Caern Raising

And so it begins…..

Friday dawns clear, and bitterly cold (by cold, read -31C or -24F), after a night of intermittent snow flurries. In the Leaping Stag kitchen; Bailey, Minds, Andrea and Julie set out a massive cooked breakfast, serving generous portions. At the Menagerie, Inana, Vasilios, Myra and Nichole do the same. Conversation is excited, nervous, and many of the participants are up early, despite themselves.

By 11am, everyone is more than ready. Groups sit around the Leaping Stag hall, bristling with weapons, some painted with war paint, others with firmly braided hair, checking armour and sharpening blades. When the moonbridges finally open, relief is palpable in the air. Those remaining to guard Leaping Stag see them off, Talin gravely wishing them Gaia's guidance and blessing in the attempt, Ailith performing the rite to open the moonbridge.

At the Menagerie, there is a veritable babel as everyone gathers, and is shown about the area. Myra's home is set up as a triage hospital, as are the sleeping areas of the Menagerie, (and the meeting hall at LS.) Myra's house is a very large, grand affair, with three levels. The thick velvet and brocade curtains are drawn closed over windows locked and shuttered, the doors locked and the means to batten down the hatches and bar the ways standing ready in place.

To one side of all the commotion, Night Sky sits quietly in the antechamber of the menagerie, closely guarded by an alert Sheepkiller. She seems calm and tranquil, even a little sleepy, with one ear pricked to all comings and goings. She is an ancient old lupus, strongly remniscent of the Uktena but for one thing - instead of dark colouring, she has a glory of silvery-white fur that would put a silver-fang to shame. She has immense dignity, but her body looks very frail.

As it nears Noon, Taki calls the group together, everyone gathering in the hall and staircase of Myra's home, the only place large enough. Taki clears his throat and stands on a table, getting everyone's attention. He's dressed in ninja blacks, and is covered in strapped-on blades.

"Before I send you all to your duties, I just wanted to take a moment to say a few words. I'm not much of a public speaker, so please bear with me."

He takes a moment to look out over the gathered crowd.

"This is more than I could have hoped for. Less than 6 months ago, I happened to mention in passing that I thought it would be a good idea to start a sept here in North America where all Shifters would be considered equals. I said this to Lilly, my oldest friend, and our packmate Thera at the time. And now, only months later, we have a caern to open. We have traveled to Luna's realm and been granted a Mandate of Unity. We have again traveled to the garden of Phoebe, and been given her blessing as a pack, the Seekers of Unity.

I look out among you all now, and I can't help but smile. In our midst today are Garou and their kin, Corax and their kin, Bastet, Gurahl, Ratkin and Mokole, along with a Fox, of course. This is my dream made reality. No matter what happens after this moment, this proves without a doubt that we CAN work together, as one to benefit Gaia. This is the proof right here. And I could not be more proud to be here today, with all of you.

Today will be difficult. Some of us may not be standing come the morning. But I give my word that any who fall today will forever be remembered for their noble sacrifice. Today, we fight for Gaia's glory. But not only for that. We fight for an idea. An idea that gives us hope for the future for ALL people.

Today is the dawn of a new day for Gaia. We remember that She created us all to work together, to be her servants side by side. We howl or caw or cry out against the Destroyer's minions. We stand strong and we say "You will fail! We will not be separated any longer. Divided we fall, but we stand arm in arm, and we deny you!"

Taki smiles as he looks around once more.

"Ok. That's my ID4 speech done and out of the way. Now… for your assignments."

Taki goes on to point people to their assigned areas, and everyone scatters to make their final preparations, with a mix of determined faces, reassuring grins and clenched fists. The kitchen is soon ringing with the voices of the food teams Nichole, Adrianna, Nisha and Emma make up packs for each group with food, drinks, clothing, medical supplies, talens and spare ammo; and scatter them at appropriate points throughout the house, the Menagerie and even the garden.

By one o'clock, the first work of the theurges becomes apparent, as a great blizzard moves across Anchorage on both sides of the gauntlet, defying weather forecasts to scatter drifting snow in the streets and reduce sightlines to a blur. Talens are distributed, and the ritualist team draw apart to one of Myra's bedrooms to meditate and prepare.

By half-past three, everyone regathers, and the Zhong-Lung Daiyu Ning enacts a Waking Dream of Unity on all of the defenders, Vasilios, Chance and Night Sky.

Those who have used gnosis use gnosis talens to replenish, and last minute announcements are made. A final moonbridge is launched back to Leaping Stag, and the pregnant garou and kin are sent home, along with a rebellious Nisha. The silvery light of the bridge flickers away, and in near silence, everyone moves to get in place. The quiet is shattered by Sheepkiller's sudden howl - a full-throated glorious sound, wild and raw. She howls definance to all the wyrm and weaver can throw against them, and one by one, others join into the howl until the place rings with it, everyone united.

By the Garden Gates….

Outside, the sun slips over the horizon, and Alaska is plunged into night. Colours fade to grey and black, and still the blizzard howls. In the umbral garden, by the gates, wait Rinty, alert and still as a police dog on guard; Billy, grown huge into a 20ft crinos bear and raking his claws across the frozen earth ; Bridget, eyes sparkling and grinning; and the twins Fidelma and Dian. Dian comments, "Well lads and lasses, it's a good day to die," and invokes Breath of the Wyld on the team, touching and breathing on each as she says, "Gaia, grant this, your child, the fury of your Wyld in this time when we would create life."
She is no sooner done, than the air around them shivers, and the snow in the blizzard billows. Within it, shapes move on the ground and in the sky. Billy gives out a challenging roar, and Dian shifts back down a bit, to Glabro, the axe in her hands ready to swing as needed.

Out of the blizzard, a sudden gout of flame bursts out towards them, it's sickly glow lighting the snow. Bridget ducks, and scrapes her claws against the stone path moving forwards under the flame. Dian shifts back to Crinos, placing herself between Fidelma and the fire and holding her axe in front of herself to ward off what little it might. Fidelma traces a glyph hastily in the air, and the fire around herself and Dian stops as if it had hit a wall. It licks around the edge towards the others. Rinty dives for cover once she realises the cover is actually there.
Dian comments, "Sister, why does it worry me that we haven't had visions of what is to come, yet?"
Fidelma answers, "Because we usually do?"
Dian heaves and looks over at Rinty and Bridget. Billy moves to place himself between the others and the threat.

Two shapes appear beyond the first lash of fire, one of them holding a glowing mass, which it goes to launch at them as the shapes race closer.
Dian starts singing a little to herself. "I got this little kitty about two months back, he was the nicest little kitty, now a pain in my cr-" dives to flank beside the Wall of Bear, bellowing an intimidating roar to try to get the shapes to stop. Bridget moves over behind the cover, grinning and watching the glowing mass. Fidelma sketches another glyph in the air, staring intently at the glowing ball. The first flame blast dies away just short of Billy and Bridget as the second is suddenly launched.
Rinty moves to the other side of Billy, and begins to shimmer with a moon-glow. She shifts into Hispo. <L>Theurge! Give me that thing's name!
Fidelma calls out, "Swampgout!" as Billy starts to move toward the attackers.

The two shadows become clearly humanoid - one clearly crinos, the other glabro. The first has wickedly long claws, the second cradles another growing ball of glowing flame in his hand. Billy roars and heads for the one with the glowing flame. Bridget moves with him, heading to flank it. It hurls the ball towards Billy, and a blast of flame flicks out and into Billy full on, scorching flesh and fur. The great crinos shape shields Bridget, but this fireball does not die away, circling around to come up behind Bridget and Fidelma. The spiral begins to grow a third ball in his hand, preparing to launch it just as Billy reaches it. He is flattened beneath Billy's assult, hurling the fireball harmlessly past them with a skewed aim. Billy attempts to rip it to shreds, tearing off his arm to prevent more fireballs. The glabro screams as Billy savages it's shoulder, whilst Bridget swings and misses, thrown off by Billy's act. Her next attack hits true, and the glabro screams again, a last fireball dying almost before it begins in his hand.

The crinos form dives straight towards Rinty and Dian, who themselves both move towards it. Rinty moves faster, and launches for it's arm in a very attack-dog-esque manner, clearly intending to bring it down to the ground. He growls as he is knocked back, one arm pinned by Rinty. He tries to lash at her back with the other hand. Dian follows as Rinty drags the guy to the ground, and with a roar brings the axe down on the Crinos for debilitating damage.

Fidelma sketches another glyph to ward off the fire attack from behind as the third fireball also circles around to head for her and Bridget. The balls bounce off the shield towards Dian and Rinty as they fight. Fidelma cries out, "Dian!!!" and her sister turns and swings out with her axe, batting aside the ball- towards Rinty, who yelps in surprise but is protected by Luna's armor. Yelling out a mindless apology, Dian swings at the Crinos again, while Rinty resumes savaging him. The crinos on the ground writhes beneath Dian and Rinty, initially evading, then getting pinned again, and taking an axe to the face. The pair work well together, Rinty keeping it pineed as Dian chops at it, until it finally dies.

Fidelma points at one of the fireballs, calling something out. The fireball heads straight back to the glabro that threw it, and he screams and writhes as the fireball slams into him. Billy and Bridget rend into his body, using the distraction, and he dies within seconds, reverting into a torn crinos form.
Billy growls angrily and looks for another target. The final fireball flashes past Billy's face.

Dian finishes the Crinos with Rinty, and then turns her axe towards the fireball. "<G>Fi, love, can you dismiss it's magic?"
Fidelma calls out, "It's called Swampgout!" as she sketches another warding glyph, and then shouts something at the fireball, which takes precisely no notice.

She looks rather irritated by that. Dian looks baffled and Rinty suddenly yelps, and #Calls to Duty# "Swampgout! Fight your friends!"
The fireball swerves, and then dives back into the blizzard and vanishes.

There is a long, pregnant pause, and then, quite out of the blue, everything is suddenly moving, as great roaring sounding in the air, snow crunching, a tile slamming down from the roof above them, and the gate swinging crazily on it's hinge. Dian and Rinty rush to re-join the other three as they look around for the threat. Fidelma falls over in the snow as the earth continues to jerk beneath them, Bridget widens her stance a bit, looking around with a frown.

The earth stops shaking, with a final gut-wrenching jerk, and then above them, almost out of sight in the snow, they will become aware of what must be a great aerial battle. From time to time a bane swoops low enough for them to see or attack.
Dian comments softly, "…oh that's not good…." as she gaze up in the air with a mild look of horror. Fidelma looks up too, now and then commanding a bane to eat it's fellows.

Beyond them, nearer the house, a ring of flame shoots up. Those banes that pass them, let out shrieks as they connect with the flames, burning to dust or flying away horribly scorched and burnt. Dian and Rinty stare upwards, and look over at Bridget and Billy and Fi.
Billy strikes at anything stupid enough to fly low enough for him to grab.. yes grab out of the air and break… Bridget just stares up and watches for a few minutes before she too begins snagging anything that flies down too low. Bridget and Billy between them toss what they grab downwards, where Fidelma, Dian and Rinty savage them. At one point, Billy even tosses Bridget skywards, and she lands on top of a particularly large winged bane.

Eventually, after what seems like forever of snatch-and-grab bane-battling, the aerial battle seems to die down. Now and then fresh tremors run through the earth around them… but eventually even those draw to a close. And everything goes quiet. In near silence, Billy licks the injured, Rinty refreshes her Luna's armour, Fidelma gives gnosis into the ring of cleansing fire. And the guarding goes on.

One, two, three hours pass…. and then, charging for the gates head on, a single, crinos figure looms out of the mist. The group ready their weapons and claws, tensing to meet the spiral… until a roar of an engine startles them all from behind. Careening wildly down the snow-clad driveway comes a truck, with Zig at the wheel, yelling madly out of the open window. Attached to the front bumper seem to be a number of spikes, and within moments, Zig drives straight into the incoming spiral, and then quite deliberately as far as anyone can see, actually crashes into the wall of the garden… impaling the spiral. A moments silence, as the spiral very clearly does not come back to life, and then Zig opens the door and leaps out. He nods, and says quite clearly, "And who said the Weaver wasn't useful?"

On the Other Side of the Property

Defense team three has been assigned to guarding the other side of the house to team two, to prevent entry from above. There is no proper gate here, just a snow-clad wall with a small entryway. The grass they stand on is thick with snow; the house stands behind them, shuttered and barred save for two upstairs windows. Akilina shifts crinos as she waits, remarkably naked compared to most of the other Garou in defenders’ positions that night. No Silver Fang armor, no Luna's Armor, nothing that most Fangs are noted for- just a silver-furred with blue-violet eyes that are not found among the Silver Fangs, eyes that almost glow in a cold way. Nearby a swarm of black widow spiders scuttle along in the area, scouting for more people on approach, ready to give the warning the warning for team three. Outlaw’s Legacy has a lever action rifle in his hands, and stands ready. Aaron McFin shifts up to: he's a large wolf, so dark it’s hard to decide if he’s black, with green eyes. [Insert something here about the other members who weren't online- Eyes of Rust and Steel, Eric, and Eirwen, for descriptions.]

Their team has been assigned to guarding the other side of the house to team two, to prevent entry from above. There is no proper gate here, just a snow-clad wall with a small entryway. The grass they stand on is thick with snow, and the house stands behind them, shuttered and barred save for two upstairs windows. The garden itself is split up with smaller walls and hedges, making it virtually impossible to see all of it at once. After a quick scout of the area they are assigned, the six split up: Eirwen and Eyes of Rust and Steel going to the far end of the garden; the other four staying at the front where most would normally enter by- theirs includes a cub and an Ananasi, neither necessarily as good combatants but easily extra eyes to watch for threats. Akilina rumbles in Garou, "This will be…enlightening." She looks around, beginning to start to show less…apathy, really, and more interest, more alertness. As the four prowl restlessly, the spider swarm spreads out to watch.

After a time of quiet, marked only by word that the rite has begun over the mind link, Django reports a disturbance in the snow visible on top of the wall… nothing big…. but… some of the snow isn't there that should be. Still in, Aaron heads to check out the disturbance; the spider swarm- well over 1,600 tiny spiders- reports over the mind link that there are disturbances down here on the ground as well. At this, Outlaw's Legacy finds a high spot to sit, his rifle in hand.

As Aaron goes to investigate Aaron notices on the snow… single footsteps appear… and then vanish as if scrubbed out. They pause as he nears them. Blinking slightly he swipes at where they're paused to see if he hits anything- and as Aaron swipes through the air, his clawed hand connects with a thin, wiry girl, who suddenly comes into view. She's in hispo and looks… very odd. After a moment it becomes clear why… she has no ears. Clearly a Black Spiral Dancer, she snaps at Aaron, trying to savage his throat since he's brought himself so close. Luckily, she misses.

Within the same few breaths, Outlaw’s Legacy reports over mind link "Point me to a disturbance" while Akilina follows the others in studying the tiny signs of intruders, finding a second set of footprints herself. Outlaw’s Legacy aims at the footsteps Akilina is stalking and opens fire; just in front of Akilina a second figure appears with a yelp. This one is in crinos, male, with black fur and not one but two tails. Akilina immediately reaches out to claw the, teeth bared but remaining cold and silent while Outlaw’s Legacy shifts glabro. The black-furred crinos tries to dodge aside, but fails to pull away, and thin trails of blood blossom in the wake of Akilina's claws. In retribution he swipes back at Akilina, but seems to have taken greater injury than he thought, his aim skewed as he winces and misses the Silver Fang cub.

As a swarm the spiders move in on the female BSD, then coalescing from many into the form of one impossibly large black widow spider: the Pithus, armed with claws which she lashes out at the female fallen Garou with. The woman actually seems distinctly disconcerted by the swarm of black widow spiders, freezing in horror when they become one extremely large one, only trying to dodge far too late. The female BSD lashes out at the giant spider, but is still thrown off by the sight, and fails to hit. Aaron tears into the fallen female Garou himself, razor sharp claws opening great wounds.

Outlaw’s Legacy ratchets the lever and again shoots the male BSD and the sliver tipped round rips into the fallen shifter. The male BSD staggers, almost falling against Akilina, who eagerly lunges in, seeking to finish the male Spiral; yet she is also off balance because the male BSD dives aside, shedding blood profusely into the snow. Again he tries to slash back but misses.

On the female BSD, the gigantic black widow spider tries to claw the Spiral but fails to hit her- but then the Spiral staggers, losing her footing, an expression of pain spasoming across her features as Outlaw's Legacy switches targets by drawing his pistol and shooting her since the cub seems to have the male BSD under control. Aaron lets loose a mighty howl, dedicating his kill- "For Ma!"- before tearing into the girl with his razor-like claws. Reverting to her native crinos form, the female Spiral’s life leaves her body, becoming very still as her blood stains the snow about her red. Akilina also finishes the male Spiral's crinos body, snarling in triumph as she simply does raw damage with her claws to end its life rather than the more controlled fighting of the others. This BSD, too, stays in death showing it was also a metis. Aaron then bends by the female and…decapitates the head with his claws? Picking it up, he takes the head and shifts down to homid- down being relative as he is still seven feet tall two inches tall, with dark hair, dressed in boots, jeans and a heavily padded tan leather jacket, torc around his neck and a medicine bag, cowboy hat on his head. He ties the trophy of the head to his belt.

While this happens, Outlaw’s Legacy pragmatically pops open his gun, and pulls out the two spent shells. Dropping them into his pocket, and replaces the two fresh rounds and clicks the gun closed. He’s ready again for the next threat the Wyrm wants to give them.
During this moment of quiet Akilina stands over her foe, her face reflecting puzzlement as she looks down at the deceased male BSD. While her expression speaks volumes of some unnamed puzzlement, she does not speak a word to her team-mates.

At that particular moment the earthquake rattles the group, which sends more snow tumbling. The other half of the team give notice they've taken on other spirals, but seem to be handling it. Daniella sends word, warning of burrowing spirals in the aftermath of the earthquake. In response Outlaw’s Legacy puts his head to the ground to listen for sounds of burrowing. The giant black widow spider also takes this in, taking a few steps around in her giant spider form, watching with her eyes before taking the time to shift back down into the swarm of black widow spiders that begin to spread out and look for signs. Team three’s cub crouches down, placing her forepaws against the ground. Her ears flick backwards as a sign of concentration. By this time, though, barring small tremors, all is quiet. The main assault on the house… seems to be over, at least on the ground. From above, though, dead and twisted birds, arrows, and once a throwing knife, litter down from the sky above them.

Deep underground, something is going on, the group can tell with all of their various attentions focused to ensure they are not surprised. Akilina cants her head, closing her eyes- then furrows her furry brow. She shifts Glabro, and murmurs- in an archaic form of what would become Inuit? "They're coming…from below." Outlaw's Legacy stands up in response, shifts to crinos and draws his pistol- just as the tremors' cause breaks the ground's surface: worms… black, armored, and about a meter long….

Aaron’s response is to simply rotate his neck, cracking it, then unties the Spiral’s head and tosses it aside. He shifts to while the spiders all gather in response to this new threat, and shifting back into a giant black widow. Akilina shifts back to, teeth bared, stepping up to the other three. The worms begin to wriggle around the bodies of the BSDs- they seem drawn by the blood- but it's clear as more surface that they won't be distracted long.

Akilina wades into worms after a moment of studying them as they go for the dead BSD bodies. She still looks perplexed, taking on three, working chunks out of their armored hide. Piercing the worm's skin spouts ichor, burning fur on her body, and yet during all of this she just looks more and more baffled- but then she retreats backwards abruptly to Aaron as he gives her an order over pack link. Aaron in lifts his head and a deep rumble and roar of a howl lifts into the air, beginning in his throat and echoing out. He looks to Akilina and nods, and then takes her by her arms and begins twirling similar to that of a discus thrower before he tosses her into the mass of worms. No sooner is she launched but the Fianna Ahroun jumps in after her, rending into any worms that he can get his claws on. Beside him, Akilina is heedless of damage she might incur with such bravado, and exercises all of her Rage, even that recouped by these new foes. She takes out several worms- certainly her share for being merely a cub, and perhaps just a little more!- before she finally runs out of rage-fueled fighting spirit.

Outlaw's Legacy just draws his pistol and starts to fire… except for being crinos he looks every inch the gun fighter, the six gun blazing away at the armored worms, the wind catching his coat, making it flare behind him. Utterly calm he keeps shooting, and then reloading with speed loaders as required, every movement reflecting his well-practiced skill. Also cool, calm, and collected, the giant black widow spider stands back and watches the worms for a few moments, with the patience that only a spider can manage, before moving in. Her movements are careful and measured as she moves in, striking with the front claw of her legs. As she strikes, she takes a step back, before moving in to strike again.

Exhausted, Akilina's crinos form stands amidst a few worm corpses. She is by this time ichor-burned and mildly chewed upon, but overall not in life-threatening danger. Panting for a moment, she then takes in a breath and lets forth a bolstering howl, using her 'rest' moment to also cheer on and embolden her pack mates- because in the end, Silver Fang heritage requires you to not only provide a good example, but also teaches that your mere presence gives others heart when you yourself are fearless.

Aaron grabs up worms and begins to swing them to the side and above his head before striking down with a terrible ferocity of anger and vengeance, heedless of the strikes coming at him. His legs are taking the worst of the attacks by the few remaining worms, but he uses the worms in his hands as weapons to strike at the ones attacking him. In moments he’s decimated his own squirming attackers, and is in about the same state as Akilina. A lupine grin is tossed her way. "Well done cub… I'll speak with Calvin about this being your Right of Passage." Akilina looks at Aaron- then that puzzled look returns to her, settling in deeply. She looks down at the bodies of worms around her and the others, and then shakes her head, responding in Garou only, "…Thank you." Aaron crosses his arms and nods, looking down at the bodies of the worms. "You're welcome."

The giant black widow moves in for other, careful strikes as she finishes her last worms, stopping only once or twice to wince and hiss in pain from the ichor and bites, adding in more hissing and popping sounds of spider-speech, which almost take on a rhythmic, lyrical tune. She looks around at things after the stillness of the defeated monsters sets in; she’s looking a little worse for wear, finally settling down, and lets out a few final, hissing lyrics.

During all of this, Outlaw's Legacy has been busy shooting from a short distance and is unscathed unlike the others. As the last worm dies, he just reloads his gun and polishes his brass, then holsters it to pull reusable metallic bottles of water out of his bag. Water is offered to everyone, and both Akilina and Aaron take a bottle, expressing thanks and drinking deeply. The giant spider dissolves into a swarming mass of tiny skitterlings again, spreading out to resume their duty as well. After this break, they all resume their positions, to wait for the next wave. In this manner the group continues to hold on for the duration of the rite….

Outside the Walls

At first, Nayara and Simae wait in the control room - a bedroom on the top floor of Myra's house. But a few minutes into battle, the word
comes across the packlink, asking scouts to go beyond the walls of the house and garden and try to ascertain the numbers and nature of attackers hidden by the blizzard.

Nayara volunteers to look around in the physical.As Simae heads into the umbra, she seeks out a corner alone and out of sight, assuming her crawlerling form. The swarm of black widow spiders will moves beyond the walls, cold as hell, and finds crevices and cracks to hide in and watch as it tries to locate attackers. After a few, freezing minutes of watchful stillness, a troop of what looks like… marching soldiers?… approaches along the streets towards her. Nayara-the-many scuttles closer, observing the group, who are variously clad in outdoor things - though some look like they've forgotten how to tie fastenings, or zip up jackets. All of them have bare, slimy heads; and the group is formed of around ten to twelve men. They march in perfect… almost one-minded.. unison; with faces that seem near identical.

Nayara begins her report, as she observes the line they take towards Myra's back gate, and back door.

A few moments later, Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} approaches in war form, though he can barely be seen underneath his full ninja garb. Four tails, whiskers, clawed hands, and eyes are all that peek out. He is covered in blades strapped to his body, and carries his moonsilver klaive in hand. A shadow follows Taki.
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} sneaks around, scouting for the slime-heads, reaching into one of his many pouches as he approaches them and pulling out one of Lilly's kaboom specials.

The slime-heads, having produced a battering ram from their midst, start to batter away at the gate. One of them turns as Taki nears, and claps it's hands together. * Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} lobs the grenade as soon as the one spots him, aiming for the center of the battering ram. Slimey-clap-man looks rather startled when all his act produces is… a clap. Nayara's crawling mass shifts a little as if in amusement. Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} 's throw is spot-on, and hits in the center of the battering ram, exploding in a ball of fire. The battering ram, when the smoke clears… reveals itself to be in two pieces. The group too look rather the worse for wear, though they move to resume their union and take half of the ram to try and take down the gate.
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} moves towards them at a dead run, shimmering out of sight as he moves. The black widow awarm scatters away from the fire. Myra, just as Taki fades from view, appears in view. She has a crossbow, and she fires without hesitation at the clapping man. Myra's shot hits home, right in the man's left chest.

Blood explodes from one minion's leg as a huge gash appears, apparently severing an artery. No attacker is visible though. Two slimeheads dive towards Myra as Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} moves invisibly among the slimeheads, the only way of noticing his movement is as they systematically fall with missing limbs or arterial sprays suddenly appearing from new holes in their bodies. Myra keeps going with her crossbow, methodical, almost calm.

Once half of the group are gone, the remainder break and run, trying to hide in the blizzard, and flee into the streets. Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} chases a few down, using throwing knives to slow them down. He leaves a couple, though, since he can't focus on all of them at once. Myra-Curtis shoots one more, but some do get away, vanishing along the snow-clad streets. Giving Taki a wave, Myra begins to follow them as the fox heads back inside.

In the Skies

For those in the air, the battle begins very shortly after Sheepkiller's first howl of defiance from within the Menagerie. Out of the blizzard, shadows swoop.
Koren takes to the air from an upper window, flitting closer to investigate the shadows, whilst Bloody Handed Eagle skims high into the clouds, looking down. Below them, April sits sniping on the roof with Lilith beside her, and beneath him, two teams wait, one by the gates, one in the garden.
Flashes of fire herald the first attack, down by the gate team - and then, higher in the air, another flash of fire comes out from one of the shadows, a wingbeat away from Koren. Koren utters a shrill cawing and dives for the shadow, talons extended for a good raking. BHE continues to circle slowly, as Koren's talons connect with something puffy, spongy, like skin swollen after an injury. Koren finds herself… hanging from it as the thing swoops about in the air wildly, trying to shake her off. She shifts to Rara Avis, and suddenly her situation is reversed, she now the larger, bearing down on the smaller wriggling thing. As they near the ground, it becomes visible as a horribly twisted, misshapen bird, with flaps of swollen, puffy flesh. Koren braces for the impact, angling in hopes to land on top… and then they connect with the frozen ground with a squish.

BHE makes a wider circle as above Koren and her opponent, BHE notices a much much larger shadow. As he descends, he becomes aware of increasing darkness around him and looks up - to see a bird-thing with a giant wingspan above him… directly above him, and reaching out with claws big enough to clench around his waist. BHE pulls his winds in and dives towards the ground. The giant bird thing starts to pull up and break away as BHE enters his dive. When it does, BHE starts to arch upwards, looking to gain height above the creature.

Koren hops off her opponent a bit awkwardly, as she's a curious combination of Bird and Girl, and aims a talony kick to the downed… squishy bird, for good measure. Her foot squishes into the soft swollen mass. Then she turns her attention skywards, apparently ready to repeat the process on more squishies. As five or six more shapes swarm around the house windows, Koren leaps into the air, and goes for the next nearest one, with a shrill caw, when translated into Raven, it's pretty much a "You won't succeed!"
She scatters the group, snagging one in her talons. Shortly, another bloated bird-thing is driven onto the permafrost.

BHE finds himself above, if slightly in front of, the huge bird-thing. He lets out a howl and goes for the thing. There is a blur of rage, and then in a blinding horrific mess the creatures wings come off and BHE returns to gliding gently as the thing screams towards the earth and lands in a thud.

Koren takes to the air again, going for another squisher. This one is very squishy indeed, and heavier. It splats into the ground with a surprised squawk.
Koren squawks right back at it, triumphantly, before taking a moment to take in the surroundings, being sure there's nothing more threatening about. The remaining three bird-things try to mob her, breaking off their assualt on the windows. More aerial acrobatics, and Koren, done squishing the bird things, takes off in a flurry of feathers, to roost nearby in Corvid to watch for more things for squishing.

As the sun sinks over the horizon and colours outside shift to black and grey, Django, Lian Shen, and Freefall take position in the control centre - a bedroom on the top floor of the house near the roof access. Freefall comes umbrally, carrying Django's spirit egg beneath a borrowed shirt and belt, which she takes ten minutes to dedicate. Django is dressed in relaxed male yoga pants (kind of baggy short type things) and a dark blue tshirt. He's set up with the equipment taki's given him and is overseeing the defense teams. Maps are spread out on the double bed, first aid gear sits to hand, and the mindlink sounds in their heads. Above them, April, Ming-Yue and Lilith are on the roof. Waiting, Simae, Nayara and Bogie watch from the windows, ready to scout.

On the table in front of Django, are two or three computer screens linked with a tangle of wires. They show video of the main Menagerie areas and the garden outside.
Django peers over a map and looks back to the computer screens familiarizing himself well with the screens and where they point to in relation to the maps. He watches the rite begin in the Menagerie itself, and aligns the maps with the screens. Lian Shen helps, seeming to have an eye for this. Django smiles brightly to Lian, he seems quite enthusiastic about this work learning as much as he can from Lian and staying awake and focused no doubt in part due to the coffee he's sipping.

The spirit egg sits in the umbra with them…

Lian smiles back to Django, commenting softly, "We should look to the walls… many things will be able to climb them."
Django nods to Lian and switches the monitors to look at the walls and takes another sip. "What kind of things should we reasonably expect?"
"Minions of the centipede… cities are often full of them…. "
Lian points suddenly to one of the screens. "There. Something has disturbed the snow on the wall…"
Django tilts his head and looks at it and then communicates over link to a team thats near to where the wall is that they have possible trouble headed their way.
Shortly, the screen will show battle there, as the team respond. Django will notice something swoop over the wall a few moments later, a shadow in the blizzard.
Django turns from the battle giving it barely a second look making sure that they'll be able to handle it on their own and then turns to the next screen "Aerial, I need Aerial now," he calls over the mindlink, along with an image of where. The roof team repond - they're on it.

Simae notes from the window that the aerial battle has begun, and flings a throwing knife at something that comes a little too close. A little later, she and her companions are sent out to scout the forces beyond the walls.

Django fingers itch at the arm sheeth he has on, but he thanks Simae for the information and passes it on to others, looking back to the screens.Lian lays a calming hand on his shoulder. Django smiles to Lian takes a breath and nods and focuses on the screens looking for any signs of disturbment.

The lights suddenly blink out, the screens die, as there is a massive, deafening roar, and the whole house shudders and jerks. There are crashes and tinkles in the darkness. Django grasps onto the table and takes a deep breath through his nose exhailing through his mouth allowing himself to follow the training that he's been given concerning self control etc. Lian Shen speaks in the darkness, and a guttering ball of flame sputters into life, apparently held in her hand, showing the lurching room and their faces within the darkness. Django eyes open soon after the ball of flame sputters into life he looks at them and his face that was nearly terrified as the house shook has washed over into a calm resolve.

Something slams into the half-open window, shattering glass inwards on them. Django pulls out the knife that's held in place by his arm and stands. Freefall sends images of the Umbral version of the house, images of electrcity spirits running sparking in confusion, and things crowding around the spiritual windows of the house.

There's a sense of her hissing ragefully, crouching defensively over the egg.

Above Django and Lian Shen, the ceiling cracks, showering down plaster on them. In an instant, Lian grabs Django, and takes them both umbral, as a dark figure breaks through the real-world window and Django lifts his arm and turns his face to guard it from the plaster. He aborts a mental question, and looks around their new surroundings. In the umbra, footsteps can be heard coming up the stairs, footsteps and snarls.

Freefall-Archid gives a mighty screech, wings mantled and foreclaws bared, sounding like one m ighty pissed off eagle. <Dragon's Tongue> "Great Lord Sun! See this thing I do this day!"
Lian releases Django, ranging herself beside Freefall, ready. Freefall-Archid moves instinctively to put Django behind her. Django looks between Freefall and Lian and doesnt stop Freefall from putting him behind her - instead he puts the knife away and pulls out throwing daggers and hotsauce gernades.

The window bursts in on them, scattering tiny pattern spiders, and a flood of small bat-like creatures stream in. Almost simulataneously, the door is thrown wide, torn from its hinges as a great looming crinos figure bursts in. Freefall babbles in a steady stream of angry, threatening screeching that is only coherent in some fashion if you know Mokole speech. The batlike things dive straight for Freefall and the egg.

Lian-Shen shifts, becoming an impossibly huge, feathered raven, her feathers … glistening, in the electricity spirit sparks. Django's eyes go wide and starts throwing clay eggs at the bats (but not close enough to hit Freefall). Freefall-Archid bites with her beak at the things, wings mantling to cover the egg and herself from both bats and any residual pepperspray.

Lian turns away from the bat creatures, raising a wing rather as Freefall has done.. and then a flurry of feathers fly out into the stream of flying attackers…. feathers which seem to cut razor-sharp through the things. Freefall-Archid snaps at the bat creatures, hooked beak grabbing and chomping, breaking, and spitting the things out, flinging them to the ground.

Django seems to have a nearly maniacly simple smile upon his lips as he continues to lob clay eggs at the bat things making contact. The things that clay eggs make contact with hiss and squawk in protest and pain, some flying straight into walls or the stream of lethal feathers.

Lian turns as if to mantle the second wing towards the creatures, but the figure which has loomed through the door almost unnoticed snatches at her, and tosses her almost casually into the wall, with a snap of bone and a choked screech.

Django sends a message to anyone that might be close by via the link and specifically to Taki and turns to lob an egg at the big n fuzzy. Above them sounds a great splintering crack of tiles and wood. Django, thrown off by this and shocked by the fuzzy's casual toss of Lian, misses, his throw going wide. The fuzzy ducks the clay egg almost contemptously, and moves towards towards Freefall.

Freefall-Archid screeches again, and lashes out with beak and claw, buffeting the Crinos back with her wings. She scratches and wing-beats the Crinos back a few steps, not doing a lot of damage but at least buying herself some space. The crinos moves back a little, but only gathers itself, into a crouch, ready to spring at Freefall and the egg.
Django dives at the crinos aiming for somewhere along his foot or leg with a throwing dagger which he still had in hand. Freefall-Archid[U] waits for the Crinos to dive…. then suddenly ducks to the ground, rolling flat onto her back as the Crinos rushes her. Her foreclaws tuck the egg close to her, while she reaches out with her hind claws to rip open the Crinos' gut. The crinos springs for Freefall, and lands short of her as his guts are rent open by her hindclaws. He looks down, and very nearly falls flat on his face on his own blood and entrails. He growls ferociously, curling around his middle.

Taki-Koto rushes in with his klaive in hand. He's in his war form, but is mostly covered by classic ninja gear. Only his whiskers, eyes, claws, and tails peek out.
Lian draws herself up against the wall, one wing trailing at a totally unnatural angle.
"We've got incoming, folks," Taki says hastily… "Spirals."

Freefall-Archid reaches up with her beak to rip out the throat of the thing that has half fallen on her. Django turns back to the bat things and starts lobbing more ceramic eggs at them. Taki-Koto starts chucking throwing daggers and eggshell bombs at bat-things.

Freefall-Archid continuously claws and bites at the Crinos, mauling it. With Rage-born swiftness she gets up, the entire time keeping one forearm around the egg protectively. The crinos' growls die as it's throat is ripped out. It claws out at the archid Freefall anyway, almost convulsively. Freefall-Archid hisses as the arm clutching the egg is savaged…but she has two, so the "bad" arm simply hangs and the good one is made to clutch the egg protectively.

Taki-Koto moves in with his klaive to take down the spiral before its' death throes cause her further injury. He slides the moonsilver blade across the spiral's throat, the razor edge slicing its head off.

Django continues to throw eggs at the bat things with a viscious smile playing upon his lips as the spiral dies.
More footsteps pound up the stairs behind them. Lian bats with her good wing at the bat things. Taki-Koto reaches into a pouch at his side and tosses a healing talen at Lian, and one at Rachel, as he moves towards the door. "I'll hold them off."

Freefall-Archid will bites and snaps at the bat things, ignoring her injury and clearly focusing on one single task: keep her charge safe. The talen falls near her, and with a bird-like manipulation she uses a hindclaw to grasp it and activate it, her good arm becoming usable again.

More bats drop before they reach Django or the egg. Freefall-Archid moves backwards and passes the egg to Django, then moves up to join Taki in keeping bats and Spirals off the group.

Lian takes the talen in her beak, and shortly has a crooked but functioning wing.

As Django clutches the egg, the bats suddenly change tactics. When Freefall moves towards Taki, they whirl around him, cuttting him off, and trying to drive him towards the window.
Taki calls out, "Rachel! I have the door. You stay on Django!"

Django takes hold of the egg holding it close to him with his head tucked over the egg he looks to the right to the left and moves to try to find a place in the room where he cant be seen easily. Freefall-Archid dives back to Django, grabbing him in her arms and sheltering with wings. The bats keep coming, trying to drive them both towards the window.

Tak-Koto starts to glow with moonlight which settles into a Samurai-style armor around him formed of glowing moonlight.

The bats drive Freefall and Django to the window edge… Lian lunges forwards, desperately lashing out with razor-sharp feathers at the bats… but the bats keep on driving them… out of the window… of the top floor room….

Freefall-Archid goes over the edge through the broken window, not that such things bother her. It's the first time she's been able to fly in weeks…. Django hugs the egg tight clutching to it for all its woth, a terrified look upon his face. Freefall-Archid[U] flies down to the window, hovering, clearly waiting to grab Django.
"I'll catch you!"

Crying out, "NO!", Taki takes a step towards the others, but then, grimly turns back to meet the approaching BSDs as the first charges in through the door. He meets them head on, blades flashing furiously.

Outside, there's a sudden, bright flash of… sunlight? Django is suddenly clutching egg shards close … in a feathery grasp. The bats all home in on Django-the-raven as if drawn. Django spreads his wings and glides trying to stear towards the ground in a non full out crash sort of way. Freefall-Archid dives for Django, massive foreclaws raised to grab him.

Taki-Koto-LunasArmor draws a deep line across the BSD's waist, the moonsilver weapon slicing through the hard crinos flesh as if it were butter. The BSD looks down at his stomach for a fraction of a second, and then launches for Taki's throat.

Outside, Freefall snatches the raven out of mid-air, something akin to a falcon taking a pigeon- only there is a great deal less damage. He may get bruised a bit though, but at least he is now safely mid-air and not in danger of meeting the ground in an uncontrolled way. For lack of a better idea, FF starts climbing for altitude, but doesn't start making a steep climb yet- she's trying to see what's in the air.

Around Freefall and Django, swarm the bat creatures - though it seems Freefall herself is faster in the air - and several darker, bigger shapes flick in and out of view in the blizzard. One at least, it becomes clear, is a Nezumi using a Nezumi kite, as periodically a high voice calls out 'Wheeeeeeeeeeeee' and something in Chinese.

Freefall-Archid flies higher, trying to get above the battle. She fights for the safety of altitude.

Taki-Koto-LunasArmor hits the floor as the BSD lunges at him, driving his silver blade deep into the BSD's naughty bits, and rolling through the legs of the tumbling body, returning to his feet. The BSD dies, falling to the floor of the wrecked room as Lian reaches the window. The second one looks at Taki's bloodied blade, and flees for it's life.

Taki pauses long enough to think… "Please tell me someone caught Django!" and Freefall sends very agitated confirmation, clearly riled up with the sensation of the hunt, the fight and the chase. Her assent also sends with it the dizzying mental image of great height and thin air. Django too answers, "…yes.. rachel has me.. think Im going to try shifting.. bat things.. must kill bat things.. must die before me…"

Lian glances at Taki, and then hops up into the broken windowframe.

Taki-Koto-LunasArmor laughs at the fleeing BSD, and throws his second mouth dagger after it, aiming for the back of its' knee, whilst outside Freefall screeches angrily, both over packlink and high up midair. <PL>"WILL NOT DIE!"

Django insists, "Bat things must die!" as the BSD tumbles as it's knee goes out under it. Taki runs out the door after it, leaping into the air to stab it with his klaive. He laughs a bit as the BSD parries his attack, and moves for another strike on the downed wyrm minion. The BSD wrenches the knife from his knee holding it ready for when Taki lands on him. Taki gets hit, but the moonlight armor protects him. A sound of breaking glass accompanies the slash, and moonlight flakes off, the glowing samurai armor growing weaker. Taki takes another stab at the BSD, this time going directly for the throat. The spiral's snarling dies away into a gurgle as his throat is stabbed, and his nerveless hand drops Taki's fetish. Taki stabs the BSD in the throat, the blade going right through and out the other side. He retracts the blade and stands, grabbing his other blade. With a proper chirubi flick, he clears the blood from the blades.

Lian launches off the window frame to swoop out under Django and Freefall, commenting mentally, "Look at me, Django. Think that you are as I am to see."
Django-Corvid looks to Lian and concentrates on the shift. It takes some time as he looks at her and imagines himself to be crinos, but he begins to grow in size untill he is a half-avian type figure still in Freefalls clutches.

Freefall-Archid screeches and shakes Django. "Fool-hatchling! Bird-Corax NOT Garou-Warrior-Fighter!"
Django answers, "Bat things, Bat things try to break spirit egg, they will try again."
Lian reminds him, "The spirit egg is gone," as she swoops up to join them, flying awkardly with her crooked wing. Now and then she swerves, to cut into a bat thing with her razor-sharp feathers.
Django protests, "Could try to break other spirit eggs.."
Freefall-Archid[U] seems infuriated with Django, burning with a bright wrath at him. "THIS NOT TIME."
Django-Corvid heaves a mental sigh over the packlink. "Fine.. what do you two want me to do? Time to go back to ops?"

Freefall-Archid[U] finally reaches a height where they can survey the battlefield for a moment without immediate danger, answering, "Look-see-look! What see? Report!"
Lian-RaRaAvis swoops and dives beneath them, warding off any bat-creature that seems to feel the need to come close.
Freefall-Archid seems involved with the activity of keeping herself and her burden in the sky, it's not taxing her yet but it's keeping her too occupied. Periodically a hind claw is slashed at an offending bat critter. She adds, "Tell Taki-fox type-things, numbers, where going now! Where defenders weak!"
Django-Crinos watches over the battle and looks around to see what he can spot.

Below them, Ming Yue and her Nezumi kite can be seen dive-bombing those below, throwing rocks, snow, knives, anything. April sits on the roof of the house, which looks rather the worse for wear now, sniping at attackers below. Several BSDs and banes appear to be fighting in the gardens below. At the other side of the house, a group of slimy-headed … humans? … are marching in towards the house door, with a battering ram, swinging it to slam it in. Finally, a group of three BSDs appear to be digging up part of the garden, digging downwards into the frozen earth with remarkable speed.

Freefall-Archid[U] waits for Django's report, and then sends over packling. "Taki-fox, stay up, go down?"
Taki answers, "Get someone on the battering ram. And send another team to deal with the diggers in the garden."

"Django! Tell me where we fly!" Freefall instructs. She seems to just be waiting on Django to tell her where to take them to do Taki's bidding.
Django-Crinos directs them over to be above the battering ram and sends out a team thats close by to them and then sends a team thats close to the bsd's in the garden to deal with them. Freefall swoops down, adjusting her grip to his forearms so he can also shift homid to speak and direct the teams. She lands them a moment, letting Django arm himself before they take back to the skies, and carry on co-ordinating defences from the skies….

Lilith begins on the roof with April and Ming Yue, ready to join the aerial defence. Armed with her Phoebe's Veil, Monkey Puzzle, and three quivers of arrows (one more ornate than the others) she waits with her hand on the three levels of quivers, bow at the ready for what ever comes, her wings itching to take to the sky.

A blizzard rages beyond and above, and shadows ripple within it, and here and there, gouts of flame. Lilith_Mia pushes off into the blizard useing ears of the bat to see that she needs to see. Here in the sky are several flight-able banes, and two or three balefires. There's also, shortly after Lilith, Ming-Yue using her Nezumi kite; and more fighting going on below. Lilith_Mia pulls bane arrows and starts to shoot. She moves through the air, dodging gouts of fire and blast charms, shooting mercilessly. She draws fresh arrows as needed.

As she reaches for another, a flash of balefire is hurled towards her, but she easily dodges. She moves her hand a fraction, pulling an explosive arrow and firing it at the bale fire. The balefire explodes as the arrow makes contact… and suddenly Lilith is surrounded by a dozen… tiny balefires. She climbs threw the storm, moving away from the bale fires, which dive downwards, away from Lilith. Lilith encounters more flying banes. She starts pulling more bane arrows firing as fast as she can until she is out. More banes drop, speared with arrows. Lilith runs out of banes before she runs out of arrows… coming out high above the house.

Lilith clears the clouds looking around. She can see the extent of the storm over Anchorage… but all is quiet and very very cold. So she drops back down diving into the clouds trying to find more to fight as she circles around and down.

She suddenly becomes aware of something looming close behind her, above her. Wings as wide as her own, but tattered. She spins, pulling an arrow, trying to move away from what ever it is. The thing is incredibly agile, moving with her, shadowing her. Lilith_Mia drops, turning as she drops, trying to get a look at it before she starts to climb again. She sees someone, winged like herself, but a boy, skinny and haggard, with tattered wings.

She climbs for the top of the clouds, checking the boy for taint and then nodding grimly. She gains height faster than him, and pulls an arrow, firing across at him.
The boy tries to dodge by dive-bombing her, clawed hands outstretched, forcing her to dodge him and ruin her shot, even searing pain across her wings with his clawtips as he rakes them across her. Lilith lets herself fall, drawing another arrow and firing upwards at him.

The boy shrieks as he is impaled with the flaming arrow, beating at it and by the look of it, causing himself more damage, swooping dangerously out of control.
Lilith keeps firing - a second arrow hits, a third - until she is forced to right herself and use her wings to keep her from hitting the ground. The boy screams, and then crashes with an ominous snap of bones.

Lilith_Mia winces and snaps her own wings out, valiantly climbing once more so she can at least fall with out hitting the ground while she uses grandmothers touch on her wings. She gets airborne again, and re-enters the fray with the banes.

In Myra's Home

Team Two are assigned to guard the way to the cellar in Myras, the way to the Menagerie itself, and thus, also, the door to the triage hospital area. The area is a corridor with the doors to the cellar and triage hospital, and to the outside world.

Kadlin looks about as she makes sure her shot gun is ready before setting it off to the side against the wall. Kadlin has a kevlar vest over a tanktop but with a shirt over the kevlar as she has her 'cricket' bat on her back still. She removes a handgun at a time, looking one over before the other as she looks to the others in the room.

Daniel_ is wearing practical hard-wearing clothes, with two knives holstered behind his back. He has a beautifully crafted short-barrel shotgun in hand.

WintersRage_H_RC_RP_LA is a gigantic grey and brown wolf glowing faintly silver with extremely sharp teeth and razor sharp claws. Despite her terrifying hispo form, she's still vaguely reassuring and comforting to have around.
Mary-Lou is wearing jeans and a shirt, carrying an axe in one hand, with a knife at her belt. Beside her stands JT, armed with two guns, and two short swords at his waist.

WintersRage_H_RC_RP_LA looks at the members of her team, querying, "Do you all understand me? … and looking at Kadlin.
"Yes ma'am…." answers Mary-Lou, as Daniel quips, "Nope. Not a word."
Winter looks at Daniel and comments, "Silly cliath. There is kinfolk with many guns. Do not know if she speaks wolf."
Kadlin shakes her head.. as she looks at wintersrage
Tenatively, Mary Lou comments over the mindlink… "We do have a mindlink?"
Winter's Rage perks her ears and says, over the mindlink, "We do! Very good."
Kadlin grins towards Winter, and adds, "Now this makes it easier than barks and yips.."
Winter responds, "Very very good. Much easier." and bares her teeth at Kadlin, lolling her tongue a little to make it a friendly expression before she goes on.
"Our job is to defend this place. We are protectors for healers, for menagerie itself. We are the defense for all of our injured, and for the caern itself. We must be strong, be fast, be smart. Our wounded will be coming through here, and runners and messengers, we must not hurt them…But we will destroy all threats who come through, and protect new caern and all of it's healers and warriors. Are there any questions? Also, I am healer. If you are fighting and are injured, do not wait to die, get to me or get into healers room. You are no use dead."

Just as she finishes, Sheepkiller's howl of defiance goes up, and others howl in echo.
Winter bares her teeth and stands ready to gaurd the door, instructing.
"Kadlin, Daniel, both have distance weapons. Shoot things that are higher than my head. Mary lou, how do you fight best?"
Mary answers shyly, "Close… up close…"
Winter moves to the side a bit. "You up here with me."
Mary-Lou moves close to Winter's Rage obediently.
Winter continues, "Kadlin, daniel, range. Anything gets past us, kill it however you can. JT, stand in middle of corridor, ready to cover either way, as you are needed."
Everyone takes position, and Daniel_ swaps out the shells in his double-barrelled shotgun. Kadlin looks over to Daniel, grinning alittle as she looks back out in the corridor.

At first, everything's quiet. Over the mindlink, people are alerted to incoming spirals, weilding balefire; then fomori in a team, ramming one of the gates. Django warns of disturbances over the top of the wall…. Winter bares her teeth cheerfully, ready to fight, keeping her team amped up and ready to fight.

Daniel comments in the silence, "Right now, an extra shotgun would be handy." Winter has no sooner answered, "Ask a runner to bring one," then the back door is slammed open.

Winter doesn't move, but her entire posture changes from passively defending to actively ready to rip stuff up, as a big, bulky man is revealed leaning against the door, having rammed it open. His skin is marked with many badly healed scars, small beady eyes look in on the group. Clawed hands hang by his sides.

Daniel_ raises his shotgun and points it at him, firing, but the slug hits the doorframe, Kadlin looks too the man as she fires her gun at him. Her shot strikes true, and she keeps her shotgun aimed at the man afterwards.

Winter leaps forward, staying low, below the range of the gunfighters, clawing at his legs. The man just grins as Kadlin's shot connects with his chest, and launches a kick at the hispo going for his legs. He kicks Winter aside and moves in, in time for Mary-Lou to leap at him with her axe. Mary Lou misses in her haste, as another spiral enters.

This one is a tall, beautiful woman with raven hair that flows to her buttocks in glorious waves. Her blood-red leather vest is inlaid with beads and feathers dyed black and white. Tight black leather trousers and knee-high boots complete the image. In one hand, a long black, thorned whip writhes and flows around her. She laughs mockingly at them, daring them to approach.

Winter uses the distraction to slash again at the BSD's legs. This time, he looks down too late, yelping in pain. Mary tries again to hack at him, but be bats her aside, his claws raking across her face and shoulder. Winter viciously slashes his legs again, ripping deep gashes in them.

The female spiral points an elegant, long-nailed hand at Kade just as the kinfolks' next shot goes off, staggering back at the impact of the slug.

The male spiral casually dodges Daniel's next shot, and tries to claw at Winter, but misses. Daniel, meanwhile, comes to the attention of the female spiral as she recovers. Daniel gets hit by the writhing, almost alive whip, leaving a large gash in his chest. The whip seems to drink in the blood and laugh maniacally as it draws back.

Winter claws the male spiral more, her teeth bared in a feral grin, consistently attacking his legs even when he makes contact and gashes her flank. At length, he collapses down into a heap.

Daniel grimly reloads the shotgun with silver ammo and fires again. The female spiral staggers as Daniel shoots her, clutching at the burning wound and screeching in rage. JT too aims both shotguns at her, hitting her full on. Kade's shot goes astray, the kinfolk looking for a moment as if she's in terrible agonisinig pain, before relaxing.

As the shots die away, there is a ripple of shadows, barely noticeable amongst the movement, passing from the door along the corridor. JT leaps towards the shadows, dropping his gun to draw a sword.

Winter head butts the woman spiral, dropping her flat and unmoving on the floor, then moves lightning rage garou fast, biting into the neck of the male spiral, and spitting his head across the room. Kade moves quickly over to the woman spiral dropped, unstrapping her altered cricket board as she pulls it around as she has the near sharpen edge/tip of it to her throat and slamming it down against her throat down into the ground.

JT's leap reveals a thin, tall, black-haired man, who falls flat beneath JT… and yet, protruding from JT's back, is seen the point of a silvery blade…. Mary-Lou dives with a scream towards JT and the man, who throws out a hand towards Mary in turn, a gout of fire streaming from his fingers. JT wrenches his body sideways against the impaling blade, rolling onto the arm hurling the flame. As JT's sacrificial roll knocks the fire astray, Mary Lou easily dodges it.

Kade turns away from the woman, looking to where the scream is, and runs to smack the thin man's head with her bat. The man's head snaps to the side on the impact, and then, in a frenzied rage, snaps back. JT wrenches free of the impaling blade and grabs for it as the man grows up to crinos.

Mary-Lou dives back towards the pair, but it becomes almost instantly apparent she simply won't get there in time. Daniel shoots his second silver round into the guy's chest, looking down the length of his smoking barrel grimly. JT wrenches the blade from the frenzied crinos's hand, and then simply stays within the reach of the spasming claws, to drive the silver blade into the stomach of the BSD just as Daniel's shot goes off…

Tangled together, JT falls in homid, and the BSD reverts to lupus. Both lie still.

Mary-Lou lands almost on top of the pair, crashing to the ground and screaming as she reaches out towards JT. Kade breathes heavily, staring down at the still bodies as she reaches down to JT to move to help him if she can.. JT and the lupus are both lie totally still. No breathing, no movement.**

Daniel stares, and swears. Kade looks over to Mary-Lou and to Daniel, saying softly on the mindlink, "He's gone.." Winter moves to try healing, but pauses as her silvery gnosis dies away unused.

Mary-Lou screams again, as Winter shakes her head sadly and goes back to standing by the door, ready to block anything else that comes in. Mary Lou stops screaming then, sitting rocking in place, staring at JT.
Winter says over the mindlink softly, "Mary Lou, please take JT to the triage area, where his body will be safe."
Kade moves to respectfully cross JT's arms over his chest, freeing his hand from the wyrm klaive and looking back to Mary Lou, "He'll have a proper death…Must keep him safe until such is done.."

As ML slowly, slowly stirs herself to move JT; a roar begins, soft at first but rapiding growing in volume… and the whole house begins to shake and rattle and jerk, smashes and cries sounding out. The lights blink out after a second of wild flickering.

The whole group scrabble for balance, Winter digging her claws into the floor. Lightening fast mindlink queries fly, "What's going on now?" "Earthquake, the spirit!" and then all falls still.

Daniel grimly reloads the shotgun, eyes down. Kade puts her bat away, lifts her gun and loads again. Mary Lou gets up from hands and knees, and slowly, slowly lifts JT, going into the triage room.

Through the swinging door, a rather pathetic form hauls itself in… A girl of no more than mid-teens, scrawny and of clear Chinese origins, trails in, clutching a kite nearly twice her own meagre size.

Kade looks to the swinging door, shotgun poorly aimed to what is coming out as she tries to figure waht's going on.

The girl looks up, and in a high-pitched panicky voice; calls something out in Mandarin, dropping the kite. One side of her clothing is scorched away, and half her hair on that side, she's bloodied in various places.
Kade queries, "Anyone understand her… at all?"

A gout of fire blasts in through the door, and the girl screams, and tries to duck it.
Winter directs pack link at the girl "Are you withh us?" … clearly ready to claw her if she isn't.
The girl slams to the ground, mentally replying, "Yes, yes, arghh! Yes!"
Winter shoves the girl behind her gently and gets int he way of the thing throwing fire. "Triage is that door!" The girl goes where she's shoved, and staggers on towards the door.

Nothing seems to be… throwing the fire… but as Winter looks back out, three or four more gouts of flame swoop down on the door.
Winter hastily calls out, "Banes somewhere!"
Kade keeps alert, looking about with the shotgun readied as she moves around slowly. Winter backs away from the door, she looks scared, except to people who are really familiar with lupus, in which case she is poorly faking fear.
Winter instructs mentally, "Attack the fire when it comes into the room. It is all one spirit."

Mary-Lou comes back outside, ranging herself beside Daniel just as four flames spout into the room.
Winter attacks the one nearest her, claws extended. Flames engulf Winter's claws… and then sputter and die… leaving Winter with scorched paws. Winter makes annoyed growly noises and waits for anything else to attack.
Kade fires at one, and it breaks into several small motes of flame, but they seem to find nothing to burn and also die.
Mary Lou shifts to crinos and repeats Winter's trick, whilst Daniel dodges, and then repeats Kade's trick, only this time the flames burn blue as they split, and a silver bullet lands on the floor as it dies away.
All falls quiet, as Winter asks, "Anyone injured?"
Kade shakes her head, and Mary Lou says timidly, "It'll heal…"
Winter glances at Mary Lou, "I do not want any more casualties. Do not play hero."
Mary-Lou holds out her scorched paws to show Winter. She seems to have Master of Fire, for the damage is rapidly healing.
Winter nods to Mary lou and goes back to watching, her own scorched paws don't seem to be bothering her.

And all stays quiet, until a great triumpant howl from below in the Menagerie… and then a quieter howl of mourning.. and then SK's proud howl following it…

In the Triage Hospital
To Be Completed by the other Healers. Injured who were sent this way, not covered are:
Akilina (4agg), Bridget (2agg), Helmar (3agg), Cecelia (6 lethal, unconscious), Calvin (5 lethal), Mary Lou (3agg), Daniel (4agg), Winter (2agg), Lian Shen (4agg, 3 lethal one wing needs broken and reset), Nayara (4 agg)

The triage hospital is set up at Myra's house, with team 2 outside guarding it and the way to the cellar leading to the Menagerie. Beds, camp beds, tables and chairs have been set up around the room, with a great collection of medical equipment and a dish full of healing talens made by various people to hand. The healers stand or sit, rather on edge, fussing with needless preparations or almost mediatively still. Trey and Rhyn wait here, ready to be runners at need, or to boil and fetch water from the kitchen… anything that needs doing.

The first to need their services is actually Simae, who drags herself in after a scouting run outside the walls. She comes in with one shoulder bleeding profusely, and limping heavily. Adrianna_Monroe moves over and helps her to one of the beds, cutting aside cloth to inspect the wounds, and starting to clean them out.

Half-way through the treatment; there is a great roaring sound, a rattle, and a massive earthquake shakes the entire house. Adrianna stops and let the earthquake pass, whilst Simae winces, clutching at the side of the makeshift bed she's sitting on. The lights flicker and then blink out.

When the lights go out, Atka pulls out a flashlight, and queries, "Any candles or lanterns?" As soon as the earth settles, he and Adrianna move to find some, setting them up around the room.

A short while later, April comes into the room, rifle in her arms, at the ready. She comments reassuringly to the healers, "I'm not hurt, I came to help…" just as Adrianna begins to ask her to rest until she's finished with Simae. April adds, "I'm fine, I just came down because the earthquake made the roof unsafe."
Simae nods to Adrianna, testing her now bandaged leg, and with a wave, heads back out to the fray.

Moments later, Rhyn comes along hurriedly, filling a basin with water, and asking for a healer… Almost simultaneously, Myra comes in, carrying a crossbow, bleeding from one side of her head and looking distinctly unsteady.

Adrianna moves to help Myra to a bed. Myra lets her, but waves her aside to answer Rhyn's call. As Adrianna heads out with Rhyn, April moves over, helping Myra lie back and starting to examine the headwound, cleaning it up.

When Adrianna returns, Myra is lying quietly, her wound dressed. The sounds of fighting are drawing closer outside. April slips out with her rifle, moving to guard, as the rest of the healers remain, wincing at the yells and shots.

Adrianna sits by Myra, keeping her talking, and at length coaxing her up into glabro to heal faster.

Two piercing screams ring out outside, and a shot.

Atka looks over, and asks, "Adrianna you want to check that out?"
As Adrianna moves towards the door, Mary-Lou comes to the door of the makeshift hospital shortly afterwards. She looks white as a sheet, and carries in her arms, a still, bloodied, homid form. Recogniseable as JT. Adrianna rushes forwards and helps carry JT to a bed, as Atka rushes over with his bag. Both start checking JT over. Mary Lou simply stands there… looking stunned. Adrianna tries to rescusitate JT, but he continues to lie still. Atka places a hand on Adrianna's shoulder. Looking down at the injuries. JT looks as if his chest was run through with silver, in addition to stomach claw-slashes, and burns on one side.
"I am sorry, it will not help…. the amount of blood lost, and injuries….."
Adrianna shrugs him off, and keeps on trying. "….we can at least try!"

JT does not respond. Atka moves quietly to the door, standing there watchfully. Eventually, Adrianna stops, her hands shaking, and covers JT's body. Mary Lou … simply stands there. Atka takes several deep breathes and then returns.
Adrianna says softly, "May his spirit return quickly to Gaia."

Atka speaks softly, suggesting they will need the space for the injured as the sounds of fighting go on. Finally Mary Lou speaks and moves, shaking her head and moving into Atka's path.

"No. I was told to bring him here. Let him stay, unless more injured come. Let him stay."
Atka looks at her face, and then nods, "Alright."
He moves aside, back to the door, and comments softly, "…Karen will not be happy."

As Atka moves back to the door, there is a flash of fire, a chatter of Mandarin, and then a girl comes to the triage room door. A girl of no more than mid-teens, scrawny and of clear Chinese origins. She trails in, clutching a kite nearly twice her own meagre size. One side of her clothing is scorched away, and half her hair on that side, she's bloodied in various places.
Atka helps her in placing the kite to the side then moves her to a bed, asking, "Adri, you have mother's touch?"
Adrianna nods, and reminding Atka that their place is here, moves to help.

The girl relinquishes the kite from a burnt hand, and lets Adrianna lead her anywhere she wants, whimpering. She is badly burnt and also looks to have been shot a couple of times.

Mary Lou goes back to the door. "I'll go and help." She slips out as Adrianna applies Mother's Touch to the girl. Atka moves to his bag and applies ointments and bindings to the remainder of the girl's injuries.
Adrianna says softly, "Thank you for your help, Atka."
Atka answers, "You're welcome. But I still fear something horrible is still coming."
The smell of scorched fur, and two shots ring out outside. Then things go calm and quiet.

When Atka looks out, he sees four guardians standing facing the door to the gardens, which hangs open, wreathed in smoke. All seem on their feet and all is quiet.

Three howls sound from below them in the Menagerie. The first joyous. The second, softest, mournful. The third, proud and wild. The first howl is simply triumpant success. The second a howl of mourning. The third, speaks of Night Sky-rhya's passing, and not to mourn but to celebrate her life.

Atka smiles, heading outside to begin cleansing. Adrianna's lip quivers as she listens, and she draws deep breaths.

Atka-Soaring-Eagle raises his hands up in the air as he chants lowly in an old Inuit language as he raises his face up to the the sky. He turns about some as he chants rhythmicly util he has completed a circle around the back yard.

Taki comes in a few hours after sunrise. He looks pale, with dark circles under his eyes. His shoulders have light burns on them. He coughs hoarsely and sits down.

"Um, I caught a cold from a fomori. Mother's Touch and clearwater aren't helping."

Under the Caern
Standing in the cavern beneath the caern heart, are Team 5. Lynnea, Calvin, Garret, Celicia and Helmar stand among the hot springs, looking for any signs of incursion in the muggy air.

Cecilia Swims-in-Darkness sniffs the air in Crinos form, watchful for the Wyrm. Lynnea's huge Crinos form in armour towers above the homids, ready for battle, a huge shining axe in her hand. Helmar stands armoured among the garou, his bow oiled against the humidity and a halberd close to hand. Garrett stands ready, one hand on his sword. Calvin shifts to Crinos, spear in one hand, shield in his other. The chain of his armour chinks as he moves.

Via the mind link, Lynnea speaks to the others "I am Lynnea Olafsdottir, Laughter of Loki, Adren Get Ragabash, Warleader and Beta of St Marys, Alpha of the Coyote pack. We have a few minutes before it's time for us to get going, so please introduce yourselves, tell me what you're best able to do in a fight, and get used to doing what I say, yeah? Good."

Cecilia speaks next "I am Cecelia Swims in Darkness Fostern Ragabash born in shame … Child of Gaia."

"I am Garrett Elliot, Sings the Good Tale, Weeps for the Past, Homid Fostern Galliard, Child of Gaia and Assistant Keeper of the Land. I'm good at defence and healing." says Garrett.

Water drips from the ceiling into one of the pools, causing a loud plink that echoes round the cavern

"Cecilia, do you heal? Garrett, what kind of defense? Up close, far away? Claws, guns, sharp things?"

"I fight heal well can." pipes up Cecilia. "Good scout."

"Calvin of the Long Arm, Fostern Ahroun Fianna, Den Parent at Leaping Stag, Keeper of the Gae Bolg." booms Calvin

"I am Helmar 'Shield Smasher' Elricksson, kin to the Get of Fenris, I am equally good at melee, archery, and brawling.. I prefer the direct approach but can do archery cover if needed."

"Good answer." Lynnea nods to Helmar then looks at Calvin and Garrett. "Talk fast - how do you fight?"

"Far away, I can jam weapons." Garrett touches his sword.

Calvin gestures broadly with his spear "Got a spear, Can throw it for ranged, use it up close, call the lightning sometimes."

Lynnea nods and walks up to each of them with a pot of what appears to be blood. Dipping her fingers into it, she smears runes onto each person's forehead, including her own. "Alright. Make sure bows are oiled and put away your guns. The humidity will warp the barrels with a few shots."

"I'm on the door, everyone else spread out and don't ignore the centre of the room. We are guarding mostly from attacks to the caern heart from below." Lynnea takes a position near the door.

Calvin warns "Try to avoid being in the water, don't want someone getting accidentally electrocuted."

Water drips slowly off a stalactite hitting the pool below with an audible splash.

"Don't throw lightning, we'll all get electrocuted. Water's dripping constantly, we'll be wet. Remember we're all mind-linked. Do not shoot at someone in the mindlink, I will tear your head off." Lynnea grins at Calvin

"For natural lightning, sure. This ain't natural." Calvin grins.

"That's fine then. Let's be very clear… we may be attacked from the door. However, good chance we'll get the tunnellers. Wyrms, Metis who can burrow, shit like that. The walls and floor are not safety points. The humidity in here is going to affect your vision and your depth perception."

"I can burrow and hide." says Cecilia.

A puddle of red-brownish mud on the floor rises up from the floor and becomes a gorgeous young girl. Astoundingly attractive, her hair is perfect in it's Wyld beauty and her dress is sublime. She looks at you all with lust and smiles, licking her lips savagely. "Why hello there…" She looks about 15.

Helmar whips an arrow out of its quiver and draws back the bow, levelling it at the girl. Over the mindlink he asks "Permission to fire?"

Calvin and Cecilia sniff deeply, recognising the taint of Wyrm around them. Calvin growls. "Fire."

The girl screams, opening her mouth wider than seems possible, her entire being shaking with the gutteral scream that vibrates inside each of the defenders, but it doesn't overtly affect anyone.

Cecilia barks out "Hold" even as Helmar fires at her, the arrow embedding itself into her side. The scream loses its rage and becomes one of pain and anguish, the girl looks every bit a vulnerable young girl and tears weep from her eyes.

Calvin's spear flies across the cavern with a snarl and finds its new home in the girl's chest. Helmar's second arrow slams into her heart even as Lynnea decapitates her. The head rolls away from her body, tears still weeping from her eyes. The body hits the ground, broken and mutilated, her dress soaked with blood.

A small tremor shakes the floor slightly, a rumble in the earth more than anything. The girls' head splashes into a pool and sinks slowly. Calvin rips his spear out of the girls body in a spray of blood and gore, flicking off the worst of it aggressively and looks around for more enemies.

A feral looking man pulls himself out of a nearby pool. A berserk grin that stretches across his face reveals sharp canine-like fangs. Roaring in frenzy, he charges Calvin. Extending claws that look oddly familiar to the Garou from his fingertips, he rakes them towards Calvin's face only to miss as Calvin moves back slightly.

Lynnea reaches forward, amused, and taps the feral guy on the shoulder, causing him to fall to the ground, laughing hysterically. Garrett stares at the guy, and he freezes, paralysed and helpless to stop Lynnea's descending axe from decapitating him. Flashing in the light, the silver axe races downwards and splits the stone beneath his neck in two from the force of the blow.

Meanwhile, splashes emanate from several pools. Lynnea yanks her axe from the ground and turns to the rippling pools. "COME OUT AND FIGHT, BITCHES!" she roars. Two figures rush in with supernatural speed, one charging Lynnea, the other Garrett. Both of them look as feral as the one they just put down with berserk, toothy grins and sharp claws.

The one charging Lynnea dodges an arrow shot by Helmar, only to end up in the gleeful path of Lynnea's axe. The axe buries itself in its shoulder and Lynnea yanks it out with a grin.

Garrett sidesteps the other one and its raking claws miss him, glancing off of his armour.

While they fight, a third figure ponderously pulls itself from another pool. Fat and bloated, his skin looks hard and rigid with weeping sores occasionally spewing out rank yellow pus.Bloated and foul, he staggers towards you, his mouth flapping open. You can read the hunger in his eyes, the insatiable gluttony that drives him on.

Calvin raises his spear and lightning arcs from it to the fat man, crackling around him and burning into his skin, but he seems unaffected by the injuries. The lightning sparks out from the main bolt, stretching across the room through the humidity. Fur and hair raises and a spark of lightning arcs around Cecilia briefly. Another spark illuminates a human-esque form in the darkness.

Calvin snarls, the scent of burnt ozone emerging from the lightning's passage through the cavern. Smoke tendrils roll off of Calvin and his eyes glow briefly, sparking in the dim light.

Cecilia investigates the briefly illuminated figure, shadows blurring around her as she moves towards it, hiding her from view.

Lynnea smashes her axe downwards into the feral creature attacking her, splitting it's skull in twain. It slumps lifeless to the floor.

Snarling at the fat man, Calvin glares at him and the fat man freezes briefly, fear shining in its eyes. A thick, viscous substance exudes itself from every single one of its pores, covering it in a tar-like armour. It continues moving forwards, but in a very slow waddle.

Garrett pulls out his sword and slashes open the belly of the feral he's fighting. It swings back with deadly claws, but Garrett's quick sidesteps see him to safety again.

A large pool starts steaming visibly, almost boiling as a pair of chitinous horns breaks the water. They're swiftly followed by the rest of the creature. Embellished with chitinous armour plates, it has the head and torso of a man with the body of a scorpion beneath. It's arms end in sharp, wicked scorpion claws and a long, armoured and spiked tail swings behind it. It roars proudly.

Calvin falls to the ground with a cry of agony, clutching his head with one hand in a white-knuckled grip on his spear. Lynnea shouts over the mind link "Get to the healers if you have to!" while Helmar fires an arrow at the fat man. The arrow sails across the cavern and sticks to it's tarry covering, sinking into the viscous layers.

One side of the cavern shakes, crumbling into itself - the rocks and earth that make up the wall being drawn further in, creating a tunnel… a tunnel lined with crystalline teeth that's large to swallow a Crinos with ease.

Lynnea roars in rage and charges the thunderwyrm, her shining axe cleaving into the armoured flesh. With lightning speed, her axe flashes in and out of it's flesh, weaving between the many barbed crystalline teeth. The teeth grate against her skin, tearing at it as she slams the axe into it. "This is for Selig, you bastard!" she screams, unconcerned at the rent flesh of her arms.

The scorpion-creature picks up Helmar in one claw and squeezes, the sharp edges cutting though the armour and into Helmar's abdomen. Grinning, the scorpion squeezes tighter as Helmar cries out.

Garrett's sword flashes, blocking the feral creature's arm, but it's other arm tears at his side, slicing out a sizable piece.

Helmar's cry becomes a growl of rage and anger, and he shifts, bones popping and flesh distorting, ripping out of his armour - the torn pieces falling to the floor. The force of the shift opens the scorpion claw and Helmar drops to the floor roaring in defiance at the Scorpion.

An earthquake rips through the cavern, causing rocks to fall from the ceiling. A stalactite crashes to the ground near Calvin, ramming into the floor with deadly force. The wall around the thunderwyrm crumbles and cracks, compressing around the wyrm-creature and seizing it in place.

Meanwhile, Cecilia stalks the other figure she'd seen. It appeared to have gone invisible itself and so she stalked it's scent, tracking it's slow path through the cavern which led her away from the group. Agony arced through her mind as a blast of mental energy over came her and she froze, barely keeping herself from collapsing. The fumbling touch of a spry young man finds her and grabs her skin, the fevered flesh burning from within. A flush of heat runs through Cecilia and then the figure darts away, invisible again.

Lynnea, almost frenzied, leaps upon the thunderwyrm again, tearing at the sparse section of it that extends from the wall. Its teeth tear at her flesh, but the injuries heal within seconds and her attacks are quickly decimating it. Her axe darts in and out, breaking teeth and rending flesh.

Helmar leaps at the scorpion-creature, latching on to its neck with his jaws. It responds by spewing up a fiery, burning mix of bile and acid which coats Helmar's entire body, dissolving fur and burning flesh. Howling in pain, Helmar redoubles his assault on the scorpion's neck.

The feral one attacks Garrett again, but his sword guards well against the attack, biting into it's arm and breaking bone.

Calvin cries out in rage, breaking out of his paralysis. He roars forward in Crinos, leaping onto the scorpion's tail and stabbing at its exposed back, his spear finding its way between its armoured plating. The scorpion roars in rage, throwing Helmar to the ground and thrashing its tail - trying to shake Calvin off.

Helmar skids to halt near Garrett just as Garrett decapitates the feral attacking him with one fell blow - the head bounces and rolls up next to Helmar.

Lynnea roars in triumph, practically dancing on the thunderwyrm's corpse as another quake surges through the room, knocking everyone bar the scorpion-man (and Calvin on his tail) to the floor.

Cecilia shakes off the paralysis and hunts down her prey. They also hit the floor and stumble badly getting up. Rushing forwards, she tears into them. A burning heat ripples through her claws and through her body, but the body collapses beneath her.

Calvin continues to stab the scorpion with his spear, lancing it into the soft flesh of the human torso. Black blood spews from beneath the armoured plates, staining the spear black. The Scorpion lashes out with its tail, crushing Calvin against the ground. Helmar gets up roaring, lashing out at the Scorpion with fang and claw, ripping the chitinous plates from its chest. Garrett spits it on his sword, drawing out black blood.

Lynnea charges the fat man, lashing out with the axe again and again. The wounds inflicted are devastating, and it continues attempting to get back off of the floor.

The scorpion sags, then rallies, roaring with Rage! Calvin gets up, and leaps at the scorpion again, driving his spear into its back. The tail sweeps round, knocking Calvin to the floor. Helmar's neck is caught in one claw while Garrett's sword is caught in the other.

Lynnea continues chopping at it with her axe, striking it four more times. On her fourth stroke, the axe sticks and gets wrenched out of her hands. Despite the number of wounds, it's still continuing like nothing happened.

Cecilia continues scouting invisibly. Her nose tells her there's at least one more.

Calvin gets up and rushes forward, grabbing his spear, wrenching it out of the armoured flesh. Helmar grabs its claw and forces it open, breaking the chitinous casing. In response, it bellows and gores him on its horns messily. Garrett twists his sword out of the monster's grip and hacks at its arm, half-severing it. A second Rage-filled strike severs the arm, and Garrett is rewarded with having vomited acid and bile drench him, burning his bare skin.

The fat man gets to his feet, and Lynnea rewards him with incendiary shells that set him alight. Tossing the useless gun aside, she moves forward and touches him, sending him to the floor in a fit of laughter, but dragging her along as well - stuck to his tarry coating.

The spearhead erupts from the throat of the scorpion, Calvin stood on the back of the creature holding the shaft of the spear. Helmar slams down on the horns and they break off, dropping him to the floor as Garrett impales the scorpion's heart with his sword. Sagging, the scorpion-thing collapses to the floor.

Lynnea wrenches herself and her axe from the burning fat man before shoving a clearwater talen down his throat. It splutters and dies pitifully.

Calvin leaps off the dying scorpion corpse and headbutts Helmar with a grin. Helmar pulls out the chitinous horns stuck in him and headbutts him back, howling in savage glory. Together they howl defiantly as Garrett becomes paralysed with pain.

Abruptly a second quake hits, knocking everyone to the floor again. A blurred figure falls to the ground, staggers up as a spry young man and dashes towards the exit. Calvin throws his spear and it embeds into a wall without striking anyone. Cecilia stumbles to the floor unconscious with the quake.

Lynnea looks the others over and sends them all up to the triage room for healing. Staggering towards the healing room with Cecilia in Garrett's arms, they leave Lynnea to guard the cavern in their absence.

Underground Corridor
Taki comes across a damp trail underground with wyrm-stink on it. Following it invisibly, he tracks it. The tracks indicates it's human-form and not moving quickly. They're leading in the direction of the Caern Heart, or out.

The scent grows stronger, closer. Suddenly it ends. Four feet away from Taki, the trail stops.

Reaching into a pouch, Taki pulls out and hurls baby powder in front of him, stepping back and to the left as he does so. Ever so briefly, the powder highlights a slight, human form before disappearing.

Smiling to himself, Taki tosses an eggshell bomb full of nice and thickly reduced scotch bonnet juices at the head of the figure, then dives into a roll towards it.

It claws at its face, wiping the gunk off and the actions cause a spry dark-haired young man to fade into view.

Taki slices him across the stomach with his moonsilvr klaive, gutting him like a fish. A deep line of blood and viscera blossoms behind Taki's blade.

Lunging forward, the guy grabs Taki roughly, the heat of his skin passing through Taki and making him flush slightly. Reversing the grab with Aikido, Taki secures him in a wrist lock and twists him around.

Torqueing the wrist, Taki tears the guys ligaments and popping out the joints before slicing his throat with the klaive, cleaving the head off in one clean stroke.

Allowing the Moondance to fade, Taki flicks the double-blade in a swift Chirubi, clearing it of the blood.

Taki coughs, shakes his head to clear it and walks away - leaving the body for the clean-up crews.

Under the Caern Heart again
Mere minutes after the quake dies away, Zuri steps on the floor just as it cracks open. A portion of floor collapses away, taking Zuri with it. Those near the hole can hear splashes and thumps from below.

Zuri ends up sitting in a pool in a hot pool, in a cavern beneath the caern heart. Looking up, she can see the light from the caern heart room above her. Fallen rubble surrounds her and the air is humid and muggy.

Zuri shifts to Sokto, sniffing the air carefully. Picking up a trail, she slips forward quietly, becoming invisible as she walks through the mist. A scuff of feet attracts her attention, but so does a figure approaching from the other end of the cavern.

Lynnea approaches the crash site in Crinos, cradling her giant silver axe. Looking around at the strewn rubble. She too notes the trail and follows the scent further into the mist.

Further along, they hear scuffling feet and a girlish giggle. Speaking slowly in English, Lynnea says "I know you're there. You might as well show yourself. You've lost this game of hide and seek."

"You know, you have really nasty thoughts. Really not nice at all." She giggles girlishly

"I don't get paid to be nice" Lynnea replies.

A girl who looks to be about 15, in jeans and a tanktop emerges from the shadows. She looks beautiful. Lynnea swings her axe into her and through her as she dissolves into a giggling red-brown liquid that collapses to the floor after Lynnea's axe shears right through it.

"Dammit I hate it when they do that. Fucking Fomori." The puddles giggles and moves off to one side as Lynnea pulls a gun out and starts shooting at it. The round hits, exploding in a gout of flame, and the puddle moves away much faster.

"Yes! Fire! Suck it, puddly thing!"

Zuri, still invisible, shifts up to Crinos.

Lynnea fires again, and another gout of flames erupts in the middle of the puddle as two grizzled, feral men with fangs and claws charge at Lynnea from both sides.

Zuri appears in front of one and it pulls up short of Lynnea and rakes Zuri with his claws. The other bites into Lynnea's arm and savages it while choking on her toxic blood. Their speed is Rage-enhanced and they both attack again, one biting into Lynnea's arm again, but barely scratching her side while the other opens up Zuri's belly but fails to bite her.

Lynnea swings her axe, opening up a brutal looking gash even as her own wounds heal. Zuri continues to evade the other fomori's strikes.

In return for the axe blow, the fomori gets in two swipes at Lynnea's side, opening it viciously, but the other fomori can't touch Zuri.

Meanwhile, the puddle, still burning, moves away slowly. Lynnea's axe cuts the top of the fomori's head off, sending it spinning away with a gruesome spray of brains and blood. Turning to the other one, she moves in quickly and brings her axe smashing into the side of it.

Zuri bolts away from the fight - trying to stop the puddle from escaping, while the feral fomori claws at Lynnea ineffectually.

The puddle reforms into the girl, burning with a chemical flame, and stares into Zuri's eyes, causing her to freeze in terror as the true horrors of the Wyrm were revealed to her.

The feral fomori attacks Lynnea with full force, digging it's claws into her - but failing to get a grip with its teeth. Unfortunately for it, this just gives Lynnea better chance to slam the axe into its ribcage, crushing the bones, severing the spine and shredding its lungs.

Standing, the girl screams - a long guttural scream that vibrates through your entire body and shakes your soul. Lynnea becomes overcome with terror and is forced to flee and Zuri's paralysed form is stuck there, ears bleeding from the sheer proximity.

She dives into the nearest pool, sinking beneath the surface. She doesn't come rise again.

After a few moments, Lynnea returns with her ears plugged with cloth and Zuri's paralysis wears off. "I hate it when that happens" announces Lynnea.

Zuri pokes around in the pool, and nods when nothing resurfaces before shifting down to Homid, holding her stomach closed.

"Do you need to go to triage?" asks Lynnea, completely uninjured despite having taken many wounds.

"No. Back to the rite. I fell through the floor."

Lynnea nods. "Need a boost?" Zuri nods and they go back to where the hole is. Lynnea lifts up Zuri easily and she scrambles back through the hole.

Zuri climbs back out of the hole, somewhat torn and ragged with vicious claw marks in her chest and across her stomach, but still okay. She waits a moment, catching her breath and rejoins the rite.

In the Caern Heart of Sky's Hope

Night Sky rises to her feet from where she has waited against the wall, as the ritualists all gather as the sun sets. Dances_With_Death moves to stand near Night Sky, leaning heavily on his walking staff. Minds-the-Gap takes her place, her own cane laid aside at the edge of the rite just behind her. Hidden_Fortune is a black wolf with yellow eyes padding silently in to the room to take a place in the circle. Kayyla approaches in Crinos, taking Night Sky's other side. She is wearing…well, a kevlar flak jacket, of all things, and tight-fitting army BDUs. Over it is a more traditional buckskin vest and leggings, dangling with feathers and beads and toher small tokens that must mean something to her. Strapped on is her rifle,but it is carefully close to her body and does not give her movement problems. Her metallic arm glistens, clearly keep in her from even blending in with normal company. Eshe_O`Finn takes her place, her hair pulled away from her face in hundreds of tiny braids; green eyes dark and wearing a skirt and tunic top. Lilly stands up and helps guide Daiyu Ning into her position. Daiyu-Ning is clad in a beautiful silk robe, though beneath can be glimpsed black leggings and blouse as she moves. Skye stands, waiting, ever alert and ready for the que. She is dressed in earth browns, with tiny little brass bells here and there hidden on loops or where ever they seem to be able to be tucked away unintrusively. Pacal moves to help, taking a place in the ring nervously.

Kalika comes dressed in blindingly white egyptian ceremonial robes, her feet bare, wearing simple, egyptian style, silver jewelry showing each of the moon's phases, her long black hair severely pulled out of her face in an elaborate braid, secured at the end with white linen strips holding crescent moon charms. By contrast, Heidi is dressed simply in what appears to be plain dark brown leather armor, though at a closer look, there are glyphs burned, then rubbed with blood, into it, honoring spirits of war and wisdom, plus Luna, each of the tribal totems, each of the fera, and the glpyh for unity. Almost every inch of her exposed skin glows faintly silver, where there are scars, her left leg blazes a brighter version of the light of her lesser scars. Heidi stands straight and strong as though it was never damaged. Zuri stands at her side, quiet, composed, watchful. Nuo Lien completes the circle, a plain, scarred-faced woman in loose cream robes, clearly Chinese in ancestry.

Freefall too gathers with them, but just before they begin, Lian Shen comes in, and speaks with Night Sky, a moment later Freefall too does. The pair vanish into the umbra, leaving the others to begin.

The group are gathered around the pillar-like heartstone which rises from the floor to the ceiling of the room. It shimmers with metallic and mica swirls in the light of the glowing wall stones.

Sheepkiller stands off to the side, in Hispo, a massive monster of a wolf who is clearly trying to not be interested in the ritual that is about to take place but…well, Ragabash are curious creatures.Ares moves to kneel on one side of the entrance to the ritual area, and slips his hood back. He closes his eyes, and seems to meditate, just serenly sitting there. Hermes moves and does the same on the oppisite side of the entrance, again calm and serene. Hermes is a tall very attractinve man with long black hair in a thick braid. He is dressed in full leather sith robes, including the hood, and knee high boots. From his belt hangs a lightsaber. (BF PB 2) Ares is an identical twin to his brother, right down to the sci-fi weapon on his belt.

Lilly steps out of the circle for a bit once the defenders are in place. She pulls an origami paper maze out of her pocket and blows on it, then sets it down on the far side of the room, away from the entrance. She then returns to her spot.

To begin, what takes place is a rite of cleansing; on the area and the people involved. Then, with the briefest pause for the use of gnosis talens and a deep breath, Night Sky lifts her head, and looses a high, pure howl, signalling the start of the rite of caern building. Earlier in the afternoon, she has talked them all through the chants and dances of this rite, and now, all is wordless movement and readiness. Night Sky enters the rite with perfect faith in every one of the participants clear. The first faint shiver of gnosis drawn in can be felt by everyone at the opening howl.

Minds begins the chant as Night Sky's howl dies away, calling, luring, her voice compelling. Night Sky joins in, so does Daiyu, and they take the first steps of the dance. Dances_With_Death joins in the dance and the chant. Despite his mobility issues, he's actually quite an excellent dancer. Kayyla joins in with the chants, sing-songing almost more like a Galliard's classical recanting of ancient tales rather than in the melodic artful ways of the others. Every few steps she takes in the dance she draws a Garou glyph in midair, appropriate to that part of the chant- honor, glory, sacred places, it varies. Pacal dances and move as he has been told.. stumbling from nerviousness a few times. Eshe_O‘Finn joints the Chant, an odd accent comng out as she chants in a mix of Irish, Greek and Middle Eastern tongues. She moves with everyone, as graceful as a cat. Skye is familliar with dancing, as it’s part of her heritage. She joins in on que, with the chanting, embracing that which her ancestors have done for centuries. Hidden_Fortune joins in the chant and dances, a fine voice from his sleek wolf form. Lilly doesn't dance very well, but her voice has a truly angelic quality as it blends in with the other voices of the chanting. Daiyumoves with the perfect grace of a sinuous dragon, though her chant is plain compared to the others. She dances with her eyes closed, but nonetheless perfectly in rhythm.

Minds steps aside from the dance after the first summoning chant shifts to the next, seamlessly crouching by a drum she has laid beside the circle, and taking up a complex beat to guide the dance and chant. Kalika's eerie voice keeps time with everyone throughout the chant, her slight, fragile, build standing strong for the entirety of the rite.

Hidden_Fortune stares at Night Sky while he dances, eyes locked as his eloquent voice continues singing. And Night-Sky suddenly staggers in the dance, her body shaking and twitching, missing a step, her howl dying away.

Dances_With_Death steps up to Night Sky, supporting her and helping her resume the dance, and picking up the howl for her, even as Hidden_Fortune shifts up to Hispo and barrels his way over to Night Sky too. Sheepkiller rushes to Night Sky's side, and begins to mimic NS's movements, moving beside her on the opposite side of Dances so she has support now from both sides. The others in the room maintain the chant and dance, some like Eshe moving almost as if they were now within a mediatitive trance.

After a few moments, Night-Sky recovers, somewhat, though she leans against the support of the other wolves, and occasaionally still twitches. Shakily, her howl rises alongside Dances' again.

Outside, there is a brief commotion, as four Spirals make it down to the entrance of the room, to where the twins wait. Ares leaps to his feet at the same time as his brother, glowing lightsaber blade humming to life. He wields a red blade. He spins, becoming blurringly fast as he cuts one down. Hermes snaps on his own saber, the blade a rich violet as he leaps straight up, and comes down slicing a BSD in half lengthwise. He then soins and thows the blade at one of the last two, the spining blade of death slicing him down, the blade flying back to his hand. Ares faces the last one and merely gestures, and a tremendous force squashes the last of the fallen werewolves against the wall… well that is an icky mess.

Sheepkiller-Hispo suddenly whirls away from Night Sky, latching onto Hidden_Fortune with vicious intent. Dances_With_Death continues to support Night Sky, letting Sheepkiller deal with the apparent threat. Hidden_Fortune is stopped by SK, glares at her and shifts to Crinos. Hidden_Fortune swipes at SK with his claws, tearing at her chest.

Night-Sky strengthens her howl and keeps up the dance, swaying occasionally against Dances with Death, but missing no more of the rite. The heartstone mica begins to sparkle more brightly even as the fight takes place on the edge of the rite.

Sheepkiller-Hispo dives into the hidden threat, uttering a vicious howl and then turns into a blur of fur, fangs, and snarls. Hidden_Fortune stomps the ground, and barks taunts at SK, his skin going hard and scaly as SK rips into it. His own claws rips into her and they tumble in their whirling blur. Sheepkiller-Hispo dives, bites, and locks onto the other wolf's throat. Her jaws begins to flicker with pale fire. Hidden_Fortune writhes under her, clawing savagely at her belly. Sheepkiller-Hispo just lets the wounds fuel her Rage. Even after the Crinos's rage-driven fighting has scored deep wounds across her soft underbelly, she is still locked into his throat and bleeding him out. Hidden_Fortune thrashes beneath her, Rage clearing fading but still determined to finish her with his last blows. Sheepkiller-Hispo practically is tripping over her own falling-out intestines, before finally shaking him one last time, jaws coming clear of his throat as it rips out. Hidden_Fortune slumps back to the floor with a dull thump, broken sores on his skin oozing as he shifts back to a ragged and torn black wolf, his yellow eyes dim and dark.

Sheepkiller-Hispo picks up the disgusting lupine form and carries it far enough away from teh circle that its presence won't foul the rite. Then she barks at one of the runners to bring her water, directing them to pour it over herself and the body. Rhyn hurries off, returning with a basin in her hands, and trailed by Adrianna Munroe. Hermes of the twins also moves from the door, leaving Ares to guard.

Rhyn casts the water over SK and the dead wolf, and Sheepkiller barks them to stay away a moment, then begins to glow. Her eyes flicker with a sort of serpentine gaze for a moment, and anybody familiar with spirits' charms will know a cleanse the blight has gone off. Then SK beckons them to come do their work, entirely willing to be healed, seeing as how she has ropes of things never meant to see the light of day slipping out of her midsection right now. For some time, as the rite goes on, Adrianna works to replace the intenstines and so on back where they are meant to go, her hands sure and her face intent. When she is finally done, Hermes sets a glowing hand over the stomach wounds, causing them to close. Sheepkiller clearly does NOT like the homid man, strange as he is, to touch her, but suffers hte touch so her overall suffering is less. She actually chuffs a reluctant thank you in his direction, then resumes her place on the bare side of NS, licking the old wolf's cheek ruff once in a reassuring manner. Who it's meant to reassure- SK or NS- is up to debate.

Just moments after SK resumes her place, Hermes his, and Adrianna removes the dead lupus body… there is a tiny crunch, and a sudden roaring sound from all around them.

Eshe_O‘Finn dose not falter and keeps dancing and chanting though her eyes look around. Dances_With_Death glances around too, but doesn’t falter in his step or his chanting. Sheepkiller-Hispo removes herself from Night Sky's side again briefly, looking around for the newest threat and baring her teeth, which begin to glow.

Suddenly everything is moving, jerking, anything loose scattering across the floor, the bells on Skye's dress and charms on Kayyla's clothing ringing eerily over the roar. A massive earthquake shakes the room, threatening to throw them all from their feet.

Dances_With_Death helps Nightsky stay standing. Minds, where she crouches drumming, keeps up her beat, clutching her drum close to achieve it. Daiyu shifts forms, becoming a glorious black-and-green dragon with rainbow shimmers to her, and folded wings, maintaining her balance perfectly in this sinuous form, and continuing the chant in a… perfect homid voice.

Sheepkiller-Hispo stares at the dragon with bared teeth, but when it doesn't attack, she forces discipline on herself even though clearly every fiber of her being says that this thing ought to be destroyed, it's the visage of hte Wyrm itself. She resumes looking for the source of the roar, widening her stance to deal with the shaking ground. Eshe_O`Finn seems to float above the floor as she keeps moving her voice clear and bright her accent strong as it is seems to get a bit thicker her eyes half-closed looking around. Kayyla stumbles with the shaking, but falling to all fours is just turned into a smooth transition to four-footed Crinos dancing rather than upright…

And the rite continues on, as the quake dies away.

Mere minutes after the quake dies away, Zuri steps on the floor just as it cracks open. A portion of floor collapses away, taking Zuri with it. Those near the hole can hear splashes and thumps from below.

After a few more minutes, Zuri climbs back out of the hole, somewhat torn and ragged with vicious claw marks in her chest and across her stomach, but still okay. She waits a moment, catching her breath and rejoins the rite.

The full rite takes nine hours in the end to complete, with small tremors running through the place now and then. The chanting and dancing go on, and on and on.. with shifts now and then, signalled by Night Sky's howls and Minds' altering drum beats. Kalika's eerie voice follows strongly, almost in descant over Night Sky's howls, and Heidi's strong, harsh voice chanting steadily, never wavering. Zuri dances with abandon even after hours, quicksilver smooth and fast. Nuo Lien dances between her five forms, freely, sometimes changing between them lightening fast.

Towards the end, the feeling of gathering power begins to become overwhelming, and the heartstone begins to shine, outshining the wall lights. Night Sky raises another howl, ending the chants…. and gives up her gnosis.

One by one the other ritualists - and beyond them defenders - join in the howl, and give up their gnosis to the rite. The heartstone glows blindingly bright, until suddenly light is pulsing up and down it in waves, and gnosis can almost be felt drawing into it in a sudden near-explosion of force as the two worlds are fused in the central point. Everyone can feel the gauntlet dropping; and the spiritual pulse of a caern form. Night-Sky lets out a truimphant howl from between SK and Dances joined by the others in the room.

At last, things quieten down as Night-Sky lowers her head from the final howl, and then, quite abruptly, her legs go out from under her and she plops down, looking simply… surprised. Dances_With_Death collapses with Night Sky, his damaged leg twisting awkwardly. He can't stifle the shout of pain as the unbending limb bends. Night Sky tries to wriggle across and off Dance's leg, but the movement is an unco-ordinated twitch. She lies her head down, against the caern heartstone. Dances_With_Death grabs his bad leg and moves it, steeling himself against the pain, and joins Night Sky in leaning against the heartstone. Eshe steps back, leaning against the wall. Daiyu shrinks back from being a dragon to homid, and sits down where she stood, exhausted.

Night Sky breathes out a contented sigh, nuzzling Dances, and then SK. She lies her head down again, closing her eyes. Once more she breathes out, but she does not draw another breath.

Eshe_O`Finn blinks and moves away from the wall. Minds catches her breath, watching with a very deeply sad expression.
Dances_With_Death{PB2} slips down to lupus form and nuzzles against Night Sky. Watching, Eshe_O`Finn slids to her knees and lowers her head to the floor taking in a deep breath befor she sits back up one hand over her heart as she tilts her head back and lets out a Howel of Mourning. The Howl sounds haunting and strange coming from a homid.

Sheepkiller-Hispo slides over to Night Sky, having watched her surprised plop. She does not join the howl of mourning, but simply goes to stand behind Night Sky, stately and watchful, clearly guarding the corpse of her fallen packmate. She pauses there, and then lets loose a howl through the bawn, first in Garou.

"ALL HEAR THIS WOLF! Elder Night-Sky, Lupus Theurge of the Uktena, honored elder of Deep Waters pack, dam to many, grand-dam to many, and leader of the Rite of Caern Building for this new caern dies this night. Do not howl mourning, but cry songs of praise and strength! Gaia reclaims one of her own this night after one of our own wolves has done much with her life!"

Dances_With_Death{PB2} howls out in a mix of joy and sorrow, praising Night SKy for her sacrifice, even though his wolf-eyes are moist. Kalika collapses to sit in a graceful heap on the floor, smiling sadly, but proudly, at Night Sky. Heidi also collapses, shifting to lupus before she falls and standing on her 3 good legs, howling for the glory of Night Sky and the new caern.

Kalika seems to recover relatively quickly, getting up again to check on her fellow ritualists. Once Heidi's able to stand steadily, she limps her way down to the triage area to help there if needed. Lilly stays leaning against the wall, and Dances_With_Death stays nuzzled up to Night Sky's body in lupus form for some time after the rite, hardly moving. Zuri sits down against the wall away from everyone else, tired
and drained. Minds sits still for a long long moment, before she moves towards Night Sky and the others. She crouches down, pressing her forehead against Night Sky's fur, stroking her for a moment. Then she too gets up to follow Heidi to the triage area.

After Sunrise

Freefall slips into the caern heart, where Taki is standing near the door. She says softly, "Hi Taki. That was… I've never been through something like that before…."
Taki moves over to the now-throbbing caern heart, and touches it reverently, smiling. "Me neither, Rachel. But we did good."

Kadlin wanders in, rubbing at her shoulder alittle as she looks about. She still has her cricket bat strapped to her back as she is still within her gear. She is still covered with some blood with her outfit. She needs to Freefall, tossing back her blond hair and remaining alert.

Freefall nods, watching Taki. Others lurk in the room, amongst them Daiyu, Nuo and Minds. Sheepkiller and Dances flank Night Sky's still body.

Taki himself is freshly showered and wearing a pair of cutoff jean shorts and a tank top. There are light burn marks on his shoulders. He looks pale, and there are dark circles under his eyes. He coughs regularly.

Nayara wanders in, looking a bit beat up and tired, but still excited at the same time. She actually raises both hands to wave to Taki
hen she shows up. Taki smiles at Naya gently, and moves over to Night Sky's body, with Dances with Death asleep next to her, and SK
nearby. He crouches down in front of the body, and speaks softly.
"Night Sky-rhya… your sacrifice will be forever remembered in the hearts and minds of those who call this place home. I thank you with
all my heart and spirit for what you did for us this day."

Sheepkiller is present, standing guard over NS's body, in Hispo. She watches everybody with a dispassionate gaze. Nearby, there is also a
cracked hole in the caern heart floor. She watches and listens to Taki's quiet praise but does not react or respond.

Taki says a Shinto prayer, and steps back a bit. He looks around to the others, then glances at the life-sized statue of Night Sky at the
north end of the room.Kadlin hears Taki's words as she bows her head alittle toawrs the resting body of the fallen, reaching up to hold
her pendant on her chain for a few moments before looking back up.

Taki says, "I'll be calling up the spirits later to raise another statue, in honor of my fallen brother, JT."

The heartstone's mica and metallic swirls suddenly sparkle. Not blazingly bright as they did when the caern opened and the worlds were
fused, but nonetheless a visible brightness.

Kadlin looks to Taki, "He died bravely.."
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} nods to Kadlin, and looks to the heart stone. He moves forward to touch it.
Freefall nods. Then both she and SK look towards the swirl in curiosity. Kadlin looks to where Taki moves, slowing crossing her arms
infront of herself as she watches. Nayara stays near the back, observing, loooking a bit out of it as she watches.

Taki coughs hoarsely, letting go of the heart and almost doubling over for a moment. He gives his head a shake. Freefall goes to Taki's
side, looking at him with concern then lightly touching the stone.
"I'm okay, Rachel," Taki says quietly. "Just… caught a cold over night."
Kadlin takes a step or two towards Taki, hearing him speak, "Just a cold.."
Freefall hrmms in a very mother-hennish way, but stays beside him.
Taki adds, "I've already promised to go see the healers when they're not busy with the seriously wounded, and when I have a chance."
Kadlin chuckles alittle to herself as she rubs at her shoulder again.
Rachel shakes her head a bit, "Feh. I will bring you soup. I am told that is what fixes these things." She watches the swirling sparkles
on the heartstone meanwhile. Taki nods.
"Okay, Rachel. I know better than to argue with a gator that could eat me."
Taki smiles, and reaches back out to touch the heartstone, closing his eyes.
Nayara moves a bit closer, watching the swirls on the sparkles some more, standing ready and curious.
"But I wouldn't eat you, Taki. You're my friend." Rachael looks at him. "But I might sick Irene on you."
Taki giggles.
"A fate worse than death, that. I'd rather be eaten than have her use The Voice on me."
Kadlin quirks a brow as she shakes her head alittle, moving within the room as she keeps an eye towards the hearthstone.
Rachael hrrms. "Hrmph. Then you will surely become well again, between us all… Why is the stone sparkling?"
Taki looks between them, "I'm not sure, Rachel.

Their new totem steps out of the very heartstone itself, forming from its sparkles. She is, in appearance, a fairly tall native american
woman, with long, full black hair. She is clad in a white buckskin dress, with a black shawl speckled with white here and there, and a
belt of leather thongs strung with stone and wood beads. Large, dark eyes look around the room, calmly, thoughtfully. Her feet are bare.

Kadlin blinks as she looks upon the woman. Taki smiles, and bows deeply to the spirit woman. Nayara blinks twice, exactly twice, and
starts to look more excited when she steps out, and actually smiles.
Taki rises from his bow. "Hello, Noble One. Welcome to the Menagerie of Sky's Hope."
The spirit smiles very softly, serenely.

SK stares, looking so startled that it's rather comical. She looks at the Native American, then down at the lupine body she is guarding,
and then back again. She can't help but whimper once, plaintive, confused. The spirit walks away from the heartstone, and over to SK.
Freefall watches with curiosity but no immediate recognition. Taki looks at SK for a moment, then back up at the totem, smiling brightly.
Sheepkiller whines and wags her tail at the same time, looking about…utterly baffled.
<L>…why come back as ape? Are cursed? Will fix! Will quest to Uktena, let rest as wolf, as born!
Kadlin watches Sheepkiller and the interaction as she keeps quiet.
Taki speaks reassuringly. "Sheepkiller… spirit form is fluid. She is not cursed. She is blessed. She can take any form she chooses,
I'd bet…"

Django comes in dressed in sketchers, jeans, a black hoodie, and a very nice black leather duster. Taki's eyes glisten with joyous tears
as he bows deeply to the Totem. "Welcome back to us. Will you be staying, or will you be moving on?"

Django looks to where Taki is bowing and will bow after he does not quite certain whos there and the curiousity shows.

The totem for the moment, kneels by SK's side, and indeed, takes the form of a silvery-white lupus, with unusual cub-blue eyes, no longer
clouded with cataracts. Her form is slight, but not frail, and her ruff of fur glorious. Sheepkiller seems terribly upset, horrified. Her
body posture shows a mixture of horror, pain, and plaintive sorrow that is almost heart-wrenching- until the shimmering figure becomes the far-more-familiar lupine form…the form of the body at her own paws. SK simply lowers her eyes and her head, in clear awed submissive respect, lowering to her belly. She even tries to lick the spirit's muzzle.

Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} smiles brightly.
Kadlin watches still, not moving from where she is as she keeps quiet.
Django looks between Taki and the totem, his curious gaze remaining.

Night Sky the spirit nuzzles her packmate back, feeling quite warm and solid, and Sheepkiller finally asks, "…Night-Sky-rhya. Are able
to…to rest? Run? Hunt? Feel strong, feel well?"
Sheepkiller seems in her own way to want to know her packmate is…content, in her current form.
Night Sky the spirit answer gently, "Yes. But I choose to be here, for a time."

Django eyes go wide and there seems to be tears that brim on the edges of them as he looks to the totem and he gives a deep and respectful bow to Night Sky.

Kalika cmoes in silently, unobtrusively, not interrupting
Taki looks to Night Sky and says, "You truly honor us of the Mandate of Unity, Night Sky-rhya."
Django swallows and looks to Night Sky "Thank you.. this fletchling thanks you deeply.. and hopes that you will accept his thanks.."
keeping his head bowed to Night-Sky.

Sheepkiller simply licks Night-Sky's muzzle and heaves a sigh, settling herself, the heart-wrenching sorrow about her smoothing away into
calm acceptance. "This wolf will raise your pup with own pups."
Night Sky chuffs back, "Good. Dances, should help. I know he wishes to sing for me."
She nuzzles SK again and then looks to Django, chuffing to him softly.

Zuri comes in and, for once, just leans against the door.

Night Sky the Spirit pads towards the heartstone again, and to Taki. Taki smiles at her, though he actually looks humbled, and his eyes
are full of tears. Sheepkiller seems content to watch her former packmate, although her gaze keeps jerking to the body and then back to
the spirits.
Night Sky the spirit says simply, "I stay."

Taki nods a bit, then coughs harshly into his sleeve, which causes the tears to leave his eyes and stream down his cheeks. "Thank you,
Night Sky-rhya."
Night Sky-Spirit nudges both Taki and Django.
"Not cry. Is good thing, you have done."
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} reaches down, a bit hesitantly, and strokes NS's fur lightly as he smiles a bit.
Django kneels down on one knee and will put his arm on his bent knee his hand open for NS but not wishing to "push it" either
Kadlin keeps a stoic face as she watches.
Taki says gently, "Sometimes, us two-legs cry when we're happy, Night Sky-rhya. These are tears of joy. And… words cannot express my gratitude right now. You have already given your life for my dream. To… come back to help us further, as you have…"
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} coughs, and obviously doesn't know what else to say.

Night Sky says practically, "My life was good life. Is a strange thing, to leave it. I choose this. Have always wondered, what it is like
to be spirit."
Taki smiles at that, and says, "Me too."
Night-Sky-Spirit nuzzles his hand, and then pads to lick Django's. Zuri watches quietly, not moving for a change. Django smiles to Night
and laughs and smiles to her petting her lightly and moving to scratch behind her ears if she'll let him. Kadlin chuckles some as she
looks down at the ground.

Night-Sky-Spirit then pads back to SK. Sheepkiller swishes her tail, finally starting to decide that she's happy about this
"Is what want, Elder? Want be here?"
Night Sky chuffs affirmitvely, "Yes. There are other places, I also wish to be. But for this time, I want be here."
Sheepkiller chuffs acceptance. "Want I bring pup to see you?
Night-Sky-Spirit considers this, and then chuffs, softening. She nuzzles SK, and looks around the caern heart chamber again.

Kalika watches quietly, a faint smile on her face.
Taki smiles, and says, "Sheepkiller, I know this place is in the city, and thus you and your pack feel uncomfortable here, but you and
your pack, and all the pups, are welcome to come visit at any time you wish to."

Night-Sky-Spirit looks - actually looks - to Taki. "We have made very large caern. Much of bawn is not city. Is wild."
Taki blinks, looking startled, "Really?"
Night-Sky-Spirit chuffs affirmitively.
"…. so even the caern, then, is balanced Weaver and Wyld…." Taki says in wonder, before he smiles widely.

  • Django smiles to Night Sky and nods his agreement to taki and grins, and then shifts down to a rather large version of a raven sleek

nearly all black and tries to fly up to Takis shoulder but simply isnt able to do it quite yet, hopping fluttering a little and then just
staying put.
Night Sky adds, "And wyrm as was. Passing of the old, when time is come."
Taki nods, "As it should be. I can… feel the balance, when touching the Heart. Pure balance… it's.. amazing."
Sheepkiller chuffs acceptingly to Taki.
Zuri leans up off the doorframe as though to pace, and seems to change her mind, leaning back again.
Django-Corvid tries the flying again fluttering on the ground.
Night-Sky-Spirit nudges Taki."You are ill. Should not be."
Taki nods. "I'll see the healers. I got hit by a fomori. I think he made me sick."

Freefall walks over to Django, and carefully lifts him from the ground, rubbing the feathers of his breast gently with one finger. Django
Corvid steps onto Freefalls wrist and puffs up a little and gives a little happy churr-chirp. Django-Corvid then looks over to Taki with
what might look like concern. Freefall smiles, then sets Django on her shoulder. She heads towards the bedroom area, and returns in
moments with a blanket that she drapes around Taki's form.
"You. Are you hungry?" Freefall eyes Taki sternly- woe unto him if he says no….
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} sighs a bit.
"I could eat, yes. But I'll see the healers first, Momma Gator."
Freefall nods, "Yes. And afterwards, there will be warmth and food for you. Does any food sound good to you? I will go make it for you."

Django-Corvid chirps a little and ruffles his feathers he looks like hes a bit humored
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} obviously feels uncomfortable with all the attention and concern. "Bacon. About 3 pounds should do it. 2
dozen eggs, over easy. And a loaf of toasted bread."
Rachael nods, "Easy! I can do this." Freefall totally misses the body language saying he's uncomfortable, but also seems to brighten as
she immediately goes for the kitchen to begin cooking.
Kadlin blink, "Tell me you don't eat all that, Taki?"
Taki nod, "It's a little bigger than my normal breakfast, Kade. But I haven't eaten since lunch yesterday."
Kadlin nods, "Understandable…All that just reminded me of needing a meal.."

Freefall can be heard asking Django as she leaves, "Django..what did he mean about eggs being over easy? Eggs toss easy, yeah, but how's he going to eat them?"
Django-Corvid tries chirping at Freefall <Corvid> "Crack eggs in pan, flip after cooking one side."
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} chuckles. "Alright. Since everybody is so concerned, I'm going to go see the healers now…. Oops. One thing first…"
Taki_Darkeyes{FF-Sanctity} closes his eyes a moment, and an earth elemental sort of… grows out of his scalp. He seems to direct it
without speaking, and it forms an alcove in the eastern part of the room. A statue of JT soon grows out of the stone. The elemental then
disappears. Zuri shifts lightly and rolls her shoulders a bit, but doesn't pace still.
Taki nods.
Sheepkiller eyes him. "I am taking her body away at dawn."
Taki nods again. "Of course, Sheepkiller. She is your packmate. It's only proper that you be the one that lay her body to rest so that it
may return to the Mother."
Sheepkiller eyes him, not responding. She clearly hadn't made it a request, but who says Red Talons don't have tact? Taki_Darkeyes{FF-
Sanctity} bows a bit to SK, and then moves to the shrine to Luna. There's an odd-looking, snowboard-like thing there. He grabs it,
concentrates a second, and puts it on the ground. It hovers about 6 inches above the ground. He steps on.
Kadlin watches, calling across softly, "Taki..did they tell you that we took JT's body to where the healers were..until a proper ceremony
for him could be done?"
Taki nods, "Yeah. That's the other reason I'm going to see the healers. To see my brother's body."
Kadlin nods. "Like I said.. He fought hard. I was glad to have him there beside me and others.."

Taki looks around the group. "Now… everybody should spend some time resting. I think the ladies are already getting the Margarita party
ready." He nods to Kade and starts gliding towards the exit. Django-Corvid comes back into the main room he seems to have found the
ability to glide at least as he heading towards Taki and as he's leaving redirects looking for a shoulder to land on. Taki holds out an
arm for Django with a smile as he floats out on his hoverboard. Django hops onto Taki's arm and settles, heading out with Taki.

Night Sky Spirit pads over to SK, to nuzzle her gently. "Thank you, my packmate."
Sheepkiller thumps her tail. She doesn't respond to NS verbally, just nuzzles her.

Kadlin takes a seat after unstrapping the cricket bat from her back as she sets it down beside her. Nayara will slip back out, quietly. *
Kalika too heads out quietly. Zuri sighs softly and raises herself from the doorframe and leaves as well.

Sheepkiller curls up against the cold body of Night Sky, muzzle on the cold, stiff corpse's shoulder. Night-Sky-Spirit pads over to SK,
and settles her spirit self against SK's other side.

Kadlin watches them quietly, resting an arm on a respectful knee as she draws in the long breath again.

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