A Talon Game (Wherein FD proves she is allergic to fun).

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A Talon Game (Wherein FD proves she is allergic to fun).

Postby Runtywolf » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:52 pm

(This was a week or two ago. I'm just terrible at posting logs. But I thought this was a fun one.)

Edgewood House: Meadow(#1390RJh)
A long, hard-packed dirt road winds almost a mile through the forest off Sunrise Road, eventually opening out into a small front yard, and coming to a stop in front of a large house, which may be the very definition of ramshackle. The house is not visible from the road, nor can one hear anything but perhaps a gunshot. Its foundation and general structure are solid, but its once crisp grey-and-white paint needs updating, and some of the trim is having trouble staying attached. A fixer upper, one might say. Off to the left, there's a former garage, long since converted into something of an in-law apartment. A connecting flyover attaches it to the second floor of the house.

There are no fences surrounding either the front or back yards. In the rear of the property, the yard (larger than in the front) eventually comes up against a well built garden, with the very beginnings of sprouts. Shaded and obscured by surrounding trees, there is a small (but deep) natural pond, with a chuckling brook leading out of it, into the woods. There's a rope swing hanging from one of the trees. The yard to the southeast of the property stretches on for a time, and then is eaten by woods, into which there may or may not be a path; it apparently fades away quickly. There's a certain looming feel to these woods.

It's brisk. Below, freezing, even! But the wind is calm, and the sun will no doubt be warming things up soon, so a quick jaunt from the Talon territory to Edgewood is enough to warm the body plenty. Not to mention the boon of a naturally warm winter pelt. Luxurious. On the way over, Whisperer would inform Finds Death that this is a lesson day! As he has things he needs to speak to the spirit-moons about. Many dreams. Maybe about Sept moving to new places. Finds Death should know about these things, so she should speak with other spirit-moons, too. So off to the Edgewood they go. And now they are here.

As is typical of the young Talon Theurge, there is not much evidence of excitement, or of any strong emotion. She does show interest as they near the Sept's human-place, and curiosity over the thought of the Sept moving. Once they arrive, she lifts her muzzle to scent the air in the direction of the house, her body language unexpressive.

By this point, Earth-Whisperer has grown accustomed to Find Death's emotive flatlines, and seems more than happy to freely supply his own assumptions and plop them atop her. Obviously, she's ecstatic to be out for tribal forays and learning. Gosh, who wouldn't be? She just needs... a nudge. Thus, Whisperer trots ahead, motioning for her to follow. It is early, he explains. So there may not be any humans. This one will howl and see if there are any to wake up. And once they are close, this is precisely what he proceeds to do: A low, billowing howl echoes against the house--not so loud to carry too far and alert other humans, but loud enough to be obnoxious this early in the morning.

Finds Death follows the small male readily enough, sitting down where he stops to howl. She regards the house with flat, unkind yellow eyes as though it's an insect to be pinned down and carefully dissected.

It would appear that not all the inhabitants of the house are still sleeping. The howl draws someone out, but from the garage rather than the house proper. A young girl with black hair peeking out from her toque and a set of obviously hand-me-down clothes attached to her limbs. The door of the garage cracks open just a tiny peek as she peers out of it, head tilting this way and that in observation.

Some of the residents are sleeping, but not precisely human either. The howl brings ears to prick, and there's a somewhat mumbly yap of a reply from, of all places, the roof of Edgewood House, the equivalent of 'good morning' combined with 'whut wuzzat?' The Starcaller was in the middle of a dream of chasing bunnies, he was!

The posture of the Elder Talon stiffens somewhat. Neither of the responses seem to be what he was expecting, obviously much to his chagrin. Regardless, he informs the Starcaller-on-the-roof that he is searching for a spirit-moon--one who is informed about the changing sept, to speak of dreams. The girl at the garage is not overlooked, and Earth-Whisperer flicks an ear in her direction, exclaiming in a rather pot-and-kettle fashion that it is rude to hide from elders.

Finds Death tips her head a bit at the wolf on the roof, but then seems more interested in the cub. She gets up and walks over to sniff at Hayden's shoes, legs, and private areas.

Hayden's reaction is not unexpected given her newness to it all. There's obvious tension and a sudden stilling of her body as this strange wolf comes walking right up to her. "Uh." She looks up, perhaps for backup that is nowhere to be found, and then offers an uncertain, "Hayden. Shadow Lord cub."

The Earth Whisperer is answered with a somewhat more coherent response. The Starcaller is a Theurge, though he's been away for a good long time, is getting his bearings again, hello! A bit of a scrabble of paws on shingles, and then the wolf boinks down to the ground and trots around the House to join the little gathering that's forming, ears up and tail at a lazy angle. Oh hey, it's that girl he met before! Didn't realize she was a cub! Hi new cub! Yes, Stars is a bouncy, even at a venerable 10 years old.

Earth-Whisperer knows who the Rat-pup is, explains the Talon, almost with derision. But apparently a spirit-moon is a spirit-moon, and so he doesn't seem to completely dismiss Stars out of hand. Completely. This one had a dream. Of finding new places. Not bad place, but not nice place. Den of place claimed by others. Was scouting. Found secret way into the den, and heard pups. This one avoids the guards and find pups inside den, but many moons pass. Many times scouting. Learn the tunnels. Then find center of den, where girl-pup of Alpha hides. She is the one this one wants. But can't take her yet. Have to right for the call. Have to be ready. The Talon then promptly shakes himself. Weird dreams.

Finds Death cranes her neck to look up at Hayden, staring at her with those dead yellow eyes. Creepy.
Three wolves, one new cub. Hayden looks around and, missing out on all of the finer communications between the small pack of lupines, is left to study that eerie-eyed wolf that has taken property right at her feet. One of the three begs to be quite a bit more friendly, and the simple plea she has for Stars, is a meager, "Uh help?"

The Starcaller's ears prick up a bit further as Earth-Whisperer describes the dreams. /Fascinating/. He doesn't seem to mind the sneer in the Talon's demeanor, or even notice it, instead more intent on what is being described. Oh, but wait, the cub is confused. There's a moment where it's clearly evident Stars is trying to be in two places at once and failing, then decides to deal with the seniormost issue first, though he takes a moment to wrf towards Hayden, letting her knew he'll get to her in a moment before sniffing towards Earth-Whisperer. Did the Talon want the dream checked for omens, or just a simple analysis?

Apparently able to explain and sniff at once, Earth-Whisperer abuses the cub a little more by also sniffing at her in the typical places, and explaining for her benefit in short, punctuated, easy-to-digest phrases that he is Listens to the Earth Whisper Her Guidance, a second-ranked dark moon and elder of Gryphon's children, beta of Reaching, the Big Alpha's pack. In other words: Very Important. Or so he thinks. Then, to Stars, he explains what he /really/ wants is for the dream to be discussed in context of the other dreams, though the Starcaller is free to speculate as he wishes.

Finds Death, in her turn, informs the cub -- and Starcaller as well, who does get a bit of scent-examination -- that she is Finds Death in the Dark Woods of the Red Talons, crescent moon and first-rank. And that she packs with the Sept Alpha. She tells this all in a very matter-of-fact sort of way.

Hayden glances down to the other wolf now too, drawing in a breath to steel herself and gain her composure. It works to some degree, though she seems suddenly distracted as well and quietly repeats, just barely audible, "Gryphon..."

There were other dreams? If this sept is still under Chimera, that's important. Or that's certainly Starcaller's opinion on the matter. Who is alpha these days, anyway? Sniffs are accepted and returned in a somewhat distracted manner, clearly devoting more energy and thought towards other things. Oh, right, he's being rude. He Calls the Stars to Dance, and is a second-rank Theurge under Rat. Hello to you all! He hasn't heard anything about other dreams, Earth-Whisperer, but will be sure to keep his ears open. Has only recently come back to this sept, is still figuring out if everything's where he left it. And the cub is under Old Thunder? Interesting.

A steady, dubious stare is directed towards Starcaller, as Earth-Whisperer explains that Little Silvertip is the new Alpha. No more metis. Mirror-bird is still the totem, but there is thinking that may change, because there have been many dreams. Many, many! Starcaller should talk to the other spirit-moons, he suggests. Soon. Then, the Talon elder circles the cub, sizing her up. Cub understands wolf-speak?

Finds Death drops her head, nose angled toward the ground, and utters a low chuff. The Wyld grows strong, very strong. The plants grow very strong. Maybe the plants eat the animals, soon.

Given the odds against her just now, the Shadow Lord cub moves to take a step back and focus some attention on her options. "I'm really new," she offers as she squats down and props herself up ala tripod style by putting one hand in front of her. Her eyes close then in concentration and the young cub begins the process of trying to shift forms.

The Silvertip is still here? And in charge? Hm. The Starcaller thinks on that a moment, looking down and licking his nose, then decides it's probably a good thing, that one was always strong. Grumpy, though. There's a supportive yip as Hayden starts to try taking the wolf-skin, and a slight bounce towards Earth-Whisperer. The Starcaller had planned on getting in touch with the local Theurges, yes, but this gives him more reason for it. And a surge in the Wyld too? This is going to be awesome! Don't bite the cub too hard, she's manborn. He's going to go try and find things now! Say hello to Gryphon for him! And with that, the Gnawer's trotting off as cheerful as could be, heading into the trees.

Another long stare follows the Gnawer as he leaves, with the thoughtful addition of a slow, methodical blink. Processing, maybe? Or determining if 'weird' is an acceptable adjective. Putting that aside, Earth-Whisperer approves of the cub's shift with a bright chuff, pleased.

Finds Death steps back to observe the cub's transformation with a critical eye.

It's slow and unpracticed, but the cub displays a notable determination and unwillingness to give up until she gets what she's after. Eventually, and in a time frame that might seem like 'forever' to those more practiced, the young Shadow Lord has forced her way through her forms to land in a midnight-furred lupus. It's then that eyes open and ears prick forward, nostrils flaring as they're bombarded with SO many new scents.

Earth-Whisperer beams, and parks himself momentarily to the cub's front, allowing her to get used to the awesome that is the best of forms. Apparently he's practiced in waiting for new apeborn cubs to get used to the change. Good!

Finds Death, meanwhile, circles around behind the cub, displaying none of the warmth and pleasure of her Elder.

One ear flickers to follow the circling of Finds Death, while the rest of the cub focuses on the wolf in front of her. She pulls herself up to all four legs and takes a tentative step forward, head instinctively lowered in her approach. Sniff... sniff. Two for One, she explains vaguely. Cub. Half moon. Her tail remains low to her haunches but is not tucked so fiercly as to curl under her belly.

Standing to allow the cub the benefit of a good sniff, his posture seeming to say (who better to sniff, after all?), Earth-Whisperer takes in this information and checks the cub's posture, finding it agreeable. Two for One is very new?

Finds Death sneezes. She smells new. Like a fawn. New.

Two-for-One swings her head back at the sneeze, just startled enough to suggest she's a bit wary with her new surroundings and those sharing them. Last night. Her nose does however, seem to have a field day with the sniffing it gives to Earth-Whisperer, and there's piqued interest in them.

Earth-Whisperer tells Finds Death that this is good. Two for One can learn and appreciate wolf-form now! Early! He then turns towards the cub and suggests that Two for One should learn and appreciate wolf-form now! Early! He then turns back to Finds Death and flicks an ear. See?

Finds Death stares flatly at Earth-Whisperer, then steps around the young Shadow Lord, moving toward her front. Yes. Better to learn now than later. Many Garou do not learn early and never hear their wolf-heart. They are all human-mind.

The cub seems to accept this with some genuine eagerness. Yes! Learn! she offers, ears pricked forward and tail threatening to raise-wiggle with excitement. Will listen. Watch. She gives her coat a shake then, apparent preparation for said learning.

Earth-Whisperer flicks a glance to his partner in crime (such that she is) and states that he and Finds Death can teach the cub how to communicate better first. Other things should be taught by her tribe, but this they can do. That said, he trots away from the garage, obviously expecting the pair to follow, and then promptly spins around. Time to find Two for One's wolf-heart. This one things play will help. Yes. The elder licks his muzzle, tail wagging. Two for one will run, like this! And the elder illustrates by trotting about in a broad circle. Finds Death will chase! This one will ask a question, and cub must answer or Finds Death will catch Two for One like prey. Being prey is bad.

Finds Death skews an ear backwards at 'play' and looks more dutiful than eager at the thought. Still, she's obedient to the more dominant Talon and jogs to a position behind the cub.

Trot trot, oh what? A nervous twitch of her ears puts a little attention behind her as Two for One is given the instructions. Answers... The mention of having answers brings a small whine to the new cub, but she gets to trotting like the elder Talon instructed, at first a little clumsy, but growing more sure-footed with each circle.

The elder Talon watches the cub for some moments, allowing her to pick up her stride and get used to her wolf-legs. This seems to be as much practice for the form as it will be a host of other lessons, all at once. With a short bark to begin the 'play', he then promptly asks, as an example, experimental question, what is the cub's wolf-name? Obviously, he knows the answer already.

Finds Death jogs after the cub, keeping pace easily and remaining a short distance behind. Her body language displays none of the Ragabash's jolly manner.

Two-for-One does her trot-trotting, head swiveling as much as ears to keep track of the predator behind her. First question is a simple enough one that she's already had practice answering. Two for One, she hurries to explain all while watching the more somber and creepy-eyed Talon behind her.

Good. The next question comes from Earth-Whisperer a moment later: You are now Garou, he motions. What is your big duty? The biggest one!

Two-for-One is trotting along, nervous excitement in her posture. The question comes up and she balks. A moment goes by, then another, and she offers up an unsure answer. Judge.

Finds Death utters a low, raspy growl and lunches forward to nip the cub's flanks. /Biggest/ duty.

Earth-Whisperer agrees with his tribe-sister. Biggest duty! He announces. Most important thing! Why we are here! Why we fight! Lots of hints.

Yelp! It's not a serious cry of offense, but the nip gets her attention and urges the cub to move faster and try to veer away from those teeth as often as she can. The posture of the cub droops noticably, making it apparent she doesn't have the answer. Fight... she effectively stutters.

Finds Death presses the cub, biting at her flanks, harder as she gets the answer wrong again.

Earth-Whisperer stomps the earth with his paws. To protect the Earth-mother, the Grandmother! She has many names. Many bad things try to destroy her, and spin her in webs, or many many other bad (Bad!) things. Two-for-One should know this. Most important thing! He then asks again: What is most important thing?

As another bite catches her flanks and the answer is given, Two for One turns and snaps back slightly, pausing her movement to give the answer. It comes with sudden, weighty confidence. Save Earth-mother! Fight Beast of War. Fight Defiler Wyrm. Fight Eater of Souls. Her tail twitches behind her as she steadies herself there.

Finds Death flashes her teeth at the cub, her glare cold and unfriendly, but drops back a pace when the cub answers correctly.
Yes! Agrees the Talon Elder, wagging his tail once, and then trotting a few paces back towards the garage. That is enough play, he says, eyeing Finds Death and her Gloom. Two-for-One has much to learn, but understand most important thing now. And can speak a little better. And knows what it is like to be prey, now. Being prey is bad, he reiterates. All important lessons.

Two-for-One shrinks back a little then, posture deflating quickly and with some look of wariness. Very new, she explains again. Will learn fast. Ears flatten to the sides as she she glances between the other two, giving Finds Death far more space than the other just now.

Finds Death regards the cub with that dead, flat gaze of hers, then turns toward the trees, moving off at a slow trot.

Earth-Whisperer doesn't seem to have any issue with Finds Death leaving to be dour somewhere else, but does offer her a bright chuff of 'farewell' and 'see you later' intimacy. Towards Two-for he agrees that there is much yet to be learned, but the cub is doing well for being a new apeborn, and should continue to learn just as quickly--but not forget her wolf-heart. Too many apeborn forget their wolf-heart.

Two-for-One drops her haunches into a seated posture, licking at her muzzle and looking distracted for a just a moment. Then she chuffs understanding and agreement. Gryphon child, she seems to question again, as if that were something she were confused on.

Yes. The ape words are Red Talon, Earth-Whisperer explains. We follow lion-eagle, Gryphon, hates bad apes. Wants land to be saved, protected, not abused like many apes do. The Talon paws the ground in irritation at the thought. Cub is confused?
New. The excuse is given again. Heard other tribes. Thunder. Walker. Get. She licks her nose again. Never Red Talon.

Earth-Whisperer doesn't seem that surprised. Wolf-only tribe, he explains. No apes, no apeborn. Protect the wolf-kin. Not many Red Talons here. Not many Red Talons at all. This one has many pups every year, tries to make more! Is important. Not enough wolf Garou. Not enough ape-born respect wolves the same as apes. Bad.

Two-for-One listens and watches the other as she had promised to do, quite intently in fact. Easier for ape to learn wolf or wolf to learn ape?

Earth-Whisperer knows the ape ways well enough. But there are fewer wolves than apes, and there will always be less and less until there are no more of the apes don't try. There's a slight growl to those words, directly at no one in particular, and it subsides quickly. Not something her particularly cares to dwell on, apparently. He trots away and sniffs idly at a particularly tall stem of grass.

Two-for-One will learn both, comes the rather bold statement from the new cub. Not all one. Not all other. Both. She watches the other trot away then, head canting sideways, but no intention to follow it would seem.

Turning back towards the cub, the Talon cants his head, examining her for potential, perhaps. If she can do it. Maybe, Earth-Whisperer says, finally. This one will watch and see. Then, with a flick of his tail he bids the cub good-bye, and races off in the direction of his tribe-mate.
Panlong, GMbot.
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