Place : Harbor Park, Umbra
Umbra: Harbor Park
The Umbral ground beneath your feet here is lush with vegetation, an oasis of life amidst the concrete and webbing of the scab. Trees stand proud and tall here, their branches full of leaves. Shrubs line the outer edges of the park, tangled with encroaching webs. The fountain stands out boldly from even the surrounding area, the sleek lines sharper and more pronounced. Clean pure water roars and cascades from the figure in the fountain's center, falling into a cold clear pool that looks quite inviting. Spreading out from the fountain, the rest of the park is a green veldt that seems to radiate life and strength. The river banks the east shore of the park, bridged by a massive rusty bridge. On this shore, the glade seems to have spread out on to it, vines winding around the supports. Further across the river, the bridge melds into the scab again, flaked with rust and covered in webs. The river itself is clean within a few feet of the shore, but black ooze seems to encroach menacingly from the murk of the rest of the river.
A walkway leads out of the Glade-like atmosphere of the park from just north of the fountain. Eastward, the dark span of the bridge stretches over the vile river. Dark streets lead west and southwest into the blighted Umbra of the city.
At a little over five foot tall and with a slim build, KL is hardly awe-inspiring on first sight. She appears to be around seventeen years old and still carries a teenager's air of disenchantment and irritation.
Her mid-length mousy-brown hair is brushed back out of her eyes and behind her ears. It's showing the signs of recent careful, if unskilled, attention - the ends have been neatly trimmed and it's been well brushed. She would be quite attractive - in particular she has a very cute, upturned, nose - were it not for the sullen and aggressive set of her mouth and the hostility of her gaze. Her hazelnut eyes look out with disappointment and poorly hidden anger, as if the world were a holiday villa that didn't match the travel agent's description. Her skin is oddly pale, and on her right shoulder-blade a two-inch-square tattoo of a winged horse is visible. Physically, she's well proportioned, and her bare arms show a tight musculature that speaks of regular exercise.
She's got a habit of slouching and of leaning up against any available support. When she forgets to slouch, however, she moves with a surprising degree of grace and compact poise.
She is wearing a faded and beaten up pair of blue jeans that are just a little too large for her, and have holes in the knees, a pair of worn combat boots and a faded red tank top with "And your little doggy too!" emblazoned across the front. The tank top has a badly-repaired tear across the chest, causing the word "little" to be have its second "t" deformed. Similarly, the jeans have a set of unrepaired holes on her left thigh, pale skin showing behind the rents.
'Built like a brick outhouse' is the polite euphemism for this woman's appearance. Nat's a good three inches over six feet tall with muscles that undoubtedly come from heavy steroid usage, appealing from a bodybuilding standpoint but helping to distract from an already sketchy appearance. Her eyes are a pretty enough greenish-blue, but they hunker beneath heavy unplucked eyebrows and a bony forehead, making an already square face even more extreme. Her hair's shaggy and unkempt, a nondescript brown in dire need of a trim. Perhaps because of the steroids, baby fine hair spreads across her body, dusting her skin. A succession of small scars pock across her face and hands, alluding to a life filled with knuckle sandwiches and bar brawls. At a guess she'd be in her early twenties.
She wears a sleeveless button-down shirt in a flattering shade of pale aqua. The shirt is well-tailored and hugs her all the way to her waist. Dark indigo jeans nearing an honorable retirement top dark brown steel-toed work boots. The jeans aren't low-riders, or flared, or fashionably ripped, but the sort you'd buy off the shelf at any farm store.
She's not what most would call pretty. Terms like delicate and petite would never be attributed to her, and come to think of it, neither would lady-like. She looks to be in her late twenties, standing roughly between 5'10" and 6'. Her powerful frame carries a full 175 pounds, all of it undoubtedly muscle. Shoulder length black hair hangs straight, not set in any particular style. She wears no makeup, having neither the time nor the care to put any effort into such things, though she does sport several earrings and tattoos. Her eyes are a dark, unremarkable brown that manage to look angry a good deal of the time, whether she is or not. If there is a traditionally attractive aspect to her at all, it would be her finely crafted cheekbones and elegant jaw-line. They give her an air of nobility otherwise lost in her rough and uncompromising nature.
She's dressed in old, well worn jeans. Dirty, chocolate brown work boots catch the bottom edges, and a white t-shirt clings to her well-toned frame. A creased black leather jacket hangs loosely over her shoulders. It's at least two sizes too big for her.
First, the basics. He stands at perhaps six and a quarter feet in height, with proportionately long limbs and a chisled, athletic build. Ash-blond hair falls in a single arrow-straight mass to the middle of his back, bound only by a seperated pair of thin, chest-length braids at each temple - these last capped off at their very ends with narrow metal sheathes. This mane frames, and in a small degree sweeps over, a well formed face posessive of high cheekbones, a strong jaw and narrow nose: Scandanavian, if ever there was an epitome of it, a fact which is even more clearly upheld by the slightly almond shaped, steel grey eyes. The features - though those of a man in his late teens - are weathered and well tanned, but their inherent attractiveness is marred by number of small scars here and there: across the brow, down one cheek, and along the chin amongst others.
His clothing is sturdy, but well worn. Unremarkable faded blue jeans are tucked into the tops of metal plated black leather boots, while a white t-shirt is occasionally visible beneath the green army field jacket, this last's pockets visibly bulging, either through current or previous periods of long occupation. Finally, a black leather thong hung around his neck disappears beneath said t-shirt.
His carriage is steady - not so much elegant as economic, as is every other function of his movements. Further, when he speaks the voice carries in a deep tenor-baritone, and gives final truth to the nationality by way of a rather prominant accent; perhaps Danish or Norwegian.
Signe leads the group into the umbra at Harbor Park. The gibbous moon is thinning, which makes the glade darker and more dangerous. All the garou are no doubt on edge, perhaps none so much as the alpha. She takes glabro as soon as they cross over, glancing around the dimly glowing trees for the familiar shape of the wolverine. He's there, too, lurking in among the sentinels of the park, two red glowing eyes fixating on his garou as they come through. Soon, the low slung shape of the massive gulo gulo spirit comes towards them.
Gunnar... well, it's not that he seems at home in the Umbra - far from it, in fact; if anything the Godi seems to stand out more here than in the mortal world. It's nothing concrete, but more an aspect to his aura, a certain high-contrast cast to the shadow and light playing across him, intensity to his stare, or the vague, rasping whispers that seem - audibly or not - to writhe and twist about his body like smoky tentacles, rising and falling in that near-imperceptable pitch. Whatever the case might be, though, he walks with a steady, no-nonsense sort of stride a bit behind and to the left of the Jarl; his attention leveled off onto the near edge of the horizonline.
KL is defining "nervous" at the moment. She's sticking very close to Emma, and is repeatedly biting her bottom lip, and clenching and unclenching her hands. Occasionally, she gives aggressive little sniffs, as if she's trying to overcome her nerves by sheer force of will. She's flicking glances at each of the rest of the pack, as if wanting to check that none of them have run off and left her.
Natalie bulks into glabro as well, her unsplinted left arm held tight against her belly. She takes up position just to Signe's right, eyes casting around the Umbral landscape at the edges of the glade. Her wounds are still fairly raw looking, but she pays them no mind, too itchy about the night to give them their proper heed.
Emma takes Glabro as well, looking around the park with a tension that seems contagious. Her steps are slow, but not fearful, and she meets each glance of KL's with an assuring nod.
Standing at almost shoulder height to Signe, Vex is more bear-like than his realm-side reflections. The cream colored stripes along his dark-furred sides stand out even in the shadowed gloom of the surrounding cityscape. And those red eyes punctuate a rather intense gaze. The avatar of wolverine brushes up against the Jarl's leg after giving each of his children a silent greeting. The stranger among them is then in turned upon, black bose working to take in her scent.
"Vex," Nat hisses, a pleased grin curling up the sides of her Neandertallish mug. She turns to admire their totem, eyes drinking him in from nose to tail and back. No comment on their presence, though, or of that of the new comer.
Signe buries her hand into the spirit's fur, and it's clear that the presence of the totem soothes her. Rather than do the introductions, however, she allows the Fury and the wolverine to get to know each other in their own way.
Emma reaches out to give KL a single shoulder pat, fingers squeezing lightly as she steps back. Her arms fold over her chest as she waits, a much more anxious look about her now.
Gunn swings his head, slowly, to regard totem, eyes dropping to a half hood whilst, never diverting his gaze, he slowly rolls his head from one side to the other - the motion punctuated by a snap-crackling of vertebrae. Nothing else is said, however, nor is any greeting forthcoming beyond a slow tip of nod.
The newcomer stops her gaze-flicking, grunts quietly, and takes a step closer to the avatar, her hands opening and her arms lifting away from her sides in an open gesture. KL doesn't say anything, but instead bows to the totem, without dipping her eyes at all - keeping them fixed on Vex.
The wolverine spirit's eyes glitter when he realizes who it is the pack has brought to meet him. The flat and sloped head lifts ever so slightly, and he opens his mouth to show the Fury the needle-like teeth arrayed within. *So, you think you're good enough to follow me?* he asks.
KL blinks, twice, slowly, and the tiniest hint of a grin curls her lips. "Yes." she answers, simply. The tension that has been present in her body language, the quiver in her muscles, dissipates instantly, replaced by a comfortable fluidity. She moves her feet apart slightly, a hint of challenge creeping into her stance.
Vex seems to like the Fury's reaction. It makes the spirit's fur stand a little on end, and there's an equally challenging growl-snarl that emits from the wolverine's throat. *Prove it,* he says to her, holding his own ground.
Signe steps back once the 'dialogue' begins. She assumes a place between Gun and Natalie, grinning faintly.
Natalie turns as Vex steps forward, so that KL's now in the center of - if not a circle, at least attention. She too watches curiously, eagerly, her lips peeling off her teeth.
The Fury's brow furrows as she tries to work out what the totem wants her today. Her muscles bulk and swell, her face elongating as she swells up into Glabro, and takes another step, this time a definite, challenging step towards him. She lifts her hands in front of her, holding them ready, and her face splits into a wide, unpleasant, grin, displaying her sharp teeth.
Emma clenches her fists tightly together as she watches, as if all her money were gambled on this one fight. She glances briefly to Signe as if she needed her own reassurance, then focuses once more on the totem and the Fury.
Signe is tense, but in that good, 'this should be fun' way. Whether that reassures Emma or not, it certainly makes the Jarl's grin a little wider. The spirit almost seems to grin, as well. The Fury's bulking up is met with another snarl, and immediately afterward the wolverine lunges. The charge is quick and fierce but short lived. He snaps at the Fury's leg with those sharp teeth, missing flesh but coming close enough to tear cloth.
Shifting position, ever so slightly, Gunnar flicks a brief moment of attention to Signe, then Nat as each moves. A few heartbeats later, the Godi's attention returns to KL and the Wolverine whilst he rolls down to a three-point stance, fingers resting idly on the umbrascape ground. Allowing a long, slow breath to whisper through his teeth, he falls silent from then; watching, as if waiting.
Another rip in KL's battered jeans. Oh well. At least now the right leg sort of matches the left, with tears revealing her pale skin beneath. The Fury pulls her leg back, but really too slow, and she continues the motion, rocking her weight back and kicking with her off leg, hoping to catch the jaw of the wolverine as he withdraws. It's by no means the most powerful of kicks, started as it was in a bit of a hurry. Her right arm lifts as a counterbalance, and she gives off a grunt of effort.
Vex is quick, but the Fury's foot does connect. She just catches the totem's nose at the tip--almost like swatting the family dog for taking table scraps. It triggers the wolverine's natural, 'whirlwind of fury' reaction and he lunges toward the garou a second time. This time he does not back off. This time, the bear-sized spirit moves in to tumble and snap and claw at the Fury, moving almost too fast to see.
Natalie mouths something; if anyone's watching, it might be read as 'no mercy'. She doesn't look to see if anyone -is- - blueish eyes are fixed on the fight, glee dancing gavottes across her face.
A knee starts bouncing as Emma watches on anxiously. Her teeth are clenched fiercly as she follows the movement, her nostrils flaring with the itch to jump in and get into the mix.
"Mmn." The sound begins in the emulation of two boulders grinding together. "She fights too defensively." Of course, this is from Gunnar down there - though low, and almost as if he were talking to himself. A brief moment of pause follows past that, then he continues, this time in what might seem to be some sort of counterpoint. "Yes; but the surest way to prevent harm is to stop the foe from attacking. She wastes energy and moves too much."
Blows strike the Fury on her arm and lower back as she completes the kick-move. She gives a shout of pain and fury, and her body roils as she shifts again, this time bulking up further into war form. With a growl, she leaps towards the totem, claws ripping into his shoulder as she unleashes a rage-fueled flurry of strikes.
Signe seems to agree with the former more than the latter, but her brief glance to Gunnar allows her to realize that both are one in the same--a fact that makes the Jarl scowl and mutter something about 'damned theurges'. Refocusing her attention on the fight, she bares her teeth again and encourages KL by saying, ~You're not here to play tag. Get him, kid!~
"Best defense is a good offense," Nat agrees, adding a pleased bark for the Fury's attack.
When the Fury goes to crinos, the two combatants become little more than a huge blur of fur and claws, the sounds of their snarling and biting echoing in the otherwise subdued glade. The dust they kick up scatters as if the very earth were afraid to be near the two. They spin and counter, teeth flashing one moment, long black claws another. When they finally separate, both are bloody and disheveled, the spirit left shoulder is gored badly, and the cream colored stripe on that side is now more of a dark crimson--soaked by his own blood. Her blood covers his muzzle and chin, however, not to mention his claws. Dozens of other cuts and gashes dot the bulky landscape of the spirit, but he seems thoroughly pleased. With another eerie little 'rowl' he steps up to the Fury, lying on the ground, and sprays her with a foul scented musk.
The Fury seems to take this as an insult, despite the rents and gaping wounds that cover her body, and tries to pull herself up to attack the totem again, a snarl of anger and hurt pride escaping from her maw. She's too weak, though, and her effort to rise finishes with her sprawled again in the mud, her blood dripping from her fur and mixing with the dirt on the floor. She lifts her head, once more, eyes still fogged with rage, and growls defiantly.
"Whoa whoa KL no. Heh, that's a good thing. He marked ya as his. You're in!" Emma is the first to shout this out, filled with rage-inspired excitement.
Signe lays a hand on the Fury to hold her back, reassuring KL that Emma is indeed correct. "IT's his way of accepting you," she adds, gaze shifting to Vex and nodding her thanks.
"Claiming territory," the Walker chimes in, pumping one fist as she adds, "/Sweet/."
The words seem to filter very slowly through the Fury's thick skull, and it's a good ten seconds before she bows her head again. ~In?~ she says, exhaustion and pain making her voice weak. She shifts slowly back down to Glabro, her wounds clear - there are gashes and tears all over her torso, though most of those are surface damage. There's a much deeper gash running down her left upper arm, and another nasty one visible on her left thigh. Although many of the wounds are closing quickly, her clothes are still getting marked with blood. She says nothing more, breathing deeply as she attempts to recover from the ferocious bout.
Emma steps over to the Fury then, kneeling down and dropping to a very hushed voice, that is meant only for KL, "You okay?" She looks back to the others then, "So this makes it all official right?"
Vex isn't exactly in tiptop shape, either. The Black Fury left quite an impression on him, it seems. the spirit quivers with a small spasm of pain. With one more look to his newest 'child', he begins to wander off. Apparently, wolverine is not one for small talk.
Signe watches Vex start to leave, Emma's question answered with a silent nod. Then, she also takes a look at the Fury's wounds. She apparently determines that, though they look bad KL should live, and so she moves to help her up and to start the journey back home. ~What did you think of him?~ she asks.
Another dry snort from the Godi, as Gunnar rolls to full height once again. Shifting a shoulder up and back, he finally looks away from the spirit and KL to flicker a glance to the others assembled - all the while rubbing the umbralscape dirt from his hands. Upon standing fully, then, he slowly folds both arms about his chest and, once more, assumes that waiting posture.
Natalie pages to the room: Go ahead and pose around me. I got nuthin'.
As KL struggles to her feet, she grins. "Too quick for me." Her voice is still slightly faint, and her chest is working like a blacksmith's bellows. "Sharp teeth, too." She looks in the direction of the disappearing totem, and bows her head for a moment. "But fun."
Emma grins at the Fury, "You did great KL." For the young Ahroun, there seems to be a definite and genuine excitement about this, as if she just got permission to bring her best friend to Disney World with her. "You can crap out at the browstone for a while, till you got your wind back. I'll even order a pizza in honor of our newest packmate."
Natalie snorts good-naturedly. "You're not going to turn her into a Get by giving her Brownstone crash space, Emma." She cocks her head, turning her gaze on KL and adds, "You know the Safehouse is open, too. Hell, turn the whole place into a hospital for the convalescent."
Signe starts to laugh at the Fury's reaction, giving her another reassuring squeeze of the shoulder. she tries to do it in a place where the spirit left her intact, at least. That done, the Jarl leads them back out and across to the other realm.