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Twomoons' Rank Challenge

January 23, 2003 (Date on e-mail)

'Twomoons' Maier : ((*waits with that anticipation thing*))

'Twomoons' Maier : Gear: 1 (one) dedicated staff, 1 (one) dedicated Needletooth rifle w/2 clips of ammo, clothes, and other semi-essentials*

Soul(ST-Style): ((Present. Typing up a setting post.))

'Twomoons' Maier : ((*prays for what's left of his innocence*))

Soul(ST-Style): The day is idyllic at the Sept of the High Trees. Twomoons was directed to one Marion Broken-Sword, an Elder Philodox that has taken up residence at this particular sept. The woman isn't hard to find - she's watching the cubs train and frolic in the unseasonably warm day. The middle-aged black woman is attractive, with dark hair marked with streaks of gray and world-weary dark eyes. She wears plain clothes and leans on a rune-marked staff.

'Twomoons' Maier : *slogs his happy self through the snowage, before making his way to Marion* Broken-sword rhya?

Soul(ST-Style): The woman turns and offers Twomoons a warm smile. "You must be Jason. I was told you'd be coming to see me."

'Twomoons' Maier : *looks at the cubs briefly* If I am not intruding too much on your time, I would, like to challenge you for Athro ranking, -rhya.

Soul(ST-Style): Marion nods slowly, perhaps leaning more heavily on her staff than before as she speaks. "I've had some time to consider it. And I know what you are to do. It's simple, really. How familiar are you with Garou law?"

'Twomoons' Maier : *brief blink* The word 'very', leaps to mind, -rhya.

Soul(ST-Style): A quick smile. "Good answer. So here's your challenge, Jason Twomoons. In Missouri there's a Get caern. One of our own has been accused of a crime, and you are to go argue on her behalf. If she lives, you win."

'Twomoons' Maier : *nod* If I may be permitted a question, -rhya?

Soul(ST-Style): A weary nod from the woman. "Of course."

'Twomoons' Maier : What's the name of the sept, -rhya?

Soul(ST-Style): "The sept is called the Sept of Fenris' Triumph. They're new. They kicked out the Uktena a year or two back and changed the caern's name. I doubt you've been there, but I do here you're a ramblin' man." She smiles. "Now get going. The trial is tomorrow, and you have to meet your client. They've already been informed of your coming, and the Ritemaster is waiting to open a moonbridge." She lightly swats Twomoons in the ankle with her staff.

'Twomoons' Maier : *Smiles a little* Thank you -rhya. *shifts his happy ass to lupus and bounds to the rite circle*

Soul(ST-Style): The moonbridge is opened for Twomoons with no incident. On the other end, a massive, scar-covered bald man waits, who gruffly identifies himself as Trollslayer, the warder of the Sept of Fenris' Triumph. With no fanfare whatsoever(and even less help...The Get are incredibly taciturn), he is lead to meet his 'client'. The young woman sitting before him is a stunning young thing of twenty or so, thin, willowy, with long, carefully styled blonde hair, dressed in college-chic clothing. She's incredibly unassuming, the very picture of innocence. She sits alone, in silence, locked in a tiny shack guarded on all sides by the Get.

'Twomoons' Maier : *cranks the gentle doctor routine up* Hey...relax. I'm Twomoons, Adren philodox. *offers a hand politely*

Soul(ST-Style): The young woman shakes his hand. Her voice carries an Alabama accent. "Hi. I'm Melissa. Just Melissa anymore. I'm a fostern Ahroun. You must be the poor guy they sent to represent me, right?" A rueful smile touches her lovely features.

'Twomoons' Maier : Poor is a relative term, Just-Melissa-Anymore. They got any coffee around here?

Soul(ST-Style): "They do, but they won't give any to you. You're here on my behalf, after all." She sighs.

'Twomoons' Maier : We'll just have to survive. So what in the name of everything holy do they think you did?

Soul(ST-Style): "Murder." She shrugs casually. "They didn't tell you? I'm on trial for murder. Six or seven kids. Mostly Kinfolk, but there was one who probably would've Changed."

'Twomoons' Maier : How'd you lose track?

'Twomoons' Maier : *does he really want or need to know? Nope.*

Soul(ST-Style): Another casual shrug. "I don't know. I just sort of did. Here's the thing, rhya." She smiles and looks around, then leans in close and whispers to Twomoons. "I killed them. But it wasn't murder. I was releasing them." She sits back with a pleasant smile, and instantly Twomoons is reminded of rumors he's heard, ugly ones...Rumors of a camp called the Bringers of Eternal Peace.

'Twomoons' Maier : ((*spews tea* I hate you. *pause to forumulate response and change undies*))

'Twomoons' Maier : Why do you think you were releasing them? From what bonds did they have?

Soul(ST-Style): The young woman spreads her hands, her angelic features in a beatific smile. "From the bonds of life, rhya. They were suffering. They were dying already. I had to stop their pain."

'Twomoons' Maier : And yet you have not yet ended your own suffering.

Soul(ST-Style): Melissa simply nods. "Of course not. We act as bodhisattva, Twomoons-rhya. If we were to end our OWN suffering, then who would show the others the true way?"

'Twomoons' Maier : True enlightenment arrives when the student walks through the door of their own accord. Pushing the student through the door enlightens neither the student nor the master.

Soul(ST-Style): A slight shrug. "Sometimes people need a shove. Especially children. My heart went out to their suffering, rhya. I just...Couldn't bear to see that innocence despoiled."

'Twomoons' Maier : Does your heart go out to the parents, who can no longer watch their children? Does your heart go out to the playmates, the friends of the children, who's innocence is now lost to us?

Soul(ST-Style): And now, a soft smile, bone-chilling in its innocence and surety of purpose. "I know, rhya. A Bringer of Peace's job is never done, unfortunately."

'Twomoons' Maier : Your own actions have brought about your own work. Does this not seem a strange thing?

Soul(ST-Style): A soft sigh. "The world is a strange place, rhya. Mysterious are Gaia's ways."

'Twomoons' Maier : Indeed, it is. I find your methods curious. What causes the loss of innocence?

Soul(ST-Style): "Existance. We are in a world that is hostile to innocence. The Apocalypse is here, rhya. We're living in the Final Days and nobody can see it. They would've suffered terribly in the end. I spared them that."

'Twomoons' Maier : Nobody knows what will happen afterwards. Gaia is a thing of cycles. There is birth, life, death, and then a rebirth. During that life, there is joy, and there is suffering. That cannot be avoided. To spare someone what is the birthright of Gaia would seem...somehow false.

Soul(ST-Style): "Look around you, rhya. You know the Prophecy of the Phoenix. We all do. It's taught to us as cubs. How many of the signs have come to pass? These are the last days. The end is near. The cycle is broken, and the Wyrm rises to strike."

'Twomoons' Maier : The future is an uncertain thing, Melissa. Even our greatest theurges cannot speak with assurance on this. The Wyrm rises to strike, causing sufferings untold. And you, save the innocent, by causing sufferings.

Soul(ST-Style): "I'd have ended their suffering too, rhya. But they stopped me. The Get are just SO short-sighted." Melissa wrinkles her nose slightly. "Besides, rhya, can you say you've never caused suffering? You've killed."

'Twomoons' Maier : *Nods* I am Garou, Gaia's claw. I've made head shots at 600 yards. And yet the killing of a child is abhorrent, because it creates more suffering and misery then it ends. It hardens the hearts of parents, closing them off from Gaia's love, just a little bit more. It shows the child nothing, for he cannot appreciate fully his own innocence.

Soul(ST-Style): She smiles softly. "But killing adults doesn't cause any suffering or pain? Think about it, rhya. Think about the fomori you've killed. They were all people at one time, right? They must've had families."

'Twomoons' Maier : Indeed. Then the question becomes how does one minimize the sufferings of others, while still attending ones' duty. I kill because I must kill. Because there is no peaceful avenue of resolution. Is there another way?

Soul(ST-Style): A soft sigh as she stands and stretches a little. "It always seems to boil down to killing in the end, doesn't it?"

'Twomoons' Maier : Death, yes. Killing, not so much.

Soul(ST-Style): Melissa starts to pace, frowning. "But it does. And now, the kids don't ever have to worry about that. Think about it, rhya. They'll never hurt. They'll never know the pain of rejection or loss. They'll always be innocents."

'Twomoons' Maier : They'll never love, either. They'll never take a mate, and know the joy as two souls become one. They'll never complete their life-paths. They'll never make their own choices, because you've made the coice for them.

Soul(ST-Style): "Sometimes we have choices made for us, rhya. From the time we're born, in fact." She shrugs and sits again.

'Twomoons' Maier : And yet, when others choose, the question why comes out. From that comes the reasoning behind the choice made. Did any of the children ask why?

Soul(ST-Style): She frowns a little and shifts in her seat. "They're children. They can't understand."

'Twomoons' Maier : Perhaps. Perhaps not. But did any of them ask?

Soul(ST-Style): "I didn't give them the chance. I'm not a monster. I ended their suffering while they slept."

'Twomoons' Maier : How is the timing of an action make that action less monstrous?

Soul(ST-Style): She shrugs. "They didn't ever know, so they had no reason to fear. One quick motion - " - she draws her finger across her throat - "- and it was over for them. No pain, no suffering, no fear."

'Twomoons' Maier : Are you sure? What do the spirits say of this?

Soul(ST-Style): A dismissive wave. "The spirits are opposed to death on principle most of the time. It'd depend on who you ask."

'Twomoons' Maier : Surely Unicorn must have something to say in this regard.

Soul(ST-Style): "Unicorn abhors all death. You should know that."

'Twomoons' Maier : I know it well. Why do you think this is?

Soul(ST-Style): She shakes her head. "Because it's what she is."

'Twomoons' Maier : And Unicorn is what She is for a reason.

Soul(ST-Style): A soft smile. "And I am what I am for a reason. I know what I did, rhya, and I know you're trying to convince me it was wrong."

'Twomoons' Maier : Am I?

Soul(ST-Style): Another shrug. "Are you?"

'Twomoons' Maier : You would seem to think so. Without knowing why someone performs an action, convincing becomes...a fairly fruitless endeavor.

Soul(ST-Style): She leans forward, resting her head on the table. "You know why I did it."

'Twomoons' Maier : I know why you believe you did it. But, in my experience, that's only part of it. You got any Battle scars?

Soul(ST-Style): She sighs softly. "No, not yet. I've been lucky."

'Twomoons' Maier : Ever fought in a battle where there was a chance?

Soul(ST-Style): "A few."

'Twomoons' Maier : What was it like?

Soul(ST-Style): A shrug. "You know. Violent, chaotic. Frightening."

'Twomoons' Maier : You've just described every battle in history. Any details?

Soul(ST-Style): "Not really much to tell. We attacked a Black Spiral Dancer pack that was crossing our territory. They died, we didn't." A loud bang sounds outside the room and shakes the small shack - probably somebody pounding on the outside. A gruff voice shouts, "Your time's almost up in there! Wrap it up!"

'Twomoons' Maier : *calls back* Yeahyeah, we ain't going anywhere...*mutters* Fuckaduck, it's cold...*louder again* Ya got any coffee?

Soul(ST-Style): The door swings open and the massive Get who identified himself as Warder strides in. Melissa whimpers softly and closes her eyes. The Warder barks, "You've had enough time in here. The trial is tomorrow. Shall I lead you to your sleeping quarters?"

'Twomoons' Maier : *Nods agreeably* Sure.

Soul(ST-Style): Melissa finally opens her eyes, watching the retreat of the Warder. And she smiles softly and relaxes as the Warder marches out, leading Twomoons to his Spartan guest room. ((And we'll continue when we continue. *s* Good scene. Good night.))

Soul(ST Style): ((And, away we go.)) The day after Twomoons' meeting with Melissa, he is called to the Jarl's great hall, bright and early in the morning - just as the sun is peeking over the horizon. Clearly built by the Get after their occupation, it is a huge longhouse. Hanging over the door is what appears to be the skull of a dragon, or something large and reptilian, at any rate. The Get of the caern are lined up on either side of the entrance, forming a walkway from the barracks straight to the open door of the Hall.

'Twomoons' Maier : *Murmurs to Melissa* Just stick close to Chewie and Lando...I've taken care of everything. *approaching shirtless, wearing his Cutoff cammie pants. no shirt, no shoes, tattoo of his angel, and the dedicated Needletooth, staff, and Harmony flute adorn his back*

Soul(ST Style): The Get simply stand there as Twomoons makes the short trip from the barracks to the longhouse. Silent and stoic, the Fenrir might as well be statues. Finally, Twomoons steps inside. Standing in the very front of the hall, in front of a series of long tables, is a tall, muscular black man, also shirtless, his body adorned with numerous tattoos and scars. Strapped across his back is a large warhammer, adorned with glyphs, the head totally silver.

'Twomoons' Maier : *Tall scarred black Get, meet short scarred whitebread CoGgie. Walking with a fairly casual, "Yeah I've done this before" look*

Soul(ST Style): The Get standing in the front of the room steps forward, hefting the warhammer. He speaks, his voice a low, smoky rumble. "You are Twomoons." Not a question, a statement. "I am Charles Truth-Hammer. I will be arguing on behalf of the Get. May justice be done." He rests the head of the hammer on the floor and holds the haft with one hand, extending the other to shake.

'Twomoons' Maier : *Lets his staff fall from its' dedication, extending his hand to return the shake* Fiat justicia, ruat caelum. ((Translation: "Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall"))

Soul(ST Style): Charles' grip is enough to make Twomoons' eyes water, but if the other man notices, it's not clear at all. Behind him, Twomoons can hear the other Get filtering into the great hall, taking their places at the tables. When they are all assembled, the great doors swing shut and are barred. Charles looks around, then finally speaks. "My fellow Fenrir. This shall not be a long trial. Melissa-ikthya's guilt is clear and self-admitted. Witnesses shall be called to that effect if necessary." Charles clears his throat loudly, and nine Get stand and move to nine chairs that have been set near the front of the room. "Twomoons-rhya. You may question the judges if you wish, but you have my word as a Philodox and as a Fenrir they are honorable."

'Twomoons' Maier : *quietly* I wish to ask, for the record, what tenet of the Litany Melissa is charged with violating.

Soul(ST Style): Charles hefts his warhammer again. "Specifically, Melissa-ikthya has been charged with violating the territory of the Get of Fenris. Also, she did not respect those beneath her - she murdered them in her sleep." He pauses, meaningfully looking at the judges. "And she violated the tenet that needs not be written. She murdered Kin, and a young Garou who did not even have the chance to change. Those are not the actions of one who follows Gaia. Those are the actions of a Black Spiral Dancer."

'Twomoons' Maier : *begins enunciating clearly, raising his voice just enough to ensure that everyone in the hall can hear him* I wish to know the particulars of the two charges. The Litany is the whole of Garou law, I do not feel it wise to add more tenets without Elders of all tribes present.

Soul(ST Style): Charles points his silver-headed warhammer at Melissa. "She did not respect the territory of the Fenrir. On our land, she murdered our children. That is a strange definition of respect. As for the respect of those beneath her - she did not respect the rights of the children to live long, full lives. She did not respect the right of the child who might have grown up to Change to become a warrior for Gaia, our Mother. And there is no tenet that says 'Do not fall to the Wyrm' because no sane Garou needs such a tenet."

'Twomoons' Maier : There is a tenet that demands the we Combat the Wyrm, wherever it dwells, and wherever it breeds. Do not fall to it, my brothers and sisters, but ~combat~ it. Like all others, crafted to remind us of where our duty as Garou lies.

Soul(ST Style): The scarred Get barks out a laugh. "You Children of Gaia have a strange concept of duty, then." A low wave of laughter rolls through the hall as the onlookers all share Charles' laughter. The other Philodox watches Twomoons carefully.

'Twomoons' Maier : *Lets the wave of laughter pass, before speaking mildly* Indeed. Now that the charges have been made clear to all, I would ask if any here know if a situation similar to this has occured in the past, and if any, the result thereof.

Soul(ST Style): "The punishment for falling to the Wyrm and murdering innocents in cold blood is death."

'Twomoons' Maier : Has she fallen to the Wyrm, truly? For if she has, I would lay charge that her failure was not the only one in this matter, my brothers and sisters.

Soul(ST Style): A chorus of growls sounds from behind Twomoons, some coming from human throats, some wolfish in origin. Charles simply arches a brow. "It would be best if you explained yourself. Quickly."

'Twomoons' Maier : I will speak of the Litany, which demands not only that we combat the Wyrm, but that ye shall take no action that causes the violation of a caern. There is no higher honor then to be chosen as a Guardian, for a sacred trust lies in their hands. For them to allow such a blasphemy to occur, indicates a severe failure on their part. Therefore if she is to be declared a Wyrmcreature, the Guardians ~must~ be held accountable for their actions in this matter. Is this not the way?

Soul(ST Style): The growls rapidly turn into murmurs of confusion and distress - several of the Get in the audience look back and forth at each other, wide-eyed. One stands up and shouts, "Fuck you, you hippy fuck! How DARE..." His tirade is cut off by the massive figure of Trollslayer the Warder moving behind him rapidly and kicking him in the side of the knee viciously. The young Garou drops with a yelp. For his part, Charles seems lost on how to answer that - the Philodox is silent for the moment.

'Twomoons' Maier : *Regrips his staff, resolutely waiting for a response*

Soul(ST Style): Finally, Charles frowns and speaks up. "This...Is true." More murmurs shoot through the crowd, and even the dour Warder looks up from where he hovers over the young Garou with the broken knee.

'Twomoons' Maier : I ask this assemblage, that we move forward. I wish to address the matter of her failure to respect the territory of the Fenrir. Is this agreeable?

Soul(ST Style): The council of nine nods, as does Charles. "Please."

'Twomoons' Maier : *Nods to the council, and then Charles* In this matter, I first wish to know if it has been determined how she initially entered this place.

Soul(ST Style): The Warder speaks, his gravelly voice making Charles sound like a castrato. "She never left after we began to protect the caern. I allowed her to stay."

'Twomoons' Maier : *turns to address the Warder, stepping back slightly so as to turn his back on as few as possible* She was known to this sept, then. And allowed to stay. How then I ask, could she have failed to respect the territory of the Fenrir, when her presence was known and accepted? *Keeping his voice level, not condescending, simply curious*

Soul(ST Style): The Warder speaks again. "Clearly not much respect is given if she chooses to give herself the right of life and death over our children."

'Twomoons' Maier : I believe the final charge covers her choices. For if "territory" is meant to include all those beneath thee, shouldn't this simply be one tenet, and not two? Her actions in regard to the land itself should not be held in question. *steps and turns to face Charles again*

Soul(ST Style): Charles looks slightly ashen - he knows how this is going. He clears his throat. "Perhaps you are correct."

'Twomoons' Maier : *A nod* My thanks. I ask this assemblage that we move to the final, the most serious charge, against Melissa.

Soul(ST Style): Charles nods. "Then do so." The council nods their agreement slowly. Every eye in the room is fixed on Twomoons - this is it, and they know it.

'Twomoons' Maier : At this time, I wish to know how the final charge came to be laid against her. *keeping a steady voice, regripping his staff*

Soul(ST Style): The Philodox furrows his brow. "The charge of not respecting those beneath her? Because she admitted it. She was found hovering over the body of the last slain child, and freely admitted her guilt."

'Twomoons' Maier : Was her confession tested, for the ring of truth in her words?

Soul(ST Style): "It was, at my insistence, though the blood on her hands seemed proof enough. She was telling the truth. She killed them. Though she insists it wasn't murder, but mercy."

'Twomoons' Maier : *Nods* If you are able, please tell the exact question you asked of her.

Soul(ST Style): "I asked if she had killed the children. That phrasing."

'Twomoons' Maier : I would ask, that a test be performed. Ask her the following question, testing for the truth within: "Did you murder the children?", please.

Soul(ST Style): The Philodox looks at the formerly-silent Melissa, who regards him with a look of terror as he speaks. "Melissa. Did you murder the children?" Melissa, mouth dry, finally squeaks, "No." Charles frowns and repeats the question, and the answer is repeated. Charles looks to the council. "Her answer is true, as she knows it."

'Twomoons' Maier : *Repeats* As she knows it. I place before the council, not a presumption of innocence, but a lack of a moral compass. As she knows it, she committed no wrong, no sin. There is a failure at work here. A failure on the part of my tribe, to successfully educate this woman in her moral duties. I ask, on behalf of my tribe, that we be allowed to correct our error, and make what penance we can.

Soul(ST Style): Charles closes his eyes - he knows he's lost. He turns to the council. "Do you need time to deliberate, rhyas?" The council shake their heads and stand. One by one, they step forward and vote - mercy to save Melissa, death to kill her. When all is said and done, the total is...Four for death, and five for mercy. Charles turns back to Twomoons. "There is your answer." An uproar goes throughout the longhouse, and in the back, a woman screams in pure agony. Twomoons can't help but think of himself in this situation - or Brenda.

'Twomoons' Maier : *regrips his staff a final time* I thank you, this time, I would like to take Melissa to the High Trees sept in Colorado. *No crying...not yet...*

Soul(ST Style): Charles holds up a hand. "Wait. Would you deny that we were wronged here, Twomoons-rhya? If so, would you deny us our chance to punish her? I give you my word she will not be killed, but let me pass my judgement before you take her."

'Twomoons' Maier : *a severe nod* Punish her as you see fit, Truth-Hammer.

Soul(ST Style): And with that, Truth-Hammer demonstrates how he earned his deed name. With a flick of his wrist, he goes from leaning on his warhammer to hitting Melissa under the chin with it. The young girl doesn't even have a chance to scream as she's knocked up and back. Truth-Hammer then steps forward, pushes her shirt up with his foot revealing her stomach. He then sets the silvered tip of the warhammer on her stomach. The smell of searing flesh is unmistakeable. Melissa starts to scream, the sound not coming out correctly due to her broken jaw. Truth-Hammer snarls, "The Garou known as Melissa. Know this. You have been granted mercy this day. But should you ever step on ground held by the Get of Fenris again, your life is forfeit. And both you and your defender will die if you take another innocent life. This is my judgement." Truth-Hammer steps back, and Trollslayer steps forward, grabbing Twomoons' arm roughly and hauling Melissa to her feet.

'Twomoons' Maier : *exeunt, head bowed...Melissa is ~not~ in his good books*

Soul(ST Style): ((Thus endeth the Rank challenge. Twomoons succeeds, and gains his new Rank. Melissa is taken off his hands, to be deprogrammed and probably given a new Rite of Passage, though her jaw will never be right again. And the news of Truth-Hammer's judgement spreads throughout Garou society over the next few weeks.))

'Twomoons' Maier : ((Now that that's done....~He shoots He ScooooOOOOOOORRRRRES!))

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