ThunderCats - Call of the Hunt

Chapter 8

Chapter 8

The night of Pelts

...Long ago, in far off kingdom of Arcadia, there was a ruler by the name of Lycaon. He was a hero to his people’s eyes, he had established the city of Lycorsura, and established a cult to their god, Zeus, by starting a series of games known as the Lycean Games. He was married to Nonakris, and fathered fifty children. But despite his good deeds, evil lurked in his heart. To please the gods, Lycaon dared to sacrifice a boy upon occasion, then host a feast which served the remains of the sacrifice. None seemed to pay any mind to the horrific deeds that were committed, all but the kings fourth born son, Nyctimus. One night, after one of the king’s feasts, the messenger of the gods, Hermes, appeared to the prince after awakening from his sleep, and spoke of the gods wrath towards Lycaon and his accomplices. He spoke that Zeus would arrive in the city in a day, and see to it that justice would take its course. However, one of the servants of Lycaon, and informed the king of Zeus' arrival. This intrigued Lycaon into performing a test of the gods' pureness. He then ordered the servant to allow Zeus to enter, and to prepare a special feast, Nyctimus himself. Shortly after, the servants slaughtered the boy and dismembered him. They prepared the remains in a stew in which they had presented to the Olympian lord. To Lycaon's surprise, Zeus refused to eat from the tainted broth. Enraged by his actions Zeus restore Nyctimus to life, Slaughtered all of Lycaon's other sons, burned the palace down, and Transformed Lycaon himself into the likeness of a wolf. This is how the first werewolf came to be...

Over the years Lycaon traveled across the lands, be chased away by travelers and villagers alike. The ones he attacked upon occasion fell under Zeus's enchantment, and the curse spread throughout the world like wild fire. In time, Lycaon repented all of his evil natures, and after deep, he decided to redeem himself. One evening, Zeus appeared before the wolf lord, striking a proposition with him. He would allow Lycaon the ability to shift from one form to the other, meaning he could change from a man into a wolf and back. He would only grant this ability if Lycaon would serve Zeus as a guardian of man. He accepted the offer willingly. Zeus granted him the power of voluntary metamorphosis. Lycaon gathered followers, who formed what was now the order of the Star, named after the star that formed the eye of the wolf constellation, Lycaon. The order gained recognition throughout the ages as the protectors of man, slayers of darkness. Through time, Lycanthrope and the order had established itself in this realm...

Liliotus: “Although there are those who don't see it that way.”

Lion-O: “Who would that be?”

Morconas: “The Silver Hand. A society of werewolf hunters, dedicated to extinguishing our very existence, no matter who we are, or who kills the werewolf. Just as long as we're dead. That's all that matters to them.”

Lion-O detected a tone of grief and anger merged into one.

Lion-O: “You sound like you have a personal grudge against them.”

Morconas: “It's not just them. There's one in particular I want to tear apart.”

Lion-O: “Who?”

Liliotus: “Karnack. He was once a member of the order. The best fighter out of all of us. He was a good friend of me and my wife. That changed on the night of pelts.”

Cheetara took a few steps forward, towards Milena and the other members.

Cheetara: “If it's no trouble for asking, but what is this “Night of Pelts”?”

The council members looked to one another. The nodding in agreement, they looked to Milena with contempt to explain the incident.

Milena: “It is the name that we gave to remind us of the night that the Silver blades massacred many of our kin. They believe that the Lycans are abominations to creation, agents of evil who hunger the flesh of the innocent. They have been slandering us for nearly two thousand years, since their establishment. They claim that our gift is a curse to others. The only ones who would actually buy into their claims are those who have been blessed with the power, but cannot control their transformations. The Night of Pelts was the same night that...”

Morconas interrupted Milena for a moment. He cleared his throat, continuing where Milena left off.

Morconas: “It was the night of my marriage to my best friend Yaleioulas. This whole temple was actually an underground city that housed thousands, including the very council you stand before, along with Liliotus, Arcion, and myself. It was at our wedding feast that the Silver Blades struck from within the city. From there, they slew every wolf insight. Not just the soldiers and men, but also the women and the children. Fortunately, most of the civilians got out in time before the real blood shed went down. I and Yale gathered a small army together to fend of the Blades from getting to any more of our people. Victory was in our grasp, when Yale stood still, with her armor stained in her own blood. She fell to her knees and laid on the ground, motionless. When I ran to her aid, she was gone. The only thing I had found on her was a dagger I crafted for an old friend of mine, Kornack, my best man, and the future god father of our unborn child Yale was carrying. He had an obsession with her and once asked her hand in marriage. She refused, and when she chose me, he felt that if he couldn’t have her, no one could. That day I lost all that I held dear to me. My city, my friends, and my family in more ways than one.”

Lion-O and Tygra could feel the pain radiating from Morconas.

Lion-O: “I'm sorry for your loss. All of you. I honestly know how you feel about your losses.”

Morconas: “I suppose you do, what you went through in Thundera.”

Tygra: “What happened to Kornack?”

Milena: “He ran off to join up with the Silver Blades. We intend to bring him to justice for that Holocaust. We could use all the help we could get.”

Lion-O turned to his comrades, seeking their council.

Panthro: “you can't be seriously thinking of joining them.”

Lion-O: “They need our help, and we need theirs.”

Tygra: “But, this isn't our fight. Besides we need to get to the power stone before the lizards do.”

Cheetara: “I'd agree. But, since we can't control these transformations, they could help us. As lion-O said, they need our help.”

Lion-O nodded in agreement. He turned back to the council. Who awaited his decision?

Lion-O: “The ThunderCats will help you bring Kornack to justice.”

Milena: “Thank you, Lion-O. Come, you must be hungry. Dinners ready, then you'll need to get some rest.”

Tygra: “What for.”

Milena: “Training begins tomorrow.”

For the rest of the evening, the ThunderCats and council sat and enjoyed their evening meal of wild game.

Meanwhile, Pumyra, Slithe, Kaynar, Addicus, and Vultaire moved their forces up the mountain path in the dead of night.

Slithe: “Quickly now. We must reach the other side my sunrise.”

Kaynar: “Ooh, someone's in a rush. Heh, Heh.”

Pumyra: “Of course we are, Kaynar. If the ThunderCats reach the stone first”

As they approached the clearing, Mumm Ra's generals were greeted by hooded, masked figures in black. They were armed with rifles and blades. Slithe was surprised of their presence. He snapped his fingers, and a firing squad of lizards rushed to his aid. One of the hooded figures made his way to the front signaling the others to hold their fire and made his way towards Slithe.

Figure: “Now, now. Why would we waste our perfectly good ammunition on such mighty warriors, such as yourselves, Silthe?”

Slithe: “You know of my name?”

Figure: “and of your friends. Word travels fast in these parts. I hear you seek the stone of power as well.”

Slithe: “What do you know of the stone?”

Figure: “Not much, I'm afraid. Only its true location is known to me. But, It won't do you any good with those Feline pests of yours searching for it when they are so close to it. It so happens that they are in the company of some “Old Friends” of mine. Friends I intend to finish where I began, tomorrow. You and I have a common enemy, Slithe.”

Slithe: “You want to join forces?”

Figure: “Very much so.”

Slithe remained silent for a moment.

Slithe: “If we were to join forces, how would we benefit?”

Figure: “You clearly don't see the picture, do you? You would be rid of the ThunderCats and we would provide food and shelter when needed. In return, we ask you to aid us in our conquest of my friends. This is all that I ask. You may do with the stone and Cats as you see fit.”

The Generals stood there, pondering in thought. It took less than three seconds before Kaynar spoke.

Kaynar: “As long as I get to kill something, I'm in.”

Figure: “Done.”

Vultaire: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Addicus: “I'm in.”

Pumyra: “What about you Slithe?”

Slithe: “Mumm-Ra has ordered us to kill the Cats and get the stone...By any means necessary. We accept the offer.”

Pumyra: “Speak for yourself. But, alright.”

Figure: “Splendid. Now, if you follow us, we’ll show you to where we'll be staying.”

The figures and generals continued their journey through the mountain pass.

Slithe: “I didn't catch your name, friend?”

Figure: “Of course, how rude of me. Where are my manners? There are those who call me, Kornack.”

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