Dart

Hunter, Protector of the Sun Village, leader of the Jackwolf Riders, Shuna’s bodyguard

Dart was just six years old when he and the other Wolfriders were burned out of the Father Tree Holt by superstitious humans. Although his parents live the most strictly according to the Wolfrider’s way of life, Dart grew into young adulthood in the Sun Village and considers himself as much a member of the Sun Folk as he does the Wolfriders.

When the Wolfriders left the village to follow Cutter on his quest to find and unite the children of the High Ones, Dart chose to stay behind to become the Sun Villagers’ hunter, protector and teacher. With help from Woodlock, he taught a select group of villagers to hunt and defend their home. The wolf pack left with the Wolfriders, but the wolf-friends of Dart, Woodlock and Rainsong stayed in the desert and mated with local jackals, creating a desert-adapted hybrid pack known as jackwolves. Eventually, Dart taught his elite group of village protectors to ride the shaggy beasts, and in doing so founded the Jackwolf Riders, who defended the Sun Village for thousands of years from predators, humans and even other elf tribes.

The battle with the Go-Backs over the Little Palace changed something inside Dart. He worked to rebuild the Sun Village, but could not escape the memories of the battle and the death of his lovemate and soul brother, Shushen. He chose the deep sleep of preserver wrapstuff to free himself from the heart-crushing pain of the loss of his beloved and the soul-haunting memory of killing other elves.

Being sealed in wrapstuff did not prevent his Recognition to Serrin, and Dart emerged from his hibernation. Their son, Bowki, brought Dart a measure of happiness again and a chance to forget the past for a while. Serrin and her lifemate Talmah welcomed Dart into their family, and he helped raised Bowki until the dark memories became overwhelming and he went back into wrapstuff.

After thousands of years of sleep, Dart finally made a kind of peace with his past and rejoined the world of the living. He led a quest to the Forevergreen and confronted both humans and the mad Glider, Door, after which he chose to rejoin Cutter’s Wolfriders in their Holt. The fact that the Sun Folk also reside there in the Palace of the High Ones gives Dart a feeling of wholeness that he’s not known since childhood.

While the spectre of the past still occasionally casts its shadow over his heart, Dart spends most of his days in the forest in the blissful state of living known as the Now of Wolf Thought…that is, when he’s not serving as bodyguard to Shuna on her quest to eliminate human prejudice against elves, or keeping his little sister Freetouch out of trouble. That shadow might be finally banished as he opens his heart to his lovemate Mender.

 


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