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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Hidden Words   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 20:20

Things were still a little awkward for the Prodigles and their new members. Talk around the camp fire was stilted and awkward the first night of their journey, but it wasn't unfriendly.

Some time after supper had been cleaned up, Zoe found herself approached by the hulking form of Words-Half-Spoken. He approaches quietly, seemingly unsure of himself. His throat works for a moment before he chokes out a few words.

"You want... talk? I have sec-ret to sharing."

He turns to look over to where the others are gathered before waving a claw off towards the wilderness.

"Come. I showing. I tell."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 20:28

Zoe eyed her temporary packmate suspiciously. She did not feel unsafe around him per se, but his offer took her by surprise.

Why would he want to share a secret with me? What does he not want Mocks and Eaton to know? Does his brother know? Should I insist that Mocks or Eaton accompany us? The Stranger will be nearby. I can probably outsmart him or outrun him if things get uncomfortable.

"Okay..." she replied, sounding a bit unsure herself.

Zoe took a few cautious steps toward the wilderness then waited for the Get to lead the way.
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 21:08

The hulking Metis leads her off a short distance, to a small clearing under a gnarled scrub oak.

He turns to face Zoe, his still human eyes showing a hint of excitement as he rummages in a satchel he always carries at his side.

"You say when meet... have... se-cret? Is good. Must... vette before trust. Is wise."

He pulls something large and square out of the bag, clutching it to his chest as he looks to Zoe.

"But we is need... trust."

He holds the object out to Zoe, urging her to take it. When she does she sees that it is a large leatherbound book. Though it is thick with pages, only the first several are filled. The writing is a beautiful flowing script and there isn't a single errant drop of ink to be found. Zoe is able to make out the title in grand bold letters on the front cover.

Interpretations of the Litany Across Nation Holdings, With Asides in the Lands of the Pure

Beneath that, in slightly smaller script:

An examination of the application of Garou law taken from observations among various Septs, scribbing and comentary provided by Words-Half-Spoken, Philodox of the Get of Fenris

He smiles proudly.

"So here is my heart."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 21:17

When Zoe realized the intentions behind Words-Half-Spoken's action, she sighed and returned the book.

"Look, Words-Half-...do you go by anything shorter than that?"

She waved a dismissive hand before he had a chance to reply.

"Look. I appreciate this gesture, but my secret is just that, it's mine. I don't understand it. It's a bit confusing. And the person it involves could be endangered by...by me sharing this with too many people."
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 22:11

The Metis' eyes flash in frustration and hurt at the returned book.

"I... are... no-"

He snarls in frustration before looking over his shoulders. Apparently satisfied by what he sees he turns back to Zoe and holds up a claw.

"Wait."

Without further delay, his form begins to melt and shrink while he clutches the tome to his chest.. The sound of cracking bones and smashed joints drowns out the cricket song for a few seconds, and the Metis wears a pained expression as the rest of him melts down to match his accursed face. He lets out a growl or two of pain, but after a few seconds he stands before Zoe in his Homid skin. He is broad of shoulder and not particularly tall. He wears a simple pair of trousers and clean cotton shirt, both of which appear slightly too small for his frame. A few pale scars peak out from under clothes or hairline, and under his full beard his face is round and remarkably ugly, though his jaw finally seems to have crunched to its proper place.

He takes a moment to look around again, seeming almost embarrassed about something. Then he turns back to Zoe, his face set in a serious expression.

"I apologize for not making my meaning clear. I have no intention of prying into your affairs. I realize that my brother and I are strangers to your pack. We have our secrets and you have yours, as is right."

He wipes an affectionate hand gently over the cover of the book, removing some errant speck of dirt.

"I only mean to share one of my own secrets, minor though it is. If we are to work together on behalf of the Eldest, we must have trust. But trust cannot be had without someone taking the first step."

Previously he'd always spoken in a broken mesh of English, French and First Tongue, but now his enunciation is crisp and clear, but his voice is a quiet tenor, carrying a musical accent with something like a wolf's howl to it.


Last edited by Rends the Gar on Thu 06 Oct 2016, 23:18; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 22:22

Zoe's eyes widened in surprise at how the homid form cleared up the Garou's speech impediment. Now it was her speech that was temporarily imparied.

"I - but you - how? Why do you -?"

She shook her head to clear her thoughts.

"Thank you for being willing to take the first step toward building trust, but I am still a bit perplexed. What exactly are you sharing with me that is a secret? Your book? Your ability to speak clearly? Your homid form?"
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 22:50

Words Half Spoken chuckles, but still looks a bit uneasy.

"Perhaps I misspoke earlier. What I wish to share is not so much a secret as it is private. I speak all my judgements in the Apeskin, so it is no great secret. Rather I only use it at great need, when being perfectly understood is of utmost import. For most things, I am content to use my true skin and wear my curse proudly. Besides, brother would never stop his taunting if he learned I took the Apeskin just to make ape's small talk."

He holds the book up to Zoe again, squaring his shoulders and popping a couple of buttons from his too-small shirt.

"Your own Philodox is outspoken about bringing the Pure into the fold. Mocks the Night has declared he will purge the Sons of Thunder. This is my ambition. I wish to see the Litany in action, and record how it is applied across all our lands, and record for all to see who among the Tribes are truest to the Law."
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Fri 07 Oct 2016, 10:38

Zoe visibly relaxed and accepted the book again, browsing a bit more intentionally this time.

"Up until now, where do you stand? Which Tribe is truest to the Law? I imagine you would say your own. What other tribes have you even had opportunity to interact with in your short time as Garou?"

She realized that her last statement was a bit presumptuous.

"I only assume your time as Garou has been short and your exposure to other tribes has been minimal due to your rank. How old are you? How long has it been since your first change?"
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 14:58

Words Half Spoken seems to relax, crouching down in a relaxed posture.

"I have seen some winters, but not many. My first change was..."

He stops for a moment, concentrating.

"It has been... three winters since my First. But I am not new to Garou society. I am Metis. My only place is with Garou, though it is not a welcome one. I was raised at the Caern-Under-The-Stars by my mentor, Tell-No-Lies. From the time I was at the tit he raised me in the Litany and taught me much of what I know. I had my first duel when I was but a pup. I have lived within a Caern all my life, and I have walked the Moon Bridges of the Old World, and with my claws I slew the Catchclaw Demon."

He smiles.

"I am young, it is true. But war is all I have ever known, and death in service to Gaia my highest aspiration."

He points to the book.

"That being said, I have had few chances to do my work properly. We are mistrusted in most places, and while Brother and I are rarely chased away, we are seldom welcomed as true brothers, and only rarely have the ranking Philodox deigned to let me interview them. That said, I have made some progress, and it seems to back my initial hypothesis which you correctly guessed."

He takes the book back, leafing through the pages to show a certain passage.

"Generally speaking there is a pattern of prosperity that accompanies strict adherence to the articles of the Litany. Unsurprisingly, the greatest evidence of this is here at the Breakwater, where until quite recently Get holdings were indisputably among the most secure and expansive in the Nation. Even now with the troubles in the city, under the waves, and the errant Tonkawa, the only Sept that rivaled Breakwater in terms of size and prosperity was the White Ash and, well, you know what became of that better than most."
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 16:04

Zoe laughed as she considered her own past.

"We could not be any more different, you and I. I grew up completely separated from Garou society, but here in Galveston, actually. My pack tells me I was raised by some mag- (she reconsiders her word choice) man, some man here in town, but I cannot remember a thing about him. That's another long story. I didn't know anything about Garou much less the Litany until a week or so after my first change! Can you imagine experiencing such a change without knowing a thing about Garou?"

Zoe shook her head.

"It was horrendous. But I say all that to say that my understanding of the Litany is still highly dependent on Zas's interpretation of it. He's the one you should be showing your book to or at least the one you should be interviewing for someone's view on interpreting and practicing the Litany."

At this point she was beginning to feel a bit too open with this new packmate.

"Don't get me wrong. I mean, I understand the Litany and obey it and all that. I'm just not as well versed in all the nuance and particulars of the law."

When the Philodox boasted of the greatness of the Breakwater sept, she bit her tongue and nodded, but she imagined her face betrayed the disdain for the practices of this sept and its leadership.
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 16:50

Words Half Spoken nods along, seeming familiar with much of what Zoe says.

"Yes, I have spoken with Eldgrim and some of the other Get here, as well as your friend Ear Killer and they have told me some of the deeds of your pack, and how your Alpha was originally charged with the task of bringing you to justice. Strange how events from years past shape today's conflicts, is it not? I wonder if Rends the Gar and the Eldest would be at such loggerheads today if he had not run into Roaring Jack and earned his Tribe on his way to Nacadoches rather than complete his original mission..."

His eyes go distant for a moment, considering the possibilities. After a brief consideration he shakes his head.

"But such speculation is neither here nor there. Though you rely on All-Friend to interpret the Litany, it is well that you realize that it is not only the Philodox who must carry the Litany with him. The Litany must be as our blood, coursing through and empowering us even as it gives us life. The Litany is as a great river in a desert: all must drink of it, and it may appear calm and straight. But the unseen depths are trecherous to those who do not know the way, and the winding of the river cannot be known to those who have not been shown the way..."

About this time he blinks, looking sheepish.

"Forgive me, I tend to ramble at times. I would like to interview All-Friend, but sadly there were other matters tying him up before we left."

He coughs awkwardly.

"There is another reason I wanted to show you my book though. I was hoping that when this affair with the Tonkawa was settled and the city made placid again, Robert would give Brother and I leave to visit Nacadoches and interview Red Oath. As Sept Alpha and Philodox she could give valuable insight into the practical application of our law!"

He scratches behind his ear, starting to pace a bit.

"To that affect, I had hoped to enlist your help. I see that your pack has much respect for you in spite of your disadvantages, so I was hoping after I prove myself on this quest you might write me a letter of recommendation that I might present to Red Oath. I understand this is how many Ape-Born make introductions to your superiors, and I wanted to make a good impression."
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 21:31

Zoe laughed heartily when Words-Half-Spoken apologized for rambling about the Litany.

"You and All-Friend would get along wonderfully. I have no doubt!"

As the Philodox concludes his request, the Theurge crossed her arms and tilted her head, visibly put out.

"And now we get to the real reason we're here. Are you sure you want someone with such disadvantages writing you a letter of recommendation to Red Oath?"
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 22:34

Words Half Spoken looked into the Theurge's eyes for a protracted moment, face unreadable.

"I see you take offense at my request. I ask for no handout; I will prove my worth to you and if you demand I will pay, though I have no Ape papers to give."

He takes the book back, snapping it shut and tucking it under an arm.

"I had thought one who has known dismissal and mistreatment in spite of one's worth would lend a sympathetic ear, but obviously I was wrong. I can see now that perhaps the stories of your pack's struggles have been exaggerated, and your own upbringing among the Apes must have given you some crucial insight in dealing with the Spirits."

His hands are shaking in anger as he tucks the book away into his satchel. Then he turns and lowers his head, speaking through gritted teeth.

"Forgive me, Adren."
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Sun 09 Oct 2016, 16:18

Zoe sighed with exasperation.

"Words Half Spoken, wait. I'm-I'm sorry.  You're right."

Another sigh.  

"Look, it's not your fault.  I shouldn't have taken it out on you.  I'm not a fan of your tribe in general.  I don't think that's any secret.  There are a few of you here and there who I admire, like Rends and Eldgrim and a few others, but for the most part your tribe rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe it's because of Rends' initial command to hunt down the 'urrah' and bring her to justice.  Perhaps it's because of how things went down surrounding Jack's death."

She paused for a beat to swallow her pride.  "Whatever it is, I should have given you a fair chance and not judged you based on your tribe alone.  Depending on how things go on this mission, I would be more than happy to escort you and your brother to Red Oath personally."
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Tue 11 Oct 2016, 23:02

Words Half Spoken visibly relaxes, looking up to meet Zoe's eye.

"There is nothing to apologize for, Adren. You have my thanks. A letter would be a great help; I have no desire to keep you from your own duties."

He tilts his head to the side, curious.

"What about the fall of Roaring Jack displeases you? I have heard accounts of the Challenge from many who were there. It was a challenge fairly given and fairly won by all testimony."

He narrows his eyes, suddenly intense.

"Did you see something to call the Challenge into question? If so I would hear it."

He pauses for a second, guessing at something Zoe mentioned.

"We Fenrir do not suffer the weak among us, even when they were once strong. It is good for the strong to continually be challenged; it is because of this we have the strongest leaders. I think, too, it is a way to honor our Elders. They die knowing they fell to one who is strong, they know their Tribe are lead by the best, and they never become a drain on the Sept when their bodies fail or their minds fade. It may seem harsh, but it is for the best for the weak to be culled.
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden Words   Wed 12 Oct 2016, 21:11

As Words summarized his thoughts, Zoe scowled.

"Roaring Jack's mind had not faded, neither had his body failed. The match was unfair."

Zoe bit her tongue.

"I would rather not say any more about it at this point, but I would encourage you to look into it further. Speak to Rends-the-Gar or Zas when we return."
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