Title: "Wolves of Brennenburg" - Chapter 2
Author: Lady Scale
Summary: The Baron of Brennenburg is the owner of several wolf-like dogs.
Just one of the many oddities Daniel finds during his stay at the castle, his curiosity revealing mysteries and intrigues. Savory descriptions, intimidating hounds, peculiar servants, and a plethora of delicious references Amnesia fans are sure to love.
Fandom(s): 'Amnesia - The Dark Descent'
4th August 1839
I woke to the light of the afternoon the next day and for a moment I forgot where I was. The nightmares have withdrawn last night, and I realize how long it's been since I've slept so peacefully. Praying for my good fortune to last, I went to meet Alexander in the parlor.
As we drank our tea, Alexander began to tell me what he knew. It seems like the orb I found casts a long and dark shadow. He urged me to be prepared, for it is not only a powerful item, but a dangerous one. Simply by touching it you invoke the powers within and if you are too weak to control it, it will devour you. The shadow is a sluggish thing lagging behind the wielder, needing days or even weeks to catch up, killing anyone or anything in its path to reclaim the Orb.
I said I didn't care about its powers and that I should throw it away. Alexander advised against this as I would still be a part of the path to the Orb and eventually suffer death. Having the Orb, I would at least have the chance to fight back when the time came. I asked Alexander what he meant when he said he could protect me and he answered that things can be done- but at a price.
On the flip side, my rendezvous will occur in less then an hour after I write this.
Wish me luck.
~~~= (@) =~~~
Daniel went downstairs to greet Alexander in the hall. After he managed to calm himself for what's to come, the baron delivered him the rules he needed to know for now.
"Now, Daniel. The first rule you should remember is: When greeting, do not make eye contact. That means a challenge in hound language. Second, let them smell you. Dogs greet one another by scent." he said in a straightforward manner. "And the third and most important rule
" Alexander turned somber. "Never ever, under any circumstances, should you run. That triggers their hunter instinct." he spoke in a profoundly serious manner. "That should be sufficient for now. And keep in mind that we will start with the more approachable members of the pack."
Then he's been told to stay still, a comforting hand laid on his shoulder, while the baron called out "You can let them in now!"
A door opens at the end of the hall, and Daniel could see several masses of fur behind the maid's dress before Alexander whistled and those entities scampered towards them, yelping and barking. The dogs happily met their master and immediately they went about sniffing the newcomer all over.
Daniel convinced himself again how they could be entirely mistaken for wolves - elegant but intimidating.
He kept his eyes aimed towards the baron's ruffled collar, who was murmuring soft words towards the dogs. Very aware was he of the wet noses wafting warm exhales over his hands and the no-doubt toothed muzzles pressing on his legs. They were circling around him into a shag-coated barricade about as high as his hip. On one round-about he felt the shock of the coarse texture through his fingers his hand flexes instinctively.
He heard maybe two of them fussing about next to him - and a snarl. Alexander let out a firm shush, but - Oh, what he would've given to not have heard that
The baron kept speaking to them. Soothingly, resonant, scratching at napes with wrinkled fingers combing from ears to flanks. Alexander tells him he's fine, that he's doing splendidly. Daniel sees passing glimpses of eyes, and hears the brief growls of some of the hounds arguing with one another which were quickly silenced with a stern hush. Then a tongue grazes over his knuckles he cringes. It sweeps over his digits, accompanied by looming wet hard points - he tries to keep his breathing leveled.
Finally, the circle opens and they slowly back away, now interested in other things.
He lets out the breath he didn't know he was holding.
With the hand still on his shoulder, Alexander leads the Englishman to the lounges. They get seated and Daniel leans back, now able to rest a little easier. With the worst passed by him he took a closer look at the dogs, all five of them, in their company. Goethe, Quixote, Strudel XI, Nina II, and Dante III, the baron told.
Noises of barking and panting filled the room as they scampered around. There were the pointed ears and collars like he'd seen before. Their pelts varied from gray to black and white and brown, but now he could see how the puffed fur around their necks gave them an almost lion-like appearance. He also noted with bewilderment just how large they were, their paws the size of his fist.
And those eyes. Blue, yellow, and beige, rimmed by faces with patterns evocative of war-paint, they stared right back at him, piercing gazes almost judging. Far from what he would have went in the wildflower fields to hunt rabbits with, he felt like he was the one being hunted.
In the back of his mind he vowed that's the absolute last thing he'd want to see in a dark hallway.
The baron at his side stroked the fur of one dog which laid its head on his lap, and the brown-and-gray hound eagerly leaned in, a pleased sigh when the scruff of its neck was scratched.
On all regards the hounds appeared nothing like the dogs from back home. Nothing like the wavy-coated terriers or the foxhounds with friendly faces framed by floppy ears. The closest he could compare them to were greyhounds and even that was far-off, their frames sleek and lean whilst these dogs are powerful and robust.
Daniel never encountered a real wolf before other than hearing the ones in fairy tales, and he reckoned these half-bloods were the closest he was ever going to get to meeting one.
"You may pet them now if you want. Just don't let them hop onto the furniture. That's where the lords are seated." Alexander said towards him.
Taking the offer, he tentatively placed a hand on one of the dogs crowding around him in eager curiosity. A brown-tinted one with a stretch of black fur on its back closed its eyes, relishing the feel of the scratching around its ears. And it wasn't long before another dog, this one dressed in grey with hints of white, shimmied its way in to get a turn its bushy tail wagged even more when Daniel scratched the long broad snout.
Oscillating between paying attention to him and playing with one another, rolling on their sides and backs, pawing at eachother and mock-biting, every now and then one would come back to him to be petted some more before they left again. Right now the one with the dark greynearly black top side and white underbelly and muzzle sat next to him. Feeling somewhat more confident, Daniel's hands kneaded the fur around the nape.
Instantly as his side came the brown-colored wolfdog with the beige eyes, the one with the lighter colored areas which looked nearly orange.
Tongue lolling, it bounced on its paws and hopped its forelegs onto his knees, wet nose right in his face! For a second, Daniel panicked as his nose felt the warm and pungent breath, the weight those paws carried resting on his legs.
A short but powerful sound, suspiciously like a 'nein'. "Quixote, down!" the baron uttered.
Obediently it stepped down and laid to rest next to them. Alexander then turned to the Englishman "You'll have to excuse him. He tends to be the more energetic one in the pack."
A maid comes bringing tea and scones, setting them on the tray table.
The dark grey and white dog remained and settled its head on Daniel's knee, looking up at him with soft blue eyes. It is now he noticed the patch of white hair on its forehead which reminded Daniel of a star.
"I see Nina has already warmed up to you. Usually Strudel is the more affectionate one." The nobleman mused as he stirred the sugar in his tea. In the back of his mind, Daniel felt more at ease that they all had legitimate names. It's somehow not as alienating.
During dinner that evening the hounds all settled close to the table. Some even slept at their feet. And even though the dogs occasionally stared with longing at the table, they didn't attempt to snatch anything. Alexander told him not to throw them scraps, no matter how tempting it was instill awareness of the hierarchy, he said.
Now a bit more relaxed in their presence and seeing them so obedient, Daniel felt a little foolish for his behavior earlier. A random line of thought led him to ask: "With so many expensive breakable belongings around, aren't you worried they might knock them over?"
The baron raised his eyebrows with a knowing smile "That is precisely the reason why I had ordered all potential fire hazards to be glued or bolted down."
~~~= (@) =~~~