Across from the fen near Endibraut, almost in the shadow of the Jagged Edge, there rested a relatively small encampment near some steaming hot springs. The tents were few and far-between, most very large to accommodate for their inhabitants. Several fires burned here and there, all of them roasting huge portions of meat. The sounds of music and laughter rang throughout the cliffs... a very unusual sound for the wild and uninhabited region.
But very different from the encampment itself were its inhabitants. The variety of creatures coexisting in that single little settlement would have been alarming to anyone who saw it and didn't know that, once, all of them had shared the common bond of humanity.
Nearly all of them were beastfolk: humanoid bears, rams, ravens, boars, stags, and more. Some still appeared human, but under their guise hid the curse of lycanthropy.
Yet all of them sat together, wrestled together, told each other stories, played instruments, drank, ate, cooked, and shared merriment. The werewolves in human form wrestled some of the other beastfolk just to prove their strength no matter what time of day or night it was, everyone roaring, growling, howling and laughing as they watched the friendly competitions. These berserkers may have lost their humanity, homes, families, and old friends, but truly they had found a new home.
Nick Wolfe led Nulgus, Mirkov, Kathrine, Ærik, Elsa, Ridgeback, Grimhild, Gunnarr, and some of the other berserkers from Endibraut into the encampment. Night was starting to fall by this time, yet no one seemed at all disturbed to be in the company of werewolves.
A huge, black-furred boar-man approached as they neared, clasping wrists with Nick and giving a big, toothy smile through his jutting tusks. He looked over them all with beady red eyes, yet he seemed as friendly as anyone back at Endibraut.
"Nick!" he said. "You've brought some companions, I see."
"Indeed, Dragu," said Wolfe, glancing back at those who followed him. "I've promised to show them our hospitality."
"You have!" the boar-man said with another huge grin. He motioned with a huge, muscular arm toward the encampment. "You're welcome among us, friends!"
"And," added Nick, motioning Gunnarr forward, "we have a newcomer."
Gunnarr hesitantly lumbered forward, still looking somewhat awkward and unused to what he had become. His eyes were lit up at the sight of so many like him, but he still seemed cautious and unsure.
Dragu, the boar-man, faded to a serious expression as he took a step forward on his hoofed hind legs, giving a bow. "I am Dragu, former berserker of the Freylings," he said. "Let me be the second," he shot a look at Nick, who smirked, "to welcome you to the Accursed."
"Gunnarr Adalbjorn," the bear-man answered hesitantly. Dragu suddenly smiled again and grabbed his hand, giving it a huge shake.
"I've heard of you!" he said. "Surely we will sing songs of you tonight!"
That seemed to brighten Gunnarr's mood, and he grinned right back as he was motioned into the camp. Dragu, however, turned back to the others, as did Nick.
"Their appearances - and the curses of some, such as myself - may take some getting used to," said Nick, "but remember: we were all once brothers and sisters of the North. All across the camp, you'll find food, drink, songs, and games. We celebrate when we can, and it's rare we get to celebrate at night. But, during the coming of the new moon, we have all our festivities.
"I'll be at my tent on the northmost end of the camp," said Wolfe. "Come to me if any of you have questions or require anything. I can assure you I'll be safe for the duration of the night," he added with a smile. Giving a nod, he then turned and left.
"And the hot springs are this way," said Dragu, gesturing with a thumb, "if any of you were interested. I was just heading there, myself."