Twilight had just begun to settle in, painting the sky in dusky purples and blues that contrasted with the orange fires of the setting sun, when he caught a glimpse of the flash of white overhead and watched a bright light streak down earthward like a dropping stone. For a brief few seconds he stood transfixed, staring out the window of his kitchen with his knife hovering above the half-peeled potato in the opposite hand. Perhaps his eyes were playing tricks. Perhaps it was a shooting star, though he'd never seen one that looked so close, so brilliant. But then there was an odd sound, something deep and bone-shaking. And then he realized that in fact, the very earth beneath his feet was shaking. The tremor soon passed, but his curiosity and apprehension did not. Abandoning the preparations for his evening stew, he stowed the dirk back in his boot and fetched his cloak from where it hung by the door. He was halfway over the threshold when he hesitated. Very slowly, he turned his head to look over his shoulder and back into the main room of his home. His gaze fell on the fireplace- or rather, at what rested just above it. Over the mantle was mounted a great longsword, the blade swaddled in cloth and the pommel ill-polished under a fine layer of dust. Squaring his jaw, he forced his eyes forward once more and yanked up the wolf's-head hood of his cloak. The fur cast his face in shadow as he stepped through the front door and onto the path leading away from his cottage. His kitchen window faced due north. The light had appeared a bit nor'-nor'-east, and he was fair sure of how far. His destination was the deep woods, but he didn't falter, abandoning the path entirely to begin his trek through the darkness beneath the trees. In the distance, a wolf howled.