Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2

Five Years Earlier...

"Three days ago, they set up camp here, here, and here. The first two camps are lightly defended, and the third has some artillery support."

Thick, green sausages pointed at the crude drawing in the snow. Beside the scratching of the camps lay a battleaxe, freshly sharpened. "So far, they've made no advances. They seem more interested in the mountains."

Another hand, this one far more withered and darker than the first, stroked a long, grey beard.

"Galvangar," started the owner of the second hand, "what are they doing up there?"

"Our scouts report them setting explosives, exalted one," said the owner of the first hand, now identified as Galvangar. "Here, at the third and first camps, they appear to be erecting stone foundations. Bunkers, by the looks of it."

"So," sighed the old one. "They did not heed my warnings. We must act on this information. "Galvangar, lead your squad and assault the third camp. Morak, you and your raiders will wipe out the second. We'll leave the primary camp for now, show them that this is Frostwolf territory, and we do not take kindly to trespassers."


The warriors lifted mugs of a warm, frothy liquid in the light of a blazing bonfire. "To the honored dead!" cried a voice, which was soon joined by many. "To the honored dead!"

The old orc stood silently, watching both the flames and the warriors through unseeing eyes. He could feel their strength, their power. Not a few hours earlier, their numbers had been greater, but life in the mountains had dulled their lust for life. Now they were one living being, one who's zeal had been restored. The old orc smiled.

In the cave's corner, a young orc sat playing with an alien toy. It was made of cloth and metal, and shaped as a short, stubby, pink female humanoid. Though he'd long ago lost a need for such toys as a source of entertainment, his father had taken this from the enemy as a gift. It was a spoil of war, and that made the toy interesting again.

"Etar! Join us!" called the orc's father, enjoying himself by the fire. "Just because you did not fight does not mean you cannot revel in the victory!" Etar rose from his position, leaving the toy behind. A fellow orc handed him a slab of ram ribs, and he tore in ravenously. It was not often that the orcs of the Frostwolf Clan ate so well. The dwarves had come well stocked.

Suddenly, the barking of the wolves stopped. The orcs of the clan looked over to the pack. For generations the orcs and wolves had shared a symbiotic relationship. The wolves helped the orcs hunt and scout, and in return the orcs fed, sheltered, and healed the wolves. One of the wolves would always choose a life partner in one of the orcs.

"The male shall now choose," said the old orc. How he knew this, Etar could only guess. A young wolf, barely old enough to no longer be called a pup, strode over to the huddled clan. Etar's blue eyes locked with the cold yellow of the wolf's.

In that brief moment, he knew he would never be alone.

"Frostfang! His name's...Frostfang!"

The old orc merely nodded as the clan and pack welcomed the new pair.

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