Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lycanthia and Freyashawk's Tower




While Wolves Bain was involved in the project of building a very large, imposing Vampyre Castle, I remarked jestingly that I would love to have a portion of that castle for my own personal tower. I love the trefoil shape particular. The corners and parapet of the castle he was building at the time combined many of my favourite styles and shapes.

He responded by building 'Freyashawk's Tower'. If 'Freyashawk's Tower' existed in the real world in the 18th century, it probably would have been called a 'Folly', as it is a marvelous indulgent concoction suited only to the aristocracy. It is a perfect sanctuary for my avatar. I smile each time I think of it or gaze upon it.

Wolves Bain made me a gift of Freyashawk's Tower and declared that it would be unique, never replicated and never sold nor given to any one else. This gesture of his is so characteristic of him. I do not know how many hours he spent on Freyashawk's Tower but the fact that he would not allow himself ANY profit from it is one of the qualities that places him above the ordinary builder. The gift of such a build left me speechless but to further make it exclusive and unique was far more than I ever would have imagined.

One photograph shows the wonderful ship Lycanthia as seen through the archway of the entrance to Freyashawk's Tower. Another shows Freyashawk's Tower as seen from the deck of Lycanthia. The third shows the view of both from the sea.

Lycanthia has a story of her own which I will post separately.

Images of Castle Row




Darks Adria, wife and partner of Wolves Bain, is a very talented artist in her own right. She has taken many compelling photographs of Castle Row which she graciously agreed to share with me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Untimely End of Castle Row









(Views of a small portion of the incredible Castle Row of Wolves Bain, upper and lower levels)
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As Freyashawk, I have been privileged and honoured to call Wolves Bain my friend. He is a great builder in a world named Second Life but he is far more than that. He is a truly great Lord, with an unfailing sense of personal honour and the sort of spontaneous generosity and instinct for kindness that is characteristic of the truly noble in any world.

In Second Life, a resident can own 512 land without paying any tier. At the very heart of Wolves Bain's philosophy is the premise that even an individual with only 512 land has the right to live in a castle. He built magnificent castles suited to the great landowner, but he never neglected the small landowner.

Castle Row was his home and it was a showcase for all of his castles but it was far more than a place where his work was displayed and offered for sale. Any one and every one was welcome at Castle Row. One could enjoy the spacious grounds, wander amidst the gardens or swamp... and of course, one could 'walk the Row' where castle after castle stood proudly, a testament to this man's incredible energy and creativity.

Those like myself who own castles by Wolves Bain and whose lives in SL have been touched by his work and by the man himself have spent many wonderful hours at Castle Row. It was so much a part of the landscape of my life in SL that I never could have contemplated its destruction. And yet, a few days ago, Wolves Bain announced that Castle Row no longer could be sustained. The man who did so much for others refused to accept any donations or aid. Truly a great Lord... although a part of me wishes that he would have allowed those who believe in him to lend their aid at this point in time, another part of me understands him very well.

He is a great storyteller as well as builder and I should allow the tale of the 'End of Days' to be told in his own words.

I am not ashamed to confess that I wept real tears on my final visit to Castle Row.

Castle Row, the Story


As I sit in front of my home at Castle Row I think back on the 299 years I have existed, Some would say 'You have lived a long life' when in fact I have lived many lives as told in my stories.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I have been a pauper and a prince, a beggar and a thief, a slave and a Master among other things. I was even a vampire for a spell before being bitten by the wolf.

I have killed many men in the time I have lived, but I have never killed for sport, all that I have killed have tried to end my life or others lives for their own amusement and financial gain only finding I had the upper hand and lived to tell the tales.

I am a man that is loved by some at the same time hated by others, I can be welcome sight or a fearful thought, I can be lasting memory or a forgotten moment either way I have always been here, but what exactly have I achieved?

I often think back on these lives when time permits and wonder if I had made an impact on this wonderful, but sometimes cruel world. It was when I told my gem Darks "Someday I will buy you a castle", but after searching for what seemed like an eternity I found none that were worthy of her. At that moment I decided if I cannot find a castle suitable for her I will build it myself.

I built that castle and realized, this...this is my purpose to build castles and not just any castles, but castles based on the stories of my long and up till now, meaningless life. I will build castles for people that never thought they would own one because they were limited by the size of their land and the amount in their pockets.

I have Built many castles over the course of my life and have enjoyed the messages of many castle owners when they realize they live in a castle that they can call home, they invite me to see how they have decorated my simple buildings into warm and welcome dwellings that are truly their own, It amazes me that the same castle can look so different when owned by such a variety of people from different backgrounds and still look so wonderful.

I so have enjoyed building these homes and when I explore SL and happen upon one of my castles out of nowhere standing there so majestically and the landscape around it is there for the purpose of accenting it further, it almost makes me say aloud "I built that castle and someone is enjoying it as their home"

It is these thoughts that bring me to this moment, a moment that had never crossed my mind, that is until now.
After long and careful thought and exhausting all my options, after centuries of building castles and ships I have come to the painful conclusion that I will be closing down Castle Row and letting the land go to the Lindens, I am not certain when, but it is inevitable, more likely on or before 7-26-09.

My heart aches to have to do this, but I see no way around it, a world called RL has taken my means to hold on to Castle Row for the time being, not to say I won't be back, but at the moment I cannot hold on to her.

I will always be at your service to help and maintain your castles as I stand behind all those who chose me as their castle builder.

This is not the final chapter, this is not the end, this is just an intermission in story of Wolves Bain.
I am not closing the group, but you are welcome to leave it should you need the room for another as I know group space is precious.

So now how do I end such a story, it is not a happy ending, but not so much a sad one, just different then my other endings. Perhaps I will just say......When the next chapter is written I will let you know.

Thank You for choosing me as your castle builder
Be safe and well M'lords and Ladies

Castle Row...End of Days

As I get my men ready to dismantle Castle Row tomorrow I realize how much needs to be done. There is the matter of rounding up the live stock and creatures all around the lands, There is the slow process of tearing down the castles stone by stone, beam by beam and placing them on ships to unknown destinations for storage. I must fill in the streams and lakes that had provided water and fresh fish for our meals.

I also must dismantle the docks and release Accalia¹ and her mother ship Lycanthia² from their binds to continue on to terrorize others who may cross paths with them.


But the most daunting task is the moving of my beloved Nyrah³ from her resting place of almost 25 years, what do I say to her?, how do I explain that I must disturb her sleep and place her in unfamiliar territory?

All this as I look upon Castle Row from it's highest point, a land that has served me well and has given me such pleasure. A place where all were welcome not only to purchase castles, but to just visit and enjoy the lands, a place to escape, a place to dream, a place some called home because they did not have a home of their own.

My heart is heavy and weighs me down as I accomplish these tasks, but know that I am truly grateful to all of you that have chosen me as your castle builder, also know that I will always be available to guide and assist you with your castles.

I am not leaving SL, I am just stepping back for a time to regroup and gather my thoughts. To those who sent me donations I am truly grateful, but I have returned them as I must battle this demon alone.

Be safe and well M'Lords and Ladies
A heart felt thank you to you all

Wolves

¹ see Accalia_the story
² see Lycanthia_the story
³ see the Tavern_the story




The hour glass has turned and the sands run far quicker then I would like, I will collect a few small mementos that are left behind before I send my men in for the final cleanup.

As each grain of sand falls, so does a piece of my heart. She will be gone, but I await her return to fill the already emptiness I feel as I look upon her,

She is my maiden, my mistress, my lady and yes my love. I will wait for her because that's all I can do and when she returns I will be there with open arms and welcome her as if had she never left.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Angevin Castle



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Angevin Castle

He had married her, bedded her and gone off to war again, all in the space of a week, leaving her as chatelaine of the castle.

‘There’s a war on, woman!’ he declared. ‘And when there’s a war, there’s money to be made!’

He was speaking of the latest craze in combat. It was almost a game, but an extremely costly one. Lords carried their own banners into battle. Men looked for the banner of the richest, most powerful nobleman, then set about capturing him to hold him for ransom. There was nothing political about it, except that you had to capture some one on the other side.

The war never ended either, which meant infinite chances for an enterprising soldier. Of course, any one who was neither particularly rich nor powerful ran the risk of being killed and the weapons had become nastier since the introduction of gunpowder into the mix. Still, what better way could there be of making a fortune? It was far more appealing than grubbing about in the soil for vegetables. Let the wife organise that. A real man shouldered his weapons and went off to war, every chance he could…

Harry was a gambler at heart. He had inherited a small holding from his father, and the land was decent enough for mere survival but it never would make him rich or famous. He wanted to make a name for himself on the battlefield, but even more, wanted to bring back a fortune by bagging a careless Lord.

Before he left on his latest bid for fortune, he had married a young woman of noble blood. She was a pretty girl, but Harry had little interest in her apart from the need to put an heir in her womb. He sowed his seed there for a week, then bade her farewell.

‘Have a son for me when I return!’ he shouted as he waved farewell to her.

Jacqueline was from the South, where the climate was mild and the grapes were plentiful and sweet. The South was the centre of culture, where troubadours and poets thrived as well as the crops. Harry de Court would not have been her choice of husband but she had no choice in the matter. Women of noble birth were bartering counters and her father gained by trading her off to young Harry. The North with its endless fog and rain did not inspire cheer, and Harry’s obvious indifference made matters more difficult. The only ray of sunshine so far was his speedy departure.

At first, she was disposed to hate the castle. It was a prison, far from her true home, a place where neither sunlight nor love penetrated… She cried herself to sleep each night for a fortnight, then gave herself a stern scolding. If she were unhappy, it could be no one’s fault but her own. Life was what one made of it.
It was the North, but the land itself was good. She surprised the serfs one morning by joining them in the fields. She had brought some seeds and plants from her childhood home and these she planted, instructing the peasants on their care. As the months passed, the first flowers blossomed and the grapevines she had planted grew heavy with fruit. The child in her womb grew as well.

News from the battlefront arrived sporadically but seldom varied. Victories were won by both sides and the land changed hands again and again. If Harry was a gambler, the reigning King was even more of one, crossing the Channel to take land that belonged to his cousin on the basis of an old and very tenuous family claim. Harry yet had to make a fortune and in fact, was laid low by an illness caused by bad water. Jacqueline, not surprisingly, did not long for his return. In his absence, the castle itself had won her heart.

She had grown increasingly fond of Angevin Castle. The severity of the stone was softened by the ivy that clung to its walls outside as well as the wooden shutters and the lovely wooden trim that ran along the interior walls. The servitors grew to love her as well, discovering that their Mistress took a keen interest in every detail of their lives and although demanding, always was just. She shared in their labours as well as their accomplishments, celebrating the birth of any child on the estate and grieving with them on the occasion of any death. When her son was born, every one rejoiced.

She had lived at Angevin Castle for two years when the messenger finally arrived. The news was bad. Harry had been captured and demanded that she surrender the castle to his captors as ransom for his release. Nor had he been captured in honest combat. He had gone out to a tavern and had passed out in a drunken stupour. A man from the other side looking to make HIS fortune had surmised that a profit could be made by taking him prisoner. While still unconscious, Harry was trussed like an animal and carried off to his captor’s dilapidated home.

Jacqueline knew that she was little more than a chattel by law but her son was the future lord. She had been schooled to obey first her father and then her husband but two years as mistress of Angevin Castle had given her a different view.

She called together all the men-at-arms, the priest and the household servants and then surprised every one by including every serf in her summons.

‘Angevin Castle is home for all of us here,’ she said. ‘Our Lord has been captured and demands that we surrender our home to a stranger. I have called you here to make a decision. Shall we obey or shall we refuse? I will not make this decision alone because it affects all of us, but I am disposed to refuse for the sake of my young son as well as myself. Know that if we refuse to surrender the Castle, we may be forced to fight. If I surrender, some of you may have a future here serving the new owner, so think well before you decide.’

It was not for the child but for their Mistress that every voice was raised. ‘We will fight, if need be, Milady!’

The Captain of the household guard then spoke the thoughts of all. ‘This is your home, Milady. We vow to protect Angevin Castle with our lifesblood if need be.’
News took time to travel. They had a month or so to prepare the defences. Then, one morning, standing on the rooftop, she spied the glint of metal in the distance and heard the echo of drums. She sent out messengers to all her people to gather within the safety of the castle walls.

As the company approached, there was no doubt that they came to wrest Angevin Castle from her and her people. The heavy gates were shut. Both men and women, including herself, were armed. Angevin Castle was more than stones, wood and mortar. It was their Home.

Come see Angevin Castle at Castle Row. But be warned: Once you own Angevin Castle, you had best be prepared to defend her!

Castle by Wolves Bain
Story by Freyashawk

Ship with a View


A view from the window of the cabin of the Accalia...

The story of the Accalia was written by its creator, Wolves Bain:

I remember it like it was yesterday. It had rained for 3 days solid. When the rain had ended, I walked along Castle Row to assess the damages and to locate two of my builders who had gone missing. When I reached the beach at the end, I noticed a ship had run aground there. I boarded her to see if I could be of assistance, but not only was no one aboard, there was no cargo. I noticed a plaque above the door that read 'Accalia'.

Accalia? Why do I know this name? Where have I heard it before? I then recalled that I had been held prisoner aboard her for near a decade (but that is another story). I'm not sure how, but I managed to escape.

That was almost a century ago, but she now has found me again. I fear she will not let me out of her grasp so easily. You see, 'Accalia' in Latin means 'She-Wolf'. We all fight our own demons. She happens to be one of mine.......Wolves

Come see 'Accalia' at Castle Row, but be warned: Once you board her, you will be at her mercy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Castle Daeva, Vampyre Mist



Castle Daeva
Vampyre Mist

I might have dismissed him as an ordinary drunken sot were I not practiced in discerning that which is hidden to most.

He had been handsome once not too long ago, but the curse had him by the throat and burned with a flame that soon would reduce all to ashes. What would remain would be something entirely other... It was Springtime in the world, but the man who sat there in the corner was fast becoming a creature who would be deaf to the soft murmur of a nesting dove and unable to feel the cool refreshment of dew-laden new grass.

Touched with pity and, dare I admit it, the dark allure that any of his kind inspire in us, I accepted his invitation and took the seat across from him.
Why did he choose me? Was it the instinct of the spider who must spin a web to waylay its prey or was it the desire not to be wholly forgotten by his own people? Whatever the reason, he told his story to me. This then is his tale:
My life had ordinary beginnings, born in Naples of what might have been called peasant stock once. my father was a stonecutter and my mother a cook from Spain. Both worked hard to support their families. For all my respect and love for them, I always felt I was destined for something different, something altogether more extraordinary.

I saw education as the key to freedom and studied to become an archaeologist, a profession that allowed me to travel throughout the world, exploring diverse cultures both of the past and present.

It was at a dig near Tarquinia that I made a bizarre discovery that proved to be an omen of my future. It was a human skull with fangs.

In my desire to rise far beyond my humble beginnings, perhaps I was inclined in my youth to scorn the old folktale's as 'peasant superstition', but ironically it was my education, both academic and practical, that gave me new respect for old legends and myths.

The discovery of the fanged skull fired a new passion in me and I became obsessed with a quest to find every Vampyre source that existed, whether among the bones of the past or the shadowed alleys of the present.

I journeyed through Asia and the Americas, through the jungles of Borneo and the steppes of Mongolia but it was when I returned at last to my own homeland that I finally came face to face with the elusive race I sought.

It was not in the course of research that I met her at last, but in a local tavern in Livorno. The place had nothing in particular to recommend it apart from its ability to satisfy the hunger and thirst of a man who had spent long hours grubbing in the soil for remnants of a vanished civilization. Like the sudden appearance of a bright star in a sky overcast with clouds, her entry dazzled and changed the quality of all that surrounded me.

Legends speak of the power of glamour possessed by vampyres. The head of Clan Daeva was beautiful and seductive... but more than that, she exuded the power of one who can beckon without ever doubting that she will be obeyed instantly.

I know now that there are many Vampyre clans but even among Vampyres, Clan Daeva has a dark reputation. Emotional and sensual, they aspire to heights of passion unusual even for the undead. Sexual predators and sensual hedonists alike rule the clan. Those who hesitate to embrace the darkest vices of the flesh lose their Willpower in doing so. Should they continue to hesitate, in an ironic twist typical of the Daeva, they ultimately will be relegated to the role of servants to the human race they hold in some contempt.

The Succubi is a creature known to humankind for aeons and the Succubi exemplifies Clan Daeva. Irresistible in the power of lust, sucking the very marrow from the bones of mortality... and she was the Mistress of all Succubi.

Immortality has a tendency to create a jaded outlook on existence. Apathy and entropy of the senses are a natural effect of longevity. Clan Daeva strives unceasingly to combat this by its energetic drive towards the life force in its more bizarre and twisted manifestations.

Where some ancient Vampyres sink their fangs into a vein only in order to prolong their existence, members of Clan Daeva do so with ever-regenerated lust.
It is for this reason that they are drawn towards couplings with mortals. The blood of our short-lived, passion-dominated race is like an intoxicant to the ancient Daeva. If we are their slaves, they nonetheless surrender willingly to their own bondage to the lust we engender in them. Some of us are sucked dry in a night and cast aside, but those who excite them most are allowed to taste the blood of the Immortals.

Many Daeva embrace mortals to whom they have become attached, but the attachment almost invariably proves false, a mixture of animal lust and simple hunger.
Few relationship are as euphoric as those between Immortal Daeva and newly embraced mortal Childe and few grow cold as quickly. This knowledge glimmers darkly at the edge of every moment of ecstasy I have experienced with my Maker. For I am a childe of the Daeva, one of the chosen few who has sipped from the Immortal vein.
Yes, I am her Childe but like any Childe, much was denied to me still. There are places to which I never had been admitted and chief among them was Castle Daeva, the ancient inner sanctum of the Immortal Clan Daeva.

Jealousy and the ever-increasing thirst for knowledge vied with one another in my soul and both induced a sort of madness in me. In vain did I beg and endure all manner of subtle tortures, humiliations and twisted acts in the hope of winning that final proof of her favor. Yet she would not extend the ultimate invitation to me.

One stormy night I determined to force the issue. I stood outside the gates of the Castle, calling out her name. As dangerous as this course of action might be, I knew that my position as her current favorite prevented the guards from dealing out the usual punishment for a Childe's impertinence. I was past caring. It was jealousy that was paramount now. Tortured by the thought of any other soul who might be allowed into the inner sanctum, nothing else signified to me.

The Castle of the Daeva towered majestically overhead surrounded in an eery mist. I felt as insignificant as an insect as I gazed upward at it. Its facade was unyielding, revealing absolutely nothing of the extraordinary secrets and mysteries it held. My burning need to penetrate its walls blinded me to everything else.
How long I stood outside the barred doors of the citadel I could not say, but my voice grew hoarse in shouting her name and ultimately diminished to the merest whisper. Yet I continued to gasp out the name of my Maker as the blinding tempest battered my body and despair took hold of my spirit.

When she at last appeared out of the mist I was at a point where reality no longer held any shape. Was it nothing more than a vision of my fevered desire or had she finally deigned to hear my cry of desperation?

The touch of her hand brought me acutely to my senses with that peculiar mixture of intense pleasure and sharp agony that characterizes any physical contact with one of the Vampyre race. I bared my neck to her trembling, begging to be used... but she only gazed at me as though plumbing the very depths of my lost soul.

Her voice was almost inaudible, forcing me to focus my attention solely upon her, despite the roar of the wind and rain. It is an old tactic, a Master’s subtle test of the devotion of a slave.

'You are a Childe indeed,' she whispered. 'Like all mortals, you are blinded easily by your illusions. You stumble forward seeking eternal life in the embrace of the dead.

'Did you truly believe it an act of cruelty or indifference on my part to deny you entry to our stronghold? You poor fool!

‘Jealousy burns holes in your vision and you see only the magnificence of our Clan without reckoning the cost. Immortality can be a curse, a slow undoing of the very best that was our legacy as human beings. Ah, yes, we cultivate physical perfection and majesty, incomparable grace and charm but have you considered what it is like to watch the beginnings and ends of all things again and again and again?

‘All that mortals hold cheap are those things we prize the most but which are denied to us save in moments stolen from humankind. I would spare you that... loss.’

'You brought me into this world!' I responded stubbornly. 'I no longer am fully human. I would rather be cursed than be a ghost flitting between the borders of two worlds. And you were not so careful of my soul and being when you first took your pleasure and fill of my blood.'

Lust and wisdom seldom dwell in the same house. If they do, wherever Lust rules, Wisdom is bound and gagged to be a silent witness of the truth.

I should have realized the value of the gift she offered and the price she paid should have been another clue to me. I was driven by my own desires, however, and did not heed her warning.

I strode through the gates without hesitation then. The mysteries of Castle Daeva and the desire to bind myself ever closer to her propelled me that night to ignore her words.

Though admitted into that inner sanctum, I never can be her equal. The irony of it all is that, in taking another step towards immorality, I blindly threw away the fragile spark that was my greatest attraction to any vampire and especially to the Daeva.

Every mystery of Castle Daeva is open to me now and no longer do I see through a glass darkly as a mortal. I see clearly and share now in the thirst for the transient and exquisite spark that winks at the heart of mortality. It draws me like a lodestone...

That thirst is unquenchable, a fire that will burn for eternity. Alcohol, drugs and even blood have no power to slake it.

Yet even now my longing for her love outruns any other desire... but I sense her interest dwindling even as my own immortality grows stronger...

His speech had become slurred as he told his tale. He slumped suddenly against the table as though crushed finally by the weight of a fatigue that spanned ages.

At Castle Row, the doors of Castle Daeva are locked no longer... M'Lords and Ladies, knowing the price, who among you nonetheless will choose to enter?

Visit Castle Daeva
Vampyre Mist
Only for a limited time and only at
Castle Row
Once gone, it may be gone forever
???

Story written by Freyashawk
but the original concept of this story was imagined by Wolves Bain

The Fear by Wolves Bain

One day while relaxing outside my home, I spotted a figure on a horse in the distance moving slowly towards me.

A man in my position has made many enemies as well as friends. I cannot afford to be careless. I therefore was about to set my wolves on him when I realised he was nothing more than a child, a boy of 12 years or so.

As I allowed him to approach, I saw more clearly how frail and weak the child was, barely able to hold himself in the saddle. In fact, when I addressed him, he swayed and fell from his mount.

I called for my servants. They cared for him but it was a week or more before he regained his strength enough to speak.

The boy explained that he had been sent by his master on a quest to find me in order to build a castle to his specifications and he handed me a parchment with drawings and measurements.

I told him not to worry about it now, that when he was well I would send him back to his master with my answer and price. Rather to my surprise, he turned pale and began to shake uncontrollably.

'Are you ill?' I asked, then rather sternly added, 'I told you to recover your strength. There will be time enough for this business later!'

His words tumbled from him then in a rush. There was no mistaking his fear and dread now.

'Please, Lord, I do not wish to go back! I beg to stay here with you. I will work for you free of charge and do anything you ask, but please do not send me back to him!'

What could I do? I did not know why he did not wish to return to his Master, but the fear in his eyes was undeniable. I am not one to pry, but I told him he could stay.

He became my best apprentice and builder, but that was over eighty years ago. The boy who came to me has since grown old and passed on to another place.

Finding the parchments with his Master's plans sketched upon them, in studying them idly, I remembered again how terrified the boy had been and thought to myself, 'What kind of home is this?'

There was no way to see in and, on the first floor, there was no way to see out either. Beyond that, though, something that struck me even more: a very detailed crypt had been planned. In this crypt were cages... but to house what or whom? Animals or perhaps human beings?

I slowly began to understand why the boy was frightened: perhaps this was to have been a home for one person, but for others it would be hell.

Remembering the boy, I made a decision: I would build this castle! I would build it for the boy who came to me in fear for his life and I will call it 'The Fear'.

But be forewarned! If you visit 'The Fear', you may never return.

'The Fear'
Now Available at Castle Row

It is NOT for the prim-conscious

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Freyashawk's Promise



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This came about as a promise to a young boy... to deliver his people from oppression by taking the sacred relics of his ancestor to the top of the highest mountain. In an ancient legend, it was foretold that, should the bones of the Warrior Child be given a resting place on the peak of Mt. Petra, the earth itself would rise to throw off the yoke of those who had invaded and occupied the homeland.

I am a Valkyrie, and my duty is to the All-Father, to bring the souls of heroes to Valhalla that they might fight for the forces of good in the Last Battle. My duty is not to humankind. I am a servant of the gods.

And yet, when a young lad lay dying in a faraway land, his tears of despair pierced my heart. No trained warrior he, but the blood of ancient heroes ran in his veins and he had sacrificed his life to find the bones of his Hero ancestor that he might bring an old legend to life.

I flew to his side, though his soul was not destined for Odhinn. His purity and his determination drew me inexorably to him. His tears were not for himself. He had no fear of death, except that it would kill the quest to which he had given his own life. What possessed me then to take his task upon my own shoulders? His land is not my land. I cannot be tied to the causes of humans that shift from age to age.

Despite all this, I could not allow him to die in torment. I knew at once that only my promise to fulfil his quest would allow him to die in peace. The bones were wrapped in coarse homespun wool, the best this child had no doubt. As I accepted his burden, the boy surrendered at last to death.

I traveled throughout the world, searching for one who could bring life again to an ancient legend. Thus it was that I found the Wolves Bain, great among mortal builders, a fitting choice to build the shrine of the Warrior Child. The boy had told me the legend of his people, how the tomb had to be built of purest marble capped by a perfect dome.

When the shrine was completed, I saw it and knew my promise had been fulfilled. Nor is the shrine only a place where the bones of the Hero of old will bring forth hope for the oppressed. Beneath its foundations is a small chamber at the site of an ancient spring. There I myself laid the young boy to rest.
May his sacrifice not be in vain.

Note by Wolves Bain: This story was writen by our own group member Freyashawk Dagger. When I read it I knew I had to build it. I just hope I did the story justice.

Story by Freyashawk, Castle by Wolves Bain

The Refuge

The Refuge and the Star Stone

It was nothing more than a charred pit with a lump of metal in the centre. On the night that the child was born, the star had fallen from the sky, burning a clearing into the ancient forest. The father was advised by his soothsayer that the child would be his undoing. ‘He will bring an end to your rule!’
The man was a tyrant who ruled with an iron fist. When his wife heard the prediction, she sent the child away with a trusted retainer, wept over a tiny empty coffin and acted like one bereaved. In fact, she was bereaved, for she would be denied the joy of nursing and rearing her firstborn… The child and his guardian had escaped through the gates at the very moment the father's proclamation was announced, condemning his child to death.
When the child was sent to safety, the retainer bore as well with him a letter from the Lady to the renowned builder, Wolves Bain.
‘I will do it,’ Wolves Bain told the old man who knelt before him after careful thought.
In the clearing created by the fallen star, ‘The Refuge’ was built with a piece of the fallen star set into the floor at its entrance. To any one who approached, the building appeared to be almost a solid block of stone. The doors would not yield to any but the owner. Neither battering ram nor enchanted words could penetrate but when the young child placed his palm upon one of the double doors, they would open easily without a sound.
Windows there were none, or at least that was how the building appeared to any one outside the castle. Nothing would betray the child’s existence to hostile eyes. From within, however, the windows soared in intricate splendor, delighting the child and giving him hours of pleasure as he watched the creatures of the wilds play, unsuspecting of the presence of humankind.
From the metal fallen from the heavens, the aged retainer forged a cunning blade of pattern-welded steel. Renowned as a smith long ago, he had chosen instead to serve his Lady and her son, knowing her child would be the one to save the lands from tyranny. The Lady was a sword mistress in her own right, nor would she deny her son either her love or her training, despite the risks. She visited ‘The Refuge’ secretly as the years passed, teaching her son a love of justice as well as expert swordplay. When she returned inevitably to the royal palace, she marked the hours until the appointed hour of deliverance.
At the boy’s own request, the pattern-welded sword had been placed on a low table in the centre of the upper floor the castle, wrapped in a wolf skin. Each day at dawn, the boy would climb the twisting ramp to take the sword in hand and practice all the techniques he had been taught by his mother. Each day at dusk, he regretfully would wrap the blade once again in the pelt of its guardian, shaking his head.
‘What do you seek?’ the old servant asked him one day, after watching him execute a dazzling set of manoeuvres. ‘Your skill is exceptional!’

What more can you desire?’
‘I am waiting for the sword to teach me something that belongs to this blade alone,’ the boy responded quietly.
‘You are wise beyond your years, young Lord,’ the retainer declared.
‘If I have any wisdom, it is due to my mother and to you, good friend.’
The day finally came when in the midst of his practice, the sword appeared to take on a life of its own, dancing and weaving in his hands like a sliver of moonlight. The boy was 16. He had mastered more than the art of the sword. He could speak to each creature of the forest, charm any bird from the sky, match the speed of a cat and the cunning of a fox. He could bind any wound but had the strength and will to dispatch any who suffered without any hope of recovery.
When his mother next visited the Refuge, she brought another horse with her.
‘But how did you know, Mother?’ he asked.
‘How could I not? I am your Mother, after all,’ she replied with some amusement.
When he rode through the gates of the Royal Palace, the soldiers on guard threw down their arms. Rumors flew of the return of the Young Lord. Women and children ran to greet him with flowers and garlands and in every Church tower, the bells began to ring.
The tyrant watched his doom approaching, recognizing the boy he had believed dead. A coward at heart, he fled into the Forest, pursued by the sound of the bells in every tower as they rang with jubilation at the liberation from tyranny. He fought his way through brambles and thick undergrowth, startling birds from the nests as he passed, cursing and swearing at all that obstructed his path. At length, he found his way to the clearing.
When he beheld the castle, he summoned the last of his strength, but when he reached the door, it would not open. He could find no lock, but the door would not budge. In a rage, he hammered upon it with boulders and sticks, at length thrusting his sword into the crack to pry it open. The blade snapped but the doors would not yield.
Night fell and with the darkness came the howling of wolves. The tyrant shouted his curses upon the castle that refused him shelter, cursed the forest then and all who dwelled therein.
Foolish man, to have broken the blade that might have served him! No longer howling, the pack surrounded the enemy of the Forest and enemy of his own people in absolute silence. The man hurled himself against the doors in one last attempt to find protection, but to no avail. As he shouted and cursed, the leader of the wolves silenced him efficiently, tearing out his throat in a fluid motion.
At Castle Row, Wolves Bain smiled quietly… ‘The Refuge’ was one of his more satisfying works. A castle that can discern between the innocent and an enemy of mankind and animals alike is far more than mortar and stone…
This story written by our own group member
Freyashawk Dagger

I truly thank her for allowing me to use it

Story by Freyashawk, Castle by Wolves Bain

'Awakening' by Wolves Bain

One of my favourite castles is 'Awakening'. I made a video about it on St. Valentine's Day. You will find it in one of the older posts on this site. The true story of 'Awakening' was written by Wolves Bain, however. Here it is:


In a nearby village, there is a tavern that I frequent.
I went there one evening to enjoy a small brew, some mutton and perhaps the company of a woman. A man who was disheveled, nervous, and carrying a large amount of parchment approached me there.
He asked if I were Wolves Bain, the castle builder. I asked him why he wanted to know. He said he had drawings for a castle, but he had to know if I were Lord Bain.
I told him, 'I am he, but I am not in the market to purchase these drawings.'
He responded, 'Purchase? No M'Lord, I am giving them to you free of charge. In fact, I will commission you for this task on one condition: that I supply the stones, the wood and all materials. You see, these stones are to be reused from another castle and built in strict accordance with these drawings. It is imperative that they be built to the exact and precise specifications shown in these parchments.'
He then proceeded to tell a tale of a love eternal between a Master and his Mistress and how they vowed to love each other forever. One evening she was stricken with an illness for which there was no cure. In her last breath, she vowed that in 100 years' time she would awaken to start their life anew. She made her beloved promise to wait for her, and so far he has.
It now has been 99 years that he has kept her body in his chambers, keeping vigil each night until the day of her return. In that time, the castle has gone into decay and ruin.
My job is to rebuild the castle as it was so long ago and have it ready for her awakening.

Will you be there for the awakening?

The ‘Awakening’

Now at Castle Row

199 prims, 30x47 footprint
second level next to Parisa



Story by Wolves Bain

Redemption, The Story



*********************************************************************
I often take long walks, so long in fact that I sometimes wander for days... it was thus that I came upon a building unknown and yet familiar somehow, peeking through the mist. As I stood bemused, the door opened and a woman stepped out to greet me.
'Welcome home, Lord Bain,' she said.
I froze for a moment, then told her that surely she had confused me with another.
'You are Wolves Bain, are you not?' she retorted.
At that moment, I no longer was certain even of that. As for home?
'My home is far from here,' I told her.
'You were born here,' she told me firmly, 'and you must stake your claim here that all may be laid to rest finally. We long have awaited your return.'
I told her she had to be mistaken, that our family was poor. I had been born in a shack and we had survived only on the scraps my mother stole from the kitchen in which she worked.
'Yes,' she replied. 'That kitchen is here, and this is your father's home.'
I stared at her, then declared, 'No! My father is not a lord. I know my father. He taught me many things. He is the reason I am who I am today!'
'The man you call father taught you well,' she agreed quietly. 'He taught you to fight and never to fear and he taught you good manners as well. He taught you that you were different from those who surrounded you, that you were meant for something better, did he not?'
I nodded.
'That man was a good man,' she continued, 'and he was a servant of your father who was Lord of this Manor. It was his task to guide you and to prepare you for this very moment.'
'What of my mother?' I cried. 'Why did he leave her to live in poverty if he indeed were master of a place like this?'
She replied, 'That woman was not your mother. She too was a servant here.'
'Enough!' I cried, reaching for my dagger, determined to put an end to her lies then and there... but then I remembered my childhood and my mother's insistence that one day she would tell me something that would change my life.
'What must I do now?' I asked the woman standing before me.
She told me all I had to do was to say: 'I claim this Castle as my own!'
I spoke the words and as I did, she faded away into the mist, along with all the contents of this home as well as the answers to many questions, one of them being: Who was my real mother?
Perhaps I never shall know...

‘Redemption’
72 prims 30x30 footprint

Story and Castle by Wolves Bain

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lachryma Isabel or Isabel's Tear

What do you do when one of your best friends kills another? What do you do when you see the corpse of a man you loved on the ground and see that the other man you loved has become a killer?
Alain lay dead before her and Ludovico stood above him, sword dripping with blood. Both so beautiful, Alain as fair as Ludovico was dark… opposites in their appearance as well as in personality and yet, the three of them had been inseparable in childhood. She was the force connecting them. They both loved her and she loved them both in return. She knew she might be forced to choose between them one day, but not that the choice would be taken from her by death.
Ludovico never had become her equal in combat. If she drew her own sword now, she could slay him as quickly as he had murdered Alain, and justice would be done after a fashion. The rage that boiled within her required action. She raised her hand to her sword but at the last moment, threw a net at him instead.
She always had to rely on speed rather than strength in any confrontation but her anger and sorrow combined to lend her the strength she needed to drag him to her horse. She tied the net to her saddle and mounted, then dragged her erstwhile friend behind her at a slow walk back to her lands. Alain’s corpse she cradled in her arms.
The castle that was hers, where she had welcomed both Alain and Ludovico as friends could not be used for this… She sent a swift message to her friend, Wolves Bain, and he responded.
In fact, she could not bear to go home now. Too many memories of happier times would assail her. Until the new castle was completed, she stayed in a small tent, and left Ludovico outside in the net, now fastened securely to a peg hammered into the ground. Part of her wanted him dead. The other part could not bear the loss of both of the men she loved. She waited for the storm in her heart to settle, waited for a time when she could make the right decision, uninfluenced by the bitter grief that continued to overwhelm her. Until then, she would not even speak to him, would not look at him.
Time seemed suspended while she awaited the completion of the new castle.
Wolves Bain said nothing when he saw the man tied in the net behind her steed, merely lifting an eyebrow.
‘I could not take him home with me,’ she told him in a low voice. ‘I do not know yet what I shall do.’
‘I understand. This castle reflects what is, what may be and what may as yet never come to pass. It is in your hands, Milady.’
When she saw the cage he had constructed, she smiled grimly.
‘If there is anything else that you need, do not hesitate.’
She turned to thank him again, but understanding the turmoil of her emotions perfectly, he had taken his leave quickly and silently. It was characteristic of the man to understand people sometimes better even than they understood themselves and it was this capacity that defined his greatness both as a builder and human being.
She mounted her horse again and made a solemn journey to the rooftop to lay Alain’s corpse there beneath the shelter of a canopy.
There was one more task that could not wait. She rode back down the ramp into the castle, back to the floor where the prison awaited her captive. She threw him into the cage before severing the net that had held him for days. A man who always had prided himself on his exquisite sense of fashion, fastidious to a fault, he now was filthy and unkempt, his clothing in tatters. If she had desired to humiliate, she could not have done any better. Perhaps he would hate her forever for this… if there were to be a forever.
As soon as he was free, he leapt to his feet to confront her, but she would not allow it. Not yet. As quickly as he had moved, she responded and when he faced her, it was through the bars of the cage that imprisoned him now.
‘Do not speak, Ludovico! No words can bridge the distance between us at this moment. Whether you hate me or love me still, nothing can be as real to me now as the murder you committed.’
She went then to the rooftop to stand before the body of her friend.
‘If Ludovico must die, then it will be here,’ she declared.
Alain would have forgiven Ludovico for his slaying, but a total absence of violence was both his greatest strength and his fatal weakness. He would not have, could not have defended himself from his friend’s attack. Whatever the reason for the killing, it could not have been justified. She knew that instinctively. Had he killed perhaps to have her for himself? She suspected that to be the case. It would be Ludovico’s way to eliminate any problem that stood in the way, even if that problem should be a man he called his friend.
Ludovico was a gambler at heart, a consummate risk taker. He would risk her hatred on the chance to gain her for his own one day. She never had been able to choose between them. She loved them both equally. They were opposites in every way and she understood and loved them both… until now. If her love for Ludovico were transformed to hatred, then he would have killed more than the friend who had stood between him and his desire. It would mean death not only to his dreams but to hers as well. It was this knowledge that had stayed her hand and this was why he was in a cage instead of being consigned to the grave with Alain.
Why had she not made a choice between them? Was she to blame for this after all? She was drawn equally to Alain’s quiet acceptance of life, his gentle love of all things and to Ludovico’s incandescent lust for adventure, his hunger for danger and new challenges. When her own soul constantly was at war with itself, how could she expect peace to endure between the two men she loved?
When she faced him the next day, he had regained his cool fa├žade. Somehow, despite the indignity of his situation, he was in control again. It enraged her and offended her in some very fundamental fashion. At the same time, she couldn’t help but admire his courage.
‘You regret nothing?’ she cried.
‘You want me to suffer? Make me suffer then but don’t expect me to be something I’m not.’
‘He was your friend as well, you know.’
‘Alain? He was every one’s friend, but never friend to himself.’
‘No threat to you, surely.’
‘He threatened everything I wanted. Why do you make me say these things?’
‘Why didn’t you say them before? You needn’t write your messages to me in blood.’
‘Well,’ he drawled, ‘Perhaps that’s who I am.’
‘If you can’t even be bothered to TRY, well, then, you can rot in here. You may be sustained by arrogance, but you can’t stand to be bored.’
‘What do you want from me, darling?’
‘I want you to be a human being!’
‘I would have thought that was obvious. Now, what is it that YOU want from me?’
‘You will NOT question me! You killed some one I loved, some one who never did anything but good in this world. An unforgiveable act.’
He shrugged slightly, slouching against the walls of the cage, arms folded, quintessentially Ludovico, even in these circumstances.
‘Then do what you must, my sweet.’
She turned on her heel, then and stalked from the cage. She was overwhelmed by cold fury but she would not lose her control in front of him. Then she spied the whip on the wall.
She returned to face him once again, scourge in hand. She cracked the whip and watched as his eyes widened almost imperceptibly. The very air was charged with some intense emotion, but it was something other than fear.
‘Is that your price?’ he asked quietly.
‘I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.’
‘Go on then. I did not act to destroy whatever is between us. If there is a way for you to repair it… I do not fear you.’
‘Perhaps you should.’
‘I have but one fear and always did. That will not change.’
She locked herself into the cage, determined to gain peace at any price. The supple leather curled and hissed like a serpent as it struck unerringly. Its caress was deadly, her aim as true as it would have been had she used a blade.
He looked her in the eyes and took what she meted out without flinching. Had she expected anything different? She struck again with greater force and still he held her gaze. She knew he had no love of pain. Was it pride or something even more vital that kept him on his feet now?
She did not rain blows on him. Even in rage, she held herself with an iron-clad control. Each blow counted, each crueler than the last but after a dozen, she threw down the whip with a sigh.
‘A few stripes on a man’s flesh cannot be the price of a man’s life,’ she murmered.
‘Ah, but what is? A life for a life? If you want me dead, you must do it yourself. I am not Alain. I value my life too much.’
He drew her dagger then from her belt and set its point at his own throat, offering it to her.
‘No, not that either,’ she whispered, but suddenly she knew what had to be done.
She bound his wrists and ankles with chains, not because he would resist or attempt escape but so he would be forced to drag the weight, then led him to the rooftop.
Here Alain’s corpse still awaited burial.
‘You will bury him, Ludovico.’ That is my price. You will build a mound and bury him here.’
He met her gaze calmly.
‘So be it. My life is forfeit to you now.’
He was no labourer, accustomed to farm work or digging. His hands became blistered and his entire body rebelled against the work, but he was too proud to complain and had given her his love, whether or not she accepted it now. So he completed the job and with the finesse that characterized every act, had created a burial mound that befit a prince or hero. It was covered with sod so that the grass would continue to grow here on the rooftop, giving her a place to meditate or to grieve. Knowing her, it would be a place where she would commune with the other world and with the spirits of the dead. He knew what she intended even though she had not pronounced his own fate aloud yet.
She entered the mound with him and watched as he laid their friend’s body on a narrow shelf constructed of finest marble. She placed a kiss on the cold lips of the corpse and left a small bouquet of violets tied with a lock of her own hair in Alain’s hands, crossed over his chest.
She turned then to Ludovico and unchained him, then kissed him on the lips. The passion that fired them both then left her gasping.
‘Farewell, my sweet,’ she whispered. ‘We will meet again, whether in this world or the next.’
So saying, she left the mound and sealed the door behind her. In the darkness, he found the water and food she had left as the traditional offering to the dead or perhaps for living and dead alike.
For nine nights and days, she kept her vigil on the mound. She did not seek protection from the elements when it rained, not even when the rain turned to sleet. She welcomed its cleansing power.
She kept her communion with the dead and with her own soul. On the ninth night, she unsealed the door of the mound. The price had been paid and the slate was wiped clean.
The man who emerged from the tomb was neither broken nor beaten but when she gazed into his eyes, she saw that he was weeping probably for the first time in his life. She laid her hand gently on his cheek, then drew him into her arms, mingling her tears with his. It is true that out of death sometimes comes a chance for a new life.
Or perhaps…
Only Silence greeted her. She entered to find that Death had embraced Ludovico as irrevocably as it had taken Alain. She returned to the castle, and dressed for her wedding day, choosing each garment and each jewel with care. Returning to the rooftop, she entered the mound for the final time, then sealed it from within.
But I will leave the ending to you, M’Lords and Ladies, as I dare not make that final decision.

Copyright: Freyashawk 2009
Story by Freyashawk, Castle by Wolves Bain

Awakening with Attis

'The Awakening' is one of Wolves Bain's Castles and has its own tale, but I created a story based on my own Awakening Castle and made a little video about it for St. Valentine's Day:



One of the magical aspects of many of Wolves Bain's builds is the way the windows reflect sunlight and moonlight and the shifting patterns of sunrise and sunset in Second Life.

Wolves Bain was kind enough not only to give me the Awakening but to set it in the sky for me at a point where the clouds could 'peek' through the windows. This therefore is a floating castle and one of my favourite virtual homes.

The Young Wolf

The Wolf’s Prayer
He had grown up with all the old tales, whispered at night usually as the fire was banked and the light began to fail. The children would resist orders to go to bed, begging for one more tale of terror. He never thought much about it, despite the taunts of his peers, the nicknames they gave him. He knew it for myth, not reality. Not one member of his family ever had changed in three generations. Thus, the tales were the stuff of legend, something to titillate the fears of children and young girls.
Then, at the point where his body began to alter from that of child to man, other changes occurred. Dreams mainly at the start. He dreamt of wild runs through the forest, hunting small creatures who fled at his approach. One night, though, he hunted a buck and brought him down, growling as he found the jugular, then tore the beast apart and glutted himself on raw flesh. He awoke to disgust and horror… even more when he tasted blood on his lips and found dirt and blood beneath his fingernails.
When he realized the moon was ripe, poised at the instant of fullness, he suspected that legends might be more than old tales brought out at the fireside. He then had to admit that what he had hoped to be nothing more than dreams were his reality.
He hid the evidence from his family, but began to fear that he would be forced to flee from civilization. Yet his parents and siblings loved him dearly. As the firstborn son, the welfare of their small estate was entrusted to him in a ceremony that occurred ironically the day after his first ‘dream’ of the wild hunt. Surely they would not turn against him, even if they knew the truth!
He agonised over the question for months as the change occurred with awful regularity whenever the moon reached fullness. Who could he trust if not his own flesh and blood?
One night, as they sat near the dying fire in the parlour, he decided that he could not live with the secret any longer. The words tumbled out. It was a relief not to be forced to carry the secret hidden within his heart any longer.
His confession was met first with delighted laughter.
‘What a storyteller you’ve become, lad!’ his father cried.
When he maintained that it was nothing less than truth, silence blanketed the room. Before he could respond, they did… His beloved family transformed there and then into a furious mob intent on destroying the threat they perceived in their own ranks.
He could not change at will. The transforming power still was too new in him. Even cornered, he was nothing more than a young man who could not believe that his beloved family had turned against him.
He was dragged to the cellar, where he was chained to the wall, ankles and wrists cruelly clamped in iron. A small grille in the opposite wall was his only view of the outside world. Through the bars, he could see only the feet of those who passed.
He knew then that his survival depended on his ability to hold back the change at the full moon. If he could persuade his family that it had been no more than a stupid fantasy, he would be freed. If not, then… what?
If his family had hoped to keep this a secret, they failed when a small boy peeked through the grille and saw the young man shackled to the wall. Soon he had no peace. Although his family denied entrance to the villagers, they found entertainment at the grille, where they hurled rotten vegetables and objects even more disgusting at him as well as a constant stream of insults and abuse.
His family did nothing to prevent it, apart from keeping the door to the cellar locked. The young man began to count the days to the full moon. Even if it promised to be the day of his death, it would be preferable to this.
What every one failed to realize was the fact that iron shackles created for the human form would not avail against a wolf. When the change came, it was sudden and dramatic. Freed in an instant, he hurled himself against the door, but even his superhuman strength could not break through four inches of seasoned oak.
If he had hoped to make an escape unnoticed, that hope was not realized as his family responded to his attempts to break through the door. When the door swung open, he faced his beloved parents, brothers and sisters, as well as the entire village, each of them armed. Swords, pitchforks, burning torches and nets all ranged against one young wolf as yet unaccustomed to his new skin…
He ran as though the Devil himself pursued. He felt their hate and loathing but could not return it. They were his own people, despite their betrayal of his trust… or had he betrayed them, as they believed, by his transformation? He allowed the wolf mind to take control, pushing back all that was human, driven only by the will to survive.
Three months later, at Castle Row, a messenger delivered a letter to the renowned builder Wolves Bain. The young man had reached a point of physical and spiritual exhaustion, deprived of his home, the love of his family and the companionship of humankind. The letter was a desperate plea to the builder, scrawled in blood on a fragment of bark by a man who had lost most of what society considered human.
Wolves Bain was known far and wide not only for his genius in building but for his long history of interactions with those whose existence scarcely was acknowledged outside ancient tales. He had a more than passing acquaintance with wolves and shapeshifters.
Wolves Bain responded instantly. He halted work on a current project and following the directions of the young man, rode alone into the mountains. When he finally reached his destination, he was confronted by a sorry sight indeed. Filthy, half-naked, the young man was at breaking point.
The powerful builder took command of the situation instantly, turning aside all protestations of not being able to pay for the work. With infinite patience, he forced the young man finally to comprehend that only on his own vast lands could true sanctuary be found.
‘It is a challenge, and as such I welcome it! Furthermore, by my own name am I bound to assist you in your need.’
With that declaration, all argument ended and he guided the young man back to the edge of his own domain, to a wild forest that never had been fully explored. Here he built a castle for a Wolf, a place of refuge and safety unlike any created before.
The ground floor was a den, a chamber without windows that resembled a snug cave in the heart of a mountain. The floor above could not be more different: a temple dedicated to the Moon, every wall composed of windows of delicately etched glass that reflected every nuance of light. In the centre of the ceiling was a skylight, giving the Wolf the option to bathe in moonlight.
On the floor that stood between the two was a chamber perfectly suited to any human, yet resonating with the same sense of security characteristic of the entire Castle.
‘You are both Man and Wolf, after all,’ Wolves Bain remarked. ‘Here you can be both in perfect freedom and perhaps one day, you will bring a mate home as well.’
For the world is a vast place where tolerance and love, bigotry and hatred can be found in equal measure. And somewhere, in his perfect Castle, the young Wolf waits… Each Moon brings new strength. With healing comes hope…

Copyright: Freyashawk 2009
Story by Freyashawk, Castle by Wolves Bain