Wolves of Lunacy: Chapter 5: To Freedom

The icy chill of the winter wind stung his feathers. A canyon native since a hatching, Slain’s ebon wings were not used to the extremities of the cold. Pushing his discomfort to the back of his mind, the robust raven pointed his beak forward and sped up. He had to reach Rock before it was too late. They were faint dots on the horizon but Slain recognized the formation. They were the same pack of beasts that swept through the canyons weeks earlier hell bent on a search for wolves. Merciless and with eyes of  glowing coals they called themselves the hounds.

Now soaring directly overhead, Slain’s fear were confirmed. The hounds were pressing forward  and just a few yards beyond them was One Moon marching towards their direction. The hounds barked into the air and charged madly at One Moon. One Moon responded by charging as well and the two groups clashed with a thunderous thud. Bloody and barbaric, the two factions painted the lush winter landscape a violent red. Amidst all the chaos, the two Alphas, Kangal and Rock trade blows. Claw for claw, tooth for tooth the two bulls tee off in a heavy exchange of violence.

Being the bigger and more experienced of the two, Rock capitalizes on a mistake made by Kangal and slams his body to the ground. Going for the jugular, Rock yelps out in pain as he tries to bite down on Kangal’s throat. Kangal struggles back to his feet to reveal a thick collar of thorns encircling his neck. Now with the advantage in his corner, Kangal takes Rock by surprise by bucking him to the ground with his broad chest. Seeing the One Moon leader near his end, another hound by the name of Illyria joins in to help Kangal. Together the two maul the legendary leader.

Seeing his childhood friend in turmoil, Slain, who was encircling the the battle from above, descends to the earth and cries out to the other wolves for help. Hearing Slain’s battle cry, the wolves notice Rock is in peril and rush to help him but it is too late. Kangal and Illyria succeed in killing Rock. With their leader dead and suffering heavy injuries, the morale of the fighters is broken and the hounds finish them off as they attempt to retreat. Slain hops over to his fallen friend and tries to nudge him back to his feet but to no avail. The great leader of the past, present, and future preservation of the Tribe of Luna is now and forever deceased. Slain knows that this was most likely the main fighting force of the tribe and with the hounds back on the hunt, it’s only a matter of time before they reach the others.

Stretching his wings, Slain takes back to  the skies and races quickly ahead of the hounds below to warn One Moon of their impending doom. Below the sky on a summit, Distaff and the remainder of One Moon patiently await the return of the pack. Therefore when Distaff hears the “caaaaws”” from Slain high above in the skies she immediately knows something horrible has happened. She doesn’t need to hear Slain’s report to know that her husband is dead. But there is no time to mourn, as Alpha she must get her pact to safety beyond the mountains. Just then the faint echo of barking is heard on the wind. The scentless were getting closer, the time to retreat was now.

His flock having migrated to Plenty years ago, Slain knew the way out and flew overhead to guide the pack to the right direction. It wasn’t before long that the scentless, like possessed hounds from hell, were yards away from the pact. And very quickly, those yards turned to inches. Snow scattered every which way as the chase intensified.Now close to the border, the only thing that separated the pack from freedom was a giant, vertical, hill. Quickly the old, lame, and inexperienced were taken down for the slaughter until only the strongest were left.

Very rarely does misfortune give way to might and this day was no different as sure footed Aloni lost her footing on a sheet of ice and descended. Tumbling down the hill as if she was an apple, the hounds quickly locked on and turned direction to rip into her. Distaff saw this and while the responsible thing to do would be press on and preserve her leadership, she could not. What kind of  a leader turns their back on their own sister? With a hound still on her hills, Distaff spins 180 degrees to the left, using the hounds own momentum to send him smashing into a snowbank.

The scentless killed her friends and her husband but she’d be damned if they killed her little sister. Charging into their pack like a lunatic she bite and clawed her way into them until she was reunited with Aloni. Beaten but not defeated Aloni quickly rose to her paws and stood shoulder to shoulder with her sister. Their fangs barred, they stood their ground and growled at their oppressors who were now encircling them. With only one way out, the sisters charged out of the circle and made a dash up the hill. The hounds, right on their tails were nipping madly at their feet, legs and any other body part their jaws could get a hold of.

So close now the two were to the top of the hill. With only one more jump and they would leap from the subjugation of their old life into the freedom of the new. Legs crouched into position, the two sprang upward, their muscles stretching as they seemingly soar through the air as if aided by wings. In this moment, time seems to slow down and as Distaff glides steadily towards the hilltop, she notices Aloni’s animation has been suspended.Turning her head, Distaff notices Aloni’s hind leg in the jaws of a hound. Time then resumes normally as Aloni is roughly ripped back down the hill just as Distaff lands on top of it. Before Distaff can even begin to mount an offense, one of the hounds headbutts her and sends her sprawling down the hill in the opposite direction. And so it went, the two sisters from the Tribe of Luna plummeted on opposite sides of the same hill. One towards emancipation, the other expiration.

Wolves of Lunacy: Chapter 4: The Scentless

The snow flurries tickled her nose but she knew better than to sneeze. Any slight movement could risk the entire mission a failure. Just a second longer and…bingo. She found what she had been looking for. Off to the rear, a lame, elderly, elk had fallen behind his herd. From the way that the elk limped, she could tell that his rear right leg had been damaged. Because of this he wouldn’t be able to run too fast or too long making him the perfect target. Signaling the pack to take their positions, they circled the herd from a distance. Aloni advanced towards the herd and the hunt was on.

Waves of snow flew into the air as the herd retreated towards the hills. Aloni knew that they had to make the kill before the herd reached the towering hills or they would lose their advantage. Not having eaten in days, their entire survival was riding on this moment. Swept up in the confusion, the lame elk stumbled. Picking up speed, Aloni advanced on the opportunity coming at the elk so fast that not even the wind could keep up. Leaping into the air she grabbed the elk’s hide with her jaws and tried her best to hang on. A brown wolf named Onahtah caught up to them and jumped on the opposite side of the elk. Together, Aloni and Onahtah brought the elk down to the freezing snow. Blood splattered into the air as Aloni bit down into the jugular of the elk, her white coat now stained with the crimson liquid.

As the Alpha pair, Rock and Distaff, took their helping of the kill, Aloni and the rest of the pack waited in the distance. The other wolves whined and complained as they usually do but Aloni was content. Her entire life her white coat had been a curse. Often teased and ridiculed, it wasn’t until One Moon made their exodus to the mountains that her monochromatic coat came into good use. Being the only wolf that could blend in easily with the snow, Aloni could get closer to the elk herds without being spotted than the brown and black coats who dominated the majority of the tribe. Because of her successive hunts, she was quickly rising the ranks of the pack. With this kill being her 75th, she had performed far better than even the Alpha pair combined and on this day earned her new nick name “Frostbite.”

Munching on a nearby rabbit she just so happened to catch, kill number 76, Aloni caught a glimpse of an older wolf named Tuwa whose nose was pointed to the sky. “What’s wrong Tuwa,” Aloni asked. “I caught a scent of something…familiar yet different floating on the wind. I thought it might have been more stragglers from the canyons but it was probably just my nose playing tricks on me,” responded Tuwa. That night, as One Moon rested, their bellies full of meat, a low growling was heard. Rock was the first to his paws. Trying to pinpoint the threat, he sniffed the air but smelled nothing. Relying on his ears, the growling began to grow louder and seemed to be coming from every direction. This could only mean one thing, they were surrounded.

Urika, Rock’s most trusted, howled into the night, alerting the pack that enemies were nearby. As One Moon rose to their paws, the outsiders began their attack. Just as Rock predicted they had surrounded the pack and were now coming at all angles. Swift and fierce, the outsiders used One Moon’s confusion against them and gained a few kills. Rallying his pack, Rock caught a glimpse of one of the attackers and advanced.

The attacker had one of the younger wolves named Yazhi pinned to the ground. Lowering his head, Rock butted the enemy off Yazhi but it was too late, his throat was already cut clean through. Enraged, Rock charged after the enemy, beating him mercilessly with his claws. The other outsiders noticed their ally was in trouble and came to his aid. Rock fought valiantly but their numbers were too much. Cut, slashed, and bitten from every direction. The flesh being ripped apart from his body, Rock had no choice but to call for help. Urika and Aloni were the first to hear Rock’s plea and rushed to his aid. With One Moon more organized and a ring of wolves encircling the injured Rock, the outsiders signaled retreat and fled into the unknown as quickly as they appeared.

Distaff, coming to her mates aid, gently nuzzled her head on his cheek. His wounds were severe and would take weeks if not months to heal. As those with loved ones mourned their loss, Distaff gathered the pack for any information pertaining to the attackers. Most wolves didn’t get a clear look at them and the ones who did died for their efforts. Knowing it would only be a matter of time before another attack, Distaff ordered the pack to keep close watch of their surroundings at all times. Since leaving the canyons and encroaching the mountains, they were in alien territory and had obviously overstepped their boundaries. In order to survive they would need to focus on defense.

The next day, Distaff mandated two shields of wolves to encircle the camp. The first shield was made up of those with the strongest eyes, ears, and noses. If an enemy was near the perimeter they would be the first to sniff them out. The second shield, formed just a few yards behind the first were made up of the most robust wolves the pack had to offer. In case of attack, the first shield would fall behind the second shield. In the center of the two shields, the injured nursed their wounds until the pack as a whole was able to move again. The rest of the pack tended to the injured and took over shifts from the shielders when they needed to rest.

With the formation of the shields, the uneasiness of the pack was put a little at ease but as night encroached, tensions returned. It began as low growling and then the glowing red of their eyes burned in the darkness. The growling continued to grow louder until their demonic eyes were barking as if rabid. Distaff advanced to the head of the shield and rallied the pack to keep their wits. “The outsiders are trying to scare us into breaking ranks but as long as we are fortified they can not harm us,” she howled. The pack maintained their defenses and sure enough, after a long nights standoff, the outsiders retreated into the distance at sight of the first rays of sunshine.

Each successive night the Scentless, a name the pack had adopted for the outsiders, would continue to return and with each return they edged closer and closer to the shields of the pack. Finally, when Rock  and the injured wolves were able to move again, Distaff gave the order for the pack to continue their march towards the mountains. They were so close now and she would be damned if the dreams of Onestroke died in this whitewashed purgatory. As the pack marched, the rear guard reported sights of figures in the mists trailing them. It had to be none other then the Scentless.

Rumors among the pack had already broke out about who the Scentless were. Many regarded them as the spirits of their fallen ancestors who were angry at them for losing their homeland to King Ibex. “How else could you explain their lack of smell and paw prints that look exactly like our own,” contested on elderly wolf named Kaya. Distaff, unlike her mate was not eager to use her claws to solve her problems but if the situation persisted the pack would be cornered with no way out. It was better to attack first then wait to be attacked so she advised her council and they devised a plan.

With the pack on high ground, One Moon broke up into a new formation. The front and rear of the pack were made up of ranks of the strongest wolves. In the middle were the young, elderly, and lame who were guarded on the side by the remaining wolves. Turning around to face the direction of the Scentless, the front portion of the pack pack marched off to confront their attackers. Behind their veil of mist, the Scentless were taken aback by One Moon’s sudden aggressiveness but their leader Kangal answered the questions their fear was asking by taking the first step forward. The rest of his gang followed and now the Scentless and One Moon were both marching steadily into a battleground that only one side would walk away from.

Wolves of Lunacy: Chapter 3: One Moon, One Hope

It had been many a generation since the rise of King Ibex and his Unified Provinces of Plenty. Once upon a time they saw you could look out into the moonlit horizon and see the Wolves of Luna, their eyes illuminating a majestic glow, hunting the buffalo and other plains herds. But those days were over, dreams of the past. Long since were the days when a wolf could run free and wild, now he had to be registered and accounted for in the new King’s Utopia. All who refused faced a life of hardships in the canyons as outlaws. Yes, the once numerous tribe of Luna was obliterated almost entirely. Only 1/4th of their creed still lived and of this 1/4th only a few hundred or so remained free from captivity. These last fledglings further dissented into separate packs to avoid capture. Of these wild ones, the most charismatic was Rock, the Alpha of the Eastern Minerals.

Descendant from a life of hard knocks, Rock lost his parents as a pup and was forced to survive the hardships of the canyons by his lonesome. In all likelihood the young pup should have perished but perhaps Mother Luna had not forgotten her children as he overcame all the obstacles the canyons put before him. By the time he was in his teen years, Rock had earned a reputation among the canyon dwellers as the toughest beast, herbivore or carnivore, to ever cross the canyon floor.

Now in his adult years, Rock was without a question or a doubt the King of the canyons. His pack, the Eastern Minerals was unique from the other free roaming packs in that it was not only made up of wolves but all forms of outlaw critters. Anyone who had a grievance with King Ibex had a place in the Eastern Minerals. As charismatic as he was, not all the canyon dwellers agreed with Rock’s philosophy. Most notable being that of  Onestroke leader of the Proud Eyes, the largest pack of wild ones.

A wolf who achieved distinction and respect over the long years of his life, Onestroke’s wisdom was sought after by all the young wolves of the canyons. Having been a pup when the cherry coated Ibex swaggered into the Luna Wolf den and proclaimed himself king, Onestroke was one of the few who survived to see the story unfold. The registrations, relocation camps, and hunting of his kind, he had been there and experienced it all. As such Onestroke was a direct link to the past. Now past his prime, his days were dedicated to teaching the youth the old ways and the words of Proto.

These times were different however and the wolves of today had little to no interest in talks of the Luna Mother who had abandoned them. OneStroke was quickly losing his influence to the Eastern Mineral Alpha Rock and his young blood ways. In the old days Rock would have been an honored Alpha but in these times acting with your claw and not your nose meant a swift death. Before Onestroke passed into the stars above to be reunited with the Luna Mother, he wanted to make sure that his kind were on the track to self recovery.  The only choice he decided was to hold council with the three largest packs and try and persuade them that survival of the species was more important than personal retribution.

Distaff, Alpha of the Lunamazons was the first to hear of Onestroke’s call for council. Being a descendant of Proto, Distaff heeded Onestroke’s teachings of her ancestor many a time and held a deep, father-like relationship with the old wolf. After all, it was Onestroke’s tale of how Proto heroically searched for and rescued the lost members of a war party that inspired her to leave the safety of the Proud Eyes and rescue lone wolves who were dying everyday all throughout the canyons. After her initial success and gaining a pack of her own, Distaff extended her efforts from the canyons to the entirety of  the King’s Unified Provinces of Plenty.

Legends of a female Alpha swifting through the morning mists were soon made popular by the starving wolves held in captivity as more and more of them continued to vanish from the reservations. This caused a new found appreciation for the Luna Mother and in time Distaff was heralded as Khonsu, the moon princess who quenched the throats of her kin that thirsted for freedom. Rock too learned that Onestroke wanted to trade words. Already knowing what the old wolf wanted to say having heard his lectures one too many times, Rock had respect for “the paw that felled the kings men” and gathered his pack to see what the old wolf had to say.

On the day of the council, the three tribes, Proud Eyes, Lunamazons, and Eastern Minerals gathered together at the base of an overhang known as Proud Rock. The air silenced to a hush as Onestroke walked to the edge of the overhang and spoke these words.

“Brothers and Sisters of the great Luna Mother. I have gathered you here today to speak my final peace. I ask that you open your ears to hear my words. In my life I have always strived to do what is best for our kind. I have been somewhat successful but our lives will never be as they once were. Not as long as we remain in this land.

The only way for our kind to survive is to join our bands and once again form a single tribe as the Luna Mother always intended. For too long we have been without a home, wandering the canyons and the deserts like nomads. We must form one tribe and together we will leave the Demon King’s Unified Plenty and find our own sovereignty beyond the mountains. A task of this magnitude will require a strong leader which is why, as a symbol of my sincerity for our survival, I would like to appoint Rock of the Eastern Minerals and Distaff of the Lunamazons as the Alpha pair of this new tribe.

Rock, you are the strong paw that will protect us from the King. Since coming to the canyons as a pup you have proved yourself to be the greatest warrior these old eyes of mine have ever seen. I am proud that there is a wolf like you still running free so that the pups can see your claw and know what true bravery is. Distaff, you are the soothing paw our kind so desperately needs. Because of you many of our brothers and sisters have been saved from death but more importantly you have returned to their hearts hope for themselves and belief in the Luna Mother.

As for myself and the Proud Eyes, I will relinquish my power as Alpha and the Proud Eyes will flow into this one tribe like a lake into the river. If your ears do not hear my words then I will still relinquish my power and the Proud Eyes will flow into both the Eastern Minerals and the Lunamazons. The way we have been living will not work. One way or another we must unite and flee.”

At the end of Onestroke’s speech, the wolves did something that had not been done in years. They howled. And with this howl, Onestroke’s final dream was cemented in approval by Rock, Distaff and all the wolves of the three tribes. Onestroke would not live much longer after this council. Looking from the cliffs as the new unified One Moon pack marched towards the mountains to freedom, the old wolf smiled his last smile, curled up in a ball, and for the first time, dreamed not of the past but of the future when the Tribe of Luna would once more run wild.

Wolves of Lunacy: Chapter 2: Fall of the First

The Ibex smelled of corrosion and death yet all who approached him were compelled to obey. Within a few days the ibex gained a following and began to preach new concepts never before thought of. He instilled within them that the separate tribes that had existed for all times was wrong. Ibex suggested a single, unified, tribe would improve everyone’s way of life. In this new kingdom “no animal would ever go hungry,” the Ibex promised. Ibex knew a tribe of this magnitude would need a king to be appointed thus he appointed himself.

There was one tribe however that was unswayed by the Ibex and his ideologies. This was the the tribe of the Luna Wolves. Supernaturally empowered by the glow of the moon, the Luna Wolves were one of the wisest tribes in Plenty.  Their chief Proto was said to have been wiser even than the owls who were the keepers of wisdom. The Ibex knew that if he could control the tribes of Luna, Plenty would fall into his hooves so he ventured into the domain of the wolves.

Impressed by the courage of this charismatic leaf eater, Proto allowed the Ibex to enter unscathed and state his case. They talked for many hours but the Ibex was unable to sway Proto because of his powers of perception which all the tribes of Luna possessed. Thus the Ibex challenged Proto to a duel, not of horn and tooth but of minds. Proto was intrigued by this unusual concept of combat and accepted the challenge. The victory terms were then arranged. If the Ibex won Proto would have to relinquish his status as chief of the Luna Wolves over to him. But if the Ibex lost he would personally submit his body to Proto for him to consume. With both beasts accepting the terms, they scheduled the duel in one weeks time under the twilight of the new moon.

The day was at hand and the days following since the Ibex made his challenge, all of Plenty knew of the duel and were in attendance. The Ibex armed with his Mal de Ojo and Proto with his Luna Ojo. No one in Plenty knew of the Ibex’s Mal de Ojo but Proto’s Luna Ojo was fabled all throughout the land. Acquired from the Luna spirit herself, the Luna Ojo was one of the seven legendary weapons used to slay the giant Thunder Lizard which held reign over the land in ancient times. One look into it’s gaze would paralyze the soul.

A beaver smacked the earth with it’s tail signifying the start of the duel. To the untrained it appeared as the two were standing idle, transfixed in a trance and they were physically, but mentally, their consciousness were engaged in spiritual warfare deep in another dimension. In this dimension, Proto and Ibex’s physical representations reflected who they truly were. Proto, a wolf of shining, silver, light, adorned with blue designs for the first time saw the Ibex for what he truly was and it frightened him. A blood red, bipedal creature with the a crescent shaped head. Anchoring his long legs and arms were massive claws that could rip an elephant in three with one stroke.

Proto was the size of a mountain but even this creature dwarfed him. Shaking away his apprehension, Proto charged the Ibex. The Ibex shot a volley of concentrated energy at the oncoming Proto but the tactful wolf evaded his efforts. Returning the favor, Proto ascended and whipped the Ibex in the face with his three tails. The force of impact sent Ibex spining. The two continued to trade blows. Back and forth, one would land an attack only to recive a counter for his efforts. With a mighty howl, Proto knocked Ibex to the ground and pounced on him. Proto’s teeth nearing Ibex’s neck, he goes in for the kill when a sharp pain stuns him.

Unbeknownst to Proto and the rest of the animals in attendance, during the battle, Ibex persuaded a scorpion to stab Proto in the paw. As the venom entered Proto’s bloodstream it began to weaken his mind. With Proto momentarily stunned, the Ibex gored Proto with his claws. A blow so devastating that it knocked Proto’s consciousness from the spirit plane back into his own body. And with that, the Ibex claimed victory over the duel.

The animals in attendance were shocked. No one expected a chief as powerful and wise as Proto to lose. But there he was, huddled over and heaving. Blood spilling from his muzzle. due to the poison and wounds attained from the battle against the Ibex, Proto would not live much longer than a few days. He never officially handed his title as chief over to Ibex but he didn’t have to. Everyone from the tallest giraffe to the smallest shrew knew the stakes of the contest. From henceforth, a dark cloud was suspended over the Wolves of Luna as the Ibex walked into their den and proclaimed himself the King of the Unified Provinces of Plenty.

Wolves of Lunacy: Chapter 1: Rise of the Ibex

Author’s Note-

The original WoL was lost when a technological virus destroyed the databanks of my Pavilion’s hard drive. It was an epic tale of war, oppression, and triumph. Since it’s death I have not been able to dig myself out of the ditch I created. The tale was like my offspring and having one of such magnitude slip away is akin to losing your expected child in its 9th month on the eve of delivery. It’s that serious. I want to be free of this curse and of this madness. This is just one desperate man’s attempt to recreate history and finally put his demon to rest. The fuku of the wolf is strong.

———————————————————-

In the time before man rose to dominance, the Earth was ruled by the beasts. Steadfast Stallions galloped the plains, dastardly dolphins skipped the seas, and the skies were full of murder. It was a season of purity, a time of myth and legend; it was the age of Tooth and Claw.

On a snowy mountain ridge south of the Great Ocean, through the mists of the Highland Hills and east of the Maverick Plains existed the land of Plenty. Being home to a diverse number of ecosystems, Plenty was a land of many tribes. The inhabitants of Plenty lived in harmony or as harmonious as a predator-prey relationship can get.  The herbivores grew up together like one extended family and predators from different tribes even teamed up at times to hunt big game. It was not uncommon to see lions dining with hyenas with vultures as the guests of honor. This commodore lasted for as long as anyone could remember. But like the seasons, the times were about to change and the dawn of a new age was highlighted by a shooting star.

The animals had no awareness of the catastrophe which was to happen but  the sky felt it’s atmosphere being seared apart by cosmic flame and the earth quaked in pain as the foreign object pounded into her. A curious cockroach was the first to approach the object. The cockroach tried to approach the cone shaped mystery but was unable to penetrate the thick aura surrounding it. Just then the horn began to speak. “Find me a strong body that can pick me up and to you I will bestow enough food for you and your family to eat heartily for the rest of your days.” The cockroach, having hundreds of children and a big, fat, wife needed no other motivation and fluttered away at once to find a someone strong enough to wield the horn.

His search led him into the ear of a grazing ibex. Whispering into his eardrum, the cockroach directed the ibex to the crash site where he found the cone shaped horn jutting out of the ground. The horn was impressed by the cockroach’s find and eagerly soothed the ibex into venturing closer. Closer, closer,” the horn whispered.

As the ibex lowered his head to the ground, the horn jump up and propelled itself into it’s skull. The cockroach scurried away not wanting to suffer the same fate as the ibex who now lay motionless on the ground. The day turned to dusk and the creatures of the night were beginning to stir. Two, lone, lion, brothers caught the scent of carcass in the air but a strange odor was befouling it. Not having eaten in weeks, the brothers did not have the luxury of being picky and decided to investigate the scent.

What they found next was beauty to their eyes. All by it’s lonesome, a fresh ibex carcass ripe for the picking. The brothers scurried to the carcass and sunk their salivating jaws into it’s hide. The ibex instantly jumped up to it’s hooves which startled the two brothers. After a brief moment of confusion, the brothers pounced at the ibex.

The ibex swiftly dodged, turned his back to the older lion, and kicked him clear across the field. The younger lion took advantage and sunk his claws into the ibexs side, trying desperately to drag him to the ground. The ibex bucked the young lion away and as the lion swung his mighty paw through the air, the ibex countered by goring him through the heart with his horns. As the young lion lay dying, the ibex stood over his body and stared intently at the other brother. Not with his natural born eyes however but the third one now growing from his forehead. The lion took a step forward to avenge his fallen brother but after gazing into the third eye of the ibex took two steps back, and another, and another, until he was running in the opposite direction. The cosmic horn which infused itself into the ibex had completed it’s transformation and was now in full control.

After filling his belly with the flesh of the lion, the ibex wandered back to his herd. His clansmen felt the change within him and forbade him from entering. When the ibex ignored their warning and advanced, the strongest males of the herd charged him. His third eye began to blink rapidly and in an instant, one by one,  all his herd dropped dead to the ground. The ibex looked at the chaos he created but it phased him naught fore he was no longer the same animal he once was before, testament to the Mal De Ojo now centered on his forehead.

From hence forth, tales of tragedy followed the ibex where ever he ventured from those that were lucky enough to survive his passing. He wandered the earth for many years, with each year his coat becoming more stained with the blood of his victims until no amount of water could return it from the ragged red to the splendid silver it once was. By this time, the rumors of the meat eating ibex had grown to legend and all the animals of the territories knew his description. All except the fortunate ones in the land of Plenty who’s high mountain ranges kept the outside dangers at bay. Except of course for a cherry coated ibex with evil intentions on the brain.