Last Tales of the Broken

Weaver-Spire
Can't You Hear the Onesong?

Glass walkers blue 100x100 by scaper deage
Long lines of people walked along the streets of Seattle. Each street corner looked extraordinarily clean, perfect angles with no trash and no stains at all. Not a single weed grew at all.

Each person walked in almost perfect unison. Each of their left hands glowed with the blue light of their digitizenship, connecting their minds with the super-hifi wireless networks of Tomorrow-Shinzui.

Off and around one corner, the Space Needle pierced the sky. Construction covered it, and it looked like it was growing taller and taller. Blue lights thrummed from it, each flash happening at the same moment as every human’s heart beat or footstepped. Most of them belonged to the Weaver now.

“Its almost time, I think,” Dante told Eric. Every member of the Robot Lords had faked digitizenship of their own, but without the Onesong they had to rely on their Totem and fetishes to keep from giving themselves away. “Tomorrow-Shinzui has almost completed that thing on the Space Needle. We target that.”

The ahroun nodded. “We needed a distraction too, I think. The Nuwisha might have some ideas, but I think we need more than a explosion or three.”

“What are you thinking of then, Alpha?”

“You’ve seen those files that Tomorrow-Shinzui has on that Sept we screwed over? We send them a bunch of them, on the down low. You might even give them a call. Tell them about Daniel MacPherson and where all the Garou, Ratkin and Corax are being held. They might just go create a distraction with that. Besides, we aren’t going to have the time to free all of them when we blow the Weaver’s Spire. We need to be able to focus on that before the Wyrm’s forces try and pulverize downtown Seattle.”

“Okay, I give them a try. But the Broken might not want to listen to me right away. Especially that four-legger.”

“Sure, they are justified in that. I’d want to kill us too, if I knew what we were up to. Just do it and put on your charms and get it over with.”

“Allright.” Dante sighed. He pulled out a pair of smartglasses and started a call or two…

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Chapter Eighteen: Into The Abyss
To Find a Book In The Dark...

The Broken embark on a Umbral Quest to find the lost Tome of Owl, so that they may forge a new alliance with the Children of Gaia. First they need to find the Abyss- and they need to hurry before the BSD beat them there.

Dramatis Personae

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Scene

Wolfhome

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The Moon Defends Us
Rorg confronts Luna when she blocks his way to Gaia...

92963fe8d1ca97742364e734423dadc1 d5oo7g2 copyThe Great Hunter, Rorg, howled his dismay at Sohkta. The Aspect of Luna held him back, keeping his great talons- the hundreds of asteroids that comprised him- from drifting into the Penumbra.

He roared.

“Let me by! I must strike now! The Wyrm is coiled, it prepares to Awaken! That Machine is already binding the world about itself! LET ME BY! IT IS TIME TO STRIKE!”

The Lunar spirit cried in pain as Rorg struck at her. The two became entangled, fighting and slashing at one another. The Aetherial Realm rumbled and rattled as their battle began.

Meanwhile, in the physical realm, in the depths of space, thousands of tiny meteors pummeled into the Moon’s surface. The dark side of the Moon went up in a dust cloud that surrounded it, giving the moon a dark streak in the sky.

And more asteroids, some larger drifted closer and closer…

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Eulogies For Ludwig 1
Weylyn stands up to speak...

“I didn’t know my cousin for very long, but in the time I knew him, I can say that I have been impressed! At first, I was completely in awe, and probably a bit of a crazed fan over the fact that he wield THE Fearsome Klaive. Anyone who would be worthy of wielding that surely was more a badass than even me!

“When we got separated from my brother and the rest of his pack, I got a brief chance to talk to Ludwig. In that short time, the words on the pages of his epic story wrote themselves in my mind. He told me of how he lived isolated for most of his life, held in seclusion by agents of the Weaver who managed to keep him even from Uncle Burning-Howl’s sight. He was fed lies for every meal, and never came to know anything of his heritage or about life as a Garou whatsoever. He took control of his own destiny the moment he had his first change; he killed the Weaver-spawn, took the Fearsome Klaive, and set out determined to live his life his way.

“As well he should! I couldn’t imagine what I’d be like if I hadn’t been brought up as a Garou, but I imagine that I would have had absolutely no clue what to do with myself after finding my freedom. He was brought into our world – the world of Gaia’s warriors – a world that expected he would already know their ways. He was always left with questions not answered, and still lied to by his mentor…who ended up being his own grandfather!

“Yet the man who was born Lachlan MacPherson took control of his own destiny. Those who held him captive gave him the name “Ludwig”, and he decided he would own that name. He told me that his ‘family’ was dead the moment he killed them; he never knew what a real family was – what the MacPhersons were.

“Our society placed laws on him that weren’t his. He was told that he was to be a Philodox…who are supposed to uphold our laws and our ways, but without answers to his questions, he was never going to be able to fill that role. Hell, I think he would have been a far better Ahroun! He fought every fight he entered with a ferocity and dedication that I never knew from anyone else! He protected his only friend with everything he had, despite being held back by the rules of a society he was forced into. She was his family…and now she is without him because he gave everything for a cause he would never understand. He gave his life to save so many; his pack who he was always at odds with, his Sept who didn’t know how to rear him, his best friend who well should have been his mate and mother to a generation blessed to have his blood, and….

“…to save me, someone he didn’t even know.

“I learned all of this from just a short while being in Ludwig’s presence. I wish that I had longer to drink with him…to fight with him…to die fighting in glorious battle with him. I know that I will be forever grateful to Ludwig for giving me the chance to live and fight another day. I feel like he passed his legacy on to me, in a way. It will be me who will face down the Wyrm when the Apocalypse comes, and I will HOPE I can die as gloriously as he did. I will live more by his example, because Ludwig was a man of TRUE strength.

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Chapter Seventeen: The Walk to Portland
Beware, there be Soybeans here...

Before the pack departs to re-make the Moon Bridge with the Children of Gaia Sept in Portland, the Sept holds a small moot to discuss ongoing problems before Packs depart on their own business. A mysterious new characters arrive hearing word of Burning-Howl’s return. When the Broken leave to travel through the Umbra, they find trouble of a familiar, Black Spiral kind…

Dramatis Personae

The Broken:
Weylyn The-On-Coming-Storm

Scene: Sept Business

Having created a new Rite to help with moving animals into the Caern of the Phoenix, Slays and the Broken find some measure of gratitude from the Red Talons stuck in the Caern.

Scene: Pig-Iron Trees

After a few hours of running in Hispo form, the Broken find themselves being led by Raven into a forest made of twisted trees of pig iron and glowing green fog. The ground is more like a bog in this part of the umbra, and the air stinks of oil and putrescence.

Peeking to the physical world, Slays sees Tacoma on the other side, albeit from a high place.

A horde of Banes emerge from the pig iron forest, each looking like construction workers. But their clothes are tattered and stained. Their faces have long tentacles. They have no legs, just floating atop clouds of green gas. Each of their hands has a vicious mouth.

The Broken rush and attack the Banes. They easily contain and drive the banes off, slicing and clawing them away.

Scene: Meeting Weylyn

Four hours later, the Broken come across a crossroads and a bridge. The bridge is small, just big enough to go over a small creek. Raven pauses, looking off into the distance at a incoming storm from the west.

The pack tries to figure out why the storm has Raven’s interest. Peeking to the physical world, Slays just sees clouds far above the Columbia river below.

Scene: Sept of the Owl’s Tome

The Broken and Weylyn arrive at the Sept of the Owl’s Tome. It is on the top of a building standing out in a city of hills of stumps and mist; mosaic tiles of purple and blue are underneath their feet at the end of the trail Raven has led them on. A unicorn-spirit confronts them.

The Unicorn greets them, but ultimately warns them to leave their weapons at the door. The Broken don’t accept this very readily.

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Interlude: The White Howl

Burning howl Burning-Howl stopped in front of the old, abandoned apartment building near Pike’s Market. He didn’t need to activate a gift to smell the stink of the Wyrm in this place. He could hear Red Death zombies wandering about.
He moved past the white cordon separating the place from the outside world. Black burn marks were all over the ground around the building. Tomorrow-Shinzui’s burning teams had come through this place many times, but obviously did not wish to burn down any buildings in the process. They didn’t want to cause a burn they couldn’t control, and instead focused on creating nice clean lines and wall that contained the blemish they were afraid to stamp out.

Burning-Howl walked up the creaking stairs. Helen had mentioned this place to him, the younger Theurge explaining how she had fought off a Fomori of a homeless woman in one of the higher level apartments. Other commitments had kept her from taking care of the problem, and Burning-Howl decided to take care of it himself.

To be honest, he’d been doing a lot of this lately. He would go out and find the deepest, darkest Wyrm hellhole and burn as much of it out as he could. The Legend knew most of the ancient spirits of this city, and could feel them direct his course.

He closed his eyes, reopening them to see through his Two-World Eyes gift, seeing both physical and umbral realms at the same time. It was much harder than it used to be. The Gauntlet in Seattle had thickened in the last week, so much that even the Caerns had started to be hard to step sideways in. And the Space Needle had grown taller.

He could see the Weaver’s webs strangling tight around the Hellhole the Red Death Banes created. Burning-Howl kicked down a door, entering a dark, empty basement under the abandoned building. Some zombies greeted him, but it took him to no effort to slay them in his homid form.

“I wonder,” Burning-Howl thought to himself, “How my sons and the Broken fare in Portland. I suppose that the Children of Gaia might teach them something, but the Children have gotten so desperate in recent years. Ludwig might be able to teach them and learn something from them.”
Burning-Howl chuckled to himself. No, he imagined Ludwig would just prove how more important action over words really was, and the Children of Gaia would have nothing to say in response to that.Seattle 012

The Fiann Theurge sat down on concrete floor of the basement of the abandoned building. He closed his eyes again, then opened his mouth, chanting words. He howled, his fierce cry scaring those humans who still lived near this place. Weaver-Spawn paused, suddenly focusing on the Wyld energies that Burning-Howl channeled. His howl manifested and turned into living white flame.

My ancestors taught me this gift you Wyrm-fucked basterds. Feel the hot Wyld power of the White Howl. Some of us still exist.

And the gift of the last White Howlers on Gaia seared every beam and piece of wood in the building, the flame white and consuming, a living thing of its own. It slipped in and out of the Gauntlet, tearing down that barrier the Weaver had carved, slaying Banes as it destroyed the building around him.

An hour later, Burning-Howl walked away from the city block that had burned down, destroying Pike’s Market and much of what had been Wyrm-infest waterfront with it.

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Tales Spread (Ireland)
Some Stories Grow bigger...

“They call themselves the Broken,” the Corax began, “and they fight to stop the apocalypse.”

The gathered Garou listened to the ancient Wereraven. This small Irish Fianna sept had lost many in the fight with the Hungry Ghosts and the Fiery Crown, but Corax like this one had been restoring hope one story at a time. They’d heard rumors of these Seattle Garou who struck at heart of the Weaver’s domain on Earth.

“This pack once was the lowest of the low; none in their Sept respected them and call them curs, outcasts and pariahs. Yet they’ve defied Tomorrow-Shinzui and rescued packs of all kinds from BSD and the Wyrm. Nexus Crawlers and Banes fear their name, for they have never faltered to bind and contain them. They’ve slaughtered a vampire more than five centuries old without so much as a scratch.

“They’ve cured hoards of zombies of the Red Death, risked their lives in the darkest pits of Malfeas and now some say they walk the Abyss seeking to end the life of the Nightmaster themselves. A brother of mine says that the First Ronin himself gathers an army of Fallen, damned and tribeless, if only to stand a chance against them.”

Many of the Garou’s ears perked up at the sound of that.

“Let begin with the first tale I’ve heard of them, wolf-brothers. It is how they saved a Red Talon sept from a powerful Weaver-child. Afterward, they earned that tribe’s trust and comradeship, something most might say is impossible in this age…”

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Arcadian Dreams (Ludwig)
Dream a little dream...

Ludwig 3
“Ludwig. Wake up.”

He blinked his eyes open, and felt like he was standing in big forest. It felt like a old growth forest- big white aspens and pines and shrubs and ferns and thickets, very over grow and vibrant with life. He stood in his Crinos form, he assumed, because it was night and the sky a dark grey, full of barely lit clouds that felt like rain. His eyesight adjusted well, as the Wolf-man form had some limited form of night vision, but never enough to fight by. Although, Ludwig mused, it had to be enough to hunt by.

Lupus was even better, since as Knows-the-Path had shown him, a wolf’s sense of smell could be better than any sort of vision. After all, why see when one can feel and taste where something has been? Helping his vision, though, was a eerie green glowing light.

“What is this?” He asked, part of him irritated by whatever the hell this was.

“Part of a dream.” Ludwig turned around and found himself looking down into a pair of glowing green eyes. The source of the eerie light came from her eyes. Lynne’s eyes.

“What?” He asked, more confused than irritated.

“I… have…” Lynne paused, considered her words. “I am talking to you through a dream. I’ve seen many new things, and it seemed simpler to show rather than tell you.”

“Okay, I guess.” Ludwig cocked an eyebrow. “Show me what exactly?”

“This.” She waved a hand at the old growth forest around them.

“Where is ‘this’?”

“What your people call the Umbra, in a long-forgotten glade, that doesn’t exist anymore. At least, she told me it doesn’t exist anymore.”

“She?”

“Mother Gaia. She seemed to think it used to be important.”

He looked into the forest, thick with scents and sounds he realized he’d never heard or smelled before. The word for it was on the tip of his tongue, it was so unreal, so much beyond his normal breadth of experience.

Magical. That’s the word. Magical. This place felt and smelled and looked magical.

“Are we really here then or-”

“-This is a memory. An echo of what the Fae realm used to be.” Lynne pressed herself up closer to him. “And time here moves so much more different, too.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

They spend hours, days, maybe years together in that forest. Ludwig lost track. Lynne was right, time worked so different there.

And he found that the forest in this Memory of Arcadia wasn’t vacant. Fae of all sorts- Trolls, Elves, Centaurs, Dryads and many others- lived in the forest and its many idyllic villages. The two of them were welcome there as if they were mighty heroes and feasted and danced and commingled with the many Fae of the forests of Arcadia. Lynne would remind him that it all was still just a dream- a memory that was fading, and that cast a bittersweet tone on all of it.

But one new night, when the moon was blood red, the Forest burned. Fae rushed and fled from great beasts and horrors. And as the fires raged, snow fell, bringing a cold that the fires couldn’t warm.

Lynne and Ludwig watched down from atop a mountain down at the many Forests of Arcadia. The lands were dark, burning and drowning in horrors. Lynne reached out a hand and pointed to a castle at the edge of the forest.

Ludwig watched what she had pointed out.

He watched as Burning-Howl knelt down before a tall elven queen in silver and green and red. This version of his father was bleeding, tears streaking down his eyes. The elven queen shook her head and walked away from Burning-Howl.

The Legend of the Fianna struck the ground three times and stood up. He looked back into Arcadia and then stepped away, disappearing in a instant.

“What was that? Who was he talking to?” Ludwig looked to Lynne, his eyes confused.

Lynne’s eyes looked sad. “This was his greatest Failure. Gaia, the Mother wanted you to see it.”

“How did he fail then, was he supposed to save this place or-”

“He asked a powerful Faerie for her help. Burning-Howl came to her after every trick he knew failed; when Garou are born, a Theurge performs a rite that binds a Spirit to watch over them. When you were stolen from him, Burning-Howl hunted that spirit down. Once found, that spirit, called a Kin-Fetch, could give him the proper clues and scents to use to find you.

“But Burning-Howl could not find your Kin-Fetch, nor could he discover what had happened to it. He searched the umbra for solutions, entreating with Allies of all kinds to try and find the Kin-Fetch and why he couldn’t find it.

“He became a legend in those days during his hunt for the Kin-Fetch. He found himself repeatedly drawn away from the hunt because he’d stumble across Wyrm taint or have to find this foe or that one. His own daughter turned to the Wyrm and his own twin brother too.

“None had the answer to his quest, and even though the entire Garou Nation knew his name, and his Renown so greatly outshone all but a few, he still could not find out why that Kin-Fetch could not be found. He did find a single clue, but even that clue didn’t uncover a straight answer.

“But Burning-Howl knew that the Fae could do wonders of their own. He’d helped them before, and seen the magnitude of their magic and boons. So he came here and asked them for help.

“Arcadia burned from the taint of the Wyrm, and the Weaver’s cold snap froze the land, as you’ve seen. The Dream that is Arcadia lost much of its power. The Fae offered Burning-Howl a deal:

“We will grant you your son back, but for the price of three: your life for our land, your Wolf itself to strengthen us, and your son to be raised to protect us in the final days.”

Ludwig looked at Lynne. “How do you know all of this?”

" The Black Furies taught me how to commune with Mother Gaia, and she taught me how to read the Dream, Ludwig. Every memory and dream can be seen and read. I’ve lived the memories Burning-Howl has of this moment. He could have gladly died and given up his own spirit if you could be found in the exchange. But he lacked the conviction to make the deal to save Arcadia. He couldn’t promise a son he didn’t know to save a land that is just a dream.

“So Arcadia slowly freezes now. A land of dreams and nightmares, but nothing truly real. Burning-Howl let it die because he couldn’t bring himself to risk anything meaningful to save it, even if it might let him save his son.”

Lynne wrapped her arms around Ludwig.

“I’m sorry, but now this has to end. I will be in your Dreams, love. I must walk the memories and the dreams and do what I can before the end comes. You need to learn from your father’s example; be willing to make a sacrifice and do not hesitate if it only preserves the illusion of what you love.”

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Suspicions (Helen)
A Phone Rings...

Helen3
Helen’s mother brought the phone up to her ear.
" Yes sir, I told he was coming from Portland. Did I tell her who her father is? No sir."
She nodded and listened to the voice on the line for a moment.
“Of course not. I remember. You promised me a daughter, and I will keep my part of the bargain. Even if she is Garou, she will never who her real mother is, as we agreed. The Fetish remains hidden, as you’ve asked years ago.”
She listened quietly.
“You promise you will keep her safe then?”
Another pause.
" Yes sir, I will do whatever you ask, so long as my daughter is safe. I am her mother, not some Black Fury with an axe to grind. Whatever you ask sir, I’ll do it to keep her safe."
Another long pause.
“I bring it up with her the next time we talk. I’m sure I can convince her to start thinking more in that direction.”
Then Helen’s Mother put down the phone onto the receiver. She then took out a knife and started to slowly dice an onion. She didn’t shed a single tear.

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Chapter Sixteen: Fathers and Sons
There is a Howl That Burns...

Cloudy night  2c
The pack spends time recovering from the fight with Jeremiah. Slays-Names decides to do something nice for the Red Talons in the Caern of the Phoenix. And Ludwig meets Burning-Howl for the first time.

Dramatis Personae

The Broken: Helen Leaves-Them-Asking-For-More, Ludwig Rages-Truth, Screwdriver, Slays-Names
Burning-Howl MacPherson
MacDougall

Scene: Down-Time with MacDougall

A week has passed since the pack destroyed Jeremiah. They recover, and Slays calls an ally of his in, in order to help the pack recover psychologically. MacDougall, a Gurahl who knew the mentor of Ashlar.

MacDougall conducts a Rite that gives the pack a feeling of serenity and clarity. It cures their minds of most of the horrors and damage inflicted by Jeremiah during their fight with him. They can feel the presence of Mother Gaia warm their minds.

The Gurahl stays with the Pack for the next week or so, curious about helping with the sick and injured at the MacPherson House.

Scene: Recognition
Mac pherson house

Slays meets with the Red Talons in the Caern of the Phoenix, to ask the Elder Glacier-Speaker to recognize his new found Purity. The Red Talon does so, clawing Slays face in the process. Glacier-Speaker tells him how poorly the Red Talons are faring in the Caern; the lack of any real game to hunt has left them bored and feeling dejected.

Slays decides to try and do something to fix that.

He gathers what packmates he can to help, finding Helen seducing a group of Kinfolk at Tsuruda’s bar. Screwdriver is willing to help, and the two of them find Connie, who somehow manages to find a menagerie of critters for them.

They gather at the MacPherson House to discuss the best way to create a Rite to help move the critters to the Caern of the Phoenix en masse.

Scene: Burning-Howl

Then Burning-Howl walks into the MacPherson House.

While making introductions, the Legendary Fianna takes offense at Slays-Names, who being a “Shadow Lord” and possessing the Fearsome Klaive makes him angry. He demands that the Klaive be given to him, immediately.

Ludwig then proceeds to give Burning-Howl a better understanding of who he is: he punches him.

Scene: Rite of the Scorn Stone

Tensions heighten in the Sept when Queen Kataryna arrives to decide how to punish Ludwig and his Pack. Screwdriver speaks for him, convincing most of the Sept to be lenient and not ostracize him and the Broken. Being a Philodox, the Sept feels some sort of punishment is necessary, because he supposed to have more honor than his actions suggested.

Kataryna decides to give them a warning, and to force Ludwig to bear the Rite of the Scorn Stone. His honor is sullied by bearing it and he isn’t much happier for it.

Ludwig and the rest of the pack greet Burning-Howl, and are forced to have him stay with them. The Legend had to be convinced not to kick them out of his ancestral home. Tense moments pass, and Slays moves back to working on helping the Red Talons in the Caern of the Phoenix.

Scene: Talking

After talking with MacDougall about the Rite, Slays and Screwdriver have a heart-to-heart with Burning-Howl. Burning-Howl learns that Screwdriver is his son, something that the Legend is uncertain what his opinion of it is. They agree to exchanging one question for another, and the three of them quickly explain themselves.

Burning-Howl learns why Slays has made the deals he’s made with Grandfather Thunder, and explains why he left to meditate in the Deep Umbra with the Wyld. The Legend had sought desperately to try and find his missing son, Lachlan, for years before he left. Spirits demanded he learn more of the Prophecy of the Last Klaive, and he tried to learn what he could about it before the Apocalypse arrived.
Burning howl
Slays laid the blame for everything that had happened during his absence at his feet, pointing out that without him, the Sept had fallen so badly. Burning-Howl disagreed, and the two left it at that, for the time being.

Lastly, Burning-Howl and Ludwig talked about some things, with Burning-Howl offering to try and answer as many of his questions as he could. The Legendary Theurge offered an apology, of a sort, as well as a recitation of MacPherson clan history…

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