This had been nothing like what I had expected, I had heard all sorts of stories about being summoned from my pack but my first summoning experience was so far like none of them. I had been called forth not to kill or mate but to search for a location that met my master’s specific criteria, then once my master had given me my task he simply left. I had thought that this was some sort of test and that if I failed to find the right location my master would banish me back to the abyss, some of my pack had talked of summoner using such tests of competency before, but that wasn’t the case. When my master told me to change my form I had thought that he might’ve wanted to mate with me, I had heard that many had been summoned from the abyss for solely that purpose before, but that was not the case either. To make matters even stranger my master kept insisting for me to refer to him by his name instead of a grand title like I had heard summoners prefer, it was baffling to me why he would not demand I show him that honor but I respected his wish all the same.
My master was powerful, he consorted with gods and named higher demons after all, but just as his strength commanded my respect it raised questions in my mind. My master seemed to have no real need for me, he was more than powerful enough on his own and could summon others from the abyss far stronger and more experienced than I, and I couldn’t help but think I had fulfilled my only purpose and would be sent back to the abyss soon. I was sure of it in fact, so sure of it that I began to beg my master to let me stay, but instead of sending me back to that hell my summoner gave me an incredible gift.
My summoner, my master for the time I was in this world instead of suffering in the abyss, chose to bestow me with one of the few things I could not achieve for myself. I was given a name, Xana Wulf, and I was told that there was a way for me to stay in this world forever. A chance to never return to the abyss and a distinction that elevated me from the masses and would make summoning me from the hell that was the abyss far easier, it was more than I could ever hope for. However my master had given me more than just a name during our talk in the forest, he had also given me a very important mission.
I was to check in on the situation in the mountain cave at least once every month in case I was needed or if I had new orders, and at all other times I was to masquerade as a dark elf and a witch while interacting with the races of humanity. I would gain trust and establish myself amongst the people of this world and when the time was right I would register at a branch of the adventurer’s guild and reveal the location of the mountain cave my master had created.
I knew that this mission was also a part of my master’s consideration, he was giving me a purpose and a life in this world to accompany my name, but I would not let his kindness go unrepayed. Nox, my master, just wait… I, Xana Wulf, demon wolf of the twisted plains, shall accomplish the mission you have bestowed on me without fail!
I was trying not to fidget in my seat as my elder sister looked over the room, I was always nervous around Selaria. There was just something about my elder sister that made me feel that I was always a step behind her, that our brothers and I were just dancing in the palm of her hand to a beat she set herself. It had always made me uneasy, even despite all my trust in and love for her.
“I see you’re still playing with the humans… Really Lizzy, don’t you have responsibilities to the clan you could be focusing on instead? The political machinations of the races of humanity are mere child’s play compared to clan politics, I’m sure you’d have just as much if not more fun toying with other dragons instead of lowly and base creatures like humans… Even toying with the elves would be better than wasting your time on humans…” Selaria stretched in her own lavish seat across from me, her humanoid form was as always that of a dark haired elven beauty with sharp silver eyes.
“I like humans, they’re all so cute… Always frustrated by their limitations and blinded to their failures, Humans are by far my favorite race of humanity. Besides the humanity classification your precious elves fall under was named after humans, so they can’t be as lowly and base as you think…” I smiled as I pointed out one of my sisters least favorite observations.
“Hmph, fine, you may have a point… Still I think you’re wasting your time on them…” Selaria crossed her arms and returned to observing the meeting room I had prepared, this was the best and most lavish room that the kingdom of Yalot had to offer but I still couldn’t help but think my sister was still disappointed by it.
As we sat in comfortable silence merely enjoying being in each other’s company after so long my thoughts turned to my one sibling I knew would not be attending this meeting. Nox… What have you done this time? I had been attending court when I had felt my brother’s life come to an end, even with his prior warnings I had still been shocked. It had been every bit as horrible feeling one of my siblings die as mother had described, and if it weren’t for my certainty that this was just the latest in my brother’s many strange endeavors I would have likely gone on a rampage to help assuage the pain that feeling had caused in my heart. Really… If he weren’t my favorite brother I’d have beaten some sanity into him by now…
A call from outside interrupted me from my thoughts. “My lady, one Lord Ralmar and one Sir Umbra are requesting entry. They say they are expected…?”
“See them in, then grant entry to no one else.” As I looked over to the opening door and saw my two brothers enter I felt a familiar elation lift my heart. Standing up and smoothing out the skirt of my elaborate dress I moved to embrace the two. “Ral, Umbra… it’s been too long…”
“Hello sister.” Umbra returned with a slight smile avoiding my attempt at a hug.
“Lizzy, it really has been too long! What’s it been now? A Century? I really should try to get away from the clan to visit more often…” Ralmar smiled brightly as he hugged me tightly and spin me around once before my feet could find the floor again.
Unlike other clutches my siblings and I were each very different individuals, and that fact was most clearly seen in my brothers. Ralmar was every bit the noble knight with his dashing looks, long silver hair, blue hair, and the elaborate silver plate he always wore when he was in his human form. Nox had a more roguish look with his shortish wavy black hair, and he was fond of wearing black hooded robes with black scaled armor over it protecting a few places in his human form. Umbra simply wore a grey scholars robe whenever he took on his elven form and always seemed to look younger than he should, with his messy grey locks concealing parts of his face the illusion that he was a child became even stronger. At least Selaria and I looked alike, the only differences between us being Selaria’s sharper features, silver eyes, and of course her pointed elven ears.
As we greeted each other and took our seats around the table the mood gradually grew somber. Finally Ralmar broke the silence that was hovering between us all. “Ok, I’ll be the first to say it. I felt Nox die and the Lord’s council has already declared that Nox Blackwing is officially dead, but I’m sure each of us got some warning from him about this happening. So I suppose we should start by figuring out what each of us knows.”
“Yes, that seems like a prudent place to begin.” As solaria spoke I found myself nodding silently like Umbra.
Ralmar clapped his hands before he began speaking again. “Alright, well I can say that I don’t have much information. I just received a message that told me that I would feel Nox die soon and to not worry as he wasn’t really dead, it also mentioned something about finding him in the wild continent in a few years…”
“I received much the same, though my message also had the added request of requesting me to inform mother of its content so as not to worry her. That had not been a pleasant conversation, I almost wish mother had just received a message herself directly instead… But then a war may break out as she attempted to trace back the message, so perhaps it was for the best she did not receive one.” Selaria tapped her bottom lip idly as she spoke.
Thinking about the brief message Nox sent me I couldn’t find anything new to add, but while I struggled to find some meaning or code in the message I received Umbra spoke up. “Well I have an idea of what elder brother was planning…”
“Well don’t hold us in suspense Umbra! Spill what you know!” Ralmar leaned forward in excitement.
“Yes little brother, do reveal what you know…” Selaria’s gaze turned predatory in an instant and seemed to be trying to pry the information from Umbra with the power of her gaze alone.
“Well… Um…” Umbra stuttered and shifted backward in his seat in a now familiar attempt at retreat. “Nox came to me for some help researching dungeons, he was asking for all different kinds of council records pertaining to dungeons and debating with me the legitimacy of some texts…”
Suddenly I flashed back to a conversation I had with Nox over a century ago, my mind recalled a comment he made seemingly in passing that now seemed like a horrible possibility. “I’m trapped in the service of a mad god, and the only way to escape would be… Lizzy, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a dungeon? I think it would be nice…” As the idea seemed to be more and more plausible in my mind I couldn’t help but sigh. “Hah, I think our brother may have done something truly insane this time…” As my siblings all turned to face me, looks of understanding and incredulity dawning on their faces, I couldn’t help but chuckle on at the insanity of what I was suggesting. “I think Nox attempted to transform himself into a dungeon…”
I shook my head as I followed the “hero” my god had chosen to bring forth, I had become totally disillusioned with the fool calling himself Sir Stormheart. As we walked towards yet another whore house I couldn’t help but snort in disgust.
“What was that Mary?” The hero was looking at me with clueless wonder.
“Nothing…” Idiot… He can’t even tell I despise him when I make it this clear… What was the great Thor thinking by bringing this waste forward as a chosen champion… All he’s good at is sampling whores and eating food… For two months now I had been by this idiot’s side, and in the beginning when he was first summoned I was hopeful. That hope died quickly though… He never trained, he always flirted with women, he didn’t bother to listen to the lessons on this world, and he would constantly talk and complain about things no one understood then get frustrated with the people around him when no one understood him. Over the course of my first month with the man I became disillusioned with the “hero”.
“Will you deign to join me this time Mary? I know I’d enjoy your company inside…” I tried not to gag as the man spoke.
“No, I shall wait outside as always Sir Stormheart. You may… enjoy… this establishment on your own…”
“Come on Mary, I told you to just call me Tempest…”
“Yes, I remember Sir Stormheart…”
As the hero sighed and walked into the pleasure house I finally let my disgust show on my face. Great Thor, I know a mere ignorant mortal such as I can never hope to comprehend your plans in their infinite wisdom… Even still why would you ever chose trash like this as your champion!? At this rate we won’t arrive at the Wild Continent until winter of next year! How are we going to find a new born dungeon in a foreign land during winter!? Leaning against the wall of the pleasure house near its door I tried to ignore all the lecherous looks I was receiving, if anyone tried anything untoward with me then they would become an outlet to release my frustration. This is not what a paladin of Thor should be doing with her time… Damn Sir Stormheart and his unending vices!
I had known for a while now, but this really would be a very long quest…