.Damages of Survival.
Prologue: Survival Is A Last Request

"They hit us without warning, devastating the Prides and destroying bloodlines in days. Fear was suffocating in those times; we were
lucky to see our killers before they attacked.

But luck wasn't a charity.

Even seeing them, knowing they were there, was no proper preparation for the strikes. Our defenses were lax - it had been
generations since anyone had discovered us, we had grown confident. Too confident.

The strongest of us set out to combat our foes, seeking to stop them dead in their tracks. They were trespassers, we were the guards.

Our forests were breached in seconds; the lands bathed in the blood of our brethren.

Most of it was a blur, what I remember most is my Father yelling to me to return to the Prides.
Take them away - somewhere safe, he
told me.

They were the last words I ever heard him say. It was the last time I ever saw him. I don't know what became of him, but I can only
hope his death was swift and that he didn't come back as one of them.

My blades at my side, and my paws furiously beating against dew-slicked grass, I returned to the Prides. My Father's last request was
a request for survival.

I could not deny him that. We couldn't deny him that.

We fled that night, our strongest left behind to die within the forests of our home. There were no regrets, but there were heartaches.
Wounds so deep they would take time to heal - time we didn't rightly have to spare back then.

Our retreat, our runaway, lead us to the winter-slicked lands beyond the Courts of Diamya. A holy land once upon a time, but now a
frozen shell devoid of proper lifeforms. We filled the void; took control of the territories and continued our existence away from the rest
of our kind.

It's been many years since then, since that request was made of me. And now a new threat is upon us, calling for us to leave our
frozen plains and take up arms against them.

They won't turn away, and neither will we. It's been a long time since we last had to fight; but battle will be joined.

In the memory of the fallen, my Father among them, I will fall to the Void before I let them take us away from here. This is our home
now, and I will protect it until the last drop of blood has fled from my veins.

A last request was made of me.

And I will not deny it."