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 Strength and Honor

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Rends the Gar


Posts : 414
Join date : 2013-08-29

PostSubject: Strength and Honor   Tue 14 Apr 2015, 23:48

The last desperate frost of spring lay in wait in the dark night. Dank and still, night air hung heavy in the Camino Real Caern. Calm energy hummed, nearly audible in the heart of the Iron Rider's strength. But on this night, below the rhythmic hum of the One Song, a new, wilder song could be heard rising up in a rough, violent harmony. This was not the song normally almost-heard in the Weaver's stronghold. It had an edge to it, snapping and braying and demanding to be heard.

Below the nearly finished coach station, down under the foundations in a secret cavern carved by Garou and spirit ally a fire burned. Wild and hot the flames lick up to the ceiling, smoke escaping through the clever ventilation shafts. Five Garou, all wearing their War-Skin stood in a ring around the fire, joining hands while their leader sang. Each wore a crown of Mistletoe on their heads, the fresh green cuttings making a sort of crown. Each was geared up as if for battle, after their own fashion.

Sweat poured down Rends the Gar's face as he chanted the words Eldgrim had taught him. At his side he carried his mighty club Ribcage and fearsome Dreamknife, and at his feet lay the assorted trophies of his conquests. A shattered piece of bone still coated in black ichor. Several joined vertebrae torn from the throat of a hated Black Spiral Dancer. A broken pitchfork to represent the Legion of Crossroads. A chipped tomahawk taken from a Comanche skinripper after Akna's fall. A misshapen gold bauble, one of Chrysaor accursed boons. And between the Fenrir's feet, closest to the fire, lay the bulbous skull of a Skunk Ape, now carved in Garou and Nordic Runes with the top cut off and bound to an antler and wooden disk to make a flagon. A dark bottle sat next to the flagon.

He had been chanting in Nordic for nearly a full day now, never stopping or even taking a drink in spite of the overwhelming heat. They were all feeling it now, the heady pounding sensation of heatstroke on the horizon. But Rends the Gar did not stop. Fenrir do not yield, not even to their own weakness. He pushed himself on as Mocks the Night broke the circle to throw on a couple more oak logs, coughing harshly with the strain. Relentlessly, Rends the Gar continued the ritual, harsh Nordic words clawing past his raw throat to echo in the chamber.

"Here we are, in our strength. Take our measure, know our worth. War is our judge, and blood our jury. Hear us, Great Fenris, and find us worthy!"

Taking a ragged breath and wobbling on his feet, Rends prepared to chant again but a sudden unearthly wind tore through the cavern, flaring up the fire to a pillar of hellish flame. An echoing howl sounded from... somewhere. Icy air flooded the chamber, blowing out the fire and leaving a bed of glowing coals and fine ash. In a daze, Rends grabbed his knife and the skull goblet.

"Blood of warriors, freely given for Great Fenris!"

One by one, he stopped in front of each of his packmates holding up the goblet and offering the knife. One by one, they slit their palms and repeated his words as they drained into the cup. As he completed the circle the chilling wind grew in strength. The echoes were stronger now, more distinct. Not mindless howls, but the unbridled fury of a thousand great Garou warcries. The cavern shook with the power of the otherworldly chorus. Spears clanged on shields and rams horns sounded a ferocious challenge. But still the pack Alpha could be heard above it all as he repeated his chant and made his contribution to the goblet. Unable to hold both objects and cut himself, Rends opted to stow the knife and use his fangs to open his veins instead.

As one the pack lined up to either side of Rends and fell to their knees, the Alpha holding the offering up in both claws in supplication. Quiet fell in the cavern. A line of frost snaked its way to the ash pile, winding and weaving between the Garou. When it met the ashes it surged up, covering the pile but not extinguishing the glowing embers. Rather they flared brighter, growing in power and light even as the frost coalesced and took shape. In a matter of moments, a great grey wolf rose from the ashes, glowing red embers forming its eyes and black frost dripping into cruel fangs and claws. Feral and wild, the aspect of Fenris growled, regarding the Prodigals, then the assorted trophies.

"Great Fenris hears thy call, true son. Strength sits in thy right hand, and honor in thy left. Gladly I will sup on the lifeblood here offered!"

It lapped at the offering, only the tip of its tongue able to fit in the goblet. Having exhausted the extent of his Old Nordic, Rends the Gar spoke now in the First Tongue. He took a deep breath to steel himself.

"Great Fenris, we have summoned you to ask your blessing. Tomorrow, we Prodigals set out to kill one fallen from the ways of honor and glory. We go to avenge my blood against my blood. Tames-the-Weaver, who I name Kinslayer and honorless, who is my father and has left all bonds of honor and blood behind is our foe. He will die by our claws, or by our teeth! All his works will be undone! He will die screaming or we will die in the attempt! This I swear before the spirits, Great Fenris! We ask your blessing, that before he dies Tames-the-Weaver may know the true extent of his folly and die in anguish at his misdoing!"

The savage wolf let out a feral roar, knocking the pack off their feet and sliding them across the floor with the sudden force of it. Faster than a loosed arrow, the wolf sprang forward and pinned Rends the Gar down, staring directly into his eyes. Blood and saliva trickled down and dropped onto him, but all he could see was the terrible eyes, filled with hate and rage.

"HRRRAAA! Righteous is thy anger! Yet I see in thee a dark fire, great and hot! Ever does the fire of hatred burn, even after its desire is achieved! Hotter yet shall thy pyre become, great instrument of my wrath. Show the fallen Lays-with-Weaver the strength of thy right hand and the honor of thy left! Tear the screams from his throat and cast him down into the Abyss! By blood and fire was thy line stained, now by blood and fire let it be cleansed by thy own hand!"

The great wolf sprang back, then grabbed the as yet unopened bottle in its teeth, crushing the top off with a crunch. Growling, it drained its blood and saliva into the bottle before regarding the gathered Garou.

"Drink thy cup and take my blessing, sons and daughter of the Loki dog! Strong have thy trials made thee, but stronger still are even those who grew mighty in my care and later choose the path of folly and honorless death."

It leaned back to let out a final howl, and another gust of arctic wind swept in with the sound of charging feet and whistling arrows. In a whirl of cold , the wolf aspect was gone, leaving a small bed of glowing red embers. Silent and reverent, Rends the gar poured from the bottle of mead into the goblet, passing the cup to each of his packmates. Rends remained silent throughout, lost in his own thoughts.
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