THE WOLF FOLK SERIES
THE ADVENTURES OF JEREMIAH TATE
A STORY OF A BOY COMING OF AGE IN AN
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.
Prologue; Jeremiah Tate is nearing 16 years old and struggling to become a man in a family without his father. What he does not know can hurt him, yet what he does know leads him to explore further. On his 16th birthday, he is confronted with a situation that turns his entire world upside down, everything that he had believed in was suddenly suspect. When he finally works it all out in his mind, he is no longer the boy he thought he was, nor was he completely human.
The Wolf Folk are an ancient race, their exact origins are lost in the mists of time. They are likely the origin of the legends about Werewolves, however they are neither werewolves nor are they wolves. They are shape-shifters who have the ability to modify their appearance and are telepaths of considerable power. They mentally convince their observer of their wolf status. There were originally six great houses or families of shape-shifters that lived in peace with their human brothers. As civilizations began to grow, those jealous of the Wolf Folk began to harass them. They held humans in great esteem and refused to fight back. As continents began to emerge from the ice ages, the Wolf Folk emigrated away from their homelands and arrived in Alaska about 10,000 years ago, crossing the land bridge with the peoples who became the Hopi, the Cherokee and the Athabascans. The latter betrayed them and were subsequently shunned by the Wolf Folk, although they retained legends of shape shifters as their descendants became the Navajo and the Apache peoples. They had few laws among them, however, their traditions would not allow them to hurt a human, nor, for that matter, eat one, despite what old tales said. In fact, the Oath of the Prime Pack Leader stated, in part, "in sight of the Great Creator, I shall allow no harm to come to our cousins, the Humans through fault or deed of my own or those holding allegiance to me. I swear this upon my Ring and my life, so help me God!" This oath was so binding, no wolf would cross the line and harm a Human, nor allow harm to come to a human.
From book 6; "ALL RISE, LORD WOLF PRINCE ALPHA JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE, AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY AND HIS SON LORD WOLF PRINCE TOSCO JEREMIAH TATE ENTER. HAIL PRINCES JEREMIAH AND TOSCO." As they made their way across the floor, there was utter silence. They stood before their Alpha and bowed low, as they arose, Franklin said, "I SEE THEE, PRINCE JEREMIAH, I SEE THEE PRINCE TOSCO, BE WELCOME IN MY RECOGNITION OF YOU AND I ASK THAT YOU SIT AT MY SIDE." As they seated themselves a great shout went up from the assembled wolves, greeting this popular and famous Lord Prince Alpha and his son. Jeremiah looked out of the corner of his eye at Tosco and saw his shape shimmering. He thought to himself, "Lord of Wolves Above Us All, he is but 10 summers and already his wolf is struggling to come forth!"
FROM HOT TO COLD
They got settled in Greystone Manor after their return from Mexico, Wolf Tutor Paul Foreson was hired to school young Tosco and Jeremiah settled down to administer his increasing responsibilities. He made several quick trips to the Inland Clan and also down to the Charleston and Myrtle Beach Septs'. The Inland Clan was thriving as was the South Coast Clan, located in New Orleans, however, there were rumors the Texas Clan was stumbling so Jeremiah decided to pay a courtesy visit to the Clan Headquarters in Houston.
They boarded the Alpha's airplane and told the pilots they wanted to go to Houston. The Chief Pilot, Wolf Harley Myers, reminded Jeremiah that it was his aircraft now. Jeremiah smiled and told him that old habits were hard to break.
When they arrived in Houston, he and Peter wandered around the city for a few days picking up tidbits of stray information. Slowly, they began to realize that there were two groups within the Texas Clan, the older wolves, who were Traditionalists bordering on Mystic and the other group, younger wolves who were trying to modernize the clan and restore its businesses to profitability.
The latter were fighting a losing battle, the hide bound older wolves refused to grant funds to modernize the businesses and they blocked the younger wolves at every request to increase the Clan's finances or power.
The Texas Clan was in deep financial decline, while they owned large land holdings, those holdings were kept out of production and the land left fallow. They owned a large lumber mill near Nacogdoches, Texas where the machinery was so old, the mill was practically shut down. Their oil and gas wells all along the coastline had been shut in because the needed safety devices could not be approved for purchase.
Reunion Bank was about to foreclose on their dairy properties because money was not appropriated to pay the mortgage nor were there sufficient milking cows to make it profitable.
Jeremiah decided it was time to step in, from his contacts with the younger wolves, he found out that there was to be a Clan Meeting that very night.
He gathered his advisors and they planned a coup.
At the appointed time, Jeremiah and Chub arrived, followed by Jeremiah's advisors and 20 of his warriors. Jeremiah was in his Tuxedo and Chub in his black silk suit.
Jeremiah's ring was glowing bright green as they approached the meeting place. Four of Jeremiah's Warriors pushed the doors open as Chub pounded Jeremiah's staff on the Clan Stone and announced, "ALL STAND, LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE, HEIR TO THE MOST ANCIENT LINE, HEIR TO THE PRINCIPAL CLAN OF THE AMERICAS, AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE CLANS OF THE AMERICAS ENTERS, ALL HAIL LORD PRINCE ALPHA JEREMIAH!"
Before anyone could react, Jeremiah strode across the room and faced the Clan Alpha, his eyes were blazing red in anger and the room was lit green with his ring.
He said, "I SEE THEE ALFRED OF THE TEXAS CLAN BUT I DO NOT RECOGNIZE THEE. THOU ART NOT A WOLF, BUT A COWARD AND A SHAME TO ALL WOLVES. STEP FOREWARD LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF ROGER ALFRED MANN TO BE RECOGNIZED."
The young Prince Alpha stepped forward, not knowing exactly what was happening, but he had hopes that SOMETHING good would come of this.
When he stood before Jeremiah, Jeremiah continued, "KNEEL BEFORE ME LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF OF THE TEXAS CLAN. KNOW ALL HERE THAT I, LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF OF THE PRINCIPAL CLAN OF THE AMERICAS, HEIR OF THE MOST ANCIENT LINE AND AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE CLANS OF THE AMERICAS RECOGNIZE THEE AS LORD ALPHA WOLF OF THE TEXAS CLAN."
He turned to the former Alpha and said, "THEE, WOLF ALFRED SHALL LEAVE THIS MEETING NEVER TO RETURN. DEFY ME AT YOUR OWN PERIL, THOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. LET NOT YOUR SHADOW BE SEEN ON THIS FLOOR AGAIN."
The disgraced wolf and all his coterie slunk out of the meeting hall, not daring to defy this young Wolf Prince who had already made his mark as, perhaps, the most powerful wolf in the world.
The new Alpha adjourned the meeting and went into closed door meetings with Jeremiah and his counselors. They created a new plan to restore the Clan and its finances, not all the new Clan Officers were young, there were enough older wolves who had been powerless to stop the decline, but wanted their clan to survive, to leaven the process.
Jeremiah and the new Alpha Wolf visited every business of the clan, Chub announcing them at each location and Jeremiah's Warriors standing guard over their Prince.
Those of the Wolf Managers who could not answer Jeremiah's questions about the business they were supposed to be running, immediately found themselves replaced in disgrace.
By the end of the month, cash began flowing into the Clan's accounts and they were able to pay the mortgage past due on the dairy properties. As funds became available, the lumber mills were upgraded and the safety devices installed on the oil and gas wells, additional milking cows were purchased and added to the herds.
The cash flow increased and, for the first time in many years, the Clan was in the black at the end of the next month and the savings account began to grow.
Jeremiah and his group stayed another two weeks advising and encouraging the New Clan Alpha. Alpha Wolf Roger admired Jeremiah, bordering on hero worship. He studied Jeremiah's methods and manners and began to blend them with his own. They became fast friends, a friendship that would last centuries.
When he was sure the Southern Clan was on a firm footing, Jeremiah gathered his folk and they returned to their home at Greystone Manor. Tosco was delighted to see his Papa return and was dancing from one foot to the other as he waited to greet the Prince at the front door.
Jeremiah winked at his son and the anxious child leapt into his arms, hugging and kissing him. Again, Jeremiah saw the boy's wolf lightly shimmering just below the surface. He decided to consult with his own Father, the Lord Alpha Franklin about the matter.
He arranged an appointment and traveled to meet with the Alpha in his own home. Franklin told him that some boys develop earlier than others and, quite possibly, Tosco's deprivations as a small child had forced his wolf to mature early in order to protect the boy. There was nothing to be done about it, Tosco's Wolf would emerge when it was ready, whether Jeremiah was ready or not.
Jeremiah decided to keep the boy with him, he did not want Tosco's Wolf to emerge without him being with the boy to guide him. Peter, also, had become attached to Tosco and between them both, the boy would never be left to struggle through his change alone.
The Lord Alpha Wolf of the Northwest Clan called Jeremiah for assistance, his Heir had been killed mysteriously and the Heir's teen aged son kidnapped. To kill an Heir was a heinous crime, to kidnap a child who was now Heir, was doubly so.
Jeremiah told Chub to gather the Warriors, they were going to Seattle. Their own plane was not large enough to carry them all, so Jeremiah rented a special plane from a Canadian Company, Bombardier. The plane could accommodate them all and carry sufficient cargo to supply them during an extended stay.
Chief Wolf Pilot Harley Myers was already checked out on the aircraft and as soon as it was delivered to the airport, they made ready to go to Seattle. It would be a fast trip, the new aircraft cruised at almost twice the speed of their old plane.
Tosco was delighted when he was told that he was going with his Papa. Chub took the young Prince Wolf and had him outfitted in a youth tuxedo and crafted for him, his very first Wolf Prince Staff. When Tosco saw the staff, his eyes went big and he asked Chub, "Lord Wolf Counselor, teach me that I do not shame my Papa before others of our kind."
Jeremiah overhead what Tosco had said and he had to restrain himself from running into the room and holding his son in pride. He secretly watched as Chub was teaching Tosco about the staff and its uses and ceremony, he saw Tosco's Wolf shimmering stronger about the boy. He knew it would not be much longer before his son went into change.
They flew out the next morning, headed for Seattle. Lord Alpha Thomas Becker was shocked that Jeremiah could mindspeak to him from Charlotte, he told the Alpha that they were departing from Charlotte and expected to be in Seattle in 4 hours.
Lord Alpha Wolf Thomas assured Jeremiah that there would be Wolves to meet them and bring them directly to Seattle Wolf House.
After he spoke to Jeremiah, the elderly man thought, "So, the rumors are true, this young Wolf Prince has awakened the Powers of the Ancients, surely he can find my Grandson, Sammy. We need his help desperately, he has come to us in our need by the Grace of The Lord of Wolves, Above us all."
With the disappearance of his Grandson, Lord Thomas had put off mourning the murder of his son. He sat heavily in his chair pondering about all that had happened. If this Young Wolf Prince could help him, maybe they could restore the clan. So many had died or disappeared, he could hardly raise a pack of Warriors.
His eyes nearly bugged out of his head as he heard in his mind, "Yes, Lord Alpha Thomas, we shall help you, you have my word on it!" He somehow knew it was Wolf Prince Jeremiah who had mindspoken to him. The old man cried for his murdered son and released his sorrow. He felt a comforting presence helping to ease his mind. He recognized the mind signature of Prince Jeremiah and was comforted by it.
The** **Bombardier was faster than his own plane and could carry more passengers, plus it had a greater cruising range. Jeremiah planned on asking his Father if he could trade in the old plane for this one he had leased.
They landed at Seattle and made arrangements for the plane to be parked in a secure hanger while they were there. They left a Warrior to guard the plane and walked out to where several large SUVs were parked. The lead driver identified himself as Parker Jones, aid to Alpha Thomas. Something didn't seem right and Jeremiah reached out with his mind to contact the Alpha Wolf. Alpha Thomas sent that he did not know of anyone named Parker Jones and that the cars he was sending had just left the headquarters.
Jeremiah alerted Chub and Peter and the Warriors quietly surrounded the SUVs and their drivers. Before the drivers realized it, they had powerful wolves placing them in hammerlocks.
Jeremiah crushed through the mind shields of the one who called himself Parker Jones, the man was a mental infant compared to Jeremiah, his mind was laid open to Jeremiah and Peter in seconds as his secrets were stripped from his mind, leaving the man a broken, mindless vegetable who would require a keeper for the rest of his miserable life, should he be left among the living!
Jeremiah's anger rose to almost uncontrollable levels when he discovered their orders were to take them all out into the forest and kill them. His eyes were glowing bright red and his ring was pulsing bright green, he gave the man's neck a twist, killing him instantly. He instructed his Warriors to disable the other drivers and hold them prisoner for later questioning.
Jeremiah was shocked, his son Tosco, was standing beside him and was in full mental communication with him, "Papa, the real leader is that man over there, being held by Uncle Chub."
Jeremiah reached out and bashed the man's shields down, his son was correct. It was an awful visage of horror that walked over and confronted the man, two beings, Father and Son, shifting in and out of phase with their wolves.
The man's knees gave way and his bladder let loose of all it contained as he screamed in terror! As the man died, Jeremiah ripped from his brain where the Heir was being held and who the ring leaders were. Tosco looked up at his Father, "Papa, I must go with you to rescue the Prince, he needs me."
Jeremiah watched as his son changed to his wolf completely and returned human. He thought, "Lord of Wolves, what is my son?"
Tosco grinned and whispered to him, "I am your son, to you and ONLY to you do I owe my life and my fealty." Tosco dropped to his knee and said out loud, "MY LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF, COMMAND ME"
Jeremiah told Chub to take the captured wolves out into the forest and interrogate them, "Let none survive!" He wished Jonal was with them, but he selected three of the largest of his Warriors, Tondle, Forman and Lester and told them to keep himself and Prince Tosco surrounded at all times.
The SUVs dispatched by Alpha Thomas arrived and those remaining to Jeremiah climbed in. By now, Jeremiah was seething, after seeing Jeremiah's face and his pulsing ring, the Warrior Leader decided to keep his silence and take them directly to his Lord Alpha. He shuddered in fear and made his prayer to the Great Lord of Wolves, Above Us all, that he survived the trip!"
As they entered the Seattle Headquarters, Tosco pushed to the front and slammed his Father's Staff on the floor, his young voice rang out, "ALL RISE, LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE ENTERS, HEIR OF THE MOST ANCIENT LINE, HEIR OF THE PRINCIPAL CLAN OF THE AMERICAS, AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE CLANS OF THE AMERICAS. ALL HAIL PRINCE ALPHA JEREMIAH AND HIS HEIR, PRINCE TOSCO!"
As Jeremiah crossed the floor, Tosco beat his staff at each step his Father took. Jeremiah's ring was now glowing bright green, identifying him as a direct descendent of the Ancients and that he was full of anger.
The entire congregation of Wolves was cringing in fear that this powerful young wolf would** **decide they all needed to be terminated! All the wolves, including the Alpha were more than a little afraid of this powerful wolf, he radiated a power known to them only in their legends, or, perhaps, their nightmares! They felt Jeremiah COULD have been one of the Ancients come back to them!
He stopped before the Seattle Alpha Wolf and bowed, "I GREET THEE, LORD ALPHA WOLF THOMAS LYON BECKER. KNOW YOU THAT I HAVE CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE OF THE WHEREABOUTS OF YOUR GRANDSON, LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF SAMUEL THOMAS BECKER. DO THEE ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AS YOUR HEIR?"
The Alpha staggered, then straightened and replied, "LORD PRINCE PROTECTOR OF THE SEATTLE CLAN, I ACKNOWLEDGE MY GRANDSON AS MY HEIR AND ASK THAT YOU HELP US FREE HIM FROM HIS CAPTORS."
Jeremiah reached out and hugged the man, saying, "Lord Thomas, come with us as we rescue young Samuel, he knows we are coming for him. Hold my hand and you may reassure him and yourself of his safety."
As the Alpha grasped Jeremiah's hand, he found himself in mental contact with his beloved Grandson, Sammy. The boy sent, "Come for me Grandpapa, they fear Lord Jeremiah and are already running away."
They returned to the SUVs and drove across town, Jeremiah's own Warriors and the Alpha's Warriors guarding the princes, while looking warily at the fierce wolf sitting at their feet.
When they arrived at the tumbledown old warehouse, Jeremiah sent, "Peter, can you lead us to the child?" The wolf took off at a run, the others chasing after him. The wolf went straight to a barred door in the far corner and the Warriors lifted the bar and opened the door, inside was a tired and dirty young teen, unhurt and very angry. His eyes were flashing red and Jeremiah could see the boy's wolf shimmering to come out.
Tosco went to the boy and held him until he ceased shaking. He whispered to him, "Come with me, let us talk."
He led the young Wolf Prince outside the building and they spoke at length. Neither would ever relate to anyone what they were discussing, but young Prince Samuel showed purpose and power as the two returned.
When they returned, both boys were smiling and Tosco held both hands of Prince Samuel and said loudly, "Wolf Prince Alpha Samuel, I call forth your wolf, let him appear to us so we might know him before you return." Slowly, a wolf began to appear and he stood quietly beside Tosco.
Tosco walked the young wolf over to Alpha Thomas and said, "LORD ALPHA WOLF THOMAS, I PRESENT TO THEE YOUR GRANDSON AND HEIR LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF SAMUEL THOMAS BECKER!"
The old man fell to his knees and hugged the wolf, "My boy, my grandson." When his Grandfather had regained control of himself, the wolf led Tosco back to Jeremiah and his human reemerged, looking for his clothing. It, of course, had shredded when he had gone though his change, so a quick witted Warrior grabbed a blanket from the SUV and draped it over the shoulders of the young prince, thus maintaining the remaining shreds of the young prince's dignity.
Samuel leaned over and said to Peter, "I GREET THEE ALSO, LORD PRINCE PETER AND GIVE YOU THANKS FOR MY RESCUE."
It was a joyous group that returned to the Clan headquarters, the young prince was anxious to shower and clean the filth of traitors from his body. He showered and put on clean clothes appropriate for the Clan Prince Alpha.
His special friend, Prince Tosco helped him dress as the Heir and led him forth before his Grandfather. Both boys bowed to the Alpha and also to Prince Alpha Wolf Jeremiah before they went to the private apartments for that which all growing boys needed, FOOD!
Jeremiah and Chub met with Alpha Thomas and young Prince Alpha Samuel for many hours that night, as they plotted and planned on the rejuvenation of the Seattle Clan of Wolves.
NORTHWEST CLAN REORGANIZES
Jeremiah and Chub went over the books of the Northwest Clan, identifying those areas that required assistance. In doing so, they became aware of traitors remaining within in the Clan.
Jeremiah got together with the Alpha and his Heir and laid out for them what was going on within their Clan. They, together, decided to hold Conclave and Alpha Thomas agreed to establish a Regency with his Grandson as Regent.
The next day, Conclave was held with Prince Alpha Samuel acting as Proxy to his Grandfather, he banged his staff upon the stone floor and announced, "ALL COME FORTH IN CONCLAVE, LET NONE SPEAK IN ANGER NOR OFFEND ANOTHER. THIS CONCLAVE IS NOW OPEN."
He then turned and said, "ALL RISE, LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE, HEIR TO THE PRINCIPAL CLAN OF THE AMERICAS, HEIR OF THE MOST ANCIENT LINE, AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE CLANS OF THE AMERICAS ENTERS WITH HIS SON AND HEIR, PRINCE WOLF TOSCO JEREMIAH TATE. HAIL WOLF PRINCES JEREMIAH AND TOSCO."
Jeremiah and Tosco stood before the Alpha and bowed, Jeremiah said, "LORD ALPHA WOLF OF THE NORTHWEST CLAN, I, JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE, AMBASSADOR PLENIPOTENTIARY TO THE CLANS OF THE AMERICAS ANNOUNCE REGENCY TO THIS CLAN OF WOLVES. JOIN ME LORD PRINCE REGENT OF THE NORTHWEST CLAN, SAMUEL THOMAS BECKER. ALL HERE PRESENT STAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE LORD PRINCE WOLF REGENT OF THIS CLAN!"
Prince Samuel continued the Conclave and quietly pointed out to Jeremiah those whom they had identified as traitors. As the wolves left the conclave, those who had been identified were pulled from the exit and were never seen nor heard from again. Over the next month, they worked with the Regent in overhauling the businesses of the Clan and changing management wherever it was needed. Many older wolves voluntarily joined the mystics rather than face Prince Jeremiah and his staff.
Tosco and Samuel formed a close friendship and found they could mindspeak each other, regardless of their distance in separation. The Powers of The Ancients were, again, appearing among their folk!
The Alpha, Lord Thomas went into semi-retirement to enjoy the hobbies that had been denied him while he struggled to maintain his clan. He was an excellent artist and presented Jeremiah a painting done of him and his son, Tosco, that Jeremiah would treasure for all his days.
When it appeared the Northwest Clan was again on its feet and its businesses were profitable, Jeremiah began to long for his eastern mountains and forests. He gathered his folk and made the journey back to their beloved Charlotte.
On his return, he asked his Father if he could replace his aircraft with the one he had leased from Bombardier and he was reminded that it was his airplane and his decision.
They all went to Cashiers to visit family and, while they were there, Tosco made his formal change before witnesses that included his Grandfather and Lord, Lord Alpha Wolf Franklin Jeremiah Tate. The young wolf had just passed his eleventh summer when he was announced Lord Prince Wolf of the South Eastern Clan and Junior Heir to the Most Ancient Line. Lord Alpha Wolf Franklin watched the young wolf carefully, he was sure there was more to the youngster than met the eye!
Prince Tosco joined his Father in his love for the mountains and forests and, when he was introduced to the Shaman of the Cherokee, Wild Ox, the man nearly fainted as he saw radiating power surrounding the Young Wolf Prince like waves lapping on the beach. He looked to Jeremiah and saw those same waves surrounding the Prince Alpha.
He bowed to Prince Tosco and named him Prince of All Wolves.
Jeremiah took Tosco to Magee Valley, where he became part of the Wolf Youth Group and, with his Father, established a scholarship for talented Cherokee Youth that they might study the arts.
The painting done of the two of them by the Seattle Alpha Wolf would hang in perpetuity on the wall of the Wolf Lodge House that all might know their benefactors.
There were some who lived in Magee Valley that swore that picture spoke to them and encouraged them. There were several Indian Boys who claimed that the painting called to them to become one with Prince Jeremiah's Family and, in later years, they did exactly that!
When next we meet Wolf Prince Jeremiah and his son, Tosco, they shall be leading forgotten wolves back into the comradeship of their fellow wolves and reestablishing long forgotten clans and septs.