This old and spacious building was once a fairly large carriage barn, but has been converted first as garage, and then into something else entirely. It once had massive two-story front doors, but they've been permanently closed, and a smaller door built into them. The walls appear to have been reinforced in some way, making them stronger and somewhat soundproof. The size of about two large rooms, the first floor is undivided. It's got wooden plank flooring, and has exercise equipment dotting its expanse, with free weights in one area, a punching bag in a corner, and other equipment scattered about. There's a rough ladder up to the second floor, which is carpeted, but has unfinished walls, a few dangling light bulbs, and is apparently serving as a somewhat informal bunk area. The lighting is, understandably, somewhat inadequate. The floor mostly consists of mattresses, innumerable throw pillows and bed pillows, warm bedding, and the occasional glimpse of carpet. There are a few shoes resting against the wall near the ladder; clearly, people are expected to take their footwear off once they get up here. A wooden door on the upper part of the garage leads into the second floor landing of the house.
At just under seven feet in height, this Neanderthal-like man is clearly a man, but how much of one is in serious doubt. Tim's black eyes glare sullenly out at the world, and his body is covered with tawny-gold hair so thick it could practically be fur, putting it at odds with the black, matted hair on his head. His face is blocky and square, like the maker ran out of time before it could add in refinements, and the strange, awkward length of his arms and legs give him a truly un-evolved appearance. Those long arms end in equally strange hands topped with long, thick, blunt fingernails, though despite all of this he moves with an eerie semblance of grace.
Currently the moon is in the waning Crescent (Theurge) Moon phase (28% full).
Djehuti does not normally sleep at Edgewood. Where he does sleep is an open question, though not exactly an urgent one. He is, in any case, sacked out in lupus underneath the punching bag, curled up on a small bunch of the cushions. His bag and puffy coat are in a tidy heap next to the ladder.
Izzy's coat and satchel are sitting in the loft -- but not the scarf, and not Izzy, either. The why and where, if anyone asked, are answered as the outside door to the garage opens and admits a breathless, flushed cub well-wrapped in scarf and with a pair of gloves that probably came from the random clothes for cubs box. It's still damn cold out there.
The cold (and the noise) wake Djehuti, and he makes a quiet whining protest, before he wakes up more fully. He stands, shakes himself out (staggering sideways), and sneeze-chuffs.
Izzy closes the door and stops a moment, hands on thighs, regaining breath. Djehuti's protest gets a look of chagrin. "I'm sorry, I didn't know anyone was in here. I would've been quieter coming in."
The wolf shakes himself out again, lolling his tongue at her as if to say, "No worries!" He trots over and leans against her, shedding fur as he does so.
Izzy laughs, still a bit out of breath, and reaches down to scratch Djehuti behind the ears. Then hesitates. "Um. Is it rude to scritch your teacher? It's kinda never come up before," the cub asks, grinning, but probably at least half serious about the question all the same. "I was having a run. I wish it'd stop being so cold outside, though."
Dje doesn't think so! He says this while leaning into her legs, clearly enjoying the scritching immensely. But then his ears splay backwards, and he shivers. (Since it's not actually cold in here, this is clearly just an agreement with her.) He doesn't shift yet, perhaps because he wants mileage out of the scritch.
Well, hey, as long as it's not rude or otherwise inappropriate, let there be scritching! There may, in fact, also be some rufflings and fuzzlings to go along with it. In, you know, a respectful sort of way, of course. "I guess there's no new news or anything?" Izzy asks, and brightens suddenly, "Oh! It's not my news, but. You and Detective Konstantopilous were mentioning a Rajani and she thought she was prolly dead, but when Flint was here he got a call saying she was okay. So in case no one else said yet, I thought prolly you'd be glad to know."
The jackal brightens. Oh, good! After a moment of enjoying the ruffling, he sighs and backs up a pace or three, melting through the forms into homid. He goes over to his pack and then brings the phone back, offering it over. "I only met her once, to be truthful, but I did like her, so that is well to hear. Do you know if they also defeated the bane?" He rakes a hand through his hair, to tame it a touch, and then smiles. "As for the scritching, I would recommend against it if you meet a wolf-born. They most of them consider it to be an insult. Myself," he says, twinkle in eye, "I think that is needless deprivation, but the world is a diverse place."
Izzy accepts the phone, immediately checking it for messages. None, alas. "Thank you. And even so, mostly it's better to find out someone isn't dead." The cub pauses a moment, trying to remember what was said. "He said... he said, like the Detective said, there was a shapeshifting fomor that was impersonating her, only Kaz-rhya and some other people found the real Rajani and she's okay. But if you see her and she's not with Kaz-rhya or Tim-rhya or... a couple other people I haven't met, um... Lefty-rhya and... something that starts with a K, I'm sorry, I can't remember it... anyway if she's not with one of them then it's still the fomor. I'm pretty sure that's what he said. And I'll try to remember not to scritch the wolf-born. So we do come from both kinds, not just from humans? And I guess metis..."
"You're welcome," he says, and then supplies, as he listens, "Keir and Lefty. Keir is ahroun, Lefty Ragabash. She has lost her right hand, so..." He trails off. "Yes, it shouldn't matter if I know them or not, but I am not a beatific entity, so it does. I will hope this will allow them access to the fomor." He nods, as he returns to his pack to close it. "Some wolf born, most homid born. The wolf-kin have, after all, been hunted. This is why many of the wolf-born Garou -- not all, but many -- are not friends to those who retain more of the human-nature than others."
"...so," Izzy agrees, nodding a little. "I guess I can kind of understand that, but shouldn't we all be trying to get on with each other the best we can? Otherwise won't something Wyrm find a way to take advantage of it? Which reminds me, what should I know about fomors? And are there a lot of them out there?"
"Well, as a philodox, I tend to think that would be best," Djehuti says, getting his knife and some bread and cheese out of his pack before closing it. "But, I also think that diversity -- of upbringing, tribe, philosophy of living, and more -- is the best way to go, and that diversity will always lead to some tension in the outlying spots. It is the price of /having/ diversity, and one worth, to my mind, working with. Others have and do disagree with me." He settles the plastic bag the bread came in as a sort of plate, and starts cutting bread and cheese. "There are many different fomori, fomors, however one pluralizes it. They are created when a human or animal is possessed by a bane. It is... exceedingly rare... to be able to save them, once they are taken. Their powers differ, but generally, once they are noticeable at all, they should be killed as soon as possible, in part because the possession causes insanity, and. Well."
Izzy clambers up into the loft, getting the coat and satchel and bringing them down, the latter, it transpires, to get the charger out and find a place to plug the phone in, while it's here. "I like fomori. Um. As a plural for the word. Not the things. A bane is a Wyrm spirit? How do people get possessed by them? Can it just happen to anyone, like, sitting on the bus? Or do they have to kind of invite it, like in shows when people try to summon demons and stuff?"
Dje offers Izzy some cheese. (Cheddar.) "Bane is a Wyrm spirit, yes. People get possessed just sitting on the bus, also yes, though there is a marked tendency for a bane to possess someone who is already somehow aligned with the Wyrm philosophically in some way. But the demon summoning is myth, not reality. Well, about the Wyrm, at any rate."
Izzy shivers. "That's messed up. I mean, just normal people going about their lives and then getting all Wyrmed up and basically doomed." The cub sighs, sitting down by the elder Strider, and accepts the cheese. "Thanks. Is that the kind of thing where you'd use that enemy-sensing gift you mentioned? 'cause I figure you can't just ask people if they're possessed by evil and check whether they tell the truth, in case they, y'know, aren't."
"Yes. It is not..." Djehuti trails off. "A comfortable thing." He also offers some of the bread. But no butter. It's an inadequate sandwich. "Yes, though it is often not of great use in the city, as the general Wyrm presence there is higher than in other locales. But they do, indeed, smell of the enemy, once they have been possessed."
No butter? What torture is this?! Izzy suffers through, however. Even seems fairly pleased with both the bread AND the cheese, though they get eaten separately. "Are cities inherently Wyrmish? Flint mentioned that some people don't like Glass Walkers and call them 'Urrah scum' 'cause they live there on purpose. But I thought, if big cities happened because the Weaver and Wyrm got corrupted, then there should prolly be a lot of dwelling and breeding going on there and someone's got to combat it, don't they?"
Djehuti himself tends to nibble cheese, then bread. "Cities are, hm. Weaver and Wyrm gone out of control. I don't think they are inherenty Wyrmy, but I do think that, given the imbalance, they often are home to more malevolent things than other places. As for the Urrah part--" He smiles, shaking his head faintly. "That is that they are /comfortable/ there, and less that they live there on purpose. Those tribes that call them that tend to fight in the city, but would not live there on purpose. To my mind, that sort of divisional thinking is short sighted, but it is deeply held onto."
"Why? I mean, why hold onto it? Does it just make them feel superior or something?" Izzy sighs, shifting position slightly to sit more comfortably, one knee up and acting as an impromptu table. "...anyway. Oh, also he said something about having a connection to his ancestors and basically that I should ask you about it for more information. I think."
"He has a connection to his ancestors," Djehuti says promptly, repressing a smile. Briefly, it seems as if that's all he's going to say, but then he goes on, "Some of us do. They give us hints on how to do things, sometimes just enable us to do them without even knowing how. Those who have a very strong connection can be taken over by those ancestors, for a short time. It is... disquieting, for them (once they wake up), and for those around them. But these are the ancestors who have not come back to this world." As if this is just standard. "But, Izzy. I came here, originally, before I fell asleep, with the intention of telling you more of the Litany. Would this work for you?"
"Well, he was talking to... them... I guess. Which is why I was curious. Wait, ancestors usually come back to this world?" Izzy looks torn, but nods. "Yes, okay. Sorry, there's just a million things I don't know. But yes, please. We were up to five next, I think."
Dje says, "Well, there is the possibility, for some tribes, yes. It is rare for the Glass Walkers to have ancestors living in their head, actually." Then he grins, swift and soon gone. "I do not have an issue with more questions. I merely wish to have some focus, as well. OK. So. The next one, again, ties into the lupine nature." Carefully, slowly, but still coming out as a sentence, he says, "Submission to Those of Higher Station. Keep in mind, submission merely means letting it be known through posture and action that you know your elder is your elder. You can still /disagree/ with them all you want."
"Submission to those of higher station," Izzy repeats slowly, and nods. "I think I get that mostly. I'm, um, not entirely sure I know what the right postures and actions are, except for not looking higher-ranked people in the eye too much. When you say I can disagree all I want... out loud? Or just in my head?"
"Well, in part, that comes of experience. But, not looking them in the eye, showing throat, looking a little smaller, and so on. When you're in lupus sorts of forms, it's more obvious -- you have seen dogs who are telling their owner they know it is in charge? That sort of thing. And wolves, they will lick another's muzzle? Or greet the other by lying on their back? And dominant wolves often raise their tail higher. Just as a few things to think about. And--" He looks rueful. "Not to resort to this answer yet again, but it depends. With me, I do not mind disagreement if we are not in the midst of combat. Some elders are..." He searches for words, and ends up with, "Less patient."
Izzy nods, taking a moment to chew and swallow the last bit of cheese. "Okay. So, same as at school basically. Except I'd prolly get beat up instead of detention with the not-patient ones. Okay. I think I can do that stuff. Are we okay to hit number six?"
"Yes, rather like. Though at least some of us are not adolescents anymore, for which much thanks." He and Izzy are on the ground near the ladder, some bread and cheese on a plastic bag in front of them. "I think so. The First Share of the Kill for the Greatest in Station," he says, carefully. "Which is, again, lupine at base, but applies across the board."
The door to the garage opens, and Tim lumbers in. His glabro form might not be recognizeable, and the old, oversized, Phoenix Suns sweats he wears in this shape aren't precisely becoming. Seeing Izzy and Djehuti, he gives them a near-man's gruesome smile. "Hey you two. How's things?" His movements are stiff and slow, and a few gashes and puncture wounds are evident around his collar.
"The first share of the kill for the greatest in station..." Izzy takes a second or so to think that one over. "Okay, I guess? I mean, I don't really have an issue with that, I'm just not sure I get why it is..." The cub trails off as the door opens, and stays quiet for a second or so more at the sight of Tim, eyes a bit wide. By way of greeting, the elder Strider gets, "...are you okay?"
"Hi," Djehuti says, fairly casual. "What did you run into?" (Though his casual tone is belied by how carefully he looks Tim over.) Then he adds, "Come on in. Things're fine; I'm just going over more Litany." He gestures at Izzy with a piece of bread. Since he talks with both hand and voice. "The thing with this one -- First share of the kill," he explains to Tim, "Is that it's also meant as a general statement, many argue, about an elder's role in the community, how people should view them overall, and, more specifically, whether they will get first try at things such as the take from the stash of a fomori drug-lord. It applies to more than just bones and meat, in other words."
Tim pokes at the injuries around his neck, winces, and says, "I will be, probably tomorrow or the day after." After a moment, he adds, "This is the near-man form. You can speak human languages in it, but it lets you heal like the other non-breed forms," for Izzy's benefit. He has a seat on the floor, and observes, "One issue with it is if you have leaders who don't realize, they can't hog good stuff. That weakens their subordinates, which actually just weakens them."
"Like if the alpha ate all the meat and didn't leave any for the cubs, for normal wolves, then they wouldn't grow up strong enough to hunt well, if they even lived?" Izzy suggests, glancing between the other two Striders. "Is it an issue a lot? And are there official ways of determining what's a share and who's greatest in station? I mean obviously everyone's greater in station than me at the moment, but, like... if you had two Fosterns and a Cliath, how would they know which Fostern went first?"
"Rank among equals is a constantly shifting equation, as I think I went on a discursion about at some point. So at any given time, I'll know if I'm dominant to--" He stops to think about who Izzy's met (that he knows of), and then just finsishes, "Any given other Fostern, though generally instinctively. So the only conflict will be if we have different internal delimiters, at which point, more obvious dominance and submission efforts will come into play. Or--" He flashes a smile. "Sometimes, people just give way. And -- Yes, like that, or the Sept would be slightly weaker. When it becomes obvious is when the elder is challenged for their official position of leadership."
"Exactly," Tim says to Izzy, nodding. "So like, if it was you and three other cubs, you'd have to sort out who between you was the dominant one."
Izzy nods back, looking thoughtful. "...I was gonna say prolly not me. But I think maybe I shouldn't think that way if I'm going to be a good werewolf. So maybe me." The kid grins a little. "Okay, I think I've got that one pretty much. Can we try the next one?"
Dje considers Izzy. "It is a thing to think about," is all he says, eventually. And then, "Next one. Yes. I do not think you will have issues with it. Ye Shall Not Eat the Flesh of Humans," he says, in that slow voice which distinguishes words, and yet still forms a sentence. "This was initiated at the end of the time we call the Impergium, when we in fact culled humans, to keep their numbers down, for there were those among us who were convinced that they were helping the rise of both Weaver and Wyrm. As it turns out, of course, they were not. But it has led to their being terrified beyond reason by our crinos forms, and led to this law."
Tim shudders at the mention of this law. "Also, a lot of our Tribe *weren't* involved in that--we still lived in Egypt then, and many of us had withdrawn from the Nation. But some were, and held to it." He shrugs in a 'what can you do' way.
For once, Izzy doesn't repeat it first off. "Ew. Well, that one's not going to be hard to keep, I don't think. And... that's. Um. When was the Impergium? It was a really long time ago? ...Ye shall not eat the flesh of humans. Or wolves? Or does that just go without saying? Except I kinda thought the human thing did too and I guess it doesn't."
"Some tribes, particularly the Red Talons -- who are all lupus-born, and not friends to humans -- Do add wolves to the list. But we, as a people, never hunted wolves. And, too, for reasons I don't care to speculate on, humans produce low level Wyrm taint if too many are consumed. Which wolves do not. And so, the law. But--" Djehuti's jaw sets. "The Impergium was before the first cities, and by its release, they became able to grow. So there are some few, some very conservative few, who would take it up again."
The look on Tim's face says that he doesn't think those conservative Garou are as 'few' as they should be. What he says, is, "It was thousands and thousands of years ago. Some Tribes didn't even exist back then--one story says that the Children of Gaia formed to end the Impergium."
Izzy nods, bottom lip gnawed slightly at all this. "That's another tribe too? Children of Gaia? Or a different kind of group? Either way that sounds like a good thing to form for to me. But, okay. No eating people. I definitely don't intend to do that."
"Children of Gaia are a tribe. A philosophical conglomeration of those who feel that violence is not the first or best answer," Djehuti says, with the ghost of a grin regarding the eating or lack thereof. "And. The next tenet, most do not have a problem with, though its application can be... somewhat spotty. Respect for Those Below Ye in Station; all Are of Gaia."
Tim mmms, and grins. He doesn't comment just yet, though; he seems more interested in hearing what Izzy has to say, and watches her for her response.
Izzy headtilts a little. "Do we think violence is the first or best answer? I mean, it hasn't looked like it so far, which is good for me 'cause I don't generally think it is. Or I'd've gotten in WAY more trouble at school. So... is there more to it than that?" A glance to each of them, and then, "...respect for those below ye in station; all are of Gaia. So... basically people shouldn't totally dismiss lower ranked people or treat them badly? 'cause I can see why people are okay with that. And also how that might not always happen."
"Well, /I/ don't, but much of the Nation does. It's rather endemic, sadly." Djehuti nods, a little, as he gets more bread. "There is far more to the tribe than that -- I grew up thinking I was Gaian -- but I will happily cover it when I cover the tribes in more depth. As for the other -- Indeed. It's far more difficult to enforce, as well, for reasons I assume you can conjecture."
"Not everyone *is* okay with that," Tim explains with a rueful look. "Or, at least, they don't act like they are. It's a law meant to say that dominance is not free license to abuse people, but you'd have to be willing to go to a halfmoon on that. And what if the halfmoons don't agree with you that this person's abusing their dominance in violation of the Litany?" He arches one brow, inviting Izzy to consider the ramifications.
"Then you're in a worse condition than you were before, 'cause now they still don't respect you AND they're pissed, and if they were treating you badly =before= you pissed them off..." Izzy trails off, making a face. "Although, they'd still have to not go far enough that the philodoxes'd change their minds. But they'd prolly know how far that was. And anyway then you might look like a whiner, and no one likes a whiner." The cub shifts position, stretching the previously bent leg. "So bullies usually get away with it, basically. Which sucks."
"And, also, they can make the Philodox's life who tries to reprimand them hell, as well," Djehuti says. "Which is when you get into the long term effects of being a bad leader, which is to say, they won't stay a leader for /too/ long if they continue on that kind of road. But I /have/ known people to be prosecuted for this, successfully, so it is not a complete lost cause." He makes a small face. "Just... More often than I'd like."
Tim grimaces, and nods at Djehuti. He gestures at Izzy, saying, "Bullies don't always get away with it, mind you. But you have to be ready to think around them. I don't mean you have to play at politics--though that helps--just that you have to think about how to approach dealing with them." He flashes his blocky teeth in a grin. "In my case, it's about how to yank their chains as delicately as possible. In yours, it's how to reprimand them without too much fallout."
Izzy nosewrinkles and nods. "People mostly don't like being told off. Or even corrected nicely, if they didn't ask. I guess I'll have to think about how that kinda thing should work. And watch, if I can. Are there, like, courts or something similar? And. Honestly chain-yanking sounds more fun than reprimanding, all in all."
Djehuti grins, but it's somehow tired. "There are, sometimes, councils of Philodoxes. Particularly in situations where you're going after someone dicey. But I prefer working in smaller groups, to the all-Sept Philodox councils. That can get... clunky. Inelegant. As for chain yanking--" Djehuti glances at Tim. "That can have its own problems. But overall, I consider the Ragabash role, when put that way, at least, to be more overtly fun. But I do love the counseling and the teaching..."
"It's fun if you know how to run the fuck away," Tim says, only half-joking. "No one likes a smartass, and yet we're the ones who are allowed to actually do that as a way to show someone what they're doing that's out of line." He shrugs. "All the roles are needed, all the roles are necessary."
"You're a good teacher," Izzy tells Djehuti, quite decisively. "...and I'm good at running, but. I'm better at trying to make stuff make sense and be fair and things like that than I am at yanking chains. Though I =am= pretty good at asking questions." The cub grins briefly. "So, okay. Respect for those beneath people is required but not always supplied. I think we're on... nine?"
"Why thank you," Djehuti says, a little surprised. Then he nods. "That you are, m'good Izzy. Questions your specialty." This is said with the smallest of grins. "And much appreciated that fact is, as well. Ok, next one's been phrased to you in other ways, but this is the official words version. The Veil Shall Not Be Lifted. The secrecy aspect, as is obvious."
"And this is a pretty serious thing for us, as a Tribe, which one of us will tell you eventually," Tim says. His expression is gentle and firm, and brooks no argument. "You really can't tell anyone. Even your closest loved ones, if they're not Garou or Kin."
"The veil shall not be lifted," Izzy repeats, "Right, 'cause it'd freak people out and they'd prolly try to kill us, like on every movie with monsters or aliens ever, and there's a LOT of them. And maybe other reasons too?" Tim's last admonition gets a glance away (toward where the phone is currently plugged in, Djehuti might note), and the cub's voice goes slightly quieter. "That. That isn't going to be a problem."
"Kid's mother's Garou," Djehuti tells Tim. But then at something in Izzy's voice, there is the ghost of some frown from Djehuti, mostly in his eyes. But all he says is, "Basically, yes. The scars of the Impergium go deep."
Tim's expression holds only sympathy for the cub. "Right." He clears his throat, and asks Djehuti, "Found anything out about her?"
"Jennifer, Seshat Follows the Sun," Djehuti says. "Adren Galliard. Good lady, her. I've met her a time or two. She appears, though, to be missing. Which is..." He trails off. "A concern, obviously. I'm emailing my old pack, to see if they've seen her lately. They said they'd put the word out, but if you know folks more in the US than I do..."
The cub's quiet a little, toying with a small bit of bread. "It seems like the last record of her in normal ways is in Montana. But that's all I know so far."
Tim says, "I know a few people," in a way which suggests this is a huge understatement. "I'll see if anyone's heard anything, or has the time to go looking." His expression is one hundred percent reassurance for Izzy.
"OK. Thank you." Djehuti glances from Tim to Izzy. "Next one? Just so," he says, with a small, sad smile, "We can possibly break the mood and not exude sadness for the next 20 minutes?"
"Thank you. And yeah. Um. Sorry." Izzy manages a small smile, then takes a breath, sitting up. Shoulders back, chin up. Posture is the key to everything! "So. Number 10, then."
Tim nods in agreement about not exuding sadness, and waits for Djehuti to give the next law.
And, indeed, Djehuti does it as a matched set. "The Leader May Be Challenged at Any Time of Peace. The Leader May Not Be Challenged in Time of War." He goes on, "They are separate laws, but, obviously, tied together. We do not change leaders in midstream, during declared war. This can be abused, but there are," he coughs, once, "Ways around that abuse."
"The leader may be challenged at any time of peace; the leader may not be challenged in time of war," Izzy echoes, and pauses, brow furrowing slightly. "Who declares wars? And decides when they're over? 'cause if it's The Leader, I think I see where the abuse part might come in."
Tim doesn't answer; he looks to Djehuti, maybe intending to, as he has been, add on to anything the Phlidox says.
"Generally, the leader, yes. Though many Septs have Elders' Councils, of the tribal elders and Sept elders who are extant. And sometimes, it is they who declare war." Djehuti adds, "It is more administrivia, but it also makes for checks and balances, to a minor extent."
"Around here, we've had both the Sept Alpha and the Claw do it," Tim says on the heels of Djehuti's explanation. "Also, you have to be careful about how you apply this. If you're at War too long, how will anyone rank up, or call people out on things by CHallenging for Honor? Sometimes, a Sept will agree to allow Rank Challenges during War, and just interpret it to mean leadership roles."
"'The Claw'?" Izzy asks, "That sounds like the villian in a comic book. Like, someone Batman would fight. And... people keep saying Sept. That's like a group of Garou that's bigger than a pack? Or from some particular place? And if rank challenges and stuff are a problem in wartime, does that mean 'the leader' is basically anyone who outranks you, all at once, not just the one person who outranks everyone else?"
"I believe, in fact, that The Claw was a Golden Age comics supervillain. That said, the Claw is often a position for ahrouns, as warleader of a Sept, or a particular attack." Djehuti stops to chew a piece of cheese, then launches into verbiage. "A Sept is a group of Garou who gather together to become a community. Most often, they gather around a particular Caern, or place of Gaia's power made manifest, of which more later. In the case of this particular law, the leader is both, the person in charge, and also, the people in charge of the tribes and the Sept. And it often applies to the leaders in general, hence not allowing challenges at all. Some Septs do not interpret it that way, and have it be only the leader of the Sept, that is, the Alpha."
Tim looks amused at the mention of The Claw. "He was also the villain in Inspector Gadget," he adds, possibly dating himself. "Well, Dr. Claw was." He sets that business aside and says, "And, really, if someone is using time of War to prevent their position being Challenged, you can argue that's a violation of the Litany too, in not respecting those of all stations. Or, you know, you can leave--that's always an option."
Izzy laughs, looking briefly delighted about the confirmed villainy of The Claw (PhD). "Okay. So who counts as The Leader kinda depends on the Sept you're in, and you can go to a different one if you don't like how things are being handled at the first one... though if you're in the middle of a war that would kind of suck. Then again I guess if your problem was that you thought really it was peace and people should be able to challenge, that kinda solves itself."
Djehuti can't help but laugh, himself, a brief gout of it. But then he nods. "Exactly. Permutations, applying themselves. And now, the last one, and the return of the Caern. More specifically, Ye Shall Take No Action That Causes a Caern to Be Violated. Which, yes indeed, does have broad application, for good reason. The loss of a Caern is... incalculable tragedy. And so, we all have to be wary of it."
"Caerns can't be replaced," Tim says by way of expanding. "And the spirits that tie themselves to those caerns may be lost forever if a Caern falls. Of course," he gives Djehuti a rueful smile, "what's an action that leaves a Caern vulnerable? Going on a trip to see someone in a neighboring Sept such that your Sept was missing some key resource only you had?"
Izzy nods. "Ye shall take no action that causes a caern to be violated. But yeah, what Mr. Tim, I mean Tim-rhya said. There's a whole lot of things you might do every day and then in some situation they could turn out to be the thing that a caern getting violated hinged on. Like Donna Noble turning right instead of left that one day would've meant the Doctor died and the Titanic would've crashed on London and, you know, et cetera. But people have to make choices like that all the time, so. Even if it's only bigger things it seems like you'd have to be really worried any time you went to visit someone, or something." A slight pause. "How do they get violated, anyway? I'm guessing Wyrm stuff?"
"In practical application, it's generally only used when someone really really does something broadly and irrefutably problematic," Djehuti says, as he rises to his feet, smoothly. "Generally Wyrm stuff, yes. Or mages. That is, humans who can bend reality. They gain power from the kind of energy produced by Caerns, so you can see how it would be a conflict."
"Again, unless someone has an agenda, it's not gonna be used for things like I said." Tim's eyes harden. "And the punishments for it can get pretty severe. Down in Arizona, they ah, used Shattered Soul on a guy." He trades a look with Djehuti that's meaningful.
"What's, um." The cub hesitates, looking from one of them to the other. "What's Shattered Soul? ...and yeah, I can see how it'd be a conflict if mages suck the energy out of them and they can't make more. Though, what do they do, exactly, caerns? I mean, I know they're good and important and places of Gaia's power, but I don't entirely... know what that means."
Djehuti regards Tim a moment, eyes hard. Then he shakes his head, and looks back to Izzy. "It destroys one's soul. So that one cannot go to one's tribe's homeland, one cannot be reborn, one cannot visit one's relatives, down the line. They are /gone/." He hesitates. "It is not a Rite I would ever learn."
"If you weren't raised to believe in reincarnation and the cycle of the universe, it's maybe not immediately obvious how significant this is." Tim's voice tightens briefly, and he has to take a steadying breath. "But the cycle of rebirth ensures we don't lose the things we learn, and lets us all, eventually, reach Brahman. And we know that it happens; it's not a matter of faith for us. We meet Garou who are born with the touch of their Ancestors, and speak with ours in our homelands." There's a reservation about him, something he's holding back, but it's hard to pinpoint in all he's said what it would apply to.
Izzy nods again, looking up at Djehuti, and then over to Tim. "...but usually we DO get to visit our relatives... and be reborn and the other stuff? So basically they killed all of him forever? ...and we really for real do?" The cub goes quiet a moment, then recites, ticking them off on fingers, "Garou shall not mate with Garou. Combat the Wyrm wherever it dwells and whenever it breeds. Respect the territory of another. Accept an honourable surrender. Um, Submission to those of higher station. The first share of the kill for the greatest in station. Don't eat-- you shall not eat the flesh of humans. Respect those beneath ye; all are of Gaia. The Veil shall not be lifted. The leader may be challenged at any time during peace; the leader may not be challenged during war. And ye shall take no action that causes a caern to be violated... that's only twelve? What did I forget?"
Djehtui says, "Garou do, yes. And so, that is... Extraordinarily severe." He's silent a moment, then he shakes his head and listens, as she recites, and then laughs, just briefly. "You simply combined the two. And you asked about Caerns -- basically, they are a uniting point for Umbra and Realm, a place where Gaia's power as it used to apply everywhere, still applies. It is a spot of tremendous beauty, and tremendous energy. It, in itself, does not /do/ anything in particular for us, other than be a wonderful thing which is worth protecting. Though all Caerns do have their own Totems, and these can lend the Garou aid and surcease. But even had they no Totems, we would love them and care for them. You cannot truly understand until you see one. Which we will, eventually, do."
Tim nods at Djehuti and adds to that, "A Caern is kind of like a lake or a river. The lake or the river don't specifically do anything, but they *provide* things. Plants need water to grow, fish and insects live in water, boats sail over it. It's very presense and existance are a significant impact on everything they touch."
Izzy pauses. I think we did actually miss one of the laws, though, 'cause I seriously only count 12. OH did we do tending sickness? We can just take it as read that it happened if you want.
Tim: Ah ha!
Dje: Oh shoot. Silly me.
Dje: Yah, I think the "this rarely happens, particularly because we heal so well" thing can go as read. If you don't mind.
Dje: Sorry. I THOUGHT it was /in/ your paragraph. *whap*
Izzy nods at both explanations, and the lake analogy in particular seems to register well. "Okay. Okay, good! I hope I can see one soon, then. Is there one near here? And... and in the meantime, what should I be doing? I mean, when you guys aren't here to teach me things?"
Djehuti gets a curious kind of briefly stifled look. It might, on a less phlegmatic man, indicate repressed hysteria. Eventually, he says, "Well, that's a funny story..." and trails off. "Our Caern, which is less than 20 miles from here, is currently asleep. We put it to sleep in order to save it from a spiritual invasion, of... wasps looking for a nesting ground. They will be able to use it, still, but it will not be overwhelmed. Once it is back awake, presuming we are able to wake it, we will happily show you. Or, perhaps--" He looks to Tim-- "We could take a field trip to Vancouver?" Then he goes on, promptly, "Forms, fighting, what the other tribes think about things, what /our/ tribe thinks about things, what the spirit world is like and how to navigate in it in rudimentary ways, more fighting, Litany permutations, the creeds, and much more."
Dje: Until/unless Two Stripes specifies, let's assume Dje's doing some minor exercise/fight training/running around, pretty much daily.
Izzy: Works for me. Izzy would be running around and trying to keep up on hapkido anyway, so it's not a hard sell. :)
Dje: Hey, Dje can learn Hapkido! Or something.
Izzy will attempt to teach! :D
"And remember," Tim says, tone firm, "everyone is entitled to their wrong opinion. Just because the other Tribes feel differently than us and you're a cub, it *doesn't* make them right and you wrong. You're welcome to let them orate at you and compare their creeds to ours, but remember. You're one of Owl's, not one of theirs." He nods about Vancouver. "Or Gaia's Bones. I ah, kind of need to go there anyways. I'll talk to you about that later, though."
Izzy blinks. "...Invasion of spiritual wasps. O..okay. They're not going to be flying around outside it and stinging people or anything, right?" This is apparently one of the more pressing questions. "I hope it wakes up okay, though. Um. Can I have something like a note saying it's okay for other people to tell me stuff, maybe? 'cause I think they're afraid you guys will be mad at them if they do. And I figure the spirit parts and what our tribe things about stuff, that I prolly need to save for when you guys are around, yeah? And I'll remember what you tell me has priority and all."
"Not outside it, no," Djehuti says. "We have been rather firmly told by the Totem of the Caern that if we stayed /at/ the Caern, there /would/ be death, but outside it, that seems fine." Then, "A... note." He glances at Tim, faintly amused. "Think that'd be effective? Also--" The amusement fades. "I told Izzy that if she pledged to follow the Litany to the best of her ability, once I'd told her the basics, her phone would be remanded to her. Netbook, too. You good with that?"
"Yeah, I think that's reasonable. And we don't deal much in notes like that. We do word of mouth, because of the Veil. Which, I will get the word around, and Djehuti can as well." Tim raises his eyebrows at the Fostern, to see if that works with him.
Izzy looks relieved about the wasp issue. "Well, I figured it could just say, like, 'It's okay to teach Izzy stuff, within reason' or something like that, not necessarily anything, you know, specific or dangerous. But telling people'd be okay too, I just noticed they got all uneasy about answering stuff. Which makes things confusing when I don't know what they're talking about yet." A small pause, and a little smile to them, "And thanks. For my stuff back, but also for teaching me all this stuff."
Dje: Honestly, other than a bboard post, I think a note /would/ be the best way. "Feel free to teach her. We say so. The end." Because the culture of Do Not Teach is strong, lately.
Tim: I am OOCly down with that, then. I was just gonna bboard post.
Tim: BBoard post saying 'word is passed around that' etc.
Tim: But so many people neeeever read them so.
Dje: Oh, sure. I just think you'll have people going, "Oh, really?"
Izzy grins. Both! :D
Tim: (Though Izzy can point them TO the bboard.)
Tim: Either way. Feel free to advocate a note!
Tim: Tim is just paranoid.
Dje regards Tim a moment, then scrawls a small note. (It says, "Feel free to teach Izzy, so long as it does not involve permanent harm. -- Djehuti".) "Word of mouth often does not reach the most relevant people at the time," Djehuti says. A moment later, he adds, "Keep to Edgewood and the Bawn, until we fill you in further, please, on some of our tribal intricacies. Then we will allow you to wander elsewhere, with company."
Dje: (He shows Tim the note, too.)
Izzy: 'What's a bawn' is actually on Izzy's List of Questions I Have Not Gotten To Yet.
Izzy: (Which Tim will be pleased to know is stored mentally. ;))
Dje has disconnected.
Dje has connected.
Dje ahems. I think my net is telling me things.
Izzy: It might be. >_>
Izzy: Sorry for keeping you guys up all night, but thank you, also. :)
Dje is fan of it. So no issues. Do you want a pose-out thing, or is fading OK?
Izzy is okay with fading.
Tim considers the note, then shrugs and seems willing to let it go. "You can scent for the boundaries of the Bawn in your wolf or near-wolf forms, or ask one of the Guardians to show you," he tells Izzy. "The Guardians are Zosia, BJ, August, April, Melodie, Jacinta, and Morgan." He ticks off the names in slow succession, to make it easy to hear them, though chases the list with a yawn. "And now, if you two don't mind, I need to sleep." With that, he shifts to his wolf form and curls up in a convenient corner. Sans clothes, the array of slashes and punctures are easier to see, but thankfully none of them are oozing and they all seem to be healing clean.