Tail of a Young Wolf, by Wanderer

Story name: Tail of a Young Wolf
Author: Wanderer
Date: 705 CR, and 699 CR


Main Characters: Wanderer

Supporting: Chris, Jack DeMule, Duke Thomas

Cameo: Michael


Wanderer watches from a grassy knoll as Michael practices with the sword. Christopher comes up to Wanderer and asks if Michael reminds him of himself years ago. Wanderer remembers…

Charles was a young man from a small village far from Metamor Keep. He had always wanted to be a poet, but his father wanted him to take over his trade as a cartwright. He remembers the fights he got in with, and how he had been named him Lovell, "the young wolf".

Charles, now named "The Wanderer", fights back these memories as a cartman dictates some of his stories to him. He is traveling to Metamor Keep, where he has heard that the court poet of Metamor Keep perished in the fight against Nasoj. Walking from the signpost outside Metamor Keep, he encounters an equine morph, who brusquely asks his business. Although astonished and offended, Wanderer spontaneously answers his questions in poetic form, astonishing the morph. He introduces himself as Jack DeMule, and that Thomas may well give him the job, if he wants it.

Lord Thomas warns him of two things: that anyone who stays at the Keep will change in some way, and that everyone at the Keep must take active duty. As Wanderer gives calm accepting answers, Jack throws a sword at his feet, ordering him to pick it up. Wanderer looks about in confusion, which Jack interprets as cowardice, and orders him to leave. Enraged, Wanderer takes the sword and promises to teach him some manners. They are stopped by Lord Thomas, who is pleased to finally see some spirit from him. He asks again if he accepts the possibility of a change into either a woman, a child, or an animal. Wanderer says that being a woman will not affect his abilities (save one, for which he will have to squat), that being a child will only excuse his foolishness, and that being an animal hardly matters when certain townships believe that reading without moving one's lips qualifies one as inhuman.

Chris reminds Wanderer that he was the only applicant who hadn't left when told about the change. He then asks what he was looking for in the library the day they met.

On that day, Wanderer's change had finished, and he wonders how he'll manage to play the lute, lyre, or recorder without thumbs. As he slams the music books down in frustration, Chris asks if he can help. Wanderer is surprised not to have met him before, and suggests they take their midday meal together.

Wanderer ended up figuring out the new fingerings and strap positions on his own, writing a book about it called "Paws for Music". As they joke around, Chris tells him that he came up to get him for the midday meal. As they leave, Wanderer mentions that the "fool mystic" was asking about a ring with a blue crystal.1

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