Wild Born, Chapter 1: Briggan

Tonight on Wild Born, something significant happens to a White Male Protagonist. What is this significant event? Find out after the cut.

Given a choice, Conor would not have picked to spend the most important birthday of his life helping Devin Trunswick get dressed. In all honesty, he would not have volunteered to help Devin Trunswick do anything, ever.

Meet Conor, son of Fenray. His father, a shepherd, has incurred some serious debt to the Earl of Trunswick due to wolf attacks on their flock. So Conor has to work off his family’s debt by attending to Devin, the earl’s son. Unfortunately, Conor just completed the first year of his three-year contract, so he has two more years working for the earl’s dickish eldest son. And we know Devin’s a dick because he’s very freaking impatient and belittles Conor.

Today, of course, is a Very Important day for both Conor and Devin. Since both boys turned 11 this month, they get to participate in the Nectar Ceremony, in which they drink the Nectar of Ninani and hopefully bond with a spirit animal. Devin’s father and grandfather both bonded with spirit animals, so it seems likely that Devin will bond with one, too. Spirit animal bonds are quite rare in Conor’s family, however, so Conor doesn’t expect a bond to occur.

After discussing potential spirit animal bonds with Dawson (Devin’s nicer younger brother), Conor and Devin head off for the Nectar Ceremony.

An impressive assemblage had gathered in the square. It was not every day that the son of a great lord quested for his spirit animal. Commoners and nobles alike had come for the event — old, young, and in between. Musicians played, soldiers strutted, and a peddler sold candied nuts. A grandstand had been erected for the earl and his family. Conor thought it looked as if a holiday had been declared. A holiday for everyone but him. The day was cool and clear. The green hills where Conor would rather be roaming loomed far beyond the blue rooftops and chimneys of Trunswick.

The Nectar Ceremony is obviously Very Important. Everyone in town has come out, including Conor’s family. In addition, a bunch of exotic animals are present, because local tradition dictates that having animals around improves the chances of bonding with a spirit animal.

Conor, Devin, and Little Miss Only Appearing in this Scene Abby are today’s participants in the ceremony. Officiating the ceremony are Isilla, the local Greencloak, and a strange Greencloak from foreign lands. Isilla is just there to give each child a sip of the Nectar of Ninani and say some ceremonial stuff.

Devin, being the son of the local earl, gets to taste the Nectar first. Surprisingly, nothing happens. This really pisses Devin off. The same thing happens to Abby, except she doesn’t get pissed afterwards.

At last, it’s Connor’s turn. He tastes the Nectar … and then Significant Shit goes down. The sky darkens, lightning flashes … and then a Big Badass Wolf suddenly appears! And this is Very Important for a number of reasons. One: nobody bonds with wolves, because spirit animals are never the same species as the godlike Great Beasts. Two: the wolf looks exactly like Briggan, the Great Beast that’s the patron of Eura, where Trunswick is located. Briggan was apparently lost, but he’s suddenly returned as Conor’s spirit animal.

Naturally, Devin gets really pissed off when this happens.

As more proof that what just happened is Very Important, the foreign Greencloak introduces himself to Conor. His name is Tarik, and he tells Conor that he’s been searching for him. But for what?


Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
Conor hasn’t seen his family in six months.

We’ll learn more about the Greencloaks later. So far, they seem to be in charge of distributing the Nectar of Ninani. And all their members are bonded to spirit animals.

Isilla is bonded to a goldfinch named Frida — our first clue that not all spirit animals are suited for combat. We’ll see even more absurd bonded animals later.

Spirit animals can assume a “dormant” state as a tattoo on their human. Tarik keeps his animal in this state, which is why he doesn’t show up in this chapter.

What’s a Great Beast? We’ll find out later in the book. All I’ll tell you is that they’re Very Important.

Did you think Devin was a dick in this chapter? Just wait until the next book. He gets worse.

Real Life Comparisons!
Eura is obviously Europe. I’ll go into more detail in the recap for the second book.

Tarik hails from the not!Middle East — i.e. northeast not!Africa Nilo or southwest not!Asia Zhong.

Title Drop!
The book title is never dropped in this book, and “spirit animals” shows up way too many times to count. But I’ll record when chapter title drops occur. Here’s this chapter’s:

Conor glanced at the Euran flag hanging from the earl’s grandstand. Briggan the Wolf, patron beast of Eura, stood depicted upon a rich blue banner, eyes shrewd and piercing.

For some reason I’m sensing a Game of Thrones reference here. Must be the wolf banner.


Next time: Something significant occurs to a not!African Female Protagonist.



  1. First we have the wolf, the #1 most common bonded critter! Let me make some predictions: Action boy gets the wolf, action girl gets the jaguar, bookish scholar boy gets the hawk who spies for him, and mystical ethnic girl gets the panda. And the two pairs eventually romance. Am I close on my tropes?

    I bet somewhere in that world there’s a girl bonded to a moose. An unlovely, ginormous, always in the way moose. Useful in a fight since moose are ginormous, but still. A moose. <–this digression does not actually go anywhere.

    1. Who gets the bonded animals:

      Wolf = action boy
      Jaguar = ranger girl who just wants to fit in
      Falcon = street-wise thief
      Panda = action girl

      By the fourth book everyone will be paired off. Seriously, that’s pretty much all that happens in Book 4, along with some serious Mommy Issues.

      Oh! Someone does get bonded to a moose! Not a girl, though. We’ll see him in Chapter 4.

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