A Cub lost in the Snow

Reality seems to shift in and out of existence from the back of Morning Dawn’s broad back, his noble mane billowing about me like the fog in my own mind. At one point, during a brief moment of clarity, I saw the shining walls of Whitewall in the distance. It seems we were heading North, into the very den of Fay that had so recently assaulted my mind and soul. If Morning Dawn was concerned, it did not show, and so I let his confidence lull me back into oblivion. When we crossed into the Wyld zone, into the Winter Folks domain, I could feel the tingle of chaos ripple across my being. It was no place to rest, as I lent my senses to Morning Dawn, we began to talk.

Morning Dawn began, “No need to be so tense cub, I’ve been into the Wyld more times than I care to count. Besides, the Winter Folk have an understanding of the danger a Sword of Luna poses – we won’t be here long enough for them to grow a set.” It was difficult to form words, I’d not spoken for days, “Morning Dawn, why have I been made Anathema, is this the curse of those who question the immaculate Philosophy.” Morning Dawn gives a sad smile over his shoulder, “Cub, what’s your name, where do you come from. I take it your not a White Waller?” The warmth Morning Dawn shared in this frigid realm made it hard to dredge up the wrath I knew I should show to the Realm’s sworn enemies, “I’m Mnemon Isoroku, son of the Realm and servant of the Scarlet Empress, blessed be her name.” Morning Dawn looks on with confusion for a moment before his kind face breaks into a huge grin, “From the Blessed Isle, we are both fortunate then, the number of Moon Children rescued from that land count on one hand – even after a millennia. Tell me, how you came to be tied out on the Holy Road, odd place for a dynast to find himself I’m sure.” Tired and, honestly, thankful to be alive – I related my story. I told him of Old Man Tepet and my assignment under Lord Mnemon Hiroe – of my study on alternate historical interpretations. Towards the end Morning Dawn’s expression grew dark, “Who was this Mnemon Hiroe to you Isoroku? A brother?” Was he concerned for my loss or trying to learn more of me, “He was an Exalted hero of my House – but their were rumors he supported undesired factions within the family – I think he was a sacrifice as well and likely I was an afterthought.” Morning Dawn nods sagely at my insight, “I think you will be a No Moon, we will need to travel farther than I had thought – but then I think these northern environs might be a bit much for a,” his smile seems to split his jolly face, “pampered dynast.”

We traveled for a few more days, when I had recovered from my wounds Morning Dawn offered to carry me more swiftly…and my chilled bones were eager for warmth. That is when I first gazed upon the true protean majesty of the Lunar Exalted – before my eyes he shifted into an Ice Lion of immense proportions. The smile still touched his eyes, but the regal majesty laid me low. Then, impossibly, he spoke from that befanged jaw, “Climb on Isoroku, we’ve a need to reach Sunset Greenfield by the end of the week. Fullmoons coming and that makes travel difficult,” seeing my confusion he continues, “The kiss of Luna has a unique affect upon her chosen, you’ll learn that in time.” It was truly an experience to ride upon Morning Dawn in this guise, his wide feet seeming to nearly float over the dense snowfall – kicking up a fine powder. For a time I took, what he called the spirit shape, as well – a small deer with huge fangs, even greater than those of a typical ice tiger. When I took my shape Morning Dawn nodded and seemed pleased, later I would learn that he felt my spirit shape aligned with his naming me a No Moon. I think of Morning Dawn often as I trek these same snow fields we traveled at the start of my new life. His friendly deposition did much to ease me into my role as a Chosen of Luna, when this fighting with Yurgan is done I hope to have the time to seek him out, to thank him for all he has done for me…for being a friend when I had none left.

A Cub lost in the Snow

The Heroes of Rokan-Jin Nehebkau