This area of the clearing is about 30 meters wide and is a mixture of dark soil and clay throughout. The ground is muddied, as if supersaturated not long ago. Near the center of the clearing, lies what remains of the large white boulder of stone and quartz. Gravel litters the area around the once beautiful boulder, which has been pulverized to pieces no bigger than a softball. Bits of it have been thrown about the caern and discarded like forgotten toys.
Around you, twenty yards in every direction, stretches the caern. To the southeast, a waterfall plummets over the edge of the chasm into a small pool in the caern; nearby, to the southwest, steam comes from cracks in the ground, perhaps some of the same water. Northwest, a rocky spar juts out of the ground at a low angle, showing a sloping but smooth top. The chasm walls narrow a bit to the northeast, causing some of the mist to swirl in that area.
In the windiest area, Three-Blades meets eyes with the Caller, and then slips back down from the windy spot down into crowd.
Julie rolls her shoulders, shaking off a bit of the hackle-raising tension across them, and nods a greeting to Three.
Sepdet continues to let her voice ring off the rocks, falling into the singsong chant of ritual. ~We call to the Lady of Mirrors, who has claimed us at the invitation of Nightfire's pack. Look into the mirror now and show Chimera your true face, and reflect on your deeds of the past moon.~
Julie ahas quietly to herself, maybe this is what the bowls of water are for. She glances over at the one set nearby, at the reflective surface of its water.
Sepdet pages to the room: for those who arrived late: there are clay bowls full of water scattered liberally around the caern for your viewing pleasure.
Nightfire walks over to one of the claw bowls and sits, looking down into the water.
Kristine hmms a bit, and nudges Tobin, and scoots the bowl between them, to look into the bowl.
A fairly dark and still perhaps slightly plump shape slips in through the fog of the steam vents and into the center of the caern, making its way carefully around to where the greatest concentration of Gnawers currently seems to be, and takes a seat, setting backpack aside to look obediently into one of the bowls. Bernie's back.
Golden-Eyes sits before a bowl, crossing her legs as she peers into the surface of the clay bowl.
Abandoning her preparations for the moment, Sith-Fhuil eagerly finds one of the bowls that the elder Theurge set about the caern and, inhaling deeply, focuses herself intensely into the water, into her reflection. Awaiting Chimera.
Calls-Spirits hunkers down, electing to remain in Crinos for the time being. His eyes fall with ease on the reflective surface of the water in the bowl.
Salem unfolds his arms and turns his attention toward the bowl nearest to himself and the two Walker cubs.
The mirrored waters before the Garou's eyes seem to swirl yet remain still, and some may see, for a moment, not their reflection, but a vivid image: a fear, a doubt, a failure... and a silent challenge to reverse the loss or conquer the obstacle. Above, the air begins to glimmer as if a thousand mirrors were suspended in the swirling mist.
Renee locates one of the bowls and looks into the reflective water.
Julie winces, yes, seeing briefly more than just her reflection. And resigned acceptance of the weakness. Not everything did she fix when she was gone.
Look into the bowl, eh? Quentin's gaze falls from where he's watching Sepdet, and he drops down to a slight crouch near one of the bowls near the Walkers; one hand resting against the grass, fingers splayed there lightly, green eyes watching the reflective waters in thoughtful silence.
Three-Blades looks up at the mist, gaze narrowing at first and then setting her ears back to a more comforted level. ~Hello,~ she rumbles to the spirit in a quiet greeting laden with more respect than the water in the pool.
Renee's nearly perminant scowls deepens as she looks into the bowl, hands curling into fists.
Salem's face shows almost no reaction to what he sees or doesn't see; there's a subtle tightening of jaw muscles as he clenches his teeth, but nothing more.
Kristine hrms again a bit and then sort of smiles here, though she still gazes into the bowl.
Bernie's gaze drops from the vision in the water to her hands, and then back, stronger. Not exactly defiant, but decisive. Taking the challenge, perhaps.
Sepdet rises from her own inspection of the waterfall's pool and collects herself, raising her right hand to salute the glistening mirrors that float above the Garou's heads. Then she chants again. ~We call to the raw power of the Wyld, which roused on the night of the Great Battle to help us vanquish our foes. Howl your defiance of the destroyers: we are alive! Gaia lives and thrives. Let the wolf within you sing to the sky!~
Sith-Fhuil's fur bristles--not in fear or aggression, but in excitement and anticipation. A raspy whine escapes the dire wolf's muzzle, and the 'challenge' is attentively noted.
Golden-Eyes looks into the bowl, seeing her flaws and seems to recoil lightly towards them. The dappled-pelted crinos abruptly sets her muzzle and broadens her shoulders with determination. Once the scowling is over, the Fianna goes back to being her happy, usual self.
Three-Blades lifts her muzzle and howls, always with a tinge of defiance in the ragabash's way of calling. She adds in a few high yips in tribute as well. Yip!
Quentin's breath is caught, for a long moment as he gazes into the rippling-yet-still waters that reflect something only he sees.. and he lets it out with a slight shiver, rising back to his feet slowly with a slightly clenched jaw to look up towards the shining mirrors overhead.
Julie lifts a fist to the sky, and whoohoos heartily.
Sith-Fhuil's howl begins as a series of throaty barks, before exploding into the night as a long and resonant howl. She can barely stay in one place, so she doesn't, deftly avoiding the clay bowl as she prances in strange circles.
Bernie sits back on her haunches, and ripples, shifting up into the warform before taking her eyes from the water, throwing her head back, muzzle to the sky, to join the howl. The edge of defiance in it echoes her tribe- and auspice-mate's, but the rest seems to hold rather more joy.
Golden-Eyes slips to all fours in dire, lifting her muzzle to the winds. The Fianna sings to the spirits with an expressing howl.
Salem turns his eyes up toward the mirrors, then stretches himself upward into Crinos form and howls, channeling his rage into a bellow of defiance.
Kristine pulls her gaze skyward and sighs a bit. Yeah, we're still here, what're you gonna do about it? She grins here, then shifts upwards into Crinos, and howling her inner statement to the world.
Renee looks up toward the sky, then throws back her head and howls. A smaller human voice, mixed in with the lupine calls.
Sepdet grows a little more substantial as she shifts to crinos, adding her own rather coyote-ish long high howl to the chorus.
The caern seems to throb beneath them, reverberating with the howls until the pulse becomes a steady, warm beat, like a drum, like a great living heart in the earth. They can feel it through their feet, the very air. Out of the corners of their eyes, the images of strange wild shapes of leaves, water, etched stones twist and leap and dance.
Quentin's own voice mingles with the others, a far cry from his reluctance to join in mere months ago at his very first moot; he doesn't shift, just joins a human howl to blend with the lupine calls from crinos throats. A light nudge of Cat, then, as though to encourage him to join.
Three-Blades cuts her howl off when the ground begins to throb. Disconcerting, nonetheless, and the changing shapes around the edges of her vision moving around do something on the verge of unnerving. The Gnawer steps a little closer to the rest of her tribe, ears twitching as she looks around.
Stands-Proud's howl seems to quiet down as the ground begins to do it's thing. She rests down on all fours and curiously watches the scene unfold, ears twitching here and there.
Julie is a bit unsettled, too. Some of her dreams when she was younger looked a lot like this. A twitching, uncertain smile at Yi, before her attention flits around the Caern.
Renee grins savagely and quickly looks around her, trying to get a better look at the changing shapes around her. While some might find the wavering forms unerving, the Galliard finds them oddly comforting.
Golden-Eyes perks her ears, but she can not seem to withstand the awesome power around her. Her tail swishes to the pulsing, drumbeat sound around her. Her paws can no longer stay in one place as she sidesteps, almost ready to leap and pounce around the cearn.
Salem lowers his muzzle as his howl fades away. One golden eye notes Quentin's performance with approval, then turns toward Cat as well, briefly. The Wyld-born disturbances set his ears back and his hackles up, but as he shifts back to human form, he seems to have completely regained his equilibrium.
Sith-Fhuil continues to circle and cavort, tuning herself to the beat of the Wyld. The Fianna 'bows' down with each thrum, as if she were signalling 'play!' While the blossoming images catch her attention briefly, her gaze is steadfast on the display of mirrors, fangs bared in a perpetual snarl. Exhiliration. Defiance.
Before the Totems begin to fade again, Sepdet reverts to to glabro and raises her arms. A piece of black cloth falls away as she holds something aloft that gleams and returns the moonlight threefold. Those who have been in the caern before its fall will recognize the Pathstone that was once embedded at the caern's center. ~And the caern also lives! Here is the stone rescued from its heart. Before the sept's eyes and yours, honored spirits, we return it to its proper place.~ She moves towards the hole at the exact center of the caern which has been prepared by the Warder and Groundskeeper. ~Septmates, I ask you all to form a circle around me and face outwards. Those who know Binding or Dedication, join me, and add your will to mine. Robert-rhya holds the caern steady for us on the other side of the Mirror.~
Stomps-The-Wyrm rises to her feet without shifting back, and pads toward Sepdet, picking a spot that seems about the right distance away from her and the hole to turn and stand, beginning a circle of sorts.
Eamon moves forward to the center of the caern, joining the circle around Sepdet and the Stone.
Julie whoas quietly to herself, eyes widening at the sight of the Stone. A grin, and she moves closer, to help create the circle, turning with her back to center, exitement glittering in partly obscured eyes.
Salem leaves the two Walker cubs to join the others at the center of the caern, at the stone, massaging his knuckles as he does so.
Three-Blades lumbers to Sepdet, as per her request. The Gnawer no-moon grins toothily at Bernie and Julie, before going a little further to help with the rite.
Golden-Eyes joins Sepdet and the group around the pathstone. The dire wolf remains on her paws, keeping to the outter circle of those not performing the rite.
Quentin doesn't catch all of that, still not an expert in the Mother's Tongue, but he catches enough; glancing after Salem as he moves towards the caern's heart, he stays close to where Cat is. Maybe he doesn't know enough to defend the caern, but he can defend Cat.
Nightfire and Rides-Fire take their place among the defenders, watching outward for any trouble that might interfere with the Rite.
Sepdet smiles at those who have joined her at the center. She drops to one knee before the hole, which on closer inspection is filled with clear water. She scoops up a handful of earth and sprinkles it over the Pathstone, whispering, ~Bound to this earth, this place, this caern.~ Her tone of voice suggests the end of a rite, as if she'd done something before this. Then she holds out the Pathstone in her small cupped hands, nodding for those with her to do their own form of mojo.
Three-Blades arches her claws upwards, as if to catch the moonlight. Her eyes slit in a meditation, adding herself to the rite.
Renee turns away from the Rite, looking outward and standing guard.
Salem, like Sepdet, goes down on one knee, though with slow dignity. He murmurs under his breath as he focusses his will on the pathstone, frowning in concentration.
By now, Sith-Fhuil has joined her septmates in the ring surrounding Sepdet. While the Fianna has chosen to guard, she, too, focuses what she can spare into the circle and the rite.
~Pathstone to caern heart, us to Gaia, reform and strengthen the bond between,~ Three-Blades rumbles, her will and spirit fully dedicated to the dedication.
Sepdet closes her eyes, concentrating. Her fingers shake slightly, as if the stone were far heavier than it appears. When she speaks again, her voice is pitched to include those who are keeping watch, as well as those helping with the binding. ~This Pathstone belongs to the sept, to us all: it is our treasure, and our responsibility. It opens bridges to distant caerns. It is a gateway through which danger can enter, if we are careless and clumsy performing rites within these sacred grounds. It is a precious thing won by the bravery of septmates who fell fighting the Wyrm long ago. Chimera and Wyld, we commend it to you, and promise to guard it well.~ With that, she slowly lowers it into the stone basin at the caern's heart. The stone sinks into the water without a ripple, and gleams through it.
Three-Blades lowers her claws when the stone sinks away, blinking a few times to be sure and then finally relaxing when the rite is done. She looks to Sepdet, an ear switching up at the Strider elder expectantly.
Sepdet is utterly still, watching the Pathstone as it settles into place. The caern's floor continues to pulse softly with the power of the Wyld, and the mirrors of Chimera continue to glint faintly overhead. The only sounds now are their own breathing and the waterfall's murmur, but the air feels charged, expectant; the Totems are still quite palpable.
Salem turns his gaze from the pathstone to the Strider, one eyebrow raised.
Julie swallows, and her feet shift, the thickness of the air tangeable, and she waits. Her gaze continues watching beyond the circle, even as the rest who guard are doing.
The Gnawer philocub folds her hands before her, but otherwise stands stock-still, murky green eyes flickering from face to face. Unconsciously, Lyra's holding her breath, in anticipation for what may come next.
By the waterfall, Dane comes down the trail from the rim above.
There is a single bright flash from the Pathstone deep down in the water. The Strider exhales, a reserved smile and a hint of relief on her face as the ground stills and the last of the mirros fade from sight. ~The Sky is Open,~ she whispers, and sends a wink in Layne's direction. ~Thank you, everyone.~
Stands-Proud hmms and nods. She leans back on her haunches, deciding jus tto chill in the Warform. It makes things easier to speak.
Salem gets to his feet, brushes dirt from his knee, and rejoins Cat and Quentin in the Walker Corner.
A quick smile flashed over to Salem as he returns, and Quentin relaxes a bit. He's a lot more comfortable at these things with a cliath in arm's reach.
Calls-Spirits crouches next to Kristine, still in Crinos. He raises his head from where it was bowed during the ritual and looks around for who will lead the next portion of the moot.
Three-Blades whuffs her relief, shifting down to a smaller, red-furred wolfish form. The Gnawer then rejoins the others of her tribe, nudging and making silent hellos.
Golden-Eyes remains quiet, although her tail flops around behine her. She gives her tribemate a lupus grin.
The quiet reverie Matt's indulged in so far is broken as he shifts his legs, basking in the rightness of things.
Salem meets Quentin's gaze and gives the young Galliard a thin, tight smile, then turns his eye to Cat to see how the other cub is... handling things.
Stomps-The-Wyrm grins, rather more toothily in this form than the version that develops as she shifts back down to homid, turning from her position in the circle to look at Sepdet and the Pathstone in the water before she heads after Yi, back toward her tribe and the portion of her pack currently present.
Cat neither relaxes nor tenses up. Salem's return is a minor note in the back of his mind...he's still staring intently at the water where the Pathstone lies, staring the way he had been during the entire rite.
Sith-Fhuil whuffles in Golden-Eyes' direction, though the halfmoon seems, for the most part, distracted. Wary. Things weren't so pretty last time they gathered in a circle to guard a rite.
Nightfire does relax once the pathstone is set in place and the caern is opened. He over at Rides-Fire and inquires softly, ~Any visitors?~
As Yi shifts to four feet, Lyra grins and does the same, waiting for the ragabash to come within paw's reach before nipping at the cliath's chin.
Renee shifts her feet and relaxes a little, before joining her Tribal group.
Rides-Fire raises his head to sniff the air, nostrils flaring.
Julie turns to watch the remainder of the proceedings, reaching over to scritch Yi behind the ears, then Lyra. She even pulls out a couple pieces of strawberry twist, one for each of them, before nodding a greeting to Renee, and digging around for more of the chewy treat. A piece for her, too.
Wildfire remains standing quietly behind Nightfire. Been there most of the night. Really.
Rides-Fire indicates a negative. ~I do not smell the enemy.~
Three-Blades nips back at Lyra, also whuffing at Stomps. Hey, long time no see. And speaking of that, the Gnawer newmoon also looks in Julie's direction. She hadn't seen her before while calling out the Fool's role, but now back with the others the ragabash greets Julie with fervor and a bump of her head. You. You have some stories to tell, talesinger.
Golden-Eyes tilts her head to Sith-Fhuil but nods in understanding for the Philodox's wariness. The Theurge picks up her head and looks to Rides-Fire as he comments that he indicates nothing out of the ordinary.
Bernie grins at Yi, reaching over to give her wolfy form a scritch. "Yeah," she agrees quietly, "my family crap back home took kina longer'n we 'spected. Missed y'all, an' shit. ...hey, Julie. Haven't seen you in fuckin' forEVer." The cub gets a quick little grin too as the raggie hushes.
Julie just hehs at the two she's familiar with, even grinning stupidly. Bernie gets a light punch to the arm, then Yi gets another scritching, before she grows more serious once again, and waits for the next step in the ceremony.
Sepdet seems to be listening to something beyond the circle of Garou, but abruptly her eyes snap back into focus. She makes a hushing noise towards the whispers. ~I think it's all clear, although we need to keep our noses and ears alert,~ she says, raising her voice and nodding respectfully towards Rides-fire.
Rides-Fire splays his good ear out at the Gatekeeper, then falls back a step to bump up against Wildfire.
Ashley appears at the outskirts of the gathering. The waifish blonde girl is most likely unfamiliar to those of the sept; she hovers wordlessly near Wildfire, pale eyes wide and staring at the group of Garou.
Matt nudges Bernie and smiles. Hi.
Wildfire looks over his shoulder and motions Ashley to get closer. Under a hushed breath, he introduces her to his pack, Nightfire first.
Bernie grins and nudges Matt back with her shoulder, leaning sideways into her packmate before straightening back up.
Three-Blades whuffs at Matt too, greeting him with a wolfish smile. Lots of faces and scents returning, this is good.
Four-Leaves sits on the ground and wages her tail, tossing her head and thoroughly enjoying the sound her ears make when they flap against the side of her head. What's next, what's next? she chuffs, green eyes flashing excitedly.
Nightfire chuffs a greeting to Ashley, but saves the formal introduction for a less serious time.
Rides-Fire sniffs toward the young woman curiously, as tall as she is, though he far outmasses her in his current form.
Peacekeeper appears near the stone basin at the middle of the caern, surrounded for just a moment by shimmering pearlescence. He gives a nod to the Gatekeeper, then looks around the caern towards the rock slab.
Ashley remains demure and wordless, though she moves hesitantly to Wildfire's side. His packmates receive little more than that flat-eyed stare, unreadable.
Three-Blades looks at Four-Leaves, the moment of incredulity lost when Peacekeeper appears on the on this side. Then in answer to the cub, she replies with a look towards Sith-Fhuil. The Cracking of the Bone, she answers with a rumble.
Salem catches sight of Ashley, dwarfed there with the Get and his brawny packmates. The Walker's gaze lingers for a moment, eyes narrowed and expression unreadable. Then he turns his attention toward the rocky slab.
The red dire wolf throws her muzzle skywards, jaws parting in a short but sonorous howl; when eyes begin to turn her way, Sith-Fhuil flows up into the warform. From the satchel at her feet, she produces what would appear to be a bone from a deer's leg, etched with various Garou glyphs. ~I crack this bone,~ begins the Fianna, splitting the thing with a loud /snap/, ~so that the marrow of truth, no longer concealed, may flow freely before us.~ Extending the severed pieces up and in front of her, the Philodox calls out, ~If there are any new to the Sept, come forward; make yourselves known and be recognized.~
Salem turns a significant look down toward Cat. And just to make sure the cub gets the hint, he puts a hand on the boy's shoulder and gives him a nudge.
Wildfire bends over and gives some slight instruction to Ashley, nudging her forward as well.
At the splintering of the deer bone, Cat flinches. His reverie is broken further by Salem's nudge. The stiff cub staggers forward, flinging out one hand to catch his balance. He doesn't trip, but he looks over his shoukder at Salem with a startled, unhappy look.
Julie straightens the front of her leather jacket, and shakes the mass of braids into some semblance of order, before glancing at the tribe mates around her with a grin. She steps forward. Turning, she faces the Sept members, and waits for the other newcomers to come forward and join her.
By the waterfall, Fights-For-Hope finally moves to sit beside Wildfire from his position at the waterfall.
Salem stifles a grimace, then turns a dour eye on Cat. He stares at the cub for a moment, then nods toward the Philodox at the rock slab.
Three-Blades wags her tail once, looking at Julie with encouragement.
The red Gnawer cub paws at her nose, then nudges Three-Blades with her muzzle. What are they doing now? she chuffs softly.
Quietly, Helen walks to the caern, glancing about. She presses her lips together, and moves over to someone she at least knows fairly well--Golden-Eyes. "Hi," the Fury murmurs in greeting, turning her attentions to Layne.
Golden-Eyes flickers her ears to Helen and nods her head, quietly murmuring the greeting in reply to the Fury Ragabash.
Ashley steps forward smoothly, away from her elder's touch. The pale girl squares her narrow shoulders, lifting her chin to regard the gathering. "Ashley Devlin," she announces in a soft contralto. "Get of Fenris cub. Ahroun."
Three-Blades twitches her ears, at the nudge, and then explains in quiet whuffs and growls as well as body postures. Then, she nudges the cub over towards Julie as well.
Calls-Spirits watches the new cubs curiously, ears swivelling to keep track of them as well as his eyes.
With shaky steps, the youngest Walker cub makes his way to the group of Garou near the rock slab, hovering around Julie's elbow. Julie he at least recognized from the walk over here. And there he stands, hands in pockets, looking very frail.
Sith-Fhuil angles her head significantly toward those that have come forward and, splaying claws, palm up, gestures to the gathered sept. Probably suggesting introductions. The new Get cub gets a quiet look from the Fianna.
Golden-Eyes listens and watches in silence. The dappled wolf's ears seem to be splayed forward towards the new cubs as she observes each one of them.
Sepdet observes Ashley intently, not recognizing the Catholic waif at all. Cat, mercifully, doesn't receive her usual intent scrutiny. As Julie steps forward, the Strtider observes the reactions of the sept more than the Gnawer herself.
Julie studies the crowd, while waiting for the rest of the newcomers to introduce themselves.
Fights-For-Hope recognizes Julie instantly, and a mixed reaction that doesn't betray any one emotion boils to the surface of his features.
Salem folds his arms across his chest and watches the newcomers -- his all-too-timid cub especially -- with a tight frown that borders on a grimace.
Peacekeeper raises an eyebrow at the Get cub, then goes on to give each of the others a slight nod as they introduce themselves.
Four-Leaves listens intently, ears twitching- then her head flies up, ears perked forward. Oh! I did this at the Green. Oh, oh. The halfmoon gets to her paws, shaking her coat out and padding to Sith-Fhuil's side to sit there, waiting for her turn patiently.
Blue eyes flicking to Sepdet and then to Salem- when he looks at Salem he can't help but blink -Cat takes a very, very tiny step forward. "I'm..C-Cat Hopkins," the boy murmurs, starting soft but speaking his name loud enough for all to hear. "I'm a Theurge cub of the Glass Walkers." Then he steps back hurriedly, almost stepping on the paws of the red wolf next to Sith-Fhuil.
Wildfire invites Ashley with a motion to return to sitting between Fights-For-Hope and himself.
Salem's gaze follows Cat's return to Cockroach Corner; once the cub's back at his side, he turns his attention to the others.
Fights-For-Hope turns his head and chuffs something softly to Wildfire between a pair of introductions.
The diminutive Get cub smoothes the folds of her skirt with a hand, sizing up Cat with a brief glance before moving back to Wildfire's side. Ever impassive, despite her apparent youth.
Four-Leaves darts out of the way to avoid the white keds as they come down to her forepaws, skidding out in front of the Philodox. The red cub cants her head, then decides she might as well go now that she's out there, blurring upwards to breed form. Brushing her skirt out, Lyra smiles at the familiar faces in the crowd. "I'm Lyra Xio Tobias, Four-Leaves, a Bone Gnawer Philodox cub," she calls out, voice clear and strong. Then she blurs down to lupus again, bounding back to the Gnawers with her head held high.
Quentin flashes over a quick grin towards Cat as he returns, a reassuring gesture as he reaches to ruffle the other cub's hair a bit. "Y'did fine," he murmurs, before looking up to watch Lyra bound back to her tribe.
Whatever Fights-For-Hope just said to him, Wildfire doesn't respond, not even a flinch.
Julie can't help but grin, watching Lyra's exhuberance. The grin fades, though, and her demeanor becomes serious as she looks over the crowd. "Brothers an' Sisters. Some of ya know me, cuz I was here before." She pauses, glancing over the clan members. "I left, cuz I was weak inside, weak with guilt, weak with self-pity. Rather'n face m' weaknesses, I left. But I found leavin' wou'dn't fix them, only facin' them. I sought, and while I ain't perfect, I found m'self. So I'm back, askin' /you/ if'n I can become part o' the Sept ag'in, as Julie Hackett, Galliard Bone-Gnawer Cliath, Follower o' Rat, an', hopefully, rite name o' Heartsight once more."
Three-Blades grins wolfishly at Four-Leaves when she returns, and then when Julie steps up to the spotlight, the Gnawer ragabash whuffs out loud. Always the Sept can use another set of claws to defend the caern.
Sith-Fhuil waits patiently as the new arrivals introduce themselves, one-by-one. Julie's reintroduction is met with a weighty gaze, then a slight nod. After a brief silence, the halfmoon swings her arms up, holding the bone fragments aloft. ~Those with announcements for the Sept, come forward and be heard!~
Rides-Fire grumbles softly to Nightfire, a low growl. ~The cubs I can forgive. I suppose she is an urrah.~ His ruff has flared with irritation, and the ahroun's ear flicks occasionally, as if bothered by an insect.
Julie quietly returns as Sith continues on, content with that nod for the here and now.
Cat watches the next introduction almost miserably, standing there next to Salem and Quentin. The Galliard cub gets a wan smile...and his mood seems to lift. A bit.
Stands-Proud takes the bones from the Truthcatcher, and then turns to those gathered. ~I'll make this short and to the point, so we can get onto more pressing matters. I've recently retaken the position of Elder for the Silver Fangs of the Sept here. If you have any issues that concern my Tribe, or anything else, see me. And if you can't find me, then look for Calls-Spirts, since he's Beta. Either way, it'll get to me.~ And like she promised, it was short, and conscise. She hands the bones back, shifts down to her birthform, and retakes her seat next to Tobin.
Sith-Fhuil recollects the bones from Stands-Proud, and scans the gathered for the next who wishes to speak.
Renee waits for the bones to be returned to the Truthcatcher before stepping up to take them.
Renee straights up to her full height, before approaching the stone. Back stiff and stride long. Taking up the bones, the Galliard juts her chin out challengingly and looks over the gathered Garou. "Jus' so people know," she rumbles. "In the absence of Kaz an' Elan, I'm claimin' Eldership of the Bone Gnawers. When they come back, they can have it if they want it. In the mean time, I'll be the one ta come ta if ya need the Tribe for anything. If there are any objections, ya can catch me tomorrow. I'll be spendin' most of the day at the Church." Handing the bones back to Sith-Fhuil, the Galliard returns to her Tribe.
Ashley watches intently from Wildfire's side, scratching at one stocking-clad calf with her toe. She frowns, unable to follow anything not spoken in plain English.
Salem arches a brow at the announcement, but doesn't look all that surprised. Sour, perhaps, but that's been his mood for most of the evening.
Julie purses her lips thoughtfully, nodding faintly as Renee returns.
Helen approaches the Truthcatcher and takes the bones from her, quietly. She turns, glancing over at the other Garou, before saying in a strong voice, "I'll be short, too. With Dena Serendipity's Shadow gone, I've claimed eldership of the Black Furies for now. So if you've got anything to say, talk to me or Laura or, hell, anyone else in the tribe." She offers the bones back and steps back to where she was.
Peacekeeper raises an eyebrow once again, but he nevertheless nods slowly at all the tribal changes.
Three-Blades glances at the claiming of eldership around, but makes no fuss save a look to Renee. Then she sits back and watches, occassionally looking the philocub in case Four-Leaves had more questions.
Rides-Fire's look turns more sour as the announcements go on.
Nightfire looks surprised at all the changes in leadership. ~We were gone longer than I thought,~ he comments to Rides-Fire.
Bernie arches a brow at Renee's announcement as well, and studies the Ahroun thoughtfully as she returns to the tribe.
Sepdet's expression is impassive during the announcement of these changovers, but her eyes shift in Robert's direction.
Sith-Fhuil listens with a calm calculation that betrays very little. After Helen finishes her announcement, the Fianna looks with some curiosity to the Warder, curling the bones up in her hands.
Wildfire takes a moment to look around him, just remembering something, then settles onto his hanches so as to translate for his cub.
Rides-Fire's reply is caustic. ~Apparently. I am glad Shadow of Blood is running with the wolves tonight. They have also apparently forgotten to honor the moot with the Mother Tongue.~
Peacekeeper takes the few steps forward necessary to accept the bones from the philodox. He looks towards Rides-Fire mostly blankly at the small outburst, then looks over the rest of the gathered Garou. ~Please show others--and your people--the courtesy of using a tongue that all adult Garou can generally understand,~ he says gently as a reminder. Small announcement made, he hands the bones back to Sith-Fhuil, saying, ~Thank you.~
Julie mentally d'ohs at herself with the reminder, and even gives Renee a light nudge with her elbow. Oops, her look says.
Helen frowns at herself. "Idiot me," she mutters, nodding once to Peacekeeper.
Rides-Fire seems mollified as the athro steps up and speaks. His ruff settles back down, though his tailtip still twitches with the effect of the swollen moon.
Ashley tilts her head towards Wildfire's translation, listening carefully. The pale blonde girl nods once or twice, wordless.
Calls-Spirits remains silent throughout the proceedings, crouched down next to his Elder while they both observe without a word.
Sith-Fhuil bows her head to Peacekeeper when the bones are returned to her. ~Are there further announcements?~ rumbles the Truthcatcher. Last call.
Sepdet paces towards Layne and takes the bones with a nod. ~Many of you have seen this stone,~ she murmurs, ~Or heard me speak among you. These Garou have died defending this caern. It is up to us to carry on their work. The Guardians have long defended this caern with their own valor, but and all of us share responsibility for it. Therefore, I have asked every Garou who is able to volunteer one moon out of each year, patrolling and assisting Guardians and Warder as needed, and delegating other duties to packmates and tribesmates for that moon.~
Salem straightens at the announcement, his chin lifting.
Rides-Fire's ear tilts toward Sepdet curiously.
Three-Blades perks her ears at Sepdet's announcements, tail thumping once as she'd been volunteered already.
Sith-Fhuil straightens at Sepdet's words, eyes darkening with determination. For a moment, her eyes seek out her future packmate, before she remembers that the moondancer is still away on the Walker's challenge.
Sepdet seeks out faces in the crowd, expression stern. ~Many of you have come to me, given your word and and chosen a moon. Now is the time to affirm your vows before the sept's eyes, and to set an example for others. Salem?~ She holds the bones out to the dour half-moon.
Gaia-Will-Judge nods at Sepdet's words.
Salem steps forward with deliberate grace and takes the bones from the Strider Theurge. He shifts upward into the near-man as he turns to face the Sept. ~Those who would give their time to the caern, approach and speak as I do.~ He pauses a moment, his gaze seeking out certain faces in the crowd before continuing. ~For one month, I shall keep to the caern and patrol it as a Guardian, putting this duty ahead of all others. If something comes which makes me break my covenant, I will find another to patrol in my stead, and take their month's patrol when it comes. I swear this by the blood of all those who have died defending this caern.~
Nightfire takes a single step forward and then speaks the words that Salem pronounces.
Sepdet speaks after the half-moon, intoning the oath the same as the others and adding, ~And by my own,~ as she slashes across her right hand with claws of the left.
Fights-For-Hope approaches when there is a time availble for him and takes up the bone, setting it down before him for a moment. There is something rigid and pained in his posture, and waves of rage flow off the Get Theurge in a manner that is quite unusual for him. ~I have sworn that I will take a month up as my charge. I still am in the middle of my challenge to Wildfire for Fostern. Once this has been completed in one manner or another, I will claim a month to hold as a Guardian once again.~
Three-Blades steps forward, shifting up to the warform to repeat the words that Salem spoke. The repetition isn't monotone the way someone would repeat by rote, but rather with gravity of feeling. The Gnawer ragabash takes a claw and adds a cut down her arm. ~Never again,~ she rumbles, ~Will the caern be taken. Not on my watch.~
Matt eases to his feet and steps forward beside Salem. ~I too so swear, to guard the caern in my designated time and whenever else is needed. My word as a follower of Finn Mac Cumahl.~
Gaia-Will-Judge steps forward when there is a gap and repeats Salem's words.
Salem nods to Sepdet, a wry touch to his otherwise grim expression. ~And by my own,~ he echoes, cutting his own flesh with the words and letting flow his own blood as well.
Bernie pushes up from the ground and follows suit with the pledge, a bit more quietly than some, but no less sincerely.
Cycle-Breaker shifts up, and repeats Salem's words. ~I swear and promise to Gaia that I will also guard and protect the caern whenever I can,~ she adds. She drags the claws of her left hand along her right arm, trying to ignore the pain.
Wildfire steps forward and takes the oath. ~The month of May is mine.~ Slash. Bleed. Wildfire makes his way back to where he was.
Sith-Fhuil's is the next voice to rise, in her own oath, ~On the night that Chimera answered our call, I swore that for one month of every year, I would act as Guardian, patrol the caern, the bawn, our home. And I swear this again, now, in front of the Sept of the Hidden Walk. What happened earlier this year will /never/ happen again.~ The Fianna nods sharply to the others, lifts her eyes to the moon, then is silent.
Rides-Fire moves up behind Wildfire, lengthening into crinos as he takes his place. ~I will do all I am,~ he says, before he joins his blood to the sept's.
Julie also steps forward, this time shifting up to near-man, to help with the carriage of meaning, and repeats the oath, adding, ~once I have proven my trustworthiness to all, and Gaia~. Once she is done, she returns to where her tribemates are, and shifts back down to homid.
Wide-eyed at the sight of so many crinos Garou shifting and slashing themslves, Ashley blanches visibly and hangs back at the edge of the group.
Fights-For-Hope turns his head to regard Ashley, and gestures vividly with it for the girl to step forward again,
Sepdet bows thanks to Salem and reclaims the bones with her uninjured hand. ~Never again,~ she echoes her former packmate. ~Any who have chosen to swear the oath and have not named a moon, please seek me after Moot so that I may add your names to the circle of the year.~ She nods again towards the painted stone slab propped at the foot of the outcropping, then returns the bones to Layne with a faint smile.
Rides-Fire shifts back down into hispo and asks Nightfire, in a low tone, ~Name a moon?~
The new Get cub eyes Fights-For-Hope dubiously, and blinks once. Wrinkling her nose at the sight and smell of fresh blood.
Wildfire echoes after Sepdet, ~Jut remember, May is mine!~
Salem steps down, returning to the two Walker cubs -- the smaller of which is probably quite pale at all the bloodletting -- and resumes his place there. Still in Glabro form, he fishes a bandage from a coat-pocket with his uninjured hand and methodically wraps the wound.
Nightfire says, ~She means a period from one moon to the next during which we defend this place.~
Fights-For-Hope shifts quickly, almost too quickly in a blur to the glabro form and is seen to then be sitting there in an indian style manner. "Ashley. Step forward again. Do not back away from something as meaningful and profound to these people, as blood-letting. I will explain the signifance of all this later. For now, be brave."
Ashley's pale green eyes flash defiantly at the tone in Fights-For-Hope's voice, but she does take one step forward. "It's gross," she mutters under her breath, arms crossing over her thin chest.
Matt gives Sepdet a nod and returns to his seat next to Bernie and Yi.
Wildfire grunts as he passes Ashley by on his way back to his seat. "You don't know gross yet."
Fights-For-Hope grunts to Ashley, his eyes never blinking as he looks her over. "You will know soon how much you have just insulted many great warriors of the past and present. People who have had their blood let in battle and are no longer with us. What is gross..." He nods to Wildfire, "Indeed. But you will, Ashley. You will learn the very meaning of the word on a level you may never have wished to. And then, this will be as commonplace to you as breathing air."
When the Strider has finished, Sith-Fhuil takes the bones into her taloned hands a last time, intoning smoothly. ~The bones go, now, to the Master of the Challenge.~
Three-Blades twitches an ear at FFH's words to their cub, and then rumbles to herself - something about if there was ever a time for peace.
Nightfire shifts into crinos form as he steps forward toward Sith-Fhuil, nodding his head as he takes the bones. Holding them in one hand, he looks out across the caern. ~Any who wish to issue challenge may do so.~
Ashley glances from one elder Get to the other, and chooses to clamp her jaw shut against any reply. She averts her eyes, looking at the ground of the caern.
Stepping forward toward the gathered Garou, Alicia lifts her chin up and clears her throat. "I come before you tonight to issue forth challenge to Runs-at-Dawn-rhya of the Fianna, for the right to be tested to become a Fostern."
Runs-at-Dawn takes a step toward Alicia, and the Fostern Theurge regards her for a moment. ~You have told me of your deeds, and others I have seen for myself.~ His attention moves from the Gaian to the assembled mass of Garou. ~Let it be known to all here that I accept the challenge issued by Guards-the-Flame, and that the task she is to complete will be made known when the moon of her birth again fills the sky.~
Julie scratches her head, glancing over at Fights a moment, then turning blue eyes in Yi's direction. A shrug, stuff to be discussed at a later time. Attention turns, then, to the exchange of Challenge, head tilted in curiosity.
Nightfire looks from Alicia to Runs-at-Dawn as the challenge is issued, and then back to the Gaian as it is accepted. ~So shall it be. Tempered-Blade performed her challenge for Ever-Grinning, and he declared her successful. She is now known as a fostern of the Garou.~
Salem witnesses his packmate's challenge and gives it a curt nod of approval. His mind is, however, clearly elsewhere for the moment.
Rides-Fire gives a short howl of acknowledgement to welcome the new fostern, despite her absence.
Three-Blades looks over to Nightfire when the challenge between the ragabashes is noted, and then settles back down.
Nightfire goes on, ~Walks-Thin-Ice's challenge continues. He has one moon remaining to complete his task, according to the terms set forth by Ear-to-the-Ground. Fights-for-Hope's challenge to Wildfire is similarly incomplete and continues.~
Wildfire cracks his knuckles where he sits.
Nightfire turns to look directly at Sith-Fhuil. ~Seeker has yet to set terms for your challenge. Do you wish to revoke it and challenge another?~
Sith-Fhuil's ears flatten back for a heartbeat before pushing forward toward Nightfire intently. The Fianna shakes her head. ~I will wait for Seeker to return from Walks-thin-Ice's challenge, to speak with him, before I make that decision. After that, you will be the first to know.~
Nightfire huffs softly, and then his eyes seek out Sepdet. ~Only one outstanding challenge remains. Will you announce the result?~
Sepdet looks at the Gaian impassively. ~Organizing patrols of the caern into a cohesive system has been my contribution, which as you see did not come to fruition until Moot itself. It was your pack that sought and invited Chimera to this caern. You have also brought back the Tree of Mirrors to aid the wards, although your pack did not return from that journey until after the end of the month. I had asked Dena, then Warder, to judge which of us had provided more for the caern's defense. Robert-rhya, will you pass judgement on this matter?~
Nightfire looks from Sepdet to Robert. Though he speaks no words, and his expression remains impassive, he's clearly tense as his entire body remains motionless while he waits for the decision.
Three-Blades looks amongst all the high ranked Garou, though something in the back of her head is worrying at her own brain.
Peacekeeper tilts his head to one side. ~Both have contributed greatly to the defense of the Hidden Walk,~ he begins. ~Sepdet has organized the sept into patrols on different months and spurred the sept into rotating as Guardians. Nightfire has both invited one who became a totem of this caern and gone to Dream to recover an item to bolster its wards. Based on what was done as well as when it was done, I give a slight nod to Nightfire's contributions.~ With that, he nods to Nightfire, then to Sepdet. ~Though your own are deeply appreciated in keeping its safety.~
Sepdet's back is straight and stiff, but the nod of acknowledgement she gives Nightfire is firm. ~Nightfire-yuf,~ she says simply and without hesitation.
Nightfire visibly shudders as the judgement is made, and he exhales a deep, sudden breath. Then, without another word, he hands the bones back and returns to his pack, dipping his eyes in acknowledgement to Sepdet once he has rejoined them.
Rides-Fire's less subtle about it, as he howls a fierce call of accomplishment. His body language is tinged with relief.
Sith-Fhuil clasps the bones in her claws, and offers something of a congratulatory nod to Nightfire.
Three-Blades yips a couple times, adding to Rides-Fire's howl. An adren added is another strength to the Garou after all.
Wildfire doesn't seem in the least tense, in his mind confident in the outcome of all this. He does echo the Stargazer's howl, though.
Jamethon nods a vigorous gesture to Nightfire.
Julie doesn't do or say anything, just listening with a tilt to her head.
Ashley looks generally nonplussed, but continues in her steadfast observation of events.
Pack> Matt says ""Cor, fink 'ee'd loike a celebratorie stella, then?"
Little Bear nods to Rain-Cougar, folding his arms. He stands along the edge of the clearing.
Rain-Cougar makes his way into the clearing, absolutely silent in his stormcloud-gray wolfskin.
Pack> Bernie says "Well, =I= would if I were him..."
Three-Blades scans over the gathered again, catching sight of Little Bear and Rain-Cougar. The Gnawer then shakes her ruff and looks back to the Truthcatcher for the next announcements.
Pack> Kaz sits on her hands.
When no further challenges are announced, the Truthcatcher blurs down into breedform. Drawing fingertips over the splintered pieces of bone, she kneels to tuck them into the satchel at her feet.
Pack> Matt says "Right, as would Oi, but 'ee's lupus, innee. May not know what to do wif one."
Pack> Bernie says "Point. Maybe we should just drink one instead. Like, on his behalf, kind of."
From afar, to the room, Sepdet figures people revel by dividing into groups and scattering hither and yon. Those who want to roleplay such, pose away. The rest of you, go to BED. :)