The day after the attack, we were all anxious. After tending to Cliff, he refused to stay at the cabin. He told us it would be best for him to stay in the public eye as much as possible. Since there was no Litany breaches in the attack, Cliff was able to convince local newspapers and authorities that a camper brought in a tank of propane to their room and smoked too closely to it. The resulting explosion caused the disaster. It was a flimsy excuse, but would do fine.
Another day passed and the Moot was planned for tomorrow. In spite of the hardships though, the kinfolk took the time to enjoy the cabin.
The day of the Moot came and Cliff dropped us off some items like bottled water and food to a drop point so we could pick them up undetected from all the workers who were undoubtedly beginning to fix the lodge. As he dropped off the goods, Cliff wasn’t certain about whether he should come to the Moot, but Eli insisted that he do.
We all prepared for the Moot that night. Ryan, Crafty, and Mackie gathered all of things for the Moot while Kyle hunted for the deer we traditionally gave to Lion. At 8:00 pm that night, we heard the howl of Crafty for everyone to gather. We all came to the Caern and began howling in unison until Crafty stopped. The fire was already going and Kyle brought forth the deer.
With that, Ryan called out to Lion. We must feed Lion as he feeds us. We donated our spiritual energy and I donated most of mine to the Caern. Kyle then gutted the deer and began the breaking of the bone. He asked if anyone had any Sept business to discuss which Crafty spoke up.
The time had come as the Sept grew for us to take on new responsibilities. There were many Sept positions open and they needed to be filled. He bestowed the position of Caller of the Wyld to Jonathon. The position entailed summoning Lion to the Moot and maintaining good relations with other spirits in the area.
He bestowed the title of Keeper to William. The Keeper works under Mackie to help keep the Sept clean and healthy. Crafty then offered the position of Talesinger. William volunteered for this position. The Talesinger was to relate the tales of deeds and failures in the Sept. I figured it would certainly be William’s kind of position being a Galliard and all.
Master of the Howl was up next for volunteers and John took up the role. The Master of the Howl was to summon all of the Garou to the Moot and end the Moot. John also took on the role of Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper was the guardian of the pathstone for the Sept, which allowed Moon Bridges to arrive. He was to defend against forced intrusions to the Sept through Attack Moon Bridges.
The position of Den Mother or Father was offered up next and most of the pack agreed it should be me. I accepted, but the position was mostly ceremonial at this point since the Den Mother was supposed to watch over the cubs and help guide them through their Rite of Passage. Right now, that was only left Agnis, but I was more than willing to take the position.
Finally, the position of Master of the Challenge came up for grabs and everyone pretty much agreed it should be Bjorn. The Master of the Challenge was to oversee any challenges and make sure they were fair. No one objected to any of these positions.
Crafty then asked if anyone wanted the bone. We all took turns holding the bone and telling stories about our deeds in the past month. Bjorn speaks of the Dream of Death and how we followed it through. Eli tells of the Weaver threat and framing Carl Kolchak to prevent his death. I told of our journey into Wolfhome to get in touch with our wolf nature and work more effectively as a pack. John mentions saving me from the Chimare. William talks about the Dead Man’s Hand attack. Finally, Bjorn also mentions maintaining good relations with all of our kinfolk.
Mackie then makes our renown permanent and we allow the kinfolk to come as Kyle plays guitar again. The kinfolk have brought food and drink and we sit down to tell stories like last time. Cliff says he feels great being here with all of us, but he sadly has no tale to tell. Still, the park is doing great in spite of the attack although there is a possibility of a government shutdown in future and it could hurt things a little.
Gina also mentions her life is great and she would be willing to drop out of school to take up a Sept position. Lindsey also echoes this statement, wanting to take up a pack position herself since her uncle is a great Garou.
Ariel then tells a story of a mosquito trying to bite a bald man and him trying to kill it in response. Mackie then spins a similar tale about a fly and a bald man trying to kill it only to hit himself in turn. Both of the stories were about vengeance and the cost of it.
Ryan then told a story of an ant who fell into a stream. A dove seen this and rescued him. As they got to the edge of the stream, a hunter took aim at the dove and the ant bit him in the foot causing the hunter to miss. The message of the story was little friends may prove to be great friends.
Then, out of nowhere, John began to tell a story. However, it wasn’t his voice telling the story. He didn’t even seem aware that he was doing it. He told us the Tale of the Shaking Sea. It was about the Drowned King and the sacrifice it took to banish him from our world by our ancestors. After the lengthy tale had been told and we informed John of what had transpired, Kyle wanted to send the kinfolk back, but Mackie stopped him. He had heard this tale before and this may be why Lion had called us to the Sept. We had past lives and needed to resolve this before proceeding any further.
Crafty decides to have the kinfolk sent home and we escort them, but not Eli who Crafty calls over to him. As we walk back to the cabin, Cliff noticed the water had become black again. We were inadvertently tainting the water thanks to our connection to the Drowned King.
Crafty took Eli aside and told him we were no good to the Sept while the Drowned King connection existed. He would have to lead our pack to its destiny. He recommended we spend time with the kin before we take care of this.
As we returned to the cabin, Gina was scared and asked Bjorn what was going to happen. Bjorn mentioned the vision and our destiny. Ariel wanted to know about this and Bjorn told him it was similar to her visions. He tells her we must leave in order to protect them. Eli returned to us and told Lindsey to keep the other girls strong because she has done this longer. He then recommends we spend any time with the kin and learn any gifts or rites necessary
John then calls Regina on my phone and makes an excuse about having to leave for Oklahoma to take care of his sick Uncle and Aunt. Regina believes he is breaking up with her before John corrects her and tells he will beat up anyone dating her. She likes the response and offers to spend the night with him. He tells her to come to the forest and take a moonlight walk with him. The walk is short-lived and the pair have sex for most of the night.
William, Miguel, and myself return to the cabin that night. I chose to read my bible and think about my son. William sort of tried speaking to Ariel, but wasn’t very practiced at it. Bjorn went off with Gina to have sex that night, but it was obvious she was very scared of what might happen. Eli and Lindsey spent the night having sex, but she was stoic about the whole ordeal and believed we would be coming back.
We slept that night, but a nightmare interrupted our sleep. We found ourselves at Natural Bridges State Park again. This time a black mass came from the sea. It was like an oil spill that began to bubble up. Black tendrils suddenly shot out of it and touched the beachgoers. The people were killed instantly and no one can escape. We could only stand on and look in horror. We then awoke to salt water in our mouths like before, but this time even our kinfolk suffered.
The next morning, Eli went to ask Crafty if we had time to train before the battle, but Crafty just told him it was his choice to lead the pack. Bjorn asked if everyone had the same dream, which we all confirm. Eli wants to train and prepare for the battle, but Bjorn suggests we go now because the vision shows it happening around noon. Eli suggests we will go and check it out, but if nothing is there, we train. Regina leaves shortly after John wakes up and a small tremor strikes the Sept. While these things are common to California, I find them terrifying considering they don’t happen in Chicago.
Everyone gathers as we leave for the beach. Ariel is off to the side of the group and a little sad. Gina, however, is very sad to the point of tears. We all give hugs to the kinfolk and proceed on our way to the beach. Along the way, Eli tries to raise the morale of the group as another tremor strikes.
As we reach the beach, a much stronger quake hits. We’re knocked to the ground from the force, nearly injuring ourselves. We could see the water table had receded tremendously and knew a tsunami would be coming soon. We quickly ran to the natural bridge, looking for any humans, and shifted to Crinos to prepare for the devastation by digging our claws into the rock and interlinking our arms.
After five minutes, the wave finally comes crashing in. It is over 25 feet tall and the blast nearly knocks us off the rock. The water around us has gone black and in the distance, we could see a whirlpool form, 10 feet in diameter. The black water around us began to swirl and we begin looking for tendrils like the vision.
At the main whirlpool, a massive hand comes up, followed by the enormous Drowned King itself. We all channeled our ancestors and I chose to help my skills with fang dagger as I felt a familiarity to the ancestor spirit inside me.
The Drowned King looked on at us as we waited for it to attack. Then, it called forth miniaturized versions of itself to attack us. They charged towards the rock at blazing fast speed. I asked Quetzal to help us and he materialized in agreement. The tiny Kings attempted to blast us, but we dodged the attack, soaking any remaining injuries. We all leapt forward off the rock towards them and attacked.
It took several attempts, but we managed to kill the tiny Kings. However, the Drowned King had begun closing in on us. As I swam towards him, he attempted to blast me but I got out of the way of most of it. I then closed in to attack with John just behind me. Both of us attack, damaging the King slightly, but he summons a massive whirlpool around him that knocks most of the pack unconscious or severely injured.
William is swallowed by the Drowned King while John sees Gina, Lindsey, and Ariel arriving by car on the beach. We try to continue on, but another blast of the whirlpool forces me to channel Rage to cling to my life. Quetzal heals me, but in the process Miguel is killed by the Drowned King. We try to keep fighting, but the end comes for all of us.
We find ourselves becoming spirits and we can see ancestor spirits on top of the Drowned King fighting him. Then, everything turns gray and then into darkness. We find ourselves falling into an abyss and cannot speak to each other.
As we fall into the abyss, a light appears at the bottom. We pass through the light and then find ourselves falling through a storm into an ocean. We then fall through a hole in the ocean into a well. I could feel my body again as we feel deeper into the stone pit. I tried to grab onto the edge of the wall, but I only managed to slow my fall and hurt my claws.
I blinked and suddenly we were at the bottom of the well as it curved into a path. We got our bearings and began traveling down the path. After a brief walk, we met Smoke Paw. He looked disoriented and stares at the wall. Upon him seeing us, he asks us what we are doing here. We ask the same of him and he replied he was looking a gold ring on a stick.
We tell him about the fight with the Drowned King and how we died. We try telling him about the Skin Dancers and his death, but it only seems to aggravate him. Strange spikes appear above his eyebrows when this happens. I Sense Wyrm on him and he stinks of it. I try to communicate through Quetzal to Eli, but our connection has been severed. Our totem is no longer with us.
Bjorn tries to tell Smoke Paw he’s dead again and the strange changes happen to him again as he gets angry. A brief fight breaks out with Smoke Paw, but as we do, a fissure opens in the wall. From the wall, a creature made of metal and glass with two bodies fused at the back tries to attack us. We manage to slay it and I deliver the killing blow. Once it dies, it shatters and inside is the item Smoke Paw had been looking for.
After he grabs the ring, he realizes he is dead and his memories are returned to him. He had been trapped here and the creature that attacked us was trying to turn him into a Bane just like it. It partially succeeded and he is now a Bane, but with all of his former self intact. I try to do the Rite of Cleansing on him with the stick, but it has no effect.
A debate broke out about what we do with Smoke Paw. Bjorn wanted to have him destroyed as he is now an Agent of the Wyrm, but I said no, as we had no idea where we even were. We could have become Banes for all I knew. The decision was split, but ultimately Eli decided to let Smoke Paw remain as he said he would guard the entrance where we arrived.
We traveled from Smoke Paw for what seemed like hours. The tunnel around us became moist and the ground like wet sod. We could see footprints leading in front of us as we walked. It took a little thinking, but we realized it was prophetic. We were to head in the direction of them.
We followed them into what looked like a crystal cavern with plants. We continued walking until we came across the mostly dissolved form of a Crinos female.
“So far, so good. We’ll make the distance,” she said to us. “The next step is really a step, no matter how it seems.”
Eli asked her where we are.
“You’re almost there, not much further.”
We got ready to leave, but not before Bjorn asked if I would heal her. I tried to, but she objected. She was following a vision quest for a relative of hers named Juan. It’s too late for her now and she dissolved into a green mist after telling us this.
We continued, and the path became stone. At the end we could see what looked like outer space and a drop-off of the path. Beneath us, the Earth and the Moon spun wildly getting closer to us. Bjorn took the first step like the Garou told us and evaporated. I and the rest of us shortly followed, moving on to our next destination.