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Don't be Framed!

The journey into Caline

Rumour had it that the shaman of the village Caline was the wisest man in the world, and if he couldn't lift you from your present plight, no one else could. You step into the shaman's hut, slightly disoriented by the darkened, smoky interior after the brightness of the afternoon. Gradually, as your eyes adjust to the darkness, you make out a wizened, wrinkled old man seated next to a low lamp. You sit down before him, and after a moment of hesitation, tell him of your story.

The shaman shakes his head in despair. "I cannot help you. The darkness in your heart is too much for my powers to overcome." Your last hope dies with his words. "But," he continues solemnly, "Grayewolfe may be able to aid you. She possesses great wisdom, and you will prove to be a challenge to her skills. And the young upstart always enjoys a challenge." He smiles fondly at some private thought. "You can find her in the forest glade six miles hence, by the light of the moon"

"But how can a wolf help me? What would it understand of the troubles of humans being merely an animal?" you cry out, angry at the man's lack of skills and his primitive belief in the power of spirit creatures.

"You have to believe in Grayewolfe for her power to take effect. If you don't believe in her, then you must resign yourself to fate. Is belief such an inconceivable alternative?" Despite yourself, you find a faint glimmer of hope rising from the ruins of your heart; you try desperately to quell it, because another shattered wish would destroy you. But the faith the shaman had in this mysterious Grayewolfe was comforting ... and since you are already so near the forest, trying to find her would not be much trouble. You thank the old man, and set out for the forest of Caline.

... ... ...

You reach the forest glade just in time to see the moon climb over the tops of the trees, illuminating the entire glade with an ethereal, unearthly light. Despite being completely alone in the forest, you curiously feel no fear. Instead, a warmth and the first rays of real hope suffuse you, hope which you have not felt for a long, long time. The sounds of crickets in the background form an unusual but sweet symphony of sound, and you sit down against a stone to wait for this Grayewolfe to appear.


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