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 Time Honored Traditions

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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Time Honored Traditions   Fri 10 Apr 2015, 00:11

Zas left out early from Nacogdoches the following morning having sent Scents the Lies a message informing him of his purpose in traveling to the Sept of Three Rivers prior to collapsing into the welcoming arms of sleep.

The Philodox's mind and spirit were of one accord as he made his way to the Caern. He reflected on his travels of late as well as his more somber visit to the caern with Chief Bowls last time and found himself oddly at peace.

He realized that there was the very real possibility that all of his efforts and time spent collecting the various components of his bow could all have been for naught should the spirit be unsatisfied. Worse still, if his teacher were to find him unworthy of this honor. Yet, the Silent Strider found solace in the fact that he had been able to live through the experience and now had some stories to share.

As he arrived near the Caern he howled out, "White Owl, Friend of the pure, has returned. I come to honor the old ways. I will wait." Zas then proceeded to situate himself in effort to meditate on the task at hand as well as to clear his mind of all other distractions as he awaited his mentor.
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Fri 10 Apr 2015, 22:24

Within an hour Zas found himself sitting with Scents-the-Lies, eating a meal of squash and smoked fish prepared by Taw-Ut Ez, Scents-the-Lies smiling-eyed wife. As the Silent Strider ate, he found himself looking over the ritual items hanging on the walls about them. Masks daubed blue-black rested alongside ceremonial rattles crafted of gourd and bone. Zas also noticed medicine shields that must have once belonged to Comanche; deep gashes and rents in the leather told of the weakness of the fallen raider's magic.

Scents-the-Lies let out a satisfied belch and grinned warmly at his pupil. "I am glad you have come, White Owl. The winds of winter threatened to drive your heart to bitterness at our last meeting. How does the spring find you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Fri 10 Apr 2015, 23:25

Zas ate until he was stuffed and could stomach no more-his appetite was as if he had not eaten any food other than what he found along the trail for many moons. He thought little of it however and merely enjoyed the exotic taste.
When his teacher at last spoke to him Zas nodded to the Wendigo and said, "This season finds me changed, refreshed. My spirit is whole. My fury does not control me any longer, but does work to spurn forward my passion and calling. My heart is balanced."

After another glance around the room, Zas spoke again, "It is good to be here with you once again. I seem to be able to gain focus from our talks. I only wish my stay could be longer. In our previous talks you advised that I should first seek to destroy the ill workings of the wyrmbringers before they spread their foulness into the pure lands. My reason for coming is in large part due to this. My pack is preparing themselves as we speak to bring a Garou of the wyrmbringers to justice."

Zas looks intently at his teacher and said, "The ways of the Ironriders are not mighty enough to handle this Garou. The spirit allies that empower their tools are at risk of falling into the hands of this Garou who calls himself Tames-the-Weaver."

He clears his throat, and pulls out his crafted work as he adds, "I have been preparing myself for the task of creating a fetish for some time. The time I feel has now come to bring my offerings before a spirit...and I was hoping that you would speak for me and aid in this task as I feel the pure ways are right in this and more importantly that you would know the right spirit for this."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Mon 13 Apr 2015, 20:07

"Your tidings weary me, but hold little surprise," Scents-the-Lies growled. "The Uktena whisper of whole villages of fallen Wyrmbringers lying to the west amid the dusty hills. Still, I should be grateful that one such creature will be swept from Gaia's sight."

The shaggy Wendigo inspected the implement when Zas offered it, his nostrils twitching at the musty smell of dry blood. "Hmm. I see. Not an osage bow, but that is not the way of the Apache." He handed it back to the younger Philodox.

"The spirit you seek will depend on what your bow requires. What do you wish it to do?" The ancient's eyes were focused on Zas with intensity. "For some time you have shaped this work with your hands. What purpose drives you in this tool's creation?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Mon 13 Apr 2015, 21:28

Zas considers the words his mentor spoke for a moment as he carefully placed the bow in its pouch making certain not to break or ruffle any of Ebony's feathers that had been strung to the weapon with fine horse hair.
After a moment he replies with certainty, "I wish for this tool to honor the law. I want all who fall before it to both fear and respect the judgements I dealt out, and to know that my words are final. Like my rulings, once the arrow has been released there can be no going back."

He meets his teacher's gaze and speaks again, "I would want this tool to be used to render a righteous and final judgment, with the hopes that in so doing I can keep the Pure lands pure."

He takes a quick breath as he asks, "My pack totem is of Coyote-I have learned that deception can be used against our foes just as easily as they would use it on us; you spoke once of my not ever having been tasted by Wendigo. Are there any in his brood who would be willing to support me in this?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Tue 14 Apr 2015, 17:21

"The howling children of Great Wendigo do not know you, nor do they submit easily." Scents-the-Lies' murmured. He had placed a wad of raw tobacco leaf in his cheek and it had the effect of slightly softening the words of the old werewolf. "If you seek a tool to use against the enemies of the Iron Riders there may yet be safer allies found closer at hand."    

Amid the swirling grey smoke of the fire, Scents-the-Lies eyes shone like glacial ice. "Do you seek to impress me, White Owl?
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Tue 14 Apr 2015, 17:53

The younger Philodox nods in understanding but says nothing further when his teacher explains the nature of Wendigo's brood. At his mention of a closer ally, Zas eyes grow slightly wider as he looks around the room.

He is therefore caught a bit off guard at the Wendigo's question and gaze. He says nothing for a long while considering how best to reply before choosing his words carefully as he says, "You know my cause better than most. You also know that there are few if any other Wendigo in this territory. I sought you out for your knowledge, your guidance, and your honor, for those are things I greatly respect. I also must admit that in my cause of uniting all the tribes that I look to our friendship as a strong step forwards and I will continue to do so, you and Gaia permitting."

He draws a shallow breath as he says, "Though I respect your words and heed your warnings, impressing you has not been my intent. For I know you form your own judgements and see truth. That said, I would like it that you are honored by my deeds and I likewise are further honored by yours. I would like it if you were to call me by my given name. If I must first impress you for these things to happen, then yes...my answer is I do seek to impress you now and I would do what was needed."

The Silent Strider gazes back at his teacher and asks, "What must I do to impress you? You say the children of Wendigo do not yield easily and point me towards a closer ally...would convincing one of Wendigo's children to work with me impress you? If so, I will. If for no other purpose than to strengthen the bond that you and I share already."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Wed 15 Apr 2015, 14:25

Scents-the-Lies gave an askew smile to his pupil as he listened. He chewed the tobacco once or twice and then swallowed with a single long gulp. "Then perhaps it is time the northern wind was felt upon your face, wolf of the Apache." He called to his wife in the Caddo tongue, and Taw-ut Ez brought him a satchel of European make and a pair of tough old moccasins.  

"It is not so simple a thing to call the spirits of my tribe forth, for the ground has now thawed. Chill air draws them, as does steaming blood and cracking ice. To make a pact you must first reach the freezing plains." The ancient pulled on a great buckskin cloak, its lower hem edged with sharpened antlers.

"Together, we will go back north. Yes, north, until the plains turn black and no longer made of grass but of hair, hoof and horn. There, perhaps, will Great Wendigo give us a sign."


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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Wed 15 Apr 2015, 14:43

Zas looks at the older Garou with a bewildered gaze as he tried to puzzle how grass could become hair. Shaking his head, the young Apache gets up grabbing his belongings and an extra fish to munch on and heads out the door as he says, "This journey sounds like it will take us far and to strange places."

He adds with a hint of jest and excitement, "Taw-Ut-Ez cooks well and you have gained wisdom in your many years of service to Gaia...do you think you can keep up with me?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Tue 28 Apr 2015, 14:17

The two Garou traveled quickly, thanks to the will of the spirits. The trees shrank away, leaving the rolling hills exposed to the naked turbulent sky. Unbound by mountains or woods, the plains seemed limitless, stretching on and on until it made the eye ache. Scents-the-Lies instructed Zas to go north, following in an old buffalo trace, and it was there that they began heading north-east.

Time passed. Now it wasn't just the muddy soil that carried the smell of buffalo: the odor of dung and cud on the wind told of the coming of the mighty creatures. The horizon was darkened, not by clouds, but by beasts, beasts ranging in a numberless herd that stretched almost as far as the plains themselves, a landscape of hide and horn.

Time passed. A wildfire tore across the prairie, a whirling firestorm that danced as it consumed the chest-high grass, reducing all to ash but replenishing the plains in the natural cycle of Gaia. That night, the flames were mirrored in the sky, as flashing storms of green yellow and purple rained and cavorted through the clear night, wreathing Luna with erratic and beautiful light. A chill wind blew, and dew turned to creeping frost on the blackened ground.

Scents-the-Lies took in a deep breath through his nose and took out his pipe and handed it to Zas.

"Now, it is time."  

Flesh warped and ran as bones rattled and re-formed as the two took on the great warform of the Garou.


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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Tue 28 Apr 2015, 17:33

The frigid air seemed determined to make simply breathing a challenge. Everything about this place was foreign and exotic and at first seemed slightly hostile to Zas B'ul but as he continued on his journey he felt his surroundings slowly begin to tolerate his presence but they did not outright accept him.

His journeys through Texas had revealed to him many things; his run through the cool but refreshing nighttime desert, his slow trudging marches and hunts through the snow-covered mountains of his home, his chilling experiences with the undead... all of this though was nothing compared to what he now felt.

The wet coldness that the Apache had grown accustomed to was far behind; now the numbing, biting, dry cold of the north was all about him. This change did not happen all at once, but rather came in waves- the Silent Strider could not shake the thought that he might be frozen solid and laid low under the dark sky as more and more of the cold permeated his skin.

When at last his mentor directed him to take on a more imposing form, he needed little motivation. The warmth of his Gaia-given fur coat began to stave off some of the morbid thoughts, and the slow-burning fury of his rage was almost physically comforting. Despite the freezing blasts of wind, he lit the ornate pipe with little difficulty. As he blew the first puff of fragrant smoke, the flavor of tobacco intertwined with northern berries and red willow bark. The Gauntlet, thin as it was, collapsed before him...
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Tue 28 Apr 2015, 22:42

The northern lights shone overhead, the coruscating energies of the slumbering Helios filling the night sky with colors that would never be seen on earth. Zas B'ul could see the flitting shapes of Aurora spirits as they stalked through the void high above. They were long, flowing things, like living blown-glass crafted of sticky gossamer and retina-searing plasma.

The penumbral winds howled in Zas' ears, stirring him from the his visual revery. Over the plains he could see the black grass first bend, then snap down, knocked flat by a great wind as it barreled southward.

Yet there was something in the wind, a ravenous presence of hunger that was palpable, one that made Zas' own stomach contract with sympathetic pangs. The frost-caked earth snaked forward, drawing itself up into a quadrupedal shape. It was not a bear or a weasel, but something in-between, its body hollow, a vessel for the fearsome wind. The spirit-shell was about waist-high to the Crinos Garou but powerfully proportioned. Its head was featureless save for a gaping maw of icicles and two empty portals that served as eyes, whistling like the open holes of an atonal flute.

"Delicious warmth fills you, skinchanger."


The spirits words were approximated by the rise and ebb of the shrieking wind.

"I welcome you; in these lands, seldom does a meal come so openly, so easily."

The jaws snapped open impossibly wide and the rushing wind screamed and roared, and the silent Northern Lights turned their unblinking eyes downward to stare as the hungering wind tensed to leap upon the Silent Strider.
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 11:51

Zas growled out in the speech of the spirits, "Your bitter chill howls out your presence but does not give your name."

He gazes up at the floating lights and declares aloud, "I Zas B'ul, have not come to fill your stomachs. I seek an audience with one who is un-afraid of the Wyrmbringers."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 17:26

Confusion combined with menace tinged the words carried on the surging gale.

"You smoked the sacred pipe. You wish to feed Hutsi-Adiitai, the Hollow Hunger. Now I am here, and I will be slaked."

The spirit stalked around Zas in a circle, icewater leaking from between its needle like teeth only to rapidly freeze when it spattered on the ground.

"One way, or another."


The flickering lights in the heavens were still, as the ethereal spirits waited to see the Silent Strider's reply.
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 18:32

Zas eyed the spirit and its prowling and heard its words. He quickly thought out a plan and attempts to meet the spirits menacing speech with his own as he says, "An easy kill is left for the weak. I will feed only the strong, for I need a mighty ally to aid me in my hunt."

He bares his teeth in pain, spilling drops of blood from his body as he tore flesh of his own arm, ripping out some of his spirit essence to hold it in a dripping reddened hand. "Are you strong-O great Hutsi-Adiitai? Or do seek out only the weak; the easy kills fit for the wyrmbringers?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Sat 02 May 2015, 05:10

"You tempt me with warmth, then offers of blood. Now you question my might! An insult... or a challenge?!" The wind rose to a shriek as the hollow eyes narrowed into suffocating slits.

"Either one is a witless move, skinchanger. I can grind down stone, warp great trees, flense flesh from bone! My hunger has gnawed at the edges of the sky since before time was counted!"
As the ravening spirit spoke it paced to and fro, the wind blustering with each boast.

A cool, clear voice sang out in Zas' mind, over the roar of the starving wind. "For all the spirit's grand words, the Hollow Wind has a large stomach that leaves little room for a cunning mind." The swirling choir of aurora spirits waved and danced overhead, their words of guidance unmistakable.
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Sat 02 May 2015, 09:21

Zas looked upwards at the aerial spirits and bowed his head.

He then turned towards the wind spirit, while dropping to his knees and saying, "I honor my word spirit. If you were promised warmth then I give it. I do not challenge you, but wished to know who I was speaking with. You gave me your name but I am not a spirit, so I asked for more information. Take what you will. I ask only that in your great strength you aid me in finding the ally I need."

Zas then looked upwards at the air spirits and says to The wind spirit, "Wherever that ally may be."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Mon 11 May 2015, 18:40

"Take what I will? Gladly." Fangs sharper than razors pierced Zas' arm, right where the Silent Strider had gouged only a moment earlier. The storm howled in the Garou's ears, but there was no pain, only numbing release.

"Your generous sacrifice will be remembered, skinchanger of the Wyrmcomers. What precisely would you ask of me once I finish?"

The cool numbness spread up his arm, past his elbow. With startled horror Zas realized that the majority of his arm had disappeared into the icy spirit's maw, and Hutsi-Adiitai was quickly chewing its way upward.
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Mon 11 May 2015, 19:39

Zas howled out in anger as he says in his native tongue readying to bite deeply into the spirit forms jugular, "I am no Wyrmcomer...You will know who it is you feast upon Empty-Maw! Your actions betray your foolishness."

He grits his teeth as the numbness continues upwards,"I am a strong ally to the pure, honorable protector of the dead Cherokee, Scents-The-Lies friend and last warrior of the Tsalagiyi Nvdagi. My name is Snowy Owl, and you will know me as such, or you will suffer, mark my words!"

As the spirit continued his feeding, He growls out resisting as best he could with sheer willpower the growing numbing sensation, "You must stop. I have given you warmth. I have offered blood. You have tasted me. My request is for you to show me who I seek so that I may continue my quest and destroy the wyrmbringer. I cannot continue if I am no more. If your hunger goes on unchecked you run the risk of failing to meet my terms."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Mon 11 May 2015, 22:53

The hollow wolf effigy paused in its gnawing, but it did not withdraw its snow-frothing jaws from Zas' arm, instead regarding him with savage animal suspicion. "You are not Wendigo or Uktena- you are not Pure..."The words swirled around Zas, the words carrying notes of accusation and cool malice.

"Yet the smell of Elder Brother surrounds him, does it not?" A solitary arc of slowly dancing light bent down out of the heavens and swam down through the air towards them. "Your deeds honor the Horned Serpent, Zas B'ul. Surely the Hungry Wind sees and tastes the deeds of the Garou."

The raging windstorm shrieked but Hutsi-Adiitai spat out Zas' hand, which had turned instantly black with frostbite. "So be it. What would you ask of me, then? Which of the Wyrmcomers have drawn your ire? There are so many."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Mon 11 May 2015, 23:22

Zas gaze lingers on the howling hungry bear form before him for a moment as he gazes back to his blackened arm as he says, "I feel that you have done what I ask. I would not ask for you to be who you are not. You are meant to be free, to roam. As one of Owl's children I understand this perhaps better than most. I seek to create a weapon against the one known as Tames-the-Weaver, and those of his ilk. You should not be restricted to me. I ask nothing more of you."

Zas then gazes to the dancing northern light as he says, "You have offered wise counsel to me. I will need a cunning and strong spirit. One who is accustomed to being out of reach of the wyrmbringer's hands. You- spirit, are the one I seek. I believe you are the sign given by Great Wendigo. You have heard my plea, and have found me worthy of your presence. I am honored by this. What name do I call you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Sat 23 May 2015, 18:50

The wind died away as the voracious  Hutsi-Adiitai faded from view with a final growl of hunger. The flashing Aurora spirit curled and whirled slowly through the air just above Zas' head, the colors shifting from cool blues and greens to fiery oranges and yellows. "You may call us Apahiadaha, Zas B'ul. What would you ask of Helios' wandering daughter? We are allies of the Garou, but your needs seem specific... and urgent."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Sun 24 May 2015, 01:30

Zas watched as the wind spirit departed leaving only his intended before him. At Apahiadaha's question the Silent Strider gazed longingly at the spirit and says as he withdraws the crafted bow, "I would ask that you aid me in my travels; To become as one with me in this bow, and to act as a glimmer or passing image of me before our enemies, that I may better serve the mother as warrior and slayer of the evil serpent whose hordes try to delay judgement. My task is urgent for the mother is in need. I would seek to use cunning rather than simply lash out in fury."

Zas looks upwards into the umbral sky as he says, "Far to the south, the taint of the Wyrmbringers grows. Their meddling ways are given name most recently by way of the foe in Tames-the-Weaver. The evil serpent has corrupted his heart beyond redemption. He must be brought before the fang."

Zas looks back to the spirit before him as he says, "I know these lands I speak of are far from here, but I fear that without aid, the lands of the pure will face the same fate and I would not see it so, thus my need is urgent. I cannot imagine you in your lofty reaches would like to see this come to pass either and thus have sought you out that we may together prevent such a thing from happening."
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PostSubject: Re: Time Honored Traditions   Tue 26 May 2015, 17:31

"Your request is not insignificant, Silent Strider. Yet your need is great, and your enemies are strong and many."


The glimmering Aurora spirit drew closer to Zas, descending until he was almost blinded by the erratic radiance of the ever-shifting colors.


"You also carry with you a Dusk Mask. Aiding the Garou is well and good, but spiting my father is best. I will sleep within your weapon, and dance before the eyes of your foes."

Apahiadaha vanished. Zas' proffered bow sparkled ever so faintly in the light of Luna, and Zas thought he could see hints of luminescence leap and play along the curve of the bow.
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