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 Watch Your Step

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Posts : 526
Join date : 2013-09-02
Location : Nacogdoches, TX

PostSubject: Watch Your Step   Thu 10 Apr 2014, 21:21

Luna rises over the Forked Path Sept as Penelope, clad in her fetish armor and covered in woad-painted Garou symbols, disappears into Erebus. The scent of the nearby bonfire hints at the challenge that stands before the young Garou, but one would never wish to imagine the pain that her purification will require.

Hears-the-Song in her mottled brown crinos form has only a moment to lift up a quick prayer to Gaia on her friend's behalf before the air fills with bloodthirsty howls, signaling the start of the revel. Those who are not in Crinos immediately shift into their most terrifying form as all of the gathered warriors scatter to the four winds in a lustful quest for Wyrm blood.

Zoe runs on all fours, crashing through the Guadalupe River on the heels of a fairly small, heavily scarred grey werewolf. Moonlight reflecting off the shattered surface of the water illuminates the lupine face of Juryk, the Throat Tearers' theurge. He acknowledges her with a brief nod as the two tear into the tree line, cracking branches and tree trunks alike without breaking stride.

Zoe darts left to avoid large, rotting tree covered in woody vines, blood red lichens and slimy black moss. Suddenly, she falls facedown on the leaf-covered ground as a thick vine snags her leg and yanks her back. Whirling around, she tears through the vine with a swipe of her claws as another vine grabs her around the waist, quickly raising her off the ground.

A shot rings out and the vine recoils, dropping Zoe about ten feet. Luna's light allows her to spot the frail, white Asla lining up another shot at the vines lashing out from the thirty-foot tree. The sound of gunfire brings Juryk rushing back toward Zoe on a collision course with the foul-smelling tree.

As he leaps to rake his claws through the snake-like vines, one of the lichens sprays a greenish yellow fog into the eyes of the Get theurge. He howls in pain as the burning mist renders him temporarily blinded.

"I can't see!" he cries out in Garou tongue.

"Asla, cover Juryk! I'll distract the vines."

Another rifle blast takes out a tendril grasping for Juryk's neck as Zoe scales a nearby oak tree for a higher vantage point, all the while taunting the bane in a manner that would make her brother Kefka proud.

Zoe searches the tree for any sign of weakness, all the while dodging vines and keeping her eyes turned away from disabling lichens. The stench of death and decay originates from the middle of the tree. Six sturdy vines writhe from a hole about fifteen feet off the ground and about four feet in diameter. The moonlight appears unable to illuminate the void from which the the vines emerge.

Zoe hears another shot whiz past her ear and connect with an attacking vine. Asla has moved next to Juryk and is fighting with claws, teeth, and bullets to protect her packmate, while instructing him when and where to bite and claw with his silver-laced talons as he slowly regains his sight.

Gazing into the void, Zoe feels all hope melt away as the burnt and mangled body of Penelope flashes before her eyes. Her resolve slips just long enough for a vine, splintered by a gunshot, to stab her in the stomach and out the back. She falls halfway to the ground, but is caught in her bleeding gut with an upward swinging vine that knocks the wind out of her before dropping her to the ground. Zoe lands on her back, but quickly regains her feet headed once again for the tree.

"We need to cut the vines off at the source, which is about fifteen feet up the trunk."

When neither one replies, Zoe notices Asla's rifle on the ground at her feet as she and Juryk are hanging from the neck about six feet above Zoe's head, their arms pinned to their sides by additional vines.

Zoe grabs Asla's rifle, and aims for the vine strangling the helpless ragabash. She pulls the trigger but nothing happens. Growling a curse, she rebounds off the tree and leaps toward the vines suspending the two Get above the ground. Another Wyrm-possessed tendril grabs Zoe by the ankle, but she still manages to release her friends from the creature's grasp.

The two Garou fall to ground. Asla clamors to her feet, but Juryk remains prone, conscious but still recovering from asphyxiation and Wyrm poison.

Zoe pulls her rifle from atop her bloody fur and pushes it into Asla's hands.

"Keep the vines off me as best you can. When you have a direct shot at the opening in the tree, flip this switch and flood that dark abyss with sunlight. Hopefully that will stun the vines long enough for me to tear them apart at the source."

Asla nods and Zoe scales the same tree as before. As vines lunge in her direction, she grabs them two at a time and knots them together around the trunk of the sturdy oak in such a way that the more they pull, the tighter the knot grows. The tangled vines release a high-pitched shriek that sends chills down Zoe's spine.

Once the last pair of vines is secure, a burst of light illuminates the scene as the vines temporarily cease their writhing. Drawing on her last reserves of rage, Zoe bites and claws her way through the vines and into the darkness.

Terror grips her to the core as she plunges into the heart of the possessed tree. Incoherent whispers grow increasingly louder as she plunges down what feels like much more than fifteen feet. The stench overpowers her as she empties the contents of her stomach at her feet.

Zoe howls a cry of pain as the darkness begins to suffocate her. She claws and bites at the darkness, which merely ebbs and flows around her attacks.

All of a sudden, she hears the sound of her rifle as a hole pierces through the tree and embeds itself in her shoulder. She winces in pain but gasps gratefully at the fresh air and light pouring in from what she assumes is her sun scope.

Two sets of claws and fangs tear furiously at the trunk surrounding Zoe, as Asla and Juryk free her from the all-consuming darkness.

"We need to finish this in the penumbra, Hears-the-Song."

Zoe nods and the three quickly step sideways to finish off the vicious Wyrm creatures.

In the spirit realm the roiling darkness ebbs and flows from a six-headed snake with a body about 20-feet long. Luna's light reflects off its iridescent, mostly brown scales, interspersed with a few red ones.

Asla picks off one of the snake heads with Zoe's rifle, but tendrils of darkness ooze out and begin quickly reforming the head.

Asla curses. "Got any better ideas, theurges?"

Juryk, now fully recovered from his previous injuries, cooly remarks.

"All foes can and will fall to Gaia's teeth and claws."

As one the three leap at the serpent, teeth bared and claws extended. Asla and Zoe focus on the heads, while Juryk lunges for the throat where the necks converge.

Moments after he sinks his teeth into the bane, it begins seizing and writhing uncontrollably. Zoe and Asla step back as the creature collapses to the ground then quickly finish it off. Hears-the-Song glances at Juryk just in time to see his lengthened fangs, dripping with venom, retract to their normal length.

The three return to the physical realm to find the tree toppled over, splinters of its trunk piercing the nearby trees. Asla returns Zoe's rifle and shoulders her own.

"Now that was fighting even a Get might be proud of," Asla says with a wink.

"Yes, you were foolish and dove headlong down the throat of your enemy without thinking. Just like a Get," Juryk adds sarcastically.

As Luna makes her descent toward the horizon, Zoe turns to Juryk to question him about his poisonous fangs, the very evidence he used against Penelope, but she chooses to let it be for now. She instead smiles and slaps him on the back.

"Well, Juryk, you Get sure know how to show a girl a good time."

He sniffs out a short laugh as he rubs the back of his neck.

"Yeah, next time, you can get blinded and hung and I'll go jumping down the Wyrm hole."

Zoe laughs, nods her head, and replies, "It's a date," though she is still unable to shake the sight of Penelope's lifeless form from her mind.
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