Tales by the Fire presents ...
The city lights cast an eerie, incandescent glow through the night-time.
The lights of the buildings and vehicles blink as if communicating with each other.
The forest trees stand still, a silent vigil over the land.
Only the whispers of the leaves quietly hush in soft sighs of concern.
There are no animals calling out in the heat of the summer evening.
The stars are blotted out by the clouds that hang heavily over head.
There is a storm brewing.
A lone falcon calls a mournful, hurtful cry.
A single clap of thunder reverberates over the land.
And all is silent once more.
Fat spiders skittered from construct to construct
They wove thick strands of webs, keeping the monoliths erect
Outside the symmetrical, giant web, the air was crisp and the colours were bright
Overhead, the ebon crows circled, a blackened cloud of feathers formed
Below, the verdant grove of trees separate and move
They created a copse, a space for a sliver flame to burn
The bonfire roared as heavy rains fell from the black bird-cloud above
Defiantly, the raging fire burned bright
A falcon, white and pure, erupted from the flames
It ascended into the darkness of the sky, crying out its intent
Then all was silent
The fire sputtered as its logs were wet
But it remained alive
The cloud overhead thinned, but was still hanging heavy
The falcon … was no where to be seen
“What is it that troubles you, Red Tail,” whispered the young judge.
The older man with the long, red hair slowly studied the darkening of the skies over head
“Change,” he sighed.
The half-moon joined her elder’s side and followed his gaze
“Is change bad?” she queried, her innocence long gone, but the question carried her longing for simpler times
“This is neither good nor bad. It is necessary.”
Thunder from a great distance quietly echoed across the valley.
A painful caw of a falcon follows the boom.
“Gather the cubs, young Mary,” Red Tail said, turning away from the edge of the cliff.
“Tell Guides the Fallen he has a long journey ahead of him.”
A stone, as long as a battle-ready garou and just as wide.
Designs, pictographs and depictions of glory and honour and wisdom were carved into it.
This stone – The Stone – rested in the middle of a field.
Surrounding it were many figures, eleven in total of both human and wolf, yet one stood apart from the rest.
Although eleven stood, there was a place at the stone for sixteen.
Two areas of the stone were cast in a shadow.
Sadness emanated from these places at the stone.
One was shunned and reviled, regarded not by the other eleven present;
Its place upon The Stone was scratched and clawed beyond recognition.
There was long, painful silence around the stone.
“This has gone far too long,” boomed one, gnarled and battle-scarred, defying the silence.
“We have followed them into battle, but their infighting will destroy us all!”
“They need to work this out,” spoke a young woman near the grizzled warrior, her voice calm and serene.
“Both of you are cliche and predictable,” a third, a black-haired woman, glaring at the first.
“We wait. We protect our own. Then we follow,” growled the wolf with the blood-red talons.
Arguments erupted and discussions flowed.
But ever silent were two, watching the others at the stone.
The one who was apart, and another, tanned and lean, at his side.
They watched quietly.
And were the only ones to notice the skies darkening overhead.