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 Scrounging for Gifts

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Eaton

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PostSubject: Scrounging for Gifts    Thu 29 May 2014, 17:52

After a day of traveling northward, the prodigals stopped for the night. After Eaton made sure Jana was settled in and comfortable as possible, he rejoined the pack were they stood, quietly conversing underneath a squat oak. The Galliard turned his attention to Zoe.

"Hey Zoe," He nodded toward her, "I been wonderin' if you could conjure up a spirit for me. Just a little one, a rat jaggling. There's some things I've been wantin' to get straight with Rat’s brood for awhile, now that I’m a member of the Swarm and all." The theurge nodded and began the ritual, breaching the gauntlet into the spirit world as she chanted quietly in the first tongue. As Eaton watched, he added,

"I haven't really done this sort of thing before so . . . what will I need to do?"

He kept his tone easy and neutral, keeping the nervousness out of his voice.
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Zoe

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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Thu 29 May 2014, 21:39

Zoe's chanting ceased mid-word as she opened her eyes and scowled at her brother Garou. "For starters, you need to keep quiet while I'm in the middle of a rite."

She held his gaze for a moment before laughing. "I'm only kidding, brother. You ask a very good and very important question. No need going and offending your first summoned spirit."

Zoe stood relaxed as she continued. "Meeting a spirit is a lot like meeting a new person or Garou for the first time. You want to be cordial and introduce yourself, but don't waste too much time just shooting the breeze. Spirits have things to do, too, so they would likely appreciate you getting to the point fairly quickly."

"Unfortunately, some spirits won't be cordial back at you, so it may take some convincing to get them to work with you or give you whatever gift or information you may want. This is where chiminage comes in. Even the friendly spirits will expect some compensation for their assistance. Remember when Papa Stagecoach came and helped us out on the road to Austin? A few of us chipped in some of our personal stores of Gnosis. That which allows us to use some of our gifts and fetishes is pure lifeblood to the spirits and they will always appreciate such an offering; however, we, too, as partly spiritual creatures require Gnosis and cannot just be dealing it out willy-nilly."

She tapped the side of her head and smiled. "This is where good old-fashioned creativity comes into play. You can offer to give the spirit something or do a task for the spirit as a form of chiminage. Some spirits may ask for something in particular. You're allowed to say no. Remember that fire spirit that helped me out in Perdido? It wanted me to burn the hillside for it as chiminage. I said no and just gave it Gnosis instead. Didn't see much sense in bringing anymore fire into the mix than necessary."

Zoe shrugged and smiled. "That's pretty much it. Be friendly, get to the point, offer chiminage, and hope for the best! Any further questions?"
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Eaton

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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Fri 30 May 2014, 00:30

Eaton wilted slightly at Zoe's feigned scold, but after Zoe explained what was about to happen, he exhaled in relief.
"That answers most of it, thanks. I guess the only real experience I've got with spirits personally was with the Stranger, and that crazy Rat ceremony in the field with the other 'Gnawers." He tilted his head slightly and looked up at the stars, their faint light flickering through thin clouds.
"Thanks again for doin' this." He shuffled his feet slightly and adjusted his grip on his staff as he waiting for the requested spirit to appear, a tinge of unease still apparent in his pose.
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The Laughing Stranger
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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Fri 30 May 2014, 17:01

The underbrush rustled, and out of it burst a pack of rats, clawing and leaping over each other, their tails tangled together in a hopeless mass. The spirit-beasts came within a yard of the garou before stopping shot and spreading out in a rough circle facing outward. Trails of burning ephemeral streamed from their eyes. A single rat stood on its hind legs, and in a high chittering voice all the creatures spoke as one:

"You have called upon the Swarm, Leper-Friend. The Doom of Hamelin answers."

The first rat ceased talking and crouched in the dust, and another to its right began to speak, its long yellow fangs glinting in the light of Luna:

"You are preparing for war, for hardship. We can see it behind your troubled eyes, feel the tension in your toes."


Last edited by The Laughing Stranger on Sun 01 Jun 2014, 14:04; edited 1 time in total
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Eaton

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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Sat 31 May 2014, 19:40

As the tangle of vermin spirits writhed toward Eaton, he knelt down on one knee. At the mention of his uneasy disposition, he raised an eyebrow at the rat who had finished speaking.
"If you know what's goin' on in my mind, I hope you see the reasonin' of what I want from you."

He scooted closer and held up an index finger. "First, I want the Swarm to help me out when I call ya. I know you guys have helped me out once before when I was in a tight bind. I want to learn how to call ya in a fight, to aid my pack when we need it. Your numbers are gonna be mighty useful for the dust-ups I see ahead of us."

He held up his middle finger alongside the other and continued, " Second, I know our kind is good at survivin' and one of those tricks is gettin' in or out of tight places. I've heard that you might be able to teach me how I could do that much better."

Remembering what Zoe had told him, he opened his hand and gestured to the mischief, "So that's what I want from you. What do you want from me?"
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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Sun 01 Jun 2014, 16:23

Again the speaking rat spirit ducked down among his squirming brothers and sisters and another stood to take his place. The Doom of Hamelin's many voices were a discordant chorus of high squeaks and squeals.

For you to survive, we also must survive, in numbers vast, strong. Ensure this by killing every tame cat you see. Do this, and our fangs will always be ready at your foes' throats.

When Eaton mentioned his second request, the Rat spirit chittered excitedly, and as one the strange composite-being struggled forward.


Escape is as necessary as combat. Twin arts, striving to prevent annihilation, each staving off destruction in turn. We will teach you the ways of wriggling freedom, if you have the wits to learn our secrets. In return, we ask for the contents of your pockets. Have anything of worth?


Last edited by The Laughing Stranger on Mon 02 Jun 2014, 22:40; edited 1 time in total
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Eaton

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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Sun 01 Jun 2014, 22:09

Eaton listened intently to the mass of spirits, considering their requests. Thinking for just a moment, he replied, "Every cat I see, eh? How about for the next moon cycle? I'll strangle, suffocate, and sunder every one of 'em til then. The ones that can kill ya." His eyes narrow a little as he continues, "I'm not gonna hurt the itty bitty ones; those I'll leave to you. You guys are famous for creatin' a sizable brood in record time. Surely in a month we'll have a army to be reckoned with."

He then reached into his faded pants pocket and rummaged for a few seconds before he held out his open hand. It held a bent nail, a fragment of pottery, a few dried bits of jerky, a couple of dead moths, and a large lump of dried salted cheese that he had received from Father Ramon.

"Take what you want." Eaton said, awaiting the spirits acceptance of his chiminage.
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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Sun 01 Jun 2014, 22:44

The rats that comprised the Doom of Hamelin squeaked and twitched, and all but one of them drew close to the Bone Gnawer's outstretched hand. Several of the conjoined vermin pawed and sniffed at the proffered scraps. In the end, they ate the jerky, nibbled on the moths, and gingerly took the bit of cheese as if it were some sort of holy artifact, where it was passed around and inspected carefully before finally being secreted away, out of sight. The rest of the sundry items were ignored. One large solitary dam rat remained upright, and she chittered up at him:

"You are right of course, Tooth of Rat. We breed fast and strong. A fortnight is enough time. Give us a meager portion of your spirit-strength as a token of good faith and generosity, and we will have an accord, child."
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PostSubject: Re: Scrounging for Gifts    Sun 01 Jun 2014, 23:12

At the spirit's acceptance, Eaton's mild expression reformed into an eager smile. He bowed his head and said,
"Thanks for teachin' me your gifts. You can count on me to make sure all enemies of rat fear the swarm."
Eaton rose and gestured with his staff toward the Doom of Hamelin as he imparted some of his gnosis to the rat spirit. He leaned on the fetish as he added,
"I look forward to callin' upon ya soon."
In response, the conjoined rats began to brux and scratch at the dirt. Then they drew back, tumbling and roiling over each other in their haste. As the vermin disappeared into the night, bidding their farewell with chittering and squeals, Eaton was about to turn and walked back, but then he noticed the rat jaggling had left a crude runic inscription in the dust, a symbol that spoke of the secret ways of vermin. In that moment, the galliard understood what he had to do to become one with the writhing Swarm. After a moment, after the patter of countless tiny clawed feet had left his head, Eaton slowly backed out of the clearing and headed back to where the rest of his pack gathered, renewed confidence in every step.
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