No Really, We're Sheep
In another universe, Joseph didn’t stop badgering the Sept of the Winter Wolf, and our adventure ended as follows:
As Joseph lectures Feasts Upon Skies, well informed by his years as a itinerant high school student, well versed in both Garou etiquette and the politics of the Garou Tribes, and excellently embodying both the tenant of the Litany that commands one to Respect Those of Higher Station, as well as the tenant that one should Respect the Territory of Another by disobeying orders, trespassing beyond the grounds which were allotted for his visit, and, of course, presuming to know better what justice entails in the aftermath of a mass murder and act of war, somehow, in all of this, surprisingly, things do not go over as happily as he would like. And so it is, to his somewhat great surprise, when the Grand Klaive thrusts through his chest without so much as catching upon the bones of his rib cage.
[Dex 5 + Melee 3: 57328175 vs. Dif 5 (Joseph has chosen to stare down the spear rather than adopt a combative/defensive stance) = 4 sux. Dam = 8 Str + 3W + 3 ex sux: 14: 79394644734656 = 7 Aggravated, Unsoakable damage.]Joseph feels as though an industrial drill his pierced into his chest and then filled the cavity with acid. His mouth and nose immediately fill with his own blood because the injury inflicted has functionally merged his circulatory system with his respiratory system. He tries to stand, but his legs do not work, and the mere act of trying causes spasms of agony up and down his spine, but only as low as the base of his chest. His spine, it would appear, has been severed below that point. In the midst of the gauntlet, Tinny screams in outrage and panic. AJ turns in place, finally heeding Tinny’s call to action, and sees Joseph sliding off of the silver spearhead, sees him fall backwards, sees him begin to drown on his own vitriol, and AJ snaps. [Rage Roll with 2 bonus dice: 7: 6356292: 4 sux.] Rather than suppressing his fury, as he had when they had been senselessly implicated in the slaughter of the Sept of the Winter Wolf’s pups, here he embraces his fury, immediately taking the Crinos form. His first sight is the little black and white wolf in front of him, but somewhere inside, a tiny voice reminds him that that one is an ally [AJ’s Permanent Rage exceeds his Permanent Gnosis so he normally cannot differentiate between friend and foe during Frenzy. He spends one Willpower to direct the Frenzy]. AJ instead turns in place and lashes out with his claw at the closest gauntleters, lashing out with each clawed hand at the line. [Spend 2 Rage for extra actions. Dex 5 + Brawl 2 = 7 pool. 7: 8569266= 5 sux. Str 7 + 1 Claw + 4 ex sux = 12: 375599985207: 7A vs. 3 Sta = 173. 7A. Second Attack: 7: 8839396: 5 sux. Str 7 + 1 Claw + 4 ex sux = 12: 962859099662 = 9A vs. 4 Sta = 0033 = 7A. Third Attack: 7: 1661077: 3 sux. Str 7 + 1 Claw + 2 ex sux = 10: 8363281965= 4A vs. 4 Sta = 7665 = 1A.] His claws find the guts of a woman, easily tearing them away from their housing within her abdomen, strewing them across the gauntlet. She staggers backwards, shuddering, her body beginning to surge up into its own Crinos form, but then collapsing into unconscious ruin AJ’s other hand tears into the back of the neck of a wolf-form Sept member, splaying down through the muscles and bone, clipping against bone, dropping the lupus with a yelp, grounding the beast where it lies still. A third form swims into view, and he bites at it, his teeth clasping on a human-like face, ripping into flesh, but seemingly doing little to dissuade his victim. In Hispo, Tinny is already bounding back through the gauntlet, trying to rejoin Joseph, panicking at the sight of Joseph impaled, and then hearing the carnage exploding behind him. As he bounds forwards, Tinny feels as though the world slows to a crawl. The tall Wendigo youth who had been about to challenge Joseph is turning in place, a demented smile on his face, apparently both pleased with the violence exacted upon Joseph and excited by the sounds coming from behind him, and flat out delighted to see the hispo form bounding towards him. His clothes are instantly shredded as he grows to a nine foot Crinos, only his vest and a bone-handled dagger surviving the shift. The sense of slow motion continues as the Wendigo covers ground with a supernatural speed, coming at Tinny like a fury. Tinny taps into his own Rage, drawing on it to try and match the Wendigo’s speed, but even as he feels it driving him faster, he realizes it simply isn’t fast enough. He goes low, opening his jaws, planning to bite through the cocky Wendigo’s ankle so that he can move on to rejoin Joseph, but before he can follow through, the Wendigo has stabbed him, driving a Klaive into Tinny’s ribs from the side, knocking his trajectory off course. Tinny momentarily reflects on his fight with the Bane, way back when he and Shayanna first met, and how that thing’s claws had felt like they’d cut his soul instead of his flesh. Then he feels his ribs cracking under the force of the blow. Tinny thinks about the first time he jumped from a moving train, how he’d rolled his ankle, felt the tendons tearing apart, that white-hot fire, and then he feels the Klaive in his side – a spike of molten agony, filling his chest, filling his throat and his limbs. And then he feels it again, and, perhaps mercifully, this time the agony goes straight to his heart, and Tinny doesn’t feel anything else. [The Young Wendigo has Spirit of the Fray, and therefore the higher initiative, he spends 1 Rage to take Crinos, and 3 Rage for extra actions. His first action is movement, which brings him to Tin Can Kid. The next two actions are stabbing Tinny with a Klaive. Dex 5 + Melee 4(Klaive): 9: 8812174833: 2 sux. Str 7 + 1 Klaive + 1 ex sux: 9: 735859408= 5 unsoakable. Second stab 9: 590428860. The zeroes explode due to his specialty: 19 = 7 sux. Str 7 + 1 Klaive + 6 ex sux: 14: 07319508433922 = 5 unsoakable. Fourth action move to AJ.] As he falls, numb, motionless, his eyes land on Joseph who lies in similar condition, and as Tinny’s life seeps away from him, he realizes that Joseph isn’t dead: crippled, dying, but not dead. And that, he thinks, feels distinctly unfair. The injustice of the moment is only enhanced when he sees Thoma and Royce coming to Joseph’s side. The red blur that is Royce’s Crinos form leaps through the air, howling a haunting song of furious grief, and but a step behind and below, the silver blur of Thoma Delacy follows: both of them driving towards the Ahroun. With a deft motion, the Ahroun whips his Klaive free of Joseph, a rainbow of crimson and black gore following the path of the spearhead, spattering on Thoma’s coat in violent contrast, while disappearing into the coloration of Royce’s coat. Royce catches, hanging in midair, impaled on the head of the Grand Klaive. [Dex 5 + Melee 3: 34508412: 1 sux. 8 Str + 3W: 11: 46807834705: 7 unsoakable damage.] Royce opens his mouth, unleashing a mournful, sighing howl that stutters and fails in his throat. Thoma snaps at the Ahroun, trying to bring him down. His teeth meet the Crinos Ahroun’s calf, but he feels them stop on the flesh, as though he were biting a petrified tree. The Ahroun’s calf tastes smoky and earthen, and it does not yield to Thoma’s teeth.
[Dex 4: 9126. Str 6 + 2 bite: 41806127= 2A vs. 8 Sta + 4 Armor: 12: 389155483810: 3 = 0 Damage.]Shayanna watches the massacre in horror, and turns to run. She only flees five steps before the first arrow strikes her: its shaft thick as a rebar, its boned head lodging in her back like a hook, the pain is unpleasant, but not enough to slow her down. Joseph watches her running as several Wendigo give chase in their Hispo form. [Dex 4 + Athletics 4 (Archery): 8: 16854389: 3 sux. D 6W + 2ex sux: 8: 99507253 = 4A vs. 4 Sta: 3789. 1 unsoaked Aggravated damage.] AJ rages, preparing to savage the two garou he’s already half eviscerated, but the young Wendigo Ahroun, still wet with the Tin Can Kid’s viscera is waiting for him. AJ throws his rage into his actions, moving to kill the thing that would dare stand against his fury, and doesn’t bother to feel surprise when it is faster, only caring to kill it. He tenses his claws and strains his jaws, lunging for the bite, but can’t quite reach the Wendigo. Vaguely, AJ understands that he hit something, something painful, something else that needs to be killed, something that kept his jaws from tearing apart the thing in front of him. He snaps and bites, and then draws back his arms to begin swiping, but the Klaive stabs him a second time, this time driving up through the base of his jaw and into his brain. AJ falls, his rage funneling into his limbs, swinging them wildly, blood jettisoning from the gruesome stab wound in his chest where the Klaive first struck, and, perhaps surprisingly, not yet spreading from where the silvered blade pins his jaws together, rooted into his skull. He lies on the ground, Gaia’s fury trying to fulfill his murderous intentions, but finding that its vessel is incapable of delivering the violence desired. [Wendigo, once again, has Spirit of the Fray and the Initiative advantage: spends two rage for extra Actions. Action 1: Stab with Klaive: Dex 5 + Melee 4(Klaive): 9: 442642498 = 3 sux. Damage = Str 7 + 1W + 2 ex sux: 10: 0750382815: 4A unsoakable. Second stab: 9: 286197159: 3 sux Damage = 9804404452: 4A unsoakable. Third action: Victory howl.] Joseph watches as AJ shrinks back to his human body, the Klaive pushing ever so slightly out as the skull shrinks to a human size. He lies naked in the snow, bleeding, and now motionless. Thoma rears back from the Ahroun, reevaluating his situation, wondering if he can ever cause this elder any injury, if he has any chance of doing to this beast what he’s done to Thoma’s packmates. And from overhead, he is suddenly pinned under the weight of a Crinos garou, and then impaled by the Elder’s grand Klaive. [Dex 5 + Melee 3: 91128616: 1 sux. 8 Str + 3W: 11: 96694627510: 6A unsoakable damage.
Thoma checks for frenzy: Rage 4 + 2 bonus dice: 990061. Thoma frenzies.]Feeling his body punctured, feeling the weight of Royce’s body on top of him, Thoma snaps in an anger that he has never before known. He Forces himself to his feet, Royce pinned to his back, and lashes out with claws at the Elder’s exposed gut. His claws drag across the Elder Ahroun’s gut and thighs, but ultimately scrabbling as though Thoma were just a dog in a kennel. [Spend 2 Rage for free actions. Action 1: Claw: Dex 4: 2715 = 0 sux. Claw 2: 1148 = 0 sux. Claw 3: 2820 = 2 sux. Damage = Str 6 + 1 claw + 1 ex sux: 8: 52794005: 4A vs. 12 Soak: 646940071131 = 6 soak = 0 damage.] The Elder twists the Grand Klaive Spear in Thoma’s gut, and the fight is robbed from him. The Elder removes the spear with a flourish, and bounds off to join the hunt for Shayanna. [Dex 5 + Melee 3: 783040400: 6 sux. 8 Str + 3W + 5 ex sux: 16: 4313863885172100: 4A unsoakable.] Shayanna darts through the forest, wind whipping snow and clouding visibility, masking scents, and then a wolf pounces just over her, barely missing her. An arrow grazes her flank, drawing a thin line of blood, stinging, but not inflicting any real injury. Then a tree in front of her crashes down in her path. Instinctively, she draws to a stop, realizing she needs to try and climb over the fallen tree, looking for the best route to do it, but her line of thought is cut off as the Elder’s Grand Klaive crashes into her spine. [Dex 5 + Athletics (Throwing Weapons) 4: 3394001144 plus two exploding dice: 73: 2 sux. Str 8 + 3W + 1 ex sux: 065487553014: 4A, unsoakable.] Shayanna yelps, pulling away, trying to draw on the fury that she saw her packmates display, but it simply isn’t there. The Wendigo descend on her, and her howling screams fill the forest as they tear her apart. In the Caern of the Winter Wolf, the Sept gathers up the not-quite-dead bodies of Joseph and Royce. A sad-eyed woman looks down upon the two boys. She points to Royce, “This one fought bravely in defense of his pack. We will hold him with the bodies of his fellows, as ransom in this war.” She points to Joseph, “This one has great spirit, but he renounced his Sept. He is of no value in this battle. They will not negotiate over the life of a ronin of no Sept. Execute him as we would a ghost who trespasses. Many Moons Setting call me a messenger, a spirit who can stomach the scab known as Chicago. We will send the Sept of the Second City word of this. Tell them that their assassins have failed. Tell them that we see the truth in their intentions through the deeds of their pups. Tell them that we will raze their wretched hive to the ground, as the Red Talons would ask of us. Tell them that they shall have the war they so desire.”