Twelve Wolves (Short Story)
|Collected in||Legends of the Space Marines|
Sons of Russ
There Is Only War
Sagas of the Space Wolves: The Omnibus
Enemy forces are on Fenris. The homeworld of the Space Wolves swarms with traitors and heretics sworn to the service of the Apostate Cardinal Bucharis. As the enemy lay siege to the Fang, two Space Wolves - a venerable Long Fang and his impetuous Blood Claw charge - work to disrupt the enemy lines, following the principles of the Twelve Wolves.
A serf of the Space Wolves tells a tale in a banquet hall of The Fang of two Space Wolves, Daegalan and Hrothgar who are out on the slopes of Fenris whilst the forces of Cardinal Bucharis besiege the Fang.
The two warriors, one a young Blood Claw and the other a grizzled Long Fang, commit hit-and-run attacks against troops moving guns and equipment to the front, eventually having a taskforce sent after them. All the while Daegalan is teaching the young Hrothgar how the Twelve Wolves of Fenris are always beside them in battle, whether at home, on foreign soil or in the stars. Each of the twelve Great Companies takes its symbol and battle style from one of those twelve wolves, each of whom has a different lesson to impart.
But when Hrothgar and Daegalan are cornered by the Cardinal's taskforce, they change roles, and Hrothgar says he has something to teach the older warrior: there is a Thirteenth Wolf, who stalks alongside the other Twelve, though none of them like to speak of it...
The skald finishes the story by relating that when reinforcements from the Fang finally arrived, they found Hrothgar, having succumbed to the Curse of the Wulfen, slaughtered both the Cardinal's troops and Daegalan, and was taken back to the Fang and banished to the dungeons in the bowels of the fortress. The skald ends with a warning to the young warriors listening to his story to remember that the Thirteen Wolves of Fenris walk with them always.