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 The Way Forward

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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: The Way Forward   Sun 04 Dec 2016, 00:24

Rends was glad to see the rest of the pack again, safe and more intact than he'd expected. His days apart from them had been hard, and he was glad they were over.

After their debriefing with Robert he was eager to catch up with his family, but when Zoe waved for him to follow he motioned for them to go ahead and hung back. He caught Robert's eye, and the two of them waited while the rest of the assembled Garou went about their business. Zas looked like he might hang back as well, but Rends met his eye and shook his head. The Philodox was the last to leave, and the two Fenrir locked eyes again.

Myraid emotions fought for dominance within Rends as he looked into the eyes of his rival, but he kept his face stone still and blank as he approached Robert. Grudging, Rends broke the tense silence first.

"Look, Robert, I's gonna get straight to the point. Something's gotta change here. This... thing we got goin' on ain't doin' anyone any favors."

Rends wrestled down his renewed Rage, though he wanted nothing more than to let it off the leash. His words slithered from between his teeth, a seething whisper leaden with venom.

"I hate you. I'll never forgive you fer what you done to Roaring Jack. You took the handiwork of my father and used it to kill the greatest leader the Nation had to offer and robbed me of my chance to redeem my own family's sullied name."

He adjusted his hat, maybe a little more firmly than intended.

"I tell you this not to start a fight, but cuz I want you to understand the stakes as I sees 'em. I want you to know this is more than jest some hurt feelings or misplaced grief. Roaring Jack was the right man to lead us, but now we have you instead."
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PostSubject: Re: The Way Forward   Mon 05 Dec 2016, 20:38

Robert Swift-Death listened, the wrinkles around his eyes deepening as he narrowed his gaze. "Others have have said as much, and their words carried more weight than yours." Robert's teeth were sharp, glinting like blades amid his grey-streaked beard. The Gods' Nails were little more than bracers when the Eldest was in homid, but they still thrummed with unseen power.

"I had to fight more than one sibling not long after my challenge." The Eldest paused, taking a step towards Rends. "You will not find any of them here. Dislike of me is no crime, but know that I care little for forgiveness; what I require is obedience."

Robert stared at Rends, his eyes glowing yellow-red as they caught Luna's rays.

"Those who snap at my heels are of no use to me or Gaia. If I wished to lead a tribe of backbiters, halfwits and weaklings I would have challenged the Margrave of the Shadow Lords. We are Fenrir.
Our loyalty is not to any one Garou, no matter how distinguished. Our duty is to Mother Earth and Father Wolf."

The woods around them shivered, the tall trees billowing like the sails of a verdant ship as the seawinds washed over them. When the Eldest spoke again, his words were calm and measured.

"I did not take my father's place to cause strife. I did it because I understand what is at stake all too well."


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PostSubject: Re: The Way Forward   Tue 06 Dec 2016, 17:25

Rends matched gazes with the Eldest for a protracted moment, tension slowly growing between the two Fenrir. Rends pointedly avoided looking at the God's Nails.

"Let me be more clear then. If Jack had been proven weak, or if his suspicions about the White Ash was proven baseless, you would have had my full support the moment the facts was laid bare. But that wasn't the case. The Prodigals vindicated Roaring Jack and made his dying wish a reality while you took the Get off to chase their tails in the desert. Whether the Uktena are loyal to the Mother or not ain't been decided yet, but Jack was at least half right and by Luna's light we's gonna find out the rest of it or die tryin'."

Rends clenches his fists, nails digging into flesh while his face remains calm save for the furnace of Rage in his eyes.

"But like you said, we don't have time fer distractions so let's not talk about what could have been and focus on what will be. With that in mind, I've decided to give you a chance."

Rends blinks slowly, taking a deep breath.

"Like it or not, you're the leader we have. Going against you is going against the Get, and I ain't no traitor."
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PostSubject: Re: The Way Forward   Sat 10 Dec 2016, 18:41

When Rends-the-Gar spoke of Robert's abortive westward campaign of the previous year, the Scandinavian werewolf's lip curled upwards.

"Years ago, my father fought against the Fianna. I know you have heard some of the stories; but while most Get would thrive in such conflict, my father was broken by it. He feared conflict with the Uktena would have similar black results. This fear gnawed at him so that he unwilling to pursue the Wyrm to the ragged edge of the world."  

Robert Swift-Death said nothing for several moments, his cold disdain dissolving into regret.

"My father was not wicked, but he lacked the stomach to do what needs to be done. That is why he was unfit. That is why he was slain."

Robert gestured expansively toward the darkened mainland, half-visible despite the intervening cypress trees.

"You think my father acted as a uniter, but in reality all he did was show his throat to Malchizedek and allow the other protectorates to collapse or carve themselves apart."

The Eldest's words were little more than a harsh whisper.

"No more."
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PostSubject: Re: The Way Forward   Sat 17 Dec 2016, 23:04

Rends considered the Eldest's words for a long time, something strange lurking behind the Rage in his eyes.

"I think I understand. Since my first change I been told the Get are made fer war. We's the greatest warriors on the face of Gaia. If we ain't at war with somethin' big and nasty, we's wastin' our time and failing in our duties. We don't get a break, we don't get to rest. We win, then we move on to the next enemy."

Rends scratches his beard, then shakes his head, heaving a sigh.

"Jack weren't a coward, Robert. And he weren't a broken Garou. I think he'd come to realize what I's startin' to see. They's more to life than war."

He stuffs a hand into his pocket, fingering a silk handkerchief with a simple 'S' sewn into it.

"We gotta remember why we's at war: to protect everything we love and maintain Gaia's order in the world. I think Roaring Jack saw that we can't do that if we's always nipping at each other, going at each other fer no good reason then making nice after we lose a Caern or two to the Wyrm. He saw the value in making allies instead of bringing someone to heel."

Rends shakes his head, looking back to the Eldest.

"But now we have you, so fer all our sakes I's gonna start givin' you the benefit of the doubt."
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PostSubject: Re: The Way Forward   Sun 18 Dec 2016, 20:22

"War is upon us whether you would have it or not."

"I know you released that Shadow Lord, Illiana Storm-Wind, from my keep- you tore through the Steel Reavers to do it." Robert gave a sharp chuckle. "I trust she warned you about what sleeps in the very hearts of the Uktena's septs?"

Before Rends could answer, the older Fenrir continued: "I know she was not wholly honest with us, but whether this was malice or ignorance, it matters not. The Uktena keep many dread secrets. That is enough for me. Before battle is waged, I need to know whether to count them as allies... or as liabilities."

"Know that I am no stranger to warfare between the tribes, Adren. I fought and killed Fianna in my youth, and I do not think Gaia is poorer for it." The Eldest said this without pleasure or pride, his voice flat and matter of fact. He paused, remembering those distant bloody days. After a time, he continued.  

"Years ago, when I was little more than a boy, I was sent to stay with the Fianna. I was at one of their septs when war broke out between the tribes."

"After one of the early clashes went poorly for them, I was beaten relentlessly." Robert pulled his coat aside to reveal a row of ribs that were misshapen and deformed, shadows gathering in deep old gashes. It was as if the bones had been broken repeatedly and then healed only to be broken again into jagged splinters.

"The theurges claimed I died for a quarter hour. I don't know if I believe them, but I do know what I saw when the blood ran into my eyes. I saw the Great One, chained. He was gnawing viciously at his bonds, but then he saw me. In that fathomless yellow gaze I knew."

"The end is at hand. I know that the first blow of the apocalypse will be struck here, in this territory. The stars will fall, the Wyrm will rise, and Great Fenris will be freed." The Eldest spoke with clarity, as it filled with holy purpose.

"Hold your loved ones tight, Rends-the-Gar, but know that the Fenrir in this place exist to tear the west from the Wyrm's bloody grasp."
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