Marceline’s pup-hood is a distant memory in her mind, rarely dredged to the surface. It was pleasant enough, but her parents and siblings are far-off figures in her mind these days. It was as a young adult that Marceline feels the course of her life was set in motion.
Around her second spring she set off from her natal pack to forge her own life, full-hearted and bright-eyed, she met Samson Aetius. He was to be the great love of her life, a wolf that Marce will never forget and who she holds dearly in her memories. He was a great, strapping example of a wolf, almost pure black and carrying himself with an irresistible confidence. The two young wolves were smitten, and it was in Samson’s pack that Marceline settled her life and began to look towards the bright future she would have with a loving mate at her side.
The pair did not wish to rush things, instead allowing their relationship to grow before they added onto their family, however as Marceline approached four years old, she felt herself ready and excited to raise pups of her own. It felt like nothing would ruin the great joy and excitement of her growing belly.
Half-way through her pregnancy a sickness came to the lands of her pack, and claimed the lives of most of those around her. Her mate was one of the first to sicken, but last to die. Consumed only with saving the wolf that she loved, Marceline did not notice that she lived in a forest of corpses until her beloved mate had finally passed from the world. Whatever spared pregnant Marceline was a mystery to her. Perhaps there was some greater plan for the children in her belly. The children she was now solely responsible for.
She knew she could not care for them all, for she knew she was having more than one. Alone and desperate, she set out to try to find the nearest pack that she could. She did not know anything about the pack she approached when her contractions finally began and she delivered three tiny, dark pups beneath a willow tree. She nursed her pups only through their first night. Overcome with grief and emotion, too hurt to think that this pack might take her in alongside her newborn children, she howled to draw the attention of the pack and hid herself nearby.
Another female was the first to approach, clearly a recent mother herself. Suddenly overwhelmed with fear that she had made a grave mistake, she watched the other wolf curl around her children and call for the rest of the pack. With tears in her eyes, Marceline watched her babies be scooped up with gentle licks and nudges and carried back to a pack that would care for them.
Grieving now for the loss of her pups and her mate, Marceline set off to no place in particular. She had no plans to rebuild her life, she did not think it possible at that time, but eventually distance and the passage of days did dull the pain of her past.
She focused her life for a great period of time on herbs and healing. She felt compelled to find a cure for whatever sickness had befallen her old pack. She learned everything else she could about plants and healing along her journey. It was not until she fell in with a traveling group of wolves that she even thought of pups or a family again.
A male in the group her own age, Cashmere, seemed to take an interest in her. She did not allow herself to fall in love, but the two had a companionable relationship, and when winter came, one that resulted in Marce pregnant again. Perhaps it was her own fretting and worry, but the pups born in the spring did not draw a single breath. She was heartbroken, but when the same fate befell them the next year, Marceline felt herself cursed.
Was this her punishment for leaving her first litter? When she counted back the seasons, the dark little bundles would be more than three years old now. Unable to face the pity from the group and the sight of other, healthy pups, Marceline turned back to the place she had come from years before.
She had a sharp enough memory to find the place she had left her pups, but instead of a thriving pack, she found destruction and ruin there too. By happenstance, Marce found an old member of the pack who told her what had happened in this place. He knew of her children though, and the direction they had fled. It was strange to learn the names and descriptions of her children three years after their births. The old wolf turned to follow them, a single-minded plan that reuniting with them - and of them - might somehow break the curse that had shadowed her for years.