Elfquest by the Pinis has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. I recently started watching the Youtuber Dina Norlund and she briefly mentions the series. It had been years since I read the comics last, so I found them again and have been rereading the whole series, learning new things about Adobe the World of Two Moons, and my love for the series has been renewed. I highly recommend it. I just hope that I can do the series justice with this little fanfic, so please enjoy :). ~ladyinquisitor93
An elf maiden called Willowsong trotted through the forest she had called home for many years now. She sat astride the back of her wolf-friend, Stonejumper, as they made their way back home. As they journeyed back home, Willowsong thought back on the day that her and Stonejumper's lives were changed forever.
They had been hunting all day when they both caught a familiar scent on the wind and immediately knew something was wrong. Humans had returned to the forest. Quickly returning to their makeshift camp, having been living a nomadic lifestyle for quite some time, Willowsong and Stonejumper hurried to put as much distance between them and the humans as they could. They travelled as far as they could while the night was still young, only stopping when they knew it was a time when humans wouldn't dare venture out during the night. Being a gifted plant-shaper, Willowsong was able to shape the branches of thick bushes to create a den for her and her wolf-friend. Sealing them safely within, Willowsong had settled in for the night with Stonejumper and the two were quickly fast asleep.
When morning came, Willowsong awoke to Stonejumper growling. She had readied her bow, arrow pointed towards where Stonejumper was snarling at, but what came next she could not have been prepared for- the plants she had shaped to form a shelter for them began to part and familiarly shaped figures appeared on the other side.
"Look, Cutter, it's another rider! I don't recognize her or her wolf-friend, though."
Willowsong lowered her bow, tears in her eyes as she took in the image of the elves standing outside of her shelter.
The one called Cutter stepped forward, looking at her curiously as she reached forward to touch his cheek. When he met her gaze, he saw that one of her eyes was blue while the other was purple- each brimming with tears.
"I am not the last..." Willowsong whispered, her voice choking a bit. When she realized what she was doing, she immediately withdrew her hand and made to step back. "I-I'm sorry..."
Cutter looked at the wolf as he stood protectively around her, pressing into her comfortingly. "I am Cutter, chief of the Wolf-Riders." When his wolf stepped forward, he introduced him as Nightrunner, then looked back at Willowsong as she introduced herself.
"I-I am Willowsong. And this is Stonejumper."
Stonejumper huffed at the newcomers, then nudged Willowsong's arm with his snout.
Cutter watched as Willowsong and Stonejumper sent to each other and he couldn't help but smile, being reminded of how he and his kinsmen interacted with their own wolves.
"Your kinsmen is a plant shaper?"
Cutter nodded, looking to the red headed elf lad behind him. "This is Redlance."
Willowsong looked to Redlance and bowed her head. "I have only known one other shaper before. Fern taught me everything I know."
Redlance offered her a smile. "I can't say that I've ever met another shaper before. One of our past chiefs was a shaper, but she lived and died before my time." He looked at the structure of the shelter, touching the shaped branches and bushes lightly. "You are incredibly gifted, Willowsong. Perhaps you could teach me a few new tricks."
"Perhaps, but you're rather gifted as well." She touched the leaves and flowers along the interior of the shelter. "Did you know that you can feel one's power through the things they shape or heal?"
Cutter watched them for a moment as they exchanged words, then asked, "Willowsong, where is your tribe? Or are you alone?"
Willowsong's face fell. "I am the last of my tribe. Trolls and humans slayed them all many years ago." She looked at Cutter. "We did not know there were other elf tribes in the world, so when I alone survived I thought I was the last of our kind." Her eyes teared up again. "You cannot imagine the joy and relief it brings me to know that I am not the last..."
Cutter offered her a smile, reaching up to wipe away her tears. "You are not alone." He pressed his forehead to hers. "Come, join our tribe. Be our sister."
Willowsong closed her eyes. "You do not know me..."
Cutter chuckled. "You are kin, Willowsong, and kin sticks together." He looked at her. "So will you come with us? Will you become a Wolf-Rider?"
Willowsong looked from Cutter to Stonejumper, then back to Cutter and nodded. "I will."
Willowsong smiled fondly at the memory, then thought back on the tribe that she had lost so long ago.
They were a peaceful tribe, led first by an elf named Mosshunter, who had settled in the forests to the east. Their tree shaper built them a home within a giant willow tree to call their own and lived in seclusion within their small holt, never bothing humans and only ever trading with the trolls when they needed to. They were cautious, careful, but they were far too trusting that they would simply be left alone and it led to their downfall. The trolls, under cover of night, raided their holt and drove the elves into the forests where they stumbled across the humans they had avoided desperately for many moons. With the trolls at their backs, the elves tried to plead with the humans for sanctuary, but the humans- fearful and distrusting as they were- lashed out at the elves and killed all of them. Save Willowsong.
Somehow, Willowsong was able to escape into the woods, hiding from her pursuers. As a gifted plant shaper- having learned much from her tribe's shaper, Fern- Willowsong was able to create a hollow space with a large tree and close it before trolls or humans could find her. She could still hear the screaming of her people as they were slaughtered, humans speaking in their strange tongue, the trolls laughing as they plundered the holt. She could smell blood and smoke filling the air. And for what seemed like days, Willowsong stayed hidden in her tree- silently grieving her dead kin as she waited for things to calm down. When an eerie silence befell the forest, Willowsong knew she had to move on and left her hiding place. She ran and ran, never looking back, and she continued to run until her legs failed her. When she had come to a stop, collapsing onto her knees, she looked around and saw that she had no idea where she was. She did not know these lands, nor if she were safe, so she forced herself to her feet and pressed a bit further on until she reached a glenn. Shaping the plants around her, she curled up and slept- unable to resist her exhaustion any longer.
Some years later while gathering berries and herbs, Willowsong happened upon a she-wolf who had been killed by what looked like human weapons. She said a silent prayer to the ancestors for the she-wolf and made to turn away, but a small whimpering cry stopped her. She looked back at the she-wolf, seeing a tiny wolf pup curled up next to her.
"You poor thing..." Willowsong said, kneeling down and offering her hand to the pup. "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you."
The wolf pup cowered for a moment, but when she offered her hand, he crept forward slightly to sniff it. Sensing no further danger, he licked her finger.
"There, now, it's going to be alright. I'm Willowsong and I'm going to take care of you."
The wolf pup seemed to understand and let Willowsong pick him up, cradling him in her arms.
Willowsong gave the she-wolf the best burial she could before taking her new companion with her as she continued on her way. From that day forward, she raised the pup from just a few moons old to a strong young wolf and gifted him the name Stonejumper. And now, Stonejumper was grown- just a few years older than when they had first arrived at the Father Tree Holt- and already a full fledged member of the Wolf-Rider tribe's pack.
Though Stonejumper took quickly to the pack life, Willowsong was so used to living on her own that she preferred to have a small hut near enough to the home tree without getting overwhelmed by being in such close proximity to her tribesmen. She did join in on hunts and celebrations, but for the most part she kept to herself. Over the moons since becoming a Wolf-Rider herself, Willowsong had been trying to be better about spending more time with her kin, but it was difficult and they were understanding of her situation. Willowsong grew to love the Wolf-Riders like she had her own tribe and was grateful that they were so accepting. That is, all of them save one.