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Zoe

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PostSubject: Old and New   Wed 04 Dec 2013, 21:51

After helping Kefka summon Ylvis, Zoe walks across the caern clearing to her favorite meditation spot. She takes a few cleansing breaths, but is unable to focus on her meditations as thoughts of Anna Carmichael's past continue to plague her mind.

Zas and Eaton appear to have wrapped up their information session with Penelope as each goes their own way. Zoe jogs to catch up with the Galliard.

"Hey, Eaton, wait up!"

She pulls up alongside him and forces a smile.

"So, uh, how's Penelope holding up? You guys completely overwhelm her with everything she never wanted to know about being a vicious were-beast?"

Zoe sniffs out a laugh and shakes her head. "I'm sure between the Galliard and the Philodox you covered it all quite poetically and accurately."

Her eyes grow distant for a moment as she awaits his response. Her thoughts drift from Penelope back to her mother.
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Wed 04 Dec 2013, 23:02

Eaton sighed as he walked away from Penelope; she seemed to understand what he and Zas had told her. Still, despite their efforts to try and explain what was to be her new way of life he still knew she still had a lot more to discover, and it wasn't going to be easy. Hearing Zoe call out to him, he turns and returns her smile, though his eyes narrow as he wonders why her's isn't genuine,

"I feel that I didn't even scratch the surface. Even with me an' Zas taking turns goin' on and on I'm sure she's still confused as hell. I felt like there wasn't a thing I could say that would make 'er feel better. "I really wish we could let her see her folks again; that's what's gettin' to me the most. We've all seen how much miss each other, how much they worrin' about each other . . . and I can't do nothing."

Eaton folds his arms across his chest and lowers his head, and gives a small laugh,

"Kinda weird to me, I didn't think I would care 'bout em this much, but . . ."

He catches himself, shakes his head slightly and looks back up at Zoe,

"Eh, just listen to me ramble. Somethin' you wanna say?"

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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Thu 05 Dec 2013, 05:00

Zoes eyes light up at her brother's shared concern for the Carmichael girl and her family.

"Exactly! I hate keeping her from them, but I understand why we should, at least until she can be cleansed of the Spiral taint."

Zoe sighs as her eyes drift across the clearing. Her tone of voice loses its excitement and grows somber.

"As far as I know, all of us Prodigals left what family we knew to come out here and discover what fate has in store for us. I, however, also came here seeking answers about my real family."

She glances up at Eaton, who seems genuinely interested, before continuing.

"The first ten or so years of my life were spent on the street with some boys. We lived how any homeless kids would - pick pocketing, shop lifting, breaking and entering, sleeping wherever we could find shelter. Long story short, they sent me into the home of a man named O'Toole and for the first time I was caught. Looking back, I think he had some ties with the Weaver, though he wasn't Garou. Anyway, eight years later, after my first change, he sent me here, partly because of the land grant letter, but also, I think, because he didn't feel safe around me anymore. I mean, I had just killed three men on his front lawn."

Zoe sniffs out a harsh laugh and shakes her head.

"All that to say, getting here I find out my real family is dead, and my father was Garou and an Iron Rider. So, I have no family to speak of, but for me, I guess that's kind of always been the case. Our pack is the most familial group I've ever had. But Penelope..."

Zoe sighs and closes her eyes, shaking her head sadly.

"...Penelope has a family - a mom, a dad, a little brother, cousins, a grandmother - I just hate keeping her from them."

At the mention of her dad, Zoe shudders, remembering that Nathaniel is not her biological father, according to Anna's stories. Rage boils within her as she considers all the implications.

"This is all those idiot Black Spirals' fault. If Penelope were just the blood daughter of Anna and Nathaniel, she wouldn't be Garou or a Black Spiral and none of this would have happened. But those pig-headed abominations of the Wyrm are absolutely disgusting, forcing themselves on those poor human women." She growls in disgust. "It's no wonder we are called to destroy the Black Spirals with little to no mercy."

Zoe grows quiet as her rage mixed with sadness releases a few tears from her hazel eyes.

"I just pray that Penelope can be helped before it's too late."
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Thu 05 Dec 2013, 11:35

"Zoe,"

Eaton sets his right hand lightly on her shoulder while his eyes stare deeply into hers,

"Don't worry; We're not too late. Hawkins and the Killgore's might've messed things up for her and her folks but I think we've already helped her. It's still gonna be rough for all of us but I know she's safe. I'll know she will become a great defender for Gaia."

He released his grip, and looked away from her for a moment. Considering she had opened up to him about her family, he thought she might want to hear something from him.

"That's a good way to put it." He turned his head back to her, gesturing around them with his hands,

"'bout the pack being our family. I feel the same way; I just never felt . . . wanted before."


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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Thu 05 Dec 2013, 14:12

Zoe sniffs out a laugh and shakes her head. "I guess a good home life is not a high on Gaia's list of priorities for her children. It's almost as if she gives us these terrible pasts to make us all the more accepting of our future. Though to be honest, what's not to like? I mean, we wolf folk are not generally unattractive people. And who wouldn't want a super strong, super fast, super alert creature as their best friend? No one's gonna give you any trouble with a werewolf by your side, am i right?"

She sighs and shakes her, placing a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, brother. I don't mean to make light of your past. Do you mind telling me any more about what life was like for a younger Eaton?"

She smiles expectantly, hoping her new packmate will feel comfortable opening up to her.
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Thu 05 Dec 2013, 19:15

"You don't hafta apologize." Eaton said, "It's not like you said anything wrong. I felt relieved after I found out I was of the Garou. Or at least after someone explained what it meant to me."

Eaton looked up at the sky, deciding on what and how much she wanted to hear from him.

"I suppose that was the reason it I never fit in with my folks. My dad and mama traveled around with me in tow all across Texas. Now, they never said nothin' of the Garou or their ways; but they had to be kinfolk, right? Or else I wouldn't be here! From what I remember, all they knew was that their son was a little brat who, when he wasn't gettin' into fights, fainted every now an' then babbling nonsense when he woke up. Their solution was shovin' every power, elixir, and weed they could find down my throat to "fix" me. I tried to explain that it wasn't a problem; my visions were helpful. That just made 'em think I was mad."

His voice turns agitated as he uttered the last few words, his grip tightening on his staff.

"They forced me to accept that I wasn't . . . well. That all continued 'till I was 'bout twenty. Mama's health took a turn for the worse so we settled down near a new plantation. It was just swell until my dad made a deal with the owner that he could use some of the land if I worked as a slave overseer."

At this point, hatred was palpable in Eaton's voice, the hairs on the back of his neck raising.

"He always defended mama 'case she got flack for being a native. But allowing men to be whipped and sold like animals just because of their skin? He didn't give a crap 'bout 'em. He always taught me to get along with others. Course, then I figured out he just sucked up to whoever would give him what he wanted. I'd had enough of his shit; When I got the chance, I ran away from them and never looked back."

Eaton stopped and took several deep breaths, trying to calm himself; the last thing he wanted to do now was fly into a frenzy. After one last exhale, he continued,

"After my first change and learning of the Garou, part of me sympathized with them; They didn't know what I was and tried to do the best they could. But,

His voice grows growl-like once more,

"I part of me wondered: What if they did know of the Garou, and tried to keep it from me?"
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Thu 05 Dec 2013, 21:10

Zoe's eyes reveal sympathy for her Garou brother as he shares a bit of his past. At his insistence that his parents must have been at least kinfolk, she interrupts.

"Not necessarily. It could have been a situation like with Anna and Penelope. Mrs. Carmichael seems completely clueless, while her own daughter is Garou. Granted, that is a rare situation, but it is still possible, but please continue."

When he mentions how long the 'treatments' of his 'condition' lasted, she interrupts again. "Twenty years and they still didn't realize it wasn't working? How old are you now anyway?"

Zoe's eyes narrow in disdain at the talk of slave ownership and the treatment of those people.

"It makes no sense to me how people think they can just steal people from their homes, sell them for money, and make them work for you for no pay. That just baffles me. All people have value, but not a monetary value. The rich and powerful take what they want. I can almost understand where Cordova's men are coming from in their desire to steal back what's been taken from them, be it their land or their dignity or both."

Zoe nods as he finishes speaking. "When was your first change? Mine was less than two months ago, so this is all still very new to me."

Her eyes grow sad and distant. "As screwed up as they may have been, it still must be nice to know who your folks are. Whether they knew about Garou or not, you may never know, but it sounds like they at least tried to do right by you as best they could."

Zoe shrugs and forces a laugh. "But what does an orphan know about family 'cept what she reads in stories or imagines in her dreams?"
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Thu 05 Dec 2013, 22:50

Eaton's tension dissolves after Zoe offers her viewpoints; his pose becomes lax with quieter breaths,

"Yeah, Maybe I am just overractin'. I don't think that's what happened though; I know I'm my dad and mama's kid. They were too faithful to each other to let anythin' like that happen."

When the Theurge brings up his many and prolonged "treatments", he half grins at the ridiculousness of it all,

"Wherever we went, there was always some new quack that promised to cure me. I'm certain they thought I would just be worse if I didn't take it."

His grin disappears and his face turns very somber,

"I . . . I guess they did spend alot of time and work finding them hoping the next one would. . ."

He quickly rubs his brow as if to dismiss the thoughts, and moves on to Zoe's next question,

"I'm Twenty-four now. My first change was about two years ago. I've heard that you're supposed to have it well before you're nineteen, so I was really late. As for my time in Garou society, I looked into joining a few different tribes but . . . I didn't fit. I had no clue who my ancestors were, had no experience with spirits, no linage to gloat about, my blood wasn't pure . . . I had nothin'. That was when I found out about the Bone-Gnawers and eagerly joined them."

Responding to her comment on how she doesn't know about family, he shakes his head with a smile,

"Ya know enough to know when ya see it. No matter what we've experienced from our past, this pack is our family now. And it's a damn good one at that."
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Fri 06 Dec 2013, 05:53

Zoe smiles at her newest brother.

"You're right. This is by far the best family I've ever had! I would do anything for you my brothers and know that you all would do the same for me. Perhaps our pasts were made difficult by Gaia to make us appreciate our pack all the more."

She cocks her head to the side and gives Eaton a quizzical look. "I am not familiar with the Bone Gnawers, 'cept that I know they're one of the thirteen tribes. What drew you to them as a tribe? My decision to become Iron Rider was simple when I discovered that was what my father had been..."

Zoe's words trail off and her eyes grow sad. "I just wish I knew why they didn't want me. I have to believe that they believed my abandonment was the right thing to do. I just see no good reason to just..."

Zoe is quiet for a moment as thoughts race through her mind, none setting her at ease concerning her parents' desertion of her. She looks up at Eaton and gives him a weak smile.

"At least now I know my family will never desert me."
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Fri 06 Dec 2013, 16:23

"That's one way to think about it." Eaton said, regarding Gaia's plans, "Though I'd prefer to think that the wyrm and its kin are the one's responsible for our griefs; corruptin' her perfect plan."

Responding to her question about the Bone Gnawers, he shrugs,

"Cause I knew they would take me. I wanted to help out our people somehow and just wanderin' around alone would get me killed. They're kinda infamous for that reason, just taken' in every Garou off the street. I don't care about esteem, renown, or any of that stuff. I'd rather everyone just care about helpin' each other."

When Zoe mentions her family, Eaton tilts his head to the side,

"Well, that's what we both gotta do, I guess. Gaia knows they did all this for a reason."

He takes a slight step forward,

"And if it led to us formin' a pack, then she has a hell of great plan."
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Fri 06 Dec 2013, 17:09

She smiles a genuine smile as she regards her brother's friendly demeanor.

"You're right, Eaton. The Wyrm does its worst to foil Mother Gaia's plans, but she always works everything out for the good of those she has chosen, which in this case includes us Prodigals."

Zoe looks out over the caern clearing, spotting her brothers involving themselves in various tasks. She nods and smiles, looking back at Eaton.

"Yes, Gaia certainly did right by bringing us all together. The question now is: why?"
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Sat 07 Dec 2013, 16:30

Eaton adjusted his stance, giving a searching glance at Zoe,

"Well, to serve her in any way we can. I don't think any of us with really understand what's really up with her; I don't think we'd be talkin' right now if we did. Plus, I think figuring out what she wants from us is half the fun of it all. We may have our Auspice chosin' for us, but how we serve her is, really, up to us." As a Galliard, fer Example, some travel around pickin' up stories, other remember what they saw themselves, placin' themselves in the middle of the action for the best stories to tell."

Eaton taps his forehead,

"I see things no one else does. My stories are pretty, eh, unique."

His eyes narrow with another smile,

"I'm sure you have a unique way to serve Gaia."
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Sat 07 Dec 2013, 17:33

Zoe smiles at the Galliard.

"You're right again, friend. Until I know exactly how Gaia wants me to serve her, I will do my best to follow her in the day-to-day living. She will make known to me in what special way she desires me to act as a theurge. Some of my kind use their powers to control and manipulate spirits. I find that with most spirits, common courtesy goes a long way. They are not unlike us in many ways, but I am still very new and inexperienced with all of this. But that's okay."

She smiles again the turns her head to the side. "So tell me more about these visions of yours and that fancy stick and those bizarre cooking utensils."
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Sat 07 Dec 2013, 22:59

Eaton smiles giddily at Zoe's eagerness to hear more stories from him. He thinks of which one to tell first . . . he motions to the ground while he sits down, crossing his legs. He takes in a deep breath.

"I've gotten these visions ever since I was born. Sometimes they come on all by themselves; I can, well, for lack o' a better word, ask for em'. The problem with them is they're . . . kinda vague. Think of them as a piece of the puzzle rather than the answer. So for awhile I sometimes just get confused, they usually work out in the end."

He leaned forward and made a circle with his thumb and index finger, motioning intently,

"Like when I saw that strange Killgore creature speaking with one of the Carmichael's. Remember at the time we didn't know what, when, and where that was? But after meeting Penelope, I found out some more from her and the name Killgore came up. After talking to her mama, things got really clear."

He leaned back into a up-tight position,

"They're not the most pleasant things to look at, but they've definitely helped out. There is only one thing I wonder about them: Where are they coming from? I haven't figured out if it's a spirit, nice or nasty, some weird gift I have that no one knows about, or they're all in my head and I just am gettin' really, really lucky. Though it's probably not that."

He take on a more pondering posture,

"I also thought it was strange that I've gotten them my entire life; I thought other gifts only worked after the first change. Normally we're just kinda weird humans till them."

Remembering that Zoe wanted to know more than just about his visions, he looks at his staff,

"This one's not too interesting; it lets me see over the horizon. Though it's helped out plenty, too."

He points out the blackened patterns along the staff,

"It was struck my lightning, not while I was carrying it, of course. I guess there's some spirit trapped in it. It let's me see things that are really far away. And it's a darn good walking stick."

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the spoons,

"On my rite of passage, I got these as a sort of surprise; The elder slipped them into a bag that I was delivering to a leper colony. They didn't know what they were so they let me hang on to em."
He can't resist playing a tune as he talks,
"I think you're seen 'em in action; Like they say, music soothes even the most savage of beasts."

He leans in closer to Zoe so he doesn't have to say as loudly,

"It also means I don't have to sing. I'd be a pretty lousy Galliard if I didn't have some sort of making music."

He stops playing the spoons and puts them back in his pockets,

"You have any neat toys?"
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Sun 08 Dec 2013, 14:03

Zoe follows Eaton's lead and takes a seat on the ground, relaxing back against a nearby tree. She could almost feel the Wyld gently embracing her.

"Those gifts and fetishes are fascinating. I wonder if I observed your use of them in the umbra I would be able to tell you more about the spirits that dwell within. Perhaps another time. It doesn't really matter I guess."

As he plays his spoons, Zoe visibly relaxes, closing her eyes and enjoying the sound. At his question she opens her eyes and pulls out her stopwatch, tossing it to him.

"This watch contains a pattern spider, which are faithful followers of the Weaver. They are all over Nacogdoches and the Camino Real. Their primary purpose is to bring order to everything and to calcify or reprogram anything that is beyond order. When activated, the spider leaps from the watch and works to restrain its target, thus decreasing the speed, stamina, and dexterity of the enemy. It also conveniently serves as a reflective surface to help me enter and exit the umbra."

She reaches behind her and grabs her rifle, setting it in her lap. "This is more or less a stander rifle, but the special part is this beauty right here," she says as she removes a smudge from the scope.

"This scope collects sunlight during the day and can release it either as a steady stream like a lantern or in quick bursts of weaponized sunlight. The flash can either be used to momentarily blind an opponent or cause harm to any creatures who may be susceptible to sunlight."


She flips a switch and the scope starts to glow, illuminating the surrounding few square feet. She smiles as she powers down the scope.

"Pretty cool, huh?"

Zoe leaves the rifle on the ground behind her as she leans back against the tree. She inhales deeply and exhales with a smile. "This places feels so right, doesn't it? The spiritual connection to Gaia provided by the caern, the closeness to the Wyld in all the tree and animal spirits around us...it's just right, you know?"
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 19:50

Eaton raises his eyebrows with genuine enthusiasms as Zoe shows off and explains her gifts. He can't wait to see the Spider-watch in action. Though it wasn't like he wasn't impressed with the shotgun, either.

He nods as Zoe lists the reasons she loves the caern, though his interest seems to waver slightly. After she asks the question he seems at a loss for words, extremely odd for a Galliard, much less Eaton. Though, he does seems to find what he wants to say,

"It is nice here. Though . . .maybe not for those reasons. For me, at least. I've . . . never had the best connection with the spirits. Heard all these great stories 'bout them, and it's not like I'm spooked around 'em or anythin' like that, But, I haven't had someone properly show me what they're like. I mean, what did Kefka even mean what he wanted you to summon Ylvis or whatever his name was?"

Eaton justs laughs to himself,

"Just listen to me; I probably sound so stupid to you."



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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 21:16

Zoe laughs and gives her friend a compassionate smile. She shakes her head, continuing to smile, and gestures at the caern as a whole.

"Before all this, I didn't know anything about spirits except what I'd learned in school about angels and demons and the holy spirit which is supposed to be God but not but is...I don't know. It was all pretty confusing back then too. These spirits, though, I have been able to see and speak to and touch even."

"In answer to your question, Kefka asked me to summon a particular fox gaffling, which is just a spiritual rank, named Ylvis. Apparently that spirit can teach him a specific gift he desires to learn. That's how we learn new gifts, you know? Finding and requesting the help of spirits, often doing favors for them in return."

Zoe thinks for a second, leaps to her feet, and extends one hand to Eaton, while pulling her pocket watch from her pants. "You want me to show you spirits? Let's go."

The sun had set about an hour ago, so Zoe felt it was completely safe to show Eaton around the umbra. Before he could respond, she began staring intently into and through her reflection.
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 23:10

Eaton seems completely surprised by her offer, thinking whether or not he wanted to go right this second.

"What? Right now? Eh, well, I guess so. Sure. If you're up to it. I guess the others are off doing their own thing, anyway."

He takes Zoe's hand, rubbing the back of his neck with his other one,

"I'm ready when you . . ." He cuts himself short as he notices her memorized stare, deciding he didn't want to interrupt her trance.
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Tue 10 Dec 2013, 01:07

Zoe doesn't hear Eaton's response as she steps sideways into the umbra. Upon arrival she looks up and sees him standing beside her, his hand nervously clutching hers. She frees her hand from his grasp and observes the familiar umbral landscape, including Papa Stagecoach and a number of local plant and animal spirits.

Zoe gestures across the clearing and smiles. "Welcome back to the umbra. As you can see, the spiritual realm reflects the physical in many ways. The general landscape, as far as trees and such are concerned, is pretty similar; however, the normally invisible spirits now become visible to our eyes."

She begins walking toward the path that leads up to the Camino Real, continuing her discourse as she goes. "Most of these spirits are purely of the Wyld, the untamed spirit of nature. Note there is a difference between the freedom of the Wyld and the chaotic destruction of the Wyrm. Most of the spirits on the road or in the town are of the Weaver persuasion, seeking to bring order to the natural wildness of things. As you can imagine, Wyld and Weaver spirits don't always see eye-to-eye, but they tend to keep their distance and manage to co-exist well enough."

She continues her trek toward the road, not giving Eaton a chance to object or question her about anything she's said.

"Here in the umbra, it is very easy to see the Wyrm for what it is: dark, roiling, chaotic disgust. You saw this when we fought Hawkins and he summoned those banes to assist him. Had that happened in the natural realm, we would not have been able to see the banes themselves, simply the results of their possession of the children. The Laughing Stranger gave me a gift to be able to sense the Wyrm even in the natural realm, but it's still not as simple as seeing right where is it, as we can here."

As they reach the road, Zoe stoops down to get a closer look, gesturing for Eaton to follow her lead. She watches a pattern spider work for a moment before speaking again.

"Here you see a pattern spider hard at work along Papa's road. These spiders work constantly to weave the Weaver's web in and around anything technological. They are usually content to co-exist with us and our kind as long as we don't go wreaking havoc on their...oh look!"

Zoe reaches out and places her hand in the path of a cockroach spirit, which crawls up into her palm and stops for a brief moment. She whispers a brief message into the creature's ear before setting it back on the road with a smile.

"Cockroach is the tribal totem of the Iron Riders. His followers are also to be found where technology reigns supreme. These spirits make fantastic couriers, bringing messages quickly across long distances."

She stands and begins to walk toward the outskirts of Nacogdoches, finally pausing long enough to allow Eaton the chance to speak.
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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Tue 10 Dec 2013, 23:11

Eaton watched with glee as Zoe showed him around the Umbra, in awe as she explained it's many wonders. After she finished talking, he followed her as she walked toward the town. As he goes, he tries to pick out the differences between the physical and the spirit world. As Zoe finishes, he finally speaks up,

"I gotta admit, it is nice here when a bear spirit ain't charging us or a Black Spiral isn't raisin' hell." He says as he strokes his thin beard,

"So the Weaver and the Wyld don't always get along too good. Would that be why Lune-Stalker is so bent out of shape over the Bear Spirit? Papa Stagecoach doesn't really sound like a Wyld thing to me."

He lets out an irritated sigh,

"Though frankly, I didn't get her reasonin'. Why risk the bear spirit causin' problems? I guess I still don't get everythin' about this spirit-thing."


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PostSubject: Re: Old and New   Wed 11 Dec 2013, 05:58

Zoe laughs. "I guess your time in the umbra thus far hasn't been the most peaceful encounters, huh? But yeah, it's pretty cool here...a little eery at times, but overall pretty neat."

"Lune Stalker and the other Irregulars are very much devoted to the Wyld. Red and the Spinning Wheels, however, are pretty fond of the Weaver, finding ways to benefit through technological advancements and the growth of the human populace in this area. Papa is not entirely Wyld or Weaver as far as I can tell, but has loyalties to both. His road is definitely Weaver-based, as evidenced by the presence of the pattern spiders."

Zoe sighs and shakes her head. "I am certain there is more to the story than Lune is telling us, but from what she's said, she wants Bear back because this is his caern and he belongs here. Personally, I think she's not a fan of Papa because he's partly devoted to the Weaver and also because of how Red Oath utilizes his abilities for her own financial gain."

Zoe shrugs and smiles at Eaton. "Like I said, spirits are a lot like people. They have feelings, personalities, likes, dislikes, desires, fears, etc. I try to show them the same respect and courtesy I would show anyone, while keeping in mind that spirits also have unique abilities that make some far more dangerous than a normal person."

She pauses for a moment to sense the Wyrm while here in town. Not noting anything worth looking into, Zoe turns back toward the road to the caern.

"Unless you wanted to see anything else around town, that pretty much sums up your basic introduction to the umbra and we can head back to the caern to rejoin the others if you'd like."
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