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 Odd timing

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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Odd timing   Fri 11 Jul 2014, 14:06

Zas journeyed with the pack back to the city of San Antonio. Each packmate collected their belongs and themselves and headed to various points in the city to find rest and recuperation.

Zas for his part remained at the ruins of the fortress where Kefka's weapons had been stored. He shifted his eyes into lupus form as he climbed atop a stable remaining portion of western ramparts wherein he had a good view of the city and the surrounding countryside.

He inhaled deeply as a strong breeze blew by. Detecting the swiftly vanishing odor of the skin rippers, in addition the faint traces of gun smoke and blood-he began to settle his nerves. Whiffs of strong, dry, sandalwood interlaid with the putrid aroma of seared and sour meat converged into a malodorous jumble around his nostrils-the unmistakable sign that death was rampant. The strong scents served as both an unneeded reminder of what all had just occurred as well as a morbid comfort in knowing that order in any form amidst the chaos still thrived.

When he at last felt more or less relaxed that there were no nearby threats, he called aloud, "Stranger if you are near-will you speak with me?"


Last edited by Zas B'ul on Wed 16 Jul 2014, 11:53; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Odd timing   Fri 11 Jul 2014, 22:33

Zas had hardly spoken before he realized a golden-eyed drifter slouched in the shade of one of the burned out hotels that formed the rough edges of the plaza. "What sort of friend would I be, Zas, if I weren't available for the occasional chat?" The Laughing Stranger said, his voice projecting clear across the empty, barren square. He started ambling towards the Philodox, the occasion gust of cool autumn wind kicking up the sepia dust into short-lived waves of grit, and the smiling yellow eyes never blinked.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd timing   Fri 11 Jul 2014, 23:30

Zas looked down from his perch and watched as the spirit began to draw near. Zas laid down, his scarred body still struggling to recover from the assault the group had taken, leaving his feet dangling loosely off the edge of the wall.

Zas closed his eyes-his mind replaying on an endless loop the steps leading up to the battle, the failed negotiations, the initial slaughter of the towns people, and lastly the fight with the corrupted spirit and amassed dark hordes.

Zas began in a shaky voice, "Stranger-you have seen our deeds. You know of all our successes and failures both individually and as a pack. You are amidst us even though we do not always see you. You also serve Coyote-a spirit who does not usually follow a straight path. Tell me honestly, do you find it difficult to see what he wants you to do? To stay true to what you are called to do?

I ask because I no longer know what I am called to do. I do not know how I can claim to be the philodox of this pack. I do not know how to serve two seemingly different masters.

As a philodox it is my duty to seek truth, I point out falsehoods. I hold the responsibility of keeping my packmates and myself from serving as pawns or becoming willing minions of the Wyrm. It is my duty to hold each of us accountable for where we stumble.

Yet as a follower of Coyote, I seem almost forced to resolve matters with deception and guile, to hide truth in lies, to take the long and winding road that has us all beneath the very belly of the Wyrm-or risk losing my pack and the very war we wage against evil.

This very situation we are in-I knew, my pack knew, the elders we talked to knew this was a trap and a setup ever since we left Vineagaroon. We brought and escorted more than a score of skin rippers willingly into the city: asking for a bloodbath. Then after we neared the city we discovered that we had led an entire army of skin rippers here. As if this were not enough, we traveled with and received information from an arrogant boldfaced self proclaimed Black Spiral-that I let slip right through my fingers.

How can I be a true philodox? A genuine follower of Coyote? Both? How can I be these things if everything I seem to try to do fails? If everything I strive to achieve is countered by another? I see no clear answer."


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PostSubject: Re: Odd timing   Mon 14 Jul 2014, 22:00

The totem spirit did not check his pace as he drew near the shot-scored walls of the Alamo; instead he casually began walking up the side of the old mission towards where Zas sat, the wind playfully flapping through his long duster. "And what am I called to do, Zas? Coyote’s been wanting to get a pack together for awhile now, but I don't rightly know if we are supposed to be his ace in the hole or wild cards..."

The Laughing Stranger settled onto the worn battlement, straddling the stonework as he faced the Philodox. He lit one of his ubiquitous coffin-nails, focusing intently on the sputtering Lucifer lighter in his hand. "Either way, doesn’t bother me. You see, my wonderfully morose Indian friend, I don't sit and ponder on how to serve Ol’ Coyote, or why he picked me to be in his family. I just am. What I do, I do in Coyote's name, same as you. Coyote don't force you to lie, he don't force you to do anything. The chaos, the choices, the victory and sin... our paths are our own to find. Even if you asked him right to his face, Coyote himself wouldn’t give you an answer- or at least, not a straight one." Fool’s gold eyes twinkled out from under a weather-beaten cowboy hat. "And neither will I."

He leaned back and tipped his hat down, shading his unserious grin. "I'm not saying that to be obtuse, either, Zas. Is trickery corrupt? Is deceit evil?" The Laughing Stranger suddenly grew somber, and he tapped out a bit of ash with a leathery finger. "Can a Philodox lie?"
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PostSubject: Re: Odd timing   Mon 14 Jul 2014, 23:28

Zas lifts his head and stares at the pack totem for a moment as he considered the questions and then rested his head on his arms again as he spoke in a slightly stronger tone, "A Ragabash would tell you that tricks are one of their main strengths and how they serve Gaia. I would hope that the outcome was what necessitated the trickery to begin with, but I don't think my mind will ever fully grasp that of a ragabash."

Zas then sits up as claws begin to extend and dig slightly into the fortified wall, as he says with a tinge of unconcealed bitterness, "Deception, when used properly is a potent tool. Like our Gaia given anger however, it is a double edged blade. Is our rage evil? I think not, but as I've cautioned others before, being wary of it is strongly advised. The same I think could and should be said for using deception-doubly so when it involves deceiving other Garou."

The philodox then strands, as he turns to face the spirit but keeps his head lowered and eyes averted. When he speaks again his voice is subdued, conflicted and strained, "I suppose that is the question here isn't it. Can a philodox lie? The simple and quick answer would be yes, Any philodox can lie. Yet, I think what I'm dealing with is more whether or not a philodox should lie? That's where my mind is.

The ragabash will give you answers through jest, perhaps even through deceit.
The theurge will speak answers in ways of the spirits-riddles, generalities, mystery.
The galliard will go on at length about the history of a matter, a reflective look at the past to search for answers for the future.
The ahroun will likely just urge you to find the answers you seek in the slain blood of your enemies, or tell you that the answers will come when all foes are defeated.

Yet what of the plight of the philodox? We are to give answers that are both direct and straightforward. Our auspice is one that dictates the necessity for clarity and simplicity. If our judgements are false we weaken and endanger the lives of those closest to us or worse shame Gaia. If our wisdom is sought out by our brethren, yet we fail to share the truth-we lead them down needlessly dangerous roads.

Should we lie? Should I? I can't think of a good reason to-a reason that doesn't have far reaching negative consequences. The truth is liberating. The truth is simple. It gets clouded and muddied by expectations, by emotions, by hidden or selfish desires. Finding truth is difficult. If it were easy there would be no need for my auspice.

Lies bring down the mighty. They destroy unity. They consume. I do not think philodox should lie.

Will I? I think I will need to. Will I want to? No, but I will sacrifice whatever I need to aid this pack. Lies left unrevealed hurt the deepest-perhaps I can reveal the truth when the time is right-or merely delay the truth...and just suffer the consequences. If that makes me a bad philodox, so be it.That's what my answer must be."

Zas then looks up at the stranger, his eyes full of tears as he says, "I am glad to know you. You say much in saying little."


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PostSubject: Re: Odd timing   Tue 15 Jul 2014, 23:25

The Laughing Stranger looked out toward the flaming western horizon, the great red sun just slipping down into dusk. Finally he grunted "we all have to make sacrifices." The spirit looked as if he were going to ground out his coffin-nail on his stony perch, but then he thought better of it and offered the glowing stub so Zas could finish off the final few drags. "Just know that a sacrifice isn't the same as a compromise." The Stranger met Zas' glance, a look of pain etched in his face that the Philodox had never seen before.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd timing   Wed 16 Jul 2014, 00:07

Zas willingly accepts the cigarette by grasping it with his mouth and holding it tight-lipped. The sight is a little strange to be sure-seeing a Apache brave smoking atop the remnants of a fort finishing the last of a cigarette, but appearances mattered little to the philodox at the moment.

The cigarette smoke when inhaled caused Zas to have a brief flashback of his home village, harkening back to simpler days when he had first smoked with the tribal elders and peace chiefs before he'd undergone his initial act of his rite of passage. It was both satisfying and saddening.

As the embers snuffed themselves out, Zas dropped the remnants to the ground and gazed inquisitively at the spirit, but says nothing. When the spirit added nothing further Zas shook his head and said, "Only one who has made such a decision before would know of such a distinction."

After a pause the silent strider turns to watch the sun fade as he says in a deadpan voice, "I am not a theurge. I am however a child of owl, and an adopted son of Uktena. I do not know all the answers to what lay ahead of us, but as I have shared with the kinfolk we traveled with and Penelope, communication is a road that requires two people to meet in the middle. To my knowledge each of the Prodigals shares personal things with you. I will say here and now, formally, that you are free to share such things with us-if you wish. I will not prod you for information as some may, but speak freely anytime."
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PostSubject: Re: Odd timing   Wed 16 Jul 2014, 14:07

The Laughing Stranger chuckled dryly. "I'll keep that in mind. Maybe some other time I'll tell you my sordid story."
The totem spirit said nothing else, just leaned back and and watched first few stars begin to spark in the cool night sky.
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