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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.

The nap, not to mention the hot smex, had helped René relax quite a bit. He was hyped up for the LARP (Live Action Role Playing) session of World of Darkness they had signed up for, and René stood in line with a silly grin on his face to get his character sheet.

René looked around the room, seemed there were still plenty of werewolf characters left as most of the crowd tended to go toward the table with the vampire characters. He noted some of his old gang hitting up the vamp table and they looked over at René and smiled, waving to him. René smiled over at them, then turned to Ghost who stood behind him and took his hand in his, kissing the back of it. “Thank you for doing this. You’ll have fun, you’ll see.”

Ghost nonchalantly checked out the individuals that waved at his mate. Obviously old acquaintances of René’s. He recalled the brief conversation between René and his former bandmate back in Artist Alley. He trusted his mate’s resolve, but he would be watchful if René needed his support. “I’m happy to,” He said, giving René a gentle kiss. “But you will need to lead me through this. I wouldn’t want to be more aggressive in my playing than needed. I wouldn’t want to hurt some of these pups.”

René broke into a grin. “I love it when you’re all manly.” He cupped Ghost’s ass and drew closer, brushing his lips against Ghost’s. “I’ll show you the ropes, don’t you worry.”

There were a few hoots and whistles from René’s old pack who strolled over. “Who’s your friend?” one of the males asked, looking Ghost over appreciatively.

“My soulmate,” René replied, rubbing his nose against Ghost’s and wearing a happy grin.

“He’s hot,” the guy nodded in approval. “When did you break it off with Dorian or Dovican? I forget his name.”

“Doviculus,” René answered a little stiffly. “Haven’t seen him in years.”

“We saw him, he was asking about you,” the guy said, stretching his head. “But we hadn’t seen you, so that’s what we told him.”

“Don’t mention you’ve seen me. We had a bad falling out--I don’t want to see him again.” René curled into Ghost’s arms, trying to sound nonchalant about it.

“No problem, he was a bit of a creep anyway,” one of the girls said. “I never liked him.” She shrugged her shoulder.

Ghost caught the eyes of the group. He knew has mate wanted to move off the subject of his former master as soon as possible. “Stefan, my friends call me Ghost. Are you playing this game?”

“Let me introduce everyone. First the boys,” René said, shifting his feet a little. “The tall blond dude that’s quiet over there is Joe, the one who has been talking to us is Doug, and that over there sipping on a latte is Gary.” René motioned over to the girls. “The cute redhead with the black streaks in her hair is Peggy, and the one super goth chic is Janet.”

“Pleased to meet you,” they said as they waved their character sheets.

“Eliza said she saw you,” the one called Peggy said, smiling at René’s compliment. “She wasn’t feeling well so she couldn’t make it to the game. Whatcha holding out for? I got a fairly young vampire girl, not too good with the fighting, but she can charm your pants off.”

“Mmm, yes, those are the dangerous sorts.” René smiled. “Ghost and I are going to be playing weres.”

The friends looked on in surprise. “A werewolf? Really?” Joe said, taken aback. “Why a werewolf? You always played a vampire.”

“Found they really aren’t my thing anymore,” René answered simply. “’Sides, my man here is partial to werewolves,” René said, looking up at Ghost and smiling.

Ghost pulled his mate closer. “I appreciate the strength and nobility of the werewolf. He is not limited by the time of day and has the added power of the pack. It makes him a more versatile character.”

“And they’re way sexier.” René kissed him briefly, shaking his butt to show off his wolf tail.

His friends cheered. “That’s cute,” the girls chimed in.

“Guess we’ll see you during game,” Joe said, holding out his hand to René to shake.

René took his hand, giving his old friend a firm handshake. “Good meeting you, Ghost.” Joe waved, then headed off with his friends.

René gave Ghost another kiss on the lips. “I’m so glad you are here with me,” he said after the group had left. “It’s hard seeing them, you know--I miss them but--I don’t miss Doviculus, and they remind me of my time with Doviculus.” He shook his head. “I know, that must sound strange.”

Ghost returned the kiss. “No, it doesn’t. It is just sad that this creature has spoiled so many relationships and memories for you. He took too much, but he will not take this time from you. Put thoughts of him away. He doesn’t exist tonight. Just you, me, and those fools out there who think they can beat us.” Ghost gave a positively evil smirk and wiggled his eyebrows. “So what do we do first? Guide me through this so we can kick some vamp butt.”

“I’ve mostly played vampires, as my friends pointed out, but I’m guessing the same principles apply to a werewolf. Combat is usually rock, paper, scissors. Or you can do social challenges where each bids one trait, if you tie you must bet more traits up to your max, whomever has the most traits wins the challenge.” René giggled. “I’ll show when we get our character sheets. Right now we need to concentrate on what tribe we want.” René checked the list he was given when he stepped in line and leaned up against his mate as he read it.

“Let’s see, what type of werewolf do we want to play? My suggestion for you would be to play a Get of Fenris , who are basically fierce warriors. There’s the Silver Fangs, that are basically the leaders of all garou, but they tend to suffer from some type of mental illness--not sure you want to deal with that, but in my eyes you were born to be Alpha. Then there’s the Glass Walkers, they consider themselves the guardians of humanity and are the more modernized weres, they like using technology and such, and are more urban than most other wolves. Me? I’m leaning towards either Glass Walkers, Fianna which are like the bards, and they do like to party, or a Uktena which are basically like the shamans of the tribes. Of course, this all depends on their moon aspect.” René lifted the sheet so Ghost could see. “There’s more info here on the Garou Tribes in case you are interested in playing something else.”

René smiled up at Ghost. “After we decide what tribe we want, then there’s what auspice of the moon our wolves were born under. There’s Ragabash born under the new moon, they tend to be tricksters; the Theurge were born under a quarter moon, they are attuned to spirits and such; a were born under a half-moon is called a Philodox, they are good mediators or judges ’cause they see all sides of the story; ah, the Galliard is quite suited for me, they are born under the phase of the three-quarters-moon, and they tend to be the artists--if I pick Fianna tribe under the auspice of Galliard, it would be killer; hopefully they will have something like that for me. LARPs tend to have premade characters. Anyway, back to the auspice of the moon, umm the last one is Ahroun which I think fits you perfectly, they are born under the full moon and are warriors. So a Get of Fenris born under the aspect of a Ahroun is one mean killing machine; kinda sweet, eh? Any questions, my love?” René asked as they moved up in line. “If not, then I’m sure the storytellers will be sure to answer any questions you may have once we get up there. They’re pretty good at giving you a character to match your personality.”

Ghost listened carefully to his mate’s explanation of the game characters. His father would have scoffed at the idea of battle or life as a game. He was very serious about such things. Maybe choosing a solitary life for he and his son affected his thinking. Mitch, the pack leader, would have seen the whole thing as blasphemous. Werewolves didn’t play at the game of life or life would kill them. More likely, Mitch would have punished him for being so foolish.

Ghost agreed with René’s evaluation of Ghost’s abilities. The elder were had been a warrior most of his life. He also had the strength of an alpha but not the temperament for it. Leading was too tedious. He did wonder briefly if his talents leaned more toward the spiritual. He was able to discern minerals in the earth and had a close connection to nature, but then ghosts and spirits weren’t made out of gold so.... “I think you made a good choice for my character. I will go with that.” Ghost squeezed his mate’s slender waist and kissed the top of his unruly curls. “So is there action to this game, or is it more like cards and such?”

“We’ll interact with the other players, it’s a little like improv acting. The storytellers will give us the scenario, your character sheet will tell you what your character’s goals are, and we take it from there,” René explained as he stepped up again in line. It seemed they would be next. “We could always play vampires if you like.” René was joking, of course, and he laughed merrily about it.

“Will we play as a team? ’Cause I like playing with you, though I like you with this tail so vamps are out.” Ghost reached down and stroked the furry appendage lovingly.

René decided not to mention the Gangrel clan of vampires that had animalistic characteristics, because René really didn’t want to play a vampire. “Hey, should you be stroking that in public? It might get me all horny and then what will you do?” René teased, wiggling his tail approvingly. “Yes, most wolves work together as a team. It is usually the us versus the big bad vampires mentality.”

Ghost leaned closer and whispered. “Be sure I will take care of your every need, my lovely.” He gave the tail one more stroke and then returned his hand to his mate’s waist. “It seems fitting for it to be us against them, even if it is just a game. I hope your friends don’t think you have deserted them.” Ghost shuffled forward with René, always keeping contact with the young man. When they finished this game, he wanted to take René up to the garden and make love to him. He could get the management to close it off for an hour so they could be alone.

René giggled at Ghost’s shameless flirting. He stood on his tip toes and gave his mate a kiss. “Nah, my friends will be okay. They know the drill -- if you play were, you aren’t necessarily friends with the fangers,” he said as they were called up to the table.

René presented the storyteller with the two ticket stubs and the man checked it against his records, then asked, “What will it be for you two? Humans or Vampires?” He assumed after seeing René’s goth ensemble.

"No, werewolves actually.” René pointed to the wolf ears.

The man grinned. “A goth were, interesting...okay, let’s see what we have here were-wise. Your friend there looks like he could play our Get of Fenris, “Malcolm”, born under the aspect of Ahroun, that’s the full moon.” He handed a character kit to Ghost; a list with the character’s attributes, strengths, and a note indicating its personal goals. “Look it over and tell me if that appeals to you, if not I also got a Silver Fang, Apollo, that is also Ahroun who is vying for the Alpha’s spot.” The man handed the second character kit to Ghost.

The man looked René over. “For you, I’m thinking Fianna or Glass Walker,” he mused, looking over his sheets.

“If you have a Fianna character under the auspice of Galliard, that would be awesome,” René said.

“A man who knows what he likes,” the storyteller grinned. “I do indeed have one of those, character’s name is Rafael, give it a looksie over and then tell me what you’ve decided.” He motioned for the couple to step aside and discuss while he took the next person in line.

“What do you think, babe? Says here that Rafael admires that Malcolm character.” René wiggled his eyebrows. “The people who run this game are not opposed to same-sex relationships so it’s cool if we get--frisky. You know, for character exploration and all.” His grin widened.

“Sounds like a game better played in private, my little wolf. You are such a naughty pup.” He kissed the enticing lips. “So this Rafael is hot for Malcolm, huh. What would he do to make Malcolm happy?” He was teasing his mate, but he knew René would go with it and probably suggest something nasty for them to get up to later. “I will go with this Malcolm character,” Ghost said as he scanned the character particulars.

Inwardly the were mused about what some of the snobby and uptight members of the vamp and were societies would think of humans playing such games. Ghost had some time since meeting his first vampire to do some research on them, though most of it came from legend and superstition. He got the impression that the two species were not on very good terms, even though that was not always the way of things. New Orleans seem to have a strange treaty that may not exist in other places. The human inhabitants would be surprised by the sheer numbers of magical creatures living among them.

René nuzzled against Ghost’s neck, placing small wet kisses alongside the werewolf’s neck. “Rafael will do what it takes to make his intended mate happy.” He turned to the storyteller and told him that they would take the characters of Malcolm and Rafael.

The man nodded and noted in his book, yelling over his shoulder to tell the other three storytellers that the werewolf characters of Malcolm and Rafael were taken. He then instructed René and Ghost to go into the room down the hall marked Werewolves and wait for further instructions. In the meantime, they could mingle with the other were characters and get to know one another.

René smiled happily up at Ghost. “Come on.”

Ghost proudly followed René away from the mingling crowd and the storytellers. They made their way to a separate room where other humans who had decided to play werewolves had started to gather. They were definitely human, the smell was distinct. Ghost kept close to René, letting this young mate take the lead in this. Some of those who had chosen to be wolves were staring intently at their sheets, real serious players. Other were greeting each newcomer or clustering in small groups, planning how they would play out tonight’s game. Ghost hung back, letting his mate take the initiative and introduce them.

The first to greet them was a rather handsome, tall blond. He shook both of their hands and introduced himself as Anton, the Silver Fang Alpha leader. When René introduced Ghost and he by character, Anton’s smile widened. “Glad someone took Malcolm, says here that I have to convince you to be my right hand man. I look forward to it.” Anton’s hand lingered a little longer on Ghost’s then René would have liked, and a small, almost inaudible growl escaped past René’s lips. He told himself that this was just a game and this Anton was just being friendly and not to get freaked out over it. Still, he hooked his pinky with Ghost’s as Anton continued to talk.

Ghost acknowledged the other player with a courteous nod. He weighed the appearance of the young man and decided he might be adequate for the game. He would never survive in were society, but few humans could. The handshake was unremarkable and it lasted a bit too long. The man was flirting, even with René standing right next to him. Amazing! He kept his expression friendly. “And why would I wish to follow you? Convince me.” Ghost followed no one except his mate. His mate who was securely connected to him and growling. Ghost mused that it sounded pretty nice. He must be rubbing off on his mate. Ghost released his hold and draped his arm around René’s shoulder and pulled him close. He couldn’t make it any plainer other than doing it here in the middle of the room.

The one called Anton grinned. “I do enjoy a challenge.” He glanced over at René. “And you are playing a Fianna, right? Did you pick your art style yet?” he said, trying to make conversation. After all, if he wanted to win ‘Malcolm’s favor he had to play nice with his friend.

“Yes, I was thinking song,” René answered, leaning his head against Ghost’s shoulder.

“I will have to set something up for the tribe to hear your gift of song,” Anton said, keeping his friendly stance. “How long have you two been playing the game?” He referred to the LARP this time.

“I haven’t played in a while, but pretty much since second edition came out,” René answered, feeling calmer now that this Anton ceased his flirting. “This is Malcolm’s first time playing,” he said, not wanting to give Ghost’s real name at first.

Ghost kept reminding himself that this was just a game. Something meant for entertainment. A way to pass the evening together. René admitting that Ghost was new to it stated a weakness. The were knew his mate didn’t understand that, and if the evening was going to go well, Ghost needed to stop thinking so much. “Yes, my little wolf likes to introduce me to new things, and I too like a challenge. So how long have you been playing?” The were figured the Anton character would either boast about his great experience or try to lie and Ghost would know.

“About eight years, ever since college,” the Anton wolf said pleasantly. “My friends and I come down every year for Dragon Con and we play in this LARP.” He motioned for his friends to step up and Anton introduced them.

One of them looked at René and commented, “I remember you. You usually play a vampire, though. Haven’t seen you in some time. Glad to have you back and on the good guys’ side.” The man smiled.

“Yes, well, I’ve had my fill of vampires.” René wrinkled his nose, looking rather cute.

Ghost watched as several of the humans split off from their conversations and joined Anton. This evening’s alpha seem to be genuine after all. Darn, Ghost had hoped to start disliking him for his subtle flirting and be done with it, but Anton and his friends were all like the other con goers he had seen so far. Some wore wolf-related costumes or just tails, or perhaps simple t-shirts and jeans. They moved with a confidence that spoke volumes about their ease of being here. This was home ground for them. Ghost was the newcomer. He would have to depend on one or more of them to survive this evening. The were acknowledged each as they were introduced with a nod and handshake.

The group seemed to gather around René and Ghost, welcoming them and conversing about prior experiences in the game, especially going into detail about battling ‘vampires’ which brought a wide smile to René’s pretty face.

Ghost took it all in. He stayed quiet and only asked questions if he didn’t understand something that the others did. He wanted to be able to play this game well and make it an enjoyable evening for his mate. His mate stayed close to him, always in contact in some way.

At some point, the group all sat down and started discussing their current characters and how they would interact with the other tribes. René sat on Ghost’s lap, joining in the discussion, happy as can be now that the tension of Anton’s flirting had passed.

The storytellers, a group of six, came in during the group’s talk. The one who had handed out René and Ghost’s character sheets spoke up. “My name is Dan, and I will be the main werewolf storyteller this evening. To my right is Victoria, and she’ll be the main vampire storyteller, and the rest--” he said with a wave of his hand as he introduced them, “are our assistants and will also be playing various nefarious NPCs, aka the villains.”

“Thought the vamps were the villains,” one of the ‘werewolves’ from their group shouted out, causing René to laugh merrily along with a few others.

“Well, I agree with you, but Victoria over here wouldn’t.” Dan winked and smiled. “Few rules, yes I know we hate them too, but they are for your protection. Number one, no touching another person unless they want to be touched. Like our lovely were couple over there,” he pointed in Ghost and René’s direction. “Number two--and this is one we really, really ask that you follow--do not take character interaction as a personal offense to yourself--” the storytellers all chimed in with that last part.

“Vampires are going to mock you, mock right back and don’t take it personally,” Victoria stated with a friendly smile, showing off her custom fangs.

“And number three, if you are acting out of character, please, please, please use the appropriate sign to show that you are speaking out of character.” Dan held up his hand to show his fingers crossed as the signal that he was out of character. “If you do not use the appropriate sign, we will all assume you are speaking for your character and that is our final decision. Do not come to us for we will not backtrack and say that your character didn’t say this blah blah blah. You said it, you didn’t show the appropriate sign, it happened, end of story,” Dan said firmly.

“Finally,” spoke Victoria, “there is a chance your character may die before the end of the weekend. If he does and Dan nor I were present at your character death, perhaps one of our assistants was overseeing the battle--and please, people, always always have a storyteller or one of our assistants present whenever doing battle--to continue, if your character dies, come see Dan or myself and we will give you another character. However, we will not tolerate you coming back into the game just to get ‘revenge’ on the character that killed your previous character. If you do that, we will ask you to leave the game.”

“We are dead serious on that rule,” Dan added. “However, if your new character has legitimate--let me repeat that--legitimate reasons for killing the character that happened to kill your first character, we will allow this. Oh, and there are mundane characters in the game, regular average humans. You weres tend to be more careful with showing your powers, but just be aware that not everyone in the game is a supernatural, and it will have consequences.”

“Like calling the attention of hunters consequences...” Victoria said with a serious nod, the long black tendrils of her hair bobbing up and down with each nod.

“Hunters are only played by storytellers and their assistants. Now, are there any questions?” Dan rubbed his hands together and scanned the room.

This sounded like a were’s life without the violence. A werewolf didn’t give away his secrets unless the other person could be trusted. Ghost had never told any of his human partners what he was. To them, he was just a big hulking dominant man with a lot of stamina. He was going to have to remember that this was a game when it came to hunters. Such creatures left a sour taste in his mouth.

He did like the idea that couples could touch. He couldn’t imagine going for too long without touching his mate, especially if he was in reach. Ghost whispered. “That Anton is not touching me or you. He’s going to have to find someone else to get cozy with.”

“That suits me just fine, loverboy,” René said, leaning back against his love, taking in the sweet scent that was his mate.

“Now, Victoria here is going to go have a private talk with her leeches, I mean vampires,” Dan said with a smirk. “And us wolves are going to have one of our own once she’s gone.”

The woman storyteller waved her hand good-bye, “I’ll leave you to your dogs--I mean weres,” she replied teasingly.

Once Victoria was gone, Dan spoke. “Am I wrong? Is that not what the vampires do? They suck blood, right? Like a leech.” He smirked again. “Anyway, as you may have read in the roster here at Dragon Con, this LARP’s main theme is stopping the illegal trade of were blood. Seems some leeches, err vampires, got hold of some of your clan mates and are draining them to sell their were blood as a drug for vampires. When they use it, the vamp’s strength goes up triple strong, so be aware of that. Anyway, that’s why Anton’s tribe members are ‘disappearing’. Not all vampires are in on this horrific deal. Some are quite appalled and wish to help the weres stop whoever is behind it, so there will be vampire allies in this game and some will approach you in the name of friendship--but remember, some of the vamps are trying to capture you and drain your precious were blood so, if you can avoid it, don’t go off with a vampire by yourself, have a buddy with you. Your character can be captured, so be careful and keep your wits about you. And while yes, usually one were can take out two vamps in this game, the vampires are equipped to drug and capture their intended prize. Don’t let overconfidence trip you up and end up captured. Plus, if the vampires are high on your were blood, they are freaking strong and they can defeat you.”

René squeezed Ghost’s hand at the mention of vampires capturing the wolves. He looked back at Ghost and gave him a worried smile. “Don’t let them take me, babe.”

Ghost softly growled. “You are safe with me, little wolf. We will show these bloodsuckers who’s stronger.” The were petted the young man’s hand to get René to relax.

René immediately felt safer. It was not just Ghost’s words, but his touch and the reassurance Ghost sent him via their link. Had Ghost not been here, René doubted he would have been able to play this particular session, since it hit too close to home.

“It is just a game. There are no vampires here and I...” Ghost leaned closer so that he was right up against his mate’s ear, “am the only wolf present.” He sniffed to air just to make a point. “Just have fun tonight, my love, and when we are finished you and that pretty tail of yours have a date with the real thing in the gardens upstairs.”

“Is that a promise?” René asked with a twinkle in his eyes. He could imagine himself and Ghost bathed in the moonlight and making love under the stars in the garden, “Should I leave my wolf tail on again?” He grinned, nuzzling against Ghost’s neck and planting a sensuous kiss on it.

Ghost growled softly. It was hard to think with his mate’s lips touching his neck. Of course his mate got the same reaction no matter where he touched the were. “You can count on it, and the tail is definitely invited.” Ghost lifted René’s chin and brushed his lips over the young man’s. ”Just the two of us and the greenery, but first we have some vamps to defeat.” Ghost winked.

“Damn vamps, always getting in the way of my fun.” René managed to laugh at the statement, giving Ghost one last kiss along his neck before pulling away.

“All right, wolves, go out there tonight and remember to have fun!” the storyteller said, motioning people to start interacting in the game.

Ghost look around at the wolves present. They should all be helpful in the fight against the vamps, but some characters were going to be stronger than others. He kept René close to him. “Who do you think we might want to team up with?”

“As much as I hate to say it, Anton would be good since he is the Alpha; there were a couple of Red Talons, you may seek them out as allies. As for the others...the Fenrir, that’s your tribe, tend not to ally themselves with those they see as weak, and they don’t like to see weakness even in themselves, it’s a great insult. Why they have Rafael crushing on Malcolm makes for interesting play. On the norm they don’t like the Fenrir because Fianna believe Get of Fenris fight just to fight. But a bard can get caught up with the heroics of someone. My were’s stats are unusually high for combat, so it must mean that your Malcolm deems me worthy of consideration.” René smiled up at Ghost as they exited the room.

“My Malcolm knows a fighter when he sees one. Who else would he team with except someone who could match his skill?” Ghost watched the others move into the central area. “So this Anton must be considered worthy due to his status? That is not necessary true, but for the sake of the game I will accept your reasoning. You are more experienced than I.”

“The Fenrir regard the Silver Fangs with some limited respect. They are expecting the Silver Fangs to give into their madness and lead the tribe to the Wyrm--that’s like their name for corruption, like vampires they see as agents of the Wyrm--Fenrir are waiting for their moment to take over being the leaders of the Garou. So just play it like that, any sign of weakness from the Alpha and it would be within your character to challenge Anton--but we’ll need backup, and that’s where I come in. Fianna can be great PR agents.” René grinned, going where the other ‘werewolves’ were headed. “Looks like Anton is going to call a meet,” he said as they settled in a spacious room that had been set up to emulate a forest. “Guess this is supposed to be our woodland area, huh?”

Ghost checked out the few props and mused. “I guess it fits the whole pretend thing.” He pulls René to his side and watched the wolves gathering around their night’s leader. “We should listen to him so we know where is his trying to lead us and whether we can trust him.”

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.




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