Of Wolf and Man

The Stranger - Dark side of the Emerald city
by Dominic Holden

Seattle on fire

A night of destruction and mayhem stormed over Seattle last night, bringing the kind of violence that authorities are struggling to comprehend.

While several arrests have been made many more culprits remain at large and the police are hopeful they will be apprehended quickly. Hospitals and mental health services have reported an increase in patients this morning and have again raised the need that more funds are urgently needed. In a joint statement the heads of several hospitals and private institutions have requested emergency funds be released immediately to enable the needs of the obviously traumatised population to be met.

Seattle’s emergency services were pushed to the brink in what they hope is a never to be repeated event. While most areas of inner Seattle were affected, the main focus of the varied incidents was the affluent inner east. Police and Fire services were stretched beyond breaking point as the night drew to a close. Many homes were without power or communications for several hours, with essential services being restored to many only this morning.

There were reports of a gang attacking trees in the area, with several significant trees outside council chambers bearing the brunt of their unexplained anger. Who this group is and what their demands are is unknown, the police are looking into several similar incidents but so far have no leads. Chief of Police, Tommy Powe, has affirmed that there will be an ongoing investigation into several incidents arising from last night and while they are all being treated with the utmost seriousness he has suggested the culprits for a spate of murders and random shootings are the number one priority. He urges anyone with relevant information pertaining to these events to come forward and urges all citizens to remain calm but alert.

There have also been accusations against authorities with some citizens feeling they have been severely let down with recent police behaviour and accusing them of standing by while the night of violence raged on. There have been several reports that calls to emergency services went unanswered or received a less than courteous response. One local resident who wishes to remain anonymous says she now fears for her safety and is considering hiring a private security company to protect her property as the police have shown a complete lack of understanding and ability to do so. She was shocked when she rang emergency services to report a group of teenagers in the area behaving suspiciously that her call was not answered for one and a half hours;

“What if they attacked my house? You certainly don’t have the time to be waiting on the phone when you life is in danger”

There are strong calls for a commission into the response of emergency services to the unexpected events of last night. Councilman Brad Becnall is leading the call for calm pointing out the many incidents, which all occurred simultaneously and continued until morning, were both frightening and unprecedented. He supports the push for answers and feels that many of the men and women who risked their lives to protect the town will be vindicated while acknowledging there is always something to learn from the aftermath of mass emergencies such as the city experienced last night. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor were unavailable for comment.

Council chambers tree

Maryanne Treyson an eminent psychiatrist has been calling for an increase in funding to hospitals, particularly in the area of mental health provision, for many years now. “It is sad that it takes a mass trauma on the scale of what occurred last evening for the authorities to begin to listen. I have been calling for the need for more trained professionals and funding to deal with the steady increase in cases we have been seeing for the last five or so years. You’ve got to understand that this isn’t just bored housewives or executive stress but acute cases of psychotic breakdown and the statistics just aren’t easing. Unfortunate a tragedy as last night was it has been on the cards for some time and we should be grateful more people haven’t died. I just can’t believe this is what it takes for the authorities to listen. My phone has not been this busy in months.”

Indeed whatever the outcomes from calls for commissions or ongoing investigations it is clear the tinder for lasts night explosion had been building up for a long time.

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The Third Hunt

The house above the locus shows obvious signs that another pack once lived there. Talks to Darkness found a journal in the study that details some of their hunts. The pack leader seems to have been an idiot who made them all change their last names to ‘Meer’. He ruled rather than led and seems to have been responsible for the death of the entire pack at the hands of the Pure. He seemed to be looking for a fetish that the pure had. The journal also contained reference to their totem, a cat spirit. Since we have moved in the guys have started called the house Meer Cat Manor, I don’t get it, apparently I still need to watch more TV.

The journal also contained reference to a dangerous tree spirit called the Alder Man. This concerns us directly for it may explain the strange overcrowding of trees in the spirit realm, the ghosts in the well and many other problems besetting our territory. Time for our first trip into our territories shadow. We left Rides the Ether to guard the well and set out to find trouble, it found us. An Alder tree used for sacrifice, shrubbery with attitude and crazy Magath spirits. Fire, snakes, cars with spider legs, crazy shiite attacking us.

Flying Metal earned his name in the fight. Normally guns make me uneasy but perhaps that is because I am not used to having them on my side. They seem a particularly odd choice in the spirit world. However the look on the insane Magath faces as they were riddled with holes was priceless. The pack worked well in clearing up or chasing off those who survived being sprayed with bullets. We are learning each others skills and working together better. We do need a totem to bind us together so we can become a real pack.

We found clues but no real lead to the Alder Man, after our little display, the spirits were not talking. Back in the material world things continued to frustrate our hunt with tantalizing obscurities. Indian girl faces reflected in puddles, creepy children and humans behaving odder than usual. Meer Cat Manor is coming along and the pack seems happy with it. It is warded and we are making moves to buy the house next door as a front.

I have been remiss in not giving my thoughts on Talks to Darkness and Rides the Ether. This pack has more potential than any I have worked with, if only we can work out how to use it.
Talks to Darkness
Crazy? Not sure. Odd? Certainly. The homeless guy that wants to talk to you at the bus stop.The spirit shaman that sees what others cannot. He is both the most useful and most dangerous member of the pack. His knowledge keeps us safe, the way he communicates it puts us in danger. Mad or not he is also, like many of the homeless, a master manipulator. He uses his eccentricities as a weapon to get his way, or at least a sandwich. I grew up with Stormlords, I can respect a good manipulator, even if I cannot compete. Despite the headaches he gives me, I like him greatly, he is funny, deliberately obtuse and yet wise. I will learn from him. I hope he will accept my leadership soon. I do not not blame him for testing the boundaries, I still have to earn my place.

Rides the Ether
The new guy, just changed, coming to terms with the rage, fear and general chaos that is being an Uratha. He is doing well, better than most. He knows computers, the streets and technology. The kid has many kinds of smart. He is also brave, while still developing his combat skills, Rides the Ether has no hesitation about jumping into the thick of battle. He is either going to become very good, very quickly or very dead, very quickly. Some of the guys have given him a bit of a hard time, kind of a rite of initiation. He has taken it well and is earning their respect. As I have said, Rides the Ether is smart, he knows how the city works and is becoming invaluable in setting up our new life. He is a fine addition to the pack.

Blayne
Wolf blooded, lead singer and guitarist, hot, talented and fun to talk to. When out drinking with the pack we noticed her. I thought it my duty to talk with her, wolf blooded can be a valuable asset to any pack. Who am I kidding? Who wouldn’t want to talk with her? We got on well, at least I did not crash and burn with the whole pack watching not so subtly. The thought of getting to know her scares me, I saw what my father did to my mother, Uratha make poor mates. Still she keeps cropping up in my thoughts, she said I was funny. Does that mean amusing or weird? I can certainly do weird, but not sure about funny. Worth a go!

Just me   x by phenomdesire d39cmy0

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The Second Hunt

We needed the whole pack, particularly Talks to Darkness, before hunting the pestilence spirits.The battle was not the success story it could have been. When asked how to attack these spirits in the material world, Talks to Darkness’ only reply was ‘be the stick’. Only after we had attacked did we realize that he meant we needed a ritual from him in order to harm them. This meant that while he was casting the ritual on each of us individually, the spirits were tearing us apart or overwhelming our minds with despair. Talks to Darkness started by doing the ritual on Flying Metal which was a bad move as ‘being the stick’ meant we had to attack them with our natural weapons. Flying metal, while lethal with a gun, is not our best tooth and claw fighter. He should have started with myself or They Call Me Bruce. Better still he could have have done the ritual on us all before we even entered combat. That was my fault. As Alpha I should have ensured my pack knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses before risking their lives (well, not my weaknesses but everyone else’s).I should also have taken into account Talk’s to Darkness’ eccentricities and tried to get more information out of him. I paid for my mistakes as I soon found myself surrounded by angry spirits with the rest of the pack either disabled or unable to hurt them. Somehow we still prevailed and killed some, then tracked down rest and destroyed them. In the end we were lucky.

After the battle we approached the house, only to find it guarded by ghosts with trees growing through them. They spoke of a well within, the site of their murder, it could only be the locus we had sensed from afar.We managed to convince these guardians that they could be led to their deserved afterlife and were allowed to enter the house. The well lay within and They Call Me Bruce recovered their bones from the bottom. These we buried in consecrated ground in an old graveyard outside Seattle. Only a pack of Uratha would go on a road trip to bury a truck full of bones!

Back to the locus. It is a deep, dark, still, well in the basement. I have always found water calming, be it rain, mist or pool, water is the element that soothes me and lets me remain in control. This is right, this is our place, we have found a home and I could not be happier. It is here in the dark serenity of the water that I shall find a way to overcome the rage that is trying to devour me.
Silence rain      by phenomdesire

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Tooth of the Wolf
Excerpt from Rage Across Seattle

“I found your Private Reich up there…or what was left of him. You didn’t finish! Well, I can’t blame you – he was tough. But then, a good soldier ought to be.”
Ives from the movie ‘Ravenous’

The sound of a flute echoed through the forest.

Wendigo cackled as he raised his nose to the air and sniffed. The smell of cooking meat made his mouth water. It was unusual because normally he liked his food more on the raw side. He took a few stumbling steps and then fell into a four legged gait, pressing through the thick, damp foliage. He heard the scampering of spirits as they fled out of his path, smelled their fear as his wizened form tottered past.

He paused at the edge of a clearing. Luna was full this night in Shadow, her silver light cascading down upon the makeshift campsite. The flames seemed to burn in slow motion as the grass around the fire leaned back, trying to get as far away from the fire as possible. Skewered atop and roasting in the flames was a large chunk of meat, its aroma a delightful mix of salt, skin and hair. Wendigo raised a hairy hand to his face, stroked his chin and then with a broken nail scratched and cleaned his pointed, jagged teeth.

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The First Hunt

In a forest full of enemies, alone, armed only with my mind, teeth and claws I know what to do, survive. In this new world filled with artificial noise, structures and the stench of man I am lost. There are too many options, too many variables and too many people relying on me. Me, with the reputation for control, me who could lose it any time, me who when he does lose it knows that he may never come back after bottling it up for so long, me they chose as the Alpha. Dam, enough self pity, bottle that too and sell it to an Emo. I need to think, to make plans. What do we know so far?

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