Characteristic of its name, this pool is shaped in a half moon that fans out from the rocky outcropping. The bottom of the pool is covered with small, round pebbles of all colors. The shadowy shapes of minnows dart through the water, adding small ripples to the uncommonly clear water. A rivulet of water runs down the side of the rocky outcropping, filling the pool. Small waves radiate from the influx of water, making the half moon shape even more pronounced.
The lush green grass of the shore curves away just to the west.
There's a stack of several camping stools and a large coffee thermos and some reusable old mugs stashed to one side for those who aren't so outdoors-oriented. NPC/alts are welcome if you want to say someone is here without the extra spam.
Compact is the word for him: wiry, maybe 5'6" in his beat-up black combat boots, with a sense of compressed energy and imminence like a coiled spring -- or a cocked gun. Never quite still for long, balance flowing through the balls of his feet. There's a striking intensity to his narrow blue-green eyes, the colour contrasting with his fair skin and spiky copper hair; just below the left is what at first appears to be a faint mole, but closer inspection reveals as a small, long-healed scar. His features are appealing, with high cheekbones and a good jawline, but it's the confident mien and roguish smile that most often seem to draw people in.
He's in a well-worn biker jacket of the traditional sort, all fairly closely fit black leather and silvery zippers and snaps. Beneath it, he's got old black jeans with a rip in one knee and the cuffs half walked off, with a faded black band t-shirt ('Anarchy Burger - Hold the Government', parodying the In-N-Out sign) under an open dark red hawaiian shirt. There's a couple leather-and-bead bracelets on one wrist and a length of ball-chain disappearing beneath his collar; his nails were apparently painted black some time ago, since they're starting to show chips. Late teens, most likely, and when he speaks it's in a mellifluous, southern-accented baritone voice.
Here is a young woman who is built like a track star with shoulder length brown hair and matching brown eyes. Her skin borders on the slightly tanned due to being kissed from the sun from her outdoor activities. Alicia is of caucasian descent with a hint of peruvian mingled into her DNA. Her apparel tends to be a mix of urban streetwear in the form of loose fitted cargo pants and crop shirts, to long skirts with button down blouses. Fairly tall at five-eight, she looks to be a young woman who has seen her share of scraps, and radiates an aura of confidence and showmanship with how she walks. Under her shirts, her stomach has a number of hacksawed looking scars along her skin that criss-crosses around to her back and just under her breast.
Standing tall about six foot five, Brom has the body of a brick wall. He obviously works out on an obsessive basis. His arms are thick and his chest broad, giving off the look of perhaps a well in shape football player. He has a pair of intense blue eyes that always seem to border on anger, and a well developed scowl.
Brom has long hair to about his shoulders, a dirty dark blonde that is typically tied up into a tight pony tail, pulled back from his head. He has a jagged looking scar along his neck that dips down into his shirt, and a few more along his arms that appear to have been made by claw marks. He tends to dress very plainly, a pair of beat up blue jeans with slashes and holes in them, a tight fitted black muscle shirt and a beat up looking leather jacket. Shit kicker boots adorn his feet and a large belt buckle with the picture of an axe on it.
This is a young woman of average height or a little above, maybe 5'6 or 5'7, who looks to be somewhere in her early twenties in age. She has olive skin, shoulder length dark brown hair that's almost always pulled back into a simple, tight ponytail, and even darker brown eyes that look black from any distance when they aren't catching the light. She is neither ugly nor particularly pretty, and there's a certain haggardness to her features, a sharpness defined less by genetics and more by hard living. Her build is athletic, of a sort; not the sort you see on track fields, but the sort you find among young soldiers in distant countries, or refugees that are used to moving at a moment's notice and from which reality demands a certain sort of fitness or death.
Her clothing isn't ragged, but it does tend to be rather frayed around the edges. She wears faded jeans and old but sturdy sneakers with decent treads, a variety of cheap shirts, a long sleeved button-up shirt when the wind is up, and oftentimes has a light jacket tied about her waist, as if she wanted to be prepared just in case. Her hands are well calloused, both on the palm, fingertips, and knuckles. Oftentimes she wears a very well used pair of fingerless gloves, though often these appear to have been made fingerless after the fact.
This silver furred wolf is tall and broad of chest, though almost too thin around his ribs and middle. It is as though he has been surviving on a sparse diet for which he works very hard. His green eyes take in the world around him, but seldom remain still and almost seem to avoid contact with others. Still, his gait and manner have a sure and noble bearing. On those occasions when he is still, there almost appears to be something more to him, something familiar and yet unknowable. A single scar covered by short white hairs runs vertically over the middle of his chest.
Shaggy brown hair and darker brown eyes frames this young boy's face. Justin has a slightly tanned complexion with a hint of Puerto Rican from his mother's side, Caucasian from his father's. He has a fairly lanky build that could use a bit of bulking upas he is built like a high school track runner. He wears loose fitted 'destroyed' blue jeans, simple tank tops, and worn down sneakers that are about five months in need of replacement, and during the cold, a thick green military jacket from his Grandpa. He looks like your average, ordinary American young teen that plays outside and is fairly active. Tall at five foot ten, he is a few inches higher than most his age for now.
Thick honey-blonde hair, styled in a poofy set of curls, rings this pretty blue-eyed young woman's head. She's in her late teens, and her hair's currently left down, though it's occasionally pinned up. She stands about five and a half feet tall, and is a little on the thin side of things, though not to an extreme. She dresses mostly in informal styles, from ripped jeans and tank tops to the occasional sundress.
Currently, she wears the former, her black tank top emblazoned with a large sequined red heart, and her jeans so ripped as to be nearly indecent. About half of the heart's sequins are missing. Her feet are clad in red strappy lightly-heeled sandals that have seen better days. She wears little in the way of jewelry, just a black wooden bracelet, a stainless steel and rhinestone mood ring, and (probably fake) gold earrings. When she speaks, a fairly thick Southern accent is evident.
This is a North American cougar (Puma concolor couguar), which is not an uncommon animal in Washington State, although they are rarely seen by humans. Typical of the species, it has a slender, muscled body with a round head and pointed ears. Like most cougars, this particular specimen is substantially longer, taller, and heavier than the average wolf. He likely tips the scales at about 160lbs and measures nearly 8' from nose to tail: Much of that is certainly tail. This cougar's pelt is slightly more redish-orange than usual, although not unusually so. Lithe, powerful, sinuous musculature is readily visible beneath the cat's short fur, giving some indication as to the power and speed available to this apex predator should it choose to use it. The black "moustache" marking around his nose and mouth is more pronounced than usual, giving the feline's already-handsome face an even more suave--almost debonaire--appearance.
His scars are the most striking thing about this man. A deep scar circumnavigates his head, cutting his visage into parts. His visage is far from flattering even without the scar, featuring an unevenly flattened nose, cauliflowered ears, and monobrow sheltering sunken eyes, and long, greasy hair bound in a tangle of a rat-tail. His hands demonstrate a history rich in manual labor, with stumpy, thick fingers and fingernails broken to the quick. His right arm is a massive length of scar tissue from shoulder to hand, with the weak muscling of a paraplegic, a strong contrast against the bulk and muscling of his body and other arm. The skin of his torso, usually covered up by a shirt but still appearing at his neck, consists of thick, red skin with peeling scales. Not much of the damage is visible as his long-sleeved, plaid shirt is buttoned up to the last button. His jeans are almost fashionable, being shredded through at the knees. He's wearing a black bomber jacket with a patch of a snake hissing on the back.
Despite her diminutive size, this thirty-ish Italian beauty tends to make an impression. Deep brown eyes, touched with amber, drink in the world with an artist's hunger. The delicate features and Mediterranean coloring bear the stamp of pure Sicilian ancestry: her skin is a light olive, and her eyes vary from almost-black to the color and luster of tigereye. Dark-brown hair frames her face in a short anime cut, once butch but now a stylishly tousled mop, the top long and spiky and usually half-veiling her eyes; the sides and back are a couple of inches long, enough to nearly cover the scars at the nape of her neck. She can't be taller than five feet and maybe one or two inches--although she tends to wear shoes that add a bit more--and her body is a well-tuned instrument, lean and whipcord-strong. She moves with the grace and streetwise confidence of an urban predator.
Black BDU pants hang low on her hips. A snug dark-grey modal shirt drapes her upper body; the fabric is cut with ragged edges, the neck a low scoop that displays her tattoo, barbed-wire ink around her throat. Battered black infantry boots, much-scuffed and not laced all the way, complete the urban-tough image.
A traditional biker jacket in black leather, at least two sizes too big, adds a layer of toughness to the petite woman's attire. It has been heavily modified (+detail Rina's jacket).
This short, skinny white kid is only a few inches over five feet tall and looks to be around twelve or thirteen years old. His straight black hair is cut in a basic, functional style that requires little maintenance -- super-short on the back and sides and only slightly longer on top. He's got a thin face with a beaky nose, thick eyebrows, and dark brown eyes. He's not a bad-looking kid, quite the opposite, but there's still something about him that makes most normal people uneasy, a feeling of potential violence, of predatory intensity.
He's typically dressed in jeans and t-shirt and sneakers, typical casual kid-wear, with a grey hooded jacket for outdoors. Apart from the footwear, his clothing is all a little bit too big on him, but one might imagine that he'll grow into it in a year or so.
Thane isn't a man who's appearance stands out much. He's caucasian of skin tone with a faint swarthiness should he stay out in the sun long enough to catch a tan. His bones are pronounced, giving him the appearance of leanness despite having a solid, even musculature that speaks of someone who's gained his athleticism through rounded activity versus focused weight training. His hair is a tawny brown in most lights and usually kept in a short style. Often, there's a good day's growth of beard on his face which seems to hide small nicks and old scars. His eyes are a mid-tone blue, often held under pensive brows.
There is a look to him, the weight of something undefined. It's like looking into the eyes of a man who has seen terrible things and was never quite was the same after. It's even more haunting considering his blind right eye is couched in scars like an attack from a bear.
Usually, he's casually dressed but cleans up when the need calls. He's never seen among the normal public in anything but long sleeves regardless of the weather, underneath showing massive scarring on on his forearms. They don't seem to restrict movement, but the oddly darkened scars are numerous like lightning bolts across his skin. Another deep slice runs at the upper portion of his abdomen.
A short, tough-looking woman standing only five feet one or so in height, with a face prematurely lined and eyes that look tired. Her shoulder-length hair is messy, as if it was originally short but has been allowed to grow out, and the tips show sign of having been dyed at some point. Split ends abound. She's wearing a smart leather jacket that would look more fitting on a woman ten years her junior, blue jeans, and a new-looking pair of combat boots. She has blue eyes, a nose too large for the rest of her small face, and comes across as a strange mixture of menacing and benevolent.
From her spot, Dakota offers a smile towards Lilah. "Nice to see kinfolk here! I'm Dakota Winters, Heartsinger, Adren Theurge of the Children of Gaia and current Mistress of Rites." As the cougar arrives, and then speaks, and the Gaian just stares in bewilderment and completely misses her cousin's arrival. From his place near the steam feeding the pool, Thane seems far less perplexed and gives the cat a nod of his head. "Brings-the-Pack, good you could make it." And through all of it, Watcher just continues to look rather intimidated and has his ears tipped back as he hunkers himself between Lilah and the talking cat.
Salem arrives with Ghost in tow, looking surprisingly surly and irritable considering it's just a new moon.
Lilah grins broadly at Reggie's greeting, waving to him and saying, "Thanks!" She gives a respectful nod to Dakota, saying, "An' a pleasure t'meetcha!" She also, since she's throwing around nods, nods politely to the others around, including Brings-The-Pack. Lilah's hand idly pats Watcher again, just one of those little 'it's cool, everything's fine' gestures for the lupus' sake. "Oh!" she says in surprise as Reggie looks ready to pour her coffee, "Jus' a half-cup, mebbe. Thank ya kindly!" She's seated on the ground near some of the stools, next to Watcher.
Ghost is keeping close to the shorter Walker, and ever so slightly behind him in step, though not enough to be really noticeable. Any tension from before has had time to bleed off for her on the way over, but it's all back as they walk into the area and she finds so many...people. And a cougar. Brings-the-Pack gets a startled stare mostly because she's too leery to stare at anyone else, and she shoves her hands as deeply into the pockets of her jacket as they can go.
Brings-the-Pack, from his perch upon a branch in a nearby evergreen tree, returns the nodded greeting towards the Shadow Lord elder before allowing his gaze to sweep over the others beginning to gather. His thick tail adjusts slightly to accomodate the big cat's subtle balance shifts.
Felix and Justin arrive just behind Salem and Ghost, the Galliard saying to his packmate, "Okay, then would you rather hafta pour cold milk on absolutely everythin' before you eat it, or hafta eat hair for one meal a day?" Such are the deep ponderables of life. He doesn't actually wait for the answer though, as he spots Lilah and Watcher and starts cutting over that way, brightly calling "Hey!" as he nears them. The cougar does distract him along the way, though, and he stares at it for several moments while still walking. Liable to trip over someone, that way.
"So where'd you leave your other half?", Reggie asks Lilah as he gives her the measured half-cup, then serves himself a cup. He watches the arrivals as if checking them off a list.
"Th' fuck kinda question is that dude? Of course I'd go for the hair. Who doesn't like a warm slice of hair pie at least once a day?" Justin says with a wily grin to his packmate before he angles towards Lilah and Watcher, throwing a hand upwards to wave in their direction.
Standing next to Thane, the mountain of Fenris that is Brom lets out a light snort at the presence of coyotes, then sweeps his gaze about the rest of the arrivals as he folds his large arms over his chest.
Accepting the half-cup from Reggie-Baloo, Lilah says, "Thank ya, I 'ppreciate it." His question makes her grin and she starts to ask, "My better half, y'mean?" but then there's a Felix, and she sits up a little straighter, waving to both he and Justin with a cheery, "Hey there!"
Salem takes a patch of ground and settles into a crosslegged sit, looking broody.
At the edge of the clearing, the silver-white fur of a wolf can be seen through the trees. He doesn't come to the beach as the others, but hangs back and settles onto his haunches, ears forward to listen.
Thane continues to watch as Garou arrive in pairs like a broken rendition of Noah's Ark, with the predictably disruptive arrival of the coyote pack taking his attention. The sigh may not be audible but it's right there on his face. Then he's redirecting his gaze over towards Salem and Ghost and offering them both a crisp, professional nod. Watcher, next to Lilah, perks up like a daisy as he sees his pack and yelps out a yipping howl of joyful greeting. Dakota just grins over to Alicia and gestures her closer.
Taking a seat next to Dakota, Alicia stretches herself out, then folds the walking stick across her legs. She leans in and bumps her shoulder against hers. Justin flashes a wider grin to Watcher and sinks down to throw his arms about his neck and ruffles up his scruff some before taking a seat with them.
Felix laughs aloud at Justin's answer, and settles himself down behind Lilah, trying to draw her into his lap. "Hi, doll," he greets her more quietly, and reaches over to ruffle Watcher as well, "and you. Y'all been here long?" The answer may have to wait a moment, since he pauses to say hello to the others nearest them, then, and flash grins of greeting to various people farther away. The cougar gets another look. Don't see that every day.
Ghost settles next to Salem, also cross-legged and still just a tiny bit further back than he is. She seems intent to hunch down as much as possible and be as inconspicuous as possible while keeping an eye on pretty much everyone. It doesn't take a mind reader to tell she'd probably rather be just about anywhere else at present.
"Modern times", Reggie replies. "Equality." He greets Felix at his arrival with, "Hey! We were just talking about you. I went 'where's Felix' and here you are." He remains standing, leaving the chairs for others.
Lilah smiles brightly to Reggie, lightly touching his arm for a moment, and then she's scooting into Felix's lap as non-verbally requested. "Hey hey," she greets Felix back quietly, and then nods to the rest of what Reggie's had to say. "I reckon your ears musta burned," she tells Felix, and pats his leg. That said, she gives smile and waves to those she knows as they arrive, Justin included of course.
Thane looks over the gathered assortment, though he lingers faintly on the silvered wolf lingering at the fringes, before clearing his throat. "Well, as there are several things to be discussed then we may as well begin. I called this gathering for a few reasons. Firstly, for Garou to share their knowledge regarding the dual threats of Hanford as well as Queen's Tower. It's time the sept was on the same page so we can better formulate a plan of action. Secondly, I asked for those allied with the sept to attend." A gesture is given towards Brings-the-Pack. "Val also indicated she will attempt to join us. Their involvement with the sept as a whole will also be discussed along with our kinfolk. Thirdly, and related, is a change to meetings such as these. So, any who have information to share can step forward."
The cougar stays silent, on a branch about 20' off the ground, and watching; he's not obviously engaging with anyone and otherwise not intruding upon the werewolves' meet nor their gathering of kin. If this were a party, he'd be the wallflower watching from the edge of the room.
Felix grins at Reggie, "Well, I prolly oughta thank you both for not goin' 'speak of the devil' when I did show up, then," he says, "Wouldn't wanna blow my cover or nothin'." He quiets as Thane clears his throat, and rests his chin on Lilah's shoulder, arms about her waist, while he listens.
Memory makes her arrival, alighting on a branch rather close to the cougar. Peter, the Shadow Lord Kinsman shows up as well, but keeps to the edges of the gathering, and spends a fair bit of time readjusting his clothes in an attempt to dissipate some of his nervousness. Sera is already amongst the gathered Garou, but is keeping mostly to herself, round dark glasses pointed fixedly towards Thane.
Reggie tilts his head at Lilah, "Is it too late to say that? Speak of--" and he cuts off at Thane's throat clearing. He turns to listen with his full attention, and at Thane's last line, he looks around the gathering, from Garou to Garou to Corax to cougar.
Ghost listens intently to Thane's words, but she doesn't look as though she's going to volunteer to be first.
Dakota moves away from the tree she was leaning on in order to be seen and heard more clearly. "I spoke to the spirit of a mountain regarding Hanford, in specific. The vision I saw was of falling deep within the earth. First, it was into the mouth of a great serpent, one with all the colors of nature and many colors I lack the words to describe. Then, I saw the fight to reclaim the caern this most recent time. I saw the battle between the Nexus Crawler and Wyld force and watches the two be torn apart - undone to points too small to even fathom. I saw then a cavern that I wager was the Last Days, and Garou of dark but clean fur performing some sort of ritual. The cavern shook and I heard screams of defiance, anger, then it all collapsed. I felt buried in the earth and a saw a human-like face overgrown with flesh and no eyes and a pit deeper and darker than I could imagine. I saw then two serpents of unimaginable size battling, destroying the land around them. One was the nature serpent, the other it's opposite.. made of darkness like that of a black hole that brought even light into itself. I saw a Garou flee Hanford, black and gray, unhealthy, covered with Wyrmish scars that glowed green. The last I saw was a vision of the recent earthquakes and a vision of the Hospital's parking garage. Beyond that, there were other visions."
Salem looks over (and up) at the cougar lounging in the tree, brow furrowed. He studies the big cat for a few moments, then looks away to focus on Dakota.
Viv is a little late to the party, and anyone who hasn't seen the Get in a while is likely to note that she's really started to grow her hair out, now. It doesn't make her look much more feminine, though; just untidy. Upon arrival she looks around, as though expecting someone to be there who isn't, shrugs, and finds a suitable spot to bend an ear to Dakota's speech as it begins.
Ghost's eyes shift to Dakota as she starts, and she stiffens noticeably somewhere toward the end of the recitation.
Lilah grins lopsidedly as Reggie starts to tease, and then turns her head to Thane, clearing her own throat quietly, albeit most likely out of nervousness. She squeezes one of Felix's hands, grin faded into seriousness, as they listen first to Thane, and then to Dakota. The latter's words seem to be cause for concern, judging by the furrowing of her brow. She doesn't have anything to say, however, so she keeps silent.
Continuing, Dakota says, "I had dreams after that vision. There was an old woman who stood with me besides a deep pit, that though it had no bottom it still echoed. She asked me, "What is an echo when there is nothing for it to come from?" I saw the destruction of the old Hillard Hospital. I saw it pulled into itself like a drain plug opened in the air before exploding out. The last was calmer, a vision of a circle of stones somewhere off the highway. I have investigated the woman and spoke to her once more. While I have yet to approach the hospital or find the site, my only theory right now is that I saw the Nothing and its opposite. The old Nexus Crawler and the conflict with the Wyld could have possibly caused some imbalance, like a spiritual nuke that's radiated outward with the force of two powerful beings. The nature of the Nothing is still a mystery, but a in discussions with the woman, the best I can phrase is that the Nothing is... exactly that. Something that Was but has been forgotten. Forgotten so utterly it didn't just cease to be but went beyond that, becoming a force that pulls everything around it into that same state of Forgotten-Beyond."
Salem shifts his weight forward and stands up. "Little Silvertip and I went into the Umbra to the source of one of the earthquakes we've been having," the young halfmoon says. "We met a spirit there who had some light to shed on why we're having this issue here and now."
Viv has been looking at Dakota with a furrow in her brow as though trying to make sense of the visions she has been telling of. When Salem speaks, she turns to regard him instead, but the furrow, if anything, deepens instead of fading.
Salem drags fingers back through his hair, collecting his thoughts. "A few of you were here when the Wyld overtook the Bawn and the wasps came and made their nest in the caern. Around that time, there was talk of making a new caern in the city, and a pair of spirit came forward, vying for the position of City Father -- or Mother, as the case may be. Claire was a spirit of progress, technology, the future. Jeb Regan was one of history, an echo of one of the city's founders. Jeb contacted us first, but when Claire seemed to be getting more support, he decided to get himself a little help." He pauses before continuing.
Ghost turns her head to Salem as he takes over speaking. She's still tense, but nothing he says seems to add to it.
Lilah also shifts attention to each person as they speak, and she seems vaguely discomfited, perhaps by Dakota's visions. It's fading, however, replaced by avid interest in what Salem has to say; clearly at least part of this is new to her, and fascinating.
"Basically," Salem says, his expression sour, "Jeb knew about the Nothing, because he knows a goddamn lot of things about the area. He also knows about the Nothing's opposite, which is just as vast. It makes and remakes. It's in the whole land, trees and mountains and... everything. It's why, he says, that our caern has been able to die and be reborn so often. Jeb tapped into the power of this entity and disturbed its sleep. These earthquakes, all this shit, the presence of the Nothing itself, are because this thing is stirring and waking up. If it does wake, we're all in deep cataclysmic shit." He pauses to let that sink in. "If it goes back to sleep, perhaps the Nothing will go dormant again, but there's a big damn mess of it under the Hilliard site and the stuff's corruptive just by existing. And also, according to Jeb, the Nothing is in the Queen's Tower as well, though the lady in charge of /that/ hellhole is trying to get rid of it."
Salem finishes with, "For what it's worth, Jeb is contrite about his mistakes and wants to help, and Claire is still around as well and is also, I think, willing to assist us how she can."
From a tree limb overlooking the gathering, the cougar presses upwards and sits upon his haunches. When he speaks, it's English, raspy, and with an electronic masking that makes him sound suspiciously like a certain character from a recent Star Wars movie. "The Nothing. The black ooze. I was brought a sample of it to analyze, and it was like nothing I had ever seen before. I am proficient at examining things but, surprisingly, I was unable to determine what this black ooze was or what might be used to destroy it. I took it and visited a very powerful mage, far away, who might have answers. Unfortunately, even he was unfamiliar with what the substance was or was not--and he was likewise unable to harm or destroy it. It seems to be outside of reality itself, yet capable of destroying it. Curiously, it hungers for radiation and radioactive materials. It can also be led and directed with the lure of nearby radioactive materials and energies, which might be something exploitable once a means of killing it can be found. Unchecked, it may consume the universe as we know it." He lets the gravity of that settle in before continuing. "As Salem has said, the Black Ooze has been collecting under the old Hilliard Hospital's parking garage. It has spread, downwards, deep beneath the ground in a way that nearly mimics the spread of a cancer. And as Salem says, it has spread to the Queen's Tower and is now causing one of the sept's foes tremendous problems." The cougar settles down, as if that is all he had add to the matter for the time being.
Memory fluff up her feathers, then clears her throat before speaking. "I went to Last Days. The old Caern site is a pit of ooze now. Some of the Garou who used to protect the place still stand, but they have been consumed by the Ooze. There are banes in the area that have manifested in the Realm and they have suffered the same fate. I also noticed a cave, from which the Ooze was spilling forth. May be the entrance to the caves that Dakota saw in her vision. When I flew over the Caern, I was attacked by what seemed like hundreds of corrupted Magpies. I was tracked by one of the Ooze creatures when I returned and called for assistance. Brom, Thane, and Reggie. They saved me and killed the Ooze hunter that was following me. They pulled out something akin to a mechanical heart from the thing, which turned to dust before it died. The Ooze consumes Gnosis and its creatures have been actively hunting spirits and dragging them off to Gaia only knows where."
Ghost murmurs quietly to herself, though still audibly to those with good hearing, "There are no magpies."
Dakota listens to the words of the other Garou, with the words of the Corax sparking something. "Oh, yes, the magpies. Similar to the woman I spoke to, who said she was one of these echoes-without-a-bottom, I suspect the magpies are similar. Echoes of what were, like Ghost says. The caern used to follow Magpie, so it's likely the spirits were numerous in the area. I wager what we're seeing is the ripples left by their... consumption. These echoes have form, some intelligence, but they are just that. Echoes, bare shreds of memories that were." Thane, listening all the while, nods consideringly. "Radiation and Gnosis make sense. Few things are composed of such energy in existence as those. It would make sense that these things need that energy in order to keep fueling themselves, not unlike the theory ghosts use electricity to manifest."
Ghost startles a little at the sound of her name, and gives Dakota slightly confused glance.
Memory bobs up and down. "Yea. I was told much the same thing. The Warder from Last Days still stands, but she is merely an echo of what she once was. In life, she guarded and that is the echo that remains."
"So, how do you think we go about resolving it? This sounds incredibly scary and impossible to defend against." Alicia says as she gives a stretch of her body. "Do we have to depend on this Jeb and Claire to do battle for us and put the .. bigger thing back to sleep?"
Thane looks from Alicia and her question over towards Ghost and Salem, though the former seems to draw more of his focus. It's confirmed when he says, "Ghost, you said when we spoke the other day you had information relevant to this?"
Ghost's face loses a fair amount of its color, but she bows her head and gets to her feet. "I don't..." A deep inhale. "...know. Emma and I discovered by accident that there's something about me that's...related. Somehow. She was sick with whatever happens when you come into contact with this Ooze stuff, and I. I took it away, somehow. It made me sick instead, but the sickness went away after a day or so. Then Val heard about it," she glances up toward the Corax. "She was feeling sick after this um, after she went to Hanford. We tried what I did by accident with Emma, and it worked. I got sick again, and it went away again." It looks, for a moment, as if she might be finished, because there's a particularly long hesitation, but then she goes on. "Recently, by which I mean over the past months, the spirits have been acting strangely toward me. At first it was a little put off, then nervous, then sometimes agitated. It depends on the spirit and it depends on how powerful the spirit is, sort of, but except for Cockroach it's pretty uh, prevalent. And more recently I've started looking...different on the other side of the Gauntlet. Ciuraq had a Uktena spirit look me over."
Isaac shifts his weight and leans forward a little, as though getting a few inches closer would give him a better understanding of what was being said.
"So... how did you go about making them feel better?" Alicia asks a follow up question as she folds her arms over her chest. "I do remember Emma being really sick, but didn't remember how she got better. I believe we tried to cleanse her and use mother's touch and both had no impact."
"Exorcism did help on the house that was affected by it." Dakota chimes up on the tail of Alicia's statement.
"I..." Ghost starts. "We were having a conversation. I was telling her about my blood. I'm metis, it's poisoned." This is not said with the kind of inherent shame one might expect. "Except it only really hurts me. I told her it wasn't going to hurt her to touch it, unless she decided to drink a lot of it or something. So I showed her, and when she touched it...I'm not sure how to explain. But she stopped being sick immediately and I got sick immediately. With Val, I had to uh, I tried to give some of my Gnosis with it, the way you do when you give it to spirits." She glances toward Salem very quickly. "I'm not tainted. I had Mr. Salem check when my appearance started changing in the Umbra."
That furrow in Viv's forehead is back. She still doesn't say anything, but she's looking at Ghost as a scientist might look at a test tube inside which a new and unexpected element has just appeared.
Thane has a frown on his face, though it seems more the thoughtful variety versus a will it blend sort. Dakota clearly has more gears turning than she probably had the ability to process and Watcher, well, the poor Uktena Lupus looks like he's trying to follow all of this but mostly just hunkers amongst his packmates looking confused. It's the Shadow Lord who speaks out of the lot. "So, for all your blood is poison it also cures, like a spiritual bleach. You take on the effects but then burn it away. I somehow doubt though that dumping a bunch of it down the hole in Hanford is our answer though."
"Well.. I mean ... you could just ...create molotov cocktail versions of her blood and lob them at the ooze maybe? That'd probably be real painful for yah, huh?" Justin asks as he raises his hand to speak, as if he was still in class.
Ghost's expression twitches noticeably, but her answer is careful and even. "Just this...whatever that happens when the Ooze makes people sick." Her jaw tightens a little as Justin speaks.
"Well," Thane says with a twitch at the corner of his mouth. "We have a few routes to investigate then. The city spirits sound like the primary path right now since Jeb caused the trouble and then your connection with this ooze." He looks back across the gathering, "Does anyone else have any information to share regarding Hanford or the Tower before we move on?"
From the back, Briari pipes up. "The hive leader named Renegade is no longer here in Saint Claire. Rumor was he was holed up in the tower, but I tracked him all the way back to Seattle."
Brings-the-Pack, from his perch in the tree near the Corax, once against speaks in that mildly electronic, masked voice, adding a little extra to the prior discussion. "It is possible the Ooze is symbiotically affecting Ghost's pattern every time she heals someone from Ooze contamination. Putting her blood into the Ooze may kill or corrupt her. However, I was given a sample of her blood earlier and took it to a mage more experienced in these matters than I. He said there was definitely some link between Ghost's blood and the Ooze, though it was not physical. It was perhaps spiritual or perhaps metaphysical." The cougar concludes with, "There is obviously some connection, yet Ghost is clearly not an agent of the Ooze. Using her blood indiscriminately as an experimental weapon, however, might corrupt her. Perhaps the key does not lie in the present, but in Ghost's past? There has been some discussion of traveling to places where this connection might have been first initially established. Perhaps where her previous pack was killed, or her Rite of Passage, or her parents? These are options that are safer for Ghost, as well. And less likely to corrupt or kill her inadvertently."
For the first time since her arrival, Viv cracks a smile at Briari's news.
Ghost sits down very, very quickly next to Salem. This is followed by another startled stare in Brings-the-Pack's direction.
Anyone sharp of hearing (or in Lupus) would catch a few sounds in the vicinity, the noises of someone cursing and trying very hard not to do so loudly. The combination of foul language and hushed tone of voice is just a little incongruous. "--ow mother *fucker* those things are sharp-- Jesus fuckin' Christ on a pogo stick! Let *go* f'fuck's sake--"
Thane looks back to the cougar and gives a nod of his head. "For now then, that is our point of focus. If we can determine the connection, it may also give us better insight into what we face and how to end it. If it is also impacting the Tower then we may get lucky and figure out just what they've been poking at as well." He looks about to say something additional when the swearing brings a disgruntled scowl to his face. A clearing of his throat and he looks back treeward, "Brings-the-Pack, now might be a good time to bring up just why there is a cat sitting here talking in English about speaking to mages."
Memory bobs up and down a few times as she speaks. "Queens Tower isn't the only one. There are two more. One in L.A. and one in New York. All owned by the same company. There are Drones associated with all off them and talk of a 'her'. No idea if there is one Queen, or three of them. Also, if you're gonna go looking for the Drones, they might turn invisible, but they still put off heat and you can spot them with infrared."
"As far as the Tower goes, I dream speaked Amelia, the Spiral Dancer who is in charge of the Tower and I was able to see a pair of faces that represented her pack mates, as well as a creature that we believe is the Queen." Alicia calls out as she rises up to her feet. "I have drawn pretty detailed pictures of each of them and have passed it on to a couple of people to take a look at. The Queen is a thin, willowy creature, long hair, very pale in color. During the dream, it was obvious that Amelia and her pack are afraid of her."
Ghost clears her throat. "Or, uh, flour. Mud maybe. If they're still physical and you're lacking the tech."
From the shore, Thea says "Dream.... speaker."
"...Smoke?" Felix half asks, half suggests, toward Ghost, since she proposed the other low tech options.
Ghost nods a few times.
A rather mussed-looking Rina comes into view, brushing at the sleeves of her jacket and looking Decidedly Put Out. Her expression clears into an unreadable mask, as she scans those gathered; there's a little flicker as she looks at the cougar, a furrowing between her eyebrows, but then she moves on to scrutinize the others. Salem and Ghost get a little nod.
Behind her, Kavi looms taller. He seems more watchful, more on edge than the woman.
The cougar gives a brief nod to Thane, pushes to all fours to balance on the branch, and addresses those gathered once Val has finished. His sentences are short staccatos. Fact, fact, fact. "I am not a cougar or pumonca. I am a world warper. I have been quietly working to aid the sept for well over a decade. There is likely at least one fallen warper in the Queen's Tower. I offered my services to help protect the caern to Jacinta, but I wished to remain anonymous. She required me to meet with the caern's totems. They agreed to give me access to the caern in exchange for my aid in protecting it. Jacinta is no longer Alpha and Warder. I approached Thane about this arrangement. And here we are."
Ghost returns Rina's nod with one of her own, but she's almost immediately distracted as the unexplained cougar proceeds to explain himself. Her eyes get a little wider, and she sits up straight for the first time all night, rather than hunching, to get a better look at the speaker.
The neutrality just--vanishes from Rina's expression, when the cougar speaks. She just stares, jaw slightly dropped, and blinks several times. For once, she appears shocked into silence.
As Brings-the-Pack reveals what he is, Dakota looks rather taken aback but her expressions quickly settle into a forced neutrality. Watcher looks flat out uncomfortable as the Uktena lupus sits among his pack. His ears go back and he wrinkles his muzzle, head ducking to eye the cat from under his brows. Thane watches the expressions of those gathered carefully, clearly studying them. "After I confirmed what he said, I agreed to allow the agreement to stand. The allies of this sept are as critical to its continued survival as the Garou of it, and this access also extends to Val who had been denied caern access for some time. However, the purpose of this meeting is to let the sept voice their opinions on the matter. So now is your chance to speak up if you disagree."
The Silver Fang at the treeline looks up at the cougar in the tree and the tip of his pink tongue appears, sweeping over the side of his muzzle. He does not appear concerned.
Justin pauses at the large pot of coffee, then glances over towards the news of the talking cougar being a mage. "Whaaat? That's some gangster shit. Bro, can you turn into anything? That'd be fucking dope if you can turn into the Luck Dragon from The Never Ending Story and fly around and shit. If so, I got a job for you. I got this asshole that used to pick on me in school and I'd wanna recreate that last fucking scene in the movie, ya'know? BAM. Right in the fucking dumpster."
Felix looks over the latest arrivals, but is promptly distracted from them by the cougar's announcement; he blinks, staring at the creature, then looks from the mage-cat to Thane, and back. He studies the feline quite directly, thinking this over, although his packmate's questions interrupt the consideration and have him muffling a laugh against the back of Lilah's shoulder.
The woman with Kavi just looks... rather pained, and one hand comes up to rub at the bridge of her nose as if to forestall a headache. "Fuck, I miss Kaz," she whispers.
Ghost doesn't say anything, but she does look between the speakers with interest.
Lilah is taking a drink of her coffee as she listens to everyone speak, not commenting, herself. But then Justin's comment comes right as she's trying to swallow, and her soft laugh has her inhaling the liquid. Damn you, Justin! Felix's laughter will be further muffled by her coughing, so uh, yay?
Kavi looks to the woman at his side and places a hand on her shoulder. For his part, he looks to his tribemates, rather than the new alpha, but doesn't seem to have any thoughts to share.
The large Fenrir that is Brom does not seem as comfortable as the others, but he continues to loom at Thane's side with a squinted look on his face. He gives the cat a long look, then heaves out a heavy sigh.
Brings-the-Pack likewise seems to be watching various reactions to his announcement. After a lull occurs, the cougar responds to Justin's question. "As amusing as that might be, it would be somewhat inappropriate." This from the cougar in the tree speaking in English with some kind of electronic voice masking that makes him sound like Kylo Ren.
A severe sigh from Thane. "If the coyote pack could please restrain themselves for five more minutes it would be appreciated." He looks back up to the feline as there doesn't seem to any commentary against the ruling. "Permission is, of course, contingent upon remaining a participating ally of the sept. It is my intention to ensure the sept and those affiliated with it actually know of one another. As such, I plan to make these new moon meetings once a month where all of those allied with the sept can gather to discuss concerns that impact us all as well as just gather to meet, greet, and talk openly. Kinfolk are welcome to these meetings. Additionally, kinfolk remain welcome upon the bawn and caern in the lower moons, though I encourage them to have a Garou escort given the current dangers as well as the penchant for our lands to not always be welcoming to those unaware of the dangers."
Rina's attention turns to the evident Alpha, when he speaks. That frown returns, thoughtful, and she focuses on him with a measuring look.
Ghost might look even more reluctant than when she stood to talk about weird magical Ooze curing blood, but she manages to clear her throat. "Uh. Where do I stand, on that scale? Am I allowed to come to the future meetings?"
Cough. Cough. Lilah covers her mouth to try and lessen the sound, her cheeks bright red and her expression mortified. She's listening as best she can to everyone speak past the coughing, naturally, and does manage to restrict it to just occasionally throat-clearing after a bit.
The young Ahroun's voice can be heard from the back, "It was a legitimate question!" Thunk. Clank. The coffee pot gets straightened up. He shifts his eyes to one side, then trots back to Felix and Lilah.
Thane turns his one eye onto Rina and raises his brows, his expressions bordering on irritation at the question. "Is there some reason you shouldn't be? I did just say a mage, a Corax, and kinfolk were all welcome in addition to Garou. Are you in an alternate category I should be aware of?"
WP: >>> You rolled 7 dice at 6 diff (6 10 5 10 2 9 4): 4 successes. <<<
Man/sub: >>> You rolled 6 dice at 6 diff (4 2 10 10 10 9): 4 successes. <<<
Felix pats Lilah's back gently to help with that coughing, and manages after the chiding to look so serious and focused on the matters at hand it's nearly unreasonable. Decent chance some teacher's been fruitlessly infuriated by suspecting but failing to prove smartassitude under it at some point in the past.
<OOC> Rina says "Not it! That was Ghost, not Rina!"
<OOC> Thane orders Rina an apologetic fruit basket.
Please excuse the previous pose. The person responsible for it has been sacked. Thane turns his attentions over towards Ghost as she speaks and regards the Metis consideringly. It's not his normal death stare either but one of actual thought. "Edgewood remains open to you. However, given your potential connection to a corruptive, spirit-eating force, I am concerned about your presence near the caern itself. In the various investigations into you, was any mention made of any dangers to the caern you might pose?"
Rina gives Ghost a slightly startled glance at the mention of "corruptive" and "spirit-eating".
Ghost shakes her head slowly in response, though she doesn't look very surprised. "I'm not tainted," she echoes. "None of the spirits we talked to mentioned it. The Oracle said, uh. Said I reminded them. But that's all. I don't really know anything else."
"I don't see a problem with it, personally, as long as nothing crazy happens. Who knows, it may do her good being closer to Gaia." Alicia says in a typical tree huggery way.
Brings-the-Pack coughs politely from the tree branch. "Might I be so bold as to suggest that Ghost have an escort within earshot at all times? She is quite possibly not only the most valuable asset this sept currently possesses, but potentially the most valuable individual in the universe. Unless someone else here knows of something that can counteract the Ooze? Should she die, all of existence may die with her." The cat swivels his head towards the Walker in question. "No pressure."
Kavi looks from the cougar to Ghost, and then down to Rina at his side. There's a slight furrow at his brow, but he nods, as if some other communication has gone on between the galliard and the kin.
Rina's dark brows lift. And then lift some more. She gives Ghost a steady look that says someone will be having a talk, later. She looks over her shoulder to Kavi, then, and answers with a nod of her own.
Thane looks to the cougar as he speaks and there's not quite hiding the faint crook of a grin at the mention of having all that weight on her shoulders. "If totem spirits haven't indicated concern than I trust there's not likely a risk. However, what you bring up as well as my own concerns are both something to keep in mind. So, Ghost, for the time being you will be under the same guidelines as the kinfolk. When on the bawn or at the caern, a Garou escort of the sept will be required. Being Garou though you are not limited to just the smaller moons. My last order of business also deals with the caern security. While we still hold some Guardians among our ranks, we have need for more until we have less dangers on our doorstep. My pack has agreed in taking up the responsibility to provide additional security. Other Garou are, of course, welcome to volunteer. Does anyone here have any other business or concerns they wish to address?"
Ghost blanches noticeably as Brings-the-Pack speaks, a strange look to go with the less dubious surprise that Thane gives. It's a few moments before she finds her voice. "Yes, sir. Thank you." And then she's quiet again.
Rina takes several strides closer. "I do, Alpha, if it's permitted," she says. Her voice is quiet, but decidedly the one that was cursing earlier--the Chicago accent gives it away. She still looks at Thane through sharp-focused, measuring eyes.
Kavi tenses as Rina steps forward, chin lifting as his gaze shifts between alpha and kin.
Thane looks to Rina as she speaks with an expectant expression on his face. He looks her over with a studying eye before he gives her a nod and a permissive gesture of his hand, "Go ahead, and with your name as well if you would, please. I don't recall meeting you before."
The leather-jacket woman gives him a nod. "Rina Vincenzo, sir. Kin to the Walkers." She takes a second to compose her words and give them space. "I'm currently gathering and stockpiling mundane weapons for the defense of the Sept and its members." The dark eyes look around briefly to the gathered Garou. "I realize there are still some who believe the use of these weapons is dishonorable. However--" Here her focus returns to the Alpha. "Anyone who's seen high-powered silver or explosive rounds in action against Fomori and Dancers knows they're effective. I'm willing to teach anyone who wants to learn, and if there are any special... needs to be met, I can try to obtain things outside the ordinary. No promises, but I'm tryin' to build what connections I've got."
Salem remains quiet, listening and watching carefully, knees pulled up to his chest and arms folded on top of them.
Thane raises a single eyebrow at her words, though clarification as to why comes quickly enough. "I see nothing dishonorable in a properly used weapon, though I understand the concern behind having silver weapons. However, I cannot see the point in being worried over a kinfolk with a few silver bullets versus another Garou with a grand klaive. As there is the potential of needing to wage a battle against the residents of the Tower, having weaponry that doesn't reply on supernatural power will be good to have available. Those who find their use dishonorable are free not to use them."
Ghost gives Rina a somewhat brighter look at the mention of high powered armaments.
One corner of the Walker kin's mouth tugs upward in a faint smile, and she gives Thane another nod, this one a bit more like acknowledgement of his rank. She steps back to rejoin Kavi, then, and looks across to Salem briefly.
Lilah has finally gotten her coughing and throat-clearing under control, and has been sitting quietly, letting her reddened cheeks fade. She's listening closely to Rina, sitting up a little bit more as she hears Thane's response. It looks a lot less like she disagrees, and more like she's intrigued, though she doesn't say anything at the moment.
Salem raises eyebrows at Rina, then casts a look at Kavi.
Ghost settles again. No further business from her, it seems.
Brings-the-Pack likewise remains silent, awaiting to see if anyone else has any pressing business.
Thane gives the gathering ample time to speak up but as none seem forthcoming and smaller discussions begin to be muttered by some of the clustered members the Shadow Lord announces, "These will continue to occur on the new moons and are open to all. Full moon moots are, of course, limited to the Garou. For those who have grievances against others or challenges to announce, they are to addressed now upon the first half moon of the month. Kinfolk and allies are also encouraged to attend if they have a grievance or may pass word through someone else. As no one appears to have anything else to discuss, then this moot is adjourned. Thank you for coming, may Luna and Gaia watch over you."
<OOC> Thane lets you all run free with the addendum Justin was muttering OOCly about doing something to the coffee.
Ghost stands up just a little too quickly for it to be casual, and looks to Salem. "So, uh..." A beat. "Would it be okay if we went to the Caern now?"
Salem blinks up at Ghost, then grins a little, crookedly, and gets to his feet as well. "Yes." He brushes dirt off his jeans and heads out toward the caern -- pausing briefly to give the magic talking cougar a long look.
Brings-the-Pack returns Salem's long look, as the two Walkers head out for the caern. The cougar, however, lingers on the branch for a while longer.
Lilah glances back at Felix before finishing off her coffee, and thank goodness it was poured before WHATEVER Justin did to the coffee. She takes Felix's hand and pats Watcher, who gets up to go with them. She politely nods to the cougar as they leave, and is very much not commenting on anything at the moment. Unlike Salem and Ghost, she and Felix and Watcher appear to be headed toward Edgewood.
Brings-the-Pack nods a farewell to those departing. After a while, when no one has eyes on him, he just seems to have suddenly vanished.