Story 1, Chapter 2 - Bad Moon Rising
Bad Moon Rising
Chronicle: Something Wicked…
Story 1: Pack Mentality
Chapter 2: Bad Moon Rising
Time: 20 March 2008 (Vernal Equinox)
Chapter 2: Bad Moon Rising
Scene: The Boot n Rally
Five wolves rolled up outside the infamous Boot n Rally in a pickup truck driven by the big Bastian “Atlas” Dewitt. The wild west saloon called out to rednecks and hipsters alike, as much an “off the grid” bar as line ho-down headquarters.
Hundreds of the herd filtered in and out of the seedy joint. Interspersed, here and there, a few dozen of the Kinfolk (wolf-blooded) had been invited – as many “in the know” as not. Finally, like little islands of violence in a storm of joy, the wolves lurked.
A moot had been called for the Vernal Equinox to celebrate the turning of the season and the arrival of a new wolf and a new pack. John “Jack” Sullivan was widely rumored to be the last piece of the newest pack of Forsaken in Arsenal – a pack already closely tied to the two political “heavy hitter” factions.
For their part, the Pack Without a Name (PCs) fanned out to commingle with their betters, lessers, and equals. And to drink, of course:
Bastian spent the better part of his time mingling with fellow bar owners Marge and Joe doing his level best to build up young Jack to the owners and spread about a little goodwill.
Horatio melded back into the crowd, a shadow of the herd with an eye posted on every little thing.
Dean took note of an old friend, a member of his old pack from back in the day. “The Gravediggers are coming to Arsenal,” she said with all the menace that entailed. “Home isn’t our home, not anymore. David still hates you and he’ll be here soon.”
Jack, the “guest of honor” thought it best to stick to drinking, but the Lovely Lady Loup had other ideas. She dragged the “young pup” out onto the dance floor for a turn at some difficult country line dancing.
Scene: Pissin’ Contest
Christian slipped on back to the dank hallways for a little relief, but lo and behold, the Boot n Rally’s idea of such things was as twisted as its redneck origins. Next door to a small shitter was a sign that read “Inside’s for shittin’. Real men piss outside.” Never one to give up a challenge, Christian slipped on back out into the bright night sky. Half a dozen men stood in disarray spraying their golden shower all over the muddy ground. Embedded in the dirt holes where coffee cans, hub caps, bean cans, and far in the back, a beer bottle.
As the Iron Master unzipped he felt an uncomfortable presence sidle right up next to him. The big bastard unzipped as well and through dark sunglasses stared down his smaller counterpart. A wolf challenge had been initiated. A challenge for dominance. The pissin’ contest began.
Hellfire of the Scar Angels and the ever-witty Christian Throne whipped out their peckers and aimed. First row down, on to the next smaller target and keep going until your piss runs out or you hit the tiny little opening of the brown Bud bottle in the back. The two wolves pissed with an audience of drunken fools enraptured by the homoerotic display of “Man” put on by two who were anything but. When the zippers rose, it was Christian who turned with a witty quip and dry hands and claimed victory. Hellfire grunted – the closest thing to submission he would give.
Scene: Hey, That’s My Girl!
Jack spun back from the dance floor into the waiting machinations of Atlas (Bastian). Standing next to the big man in all her delight and glory was “Staci with an I.” Big boobs, cut-offs, blonde braids, and midriff showing all under a cowboy hat wrapped in the wolf-blooded form that exuded sex. Vaughn had talked him up to her and immediately she began to flirt shamelessly with the fresh blood.
A few seconds later, a vicious snarl and feminine growl announced the presence of Nine-Claws Amy. All nine remaining fingers scratched an inch out of the tabletop as she stared down Jack. “She’s mine,” the look said. Jack considered, gave a long look at the missing digit and the wicked smile on Staci with an I’s face, and realized the girl enjoyed playing dangerous. He bowed out with all the dignity he could muster.
Scene: Is That a Fucking Vampire?
The keen eyes and discerning nose of the Hunter in Darkness at the door took note of a strange stench seconds before it entered the door. The hackles rose in *Horatio*’s mind and he moved to meet the interloper. Trespassing whispered every instinct in his body. The trespass demanded confrontation, but he knew she might not understand her folly.
Olivia Colbert, Vampire used her wicked wiles on the unsuspecting wolf and in seconds he was under her spell (Entrancement). She convinced him to lead her to Bastian for she had a very public offer she wished to make. Horatio moved with her and eyed the crowd. A part of him knew it was wrong and he would later feel far less positive about the interaction. For now, he guarded the interloper and led the way.
Olivia made a very obvious point of gifting Bastian with a silver card, an invitation to a future event. The vampire’s fingers touched the werewolf’s flesh and even those who were not watching felt the shiver. For her part, Olivia understood her danger and requested Horatio guide her to depart. With a growl of warning and a whisper “ignorance is acceptable the first time” Horatio escorted her outside. In seconds she had fled like liquid lightning leaving all present to wander at the connection between wolf and the dead.
Scene: The Crowd Effect
The Peacemaker’s Solution – Alpha Pack of Arsenal (see here for images and description of Lovely Lady Loup)
The Lovely Lady Loup leaped high onto the stage. Her liberty spikes stuck out incongruously with her cowgirl outfit and spurs, but she didn’t let the strangeness stop her. “Look at all these farm fresh cowboys. Why, what’s a girl to do?”
The punk cowgirl began to sing and her preternatural gift for song entranced most of the herd and kin alike in seconds. The men who thought her weird now considered her exotic. Those who were before attracted practically fell over themselves to get closer. Through it all the politics of the People continued.
- There at the bar, George Smiley drank straight whiskey and watched the crowd for a sign.
- SS of The Legendary sat a table and alternated her hateful eyes on all five members of the PC’s pack.
- Odin drank and was seen speaking to the Survivors of the Fall revealing his political affiliations and reminding all that he wanted to retake Denver.
After a time, Loup hopped from the stage to let the band take back over and slipped through the crowd towards Jack and his pack. She had a test for him and he would not like it. She pointed to a big man (Hellfire of the Scar Angels) and began to speak:
“Are you a wise man, Jack? An honorable man? Of pure heart? Do you seek fame and reputation? Or are you a different sort, something else entirely?”
Loup grinned and gestured to the seat under the behemoth biker. “That man has my seat. Go get it back for me and show us what kind of man you are.”
Jack made his way over and Loup leaned to Rose, Christian, Bastian, and Dean and laughed. “Hardly fair, there are two of them. But lets see how he handles the test. Care to take a bet?”
Rose: “He’ll talk until they challenge him.”
Christian: “He’d have more luck pissing in a bottle.”
Dean: “I don’t make bets unless I know I’ll win.”
Bastian: “He won’t be a Storm Lord.”
Jack spoke and the PCs took note of the rest of the Scar Angels moving closer. “Oh, the injustice,” Loup giggled. “I guess a beating is one way to get them to give him the chair. Your boy is in trouble.” And with those words, the pack moved. Horatio fell into the crowd and eyed them from afar. Bastian made his way, direct and quick. The others saw Duke, the alpha of the Scar Angels, watch from the crowd.
Jack looked up to Hellfire and opened with “So, what happened in the bathroom? I heard some stories.”
The huge biker stood. “What the fuck did you just say to me?” The Scar Angels converged around the smaller Jack, all snarls and hate. The PCs were in position, ready and willing. Bastian quite calmly slid the chair away mid-conversation and replaced it with another.
Scene: Capture the Flag
“Boys and girls, your attention please!” The potential conflict was halted by the liquid sex of Loup’s voice. “All those who know know where they need to go. For the rest of you, a song and a dance, and a round on the house!”
The Uratha slipped away in ones and twos. The conflict temporarily put on hold, the PCs and the Scar Angels followed suit. WIthin half an hour the entire population of the People at the Boot n Rally made their way down hidden paths and protected domains deep into the ruined ravines outside the bar.
Long ago the ravine was home to a lumber mill called Cardigan’s Mill. Through time and history the place had fallen into disrepair and now served the People of Arsenal as a testing grounds of sort. Here, under the watchful eyes of representatives from every Forsaken Pack, the PCs and the Scar Angels would square off in a test of skill, a challenge of tactics and the ability of a pack to work together.
Take Back the Land (See here for description of the history of the Mill and the spirits of the region)
The Lovely Lady Loup explained it all. “You will be given an hour to survey the land. Each pack will choose a base to defend and a flag to hold. It’s a simple game. You must have both flags at your base to win the game. The rules are simple: follow the Oaths of the Moon. Everything else goes.”
With that the PCs took their time and surveyed the land. They chose an old toolshed (Site #4) as their base and the Scar Angels chose the Waterfall as their own.
Map – Legend
(Storyteller Note: Need to create the legend for the map above. Can’t find my damned list)
The PCs chose Horatio’s belt sheath as their flag while the Scar Angels picked Hellfire’s massive leather duster. In the middle, at the sawmilll, a Rank 4 Locus (Destruction Resonance) stood ready to admit any into the Hisil. The Scar Angels made their plans and the PCs followed suit. Dean called to the spirits and summoned Jaws-of-the-Pit a foul beast of hate. Horatio shaped the land to create an emergency bolt hole for escape near the waterfall. They planned and prepared and then the signal was given. The game had begun.
Scene: Kill Crazy Rampage
Dean and Bastian took the offense heading straight to the waterfall. As they began their climb, Rose and Thorne ducked into the shadows of the overgrowth and slipped inside the Security Station to interact with the CCTV and spirits. Jack vanished into the night, a sniper on the move, and posted up high and tight and laid ready to wait.
They saw Fix (Ithaeur) alone atop the waterfall calling to the spirits. Copperhead and Duke took offense and began to track. Jack spotted a huge mountain lion moving in the open, but saw no sign of the beast Hellfire.
The conflict erupted fast and hard. Christian spoke to the spirits of the Security station and used his tech savvy to flip on the power, the lights, the generator, and the CCTV. He called out position and offered chiminage to the trapped spirit within the system. “All Eyes” was eager to take Thorne up on his offer to allow it to inhabit his tablet and free itself from a prison. They cut a deal and took advantage of the strength of information. Horatio waited outside and called when he knew Duke and Copperhead had come.
Bastian raced hand over claw up to the top of the waterfall, Dean falling in the slippery water and taking more time. Bastian noted a ring around the duster and immediately understood it to be a ruse. The Scar Angels did not leave their flag behind. By the time Dean rose to the top with his spirits in tow (Writhes in Sorrow and Jaws of the Pit), the previously hidden Smoker made his move. Dean ordered Jaws to the flag, but the circle bound the dog-spirit in a trap. Fix and Smoker attempted to take down their attackers, but they could not fight back against the raw power of Bastian, the wisdom of Dean, and the long-range fire power of Jack. Smoker’s mind snapped and he fell into the Death Rage, body warping and twisting, unwilling to remain in the fight. He ran for the hills and the cowardice would shame him. Fix was injured fast and hard, but the PC’s followed their Oaths and did not slay him.
Horatio and Christian went toe to toe with Duke and Coppherhead. Through a combination of cunning and clever action, it was not long before the Scar Angels had their back to a wall. Duke suffered mightily and went down. From far away, high and up top, the mountain lion revealed had finally found its prey. Hellfire transformed into his dalu form and attacked Jack on his high perch. Bastian raced to the locus and found his way deep in the Shadow Realm seeking the hidden duster, knowing it must be camouflaged therein.
In the end, it was over too fast for most to understand what had happened. Bastian returned from the Shadow having outmaneuvered Take Back the Land, the great trapped tree spirit. Duke and Fix were down, healed by the PCs. Smoker had fled to be headed off by the other Forsaken overseeing the combat.
The PCs had won and won hard. The Scar Angels bowed their heads in defeat and Duke informed the PCs’ Pack that a debt would now be owed.
(PCs: As you may note, I didn’t get a chance to write down every aspect of the battle. If you have more you want to add, please let me know and I’ll throw it in here.)
The PCs were congratulated by one and all. They had made themselves known as a pack to be reckoned with in a simple game that, by all rights, they should have lost. Before they could depart, they were headed off by the Lovely Lady Loup and her proposal.
“Odin has a plan. He wants some things and what Odin wants it’s best to give. But we want something too, the Peacemaker’s Solution. It’s a pity to involve you so early in the politics of the Uratha, but think of this as your chance to shine, to become vital. Watchmaker watches you. We must speak…”
Experience, Rewards, and OOC Information
- +5 Personal XP each
- +5 Pack XP
- +2 XP for Glory Renown (All – can bank for later)
- +3 XP for Glory Renown (Horatio – for Dramatic Successes on the Howl of Victory) (same as above)
- +1 XP to Dean/Horatio for Honor Renown (same as above)
- +1 XP to Horatio for Cunning Renown (same as above)
- +1 XP to Bastian for Purity Renown (same as above)
Allies Gained/NPCs Discovered:
Scar Angels owe the PCs a big debt.
The Sawmill (see Take Back the Land)