To Hive or Hive Not
On this day it was a Hive Not, but we were yet to find that out. Following below are the efforts of Oak Vale Sept and those Allies that came to help in our call of need. I detail the fighting but there were many others that helped to keep the Veil safe. Too many efforts to be detailed point by point but their names are just as important to the success of this endeavour, with them being “WISE” in covering other areas as the Spirits recognise. Some of those are as follows:
"Eagle's Relic Hunter",
Wassador "WaZ" Mahegan,
Gerald Rivers, &
Enter the Fray
The fight teams, all “GLORIOUS”, approached from the North, passing by what was once a quaint bed and breakfast guest house called Carreg Rhys. Now a den of torture and pain. The North Western entrance was the only remaining entrance able to be accessed due to contaminants and purpose blockages. The village was locally known as Paradwys, 22 minutes, 9.7 miles (15.6km) away from the location of the Sept of the Oak Vale.
Getting closer it was easy to feel the Wyrm-affinity of the area, especially those sensitive with gifts for such things. It left a very strong imprint in the pit of our stomachs. The banes surrounding the area yet again paying us little heed. They knew what was to come, as did we.
We arrived at the entrance of a field in Paradwys where previous scouting and intelligence suggested was the community of Black Spiral Dancers ‘home’. The field as before was empty on the surface. Our Sept’s Wyrmfoe, “Kneecaps”, pushed open the gate and beckoned us all to continue, each in our allotted teams. Filling out across the battlefield, the Shifters of Anglesey and abroad took our positions against an unseen opposition force. “Kneecaps” notifies each Team Leader silently to begin the assault.
The Teams of brave Gaians set off, making our way further into the field when the ground began to shift and sink beneath our feet. It was a confusing few moments, scary even, as the ground opened and swallowed us all whole. “Fuck!” was for sure a comment many of us were thinking at that time. While others steeled themselves for whatever was to come. It felt like a great distance--though was truly little at all--until we landed on our feet, having slipped unwillingly into the Umbra.
The mood of the war party had quite glaringly changed. Several of us present feel the connection to Malfeas, and a Theurge shouts a warning that we had fallen into the mouth of a Wyrm Tunnel. The lack of visible opposition on the surface all made sense.
The Sept of the Oak Vale and our allies now face the threat we felt was close all along. Two sets of skirmishing Crinos werewolves descend on the left and right flank, fomori and war wolves from the front and behind, and a solitary unit of archers on the right flank.
Pack Temperance and two Oak Vale locals were in this team. “Kneecaps” drew their bow without missing a beat upon landing in a nest of Wyrmy foes, aiming at one of the Black Spiral Dancers and firing an arrow into their shoulder. “Falcon’s Grasp of Truth” shouted to his packmates and their allies, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a BSD”. Beneficial howl's charged with mystical force, roused the warriors, provoking them into action. I howled once more, echoing with the sadness of cursed women, becoming an inhuman shriek in the minds of the Spirals.
A Dancer threw Balefire at “Clinch and Destroy”, striking her with what appeared to be a large ball of green-coloured fire, reeking of sulfur and rotting meat. The burns it left behind seeped disgustingly. “Kneecaps” observed his opponents awaiting a coup de grace. “Laughing Tails” proved that he could throw fiery balls too, hurling a burst of flame out of his finger at one of the Spirals as “Falcon’s” and I double-teamed a Dancer with our slashing claws, drawing blood. “Soothes the Storms” drew her bow and found a new home for one of her arrows in the chest of a Black Spiral Dancer. The Dancers speedily clawed “Clinch and Destroy”, “Falcon’s”, “Kneecaps” and I shortly afterwards. The enemy getting their revenge. For those wounds they gave us tainted our flesh with each jagged slash, corrupting deeply.
“Clinch and Destroy”, “Falcon’s” and I were the victims of more claw attacks even as our bodies knitted shut the wounds already received. “Kneecaps” pinged another Spiral with an arrow, living up to there role as Wyrmfoe. “Laughing Tails” again threw a burst of fire out of his … finger... at one of the Dancers. “Falcon’s” bit a Spiral’s neck and ripped out its throat as it fell to the floor and died like the filth it was. “Soothes the Storms” drew her bowstring back and gave the chest of another Dancer a new ornament. “Falcon’s” and I continued to be the target of the claws of the Fallen Garou. “Falcon’s” reciprocating with a claw attack of his own while “Kneecaps” and “Soothes the Storm”, Temperance’s Black Furies put arrows into the Black Spiral skirmishers, “Soothes the Storm’s” arrow killing a second foe.
“Kneecaps” dropped another arrow into a Dancer, while “Clinch and Destroy” and “Falcon’s” clawed the lead Black Spiral Dancer to show it their lack of appreciation for being dropped into this disgusting Wyrm Tunnel. “Soothes the Storm”, calling upon her spirit-given Gift for perfect accuracy, shot an arrow into a Dancer as it tried pathetically to dodge the un-avoidable shaft.
“Clinch and Destroy” and “Laughing Tails” are clawed, though because their bodies have healed any previous injuries, this attack is not as significant as it perhaps could have been. “Kneecaps” sent an arrow into the eye of one of the Dancers, killing it with the well-known skill of the Arrows of Artemis, his deep fury toward these disgraceful beasts adding greater power to his shots. Myself was clawed again and “Laughing Tails” attacked the Dancer that attacked. “Falcon’s” attacked a Dancer that came too close and “Soothes the Storms” sent another arrow into one of the few remaining Spirals left, for which she was the recipient of a claw attack in retaliation.
A Dancer got in close and attacked “Kneecaps”, who returned the favour with an arrow to the chest at point-blank range. “Falcon’s” was struck once again, having sustained some heavy damage during the prolonged engagement and struggling to keep up the fight. Feeling worse for wear I stepped away from the combat as fast as possible retreating from the wings of Death itself. Thankful I was indeed for "Soothes the Storms" cleansing touch. "Kneecaps" sent one more arrow into the remaining Black Spiral Dancer, with "Clinch and Destroy" and "Laughing Tails" moving to attack it with claws until "Falcon’s" charged in his Hispo form and jumped to bite its head off in mid-air. "Kneecaps" sent another arrow across the battlefield… Seeing later where that embedded. "Soothes the Storms" turned to "Falcon’s" and said a prayer for him, healing him too.
As the battle broke out there was still some space between the teams and their enemies. The Pack named ‘Teeth Around Your Neck’ made up A2 and began to close in on the War Wolves that had brought up the tail end of the charging enemies. Five Crinos form BSDs surged ahead of the wolves right at the team. '“Polarae” began to encourage her healing spirits to come close and prepare to aid them. Bronwen and Bernard tried to attack the BSDs, but they seemed unaffected.
As the BSDs built up their Rage and kept up the charge “Refuses to Fall” met them for an attack with Marcus close behind, but they were sidestepped. Luckily this opened the shot for Bronwen who got a solid hit on one of the skirmishers. In reaction he lifted “RtF” into the air with an uppercut claw swing, its ally pouncing him in mid-air and swatting him down, leaving the Child of Gaia badly injured.
The savagery kept up with the two skirmishers batting “RtF” back and forth, poison dripping from their claws and mouths. Another hit "One With Wind", and the remaining two pinning “Saint” and "Poetic Justice" between what seemed like a wall of enemies. “RtF” gained back control and got a solid hit on his attacker. “Polarae” ducked in with two spirits to heal him and "PJ". Bronwen stepped up to bat and blasted three of the BSDs for a solid hit, sending them flying back and knocking them down. A sucker punch took “RtF” a step from death and, knowing that he had to survive, he steeled himself, pushing his wounds down. Meanwhile, "One With Wind" pulled a reversal on another skirmisher coming for “RtF”. Then the War Wolves arrived. Bronwen took out two with one shot, “Saint” hit the Alpha with a solid hit, and “PJ” hit the Skirmisher that had been beating up on “RtF” hard enough to send it reeling.
As it recovered it tried to go for “RtF” again, and another went for "One With Wind", the two nodded to each other, “Trade?” “Trade.” The reversal of targets caused both skirmishers to miss, and “Saint” and "PJ" fired their guns at the one with a vendetta on “RtF”. “Saint’s” shot to the kneecap sent it falling and "PJ’s" shot sent brains splattering as the bullet hit right through its eye. Bronwen took out the last two War Wolves.
The other skirmishers began to beat up on “RtF” and "One With Wind" again and it became clear that these two would not be able to keep up the defence for much longer. If they got past them the others would be easy prey. Knowing that the choice was losing her entire pack or herself “PJ” used Entrance the Mob, rushing into the fray as “RtF” and One With Wind had pulled back to heal. "PJ" told her pack to go help the other teams and kept the BSDs busy, knowing that it would likely be her last act…
Enemies were in immediate sight as Team A3 consisting of D.a.m.a.g.e Inc. and “Road Hazard” fell into the battle tunnel. Their personal threat was clear: eleven foes, twisted and evil, which were upon them at once.
The first to charge the Gaians was a red-faced ‘man’ covered in the knobby, disgusting hide of the Wyrm. Heat rolled off him in waves, making the Gaians wince at the inferno within him as he came close and attacked the most intimidating person he saw: “Blood Reaver”. But the mighty Get of Fenris was not so easy to strike, and he ducked aside from the claws of the Fomor.
All Hell subsequently broke loose. Five emaciated and grotesque War Wolves in their mockery of a Crinos form moved as a pack, led by the largest one. Three swarmed the front line of “Road”, “Blood Reaver”, “WaZ”, and “Hercules Mulligan”. The other two swept behind the defenders to make a beeline for the smaller and less intimidating Mindy and “FiddleStyx”, trying to surround the team. Two Fomori remained back from the bloodbath, shooting silver bullets into “Blood Reaver’s” hide and throwing Balefire at “Road”. The three others ran in close with gleaming silver swords to begin a deadly dance of blades in the melee.
The Gaians worked as a team too, guided to better synergy by the aid of “Road” and her experience with pack tactics. Upon seeing the great amount of silver being used, “Hercules” called upon the blessing of Luna to help feel less stinging burns and proceeded to engage the trio of Fomori with the silver swords. “BR” lived up to his name, swinging in on the leader of the Fomori with his deadly axe over and over again. “WaZ” became a figure of horrific legend as his Crinos form became spiked, tough, and ever more deadly. Attacks from the War Wolves that fell upon him nearly killing them in return. “FiddleStyx” ignited the fury within the hearts of the entire team, spurring them on to greater speed and ferocity to outpace these foes in the early fight. Mindy supported her packmates with healing when they needed it most. Though even the back line of Mindy and “FiddleStyx” was able to bring down one of the War Wolves that targeted them, and “Road” turned around to slay the other for their return protection.
War Wolves, while terrifying to behold, were nonetheless quick to fall in this fight. All were torn asunder in short order, leaving only the threat of the Fomori behind. “WaZ” used his Weaver wiles to disable the silver-shooting gun off the back Fomor, protecting his pack from the too-accurate shooting. With the gun disabled, the Fomor instead proceeded to attack the very minds of the Gaians, getting brief revenge on “WaZ” and later causing similar harm to “Blood Reaver”, but only once as the next attempt was thwarted by the troll-like skin of the Get. The other backline Fomor continued to be a danger to all he set his eyes upon with his tosses of Balefire, tainting the bodies of “WaZ” and “Hercules”.
As the danger of the fight increased with time, the Gaians were forced to begin jumping in the way of attacks to protect their packmates and friends. “Road”, “Blood Reaver”, and “Hercules” hurled themselves in harm’s way to protect Mindy from the blows of the Fomori when she came in close to mend the terrible wounds sustained by “WaZ”. “Blood Reaver" drew attention away from “WaZ” later in the battle as the leader of the Fomori attempted to bring him low, and “WaZ” returned the favour for “Blood Reaver” after “Road” had done to same, setting up for the final moments of this battle.
The three Fomori with the silver swords proved to be dangerous foes, though less so against “Hercules” due to the wise nullification of his own weakness to their chosen weapons. Their strikes to him were almost laughable, but his returning attacks on them were far less trivial. Even so, the poisonous blood within them stung at the claws of all who struck them.
“FiddleStyx” finally able to finish off the first one, and this triumph over the foe helped renew the vigour of his allies. Which proved to be instrumental in the survival of the Gaians in this fight. Every time a Fomori was slain, the bombs inside their heads exploded and maimed the bodies of all around them.
The toughness of those with the troll skin of the Get of Fenris was able to weather these detonations better than the others, but even so “Hercules” was forced to overtax his regeneration in order to weather the exploding Fomori. Focus-firing of the back line of Fomori along with the explosions of those closer nearly felled “WaZ”, leaving a lasting scar of his near-scrape with his own mortality. “Road” also felt the strain of the fight and the fiery blasts, gaining her own scar to remember this day by. Mindy was nearly brought to kneel by the blasts, and she was wiser with her timing in coming close to heal her allies once it was known that these foes were perhaps more dangerous in their deaths than in their lives. She, however, did not need to push her regeneration beyond its limits.
The Fomori leader proved to be formidable, showing little care for the wounds that plagued him even when the axe of “Blood Reaver” dug exceptionally deeply into his flesh. But even the hardiest of foes will fall with time, and his head was removed from its shoulders by that brutal axe. Before the head, of course, exploded.
Then came the moment of reckoning for the two Fomori of the back line as their protector had been removed. They looked to each other, then steeled themselves for the death approaching them in the furry forms of the entire D.a.m.a.g.e Inc. pack and “Road” charging at them in the line of advance.
It was over very quickly after that though the Fomori put up as best of a fight as they could, beating at the Gaians with their fists when they couldn’t call upon their Wyrm-given powers of Balefire and blasts to the minds of the Gaians. With teamwork to set up for the kills, the gleaming axe of “Blood Reaver” stuck down both foes, leaving only the Gaians still standing. All of them, though most were wounded and “Road” was knocking at Death’s door with her wounds from the final blast.
Team B4 comprised of two pack members of Feral Harmonics and other individuals. However, there was no time to recoup from the sudden drop into the Wyrm Tunnel before the horde of Fomori and hideous War Wolves descended upon the team. The leader of the Fomori, disgusting claws bared, came at the Corax member as if to take out the easiest target first, and to his surprise “The Bloody Crow” didn’t even bother to move out of the way. Equally surprising was the immediate strike that returned from wicked talons, giving back as good as he got as the vicious bird laughed in the Fomori’s face.
Katayo followed the example of Team B4’s leader and joined in the close-range fray while “Know's When He Is Beaten", “Grave Tale”, and “Clickbait” provided cover fire to aid their allies. “Clickbait” getting in the first kill as his bullet nailed a War Wolf between its glowing red eyes. This came on the heels of the Glasswalker taking a ball of Balefire to the face, but he held steady despite the pain.
"Damage Control", living up to his name, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. Or rather as a wasp as he continued more than once. He hurled himself in the way of attacks with abandon. His movements like a well-choreographed dance as he stepped away at the last moment and turned the strikes of silver-sword-wielding Fomori back on themselves. He then did a merry do-si-do with "T-B-C" to bring him out of harm’s way and allow him to strike at a War Wolf that was behind "DC's" back. The Child of Gaia followed this performance by pushing "Knows When" out of the way of a globe of Balefire, avoiding it himself like it wasn’t even there.
A different kind of control, crowd control, came from William Henry Howard as he pulled the attention of the War Wolves to him, keeping his allies from being swarmed by these failed experiments. In turn getting in the occasional strike back, killing one of them to boot. Indeed, the Gaians descent upon these tainted Wolves, like… well, wolves, clawing at them, shooting at them, and ending their miserable lives one by one until none remained.
That left the six Fomori on the chopping block, and these were formidable foes. Silver Swords, silver bullets, wicked claws, Balefire… Bullets rained on Katayo that were Gnosis-guided and not even the agile Child of Gaia could aid in dodging. The Ananasi proved to be deadly in double-teaming one of the Fomori to its demise with the help of a gunshot by “Clickbait”, upon which the head of the Fomori detonated in a harsh blast.
"DC" continued to prove impossible to hit by the others, drawing a whirling sword away from "Grave Tale" so the Silent Strider could line up a shot on a War Wolf to fell it. There was not a single ally which "DC" did not aid during the course of this team’s battle, often being a terrifying duo with his pack alpha, “T-B-C”, as the Corax continued to slash his merry way through the flesh of their foes.
As the numbers of foes began to thin, "T-B-C" and Kayato focused in on the leader with talons and fangs. A bite from the gigantic spider poisoned the Fomori, marking the beginning of the end for the Wyrm-ridden creature. Katayo and "Knows When" finished one of the monsters off after "Grave Tale" and William softened it up with bullets and claws, and another explosion rocked through the combatants.
That became the pattern for the next foe: “Grave Tale” and William laying the groundwork for their allies to finish the job, and “Clickbait” claiming the life of the Fomori with his well-placed bullets. Their foe’s numbers dwindled down to practically nothing, as the remaining Fomori began to flee toward the group doing battle with A1 team.
Katayo stopped the movement of the fleeing Fomori with a shot of web, and a shot apiece from "Kneecaps", firing from his side with A1 and "Knows When" ended this bloody battle with a literal bang.
B5 consisted of Garou from Oak Vale and White Fields Septs, and Gerald Rivers a Fianna kin from Oak Vale with his firing squad buddies. Their fight started with a lot of arrows and gunfire across the battlefield, but nothing striking home for the first moments as the aim is adjusted.
Upon closing, a Fomori bit into “Red Fang”, sending poison into his system. The Kinfolk firing squad took out two Fomori and damaged some of the War Wolves. “Red Fang” and “Eagle's Relic Hunter" double attacked the Alpha War Wolf. The entire squad descended on the Fomori leader. Enemy arrows especially aimed at, then hit home, sinking into the Kinfolk firing squad, killing two in revenge for the earlier deaths. The remaining War Wolves surrounded “Seeks the Stories” and “Three Step”.
The Kinfolk took down another Fomori, the resulting blast taking out two War Wolves around “Seeks” and “Three Step”. The Fomori leader let out a fierce snarl, sending “ERH” and “Red Fang” to a kneeling position of submission. “Bravado”, “Three Step” and “Seeks” were unaffected. “Seeks” and “Three Step” made their way for the archers. “ERH” and “Red Fang” remained kneeling, for now, in their Hispo forms while the battle continued on. “Bravado” punched the leader square in the face, killing him in a grand explosion.
The Kinfolk firing squad took out two more Fomori. “ERH” and “Red Fang” return to the battle after the fear that gripped them dissipates with the death of the lead Fomori. “Red Fang” felled the War Wolf Alpha, “Bravado” taking down another War Wolf on their own. “Veiled Assets” behind them using Rend the Shadow, tearing the shadow from the nearest archer. Two archers turned their focus to “Seeks”, “Red Fang” & “Forgefire’s Song” as they run to assist B6. See below how that turned out.
B5 members started forward to reinforce B6 on the final task.
The initial fight for Team B6 consisting of the pack SquadGoals, Oak Vale’s Sept Leader "The Rogue” and "Peace Maker" was the roughest. They faced the five archers laying down fire and numerous Fomori in between. “Thundercat” & “Bawn Treader”, both took hits from the get-go, and "The Cub Who Lived" got pelted in the hip within the first few seconds of the fight. SquadGoals marched forward like a phalanx while "The Rogue" and “Peace Maker” attempted to lay down fire from behind. The pressure that the enemy archers were laying down made things overly difficult to make much progress this soon for our side.
"Claws of Fenris Might" took a hit from Balefire, the corruption seizing their body as the flames burned and corrupted the flesh. A second Balefire hit "Claws of", not hurting much, but spreading the Taint further. "Thundercat" took a few hits, but then an opening came and a ‘BOOM’ echoed as "Peace Maker" and "The Rogue" both hit a Fomori and it exploded in its demise. However, this opening was bittersweet with the notice of the fallen kin over in B5. The 'Archer' with an assault rifle turned its focus to Squad Goals now too. "The Cub" blocked "Forgefire’s Song" from getting hit, but "The Cub", "Thundercat", and "Claws of" all took hits from the spray of bullets aimed for them. "The Cub" and "Bawn Treader" double attacked a Fomori and kill it, ‘BOOM’ again but they soaked the explosion like champs.
Two balls of Balefire sailed toward "Forgefire’s Song", he dodges one, only to be hit by the other. “The Rogue” and “Peace Maker” shot at a Fomori, “The Rogue’s” arrow sinking in. That Fomori and another rushed in to attack “The Cub Who Lived” and "Bawn Treader". Then things got progressively worse in a short space of time. The enemy archers turned on their own team, shooting the injured Fomori. The explosion killed the other Fomori who also exploded. The double chain explosions knocked "Bawn Treader" flat and robbed of consciousness. Then a shot of Balefire hit "The Cub", igniting him and dropping him to the ground, lights-out-cold and with deforming flesh. "Claws of" took two more arrows in the torso. The enemy archers had begun to spread across the battlefield. "Claws of" grit their teeth, shaking off the damage incurred knowing that they had to survive and protect the fallen members of their pack before the Wyrm’s minions could finish them off--or worse.
The archer fire continued to be the biggest threat and "Claws of" knew what they must do. The entire team took a beating from the archers, but especially "Claws of" as they charge through the remaining Fomori straight for the archer line. “Claws of” looking over beside them to see that "Seeks" & "Red Fang" had a similar train of thought from over in the B5 team. "The Rogue" and "Peace Maker" picked off another Fomori. "Forgefire" picked off yet another, filling those nearby with renewed vigour.
“Claws of” and “Forgefire” took the brunt of the arrow fire as "Seeks the Stories" reached the archer line first but "Claws of" arrived right after him. "Seeks" falls to the archers before being able to attack. One shot missing and the other hitting him deep in the chest, an arrow piercing right beside his heart and causing him to fall unconscious from his terrible wounds. “Red Fang” also taking more damage slowing him down.
"Claws of" was hit by two other archers and fell as well looking like a god awful pincushion from the several arrows poking out of them. "The Rogue" finished what "Claws of", "Red Fang" and "Seeks" could no longer finish this day and shot an arrow clean between the eyes of that archer. "Thundercat", "Forgefire", and "Peace Maker" worked on taking out archers as well until the rest were downed. "The Rogue" moved his fire to pick off the last few Fomori but enemies were far between by now and there was only one last thing to be done.
Team A2, The pack known as Teeth Around Your Neck had helped pick off the last few enemies and gained the attention of the others. The BSDs could have backed off and escaped if it were not for their anticipated easy kill ‘soon’, greedy as they were for her last moments of life under their claws. That’s right you remember “Poetic Justice” sacrifice? The enemy had become entranced by “Poetic Justice” to the exclusion of all others fighting around them. It wasn’t until they started noticing her aid arriving that they realized that it was too late to run. The four remaining skirmishers, for Teeth Around Your Neck, had managed to take down one earlier, grouped together and did what they could as in those last moments they anticipated another's death turned on them. The numbers were now not in the enemy's favour at last and under the might of the Garou Nation, they were subsequently taken down by the teeth around their necks.
As the last of the Hive's denizens fell to the Umbral ground in a pool of their own corrupted blood, the Gaians took a moment to look around for anything else coming to challenge them. An eerie silence fell over them all save for the sound of their own heavy breathing from the exertion of the fight. Then, satisfied that it was truly over, a victory howl began to break out. More and more voices joined in - including the caw of a Corax and the roar of the Bastet - the silent eyes of the Ananasi watched - until the volume made the ears of the whole group sting, but none cared to complain. They had emerged victorious.
Healers went around to their unconscious allies, tending to their wounds and helping them back to their feet. Others slapped friends and packmates on the back for an earned victory that the Galliards of Wales will sing of for some time.
But there would be more work to be done in this place. The Wyrm Tunnel would need to be sealed, but that was a task to be undertaken after a well-deserved rest and celebration. For as the title of this story says, this was ‘Hive Not’, but it was ‘Have’ a yes to a Wyrm Tunnel found.
Honour, Wisdom and Glory shine on those who attended this vital operation of fighting the Wyrm where it dwells.
Naomi O’Mannion, “Ancestral Wisdom”
Athro Talesinger of Oak Vale,
Born of Fianna and Bitten into the Nation.
OOC: Craft 5 Author if you are reading the tale.
Anyone named (not Kinfolk) in the story can claim 1 Honour, Wisdom or Glory at their own choice. Naomi is issuing the story as official Talesinger duties. Thank you to all Proxy St’s and writers that helped create the first report that this story totally used about 80% for most of the details.
Storyteller Email: staff list
Player Email: Josie R
Storyteller: Liam D