Region: Oleg Evergreens and area, although reports have come as far as Martyr Woods and Elias Plains.
First Mention: 500 years ago, in the diary of an elven traveller.
Originating Culture: Merchants and other vagrants between Lymoria and the Sutherlands.
Spookiness Rating: Depends on embellishments.
Primary Use: Frightening small children and foreigners to never wander off the roads, getting an entire tavern engrossed in a pointless, lively debate in record time.
For starters, there is no one tale. The stories are as varied as their tellers, some blaming the fae, others dragons, and yet more magic at all. Elaborate poems have attributed them to a tragic curse, romantics call them star-crossed lovers, and the grisly seem to prefer them as a natural evolution, a new kind of beast for a new kind of world. There are even those who have labelled the wolves as Guardians, naturally prompting even more to consider them an omen of the world's impending destruction. There are just as many merchants who pray to never see them as wanderers who carry out rituals hoping to. And of course, there are always a few skeptics who refute their existence at all, denouncing the fools swayed by sliding shadows and shifting sunbeams.
All in all, it appears no one can agree on where the wolves came from, no less why. Many taverns have stayed busy late into the morning with those simply swapping stories and debates. Everyone has their own interpretation; it's become a bit of local fun to share it. Regardless of the reasons, however, every rendition seems to agree on a few peculiar details.
For example, the wolves have never been seen together.
The problem is their timing. While both will only show at twilight, the white wolf made of mist with eyes that can devour all hope and light has only ever been seen at sunrise. The other, a marauding shadow with eyes reflecting all the radiance of the sun, has only been seen at its set. Never together, and never more than one.
Dusk has been known to appear before the lost and hungry, those fortunate enough to find the specter in the start of night even following it back to roads, well-known locations, or in some rare circumstances, all the way back to townships proper. There are still many wanderers who are never heard of again, but when the hopeless and hungry wind up on the outskirts of town or cross paths with a fortuitous traveller, it is not uncommon to hear praise for an ethereal black wolf with eyes like piercing moonlight. Sightings are known to increase in winter, when the woefully unprepared are faced with the harsh, frigid nights of Elesya and given one last chance to turn back.
No such stories exist for Dawn. In fact, not even a glimpse is ever shared without the very fear of death expressed in the same sentence. While Dusk has been known to lead the hopeless home, Dawn has been known to give chase, the wolf of fog and twisted light always mysteriously disappearing midway through the final lunge. There are those who look to Dusk and say that Dawn is simply misunderstood, the spirit attempting to sway the endangered from some unseen hazard in the only way it can. And then there are those who know better than to put their faith in altruism, suspecting that this final disappearing act is no coincidence - it's all that separates those who live to tell their tale from those who don't.
No attempts to track the beasts have ever been fruitful. No hunting parties have ever found so much as a broken twig of their presence. For better or for worse, the wolves have only ever shown to refugees, merchants, vagrants, and other nomadic sorts swept far from where they ever should have been.
When perilous travels must take you through their region, remember:
The wolf of first light will snarl and bite,
but the wolf of the gloam will lead your way home.