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 A story from a different sept.

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A story from a different sept. Empty
PostSubject: A story from a different sept.   A story from a different sept. EmptyThu Nov 05, 2015 12:13 pm

Erikson is sitting by a warm fire, large tankard of mead in hand, and several kin sitting by listening to his tales...

"Today, I would speak to you of a brave Shadow Lord, a Ragabash who sought the rank of Athro. I speak of Markus Anderson, deeded Walks-in-Shades. He spoke challenge to Pari Forakis, Keeper-of-Scion, Elder Theurge of the Black Furies, and she gave him a task simple to say… she told him, ‘Make Luna smile.’

In the way of Theurges, it was not to be so simple in the long term.

In the way of Ragabash, of course, Markus thought about a devious solution. Find a woman named Luna, tell her jokes til she laughed - it would have satisfied the challenge in letter. But it is not wise to argue semantics with Elder Theurges… and moreover, Walks-in-Shades is not quite that sort of Ragabash.

Instead, he planned. First he set out to research, to learn everything he could of the spirit courts in general, and of the Silver Lady in particular. He had to know all he could, to achieve his goals, and so he sought out teachers - Garou and spirit alike - and gleaned knowledge.

It took some time. But finally, when he knew the courtesies of spirits, knew their titles and ranks and knew how to find his way to Luna and what to expect there… he finally considered himself ready to go. And in the way of wolves, he then sought those who would run with him along the silver paths. Many volunteered; allies close and distant, from one tribe and another, but all had one thing in common, they all wanted something from Luna or from her Realm. And Walks-in-Shades was wise enough to know that if he wished a true smile from the Lambent Lady, it was not likely to come from those with something to gain. Instead, he sought someone who would go with true contrition, true desire only to please Luna. He found Tundra Stalker, who came with Walks in Shades out of simple desire to help a friend, and Questions, who came of a need to make Luna happy once more.

They set out on the Silver Paths, taking the long road to Luna’s Garden. With subtlety they traveled, and stealth as befits a Ragabash-led party, but as the stories say, it is hard to fool the eyes of Luna’s brood. So from the start their movements were tracked… and their path difficult. Where the Paths often run free and clear, smooth and easy to run on, these paths were a muddy slog, that dragged at their feet and stained their paws.

They found a barrier along the road, of rock and stone; passing it, the path grew worse. When they tried a different road, they found it the same, and before long another barrier, this one of thorns and silver. Past it and worse their path yet again; they tried yet another road, and now they found their way watched and dogged by Lunes. While they were not attacked, it was clear they were marked, and known.. and when they reached a third barrier, this one of moonlight pure, they gave up all attempts at subtlety and faced it boldly, walking forward by Luna’s mercy.

And so they came to the Lady’s court, and found Phoebe, her asect, waiting there for them in all her radiance. This is what she said to them:

“Why are you here, Garou? You were hindered, on My paths. You were warned, by My Lunes. Why did you not heed them, why do you trespass? Why are you even in my presence?”

They spoke of speaking to her, of apologies, of reconciliation, but they did not get far.

“Why?” Phoebe asked. “Luna grants you many gifts. You use those gifts when it is convenient to you. You call upon her grace when it is convenient to you. And, when it is convenient to you, you turn your back on her. When it is convenient to you, you travel to her realm, ignore her servants, disregard their orders, and arrive even though you are told not to. You are filled with convenience. Apologies in times of ease have little value.”

They spoke next of offering contrition, of accepting honorable recompense, and again they were interrupted.

“You come here when you have the time, after betraying my gifts, and then lecture me about sacrifice? You presume to tell me that you had no choice and then ask what I would have done in your place? Strange contrition you offer. I am not Garou. I do not follow your Litany. Hundreds of Garou come when it is convenient to them to apologize for their slights, to ask for favor, to be granted gifts. But when they are inconvenienced, I am forgotten.”

Harsh words, for certain, but there was a lesson there; a message She wished sent to all Garou. All three visitors knew this in their hearts… but in the way of Luna’s realm, where three stood, each stood alone. Walks in Shades undertook his task alone, and Phoebe, wrathful and proud, swept away from the Ragabash. Worried in the knowledge of her anger with the Garou… yet he was still determined. And so he passed time in the company of Luna, in her court.

At first she ignored him, simply waited for him to leave. But a trait of some New Moons is abiding patience, and he kept his quiet and remained, waiting with respect for her attention. From there, Phoebe turned to hauteur; she asked why he stayed, when he might be doing other things of use. Walks in Shades politely said that he would gladly leave, if she ordered him to go… but she did not.

Finally, they came to speak in earnest. She asked for tales, and he gave them; the stories he was raised on as a young man, tales of Garou triumphs and follies… and even the recent tale of Charyss and her anger over the state of Erebus. This struck a chord with Phoebe, and she spoke more candidly, with more passion. She spoke of a lack of respect from the nation as a whole; of our arrogance, and how many did not pay proper respect to the spirits like our forefathers. She spoke of all this, and Walks in Shades was equally candid with her. He said he would bring her story back, would see the Garou know of her anger… but also of her mercy, and her humor. And on they spoke, over many nights.

He told her, eventually, of his first thought, to tell jokes to a woman named Luna… and at that, Phoebe laughed aloud.

It is not for us to know every long evening that Walks in Shades spent with Luna. Only that he returned with her blessing, carrying her bequest, and with the memory of her smile - radiant and lovely, mercurial and sweet - to bring his challenge to a close. If there were ever more than that… let it be tales and rumor, as spoken only under the new moon.

Remember Luna’s warning, oh Garou. Remember our pride, and that sometimes the only course is to put that pride aside, to listen and speak without preconceptions. Remember Markus Anderson’s time with Luna… and know him from this day as Phoebe’s Mirth, Athro of the Nations!"

William Erikson Howls the nights fury Sings the Old Ways Herald of Fog Skáldskapar Mjaðar (Mead of Poetry)
Skald of the Fenrir
Athro of the Nation
Beta of Weregild
Born on two legs
Fenrir purebred 1
The tip of his beard Golden like a lion
Left side of his face covered with large scars

Alex Vanderpoel
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