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cross posted to were_ghost and bq_x_stain ]

Mun’s Note:Takes place after Dragon Con 2
Please note the other Mun’s Note at the end of the tag, further explaining some things of the LARP (Live Action Role Playing) game.

Special thanks to friends Janet and Guru who helped with the mechanics of the LARP.

Anton began his speech about how a few tribe members had gone missing and that others had been searching for them, but to no avail. The Alpha’s concern was not only that his people were gone but the circumstances in which they disappeared. Anton suspected foul play, especially after hearing that vampires had a new drug called Blood Moon that granted them the strength of a werewolf. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what the drug was made of. A few of the tribe did some investigation under Anton’s command and found proof that the drug was were blood. Further intelligence reports from the Glass Walkers suggested that the core of the operation was taking place here in Atlanta. “Find which of those leeches is behind this scheme, but take precautions in not getting captured. I will not have more of my people taken and bled to death for a vampire’s sport. Always have someone traveling with you. Vampires are less inclined to attack when there are two or three of you.”



There was some muttering among the pack, and Anton held up his hand, “There are some rumors that some vampires are appalled by their brethren and wish to help us stop them--however, blood suckers are not always to be trusted. They could be luring us to our deaths. When one approaches you under the guise of ally, be sure to exercise every precaution.”

“Why should we trust the vampires? Better to kill them all and save our brothers.” One of the Shadow Lords spoke.

“Because we can use their knowledge to get close to the one behind it and rescue our tribe members,” replied one of the Uktena shaman.

The Shadow Lord looked as if he were about to speak again, but Anton silenced him. “I will not tolerate bickering amongst our own clan while the vampires are taking us hostage. More than ever, we must stand united and set aside our differences.”

René leaned in to whisper to Ghost, “That guy over there, the Shadow Lord...the Fenrir do not trust them...most other weres do not trust them, just so you know.”

“Then he bears watching. He incites reckless violence and may kill the very blood sucker that could help. Such ones follow their own lead and not that of any alpha. Who can we trust?” His were senses picked up levels of sweat and excitement. Most were happy to be engaged in something they enjoyed. It might be difficult to tell who was lying, though the Shadow Lord did boast too much. That could hide an ulterior motive.”

“Fenrir trust few, but they tend to honor, in their own way--” René grinned, “the Red Talons, Black Furries, an all women tribe--though, getting a Fenrir and Black Furry to agree is another matter entirely.” His grin widened. “Fenrir, to some extent, trust the Silver Fangs. Your tribe does not believe the Glass Walkers are trustworthy because they tend to be city wolves. Lots of Wyrm in the city, you know, like vampires. However, for the sake of the game, we need to talk to the Glass Walkers. Doesn’t mean you have to trust them or like them.”

René motioned them over to three other characters they knew to be playing Glass Walkers. “Hey,” René greeted them with a smile, and the trio smiled back. “I’m Rafael and this is my friend Malcolm.”

“The Fenrir hanging out with a Fianna, interesting,” one of them said with a friendly smile, holding out his hand.

René took the handshake. “We were wondering if you had any more leads about the disappearing weres. We’d like to help.”

***

Ghost and René (mostly Ghost) were talking to a potential Glass Walker ally outside the vampire owned club, Celtic. The Glass Walker told them that the owner of the club wanted to meet with them as a potential ally.

René was feeling a little uneasy about the meeting with the vampire, in and out of character. The vampire, Lily, was being played by René’s friend Janet (who like René was into goth), but just because she was friends with him outside of game, didn’t mean that Lily’s character could be trusted. “I don’t know, Mal,” he told Ghost. “This could get ugly real quick. Why meet at her club? Even if we came as a trio, if there’s a dozen or more inside, we can get overpowered. I don’t trust it.”

“Just as Lily does not trust meeting in the woods,” the Glass Walker pointed out. “We are merely meeting her briefly out back in the parking lot, then discussing together a more neutral place to talk. One that can afford us privacy.”

“How will we know that it won’t be an ambush?” René asked worriedly.

“Little Fianna, everything will be okay. I’ve met with Lily before, and I’m still here, right?” The Glass Walker assured him by putting his hand on René’s shoulder. “’Sides, if Lily doublecrosses us, then we stake and behead her.” He gave a shrug and looked at Ghost. “It’s not like I didn’t come prepared for such a thing.” He handed them each an index card that had the word ‘wooden stake’ written on it. “Sound like a plan?” the Glass Walker asked, giving Ghost an extra card that had the word ‘machete’ on it along with some stats for the weapon.

René tugged on Ghost’s sleeve as he spotted one of the Shadow Lord players exiting all sneaky like out the back. “What’s he doing here?” he asked, heading over to where the Shadow Lord had snuck off.

“Wait.” Ghost reached for his mate’s shoulder but René changed direction and the were ended up snagging the collar instead. It was sure to bring his mate to heel, but Ghost had not intended to restrain the young man that way. René wore the collar because he wanted to, not because he was Ghost’s slave. Ghost immediately rushed forward to untangle his fingers from the collar and the young man’s hair and then wrapped a loose arm around his lover’s waist. “Let us consider this before rushing into something that could prove fatal, hmmmm.” He got René’s attention. “We have weapons with which to defend or defeat. There is safety in numbers. Let’s use that. The Shadow Lords can wait.”

Ghost made note of the players who had exited the room. He would find others who could check up on them while they talked with this vampire. “Let’s finish what we started and then we’ll decide about the others.”

“Malcolm is right, we need to do what we came for. I say we report their suspicious sneaking around to Anton, though,” the Glass Walker said with a nod. “Come on, the meet is this way,” he said, leading the trio down a hallway of hotel doors that were supposedly other places of business, until they arrived at a small conference room marked Parking Lot for Celtic Club. “Here we are.”

“Before entering, I am scouting the area with my heightened senses to see how many individuals are in the parking lot, be they vamp, were, or human,” René said, taking out his stat sheet and motioning over to a storyteller assistant who was stationed nearby.

The petite woman walked over and met his challenge with the usual rock, paper, scissors combat form. Her hand showed paper and René’s was rock. “Okay, so what do I pick up?”

The woman smiled and took out her notes from her jacket pocket. “Besides your little group here, your scent has picked up traces of vampire, which is to be expected since you are meeting at the back of the vampire club. Also some other werewolves, challenge again to see if you can decipher who in your pack they are or if they are unfamiliar to your tribe.” She held out her hand to do the rock, paper, scissors challenge again.

René held his character sheet under his arm and took another challenge, tying by calling rock to her rock. “Hold on,” he said, glancing over his sheet. “I have the trait paranoia and therefore, I can suspect some kind of treachery, so I opt for a rechallenge.” René showed the assistant his character sheet and she nodded okay.

They redid the challenge and this time, René won.

“Smells like that small pack of Shadow Lords, Samon and his gang,” the assistant told him, waiting to see what René would do with the information.

René turned to the Glass Walker and Ghost, placing a gentle hand on both their arms. “Sarmon and his groupies are here, can you smell them?”

Ghost sniffed the air. He could smell them and they smelled nervous, but could he use what he sensed as a were in the game. That would not be fair to the humans, who had only the information on their sheets and their imaginations. “I smell them, but they are of no concern. Let the alpha deal with them. We have a date with a vamp.”

The Glass Walker agreed with Ghost and walked into the conference room, taking the lead. René stood next to Ghost, watching their back, keeping his senses sharp. The vampire Lily smiled. “Thought you fellows changed your mind. Glad you didn’t.” She introduced her two vampire friends. One was dressed in a fancy business suit and looked a little twitchy, René guessed Brujah vampire. The other wore jeans, a T-Shirt, and a flannel shirt; Gangrel, had to be, René thought.

The Glass Walker spoke. “I’m Kurt,” he said to the two vamps he did not know. “This is Malcolm and that there is Rafael.”

The one who René thought to be Brujah looked over at Ghost and sized him up. “Brought some muscle?” He seemed to think this Malcolm was little threat.

The storyteller assistant stood by the door waiting for the next scene, at the ready in case a fight broke out.

Ghost heard the sarcasm in the vamp’s voice and decided to turn the tables. “Yeah, so be careful or I will let them loose on your butt.” Now completely ignoring the rude vamp, he turned to the owner of the club. “Do you have some information for us?”

Lily smiled again. “I like this wolf, he has spunk.” She winked at Ghost, earning him a baneful glare from the Brujah vampire. “Yes, I do have some information for you.” She handed Ghost a flash drive. “Within this drive you will find a list of names with incriminating evidence against them. Guard that drive, if we are discovered--” She did not finish as a bunch of players who were hiding in the shadows appeared, combat ready.

It was a few vampires and Samon’s pack of Shadowlords. It figured, René frowned as they were surrounded.

Ghost watched the others come into view. He knew they were there but ignored them for the sake of the game. He discreetly tucked the flash drive in his pocket and turned to face the nearest enemy. He hated that weres would prey on other weres, but it was just a game. He held the stake and machete cards at the ready.

René stood beside Ghost, taking a fighter’s stand as one of the Shadowlords charged toward them in crinos form, holding his arms above his head, his hands stretched out like claws. He growled as he approached René’s character Rafael, declaring by his combat move that he was attacking the Fianna.

René’s character was no match for the strength of the Shadowlord and was pinned. René settled on the ground and the guy hovered above him to demonstrate that René was prone.

René was not without defenses. His dark eyes narrowed and he declared he was using his werewolf gift of Balor’s Gaze. The Shadowlord lost the challenge and screamed in pain, holding his head as he back away from the bard wolf.

Ghost confronted Samon directly. The werewolf was responsible for the behavior of those under the wolves’ control. Challenge and take out the leader and that would leave only the vampires to deal with. He spoke clearly. “I strike at Samon with my machete.” He challenged the Shadowlord and won. The werewolf fell down as in pain. It was not fatal, but it was enough to get the wolves to back off. Once the werewolf was down, Ghost checked to see where the vampires were and whether René was safe. The vampires seemed uncertain of the outcome and they faltered in their attack.

The vampires that came with the Shadowlords backed off and retreated after Samon was put down. Lily approached Samon. “We should question this one,” Her smile was lopsided as her gaze fell upon the Shadowlord. “Come, Malcolm, help me bring Samon inside.”

Ghost hauled the human to his feet and with the “Lily” character supporting his other side, he led the werewolf character into an adjoining room that represented the inside of the club. The were couldn’t resist a tiny growl just to keep his enemy on edge. He knew it was cheating, but it was just fun and games, right? He dropped the guy down into a chair and stood menacingly over him, making sure he maintained the illusion of defeat.

René followed close behind his love, not wanting to miss any part of the action. Little did the other members know that a real werewolf was in their midst. Ghost looked so fucking hot, acting all in command; it made René so proud of his mate.

René sent a message to his mate via their bond. “You are so getting laid tonight--did you mention something about a garden?</i>

Ghost responded by picturing their naked, sweaty bodies entwined amidst the greenery. ‘Correction, we are both getting laid tonight.’

Ghost never stopped staring down at their captive. “You have betrayed your own kind. What can you tell us that will make us go easier on you?” If the human had been a real werewolf, there would have been no bargaining. This kind of treachery would have warranted death, but this was just a game and Ghost lived in a more civilized world now.

“It is better to be at the right hand of the devil than to stand in his path,” Samon answered with a sneer. “Those who were captured were weak and deserved their fate.” He looked at René with disgust. “Especially those considered bards. I hear their blood is the sweetest.”

Ghost instinctively stepped in between Samon and René to block the other’s vision of his mate. “You are weak for siding with the enemy and are of no further use to me. Take him away and hold him until Anton can judge his actions.” Once the captured werewolf was out of earshot, Ghost turned back to Lily. “I realize the information you have has put you in danger, but will you still reveal it to us?”

The Glasswalker smiled, more than happy to ‘escort’ Samon out of there. It was not difficult to discern what Samon’s fate would be, as the Glasswalker clearly meant to execute Samon for his crimes.

“Everything you need is in the flash drive,” Lily answered. “I do not fear what is to come. For a war with the weres is far more dangerous than a vampire drug lord,” she said with a wave of her slender hand, as if dismissing the idea.

Inwardly the elder were cringed. Of course Lily had given them the information. He could feel the tiny plastic and metal device in his pocket. What was it about threats to his mate that caused all but his instinct to protect to flee from his brain? “Thank you, kind lady. I’m afraid ones like that get my hackles up. We will leave you now. Be safe.” He turned to René. “I suppose we need to look this over and take it to Anton and decide where to go next.”

***
The flash drive had indeed provided the garou with the proof they needed, and now the werewolves were ready to take a stand and end the abductions and murders of their kind. It had all come to this one focal point, a vampire named Nefarious. The clan leader led his troops to Nefarious’ lair and the major battle was about to commence.

René held onto Ghost’s hand as they marched from the werewolf room to another conference room that was supposed to be Nefarious’ haven. “This is going to be awesome.” He looked at his love with mischief. “If our characters survive this fight, we get a nice scroll that says we survived the game at Dragon Con.” René squeezed Ghost’s hand affectionately.

“Survival is a good thing, little wolf. Now let’s take out these vamps and go for some R&R at our place.” Ghost squeezed his mate’s hand and followed the clan leader and the other “werewolves” to the vampire lair. It looked kinda’ dark, but then a vampire’s world was the night. It was times like this that Ghost was glad he was born werewolf. He liked the choice to enjoy both worlds. “How will we know if this Nefarious is hopped up on were blood or just a normal bloodsucker?”

As if on cue, a vampire leaped out from behind René and immediately challenged the were to a strength check. At first René felt startled as he took in the vampire, but when he looked over at Ghost, he felt calm and secure. His mate would protect him, there was no doubt of that in his mind. René accepted the challenge and won. That seemed to annoy the elder vampire, as he was doped up on were blood. He hissed and wanted to try again, and René accepted, for he was no normal Bard wolf. He actually had some fighting skills.

Ghost observed other vampires moving about in the shadows. They didn’t seem to be as impulsive as the one that attacked his mate. The were listened carefully to any sounds coming from René’s confrontation with the vampire, while maneuvering around to thwart similar advances from the rear. Other members of the were pack were doing the same thing: some fighting, some circling, looking for an advantage. One vampire finally singled the were out and moved in for the attack. The challenger asked for a strength check and lost. This did not sit well with him. Ghost suspected that this bloodsucker was supposed to be strengthened by were blood, but fate wasn’t being kind to him. It was the nature of the game. The vampire tried again but failed a second time. It was about to try for a third time when a fellow werewolf teamed up with Ghost, and between the two of them they wore the vamp down. He finally was defeated, and Ghost graciously let his “partner” stake the bloodsucker.

It was with no small amount of satisfaction that René claimed he was staking the vampire. The guy playing the vampire protested that René was cheating and began to throw the biggest tantrum about it. When the moderator agreed that René’s moves were legit and that the vampire was now in torpor (asleep), he got so angry that he pushed René for real, knocking him down.

“Really?” René called from his position on the floor. “Dude, it’s a freaking game!”

“Shut up, pretty boy!” the ‘vampire’ replied, getting ready to attack René for real, his own friends stopping what they were doing to catch him before he did any real harm. They all attempted to calm their friend down, telling him that it was just a game and to ‘chill out’, as some of them were frightened by Ghost’s presence.

Ghost had watched quietly while the vampire player argued with the call and then slowly edged closer to his mate. Ghost held his tongue, though his wolf was grumbling. If the guy didn’t calm down, Ghost would be fighting a battle on two fronts: protecting his mate from an irate player and leashing his equally irate wolf, who would love nothing more than to rip this human’s throat out.

Ghost was proud of his mate’s restraint. He approached the verbal attack with control. Once the attack became physical, Ghost moved past the other players and positioned himself between the “dead” vampire and the were’s downed mate. This guy needed a cold shower. Ghost knew of a pool he could be dropped in. “It just a game.” Ghost strengthened the statement with the tiniest of growls. The players in the room would register it as more of a feeling than an actual sound. Fear could be a good thing. Fear could be healthy. It kept one from doing something that could get one’s limbs “relocated”.

The players backed up, slowly. Either they were truly scared or they were great actors. René placed a hand on his mate’s arm. “It’s okay, baby.” He kept his words general on purpose. How would he explain to his friends and the other gamers that weres and vamps were real?

The guy who started the fight backed off, clearly intimated by Ghost. The storyteller gave Ghost extra points for intimidation, and he received a round of applause for acting so well--if only they knew, René thought with a shy smile.

Ghost reached back to lend aid to his mate if he needed it in gaining his footing again, but he didn’t move from his protective position. He accepted the praise modestly, since what he did was more normal then the others players could suspect, then looked to the storyteller to let him know if the action should continue. He didn’t want spoil the game because of his protectiveness. He wished to see it to its natural conclusion.

The rest of the game went smoothly after the troublemaker was escorted out of the room by con security. The vampires, despite being pumped up on were blood, were no match for the skilled werewolf warriors. In the end, the weres won the battle and reclaimed their tribe members. Tensions with the vampires became more strained due to the incident, but that was not unexpected.

Afterwards, René’s friends came up to Ghost and him, asking if they would like to go out to eat with them as was tradition after LARP. René leaned his head against Ghost’s neck and placed a kiss upon it, letting his mate know he had other appetites he wanted to satisfy right now. “Up to you, babe,” René told Ghost.

“Thanks for the invitation, but I’m going to have to pass. I’m dead tired. You guys play rough.” He winked and wrapped his arms around his lover and mate. “You think you can help me upstairs, babe?” He made it look like he leaned a bit on René, though it was all show. He could have easily carried his lover around the rest of evening on his shoulders. “Let’s go, baby. The garden awaits us, and I’ve been dying to see some skin.” The last part was whispered for his mate’s benefit as they left the game.


Mun’s Notes:

More on Garou Tribes

Get_of_Fenris Attitudes Toward Other Tribes
Fianna Attitudes Toward Other Tribes


How they view the Fianna: Why can't the Fianna understand that songs are only a small part of our great heritage? They sing, they drink, they fight and they mate. All the while, the Black Spiral Dancers breathe down their necks and we must constantly protect them from the threat of the Wyrm~Garou. Surely we could just let them die, but the Isles are part of our heritage, too, and must be defended. The time for harps is long past. Let them taste the savagery and pleasure of war. Then they shall be worthy to fight alongside us.

How Fianna view The Get are divided; they fight amongst themselves as well amongst other Garou. Some demand the Impergium be brought back; some have even started enforcing it again. That is the first sign of Ragnarok. The metis population among Garou increases. Perhaps this increase is brought about by too long a time away from Kinfolk and too much time with packs of mixed heritage. This too is a sign of Ragnarok. The Garou must fight greater odds than ever before, and they must fight Pentex, the greatest whore to capitalism that has ever existed. These too are signs. So far the Get of Fenris is concerned, Ragnarok is coming.

More Info

René’s were power in the game:
Balors Gaze (4)
Cost: 1 Gnosis + 1 Rage (1 Gnosis a Sequence to maintain)
Skill: Gaia's Gift
One of the Garou's eyes glows a baleful red. Its stare is horrifying, causing wracking pain in any who meets its glare and who's resolve falters. The Garou rolls his Gaia's Gift roll when he first evokes this Gift and records the number. If any individual even glances at him, they must roll their Willpower with the recorded number as their difficulty or lose the difference from their shots. This Gift is taught by a Pain Spirit.

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