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Into the Self, Into the Past

Yawn Longfang
Magrat Farwalker
Stanrick Longfang

The mind is a weapon. The thought was still new to Yawn. Sure he understood the mind affected the body. Had learned to stare horror and terror down and smash its skull in response rather then run for dear life screaming. That he understood. The body was a weapon. Training was it maintenance. All weapons needed maintenance. Scour the rust from the metal. Add a little oil to keep the wood and steal bright and keep the rust off. Check the handles fitting, the hilt, the head int he case of maces, and the pommels fit. A little polishing never hurt, keeps the wood bright protects it from wet rot. Magrat had knowledge, was a fierce archer, and a good friend. Yawn would learn all he could of the Lost. He would try to learn to call on the spirits. And if it failed it would not be because a Longfang warrior could not put his own mind to heel, he would not fail for lack of effort on his part.
He sat, cross legged on the cool matted grass of the outpost. Slowed his breathing keeping it deep and even. Closed his eyes, and tried to let his mind empty. Felt the sun warm his tunic. Heard the wind through the grasses. For a time he swore he could feel the earth itself turning… The grass beneath him. And there his mind slipped his will. The grass… Burnt in places. Slick in places with the blood and gore of Ulven and Mordok alike. Gunthers screams as he was carried off thrashing and biting. Yawn clenched his fist. Despite himself he trembled with rage. Of see the knife, seeing Rill the intend mark. The mad rush to break the hand the held it, and knowing he was too far to make the difference. Of his fellow youngling diving between knife and Rill. The cut he took across his upper arm from having lost sight of his opponent. The sound of Stanrick sword find it soft marks. Of Zucs glaive raining heavy blows across shield and flesh alike hewing anything foolish enough to come into reach. Rills own blade and shield, of Rill lashing out with both equal, breaking and cutting any target that came near. Of the sensation of the mace and shovel in his hand. The maces thud, the shovels clang, finding the throat with it dull blade, soft bits vulnerable to its point. The impact singing back along the handles to his arms. The fury that filled his blood. The battle rage, the need to break, to maim, to kill what had hurt. What had taken from his pack. And yet, killing, maiming… did nothing to fill the void, no matter how many fell under his cudgels. No matter how many foe he fell, it would never bring back those lost…

———————

Magrat kept a carful ,yet discreet watch on Yawn. To be honest, she had never trained another and she had no intention of screwing this one up. She had made a bargain with one of the local spirits to keep an eye on him, and when the little thing tugged on her consciousness, she went to find him immediately.
She found him, partially hidden in the grass. She watched his hands grip and tremble at nothing, and the little spirit gave her an idea of where he had gone. She paused, remembering when her teacher had pulled her from her mind, and what he had said to her. She waited a moment, before laying a hand on his shoulder, and called his name softly.
“Yawn.”
He snapped out of his reverie, and for a moment, she saw the rage and the pain in his eyes.
“The path to the world of the spirits is through ourselves.” She said quietly, and without preamble, sitting down next to him and facing the swamp as he did.
“We must first navigate the mire that is our hearts and spirits before we may come out the other side. We must learn truths about ourselves and our pasts, and these truths will not be comfortable. But they give insights to ourselves, of where we were, and where we are going. And why we are going there. When we stand before our totems for the first time, we are naked. They will see all of our anger, our pain, our rights and wrongs, our joys and sorrows. If we are not at peace with ourselves, they will know, and when they test you, you will fail.”
She toyed with a strand of grass absently.
“Will you share with me what you saw?”

——————————–

Yawn eyes stayed wild for a few moments, he looked down. “I was.. here. The night of the attack. The night before the bastards arrived.” He swallowed. “I was lashing out. Reliving the fight. The lose. The younling we lost when he threw himself between Rill and the dagger, if I’d been a half step faster or thrown the shovel maybe.. But not even in the vision do I change my actions, Gunther carried off screaming, and I want to make them pay. I want to hurt.” His eyes equal parts fury and sadness. “I want to break, maim, gouge, and crush. I want them to feel all they’d inflicted and more. And I want to feel nothing while I do it but the mace and shovels vibrations shocking back up my arms. I want to pile the corpses… Though I know no matter how many I kill, no mater how many I burn it will no more put breath back into our lost then my regrets.” Yawns shoulders relaxed his hand stayed closed in fists but he was no longer clenching.

————————————-

Stanrick was sitting on the other side of the wall, had been for some time smoking his pipe. He was hearing every word knew what was happening, and was torn. Yawn was his brother, a longfang. He had also felt his pain. The snow had melted and stanrick tried to help his brother but now he was losing him. Not in death, but rather his spirit. If he kept down the path he was heading the great wolf would not know his name. But what kept his silence was magrat if the pack knew she was teaching him… He didn’t want to think about it. “that dumb whelp all he thinks of is him self.” he mumbled under his breath. Perhaps if his eyes would change or his fangs come in then he would come to his right mind.

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