Howl, Sing, Rock, Sand Part Two


Chapter 1: The Blues of Red.


Lupix had the blues, she and her band had just finished putting on a performance, it hadn’t gone well. The fierce flunkies of the Firelord had kinda put a dampener on people’s enjoyment of some smooth tunes. Lupix was of course a wolf, though, an elconic wolf, so she walked on her hind legs most of the time and had reddish brown fur and bright red hair… not that all elconic wolves looked that way. She had a chequered black and white cloth holding her hair back and wore a nice green dress, or at least it would have been nice if she hadn’t have spoilt it by wearing one too many multicoloured belts with big ugly metal studs on them. In the case of these belts, one might have been too many.


Her merry band was loitering nearby, making sure that none of the instruments had broken. Apart from herself, Lupix had, some time ago managed to scrounge up four other members. Three were conepeople, mere cones the size of a fist with eyes a mouth, two little feet and able to move things with their minds when not scared. Considering their size, that wasn’t often.


However, these conepeople were musicians over coming many fears! The first of them, a thin teal cone by the odd, clearly fake and perhaps lame name of Am ‘P’ had after much gruelling training managed to not drop his xylophone in terror then trying to use it.


The second, a purple cone by the name of Mik, had overcome the fear of the great sounds that the elconic cap trumpet made, and now wore her trumpet on her head, as do all the cap trumpeters. She had of course overcome how quiet conepeople are too.


The third, a green cone called Specker had mastered his kind’s traditional instrument, he hovered in a ball of sticks and skins, it was the Conish bandball. The ball was also hovering. Not only had Specker needed to overcome a fear of loud noises, he had to increase the strength of his telekinetic powers.


After surmounting these fears, learning the actual instruments was nothing. Sadly in overcoming their fears, these three conepeople had become recklessly brave. Or at least recklessly brave concerning sounds, they’d still faint at the sight of a big gribbly beast.


Speaking of gribbly beasts, the final member of this little band, could cause the size of the band to go up into big. You see, the final member was a rebcubre.


He was also Lupix’s bodyguard/mentor/manservant. Unsurprising that he was a rebcubre, as in elcon they were highly prized as great bodyguards and incidentally good cooks. A rebcubre normally appears quite unassuming a small red vaguely ape-like creature with three blunted claws on its hands and two blunted claws on its handfeet. Instead of a head it had a round beak and a single large green eye set into its torso.


This was the rebcubre at rest, calm as a river and very friendly. In elcon it was considered a very bad idea to bother, annoy or otherwise displease a rebcubre. If roused, first one would hear a cracking noise coming from a Rebcubre, then a grand and terrifying roar, one that most definitely would scare more than conepeople.


The Rebcubre’s body would warp and change, blunted claws would become as crimson blades, gnarled and meanacing horns would grow from its shoulders. Its beak would grow fangs, its eye would blaze with green fire and finally to top off the transformation, it would more than double in size.


In this state, a rebcubre was a formidable being, able to shrug off many wounds and capable of great agility and strength. Even among those that could actually fight a rebcubre and win, few would willingly do so.


Having long given up on getting the princess to settle, this rebcubre by the name of Koul had taken up the Rockshake Drums. He wore them now like a set of armour, a pair of black rock cymbals hanging over his arms. At his waist, two big hollow rock drums made of orange hard rock, for black rock could not hold up to the fury of his drumming. On his back, sideways was a tube drum also made of orange hard-rock. Tied to his front, a cymbals of black rock. These were the Rockshake drums, not only instruments, but also protection, not that a rebcubre needed protection.


In his hands he held the shakeclubs. Rock clubs with pebbles inside. Koul was the beating heart of the band, it could be said that he was the rock on which it was built. It could also be said, that Koul was the true test of the three conepeople’s bravery.


It should be noticed, that in this band, there was no singer, this was because the cone people were too quiet, Lupix could not sing because she’d produce flame, which would have all the snuffers in the forest down on them in no time.


Koul was actually quite a good singer, however, his death growl caused the conepeople to faint, no matter how brave they tried to be, and Lupix herself would get so unsettled that she would miss notes.


Yes, Lupix could not sing, so she had taken up an instrument too. The Thunderlute. It was like a normal lute in manyways, though with an electric crackle to it, and if you knew what you were doing you could produce thunder-like peals of noise by slapping the body of it just right.


It was a metal lute, forged not in fire, but lightning, high in clouds. The strings were in fact noise wound into strings, all the best instruments used strings made of the notes they were supposed to make. It was a heirloom, made and invented by one of the Wolf Royals, the mad inventor king, Franks I.


However, although Lupix had this wondrous band, she was discontent. She let out a heavy sigh.

“Whatever is the matter Princess?” Koul inquired, though he knew just what afflicted her, but being a rebcubre he clearly didn’t believe in bottling emotions up.

“I’m just tired, You know my dream is to do what my grandmother did, to sing opera, but at this stage, I’d settle just for being able to sing, it is like all my flame is gathered up inside me and burning me to nothing, I mean the stuff we are playing, it is cool and awesome but it isn’t…”

“Quiet?” Specker chipped in.

“Peaceful?” Mik added.

“Conducive to a good night’s sleep and general ease of mind?” Am ‘P’ questioned.

Specker and Mik gave him a look. If Am ‘P’ had shoulders he would have shrugged.


“No, well yes I mean those things are true, but what I mean is that it isn’t opera”

The three conepeople looked at Lupix askance, Mik spoke gently, not that she had much choice there.

“Well of course it isn’t. It isn’t anything like opera, we don’t even have an operahouse to perform in.

I mean what we do is about as far way from opera as… ugk”

Mik cut short as she caught sight of Koul giving her the stink eye. He didn’t speak, but to Mik it was if he had spoke very clearly. “Not helping, stop now before I do something that all of us still alive will regret”. Mik may have been attributing a bit more malice to Koul than was just, then again perhaps only a bit.


“Princess, I know it is hard, but you must keep going, the Firelord could not possibly be around forever, then you can rebuild the glory of Wolfhiem!”

Lupix grimaced.

“I’m not interested in rebuilding Wolfhiem, I just want to sing again”

“You will, you just need to be patient Princess” Koul wished that that Lupix’s late grandmother hadn’t spoiled her so much.


Lupix stared at her thunderlute forlornly. Koul regretted his thoughts, with Lupix’s wilfulness it was easy to forget that she was little more than a pup.

“I know, but I just wish something would change, that it’d happen now and I’d be able to sing again.


Just then as if in answer to Lupix’s careless words, there was a shout of trumpets, and a ghostly chorus of howling like song started, then a rumbling of drums tumbled after these. The three conepeople didn’t recognise it, but Lupix and Koul knew exactly what it was, it was the Royal Anthem of the Wolves.


The King of the wolves had come!


First had been sound, but now they saw the King and his procession.

The bearers of the bladed trumpets came first, The Royal Trumpeteers. They wore neat uniforms of orange and white, with shining brass buttons. They were for the most part wolves, though a few other denizens were among them too. The blades on their trumpets had only come about after the fall of Wolfhiem. The Trumpeteers encircled Lupix and her band.


Following them in heavy robes coloured like flame was the Royal Chorus, their soft howl came out of their hooded heads and suffused the forest. Each of the Chorus were strong sound mages, but only after the fall of Wolfhiem did they turn their arts to learning how sound could be used as a weapon. All of the chorus were wolves. They too encircled Lupix and her band.


Finally came the King himself, reclining on the royal beanbag which was inside the Royal bean-bowl. This bowl was being carried by four really mean looking rebcubres. It was flanked by the Drum Guard. These Drummers had once used simple sticks for their drumsticks but now they wielded heavy maces of metal. The Drumguard hammered(maced?) on their drums as they encircled Lupix and her band.


The King was close to them, he raised a hand, and the Royal Wolf Anthem stopped.

The King was an old wolf white and grey and sporting a long beard. He of course wore the royal accoutrements, a sparkling white jumpsuit with a big furry collar, and sleeves that flared out into ribbons. Hanging from his neck on a big chain was the royal seal, a gold medallion with a picture of a wolf howling flame on it. On his head amid his wispy curls of thin white hair was the crown of the Fire Howlers.


It was a crown, but it was also a musical instrument, a set of crystal pipes in the shape of a crown. The colour of the crown shifted like flame.


He lazily opened his eyes and stared at Lupix with his weary old golden eyes.

“My Daughter, my strawberry, you must either sing, or give up your band and take up your Royal duties, this charm, this geas do I bind you with”


Lupix simply stared at her father in shock.

Author: SnowyMystic