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 Something New

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Zoe

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PostSubject: Something New   Thu 24 Jul 2014, 13:09

After the pack discussed their plans concerning Akna, the caern-to-be, the Red Talons, and the Uktena, they set off to intercept the Get and Bone Gnawers to discuss the situation with them. At the end of the first supernaturally fast day of travel, they set up camp for the night.

Zoe tried to rest, but her excitement about summoning spirit allies and taking part in opening a caern were more than she could handle. She needed an excuse to go play in the Umbra. Then she remembered a request Eaton had made before they left Perdido.

The Theurge made her way quickly over to the Galliard with a big grin on her face.

"Hey, you said you needed me to summon you a spirit? How about now? Can we go now? What spirit do you need anyway? I hope it's something strange or exotic. Then again, even your average everyday spirits can have interesting stories to tell. So what do you say?"

If Zoe had been in lupus form, her tail would be wagging and her ears perked forward in anticipation. Eaton could make out the similarities in her wide eyes and inability to stand still.
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Thu 24 Jul 2014, 17:14

Eaton sat with his staff laid across his legs as Zoe approached him. He looked back at the excited Theurge and returned her smile, "Sure. Looks like you're in the mood. I've been wantin' to find out for myself how this gift is gonna work." He spit on his staff and gave it a few good rubs with his sleeve before he stood up and continued, "The spirit I had in mind was a dream spirit. From what I've heard they're . . . really, really weird. It's one thing when the spirit represents somethin' ya are familiar with like rats, fire, and even legendary creatures. Ya kinda have an idea of what to expect with them ya know?"

He held up a finger as if too try and pause Zoe that much longer, "A dream doesn't hafta make sense. It's somethin' someone wanted, feared, or ate before goin' to bed. So who knows what we're gonna get?"

His eyes shine with excitement, "So yeah, I'd say I'm ready."
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Thu 24 Jul 2014, 17:58

Zoe's eyes lit up when he mentioned the dream spirit. She scampered off ahead of him, chattering cheerfully as she went.

"A dream spirit?! Oh, that sounds absolutely intriguing! Walks-with-Spiders and I spoke with a memory spirit once. It was quite bizarre! Every time it spoke it did so with a different voice from my past, friend and foe alike. It made sense, though, being a memory spirit, that it would conjure up my memories in such a way. It is fascinating how the sound of one's voice can bring so many memories racing back."

When they were about fifteen minutes from camp, Zoe pulled her pocket watch out and stopped speaking only long enough to slide them into the penumbra.

"Spirits of things like memories and dreams can be pretty much anything. I've never actually spoken with a dream spirit before, so I am eager to find out what it's all about!"

Without missing a stride Zoe began commenting on the healthier penumbral landscape that surrounded them, pointing out a variety of Gaian spirits and providing Eaton with bits of trivial information on each one. With a final sigh she stopped and smiled.

"Here. This is a wonderful place for summoning. Peaceful, quiet, far from any spirits who might be harmed by the appearance of a hostile spirit."

Zoe raised both hands high above her head and began chanting and swaying with a huge smile plastered upon her face. The site was calming yet somewhat unnerving. At the peak of the chant's crescendo, Zoe froze and fell silent, her arms stretched out to the side and chin tilted up as far as it could go. After what felt like an eternity to the observing Galliard, Zoe's arms dropped to her side and she smiled up at Luna. She threw Eaton a sideways smirk.

"Your dreams are closer than you think, dear brother."


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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 14:36

As Zoe spoke her last word, a light fog blew in from the East, obscuring much of the penumbral landscape and causing the two Garou to feel inexplicably tired. Their eyelids fluttered closed for only a moment, but when they opened their eyes, the scene before them had changed.

They found themselves standing in the middle of a town they knew to be Nacogdoches, though nothing of the buildings or streets actually resembled the Camino Real's town. As Eaton glanced at Zoe, he saw her as a short, dark-haired Hispanic woman and she saw him as a large Black slave, but like the town, they both knew who the other was.

A young shapely woman walked up the street toward them carrying a newborn child in her arms. Eaton immediately recognized her as Jana, though as quickly as he saw her, she became his mother, holding a small toddler. The boy grinned at Eaton as he unmusically clanged two spoons together.  His mother walked into the general store and set down the boy, who immediately scampered back into the street to see Zoe and Eaton.

He grabbed each one's shirt sleeve and yanked on them, gesturing for them to lean closer.  When he spoke to them it was with a snakelike whisper.

Sssssilly wolves like my dreamssss?  You think they are yoursssss, but I sssshape them, mold them. The sleeping mind is like clay!

With another blink the boy became Jana, standing face-to-face with Eaton.  She placed one hand on the back of his head, leaned in for a kiss, then cackled a maniacal laugh with the same voice of the boy, pushing Leper Friend's chest away with her other hand.

You sssssee? Your dreamsssss are mine. They are not yoursssss alone, wolves. Do you find your dreams, my dreams, to your liking?!

The boy immediately shifted into the form of a jet black crinos, its jaws flecked with foam, long yellow claws uneven, jagged and crusty. As Zoe and Eaton instinctively stepped back, the boy reappeared, rolling in the street laughing.

Ah ha ha! The wolves are sssssso ssssscared by my dreamssss!

The being suddenly stopped laughing, looking at them keenly.

Making you jumping at my nightmaressss is easy. When you ssssssee true horror, what will your reaction be, I wonder?
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 16:09

As the umbra mist surrounded the pair of Garou, Eaton tried to mentally prepare himself for what was to come, especially if this was learning experience for Zoe as well.

It was just the first few seconds with the spirit that showed him how futile it was.

While at first he tried to figure out what was before him, once the Spirit spoke to them he just let the scene play out. The forceful apparition of Jana elected a slight growl from him, mostly at the misinterpretation of her, though the rabid Crinos Garou was enough to make him jump. At the spirit's question, Eaton gave a small laugh and replied in spirit tongue, "Why are ya even tryin' to scare us? What do you wanna do, keep us up at night? Now that doesn't make sense to me; without sleep, they're ain't dreams. I just don't think you're doin' yourself any favors like this. I thought ya were on the right trail showin' me somethin' I'd like; Heck, I'd look forward to dreamin'."

Thinking he was risking the spirits patience, he adds, "Though I agree with ya; the mind is a little softer when it's asleep. I'm imagine bein' able to play around with people's thoughts would make an awfully fun place to play around in. I also think you might be able to teach me a way that I can do the same."

He takes a step closer to the spirit, "The question is, what do you want from me? It's gotta be more than my dreams cause ya get those every night." Once he finishes speaking, he glances over his shoulder to Zoe, as if trying to gauge how he was doing dealing with the spirit.
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 16:40

The spirit boy waved his hands and produced three apples. He began to juggle them slower than physics would normally allow.

Good dreamsssss are to me like these applessss are to your kind.

He spun the apples faster and faster in the air until they became a blur.

But nightmaresssss...

He stuck both hands straight into the air and snatched a freshly slain 10-point buck from the blur of what used to be apples.

One nightmare is worth many pleasant dreams to me. Use your gift to create at least one nightmare every full moon.

When Eaton glanced at Zoe, her eyes were wide with curiosity and her mouth agape in disbelief.

"Would not these nightmares also feed the spirits of fear that align themselves with the Wyrm?"

She turned to Eaton. "You cannot accept a gift from a Wyrm-aligned spir-"

Before she could finish, the spirit, still in boy form, leaped onto Eaton's back. He covered the Garou's ears with his small hands and snarled at Zoe, though Eaton could still hear his voice.

Do not fill his mind with your liesssss. I sssssserve no one but mysssssself. The Wyrm destroysssss my dreamssss. He is not my massssster.
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 17:27

Eaton considered Zoe's objections and the Spirits offer only for a second. The spirit's child form still attached to his head he answers, "Now, Zoe, I don't think it's fair to accuse him of bein' of the Wyrm. Fear ain't necessarily evil or even bad, it's just an emotion. And like any one of 'em, how we act on it determines who we are. Don't let Rends hear me say this, but fear is one way we're reminded of our limits. And I'm sure you know how great it feels to conquer your fears. Though havin' said that,"

He stares back to the spirit-child still clinging to him, "The way things are goin' on in the real world, I imagine that plenty of folks are havin' uneasy dreams and don't need me to make it 'em any worse. Course, if they learn somethin' from 'em . . .Well then, that would still satisfy you, wouldn't it? Still feast off that wonderful nightmare aura of fear?"

He looks back at Zoe, this time seeming a little more confidant.
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 18:23

Yessssss....

The boy hopped down from Eaton's shoulders, but when the Galliard turned around he was standing face to face with Jana. The still pregnant kinfolk embraced her mate passionately, kissing him full on the mouth. Immediately, Eaton's mind was filled with every dream - pleasant and unpleasant - he had ever had.

When the spirit released him, Eaton opened his eyes and found himself and Zoe standing in a penumbral field about fifteen minutes from the Prodigals' camp. Zoe clapped her hands with excitement.

"Oh, that was thrilling and so informative, too, don't you think? I've never seen a spirit impart a gift in that way before. That was different. Don't worry. I won't tell the real Jana."

Zoe laughed and was about to head back toward camp, then she remembered that Zas had also wished for her to summon a spirit or two.

"If that's all, I think I'll stay here and meditate for a few minutes. Could you send Zas this way when you get back to camp?"
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Fri 25 Jul 2014, 23:04

When the spirit forced itself upon Eaton, he relinquished and actually returned the kiss as an opportunity to give her-it-some of his spiritual energy. He didn't have much time to consider the intimacy of the interaction as his mind was flooded by a barrage of images. Some he recognized as they flurried through his conscious- hazy images of his mother, father. Many thin, wasted Garou clawing their way toward him. Places he had traveled. The faces of his packmates. Nacogdoches burned to the ground. The Gibbous moon rising over a strange, alien landscape.

He blinked a few times, regaining complete control of his senses after a short while. After Zoe had finished speaking, he rubbed his forehead and replied, "Then I guess you've never seen Gnosis imparted that way, either. How many Garou can say they've kissed a spirit? That's gotta be a short list." He paused with a smile. "I'll go get Zas. You'd better get to restin' up. You're gonna need the strength after that." He began walking back towards the rest of their pack but stopped and turned back to Zoe, "Though a quick question: Any reason that spirit seemed so interested in me? All it's tricks seemed tailored towards me. Or did you see anything differently at all?"
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 00:04

Zoe narrowed her eyes when Eaton asked about imparting Gnosis through a kiss then laughed aloud.

"That is unique indeed! I have never kissed a spirit, though I have wondered what it would be like to kiss the Stranger."

She laughed again and shook her head to indicate she was only joking.

"I can only assume as a dream spirit the boy was able to determine which one of us wanted something from him, which is why his tricks appeared to be focused on you. Perhaps in your dreams the past few nights he was able to invade your claylike mind and withdraw information."

Zoe shrugged. "I honestly don't know, though. Spirits always seem to know more about us than we tell them. It is both terrifying and fascinating at the same time."
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 12:30

Eaton looked slightly nervous as Zoe explained what she knew of spirit knowledge. He scratched behind his ear as he said, "That isn't exactly comfortin'. Well, I guess we just gotta be aware of what we do so we don't embarrass ourselves."

He didn't seem satisfied with his own answer, but he continued, "I'll go get Zas for ya. Ya wait right here."

--------------------------

Eaton made it back to where the rest of the Prodigals were spending the night. Rends and Mocks were still talking rather heatedly over the upcoming meeting with the crusading Get of Fenris and the accompanying Bone Gnawers. Zas, however, stood several feet away, staring into the night, as if he was planning the fastest route when they resumed travel the next morning. Eaton walked up beside him and said, "So if you're up to it, Zoe is ready to summon that spirit ya wanted." He nonchalantly pointed in her direction, "She's a little ways over there. I'm sure you'll make it there in no time."

He looks back at him with a smile, "Hope ya have as much fun as I did."
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 15:18

Zas turns and looks at Eaton with a distracted look on his face, as his mind still wandered far from the Pack's current location. He nods after hearing the Galliard deliver his information and says, "I hope this as well. Speaking with spirits can be enlightening...but also dangerous."

The philodox then turns back and stares into the distance. Thinking to himself, We should be upon them by tomorrow. It will be interesting to hear what the gathered Garou choose to do-that will be...fun.

He then clears his head and begins his walk to meet with the theurge. Zas took a leisurely stroll to meet with Zoe. He noted how the terrain around him was for the most part completely untouched, pure, and clean. The rich smells of red oak and hickory abundant. The lack of human settlement or activity combined with the bountiful amounts of game and wildlife made the area seem both empty and full at the same time.

Zas looked up to the night sky just in time to see an Horned Owl swoop down perfectly silently, talons outstretched, and find its prey, an unsuspecting groundhog. The nocturnal predator paid Zas little concern as it proceeded to swallow its meal whole-head first.

Zas watched the scene play outwith eagerness and astute focus, paying special attention to the bird's approach. The bird spent but a few moments devouring his meal before quietly flapping its wings and lifting back up off the ground and continuing its nightly hunt.

Zas then turned to face his intended destination, determination written on his face. After making visual contact with Zoe, he made direct and quick strides to her.

"Good evening Hears-the-Song. Eaton informed me that you are seeking to commune with the spirits I wish to Summon. If this is still true, I too am ready to begin. I seek to learn much this night. There is much I feel the spirits can offer me. I simply hope I am found worthy of their wisdom."

He reflects for a moment before saying, "Our travels have led us great distances over this land. I feel we still have much to go. My tribal totem Owl flies over many places, and sees much. I seek to learn from him for he knows much that I think will be helpful as we continue our journey. Yet, I also seek to meet a spirit of the flames, for from its light, I think much can be gleaned."

Zas then looked at the theurge and said, "Yes, I hope this umbral adventure is as Eaton put it...fun, but also informative."
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 15:48

While Zoe waited for Zas she took a few moments to meditate and refresh her connection with Gaia. As always it was an invigorating yet peaceful time of blocking out the concerns of this world in order to bring her heart and mind one solitary focus. She snapped back to consciousness when she heard the rustle of footsteps approaching. When her brother announced himself, she relaxed and smiled, opening her arms in a welcoming gesture.

"Ah, good! You are here! Come, come! Yes, Leper-Friend and I had a surreal encounter with a dream spirit. Very interesting indeed. Here's hoping neither the fire spirit nor owl spirit chooses to impart its gift to you through a kiss on the lips. That could be painful, quite painful indeed."

Zoe rubbed her hands together in anticipation.

"Since I am familiar with a fire spirit in the area, Inteus, the one who helped us in Perdido against the Skin Rippers, I think I will summon him first. I believe we could also question him concerning Akna to see if he has any advice for us, seeing as how they are both fire spirits."

Zoe decided to summon Inteus from her Glabro form. Instead of chanting as she did in Homid, the summons was sent through a series of yips, howls, and barks, accompanied by a bestial dance wherein Zoe threw her arms and head up toward the sky then pounded the ground with her fists. Despite the animalistic sounds and appearance, the rite carried with it great rhythmic precision. When the act was complete, Zoe remained in Glabro form and nodded once at her Garou brother.
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 19:42

A burst of light flashed across the umbral sky and crashed into the ground directly in front of the two waiting Garou. Both were thrown back by the impact but quickly regained their footing. Up from the shallow crater stood a pillar of fire about seven feet tall, its fiery tendrils licking the night sky and casting dancing shadows all around.

Daughter of cockroach calls to Inteus again so soon? What peril do the wolves need so desperately to be rescued from this time that they call upon one who holds great power over their delicate frame?

Zoe bowed her head to the spirit in gratitude then lifted it to match where she imagined his gaze might be.

"Your help was without equal in our battle against the Skin Rippers in Nacogdoches. For that we are ever grateful. However, we have discovered the source of our hideous foe and seek your knowledge of certain gifts to help us on our way."

She paused for a moment to look at Zas then returned her eyes to the flame.

"The spirit's name is Akna. She is a fallen Phoenix whose fires have burned these lands and others with horrendous fire that brings a sickness on those who stay too long. In addition she uses her fire, which as you said is quite harmful to us, as a weapon, which nearly cost me my life in our last fight against her."

She bowed her head again and held an orb of Essence out toward the spirit flame. "Please teach me how to absorb her fiery damage in a way that is not so deadly and difficult to heal, o great Inteus."

Zoe felt intense heat as a tendril of flame licked across her hands and consumed the Essence. When she brought her hands down, they were still burning with pain but not damaged. As she stood watching her hands,
the burning sensation spread up her arms and over the remainder of her body, slowly and thoroughly. Zoe bit her lip to keep from screaming but it was no use. Still in her Glabro form she released a howl of excruciating pain. The sensation lasted only a moment longer before Zoe collapsed to the ground in relief. The spirit then turned its attention and fiery tendrils to the Silent Strider.

And you, Son of Owl, do you require the same of Inteus?
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 20:26

Zas watched as his theurge suffered beneath the lesson she requested. Zas then turned to stare back at the spirit and said with respect, "No, I do not seek to learn the same lesson. I wish to learn how to speak across great distances without using words, to deliver messages as my tribe is known to do. I seek to learn the gift of Smoke Signals."

Zas bows his head and says, "In exchange for being taught this gift, I offer to deliver a message for you."
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Sat 26 Jul 2014, 20:48

As you wish, servant of Coyote.

The formerly smokeless flames suddenly began producing a roiling black smoke that snaked toward the Philodox and slowly engulfed him, making it difficult to breathe. Within the smoke Zas could see nothing, but could hear voices overlapping one another in many languages and dialects. One quiet voice could be understood clearly amid the cacophony.

Akna must pay. My message to her is simple: 'Only true fire burns eternal.'

The smoke cleared and both Garou stood facing the flames once more. Zoe took a step forward then bowed to one knee, gesturing for Zas to do the same.

"O spirit of true fire, can you shed any light on how we may extinguish the corrupted fire of Akna for good, so that only your true fire will reign in this land?"
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Tue 29 Jul 2014, 21:42

Your claws are not enough? Akna's flame is false. She consumes, in mockery of the True Flame. She defiles, rather than purifies.

An image, the form of a bird diving downward, its claws outstretched, burned bright and clear for a brief moment before being swallowed up in billowing, oily smoke.

The Fallen Phoenix is not as alike to the burning children as you might think. She has never served Lord Helios. Once she served the First Among Totems, but now, she is nothing but empty promises and gnawing hunger. We had little in common in the beginning. Now there is no way in which we are similar.
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Wed 30 Jul 2014, 10:21

Zoe thanked the fire elemental for his cryptic advice then the spirit flame burst back up into the atmosphere. The two Garou immediately felt the temperature in the area drop and the air become easier to breathe. Zoe turned and smiled at Zas.

"If a spirit ever spoke clearly to me, I would doubt if he were being truthful. We can share Inteus' advice with the rest of the pack later and see what they think."

Zoe rubbed her hands together and smiled mischievously.

"In the meantime, we have a new spirit to summon. Your tribal totem, if I'm not mistaken. Gaian spirits are usually more predictable than elementals, but that's not a hard and fast rule. I guess we won't know unless we try."

When Zoe completed her summons, the two Garou heard a single 'hoot' from off in the distance. The sound grew closer, but they were unable to see anything approaching. The calls ceased and the silence was deafening. The two looked curiously at one another.

Child of cockroach, I know not, but this one belongs to Great Owl.

A deep voice like that of an aged man emanated from a dark, round shape in the tree behind him. When the two spun to face the voice, they were met with two abnormally large, hollow, yellow eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Wed 30 Jul 2014, 13:12

Zas bowed his head in the direction of the spirit and said in the language of the spirits, "Owl is both gracious and honorable to have heard our call, mighty spirit."

Zas takes a breath as he says fiercely, "I am Zas B'ul-warrior and defender of the mother. My bite is harsh, my claws are sharp, but I feel there is more that I could be. In my journey I have seen Owl's children hunt their prey, who remained unaware of the predator seeking them. I seek to be an imitator of this-to do and be as Owl-to become the quiet and stealthy hunter and slayer of foes.

For this, I offer my services and my future kills to Owl's great name, as chiminage.

Yet, I also seek to know what great Owl knows of the hunting grounds that are on, above, and under the face of the mother. I wish to be as well versed and able to prowl the realms without hindrance as Owl does. I wish to learn Axis Mundi.

In exchange for this I offer this essence. If my offerings are not enough, please ask for whatever it is you seek that I may offer it."

Zas then after a moment adds, "May I also ask which servant of Owl has come before us?"
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PostSubject: Re: Something New   Wed 30 Jul 2014, 14:45

The Garou see the two eyes drop down to a lower branch in the tree behind them as the creature's silhouette becomes visible in the glow of Luna's light. As they look closer Zas and Zoe can make out the mottled grey feathers and taloned claws of the large owl.

I am He-Who-Sees, a humble yet knowledgeable servant of the Great Owl.

The bird alights on the ground before them without a sound. It cocks its head unnaturally far towards its left wing then back the other way, giving the Silent Strider a thorough examining.

Those who belong to Owl must emulate him to his glory. One must not bear the name 'Silent' in vain.

The meter-tall avian being fixed Zas with his yellow eyes then slowly turneds his head in a complete rotation while he body remained still.

The wisdom of Owl must not be used flippantly. Your prey must not be permitted to escape. This would dishonor Owl and his brood. Owl deems you worthy.

With a single thrust of his wings, Owl leaped up from the ground. His beak enlarged and engulfed the Strider's head. Small streaks of blood ran down Zas's back and chest. The Owl released him and his slight wounds healed at once.

Now you sense and are sensed as one born Owl.

Zoe then stepped forward and spoke to He-Who-Sees.

"Great spirit, we are humbled by your agreeing to grace us with your presence. Your kind is cunning and wise in the physical realm, and you prove to be even moreso here."

She bowed her head in homage before making her request.

"Would you be willing to bless this child of Cockroach with the ability to create a spirit snare to weaken any spirits who wish to do Gaia or her creation harm? Also, as He-Who-Sees, have you seen or heard of Tycheros or Agatha Kostas? They are my parents, but their memories have been destroyed by someone or something, so information concerning them is becoming increasingly difficult to come by. I, too, offer you Essence in exchange for your help."
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