Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sharks, Love Making, and Creepers… (Game 14)

After everything that had happened to me, I slept that night peacefully. I awoke early in the morning as Kyle was taking Miguel and William on bawn patrol. Jonathon continued to study with Ryan on his Rites.

As it became afternoon, Kyle gathered Bjorn, Eli, John, and myself together for more klaive duel training. He showed us a new move called a feint. I paired off with Bjorn as usual and John and Eli paired up. We took turns practicing our feint maneuver.

Once we were comfortable with the new technique, Kyle gathered us together. He wanted to create a sort of mock tournament with us utilizing all of the techniques we had learned. I was paired up against John and Eli was against Bjorn.

My match with John went horribly. We squared off in Homid form and my size and strength cost me dearly. I wasn’t invested in hurting John since this was merely a practice. I tried to disarm, but was disarmed in response. I channeled my Rage to shift into Glabro form, one that I rarely used to equalize the battle, and grab my weapon. I came back to attack again with a solid feint, but John managed to knock me out with a strike to my head.

Kyle stopped the fight and woke me up. I shifted back into Glabro to heal up and reflect on my loss. While I rested, Bjorn and Eli fought. The battle continued much longer than my fight with John. It was a back and forth fight until Kyle yelled at Eli to consider the loss of his packmates that could happen in a fight. This pushed Eli to fight harder. He channeled his Rage and finally overcame Bjorn.

What happened next was a bit of shock. Kyle flipped out saying that Eli could have ended the fight, that we weren’t taking it seriously, and we were worthless. He threw his bat into the woods and went into the bawn. After my loss, it certainly didn’t make me feel any better.

Mackie heard the commotion and opened the cabin door. He called us over and asked about our dueling. We told him things were going fine until Kyle lost it. He then asked if we wanted to talk with him.

Initially, no one spoke up. We really didn’t have much to talk about until Eli mentioned being outnumbered by the other Septs and what do we do. Bjorn also wondered about balancing everything in life. Mackie decided it was time for a drink and a chat. Although I was a bit more accustomed to drinking, I still didn’t prefer it, but it was best not to be difficult about things.

Mackie told the rest to get things ready in the cabin as he had me walk with him. He told me about how he seen me lose and not to take it too hard. He elbowed me a little, as he said, “not that he knew anything about losing.” I know he was trying to cheer me up, but it didn’t really help as losing here might mean losing later, and I didn’t want to risk not being about to help and protect my pack.

We all sat down together and took a drink as Mackie laid down the hard truth. He admired us for going to school and holding down jobs, but being a Garou comes first. We needed to grow up because these things would cause us problems, especially the human relationships. I didn’t like that notion because without any real joy or happiness in our lives I thought you would be more prone to Harano. Still, I continued listening intently.

The battle with Samuel Haight was great and we were recognized for this, but these things happen all the time so we shouldn’t dwell on it. There would be another fight and they typically came to you instead of you looking for it.

Eli asked about respecting those of greater rank and vice versa. Would we always do as they say? Mackie told us no, but we would have to remain respectful in our answers. Unfortunately, as Mackie told us, this could create an enemy for life if we weren’t careful.

Bjorn asked about the Mages after meeting them in my Chimare. Mackie knew nothing of them as they were simply not in the homeland. We took another drink and Mackie told us it was fine that we were doing things that we wanted to do like jobs and school, but just to remember to be Garou first. With that, we took a double shot and left the cabin, finishing our discussion with Mackie.

After this, I needed to arrange a date with Kenith. I was somewhat nervous as this would be my first real date with a guy since before my pregnancy. I called the law office and got a secretary. I arranged for the date to take place Friday and to be picked up at the Worstell Hotel.

Eli borrowed my phone afterwards and decided to quit his job, dedicating himself entirely to Garou affairs. I suppose it was a good notion for him, but I couldn’t do it. We spent the rest of the day doing minor things around the Sept before heading to sleep.

As we slept, we were all given the same vision of a natural bridge near the ocean. Hellhounds appeared taunting us with the threat of our impending death. Their insides exploded and a huge worm with teeth appeared. I felt like I was drowning and awoke to choking on seawater. I spit it out as we all woke up at the same time.

We woke up everyone at the Sept to tell them of the vision we seen. Mackie told us that spirits send visions. We mulled over what it could mean. Some thoughts included things about vampires and the Wyrm, but Crafty said to not worry about it. Things would take their course.

With that, Mackie noticed the bottled water had turned black. The water was a black, sludge like consistency from being slightly tainted by the Wyrm. Crafty looked worried and headed into the back, near the river. He returned saying things appeared fine with the water. As Mackie poured out the tainted water, it created ripples moving in the direction of the ocean. Mackie told us it was a message. I asked if I should cleanse the water to prevent it from spreading farther into the Sept, but Mackie said the taint was minor and to not worry about it.

With that, Eli had me take us into the Umbra. I was a little worried since I didn’t have as much spiritual strength as Jonathon, but I managed to do it quite successfully. At least I was able to do one thing right today. We headed towards the river and noticed no water spirits. There was Wyrm taint in the river on the bawn, but it had not made it to the caern. What was more disconcerting was that Mabe had not detected anything. We left the Umbra and decided to cancel our dates to investigate our vision.

I felt bad rescheduling after I had just made the date. I made up an excuse of a sewer problem and told Kenith’s secretary I would call back to reschedule. John called Regina, who was agitated about not seeing him. The kinfolk took it a lot better knowing the stakes involved.

The vision happened at night, so we had time to kill. Eli and I went into the caern to meditate. I replenished with spiritual energy I could from the spirits. John tried to contact his ancestors and learn about the worm we seen. It would normally be a sea lamprey feeding on sea creatures, but this one was obviously supernatural. He also learned that the Celtic hellhounds were a representation of death much like the Grim Reaper was to us in America.

With ourselves prepared, we headed to the Natural Bridges State Park. There we saw the bridge from our dreams. We waited throughout the day as beachgoers enjoyed their time. However, as it got dark, the beachgoers seemed to get uneasy and some looked sick. They left as night fell and we climbed the natural bridge to get ready for what was coming.

I could tell the water was tainted and it was rising unnaturally. It only came up around the bridge where we stood. We all shifted to Crinos form and prepared for the inevitable. Without warning, a high-pressure jet of water came from nowhere and stuck Eli hard.

From the ocean, a massive water elemental rose up. It had to have been 25 feet tall at least. John leapt onto the water elemental attacking it and managing to stay on it with effort kicking his feet. I was nervous as I had never encountered anything like this before. I wasn’t even sure if I could leap far enough to hit it. Still, we all leapt at it and I managed to get to it.

We all worked at striking it, but I was faring no better at fighting than I was the day before. John’s legs gave out and he dropped to the ocean floor. Things were not looking good as sharks appeared beneath the elemental. Instead of attacking us, they attacked the water elemental. Eli managed to deliver the finishing blow to the manifested spirit and we tumbled to now normal ocean.

As we made our way back to the beach, two of the sharks shifted into Homid form. I had never heard of other shapeshifters before so this was eye opening for me. One of the two came forward and held a necklace that seemed to enable him to talk to us in our heads. His name was Great Tooth, he was a Rokea, and he had been following and fighting this elemental since it manifested in the physical world.

He had been near the beaches waiting for what he called a dirtwalker. We inquired about what that was and he told us it was a Rokea who stayed on land instead of the sea. He would stay for three turns of the Great Wound. We asked what that meant and he drew us a picture of the sun. He would be here for three days until he found the dirtwalker.

We asked what could make the elemental of such power and he told us it was the drown one, also known as the sunken king. We asked if we could help, but the Rokea implied for us stay out of it. We chatted with him a little more and learned a little of their language and how they describe the Triat. Great Tooth’s partner sounded off for him to return and he left without saying a word.

With our work done, we returned to the Sept to tell Mackie. He told us again that things would come to us. We rescheduled our dates. Eli was concerned with me being distanced from the pack, but he devised a way to be near in case something happened. Quetzal also had the ability to open a Moon Bridge right to their location so things were ok.

We all got ready for our dates the following morning. I got myself dressed in the dress I had bought with Gina and we gathered up. Gina picked us up, and then picked up Regina. We tried chatting a little with her on the way there, but it was mostly unimportant small talk. It was obvious we really didn’t have much in common. Gina dropped me off at the hotel and I waited for Kenith to have me picked up.

Right at about 1 pm, a white limo approached and a female chauffeur came out. She asked if I was Caitlyn and I told her yes. She said Kenith had things to do for the day and she was to get me ready for our date. We went in the limo to a store called Neiman Harris. There, a man was waiting for us and the chauffeur gave him a credit card. He was told to find me a dress. Even though I already had one on, I went ahead with it.

I got a lovely black dress that went down to about my knees. It was a modest dress and I appreciated the fact it wouldn’t demean me. After getting my dress, it was paid for on the credit card and we left to head to a salon to get my hair done. They did a wonderful job feathering my hair and making it fuller. After this, I was taken to get my nails done with a full manicure and pedicure. They painted them a wonderful candy apple red.

Once this was done, I was taken to a spa where they gave me a full body treatment. I sat in a sauna for a while, then had a mud bath, followed by a full body message. I had never been pampered like this before, but it was great. I had only seen this kind of thing on TV and it was better than it looked. After my spa treatment, the chauffeur took me on a tour of San Francisco. It was nice to get to know the area so I wouldn’t be lost the next time I visited. I was eager to see Kenith.

[Eli, Bjorn, and John’s dates…]

Eli and Bjorn decided to go to a different restaurant than John as he took Regina to Red Lobster. At the restaurant with John, Regina asked him if they were an item. She said they weren’t spending enough time together and she wasn’t sure if she should be looking for other guys. John just told her to tell other guys she had a boyfriend and he would murder them if they tried anything. Satisfied and obviously turned on, they abruptly left the restaurant.

Eli and Bjorn sat with Lindsey and Gina at their restaurant. Lindsey asked Eli if she should quit her job and focus more on school. She felt she would be worthless if she couldn’t conceive or get a good job. If she stayed at her job, her boss had obvious designs on having sex with her, but without a job she wouldn’t have any money. Eli offered to take care of her and told her she would never be worthless.

Bjorn spoke with Gina about a conversation involving No Hands and her mother. She overheard them talking about the Shannon Johnson incident. Apparently, No Hands had managed to smooth things over and Lightning Claws was treating her better. No Hands believed it was a ploy by Prestige to stir up trouble and gain more allies in the Sept of the Three Waters. From that, he would cause more trouble and build more allies. It was obvious Prestige was trying to take over leadership of the Sept and the White Lion’s Pride pack was just collateral damage in the process.

After eating their food, Bjorn contacted John and told him they were going to the Golden Gate Bridge to watch the sunset.

[Back to Caitlyn…]

For dinner, Kenith’s chauffeur took me to a restaurant named Harris. I had never heard of it, but I could tell from the outside it was expensive. I sat around for what had to have been 20 minutes when Kenith finally showed up. He apologized for being so late, but I didn’t hold it against him since I had to postpone our date yesterday.

We ordered some wine and began to have a pleasant conversation. He wanted to know about me and I told him many things, obviously lying a little here and there to not break the Veil. I didn’t want to tell him my true location so I fudged an address around the area. Still, he paid close attention and I could tell he was actually interested in me instead of just sex.

The waiter came back and Kenith ordered some veal. I wasn’t sure what to order so I told them to give me the same. I asked him about himself and he told me he was studying to be a lawyer. He worked for his father and whatever he didn’t spend on his business account he was able to use for himself. It allowed him to provide these nice dates. The veal came and I got to try it for the first time. It was really tender and very good. Of course, I would haven’t expected any less considering how upscale the restaurant was.

[At the Golden Gate Bridge…]

Bjorn used his new gift Open Seal in order to break into one of the towers on the Golden Gate Bridge. The couples were having a good time as they sat and watched the sunset. Regina though, seemed antsy, and it was obvious she wanted to spend some quality time with John. John stalled for a little bit and asked the other packmates about getting a somewhat cheap hotel. Lindsey offered to do so, but Eli told her not to do it. Eli used some money and had Lindsey get three rooms at a cheap, but not bad hotel.

With each of the couples in their own rooms, they all had their sexual encounters with each other. Lindsey and Eli had a blast while John and Regina went at ferociously. Bjorn was trying to get Gina to go a little wilder and she asked him to turn on the TV so no one would hear them. Bjorn turned on the TV and started having sex when a breaking newscast came on the TV. Bjorn stopped for a brief moment to hear the news.

The newscaster said that Officer Kent Wells had been killed during a foot chase with a suspect. At the same time, his son Brent accidently fell out of his second story bedroom window, hitting the pool deck and suffering severe brain damage. Brent was in a coma at the time and the newscaster sent his regards for a speedy recovery for Brent.

Gina asked if something was wrong, but Bjorn just told her it was nothing, thinking it involved William. In truth, it did involve William, and someone was obviously covering William’s tracks. Who did it though, was unknown to the pack. Afterwards, the couples finished up having sex and went to bed.

[Back to Caitlyn…]

After finishing most of my meal, Kenith offered to have dessert. I accepted, but I didn’t know what to order. He suggested the crème brûlée, which I had only heard of, but not ever tried. They brought the flaming custard out to us shortly after ordering. It was actually delicious and lemon flavored.

After finishing our dessert, Kenith offered to give me his personal number. He opened up his briefcase and I saw a picture of Logan’s father from the vision I had that one night in the Sept. He looked older, for obvious reasons, but I was sure it was him. I didn’t say anything to him about it, but I wondered what Kenith had to do with him. He then gave me two numbers, a pager number and his personal cell phone. The pager was for emergencies.

After giving me a number, he asked if there was anything I wanted to do. I suggested we could watch a movie at his place. We headed back to his apartment, which was pretty nice. We sat down to watch Pretty Woman, which there was a slight bit of irony not lost on me. He popped some popcorn in an older air popper and sat it down next to me.

After a little while of watching the movie, I decided to climb on top of him and make love to him. I had just recovered from losing my mind entirely and I wanted this. He was a bit cool to the touch, but was very good at treating me right. We had sex for quite some time, switching positions several times, before I felt satisfied. With that, I feel asleep next to him.

[Back to the hotel…]

Bjorn was awoken to the sound of Gina’s phone ringing. Checking the caller id, he realized it was Lisa. He woke Gina up and she talked on the phone for a moment. There was obvious concern in her voice. She said to stay calm and she would send the guys over. Hanging up the phone, she told Bjorn that Lisa was frightened by a guy creeping around her house.

Bjorn got the rest of the pack up and gathered them together. John snuck out, not wanting to wake Regina up. He left a note going out to get some food in case she woke up.

I awoke to Quetzal telling me to meet up with the pack. I quickly got dressed in my old dress and found Kenith watching TV. I told him I didn’t realize how late it was and I needed to go. He asked if anything was wrong. I kissed him and told no and I would contact him later. I grabbed up my belongings and headed out of his apartment. I ducked into a back alley and had Quetzal make a Moon Bridge to the rest of the pack.

After getting together with the rest of the pack, Quetzal once again opened a Moon Bridge to an alleyway near Lisa’s house. We made our way to her house and ducked into the backyard. There, we saw a man attempting to attach a camera to a tree pointing into her house. John shook the tree and the man finally noticed us.

He asked us what we were doing and Eli responded asking the same of him. He told us he was doing his job as an investigator. We asked him his name and he responded with Carl Kolchak. He asked us ours. I didn’t mind giving him my real name, but the other pack members chose to give him fake names, which clearly made him annoyed.

The conversation went back and forth for a while with him demeaning us about being kids and us telling him his actions were illegal before we finally got to the important aspect: William. He had been looking into William’s appearance at the Fourth of July party. Bjorn mentioned if he had anything to do with Kent Wells. He said yes and Bjorn mentioned he died tonight and his son was severely injured. Carl responded that Brent had died at midnight.

The pack was clearly getting agitated before I finally stepped forward and tried to politely ask him what he was doing. I told him we only seen William during the party looking to spend his money before heading south.

He merely wanted a picture of Tom Carter, Lisa’s father. He thought he might have something to do with William, but it seemed like he was implying there was something more. Still, we agreed to let him take his picture, though it may be some time since Tom worked late on software development and Lisa’s mother had died a year ago. We told him we would give his camera back tomorrow at 5 pm so he wouldn’t have to return and scare Lisa again. He agreed to this and tipped his hat to us, leaving in a beat-up car.

I went into the house and found Lisa. I told her things were going to be all right. With things taken care of, the rest of the pack headed back to the hotel to spend time with their girlfriends. I had Quetzal open another Moon Bridge back to the Sept since I didn’t want to be a fifth wheel. It had been a couple of days of ups and downs, but I laid down that night glowing with happiness from the night with Kenith.

I hoped the rest of the pack had a fun time as I said a prayer for myself and fell asleep…

Into Caitlyn’s Chimare and Between a Rock and a Hard Place… (Game 13)

We returned to the Sept after Star Screamer gave us the herbs needed to help me enter the Chimare and find my memories. We would do it at night when we slept so Eli took the opportunity to visit Lindsey and make sure she was all right. Jonathon and William went with him while the rest of us returned to the cabin.

Once we arrived at the cabin, we found Crafty, Ryan, Kyle, and Mackie talking to several individuals. I struggled to remember any of them at the time, but I could remember who Kyle and Mackie were. We chose to stay back, listen in, and not interrupt. They talked about how our Sept was weak and now since the caern had been strengthened, the Wyrm would now be alert to our Sept.

The conversation obviously showed they were Garou, but we had never seen them before. The banter went back and forth. One of the Garou named Arne told Crafty they carried the fight alone and with the Wyrm drawing closer, we were a weak link in all of the other Septs. Crafty defended us, telling Arne we had already grown much in the few months we had been there. He said we were doing things the old way and to give us more time.

The words rang hollow with the Garou and they mentioned if the roles were reversed, we would kill them. Kyle defended us saying that isn’t true and he looked ready to fight. One of the Garou named Bruce drew in close to Kyle and began to stare him down. It was obvious the full moon was tonight and tensions were running hot.

Another of the Garou named Hansen said they should just kill us all and be done with it. He motioned towards Kyle while speaking to Ryan about how Kyle is going into Harano. The term was unfamiliar to me, although at the time everything was unfamiliar to me. Our Sept was drawing evil and it would only be a matter of time before something happened.

Mackie spoke up at that moment, blaming the strife on the Silver Fangs and it looked like things were getting out of hand. Crafty managed to get them to leave and Arne agreed as nothing was getting resolved at the moment and they would return to finish us. Kyle once again took this opportunity to defend us and the Sept saying he kill any who tried. Bruce took this as another chance to insult Kyle again. Crafty managed to calm the situation down again and the Garou left without incident.

Kyle began to walk away and Ryan asked if he was ok. He made a sexual comment and then headed into the woods with a smile. With that, we approached the Sept elders and asked what the conversation was. Crafty then told us things were looking bad all around. The Silver Fangs wanted our Sept land for a staging ground for battles. The Sept of the Three Waters support was weakening and they may withdraw if we don’t do something to prove ourselves. In addition, the Sept of the Angry Earth didn’t like us and the only thing stopping them from attacking us was the threat of the Sept of the Silver Fury using it as an opportunity to take them over.

None of our other options looked good either. We could ask the Glass Walker Sept up north, but none of the other Septs trusted them and it would just make us look worse. Mackie said we would have to become aggressive with the Sept of the Three Waters to show them our worth. We would also have to build allies within the Sept to keep the support strong. Ryan then asked if I got my head fixed. I wasn’t, but Bjorn assured him by tomorrow I would be.

Before we left, Bjorn asked in what way we would be aggressive with the Sept of the Three Waters. Mackie said he didn’t know yet, but it would have to be something to prove our worth. Bjorn also asked about Harano. Mackie said it is the only real sickness a Garou gets. It is different for every Garou and they either come out of it or fall. Some warning signs were depression and isolation, which Kyle certainly fit. Still, it was too early to make such a presumption. Crafty asked where Eli was and Bjorn told him he was taking care of some business with Lindsey.

For the rest of the night, John fished for his spirit quest with Cat while Bjorn placed his object for Finneus. With the whole William disaster, the rest of the pack besides myself, worked on finding a way to cover the tracks of William. They realized they would have to create a fake id for him and Bjorn asked if anyone could do it. Surprisingly, Miguel was able to do this. It was the first time he had really spoken up about anything. It took some work , but he was able to make an excellent fake id that changed William’s name to Robert William Thomas. We needed to keep his middle name William since other people had been introduced to him as such. After that, Yoder returned and it was time to find my memories.

We gathered together in the cabin and began to burn the herbs Star Screamer gave us. We laid down and went to sleep. Once we did, things became hazy and a smoke appeared in my dream. I realized I had to be in the Chimare we had been told about as the others were there as well. In the distance, we could hear singing.

Cat's Choir

The singing sounded like a church choir and we began to walk in the darkness to it. As we did, we heard clapping. We continued until the smoke began to clear and we were in a church. The choir stopped singing as I saw myself step forward and began singing a solo piece. My voice was angelic and it was surreal to be watching myself sing. We looked around the room and seen two exits behind the stage. We moved towards the one on the left and no one seemed to pay us any attention.

Entering the door, the smoke returned and we could hear a male voice talking. The smoke cleared and we saw a man pushing a young girl on her bike while he talked to a woman. They argued about how he was never around and he was spending the entire day with the little girl before the woman went inside the house. I couldn’t remember who they were, but Bjorn mentioned they were my parents likely. The neighborhood was pretty nice and once they got out of sight, we went into the house. The woman was now on the phone and mentioned someone was here before the world faded to darkness again.

cats last boyfriend

We could hear the voice of a boy before it turned into many. The smoke cleared and we found ourselves in a school. Just down the hall, we could see myself at my locker with a boy leaning on the next locker. I could almost remember the boy, but it wasn’t clear. The rest of the pack assumed it was the boy who fathered my child, but even that didn’t make any sense at the time to me. He introduced himself as Keith. The boy made small talk about me singing in the church choir and tried some pick-up lines on the vision of me. I blushed at the notion in both the memory and in person. After that, the world faded again.

The smoke cleared again and we found ourselves in front of a door. We opened the door to see a Sunday school with preschool children. I sat at the end of the table, reading the story of Noah and the Ark to the children. After that, I was helping the children color pictures. One of the children cried at his picture of a dog because his dog had recently died. I told him we could get a picture of an elephant so he wouldn’t be sad and we could color him yellow. The child said pink instead since he knew it was my favorite color. Eli mentioned that he didn’t realize I had always been a nurturing person, which made me feel better about myself. The memory faded to black.

caitlyns old bed-room1

The smoke began to swirl around now and the world reformed much faster this time. We found ourselves in a room that I could remember as my own. There were spelling bee trophies all around and the room was very girly with pink bedding and upholstery. A memory of Keith and me walked into the room and began stripping their clothes off. I felt a little embarrassed at the pack seeing this, but I didn’t want to say anything. I remembered some of this night. Keith told me he loved me that night and I was nervous about having sex for the first time. He told me we could wait, but I told him it was okay since we would be together forever. Thankfully, things returned to darkness before we could watch anymore. I knew the guys would want to watch, but I’d always been a private person about that kind of thing.

The smoke was swirling violently this time. As it faded, we found ourselves in the toy section of Wal-Mart. A little girl could be seen crying. She wore a pink and white dress and couldn’t have been more than seven years old. She looked up at us and it was the first time one of the memories could see us. I asked her what was wrong and she said she couldn’t find her parents. We offered to take her to the service center where they could page her parents. I took her by the hand and began to lead her as the memory went black.

The smoke was now pouring in and when everything returned, I could see myself angry and crying. I yelled at my parents for not telling me I was adopted. They told me I was special because they chose me. I sat between them and cried as they held me. The memory then faded to black.

A shot of smoke jetted across from us as the world reformed. We were in the kitchen of my house. My parents were fighting about bills and my father being away all the time. The fighting continued, getting harsher as we turned to leave. There, at the steps, we could see a young version of myself listening to conversation with a sad look in my face. Things went black again.

The smoke was beginning to get darker now. When the world reformed, we found ourselves on the outside of my house by the porch. I seen myself on the porch with red eyes, crying from my conversation with Keith. He denied the child was his and that he had heard the rumors. I assumed the rumors may have been about myself being easy. I went into the house and slammed the door causing the world to go black.

The smoke came in like a tidal wave now. As it faded away, we found ourselves back in my room. I was crying about Keith’s denial of my child. My mother handed me a gold cross and bible that belonged to her grandmother once. I hugged her and told her I loved her and everything went black again.

This time, there was no smoke and things faded in. A memory of myself was standing in front of a baby, my baby. He sat in the rocking chair with his Tigger stuffed animal making cooing sounds. I smiled at him and kissed him on the forehead. I told him mommy would be back soon and began to leave. A couple there told me they would take good care of him. I went to leave and wanted to look back, but I was too hurt and saddened by it. It was the moment I left my son to left for the Sept of the Sleeping Lion. Everything faded to black again.

This time, the smoke was black and white. It seemed to be going off in a direction so we followed it. As we did, a familiar smell entered our noses of the herb Star Screamer had given us. We heard singing again, but this time we could not make out the words. The world came into view and it was the church again. However, this time I looked frightened as a sang. None of the words made any sense and my voice began to crack.

As this happened, the parishioners began to transform into something kind of like a movie werewolf. The vision of myself began screaming and ran out the left exit as the wolfman creatures started to chase her. We gave chase after her as five of the creatures closed on the door she exited. There were about 30 in total and they didn’t seem to be paying any attention to us, but we could interact with them, shoving them out the way to get to the door.

The vision of me screamed as she ran down the hall. The wolfman creatures were running and leaping off the walls to get to her. A T-junction was ahead and she took a left as we followed. We all shifted to Crinos form to run faster. Eli leapt over all of them and tried to stop the five closest to her. They managed to slip past him. John took this moment to stop the large group in the back by using brute force. Bjorn managed to close in and take out three of the five near the vision of me. I took down one myself with skill I didn’t even realize I had.

Yoder managed to take out the last one as the vision of me hit the wall. Elevator doors opened and we realized we were in the Worstell Hotel, the wolfman creatures gone. The vision of myself entered the elevator, aging to my age, and a creepy looking guy entering the elevator with her. The doors slammed shut before we could get to her and the walls became translucent where we could see what was going on inside.

The creepy looking guy said “what’s the matter wolfie?” as he closed in on her. The elevator started going up as my vision self told the guy to not touch her. We climbed the stairs as Eli entered the elevator shaft coming after them. I told the pack that this isn’t what happened at the hotel, remembering it clearly. The creepy looking guy grabbed her hair as Eli leapt up to the bottom of the shaft. Eli tried to claw his way through the floor of the elevator, but failed making him lose control.

The creepy looking guy was trying to fondle my vision self as the elevator door opened. John and I grabbed him and my vision self out of the elevator as Eli began coming up through the floor. The creepy looking guy freaked out at the sight of us and we threw him back into the elevator to avoid the Rage of Eli. Eli shredded him as the world faded to black.

Things were still black and Eli charged us. I remembered the Thrall of the Wyrm and Eli was currently in it. We all grabbed a hold of Eli until he finally calmed down. The smoke returned, extremely thick, and began to form a vortex. As the world returned, we found ourselves back in my bedroom. My vision self was being pinned to the bed by Keith as he ripped her clothes off trying to rape her. I quickly grabbed him and threw him into the closet.

My vision self look pale white, almost like she might throw up. From the closet came Samuel Haight, boasting that we couldn’t kill him. I charged him and gutted him, and although it ripped his guts out, he just stood there laughing at us. As we looked on at him, my vision self screamed and began the slow, painful First Change. Her claws began to sprout and bones began to crunch as my parents came into the room. We tried to grab them, but our hands went right through them. We were no longer in a nightmare, but back to a memory. The bed collapsed under her weight as my mother began to pray. My father tried to hold me back, but it was futile. My vision self killed them and the world went black again.

This time, there was no mist. We could barely see in front of us. We knew there was a door there, but we struggled to find the knob. As we opened it, a faceless man appeared in front of us. We asked who he was, but he remained cryptic about it. He told us he was fascinated with me and didn’t want to harm me. He was a Mage who had stumbled into the dream world I created due to my nightmares. He offered to return my memories for keeping the Chimare around.

We asked him about his face and he told us he did it to keep his identity a secret. He told us he could repair my mind and take away my nightmares if I would allow him to use them to power the Chimare longer so that he might study it. He mentioned that we had something he required: the power source. We realized he was talking about the caern.

I realized I would be no good to the pack in my current condition. I couldn’t help them or protect them as an amnesiac, or worse, catatonic. I agreed to it and he transformed into tentacles telling me he was sorry for the hand that fate dealt me, but maybe these things happen so better things can happen in the future. He then told me I should wake up and I did along with the rest of the pack. I could remember everything. I wondered about what the Mage said to me before he fixed me. There was something almost prophetic about it, like he knew more than he was telling.

It was still early that night as only a few hours had passed. Everyone wondered if I was alright and I told them I was, thanking them for helping me. Eli took this time to tell us about the vision Ariel had several nights ago about Lindsey. Since it was still night, we went back to bed. I slept peacefully that night for the first time since shortly before my First Change.

We awoke the next morning and went to Crafty to talk about yesterday. He told us the names of the Garou who had visited yesterday and they had only not attacked because they were constantly busy with the Wyrm and other Septs. Now that I had my bearings, I asked Crafty what he meant by “the old ways,” to which Mackie spoke up about keeping the Sept free of the weak and only Fianna.

Crafty said we’re in a Catch-22 situation because we can’t risk weakening the Sept because the other Septs will think we are weak. At the same time, we can’t strengthen it because the minions of the Wyrm will encroach on us and we might not be able to repel them, looking just as weak as if we let the Sept weaken.

Crafty then told about us about a story Hansen believed. Most knew what Lion represented with the fall of the White Howlers. Hansen believed that his return would bring the rest of the Fianna to join the Black Spiral Dancers. I thought this was ridiculous as Lion was not Wyrm-tainted, merely disgraced. Still, the Sept of the Three Waters was divided and the newscast only seemed to give the story more credibility as they believed the Black Spirals were behind that.

Because of this story and its growing belief, it undermined our accomplishments. Killing Samuel Haight should have gained us much more renown than it did. Even worse, our failings are magnified by this. Mackie took this glum news as an opportunity to drink and went back to the cabin to get some with John going with him. As they left, Crafty mentioned that smoothing over the relationship with the Sept of the Three Waters would help things out.

Still, nothing seemed like it would help. Repaying them might make us look weak depending on how it was done. We flirted with the idea of giving Jonathon to them to help, but that didn’t go any farther than discussion. It seemed like sticking to our business might be the only option that didn’t engender any hatred amongst the other Septs since hiding would do no good. We would have to just keep up public appearances while fortifying our Sept without building our numbers.

We told him about the Mage in my Chimare and I was worried I had endangered not only our Sept, but also the Sept of the Second City in Chicago. He told us Mages had taken out caerns before and it’s why most of the Septs in the area stayed small save the Sept of the Three Waters. He was also worried about why the Sept of the Raging Storm had taken Rage Heart in. The Wendigo hated all European Garou after they took over Septs in the area a couple of centuries ago. The fighting between the Wendigo and European Garou only became a truce in the early 20th century and now our Sept might have broken that truce inadvertently.

We considered asking the Fae for help, but Crafty reminded us they were tricksters and would get more in return than we asked for. However, he said if they owed us, we could hold them to it.

Mackie returned and told us the food was low so we realized we were going to have to go into town. Because we might have to stay at the Sept for a long period, we decided we were going to have to buy food in bulk. We went to talk with Cliff about taking us into Santa Cruz, but not before having one drink with Mackie.

Cliff agreed to take us into town since he needed to shop for the lodge anyway. We took two vans with John driving one and Cliff driving the other. Eli still had $1,500 left from what he withdrew from the ATM so he took $500 for food, $500 for Lindsey, and $500 for a car fund so we wouldn’t have to ask everyone to take us around anymore. Eli asked for any pack members to chip in if they could. We asked Cliff before we left if he had a membership to Costco, which thankfully he did.

Arriving at Costco, we set off to get food and alcohol for Mackie plus moots. Eli told Miguel to snag a wallet or two so we might find some more ids to fake for the rest of the pack who needed a license or id. Miguel managed to get two good wallets, one containing $725, and the other with coupons. We put the money towards the car fund and used the coupons to make the food cheaper and buy more alcohol. I felt bad having to steal from people to do this, but I didn’t want to say anything to the rest of the pack.

After we paid for our stuff and left, Eli had us stop by Lindsey’s place to give her some money. She was curious about it and Eli said it was for all she did for us. She tried to give a hundred dollars back to have him take her out to eat, but he refused to take it, telling her he had a job so he could pay on his own. He mentioned we were going to buy a car. Lindsey said we could borrow her car whenever we wanted, but we didn’t want to if she needed it. Eli took an auto trader magazine and some cardboard boxes before we left her work.

At the Sept, Miguel tried forging the ids he snagged, but didn’t do so hot with it. John used this time to call Regina and inadvertently made a date for himself in San Francisco on Friday. Eli and I went out on bawn patrol with Rusty and Rivet that night. He mentioned he felt he knew me better and didn’t realize I was always so nurturing. I told him thank you, but I wished it could have been on better terms than to have to rescue me. We decided to use this opportunity to hunt. I had been getting better at hunting and with Eli’s help; we got a nice deer to bring back to the Sept.

When we found out about John’s date, Eli decided to make a date with Lindsey in San Francisco since he didn’t want to separate the group. Bjorn also figured he could go on a date with Gina too. It would have left Miguel and myself to our own devices, but I mentioned Kenith who I met in the elevator at the Worstell Hotel I could spend time with. I felt a little bad for Miguel, but I thought maybe he could spend a little time with the Fae since they would keep him safe.

I sat in the cabin that night, staring at my family bible. I still felt guilty for what happened to my foster parents, but I had hoped that now the nightmares were gone, I would eventually be able to put the past behind me. Seeing the memories so clear though hurt and I now wanted my son near me again more than ever. I needed to get in touch with the Sept of the Second City and warn them about the Mages. I laid down that night, cradling the bible in my hands, and said a little prayer for my foster parents. Maybe better things are in store for me.

Learning About the Fae, Joining a Camp, and Caitlyn’s Fractured Mind… (Game 12)

We found ourselves stuck in the middle of a San Francisco neighborhood trying to figure out what to do next. Adela initially didn’t want to come with us, even in spite of mentioning Mabe was one who led us to her.

She told us of her time in an old house. She was taken care of by someone named “The Tutor.” The notion that the Tutor might have been Mabe occurred to me, but I realized it was probably very unlikely. The Tutor fed her, but she suspected there were drugs in the food.

Eli really pressed to let us take her to Mabe, who would probably know more on how to help her. Adela thought the burned items would have been the key to helping her remember, but that wasn’t going to do any good now. At that moment, I realized the old cigarettes were her grandmas. I assumed the journal might have been hers at well. Maybe Adela inherited it. Anyway, we needed to find a way to take her to Mabe.

I didn’t have much money, but I suggested a taxi since we needed to get home quickly because Ariel would be at the lodge at 8 am. We also considered stealing a car, something I didn’t feel very comfortable with. In the end, Eli managed to hotwire an old VW bus, which was perfect considering how many people we had with us. It didn’t have much gas, but it would get us to where we needed to go.

Cliff called as we were getting ready to get into the van. He had gotten information from Crafty that another wayward Garou was in San Francisco. I told Cliff I needed Crafty to call me about Adela and he told me he would get him to return my call. I apologized for keeping him up so early in the morning, but he told me to not worry about it.

I screwed up pretty bad in the car doing the Rite of Questing Stone without realizing Adela might be a breach of the Litany. I was so concerned about helping out another of our bloodline that I did it without thinking. Thankfully, Eli was able to cover for me and have Adela sit in the front so she couldn’t see what I was doing. Adela wondered about why the doppelganger of her wasn’t interested in the quill, but none of us could think of any reason.

Crafty then called and I tried to bluff the situation with Adela. I didn’t want to reveal that Mabe had anything to do with it since both Mabe wanted it a secret and Crafty told us to avoid her. Eventually, I realized I just wasn’t good at lying to him so I handed the phone to Eli and he told the truth about what Mabe wanted. We couldn’t remember what Mabe had said so Crafty told us he would call back and find out.

Adela asked to see my phone and Eli obliged. She marveled at it since it was obviously far more advanced than the tech from 1999. She asked what year it was and we told her. The phone then rang and startled Adela since she couldn’t figure out how to answer it. Eli answered and Crafty repreated what Mabe had said.

“Sad girl. Sad Mabe. Sad People. Free girl. Free People. City close. Golden bridge. Sparkling bay. Take girl. Show girl. Mabe People. Sad now. Show girl. Girl learns. Girl happy. Girl friend. Secrets keep. Silence keep. Friends keep.”

Crafty told us this was why he didn’t want us interacting with Mabe. She was a trickster and could get you doing things that weren’t important to us or maybe even dangerous. Eli told her that she asked us to do it. Still, it was lucky we were in the right city and we could pick up the wayward Garou. It didn’t seem like Crafty was mad at us, but a little more frustrated with Mabe.

The Questing Stone led us to a ghetto of San Francisco. There, in a drain pipe, we heard a small girl snoring. Eli told me to approach her since I would startle her least. I shook her leg and she recoiled back into the tunnel.  Eli told her we were sent here to help her. She told us she had been on her own for a while. She told us she was waiting for one word to know if we were safe. I thought Lion might be it since he summoned us, but it turned out John had it right with Fianna.

The girl’s name was Agnis O’Grady and she had been on her own since her parents were killed off by a threat she guess was supernatural. I could tell she was still scared and didn’t trust us. We began to make our way back to the lodge when Adela announced she was hungry. I mentioned we could stop by a McDonalds on the way and I offered to buy Agnis something to help ease her tension a little.

As we drove towards the nearest McDonalds, a restaurant caught Adela’s eye and she told us she wanted to eat there. It was a classy looking place called the Stinking Rose. I wasn’t sure how much it would cost so we went up to look at the cost of the specials. Sadly, it was far too much for me to afford, even if I just wanted to eat there by myself.

We were going to leave when a massive, hulking man approached us asking if we were hungry. We were all apprehensive at first considering that kind of kindness coming from someone looking like him usually meant bad things. Still, Adela was more than happy to go in and we followed. We tried to lie a bit about where we were from since we didn’t want him knowing where the Sept was. Adela then mentioned going to meet Mabe in Santa Cruz.

Still nervous as we were, he told us to order whatever we wanted and he would take care of the tab. Once our food arrived, I could see that it was very high end and delicious. Still, I checked to make sure there was no Wyrm taint on it because it would be very easy to seduce people like this. Thankfully, it was just regular food.

As we started to eat, a man in a pink hat came to our table and began making small talk. He told us he was Royal Ascot, grandfather of the Summer Court, a title that clearly didn’t sound normal. Agnis and Adela appeared to be staring at his ears and the rest of us wondered why. He told us the large man was Washington Barkley, his soldier, which I didn’t like the sound of. He thanked us for bringing Adela back to awaken her from her sleep. We didn’t understand what he was talking about and then Jonathon mentioned Tolith de Fion.

Realizing we were Fianna, he became even more cordial and told us about the Fae and their relationship to the Fianna. He told Adela had been transformed, but lost her true self to her banality. The doppelganger was merely there to make sure she wasn’t missed. He told us he would keep Adela here, keep her safe, and train her the Fae way. Agnis wanted to know what he was and he replied he was a Fae.

With that, Royal gave us a garlic cube to eat as long as we didn’t make a scene after eating. A little confused, we went ahead and ate it. It allowed us to see the Fae as they truly are. Washington looked like an ogre while Adela looked like a dryad. Royal merely had pointed ears. It was actually pretty cool.

paper bird

For returning the lost Fae, he offered us an origami bird that we could blow on and whisper to so we could get in contact with Royal whenever we needed. We would be brothers to the Fae as long as we did each other right. The bond between us would get stronger for helping each other out. He insisted we stay at a nearby hotel since it was late. I told Eli we would have to postpone the party with Ariel. He was a very touchy, feely kind of Fae and kissed us on the cheek as he got ready to leave with Adela. Before he left, I asked whether you could gain the ability to see them in true form all the time, but he told me it was purely determined by how close your blood was to the Fae. I was a little disappointed since it made me feel like a mutt since I had no pure breed in me as far as I knew.

As we left, Jonathon was concerned about Royal capturing her like the her journal said, but we all put those fears to rest since we trusted him. We took a bus taxi to the Worstell hotel and Eli asked to use my phone. We were going to postpone the party, but instead we decided to bring it to the hotel. Eli told Cliff to bring all of the non-wolf kinfolk to the hotel.

In the meantime, we realized Agnis hadn’t even done her Rite of Passage yet, so we took the opportunity to teach her. I started with the Litany as the most obvious thing to know and then the rest of us worked our way to telling her about the various tribes, Septs, enemies, etc. It wasn’t very much considering our limited experience in life, but for Agnis it must have been a handful. She seemed to take it well and Agnis and I slept in the same room that night.

I awoke the next morning not having any nightmares, which was a relief. They seemed to be getting much worse lately. The kinfolk didn’t arrive till about 7 pm so most of the day was just cleaning ourselves up from our travels. Cliff then arrived with Lindsey, Gina, and Ariel in tow. We told him we could order whatever we wanted since it was all going to be on the house. Cliff took that as a nudge to order some of the most expensive scotch he could.

From there, everyone paired off with the usual people hanging out together. Gina and Bjorn sat together while Eli and Lindsey were together as normal. I sat with Cliff watching TV, sometimes going to see what the others were doing. I only sipped on some of the scotch Cliff got since I wasn’t in the mood to get drunk.

As the night wore on, Ariel went to go get a small bottle of vodka from the mini fridge when she collapsed. Eli and Lindsey helped her up, but she said she was fine. Eli sent Lindsey to get something for Ariel during that time Ariel told Eli of a vision. What she said we don’t know since Eli didn’t say, but I could see concern in his eyes so it must have been something personal and important.

creepy guy in hotel

After that, the night went back to being fun. There was only one bathroom and when I had to pee, it was always occupied. I finally went down to the lobby to go to the bathroom. Once I left, I found myself being hit on by the creepiest guy I had ever met. He tried striking up a conversation with me as I walked to the elevator. I told him I was a minor, but that didn’t deter him. I made it into the elevator and he tried going in with me. I thought I was going to get attacked and it made me nervous as I reached behind my back for Faith. Before things could get bad, a young man pushed him out of the way and shut the elevator.

His name was Kenith Kincaid and he was a lawyer from his family practice. I admit he was kind of cute. We made some small talk on the way up the elevator and he stopped at the floor below us. He managed to get a couple more looks at me before the door shut and I was glad someone had stopped that guy.

I decided I was going to get drunk to calm my nerves from whole ordeal. I sat down next to Cliff and had him give me some of the Scotch. It wasn’t too bad. It was a bit smoky tasting, but for the money it cost it was worth it.

The party continued until Gina’s phone rang. Lisa was on the other end and she told us about how Kristin was freaked out by William’s comments two days ago. She had asked her ex-boyfriend’s dad to look into William and his dead girlfriend. Eli got the news and responded as I thought he would: by punching William in the mouth. Thankfully, no fights broke out, but I knew things were about to get bad for us.

We all went to bed pretty wasted on the booze. I unintentionally nuzzled up to Cliff because I was cold and woke up to the worst headache I have ever had. I have never had a hangover before, but I had heard about them. This was about as accurate as they described. Lindsey was puking in the next room with Eli holding her hair back. Cliff had to get back to work so he took Ariel and Gina with him. Lindsey decided to go with us before returning to vomiting.

We called for Washington and he brought us a limo, which he chauffeured. We stopped by an ATM machine to withdraw as much money as we could from William’s account. Eli told him none of it was his as punishment for what he did. We got $4,000 out of the machine, which we decided would go towards Cliff in spite of any objections he might have. I, along with the others, still believed we owed him for helping us with the whole Foss thing.

We had Washington drop us off at Lindsey’s and thanked him for the ride. We then made our way back to the lodge where Eli gave $2,500 of the money to Cliff. Then we took Agnis to the Sept in order to introduce her to the other members. It was already getting late and I told Eli we were going to have to go work for Brian tomorrow so we all went to sleep that night.

I had the worst nightmare I have ever had that night. I dreamt I was pregnant again and I was giving birth. As I delivered Ryan, the doctor cut the umbilical cord and told me I didn’t deserve my child before walking away. I tried to get up but I began to bleed profusely from all of my orifices before collapsing. My body began to fall apart and I tried to scream for my child but my jaw fell off as I did.

I awoke to Quetzal trying to wake me up. I was almost late. I struggled to get myself together and leave the caern. We all gathered together and made our way to the Kaiser Permanente Arena where the Derby Girls played. Everyone came except for Jonathon and we were split up for various tasks. Miguel, as a younger kid, would be cleaning and folding towels. The rest of us were cataloging business information into the computers there. After that, all of us were shown to the skate cleaning area where we worked on that for a while.

After about three hours, Brian called us back to his office and told us we still needed parental information. We were all a bit disjointed since some of us still had parents and others did not. It looked like we were going to lose our jobs we just got when a familiar looking woman stopped Brian and took him aside. She resolved the whole thing with Brian and then took us aside to talk to us. I recognized her as the lady Bjorn and I helped in the trees. She told us to head to the Waldorf School after work and she would iron out any issues we might have in exchange for not mentioning the whole tree issue.

We finished our work for the day and go paid $80 cash. It wasn’t much, but I decided to save it for something I might need later on. We made our way to the Waldorf School and Lisa greeted us. She told us if we worked for five hours a week at the school, she would waive any fees involved there and help us complete our education. We would just need parental permission for the transcripts from our old school.

The younger members of the pack were going to have to go into school, but Eli chose to simply drop out because his amnesia had robbed him of the necessary information to enroll. John chose to get his GED while I decided to finish out the remaining year and a half I had left.

After we took care of that, we realized we needed to discuss what pack business we should take care of. Since taking care of Cliff was out of the way, we decided that bringing John’s parents to the Sept would be the first order of business. I desperately wanted to bring my son to the Sept since the people hunting us could use him against me. I would rather have him near where I could protect him than risk losing him far away. Unfortunately, with no one to watch him when I was away, I would have to wait until John’s parents arrived. I also mentioned cleansing the Vulture pack since I promised them I would and finding Rage Heart. With our business concluded, we decided to go to sleep.

[The next morning…]

Caitlyn awoke disoriented. She was half-naked with her clothes sitting at the end of the bed. She could not remember anything and did not recognize the pack save for Agnis who she had just met yesterday. She knew her fang dagger Faith was hers, but everything else was foreign to her. Anxiety began to set in and it was obvious Caitlyn was frightened. She tried to leave, but Eli told her to stay while they figured things out.

With some nudging, Caitlyn could remember a few things vaguely like the word Garou, Quetzal, and Mabe. Other than that, everything was a blank. Jonathon tried doing the Rite of Cleansing on her, thinking it was Wyrm related, but it did not fix it. Eli had Quetzal look at her spirit, but nothing seemed out of sorts with it. Confused, the pack called out for Ryan and Crafty.

Neither Ryan and Crafty could figure out what was wrong with her and the ominous statement of “she would have to go” made Caitlyn even more anxious. When the pack mentioned the Sept of the Three Waters, Caitlyn spoke up, remembering something clearly for the first time. The pack took Caitlyn to the edge of their bawn on foot because she could not remember how to shift. Gruffy and Leein greeted them and after being told of the problem, they arranged a meeting at the Pin Gallery.

Arriving at the Pin Gallery, the pack found it crawling with massive Garou who were guarding a Garou named Stands-With-Claw. She was the leader of the Sept of the Three Waters and was clearly not happy with the pack. She was tired of covering for them and they were going to have to pay her back soon.

Eli tried reasoning and buttering her up, but she rebuffed him. She told of the Get of Fenris and Shadow Lords were massing in her tribe against her because of the pack’s failures and decisions. The other two caerns wanted us dead and she wasn’t going to let Crafty die for us. She told the pack to fix our problems and get the Sept in order.

She introduced us to Star Screamer, an Uktena Theurge who would be able to help. She then left, bumping into Caitlyn and calling her a bitch. Caitlyn was still too frightened to react. Star Screamer started looking over Caitlyn much like a doctor, at one point even sticking his finger in her ear. He finally told the pack what the issue was:

“What I have to say is not good. Chimares are pocket realities formed by dreams. Some believe that for each dream of every sentient creature on Earth, there’s a reflection of it in a Chimares; other spiritualists attest that only the most powerful dreams can become ephemeral in the Umbra. Either way, a traveler who manages to enter another person’s dream may give insights into that sentient’s mind. With enough spiritual might, a visionary may reshape the dream, alter its outcome, or influence the dreamer’s mind. A Chimare can be a chilling nightmare or an idealistic paradise. Neither is real, but they’re dangerous enough to maim or kill the unprepared —or drive them mad.

My guess is that this poor girl has had such a problem with her dreams that they have formed their own Chimare with such intense emotion that the Chimare stripped the memories of her dreams good and bad into the mini realm. To correct this, the girl will have to be taken to confront her dreams and deal with them. Without help this would possibly drive her mad, with help everyone going is taking a risk but it decreases the chances of losing her to her own dreams. If you choose not to help her there is a chance that every night she sleeps, more will be lost to the Chimare until it takes her mind completely.

You will not be able to find this place by crossing over to the other side. This place you will have to go into this child’s mind and dream with her. To do that you will need to meditate and bond stronger than you have ever done so in the past. This may help- meditate and burn this so you smell and think as one. That will help. Also, keep in mind that rules do not apply here except for the ones that were created during the dream- so anything goes.”

The pack was given some herbs to help them think as one before Star Screamer told them about various issues. He talked the other Septs who hated the Sleeping Lion Sept, the fact that Rage Heart has been at the Sept of the Raging Storm for two weeks now, and that the Sleeping Lion Sept would likely have to fight another Sept to repay Stands-With-Claw. With that, he politely left.

While the politics of the Garou Nation were looming, the race to save Caitlyn’s mind was on…

 

Learning the Litany and Dealing with Mabe… (Game 11)

The next day after the long adventure into Wolfhome, we returned to find Ariel had went back to college, which wasn’t unexpected. She had spoken with all of the kinfolk, particularly Lindsey, and came to terms with her heritage. She told Lindsey she had a gift, which both sounded nice but a little ominous.

Rusty and Rivet had taken very nicely to the Sept. Kyle had already been working with them on bawn patrol. After seeing how they were doing, we then went to the cabin to see Mackie. He was keenly interested in everything we did in order to learn our stories. He was a true Galliard and I can tell he would be telling others are tales.

After we told him of our stories, he told us it was Fianna tradition to remember what you are fighting for. Kinfolk were the most important, immeasurably so. In addition, we should celebrate after any long quest and live life to the fullest. Bjorn took this opportunity to ask Mackie if any Fianna had ever died of alcohol poisoning to which he said no.

We then asked him about how wolf kin and human kin interact. The simplest answer was it is tricky. The wolf kinfolk will bond with us, but they might not like our human kin. They would be uncomfortable with each other at first, but Mackie did mention it was possible for them to become comfortable with each in time. Just like potential issues with human kin on human kin relations, wolf kin relations can have issues just the same.

After this conversation, Eli suggested a gathering with all the kinfolk in order for the human kin to get to know Rusty and Rivet and vice versa. However, Bjorn also suggested we make sure they can gather as the kin have their own set of issues and pushing them too hard could create strife. I suggested they might even turn to the path that Samuel Haight walked, but Mackie said that was an extreme case and shouldn’t be the norm.

It was getting late that night so we all decided to go to sleep. I slept in the heart of the Sept in the Umbra in Lupus form and was joined by Eli and Bjorn. Unfortunately, my sleep was tormented by nightmares that night. I dreamt of towering above my foster parents as they panicked at the sight of me. I grab my father by the arms and rip them off. My mother tries to head towards Ryan’s room but I grab her by the head and pull her head off like a rag doll. Blood is everywhere but I can’t stop myself. I find myself getting ready to charge to my son’s room when I’m suddenly pinned down.

With that, I was startled awake. Quetzal was trying to wake me up. I had obviously slept in again. I was shook up by the nightmare and I knew I wasn’t going to be on top of my game. Kyle told everyone to gather up as it was time for our weekly klaive duel training.

We all gathered up as Crafty sat on the porch of the cabin in his boxer shorts, eating and drinking, watching us get ready. Kyle told us this week’s maneuver would be caught steel. We all paired up with Bjorn working with me as usual. Kyle showed us the maneuver and I went first. I held out my klaive and charged Bjorn, my klaive scraping against his until I hit the hilt and twisted my arm, driving his sword to the ground. We reset and Bjorn tried to do the same but fumbled.

After that, Kyle told us to stop and then we worked on the next part of caught steel, which was taunting. After you ground your opponent’s klaive, you taunt them because a Garou who frenzies, loses the duel. I went first again, but my taunt was pretty weak. I just personally have never been that kind of person and don’t insult people. Bjorn took several tries, but he finally got my klaive down and taunted me. We all continued practicing, but I took a moment to ask Quetzal if taunting broke the ban on being rude. Quetzal said no since it was part of the challenge, but extremely vicious taunts might be considered a violation of the ban like when Jonathon peed on Eli.

As we practiced, Eli took the time to reciprocate Jonathon’s taunt by grounding his klaive and simply holding him there. Without warning, Kyle came from behind and caught Eli by the leg, sweeping him. He mentioned if he was a creature of the Wyrm Eli would be dead. It was obvious using Sense Wyrm on him was a bad move, but I personally and internally felt it was right since the Wyrm is insidious and can taint you without your knowledge.

Crafty took exception to this and told Kyle that was enough. Kyle dropped his wooden klaive and stormed off into the woods. Crafty helped Eli up and told us training was done for the day. He did mention the position of Master of Challenges was needed to be filled soon. Bjorn took to the idea and Eli agreed. We asked what would be involved in such a position.

The Master of Challenges had to oversee the rules and action of a challenge in order to maintain fairness. They would have to be unbiased, which Bjorn fit nicely, and fair. Challenges had several specific rules:

1)      There must be a direct challenge issued to the individual.

2)      The challenged must accept, but may deny it if the challenge is deemed unjust.

3)      The challenged picks the conditions and location, but both parties must agree on them.

4)      If any rules are broken, the challenge isn’t valid.

5)      Finally, any frenzy in a challenge is an automatic failure.

Crafty told us to remember that the Master of Challenges must be unbiased because they are speaking for the entire Sept, not just the pack. In addition, one final rule of the challenge was in the event of no Master of the Challenge or a challenge being issued directly to the Master themselves, the parties were to use the Sept leader as the Master. We would have until next moot to decide on who it would be.

After our training, we decided it was time to eat. Bjorn went to work on preparing some of the leftover wildlife we had hunted while Jonathon and I hunted for something for our new wolf kinfolk. For the first time ever, I was able to catch something hunting all by myself. I was ecstatic in spite of my restless night’s sleep. It was only a squirrel, but I figured the wolf kinfolk wouldn’t be judgmental. Jonathon did a little better and found a rabbit so we made our way back to the cabin.

Jonathon howled for Rusty and Rivet and they made their way to the cabin shortly. Jonathon preferred to stay in Lupus form and nudge the animal to Rusty while I shifted back to Homid and fed Rivet personally while petting him. He seemed to enjoy the food and attention so that made me feel better for the day.

After we managed to eat out fill, Mackie wanted us to come into the cabin and chat with him for a moment. He wanted to go over the Litany, what we know, and how he, along with tribe, interprets it. We all took turns reciting rules though I don’t remember there being an actual order of them. The Litany was as follows:

1)      Garou Shall Not Mate With Garou

2)      Combat the Wyrm Wherever It Dwells and Whenever It Breeds

3)      Respect the Territory of Another

4)      Accept an Honorable Surrender

5)      Submission to Those of Higher Station

6)      The First Share of the Kill for the Greatest in Station

7)      Ye Shall Not Eat the Flesh of Humans

8)      Respect Those Beneath Ye – All Are of Gaia

9)      The Veil Shall Not Be Lifted

10)   Do Not Suffer Thy People to Tend to Thy Sickness

11)   The Leader May Be Challenged at Any Time During Peace

12)   The Leader May Not Be Challenged During Wartime

13)   Ye Shall Take No Action That Causes a Caern to Be Violated

Most of the rules Mackie adhered to by the letter of the law, but a few things needed to be cleared up or told from his perspective. I wondered about innocent humans who were tainted by the Wyrm involuntarily if they have to be killed. I certainly never want to kill a human if I can avoid it. He told me combating the Wyrm included cleansing and the death of a human should be a last resort if you can’t cleanse them. I felt a little relieved at this.

The only one Mackie really didn’t care for was submission to those of higher station. I think this one was colored by the story he told us of the Gaian King who abused the Silver Crown. Still, Mackie believed occasional rebellion to those of higher station was actually a good thing and helped create progress in the Nation. I felt this made sense. After all, if we enforced some of the rules to the letter, there would be no Metis and we need every available Garou for this fight.

One thing I disagreed with was that respect to those lower than you. Mackie believed this was related to Garou only, but I was taught at the Glass Walkers Sept that you respect all life. It’s why we can’t just go killing every animal we want to because we’re bored. Outside of that, I agreed with everything.

After our chat with Mackie, Bjorn wanted to borrow my phone and call Gina. I noticed it was almost dead, but I figured it was for the best since Bjorn was very happy around her. He managed to get an answer, but Gina was hysterical. She was talking about someone being hurt and beaten and someone coming to get them. The phone died at that moment and we made the decision to go see her.

The run to Gina’s house took some time but I had been getting more athletic from all the exercise I now did. At Gina’s house, we found blood on the door handle of the front door and feared the worst. We entered and Bjorn called out to Gina. We could hear her upstairs so we traveled to her room to find Gina with another kinfolk named Shannon Johnson. She had been beaten bad and was afraid to go back to a Garou named Lightning Claws. He had been forcing her to have sex with many different Garou.

At the most inopportune moment there was knocking at the back door in the kitchen. It was pretty obvious who it was going to be, but Eli went to answer anyway. At the door was Lightning Claws himself. He told Eli he wanted Shannon back and that she was rightfully his. He told us he wouldn’t enter and Eli would have five minutes to get her before he considered using force.

Eli went back in and chatted amongst us. I told Eli we would have to do this by the book and issue a challenge otherwise; we risked not only looking bad in the eyes of the other Garou, but also Quetzal. William wanted to throw eggs at him to provoke a fight so we could beat him until he gave her up. Ultimately, Eli decided to return to the door and issue a challenge.

Lightning Claws wanted Gina if he won and I could tell that wasn’t going to fly with Bjorn. Eli said that wasn’t an option. Lightning Claws eventually seemed to relent since his was so confident in his ability to best Eli. He told Eli the challenge would take place at his Sept when we were ready.

Then, we could hear Gina’s parents SUV pull up. Inside were not only her parents, but also another individual dressed somewhat oddly for the area. He smelled like a dumpster and it wasn’t pleasant. He asked us to talk in the house while Gina’s parents went upstairs to take care of her and Shannon.

Eli took the time to explain the situation, but the man, who was a Garou named No-Hands-Catches-Fish, told us to drop it. He told us he understood why we were doing it, but that we couldn’t take in every kinfolk who was in trouble all the time. I personally felt Shannon was going to end up dead if she stays with Lightning Claws. No-Hands-Catches-Fish told us he would fix the situation, and if in two weeks nothing had changed, he would personally oversee the challenge.

I took the opportunity to charge my phone while No-Hands-Catches-Fish took Shannon home in Gina’s parents’ SUV but not before telling Lightning Claws to leave and return to the Sept. Bjorn went to talk with Gina for a moment while we decided what to do with the rest of the day. Eli suggested we look into Brian Cripe’s offer of a job.

Derby Girls logo

We made our way to the roller derby. It took a little running, but it wasn’t too far out. We were greeted upon entering by his secretary and we told him our business with him. She summoned him and he took us into his office. He asked us what we wanted before realizing we were the kids he seen at the Fourth of July party.

The offer for a job was basically just running errands for $10 an hour. Both John and I would be able to do some driving around town errands, but anyone under 16 would have to stay at the derby. We were to leave the derby girls alone, something I didn’t have a problem with. We were allowed to work two to three hours on weekdays and eight on weekends. We choose to work just on the weekdays since we didn’t know where our journey as Garou would take us. The younger pack members would need parent’s permission and documentation while the older members just needed documentation. I handed him my driver’s license and he scanned it. Our first day would be Monday at 8 am.

Afterwards, John wanted to call Regina so I let him since my phone now had a partial charge. Regina mentioned being with Kelly at the beach house, who kept wondering about Jonathon. She also wondered about whether I was there, which I found odd. She said we could get together and have a small party. I was invited and Eli decided to get Lindsey and Gina, who had finally calmed down from the whole ordeal earlier.

Before we went there, Jonathon wanted to get Kelly a present so I offered to help him buy something. We went to the mall where Gina and I shopped and I picked up some perfume that I thought she might like. I was worried if he picked it out it would ruin any chances of him getting with her since he seemed to be love struck.

When we arrived we found not only Regina and Kelly, but also Kristin. It was obvious they weren’t expecting Lindsey to come. Kristin seemed smitten with her and it rather dawned on me why they wanted me there. In the meantime, Regina pressured Kelly to show Jonathon something. Kelly showed Jonathon her favorite superhero, Captain Amazing. It was funny to watch Jonathon’s eyes light up at it like he found his soul mate. I rather wished I had someone like that around me.

As the show started to play, a breaking newscast interrupted the show.

breaking

We break your original programming to bring you a special channel 5 report.

anchor

At 2am this morning 911 dispatchers received this call..

911 – “9-1-1 what’s your emergency?”

Male voice – “I’m coming for all of them! They will not escape me! (Screaming heard in the background) I will not stop until we have them all.”

911 – “Who is this? Is somebody hurt?”

Male Voice – “No they are all dead. Even if they are walking around right now, they will be dead soon. I have gotten to over 20 already and I know there are still more to go. I cannot be stopped!”

911 – “Where are you calling from Sir?”

Male Voice – “Do you hear me kids? I’m coming for you. Just because you think you have the upper hand we WILL get you. I will get your family, friends, Kin, Allies, and anyone else to wipe your linage from this earth. ”

911 – “Sir, what kids are you referring too? Where are you calling from?”

Male Voice – “I will cause destruction if this is not played throughout southern California. I left a message here (screaming stops and the phone is dropped and silence in the background with several voices laughing as they are apparently leaving the room.)

crime scene

Now during that call police were called to the scene where they discovered a note, a video,  and 3 bodies.

Police have not disclosed the contents of the note but they have discovered some grizzly news. Evidence linking the caller with missing children and unsolved child murder cases across the U.S. over the past few months was found at the scene as well. Police refused to release the information but Newscast 5 suspects they include…

nancy collins

11 year old Nancy Collins of Carltonville, Michigan. Nancy was kidnapped from her room while her parents slept two doors down.

carl west

Carl West,12, Boomtown, Ohio. Abducted while walking home from school in broad daylight.

cindy fisher

Cindy Fisher, 16, Chicago, Illinois. While at her high school dance Cindy snuck outside to have a cigarette with a friend and was never seen again.

jamie and jimmy burnett

Jamie and Jimmy Burnett, 7 and 11 respectively, Washington DC. These two were at a grocery store and were abducted within a 10 minute window with no witnesses.

sherry orem

Sherry Orem 13 years old from Newland Nevada. Sherry went to a local park that is within a block of her home. Witnesses say that she was texting on her phone and a man was seen handing her another phone and walking off with her never to be seen again.

paul carver

Paul Carver, 13, of Denver Colorado. Coming home from a babysitting job 2 houses down from his own Paul was abducted.

beatrice and sandy burkshire

Beatrice and Sandy Burkshire, 17 and 5 respectively, of  Charlesburg, Indiana. The sisters went on an ice cream outing, never to be heard from again.

christopher welling

Christopher Welling, 6, from Danville, Texas. Chris was at his grandmothers house in her back yard playing around 3pm. When she heard her phone ring she went in to get the phone, when she returned Chris was nowhere to be found.

An astounding 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day, including both adults and children. But only a tiny fraction of those are stereotypical abductions or kidnappings by a stranger. For example, the federal government counted 840,279 missing persons cases in 2001. All but about 50,000 were juveniles, classified as anyone younger than 18. Reports of missing persons have increased six fold in the past 25 years, from roughly 150,000 in 1980 to about 900,000 this year. The increase was driven in part by the country’s growing population. But the numbers also indicate that law enforcement treats the cases more seriously now, including those of marginalized citizens.

Police believe that this man is part of a group possibly even a gang that abducts and murders children. All of these children were reported missing this year and in no known pattern. Police also have been speaking to government officials as it is believed that this group has ties outside the country which link to kidnappings going on all over the world.

A strange message

Now it is important to note that the 3 bodies that were discovered were not identified but channel 5 news has learned that they were teens from a San Diego High school. Police want families to keep a close eye on their kids for the next few days but not to panic.  These people are dangerous but are more than likely trying to baffle authorities so that they can make their escape.

Channel 5 will return if any further details develop.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.

After the broadcast, Kelly was bummed it interrupted her favorite show. However, our pack was nervous. The message was clearly aimed at us. I began to worry even more about my son. I might have to get him even if the Sept isn’t ready yet.

Since the show was ruined for Kelly, she decided to take Jonathon up to her parent’s room. Because Eli didn’t want anyone going anywhere alone, he and Lindsey followed them. Up there, Kelly showed Jonathon all her and her dad’s Captain Amazing memorabilia. Jonathon was absolutely blown away by it and spent quite a bit of time with Kelly in the room, while Lindsey raided the fridge with Eli.

While Kelly, Jonathon, Eli, and Lindsey were away, we made small talk with Regina and Kristin. Kristin was really interested in Lindsey, but Bjorn told her she was committed to Eli, which depressed her. She then turned her attention to William. She nuzzled up to him and began asking questions. With each question about how wealthy he was and if he was single she began to get closer to unzipping his jeans. Then, William botched things horribly by talking about how his last girlfriend was dead and he had killed her. Turned off by this, she turned her attention to the last eligible person, Miguel. However, Miguel seemed disinterested. Thankfully, she didn’t come on to me because I would have felt awkward.

John went on later that night to have sex with Regina while Eli and Lindsey also had sex. Before we left that night, Jonathon gave Kelly his present, which she liked. She responded by kissing him on the cheek and holding hands with him. Gina asked William if what had happened to him was true, to which he responded yes. She told him he might want to keep that to himself.

Gina took us home at about 11 pm that night. We arrived to hear a voice coming from the cabin. Inside we saw nothing so we went into the Umbra. There we found Mabe speaking in her stunted style of speech. It was my best guess she wanted us to help a Fae like her. After leaving the Umbra, we found a journal, an old pack of cigarettes that were almost 100 years old, an old writing quill, and a tarot card. The card translated to “The Lovers” and Miguel had to read the journal since it was all in Spanish. It was by a girl named Adela Marcela. She had been kidnapped and taken to a strange realm. There she was raped and a creature pulled a light from her stomach and made her eat it. The journal also contained several bizarre and creepy hand drawn images.

We debated for several minutes on what to do. I know I was curious, but it was already 11:30 and a quick lookup of Adela Marcela in my phone yielded an address in San Diego. It was a two-hour run in Hispo, even at our fastest. Ultimately, we decided to make the trip and find out what these items meant.

The run was uninterrupted thanks to taking the Umbra at night. No banes were out so we were able to get there quick. Once we arrived at the address, we were stumped on what to do. There were no lights on save the porch light. There were a couple of cars in the driveway and there was no basement so sneaking in wasn’t an option. We decided to have Miguel, as the only person who knew Spanish, and I talk to her.

We all went to the porch and tried to decide what to say when without warning, William knocked on the door. The rest of the pack scurried as the lights in the house came on. A young Hispanic woman in her thirties answered and both Miguel and I could not figure out what to say. She was indeed Adela Marcela, after we stumbled to get the conversation going, and knew of the items, but acted strange about them. She didn’t know about the quill and seemed to disregard the fact the cigarettes and journal were almost a century old. After we had worn out our welcome, I offered her the items and we left.

At first, we felt like nothing was accomplished. Then, I spotted a girl in the neighbor’s backyard who could have been Adela’s daughter. I made my way to her, climbing a fence, and called out to her. She was polite, but seemed sad. She said she was the real Adela Marcela and that the woman inside was an imposter. She lived with the imposter for a while, but was eventually kicked out. She had been missing since 1996 which still didn’t provide any answers about the items we found. I offered to take her back to our Sept till we could help her. All she replied was “I’m lost.”

Things just got a little weirder in our world…

Getting in Touch with Our Inner Wolf… (Game 10)

After Ariel agreed to stay and got comfortable, we all went to bed that night. I slept in my usual spot in the caern. I managed to get a good night’s rest with no nightmares.

The next morning, Eli wanted to go into the Umbra to learn a gift. We got ourselves together, crossed the Gauntlet into the Umbra, and then Eli called to Quetzal to help us. Quetzal told us he would be able to help find a teacher, but it would take a little time.

We waited around for what had to be about 20 minutes, when Quetzal reappeared. We were to go north on a moon path until we met the spirit who would be teaching Eli. The spirit turned out to be a wolf spirit named Shebia.

Quetzal utilized his strong position in the spirit world to get Shebia to speak in English to the pack as otherwise Jonathon or I would have to translate the entire thing. Eli implored Shebia to be taught the Pack Tactics gift and offered whatever would be required of him to do so.

Shebia told us she would be willing to teach, but that we would have to work as wolves to understand what the gift meant. We would be told to follow a second moon path into Wolfhome, a realm none of us had ever been to before. Quetzal tried to implore Shebia that this was too great a task for such a simple gift, but Shebia would not relent and said that this was her chiminage to choose.

The journey into Wolfhome could result in us being trapped there permanently, so Eli put it to a vote on whether we should go. He refused to risk the safety of the pack for something devoted solely to him. Still, we agreed to do so anyway. It was only right anyway, as others had been forced to go with Jonathon, John, and myself when we learned our gifts.

Before we headed off, Quetzal told us he cannot go and if he did, it might influence our decisions. He told us as long as we held to the tenets set forth by him as a pack totem we would be just fine. However, John could not go, as he had to fulfill his spirit quest to Cat and fish for the week. With that, a dirt path illuminated before us and we set off to our destination.

After 15 minutes of walking towards Wolfhome, Quetzal began to ask us questions. He started by asking Jonathon what he remembered before his First Change. Jonathon told us about going school and spending time with his parents. William went next and told us about nearly having sex for the first time and changing. Miguel told of his First Change during a Day of the Dead parade. Bjorn’s First Change was just like mine after having a nightmare. I remember being held down by a pack of Glasswalkers once my First Change ended. I also remember looking over at foster parent’s dead bodies. It was traumatic to say the least. Eli couldn’t remember anything before his First Change.

Quetzal then asked what our worst memory was. I relive the death of my parents every night in my dreams, but the real sadness was my boyfriend at the time denying Ryan was his. I hadn’t felt like I could trust dating a guy ever since. Bjorn told of a severe beating he took when he was caught stealing. Miguel’s was similar with him being jailed for stealing for his mother. William’s worst memory seemed a bit vapid when he had slow room service at the Hyatt and disappointed his friends. Jonathon’s worst memory wasn’t exactly clear, backsliding into Captain Amazing and how he saved his family from a horrible beast, which I assumed was him. Eli, naturally, had no worst memory thanks to the amnesia. I almost wish I could have it too.

Quetzal then asked our biggest regrets. Jonathon regretted being separated from his family. William regretted killing Susan, the girl he was with during his First Change. Miguel was sad he could not help his mother. Bjorn didn’t like breaking the rules after the beating he took. Eli was regretful about losing Rage Heart, which I agreed with and still hope he comes back. For me, it was giving up my child. I knew I couldn’t take him and I felt at that moment as though I had lost everything.

Quetzal next asked what our happiest memory was. Eli was happy that everyone had come together as family and a pack. Miguel told of his fifth birthday and how he got presents that year. William was ecstatic about changing for the first time consciously and how it made him feel. Jonathon was happy about the first time he spoke to the spirits. For me, it was obvious it was the birth of Ryan, my son. There’s nothing in the world like it seeing your child for the first time.

Quetzal asked what about biggest secret was. Jonathon, humorously mentioned “motorboating” Kelly at the party. William said his secrets were his own, which was worrisome to me that he wasn’t being very open like the rest of us. Bjorn spoke of how he was in love with Gina. Eli had nothing because of his amnesia, but his feelings for Lindsey might be one. Miguel told us he was too young to have secrets. For me, I had a crush on the Sept Leader, Daniel Morris, in Chicago. It was dangerous I know, but I just couldn’t help it.

Quetzal then moved on to our biggest fear. Eli dreaded losing a packmate. Bjorn worried about the Litany failing him. William acted as though he had no fears. Miguel, mentioned killing William for constantly bringing up his mother, which had been going on for most of the walk. Jonathon didn’t want to hurt anyone as a Garou. I feared never seeing my child again. It was a lonely, empty feeling for him to not be near.

Quetzal then asked us what our roles were in the pack. Jonathon said he helped the pack with the spirits, which was very true. I could do it, but Jonathon had a much more natural talent for it. William said he was the voice of reason, although I highly doubt that. Miguel said he just rolled with the pack and that he was the Ragabash for the pack. Bjorn maintained his role as judge and Philodox while Eli said he hoped to be the scale and balance. I personally said that I was the heart and soul of the pack, or more accurately, its conscience.

We were then asked by Quetzal to tell what each of us thought what our views were of each other starting with Eli. He said the Theurges were the key to the spirits. Bjorn and I were the PR people for the group owing to our ease of working with normal people. Bjorn also maintained good relations with the kinfolk, which was great for the Sept. William was somewhat undefined now, but he was a decent Galliard. John was the warrior for the group while Miguel “Press One” was the saving grace for the group who kept everyone out of trouble. Finally, Jonathon was the go to guy for spirits, but he needed to mature a bit.

It was then my turn to express my views. I thought William might make a better Ragabash than a Galliard, which he didn’t take very well. Jonathon was more suited to the spirits than I am. Bjorn acted as a rule keeper for the group. John was the warrior and Eli was the leader in progress. As for Miguel, I wasn’t sure what to think since he’s so quiet all the time.

Bjorn then went next. He said William was a button pusher while Miguel was just an easy going Ragabash. Eli was growing into his leadership role while John was the obvious warrior. Jonathon was naïve, trusted the spirits greatly but also very gifted with them, and very passionate about many things you wouldn’t think a 12 year old would care about. Finally, for me, he said I was sort of a paradox. I had a very strong moral compass, but I fought as hardly as any Ahroun which I appreciated the sentiment.

It was now Miguel’s turn. He thought that William was an instigator and troublemaker for the group while Jonathon was a great spirit talker. Bjorn was like a principal for the group and a rule follower. Eli was the leader for the group and John was the muscle. For me, he said I was a strong fighter and the obvious Ritemaster for the group.

William was up next and his views were actually pretty thought provoking. Bjorn was the calm, levelheaded one of the group. Miguel was the youthful inspiration of the group who kept up the good in the pack. Eli was the leader who had to make the hard decisions, but he should listen to William more often. John was a true Fianna who was equally a lover and a fighter. For me, he said I was the quiet secret weapon of the group and had more talents than we use. It actually surprised me to hear this and made me wonder if his antics with provoking people were just a ruse. Finally, his opinion of Jonathon was less than favorable. He felt Jonathon was playing with fire by having Tick as a personal totem, he was losing his role in the pack, and that Tick would eventually corrupt him.

Jonathon was the last to go. He thought John was the classic Fianna warrior while Miguel was merely a follower. Although his views on the rest of the pack were not so favorable in my opinion. He thought Eli had potential to be a good leader, but lacked confidence, often relying on the opinions of the pack too much. He thought Bjorn was all for the pack, but more interested in Gina at times. For William, he viewed him as starved for attention who wants to fight for the pack, but equally also causes them. Finally for me, he thought my Garou nature was drawing me away from my faith and that I was suppressing my anger. As far as suppressing my anger, perhaps, I don’t want to rude to people, not just because of Quetzal, but also because I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. As far as my faith was concerned, I just didn’t want to be one of those proselytizers, trying to convert people all the time. I would rather them come of their own free will. Although, I realized I hadn’t prayed in a while and made a mental note to get back to it now that things had calmed down after the whole Samuel Haight business.

We finally arrived at the entrance to the realm. Quetzal told us he could not go in, but he would wait for us. Entering the realm, I found myself and the rest of the pack immediately entering Lupus form. I assumed this was part of the test for us to work as an actual wolf pack. A trail went on deeper into the woods and we decided to walk along the edge of the trail. We kept walking that way for what must have been thirty minutes when it ended.

As the trail ended, we came across a parking lot with wooden posts. In the parking lot we seen a couple vehicles with brown, white, and red markings that we couldn’t make out what they said. There were four men outside with three dogs and one man in one of the vehicles. All them were wearing camouflage gear and talking when they pointed in our direction.

Jonathon and Bjorn were able to make out a few words they said: “They’re armed, call in.” Outside of that, we couldn’t understand them and for some reason, couldn’t even read their body language. With that, we ran back into the forest and heard gunfire behind us. The dogs were barking in the distance as well, but it didn’t sound like they had been let off their leashes.

We decided to split off into pairs and meet up after a little bit. Bjorn and William paired while Eli went with Jonathon. I paired up with Miguel and we set about marking the area in order to confuse the dogs. We met back up after some time and we had appeared to evade the men and dogs. Heading back to the parking lot, we felt wind blowing and heard the sound of a motorized object. Jonathon looked up and seen a helicopter and told us to get to deep brush. As we head back, we noticed the truck had animal control written on it and we were able to make it out clearly suddenly.

After finding safety deep in the woods and realizing the men weren’t chasing us any more, we decided we needed to eat. We picked up the scent of many different animals and tried to pinpoint a deer. Jonathon managed to pick up one’s scent and we started to hunt it. As we did, Bjorn caught the smell of something strong nearby and Eli went to investigate. Inside a hollowed out log, Eli found a fox. The fox pleaded for its life and Eli told it to run. He then proceeded to mark his territory before realizing the animal managed to speak. He chased it back again and we all followed.

Eli managed to catch up to the fox again who was noticeably scared. Eli introduced the fox to our pack and told him we weren’t going to hurt him. He asked him if he had seen any deer in the area. The fox managed to point us in the direction of several deer. It took several hours and Bjorn had to pick up the scent again, but we finally found a group of them in a clearing. There were several bucks and a doe.

The deer had caught sight of us and a chase ensued. We singled the doe out since it would be the weakest and not have the ability to put up a fight. After quite a run through the forest, the doe began to slow down and that is when I made my strike. I bit hard into the leg of the doe, breaking its leg in the process. It collapsed screaming for its life, which was a bit unsettling to say the least. William went in for the kill as it continued to plead. Although it was sad to hear it beg for its life, we were here to act as a wolf pack, and we’d see it through. Eli obviously got the first of the kill and we eventually all nudged our way in and had our fill. I was finally starting to get this hunting thing down.

After eating, we may our way back to the log where once again the fox darted off. We decided to go back to sleep and see what the next day would hold for us.

After a night’s rest, we decided it would be best to explore the forest and try to see where that takes us. We explored for what must have been hours and came across a small waterfall. I drank some of the cool, refreshing water that was great considering how long we had been traveling. It was at that point we could hear a low whine in the distance. Traveling towards it, Eli made a pack formation with Bjorn and I in the front, Eli in the center, and the others in the rear.

We came across a wolf trapped in what looked like a bear trap. We tried to approach, but she just snapped at us and told us pack would be here soon. Eli offered to help or we could just leave her alone until the men came for her to which she replied she’d sooner chew her leg off than let them get her.

We managed to distract her while I figured out how to get the trap open. Jonathon managed to convince her to accept our help and William and I opened the trap for her. She was amazed at how we did that and we simply told her we had been around it before. We offered to take her back to her pack. We realized her leg was badly broken from the trap and she would be in no shape to travel. I decided to use Mother’s Touch on her leg, but I found it incredibly hard to muster. It took a tremendous amount of effort, but I managed to heal her leg mostly.

She led us to her pack and her alpha naturally growled at us. She went to talk to the leader. We surveyed them, as there appeared to be nine of them, one with a collar who could only be assumed to be the omega considering how far back he was. The pack leader asks what we were doing here and Eli told him of helping out the female. We offered to run with them and we were forced to submit to the alpha in order to join.

After the usual sniffing of each, everybody seemed to be all right with each other. It was not something you see in the human world for sure. Although the original pack members wouldn’t let us be in front, for the better part they were friendly.

We went on a hunt that lasted nearly two days. During that time, we were able to get to know the pack better. There were no names involved, considering they were wolves, but each had distinct personalities. The alpha told us about the den where they stayed. He also told us about a rival pack that was encroaching on their hunting grounds. It was as large as this pack is now.

We finally found a nice size deer. The pack hunted like a well-oiled machine, running the deer down to exhaustion before going in for the kill. We then followed the normal chain of command when eating. The alpha told us of pups at the den and since the deer is too large they would have to bring back bits of meat to them. I happily grabbed some meat even though I wasn’t under any obligation to do so. We then made our way back to the den.

Once we got back to the den, I was horrified at what I saw. All of the pups had been slaughtered along with the two wolves watching them. Our alpha tried to submit and leave the area, but I wouldn’t do it. William questioned the alpha for the other pack, aptly named Scar for the injury on his eye, about whom he was and why he would do something like this. All William got in return was snarky answers and all of could tell he wasn’t a regular wolf but a Garou leading the pack.

I couldn’t stand it any longer and my anger boiled over. Our alpha tried to lead us away, but I charged Scar. Eli managed to get in my way while our alpha gave me a humbling bite on my hindquarters. Unable to get to him, I gave in and followed the rest of the pack while Scar taunted us as we left.

Once we left, our alpha surprised me by asking me to come to the front with him. I thought he was going to berate me, but instead he just let me run with him. It wasn’t until a little later it dawned on me I was the last female in the pack.

We traveled again for two days before finding a gorge to rest. There was a small cave-like crevice there that the others began bringing sticks and leaves so they could create a nice den. The alpha had me stay with him and him alone. I tried to polite, not wanting to upset the nature order of things, and laid down to rest with him.

The rest of the White Lion’s Pride pack was getting restless. Not sure of what to do, Eli entered the den and told the alpha we were leaving and I was coming with him. The alpha obviously didn’t like that idea and a brief, but violent duel ensued with Eli the victor. With that, the other remaining wolves from the original pack left with the alpha and we decided to make our way back to the spot we entered.

It was a long journey, but there near our entrance point was Scar. I felt anger again, but I held it back seeing how he was alone. Scar explained to us that he knew we were Garou and new to Wolfhome. Traveling back the way we came wasn’t the way out and one would have to know the rules of Wolfhome to leave. He told us if we could get six rules of Wolfhome we could be able to leave.

We all gave it a shot, initially thinking of various nature related things, but they were all wrong. Only when we started thinking of this as an Umbral realm did we get a few answers right. We weren’t able to get more than three at first and Scar told us to return in a day when we thought more on it.

We returned the next day and gave a few more rules that we had thought about. We had given him enough and he filled in the rest for us. We were then free to leave whenever we felt. Before we left however, we asked Scar why he stayed here, as he mentioned we had only been there for six days when he had been there for six years. He told us he was Metis and here he could live like a king whereas in the normal world he was treated with disdain. We thanked him for his help and left the realm.

Upon returning to the prenumbra, Shebia and Quetzal were there waiting for us. Because of our journey, she offered to teach anyone in the pack the gift’s Sense Wyrm and Pack Tactics. Eli obviously learned his, but Jonathon and William also underwent her tutelage. It was then a raccoon spirit named Finneus appeared. He offered to teach anyone Open Seal for a favor. Bjorn and William underwent this training in exchange for placing a shiny object near our cabin while whispering a weakness of all the pack including William and Bjorn once a day for a week.

After returning to the Sept, we were surprised to see Kyle approaching us winded, asking where we had been. We told him about the journey to Wolfhome and he told us of intruders on the bawn. He tried to scare them away in Crinos form, but they didn’t budge. We went to investigate but not before using Sense Wyrm on Kyle to make sure he was all right since we had never seen him winded before.

It took some searching but in the forest, we found two wolves with collars on their necks. The collars read Rusty and Rivet and they had escaped from a wolf preserve. They were scared and didn’t want to return to the preserve. It was obvious they were kinfolk. Jonathon managed to comfort them while taking off their collars. We brought them back to the cabin where Mackie, Ryan, Kyle, and Crafty were. They were unsure of what to do, but decided it would be better left up to us. We needed more kinfolk and allies, so we agreed to take them in.

Overall, it was a long, but exhilarating week. I feel much more in tune with my wolf nature and feel like I can get this survival thing down pat. I wonder where we’ll go next.

 

One Party Ends and Another Begins… (Game 9)

The moot continued with Jonathon telling us how he joined the pack and how he helped us work with the spirits better, which I silently agreed with. Finally, Miguel told of how he survived a crippling wound fighting Samuel Haight. With our tales done, each one of us chose what Renown we would make permanent. I chose Wisdom because I believed it is what I exemplified the most during our trials.

The Garou only part of the ceremony was complete. Bjorn went to get the kinfolk while Kyle grabbed his guitar. This was odd for me to see since I had never thought Kyle to be the musical type of Garou. He then played a short Irish folk song while everyone gathered around, Gina taking her place next to Bjorn, which was sweet.

I could see the kinfolk were uncomfortable, as they had never participated in a moot before. Still, Ryan served us some alcohol with shot glasses and gave some to the kinfolk in red cups. Mackie then gave a speech about how he was honored to serve such a unique Sept totem and that all of us clean up our cups when we were done owing to his position as Keeper of the Land. After the toast, we drank.

Crafty went next, giving a speech about how he was proud of the Sept and that leadership is not always what you expect it to be. Kyle then played another song, the Battle of Aughrin, while Ryan thanked the spirits for their service to us.

After the song, Cliff spoke with us about how the park was now safe and the lodge will be reopened. We offered to continue to pay him back for what he did, but he told us everything was all right. He then once again made mention of winter jobs for us, which got me excited.

Lindsay then went next telling us a story of a fox and a crow her father once told her. The fox seen the crow grab a piece of cheese and fly into a tree. The fox, being hungry, chatted with the crow and use flattery to get the crow to sing to him. This caused the crow to drop the cheese. The moral of the story was do not trust flatters “you dumb fucking bitch”. Although Lindsay admits, she added the last bit of profanity to the story. We then took another drink.

Mackie then told a story of a lion and a farmer. The lion killed and ate many of the animals where the famer lived. However, once the Lion seen the farmer’s daughter, he was immediately smitten. He wanted to marry her and asked the farmer for permission. The farmer agreed only if he trimmed his claws and some of his sharp teeth. The Lion acquiesced and did so, asking for her hand in marriage. The farmer in response tried to beckon the Lion to attack, which he could not.

Mackie asked us what the moral of the story. We took turns making several guess like not disarming yourself before your foe, but we were all wrong. The moral was love could tame even the most savage beast. I assumed the story was directed at Bjorn and Gina…maybe.

We were then asked to tell the Sept what we were thankful for. Bjorn was thankful for the pack and the Sept. Eli was thankful for the Sept giving him a family he never knew. Jonathon thanked the spirits for their guidance and gifts. Miguel was thankful for friends to heal him while John mostly just kept echoing what other people were saying.

When it came to me, I thought about the fact that I had been exposed to a new world after becoming a Garou. I realized now my faith in God was even stronger as most people would go through life never knowing about the tons of worlds inhabiting the space around them. It was met was a bit of silence, but I figured I may just have not articulated it properly.

After this, Kyle and Ryan started to mock fight in Lupus form to which Mackie decided this was a young man’s game and he would retire to the lodge with the kinfolk. I decided to stay out of it since I was not very much a fighter. Andy, Eli, and John joined in on the mock fight until it began to get a little rough. With that, Crafty darted off in Lupus form and I assumed another Great Hunt rite was about to begin. I shifted to Lupus and gave chase with the others.

We raced into the woods. It was an exhilarating experience and something that strangely made me feel more like family. We traveled for what must have been miles and I realized I was starting to get more athletic as I could keep up better now. We kept going until Ryan and Kyle seemed to detect something. They stopped and I came with them. Crafty went on, considering this their job, and the rest of the pack came with Ryan and Kyle. We all shifted back to Homid form and Kyle ordered us to take care of the people he sensed deeper in the woods.

Not wanting to scare the people off with too much of our inner Rage, Eli suggested only Bjorn and I go find these people while the rest of the pack circle around and check things out. Bjorn and I walked hand in hand, pretending to be travelers as we went deeper into the woods. We found a backpack containing a few odds and ends like a cell phone, walkie talkie, and food, but nothing out of the ordinary. We looked up but could not see anything.

Jonathon went into the Umbra to talk to Tick about it, but she could not see anything. John managed to spot the people high up in the tree and it looked like they were stuck. He tried to listen for them with wolf ears, but he could only barely make out their cries for help.

I then called Cliff for help, realizing what these people were doing was illegal and we could be jeopardizing the park again. He suggested either calling Rescue or using some of the climbing gear at the lodge to get them. Calling Rescue was completely out of the question because of the problems it would bring. Realizing the people were in danger, Jonathon switched to his Captain Amazing persona while I entered the Umbra to talk to the tree spirit.

Unfortunately, I could not get any help from the tree spirit and Miguel had to get Captain Amazing out of the area before he caused problems. John went to the lodge and got the gear while Bjorn faked out Captain Amazing telling him there was something in the area messing with his “powers” in order to keep him at the lodge.

After John returned, we came up with the idea of dedicating the gear to Bjorn so he could climb up the tree in Crinos form to make it faster. He would then come out of the Umbra where the climbers could not see and climb the rest of the way normally. I dedicated the gear and went into the Umbra with him. We asked the tree spirit for permission to climb which it agreed and Bjorn made the long journey up.

The climb was a terrifying 270 feet up the ancient redwood tree where Bjorn finally approached the couple. The man was Ken Cunningham along with his wife, Lisa Cunningham. They had been climbing when their rope broke and they only had the spikes to hold themselves up. They considered climbing back down, but they were too weak by that point. Bjorn tells them he is going to get them down and Ken insists on taking his wife first.

With the safety harness strapped to Bjorn, he made the perilous journey back down the tree. There, I took care of Lisa, making sure she had some food and water. Bjorn made his way back up the tree and back down. This whole ordeal must have taken all night, but we finally rescued the couple with the explicit promise they say nothing of it. They agreed and made their way back to their car near the highway.

We were tired and the sun was starting to rise, so we made our way back to the lodge. I chose to sleep in the heart of the Sept again. It was the only place I seemed to get any relief from the terrible nightmares of my past. I felt it was not just for my safety, but everyone elses as well. I did not know if I would go into another uncontrolled frenzy from the nightmares like I did with my First Change, and I did not want to risk anyone getting hurt.

Most of the kinfolk were drunk or asleep. Eli and John stay up for a while drinking while Bjorn cuddled up next to Gina for the night.

Gina awoke at 8 am getting Bjorn awake with her. She asked where I was and Bjorn told her about my sleeping habits. He mindspeaked to me through Quetzal to wake up. Thankfully, I didn’t have any nightmares the night before or at least didn’t remember any and I told him I would be there shortly.

Bjorn stayed at the lodge to get the rest of the pack ready while Gina and I left to go shopping. We made our way into town at around 10 am and she took me to the Capitola Mall. We went and got ourselves bathing suits first. I considered being conservative and only getting a one-piece suit, but I was beginning to realize I should take pride in my appearance. I hadn’t planned on changing my values so I had Gina purchase me a red two piece suit that still had decency to it.

Afterwards, we went to the food court, shared a pretzel, and commented on the boys that passed by, some of them obviously looking at us. We laughed and giggled at some of the dumber fashion choices the stores were selling, but I did see a dress I really wanted. It was a nice grey wool dress with white stripes. It was inexpensive as well. I was going to purchase it myself, but Gina told me she would take care of it. Overall, we had a great day together. I actually felt normal for a brief moment. For once, I wasn’t stabbing monsters with Faith or interacting with spirits. I knew it wasn’t going to last forever, but there would be other days we could do this again.

[At the lodge…]

Bjorn and the rest of the pack decide to track down Ariel and talk to her. Bjorn is able to do Rite of the Questing Stone and they hone in on her location at the college campus.

As the pack wanders the hallways looking for her, John comes across Ariel in her class. He winks at her and she screams and passes out. John hides off to the side as the ambulance comes to check on Ariel.

Thankfully, she is just shaken up and will be all right. Security arrives and talks with her for a bit while she continues to look over at the pack. Deciding it’s better to stay hidden, the pack follows her quietly as Security takes her back to her dorm.

At the dorm, the pack decides Jonathon is the least imposing of the group and sends him to get Ariel’s room number. Jonathon manages to con the secretary by telling her he is her younger brother. She gives him her room number and Eli heads up to the hallway, placing various invitations to the party under doors to look less suspicious. He slides the invitation with a false signature from Caitlyn to Ariel under her door.

[Back to Caitlyn and Gina…]

We arrived back at the lodge to find no one there. I used mindspeak to ask them what was going on. They told me about what happened with Ariel and that they were up at the campus. I told Gina we should just pick up Lisa and then get the pack to which she agreed.

I was happy to see Lisa again. She was just a little uncomfortable around me at first, but it soon passed and we were all laughing and having fun while listening to the radio. Unfortunately, after getting the pack, she went quiet. I knew all too well why and I just tried to be friendly so she didn’t feel alienated.

We stopped at McDonald’s and grabbed a bite to eat. While Lisa got her food, I quietly slipped Faith to Eli since I wouldn’t be able to conceal it while at the party. With my fang dagger in Eli’s pack, I breathed a sigh of relief that we would be ready if anything happened. Although I sincerely hoped, nothing would.

As we approached, I could tell the beach was blocked off in certain portions exclusively for the party.  I could hear the cheesy DJ rattling off something about the next song. He had no personality, but at least the music he was playing was good. I could see other teenagers playing volleyball, drinking, swimming, dancing, and even sitting around a small bonfire.

After we got out of the car, Lisa and Gina directed me to the guesthouse so I could change into my bikini. Before we could get there, we were confronted with Larry Ward. He was the father of Kelly Ward, who was just up ahead, and he worked towards keeping the parties safe. He would buy a keg for the party and let others bring alcohol, but you had to turn in your keys if you were drunk and stay in the guesthouse. He also didn’t approve of any other drugs. We politely told him we would have a ride and no one would be drunk driving before heading off to get changed.

[Meanwhile with Eli, Miguel, Jonathon, John, and Bjorn...]

The rest of the pack headed forward after talking to Larry to meet his daughter Kelly Ward in the process. She asked who invited them and they replied Gina and Lisa. She asked some questions of everybody to get to know them. During this time, Jonathon was smitten with her and kept gawking. Kelly was polite however, and appeared to enjoy the attention.

While Kelly was getting to know the pack, her two friends, Regina Sanders and Kristin Dagrossi, arrived. They were a gorgeous pair who the pack immediately gravitated towards. Kelly ran the block party this time, but Kristin would run others. Together, the two traded off party duties each weekend.  Once again, Jonathon was smitten with Kristin, who playfully toyed with him.

Regina, however, was immediately attracted to the inner Rage of John, making him seem like the bad boy image. After some less than subtle flirting, the two of them went off to drink beer. They would later spend the majority of the party having sex in the guesthouse before returning during the fireworks.

After the meet and greet, a volleyball rolled towards the pack. One of the players challenged the pack to a game of volleyball. Although the pack had little clue of how to play volleyball, the team gave them the basics and asked again if they wanted to play.

The pack accepted and began a back and forth battle for points. Initially, the pack, already given a two point head start, pulled ahead to 5 to 2 in their favor. However, a series of fumbles and lack of coordination allowed the High School volleyball team to catch up until the score was 9 to 7 in their favor. The game winning point went to the High School team, but at the last minute they offered a double or nothing shot at winning. The winners would be “beer bitches” for the rest of the night. In a very close finale, the pack triumphed and won the final point.

After the match, Bjorn looked over towards Gina to see her talking with another guy. Casually coming over, Gina introduced Bjorn to Brice Acres, her 5th grade ex-boyfriend. Gina was worried Bjorn might snap and tear Brice apart, but Bjorn remained calm. Gina went ahead and headed off to where Caitlyn was at the fire while Brice remained behind to talk to Bjorn. He tried to intimidate Bjorn by saying that Gina would return to him after Bjorn was gone and he was just a momentary fling. Showing restraint again, Bjorn shrugged off these taunts and went to spend more time with Gina.

Meanwhile, Eli and Miguel were abusing the volleyball team to an absurd degree making them constantly bring them beer while Miguel slapped Eli every time he thought he was getting too drunk.

Jonathon continued his quest to spend more time with Kelly. He grabbed a flower nearby and approached Kelly, As he got closer, he overheard a conversation between Kelly and another girl about Ariel. Ariel has been having bad dreams, that she wasn’t coming to the party, and that she had been taking medication. Jonathon manages to convince Kelly to take a walk on the beach with him. There, he works his mojo on her to get to second base after doing a little swimming on the promise he would call her later in the week. He tries to go farther, but the fireworks beginning stop his fun.

[Back to Caitlyn…]

I left the guesthouse and decided to follow Lisa around and have her introduce me to some people. I felt a bit awkward not knowing anyone and I got many of the usual looks from guys I’m used to. As she introduced me to the people around the fire, I saw some of the pack playing volleyball, which made me happy that they were having fun.

Afterwards, I sat down at the fire since the light wind was making feel a bit chilly. Gina came and sat down with me and we giggled about the fact the volleyball team was going to have to serve our pack for the entire night. Bjorn came over and sat next to Gina so went ahead and wandered over towards the lawn chairs to let them have some time together. I got the usual constant pick-up lines by most of the volleyball team, but I politely turned them down.

As I sat down, fireworks began to shoot off, which made me wonder exactly how rich these people in this neighborhood were. A tall, blonde-haired guy about my age named Jason Cripe sat down in the chair next me. His opening line about asking me if I was easy threw me for a loop. He certainly lacked any sense of manners. He tried to go back on it saying it was just a joke and I tried to play along, not wanting to be rude.

We chatted for a little while and tried more of his crude jokes. I tried to humor him the best I could. He asked me if I knew how to skate, and I told him I didn’t. He offered to teach and I told him I would since I really need to be more athletic anyway.

As the party wound down, we all went our separate ways and the pack gathered. We were ready to leave when we were approached by Brian Cripe, the father of the guy I was talking to. He offered the pack a job doing various things for the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, a business he owned. He even offered to have become a Derby Girl, which was flattering, but I thought a little dangerous given my true nature.

We left the beach with Gina who told Brian was a creep that used his employees to spy on his son. I thought about whether I should date Jason or not. He certainly needed to work on his manners. I assume he never met a girl like me who was very polite and well mannered. I worried more about my life as a Garou. I don’t know if I could have a relationship with a normal boy because I would always be hiding something from him and I always thought honesty was the best policy when dealing with people you care about. Maybe I should just find a good kinfolk to settle down with.

As we left, Jonathon told us about Ariel and John deduced that we needed to talk to her tonight before she had another dream and knew we were coming. I wondered if her prophetic dreams meant she could be a late blooming Garou like myself.

We asked Gina to take us to the college. It was late, but we went anyway. Eli suggested I alone be the one to talk with her since my name was signed on the invitation and I would have the best chance of not terrifying her.

I managed to convince the desk lady to let me in, telling her I was a friend of Ariel’s and had heard of her fainting incident. She agreed to let me in, but told me once school begins she won’t be able to do this anymore. I thanked her and went to room 213 to see Ariel.

I knocked on the door and got the response I expected. She was wide-eyed when she answered the door telling me about how I was there to kill her. She told me about our exact plan to reveal to her the true nature of her heritage, although she didn’t know what we were. I told her we weren’t monsters, but guardians and protectors. I explained that she was connected to us through the dreams and her blood. She worried if she would become like me, but I told her I couldn’t be sure.

She invited me in while I continued to tell her about her nature as a kinfolk. At first, she struggled to take it in, but gradually, as I reassured her, she began to somewhat accept. She asked if it would take away the bad dreams, but I didn’t really have an answer for it. I told her we could find others like her that would help explain it and make her feel better. She accepted my invitation to the Sept, but only till the end of the week when she would have to return to school.

She asked if there was somewhere to stay or if would cost her and I assured we would take care of everything. I used mindspeak to tell the pack to head home on foot so we wouldn’t alienate her too much. She gathered up a few things and Gina took us back to the lodge.

There we met with Cliff while showing her to her room. We had at best two days to explain the situation and we wanted Cliff to take the reins since it would be easier for another kinfolk to relay the information. With that, we had secured another kinfolk for our Sept hopefully and I felt better about our future.

 

A New Member of the Sept, Pondering My Fetish, and Our First Moot… (Game 8)

We returned to the cabin after the long adventure of cleansing Minotaur and killing the reborn Samuel Haight with pride. Although our Septs may not believe us, I believe we may have just saved the world and perhaps even gave the Garou Nation a new tribe. Whether they came together was something I could only hope for at the moment.

We debated for a moment what to do before ultimately going to Crafty for advice. He told us to arrange a meeting with Prestige, the highest-ranking Shadow Lord in the land, if we were to return it. To pass it through an intermediary would probably be an insult. He told us to arrange a meeting place, which was neutral, and to not be seen with the klaive for obvious reasons.

We decided to get ahold of the Irish Destroyers at the last place we met with them. If anyone could arrange a meeting with Prestige, it would be them. Running in Lupus form, a method of travel I was getting quite used to lately, we made it to the edge of their Bawn when they arrived without even needing to howl.

Tania and Leein were the first to arrive and they appeared very happy to see us. They were surprised we had left the Sept considering up north near San Francisco and Los Angeles the Spirals were massing and the Garou there were preparing for war. Scourge-of-the-Woods arrived next, in a somewhat grumpy fashion, asking when they would get Crafty. We were polite and told them Crafty could leave whenever he wants to or at the very least, when Lion has decided he is no longer needed.

Red Tongue arrived and we explained how we needed a neutral meeting place in order to return the klaive. The response we got was actually pretty mixed which didn’t surprise me. Half of the pack wanted us to return it while the other half thought Prestige would just try to take our Sept if he could. In the end, they decided it would be better to return it because then he would owe us. I had never had dealings with the Shadow Lords, but the Glass Walkers I knew told me they could be treacherous.

Gruffy, the leader of the Irish Destroyers, arrived and told us he will set up a meeting at the Pin Gallery. We had never heard of this place and it frankly surprised Gruffy. He told us it was the meeting hall for all the elders of the various Septs.  The Pin Gallery is where the elders would discuss matters of great importance such as war. Since we didn’t have the klaive, we told Gruffy to give us three and a half hours in order to run back to the Sept and retrieve the klaive before making our way to the gallery.

Arriving on time, I marveled at the Pin Gallery. It is a completely carved building, which seems to be made right out of the surrounding bedrock. I can see why the elders would meet here. The Gallery is a beautiful representation of the Wyld made Weaver. We decided beforehand to let Eli be the one doing the handover since he was the pack leader.

Prestige arrived shortly after we did, living up to his namesake with a fur coat, and we entered the gallery. Inside the Pin Gallery was just as enchanting as the outside, with hand carved chairs etched with the symbols of the tribes. Everything about the gallery concealed its Werewolf trappings with artwork, tables, and other decorations geared entirely towards the Garou Nation.

Prestige sat down with his hands on the table, which I can only assume was a show of honesty for him. Eli sat across from him and the rest of the pack stood behind him. Eli apologized for his loss and we handed the grand klaive to him. He immediately identified it as Thunderous Howl and told us the story of how it belonged to a Garou named Commands-the-Storm who was lost in the Umbra.

The rest of the pack apparently was more entranced by his story, but I realized he was casually glancing over our fetishes. He mentioned fetishes were treasures and many Garou decorate and name them accordingly. He then inquired about ours. I had never thought much of my fang dagger. While I did treasure it as a great gift and an excellent weapon, I had never thought to give it a name or decorate it.

Prestige then told us he hated to owe a debt to anyone so was going to “repay” us by giving the information on a wayward kinfolk. Her name was Ariel Huntington and her parents, along with her, were unaware of their kinfolk heritage. She was 18 and attended SCU as a freshman. However, we would have to hurry, as after six days, she would be fair game to any Sept to claim her. We thanked Prestige for the information and let him leave first.

As we left, I felt an uneasy feeling, as if I was being watched. I looked around, but I couldn’t see anything nor did it feel like anything spiritual. I dismissed these feelings and we made our way back to the cabin.

At the cabin, we saw a fire being started, which was obviously for the coming moot. There, Crafty and Mackie seemed to be talking about something important as we approached. It turned out as we engaged them in conversation, Mackie wanted to join our Sept. His grandson was looking to put him down as his old age and usefulness, or lack thereof, had made a breach of the Litany: Do Not Suffer Thy People to Tend Thy Sickness.

While he was no longer useful where he came from, we immediately realized his knowledge and wisdom would be a great boon to the Sept. We graciously approved his request.

Crafty tells us the kinfolk are invited to the moot, but only the second half. We next told him of the war in the north and Prestige’s information about the unclaimed kinfolk. Crafty thought there was something behind it, and truthfully, I thought so as well. He could have easily known the kinfolk is going to claimed by someone else and our actions will lead to a bitter feud which could give him the opportunity to claim our Sept. Still, it was best we take him at face value right now.

We needed to get things ready for the moot so Jonathon, Miguel, and William stayed at the Sept and helped get things ready while John, Bjorn, Eli, and myself went to inform Gina and Lindsey. We decided to split up with John and Eli going to tell Lindsey while Bjorn and myself went to Gina’s. I needed to speak with Gina anyway about the party.

We also informed Cliff about the coming moot and he offered to pick up some alcohol and the girls when the time came. He also mentioned the potential for jobs in the winter, which I found both thrilling and eager since we still owed Cliff greatly for the Foss disaster.

[At Lindsey’s…]

John and Eli arrived at Lindsey’s and she answered the door in a simple jogging outfit. It was obvious she wasn’t expecting company. Eli told Lindsey about the moot and the new Garou Mackie. Eli and John sat down with Lindsey to have a smoke and a little bit of alcohol while Eli told her about the new kinfolk. Lindsey was able to pull up a picture and record of Ariel at SCU so now the pack could easily identify her.

[Back to Caitlyn’s point of view…]

We arrived at Gina’s house and her parents answered the door. We were polite and they seemed happy to see Bjorn. Bjorn obviously feigned not knowing where her room was which I thought was pretty funny. They directed us upstairs and we walked in to Gina studying. We told her of the upcoming moot and she was invited.

Gina told us she got into a little bit of trouble from coming home smelling like alcohol, but it was nothing too bad. Bjorn wanted me to tell Gina about the new kinfolk which I understood. He didn’t want her to feel jealous about it and I thought it was sweet of him. I mentioned if she knew Ariel, but Gina only vaguely knew of her, stating she went to the same high school as her, but they never talked.

I asked Gina if she would be willing to take me shopping, since I didn’t know where anything was and I wanted something nice for the party besides my dedicated clothes I wear all the time. She asked for her parent’s credit card, told me she would take me, and pay for it. I told her I could pay and felt a little ashamed when she said she would pay, but she insisted so I relented.

After we told her Cliff would be there to pick her up, we left to make final preparations for the moot tomorrow.

We then met up at a local Burger King in the area and Eli suggested a competition for us. We would split up and the first one to bring back a kill for the moot would be the winner. John won the competition bringing back a large elk. I felt a little sad, realizing I needed to work on my survival skills some more.

Bjorn began preparing the food for the moot while John and I looked for a spirit to teach us a couple of gifts we needed. I realized I didn’t have the ability to sense the Wyrm and this would be a valuable ability for the pack in the future.

Searching outside of the Sept in the Umbra, we came across the spirit of a cat. I asked Cat, being as I was the only one who could speak with spirits, if she would be willing to us some gifts. As with all spirits, learning gifts requires bartering and haggling. Cat decided mine would be a riddle.

She told me of a sad old man who had become so infirm he couldn’t even eat properly anymore. His children were disgusted with him and forced him to eat in the corner so they would not have to see him anymore. The old man cried because he wanted to be at the table with his family. One day, the old man dropped and broke his bowl angering his children till they gave him nothing more than a large wooden bowl with no spoon with which he would have to eat much like a horse.

This continued until the grandchild of the old man approached his parents one day after making a similar bowl for them when they get older. Realizing the error of their ways and heartlessness, they let the old man eat with them again and took care of him from then on.

Cat wondered why they would treat the old man so. I answered Cat by declaring when we are young we need to be cared for and when we grow older we care for ourselves plus our children. However, we disregard the old because they become like children again and we believe at that time they have lived a long life and are no longer worthy of our care. However, I personally felt we should always care for our old. Cat accepted this answered and taught me the gift I required. The symbolism and comparison to Mackie’s predicament was not lost on me.

For John, Cat recounted the tale of Mouse and Owl from a different perspective, one of the Mouse making a deal with the Owl for a meal. Cat was somewhat jealous of Mouse because he could hide from Mabe so easily so she required John to bring him a fish, as she enjoyed fish as much as mice, once a week for a month. She also required John to require any further deals with Mouse to include the addendum that he leaves the Sept grounds.

After this, we returned to the Sept to sleep. Others stayed in the cabin, but I had become partial to sleeping in Lupus form in the heart of the Caern. There, I had a dream that night.

I dreamt I was a child with small hands holding a key to a door. I entered the door and descended the stairs to a room filled with books I could not read, shackles, and silver weapons. I picked up a set silver knuckles with blades attached to the sides. As I did this, I heard my name, Logan, being called by my parents.

Logan's father

My father descended down into the basement and I began crying, realizing what was about to happen next. He shoved me to the ground and beat me mercilessly, near to death. He dragged me up the steps and scolded me for going down into the basement again. My eye was swelling shut from the violence as he mentioned I was just like his mother. He started to smoke and mentioned one day I might Change too, but until then I have to follow the rules. He then struck me again, which made me awake. The dream startled and confused me. I wondered who Logan was and I thought maybe he might be Mackie’s grandson.

Once I awoke, I exited the Umbra to see everyone getting things ready. I must have overslept from the nightmarish dream. I had become used to having nightmares after my foster parents death, but this was the first time it had ever involved someone other than myself.

Cliff already had the kinfolk and Bjorn had finished preparing the feast. Crafty gathered around the fire in Lupus form and began howling. We gathered ourselves around the fire as Ryan, Kyle, and Mackie, in that order, began howling with him. We then howled as well. Kyle quickly shifted into Crinos form and charged into the woods, capturing and slaughtering a deer with lightning fast speed.

The moot started by Kyle offering Lion the deer. This was Lion’s preferred sacrifice. He then gave Lion spiritual energy, which we joined in with him. Kyle had changed his Garou name to “Brings It” after the poem William wrote for him, which I found nice. Ryan implored Lion to come. Kyle brought forth a bone from the deer and Mackie requested it.

Mackie “Talespinner” Mcgreggor formally requested to join the Sept, which Kyle asked if any of us disagreed. None of us would as we had already unanimously decided Mackie should join. Kyle dubbed him “Keeper of the Land,” a position where he must tend to the grounds to keep the spirits happy.

wooden klaive

Because the Master of the Challenge position had not been filled, Kyle insisted we learn the basics of klaive dueling, as there will most certainly be a time when we need it. He taught us the basic disarm technique with some wooden klaives. We paired off, John with Eli and Bjorn with me, to test our knowledge. I bested Bjorn more than he did me, I assumed owing to my constant use of melee weapons. I tried to give him some pointers on holding the weapon correctly though I admit using bladed weapons seems to come naturally to me.

After the mock duels, it was time for recognition. Each of us regaled a story to Ryan of our deeds. Eli spoke of the Black Spiral fight where we were victorious. Bjorn told the tale of purifying Minotaur. I recanted the story of defeating Samuel Haight. Finally, John told the story of Jonathon’s spirit quest. With that, we each chose what Renown we would make permanent. I chose Wisdom because I believed it is what I exemplified the most during our trials.

As we ended this part of the moot for the celebration ahead, I thought back to Prestige and naming my fetish. I hadn’t thought much of it, but after the conversation I realized I should name and decorate it. As I pondered it, only one name stood out for it: Faith.

dagger2

Cleansing a Totem and the Second Death of Samuel Haight… (Game 7)

After preparation for confronting Minotaur was complete, I proposed the idea of going to one Gina’s parties before heading to Minotaur’s realm. I felt the confrontation with Minotaur could go very badly depending on how we act. I gave Eli my phone and he called Gina. The next party would be on July 4, which was three days away. Gina seemed pleased we were going to go.

I suggested we use the time to learn any gifts or make more talens in the meantime. However, Bjorn was eager to confront Minotaur and the pack decided to go immediately. I was a little disheartened, but still ready to go.

Eli opened the platform again and we were transported. This time, the trip was very dark and frightening. It was daytime and banes were all about. They couldn’t get to us on the platform, but it felt as though they might try.

We finally made it to the Labyrinth. The maze seemed to go on forever and was intimidating to say the least. Whoever made this maze was long gone or at forgotten. I assumed only Minotaur would know who created it, maybe it was him.

Arriving at the beginning of the maze, Eli tried to see if he could take a shortcut by climbing the walls. He was met by a vicious supernatural attack from the realm itself. It appeared cheating was not an option.

We started to navigate the maze when William took a wrong step and part of the maze collapsed behind him. He barely got out of the way, as we continued. I shifted to Lupus form and told the others to do so as well as our senses would be better in that form.

Jonathon nearly met his end next as a misstep caused the floor to disappear underneath him. Thankfully, John grabbed him before he could fall. As continued on, we ran into a young girl with white eyes and a stitched mouth. A part of me wanted to help her and undo the bindings on her mouth, but I felt this might be a trick of the maze and we pressed on past her.

We heard strange sounds like someone stalking us and a baby crying. The sounds frightened William and we continued until we ran into a wall with a face. The wall looked like it was trying to talk, but could not make any sounds. We ignored it and kept going towards the center. A disturbing female with yellow eyes and a giant mouth watched us from the top of a wall but we refused to get near her. Miguel’s shadow pointed out a figure with eyes on his hands following us, but we kept our minds on the goal of getting the center.

Minotaur attacked by wyrm

Finally, arriving at the center of the maze, we saw Minotaur in all his Glory. He was nearly 30 feet tall with black tendrils entering his body from the sky. He looked pained and confused. He stared at me menacingly, asking if I was a child of Pegasus. I quickly told him I was a child of Stag. We tried talking to him, but his answers were almost nonsense. The Wyrm had a strong grip on him and Jonathon suggested to me we start the Rite.

We started the Rite of Cleansing, staying outside of his range, while the rest of the pack tried to grapple him and prevent him from attacking. He stomped, knocking us all to the ground in an impressive display of power. Jonathon realized the Rite wasn’t working while the tendrils were attached and told the pack to destroy them.

While the pack began attacking the tendrils, I shifted to Crinos in case I needed to help the pack if they couldn’t do it. After one of the tendrils was severed, Minotaur babbled incoherently again and somehow caused John to frenzy. We were working against borrowed time, as we couldn’t kill Minotaur.

We managed to break the tendrils until there was only one remaining. William and Miguel tried to break the tendril, but it was ultimately Bjorn who did it. Collapsing in a heap, Minotaur began to speak clearly for the first time since we met him:

“I don’t understand. I was weak. I needed strength. I need to think.”

It was then Tick began talking to Jonathon to finish Minotaur off or let Tick do it. Jonathon took the tick off his body, threw it at Minotaur, and it quickly grew into the true Tick. Eli and Bjorn stood in the way of Tick, not letting her harm him while worked on cleansing the area from the black ooze given off by the tendrils when they were severed.

The conversation was tense. Quetzal appeared and watched us intently, gauging what our decision would be. Tick implored Jonathon to let him be killed, saying he was evil. However, the other members of the pack declared since Minotaur was broken free of the corruption, he would be more able to fight it in the future. We asked Minotaur if he would give up the Skin Dancers since we didn’t want to kill him. He refused, but did reveal to us the location of Samuel Haight.

Realizing the threat of Samuel Haight was the immediate danger, we decided it should left up to the Skin Dancers to choose who their tribe totem is. Minotaur showed us the way out after we asked him if he would be able to cleanse his realm now that we freed him. He nodded and said he would and we left navigating the maze again.

Once we returned to the Prenumbra, we had Quetzal send a message to the other Septs about his return while he also opened a Moon Bridge for us to the cemetery where Haight was. It was then Tick began whispering to Jonathon to go confront Samuel Haight alone. She told him he could do it alone and he was agreed, being transported there by her.

Realizing Jonathon didn’t return to the physical world with us, we called out to him through Quetzal. He told us he was going to take care of it and the race was on for us to save Jonathon and stop Samuel Haight.

[At the cemetery….]

Jonathon stood at the cemetery surveying the incoming fog. It was clear Samson was up to something. He saw several strange creatures approaching he had never seen before. As he entered, he told Tick to go get Samson while he confronted these fae creatures as he found out what they were. The creatures looked like they might attack when Samson motioned them away.

Seeing Samson in Crinos form for the first time was frightening to say the least, but he mustered the courage to talk to him. It was clearly apparent talking with him that Samson was dead and Samuel Haight had been truly reborn through the fetish given to him.

Tick whispered to Jonathon to tear it off him and take the power for himself. Jonathon slyly inched closer to Samuel Haight while talking about how he could help him. Samuel seemed receptive to the idea and Jonathon offered a talen he created. Dropping the talen as a ploy, Jonathon suddenly shifted to Crinos form and with some effort tore the fetish off Samuel’s back.

Samuel Haight looked at Jonathon angrily and swore he would die. This frightened Jonathon to point of slipping into the Prenumbra unwillingly. There he saw several banes closing in on him. He asked Tick for help and she told him to absorb the fetish. Pressing the fetish into his chest, a new voice echoed in his head to command them. Samuel Haight quickly entered the Prenumbra and tried to send the banes after him. Jonathon stopped this by commanding them at the same time and brought forth more fae at the voice’s urging declaring “I am master now!”

Infuriated by this, Samuel swore to do the deed himself, charging at Jonathon. Jonathon ran out of the Umbra with Samuel in quick chase and the summoned fae following him.

[The pack arrives….]

We arrived at the cemetery to a strange scene. Initially, there was nothing there except bizarre looking creatures I had never seen before. Then, without warning, Jonathon appeared out of the Umbra with Samuel Haight chasing him and more bizarre creatures. We all charge in Crinos form towards Samuel Haight.

Once Jonathon seen we were coming, he sent the fae after the ones Samuel Haight brought forth. Samuel Haight realized he was outnumbered and tried to retreat. However, Eli quickly leaped into action quite literally and jumped on top of Samuel Haight. John attacked him dealing minimal damage and I stabbed him with my fang dagger, killing him, and causing him to rage back.

Samuel tried to scramble to his feet while Bjorn and Miguel tried to attack without success. Samuel managed to get a swing off with a grand klaive, grievously injuring Miguel. William delivers the final blow to Samuel Haight while Bjorn and myself healed Miguel.

We stood there, rather than basking in Glory, feeling dumbfounded. Eli demanded to know what was going on with Jonathon and the creatures. Jonathon told us he could command fae, the creatures we saw, and banes with the fetish he had taken from Samuel.

Jonathon implored Eli to keep it, realizing it was a potent weapon for the pack. Eli demanded he destroy it and we told him it would only lead to his ruin if he kept it. Jonathon sent the summoned fae away who ate the fae Samuel summoned before leaving. He then shredded the fetish while John took the grand klaive to return to its rightful owners, the Shadow Lords.

It had been a long journey up to this moment. We took and disposed of Samuel’s body and made our way back to the Sept. Still, I pondered many things while we returned. Had all of this been by Tick’s design or was it just a happy accident we fixed things? Most pressing was the dread that maybe more of these fetishes had been made and Samuel could return. I kept this to myself as we returned to the Sept. I had a party to get ready for and it was more terrifying to me then facing Samuel Haight.

Samuel Haight’s Return and Our Mission Ahead… (Game 6)

Initially during the intense standoff with the Vulture Walker’s pack, the only options on the table by Eli were to die fighting or have Crafty come to judge them. Once the Skin Dancers presented they knew something about Samuel Haight, Eli decided to see what the pack thought.

Most of the pack was willing to hear them out believing Samuel Haight to be a far greater evil than just a pack of four Skin Dancers. All of us agreed to this save for Jonathon. He was vehemently opposed to such an idea, believing we would be going down the same path as the White Howlers. Although the pack wasn’t able to convince Jonathon the decision was worthwhile, he reluctantly agreed with the pack vote.

Chloe, the one who asked to speak with us first, told us the pack was formed under the direction of Samson. Samson had taken on Tick as a pack totem and Tick had promised a deal to Samson to be the second coming of Samuel Haight. However, the Vulture Walkers pack had no idea what the deal was. When we asked where Tick was, they told us she resided in her realm which they visited by using a fetish given to Samson known as the Supplement’s Compass.

The pack told us after the last battle Samson began to act strangely, not caring about making more Skin Dancers. He left earlier and was supposed to return, but hadn’t shown up yet. In fact, they told us the last time they interacted with Tick; she seemed to be talking more to the pack than Samson. They have decided to ditch Samson, follow the real way of Garou, and only kill Black Spiral Dancers unless attacked by other Garou.

I have faith they’ll continue to make the right choice so I decided to teach them the Litany. Bjorn helped me out while Eli went to get the compass the pack had told us was in the basement. After offering to help us whenever they can to prove their sincerity, they left in the van. In the basement, we found more skins, some Spiral skins, and some regular Garou skins. We chose to burn the Spiral skins and sent a message to have Crafty collect the rest of the skins in order so we didn’t have to risk being questioned by the other Septs.

Eli attuned himself to the compass and a portal appeared on the floor below us. We boarded it and were taken through the Umbra to the realm of Tick. It was a thrilling experience, as I had never seen anything like where we traveled. When we finally arrived, we caught our first glimpse of Tick. She was a sort of rotund tick the size of an elephant.

Tick was surprisingly cordial, greeting us and immediately telling us she knew why we were here. We asked how Samuel Haight had been reborn and why. Tick was able to create a fetish out of a small piece of Samuel Haight’s skin and use it along with other Garou skins to create Samson. This gave Samson Samuel Haight’s memories and powers.

Samson was charged with building a pack to take on Minotaur, whom Tick believes is corrupt, and cleanse the tribe. Tick believes with the tribe cleansed, they can be accepted into the Garou Nation as the 14th tribe. I admit, the idea of redeeming an entire tribe appeals to me very much. Maybe this would be an action that could make up for the terrible loss of my foster parents during my First Change.

However, Samson has strayed from the path set before him. We all believed Samson may be taking on too many of Samuel Haight’s memories and traits and has thus turned against Tick and his pack. In order for Tick to help us, she required one of us to take her on as a personal totem. Jonathon was considering it and I volunteered if he chose not to. Ultimately, he accepted.

The mission was to either have us cleanse Minotaur or kill him and have Tick take his place. If we cleansed him, Tick would still have to feed off him to remove him from his position as tribe totem. Either method sounded less than pleasant to me as the stories of Minotaur’s anger pretty much assured me there would be a fight in it for us.

Still, as the respectful pack we are, we decided to attempt the cleansing first as killing a spirit of Gaia is never a good thing. Jonathon and I spent the next week studying the Rite of Cleansing while the rest of the pack helped around the Sept. After we learned the Rite, Eli arranged for a nice party to be thrown for the kinfolk for all of their help in the past. He gave a wonderful speech about how they are just as important to the Sept as we are. Now, it would time to make any final arrangements before heading off to Minotaur’s realm.

Spirit Silliness and Striking at the Skin Dancers… (Game 5)

We had decided with the information we had, it was time to take the fight to the Skin Dancers. Bjorn had returned from watching over Gina and we were a full pack again In the meantime, we found out Clifford had taken the brunt of the bad publicity for Foss’ death. He personally bribed anyone of note who might start an investigation and told the newspaper a phony story about how Foss made the mistake of using the wrong urine, which incited the “bears.” We all felt bad about it and decided to try to find a way to use William’s money without alerting the authorities to his whereabouts.

Before we went off to find the Skin Dancers, Jonathon wanted to make some of those nifty Talens Ryan used to heal me a couple of days ago. He first tried entering the Umbra and looking for a spirit. This was the first encounter with Mabe. Jonathon tried to interact with her like any spirit, but she acted disoriented and finally left. Shortly after this, Crafty appeared and wondered what was going on. We told him Jonathon went into the Umbra and he quickly followed. Meeting Jonathon, he asked if he spoke to Mabe. Johnathon confirmed he did and Crafty then told us to leave her alone. He told us the story of how he met Mabe, that she was actually a Fae, and the deal for her to guard the Sept in exchange for no other Spirits being allowed in except our pack totem and White Lion.

After this, Jonathon proceeded to leave the Sept grounds and look for a spirit. His first attempt was to meet an owl spirit. Jonathon wanted to know the location of the spirits for the Talen he wanted to create, but could not meet the spirit’s demand of hunting in the Sept because of Mabe. Let down, but still determined, Jonathon returned to the Sept when he found a little field mouse spirit hiding in the grass.

Jonathon asked the same of the mouse that he did the owl, and the mouse replied he would in exchange for a meal. When asked how he would get a meal, the mouse told Jonathon he would just possess him for a short time. I, along with everybody there, was very opposed to this idea. I was worried the mouse could be a bane in disguise and told him to not worry about it, that we would find another way. Jonathon went ahead with it anyway and the mouse took Jonathon’s body into the cabin to eat just about everything, including my food, which I gave him.

While Jonathon enjoyed playing around as a field mouse, Mabe became aware of this and began to get very agitated until Bjorn, who had decided to watch over Jonathon, took him out of the Sept. Once there, the owl spirit Jonathon chatted with earlier noticed Bjorn with Jonathon in mouse form. He asked for the mouse, which Bjorn denied him, telling him it was not really a mouse spirit now. The owl told Jonathon to trust him and let him eat him, imploring him to “trust his spirits.”

After quite some prodding, Jonathon agreed and experienced a gruesome death from the perspective of the mouse before the owl spirit vomited him back up. Bjorn returned to the cabin and told the mouse the meal was over, and that it was his last. After a look of horror washed over his face, the mouse quickly took Jonathon’s body into the Umbra to find his spirit body. The mouse implied to Jonathon in a statement this had happened before, told him the location of the flowers needed for the Talen before switching back bodies and dying. In the end, Jonathon learned a hard lesson about spirits even he wasn’t aware of before.

Once Jonathon made the Talens, I used the Rite of the Questing Stone to hone in on the location of the Skin Dancers pack. It led us to a funeral home, which made sense since Eli kept smelling formaldehyde wherever they turned up. We staked out the funeral home until nightfall in order to prevent another breaking of the Veil.

Once night came, we saw a young man putting away luggage in the same van we earlier. He looked sad and I thought he might be a kinfolk who was denied his Garou pelt since we stopped them from getting one. We chose to enter the Umbra and leap out at them.

Finding them in the basement, we leapt out of the Umbra in Crinos form giving them a second to react, as not doing so would dishonorable to them and against our totem. One of them, a younger woman, told us they were willing to talk. We shifted back to Homid form and told them to make it quick. She told us if we were willing to let the pack of Skin Dancers go they would give us game changing information relating to the return of Samuel Haight.