Istvan the Wayfarer
Istvan was born to a lowly village of farmers and sheep herders, taught to not expect life to be exciting, merely hard work and close family. Nothing else was needed in this life and so there was no reason to stare at the stars at night.
The young boy accepted what he was taught, content to watch over his father's sheep at night, keeping the fire lit to ward off wolves and other predatory animals that might wish to make a meal out of one of the sheep.
It was on his fourteenth birthing day that he was out with the sheep, looking up at the stars despite his father's disdain for such things. His attention was abruptly pulled into the mundane world with the fearful mewing of a sheep. Snatching up a firebrand and his crook, the boy ran to where the sheep were herded and barely caught sight of an animal making off with one of his charges. It looked to be a wolf and he gripped his crook harder; but ventured on to follow, not caring to be beaten by his father later for losing one of the flock.
The wolf led him deep into Lenton Wood, a dark place of dense trees that did too good a job at blocking the light of the sun and moon both. Still he followed, eyes flitting back and forth, up and down as he stumbled along an imaginary path.
Just when he was thinking to give up the chase and let the wolf have its kill, he heard movement and voices up ahead. Dropping down to his hands and knees, the boy crept up closer and parted some bushes to see a roaring fire with a small group of people dancing around it. Shockingly to the boy, they were frolicing naked around the fire, chanting nonsense words and raising cups into the air. The wolf he had been tracking entered the clearing, dropping the sheep onto the ground, where it mewed pitifully; but lived. Istvan was relived, he might be able to convince these people to give him back the sheep and let him go on his way.
He stood to make his way down to them, when the wolf seemed to blur and shimmer in the firelight, becoming a comely young woman. His eyes had stared at the stars too long and he had gone mad from dreaming, he told himself. A wolf could not become a beautiful woman, it was not possible.
The woman picked up the sheep and took it around the fire where a stone table had been erected a few feet from the fire. The dancers slowed their pace and moved to circle the table, chanting louder and raising their mugs high again. The woman joined in the chanting as well, her voice singing melody to their chorus, in a deep and resonating tone. He was captivated by the sound and for the first time, felt his loins swell and the warmth of desire fill him. His mind reeled from the emotions and he watched helplessly as the woman took up a steel knife and slit the sheep's throat. Its blood splattered over the stone table, running in rivulets over the sides. The woman licked the blood from the glittering blade and laughed in triumph, the dancers pausing to approach the table and tear into the carcass with their fingers, feeding finger fulls of bloody flesh into their mouths. The entrancing woman drove her hands into the sheep, pulling its heart free and bringing it to her breasts, squeezing and letting the lifeblood of the animal cover her arousing features.
Istvan had seen enough and he almost cried as a warm stream of urine ran down his leg. He moved to run off, only to see the young woman look at him and laugh, lifting her head back and howling like a moonstruck wolf...
The boy turned and ran and ran, stumbled and then got up and ran, all the way back to the herd. He could not return home, not this early, so he huddled in the roots of a large tree and wrapped his arms around his young body, rocking back and forth and trying to block out what he had seen and heard that night.
It was some years later, that a young man, a forester and hunter, made his way across the meadows near Lenton Wood. He followed an unseen path into the wood for some time, unerringly coming to a small clearing, overgrown with plants and briars. Pulling away some of the growth revealed a stone table, stained long ago with the blood of who knows what unfortunate thing. The man knelt and examined the area, noting impressions in the ground and torn cloth on caught on thorns. Finally, he took out a small book and set it on the table, retrieving an inkpot and quill from his pack and jotting down notes into the book, his finger running along the stone table, tracing runes etched into it long ago...
Dice Roll: 1d8
d8 Results: 7