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A Time of Trouble - Werewolf: The Forsaken Actual Play

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  • #91
    Oh boy, been quite a while since the last update. For those interested, university has hit a few members of the group particularly hard this year, so we've mostly kept the game on hold for the last few weeks through exams and the end of semester. Our most recent session was quite short, so this recap isn't going to look like much, but in a nutshell:

    Session 34

    The pack found themselves caught in a bind, after returning Arthur to his place of rest. They had a Suthilu problem to deal with, the Wolf in Golden Chains stirring up trouble in their territory as evidenced by Wade's Claiming, and they were currently bound to a hunt that was truthfully not their highest priority. Luna's silver chains allowed only enough slack to get Arthur to safety, before turning their attention back to the problem of Death Resonance infesting the quarry. This was a hunt they had planned to take their time with, slowly reshaping the essence through actions in the material world and exerting their influence on the local community. It was going to need more drastic measures now.

    Orla suggested that they try and have Cairnbreath take ownership of the death spirits in the spirit-bog where the quarry had once been Shadowside. The others weren't exactly sure if that would help matters, they had nothing much to trade with and Cairnbreath might just decide to settle in a place so attuned to his nature. Regan wanted to hunt the death spirits and dispatch them, or use Orla's jars to seal them away. Aaron, however, recalled that he had ever so briefly met another who might be able to help them. The Pack knew that among the loremasters of Belfast, two names stood out. Reynard of the Kallakalat, Regan's grandfather, and the veteran Cahalith of the Symphony Cascade. Aaron had encountered him when the Hunters in Darkness had gathered for that unfortunate communal hunt that had cost Aaron his eyes, but hadn't really spoken to him. If anyone knew of a shortcut or cheat to their current woes, it would be him.

    Regan invoked the Message rite, dispatching a tiny Lune made of musical ringing notes. The Lune's message was simple, containing Aaron's phone number and an entreaty to please call them at the earliest convenience. Aaron returned home to wait by the phone. When it rang, the speaker on the other end introduced himself in a raspy voice as Lawrence of the Symphony Cascade. Aaron explained the situation, and after some consideration Lawrence described to him a Rite that would allow them to transform the essence with the help of a spirit opposed to the nature of the resonance. They would need to strike some kind of bargain for it be fulfilled. Aaron then hung up the phone, the Harbingers having gained a new debt but having the tool they needed.

    The obvious spirit of choice was Silkenspun. With Wade beginning to stir and the healing spirit's days of vigilance over him nearly at an end, it didn't take much more than a token offering of essence from the ever-persuasive Aed to convince Silkenspun to help them in their endeavour. The Pack waded into the swamp, the spectral shadows of the area's death spirits kept at bay by the imposing figures of Hope and Aed, as the Rite began. Silkenspun's nature was woven into the fabric of the quarry, causing the marshy ground to bubble and boil as the death essence dissolved. As the death spirits scattered, unwilling to fight the Uratha, the pack felt the distant approval of their unearthly mother. The hunt resolved, albeit with a price still to be paid down the line, the pack could at last turn their attention to the more pressing problems at hand.

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    • #92
      Ok, this has been a long, long time coming. Work and studies, holidays and an increasingly busy schedule, and a few other personal things have all made getting the group together really, really hard. But we've changed the venue we play at, moved the game to a fortnightly one rather than a weekly one (let's be honest, it's been more consistently a fortnightly game even when it was going pretty regularly than it ever was a weekly one), and back to playing Werewolf again! Fingers crossed that we can keep this schedule going a little more consistently, because there's some good, juicy stuff on the horizon for this campaign. Without further ado:

      Session 35

      Their territory healed and their borders reinforced, our wolves had a moment of respite from the trials they had been facing. The pack was tense, wary, waiting to see if Cairnbreath reacted to their cleansing of his essence, but no retaliation came. Instead, the brief peace was disturbed by the stirring of another. Wade had recovered from his ordeal, and they visited him Shadowside in Aaron's Glade to listen to his story. There was a brief squabble within the pack on the cusp of the Glade, with Aaron refusing to allow Aed into the Glade so long as the Blood Talon was accompanied by his usual entourage of brawling spirits of violence. The little creatures were clearly annoyed to be told to remain outside of the Glade and turned on one another in their frustration. The pack entered the Glade to the sound of an escalating brawl behind them.

      Wade was disorientated, confused, and deeply apologetic when the pack revealed that he had turned on him. His recollection of the events leading up to the fight was scattershot, but together they pieced together the chronology of events. Wade had long kept company with the many wolf spirits dwelling in Belfast's underground, they had been his main source of allies as a Ghost Wolf claiming territory in the city's sewers. In recent weeks a particularly strong spirit had approached him, offering to join its strength to his to protect him. The spirit in question, a white wolf covered in golden bands, had previously seemed confined to the lower depths of the earth, but had begun to move about above ground and suggested that it might give Wade the strength to do so too. Wade had accepted the offer, presumably, though he couldn't actually recall the moment when he had done so, and his memories ever since were filled with growing anger, protracted blackouts, and the sensation of strength.

      It seemed clear to the pack that the spirit of the Wolf in Golden Chains had attempted to Claim Wade, only separating when they had been on the verge of killing him. They tried to help Wade piece together his memories and track his movements while he had been Claimed, and it became clear that the Wolf had been tracking the Suthilu through Belfast's tunnels. The Bat Hosts had not been his target, however, for the Wolf had avoided direct confrontation and instead kept watch for another drawn to the same target. He had been waiting for an angel.

      The pack's collective minds recalled their encounter with the creature named Michael that had come to them during their raid on the Suthilu nest in Andersonstown. They asked Wade what the Wolf had wanted with the angel, but the Ghost Wolf could only recall hate and the memory of the angel vanishing before the Wolf could enact its plan. The pack decided that they had best reach out to Michael, and see if he could shed any light on the situation.

      As they were leaving, Wade in tow, he told them that he could remember meeting with several other Werewolves while he had been Claimed. Other friends of the Wolf in Golden Chains, he believed. He couldn't recall the faces of the others, though he remembered that a pair, one male and one female, had stood out as the others had been met with singly. He was worried that this meant that the Wolf had other allies out there in Belfast, allies who might themselves prove suitable hosts for the Wolf's spirit.

      The pack return to the mortal world to gather supplies. The following day was Sunday, and that seemed like the best time to summon an angel whether he be of God or Helios. They returned to the Shadow to try and summon Michael after Aaron had finished delivering Mass and had foisted his remaining duties onto his Deacon. The tricky part was that they weren't really clear what kind of entity Michael was. If he were a true angel, then Aaron felt that they could only pray and hope that he responded. He could be a spirit, perhaps an agent of Helios, in which case it was possible that they could entice him with a rite involving the appropriate essence. Or perhaps Regan could reach out with her Message Rite and see if Michael, whether Angel of God, Spirit, or something else, could be reached by the Lunes at her beck and call.

      Naturally, the pack decided to go for all three. Regan and Orla prepared the Message Rite, while Aed carefully arranged a large bronze sun sculpture that he'd picked up as memorabilia... somewhere in his travels. Aaron attempted to lead the pack in prayer, kneeling at the altar while Helios bore down on them all through the shattered stained glass window of the Shadow Church. A few mirrors they'd been able to grab helped fill the space with sunlight as the different chants in Latin and the First Tongue mingled together.

      The response was swift. Blazing light filled the entrance of the church, causing the paint to bubble and peel and wisps of smoke to rise from the wooden supports. The light turned inwards, boiling away into the shape of a man, at last resolving into a beautiful being of pale skin, sculpted muscles, and golden hair. Bronze wings spread from his back, and the pack could hear the whir of gears and cogs as the pinions splayed out. The angel Michael turned his attention to the wolves, and asked why they had called him.

      Aed took the lead, explaining Wade's plight and presenting the Ghost Wolf to the angel. He explained that the Wolf in Golden Chains was trying to break free, and was clearly an enemy of Michael's. When asked if he would help them track the Wolf, however, the angel refused. His mission was to destroy the Suthilu, and he intended to see his duty completed without bothering with such distractions. The Bat Hosts were on the run, having been beaten back in Blackstaff, Andersonstown, and the northern shores, and now they fled back to their warren to attempt to waken their sleeping brethren with as great a display of bloodshed as they could muster. Michael bade the Werewolves gather all the strength they could for a crusade against the vile creatures. At Aed's prodding, Wade offered his own services to Michael directly, and the angel accepted. The two departed, with Michael pronouncing that he would call on the others for the final assault soon.

      The pack returned to the material world and held a quick discussion before they departed to bed down for the night. Aed was disinclined to summon any help at all for the battle with the bats, arguing that the pack would gain more Glory if they were to end the threat themselves. Regan argued that it seemed more glorious to fight at the head of an army led by an angel, and wanted to summon every wolf they could. Aaron and Orla sided with Regan, for varying reasons, and Aed acquiesced. They began to reach out to the other packs they knew to prepare them for the need for battle.

      Regan needed to head home early to meet Steph's curfew. It was as she was approaching the house, however, that a snake-like coil of moonlight reached out for her. The Lune, in Maddy's voice, whispered a panicked message that the Kallakalat were approaching the Harbinger's territory. Halfway through her speech she seemed to hear someone approach and switched to a more formal speech, requesting permission of behalf of her pack to enter the territory in pursuit of their prey. Panicking herself at the prospect of her father and other extended relatives running around Andersonstown, Regan agreed and then doubled back as quickly as she could to Aed's house.

      Once there, she explained to her packmates what had happened, and called Steph to ask permission to spend the night at Aed's. Steph reluctantly agreed, just the once. Unfortunately, both beds and couches were all occupied between Orla, Aed, Lizzie, and even a makeshift bed set aside for Wade as a promise, but Aed dug out an old dog bed and had Regan sleep in Urhan to save space.

      Aaron was the only member of the pack to leave the house that evening. On his return home, he smelled smoke and caught the sound of running feet. He followed the sound, stumbling across the pursuit in action. A mortal, near invisible smoke spirits clinging to his limbs and streaming out behind him, raced through the streets. Maddy and a girl who could only be her sister followed on foot. The unfamiliar girl's blouse was covered in red, though she bore no immediately apparent wounds. Aaron watched them go without intervening directly, and returned quickly to his church to check that the manifestation of Michael spirit-side had not caused any undue damage. To the contrary, the quality of light within seemed a little brighter than normal, but no damage had been done to the structure.

      And with that, the final member of the Harbingers settled down to rest before their crusade.

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