The spirits called her deeper into the snow, and Rannhilde followed the signs. On the second day, she found the first carcass, clearly mauled by claws and teeth. On the fourth day, she found tracks in the snow, a great paw that meant only one thing: the spirits had answered her call once again.
She spent another day watching the great beast, and it was magnificent, it would add honor to the tribe. Rannhilde didn’t dwell on the fact that it would also bring honor to the one who rode it. As she watched, she remembered the elder’s words. “Clear your mind, child, and you will find that the beasts have always spoken to our people. But few take time to listen”
She spoke the words, and gave a roar to announce her presence. The beast answered with a challenge, and Rannhilde knew that this was the critical moment. To show fear would invite attack “I am Rannhilde, spirit speaker of the Tiger Lord clan. I would be honored to have a hunter such as yourself in my pack” It answered. “I am Skistro, and I will join your pack.”
Only when the steam left her lips in the cold air did she realize she had been holding her breath.