GLACIERLAND (BIRTH — 2.5YRS)
Somewhere along the coasts of Alaska is the Glacierland, a frigid and unforgiving frozen plane; and to Gungnir, this harsh land is home. The wolves of the Glacierland live freely with each other, creating a fluid and familial structure within their culture. A chosen pair of elders, their Allfather and Allmother, may be called upon in times of need if the situation demands it.
There are hardly months that could be considered much warmer than the others. Gungnir and his littermates were born in December. His brothers, Vili and Vé, are lightly-colored silver twins, taking much after their mother Bestla. Their sister, Merula, was very dark-colored much like their father Borr, and had their mother's small size. Despite the effort of many, Merula barely survived to Spring before she perished. The boys were old enough to remember her, and Vé asked upon his first birthday to have his title in remembrance of her; the Songbird.
Scarcely are there surnames in the Glacierland—instead, wolves are given titles based on their achievements, something they are known for, or key personality traits. Titles are usually first awarded once a wolf turns one year old, but should something significant happen within a wolf's life to earn them a new title, then a ceremony is held to present it.
Gungnir's yearling-title was Ice-Brother for his willingness to help anyone. When he was about two and a half, he was called by the Allfather to answer for an old debt owed to the Xenosa family in the south. At this time, Gungnir had yet to find Strength in the Glacierland. He was strongly opposed to the idea of an arranged marriage, and so his Allmother suggested a new, parting title: the Strong. This held a lot of meaning in it, but mostly that Gungnir would have to be his own Strength in something he was chosen to do for all of the Glacierland, even if he was not happy with it. It also signified that the Glacierland would forever be his home, his Strength. And if Gungnir never did find true Strength in another, he would always be Gungnir the Strong.
And his descent from the Glacierland began, accompanied by two knights of the Xenosa family. Gungnir did not know then that southern wolves were generally smaller than northern wolves—or that they had very, very different cultures and hierarchies. These knights were also keen to tell Gungnir that they would not be making any stops, but if he was going to make the trip south, he was definitely going to stop and visit his cousins in the Ice Chasms.
REGIEREN (2.5YRS — 3YRS)
Arriving nearly a year and a half after the infamous death of Sjóskrim and Evangeline, Gungnir is welcomed by his cousins, the Kingdom of Regieren—the home of his father. He wants to learn the culture of this side of his family and spends half a year with them, learning about their customs and their relationship with the sea. It surprises Gungnir to learn about what his father grew up believing in, and how different it is from what wolves in the Glacierland believe.
He learns that they believe in fate rather than the old gods he knows, and that all life returns to the ocean—and beyond that, even, to someplace else. Many of the words they used were familiar for him, given what he heard from his father; but it still was only something he was interested in learning about, not adopting. It was the ocean that reclaimed the powerful Sjóskrim, they said, taking back what belonged to it; that it would have happened this way anyway. But it seemed brutal to Gungnir and he disliked the way it happened.
During his stay in Regieren he befriends Tunglið, a kin-brother near his age and a son of Sjóskrim. Gungnir did not know if he could hold such feelings for his brother as Tunglið did for Njála, though he supposed he did not have to imagine it so. His family in the Glacierland did not run on such hierarchy and he was thankful for that now. As he observed the interactions between Tunglið and others, and a mounting situation between Regieren and a nearby pack, Gungnir decided it probably best to move on. He said he farewells and his thank-yous, and left with the Xenosa knights to continue south.
ISELDUR / SAROSH (3.5YRS — 5YRS)
Finally, he arrives to the peninsula; it is here the Xenosa family calls home. It is also hot! Gungnir's thick coat is a curse here, and he does not shed enough to feel comfortable in the southern heat! Upon meeting the princess, the terms he was given before he left had apparently changed; before, he was willing to set aside some differences if she would be willing to compromise on behalf of his culture. However, they had many disagreements, and ultimately it did not work out. It shamed him to deny the will of his family but he could not—would not—merge his family with this one, as he felt they had been lied to.
To his surprise, he finds frá Norðri blood on the peninsula. Vigdís, daughter of Sjóskrim, had staked a claim here with wife Constance under the pack name Iseldur. While Gungnir was not interested in settling into their pack, he stayed with them as a visitor and provided some support for a time while figuring out where he might go next.
During this time, he met a traveling rogue one late afternoon: she was the color of cream and fire with eyes as blue as the summer sky. She was seemingly distraught and hungry, and though Gungnir shared his name with her as a gesture of good-will, she was a locked box of secrets. Unwilling to let her starve, he ventured out to catch her something to eat; still, she would not share her name. He challenged her to climb a nearby mountain and—as he would certainly later find out—she did not take challenges lightly. They climbed the mountain together in silence, and reached the top in time for the sunset. It was a simple and nice moment they shared before sleep took them. When Gungnir woke later in the night, she was gone.
Gungnir saw her several more times after that; he was not sure what it was about the fiery-maned woman that had captured him so, but he refused to let her brood alone. He did not pester her for her name and had not asked it of her again since their first meeting. He simply existed at her side in silence if she was silent, talked about simple things, made sure that she ate; or sometimes, did not see her at all, if that was what she had wished. Finally—"Sarosh."—and that her sister had been Iman; and revenge fueled the blood that ran through her veins. They spent even more time together, the rift between them closing, Gungnir caught in her whirlwind of fire. If she wanted for it, then he fought for it. A Strength grew in him like he had never known before. A Strength that came with another; a bond, an unspoken promise. Sarosh.
He still visited Iseldur, as this was his family. There came a time when Vigdís and Constance wanted to further the frá Norðri line. Gungnir did not know exactly his father's relations within Regieren, so to be safe, he agreed to pass on his bloodline to Iseldur through Constance. These would not be his children, they said; at first, that sounded simple. He brought this idea to Sarosh who was against it, which stirred great conflict within him. He returned to Iseldur and agreed to father the children that Constance would have. It was nothing more than a family duty to him.
Though Sarosh was greatly upset with Gungnir's decision, they did their best to put it behind them; and she did her best to keep him far and away from Iseldur. There were those that had wronged her within Baja Country—the peninsula—and so they went forth to seek amends (by Sarosh's standards, of course). First was the kingdom of maned wolves, dwindling in numbers and loyalty. Gungnir could not stand the stench that seemed native to their bodies, but Sarosh wanted to conquer them anyway. She had little patience for negotiation. The queen of the dwindling kingdom sassed Sarosh right off the bat, and it did not take Sarosh long to tackle the long-legged creature. Gungnir was quick to follow up on what remained of the other, albeit few, small canines with Sarosh joining in, fueled by her vengeance-boiling blood.
It was not the last kingdom they would take. The other, also a group dwindling in numbers and loyalty, was ravaged in much of the same fashion: the duo charging in, Sarosh at the helm, her fire knowing no mercy. Gungnir did not hesitate to rain vengeance with her, wherever she sought it. He fought strongest beside her, for her, as one with her. They were unstoppable.
The frá Norðri pups were born and Gungnir was surprised at how happy he was to see them. Specifically the two that Constance bore, a girl who was silver with striking blue eyes—so like their family!—and a boy with varying shades of gray with toxic green eyes—yikes! Constance!—but he felt soft for them both. It was something he did not expect. As they aged, the girl—Siberian—proved to be a spitfire and demanded her place at the top, while the boy—Lárus—seemed supportive of his sister's ambitions, but lacked the interest in fighting. Gungnir fondly gave Lárus the second-name Sigurðr which was a mix of the names victory and guardian. He hoped it may serve the boy well.
One of Gungnir's friends from his time in Regieren had traveled south and he was delighted to catch up with him: Tunglið frá Norðri. While Gungnir was very curious at first to learn why Tunglið had become a nomad like himself, he was sad to hear about his friend's exile, and all of the unfortunate things that had befallen his brother. Strength finds a wolf in many ways, he would say. He did not blame Tunglið. They spent some quality time together, and there was good enough timing that Tunglið was around for the birth of Gungnir's own children.
Sarosh and Gungnir brought three children into the world: firstborn Iman who is a spitfire girl, quick to start a fight, named for Sarosh's sister; gentle Merula, her midnight-grey and black colors striking, named for Gungnir's sister; and Azar, their only son, but a loyal brother to his sisters. Gungnir spent almost two years raising these children with Sarosh before she disappeared. His children soon left to search for her.
It was also on the Baja Peninsula that he first met Ioannis, a wolf about his age who had also found Strength. They became quick friends while Gungnir remained near Iseldur, but his time on the peninsula was only temporary; perhaps he would travel south to visit sometime. He sorely missed his brothers back home, so it was very easy for him to form a relationship with Ioannis in their absence.
Before he left to travel and search for Sarosh and his family, he gave Ioannis the title Sea-Brother. More for personal use, it solidified for Gungnir that this wolf meant a lot to him, enough to be considered his brother outside of the Glacierland (a place where all wolves are considered his family).
TRAVELING (5YRS — 6.4YRS)
Gungnir spent several years searching for Sarosh and his children. Having reached the end of his journey traveling the lands, searching as far and wide as he could have possibly imagined, Gungnir failed to ever reconnect with his Strength again. If she had wanted to be found, he knew he would have seen her; but if she had found her family, sought revenge—then perhaps she wanted to leave everything behind and start anew. He would never know, but he would have to accept it.
The only pains he carries with him now into the Valley are his title the Strong
, and the children he left behind. Where once his title meant a lot for him to hold a memory of home, now it is a sad reminder of the Strength he had known, and lost. The children he sired for Constance were not truly his, and the more time he had spent with them, the harder it had become for him to accept that. With so much distance between him and Iseldur, it is much easier for him to realize he could have never stayed and continued to live as a stranger to them.
Gungnir enters the Valley a defeated and tired wolf, who would be happy to never travel again a day in his life. He is reunited with Tunglið
and decides to stay with him in the Moonglade Springs.