We returned to the cabin after the long adventure of cleansing Minotaur and killing the reborn Samuel Haight with pride. Although our Septs may not believe us, I believe we may have just saved the world and perhaps even gave the Garou Nation a new tribe. Whether they came together was something I could only hope for at the moment.
We debated for a moment what to do before ultimately going to Crafty for advice. He told us to arrange a meeting with Prestige, the highest-ranking Shadow Lord in the land, if we were to return it. To pass it through an intermediary would probably be an insult. He told us to arrange a meeting place, which was neutral, and to not be seen with the klaive for obvious reasons.
We decided to get ahold of the Irish Destroyers at the last place we met with them. If anyone could arrange a meeting with Prestige, it would be them. Running in Lupus form, a method of travel I was getting quite used to lately, we made it to the edge of their Bawn when they arrived without even needing to howl.
Tania and Leein were the first to arrive and they appeared very happy to see us. They were surprised we had left the Sept considering up north near San Francisco and Los Angeles the Spirals were massing and the Garou there were preparing for war. Scourge-of-the-Woods arrived next, in a somewhat grumpy fashion, asking when they would get Crafty. We were polite and told them Crafty could leave whenever he wants to or at the very least, when Lion has decided he is no longer needed.
Red Tongue arrived and we explained how we needed a neutral meeting place in order to return the klaive. The response we got was actually pretty mixed which didn’t surprise me. Half of the pack wanted us to return it while the other half thought Prestige would just try to take our Sept if he could. In the end, they decided it would be better to return it because then he would owe us. I had never had dealings with the Shadow Lords, but the Glass Walkers I knew told me they could be treacherous.
Gruffy, the leader of the Irish Destroyers, arrived and told us he will set up a meeting at the Pin Gallery. We had never heard of this place and it frankly surprised Gruffy. He told us it was the meeting hall for all the elders of the various Septs. The Pin Gallery is where the elders would discuss matters of great importance such as war. Since we didn’t have the klaive, we told Gruffy to give us three and a half hours in order to run back to the Sept and retrieve the klaive before making our way to the gallery.
Arriving on time, I marveled at the Pin Gallery. It is a completely carved building, which seems to be made right out of the surrounding bedrock. I can see why the elders would meet here. The Gallery is a beautiful representation of the Wyld made Weaver. We decided beforehand to let Eli be the one doing the handover since he was the pack leader.
Prestige arrived shortly after we did, living up to his namesake with a fur coat, and we entered the gallery. Inside the Pin Gallery was just as enchanting as the outside, with hand carved chairs etched with the symbols of the tribes. Everything about the gallery concealed its Werewolf trappings with artwork, tables, and other decorations geared entirely towards the Garou Nation.
Prestige sat down with his hands on the table, which I can only assume was a show of honesty for him. Eli sat across from him and the rest of the pack stood behind him. Eli apologized for his loss and we handed the grand klaive to him. He immediately identified it as Thunderous Howl and told us the story of how it belonged to a Garou named Commands-the-Storm who was lost in the Umbra.
The rest of the pack apparently was more entranced by his story, but I realized he was casually glancing over our fetishes. He mentioned fetishes were treasures and many Garou decorate and name them accordingly. He then inquired about ours. I had never thought much of my fang dagger. While I did treasure it as a great gift and an excellent weapon, I had never thought to give it a name or decorate it.
Prestige then told us he hated to owe a debt to anyone so was going to “repay” us by giving the information on a wayward kinfolk. Her name was Ariel Huntington and her parents, along with her, were unaware of their kinfolk heritage. She was 18 and attended SCU as a freshman. However, we would have to hurry, as after six days, she would be fair game to any Sept to claim her. We thanked Prestige for the information and let him leave first.
As we left, I felt an uneasy feeling, as if I was being watched. I looked around, but I couldn’t see anything nor did it feel like anything spiritual. I dismissed these feelings and we made our way back to the cabin.
At the cabin, we saw a fire being started, which was obviously for the coming moot. There, Crafty and Mackie seemed to be talking about something important as we approached. It turned out as we engaged them in conversation, Mackie wanted to join our Sept. His grandson was looking to put him down as his old age and usefulness, or lack thereof, had made a breach of the Litany: Do Not Suffer Thy People to Tend Thy Sickness.
While he was no longer useful where he came from, we immediately realized his knowledge and wisdom would be a great boon to the Sept. We graciously approved his request.
Crafty tells us the kinfolk are invited to the moot, but only the second half. We next told him of the war in the north and Prestige’s information about the unclaimed kinfolk. Crafty thought there was something behind it, and truthfully, I thought so as well. He could have easily known the kinfolk is going to claimed by someone else and our actions will lead to a bitter feud which could give him the opportunity to claim our Sept. Still, it was best we take him at face value right now.
We needed to get things ready for the moot so Jonathon, Miguel, and William stayed at the Sept and helped get things ready while John, Bjorn, Eli, and myself went to inform Gina and Lindsey. We decided to split up with John and Eli going to tell Lindsey while Bjorn and myself went to Gina’s. I needed to speak with Gina anyway about the party.
We also informed Cliff about the coming moot and he offered to pick up some alcohol and the girls when the time came. He also mentioned the potential for jobs in the winter, which I found both thrilling and eager since we still owed Cliff greatly for the Foss disaster.
John and Eli arrived at Lindsey’s and she answered the door in a simple jogging outfit. It was obvious she wasn’t expecting company. Eli told Lindsey about the moot and the new Garou Mackie. Eli and John sat down with Lindsey to have a smoke and a little bit of alcohol while Eli told her about the new kinfolk. Lindsey was able to pull up a picture and record of Ariel at SCU so now the pack could easily identify her.
[Back to Caitlyn’s point of view…]
We arrived at Gina’s house and her parents answered the door. We were polite and they seemed happy to see Bjorn. Bjorn obviously feigned not knowing where her room was which I thought was pretty funny. They directed us upstairs and we walked in to Gina studying. We told her of the upcoming moot and she was invited.
Gina told us she got into a little bit of trouble from coming home smelling like alcohol, but it was nothing too bad. Bjorn wanted me to tell Gina about the new kinfolk which I understood. He didn’t want her to feel jealous about it and I thought it was sweet of him. I mentioned if she knew Ariel, but Gina only vaguely knew of her, stating she went to the same high school as her, but they never talked.
I asked Gina if she would be willing to take me shopping, since I didn’t know where anything was and I wanted something nice for the party besides my dedicated clothes I wear all the time. She asked for her parent’s credit card, told me she would take me, and pay for it. I told her I could pay and felt a little ashamed when she said she would pay, but she insisted so I relented.
After we told her Cliff would be there to pick her up, we left to make final preparations for the moot tomorrow.
We then met up at a local Burger King in the area and Eli suggested a competition for us. We would split up and the first one to bring back a kill for the moot would be the winner. John won the competition bringing back a large elk. I felt a little sad, realizing I needed to work on my survival skills some more.
Bjorn began preparing the food for the moot while John and I looked for a spirit to teach us a couple of gifts we needed. I realized I didn’t have the ability to sense the Wyrm and this would be a valuable ability for the pack in the future.
Searching outside of the Sept in the Umbra, we came across the spirit of a cat. I asked Cat, being as I was the only one who could speak with spirits, if she would be willing to us some gifts. As with all spirits, learning gifts requires bartering and haggling. Cat decided mine would be a riddle.
She told me of a sad old man who had become so infirm he couldn’t even eat properly anymore. His children were disgusted with him and forced him to eat in the corner so they would not have to see him anymore. The old man cried because he wanted to be at the table with his family. One day, the old man dropped and broke his bowl angering his children till they gave him nothing more than a large wooden bowl with no spoon with which he would have to eat much like a horse.
This continued until the grandchild of the old man approached his parents one day after making a similar bowl for them when they get older. Realizing the error of their ways and heartlessness, they let the old man eat with them again and took care of him from then on.
Cat wondered why they would treat the old man so. I answered Cat by declaring when we are young we need to be cared for and when we grow older we care for ourselves plus our children. However, we disregard the old because they become like children again and we believe at that time they have lived a long life and are no longer worthy of our care. However, I personally felt we should always care for our old. Cat accepted this answered and taught me the gift I required. The symbolism and comparison to Mackie’s predicament was not lost on me.
For John, Cat recounted the tale of Mouse and Owl from a different perspective, one of the Mouse making a deal with the Owl for a meal. Cat was somewhat jealous of Mouse because he could hide from Mabe so easily so she required John to bring him a fish, as she enjoyed fish as much as mice, once a week for a month. She also required John to require any further deals with Mouse to include the addendum that he leaves the Sept grounds.
After this, we returned to the Sept to sleep. Others stayed in the cabin, but I had become partial to sleeping in Lupus form in the heart of the Caern. There, I had a dream that night.
I dreamt I was a child with small hands holding a key to a door. I entered the door and descended the stairs to a room filled with books I could not read, shackles, and silver weapons. I picked up a set silver knuckles with blades attached to the sides. As I did this, I heard my name, Logan, being called by my parents.
My father descended down into the basement and I began crying, realizing what was about to happen next. He shoved me to the ground and beat me mercilessly, near to death. He dragged me up the steps and scolded me for going down into the basement again. My eye was swelling shut from the violence as he mentioned I was just like his mother. He started to smoke and mentioned one day I might Change too, but until then I have to follow the rules. He then struck me again, which made me awake. The dream startled and confused me. I wondered who Logan was and I thought maybe he might be Mackie’s grandson.
Once I awoke, I exited the Umbra to see everyone getting things ready. I must have overslept from the nightmarish dream. I had become used to having nightmares after my foster parents death, but this was the first time it had ever involved someone other than myself.
Cliff already had the kinfolk and Bjorn had finished preparing the feast. Crafty gathered around the fire in Lupus form and began howling. We gathered ourselves around the fire as Ryan, Kyle, and Mackie, in that order, began howling with him. We then howled as well. Kyle quickly shifted into Crinos form and charged into the woods, capturing and slaughtering a deer with lightning fast speed.
The moot started by Kyle offering Lion the deer. This was Lion’s preferred sacrifice. He then gave Lion spiritual energy, which we joined in with him. Kyle had changed his Garou name to “Brings It” after the poem William wrote for him, which I found nice. Ryan implored Lion to come. Kyle brought forth a bone from the deer and Mackie requested it.
Mackie “Talespinner” Mcgreggor formally requested to join the Sept, which Kyle asked if any of us disagreed. None of us would as we had already unanimously decided Mackie should join. Kyle dubbed him “Keeper of the Land,” a position where he must tend to the grounds to keep the spirits happy.
Because the Master of the Challenge position had not been filled, Kyle insisted we learn the basics of klaive dueling, as there will most certainly be a time when we need it. He taught us the basic disarm technique with some wooden klaives. We paired off, John with Eli and Bjorn with me, to test our knowledge. I bested Bjorn more than he did me, I assumed owing to my constant use of melee weapons. I tried to give him some pointers on holding the weapon correctly though I admit using bladed weapons seems to come naturally to me.
After the mock duels, it was time for recognition. Each of us regaled a story to Ryan of our deeds. Eli spoke of the Black Spiral fight where we were victorious. Bjorn told the tale of purifying Minotaur. I recanted the story of defeating Samuel Haight. Finally, John told the story of Jonathon’s spirit quest. With that, we each chose what Renown we would make permanent. I chose Wisdom because I believed it is what I exemplified the most during our trials.
As we ended this part of the moot for the celebration ahead, I thought back to Prestige and naming my fetish. I hadn’t thought much of it, but after the conversation I realized I should name and decorate it. As I pondered it, only one name stood out for it: Faith.