[I know various PCs have been hanging around Cold Crescent these days, so I wanted to make a thread where we could collect changes being made, things other people would notice. I'll kick it off with a snippet from a post I wrote in a scene tonight.]
The Theurges did their work well, and exhausted themselves doing it. This place does not hum with sickness and taint anymore. It feels almost normal, but with no garou living here, no life to fill the void, it is only slowly regaining its vibrancy. The more who come, the healthier it becomes. But it is slow work.
Melantha was reminding him, earlier, that all they really gotta do is plug in the fridges downstairs in the dorm floor if he wants to keep ice cream there, I mean, she's pretty sure they could just do that, but he likes to stay here. It's the center. It's where the shrines used to be.
And where a new one is, lately. Melantha's, though not the personal shrine she keeps in her alcove at the tiny house. This one is a tiny, makeshift version of a new shrine to Luna, at the apex of the triangle, where the old (and far grander) one used to be. She has made it out of a large, shallow bowl made of beaten metal that mottles and distorts any reflection the water inside may give. This bowl sits atop the most basic end table ever you can get at Ikea covered with a black cloth that drapes to the ground. She's surrounded the low-edged bowl with crystals and geodes she's picked up or gotten on ebay, a clustering ring of silver and grey and white and even some purplish ones. When she and Erich visit, she carefully empties and replaces the water.
Often, she prays, though it is hard to describe the prayers of a Fury in a society that worships an aloof, judgemental white-man sky-god. Melantha wouldn't even call it prayer. Maybe communing.
my whole life is thunder.
Erich's left some traces of himself in and around 1999 Broadway as well. There's a rumpled old sleeping bag up on the 43rd floor, near the challenge mat, sort of off in a corner. There are some packages of instant noodles and the like around it, plus some library books (a few overdue), plus maybe a cell phone charger. Just bits of daily living paraphernalia that he uses to pass the time while hanging out at the Cold Crescent.
He's reanimated some of the washers and dryers in the living quarters, too, and occasionally uses the microwave and the stove in the kitchen. He regularly borrows linens out of the closets. Most evenings he can be found sneaking into Eva Illeshazy's law offices to steal coffee and/or food.
When he runs patrols, he tends to take a circuit through each of the former Sept's floors. Then he goes downstairs and checks out the perimeter, maybe says hi to the Veteran. Sometimes, if he catches something that shouldn't be there, he'll bring back a small trophy for Melantha's shrine. A rusty set of keys. A tuft of hair pulled loose in a fight. A tooth, still bloody at the root. All these things are set on one of the former Sept's generic dining plates to keep the shrine itself clean and offered up to -- well. To whatever it is Melantha is praying to.
BECAUSE OF LIGHT AND DUTY AND REASONS.
Charlotte is here quite as often as her packmates. The city closes itself in; makes her feel so constricted and starched. When Erich and Charlotte drove through Los Angeles, all those snaking highways, all that sprawling illumination, all that digitized space, she was nearly catatonic from the alienating regimentation of the sprawl.
Still, they come back. Charlotte and Erich and Melantha. Charlotte haunts both sides of the gauntlet. Sits in silent vigil beneath the Veteran's plinth, watching him sleep, or perhaps Sleep, listening to the alien zip and whirl of all the strange elementals that live here. The Earth is buried beneath concrete and Water does not rule and Wind comes everywhere and oh, man hates Fire but there are other, stranger things that she is only beginning to discover. Plastic sounds like the tongue of the dead sometimes, new and ancient and remade. Electricity hums, bright and constant, charged and sizzling, everywhere, everywhere. Concrete all aggregate, harder than earth, more prone to cracking and dumber but made-of-everything and breathing in a slow, strange, expansive way she is only beginning to comprehend.
Charlotte mislikes the elevator; would prefer to run up the steps but there are many, many steps and after a time or two of insisting she does give up. Reserves her energy for other things.
The girl does not raid any offices; never makes any sort of appearance in any of the places that belong to humans down below. She wanders the empty floors that belonged to the Sept and some quiet part of her does not hate the melancholy. The emptiness, the strangeness of abandoned places. The room for thoughts and echoes, the sense of loss that crowds in, after.
Charlotte brings her own sorts of offerings. A handful of scree from the higher slopes of the Never Summer Mountains, where she and Erich found Volcano, scattered around the floor. Broken shards of an antique coke bottle.
Three finger bones.
The carcass of a sparrow.
Bowls of clear, blessed water swimming with the quiet hum of a small bound-spirit from the higher slopes, where the lakes are fed by the sky, rather than the faucet fed by the reservoirs. A rough-made, rough-fired clay pendant in the shape of a crescent moon.
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
There's something going on at the former Sept.
One day, Melantha's silver bowl is mysteriously upended. Another day, Javed's travelling pack is just ... not quite how he put it together. There are funny tracks in the carpet one morning. Another night, the covers on the ceiling light fixtures are all out of place -- askew, akimbo, falling down.
Then people start seeing things. Well; no. They start seeing something. A pulsing-glowing amorphous entity, small but fiercely bright, skittering in the corners, diving through the walls. Sometimes rather aggressively rushing at visitors, though it never actually dares to attack. More often than not, if one stands one's ground, the entity simply flees through a wall instead.
Eventually it stops being just a bright blob. Eventually it starts gaining materiality. Or rather: it starts picking stuff up. Like a snowball rolling together around a dirt core, it seems to roll itself together out of whatever detritus it finds lying around. Sheets of paper. Extension cords. The wheels off an office chair. Threads off the challenge mat. A flatsheet from downstairs. A banana that someone left lying around (though that doesn't last very long).
It pulls together, it animates, and pretty soon there's a little vaguely-humanoid spirit-critter roaming around the upper floors of Cold Crescent. A tiny, indistinct head set on relatively massive shoulders; weight carried on heavy arms, enormous knuckles, with a comparatively small lower body. It rummages around, it roams, it romps, and eventually it seems to create a little den in a mostly-deserted supply closet. One can't really call it friendly, since it's all territorial and chest-beat-y and fake-charge-at-intruders-y, but -- well. At least it's not hostile.
[This is a spirit NPC that was rescued and relocated during last night's SL! It is a Wyldling spirit, though a relatively "high-functioning" one that may or may not be slowly evolving toward being some sort of animal-spirit. In its native form, it's an amorphous singularity of creative essence that the mind interprets as light. However, it prefers to surround itself with whatever stuff it can find lying around, which it animates and assembles into a jumbled, vaguely humanoid shape -- a power it refers to as "pushmoving Things."
Though technically a Jaggling and possibly capable of growing to attain great power, it is currently weakened, and is roughly equivalent to a Gaffling in power. In addition to the ability to animate random objects, it may also develop the ability to zap Garou/kin with bolts of sheer Wyld power. Though more annoying than lethal, these bolts may cause unusual, short-lived side effects. It is not capable of human or Garou communication, though Theurges can speak to it with Spirit Speech. Even then, its Wyldness makes communication somewhat challenging.
I'll leave further details to Kai!]
BECAUSE OF LIGHT AND DUTY AND REASONS.
Some time ago, Javed ran into Samantha Evans and told her that people were hoping to reopen the Sept of the Cold Crescent. The Glass Walker kinswoman sort of dropped off the radar for a bit, but she's resurfaced from the social quagmire that is work and raising an infant son and caring for a skittish cat. She found Tamsin here last week and that's when she saw the book lending shelf. Which is also when she realized Javed had said they needed help getting things organized inside the building again. And she thinks of Hosea and the children that he helps care for as they struggle with their growing Rage.
Within days, the linen closets are full of sheet sets that aren't the nicest or the fanciest or the most expensive, but they'll get the job done in those dormitory rooms. There are a few spare pillows and one or two spare blankets now, things that are readily available to guests of the building both permanent and temporary alike.
There is also a small tower of stackable boxes, each with shirts and pants and socks (no underwear, the Garou who stay here are on their own for that), with a note:
Take what you need, return it if you can.
If you wear it, wash it!
There are two small whiteboards that have been affixed to one of the fridges in the kitchen area. One titled in permanent marker:
What We Need
with a narrow one beside it labeled:
Grocery Run Sign-Ups
Samantha Evans' name is at the top of the list, with a few others below it. Hopefully, people will share the responsibility of keeping this fridge stocked with the essentials (and perhaps a few luxuries like ice cream or pudding cups or whatever).
[[Edit: Nobody HAS to sign up for grocery store runs, anyone can assume that they're helping out if they wanna! And the extra clothes are hopefully in the laundry room if there's space!]]
The Sept of the Cold Crescent has been reopened and it's leadership positions have been filled sometime between that fateful moot and the one upcoming. Phoebe, wise wise Phoebe Stavros, the Siren of Persephone, Alpha to Desert Oracle and a Fostern of her tribe and her auspice, should not have such a hard time settling into her position.
But truth is, it's a weird transition to make. She grew up - with so many others of course - in The Sept of Forgotten Questions. She lives closer to there than she does downtown. She was for quite some time only a fringe supporter of the downtown sept. Then, gradually and over time since last summer, things changed, and while things changed the Fostern grew into her position of leadership, and after she stood with her fellows in support of reopening the sept, she decided to challenge for more.
And you know sometimes she still feels a bit weird about it. It was one thing to call together the Theurges to cleanse the area after the event on the top level, but it's another to do it under the mantle of Mistress of Rites. It takes a few warm-up tries, a few times talking to one, two, a very small handful of her auspicemates to gather up the - not courage, but command, and her faith in it. She says the same thing to all the Theurges she speaks to:
"I am the Mistress of Rites for Cold Crescent, but I'm still a Fostern. There are still many rites out there for me to learn. There will surely come a time when someone comes to me and requests something of me that I simply cannot at this time do. When that time comes, I hope that I can rely on you, both to assist where I cannot, and perhaps to teach me those rites that I don't know yet."
niko @ 11:11PM
[charisma (captivating) + leadership + PB: Calling on dem Theurges as yoosh]
Roll: 7 d10 TN6 (3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 9) ( success x 1 ) VALID
niko @ 11:12PM
[uh, and a different day to a different set of Theurges? COME AWN!]
Roll: 7 d10 TN6 (1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6) ( success x 1 ) VALID
niko @ 11:13PM
[Trying this AGAIN. COME ON PHOEBE YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT]
Roll: 7 d10 TN6 (2, 2, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9) ( success x 5 ) VALID
jamie @ 11:13PM
She's like "Yeah I know"
niko @ 11:14PM
She was waiting for the right time
He doesn't look like very much at first glance. He has a full beard and the hair on the top of his head is too long while the sides are very short. Big boots are scuffed up and worn out and loosely laced, while his shirt is just a white thermal. Tattoos cover the tops of his hands and knuckles and he smells like the city smells with the strength of his own scent woven in with it.
Who's he? He came with Sora and his name's North, though that doesn't sound very much like a name. What is he? Bone Gnawer, word has it. Some full moon who blew in with the westerly wind. His skin is California tan but there's a Nordic look about him that isn't easily shaken. Are you sure he's a Bone Gnawer? The answer is almost always yes. What's he want? This question is often asked when he sits near the base of the Veteran's perch in a state of silent commune. Sometimes he talks and glimpses of those one sided conversations are filled with stories about family and love and war. But that doesn't answer the question of what he wants. That answer isn't likely found when the Ahroun is sitting alongside the Veteran either silent or whispering.
It's only when they see him with Sora that the answer becomes a little more apparent. He is attentive and easily falls into her rhythm, her words always find his ear and when they run together it's with the promise of something more. What's he want? A pack, many might answer.
And chances are, they'd be right.
What's he got to offer? Folks might ask, sizing up his lean frame. And it's true, he has very little to give other than his body as a weapon to protect and guard and be vigilant. He does all of these things without request or question but now and then he brings in little items for the dorm areas too. One time it's a bulk box of snack pack pudding cups in varying flavours. Another it's a couple of cubes of Pepsi or Coke or Mountain Dew. He doesn't put down anywhere that he's responsible for them, just sits them in the kitchen area in an appropriate place.
Eventually and hopefully, the who and what and where and why stop mattering as it becomes obvious that the only thing beyond pack that the bearded Cliath wants is a place to call home.