared and a fleeting scent ghosted across the back of his palette with an abrupt change in the storm. Turning away from the abyss, crystal-sharp eyes scanned the wafting sheets of wind driven ice in search as one corner of his mouth twitched as he recalled the warning Lord Blackmane had gifted Vermundr. Keris knew the legendary warriors that stalked towards the pack by scent alone, but the thought of being tested by the heroes in such a primal state was an immeasurable honour in itself.

They stepped from the howling winds like the wrights of ancient gods, storm-iced pelts billowing as if they still maintained a vestige of the living breath of the beasts that they had once been. A note of concern underscored the scent of a predator’s amusement as emerald green eyes met Keris’ gaze. The twisting line of a scar marked the features of the face that had seen countless battles, flexing where it traced a line through the grey beard and down the warrior’s neck as Gunnar Orkbane gave Keris a brief nod before gesturing to the Thunderhawk with an arm gloved in the fur and talons of the ursid he had killed on his own first hunt.

The leader of Blackmane’s Wolf Guard was flanked by his wolfbrothers, eyes of a stormy sea blue met Keris’ gaze next as the powerful form of Baldyr Ice-slayer gave a brief nod of acknowledgement to the young Wolf though the elder warrior’s scent matched his ever present scowl in barely contained violence. Yet, even Baldyr was eclipsed in stature by the mountain of a warrior that trudged beside him. A good head taller than even Tyr, Wolf Guard Oger Mountain-stride’s dark umber eyes were locked ahead as he seemingly ignored the pack of Blood Claws, his scent severe and difficult for Keris to judge. Multiple tattoos marked his scared body and charms were plaited into the warrior’s thick brown beard though he wore his scalp shorn bare. The fourth warrior met Keris’ gaze though his scent was lost to the storm, an eye the colour of cloudy sapphire shone beside an augmetic of glittering emerald as Hundir Thunder-smith nodded his way. The warrior was broad across his shoulders, the wind clawing at the stiffened Mohawk of rufous hair, but under the dark pelts he wore his body was whipcord-lean and his skin surprisingly pale.

Vermundr’s voice crackled in his ear and Keris felt a tug at his elbow as Iorek leaned in with low words. Keris gave a half nod to the Ghostwolf as he returned the elder Wolf’s greetings in turn before turning to sprint towards the edge of the cliff. The burning of kill-arousal was still heavy in his blood as Keris leapt out into the storm’s grip, trusting his wolfspirit and instincts as the black abyss yawning away under him. For a moment he was weightless, and then the ramp of the Thunderhawk rose up to meet him. He landed in a predatory crouch; spear gripped tight and held out for balance as his powerful legs absorbed the momentum of his leap.

Keris rose to his feet and ducked out of the wind and into the darkened bay, feeling the thrum of the craft’s engines as it rode the fury of the tempest. The air was thick with the scents of his packmates and the potent spirit of elder Wolves and the craft’s machine tang a well, after the biting winds of Asaheim’s peaks the press of scent was harsh on Keris’ senses and he gave a low cough as he moved into the darkness. The magnificent form of their Lord stood in full armour, runeblade bared in his gauntleted fist and the black pelt of his namesake draped about his shoulders. Keris met his Lord’s eyes with a solemn nod, the wolf in his soul giving a low growl of respect to the Wolf Lord.

The metallic taste of blood hung in the air as Keris’ eyes adapted to the shadowed gloom quickly, finding the Rune Priest Njal Stormcaller as he knelt beside the still body of Kjartain who was deep in the Red Dream. Keris gave a nod to the Rune Priest as he remained standing as he had taken no wounds from the two ape-trolls he had faced and reached for the nearby stanchion for support as he listened to the words of Blackmane. Afterwards Hrothgar spoke, the young Blood Claw eager in his rapid questions and Keris’ eyes fell to Vermundr where the packleader sat even as he sheathed his spear across his back before speaking into the silence after Vermundr’s words in reply. Keris’ voice was somber and weighted,

‘Kjartain’s fate is in his own hands now. He matches wills with Morkari; that he awakes or not is upon his choice as a warrior and his willpower alone. But know this, if he does so it will be with different eyes. For none who stand before Morkai and return… do so unchanged by his gaze.’

Keris’ own crystalline eyes gleamed in the low light of the bay, his manner one of chained resolve and diamond will as he noted Alrik leaning in to speak in hushed tones to the Stormcaller. That the Firehawk had sought out the Rune Priest was surprising in a way. Perhaps you have found a calling, the fury of Fenris and the stormborne would suit your bluntness my wolfbrother.

Iorek was staring at the elder Wolf as well, his manner stiff and guarded as a wolf trying to hide a wound. The others had been silent up until now, their scents carrying the weariness of the hunt and healing wounds from the trolls. Keris’ eyes fell upon the ursid pelt the pack had been challenged to return to the Fang before he turned towards Blackmane in the silence broken only by the deep-throated growl of the thrusters as the Thunderhawk broke free of the storm,

‘My Lord, it bodes ill for us as a pack and your warriors to leave the challenge you have placed upon us incomplete. You tasked us to hunt the beast and return with the pelt to the Fang and,’

Keris gestured towards the bound pelt, ice-slick with the fury of the storm,

‘…soon, we shall have done just that. Allow us to stalk the stars as a full pack again with this complete. So that the honour of your Wolf Guard stands satisfied, since their own hunt was cut short,'

Keris bowed his head towards the elder Wolves in respect,

'I offer, in turn for this, to face any that you choose in the cages in route to the Gorden Worlds.’
 

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[As I mentioned last week, another update. For those who did not post between these last two, don't worry about it; this and the last one were supposed to be one in the same but I felt it was to much in one go and broke it in half. As always, for the most part take your time.]

Vermundr
, Hrothgar; Vermundr, Lord Blackmane nods to you before looking at Hrothgar, his features giving away nothing as thoughts spark from behind those eyes. “Your pack leader is right Hrothgar, I have answers to some of those questions but they will be heard by all, not just those of us here. Of those I can answer, the Gorden Worlds are fifteen weeks to the galactic south of our home and I do not know the size of the orks. They are a tide of endless green, their number legion beyond the borders of the Imperium if those of the rogue trader ilk are to be believed. Of your pack-brother Kjartan, that I do not know and it is as your brother Keris says; he fights a battle from within like another of your number did.” He said, indicating Iorek in the process. “He can give you a better answer than I, and even then it may very likely be no more than even the greatest of the rune priests or ancients.”


Iorek and Alrik; Maybe it was your intention, or perhaps it was not, but as the thought forms up in your mind the eyes of the rune priest Njal raise up to you. ‘Do you speak of us Ghostwolf, or you and the spirit that wars for control within you?’ The words bubble into your head. ‘You were alive with the need for vengeance and paid a price for impetus. Others can claim such a thing, but few to have fallen into the sleep and come back from it.’

If the Stormcaller was to impart anything more into your mind, he is prevented by the approach of another. Alrik Firehawk whispers something to Njal, and his eyes turn to the larger wolf; those same eyes seemingly glaze over when Alrik pauses in his words and the rune priest nods to no one in particular. “When I can speak with you, I shall find you young Alrik. What you have seen is most troubling and must be looked into.”


Keris; After answering what few questions of Hrothgar's that he would, lord Blackmane then turns to you and smiles deeply. “So then Keris, when is it that you concluded the identity of their hunt?” He said, waving an arm to the scowling Baldyr and grinning Gunnar who took the moment to speak up before Blackmane had the chance to continue. “Give this to them Ragnar; two months of hunting only to be spoiled by the stiff backed sons of Guilliman? Not even you can be so cruel!” He ended with a chuckle, forcing even lord Blackmane to turn away and laugh at the notion. “Fine. Our return to the Fang will see you returning the pelt as you were challenged to do, that shall be completed. Whether my wolf guard feel their honour needs to be satisfied, I leave to them,“ He said, and then some thought struck him, “except for Baldyr! If I leave that to him there won’t be a one of you left standing, or able to move of your own accord for weeks.” He finished, to the laughter of both Gunnar and Oger, and a look to Baldyr gave all the answer needed to how true such a statement was.

----------------------------------------------

All; In just two hours time the thunderhawk crosses the expanse of Asaheim to the Fang, a trip which was to take you nearly a full day from where you had been recovered. Every moment of that trip was spent with some degree of turbulence, from the storm you had pulled out of to the general high winds of your icy home-world. By the end of the second hour though, the transport was decelerating as it made the final approach to one of the mountain fortresses numerous hangar bays. With a final shudder and a clang of metal on stone, the thunderhawk lands and the assault ramp cannot lower soon enough. The unease of being in the transport is palpable, from any of you as well as Baldyr and lord Blackmane, if your senses are not deceiving you, but you still have enough about you to allow the wolf lord and his elite warriors to descend first. (With the exception of Hundir, still in the cockpit.)

Several of you help the rune priest Njal to remove Kjartan’s injured form from the back of the ship, where thralls bound in service to the wolf priests await to take him away. Few ever return from the Red Dream, but you can hold out some hope that Kjartan is one amongst those. Looking around, you notice the relative lack of bodies, of activity, throughout the hangar and surrounding halls. Two months ago, when you had set out, yours had been one of five companies within the Fang and despite its size you were generally able to locate other wolf brothers with ease.

Now though, the Fang was deserted, empty, little more than a hollow shell of a mountain waiting to be filled once again. You become aware of another thunderhawk within the hangar, one bearing not the ice blue and greys of the Space Wolves; but rather a light green and white. The Aurora thunderhawk looked every bit as ancient and dominating as the one you stepped from, the only difference being the colours making up its surface and chapter symbols it bore.

“Assemble the head of the company, there is a war council to go through and decisions to be made.” Lord Blackmane said to Gunnar Orkbane, before the leader of the wolf guard nodded to his liege-lord and stalked forward, Mountain-stride making his leave with Gunnar while Baldyr stalked away from the group in a different direction without as much as a word. Finally lord Blackmane turned to you, raising the razor-ursid pelt up and giving you a wry smile. “Though you did not return with this without help, you did return to the Fang after slaying a mighty razor-ursid and came back to the Fang with its hide. Of that feat, you should all be proud; it is the first amongst many I expect to see from you, a pack forged and reforged through blood and sweat upon a land where you have to fight to maintain your very life. When the time is right, more will be revealed of this new threat that we are to face, for now recover your wounds and let others know of your deed.”

You begin to leave the hangar, some content with the praise in what you have achieved, while others longing to know more of what is to come. As you do leave though, a firm hand halts the departure of both Vermundr and Keris. Turning around, you see that it is Hundir, having made his way from the thunderhawk.


Vermundr and Keris; “Indeed you are new to this eh? Blackmane has called a war council of his company; a council of his closest advisors.” He says before turning away to walk with lord Blackmane, as if that was all the explanation required. You look to each other with a measure of confusion before another speaks up from beside you. “You have all heard the tales,lord Blackmane arms himself both with his own experience and that of those who would fight beside him.” Njal says, nodding to the retreating forms of the wolf lord and wolf guard before continuing. “This extends to more than just other wolf lords, his wolf guard, or priests like lord Sigurd or myself.Lord Blackmane would also make use of the knowledge and experience of his pack leaders as well; for who will know better exactly what the elements of the company are capable of? So when the wolf lord calls a war council, any who might lead a pack are part of it, from the mighty wolf guard all the way to ones such as yourselves.”

You nod to this, accepting it as a much better answer than the one given to you by Hundir; though that only explains why Vermundr is to take part in this. Keris does not lead the pack, and is about to remind the Stormcaller of such a fact when the elder wolf beats him to the punch with a raised hand. Vermundr physically leads the pack, and is the one who makes the decisions for it. But you Keris, you keep it from tearing itself apart. There is no doubt that Vermundr is your packs head, but Keris its heart without question. In that way, you lead the pack in a more spiritual sense; much like how I might commune with the ancient spirits and the runes. And so, because of this, you are part of the war council.” He finishes by clapping you both on the back, pushing you forward after lord Blackmane and Hundir.

[I don’t think there is much I need to prompt you with here; though the pair of you and Njal will quickly catch up with lord Blackmane and Hundir. The five of you will make your way to the chambers of the wolf lord, where he has a round stone table with a hololithic projector built into the center. For now, you wait for the other heads of the company to gather before the council is to begin. Since there is only two of you, this is more of a mini-update and another will be able to follow soon.]


All (except Vermundr and Keris); “Though you did not return with this without help, you did return to the Fang after slaying a mighty razor-ursid and came back to the Fang with its hide. Of that feat, you should all be proud; it is the first amongst many I expect to see from you, a pack forged and reforged through blood and sweat upon a land where you have to fight to maintain your very life. When the time is right, more will be revealed of this new threat that we are to face, for now recover your wounds and let others know of your deed.” Lord Blackmane said to you before leaving the hangar, Njal taking Vermundr and Keris with him in tow with the wolf lord.

For now, it looks as though you are to be left in the dark about what is going on while others discuss and plan. This notion is fine for some of you, though a few yearn to know what lord Blackmane’s war council are to discuss between one another. Never-the-less, you do indeed have a challenge you did complete, a trophy to prove it, and others to laud such a thing over. If that is your desire, than the great hall is the place for you, where you can celebrate to such a thing and boast to any who would be there. However, if celebration is not what you desire at this time, there is always the many training cages; a place to work your body or vent frustrations, or to even settle matters should they need settling. Still yet, there is also the prospect of returning lost gear or being left to your own devices.

[The choice is yours to make, celebrate, train, seek isolation, or obtain new weapons for those you lost against the trolls. If your choice is one of the first two, then look below for more; but if it is one of the later two, then please PM me as those things must be more specific to each of you.]


Should you choose to celebrate then you go in the direction of the great hall. Wherein, you find four members of pack Jogvai, the eldest wolves of the company and ones who make up the esteemed long fangs. They are seated together by a great hearth fire near the grey hunters of pack Heimdel, all listening to the boasting of the other occupants of the great hall, the other pack of blood claws of the company.


[You do not know exactly what the other pack had been challenged to do, but it looks like whatever it is they accomplished such a task before you did. Was it more impressive than the razor-ursid? Does it matter if it was or not? Perhaps it is time someone was knocked out of the firelight so that their betters could bask in the glory.]


If instead you have chosen to fight, your path is to the training cages. Though there are hundreds within the Fang, you manage to make your way to one of the few that are occupied by others. You see grey hunters of pack Ssvorq gathered around a training cage. Opposite them, you see a trio of others, all clad in light green power armour with white markings. Each of the three stands rock steady, faces nearly identical with close cropped heads and clean shaven faces. Were it not for the subtle differences, the colour of eyes or different set about their jaws or size of their noses, you could have sworn that two of the three were copies of the third. What you see within the cage though, that catches your attention; or rather the motion within does.

Blurs of brown, grey, and green dart back and forth, nearly too fast for your superhuman senses to keep up with; much too fast for you to make out any detail of who the blurs are. Back and forth they come at each other, never slowing enough for you to get any detail until finally the blurs lock blades and are forced to stop. The first is the unmistakable form of Bladyr Ice-slayer, his frost blade held in a two hand grip and his face contorted into a snarl. A cut marks the top of his head, with a second closing up on one of his exposed arms where his pelts do not cover. The other figure you do not recognize, for he bears allegiance to the Aurora chapter. Stripped from the torso up, the warrior stands against Baldyr with a pair of long, orange blades crossing midway to halt the frost blade. He sports a number of cuts like the Ice-slayer; in fact twice that of the wolf guard. The sight of this puts grins on the faces of the grey hunters, and you hear one mention one more for the win.

[As you watch the pair duel, you notice marking on the Aurora’s body; the knowledge of their meaning coming to the surface of your thoughts. They mark him out as a veteran of some kind, one who specializes in the close combat, an assault marine as other chapters might go by. Then, the assault marine scores another cut to Baldyr, one on his upper thigh that forces him down on one knee and forcing him to roll away to avoid more blows. It looks as though the number of blows is nearly even; will the cold wolf guard come out the victor or will it be the newcomer?]
 

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Azahd hadn't expected such a bold move from the troll. It dived with it's full body weight into Azahd. The spear robbed the troll of it's full force but the mass alone knocked the icy wind out of his lungs. The spear was last in an instant as Azahd brought his arms up to prevent the beast from taking a bite out of his face. The trolls putrid breath washed over him and droplets of foul smelling saliva froze to Azahd's face. But Azahd was far to focused on the rows of razor sharp teeth trying to reach his face to notice. Azahd's arm's locked and the beast seemed held in place. He tried to think how he could slay this beast, and clearly it was thinking the same.

All that gave it away was a momentary twinkle in it's eyes, and then it all went to hell. The beast pulled back, and the force of Azahd's arms propelled it further back. One of it's arms came around and grabbed Azahd's throat. The razor sharp claws of the beast dug into his throat and the blood froze around the troll's claws, and then thawed as the claws broke the crimson icicles and fresh blood came forth. He couldn't breath with the weight of the massive thing on his neck. His arms battered against the things arm, but it refused to budge. *It shouldn't end like this* thought Azahd *It. Can't. End.* The other clawed bludgeoning stick rose to swing down to take Azahd's head when another sound cut through the wind and rain and snow. Half of the troll's head clattered to the ground and warm steam rose from the exposed innards as a might figure stood above him.

Lord Blackmane. The Wolf Lord of their company had just slain the beast on-top of him. Azahd rolled onto his front and coughed and he sharply inhaled his mother's air. A hand was extended to him. His lord's hand. As he looked up he saw no condemnation or shame in his eyes, but he still felt it. Had lord Ragnar not saved him, yes saved him was the appropriate word, he would be a dead man. He was a space wolf, he should have been able to overcome one simple troll. But he hadn't. He had failed and nearly died. As he rose from the ground, he realised that he would need to out-strip everyone on whatever task they were next set to regain any form of standing within the pack. The truth was he had failed in his charge, and would have to atone for it appropriately. Azahd walked up the ramp into the thunderhawk, his gaze was cast low in shame, for fear of what the eyes of his pack-mates might say.

Once they were all inside the steel bird, their lord told them the reason for his arrival. “A call for aid has reached Fenris; the Sons of Russ swore an oath during the Macharian Crusade to fight alongside the warriors of the Aurora chapter against the greenskin horde. The green tide crashes into the Gorden Worlds once again, and we will break the enemy as we swore to do. Worlds of the All-Father are threatened, and the enemy stands capable of dealing a deathblow to a brother chapter; this we cannot allow. So the challenge of the Razor-ursid pelt must be ended, and a greater matter dealt with.” "So, the Sons of Guilliman are in need of aid?" Azahd whispered to himself. As the thunderhawk ascended, Azahd could feel it be thrown and buffered by the storm, as was custom on Fenris. Still, Azahd could not help but feel discomfort at the notion of being tossed around like a left in a storm.

And so for two hours he sat. He listened to the conversations of others and watched over Kjartan's limb body. As he did he was reminded that if Lord Blackmane had not been there, that could have easily have been him. That thought sat worse in his stomach than the discomfort of flying. He tried to devise a form of punishment against himself for such foolishness, but rejected that notion. Instead he decided that it would be better if he channelled that energy into training himself better, which in some part would punish him as well. Stone touched metal and the ramp hissed open. Azahd waited for his lord and his wolf guard to descend before helping to carry the body of Kjartan to be received by the thralls.

Before leaving Lord Blackmane addressed them all once more. “Though you did not return with this without help, you did return to the Fang after slaying a mighty razor-ursid and came back to the Fang with its hide. Of that feat, you should all be proud; it is the first amongst many I expect to see from you, a pack forged and reforged through blood and sweat upon a land where you have to fight to maintain your very life. When the time is right, more will be revealed of this new threat that we are to face, for now recover your wounds and let others know of your deed.” *Hmmm...* Azahd thought *Clearly, this foe is something different if there is more to be revealed.*Still, training was clearly in order in Azahd case and so he wasted no time in formalities and headed straight for the training cages.

As Azahd made his way down the corridors, he noticed that the Fang was surprisingly empty. When they had left there had been several companies here, but there were none now. Or almost none. The halls were more quiet than they ought, and Azahd was suddenly acutely aware of how big their Fortress monastery was. As he turned the last corner he came to the practice cages. Many cages filed with training equipment were free, but there seemed to be a congregation around the centre cage. Three nearly identical Astartes stood on the opposite side to the grey hunters of pack Ssvorq. Their armour was a light green with white markings, meaning they must be from the Aurora chapter. The watched with what was almost a passive endurance at the blurs of movement inside the practice cage.

As Azahd drew closer, he realised who was fighting. Bladyr Ice-slayer was fighting some unknown marine, obviously from the Aurora chapter. His markings and scars marked him out as an assault veteran, but even still it looked like he was loosing to one of his Lord's wolf guard. One of the grey hunters whispered that it was one more scar to win, and since Bladyr had the less scars by almost half that of the veteran from their brother chapter, he assumed that it meant this bout was almost over, and the thought of besting the Sons of Guilliman pleased him greatly. Suddenly, Bladyr was forced to his knee's by an attack and was force to roll away to avoid any more. Perhaps this fight was not over just yet. As Azahd watched, he became more wrapped up in the conflict of these two veterans. All notion of the razor-urzid hunt and his near failure were almost all but forgotten, and he found himself cheering for his lord's praetorian...
 

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Heimdall felt the wind buffeting him and his wounds as they were exposed to the cold. He was furious that the troll had managed to wound him, an astartes. Even if he was just a bloodclaw he should preform better, the older members of the pack had, Heimdall would need to evolve, keep pace with them. He picked his spear up from the snowy ground and placed his knife in its sheath before he heard a roar of engines. Lord Blackmane quickly leapt out, killing a troll that was on one of his brothers and bellowing to the others to get inside the Thunderhawk gunship that he had brought with him.

Heimdall followed his order, climbing into the thunderhawk to notice the fearsome wold guard were here as well. Lord Blackmane would always have his protectors around him. They were here to protect him, they were the most legendary figures of the company, everyone looked up to them and aspired to be like them. Heimdall took a seat near the cockpit as he checked that his wounds weren't too deep, which he was glad to see wasn't. Soon all the others had entered the thunderhawk, Kjartan's limp form bringing brought onboard.

“A call for aid has reached Fenris; the Sons of Russ swore an oath during the Macharian Crusade to fight alongside the warriors of the Aurora chapter against the greenskin horde. The green tide crashes into the Gorden Worlds once again, and we will break the enemy as we swore to do. Worlds of the All-Father are threatened, and the enemy stands capable of dealing a deathblow to a brother chapter; this we cannot allow. So the challenge of the Razor-ursid pelt must be ended, and a greater matter dealt with.” Lord Blackmane spoke to them.

To be honest Heimdall was eager to go and get some combat experience under his belt so to speak but at the same time he knew he needed to have a clear head to fight effectively. He sat in silence as the thunderhawk struggled through the air back to the invincible fang. As the thunderhawk touched down Lord Blackmane spoke again, telling them to enjoy their victory even if their trial was cut short on the way back.

Heimdall bowed to his Lord before heading for the training cages, his wounds were fine, they wouldn't get in the way of his training, and would serve as a reminder to how close he came to losing to a simple troll. Heimdall moved through the deserted hallways noticing the lack of astartes around. There had been five companies here when they had left for their trial, but there wasn't that here anymore. He headed into the training area, seeing how all were gathered around one training cage. Heimdall saw Azahd there as well and moved over to have a look at what was happening.

Three green armored astartes stood together watching as well, they were members of the Aurora chapter, the ones the Space Wolves would be aiding. In the cage fought the deadly and heroic Bladyr Ice-Slayer and a veteran of the Aurora chapter. Bladyr looked like he was winning, he had less scars and cuts on him then the Aurora marine, who looked to be an assault veteran, but the fight was far from over, Heimdall could tell that.
 

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Krahl

Krahl kept silent and respectful as he could muster on the return flight back to the Fang. Kjartan`s condition was serious and dire, and the Wolf Priest and even Blackmane himself were generous in offering their sympathies to the pack. For the course of the flight, roughly two hours if he counted right, Krahl held his tongue and said nothing. The landing was bumpy and turbulent, and he kept a tight grip of the harness over his head until the craft had stopped moving. Ragnar Blackmane and Njal were the first to depart, followed closely by his wolf guard.

Four brothers of the pack descended next, carrying Kjartan`s form between them. These were followed by the rest of the pack and Krahl. He looked around the hangar and smiled softly. It was good to be home. He turned to hear the words of Blackmane as the wolf lord prepared to address the pack.

'Though you did not return with this without help, you did return to the Fang after slaying a mighty razor-ursid and came back to the Fang with its hide. Of that feat, you should all be proud; it is the first amongst many I expect to see from you, a pack forged and reforged through blood and sweat upon a land where you have to fight to maintain your very life. When the time is right, more will be revealed of this new threat that we are to face, for now recover your wounds and let others know of your deed.'

Ragnar turned to leave, and Krahl took a moment to reflect on the words.

If I were to go about bragging after what has happened these past few days, it will only make me look even worse. He shook his head, staring at another thunderhawk further down the hanger with the colours of another chapter pained over it. I have to set things right with Alrik. I have to at least try, a sparring session perhaps? Krahl thought back to earlier, Alrik was likely going to be in a sour mood, and further, had business with Njal unless Krahl had misheard.

He turned and jogged towards where Alrik was walking to leave.

'Alrik!' He called. 'Brother, may I have a moment please?'

Alrik turned and glared back at Krahl. Though he did not appear overly hoistile it was plain that he did not feel like talking. So Krahl continued.

'I understand that you have lost a lot of respect for me Brother,' Krahl began. 'But believe me, whatever I may have said in the heat of the moment is not the way I wish for our future interactions to be. I understand you have little time for me now, but when you are ready, might you be willing to join me in the sparring cages?'

Alrik was silent, but after a moment responded with a grin and a nod before turning and walking away. Krahl nodded back, glad to at least be on speaking terms with Alrik (even if only Krahl was speaking).


With this, Krahl decided the only other thing to do was recuperate. Though he was far from his astartes limits, the presence of another chapter meant that there was likely something big about to happen, and Blackmane himself had alluded to a key threat about to be revealed. He looked back at the other thunderhawk one last time before exiting the hangar and walking steadily towards his own chamber for some meditation and exercises.

As he walked, he came to realize how different his life had become over this ursid quest. When Krahl had joined the Rout, he had pictured epic sagas of heroism and death defying feats of grandeur. He had envisioned battles against hordes of aliens, putting down the enemies of the Allfather with fire and steel. He had imagined that he would one day be among the greatest of wolf guard and have tales told of his deeds for decades following his heroic death.

And yet, here he was before even having fought his first true battle, a naive fool. He had acted out of a selfish desire to accelerate his own rise to glory, and it had taken the berating of the older pack members to make him even begin to think about what he had done wrong. He had been so caught up in the rush of combat that he had not even considered what he would have done if Alrik had been killed.

It was strange how differently the mind worked when you were in combat and when you were safe at home with time to think. This wouldn`t do. It was going to take time and dicipline to mould himself into a true warrior worthy of Russ.

Krahl only hoped he would live long enough to succeed...
 

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The Hammer of Olympia
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The Thunderhawk shook softly as it left the storm and neared the Fang, Tyr's mind in another place as he thought of the coming battle in the Gorden Worlds. He stared at his metal hand and flexed the fingers over and over again as he turned his wrist, "Greenskin..." he muttered, a low growl leaving his throat in anticipation, the green skin horde would be a good test of his strength. Orks were massive creatures with an even more massive lack of intelligence yet they were cunning and brutal fighters, they lived to fight just like he did, except he fought to protect the Imperium and kill the enemies of the Emperor.

He smiled to himself as the Thunderhawk touched down in a hangar, the back ramp opening up to let them all out, Lord Blackmane leaving them with some parting words before walking off. A loud grumbling hit his ears and he looked down at his stomach, he knew that the meat they had had earlier would not have been enough for him, he was still hungry. Quietly he left the others and made his way to the Great Hall, he would train after he ate, the mead and meat was calling to him and he could not resist its siren's song.

As he entered the Great Hall he saw the other pack of Blood Claws from Lord Blackmane's company spinning a tail to the Grey Hunters of pack Heimdall and a few of the elders from pack Jogvai. Tyr grabbed two barrels of ale and brought them over to the other wolves before putting them on the ground and grabbing a plate of meat, "An interesting story brothers but I am sure that it was not as interesting as the test that we just returned from." he said to the other Blood Claws, a large smile across his face as he took a swig from his mug, "Let me tell you about our hunt for the Razor Ursid." he nodded at the two barrels of ale indicating that they were for those assembled so that they had something to drink while he spoke.

He began with when they had just left the Fang and the days after searching for a scent until finally picking one up. He told them about the hunt for the great beast, how it had eventually turned the tables on them and began tracking them, he himself getting stuck on a ledge and cornered by the beast before his brothers aided him. The trolls especially were a crucial part, yet he had left out the fight between Krahl and Alrik, the others did not need to know about his pack's issues.

The whole time he spoke he drank and ate, his loud voice carrying across the hall as he detailed every gory detail about the fight with the ursid and then with the trolls. He smiled viciously and punched his normal hand into his metal one to emphasize the punch he had landed on the troll's face, caving in most of it and nearly killing it outright, each of his brothers getting his due in his tail. As he finished he told them of the Gorden Worlds and the Greenskin horde, "I relish the chance to fight the Greenskin Horde, it will be a true test of strength."
 

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Blackmane’s voice was a powerful growl as his lips pulled back in a lupine grin, elongated canines gleaming wetly in the near lightlessness of the Thunderhawk’s hold. Humour rode the body language of the elder Wolves, Gunnar seizing the moment to speak in the pack’s favour and Keris could taste the approval that laced their scents.

There was something in their eyes that caused his wolfspirit to rouse, an impression of knowing and weight that reminded him of the gaze of another. Do they see greatness within me the same as you did, Hunter Kjarl? I will not fail in my debt to you, I will watch over them with every drop of my lifeblood and the wisdom you gifted me.

Keris remained standing the entire flight, legs splayed and knees bent as the vessel bucked and yawed like a skiff in high seas. His hand that gripped the stanchion was white-knuckled as was the one held against the silvered storm-grey pelt at his side, the muscles along his arms tense and trembling slightly as the last of the kill-urge cooled in his veins. The air within the hold was heavy with the scent-trace of restlessness like the sharp bite of ozone before a storm. Even the elder Wolves shifted uneasily in the tight confines of the Thunderhawk, intensity and anticipation rolling off them in visceral waves. Keris could feel the disquiet of his own wolfspirit, silvery plumes fogging before him with every panted breath, and fought back the urge to give voice to the guttural howl that echoed in his soul.

The pitch of the engines finally changed and the craft pitched its blunt nose upwards sharply before touching down with the harsh ring of its landing claws on the stone of the hanger bay’s cavernous expanse. It took decided willpower to keep from riding the assault ramp down as the Thunderhawk’s hydraulics snarled excess pressure from relief valves, yet Keris turned away from the lowering ramp and knelt to aid his packbrother Azahd in shouldering the cold weight of Kjartan’s injured form into the care of waiting thralls of the Wolf Priests. Ice-blue eyes marked every line in the face of the fallen Son of Russ before Keris nodded a solemn farewell to his wolfbrother; he could see it in the shadows that hung over the Blood Claw’s pale features – Kjartan would never wake from the Red Dream. Until next winter, my brother.

There was silence that Keris could taste on the very air; it was a sense of ageless waiting, the slumbering of a predator in its den between hunts, a stillness as the halls of the Fang echoed with the low growling of the ever present wind as if Thengir himself slept in its very heart. The Company of Blackmane guarded the home of the Wolves while they recovered from the losses suffered at the envenomed fangs of the Hydra. Keris’s eyes came to rest upon another shape crouched in predatory stillness on the other side of the hanger, pale green and white in the greys of the Fang. An unfamiliar scent carried on the air currents caused his inner wolf to stir. As the last of the pack descended from the assault craft Blackmane’s deep voice turned Keris attention from the foreign scent-trace; the Wolf Lord’s words turned to Gunnar first and, as the leader of the Wolf Guard stalked off, his gaze shifted to the young warriors before him. Blackmane’s praise was tempered by a weighted reminder of greater tests to come and Keris met his gaze without flinching, his weariness pressed to the back of his thoughts in prospect of his Jarl’s approval.

With their Lord’s dismissal the pack started to break as each warrior chose his personal path, yet a firm hand upon his shoulder stopped Keris in his tracks. The Wolf Guard Hundir, a hand upon both his and Vermundr’s shoulders and a lupine twist of amusement upon his features, stood close enough that Keris could hear the faint whirring of the glowing emerald augmetic. Hundir’s words were peculiar and Keris shared a bemused glance with his packleader before the deep, rasping tones of the Stormcaller sounded at his elbow. Keris eyed the rune Priest with respect as he spoke, nodding at the idea. Who better than a packleader to advise upon what the pack is able?

Yet, though he was bound to Vermundr through his bloodoath to Lord Blackmane, Keris himself was not the leader of a pack and found the words halted in his throat by the Rune Priest’s calloused hand as he held it up before the young Blood Claw. Again, Keris could feel that the elder Wolf’s gaze was weighted when it fell upon him, but it was his words that brought forth an unexpected sense of calm truth within Keris’ soul and he nodded solemnly as the Rune Priest ushered them to follow their Lord. Keris paused briefly as a thought struck him to carve the fore section off the ursid pelt with a single sweep of his combat blade, draping it over his shoulder as he trotted along at Vermundr’s side.

The three of them quickly caught up to fall into pace with Lord Blackmane and his Wolf Guard, though partway to the war chambers Keris stepped aside momentarily to place a request upon a passing thrall. The young woman nodded briefly; her pale, greenish-grey eyes never wavering once under the stare of the young Sky Warrior and Keris could see the smoldering fire of a brave fenrisian tribeswoman in their depths before he turned away satisfied that his request would be seen to without fault.

Blackmane’s personal chambers were comfortably large as befitting of a Wolf Lord who would have the need of war councils the very like of the one that was gathering now. The chamber on the Fist of Russ was a pale duplicate of the one that Keris found himself passing into now, banners and totems adorning the cold, dark stone of the walls where the glow of the firepit did not reach. The circular stone of the center table held a hololithic projector embedded in its surface, but it was the steaming copper vessel and bundle set upon a stone bench to the side that made him nod in satisfaction. Keris caught his packleader’s gaze and gestured for him to follow, stepping over to the shallow bowl and setting the ursid hide beside it,

‘It is fitting that you wear a token of the pack’s first hunt, but I doubt the sons of Guilliman will appreciate the aroma of that thing, brother.’

Keris moved with a surety, unbinding the troll skin while speaking and, in one sharp motion, peeling the odiferous hide off of his packleader where it had partially frozen to the claw wounds across the Son of Russ’ broad back. The claw marks were shallow, but the remains of the troll’s flesh and blood were preventing Vermundr’s gene-forged body from closing them properly. Keris dropped the tattered remains beside the bowl before undoing the bundle of linen strips and counterseptic ointment. The water in the copper bowl was glacial melt from the flanks of the Fang and heated to just under scalding. Keris poured a measure of the counterseptic into the vessel and then dipped one section of cloth into the mix. Without even waiting for a reply, Keris stepped beside Vermundr and began scrubbing the remaining hide from the wounds on his packleader’s back.
 

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The Emperor Protects
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The storm continued to roar around Njord and the others as they put down the last of the trolls. The cold sleet lashed across his unarmoured form, forcing his gene-enhanced physiology to work harder than ever to regulate his core temperature, his second heart already beating hard in rhythm with its twin. Njord stood where he was for a moment, panting heavily like a dog might. As he stood there he noticed another roar within the storm. Turning to look back to the chasm he saw the unmistakable shape of a thunderhawk filling the gulf. Before he could question why it was here he heard his pack leaders voice cut across the vox, ordering them all to board the awaiting gunship.

Njord loped across with the others and as they did the thunderhawks assault ramp lowered, wasting no time Njord leapt lightly up to the ramp and entered the confines of the ships hold and went to continue inside, but hesitated at the sight before him.

The Wold Lord himself was present, fully armoured and a fearsome aspect as ever. Njord felt the urge to kneel before his lord, but sensed that he should continue on for now. Blackmane was not alone either, with him he had brought members of the elite Wolf Guard, throwing more questions into Njords already shocked head. But it was the other figure that gave him pause as much as Blackmane, that and the form he was crouched over.

Njal, the Stormcaller, highest of the Rune Priests within the Chapter. For all these legends to be present, something of great import must have happened, but Njord forget that all for a moment as he looked at the prone ruined figure the priest was caring for, Kjartan. From the looks of his grievous injuries, now within the red dream. Njord knelt next to him and put a hand to the blood claws arm and looked at the priest whose face told him everything.

He stalked over to one of the grav harnesses and took a seat, having no desire to be thrown around the cabin as the gunship cut through the storm. He continued to stare at Kjartans ruined form and felt the wolf begin to stir deep within him, enraged at the loss of a pack mate. Njord closed his eyes and clamed himself, forcing the wolf back deep within. He’d heard tales of those of the chapter giving into the wolf, becoming more deadly than can possibly be imagined, but losing control of themselves in the process. Some managed to claw themselves back into a steady state of mind, but the others…..

His thoughts were interrupted as Ragnar made an announcement to the pack, giving reason as to why their task had prematurely ended. The greenskin horde had attacked again, threatening both Imperial worlds and the Aurora chapter whom the Wolves were oathed to fight alongside.

Njord felt his spirit lift in anticipation of fighting against the Orks and alongside another chapter, the first real chance for he and the other newest pack members to show their worth, to prove themselves and most of all, the chance to bring death to the enemies of the All-Father. The thoughts helped to sate the wolf inside.

The thunderhawk continued to turbulently fly through the skies above Asaheim, taking just a few hours to reach the Fang, the legendary fortress and home of the Space Wolves chapter. Once bastion and home of Leman Russ himself, still awaiting the day of his fated return.

The ramp of the gunship clanged down almost instantaneously with the crafts landing. Blackman and his guard descended the ramp first, followed by the members of the pack. Njord moved forward with some of the others including Azahad to aid Njal carry Kjartan down the ramp to the waiting thralls. As the thralls took Kjartan away, Njord placed his hand on his fallen brothers’ shoulder a final time. Willing Russ and the All-Father to bring him back from the red dream.

Lord Blackmane then congratulated them on their kill, despite having ended their task early. Njord under normal circumstance might have been more disheartened or dishonoured at having not fully completed the task. But his mind was elsewhere now, on the thought of the upcoming campaign, but also once again on Kjartan. Seeing his helpless form borne away by the thralls had riled him up inside again. He decided to head to the training cages, to serve the purposes of releasing his anger, to hone his skills and more simply because in a fight was where a blood claw felt most at ease.

As he approached one of the many training areas and heard a large commotion coming from one of them, raucous roars and cheers mingled in with jeers and howls of laughter. As he entered he saw many astartes gathered around one of the cages containing two combatants. The majority of the assembled warriors were of the Ssvorq grey hunter pack. The others were clearly of the Aurora chapter, their light green armour picked out with white detailing. They looked the complete opposite of the Wolves, nearly identical, fair faced, with close cropped hair, shaved faces and standing firm, where as the grey hunters sported a whole manner of varying hair styles and beards, and clung to the sides of the cages whooping and cheering the combatants on.

Both combatants were both lethal warriors, both clearly more than capable in close combat and veterans. But they couldn’t have been any more different. One was the wolf guard Bladyr Ice-slayer, feral, brutal, draped in pelts and armed with a monstrous frost blade. His opponent was one of the Auroras, unadorned and stripped to the waist, wielding an orange long swords in each hand.

had no intention of standing by idly to watch others battle and test their skills however. He noticed both Azahad and Heimdall also watching fight. The two contrasted in many ways, the former being tall and with striking blue eyes, whilst the latter was short with deep brown eyes. Njord approached them both and spoke out to them with a feral grin.

“Are the two of you really preferring to watch a fight than participate in one? I tire of such things too quickly. Lets make things more interesting, which one of you is up for a bout?”

He stared at them both with his black pinned golden eyes, continuing to grin, and then made his way over to another of the cages. His weapon was usually a chainsword, but that still lay within the armouries of the Fang. Instead he picked up an evenly balance long sword from the rack and tested its weight. Satisfied he stepped into the cage and began to stretch himself off in preparation, taking a few practice swings. Though as fiery as any blood claw, Njord was cunning and spent many hours practicing his skill with a sword, fancying himself to be quite an elegant(at least for a Wolf) and able duellist.

He spun around and waited to see if either of his pack mates would step up to the cage.
 

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Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn!
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Suddenly another arm gripped Njord helping Frostulfr bring him up. Turning his head to the side to see who was the one who helped him he saw Yngvar. A moment later he spoke telling Frostulfr that he had all the help that he needs. Frostulfr was grateful from the timely intervention. It was good or else he feared that he wouldn't have been able to pull Njord up.

With a strong pull they managed to bring Njord back to ground. He gasped for a few moments breathing in air and probably steadying himself. He than clasped Frostulfr's hand and thanked him saying that he is in his debt as well as in Yngvar's. "No thanks needed. We are brothers after all." Frostulfr said as Njord charged back into the fight. He smiled, he felt good that he managed to keep one of his brothers a live. "Good job back there Yngvar, you saved Njord and possibly even me." He said while looking Yngvar in the eye.

Frostulfr looked towards where Alrik was before. He was victorious. Apparently he helped not one but two brothers stay alive for a while longer. Seeing that all of his brothers were managing he turned and quickly ran towards the body of the trolls leader. He did not say a word to Alrik but simply torn out his spear which was planted in the trolls back. He showed it to Alrik without saying a word and moved away.

As he made his way back to his brothers he heard Vermundr's voice echoing in his ears. He ordered them to gather around him and thus Frostulfr assumed that the fight was done. He looked up to see where Vermundr was and only than did he see the Thunderhawk behind him. It seemed that their challenge now meant nothing.

The thunderhawk moved closer it's ramp open so they would be able to enter it with no problem. Frostulfr waited for the others to hop. He than gave one last look behind him scouring the bloody battle behind him. The corpses of the beasts were already beginning to freeze and be covered by snow. It was a harsh plant indeed. It showed no mercy for the weak.

Warmth. It described the thunerhawk well. Unlike the chilling cold which swept outside of the metal bird which in no way could describe it. Why would a thunderhawk pick them? It was a good question, one which opened the path for other questions as well yet he had no answer for it so he kept it for himself hoping that it will reveal itself soon enough.

He looked up when he made his way through the short ramp. A large figure stood nearby, a figure that caught his eye and drew him to look at her. Looking sideways Frostulfr saw that it was the Wolf Lord. For a moment his heart stopped he had never been so close to the legendary warrior. When he was in front of him he bowed quickly and than continued moving to take his place on one of the last free positions.

He felt that something was wrong. The taste of blood was in the air as was the smell of it. Yet no blood remained so fresh for so long. He scoured the thunderhawk until his gaze laid on the pale form of one of his battle brothers. Kjartan, pale, mangled, brutally hurt. He lay still. Immediately Frostulfr's heart felt sorrow and pain. While he managed to save two battle brothers he could not save the third. Maybe if he would have tried better he would've noticed that his brother was in need. Maybe... His mind was blank. The loss of a brother was hard on him, it always was as he got attached to people quite easily.

His gaze turned away and he directed it at his feet. He could tell by the smell of his brother that it was not good. He was struggling but not fully dead yet. In his head his own wolf spirit howled. He knew that even if his brother survived he would never be the same again...

The last of the wolf guard finally made his way inside the thunderhawk. Frostulfr watched as they took their places and than a hiss was heard and the ramp slowly closed. Most were quite none spoke. He could smell the concern of some and the excitement of others.

A booming and deep voice broke the cursed silence. It was the Wolf Lord who spoke. He told them that a call for aid came from the aurora chapter which was stationed right now at the Gordon Worlds. Orks were attacking and that the sons of russ – the space wolves swore to come to their aid during the Macharian Crusade. Lord Blackmane than added that this is why the challenge had to be halted. They could not stand idly while a brother chapter and the worlds of the all father were under threat.

Frostulfr thought about it, it was a good reason to break the challenge although he knew that by breaking it a hole that could not be filled would be created somewhere inside him. He would have to complete the challenge so he would feel whole again. It was a silly think but he guessed that it was driven from the sense of honor he had felt so many times.

The thunderhawk quickly passed through the gathering storm and headed towards The Fang. It would be some hours before they will arrive, Frostulfr knew that but it is by far the quickest way to reach The Fang as walking there would've taken most of the day...

+++++++++++

Two hours passed rather quickly. In that time Frostulfr barely said a word. He had been thinking of their duty and their call. He only now began to realize that even though they made it through the first trails they were not immortal neither invulnerable.

Even though they could carry ten times a normal man's weight or fight with the strength of one hundred men they could still be killed and he saw that in the most terrifying of ways. He saw that happening to one of his brothers.

He groaned, the turbulence was always there it made him feel like he was in the middle of a maelstrom. It was in a way like trying to brave the seas of Fenris during the most difficult of times. Suddenly the turbulence passed like it was never there, he could feel the ship decelerating.

They were finally home.

The clang of metal against stone could be heard as the thunderhawk landed. It was heard again when the ramp opened. Quickly the thunderhawk's passengers began to make their way out escaping the metal cage which held them in the rough skies.

Frostulfr stopped himself from rushing out. He gave respect to the elite warriors and the Wolf Lord although he did not enjoy being trapped in such a confined space. It made him think too much. When everyone made it out he followed them out.

The air was pure and frosty. Sweet in other words. He took it in and than exhaled. It was a welcome change from the Thunderhawk's air. He saw how the others helped the rune priest carry the nearly lifeless body out of the Hawk.

For some reason he could not bring himself to come close to the nearly dead man. He thought that they should have left him, he could have died a warriors death and now he had to be tormented by hundreds and thousands of checks and medical work.

Since his rebirth he felt a slight revulsion at the thought of something coming back to life. Things which were dead should stay like that even if they were brothers.

Frostulfr looked around. Yet he saw nothing, the Fang was nearly deserted nothing was inside it. While at other times people could be seen passing doing their jobs or tending to their tasks now nothing was seen. He did notice another Thunderhawk nearby though it did not bear the markings of the sons of russ instead it was painted in a scheme of green and white. He assumed that its a thunderhawk from the Aurora chapter.

His mind was a flow with thoughts and he did not notice how some of the Wolf Guard began making their way to various location. He snapped out of his pondering as he heard the deep and booming voice of the Wolf Lord. He was praising their work and the fact that they managed to slay a mighty Razor Ursid even though they had help in getting back to the Fang.

Frostulfr knew that they could have returned on their own as well. It was not a difficult task to return to the Fang. The Wolf Lord added and said that when the time will be right more information about the threat which they expected will be revealed to them. After that the Wolf Lord turned and left the hangar.

Seeing that they were now free to rest and tend to themselves Frostulfr began moving away. He than saw Alrik and decided to try and speak with him. Coming closer he showed him the spear that he plunged out of the Troll's leader. Somehow it seemed to go by him when he took it out earlier so Frostulfr decided to show it to him again.

"Alrik, take a look at this. Smell it if you might." He said before handing him the spear. Alrik stopped and grabbed the spear. Frostulfr swore that for a moment he could see hatred in Alrik's eyes like he was about to stab him with the spear yet this passed quickly. Instead Alrik laughed and snapped the spear in two, pushing it back at Frostulfr. He than walked away.

Frostulfr sighed, he could not understand why each of the veteran blood claws was that hostile. None of them seemed to like the idea of having new brothers in their claw. It was not an healthy relationship and Frostulfr felt that he might just give up, it was maddening... He hated seeing brothers so hostile to each other. It hurt him in a way.

He looked around and saw how most of the claw were making their way either to the training cages or to the great hall yet he was not in the mood for either of them. He had to think, something bothered him yet he couldn't decide what.

Frostulfr decided to go get checked by the wolf priests. Just in case that Alrik did some real damage that Frostulfr couldn't feel right now.

The small visit to the wolf priests was rather short, it appeared that none of the wounds he sustained were lethal in any way. Seeing that he had nothing of real interest to do now he decided to wonder around, he let his mind lead him somewhere and not his feet.

He walked for a while thinking to himself about everything that came to his mind. Each thing he saw gave him a new stream of thoughts yet no matter what he thought about it still linked him back to the behaviour of this Claw and the Blood Claws which were involved in it. It seemed so... out of place.

A change in the smell around him made him quit his day dreaming. He quickly became aware that he wondered into the Hall of Ancients. A resting place for the greatest, to those who died and to those who still live. He began walking around admiring the armor of the huge machines. It showed signs both of the mighty all father and of the savage sons of russ.

As he continued wondering he saw that something was out of place. Looking around for a bit he came to the understanding that one of the warriors of old were not in their place. Someone apparently awakened one of them for whatever reason he had. Frostulfr did not specialize in such things so he did not try to guess the purpose of such awakening but still it seemed reasonable that the mighty warriors was awakened to help the forces of russ in the coming battle which meant that it will depart with them. Though he could not be sure.

He noted that and than continued wondering on trying to figure out what was so wrong in the claw that he was part of. What made him feel so unwelcome in there. Was it the foul spirit of Alrik or the despair that was emitting from Iorek. He could not tell...
 

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His back still numb, Vermundr had practically forgotten about the troll hide bloody frozen to his bare back. As soon as Keris ripped it off he wondered, how in all that was within the Realm of Russ could he have not torn it off himself the moment they were in the Thunderhawk. He would have shuddered if not for the burning hot water that suddenly lapped at his wounds.

Keris scrubbed away at the foul remains, which of course hurt but was at the same time pleasant, perhaps only by thought thought of knowing it was for the better. When he breathed it felt as if some of his air was escaping through the claw marks raking his back side. The applied water, ointment and pressure sealing it back in.

He was still somewhat embarrassed, having this done in front of so many older wolves deserving of respect, but at the same time, he felt some pride. For once, Blackmane and the others could see one of his pack brothers showing him some true respect.

"Each day I will continue thanking Russ and the All-father for placing you and I in the same pack Keris. My Thanks."

He said over his shoulder in nearly a low rumble. He looked down to the disgusting troll hide. As foul as it was, it had probably saved his life from the icy grip of the storm, still...

"Gah, we need to get that twisted flesh out of this chamber..."
 

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The Stormcaller; ancient and fearful, turned tempestuous eyes towards Alrik. They were sharp, vibrant; and most gallingly of all, clouded. Alrik remained stiff, meeting the Stormcaller’s gaze with coal-coloured eyes, a pair of black islands amidst a sea of red and brown crevasses. The Rune Priest nodded solemnly, though whether to Alrik or another of the Thunderhawk’s occupants, the Firehawk did not see.

‘When I can speak with you, I shall find you young Alrik.’ The elder Wolf said, in a voice which could shatter armies. Cold, feral; yet wise and tempered. It made the Blood Claw shudder, bile arising in his throat. ‘What you have seen is most troubling and must be looked into.’

And then it was finished - The Stormcaller spoke no more, idly watching over the limp and savaged form of Kjartan, his face saturnine and pale; while Alrik pressed back into his seat, grimacing which each bob and twist of the Thunderhawk. The blood of the troll, and that of his own, painted his arms, face and torso; an odd mixture of brown and red. His own cuts were stiff and aching - Some shallow and stinging, others deep and numb.

Within the Thunderhawk’s crimson confines, time halted. The stench within was palpable, an acrid mixture of metals and oils and blood. The Firehawk refused to crinkle his nose in disgust or bare his fangs, not in the presence of the Wolf Guard, Blackmane himself and the cryptic Njal. The blood he could contend with - For it was aromatic, invigorating; enjoyable.

The metal, however, was bitter and stale upon his lips, robbing him of fresh air in favour of recycled oxygen. Few of the Sons of Fenris enjoyed flight, though Alrik was counted amongst those - While he detested being confined within the Thunderhawk, the freedom that flight offered was excellent. Gyrfalcons and Seahawks had the rule of the skies - Unshackled, lone wanderers, hunting; watching, exploring.

Slowly, the Thunderhawk’s engines lowered from a high-pitch whine to a low, throaty growl. The vehicle gave one last shudder, and the engines died. The ramp fell to the floor, with a loud, calamitous clang of metal upon stone, that rang and eddied across the hanger. The Wolf Lord and his guardians were first out; tall and powerful, in their pelts and armour. Njal and the Pack were next, four bearing the weight of Kjartan upon their shoulders.

Kjartan was gone; slumbering in the red. It was a pitiful ending, for one of such promise and regality. Each of the newcomers were valued somewhat by Alrik; though the likes of Krahl and Frostulfr had little more than feeding the enemy’s cannons. Slowly, Alrik pivoted on his heel, watching the Pack disperse, scanning the hanger.

It was immense, a natural cavern, converted for the use of the Space Wolves. And it was empty, save for the odd gaggle of thralls, attending to their duties, and opposite, another Thunderhawk. Where the one which had brought the Wolves in from Asaheim had been blue-grey, this one was green-white; with the Aurora Chapter’s heraldry richly embodied upon the nose. The colouration was odd, detestable even.

And the scent which clung onto it, made the hairs upon Alrik’s back stiffen. It was inhospitable, unnatural. And it reminded Alrik of -

- Krahl was suddenly upon him, calling out.

The Firehawk turned, nimbly, his eyes narrowed at the other Wolf. Unworthy, untrained; greedy and an idiot. The Wolf within howled, huge and black and cruel, gnawing at Alrik‘s hearts. The prospect of hurting Krahl was sweet, soothing; and monstrous urges ran through his veins, as thick as blood, yet as beautiful as hippocras. He grinned a savage grin, his fangs bared, and nodded shallowly.

If Krahl wanted to be broken, then the Firehawk would snap him over his knee. He wheeled, marching away, his furs fluttering. And then, another of the green-bloods was encroaching on him, this time Frostulfr. Was the Wolf so idiotic, that he would risk another beating?

In his hands he held a spear, coated in blood; with an affable smell to it. He proffered the spear, and most ungraciously, Alrik took it. The wood was splintering, and the leaf-shaped head glittered in the light of the hanger. The Space Wolf knew what Frostulfr was suggesting, and slowly, turned the spear over in his hands.

With one thrust, one deft twist of his hands, Frostulfr would be run through.

Bugger that. Bugger him.

Alrik snapped the spear in his hands, feeling splinters arc into his palms. The Firehawk chuckled deeply, a loud and raucous sound, and pressed the two halves back into Frostulfr’s hands. He spun, still roaring his mirth, and stalked into the surrounding halls.

The Fang was empty, a spire of ghosts and the half-dead, save for the mortal menials and Blackmane’s Company. When they had departed on their hunt - Five Great Companies had been housed in the Fang - But now, they too were gone, fighting in distant reaches of space.

His chambers were deep within the mountain-fortress, sparse in comparison to those which the Lords owned. Three thralls had been assigned to the wellbeing of his belongings; the one-eyed, grey-bearded Urrigon; the soft-skinned and beautiful Aesatta; and the young, brash and strong Otkell.

When he reached his chambers, he found Urrigon and Aesatta present, attending to his weapons and armour. Aesatta was applying lubricants and oils to the joints of his armour, her golden braid shining. Urrigon ran Asaen along a whetstone, nimble in his one-handedness. A brazier of black iron was flickering in one corner, unattended and dying.

‘Milord,’ He spoke, in Fenrisian. It was the only language which the man knew, and the only one which he cared to speak in.

‘Where is Otkell?’ Alrik growled, sitting on a meagre throne, which had been carved uncomfortably. It was straight-backed, sharp and sharp edged.

‘Sleeping, milord.’ Aesatta said, smiling that pretty smile of hers. ‘It was mine duty tonight, not his.’

‘Awake him, then.’ Alrik snarled, keeping his words brutally short. Aesatta nodded, and danced off, leaving the room. Before she left, he called out -‘Fetch a flagon, and a fire iron.’

When she was gone, Alrik turned his attentions to Urrigon. ‘Light the brazier, friend. I am in need of flames.’

Despite the lack of a left hand, Urrigon was surprisingly strong. He dragged the brazier closer, so that it stood in the centre of the room. He collected several logs, which were piled up in another of the corners, and set them amongst the embers. They lit, crackling upwards, bathing the Firehawk in orange-gold.

While Urrigon did this, Alrik tore away his furs, tossing them uncaringly to the floor. Beneath, his skin was rough and bloody, with crisscrossing welts along his arms, sides and breasts. Urrigon surveyed the wounds, and scowled disapprovingly.

When Alrik had been mauled by Váli, that fur-clad nightmare, it had been Urrigon who had tended to his wounds. Alrik met eyes with Urrigon, and smiled, his thin lips twisting. ‘An ape-troll,’ He tapped the creature’s head, white-eyed and slack-jawed, pulling it away from his scabbard. ‘Dead, now.’

‘You’re handsomer when you don’t smile, milord.’ Jested Urrigon, picking the head up. A trickle of blood ran from the torn neck, pattering at his feet. ‘And what shall I do with this?’

‘Skin it, have a hawk carved into the forehead. A yellow and red and orange hawk, Uri.’ Alrik said, as the oaken doors to his chambers swung open. Aesatta entered first, clutching a flagon in her hands. Otkell followed closely, knuckling at his eyes with one hand, an immense iron in the other.

Alrik said his thanks, taking both the flagon and the iron. Both were diminutive in his hands, breakable; weak, much like Krahl and Frostulfr and all of the rest.

He downed half of the flagon, mead running down his chin, mingling with his scars. He handed it back to soft-spoken Aesatta, before clenching the fire iron in his right hand, and dipping the point into the brazier.

Fire had grown attached to him, part of him; he had stared into the heart of a ship, scalded his face. Before he was taken, whether by sword or gun, he vowed that his body would know fire. Would be fire.

When he pulled the iron back, the tip was glowing beautifully, embers billowing away. He started with his right arm, pressing the tip into each wound, until his skin blackened and blistered, weeping blood and pus. Aesatta poured the mead over each wound, a natural sterilizer. When the liquid met his arm, pinkish steam drifted upwards, dragged into Alrik’s nostrils with each sniff.

He proceeded along his left arm, his right aching dreadfully; crying red tears, smoking blissfully. When his left was done, the flagon was nearly exhausted, save for the last dregs of alcohol.

He downed it, before sending the flagon careening across the room. It shattered, into a dozen shards, upon impact with the wall.

He shifted the ash within the brazier, pushing indignantly with the fire iron. Flames danced, twirled; spinning around one another in the air. The smell of burnt flesh clung to every surface within the chamber, masking all others. The damage was superficial, though his skin would be scarred; most pleasingly.

If Alrik could not be beautiful, he would be terrible; a monster to behold, one that would insight fear and stop grown men in their paces.

‘Otkell, gather me fresh garments. A hauberk, breeches and elk-pelt gloves. Something to conceal my torso, as well. A jerkin, perhaps.’ I have an unsated hunger, one for meat and mead, he added, silently.

A grim, snaggletoothed smile twisted his mouth.
 

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Hrothgar watches his pack brothers disperse into their little groups and go their seperate ways until they are gathered by Lord Blackmane when ever the company is needed to gather, watching most of his brothers go either to the great hall or the training cages Hrothgar decides to walk off on his own solitary path to go and stand out and stare at the sky to think on what is going to happen to the pack when they leave to fight along side the Aurora Chapter. Walking through the halls of the Fang Hrothgar doesn't really ask for directions as he is just content to listen to the rythmic sound of his boots on the floor as he stares straight ahead so he is able to move out of the way should he find himself bumping into things.

As Hrothgar continued to wander through the halls of the fang his thoughts turned to what it will be like leaving Fenris for the first time, it was here on Fenris that he was born and eventually forged and tempered into one of Russ and the All-Father's gene-enchanced Space Marines. The frozen and ice chilled air of Fenris always cooled and calmed him yet upon this mission he would be away from it and thrown into the raging fires of battle, yet while his hearts jumped at the thought of proving himself in the eyes of his Wolf Lord and Russ they also shuddered at the thought of being away from the cold harss beauty of Fenris. Returning his thoughts back to his destination Hrothgar had found himself drawn to the sparring cages on his journey and guessed that he most of walked the long way around to them, deciding to vent some of his built up tension on some target dummies he stepped inside and looked at a gathering of Space Wolves and Marines.

Walking closer Hrothgar's nose twitched as he caught the scent of those several marines armoured in White and Green which made his inner wolf snarl as if rivals had stepped into its territory but Hrothgar ignored it and stepped closer to observe the battle going on inside of the fighting cage. Upon seeing the the Ice-Slayer currently winning Hrothgar's heart and soul filled with pride that the Wolf was beating one of the Sons of Guilliman however he also noticed that it now wasn't by much, the out come of this fight will be close, very close indeed standing at the edge Hrothgar focused his gaze onto the sparring match and watched to see who the victor would be.
 

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Keris tucked the raw end of the last strip of linen binding back in upon itself before giving a grunt of satisfaction and turning to place the rags beside the now crimson water that remained in the basin. Vermundr’s scent was one of gratitude tinted by a note of humility as he eyed the pungent remains of the skin and Keris gave a low chuckle, the sound part throaty growl and somber mirth. He lifted the skin from where it lay and placed it within the curve of the bowl, covering it with the scraps of linen he had used to cleanse the wounds,

‘Every warrior must walk his own path; I am grateful that my wyrd has allowed me to walk at your side as well, brother, but know that no matter what lies ahead of us that you are always my wolfbrother and my friend. Call upon me as you will,’

Keris picked up the ursid hide, pressing it into Vermundr’s hands as his tone became weighted,

‘Be these the first and last wounds that I ever tend upon your back, Vermundr Iron-Vengeance.’

Crystalline eyes held the gaze of his packleader for a moment before Keris let the faint hint of a lupine grin break the hold of the somber expression upon his features and turned back to the massive stone table with a nod. He could feel his wolfspirit shifting inside his soul; there was tension in the air, a rawness that called to Russ’ blood in the never ending hunt of the Allfather’s warriors. It was always there, the hunger, the need to stalk between the darkness of the stars. It was what he had been created for and it smoldered in his being like an ember at the heart of a firepit. Yet to be called to his liege Lord’s side in council was an honour he could not have begun to expect. Keris clapped Vermundr upon his shoulder firmly,

‘Come, packleader, let us show the Elders that we Pups are worth more than causing trouble, aye?’
 

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Yngvar

Yngvar watched as the final ape troll fell. As he turned to his own kill there was a roar from the other side. Vermundr was calling the pack together. There was one thing the young hunter wanted before returning to the pack leader.

The young blood claw gripped the dead creature’s hand. He slashed across its wrist and slowly ringed the skin and muscle clear. As he finished Yngvar twisted the hand. There was a sickly series of pops and cracks as the remaining sinew was stressed to its limit. One last slash severed the remaining flesh.

Yngvar spun with his trophy as engines roared. Hovering above the drop a massive metal contraption floated against the storm. As it finished turning light was cast across the stony ground. The loading ramp was open like the mouth of some great beast. The blood claw quickly ran as his brothers did, and dove into the craft.

Inside the wind did not bite and the rain did not fall, but there was still a cold feeling in the air. Yngvar looked down to see the injured form of another of his brothers. He remained silent as he made his way deeper into the craft. It pitched as the engines whined and roared. Finally sitting the young blood claw gripped the harness and snapped it into place. Even with the idea of the craft slamming into the ground looming somehow it comforted the warrior.

The craft seemed to calm. Perhaps it was clear of the storm, or the mighty engines were staying the storms fury. As Yngvar looked at the others he heard Lord Blackmane’s voice. The mighty warrior loomed in the craft seeming to fill an unnatural amount of the hold. As Blackmane spoke he looked to each of the pack. There was some excitement in Yngvar’s eyes as he heard the reason for the intervention of the wolflord. The pack would be tested in true battle. As the young blood claw glanced down again his excitement was lessened. If the likes of ape trolls could lay one of them low, then the orks might lessen the pack further.

Yngvar sat with uneasy silence as the thunderhawk flew. He wanted so much to ask of their role, and of the worlds they were to visit. He knew that many of these things would be answered in time. Occasionally the craft was shaken by turbulence, but it did not stop them reaching the Fang, to reach home.

As the young blood claw exited the craft Lord Blackmane spoke again. He held the pelt, the trophy of the trial, with a smile. As he dismissed the blood caws Yngvar glanced around. The massive chamber was nearly empty compared to when he had last seen it. The only other thunderhawk he could see was unknown to him. It did not have the markings or colors of the Wolf’s, but instead was green and white with a symbol he was not completely familiar with. They would be a brother chapter but not by blood as the Lord had said before.

The pack left the hall. Each man seemed to move in their own direction. Several seemed to head to the training cages, others moved toward quarters. Yngvar weighed his options before moving through the halls. The pack had been fighting to survive, and that made them strong in war. The young blood claw knew the cages would be filled with excitement, but that was not what he wanted now. What he wanted would be better found in the great hall. There would be tales to tell and to hear. There would be brothers to ask advice, and learn. Most of all Yngvar wanted a taste of ale, and the heat of a roaring fire.

When the young blood claw arrived in the hall Tyr had already began his tale. Yngvar grabbed a mug of ale and plate of meat before sitting to listen. A smile covered his face as he heard the tale from another’s perspective. From time to time he spoke reinforcing what his brother was saying. As he sat there in the warmth of the flames Yngvar pulled his trophy from a pouch. There was a low crack as he sliced one finger open and twisted a claw from it.

Tyr reached the fight with the trolls. Yngvar pulled one of the rock spearheads from the pouch. He looked it over. On one side a symbol resembling a tooth; the opposite having a tribal symbol for a great beast, an Ursid; and a single word ‘Fenris’. Using a small length of hide he tied the spearhead to the talon.

"I relish the chance to fight the Greenskin Horde, it will be a true test of strength."

Yngvar smiled. “A first true battle for some of us,” he spoke up. He stood with the first finished charm in his hand. “The chance to be tested in true combat,” the blood claw smiled, “I can hardly wait.” He looked at the others in the hall still with a smile. A mug raised above his head. “What say you warrior brothers? For those who are to be tested, and for those who enter battle again! For Russ and the All-Father!” Several other cries went up charged by the tales and the enthusiasm of the younger members. Yngvar took a long swig from his own mug before returning to his seat and waiting for the next tale to begin.
 

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Vermundr and Keris; Before you have the chance to do anything more, the great doors leading into lord Blackmanes chambers grind open, and nearly a dozen figures of legend make their way in and to the large table you are already waiting by. They are the eyes and ears of Ragnar Blackmanes company: Grey Hunters Leidolfr Darkstalker, Ani Silverclaw, Ssveruk Redfang, Mar the Silent, and Heimdal Stormclaw alongside Long Fang leaders Enkil Othersight and Bruni Longfire, the wolf priest Sigurd, and the rest of the wolf guard less Baldyr. Like the three wolf guard, each of these other newcomers to this council is a warrior of legend in his own right, leading one of the various packs and all veteran wolves with decades or, in the case of both Enkil and Bruni, centuries of experience and wisdom to back up their words. The grey hunters are clad in a variety of dress, some in little more than ruined chitons and belts and others in armour while both Sigurd and the long fangs are clad in pelts.

Both you and the rest of the war council take places as lord Blackmane, Njal, and Hundir do the same. With a wave of the wolf lords armoured hand, the hololith set into the center of the stone activates and shows a map of the Imperium, then reshaping and focusing on Segmentum Pacificus, and then again on the western half of the segmentum. Dozens of runes denote the systems within the segmentum; Ultima Macharia, Hydraphur, Jakart, and Joura all a steady red indicating where the greatest fighting is taking place. Adrantis V, Joura, and even Chiros all have blinking runes, to tell of enemy sightings and light fighting though not much more. Chiros, you recall, is further coreward than the Aurora homeworld of Thesis III, located between Chiros and Joura. The rune for the fellow astartes world is a dull gray, no telling just what its state is.

“The orks have sent Pacificus reeling, already half a dozen systems have fallen and a number of major ones are teetering.” Lord Blackmane stated, and as he spoke a number of the outlying systems winked out completely while dirty brown-green arrows indicated the advance of the orks. “From what we have been given, these bastards came from beyond the rim and in numbers that overwhelmed a number of defense monitor stations before the outland worlds could be warned. The sector fleets have been forced to flee from a number of engagements while the Aurora chapter, supported by a crusade from the Black Templars and three other lesser chapters and a dozen regiments of Imperial Guard, have managed to stall them in the Gorden Worlds. We have been called to honour a promise made in the years of the Macharian Crusade, to crush the orks should they ever rise up to plague the Segmentum again. Make no mistake, this ork invasion is a full fledged WAAAGH!!! and none of our brother chapters are entirely capable of taking its head.” He said with a half snarl, half smile.

“That is what we are going to do, find and kill the ork leading this where others have failed.” Blackmane finished, slamming a fist to the stone next to where he had set his rune etched blade. “And do we know who leads these orks, what it looks like?” Enkil of the long fangs asked at length, earning the laughter of the grey hunters Ani and Leidolfr. Before either could say anything, Gunnar cut them off, “You both know full well that most orks look the same, but ork leaders are most definitely different. The question is valid, who leads the greenskins?” “The data we have been given does not present an image, merely a name: Stelegob Harteata; likely a most enjoyable sort.” Njal said, eliciting a few chuckles that died down swiftly.

Heimdal started to say something, but was cut off by lord Blackmane, having guessed the grey hunters thought. “We are answering the call as we must, and at the same time we are not. Since the time the of Russ and the All-father a company has always stood watch within the Fang. It is tradition that we will never break, tradition that saved us against the depredations of the Thousand Sons millennia ago. Four packs, that is all I can send on this, and they will be going with the frigates Hunrodr and Raudulfr. We are here to decide which of you shall go.”


[More is to come, but for it I need to speak with both of you in chat at our earliest convenience.]
 

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Blood Claw Iotki

Iotki had been silent nearly the whole return trip.

Something was bothering him.

This had been his first hunt with his new pack. a mighty Razor-Ursid, a fearful beast. They had even gone above and beyond, besting two mighty Frost Trolls. It was a great honor for his Claw. Despite the early end to the challenge.

And yet, something had soured it.

Heimdall.

Or rather, the thoughts about his wolf-brother.

Every time he looked at him, he saw Heimdall's scars.

Scars he himself had given him.

True, Heimdall did not know of this fact, many years ago, before they ever joined a great company, he and Heimdall fought, training upon the practice field, showing their talents for the wolf-priests.

They had been quite evenly matched he and Heimdall, had they both paid proper attention, it should have been a bloodless bout, but for the fact that, upon the end being called Heimdall had exercised proper control and halted where he stood, whereas Iotki had been a fool.

His blood still up and racing at the time, he had charged forward, agression glinting in his one good eye. Before his mind had regained control over his wolf-spirit he looked at his brother's face and seen it covered in blood. His was the hand that held the fateful knife.

Heimdall had been shocked, he barely registered being injured until he put his hand to his face and pulled it away, covered in his own lifeblood. In a way it had been better that way, the sheer suprise of the suituation had allowed Iotki to regain his mind before his hand struck out again, prepared with a killing blow this time.

The gathered wolf-priests ran as quickly as they could to intercept Heimdall. Upon realizing his injury, Iotki saw that the ber-serk had gripped him, Heimdall wanted to kill Iotki, Iotki had simply dropped the knife in horror.

For most of his own life Iotki had been handicapped by the loss of his own right eye, ridiculed and thought less of by the warriors of his tribe, a dead weight, fit only to lie in some seamonster's belly.

Now he had nearly given a fellow wolf-brother such an injury. To make matters worse, now they were in the same pack. He had to look at his brother every day and be reminded of what he had nearly done.

Following the incident, while the Wolf-priests had lead the wounded aspirant away, Iotki had slunk off on his own, in shame, preparing to exact his own penance from himself.

It had primarily consisted of slamming his forehead against a wall.

And Allfather forbid if Heimdall found out that Iotki had been the other aspirant. It was a small comfort that Heimdall did not know. After all as Hiemdall, his other pack brothers Alrik, Tyr and Iotki himself proved, a wolf-brother without scars of some kind was a rarity. With no name and only a scarred eye to go on Heimdall could only have suspicions about his pack brother.

And Iotki resolved to keep it that way.

As he looked down, Iotki banished dark thoughts from his mind. He was returned to the Fang, he was home! He resolved to celebrate the great honor upon his pack.

And what better way to celebrate than with all the ale he could drink?

He stepped down the loading ramp, his fur boots padding silently like the paws of the wolf whose name they took, he nodded pleasantly to his brother Iorek as he passed, his mind pausing to momentarily consider what he had been told of the Red Dream. He considered asking him more, but was fairly certain he would only be answered with a snarl.

The great hall of the Fang is a wonderous place, a gigantic cavern, festooned with charms and trophies, battle-honors and talismans. Iotki loved every inch of it, it was a place to tell stories, hear legends of bygone heroes, sing songs, and on occasion, set up pranks.

He could recall one occasion where he himself had been drunk under the table by a brother Long Fang, and had found himself locked in a cage in the training fields the next day He resolved to find the prankster whom had done so, and one day, get even.

Iotki paused at a large Ork skull, it's forehead carved with runes. At one point it had belonged to a mighty Ork warboss, then it had become a trophy of famed hero Lukas the Trickster. Iotki admired him.

He could hear several Wolf-brothers swapping tales before the fire and resolved to join them, seeing a few of his pack among their number. Pausing only to snatch a steaming platter of meat and tubers and a jug of ale he sat down before the fire and listened with rapt attention, waiting his turn to add to the stories being told.
 

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Azahd, Heimdall, Hrothgar, and Njord; The battle between Baldyr and the Aurora rages on for another moment before ending, the conclusion cracking the stone faces of the outsiders, if only for a moment. In a show of superb sword-work, the Aurora had somehow managed to disarm Baldyr, sending his frost blade skidding to the far end of the cage and putting the Aurora between it and Baldyr. Rather than take up a defensive position from the lack of weapon, Baldyr instead charged forward in a move almost too fast for the eye to see. His foe reacted quickly, scissoring his blades towards the Ice-slayers upper torso. Rather than dodge the attack, Baldyr kept charging forward, twisting at the last moment and taking one blade across the back. The second one, though, found itself and the owning arm slammed up high and into the side of the Aurora marine’s head just short of the ear.

For long seconds the two simply stared at one another, cold fury and calm precision locked in a battle to see who would look away first. In the end, it was not Baldyr, and the moment the Aurora did cast his eyes away the wolf guard shoved his opponent back, before stalking forward to take his blade back up and sheath it across his back. There was an almighty roar of approval from the gathered wolves, silenced by a look from the rage fueled wolf guard, and then he spoke. “Quite this staring and get to your training, or suffer me in this cage.” The threat was more than enough for some, though a number of the gathered wolves left with grins on their faces or laughter in their wake.

You see Baldyr move back to the Aurora, and growl something to him, though you cannot make out what was said. Movement from the corner of your eye turns your attention to approaching forms. The three Aurora marines that had been watching now come to you, and it is only up close that you notice any discernible difference between the three. One of three has more thick features, a gold service stud embedded in his brow. The second and third ones have more sharp, angular features, with the second one bearing older shrapnel scars from a battle. “Greetings warriors of Russ. Were you out on the plains of your world as your champion was?” The lead Aurora asks Njord, noticing the pelts you are still clad in.

[When you answer the Aurora, he will immediately want to fight you, to see if all Space Wolves are as tough an opponent as Baldyr or if it was some kind of fluke. Obviously your not going to just take that, but the details of the fight are left to you; though actual combat will garner a mini-update. Azahd, Hrothgar, and Heimdall; do you just stand there and take what the Aurora said or do you in turn challenge one of the other two? Perhaps you did not remain and went into one of the training cages to fight one another?]



Krahl; Lost in thought, you do not completely pay attention to where you are going. By the time you do bother to look to your surroundings, you discover that you are far from your chambers, but instead are standing at the apex of the Fangthane just before the statues of dozens of heroes of the chapter. Millenia ago this chamber was much different, when it was the Wolfking Russ himself who stood watch over all within here. But that time has long since passed, and instead we pay him honour, not by falling back to the past and rebuilding what we lost but instead moving forward and filling the place with new heroes. A powerful voice booms throughout the chamber, making you aware of two others at the bottom of the steps. Looking down, hidden by the statues, you spot a marine clad in bright green and *********** armour, a blue and gold cape covering his back and a plumed helmet nestled in the crook of his arm. Next to him, though, is a figure to who your eyes fall right to; a hulking mass of adamantium and pelts. The Aurora and dreadnought turn away from the top of the steps and continue away, it appears neither had noticed your entry.

[One of the ancient dreadnoughts is about and with one of the outsiders? Though you do not know which of the fallen it is, will you leave for your chambers with this knowledge or is it not enough?]



Frostulfr; It is indeed hard to believe that one of the ancient warriors of The Fang is about, and likely for the coming fight against the orks. But who is it? The sound of someone coming draws you from your thoughts, and you look about for the source of the noise. It is to soft for the tread of a dreadnought, and to slow for someone with purpose. More movement, this time from behind you and much faster than whoever is coming. As you turn to find it, something faster than your eye make out darts beyond the low light.

[What on Fenris was that; and better yet do you dare find out? If you do not, and choose to leave here, you will come closer to whoever is approaching and discover it to be Iorek, lost deep in thought, or searching for something.]



Alrik, Tyr, Iotki, Yngvar; Though many of the other assembled Blood Claws do not seem as enthralled by the tale of the hunt as you might like, a number of the Grey Hunters and Long Fangs present are. For only an older wolf would understand the ordeals of such a thing, that a hunt is more than just the fight to kill a creature, but the fight to survive and master the world about you and to overcome the impossible any way you can. Mention of the orks has a different effect though; the other claws give a mixture of bewilderment and excitement while the older wolves are far calmer, and a pair show little more than annoyance. “And what makes you believe that we shall be fighting the greenskin plague any time soon?” One of the long fangs asks, though if it is because he does not know, or is merely testing the extent of what you know, escapes you.

[Obviously, someone feel free to answer him, though how much of what you know do you reveal? When you do answer, one of the annoyed wolves will point out that there is but one company here in the Fang. Another, a grey hunter, will speak of not seeking to fight the orks to soon, something Tyr will understand though Yngvar and Iotki will not.

Alrik; You will arrive in time to hear the question of the long fang, but not of Tyr retelling the tale of the hunt. What you do between your chambers and getting to the great hall is left entirely to you.]
 

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Blood Claw Iotki

Had Iotki been a real wolf, his tail would be twitching.

He looked at his pack brothers about the fire, they were listening with rapt attention like himself.

Well, almost all.

Their tale had failed to impress the other Blood Claws, which, he would be the first to admit, he found disappointing. It was always a joy to thrill with tales and song for him. I had been since he was a young boy, after all, entertaining the warriors, almost like a young skjald,was one of the few things a boy could do when he had only one eye.

Suddenly, his ears, much like his chapter's namesake on the hunt, twitched.

He had heard a word which excited him.

"Ork".

The other Blood Claws all began muttering with a mixture of bewilderment and excitement. One of the Long Fangs looks at the brothers gathered round and speaks.

"And what makes you believe that we shall be fighting the greenskin plague any time soon?"

Several of the others began to mutter, probably vocing the same question themselves.

Iotki chose to tip his hand.

"I have heard... rumors." said he, baiting his words like a snare.

the others turned to look at him.

Iotki briefly considered toying with his wolf-brothers, stringing them along, perhaps blowing his story out of proportion, even making it sound as though the Great Wolf himself had confided in him, lowly Iotki.

Then his good sense pounced and pinned his mischevious side.

"Lord Ragnar made mention of strangers, Brother Space Marines from the Aurora chapter, and also mentioned a oath made to them, they are under assault from the greenskin tide, he told us we are to go to their aid."

On second thought, maybe the lie would have been more beliveable. The other Blood Claws from the other packs seemed split, some tittering at his statement, other excited at the prospect to show their skill.

One of the old wolves protested that there was but one company here in the Fang, a grey hunter turned and admonished the gathered Blood Claws, warning them to not seek to fight the greenskins too soon.

He looked at his brother Tyr, he seemed to understand, Iotki was however, sure he did not.

Should they not be eager to face a worthy foe? to fight in the name of the All-Father? Save a brother chapter from destruction? Iotki turned to look at the skull of the long dead greenskin warlord. It was nearly the size of his chest.

The more he thought about it, the more he realized, there probably was somthing to worry about after all...
 

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Ørrgrimr’s presence into the drinking hall was silent; a quality not usually attributed to him as he sat alone at one of the long tables, nursing a flagon of mead. The ride back from the hunt in the Thunderhawk had been quiet too, despite the pack’s success. Hunting the razor-ursid and fighting the trolls with his comrades filled him with a joy he seldom had felt before, but not because of any brotherly love for those who fought by his side, only because of the venting of the pent-up emotion inside of him. The Blackmane’s words put a sense of purpose in him, true, but deep down he was still perplexed.

Why me, and why these others?

He did not know what to make of his packmates yet, even after all they had been through. But there was one in particular that he knew exactly what to make of. One that filled his heart with fury and made him grind his chipped teeth just looking at him. One who’s tribe name tortured his mind as the last memory of his former life; Alrik the Firehawk.

And now as the Firehawk entered the drinking hall, that single memory flared again. He could see Alrik’s uncle in him; the single memory of his life before the Fang burned into his mind like a brand. He could remember the feel of the harpoon in his hand as he tore at the Firehawk chieftain; he could remember the crunching noise of his body hitting the rocks of the tidal cave; he could remember the icy poison seeping through his veins like liquid night. But most of all he could remember the face of the Chieftain, his nephew at his side, the condescending sneer on his face as he gave the order for Ørrgrimr to be thrown to his death.

Ørrgrimr’s scaling knife slid out of the sheath that contained it as the Firehawk passed, heading over to the others in the pack. They were telling their tales to some ancient members of the Long Fangs and a few Grey Hunters, reveling in their newfound conquest. All members of the Fang sought for others to praise them, this was true; it was in the nature of the Space Wolf to be proud of their mighty deeds, otherwise what would Sagas be for? But Ørrgrimr would have no part in it tonight; better to show your prowess through deeds than through words, he thought. Suddenly, a smile on his face dawned slowly.

Through deeds, not words. That was how he would connect with the others in the pack…and get back at the Firehawk besides.

He took another swig of his mead, then stuck the knife into the table with a wooden thunk. A knife in the table and a drinking warrior; the traditional Fenrisian sign of a warrior seeking to wrestle. Ørrgrimr allowed himself a small chuckle. “Now, who will meet the challenge?” he muttered under his breath.
 

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Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn!
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1,727 Posts
OOC: Well, I decided to go ahead and post what I had without you answering my Pm :p Its not much but still... I can edit it later if needed.

A thought came to him; maybe he would be able to find out the name of the mighty warrior who was awakened. If he could find out his name maybe he would be able to ask someone about its whereabouts. Deciding that this is a good course of action Frostulfr looked around for something which could help him in his task. It could be maybe a panel of sorts or engraved plating, though as much as he looked he could not find anything which might help him.

His ears flickered like the ears of a wolf catching the distant sound of prey. Someone was approaching. He turned around quickly, it did not sound like an enemy and he could smell the scent of someone familiar. It was not an enemy that much was clear.

Suddenly another sound, a rustling from behind him forced him to turn quickly. It did not smell familiar, didn’t sound familiar either. Something was wrong. As he turned he could see a faint shadow quickly disappearing into one of the low lighter corners. No wolf would sneak around their base, could it be an intruder? He found it hard to believe… Still, if it is he was honor bound to stop him or at least warn the others.

His blue eyes scoured the surroundings. He could not see any other movement. Was it possible that it was merely one scout of an enemy force? It did not matter; the intruder had to be stopped.

One foot in front of the other, he approached stealthily to where he was sure that he saw the shadow going to. It was all too possible that he would be overwhelmed and killed, the thought made his heart beat quicker. He bared his fangs and snarled.

The other figure which slowly approached grew in familiarity, Frostulfr could sense that it was one of the pack mates but he could not decide who. It surely was not Hrothgar, the man couldn’t move slowly unless he was planning to ambush Frostulfr to reap vengeance because of his earlier victory. No. It did not sound like Hrothgar after all.

He suspiciously turned back expecting to be stabbed in the back any moment soon by an agent of the ruinous powers. As he turned he still saw nothing. He clenched his fist tighter and felt the rough wood against his hand. He looked down and saw that he was still holding the broken spear.

Seeing that it was his only weapon he took each piece of the spear in each hand. At least he had some sort of a weapon which wasn’t his fists. He was not in his power armour something which rendered him vulnerable and in a disadvantage. He stopped for a moment, was it really a good idea to investigate? Wasn’t it better to raise some of his pack mates to come and investigate with him?

Those thoughts passed through his mind but he quickly sent them tumbling away. No. This was not the way of a son of russ. He shall not cower in fear; he shall go and face the unknown himself.

Deciding so, he clenched his spear tighter and moved slowly towards the lightless spot which he felt, more than saw, the figure diving to.
 
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