The most notorious Wolfrider chief of all split the tribe asunder forever.
A tribe of humans live in the same forest where the Wolfriders make their home. Chief Swift-Spear’s obsession with warring against humans begins when Swift-Spear’s wolf is slain by humans, who are angry that the wolves are stealing from their traps. In revenge, Swift-Spear drives the humans away from the forest after killing the humans’ chief, and he takes the name of Two-Spear because he now carries two spears: his own and the human chief's (BOTC 3). There is much internal conflict within the tribe between Two-Spear and his half-sister Huntress Skyfire, as well as between the high ones and the ‘wilder’ more wolfish elves (BOTC 4).
One bitterly cold winter, Skyfire finds a clever way to scare off a new group of humans who have settled too near the elves for comfort but aren’t yet aware of them: by creating a fake ‘snowbeast’. She prefers to avoid killing humans (BOTC 6).
The divide in the Wolfriders tribe under Two-Spear gets worse over the next 60-odd years. Two-Spear goes off on his own to look for solutions to his tribe’s conflict and discovers an old cave which was shaped by High Ones. He has a vision of the High Ones’ landing on Abode, of the humans’ attack on them, and of the palace. He concludes that humans are incapable of living in peace with elves and therefore the elves must wipe out all humans or be wiped out themselves, and also must look for the palace and claim their true heritage.
One part of the tribe supports Two-Spear’s desire to aggressively seek out and kill all humans in order to allow elves to have dominance on Abode. The other part, including his sister Skyfire, believes this to be an abandonment of “The Way” (the conscious act of living in the ‘now’ of wolf-thought) as well as being dishonorable; they also fear that Two-Spear is not completely sane. For their own reasons, the High Ones in the tribe also disapprove of Two-Spear’s chieftainship.
Unwilling to join or condone Two-Spear's quest to wipe out the human race, Skyfire challenges Two-Spear to the chieftainship. Skyfire loses the challenge and is grievously wounded, but Two-Spear, perhaps feeling his grip on the tribe slipping away, spares her life and exiles himself along with about half the tribe members. He leads his group of elves back to the High Ones’ cave, which becomes their new home. After Two-Spear’s departure, Skyfire becomes the fifth chief of those Wolfriders who stay with her in the Everwood forest and try to live by The Way and avoid humans (TS 1-5).
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The origin of the elf tribe called the Go-Backs
Twenty-four years after leaving the Everwood, Two-Spear’s group of Wolfriders is still living in the High Ones' magical cave, because Two-Spear believes that if they find a way to restore the High Ones' lost magical powers, they can then wipe out all the humans. Two-Spear is a harsh, dictatorial leader. He has an adult daughter, Kahvi, born outside of Recognition, whom he plans to make his successor to the chieftainship and with whom he is also very harsh, to the chagrin of some of the other elves in his tribe. Humiliated by his cruelty and fed up with his mad obsession with restoring the High Ones’ lost magical powers, Kahvi challenges Two-Spear to the chieftainship. Two-Spear deals her what he and the other elves believe to be a fatal wound, and she falls into a deep pool inside the cave. Two-Spear takes the elves far away from the cave. Later, his lifemate and the tribe’s healer, Willowgreen, removes the wolf blood from all of them so that they are immortal.
Generations later, remnants and descendants of Two-Spears’ group of elves discover the cave while seeking winter shelter. The elves discover the pool into which Kahvi had fallen, and they find that the pool is filled with High Ones’ magic which has preserved her and kept her alive, although unconscious, through the years. They remove her from the pool, and she wakes up. None of them know who she is, including herself, except one elf who became their chief after Two-Spear's death. He is old enough to remember her and he tells the others who she is (but doesn’t tell her, except for her name). They come to revere Kahvi (who, unknown to anyone, still has wolf-blood), and when the old chief dies, she takes his place and wears the four braids in her hair which signify the chieftainship. Her tribe eventually becomes the Go-Backs (Kahvi 2-3).
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The sixth chief of the Wolfriders is Freefoot, son of Huntress Skyfire and her lifemate Dreamsinger. The Wolfriders’ holt in the Everwood under Freefoot is called Halfhill. The Wolfriders enjoy a peaceful time during this period (BOTC 5, 7).
Freefoot’s son is Oakroot (mother Starflower). Oakroot changes his name to Tanner after discovering a new method for tanning leathers and becoming an expert tanner. Seventh chief of the Wolfriders, Tanner has one of the longest tribal reigns (some 800 years) and certainly one of the most peaceful, marked by the absence of run-ins with humans (BOTC 17, 18).
The eighth Wolfrider chief is Goodtree, daughter of Tanner and Stormlight; lifemate to both Lionleaper and Acorn; and mother of Mantricker and Speedwell. It is believed that she is the great-grandmother of Redlance through her daughter Speedwell. While on a 'pilgrimage' of sorts to try to awaken her latent plant-shaping ability as well as to find her soul name, she discovers an ancient forest which has strong remnants of High Ones' magic. These remnants heighten magical ability and allow her to unlock both her plant-shaping skill and her soul name. This forest quickly becomes the Wolfriders' new home, which they call the Holt. She shapes an ancient, massive tree in the center of the Holt into an above-ground dwelling for the Wolfriders. It is called the Father Tree, also later referred to as “Goodtree’s Rest” (BOTC 8-9). Humans move into this forest during Goodtree's lifetime.
The ninth Wolfrider chief is Mantricker, son of Goodtree and Lionleaper; younger brother of Speedwell (a female who was killed in early adulthood); father of Bearclaw and possibly others; and lovemate of Brightwater (Moonshade’s mother). Mantricker earns his name for his frequent trickery at the expense of nearby human tribes, yet he also forges a unique partnership with the human scout Demontricker, which helps keep the peace between elves and humans during Demontricker's lifetime (BOTC 12-13). At one point, a wandering human woman encounters Mantricker in the woods and falls in love with him, and Mantricker has to 'trick' her into believing he has died, so she won't keep wandering into the elves' territory (BOTC 14).
Mantricker's son Bearclaw discovers the trolls who live in caverns underneath the forest home of the Wolfriders. This happens when the dreamberry bushes growing in the Holt (the bushes had been brought there by Goodtree) start disappearing. Bearclaw is particularly fond of dreamberries, which bring on relaxation and visions. He decides to wait by one bush for as long as it takes to discover the 'thief'. He waits for many days, until finally a large green arm pops out of the earth and starts picking the berries off of that bush. He grabs the arm and calls for the other Wolfriders. They pull the arm's owner out of the hole: it is Old Maggoty, an ancient troll who is famous among trolls for her brew of dreamberry wine. Originally the High Ones’ servants, the trolls’ ancestors fled the palace crash site and became cave-dwellers. The trolls love to dig and forge metal, and they love treasure. The Wolfriders form a trading agreement with the trolls: metal knives and other tools from the trolls in exchange for fresh meat, produce, furs and leathers from the elves. Bearclaw also develops a liking for Maggoty's dreamberry wine (BOTC 2), and spends much time in the troll caverns drinking and gaming.
Despite the official peace between the two tribes, some of the humans keep up their harassment of the Wolfriders. Some Wolfriders want to move to another forest, and some want to aggressively fight the humans. Not liking either of these ideas, Mantricker decides to try to fool the humans into leaving, and begins a campaign of secret and constant 'sabotage', spooking their game, springing their traps, blocking their water source, stealing their weapons and food. When this doesn't work, he kidnaps a human boy and cuts his face as a warning. The humans who came to rescue the boy angrily throw spears toward the elf and one finds its mark, killing Mantricker (BOTC 15). The boy, later revealed as “Skar,” holds a grudge against elves until his death by suicide following his defeat in a duel with Bearclaw whom he had challenged (BOTC 16).
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