[center [left [pic https://i.imgur.com/CMzmUR1.png]]]
[center [size18 [Markazi+Text [I "Snow...it falls so gently, making not a single sound as it drifts from the sky. It's peaceful, the color of absolute innocence. I guess that's just what snow is...pure and innocent."]]]]
[center [size18 [Markazi+Text The lilting voice of a female faded into nothing, her words meant for no one as she observed the small flakes that gently fell from the sky. She sat underneath the wilting branches of a willow tree, her midnight hair stark against the white snow. She slowly lifted a pale hand, crystal eyes watching as the tiny flake hit her hand and melted. The woman had long grown accustomed to the cold, in fact she was hardly dressed in anything, she wore a thin black sweater that barely reached her knees and her legs and feet were completely bare. It was the middle of winter in Scandinavia, and at the current moment it was only 4°, her skin should be cracking and beginning to purple with frostbite. But instead it was smooth, it looked like porcelain - she looked like she could break at the slightest touch.]]]
[center [size18 [Markazi+Text As the woman sat there under the tree she declared as hers, a small child appeared. The tiny girl was bundled in thick coats, holding a small wicker basket. With great hesitation, the child shuffled towards the woman with a look on uncertainty and even fear on her face, setting the basket down a few feet away. [b "Mrs. Fenrir, this is an offering. My mother is sick...I wish upon your godly powers to make her better. Please..."] Silence greeted the child as the woman stared at the basket which contained various breads and sweets. Moments passed without any word or movement from the woman named Fenrir, then without a word she got to her feet and moved towards the basket, flipping the small fabric cover and picking up one of the fluffy pieces of dough. Taking a bite, she looked at the child finally, pointing a black painted nail at her. [+red "Go gather some Nettle-leaf, you'll find it by the river. Mash it up and put it in your mothers tea, then have her drink it."] With that the woman took her basket of goodies and left quickly, leaving the child with new information.]]]
[center [size18 [Markazi+Text This woman, also known as Fenrir, was well known throughout Scandinavia and even other countries. However, in this particular town she was known as the Monster of Bergen. Every month, ever since she had killed a teenage girl for insulting her, the city folk have brought Fenrir offerings to please her. They would usually consist of sweets, fresh coffee, or meat. Unfortunately if there was something that she didn't like then there would be consequences. So far the body count was getting in the double digits, they're bodies found mauled by what looked like an animal, a large one. One of the elders spread the story of the scary beast that was plaguing them, telling outside towns and travelers. Eventually people grew interested and went to Bergen in hopes of seeing the giant wolf that ravaged through the streets of Bergen. Though nothing was found, little did they know that the actual monster took refuge in the neighboring forest, and even when they looked there they could never find a trace of anything that would lead them to a wolf. The only thing that people ever found were foot print in the snow that led nowhere. Only a few of the locals of Bergen knew where to leave the offerings and they refused to tell the travelers in fear of invoking the monster's wrath.]]]
[center [size18 [Markazi+Text No one knew why the killings were only located in Bergen, there were plenty of cities surrounding the vast forest that were much bigger than Bergen. What no one knew was that the monster couldn't leave, that it was physically impossible for it to do so. The poor woman, Fenrir, had been tricked into being chained to Bergen and the forest surrounding it. Now, after being stuck in the same place for what had felt like forever, her feelings of rage and resentment had begun to surface. That was why she had started killing, to perhaps let go of some of those bubbling feelings. They threatened to consume her very being no matter how much she killed, in fact ever since she had started the killings it seemed she felt even more, Fenrir felt like she would go mad with the uncontrollable feelings of anger and hate that were just constantly building up inside her.]]]
[center [size18 [Markazi+Text After leaving the child, Fen took her goody basket and went to the frozen lake, sitting by it's edge and delving into the delicious snacks. As she ate, one of her wolves came over to investigate. The poor thing was a loner at the moment, the local pack had kicked him out as punishment for challenging they're alpha and losing. As their creator is was her duty to make sure all her children were safe. Placing a hand on the animal's head, it sat down and curled up beside her. As the two sat there in complete silence, the gentle snow that had begun to fall started to pick up, the temperature feeling like it had dropped even lower. Looking to the cloudy sky, she frowned. [+red "I feel a storm coming..."] she said to no one. Having finished the basket of snack Fenrir got to her feet and just stood there - at least that's what it looked like. Slowly a white mist began to envelope the woman making it impossible to see her, it dissipated after a minute and in Fenrir's place stood a massive wolf...with wings of that like a bird.]]]
[center [size18 [Markazi+Text Feeling like running she took off in a random direction. Fenrir loved snowstorms. She lifted her large head into the sky and let out a howl unlike any other, grinning as it echoed through the tree's. Unlike a typical wolf howl, or even a werewolf for that matter, Fenrir's howl sounded like music. As she howled wolves that were miles off joined here, they were compelled to. She jumped and leaped in the air, breifly extending wings that were larger than any animal, floating and sliding around. She yipped and howled without a care in the world. This was her forest, her home. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L28CnhmeAD4 Sounds like this] After awhile Fenrir stopped near a large oak tree, it was the biggest one in the forest. By this time the storm had arrived and the flakes that had once been falling so slowly were swirling around in a flurry. She was completely unaware that she wasn't alone at the time.]]]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/hdKCMNX.png]]
[center [youtube https://youtu.be/HKkL7DfoE3U?t=25s]][left [pic https://i.imgur.com/vNLINbn.jpg]]Even when daybreak peered through the night's cloud cover, the land was dark.
Even when the summer Sun fought the rains for its throne overhead and [i won], the land was cold.
As if to affirm this, his breath billowed from his mouth and floated away into the icy, dawn breezes. Weeks; It had taken him weeks to get here, just a few paces, mere hours, from the entrance to the infamous town of Bergen. He carried little more than clothing, some waterskins, silver blades bathed in holy water, and two rolled leather sacks. Their contents were strange, even more so than he would appear to anyone looking on, dressed fairly light despite the snow that devoured his boots and tanned despite the long winters of the north. It was clear that while he knew how to traverse this terrain, he was either not a native, or had been far removed from the northern regions for quite some time. Most preferred to avoid the cold, and few returned to its merciless clutches after escaping to warmer territories, but the huntsman had returned to pursue his usual quarry.
The things of legend, beasts from another realm.
Here, in the barren scapes of the northern valleys, there were dozens of rumors. There were rumors from well across the sea, stories from underground and above the clouds; Mostly fiction, but some...
Some, were fruitful. In his profession, sightings and witnesses were EVERYTHING. Second came the stories... tales of babies devoured in the night, eerie songs from deep within dark woodlands, screams amidst rocky seaside cliffs, and even tellings of giants lurking about the southern foothills, slaughtering bands of travelers for their suppers. Yes, there was plenty to choose from, plenty of stories to investigate-
But there had been one that had stuck with him. And what, might you ask, made it so special?
He had heard similar tales of the same creature wreaking havoc in the same land from [i six different travelers], in [i six different cities], a SEVENTH telling while on a ship to the sandy shores of Waard. As a traveling huntsman, he'd been everywhere, and anywhere he'd yet to go, he may as well have been on his way. The stories he'd heard of this creature had traveled further than a [i continent] past their birthplace. Some recounted the teeth and clawmarks on victims, and the carnage; Young girls' bodies left strewn about the snow like the ship wreckage, small boys whose faces were unrecognizable come morning, shredded beyond all recognition, some with their arms missing entirely. The village had taken up treating the creature as a vengeful deity, offering it gifts in an attempt to sate its escalating rage before it could snuff out yet another young life.
Green eyes narrowed as he picked his way through the snow, recalling that, when asked why the townspeople would not leave, the man's answer was the final straw. It had become his reason for having departed for Bergen in the first place, actually.
Apparently, the town was surrounded by woodlands... Woodlands ruled by the beast in question.
He sought her out even now, trudging through tall, thin, and dreary grey and black tree trunks while straining to hear something, anything at all. For quite some time, though, he was met only by the crunch of his boots atop the fresh snow, and the occasional grunt as the cold worked its way through both his lungs and his bones; He had missed this sensation, the harshness of winter could make a man of any boy left to weather it and had done so for him, years ago. Winter here in Bergen was coming to an end, though the last legs of winter were always the cruelest weeks of the year. His memories tugged at his mind for a moment, but? This was not the time for memories of woodcutting and romping through orchards with the village hounds, though, not as the stench of stale blood hit his nose.
Green eyes scanned the surrounding area but found nothing, meaning? He drove his walking stick into the snow and dug, curling his lip at what he found. [i An arm], kept 'fresh' here in the snow. Wonderful. [i All of the woodlands were its play-place].
"You believe us, don't you?"
[b "I do."]
"What did you say your name was?"
With a nod, one of the townsmen gathered around him clapped the much larger huntsman on the shoulder. "Then... at the very least, we thank you for coming, Rekkr. You say... you've hunted beasts before? This isn't your first?"
The worry in his voice was of no consequence to Rekkr, he wouldn't have come if he'd felt afraid of beasts. He was calm, and nodded, savoring his drink as it warmed his stomach. [b "Aye, not the first, nor the last."]
"Well, we can't pay you much..." a woman said nervously from behind the counter of the inn, refilling a horn of ale. [b "Is this free?"] he asked with a nod at his overflowing horn, grinning all the while. "Ah, yes! Yes it is!"
[b "If you keep me for my stay I'll not have your money. Fair?"]
"Are you sure? Just food and lodgings is all you want?"
Rekkr shook his head. [b "It's beast I'm after, not your coin. Realize the profit to be made of a beast's hide, that's all the pay I'll need."]
They seemed to be in awe now, leaving him to finish his ale and some dried goat in peace; He could tell this was good ale, likely saved for special occasions, what with the wolf stalking the trade routes.
After eating, he took up a table, unrolling his packs and picking out a number of longblades and two dozen holy silver arrows, all fitted neatly somewhere on his person. His last words to the bunch for the day were a request, one to have his bags delivered to a room upstairs.
Without a word of farewell, Rekkr left the inn and entered the forest again, though made no bones about his hunt, the whirling winds and thick snow making little difference to him. There was something bothering him about it all... All recounts told of a beast, and of the same behaviors, but not of an appearance. They called it a wolf, but had never described one. Was it a werewolf?
Rekkr delved deeper into the stormy wood, curious and unafraid. This beast was his job, and he would either find it, or it would find him.