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 Doubting Theurge

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Zoe

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PostSubject: Doubting Theurge   Sat 01 Aug 2015, 16:46

The Prodigals had been back in Nacogdoches for over a day and Zoe had spoken maybe two words to her pack mates or any of the caern Garou since their return. She had slept the day away at Connor's and spent the night in the umbra by herself, meditating a bit but mostly thinking over the past few weeks and how many things she had done wrong or neglected to do.

The next afternoon she considered talking out her thoughts with her pack mates, but she didn't want Mocks' Ragabash attitude, Eaton's chipperness, or Zas's judgment. She sighed and decided she should probably just go straight to her pack alpha and start there.

She sent the Stranger to ask Rends to meet her in the basement of Harriet's saloon at his earliest convenience but not to rush. The area was vacant at this time of day so she sat in solitude while she awaited what she expected to be an uncomfortable conversation.
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Sat 01 Aug 2015, 20:32

It takes a couple of hours for the Ahroun to show up. Zoe hears the tromp of his large boots above her, quickly coming down the stairs to herald a somewhat sweaty Rends the Gar.

"Howdy, Zoe. Sorry if I kept ya waitin', Silke wanted to see a few more houses 'afore we headed back. I reckon we'll have to tear one of 'em down and just build a new one anyhow, but she's a thorough woman. By the way, I'll need you to summon an Earth Elemental fer me. I got a gift to learn that may come in Handy in Houston."

He takes a seat, fanning himself with his sweat stained hat, then he focuses on Zoe's posture. He frowns in concern and leans forward.

"You alright? You been awful quiet lately. Connor been keepin' ya busy?"
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Sat 01 Aug 2015, 20:58

Zoe wasn't much of a drinker, but she was quietly nursing a mug of whatever Harriet had brought her when Rends arrived. She sat up just a little bit straighter, but her overall demeanor betrayed her inner struggles.

When he asked about the earth elemental, she simply nodded and said, "Yeah, I can probably handle that."

At his question about Connor, she just shook her head.

"No, I really haven't seen him much since we got back either. I don't know, I've just been...out of sorts...I guess..."

She trailed off as she considered where to start.

"I just...I feel like I've really been letting the pack down lately in spiritual matters. I should have been more discerning about the fetishes your father crafted and certainly should have sought to cleanse them the moment we were safe. Instead I condoned us keeping them and carrying them around and then sending them back to Nacogdoches of all places without any warning to my own caern!"

She released an exasperated breath before she continued.

"Then to make matters worse, as soon as we neared Austin I sensed there was taint following us, though I was unable to place the source. I should have sought to remove it immediately before we stepped foot in town. How embarrassing to bring your pack home covered in taint as if nothing was wrong!"

Zoe was clearly distraught over her feelings of having failed the pack and Gaia in her duties as Theurge.
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Sat 01 Aug 2015, 21:15

Rends listens, pouring himself a drink.

"Alright. I'll admit this weren't the homecoming I was looking forward to, but you ain't takin all the blame fer this. I was the one made the call to hide the fetishes here. That ones one me and I'll make it up to the pack."

He locks eyes with zoe, unblinking.

"That other stuff? We all have to remain on guard against the Wyrms deceptions, but we rely on you to pierce them. Don't let us down again."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Sat 01 Aug 2015, 22:05

Zoe blinks a few times, trying to remain strong yet submissive. She drops her gaze to the table.

"I won't..."

She swallows hard then stands from the table.

"I'll meet you in the clearing behind the caern heart an hour affer sunset to summon the earth elemental for you. Is there anything else you need for me to do at this time?"
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Sat 01 Aug 2015, 22:26

"No. I'll meet ya then."

As she turns to leave, Rends catches her by the shoulder.

"Actually, one more thing. Go have some fun."

He squeezes her arm affectionately, smiling.

"We all screw up from time to time. But I'm glad you came to me before I had to come to you. Shows your heart's in the right place. But we can't let our mistakes define us. Acknowledge them, take steps to fix them, then move on. They ain't no reason ta make yourself miserable now and I won't have you mopin' and distracted while we's on the field. Go spend some time with Connor, or get some work done in the shop or at the Caern, or somethin'. But I don't wanna see you makin' yourself miserable out of some misguided sense of martyrdom."
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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Sun 02 Aug 2015, 06:45

Zoe's smile was small but genuine.

"Thanks, I will try to enjoy myself this afternoon. See you in a few hours."

Her head was held a little higher as she tromped up the stairs.

-----------

A few hours later the two Garou met out behind the caern's new stagecoach stop. Zoe still wasn't a fan of all the traffic going through the area, but at least the umbra was still mostly a sanctuary. The two easily slipped sideways and Zoe began her summons of a gaffling earth elemental, explaining to Rends that elementals are unpredictable at best and that it is generally a better idea to summon the lesser ones, especially for the sake of learning gifts. After she finished, she smiled with a glint in her eye.

"And now the fun part...waiting to see who or what will appear."
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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Thu 06 Aug 2015, 14:54

Both Garou waited patiently in the umbra after Zoe had finished issuing her sing-sing summoning rite. Rends felt something akin to a dull itching sensation in the hollow of his feet, which steadily grew into a low grumbling vibration. Within seconds a small rent had split the dry soil, bits of grass and clods of dirt tumbling down into a crack the size of a man's arm. Rends raised an eyebrow but Zoe nodded encouragingly. "That is what we wanted, a small spirit of the earth called a Tremor." The rumbling in the earth changed pitch ever so slightly, a tonal shift more felt than heard:

Follow.

Then the jagged hole moved away, the earth collapsing ahead even as the ground behind it re-sealed. "What's it doin', Zoe? Where is it goin'?" Rends snarled, annoyance in his voice. Damn spirits never make make my job easy. Zoe shrugged and ran after it. "Who knows? Gafflings are not very cunning, so I doubt it is some sort of trick-"

The Tremor continued to increase speed as it left the protective hedge of the bawn, steadily moving faster until both theurge and ahroun were forced to take on the lupus shape in order to keep pace. They had gone on for what seemed like miles into the penumbra, the Tremor twisted and burrowing through lichen-shrouded woods towering with kingly pines.

A chasm yawned ahead, opening before their eyes, a maw of earth big enough to swallow a horse and buggy, its lips edged with the gnarled roots of teetering coniferous trees. The Tremor continued on, dissipating as its form was lost in the greater void, but still the Garou could feel its shaking presence in the ground beneath their paws.

With a rumbling growl of his own, Rends flesh warped and twisted into the hulking war-form, and without hesitation he leapt into the cavernous gape, razor claws scything through red dirt to find holds in the cracked stone. Zoe was close behind him, and together the werewolves made their scrambling descent. The ravine was deep, and the reverberating earth all around them made it increasingly difficult to maintain stability. The final dozen feet was more barely-controlled fall than anything resembling climbing, and both Rends and Zoe found themselves in a bruised heap at the bottom of a deep cavern.

Wan moonlight dripped in narrow channels down the face of the stone, barely illuminating a wall of upended bedrock, covered in irregular curves and flaring knobby faces. The entire earthen room pulsed, and in response the pebbles and shards at their feet rattling in time with the tempo of the quaking world. The contracting movements of the ground caused soil and gravel to spill from overhead at regular intervals. The low, deeply powerful resonance formed into words, the language of spirits. The soil clustered around the boulders in the stone edifice before them fell away, shaken free to reveal curving bones of dead giants and dragons, haphazardly arranged into something approaching a vast, unmoving and totally inhuman visage. The echos welling up from the shifting earth took on the approximation of speech, and after listening for a few heartbeats both theurge and ahroun found they could follow the words.    

Cenezoica, Child of the Impact and Step-Daughter of Great Rorg, hears your petition. What would you ask of the Youngest of Ancients?
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Thu 06 Aug 2015, 23:58

Rends stands tall, but isn't quite sure where to look when addressing the unnerving spirit. He settles on what he figures may be the thing's eyes as he beats a fist on his chest. Figuring he might as well try to look as one with the earth, he activates Ribcage and his fist makes a loud SLAP! SLAP! CLANG!

"Cenezoica! I am Rends the Gar! Never has my body broken and much have I laid to waste! I am like a boulder crashing into saplings to my enemies! Teach me the way of the earthquake and rock slide! Show me how to crack stone and break steel with my hands and I will level a house in your honor with nothing but my claws!"

He continues beating his chest, building a rhythm with the echos in the cavern
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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Fri 07 Aug 2015, 21:59

The chthonic spirit listened, the beating of the earth's heart stilled for a single note as it considered his offer. Then the rumbling gyration of stone and clay resumed, sending a small spray of dust over Rend's head. Zoe wondered if it was some sort of anointing.

Let that place be a nest of the Enemy, and we have an accord, child of Fenris. Use my gift wisely; if you completely destroy what you consider to be a great hive of the Wyrm, return to me. If I find you worthy, and no stone has been left upon another, I can remake your claws in the image of the fiery talons of Rorg himself.  
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PostSubject: Re: Doubting Theurge   Sun 17 Jan 2016, 00:25

************************************

With a heavy thud, Rends a Zoe drop down into the dry chamber again. Archways formed of some terrible dragon's ribs form a hollow in the deep place, and the heartbeat of Gaia rebounds off the ancient bones like choir song in a cathedral. Without thinking, Rends again activates Ribcage then goes down to one knee before the effigy of stone and bone as his voice rebounds off the walls; that of a lone clergyman in a forgotten temple.

"Ancient One! My deed is done! I have laid low two strongholds of the Wyrm and in the days to come, thanks to the deeds of my pack, Houston will be purged! I have destroyed, I have dug, and I have slain the Enemy with my hands. Judge my deeds, and if'n it pleases you find me worthy of your blessing!"
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