As the second day started, mock battles began to break out. We took part in them with Stag’s Daughter winning a couple of them.
As the food truck approached again with a refill, Cormac approached us. He wanted to ask a few questions. He wondered why we were so forgiving of the Metis. Lionheart told him that the Metis has no choice in whether it is born and it’s unfair to punish it. He also asked about the Vulture Walkers pack that had been converted to Fianna. It was a great feat, but he wondered why they hadn’t been invited. Lionheart cut him off saying that it was up to the elders to decide who they wanted to go.
As Cormac began to speak again, Tears of the Land approached us. Cormac left in a hush and kept his head down around her. She wanted to know about Ryan and how he was doing. We told her that he was doing fine. She mentioned that she was the one who gave Kyle his bat. It once belonged to a fomor before she cleansed it.
She then took us to the shelter where the caern of Plenty was. Inside the shelter, the walls were covered with gold. In the center of the shelter was a large stone with a glyph on it. She touched it and disappeared. We followed suit and were transported into a room filled with food, drink, and various items on a massive table. The food here was magically enchanted and we could eat it which we tried. In times of famine, the kin were fed from this room. However, all of the weapons and various other items that lined the room were not to be touched. They were cursed with Fae magic and would doom the thief who took them. We were amazed that such Fae magic still existed in the world.
After we left the shelter, Tears of the Land gave me a marble to give to Ryan. She said it was something of a joke to him, but there was nothing funny about it. She believed that a spirit would love this marble.
As we returned, Tears of the Land took center stage and began to prepare a rite. Both Agnis, myself, and many other Theurges began to mimic it in order to get an idea of how to do it later. The rite would take thirty minutes of chanting and humming before she vomited onto a piece of cardboard. Here she inscribed a glyph in the name of a Garthor Bane. With that, a Great Hunt was on.
As we began to search out whatever this bane was, Lionheart spoke with Sebastian. Sebastian thought it was dishonorable that the Sept did not inform us of what we were participating in. Either way, we needed to hunt this bane. Some of the packs headed into the Umbra while others ran the bawn.
I took us into the Umbra while Agnis called upon her ancestors and learned that Garthor Banes are very nasty and vile. They are very susceptible to the ritual and come when it is enacted. There is great honor to the pack that kills it. As we began to hunt, Lionheart caught the scents of seven of these creatures in the area. He managed to keep the scent and it appeared as though none of the other packs had caught onto it as we headed into a forested area.
As we searched the forest, Lionheart realized that something was wrong. There were more than one of these creatures here. As we reached a clearing we caught sight of one, Agnis activated the Battle Mandala gift and bound the spirit to the area. The rest of us prepared for the fight. Lionheart utilized Balor’s Gaze and incapacitated the one in sight when suddenly, two more burst from the ground.
The insight that these banes burrow was lost on us at the moment, but we turned to fight them anyway. The battle was rough, but they weren’t the toughest creatures that we had ever faced. We carried their bodies back to the stage. We had more kills than any of the other packs and there were some looks of envy on their faces. We threw the bodies onto a pile and burned them.
This would finish up the moot and festival proper. We said our goodbyes to the people that we had met during the two days that we were there. During that time, the Ard Righ approached us. He was grateful that we had the time to learn about each other. Lionheart thanked him for the invitation. However, Bron requested that we rank up at the Sept of the Tri-Spiral from now on instead of our home Sept. Lionheart said the he would look into it.
As Bron left, Colin returned and told us that we could stay the last night in either the Sept or the cabin. We choose the Sept naturally.
The next day, we said more goodbyes and made our way back via moon bridge to the Sept of the Western Eye and then home. Crafty, Mackie, and Ryan were waiting there for us. They were sad. Police checked the area about the body, but haven’t gotten close to the Sept yet. However, the fire at the lodge is being ruled as an Arson. The area is tainted by the balefire until the remains of the building are removed. The area will begin to absorb Wyrm taint and banes will flock to it in the meantime.
Crafty asked about the visit, but it was easy to tell that Lionheart was irritated. He said that it was good, but wondered why Crafty and the rest of the Sept never told us about the traditional Fianna values. With that, Mackie and Ryan nodded to Crafty and left. Crafty had us sit down at the camp fire area and chat with him.
Crafty originally wanted to build a traditional Fianna Sept. However, because none of us were raised traditional and the influx of non-Fianna arrived, he abandoned the idea. He left out camps because he was worried that they would cause infighting. We also did not have the proper community for challenges so he had to make it up as he went along. However, Crafty wants to head to a more traditional way of learning. We asked if he was forced to go traditional. He wasn’t forced, but the Sept would not be considered a proper official Fianna Sept if we didn’t. Crafty told us that there were rumors that the Ard Righ wanted this Sept to be the American home base for the Fianna.
Personally, I didn’t think doing things the traditional way made any difference, a point agreed by not only Agnis, but also Bjorn which was surprising. With that, Crafty took his leave and had Mackie come and speak with us.
Mackie seemed about apologetic about bringing us into his camp. He gave us the rundown on most of the Fianna camps that he knew about. Many were opposed to some of the ways we did things, some had their own agendas, and others were very close to our camp. Technically, we weren’t officially a part of the Tuatha De Fionn, but Mackie said that leaving now could cause issues with the Fae. We didn’t see any reason to leave now so the issue was moot.
After Mackie got up, Ryan was the next to arrive. He was also apologetic about not revealing more about the Fianna traditions. He was even more bothered by the fact that our mission had been revealed to all. There was no point in hiding it anymore. The spirits spoke to just about everyone. The Nation now had its eyes on us.
I offered the marble to Ryan telling him it was from Tears of the Land. He promptly rejected it with a laugh. He told us that she took the Fae way of life seriously and by accepting that, he would be in her debt. He noted that she failed to tell us that Kyle was in her debt for obtaining the baseball bat we used to see him carry. As we laughed for a minute, a commotion was heard from outside.
Prestige had arrived, unannounced and without permission, with four Garou in Crinos form. He then made a proclamation as many Sept members held back the urge to attack him, myself included, that we were to be put on trial as a Sept.
Prestige spoke “if not for the few acts of honor your Sept would have been wiped off of Gaia already. Your charges include:
A. Litany violation: Combat the Wyrm where ever it dwells and where ever it Breeds, 4 counts
1. Evidence suggests that The White Lions Pride pack had dealings with Black Spiral Dancers
2. Evidence suggests that the White Lions Pride Pack has had dealings with Skin Dancers
3. Evidence suggests that Sept kinfolk has relations with a leech
4. Evidence suggests that the Truth Hunters had dealings with Black Spiral Dancers
B. Litany Violation: Respect the Territory of another 2 counts
1. Evidence suggest the Truth Hunters came into our bawn intentionally looking for the Sept and left as soon as they knew they were caught doing so.
2. Evidence suggests that the Hand of Fionn has worked the area north of us that is known as our territory
C. Litany Violation: Do not suffer my people to tend to thy Sickness 1 count
1. Evidence suggests that this Sept has taken unto itself an individual that has already been condemned by this law.
D. Litany Violation: Ye shall take no action that causes a caern to be violated 4 counts
1. Evidence suggests one of your kin destroyed an entire Sept. It was known that the kin had this power and it was not stopped.
2. Evidence suggests the Sept has allowed non-Gaian Garou onto caern grounds
3. Evidence suggests the Sept refused a treaty that would protect it from any enemy threats in the area and has refused knowing well that the local threat is at an all-time high
4. Evidence suggests that the Sept has groomed a pack intentionally from the moment it was formed to run this sept. The White Lion’s Pride pack are in no shape in any way to do so which puts its own caern at risk.
As I have said, if not for the honorable few actions taken in the past more charges would have been added. You have one week to mount a defense.”
With that, he abruptly left as quickly as he arrived. Spot approached us. She told us there was a spy in our midst. Once again, we were under the gun…