As we all slept the night of our return, Eli was plagued with nightmares. He could hear and see Bjorn and Jonathon yelling for help. The duo appeared to be struggling in water and didn’t know which way to go. Eli woke us all up; I had just drifted to sleep from my distraught emotions, and told us we needed to head to the beach where we fought the Drowned King.
Returning to the beach, we found Bjorn trying to resuscitate Jonathon, who was face down on the beach. Bjorn apparently seen us in Crinos form, his vision blended between the Umbral and the physical. Jonathon, on the other hand, was completely disconnected and unresponsive.
I quickly realized they had been in the Umbra too long. By ignoring the physical, they were becoming more spirit than flesh. However, once the additional spiritual energy wore off from the ancestors, they would return to normal. Jonathon, however, may take some time considering his innate love for the spirits and the Umbra.
We returned to the Sept and Eli filled Bjorn in on what had happened to us. We then went back to sleep. Once we awoke, Cliff had breakfast ready and Gina was ecstatic to find Bjorn alive. She took care of him as the spiritual energies wore off and his vision returned to normal. Jonathon remained the same however.
Eli suggested we keep Jonathon in the cabin until he returned to normal, which was a good idea, given his occasional lapses in personality. It would ultimately be better to have another Garou nearby in case he wandered off.
We returned to the Sept to see all of the work that had been done on the cabin now that it was daytime. A nearby den had been created for Rusty and Rivet who were happy to see us. Ariel arrived and gave them some scraps, showing how far along she had come with becoming comfortable with them. We had the day to pass until the moot so most of the pack went about normal Sept business. I personally dedicated some new clothes to myself and spent some time meditating in the hear t of the Sept in the hopes it would calm my emotions some.
As night fell, a howl rang out for the moot to begin. It was a very well done howl and it was obvious that it belonged to Red Tongue thanks to his Lupus heritage. We joined in on the howl in Lupus form and began the moot. With the Lion’s pelt out and ourselves near the stones, we called out to Lion as normal and Red Tongue and Scourge grabbed a deer for the sacrifice. Still, I noticed Red Tongue and Scourge eyeing us, which made me feel they were suspicious of us in some way. I kept this to myself.
After calling out to Lion, Scourge of the Woods held the bone and asked if anyone wanted the bone to speak. Crafty first took the bone, stating he was happy for our return. Mackie then took the bone and reinforced the need for unity or the Sept will fall. Gruffy then took the bone and mentioned that we were Fostern, but with no deed names. We would be named by our packmates.
Naturally, most of us didn’t have a deed name, nor could we think of one. Some of us had ideas already, but the majority were named by the pack. Eli was Lionheart under my suggestion. John became Strikes-with-Fury. William was named Wrong Moon due to his glaring Ragabash tendencies. I suggested Stag’s Daughter for Agnis since Stag had guided her to us. Miguel, in a move unseen, chose to reject his Press One name and chose Killer-of-Dogs. Bjorn remained Born Twice. Finally, I was last. It took some debate, but the pack decided on Earth Mother. It was somewhat unexpected for me, but I accepted it graciously.
Ryan then took the bone and we were awarded renown for our deeds. Afterwards, Eli took the bone and mentioned how we would have to start over to earn our positions, but we were willing to take any help and advice the new packs would offer. Bjorn then asked for the bone and said that he hoped we could work with each other.
With no more Sept business, the kinfolk brought out food, drinks, and alcohol. I had learned to resist toxins recently and I did not feel like getting drunk considering what I had been through. Still, I drank to not worry anyone in the Sept.
Tania One-Boon offered a toast to new beginnings and old friends. Afterwards, Mackie, as a Galliard is to do, told us about events after our “death.” He told us how the Irish Destroyers joined and fragmented into two packs and how this infuriated Stands-With-Claw. We were no longer given aid from the Sept of the Three Waters without first providing aid to them.
The Irish Destroyers, before fragmenting, had to push back the Sept of the Silver Fury, as they were getting more aggressive. They had grown in number and we had not until our return. The Irish Destroyers forced an ultimatum on them to leave the Sept alone provided it did not look weak or else war would be declared. Thankfully, they backed down.
Due to the Silver Fury Sept’s aggressive actions, the Sept had tried sending out kin-fetch spirits in the hopes of growing the Sept, but to no avail.
Ryan then mentioned Kyle’s death to Harano. It was a sad notion and one I felt somewhat responsible for since we were too consumed with business and fighting to pay attention to our Septmates.
On a positive note, Mabe had relaxed her stance on outside spirits and they can join the area, albeit with rigorous testing to be safe. Around this time, a Silent Strider passed through the area and asked to meditate for three days for three hours each. Three was apparently a good number for the Fianna, which Mackie explained, but I didn’t see the significance myself. At least not yet anyway.
Crafty mentioned then mentioned we needed to get our kinfolk here, which made my heart beat faster. He ideally wanted one kinfolk per Garou, but anyone than that would be excellent. Having more kinfolk will reduce the workload on the current kin. There was also some debate when we were gone about the Sept going multi-tribal. There will also be challenges coming for the positions we once held and they will be handled at moots.
Gruffy then speaks up. He is the Master of the Challenge. He says he is old school and adheres tightly to the creeds. He is just and impartial. He is covered in tattoos and knows the ritual to inscribe ink into our flesh. He offers to do one for us tonight as an act of generosity.
Leein then speaks up. She gets along with Mabe because the fae likes her hair. She is into spirits more than most. She is here for any spirit related matters we might need assistance with.
Scourge of the Woods and Red Tongue spoke up. Scourge was the holder of the bone and bawn protector. He tells us he is very dedicated to protecting the Sept and he’s good at it. Scourge speaks for Red Tongue as he hates the Homid form. He is a ferocious warrior, but will protect us with his life. He also likes to have fun on his downtime.
Lindsey then speaks up. She died four years ago, figuratively, when the pack died. She got wasted and passed out one night shortly after our deaths. There, she had a dream of a Garou named Smoke Paw who told her to be strong , that the pack was safe, and that they would return. After having the dream, she went clean, stopped smoking, and only drank for moots. She walked to the park and Cliff helped her get a job. She offered to repay him, but he refused. She went back to school and got a degree in nursing. She now works at the Dominican Hospital and is looking for a new home.
Gina then spoke up. She lost hope with our deaths. She had her 17th birthday shortly after it and it was the worst birthday ever. She was already struggling and then found herself kicked out of her home due to the Sept of the Three Waters cutting off all aid. She moved in with Cliff, finished high school, and had him explain the Garou politics to her. She mentioned that Kenith came looking for me, and had been for years after our date. She told him the same thing she told everyone else who came looking for us: we had gone home. Still, Kenith’s law firm, no doubt in part because of him, offered Gina a scholarship to SCU for biology. I was happy at hearing this.
Cliff then talked. Things had been mostly the same, except finances. Lindsey helped when she could and he tried to get any of his family from Washington to come down. Sadly, they had all under gone the Change and could not help. He tried getting a hold of Foss’s wife, but she was still broke up over his death.
Ariel then told us about Jonathon’s death and how his body disappeared. This gave the Sept leaders hope we would return. Coincidentally, Ariel lost her precognition powers until two months before we returned. They started small at first, but then returned to their old strength as before. She doesn’t fret over it much now and works for a mental hospital. It seems fitting since before we intervened, she thought she herself was going crazy. She has now dedicated herself to learning more about the world of the Garou.
Rusty and Rivet then jumped in, licking and rubbing up on us, showing their affection for us. Afterwards, Mackie then stood up, wanting to hear of our adventure and how we came back.
Wrong Moon then recanted an epic tale of our deaths, the journey through time learning about our ancestors, and finally our return to the world where we defeated the Drowned King.
Crafty then took a moment to answer any questions we might have. Bjorn asked about the Hive, but Crafty told him it’s still there, wherever that might be. Eli wondered about the other Septs, but they too were mostly unchanged with Rage Heart still staying at the Sept of the Angry Earth.
Bjorn wanted to know what we could do for the Sept, which was find the kinfolk and Garou and attend to any Sept business needed at the moment. I wondered about who filled what positions. It devolved into a debate about us being favored, which felt a bit venomous coming from Tania, the current Den Mother. Eli suggested we just attend to Sept business, which I agreed on, and I only wanted to know who had filled what.
Mackie then asked what we learned from the experience of fighting the Drowned King. Eli mentioned Alexander’s failure in the Dark Ages. Bjorn added about how not he was looking for the right tribe, but also all of his ancestors were as well. William mentioned how to much pride can lead to a fall. John spoke of how unity was needed or the Nation would fall. Agnis took away the wisdom of her ancestors, both their failures and successes. Finally, I mentioned how close our lines were with the White Howlers themselves with both Miguel and Eli being descended from White Howler kinfolk, one of my ancestors in love with a White Howler who fell to the Wyrm, and even my great-grandfather who was the product of a Black Spiral Kinfolk and Fianna Garou.
After this, Crafty told us it was time to party for the rest of the night. While I had been drinking earlier as toasts went about, I had decided not to get drunk thanks to my new gift to resist toxins. I didn’t feel like getting drunk tonight.
Lindsey brought out food and special alcohol Mackie had brewed himself. Bjorn took a moment to ask if Red Tongue ever got drunk, but Mackie told him he didn’t.
Gruffy came out with the ink and a tapping needle for the ritual to inscribe ink in us. He offered to a tattoo for each of us. Eli chose a glyph name on his chest of all of the packmates including Rage Heart inside a lion’s mouth as it roared. John got a Fianna symbol on his heart across his chest. Agnis got the crescent moon and a Celtic knot while William got Kyle’s name across his back. I got a set of bongo drums on my right arm as I had an idea for a fetish later on.
As Gina picked up trash, Ariel brought out a portable speaker for some music. Ariel and the others danced River-dance style as Eli passed out his Unbroken Cord fetish gifted from the ancestors. I chose a simple bracelet for my portion. Cliff then grabbed me and we danced for a little while. It was fun. Agnis asked Ryan about the Celtic knot she had always carried and he told her it was a fetish and what it did. I then asked Leein about the Rite of Heritage and finding out if I have any other relatives besides my son.
Afterwards, as drinking began to get heavy, John and I decided to go to sleep that night and not party. We were made fun of, but I didn’t care. I just really wasn’t in a partying mood this night.
The next morning, most of the Sept woke up with little or no clothes and severely dehydrated. Mackie found a sausage and thought it was a penis. We all laughed a little. Cliff told him it was for our breakfast. Bjorn went with the kinfolk to make breakfast for us while we talked about the night before and all the crazy antics that the Sept had.
Eli asked again about Sept business. Once again, it was to gather as many kinfolk and Garou as we could. We decided after breakfast to get this done immediately. I asked Leein to do the Rite of Heritage on me so I could determine if I had any more relatives alive. I managed to learn about all my relatives back to Killian. As it turned out, my biological father, a man named John Rosie was alive and in Chicago, my hometown. I was thrilled and a little scared to meet him hopefully soon. Sadly though, my mother Melina Greyweather was dead. John and the others all called out to their relatives to have them come to the Sept.
William, surprisingly, was not wanted for murder as his parent’s chauffeur took the blame for the murder he committed during his First Change. Still, he would not be able to bring him, but maybe he could get his mother to come.
After taking care of the Kinfolk arrangements save mine until I could figure out a way to get my father and son here, we headed back to the cabin. There, Miguel found a bottle with glyphs on the side of it and a rolled up piece of paper in it. Without thinking about it, he opened the bottle to which Leein seen as she walked in. She was surprised and told us it was a spirit cryptex, a talen of sorts.
The wording on the paper is nonsense to us until Miguel was donated some spiritual energy. The paper told of a powerful fetish from the Flux realm. The paper told that a legendary quest must be done to solve the first part of three quests in order to learn the location of this object. After the first quest is completed, you place the paper back in the bottle to find the next quest. However, if you fail the quest or don’t do it and place the paper back in the bottle, the spirit is released and the object will be lost.
Wanting to know more about it, we entered the Umbra to speak with Mabe to find out who left it for us. Upon finding her, we found she had changed considerably. She was much more human looking and could speak in two word sentences instead of riddles. She gave the bottle to us in exchange for helping Adela return to her true self.
Mabe told us she found the bottle at the north end of the bawn. I investigated it, but found nothing of interest there. Mabe wants us to solve the puzzle and we tell her we’ll try after we take care of our affairs. She’s happy to hear it and we left the Umbra.
With the others kinfolk set to arrive and the hope of my son and father coming to the Sept, I had newfound hope for the future. I anxiously awaited the arrival of new Sept members as we got to work on other Sept business…