fostern bone gnawer theurge.
killed by the beloved horror.
so show me family
all the blood that i would bleed
i don't know where i belong
i don't know where i went wrong
but i can write a song
i belong with you, you belong with me
you're my sweetheart
-- the lumineers
my whole life is thunder.
Erich brings a guitar to the Gathering. He barely knows how to play, but even so, he loops the strap over his shoulder and behind his neck, he finds the strings with his fingers. And at some point, he begins to strum.
Softly. A simple chord progression, a minor to C, G to F. Over and over again, repeating it until conversation begins to lull. Until curious eyes turn his way. Until enough of a hush settles around him that they can hear him when he opens his mouth, begins to sing in an unpracticed, untutored voice:
Flames to dust. Lovers to friends.
Why do all good things come to an end?
He's not very good. He's not always on key. His voice cracks sometimes. He licks his lips mid-sentence when his fingers falter, when he needs to find the chord again. Still; he tries his best, and his best is enough that some of the Garou, the younger ones or the ones more in touch with modern pop culture, begin to recognize the song. Begin to understand what Erich is doing. Trying to do.
This is Raspberry Sky they have gathered to honor, after all. This is Raspberry Sky, who not so long ago in the first blush of summer opened a Moot
just like this.
Traveling, I only stop at exits,
wondering if I'll stay young and restless,
living this way, I stress less.
I want to pull away when the dream dies.
The pain sets in and I don't cry,
I only feel gravity, and I wonder why.
By the time the song draws to its long, strange coda, Erich's voice is tired from unfamiliar exercise; his fingers are sore from pressing on the strings. But he's no longer the only one singing. Those who know the song: they've joined. Those who don't know it, but understand the simple movement of its chords: they've added their voices. Erich doesn't have Raspberry Sky's easy charisma, her infectious charm, but little by little he gathers them the way she did once, gathers them all in her memory.
And the sun was wondering if it should
stay away for a day,
'til the feeling went away.
And the sky was falling
and the clouds were dropping
and the rain forgot how to bring salvation.
The last lines of the song speak of death. Erich doesn't get there. He stops, rather abruptly, the chords dropping out, his voice falling silent. He scrubs his knuckles across his eyes, once, fiercely. Then he unloops the guitar off his shoulders and steps back.
BECAUSE OF LIGHT AND DUTY AND REASONS.
Weird to see Erich hunched over a guitar that hardly seems to fit in his fingers, haloed as he is by his rage and the visceral, red-blooded, warminded promise of it. Warform like a great and terrible shadow around him. The night she died he frenzied and demanded the hearts of his enemies and now he stands there humanskinned with a guitar he barely knows how to play looped over his shoulder.
Charlotte does not know how to play at all. Oh, she has ancestors but,
a popular 20th century song at the Gathering of a dead Bone Gnawer is not the sort of favor she could request from Crest of Mourning. No. He would refuse it all. Furiously, self-righteously, haughtily refuse.
So Erich sings alone because Charlotte cannot: cannot sing, cannot play. Cannot dance, weird little thing. She's a glorious corona beside him but sits with her arms crossed tightly over her thin chest, like she's refusing the idea of death at all,
or at least the endings it brings.
Later, Charlotte, who is standing close to her packmate, does join in. Erich's voice is thin and tired and he doesn't always hit the notes, but he knows a few chords on that guitar and he plays them, the emotion raw and immediate, given a fire by his rage. Memory, by the way he spent himself, whole and entire, seeking vengeance for the dead.
Charlotte's voice is thin and girlish and she has not the first idea about the proper arrangement of notes, nor does she know these words, except from hearing Erich practice, sitting alone on the steps of the tinyhouse, his breath visible in the cold, gray light of an early morning, frost on the needles of the evergreens, the promise of snow sharp and clear in the air.
Thin and girlish and reedy but also:
glorious. Haloing. Soaring yes the way Falcon always soars, the light of the moon running like water over his open wings.
[mnemosyne @ 2:03PM
Charlotte: Charisma + Performance (none) + Pure Breed. Dif +2 because no clue what she be doing.
Roll: 7 d10 TN8 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 10) ( success x 3 ) [WP] VALID
niko @ 2:05PM
No skill in a skill is just +1, yeah! It's on page 127 of W20]
Okay so: commentary. Charlotte has five successes there since the difficulty should've been 7 (+1 for no skill) instead of 8.]
But my heart is wild and my bones are steel
And I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free.
- Phosphorescent, Song for Zula