Wulf or Red Wulf is what they called him and he did not like it one bit. He was Wallace of Daroo and that was as good a moniker as he could ask for. Daroo produced some of the best red wine in the realm and Wallace was pleased with that as a reputation for himself.
Koren the Black Wulf was his brother and a fierce brigand that taunted the duke’s men every chance they afforded. He was nothing like Wallace and proud to have stood out from his weak brethren of Daroo. Koren cared nothing for the drink that Daroo poisoned the land with. It was against his firm beliefs that nothing should impair his senses or experience of the world.
The two sat at the bedside of their father, praying each to their god to make his passing swift and painless. Whichever of the gods was listening had chosen thus far to drag out their father’s pain. He had been bed ridden for half a year now, letting his outlook on life darken to despise and disgust. Quietly he wished the courage to ask for mercy from his boys, but each time he parted his lips he could only ask for water.
“Koren, do you think the duke’s men will come for you here?” Wallace asked after finishing his prayers. Boredom was setting in after a week of being home with his brother, and he decided to rile up Koren.
“They shall no sooner find me here than anywhere else. Besides I have Volden working on them thinking I am still running amuck across the northern forests.” Koren replied. He was in no mood to entertain his younger brother. He decided to turn things on Wallace, “Did you ever find the rat that was stealing your fine vintage?”
“No, it seems the problem died off.” Wallace parried. He was not the pacifist of his youth Koren had parted ways with five years ago. Wallace had taken up their father’s vats and press continuing a profitable business. Koren had declined the honor after seeing how his mother had acted under the influence to the scarlet beast, as he called it. She had died when Koren was 6 and Wallace was two. “It has been a week and I fear my politeness is waning. I must ask, what brought you back home? I know you care little for our father.”
Fri, Nov 30, 3:38 PM
“You are wrong, in my care for him. It falls among the misgivings you cling to. But that is a discussion for another time,” Koren responded coldly. “I am here for other reasons. I seek to talk to Idonya when she comes for father. She is the one who ushered mother off.”
“Why would you want to talk with the harbinger?” asked Wallace. He made no effort to hide his concern.
“My travels have yielded a few things which vex me. After consulting the Seers’ guild, everything points back to her holding the answers. They warn me to craft my words carefully and not offer more than I am willing to give for the information.” Koren responded plainly.
“I take that you will offer me, father, and your first born as payment?”
“Brother you jest. Why would she want what she will claim one day? She is like most women and wants the finer things in life, such as jewels and perfumes…so I am told. Either way I need to know how to enter Da-kineth,” Koren paused. “Stifle your laughs Wallace. I have been to the walls, and the brown stone goes stories up. It is like the stories say, ten towers and it shows no decay or age. I called out to each tower and received no answer. Inside is the Seer’s Staff and other magical trinkets, but what I have on good word is a cloak that would make my life so much easier.”
“So you want an easier life and all you are going to do is politely ask a favor from one of the guardians of the afterlife?” Wallace asked, before laughing. “Koren, just tell me you care about father. It is far easier than a hair brained scheme of childhood tales. You know that it never works out, and with Idonya of all them to choose from?”
Koren did not respond to Wallace.
“Idonya Idonya spin your wheel
Give me some excitement I squeal.
Now with a bet placed
Fates hand embraced
Spin your wheel Idonya
Too late now to withdraw
If only I knew the odds
And fates of the prior sods
Each an end met too soon
After seeking a similar boon
Slow, then stop the wheel
Wait what is this I feel?”
“You going to continue reciting Romen?” responded Koren. “We had the same tutor so I see nothing gained by letting you ramble.”
“I only want to remind you that in any bargaining with her, she holds the cards and not you. You may want to rethink your plans.” spoke Wallace. “Either way, I do not think you will enter Da-Kineth.”