If the first seven or so years of young Maximilian’s life had been one of caution and relative quiet, then the next seven were marked by a comical loudness. The Countess had passed away some time before Maximilian had been born and, with no lady at home, his six uncles had forgotten to pay much attention to schedules, manners, or food. They were boisterous men who, unlike his father, did not truly believe much in being cautious or quiet about anything. They were men who stomped about the great northern outdoors and who were as comfortable sleeping in a tree as they were on the floors of the drafty buildings that the elder Count had built to house his only daughter-in-law and her child. With such a group as this, the home was marvelously chaotic.
Although his parents did fear for his safety, his uncles would not permit the boy to sit indoors. Like a young duckling, the boy Maximilian learned to follow after his uncles and grandfather (lest he be dragged out anyways and tossed into a nearby stream). The Wolframs were not afraid of the land or of unknown monsters or things. They loved everything about it, and worshiped the elves, who had come to the Northlands long before them and had so much wisdom to offer.
The elven minstrels sang that the elves had come upon golden ships, landing on the sands far west of where Winchester was today. Their princes founded the Golden City and their people began to move east to explore, settling in the various habitats on the Northlands. Unlike their minstrel cousins, the elves that would become known as Wood elves did not wander the Lands. They settled south of the Silver Lake, wisely avoiding provoking the Dragons that the more aggressive Ice elves regularly battled to the north. This occurred long before humans first appeared on the peninsula.
It was a strange thing to grow up amongst the Wolves of the Northlands and the elves. Only the presence of his mother perhaps ensured that Maximilian did not become a wild child sleeping in a tree. As for the lady, she did what she could to turn the drafty home into a more habitable and warm place which eventually even the elves were willing to frequent.
And so it came to pass that these elves would often bring with them stories and books that helped shape Maximilian as he grew from a young boy into a teenager. They were curious about this strange “human” family, and the boy that had been healed by their own kind. Max endured everything this cabal of elves and humans threw at him, hearing their warnings that one day the family would no longer be around to fend for Maximilian should whoever or whatever had previously captured him ever return for him.
With his beloved uncles scattering as they married fair elven lasses and establishing homes deeper within the Northlands, the home became quieter. His grandfather turned his full attention to tutoring him, preparing for the one day that he would inherit the modest estate and hold the land in trust for the descendents to come. His grandfather warned him that the elves were essential to maintaining the stability of the Northlands.
And so, he followed the young elves from a nearby settlement all around the hidden paths in the woods, gleaning what he could from their patient and constant guidance.
Maximilian grew up not knowing much about interactions with humans, save those that were close to him by blood. But there was no reason, at this time, to worry as such. Humans had not yet come this far inland.
As for the incident that had pushed his family north, it became a memory that faded, as did the scars on his back. The boy became a man, with no hint of the threat that had grabbed hold once of him before. Increasingly, they all put their confidence in the elves’ knowledge and power as well as the Wolfram lineage – in which was mingled the blood of humans, elves, and the old families that had settled this world.