After returning to the Sept, we immediately contacted Daniel and arranged to meet at Wrong Moon’s mansion. We made our way to the mansion where Daniel had sat down and poured us some whiskey to drink.
Daniel told us about his venture into Malfeas. He had went to rescue a friend there and found out about the kidnapping of several kinfolk and cubs. He took a makeshift pack into the realm and tried to stop the plot. He failed and lost everyone in the process, escaping just barely. He said there was somewhere in the realm waiting for him and didn’t want to return. The trip would change us.
Malfeas is a strange realm. We would need the Baneskins to make it past the banes since they don’t operate the same way as regular people. The other residents of the realm won’t attack us unless we attack them first. The realm has a strange sense of solidarity. You can, however, defend yourself in the realm without fearing reprisal. However, an attack on a resident marks you with a beacon that all of the creatures in the realm can see.
Daniel couldn’t tell us too much more. He knew that everyone who left Malfeas had to be cleansed. If you couldn’t be cleansed then it was already too late for you and you were falling to the Wyrm. Gaian Rites don’t work in the realm and death is very real there. The landscape is fairly static there. Don’t take any totems into the realm. He also didn’t know a way to get out and you would have to find your own way out. When asked about how he got out, he said his way was his own. I knew how he did it, but I said nothing.
Daniel had sent for someone who studied the realm. He would be able to help us more. He asked to be left alone and to not speak of the realm to him again. I felt bad. I had seen what he had went through, but I didn’t have the courage to tell him what I knew.
We left and returned to the cabin. Mackie was there. He told us that Short Paw would be joining the Sept. She will become a part of the Ghost of the Fionn pack. Mackie doesn’t like her, but of course, he didn’t like anyone that wasn’t a Fianna. She will be here on a trial basis for the time being.
After this conversation, Crafty knocked on the door. He brought with him a guest, a Wendigo Ahroun named Saqui. He wanted to pay his respects after hearing about Rage Heart’s sacrifice. We introduce ourselves and tell him that he can stay as long as he likes. Eli spoke of how valiant Rage Heart’s sacrifice allowed us to have the means to continue our mission to save Lion’s brood. We then took him to Rage Heart’s gravesite where he sat down and began to mourn for his friend. He said he would mourn for three days and we left him be.
As we returned back to the cabin, Gruffy intercepted us. He asked Bjorn several questions about his various tasks as a Philodox and whether he was ready to achieve the next rank. He told Bjorn when he was ready to do his challenge to find him.
We returned to the cabin and waited for several hours. As it began to get dark, the Vulture Walkers approached us and told us we had a visitor. It was Daniel’s friend, Silent Hunter. He was Bone Gnawer Theurge. He asked us to go somewhere safe. We offered to talk at the fire pit. He wanted to relax before we got to speaking. We offered him some booze before our discussion.
Silent Hunter told us soon after relaxing about the various totems that had fallen. He started with the totems of War. Carrion Bird was the first, a corrupted totem that occasionally rode the fence and took in Gaian packs. Green Dragon was the other War totem and easily the strongest of the bunch, often taken as a Black Spiral Dancer totem.
He then moved onto the only Wisdom totem, Caern Rattler. It had disappeared and was not able to be summoned. The last two were totems of Cunning. Galea was the first. She was the Mother of all Banes, often worshipped as a demon goddess. Silent Hunter didn’t believe she could be saved. Finally, Kelpie was the last totem. It was a weakened Incarna that had no use. There were still Gafflings running around, but that was about it.
Moving on, he told us that you only have twelve weeks in Malfeas tops. After that, the corruption is too great and you’re lost to the Wyrm. He went in once and will never go back again. He told us that he doesn’t want us to call him friend because he can’t stand the thought of us dying in the realm. He will try to dissuade us from doing it if possible.
We all wanted to do it. I started to speak of how I have seen the realm through the Sept’s ancestor visions, but I was cut off by the sudden arrival of Scourge-of-the-Woods. He told us to follow him immediately and we did in Lupus form along with Silent Hunter following.
He took us to the lodge. In the back of the lodge under a tree with broken limbs, there was a bloody box. Opening the box, we were shocked and angered to find Ariel’s head. There was a note in the box that Eli read. It was from Morgan.
Agnis immediately set about making a Questing Stone for her body and I frantically told Eli that I needed to get my son. It was apparent that Kenith’s house was no longer a safe haven as we had once thought. Eli told us that we would be hunting down the Mages as they might have a way to break the spell on Morgan and stop him. Bjorn also mentioned using the Fae’s favor to do such a task.
First off, however, we needed to tell Crafty of the tragedy. We took the head back to the cabin and had Crafty gather all of the Sept members. Silent Hunter went with Ryan to strengthen up the Umbra border. We all decided that we would have to kill Morgan. We also took into consideration about communicating peacefully with the Mages considering they were on the outs with Morgan. Crafty then went to the caern with Wyrmbreaker.
We decided to use the rest of the night to gather up any other kinfolk we could to protect them. We started with the immediate family members available. We managed to get my father, Magnus, Lizbeth, Maria, and Tomas. Thankfully, Gina was already there along with Clifford. However, Eli was worried about Lindsey so we decided to make her the next person to get.
Arriving at her trailer, we found nothing in her place. Most of her place was cleaned out, but not ransacked. There was note there from Lindsey. She had left to not be saddened at the loss of Eli. She asked that he not look for her. However, Eli believed that the note was a hint to her location and what was more important. Eli deduced that Lindsey and Lily had been separated.
Testing out this theory, Agnis made a stone for Lindsey and I made one for Lily. Lindsey’s did not work, indicating that she was with either Morgan or Mordecai. However, Lily’s did work. As I used hers, I also took out my son’s Questing Stone. They seemed to point in the same direction. Eli took my Questing Stone and told us to get some rest while he drove us in the direction of the stones.
Morning came and we found ourselves at Kenith’s place. My son was there as well. Eli parked some distance away and walked up to the house. Getting close enough, he activated his Whisper Catching gift and listened in.
Eli managed to hear his father speaking with someone. Morgan was demanding that the other person enact the same ritual on Lily in order to make her untraceable. However, the other person was blowing him off.
Eli woke up Bjorn through Quetzal and explained the situation. Waking us up, Bjorn led us up to the house. As we made our way there, John managed to damage Morgan’s tires so that he could not escape. As we all got closer to the door, we could feel our spiritual energies drop some. William went ahead and just opened the door.
Entering the room, we saw Morgan holding Lily along with Robert Kincaid. Eli rushed up to his father as Robert vanished from sight. I started looking around for my son. Eli took his daughter back from Morgan and handed her to John. He then slammed his father up against the wall.
Morgan quickly explained that he had to get us here, but we arrived earlier than he expected. We needed to stop the Mages. The Mages were after our caern. If we didn’t stop Robert now, it would be too late. Eli then knocked his father out while he went to look for Robert.
I made my way through the house before arriving in the basement. There, I found Kenith with my son, Ryan. I asked for my child and he offered him freely. He knew something bad was going to happen and it would be a good idea that he come with me. During this time, I activated my gift to detect lies. Ryan seemed a bit apprehensive and Kenith told him everything would be okay, which I knew was a lie. I tried to comfort him as we left the house for the van.
Eli found himself in a dark zone where the house would be in the Umbra. It was as if the Umbra didn’t even exist in this area. The atmosphere seemed thick and hard to breathe in. Realizing he could not find Robert, he exited the Umbra.
Eli then went and confronted Kenith about his father’s doing. Kenith did not have any idea what was going on to which Bjorn told Eli he was being truthful through Quetzal. Eli and Agnis laid it all out for Kenith that Robert was going to harm our Sept and he needed to help us if he could. During this time, I checked my son to determine if he was a Kinfolk. My gift told me that he was a Kinfolk, but there was something off about him.
Waking Morgan and taking him out of the house, Eli continued his interrogation while I sat with the children in the van. The Mages wanted to destroy our caern for some reason. The Mages had a way to compel Morgan to kill Ariel. It took everything he could to write the note to give us a clue as to where he was. We were supposed to come later after Morgan had convinced them to drop the protection. We could then track Lily and kill them all. Morgan knew about Kenith and Kenith’s “son”. He knew that Robert had an “impressed Avatar” on Ryan and that the child had basically became a walking bomb.
During this time, Jonathon attempted to create a Questing Stone for Robert, but Morgan told him that he was a master of Spirits and it would likely not work correctly. Morgan told Eli the three names that he had heard: Tom Lance, James Dickie, and Curtis White.
Morgan had learned that whenever a child is brought into the family whether by blood or adoption, they are given an “impressed Avatar.” The child would have to die or he would destroy the Sept if he went there. Morgan did not know how it worked, just the basics. The Spirals had not been active for some time. The Mages have always been the real threat. They are coming for the Sept and likely have more than one plan. He had dealt with Kenith and Morgan before, but only Robert had demonstrated magical ability.
Morgan suggests letting him go and he will find Mordecai and then get into contact with us. As Morgan makes his way back to the van, he sees my child and told us that he had to die. I began asking what was going on. Bjorn tried to calm me down and said he would explain everything in a minute. He kept making motions that Ryan needed to die.
Bjorn explained everything to me as we prepared to leave and I was quite angry inside for what had happened to my son. As he did this, Morgan asked for a knife. Realizing that he could get something from Kenith, he went into the house and interrogated him. Less than 10 minutes later, Morgan had the addresses for the three names he had given earlier.
Dumping Kenith in the trunk of his car before he realized the tires were damaged, I quickly asked Kenith what an “impressed Avatar” was. He didn’t know, nor would he give up the location of his coven, forcing us to look into the names of the Mages Morgan gave us. Morgan told us that he would put the word out that he had Kenith and hopefully it would draw him out.
We decided we would let Morgan go for now and look into the addresses that he had given us. It was 50/50 on interrogating them or just killing the Mages on the list. We headed to the Full House Casino Sales business. They sold equipment for casinos like roulette tables.
I opted to take this one, hoping for no bloodshed. I tried my best to be as sexual as possible and find Tom Lance. Admittedly, while I had the looks, I didn’t have the skill thanks to my upbringing. I asked one of the salespersons there if I could see Tom Lance. He arrived within a couple minutes. I tried to apply my charm to him, but I feel my head go a little funny. I asked to speak privately with him and he obliged.
Heading back to the entrance foyer of the business, I dropped all pretenses with him and got straight to business. I told him I knew what he was and I needed to see Robert. I asked him where he met with the rest of his cabal. When he told me McDonald’s, I snapped a little inside. It just seemed so stupid. I stabbed him with my fang dagger and he appeared to literally explode. Standing there, a bit dumbstruck since my dagger had never done that kind of damage, I called out to Bjorn through Quetzal.
Bjorn came into the foyer to find me standing there with nothing, Tom had messed with my mind and was escaping. Thankfully, John caught him in the process of leaving and attacked him. However, because he shifted to Crinos, the other patrons began to panic. Agnis and the others quickly went to task of eliminating them. I couldn’t do it though as I had sworn to myself to never kill humans after what I did to my foster parents.
With everyone taken care of, we quickly fled the scene and worked on the next address. We headed to the Waterfront Restaurant, an upscale restaurant. We were greeted by a waiter and I asked for his name. He told me James Dickie and I alerted Eli that this was our guy. He seated us and asked for our drink orders. As he did, Eli asked to speak with him privately. James obliged and took Eli to a closed off section of the restaurant.
Eli told James that he knew Robert and attempted to bluff him into leaving, that way Eli could dispatch him or interrogate depending on how the situation unfolded. James excused himself and Eli turned on his Whisper Catching and tried to listen in. James flees the restaurant while Eli sneaks out and shifts into Glabro form. James is on the phone with another person talking about someone named Tutu who is causing problems again.
After James hangs up, Eli tosses his hammer and kills James. He makes it look like a mugging and takes his phone. Once Eli alerts us that James is dead, we quickly make an excuse, pay for our drinks, and leave the restaurant.
Eli goes through the phone and locates the last person he spoke with: Curtis White, the last person on our list before Robert. Bluffing Curtis, Eli manages to arrange a meeting behind a 7/11 nearby Port Dock 16, the last address on the list. The text conversation goes on for some time with Curtis mentioning you can’t trust Robert. At this point, we came to realization that these Mages weren’t Robert’s cabal, but actually Kenith’s.
Deciding we needed information and to reduce the damage we already had done, John knocked Curtis out as he arrived at the location. We took him in our van to a nearby park where Miguel took my son to play and watched Lily.
Once Curtis awoke, he at first seemed cooperative until Bjorn mentioned Tutu. He then told us we’d have to kill him before he said anything more. Eli opened up a bit and told him we had nothing to do with Tutu and in fact we were werewolves. He told him about how we had already mistakenly killed two of his cabal thinking they were Robert’s cabal and how we wanted to stop Robert from destroying our Sept.
Curtis then realized we were working on the same side and he was and opened up. Robert was trying to use my son as a bomb of sorts and Curtis just believed it was a random Garou’s child. An impressed Avatar is an Avatar forced onto a “sleeper” or someone who doesn’t know about magic. The Avatar eventually awakens and the person becomes a Mage. However, from what I could tell, Ryan’s Avatar was corrupted in some way. Instead of just awakening, he would absorb our caern, or node as Curtis called it, explode, and then feed the power back to Robert.
Robert was attempting to stop Tutu, a Bane Mummy. This Tutu was extremely powerful. Curtis, however, disagreed with this plan, along with the other members of his cabal. They didn’t need any additional power and messing with the werewolves was suicide in their eyes. Robert just wanted to take control of the coven. Killing Tutu just appeared more as a ploy than a real goal.
Eli asked if Kenith knew and Curtis said no. The rest of the coven was aware of this plan and his cabal was one of the dissenters stopping it from being put into motion. Eli then told Curtis the truth about me being the mother of the child. We asked if the Avatar could be removed, but Curtis didn’t believe so as it is part of the soul. Jonathon mentioned an exorcism, but none of us had that gift it was possible Ryan would die in the process.
Eli convinced Curtis to stay in contact with us as we work to stop Robert. He agreed and hopefully now Curtis could convince the coven of how dangerous this idea was. I now knew I needed to speak with Kenith and let him know the truth…