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 Beyond the Veil

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Posts : 319
Join date : 2013-10-28
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Beyond the Veil   Tue 09 Sep 2014, 00:57

Finally, the ritual had begun. As long as it went uninterrupted, the caern would be born, rekindling the spirituality of this land. Eaton surveyed the landscape below him, his view greatly aided by his staff. He could already hear the howls of his fellow Garou as they tore into the night, ferocious ecstasy in their voices. Narrowing his eyes he saw movement far across the moonlit plains, though barely noticeable there was indeed something slithering through the tall grass; Eaton reasoned anything coming towards the mountain was bad news. Making a note of the direction he shifted into lupus and darted off towards his target. Once he had left the base of the hill a voice asked, “So where are we headin’, Leper-Friend?” Still running Eaton turned his head back to see another wolf running beside him, his dark fur outlined by the pale light, his tongue hanging lazily out of his mouth. Eaton recognized his voice as Face-in-the-Dirt, a Bone Gnawer from Uncle McLeod’s rabble. Everyone who knew him well shortened his name to “Dirt”.  

“I saw somethin’ up this way. Considerin’ only there’s movement round here I figure it can’t be anythin’ too pleasant.” With a sudden realization, Eaton stopped running and turned to face him, “But what are ya doing here? Aren’t ya part of some ritual?” 

Dirt let out a snort, “Nope! I’m out here with ya’ll makin’ sure it goes as smoothly as possible.”

“Righty, then. How come I didn’t see ya earlier tonight?” Eaton asked, his eyes narrowing.

“Well, I was meditatin’. Ya know, makin’ sure I was ready before a big fight breaks out.” Dirt said, his voice hesitant.

“You fell asleep on watch, didn’t ta?” Eaton asked, his head leaning in towards the seated Ragabash, who averted his gaze as he replied,

“It mighta looked like that to some. So anyway, shouldn’t ya be leadin’ the way?”    
Thinking back to what would have happened if he had been alone during the revel, Eaton replied, “You’re right; I suppose there ain’t a reason to fight alone. Though honestly this is probably gonna be burnin’ off steam after havin’ to deal with Akna.”

“Or it’ll be even crazier!” Dirt said, excitement evident, “Just listen to the howls already!”

Imaging the voices of the battling Garou were cheering him on, Eaton led Dirt to the field where he saw the 
suspicious activity. All of the sudden the Galliard stopped short as the dark fields vanished from view, instead he saw a pillar of white light that reached all the way to the moon. Several creatures cloaked in darkness approached the luminescent column, yet as they neared they let out a cry as they withered and vanished in its holy presence. Above their dying gasps Eaton could make out a strangely calm voice,

“These are as sheep for the slaughter; here they shall not be victorious.” The vision ended with Eaton stared forward into the night, Dirt right beside him wagging his tail, “Sooo . . . this where ya saw them things?”

“Not quite . . .” Eaton began, but was cut off as a snake the size of a fire hose leapt out of the tall grass, narrowly missing both wolves.

“How nice of ‘em to come to us!” Dirt proclaimed, before he and Eaton shifted into Crinos. Eaton reached forward and sunk his claws into the creature and lifted it above his head, its blackened blood running down his arm as the creature still writhed and struggled in its grip.

“Dirt! Hold ‘em by the throat and they can’t . . .” Eaton looked over to his companion, who held out his hands with several of the snakes jaws wrapped around his arms. To the Galliard’s horror, more serpents continued to make their way towards them, forcing Eaton to take a step back. He threw the dying vermin away while he grabbed for another but without another way to fight them, they would surely be . . .

“What are ya doin’?” Eaton yelled to Dirt, who had crossed his arms as if giving the snakes a bear hug. He then leapt into the air, coming down on the slithering mass and crushing them. He rolled back and forth in the ground, seemingly ignorant of their bites. The few that escaped Eaton sliced with his saw or smashed with his claws. In a short moment all the snakes lay smashed or in two. Dirt stood back up and picked fangs out of his flesh and said,

“I tend not fight standin’ up. Where else do ya think I got my name?”

“I ‘spose that deal ya’ll made with Rat is still goin’ strong?” Eaton asked, tension easing as he walked towards him.

“Nah.” Dirt said, “Got bit on my heel and figured ‘what the hell?’.” And with that his eyes rolled back in his head as he fell into Eaton, who struggled to keep standing.

“No! Dirt! Stay awake!” Eaton said, looking at the Ragabash’s closed eyes as his body was limp. A second later Dirt’s eyes shot open while his head fell back and his chest turned tense. Recognizing the signs Eaton dropped the other werewolf to the ground, where he vomited several times. Still somewhat gagging Dirt said, “’Course I ain’t gonna let a little vemon stop me.” 

“That wasn’t exactly a little.” Eaton said, holding out his hand for Dirt to take but he held up a single clawed finger, “Still got some left.” As he vomited one more time before taking Eaton’s hand and standing up.

“So where to now?” He asked, his tail wagging with anticipation. Eaton let out a sigh, “I kinda figured whatever we were dealin’ would be somethin’ more than those snakes . . .” He stared back in the direction of the field, now easily seeing over the tall grass. He used his staff to see further into the expanse, finally able to see something: it looked like a human, though it was facing away from him as it ran quickly across the plains. In the pale light there wasn’t enough to make out the detail of the figure, prompting Eaton to break out after it, Dirt letting out a yelp of excitement as he followed. The tall grass prevented the Bone Gnawers from shifting into a faster form, though they moved swiftly enough as Eaton kept his sights on their prey. 
After several minutes of running Eaton realized this creature was not going to stop. Was it leading them into an ambush? Just toying with them? Just inside his visual range, Eaton made a gamble and reached out to the figure with his mind,

“Come and face us, you coward!”

The fleeing creature came to an abrupt halt, turning to face the incoming Garou. Eaton heard a voice that sounded furious, but tempered by its speaker the best it could,

“You call me a coward? You think I am running from you out of fear?”

“What else am I gonna think?” Eaton replied, “Don’t tell me I gotta point you in the right direction.”  

By now both Garou and man were within distance to get a good look of the other. It wore the shape of a man, though several features betrayed his masquerade. He did not flinch from seeing Gaia’s children in the war forms, he merely clenched his fists at his sides. His hair was an unnatural shade of red, like that of dried blood. His eyes did not reflect the pure light of the moon but instead only gleaming golden iris’ were seen in the darkness. He wore robes similar to the ones Marco wore, though his were tattered from many past wounds rather than age. Eaton wouldn’t have needed Zoe to tell him that this man before him reeked of the Wyrm. It was as if his presence was tainting the very air he breathed.  

"Do you have anything else to say?” The man offered, “Or are you just savoring the moment before you try and tear me apart?”

This thing’s composure was unsettling; as if it refused to reward their rage. Remembering how Ford was composite for a servant of the Wyrm, Eaton still kept his body taunt while Dirt imitated his posture.  

“We’re gettin’ to that.” Eaton replied, “Though I don’t get why yer runnin’. Didn’t wanna die in battle like the rest of ‘em? Doesn’t sound like ya wanna win that badly if ya ain’t willin’ to lay down yer life for your master?”

The man raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms, “You believe your Wyrm is my master? You think I’m part of all this?

“There ain’t nothing good in these parts.” Dirt said, “Well, ‘sept us and it hasn’t been that way in a long time.”

The stranger rolled his unnatural eyes, “Ah, yes. You know what I am and I must be torn apart. Your kind is so primitive. You really just like pretending you know about the world, don’t you? We didn’t have to be your enemy, your kind so full of anger.”

“Cut this crap.” Eaton said, his anger rising even further, “Then what are ya here for? Ya might wanna answer carefully.”

The man sighed and pinched his brow, disdain growing in his voice as he said, “I was just observing what was happening in this region. An advance scout, if you will. Although it does seem that the defiler’s influence is waning here. The events transpiring tonight are merely in protest of what your kind hope to accomplish. I’m gathered what I need so there is no reason to linger here. My interests are elsewhere.”

Dirt turned to Eaton with a snort, “This guy’s full of it. Why are we even listenin’ to him prattle on? We can take ‘em!”

While he heard Dirt’s concerns Eaton did not respond, his curiosity piped. He could always change his mind and tear this thing apart if the situation called for it.

“So what were ya tryin’ to find out? Sounds to me like you were attracted to this mess.”
The man gestured in the direction of the caern in the making as he said, “Ah, yes. This place seemed promising for quite some time, hastening the approach of the apocalypse. But, your kind is not even going to champion the spirt of death and the defeat of the Wyrm’s servants has been foretold. I really must be going.”
Eaton made a mental note of what this creature was saying; he would have to contemplate it later. A growl in his throat, he said,

“Ya seem to know an awful lot about us. You know what we are, now what are you?”

The man smiled at the pair of Garou, one of absolute joy as he replied, “I am an angel.”

A pair of wings made from shadow spread out from his back, while spiked chains fell out from the figure’s cloak. His eyes turned a sickly gold and his voice echoed as he spoke, “No reason to conceal what I am from you. I do not believe you will let me go without a fight, so allow me to oblige.”

The demon threw its chains at each of the Garou, wrapped around their arms as if they had a mind of their own. The Bone Gnawers nodded to one another and yanked the chains with their free hand, causing their foe to stumble into reach. Dirt leapt onto the demon, frantically trying to wrap his claws around the creature’s neck. Eaton charged around and grabbed hold of the wings, remembering full well just how much trouble Akna was while airborne. Dirt noticed just in time the demon’s eyes glow bright before instinctively ducking out of the way of a stream of fire. Eaton bit down on one of the wings but couldn’t grab hold; as was if the wings weren’t really there. With a yelp Dirt was yanked to the ground, the other chain releasing Eaton only to wrap around the Ragabash’s neck. To the shock of both Garou the demon released his own shackles, leaving Dirt gasping on the ground. He whirled in place to face Eaton, his eyes powering for another blast.

“A little fire never stopped me.” Eaton said, lunging at the demon as the flare struck his previous burn. Though he howled in protest he still grabbed hold of the fiend’s throat, tightening his grip but the hellspawn pulled on his claws, shockingly matching his strength. His hold almost lost the demon let out a cry of pain, causing the fight to come to a pause. Despite the inability to breath Dirt bit down on the creature’s leg, maintaining the lock. Taking advantage of the demon’s diversion Eaton wrapped his own jaws around its throat, crushing its neck with a satisfying crunch. The fallen let out a horrific gasp before dropping to the ground, its head completely severed. Eaton fell to all fours and hurriedly unwound the chain from Dirt’s throat, who wheezed in gratitude, “Ugh! Thank ya! Ya don’t realize ya gotta breathe till somethin’ like that happens!”

Eaton was about to reply but stopped short as he heard the demon’s voice sound in his mind, “You cannot kill what cannot die! By anyone’s hand, the end will come! Your battle is futile!”  

“Leper-Friend?” Dirt asked, staring up at the still silent Eaton. He shook his head, and helped his companion to his feet.

“Sure there’s more where that came from! Where to next?”

Before Eaton could respond he heard a call coming from the direction of the ruined city. His ears perked up as he immediately knew just who it was.

“Come along if ya want, but my packmate needs help.”  He shifted into lupus and took off in the direction of the Los Perdidos, his thoughts bouncing between concerns for Zoe and trying to understand what exactly he and Dirt had just faced.
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