Ephemera — Blue Tree Humakt Raven Wolf
As told amongst the Blue Tree Clan of the Colymar Tribe, of the Kingdom of Sartar
Recorded by Vestra the Grey
This is a thing that happened in the Great Darkness, and it is true. It happened at the place where Raven pointed out to Humakt how to find the cave of Zorak Zoran, which is far to the East of here.
Wolf was eating onions in the field when Crow passed, seeking out tiny bits of grain to fill his basket. Back in those times, Wolf ate everything he could, for he was a troll, and Wolf was his name, not his shape. Seeing Crow, Wolf gave up on snuffling out onions and followed the bird to eat him, but as he crept up, another bird, above him in a dead tree, cried out in warning, and Crow flew away, leaving behind his basket.
After Wolf had swallowed the basket and the grain inside it, he padded closer to the tree and in the darkness, being a troll, he could see Raven, black against the blackness. “Raven,” he said, “You have robbed me of my prey.”
“Not your prey,” said Raven, “But my brother. Go where you will, Wolf. Eat what grains and vegetables you like, but do not eat birds.”
In answer, Wolf began to crunch down the tree. Raven cried out, “I am set here by my master! Do not continue on your course!” But Wolf was a troll, and always ravenous, and he gnawed at the roots and swallowed half of the trunk in a gulp.
Then Raven, who had sworn to watch over the place, flew at him in a rage, and they fought. Wolf was a massive, ancient troll. It was not easy, but Raven subdued him, at the loss of some blood and a great number of feathers, and a broken wing, and Wolf swore never to oppose him again. Then they lay down, victor and vanquished, to rest.
Humakt returned from his fight with Zorak Zoran. From his foe he had torn the secret of Death, but he was bruised and hurt and bleeding. From his foe, he had torn the fur mantle, and the sharpest teeth, some of which had pierced him. He came from the darkness, Truth leading his way, and saw Raven lying broken on a mound of Wolf.
“Friend and servant,” he said, “You have echoed my deeds, as all great servants do. Rise now.”
Raven was too hurt to move, and he had pride. He raised his head and said, “I have a better idea. Wolf is a great servant of the Troll you have fought, but he will be a great servant to you also, only he will need help, for I have hurt him more than he has hurt me.”
So Humakt set the mantle of fur over Wolf’s shoulders and head, replacing what Raven had torn. As he did so he noticed Wolf chewed in his sleep, and so taking Death he separated Wolf from much of his hunger, as much as he could without killing a Troll, and in separating him made a new race. Wolf rose, and in thanks for the release from hunger and being the first of his kind, swore to serve his new master well. Then he carried Raven on his back, to the Silent Hall. Because Humakt had only sharp teeth to give his new servant, Wolf eats meat, and sometimes eats birds, but in deference to Raven and pride in his post, he will never Eat Crow.