The half moon may be hidden behind passing clouds, but what light it lacks is made up by a few torches placed around to cast some warmth and light in the damp night. The light is caught on the dark coat of Consumes-Shadow as the sept alpha stands by the pool, letting his fur keep out the weather as he waits.
The large viking half-moon stands behind Thane with thick arms crossed over his broad chest. The usual wild blonde hair has been pulled back into a tight pony tail. He is wearing camo pants and a snug black shirt that looks as if it could use a run through the washing machine.
Heading into the area is Alicia, who is leading Ximena into moot with a bright smile upon her face. She looks to be enjoying the evening as her arms swing on either side of her. She has a backpack slung over one shoulder and the scent of brownies lingers about her.
Ximena comes in rather quietly behind Alicia. She looks around curiously, taking in the other faces that are appearing. She has the slightly awkward and uncomfortable posture of someone who is new to a place and who hasn't really settled in yet--or maybe even at all. Still, the expression on her face is pleasant enough.
Viv slouches in, the collar of her leather jacket turned up, though judging by her sour expression it isn't doing much to keep the persistent drizzle from going down the back of her neck.
Brings-the-Pack walks out onto a tree limb some 20-ish feet off the ground, the large cat having arrived silently from somewhere, at sometime, when no one was looking. Or maybe he'd been there earlier? He settles casually onto the branch overlooking the gathering--observing but not really a formal part of the moot.
Snakepatcher pads around the half-moon pool, his thick coat sodden with water, which he shakes off before joining the gathering. He takes a position under a certain branch containing an attendee, settling into a patch free of rain thanks to the attendee taking up the rain for that spot.
A stranger to all but a few, a young man with dark hair and green eyes files in after most of the others have gathered. For the moment, he hangs near the back, just at the treeline, hands stuffed in the pocket of his grey hoodie.
Consumes-Shadows watches Garou (and magecats) as they trickle in, though he does pass a look to the Children of Gaia as they arrive. ~Ah, good you could make it.~ He says towards Ximena. ~You are free to introduce yourself. The purpose of this is challenges and grievances, but news and other such business is always free.~
Ghost fairly slinks in, looking tense and agitated at best, with her hands stuffed into the pockets of her jacket and her shoulders noticeably hunched.
Brom gives a grunt towards Viv and a nod of his head. Sliding his hands into his pockets, his eyes turn to the faces that approach, giving the pair of Gaian's a squint, then sweeps his gaze from the Uktena to Ghost. Magecat is in a tree and he has yet to catch sight of the feline.
Alicia smiles to Thane and bows proper before she gives Ximena a supportive nudge against the elbow. Finding a spot to settle down, she lowers upon her knees and eases back to plant her hands behind her.
"Uh...right now?" Ximena asks softly. She looks back between Alicia and Consumes-Shadow, not really wanting to speak out of turn, buuuut not entirely clear on when he meant. She runs her fingers through her short, black hair, coloring a little at her own awkwardness.
"...never did show up again, neither," Felix is saying to the other 'yotes as they saunter into earshot, "I'm just sayin', y'never know. Might be it COULD walk off." He seems fairly unbothered by the intermittent drizzle, as does Watcher, but the lupus has fur to help him out there. A look around the assembled, flashing a bright grin to most and sundry, and it shifts to a bit of a smirk as he catches sight of the near-stranger on the periphery, and gives Justin a nudge.
Justin glances upwards at the nudge from his packmate, then sweeps his eyes over to the new face. A grin widens on his face. "Hola mi amigo! Que' tal!?" He calls out, throwing up a V of two fingers towards her. "Es agradable ver a un companero de espalda mojada aqui!"
Benedict appears at the distance of the edge with a definitive sense of meekness which is a strong indication of caution on the behalf of the kinfolk. He looks to have no indication of coming closer and with his tension directed out of the clearing, could leave at any time. Still, through all of that, he seems to have a curiosity that has brought him here to witness this moot.
~If you wish.~ Consumes-Shadow says to Ximena and looks over the gathered faces again. ~Before we get started with business. No one here is going to bite - not for an introduction, anyway.~ He adds with a baring of his teeth that might be a smile. His lone eye does take in the familiar faces - the loiterer and arriving kinfolk - and drops down to his homid form with a clearing of his throat. "All others who are new are also free to come make themselves known."
Viv returns Brom's nod, equally understatedly, and the corner of her mouth twitches just slightly. She finds a suitable spot under a tree which may block a little of the thin rain, and awaits developments.
Ximena nods her thanks, then...goes ahead and pitches her voice a bit so she can be heard. "Greetings! I am Ximena Eye of the Storm Cruz, Fostern Ahroun of the Children of Gaia, newly arrived. I look forward to getting to know everyone." Like being the new kid at school, really, but with none of the tentativeness. And since that's all she has to say, she inclines her head in thanks to the Alpha again, then sprawls next to Alicia.
Reflection rolls into the gathering at a fast clip. The Godi is clearly full of vigor this evening. He shakes out his fur, adding to the bit of rain that touches down here and walks over to Viv. Here the giant Fenrir settles down, remaining just out of the cover that his packmate enjoys.
Brom reaches out and gives Reflection a thump on the fuzzy shoulder with his hand, rumbling a salutations to his tribemate. At the Gaian's introduction, he squints his eyes at her again, judgingly.
From his spot at the back, Nolan clears his throat, a smirk on his face as he throws a hand into the air. "Nolan Fahey," he calls out in a voice loud enough to carry. "Squirrel Talks to No One, cliath ragabash of the Fianna. New in town." He casts another glance around and then adds. "Haven't decided if I'm planning to stay, or just passing through. Thought I'd see what you all are up to before I make a decision."
Realizing someone addressed her in her own language, Ximena backtracks through what she just heard. She then laughs out loud and tosses the V-fingers back in Justin's direction, smiling. That seems to have relaxed her a great deal.
Alicia waves her brother over with a swipe of her hand, motioning him to take a seat next to her and Ximena. To her pack beta, she nods her head to catch his attention, then slowly looks over to the new Fianna, studying him.
Viv inclines her head politely, if formally, to both the new introductions. She moves over a little to stand on the other side of Reflection from Brom.
Ghost's eyes move carefully, but quickly, from new face to recognized face. She appears to be taking in as much as she can, and movement and voice draw her attention most.
Benedict has his attention fully drawn by Ximena, who he stares at for a moment before shaking it off. The kinfolk's hands move to his trenchcoat pockets and he regards the moot with curiousity and a touch of anxiety.
Thane may not be in his Crinos form any longer but it is clear he regards Nolan as if he was still much taller. The Alpha gives a single nod of his head in acceptance of the introduction. "Our Fianna are in short supply. Good to see they are still out and about. With there being few of your own tribe here, see myself or Mouse of the Glass Walkers, beta of the sept, if there is anything you need."
The Gnawer Ragabash of long fingers, Winter, comes in wearing the glabro of all forms. He is wearing what looks like a cloak at first glance, but is actually some kind of heavy, dark brown, thick wool blanket bound around his neck with an over-sized safety pin. His slow and heavy, deliberate steps cause the makeshift cloak to swish around his feet as the Gnawer walks. He moves over towards Felix and gives a slight smile to his tribesmate before simply standing out in the open and waiting, smile quickly fading.
Felix picks out a relatively dryish spot to drop down in, back against one of the evergreens, with room for his packmates to join beside him. As long as they don't require much trunk space. Despite the rain, he manages to look more comfortable than he should probably be allowed. Ximena gets an interested look-over, and then he's scanning the rest of the assemblage again as he settles in, returning Winter's slight smile with another quick, bright grin.
Tumbling down next to Felix and the rest of his packmates is Justin. He flashes a grin back to Ximena, then sprawls out on his back with his arms tucked beneath his head.
Ximena inclines her head to those who are settling in around her. She also smiles and waves to Benedict. It's been awhile! But she won't bug him here and now--not exactly the best environment for catching up.
Thane looks back over the gathering and says, "If there are no further introductions, then let us get to our primary business. Those with challenges to make, step forward and speak."
Benedict gives a quick smile and light salute of a couple of fingers pointed to his brow then raised to Ximena. He doesn't move to make up for lost time now himself, but takes a moment to regard her before looking back to the Alpha.
Winter gives Felix another look with a more full smile. The Fostern Gnawer nods encouragingly to the Cliath, then jerks his head towards where the Sept Alpha stands.
Felix glances around the group, to see whether anyone else is leaping to their feet, and since they don't appear to be, shrugs slightly and stands up -- then steps forward, flashing the Metis a quick smile when he catches his nod. "A'right, then, s'pose that's my cue. Hey, Winter. I reckon I'm a being pretty decent Galliard an' general Garou these days, so I'm challenging you for Fostern."
Justin lets out a loud whoop from next to Felix, followed by a fist pump.
Nolan laughs, the sound caught in his throat and turning to a cough, half-hidden behind a fist. There's no animosity in his expression or the sound, but there's plenty of humor to be seen.
Winter takes a big breath and steps forward, "You reckon, huh?" He reaches a spindle-like finger up to scratch at the back of his head and adds, "Well, Mr. Decent. Time to prove you're good. Like, real good. Fostern means playtime is over and towards that end, you need to spread your wings. So... I accept. Your terms are as follows!" Here, the Gnawer Fostern reaches into his 'cloak' and pulls out what looks like an honest to goodness scroll, which he releases to allow it to unravel a bit. He clears his throat and pulls the loose end out to read from the glyphs in place there, "Galliard. To prove your worth to the Garou, you will gather from each elder, Tribal and Sept, their news for the Nation outside our borders, if they have any to offer. This gathered, and memorized, you will travel to the Caern where my Uncle Bob currently resides." Here the Gnawer Raggy offers as an aside to the gathered, "He owes me five bucks you see, and I could really use the cash." Winter then clears his throat and returns to reading, "You will deliver the news given to you at their Caern's next moot and recieve whatever news at that moot, that they have for us. Be a curteous guest. Deliver the news without loss of information. Return with their news and recite it at a moot here with full accuracy. Then you will be Fostern. Do you accept these terms?"
Alicia furrows her brows as she listens to the terms, then glances over to Felix curiously.
Nolan listens to the terms set, once again with a smirk on his lips, but then starts looking around at the gathered Garou, expression turning more curious. "Not one of you," he calls out, waving his hands before him. "Better find someone else to play elder for the game."
Benedict remains at his distant viewing place and after some curious expression at the challenge, shrugs. He seems to have relaxed a bit at this point.
Felix stands quite confidently as he awaits and listens to the terms, though he looks briefly startled by the production of the scroll, and maybe a little bit impressed. Hey, you don't see that every challenge! "Deal," he answers, and then flicks a glance skyward, rephrasing, "I accept. Two questions: number one, where's your Uncle Bob live, an' number two, we're talkin' full accuracy of information, not full-on word for word, yeah? Just so's I know we're on the same page."
Thane watches the interaction between the two Bone Gnawers, his arms crossed over his chest as he does so. There's a faint gesture of one hand as Winter mentions the money, the sort of 'but of course' gesture. He remains quiet though as the discussion continues and he turns his focus towards Felix as the terms are clarified.
"Yo, can he record the conversations, then stick it on a mix tape for your B-Oh-B?" Justin blurts out from his sprawled position on the ground.
Alicia slaps a hand to her face.
Reflection growls at Justin's outburst and gives the Gnawer a rather violently chastising look. Perhaps the Fenrir don't entirely get this 'non-formal' moot thing.
Thane turns towards Justin and one corner of his lip curls up warningly. "While the moot may be less formal, a challenge is no casual manner. Quiet, and let them conduct their business. It is your packmate and tribemate. Your behavior reflects on them."
Winter is wrapping up the scroll as Felix asks the questions and is about to speak when Justin calls out. He looks over at Justin and quirks a brow, then chuckles and slowly looks back towards Felix, his eyes snapping from Justin to the challenger at the last moment. He puts the scroll away and finally speaks, "You're a Galliard! And not a kid anymore. Uncle Bob is famous. He once killed a Nexus Crawler with his pack and saved all the kids in a burning orphanage in the same day. True story. You'll find him. I can tell you he spends his time on the West Coast since... The Green fell." Here, the Challenged has a touch of sadness that he shakes off quickly and continues, "As for the second part. Again, you are a Galliard! Words are part of your trade." Winter now gives a nice bright smile, a strange thing that still is somehow charming from the Glabro's face, "I imagine your interpretation of the challenge terms, which you just accepted /before/ asking your questions, will be totally on point!"
Felix shoots his packmate a glance as well, although his looks at least halfway amused, and then looks back to Winter, chin up. "Yeah, I did, 'cause I'll do it either way," he replies, "but if you ain't specifyin', yeah, I'm a Galliard, an' I'll do it my way. So, deal. I get the news, I take the news, I bring back the other news, an' Bob's your Uncle." He flashes the Ragabash another grin.
Brings-the-Pack silently watches the exchange occurring at ground level from his vantage point high upon a tree limb. His head pivots to track from one speaker to the next, as if finding the interactions curiously interesting--or peculiar.
Justin gives a thumbs up to Thane, then makes a lip-zipping motion from left to right with his free hand.
There is a loud snort from the large Get of Fenris half moon as he listens to the banter between the Gnawers. Rocking his shoulders back and forth to loosen up the muscles, he steps forward and addresses the crowd. "I also bring challenge to the Sept." He slowly turns his eyes to seek one out. "I am here to challenge Bag of Snakes for the rank of Adren." He lets out a heavy huff of breath as he steels his gaze to hers.
Winter gives a slight bow, which drags his wet cloak heavily on the ground as he turns and steps away from the metaphorical spotlight. He does take a quick moment on his way back to where he was before, to glance up at the cat in the tree with a curious look. This is over quickly and the Ragabash visibly settles down where he was before, having turned to look at the next announcement.
Nolan doesn't speak, this time, but he does look around again, this time mouthing, 'Bag of snakes?'
As Garou gather and go about their business, it may or may not go noticed that they pick up a new attendee. There's something lingering at the far edge, past the ring of torches and hunkered among the brush. It's a black and white wolf with eyes fixed attentively on the moot.
Felix gives Winter a slight bow in return, and then heads back to the tree he was at before, reclaiming his seat by his packmates. Justin gets a punch in the arm while he settles, possibly for the outburst, possibly just on principle. But he gets a grin, as well, before the Galliard turns his attention to the next challenge.
Justin lets out a muffled 'ow' under his zipped lips, giving his shoulder a rub. He grins though in amusement.
Once Brom speaks, Viv jerks into action. She steps out and confronts the bigger Get, seeming not at all abashed that he stands a clear foot taller than her. "Do you, now," she says in clear tones, her Australian accent ringing round the clearing. "Well, I'm not saying no, but I'm not saying yes either. An adren challenge isn't like a fostern challenge, where you can expect it to be accepted on the nod and just need to worry about the terms." She jerks a thumb at Brom, before tucking her hands both into the waist of her pants. "You've only been at this sept part of your career, and Pennsylvania's a long way off. I'm going to need to check a few things up with your former sept, there. And I'm gonna turn a few stones over here too. If I find nothing that tells me you're an unsuitable candidate to challenge for the third rank by the time we gather by this here billabong again," she concludes, indicating the half-moon pool, "then I shall present you with terms at that moot for your challenge. That all clear as mud, mate?" And with those last words the solemn look fades from her face somewhat and she raises an eyebrow of enquiry in Brom's direction.
Reflection is nodding firmly to his tribemate's challenge when notices the new arrival, never really having settled down and relaxed since this began. His senses alert, first the Fenrir Godi's ears turn back and then his gaze follows to the new visitor.
Brom gives a visible twitch of his cheek as he listens to the Ahroun. Flaring his nostrils, he rumbles back to her. "You can start with the Sept Alpha, as we both served the Sept of the Three Rivers. But, by all means, search out the Skalds of Pittsburgh. They'll give it to you straight." His neck cracks side to side from left to right.
Benedict at the edge of the clearing himself, has shrunk back twice now at two different Fenrir outbursts. He too, sees the new arrival. The kinfolk edges in the opposite direction from where the wolf currently resides, shooting a few nervous looks up to the cat in the tree as well.
"They'd better," Viv fires back. "I'm sure they would be neither so disrespectful, nor so foolish, as to lie to me." Movement at the edge of the clearing catches her attention. She leans forward a fraction, narrowing her eyes as she tries to make out the camouflaged form of the wolf lurking there.
Ghost's eyes narrow a little as she listens, though she's been observing the challenges with what at least seems like keen interest.
Brom lets out an amused chuff in his throat. "Just don't show up in a Ravens or a Browns jersey and you will at least come out of it with all your limbs." With that, he looks back to Thane with a firm nod of his head.
"Not as pack then." Thane clarifies before he trails off, catching the abrupt shift of Viv's focus. Eyes narrowing, he turns to follow her vision, though with the gleam of firelight and Garou and trees to block his limited vision it's evident he can't pinpoint what she's looking at. So he asks, "What's out there?"
Alicia gives a grin to Ximena before her attention is pulled to the clearing as well. Spying the unknown wolf, she pushes herself upwards and gives a sniff to the air.
At the mention of sports jerseys, Nolan takes a look down at the Red Sox sweatshirt he wears and smirks again. He looks, as the others indicate, toward the wolf, but since almost no one here is known to him at all, she's no more a stranger than any of the others.
Ximena had been listening, just sort of soaking in what things are like around here. Now everyone's staring in various directions. She looks over. Yep, it's a wolf she doesn't recognize. That would be 99% of the Sept right now, so...she just sort of looks confused.
Winter doesn't seem to notice the black and white wolf, or at the least doesn't look in that direction. Rather, he walks over to the fire a bit closer, and settles in that strange stance of his again. It's almost like he's sitting or leaning on something under that weird cloak.
Benedict raises a hand from his left pocket, away from the gathering and out towards the woods. He lifts that hand to his face as if shielding his eyes from the firelight and looks pointedly at the wolf. After a few moments, he sighs and puts the hand back in his pocket.
Viv gives Brom an amused glance. "What about the Adelaide Crows?" she asks him. But her main focus remains on the wolf outside the circle.
Blackblood slants her ears back as she seems noticed and her tongue flicks out once between her teeth. The wolf gathers her paws under her and slowly begins to rise. A look this way, a look that way, and the salt and pepper lupine speaks the Mother's Tongue, ~I thought there would be snacks. What a dull open house.~
".. I got some gummy worms in my pocket." Justin says as he rustles his hand into his hoodie pocket and pulls out a crinkled plastic back of colorful snacks.
Ghost eyes the newcomer as she speaks now, and slants a sidelong look toward the others.
"Long as it's not soccer you should be good." Brom says to Viv as he narrows his eyes at Blackblood.
Nolan laughs aloud at the other new arrival's words. "They didn't offer me any," he says with a shake of his head.
"Yo dog, /you/ want some gummy worms?" Justin calls over to Nolan.
"Ooh, hey, gimme one," Felix murmurs to Justin, holding out an open hand to him, but most of his attention follows the other looks, and the lupine they fall on. His eyes narrow slightly, checking her out.
Thane takes a few steps closer to stand amongst the gathering versus the edge of the loose circle, his shoulders pulling back and his remaining eye narrowed critically. "Who the hell are you? Because I certainly don't recognize your face." Homid he may be, but the tension in muscles is clear as he slants a look of daggers towards Fianna and Coyote-followers alike.
"Aussie rules," Viv asides to Brom. She relaxes a tad when the newcomer shows she can communicate with them, but remains on the alert as Thane steps up to the black and white wolf.
"She's not one of the Enemy." Alicia says as she taps her finger to her nose. "Smells clean to me."
~How kind.~ Blackblood narrows yellow eyes at Justin. ~But I wouln't relieve you of your dinner, rat-pup. Or other's, apparently. They don't feed you well here it seems.~ The lean, angular wolf stands up straighter with a belligerent posture. She turns her eyes on the Shadow Lord and responds, ~No one, in the eyes of your Nation. I am Ronin. Black of the moon, black of blood and name. I have been among you for awhile but only a few noticed.~
At Alicia's statement, Nolan laughs aloud. He looks around the gathering once again, shaking his head. "You're all so suspicious, because she hung out at the edge, or was late. Maybe she didn't have a watch. Maybe she got caught in traffic, or had to hunt down a deer." He pauses, looking over at the wolf again, as if to see if his guesses might hit the mark. "But you let me, a complete stranger, just walk right in, and never look twice. Because I was on time? Because I didn't skulk around?"
So it /is/ trouble. Ximena listens to all of this swirling around, the tension and the insults. Her own hackles rise a bit, evinced in the tension in her mien, but for now she keeps her mouth shut and her ears open.
Viv gives a sudden snort of amusement at Nolan's interjection. "Well, /this/ fella's got the makings of a great new-moon all right," she says, and beams at him.
The tree-cougar's head turns, taking in events as they unfold and as people speak, but then he seems to fixate his gaze on Nolan. The cat's head slooooowly cocks to the right as he scrutinizes the Fianna more closely.
Ghost quietly eases herself a few steps back, so that she's arguably outside the circle, and then another step, /definitely/ outside the circle, if on the opposite side from the just-announced Ronin.
Justin plops a yellow and green gummy worm into Felix's hand, then pops another into his mouth. "Hey, these are sugar free." He says as he chomps around the piece of candy.
Reflection does give Nolan a good deal of scruitinzing and with a gruff tone offers as he raises up to the Crinos, ~You introduced yourself. This one waited.~ He crosses his arms and eyes Blackblood, ~What do you want, Ronin?~
Winter looks over at Alicia then finally towards the new arrival as if just noticing she arrived. He nods his head towards her, "Handy girl!" he calls after some thought, as if in recognition.
"And perhaps I heard you were here, boy." Thane says with a low growl towards Nolan before he wrinkles his nose towards Blackblood, adding on the words of Jamethon. "Besides offering insult. Ronin are not refused out of hand but neither are they invited unannounced to our gatherings. I remember Felix passing word of a Ronin in the city but none bothered to make themselves known. Is that you?"
"Same attitude," Felix says, pulling the gummy worm so it breaks in half at the colour line and eating the green part, "...an' about the same name, give or take. Seems likely to me."
Wolves may not laugh but Blackblood offers some grating combination of a barking whine that sounds akin to a chuckling hyena with a throat condition. ~Oooh so he DID tell you about me. Ronin aren't cast out but clearly not offered fruit baskets either. No watch either!~ She howls out towards Nolan with a jaunty wave of her tail. ~Well, you all have fun.~ And just like that she seems inclined to leave and turns her back on the gathering to begin wandering off.
Ghost's lips peel briefly back from her teeth. She remains silent.
Benedict keeps his narrowed eyes locked on Blackblood, but takes this opportunity to slip off in the opposite direction out into the woods. He doesn't bother saying goodbye to anyone on his way out.
Nolan quiets at the response from Thane, but his amused expression remains. For a while, he watches the Ronin, and the way the others react to her, with arms folded across his chest, but then his gaze darts to the tree, and the cougar resting on its branches.
Winter waves his hands through the air and calls out, "Hold on guys!" He then adds a call towards Blackblood, "We could really use your help. If you still take ridiculously stupid risks for hire?"
Ximena's eyebrows liiiift way up at the Ronin's sudden decision to depart. It's /this/ that suddenly makes her growl and spit, "What a fucking coward. Come in, toss around insults, stir up trouble, and then oh, see ya." It's not the reasoned, well chosen words of a Child of Gaia, but the impulsive, hot blooded words of a sudden surge of Rage. Especially with Winter trying to call the Ronin back, but...you know. Brain, mouth, filter, rage. They don't always work in concert.
Brings-the-Pack continues to keep his attention focused on Nolan. The cougar slowly cocks his head in the opposite direction, as if the different viewing angle might somehow give him a different perspective.
Alicia gives Ximena a firm bump of the shoulder and a glower. "Hey, pump the brakes here. This ain't San Francisco. Let the Alpha and the Elders handle it."
Reflection uncrosses his arms and looks over to Thane for a cue on the next move. He seems quite ready to persue if need be.
"You did SAY all you wanted was to keep to yourself an' be left alone," Felix points out, "...an' no one gave me a fruit basket neither. Which's too bad, actually. Fruit's delicious. Anyway, seem to recall =I= said you oughta introduce yourself, an' I see you ain't been in a hurry to bring us no fruit baskets neither." At Ximena's outburst and Alicia's reply to her, he shuts himself up at least temporarily by eating the other half of the gummy worm.
Ximena grimaces and lowers her eyes, bowing her head. "My apologies, rhya." More formal towards her Elder for the transgression, and for the public forum. She flushes, looking chagrinned by her own outburst, rubbing the back of her neck as she tries to shove all that anger right back into the bottle. Pumping the breaks, so to speak. Nooot so easy when she's now /embarrassed/ on top of all of it. Breathe in, breathe out. Her calming breaths sound more like Darth Vader after a hard run, but...she's giving it a shot.
Thane looks about ready to go through the ring of Garou after the Ronin and takes a few steps forward in pursuit and one hand raises as he looks to Reflection before gesturing the Fenrir forward. "Don't break her." Winter's words bring a snort from the Lord. "She seems to have shown no interest in that thus far and given her behavior she does not inspire my trust, especially creeping around /our bawn/."
Viv gives a grunt of peevish assent at that judgment call.
"It's okay, but we should all limit the words being thrown towards her. If we /all/ verbally spar with her, it will make us seem not only unwelcoming, but rude hosts as well. The way to peace is not through more anger or agitation." Alicia says with a smile towards Ximena, then pushes herself upwards to her feet. Blowing her hair away from her eyes, she starts after the ronin. "Sometimes when dealing with the frustrating ones, we must reach inside ourselves and reveal restraint."
The Fianna's expression loses all humor and his jaw clenches for a moment as he continues to stare at the cougar in the tree.
Reflection rushes out into the woods with an effort of rage and will to give him speed and sureness of foot, taking on the hispo as he does. This is not a direct line to the Ronin, but rather out in front to come around and circle back, blocking her way. His low rumbling growl is not an immediate threat, but it promises the possibility of one.
Ghost's teeth show again, and for longer this time. She's as tense as a spring now, eyeing the direction both the other Ronin and the Fenrir took.
Ximena does not get up to join Alicia. She stays in her seat, leaning forward to rest her forearms on her knees, grunting her agreement to the woman's words. She stares into the pool for the moment rather than watching the drama, pausing to rub a hand over her face.
Justin stuffs his hand into the bag of gummy worms again and pulls out a red one, then crams it into his mouth as he watches. With a glance to Felix, his shoulders lift upwards in a shrug.
Blackblood hears footfall behind her and a glance over her shoulder lets the Ronin see the Fenrir in motion. There's no words this time, only a baring of her teeth as she pushes off into a run fueled by her own Rage to try and outpace the Theurge. He's more sure of the terrain and comes up ahead but she darts quick as a snake, trying to get around the bigger and heavier wolf.
Trotting forward a few more steps, the Gaian Elder shifts down into her hispo form and bolts after her packmate. As he goes one way, she goes the other in an attempt to cut the Ronin off.
Nolan relaxes slightly, and his gaze shifts from the tree to the departing Ronin, and he tips his head to the side in his efforts to keep track of her progress.
Felix shrugs back to Justin, holding out his hand for another candy, and watches the chase begin.
"Hard to talk when she's running away." Thane says dryly towards Alicia before she's off. "...so," He continues, though to no one in particular. "We'll see if she'll talk without being bodily dragged back. Regardless of her intentions, trespassers cannot be allowed to tread over our territory unanswered. So she can play by the rules and play politely or not play at all."
Justin tucks another piece of candy into Felix's hand, then shouts out over to Nolan. "Yo, the Patriots suck!" He gives a wide, toothy grin towards him. "Go Seahawks."
Ghost finally speaks, and while her voice is low, it's not hard to hear her. "She's old enough to know better."
Reflection doesn't bother to go back and forth when his prey does, just counting on his strength to carry him forward towards her in as straight a line as possible. She is nimble, but he has speed and the stamina to not slow a bit as he slams through brush and branches. It isn't long before Reflection's-Howl intersects a sideways manuver of her's and slams into Blackblood's side, bringing the ronin to the ground. The Fenrir Godi roars right in her face, a gesture full of spittle and, somehow from his froth and vigor... flecks of blood.
Sliding to a stop from the other side, The Last Song Standing lets out a chuff to the Fenrir to stand down as she strides towards the Ronin, looking to keep the black wolf between the pair of Excelsior members. ~Good evening. Let's try this again, this time with half the sarcasm, please. I do wish for a peaceful night.~
Winter sighs and shakes his head as the pursuit begins. When Thane speaks, he swishes over with that cloak of his and looks over to the Alpha. "If I may? She's an oddjobber. Does whatever. Shocking she's still alive, but she'll do some of the most dangerous shit in exchange for some basic needs. Just a recommendation but... I'd use her in the city if it ain't too late." Then the roar sounds and he crings back from it's direction.
Unlike Nolan, Brings-the-Pack keeps his gaze fixed on the Fianna after the ragabash has partially looked away. And also unlike Nolan, the cat's body really hasn't moved save for the earlier headcocking.
Nolan's gaze flicks back up toward the cougar, considering for a moment, and then he nods, as if in answer to some unheard question. His humor seems to have faded, and even Justin's call merely gets a half-hearted smile.
Justin holds up the bag of gummy worms towards the Fianna, wiggling it side to side with a raise of his brow.
Blackblood bulks into the Hispo on principle as the Fenrir's superior size bowls the lean wolf over. She snarls in fury and fear and snaps at his face as it leers directly in her's. The roar brings further attempts up short and while she doesn't yield she stops struggling and freezes in place with her pelt all a'fluffed. ~Half the sarcasm?~ Her tongue flicks out across her nose again. ~Fine. You're stupid. How do you know you didn't chase me right into a trap?~ She shoots a look out of the corner of her eye towards the Gaian. ~I heard the finger-man. There are those who offer a great deal, more than the Nation is willing to pay. There's just a buy in.~
Brings-the-Pack likewise nods towards Nolan before looking around to assess what all has been going on. "This moot," he observes deadpanly with his Kylo Ren voice, "is far more lively than the last one."
Felix glances to Ghost when she comments, and nods. Justin's call to Nolan gets a small grin, as does the candy-wiggling, though he tries to take advantage of it to snag a third worm from the bag. Since it's there. He keeps his mouth shut, though, keeping the best eye and ear on the chase that he can, from where he sits.
Thane listens to the snarls and race through the trees with a look of disgust on his face. There's a look passed towards Ghost but he says nothing, only turns his focus towards Winter. "I'm sure something can be arranged. By the sounds of it, if she wants to keep her face she'll have some atonement to do. If Jamethon leaves Alicia anything to patch up we'll see what you propose." The magecat is then regarded and the Lord cracks a smile that isn't at all amused. "Glad you came, then?"
Justin's offer of candy is enough to break Nolan out of his funk and he grins, holding up a hand as though ready to catch the bag.
Ghost's jaw tightens a little at the glance from Thane, but she says nothing else.
Reflection shakes his head in answer to the snapping at him and returns with a nip back. He lifts the weight off of his front paws then slams them and the ronin down into the ground in a method that should make her glad she's in a hearty form like the Hispo. Only then the Fenrir steps off of her. He too works to keep Blackblood between him and his packmate. ~Return with us. You are not Wyrm. You will not be harmed, despite your lacking maturity. But you must speak with the Alpha when you step uninvited and unannounced on our lands.~
Giving a wider grin, Justin motions him to come closer as he wiggles it back and forth to him, then shoots a look to Felix as he steals one. "Bogarder."
~I know you didn't lead us into a trap because the huge black unicorn on the other side of the realm has already canvassed the area.~ The Last Song Standing says with a toothy grin. ~I am the Child of Gaia Elder for the Sept and Alpha for the all honorable Black Unicorn pack, Excelsior. My name is The Last Song Standing Between Two Rifts. Adren and Moondancer. This here is my pack beta. He is a Get of Fenris. He is also my best friend. I assure you, as long as we are cool, he will not tear chunks out of you.~ Settling herself down upon her haunches, she tilts her head to one side. ~Right now, the only thing we require of you is respect and peace. If you decide to stick around much longer within our humble Sept, that will be up to you and your attitude. We're all friends here." Rolling her tongue across her muzzle, she gestures with a paw. ~Groovy?~
"Am not, reason bein', I ain't the one that's got 'em. Now, YOU tryin' to stop me havin' any, =that's= bogartin' 'em. Or it would be if you weren't tryin' to give 'em away to other folks, anyhow," Felix counters, still watching the Adren deal with the Ronin. He takes a moment to add a grin to Nolan to his packmate's, though, and second the invitation closer via a tilt of the head as well.
The yelp uttered by the Ronin is unavoidable given the weight of Reflection smashed down on her. Wheezing, she rolls onto her paws the moment he moves with her hackles bristling and a noisy pant. ~I heard of him.~ Blackblood utters and shoots a look back towards the woods, seeming inclined to bolt again. With resignation she lets out a loud snort and begins creeping grudgingly back towards the pool. ~Fine. Let's get this spectacle over with. I have better things to do.~
Brings-the-Pack looks from the disturbances in the woods, then back to Thane as he responds to the sept Alpha. "I was hoping to learn more about cultural idiosyncrasies and nuances. Albeit not in a 'Family reunion gone horribly wrong' manner," the cougar shares.
Thane watches the coyote pack barter with the new Ragabash with gummies and his chest rises and falls with a sigh. He gestures with a thumb towards them to Brings-the-Pack. "It's really all the same thing just with the addition of teeth. That's the kiddie table, this here is where the adults drink beer and bemoan their pointless existence, and that.." A point towards the woods. "...is the uninvited cousin who reminds everyone who they were uninvited in the first place. You're the one who married into it all and is wondering why."
Nolan squints at the suggestion to come nearer, and then gives a shake of his head. "I'm all good," he says.
Giving Felix a thump of his shoulder, Justin looks amused, then starts over to Nolan with his usual saunter. "What? You don't wanna kick it at the kiddie table with us?" He says, shooting Thane a glare for a moment, then uses two fingers to point to his eyes, then over to the Sept Alpha. "I'm Justin Statton. Called Mouse Trap. Gnawer and warrior. Fostern. Alpha of Tactical Frivolity. We run with the immortal trickster, Coyote."
Justin even offers the bag of gummy worms for the heck of it.
Winter then hears the yelp and shakes his head. As the rain clears up a little, he unpins his cloak and melts down to the homid. He shrinks down inside the cloak which remains standing on its own, like a tent. He steps out of the front flap and the young Winter moves over, closer to the fire. He puts his hands to the fire and looks over at Justin, "Can a Winter get a snack?"
Reflection thinks on Blackblood as he leads her back towards Thane and offers with some actual curiosty and lessening of his feriousity, ~You are friends with that Hyena spirit.~ It is a statement, not a question.
Rising upwards, The Last Song Standing trots after them, taking the rear as she lets the Fenrir lead the ronin back to the group. ~All will be fine as long as we are calm.~ The tone in her voice suspects she is willing to make everyone calm if necessary. Mother hen has a rolling pin.
Ghost narrows her eyes even further as the other Ronin returns to the gathering.
Blackblood jerks with an alarming speed to face Reflection only a few steps back amongst the gathered, any hint of arrogance or fear aside. She's furious and there's the glint of an crazed fervor in her eyes. ~Hurt him and I will tear out your eyes!~ Comes the high-pitched snarl from the Ronin. ~He is MINE!~ She's not moving to attack but there is clearly no unwillingness to.
Brings-the-Pack twitches his tail in amusement--genuine amusement--at Thane's comment. "It takes all kinds, and all families have their various dynamics." He pushes with his forelegs to rise from his more leisurely pose to one where he's settled on his haunches. Things have gotten more lively, and so it would seem has the cat. He still keeps ample distance between himself and the garou though. As those who took off earlier return, his gaze focuses on them--particularly the Ronin.
"The beer better make it down here too," Felix mutters, and glances to Winter when the request is made. He lifts one of his current pair of worms toward the Ragabash, brows lifting: would he like to be thrown it? If he would, it may take a moment, since he's promptly distracted by the return of the Adren and Ronin, and especially Blackblood's reaction to Reflection's observation.
Reflection doesn't react as violently as he might, instead he stands there rather suprisingly stoically. ~I have no reason to, unless presented with one. I am charged with the spiritual health of this Caern and its Sept. The hyena has done nothing to threaten that.~ Here Reflection's tone and stance grows darker, more on edge, ~Now stop threatening a Fenrir who has already had a bad night.~
Thane waits for the lot to return with the Ronin. When they're back in sight the Shadow Lord is in his Crinos form and talking - no nonsense, no waiting. ~QUIET!~ He roars towards the Ronin as he draws himself up to his full height. In the darkness of the cloudy night, the Lord's form seems to become less distinct and enrobed in shifting, ominous shadows that ooze the sense of dread. ~Enough games. You cross into our territory uninvited and announced, invade our moot, give insult to these Garou and our allies, and dare think you can walk away freely as if you owned the place. You. Do. Not. I DO.~ He snarls. ~I am within my right to kill you where you stand but apparently someone here thinks you might actually be useful. So I suggest you listen to Winter's job if you wish to earn back your hide. Speak quickly, Bone Gnawer.~ He says with a sharp look to the Galliard. ~Tonight has gone on long enough.~
Nolan looks as though he might have actually gone over to Justin, but as Thane raises his voice, he stops again, turning his focus to the alpha.
Ximena's head snaps up, startled out of her brooding. She'd actually sort of tuned everything else out while grappling with whatever was going on in her head. Now it's clear the Alpha has gotten her full attention, even though she was not at all the target.
Ears wilting back, The Last Song Standing starts to speak to the Ronin to try and smooth out the wrinkles, but the Alpha steps in and starts to shout. ~Now you see what I meant about keeping things cool and showing respect?~ Melting upwards into the homid form, Alicia folds her arms over her chest.
Brings-the-Pack starts at the yell from Thane, but then watches, fascinated, by the shifting, ominous shadows gathering 'round the Shadow Lord.
Winter looks eagerly at the offer of a snack and then genuinely disappointed as the opportunity fades. He then backs away from Thane at the outburst. He isn't the target of the Alpha's gift, but there is still a sense of its power that he doesn't want to get near. Winter clears his throat and then coughs a couple of times into his hand. When he speaks, there is a rasp even in this homid form which is perhaps explained by the scar on his throat. "Right. I couldn't remember her name, but I remember her. It's why I ignored her way back when she got here. Figured she was just being shy. We've crossed paths before but we've never had cause to meet. She does jobs for... whoever. Way I hear it, no one knows why she is ronin, but... She'll trade tasks for good food and supplies. Or even talens and fetishes if asked to do something dangerous enough. Don't know how true all that is. Thing is, we have plenty of really dangerous stuff needs doing with the hospital and spirals and all kinds of who knows what running around."
Blackblood is surrounded and bristles and pants like the cornered animal she is. As the influence of the gift directed at her hits, her head bows and her tail curls under her body as she cowers against the ground and doesn't lift her head to even glance towards the sept alpha's feet. She may even pee a bit and her coat radiates with the smell of bitter fear. She listens to the words of Winter as she restlessly and nervously chews at the fur on her foreleg but for once says nothing.
Justin clears his throat a bit and takes a few steps back away from the Alpha and his anger, then lobs the bag of gummy worms between Winter and Nolan. Sliding his hand into his pocket, out comes a pack of M&M's instead.
Nolan looks from Winter to the Ronin to Thane, and then back to Winter. "So you think all your nice Sept members ought to risk their lives because that's what's needed, but she ought to get paid to do it?"
Ghost speaks up, though she's noticeably hesitant. "That's fairly common among Ronin. I've um, I've never heard of one getting a fetish for their work though. Dog work. Rarely from leadership of any kind, and almost never officially."
~No.~ Consumes-Shadow says towards Winter. ~If she cannot even be trusted to behave she certainly will not be trusted with our sacred items. If she wishes to live the life of a dog then she can earn her keep and life like one. My kinsman is in need of a distraction in order to attempt to unearth information about the tower and those inside, perhaps even our one intended target. She can compose herself as a proper Garou and serve Gaia in the defeat of the Wyrm. She knows nothing of us or our sept. Should she get captured and interrogated, she has nothing to offer them. If she succeeds and escapes or dies in service of the sept, then she may be considered to have redeemed herself and prove she is worth being called a Garou.~
Ghost schools her expression very quickly, but all of her tension has returned, and in spite of herself, she's clearly not happy at all about what she hears.
Winter looks to Ghost as the strange Garou speaks. He than raises his hands in silent defeat and shrugs. A moment later he adds, scooping up the candy, "You are focusing on the unimportant part. Just saying what I've heard." He steps forward towards towards Blackblood, carefully, then kneels down. He pops one of the candies into his own mouth and offers first to Nolan, "She isn't a member of this Sept. She may have a duty to Gaia but not to us. If she is to do service, she is within her rights to ask for one in return." Then to Blackblood he follows up with, "So. You have a clear choice. Leave St. Claire. Tonight and do not return or... do a job and in return win some browny points? I'll even throw in some good Stuff from the Mighty Gnawer horde."
~What choice is that?~ Blackblood says with a defeated whine as she raises her eyes to Winter. ~Die by Wyrm here or die out there.~ She bristles again and snaps at the air with clear frustration and anger. ~Fine. Tell me what to do. Just feed me and let me sleep away from the voi-- the noise in the city.~
Consumes-Shadows looks unconvinced but the Shadow Lord seems disinclined to drag this on and the gift's effects fade. ~Reflection's Howl and Last Song Standing, see she is given a place at the garage where she can be watched. This discussion will continue after tempers have cooled and I have spoken with my kinfolk. This moot is dismissed.~
Ghost turns to leave without comment, though by the way she pushes off to do so--a rather heavier-than-necessary shove--she's clearly not in the greatest of moods.
Reflection nods to his Alpha and melts down to the homid. "You are in our charge and under my protection. You will be safe." Again, he states this as fact rather than offers it as a possibility. He looks over to Alicia and gives her, at least, a subtle look that she surely must know the meaning to even if it isn't obvious. "I have some leftover venizon stew if that is to your taste, Blackblood."
Brings-the-Pack continues watching curiously as the moot adjourns, as well as the events leading up to its conclusion and the 'deal' being struck with the ronin.
Winter pushes himself up to his feet, but leaves the candy bag on the floor near the Ronin when he does and walks back to his tent-cloak which he steps inside and does a Mario touching a Mushroom impersonation on his way up to Glabro. He fastens the neck pin and looks to his tribesmates, seeing what their move is.
Felix does much the same as the Mage-cat, although closer to the ground and while eating gummy worms. He continues observing the others for a good few minutes before he actually gets to his feet, stretching.
Nolan watches it all pass by with an amused expression, as though none of it actually concerns him, though he certainly finds it interesting.
Blackblood gives up the wolf fur, leaving a lean and angular woman with the bi-colored hair to match her coat. "...hooray!" She mumbles with false enthusiasm as she moves to stand. The candy bag is quickly snatched up and curled in protectively close to her chest as she stands. "Food is food."
Brings-the-Pack loiters on the branch above, perhaps waiting for the remaining few garou to clear out before departing himself. He has the air of an observer rather than a participant, which is likely not surprising given the nature of this recently ended moot.
Ghost stalks off into the woods without a glance back.
Consumes-Shadows watches the Ronin and her Garou guard moving out. The Ahroun says nothing more and still oozes anger as he turns to stalk out into the bawn.
Once it seems everyone's settled everything they plan to and most are departing, Felix glances to his packmates, and then to Winter, including him as well as he asks, "So. Dinner? I'm fuckin' starved."
Jamethon heads off with his charge, out into the night.
Nolan looks up into the tree again, squinting at the large cat. He stares for a few seconds and then gives another nod, a gesture, perhaps, indicating the woods to the west. He scoops up the bag of candy that was lobbed by his feet, and then heads off, himself.
Winter nods, firmly, then nods again. "Any chance of hot food tonight? I'll even spring for some of His Noodly Appendage."
Felix squints at Winter a moment, tilting his head. "I'm pretty sure that's some kinda porn," he says, "But yeah, reckon pretty damn good odds on hot food, one way or another." He gives the Ragabash a grin, and then starts leading his little group away as well.
Not long after Nolan and others depart, the cougar seems to have vanished as well. That cat is super sneaky and quiet, much like--oh, right--a cat.