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 Heavens gates and Hells flames

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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 14:13

The hungry tendrils of burning light licked at the dry scrub brush and dead mesquite wood only for the briefest of moments before blazing to life in the night. The philodox tended to the woodland campfire haphazardly causing sparks and smoking bits of embers to find themselves sporadically thrust from the warm glow found beneath the flames as his mind wandered far.

So distracted he was, that Snowy Owl did not seem to notice when Sylvester made his way over to join him.
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 14:24

Rends took a knee and started efficiently skinning a couple of skinny young jackrabbits while hte light was still decent.

"I appreciate you makin' the trip with me. I wanna get back home as quick as I can. Little Jack's gonna have a new brother soon and I got extra maintenance to do at the inn nowadays..."

He trails off, then shakes his head.

"Anyhow I don't wanna spend a lot of time on the road, so you're my go to guy."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 14:53

Zas stares into the fire for a long moment, long enough for Rends to begin to wonder if his packmate had heard him or if he had somehow fallen asleep.

Still poking and looking at the fire, with a soft reply the Silent Strider muttered, "Congratulations." There was no mocking tone in the response but there was also no joy in it either.

The indian man looked up at Rends and coughed once as the smoke changed direction with the wind.
"Being on the road feels better to me than staying cooped up in some place with people who want things from you. Out here, there's no need to put on a show."

He turns back to the fire. "Its just--us..."
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 15:21

Rends pauses in preparing dinner, caught off guard by the Strider's lackluster response. After a moment he continues, frying up the quarters and tossing a couple of turnips and carrots to Zas.

"True enough, but that don't mean I'm doin' all the work while you mope."

There's a good humored spark in his eye, but it fades quickly at Zas' dour expression.

"Jest us... ya I guess it is."

He's quiet for a moment, until hot fat pops onto his hand. Cursing he sucks on his finger.

"I miss him too."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 16:25

The philodox lets the smoke billow about him taking in deep breaths before forcing it back out his mouth and nose into the evening air.

He sighs as he turns to the Fenrir and starts helping get the meal ready and says as he does so, "I just can't stop feeling like somewhere along the way I failed him." The words rushing out in a torrent.

He looks intently at the blood dripping from the hares. His eyes hyperfocused on each drop. "Where did I lose him?"

He shakes himself and looks to Rends, his eyes empty chilling and black as the void. "The icy hands of the Reaper did not even give me pause, but the thought that one of our pack would ever even consider knowingly serving one other than Gaia--how can I be expected to punish others for breaking lesser aspects of the litany with that on my soul?"

Zas looks back to the flames. "He looked right at me Rends. He looked right at me; told me that he was choosing this on his own. No lies. No manipulation. No coercion, and whats worse-He was telling me the truth."

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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 16:36

Rends nods, poking at the meat.

"Of course he was. You's forgettin' I was right up there with him. I was given the same offer. I seen the look in his eyes as he made the decision."

He stabs at the rabbits a little harder than strictly necessary.

"He knew what he was gettin' into, and he wanted it. And I'm jest comin' to realize that they ain't anything to be done about it. I made my decision, he made his. It ain't my job to keep everyone safe or even alive, it's to fight the Wyrm. I can't do that if I feel too sorry for myself over shit I can't fix and couldn't have prevented anyhow."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:08

Zas looks back up from the fire. "What happened Rends? What changed?"

He stands up, "We had it all worked out didn't we?"

Zas starts counting his fingers, "We were fighting smart. Timed our attacks making the most of Helios light. We studied our foes and before we struck hard fast and true; we knew our targets, the rough strength of our enemy, and we eliminated as much of the unknown elements of the battlefield as we could. We even rotated and refreshed our forces to keep everyone on top of their game "

He drops his hands to his side, "We hit La Chona like a hammer and anvil; Tore into Concepcion like mad beasts...but then we get to Los Als and it seems like everything starts to come unglued."

The lithe long haired man hung his head, "Why did we get blown off track?"
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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Thu 30 Nov 2017, 17:33

Rends shakes his head.

"And the fact that we made it out only losin' one man is more than we had any right to expect."

He sets the meat aside, starting on the vegetables.

"We knew goin' in that even with all our prep work it was gonna be a hard fight. We was likely to lose friends. Everyone knew that goin' in. But we went anyways cuz that's what you do. If they's one thing I've learned from this is that plans and hard work can only get you so far. Sometimes you get some shit you coulda never planned for, and that's when you gotta trust to your own strength to carry you through. Or failing that, come to terms with dyin' a good death."

He looks up, meeting the Strider's eye with his own hard gaze.

"Make no mistake, Zas. The enemy didn't take Mocks. He gave himself over. We could have fought no matter what that bastard Gyrre said. Most of us wanted to fight, even though we would have lost men. Mocks took that decision from us though, and that's on him not us."
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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Fri 01 Dec 2017, 01:00

The Silent Strider grew quiet and sits back down to feed the flames, the scent of the meal being cooked wafting up and through the air. The pleasant aroma however did not provoke any sense of appetite.

Shaking his head, he speaks again firmly. "I was prepared for the likelihood that we would lose allies who fell in combat. I was more than ready to face my own death if it came to it."

Zas tightens his grip on the stick he used to stir the embers til his knuckles go white, "I was even ready to lose you, and the rest of the pack."

He spits, "Every time my tribe has faced the crazed slaves and servants of darkness, the bloodprice has been high but we paid it."

Gritting his teeth he continued, "But this time--this time it just feels like one of us surrendered."

The stick he was holding snaps from the tightening squeeze of his grasp which seems to bring the philodox out of his stupor.

Zas turns to face Rends, the faintest glimmer of light starting to return in the philodox's eyes. "We have got to move through this...somehow. There is no rite or gift or anything else I know of that could fix this, but we as a pack just have to muscle our way through this. We have to rely on each other even more to fill in the open wound. I am gonna have to learn to think like he would have to see the stuff I would miss. Lingering on his decision and dwelling on all this though is just going to eat us alive from the inside."

The wheels in his head begin to churn, "You say your strength carried you through; Eaton's drive likely served him well; Zoe's vexatious nature got her out; and me-my grim resolve...Yes, we all had a means."

Zas turns to look in the direction of their heading, "We need a path. We need a way through this."

The apache takes a bite out of one of the carrots, "If even Eric Warbreath can keep his pack together after losing Frostblood, I can do this."

"You guys have a name picked out yet?" He asks after a moment of further contemplation.
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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Fri 01 Dec 2017, 19:23

"We'll get through this, don't you worry about that."

He plates up the food, passing the skillet to Zas as he chows down.

"He may have given up, he may have surrendered, but we didn't. That's what I'm tryin' to focus on. Well, that and gettin' the inn fixed up. That skinny bastard chose a real bad time to go and join the enemy. Silke wants a girl, and she's chosen Johanna fer her mother. But if it's a boy we settled on Travis."
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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Fri 01 Dec 2017, 22:51

Zas takes the proffered meal and munches away.

He eats in mostly silence, every now and then looking up into the night sky and asking questions about Silke and Rends plans for the inn. When he had finished the food, he sets the pan down and nods to Rends.

"Now that we have a plan of sorts, can you tell me again why exactly YOU felt the need to leave the wife and kids alone? What was so urgent?"
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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Sat 02 Dec 2017, 00:34

Silence reigned. Zas glanced over to his companion, his question dying on his lips as the Get let out a grating snore. The Silent Strider smiled to himself and lay down, watching Luna climb through the cloud-streaked sky.

The next day, the Garou journeyed the rest of the way to the coastal islands, exchanging howls of greeting and acknowledgment as they closed the last few miles with the Get caern.

Breathing heavily as they slogged through the last of the spirit-haunted waters of the Breakwater Sept, the two Prodigals found the Fenrir waiting for them on the beach. The Eldest stood on the shore amid the sea-carved totems, the warm tide sliding past his ankles. Even in in the guise of a man, he was imposing, the God's Nails wet and dripping. Steel Reavers, their armor slightly corroded with salt-rust, stalked to and fro, their restlessness born of bloodlust and a desire to avoid sinking too deep into the damp, cloying sand. Can't-Be-Killed of the Uktena was there also, clad in his dark hide robes, as was the misshapen hooded creature known as Feels-No-Sun. If they were curious as to the Prodigal's presence, they hid it well.

Standing between Robert Swift-Death and the Coyotes was the scared Truthspeaker of the Breakwater, Salts-the-Wounds. She wore her Crinos form, exposing her long ragged scars to the wind and sea. She said nothing, merely waiting for the lower ranking Garou to approach.

Half hidden by his damp beard, a smile quirked across the Eldest's face, but it was Salt-the-Wounds who spoke, her voice harsh and loud to be heard over the wash and crash of the surf:

"I am surprised to see the two of you return to this place, but it seems you have piqued the Swift-Death's curiosity. Why have you come?" Her fangs flashed and champed, a predatory grin. "Perhaps you require judgement, and more tests of endurance and pain?"
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Sat 02 Dec 2017, 18:25

Rends the Gar strode forward. Water streamed off his shoulders and metal clinked as he approached the Eldest. He came to a stop a few feet short of him, waving for Zas to halt behind him.

He matched glares with a Steel Reaver as Salts the Wounds gave her salutation. Then he turned to address her, dismissing the Reavers from his mind. He spoke loud enough for all present to hear above the crash of ocean and howl of wind.

"I need no judgement or tests. I come from the heart of the Enemy, and we came through the stronger. I come to make an offering to my Eldest."

He reaches into his bag and holds the metal clad skull of his father forward for all to see as he meets Robert's eye.

"I have a tool I cain't use to the fullest, so I pass it to my better for him to use however he wants."
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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Sat 02 Dec 2017, 19:16

The quiet Philodox comes to a stop giving a deadpan stare at those arrayed before him, the ocean water steadily dripping from his extremities.

The Apache waits until his ahroun had grown quiet before following up with, "I was asked to come to ensure the journey was swift. I remain to see the law carried out, to learn, and see our return is likewise."
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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Sat 02 Dec 2017, 22:12

Robert gave a short chuckle and raised his hand, beckoning his visitors to approach him directly. Salts-the-Wounds backed down grudgingly, allowing the two Coyotes to move into the shallows of the shore.

"An unexpected gesture, but one I will not contest. I am gladdened to see that you honor the First Right of the Kill, as is expected of all who fight alongside the Get within these lands."

The other Fenrir looked on with guarded curiosity, waiting for Rends-the-Gar to reveal his prize...
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Sat 02 Dec 2017, 22:45

Rends pushes a portion of spiritual power into the skull and holds it aloft. Alien blue light seeps out of the eye sockets and iridescent lights dance along its surface, and reflect off the features of the assembled Garou. Light in the form of smoke pours up from the eyes and nose and coagulates above the brow of the skull into the shape of a sharply dressed man in miniature. His cloth is foreign, and he stands rigidly facing the Eldest then addressing Rends while still facing Robert.

"Ah, yes, there is much here that I can assist in. You have done well in taking me here, Reality Deviant."

Omega addresses Robert with a stiff but deep bow.

"My Lord. I am designated Omega. I am an adviser of sorts. Your slave was able with some great outside assistance was able to salvage my core programming from a rather cataclysmic system failure. While bearing some fruit, our partnership has become... stagnant. Stale. Unproductive. His particular indecorous lassitude leaves one des...!"

He cuts off with a grunt and disipates as Rends gives the skull an impatient shake, then proffers the fetish forward.

"Fergot to mention he's an asshole. Useful, but an asshole. We had a bit of a talk a while back, and I realized I ain't able to use somethin' like this to its fullest. He can help ya make plans, see vulnerabilities and manage jest about everythin'. But I ain't even Alpha of my pack, so what am I gonna use 'em fer?

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PostSubject: Re: Heavens gates and Hells flames   Sun 03 Dec 2017, 23:39

Robert Swift-Death took the inscribed skull into his hand, his stern features breaking into a self-assured grin as he examined it. "An interesting trinket, to be sure. Enslaving a spirit of the willworkers is a curiosity and little else- but the trophy it is housed in is a rare prize indeed."

The Eldest turned and held the skull aloft, allowing all gathered on the shore to view the rune-etched bone. "This is the mortal remains of Tames-the-Weaver, arch-traitor of the Oklahoma territory and enemy of Fenris and Gaia both. His existence was a stain on the honor of all who call themselves Get."

"I have not forgotten how you and your pack slew your father, the traitor. It was a great act, one worthy of the tales of the skalds. You honor me with this gift." The Ahroun elder lowered his arm, and waved the Coyotes on as he walked inland.

"You must be weary from the road and sea. We got a mess of sour-mash whiskey that needs drinking, the fortunate results of a most unfortunate reef-wreck."
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