January 2018

In character stories from games. This information should be considered OOG for other players.
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CountHong
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:55 am

January 2018

Post by CountHong » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:33 am

Let's hear those stories!
Characters:
Duncan Murdock
Crowley "Mikhail"
Darian
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:33 am

Re: January 2018

Post by Darian » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:33 am

Please, just give me a break.
No, this is too much fun to watch
But I thought you like being out.
Only when I want. Watching you squirm and cry, like how you should be, is too much fun. You know nothing will go anywhere, you are a waste of space, why does anyone care for you? Oh right, no one does, they're lying.
You're lying, shut up!
You think running away will fix this? Pathetic
I'm going to prove you wrong, just you watch.
Holli - Seaton Carew's Friendly Ghost
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Dendrick
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:06 pm

Re: January 2018

Post by Dendrick » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:20 pm

The rain continued to drizzle. It went from drizzle to downpour at a moments notice, freezing the townspeople to the bone and providing a constant source of complaint. But to the Highlanders it was just like being back home; with the exception that there was less wind here. And that meant there was no time to waste.

Duncan was up before the dawn again. Each of his days started this way. Up before his mate to prepare her breakfast, warm the hearth, and speak his thanks to Gaia. He liked to get his chores done first so he'd have plenty of time to get out into the woods to speak with his mother and pay the proper respects.

He could feel the sunrise approaching. The rain poured outside now, but he could smell the sunshine in the air as the sky turned from a giddy blue, to a honey colored amber. The new day dawned and the energy of the Helios flooded over him; he doffed his cloak and, skyclad but for the woad in his skin, began his daily ritual. He began with a song sang in Gaelic, softly to the land he stood upon. To the pixies he couldn't see, but that were certainly watching him. As he sang, he dragged his stick through the dirt drawing ancient symbols of power.

"Mother, I find myself in this strange land, beset by monsters, wyrm things, ignorance, and hates from both the new and old worlds alike. I will face every challenge, for you have placed me by Kira's side. With her I can fulfill my duties to you, with her I can give thanks to you, and to our people... with her I am complete."

He turned to face the North. A blast of cold northern wind slammed into him, but his stance stood strong as his heels dug into the dark earth beneath them.

"To the howling winds of the North, I give you thanks for providing me sure footing when speaking to the spirits and to the fools who disrespect the natural order. I give you thanks for chilling the hearts of those who would act with too much fire. I thank you for granting this sept the vision and power to do what is needed for the betterment of the sept and the Garou."

He turned to the South. A warm wind laden with the campfire smoke and the promise of summer swirled around him. Tears of joy filled his eyes and he nearly laughed out his prayer.

"To the warm winding winds of the South, I give you thanks for warming our hearts when such dire business is at hand. You gave us song, and sun, and life and love in a time when we needed it most. You remind us that even in the depths of winter, the fire of love and laughter can burn away any pain."

He spun with the torrent thrice and turned to the East as a cool wind brought him to his senses.

"To East wind, of innovation and invention, I give you thanks for filling our minds with and hearts with logic and the clarity to see the truth of all matters. I give you thanks for guiding my mate on the path of justice and honor. and for giving me the clarity of thought to know when to keep my mouth shut!"

He turned to the West. He could feel the final energetic placement of Wyld fall into place and nearly screamed his prayer as the west wind roared over him and through him. All doubts and thought fell out and away from his mind as he spoke.

"To the Eternal West winds, of memory and of water! Take this, my Dedication into your memory! Take our deeds to the four winds, to the Nation, TO GAIA! Let our deeds be worthy, Let our deeds be swift! Let the Nation heal Gaia and live forever!"

He opened his eyes, and saw the mystical energies swirling around him. The spirits were listening and had blessed his prayers. Laughter sprung from his chest and just then he noticed he'd left the ground for a few moments. The winds gently placed the Druid back onto the earth and in a flash were gone; leaving Duncan kneeling on the forest floor laughing with tears elation streaming from his eyes...

It took a full minute before the freezing rain reminded him that he was in fact, still naked. he scrabbled for his cloak, still chuckling to himself and glad he'd started a fire before he left. Kira would be up when he returned, and would likely be very happy to "warm him up."

Another day has begun, and he was ready to face it.
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Julian
Posts: 477
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:20 am
Active Character(s): Robin Ó Meadhra
-Silent Legion Chanteur

Re: January 2018

Post by Julian » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:35 pm

Every part of me loves being here.
~Hope will never be silent.~
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Amber
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 10:00 pm

Re: January 2018

Post by Amber » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:10 am

Hillevi's knees hurt as they pressed into the green rug. She invoked the Great Names, and entered.

I was told I was going to be a warrior.
I would be thunder and lightning.
Even then, I could see the hope in their mind, a warrior maid with golden hair and a sword that felled all that would take away our life, our Gods, and I believed it.


The murmurs of disapproval were soft, and they leaned in to listen.

I felt their bloodthirst, with my mind. They'd bang the drum and steel themselves to forget,
forget that the ones they would cleave, the ones who died choking, died clinging to their guts, died burning, forget they are human. I had no defenses then.


Follow orders... Blood Run Cold
Fight until you die or drop...
Close your mind to ...pain,
Fight till You're No Longer Sane


The song from so long ago, barely remembered by easily picked up with the slightest touch of mind, pulling me in to the sound of drums, when I still believed in the warrior maid, when I still yearned for the acceptance of my father and my brothers, until they were dead and there was no one left to fight for. Before I met a strange scholar, and realized my legacy was more than I realized. But now, he's dead too.

The image of Father Matthew flickered in her mind. She should be angry, but there is an empty place instead. An empty place, beloved, wearing a bright red bandana.

It burned to sing it now, but I couldn't help it.

I left that life. I left it because it was dead, and I wanted to understand better. You plucked the strings of my path and I am no warrior. Not anymore.

I am a crafter, quiet, wise, and living.


The declaration was for herself, facets. The word in the right place, the touch to steady, the idea set to grow and become when the time is right. Wisdom, counsel, separation, connection.

Approval.

No. You don't understand.

She pushed it away in her mind, pushed until she was alone, with the great vast peace which is Allah.

Oh Master, oh Lord, how can I, a instrument converted from war, become the peace this place requires?

Why do I feel such dread in my heart?

What is coming?

Make me enough.
"The sun is also a warrior.
Knowledge can also destroy.
Nor can the kindest will,
Preserve you from the kill.
Not all of wisdom brings joy."


“There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were.”
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Kazin
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Re: January 2018

Post by Kazin » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:11 am

The cold night air stung at his skin. Sitting alone in the darkness, the Crescent Theurge moon the only light to see by as he stared at his blood-soaked hands. Пропитанный кровью… He thought ruefully to himself. Tears still flowed soaked his eyes, dampened his cheeks, and danced with the cold rain of the English winter. His body felt numb as he stared at those useless, weak hands. “....I’m sorry, моя сестра…” He choked out.

“He needs a pack, Alexei. He’s falling into Harano, and I can’t help him.” Marigold’s sweet tone rang out with a tired, worrisome edge. Her voice held none of her usual strength or wit. Instead, sorrow, fear, and a vulnerability the Athro had never heard in her slipped past her lips.

“I won’t let that happen…” He her quietly, taking her sunken, sorrowful shoulders into his hands. He stood strong for her and continued, “I will save him, Marigold.”


As the memory played across his mind’s eye, his heart felt like it had been clamped in a vice. I’m such a fool. A pompous, fool. I promised I wouldn’t let him go. I promised her he’d be fine. I’m such a fool. He thought to himself ruefully. His mind raced with memories of the past… his conversation with Frost leaping up to chase the fleeting memory of his sister’s plea.

Looking across to Frost in a dark, empty Tavern, his words reach out with a somber edge as he tries to teach the Forseti one of the hardest lessons he’d ever experienced. “I have yet to be defeated, Frost. On the surface, that sounds like bragging… but it’s not. I don’t know my limit. I push and push and always aim to find where I can’t push any more. That blind drive to find my limit has led my friends, my loved ones, and my fellows to their deaths. I push for more and they strive to keep pace, but I leave them behind. I do not know defeat, but I certainly know failure.”

Failure… A bitter concept that gnaws at his very soul as he thought back to his promise to his sister…. His failed promise. His hand moved up to trace the mauling across his chest, over his heart. His cold, numb finger traced the lines etched into his chest… His blue eyes lost focus as he laid his head back against a tree, staring up at the crescent above… shining through the rain-clouds like some perfect witness to his low point. Luna was always watching…

As he traced the first glyph he read it aloud for no one in particular: the moon perhaps. “Kinfolk.” He chimed with a broken, cracking voice. His finger moved across the deeply damaged flesh above his heart and he traced the second glyph with the same blood-soaked digit, singing it’s title to the world as well: “Mouse.” He slowly traced the deep wide slash that had stabbed through the both of them and pain lanced out from the wound and into his mind. His shoulders felt heavier than ever and sagged, dropping his empty hand to the mud at his hip with a wet splash as his eyes drift closed.

The warm morning carried a heavy tenseness in the air. Their failed questioning if Fremont had caused town to enter a state of chaos. Alexei wearily trudged his way up the hill only to see his брат, Will, talking to Father Matthew… Will’s eyes were downcast, and he was on his hands and knees, but it was Matthew who looked to be in pain. His face contorted into a broken, soul-wrenching sorrow as he screamed down at Will, “You were my brother! I trusted you! How could you!?”

Alexei watched as Will sank deeper into the dirt, tears running down his face. Matthew’s words struck him as painfully as any blade or claw the Gnawer had ever felt, and Alexei could tell just how much those words cut to the quick. He pitifully tried to say he was sorry again, but Matthew had enough and he turned his back on Will, stalking away.

Alexei moved over to his brother, hauling him out of the dirt. In his anguish, the Ragabash lashed out with the fury of any Ahroun he’d ever known. “Get off me!” He shout out, trying with all his might to shove the elder away, but Alexei’s grip was firm as he pulled his broken brother into his arms and hugged him close…

“You’re not alone.” He said stoically, weathering the sobs and punches of his brother’s dismay.


A cold wet splash rushed the length of his spine and Alexei’s blue eyes shot open wide with a loud, inhuman growl rumbling in his throat. A leaf above had caught all it could hold, filled with cold water, and dumped the burden down the Fenrir’s bare back, startling him from a sleep he hadn’t been aware he’d let himself fall into. You’re not alone… echoed into his mind. His eyes felt raw, and yet he found new tears to fill them. He looked to the staggered footsteps leading up to where he’d collapsed against this tree, footprints that formed muddy craters in the rain-soaked earth. They had none beside them.

“...Сбежал другой брат…” His voice rumbled out into the cold night air, misting up visibly as he spoke. He shakily pushed himself away from the tree and pushed his palm against it, standing up on wobbly legs. The silver mauling had taken more out of him than he cared to admit… He felt another fat teardrop roll from his eye and down his cheek and he reached up with one of his blood-stained hands to wipe it away. Add hypocrite to the list, fool. His bitter thought slipped through his mind. He thought to his conversation with Druce in the field. How he’d chastised him for mourning the loss of his brother in the field.

“Don’t you dare make that face. You don’t get to show me that face.” Alexei growled out at Druce, his Rage threatening to surge forward.

“I cannot mourn the loss of my brother?” Druce shot back challengingly.

“No. You do not. Not where others can see you.” He explained, keeping his own deep emotions in check. “It is one of the hardest paths to leadership. When you are part of making a hard decision like that, you cannot show any remorse. You can’t show any weakness behind it. People need to know how convicted you are.”

Druce explained how he knew it was the right choice, but he’d still lost his brother, but before Alexei could finish the lesson, they were interrupted…. He hoped the promising younger wolf took to heart the lesson…


He pulled his shirt from the pile of things he’d carried from his family’s home… pulling the sodden cloth over his bare chest and hiding his scars... His chain-mail followed, and the weight of it felt like he’d been punched in the chest. Alexei’s mind fell back to Wayfarer’s Nest… and he thought of all they accomplished there in such a short time…. It had given him hope for the Sept, for the land… for Marigold and Will to have a place to raise their children.

With a roar of pain and Rage, the Ahroun’s fist slammed into the tree, exploding part of it into a shower of soaked bark and bits, breaking some of his knuckles and fingers in the process. As he looked at the mangled hand in disgust, his own unnatural healing began to snap the bones back into place and return things to their proper order. As he watched the wound put things right, he reminded himself of Tanya’s words. Rage is an unquenchable ocean of fire. You can’t stop it. You can’t sate it… but you can direct it. Anger is an outlet… but I mean, but you can also just laugh. Laugh and laugh and laugh… Laugh until it hurts… then laugh some more. If you can’t laugh anymore, then you can be angry. He felt his heart seize for a moment as he remembered her warm lips against his…

The memory of Will and Marigold began to rush forward again, and he thought back to all the times he saw them laugh and play with each other… All the times she chastised him and the big rage monster hung his head with a quiet, “yes’m.” His eyes turned up to the moon as he pulled on his red coat, fastening his belt back into place over it…. His quiet chuckle as he remembered watching the Ragabash play his tricks on others was hollow and unnatural… He pulled on his fur cape and tucked it around his shoulders.

“So… say’n I did take whut they asked if’n I took… Is this one o’them times I tell the truth? Or is this one o’them times I pretend not to know the fuck they’re talkin about?” Will’s thick accent asked as Alexei collected him to take to Hawk and Osprey.

“This is one of those times to be honest.” Alexei said sternly as he looked to his brother…


This is why you’re not a Ragabash or a Forseti… Your advice got your brother killed… Alexei’s laugh grew louder and louder as he trembled with the soul-shattering realization… “I am Пропитанный кровью снег. Laerer of the Fenrir Tribe… Modi, born as of Manskr… imbecile... “ He introduced himself to the night and shook his head as the fake laugh ended…. He couldn’t fake it anymore. He couldn’t force a laugh when he felt like he’d failed so utterly… He could be angry now? So where was it? That unyielding well of Rage he’d always drawn on to keep moving... He couldn’t find it. It just wasn’t there. Instead he felt just hollow…

He looked down to the blood still staining his hands. His blood… his sister’s blood. There was no joke here… no silver lining. “...You’re weak….” He admit to himself as he moved over to the nearby stream and sank to his knees in the mud and began to scrape the blood-caked hands clean of his shame.

Hands raw… he lost track of just how long he sat there scrubbing… but he knew it had been hours because Helios’ light drift through the trees… He rose to a new day, looking towards the rising sun. “Neither of you will ever be forgotten… I promise you that.” He spoke true towards the Sun… His face hardened back into the stoic, hardened expression of a man who measured everything… and he drug his sorry ass back to town to continue to be people’s rock… He’d failed his brother… he’d failed his sister… but he couldn’t give up. He couldn’t fail the others who might look to him for advice… His mask returned to his face as he trudged along, and his final thought was that he wished that Yevginney or Anika were here… He couldn’t put this burden on Naiya. She would have her hands full keeping Druce together…

He instead grit his teeth as he walked… He would find the strength and resolve to weather this alone. Someday he would reach out for aid… but for now, he vowed to conquer this weakness alone.
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bex
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:50 am

Re: January 2018

Post by bex » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:12 pm

Say it.

...

You don’t even have to say it out loud, but you have to tell me. Do you want my advice or not?

I need you. Please help.

That’s right. What else?

... I’m listening.

Good girl. You know, I can’t believe with everything happening you have room in your thoughts for that. You think he’s going to keep you safe? Is that it? Pathetic. Are you that desperate? Ungrateful child, you are... I give you so much insight. I patiently endure, tolerate your fits of anger and whining. Get you moving again when all you want to do is cower and cry.

By the way, have you thought about what are you giving up, next time? You know it’s coming. Pretend all you want, but you’re preparing far too late to make a difference. I’ll be waiting to hear you, crying, begging, and I might humor you... but you’ve been so cruel, Millie.


You’re the cruel one. Not even cruel, just ....... Cold, detached. It doesn’t protect us as much as you think.

Being trusting is being reckless, you fool. You can’t tame a predator like that - and you keep showing it your throat, your soft underbelly. Keeping it so close is practically begging to be torn apart. What you did? Not brave; it’s stupid. You need to learn to shut your damn mouth.

You know what? I’m gonna break it. You should never have shared it. It’s mine, too, and if that’s how you’re going to treat it I don’t want it anymore. Maybe then I’ll get through to you.


... maybe we deserve that. Always did learn best face first.
Millicent Smith, Emerald Legion Artificer

"Of the four elements, air, earth, water, and fire man stole only one from the gods. Fire. And with it, man forged his will upon the world." - Anonymous
"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself." - Sam Levenson
"The protruding nail gets hammered down." - Japanese Proverb



Want to contact Check-In? Please email --> sa.checkin@nwlarpers.org
Alexponential
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:23 am

Re: January 2018

Post by Alexponential » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:33 am

-- January 2018 “Wrong again” --

“Death”

A hush falls over the sept.

Kazimir expects him to run. Marek and Redpaw expect it to. They stand at the ready, blocking the exit to the clearing.

He doesn’t run. He does it himself.

Kazimir always thought he was a coward. He’s at least glad to be proven wrong. He’s not glad at the circumstances though.

“Death.”

It’s a word that never stops being strange…. you just stop thinking about it after awhile....

And sometimes you start again...

He remembers a shriek one morning. He realized a few days later that he hadn’t seen one of the chambermaids in a while. That was the first time. He was finally up to his other hand when he counted his winters.

Several hands later he sat at his first moot. He sat beside Slava, they had been bonding. He didn’t like Slava at first.

When Kazimir had first changed he’d almost glutted himself on the attention of his elders, but then Slava changed and joined the sept and now he could already feeling his own appeal diminishing. Slava had a strange friendliness about him; at first Kazimir always thought of those ice cold looks he’d received around town, but one fierce tussle later he was starting to see the truth in the other boy’s countenance. Slava’s strong and somehow gentle eyes had stared back up at him, daring a killing blow. It was no surrender, it was a challenge. Yet for all the rage coursing through his gigantic war form, he could not bring himself to lay it. No… that wasn’t quite right… he didn’t *want* to lay it.

From then on, the two of them fought every night. They began hunting and eating together as well. Now and again one of the ragabash’s incessant jokes even managed to please, and Kazimir was beside himself in laughter.

And there they sat quietly just outside the circle, as Luna shone with their only source of light and the forest around them sang with joy. Cubs had never before been allowed at moot, but the Sept of the Forest Shadows had never before had two cubs at once. Radu Silver-Nail had said it was a lesson they would need. He wanted them to see what their nightly fights were all for.

Marija Moon-Above called forth a great spirit, Rajko the Ancestor, who had build the sept so long ago.

“How great could he be if he wasn’t allowed back to the cycle?”

The cub’s breath caught in his throat as the words left his mouth. He turned to Kazimir with a horrified look. Kazimir was paralyzed in terror; the only feeling was the sudden clenching sickness in his stomach.

That was meant as a whisper.

The spirit gestured to him.

“Miroslav!” Silver-Nail’s voice cut through the darkness.

Slava stood quietly and stepped forward, his slim and shaking legs barely supporting the weight of the many eyes now boring into him.

Rajko the Ancestor had been insulted. His stern and fiery glare turned to Silver-Nail, and for the only time Kazimir could remember, he saw a look of helplessness on the Ahroun’s face. Then a look of revulsion. At last the spirit calmed as Radu Silver-Nail’s features hardened into a stony, resolved glare and he drew the klaive from his belt

A strong wind current swept through the trees; dark clouds raced overhead. The shadows danced about on Slava’s form, his eyes staring in terror as he flickered in and out of the darkness. Kazimir’s eyes almost couldn’t follow what was happening.

And then Radu was standing before Slava.
And then there was a gasp and a tearing of fabric.
And then Slava was bent over double falling forward, and the end of Radu’s klaive was dark.
And then there was a shriek.
And then Slava was hunched on his knees, clutching his belly with one hand and shaking the other against the ground...
It was glinting...
Was he holding the klaive?
No…..
And then Radu emerged from the darkness behind him, wrapping an arm around the boy’s neck.
And then there was a snap and another shriek.
And then Slava wasn’t holding his stomach anymore…. Why was Radu reaching up his shirt?
And then there was a wet gasp and a gurgle.
And then Radu was pulling his hand out of Slava’s dark wet shirt.
And then Slava crumpled.
And then Radu was kneeling before Rajko the Ancestor. He was holding something… no… he was offering something to the spirit.
And Luna was shining.

He didn’t see Slava around anymore.
He wished Slava would come back.
He missed his friend.
Nobody else seemed to miss him.
They didn’t even seem to wonder where he’d gone.
They didn’t even seem to care.

Slava was just… dead.

But….

Where’s that?
Kazimir Night-Whisper
Theurge of the Shadow Lords
Cliath of the Garou Nation

"By Pain, reforged."
Andrey
Posts: 2574
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 4:48 pm
Active Character(s): Flayer-of-Men (Shifter)

Re: January 2018

Post by Andrey » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:51 am

Flayer-of-Men stands at the edge of the firelight. The mud of the road still stains his feet. The flickering light illuminates the scar on his forehead - Howl, his silent greeting. He bows to the Garou that have permitted him into their circle of stories.

The audience is wary. They have heard many things of these "Iron Wolves". All Garou watch him; some stony-faced, some with curiosity, some with held-back anger.

"I have come with a tale of the Iron Wolves, a tale less than a moon old. A tale of failure, and a tale of Honor; of action and punishment. I would sing you the tale of the Judgement of the Path-Breakers."

He starts to walk around the fire, turning to address the gathered Garou. Mugs and horns clink quietly in the background; Lupus Garou gnaw on the remnants of the night's feast. No other words are uttered. Flayer-of-Men's solemn demeanor shows that this is not a tale for laughter or jokes, but one to be heard in silence.
The Sept of Iron Wolves gathered, commanded by its alpha Wake-of-Ashes. But it was not Wake-of-Ashes that was the true presence here. This was the hour of the Truth-Catcher, Silent Vigil, Adren Forsetti of the Fenrir.

Before him were the Path-Breakers. Four stood for judgement: Duty’s Fool, Adren Ragabash of the Bone Gnawers; Forges-Peace, Fostern Philodox of the Silver Fangs; Red-Paw, Cliath Ragabash of the Shadow Lords; and Brenner, of the Corax. One other awaited judgement - Herald of Darkness, Athro Galliard of the Shadow Lords; in distant lands she was. It is known to us that she was not fleeing judgement, but completing the tasks of Gaia; and that she would come to Silent-Vigil in time, and accept her own consequences.

The Path-Breakers had acted together to tear a Pathstone from the heart of a caern - the caern of the sept once known as Steadfast Valley. They saw corruption in Steadfast Valley. They saw the Wyrm infiltrating and controlling them. They believed by this act they would sever a connection between Steadfast Valley and a dark realm of the Wyrm - a path to Malfeas, through which corruption was filling the land.

Yet they were wrong. They did not consult a Theurge to seek understanding of the effect upon the Caern. And they did this thing in secret; the Alpha of their sept, Wake-of-Ashes, did not know of their plan, nor did any others. Thus did they compound their error with concealment. When Duty’s Fool tore the Pathstone from the caern, it was not Malfeas that was wounded, but the Gaean spirits; it was Hawk, who slumbered in that caern, that was violated.
There is a rumble from some in the audience. These rumors they have heard before; that the Iron Wolves desecrated a caern, that there were fallen Silver Fangs roaming the lands, and other things confirmed by his words. The Galliard sweeps about, silencing the rumblings with a stare as he continues.
None denied these accusations. No question remained as to what had happened. Silent-Vigil bore the grave weight of deciding now what must be done as a consequence of these actions.

Silent-Vigil called out to the Path-breakers. He asked of them: “What do you want for the Sept?” In turn, each replied.

Forges-Peace spoke, his voice strong yet humble in his remorse. “I would see this Sept become stronger. I would see it become sharper. I would see it become greater, each tending to the others and to their duty to Gaia.”

Duty’s Fool spoke, his voice cracking with grief. “The Sept is my family. I would do anything to protect you, to help you. And I have fucked up.”

Brenner spoke, his voice calm and precise. “That all should learn. That information should be spread, so that everyone can do their jobs.”

Red-Paw spoke, in his voice both the hesitation of a young wolf and the pride of a Shadow-Lord. “To strengthen the Sept. To purge it of weakness, as my pack totem purges us.”

Silent Vigil asked then, “Has this always been your goal?”

Each assented. No further words were needed to see the purpose of this question, or their answer. They had sought these things - and each in their own way had failed, by the action they took. In the long silence that followed these words, all saw the weight of their mistakes bearing down upon those to be judged.
Flayer-of-Men himself falls silent. He steps around the fire, making a full circle; his measured pace gives the audienc.e time to digest this moment, to feel as if they are watching the trial itself, to sense the tension as judgement must approach.
Silent-Vigil commanded Forges-Peace to step forward. He said this to the Silver Fang: “You have performed Contrition to the leaders of the sept. To Wake-of-Ashes. There is honor in that. But you should have offered it not just to them, but to the sept entire; for all the sept must bear the fruit of your deeds.” Forges-Peace, without hesitation, knelt and offered contrition to all of the Iron Wolves. He spoke words befitting a Silver Fang even in his repentance. “I am Silver Fang. We are leaders, and thus we must bear responsibility for all that we take part in. I accept full responsibility and welcome any consequence that this sept, this Truth-Catcher, sees fit to set upon me.” As he knelt in contrition, a Garou of the Sept stepped forth and offered a Klaive, saying “Mark these words on yourself, that you may remember them.” This Forges-Peace did, tearing his flesh with the silver blade.
Flayer-of-Men has fallen to his knees, acting out the part of Forges-Peace, and draws an iron dagger across his own arm, spilling blood as Forges-Peace did. He jumps up, continuing forcefully.
Silent-Vigil proclaimed the punishment for Forges-Peace. Great loss of Renown he had already suffered for his actions, in both Honor and Wisdom. The position of Gatekeeper of the Iron Wolves was stripped from him. And his life was dedicated to a new sole pursuit. All of his efforts must henceforth be dedicated to mending the rift caused by the Path-breakers’ actions; with the Silver Fangs, the Spirits, and the rest of the Nation.

Silent-Vigil commanded Red-Paw to step forward. He said this to the Shadow Lord: “You are a Cliath, and you followed the commands of your elders without question. You are not Theurge, and did not know the full extent of the plan nor of its consequences. Therefore the transgression by you is lesser than that of any other. Further, you have already volunteered yourself to submit to the lashings of Lesson-in-Pain. The only further punishment I issue you is loss of Wisdom for not seeking further knowledge when you learned the part you were to play. Had you done so, the outcome may have changed.”

Silent-Vigil commanded Brenner to step forward. Here, he called for Brangwen, Herald-of-Flames, of the Corax, to rise as well from the ranks of the Sept. Silent-Vigil said, “You are of our Sept, yet you are not Garou; you shall be judged by your own people for your actions.” To Herald-of-Flames he gave his authority to judge, and she accepted. This is what she said to Brenner: “We are Corax within a Garou sept. What I have seen here is that you have not learned yet what that means. What your duty must be. How you must act, to fulfill your purpose to Gaia when you are nesting in a sept of Garou. I command you to learn. Your punishment shall be silence - until this Theurge Moon ends, you shall not speak. You will only watch, and seek to understand. How the Sept behaves, and how you must behave to be one with it.” And those who know of the Corax will know that silence is a grave punishment indeed; one of the three great punishments that I know of among their people. Brenner simply nodded; never again during this trial did he speak.

Herald-of-Flames returned to her place among those watching, and Silent-Vigil called forth Duty’s Fool.
Flayer-of-Men pauses. His tone had grown strident and his voice loud as he repeated the punishments in turn. Now he speaks quietly - just loud enough to be heard - yet slowly rising in volume with each sentence.
Here was the greatest part of the trial. Duty’s Fool was Adren; not only this, he was Beta of the Sept; not only this, it was by his hand that the deed was finally done. These truths did Silent-Vigil lay forth. He asked of Duty’s Fool, “Why did you not tell the Alpha?” And Duty’s Fool answered, with great regret, “I thought - in a moment of foolishness - that if he did not know, he would be shielded from repercussions. I was wrong.”

Silent-Vigil thought on what was before him. On the questions and answers. Grave was his expression, the stone look of a Forsetti weighing the life of Garou. Then he spoke his judgement. “By your actions you have broken the Litany. You have caused a Caern to be violated. You have violated the territory of another. And by bringing such calamity to the Iron Wolves, you have forced your people to tend to your sickness. For your action, only one punishment is fitting. I sentence you to death.”
Flayer-of-Men lifts his hands and the fire behind him roars up, as if the spirit within is in tune with the tale. Then Flayer-of-Men lowers his hands again, and the fire dies down with them. He completes the tale solemnly, somberly.
Sorrow rang out from the gathered Sept, yet it was seen that this was right. Silent-Vigil gave Duty’s Fool enough time to issue his farewells. A Bone Gnawer to the end, Duty’s Fool wept and embraced those he loved - but did not falter in his resolve. He passed on his final wishes, and took up the Klaive that was prepared for his judgement. By his own hand Duty’s Fool ended his life."
There is silence as Flayer-of-Men is done. Those who have heard are thinking, or waiting. The Skald bows to the audience and says, "I thank you for permitting me to sing my tales to you. Your hospitality is well received. I must now be on my way, for there are more Septs for me to visit before this task is complete." He turns and melts into a black wolf, loping away into the darkness.
notacentaur
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Re: January 2018

Post by notacentaur » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:20 pm

After traveling with Flayer-of-Men to many septs, after practicing and repeating the words she heard him say, turning them over in her head, remembering what she knew to be true and what she knew had to be said... After that, but not before she felt ready, Thorunn went on her own to spread the tale. She stood before a group of Garou and kinfolk, knowing none of them, unsure how they'd react, hoping she could tell it well. She took a breath.

“I am Thorunn Anvindsdottir, Heart-of-the-Song, cliath Skald of the Fenrir, homid-born, of the Sept of the Iron Wolves. And I am here to tell you a tale of my sept, how we failed, and how we have and continue to serve penance.

“Not two moons ago, the day before I received my name under Gaia, my sept violated a caern.

“Five of my sept-mates took it upon themselves to take action against the Sept of the Steadfast Valley. Already fighting on three fronts, my sept started a new war.

“This action wasn’t the first time we had clashed with the Sept of the Steadfast Valley. Multiple groups, led by members of all different tribes, found the same information over and over again: Steadfast Valley was corrupt and falling. The leadership had all walked the spiral and, in fact, even openly declared the Butcher, Whipporwill’s son, as their Rite's Master. Steadfast Valley was spreading hate and, more than that, connecting itself directly to Malfeas through a network of pathstones. I personally spoke to a Garou, Snarls-in-Rain, who had been captured by Steadfast Valley and tortured relentlessly, only to be healed again and again so that the punishment could continue. He saw his whole pack, including his sister, killed ruthlessly, not in battle, not for Gaia, but just to add to the death and corruption Steadfast Valley thrived on.

“Forges-Peace, a Fostern Philodox of the Silver Fangs, Gatekeeper of our sept, had started to arrange peace talks with the leadership of Steadfast Valley, despite all this. He challenged their alpha, Stands-with-Honor, to meet and face the accusations of violating the Litany and renounce the servants of the Wyrm among her ranks. Stands-with-Honor stood with no honor that day, however, and did not come to the meeting place.

“Forges-Peace, then, came together with Duty’s-Fool, Adren Ragabash of the Bone Gnawers; Red-Paw, Cliath Ragabash of the Shadow Lords; Brenner, of the Corax; and Herald-of-Darkness, Athro Galliard of the Shadow Lords. These five journeyed to the Sept of the Steadfast Valley and attempted to force matters.

“In doing so, these five became the Path-Breakers. In doing so, these five sank to the level of Stands-with-Honor and violated the Litany so explicitly that Hawk and Osprey themselves came to us to serve punishment.

“These five, a Philodox, two Ragabashes, a Galliard, and a Corax, without consulting neither the alpha of our sept or any Theurge, let alone the Rite’s Master, took from the Sept of the Steadfast Valley a pathstone. Duty’s-Fool tore the pathstone from the caern and hurt not the Wyrm, not Malfeas, but Gaia herself. Hawk, who lived in the Caern, was torn from his slumber and violated in a way we as a Nation should be fighting against.

“The Path-Breakers, thinking themselves victorious, quickly returned to our bawn. Behind them, Hawk rose up and in his fury destroyed the Sept of the Steadfast Valley. Thus was one problem solved, and a dozen more created or worsened.

“Hawk came to his sister, Osprey, who had slumbered in my sept’s most powerful glade for many moons, and told her how the Beta, Gate Keeper, Tale Singer, and two other members of her sept had stolen a pathstone, broken a connection to Gaia, and thrown him out of his rightful place.

“Osprey was outraged. She and Hawk summoned to them our Rites Master, who knew nothing of what had happened and in fact had just earlier that day orchestrated a mass blessing over the bawn to rid us of a cloud of taint. He came to them expecting if not praise, then at least thanks, and instead received scorn and disapproval. Osprey summoned Duty’s-Fool and Forges-Peace and watched as Hawk laid down strict punishments on the two of them, bringing them both close to death.

“And then Osprey, our glade spirit, left and took her power with her.

“My sept made a mistake. We failed. We failed in communication, in understanding, in the most basic tenet of the nation. Our failure brought shame, death, tragedy… but also room for growth. A new understanding of where we had been led astray and now, a narrow path to recompense.

“The Path-Breakers were brought to trial. Our Truth Catcher, Silent-Vigil, Adren Forsetti of the Fenrir, judged and punished, in fairness and understanding of what had been done and how it had harmed the Nation. All lost renown, in the eyes of Gaia and in the sept. Forges-Peace lost his position as Gate Keeper, and Brenner lost his voice.

“Duty’s-Fool lost his life. He was Adren. He was Beta. He was the one who took the pathstone. He hid his actions from the Alpha, thinking this would protect Wake-of-Ashes from repercussions. Our Truth-Catcher took hold of the painful situation, knew Duty’s-Fool had broken the Litany in too many ways in this action, and sentenced him to death.

“My sept is strong. My sept fights against corruption and fights for and protects Gaia. My sept is learning and growing. My sept is mending what it has broken.

“As I left the Sept of Iron Wolves to come to you, to spread how we have failed, efforts had started to please Gaia and show how we were fixing things. The death of Duty’s-Fool was an important step, but it wasn’t the end. Now my sept is working to create a moon pearl, which will become a pathstone to make up for the one we destroyed.

“Mistakes were made. But when we make mistakes, as I was told once by my close friend, a Silver Fang kinfolk, what matters most is what we do after. We have crossed a line and now we make a decision to never cross that line again. We step up to deal with the consequences and we fix what we have broken. The Sept of the Iron Wolves is fixing its mistake, and we will not cross this line again.”
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