An arrangement had been made between the leaders of one sept and the other. Thane arranged for a Fury who knew the Great Hunt rite to come to the caern to perform it and teach it to someone, in exchange for a future favor in return. The timing would be tight, and--worryingly--the emissary was late. Very late. Nearly too late. Her howl goes up, introducing herself, and adding that she's headed for the caern at full speed with a cliath in tow. The clock ticks. Time is nearly up.
Trace has been here-- and waiting-- with his packmates. The howl, however, gets a sigh of relief and a glance over towards them, and then the Glass Walker spins his revolver on his finger like he has already done so many times recently, and slides it back into the holster.
Spinning about an aluminum baseball bat with razor wire wrapped about it is Justin. He is kicked back a tree and letting out a loud and bored yawn. At the sound of the howl, he straightens up and clears his throat. "Looks like we gotta be on our best behavior. I'm not looking to get kicked in my nuts."
Felix does not appear to have brought any weapons, or if he has, they're hidden somewhere. However, it's fair to guess he may also have gotten a bit bored, since he's wandering and currently singing (rather better than the song deserves), "...an' it's moose, moose! I like a moose! I've never had anythin' quite like a moose!" He cuts off at the sound of the howl, with a head movement like ears perking, and grins. "Kick ass, 'bout fuckin' time."
Thane Consumes-Shadows stands in his Crinos form atop the dais. The dark-furred, one-eyed Shadow Lord looks three shades from bona fide pissed off. The howl only serves to elicit a low, displeased growl from him which is enough to set Song-of-Ashes, who's loitering with his pack, to shink down a little closer to the ground and paw restlessly at the ground. The Sept Alpha lifts his head to return the howl, declaring himself and his permission in curt quickness.
In time, a panting black wolf with grey fringe and white accents appears at the edge of the caern, at a run. ~Don't shoot,~ she urges as she slows, shifts to homid, and a small bookbag on her back emerges with the transition. "Mona," she says curtly with a glance towards the wolf following her. "Binds-the-Demons," she says, probably referencing her own name as she dumps the pack on the ground, unzips, and pulls out an earthen bowl with a smooth and unadorned interior and an exterior riddled with garou glyphs. "Car crashed," she explains her delay as she grabs at the dirt from the caern and, using her fingers, grinds the soil into the bowl. "Quickly! Add your blood to the bowl!"
Linnaea is late too. The Gaian scrambles her way down towards the others from the trees, a bow and quiver of arrows in one hand, and looking a little more grounded than she usually does. Her hair is also sporting a new colour, dyed in rainbow. She looks over towards the others, and takes her place in time to do as instructed.
There is a nod that follows from Trace, and he pulls a knife from one pocket and slashes across the back of his hand, holding it in the space above the bowl, before offering the knife in turn towards his packmates.
Though the older woman's companion takes some time to regain herself, all she needs to hear is 'quickly' to return to her native form, even if the effort does seem to knock the wind out of her a second time. But, breathless, and mindful of all the new faces, smells, and sights surrounding her - especially that of the towering crinos that had called back to them - she takes a quick look around, and pulls a swiss army knife from the pocket of her jeans. "Not the best time for introductions, is it?" she says, offering an apologetic smile to those assembled, her gaze venturing off again to rest on Linnaea-- or, more specifically, the bow she carries. "I, ah-- I have something for you," she says. "Or, for her, rather," she adds, nodding to the theurge.
Felix pulls out his own pocket knife about the same time as Trace, and makes a slash across his hand without hesitation, letting his blood fall into the bowl as well. He glances to his packmates, and then to Lin, to see if any of them need the knife; it's Song-of-Ashes who gets the most focus first, given the lupus's current lack of opposable thumbs.
Consumes-Shadows looks over the arrivals with his severe expression lightening some given the 'valid' excuse, though it's clear the full moon and event has the Ahroun on edge. ~I will be staying behind, as Alpha and Warder, to see to the caern's defense. Others of the sept are grouped to watch over the bawn. If healing is required, our Rite Mistress is at the sept compound. Either seek her or howl. ~
When their turn comes up, both Justin and Song-of-Ashes moves for the bowl. The Bone Gnawer makes quick work of using the knife to open his skin and add his blood before taking up the offered paw of the lupus Uktena for the same.
Linnaea accepts the knife from Felix and hands it back right after, with a grateful, quiet nod. Mona, however, gets a bit of a 'huh', though all that Lin eventually says is, "Later?"
The elder Fury leans back, panting, heavily winded to the point where flecks of her own blood grace her lips. She's pushed herself beyond what her body ought to be capable of doing without injury. As the sept's garou finish adding their blood to the mix... "You too, Mona," she indicates towards the bowl. "And give the one with the bow your chiminage after you bleed." She begins stirring the thick, red mixture with a finger and, after everyone has added their blood, pulls her finger from the bowl and draw a swipe of blood from her temple down her nose, and a second swipe is made hozontally from beneath her left eye and to her ear. "Use a finger. Paint yourself with your septmates' blood and the earth of the caern you defend. Then you will feel the pull of the hunt."
"Actually--" Mona hesitates, easily cut off from any further insistance by the old Fury she accompanies. "Right," she says under her breath, and - with a hint of reticence - flicks open the knife to slice into the meat of her palm, her blood allowed to add to that of the others.
Song-of-Ashes twitches his nose at mention of a finger and takes to the Crinos form so he can dip a taloned digit into the mixture. A line is drawn from the tip of his nose to between his brows and from the bottom of each ear to the outer edge of his eye to connect the three senses. The coywolf looks towards his packmates, tongue lolling out in an enthusiastic pant. ~We'll hunt good tonight!~
Trace steps forward to take one finger, and he touches his finger to his chest beneath his shirt, not so much with any distinct part to it as much as simply doing. There's a nod to Song-of-Ashes, and a smile with far too much teeth to be otherwise polite. "We will!"
Linnaea looks, if anything, even more confused, and then quickly shakes her head a few times. "Not me. I'm not..." Then a moment more, she continues. "Later," she repeats herself as she dips her finger into the bowl, a distinct British accent coming out in the word. The theurge quickly and quietly traces the blood in a line, from forehead down to collarbone.
After adding his own blood and then smearing it on his face in the form of war paint, the Gnawer Ahroun shifts into the crinos form and folds his arms over his chest. The metal baseball bat is still clutched in one large fuzzy paw, teetering gently up and down in his fingers.
Felix wipes his blade on the thigh of his jeans after Linnaea hands it back, then flicks the knife closed in a practiced movement and slips it back into the pocket from whence it came. The interaction between Mona, Lin, and Binds-the-Demons gets some interest, but no comment. He takes his turn with the bowl, dipping a finger and drawing a line down the center of his face, and two shorter angled ones at each cheekbone. The grin he gives his packmates is rather a lot like Trace's. "Damn straight," he agrees.
The elder Fury begins chanting rapidly and intently,clearly fixated fully on the ritual component now. Those with bloody warpaint can feel it beginning to burn and tingle, though there's no direction quite yet. Maybe.... Maybe a slight pull north? Or east? Hard to say.
There's a certain amount of uneasiness that goes into Mona's actions, the sense that she's very much out of her element clear enough to be frustrating. Still, she follows suit with what she's told, extending her fingers to the bowl to gather up what she can once Song-of-Ashes has done the same, the blood added haphazardly to trace either of her cheekbones, a third line added down the middle of her throat as an afterthought. "I think-- I'm supposed to do this before I do anything else," she says to the shorter woman softly, keeping her voice low so as to be mindful of the chanting, though she makes it a point to keep track of any unhappy looks this might earn her. "They're--" she reaches for the bundle tied to her belt, and begins to unwrap it, the black tips of two arrows quickly visible. "Well," she says, quietly handing the both of them over to Linnaea, "they seem relevant."
Linnaea moves over to Mona, and furrows her brow. "I'm not your elder!" she whispers, furiously. "I'm not even... I'm not even your tribemate?" She sighs, looking at the bane arrows, and then nods, taking them with what ends up being a gracious nod, and then tucks them into her quiver, which she's already sliding onto her belt. "You'll talk to Charlene-rhya or the alpha, later when we get back."
Consumes-Shadows watches the two Furies closely though doesn't seem to oppose what either does. ~May Gaia and Luna look favorably on us tonight. Good hunting, you're carrying the future of this sept with you. You all - most of you - know the severity of what's waiting for us. Bring us back some hope.~ No pressure.
Song-Of-Ashes follows the faint twinge on his face, nose and ears turning this way and that as the coywolf tries to pinpoint the direction of the pull.
"I was planning on it," Mona replies gently, her head inclined towards Binds-the-Demon as if to say 'this wasn't my idea,' one of her hands raising to absently scratch at one of the marks on her face before she realizes what she's doing, and pulls her hand back.
Mouse-Trap rumbles deeply to his packmates as he gives them a firm nod, then lobs the baseball bat to the side on the ground. Eyeing the pair of Furies for a moment to memorize them, he lumbers off with a grunt. ~Let's go and kick some ass.~ He says, then lurches forward as he picks up speed, looking to take the lead.
Binds-the-Demons continues her strained, forced chantings in some alien tongue. Hell, it might even be utter gibberish. But then the indecisive, waivering pull that doesn't seem to indicate any certain direction... indicates northeast, headfirst into the wind. And everyone with blood on their face knows--/knows/--the threat is in that direction and in the realm instead of the umbra.
Trace takes off running and keeping pace with his pack alpha, shifting up into crinos as he does so. Six-Shooter simply gives a low growl, no further sound at the moment.
Linnaea isn't so quick, and remains in her birth form as she heads after the Coyote pack. The Gaian has an arrow-- a normal one-- in her hand, and the bow in her other hand. Nor does she run steadily, but rather with a wince that suggests she will pay for it later.
Song-of-Ashes bristles with a mix of a hunter's lust and a puppy-like glee as the Hunt's trail comes into focus. The Galliard throws back his head and howls. It's a bit high pitches and yappy but it's all but boiling over with the joy of the hunt. ~We hunt! We hunt! Let's go!~ And he drops down into the Hispo form and rushes forward. Only the pace of Mouse-Trap contains him from bolting ahead.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew as well shifts up, running with his pack and a sense of joy, pressure or not. He joins the other Galliard's howl with much the same sentiments, if more standard tones.
Though it takes a moment to follow suit, Mona keeps pace alongside Linnaea for a time, letting her body make its transitions less abruptly than she had before until, finally, feeling a curious sense of momentum that's far more foreign to her than it ought to be - be it the forgotten sound of a heartfelt rally, or the certainty the rite's imbued in the lot of them - she enters into her crinos form, and begins to run.
The werewolves rush through the forest, onwards, noses into the wind. It doesn't take more than half a mile before the smell of burning is scented. Something up ahead is on fire. And the winds will carry it towards the caern if it grows.
Rising-Dawn finally shifts into crinos along the way, bow and arrow still in hand as she does so. She runs no more easily in this form, though she more or less keeps up with Mona, at least.
Nose twitching, Mouse Trap who is in the lead slows down a step and gives a motion to the others. Slow down, he commands non-verbally. ~Song of Ashes, move forward ahead and use your super senses. See if you can sniff something up ahead besides the fire.~ He rumbles as he shifts down into the hispo form. ~Go lower to the ground if you can. We need the advantage.~
Song-of-Ashes gestures acknowledgement to his pack's alpha as he drops down to his belly and begins to creep forward. As he goes, he calls on his gift of Heightened Senses to try and pick up anything beyond smoke and flame.
It's a fast response from the lupus who sneezes with the potency of the odor. ~Fire, something sharp...~ There's a time Song-of-Ashes is struggling for a word and ultimately snaps with a growl. ~Stuff cars eat. Fire's not big but will be soon. We need to hurry.~
~Gasoline. Someone is setting the forest on fire.~ Swinging his head over to the others, Mouse Trap sizes up his packmates for the night. ~Lin, can you work with the spirits to try and contain the fire? Talk them down? If you can't, we may need to do this the harder way.~ He says with a wily grin. ~Fury.~ He glances to the Ragabash. ~Scout ahead and report back what you find. Six-Shooter, take Chugs and flank left, Ashes and I will go right.~ He says with a firm nod. ~Close in, be careful.~
There's a moment that Hides-in-Whisper finds herself inclined to do similar, but the mere mention of oil and gas make her think better of it. The acrid air is already near-overpowering, no matter how acclimated she's managed to get to it over the years. Perking her ears at Mouse calling to her attention, she glances at him briefly, and ignores a maddening urge to hesitate in order to slip quietly from the pack as a whole, careful to use a concealed route.
<OOC> To the caern, Mona derp, should clarify: 'do similar' re: 'activate heightened senses.' When I jotted that down it was immediately after Song's pose.
Rising-Dawn growls and rushes forward, and she takes a bit of a nod. ~I can try, but they only might listen. Find who set it. Find water.~ She takes a breath and moves forward, and takes another breath, and the howl that follows is less words, and more intention. *Spirits, friends, who give life to the forest that we all call home. Any who can hear me, your forest is burning and we need your help!* This is beyond anything that the theurge has ever done in the past, but there is so much of her willpower going into it.
A moment of pause, and then the Gaian sighs, and reaches across the gauntlet, disappearing from the realm. Once on the other side, the call is repeated, word for word.
Six-Shooter twists an ear in acknowledgement of Mouse-Trap's words, and ahroun and galliard break off to the left as they move forwards.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew does as instructed, slowing to remain apace with the group, then heading leftward with Six-Shooter. There's no hesitation, although his pack Alpha gets a fleeting sidelong glance as the Galliard goes. Most of his focus is on their surroundings, however, for any further indications of things that oughtn't be.
Song-of-Ashes stays alongside Mouse-Trap dutifully, apparently leaving his gift active as his head's on a rapid swivel to take in everything he can as they go.
Though it takes time, Hide quietly reappears through the foliage using a hurried, but cautious gait. ~Two fires~, she says, inclining her head in the direction of the flames. ~One normal, one-- not.~ She looks over her shoulder. ~Doesn't move like it should. Doesn't react to wind.~
~Small, now~, she adds quickly. ~Won't last.~
Nodding his head, Mouse-Trap lets out a frustrated huff, then gives a howl outwards to Six-Shooter and Chugs to give them the news. ~Take the normal fire, we will get the other!~ He calls out, then leans forward to butt his head to the Fury's shoulder. ~Go to the Umbra and back up the Child of Gaia Theurge, please. She is in there trying to talk the spirits to help out. She may need your support.~
As Shooter and Chugs draw nearer from the flank, they can see a bonfire-sized fire that looks natural and is potentially a hazard should it catch the forest on fire. Behind the flames is a single fire-elemental that burns with an acrid smell--corrupted, likely.
Rising-Dawn takes a breath in again and calls louder. *Please,* she repeats, though there is a grateful, if amused huff, to the tree jaggling, and then continues. *Spirits, please. The forest, your home, our home, is burning. We ask your help in fighting it, in keeping it safe.*
The theurge's second attempt to call for spiritual assistance results in many looks, largely by effectively impotent gafflings, but no offers for aid. Perhaps none of the nearby spirits are capable of materializing in the realm?
The contact is regarded with a curious moment of surprise, but Hide eases. Then comes the request, and-- though curiously hesitant to abandon the action after all her reticence at the caern, she makes it a point to acquiesce with a subtle bow of her head, and follow the instructions. This much, at least, she has some familiarity with, allowing for some ease in stepping past the gauntlet, and into the umbra. Immediately taking stock of her surroundings as thoroughly as she's able, she joins the Gaian theurge cautiously, raising her head to sniff the air. ~No luck?~ she asks, ears pricked and alert.
Song-of-Ashes bristles his shaggy fur as he moves alongside Mouse-Trap. Their path carries them closer to their packmates than anticipated and he banishes his gift as they come close to the source. ~Let's go!~ He says with impatience and bared teeth. Something seems to catch his attention though and he pricks his ears and lifts his head to look directly towards where Chugs is.
As Ashes turns and heads for the others, Mouse-Trap moves as well as he trusts his friend's nose. He gives a quick howl to the Fury before she heads for the Umbra if possible. ~Corrupted fire spirit! Tell Lin!~
Rising-Dawn twists her ears flat, and gives a swing of her head when the Fury appears. ~None,~ she agrees, though there is a huff of thanks to the spirits that did listen. ~Let's go back before we're needed.~
~Agreed,~ Hide replies, still attentively looking around as if *hoping* for something to pop out of hiding. And while she didn't hear the full message of the howl that followed her departure, the image has stuck in her mind enough to mention: ~One of the fires isn't right.~
Six-Shooter growls somewhat at the fire and then nods, looking back over towards his pack alpha once more. ~We need to get the fire out soon. And deal with the rest of it.~
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew eyes the fires as the pair approaches them, and there's a couple moments of a thoughtful look, then the ghost of a headshake and shrug. He nods to his companion, and there's another second or so before he says, ~Little stream a bit away to the east...~
Rising-Dawn sighs one more time and reaches back over for the realm with a nod. ~Elemental?~ she asks once they're back, heading for the others.
Song-of-Ashes lingers with his attention on his pack for several moments before he turns his eyes back towards the Fire Elemental. *You!* He barks out in the spirit's tongue. He steps forward with his fur hackled and teeth bared and trying his best to look big and tough and mean in his hispo form. *You don't belong here. Go away!*
The unnatural looking fire, about 5-6' in height, looks to be some kind of corrupted fire elemental. And the bonfire that's downwind of it and growing is currently about 7-8' tall, but clearly a growing hazard. The Uktena's bark draws the elemental's attention. It fires a gout of flame his way. Which misses. But singes the Uktena's fur. It's shrunk a little, down to about 4-5', after the expenditure of energy.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew doesn't speak spirit, but he does talk shit! ~Hey, asshole! Fuck you think you're doin'?~ he agrees from the spirit's other side, punctuated with yelps and yips and a sort of taunting dance. ~Come an' get me, if you think you got you some great balls o' fire!~
<OOC> To the caern, Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew uses Distractions.
The elemental turns and fires off a gout of flame towards Chugs, and this one connects! Fur and flesh get scorched, but the Gnawer is still standing. And didn't catch on fire himself.
~I--~ Hide's lips curl subtly in a poorly contained show of frustration. ~I don't know,~ she says, hurrying along to the rest of the pack, the sounds of the confligration stoking a desire for haste. ~Probably,~ is all she adds to that.
Six-Shooter bristles with tension, and simply growls at the fire elemental. It's loud, and it's challenging.
<OOC> To the caern, Mouse-Trap taps Shield of Rage.
Song-of-Ashes dances away from the blast of fire on light paws and continues to yap and howl. He's not as poetic as his fellow Galliard packmate but he does speak the elemental's language. He lunges forward and snaps at the air like he may nip at a deer's heels, howling out in derision. *Go Go Go! Back to where you came from, weakling!*
The elemental lobs a third gout of flame towards the growling Walker. The flames barely graze him, but the radiant heat still does some damage. By now, the elemental is about 2-3' tall--about the size of a campfire--which is roughly half what it'd been before. A fourth gout shoots towards Song-of-Ashes, but it sputters out in mid-air and the elemental shrinks, suddenly, to the size of a torch.
<OOC> To the caern, M'aiq says "Aaaaaaand botched!"
*Get out of here! This is not your forest!* Rising-Dawn contributes to the yelling at the spirit, her ire clear in her words.
Mouse-Trap trots over towards the fire as it has been throwing flames here and there. Lifting his leg from behind, he lets out a steady jet of urine upon it.
The more it becomes clear that things are drawing to an end, the more Hide seems to calm, be it out of fading momentum or, more likely, sheer force of will. ~Not its proudest moment, either,~ she remarks, as subtly as the form allows.
The diminutive fire elemental turns to hurl flame at the theurge, but then notices the Gnawer ahroun trotting up towards it to urinate on it. As the leg hikes, the elemental blasts fire at point blank range into the Gnawer's crotch, melting highly sensitive flesh. Urine sprays, but nowhere intended. Clearly, one should not play with fire. The elemental is now a mere 6-9" high.
One of those taunting yelps from Chugs has rather more of a pained tone to it when the fire connects, but it turns into a low, furious snarl, fired by Rage and will as he puts the pain aside. ~C'mon! Is that all you got?~ he taunts it again, dancing away, ~I got worse burns puttin' out my cigarettes! Fuck, I got worse burns from =Freddy=!~ He laughs aloud as the elemental sputters down to torch size, and moves toward the spirit as if he has something in mind as well -- but the result of Mouse-Trap's try seems to change his mind, and he just spits at it instead.
The spit misses the elemental, but it also misses his packmate. Meanwhile, the normal fire seems to be spreading a little across the fallen leaves on the forest floor. But not nearly so much as before when the elemental was encouraging it. The latter begins fading, as if crossing back over to the umbra--dematerializing.
Mouse-Trap lets out a loud, pained noise as he gets blasted right in the junk. Hitting the ground and dragging his hips across it, he whimpers out in pain. ~...avenge my balls, coyote pack!~
Song-of-Ashes flinches as his pack alpha gets hot pants and declares with a yap he's got an idea. He makes a dash towards where the stream's located and howls for someone to follow along. ~We need to get water! Clothes hold water. Others, clear ground, nothing for fire to eat.~
Trace shifts down to his birth form, pulling off his shirt as he does so, potentially to hold water with.
Rising-Dawn for her part starts clearing the ground around the 'normal' fire, brushing away anything that might be flammable.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew dives to slash the remnant of elemental with his claws, inevitable burns or not, to try to prevent its escape. He intends to destroy the corrupted spirit entirely, if he possibly can. The other fire, he leaves to the others in the meantime.
Depriving the normal fire of additional fuel, as Rising Dawn is doing, seems to be effective in controlling the fire and could very well eventually put it out over time. The elemental continues trying to make good its escape rather than attack as Chugs charges in rapidly for the kill. Claws trump flames, it would seem. The elemental is vanquished, but Chugs gains some minor additional burns on his hands.
<OOC> To the caern, M'aiq says "Elemental = toast. Fire = controllable with some time/attention. If you need to hit the hay...."<OOC> To the caern, M'aiq says "Also, yay! Great Hunt success! (Granted, it was a super-easy one that many garou'd be like "that was it? srsly?", but it /could/ have turned into a major threat to the caern if unaddressed!)"