This is a story told of Nightwill's Mother and Fathers. Enjoy :)
This is a tale of Bloodfur. All stories have beginning and Bloodfur's was like any other born into this world. But the signs said she would be great.
As she grew she showed great promise in many things her drive and her passion to succeed leading her to assist in the rites honoring the spirits, the hunt, the ways of cooking, tanning, each thing she tested herself against and found she could accomplish.
With striking violet eyes and fur a deep red she had a beautiful figure that would draw looks by itself but combined with her spirit some claimed she was the most beautiful ever.
But Bloodfur, who earned her name in battle, chose none flirting and moving from one to another saying no one mate would be enough .. and in truth her attention could not be caught long.
Two visitors came to the tribe and meeting her they argued. These brothers wished to woo her and in the end it turned to a fight where blood was spilled.
The elders of the family gathered and summoned her. They said she must choose a mate for the dissention was too great. A compromise was reached after some .. vigorous debate. There would be a contest and the winner would be her mate.
The Elders gave a year so those interested might prepare themselves.
Some new agreements came of it; she would compete and have the final say over any ties. Which was cunning on her part for few braves would wish to tie with their wife.
Families would have their elders judge other families so no favoritism might happen. In fact everything went relatively well for the fight, but not everyone had come to win. Many had come to just test themselves.
The elders conferred and tests were made up. Tests of the body testing your steadfastness in combat, ability to care for your brothers and slay the enemies of the Shu'halo.
Tests of the spirit, testing your ability to remain calm and prudent, to think about your actions and always be mindful of the Earthmother's mercy.
Tests of the mind, respect for those around you greater and lesser, loyalty to the Tribe, and belief in justice and fairness.
In the end three rose to the tops, each favored in their own ways.
Ayahan was a gentle sort but skilled in the ways of the hunt and war when he chose. But his tools were the wisdom and magic of the ancestors for through his green eyes looked every generation before.
A race was given to them and instead of rushing off as the others he asked the spirits and they guided him aiding him in avoiding the many traps to cripple him. At the end there was a moment when he passed a trapped competitor who was begin strangled.
He chose to stop and freed him and made certain his foe would survive. It was the finish of the race; the compassion and mercy for his foe gained him victory.
Skybolt, a black furred huntsman who left his tribe to seek greater challenges. In the contest of body he split a leaf of grass with his arrow so far away most couldn’t even see it.
When a centaur scout popped up in that moment of surprise only he reacted his shaft appearing like magic in its eye. In the momentary confusion he chose swiftly six warriors and led them against the beasts.
Skybolt tracked them back and found the band, laying his ambush he stood in front of them and began slaying one after another with his bow, dodging their spears as enraged they charged!
When they were too close to flee his band opened fire from the sides! From three directions they attacked them! Skybolt took their leader with an arrow to his throat and they panicked breaking and scattering.
He was hurt, two spears found his flesh but they did not interrupt his attacks. The rest of the Shi'halo were able to kill each and every centaur. Great was the glory he claimed by his skill in war.
Bloodfur stood among the final three of course. She proved herself best listening to disputes and giving her solution, and helping those involved finding the best solution.
These three in the end stood against each other. The elders met a final time and talked. It was decided to send them through the spirits to a place to be tested.
One of the elders was known as Gray, for his fur had turned so and he had lived so long that little excited him any more. He proved a stable and wise leader in times of troubles. He gathered everyone and told them of the elder's choice.
"They will travel to a distant place. There the spirits shall await them at an eleven stone. The magic will carry the first two who touch it home." And with that he cast the magic to carry the three off.
With the three gone the hunters went out to gather game and found the hunting plentiful the Earthmother was most generous. The contests continued and while others had not succeeded in earning a place in the final test many found strong and skilled mates.
Three days later, that afternoon there was a swirling of wind and a roar and blinking in surprise all three of them were back! Bloodfur had her arm bandaged, and Ayahan leaned upon a staff, his wrapped leg red with blood. Only Skybolt bore no harm.
The tribes came running and paused seeing them. Bloodfur declared to the gathered tribe "I have chosen them both." Great was the startlement and some were angered by her words, had they lost blood and contested for this?
Some of the more hotheaded took a step forward but only one. Skybolt drew back his bow. Tall as she was all could see him steadily facing the tribe beside Bloodfur. Remembering how swift his arrows might deal death cooled any quick tempers.
Ayahan stepped forward and said "Calm please, listen to my words. We faced many trials together." He paused gathering his strength before saying "Skybolt and I offered a choice to Bloodfur to chose one."
As his voice broke with the weight of his emotions, all but the coldest hearts could feel the cost that had been risked. Ayahan fell silent and Blood fur placed her arm around him holding him while Skybolt moved close guarding them with a wary eye still.
Gray, slower than the others arrived the tribe falling back before the eldest of the elders. He looked at each of them in turn settling on Skybolt last. He had not spoken but the elder nodded at what was in his eyes. Turning he spoke to the Tribe.
The Earthmother at times will give us strange gifts, we think they are trouble yet in the end we find a great value in them. We thought we came for one contest yet it brought many of us together.
To those that would ask of the honor of the challenge, Bloodfur decides the ties...and the spirits must have agreed they were as one in this. She has chosen three victors and they have blessed it. They stand willing to face any foe.
I would not want to be that foe.
We thought we came for a small contest but it has been a great one, we thought we came for one mating but many have found their hearts in these days. The spirits knew better than we, they generously gave us the food for a feast to celebrate them all.
"Let the tribe be strong and rejoice!" And there was a cheer that echoed across the plane from the tribe, and a great wedding feast was had in which all those chosen were honored.