After making my questing stones, we debated on how to get to Chicago. There was a good deal of debate on how to make it there, even tossing in the idea of William’s father helping us, but ultimately, we decided to have Q moon bridge us there. It required two jumps since his range couldn’t take us all the way. I, along with Eli and Bjorn, gave Q some spiritual power as the trip would most certainly tax him and we didn’t want to abuse his power.
Our first jump took us to outside edge of a small city, but we were not spotted. The second jump got us to just near the area of the kinfolk whom I left Ryan with. We made our way to the house that looked to be somewhat ran down, but still livable. We all went up to the door and I knocked.
James Sever answered the door and he looked worn down like the house and was clearly drunk. He invited us in and gave beers to most of the pack as I asked him where my son was. He told me that CPS had taken my son away. I had to fight back the urge to give into my Rage at the sound of that. He told us his wife had died several years ago and CPS took the child away two years ago. He begged the Sept of the Second City for aid, but they just disregarded him.
At hearing the story, I couldn’t find myself being enraged anymore. I pitied him and wondered why the Sept I had come from had become so callous to one of their own. We talked it over briefly through Q about what we could do for him, but since he was a Glass Walker kinfolk, the Sept would have to let us have him. So we had to leave James. We tried to give him some money for his troubles, but he wouldn’t accept it.
I decided that the Sept would have the best chance of finding my son. I had a questing stone, but it could take us anywhere and with no idea how long it would take to find him. We headed just outside the bawn and asked Q to introduce us as not to offend anyone. Unfortunately, he returned with less than savory news of their attitude towards Q. Jonathon managed to have Tick look over the situation and she returned with information that the city was under siege by “fomor who drink blood.” It was obvious it was vampires.
There was once again nothing we could do here so I checked my questing stones. My son’s pointed west and my father’s pointed south-east. While I wanted to get to my son, the fact that my stone worked at all let me know he was alive. I decided that getting my father first would save us time since we had no idea where my son specifically was.
Traveling to his location, we found ourselves outside a Harris bank. It was several stories tall and actually decent. We entered the bank and I asked for John Rosie. When asked who would be needing him, I first gave my regular last name, but I realized this would not register to him and changed it to Caitlyn Greyweather.
Making my way up to his office along with Bjorn, I introduced myself and told him I was his daughter. He took the news surprisingly well and gave me a somewhat awkward hug. He asked me about my mother, but I could only tell her she had died, not knowing the circumstances. He was saddened to here, but wanted to know why I had come. I told him I wanted him to return to our Sept. He asked if I could give him a few weeks to get ready and I told him yes. Bjorn spoke through Q to me about taking him out to dinner tonight. I asked if he wanted to and he accepted. In the meantime, he offered to put us up in a hotel. I didn’t want to impose but he insisted so I accepted. I hugged him and we left for the hotel.
Arriving at the hotel, we were checking in to our rooms when Jonathon mindspeaked to me that Tick had told him the city wasn’t safe at night. Banes were out in force and we needed to get out of here. Ignoring this for the moment, we got our rooms and discussed the situation. We figured we could handle the banes for the moment and decided to stay until I had dinner with my father.
Eli took the opportunity to ask Q to try again at the Sept. This time, he managed to get an audience with Spirit Talker, the Theurge who did my Rite of Passage. Apparently, 20 years ago, vampires were feuding with each other and the Garou. The vampires had formed an alliance with Black Spiral Dancers and the Garou of the city decided to wipe them both off the map. Now, however, the vampires are returning and the Sept has entered into a three-day moot in order to determine what best to do. After hearing the story, it was determined that we needed to get my father out as soon as possible.
I went to dinner that night at the bank’s connected restaurant. I decided to not bring the issue about leaving just yet. I wanted to get to know him for a bit. He told about how he knew he was a kinfolk, but hadn’t participated that much. I asked him about my mother. He didn’t know her very well, but did remember her being very beautiful and kind to him. The conversation went on for some time as he asked about myself as well. Finally, as things wound down, I brought the issue to him about the city’s problem. I apologized to him about the rush, but I was concerned he might get caught in the crossfire. He asked for just a week and I told him yes, but to be very careful.
I went back to the hotel that night and slept with a little unease about things. Waking up the next morning, we decided since the Sept was out of the question, we would just have to do things the hard way. We rented a car thanks to William and began traveling west. It eventually took us out of the city. We kept following the path for three days, stopping periodically to use the bathroom and hunt. Finally, we found ourselves at a large estate in San Francisco.
We stood there looking at the house for some time, but we were not sure how to approach. Eli suggested we talk with Royal Ascot to touch base with the Fae and see if they knew anything. It was a quick trip to the Stinking Rose where Washington was still serving as a bouncer of sorts. He didn’t recognize us, which wasn’t surprising, but once we asked for Royal, he led us right to the table we were at last time we were here.
Royal was happy to see us and wondered why we had never used the paper bird for our favor. He called for garlic as Eli gave him the short of what happened to us. He filled us in on how Adela was doing and how she intended to “take someone across the hedge”, a phrase I was unfamiliar with. Afterwards, she would be on her own.
After getting reacquainted, we asked about the mansion, but Royal didn’t know who it belonged to. I quietly suggested using the bird to get my son back, but this idea was shot down sadly. With Eli deciding to hold onto the bird in spite of Royal’s suggestion he could get the child back within an hour, we figured we would have to do it ourselves. We bid Royal goodbye and returned to the mansion.
At the mansion, Jonathon went to speak with the owner of the house. He was greeted by a butler who gave him the last name of the residence: Kincaid. I immediately knew who owned the house or at least the family. Making an appointment to speak with the owner about a personal matter, Jonathon gave a fake name and that we would return at 10:30 pm.
After leaving, I suggested we head to an internet café and look into the Kincaid family. It was headed by Walter Kincaid, the most prominent lawyer in the west coast. Things weren’t looking good for getting my son back I feared.
Deciding that we needed to look presentable, William offered to buy us some clothes for an upscale business. We agreed, but didn’t want to go overboard as doing too much with any forms of income from his family might lead the killers to his father.
Returning to the mansion, we debated on how to approach the situation. I figured it was just simpler to ask for him back and explain what happened to me, even if it was a lie. Knocking on the door, I was surprised to see Kenith who invited us in. He wondered what had happened to me. I lied and told him I was comatose from a car accident and had been taken care of at home by distant relatives. He asked why I came to see him, but I told him I thought he knew why as I wanted my son back.
When Kenith responded that might be tricky, I was nervous. He had his father try to locate me and came across my son. Ryan had been taken by CPS and Kenith worked hard for a year and a half to adopt him. He is well cared for and has the best education. I wanted to be a part of his life again and Kenith agreed it would be a good idea. He offered to introduce me to him over dinner some time and I agreed considering I didn’t want to scare him.
I wondered about the house and Kenith told me that he had taken over the mansion after his father’s heart attack. I didn’t know if his father was still alive, but I could only assume no. As we did talked, William decided to help himself to some of Kenith’s alcohol, but we reprimanded him. Kenith asked if I still had his business card and personal number and I told him yes.
After this, I mindspeaked with Eli about being unsure of what to do in the situation as we couldn’t just take Ryan without causing legal issues. As we communicated, things became unusually static ridden, something that had never happened before. As we prepared to leave, Eli sternly asked if Ryan would be safer with him rather than his mother. He replied yes, and the thought was heartbreaking to me. Still, as we left, I gave him a hug and quietly whispered to him thank you for taking care of my son. Kenith broke off, headed to his bar, and grabbed some recent pictures of Ryan for me. I was happy to see how he had grown and was feeling much better at seeing him, even if only in a picture for the moment.
As we left, Bjorn told us he wasn’t human, but didn’t know exactly what he was. It was a cause for concern, but given the recent deaths of other kinfolk and my occasionally violent lifestyle, I had to come to terms with the fact that this ultimately might be better. At least until my father arrived and things settled down. Eli tried to listen in at a distance to determine if Kenith had anything to say to his butler, but heard nearby rustling and whispering by a bush.
Heading to the source of the sounds, we found Adela, the Fae we helped years ago. She didn’t recognize us at first, but with some coaxing, her memory returned. Eli had overheard her talking about getting the child. She admitted to it as she had a debt to repay us.
She wanted to take the child across the hedge at first, but she had looked into the child’s past and knew who his mother was so she decided to help get him back for us. She told us she couldn’t take the child across anyway as he had a powerful, fierce spirit, something that made me curious to hear. However, the last time she tried to get him, she nearly forgot who she was due to the house or something protecting it. She was obviously scared of Kenith’s place and it made me more curious as to what he actually was. Some of the pack suggested he might be the Mind Mage who helped me out and I considered the possibility.
As Adela appeared to be talking to someone else we could not see for a moment, we asked who she spoke to and she told us the hedge itself. She told us to go to a nearby bar and she would explain things more clearly. Heading to the bar, she told us to wait for her for a moment and offers us a drink in the meantime.
As we wait, we heard the familiar voice of Carl Kolchak. He had gotten out of prison and was still ranting about the clones. This time, however, he appeared to be more of a drunk than actual threat like before, but it was still thankful he didn’t recognize us.
Adela called us up and wanted to know where we had been for the last four years. William explained the situation in Galliard fashion while we noticed a bag hanging on the wall wiggling back and forth. Asking about it, she told us she acquired it some time ago as she opened the bag. Inside was a staff named Drona, backwards Gaelic for chaos. The staff stood upright for a moment before flying into Agnis’ hand. Adela was a bit perplexed, but happy considering this would repay her debt.
Afterwards, we talked about the hedge and Arcadia, where the Fae live by myself offering a secret about my crush on the Sept leader at Chicago. William offered up a secret about being afraid to have sex in order to learn about what happens when someone is taken over the hedge. The result was not pleasant. They are broken and destroyed spiritually until they become a Fae. It was obvious my son’s spirit wouldn’t be broken so she could not take him across the hedge.
Jonathon offered a secret about not wanting to fight for information about Mabe after Adela mentioned her. It turned out she was the Fae queen. She was ancient and very powerful, but bound to the Sept. How Crafty managed to do something like this was a worrisome to me. Still, for the next several hours she told us of her exploits, which seemed bizarre to us, but completely natural to her. I assumed this is what we might sound like to non-Garou.
After leaving Adela’s, we returned to the Sept and found a man waiting for us. It was Thomas Segundo, Miguel’s uncle. He was happy to see Miguel and had brought his mother here. We went to his boat to get her and he told us he had a job as a boat inspector. He would be gone for 36 hours each week from Tuesday to Thursday. His illegal activities were not missed upon someone even like myself. He also asked we call him the Tooth when in mixed company.
Afterwards, we returned to the Sept with Miguel’s mother who was kind, but worried about where to stay and how to make any sort of money. We figured she could stay at the lodge until more permanent arrangements could be made.
Q called on us to enter the Umbra just after this. Upon entering, he asked for a favor, the first time he had ever asked anything of us. We were to head to the edge of the bawn. There, a tortoise spirit was waiting with Q. He was the totem for the Sept of the Stone Sea. He was forcibly severed from his caern by a profane rite by Gaian Garou, something very disturbing to hear. Q wants us to look into it and determine who did it. We agreed and headed to their Sept immediately.
There, at the Wilder Ranch, we oddly found the Vulture pack piling bodies to be burned, obviously for the protection of the Veil. Upon seeing us, they immediately prepared for an attack, but we told them we weren’t here to fight. We explained that we had been asked to look into what happened here. They told us they eventually traveled to this Sept after they couldn’t find us to cleanse them. Here they were cleansed and given seven quests to complete of which they did four so far. Afterwards, they would be accepted by the Sept. However, with the Sept in ruins they felt they had been screwed again. I felt bad for them since they were actually trying to redeem themselves.
They asked that since they did not need to be cleansed, they wanted us to locate the last remaining Sept member, Spot, who would vouch for them so they could go to another Sept. We agreed to and Bjorn did the questing stone rite that led us into Santa Cruz. At the top of the clock tower, we found Spot and a metis named Sheeba. Spot believed the attack was due to their Sept taking in a Metis from two unknown members of the Sept of the Three Waters. We offered justice to her and not vengeance as neither of the Sept totems would have wanted something like that.
Still, with nowhere to go, we offered to take them to our Sept and possibly bring them in. An impromptu moot was called and we were all allowed to give our opinion. Everyone was willing to accept Spot and Sheeba into the Sept save for Mackie, which was expected given his views on mixed Septs. The Vulture Walkers were a different matter. A little over half wanted them to join and only William and Jonathon were opposed to them.
In the end, after everything was said, Sheeba and Spot would join the Sept and the Vulture Walkers would complete their last three quests and be brought before Lion to determine their worthiness. It had been a long journey, but I finally partially secured my son. I also felt better about how the Sept was growing. I now looked forward to a little downtime to work on my rituals to become Ritemaster for the pack as Bjorn had taken over Beta. I hope I can do this….