The Grey WolfTale(s) of Origin:
Vasilisa the Beautiful, The Frog Princess, Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf, etc...Alignment:
Cynical and foul-mouthed, this wolf has grown up in the wild and it shows. Normally stern, serious, and detached, Grey also has a bit of a temper, which has gotten him into trouble more than once before. He can be extremely stubborn and has a tendency to make reckless decisions at times. Despite not exactly being the brightest bulb in class, he has proven to be quite cunning and a fast learner of the arcane arts. He also displays great loyalty to his friends and family.Abilities:
Formerly the apprentice of Baba Yaga herself, Grey has access to a great deal of magical knowledge. His favourite and most practice form of magic was transmogrification, specifically turning himself into other forms of animals. He is also adept at summoning the winds to his aid whether it be masking his own scent or unleashing powerful gusts of air.Skills:
Combat - As his natural form is that of the wolf, he has a great deal of experience fighting and surviving in the wild. Even while in human form, his keen senses and reflexes allow him to fight on equal footing with trained swordsmen. While under Baba Yaga's tutelage, he once journeyed to the Eastern Continent where he learned of a martial art that perfectly complemented his natural movements as a wolf.
Tracking - An experienced and natural-born hunter due to his life as a wolf in the wild.Backstory:
The runt of the litter, Grey was a wolf born near the border of the Northern and Western continents. While out hunting when he was still a cub, he was accidentally separated from his family. Lost and hungry, the lone wolf spent weeks on his own, learning to fend for himself as he traveled the lands. After a particularly brutal fight involving an Ussuri Brown Bear, Grey found himself heavily injured and close to death. That was when the old witch, Baba Yaga came across him and nursed him back to health. Baba Yaga adopted Grey as a familiar, caring for him for a while before eventually turning him into the Black Rider to act as her bodyguard. The wolf would only turn into the Black Rider at night for a few hours before changing back into a wolf. Grey served faithfully as the witch's bodyguard while picking up enough magical knowledge to learn how to shape-shift on his own. The witch proved strict and sometimes cruel and merciless, but the wolf stayed for he felt he owed her his life.
One night, while riding through the woods, he came across a young maiden named Vasilisa, who was sent by her cruel stepmother to fetch some light from Baba Yaga's hut. After completing some nearly impossible tasks and revealing that she did so using 'her mother's blessing', Vasilisa was able to return home with a skull-lantern full of burning coals. She returned the very next morning, revealing that the skull-lantern she had been given burned her stepmother and stepsisters to ashes. With nowhere else to go, Baba Yaga took her in as a servant. The old witch would regularly send the girl out to perform various, nearly impossible tasks. Most of the time, Grey would be sent along with her to assist and guide her as needed. The two developed a sort of sibling relationship, though it wasn't always clear which of them was the elder. Vasilisa went by many names during her excursions, but her most famous moniker was that of Marya Morevna, warrior princess.
Grey and Vasilisa were on a mission in the capital, posing as makers of cloth when they ran into Vasilisa's father, Kashchey Romanov. It was at that time that Vasilisa learned the truth about her parents. Her mother was a princess from a dark kingdom. Her father was from a powerful wizard family famed for dark and forbidden magic. The two had eloped and escaped the dark kingdom. The father became a merchant. The mother died when Vasilisa was only a child. Vasilisa chose to stay with her father instead of going back to Baba Yaga. Grey warned her against this since he knew how the old witch would react, but ultimately respected her wishes and returned home by himself.
Vasilisa returned to the hut a few weeks later... trapped in the form of a frog. She had been cursed by her own father for disobeying him and was to be trapped as a frog for three years. It was only at night when she was able to muster the strength to temporarily break free of the curse. Come morning, however, she would change back into a frog. Should the curse be completely broken before the three years were up, she would be compelled to return to her father's side. Baba Yaga still hadn't gotten over what she perceived to be a betrayal and refused to help her former disciple. Grey wanted to speak up on his sister's behalf... but he couldn't. He found himself unable to oppose the witch and kept silent. He instead chose to watch over his sister while she was in frog form.
Three years were almost up when Vasilisa met and fell in love with Ivan, the Tsar's third son. The problem, of course, was that she was still a frog. She pleaded with Grey to find out more about this Ivan fellow for her. Unable to turn down her request, Grey agreed, turned into a bird, and followed Ivan back to the palace. The wolf turned into one of the palace guards and ran into one of Ivan's sisters, Princess Anna. After a brief and awkward confrontation, Grey found Ivan talking to the Tsar. Funnily enough, Ivan and his brothers were ordered by their father to "take your bows, go out into the open field, and shoot an arrow. Wherever it falls, there you will find your wife." Learning of this, Grey told Vasilisa, and together they hatched a plan. Grey redirected Ivan's arrow to a secluded area with no one else around where Vasilisa would catch it in her mouth. Confronted by a talking frog, Ivan reluctantly brought her back to the palace to wed her.
Several days later, Grey found Ivan wandering the country road on his own, downtrodden, broken, and exhausted. Curious, the wolf changed into an old man and asked him what was going on. Ivan revealed that after learning of Vasilisa's true form, he attempted to break the curse permanently by burning the frog skin that she shed every night. This compelled the princess to return to her father's side, where she would no doubt be punished for her transgressions. Grey listened intently before directing him to Baba Yaga's hut. As Ivan journeyed to the old witch's hut, Grey took the opportunity to test his character by shapes-shifting into various animals. Ivan proved merciful and kind each time, earning him the magical wolf's trust. After reaching Baba Yaga's hut, Ivan was able to impress the old witch with his fearless and indomitable nature. Baba Yaga gave the young prince the information he needed in order to defeat Vasilisa's father, Kashchey.
Ivan and the wolf journeyed together for a while in search of a magical needle contained the dark wizard's soul when he received news that his father had fallen ill. After the prince returned to the palace, the Tsar revealed his dying wish to seeing the firebird one last time. He declared that whichever of his three sons managed to get the firebird would have half his kingdom and be his heir. Around this time, Grey met with Princess Anna once again, finding her distraught over her father's illness. Deciding to put Vasilisa's rescue on hold (they didn't even know where to begin with that magical needle), the prince and the wolf journeyed to another kingdom where the king had a pet firebird. The king agreed to give up the firebird in exchange for the horse with the golden mane. The other king who had the horse with the golden mane agreed to give that up in exchange for Yelena the beautiful to be his wife.
Grey later revealed that Yelena was actually one of Vasilisa's many disguises from when they were fulfilling Baba Yaga's tasks. They decided to go back to Baba Yaga for some more advice. It was there that they had learned that one of Baba Yaga's sisters had a garden of apples and water that could rejuvenate someone back to life. While Grey did not know where to find Baba Yaga's sister, he did know where to find her niece. The niece directed them to her sister, who in turn directed them to a third sister who did indeed knew where the garden was. The pair stole the apples and water, but not without alerting the witch of what they had done. The witch cursed Ivan by compelling the prince's brothers to kill him. Grey had to use a bit of the water of life to bring him back to life again.
Not sure what to do next, Ivan and Grey journeyed to the Dark Kingdom, where they had learned that Kashchey had taken over as the king. The dark wizard had attempted to take control of a dragon in an effort to use his powers to defeat a member of his family, an upstart wizard who had killed his own parents. The dragon demanded a sacrifice on a regular basis in exchange for his services. Kashchey agreed to this condition, even when one of the sacrifices turned out to be his own daughter. It was at this point that Kashchey realized he had bitten off more than he could chew. While he still desired the dragon's strength, he realized that the beast could not be controlled. By the time Ivan and Grey had arrived, Vasilisa had already been taken away by the dragon. Intrigued by Ivan's character, Kashchey decided to test him out by sending him after the dragon. With Grey's help (mostly by turning into a flying horse), Ivan was able to slay the dragon and rescue Vasilisa.
They were then ambushed by an unknown assailant, who killed Ivan yet again, heavily injured Grey, and forced Vasilisa to credit him as the dragon slayer. Vasilisa managed to escape a few days later, find Ivan's corpse with Grey's help, and use the water of life to bring him back to life... again. Ivan got his revenge by killing the fraud, but not before revealing to the public that he was the true dragon slayer. Kashchey had no intention of allowing his daughter to go, however, and attempted to recruit Ivan in his plans to take down his rivals. Grey was able to slip away unnoticed and investigate the dark wizard's library. There he discovered the location of the magical needle. It was in an egg, that was in a duck, that was in a hare, that was sitting in a stone chest, that was inside of an oak tree. With Grey's shape-shifting, he was able to get to the magical needle. Ivan snapped the needle, killing Kashchey once and for all.
Remembering the promise to the king with the golden maned horse, Ivan wondered how to get out of that. Grey shape-shifted into Vasilisa's form so that Ivan may trade him away for the horse. He would later escape and rejoin Ivan and Vasilisa. Realizing what they could get away with, Grey turned into the horse so that they could get the firebird for free before returning home. On the way home, Ivan's brothers ambushed and stabbed him to steal away the firebird. Rolling his eyes at the emerging pattern, Grey brought Ivan back to life again before dealing with the two brothers. Once they've returned to the palace, they used the water of life on Ivan's father, curing his fatal illness.
Ivan and Vasilisa seemingly lived happily ever after. Two of Ivan's sisters married powerful wizards. The third sister, Princess Anna married Grey. It seemed as though they had finally earned their happy ending. Well... that is... until Koschei kidnapped Vasilisa and killed Ivan... yet again. By this point, their water of life had nearly been used up. After bringing Ivan back to life again, Grey suggested that they consulted Baba Yaga again on how to deal with Koschei.
The battle against Koschei, unfortunately, ended in tragedy. Not only was Ivan slain in battle, but Koschei went after Ivan's friends, family, and sisters. Ivan's three sisters' husbands, including Grey were no match against the Deathless wizard. In the end... Princess Anna used the last of the water of life to save Grey's life.
Grey attempted to find more water of life to bring everyone back, but the garden was no more. The water of life only worked on the recently deceased. After a few days, the corpse would reach a point of decay where not even the water of life could work. Falling into despair over this hopeless situation, he turned to the only thing he had left: Revenge.Orientation: