Blow to Pentex
A Blow to Pentex
The Death of J. C. Wildenberg
Many Septs are beautiful, but there is a certain uniqueness to the Sept of Seven Hills that is difficult to find elsewhere. An old growth forest spreads through the city with towering trees and delicate purple flowers blanketing the floor. Likewise, all Septs are worth protecting. The Sept of Seven Hills, in keeping with its uniqueness, recently faced an entirely uncommon threat.
Word reached the Sept that J.C. Wildenberg, the C.E.O. of Pentex, would be arriving to inspect one of two locations within the area.
Before the Battle
One possible location was the Tellus Museum – a sleek, modern building teaming with Weaver spirits. The other was Berry College, acres upon acres of forest, meadows, farms, and elegant Victorian Gothic architecture making up the largest college campus in the world.
A group of consisting of Deep Walker, Adren Uktena Theurge and Master of the Rites of the Sept of Better Options; You Sneaky Bastard, Fostern Get of Fenris Ragabash; Out Drives the Wyrm, Fostern Bone Gnawer Philodox; and Alu, Uzmati Gurahl, traveled in a pickup truck driven by Silvertongue-rhya, Elder Get of Fenris Ragabash and Jarl of the Sept of Seven Hills, to do a preliminary sweep of both locations at the request of Swearwolf, Adren Bone Gnawer Ragabash and Fool of the Sept of Seven Hills.
First, the museum. Silvertongue-rhya, Swearwolf, Deep Walker, and You Sneaky Bastard entered under Blur of the Milky Eye while Out Drives the Wyrm and Alu guarded the vehicle to ensure a quick exit was possible at the end. Swearwolf found catering reports stating that Wildenberg is scheduled to arrive with a dozen other people. Silvertongue-rhya found an additional note that seven of those people are a highly trained security team that will never leave Wildenberg’s side. You Sneaky Bastard discovered that the observatory beside Tellus is off-limits because six people have been given 24 hours access to it until July 1st. With that information, Deep Walker was able to discern that a Pack of Black Spiral Dancers had taken up residence there.
Second, the group traveled to reservoir at Berry College. The area hung heavy with the touch of the Wyrm. Deep Walker ascertained that the water had been in prolonged contact with something highly Wyrm-tainted. Silvertongue-rhya, Swearwolf, and Alu determined that a known BSD Pack had used the flooded tunnels under the water as a base of operations, but little information could be found beyond that. The group waited in watch for hours to learn more. Not only were the BSDs living underwater, but they used Coyote’s Mantle to appear as a single persona and always entered the space under Blur of the Milky Eye. In truth, the Pack consisted of anywhere from five to eight members.
Both sites were operating on skeleton crews with evidence of many items – crates of ammunition, weapons, fetishes, medical equipment – being recently cleared out. Any material support that Wildenberg could have hoped for had been moved elsewhere.
The crux of the issue it that there was no information about which location Wildenberg would go to first. It seemed that he would head wherever his whim took him once he arrived in town. Help addressing this issue came from an unlikely source.
Changelings from the woods around Rome, Georgia have an accord of sorts with the Sept. Cold Red Clay, Uzmati Gurahl, is on good terms with the Changelings because of their strong Wyld Affinity and set out to strike a deal with them for aid. The Unseelie of the woods told Cold Red Clay they could use their gifts of luck and fortune to ensure Wildenberg would journey to Cartersville, but the price would be one artisan or masterwork crafted weapon sent by each visitor in the immediate area to their local Shadow Court. A deal that was accepted by the Elders present.
Silent Judgment, Fostern Fianna Philodox, Den Mother and Guardian for the Sept of the Fallen Heroes, sought out the Changelings to strike a bargain, as well. She bartered for the Seelie Changelings to guard the Caern seed if no one else is present to do so - a contingency against the existing defenses falling.
Thusly, Wildenberg would be at Tellus, and the fight was ready to begin.
Battle of Scar Cavern
Wildenberg installed a device in the caverns beneath Berry College that would allow him to instantly connect to it, thus escaping into the darkness. The device must be disabled without Wildenberg’s knowledge and had to be done at the receiving end, since the opposite side of the device was embedded in Wildenberg’s body.
Ironsights-rhya, Elder Black Fury Ahroun and Wyrmfoe for the Sept of Seven Hills, tasked Arbiter of Malice-rhya, Elder Get of Fenris Philodox, to lead the mission underground. With him were Ancestral Wisdom-rhya, Athro Fianna Galliard and Talesinger of the Sept of Oak Vale; Argues with Circuits, Adren Glass Walker Theurge and Master of the Rites for the Sept of Graveyard Watch; You Sneaky Bastard; Leftovers, Fostern Glass Walker Ahroun; Fights the Current, Fostern Rokea Brightwater; and Reeky Shadow, Cliath Wendigo Ragabash. Ironsights-rhya gave six talons to Arbiter of Malice-rhya that would allow the bearer to breathe underwater – all of such talons that the Sept of Seven Hills possessed.
The group plunged into the cold depths lit by harsh, blue lights and swam through a maze of flooded caves until they came upon a device shielded from the water and protected by a Pack of Black Spiral Dancers known as the Evils of Science. Their fomor scavengers, in the form of a swarming mass of biting water beetles, spread throughout.
Two BSDs, including the Pack Alpha, targeted Arbiter of Malice-rhya, but he was able to hold his own. Ancestral Wisdom-rhya used a Banshee wail to keep the Scavengers from overwhelming Fights the Current and setting another BSD off-kilter. You Sneaky Bastard was incensed by the presence of a fallen Fenrir and forced him to bleed for his sins. Leftovers traded shots with a BSD while silver bullets pelted his chest. Reeky Shadow charged into battle with tooth and claw, heedless of the danger such things posed to a single Cliath. They dodged with Gift and flame with alacrity between two BSDs.
The Gaians were winning. A Scavenger had bled its last, perhaps more, when the cave turned pitch black. A scream from the BSDs cut deep into the soul of the Gaians. Only Arbiter of Malice-rhya and Fights the Current were able to shake it off. The rest fled from the cavern, leaving bloody water in their wake.
Their allies returned as the effects of the scream faded. Arbiter of Malice-rhya incapacitated the BSD who screamed while Fights the Current laid low another BSD foe. Ancestral Wisdom-rhya defeated another. You Sneaky Bastard, yet another. Reeky Shadow brought down a Dancer while Leftovers delivered killing a blow.
One Dancer exploded as it died and left Arbiter of Malice-rhya incapacitated. Ancestral Wisdom-rhya healed Arbiter of Malice-rhya with borrow talens while Fights the Current swam to the floor of the cavern and bit the device in half.
All present wore new battle scars, but the device was destroyed, the Wyrm creatures were ended, and the Gaians were triumphant.
Death Comes for the Seed
“Ye Shall Take No Action That Causes a Caern to be Violated.” The final tenant of our Litany, it covers both action - the intentional violation of a Caern - and inaction - standing by while a Caern is violated without attempting to protect it. As such, knowing the threat to the Sept that the visit from Wildenberg caused, Ironsights-rhya set a task force to guard the Caern seed while others bring the fight to the foe.
Ad Terrorem, Adren Silver Fang Philodox, was named the leader of the group by Ironsights-rhya. He was aided and advised by Prime Motivator-rhya, Elder Glass Walker Philodox and Tribal second; Dr. Jake Hargrove-rhya, Rishi Gurahl; Sings the Way-rhya, Athro Fianna Theurge; Flies Strange Paths, Adren Corax; Guides the Storm, Fostern Stargazer Philodox and Master of Challenge for the Sept of Oak Vale; and Mechanical Hazard, Fostern Ratkin Shadow Seeker.
Their tasks were two-fold. One, protect the Caern seed. Two, perform chiminage for the spirits assisting the warriors at Tellus Museum. The latter required at least one Gaian perform ritual hand movements over the seed for as long as the spirits lent their aid. If it faltered for even a moment, Wildenberg would be able to escape.
And so, the group waited, each performing the ritual movements in turn. After an indeterminate amount of time - all of it ran together - the dead arrived. Vampires, ghosts, and the Lonely Victims of the plague started beating on the door.
Prime Motivator-rhya, Flies Strange Paths, and Mechanical Hazard pick the dead and undead off at range. The only way to protect the Seed is to bring true death to everything coming down the stairs. Ad Terrorem used the Mastery of Falcon’s people to force the first wave of Lonely Victims to block the doorway and prevent the entry of their vampiric masters. Dr. Jake Hargrove-rhya filled the area with light to remove the darkness itself, another potential weapon that could be wielded by the undead. Guides the Storm, in the most vulnerable position near the Caern seed, calmly and gently continued the ritual movements while her back remains exposed to the door. Sings the Way-rhya snarled to put the entire group, including the spirits of health and healing summoned by Prime Motivator-rhya, Dr. Jake Hargrove-rhya, and Mechanical Hazard, under her protection.
Everything hovered on the brink of battle, then struck all at once.
Flies Strange Paths let out a mocking caw and joined the allies as a flood of Lonely Victims, leeches, and ghosts entered the room. Four Lonely ones lingered outside, still too afraid of hurting someone under Sings the Way-rhya’s protection. The rest of the enemy targeted the Elders - both to pull down competent fighters and to take the heart out of the Gaian forces. Prime Motivator-rhya and Dr. Jake Hargrove-rhya were swarmed alongside Guides the Storm. The last was a victim of proximity.
The leeches entered the room with unholy speed, but Sings the Way-rhya kept two of them at bay. The other two attempted to fell Flies Strange Paths and Mechanical Hazard. The ghosts, unaffected by the mass of Gaian and undead in the doorway, entered the room but four were held back by fear of Sings the Way-rhya. The remaining ghost harried Ad Terrorem until it was blinded by Mechanical Hazard.
Gaian tactics warred with overwhelming numbers. Prime Motivator-rhya’s will to survive and Ad Terrorem’s strength of purpose kept both standing rather than succumbing to their wounds. Tooth, claw, and weapons tore into the enemy. Sings the Way-rhya poured fear into the hearts of their enemies while Guides the Storm shielded him with her body. All throughout, Guides the Storm continued the ritual movements forming the necessary chiminage.
Lonely Children fell under the assault only for the leeches to raise them into twisted zombies who continued to fight. Still, the Gaians prevailed. Prime Motivator-rhya’s flesh will forever bear a scar from that night.
Through it all, the spirits of the court of Skullcap, the City Parent, watched the battle. There was no Ahroun among the Gaian forces, but the honorable devotion to duty won the day. All agreed that Sings the Way-rhya and Ad Terrorem’s defense of the hearth and mastery kept the tide from turning against them.
Floor of Glass
With the Shadow Court Changeling bargain struck to ensure Wildenberg’s appearance at the Tellus Museum, Ironsights-rhya assembled an elite team to secure the top of the museum and prevent the final method that Wildenberg could use to escape. She named Ghost Pepper-rhya, Elder Get of Fenris Ahroun, as the leader. With him were When He is Beaten-rhya, Athro Child of Gaia Ahroun; Shadowrun-rhya, Athro Glass Walker Ahroun; Wonder Woman, Adren Black Fury Ahroun; Deep Walker; Hart of Artemis, Fostern Black Fury Ahroun; and Forgefire's Song, Fostern Fianna Galliard.
Spirits joined the group of Gaians - two Honey spirits summoned by Stands with Yggdrasil, Adren Get of Fenris Theurge, and Gambles with Gnosis, Adren Fianna Theurge, along with a spirit of Chains summoned by Mirror Blue Midnight, Fostern Silent Strider Theurge and Master of the Rites for the Sept of Seven Hills. The spirits served as yet more hands to prevent the escape of Wildenberg.
Garou began scaling the walls while banes of Obsolescence streamed down the glistening marble.
Shadowrun-rhya, Wonder Woman, and Forgefire's Song tore into the banes. Shadowrun-rhya arced lightning across the swarm, evaporating each in turn. Wonder Woman fired one-handed into the mass to protect the helpful spirits that accompanied the team of Gaians. Deep Walker connected the minds of those present and passed the chatter of the banes to them directly while he took blows meant for the spirits onto his own body.
Ghost Pepper-rhya, When He is Beaten-rhya, and Forgefire's Song fought with renewed vigor to protect the friendly spirits that traveled with the Gaians. Hart of Artemis howled at the traitorous banes to inspire the Gaians fighting beside him and used his body to protect the spirit of Chains.
The Gaians fought and their Rage grew. They climbed higher and higher on the walls of the museum until the could no longer make a sound for fear of alerting Wildenberg to their presence. The battle against the banes rages on as they crossed over the edge onto the rooftop. Hart of Artemis almost succumbed to the wounds taken defending the Honey spirits, but his will to survive kept him moving.
Despite a fresh battle scar gleaming, the team of Gaians was able to maneuver the spirits into place and use their powers to ensure that Wildenberg would not be able to teleport while in the ballroom. The Gaians spread out to block the skylight as an escape route while yet another battle raged below. Ghost Pepper-rhya stood watch.
Battle of the Observatory
Behind Tellus stands an observatory with a telescope fixed and locked at the moon. Here is where Wildenberg decided to play his second escape device. The bargain struck with the Shadow Court ensured that the battle here would be the most trying.
Swearwolf lead a group of scouts consisting of Opener of the Way, Adren Ananasi Ragabash, Warder of the Sept of Seven Hills; Alu; Out Drives the Wyrm; Moxie, Cliath Nuwisha; Viewfinder, Cliath Silver Fang Ragabash; and Tenebrous Harmony, Adren Silver Fang Galliard, to explore the museum before the main forces arrived. Those who could hide under Blur of the Milky Eye did so while Tenebrous Harmony webbed together the minds of most of the group. They discovered a Pack of Black Spiral Dancers hiding in the observatory.
A group of Gaians amassed before splitting up into two different groups. Ironsights-rhya, as the local Wyrmfoe, determined the numbers for each. Silvertongue-rhya, Someone Your Own Size-rhya, Elder Get of Fenris Ahroun, and Curator of the Esoteric-rhya, Elder Uktena Theurge, went to their respective places. The Athro present - Caustic Snarl, Bone Gnawer Ahroun, Wyrmfoe of the Sept of Graveyard Watch and Tribal second; Voice of Unity-rhya, Silver Fang Ahroun and member of House Unbreakable Hearth; and May Cause Bleeding, Ratkin Warrior - followed suit. The Adren - Swearwolf; Over the Moon, Nuwisha, Master of Challenges for the Sept of Seven Hills; Opener of the Way; Gambles with Gnosis, Uktena Theurge; Harsh Reminder, Get of Fenris Philodox; Stands with Yggdrasil, Get of Fenris Theurge; and Tenebrous Harmony - were next. A number of Fostern - Mirror Blue Midnight; Silent Judgement; No Trespassing, Get of Fenris Ahroun, Guardian of the Sept of the Fallen Heroes; Alu; Chew Toi, Red Talon Philodox; Cold Red Clay; Lights Out, Silver Fang Ahroun; Out Drives the Wyrm; Shibari, Ananasi Galliard; and Your Friendly Neighborhood... Something, Glass Walker Ahroun - joined the teams. The Cliath present - Frostbite, Stargazer Theurge and Master of Challenges for the Sept of the Fallen Heroes; Drinks from Skulls, Silver Fang Ragabash; Moxie; Muroider, Ratkin Shadow Seeker; Runs in Stars, Silent Strider Ahroun; Viewfinder; and Thadius Carrin, Get of Fenris Ahroun - rounded out the assembly of Gaians determined to take down the C.E.O. of Pentex and his allies.
A seamless blend of Garou and Fera poured into the narrow doorway of the observatory. Opener of the Way hid themself through use of Gift and began searching for the device hidden here. The rest readied themselves for battle.
A Pack of 6 Black Spiral Dancers accompanied by 10 Fomori and countless banes lie in wait. Silvertongue-rhya charged and felled fomori after fomori before turning her sights onto the Dancers. Voice of Unity-rhya cloaked himself in Luna’s Light and bolstered the heart of his allies. Gambles with Gnosis launched himself at the foe while the spirits he summoned to assist flew at his side. Swearwolf swung at foes while avoiding incoming blows. Alu, wearing Aspect of the Death Bear, tore apart fomori that burst upon death and wounded him. Out Drives the Wyrm lashed out at the Dancers with a sharpened knife. Silent Judgment channeled the pain of loss and let out a heart-rending wail that wounded three fomori and one Dancer, then bolstered her allies with a song. Shibari focused on one Fomori after another, methodically felling them with single-minded tenacity. Drinks from Skulls laid about herself with a fearsome hammer while lightning wreathed the silver fur of her Crinos form. Fomori tried to attack Frostbite, but he flickered to and fro with blinding speed and the Wyrm creature struck itself instead. Moxie, with a Bowie knife borrowed from Out Drives the Wyrm, goes straight for a Dancer of twice her size and strength - landing at least one blow. Thaddeus Carrin decimates any Fomori within reach. Tenebrous Harmony, forced into her homid breed form, focuses on healing the Gaian forces.
Through it all, Opener of the Way focused on destroying the device that could spell Wildenberg’s escape. Arachnid limbs and pincers slowly pull the machine apart while Opener of the Way is beset on all sides by Fomori.
In the end, half the Pack of Spiral Dancers and all the Fomori lie dead. The few remaining banes flee alongside the remaining Dancers. The Gaian forces stand weary but triumphant.
As one team destroys the last remaining escape device, J. C. Wildenberg begins dining in the Tellus Ballroom. The remaining Gaians breach the ballroom door and set on the enemies inside - eight Nephandi, six Fomori, and, strangely enough, one Kinfolk.
Over the Moon locked down the Umbra to prevent ingress or egress there during the battle. Caustic Snarl-rhya, Curator of the Esoteric-rhya, Someone Your Own Size-rhya, and May Cause Bleeding immediately target J.C. Wildenberg, with Ironsights-rhya acting as a sniper against him from a distance. Stands with Yggdrasil focused her attention and the actions of her summoned spirits as they move in concert to take out the Nephandi. The earth around Chew Toi raised up at his call and pressed at Fomori and Nephandi alike. Mirror Blue Midnight focused on the deadly Nephandi using her own combat skills and the spirits she summoned to assist. No Trespassing focused on taking out a group of Fomori to free up others for attacking the collection of mages. Your Friendly Neighborhood... Something laid a web to slow Wildenberg’s movement and loosed an electroshock that hit a ten-deep chain of Nephandi, Fomori, and the one Kinfolk. Runs in Stars throws himself into the path of an oncoming spell headed towards Muroidea, taking the focus onto himself while preventing the spell from landing. Muroidea then killed the mage by sinking her teeth into it and filling its vein with sickness. Viewfinder called on the skills of Falcon to try and cut off Wildenberg’s access to his mage abilities.
Wildenberg saw himself surrounded and immediately activated a means of escape. He sprinted through the room, being hit with attack after attack, until finally vanishing despite the best efforts of the assembled Gaians. May Cause Bleeding used his view of the battlefield to find Wildenberg in his limousine and followed the C.E.O. there using the power of his people. The battle ensued again and Wildenberg continued trying to escape while magically hiding himself from sight. Caustic Snarl-rhya appeared moments later. May Cause Bleeding knocked Wildenberg unconscious then matching shots from Caustic Snarl-rhya and Hart of Artemis (who was firing from a nearby rooftop) ended Wildenberg’s life.
The mage breathed his last foul breath and the very stones of the museum began to shake. In moments, the building started to crumble and the Gaians fled. Hog Tamer-rhya, Athro Philodox, and Over the Moon were both knocked unconscious during the fight and none saw them lying amidst the rubble. Both perished.
The C.E.O. of Pentex fell at the cost of pain and Rage and blood.
In the end, Gaia triumphed.