4,000 YEARS BEFORE ELFQUEST # 1
# 5, 7, 17, 18
Blood of Ten Chiefs # 5 "Talon"
The elves play a game by taking each other by surprise and counting them with a taal stick. Lonebriar, Sunset, and Suretrail are a team. They see two swordfeet kill a boar. They climb out of danger. Lonebriar felt something strange. One is pregnant. If she has her young up near the holt, they'll be trouble. They'll kill them tomorrow. Raindance tags Freefoot and Shadowflash. They search for Suretrail's group and see a bear cub. A swordfoot attacks, injuring Freefoot and Shadowflash. Freefoot stabs the swordfoot. The cub's mother attacks, as does the swordfoot's mother. Raindance brings the others. The swordfeet run. They need to get help for Shadowflash and Freefoot. Catcher, Stringsong, Smarthand, and Lonebriar find swordfoot tracks. They find Freefoot. The bear attacks, injuring Smarthand and Catcher. Lonebriar kicks the bear cub away and the mother runs. Lonebriar can send to swordfeet. He says go away or die. The others arrive. Graywing and Catcher will take the wounded. Lonebriar doesn't want to kill the swordfeet. They find them and the mother is dying. Lonebriar tells it to go home and have its cubs, then return. When they come back Lonebriar, now called Talon, will protect the holt.
Blood of Ten Chiefs # 7 "At the Oak's Root"
The chief, Freefoot, is with his son Oakroot near a pond. It always calls to Oakroot. In the winter he returns, thinking a wolf-friend calls. He sends, forcing a mangy-looking animal out from a tree. He calls him Winterleaf. He heads back to the holt. Freefoot finds him and says Winterleaf isn't a wolf. He's too small to carry him or join the pack. But Oakroot convinces Freefoot to stop and pick him up. His mother is still sick and weak. After six weeks, Winterleaf is still not accepted. His mother Starflower is doing better. Freefoot thinks Winterleaf is only good for eating their hard-caught food. Hunger may make him a hunter. Oakroot goes to his mother. She says Winterleaf will find his way and so will he. Snakes start coming, headed for breeding-grounds. Dewberry is attacked, but Winterleaf kills the snake. He's a snakecatcher. More are coming. Some elves are killed. Winterleaf feels he failed. Starflower is able to travel. Oakroot tells Winterleaf he did good. Oakroot follows him to the pond. Freefoot arrives. Winterleaf didn't call him here. Freefoot says they both found a gift. Oakroot is a bonder with animals. Winterleaf should live where snakes are. Oakroot releases the bond and says goodbye. He will become Tanner and learn tanning from the tannin-brown water of the pond.
Blood of Ten Chiefs # 17 "Howl for Eldolil"
Oakroot leads a search party through the snow. He feels useless. Eldolil, the last full elf, went off because he knew what the others thought of him. Oakroot sends the others off and heads toward the mountain. A storm comes. Eldolil is the last one who remembers the High Ones. In the morning he calls a goose down and asks him questions. Eldolil went high, to a magic place. Shadowpaw kills it out of hunger. They climb into the night and he finds Eldolil on a ledge. He's had his fill of Wolfrider life, and life in general. Oakroot must go back and be a good leader. Think of yourself not as a Wolfrider, but as an elf. He sends, showing him who they were. He says he's no longer needed and dies. Days later he returns. Rivermist says Freefoot is dead. He knew, Eldolil told him. Green skyfire took him. Two cubs were in a tree and Freefoot climbed up and saved them. It was over quickly. The war chief and hunt chief argue that each should be leader. Oakroot comes and says the tribe will tear itself apart. With Oakroot chief, they can still have good war and hunt leaders. He trusts Wolfriders to judge their own affairs. Eldolil showed him what an elf should be. He shows them. They must never forget they're also elves. His hair is tied in the chief's lock. His first command is that they howl for Eldolil.
Blood of Ten Chiefs # 18 "Finder"
Finder was orphaned. His father was a hunter, his mother a healer. Tanner wants his help finding some skins he buried. He leads Tanner through the woods and stops by a tree. Tanner digs them up. Scarp comes saying his son Redpelt is missing. He didn't answer any sendings. Elsewhere a human runs through the forest with a Wolfrider cub in a sack. Two days later Finder still can't "see" him. He won't give up, but there's something in the way. He sees himself as a cub, his parents gone. But he had the tribe and won't let them down. The human is in a den under a tree. His people fear him more than the demons. He was Buruk, their best hunter, until Krat started getting the credit. He killed him when they were alone. He returned to camp with the meat. At night Krat returned and lived long enough to blame Buruk. He was burned alive, but escaped. He hunts them, but elves are more fun. Redpelt is knocked to the floor. Finder heads off with Snapjaw and lets his spirit take over. He sends to Redpelt and gets an answer. He's too far away to send to the others so he sends Snapjaw. When Redpelt doesn't eat meat, Buruk holds a buring stick near him. Finder throws a rock and is chased up a tree. Buruk jabs him in the back with a sharp stick. Finder jumps on top of him and both fall. He wakes up after the others have arrived. The human is dead and Redpelt is fine.