Last Tales of the Broken

Ashlar Interlude 2
Revelating Revelations

To: Chandra@seattlemail.com,
Subject: A Revelation.
Tonight heard a very odd thing, a woman who in the presence of Richard MacPherson said she was my true mother. It started me thinking that everything I ever knew was a lie. I am not going to stand idly by any more. I have become a much better shot, as tonight I was able to get a shot at Richard and wound him in the calf… I would have gone for the kill shot however I was told by Fearsome (the Sprit that lives in Ludwig’s, who I am apparently related too as well, klave) that he is to suffer until the end of days. Once my wound from tonight’s battle heals I am going to hunt me some dick. I got shot by a silver bullet, you should see it; it’s going to leave a wicked scar in my chest. Sometimes I wish we could have a normal life together. Each of us is haunted by the ghosts of our past; unfortunately most of my ghosts are still alive. I need to know more about this woman who claims to be my real mother. From the information I have she is possibly an ‘Eater of the Dead,’ she knows Richard, and she is not person in the photo of me and my mother. I am going to use my gifts to sense the women I knew as my mother now that I know that my gift works on the dead, as that is how I was able to find the Caern of prophecy. I need answers let me know what you can find out.

On another note,I think Kataryna is starting to warm up to me. I think I have proven that I am not like my father, which is the main reason she dislikes me so. My father caused her a lot of pain; he has caused a lot of people pain. He is a sick and twisted man. He deserves every ounce of pain we can give him. I hope that I can let her return the favor to him. I think she would appreciate that.
As always,
Ashlar McPherson-Green, Hor-Ammon, The Ghost that Runs

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Chapter Six: Battle of the Howling Storm
There is a Another...

Moon Phase: Crescent Moon

Dramatic Personae

Ashlar “Ghost that Runs” Green, Ludwig Rages-Truth, Screwdriver, Helen, & Slays-Names

Previously on Last Tales of the Broken…

Screwdriver, distraught, explained how all of his mates and pups are now dead. A old painting is found in the basement of the MacPherson House, proof of a second Caern in Seattle. Ludwig wanders back to the place he grew up in. The Broken learn the Prophecy of the Last Klaive- and when they try to inform the Sept of this, Black Spiral Dancers attack the Heart of the Caern.

Flashback: Meeting Screwdriver

We learn of how Ashlar and Slays-Names first met Screwdriver, three years ago. Meeting Father Pisses-Gold at a bar, the two of them watch as a horribly badly dressed man wanders in, wearing not much beyond a towel.

“No.” Slays-Names and Ashlar inform Pisses-Gold in unison, but the Elder Bone Gnawer asks them to give him a chance- they need a Galliard, and Screwdriver is a Galliard.

Screwdriver proceeds to wander over and hit on a blond woman at the bar- Ashlar and Slays recognize the woman as Kataryna, the Sept Leader. Pisses-Gold waves Screwdriver over, and asks Screwdriver to demonstrate how good of a Galliard he is. Screwdriver complies- he jumps atop the bar, and begins to bellow out howling rhythms that sound very, very dirty…

…and takes Kataryna’s drink, taking a big swig of it. Kataryna looks at him, and Screwdriver sort of automatically gets off the bar, but not giving up the drink.

Slays and Ashlar decide to keep Screwdriver “because he’ll get mocked more than Ashlar, and Ashlar can go ahead and treat him like crap.”

Screwdriver, overjoyed, asks what this drink with the citrus taste is. Pisses-Gold says-

“That is a Screwdriver, of course, like it?”

“Screwdriver! That’s my name! Call me that!”

Gohan!

Battle Outside Fong’s

Screwdriver, Ashlar and Helen (all in Hispo) are attacked by a group of Black Spiral Kinfolk, members of the Generation Hex conspiracy, who fire assault rifles at them. Ludwig, with fair warning from Raven, is running in from his own private mystery, hoping to catch his pack before they reach the fight.

Ashlar dives in first, shifting into Crinos with his lightning fast Metis speed. He rips off one of the Merc’s heads. Helen follows him, shifting into Crinos as well- she leaves her target still breathing.

Gen Hex strike back, firing automatic bursts into Ashlar and Helen- one merc, armed only with a Revolver, plugs a silver bullet into Ashlar’s shoulder and chest. As the silver burns, burns, burns him alive, Ashlar watches Ludwig enter with a charging scream, bisecting one of the mercenaries with his Klaive.

Screwdriver moves on ahead, since it looks like his packmates have the situation under control. Shifts into Lupus to fit though the doorway.

Other mercenaries scream and panic- Ashlar quickly tosses a match into the gasoline leaking out of the van. Helen, Ludwig and Ashlar move away as the van explodes, killing off the rest of the mercenaries.

They follow Screwdriver down into the Caern, each of them shifting into a smaller form in order to fit through.

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Battle At the Heart of the Caern

As Slays-Names, Claire and Pisses-Gold enter the Cave of the Howling Storms, a ricochet of a silver bullet catches Claire in the left temple. She is down, and Slays and Pisses-Gold hurry to where the Westward Swords are fighting a beach head of BSD.

Most of the Westward Swords are injured, and they had slain at least four Black Spirals. But its dark, and some sort of fog is blotting out the view of the water from the cave entrance. Slays ignores this, and tries to wander toward a higher place to get a vantage point- one of the Swords, Alia Twilighthowl automatically turns on a Silver Fang gift that causes her to illuminate with Silvery light.

The BSD and their kinfolk allies target Alia, trying to put out the light. Slays moves into the water, stealthily moving with the fetish that Fearsome had given him in the Legendary Realm. They don’t notice him- but Sarah Maneater and her helicopter came around for another pass. She fires the helicopter’s Gatling gun, sending a stream of automatic fire at the mouth of the cave.

Screwdriver barrels into the cave, and attacks the BSD in the fog. The BSD, led by Voljuu Skullfucker, dogpile onto Alia Twilighthowl, first plaguing her through a disease gift, then Skullfucker ripping her throat out. BSD kinfolk emerge from the fog of tear gas, wearing masks, and fire at the Westward Swords.

Ashlar enters the cave and notices the corpse of Oaksong, his head having been exploded from some attacker earlier. He steps sideways, to try and ascertain what is going on in the Umbra side of things. Screwdriver engages Skullfucker, eager to die rather than live without his mates or kin.

Slays throws one of the bigger rocks in the Heart of the Caern at the Helicopter, aiming for Maneater. He knocks the Gatling gun out of the helicopter, and the copter turns away a bit from the Caern. A BSD Ragabash with a revolver fires a silver bullet into Slays-Names’s face in response.

Werwolf

Skullfucker turns on Screwdriver, claws bared. The BSD Ahroun disembowels the Lupus Galliard, who almost goes into a frenzy at the pain of it. But he keeps his control over his crinos form, and continues the fray with Skullfucker- distracting him enough for Ludwig to charge in and finish the job. Ludwig leaves Skullfucker alive enough for Screwdriver to rip Skullfucker’s spine out through his chest.

As for Ashlar, he confronts a BSD Theurge in the Umbral reflection of the Cave. The BSD calls forward his pack’s totem spirit- a massive Bane called Kraken Oily-Tongue-Of-Beast-of-War. Kraken and the BSD almost attack him, but instead both pause, and flee as fast as they can-

“No, not him. He is one of them too. Next time.”

Ashlar looks surprised. At the edge of what he can see, Stag looks like it is still slumbering near the Heart of the Caern.

Back in the Physical world, Sarah Maneater abandons the BSD Theurge and flees as well. No sign why, but the fighting is over as quickly as it started.

Battle Aftermath

Kataryna arrives at the end of the fight, after the Westward Swords have restrained the BSD Ragabash. She carries with her the spines of at least fourteen people, just like Screwdriver’s spine trophy. Apparently she had been attacked at her own the same as the rest of the Sept had been attacked.

Disappointed in the Westward Swords and impressed with The Broken, Kataryna orders all of the Westward Swords to cut off their left index fingers as punishment. They do so reluctantly.

Slays-Names approaches Kataryna about what they’ve learned: there is a second Caern, and the BSD probably were trying to distract them from going to save it. Suspecting something, she pulls him aside away from the rest of the Sept.

“What do you want? How did you learn of this?”

Slays-Names is promised the Sept position of Gatekeeper by Kataryna- so long as he challenges for it during the next Moot like anyone else. Slays agrees, and Kataryna sends him and The Broken to find this Second Caern. Slays-Names goes back to his Pack, and they go off to investigate.

Shipwrecks of Lake Union

Spirit Talks

A talk with Stag and later, Fearsome, reveals little more than the Pack already knew- both spirits say they should have all they need to find the Second Caern. Ashlar reasons that since the Wendigo were masters of that Caern, they might keep their dead there. Since he still has a hair from Never-Tires, Ashlar uses a Gift to give them a direction to head.

Stag warns that a very powerful spirit was bound to the Second Caern- one who will be bound into the Last Klaive when it is forged. Slays-Names communes with his Ancestors, and learns from one of the Storm Lords the general area of Seattle that they journeyed to reach the Second Caern- some where around Lake Union and the Seattle Center is where the Ancestor points to.

Using this knowledge and Ashlar’s gift The Broken journey until they reach Lake Union. Still late at night, the rain pours around them. Ashlar’s gift points downward, leaving them unsure how to continue. Screwdriver uses his Heightened Senses gift to track the scent of Wendigo to a path that goes through the Sewers. After an hour of hiking, climbing and squeezing, they reach caves under the Sewers.

And deep within those caves, the Broken find a… wooden gate. A series of them, in fact- three gates, each barred from the interior side.

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A Dick by Any Other Name…

Ashlar eventually makes it to the top of the innermost Gate, and what he spots surprises him:

The Cavern the Caern is located in is massive, as long as a football field. The ceiling is made of thick transparent Quartz, and blue-black light comes down from it. In one corner, a waterfall rains down from cracks in one part of the ceiling. The bottom of the cavern is brightly lit, covered in green moss and lichen. A few buildings are scattered throughout the Cavern.

In the cavern, Richard MacPherson and about fifteen other Garou stand over the bodies of The Screamers. The fifteen Garou that stand with him aren’t Black Spiral Dancers. Each of them are wrapped head to toe in dark gray wrappings. The Screamers are all unconscious, except for their alpha, whose speech sounds very slurred.

MacPherson clearly is trying to find clues to explain the Prophecy of the Last Klaive and it ties to the end of the Sept of the Last Klaive. Those with him are Silent Striders- Eaters of the Dead, the pack assumes. A wyrmish Bat-spirit is with them in the Umbra. They appear to be doing hit-and-run attacks through the Wheel of Ptah Caern in Morocco.

Just as the pack prepares to do something, the Silent Striders leave, one of which says:

“And next time, we’ll see who gets to tell our Metis child Ashlar the truth of his mother.”

After most of the Eaters of the Dead have left, Ashlar takes a shot and hits Richard in the leg. The rest of the pack- taking a side route via the umbra- reappear just as Richard uses a Pathstone to get on a Moon Bridge and escape with one of the unconscious Screamers- Jumps-the-Towers. Ludwig tries to follow, but lacks the knowledge or ability to properly use a Moon Bridge.

He manages to force one open, and goes through. Not leading to Richard, he tries again and again, until he has to be talked down by Raven and Owl. Owl seems enraged with the Silent Striders, and seeks to do some payback against them for abandoning him.

The Pack returns to the Caern, and helps the two living members of the Screamers. The Screamers leave, but acknowledge Slays-Names for who he really is- they remember the agreement the Fianna and Wendigo had, and they will honor it by giving the Caern and its powerful spirit over to him to protect.

The Pack visits the Heart of this Caern, behind the waterfall. It glows brightly, from the fiery light of the Spirit of the Caern- too powerful to be contained. They walk into the Umbra and see…

Phoenix. Or at least a Phoenix spirit, bound as the Caern’s totem spirit.

Unsure what to do, the Phoenix spirit tells them:

“It is not yet the Time.”

Their ears bleed, for the voice of the Phoenix is so… powerful. They each receive visions in turn, depicting how each of them will die.

Slays-Names sees himself on a ruin-filled battlefield when a random piece of shrapnel takes his head off, all his packmates all dead around him.

Helen sees herself trapped under a piece of fallen debris, when her Metis child appears to cry “die, mother!” and claw out her throat.

Ashlar sees himself sitting in a office somewhere over looking a ruined and burning Seattle- a man with a nametag that says “Dunlap” tells him that the vaccine they injected him with will not only cure the Red Death, but kill all of those who carry the genes necessary to be a werewolf, Ashlar included…

Ludwig sees himself dying of old age, in a cabin, with two young boys who ask him: “Grampa, tell us what it was like when there were Werewolves.”

And Screwdriver sees himself carrying the heads of his packmates, in the MacPherson House. He points a pistol at his head and declares: “No! The Last Klaive can’t be made! It’ll doom us all!” He shoots himself right in the temple.

Bewildered, the pack leaves the Heart of the Caern of the Phoenix, deciding to complete their mission and return to the Sept of the Last Klaive with their news…

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Ashlar Interlude 1
To A Girl I Used to Know

To:Chandra@seattlemail.com,
Subject: stuff and junk

Tonight I shared with my mates that I am the Son of Richard McPherson. I was surprised that they were at best indifferent about my parentage. I was also surprised to find that Slays-Names has known this for a long time, and He never told me, after all we’ve been through. I have to find Richard to find out if the ashes in the Urn are my mother’s.

At least now I know what he looks like now and that will make tracking him easier but I’ve also learned he has an identical twin which makes my gift harder to use until I have something that is his. I keep thinking that I am missing something, some important clue; I have to find him. Something weird is going on with the others, there is too much secrecy, and you know how I feel about secrecy. Tonight I learned Clare was kidnapped and came back with wyrm taint. Ludwig didn’t come back from his trip with Slays-names, when I asked Slays about it, he changed the subject. I didn’t press him because I know Ludwig likes his privacy.

Screwdriver’s family has been murdered in all the craziness. I feel for him I do I know what it is like to not have a family. During the thing I told you about, the wise one looked at me, it was like he was telling me that I would have a large part to play in this thing, it does not make me feel all that great. I have a feeling the time is closer to us than we think.

Tonight, I also met Helen’s son, who smells like me and looks like me when I was his age, well except for the horns. I have a feeling that this kid is my brother. I don’t know why she would keep him a secret, he’s a darling boy and I can’t wait to teach him how to shoot and run the way my mentor did… Helen then told us that ole’ one-eye told her that the Cave was under attack, Gaya help us smite our foes.

Love you got to go- I’ll finish this later,
Ashlar McPherson-Green, Hor-Ammon, The Ghost that Runs

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Ludwig's Dream 2
Home is where the heart is

“Ugh, THAT place.”

Ludwig had tried so hard over the past several years to forget about the place he was brought up in. His life outside of those walls was for the most part free, and inhibited only by the Litany of the Sept. He had Lynne, and really, that is all that mattered to him.

For eight years, Ludwig had denied the family that raised him; they were forgotten as soon as he set foot out of that building for the first time, with his Klaive and his freedom in hand, and his ‘family’ dead at his feet. To him, that life died when they did; he killed that life when he killed them.

But now, recently discovering his ancestry to the great Fearsome MacPherson, the spirit bound to his Klaive, and this dream coming shortly thereafter, Ludwig decides that there are finally too many questions unanswered to remain as such. He was becoming a greater and greater warrior of the Get, and armed with not only the spirit of Fearsome to sharpen his blows, but also with Lynne’s strength of being to steel his resolve.

There was nothing now that Ludwig had to hold him back.

Only mentioning to Slays-Names that he needed to follow something that came to him in a dream, Ludwig set off with his hammer, his Klaive, and his Resolve without any other word to the Broken. He was going to get his answers. The lies of so many years would be crushed by his Rage.

Rages-Truth’s judgement was on its way.

Ludwig earns 1 XP for this- GM

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The Broken Interlude Four
Meanwhile, in a Hive in Tacoma...

The boiling hot green glow of the Hive was just bright enough to illuminate the fierce, hideous and malformed jaws of all the assembled Black Spiral Dancers.

“Tonight we strike their Caern!”

Most were Metis, and as such, most looked like an assemblage of mutated freaks. Behind them stood the kinfolk, most of which were brainwashed or insane from the things they’d witnessed in the Hive.

“We prove that no new Tribe, however loyal they claim to be to the Wyrm, are no match for the Wyrm’s loyal claws! We dance the spiral!”

Several heads nodded, and some screamed in agreement. A Gaian tribe had, or at least part of its number, had switched to serving the Wyrm. And these traitors had proven themselves to the Maeljin. They had secretive success after success- as Whippoorwill was fond to remind them.

They were failing the Wyrm, and tonight, tonight they would strike back at the idiot Gaians and prove themselves.

Sarah Maneater screamed at the top of her lungs, a roar that each BSD and kinfolk echoed.

TONIGHT! We will ruin, corrupt, fuck their totem! We will rape and kill their Elders! Their families! We will take those who survive to the spiral! AND We will do it for the Wyrm!

“The Howling Storm is Ours!”

Thirty malformed Black Spiral Dancers chanted:
“For the Wyrm! For the Wyrm! For the Wyrm!”

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Ludwig's Dream

Dreaming.
Ludwig slumbers, stirring a bit- but his deep sleep is disturbed by a dream.
He sees himself standing upon a vast forest at night. Luna is large in the sky, half her face hidden. This forest is large beyond large- monolith, behemoth in its grand size. It made him look small.
A glowing blue light flowed about the wind before him. Ludwig watched and watched and watched it for what seemed like hours. It sang a song to him, in howls he had learned at the Sept. Of old dreams and wisdom long lost and place never to be seen again.
And it sang his name.
The blue light then flittered, and dropped on to the forest ground. It sank into his feet, and Ludwig felt himself lifted up and up and up…
He saw for grand forest for what it truly was. Rolling hills, rivers, lakes, trees and animals all were a part of it, but he could see every kind of nature in it as well. Deserts with antelope, seas full of sharks and fish, jungle ruled by panthers, hyenas laughing on the savanna, even what looked like ancient humans hunting with spear and fire… Savagery echoed among some, pain was a part of it all.
And he still rose higher and higher above it, until he saw what he really was looking at. All of this great nature that dwarfed him in size, beauty and wild awesomeness, was a single being. A single, grandiose woman of whom he could only see but a small part of. He was looking into one of her eyes, and even then he was floating miles above where he had been before. From here he couldn’t even see trees any more, just greens and browns and yellows. He saw no wounds, and wondered if this was how she was supposed to look- not how she was today.
Her voice then echoed in his mind, and he realized how small he was compared to… her.
“Child. Remember. The Cabin.”
He fell.
Down, down down down. Back into a familiar old place that he thought he’d forgotten. Back before his change, before the Klaive, before the Broken or before he considered asking questions of it at all. The home they raised him in.
He was back there, in his wolf body. The house was empty, yet everything was clean. Everything was where it had always been, before… before his first change…
His paws felt the same cold wood floor. And his sense of smell exploded. He had never smelled the old house before- not with the very sensitive sense of smell Lupus form had. This smell of blood excited Ludwig- he followed it to its source. To a wall, through that wall with his claws, digging, digging digging…
And beyond the wall, in a plate of silver his dreaming claws etched and scratched and he REMEMBERED it.
A old symbol symbol, lost back in a childhood memory.
And below it, the words “Heil Wotan.”
Wotan, the dark god, the forbidden monstrous horror who Fenris warred with for a epoch back in a long forgotten age. Get of Fenris Jarls howled from across the centuries in anger, gushing up through Ludwig.
And as his fury set to boil, to fly into full rage-
“Child. Remember. Go Back.”
Her voice, Gaia’s voice, stirred Ludwig, who awoke covered in sweat.

He realized that he needed to go ‘home’. Alone.

==+

Meanwhile, off in a basement deep in Central Washington, three men in black suits watched the screens in front of them buzz with activity. Recruited from various government agencies, they had been watching Ludwig’s progress closely. Much covert gov’t funding was riding on their success.
“Looks like Subject 15D-70AT is coming back.”
“Maybe we can take the opportunity to bring him back in, sir?”
“No, lets see if his implant will activate Gamma protocol. I’d like to see if this MacPherson kid can fully resist the programming. If he finds anything that might be too revealing, we’ll bring him in. O’Neil and Tomorrow-Shinzui can try something new on him.”
“Understood sir.”

The Director walked out of the room, past the rather logo on the wall behind him that proclaimed “Project: Wotan.”

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Chapter Five: A Time For Omens
A painting, a dragon, a raped girl and a enigma.

The pack comes together again and share stories over chinese.

Ashlar, Claire, Helen and Screwdriver meet Slays-Names in the Dining Room of the MacPherson House as he returns from his journey with Rages-Truth in the Legendary Realm. Slays-Names brings with him a bunch of Chinese food that a delivery guy “just gave to him, rather than let go bad.” He doesn’t have Ludwig with him either, and he avoids answering that question, but no one pressures him to answer it.

The five of them chow down, with Screwdriver appearing in Lupus to eat a box of BBQ pork- the first time anyone has directly seen him in the last three or so weeks. With a depressed look in his eye, Screwdriver shifts to his very unfashionable Homid form, picks up a “fork” (read: knife) and continues to eat.

After Ashlar explains how Never-Tires died and how he found her, Ashlar reveals to the Pack that he is Richard MacPherson’s son. He expects them to be disgusted or enraged at him, but instead, the pack nods at this information and moves on, to Ashlar’s surprise. If anything, Slays-Names seemed to have already known this information, which Ashlar finds a bit disturbing.

Mac pherson house

Helen explains her own exploits, including her vicious fight with a Fomori near Pike’s Market. She avoids letting anyone know that Richard is the mother of her own Metis son, Cassie. She intimates that they need to look into Pike’s Market, that there is a Hellhole there that might need some serious clearing out.

What do you think you jackass? All my family is DEAD!

Then Screwdriver takes a swig of something brownish looking and smelling of bleach, and explains why he is so dour. All his mates and pups have been slaughtered in the recent wolf killings. He wonders if it is possible to raise them from the dead- Werebears gets mentioned, but Slays-Names says that one of them wouldn’t be interested in that- despite what skepticism Helen has for it.

Little Sister then join them, and enacts a rite to share the Prophecy of the Last Klaive with them. The Ghost-that-Runs explains what she will do, and why they get to participate in it.

Screwdriver looked to see if any of his family was alive, but ended up caught by loggers. He and other wolves were taken, but a PETA protest managed to stall the truck that was carrying them. A riot broke out, and Screwdriver took the chance to duck out and disguise himself as a Dog via his Anybeast gift. He knocks some heads, but couldn’t save any of the wolves.

He saw so many dead wolves hanging on a fence line. A sad tale that depresses most of the pack, and Screwdriver downs most of the bottle in his hand.

Doomed

Screwdriver asks Claire about her own kidnapping.

She doesn’t remember much, just black. Madness. Men in black suits at Pike’s Market. She is glad for the food, but doesn’t understand how she got back to the MacPherson House. Ashlar checks Claire for Wyrm-Taint, and they find some on her.

Helen performs a Rite of Cleansing (with the rest of the pack’s help and teamwork), clearing Claire of the Wyrm-taint.

Its after that Screwdriver emerges with a jar of peaches from the basement. Ashlar, now curious, and knowing that no one has really checked out the basement since they moved into the MacPherson House. He goes downstairs and comes up with a weird painting he hasn’t seen before.

The MacPherson Family Portrait depicts a large number of people, probably family- the label on the bottom of the frame says “MacPherson Family At the Caern of the Last Klaive.” This greatly interests Slays-Names, since in the back ground is a waterfall, something that is not in the Caern of Howling Storms. There is also a pair of twins, both fully grown men, with a younger woman at their side and a giant of a man with white hair standing behind them.

Meanwhile, Helen steals all of the fortune cookies and hides them up in her room (the attic). Screwdriver tries to get Connie to go retrieve some items for him, but catches him pissing into a bottle.

They have questions, and Little Sister offers to answer them through the Rite of Lost Memory. She suggests that they might learn more of location of the second Caern, that she says " The Storm Lords gave it to the Wendigo to guard as a peace offering."

The pack sits still and prepares to drink hallucinogens and experience memories past…

Kataryna the deathless

Little Sister guides them, but warns them that the streams that memories flow upon can mislead and take them astray. Once they close their eyes, she begins to chant in her own strange reptilian tongue. They see a vision of 1920s Manhattan, and a long silvery dragon breathing fire on a group of Black Spiral Dancers.

“No, not there. Come along…” She speaks as though from a distance… They continue to move, back and forth.

The Pack sees a dark space, with a cage in it. A familiar blond girl, no more than sixteen is trapped in it. A shadowy figure taunts her.

“Kataryna! Poor girl, you mustn’t have bred true. Where is your wolf, child? Does your father Anton need help teaching you?”

Ten more figures emerged. Some were clearly covered in tentacles and the malformations telltale in Fomori.

“Perhaps me and mine,” Richard MacPherson continued, “Can teach you something, Kataryna. Something all night long…”

And just about as the young Kataryna was about to be gang raped, Little Sister intoned once more:

“No, not there. Come, come along…”

And they drifted away from Kataryna’s own past.

gloo

They saw then saw a forested coastline, and five figures riding on horseback through it. Seattle, before it was a even a city. 1804 or 1806 or whenever it was that the Sept was founded. They watched as the five horseback riders faded into the distance- things shift over.

Now they see a cave, with a waterfall- the same Caern depicted in the MacPherson Painting they had found earlier.

A black-skinned, emaciated man stood by himself in the shadows, watching the five of the riders. The Storm Lords were gathered around a campfire, talking about what to do next with the Wendigo conflict they were stuck in. The campfire suddenly burst into blue flame, and the Storm Lords all grew silent.

The flames warped and molded into the form of the spirits of Owl, Fenris, Stag, Rat and Raven:

“In the last battle, on the last day, the last pack will wield the last Klaive.

“The Last Klaive will break prophecy, slay Gods, warp worlds & slay the one who carries it- for it will shatter after that Last Day.

“Broken glass shall forge the Last Klaive, it shall be forged only after the blood of kings flows freely and a plume snuffs out the Weaver’s spire. You will keep this prophecy secret until the Pack of the Last Klaive brings it forth, screams dying, swords broken and the last great spirit’s head bowed.”

The entire time, Owl stared directly into the eyes of Ashlar, a sad look as the Owl seemed to be looking through memory and time right onto him.

As the spirits vanished, the five Storm Lords looked at each other. They started to concoct a plan for their conflict with the Wendigo.

The Broken, on the other hand, felt the memory fade away. They all woke up with massive headaches. Little Sister was gone, the sound of wings flapping out in the rain. She did all she was willing to do- as she put it, her own people did not even want her to say what she said. Too much bad blood between the Mokole and the Garou.

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The after effects leave some of the pack bent over with vomit- others. Slays-Names and Claire leave, as Slays-Names decides that he needs to inform the rest of the Sept on the second Caern.

After the pair of them leave, a crowd of homeless people with umbrellas and cardboard boxes walk toward the MacPherson House. Helen recognizes them- those Homeless she considers friends and allies. Most of them are younger men, all carrying weapons of some sort- clubs, boards, baseball bats and even one or two shotguns.

They’ve come after they heard that Helen’s home had been attacked after she’d been out. Convinced that she now needs some form of guard for the house, they start setting up tents in the front yard. They put a tarp over Helen’s head in the front yard and a they gently set down a wooden crate. A homeless woman apologizes:

“Sorry, but we couldn’t really keep him there anymore, but at least here we can have an easier time keeping an eye on Cassie.”

They open the crate, and a two-year-old Metis child crawls out, shaking his head. Half as tall as Helen, Cassie rubs his eyes and smiled up at his mother. Screwdriver and Ashlar exchange looks.

“Pa?” Cassie sniffs Ashlar and points up at him. He gives helen a wanting look, and asks again: “Pa?”

“No,” Helen chides him, a bit uncomfortable with the situation.

Screwdriver sniffs Cassie and notices that the little Metis smells a bit like Ashlar- something that Ashlar picks up on as well, and he tries to get a straight answer from Helen on it. She refuses to talk about it, not willing to open up on the subject just yet.

Wto seattle photo

At Fong’s, Claire and Slays-Names arrive to find the restaurant closed, the lights turned off- which makes sense, because it is after midnight. They enter, finding a snoring Father Pisses-Gold, not much anybody else. Slays-Names wakes Pisses-Gold, and begins to explain about the “second Caern.”

He is interrupted when one of the Westward Swords, Alia Twilighthowl runs into the restaurant.

BSD! The Caern is under attack! Slays-Names, get your pack ready!”

The four of them hurry down to the Cave of Howling Storms. Slays-Names sends Raven to go get the rest of the Broken and tell them what is going on.

Helen, Screwdriver and Ashlar Ghost-that-Runs shift in Hispo and heed Raven’s call as soon as it comes to them. They rush to Fong’s, with Ashlar using his gift Speed of Thought to get there ASAP.

Just as he runs up, however, a Van skids to a halt. The doors open and four BSD kinfolk, clad in makeshift merc gear hop out.

As the chapter ends, things look like they are about to get interesting…

XP for this Chapter

Screwdriver 4XP -Voted Winner! Renown XP 1; Wisdom
Ashlar 3XP Renown XP 1; Wisdom
Helen 4XP Renown XP 1; Wisdom
Claire 3XP Renown XP 1; Wisdom
Slays-Names 3XP Renown XP 1; Wisdom
XP SPENT

Helen purchased a dot of Purity and a dot of Strength, as the Sept is getting ready to grant her the Rite of Accomplishment and lift up to the rank of Cliath (1).

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Chapter Four: Old Rachel
Helen? Help me HELEN!

Moon Phase: New Moon

Its been two weeks for The Broken since the Trial by Combat of the Wereraven Ellie, and Rite of Accomplishment for Ludwig Rages-Truth. Now one of the three cubs in the pack is a true Garou, attaining the rank of Cliath (1) and earning the deed name “Rages-Truth.” Unlike what most of the Sept thought would happen, he remains a member of the Omega pack, the Broken.

grimes

Helen is off with three homeless fellows, who want her to help them with Old Rachel.

She goes to a homeless shelter, the same as one visited by Ludwig, to meet with Tom, Horner and Zander. The three of them know that Helen has some sort of Werewolf Mojo that can cure Old Rachel. Zander insists that she come alone, not any of those snobs that she hangs out with.

Zander is little crazy, geeky Tom is infatuated with Helen’s striking looks, and Horner is a plain old Heroin addict. Helen needs some considerable convincing to come along, thinking that these three are out to trap her or something.

Unbeknownst to Helen, Zander has fallen under the influence of the Wyrm, and is convinced that leading her to Old Rachel will earn him a great blessing.

So they head to Pike’s Market, where Old Rachel has been sleeping in a abandoned building. Along the way, Horner buys a block of heroin using money given to him by Tom- keeping the addict nice and high for what happens next. They enter the old, rundown brick apartment building through a fire escape, avoiding the broken stairways.

Tom, Horner and Zander led Helen to where Old Rachel has taken shelter. They break their way in, with Tom hurting his foot in the process. Old Rachel appears to be sleeping, and the room is covered in cats. Cats that are losing their hair, and look to be covered in the red pustules of the Red Death.

Helen attempts to perform the Rite of Cleansing on Old Rachel, using a old bottle of Jack Daniels. Partway through, however, Old Rachel interrupts her. The old woman’s body writhes, lengthens and grows claws and couple extra pairs of eyes. Pustules thrum and pulsate all over her body, as all of the cats merge their flesh with hers. Old Rachel has become a Fomori, a human possessed and twisted in form by a Bane.

Helen shifts into Crinos and slays the newly born Fomori, sending its possessing Bane fleeing into the Umbra. Helen peeks into the umbra and sees that it is swarming with banes, that the umbral reflection of this place is a Hellhole. She instead turns to try and leave.

Meanwhile, Tom and Zander fall to the Delirium and flee as best they can. Tom goes down the stairs, breaking his leg- while Zander takes the fire escape. Horner follows Zander, withstanding the Delirium enough to steal Helen’s medicine bag.

For Tom, the stairs collapse underneath him. With his legs broken, he cries out in pain and tries to crawl out of the building. He finds a pile of bodies in the hallway he is in, all dead from the Red Death.

One by one, each of the dead arises as a zombie. They grab Tom, and eat him alive. Tom screams over and over:

“Helen help me! Help me Helen!”

But to no avail, for as a Bone Gnawer, Helen feels more need to flee and survive than stay in a dangerous wyrm-tainted building with strangers. She ignores him, and walks away.

Horner manages to fed Zander to the zombies, and he flees as well, choosing to enjoy his heroin while he can.

Dormant Wisdom

Ashlar “Ghost that Runs” Green and Doctor Johnathan “Mercy Bringer” Roth are at the MacPherson House, while Screwdriver is still upstairs alone. They consider going out to find Helen, but are interrupted when a canister flies through the only unbroken window in the living room.

The canister contains some sort of tear gas that threatens to knock the two of them unconscious. They step sideways into the umbra, using one of the many mirrors kept in the House for that purpose.

In the umbra, they receive a message- a piece a paper wrapped in a knife lands at their feet. The area outside the house surrounded by Banes in the Umbra, being invaded by BSDs in the physical world, they read the message.

There is a ziploc bag of black hair attached to the letter. The paper smells of a familiar scent to Mercy-Bringer- his ex’s perfume. The letter explains that they have taken Helen, and that’s it. This drives Mercy-Bringer to Frenzy, and he dives into the Banes outside the house, ripping into them one by one.

Ashlar doesn’t stop him, and instead reads the letter. He tries to discern if the hairs are Helens or not by scent- but the smell of the perfume is too strong for him go through. After Mercy-Bringer has calmed down and all the enemies have fled, Ashlar explains that he can use Sense of the Prey gift to find Helen and rescue her. The two immediately head out, going back to the physical world.

Ashlar leads them to a old warehouse near Pioneer Square. It too has dead bodies that arise as Zombies, and the two of them rend through them quickly enough to get to the warehouse’s office. In the office, they find it covered in blood and in the middle of it, the limp body of Never-Tires, the Wendigo elder. Her skull is open, her brains clearly missing.

Ashlar and Mercy-Bringer take her corpse back to the Sept Leaders. Ashlar is open with them on the nature of the killing- he believes it was done by someone who knew the forbidden Silent Strider Rite, the Rite of Dormant Wisdom. Despite being accused of killing her, Kataryna and the Elders agree that Ashlar probably had nothing to do with it, and work to inform the Screamers about it. They thank him for telling them.

The two of them return to the MacPherson House, finding a confused Helen, who has seen the Black Spiral Dancers’ handiwork. Graffiti and curses and Wyrm sigils have been spray painted all over the living room of the MacPherson House. On one wall spelled out is: “Fwk Ur Muthr!”

Cutscene

Three servants of the Wyrm meet, to discuss what has happened so far. Richard MacPherson, Sarah MacPherson and a Silent Strider Eater of the Dead fill each other in.

" Do you know where the Wendigo’s secret Caern is hidden?" Richard asked.

“Yes. Not far from her mind, in fact. Our son came there-”

“And my ex too. They were close to finding out.”

“Doesn’t matter. The Wendigo’s Caern is ours. No one else at the Sept of the Last Klaive knows of it, and that will lead to its downfall.”

Ancestry

Meanwhile, Ludwig Rages-Truth and Slays-Names have spent two weeks walking the Umbra, looking for the ancestral homeland of the Get of Fenris, so that Ludwig can learn of his own ancestors and how they tie to the The Fearsome Klaive.

The two of them run through the Umbra in Lupus, moving quick. They soon find themselves in a harsh, cold land who looks more and more like what the Tribal Homeland of the Get of Fenris must look like. They arrive at the gate to the Tribal Homeland, to find it guarded by a twenty foot tall spirit in Crinos form.

Ludwig and Slays-Names introduce themselves to the big spirit acting as bouncer for the Homeland. It only responds to them in growls. Unsure what to do, Ludwig attempts to explain what he and Slays-Names are there.

Begrudgingly, the spirit turns its head, and calls another to come up to them. A blond Get of Fenris Ancestor Spirit in a kilt walks up.

“Hello! My name is Bjorn Scars-the-Wyrm- what can I help you with?”

Bjorn turns out to be a Loki and Viking. He died fighting a Fiann MacPherson in dark ages Scotland. He wishes to have a re-match. The Guardian spirit explains this, and agrees to share what it might know on the Klaive and its connection to the two of them if they help Bjorn find the MacPherson (a ancestor of Ludwig’s) in the Legendary Realm.

The two of them agree to take the quest. Slays-Names finds a Ox-Spirit who guides them on a Airt path to the Legendary Realm. So they go questing through the Legendary Realm, through grand cities and kingdoms ruled by heroes. They travel northward, hearing tales of the oncoming Fimbulwinter that seems to have grown worse recently.

They come to a grand Castle surrounded on one side by summery pine forest, and on the other by the cold tundra. The Fianna who man the Castle let the three of them in, and take them to the Throne Room, where their lord, Fearsome can meet them. They meet the lord of this place, who grants Bjorn the chance to get his rematch with the MacPherson that killed him.

Fearsome explains that he is the one who inhabits the Klaive as its empowering Spirit. He is the last of the White Howlers, and that all of his descendants are called MacPherson, or Son of the Fearsome. Slays-Names is revealed to Ludwig to be a Fianna and a MacPherson, something that will not be well accepted if revealed to the Sept as a whole, since they executed all of the Sept’s Fianna over ten years ago.

Flashback

We learn that Slays-Names saved the life of Ashlar years ago, from a Nexus Crawler. He did this as a favor to a Gurahl called McDougall. The Nexus Crawler was known to Slays-Names, for he knew its particular ban, the sound of its own name.

XP Rewards

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The Broken Interlude 3
The Man From Chicago...

“Hello and we’re back- This is CIN News, up to date and never late!”

“I’m Agatha Mackenzie and here is the latest news from around the world.

“Red Death continues to ravage South America, India, and Africa. In Bolivia food riots have continued into their eighth day. Haiti has been declared a No-Man’s Land, with most of its population believed to be dead from Red Death or starvation. Spain, Italy, Poland and Turkey have all formerly requested aid from NATO, but riots are starting to spread in those countries as well.

“Red Death has now claimed a estimated 351 million. More significant figures for food shortages and riots suggest that perhaps up to double that number are dead.”

Agatha then turns to face another Camera. A image flashes on the screen, some ridiculous logo declaring ‘World in Conflict.’

“Pakistan and Indian relations have finally broke down, and Pakistan officials blame India for the Red Death. The White House declined to mention what its response to the heightening tensions between both countries will be- but skirmishes have been reported along the border they share.

“Red Death has also sharpened tensions between North and South Korea. North Korea has announced a plan to ‘curb the cruel bioweapons of the South.’ This past weekend, the North Korean government denotated a thermonuclear weapon off its coast.

“And Japan-Chinese relations have distingrated as well. Japan and Taiwan have both reported finding multiple Chinese espionage agents working within their borders. China denies any involvement, including the assassination of the Japanese Prime Minister.”

Agatha then turns again, to yet a third Camera angle. A new image with a logo flashes on the screen. It declares “Cure In Sight.”

" In the aftermath of the passing of the CyberSol Emergency Merger bill, the new corporation claims to have developed a vaccine for the Red Death. CyberSol, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, DNA and various other cybernetic and software corporations merged to form Tomorrow-Shinzui."

A man appears on the screen, middle-aged with a thick beard. His dark brown hair contrasted with his icy cold blue eyes- the look of a man who has the willpower to reorder the universe and damn the chaos that might challenge him. He doesn’t smile, but raises a hand.

“This merger has already been instrumental for humanity. The VC-235 vaccine will eradicate the Red Death and hopefully eliminate whatever genetic aberrations spawned it. Tomorrow-Shinzui will continue to strive to uplift humanity during this trying time.”

The screen flashes back to Agatha.

“That was Virgil O’Neill, new CEO for Tomorrow-Shinzui. This is good news for O’Neill, whose own son Dante has been accused of terrorism after founding Robotic Frontiers three years ago. No word yet if father and son have yet reconciled.”

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Ludwig's Interlude 2
Everybody needs Somebody...

Back in the shelter’s kitchen, as Lynne went back to cooking for the many people filing in to seek refuge, Ludwig took up to washing dishes. Having helped out around the shelter while he lived there, he went about the work as if he had done it a million times before. As the two caught up – it had been about three months since they had seen each other – the recent events Ludwig had come to knowledge of and witnessed first hand continued to tear at him. To others around the shelter, he was just the same old Ludwig they had known for so many years. But to Lynne, something was obviously not right.

“So when are you going to tell me what’s bothering you?”, Lynne asked.

Ludwig glanced over, as he set a clean plate on a rack beside him to dry, a cold, nearly emotionless look about his face. Lynne had seen that look before, and this time, after having not seen her best friend for three months, she became even more worried. Food cooking, she walked over to the sink, set her delicate hands upon Ludwig’s chest, and stared him straight in the eyes.

“I know that look, Ludwig…please tell me what’s wrong. I haven’t seen you in so long, and I worry about you every day. And right now, you’re scaring the hell out of me.”

Taken back by the thought of scaring the only person to mean anything to him, Ludwig broke from that which was in his subconscious, his attention entirely focused on Lynne.

“Lynne…”, he said. “…There is a lot going on in Seattle, and all over the world right now…”

Lynne cut in as he spoke. “The ‘Red Death’, you mean?”

Ludwig nodded. “But there are other things. I know I don’t tell you anything about my dealings outside of here, but I just want to keep you safe. And right now…I don’t know if I can do that.”

The sternness in Lynne’s stare softened, seeing a side of Ludwig that only she has ever been allowed to see before. She thought for a moment about how to respond, then in an attempt to lighten his mood, she smirked and said “I can take care of myself, you know! I’m older than you, after all!”

This didn’t cut through Ludwig’s concern at all. Now she was really worried.

“You’re all I have in this world, Ludwig”, Lynne pleaded. “If something is wrong, I wish you would tell me so I can help.” She reached up with her right hand, cupping Ludwig’s cheek within it.

Shaking his head slightly, and taking her hand in his, the coldness in Ludwig’s gaze faded some. “You can’t help with this, though. You just can’t. It’s…”

Ludwig paused.

“…I can’t explain it. This is something that I have to take care of. There’s a war coming.”

Startled, Lynne dropped her hands, and took a step away from Ludwig. “What do you mean ’There’s a war coming’?! Are you trying to scare me? Just what are you doing when you leave here, anyway? Did you enlist in the Army or something?!” Tears began to roll down her face.

“No, Lynne, nothing like that…I just mean that, well, you’ve seen the news, right? The whole world is up in arms about this disease that nobody can explain – "

Lynne stopped him, “Then why did you say it’s something you have to take care of?”

As she glared at him, her sadness giving way to a hint of anger, Ludwig knew that the cat was out of the bag, so to speak. Now the only question was how to tell her the truth – she deserved that much.

“I don’t know how to tell you this in a way that won’t make you think I’m insane”, Ludwig began. Thinking for a moment, Lynne pleaded “Just tell me. It’s me here…you don’t have to hide things from me.”

Ludwig nodded slightly. This much was true. Lynne had always been there for him, for the past 8 years since stepping into the real world for the first time. There was nobody else, anywhere, that he trusted at all. But this woman was different. Lowering his head and putting his weight onto his back leg in thought, he realized that he had to tell her straight out – but this wasn’t the place to do it.

“Can we go somewhere else where we can talk?”, Ludwig asked. “There are too many ears here, that just don’t need to hear this.”

Lynne nodded, and looked back at the food she was cooking. “Let me find someone to take over with this, and I’ll go wherever you want.”

Outside, walking closely side-by-side, Ludwig and Lynne headed towards their favorite place to spend time together: the pier. Both were extremely quiet – the fear Lynne had shown had left her, turning again into concern for the man she had grown so fond of over the years. This is the man who had protected her so many times, both from the gangs of Seattle and her own father, the reason she ran away from home so long ago to begin with. This man was the only person she has truly been able to count on, no matter what. In that moment, she wanted nothing more than to return kindness – to protect Ludwig from whatever it was that had him so spooked.

Ludwig’s silence was especially deafening. At all times, he has been vigilant as to any trouble that might occur, but this time was especially so. The Wyrm was making its move. The Red Death had spread all over the world. Humankind was in a panic. He had plenty to be watchful for, but at the same time, he now had to protect Lynne from the truth of what he is. For once, he was actually afraid.

Suddenly, Ludwig’s gift for sensing malice about him stopped him in his tracks. It was all around them, but there was something odd and yet familiar about it at the same time. A small gang stepped out from the shadows of the alleyways surrounding them. Lynne rolled her eyes, as she has seen first hand what has happened to gang members who have messed with Ludwig before. Ludwig, however, was on guard. There was more to this group of six than there appeared to be. After what felt like an eternity, Ludwig spoke up.

“You guys should turn around now. You don’t want trouble.”

“Oh sure we do!” one of the scrawnier of the gang exclaimed. “There’s just two of you, and six of us. And besides: we were told that you were all sorts of fun, Ludwig!”

Now a bit shaken, Lynne thought to herself “How do these people know Ludwig’s name? What is going on here?” She looked over at Ludwig, who lowered his head a bit.

“Oh so you’ve heard of me, huh? Then you must have heard what I do to punks like the lot of you who think they have something to prove.” He grinned. “Oh and, I imagine you’ve also been told that you are in fact the ones who are outnumbered.”

The six began to laugh hysterically, almost maniacally. “Alright then, come get me then, funny guys.”, Ludwig demanded.

As the gang charged, a quick glance was all Ludwig needed to determine his defense. The first to reach him was met with a fist to his face, sending him flying back ten feet. As the second quickly approached him from behind, Ludwig flowed quickly to strike him squarely in the cheek with a spinning backfist from his other hand. Still spinning, Ludwig used the momentum to send his right foot skyward, connecting with the chest of another lunging gang member. The momentum now carrying him into a backflip, his next strike was with a side kick into the stomach of another. As he landed, he dropped into a sweep, knocking the feet from under the fifth, a haymaker from both fists crashing down on him to the ground. The last gang member, jumping over the limp body of one of his unconscious cohorts, met a powerful uppercut, which sent him flying several feet in the opposite direction.

As Lynne looked on at the fight – if one could call those few seconds a “fight”, she couldn’t help but be once again amazed at Ludwig’s performance. He had never shown any amount of fear in any fight he had met before, and he always won. These fights always seemed to end faster and faster though, as his skills continued to sharpen. Six people with only seven hits, in what could not have been more than five seconds. Her amazement quickly left, as another group of people leaped out from the shadows.

Ludwig chuckled. “This is how you freaks have fun now, sending defenseless humans at me?”

Four more people had now come into the fray, but these were unlike the gang members Ludwig had just effortlessly toppled. A baseball bat in the hands of one, and broken bottles with the others, these people were misshapen and seemingly disfigured. Lynne looked on, as this was unlike any confrontation she has seen Ludwig in before. Fear flashed across her face.

While unknown to Lynne, Ludwig knew very well what he was facing. Black Spiral Dancers. The stakes had changed. Knowing their capacity for violence, and their unpredictable nature (along with the memory of what one did to Screwdriver), he knew he had to end this battle quickly. He reached around his back, drawing his Klaive from his belt, and dropped into an entirely different stance. Lynne looked on, her hand to her mouth in shock, as she had never seen Ludwig actually use the blade he always carried with him. Her fear had her shaking now, and she backed herself away.

Not allowing his Metis opponents a chance to strike, a flash of rage streaked through Ludwig’s eyes a split second before he dove at the Black Spiral Dancers. The spirit within his Klaive seemed to scream in delight through him as Ludwig dashed from target to target, carving at each with the gleaming blade. As he came to rest on the other side of the Black Spiral Dancers, he returned his Klaive to his belt, and the Metis abominations fell dead, each cleaved in two at various angles before they could even make a move. Breathing deep, Ludwig felt a brief sense of relief, until a shriek of terror rang out from behind him. He turned quickly, the color draining from his face as he knew the source of the scream.

Behind him, two more Black Spiral Dancers had emerged. One held Lynne’s arms, as she flailed helplessly, and the other held a broken bottle a few inches from her throat.

“You don’t want this girl, Ludwig! We’re your real family! You’re going to come home with us now, after we cut this girl into pieces…it’s going to be so much fun!”

Fear overcame Ludwig. He struggled to contain the rage which was building up quickly. The only thing now keeping him from flying into a frenzy was the fear that was overpowering him. Growling and snarling as his features started to distort, he looked into Lynne’s panic-stricken eyes.

“I’m so sorry, Lynne…this is not how I wanted to tell you. This…is what I truly am. And you two…” He glared at the two who had made the unforgivable mistake of touching Lynne…

“YOU TWO ARE DEAD!!!”

As he roared his judgement, Ludwig transformed into his Crinos form. Lynne could not believe what she was seeing. Where her friend previously stood, was now a ten-foot-tall wolfman, bearing down on the two who had held her hostage. But she knew as she looked into the wolf’s eyes…this was Ludwig.

As the Black Spiral Dancer holding the broken bottle moved to slash Lynne’s throat, one large clawed hand shot towards him, splattering him against the wall behind him. In the next instant, Ludwig grabbed at the other, ripping him from the arms which had been pinning Lynne. He held the now-armless Metis above his head and roared before throwing him down on the ground and crushing him underfoot. As all the Black Spiral Dancers now lied dead at his feet, Ludwig looked up towards the sky and howled in triumph, his voice echoing through the entire city.

The crisis now over, Ludwig returned to his Homid form, dropping to his knees. He reached for his coat, which he had thrown aside before making his attack with his Klaive, and threw it over his shoulders, to cover his now naked body. He looked down at the ground, ashamed of what he was now more than ever, and fully expecting his friend to have lost her sanity upon seeing his true form. He began to weep silently, when a familiar hand reached out and touched his cheek. Knelt beside him, and gazing at him with her bright green eyes, was Lynne, tears running down her face.

“I’m so sorry Ludwig! I’m so sorry…I never knew.”

Ludwig couldn’t believe his senses. He shook his head, trying to absorb what was going on here. Was he imagining this? There was no way this could be. People go mad when they see a werewolf in Crinos form. This couldn’t be Lynne…but it was. He felt the warmth of her presence that he had always felt before, and the look in her eyes was the same look she gave him every time he had to leave to return to the Sept.

Lynne threw her arms around Ludwig, and wept into his shoulder. “I’m so sorry…it must be so terrible for you…”

Ludwig smiled slightly. The one person who had been there for him his whole life thus far – the only life he recognized – truly understood how he felt, especially with knowing now the burden he carried. He brought one arm up, and laid his hand on the back of Lynne’s head, holding her close.

“I’m so glad you’re safe, Lynne. I don’t know what I’d do without you around.”

Later on, as they sat on the pier where they had spent so much time together in the past, Ludwig told Lynne everything. The truth of the Red Death, about the Black Spiral Dancers, and of the Sept. The veil had been parted, against the ways of the Sept, but Ludwig did not care. The Sept could be damned, as far as he was concerned. His duty was to the woman he had grown to love, whether he knew to call it love or not.

“Lynne, the war is coming…and I have to make sure you’re safe. Nothing we’ve ever faced together will ever compare to this. I know that your place is at the shelter, taking care of those who have been affected by all of this. I wish you would come with me, but please at least keep this with you.”

Ludwig reached into his coat, and pulled out a extendable steel baton, which he placed in Lynne’s hand. “If you’re ever in trouble, I will be at your side as quick as I can…but I want to make sure you can stay alive until I get there.”

“I understand,” Lynne said."

Looking into her eyes, Ludwig says “If shit gets too bad, I will get you away from here. I can’t lose you, Lynne.”

Smiling, Lynne leaned in and kissed Ludwig on the cheek. “I know you will. When it comes down to it, I’ll go wherever I need to go, as long as you’re with me,” she said.

Standing up and helping Lynne to her feet, Ludwig smiled at her and says, “Alright, let me show you how to use this baton.”

A new determination and sense of purpose in his mind, Ludwig spends two weeks with Lynne at the shelter, doing what he can do to help humankind, remembering that all are Gaia’s children. The Litany applies to everyone; not just the Sept. He enjoys the time he has with Lynne Miller, knowing that she now really does know everything about him. Now that Lynne knows the truth, she does everything she can to learn how to fight to defend herself and others who can’t defend themselves, and to fight for what is closest to her heart.

Ludwig earns 1 XP for this- GM

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