The Wolfriders After Skyfire
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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