No Really, We're Sheep
Royce is a young Fianna Galliard who was set to depart for his first semester in a private liberal arts college when his fortunes came calling. Sent away by his father, half-heartedly seeking his mother, Royce joined the players first in Chicago, where Tinny and Shayanna came to meet him upon his arrival, and then in the trek to New York and beyond.
Royce was an early achiever but a late bloomer; born into a well to do family consisting of his father, Donnal, his mother Veronica and his various siblings, Royce studied and worked hard to earn his place in the household. He studied hard and was a straight A student all through his school career, studied several different musical instruments and played track and field, however, he did all this in teh interest of impressing his distant mother. She was and is, a werewolf of decent accomplishment, but more distant than any mother should be, always fighting the Wyrm somewhere and visiting her kids occasionally. Royce wanted to impress his mother, to earn her respect and love and worked as hard as he could, hoping that the next time she came home, she would be so impressed, she would stay. This never happened of course, but Royce tried all the same.
As he left High School, a number of scholarships, an impressive record and enough extracurriculars to win any college’s favor, he headed for the local university. Royce showed an interest in law, his fathers very successful profession, and gained an internship there to build up some experience on his resume while he attended school, gaining a good balance between school life, work life and a blossoming social life. Toward the end of his high school career, he began having dreams, vivid and wild dreams, dreams that changed his perspective on life. He would dream of running through the woods, chasing deer and rabbits, bounding through the brush and leaping off of downed trees, totally free and able. When he would wake, it would be like a perfect sleep, fully recharged and ready for the day with an energy and enthusiasm unrivaled by any teenage angst. And with this light heartedness and exuberance, he began to become a better performer, more confident and outgoing and also more popular with the opposite sex. As he left high school with his highest honors and highest of hopes, he set off for an exciting new adventure in college.
Royce quickly became well suited for college life, having both the energy and excitement to excel in his classes, but also the cool confidence to make quick friends, and with those friends, to start to earn a reputation around campus. His dreams however became more and more vivid, some becoming wild and reckless, some being violent and terrifying, some being free and liberating, and now, his most recent ones, exciting and carnal. Each days dreams brought with them different emotional states during the day, and on his carnal days, he sought out co-eds and lots of them, and much to his satisfaction, found himself rarely alone. It was then, as he thought he had everything that he wanted, that everything changed, and for him, all for the better.
He was home for the weekend, his mother had called and said she would be in town, but when he arrived, she was not alone, 3 men and a woman. They hugged, she kissed him, told him how big he was, how skinny he looked the usual nonsense, then took on a more serious conversation with Royce’s father in private. They had a very rare roast for dinner, so bloody it may not have been cooked, lightly seasoned, few vegetables and lots of alcohol. As dinner came to a close, Royce was feeling the same disappointment he always felt, his mother was home, but she was a million miles away, and while he knew he should not care, cut this person loose, the very idea of it was so ludicrous it seemed impossible to have even come up. He was filled with a sadness, a desperate loneliness that no one can cure, aside from the one person who caused it, and she had no idea that Royce was even alive. As evening rolled on, Veronica’s friends, of a questionable background, adjourned to the porch, presumably to smoke or drink or do whatever it is they do and Royce decided to call it an early night. As he ascended to his old room, a sense of defeat filled him, like he was giving up on his mother, but, the more he thought about it, the more it “made sense”. As he drifted off to sleep he wondered about what this woman called his mother was even doing here.
The dream was intense, different and so amazingly familiar, he was running through the woods, his track and field lessons a pale exercise compared to this, his feet dug into soft ground, propelling him forward, scents and sounds so alive and vivid, the world had gone from black and white to color and had gone so deep he couldnt believe it. Ahead he could smell the doe, her fear like a heady perfume, strong enough to taste and rich enough to want more. His muscles rippled with his charging pace, but exhaustian was no threat to him, the doe was going to need to go much faster if she hoped to get away. To his right came his first brother, although he had never seen him before, the snap of his jaws ordered Royce to cut left, darting around a downed tree and under its heavy branches, startling the deer to the right. Another brother came up behind him, vaulting over bush and bounding off a tree as he charged ahead, scaring a rabbit off in a mad dash. Royce picked up the pace, he could always run faster, his muscles knew that, and with this pulsing life in his chest, he could speed up indefinately, easily faster than the beta. “Wait, how do i know that?” Royce wondered suddenly. Something about his smell, his demeanor, his very presence seemed to say he would be in charge, if not for her. The bitch leapt from the tree line, snarling the doe stiff, a scampering of hooves and she changed direction, charging blind for anything that wasnt the huge wolf that attacked her, and the does charge led her right to Royce. With a lunge and a snap, Royce leapt into the charging deer, clenching his jaws onto its neck, carrying his momentum and bringing the deer fully around, snapping its neck like a twig as he landed facing the way he had come a limp, slightly twitching deer in his mouth. The warm blood filled his mouth and it was if his whole life vanished into this one instance, he threw back his head and howled.
The energy he had spent in the chase and the excitement of the kill mixed in his chest, the howl spraying waves of pure life to the moon, truly no moment in a man life could compare to the first kill, and no moment in a wolf life could top the first taste of life blood from that kill. The bitch and her 5 packmates approached, Royce dropped into a defensive stance and snarled, knowing full well he didnt stand a chance, but not willing to simply give up his meal, they would have to take it, but he did not realize how light a task that would be. The wolves sprang on him, pushing him over onto his back and held him there as the bitch approached, silently and steadily. Royce fought to roll over but the wolves were holding him firm, man hands clenching his legs and body, stronger than any man could ever be, and as the bitch approached, she changed, morphing, growing, stretching and changing. Within a matter of heartbeats, the bitch had changed from a wolf to a monster and then to a naked woman, standing in the moonlight. Royce fought against the attackers, but they grabbed his throat and pointed his head upward, the moon, not yet full hung above him, and all the wolves, and the woman howled to it. Royce was transfixed on it, he felt his soul reaching out to it and with seemingly no control, began to howl too. Royce woke up in a sweat.
The dream had been so vivid and intense, he should write it down, might make a good book, what with all the popularity of Twilight and such. It took him a while to realize how hard his heart was beating, and as it calmed, he came to realize that he was not in his dark room, but was in a dark place, somewhere outside and behind him, something was being eaten by something else. As he turned, he saw his mother, sitting naked amoung 4 other naked people. They had a small fire going, presumably for light as they were sucking the meat off a bloody bone which fire definately did not touch. His mother saw him stir and motioned for him to come and sit by her, more of an order than a suggestion. Royce stood up and began to hobble over, the strength not quite in his legs yet, as the other people turned to look at him. He dropped onto a log next to his mother, trying hard not to look at her, nor any of the other people seated around him, and instead looked at the tiny fire and the mutilated animal, a deer maybe. One man, deep hispanic maybe began to speak, but not spanish, some other language, kind of like native american, but, really, who speaks that anymore. The man gestured all around them, still speaking the strange language, then to the deer, then the fire, the moon, the woods and to something not visible in the sky. Royce sat obediently beside his mother being polite and feeling extremely awkward, but as the night drew on, and the man spoke, he began to feel the world melting away, like hypnosis. The words seemed to stick with him and as the night rolled on, they seemed to make sense, almost like his brain was suddenly translating what he heard, but in a different voice, more like his mothers. The man was telling him about the worlds around him, the spirits of things from the insignificant to the monumental, and how the world around them stood in a tremulous balance.
Even though it was completely insane, to Royce, it was almost like a refersher course, like he already knew it all, like he had always known it and like hearing it again made it more true. He took it all in, listened and believed it, but in the back of his mind, he didnt know what he was thinking. As the man’s story drew to a close, the group stood up in unison, looking to the moon and then to Royce, each extending a hand to touch him. “With this hunt and this ritual, you are born anew, no longer a man, but now a son of Luna, a defender of Gaia. Rise Royce McGovern, son of Vibrant Fang, born of the Galliard moon and Garou of the Fianna.” The rest of the night was a wash of howls, running and dancing to primitive music and in the morning, Royce woke up in his room, a beautiful day and a beautiful life.
Royce’s life was different now, the dreams were no longer fantasies of a tired mind, food tasted better, smells smelled better, music sounded more sweet and women were more desireable. His whole life washed clean of what seemed to be a fog, opening it up to him in ways he never knew. His mother left that night, but the day they spent together made up for 19 years of unspeakable distance, and while he didnt know his mother as a person much better, he understood her infinitely more. As he returned to college, he looked into his options better, joining the track team, knuckling down on his studies and cranking his homework out fast so he had more time to live amoung the people he thought he was one of.
Now Royce enjoys life, revels in the things that most people consider dull or boring, hikes and runs freely, even through the streets of the campus, every obstacle in his path becomes a hurdle to vault or climb, every breeze a wash of new smells or new stories to hear. He has become very popular on campus and loves to listen to the gossip around the frats and sororities. He plays his guitar and fiddle in campus quads or bars on request and loves to entertain groups with what he considers “fun” and even makes some money on occasion.