Bearer of Destruction
This story is unfinished here and will remain so. I am abandoning Inkitt. If you wish to continue following me, follow me here:
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Rust hasn’t yet been uploaded to Wattpad but will soon. (Apr 27th 22) You can call me a liar if it’s not up by 2023.
Hidden deep in the Rocky Mountains with the help of witch-made protection runes lived the pack by the name of Gold Rust, a peaceful and lively pack of werewolves about two hundred strong with allies from all over the land. They lived within a clustering of well-taken care of log cabins; the logs were so well cut and constructed they made an airtight seal without any help from plaster or other sealants. The tallest was the Omega House, which sat at the villages East and stood three stories high, branching out into a full manor with three wings and a courtyard. It had to be large since it was to house the most wolves; all the unmated Omegas, orphaned pups and on occasion the terminally ill. The Sun temple, sat at the very center. Adorned with carvings and paintings of great and meticulous design. The temple was a shining beacon within the controlled chaos. Surrounding the village sat a large ranch that the whole village took care of.
Despite the chilly weather, most of the villagers wore little more than shorts and a tank top. The cold didn’t bother werewolves as easily as mortals; their bodies were stronger and more resilient. Gold Rust welcomed many visitors, particularly witches; witches were always a valued ally for anyone looking to stay out of the mortals’ attention. They were the ones with the ability to manipulate the flow of magic at will, so werewolves offered their heightened senses and knowledge of the lands to find rare plants and animals for the witches’ research and in return the witches warded the wolf’s village from any prying eye.
Scents and sounds filled the air; the village was having a festival in celebration of zero deaths at the end of the latest Hunting Season and were hosting an open market. Gold Rust was a haven from the Hunting Season, the Alpha held treaties with the closest hunters; promising that if he can prove to the hunters that he can keep Feral wolves out of the agreed territories that Gold Rust owned and that he wouldn’t produce any Rouges the hunters would leave the Gold Rust territory completely untouched.
Pups were playing with any children that had tagged along with their parents. Omegas were busy cooking and doing daily chores chatting loudly with each other though went quiet whenever a stranger’s or a dominant’s attention was drawn. Merchants bartered and haggled with customers as the exchange of goods made the market place noisy with shouts of numbers and spirited arguing for the best prices of smoked fish, furs, witch runes, and other magical items and necessities for the end of winter and preparing for the coming spring in a few months. What the pack couldn’t scavenger from the land in their territory was brought in by the merchants that came once a month.
A young pup by the name of Jace, watched the cluttered market stalls with intense green eyes half hidden behind his messy red hair. Jace wore an old pair of jeans and a lavender colored tee. His toes wiggled across the cold compacted dirt with anticipation. The village was full of strangers, which meant crime rose, with so many people moving and jostling in such close quarters spelled disaster most of the time. He sat on an empty crate by a textile stall with the owner shouting out about unicorn silk, everyone knew it was fake; no one was stupid enough to risk his or her lives to steal a unicorn’s hair just to weave into silk only to later sell it for so cheap at a werewolf market so rural as Gold Rust.
Jace’s eyes darted from one person to the next, never staying on one individual for long before moving onto the next. He narrowed his eyes as he spotted a pickpocket, watching as he vanished into the crowd. That was his third pickpocket in an hour; he watched closely but didn’t move an inch. Instead he whistled to the Guardian dominate, Marrow, and pointed out the pickpocket. Jace watched as the Guardians took care of the pickpocket and returned the stolen items. The guardians often used pups to scout large crowds. They were easily over looked, with a lot of them there were nearly no blind spots and each pup was equipped with an age-old wolf spirit that with practice would help guide them to hunt. In the controlled environment, they learned to act like a team not only to help keep balance in their minds but to teach the pups to work as a team since they were going to be hunting and fighting and working together in the future.
Fury pointed out another stranger, noting her shifty eyes, urging Jace to keep an eye on her. Jace shifted and turned his attention to her, slipping off the empty crate and ducking under the textile stall to follow the stranger. He slipped between to love birds and quickly turned to pretend he was an older man’s pup when the stranger looked in his direction. He continued to follow right up until he saw the stranger take a necklace from a display. Jace moved then, whistled to catch Guardian Marrow’s attention again, and pointed out the stranger to him.
Jace looked up when Fury growled that playful angry growl of hers. He caught sight of the grey pelt Cassidy perched on a store’s metal porch oning, he had full view of the entire crowd. Cassidy had been promised to a brown pelt a few years older than him, but the engagement was broken off when Cassidy refused to submit to a female and claimed the dominate title after earning high marks on his Taming Year and beating his dominate-mate-to-be in combat. Cassidy quickly earned his right to be called Dominate by constantly out showing the darker pelts with his surprising strength. Fury liked Cassidy and his wolf Vixen, he was on the track to becoming a Hunter out showing most of the other apprentices.
Cassidy and Jace always fought for the most crimes spotted that it had become a game to them. Him and Jace only get along because Jace doesn’t feel like he needs to prove anything to Cassidy and the other pup felt the same, they were friends. Jace snorted and turned away, slipping through the crowds, letting Fury take over. She moved through the mass of bodies like a water serpent stalking prey. Jace relished in letting himself fall, sagging into the lazy state of mind, like a melting Popsicle in the sun. The surge of power was intoxicating. He’d been warned by so many about getting addicted; if he became too attached, they’d end up losing balance and completely fall under the moon’s call.
It was why the wolf spirit and human spirit needed each other to keep balance. Without one, the other gains too much control and loses their sense of reality. There were two forms, one they called the Moon Sickness or falling Feral. It was when a werewolf lost sight of their humanity and could no longer take human form. They became wild animals, morphing into a hybrid of a half human, half wolf monster that was nearly impossible to kill. The other and opposite of a Feral was a Shunned, which was when the human spirit rejected the wolf spirit despite a successful bond causing a fracture in the mind that prevents the human from gaining any help from the wolf other than the three natural gifts; strength, stealth and healing. Both aren’t allergic to silver or Wolfsbane. The need to maintain balance was essential if the werewolf was to survive. It was why the Taming Year was needed. Fury growled at the thought and forced Jace to focus on the task at hand. She never liked the topic of the Taming Year and Jace didn’t blame her.
Fury wasn’t worried about that, she wasn’t going to hurt Jace and he wasn’t going to hurt her. So Jace let Fury take complete control letting himself get wrapped in the stars. Fury relished in the feeling of freedom. She’d mentioned it was her first life and she wanted to experience lots of things before she could move on to her next life and had to chase the sun. She also said her brother would be different, but Jace didn’t know what that meant.
Suddenly he heard his name called, Jace snapped back into reality just as fast as the shift. He stood and up to catch the eye of his Den Mother, Gabriella, waving him over. She already had most of the pups in her care gathered around with Guardian Marrow doing a head count. Jace hopped up and hurried over. Guardian Marrow ruffled Jace’s hair and marked him off.
“You’re taking my best pups, Gabby,” Guardian Marrow said with a light chuckle.
“They’re welcome to come back after I’ve finished with them.” Mother Gabriella smiled lightly as she ushered the pups away for afternoon prayers, lunch and then more daily chores. The pups followed behind like baby ducks. The pups that were older and more dominate took the lead while the more submissive and younger pups took the back. Jace was also jostled to the back of the line, since he didn’t have a title yet. Jace let them push him to the end with the meek white pelt that used her wolf name, Aurora, to identify herself. It was common practice among werewolves to use their wolf name after they’ve earned the right by surviving the Taming Year. Jace liked Aurora; she had a sweet smile and never mentioned Jace’s disability. Fury huffed out in annoyance at the mere thought. Jace agreed with her but the twinge of pain with the any mention of it still hurt.
Mother Gabriella led the pups to the temple, the tall ornate building situated in the middle of the village. A worn stone statue of the Moon Goddess stood between the two front doors made of heavy oak and complex, masterfully carved runic symbols adorned the worn wood. The statue stood to about six feet tall and depicted a delicate frame wrapped in an elegant flowing dress adorned with a swirling pattern; she was smiling, soft and welcoming, and had flowing hair that brushed the ground behind her. Each of the pups reached up, touched her outstretched hand, and gazed up at her face.
Then Mother Gabriella led them through the ornate oak doors into the dark inner room. Each pup paused at the threshold, swiping their right hand across the back of their neck and across their chest to stop over their heart in one sweeping motion while they knelt for just a moment to bare their neck to the temple in offering. After, they slipped into the temple and acted as if they were completely different people, leaving their childish demeanor behind and going solemnly silent. They followed in an orderly line to the back of the large room with vaulted ceilings. Large pillows covered the worn wooden floor, all of them carefully and meticulously embroidered with prayers and religious pictures. Sweeping vibrant purple curtains covered the towering stain glass windows depicting legends of old. At the stroke of midnight, the Moon Whisper will take them down to officially signal the end of Hunting Season.
The pups followed Mother Gabriella to the back of the dimly lit temple where they all took a seat on one of the plush cushions nearest the large statue of a wolf in the back. The golden statue was that of a sitting wolf staring down at any who took shelter within the temple. It was only painted gold, surrounded in offerings of burning incenses, precious gems and metals. An uncovered window behind it had a swirling sun pattern blocked out in the stain glass to create a halo around the statue. Above the sun on the stain glass the phrase, “Solis, The One the Stars Call Creator” was written in loopy elaborate handwriting. The window behind the statue was the only light source and made the statue look otherworldly, almost holy. Jace had always thought the temple looked like a cheap imitation of something greater, yet he could never figure out why. Gold Rust and the temple is all he’s ever known.
A few other wolves had spread throughout the large room, minding their own business, whispering their own prayers, and worrying about their own problems. Some weren’t even werewolves and still looked to Solis with a look of awe. Jace caught sight of a human staring at the statue and looking slightly puzzled. Jace had never been a very religious person, he felt the pull of the moon and heard the whispers at night and the stars singing to him when he was sad but he never really cared, Fury told him not to worry about it, so he didn’t.
“Pups,” Mother Gabriella said on the end of a hushed sigh. Her dazzling sky blue eyes stared up at the statue of Solis intently as if the stone-sculpted artifact would unveil the secrets of the cosmos right before her eyes. “With the passing Hunting Season…The Taming Year begins at daybreak tomorrow. So, let us pray for their safe arrival to this time next year.” She told the pups. They all turned their cold gazes to Jace. He ignored them even though Fury huffed out in annoyance, urging him to glare at them until they submitted or challenged for dominance. He ignored her too and kept his gaze on the Solis statue.
When pups reached ten summers, they went through the Taming Year. If they successfully complete the year of intense training they’d earn a permanent position in the pack and maybe even earn a Delta in that time. Jace was the only pup that would be facing his Taming Year this time around, so he had no chance of earning a Delta. Many feared for him, not because he’d have no other pups to lean on, he’d likely strike out on his own anyway, his pelt was red after all and red pelts rarely formed a Delta bond. No, they feared for him because of his disability.
His entire rust colored pelt was covered in a light dusting of white.
Usually the pack celebrated a pelt with more than one color; it meant that the werewolf would have a more diverse mind, being better leaders and stronger thinkers. However, with more power came more risks. The more the colors varied the less balance and control the werewolf had of their mind. The first sign of a dangerous imbalance was the opposite genders of the wolf and human.
Jace was a worst-case scenario, Fury was feminine, and his pelt was so wildly diverse that all possible colors were present. The Healer and Moon Whisper both confirmed Jace’s psyche was going to be riddled with turmoil, he’d be bi-polar and they feared he’d fall Feral at any moment if he didn’t become Shunned first. Fury growled and gave Jace a headache for thinking about it. She was angry anyone would think of her personality as a disability. She insisted she was being careful, she was watching over Jace and guiding him to stay on the path of sanity. She despised the mutts who dared whisper behind her back and claim she was a sickness that would only kill Jace. She was there to protect him, not kill him.
Mother Gabriella lit a long incense stick and turned to the pups in her charge to pass around and light their own after they finished their silent prayers for the pups facing the Taming Year, which was only Jace who was sure nobody spared a thought to pray for him. He felt spiteful for a moment until Fury reminded him that she’d be with him for the whole year, she’d support him. Jace smiled as he took Mother Gabriella’s incense to light his own before passing it.
The incenses were hand crafted with special herbs that the Moon Whisper said calmed the spirits. Once everyone had lit their incense, they took a collective deep, calming breath of the smoke that rose from the brown sticks. Jace felt like water washed over him and as if fearful of the feeling, Fury receded into that dark place in his mind that Jace could never seem to enter no matter how hard he pushed. The place only seemed to exist when the incenses were burning. When Jace was away from them and out of the temple, he couldn’t find that dark place that was so clear to him in that moment.
Mother Gabriella led the pups through the rest of their prayers, which took the exactly time it took the incenses to burn out. If the prayers finished before the incense went out or the other way around, then they restarted until done properly. Jace and the pups had gotten so good at it that they didn’t need to do it a second time; in fact, Jace couldn’t remember the last time anyone messed up the prayers; other than the story about Elder Olaf dying during his, but he’d been old and close to death, everyone had expected it at some point.
Jace had been there when the old man took his last breath during morning prayers; he smiled and called out the name of his mate who’d passed half a season before. Jace had been seven summers then and remembered everyone’s surprise that he lasted so long after his mate’s death. The longest in record, everyone kept admiring it as if it was an accomplishment and not a punishment as Jace had interpreted it to be. He couldn’t imagine the pain of losing that one closest most precious person and then living on, it must have been a private hell. Most wolves died from loneliness soon after a mate’s death, or they chose suicide before the loneliness wins out.
The pups followed Mother Gabriella’s lead, standing in unison, and left the temple in silence. As the group left, each touched the hand of the Moon Goddess statue and looked up at her face for just a moment. Jace shook off in a lazy attempt to feel Fury again, but as always, it didn’t work. The only thing that did was as he touched the hand of the Moon Goddess Statue Fury returned as if she’d never been gone. Jace had questioned her on it but she remained silent, as if she were mad at him.
They walked through the village to get to the fields and animal enclosures. That day they’d been tasked with caring for the small animals so they set to work feeding the chickens and rabbits, collecting eggs and patching up any fences that might need fixing. Mother Gabriella stayed close to oversee the pups and ensure they did their chores. They also had cows and sheep that the pack took care of but It was expected that the older wolves fifteen summers and older cared for them.
Jace spread the feed for the chicken and watched Arora giggle with another Omega about the new litter of rabbits and taking great pleasure in naming each of the new comers. Arora was two summers older then Jace was and already had a suiter looking for her loyalty, a brown pelt of twelve summers that went by his wolf name, Draven. His marks were so high in his Taming Year that many were sure he’d have no challengers for the title Alpha when he came of age.
However, even with the high marks Draven seemed to see the need to prove he was the dominate wolf and chose his targets accordingly. Jace, being the only red pelt in the litter Draven always chose to pick fights with him to prove his superiority. Jace expected it, Mother Gabriella had explained it to him many times before, drilling it into his head whenever she could that Jace was sick of hearing how he’d be the best warrior on the field, if his disability should allow that it.
“Hey, Raph,” Draven called out and tossed feed at him. Jace jumped and looked over to the older boy. “Stop staring or we’re going to have a problem.” Fury silently fumed and pointed out Draven’s relaxed position with the heavy feed bag left him vulnerable on his right side and advised Jace attack low. Jace ignored her, staying still but couldn’t ignore Fury completely and ended up glaring at Draven.
“Why are you looking at her anyway?” One of Draven’s followers by the name of Crane spoke up, “You’re a bitch.” Draven laughed and nudged Crane so roughly it almost knocked him off balance. Crane would be facing his Taming Year the spring after Jace’s along with two others. Jace frowned and looked away to focus on his work.
Fury being feminine meant everyone expected Jace to mate with someone with a masculine wolf. This meant they expected Rachael to act like a girl in the affairs of mating. The pack expected him to wait for suiters rather than look for one. He’d be the submissive in the mating and if they wanted children and were both male, the masculine mate would take the concubine. Jace wouldn’t have cared about all that if he’d been the one to choose that life for himself. However, he didn’t choose it, and it infuriated Fury so much Jace couldn’t help but feel spiteful and defiant. He wasn’t going to choose a masculine mate; he’d choose his mate on his terms. Fury liked that thought and settled happily.
The pups heard the Omega approaching before they saw the lanky white pelt run over. He’d come from woods, from the place that Jace would be sending the next year of his life, the Taming Year’s ritual grounds. The pups watched carefully though tried to look as if they were busy at work. However, Jace didn’t he stood up and looked over as the Omega hurried up to Mother Gabriella and handed her a wooden box covered in faintly glowing runes, Fury’s eyes let Jace see the magic emanating from the object in the form of light. They spoke in hushed voices for a few moments before the Omega ran off, returning from where he came.
Mother Gabriella turned to the pups then, “Jace,” She called much to everyone else’s displeasure though no one was surprised, the item would most likely be intended for Alpha and Jace was always chosen for those jobs. They glowered at him as he passed the bag of feed off to Crane and hurried over to Mother Gabriella. “Take this to Alpha, don’t delay.” She ordered as she held out the mesmerizingly mysterious box. It hummed with magic, like the trees that marked the witch barrier that hid the village. He took the box and his arms went numb as the thrumming magic leaked into him. Jace took in a shaky breath and glanced up at Mother Gabriella before tucking the box under his arm and running off towards Alpha’s house. He sprinted through the large crowds Fury extended help to keep him from running into anything. She moved for him, his body was her body, weaving through the crowd with smooth fluid movements.
Jace suddenly felt a sharp pain in his chest as the feeling of the shift rose in him though neither had called for it. Fury recoiled in disgust at the unwarranted change in forms while Jace stopped short in his tracks, suddenly unable to catch his breath and dropped the box as he clutched his soft cotton shirt and gasped for air. The second the box left his hands the feeling vanished like a cool breeze had washed over him.
The box hit the ground with a solid thunk and fell open; a vibrant red cloth fell out of the box and unrolled to reveal an old silver dagger with gold markings. Jace stared at it dumbfounded, forgetting the strange unwanted change in forms at the sight of the bizarre blade. He crept closer to it and knelt, carefully peeling the cloth back to get a better look at the blade. It was a silver blade with gold covering the edges, sharpened to a deadly point and gold inlaid in the center creating a golden sun encircled in a moon. The handle was plated in gold and the grip was made from the same vibrant red material as the inside of the box and the cloth wrapped around the dagger.
Jace stared at it and realized what it was, the Rouge sacrificial dagger. He felt his blood run cold and Fury growl and draw back, urging Jace to do the same. When a wolf betrayed the pack, they’d be branded a Rouge and tossed out. The dagger marked them without killing them, the gold and silver combination prevented the wound from completely healing, a permanent scar would form. It let the world know that whoever wore the Rouge’s brand was a vile person, someone who wasn’t to be trusted.
Jace let out a low groan as he reluctantly reached out, wrapped the deadly item up in the red cloth again, and placed it back into the box before shutting it and standing. He turned and hurried off again, trying his best to ignore the pit in his stomach that had formed after seeing the item only Alpha had authority to touch.
Alpha’s house stood on the other side of the village from the Omega House; it was large and housed Alpha with his harem of twelve female Omegas. Jace hesitated on the threshold, pausing with the box in hand and considered just dropping it off at the step, knocking and running away. However, Fury was instantly repulsed at the idea of running, so, Jace mustered up his and Fury’s courage and stepped inside. The house was huge and even though the scents made it seem like many people lived there it seemed like nobody did at the same time. Everything was in a specific place and always stayed there no matter how many times Jace had been inside, nothing seemed to change.
Like a dollhouse.
Jace headed up the stairs after one of the Alpha’s Omegas directed him to where Alpha was, the study on the second floor. Jace walked down the hall quietly and heard voices traveling down from the study. Jace paused once Fury advised him to; she’d heard his name in the hushed voices. Jace moved forward, silently gliding across the wood floor to stop by the door that was cracked open just a bit. Jace crouched down, set the box beside him and peeked into the study to find Alpha and the Moon Whisper, Alva, speaking.
Alpha sat in his large desk chair with his feet resting on his desk in front of him crossed at his ankles, big boots covered in dried mud. He had slicked back dark red hair and lazily held himself with mild interest. He watched Whisper Alva as she paced, her long robes dragged on the carpeted floor while her bare feet made no sound even though she was moving quickly, pacing to and fore in a clearly nervous manner. Alpha’s vibrant green eyes watched her every move like the true predator he was. Jace felt his nerves stir at the sight of his father. Fury shifted, unsettled by the powerful wolf’s presence.
“Are you sure about this, Alva? Should we really force this on someone so young?” Alpha questioned the Moon Whisper.
“I had a vison; the stars told me the most horrendous things! The fires of fury rise!” Whisper Alva gasped out desperately, “Jace will bring our destruction if he reaches puberty! This is the only way, one life, that’s all it takes to save everyone from the Blood Moon.” Alpha was silent for a long time. Whisper Alva continued to pace, her long white hair flowing in her wake. Jace shifted and leaned in closer to the opening.
“Lies…” Jace felt a presence move behind him as the cold breath brushed against his neck and made his hair stand on end. Fury yelped in surprise; Jace whirled around to find no one in the halls with him.
“This is the same vision you saw that man with his mother?” Alpha questioned in a serious voice as he wore a solemn expression.
“Yes, but much clearer now.” Whisper Alva said, turning to Alpha and placing her hands on the desk. “It’s the child that will bring the Blood Moon. We need to do something.”
“Lies…” The voice whispered again but louder, the cold brushing against his neck making Jace shiver. Fury went strangely quiet, like the calm before the storm. Jace moved to stand but Fury prevented him, imposing her will.
“I’ve had Mother Gabriella send him over with the dagger.” Alpha dropped his feet off the table and stood up. “We can’t let our loyalties towards him stay our hand. He’ll be remembered as a hero for his sacrifice.”
“When he arrives, we’ll explain the prophecy to him,” Whisper Alva sighed as she cast a glance over to a cloth scroll sitting on Alpha’s desk.
“No, he’ll know nothing till the very end,” Alpha said sternly, “It’s what’s best for everyone.”