WoTB AU Version 1
Description and Chapter 1
Note: CONTAINS MAJOR WOTB SPOILERS! Also, please read the actual books first. Not only are they pretty damn good and underrated, but you should always read the original book(s) before reading a fic or spinoff or whatever, and you'll be able to understand and appreciate this fic a lot better once you've read the books. And I use a lot of terms from the books and references to the events of the books, so a lot of this will not really mean much unless you've actually read the series.
Description: The introduction of another wolf into the Beyond changes many events for the better. Some of this may or may not be really cliche and crappy lmao but I want to write this. I want yalls honest (but not rude) opinions in the comments; I want to know what parts are good and what could use improvement and in what way, or what needs to be changed/added/removed. Hope everybody enjoys!
Chapter 1: Around the same time Faolan was born, a little black pup was born as well. He had green eyes and very subtle bits of brown and silver in his black fur. His parents loved him dearly, but he was born 'too early', and they were forced to give him up, but they did not have to leave because he was not deformed as far as anyone could tell. It turned out he had a very slightly splayed back right paw, but no one even noticed and his parents were not forced to leave their pack.
The pup, taken in by a family of foxes, survived. They taught him how to mouse in the snow, how to walk and hunt stealthily, and how to dig a proper den. He loved them and they were a good family, but when he was roughly the age of a yearling he left; he was literally beginning to outgrow their den, and he wanted to go see the world a bit. So he left their den, which was between Crooked Back Ridge and the big river.
He had grown into a healthy, clever young wolf, and he had no trouble catching the swift hares and small game. He had strong legs and could run well. He went northwest just to see what was there. He wanted to go east and make a den by the river, but first he decided to explore. He observed a strange animal climbing the rocky hills he had come to. This animal was a cougar, which he didn't know was usually unfriendly to wolves. He was impressed with its climbing and decided to try copying it. He began trying to climb on another cliff, not right by the cougar but somewhat near. The cougar was watching, surprised. What was a wolf doing so close, and why on earth was it trying to climb like a cougar? The wolf seemed naturally good at climbing but the cougar wanted to offer some advice, not to mention ask why a wolf was doing such a thing. The cougar did not want to attack this wolf. He made his way towards the wolf and started to climb up beside him.
"I've never seen a wolf climb like this before, what are you doing?" he asked. The wolf turned and saw the cougar next to him. "I saw you climbing and wanted to try," replied the wolf. "You're doing quite well, though you'll want to put yourself closer and flatter to the rock. It's easier that way," replied the cougar. "Though you might want to know, most cougars aren't very friendly with wolves, so you might want to avoid most cougars in the future and not get so close. You don't know if they'll be like me or not," he said. The wolf asked, "I'll remember that, but if you don't want to attack me, could I stay with you for a while and practice my climbing?" "I don't see why not."
The cougar had a mate and cubs, and the young wolf loved the little cubs. He would let them climb on him, and he liked to sit and swish his tail back and forth while the cubs would stalk it and try to catch it. His climbing improved, and he learned some of the cougars' ways of hunting and fighting. He stayed with them for several moons, and grew lean and strong. His paws toughened and he became used to climbing and walking on rougher terrain, and while he wasn't a cougar and therefore couldn't hunt, fight, or climb in exactly the same ways they could, he did well enough at these things, and he now had these skills. From the climbing, jumping, and sparring, he now had very good balance. Eventually he left because he wanted to go explore and make his own den. And as much as he liked the other animals, he wanted to find some of his own kind and see what they were like.
Now he traveled back to the river and went east, and he eventually made himself a den and caught something to eat.
As he made his way east, he came upon a pack of wolves hunting and decided to watch. His black fur and delicate, silent steps helped him easily melt into the shadows so he could watch but not be bothered.
He watched the byrrgis hunt, though he didn't know the word for the hunting formation, nor the different positions in it. However, he picked up some of their hunting techniques, including their strategy of tricking the prey into thinking they were tired or disinterested, then going after it again to tire it out. He observed the kill bite and the lochinvyrr, which he didn't yet know the word for, and the wolves' way of eating in an order.
He wanted to try hunting a small deer later; a single wolf would have a hard time taking down something bigger, like an elk or caribou, by itself, if that was even possible at all, but if he could catch a smaller deer, not only would he have brought it down all by himself, he would have all that food, and he wouldn't have to sit and wait while others ate some of it, either.
He continued watching the wolf packs hunt, and after they left he would go to the hunting ground and kill site to learn the scents of the different animals the wolves hunted. Finally he saw them hunt smaller deer, and later he learned the scent of red deer.
He went back west a ways to a small forest, and eventually, he scented what he now knew to be red deer. The scent started near some hoofprints and some chewed plants, and he followed this scent until he saw the herd walking on the plains outside the woods. He was downwind of them, so they couldn't smell him yet, and he crept as close as possible. It was definitely odd to hunt bigger game for the first time, and all by himself, but he would try, and he wanted to see if he could do it on his own.
He looked for a weak or wounded dear, a cailleach, and he soon found on near the edge of the herd, an old animal with a slight limp. His heart was pounding; he had no idea what to expect hunting alone, and what if he lost the deer? But first he must separate the cailleach from the herd, and he would do so. He began running at the herd, herding his target away from them and growling at the others to scare them away, making sure he didn't lose the other deer, or that it didn't rejoin the herd. The deer sprinted away, and he raced to keep up. The first part of the hunt had been done correctly, but now he had to actually catch the deer. He ran hard and fast after it, eventually feeling himself begin to tire, but ignoring it; he had to tire the deer out a bit before he could stop and rest. He continued to run after the deer until he saw it begin to slow and tire, and soon he feigned defeat and disinterest, flopping down in the grass a distance from the deer but never taking his eyes off it. He waited until he had regained some of his energy, then took off after the deer again. He did this repeatedly until both he and the deer were exhausted, but the deer more so. He rushed at the deer and lunged for its throat, delivering a swift bite and letting go as the deer collapsed. He layed down on his belly in front of the old cow, looking into her eyes and thanking her for her life, and honoring her strong spirit. When her spirit had passed on, he ate his fill. He wasn't entirely sure what to do with prey he didn't finish eating, but to guard it and finish eating the next day, so he walked a small distance from the kill site and layed down to sleep. He would eat the rest tomorrow.
He'd finished eating, and now the bones and pelt were left. He cleaned the pelt as best he could; he would save it for his den, and something told him to keep the bones as well. He found them interesting, but he didn't yet know about gnawing. He placed the bones in the pelt so he didn't lose any (and wouldn't have to make several trips) and took the pelt in his jaws, dragging it carefully back towards his den site near the river. In front of the den, he dumped the bones off the pelt and took the pelt into his den, spreading it on the floor. Then he went outside and picked up the bones, taking them into the den and stashing them there.
After resting a while, he decided to expand his den a bit. He took the pelt and bones outside, putting them to the side of the entrance of the den so they wouldn't get dirty, and set to work digging. It was hard, messy, tiring work, but he made good progress. He periodically stopped to rest and to push the dirt out of the den into a pile. At night, he took the bones and pelt back into the den and slept, and for a week he hunted small game, continued digging, and rested, until he'd dug a tunnel and part of a smaller chamber further into the hill. The den was situated into a series of large hills, and it was slightly off the ground so rain and floodwater from the river couldn't get in. He also dug the tunnel at a slight upward slope so it was further protected. He expanded the small chamber until it was about as big as the original den. He moved the pelt and bones into this new chamber.
The next day, after this was finally done, he decided to go out again and observe the wolves. He was itching to meet them but wasn't sure how to go about introducing himself. He didn't want to just waltz into their territory but he also didn't want to go near them while they were eating, since that seemed terribly rude, and he would probably be seen as an intruder or potential thief (though he thought that a wolf would have to be really dumb to think he could walk up to an entire pack and steal their food, and part of him thought it was ridiculous that anyone would think he was that stupid, but he decided not to bother them in the middle of a meal).
He spent his time hunting, observing wolf packs, and exploring the land. He always came back occasionally to check on his den and to observe a pack he had a continued interest in; the first pack he had seen hunt. He did not know that another lone wolf was observing this same pack and considering joining, nor that this wolf's name was Faolan. This time, he saw a small yellowish wolf with the pack, and after the hunt he saw something he didn't understand. The pair of leaders ate and then the hunters, which seemed normal since they all played the biggest part in the hunt, but he saw that the yellow wolf was being snapped at and that he hung back from the rest of the pack, and that he didn't eat until every single other wolf had eaten. He saw that this wolf had no tail and a slightly crooked hip, but he didn't think he should be treated like this. He understood and yet he didn't. Faolan was thinking the same things; that there was some purpose to this, and that these wolves weren't cruel or bad, but that it was strange and unfair. The black wolf decided that this was the pack he would introduce himself to. He wanted to learn about them and learn what the deal was with this wolf.
More time passed as he continued to observe the wolves. Sometimes he went to the area by Crooked Back Ridge; other times he boldly went closer to their territory. One day he saw the yellow wolf take a bone from a kill and begin chewing it. He moved to get a better look. It was just a bone with no meat on it, so he wasn't eating it, and he wasn't breaking it to get at the marrow. There was a clicking sound of teeth on bone, but the black wolf wasn't sure what the yellow wolf was doing with the bone. How odd.
Eventually, shortly after Faolan had joined this clan of wolves, the black wolf was very curious about these wolves and their mysterious ways, and he decided to go talk to them. The only way was to enter their territory and find a wolf to speak to. So he after marking his den against intruders and using the dirt pile to block the entrance, he went the short distance to the clan's territory and soon found some wolves and told them he came in peace and wanted to speak to their leader. The leader was a regal old wolf named Duncan MacDuncan, and instantly the black wolf knew this was a good wolf and that he felt comfortable with this clan. He approached him, trying not to stare at the wolves (he had never been so close to his own kind before except when he was born, which he could barely remember at all) and unsure of how to interact with them. He walked towards Duncan and cleared his throat to talk, giving Duncan a respectful bow "Honorable Chieftain, I come as a friend. I want to learn the pack's ways. I might join if I would be accepted."
"You are welcome to, if you wish. What is your name, and where do you come from?"
"I don't have a name, and I don't know where I'm from, actually."
"We can name you and place you in a pack, then."
"Sir, I have a question?"
"Could I think about the name for a bit, and learn about the packs before I join, and hear some names? I've never really been with wolves before so I don't know your ways or what kind of names you have."
--end of chapter--
Go to the next chapter to read about the black wolf's naming, time with the pack, and when he meets the gnaw wolves!