homo homini lupus
a man is a wolf to other men
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Of monsters and men in all forms,
Of Dane, hunter without peer,
Feared by the forests of Ferelden,
Who one autumn morn spied
A hart of pure white in beam of warmest sun,
A prize for huntsman's spear.
Through the greenwood they ran, hart and hunter
Bringing the stag to spear at last in a long-forgotten grove,
Heedless that the chase had waked a hunger in the golden wood,
A werewolf, a creature with mind of man,
Lured by the hunt and come forth to lay claim
To the hart as rightful tribute
Drawn by the scent of cooling blood.
In the silence the two hunters held.
Dane, spear-armed against the wolf with all his brood,
Knew with sinking heart he was lost
Steeled for the winding roads of the Fade
Then the beast spoke, human-like in voice,
"You have taken this stag from my woods, and my pack
But nothing comes without a cost."
The wolf pack circled, ever closer, and he
Who felled boars and bears with his bright blade
Knew fear. They spoke his name in roars
Like gravestones, offering a beast's bargain.
"Die here, huntsman, alone
And forgotten, or take my place amongst the wolves
As I take your place amongst men."
Thus a bargain struck,
And Dane the wolf pack served in wolfen form,
And the werewolf to his family sped, as Dane,
One year and a day all told.
But some things cannot be repent,
Some coinage cannot be unspent,
When hearts are wagered, a fissure rent.
-- From the saga Dane and the Werewolf, as recorded by the minstrel Uccam, 4:85 Black.
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