Our intrepid group headed back to the bawn with one hour till moonrise. The Wanderer did not enter the sept as per the previous agreement. As the pack is leaving him, Jane gives him her metal puzzle to keep him occupied. As the wanderer settles down for more waiting he sees a human figure and a wolf inside the bawn watching him.
Frost-Paint is waiting for the group at the heart of the caern.
“Are you prepared to show you are worthy of totem?”
“What about the Wanderer”
“The Ronin is not meant to be part of the pack, he has come but can not be bound. The nation has rejected him. Till he is deemed worthy again, he is not in a position where he can be part of the pack.” Replies Frost-Paint
The pack has one hour to prepare for the ceremony. Jane wanders off and checks on the rock. She is disturbed that it might not be there when the pack gets back and it is an important rock so she decides to keep it with her for now.
Sigrid Rune-Clever will be performing the totem dedication ceremony for the pack because of the specific summoning that need to be done. She also designed the ceremony. The ceremony will be overseen by Bridget Salmon’s-Wise-Daughter.
Seeker “Where are you from?”
Benjamen replies “Further east, there was a position to be filled so I came, the office in town was looking for another deputy.”
“Because of all the people”
“among other things” replies the chatty deputy.
Eógan Ó Ceallaċáin “That is why I got here. There was a need for another smith and an opportunity”
“How do you know your sponsor?” asks Seeker
“He is a contact of mine from Boston, he knew of my work so he contacted me.”
As the group chats a bit more it is revealed that the deputy is from Philadelphia.
The time of the ritual draws near, all the Theurges in the Caern come to watch the unique ceremony.
As the moon fully clears the mountain Sigrid begins the rite. It is a variation of the Rite of Summoning and the Rite of Totem Dedication. It takes about forty minutes for the rite to be completed. Once done the physical embodiment of Mammoth is standing before the group. He is 15 feet to the shoulder and has 12’ tusks.
“Fuzzy” exclaims Jane with glee.
“Members of the pack step forward” says a deep baritone voice (imagine James Earl Jones)
The members of the pack step forward as commanded.
“To your knees”
Eógan goes to his knees, Jane does as well, and presents her rock. She holds it up proudly in both hands thrust toward the massive beast.
The deputy hesitates just long enough to make it seem like it is his idea, but not long enough to seem challenging. Seeker and the Colonel also go to their knees.
The mammoth passes his trunk over each of them, and the rock. “Rise”
Each pack member feels a rumbling in the back of their head, and hears thunder.
“What do you offer me?”
“Service, good service” responds Seeker.
“A rock, a good rock” replies Jane.
“How will you serve me” asks Mammoth.
“By furthering our goals and recognition” replies Seeker
“How do you serve the Caern?”
“We offer protection” replies Seeker
“How do you serve the pack?”
“We will work together towards the goals of the Caern.” answers Seeker
“What are your goals?”
“To find a way to accomplish our task”
“What is your task?”
“To protect the strength that you have.” answers Seeker
“Why is your pack created?”
“To try to avoid war with the previous occupants of the Caern.”
“How will you avoid war?”
“We will try to make them see how things are and that fighting weakens you and Gaea.”
Mammoth seems to be satisfied with Seekers answers.
“Give me of yourselves.” We all spend on Gnosis point to mammoth.
“Who is your Alpha?” The pack members look at each other and some at the ground with no immediate answer given, Jane points to Eógan.
“Do you control the pack?” asks Mammoth
“It has not yet been discussed, but if they will follow, I will lead” answers Eógan.
“Will you lead the pack forward?”
“Better than any other direction” is Eógan’s reply.
“Where will you lead the pack?”
“To the rising sun.”
“Show me your anger.” The pack donated a point of rage.
Mammoth then has a conversation with the Colonel regarding his pledge to bring everyone back. Mammoth flows into us at that point, some take damage but it is not lasting.
We are now officially a pack and the ceremony is over. Jane puts away her rock, disappointed that mammoth did not take it.
We are advised that now that we are a pack we need to work well together. We are advised to find something to bring us together as a unit. It has been pretty quiet in the area lately. Every three months or so the town puts a posse together to try to rid themselves of the pesky wolves in the area, but the mayor and sheriff usually manage to finesse the situation away before there is a hunt.
The alpha needs to name the pack soon.
James Tamerlane Silvermoon IV takes the time to congratulate the new pack. "It would be useful if you had something to do. I got new guest at the Ivory the other day. I don’t know what they are up to but I smell trouble. If you wanted to nose around I would be willing to get you a reasonable line of credit at the bar and a seat at the big poker game.’
Eógan agrees to the same feeling about the two suit wearing men.
The Colonel will be allowed into the Ivory for this event. Seeker asks if the Colonel can teach him to play poker. Jane also wants to play with the pretty pictures. The Colonel agrees to teach them the basics, then they will got to the Empty Bucket to play a hand or two.
“Okay, lets play some poker!” states Colonel excitedly.
Suddenly Jane’s eyes get very wide and she seems to shrink in upon herself, “No,No,No,No, I don’t want to be poked anymore, NO POKING!”
“What, no, we are going to play cards” the Colonel quickly clarifies.
“No poking me?”
“No-one is going to poke you.” replies Colonel, “we are just going to teach you to play a card game.”
“I like games, can I see the pretty pictures?” asks Jane
“Yes.” The Colonel then goes over the basic fundamentals of poker to Jane and Seeker. They both seem to pick up on it really well, Jane especially.
“Okay, I will front you the entry fees to the game, lets head to the Empty Bucket to see how you two do. Jane please don’t count out-loud or mention that you can do that.”
“Can’t everyone, it is really simple.”
“No, Jane, it is a secret.”
In the meantime Wanderer is still on the outside of the Bawn, he is looking over the town when he spots movement on one of the other hills.
“How many patrols you got out” he asks of his watchers. The girl was going to answer, but then the wolf stands up and answers first.
“Why do you care?”
“No reason, except I saw some movement over there.”
The wolf whistles and gets a reply from a different ridge. Wanderer starts walking toward the ridge while shifting, the wolf stays with him. The girl shifts to wolf form and takes a direct route to the ridge. The other patrol will meet her there. The movement on the ridge is low to the ground. Once Wanderer is in full Lupus they break into a ground eating lope. The girl starts calling for others to come. The rest of our group at the Caern hears the call and we start to head toward the area, which does not take long in wolf form. Due to our direct route, we arrive before Wanderer.
Nothing seems to be out of place, but there has been something through. There is no smell, but there is a paw print. Jane can not sense anything of the wyrm here. Seeker finds other prints, but no scents. Wanderer arrives with his escort while the group is looking for tracks. Seeker is able to trace the intruder down the hill, up a mountain, and over bare rock during the next couple of hours. The tracks seem to be coming from the west, but bypassed the town. It seems that someone is interested in our Caern, checked it out, then left. It is possible that they went into the Umbra. Jane is able to get the entire group into the Umbra. It is obvious that something came through moments ago, we can taste a burning sensation in the backs of our throats. Someone opened a moon bridge. The Ragabash are very good at doing that, as are the Galyard. Seeing nothing further, the group leaves the Umbra directly at the Caern to make sure that it will still be there for Jane as she left via a different route. Eógan assures her that this will work.
Wanderer starts to head back to his waiting area. He offeres his wolf escort some jerky on the way.
“No thanks, I had squirrel earlier” replies Leonard Squirrel-Chaser.
Eógan reports what was not found to Rutger.
“The wendigo have sent scouts before, but they are not usually this subtle, it could have been Iron riders” Rutger informs our group.
p. It is time to head to the Empty Bucket for the trial poker game (sorry Jane, card game).
On the way we pick up Wanderer as the group will need a forth. Jane gets her puzzle back.
With much sorrow, the Colonel spots Seeker and Jane each a small amount. The pot starts at a penny. Wanderer pulls out some gold dust, and the Colonels eyes light up. He sees Wanderer in a whole new way, they continue to chat while playing cards. Jane proves to be adept as does Seeker. After much discussion it is decided that Jane will play at the Ivory and Seeker will try to gain information. Jane is again advised to not count out-loud. Eógan and Seeker come up with a less odd name for him, can’t just be called Seeker. He decides to be called John Charles Seeker in public.
On the way to the Ivory, Benjamin stops at the sheriffs office to inform him of what is going on, and his role in it.
Eógan stops at his forge as well. Dieter has an order for a very detailed job, with actual blue prints. The customer turns out the be our suited mystery man. He will stop in in the morning to talk to Eógan. Eógan takes a look at the blue-print, clearly excited to actually have one to work with. It looks like a 9″ × 12″ frame for something but he is having a hard time making heads nor tails of it. It actually specifies materials, has hinges and springs. The customer wants it in two weeks.
Eógan leaves his forge and heads to the mining office James V and his father are looking at a topographical map. James the younger gets sent home. Eógan is informed the poker game will start at 11p and he will walk him down. Eógan describes the blue-prints, James the elder agrees to stop in at the forge in the morning to check them out.
On the way to the Ivory, the group realizes that Wanderer may not be wearing the best attire. They stop to try to spiffy him up a bit. It is finally decided that as long as he has the gold dust, he will be considered new money and no-one is going to mention how he looks assuming he just came back from panning.
The card game is about to start. Jane takes her place, also at the table is the Mayor. Neither of the suited men are present. The Colonel positions himself in such a way to be able to keep an eye on Jane and the table. No one seems to be cheating. After about an hour of playing the larger of the two suited men comes down stairs. He positions himself on the landing, arms folded, leaning back against the wall. Benjamin and Seeker (sorry, John Charles) are closest to him. He appears to be nonchalantly watching the room.
John Charles notices the bartender observing him and makes his way over to the bar. The bartender heads over to see what he needs. John Charles, having no idea what he is doing, repeats the last order he heard “White Wine.”
“I noticed he (motioning to guy on landing) caught your attention, are you expecting trouble?” inquires John Charles, formerly known as Seeker.
“Not at the Ivory, we don’t have trouble” responds the bartender.
“Were you expecting to have to stop trouble?”
“No trouble at the Ivory.”
“Why were you aware of him” pushes John Charles.
“I am aware of all my customers who might want a drink, excuse me, I have more bar to clean!” With one last look at John Charles the bartender moves to the other end of the bar.
John takes his first sip of wine, the effort of not spitting it out shows on his face.
John looks around him and asks “Is this good wine?”
“It is quite good” the gentleman next to him answers.
John tentatively tries another sip.
“First time drinking wine?” asks the man next to him, with an amused glint to his eye.
“hmmmm, it is an acquired taste, they do serve beer.”
“How about coffee?” pleads John Charles.
“Yes, but I am not sure it is something you can order at the bar.”
Meanwhile, Jane is playing pretty well but the betting is getting more complex. Colonel tries to subtly signal Jane to quite the table. Jane seems to stare off into space for a minute, then she sits up straighter and seems to change a bit somehow. Her method of play seems to shift subtly, as well, suddenly Jane is able to bluff. Jane wins a good sized pot and ends the game.
Eógan heads away from the bar, advising John Charles to try ale instead. He heads up to the stairs and the big guy leaning there. Eógan introduces himself. The big guy does the same, his name is James Gabriel. Eógan is able to discern that he is a werewolf.
“I noticed that you and your associate stopped in at my place of business. What brings you to Mammoth?” inquires Eógan.
“You didn’t come all this way for a bauble” states Eógan.
“Fair enough, been in town long?”
“Long as it takes.”
Eógan inquires about his boss.
“”/campaigns/wyld-wild-west/characters/nelson-sees-through-smoke" class=“wiki-content-link”>Mr. Nelson turned in early." replies James
“I noticed you when you came to town, saw that shiny watch from a mile away” teases Eógan
James starts to roll his eyes, but catches himself.
Eógan offers to buy him a drink, which James takes him up on. He requests whiskey.
“Where are you from?” asks Eógan
“Hmmm, been a long time since I’ve had an order for anything so intricate.”
“Mr. Nelson likes things precise.”
“I hope I can do it, we will talk tomorrow, but I do have some other obligations.”
“Mr. Nelson can probably clear out any obligations.”
“They are not necessarily financial”, replies Eógan.
James cocks an eyebrow.
“Have some more whiskey” invites Eógan.
“I will have an early morning but thank you.” James then puts a gold coin on the table and tells the bartender “this is for the smith, keep him in whatever he is drinking” with this he takes his leave.
As James gets up from the table, it becomes evident that he is carrying. It is not a gun anyone is familiar with, but it is in a quick draw holster. It seems to resemble a cut down rifle.
Jane ends the day with just over $5.00 from the poker table.