War of Change
Godric had not believed his eyes when seeing this Dire Wolf accompany the boy. He had been alerted to a boy riding a wolf within minutes of their arrival, but in the time of being made known and going to this place, the wolf and boy remained in their place. The wizard was not certain at first, hearing only the Anexus wielded the beasts in battle, but the boy was not of Anexus blood. He was a wizard, though untrained and raw, he was certainly not an alchemist. Godric was hesitant of the wolf’s identity, having been as big as stories claimed an Anexus dire wolf to be, he was unsure of who in the Anexus this wolf belonged to.
The large, grey and white, canine sniffed the air then sprinted at Godric, jumping on top of him knocking him over. The wolf attacked the wizard, assaulting him with his tongue and covering his face with slobber.
“Fenrir!” Godric exclaimed excited.
Eventually the wolf dismounted and returned to the boy, nudging him to come closer to the grown man. Godric kneeled down to the small and frightened boy asking his name and where he came from. His name was Sam and he has no home now, the bad wizards and witches came and burned their village to the ground killing his mother and father. He was the only one to survive all because the lady with the wolf found him under a table and protected him from the scary man with the axe.
The ground came closer, listening to the story of this boy and the uncanny resemblance this wolf has to the one they fought in the past, the one belonging to Avalon Anexus. Gordic rose a brow at hearing this--that could not be the same her...
“She told me Fenrir would take me somewhere safe.” Sam said looking around, “She said there was a very brave man who woke a sleeping dragon--are you him?”
Avalon sent him.
Madison came in front of Godric and knelt down to the boy’s height, “How about we get ya somethin’ to eat? You can tell us all bout it later hm?”
She took the boy by the hand and led him away, to Godric’s house to find him a hot bowel of soup. Godric stood up and was met with more questions than answers. The wolf came to the wizard’s side, nudging his hand to be pet and holding a gaze of an expectation of reward. An owl came above, landing nearby with a letter held in beak. One wizard grabbed the letter and handed it to Godric when seeing it was addressed to their leader. All closed in to know the contents inked on the parchment. He read:
To Godric Gryffindor of Moore:
This boy, in accompany of Fenrir, is an orphaned wizard from the Dark Forests to the north. His village destroyed by the Dark Ones that have been going across the land unchecked and unchallenged. I saved Samwise from my father’s judgement, but he cannot remain in my village, as I now lead the Anexus down a new path, it is one of glass, and I will not risk rouge members of my clan doing him harm.
I ask that you make it known far and wide that innocent sorcerers no longer have anything to fear from us. The Anexus will no longer indulge in the indiscriminate killing of your people--we will now shift our efforts to quelling the Dark Ones who have caused great harm to the Great Balance. What comes after that, I pray to the Tree, is the peace you and I dreamed of as children.
This owl belongs to a friend of mine, a witch I hold dear to my heart. I hope that we may cooperate to eliminate this threat that seeks to consume us all. If it is still in your heart to have peace between our families use this owl to pass your messages to me directly.
For the future of our children, this vow shall be upheld.
Godric stared at the writing in silence as others did not. How could they trust the word of an Anexus? The alchemists and sorcerers have fought for generations beyond memory--they have not once changed, certainly not overnight. The alchemists were the enemy of the wizarding world, people who seek the death of every man, woman, and child born with the magic in their blood. They are a ruthless force that have never allied themselves to anything beyond their so-called teachings of the Great Balance.
The residents of the village of Moore erupted in argument and protest. Avalon Anexus is the daughter of Tali Anexus, the Beast of the Anexus--he possesses Berserker, a weapon that has claimed more lives than there are members of that forsaken clan.
Fenrir began to growl.
“Let us set an example!” Cried out one, turning his attention to the dire, “Kill the wolf and send its head back to the bitch!”
Godric snapped his fist into the wizard’s face, throwing him to the ground and standing over him.
“Hear me, all of you!” Godric stood on a nearby barrel, “Avalon Anexus is not our enemy and now neither is her clan!”
Fenrir growled as he stood over the wizard who threatened to behead him. He licked his chops, looking for a reason to clap his jaws in the man’s jugular.
“She saved that boy, she went against the order of her chief and has sent him to us as prove of her clan’s new resolve!”
Godric was overwhelmed in happiness, the doubts of all those around him were proven false, his friend still remains so! There was hope yet for their childhood dream to be fulfilled and for them to help be the foundation of a new world! Even Salazar could not dispute this evidence, even he could not doubt the change the Anexus and the world was succumbing to. This was to be a new age, an age of unity, an age of peace! The members of this coven however treaded with more hesitation than their leader. He was eager and young, not old enough to know the long history of conflict and suffering both factions have caused the other. That pain is not something that can be simply forgotten.
“Avalon Anexus, chief of the Anexus, seeks peace between our people a desire her and I both shared together as children.”
Godric explained their past relationship and the knowing of the Anexus’s character--she was one who saved his life after all. The villagers mumbled among themselves of this new information. They had heard rumor’s of Godric’s adventures as a child and his times of getting into trouble more than once, but for one of them to be forging a friendship between the daughter of their enemy...was unheard of. Though the fear and doubts in their hearts cause great stress, their leader, their brave Godric has not once led them astray.
The leading wizard summoned his war counsel and sent word to his elder brother in the fen. If the Anexus were to be traveling north to meet the Dark Ones head on then it would do well to warn Salazar to remain out of the front lines during his time as a spy. Rather, it would do well to have information of their enemy’s movements known to better prepare for the next campaign and to warn Avalon. Their enemy had amassed many in her time away and is more organized than initially believed. This was not a war that should be fought alone, but cooperation and allies are two different concepts.
The Anexus buried their dead and said their fair-wells to their fallen who now joined the ancestors in the embrace of the Great Tree. It was difficult to say goodbye to parents and children and for Sid especially who had only ever known their father to be his sole parent. When Falcon died things were different, he did not pass as a warrior of the Anexus should; not with the grip of his axe firm in his hand in the heat of battle. No, Falcon was executed as a criminal, as a traitor to the clan. Still...he received the burial he deserved, a grave among the ancestors; one his sons had yet to see.
“I wondered if you would really want to know.” The Volva said quietly, opening the door for Avalon to enter, then shutting it softly behind.
It had been a time since she enter the Volva’s home, not because of a lack of desire to, rather she had been too busy to properly visit for a drink or a bite to eat. Without the need of permission Avalon sat down at one of the two open chairs by the fire and patiently waited while watching the dancing flames scorch the stone black. The Volva came with a cup of herbal tea and sat in the empty chair across from Avalon with her own.
“Ask whatever it is you desire to know and I will hold nothing back.” The Volva clarified, “You are Chief now, my knowledge is open to you more now than before.”
Avalon did not avert her eyes from the fire, “Why now?”
“Tali did not want anyone to possess this knowledge. It was difficult enough for even he to keep his condition under control, but if others tried to force it within themselves there would be a mass of death and destruction beyond Anexus control.” The Volva explained point-blank, “When he learned you had also awakened it, it truly terrified him.”
Avalon had not learned the name of this ‘condition’, from what the book described it to be, it was referred to as a Blessing from the Great Tree. It was the gift from the dying Yggdrasil to it protectors, a power to allow it guardians the power to combat that which had been stolen from the Divine Tree by the original sorcerers.
“The sorcerers stole, what you could call the light from Yggdrasil. To ensure balance, as the Tree fell, we, the Anexus, were given the dark.” The Volva explained gesturing Avalon to rise and follow.
They walked the empty streets of the village, to the clan’s meeting place underneath the temple. There the Volva placed her hand on the stone carving of the tree, then looked long to the people carved under its embrace. This was their history, these carvings have traveled with the members of the clan from one place to the next, cared for until they found their place here.
“This power is the ability to take natural magic within ourselves and make it our own.” The Volva’s hand went down to a single, small child carved in the stone.
Sorcerers are those who can produce their own magic within their bodies. This synthetic magic is used thru wands, objects able to channel that magic and produce spells. Alchemists are those able to use natural magic and thru alchemic formulas contract with that magic to change something from one form to another. In terms of magic use, sorcerers are far more efficient because of their taking of Yggdrasil’s light magic. To balance this, the Great Tree gave the Anexus its dark magic, the taking of life back into itself and the alteration of nature thru different forces.
Alchemists are not born with the ability to create their own magic, but they are nonetheless able to use natural magic. The awakening of the Old Blood allows for an Anexus to gather and store natural magic into their body and make it their own. This increases one’s own alchemic prowess profoundly and gives one a power to change the balance of nature. All power comes with cost. Too much natural magic alters a person’s form, changing them into something other than human before finally killing them. In order to avoid this fate an Anexus must instead take another person’s magic rather than natural magic. The more one uses the power, the faster they lose their human form.
"Ferre." The Volva gave a heavy breath, “It is what we call those who awaken the Old Blood of Yggdrasil. They are seen as a sign of change.”
Avalon looked at the carving in more detail, “If it was passed to the Anexus, why are there not more who can awaken it?”
“My predecessors wondered the same, neither they nor I could find a true explanation--perhaps it is in your blood, perhaps it is destiny.” The elder turned to Avalon who looked as though she was on the verge of breaking into a million pieces, “I often found it was those of incredibly strong will who became Ferre.”
That gave the young alchemist a flicker of hope.
“It is true, if you do not take the magic of another human you will succumb to the Old Blood. If you are fortunate your body will simply give out and you will die with your human form intact.” The Volva hated to tell someone so young this truth, but it is one she must know.
Avalon was quiet for a time, she stared at the ground, her legs struggling to find the strength to hold her body up. Her fate was to die, or live by killing others, what kind of gift was that? Was this punishment? Was this the punishment of Yggdrasil for not protecting it when the first sorcerers came and took its magic? If that was so how is it just that their decendents be the ones to pay for their sins? How was this fair? How was this balance?
“In the past, my predecessors did not seek a cure, or a way to reverse the awakening." The Volva walked to Avalon and embraced her in a hug, "But your father gave you and I time. He transfered all the magic and souls he had gathered in himself and given it to you so you may live, however short, without taking another's life for your own."
Avalon's eyes became wide as the Volva held her tight.
"I will find a way to save you Avalon, I promise."