Approved [Incomplete Personnel File] Imir Ragnulf

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My name is Imir Sigmund Ragnulf,

I write this chronicle now, of my own volition with the recommendation of one Catian Valor, The Traveler. He informed me that such an endeavor would save much time, and time is something I consider quite precious. We always consider our time long until the end draws near, but that luxury of ignorance is one I have never been given.

I am the son of Sigmund Thornton Ragnulf and Nadira Al-Shadid, born on July 7th, 2005.

I am from a village in the wilds of Eastern Russia, hidden away and preserved from the trappings of time far more than one would expect in our modern world. We fetched our water from the river every morning, washed and sewed our clothes by hand, and did the things our ancestors did in the ways our ancestors had done, as it had been for countless generations. The Blooded would venture out during the warming seasons, sleds returning full of goods and oddities from the outside world, but none who had not reached their sixteenth year were allowed past the valley. We had a generator, though it was only used for ceremonies with limited fuel. Only the adults knew of the outside world.

Those of us who had not become men or women yet knew only the village, The Code, and our anticipation of our own Awakening Ritual to make us Blooded. Our grandparents would tell us of the legend behind the Ritual, the story that our great ancestors were the children of the wolf-god, and within our blood lies the blood of that same god. Prophecy told that the wolf-god’s children would devour the sun and the moon, and so they were hidden away, masked by mortal flesh, their blood given to the two clans that had founded our village. To protect his children the wolf-god gave them the Awakening Ritual, a ceremony that would bring their godly blood to bear and grant them power.

We all knew that they were just stories. The adults didn’t have any powers, and even they spoke of the ceremony as if it were little more than a graduation. It was our way to move forward, to finally see a world beyond the tiny bowl of our village and its woods. I waited for mine just like everyone else, even though there were running jokes that my Blood was already Awakened. I was born with these eyes, you see. A sign of holiness, according to our elders. A sign that the wolf in me is strong. The other kids interpreted it as a sign to hate me. I wanted nothing more than to leave the village and never return.

Most Awakenings involve the ceremony and a lot of drinking and feasting. Mine fell short of the latter two. My grandmother would later tell me the rest of our story, of how the wolf-god’s blood would change those of us who had strong amounts. How they would become strong, and fast, and their senses would sharpen. She told me of how they would become great beasts, of how their bodies would shift and change into the forms of massive wolves. She told me that every one of them died young, the god blood too strong for our mortal shells, the power burning through us like a campfire on a candle’s wick.

I tried to listen to their advice, tried to let the changes come and embrace the power that came with them. It was tradition that I go, venture out into the world I had so desperately craved. That was before I became a monster, before I had changed. I feared the outside, but my Clan was firm in their traditions. I was to venture into the world and become the man my village needed. They told me to look at my changing body as a gift. A gift that was killing me, that gave me an expiration date. Traditions don’t teach you how to console a wolf.

I spent the better part of a year trying to suppress the changes, at first failing miserably until one day I was able to keep the twisting of bone and joint from taking effect. My hair began losing color rapidly, my strength fading at first to human levels, my senses dulled once again. I had thought that I was winning the battle, reclaiming my life from the cursed blood in my veins. It wasn’t until I started feeling the weakness, the drain that brought me lower than my old self had been even as a child that I realized it was killing me faster.

I turned once, and it was an instant release. My strength returned, if greater than I had originally possessed then it wasn’t unappreciated. I could eat again, move again, and I was no longer on death’s door.

That was when I saw him. The Traveler, a man with hair as white as mine was becoming. I had thought he might have been like me, and went chasing after him mindlessly in the crowd of a city that made me feel like an ant. When I caught him he smiled, and he told me he was not. And then he told me he could take me to someone who could help.

The next thing I knew I was surrounded by darkness.


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