After Agnis deciphered the riddle of the bottle, we decided to go to Wolverine since he was the only spirit of War that we knew. Although he left us as a totem, he was still on good terms with us.
Jonathon opted to do the Rite of Summoning, spent several hours meditating while we gathered anything essential to the journey, and ate. We then entered the Umbra as he performed the ritual, Wolverine came immediately and was friendly, or at least as friendly as he was going to get. Jonathon asked for help and Wolverine agreed on one condition. His chiminage was that one person must survive unaided by the realm, but not including our fetishes or totem, to the end of the Battleground. Wolverine would be watching to make sure we don’t cheat.
With that, he began to run in the direction. I tried going in Hispo, but couldn’t keep up along with the others who opted to stay in Homid. Finally, Eli told us to all go Lupus and we managed to keep pace with him. He finally slowed down after about an hour and began to talk to us. This wasn’t the first time he had taken someone to the Battleground. He had taken Rage Heart some time ago where the Ahroun spent a year in the Battleground working to temper his Rage. He had taken on Wolverine as his personal totem.
We found ourselves on the side of a mountain with a headstone. The headstone recalled a story of the first European Garou to die at the hands of the Pure Ones, John Williams the 3rd. Wolverine tells us that touching the headstone will take us to the Battleground. There will be a sign with unimportant writing on it. We are to go northwest from there and stay on course until we run into a road. We will follow the road to a New York Shipyard. We will see him there and he will guide us out.
After some debate, we decided to have a questing stone made to work as a reverse compass of sorts. As long as the stone pointed southeast, we would be heading in the correct direction. I went ahead and made the questing stone with help from the entire pack. We then touched the stone, which appeared to cause us to explode to observers. The feeling of entering the realm was similar.
Upon entering the realm, the questing stone worked as it pointed towards the sign in front of us. The writing on the sign directed us to various battles in the realm. It occurred to us that we could get to any battle with enough effort and searching, even our own battles.
After a few minutes of walking in the right direction, we could hear explosions in the distance. Another five minutes of walking and the scenery suddenly changed. We found ourselves in the Revolutionary War with colonists on one side and the British army on the other. They lined up and fired at each other as we made haste in Lupus form across the field. As we did, we could see a Garou struck by a bullet and losing himself to his Rage. We opted to not assist him as it was not our fight and we needed to stay on course to complete the quest.
Heading across the field and into a forest, we came across a dirt path and a stream. The stream was easy enough to cross in Lupus form. As we made it across, suddenly the scene shifted again and we were in World War I. Soldiers were fighting in trenches as artillery shells dropped from the sky. I took the lead as I still held onto the questing stone in my mouth. Narrowly avoiding shells, Eli pointed out a minefield in front of us. The mines were spaced far enough apart that we could avoid them easily.
After passing through the minefield, the scene changed again. It became wintry and we saw a bear fighting with two wolves. It stood over an elk as another bear approached. The rest of the wolves’ pack came rushing in as we watched them run the bears to exhaustion and leave the kill to the pack. Not wasting time, they dug in and ate, not bothering to bring the food with them.
After the fight finished, we headed forward to rolling hills and a more temperate climate. We climbed a hill and saw two packs of Black Spiral Dancers below us. Dead kinfolk lay at their feet and they stood waiting. It was obvious they weren’t apart of this realm as they weren’t battling. This was our enemy.
Eli plotted out a plan of attack. Miguel would flank them as Eli would draw them in. The bag would be placed down with the questing stone and parchment in order to have a lone survivor grab it if necessary. We all prepared for battle as Eli shared his Luna’s Armor with us and some of us called on our ancestors.
Eli started the battle viciously, throwing his hammer into a random Spiral. It launched the corrupted Garou back into the dirt as the rest of them prepared for battle. Eli then tossed his hammer again, hitting the same Spiral. The Garou disappeared as Eli’s hammer returned bloody. Jonathon quickly grabbed the parchment, rubbed the blood on it, and placed it back in the bottle.
The Spirals closed in and Jonathon, Eli, John, and William engaged them. William was purged from the realm by a vicious klaive attack to which Agnis charged the attacker. John and Eli brought down a couple of them before two Spirals did a wishbone attack on Eli and tore his arm off. Raging from the assault he lashed out at them, holding his ground. Agnis engaged William’s attacker, ejecting him from the realm in the process.
John and Eli continued to fight, but Eli was knocked from the realm. John eliminates another two of them as Agnis jams her staff into the eyes of one of them. Jonathon, realizing packmates are dropping, quickly grabs the bag and heads forward in order to salvage the mission. However, I finally was able to charge forward and decapitate one of them with my klaive while Miguel killed the other. The packs ejected from the realm we pushed forward towards our destination.
Wolverine was there waiting for us like he said he would be. Near him was a black portal. He told us to go through it. We could leave the Battleground at any time if we wished by finding one of these portals. Heading through, we found ourselves right back where we started. Eli and William were there, unharmed, showing that the realm’s effects were only temporary.
As we gathered together, a small green blob approached us. It was obviously a bane, but it spelled out the sigils for Fianna, kin-fetch, and Black Spiral Dancer. It was obvious it wanted us to come with it as it opened a moon bridge. With a little debate, we decided to go see what it wanted cautiously.
The moon bridge led us to San Francisco, or more accurately, Hunter’s Point. It was an abandoned naval harbor where in one of the buildings they studied the effects of radiation. The radioactivity became too great and it was abandoned making it the perfect place for a Black Spiral Hive.
We entered the building and saw a single woman in front of us, naked and covered in tattoos. She looks solemn. She told us we could keep the boy as he was weak anyway and maybe the Spiral blood would toughen our Sept up. It was obvious she was Jason’s mother Alyssa. She mentioned she would have contacted us earlier, but pinpointing our location was difficult.
She mentioned she knew the Septs were beginning to fall. She was delighted with the prospect, but she was bitter that a rival was responsible for the deed. Her rival had asked for help, but she turned her down. Apparently, the Hive began asking for help when our Sept began to grow.
She continued the conversation, engaging in increasingly grotesque behaviors as she did. William even suggested having sex with her at one point, although I’m not sure why he did. There was a traitor in the area. Someone from the Sept of the Three Waters was working with the nearby Hive in causing chaos. This traitor was of high standing in the Sept.
When asked why we should believe her, she told us her flaw was she was always honest. She fully intended to betray us in time, but for now, she was giving the information to us in order to destroy her rival. I was curious how someone could continue to engage in a partnership with the Spirals without becoming corrupted. Still, we took her number and mentioned we would call her in case she had or was willing to give more information in the future.
With that, we slowly backed out and left the area. We moon bridged back to our original destination, Eli scolded William for his comments, and I took the time to cleanse all of the pack in case we had become tainted. Returning to the Sept, we weren’t sure of what to do next. We considered telling Crafty, but because of his affiliation with the Sept of the Three Waters, we couldn’t be sure he wasn’t in on the whole thing. Normally, we would have never thought this, but considering how secretive he had been about Mabe, we weren’t completely sure of his allegiance.
At the Sept, a messenger had arrived. His name was Blitz and he was a Garou from the Sept of the Angry Earth. Apparently, there was some trouble stirring in their Sept and they had reason to believe our Sept might be connected in some way. Crafty told us we would have to stay at the Sept for the next week while he determined what the issue was. He told us to rest up in the cabin.
We stopped him, however, before he could leave and asked about Mabe’s connection to him. We figured if he would be honest about this, then we could trust him with the information we had just obtained. He was a bit grim at hearing our questions, but answered it anyway. Mabe had been in his family for generations. His ancestor had trapped Mabe in a box. When Crafty took over the Sept, he let her become the guardian and now she is growing more powerful until she is returned to her box. The situation was such due to the limited resources he had available at the time.
Eli then mentioned the news of a traitor in our midst. Crafty didn’t take to the news the greatest, wondering who we told. We had only told him and didn’t plan on telling anyone else. He told us the Spiral was likely lying, but if she wasn’t, we would have to have proof as accusing a Garou without evidence is a serious crime.
Crafty left and we decided to rest. We’d have a whole week and an upcoming moot to think about things. We also had another quest in the bottle. Things were getting very ominous now…