Following the aftermath of the destruction at the Games, leading members of Families and Packs from both the wild and civilized sides met at a hostel along the original treaty boundary. There, they grudgingly set down new territory lines.
Because of the altered terrain that extended slightly both north and south, the strip of land separating wilds and civilized—the Braken—was spread. Houndmaster ancients had already made the neutral territory large, not only so the space would serve to dissuade accidental trespassing, but also so it could be used as a site for annual games, yet now the Braken extended even wider out of necessity.
No houndmaster or dog could possibly cross without full knowledge of what they were doing. Not only that, but because of the dangers now existing upon the Braken, no houndmaster or dog would want to. Both sides were at least in agreement on one thing—the farther away the territory lines and the less likely sides were to encounter one another, the better. The assumption being that any encounter would result in unfettered bloodshed.
One houndmaster, a man who had not been present during the last games, stood up and made a pitch to reinstate the Games, but to move the site easterly, closer to the city of Ca’ryl. His idea was met with fury from both sides, making it clear that where once tolerance and even a strained camaraderie might have been encouraged, now there remained only bitter, angry turmoil. He argued that long-term the decision to not reinstate the Games might lead back to the wars that had once hounded houndmaster heels, but the thought of war did not seem to bother most.
In fact, in some accounts of that day, people say that a light sparked in many a houndmaster eye, as if they looked forward to the day when they could destroy the tentative peace and take some revenge.
The new territory lines were marked across the bark of the trees. Bits and pieces of the fully agreed-upon treaty were carved into the grain with steady hands. Short, but informative, directions on the sides facing their own people. Dire warnings on the sides facing their enemy.
Some trees bore the fury of the houndmaster and their dogs deeply. Teeth marks gnawed into the bark as a promise of what would come if trespassing occurred.
And that is where things ended.
It was as if neither side remembered they came from the same ancient people who had sprung from the deepest and thickest of the wilds.
Wilds never came north. Civilized never went south.
Except for one.