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Old Now

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Alfgyfa has lived a long life for a human, if what would be a terribly short one for an alf, and it has been full enough. Her childhood with the wolfheall, then childhood continued into apprenticeship with Tin. She made her works as journeyman, and finally a masterwork, when ready to. She and Idocrase together made a treatise on the stonestars, trying to pin together the two long-disparate alf societies. She has roamed and hunted with the wild trellwolf Greensmoke and her pack in the forests of the Iskryne.

She is old now, and wants to be in the upper air, in the ice cold, among the wolves, at the end. Mouse-under-snow doesn't joke anymore that she is meat; if he did, Alfgyfa would tell him she would be a lean and stringy meal indeed.

It is Greensmoke who comes to Alfgyfa at the last, putting her great head on Alfgyfa's knee. There is a trust to that. It is a gesture far beyond the casual acceptance of Alfgyfa in the time of the war against the Rheans. Then, Greensmoke's whole pack traveled and slept in a pile with her against the cold.

Now, Greensmoke opens her mind to Alfgyfa, pushing scent and a few bright flashes of visuals into Alfgyfa's thoughts. Wolfscent and the smells of a wolfheall: warm, a pack all mingled with humans and strange to the wild trellwolves. The trap-pit, with its cold and twisting of the sense, that Alfgyfa rescued Mouse from, so long ago. Alfs. Blood on ice. The spark of starstones in the dark of caverns and the dimness of close-growing trees. Greensmoke's own scent.

It is Alfgyfa's own life, laid out to her like a scent name offered. Then something shifts, and Greensmoke lifts her head to stare right at Alfgyfa. A bond shimmers into place between their minds. Alfgyfa is human, wolfheall-daughter, alf-apprentice, smith... and now at the very, very last, she is sister to a trellwolf.