What I write,is the truth as I know it you as the reader can make up your own mind,for truth my friend is entirely relevant as for some it shines like the first mornings light and for others it is molded to what they wish it to be.
This is my truth,a story of an event that changed the life of someone I know very well,and so I shall tell it.
"I have been tricked!",the young barbarian shouted to the wind yet what could he do?,for 14 days now he had been following this trail day and night,he cursed his naivety for allowing himself to get lost in the first place,how foolish he was to have even left his home nor far away from the warm fire and heartening talk of his brethren,why did he fall for the old mans trick?,there was nothing to be found out here in the wilderness.
Up ahead he heard the soft crack of a twig,the only indication that his mysterious guide was still there ahead of him,always ahead in the cover of the forest,he had not seen his guide nor heard him,only hearing the occasional sound of something light passing over the carpet of autumn leaves.
He was more confused than he was afraid,for as much as he hated the thought of it,14 days ago he had become lost,alone and hungry he tryed in vain to find his way home.
Yet when he woke on the third day of his plight,he found meat and berries set out before him,and his fear and anger had subsided,it did not even phase him that he was observed in his eating,he saw no harm in a single raven,and when he was done he left some food for it,the raven however was uninterested.
The trail had not been there the night before,he felt the gnawing sense of fear creep into his bones once more,it had been made deliberately,by something large.
A soft twig snapping up ahead prompted him to follow,he reasoned this was his unknown host and started down the trailwith the intent to extend his thanks and ask for directions home,that was day 1.
"14 days!"he screamed to the wind,madness and fear clouding his thoughts,each morning a meal was laid out in front of him and each morning he was watched by a dark bird,sometimes he thought it a raven other times a crow,yet today it was a vulture.
The dreams were the worst they were of pure madness,he dreamed of rabbits that could speak,horses with wisdom beyond mortal perception,a cow that gave life to all around it,but the wolf....,it filled his head with rage and pain so angry and fearsome,each time it bit him the pain struck his very soul and upon waking he vowed he would not sleep untill home.
Always he woke to find the trail,always prompted by the soft snap of a twig,he followed it still helpless to the unseen forces playing with his mortal frame,yet today was differant,for the trail ended,as did his journey.
Three branches were embedded in the earth of a tree covered glade,big as they were they were dwarfed by three immense stones encircling the branches and forming a ring.
As he stumbled into the grove, tired,half mad and beyond all care,after 14 days he met his phantom guide,and it was then he knew care.
The giant wolf sat just beyond the fading flecks of light from the forest canopy,hard to make out even in the dim light,the barbarian could see there was something wrong with this wolf,it didn`t look quite real,ethereal lights danced around it and wisps of fog veiled it from the light.
The raven settled on a tree branch overhead and there seemed to be a silent exchange between the two creatures,a single voice spoke,breaking the eerie silence of the grove "The conditions are met",a thousand images flashed before the barbarians eyes,as a power greater than any he had known took hold of him,for what seemed like an eternity he stood there tearing at his own eyes to end the pain he saw before him,he saw forests sicken and die in an instant,he saw the death of those that inhabit them,every death he felt,every animal and plant killed and harvested for greed,he trembled with such fear and sadness that it felt as if the very ground was shakin
Yet the visions did end and the glade was still once more and the young barbarian,his face stained with tears,drew his blade and impaled himself upon it,for he now knew why he had been brought here and what he must do. Without sound he fell to the floor,his blood seeping through the carpet of rotting leaves and soaking into the ground,he saw no more.
Yet he awoke,and when he did he knew he was not dead,the strong smell of burning oak filled his nostrils and he felt a flower laying upon his chest,opening his eyes it took a very long time to adjust,for he could see further now,much further yet he was not scared,it took a long time to adjust,yet when he did,he saw that there was no mark upon his chest,it was as if it has never happenned.
Instead,laying upon his chest was a Tulip of such beauty that it stirred his soul,regarding it for a moment he was aware of voices,a multitude of voices,with each breath of wind he could hear them.
The barbarian stood,he knew this place it was the Koguryo wilderness,but the voices,they were not of the living it was as if the wind could speak,he thought he should listen,so he did.
The murders of the Nagnang trappers were spoke of in hushed tones for many years after,some said they had fell in with the wrong rogue guild,others blamed the ogres,and some,even braver souls said it was the work of a wolf,for the carnage at that camp was too horrific to detail. Most choose to forget,yet there was one who could not.
The barbarian stood upon scribe mountain,gazing far down into the burnt out ruins of the Nagnang fur trappers camp and felt a terrible sadness,for what had happenned there,surely would not restore the balance that these foul people had disturbed,his soul felt empty and he felt he had done wrong.
As he turned to leave something caught his eye,with force of will he brought the camp back into focus and stared,for what seemed like a lifetime he stared down at that cursed grove,where blood and ash covered the ground,and his heart raced for now he saw what it was that was occuring.
Slowly small motes of ash stirred from the ground,a slight crack and the ground raised up slightly,and there it was,a green shoot slowly crept from the ground and rose to the warm embrace of solaris,the barbarian held his breath,for before his eyes he witnessed the flowering of the greater tulip.
In that instant,just for one moment,the man who had lost half his humanity and had gained the essence of a beast,was truly at peace.
He turned and smiled,clarity was again his,he set off for the grove of the druids to control this gift,he needed knowledge,if anyone would understand him,it would be them.
He saw the raven for the last time as he descended the mountain,and in his mind he heard it speak but a single word "Action".
That my friends is the tale as I know it,theologists have argued since the dawn of time whether violence breeds violence,or whether nature can defend herself from man.
I know now that she can,in differant ways,from love and healing,to plague and drought,yet there are those who serve her,who have their own methods of restoring the balance.
This story was of one,who was given a gift,and strived to protect nature,in the only way he knew how.
I spoke of truth earlier,far fetched it may sound,yet I know in my heart this story is true,for you see,I was there.
Even now there are tales of a wolf that walks the wilderness on two legs,driving out those that would litter it with their urban rubbish,watching those that would take timber purely for greed,those people do not persist for long.
Truly those who defile should be fearfull,trappers have since left the wilderness,their traps sprung by an unknown source,those who maim sheep claim to have been chased by beasts to the very gates of Kugnae and beyond.
Perhaps they are tales,perhaps I am mad.