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 The Gathering Swarm

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Posts : 319
Join date : 2013-10-28
Location : Texas

PostSubject: The Gathering Swarm    Sun 17 Jan 2016, 23:03

Once Eaton finished recording the details of what happened with the encounter in the Shadow Lord’s realm, he headed back to the Fianna’s lodge to collect the jam he would need to call his spirit allies. Now would be a good time to alert the Swarm to the developments of the White Ash sept. After all, he did promise to tell them about potential prey so they wouldn’t miss out on any action.

“And when he sees Rat’s Teeth on the battlefield, Rawest Wind has to impressed by us and will be . . .”

He got distracted from his thoughts when he found and secured another jar of jam and ventured back into the night. Though it was still dark throughout
the sept without a bright moon in the sky, Eaton couldn’t help but notice that the shadows seemed shorter and less imposing than the night before. Putting aside that observation, instead of going into the grove that housed the Caern’s heart, he went into one of the vast fields that surrounded the sept. Finding a quiet enough area among the amid the gentle night breeze and the shivering of the dormant grass, he reenacted the same ritual he had the previous night: producing his seemingly useless trap and smearing it with his offering. It didn’t take long before Eaton could hear the rustling through the pasture. Only a minute later the rodent spirits descended upon the fetish, and just as Eaton was about to speak his request, he realized it was not the Doom of Hamelin who answered the summon. Instead a dozen field mice crowded around the sticky sweet substance, holding their tiny claws to their cheeks as they feasted. Once they had licked the trap clean, they all turned to face the Galliard.

“Greetings, Rat’s Tooth. The Workers of the Field answer your summon. What is troubling you?”  

Eaton had to resist raising an eyebrow, trying to think if he had missed something recreating the ritual. Regardless, he replied, “Er, I’m fine, really. The reason I called ya’ll is that I need ya to deliver a message to the rest of Rat’s followers, and I think the’re gonna be mighty excited.”

The mice simply stared at Eaton in anticipation. The Galliard liked to imagine if that had the tools to write this down, they would have them at the ready. Taking a deep breath Eaton recited his message,

“The Silver Fang King has awakened from his slumber; Falcon has spread his wings. He calls to our our kind, to turn our efforts to Houston, retaking the fallen city and satisfy our bloodlust, to avenge their sins against the Great Mother! Soon, Falcon’s cry will sound across the Frontier, calling those able and willing to destroy this infestation upon our lands: we must keep watch, ready to strike at soon as the charge is given! Prepare for war, prepare for glory, prepare to drive the wyrm back to the Abyss! Prove the power of Rat and his children!- Also," Eaton said, loosing his theatrical voice, "Rawest Wind mentioned that there were still some Gnawer's in Houston last time he was awake. I wanna know their names- they should be mighty helpful in the comin' war."

The mice squeaked quietly among themselves, before answering, “We will deliver this message to Rat’s nest, all we ask is that your answer us truthfully.”

Eaton again had to resist giving a slight grimace, “Alright, what do you want to know?”

“What it is that troubles you; it is natural to be weary from battle, nervous for what the future holds- Please, share your burdens.”

Eaton shook his head, “I think you’re worrin’ over nothin’, I’ve already got this figured out: Of course Rawest Wind is gonna need all the help he can get. With Rat’s teeth to help tear up Houston, he’ll see we aren’t some lazy good-for-nothin’ rabble. He was in a stupor for the last several years and just hearin’ about our exploits ain’t doin’ ‘em justice. Seein’ the Gnawers in action should . . . alleviate any concerns he’s got about us.”

Eaton smiled as each beady eye peering back at him blinked in turn. After what felt like an eternity, the mice answered, “Are you sure that is the proper way to seek his approval?”

Eaton scoffed before he answered, “Other than tryin’ to convince him I’m really a lost scion of the Fianna, yes. Considerin’ how strict they uphold their traditions and now that’s in shambles, I figure the next best thing is showin’ that havin’ a Bone Gnawer as an in-law ain’t the end of the world. Or at least won’t be the cause of it.”  

The mice swished their tails, a few staring longingly at the half-filled jar of jam that sat next to Eaton.

“What you want is admirable, but your tactics less so, Leper-Friend.” The spirit said, “While the King would certainly welcome aid, that would that truly address his prejudice?”  

Eaton frowned before he said, “My dad has a saying: Long as someone ain’t dead or pregnant, any problem can be fixed. Considerin’ in this instance both those conditions have been checked off, the best I gotta do is deal with it. Showin’ Rat’s brood can hold their own alongside the Get and the Fianna should go a long way with just that.”

“We agree with you; the past cannot be undone; no matter how hard the the King or you wish otherwise. You say this problem must be addressed, and it must, but perhaps through another means.” The mice answered.

Eaton inhaled slowly and said more harshly than he probably meant, “Oh? What do you suggest? I agree with ‘im and hope that works itself out?”

Without addressing his sarcasm, the mice asked, “Was it a Silver Fang prince who defended the vulnerable and the frail-when only asked to drop of supplies-giving hope to a girl who thought she had no worth?”

If Eaton had been in lupus, his ears would have flattened across his head, “Uh, no . . .”

“Was it a Fenrir hero who gave her companionship, knew this was no life for someone he cared about, and worked to give her all he could?” They continued, all of their small faces watching the Galliard.

“I guess not, but . . .”

“And did a Fiana warrior look past her illness and circumstance, allowing her to be reunited with her father?”

Eaton said nothing, merely staring at the gathered rodents in a distance gaze.

“You may not have a title or pure blood, Leper-friend, but had it not been for your compassion and resolve, Rawest-Wind would have lost both daughters and never woken from his sorrow. We will deliver your message, so that the wyrm be driven from that forsaken city."

The mice began to vanish into the night, but Eaton quickly snapped out of his thoughts and yelled, “Wait! There’s something else I wanted to . . .!”

Only the rustling of the grass replied. Eaton's shoulders drooped as he turned to shuffle back to the Sept proper. As soon as he faced west he saw a mouse perched on its hind legs stand before him, gazing up at the Galliard.  

"Yes? What else do you ask of us?" It said.

Eaton got back down on his knees and said, "I'll make this quick because I just told ya what needs to be done, but you ain't like other's in Rat's brood; but I've heard of the gifts you can bestow. One of 'em should make the packrat nest grow more easily and the other may help out of a sticky situation. I think ya which ones I'm talkin' about."

The mouse bobbed as if nodding in agreement, "We will teach you what desire, though we ask this in return: Put what we've said to use. Stoke the flame of hope within him-perhaps that may allow you to overcome your own doubts."

Eaton smiled as he said, "Ya got yerselves a deal," as he  dumped out the rest of the jelly onto the trap.The field mice squealing in delight as they surged back into the clearing, seemingly clustering around the Garou's feet as much as the succulent meal. He tried to step lightly, careful to avoid crushing the frail rodents, though he quickly realizing he was stepping on them, though they remained unharmed- it was as if he was weightlessly balancing upon them. Once they had finished their feast, the mice turned tail and raced to the north to honor the Bone Gnawer's request. The Galliard watched them go, standing still as the cool night breeze blew around him. He had planned to give his message to the Doom of Hamelin and that would be all. He wasn’t sure how The Workers were called, yet they reminded him of things he had forgotten in his own anxiety.

Sometimes, hope did come in the least likely of places.
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