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 Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood

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Zoe

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PostSubject: Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood   Fri 15 Jan 2016, 21:09

When Zoe awoke the next morning, the day seemed a bit brighter.  The situation with Nightclaw had been resolved, King Arctus Rawest-Wind Erdos of House Unbreakable Hearth had been brought back from harano, and the Prodigals had survived a summons to Grandfather Thunder.  

With the caern in some semblance of order, Hears-the-Song desired to learn more about the spiritual nature of the White Ash caern and its leaders, the Silver Fangs.  She recalled having met their Theurge, Aara Deadwood, when the pack first spoke with Tereza, but she had not seen much of the girl since that time.  

Zoe approached the door to the Bloodgood estate, knocked twice, then stepped back, hoping to catch the young Silver Fang Theurge at home.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood   Sat 16 Jan 2016, 12:27

The heavy walnut door swung open to reveal Rorc Falling-Sword. The Silver Fang bodyguard looked stoic as ever as he ushered her inside. "Greetings, Adren. I will tell Mistress Aara that you have come." His carefully formal speech did little to veil the suspicion evident in his gaze. He strode away into the cavernous house, disappearing up the long unlit staircase.

He returned a few minutes later. "Mistress Aara will see you in her room. Follow me." The two Garou ascended to the second floor, and Zoe saw a pool of light spilling out of a crack in one of the intricately carved doors that lined the upstairs hall.

The room was large but furnished with a bed, a small nightstand and a wardrobe. It seemed as if patterns and glyphs had been carved into any and all available surfaces on the walls. Some of these, Zoe recognized: The short, truncated symbols of Harrier, the heavy, brutal gouges of Wyvern, and the smooth, sweeping cuts associated with Heron. Above them all was a stylized depiction of a gyrfalcon, wings spread and curving upward, talons open as if to embrace those below it.

The ceiling was marked too: a great sunburst marked the eastern end of the room, short thin filaments of golden chain spilling downward, fixed at each sharp point that emerged from Helios' likeness. Luna's glyphs were opposite him, at the western corner, her face crafted of ivory of different hues that gradually went from light to dark, emblematic of the ever-shifting lunar phases. There were other carvings, and paintings too, all depictions of strange naturae and animae.    

Aara Deadwood was a slight thing clad in a smock embroidered with swirling indigo lace, long auburn hair pinned back in a messy bun. Dark circles ringed eyes filled with youthful intensity as the girl watched Zoe enter. The Ahroun cleared his throat:

"Zoe Kostas, Hears-the-Song of the Iron Riders and Adren among the Nation-"

"And daughter of Coyote, the trickster. Yes, thank you Rorc."    

Rorc gave a curt, almost imperceptible bow and left, closing the door behind him. His footsteps did not go far down the hall, and Zoe imagined he was standing sentry only a few yards away, if that.

"Let me apologize for Rorc. He means well, but he is very fond of the old ways... it can make him seem a bit stuffy." Aara smiled at Zoe and sat on the bed, clearly expecting her visitor to do the same. "Besides, the introduction is quite unnecessary. I know who you are. What do I owe you the pleasure of this visit?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood   Sat 16 Jan 2016, 13:42

Zoe returned Aara's smile and sat beside her.

"Thank you for seeing me, Miss Aara. And don't apologize for Rorc. It's nice that he cares so much. I am a daughter of the trickster after all, and considering what was recently uncovered about Nightclaw, one can never be too careful."

As Zoe spoke, her eyes drifted about the room, noticing even more glyphs from this vantage point.

"My visit is fairly informal. As a fellow Theurge I simply wished to learn more about the spirits that take up residence in and around the caern. Having not been raised around Garou, I don't know much about you Silver Fang or your totems. Would you mind filling me in a bit?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood   Sun 17 Jan 2016, 14:59

"Oh, my, that is- it is an honor. I will do my best to tell you what I know!" The younger Garou steadied herself and motioned toward the rest of the room. "We are the First tribe, or so the stories say. The ancient bloodlines of kings and alpha wolves both are intertwined in our veins. Gaian Garou everywhere look to the Silver Fang houses to provide leadership. We do not lead through might or savagery, though our warriors are quite formidable- rather, we lead through example; each Silver Fang is expected to behave as a paragon of our kind, and to behave honorably in all things."

Aara pointed to the large engraved emblem of the gyrfalcon.

"This nobility of character is emphasized by our totem, Falcon. Falcon looks into the hearts of all Silver Fangs, offering us inspiration and guidance... we are held to a very demanding standard. If our actions are dishonorable and offend Falcon, we must repay the debt with our very blood."

The girl pointed out the lesser totems of Falcon's brood, naming them one by one. "Harrier and Heron are both wise, aiding our house in making decisions that would aid the Nation as a whole. Though, in truth, our house emphasizes Harrier, our personal totem, over Heron. Both have helped us keep strong allies with the local Shadow Lords... though if this will continue into the future, I do not know."

"Wyvern is a warlike aspect of Falcon, a beast that craves for vengeance against the Wyrm's atrocities. Wyvern is most concerned with keeping caerns inviolate, and will fight with insane fury to defend caerns in danger of falling to the Wyrm's clutches."

"I am sure a Theurge of your rank knows of Helios and Luna? They are sort of hard to miss," Aara giggled.

"I am glad to speak to another Iron Rider, though. I had many talks with Henrietta before she left, and you seem like her in some ways. Open, I suppose. When I speak with Hard-Rain it is often frustrating. He seems to be incapable of treating me as anything but a puppy."
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood   Sun 17 Jan 2016, 21:49

Zoe scratched her chin and looked up at the ceiling.

"Hmm...Luna...Luna...the name does sound familiar," she said with a mischievous glint in her eye.

Her tone becomes more serious as she continues.

"It sounds like the Silver Fang carry a heavy burden of responsibility within the nation. There's not much room for error when the entire Nation is supposedly looking to you as an example."

The elder Theurge is quiet for a moment and her gaze drops in sadness.

"I wonder if it was Falcon himself who drove the queen to her demise as recompense for her dishonorable behavior. I'd prefer to think she was done in by something of the Wyrm, but her offense was even more heinous due to her position in the Nation."

Zoe smiled fondly at the mention of Henrietta.

"Ah yes, Henrietta was key in helping me figure out what happened to my father, Tycheros Kostas. Long story short, he's alive but confined to the Penumbra; however, he's now an incarna known as Mnemosyne, so it's a fair trade I think. Though according to my pack I've now apparently lost all memory of some man who I had considered my adopted father...but that's about all I can tell you about him."

"As far as Hard-Rain is concerned, let him continue treating you as a puppy. It's better to be underestimated and prove people wrong than to be overestimated and prove them wrong. I didn't become Adren overnight, Aara. It takes time and the willingness to get out there and take chances. The world is full of spirits and experiences that will grow you from a curious pup into a woman of great wisdom."

Zoe gave Aara an encouraging smile.

"Not that I consider myself a woman of great wisdom, but do you have any questions for me?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood   Tue 19 Jan 2016, 14:22

The younger werewolf listened with rapt attention. "I do not think Falcon drove her directly, but I am sure she was ashamed of her tryst with Mr. Breen. It is all so sad. We should remember her sacrifice as a warrior, I think, rather than dwell on the transgressions of the dead."

"Your father became a spirit? And a powerful one, besides? I have never heard of such things before. Your stories sound incredible...! You wander far and wide, it sounds terrifying, all the wide open places." Aara shivered a little. "I seldom leave this place, if I can help it. I leave the forests to the likes of Hard-Rain and Scaith. I summon the spirits in the penumbra of my room, and this is where I study. I would like to hear about your travels- have they brought you spiritual insight? Or do you learn more about the umbral realms in quiet moments of contemplation?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Speaks to Aara Deadwood   Tue 19 Jan 2016, 19:46

The Iron Rider nodded in solemn assent. "Yes, I think it best to remember the queen honorably and not dwell on a single indiscretion."

Zoe smiled fondly at the excited questions concerning Tycheros. "It is quite an amazing tale of bravery and sacrifice on my father's part, throwing himself headlong into two massive enemies, sacrificing all memories of himself to defeat one and unwittingly sacrificing his humanity and ability to leave the umbral realms to defeat the other. But like I said, he is now an incarna, so it wasn't a total loss on his part."

Zoe's proud smile slowly faded into a dour frown as the memory of her father melded into thoughts of her mother's death.

"The world is a terrifying place, Aara. I will not argue you on that point. I, too, would be afraid to leave home were it not for my brothers. On my own I feel terribly vulnerable, but with them close by I feel nearly invincible. Each one brings a unique strength to our pack, and not just because we are all of different tribes and auspices."

Her eyes resume their adoring gaze as she dwells on each of the Prodigals.

"Rends the Gar brings strength equal to or greater than any Get Ahroun, but he doesn't let his physical strength or lust for blood outweigh his desire to lead his pack well. Many times he has taken the brunt of an attack to protect me from harm."

"Mocks the Night brings the cunning and trickery of a Ragabash Shadow Lord, but he almost always strives to do the right thing for the greater good and not just his own."

"Zas B'ul is our headstrong Philodox who cares very deeply about things being fair and just. Believe it or not, having a native along has been more helpful than I'd thought, and not just because he's insanely fast."

"Eaton Leper Friend actually received that name when he rescued the king's daughter Jana from a leper colony that had been harassed by vampires. Some see Bone Gnawers as helpless moochers, but Eaton has shown great resourcefulness, courage and the ability to put a positive spin on even the most dire circumstances...and on our most foolish mistakes, which is a good quality to have in a Galliard whose pack serves Coyote."

Zoe winked at Aara then considered her final questions. "I have certainly learned some about the umbral realms from meditation and talking with other Theurges, but the greatest knowledge I've obtained is through experience."

Her face became firm yet concerned. "You can only learn so much from the safety of this room, Aara. Find some Garou you can trust and slowly begin to venture out. Maybe start by stepping sideways just outside of the manor then perhaps wander toward the Fianna's house."

Zoe smiled encouragingly as she placed a hand on the girl's shoulder. "It's okay to be afraid, Aara, but when you face and overcome even the smallest fear you become empowered to face even greater ones."
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