The ground here is hard and rocky, unlike the greener swath visible through the steam to the north. Small, narrow cracks network the area, steam trickling out of many of them, probably at least partly fed from the stream flowing underground from the east. The warm circulating steam fills the air around here much more thoroughly than most of the rest of the caern, leaving a thin sheen of dampness on almost everything around, and making the rocky ground that much more slippery. Sometimes, a blast of hot steam bursts up from some of the cracks, making the temperature that much the hotter, and that much more uncomfortable.
Through the mists, you can see the caern circling towards the walls of the crevice, north towards the rocky slab; east, you can hear the waterfall; the Wheel's center lies to the northeast. The valley continues towards the southwest.
The edge of the valley forms a sheer rock face on this side of the Caern, perhaps 10 meters straight up, studded with outcroppings and lined with narrow cracks in a tracery of spidery fractures. Over the top lip of this natural wall streams a narrow, glass-like sheet of water that hurls itself into a small pool at its base, throwing up spray to soak the stones there, the rock behind it, and the surrounding earth. From this pool the water flows in a shallow bed toward the southwest before disappearing below the surface of the earth again in what must be an underground stream.
To the west, cool mist kicked up by the falls mingles with warmer steam from geothermal sources; these mists swirl around the caern to the north. The caern's center lies northwest of here. You can pick out what seems to be a hazardous trail over rock and up the wall, to the side of the waterfall.
By the waterfall, Dena lurches up from the ground, into a crouch. "Oh, she's a good one, she is. She'd drive me crazy if I stuck around here more than 10 minutes at a time, but she'll be a good one, if she isn't already. Slippery as elm bark."
Bernie enters the caern with her hands in her jacket pockets, humming softly and gazing around at the beauty of it. As she make her way thorugh the field of steam, she plays hop-the-vents with herself, trying to dodge the blasts of hot, moist air as they burst from the ground. Unfortunately, they're too few and far between to make for a really challenging game.
By the waterfall, ~I called them Troublemakers.~ The Strider grimaces, although there's some affection in the expression. ~Mainly because of her.~
By the waterfall, Isaac sits back on his haunches next to the Strider, wordless for the moment while he watches.
By the waterfall, Dena, restless and restive, nods slightly. "Seem to have adapted the name," she observes, while giving the newcomer an assessing glance.
Bernie perks up her ears -- figuratively -- at the mention of her pack, looking to the waterfall area and diverting her trajectory to join the group there. "Hey," she calls brightly, "what's this? 'm I hearin' people takin' my pack's name in vain?"
Dena says, rising to her feet from her crouch, "Surprised your ears aren't burning, actually. So are you Burn, or Hatchet?"
Sepdet dodges the question, looking down and sidelong at the damp Fang beside her. ~It's wet,~ she states, obviously, and opts at last to clamber up out of the tumble of rocks at the pool's edge onto higher ground.
Isaac stands, shakes violently to rid himself of some measure of the water he removed from the pool in his fur, and follows Sepdet.
By the steam vents, Tobin saunters in quietly, homing in on the soft sounds of conversation he's been hearing. He says nothing as he approaches however, and stops a little ways off, just watching. He's minus his usual walking stick and coat.
"They are," Bernie replies as she approaches, "...only I think that's more from standin' too close t' onea th' steam vents, act'ly." With a little wave of one hand to Sepdet, she stops near the stranger who spoke to her, and flashes her a cheery grin. "Hi. Bernie Rosenberg, Stomps-Th'-Wyrm-With-Steeltoed-Boots, Cliath Gnawer Ragabash, an' option A on that multiple choice test." She offers a hand, suitable for shaking.
Sepdet's easy stride halts almost at once as she spots Tobin. It's hard to assume a measure of formality when one is still dripping from a dip in the pool, but she straightens and searches out his gaze with a brisk nod. ~Is that human any better today?~
Dena says, with vague irony, "A ragabash who answers questions. How refreshing," and shakes Bernie's hand. Her clasp is firm, but not excessively so. "Pleased. Myself, I am Ardenas Kytheras Kostenas, but please, call me Dena, it's shorter. I'm also known as Serendipity's Shadow, and less often known as Guards the Desolate Shore. I just gave chiminage here 3 days ago, after coming in from California, the Sept of Gaia's Bones, to be precise, where I led a Pegasus pack for years. I am Black Fury, and ahroun, and Adren, and I have several tribemates who would love that deedname of yours."
Brigid comes down the trail from above with some care, occasionally glancing forward along her path instead of at where her feet are going.
By the steam vents, Tobin grins widely as he's noticed and approaches closer, sauntering again and looking somehow... rakish. He says, "I see no humans here tonight in this sacred place, only fine garou." He's definitely got an accent. It sounds mostly Russian but has hints of English and German accents in it, too.
Isaac looks up at Sepdet, over at Tobin, and back. After a few repetitions of this he moves several steps away, stretches, and shifts into homid form. While still on his knees, he combs his shaggy bangs out of his face with his fingers, and rubs his nose with the back of his hand.
Sepdet's thin brows drift upwards. ~I stand corrected,~ she says mildly. She keeps half an ear turned in Dena's direction, manner quietly self-contained. ~But I believe I saw you last night, when I came to heal a kin-woman. I need news of my patient.~
Bernie grins at Dena, shaking back with an acceptable grip before retrieving her hand. "Yeah, I'm peppermint flavoured... niceta meetcha, Dena-rhya. Welcome to St. Claire, hope ya like it... but I'm not willing t' part with th' name; it took forever t' get one I liked." Tobin's reply gets her attention -- she glances over to the cub, blinking once, and waves, giving him a rather quizzical look.
Dena says, "Oh, feel free to keep it, they can just admire it from afar." Her attention drifts to first Brigid, who she shoots an assessing glance at, and then back to Tobin. She, too, gives him a slightly quizzical look, if only briefly.
Brigid's foot glances off a rock near the end of the trail, sending it bouncing loudly along in front of her as she skitters to a stop. Having reached the bottom she takes a quick look to note who all is about, eyes arching briefly at seeing Tobin, perhaps in some measure of surprise.
Tobin's own brows go up at Sepdet and he shakes his head, speaking again with the thick accent, "I am sorry my lady, but I have no idea whom you are referring to." He chuckles softly, "Perhaps you have mistaken me for someone else?"
Isaac turns at the sound of stone cracking against stone. He grins and waves at Brigid.
Sepdet gives Tobin a shrewd look. ~No. You should have been there.~ She turns away and slips back to Isaac's side.
Dena stares fixedly at Tobin for a moment, and then almost visibly leaves him to his tribemate to deal with, even if his tribemate is Isaac, and makes a restless move towards Brigid.
Brigid returns Isaac's wave and smiles briefly before hazarding a longer look at Tobin. "Good evening, Tobin..." she offers calmly and focuses her attention on Dena slowly.
Tobin turns towards Brigid, his grin freezing on his face for half a moment before animating again. He looks Brigid over lingeringly before giving a bow, complete with hand flourish. When he straightens he says, accented, "Good evening, my lady." His tone is very warm and the mischievous grin never leaves his face.
Isaac's gaze wanders to Tobin and rests there, his brow furrowing mildly.
Bernie blinks again, watching Tobin with a vaguely puzzled air, as she takes a half-step out of everyone's way, hands returning to her pockets.
Dena is about to say something to Brigid, but then she just stops, her attention is dragged towards the cub again. "He's not normally this... polite, is he, Isaac?"
Sepdet's eyebrows begin to march upwards again.
Isaac turns to Dena as she calls his name. His shoulders start to move, but he arrests the shrug. "I only met him yesterday. He was nice, and he followed all the rules."
Brigid's head gradually swivels around to regard Tobin with an air of curiousity that veils a certain degree of concern. "You certainly are animated tonight, aren't you? Certainly a far cry from the wide-eyed cub I brought to the recent Moot."
Sepdet's attention veers away from Tobin abruptly as she flinches and rubs her ear. ~Hey.~ She purses her lips thoughtfully.
Tobin laughs quietly again, eyes darting around, briefly resting on each person there before settling back on Brigid. His smile fades from his lips but not /quite/ from his eyes as he nods, "Indeed, my lady, a far far cry from that cub. I've had many dreams since then, /remembered/ many things. I'm sure you understand." The smiling eyes settle finally on Brigid's eyes.
Sepdet frowns. ~Isaac? I think we may have a visitor,~ she says, puzzled, and starts to head for the nearest sloping trail.
Bernie arches a brow, smirking slightly. "Overdosea SCA or half a bottlea Jamesons.... only th' cupboard knows for sure," she murmurs, before glancing away from the cub, back toward the departing Strider.
Isaac starts, and follows after Sepdet, taking Lupus form even as he goes.
Dena says, after one more dubious glance at Tobin, "I will help on the other perimeter, if we have visitors," and starts heading in the other direction from Sepdet, giving various of the gathered nods.
Brigid's eyes narrow as she listens, and she makes a small noise as if understanding something. "Tell me what you've remembered...most importantly your name. I don't think that we've met." She sends a glance after those departing, chews her lip briefly and nods, then looks back to Tobin...whoever he happens to be at the moment.
Tobin raises a hand in farewell at those leaving, "Good hunting, fine Garou!" To Bernie he just aims a sly grin and a wink before turning back to Brigid, "Oh but he /have/ met, my lady! Was it not you yourself who took this poor wide-eyed cub to the moot?" Brigid gets a sly grin of her very own from him, but no wink. Yet.
Brigid folds both arms across her chest, settling her weight on her left foot with the right for balance. "Yes...but that poor wide-eyed cub never called me 'my lady' to the best of my knowledge."
Tobin ahhs, latching his hands behind his back and rocking back on his heels, "But perhaps the poor cub was so overwhelmed by his very first moot, and so soon after changing for the first time! that he had simply forgotten his manners?" The grin has gone from the face now, but somehow he still looks cheerful.
Bernie looks both amused and rather intrigued, and moves to seat herself on one of the rocks beside the waterfall while she watches this interaction. Oh, for a bag of popcorn.
Brigid smiles now...well, not a true smile, more of a smirk born of some amusement that's solely her own. "I've not spent much time around Tobin to truly know him, granted...but something is different, here. I am almost certain of it. A...confidence around others that wasn't there before."
Tobin looks at Brigid out of the corner of his eye, grins for half a moment, and then turns away, pacing around aimlessly and pretending to take an interest in the, rocks, and waterfall, yeah, "There is very much to him between now and then, it is true, but... there were /many/ Garou at the moot, and there are only a few here. Perhaps he is more comfortable around fewer people? Or perhaps he just needed time to... settle in, to himself? Hmmm?" He glances sidelong once more at Brigid, winks again at Bernie, and goes back to studying the waterfall.
Brigid snorts softly and taps her right foot a bit, "He also never referred to himself in the third person."
"Maybe," Bernie suggests flippantly, "he's plannin' t' run for President. Though, it di'n' 'zactly work for Bob Dole, really."
Tobin gives an absent snort of amusement at Bernie's comment as he turns around and walks back towards Brigid, hands still clasped behind his back. He studies her for a moment, the smile coming back but more tentative this time, "Truth, again, my lady. But that is neither here nor there, tonight. I came here not to debate who I am and what may have happened since we last met, but rather for company. My fellow cubs, while good fellows in and of themselves, do not provide the sort of company I've recently begun to long for."
Brigid flashes a quick grin at Bernie, barely holding back a chuckle at the comment. Returning her attention to the cub, she raises one eyebrow above an amused smile and leans her head to one side. "Do I dare to ask what sort of company that might be?"
"McDonald's," the Ragabash answers for the cub, returning Brigid's grin briefly.
The grin returns, in all its mischievous glory as Brigid asks the magic question. Tobin stands up straighter, reaching one hand above his head in a pose like a dancer, "I desire the company of a fine and beautiful lady... who can dance." He lowers his hand down so that's he holding it out to Brigid, palm turned up and fingers slightly curled, as though he was asking her, well, to dance. His eyes are positively gleaming with merriment.
Brigid chuckles softly and eyes the hand with a somewhat playful dubiousness, looking back to Bernie thoughtfully. "He wants to dance...fancy that..." she muses, still smiling, "Think I should accept?"
Bernie makes a show of considering, and then nods. "Hey, 'f you wanna, go f'rit. I'll chaperone, make sure there's nothin' untoward. No spikin' th' punch, et cet'ra." She favours them both with her best stern look.
Tobin flashes another wink at Bernie and says, "Of /course/ she should accept! What finer way to pass the night?" His tone suggests he could think of a few other things but is leaving them unmentioned.
Brigid coughs at the unspoken suggestion and gives Bernie a quietly thankful glance before trading it for one of mock-seriousness. "I wouldn't think of being on anything but my best behaviour. Have to set examples for the cubs." Refixing Tobin in her attentions, she gives a delicate curtsey and speaks with a refined tone one might think to here at a fancy dinner party in England somewhere. "It would be an honor to accept your offer of a dance, sir."
Tobin starts to bow but interrupts himself to look around, a concerned expression on his face now, "Have we no moon dancers to make music for us? Hmm, it would appear not." Facing Brigid once more, he pauses and smiles again, "Very well, we shall have to make due with the music... in our hearts. Waltz, my lady?"
Brigid quickly mutters something about 'music in our heads' and curtsies once more. "Certainly. You must forgive me, for it has been quite a few years since my last waltz. I do hope your toes shall not suffer."
Tobin goes mock-serious and says, "My lady, I assure you, it has been even longer for me." Then the grin returns and he's counting off a waltz beat in three-four time and leading Brigid through the dance. He's humming faintly, as well, creating his own music as he goes.
Bernie helps with the music, though it seems as though she doesn't realise it -- she gradually and softly joins in with the humming.
Brigid keeps up admirably for her part, and doesn't appear to have lost too much of her dancing skill in however many years it happens to have been. The posture and grace in her following Tobin's lead speaks of one who learned the steps at quite a young age and knows them well.
Tobin, after fumbling once or twice, gets into the dance quickly and leads like someone who not only learned the steps young, but also has a lot of experience on top of that. He doesn't seem to mind that he has to look /up/ to look his partner in the eye, and also seems to be enjoying himself quite thoroughly. He continues humming along merrily.
Brigid relaxes into the dancing after a bit and adds her voice to the humming, smiling and appearing to enjoy herself as well. "You are quite a good dancer, I must say."
Tobin nods at the compliment, smiling as usual, "Thank you, my lady. And you yourself are a wonder to dance with, so full of grace and beauty. Thank you so much for indulging an old man in his simple pleasures. It's a pity he won't remember, the boy needs to learn to have /fun/, don't you think?" And with that, Tobin blinks, and everything about him changes. He loses the grin, loses the beat, finds himself staring at Brigid's, ahem, and then loses his footing. He topples over in a graceless tangle of limbs.
Bernie sits up a bit, startled. "...he okay?" she asks the woman closer to him.
Brigid's eyes blink rapidly for a moment at the sudden change of pace, stepping back a bit out of an ingrained wariness. She gets over being caught off-guard rather quickly, though, and slowly steps closer to Tobin concernedly. "We'll see. Are you all right, Tobin? Took a bit of a fall there, you did..."
Tobin groans and pushes himself up, then blinks and looks around wildly. He jumps to his feet and spins around, "Where the...?" He starts and then sputters. Upon noticing Bernie and Brigid, he gets ahold of himself and asks tensely, "Excuse me, but do you have any idea how I got here?"
"That question has as many, if not more, answers than the most complex of riddles." Brigid replies musingly, clasping her hands behind her back and resting her weight on her right foot. She doesn't come closer, instead giving the cub some room to be rightfully bewildered. "
"I'm guessin' from th' Farmhouse through th' woods, def'nitely across th' vents, an' quite certainly on your feet," the Gnawer adds less than helpfully, and continues to watch him curiously, now that he doesn't seem to be in any physical danger.
Tobin positively /glares/ at Brigid and then at Bernie. "Obviously," He grates, "But how come I don't remember it?" His voice is low and tense, and also completely lacks any kind of accent, now.
Brigid weathers the glare with a bemused expression, mouth quirking in a quick smirk at the Gnawer's addition. "The simplest and most obvious answer may very well leave many considering you to be either quite thoroughly out of your gourd, dear boy, or quite gifted. It's a matter of perception. How would you perceive the fact that you arrived in this caern as someone other than your usual charming self, Tobin?"
Tobin stares blankly at Brigid for a moment and then sighs, "Don't tell me. Russian accent?"
Brigid nods slowly, "Rather a good dancer, too, which is how you came to find yourself rather close to me and quickly falling on your bum. I'd figured it was someone else, but humored him until he chose to relinquish his hold on you." From her tone, one would think she's quite familiar with the concept of more than one personality to a person.
Bernie listens to this curiously, and silently, though it had looked briefly as if she had had something else to chime in.
Tobin clenches his fists and stares at the ground, body language radiating tenseness. After a moment he lifts his head and hands to the sky and says, or rather yells, "AAAARRRGHHH!!!!" He hops up and down a few times before sitting down heavily, crossing his legs and proceeding to look very, very unhappy. He finally mutters, "His name is Sasha. He's one of my ancestors. The sneaky bastard snuck up on me while I was asleep and couldn't stop him."
"Must be a Ragabash," Bernie murmurs, as much to herself as anyone else.
Brigid gives something of a sympathetic smile and softens her tone a bit. "They do like to pick moments like that. Seen it happen quite a bit when I was back home in England." Flicking her eyes up and to one side a moment she murmurs a question under her breath, waits a moment, and then nods slowly as if getting an answer. "Well, at least I know his name now. It'll certainly help if he...surfaces again."
Tobin sighs and nods, holding his head in his hands now. Slowly he looks up at Brigid, "What did I...? No, don't tell me, I don't want to know." He levers himself to his feet and says tiredly, "I think I'm gonna go back to bed. And hopefully stay there." He looks very determined.
Brigid nods slowly and smiles, "I do hope you get some rest, Tobin. Perhaps we can talk about this when you've actually gotten sleep."
Tobin manages a little grin, "Yeah, I'd like that. Goodnight Brigid-rhya, Bernie-ryha."
Bernie stretches, and gets up from the rock, still watching the cub curiously. "I'll walk ya back. Gotta grab some stuff there anyway." Hands in her jacket pockers, she starts back in that direction. "'Night, Brigid..."