When Foxes Prepare for War

When Foxes Prepare for War

A Chapter by Arctic Fox

Aidan's life takes an unsuspected turn


            “That is an immense favor you’re asking from me, Aidan Conchur.  How can you be sure this wolf speaks the truth,” Alpha Connor asked.  It was one of those nights when the Alpha had come to call on Ronan for a pint or six.  He wore simple brown pants with an unadorned green shirt with matching cloak.  All three sat in the den; the older men with glasses of mead and Aidan with a glass of peppermint tea.

            “I can’t sir, to be honest with you.  I have no proof other than her word.  I want to believe she’s telling the truth.  I couldn’t smell a lie on her.  I know it isn’t much to go on, but I want to try none-the-less,” Aidan said.  He took a sip of his tea while breathing in the aroma.

            “Wolves are pretty straight forward and not prone to lying.  We haven’t fought them in forty-some seasons.  Yet you want me to let you go to their clan holding because of your fox hormones are hard on for a wolf,” Alpha Connor asked.

            Aidan looked at him with a straight face, “Yes.”

            “Well Ronan, what do you think,” Alpha leaned back and took a swig from his glass.

            “The boy thinking with his head for sure, and not the one situated on his shoulders, but we were young once.  I remember the things you did when you met the Beta,” Ronan said.

            “Yes, well, we don’t need to bring them up either Ronan,” the Alpha said looking embarrassed.

            “If you want my suggestion, which I assume you do, let him be with you as one of your guard when the Wolf clan come to meet with you.  The boy is a master in the forges and he needs to get out.  Experience something other than the forge fires he loves.  It would be good for him.  He won’t hinder your regular guard, I taught him everything I know,” Ronan.  He poured him and the Alpha another pint and settled back into his chair.

            “I think that is wise counsel my friend.  If he truly is as good as his father with a weapon in his hand as you wore, then I would want him by my side always.  The offer still stands Ronan and it always will,” Alpha Connor said.

            “Thank you my friend, but the court is no place for a blacksmith.  I would not know what to do with myself.  Maybe Aidan, but not me,” Ronan said with a smile.

            “Well Aidan, want do you say on this matter,” asked the Alpha.

            “I love the forge.  I will be a blacksmith at heart for the rest of my life, but if this gives me the chance to see if Stormy was telling the truth then, it is worth it for me to accept,” Aidan replied.

            “Welcome to the Vulpine Guard Aidan,” The alpha said slapping Aidan on the back.

            Aidan held up his arms while one of the servants strapped him into his armor.  The armor itself made Aidan laugh.  He had made this very himself.  He remembered the almost undetectable dent he accidently put in the steel on the left shoulder plate.  Figures the goddess would give him this set of armor.  His shield was solid steel with the Vulpes Crest on it.  Two foxes stood opposite each other facing a foxwood flower between them.

            “You look good.  You look like your father,” Alpha Connor said walking in.  The servant continued working with the armor.  Aidan smiled and then remembering his new position hastily gave the proper fist to chest salute.  The Alpha nodded a slight smile on his lips.

            “A fox can change his fur, but not his habits.  You will adjust soon enough.  I wanted to his you this helmet.  They issued the wrong one,” Alpha Connor said.  The helmet next to Aidan’s shield was a standard soldier’s helmet, but the one in the Alpha’s hands had a single red plume on top.

            “Sir that’s an officer’s helmet.  I’m not a soldier, nor an officer.  I don’t know the first thing of leading men into battle.  I’ve never been myself,” Aidan interjected.

            “All of my lieutenants have not seen war and some of my captains haven’t either.  Every son of nobility knows the sword, but not the station.  They learn as they go by studying under a captain,” The alpha said.

            “But I’m the son of a blacksmith,” Aidan told him.

            “For years your family has selflessly served the Fox Clan, and I promised your father when we were boy not to do it to him, but I did not promise anything about you.  Lord Lieutenant Aidan Conchur.  Has a nice ring to it,” the Alpha said, “I don’t expect much to change for you.  I won’t pull you away from the forge.  As long as you answer my summons and do you duty as a noble officer, you will be fine and you will learn those duties in time.  Besides it gives me a reason to open drink with Ronan”

            “This is not what I was expecting,” Aidan said.

            “We are foxes young Aidan.  We manipulate our own mothers if need be, but I do this to honor your family, not to hurt it,” the Alpha replied.

            “I assume it would be proper of me then to tell you thank you,” Aidan said picking up his shield and accepting his helmet from the Alpha.  The servant stepped away satisfied with his work. 

            “Let’s go Aidan.  Dig deep and find your inner officer.”  The Alpha threw open the doors to the Grand Hall.  Aidan followed close behind him with his hand on his sword.  The sword was one of the ones he had made himself.

            No warning or advice.  Just “Dig deep.” Nothing like throwing me to the wolves.  Aidan chuckled inwardly at his pun.  Seven soldiers saluted the Alpha.

            “Would you care to inspect you troops Lord Lieutenant Conchur,” Alpha Connor asked.  Aidan was sure the man was laughing on the inside at Aidan.

            “Indeed I would my Alpha,” Aidan said.  Alpha Connor looked slightly surprise, but only slightly.  Aidan was just as much a fox as any other clan member regardless of the color of his coat.  He had read every military manual he could get his hands on so he would be able to interact with officers.  He just had not expected to one of them himself.

            Aidan stepped forward to the first soldier.  The soldier saluted and Aidan returned the salute.  He looked the boy over.  He could not have been older than Aidan.  He wore the standard uniform of soldier fresh into the guard.

            “What’s your name,” Aidan asked. 

            “Sean Teige, my lord,” the boy replied.  Aidan nodded and moved on to the next soldier.

            The soldier in front of him next was about the same age as Sean.  His name was Rory Loman.  Rory had a scar across his right cheek.  The next soldier was Lorcan Mohan, who boasted an impressive set of tattoos.  He was older than the other two, but not by much.  He had a gruff way of talking.  Keegan Finnbar tried to look tough, but failed.  Aidan could see he was the joker of the group.  Eamon Sheelin had a few cycles on Aidan as well as few inches.  

            Sergeant Ardal Sorley and Corporal Carbry Fion both looked like they had seen more than their fair share of death and dying.  Aidan felt intimidated by them both, but knew he couldn’t let it show.

            “How do they look Lord Lieutenant,” a booming voice said from behind.  Aidan had not thought any member of the Fox Clan could be so tall or broad.  The single white plume of his helmet identified him as the captain.

            “They look young, but capable Captain,” Aidan said.  His stomach was turning in knots.  He was out of his element and scrabbling to not make himself look a fool. 

            “Lord Captain Ruarc Gearalt, this is Lord Lieutenant Aidan Conchur,” the Alpha said.

            “Aidan the Black.  I am not surprised to see you here.  When did your father give into the Alpha,” Ruarc asked Aidan.

            “He didn’t, I did.”

            “None-the-less, stick close and I’ll teach you everything you need to know to excel,”  Ruarc gave a hearty smile to Aidan, “You men.  I want four of you posted at the each of the entrances, which means one per door for you new soldiers. Sergeant Sorley, take two with you up to the balcony to provide an overwatch.  And sergeant, don’t be seen.  Aidan you stick with me next to the Alpha and Beta, when she arrives.  Move to it!  The Wolf Clan envoy is already in the city,” Captain Ruarc bellow.

            “Captain, can I ask you a question,” Aidan said.

            “Of course,” Ruarc replied.

            “Why did you call me Aidan the Black,” Aidan asked him.  Aidan had to crane his neck to look Ruarc in the eyes.

            “Two reasons, the first is that both you grandfather and father served in the guard and both had been blacksmiths.  The second is that your mother Aislin Derval before she was Aislin Conchur was once my niece.  My sister married out of nobility and gave up her titles.  That is why it is so easy for the Alpha to give you a title.  More easily than it would be to give it to your father,” Ruarc said.

            “So that makes you my great-uncle.  Why didn’t I know, and what does that have to do with calling me Aidan the Black,” Aidan asked.

            “My sister’s leaving was a bloody mess and I never actually got to meet my niece, but that does not mean I did not keep tabs on her or her black-furred son,” Ruarc laughed.

            Suddenly Aidan knew it had more to do with his coat and not his profession.  He did not know what to say or do.  Too much was happening too fast.  All he wanted to do was go meet a girl’s parents and somehow that landed him in the Royal Guard as an officer meeting a long lost relative!

            “You look a little pale.  I’m not belittling you Conchur.  The coat is a gift whether you understand it or not,” Ruarc said.  This made Aidan feel a little better, but not much.  The Beta walked in then and took a seat next to her husband.  Ruarc and Aidan moved behind them.  Ruarc stood behind the Alpha and Aidan stood behind the Beta.

            A herald walked in proclaiming the Wolf Clan nobilities with title and title after name after name.  When he was both winded and finished he made his way to a corner to not be seen.  The doors opened, and Aidan almost fainted.  It felt like he had taken a punch to the gut from one of Ruarc’s giant fists.

            The Wolf Clan Alpha and Beta were a sight to behold with their regal dress and the Alpha’s immense size; the man seemed all muscle.  The Beta was a slender, stunning beauty with hair down to the small of her back.  These things alone did not phase Aidan, but the girl, obviously the princess did.  His eyes, met hers and he knew there would be hell to pay.

            “Alpha Falehn!  It is good to see you in good health,” Alpha Connor said.

            “Likewise Alpha Connor.  Please forgive me for skipping the formalities and the endless pleasantries, but we have pressing and distressing matters to tend to,” the Wolf Alpha said with a grim tone.

            “Do tell,” Alpha Connor replied.

            “Men have come from across the seas.  They do not seem to change, they are men, just men.  They have no other form.  They have a foothold on the coast in the Coyote Clan holdings and they are marching.  Their armies are heavily armed and kill without bias.  They have sacked several village and they don’t care about sex or age.  The Coyotes have fallen back to their capital and they sent runners to my hold.  I gave them our support and would intercede for them with the other clans.  I come personally to your Clan.  Our people have never been able to gain any ground against one another and I know that every fox who fights will be as good an any wolf on the field of war.  I would ask that you keep your debate down to a few days, because and answer is vital.  I have runners on the way to The Husky, Terrier, Hound, Jackal, and Shepard Clans,” The wolf Alphas speech end abruptly as Alpha Connor stood.

            “Ruarc tell the Captain Commander, we march for war.  Aidan you stay here with me.  My forces won’t be ready for a week or two at least.  Come dine with us.  I would hope you would spend at least one night with us,” Alpha Connor said.

            “Yes I think that would be appropriate,” Alpha Falehn replied. 

            “I’ll have a servant show you to your quarters.  Aidan please accompany them.  Someone will be sent to inform you with the meal is ready.  Now if you will excuse me I must speak with my captains,” Alpha Connor said.  The two Alpha shook hands.  Alpha Connor turned and briskly walked out of the hall.

            The walk to the guest wing went by in silence.  Aidan could feel Stormy’s ice cold glare on the back of his head.  Each noble was seen to, then the Alpha and Beta, and finally their daughter.

            “Leave us,” Stormy said.  The servant looked at wolf and fox in return before bowing and retreating out the door.

            “You lied to me,” she yelled.

            “I did not.  I’m a bloody blacksmith.  I’m no soldier.  This is a recent development.  The Alpha is good friends with my dad and he would not let me see you without me being in this capacity, which he has been trying to do to my father for years.  Besides you lied to me.  The Daughter of the Wolf Clan Alpha and Beta.  How was I supposed to see you and meet with your parents when your clan is mobilizing for war,” Aidan shot back.

            “We won’t be able to march for a few more days still and they promised to make time for you.  They don’t know you’re a fox though.  Aidan I’m sorry.  I did not think this through all the way,” Stormy apologized.

            “Did they at least know I wasn’t nobility,” Aidan asked.

            “No.  But now you are!  So it isn’t as bad,” Stormy said with a smile.

            “Oh wolf.  This is not going to end well.  Let’s go then,” Aidan said resigned.

            “Go where?”  Stormy looked up inquisitively

            “To meet your parents,” Aidan replied with a foxy grin.

            The two made their way out of Stormy’s rooms and down the corridor to her parents.  Stormy knocked softly on the door and announced her presence to her parents.  A serving girl opened the door, bowing to Stormy.  Aidan could see the rich décor of the Fox Clan haphazardly mixed with pieces he assumed were of Wolf Clan.  The room was painted a rich red with ivory, silver, and gold decorations.  Bits of emerald and quartz were inlaid on some pieces that were foreign to Aidan.  The Fox Clan, always dressed richly with floral designs.  They loved warm colors and all things soft and rounded.  The Wolf Clan prefered earth tones and harsh jagged designs.  The bear rugs and the blue bed spreads were more for the wolves’ comfort.  The display was rich in color and somehow it all seemed to meld well.

            Aidan could hear the wolf beta talking, “I kind of like these colors.  They invoke a sort of warmth about the room and they go well with greens and blues.  Though the rugs are out of place, it was kind of them to observe our culture.  Do you think we could forge some kind of lasting peace?”

            Aidan did not hear the answer to the beta’s question as their presence was finally acknowledged.  The Beta had changed into a forest green dress with slashes of red across the bodice.  The Alpha had changed entirely.  He had to have been the largest wolf among his people with his head almost level with Aidan’s chest.  The Alpha eyed him then padded his way behind a curtain to dress proper.

            “Come with a message have you,” the Beta said to Aidan.

            “No ma’am,” Aidan replied.  He did not know what to say.  The Beta eyed him suspiciously.

            “Then what business do you have here and with my daughter at that,” she asked him.  The Alpha came around the curtain at that moment.  He wore a green tunic with matching pants.  His buttons were red as were his cape and cuffs.  His boots were polished until they reflected the light.

            “Yes fox, what business do you have,” the Alpha asked.

            “Father.  Mother.  This is Aidan, the one I told you about,” Stormy said clutching Aidan’s arm.

            “Your with child aren’t you.  Dear god,” the Beta exclaimed.

            “I most certainly am not,” Stormy shot back.  The Alpha took a more practical approach. He looked Aidan over from head to toe and from front to back.  Aidan stared stubbornly back into the Alpha’s eyes.  A bold move from Aidan and a gamble as well.

            “He seems like a capable enough soldier.  It is not like we need our daughter to carry on the lines.  We have a son for that.  You have my blessings for now.  I will make a more final decision later.  I am familiar enough with your culture to know you’re a noble officer, but what else can you offer my daughter,” the Alpha asked.

            “I can only offer her what my station brings with it, and my love,” Aidan replied.  Both the Alpha and Beta laughed as if a joke were made, then quickly sobered.

            “Your young and luckily for you Stormy is our youngest.  Should this prove not to be a phase, then other more serious questions such as offspring will be in question, but for now, as I have said, you may see my daughter.  That does not mean you are courting with intent to marry.  Am I understood fox,” the wolf Alpha asked.  Aidan nodded.  He made his leave after the Beta expressed wishes to speak privately with her husband and daughter.

                        It was not long before he figured his way to the maps room.  Alpha Connor stood with the Captain Commander, Damian Killian.  Aidan knew him from various parades and war tales.  The men turned to Aidan how saluted them.

            “The wolves have been seen to, my Alpha,” said Aidan.

            “Good.  Listen Aidan.  This did not go according to plan the way we thought it would and I know I said I would give you an answer, but what I am going to ask of you is sort of like my answer.  You will accompany Lord Captain Ruarc and the wolves to the front lines.  It will take longer than expected to see to the needs of the army here.  Captain Flannigan will assume command of the guard.  I give you till the morning to see to your father.  This is an order,” Alpha Connor said to Aidan.

            Aidan could feel the weight of the order settle over him like chains on a prisoner.  He would not be able to fight it if he tried.  Aidan saluted and left the room.  This was nothing like he had wanted.  He just wanted to live a normal life as a blacksmith among his people.  He had met a girl and in the attempt to meet her and her family he was now a nobleman, and officer, and going to war.

            I’m in way over my head.  I didn’t want this.  I don’t know how to led men to battle.  They are going to die and it’s my fault.  I’m going to die.  This is messed up.

            Aidan trudged his way to his house with his shield on his back and his helmet under his arm.  Outside of his house he could see a figure with bright red hair in braids holding a box.  As he drew closer to Riley her face became more and more confused.

            “I don’t understand,” Riley said.

            “I’ve been named a noble for deeds done by my grandfather and now I am to march to war alongside the Wolves to face an enemy I know nothing about.  Alpha’s order,” Aidan said in a hollow tone.

            “War.  But you’re a blacksmith.  How can the alpha expect you to go to war,” Riley’s eyes began to tear up.  She dropped the parcel she held from numb hands.  Aidan caught her as she sank to her knees.  He held her for a while before taking her inside.  He laid her on his bed and examined the parcel.  It was addressed to him.

            Aidan opened it.  An embroidered cloth with his name sat at the bottom.  Aidan could tell Riley had made it.  He tucked it away in his belt pouch and went to his father in the forge.

            “Aye your lookin fit lad,” His word trailed off into silence as his eyes found the helmet, “Temporary I hope.”

            Aidan shook his head, “neither is the title or the command to go to war alongside the wolves.  Alpha’s orders.”

            “Tis in our nature to go behind our friend’s back and bloody send everything they love to hell!  He knew better.  He isn’t doing this out of respect!  He wants revenge,” Ronan roared. 

            “Revenge,” Aidan asked, “Revenge for what?  You two our close friends, right?”

            “Yes, but it was not always like this.  He has always harbored resentment towards me.  I had thought he had given that up long ago.  I suppose I was wrong, lad.  Never in his life has he ever bested me in a contest. Now he sends my son to his death.  To Hell with that,” Ronan bought down his hammer hard enough to shatter the metal he was working on into molten shards.  Aidan worked quickly to stamp out the multiple little fires that sprang forth.

            “What can I do father,” Aidan asked.

            “You lock the forge up tight.  Connor owes me a favor,” Ronan replied.

            “What do you plan to do,” Aidan asked.

            “I plan on marching to war beside my son.


© 2011 Arctic Fox

Author's Note

Arctic Fox
Though certain themes may parallel with my life, know that this is a work of fiction and that I only pull from parts of my life. Future chapter will have Aidan with another woman other than Stormy and as I was writting this last part, it was by accident that I made the parallel with my own father and me and going to war. A side note to my Beta: When you read about Aidan with the other girl know that it is ppurely fictionalized and not a parallel to real life.

My Review

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why Stormy, she didn't do anything, but I understand Alpha Connor. Riley will serve an important part, but you know who he will end up with. I'm a fox in love with a wolf....that inspiration is all I need, you are my muse, my Beta.

Posted 11 Years Ago

This is wonderful! This is pure genius~!!
how you come up with these ideas is beyond me but please continue to do whatever it is that gives inspiration. i cannot wait untill you get your computer back up and running so you are able to work on this masterpeice.

...though i think poor Riley needs a hug. Fox Alpha and stormy definitly need a good punch in the face. rofl.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
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Added on November 23, 2011
Last Updated on December 2, 2011


Arctic Fox
Arctic Fox


I am the youngest of three. I was born in 1991. I love to read, write, and help others. Want to know more, just ask. I will answer any question no matter what it is with a 100% honest answer. more..