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The War of Rage
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*nods.* They say each of the Fera was created for a specific purpose-the Mokolé were the memory of Gaia. so we didn't repeat the same mistakes as before. The Aurochs--bulls--were the mediators an' matchmakers, who settled disputes before they divided nations an' brought bloodshed. The Ratkin kept the apes under control without being seen and causing fear, the Bastet spied on the minions of Jormangundr, and the children of Hrafn flew with our packs and scouted ahead. Each of us had our duty, with the Garou as the Warriors of gaia.
Time went on, and like our wolf kin do, the Garou gathered in packs--a Garou alone was formidable, but a Garou with a packmate beside him was ten times as mighty. We grew in might, and as we did we grew in numbers. And we figured ourselves to be the best--After all, it was our blood, shed time after time, that kept the mother safe.
The other changing breeds didn't fight like the Garou did--they may have fought private battles, but the Garou were at the forefront of every war with the Midgard Serpent. And the others, who had a job like any human would go to work and do, began to rest and become complacent. Each time one would not do his duty--he wasn't available, or had taken on some quest for some unneeded piece of knowledge, or was busy breeding--we took on that one's duty. After all, we were the highest, and we figgered we were capable of it all. It was a mistake.
Each time we took a chore on for ourselves, the others saw this--when the Aurochs realized that when they would not judge for us then we would do it on our own, more and more of them were busy, or were nowhere to be found. But we truly weren't capable of all these duties--with us taking care of our judgements, judgements were sometimes made that were bad or corrupt. With us keeping our own memories, we forgot things, or things got changed by accident or on purpose--and when we needed to control the apes, we instilled fear in those we used to fight beside.
So we made appeasement to luna, and asked her to help us take on our new duties--and luna loved the Garou, for even before we were given the gift of wearing the wolf shirt our people, both human and wolf, honored her. So she granted us our Auspices, and granted Gifts to each--to the Rotogar so that we could scout on our own when the Bastet and Corax could not be found; to the Godis so that we could explore the Umbra and appease the spirits, and to heal our wounded when the Gurahl were too busy; to the Forsetti so that when the Aurochs were nowhere to be found we could decide the way to go and judge criminals on our own; to the Skald, so that we could record our own histories when the Mokole didn't care to listen to another tale of 'bloodthirsty dogs killing things'. And to the Ahroun, so that despite carrying on all these duties, we could still carry our war to Jormangundr.
We sang and gave thanks, for now, since we didn't have to keep asking them to do things for us all the time, we had made the burdens of the other breeds easier to bear, and we would be at peace with them forever.
But the others didn't see it that way. The Mokole were THE lorekeepers, and when we gained Luna's favor by our sacrifice and taking of more duties and learned to keep our own lore, they were infuriated. The Aurochs were THE judges, and that we would dare to judge our own disputed and learn from Luna the Gifts that they would not teach us offended them. The Gurahl were insulted that we would heal our own instead of bringing our wounded to them. And when we rampaged through villages and killed the weakest of the apes, the Ratkin watched as we botched it up and hissed in anger.
Eventually, the others were all angry with us--and the Garou, offended that their sacrifice had been thanked with insults, made no attempt to make amends. The other breeds helped us less and less often, and we began to come to them less and less.
And while the chasm between us grew, Jormangundr grew as well, and sent its minions anew into the world. One of our Rotogar found where several of them were gathered, prepared to invade a holy place of Gaia. We made ourselves ready and a huge war-party, made up of several of the largest and mightiest packs under Gaia and under the leadership of a mighty alpha, travelled far to combat them.
The battle was a disaster. They knew that we were coming, and had set up an ambush. They defeated us and we were forced to retreat, leaving them in control of a holy site of gaia that they polluted with the essence of the Wyrm and made a Pit, much like the one that thousands of years later would corrupt the White Howlers and make them into what we now call the Black Spiral Dancers. We came back with many wounded, carrying the bodies of our dead so the Formori and other beasts could not desecrate them. On the shoulders of two Garou rode the corpse of our mighty alpha.
We went to the Mokole, and we told them, surely there have been ambushes like this before--why didn't you tell us about them before we left so it wouldn't happen again? And the mokole answered that we didn't need them for our histories, and that we should have asked our Skalds.
While we travelled, two of the Garou fought over which one should be the next alpha. Our Forsetti tried to step in, but didn't know how to handle such a problem. So the two fought, and they both killed each other--two more of our warriors were dead. We asked the Aurochs why they didn't come with to judge, or at least tell us how to judge this problem. And the Aurochs answered that we already had our Forsetti--we had no need of them.
We came across a Bastet on the way, and we asked the Bastet why they hadn't spied and scouted--if we'd known of the weaknesses of these creatures we might have won a victory and left a piece of gaia's face unspoiled. And the Bastet told us that we didn't need them; we should have had our Godis and Rotogars do these things. We told them that our Godis and Rotogars only did these because the Bastet wouldn't, and they cursed at us and said to beg Luna for more Gifts.
When we found a Child of Hrafn, we asked the Ravenfolk why they had not scouted ahead of us and warned us of the ambush. And at this, the Hrafn apologized. They told us that they should have done so, and they had forgotten their duty. Others may forget, but the Fenrir remember, and we honor the children of Raven.
When we returned home, we found a city build where our dens had been and woodcutters turning our sacred groves into wood for the cookfires. We stormed to the Ratkin and demanded to know why they had let this happen. The Ratkin cursed us as well, and told us that we should have left the matter in their hands to begin with, that when we began to cull the weakest of the apes ourselves they decided that we should bear the entire responsibility. And when we asked the Nuwisha to cheer us, they laughed at us and told us to ask our Rotogar to tell some jokes.
But the worst, the strongest blow, was when we took the corpse of our alpha to the Gurahl. Here lies the body of our greatest warrior, we told them. Bring him back to us, that he may lead us to more victories against the Midgard Serpent. And the Gurahl said that he would not. Then teach us the Gift, we told them, that we may bring him back ourselves. And the Gurahl, too, cursed us. He told us that we had demanded too much and offended gaia and the natural order by asking our Auspices and Gifts of luna, and that because we had gained knowledge that was meant for only the Gurahl to know, they would not raise our alpha from his blood.
This was more than we could take, to hear that our alpha, who had killed minions of Jormangundr without number to protect the Gurahl and the other breeds, was to remain dead at Gurahl hands. Our Rage overcame us, and we tore through the gathering of the Gurahl. They fought hard, but a lone Gurahl is no match for the mighty packs of Garou, and these packs were mighty, mayhap the mightiest to ever run under luna, battle-hardened and thirsty for the hot blood of vengeance. We killed every one.
We went home, saddened and ashamed and still burning with anger, and we put our heroes to rest. We drove the humans from our lands, and decided to strike back soon. We went to the Mokole first, and we said certainly you know what they have done in times past--how will they handle their victory and how may we best them? But the Mokole cursed us now as well. Do you think we didn't hear of the Gurahl? they spat at us. You are the oh-so-mighty warriors, you can do your own scouting. And if they kill you all this time, then good riddance to every one of you! Our shame over the Gurahl burned within us, but it burned less then our Rage, and their wallow fell to our talons as well.
Now we made no effort to speak to the others, and when they came to demand that we help them, we met them with bared teeth and cleared their lands with fire and the talon. The Hrafn, ashamed over their own failure and cursed by the other breeds for not spurning us, helped us as well--but I think that they tricked us, leading us to those who hated us most and keeping those safe from us who bore us no ill will. There came a point where we should have stopped, but our Rage burned hot within us, and when a Hrafn or some Forsetti told us that these ones in partiular meant us no harm, we cursed them and said that they were all Fera and all were against us. We killed them all.
The Aurochs, the Grondr, the Nagah... who knows how many others, all gone, fallen to our Rage and a thirst for vengeance carried too far.
So now the War of Rage is over, and the Fenrir, at least, hunt the other Fera no longer. Yet we do not seek them out, knowing that they still will not render the aid that they were created to render, and we trust them not--for we know the thirst for revenge even better than they, and to place trust in such as them is suicide.
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Told by Hjarta-Villtnur, Jublain Wade. Dólg-dvergr, Defeator of Ragnorak, Skyddman Skald to the Fenrir, member of the Dogs of War and Child of Wolverine, Warder to the Talking Junkyard Varthi
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