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 Middle Man

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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Middle Man   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 19:24

Stars shone down in endless twinkling. The smell of mesquite and dust lay heavy on the night air, but the three Garou would not be turned away from their prey. While Zoe and Eaton set up camp Rends, Zas and Eiger had decided to go off a ways and chase down a stray mule deer they'd scented. Wearing their wolf skins they had an easy time tracking down the beast and soon enough they'd run it into a small cliff.

Pinned in, the young buck turned and danced about before brandishing its antlers. Rends the Gar sprang forward, snapping and snarling with a terrible noise. The buck darted forward and caught air with its barbs. Before it could react, Zas closed in and snapped at a hind leg. First blood of the hunt spilled, the buck kicked him free and turned its antlers on Zas. Just then Carver barreled into it and brought it to the ground by its throat. The other two Garou jumped on to hold it down and cut off its air, Rends taking on his human skin again to quickly slit the buck's throat below where Carver held it. In a matter of moments the young buck bled out and the other two Garou returned to their human forms.

Rends smiled widely as he set up a rope on a nearby tree to skin and dress the kill before rolling up his sleeves.

"Well, that was a good chase. And he died well in the end."

Rends strung up the kill by its hind legs, then started the grizzly work of gutting and butchering with a familiar formality.

"We thank the Mother fer her gift of food."

He intoned with a ritual air as he made the first cut. He spends a few minutes cutting at choice spots, then tears the skin free in one quick pull. Setting the skin aside, he starts on the meat.

"We thank Luna fer the strength she lends us."

Carefully he reached in to remove the gut sack. The night was chilly, and steamy streams rose up from the carcass in faint streamers. Carefully, reverently, Rends cut down the ribcage then prized free the heart. Holding it up to Luna then to his packmates he cuts the heart into three pieces.

"And we thank the prey fer the chase. We thank the prey fer its life and its flesh that we take into ourselves."

Rends holds the pieces of heart out to his packmates, taking one for himself and eating it after a moment's respectful silence.
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 20:03

Zas accepts the heart after wiping his face and running his bloodied hands across his chest where his own heart still pounded.

He looks at the heart of his prey resting in his hands and after staring at it for a long moment he said, "I never understood deer. Of all the things we hunt, they are both fleet footed and able to defend themselves quite well."

Taking a bite he continues, "Worthy prey. They are honored by both white man and red man."

Another bite.

"Does your tribe hunt stag in your homeland? Or is this seen as disrespectful to your totem?" He turns and asks Eiger.

He swallows his last bite. "Either way, it seems fitting that you are here now."

The philodox gestures to the remaining piece, "Theres something we should discuss. I don't believe there's time to beat about the bush--we need to get to the heart of the matter....before its too late."
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Fae Carver

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 20:18

Eiger silently takes his share of the heart and mumbles a silent prayer himself before swallowing it in one gulp and then sucking on his bloody fingers. He shook his head in response to the Philadox’s question.

“Stag is understanding of our need to feast. Generally as long as we kill for necessity and not sport, honor the fallen, and give thanks it is acceptable.”

He then cocked his head to the side.

“What is needing to be discussed? Have I done something wrong?”
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 20:30

"Not you. Eaton."

Rends goes back to butchering the kill, laying out portions of meat on the skin.

"Me and Zas've noticed he's been kinda off lately. Actin' on his own when he's always been a team player before, takin' unnecessary risks, this whole business with wantin' to be Uktena."

Rends shakes his head in exasperation.

"We both confronted him about it separately. Eaton gave both of us several different reasons fer his behavior. None of which satisfied either of us. So we know he's lyin' to us about somethin'. Considerin' the timin', the two of us think it's somethin' he got into down in the Abyss."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 20:40

"For all this packs faults, dishonesty has never been one of them. If it were just a personal issue with one of us, that might be nothing of consequence, but him blatantly lying and creating cover stories for his behavior--its not him. And now that he cannot be fully trusted-this has become a pack matter."

Zas spoke in a calm voice, but his eyes held back rage.

"I cannot claim to be level headed or calm about this. Given how close both I and Rends are to Eaton...I cannot fulfill the impartial and balanced nature of my auspice in this issue."

He clears his throat, "I am asking for you to act in my stead on this. Both of us believe you have the most likely chance of keeping your head on you, and you also have not been touched by the abyss."
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Fae Carver

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 21:36

Eiger laughed as Zas finished speaking.

“That is a funny one. You both really had me going there for a second.”

He happily sighed before hearing the silence and seeing the looks on the faces of his new packmates.

“Oh shit... you are serious.”
Eiger gulped as he sat down on a rock and was silent for multiple moments deep in thought. His eyes were closed and it was only through the continuous rubbing of his temples that Zas and Rends knew he had not fallen asleep. He opened his eyes and sighed deeply before responding.

“I have known Eaton for less time than both of you. What you describe as risky, acting alone, the Uktena stuff... that is the only Eaton I know.”

He shrugged.

“I also had a conversation with Eaton recently. From that conversation I can tell he feels alone, he is deeply conflicted, his mind is a raging tempest of worry, doubt and what ifs. His reasons for the way he is acting are changing as rapidly as his mind is. He is acting on pure impulse and emotion. Does that make him a liar? I do not think so... does it make him dangerous and harder to rely on? Unfortunately yes.”

He pulled out his water skin and took a swig from it. He then proffered the liquid to his compatriots.

“Forgive me if I go to far, but from my perspective the loss of your former packmate changed each of you. By that notion the abyss changed each of you. Is it possible that you just don’t like the affected Galliard because his changes are more noticeable and troublesome?”

He paused to let his words sink in before shaking his head and speaking again.

“It’s just that these are grave accusations you are bringing against him, and unless you have solid proof of him being tainted... then even if I act in your role Zas I can’t see any course of action beyond siding with him. I will need more than words and feelings, any Philadox would. I apologize, but right now you are asking the impossible.”
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Rends the Gar

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Tue 17 Apr 2018, 10:46

Rends' face is grim as he continues his work.

"It is serious, and I hope Wes wrong, but I know we ain't. Remember the two if us came to the same conclusion on our own, we didn't talk about it till afterwards."

He turns to face Eiger.

"And remember we do know him better'n you. It's hard fer you to see him as acting strange, but we've both noticed and he didn't deny it to any of us. But even if we are wrong, we need to air our grievances. Before we get to the Final Legend and his Ilk. Trust is broken, whether the cause is real or not."
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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Tue 17 Apr 2018, 13:19

Zas nodded in agreement with Rends and turned to face Eiger after he had finished.

"When I spoke with him, I too heard his loneliness and the internal debate he was having. But acting on impulse and emotion-that would maybe explain him being moody or indecisive....that would not explain his feeling the need to create a cover story or to mask his true thoughts."

Zas spits to the side, "None of us came back from the abyss unscathed. We all got hurt deeply. When I pressed him for a true explanation of why he was acting hostile towards me-he initially tried to pin it on losing Mocks...but I dug deeper and he begrudgingly admitted to this being a cover. He is dishonoring whatever shred of honor could be gained in Mocks choice by using it for his own purposes...and he still will not tell me why he continues to lie about it!"

Zas unclenched his fists that had started to shift into a different form taking a breath to calm himself.

He grips the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes.

"...--I truly do not want him to have fallen. Honestly it would be easier for me to take if something or someone changed him in the abyss. Maybe he got stabbed with some foul wyrm poison and its messed with his head, or some blood sucker bit him....truthfully that is more preferable to the possibility that he did something voluntarily to change himself."

He sighs and opens his eyes, "I have nothing more to give you than just knowing in the pit of my stomach, that he is lying about something and whatever it is--he is scared to reveal to us for some reason. I know it as surely as I breathe air."

The philodox shakes his head, "But it is not just me, the spirits wish to know what he is withholding as well. I have requested to learn a new gift that would allow me to be able to ensure everyone in our pack is mentally fine. The chiminage for the gift asked by the spirit was for me to uncover what Leper Friend is hiding-which all the more reinforces my certainty that our task is not an idle one."

Zas turns to look at Fae Carver, "I know this is a grave issue. I also know the risks, but we cannot let this continue. The fact that you want to side with him means that the charges and proof I need to bring forth must be that much more solid."

The apache looks back toward the campsite. "I think having Zoe perform a cleansing rite and checking for wyrm can be a good start, but I will do my best to interrogate him to discover the truth. My aim is a confession."

"But I am not fit to also possibly levy judgement on him. That much is clear to me." He says. "Thats why I am coming to you."
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Fae Carver

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PostSubject: Re: Middle Man   Wed 18 Apr 2018, 10:30

Eiger stayed silent as the two Garou spoke their claims. He looked them each in the eyes as they spoke.

“I can see you are hurting. Feeling like you can’t trust a packmate after you already were betrayed by a former packmate... it must be a pain worse than silver. Those too fresh wounds are aching again, perhaps that is why you are looking to blame the abyss.”

He sighed.

“Until there is proof I advise against accusing him or interrogating him. From my perspective it looks like you two are grasping at straws, trying to find fault in his actions. Doing this does not build trust. You said yourself the abyss changed each of you beyond the loss of your Shadowlord. You may need to come to terms with the fact that this is who Eaton is now, and that he may still be a faithful servant of Gaia. Just like the two of you.”

He shook his head and raised his hands up defensively.

“On the other hand, since both of you came to this conclusion alone I don’t want to simply ignore your fears and suspicions. To that point I want to hear what specifically what he lied about, and what lies he used. Using that information I can compare it to my conversation with him and see if it matches up. I’ll make my decision at that point.”
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