This is the story of a pack of newly changed werewolves discovering what it means to fight for the survival of Mother Gaia.

The story centers around the Sept of the Soaring Pine in Yellowstone National Park. The Sept cares for a rare Caern of fertility with an Earth spirit for the totem. The primary tribes that control the Sept are the Black Furies, Fianna, Uktena and Red Talons. This makes for a volatile mixture of tribal views, although they welcome Garou from any tribe, so long as their intent is pure.

So begins this new life for a pack of young, confused Werewolves. A life none of them new existed just a few short months ago.

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The escape
As the pack fled to the woods they became separated. The brothers and Johnny found themselves running alone, while Michael and Max managed to stick together. Once they had made enough distance to feel safe they began to howl out to each other in an attempt to bring the pack back together.

Johnny found Max and Michael first, then the three began homing in on Curtis. Meanwhile, Rory also heard the call of his brother and began making his way in that direction.

Curtis managed to find a clearing when he started to hear the others calling. He dropped the vampire and let out a howl for the others to follow. It was then that he saw a flash of light out of the corner of his eye. The smell of ozone assaulted his sensitive nostrils.

Quickly he spun to find a man standing about thirty feet away. This was no ordinary man though, he was dressed in a jump suit and wore a strange helmet with goggle. There was some kind of electronic device strapped to his wrist and he held an odd looking rifle pointed in Curtis' direction.

There was a humming noise increasing in pitch coming from the weapon as Curtis sprinted toward the strange man. Suddenly there was a flash of light and a beam lashed out from the rifle and struck Curtis in the chest. The others saw the flash through the trees and as they burst into the clearing they see the man holding the vampire as he pushes some buttons on his wrist device. Curtis appears to be moving in slow motion as he charges the pair who suddenly vanish in another bright flash. The smell of ozone once again filled the air.

After several long seconds, Curtis finally began moving at a normal speed and tackled Max, who tried to catch him. Curtis was disoriented and confused as to what had just happened. The rest of the pack explained as Rory berated his brother for allowing the vampire to escape. They traveled back to the Caern and reported to the Sept what had happened.

The next day it was declared that their Rite of Passage had been completed. They were awarded rank 1 and were told to pick their new Garou names. Later that day Cory reveals to the pack that while he was away from the group he saw a news cast about a small town on the edge of Yellowstone which had been attacked by a pack of wolves. The strange thing is that there are several hysterical people who's accounts of the attack do not make any sense.
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Second attempt part 2
Meanwhile Rory, having run off with a local Kinfolk to mate with her, sees a news report about a small town on the outskirts of Yellowstone being attacked by rabid wolves. 23 people dead, 53 injured and 12 in severe shock to the point that their recount of what happened doesn't match or make any sense. Feeling that this is important information he rushes back to the Caern only to discover that his pack has gone off to fight the vampire without him. Before even reporting the news to the Sept elders, Rory runs off to catch up with his brother and the others.

As he approaches the compound he can see evidence of his packs passing. The main house merrily burns while several guards rush back and forth trying to put the flames out. As Rory enters the warehouse building he finds the guard room still smoking and sparking. A guard lies dead at his feet with a bullet hole in his forehead and several more torn up bodies behind the bullet proof glass inside. Sniffing around he picks up the scent of his pack mates, but his brothers scent is not among them. He lets out a howl of succor to try and locate them.

--------------------------------------------------

The pack, having cleared the hallway by putting the bodies of the guards in the broken elevator, proceed to search the lower level. They find a couple of bathrooms, a mechanical lab, x-ray room, storage area and a back up generator.

Curtis determines that he can rig the generator to blow if needed, while Michael thinks he can set up the x-ray machines to flood the building with radiation using equipment they had found in the storage room. As they leave the x-ray lab they find five more guards have come through another door that they hadn't yet checked.

Tearing a door from the hinges, Johnny throws it at one of the guards, dislocating his shoulder and sending him sprawling against the far wall. Meanwhile, three of the remaining guards open fire while the last one backs away in shock and disbelief screaming "this can't be real, I must be having a nightmare!! Stay away from me!!" The pack makes short work of the guards, except one who manages to make a break for the door they entered through.

Curtis follows the guard back through the unexplored door and catches up to the man as he tries to run up another set of stairs. The attack is swift and bloody. The guard goes down without even firing a shot. Then the pack hears the call of Rory. Letting out a response, they begin adding these bodies to the others in the elevator.

Rory rushes down the stairs and rejoins his pack. After berating his brother for not waiting for him, Rory and the pack head down the newly revealed hall way. As they pass the door leading to the stairwell, they pick up a familiar scent that had not been there just moments before. Realizing this is the vampire and his ghouls, the pack follows the scent to a room filled with humans chained to the walls. Curtis and Johnny bolt up the stairs hoping to catch the vampire before he escapes. Meanwhile Michael, Rory and Max find that the humans are still alive, but only barely, and do everything they can to stabilize the exsanguinated victims and free them from their chains.

Bursting through the already broken door into the crisp night air, Curtis and Johnny see the vampire and his body guards making their way towards an SUV. Letting a roar of anger and hatred escape his throat, Curtis rushes to catch up with his nemesis.

Hearing death quickly approaching, the vampire continues running for the vehicle while his five ghouls turn and open fire. Having found it to be a fairly successful tactic, Johnny tears the door free and hurls it at the supernatural watchdogs. Knocking two to the ground he then follows in behind his pack mate.

Curtis maneuvers himself through the ghouls as if he were a professional football player breaking through the line of scrimmage. Johnny keeps their attention with claws and fangs. After a short exchange of attacks, the ghouls lay dead or dying and the Ahroun is able to give his mate more back up.

The vampire stops and smiles as he sees there are only two werewolves to deal with. Curtis tears into the leech with furious claws and gnashing teeth only to find the creature seemingly immune to harm. The vampire picks him up as though the nine foot tall Garou was a mere rag doll and flings him over the SUV where he lands with a sickening crunch thirty feet away. Johnny sets upon the creature of the night with a series of powerful claw attacks, but only the creatures expensive suit seems the worse for wear. Curtis takes a few moments as his rage washes over him, knitting bone and closing bloody wounds. Using his gift of Mothers Touch, he heals his broken arm enough to continue fighting and then rushes back in to help his warrior pack mate.

The rest of the pack, carrying the unconscious bodies of the humans, arrive on the scene just in time to see the vampire pick Curtis up and use him like a baseball bat to beat on Johnny. Dropping the humans they rush in to lend help to the fight. Once surrounded the undead creature realizes no matter how powerful and tough he maybe, it is very unlikely he will be able to take on five werewolves by himself. He catches Rory's gaze and uses his vampiric ability of Entrancement, causing the brother to believe he needs to protect the vampire. He then makes a break for the building as several more guards come out and open fire on the pack. With lightning strikes the pack manages to take the vampire down before he gets away, then Curtis snatches the leeches head in his jaws and runs for the woods.

Meanwhile, Johnny and Rory pick up the SUV and hurl it at the guards, giving the rest of their pack the cover needed to make a break for the woods as well.
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Tags: ghoul , leech , undead , Vampire
Second attempt
After being nearly wrapped into the pattern web by the spirit spiders, the pack decides it would be better to try an approach through the physical world.

As stealthily and quickly as they can they decide to check the house first. Approaching from the side farthest from the main building and its bright flood lights, they break into the house through a back window. After a quick search of the building resulting in only finding a few communication devices and grenades, Curtis realizes there is a large area in the middle of the building which has no entrance. After a few quick taps on the wall the pack determines where the door should be. Peeling back the wooden wall panels they find a thick metal door which proves to be no match for Johnny's strength in Crinos form.

Inside the hidden room the group finds business cards of the vampire with various names and a wardrobe full of expensive suits. After relieving himself on the suits Curtis decides to use this as the perfect distraction. Taking the oil from the vampires lamp and soaking the suits they lit the building on fire from the inside out.

When the blaze became large enough for the guards outside to notice most of them ran towards the house to try and contain the fire. This was the opportunity the pack had hoped for and they circled around to the far side of the warehouse. After quickly dispatching the guard at that door they entered the building. Immediately the pack split up. Johnny, having found the maintenance closet, began to disassemble the elevator controls and everything else he could find.

Michael and Max entered the break room to find a lab assistant who immediately ran for the main guard room. Following the assistant, the two Garou tore through the guards cleared the office. One of the other guards came in through the main door and upon succumbing to the Delirium, fired at the bullet proof glass. The bullet ricocheted back and hit him in the head.

Johnny, having finished in the closet went to join the others in the guards room where he made short work on the equipment there as well. Meanwhile Curtis moved toward the warehouse area of the building and was pinned down by four guards firing rifles. After a brief firefight and the back up of the rest of the pack, Curtis had been badly wounded but they made short work of the guards, one of whom made a break for the stairs. Fortunately for Garou, gun shots don't take long to heal.

The pack followed him down to the lower level and were attacked by four more guards. After mere moments the guards were dead and Johnny had revealed the elevator by throwing one of them through the doors.
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The reconn
After speaking with some of the elders at the Caern regarding how to deal with a vampire that doesn't burn, the pack decides they need some additional information about the compound and what is happening there. They wonder why this nonburnable vampire would be associated with whatever is going on here.

Johnny decides to challenge Sofya Softkiller for her bottle of Jack Daniels and gets his rump handed to him. Sofya's conditions were that if she wins he should never speak with her again.

Rory disappears from the Caern. His brother presumes he is getting laid.

The night of March 5, 2010 the pack sneaks up to the tree line near the compound. Michael focuses his spiritual energies into a small pendant around his neck and vanishes from sight. He then runs off to check the windows of the buildings in the compound. He finds most of the buildings are merely dormitories of a sort. The larger building has windows looking into administrative offices. Then there is a mess hall and a house. No magic can be sensed in any of the buildings, but there is definite Wyrm taint.

The pack decides it would be best to approach through the Umbra to avoid being caught in the open. Michael leads them through the Gauntlet, into a magical world of sharp scents and vivid colors. The light from the waxing gibbous moon seems brighter here and air is crisp and invigorating.

As they look toward the compound the landscape changes. Patches of darkness dot the ground in the open area. Several mounds of webbing, which seem to represent the buildings, crawl with crystalline pattern spiders. The ominous feeling of decay mixes with the harsh stiffness of order.

Max decides, upon seeing the spiders, to throw a rock in order to get their attention. This works much better then he anticipated as half a dozen pattern spiders scuttle off the nearest web mound and race towards the pack. Four more larger spirit spiders, seemingly made up of webs themselves, also break away from the mound and then dissipate into wisps of webbing.

Before the group knows what has happened the four larger spiders appear behind them and begin spewing webbing all over the pups. After several harrowing minutes fighting these spirit creatures, the Garou manage to break free of the webbing and drive off or destroy these agents of the Weaver.
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Moot
The story begins with the characters wandering the Caern while a Moot is in session.

The members of the Sept, led by Master of the Howl Tom Mcnally, begin to howl in a rhythmic keening of sustained modulating tones, punctuated by sharp yips and barks. This is the opening howl, declaring the fertility of the land and beasts and the intent to proliferate life.

All eyes turn toward Samantha Proudmoon as she begins to recite the litany.

"Garou shall not mate with Garou. Look around you brothers and sisters. We have many Metis here with us tonight. While they have earned the right to be here and have shown themselves to be proud warriors of Gaia, let us not forget that each Metis born is one less Garou able to produce new warriors. Therefore each Metis must fight for all the Garou who will not come after them due to their infertility. Our race must be sustained, for we are the warriors of Gaia and without us there is no hope to prevent the Apocalypse."

"Combat the Wyrm wherever it dwells and whenever it breeds. The Wyrm grows stronger day by day. It's minions breed rapidly, like rats. We must continue to increase our numbers to avoid being overrun by the forces of corruption and decay. Seek always those ready for the change and breed copiously to increase the chance of bolstering our numbers."

"Respect the territory of another. We have many new faces here this night. Some have shown the respect due to us, some have not. We welcome all of Gaia's children so long as they mean us no harm. However, for those who chose to ignore this portion of the Litany I must warn you. There are many others beyond our Bawn who would not be as accepting as we."

"Accept an honorable surrender. Honor must be upheld within the tribes, but let us not forget the real enemy. While we fight amongst ourselves for honor and respect, taking your opponents life only strengthens the Wyrm. With each Garous' death the minions of the Wyrm begin to outnumber us more and more. We must be careful and not allow the Wyrm to win through attrition."

"Submission to those of higher station. Pride is an important aspect of being a Garou. However, we cannot let this pride stand in the way of this part of the Litany. Those of higher station then you are there for a reason. Listen to their wisdom and remember that they were once young like you. Unlike you however, they have fought many battles and made many good choices during their lifetime. They have seen and done more then you, and if you take the time to listen and do as you are told you just might live long enough to reach their rank."

"The first share of the kill for the greatest station. You may scoff at this notion and argue that you have as much right to the spoils as any other, but a Klaive in the hands of a master Klaive fighter will be wielded more efficiently then in the hands of a pup. The master will kill more minions of the Wyrm and will live longer to retain possession of the Klaive then a less experienced warrior. Besides, any elder would have enough wisdom to know that it is impractical for one Garou to possess all the equipment, there is no way it would all be able to be used. Therefore that elder would be wise enough to know who would be best chosen for each item to maximize its potential."

"Ye shall not eat the flesh of humans. Aside from the foul taste there is the risk of Wrym taint. Humans must be controlled to prevent them from over populating, but they are no challenge to hunt. Indeed, we should be controlling their population and cultivating them for breeding purposes. Our lupine breeding stock dwindles almost daily, once they are gone humans will be our last hope to continue the fight against the Wyrm. Additionally this law should also include the wolves. Wherever possible we need to revitalize them and grow their population."

"Respect for those beneath ye - all are of Gaia. Indeed everything has an effect on everything else. The worms effects the soil, which effects the growth of plants, which effects the food supply of the deer, which effects the food supply of the wolf. We are all connected, we are all one. When we hunt and kill the elk for food we must remember to honor its spirit. For not to do so is to not honor ourselves. Gaia has placed everything here for a purpose and as the defenders of Gaia it is up to us to show that purpose the respect we show to Gaia."

"The Veil shall not be lifted. Remember brothers and sisters, secrecy is what keeps us alive, it is what keeps us safe. Our enemies are many and outnumber us. Should they discover our whereabouts it is only a matter of time before they come calling for us. Do not show your true self to those not of Gaia, and if you do be sure to eliminate all traces and witnesses before returning to the Caern."

"Do not suffer thy people to tend thy sickness. Remember, it is nothing personal. If you become too injured to continue fighting or too old to be a useful member of the pack, it is more honorable to take your own life then to cause others to be injured or killed trying to take care of you."

"The leader may be challenged at any time during peace. We all believe we know better then those who try to lead us. As long as there is no threat of attack and you are of sufficient rank, feel free to challenge for leadership. Sometimes having someone new bring a fresh perspective benefits all, including the former leader. Of course this is assuming that you are able to defeat the leader in a challenge. Remember, they are leader because they earned the right to be called Alpha."

"The leader may not be challenged during wartime. Unlike the last portion of the Litany, just because you think you know better doesn't mean that you do. Even if you actually do know better, the middle of combat is no time to make your stand. We must all follow the leaders orders during these times so that we may work together as a pack. Only through our cooperation will we be able to overcome a greater threat."

"Ye shall take no action that causes a Caern to be violated. There is no exception to this rule. Caerns are the very heart of Gaia. Very few Caerns remain and once they are gone mother Gaia will no longer have the strength to fight. As you will see later in this Moot, there is no forgiveness for breaking this law."

Tom McNally steps forth once again and invokes the Mournful Howl to remind everyone of the dwindling number of wolf kin, joined only by the Lupus of the Sept.

Samantha Proudmoon and four others come forward and address the five directions.

"We have gathered in this sacred place of Gaia, having called our brothers and sisters of Gaia, and we now call our brothers and sisters of Luna." Proudmoon declares.

She turns to the East. "East Wind! Bringer of the dawn of clear air! East Wind! You who showed us the mirror side, the other side of the Velvet Curtain, come to us! We thank you for your clear thought and bright light."

Then turning to the South. "South Wind! Bringer of the eternal fire! South Wind! You who gave us the fire of rage within, that we may strike swiftly against our enemies, come to us! We thank you for your fiery anger and your guardian protection!"

Once more she turns, facing West. "West Wind! Bringer of the rain! West Wind! You who gave us the Changing Ways, come to us! We thank you for the many shapes you’ve shared with us!"

Then she turns to the North. "North Wind! Bringer of cold from the mountain! North Wind! You who brought us the Gifts and the Sacred Ways, come to us! We thank you for your great wisdom and great strength!"

Finally she stands with her hands above her and eyes to the sky. "Inner Wind! Bringer of blessings from Gaia, from within us! You who hold our Mother’s power within us, come to us all! We thank you for your spirit, and your inner peace."

Over the next three hours she and the four others perform a ritual, laying out stones, bones and fruit. During this time many hushed side conversations start up. Various members of the Sept explain to the cubs the various aspects of the Moot that have occurred so far and what to expect coming up.

Finally Samantha and her group complete the ritual, summoning the spirit of Earth, who appears by having the stone around the offerings reach up and envelope them. It then rises from the ground appearing as a 12 foot tall column of rock with arms and a head. Samantha leads the Sept, "Thank you or great Earth for your patronage and continued prosperity. Your presence here brings us much joy and comfort. We welcome you and your kin to dance among us freely. As always you are welcome to leave at your own desire."

Earth raises its arms as dozens of spirits materialize throughout the Caern. Spirits of the plants and animals appear and scurry about for several minutes. Some of them approach the cubs in an almost quizzical manner. Then, as Earth sinks slowly back into the ground, the spirits fade away.

There is a murmuring among the members of the Sept until Tom McNally steps forward and lets out a high keening howl that ends in a jagged, shattering note, much like the splinter of a tough dry bone. This signals the next phase of the Moot.

Stands with Purpose comes forward and announces the first order of business. "Skins the Wyrm, come forward for your judgment." Skins the Wyrm is brought forward, led by Sheila.

"Skins the Wyrm, you are accused of breaking the Litany. Through your actions you endangered the Caern and drew the attention of the local authorities." Stands with purpose raises a wooden staff decorated with feathers, bones and shells. "Only through Gaia's grace and the quick thinking of Whispers Softly were we able to avert the potential discovery of the Caern."

Sheila steps forward, "Truthcather, Elders, please have mercy upon Skins. He did not have full control of his actions. He was in the midst of a Fox Frenzy and was merely trying to seek the safety of the Bawn. His intention was never to bring outsiders and endanger the Caern."

"You know as well as Skins does, that there is no forgiveness for breaking the last law of the Litany. Even under a Fox Frenzy, one should maintain enough control to mind the safety of the rest of us." Stands points out. "Skins the Wyrm, your past renown will follow your name into the next life, but you must be punished for your indiscretion. Sheila, you are commanded with the rest of your pack to dispense justice upon Skins the Wyrm, he must be put to death as a lesson for all the others."

Reluctantly Sheila and her pack shift to Crinos and without a word of protest from Skins they tear him apart.

There is a short Dirge for the Fallen Howl, followed by a moment of silence. Sheila's pack quietly drifts out of the meeting area and out of sight.

"The next order of business is the continued financing of the Sept." Athena announces as she steps forward. "Supplies for the Sept are running low after the hard winter we just survived. Our resources are low and we need fuel for the generators, blankets and clothing, food stuffs for when hunting is scarce. Where will this money come from?"

Elder David Wildstar speaks up, "We will get help from our Kinfolk. If each of them donates a small amount it will add up quickly. Beyond that the only other choices we have will make things....awkward. Some of us May have to get day jobs to supplement the donations."

Athena says, "Day jobs? And what will we tell our employers? Oh my address? Yeah I live in the middle of Yellowstone Park. Haven't you ever employed a hippie before?"

There is a collective chuckle from the gathering as David says, "Well Athena, when you get a better idea you let me know." With that the Black Fury backs down showing she indeed does not have any better suggestions.

Suddenly jumping into the middle of the gathering, the Red Talon Silver Fur proposes the culling of humans in the areas surrounding Yellowstone almost as if the discussion of money had not happened.

Whispers softly says, "Silver Fur, we have been over this many times. The Impergium is over and will stay that way. Wiping out the humans surrounding the park will only draw attention to us."

Blackmane pads over beside Silver Fur and acknowledges his support of the idea.

Sofya Softkiller and Susan Anthony step forward through he crowd. "As the Alpha of my pack, I cannot support the idea of randomly killing humans simply for the fact that they are human. Susan agrees with me and the rest of my pack will follow our example." Sofya says.

Stands with Purpose declares, "There will be no culling. However, we may be able to make the humans desire to give the park more space by selectively sabotaging their supply lines. If the area becomes unlivable for them due to a lack of comforts, they may voluntarily move away. Therefore it is settled."

David Wildstar steps forward and announces, "There is one final piece of business. We have a group of cubs who will be placed together into a new pack for their Rite of Passage. The nature of the Rite will be determined in the days following the close of this Moot. Please welcome Rory and Curtis Macmanus, Michael Whitewolf, Johnny Creed and Max Halley"

A cheer rises from the crowd as various members of the Sept begin patting the cubs on the back. Stands with purpose announces, "So ends the Cracking of the Bone. Let the Stories and Songs begin!"

An even greater cheer mixed with barks and howls sounds from the gathering as people break into smaller groups. Some begin to sing and play music, others gather to howl together, and still others crowd around a story teller to be entertained by tales of glory and honor. Food and drinks circulate as a feeling of contentment falls over the crowd.

Tom McNally climbs to the highest point and scans the crowd. Shapes shift and weave among each other as he searches the gathering. He locks gazes with Silver Fur and drops down to the Red Talons level, shifting to Lupus form. They begin to circle each other growling and staring intensely in each others eyes. Finally Tom drops his eyes to the ground and tucks his tail between his legs.

Many of the Lupus and other Garou erupt into a cacophony of howls and yelps. Silver Fur quiets them with a howl that rises above the din and demands submission. He then calls for mock battles, ritual hunts and displays of strength. Several Ahroun begin tearing at each other in Crinos form. Others begin lifting logs or large stones. Finally, once everyone is worked up into a near frenzy, they surge towards the land bridge connecting the Caern with the rest of the park.

Upon reaching the other side, the mega pack breaks into smaller groups and splits off in all directions. The newly formed pack of cubs instinctively runs together, most in Lupus form. After hours of hunting they find themselves along a stream in a thick patch of woods. Suddenly the ground begins to shake. Bursting through the earth, an enormous beast with a body shaped like a bear, sends Curtis flying. The stench of Sulfur fills the air as the creature turns its elongated proboscis and blind eyes towards the group, letting out a squealing sound. Within moments the cubs jump upon the monsters tough exoskeleton, grasping at the sparse tufts of fur to hang on as it swings them back and forth. Huge claws swipe at the smaller quicker forms of the wolves, landing a solid blow on Michael Whitewolf sending him sprawling. The fight lasts for mere moments and then the beast lay dead at their feet.
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