We made our run back to the Sept as fast as possible. Thankfully, the Red Talons were frenzied and could not follow us into the Umbra, but you could never be too careful. It was early, but the Sept was up and running already. Scourge of the Woods was already on top of things as we approached. He grabbed rope and took the Ahroun from me, tying him to a tree.
The Ahroun woke shortly thereafter and was not happy to say the least. He didn’t frenzy or attempt to shift, but we could tell he wasn’t going to be cooperative. The only thing he said to us was that he was going to railroad us.
As he sat tied up, Sheeba and Jason arrived and identified him immediately. With our true culprit in hand, Eli went to get Crafty. As Eli got close to Crafty, he could see him having a heated, but still somewhat civil conversation with Ryan. The Irish Destroyers were there cleaning up as the two elders stopped their conversation on Eli’s approach. Eli explained the situation. Mackie wanted to talk with him, but Crafty shut him down.
Crafty said that he was going to the Sept of the Three Waters. We would need to determine the location of the trial and prepare for a potential attack from the Red Talons. Crafty explicitly told Eli that the Ahroun was not to be messed with. Everything would have to be legit or else our Sept could suffer the consequences. Crafty ordered Mackie to set up a protection ring around the bawn with the Irish Destroyers and any other available Garou.
Eli returned and told us what Crafty had said. The Ahroun said he would not admit to anything and we simply ignored him. Miguel went to urinate while we stood around unsure of what to do next. Bjorn observed the Ahroun closely and was able to determine he was a Get of Fenris from his tattoos, something that the Ahroun attempted to cover up upon Bjorn learning this.
Suddenly, a howl of warning went off. Eli took me with him as we went to see what was going on near the cabin area. There, we could see Mackie and Ryan surrounding the moon stone. There were Shadow Lords all around us as our Sept members were holding them down, but not attacking. We tried to approach, but Crafty waved us off. Blitz, the Garou who had been here before, seen us and went Crinos causing the rest of the Shadow Lords to follow. Our Sept members then went next to hold them back, but Eli and I held our ground in Homid as we believed we had done nothing wrong.
After everyone calmed down, Blitz warned us about an assault on our Sept if we lied to them. Crafty managed to calm the situation down and tell them they had the Ahroun and he would stand trial for his actions. They left, finding Crafty’s diplomacy acceptable.
Crafty asked Eli to walk with him and I headed back to where the Ahroun was being held. Crafty then told Eli about the situation. Apparently, some members of the Sept of the Three Waters did not want the Ahroun to stand trial. He obviously either had dirt on other members of the Sept or they were in with him on his actions. The problem was really deep. Even if we managed to make the Ahroun stand trial and punish the guilty parties, someone else would just take their place. Crafty told Eli that there had to be camps involved.
Eli still demanded justice. Crafty retorted that we couldn’t hold the trial without making us look like villains or slanted against him since we had personal bias. The Sept of the Three Waters wanted to hold the trial, but Eli found that unacceptable as they would just sweep it under the rug like they did with the Sept of the Stone Sea. In the meantime, Crafty told him we would have to guard him closely because if he slipped out of sight, he could not be found thanks to whatever Rite had been performed on him.
As Eli relayed this through mindspeak, Bjorn told Eli to tell Crafty about how we found the Ahroun. Eli told Crafty, but left out a few details due to its insidious nature. Crafty seemed impressed and asked Eli what would he do in this situation? Crafty told him he could do some things, but he might lose favor with the Sept of the Three Waters. However, Eli diminished their importance and that they weren’t that much of an ally to begin with because they always demanded something in return for help.
Deciding that he would need more input, Eli went to confer with the rest of us and then we would confer with the elders afterwards. In the meantime, John and William would watch the Ahroun.
It was a tough conversation to say the least. There was so many things we had been keeping from the rest of the Sept and Crafty. Agnis said that the time for secrecy had ended and if we didn’t act now, we may not have the ability to. We all agreed and decided we would tell Crafty everything. We knew we would need a conclave to work on the situation. We would have to bring all of the Septs together or else the Black Spirals plot to destroy the Septs would succeed.
Eli met Crafty at the edge of the caern and laid it all out for him. He wasn’t mad, probably due to his Ragabash nature. Ryan had managed to create a Talen that would get two truths out of the Ahroun. It was a feather that we had to lay on his head. We needed to use it before the trial in order to ensure we got the information in case things got swept under the rug.
After giving us the feather, Ryan called for Crafty. Apparently, there was an emergency and Blitz needed to speak with Crafty. Nodding to him, we quickly made our way back to the Ahroun. He was still sitting there sternly. We debated for a moment to make sure we got the correct wording on the questions to get the best answer possible. We placed the feather upon his head and asked our first question:
“What is your complete meaning and purpose of killing these Garou?”
His answer wasn’t anything shocking. He simply hated us. He thought that Lion leading this Sept was a bad idea from the start. He viewed us as parasites since we took all of the Fianna from the Sept of the Three Waters. He had been watching us since the battle at the pier. We were surviving just because of the Sept of the Three Waters. He had killed 16 Garou in battle, not including Jonathon and the two Lupus. He killed the Lupus to lead the Shadow Lords here.
We went ahead with our second question as the first question didn’t really give any insight into his crimes.
“Who doesn’t want you on trial and why?”
With this, the Ahroun started laying out at least half a dozen names: Gretchen, Raging Wild, Wyrmflayer, Prestige, Bristles, and the rest of his Get of Fenris brothers. He named Gretchen because she had consorted with him in bringing down the Septs. Prestige was listed because the Ahroun had personally witnessed the carnage of the death of the Sept of the Stone Sea. Wyrmflayer had worked on the alienation of the Sept of the Raging Storm. Bristles knew of the Ahroun’s connection to the mages who enacted his protection rite. Raging Wild was the head of the Get of Fenris and the camp hell bent on destroying all of the other Septs. Finally, for his Get brothers because they are all one.
It was a bombshell. It linked the Ahroun back to nearly every single bad event that has happened since we arrived. A few even before we arrived. He had put the fetish in our bawn in order for us to solve it and earn the ire of any nearby Silver Fangs. We refuted this by saying that we were going to return it to them. We tried to appeal to his good side that he was heading down the path of the Wyrm, specifically Beast of War. He blew us off saying he just used the Spirals like they used him. I thought to myself that this is what Rage Heart could have become had he not gotten his Rage in check.
He then tried to antagonize us with the death of Jonathon. Eli throttled him and for a second and it looked like he might actually kill him. He said Jonathon didn’t even fight back while he killed him. I offered a rebuttal that Jonathon’s purpose was with the spirits and not fighting. Bjorn managed to convince Eli to not kill him, stating it wasn’t worth it. After this was done, the Ahroun realized what he had said because of the feather. He said he was still going to railroad us.
As he ranted on, Gruffy came up and grabbed us. We left John and William with the Ahroun while we ran to the caern. Apparently, the Sept of the Angry Earth had been attacked just like the Sept of the Stone Sea. Most of the Red Talons were dead and the caern totem had been severed. There was nothing there.
Blitz knew that we didn’t do it. It suddenly dawned on us that the Ahroun had mentioned this. He wanted the Shadow Lords to show up at our Sept in order to weaken the Sept of the Angry Earth for attack. We tried to appeal to them to stay with us, but they blew us off and most of them had moved to the Sept of the Three Waters. Agnis then told Crafty what we learned and suggested putting ourselves on trial in order to get the truth out. Eli wanted to go to the Sept of the Raging Storm in order to prevent them from being blamed for this event.
As we returned to the Ahroun, William was telling John a story with their backs to the tree. The Ahroun had escaped. Before we even had time to assess the situation, Cliff arrived. He had heard from Lindsey that Scott was in the hospital. Eli asked Crafty if we could leave and take care of him and he approved. Sending Agnis and I to the hospital, we were to heal him. We took the park van and drove as fast as we could.
Arriving at the hospital, Lindsey met us and told us that there were four other people with this strange affliction. It caused black ooze to come out of there orifices and generally put them on the edge of death. Lindsey cleared out the area and let us do our work. I healed Scott while Agnis checked for Wyrm taint. It took a little effort but I finally healed Scott and Agnis found no Wyrm taint. He had no memory of getting sick, but was thankful we helped him. We worked as much as we could on the others before our spiritual reserves were expended. Agnis checked the Umbra for any signs, but couldn’t get any leads on what caused this.
After healing, Lindsey got another call. Tomas was now sick with this mystery plague. He was at his boat and could not move. The only common connection the other victims had were they worked at the same restaurant. As we made our way out of the hospital, they were bringing in even more people was the disease. We quickly got in the van and drove to Tomas. Now, the CDC was going to be called in.
As more of the disease spread, Miguel told Eli about how Mabe put a curse on his mother because he would not free her. It’s possible that anyone his mother touches gets sick. Eli told Crafty about it and he looked disappointed. He said she was tricky and he could fix the situation once he got her box. Heading to his personal cabin area, he could not find the box. They all assumed the Ahroun had taken the box.
Luckily, while the Ahroun could not be tracked, the box could be. Ryan enacted the Rite of the Questing Stone for it and gave them the piece of wood he used. They headed into the Umbra and used a moon bridge to follow it to a house near the beach. Checking the situation out carefully, they found no one in the house. Deciding to act, they entered the house.
Inside, they found the Ahroun, dead. No cause of death could be determined. Worse still, the box was open. Looking around the house, the pack found two dead parents. The teenage girl who lived there was missing. Eli considered calling in the debt to secure Mabe, but opted not to.
As the pack took stock of everything, my phone that I had entrusted to Eli rang. Maria, Miguel’s mother was on the other end. She asked to talk to Miguel. She said someone was at the door named Jenny that she didn’t know. Miguel told her to keep the door closed and tell them she was sick. He hung up, but no more than five minutes later, she called back again. This time there was a scream on the other end.
Moon bridging to Maria’s place, Agnis and I joined up with the pack. A young girl with blue hair was there. It was obvious that it was Mabe in human form. She meant us no ill will. She only returned to take the curse off of Miguel’s mother. She thought that when Miguel rejected her that it was a test. We asked if she would go back to guarding the Sept, but she politely declined. She might have if Miguel would have let her free, but we told her he was the wrong person for the job.
Mabe decided she would travel the world for a while, looking for a king. We suggested Royal Ascot, but he was king of the Seelie fae and she was Queen of the Unseelie fae, so it wouldn’t work. Zanatos was also brought up, but she only married mortals who would then go on to be prosperous. Still, we thanked her for her time as the guardian of our Sept and invited her to visit any time she pleased.
Moon bridging back to the Sept, Tomas called and said he was feeling better. We spoke with Crafty about the situation. He wasn’t happy about losing Mabe, but he figured he could only hold onto her for a few more years anyway. He wasn’t mad at us thankfully. We would now need a new Sept guardian. White Elk was suggested among other spirits, but the more pressing matter was the Grand Moot. Crafty asked if we were still going to have it which we agreed to it. However, before we did so, Eli wanted us to get in touch with the Sept of the Raging Storm before they were blamed. We were now in a race against time to stop an all-out war from happening…