Long distance to Josh: Weatherwax okies. The latest of Josh's
sketches has produced a shadowy female figure, trapped within
a spider's web. The background is certainly an angle of the Mountain.
From afar, Josh woos!
You paged Rakkil with 'You've been hearing disquiet among the spirits of the area ... more than just the dead folks in Roaring. There's something different and gitchy, kind of to the northwest of the ruins. Fairly new, too.'.
You paged Niska with 'You have noticed, in flying around the
area, that there is something strange in the region of the water
meadows. From the air, there's this area that looks like ... you're
looking through disturbed water. The visuals are bizarre.'.
Niska pages: I look at it from all angles (except, so far, from underwater).
You paged Niska with 'If you look closely, you can see the disturbance from all angles. It's just much more noticeable from the air.'.
You paged Julen with 'You've heard from local spirits that there's something strange happening in the Umbra of the Water Meadows. They say something about a pearl in an oyster there.'.
The trail has meandered through the forest for some time, hopping streams and slogging through marshes; its route at times is seemingly nonsensical as it strives to keep to higher, drier ground. The ground right here is firm, anyway, where a belt of trees separates two vast, lush expanses of meadow -- or rather, wetlands, since the grasses, reeds and wildflowers that form the meadows are of species that like their feet wet. Doubtless these depressions were ponds or small lakes in the years before the Sun's return. Wildlife abounds -- the chirrup of frogs and the calls of birds are distracting even at high noon. At dusk they must be deafening.
To the southeast, the trail follows the curve of the larger meadow for several hundred yards, before it disappears into the trees. To the southwest, it cuts sharply into the forest and begins to climb.
Meadow Path Into the Trees
Niska pages: I fly very close to the edge, if I can distinguish an edge, and try to peer into the area. If that gives me nothing, I check it out in the Umbra (from a safe distance).
You paged Julen with 'You wandering about in the Umbra or the
From afar, Julen would be exploring Umbra just now -- I came here only because it was simpler.
Niska pages: I think it was pretty restrained of me not to just fly into it, eh ?
You paged Niska with 'The edge is kind of fuzzy and shifting, and in the Realm, you don't actually see anything except the blurriness. (*cackle*)'.
Niska pages: Next step is to fly over it and drop a rock into it -- both in RW and in Umbra.
The Umbra of the Water Meadows is not unlike its shape in the Realm, but the sky is a deep cobalt blue and the stars hang close overhead, like drops of crystal. Scents strike deeply at not just olfactory centers, but at emotions that may be tied to the aroma of the Wyld. Lights flicker and dance in the shadows of evening. Something strange drapes over the entire meadow, though: thin strands of silver, glittering in the light of Lilith, touching extended branches and stones. An oval shape seems to be at the center of many of those strands, and it wafts in an unfelt breeze, sometimes rising high, sometimes dipping down into the marsh.
You paged Niska with 'You can pose yourself dropping the stone. When you did it in the RW, nothing really happened.'.
In the queer colored light of the Umbral meadows, a raven soars smoothly out of the trees to the west. When it passes directly over the strange mass of strands, the huge bird releases a stone the size of a grapefruit from its strong talons. The stone plummets towards the drifting strands below.
Julen has, evidently, come down from the mountain, as she's standing at the edge of the forest, head tilted slightly in fascination, watching the raven.
The stone bounces off the shape and splashes into a pool below, the sound temporarily halting the noise of the insects and frogs.
The evening has already seen Rakkil extricate himself from one difficult situation, and his path down the mountain towards the meadow -- while not identical to -- parallels the Sentinel's. While within the umbra, he wears the form of near-man, moving cautiously downward.
From afar, Julen imagines Julen has Name the spirit, and hence
would use it, all inquisitive.
Long distance to Julen: Weatherwax sorries. No spirits here, actually. You are aware that these webs are usually Weaver-made. You suspect that Something has been cocooned in the center of that mess.
You paged Josh and Julen with 'Josh and Rowan are in the Realm.
Is Rowan gonna drag Josh into the Umbra, or shall I do Magic?'.
Long distance to Josh and Julen: Weatherwax notes that, upon their arrival, they can see a blurry space in the air over a certain spot of the Water Meadows.
Josh is slightly hunched as he moves at a full run. Though, his Garou companion is faster, so has the lead. On the good side, Josh is barely sucking wind. Some power he's got. As he reels to the Meadows, the Kin looks up, seeing the blurry space. "Ok, see, you get to tell Nash about this one. Call it payback, Rowan."
Long distance to Titmouse, Niska, Rakkil, Josh, and Julen: Weatherwax notes that Josh and Rowan are in the Realm, to those in the Umbra. Someday, I suppose, we should do Umbral rooms or something. :}
Looking blankly at the blurry space, Rowan says, "As far as I know, I'm no good at stories, so I get to bow out. The hell is that thing? Looks like a no moon's gift, a bit."
Niska pages to Titmouse, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, and Julen: yes! We should code every room twice!
Josh draws his crossbow, nocking a quarrel. He holds it in his right hand as he approaches the shimmer, reaching his left hand towards it. "Doesn't look like a Spider's web..."
In the Umbral meadow, the raven chooses one of the silver strands that is more isolated from its fellows, flies close, and attempts to grab the single strand in its talons.
"Around here?" Rowan sounds fairly incredulous. "Wouldn't think so. Josh, poke it with a stick first, you never know."
In the Umbral meadow, the strand sticks nicely to the raven's feet, but only stretches and fails to break.
Rakkil paces around the Umbral filaments, if possible, keeping beyond their perimeter. Just once, he lets out the cheetah-chirp to alert the others of his presence.
Niska pages: I try to let go of it. Am I stuck ?
Josh stops with his hand inches from the thing. "Good point," he says, taking a second quarren in his left hand, and poking it into the shimmering space.
You paged Niska with 'It continues to stick, although you think with enough effort, you could pull loose.'.
In the Umbra, Julen says, calmly, "Evening, Speeds-the-Word's-Shard," and shifts down into hispo, leaving her staff behind her. Padding over towards the strands, her nose twitches several times.
The stick vanishes into a thin line in the shimmering space, but reappears on the other side of that line, an inch or so missing. In the Umbra, the keen-eyed can spot an inch or so of wood, apparently hanging in mid-air.
Josh decides to push the quarrel even further, until his hand crosses the barrier.
"That's a new one." Rowan's evidently not given to overstatement. "Hey, wait, Josh --" Too late, though.
Rakkil crouches down to investigate the center of the matrix. He eyes the motion in the center, and the bit of wood. He gestures to the crescent moon, to gather her attention, and focus it on the oval shape. ~Look.~
Josh's hand now appears to those on the other side, just below the mass drifting on the breeze. Just at that moment, it dips down and, apparently, sticks firmly to his hand.
The raven beats strongly upwards, the strand clinging to its left foot. It gives a small cry -- of irritation, not yet alarm. After two or three more strong wingbeats, the bird is free.
You paged Josh with 'Your hand has been engulfed in something webby and *cold*. And you're being pulled through that thin line.'.
Rakkil flinches backwards at the emergence of Josh's hand. A single leap brings him a dozen yards away from the nexus.
Julen pads over towards where Rakkil used to be, and snuffs at what is now both a hand and some wood. ~I know that scent, but I have never encountered this sort of rip in the Umbra, before. Less amenable and more vicious, in general.~
Her own experiments failed, the raven drifts down to land on a stone closer to Julen.
Niska says "What's that?"
Josh goes to pulls back, in the Realm, and finds he cannot. "Uh...Rowan," he says. "Guess what. C'mon, guess."
Rakkil acknowledges Julen's words and paces out the diameter of the threads. While the experiments continue, he paces it out again to determine if it is growing.
Josh is starting to tug hard at his stuck hand.
Rowan sighs. "Can't leave, go further in, I guess. Christ, it's a wonder any of us have survived this long."
Julen looks fixedly at the coccoon. ~There's something in there. But this is not spirit. I do not know if it ever was, but it is not now.~ Padding over to the coccoon, she shifts into Crinos. ~This should be opened.~
"Careful. It's sticky," the raven warns, probably unnecessarily. Then, "Hey -- is that a *hand*?" The bird takes off.
Niska pages: Do I need to do anything special to leave the
You paged Niska with 'Nah, not here.'.
Josh turns his head back to Rowan, sadness in his eyes. "Yeah," he mumbles. "Just yell at me later, okay?" he asks, then moves to enter the rift.
Julen adds, over her shoulder, ~And someone let the Kin go.~
You paged Josh and Julen with 'The Umbra of the Water Meadows is not unlike its shape in the Realm, but the sky is a deep cobalt blue and the stars hang close overhead, like drops of crystal. Scents strike deeply at not just olfactory centers, but at emotions that may be tied to the aroma of the Wyld. Lights flicker and dance in the shadows of evening. Something strange drapes over the entire meadow, though: thin strands of silver, glittering in the light of Lilith, touching extended branches and stones. An oval shape seems to be at the center of many of those strands, and it wafts in an unfelt breeze, sometimes rising high, sometimes dipping down into the marsh. And you are attached to it as it shifts.'.
Josh pops through into the Umbra, although it is something of a squeeze. As the oval shape rises on its breeze... that no one can feel *still*... it pulls Josh upward with it.
"Er, how?" the bird asks, a touch of dryness in her husky voice. She flies near the hand, but not so near as to get caught in the web herself. As its owner shoves his way through, she nearly collides with him, huge black wings beating almost in his face. "Gah!"
Rowan, left on the other side, swears a few curses in Spanish and attempts to, at least, /walk/ through, in a controlled fashion. He's shifting into glabro as he goes.
Julen appears not to hear the question, as she begins, perhaps unwisely, poking at the coccoon with a claw.
Rakkil is unwilling to scratch one of his nine just yet. He draws his broken fetish -- the spear that is part of his namesake -- and levels it at the action. He takes up a defensive posture as the situation continues to deteriorate.
Josh's hand is still attached to the web, being pulled upward as it goes. A loaded crossbow is still in his right hand. He looks around as others are there, giving a polite 'Sorry' to the raven he's heard so much about. As he flies up, he muses. "Okay, I'm flying, I see odd flickering lights, and it feels like I'm in another world. Gaia, I /miss/ living in Charlotte."
The cocoon, in response to Julen's poking, *surges*. This violent motion snaps it up into the air and simultaneously sucks Josh's hand deeper inside so that he's very nearly up to his shoulder in sticky, cold, mushy webbing.
You paged Josh with 'You think you feel something hard brush past your hand for just a moment, too.'.
Josh looks up at what's flinging him into the air. "Oh, shit," he exclaims. He calls down to the group. "Rowan! Show them the drawing! Two beers says this is it!"
Julen pages: Is Rowan across ok? I was assuming so, bt?
From afar, to Niska, Weatherwax, Josh, and Julen, Rakkil is a bit confused about how everything is related to everyone. :) I just don't have a good picture in my head of what's going on. I'm sorry.
You paged Julen with 'Yah, Rowan passes through the Gauntlet like it's a waterfall.'.
Rowan passes easily into the Umbra as Josh is pulled upward by the ovoid mass in the center of the strands. Past Niska, who was surprised by his arrival, past Julen, who poked at the mass -- the cocoon.
The raven, having just regained her equalibrium after Josh's abrupt arrival, is startled anew by the sudden surge. She is nearly trapped by the cocoon along with the airborn human, but a deft flick of her wings and tail shifts her out of harm's way. "Lilith's Tits!" the bird curses. "What *is* this thing?!"
You paged Kelsey with 'You vaguely, vaguely feel something warm brush across your ankle. You think.'.
Julen removes her hand, calmly, from the coccoon. ~The Kin is still there,~ she observes, and frowns a little.
Julen pages: How far up is Josh?
You paged Julen with 'Oh, about 20 feet or so. But he should come down shortly.'.
Niska pages: I'm sure I've heard about Pattern Spiders. Does this look like the work of one? What to the people in stories do against these sorts of things ?
As the spasm settles, the cocoon, with Josh, begins to slowly drift back down to the water.
Josh looks to the side at the older woman who spoke. "Yeah! Had a vision about a trapped woman, and I felt a hand in here. Still warm, so she might eb alive." He sees the water rush upward, muttering "Just washed these pants..."
You paged Niska with 'Yup! Well, the work of dozens, probably. It's damn thick. Usually, people in stories just hack on through with their magic swords and klaives and stuff. :)'.
Rakkil, helpfully, ~Yes.~ Rakkil seems unwilling to move, other than to avoid getting entangled himself. ~Do you have an idea as to who built this?~
Rowan growls, seeing Josh up that high, and shifts into Crinos. As he lowers, the Dancer watches and, if and when he's low enough, tries to jump, to slash at a likely spider thread.
From afar, Kelsey wakes up. Not that I was asleep, of course. I've been awake this whole damned time, stuck in gods knows what space and time forever where the bastards >left me<, but it's going to take several moments for coherent thought to register the touch as a real sensation, and not just in my mind. And I don't even know what to do about it. Move? Fight? Scream? These concepts are a little rusty for me nowadays.
Rakkil pages: For that matter, do I? :)
The bird continues to circle the thing at a safe distance. "You're taking this well," she mutters to Josh on one of her circuits. "Don't!" she tries to warn as Rowan gathers himself to leap.
You paged Rakkil with 'It doesn't look like something that was built here, from your view of it. Looks like it drifted here from elsewhere. Those strands aren't really *attached*, they just kinda stuck there, temporarily mooring this thing here.'.
Almost subliminally, coming from the heart of the webbing, there comes a long, low choking groan like the sound of two boats moving against each other.
"Don't any of you damned fur coats have a sword or something?" the raven scolds. "Oh, right," she mutters to herself in her smokey voice, but loud enough for the other to hear. "Forgot *we're* the tool-users of the Bete..."
Rowan glares at her. ~He's /stuck/,~ he growls, unhappily.
~If she is alive,~ Julen muses, ~She should be removed.~ Watching the descent, she tells Rakkil, ~Your spear.~
The raven, uncowed by Rowan's form or tone, growls right back, "And it'd be real damned helpful of you to join him in there, wolf-boy."
Josh shrugs at the bird as he falls past her. "Doesn't hurt. When it does, I won't be taking it nearly as well." He flexes his hand inside the coccoon, trying for that touch again. "In there! Look for my hand!" he calls.
You paged Josh with 'You manage to grab something... an ankle, you think.'.
You paged Kelsey with 'Something warm and handlike grabs your ankle.'.
Kelsey pages: Okay. If/when nerves remember how to work, I'm kicking like a panicked horse.
There's a pause after Josh's call, and then the cocoon flexes wildly, dragging Josh further inside -- his entire arm, part of his side, and it seems to be trying to eat his head as well.
You paged Josh with 'The leg kicks like a panicked horse.'.
Julen pages: OK, how high is he now?
Rakkil's eyes trace along the ash shaft of the spear noting the split that reaches nearly halfway down the shaft, and the Duma's attempts to hold it together. Crouching beneath the webbing, he moves towards the coccoon. "Josh, can you tell where she is?" -- "Can you feel her?"
You paged Julen with 'About 5 feet off the water.'.
Rowan mutters, ~Sorry~ to the Raven, and then glares at the coccoon. Wading into the water, he grabs for Josh's feet.
"You in there," the raven croaks -- she has nothing near the cocoon to land on, and so must circle it warily. "If it's you that's making it move... uh, try not to. We're working on getting you out, so relax. Okay?
Josh nods quickly, being sucked in. "I can! I've got her ankle. But whatever's doing this isn't happy I'm paying a visit." To the coccoon, he shouts again. "Don't struggle! You're pissing it off!"
Rowan, presuming he does't drown, instead heaves on Josh's lower extremities.
The addition of Rowan's mass seems to hold the cocoon in place about ten feet above the ground as he hangs onto Josh's lower body. The cocoon seems to shift in place. One of its tethering strands snaps like a guitar string, making a dissonant clash as its two broken ends sail through the air.
You paged Niska with 'You'll have to dodge a bit to keep from being spitted by something that suddenly looks like steel cable.'.
Then that is where Rakkil begins. He grasps the spear near where the blade fits into the shaft. Lilith's gleaming black reflects nothing of the Umbral landscape or the skyscape. Short, tenative cuts directed by Josh's body, and the ankle he hopefully still holds. A snarl twists his face.
Josh near-whispers as the spear goes past. "Rowan. Whatever you do, don't move."
Rowan, very carefully, keeps holding on, but doesn't jostle things unnecessarily. Hopefully, he's a bit of an anchor in a literal as well as a figurative sense.
The raven squawks abruptly, folds her wings and drops like a stone in an attempt to dodge the snapped strand as it whips past her in a vicious arc that could easily cut the bird in two.
The spear bites into the cocoon, leaving neat slits where the point enters. Josh begins to feel the grip on his own arm begin to give way, slowly. Three more tethering strands snap, each with a different note that twangs sharply against the ear. Those not in next to the cocoon discover that these ethereal strands have become steely lines of death, slashing through the air at random. When they collide with other moorings, they snap them, and the water meadows comes alive with whipping cables that writhe like angry snakes.
Josh squeezes his eyes shut. One stray strand his way and bam, he changes his last name to Soren, just like that dwarf in that old book he read. The only sound he makes is a gulp.
As the falling raven nears the tops of the waving grasses, she spreads her wings and beats like her tail's afire toward the relative safety of the trees.
Rowan grits his teeth and hopes nothing random comes at him, because he's sure not leaving.
Julen, still in hispo, observing all of this, fades off back towards the woods as well.
Rakkil stands, quite unfortunately, in the center of this nest with the delicate task of carving the kinfolk and the unknown victim free of their debilitating sac. And he must do this without slicing /through/ them with a broken weapon never designed for such precision. He snarls out his own orders to Niska and Julen, ~Hold those down!~
"Are you *whacked*?!" the bird exclaims.
Rakkil continues to cut as swiftly as he dares, all the while attempting to keep at least part of his attention on incoming whips. ~Do it!~
Julen considers this suggestion. ~No, but he will be soon.~ Shifting into Crinos, she watches one of the twisting cords, trying to get a handle on their rhythm, so she can, perhaps, do something with one. So she can jump on it, when it won't kill her.
From a safe perch at the edge of the clearing, the bird tells the Duma, her voice colored with incredulousness, but also genuine concern, "I'm open to suggestions, Legs."
Niska pages: It occurs to Niska to take this opportunity to scan the area -- in under the trees and stuff, to see if we've attracted attention.
The grip on Josh's arm abruptly lets go, allowing Josh and Rowan to slip down into the water partway. Josh's hand remains locked on the prisoner's ankle, but does not come into view. Julen seizes one of the lines and, although she tames its flight, she also discovers that it is unraveling. The sharp, metallic mini-strands turn her right hand nearly to hamburger, while the other escapes with only some deep slashes.
Within the cocoon, a faint glow shows a silhouette. Hands begin to twitch, fingertips curling fitfully to grasp at air. Yes, there is a human form there, shrouded from sight. Abruptly all ears are barraged a rending scream that must be an echo of the first Sundering of Realm and Umbra. The cocoon begins to boil and writhe as something inside thrashes and seethes, striking out in all directions. The contortions it undergoes are more than a human body could survive: distorted, ill-achieved forms that are only fleetingly glimpsed, shrouded by the ghostly cocoon: a dark-furred quadruped, something much larger and taller, a humanoid shape, and many others somewhere between that seem to have mismatched limbs or other body parts.
Josh's grip slips at last, as the ankle becomes, without warning, a paw. Both Josh and Rowan tumble into the marsh water.
You paged Niska with 'You don't spot anything new arriving, although you guess that scream can be heard through the entire Umbral valley.'.
Josh lands, and on top of Rowan, to boot, his crossbow tumbling out of his hand into the water. He looks up, absently searching the pool for his weapon. "She shifted," he pants. "Couldn't hang on."
Niska pages: Niska, while intensely interested in the goings-on, is paranoid enough to keep one eye out for things attracted by that scream.
Long distance to Niska: Weatherwax noddles cheerfully.
Rakkil spares the Corax one baleful glare before redoubling his efforts to free Josh and the other. Josh and Rowan free leaves Rakkil with the opportunity to clear more of the webbing away from the remaining prisoner, but it also leaves him with little to no direction as to where to slash. He pauses, crouching defensively, preparing to spring away from the whipping cables, should it be necessary.
With a splash, Rowan collapses into the water. Giving the young man a brief look to make sure nothing's broken (protective much, Rowan?) he mutters, "Shifted," and heads over to try and help whatever's in there out.
Julen fails to cry out, merely frowns thunderously and stumbles backwards a few steps, watching intently.
The cocoon is left looking a bit like a gorgon's head, snakes flailing around in the air, the 'face' pulsating hideously with the struggles of its prisoner.
From afar, to Kelsey and Weatherwax, Julen is failing to understand if the Things From Beyond are actually attempting to assert themselves out of the coccoon, or if it's just Kelsey, and lots of spider webs.
From the sidelines, the raven croaks huskily, marveling, "Anybody ever see anything like this before?"
Kelsey pages to Weatherwax and Julen: It's hard to see into the coccoon, but Julen has Brains, so, ah. It's just me. I don't want to be in here much, on the whole. ;)
You paged Kelsey and Julen with 'Yah. Just Kelsey and a bunch of old, old spider webs.'.
Rakkil spends the next several moments dodging the lethal razor-tendrils. He is searching out a single opportunity to slash at the heart of the cocoon and rip it open completely. This, without stabbing the victim trapped inside. -- A heartbeat, and then another. On the third he springs forward aiming what he hopes to be the freeing slash.
"Woo-hoo! You go, Legs!" the bird cheers him on, not above giving credit where it's due.
Josh finds his crossbow in the pool, and winces at the amount of repair time he'll need to spend on it. "This? No, no, this is new."
From afar, to Kelsey and Weatherwax, Rakkil is in Sokto (Glabro). I think I posed that when I first arrived. Haven't shifted since.
Rowan obligingly waits until /after/ Rakkil stabs at things, and then tries to grab anything warm and living in that mess of undulating tissue.
Rakkil's slash indeed tears opens the side of the cocoon, revealing the flailing, shifting form within, still partly trapped -- probably by the stickiness of the webbing.
Kelsey is lukewarm, living, and... well, many of you have probably seen Frenzy in your day, but this just puts all others to shame. She can't even get a grip on what form she's in, and is writhing like a crocodile trying to free herself with choking noises that hardly seem within the capacity of vocal chords, wolf or human.
Kelsey pages to Weatherwax: Rowan may be able to hang on for brief seconds at a time, but is gonna get clawed at.
Escaping to a safer position is now paramount on the Bastet's mind. He sprints for a spot hopefully out of reach of the mysterious flails.
Rowan, therefore, gets fairly slashed up, a few times, growling, ~Fuckin' cool it!~ to no good effect. But he's still trying to haul her out. Or, failing that, get te coccoon fully off her.
Niska pages: In the stories I've heard, what are some methods for chilling out a frenzied Groo?
Josh hooks the weapon back to his side, looking up from his spot in the pool.
You paged Niska with 'Hmmmms. Sometimes folks have special gifts that'll let them calm people. Mostly people stay out of the way, or try to talk the person down from a distance persuasively, or something.'.
Kelsey finally lurches free and falls into the water with a snarling cry, and a huge splash. Down she goes. The shock of the cold water actually causes her to stop thrashing, at least for a moment, and coalesce into something like human shape.
Josh, on reflex, backs away. Some folks do not heal as well as others, so Josh will be getting out of the way.
The cocoon comes away in shreds that, unfortunately, stick to Rowan's hands and fur. However, it drops the frenzied Garou into the cool marsh water with a *SPLAT*.
You paged Julen with 'Julen's hands are healing, but slower than they ought to.'.
~That's it, that's it, keep that up, calm down, calm down.~ Rowan basically ignores the coccoon shreds, so focused is he on trying to calm this... Whoever this is.
Shard gleams like black lightning in the Umbra; Rakkil swings it 'round to sever the remaining tendrils anchoring the rift and now-empty cocoon to the landscape.
From afar, to Kelsey and Weatherwax, Rowan, if you feel it reasoable, has Calm, which, well, calms stuff down.
Kelsey pages to Kelsey and Weatherwax: Calm, and cold water. I'll go with that to stop a frenzy, since frenzy gets boring fast. :)
Niska pages: Niska takes another look 'round for unwelcome visitors.
Kelsey's mood is not greatly improved by finding herself mired in something else all over again, but after a few more uncontrolled movements she slumps, head casting around blindly as if straining to hear something. Her eyes are glued shut with gook, and there's spitty goo webs all over her.
You paged Niska with 'Niska notices some spirits that have drifted in, but none seem to be nasties. One gets sliced in half by one of the strands and wafts away on a breeze silently.'.
Josh is kneeling in the pool, looking intently. "Would...anyone have something other than water to try and wash that stuff off?"
Medium and limber in her build, 5'6, with sturdy shoulders and wide hips, she seems to be in fair health, although she certainly is no athlete. Her wide face, long nose, and broad smile are appeallingly attractive without being intimidatingly beautiful.Her brown eyes often seem to hold a hint of mischief, and rather thick eyebrows are irrepressible, often adding running commentary to a conversation. Black somewhat frizzy hair rises from a high forehead to fall in ripples to a point just below her shoulders.
Her clothes are simple, clean-cut, practical as a rule: white oxford shirt, stonewashed jeans, rather stylish brown suede ankle-boots that lace up the sides with black cord, and a matching corduroy blazer with patches on the elbows. A crystal heart laser-etched with the head of a unicorn hangs from her neck by a short pewter chain.
Her clothes are currently somewhat tattered, musty, and of course sticky with cobwebs.
Long distance to Kelsey and Julen: Weatherwax thumbs-ups the calming effect, yesyes.
The raven chances to fly a little closer. "It's alright now," the bird says to the cocoon's newly-freed victim. The voice she uses is not her usual one, but rather deeper, stronger, calmer. It's a voice that should be telling lullabies to children, or commanding armies. "You are among friends, and that's mostly good clean mud on you, now."
Rowan whispers, ~It's ok, we're here, we're all here, no one's going to do it again.~ He edges back a bit, to give her room, and gives the raven a brief grin.
Kelsey's firms into a thin tight line, or as near as one can see, but she cocks her head towards the sound of the Raven's voice. She makes an irritated splash with one hand, batting futiley at the water. "What," she rasps, and stops, startled by the sound of her own voice. She tries again with a wheezing whisper. "What time is it?"
Niska pages: ?
You paged Niska with 'Ahhhh, darkening evening in the summer. 9 o' clockish.'.
Julen, hand still bleeding slightly, shifts into glabro and fetches her staff.
Rowan glances up at the sky. Telling time by Lilith, evidently. ~8? I think?~
As the others see to the recuperation of the newcomer, Rakkil tends to the dispersal of the trap. He moves to free it, and set it adrift, back to that from whence it came. Only when the possibility of danger has been reduced does he step cautiously back to the waterfront.
The last dregs of the cocoon and its fast-withering moorings, freed by Rakkil, drift away on some Umbral breeze toward the east.
Kelsey makes a bitter croaking sound in her throat. "Thanks," she says, voice dripping with sarcasm. She makes another attempt to find solid ground, holding her hands out to feel around herself in the shallow water.
"Can you see?" the raven asks the newcomer, still in that strangely deep, calming/commanding voice. "Follow the sound of my voice. We can take you to a more comfortable place."
Josh walks over, not afraid now, and offers out a hand. "Right over this way," he says.
There's a hint of humor in Rowan's tone. ~Well, you asked.~ Rising to his feet, he moves over closer, to try and help clean. He's already fairly dirty himself, after all. ~What happened, anyway?~
Kelsey growls. There's still a strained quality to her manner and voice, easier to sense in the umbra, perhaps, than the solid world, betraying hovering hysteria. "What does it look like?" she demands in frustration, rubbing at her eyes with the back of her hands. "Gods. Who the hell are you people?"
Josh blinks at the question, and looks around. "Ok, who wants to field that question?"
Kelsey twists away from Rowan's hands, before recognizing his voice and subsiding. "Left behind," she tells him, a weird little chuckle following the useless answer. "Way behind, I'm sure. What time is it?"
Rakkil defers to the Corax or the Sentinel to speak for the group. He is content to observe from an awkward distance.
Josh pages: What year is it?
You paged Josh with '2250.'.
"Who we are is a long story. Wouldn't you rather hear it over hot soup, in dry clothes?" the raven asks. "And it's a few hours before midnight," she adds.
Josh winces before he says the next thing. "The year twenty-two-fifty."
From afar, to Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, and Rowan, Kelsey
falls over, OOC. >is< it?
You paged Kelsey, Niska, Rakkil, Josh, and Rowan with 'Um, yah. Just checked the webpage for the date. To make sure, y'know.'.
Niska pages to Kelsey, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, and Rowan: And the name of the town is Babyl--- *awk!* <-- someone strangles Niska before she gets it out...
From afar, to Kelsey, Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, and Josh, Rowan eeeees. Ivanova-ville!
From afar, to Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, and Rowan, Kelsey STARES at Granny and begins to giggle madly. Why hadn't I noticed?
You paged Kelsey, Niska, Rakkil, Josh, and Rowan with 'Is it particularly... oh. Oh, dear. Did I somehow stumble into the Bab 5 timeline?'.
Kelsey pages: I was there at the dawn of the third age. The year is 2250. The name of the place, Babylon 5.
Long distance to Kelsey: Weatherwax hasn't seen enough Bab 5 to know that. :}
Kelsey pages: Good heavens. I didn't realize. Well, it takes place during the 2250s. Although actually I think it's more like 2258-2263.
You paged Kelsey with 'Heh. I've seen a little more Bab 5 than I have Buffy (I think I've seen half an ep of Buffy, while I think I've seen 3-4 eps of Bab 5). But, obviously, not nearly enough to remember the intro.'.
Rowan starts picking threads off her. Probably, they start sticking to him, instead. ~I'm Rowan. You wanna get a bath?~
Kelsey grits her teeth. "I want." she says tightly, "to know. Who you are. And--" she breaks off with another choking laugh that ends in in a snarl. 'That is not fucking funny. What -time- is it?"
Rowan says, ~Eight, or so. I'm Rowan, by the way. And, well, he's not kidding.~
Julen, at this point, strides forward a bit. She's not close, by any means, but she says, with all the Gaian Sentinel attitude she can muster, ~We are GlittersGumi, at least for now. There is a Caern here, and a new forming group to guard it. Garou, and Nikki-ta, and Corax, and Kin, and Bastet, all of us together. Have you a name, that we may know you by?~
Kelsey finally gets her eyes free of the goop and throws her head back to glare at them all, but her gaze is caught by something else, right overhead. All fire goes out of her face as her eyes fix on the strange smokey sphere of Lilith, like she had just seen the sun rise blue in a golden sky. Questions fall around her like cricket noises. She just stares, face slack and lost.
"Oh boy," croaks the raven, in her usual voice. "I gotta bad feeling about this one."
The Dancer -- my, this will cause problems -- looks at her quizzically. The, he shoots a questioning glance to Josh.
Rakkil, to the others, as if Kelsey were not really here, ~Let us remove her to the Realm.~ A glance over his shoulder to the dark moon.
Kelsey whispers with faint accusatory belligerence, "What is it? What's wrong with the moon?"
Josh holds up a hand. "Lady," he says, kneeling down next to her. "What do you remember. Last time you checked, what day is it?"
Rowan's face stills. ~With Lilith? Nothing. How... What year was it, for you?~
"I told you it was a long story," the raven says. The bird has resumed using the deep, soothing voice. "Seems like it's probably longer even than that. We can answer all your qustions, if you'll trust us, for now at least."
Kelsey focusses again on those around her. Abruptly she lunges forward, but only to throw herself onto the back and dry ground. She scrabbles dripping onto the bank and turns, tossing her head. "It's 2004, and I am -not- going mad," she states defiantly. "I'm not. You haven't gotten me yet."
Josh's jaw drops. "Oh...shit."
This only gets her closer to Julen, who regards her gravely. "We are not who you think we are. We are Garou. Some of us. We fight for the Mother. To heal, and to reconstruct, and to rebuild. I am Julen. Who are you?" She seems to expect an answer.
It is obvious by his stance that Rakkil believes the Garou are making a mistake insisting on interrogating the woman here in the cold unknown of the Kathadin mountains. He laces his arms across his chest and looks on, slowly shifting down to his breedform.
Kelsey's shoulders hunch at Julen's questions, but some instincts can't be bleached out by a few centuries. Her face falls. "Who?" She struggles to put the words together. "Kelsey. Galliard of..." she stops, confused, and then offers, "Child of Unicorn." Her hands reach for the pendant around her neck and grip it feverishly. "Child of Unicorn," she repeats firmly.
Josh's eyebrows lift, remembering an ancestry of his own. "The Children of Gaia?"
Kelsey searches their faces warily, eyes darting from gaze to gaze as if seeing them for the first time. She nods a silent affirmative.
Josh just stands there, in total shock. "Ho-ly...guys, we need to get her someplace safe. Someplace to rest..."
Kelsey gives another of those queer little laughs. "I've been resting, thanks."
With the elder stepping to the fore, Niska backs off, flapping to a higher perch before leaving it as well to make a final circuit of the meadow.
Niska pages: Doing another scouting run, from several angles, to see if anything has been left behind, as well as to see if anything new has turned up.
Julen says, rather firmly, "Yes. Come, Kelsey. We will go, to find food, and to help you clean up. I am Julen, of the Gaian Sentinels. I suppose I would be your equivalent of Silver Fang. I am Theurge, and Athro, and there is much to explain -- but not here."
You paged Niska with 'Nothing new, a few strands of cobweb are drifting off the trees, and you startle off a few little Wyldlings like you saw yesterday, and that's about it.'.
Rakkil shakes his head in the shadows, likely unseen to the bulk of the group clustered around Kelsey. He returns the fetish to its tatoo on his arm, and prepares to slink along behind.
Kelsey turns and regards Julen with eyebrows lifting into her snarled hairline. Jaw muscles twitch in a spasm of some powerful emotion, and her eyes narrow in obvious suspicion. Then she sets her shoulders and nods.
Josh explains. "I'm Josh. Kinfolk...and kinda descended from your tribe. Just, we have a different name. But we need to get you dry and safe, so I'll explain later."
Julen regards her evenly. "Or Fianna, or Get of Fenris. The tribes were merged. That is part of waht you will need to absorb. Once you are able. But come, let us leave here, and return to the other side."
Rowan says, ~I'm related to you, too, in a way. But, well, yeah. Safe,~ and follows along beside.
Kelsey stares at Josh as if he was speaking Swahili. "What, Gaia not good enough for you anymore?" she asks sweetly. She shakes her head and takes another long, vaguely horrified glance at the moon, and then follows them mutely wherever they lead.
Rowan pages to Kelsey, Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, and Julen: Can we go to, da dum, the Diner?
The raven returns from her scouting circuit, appearing as a shudder of black in a nearby branch. "Place seems clean," she reports to the group in general.
Josh pushes his hair back. "Long night," he says, "And it's gonna get longer."
"Thank you, Niska," Rakkil acknowledges from the rear of the group. "We will need to determine what set it adrift, but I fear that story is long in coming. And it is perhaps longer in the translation." These comments are for the raven, in particular, and said with muted breath.
Rowan pages: Psst. Is there still a hole in the Umbra?
You paged Rowan with 'It's small, and closing.'.
Rowan says, suddenly, to Josh, "Might want to exit, stage left. Hole's closing."
Josh rolls his eyes, jumping for the portal. "Umbra. Nice place to visit..."
The raven follows him through. Why waste a perfectly good door?
The hole is, indeed, small and closing, but Josh manages to wriggle through in time, although he falls -- yet again -- into muddy water. Real mud, this time, not spirit mud. The raven swoops through and the hole zips shut.
Kelsey only half hears all the words flying around her, still understandably dazed. She peers at the dwindling hole without comprehension, and steps dully to the water's edge to make her own way across. After a tight swallow and clenched hands. It's clearly not something she's very secure about, at all, but in fact she manages just fine. The massive relief in her face as she steps out into the waking world is a palpable force.
Josh lands in sweet, dirty, real-world mud. Thank Gaia. "Wash day tomorrow, again," he mutters.
The theurge, who occasionally /has/ lived there, merely reaches across. Quite quickly. Rowan arrives a bit later, restraining the urge to try and pat Kelsey on the back -- it's fairly noticeable in his movements.
Kelsey looks around, squinting as she tries to see in the dark. "Well what do you know," she mutters. "If it's another dream, it's better than the other nightmares."
From afar, to Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, Rowan, and Julen,
Kelsey thinks we need to break for east coasties, because otherwise
Nitaand I are liable to RP for 2 more hours. ;)
From afar, to Kelsey, Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, and Julen, Rowan is, indeed, evil.
Kelsey pages to Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Josh, Rowan, and Julen: But anyway, yeah, I vote to move to the diner.
Long distance to Kelsey, Niska, Rakkil, Josh, Rowan, and Julen: Weatherwax thinks we can call it a night for those as have to get to bed. Like me. If there's more rp, please, please, send me a log.
From afar, to Kelsey, Niska, Weatherwax, Rakkil, Rowan, and Julen, Josh votes that way. What would Sasha do? :)
Rakkil remains, the last to leave the Umbra. Here there is a private communion with the spirits that inhabit this area, and with Lilith, whose body freed their new companion. He thanks them with reverent silence, and respect. It is a private ceremony, kept all the more so by the fact that the others have left him behind.