Monthly Archives: July 2015

Darkness Rising and the Return of an Old Friend… (Game 38)

After returning to the Sept, we filled Crafty in on everything that had gone on from our return from the dead to this moment. Crafty was happy to see us, but we could tell that he wasn’t pleased with the events involving his clone.

Crafty told us that because the Pride Slayers had been involved in the attack on the Sept of the Angry Earth and likely his own capture, they would have to be dealt with. He would head to the Sept of the Three Waters and covertly work on repairing the damage his clone had done.

I mentioned that there might be additional clones since his clone had a number two. Crafty told me we would cross that bridge when we got to it.

As we gathered together to determine our next plan of action, I mentioned to Eli that killing his brother might cause some problems with his father. I recommended that he speak with his father and sort things out beforehand. Eli wanted clarity on the issue, but was apprehensive on killing his family. He wanted to interrogate them and find out their involvement. After that, he would decide what to do. If they are in league with the Spirals, however, Crafty told us to treat them as enemies of the Garou Nation.

Finding Mordecai was nearly impossible thanks to the ritual the Mages cast on him. However, I wondered if it was possible for us to track one of his packmates. I attempted to make a Questing Stone for Vorpal, but it spun wildly and I couldn’t get a lock. Trying it for Switchback did the same thing. It was obvious they were protected by proxy or they had the ritual done on them as well.

Because of this, Eli had to call his father and arrange a meeting with him. Morgan was still in the same place as last time, so Eli took just himself and Bjorn to not cause any alarm to his father. The meeting was tense to say the least. Morgan initially thought that Eli came to do him harm, but Eli dismissed this. Eli wanted to know where Mordecai was, but Morgan saw through this and knew there was a possibility that he was going to kill him. Thankfully, Bjorn managed to convince Morgan to give us some information. Morgan gave the option of direct confrontation with Mordecai which could go bad or to find him through the people that cast the ritual on him. Eli chose the former.

fishermans grotto

Mordecai was staying at the Fisherman’s Grotto on the wharf. We made our way there and Eli chose to go alone to meet his brother. I asked to see my son while he was at the meeting and Eli was fine with that. Tension broke out for a moment when Rage Heart suggested that Eli’s dedication to the Sept was being tested against his loyalty to his family. Eli put Rage Heart back in his place and told his that he was doing what he believed was right for the Sept. Agnis would accompany me to see my son while the others in the pack secured a hotel room in case we were going to be here for a while.

backside of grotto

Eli entered the Grotto and the meeting was already off to a shaky start. His pack looked jumpy and didn’t want Eli there. Eli spotted a girl tied to a post nearby as he got closer. Eli bluntly asked about the attack on the Sept of the Angry Earth, disregarding any offers of food or drink. Mordecai was straightforward and told Eli that it was a job and nothing more. He didn’t have any ill-will towards to the Sept, he was just doing what Morgan told him to do.

Mordecai said that he was making big changes in this house. His pack would wipe out the rest of the Septs except ours because given the choice, he wanted his brother’s to remain. However, this would make our area weak against the Spirals. Eli asked about their sister, but Mordecai didn’t know where she was. Mordecai told him they couldn’t break the ritual without messing them all up.

At that point, Vision spoke up and said this situation wasn’t cool as he could see Quetzal remaining nearby. Mordecai told him to lose the bird. Eli, in turn, told him to ditch his pack so they could talk one on one. Mordecai complied and Eli sent away Quetzal, but not without some warning from our Totem spirit.

Mordecai said that the Ahroun left their marks on everything. Basically, it’s how they got caught in the act. Mordecai is following Order 34 of Morgan’s playbook. All of the other Septs get wiped out. In turn, because we are what’s left, we get wiped out by the Black Spirals. He offers Eli the chance to have the ritual cast on him correctly this time and he run with his pack. He even offered to have all of us get the ritual and we run as two packs doing the dirty work.

Of course, Eli denied this for the time being. He wanted to know how this would fix the Gaian Garou. Mordecai told him the Nation was wrong in many of their beliefs and needed to be torn down before it could be fixed. When he started this mission, he was unaware of Grethen’s intent. It wasn’t until they started killing our line that everything came out. They called it off afterward. Mordecai also said the hives were getting ready to wipe us out and had begun uniting. Eli asked if Gretchen and Alyssa had united, but he didn’t know who they were.

Mordecai even spoke of Lex’s possible attempt to make a fomor army. It showed he was working with the Wyrm just as much as he was the Weaver. Mordecai then went for some booze. During this time, Eli untied the girl’s gag and discovered she was Sarah Linder. They had killed her whole pack and were deciding on what to do with her. She was from the Valley. Eli calls Quetzal back and relays what he has discovered.

During this time, I had arrived at Kenith’s house with Agnis. I noticed a sports car outside of his house with Morgan Fathom going up to the door. He was invited in and we could hear shouting from the inside of the house. I decided I was going to go there anyway regardless. After ringing the doorbell, a man I didn’t know answered the door. I asked for Kenith, but he was still in Europe. The man abruptly slammed the door in my face.

Mordecai returns with some alcohol while Eli tells him he wants the girl to go free. Mordecai thinks this is a mistake as she will mess with your head and screw your pack. He tells Eli that she’s not a Garou. They don’t know what she is. Eli wants to take the girl and leave while Mordecai suggests joining up one more time.

Eli tells him we should part ways here as brothers and not fall to disagreement. Mordecai still warns him of how she’ll mess with you, but ultimately relents when he sees that Eli is not going to bend. Mordecai hugged Eli and wished him good luck. He also told Eli to not worry about his pack messing with him. Eli left with Sarah and he could see the rest of the Pride Slayers weren’t happy about the arrangement.

Eli told Sarah to stick with him as they went to the hotel to meet Bjorn. Eli and Bjorn exchanged the girl. I mindspeaked to Eli that his father was here and we needed his ability to listen in on conversations. Eli came by moon bridge and got close enough to listen in.

Eli could hear his father talking to the man inside. Morgan was calmer, but still mad in his tone. He told the man, Robert, that he had almost sold them out and they needed to get their house in order. They needed to wrap their business up and get out of here. Morgan then left and we stayed to listen in on any other potential conversations.

Eli could hear the man inside speaking with someone on the phone. He spoke of gathering up all of the cabals, all of the big ones. It was obvious they were planning something dangerous. I suggested to Eli that I tell him of my true nature. He didn’t give any response to that, but did tell me that we have his name and could find him later if we needed to. Agnis wanted us to get Ryan out of here immediately and I was wondering why Kenith lied about his dad not being well.

During this time, Bjorn figured out that Sarah wasn’t a Garou. She admitted she was a Nuwisha, but masqueraded as a Bone Gnawer. The Thunder Mountain Sept had accepted her as such. She begged him not to tell anyone about it. She wanted to know where our Sept was, but Bjorn just gave her a vague area. She warned Bjorn about the Black Spirals in our area. Bjorn wanted to know why Mordecai and his pack had her. She told him they knew her secret. The Black Spirals had been summoning up tons of banes in the area. There was a very powerful bane they were trying to awaken. The situation sounded very much like what we witnessed in the Dark Ages.

Eli, Agnis, and I made our way back in the middle of the conversation. She told us that Septs from all over California had been gathering together, even abandoning Hives. She wanted to speak with out Sept leader and she could give some names that might help us in stopping whatever they are doing. We decided to steal a van and make our way back to the Sept.

Eli called Daniel to get a hold of Crafty as he was still over at the Sept of the Three Waters smoothing things over. Shortly thereafter, Crafty got in touch with Eli and he told him the situation. Crafty told us to meet at Wrong Moon’s mansion so we could discuss this without having Sarah enter the Sept.

Arriving at the mansion, Eli told Crafty about the Pride Slayers and their involvement in everything. They were being manipulated by Morgan to do his bidding and that he had plans for our Sept. Crafty then declared Morgan and the Pride Slayers enemies of the Nation. However, he was not sure if he would send our pack to do the deed due to Eli’s family relations. Still, Agnis suggested that the Pride Slayers may be saveable. It would be harder than the Vulture Walkers, but still worth the effort.

Crafty and Daniel took Sarah into the back of the mansion and privately discussed what she knew. After a brief conversation, Crafty decided to give Sarah sanctuary at our Sept.

We made our way to the Sept as an emergency meeting was called. Daniel spoke with the rest of the elders on what was going on while the other packs slowly arrived. After about an hour of conversing, the Vulture Walkers told us that Crafty wanted to speak with us.

Now that the packs are back we must make a decision. Crafty will go to the Sept of the Three Waters and relay Sarah’s information. More importantly, now that White Lion, Elk, and Roedeer have rejoined, Lion wants us to redeem his fallen brood. This is dangerous as many of them now reside in Malfeas and we may lose our sanity in the process. Unfortunately, Jonathon was needed for this. I ask why we can’t go and Crafty told us that our rank was too low and three Theurges are needed for this mission.

From the treeline, we could hear Sarah. She was standing at the Sept border. She offered us a method to help. She knew a secret Rite that could have an ancestor help them in the flesh. Ryan said there was no known Garou ritual that could do this to which Sarah retorted that she was Nuwisha. Crafty wanted to know if Eli knew this and he shook his head yes, but told him he was honor bound not to speak of it.

Crafty told us it was up to us to choose. It didn’t take long. Everyone seemed on board for the idea. The Sept was called together around Jonathon’s grave.

Short Paw called Coyote and asks that he give us the spirit of Jonathon to assist us. She looked at Eli and asked for something of his. Eli’s bag vibrates and he pulls out the treasure box. She looked at the treasure box in awe. She told us that his spirit is trying to return. She wondered what the box was and told us we must free the spirit. Eli opened the box and Sarah began to sing a chant.

Unfortunately, as Sarah held he hand to the ground, it was not enough. There would have to be a sacrifice. One of the Garou would have to take Jonathon’s place in death. Rage Heart immediately offered himself up. Eli asked if he was sure, but Rage Heart only told it’s what a Ahroun does for his pack.

Taking Rage Heart’s hand, she continued her chant. As she did, Rage Heart’s eyes rolled back into his head and the dirt beneath her stirred. Finally, as the Rite was completed, Rage Heart fell to the ground and Jonathon’s hand came forth from the dirt. We pulled him out and he was confused as to what had happened.

William and I did the Gathering for the Departed on Rage Heart as we buried him. We all spoke words of kindness, even those who didn’t know him well. I remembered his confidence in me when I tried to become Alpha long ago. Eli, distraught by this, went into the woods and unleashed his Rage, completing his chiminage to the spirits.

That night, we held an impromptu Sept meeting. We welcomed Jonathon back and he was surprised to have Tick with him again. Ryan then sat down with us. He asked us if we understood what we were up against. From the vision of my mother’s fate, I understood it better than most. Bjorn asked where we could quickly learn to get ready for it. Ryan told us that Daniel had been to Malfeas, but he may not want to speak of it. He didn’t want us going down into Malfeas and the other dark Near Realms.

Bjorn then asked about the lost spirits. Ryan doesn’t know, but he told us Lion would speak with us about them. He will likely present it from easiest to hardest. However, there is a strong chance we would lose pack members along the way. This is nothing to take lightly. Because of how important this rejoining is to the world, they didn’t want us involved in their war in the Nation. They wanted us to take the war to the Triat itself.

With the gravity of the situation ahead of us, we decided it was time to speak with Daniel about his Descent. I was nervous to say the least…

Revenge of the Clones… (Game 37)

It would be ten days before our next mission as a pack. We spent the time doing the things we wanted or loved most. Born Twice spent some time with Gina before working on learning the Rite of Binding from Leein. I would have trained him, but I had my own business to take care of. Before the moot he would have to create a Talen for her as he currently lacked the ability. He opted to create a Wind Snorkel to which the air spirit he bound requested he fill another non-pack Garou full of pride.

Stag’s Daughter continued training her hardest. I spent most of the week with her, but I would have to isolate myself to do what I needed to in the Sept. She learned a kinfolk Gift and accepted the chiminage from Cat to explore everything. It was obvious Agnis wanted to have the kinfolk learn whatever gifts they were capable of.

Wrong Moon suffered nightmares of his First Change. He saw the ghost of his real father and the ghost gave him a quest. He would have to take a piece of redwood and burn it with his pack to learn the Gift of Dreamspeak. Wrong Moon seemed shaken from the experience, something most of us had never seen.

Lionheart spent most of the time being with Lindsey and his child and learning Gifts. He would have to let his Rage go over three nights with no control to learn Heart of Fury. His next chiminage was to rub earth on his for seven days in both the material and umbral realms to learn the Gift Troll Skin.

I found myself learning Baptism of Fire from Leein for my healing Talen. I also went to see Ryan, but he wasn’t there. He had gone on a trip to Europe for the time being. Saddened, Magnus took me to a restaurant, but I couldn’t tolerate the city anymore. Upset, I returned to the Sept to consider what to do. I decided not to summon my mother in my current emotional state and settled for sleeping in the Sept.

As I slept in the Sept, I dreamed of the past. I saw Daniel again as a young man. I watched him pursue my mother, forming a pack along the way. I saw the betrayal by his former packmate, Prescott Solomon, and felt the searing pain of my mother’s death. More than ever I wanted to confront Daniel about it. I could see the pain and sadness in his eyes, but couldn’t bring myself to talk to him.

With our downtime closing, we awoke on the 14th to a visitor to the Sept. It was a Wendigo Theurge named Learns-From-Crows. In exchange for sleeping in our Sept, he wanted to train Agnis and myself in the knowledge of Epiphs. Epiphs were pocket realms created by strong emotions or other powerful ideas. It is believed by some that the Near Realms were created by a collision of various Epiphs.

Epiph of Jealousy

Agreeing to his terms, he took Agnis and I into an Epiph of jealousy. It was an odd white room with red chairs that didn’t obey the laws of physics. I could feel my jealousy for the Wendigo, but I couldn’t understand why. We sat in the chairs there for a short time before the feeling overwhelmed me. Finally, Learns-From-Crows took us back into the Prenumbra. He told us it is important to learn the signs of being in an Epiph because you can lose yourself and become trapped in one. He also told one can always escape an Epiph back in the Prenumbra provided you realize you are in one. He finally told us of Glens and Blights and what they represented.

After we were done with this, the Moot took place later in the evening. There was quite a bit of business to discuss. The Truth Hunters had been inducted into the Sept. However, oddly, unlike before we had no say in their induction.

It was certain now that the Sept of the Angry Earth fell due to Black Spirals. It was also certain that the Ahroun and the Pride Slayers were involved. The Sept of the Three Waters was looking, but had no leads currently. It would be imperative to find the Ronin Garou.

Mackie then told us about the Silver Record and what it was. Many Garou had different ideas of what it was, but it was mostly a collection of records, guides, glyphs, and poems. It wasn’t exactly a static collection of stories. There were passages about learning gifts as well.

Ryan told us that Roedeer, Elk, and White Lion have reunited. The Hand of the Fionn and the Truth Hunters were being sent on a spirit quest in secret. We would learn what they were doing after they had accomplished it.

Learns-From-Crows thanked us for our hospitality and hoped to visit our Sept in the future. It was obviously brown nosing, but we were grateful for his knowledge and hoped to see him again soon.

Finally, after the kin were let in, Gina informed everyone that she was pregnant. I was happy for her, but saddened that I had not gotten pregnant. I still didn’t give up and continued to try with Magnus that night. We drank, sang, and enjoyed the rest of the night.

The next morning, we had a familiar visitor. Rage Heart had returned. Rage Heart explained where he had been for all this time. He went to the Sept of the Raging Storm. Although he never became a formal member there, they assisted him in controlling his Rage by immersing him in the Battleground. This tempered him to which even Wrong Moon attempted to aggravate him to no success. He wanted to rejoin the pack and we were willing to accept him in.

Crafty had told us he wanted us to take care of the Pride Slayers, but we wanted to get Wrong Moon’s Gift out of the way. We opted to quickly take care of this. Sitting down, Wrong Moon burned the bark while we drifted off to sleep.

carnival entrance

We found ourselves standing outside of a carnival. The place looked somewhat sinister. Standing at the entrance was Mackie. Admission was only ten cents, which oddly we all had in our hands. Mackie split himself in two and led us into the carnival. He directed us to see the house of mirrors.

Mirror maze entrance

We entered and made our way through the first room. Here we came across a plain looking mirror. It was the Mirror of Regret.

Wrong Moon looked into the mirror first. He saw his first girlfriend from before the First Change mauled. She yelled at him for killing her. Wrong Moon pleaded with her that it wasn’t his fault, but the image would not stop yelling at him. Oddly, we could not see what he saw in the mirror.

Bjorn looked into the mirror next. He saw Shannon Johnson, the kinfolk we saved from being beaten by Lightning Claws. She scolded him for not intervening and simply taking No-Hands-Catches-Fish’s word on the matter being handled. She was beaten and raped to death because of his inaction.

Stag’s Daughter looked into the mirror next. She saw her parents yelling at her for running away during her First Change and letting them die at the hands of the Black Spirals.

I looked into the mirror next and only saw Ryan. He cried and told me that I had given up on him. He said he hated me. I broke down crying and Bjorn tried to comfort me because of it.

John looked into the mirror next and saw Regina Sanders. She left her husband for him. When he never came back she took to drinking. She got drunk one night and wrecked her car, killing her in the accident.

Rage Heart stared into the mirror and saw a friend named Saqui who had been shunned because he offered to help Rage Heart when no one else would. He was angry that Rage Heart returned to those that had failed him and neglected him. Rage Heart angrily smashed the mirror in response only for it to rebuild itself.

Lionheart saw Rage Heart staring back at him for not coming for him.

With our regrets faced, we moved onto the next room with another plain mirror. This was the Mirror of Doubt.

Lionheart went first and saw his packmates dead at his feet. Lionheart unleashed his Rage on the mirror as Rage Heart held us back. It took nearly an hour for him to wear himself out, but he finally ran out of energy.

Bjorn went next and saw Lionheart in front of all the Garou in the Sept. He was now leader of the Sept and had taken Gina as his mate. He shoke his head and moved on.

John saw the death of Jonathon and his leaving the campsite because he was hungry.

Stag’s Daughter saw herself surrounded by spirits as the pack was calcified by them. The spirits would not acknowledge her existence.

Wrong Moon saw himself covered in scars, cowering in a corner. Bitch of the Wyrm was there as she belittled him and then proceeded to get him aroused.

Rage Heart saw himself leaving the pack again to which we all changed into Saqui.

I saw myself leaving the Sept as Garou pelted me with random objects. I was carrying a child, a Metis cub.

With our doubts faced, we moved onto another mirror. It was large at 6 feet tall by 12 feet wide. As we all stood by the mirror, our reflections yelled insults and hurt feelings towards others. Lionheart berated Miguel for losing Mabe while Wrong Moon yelled at Stag’s Daughter for not knowing her role. Born Twice yelled at me for attempting to be a Philodox while Stag’s Daughter told John he was worthless for not having a mate or any Sept duties. John called Rage Heart a terrible packmate while Miguel told Wrong Moon he was a terrible packmate. Finally, Rage Heart yelled at Eli for not searching for him and I similarly yelled at Eli for not taking my son seriously and retrieving him.

dead mouse

Realizing these were perhaps buried feelings or even simply just possibilities, we passed out of the house of mirrors. There, lying on the ground, was a dead skeletal mouse. The mouse told us he remembered being devoured by the owl. Thanks to his time with Jonathon he has become a Twice Born. He can now see the future. He is bound by rules though and breaking them ruins his gifts.

mouse treasure

We will be tested three times in the future. One will be a test of betrayal. Next, a test of Revival. Finally, a test of Enlightenment. He has given us the first clue at the cost of becoming bound to this realm. He then reformed into a box and told us to open this only when you are sure you need it. We could softly hear the voice of Jonathon: “you are now and have always been my friends.”

After this, Crafty came around the corner and tried ushering us to the next attraction. However, another Crafty appeared, and soon the entire area was filled with them. It soon became clear that this was the clue that the Twice Born had given us.

We began to debate the meaning of this. It was apparent that Crafty was the betrayer, but how? The clones provided the clue of Crafty being in league with the Weaver. We then checked the clone’s eyes and realized they had numbers like the clones that Lex Baritune was making. Suddenly, Rage Heart mentioned that what if Crafty wasn’t Crafty anymore?

Our eyes opened up as we heard Crafty and Gruffy conversing as they headed this way. Crafty approached us and wanted to know why we hadn’t dealt with the Ronin Garou pack yet. Eli told him we were just taking care of this dream quest for Wrong Moon quickly and then would be on our way. Crafty really pushed the issue of us taking care of the Pride Slayers.

I detected that he was a human and after letting Eli know it, he outed him. Crafty tried to deflect but Eli showed Gruffy the number in his eye like all of the other clones we had seen. We called for an emergency meeting.

Gathering everyone who wasn’t out on a mission we told Ryan to pull anyone back that Crafty had sent out. We checked everyone’s eyes to ensure no one else had been cloned but thankfully it was only Crafty. Wrong Moon persuaded the fake Crafty to tell us what he had been up to. Apparently, he had been created by Lex Baritune to keep the other Septs from uniting and taking him down. The Sept of the Silver Fury had been investigating him for some time. We knew this because we remembered meeting with them after rescuing Tina Carter. The fake Crafty had been in place for nearly two years now.

We wanted to warn the other Septs of the fake Crafty’s actions, but Mackie advised against it. He didn’t think the other Septs deserved to know. He thought it would make us look weak, but my worries were that the clone could have spread tons of false information about us leading up to a war between the Septs. Still, we decided not to say anything for the time being. Ryan wanted this to be resolved internally as well.

We decided to take of the situation immediately before anything else could go wrong. We would take down Lex’s operation to prevent anymore clones. I had a Questing Stone made for Crafty and Lex Baritune. We asked Daniel to come with us as he could jam the technology in the area and make it easier for us to slip without Lex seeing us. Stag’s Daughter put a print behind each of our ears in case we had been cloned in order to prevent us from being fooled.

Driving to the Ferry Halim as we did five years before, Daniel disabled the security as we made our way in. Searching for Crafty on the second floor, we found him in a pod being kept asleep with gas. Wrong Moon prepared to open the case as the rest of the pack headed to the third floor to confront Lex.

Making our way just outside his bedroom. I offered to take the lead and we kicked open the door. Lex shot up and looked at us but it was far too late for him. I plunged my klaive directly into his skull. With Lex dead, Eli grabbed the master computer to the building in the room for any other data we could determine. We began destroying everything we could see.

Wrong Moon then got the word to open the pod. Opening the pod with his gifts, he was immediately burned from the silver gas in the pod. Cutting the power, the gas stopped and Crafty woke up to surprise at seeing us. He told us the gas prevented him from waking up or healing. He knew what Lex had done, but was unable to do anything.

Crafty told us he was attacked from behind as we gathered back together. Although he didn’t see who it was, we assumed it had to be the Pride Slayers. Since they had no allegiance, they would be happy to do the task for Lex. This also brought light to why the fake Crafty wanted them dead. He was covering his tracks to ensure no one would know Lex was behind to the fractured relationship the Septs had.

We quickly made our way out of the building as we set it on fire, hopefully destroying all of the cloning processes. We gathered Daniel with us and made our way back to the Sept. Although there were still some unanswered questions like where was the other Crafty clone since ours was number two and were their clones of us, we were happy to have the real Crafty back.