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 Blame Game

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Eaton

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PostSubject: Blame Game    Fri 10 Mar 2017, 20:40

As the gathered assembled Garou made there way back to the Burnt Rock caern, Eaton was unusually quiet. The battle- no, slaughter- still replayed in his mind. Thoroughly disgusted with himself, he remembered how he felt destroying their wagons and tearing through their flesh- he swallowed the rage with an uncomfortable groan. With each recall of the events, he searched for something, anything that would allow him to believe this was a set up, a cruel twist from the wyrm. Their cargo was planted, the people among them corrupted, irredeemably under a leech's sway, . . . anything.

Try as he may, his mental search was unsuccessful.

He jogged a bit to catch up with their Philodox and asked in a hush, pained tone, "I saw you searchin' through the bodies back there, fingurin' out who was kin and who ain't. I gotta know- how many did I kill?"
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sat 11 Mar 2017, 00:22

Though the geographical distance between the various garou and their destination was exactly the same as it had been prior to the ensemble's early morning trek, the trip was a long one. Few spoke. Fewer still carried anything resembling a cheerful disposition. No one smiled.

The tenebrous apache listened as he heard his packmate approach. The misery teetering on the brink of despair that rode along the galliards' words resounded like a gong within the Philodox. Turning to address the Bone Gnawer, Zas wore a forlorn expression. He slowly took in the sullen demeanor Leper-friend wore before offering his hollow utterance, "Why?"

Without missing a beat, the Silent Strider turned to face the direction he had at the outset been heading in again, as he spoke once more, "What would you do with that knowledge?"

He pauses for a moment and looks back to his packmate and says with a half-hearted plea, his eyes betraying that he knew the answer but was reluctant to speak, "If we are to learn from this-was it not you who told me that it was not in the details that we find truth, but in the integrity of the message? Whatever lesson that could be gleaned from this...do you really feel it necessary to have that information?"
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Eaton

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sat 11 Mar 2017, 00:55

Eaton's mournful demeanor shifted into a sour, aggressive sneer as he replied,  
"I . . .  no, I suppose I don't have a good reason to know that, other than I think I oughta. And before ya say anything," He raised a finger, "This ain't just so I can say killin' only four kin makes me better than killin' five. I led the attack, I coulda called a halt, I could've come up with another way rather than blowin' them up. Mocks can flog himself all he wants; far as I see, I'm responsible for all their deaths."

He pinched his brow and let out a rough sigh, doing his best to contain his temper, "I tried searchin' for every possible way this coulda been a set up or a trap. I spend so much time tryin' to decipher visons and readin' between the lines I couldn't see what was right in front of me."

He looked at Zas, his eyes still fierce, "Knowin' how many I killed adds some certainty to this whole mess, don't it?!"
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sat 11 Mar 2017, 03:09

The Philodox resolutely remained silent and let the angry-sorrowful fueled words of his pack brother cascade over him, leaving him feeling similar to how he felt during his time looking out across the breakwater sept watching the waves crash upon the shoreline during his previous alpha's punishment rite-distant and adrift.

The Silent Strider met his packmate's fierce eyes with an utterly deadpan gaze. "The dead are dead. That is certain. All that remains of them is what we choose to carry."

There is a long moment of silence as Zas weighs his words. When he speaks again, his tone is soft but there is a not-so-faint tinge of bitterness coiled around and within the words; which Eaton gets the distinct impression has very little to do with him and more to do with the Philodox standing near him. "Knowing the truth is not easy for many reasons, chief among them-truth only shares its lessons after we experience the pain. Facts do not tell the entire story, and seldom does the cold biting truth offer solace, peace, or warmth."

Dead Hands nods once, "But certainty...yes-- the truth provides certainty. That, it offers in spades..."

The Apache brave looks down at the ground as he says, "--Which is why I feel confident in saying that this incident has the tentacles of the dark serpent all around it. The enemy seeks destruction and dissolution-this is its primary calling. It destroys and corrupts from within, distorts the truth and schemes in the darkness.  The wyrm's pawns seek any means to break our bonds of brotherhood-- for long have they learned of our battle prowess firsthand. It seems that in this instance, our foe managed to spur our rage, and use this against ourselves."

Zas B'ul looks back to Eaton and says with eyes alight with gelid fury simmering beneath the surface, "This is what Kaermode tried to tell us-to be wary of the darkness of the evil serpent that was shrouding our vision and senses. We misinterpreted the facts and thus we did not learn the truth until after...-with the pain comes the lesson."

The Silent Strider gives a low bow of his head as his tone softens further and the bitterness fades, "I do not seek to accuse you of trying to lessen the sting and pain of this blow. I merely do not wish to add to your pain. Thus-why I asked you what you would do upon getting the answer to your question."
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Eaton

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sat 11 Mar 2017, 12:12

Eaton listened to the Philodox's words, seemingly starting to mellow until the vision of Kaermode is brought up. He let out a long sigh and said,

"You're right- we did misinterpret the warning, but not because they habored the wyrm. I received another vision, just after Blood Swallow left the battle. The cursed bullets and crates the kin brought with 'me had weren't planted. They were comin' tryin' to make peace with the commanche-they had no intention of usin' em. Kaermode did foresee death, but not because they harbored it; I brought it to them."

Speaking as if he was trying to hold back tears, he added, "Look, me knowin' ain't gonna change what happpened- but I feel I deserve to know at least the extent of my sins."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sun 12 Mar 2017, 00:12

Zas B'ul listened with rapt focus as Eaton shared his vision. When he had concluded, the Philodox rubbed his chin for a moment before sighing and saying, "I do not feel that anyone here would claim that the kin were consciously harboring the enemy. Unless I am mistaken-none of them can even know or identify the wyrm shy of it being overtly obvious and basically coming outright and saying as much."

He shakes his head, "I believe that any time you carry ammunition, you intend for it to be used. Maybe the ones the kin traveled with would have sought to trade or barter the tainted implements of death with the Comanche, or maybe they simply purchased it in order to use for self defense. The point is, either way, the bullets themselves would have likely been used one way or another. However, I refuse to believe that the kin had any ill will towards us or any of our kind and the same could likely be said for those they traveled with, as none of them seemed to even know of our existence."

The Silent Strider turns his head south and points, "You claim the cursed weapons were not planted. Very well, I can concede this, but what I cannot ignore is that of all the possible routes or roads that the convoy could have taken; that of all the ways they could have met with the Comanche; of all the paths and waypoints they would have needed to ford to reach this point from their beginning in Mexico-this was directed. This doomed voyage was intentionally set. We have too many coincidences to believe otherwise. This dark day must be remembered."

He gestures back to the caern, "The wagon train just so happened to be on the one road headed to a long decimated town that just so happened to be a direct path to a caern ruled by Red Talons carrying tainted equipment..."

The Philodox looks back to his packmate, "No. This has the enemies claws all around it."
Looking back south, "I can almost pinpoint who was behind this. Our foe knows all about our pack's travels in this area from the last time we were here. They also know about our ties to our kinfolk, and our duty to destroy the wyrm. No Leper-Friend, this was no accident. This brother is an act of war and sabotage."

Snowy Owl turns to face his friend and says in an even tone. "Eaton-I am no catholic priest. I do not ask anyone to confess or claim this concept of sin. I don't buy into it. As a garou, we are called to fight and make war to defend Gaia. That means that inevitably we will kill. If killing is deemed a sin-then by this simple point- no Garou could ever fully embrace this faith and still claim to fully serve Gaia because you cannot both kill and not kill. You must choose."

He grimaces, "But I am not your master and cannot dictate how you should feel either. You are a grown man and you alone know yourself better than I. I do not feel what has happened is a sin as you seem to, but I also do not support this act becoming common practice. If you truly wish to know how much of the spilt kinblood I was able to trace as a result of your actions and you discern that knowing this will enable you to continue perform your duties...I will tell you. I want you to make no mistake and understand me clearly, that I tell you this not to punish you but purely because you have requested this. I also do not share this lightly."

The Silent Strider draws a long slow measured breath. His spirit heavy, his eyes dark and clouded as he decreed with a voice as cold as a bare marble slab, "There were several. The carnage made it challenging to determine and locate every kin, but I can say that without question your hands had a role in the death of eight kinfolk..between the explosive and the claw wounds."
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Eaton

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sun 12 Mar 2017, 01:09

Eaton listened to the words of the Philodox, all the while utilizing all his willpower to not interject. He swallowed as he heard the number he had slain directly. His expression did not waver and let out a low growl, "Zas, I tried lookin' every possible way to make this the wyrm's fault. Be it sendin' 'em through here without proper warnin'- keepin' them in the dark or tryin' to trick us into attackin' 'em- I can't do that. I can't treat this like the Talons and say the wyrm had its reaches in it just 'cause they're human. No matter how I slice this, this wasn't a ruse to try and kill our kin, to try and demoralize and shame us- it was a misinterpretation of the entire situation."

His eyes widened, taking a pause before he said, "And maybe . . . maybe that's what I'm most upset about."

His gaze turned skyward, as if trying to avoid Zas's gaze, "When Rends was Alpha, I pointed out and even chastised him for not givin' two craps about the humans we faced- tearin' through 'em even when it ain't the right answer. And what do I do? Somethin' ten times worse!"

He looked back Zas, "What kind of Galliard can't listen to his own words?"
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sun 12 Mar 2017, 03:02

Zas shook his head, "Think what you will about this. I am not saying we did not misinterpret the situation, but what I am saying is that we all played our parts and that this whole scenario was orchestrated by someone or something. I may sound paranoid, but until i have personally laid Omerta Harris low, I consider her as my prime suspect. Any creature that dwells among vampires and does not end up a meal or one of the walking dead has learned their methods and mastered them. My tribe does not take vampires lightly, and therefore any entity who bests them in their own craft is not to be underestimated."

As Eaton contemplated his true feelings, Zas gazes at him with a blank stare. When he poses his final question however,the philodox answers almost instantly. "Mine. The same one who has proven himself time after time in defending his pack. The same galliard who has protected an entire caerns worth of other kin in the past. The same man who has a loving wife and child who love him and care for him waiting to see him and hear his tales of how he saved the Uktena. The same friend who once told me to just do what we did with every mistake we've ever made and learn from it. That it's best not to hold on to our regrets- that's somethin' ya shouldn't learn from spooks."

Zas gripped the Bone gnawer in a hug, "The galliard I will choose to continue to have at my side through the end of the world."
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Eaton

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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Sun 12 Mar 2017, 20:32

The Galliard did not reply for a moment, instead dissecting Zas' words. With one last sniffle he said, "You're right."
Eaton returned the hug, "Thank you, Zas- I shouldn't beat myself up so hard over this. No amount of self shaming can change what I did. I can still morn their deaths, but the greatest disrespect I can do to 'em would be to forget this lesson."

He released his grip and said, "While I'm sure I'm gonna face hell from the other Gnawer's sooner or later, we got other business to attend to now. I can't let my emotions cloud our dealings."

He then turned as if drop the conversation but he added, "And thank ya for listenin'- honestly, I think you're the only one in our pack I can talk to about somethin' like this."
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PostSubject: Re: Blame Game    Mon 13 Mar 2017, 14:33

The taciturn Silent Strider bowed his head in understanding, noting the galliard's intent to walk away.

But as he likewise turned to continue their forward momentum and the Bone Gnawer spoke again, the Silent Strider replied, "If nothing else, I hope to always be a good listener. That said-do not hesitate to speak how you feel with the rest of the pack as well, when you are ready. Your insight, understanding, and compassion for those without the wolf is not weakness. You weaken the pack when you try to fight your battles alone. The Red Talons recognize better than most that it is by acting according to our wolf blood, we are made stronger. For when the pack succeeds, we all succeed."
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