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 Night of the Wolves

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cydalone
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Nombre de messages : 15
Localisation : Nantes
Date d'inscription : 19/05/2006

MessageSujet: Night of the Wolves   Mer 14 Juin - 21:26

Un truc que j'avais écrit (en anglais, désolé pour les americanophobes, même si je les comprends plus qu'ils ne le pensent) il y a quelques années... en décembre 1999. Je voulais votre avis ?
(j'aurais bien aimé à une époque utiliser cette mini-nouvelle comme scénario pour un DA fait main... j'ai jamais eu le temps...)

He was bleeding. His blood was flowing down his forehead. His left arm was painful, but despite the pain, fear and anger, he could remember. His memories were as clear as this night. A cold, dark night with a full moon rising. He could already feel the light of the moon on his face. He knew his life had not only been made up of pain and darkness. He could remember the light. He could remember the warmth. He could also remember the joy…

An owl screeched. It spread its wings and flew in the night as the moon came out behind the mountains. The silvery white light of the full moon soon reached the sleepy village. Although the wooden houses seemed quiet and peaceful, the biggest one, on the centre square, was full of voices. Both songs and shouts were melted in a joyful hubbub, like an invitation given to everyone. Beorg, the eight-foot high chief of the village, had opened his best beer barrels, praised by his neighbours, his friends and his warriors. Two roasted fatlings were lying on long tin plates set out on the big tables, a third one being cooked on the spit in the hearth. Six turkeys had already been distributed and gaily wolfed down by the guests, but their appetite and their happiness seemed endless, like their fidelity to their chief. As the villagers were feasting, Beleg, the blacksmith, praised Beorg, his best friend, wishing him fame and wealth. Galfin was only three, but he had insisted on coming and partying with his parents, for he had well understood that this night would be special for him. But he was already falling asleep on the knees of his mother. She was wearing her favourite golden-red gown, which Beleg had offered her on the day of their wedding. She was stroking his hair, with the delicate gesture of an attentive mother. Because of the glowing fire whose flames were licking the roasting meat, the reddish light made Galfin’s blond hair seem the same colour as his mother’s robe. Beleg had only just noticed this touching scene when a cry rose upstairs. Everybody kept silent. In the night, a wolf howled. Mira, Beorg’s daughter, the promised bride of Galfin, was born.


Dernière édition par le Mer 14 Juin - 21:28, édité 1 fois
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cydalone
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Nombre de messages : 15
Localisation : Nantes
Date d'inscription : 19/05/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Mer 14 Juin - 21:27

The howling came closer. Galfin realised it was not only a part of his memory, but a cry from reality too. A wolf was coming towards him. He released his broken sword and took instead a brand from the fireplace. The wolf’s eyes glittered in the light of the brand, with the sharp glance of a starving but still fierce beast. Galfin threw his improvised weapon at his foe. The brand hit the wolf’s shoulder, burning some furs, and fell into the snow on the ground. The wolf alternatively looked at the crackling brand and the staggering young man near his fire. With a plaintive yap, the wolf leaped back into the night. “He was certainly already hurt,” Galfin thought. “He didn’t insist. Thank the gods.” His look went from the dim forest down to the warm-looking fire. In spite of the cold wind and the snowy weather, he could feel its warmth.

The heat flowed in his veins like a torrent in a dry bed, overflowing its banks and spreading over a valley. He felt as if his entire body were boiling. He had already trained all day long, but his father had ordered him to run to the river and run back as fast as he could. Two leagues! “You’re supposed to be a man, if you want to be able to rule the village when you’re older. And men won’t show their sufferings or their tiredness. You’ll agree later. And you’ll thank me for that.” He was seventeen! He didn’t see the interest of such an exhausting exercise. He enjoyed the spear and the sword. He loved going through the forest with Sulfëa, his horse, “spirit of the wind” as he named him. For he was quite skilled in the art of leading horses, and they would follow him willingly. He had trained enough, to his mind, with bows and javelins. He had learned much from his father. He felt he was nearly a man. Why had he to do such infantile things like running? He was looking at the river, probing its depths in search of fishes: fishing would change his mind. Hardly had he sat on the bank to get back his breath when the sound of the guards’ horn came to his ears. What had happened? He ran as never before. He would have been surprised to see that the sun had just sunk behind the trees when he entered the village. He quickly understood why running might be useful. Beorg and two hunters were lying dead in the middle of the centre square, despite the healing herbs and brews and the spells of Gorlim, the old shaman. The six other comrades who had gone hunting with them were standing motionless. Two of them were injured. “Wolves,” one said. Galfin noticed that four horses were missing. “We had to sacrifice some horses to the pack of wolves to protect our flight and save our friends,” another said dimly. Beleg had knelt at the side of his friend, who was leaning against the well. He had taken his hand. It seemed to Galfin that his father was about to cry. “They attacked us as we were hunting deer. We had scarcely realised it when Realgar was already dead and Beorg wounded to death.” Mira was crying and mourning on the chest of her dead father. “He had only just time to designate me as his successor. And to say farewell to his wife and his daughter,” Beleg added sadly. Galfin saw her face when Mira stood alone as the men took her father’s body to the shaman’s. He knew she would become beautiful, for she was stern and proud like a steel blade; sharp-minded was the term. But there would henceforth be a sad light in her keen eyes. The following day, three great pyres were built. Galfin saw his father, the newly chosen chief, lighting up the fire. He didn’t hear neither the shaman’s blessing nor his father saying him: “Fleeing is not a cowardly act. It may be more useful to be alive than to fight desperately a stronger enemy”. He didn’t hear. He stood silent. He only looked steadily at Mira. In her blue and white robe, she seemed so pale and fragile in front of the reddish furnace. But he knew she wasn’t. Then, she looked at him. And her eyes pierced him. A tear came to his cheek. He had understood her pain. He swore never to give her such pain. In the falling night, numerous wolf cries rose. Winter was coming.

Winter had come. A harder and colder season this year. The river was nearly frozen. The snow was thick and white on the glade, save where the fight had been more fierce and bitter, which gave the snow the well-known colour of blood. The snow was still falling. The flames flickered because of the wind. Galfin heard a growling behind him. Despite his tiredness, he turned swiftly and faced a tall black wolf that was sniffing the motionless body of Beleg. “Get away from him, you foul beast of Hell!” he shouted. The sound of his voice was nearly shrill to his ears. The wolf lifted its head to him, glancing at him in an attitude of defiance. It bared its sharp white teeth, ready to go to Galfin’s throat. While the wolf was taking a run up to attack him, he looked desperately around him. Suddenly, he saw the spear of Brelgar, one of his dying father’s dead guards. The wolf jumped at him. Quickly, Galfin knelt and rolled aside, then took the javelin and prepared to face the second charge. It came far more rapidly than expected: he had merely put the handle of his spear in the ground that the wolf rushed once more on him. The point drove deeply into the beast’s rib cage, killing it at once. But Galfin could feel the eighty pounds of the dead creature dragging him down with it. He was tired, exhausted, frozen, squashed under the wolf’s corpse. He closed his eyes.

He had awakened early that night. The stars were glittering in the dark sky. There was neither cloud nor moon. A warm wind was blowing from the south. The second day of summer was beginning. It was four years since Beorg had died. The day before, there had been a great feast. Even inhabitants of the next village, twelve leagues away, in the valley, had come. They had brought with them crops and fabrics, with the intention of exchanging them for wood and furs. Now, the village was extending. New houses were being built. The encircling defensive wall had grown thicker every decade, and the heavy wooden gate was impressive. Now he was a guard. He didn’t choose to be a fisher, a trader or even a blacksmith, like his father. He was a good warrior, which was easily proved by the collar of teeth and claws he took from the foes he killed. He was not a hunter, but his skills as horse rider and fighter were often used against bears or wolves. He had even killed a puma, which was unusual in these mountains. He was sure his father should be proud of him, even if he would never show it. That didn’t matter. He knew his deeds and his mistakes; he knew his value and his responsibilities. He had grown up since Beorg’s death. Now, he was stronger, keener and more efficient. His hair was still light blond, which gave him his name, “shining hair”, but the curls he had had when younger had disappeared. His young body could endure pain and hard work, exactly what his father wanted. His eyes were blue like a deep sea, with both a smart and cunning look; he had a scar on his right shoulder which would remind him of the puma’s deadly claws. As he was studying the village from the balcony of his own house, he didn’t hear Mira approaching. She took his arm and put her head on his shoulder. She had grown up, too. Her long dark hair was delicately plaited; her white gown made her look like a candle in the darkness. She was smiling quietly; keen and slightly sad, her dark blue eyes were that of a proud but loving woman. The day before, they had got married.

Galfin suddenly opened his eyes. He wondered if he was dead or not. The weight on his breast reminded him quickly that he was surely still alive. The foul corpse was still warm, and the wolf’s blood had not dried. Only a few minutes had passed since he had fallen. In spite of the smell of death, he nearly enjoyed the heat of the fur. That was exactly what his father needed. A thick fur would certainly postpone, if not prevent, Beleg’s death. But he had to get out of this situation. Furthermore, there were still wolves around the glade. From time to time, he could hear a howling, and he could even feel them, sense them, too, creeping in the undergrowth. Using his spear like a lever, he tried to push the body of his foe. Tensing his muscles, he eventually freed himself from the stifling grip of the dead wolf. He suddenly cried, for this effort had brought the pain of his wounded arm back. “At least my arm is not absolutely lost,” he thought with a grim smile. He rushed toward his father to make sure he was still alive. But he had to use a buckler as a mirror to see with an enormous relief a little steam on it. Within half an hour, Galfin had laid his father near the fire, covered with the corpses of two dead wolves, and put a circle of torches to prevent any wolf’s approach. As he got closer to the fire, he heard a horn. He wondered if he was dreaming. No, it was a horn, but its sound was weak. He put another fur on his shoulders, above his cape of puma fur, and he headed to the forest from which the sound rose, summoning the gods’ protection for his father. While he was tiredly trudging along, he counted the friends and neighbours he had lost. Out of the nineteen men who had come with him to hunt down the wolves, twelve had died, and six others had fled, each of whom was wounded. His father was lying near the fire. He could remember that the old shaman had advised them to come with him to fight the wolves with both magic and steel. His so-called spells were not very efficient. Galfin had never really believed in magic, and he would never more. The old Gorlim was good enough to tell old bedtime stories or such. He could give good advice, but only fools or desperate people would have followed them exactly. Indeed they had followed him in the forest. And they saw him fleeing at once. Poor old man. They had already been trapped by the pack. He was the first to be wounded. Galfin had never seen this small wizened man running so fast! If not magic, fear gave him wings! Handir, the chief guard, had run after him to protect him against both his old ideas and the wolves. The horn! Galfin could hear it more precisely. It was Handir’s horn! He walked a little faster. Maybe Handir and Gorlim had escaped and they were coming back with help! The horn sounded once more, and its sound seemed louder. He ran faster.


Dernière édition par le Mer 14 Juin - 21:29, édité 1 fois
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cydalone
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Nombre de messages : 15
Localisation : Nantes
Date d'inscription : 19/05/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Mer 14 Juin - 21:27


This horn… Galfin had already run because of this horn. Beorg’s death was still in his memories. Now he was running once more. The falling leaves made the ground slippery, but he was passing swiftly through the bushes and clusters. He had gone deeply in the forest, without his friends he had left behind while on the tracks of that big grizzly bear. His quiver was empty, but he was not sure of how many arrows were in the gold. He was really more gifted with his claymore than with his bow! He had never faced that bear, for the horn had called him back. He had left a red ribbon on the branch of a tall pine tree near the northern path. The three days spent on its tracks would not be wasted. He would come back later! But he wondered why he was to return the village. Wolves packs had not been detected yet, and there were no caravans to come. In addition, this signal was for him only: he recognised the rhythm. But he could not guess if it was a good or a bad omen to be called back so early. The hunting was to be about a week long. Handir knew that. What the Hell had happened when he wasn’t there? Only in several weeks Mira would… No, it was too early. It was certainly something else. It couldn’t be that. Maybe an accident had occurred? Had the horses escaped? Why was he needed? The villagers didn’t need his help for such matters. It was either really important or very personal a problem. While he was running, a small noise drew his attention. He headed towards the source of this noise. On a branch of a big oak, an eagle was staring at him. When their gazes met, the wild bird of prey spread its wings and flew away with a shrill cry. It made a loop and zoomed, then it faded in the depths of the clouds. That was a good omen. Galfin continued his way to the village. At that time, he knew what had happened. In front of the heavy gate, his father was waiting for his return, beaming with joy. In his arms, he was cradling his grandson.

Galfin could remember his father’s laughter. He had never seen him laughing so merrily. But it was four months since his son’s birth. Now pain was far more present than laughter. He concentrated once more on the sound of the horn. When he heard it, something puzzled him. This sound was very different from the former ones. Handir’s breath seemed to have changed. Galfin found a little battle scene, a few yards from the bridge on the now frozen river. Nearly at the edge of the forest, he discovered first some dead wolves. About seven were lying, a pack of three, then a more scattered pack of four. The second group had been killed with sharp weapons, but the three other wolves near the riverbed were severely burnt. Maybe Gorlim’s so-called “fireball spell” had caused this? Galfin was impressed by such efficiency. But he soon changed his mind. In spite of these victims, he found two other cadavers. Two human bodies. Gorlim and Handir had never reached the bridge nor the village road. Handir was lying dead, his broad sword clenched in his left hand, and his famous horn in the other. A wolf must have slit his throat while he was calling for help, for there was blood in the horn. After his failure to defend the poor shaman and defeat his own foes, that had been his last chance. “Now you will rest in peace for eternity, but with the honours you merit,” Galfin swore. A growling stopped him in his thoughts. These wolves were very cunning and vicious, for they had used the two corpses like baits. The jaws of the trap were closing on him. At least twelve wolves were surrounding him. This reminded him of the first battle in the snow-covered glade. Forty-three wolves had been killed, but losses had been heavy in their camp too. As far as he was concerned, his arm was injured when he confronted that big dark one which seemed to be the chief of the pack. Furthermore, his sword had broken two inches above the hilt when it drove into the beast’s shoulder. But the rest of that huge pack had fled. Apparently, it had not come to an end. Galfin took slowly and carefully Handir’s sword. He wanted to turn back and go deeper in the forest, so that the trees would more or less protect him while fighting, but a deep and terrifying howling made him look back over his shoulder. On the bridge, he could see the biggest wolf he had ever faced. There was a large white star on his black forehead, and his thick black mane seemed to trickle with blood. Galfin turned to face him. The big one he had killed was only one of his lieutenants. One wolf was coming closer than the others were, as the circle of wolves was squeezing on around him. One movement of the sharp blade, and one reddish eye was extinguished, like a blown-out candle. The wolf leaped back, and the circle stopped. Then Galfin began to spin, the edge of his sword drawing a lethal line in the furs and on the threatening muzzles and paws. The dampened pack was hesitating. One barking of the chief, and the wolves recoiled. Although this wolf had stayed at a distance till then, he was coming towards Galfin. The beast’s foul breath was coming to the man’s nostrils. That seemed to be the smell of death. “Come closer, you son of the Wulfen!” Galfin shouted. “Come and meet your fate, damned fiend! Even if I’m wounded, you’ll see I’m enough a match for you!” The wolf bared its teeth and growled. He would be fighting alone, for his minions were waiting for his orders, it seemed. The wolf howled. As an answer, Galfin cried: “No one will stand between my family and I. I swore I would come back, and I guarantee you will pay for your deeds.” He added, whispering: “May the gods help me, or may Mira forgive me.” And, as he lifted his sword above his head, he charged.
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Date d'inscription : 10/01/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Mer 14 Juin - 22:04

Mon anglais n'est pas assez bon pour lire ton écrit. Dommage ça m'aurait bien tenté.
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cydalone
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Date d'inscription : 19/05/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Jeu 15 Juin - 0:39

pao a écrit:
Mon anglais n'est pas assez bon pour lire ton écrit. Dommage ça m'aurait bien tenté.

Tu n'es pas le premier à me dire que je devrais le traduire en français...
va peut-être falloir que je m'y mette... quand j'aurai le temps...
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MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Jeu 15 Juin - 1:29

pareil que pao n___n""
mon nivo en anglais est tellement pitoyable que je comprend pas les 9/10° de ce qui est écris lool

désolée ^^"
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Algunar
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Date d'inscription : 24/01/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Lun 19 Juin - 14:37

C'est franchement très bien écrit, ça me fait songer aux premiers Thorgal (pour la desrciption de l'univers) ainsi qu'à une autre histoire où des loups qui parlent (bon ok ce n'est pas ou pas encore le cas des tiens lol) attaquent les humains sur ordre de leur chef (mais là par contre je ne reviens plus sur le nom de l'histoire, arg!), brisant ainsi un équilibre naturel (et où le héros se coltine la tanière des loups pour aller défier leur chef en duel, et tue le chef de meute ainsi que sa compagne enceinte)...

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cydalone
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MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Ven 23 Juin - 16:39

^^
Mici Algunar!

Faudra que tu me retrouve cette histoire de loups, ca me botterait bien d'y jeter un oeil (ou deux)
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MessageSujet: Re: Night of the Wolves   Ven 23 Juin - 23:50

En fait ça m'est vagument revenu, c'est un roman AD&D dont le héros est un druide, voilà pourquoi il s'en va combattre des loups, ces derniers attaquant les humains de façon répétée et particulièrement agressive...

Faudra que je redemande le titre du bouquin au pote qui me l'a prêté par contre. Wink

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