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 The Quiet Burial pt. 2

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Zas B'ul

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Location : Texas

PostSubject: The Quiet Burial pt. 2   Tue 04 Oct 2016, 03:06

It had been two days. Two long days since the Prodigal's philodox had last seen daylight and moved freely across Gaia's face. His time of punishment had drawn to a close. His sentence having been served; true to letter of the law, the Fenrir philodox     Salts-the-Wounds supervised as her pack worked quickly in the exhuming of the coffin that held the Silent Strider.

As they cleared and brushed away the final loose bits of sand, she leapt down into the grave and pried off the splintered coffin lid with a crowbar.

Upon removing the covering she looked inside to see the Apache brave staring up at her, dark eyes unblinking despite the morning light. The philodox held her gaze even as he reached up and snapped his nose back in place with a loud crack, wiped the dried blood from his face and straightened his borrowed hat.

He mouthed a single word:  

"Again."

She looked back at him after a moment of pause. Her face unreadable.

Her packmate's surrounding the edge of the grave, upon seeing and hearing the Apache's response, exchanged quite a few looks and raised eyebrows, and more than a few looked back to see Rends the Gar standing close by, seeming to almost see him in a different light.

Salts-the-Wounds for her part nodded in understanding and replaced the coffin lid. She calmly then crawled back out of the grave and assisted her pack in re-burying the philodox.

Upon the gathered group completing their task, they quietly dispersed. All that remained behind was a solitary, stoic, stone faced fierce blue eyed man in a  leather coat who resumed his post as the ever vigilant sentry he had given his word to be standing guard in front of his packmates graveside.

----------------------------


Darkness. The cold empty void.
There is only darkness
Through darkness I gain pain
Through pain I gain strength
Through strength I gain victory


There was but one motive he had now. His intended purpose for returning.

It was time to face the demons.

The blood and tears and pain he had felt left him focused. His rage was no longer hot, but burned cold. Cold and deep.

His body had grown accustom to the eerie stillness. He no longer drew back in fear or grew antsy with desire to flee.
He had moved beyond himself. Now was the time.

The Silent Strider did not need to wait for long. Or perhaps he did. Time was relatively meaningless. His rage set his mind to task.

The first sounds he could make out were the unmistakable throbbing beats of war drums that he felt as much as heard in his gut.

The sound grew louder when it was joined by the whooping shouts and cries of the native Karankawa warriors who seemed to have grown in number.

The philodox could see clearly from the crack in his coffin lid the massive gathering of braves who seemed to have assembled in preparation for some form of war party. As his sense honed in on his surroundings, he noted the absence of the pirate crew who he had dealt with initially, though he could smell the burning scent of flesh and hair and did not take long to piece together the ghosts fates.

He did take note of three large winding and mighty but dead and rotting oak trees surrounded by a mixture of marsh land and large saltcedar plants and giant reeds.

Before long, the celebrating Karankawa noticed Zas peering gaze.

A couple of them approached him, wearing evil smiles and smelling of death and blood. As they approached one made to draw a scalping knife and laughing to his compatriot spoke, "He just can't get enough of us, can he? Well, perhaps it time we take some of him."

The warrior made to reach for Zas but his hand was stayed. A wheezing guttural sound from behind him spoke. "You mustn't harm the last of the Cherokee...heehah."

Hanging Maw stepped forwards into view brushing aside the two Karankawa wearing his trademark slack broken jaw and spoke with slurred words. "Hello again message bearer...you seem to be doing well, hahaheha!"

Zas stared into the skeletal eye-pits of his tenuous spectral ally with a steely eyed gaze. "Hello, Hanging Maw, Alpha of the Overhill sept, First Beloved of the people. I have come for you."

The Philodox appearance and subsequent conversation with the spectre that stood before him, seemed to attract the attention of some of the other nearby Karankawa who quieted to hear and see what would happen next with their still-living guest...

Hanging Maw's face seemed to contort for a moment as he looked at Zas, before he laughed. His eyes filled with corpse light, shone brightly. "I can see you seem to believe that what you say is true. hahaha! But what I can't seem to understand is why you think I am going anywhere with you. If anything, I assumed now would be when you would finally see reason-when you would see what I have warned you of, has indeed come to pass. Or..perhaps when you would seek me for aid and joined my war party. You are not far from death now. "

Zas looked quizzically at him, "What did you warn me of?"

The wraith's form flexed and seemed to take on a more commanding stature as he swelled into his badly wounded Crinos form and spoke. "Do you not remember? Surely you jest...Zas B'ul, look around you. Do you not recall that I told you that you too would not be spared--that you were no friend of the pale skinned invaders, but merely a beaten dog only waiting to be tossed aside like garbage?"

The Silent Strider nodded his head. "I remember."

An expression of hungry glee crawled across the monstrous wraith's features for the briefest of moments, "...Yes, and do you remember how I told you what must be done-that you should strike down those who hate the enemies of the pure?"

Zas smiles. "Yes, I recall."

Nigh hysterical laughter began to rise among the nearby Karankawa and even Hanging Maw himself glanced at Zas with unconcealed delight. "And what do you have to say about all of it now?"

The Silent Strider looked Hanging Maw straight in the face and says, "Do you remember what else you told me? When we met the day you buried the bodies of the Cherokee on the plain,--you said that you came to mourn those who still breathe because they disrespected the sacrifice of the great chieftains? That the deaths of those righteous Cherokee made the hard ground sacred. Do you remember that?"

Hanging Maw's tongue twitched, flopping out from between his broken jaws as Zas recounted the moment: "I made a vow to protect the pure. Living and dead alike. I do not wish to disrespect the great chieftains, but want to honor their memory."

The shouts and whoops of the Karankawa are beginning to reach a fever pitch.

The philodox growled, "I have been broken, cut, crushed, and I did not cry out. My people have died. My home burned."

The ghastly wraith howled in ecstatic joy. "Yes! YEs!! You have felt the pain! You have suffered! And now what must you do?!?! HAHEHEHAHAH!!!!"

Zas gripped the sides of the coffin firmly, his words firm, resolute. "I, Zas B'ul of the Tsaligi Nvdagi, the Natahay, the Croatan, friend of the pure...will bring peace between the bloodied tribes of Gaia. I will unite them in brotherhood."

The Karankawa drums go silent.

Hanging Maw's jaw opens wide, his voice failing to conceal his surprise, "Peace? You want peace after all you have gone through? Why Zas? Tell me why. Why would you want peace?"

The Silent Strider looks at him and says, "To protect the pure. To serve Gaia. To fight the wyrm."

Hanging Maw grows deathly quiet for a moment. "But, you are in a coffin, buried alive. You have lost everything. You have been abandoned by your very pack. You are alone!"

Zas shakes his head. "I chose to come here for you Hanging Maw. I chose to be buried alive, to suffer for you. I brought my words and message to you. Crawl your way into the lands of the quick. There you will find my alpha standing guard over my body. There is loyalty among the wyrmcomers. We need merely look."

Hanging Maw takes a step back away from Zas, his expression one of confusion and something else-pain perhaps.

He looks upwards for a moment, his eyes clouding over. He gazes for a long moment taking in the scene.

The Spectre then looks back down at Zas, his eyes returned to their empty socket form. He gives a sharp wicked grin after a moment, "Hah! So you have brought your Pure hating Alpha here. And you left him all alone. Tsk Tsk"

"Perhaps if I were to strike him down, you could then see the error of your ways...like Bowles' son John, Yes...your alpha seems to be the one thread that you are chained to. If I were to unbind you from him, then you could let go of them all."

Zas growled at him, "No...Hanging Maw. Leave him alone. Come with me. We can save the Pure together."

Hanging Maw had stopped listening. Already he made multiple hand gestures coordinating something. He let out an unsteady howl that rose into a high warbling wail of pain, grief, and frustrated rage. He then turned back to Zas, "I do this for you. Scrape and bow no longer to the invaders Zas b'ul. Be free!"

Hanging Maw then disappeared from right before Zas's eyes.

In his place, a large war band of braves armed to the teeth appeared and began their slow climb upwards. Some used Zas's coffin as a stepping stone.

Zas let loose a vengeful howl of righteous fury.

--------------------------

Rends the Gar stood solemnly before the foot of Zas grave. He listened as the cries of the sea birds quieted down for the night and the waves continued their relentless attack upon the sand and shore.

It was in this moment as Luna rose having reached her zenith for the evening, that a movement caught Rends attention.

Off in the wooded marshes to his right, a silvery faint outline seemed to appear but for an instant before vanishing. This coupled with the bone chilling and unsettling feeling he had beginning to run up and down his spine let him know he was not alone.

It was not long before in his hyper-aware state that he began to notice not just one, but upwards of close to twenty wraiths making their way towards him, their silent hovering and lack of noise was disconcerting. More still was as Rends took a quick glance behind him he saw another force of wraiths roughly the same size approaching from his other side.

The Ahroun took on a defensive posture, backing up in an attempt to try and have something at his back that he could fight from more tactically. Unfortunately, he was unprepared for anything like this and there was literally nothing nearby that he could use strategically to his benefit.

The wraiths quietly began to slowly encircle him til he was completely surrounded.

He took another step back to try and brace himself for the impending rush...

--------------------

Zas screamed out in a fit of fury.

The Philodox hurled out his tomahawk from between the crack in the coffin lid and used every ounce of strength he had in himself to force the coffin upright and shake off the wraiths using him as a stepping stone.

The Apache's spinning blade found its mark and on it's return managed to slice clean through another wraith's form.

He leapt up and down and shook himself side to side, with his bladed weaponry outstretched essentially turning himself into an impenetrable wall of spinning wooden bladed death.

That's when the Silent Strider noticed a lone wraith nearly having climbed its way to the surface.

Zas asked for a quick blessing from the spirits as he prepared to leap to the wraith's position.

-----------------------

As Rends readied himself against would would likely be the end, a wraithly clawed hand appeared just behind him and made to grab for his leg, but then oddly seemed to just stop. Rends could see as the hand slowly was dragged back under the soil, leaving a trail of nail marks behind.

"'Atta boy Zas! Kill 'em all! Just like I learnt ya"

----------------------

Zas rammed his partially transformed Crinos claws out through the middle of the splintered coffin lid and into the wraith. the Silent Strider then just let gravity pull the two of them back down, his taloned hand still embedded deeply in the wraith and the added weight of the coffin forced the ghost to give up his plans of breaching the surface.

------------------------

The Get of Fenris Ahroun finally took his last step backwards. He brandished his weapons: Roaring Jack's dagger in one hand, his large war club in the other. The wraiths began to surge forwards.

I could really use some more of that Silent Strider jujumcgumbo right about now

The Wraiths closed in on his position quickly. Looking down, rends could see he was now standing directly over Zas's body-albeit several feet above the earth.

He looked back up at the approaching horde and gritted his teeth, "Before I die, I swear I'll be taking at least a few of you son's of bitches with me!"

The Alpha raised his mighty war club in a well trained arc and prepared to swing.

The wraiths let out a loud war cry as they prepared to make their initial strike.

It was just before they overwhelmed his position that Rends watched as from beneath the ground all around him surged forth in a powerful torrent dozens if not hundreds of writhing black tentacles.

The sudden appearance of the black whip like coil barrier caught the charging unsuspecting wraiths who were closest to them completely unaware. They became trapped in steel vice like grips and were left dangling in the air, unable to escape or flee from the armed and inspired Fenrir alpha.
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: The Quiet Burial pt. 2   Mon 07 Nov 2016, 22:44

Standing alone in a half circle of midnight grasping coils, Rends swung his club above his head and smiled. The Spectres were stalled, but he knew better than to trust them to do the wet work for him. In a moment he assessed his foes, eye settling on a mountain of a Spectre. The once-Injun must have stood nearly nine feet tall; its spectral form was awash with angular tattoos and ritual scars. It let out a war cry as it pulled its self free from the clutching darkness, making its lurching way to Rends with its own club and buffalo hide shield raised. Rends adjusted his hat with his knife hand and gave a toothy grin.

Cain't fight all of 'em. Gotta split 'em up. Welp, might as well go all in...

Rends let Ribcage slam to the ground at his feet, raising his knife to point at the giant.

"Did that limp snake's cock Hanging Maw send y'all? Then step right up! I ain't seen a ghost yet worth so much as my piss on a bad day in a fight and you week old dog shits don't look no different! Let's get this over with so I can go back to building whore houses on your sacred lands!"

The spectres stared mutely for a long quarter second before a terrible scream rose from twenty throats and a blast of icy hatred washed over Rends. All at once they wailed and tore at themselves, corpse light leaking out where they mangled themselves in their furry to escape the tentacles and exact their revenge. The giant lead the charge, and like an ocean wave they crashed into the Ahroun and bore him to the ground as his own scream tore free to be drowned by their icy hatred.

Snarling and swinging, Rends was quickly overwhelmed and bore to the ground where the haunting hollow eyes of his tormentors harried him from all sides even while their their hateful hands crept under his skin to cleave muscle from fat and bone. He could feel the blood streaming out from under his nails and from every hair follicle. He screamed in fear and pain this time and his eyes met those of the giant standing above him. In his eyes he saw a vision.

Rends saw his pack hanging from a tree in the Forked Ash. King Rawest Wind turned his back in shame and left their bodies as crow food while the world around the Caern burned.

Wild Injuns rode free through the streets of Nacidoches. Akna rose high and spread her fiery wings to the horizon while the false-Garou of her brood pillaged and raped his first home as a Garou.

Clothes and hair torn Silke stumbled down the highway. She clutched a too-still babe wrapped in a blood soaked blanket to her breast, muttering to herself or maybe to the child a long string of nonsense and cooing noises. Her eyes were red and puffy beneath the blood but she seemed to have no more tears to cry. She left bloody foot prints in her wake, and Rends saw in her eyes none of the strength he'd come to love. They were hollow and empty, their fire smothered under a weight of grief and horror.

It all came crashing down on Rends, and even as his body was torn asunder he succumbed to despair and let his weapons drop, and he let himself drown in the choking visions of his enemy.

Then he felt something shift, and the world in the Wraith's eyes shook with a terrible deepness. The others stopped their grizzly work as a second tremor shook the world, then beyond the wraith there rose a new icy wind heavy with the scent of holly, pine and mountain flowers. Somewhere far away a horn sounded and called Rends out of his stupor.

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

Below, Zas let out a war cry of his own to buoy the spirits of his Alpha. He turned to Hanging Maw.

"Now we see who has placed his bets wisely! Behold your would-be ally!"

With another triumphant yell he surged his magic up and pulled the horde from his Alpha, though he could not nab the giant he could sense something else above...


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

The horn sounded again, and though Rends was robbed of his Rage he could feel some cousin of it pounding in his chest. He tore his eyes from the giant and looked to the stars. There in the heavens awaited another vision, of a great and terrible Wolf, and in its eyes Rends saw the wrath of not an angry god, but a god of anger. It spoke in a voice like shattered iron and scorched blood, and by the sound of its voice mountains were unmade.

"NOT UNWISELY ARE MY SONS CHOSEN, AND NOT LIGHTLY DO THEY FALL. YOU ARE ONE. YOU WILL FIGHT."

As suddenly as it appeared, the wolf was gone. The smell of flowers and iron lingered for a moment before it too faded.

The nightmares fled his eyes, and Rends fought off the pain of a broken body. With a defiant scream his arm shot up to grab the giant's arm, and with an effort of will Rends felt his fingers and teeth grow cold. Bitter frost formed on them and he pulled the giant down to his level with an enormous effort. He pummeled the spirit with his fists, catching the thing off guard with his strength and renewed vigor. Once it was beaten into submission he leaned down over it, chuckling.

"Know what? Fightin' always makes me hungry."

Rends opened his mouth wide and with a final spectral scream the ghost vanished into his maw. Around him the others let out shrieks of terror, but they could not flee. Rends took to his feet slowly, picking up his hat and weapons before putting them to their proper place. White teeth gleamed beneath the dark brim of his hat as he turned to the bound spectres and smiled wide.

"I got the boss watchin' and he's expectin' a show. So let's hear it fer the good guys. Now, who's next?"

They screamed and were unmade, one by one in the belly of the Fenrir.
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The Quiet Burial pt. 2
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