Chapter 8

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Chief Black Bear's eyes flash yellow. Long black claws explode through from his fingertips.

Raven Claw proves the Dog Warrior traditionreputation. He summons all of his Kiowa courage and makes a last-ditch effort to attack. He lunges for a man, who is transitioning into a monster. Raven Claw is snatched up in a mighty bear hug. He gasps for breath and feels his ribs crack. Chief Black Bear opens his mangled mouth and roars with a beastly growl that scares Raven Claw to death.

"Kill him!" Lone Wolf commands everyone, hoping to unite both tribes in an attack against evil.

"Beware Chief Black Bear, him. His magic is too strong. Soon, his jaws will bite. His fangs will catch and his claws will cut," Fox Thoughts bemoans.

The survivors of both tribes flee for their lives.

Defying the warning, Lone Wolf strikes the disfigured face of Chief Black Bear. He may might as well be using his vital elk blade on a stone wall. All of his strength counts for nothing when he strikes the dense mass beneath flaking mortal flesh.

"I am death!" Lone Wolf screams in Black Bear's contorted face. He uses the handle of his weapon to strike Black Bear's drooping cheeks. They hang off Black Bear's face like melting wax. Lone Wolf ducks under Black Bear's swiping arm and then strikes again, ripping a portion of human flesh off the shoulder.

'This cannot be. No man can take that kind of a beating and still be standing. How can one Indian man hold all this magic?!' Lone Wolf thinks when he sees what's beneath. Instead of muscle and bone, it looks like moist black fur.

With a swift back swing, he slashes Chief Black Bear's throat wide open. The man should have fallen back and gurgled to his death, but instead, Chief Black Bear laughs in a deep, evil rumble. He presses his claws into the wound and starts ripping his own flesh. His muscular jugular elongates to the tone of his popping neck bones.

Lone Wolf cracks a smile, which confuses Black Bear.

"I welcome death," Lone Wolf says calmly, glaring at the beastly man. He readies his weapon and aims between Black Bear's glowing eyes.

Black Bear's moccasins split apart. Long shiny black claws protrude and curl over his foot. A tuft of black fur bursts out. The swell spreads up Black Bear's legs, which that reshape into boulder -like hips.

The Chief's chief's torso solidifies in mass three times what it was before. Follicle by follicle, black fur erects sprouts up his black back. The patches race across his stomach and thicken at his chest.

Lone Wolf readies his weapon and searches for a spot to attack just as Black Bear's arms explode into solid muscle, and then disappear into fur. The mystic Chief chief returns Lone Wolf's smile as his hands turn to paws and cover up the shiny black claws. Unable He is no longer able to hold the golden lance, and it falls to the earth.

Lone Wolf lunges forward, then leaps back when clawed at. Black Bear's speed has also increased.

'I cannot fall as easily as Raven Claw,' Lone Wolf thinks, checking the placement of Black Bear's feet. 'He will never let me steal the sun's power from him. No, he will kill me to quickly if I even try.'

The disfigured Chief chief tilts his head back and releases a fierce war cry that trails off into an angry bear growl. Lone Wolf sees two long white fangs poling poking out of a mouth that twists into a snout and distorts with bone- breaking pops. Two round bear ears spring up on top of his broad skull and wiggle back and forth, listening.

With the transformation now complete, Black Bear stands fifteen feet tall on his hindquarters and casts a shadow that touches Lone Wolf's moccasins.

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