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 Promised Secrets

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Zas B'ul

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PostSubject: Promised Secrets   Mon 08 Oct 2018, 23:54

The jungle party wore on. The Balaam queen wore a pleasant mask of serenity but beneath the veiled facade, her anxieties assaulted her without mercy. Surrounded by her fellow family of felines she was both completely at home in the crowd and at the same time alone in her own kingdom of isolation.
The guests made themselves at home as the tension between the gathered fera had started sliding more to the back of everyone's mind; the potent jungle juice certainly aiding in this regard.

Zas B'ul observed the festivities but did not partake of the drinks. His last run in with the firewater had left him less than eager to try it again, but he had helped himself to the meat once it was presented and eaten to his hearts content. He looked on at his packmates and their increasingly rowdy states, chuckling to himself when the Theurge began giving the Fenrir a particularly vicious tongue lashing about his obnoxiousness in trying to share his cannonball tale AGAIN, that caused even the more bold Balaam to take a step or two back away from the Iron rider.

The philodox turned his focus elsewhere when he caught glimpse of the recent addition to the packs travels, and began slowly working his way to her. Ever a dutiful daughter, the princess was within her mothers reach.
Approaching the royalty drew more than a few intense and scrutinizing stares from the gathered Balaam as well as the resident Shadowlord and company, but he would have been more surprised if there were no response. His strides were both long and slow, his footfalls echoing his tribal namesake.
When he closed to within earshot of the princess, he motioned for her attention and softly spoke, "If you have a moment I have something to ask of you."

He then made his way to a side room that was not currently occupied and offered a slight buffer to the clamor of the feast, all the while continuing to feel the eyes of many inquisitive cat-folk burrowing into his back.

The Silent Strider then began to speak-his tone was both soft and warm, "I was hoping to catch you alone at some point. We have had a rare opportunity to work closely together recently, and I hope you were able to get to understand our kind a bit more."

He takes a breath, his voice growing ever quieter, bordering on conspiratorial whispering, "You asked a question when we were in my homeland that while true, my answer was not entirely forthcoming. I promised to reveal more when and if we survived..."

The philodox grins, and folds his hands together bringing his pointer fingers to his lips, "...And here we stand", his voice rising ever so slightly.
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PostSubject: Re: Promised Secrets   Wed 10 Oct 2018, 00:50

"Strange timing, given that we are at feast..." Tala smirked, causing the cactus piercings in her cheeks twitched like whiskers. Yet something had piqued her interest, and at a nod from her mother, the princess of the Hovitl Qua took her leave. Zas could hear many among the court of the shadow cats whisper and chatter as they left the feasting area. When they had reached a quiet alcove, Tala produced a sort of book crafted from a many-folded length of stained tree bark. She lay this at her feet between her and Zas and then rose and prompted him to speak with an enigmatic smile.

"So. Tell me what you will. I do wish to understand 'your' kind."
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PostSubject: Re: Promised Secrets   Wed 10 Oct 2018, 12:32

Zas nodded, giving the strange book a casual glance but continued nonetheless, "You asked why my tribe follows Owl, if I recall correctly."

He clears his throat and leans in, speaking in hushed tones. "I told you it was because Owl allows us to get into and out of tight spots."

He double checked to make sure they were alone before continuing, "But more than that-we serve Owl because of a terrible curse."

Zas B'ul gives Tala a knowing look as he says, "You heard the name Set mentioned-he is the one that is to blame. Long ago in a coordinated final strike with other fera and after a long war with the Set's vampires that plauged our land, one of our tribe struck a fatal blow to the powerful foe. In his dying moments-he uttered a curse that devastated my tribe."

The Silent Strider is by this point shaking in rage and takes a moment to breathe before he spoke again. "He cursed us to never be at peace in our land. This would have been enough to hurt us. But the foul monster struck deeper by severing us forever from communication with our ancestors."

He looks at Tala intensely as he says, "The one we spoke with-Wepauwet, he is the closest thing to an ancestor spirit we have. You meeting him is not to be taken lightly."

The philodox rolled his neck, "Our tribe at first did not understand how deeply we had been hit at first. But as time drew on and we began to realize our ancestors no longer answered our calls to teach us the gifts of the spirits-we saw the truth. We had even lost our ancestral realm"

"We searched high and low for many years for an answer of how to rid ourselves of this curse and to reclaim our lost connections. We tortured the vampires we found both out of revenge as much as hope for finding a way to reverse this. We delved even deeply into the lands of the underworld in search of help-even now I smell of the dark hunting grounds. None could be found."

Zas looks skyward, "None but Owl. Owl saw us in need. Owl knows many secrets and hidden ways. Owl found and led us to our ancestral realm. Owl guides us. He teaches us. He warns us of danger. And above all-Owl hunts our enemy the serpent."

The Silent Strider grew quiet. "What I have shared with you here is something most of the rest of our kind doesn't know. But what I say next, none outside my tribe know. We wander this world-never staying long, for the spirits of the dead haunt our steps. In the absence of our ancestors, the restless dead seek to fill this void."

Zas leans back, "That is the secret I promised."
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PostSubject: Re: Promised Secrets   Thu 11 Oct 2018, 20:47

As Zas told the story of his tribe, the folded panels of the book before him began to change; clouds of blue ink bloomed, twisting and rising into stylized obelisks surrounded by cascades of strange hieroglyphs. A pair of blocky sphinges appeared, overlooking a black river. Flights of Ba, white outlines against a dark sky dominated by a long departed moon. Over all of it watched Owl, depicted in the Mayan fashion, embracing the land with his claws while his wings stretched the width of the sky and page.  

For once, Tala was still; the Balaam woman didn't even shift her weight. Her dark eyes serious as she took in everything Zas told her.

"Thank you for sharing this. Your tribal spirit is wise indeed, Silent Strider. You know, in these lands we also have owl spirits; they are able to read unspoken thoughts... like you, they are quick to make friends."

"You and your people are strange, very strange. Though you have helped us greatly against the poisoned Camazotz, there are many among my people here who are waiting.  Tala's nose twitched, and she scowled slightly.

"They are waiting for the thunder to follow the lightning."
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PostSubject: Re: Promised Secrets   Thu 11 Oct 2018, 21:44

The Silent Strider looks on at the workings of the book fascinated.

A brief smile flashing across his face as Tala praised his tribal totem and gave voice to her understanding of why his people followed Owls' guidance.

However at the Balaam's latter comment, the philodox smile vanished. "Your people have shown remarkable restraint, and your patience in dealing with us has not gone unnoticed."

He gives a sigh, "Tala-I want you to know...I am worried. I warned your mother, but I wish to warn you too. Not all of our kind are the same. There are many among the garou who dislike other changing breeds. And for all our progress here-I fear that it would not take much to ruin everything."

Zas angles his head back to the feast, "Our pack once had a Shadowlord in it. So I know the tribe fairly well. He was a pretty good guy but even he had his flaws."

The Apache clears his throat. "Best advice I can give you in dealing with them-watch them like a hawk. Everything with them is strategic." He gives her a long look.

A thought crosses his mind as he says, "There is something else I would ask of you though-if you are willing."

The philodox points to the book at their feet. "For many moons I have been trying to craft a tool that I know will undoubtedly save lives. If you think back to when we first crossed into my homeland-our ahroun had lost himself in his battle fury. He could no longer see friend from foe."

Zas pulls out the mostly completed flag, and shows it to her. "When I finish this, that should no longer happen. We are all the warriors of the mother. The fires of rage that luna gives us should be focused on our enemies-not one another."

The Silent Strider looks at Tala and says, "But I want this to work for all of us. Not just garou. I have found support among the mokole. In our travels here I have found the Camazotz willing. I even have one of the corax who aids me in this. Each of my pack is willing. But what I ask is-would you be willing to help me in this? All I need is but a drop of blood to be mixed within our own."

He takes a breath, "This would not stop any of our kinds from fighting one another when we still have control of our own reasoning, but when we find our anger getting the best of us-it would keep us from tearing each other apart. I fear in coming days, this might be needed more than ever."

"Will you help me save our people from ourselves?" Zas asks lifting the flag up slightly.
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PostSubject: Re: Promised Secrets   Wed 17 Oct 2018, 21:02

"And you assume we do not watch all our visitors like hawks? There are few things in this forest that evade the notice of the jaguar." The young Balaam woman said, her mouth quirking into a sly grin before she grew more serious."

"I am not a child. I know we are different... but as long as your kind respect my Mother's authority and the sanctity of S'iaan K'aan, I think there will be few reasons for the Hovitl Qua to sink their black claws into you Garou."

Tala listened as Zas made his case for the crafting of his fetish, her eyes occasionally wandering back past the columned hall toward the crowded feast.

"My people fight often. We are passionate, and often those passions get the better of us. Even my Mother's guards have come to blows- over a poem, of all things." The shadow cat royal smiled sardonically at the memory, and then turned to face Zas.

"You wolves are strange, with your willingness to wander the worlds and stick your noses into the business of others. Yet I trust you. There is much evil that can be accomplished by the giving or taking of blood, but you are no black-hearted sorcerer. I will help you in this, 'Snow' Owl."

The Balaam held out her hand, offering it to the Silent Strider; even in homid, her nails were long, sharp and ivory yellow.
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PostSubject: Re: Promised Secrets   Wed 17 Oct 2018, 22:18

Zas looked on inquisitively, "Must have been some poem...of course I can't say much. We frequently come to serious blows over trying to even choose which road to walk down."

At the proffered hand, the Silent Strider nods and says, "Thank you for your help and your trust. I promise neither is misplaced."

The Apache then pulls out an arrow head and pricks the center of her open palm just deep enough to draw blood before removing it and dripping the collected liquid onto the flag in a already crimson circling pattern intermixed with marks of peace.

He then takes the same arrow point, stabs himself likewise and repeats the motions. The philodox then offers the stained implement of warfare to the queen.
"Our kind are now of shared blood, as in the days of old. Please take and keep this arrow-as you yield your trust to me; I yield mine to you."

The wolf then turned to face the feast, and with a smile says "I fear if we linger longer, I might find myself the quarry of a jaguar hunting party...and me dying might put a damper on the festivities."
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