Welcome to the Pack

As the victorious band walked back to the mansion, huddled around the fallen Wraxian, Kendall was largely silent.  Lost in her own thoughts, her mind kept replaying the events of the forest, and certain words kept sticking in her mind.

“You cannot do it alone… you aren’t strong enough…”

“Whoever said she was alone?”

“She doesn’t have to be.”

“Never alone again, Wraxian.”

The more she replays the events in her mind, the more she takes those words to heart.  ::She fought for us, even after we treated her like shit.  I’ve got to do something for her, to thank her, let her know we appreciate what she did,:: she thinks to herself as she helps get Wraxian squared away into the infirmary.

Suddenly, an idea springs into her head.  With a fire in her belly, she makes her way to the kitchen and starts to work.   Within minutes, she pulls several sheets of cookies out of the ovens, and, as they cool, pipes seven little stick figure frosting people onto each cookie.   Quickly, she collects the cookies into two baskets and, after cleaning the kitchen, hurries back to the lounge, leaving one of the cookie baskets there for the rest of the gang.

Slowly, Kendall goes through her not-so-small library and pulls out a few very well read volumes, including her own personal copies of the Harry Potter series.  Placing them into a box, she quickly writes out a small note, and looks to a sleeping Anne.  “Guess I’m making myself a hypocrite tonight, girl,” she says, quietly, sneaking out of the room, hoping to not wake the Cajun girl.

In the dark, she makes her way out to the edge of the forest, hunting for the first arrow trail marker. “I’m not coming in there, animals, just leaving this stuff for a friend,” she says, half to herself, half to the forest.  Carefully laying things out, expecting Wraxian to retreat to the forest as soon as the girl wakes up, she carefully places the note so it would be the first thing that someone walking from the mansion would see.

Wraxian,

What you did for us won’t be forgotten.  In the future, though, please don’t be afraid to ask for our help in the future, any one of us would be willing to face for you what you did for us.

It’s been shown that we have to work as a team, a pack, to make it in whatever freaky war we’re in, and I only hope the rest of us show the concern for each other that you have.

Sincerely,

Kendall Jenkins Henry

p.s. If we’re a pack, I suppose, given the experience, this makes you the Alpha?

Smiling to herself, Kendall walks slowly back to the mansion, optimistic that things around the school will be more harmonious from now on.

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Kendall Henry: From Hood to Harvard

Admin note:  there is a use of racial slurs in this story.  The admin wish it to be known that it is not in the least meant to incite or show hatred of any race or creed by the characters or the players controlling them.    If such language offends you, do not read this entry any further.

 

1 Week Prior

“Worthless nigger’s got to be drinking again.”  Kendall said under her breath as she looked behind her place at the stove at her brothers and Sisters. She had been cooking dinner for her brothers and sisters some 2 hours after her father was supposed to have gotten home from work, but hadn’t shown up.   It was not the first time the father McCormick had been late home on a payday night, and every other time he came staggering in the door reeking of cheap wine.

“No, girl, that’s not right, you know your momma taught you better than that.” Kendall said to herself as she put the meager meal on the table for her 5 younger brothers and sisters.  Mimicking her lost mother’s words, she said, “Now Kenny, child, the Lord didn’t make no N-words,  Brothers and Sisters made themselves into N-words, and it’s up to you to be better’n that.”

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Inari

AKA: Uke-Mochi

The God/Goddess Inari is one of the strangest and most mysterious of the kunitsukami. In modern Shintoism, Inari is both the God of rice and the Goddess of food. Inari is not a hermaphrodite, however. He/she has two separate and apparently co-equal identities, and while both accept worship under that name, each seems to consider itself a separate entity. How this unusual state of affairs came about is a mystery except to the wisest Amatsukami, and even they seem to disagree on the subject. Some say that Inari is the bastard offspring of a Japanese fertility Goddess and a Scion of Susano-o. Others say that Inari was a mortal who married the Fertility Goddess Uke Mochi. After his bride was murdered by the Moon God Tsuki-Yomi, the grief-stricken Inari assumed his wife’s identity. Still others say that Inari is a unique creation, borne of the physical union of the Buddhist Goddess Dakini and the Japanese Fertility God Mahakala.

Inari’s goals and even the extent of his/her power are just as inscrutable. He/she is known to have power over all kitsune, both good and evil, although he/she never seems to favor one type over the other. He/she also seems to have power over Fertility commensurate with those of the most powerful Amatsukami deities, although he/she has no interest in taking a place at Amaterasu’s court. Some of the more paranoid Amatsukami claim that Inari is actually a titanspawn deep undercover who guides the kitsune in some elaborate plot against the Gods. Others whisper an even more frightening theory—that Inari is nothing less than an aspect of Fate, and the kitsune, through their chaotic pranks, help transmute his/her wishes into destiny itself.

Associated Powers: Epic Charisma, Epic Manipulation, Epic Wits,  Animal(Fox), Chaos, Fertility, Illusion, Prophecy

Abilities: Animal Ken, Art, Brawl, Empathy, Larceny, Presence

Rivals: Amaterasu, Tsuki-Yomi, Loki, Hermes, Mictlantecuhtli

 

Ed- Open to later tweaking

Duty

Late night, sitting alone in her room in the Wynn, staring at an old photograph, showing several people in police uniforms, a communist star on their shoulder, a younger version of herself in the front row, Agent Yi finds herself considering her new compatriots.  Thinking over the betrayals of the past, and how this new group had already stood with her, she finds herself f pulling open a notebook, in which she begins to write. (in english)

To my new comrades,

Should you find this, it likely means I have fallen in service to the gods.  Hopefully fate finds you in better sorts.   There is much I would like to discuss with you about myself, my past, and I hope that I get the opportunity in the days to come.

Everybody has something that defines them, some inner truth, some deeper purpose that drives them to do what it is they do.  Be it faith in a higher power, or hunger for glory, or profit or, as I believe Mister Avery might put it. “For the lulz

For myself, I have always been dedicated to what I would call the common good.   Having grown up in China, everybody has service to the people, to the country, but this was something more.   Most just went through the motions of singing the anthem, of saying this oath or that, or serving in this committee or that.
I was different, however, and took service to the people to heart.   Even growing up in the stigma of being born a girl in a nation where all families wanted sons, I put everything I could into service.

As a youth, this meant competing in wushu.   My “father” as I thought him to be at the time, forbade me from direct fighting competitions, as “proper girls are meant to look pretty to attract husbands., much to my chagrin, but it it still to my pride that my talents with the staff bear out to this day.  While I did achieve some personal glory for this, my pride was more in bringing honor to my family and those that gave me life.

Later, in seeing those that would prey on society, and seeing the injustice of those with much taking from those with little so they would have more, I joined the People’s Armed Police, Narcotics division, stationed in Beijing.

For many years I served with distinction.  The job was hard, yes, but deeply rewarding.    While it frustrated me that many criminals got much lighter, if any sentencing,  setting them back as I could was a reward to itself.

All good things must come to an end however.  What I did not know were that the very officers I had served with for years were on the payroll of the triads, who paid them to look the other way to their actions.   Unlike my fellow agents, I refused to compromise, as it went against everything we stood for.    I kept my integrity, and paid for it with my life.

Or rather, nearly so, as this was when Lord Guan Yu deigned to pay me my Visitation.   I will spare you the details from there, and simply say that my life is unchanged.  I still stand against those that would pray on mankind. Now, however, I am far more equipped to do so..

Interpol Report – Ed’s 24 Hour Diner

Tuesday,

April 12, 2011

As per orders, met rest of VIP Security Detail at appointed time.  One was law enforcement, unsure as to what jurisdiction as criminals entered the premises shortly after initial meeting.

The security detail neutralized the thugs in short order, unfortunately, a civilian was injured in the crossfire (note: clock more time on a firing range). Proper forms have been filed to cover the cost of any potential medical care for civilian.

Interpol reinforcements arrived on scene shortly, and the 3 attackers who did not flee or were neutralized were taken into custody.

However, an unknown Agent arrived on scene shortly, who was -not- part of local operations.    Claimed to have a message from the VIP’s, to meet them at the Wynn, and advised us of a Japanese animation-based fan convention in progress.  Will use the cover of this to openly bear restricted armament in attempt to blend in.

Of further concern is this unknown operative.   Request immediate and full intelligence on one Louis Cyphre,  who is employing him, et cetera.

Of note: one of the detail was dressed as Japanese “Geisha” style escort, but showed extreme weapons proficiency. Furthermore, had caucasian skin and red hair, so not native Japanese.   While she said little, her appearance and subtle actions spoke volumes compared to the more boisterous members of the detail, with all their speaking.   Must remember to express approval.

addendum – Suite booked, in advance, in the detail’s names at the expense of the VIP’s.   Estimated cost assumed to be more than my own annual salary.   Strange action by VIP’s attempting to maintain low profile.

Sanctum Special Rule

Fate is a fickle bitch indeed.   For Classic Scion. all Sanctums of the scion classic Band have Axes Mundi/Passages to each other that cost the expenditure of 1 Legend to use.

However, the passages are lockable on either side.

Furthermore, Gods also have instinctive Awareness of anybody entering their Sanctum that is not them or immediately with them.

Harp and Hammer

All fables, all legends have a beginning.  Heracles got his start strangling snakes in the cradle, Cu Chulainn by killing Chulainn’s hound, Darmok by meeting Jalad at Tanagra.  Indeed, mankind’s own start came from proto-hominids discovering fire..   This, however, is the beginning 0f my Legend.

I was born the daughter of Irish immigrants, and raised from birth to respect my roots.   Most of my early years were spent learning the old songs from my mother, or in the smithy, learning the secrets of iron and fire from my father. Most importantly, I heard the tales of our people, of the Tuatha de Dannan and their protection of the irish people, and our respect for them.   It was only natural, as I grew into being my own woman, that I discovered my own faith in the old gods, specifically worshipping Brigid, the goddess of the smith, and patron of poets.

Ren Faires were a big part of my life and that of my family.  Indeed, most of our family income came from my father’s forgework, making armor and trinkets for tourists, or my mother’s performances.   As I grew, I began doing my own part, performing duets with mother, or working the bellows for father.    In fact, working the forge is where this tale -truly- begins.

Sometime, in my 21st year, I was pounding away on a sword blank, working in carbon to harden the metal, when I heard someone ringing the bell at the front of the stand.   Tossing the blank into the quenching trough, I saw that the caller was a middle aged woman, dressed much like the rest of the tourists who came in, admiring the light plate we made for reenactors, but ignoring the actual fighting gear we made for not being “flashy”

She was different though, as she came in, her eyes immediately went to the wall where we kept actual battle swords, and the dummies with actual armor on them. I watched, with no small amount of pride as she traced the hammer marks on a thick bit of field plate I’d beaten out myself

“Aye, not at all bad.. for an amateur” The woman said, a smirk in her eye.   Suddenly, my pride turned to anger.  Who was this woman, a total stranger, to alk into -my- forge and call my own work amateurish?

“I’ve had a hammer in me hand since before I could walk, what are you talking about?” I said, trying to keep my anger in check.  It wasn’t, after all, like she came in here looking for trouble.

“So you forged this armor, did you?  I suppose these swords on the wall are yours as well?  Don’t get me wrong, they’re good work, but hardly worthy of a master smith.  They’re balanced well enough, and the tempering is good, but you could do so much better, here, let me show you.”  She said, quickly walking into the forge like she owned the place.

Pulling the sword blank from the quenching trough, she thrust it into the furnace, which seemed to flare up as she came close.  After getting the metal white hot, she quickly pulled it out of the fire and began hammering, which was when I was really in awe.  the metal seemed to shape itself to her will as she hammered away.  It must have been an hour, but it only felt like minutes when she produced a finished blade.

“Like I told ye, lass, you’re right good, but you can surely do better.” The woman said, leaving the finished blade on the anvil.  My head was still spinning from watching an obvious mistress smith at work.

“Wait, wait.. I watched you work,  I’ve worked with iron for the better part of my life,  I’ve -never- seen it take shape so quickly.. that’s impossible.” I said, in disbelief

The woman sighed, throwing up her hands.  “And that’s your problem, you limit yourself by only seeing what is possible and what is not.  The mark of a true artisan is that they’re constantly pushing their limits and pushing the limits of what is possible.  I’ve seen your work, and you’ve got the talent.  It’s in your blood,   I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.”

By this time I’d had enough.  Within the course of two hours, I’d went from feeling proud of my work, to having it belittled by a complete stranger, to having that stranger offering me encouragement?

“Now look, ma’am.  I don’t know who you are, but it’s bad manners to come into someone else’s place of business and do everything you’ve done.   How would you feel if I’d done the same?” I said, crossing my arms. “Now please, tell me just who you are that you come in here, disrespecting me and my father’s work.”

“Very well, lass, you’ve humored me.” she said, pulling the shades down on the stand, cutting it off from outside view.   Then as if drawing the veil off a covered piece of art, her face and body melted away, revealing a figure I knew all too well, indeed, it was one I worshipped daily.   Quickly, I fell to my knees, uttering a Blessed Be.

She smiled and pulled me up to my feet.  “Now now, I’ll have none of that while I’m here, Fianna,  or do you prefer Fanny?”

“Fi, please” I interjected, still stunned at who I was speaking to.

“Alright then, Fi, here it is the truth of it.   The Irish are sacred to the Tuatha, even those who have left Eire.   Long have I watched your parents and saw how they kept the old ways alive, so I saw fit to give them a blessing.    I took over your mother’s body one night and 9 months later, nature took it’s course and one Fianna Pella Murphy was born.   You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?”

I stared blankly.   Surely she wasn’t trying to say I was her daughter.  It would be pure arrogance to even consider such a thing.

“Ah, humility” She said, a bemused smile on her face.   “Is it really humility if it’s true?   Fianna, you -are- my daughter, and yes, you’re special.   You’ve seen that your own skills have started to surpass those of your mother and father, yes?  that’s because you’re more than human,  you’ve got my blood in your veins.”

“So you’re telling me all of my work, all of my accomplishments are yours, and not mine?”

“Certainly not.  Even with ichor in your veins, you’ve had to work for all of it. and that’s how it will always be.   But that’s not why I’m here.  I need your help, lass.”

I nodded.   I was unsure how I could be of any help to the Goddess of Craft, but I knew my duty.

“It’s like this, the Titans, yes, from Greek myth, I’ll get to that, are breakin’ out of their prison, and threaten everything we gods have made for humans here on the world.    We gods cannot act as openly on the world as we used to.  Fate’s a right bitch about that.  You’re different though.. your Legend is not yet written, and you have more freedom to act in the world than we do..  I’m sorry I can’t fight these battles for you, but I’ll see to it you know how to use the gifts in your blood.”

It was then that she rested her hand on my hammer, in an instant, it grew to the size of a full sledgehammer and back to it’s own size  “The power of fire and earth are yours, use them well.  Also, I’ve heard your prayers and watched your rituals, and know you play your harp to call on me.   you’ll find that your magic will have actual power to it now, more than faith.   as well…”  She pressed her palm against my harp, causing a small wave mark to appear on it.  “Fire and water go in balance, and you need both to work the steel.  Water too shall heed your call”

“Blessed be the Mother who gives life and limb.” I said, in reverence.

Brigid smiled. “That’s a good girl, for now though, live your life and hone your crafts, all of them.  Someday soon, you will come across a group of others like yourself, godschildren.  Join with them on their travels.  THey will benefit from your gifts as you will benefit from theirs, and always remember, protect the world,  We give our children strength so that the children of the world can see another tomorrow.

“You have my word, Lady Brigit, that I will see it done.” I said, clasping my hands and bowing deeply.

“I’d ask you to call me mother, but I wasn’t the one who raised you.   Someday I hope to earn that title from you.” Brigid said,  once again assuming her mortal form, and making her way out of the forge.   As for myself, I picked out another sword blank and got to work.

The rest of my tale you shall hear another time.