My name is Watcher and I am a werewolf. Now I know it sounds like I am introducing myself as part of some supernatural twelve-step program but it does get the important information out in the open.
I haven't always been called Watcher. I had a different name once but it has long slipped from my memory. I was born during the last great ice age so at the best guess I am at least 24,000 years old and to the best of my knowledge, I am the oldest Were alive.
I didn't choose the name. It is the name bestowed upon me by others of my kind. I began to be known as Watcher several thousand years ago simply because that is what I do, although I would not learn of this until much later. While others of my kind gathered in small family units that would eventually grow into our modern day packs, I stayed separate.
That's not to say I never had a family, I did. I loved my mate with every fiber of my being. Our bond was intense beyond measure. Our joys, our success, our losses were all shared. To me, she was the most beautiful woman alive. I suppose I should explain the bond I'm referring to. Upon mating, weres develop a mental bond that allows them to communicate without a need for words. Alphas can do something very similar with their packs but not with the same depth of connection.
I was out hunting steppe deer when fear and panic begin to scream through the bond. There was nothing more imperative at that moment than for me to return my mate. My legs burned as I ran, the miles vanishing under my feet. I had almost made it back when I felt all three bonds shatter and disappear. The pain was unbearable and I crashed to the ground. My wolf, my constant companion, and friend smashed his way to the front and took control.
We had made our camp in a small box canyon which some human hunters decided would be perfect for chasing mammoths into. My mate and cubs never stood a chance. Weres are strong but even we cannot survive several tons of rampaging wounded mammoth.
I found myself in the tattered ruins of my life. My wolf had brought me the rest of the way home. I raged and screamed. I contemplated ending my existence but there was something else I had to do first. I tracked the mammoth hunters back to their camp and found them celebrating the successful hunt with their families. Despite their best efforts everyone in their camp shared the same fate as my mate and cubs. I then surrendered to my wolf.
I don't remember much after that. My grief and the pain of my loss were too much to bear and I went feral. I was nothing more than the wolf, a massive killing machine, impossibly powerful even for then.
How long was I gone? I truly do not know. Every so often the wolf would withdraw, allowing me to assume control once again and each time we would be in a new strange place hundreds if not thousands of miles from where I last remember. It began to be a game for me, never knowing when or where we would be. I have come to realize he was testing me, seeing if I was truly ready to embrace the world again. If a culture has a legend or myth of a giant wolf more than likely I was the cause. I'm fairly certain Fenrir the wolf of Norse legend is me.
Sometimes my lucid spells would last days, sometimes years. I watched as the world grew and people explored. I watched as man and wolf worked side by side, usually without the human realizing it, founding civilization as we know it. I watched over the packs as they grew and interacted. That's not to say I didn't take the occasional hard action when I needed to. There have been a fair number of packs to discover the bloodied remains of their Alpha if I thought they were a particularly cruel individual.
Growing up there was no concept of ranks in a pack like today. Those of us who were alive back then were all Alphas; we could not have survived had we not been. So yes I am a 24,000 years old Alpha and without question the strongest were alive. It was around 1,000 BCE that I finally assumed full control of myself again and it was then I discovered what I had come to be called.
I found myself in a dense forest in what is now northern Germany and was tracking a small herd of deer when I picked up what sounded like screaming. To this day I am not sure as to why I felt such a driving need to respond. Most likely my wolf realized it was the sound of a small child and they were hurt. Without a second thought, I took off through the forest heading towards the child. Despite myself, I found myself enjoying the run, legs moving, heart pumping, and my eyes looking out for any movement or dangers. It had been a long time since I had been able to enjoy the sensation of just running free through the woods. As I got closer my nose started picking apart the scents. There were four individuals, all wolves, and yet the screaming was human. I could smell both fears and hate coming closer.
I do apologize for I just realized I have been remiss in describing myself sufficiently. As I said earlier I am a massive white wolf weighing close to 1500lbs and approximately 5 1/2 feet tall at my shoulders. I think Mother Nature was still figuring out what she wanted to do at that point as my upper canines are considerably longer than any other wolf measuring a good eighteen inches in length. Yes, I measured; sue me it's a guy thing. I have a hybrid form I can assume but rarely do so and it's only in the last hundred years or so that I've seen anyone else with that ability. As a human, I am 6' 6" and 260 lbs having dark brown eyes and long brown hair. I look like a modern-day wrestler, well defined and impossibly strong.
Streaking through the woods I approached a small clearing that was the source of both the smells and the screaming. I pulled up to a stop at the edge to see three large shaggy black wolves chasing a small blonde girl. It became painfully obvious they were merely playing with her as a cat plays with a mouse before it becomes dinner. Choosing the largest of the three I raced into the clearing, quickly covering the distance separating us. The poor idiots were so intent on their prey they were oblivious to my approach. The girl however was not and the change to her face was startling as she no longer held a visage of fear but of satisfaction. The three noticed the change in her attitude far too late to react. Now typically wolves will not use their bodies as battering rams but with my size, I can get away with it. The leader was killed instantly upon impact and his corpse flew into one of the others with a satisfying crunch.
With the first two dealt with I turned my attention to the third only to be quite surprised. He had shifted and was staring at me with a look that could only be described as shock and the smell of urine filled the air. His eyes appeared to be glazed over and wild as if they could not believe what they were seeing. He was muttering "It's real" to himself over and over as if his mind had latched on to one thought and then just broke. I slowly walked over to him as you can never know what to expect from someone in his condition. He simply stared at me and then continued to do so as his head landed in the grass a few feet away.
I heard the girl's footsteps as she approached and turned to face her. "Thank you Watcher," she said.
There was something in the way she said watcher that caught me off guard; you could almost hear the capital W as if it was a proper name. I had been in this area for quite a while and as such had picked up a good bit of the language. Shifting I looked at her and asked simply, "Why do you call me that little one?"
"I know who you are," she stated with the conviction that only a child can have, "My grandpa told me all about you. The way you watch over the packs, keeping us safe, and killing those who are evil or cruel. You have always kept us safe and you always will. You are the Watcher. ".
"Ok little one, it seems you know who I am but who are you?" I asked.
"My name is Aeron, not little one," she stated quite defiantly.
Chuckling to myself I looked down at her, "Alright Aeron let's get you home. Climb on." Shifting I laid down in front of her and watched as her eyes grew huge as she realized what I intended. Climbing onto my back she gripped my fur and gave directions to her village.
It wasn't long before I began to hear another group of wolves headed in my direction. Moving quickly I looped around them to stay downwind. I suspected this group was searching for my young rider as I could smell their apprehension and concern mixed with a bit of fear. Stopping in a small clearing I let her climb off before letting out a loud bark to get their attention. I probably barked a bit louder than necessary based on Aeron's squeak. Not wanting to cause any undue issues I quickly shifted and awaited the arrival of the pack.
It didn't take long before a dozen wolves slipped into the clearing I had chosen for this meeting. The lead was obviously the alpha as he was the largest at maybe 250 lbs and I could feel his power radiating off of him. I had long ago figured out how to dampen the effect of my power. It's easier to sneak into a den for a little chat with the alpha if you don't advertise that the wolf equivalent of an atomic bomb was strolling in.
The growling started low and was building at me and I was about to respond when Aeron stepped between us, scolding her father, "Daddy, stop it. This is Watcher." While their initial looks of shock were entertaining they quickly faded into an understandable expression of skepticism. The pack approached cautiously, placing themselves between Aeron and myself as the Alpha shifted.
"I am Logar, Alpha of the Dark Heart pack. I thank you, stranger but I also ask who you are and what are you doing uninvited in my territory. My daughter seems to think you are Watcher come alive, the scourge of evil were throughout the world. I can tell you are strong but perhaps not as powerful as she seems to think."
Before I could even start to speak Aeron cried out, "Daddy he is Watcher! I saw his wolf and everything, it's humongous! He killed those three rogues that have been prowling around. They chased me into the big clearing by the stream and he rescued me. If it weren't for him, I'd be dead."
Whipping around Logar stared at his child, "What have I told you about roaming around alone?" Her eyes grew huge as she realized she had just admitted to disobeying her father's implicit instructions.
"Not to," Aeron replied meekly, staring at the ground unable to meet her father's eyes.
Watching the interaction between father and daughter began to pull at my heart and I couldn't stop the sad smile as I remembered similar conversations with my children. Truthfully I was expecting a sudden and painful flood of emotions but instead, it was only the good things I could recall. My mate Laran, her beautiful blue eyes, being there for the birth of my twins Valek and Linar. Linar had her mother's eyes that seemed to pierce your soul and Valek mirroring me with the same brooding look I usually had. My revelry broke when I realized I was letting out a low soft keening that was being echoed by all who were present.
"I know the sound of loss stranger, and if Aeron says you are Watcher then, for now, you are," Logar stated closing the distance between us, "Come back to the village with us and meet the rest of my pack and perhaps you can tell me how you came to be in this area." As the wolves turned towards the village, Logar swung Aeron onto his back before taking off in a loping run. Aeron's cries of joy and laughter filled the woods as we sped through the trees. Quite unexpectedly it dawned on me that I had not seen Aeron shift. I wasn't sure what to make of this as my own cubs had started shifting at only a few months old. Laran and I would spend hours doubled over in laughter as the cubs would shift back and forth, stumbling around, over and over as if they couldn't make up their minds.
Breaking into the open Logar led us towards a fairly large hill fort. The area surrounding the fort had been cleared and the trees had been used for the large wall surrounding the hilltop. As we approached the gates opened and a beautiful brown wolf streaked out running towards Logar. I heard some chuckling as if they had seen this little scene before. Aeron jumped off her father's back just as the wolf shifted and a blonde woman flung herself at him.
Now you may have noticed that I have not included much description in the way of clothes. There is a rather simple reason for this. Weres are very comfortable in their skin and nudity and sex are just part of life. It doesn't hurt that we are not affected by the cold.
Running over to grab my hand Aeron pulled me over to the embracing couple. "Mom, mom this is Watcher," she yelled all but jumping up and down in excitement. The silence that followed could only be described as deafening as everyone stopped and all eyes fell on me.
Logar's mate eyed me quite coolly. "Is that so? Well, in that case, go fetch Grandfather. He will want to be here for this." Turning to stare at her mate I could tell they were having an intense mental conversation over the mate bond. Despite being an ancient were I'll admit I was quite ignorant of the ways of our culture. Spending several millennia running around as a wolf will do that to you.
I began to scent something familiar in the air. It had been long ago during one of my lucid periods. Turning I saw Aeron helping a very old man, and I caught another whiff of his scent. I could feel my wolf jump to his feet in recognition of an old friend. "Redan, young or old you're still an ugly bastard," I said as I moved to greet him. The gasps from the shock I heard were rather entertaining I must say. Long ago I had saved him and some others from an attack from a rather narrow-minded pack that has since ceased to exist. Kneeling I saw the recognition flare in his eyes.
"Hello, old friend. I suppose you want to know why everyone is calling you Watcher?"
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