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The Lore

Long ago a young woman named Akhi was training to be the next great Shaman for her village. She trained under the current Shaman, her grandmother, and proved herself to be quite capable with getting along with the spiritual elements and conjuring healing magic. Well enough to earn nearly a full body's worth of tattoos except for her neck and face. Though she always had an affinity for the element of water and had a hard time staying away from it. However, nothing good lasts forever and as the years went on her grandmother got older and weaker. Until finally the village had to say goodbye and allow her to join the spirits in the beyond.

 

The night after he grandmother's passing, Akhi heard an eerie sound. Orcas! Not just any orcas - young ones! She left her village in the dark donning her diving gear she followed the sounds until she found a netted pen in a cove trapping a group of the young whales, separating them from their desperately crying families. There wasn't a moment to waste! Akhi found a rocky ledge closest to the netted cove and dove in, knife in hand. She dove deep, deeper than she had in a long time and started cutting away at the netting. Seconds turned to a minute and her time without air was getting short. But with luck she was able to cut the net enough that the young orca were able to leap and swim free back to their waiting family groups. However, as Akhi tried to go back up to the surface, the netting had found its way wrapped around her leg and held tight. Two minutes. She was almost at the mark and was starting to feel dizzy and weak. She tried cutting at the netting wrapped around her but it was to no avail. Three minutes. Just as she got some threads to rip her world went dark and she sank into the deep.

It wasn't only Akhi who was disturbed by the commotion of the trapped orcas. The attention of a roaming wolf was also captured by the event. The wolf treaded out from the snowy forest towards the sea and watched the whole scene unfold. When it noticed the girl who freed the whales fail to surface it could sense something had gone wrong. It hopped down the rocky ledge and dove into the water. It didn't take it long to find Akhi's limp body which it took in its teeth by her arm. With only a few tugs her body broke free from the netting and the wolf was able to swim back to shore with her body in tow. Once out of the sea and on dry land it gently laid her body on the ground and listened for any signs of life. Upon hearing none it let out a long lamenting howl.

The wolf's howl was not unheard, however. The Great Spirits from beyond took notice and observed the situation at hand. This young Shaman in training made a selfless sacrifice to free the orca only to pay the ultimate price. Which sparked compassion from a passing wolf who normally avoided humans. The Great Spirits felt such a deed should not go without proper reward. Rather than take Akhi's spirit into their realm like they had her grandmother's they blessed her with the inner spirit of the Akhlut - a half wolf; half orca spiritual creature. Her human body morphed with wolf-like ears sprouting from her head, her fingernails and toenails becoming claw-like, and a long, thick, yet somewhat furry orca-like tail sprang forth from her lower spine. Her teeth became sharp fangs. The spirit of the akhlut had fully taken over. Once the transformation was complete she opened her eyes, her gaze meeting the wolf who pulled her from the deep. A moment of understanding.

She got to her feet and, still feeling a little weak, made her way back to her village. Boy, was she going to have some explaining to do to the elders! Fortunately her transformation was seen as a blessing from the Spirits and she was to be celebrated as the guardian of not only the village but the region as a whole - both land and sea. And she had new friends to assist her as well, the wolves on land, and the orcas of the ocean. While she never mastered becoming a Shaman, with these new spiritual abilities (including manipulation of water) she knew she would be a force to be reckoned with! 

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