As told by Liam “Songs of Distant Arcadia” O’Connor and River “Sings in Defiance” Forsythe, with assistance from Báihú, and Harry “Sings-to-Break-Steel” Gunvaldsson
Sing in me, O, Gaia.
Sing of Battles won and sacrifices made
Sing of Legends ended and new tales told
Sing of the Death of Bhictoria MacDougal
Sing of the Birth of Hope in the Age of Apocalypse
The Battle Begins, as witnessed by Liam “Songs of Distant Arcadia” O’Connor, Báihú, and Harry “Sings-to-Break-Steel” Gunvaldsson
Apr. 14, 2018. San Diego.
After several months of careful planning and an intricate setting of the stage using the combined influence of the Garou Nation organized by the trio of Jackson “Control Shift Boom” Daniels, Adren Twin-soul Bastet Wulf, and Nuwisha Kinfolk Amber Lauren, the moment of action had come. Elder Dagmar “The Iron Lady” Nielsen had mustered the forces of the Garou Nation for a fateful battle. Win or lose, they knew that the course of the Age of Apocalypse hinged on this moment. If they missed their chance now, they may never get it again. The chance to cut off the head of Pentex and slay Bhictoria MacDougal, a Legend of the Wyrm Howlers, also known as the Black Spiral Dancers.
Bhictoria MacDougal had gotten out of a meeting in downtown San Diego. As she stepped outside, to be escorted by her security detail, she noticed that the streets were strangely empty of the regular foot traffic. She knew something was up. She had been around for 160 years and, if she played her cards right, she could live for another 160. She knew she had to get out. Now.
The gathered forces of the Nation prepared. They knew that Bhictoria was aware of their machinations. Their roadblocks corralled the Wyrmish forces into a parking structure, where the battle would take place. Bhictoria and her personal retinue of 9 Elder Black Spiral Dancers steeled themselves in the structure. They knew that Fomori backup was on their way. Behind them, at a distance, would be an embodiment of Green Dragon. They just needed to weaken the forces until their reinforcements arrived.
Time being of the essence, the Nation struck. A grand melee ensued..
Bhictoria began the battle by unleashing a horrid Wyrmish power that appeared as a green laser. It immediately destroyed all the Spirits who came with the Nation. Stricken, but undaunted, the Nation began to lay into their enemies. The Nation broke into 4 groups. A team comprised mostly of Garou, led by Millennial Falcon, struck the left flank, while a team of mostly Rokea, lead by Stolen Legend, fanned out to strike the right. Dagmar lead the charge straight down upon Bhictoria and her guards. A fourth team lead by Maat’s Will hung back to help provide support for the main forces as it was needed.
Adren Child of Gaia Ahroun Duncan "Explosively Calm" was fleet of foot and raced ahead to surround his quarry - that quarry being Bhictoria - charging into the fray to allow his allies a more rapid approach. He struck at his foes without fear, and his prowess was did not go unnoticed. A sniper, firing from the safety of a perch far from his reach, took aim and fired upon him with three attacks in rapid succession, but through his rage he was healed. Several rushed to his aid, including a Corax known as Robert “Speak and Spell” (who healed him with use of a talen) and Athro Galliard Kitsune Baihu, who rushed forward to his aid but he would not be drawn from the front line, back to safety.
Duncan fell after a glorious charge into battle, giving his life to save countless others. He sacrificed himself to give precious seconds to the others, and drew the attention of the snipers and other Dancers of the Black Spiral away from the rest of the assailants, giving the forces of the Nation the upper hand, as the soldiers of the Wyrm ignored the packs of Garou and Fera moving to flank them.
Gaian continued to clash with Wyrm. Slowly, yet surely, the Dancers fell one by one. As they sensed their doom, they each broke their Bane Klaive’s, unleashing Umbral Storms, sapping the Gnosis from their enemies. Undaunted, the Gaians fought onward. Fostern Harry “Sings-to-Break-Steel” Gunvaldsson sang the Song of Heroes, stirring the souls of the fighters by invoking past battles against overwhelming odds, steadying their souls against the draining effects of the Umbral Storms.
Bhictoria focused her anger on the forces before her, but also unleashed her terrible talons against Raven, an Uktena Kinfolk, who had taken the skin of an air spirit. It was uncertain if Bhictoria knew that Raven was Kin, or is she thought that Raven was some powerful spirit. Raven took 3 brutal strikes. Strikes that could fell even a Garou.
Seeing Raven hovering near death, Stag’s Fury, the Fianna Ahroun Companion of Herne, lept into action and bravely put himself in front of any more incoming attacks, and pulled Raven to relative safety.
Let no one say that the Kinfolk lack bravery. Raven faced even death or worse at the hands our our most hated enemy, so as to aid Gaia. She is a testament to the courage and sacrifice of all Kinfolk.
Onward, the forces of the Garou Nation pushed. Despite their wounds, they pressed on, to claim the head of Pentex.
The Defense of the Caearn, as witnessed by River “Sings in Defiance” Forsythe
Beyond the borders reach of the Sept proper, members of the Embers of Ragnarok pack - a pair of Fenrir - Fostern Ahroun Rokkvi "Flames Upon the Asphalt" and Fostern Philodox Tryggvi Skarsgård - had been working to secure the roads leading in and out of the Sept to ensure the safety of those coming and going, of which there were many.
In the case that things went poorly and the Caern Seed had to be moved, it was their duty to ensure the roads were clear, that the defenders could make a quick exodus to the site of the former caern in Alpine. Elder Child of Gaia Ahroun Amitiel “Brother to Many”, Alpha of the Sept had entrusted them with the task of pulling the Seed and seeing it to safety if the signal was called, and so with the patience of the Norn the pair patrolled, ever-vigilant for signs of trouble.
Back at the sept and far from the front lines of the battle against Bhictoria, a group of stalwart defenders stood at the ready, shifters patrolling nd standing watch in pairs as the Kin and Cubs made preparations for the return of those fighting away from the Sept.. Their watch began calmly enough with their leader - Fostern Kitsune Galliard River “Sings in Defiance” leading the defense as her Adren challenge, Grey Fur, and Fostern Philodox Nikita “Grace of Heaven” remained back near the buildings closest to the Caern proper, the Lupus-born Garou along with the pair of Homid-born and Shinjin Kitsune keeping careful watch over the kin and cubs as River’s mind web kept them all connected mentally, and her view of the battlefield kept them appraised of approaching trouble.
In the lower paths of the Bawn, the Warder, Adren Twin-soul Bastet Wulf and Adren Philodox Fenrir Ossur "Kills with Red Tape" strode through the valleys, keeping careful watch for any sign of trouble. In the higher paths above, Adren Ragabash Lance “Overwatch” and Uktena Ani-Wa-Ya stalked the mountain passes.
Across the mind web, River and Lance spoke nearly at once as he spotted someone on the approach. Seven figures in total - and like that, the battle began in earnest. The defenders quickly found themselves face to face with a number of leeches, some of them with flesh tough as stone which burned like molten flame at the touch, horrifying monstrosities that could only be described as lovecraftian in appearance, and one who had tried to masquerade as a Garou.
A visitor who had asked to be referred to simply as “Smaug” - the Incarna of Firedrake, present to assist the sept thanks to the actions of Amber Lauren, delivered the warder clear across the sept at the speed of thought, and on feeling the might of the defenders’ blows most of them fled in cowardice, fearing for their un-lives from the changers and a handful of stalwart kin who had taken up arms to defend those in the rec center from their would-be assailants.
It was Ossur who realized the attack had been a ploy. A bomb had been planted in the radio station that lead to the Caern in the confusion of the fight. Though many would have frozen in fear, the warder, Wulf, reached to rip the device clear off the explosive charge - defusing it before it could endanger the Caern. The invaders repelled, their attack thwarted, the defenders set in to make preparations for the return of those at the battle.
The Strike on Green Dragon
Concurrent with the main strike force, the majority of the leadership of the Sept of New Dawns made their own attack. Alongside their Fae allies, they struck the lair of Bhictoria’s Totem, Green Dragon. Unlike the other teams, they knew that they were going on a suicide mission.
Their losses were heavy.
Donald "Stonewall" Blake, Elder Metis Ahroun Get of Fenris Metis. Acting Wyrm Foe
John "Life Bringer" Hollander, Elder Homid Galliard Uktena
Adom Amen Ra "Scales", Elder Homid Philidox Silent Strider
Valentine, Elder Homid Corax
Sir Bastion, Seelie Troll who pledged his life to his lord, and gave it fighting valiantly by the side of other heroes
Carl, Pookah who had features like a hawk.
For all their sacrifice of life, they bought the Nation 12 seconds. And those 12 seconds made all the difference.
The Interception Team, as told by River “Sings in Defiance” Forsythe based on spirit testimony
In the cool air before what Fostern Nuwisha James and team knew to be the entrance to an Umbral Realm with a penchant for spewing forth manifestations of the Wyrm that masquerade as Gaians, defenses had been set - and now that the battle had begun in earnest, his team found themselves in a fierce trench battle. Their mission? To buy time for those on the front lines against Bhictoria, that these manifestations would not reach her to lend their aid.
Adren Glasswalker Ahroun Click Click Boom, Fostern Silent Strider Philodox Victor, Fostern Tunnel Runner Ratkin “Sampson” Lab Rat (Alias: Ghost), and Fostern Black Fury Ragabash Kelli covered the front of the house, while Athro Uktena Theurge Raven's Flight, Adren Gurahl Quincy, Fostern Nuwisha James, and Fostern Get of Fenris Ragabash Sneaky Bastard covered the rear. They knew the Elder Fallen Get of Fenris Theurge, Blutbod, was nearby, likely controlling and summoning forth the eldritch horrors they faced - as well as more insidious trickery. A false version of Bhictoria... putrid Fomori and Black Spiral Dancers. When these proved to be too easy to dispatch, finally, he resorted to psychological warfare and brought forth the false image of a Gaian member of the Sept of New Dawns.
Those gathered struggled - the False Juniper looked and acted exactly as one would have expected the Gaian they knew, but they were wise to the ways of the Wyrm's treachery after it had spat forth copies of so many other beings. They dispatched the False Juniper, knowing in their hearts that the real Juniper was not a part of this battle, though facing even a false image of one of their own took a heavy toll on their minds.
In the fray, Blutbod escaped with the aid of what appeared to be the fomori known as Blink and Slurm, but in doing so he abandoned his access point to the Umbral Realm that had spat forth the horrors they had faced. They burned it to the ground, cleansing it with Fire and the light of Gaia after valiantly preventing any of its manifestations from reaching the other fronts, destroying it and thereby robbing Blutod of its power henceforth.
The End, as witnessed by Liam “Songs of Distant Arcadia” O’Connor, Báihú, and Harry “Sings-to-Break-Steel” Gunvaldsson
Bhictoria, like any fortress thought invincible, slowly crumbled. Her lieutenants fell one by one, all around her. The wounds of the Gaians tore at her flesh, and in time, bit deep. As Bhictoria gave into her Rage and felt her flesh knit from her first brush with death - likely her first in some time - she unleashed a most awful Roar of the Wyrm. The already weakened Gaian forces - exhausted and torn found themselves shaken, and a number of them began to flee from the horrible sound Bhictoria unleashed. The left flank led by Millennial Falcon in particular found their numbers pushed back. The Rokea seemed completely undaunted.
At this time, the Fomori backup arrived to intercept those fleeing, all five with knives and smiles gleaming. Those fleeing found themselves caught by these new additions. They pushed through. They sought to take the blows for those already weakened. They fought with tooth, claw, voice, and steel.
And then one of the Fomori exploded. This caused a chain reaction, killing all of them and damaging everyone else. They had known that they would be sacrificing themselves, and had placed themselves in the middle of the back of the Gaian forces. The damage was devastating. Robert “Speak and Spell”, who had just flown back after saving the body of Duncan from being desecrated, found himself caught in the middle of it. He struggled bravely to stay up, but the combined concussive force proved too much for his hollow bones to handle, and he died valiantly on his feet.
The rest of the fleeing forces managed to hold on and withdraw out the back, to safety. Stag’s Fury clutched Raven tightly, saving the brave Kinfolk. At the same time, another group of five more Fomori arrived. They were the same as the first squad, and no doubt planned to strike those fighting Bhictoria from behind with the same dastardly tactic. They ignored the fleeing combatants and set their eyes on those still in the fight.
Darius Isaiah Morningkill and Liam “Songs of Distant Arcadia” O’Connor, both Scions of Legend, knew that they could not let this sneak attack happen. They stood back to back, ready to face their doom, so that Dagmar and her war party could prevail.
While their numbers had been severely shrunk by Bhictoria’s Roar, the main strike force and the Rokea kept up their unrelenting strikes on Bhictoria. Bhictoria was now fully consumed with her own Rage. Her wounds kept mounting. One of her lieutenants, the sniper, realized that the battle was lost and that should Bhictoria stay, she would die. In a last bid attempt to escape, he grabbed Bhictoria, and used a Gift to dash away through an open hole in the structure.
Seeing their target about to get away, the Get of Fenris Brandrjolt "Volt" Vogsson unleashed a final desperate hurl of lightning. Everyone held their breath, as this may be the last chance they had to strike down the most accursed foe. As if guided by the hand of Gaia herself, the blow landed with the full Might of Thor, felling Bhictoria. Her lieutenant, consumed with Rage, finally succumbed and began frenzying. He dropped Bhictoria, as his Rage overtook him. And as Bhictoria fell, her Roar fell with her, and the Gaian forces rallied once again, descending on Bhictoria’s remaining allies with singular fury. Needless to say, her lieutenant did not last long.
The encroaching Fomori and other remaining Wyrmish forces realized that the battle was lost, and fled the field of battle. The Gaian forces gathered together again in the center of the parking structure, as Bhictoria’s unconscious body was laid out before Dagmar. Wielding a ceremonial axe that was created for this very purpose by the Pack, Armory, The Iron Lady brought the swift justice of Gaia down upon Bhictoria’s neck, removing her head.
It was done. Bhictoria was dead. A howl arose. Garou. Fera. Kinfolk. All had worked together and played their part. All paid greatly for this victory, but it was still a victory. The time to mourn the honored dead would come. But for now, it is a time to celebrate. The Age of Apocalypse may still be upon us, but the Wyrm had been struck a most terrible blow.
Remember, that no Titan of the Wyrm is truly invulnerable. Remember, that the Kings and Queens of rot can be brought to heel. Remember, that even Legends must die.