Last Tales of the Broken

Chapter Fifteen: Jeremiah
To Kill A Vampire...

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Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Ludwig, Screwdriver, Slays-Names, Helen Leaves-Them-Asking-For-More
Jeremiah (Vampire-Fomori Crime Lord), Jeremiah’s Minions
The Rhapsody
Samson, Prince of Seattle

Scene: Screwdriver At the Vampire, with No Pants…

Screwdriver’s ally managed to finagle him into a rather large manor house, where the vampire Samson is holding court. He arrives and announces his intention to, well, ask for Samson’s help in stopping Jeremiah.

The crowded room of well-dressed vampires murmur at his entrance, but a word from a slender woman in a veil, sitting on a mahogony chair, silences all of them.

Jeremiah, she uses her vampiric powers to fascinate Screwdriver, although that isn’t even enough to keep him from talking. Her very word causes Screwdriver to take pause and he finds it oh-so-magnificent. He follows her into a private study… where the suddenly nude Screwdriver (he stripped on his own) and Samson… um, discuss. Screwdriver and Samson come to an agreement.

She promises to do what she can on her end, if Screwdriver promised to come and visit her again… and Samson asked him if he would be so kind to sup a bit of her own blood as their bond. Thus, Screwdriver found himself having made a pact with a Leech. Also, Samson gave him a fancy suit, which throws the rest of the pack off… cause, well, its Screwdriver and clothing.

Scene: War Council

The Rhapsody and the Broken make a plan for what they should do next. With the arrival of Screwdriver, Grom presents the information his scouts had found.

When learning who Screwdriver is, Lovecraft and Grom both ask if they are serious, and surprise that Screwdriver is indeed real.

They get down to brass tacks, and the Broken devise a plan. They ask the Rhapsody to hit one side of Jeremiah’s compound, using car bombs and surprise to throw off the Triads and vampire grunts. The Broken on the other hand, according to Screwdriver’s brilliance, will go out and steal a boat and use the dock that connects to Jeremiah’s warehouse.

Grom gives the Broken a cell with his phone number, so they can coordinate better.

Scene: The Boat

They steal a boat, more easily said than done.

It takes them little effort to break into a marina, since most of Seattle, including the Sept, lies along Puget Sound. Once they begin to skulk about the docks for a boat, however… well, the pack doesn’t do too well at the whole ‘silent as she goes thing’ anyway.

Before they can get caught by police, they manage to cut free a boat and hit the water as fast as they can- Slays uses what trickery he knows to hot-wire it and takes the controls.

Unfortunately, Slays-Names lacks the right kind of know-how to control a boat moving as fast as he pushes it. The boat, especially at night with the coast guard in tow, slams into the dock behind Jeremiah’s warehouse, launching most of the pack out into the water, and throwing Ludwig onto the shore.

Scene: Fighting the Leeches

A group of triad thugs on the dock swarm out, trying to overtake Ludwig, but the Philodox shifts into Crinos and is joined by Screwdriver and Helen. They shift into their own War forms and the three packmates easily slice down the triads, who find bullets do not work well against them.

Seeing that his packmates have the fight well in hand, Slays steps sideways, to see what is happening in the Umbra. The warehouse is a greasy stain in the umbra, Banes that swarm around it departing to try and strike down Slays. Slays fights them off, while hopping from one greasy stone to another to get closer to the warehouse’s reflection.

With the Triads down, Ludwig rips open a hole into the Warehouse. A vampire confronts him, Screwdriver and Helen. The very ugly vampire tries to use its own psychic powers to mess with the pack, but doesn’t do very well.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah moves to behind all of them. The Vampire-Fomori uses a vampire power that makes him invisible. Once Jeremiah gets into position, he uses his own psychic mojo to first frighten Screwdriver, causing the Galliard to flee. Helen on the other hand, Jeremiah breaks her mind with but a single word.

He then commands her to go pay for 1500 loaves of bread in pennies for him, and Helen walks away, psychic dominated to go off.

Scene: Jeremiah

Ludwig distracted by his fight with his vampire, which he wins handily, doesn’t see Jeremiah take out his two packmates. Slays, who has broken into the greasy umbral reflection of the warehouse, peeks back through the gauntlet to see what is going on.

Slays channels his Fianna ancestors, letting the knowledge of how to better use the Fearsome Klaive flood into him. Then he jumps back into the physical world, just in time to confront Jeremiah with Ludwig. Ludwig and Slays make quick work of the vampire, both striking Jeremiah so hard and so quick he couldn’t recover.

Ludwig’s burning claws leave Jeremiah a smoking corpse.

As Jeremiah’s corpse is still smoking, Helen and Screwdriver regain enough self-control to come back.

A massive bane, a oily-slick multi-tentacled thing erupts from Jeremiah’s mouth. As it manifests, Slays prepares a rite to bind it- Ludwig and Screwdriver attempt to keep it under control, while Helen does her best to help Slays with the rite.

Scene: Screwdriver Goes Crazy

One Tentacle of the Oil-Slicking-Kraken passes through the head of Screwdriver. The Galliard hits the ground, suddenly through into a psychic conflict with the Bane.

Screwdriver finds himself having a vision of brutally killing every other member of the pack- but he remains strong enough to resist the bane’s influence, driving it out of his head.

The Bane tries to make an offer with Ludwig, who refuses and keeps the Bane busy long enough for Slays and Helen to finish binding it into a gun. The gun, desert eagle, turns oily and black from the Bane’s influence.

Having succeeded, most of the Pack walks from Jeremiah’s warehouse with some sort of psychic trauma. The Rhapsody leaves enough explosives to blow the warehouse sky high.

The Pack returns home to rest, having made allies out of the Rhapsody.

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Chapter Fourteen: Twelve Hours to Hell
That scar, how did you get it?

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Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Ludwig Rages-Truth, Helen Leaves-Them-Asking-For-More, Slays-Names
Black Furies from the Mother’s Mountain Sept
The Rhapsody: Grom-the-Talker, Angry Whopper, WalgreensRX, Curry, Lovecraft, Pabst, RedCarpet

Scene: Waking Up

The Broken each wake up to the sound of someone at the door; when Screwdriver answers it, it is the Bone Gnawer Theurge Father Pisses-Gold. Pisses-Gold asks how he can help, and Screwdriver asks him to find Knows-the-Path and get her to them as soon as possible.

The Elder nods and goes off. Meanwhile, the tired pack regroups. Screwdriver asks them for options on what to do about Jeremiah.
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Ludwig voices what the rest of the pack feels: Kill Jeremiah.

After some discussion, and explaining to Screwdriver what exactly the idea of political treachery works, the Broken decides to try and grab up as many weapons as they can throw at the vampire before its all over. Screwdriver leaves to meet with an Ally of his that might know how to get in contact with Samson, Jeremiah’s rival. If he can, Screwdriver will try to get her to help them against Jeremiah.

With Screwdriver gone, the three of them talk about what best to do next.

Scene: A Spirit We Shall Bind

And so, the three of them decide to try and bind some sort of anti-vampire spirit into a talen for the sake of facing Jeremiah. They decide on a fire spirit, as anything associated with the sun would be difficult at night.

Helen summons up a fire-spirit, dancing around a fire they talk Connie“Connie” Conrad Pearce into making. As she dances, Slays-Names finds a boombox and plays Springsteen, somehow making the summoning stronger. Helen summons up a greater Fire Jaggling, the Azure-Fire-Queen. Before the spirit gets too irritated with her, Helen gives the Jaggling a huge gift of essence.

Slays-Names then conducts the Rite of the Fetish. The negotiation goes odd when the Jaggling admits to knowing Burning-Howl. Eventually it agreed to become a fetish, eager to aid them after Slays agrees to create a scar for it to inhabit on Ludwig’s face. Despite how hodgepodge the setup for the rite is, Slays still manages to succeed at binding it to Ludwig’s face as a Scar-Fetish across his nose and around one eye.

Scene: Black Furies Cometh

While still waiting for Screwdriver, the Black Furies and their liaison arrive. Their liaison, Alexis, makes a snide comment that is met with a backhand from Morrigan, the Warder for the Mother’s Mountain Sept.

Morrigan thanks them and gives Slays a fetish, a Hephestusian Hammer.
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Scene: They Are The Rhapsody

A man dressed in a beanie, a Victorian suit-coat and corduroys leaps over the fence and runs up to the three of them. Getting a little too close, he sniffs and then turns his head back and yells out:

“Yes, milord! These be those whom the White Raven foretells!”

Six more figures then lumber out of the shadows after the first. A stocky figure introduces himself as Grom-the-Talker and that this is his rat pack, The Rhapsody. Seven ratkin, who follow White Raven, a sibling spirit to the Broken’s own totem. They’ve come to claim their missing kinfolk.
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The Broken were not too willing to let the Rhapsody anywhere near any of the women they had rescued. The Rhapsody explain that Ratkin spread a disease to Kinfolk, which causes them to either grow sick and die or become new Ratkin, if they are true kinfolk. The Rhapsody offers, again, to at least take those kinfolk who’ve changed into Ratkin off their hands.

The Broken refuse, more or less, out of distrust with Ratkin.

One thing leads to another, and pretty soon the Rhapsody and the Broken (minus Screwdriver) agree to work together, once the Broken tell the Rhapsody a vampire had taken their kinfolk. Ratkin believe injustice must be punished, and Grom sends some of his pack ahead to scout Jeremiah out. The Broken learn from the Grom that Culls-the-Herd used to belong to the same pack as Burning-Howl back in the day, just as they learn a great deal about Ratkin society, including the fact that the Rhapsody isn’t a part of Culls-the-Herd’s colony at all.

It also is inferred that someone or some rats in Culls-the-Herd’s colony is working with Jeremiah, at least to have bitten all of the women they’ve rescued from the tunnels.

And so, the Pack then prepares to go to War…

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Chapter Thirteen: Seven Heads
Its a Bookstore AND a Hellhole!

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Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Helen Leaves-Them-Asking-For-More, Ludwig Rages-Truth, Screwdriver, Slays-Names
The Enticers
The Triads

Scene: Enticing, Ain’t it?

With Screwdriver still out of it, the Pack goes to the locale that was hinted in the Italian bible verses- a bookstore next to a synagogue on 40th Avenue. The bookstore is called MacIntosh’s Reading Pile, and they go inside. The bookstore appears to have a rather large Erotica section as well as three rather ravishing beautiful young barristas, who appear to serve coffee and other beverages.

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Ludwig finds a door in the back that is locked with a padlock, while Helen looks through their Erotica section for something specific. Slays, on the other hand, tries using some of his Irish bravado to talk and charm one of the girls. He finds her to be reading a thick book in Latin, about the Celts. She has crimson locks and freckles and more or less leaves Slays fascinated with her.

Ludwig, meanwhile, meets another one of the employees, who quickly impresses Ludwig with her knowledge of Langswercht and other European martial arts. She fascinates him as well, and soon the pair of them are sparring in one of the bookstore’s side rooms.

Helen on the other hand, comes face to face with the third female employee, who looks like a familiar face. Quickly, the two of them get bog down in a conversation on the Kama Sutra- things escalate when she offers Helen chinese food. After that, Helen is deeply enthralled by this woman.

All three of them fell head over heels for the women who work the Bookstore. Enthralled, Helen, Ludwig and Slays-Names each suffer as more and more of their brains are devoured by these enticing women…

Scene: Screwdriver To The Rescue

Running

While his pack has become entranced and enthralled by the Enticers, Screwdriver wakes up. He shifts into Glabro, and many of the bullets in his hide pop out. Screwdriver notices some glitter in his bathtub, but pays it no mind. While unconscious, he recieved a vision warning him about something seducing wolves and choking them in it coils.

The Lupus Galliard quickly learns from Connie that three other members of the pack have headed out for a synagogue, and feeling prescient about it, decides to hurry to get there. A taxi shows up with Christine in it. Christine remembers Screwdriver, and tells him he can use the cab. Apparently, the driver’s been overpaid from a earlier fare and doesn’t charge Screwdriver for it (although the wolf-born still doesn’t understand WHAT THAT MEANS.)

By the time he’s come to McIntosh’s Reading Pile, all three of them are deeply entranced, and their resolve crumbling, their minds digesting from the ‘girls’ they are talking with. Slays has already hit his third shot of whiskey with the girl he’s talking with; Ludwig and his ‘sparring partner’ turn to more deviant pursuits while Helen enjoys Chinese in a kinky sort of way. Screwdriver first gets on Slays-Names; he sniffs the air and immediately picks up on:

The Thing talking with Slays-Names is wrong. It stinks of deceit and lies and oil and just enough to tell him that she is nothing but Wyrm-Taint. Screwdriver shifts into Lupus form and bites into her. Slays responds- too enthralled, he tries to defend her, only to have Screwdriver rip out her throat and knock him out of it. She slumps over, with fangs and scales all over her.
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Slays recovers from the enthrallment as the girl’s corpse lets out black ichor and a serpentine spirit leaves her body and returns to the Umbra. Slays identifies the Fomori as a Enticer, a specific kind of Fomori that use Succubus-like tricks to enthrall and eventually digest the brains of their target.

The two of them head upstairs, Screwdriver staying in wolf form as they find Ludwig and his sparring partner. Ludwig moves to defend the girl he is with, but Screwdriver and Slays-Names manage to convince him of what is going on, especially after she sprouts fangs and tries to shred Screwdriver. Its a short matter for the three of them to turn her into a corpse.

Scene: Blind Jump

After going upstairs and saving Ludwig, Screwdriver activates his Unspoken Communication gift and sets up a link between the three of them. Screwdriver and Ludwig then head down stairs to find Helen and get her away from the Enticer on her. Slays-Names, on the other hand, decides to step sideways and get things ready in the Umbra for the pack.

Slay-Names’s jump to the Umbra is a slow one, and when it resolves itself, it nearly drives him into Frenzy in the process. Without knowing it, the other side of the Umbra at the bookstore is a Hellhole- a spiritual blotch belonging to the Wyrm, a corrupting blight that wounds the spiritual and physical worlds. Slays manages to find something to cling to and not fall into the black pit, swarming with serpentine banes below him. The blazing sun keeps the Banes at bay long enough for him to find refuge from them.
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Meanwhile, Screwdriver and Ludwig open the door to the sideroom, finding Helen in a compromising position with Enticer enthralling her. A struggle breaks out between the four of them. When Helen’s partner attacks Ludwig and causes him harm in the struggle, his injury drives Helen into Frenzy and into Crinos. As she frenzies, the Enticer is killed and Helen begins to wreck and smash everything in sight in the bookstore, ripping holes in the ceiling, taking down walls and more or less raging with bestial screams.

Once Screwdriver manages to get her back in control of herself, they hear Slays screaming in the Umbra- he recommends against stepping sideways to get out.

Scene: Getting Out

The Broken decide its time to leave when police sirens go off from outside. Helen tries going into the back room. She finds a clue that refers to the Biblical verse from the Book of Jeremiah. Past a curtain, and Ludwig finds a girl with a IV and drugged out her mind. She is also covered in rat bites, and doesn’t look a 100% healthy.

In the Umbra, Slays moves to observe from an area more or less analogous to a catwalk in the warehouse the girls are being kept in. He watches from there and sees a girl grow fur and change into the half-rat, half-man form of a Ratkin. That Ratkin runs into the rest of the pack, then flees back into the curtains. Ludwig tries to find her, but the Ratkin disappears into a sewer grate and he decides its better left alone.

With police outside, Screwdriver asks for options. Ludwig suggests that Screwdriver create a diversion and he and Helen will help get the girls out. As for how, they just hope that Raven will Provide.
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Screwdriver heads out. Slays uses his Master’s Counsel gift to give Screwdriver a mystic edge, using his connection through the umbra to get it done. Screwdriver fakes a Jamaican accent and uses his Presence to get the attention of every single cop in front of the bookstore.

Behind the store, Ludwig and Helen fight off three Triad thugs, driving them off as soon as they realize that bullets don’t seem to stop either of them.

Trying to think of something to get all of the women back to the Sept, Ludwig and Helen are surprised when Connie shows up with a bus. Happily, they load up inside and tell the Slays and Screwdriver that they are out.

Slays-Names, meanwhile, with his much reduced Resolve, decides to steal a police car. Some of the cops try to follow him, and he eventually manages to dodge them, albeit closely. The cops get distracted by Screwdriver, whom the cops become convinced has a bomb strapped to his chest. The bomb threat lets Slays get by, and the cops taze then throw Screwdriver in the back of a police car.

Scene: Recovery

They all manage to get back in one piece back to the MacPherson House. Screwdriver shifts into his wolf form while in the back seat of the patrol car, which causes the two officers driving it to lose control and flip it over. He walked away, more or less using his Any Beast gift to look like a dog.
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Once back at the MacPherson House, the pack all have Mercy Bringer look over the rat bitten women. Raven is sent out to get word to the Black Furies. Then there is a phone call- its Jeremiah. He gives Screwdriver twelve hours to kill Samson or else he will send his own forces out for restitution.

Screwdriver then orders Ludwig, Helen and Screwdriver to go get some rest. Christine asks Screwdriver whats up with him, and Screwdriver sighs and tells her that he has a vampire to kill and something else going after him.

Cut Scene: Everything Burns.

Far above the city of Portland, a meteor falls, burning bright, in the shape of a man.
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Below that, in a night club, the vampire Prince of Portland holds court. A insane vampire named Tuesday, he asks his frightened court:

“What day is today?”

They answer, very meekly, “tuesday.”

Tuesday laughs, then the ceiling falls in. The man who had been falling as a meteor, crashes to the floor of the nightclub. He looks up at the court of vampires.

“Who the fuck are you to interrupt me?” Tuesday points a angry finger at the man, his fangs bared.

The man looks up. Then Burning-Howl opens his mouth and lets out a howl. A vicious red-hot flame flies from his mouth and starts to ignite and burn down every single vampire in the room.

“Fucking leeches,” Burning-Howl mutters, as the Legend rank Theurge heads for Seattle.

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Chapter Twelve: Heart's Bane
The Ghost Wolf is Coming.

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Phase of the Moon: Gibbious Moon
Dateline: March 3rd, 2013

Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Helen Keep-Them-Asking-For-More, Ludwig Rages-Truth, Slays-Names

Scene One: Eye of the Dragon

Walking back to the MacPherson House from Jeremiah’s Warehouse, the pack stumbles across a piece of a wolf rear leg lying in the middle of the sidewalk. Screwdriver recognizes it as a relative to his, but not sure whom. Before he can identify it further, a car drives by.

A series of gunfire later, Screwdriver threw himself between the bullets and his pack. He takes all of the bullets, and is knocked out in a bloody mess.
Ludwig chases after the assailiant, using his Mighty Bound gift to land through the car’s windshield, landing in Glabro. He takes out the driver with a clawed foot, glass shards glittering. The gun man, sat in the passenger seat, with a shirt that said The Dragon Is Coming and had a big green eye on it.
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Slays-Names, picking up the fallen Screwdriver, runs after Ludwig and car. Helen meanwhile, looks into the Umbra and watches as a spirit made of guns speeds by them in the Umbra. The car, along with Ludwig, crashes into a fire hydrant.

The other passenger now dead, Ludwig recovers from the crash without much harm, at least, not anything his regeneration couldn’t handle. He pulls the gun man out of the vehicle with burst of lupine super-strength. Ludwig Rages-Truth, the verge of frenzy, tries to get an answer from the gun man, but Slays-Names quickly tells him that he is dead. In the car they find a blank address book, a cell phone and a t-shirt completely soaked with blood.

“There is a spirit here, too.” Helen said, her eyes no longer distant from peeking into the Umbra.

“We need to get Screwdriver back to the MacPherson House.” Slays reminded them.

“Stepping Sideways then?” Ludwig suggested, and the two others nodded in agreement. They stepped into the umbra. They faced a Gun Violence spirit, and a Bane, by the way it reacted to them. Quickly they fought it; it tried to use sort of spirit mojo to incite Ludwig to frenzy, but Slays-Names used one of his gifts to command it to stop. The gun spirit, after that, was no trouble at all for Ludwig to finish with a claw swipe.

Scene Two: Six Wolf Heads

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The pack returned to the MacPherson House, tired, as the sun finished rising. Ludwig meets with Knows-the-Path and Pisses-Gold, unwilling to rest, while the rest of his pack tries to get some sleep. The two Elders told them their opinions on the offer from Jeremiah. He finds them at the Shrine to Owl on the outskirts of the Caern.

“Never Trust Leeches and kill all of them on sight,” Knows-the-Path counsels, her tail and head motions harsh in their movement.

“Use one against the other, I’d say,” Father Pisses-Gold advises, “Vampires will fight amongst themselves pretty easily.”

Back at the house, Helen’s Metis child Cassie shows her a wood carving he had made of six decapitated wolf heads. He points out to the backyard, where he made the picture. Helen finds six wolf heads out in the backyard, and Cassie explains that “the Ghost Wolf left them there and that he says he coming.”

Helen gets Slays-Names, and the two of them try and find out if this “Ghost Wolf” is a spirit. But none of the Sept’s Spirit allies have seen any Wolf- or Wolf-like spirits coming into the Sept. Unsure, the two of them return to resting until they’ve gotten enough sleep before going out again to work on the human trafficking problem that the Black Furies had asked them to solve.

Scene Three: Rats, Always Rats
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Ludwig returns back to the Building they had been at during the prior chapter, looking to investigate why or how the human traffickers moved through the Ratkin’s territory. He found chinese names written in black paint on one of the building’s walls. He then continued down to the barricade in the sewers that marked the entrance to the Ratkin’s territory.

Ludwig approached the barricade and tried to talk with the Ratkin.

The Ratkin, being Ratkin, tell him off. “No wolves! Go away wolf!”

“My Alpha, Screwdriver? You know him right? He’s been shot. You guys need to tell me what you know-”

“Fuck off small cock,” The Ratkin chimed.

Ludwig, keeping control over himself, sighed. Then he decided to just go look for himself, and started through the barricade and entered the Ratkin’s territory. After all, the Ratkin shouldn’t or wouldn’t be a problem for him in a fight.

As he stalked through the sewers, Ratkin chirped and taunted him from every shadow. Insane chatter and insults of all colors were thrown at him. Then, he felt a rock hit him in the back of the head. Ludwig turned around and looked at the Ratkin who through it.
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Ludwig then followed the rock throwing Ratkin, right into a ambush. Fifty or so Ratkin fell on him, and although Ludwig held his own and drove off at least ten of them, it didn’t matter. The swarm of wererats brutally knocked him into unconsciousness…

On Display, Today Only, Ludwig…

Raven didn’t fly back to warn his pack; he became lost in the tunnels the Rats occupied, both in the Umbra and under Seattle.

The rest of the pack, back at the MacPherson house, learn of Ludwig’s trip to the sewers from Father Pisses-Gold. The old Theurge informs them of what Ludwig asked them, and how he said he planned to go see about why the scent trail of the human traffickers went through the Ratkin’s territory.

Slays-Names and Helen followed the path Ludwig took, except they entered the tunnels through the Umbra. They entered through the cave entrance that was the only object reflected by the building in the Penumbra. The tunnels felt electric, a raw creative energy vibrated throughout them.

The two of them walked down the tunnels, their feet echoing. The two theurges checked periodically, looking for the point in the tunnels that reflected the barricade that marked the entrance to Culls-the-Herd’s colony. After walking for a bit, the two of them stop and hide, certain that the rumbling they hear is a Ratkin or spirit sentry.
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Instead, a massive serpentine thing, like a Worm birth by H. R. Giger, broke through the tunnel wall in front of them. The worm carved a fresh new tunnel, stinking of oil and rot. A Ratkin hunting party followed it and killed the beast. Apparently the Ratkin were dealing with their own Wyrm problems.

Eventually the two of them found the part of the umbra that reflected a Auditorium in the physical world. Back in the physical world, Helen peeked to see a crowd of three hundred or so Ratkin in a chamber modified to project film. On the stage of the auditorium was Ludwig, tied with chains not unlike King Kong.

Culls-the-Herd stepped out, and tossed a cup of nasty grey water into Ludwig’s face.

“Wolf, WHY WERE YOU IN MY TUNNELS?” Culls-the-Herd challenged the Get, Ratkin in the crowd growing quiet when Culls-the-Herd spoke.

“My Alpha is injured, his name is Screwdriver-”

“Why the fuck should I care about him? Other Rats give a damn about him, not me. I am Culls-the-Herd, King of this Colony and Knife Skulk of the Rat Race. Explain yourself, Wolf.”

“My name is Ludwig, and I work with Screwdriver. He got shot not long after we left you people-”

“I don’t care. Give me one reason not to gut you here, Wolf.”

“Damn it, we listened to-”

“Fine then.” Culls-the-Herd pulled out the The Fearsome Klaive. “I’ll take this as payment and you get to go back to the other wolves and REMIND THEM to stay out of MY TURF! Take ’em and dump in a sewer grate somewhere! NOW!”

The Ratkin started to chant their king’s name, over and over. Ludwig, meanwhile, was dragged out of the auditorium with a dirty bag over his head.

Scene Four: Getting Out

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Ludwig now on his way out, Slays-Names prepares his Nyx Bangle fetish- asking the Night-spirit that powers it for a favor in exchange for freeing it from the bracelet. He waits for his moment- hoping to catch Culls-the-Herd in a moment when he is by himself. Helen, meanwhile, went to go retrieve Ludwig from where ever the Ratkin decided to dump him.

Slays-Names peeks back into the physical world- Culls-the-Herd turns and faces the Ratkin in the auditorium.

“Now that is done, we go! We hunt Wyrm-beasts!” Every Ratkin cheered and followed their King in stepping sideways. Once in the Umbra, the masses of Ratkin ran out in every direction, to drive out the Wyrm monstrosities that moved through their spiritual turf.

A older Ratkin approached Culls-the-Herd and asked him, “why did you lie about the Klaive? Surely, if we could just sacrifice a fetish to return our Bards to us, then we would have done that already.”

“They need that hope. I’ll trade with the Wolves for something for it. Damn wolves will do anything for it, I’m sure.” Culls-the-Herd put the Klaive into his belt.
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That was the moment that Slays-Names struck.

The spirit told him that the ‘invisibility’ it granted would only work until Slay touched another- so running up, grabbing and Fearsome Klaive and bolting for it? Yeah, that kinda made him visible. And, so, Slays ran for it, with many, many Ratkin on his tail.

Meanwhile, Helen finds Ludwig in a sewer grate. Ludwig isn’t doing too well after being humiliated by the Ratkin. While the two are there, they find a brochure there that is a Seattle Tour guide written in Mandarin, and marked with a triangle. Ludwig takes note of it, and that some of the names on it match the names written on the wall of the building from earlier. The two of them head back to the MacPherson House, eager to get out of the sewers.

Slays-Names runs through the tunnels, some of which lead to odd points in the umbra- the Wyld energies of the Ratkin’s tunnels seem to led one astray quickly enough- and eventually he heads up into the massive webbing in Seattle’s Penumbra. He climbs atop the tallest point of the webs, the massive Weaver-Spire in the north of town.

The Ratkin give up on the chase, and Slays quickly crosses the Gauntlet. He finds himself at the top of the Space Needle, and eventually gets back to the MacPherson House himself.

Conclusion

Ludwig, now feeling unworthy of the Fearsome Klaive for losing his fight to the Ratkin, refuses to take it from Slays when he returns. As they eat, the pack goes over the clues Ludwig found, and Helen recognizes a location from the biblical verses Raven translates for them: A synagogue on 40th street. It is, of course, far more information than they had before, and worth checking out before nightfall.

They still haven’t decided if they want to try and kill the vampire Samson for Jeremiah yet.

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Interlude

Tomorrow-Shinzui Digizen News Update!

Hello and Welcome to the current upgrade and news notice! Here is a summary of the upgrade and news being downloaded into your digital citizen files.

ASTROLOGICAL PHENOMENA WARNING
TS Satellites and Astrological survey teams identified a group of five to ten large asteroids moving near Mars. Scientists project that there is a 1.45% chance of collision with the Earth. Research is continuing to watch to see if this chance increases.

DIGIZENSHIP ADOPTION REACHES 60%
In the three months after its creation, Tomorrow-Shinzui Digizen subscriptions have reached 60% in the downtown Seattle area. TS policy committees are currently discussing making Digizenship a requirement for all those who wish to live in the Seattle-Tacoma-TS area. This would only be made policy when annexation and merge of Tacoma-Seattle with Tomorrow-Shinzui is finalized in August.

MAYOR ASSASSINATION
Mayor Samson was found dead in his home. His throat had been ripped apart as though it had been done by some form of canine. He is survived by his wife, Amelia Samson, also a senior partnet of Angela-Samson Law firm. Samson had been long proponent of Tomorrow-Shinzui integration with Seattle, and his death has stalled talks on the merging.
Acting Mayor Jeremy Miller says he is working to get talks back on track. “Samson would want us to finish this. Tomorrow-Shinzui and Seattle have a future together, and he believed that is the only way we can make this world better.”

BUG FIXES
Fixed a graphic issue in Interface 75.4.
Fixed software interaction issue with the OneSong server network.
Added Pattern Network Drivers.
Added Positioning Software compiler.
Added Omega Warning Software.
Added Pre-Integration Files 07-345.
Added Wotan-54-7801-Joshua User Codec.

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Chapter Eleven: Dwells Not In the Sewer
Rats, Zombies, Sewer-things, Vampires and Others

Cloudy night  2c
Phase of the Moon: Gibbious Moon
Dateline: March 3rd, 2013

Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Screwdriver, Slays-Names, Helen Leaves-Them-Asking-For-More, Ludwig Rages-Truth
Ratkin from Culls-the-Herd’s Colony
Jeremiah

Three Months later, the Broken are the emissaries of Queen Kataryna, traveling to all the local septs to try and come up with new allies for the Sept before the Sixth Sign comes.

Scene One: Quarantine

Zombie time

At a crossroads in a quarantine zone, around midnight, the Broken are following the scent trail of a human trafficking ring. The Mother’s Mountain Sept having asked them to do put a end to the trafficking ring in Seattle, as many Black Fury kinfolk have been stolen through it. End the human trafficking ring, and the Mother’s Mountain Sept will gladly send a pack or two to help defend the Caern of the Phoenix.

Upon approaching the crossroad, they pause. Slays-Names peeks across the gauntlet into the penumbra of this place. All he sees at first is a empty field with a cave entrance, and not much more else. Slays sees a Bane approaching their location; he uses his Know Name gift to learn that it is called The-Itch-That-Bleeds.

On the real side of things, naked bodies of Red Death zombies begin to shuffle toward them.

The pack pulls Slays out of it, and fight off fifty or so zombies. We see new coordination from them, including the new leadership of Screwdriver, who has acclimated to the role of Alpha in the three months since the last chapter. Slays is no longer the one in charge, and seems the better for it. Slays and Screwdriver set up a car for Ludwig, which he, via a flick of a Klaive, uses to squash the last of the naked zombies.

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Scene Two: Empty Building

After dealing with the walking dead, the Pack enters the Building the scent has led them to.

Inside the building, and after Screwdriver has eaten a rather rotten sandwich, he observes the scent trail has split into two. One goes upstairs to the higher floors of the building, while the other goes down a dark hallway and turns. Ludwig advocates going upstairs, but Screwdriver instead decides on examining the hallway. The trail leds down a hole under the building- a drop of about twenty feet into dark sewer water.

Of course, Screwdriver almost fell in when he opened the door to it- and then when he tried to hop in by himself, only being stopped by Ludwig grabbing him. Ludwig suggests a course of action that might- might- be better for the entire pack to move down there, besides, Ludwig wants to check out the upstairs before going too far in the sewers.

Ludwigs goes up to investigate, while the rest of the pack looks for a way to get into the sewer a bit more safer.

Running

Upstairs, Ludwig finds a abandoned series of beds, with curtains separating them. Used once to drug and hold the women being trafficked, Ludwig searches for some clues, using what Philodox investigative skills he can. He finds a King James Bible, which was written in Italian, and a Beijing phone book written in the original Mandarin.

Not finding much else, Ludwig asks Raven to tell the pack he is on his way back to them.

Meanwhile, Helen Leaves-Them-Asking-For-More finds a door that leads down into the sewers without the big drop from the hole. Not to be stopped, Screwdriver drops down with his Catfeet gift, landing softly in the murky green water of the Seattle sewers.

They find a set of flashlights in an abandoned cart in the water- Slays-Names almost tripping over it- with even a fresh set of batteries there for them.

Raven will provide, as they say.

Scene Three: The Rats
Ratkin1s

As soon as Ludwig rejoins them, all four of them follow the scent trail down the sewers. The myriad of smells makes it harder for Screwdriver track, but eventually they come across something. They find a barricade blocking the sewer, while the scent trail continues on through it. On the front of the barricade is a stop sign, a glyph written on it in human blood.

After a time, some rats appear and chitter at them. Screwdriver and Ludwig start taking the barricade down, bit by bit. The rats chatter at them, and after a moment, one begins to grow larger and shift in a ugly, half-man half rat form. Ratkin.

Ratkin who recognize Screwdriver.

“Screwdriver! What the hell! This is our stuff!”

“Yeah, well…”

“Plus you owe us money, remember that poker game?”

Slays-Names tries to intercept, using his guile to try and shift the blame off Screwdriver. “He is a wolf-born. Kinda a nasty trick to try and fool him into a poker game.”

“It was his idea! Besides, the Rat King doesn’t allow any Wolves in his Kingdom. No wolves. Leave.”

Dumbstruck, the pack struggles to try and find a way to get some sort of answer or permission from the Ratkin. They don’t budge on it until…

“Gee, boss,” Slays-Names says to Screwdriver, “we can’t tell them that. Exchange information and tell them that? Its waaay too important to tell them.”

The Ratkin, the fifty or so gathered in various forms chitter and chatter at this.

“Tell me what you know, wolf!”

“You first, Rat. Know anything about some human trafficking or people who moved through here earlier?”

The Ratkin pauses to think about it. “No, not really. I do know a guy whose people deal with traffickers and the like. Vampire, always good for information on them, used to run around down here. He made some deal with the King and has a warehouse up top.”

The pack thinks about it and decides to check this out, rather than deal with the Ratkin right now. Slays-Names explains his information to them.

“Ah, turns out that Tomorrow-Shinzui is working on a cure for the Red Death-” the Ratkin really didn’t like the sound of that- “but the really juicy part is who is doing it for them, a pack of Werewolves who’ve joined them, The Robot Lords, are working on it.”

And with that, the Ratkin flee off in a hurry like a fire had been lit under their asses.

Scene Four: Who is Jeremiah?

Mouth2

They come to the Warehouse bearing Jeremiah’s name on it.

Outside, there is the smell of bleach in the gutter, which blocks out most of the other scents at this place. Irritated, the pack is about to decide what to do next when a camera turns and speaker outside calls out to them:

“If you are coming in, then knock already or I will call the police. Go ahead, either you have business with me or leave.”

With a sigh on their breaths, the Broken enter the Warehouse lair of a vampire named Jeremiah.

Inside there is a small cessna plane in one corner, with a coffin in a darkened corner, held up by a pair of concrete cinder blocks. Mandy, as sung by Barry Manilow, is playing in the hanger/warehouse. Stacks of various goods printed with words in foreign language are strewn about.

“Gee, this is a clean place.”

After a beat, a dark robed figure emerges from the shadows and a hidden stairwell. His hood obscures his entire face. His voice sounds horrible.

“Hello, Lupines. I recognize you, Slays-Names from a prior function. I am Jeremiah. What brings you to me?”

The pack explains their predicament, and Jeremiah offers to fix it for them. He knows who is involved, the Triads. He can get them all together in one room, at one time and let the pack ask them any question they wish.

The Broken question this on the face of it. It beggars the question to them, is it worth it to trust this particular vampire? And what does he want in exchange?

Jeremiah asks them to assassinate Samson, a female Vampire who controls about half of the vampires in the city as well as the Mayor’s Office. She is a enemy of his, and her death would make his control over organized crime all that much easier. Kill Samson, and Jeremiah will give them the way to fix the human trafficking problem.

The pack leaves, deciding to return to the MacPherson House to figure out what to do next, to prepare and to plan their next move. Little did they expect what would happen next.

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Howling Winds: Hungry Howl
What is Screwdriver's last memory of his mother?

Running

Autumn 2009

Screwdriver stared at the dying wolf.

In hispo form, his senses were dulled a bit, but he recognized her scent. There were a hundred different smells flitting around the forest floor. Dead leaves, stained thickly with the coppery smell of fresh wolf blood and what smelled like disease to him. Underneath all of that, however, there was a stronger scent.

Mother.

He approached her carefully. He hadn’t come back since his First Change. Meeting Pisses-Gold and learning about that other form had been interesting, but it kept him from his Mother, as old as she was. The pack long ago had abandoned her when she was pregnant.

Screwdriver didn’t know exactly why- exposure to human thought gave him hints, perhaps his Mother held a very poor position in the Pack? Had she been the omega, driven out when due to have her litter?

He didn’t know. His siblings left him alone with Mother long ago- each looking for their own path, and their mother lacked the dominance to hold them anyhow. She wasn’t strong, and Screwdriver never had been strong either. He protected her, and she taught him how to be a wolf.

But now he had changed… and… mother was a half-dead corpse.

He stood over her body. She blinked weakly at him, her tail moving. In wolfspeak she almost said something, but Screwdriver couldn’t quite understand it. It wasn’t until she stopped moving, her blood finally taking the last life from her, that he understood.

“Is that you?” She had asked.

Screwdriver sat, saddened.

Then he heard the howl. The Wrong Kind of Howl. Wolves didn’t howl that way. It… was Wrong. Like something pretending to be a wolf. Something perverse that made Screwdriver want to kill it.

And the howl conveyed a notion that irritated him more. Screwdriver felt the urge to frenzy rise. The howl mocked him. It said “see what I’ve done? I know what you are, and I did this just to piss you off.”

His urge to frenzy broke- he lost control, and in that frenzy, Screwdriver fell into the thrall of the Wyrm, and feast on the corpse of his own mother.

Afterward, the Lupus decided to live in the now and make new family. A corpse is a corpse, and he would never stand to see another too soon…

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Howling Winds: Post-Haste
Why did Ludwig get to keep the Klaive?

Duncan

5 Years Ago (Summer 2007)

Ludwig always remembered the first Get of Fenris gathering Duncan took him to- blood, guts and more pain than he thought was possible at that point in his life. Sixteen Get of Fenris, most of whom were from all over the Northwest.

At least four packs of Get, and the first thing they did was have Ludwig prove himself.

‘Prove’ apparently meant ‘try to beat within an inch of his life.’ After all, if he could stay awake from the pain they dealt him, that must be a sign of Fenris’s favor.

If Ludwig passed out, well, then Fenris didn’t favor him and the Get assembled would just rip out his throat and call the night good.

“Why did I agree to this?” He mumbled, his face covered in bruises and just the right amount of blood to blind you, but not kill you.

“Boy, you still awake?” Duncan asked, a bit too cheerful for Ludwig’s taste.

“Why did you do that? Aren’t I Garou? What purpose is in this?” Ludwig demanded, his fury rising.

A Gift one of the Get used on him kept him from shifting, but he could feel the Frenzy trying to unlock that door. It just made everything MORE frustrating.

“Lessons, kid.” Another Get, Rebecca Teeth-of-Red answered. "How can you imagine giving a punch without taking one from an expert? What better way to learn clawing someone up from first hand experience? How else do you learn to fear the slice of a Klaive?

“Besides,” She continued, Ludwig now seeing her speak in Crinos. Somehow she’d managed to shift her throat into human, yet retain her war form at the same time. Still more things he needed to learn! “We needed to see if you were worthy of the Fetish you carry.”

“Why? This Klaive is mine by right!”Klaive3

“Because it is the law of the People,” Duncan explained, “To those of higher station is the first kill, the first prize, the first glory, the first fetish. Among the Get, station and strength are seen much to be the same. You are strong enough to protect this Klaive- strength to wield pales in the face of the strength to keep at bay those who’d dare take it from you!”

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Chapter Ten: A Spider At Mount Olympus
Can you not hear the screeching?

Cloudy night  2c
Moon Phase: Half Moon
Date Line: Saturday November 10th 2012

Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Slays-Names (Alpha), Ludwig Rages-Truth (Beta), Helen, Ghost-that-Runs, Vigilant One-Eyed Raven, Screwdriver, Mercy-Bringer
Sleeping Ice Sept: Glacier-Speaker, Sings-Rivers, Rain Daggers, Wolf Kinfolk, Runs-for-the-Moon
Robot Lords: Dante Deatheye, Memphis Drives-Fast, Conrad Slays-Leeches

The Debrief

The pack prepares to leave; Helen goes off on her own- but time is too precious for the pack to wait for her. They take Richard MacPherson with them, and go off to the Caern of Howling Storms to take a Moon Bridge to the Sleeping Ice Sept.

So the Pack- Screwdriver, Slays-Names, Ludwig and Ashlar walk in to find Kataryna and every other Silver Fang in the cave screaming and on the floor. After a moment it passes, and the briefing for the Pack’s mission begins. Kataryna is no longer her ‘very scary self’, and even Black-Claw’s Metis deformity is gone. They seem to be more ‘pure, less crazy Silver Fang.’

They question the Red Talon, Runs-for-the-Moon, who explains that Wyrmspawn humans are attacking their Caern and they need help ASAP. The Robot Lords, along with the new Warder Memphis Drives-Fast question helping the Red Talons Sept- Dante displays news coverage of the destruction of Tieton and blames it on the Red Talons. Runs-for-the-Moon doesn’t deny it, he re-emphasizes his Sept’s view that all humans are Wyrm-tainted and deserve to die.
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Kataryna sends the Broken to the Sleeping Ice Sept, but tells them to abandon it if they feel the situation is untenable. Memphis concurs, suggesting they don’t feel guilty if they leave a Red Talon or two behind.

From Russia, With Love

Meanwhile, in Russia, Mercy-Bringer comes face-to-face with the largest Rite he’s ever seen. Hundreds of antique, powerful fetishes from the oldest Silver Fang bloodlines are sacrificed to Great Falcon. By the end of the Rite, the King, Jonas Albrecht calls out to Great Falcon.

He implores Great Falcon to cure his tribe, his people, and let them be the true kings of Garou they were intended to be. Their madness and deformities keep them from leading truly.

And with a flash, all Silver Fangs, everywhere, stand up cured of their madnesses and deformities. Even Mercy-Bringer feels a weight lifted from him.

Then things go horribly wrong, and most of the Tribe of Kings turns to the Wyrm. They see, now with no madness in their eyes, that there is no chance to save Gaia- ’tis better to rule in hell, as they say.

Approaching the Sleeping Ice

Meanwhile, the pack reaches the Sept of the Sleeping Ice.

Two Hunter Spiders guard the entry into the Sept’s umbral side and the Caern’s heart. Surprised by the two Weaver-spirits’ strength, the Pack takes their time to fight and bring the spirits low.

Using his new gift, Silent Communication, Screwdriver creates a mental link between all of the packmates. With the two hunter spiders defeated, the pack steps sideways into the reality. The gauntlet is tougher than they expect for a Caern- that and nearby weaver-spirits and a hazy umbra doesn’t bode well.

Taking them some longer than normal time to cross over, the pack succeeds and appears in the Heart of the Caern for the Sept of the Sleeping Ice. A tent has been erected over it, and some tables. At one table, a researcher in a lab coat has her back turned to them.

Fire in the Sept

Helen returns back to the MacPherson House with Cassie, ready to join the Pack’s mission. Multiple houses and buildings in the Sept are on fire, and most of the Sept are hurrying to put them out. Helen runs into Mercy-Bringer, who survived the Silver Fang corruption by using a moon-bridge escape to land on a ship sailing for Seattle. The ship, comprised of various changing-breed doctors, are en route for a meeting of various Gaian medical minds in Seattle.

Laborator-ious

The Pack knocks out the researcher, and takes a look at their surroundings. When security officers show up, it takes them no effort at all to get rid of them- although, pretty quickly, they hear things escalate outside the tent. Machines whirling.

Eventually, the pack finds out that Agent Dunlap is in charge of the large contingent of Tomorrow-Shinzui employees who’ve canvassed the entire Sleeping Ice Sept. Whats worse is that no one in the pack can sense that usual buzz that a Caern gives off.

Surrounding Dunlap, they try to take down the Weaver-spawn. Things don’t go very well- Dunlap seems to possess inhuman speed, toughness and strength- on top of that, he seems to regenerate even the smallest cut. Panicking at the hard fight, Slays sends Raven off to get back up- especially after he realizes there isn’t going to be a way to Moon Bridge out of the Sleeping Ice.

As the pack flees into the umbra, Ludwig distracts Agent Dunlap with a conversation. The pack, meanwhile, moves. Slays-Names finds the imprisoned Red Talons, and starts freeing them. Ashlar hurried to nearby helicopters, and started a fire. Screwdriver, meanwhile, provided a quick exit for Ludwig- who made sure to entangle Dunlap in the tent canvas before stepping sideways himself.

Slapper-dash

Helen and Mercy-Bringer arrive on a nasty scene: the pack trying to overcome, one blow at a time, Agent Dunlap. Dunlap had apparently followed them into the Umbra. Screwdriver, Slays, Ludwig and Ashlar all surrounded and tried to pin down the ever-regenerating Dunlap.

Helen and Mercy-Bringer quickly filled in the holes around Dunlap, and joined in harrying him down. Quick orders from Screwdriver via his mental link, combined with teamwork between Ludwig and Mercy-Bringer finally dropped and slew Dunlap. The Pattern Spider that had been bonded with him, however, skittered away, only to be quickly slashed to bits by a blow from Mercy-Bringer.

The Broken then re-grouped with the surviving Wolf kin and Red Talons, all of which had been collared. These strange collars, cyberfetishes by Slays estimation, kept them from shapeshifting.

Talking it over, Ludwig is eventually able to convince the Red Talons that at their home Sept they can remove the collars.

Conclusion

Kataryna reveals that Burning-Howl is going to return back from the Sept. He has sent word through a intermediary that he is returning from communing with the Wyld in the Deep Umbra.

More sane than before, Kataryna informs the Broken that she is declaring herself Queen of the Northwest, and she is taking up her father’s Crown. She also notes that now she will need proper emissaries, suggesting that the Broken are no longer the omega pack and are expected to make something of themselves…

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Chapter Nine: The Fifth Sign
And did Helios burn so hot, no ice was left remaining...

Cloudy night  2c

Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Slays-Names (Alpha), Helen, Ashlar, Vigilant One-Eyed Raven
Knows-the-Path, Lynne Miller & Ludwig Rages-Truth
Little Sister & The Winter’s Gate Sept
The Mother’s Mountain Sept: Morrigan MacPherson, Mountain’s Daughter
Richard MacPherson

Scene One: Leaving The MacPherson House

Mac pherson house

Helen and Ashlar prepare to leave, to go off and find Rorg’s Realm. Meanwhile, Slays-Names leaves the house first, only saying he’ll be back after a week. Pisses-Gold has informed him that the Wendigo Sept of Winter’s Gate is willing to teach him the Rite of Bridge Building (and that Little Sister is at that Sept as well).

Screwdriver meanwhile, appears to just be off drinking booze in his room.

Then Helen and Ashlar step sideways, so that Ashlar can learn a gift from the local Bear-spirit (Bear-Who-Takes-Trash). Luckily Helen is there to smooth over things- Ashlar fumbles his request a bit, but manages to convince the spirit to teach him the Gift of Adaptation. Then they begin the long quest to find the Aetherial Realm…

On Mt. Rainier…

Mt rainier natl park

Ludwig and the Black Fury Pack, along with Lynne and a dozen or so kinfolk women, journey through the umbra toward the Black Fury’s Caern. They stop, and drop Ludwig off at a abandoned campground. When he asks why he must wait, the Black Fury pack informs him that ‘he is Weaver-tainted. We will not allow Weaver taint into a Caern until after our Master of the Rite has cleansed you.’

So, Ludwig, Lynne and Knows-the-Path wait for the Mother’s Mountain Elders to arrive.

Later…

That night, a set of howls tells Ludwig who is coming: the Warder for their Sept and their Master of the Rite. They mean to no harm, and come in peace, as it is a well-presented Howl of Introduction. The Warder is first to arrive and calls herself Morrigan MacPherson, and that their Master of the Rite is Mountain’s Daughter.

Surprised to find another MacPherson, Ludwig is confused. Morrigan explains that they are willing to teach Lynne about Gaia and guide her, and that they too, will gladly accept Knows-the-Path; both of them carry no taint and are women, and more or less, the Black Furies have a preference for that sort of company. Ludwig then agrees to be cleansed, if it will let him go into their Caern.

Visions
Demon spider
Halfway through the rite, Ludwig falls unconscious.

He has a vision- hearing a voice say “activate Protocol Epsilon.” A old recording is sent into his mind, offering Ludwig two choices. Either he can choose to remain as he is, a werewolf that deals with such frenzy at times, or he can choose to expel his werewolf nature and find some form of “clarification.” Virgil O’Neill, at least in recorded form, shows him a vision of Ludwig dying of old ages with young children- the very same vision Phoenix had showed him earlier.

Ludwig chooses, then, to refuse. He wishes to remain what he is.

He then wakes up screaming, as a Pattern Spider has manifested inside his skull. Morrigan uses the Fearsome Klaive and cuts the weaver-spirit out. Ludwig is not really that conscious as the Black Furies carry him back to their Caern…

Scene Two: Finding the Aetherial Realm and the Sept of Stars

Broken wolf fight 2

It takes Helen and Ashlar the better part of a day to find the Aetherial Realm. It was a daring journey, dodging ancient minotaur-spirits whilst climbing to the highest of the highest reaches to step out into the stars. Upon arriving, they enter the Monastery that is home to the Sept of the Stars.

The Stargazers there read their signs, and greet the pair of them, offering them some bland tea as they discuss the nature of myth and sign and astrology. When they ask about the nature of his quest, Ashlar surprises them by explaining that he is going to steal a stone from Rorg himself in order to prove himself worthy of the rank of Fostern (2).

Ashlar learns that Mitanu is his birth sign (good for one who is a Ragabash) while Helen is blessed by the birth sign of Sokhta, or Luna- which is a favorable sign for a Theurge as well.

Scene Three: Moon Bridge to Snoqualmie

Slays walks the Moon bridge, meeting a Ice Wolf spirit guarding the entrance to the Winter’s Gate Sept. It glances its nose down at him, and sniffs.

Slays bows his head, and in respect, asks to be permitted into the Winter’s Gate Sept. The spirit recognizes him, and lets him by- for now. He walks into the Sept out of the Moon Bridge, into its umbral reflection.

It is a colder, snowy place, but even in the umbra, snow is melting from the hot burning sky above. Little Sister and other Elders greet Slays, and he sits with them under a lean-to that is covered in snow. In that chill, most of the Wendigo don’t even wear any clothes.

They hand him a bowl of liquid, and ask him to drink from it.

“Its time you learned the rest of the prophecy, Slays-Names.”

His eyes burned as new memories were forced into his skull. He saw the Storm Lords talking to Phoenix, asking for more details on what the Last Klaive was about. They fell unconscious as Phoenix explained:

“Four sons of MacPherson, White Howler blood true in their veins.
Four sons, four tribes. The Last Klaive will be wielded by a ghost,
It will be forged after the Warrior dies.
And the Son of Stag who pretends to be of the Storm, he will forge it."

Slays-Names’ hair turns stark white. He also feels raw knowledge of the rite pour into his head, as the voices of White Howlers scream in his head.

And he sees a image of a Garou mating with a wolf, and leaving, shifting back into the form of Burning-Howl…

Scene Four: The Rage of RORG!

Raven2 copy

Now in the Realm of Rorg, Ashlar moves a bit deeper, to find a stone for certain that belongs to Rorg. Helen warns him to do otherwise- but it is a little too late when the Incarna of Turog is awakened, screaming with unbridled raging madness.

WHO DARES STEP INTO MY REALM!?”

Ashlar and Helen are interrogated and verbally thrashed by the every-raging Incarna that is Rorg. He doesn’t respect them at first, but Raven’s presence earns them some respect. It appears that their particular raven spirit has impressed Rorg, enough that he doesn’t kill the two of them right then and there.

He tells them that they will hunt! Unwilling to upset the insane spirit, Helen and Ashlar watch as Rorg summons various animals. But he dismisses them, seeing them as not that exciting prey. So he instead summons a crowd of naked, pleading, crying humans instead. He asks them if they find this prey interesting enough to hunt?

Ashlar scoffs and tells Rorg he doesn’t think they are worthy prey.

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Rorg spits, sputters and decides to oblige him. A rock slams down, and slaughters the lot of humans. He jabs a thumb at Helen.

“How about her then? Shall we track her and eat her heart?”

Again, Ashlar disagrees, still thinking her as not worthy enough prey. So Rorg instead decides to hunt Ashlar- if Rorg catches him, then Rorg will slay both of them; if Ashlar can elude him before the Forest Rorg has summoned goes completely away, then Rorg will let him keep a piece of him.

The hunt is hard, vicious- and ultimately, Rorg wins. He catches Ashlar. Only Raven saved the two of them- giving them enough time to leave in one piece, more or less. Since each stone itself was a part of Rorg, Ashlar seems to have, more or less, failed.

But upon leaving Rorg’s Realm, Ashlar and Helen run into Richard MacPherson. Richard gives Ashlar a Klaive, and surrenders honorably to him. He insults Helen with a new nickname or two and insists are being taken alive back to the Sept, to “face justice.”

Scene Five: Cry for Help

Not long after getting back, Slays finds himself needed as the Gatekeeper.

Ludwig and Knows-the-Path appear on a Moon Bridge from the Mother’s Mountain Sept- and before the tense situation can get tenser, yet another Moon Bridge opens.

On this one comes a injured Red Talon, who in Lupus form, collapses on the ground. Slays drops to help the Red Talon, while Pisses-Gold revives him. The Red Talon is conscious enough to say, via Wolfspeak:

Sacred place. Attack. Help. Us.

Coordination

Helen and Ashlar come back as well, walking into the Caern proper along with Kataryna.

Knows-the-Path and Kataryna know one another- and Kataryna apparently knows sign langauge and communicate fairly well with Knows-the-Path. Knows-the-Path insists, that before anything else, she and the Broken, along with Ludwig talk. After that is done, the Elder Philodox will be willing to help the Sept decide what to do next.

The Pack go back to the MacPherson House, and hash things out. Ludwig is allowed back into the pack, while Knows-the-Path performs the Rite of Contrition for Ludwig, in order to appease Raven. He provides a quarter or two as part of the Rite, and Raven welcomes him back.

And of course, the rest of the Pack learn that Ashlar has taken prisoner Richard MacPherson. Slays-Names is… suspicious of what exactly Richard is up to…

MacPherson gives them the same warning that the Red Talon did- Tomorrow-Shinzui is attacking the Red Talon Sept, and in exchange for this information he expects some decent treatment. But why did he surrender to Ashlar? Is something more horrible about to happen?

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