DrK's Age of Worms
Shifting Destroyer of Evil
Taliesn (“Marten” is a clan name) is from a race of vaguely wolf-like shapechangers that can assume humanoid form and enjoy some minor druidic spellcasting. (In this refluff, druid levels are essentially racial hit dice and benefits. Druidic is their “native tongue.”) While he will keep to his humanoid form in civilized areas to communicate and to do most other “human” things, his natural form is preferred for exploring and fighting, and when trouble breaks out, he will shift to it in an instant.
Taliesn is a young kit, only recently fledged. His clan live and forage in the Cairn Hills, some distance north of Diamond Lake. Occasionally, the trade with the gnomes, but they usually avoid settlements larger than a hamlet. Now, that has changed. Taliesn and other young adults have been sent of in different directions by the Clan Elders: “We can smell it on the wind: something wicked this way comes. Find it. Stop it.”
One by one, each set out. When his day came, Taliesn plucked a handful of grass and let it go into the breeze.
The wind carried it to the south, so south he went. After two days of travel, he arrived at the northern shore of Diamond Lake and saw the settlement to the west — the largest collection of buildings he had ever seen. Shifting to upright form to walk among people, he made his way down what he would learn was The Vein until he reached the main square and saw the sign of a large, ferocious dog over the door of one public house.
A sign for me, he thought, with an amused chuckle, and slipped into the noise and bustle inside . . . .