Author Topic: Daniel's Athro Challenge pt3 (Warning: still very long!)  (Read 596 times)

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Daniel's Athro Challenge pt3 (Warning: still very long!)
« on: February 16, 2009, 04:33:53 AM »
Part Three:

“The return from Pangea was slow. We did it in pieces. First our bodies and then our minds. We all remembered what had happened there. What we had done. But in time we made our individual peace with things, rose and, like garou, carried on.”

 “Stone Turtle was patient. He waited while we healed but when we arose he proclaimed that the next path was dangerous as though those things that had come before were nothing. And so I decided to leave Makisha behind though she had proven herself useful –more than useful- but as kinfolk I judged the danger too great and thought that Seeks would stay more focused were his mate not placed in such danger.  To Spirit of Stone I offered the choice. He was cliath –accepted by Wendigo- but had stood as such not yet two cycles of the moon. He showed that the spirits had chosen right and understanding the risks decided to see through what he had started.”

 “Our guide then took us south to a town called Red Valley and he said that this lesson was hard. That sometimes we arrived too late. That there was nothing to be done.”

 “This was the path of stagnation.”

*     *     *     *     *

The town had been quarantined. All roads barricaded. The water supply cut off and contained. It was not long before the Garou saw why. The first body was that of an elderly woman. It lay where it had fallen. Bloated and leperous. The flesh ran like water amid an island of lesions. The smell was horrible.

*     *     *     *     *

“The silence in the town was eerie and oppressive. If there was a noise, it came from us. Though this is not entirely true. There was a low sound. A background sound. Like the static behind the radio station. The droning of flies.”

“There is nothing for you here.” repeated the turtle. But we gathered the bodies. Hundreds of them or more. And we offered them the peace of a proper rest. It was more than what had been done for our people when the diseases took us. But this was as much about healing Gaia as serving the dead.”

“On our way to the reservoir we found the bodies of three wolves, and a crinos garou. The humans nearby were heavily armed. We took these to be the bodies of the Garou who had fought to contain this disaster having done so with their lives. We performed the Gathering for the Departed on them and the kinfolk that they might find peace and return to the cycle.”

“We burnt the body of the metis so that the Veil would be preserved.”

“And we continued on to the Reservoir. But the turtle was wrong. There was something to be found. Four clouds of corruption and disease rose from the waters. Our winds could not dissipate them or slow them down. If anything they seemed to absorb such attempts and make them stronger. These were bane winds, creatures out of the legends of Middle Brother. They carried within them disease and corruption. And when they enveloped us they forced their vile stuff into our lungs. Tore out our essence and perverted it.

“We gagged on them. And we struck back.”

“Miakoda reminded us why we used to send our spiritspeakers to Older Brother for training.”

 *     *     *     *     *

Spirit Speech had always sounded like goats farting in Chinese to the young Wendigo.  There was wind and sound but he could never quite tell where one word ended and the next began. Or if there were words. Or if it was all intonation. Or something more obscure and esoteric. He shrugged and coughed. Spat blood onto the ground. He usually decided that it was something beyond him. Something that just smelt bad. But now he was grateful for that sound. It meant that his packmate was still alive. Still bending these wind demons to her will. He could not see her through the haze of dust and corruption but that sound meant she was there.

Seeks and he had quickly recognized that their role in this was to keep Miakoda alive. Commanding the winds to attack one another had been a disaster. They had fed off each other growing stronger. But the Uktena had improvised brilliantly. She commanded one to remain still while a second stole that first wind’s essence. It grew stronger while the other died. Seeks and he raced through the maelstrom of the second freezing portions of
the cloud. The pieces fell like giant hailstones denying the wind any benefit from its cannibalization. If there had only been two winds things would have gone smoother. Still not easy by any definition of the word. One wind was a force. Two were difficult. But there were four of them.

Seeks planted himself beside Miakoda and turned his attention to keeping the third from savaging the Uktena. Miakoda’s concentration wavered as she rushed to heal the fallen Spirit of Stone. The Cliath was clearly out of his depths and struggling. His claws would rake a portion of the bane-winds essence away but the disease was taking a terrible toll on the young Ragabash. He could hide for a time but whenever he appeared one of the winds would savage him. He scooped out some of its essence using a basket of bones as a makeshift shovel but then he needed to be rescued and healed again. And when Miakoda’s attention wandered the bane-winds would struggle free and use the opportunity to replenish each other.

*      *       *       *       *

“I made the decision and gave the order.”

*     *     *     *     *

“Miakoda concentrate only on the winds. Leave Spirit of Stone. We have to take out the banes. Spirit of Stone… run… hide… use your cunning. Survive. We cannot heal you more till the banes are dead.”

There was no hesitation in the theurge. Miakoda nodded and turned her attention back to the winds. She chewed determinedly on her lower lip and once again set about bending them to her will.”

Daniel turned his own gifts of healing on his packmate bolstering Miakoda’s strength with a rush of health.

*     *     *     *     *

“Spirit of Stone did not run. He stayed and fought the winds. He used up his basket of bones. He was brilliant. He was smart. And he was lucky.”

“When Spirit of Stone sank to the ground, the fourth wind joined the other seeking to kill Miakoda but by then the first was defeated. She grabbed another forcing it to stay still and made the third cannibalize it. I continued to freeze out pieces of the one eating its brother. The one facing Seeks had been hurt by the basket of bones and was not strong enough to get passed the resolute Ahroun.”

“It took time but eventually the four bane winds were defeated. And such a death is the only fitting one for cannibals.”

“We hurried to Spirit of Stone. He lay still. And then he cracked an eye open, “good trick, yes. Pretending to be dead.” And then he slipped into a coma from his wounds and the disease that ravaged his body. But with the bane-winds gone, Miakoda was able to concentrate her healing on the cliath.”

“Stone Turtle reappeared and told us what defeated stagnation.

But I will leave it to you, honoured Rhya, and to those you tell this tale to -to figure that out for yourself.”

End of Part 3

Elder Wendigo Philodox Homid
Pure Breed x4 Diplomatic x4, Persuasive x4