[[{{SUBST:And His Name Was Fenrir!}}|   ]]
And His Name Was Fenrir!
[[{{SUBST:And His Name Was Fenrir!}}|   ]]

"That we can now live here in peace...under the blessed shadow of the Great Star all thanks to the great hero, Karaha-Baruha...!"

Perhaps you have met the wizened Tarutaru named Zayhi-Bauhi while walking through Windurst Walls. He is known throughout the city for his constant speeches praising the great hero of Windurst.

Since the end of the Great War, much has been said about the heroism of Karaha-Baruha. Zayhi-Bauhi wanted to speak with a reporter to clarify the story.

Dispensing with formalities, he got right down to business.

"Listen up. Twenty years ago was right in the middle of that awful war," he said.

"At that time, I had just graduated from the beginners class at the School of Magic. I could barely cast a fishing line, let alone a combat spell. Nevertheless, I volunteered to join the guards at Odin's Gate in Windurst Waters to help protect the city.

"Even now, I still see it in my dreams. It was the night of the Siege of Sarutabaruta. My Caster Company was in the gate's lookout tower, preparing for battle. The magical barrier on the gate was Windurst's last line of defense from the teeming hordes below. We looked out over our doom; countless beastmen, and Goddess knows what else, covered the land as far as the eye could see..."

In the middle of the war, while the majority of the allied forces were massed on the front lines, the Shadow Lord assembled thirty thousand of his best troops to put an end to the threat posed by the Combat Casters. Standing against those thirty thousand was the city guard of Windurst, who numbered less than a thousand--including Cardians. It was as obvious as a Yagudo campfire on a moonless night that the city was about to fall.

He continued. "It was a face-off at Odin's Gate. Orders came from the division commander to our Caster Captain: 'Hold them off.' That was all.

And His Name Was Fenrir!

"The monstrous horde was bathed in the pale glow of the moon. Only a miracle would bring us through to see another dawn. Terror gripped my body and I lost my footing, tumbling down before the beastmen set against us...

"I doubled over in pain. All I could hear were the metallic scrapes of swords being pulled from their scabbards and the blood-curdling cries of the advancing beastmen. They had seen me fall and were approaching fast.
"The monsters rushed towards me like a wave in a storm, unconcerned with the spells raining down upon them.

"I was doomed. But at the very moment I gave up all hope, there was a flash of light and a soul-shaking howl that resounded over the plains of Sarutabaruta!

"I looked up to see a shaft of divine light stretching from the top of the magic tower toward the full moon that hung in the sky.

"That's right! It was the great hero, Karaha-Baruha! He was summoning! It was an enormous beast! Right there! Above the tower!

"And the battle took a tremendous turn! Each swing of the beast's mighty forelegs sent dozens of beastmen flying! The magic emanating from his immense body vaporized hundreds more!

"Before we even realized what was happening, the beastmen were turning tail and fleeing. The humongous beast had broken both their ranks and their morale, and now he was hunting down those that had breached the gates to the city. Then, as suddenly as he had come, he flew off. It all happened in the blink of an eye," he said.

The old man has likely embellished the story somewhat. But the miracle of Karaha-Baruha is well recorded in history books; it is not the subject of question or doubt.

The story continued: "I was the closest to that great beast. Nobody got a better look! It's burned into my mind as sure as the Star Tree is! Even now, I can close my eyes and go back in time, seeing that magnificent creature bathed in the soft glow of the full moon, looking for all the world like the noblest of wolves.

"Now listen good, 'cause I've never told anyone what I'm about to tell you.

"I heard the hero Karaha-Baruha's voice when he summoned that glorious beast.

"`You've done well in holding them off. Leave the rest to my servant, Fenrir,' he said.

"Yes! That great creature was called FENRIR! Fenrir... I haven't said that name in twenty years."

It is said that Karaha-Baruha gave his life to summon the enormous beast. So Zayhi-Bauhi is torn between love and hate for Fenrir. Perhaps this is why he kept the name locked within his heart for two decades.

But why did he want to tell the whole story now?

His answer: "Why not? It is my life's work to let the world know the greatness of Karaha-Baruha.

"More and more adventurers are following in the footsteps of the great hero. That is a good thing, to be sure. But I cannot tolerate the constant and baseless rumors that we will soon see the rise of a hero greater than Karaha-Baruha.

"The great hero is Karaha-Baruha and he alone! If you doubt that, just ask yourself, how many people have summoned Fenrir since that day? Not a single darn one!"

Zayhi-Bauhi's story of Karaha-Baruha and the name Fenrir will surely spread across the world, and one day Fenrir's name will appear beside that of Karaha-Baruha in history books.

"Let the name of the great hero, Karaha-Baruha, not be forgotten! May we exalt the names of Karaha-Baruha and Fenrir on high!"

[[{{SUBST:And His Name Was Fenrir!}}|   ]]

Taken from: Vana'diel Tribune Issue No. 22

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