So I’m sitting on a stationary train at Liverpool Street, off to visit a friend (who coincidentally happens to be the werewolf Gm). My tablet is hooked up to my phones wifi hotspot, and I’ve set out my bluetooth keyboard to type on. Its as good a time as any to make a blog post. Oh, and before i forget to mention it, I’vejust discovered krispy kreme apple pie donuts… amazing doesnt come close.
Typos, grammar, and punctuation can bite me. this isn’t the best way to write.
anyway. Chapter two of our Werewolf session. If you’re jumping in here, go read chapter one first.
I woke up to the sound of shouting. Mum and Dad were arguing. Obviously not my real Mum and Dad, I’ve covered that minefield I think. No, this was Try and For. Both were in the midst of a hearted argument a few rooms away. I glanced around, an saw that Scribbles and Eric were also awake. The young lady was also awake, though in the night she appeared to have forgotten she was in human form, and was trying desperately to tuck her nose under her non-existant tail.
I’ve always been taught that eves-dropping was an undesirable trait in people. I’v also been called undesirable on a number of occasions, so I listened in.
They were arguing over the new cubs. My new pack. For was telling Try that he was sending them away, to repay a debt. Try was telling For that he was full of shit, and that it was his duty to look after the new pack.
I looked around the room, and both Scribbles and Eric were looking angry, Scribbles muttered that he wasn’t a possession to be handled this way, and that he was his own man.
The arguments died out, and to fill the silence I mentioned breakfast.
Eric, Scribbles and I headed to the small kitchenette, and prepared food. I brought some back for the talkative girl, and set it in front of her. She remembered to use her hands to eat it this time.
As we ate, Try came in to talk with us. She’d calmed down, but still seemed to be struggling to put an explanation into words.
“Its ok Try,” I interupted. “We overheard.” you were a bit loud.
She looked a combination of embarressed and relieved.
“You need to understand, For means well. He wants the best for you, but at the same time, he owes a debt, and needs you to help him fulfill it. He’d like you to finish up eating, and head through to his office to speak with him.”
She patted me on the shoulder, and left the room.
I shoved the rest of my breakfast into my mouth, chewing frantically. I didn’t want the pack to see the worry on my face, but I’d only been into For’s office a few times before, and I’d lived in the building for more years than I could count. The others followed suit, and it was then that I realised that two of the pack weren’t eating with us.
Ben and Get were both still sleeping soundly. I tried to wake them, but they were sleeping the sleep of the dead, so we left them curled on their chairs.
As we entered For’s office, I could see something I’d not seen before. A large map hovered in front of For, and he manipulated it with gestures, scrolling, zooming, and rotating it as if he held a large model in front of him. through-out the map, areas of red stood out. Clustering around areas After a moment, it clicked. This was a map of London, in three dimensions. The red areas clustered around various points. Westminster, Fleet Street, the West end. Oddly though, Canary Wharf was a blank. Nothing showing there, not even the towers.
For gestured to us to sit down, and went into Lecture mode. “So, Try tells me you overheard, and I don’t want you to think we’re abandoning you. You’re helping us out. I owe a friend a favour, and she’s called it in. She needs bodies to help her out. She believes she’s discovered a lost Caern. Ha, like we’d lose a Caern, but she needs eyes, ears, and hands to help out. I’d like you to travel to Rainham Marshes, and offer her your help.”
Scribbles spoke up, “I understand that you owe this person a favour, but thats you. Why are we carrying this out? Whats in it for us?”
He was obviously feeling braver than me.
For seemed a bit taken back by this. “Obviously you’re new to the pack, and for this deed, I guess you could say that I will owe you a small favour.”
This seemed to satisfy Scribbles, and he nodded to himself.
Eric spoke up though. “Why do we need to stay? Whats to stop us just going home?”
For looked pained. “We’re not keeping you with us The pack is here for safety. If you were by yourself, you’d be preyed upon by the wyrm. Those beasts that attacked you last night would swarm you By yourself you’d be weak. As a pack, you are strong. If you have things you need to get, you can get them, but you should travel together to Rainham.”
“Have you arranged transport?” I asked, “Or should I take my van?”
For Laughed, “Yes, take your little van. It will give you some modicum of freedom. Go to Rainham Marshes. Speak with Amanda Freeze-the-River. She will take care of the details.”
It was obvious that he was done speaking with us, so I led the way out of his office. In the meeting room, we clustered around. “I’ll grab my keys, and some gear. If you need to stop off on the way, we’ll do that. Can one of you try to wake the others. No, not by licking their faces.” The last bit, I added because the talkative girl was heading towards the sleeping pair.
Bringing my bag, and a few sets of clothes back into the room, I thought I’d show the new cubs how to store clothes when changing form. “there’s a ritual
you can learn, which will allow you your modesty when changing forms. Personally I don’t get it, but apparently humans don’t approve of nakedness.” I set my bag and spare clothes in front of me, I placed my phone alongside them, and began to draw the patterns of the rite around them, binding them to me. Scribbles watched on. Eric seemed to already know what I was doing, nodding to himself as each stage completed.
When it was complete, I jumped to my feet, and beckoned to the others. They’d not been able to wake the sleepers, so we decided to head out without them.
We stopped briefly in Greenwich so that Eric could grab some clothes and his bag. While we waited my mail alert chirped, and I saw I’d received an mail from Try. She’d sent an app, with a few keys A mobile version of For’s Map. I asked around for the others phones. Scribbles hadn’t got his, he had no idea where it was. The talkative girl looked blankly at me.
Once Eric returned, we headed out again, stopping briefly to pick up a few smart phones for the pack. I installed the app on both, and passed them over.
The city made way for greenery, and soon we pulled in to a nature reserve carpark. I executed an almost perfect handbrake turn into a parking spot, but the pack weren’t as impressed as I expected. Scribbles looked ill.
We poured from the van, and had a quick nose around. Dusk had settled in, and there were very few cars in the carpark. A small distance away a pathway was lit by solar lanterns, and off in the distance a little, a visitors centre had its lights on. This was our destination, so we headed for it. as we drew closer, we started to hear sounds of a struggle. I shifted to wolf form, to better get a scent of what was happening. Hurrying on, we came to a small clearing, where a man clutching an ipad was frantically dodging the attacks of a enormous spider.
I don’t think I’ve seen a creature this big before, and it glowed as if it had eaten a mini-nuke. I shifted back to my natural form, and ran in. I placed myself between the spider and him, and bellowed “Whats going on!”
He answered “The binding has gone wrong… Subdue it!”
I glanced over at the spider. It was a creature of the weaver, not the worm. I didn’t want to hurt it. Eric stepped up behind me, chittering at the arachnid. It chittered back, and continued to swipe and bite at me. The only course of action left was to pin it down while it came to its senses. I leapt in, grabbing its legs, aiming to grapple it to the ground, but it squirmed under me, and next thing I knew, its legs surrounded me, and I was the one pinned. Scribbles leapt in to help, and fell to the same fate. All the while, it chittered to Eric, while he chittered back. After a minute or so, it released us, stepping away.
Eric turned to the man (Who I now recognised. He’d spent time with the sept a few months back). “Why were you binding it? Its really not happy about being here. It says this is a dark place, and empty place, and it doesnt want to be alone here.”
He pondered this for a moment. “But its not alone, theres a number of other sun spiders here.”
Eric relayed this to the sun spider, and it chittered back “He says he’d be alone. The others are bound, and not free.”
“I don’t understand whats happened,” the man replied (Gab, damnit, Gab was his name, that’s right) “This has never happened before, a spirit has nevr resisted like this “tell him I’m sorry, I didn’t know it’d upset him, an that he’s free from my service.” Eric chittered away, and the spider turned and left, growing fainter as it wake away.
Turning to Gab, I asked, “we’re lookin for Amanda freeze-the-Water, do you know where we can find her?”
“She has a new pack of cubs inbound, she’s just popped out to grab some bits” There was a moment of realisation. He looked over the pack. “You’re the pack, ah, you’re a little earlier than she expected. Come inside, I’ll grab drinks.
We stepped inside the visitor centre. From inside its origins were more obvious. This was a repurposed shipping container a few chairs and a desk graced the floor, and in the corner a kettle graced the top of a filing cabinet. Gab put the kettle on, and gestured to the chairs. “Amanda will be back soon…” He started, and the door behind us opened, and a young lady entered the room.
She smiled wearily, “I’d hoped to beat you here Sorry, I was picking some bits up.”
She pulled up a chair, and sat in front of us. “I’m sorry to drag you all out here, but what we’re doing here is incredibly important, an we can use all the help we can get.I don’t know what information you’ve been given, so I’ll try to give you what I know. stop me if you already know this.”
Gab handed her a cup of something, and she took a sip befor continuing. “Fo as long as we can remember, We’ve fought against agents of th Wyrm for control over Caern’s. Sometimes they hold them, Sometimes we do. But always its controlled. Recently though, I discovered a lost Caern, buried beneath this marsh. Forgotten. I’ve no idea why. We’ve spent weeks trying to discover why, and uncover it. we’ve employed a network of spirits working towards this. However, recently there’ve been a series of murders, with the bodies being dumped in the marsh. Thers been a large media and police presence in the area, and thats hampering our work here. We can deal with the spirits, we can handle discovery of the Caern, but we need someone to help with the other issue, the murders and media presence.”
Another sip from her cup. “In order for you to work as a pack, you’ll need to be bound together. Werewolf packs have a totem, a spirit animal that watches over them. Have you chosen one?”
A look of confusion passed the faces of the others,
“I’ve given this some thought” I told her, “I think, considering the nature of my packmates, and I believe we best represent the spirit of Boar. Unwavering, strong, and protective.”
She nodded, and beckoned us to follow her outside. Taking a stick, she drew a circle in the mud, tracing symbols around it. “Please step inside the circle.”
We did, and she began to speak in an uncertain tone. “I’m charging you young pack to protect us from the influence of humans and the wyrm. Return to me when done and much glory will be yours”
She muttered some other unintelligable words, and the air in front of us shimmered, and a giant boar materialised. She spoke with it through a series of grunts and snorts, an it responded in kind. It turned to face us, and nodded, and with that, I felt a wave of power sweep through me. We’d been accepted.
Suddenly I felt ready to take on the world, my pack beside me. I turned to look at them, and the look on their face echo’d the way I felt.