Totem: The Hawk
Initiated: February 1999

The Wolf walked alone. He gingerly stepped through the trees and fallen leaves as he stalked his prey. The lone Wolf wore a mottled coat of gray with stripes of black across his back. Around his midsection they began to interweave with the random tufts of white fur that had escaped from his underbelly and paws. He had long held the impression that his coat seemed as chaotic and cobbled together as the forest floor. In this instance however, it served well to conceal him from the rabbit he has tracked since dusk.

It had been many weeks since he had started on his journey south. On midsummer's eve the young Wolf had been spending the day much as he had spent his life - in heedless disregard. It was on that day though, under the full moon, that his life would be changed forever. All day, while the wolf both romped and napped, a silent Hawk had circled overhead. Once the sun touched the horizon, the Hawk swooped down on a hushed ghostly breeze. Hawk told the young Wolf of a treasure beyond reckoning, a treasure that would satisfy his every whim and wish. This treasure lay to the South, Hawk instructed. He bade the hungry predator to take up the hunt, and find that which had called out his name.

That fated encountered was many long months past now. The Wolf had almost forgotten the original reason of why he had set out. Now his thoughts strayed most often to his empty belly. Wolf had spent many days and nights by himself, wandering the expanse and drifting through the depths of the forest. He had even grown to prefer his own company; the stillness inspired a kind of silent storm within his soul. Yet he still felt the call of the wild, and the thrill of the hunt. The Wolf had come of age, almost without knowing, and without the guidance of any others. But none of this mattered at the present moment, all that mattered was sinking his teeth into the tasty rabbit just out of reach.

Without any warning, a snap came from behind the Wolf. As he turned round to discover what had made the sound, a shadowy streak raced across his vision - snatching the rabbit and stealing his dearly desired meal. Wolf didn't know what was happening or who had intruded on his solitude. Quickly, Wolf began to back pedal, hoping to escape that which now hunted him. Without seeing where he was going, Wolf managed to back himself up against a boulder. All his attention was to the front though, as he had finally been able to make out the shapes of a dark pack circling round the spot he had formerly hidden. There was a half-dozen of the brash wolves, all dark in coat, but each with a distinctive flair about them. A slender wolf stood in the center of the pack, with a half-eaten rabbit still hanging from his jaws. An aura of charisma emanated from the slender alpha. He commanded respect, but without subjugating or denigrating those around him. Wolf would come to learn that it was in fact this mutual respect amongst every member of the pack that cemented their loyalty to one another and their leader.

All this was beyond Wolf's limited knowledge though, and so he slowly arose from his hiding spot, and quietly got ready to move away from this valley with its dangerous inhabitants. Just as quietly, the boulder behind him began to resonate with a deep growl. Wolf turned in a start, and discovered that what he had taken for a large rock was in fact another member of the pack. Wolf cowered at the shear size of this lupine goliath, his growl growing louder with each passing second. Before he could regain his composure, Wolf was surrounded by the rest of the pack. Wolf wasn't sure if they meant to make a meal of him, or possibly just attack him for intruding on their territory. Wolf decided within himself that if this was to be his end, he would make it with dignity and strength. He rose to his full stature and countered the giant with a growl of his own. At first timid, but slowly the snarl took on the full measure of the lone Wolf's rage and fear. The growl seemed as if the very earth were lending this young pup her strength. Before he knew what had taken hold of him, a thundering howl erupted from Wolf's very soul. He cried out to the heavens, he wanted to shake the mountains, he would meet his death head on.

Slowly, and much to his surprise, the voices of the dark pack soon joined him in baying to the crescent moon hanging overhead. A howling harmony echoed through the valley, reverberating the trees, and sending the more timid denizens of the forest scurrying into their holes. The wolves declared to all with ears that they were unafraid, they were strong, and they were unified. As the voices began to drop out, one at a time, a final tone remained loud and clear. The howl of the lone Wolf rang out, expressing his grief, his dread, and his anger. Gradually, he fell silent as well. A hush fell over the breadth of the valley, and only the swirling breeze made any motion.

The alpha Wolf stepped forward. He offered his meal to the lone Wolf, and calmly asked him if he would like to join their pack. The chief was covered in black fur from head to toe, and he explained that they were the Wolves of the Night. They laid claim to no land as their own, and instead took the night sky as their domain. With this, he made motion to the heavens, and above them all, they saw a silent Hawk spiraling through the stillness. It was then that Wolf realized he had found the treasure he had spent months searching for in the company of this mysterious pack. Here was a powerful few, ones that he would be proud to stand alongside. He would feast with them, and fight next to them. He had found his treasure, and no longer, would the wolf walk alone.