THE WOLF FOLK SERIES
REBUILDING A WORLD
A STORY OF AN UNCOMMON FAMILY
Charles W. Bird
Charles W. Bird
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced by any means without the express, written permission of the author.
From Chapter 8: In time, Lord Alpha Randy's house became synonymous for Refuge, there were always youngling wolves staying there to get another start, a little assistance or recover from an experience gone bad. He never asked questions nor did he judge, he merely helped anyone in need, including a few humans who had come his way
BACK TO THE OLD WORLD
Lord Alpha Randolph mind sent an urgent message to Lord Prince James Meese Tate, "Prince James, we have a young wolf here, he has been beaten nearly to death. All we can understand from him is that he is searching for the holder of The Great Wolf Sword, that he had a dream that The Great Wolf Sword would save his folk."
James dropped what he was doing and he headed for the door, grabbing his two cadets as he ran by. Cadet Lewis Coulter was the senior of the two cadets, yet Cadet John Lee was the more powerful mind speaker.
The two younglings now kept their personal dirks on their persons wherever they went, it was their identification to their fellow wolves that they were the Keepers of the Great Sword! The Great Sword was the single most precious reminder the Wolf Folk had of their origins and the reminder of their obligation to both branches of humanity! The only symbol of their kind that was more precious than the Great Sword was the Crown of Wolfdom and that had been lost at the time of the Great Migration twelve thousand years earlier.
They grabbed The Great Wolf Sword from the safe as they ran by.
The two cadets kept the sword polished, every morning before they went to school! They were convinced the sword speaks to them and their Folk's legends tell of the sword being an advisor to the Great Wolf Warrior Protector of The Wolf King during ancient times.
James neither confirmed nor denied the Sword spoke to him, but, he knew that it did! His two Cadets also knew that the Great Sword spoke, it had spoken to both of them as they cared for it. The three Wolves knew that it was not magic, but that the Great Sword was sentient.
The two cadets caught up to James and he swung the Great Wolf Sword over his back and it settled into the waiting scabbard. James could feel the Great Sword urging him to run faster! The Ancient Bell in the Manor Tower began to toll on its own! The Ancient Bell of The Wolf King had been carried by their people as they fled from their homes in the Old Country and crossed the land bridge into America twelve thousand years earlier and, somehow, there was a connection between the Great Sword and the Bell.
A car was waiting for them at the door, John had notified the Duty Driver of the need.
The driver turned on his flashing lights and siren, as he raced the heavy vehicle out to the outer banks and Welcome House. They were less than an hour enroute and Lord Alpha Randy was waiting at the front door for them.
He said, as he led them down the hallway, "The youngster is badly hurt and he has come a great distance. His clothing tells me he is from Scotland and he has been brutally served. He must have arrived, somehow, on a fishing boat, he smells strongly of cod."
Randy opened the door to the bedroom where he had placed the young wolf and waited at the door, not wanting to crowd Prince James.
Cadet Lewis said, "Lord Prince Warrior Master Commander, let John and me speak to him first, you might frighten him and he does not need that!"
So James stepped back with Lord Alpha Randolph and the two cadets knelt beside the bed, speaking softly to the injured young wolf, "We are Lewis and John, we are young wolves like yourself. You are safe now, none can hurt you in this place, you are protected by the Lord Prince Warrior Master Commander of all the Americas, Prince James Edward Meese Tate."
John heard in his mind, "Please help us, we cannot last much longer." Then the young wolf started to scream, "Make them stop, he is killing us, take the children and pups. RUN,Hide!"
John entered the youngster's mind, his words told them that waiting was not an option. When John had lifted the information from the young wolf, he pushed sleep upon him before standing before his Prince and said, "My Lord Prince, read me."
James read his Cadet's mind, horrified at what he saw. The youngster was from Killiekrankie Keep, deep in the Grampion Mountains of Scotland. A fierce beast, a Wolf of gigantic proportions was killing their folk, they were sure it was a rogue wolf of their own kind.
The boy's folk had been hiding in those mountains since the time of the Ancients, without trouble, now this beast was destroying the Clan Dainispidal!
At that moment, a lightning flash was seen, striking the Dirks of both Cadets! The lightning came from the Great Sword of Wolfdom itself!
James entered the room and knelt beside the young wolf, "I am Prince James Meese Tate, Wolf Warrior Master Commander of all the Americas. If you can rouse yourself, it would be best if you can come with us as we go to rescue your folk."
The young wolf struggled to rise and James put his arm gently around the youngster and helped him sit up. He saw James kneeling beside him, the handle of The Great Sword of Wolfdom showing above his shoulder.
The young wolf screamed, his mental wail was heard even back at Cashiers, "ITS TRUE, THE GREAT WOLF SWORD STILL EXISTS AND IT IS CARRIED BY A MIGHTY WOLF WARRIOR. OUR LEGENDS ARE TRUE, WE WILL BE SAVED BY THIS WARRIOR OF THE GREAT LORD OF WOLVES, ABOVE US ALL!"
Again, lightning issued from the Great Sword and touched the struggling boy, then it traveled to the two Cadets and finally it struck James. None of them knew what it meant, but they all felt a great purpose, the Sword was calling them all.
The young wolf seemed to gain strength from just seeing the Great Sword, he said, "I am the Prince Alpha of my clan, The Dainispidal Wolves."
The young Wolf Prince struggled with his emotions and then continued, "My father sent me to find you, our legends tell us that the Great Sword of Wolfdom was carried by the leader of the migration, Lord Wolf King Jeremiah more than ten thousand years ago!"
The wolf folk stared, that was the name of their current Lord High Alpha Wolf, the leader of all their kind and was their King in all but name!
James gently picked up the injured youngster and cradled him gently in his arms. James said to John, "Transmit to Lord Jeremiah all that we have learned and tell him we are running for home."
James carried the youngling out to the car and sat in the backseat, holding him against further injury.
John slipped in the other door and sat beside James, holding the young wolf's head and speaking softly to him. Lewis sat on the front seat with their driver and told him, "Make this thing fly!"
The driver reached the main highway and they were joined by several Sheriff Deputies and their vehicles, the convoy went screaming up the highway with sirens and flashing red lights.
Lord High Alpha Jeremiah was in residence at his home, Wolf House, in Cashiers and the closer they got to Wolf House, the more law enforcement vehicles joined the convoy.
As the car entered the drive, there were Wolf Warriors lining both sides of the drive, their swords were all held erect in salute to their visitor.
The car itself was shimmering in subdued lightning, its outline pulsing in time with the tolling of the Tower Bell. It had begun tolling on its own a short time earlier.
The youngster looked out the window and saw the Warriors, he looked at James, who smiled and whispered, "They are My Warriors and they salute you, Prince Alpha Wolf of the Clan Dainispidal Wolves.
The young wolf struggled to sit erect and he held up his clenched fist in recognition of their salute.
He turned to James and said, "Lord Prince, I must walk past these valiant warriors, otherwise my Father's House will be forever shamed. Please help me salute your Warriors."
James understood the youngster's need and he helped the young wolf Prince out of the car, he knelt before him and drew The Great Sword of Wolfdom in salute. The Great Bell began to toll louder, as if in time with a heartbeat. James suddenly realized that it was timing his own heart!
The youngster then walked the line of Warriors, saluting each one with his clenched fist beat upon his own chest. By the time he had passed the line of Warriors, his strength began to give out, John and Lewis hurried his side and drew their own dirks, holding them high as they half carried, half guided the visiting Prince Alpha into the Rotunda of Lord Jeremiah's Home.
The Great Bell continued its tolling. It stopped as they crossed the Rotunda, The Bell in the tower then struck a single note, with no one pulling the tolling rope.
Later, observers of the event would swear that lightning was jumping between the two cadets' dirks!
Struggling to stand, the youngster bowed and said, "Lord High Alpha Jeremiah, King of The Wolf Kind, I am Prince Alpha Jaimes Stuart of Clan Dainispidal, son of Laird Alpha Brian Stuart. My Father has sent me to ask your assistance, we are facing a Giant Rogue Wolf and we have not the power to stop the beast!"
At the term, "ROGUE WOLF" everyone in the room sucked in their breath, that is the nightmare of all their kind!
John and Lewis kept the young wolf from collapsing and they carried him down the hall to the infirmary, where two wolf doctors and a room full of nurses were waiting for him.
The two Warrior Cadets stood guard outside the treatment room and, when they each shoved their dirks back into their belt holster, again, the tower bell, high above Lord Jeremiah's home, began to ring! It tolled twelve times before it ceased.
The bell tolling twelve times was the Ancients' Signal that the King of Wolves was in residence! Not for ten thousand and more years had the bell sounded such!
The Great Bell had been carried by their people as they struggled across Asia and entered North America during the Great Migration and it had never rung again until just now.
It had remained in storage before being hung in the tower and had been silent since the tower had been built nearly five hundred years earlier! The symbology was not lost on those who heard the tolling of twelve strokes, least of all Jeremiah's Father, Lord Franklin.
He was sitting in his chair, smiling as he thought to himself, "It begins, my son's ascendancy has begun, Jeremiah WILL BE KING!"
They kept the young visitor, Prince Jaimes, in bed until he was ready to scream, he had only the patience of a sixteen year old, for that is what he was.
The two cadets, Lewis and John visited with him every day after school. They told him of life in America and some of the history of their kind in the New World. He asked to see their dirks, and the minute he touched them, the dirks began to vibrate and burn the youth's hands.
He dropped them immediately onto the bed and he smiled at the two Cadets, "Thee are truly blessed, thy weapons tell me thou art of The Blood Royal of all our kind. Thou art True Princes to our Folk! That your Leader, the Prince Warrior Master Commander is able to carry The Great Sword of Wolfdom without hurt tells me that he, also is of The Blood Royal, despite his being a changeling!"
He thought for a few minutes and then added, "His guide through his change could only have been the King of Wolves, Lord King Jeremiah!"
John asked, "How do you know these things?"
Prince Jaimes replied, "I am a Seer, blessed with the power of foresight, the first in our Clan since our fellow wolves left on their migration. Our Clan had always supplied the Seers to the King of The Wolves. When did Laird Jeremiah ascend to the Throne of Wolves?
Lewis replied, We do not call Lord Jeremiah, King, however, he became Lord High Alpha Wolf on January 15, 2525."
Jaimes smiled and replied, "That is the date my Gifts made themselves known to me and my folk. It nearly killed me, until I learned to control them. I must meet this Laird King Jeremiah as soon as possible!"
Both the Cadets' Dirks were vibrating and giving off sparks from their tips, John ran to Wolf House as fast as he could. He burst into Lord Jeremiah's office out of breath, he panted, "My Lord King, read me!"
As soon as Jeremiah had done so, the bell began to toll again and could not be stopped. His secretary started receiving messages from every clan in the Americas promising fealty to the King of Wolves! The bells in every Wolf Keep on the Earth were ringing at that moment.
Suddenly, Vice President Edgar Meese found it imperative that he visit Wolf House, he called for his car and his Wolf Warrior Escort and headed for Cashiers!
The Wolves of Vice President's Escort found their own short swords glowing and giving off small sparks from their tips. It was, as if a primordial knowledge had been unlocked in their brains, they knew they were going to the King of All Wolves and that King was Jeremiah Franklin Tate!
When they arrived, the Bell was still tolling and Warrior Master Commanding, Prince James Meese Tate was standing at the door, the Great Staff of The Warrior Wolf, another treasure from their far distant past, was in his hand as he bowed to his Father in greeting, "Welcome Father and Vice President of our Country, King Jeremiah awaits you in his office."
He led his Father down the halls towards Jeremiah's office, pounding his staff on the floor at every step.
Jeremiah's office door flew open on its own accord and James announced, "My Lord, King of Wolves, The Vice President of The United States is here to meet with you."
Jeremiah asked the Vice President and James to enter and be seated.
Before Edgar could say anything, Jeremiah said, "Mr. Vice President, I am as bewildered as you are about all this, but it is like a doorway in all our minds has been opened by the arrival of a young Wolf Prince from Scotland. It seems that I am the traditional King of all Wolves and, since your son, James, is also my son and Proclaimed Heir! Prince James, I appoint thee Prince Royal, High Master Commander of All Wolf Warriors!"
Jeremiah and the Vice President spoke for several minutes before Warrior Master Jonal entered the room, he knelt before James and proclaimed, "Prince James, I acknowledge thee as the Prime Commander of all Wolf Warriors and I shall obey all your orders and commands in cheerful recognition of your high estate. Hail Royal Prince James!"
He then knelt before Jeremiah, "Lord Jeremiah, Leader and King of our kind, I recognize thee as the Rightful Ruler of all Wolves. Know you that you and Prince James have my complete loyalty and devotion. Thou art our KING! ALL HAIL KING JEREMIAH, KING OF THE WOLF FOLK!"
Jeremiah's head was swimming at the events that had just transpired, he said to James, "Prince James, I charge thee to return Prince Jaimes of Danispidal to his Father and make his people safe. This Wolf Rogue must be destroyed immediately!"
The Great Bell continued tolling, calling all wolves to gather before the King!
A ROGUE MUST DIE
James outfitted his Personal Troops with new uniforms, their kilts were a royal blue and red with light blue blouses. Their shakos were black, trimmed in white fur with a golden badge on the front of a wolf's head wearing a silver circlet, indicating they were commanded by a Prince of the Royal House of Wolves.
The six pipers were outfitted the same, except they all had new pipes, bright white with gold flutes. The Master Piper was clothed in a white Shako, trimmed in black fur with a golden wolf's head, wearing a silver circlet on the front and his kilts were pure white with gold piping. His staff was alternately gold and silver, with a large gold wolf's head and silver circlet on the top.
Even the pipers were armed. Like all wolves, they were also Warriors and each had a huge sword hanging on their hips and automatic rifles slung over their backs.
The Warriors all carried a variety of weapons and a short sword across their breast, where it could be easily drawn in combat. These were real warriors, not for parade or show!
The cadets, Lewis and John kept their original dirks, except the handles were now gold. Their uniforms reflected James' own uniform, a red and black kilt with a royal blue blouse. Their shakos were of white fur, trimmed in royal blue and a large wolf's head with a golden staff, signifying their own Royal Status.
Whenever they even thought of their dirks, the dirks began emitting sparks and flashes of light.
Each Warrior Cadet carried a pistol in a white holster and their dirks were prominently displayed hanging off their hips. John's mother asked him if that pistol was loaded and he replied, "Yes, 'Mam, it is loaded and I have been taught how to use it! I am a Warrior, now!"
On their first public appearance, the two cadets marched directly behind James, the wolves standing there watching, observed that the two were rapidly becoming adult, they could see that they both had made successful change and were accorded adult Wolf Warrior status!
After their first appearance, James presented both cadets their Senior Warrior pins, they had graduated from Cadets to Line Warrior! They both were proud of that silver wolf's head pinned to the right collar, they were no longer youths! They had turned the corner on adulthood.
They stood tall and straight and saluted James as he pinned them, James was surprised that they were nearly as tall as he was, when had they suddenly grown up?
He now referred to them as his "staff" and they found themselves commanding warriors for the very first time.
The day of their departure for Edinburgh arrived and they loaded the Red Wolf with two hundred warriors and all their gear. There was barely room for everyone to be seated.
Wolf Command Pilot, Prince Paul, could feel the weight as he guided the plane down the runway in Charlotte, for take off. The plane was fully loaded, it was going to be a tight squeeze to fly the distance without refueling!
A second plane, The Blue Wolf, followed them into the air. It was loaded with their weapons and ammunition. The Blue Wolf, too, was heavily loaded.
King Jeremiah, still struggling to come to terms with his own status, stood in the Charlotte Airport VIP terminal, watching the planes depart without him, he knew he could never again command in the field and he missed it dearly.
It was an eight hour flight to Scotland and they landed just after sunup. It was a clear, highland morning and James planned a dramatic entrance, the Return of the WOLF FOLK to Scotland! The land where their kind had first emerged from their wild state!
He kept Prince Jaimes alongside him as he stood in front of his disembarked troop and ordered, "PASS IN REVIEW!"
He watched as Prince Alpha Jaimes of Dainispidal saluted the Wolf Flag and the King's Banner as it passed by, the pipers were playing a marching song, long known in the Highlands of Scotland, it went back twelve thousand and more years into the past, at the very dawn of Human and Wolf history! It drew the local people like a giant magnet.
The Scots were out in force, they were watching something out of their own ancient history, the last time there had been a member of Wolf Royalty in Scotland was before the Great Migration, they had not known of Clan Dainispidal until just recently and were not sure to be proud or to be afraid of a Wolf Clan among them.
James put his troops at Parade Rest and he faced the crowd, "FOLK OF SCOTLAND, WE HAVE RETURNED TO YOUR LAND AFTER AN ABSENCE THAT HAS BEEN FAR TOO LONG. A SCOTTISH MEMBER OF OUR FAMILY, PRINCE JAIMES OF DAINISPIDAL, CAME TO US FOR ASSISTANCE, AN ASSISTANCE WE GIVE FREELY. OUR KING, LORD JEREMIAH HAS GIVEN ORDERS TO DESTROY THE ROGUE BEAST THAT IS TROUBLING OUR BROTHERS OF SCOTLAND AND WE WELCOME THEM BACK INTO OUR FAMILY OF WOLVES. MAKE NO MISTAKE, THEY REMAIN FAITHFUL SUBJECTS OF SCOTLAND, BUT THEY ALSO OWE ALLEGIANCE TO THE KING OF THE WOLF FOLK, KING JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE. IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS, WE ARE ALSO LOYAL AMERICANS, JUST AS THOSE OF CLAN DAINISPIDAL ARE LOYAL SCOTS."
He then ordered his troops to Pass in Parade. They marched across the tarmac, showing the crowd every aspect of Wolf Warriors.
The crowd could see The Great Sword carried by this Prince James communicating with the Warrior Aides of the Prince, their Dirks were glowing in a pulsing light in time with The Great Sword, like the beating of a heart.
When they had completed their show, James put them at ease and continued to address the crowd, which had grown even larger! "PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND, I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED OUR SHOW, BUT NEVER THINK, FOR EVEN A SECOND, THAT THESE WARRIORS ARE FOR PARADE ONLY. THEY HAVE SEEN WAR SERVICE FROM THE WILDS OF NORTHERN CANADA TO THE TIP OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO, IN CHINA AND THE KOREAS. THEY ARE BATTLE HARDENED AND A CRIMINAL'S WORST NIGHTMARE. I PLEDGE TO YOU THAT WE SHALL RID YOUR LAND OF THIS ROGUE WOLF AND MAKE YOUR LAND SAFE FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. NOW, I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE YOUR CHILDREN TO COME AND MEET MY WARRIORS!"
At first, only a few boys dared come up and see these strange folk, up close and personal. Lewis and John walked over to the crowd and knelt down so they were eye level with a group of girl children. John said, "I am Warrior Leader John and my friend here is Warrior Leader Lewis. We are both Junior Officers under the command of Prince James Edgar Meese Tate, the Officer in command of all Wolf Warriors in the world."
He held out his hand and said, "Come, come with me and I shall introduce you to some of our Warriors and also our Pipers."
A few of the braver girls came over to him, one looked up and asked, "Are you really a wolf?" John smiled and said, "Well, kinda…" He brought forth his wolf partially and let him shimmer across his face.
The little girl reached up a petted the shimmering wolf, John knew he was going to have trouble if he did not let his wolf fully emerge, so, suddenly, there was a wolf standing erect there, dressed in John's shredded uniform.
The crowd drew back, but the children stood there in awe, the little girl continued to pet the huge wolf and several other children came forth to pet him.
John called his wolf back and he stood there as a human, hoping he had not done too much damage to his new uniform and that nothing embarrassing was hanging out on display.
He and Lewis were mobbed with children, they came from all directions.
One young boy, a young teenager, came up to Lewis and said, "Sir, could I enlist in your Warriors, I am an orphan and my home life is miserable, they hate me and only keep me for the welfare payments."
Lewis could not control himself, his wolf emerged and he roared, "Who has harmed this child, I CLAIM HIM AS MINE OWN!"
An older woman fainted and her husband, who promptly wetted his trousers as a seven foot tall Royal Red Wolf, standing upright on his hind legs and roared out his anger!
James was looking on in approval, his onetime Cadets were coming into their adulthood!
The wolf stood there, holding the boy's hand and demanded again, "Who has harmed this child? Who would claim him as their own?"
The older couple was seen running as fast as they could away from the crowd!
The wolf who was Lewis, looked down at the young boy and said for all to hear, "None will claim thee, therefore, I, Lewis Terrel Coulter, do claim thee as mine own son, thou shalt live with me and grow to manhood, or, if you wish, you may become a Wolf Warrior. Thou shalt be known as Andrew Lewis Coulter, son of Prince Lewis Terrel Coulter! Thus I have spoken, so shall it be!"
The boy was shaking in fear but he managed to say, "ppppPlease ss Sir, may I be a warrior llllike yourself?"
Lewis smiled and said to the boy, "Son, you can be anything you desire, to be a Wolf Warrior is a hard and dangerous path, but if that is what you desire, it shall be done!"
The boy stood beside his new parent, his chest thrown out and his head held erect in pride. Visions of wars and battles were running through his head and Lewis whispered in the boy's ear, "It is not all glory and parade, it is hard and dangerous work, but I will help you gain your dream!"
Andrew looked at Lewis with not just a little fear and Lewis whispered, "We are telepaths, too."
The boy fainted!
James ordered the Warriors to FORM UP and make ready to march to Dainispidal. Wolf Warrior Sergeant Major Ian McGuiness stepped out of ranks and picked up young Andrew, saying to Lewis, "Let me carry the bairn for you Prince Lewis, it will be a honor to serve one such as yourself and your son."
James' hearing was very acute and he heard what the Warrior Sergeant had said. He began thinking, as they marched toward the grim looking mountains, "It is time for the boys to command a squad, they are both ready."
They camped the first night out and James called both boys to him, "Men, it is time for you both to lead your own squads, Lewis, I assign you Squad three and John, I assign you Squad four. Tomorrow morning, I shall announce your positions and your squad's formation position, the latter will change daily. Lewis, you may make young Andrew your aid and, if he works out, he will become your Cadet, even if he wishes to remain Human."
John was not jealous, he knew that whatever happened in his own future, he would be supported by Prince James. That he was a Prince himself, came as a shock to both of them, but both young men had long ago decided they would accompany Prince James for the rest of their lives.
Sergeant Mc Guiness looked down at the child in his arms and his heart went out to the boy, he, too, made a vow, that he would serve the young Prince and his new son for so long as there was breath in his body.
He would become Lewis's aide and batman for the rest of his life, becoming the first Senior Master Sergeant Of Wolves in modern times.
He would remain as an aide to Prince Lewis Terrel Coulter for the next one thousand years and would retire only when his Prince retired and they both would continue in company with the other until their death!
They would join each other in death only hours apart far in the future!
As they began to ascend the foothills of the Grampion Mountains, they all began hearing awful roars and incoherent rage in their minds, it was the raving of a being completely mad and devoid of reason.
James ordered that guards be posted at night, John took the first watch with his squad.
The first attack came just as Lewis was relieving John, it was fortunate that there were two squads awake and already armed. They just barely beat the beast back. Only Lewis got a good look at the beast, a face so horrible, he would have nightmares for the rest of his life!
He reported to James, "It was awful, Prince James, that face was contorted in awful rage and its eyes held no intelligence. There is no doubt it was, at one time anyway, one of us, but now, it is completely devoured by its animal wolf. There is no reason, nor intelligence left in the beast!"
James decided that there would be two squads on duty the next night, with a beast that huge and that awful, he was not going to take a chance that it might get among them!
The next night there was no attack, though they could feel the beast nearby.
The next day was dreary and wet with a fog/rain combination. The going was so hard, James decided to tuck it in before they reached Dainispidal Castle.
They gathered in an ancient dun, long abandoned and nearly fallen to ruin.
There were three walls sufficient to help protect them and, after they had eaten, those Warriors who were off-watch huddled in their ponchos, attempting to stay dry, while the two squads on watch built up the fire and readied their weapons, knowing the night would not remain calm.
Shortly before watch change, John felt something amiss. He was a powerful telepath and he sent his mind out ranging in search of the beast.
Suddenly, it leaped over the wall with an angry roar and began tearing into the sleeping warriors, the night silence was broken by the sputtering of automatic weapons, two squads of machine guns were pouring bullets into the beast, but still it fought on.
A third squad joined them and after at least an hour of non-stop firing, the beast collapsed in its death throes.
As it died, its human came back and it whispered, "Goodbye, Papa"!
Jaimes of Dainispidal had been protected the entire trip, he had not fully recovered from his ordeal.
James roused him and brought him over to the dying beast, the young Prince Alpha looked on in horror, "It is my older brother Thomas Stuart!"
He cried out and said, "Thomas, Tommy. What have you done to yourself?"
As the beast gasped its last breath, it mumbled, "I tried, Jaime, I tried, but I was not strong enough. You must carry on for Father, I couldn't do it."
Jaimes sat beside the dead beast, sobbing, "Our Father was trying to restore our lands, what was it that Tommy tried to do?"
James held the sobbing young wolf and said, "Jaimes, we will carry your brother home, he should be buried among his kin, say naught to anyone about him being the beast, at least until we can find some answers."
With death, the beast looked human and they made a stretcher to carry it towards the Castle.
It took four men just to lift the beast and carry it. They had to be changed out frequently, lest they become exhausted.
At midday, they arrived at Dainispidal Castle and the Chamberlain answered the door call.
Jaimes rushed into the old man's arms, calling him Uncle David. The old man urged James and his Warriors to come in and be out of the rain.
The Chamberlain said to Jaimes, "Your father has not risen from his bed since you departed, are these the American Warriors for whom you sought?"
Jaimes replied, "Yes, Uncle David, this is Laird Prince James and these two young Warriors are Prince Lewis and Prince John. This little guy here is Prince Lewis' son. The legend of the Great Wolf Sword is true, Prince James is the Bearer of the Great Sword!"
James drew the Great Sword of Wolfdom and its shine lit up the room.
The old Chamberlain bowed deeply and said, "The legends say that the holder of the Great Sword shall command all of Wolfdom's Warriors." James smiled and replied, "Maybe, but right now, we have our King and I have sworn to obey and protect him for so long as I shall live."
Jaimes climbed the stairs of the old castle with a heavy heart, sure to find his Father dead or dying.
His knock on his Father's door was answered by a quavering voice, "Come in My Son and be welcome in this place."
Jaimes knelt at his Father's bedside and said, "I have returned Father and I have brought the Laird of All Wolf Warriors to be our champion against the Beast!"
The old man replied, "Nay my son, the Beast is dead, I felt its death. The Beast was your Brother, Thomas, his quest for the power to return our ancient fortunes destroyed him, his body could not contain The Power of the Ancients and it consumed him utterly."
The old man then looked at James and he said, "You My Laird, I see greatness and power in thee, thou art the Warrior of All Warriors!"
John and Lewis were standing immediately behind James and the old man spoke, first to John, "You, young Prince of Wolves, I see greatness in thee, also, but greatness not of battles with arms and knives, but rather your mind. Thou shalt not know thy equal, thy mind shall make thee greater than most men."
He then looked at Lewis and said, "Thou shalt follow the Way of the Warrior all thy life, Thou shalt succeed thy Leader as Master of All Warriors and thou shalt die a Warrior's Death in your old age. Thy son shalt succeed you and he shalt serve thy Brother's son, the future King of All Wolves."
The old man was tired and he said to his son, Jaimes, "Go my son and take on the mantle of Leadership for our folk, I grow weary and have not the strength to continue as Laird Alpha of the Dainispidal Wolves, I pass to you, the Staff and Sword of Leadership, thou art the Laird Alpha Wolf of Clan Dainispidal. Lead our folk well and make thy allegiance with the King of Wolves."
The old man collapsed and the Chamberlain rushed in with a medicinal draught to make the old man sleep.
Jaimes eyes were flooding tears and he said, "Uncle David, what is wrong with my Father?"
The Chamberlain looked at Jaimes with great sadness and replied, "Laird Jaimes, Alpha Wolf of our folk, Your Father, is two thousand and sixty years old, he had led our folk for a full two thousand years and was only holding on for your return. He will die shortly and enter a rest he richly deserves."
Jaimes stood there, choking back his tears as he watched his father enter into a deep sleep. Finally, he turned and faced James. He knelt and placed his Father's Sword, the symbol of his folk, on the floor between them, He looked up at James and said, "Laird Prince James Meese Tate, Prince and Warrior of all Wolves, before you I place the Sword of my folk, if you accept our sword, we shall serve you and King Jeremiah for all eternity. If you reject our sword, we shall continue our life here in the Mountains of Scotland and live out our lives until none of us remain in this life."
James reached down and picked up the Sword of Dainispidal. He said, "RISE LORD OF DAINISPIDAL THOU ART LORD OF ALL YOUR FOLK. I NAME THEE PRINCE REGENT OF SCOTLAND AND GIVE THEE LORDSHIP OVER ALL WOLVES IN THIS LAND. I PLEDGE TO THEE MY FRIENDSHIP AND THAT OF OUR KING, TO WHOM WE BOTH OWE OUR ALLEGIANCE. ALL HAIL PRINCE JAIMES, LORD WOLF REGENT OVERLORD OF ALL WOLVES OF SCOTLAND!"
Jaimes was shaking in fatigue and emotion, however, he managed his reply, "Should I fail in my duties to you, Prince James Meese Tate or to our Sovereign Lord, King Jeremiah Franklin Tate, may I walk this land without friendship, aid or comfort for the remainder of my life, I SWEAR THIS BEFORE THE LORD OF WOLFS ABOVE US ALL, SO HELP ME GOD!"
Jaimes was shaking in his fatigue and the injuries he had received, he signaled the Chamberlain and the elderly servant led the Lord Alpha, Laird of Scotland, to a room that had been prepared for him.
The rest all bedded down in the Great Hall of the Castle. Everyone was fully exhausted and sleep came quickly to all.
Early the next morning, the Chamberlain, Alex Dunnigan, came to James and gently shook his shoulder. When James awakened, the old man said, "My Laird Prince of Warriors, I beg your assistance, our Laird has died during the night and I fear for my nephew's life. His father's death on top of all else that has tormented him, he might not survive. Please come and be with him as I must give him this awful news."
James rose quickly and put on his ceremonial dress, he quickly called Lewis and John, telling them what he wanted them to do. James went with the Chamberlain to rouse Jaimes.
Lewis and John roused the troops and got them formed up.
The Pipers began the Funeral Dirge as Jaimes was led down the tower stairs, Sergeant McGuiness began chanting the "Highland Trail of the Dead". The entire troop was drawn up at attention, Lewis and John, Commanding.
As Jaimes walked by, each rank of troopers saluted him and then they went to Parade Rest, waiting the command to carry the coffin.
When Jaimes had finished paying his last respects to his Father, Twelve of their largest troopers grasped the handles on the coffin and slow-marched to the Family Cemetery, accompanied by the Pipers still sounding the Dirge of Death.
Outside the Hall, the way to the burial place was lined with the American Wolf Warriors, their swords reversed in mourning the death of a Wolf Warrior and Lord.
The Dainispidal Warriors awaited the casket at the burying place and received it from their American Cousins. Every Warrior knelt in prayer as the coffin was lowered into that awful hole and the Pipers piped one of their own on his journey to sit with The Lord Wolves, Above Us All.
As the first shovel of dirt was dropped on the casket, John and Lewis stepped up beside their friend and kept him from falling to the ground.
When it was all done, Jaimes marched with his two American Friends at the head of the combined Warriors, American and Scot, as they slow marched back to Dainispidal Castle.
Will young Jaime remain in Scotland or will he gather his folk and bring them to America? Can they still thrive in the barren highlands of Scotland? If they immigrate to America, where will they go? How will they live?