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 Time To Breathe

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Kefka

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PostSubject: Time To Breathe   Fri 16 Jan 2015, 16:31

Kefka rolled over in bed as the sun broke through the window and light shone on his face. He smiled as he stretched in bed. Harriet still lay beside him, sleeping. He held her close and kissed her forehead before climbing out of bed and heading into the kitchen. The sound of his footsteps awoke Jasnah who began to express her discontent at not being held and being hungry. He gingerly picked her up to try and let Harriet sleep a little longer but as he turned around with daughter in hand there Harriet was with a kiss to care for her daughter. Kefka returned the kiss and then kissed his daughter before changing clothes and leaving the house. As he stepped off the porch he stopped and stared at the doll he hanged in the tree the previous night. He pursed his lips as he shook his head and dashed off towards town.

He headed toward Collin's house to find Zoe. He knocked on the door and opened it up before a response. He chews the fat with Collin downstairs until Zoe comes down. He greets her with a smile.

"Mornin' Sister. You fancy a mornin' walk?"
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Fri 16 Jan 2015, 19:37

Zoe awoke slowly the morning after they returned to Nacogdoches. She breathed deeply, inhaling the familiar scents of Collin's shop, which always reminded her of O'Toole's place and immediately brought her a sense of peace and relaxation.

Keeping her eyes shut, she smiled as she considered their time in Crossroads. It almost unnerved her how neatly everything was tied up. Sure, they still had Weeping Moons to contend with, but this time none had avoided their destruction. That was a victory in and of itself. She was glad Knock and Eula were still alive, or whatever Eula was. Finally, she felt relieved that they seemed to be on decent terms with the Hierarchy. All in all it was one of their neater excursions.

When she finally opened her eyes, she heard voices coming from downstairs. She immediately recognized the Irish drawl of her beau and the casual tone of her brother Kefka. She pulled on a clean blouse and pair of pants and tied her unruly hair back as well as she could.

She walked downstairs and smiled first at Kefka then at Collin. Giving O'Brian a quick kiss, she then turned to answer her packmate.

"Good morning, brother. A walk sounds nice. Lead the way."
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Kefka

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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Fri 16 Jan 2015, 20:27

As the door shuts Kefka turns to his packmate.

"Collin is a nice guy Zoe, when are y'all gonna settle down and have a few pups?"

He laughs as he begins to lead them towards the bar.

"I'm serious. We have a little bit of downtime, you may be able to help Cold Stare out with telegraph. We can help Slickblood out with the books. Eaton and I can spend time with our families."

He takes a sip from his flask and grins at Zoe.

"Jes spitballin' the idea around."

He winks at her.

"I suppose if you don't want to do any of those things you could summon a spirit for me, so I can learn a gift."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Fri 16 Jan 2015, 20:40

Zoe smirks slightly as she considers Kefka's suggestions.

"Having pups isn't as easy for a female Garou as it is for you and Eaton. You guys do what needs to be done and then your womenfolk handle the dirty work of pregnancy and birth. I'm not even sure if I'd be able to shift forms while pregnant and I certainly wouldn't be giving you guys and Gaia my undivided attention as I would be worried about protecting my unborn child."

Her eyes sadden slightly. "Sure, we're relatively at peace for the moment, but I'm not ready to sit out from the action when we still have the Weeping Moon and others still to track down. Not to mention I'm about to have time to seriously begin seeking answers concerning my parents."

She sighs and shakes her head. "No, pups just aren't in the picture at this time."

"On the other hand I would be more than happy to work with Cold Stare or Slick Blood in exploring our new toys and literature. You know machines and mysteries are my forte."

At his final statement she smiles knowingly. "I want to do all of those things - including having a pup someday - but in the meantime I would never turn down an opportunity to commune with the spirits on behalf of my favorite brother."

She punctuates her last statement with a wink.
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Kefka

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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Fri 16 Jan 2015, 21:07

Kefka smiles

"Alright. I won't push the subject any further, I jes would hate to see you miss out on havin' kids. Even Rends found a girl he wants to settle with. We get families. I think we can sit around in Nacogdoches awhile and wait for you to have yours."

He wraps his arm around Zoe.

"Now about that spirit. It's going to be one I don't believe we have interacted with before...which is good and bad I suppose. Anyway It's a Night spirit. If'n I'm lucky it will teach me a gift which will help me in combat. I don't want to be the weak link and continue gettin' hurt. I don't want to put you in a position that you have to choose one of us to heal. I jes need to start fightin' my way, not Rends'. I think this will be a step in the right direction."
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Fri 16 Jan 2015, 21:21

Zoe smiles sympathetically. "I appreciate y'all's willingness to wait around, but nine months is a long time for you boys - or me for that matter - to sit on our haunches. Remember how stir crazy we all were at the end of our first summer together? Then again, you and Eaton do have your families drawing you here and keeping you busy now. We'll see what Gaia plans and act accordingly."

Zoe glances up at the sky then back at her brother. "Summoning a night spirit certainly sounds fascinating, but it's probably not best done in broad daylight, not to mention the nastiness that is the Penumbra in the daytime. It may be best if we meet up later this evening for the sake of summoning spirits."

Zoe shrugs as they continue their walk through town. "In the meantime, what are your thoughts on all that went down in Crossroads? Honestly, I feel like things were wrapped up a bit too nicely. It always feels like we have loose ends to deal with, but other than continuing to pursue the Weeping Moons, Crossroads was fairly open and shut. Or maybe that is just my perspective."
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Fri 16 Jan 2015, 23:36

Kefka's brow furrows at the mention of Crossroads.

"I share the same sentiment Zoe. I don't trust that hierarchy. They gave us too much in return for dealing with the cultists. They let Knock and Eula live. They took care of Thatcher for us, and gave us more leads on the Weeping Moon. If Zas can find them they might teach him something..."

Kefka trails off and spits on the ground.

"You don't give that much and not expect something in return. I expect they will either call upon us later for a favor, or they lied to us and Knock and Eula are dead."
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Sat 17 Jan 2015, 06:23

Zoe nods slowly. "Yes, I expect we are not through with the Hierarchy either. On the other hand, perhaps the Weeping Moon cultists really were such a bother to them that our actions were quite favorable to them. If you recall, Maria didn't want to give us anything. It was Haggard who was the more agreeable, even though his dozen ghosts likely could have caused us great trouble out in that field. Keep in mind, though, they were merely servants of a higher authority, much in the same way we are. If their authority has no issue with us, then they have no permission to come cause us trouble, right?"

Zoe is quiet for a moment, clearly mulling something over in her mind. "I need to discuss something with Rends before we leave town. Meet me at the caern at nightfall?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Sat 17 Jan 2015, 16:54

Kefka nods his head.

"They are soldiers, but he also said he saw headed toward oblivion their enemy".

He takes a drink.

"That is a troublesome idea for another day though. Until tonight Sister."
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Sat 17 Jan 2015, 17:12

Zoe and Mocks part ways for the remainder of the day. When she arrives at the caern at nightfall, Mocks is already waiting for her.

"Good evening, brother. Now about that Night spirit..."

Zoe focuses briefly and transports the two Garou swiftly into the penumbra. The caern's reflection in the spirit realm always reminds her of her Rite of Passage. This time she pauses long enough to notice a little bit more of the Weaver's imprint on the new stagecoach stop. This certainly did not bother her as an Iron Rider, though she knew her brother Zas would have his concerns. As always it was wonderful to see Papa Stagecoach looking as large and gregarious as ever, clearly thriving from the increased traffic on his road caused by the new stop.

Her mind then returns to the task at hand and her face takes on a look of concern.

"As you said, we have never summoned or dealt directly with a Night spirit before. Plant and animal spirits are usually more simple and clear to deal with. When you get into elements or spirits of ideas that don't have purely defined shapes, there's no telling what might appear. You being a lord of the shadows will likely not be troubled by a Night spirit, but I always caution you to be prepared for anything and to always be respectful. And never make a spirit a promise you cannot or do not intend to keep."

Zoe shrugs. "Anyway, with all that said, I will go ahead and summon that spirit for you."
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Sun 18 Jan 2015, 20:35

Zoe concentrated but nothing happened. She called out to the umbra, but no night spirit, great or small, appeared to answer. The Theurge was not one to give up easily, but even with the help of Henrietta Strauss, no nocturnal spirits seemed willing to present themselves. Eventually, Strauss and Zoe were forced to admit that they could not seem to attract the attention of any spirit of the night on Kefka's behalf, but that they would keep experimenting and try again the following evening. Kefka eventually returned home shortly after midnight.

The young Ragabash lay down, frustrated. Harriet was already unconscious, taking advantage of the fact that Jasnah was sleeping peacefully. Kefka pulled her close and the two of them lay there in the dark. Kefka pushed his troublesome thoughts away, emptying his mind in preparation for sleep. His heavy eyes had barely shut when a scream tore through the house. The Shadow Lord had one thought: Jasnah. He hurtled through the house, but as he stumbled through the door to his child's room, he found himself in an empty field, empty save for a single charred tree. A pathetic form was still lashed to the cracked black trunk, a twisted body that was more charcoal than flesh. The morning sky was grey and hazy, and thunder rumbled in the distance; in response the body's crisp eyelids peeled upward. Fixed on Kefka were two scarred orbs, cooked to a glassy white by the heat. The lips worked, hissing out a few words after a moment of effort.

"What... what do you desire?"
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Kefka

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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Mon 19 Jan 2015, 17:13

Kefka breathed slowly in and out through his nose, his eyes staring, scrutinizing the form that spoke. He looks around and is reminded of the night his Father died. When he spoke his words are slow and collected.

"Are you the Night spirit? If so I would have your name, and then I request your aide in learning a gift that allows me to hurt my enemies through their shadows."

Kefka pauses.

"Please."
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Wed 21 Jan 2015, 12:39

The tree and corpse seemed to melt, their forms swimming into each other as the scene faded. Kefka was on a wooded mountainside, dark forms scattered on the ground, the still bodies of men and wolves half-seen in the unlight of the New Moon. The Shadow Lord could smell freshly pooled blood on the ground, gathering amidst the gnarled fir roots. A voice, fair and clear, like a clever bird imitating a woman's voice, rang out behind Kefka. "I am no common night spirit, spawn of Lech Goran. I am Račnine, the Sleep-Taker, the Night Maiden. The lesser night spirits heard you, but I frightened them away... far away. I wanted you all to myself. There are secrets I can teach you that few other attending spirits will..."

Against his better judgement, the Ragabash turned to see the speaker. A hunchbacked shadow, tall as a horse, crouched there among the trees. Ashen limbs splayed out from under the tattered edges of the robe, its roving hands occasionally squeezing or scratching at the fallen bodies. The being was shrouded by an uneven robe, but out from the sagging chest jutted a long, craning neck, upon which sat a sweet, innocent girl's face. Almost luminous in the night, the face wore an unconcerned look of child-like tranquility. This was nothing more than a mask, however, and a profusion of strange and tangled horns or quills emerged from behind the edges of the face, swept backward like the mane of a cthonic porcupine. The Sleep-Taker spoke again in a saccharine approximation of a woman's voice.  

"Though it is a simple task to hide and strike from the shadows, it is not enough to cloak your body in darkness; so too you must cloak your soul. This makes the shadow-cutting all the easier. The old magic is... sympathetic. If you are the void, it becomes that much easier to be what your enemy fears most. I do not intend to educate you merely in the way of fast assassination or mischievous trickery."  

The nightmare spirit moved blindingly fast, climbing up among the close-knit trees like some perverse cross between an ape and a spider. It craned its long neck, angling its unreal face down towards him.

"Cleverly applied strength, deception and fear: these are the bailiwicks of your kind, Mocks-the-Night. In the right claws, this gift will accomplish all three. You will not only be able to rend your foes shadow's and bodies, but also torment their minds and flesh... all night long." Small lips creased into a waxy smile.
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Kefka

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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Thu 22 Jan 2015, 17:14

Kefka stifled his fear and held his ground as the Night Maiden spoke and moved around her territory. When she was done speaking hew closed his eyes and nodded his head slowly, pondering all that had been said. As his eyes open he smiles and stares at her masked visage.

"I am humbled and flattered you are here makin' this offer to me."

He bows his head towards her. He raises his head and holds his hand in front of him. They soon crack and shift into the claws of a Crinos.

"I want these claws to be the right claws. These claws long for a chance to prove their worth."

He lowers his hands as they shift back to normal.

"However, I ain't dumb enough to accept any offer without knowing the cost."

He pauses.

"You say you are offering secrets other spirits would not. That means it will take more than mere Gnossis to receive your knowledge. What is it you would require of me Račnine, the Night Maiden? What is it you desire? What of mine can be of use to you?"

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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Fri 23 Jan 2015, 02:40

"The cost is both small and great. All I ask is a single act: put fear into the heart of someone who cares for you." Mocks saw that the spirit held a tufted hunk of meat that seemed to belong to one of the fallen wolves. It proceeded to toss this grisly plaything slowly from hand to hand.

"This task should not be difficult; indeed, I have heard tell that you have done this before. A true child of Thunder should be feared above all, and if one is to gut the very shadows of his foes, terror should be as a deft blade in your hands."

The mask shifted ever so slightly, and an errant loose spine poked through the left eye socket. Kefka was really hoping the mask did not slip away entirely; as the false girlish voice spoke, it became increasingly inhuman, as if the effort tired its alien throat. "Under my tutelage, you will learn how to wield that blade."
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Sat 24 Jan 2015, 14:23

Kefka swallowed hard while nodding his head.

"Very well. I shall strike fear into the heart of someone who cares for me. It is true I have done this before."

He pauses.

"I assume you will find me once my task is complete?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time To Breathe   Sat 24 Jan 2015, 23:18

Kefka found himself sprawled on the floor of Jasnah's room. The nightmare had ended abruptly, and he had not heard the uncanny spirit's reply. The ragabash stumbled to his feet and checked on his daughter. She slept peacefully- he watched her breathe for moment, content that in the waking world, she was perfectly fine.

He returned to his own bedroom and fell into bed beside Harriet, his sleep fitful and uneasy...
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