Seven Days Till The Wolves (April 468AV)

Charlotte finished retying the twine that held the roses up. Stepping back from the fence she wiped her hand across her sweaty brow, pleased with the neatness of the display. The last lot of Escari that had come through had trampled her little garden and it had taken her all day to shift the broken bits of wood, replant all of her flowers and finish tidying up the space. Now she could sit back and put the kettle on, enjoying her little spot of peace and beauty in this ravaged world. She filled the kettle and knelt at her little shrine to thank the Guardians she was still free enough to do these things and to ask Ashina to continue watching over her. The kettle started whistling as she finished, perfectly timed as usual. Pottering around in the kitchen, she did not see the figures stepping into her garden at first. By the time she noticed she was no longer alone, three Escari stood poking around her plants.
“Ashina protect me,” she whispered, clutching the tuft of wolf hair on a piece of twine around her neck.
“What was that slave?” barked one of the Escari, “Shut up and get us some food, I’m starvin’”
Charlotte trembled a little but nodded as she went to the little cellar she kept. There was a few rolls of bread, some honey she had collected herself and a small selection of salad vegetables, grown in her allotment. She put them in a wicker picnic basket and carried them out into the garden. Laying them out on the table she saw the Escari glance at each other in slight disgust. One of them let out a great guffaw of laughter, trying to get some words out between his laughs, “Lorrin my friend, hehehe… she’s gonna make…. gonna make a vegetable eater out of you!”
The Escari that seemed to be called Lorrin growled, “Shut up Karg. Its Cinnea, get used to it!”
“What?” chimed in the third Escari, “No ham, no steak or nuffing?”
“I’m…I’m a vegetarian,” Charlotte squeaked, worried about how they would react.
The one called Lorrin seemed to soften slightly, “If you can scare up some cheese, they’ll settle down.”
She nodded, once more scurrying to her pantry. She moved the damp cloth aside that was keeping the corner cool and reached in to grab some cheese she was making. It wasn’t quite ready yet but it would have to do. It was at that moment she heard an awful gargled scream from outside. This was followed by swearing and the sound of a sword being drawn along with more screaming. Terrified, she crept to the edge of the cellar and peered out to a scene of utter carnage. Blood drenched the grass of her garden and two of the Escari were in pieces spread across the scene. The third Escari was trying to leap the fence as a huge furred figure lashed out and caught the Escari in its jaws. It bit clean through the unfortunate Escari, armour parting like butter beneath its teeth. It turned around and looked straight at Charlotte. It looked like Barok, one of the children of Ashina, but different. Where there was normally an unhindered chocolate brown pelt, there was now a covering layer of silver metal rings. His shoulders bore pauldrons of silver and his shins a pair of grieves. Blood dripping from his mouth, the great wolf nodded to her once before leaping the fence and disappearing into the nearby field of long grass.
Shocked she stayed where she was for a great length of time. Ashina’s children had saved her in the past, indeed she owed them her life several times over. But this was new. Never had it been with such carnage and violence before. She threw up then. She was still trembling in the cellar entrance when her husbands returned home that evening.