GuildMag issue #6




Call of the Wolf

Chapter 9

There was a knock at the door. Roston opened it and greeted Adelbern and Rurik.

“Please, come in,” he said.

“Thank you, old friend,” Adelbern replied as he and the prince stepped inside.

“Hello your majesties,” Connivia said.

The king and prince nodded at Connivia.

Then, there was a second knock at the door. Roston opened it and there stood Sarah, the town’s herbalist, and her daughter Gwen.

“Welcome ladies! Come right in!”

“Thank you Mr. Wolfsong,” Sarah said.

“Sarah, please, you can call me Roston.”

“And you can call me Connivia,” his wife said.

Sarah smiled. “All right then. Roston. Connivia.”

“Where’s Keiondra?” Gwen asked.

Her mother put her finger to her lips. “Ssshhh. It’s a surprise.”

Gwen nodded and smiled eagerly. She was only ten, but she was always so bubbly and excited. She’d met Keiondra a few months ago when she’d been running an errand in Ascalon City for her parents. She followed Keiondra around and the two had become good friends.

“There we have it,” Connivia said as she presented a pan full of large birthday cupcakes. “Keiondra loves these so much. I do hope she isn’t getting too old for them.”

“Nonsense!” Roston said. “She looks forward to these every year.”

“I’m sure she’ll love this party,” Rurik agreed.

Connivia and Roston had discussed the previous night whether or not it was wise to invite the king and prince to the party. They didn’t want others to think favoritism was at work, but then realized that if Adelbern and Rurik thought that way, they would not show up at all. After all, Adelbern and Roston were good friends.

“She should be awake soon,” Connivia said as she placed a second pan of cupcakes on the table.

************************************************** ********

The sun shone threw Keiondra’s window. She rolled over and put her pillow over her eyes and tried to get a few more minutes of sleep. But then she realized that the sun was shining through her window at last.

“Yes!” she said to herself as she jumped out of bed and rummaged through clothes.

Keiondra had had a hard time falling asleep the night before. She was so excited for this day. It was the day of her thirteenth birthday. She tossed and turned the night before and kept getting up to see if the sun was shining, but she kept seeing the moon instead.

She’d finally managed to fall asleep, but now it was morning. But no matter how tired she was, Keiondra was determined that now that it was morning, she would wait no longer. She hoped her parents got her the present she’d been wanting since she was eight years old – a paper saying that she could now begin her training to become a ranger.

Keiondra had practiced using the bow for the past five years, but she still wanted to get all the training she could. She could barely contain herself as she put her hair into a braid and added a leaf for an effect of nature.

Finally, she was ready. She turned the knob of her door and stepped out.

“Surprise!” shouted several overlapping voices in unison.

Keiondra did a doubletake and saw that her mother, father, Sarah, Gwen, and even the king and prince were standing in the kitchen cheering and clapping.

“Oh my gods!” she screamed happily.

“Happy birthday Keiondra!” her parents said as they went over to give her a hug.

“Happy birthday!” Gwen shouted as she wrapped her arms around Keiondra’s legs.

“I don’t know what to say!” Keiondra said in awe. “Thanks so much! I must say, I never expected this!”

“Well you certainly deserve it,” said Sarah.

“Your highnesses,” Keiondra said as she bowed to Adelbern and Rurik. They nodded back and smiled.

“Let’s get started, shall we?” said Connivia. “Here you are. As always, the birthday girl gets the first bite!”

“Birthday cupcakes! Oh Mother, thank you!”

“How could I forget? These are your favorite and you’ve had them for your birthday ever since you were three years old.”

Keiondra took a bite of her cupcake. It was sweet and tasty, just the way she liked it. As soon as she took a bite, the rest of the cupcakes were served and everyone else ate theirs.

When everyone was through eating, Roston approached his daughter with his hands behind his back.

“Keiondra,” he said. “This is your thirteenth birthday, and I know you’ve been very eager for it to arrive. And of course, what good is a birthday without a present? So my mother and I are honored to present this to you.”
With that, Roston pulled his hands out from behind his back and placed a piece of paper in Keiondra’s hand. She opened it and read it. Then, she beamed and jumped for joy.

“Oh, thank you so much!” she said as she hugged her parents tight. Her hoping had paid off. Her parents had gotten her enrolled in the Ascalon Academy and she would begin her training to become a ranger in a week.

“Now Keiondra, this is going to take much time and effort,” her mother said. “But I know that this is what you truly want. Your father does as well. Just be safe and careful. We’re already all proud of you.”

“Thank you Mother,” Keiondra said as she hugged her mother again.
The other party guests clapped and cheered. Then everyone helped themselves to some more cupcakes.

************************************************** ********

Six months later, Keiondra walked to Lakeside County. Her first ranger teacher was named Artemis, and for the past several months, she’d been learning all about aiming and the art of marksmanship. Today, Artemis told her she had one final test to do.

“Good morning, Keiondra,” said Artemis as she saw her student approaching.

“Good morning,” Keiondra replied.

“All right, let’s get to it. As I said at our last lesson, after you pass this final test, you will be ready to begin more advanced training. This is just basic.”

“I am ready, teacher. What is this final task?”

“I’m sure you’ve seen all the skale around here. Rumors are that the skale have a queen by the river bank. If you slay it, you’ll have passed this part of your training. Can you do it?”

“I can and I will!”

Keiondra grabbed her bow and ran to the river bank. She snuck around bushes and avoided the skale. Then, she saw the skale queen herself. So, the rumors were true.

Keiondra stood up, raised her bow, aimed, and fired the arrow. The skale queen dropped dead in a single hit. Clearly it wasn’t very powerful or threatening.

Keiondra picked up the corpse of the skale queen and took it to Artemis.

“Well, look at that! You did great!”

Artemis pulled out a scroll and filled something out on it.

“All right,” she said, “your next trainer will teach you how to charm an animal to fight by your side. His name is Nente, and he can be found in Regent Valley. Journey there to begin your training.”

“Thank you, Artemis. I shall never forget you.”

The two rangers waved to each other before Keiondra departed for Regent Valley.

************************************************** ********

The walk to Regent Valley was not very far. Keiondra spotted Nente right away. He was surrounded by several devourers and was slaying them rapidly. Keiondra watched in awe. She hoped to one day be that good of a ranger.

“Who goes there?” Nente asked as he turned and saw Keiondra approaching. Keiondra pulled out the paper Artemis had given her and presented it to Nente.

“I’m Keiondra Wolfsong,” she said, “and I was instructed by Artemis to see you about learning to charm an animal.”

Nente glanced over the paper, nodded, and handed it back to his eager student.

“All right, then let’s get started. I suppose you already have an idea of what kind of animal you want. Most rangers do when they see me.”

“Yes, more than anything I want a wolf.”

“Ah, well I promise one day you will get a wolf. But first, you must learn how to charm an animal, and the tamest animal around here is a Melandru’s stalker. You must charm a stalker first, but before that you must gaze at Melandru’s statue just down the road.”

“Gaze at Melandru’s statue? But why?”

“You’ll know when you get there. She’ll help you to receive the knowledge you need to charm an animal.”

“All right.”

Keiondra hesitantly walked down the road. She saw the statue of Melandru up ahead. It was beautiful, depicting a lovely woman with wings made of leaves and legs of a tree trunk pouring cascading water down into a fountain.

Keiondra saw a plaque under the statue. She read it and found that Nente was right; the statue filled her with the knowledge she needed to charm an animal.

Keiondra turned and saw a nearby stalker. She took a deep breath, braced herself, and began the process. The stalker turned aggressive and began to attack her, but Keiondra didn’t let up. At last, the stalker was hers and under her control.

She smiled and ran back up the path to tell Nente, with her new pet tagging along behind her.

“I see you managed to get yourself a pet,” Nente said as Keiondra approached. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you. But what do I do now? Am I allowed to have more than one pet?”

“Oh no, a true ranger only has one companion who is very loyal and trustworthy. You must talk to a pet trainer to get rid of a pet before you can charm a new one. Jarrel here is one such person. But before you do this, consider something. Animals are a ranger’s most loyal companion. But having a pet takes much work. You must feed it and keep it satisfied and never abandon it. It’s wise to leave it behind if you’re venturing somewhere that it may not make it out alive.”

“I understand all this. And while I am fond of all animals, I am very strongly attached to wolves. I can’t explain it.”

“Ah, now that is something many good rangers have – a strong attachment to one particular creature. All right then, talk to Jarrel here and he will make sure your stalker gets a good home.”

“Thank you.”

Keiondra talked to Jarrel and he agreed to care for the stalker.

The training continued for a few more hours, but at last the sun began to set and Keiondra returned home for dinner. But on her way, she passed Ashford Abbey and saw a wolf. It looked lonely yet loving. She decided to test out her new knowledge.

Approaching quickly but quietly, Keiondra kept her eyes on the wolf. When she got close enough, she began to charm the animal. The wolf’s eyes seemed to change color as it knew it was about to be controlled. But alas, Keiondra finally got the creature under her control.

“You’re such a gorgeous creature,” she said to the wolf. The wolf howled in response. Keiondra laughed and wrapped her arms around her new pet. “That’s the perfect name for you,” she said. “Howl. I’ll call you Howl.”

The wolf made a growling noise, but it sounded like it was a happy noise, as if to say “thank you”. Keiondra smiled and continued on her way home. Howl followed her. Keiondra smiled the whole way home. She loved Howl deeply already and couldn’t wait to show him to her parents. She was loving being a ranger already. She couldn’t wait to continue her training the next day, only this time she’d have Howl by her side.


Continue to chapter 10 ->

The unofficial Guild Wars magazine.
© 2003-2011 ArenaNet, Inc. All rights reserved. NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, ArenaNet,, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other objects are the property of their respective owners.