Time/Date :It is currently 12:44 Pacific Time on Sun Mar 22 2009.
Place : Umbra
Weather :Currently in Saint Claire, it is a cloudy day. The temperature is 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the east at 3 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 29.90 and falling, and the relative humidity is 93 percent. The dewpoint is 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase :Currently the moon is in the waning Crescent Moon phase (24% full).
Looking at Vagabond:
This vixen is of average size for her species, with long slender legs, alert ears, and bright, yellow eyes with dark, slit pupils, much like a cat's. Her fur is soft and thick with a fine winter coat and all the typical fox markings; red on the top, white on the chin and throat and the very tip of her tail. Black markings along the muzzle, the backs of her ears, and her legs are much in evidence. Black guard hairs also darken the red of her back, especially near and on the tail. She moves with an almost supernatural grace.
Looking at Lefty:
She stands at roughly five-seven, lean and fit, even for a woman well into middle-aged. Her ginger-red hair is streaked with strawberry blonde highlights and falls just past her shoulders in a simple, uncomplicated wave. Bright hazel-green and copper-brown eyes produce a rather piercing gaze, full of ingenuity and acumen, while her bearing can be at times almost facetious. The one sober and glaring feature about the woman is a scarred right-arm, completely missing below the the elbow joint.
She wears a pair of faded Levi button-fly jeans, a black long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of scuffed, old sneakers. The shirt is tucked into the jeans, and a finely crafted leather belt is looped through the Levis. The carving in the fine leather depicts a forested scene with a wolf, rat and Pegasus running through it. Overall, a black canvas duster that has seen better years is worn to protect against the weather.
Looking at Viv:
A short, tough-looking woman standing only five feet one or so in height, usually dressed in an urban-grunge style with ripped jeans, kicker boots, and a truly ancient leather jacket which looks -- and smells -- as though it's been slept in multiple times by multiple people, not necessarily one at a time. The back of the jacket has a Phranc logo stencilled onto it and one arm boasts the words 'Kate Wolf Lives'. She smells as though she, and all her clothes, could do with a thorough wash and scrubbing. Her hair is trimmed short into a flat-top, and seems to be naturally a ratty blonde, though it shows signs of frequent short and long term artificial dyes. She has blue eyes, a nose too large for the rest of her small face, and comes across as a strange mixture of menacing and benevolent.
Looking at Courage-Under-Fire:
This wolf is pitch black in color, with yellow eyes. Said wolf is a little on the small, lean side, but everything seems to be in the right place. Paws, tail, jaws with lots of sharp nasty teeth.
Now in her early twenties, KL has lost much of the teenage stroppiness that characterised her younger self. It has been replaced by a slower burning, though still as fierce, intensity. She is still on the short side, standing perhaps 5'2" tall in her bare feet, and has a slightly built and slender frame, with a tight musculature that speaks of plentiful exercise. When she moves, she displays a compact grace, poise and balance. Even if she still occasionally slouches.
She has long, mid-brown - uncharitable people would say mousy - hair which she usually wears in a long plait that falls down between her shoulder-blades, secured at the top and the bottom with wide black leather bands. She's really quite attractive, perhaps not a pin-up, but far from ugly, with a cute upturned nose and wide expressive hazelnut eyes. There's something off-putting about her, though - she has an aggressive posture, a tendency to glare at people - particularly people she doesn't know, and an air of barely-restrained violence.
She has pale skin decorated in two places - on her left upper arm is a largish tattoo of something that looks a little like a bear, with its jaws spread wide and slaver falling in droplets. It has the words "No Mercy" written with gusto beneath it. On her right shoulder-blade, if visible, is a second tattoo, two-inch-square, of a winged horse.
Unless obscured by clothing, visible across her throat is a fairly horrendous scar, an angry stripe running from the bottom right corner until it terminates just below her jawline on the left side. More likely to be obscured is the scar in the small of her back, faded and older, but just as horrible.
She is wearing a pair of blue jeans that look brand-new, and have a designer label clearly visible on the rear, a pair of combat boots that also look new. On her upper half she is sporting a rather snazzy black leather jacket over a clean new white t-shirt.
Her ears are pierced, twice in each lobe, with small steel captive-ball rings through them. When she opens her mouth, it's just possible to make out a barbell piercing her tongue. Around her neck hangs a pendant, a bronze two-headed axe, or labrys - much like a small version of the one she sometimes carries. She's also wearing a pair of killer Lara Croft-style shades, which go some way to disguising the rampant hostility of her gaze.
Looking at Phoebe:
She's tall for a girl in her mid-teens, standing around five foot nine. She's also solid, but without being heavy, and she's starting to show the subtle signs of a woman's curves. Dark hair falls to her broad shoulders in mild waves, the front locks sometimes shading wide, expressive eyes. Her features are classical, if not all that remarkable. High cheekbones lend her an aristocratic air that's offset by a candid and gregarious spirit. When wearing something sleeveless, a thin, meandering scar can be seen on her right shoulder crossing almost to her back. She wears faded, low-waist Levi button-fly jeans. A thin, woven belt made of multi-colored fabric is looped through the jeans and fringed in several long leather cords with various trinkets hanging from them. There's an old carved bone shard and a feathered roach clip to name a couple. Her shirt is a chest-tight black tank top that doesn't quite come down to cover her belly button. On the girl's wrists are wide, studded leather cuffs that match a thinner, elegant collar that's worn around her neck. Each is ringed by several steel studs, and at the front of the collar hangs another leather cord with an onyx stone hanging from it. In colder weather, she generally wears a long coat as well.
Raging Phoenix leads the group of Garou into the umbra. Their intelligence suggested that Ferahgo headed westwards, and so it's a westerly point that they've chosen to enter through. The Fury Ahroun has a nervy energy, not quite worry, more excitement and enthusiasm. ~This might be tricksy~ she warns. ~Don't attack until I say so.~ She sidles closer to Lefty. ~Got anything?~ she asks.
Once they've entered the Umbra, the young Gaian that's with the group has gone quiet. Courage-Under-Fire's muscles are tense, seen even under the black fur. His yellow eyes trying to pick up everything, obeying the Fury Elder
Bag-of-Snakes seems, as she generally does, out of her comfort zone as soon as she's in the umbra. ~Understood,~ she growls at her alpha, and settles down on her huge hispo flanks to await further orders.
Ferret has a general beed, and the Gnawer drops into hispo for speed. ~This way,~ she says, and moves westerly.
Life-On-The-Line flexes her claws, nervous and eager, much like her elder. She follows last, but catches up.
Raging Phoenix drops to Hispo, to help keep up with Lefty. She lets the others catch her up, moving alongside each one at a time, just touching her shoulder to each of them, giving them a look that's a mixture of excitement and reassurance, before moving back up to the front of the pack alongside the gnawer.
The pack, plus pack-hopefuls, plus guide all travel through the Umbra, which is darker than some might be comfortable with. There is, thank Gaia, enough moon to light their paths, and what lunes linger around flit about the traveling Garou protectively when they're near. It's a long run, but faster in the spirit world, in the other forms, and soon they're within unfamiliar territory, getting all too close to the area of Seattle. Courage-Under-Fire and Raging Phoenix might notice along the way, flashes of red behind them. Brief glimpses before it melds with the shadow again.
Only when he notices the flashes does Courage speak up, and even that is the lupine equivalent of a whisper. This one thinks we are being followed. The wolf's fur raises along its hackles, but he doesn't seperate from the group.
Bag-of-Snakes's ears prick up. Want me to investigate, or shall we press on? she asks Raging Phoenix.
Ferret is too concentrated on the sense she has of her namesake totem. The Gnawer continues forward, veering slightly when the trail tells her to. Life on the Line pauses when the Gaian speaks. She looks from him to Phoenix, and then to Snakes. ~I'll go too.~
Press on, but be ready for attack from behind, Raging Phoenix decides after a few moments. She slides back, to be alongside Life-on-the-line. Stay last, she says, but stay close. She's then back up to the front.
Life-On-The-Line does as instructed. The Fury keeps a better eye on what's behind them, stopping to look every few minutes and then racing to stay up with the others.
Bag-of-Snakes continues forward, but with her ears rotated to keep a close aural watch on any sound behind, and she's paying close attention to any unusual or unexpected scents she may discern too.
Those glimpses become scarcer, to the point that it /could/ now just be their imagination. Maybe it was all along. Ferret's gift leads them off the beaten path, soon, and into the denser woods and slightly uphill, leading them even further from the moon's light. Up ahead, they can hear the sound of stone scraping against stone, echoing through the otherwise quiet woods. Well, quiet if you don't count a few talkative dark-colored birds within the branches overhead.
While trying to keep an eye out behind him, Courage-Under-Fire's ears twitch at the birdsong. He keeps with the others, however. ~If you wish, I can ask them if they have seen anything,~ he says in the Mother Tongue.
Raging Phoenix slows a little. ~Go ahead~ she says, quietly. ~Nothing to lose by it.~ She snuffs at Ferret to slow up while Courage-Under-Fire does his thing.
Ferret pauses while the Gaian speaks with the spirits. Her ears twitch as she tries to keep the sense while not moving.
Closing his eyes, the Gaian Theurge calls upon the Gift given to him once he Rited. ~Honored spirits,~ he begins. ~We are seeking, and with your permission, we would like to ask for your aid. We seek a Weasel spirit named Feragho, and we believe he might have passed through here. Have you seen him?~
Life-On-The-Line's hackles rise as the flashes become a little more tangible, and a little scarier. Restlessly, she flexes her claws again and watches.
And the sense of that prey is so much closer, seeming so much more within reach, compared to when the journey just began. The birds overheard seem to notice their slowing, for their song, at least within that area, quiets noticeably, and a few fly down to lower branches. *A weasel? They're looking for a weasel. Anyone seen a weasel?!* The question is repeated from bird to bird, most sounding curious. Or amused. Finally, a red-breasted robin lands on a branch near Courage, turning its head as it regards the boy. *I have a hazy memory of one... Could use a little something to jog my memory.*
Bag-of-Snakes circles the group as the theurge interrogates the spirits, on the watch for trouble.
Raging Phoenix too splits her attention, one half on the Theurge talking to the spirit, one half on the surroundings. Her posture is respectful, though, and she doesn't speak.
Courage-Under-Fire doesn't hesistate as the robin spirit speaks. The Gaian respectfully nods his lupine head to the other birds in thanks as he walks towards the spirit with the hazy memory. *You may take of my spiritual essence, honored Robin,* he says, unflinching. *Perhaps that will help your memory?*
The robin seems to perk at this, then flies down to land upon Courage's shoulder for the exchange. *Ah, yes... Thank you, kind Garou! It's coming back to me now... He's off thataway, in the woods. Deep in a cave. I'm afraid the entrance has been blocked by a rather cranky rock spirit, though. Well, cranky when he's awake.*
The Gaian's head turns, blinking as the Gnosis is taken from him. *You remember then,* he replies, obviously pleased. *You sound as if you remember the rock spirit clearly. Do tell.* Courage takes a moment to quickly inform the others.
As Courage-Under-Fire relates the news, Raging Phoenix shifts. ~Can he offer any advice for dealing with the rock spirit?~ she asks. ~I can give some gnosis, if it would help~
Life-On-The-Line offers her own gnosis, as well, if it will help.
Bag-of-Snakes continues to do guard duty, round and round the little gathering impatiently. ~I can too,~ she adds laconically.
The robin lets out an amuse twitter, then answers, despite it not yet all being translated. *You mean besides showing it who's boss? You could try to roll it out of the way. If you can get behind it quiet-like. Or offer it something novel to crush. Like bubble-wrap. You could try the Gnosis with it as well...*
When answered, Courage translates the spirit's words for the assembled Garou. He also adds in the Mother Tongue. ~He can understand us in this language, I think,~ he offers. He dips his head, low and respectful for the spirit. *Your aid is very much appreciated, of course,* he says in the language of spirits. *This one cannot thank you enough.*
Raging Phoenix drops her head, respectfully, then turns away. ~Let's try and be sneaky, then~ she says. ~Unless anyone brought anything crushable with them?~ She sniffs. ~Quiet, but fast~. She starts to move off in the indicated direction.
Ferret answers, to KL's question of bringing anything crushable, ~Just me.~ With a wink, she takes on her gift of blur and heads off too. She will try to sneak to the rock and get behind it to roll it out of the way.
The robin winks at Courage, then flies back up into the air. Between the robin's words and Ferret's gift, the rock spirit, more like 'boulder' spirit, is not hard to find. It has chosen to fall asleep at the front of a large cave entrance. Something small might be able to wiggle through, but nothing Garou-sized. There are some footholds and small ledges behind it, but also spaces with tiny rocks that could fall if moved...
Bag-of-Snakes emits a faint sigh once the news is conveyed to her of what is imprisoning their totem. ~Why is it always rocks with me?~ she asks rhetorically. She follows the others to the cave and regards the spirit thoughtfully.
Courage keeps his voice down as they spot the rock creature. ~How do you want to go about this?~ he asks, taking the near-wolf as they get closer. He looks to the others, curious.
As the Garou investigate the rock spirit, a small, red fox can be seen slinking quickly for that hole between rock spirit and cave, if one looks. Almost as soon as it's seen, though, it's wriggling through the space.
Life-On-The-Line remains back, waiting to see what the others will do. The sight of the fox makes her blink with surprise.
Ferret sneaks up on the rock, using her nose to sniff it out. And then the fox is there, and gone through the tiny space. She lets out a growl before she remembers to be quiet.
Foxes are smaller than us, simply notes Bag-of-Snakes. We cannot pass that way.
Raging Phoenix sidles up to Courage-Under-Fire, speaking quietly. ~We can try and move it, if we can get a lever, or you can try and wake it and bargain with it. Which do you think?~ she asks. ~If we try and move it and fail, then it might be annoyed.~
The rock spirit seems to be fast asleep as they approach, as it doesn't stir, neither at the fox's move nor at Ferret's growl. Just as the fox disappears within, the red-breasted robin they spoken to earlier swoops down and flies in after it.
Life-On-The-Line crouches by the large boulder, her hands touching it. ~Let's just try and move it,~ she suggests, impatiently.
~And all I have is my walking stick, and lever or not, it would not be able to move the spirit,~ Courage answers, his ears twitching a bit. ~I could try and bargain with it, but I will need help. The robin took much of my spiritual energy, and this spirit might offer a similar exchange.~ The Gaian pads forward slowly, and speaks. *Good evening, noble guardian spirit,* he begins.
Raging Phoenix moves to intercept the Theurge. ~Wait~ she says, considering. ~We try and move it~ she decides. She shifts to Crinos, and goes to fetch a branch from just up the trail. She moves to sidle around the rock, collecting a smaller rock to use as a pivot. ~Go~ she says, still hushed.
Upon Phoenix's word go, Life On the Line lends her weight to the effort and pushes.
Not without some trepidation, Bag-of-Snakes takes crinos form and bends her shoulder to the wheel. Or in this case, the rock.
Given the instructions, Courage-Under-Fire takes the warform himself and assists with the levering of the spirit. He clamps his jaw shut with obvious effort, trying not to make too much noise.
The rock spirit starts to shudder, that scrapping sound grating their ears at this closer range, and it groans in response to Courage. But any words it might have formed are cut off as the Garou shove against it. It budges from the location, starting a roll back down the hill, picking up speed as it goes. They might even notice that it veers now and then, forcing other spirits to flee out of its way. Muffled by the sound of crushed foliage is the sound of creatures scampering away from the entrance, deeper into the cave.
~Well done~ Raging Phoenix says. ~Let's hope he can't be bothered to come back.~ She checks on all the Garou, looking around to see if she can spot the blurry Gnawer.
Bag-of-Snakes watches the trail of panic left by the rolling rock spirit with disquiet for a moment, but then she turns and looks into the cave, ears and nose also alert, to see what she can detect in there.
Ferret's there, ears twitching and teeth grinning as she watches the rock spirit tumble away, happily crushing things as it goes. Looking to Phoenix, she nods, then gets back on the scent. Slowly, she makes her way into the cave.
The late-coming Get Theurge corrects his course as the sound of the scraping, rolling boulder gives away the position of the group he's seeking. The scarred Hispo looks weary, not so much a tiredness of body as of spirit. Recent blood scabs his chest, over the heart. As he comes in sight of those he seeks he huffs a thanks and goodbye to the small Lune gaffling he bargained with to grant him a little light along his path, and speeds his step towards the cave.
Life-On-The-Line turns at the sound, pleased to see the Get's arrival. She lets out a small howl and then moves to joins the others with him.
At the sight of Icetrap, Courage-Under-Fire lolls his tongue in greeting. Good evening. The Gaian sticks with the others as well, though ends up looking a bit at his cavernous surroundings.
Raging Phoenix smiles at Icetrap. She grunts a greeting, then indicates that they should follow the Gnawer into the cave. ~Be ready~ she says, stretching her claws for a moment.
Life-On-The-Line turns at the sound, pleased to see the Get's arrival. She lets out a small howl and then moves to joins the others with him.'.
Bag-of-Snakes too greets her tribemate briefly, giving the impression she would be more enthusiastic if circumstances allowed.
The cave is large and dark, with just bits of light flowing down into it on occasion, just enough to keep it from blinding the poor wolves. Ferret's gift leads them within, the sense that the prey is closer getting stronger by the minute. When the paths do part, it's Ferret that helps to point out the right direction. Ahead they can still hear the sounds of scampering feet before things go quiet. Quiet, that is, until they get close enough to hear hissing from the halls ahead.
Raging Phoenix raises a hand, calling a halt, and then progresses more slowly, her eyes and ears alert to whatever is ahead of them, caution evident in her manner.
Ferret leads the way, crouching as they get closer. When she hears the hiss, her ears fall flat, and she stops in her tracks. She looks to Phoenix.
Icetrap gives a near-silent and slightly surprised wolflike greeting at the others' friendly welcome, ill at ease for a moment. He shakes himself and falls into step with the group. His tongue darts out to lick his nose, lending perhaps a little assitance to his sense of smell. His ears splay briefly in apology for the time it has taken to leave the Bawn as it was before the Rite of the night before. They perk, to silently ask whether there is any more news since he last spoke, but the hissing distracts hom from any answer. His head turns that way as he listens intently.
Life-On-The-Line stops, too. she bares her teeth at the hiss, waiting.
Courage stays close to Life-On-The-Line, looking forward with the rest of them at the sound of the hissing from ahead.
As they cautiously move forward, the path opens up to a large cavern, filled with thousands of wiggling, hissing, not-friendly-sounding snakes. There's a platform on the side they are on, which the sea of snakes can't seem to reach, and a wooden and rope bridge leads across them, the middle dangling uncomfortably low. It leads to another platform, on which there's a rock display, on which sits: A shiny, round, metallic object. Light streams down from a crack overhead, reflecting off its surface, lending some dim light to the room.
Bag-of-Snakes halts at Raging Phoenix's shoulder, then follows her closely into the cavern full of snakes. Her eyes widen as she sees the serpentine masses. She doesn't even make any wisecracks relating to her deedname.
Raging Phoenix looks at the bridge. ~One at a time~ she says. ~In lupus, so we don't break it~. She glances at the bridge again. ~Me first, Bag-of-Snakes last~ Dropping down to Lupus, she starts to cross the bridge.
~Not lupus!~ Bag-of-Snakes calls in an urgent hiss to her alpha. ~If you fall you will have no hands.~
Life-On-The-Line drops down to lupus, but the young ahroun can't help nervous glances at the wriggling mass of serpents below. Ferret drops down to wolf, as well.
Icetrap, as one not crossing first, does not yet shift. He instead spends time studying the snakes below and looking at what can be seen of the rest of the cavern.
Courage too, waits before shifting, watching the Ahroun carefully.
As Raging Phoenix steps out onto the bridge, she can feel it lower slightly under her weight, small as she is. The wood seems sturdy, ropes, too, although the bridge does sway a bit in response to her movement. The snakes beneath her hiss louder, slithering closer together as if trying to reach her, but still failing. Icetrap, as he looks around, might notice a pair of fox ears and eyes peer out from the side of the circular object, just for a brief moment.
Raging Phoenix continues to cross, step after step. Those who know her might notice the tension, the preparedness in her, but she concentrates on crossing.
Life-On-The-Line tenses, looking nervous as the bridges bows. ~Careful,~ she whispers.
~One at a time,~ Bag-of-Snakes breathes to those still on the near side of the bridge.
Ferret waits her turn, watching curiously.
The bridge continues to sway and bend as Raging Phoenix makes her way across. It's when she nears the middle that the bridge lowers enough for two of the swarming snakes to climb onto the bridge, and they snap their jaws as they strike at her. More are already attempting the same climb. That fox head peeks back out, watching with wide, curious eyes.
Ahead, Icetrap wuffs to Raging Phoenix in a quiet wolfspeech warning. A warning that is not /quite/ matched to the words that follow in the Mother Tongue. ~The s-snakes are hungry. Some are poisonous. Some will hold and strangle.~ The Get speaks in steady, unexcited tones. ~There are w-ways to climb up, but I think it w-would mean Rage to reach them.~
Another fox head, this one slightly smaller and more slender, pokes out on the other side of the object, peering. She emits a very quiet, 'tchtchtch' noise as the snakes swarm onto the bridge.
Raging Phoenix isn't about to let herself get bitten, without some kind of reaction. She hits the "go" button and puts on a burst of speed, trying to get away from them.
Life-On-The-Line waits till Phoenix is across before she starts her own trip over the perilous bridge. She doesn't go slow and steady, though. The younger Fury starts quickly and makes the trip as fast as she can, staying on the bridge no longer than she has to.
That burst of speed manages to get Raging Phoenix past the snakes in /just/ the nick of time. Replayed in slow motion, viewers could see the snake lashing out, narrowly missing her leg by mere millimeters before it lands again. As the Ahroun passes, the bridge sways even more with her greater speeds, knocking some snakes back off of the bridge as it raises again. Only one manages to stay on, coiling in the middle threateningly. The Fury, meanwhile, is will on her way to the other side, and now she can see what awaits, other than Foxes: A large, round, shiny, metallic... dinner plate. Life-on-the-Line manages to get down the bridge okay, with it swaying a good deal more, as well as creaking some. That one snake, though, flashes out as she nears teeth sinking into her leg.
Life-On-The-Line snarls out when she feels that sting. The Fury ahroun doesn't stop, though. She pushes through till she joins Phoenix. Only then does she look down to rub at the tingling, burning sensation in her foot.
Icetrap rumbles a growl as his attention turns from examining the area to watching the action on the bridge. A grimace crosses his lupine face. He lifts one foreleg, bares his teeth, and tears away a chunk of his own flesh from the side. Gripping this in his jaws and watching for more snakes swarming up, he shifts to lupus, bunches and launches himself forwards.
Courage-Under-Fire continues to watch, jumping slightly when Life-On-The-Line got bit.
The smaller fox is also still watching. Her ears are pushed intently forward, and her attention darts between the action on the bridge, and the Fury that was just bit.
Raging Phoenix shifts quickly to homid, and then she's on all fours. "Stay still," she says to Life-On-The-Line, and closes her lips around the back of the Fury's legs, sucking at the wound.
With some blood dripping down his leg, the Get Theurge, Icetrap, makes his run across the bridge. Predictably, the snakes once more start to swarm the bridge as he gets to the middle, but that flesh-throwing trick manages to get him past without being bitten, throwing the snakes off guard. The larger fox starts to back away from the shiny dinner plate as the Furies near it, looking ready to run if necessary, it, too, continues to curiously watch the action.
Courage starts his run now, trying to take advantage of the distraction caused by Icetrap's neat trick.
Life-On-The-Line grimaces at Icetrap's maneuver, but it also earns a sort of admiring glance. She grimaces a second time as Phoenix sucks on the wound. ~It's nothing,~ she says, slightly embarrased.
Bag-of-Snakes looks slightly stunned at Icetrap's stratagem, but also grudgingly admiring.
KL straightens up, spits out the contents of her mouth. "I need you whole," she says. She looks at Icetrap. "You're mad," she says, her face cracking into a grin. Then her concentration is back on the Gaian crossing the bridge.
The female fox remains where she is for the moment, though she does glance after her companion, and her muscles bunch in preparation for an escape spring, if one should become necessary.
Icetrap seems to pay little heed to the reactions to his strategem. Faintly puzzled and pleased, but mostly concerned with getting on with business. He gives Courage a momentary glance as the Gaian starts to head across the bridge, then turns to regard the foxes with wary curiosity. *Hello?*
Ferret continues to wait. She watches the Get move across, then the Gaian. She looks to Viv next, waiting to be last.
As the Gaian makes his run, he manages to use the confusion and distraction caused by Icetrap's move to get across the worst of it. One snake does attempt to wrap around his leg, but it only causes a momentary slip, as the Gaian's moving too fast to grab. Up on the other side, the larger, male fox sniffs in Icetrap's direction. *Hello! That was rather... What do you kids call it now? Hard core.*
The Gnawer actually takes homid, trusting in her feet rather than her three-legged wolf's stumbling run. She takes a step back and gets a running start to move over the bridge. Zoom.
The female fox gives a tiny huff, and makes another 'tch' noise, with her head turned toward the male.
Raging Phoenix shifts back to Crinos, and looks at Icetrap. ~Could you thank the foxes for the posters and the statue?~ she asks. ~And ask if we could possibly have Ferahgo back, because we miss him and need him?~ She's then watching Ferret on the bridge, somehow far more tense than she was with the others.
As he gets the lone snake off his leg, Courage watches with a bit of concern and worry for the others following behind him as he goes to the Crinos form once more. *My thanks,* he says, in the language of the spirits. *That was too close.*
Icetrap blinks at the fox's comment, that vaguely puzzled expression back on his wolfen face. He clearly doesn't see anything to fuss about. One ear turns back as the Fury alpha speaks, the twizzles back towards the foxes, with barely a flicker of interest for the other activity. *White-tip, keen-ears, we thank you for the paper-picture and the statue,* he says. *Those who follow the war-weasel miss him and need him and wish to have him rejoin them, and ask if he can be returned to them.*
The male fox, Renardt, makes a similar sound in response to the female, and then looks back to Icetrap. *Tell the Elder she's very welcome. Oh, and Ferahgo is just waiting in the next room. He's a bit stuck. Don't forget that,* he adds, pointing to the dinner plate. Speaking of stuck, it seems that Lefty just isn't able to get up the speed she needs in the homid form. Maybe it wouldn't have worked in lupus either. One moment she's running, the next she's been bitten, and a stumble is all it takes before the snakes on the bridge have a hold of Lefty, some biting into her before others attempt to pull her off into the swarm below.
Bag-of-Snakes also shifts into homid once she's the only garou left to traverse the bridge. She waits for Lefty to make it over, to begin with, but once the Gnawer hits trouble, she breaks into a run and heads across the bridge. "Hang on there, gal!" she calls as she runs.
The female fox springs, forward rather than away. She's rather spectacularly fast, because she's at and on the bridge within moments, and she's getting a bit larger even as she moves. ~Sister, grab hold!~ One paw--fur covered hand now--reaches for Lefty, while her jaws snap at a snake.
~Stephanie~ Raging Phoenix calls, almost panicked. She's about to dive across the bridge, when the fox gets there in front of her, and she holds off, leaning over the edge of the bridge, but not stepping onto it.
Icetrap dips his muzzle. *Thank you* he says to the foxes, only to blink again as the female darts away. ~Kill some and throw them to the others,~ the Get suggests in a rumbling snarl once he's worked out what's happening, then watches the bridge to see if it is strong enough to hold.
The Gaian's yellow eyes go wide as he makes for the bridge, only to have others get there before them. He stands at the ready, claws out in case something gets too close.
Lefty stumbles and falls, batting at the snakes with her one good hand, as well as kicking and flailing with everything else she has. The offered help is quickly taken up, and she reaches for the hand even as another snake bites into her forearm.
The bizarre fox-creature (it's wearing a faded black army coat. Why is it wearing that?) tightens her grip on Lefty's arm and tries to tug her up the bridge to safety. ~A very good idea!~ she calls, and her other hand whips out the strangely shaped knife sheathed at her side, lashing at the snake on Lefty's arm, and another other within reach.
Viv comes racing up to Lefty and the fox. Even if, as seems likely, her added weight causes the bridge to sag further towards the snakes, she's ready and waiting to attack any more snakes that reach the bridge, as well as to grab hold of Lefty if there seems any danger that she may fall despite the fox's aid.
Vagabond and Viv both manage to reach Lefty, one after the other, although the Gnawer is already pretty covered in the snakes. Some attempt to coil around the rescuers or to latch hold of them with their fangs, although a couple are stopped by the Fox's slashing. They to manage to keep her from being pulled of the bridge. It takes both the shifter and Viv to get the Gnawer back up to her feet. The Fox spirit also springs forward, watching the Fox-shifter with a little concern.
Raging Phoenix watches, looking desperately at the scene on the bridge, obviously itching to go down and help.
Life-On-The-Line's ears twitch and the Fury tenses, but she too remains where she is, just watching the others below. The Gnawer struggles, growing sluggish. She manages to wrap her bad arm around the Get, however, and her good hand still clutches to the fox shifter. By the time the two of them drag her from the pit of snakes, however, she completely slumps forward.
Vagabond's agitation is clear, beneath that unconcerned facade. Her fur is bristling outward as she tries to struggle backwards to safety, not letting go of Lefty. Her attention is pretty well split between this and trying very hard not to be bit by snakes. ~I should have prepared a snake figure instead,~ she mutters to herself. Kick, kick, slash.
"Forward!" Viv urges, fending off snakes with all her might as she encourages Lefty toward the other side of the bridge. "Damn, why won;'t razor claws help in homid?" she adds sotto voce.
When the Gnawer is on level ground, Courage-Under-Fire moves to her side, and puts his hands on Lefty's body. He tenses and tries to call on the gift, trying to picture her wounds closing in his mind's eye.
Raging Phoenix crouches down beside the Gnawer, looking worriedly at her. She glances up at the fox changer. ~Thank you~ she says, extending the look at the thanks to Viv.
Renardt lets out a relieved sound once they all make it to safety, hopping up out of the way to sit next to the dinner plate. He makes another noise towards the female. His ears splaying in faint amusement for a second. The snakes, meanwhile, hiss in irritation as they lose their prey, but the do swarm over their dead fellows...
"Come on, damn it. No dying here. You're too old a stick to go this way," Viv growls to Lefty, still in homid, fists clenched.
The Gaian's healing brings color back to the Gnawer's features, and she manags to open her eyes with a small cough. She looks at Phoenix and grins. "I'll be ok," she says, and it's not just a dismissive lie. She gestures, though. "You go on. I'm going to sit here till the world stops spinning."
One of Vagabond's ears turns in the direction of the other fox. There's some communication there, it's clear, though she doesn't actually make any audible noises. Then her attention turns back to the matter at hand. ~You are very welcome,~ she tells Phoenix, her tone sincere. ~Though it was not quite how I planned to make introductions.~
Vagabond also wipes snake ichor off of her blade, before sliding it back into its sheath.
Raging Phoenix pats the Gnawer's shoulder, and then stands and picks up the plate, looking at it closely. Her eyes flick from side to side thoughtfully. ~When we go into the next place~ she says ~Be careful with what you look at~ She looks at the plate, again. ~And be ready to close your eyes on my shout~
"It'll fall into the sun before it does that, you nong," Viv retorts to Lefty. But despite the verbal insult she's obviously much relieved that Lefty is still alive.
The Gnawer smirks at the Get, and lies down, closing her eyes for a minute.
Life-On-The-Line takes a deep breath, preapring to follow KL into further.
Renardt gives an approving glance at Raging Phoenix, then hops off and heads down the path, trotting towards the next room. It does pause, though, and look back at her. ~Actually, why don't I stay and watch over your friend...~ And with that it moves to sit by Lefty's side.
Courage exhales once the Gnawer comes to. ~Maybe someone should stay with her, if we need to go on?~ He stays crouches by Lefty, but looks to KL. He looks with relief at Renardt. *My thanks, again.*
~She'll be alright~ Raging Phoenix says, and starts to head off down the path that leads to the next cave, a narrow path that means they have to go one at a time. She holds the plate in front of her, glancing down into it occasionally, getting used to looking through it.
Viv shifts into hispo form once more, but waits to take tail-end-charlie spot again, meantime remaining close to Lefty and attentive to her.
Vagabond peers down the hall with undeniable curiosity, though she doesn't immediately move after KL. After a few moments, she puts her hands against the ground and her form smoothly changes again, back into something more quadrupedal--still a fox, arguably, but the size of a full grown wolf, if more slenderly shaped. Those two tails of hers remain. She only moves after the others once Viv has started to take up the rear.
The path, while a narrow squeeze for a while, starts to widen until it once again opens up into a large cavern. This one is filled with rock ledges and stalagmites. Wound between all of these is an enormous serpent, with sharp ridges along its spine. Its face is currently hidden among its coils. The weasel, too, is present, perched upon one of the ledges, head on its pauses, eyes closed. Still, despite this, it seems calm. Just... waiting.
The Fury Elder approaches slowly, still looking in her dinner plate. ~Be ready~ she says, the plate looking small in her Crinos hands. She glances back, checking all are with her.
Crouching on all fours while in the Crinos form, Courage-Under-fire digs his front claws in, to stop himself from thinking of rushing in. His head turns to one side as Raging-Phoenix speaks, and he nods without a sound.
Bag-of-Snakes opens and closes her eyes a few times as though practicing ready for KL's command to close them in earnest.
Vagabond hangs several feet back, behind Bag-of-Snakes. There's the faintest hitch to one of her hind legs, a barely noticeable limp. Bizarrely, one of those tails seems to have vanished in the short walk down the tunnel.
Life-On-The-Line does exactly that. She crouches in readiness, nervous and twitchy but ready. She looks to the plate and then ahead, waiting.
As if sensing their presence, those coils start to move, a few small pebbles falling to the ground as it bumps into a few of the room's obstacles. Finally, it lets out a long hiss, then lifts its large head, which is crowned in more of those sharp ridges, and it opens its eyes to turn its yellow gaze upon the Garou.
Raging Phoenix, taking a bit of a flyer, holds up the plate, trying to show the huge reptile its own reflection, stepping forward as she does so. ~Don't look into its eyes~ she says, still guessing. And her own eyes are carefully not meeting its.
Courage-Under-Fire hunches low at the warning from the Fury Elder. Instead of trying to look at the serpent's eyes, he looks at the long, snaky form about a third of the way down its budy. He watches, trying to find a pattern in its movement.
Life-On-The-Line keeps her eyes low. Like Courage, she crouches, continuing to be ready but not yet moving.
Bag-of-Snakes fidgets a little, ready to take action to protect other garou once more if she needs to; but for now she holds her position.
Unlike in some stories, the creature doesn't turn to stone when it spots its reflection, small as that reflection is. But it /does/ freeze up, as if ceased with a sudden, paralyzing fear, unable to look away from that mirror image. The Weasel Totem, meanwhile, remains still, waiting.
Vagabond remains right where she is. She doesn't look directly at either the snake or anything else in the room, but she is studying KL's back with interest.
Life-On-The-Line watches the snake freeze. It's a look the young Fury ahroun dares, but she's quick to look down again, and then over at KL.
As the others look, Courage shifts his gaze over to Raging Phoenix, but side-steps closer to where the weasel is. One step at a time...
~Attack!~ Raging Phoenix commands. ~I'll hold it still with this. Just don't get in its eyeline~ A pause, and her voice increases in volume. ~For Ferahgo! For Gaia!~
Life-On-The-Line lets out a vicious snarl as KL gives the word. She lunges forward, using up all that pent up energy gahered while waiting. Razored claws come out to slash at the transfixed serpent.
Courage's growl is low, rumbling and drawn out until his voice erupts into a howl when he leaps, going across the snake's underbelly, trying to rip it open.
And the coiled spring that is Bag-of-Snakes unwinds all of a sudden and releases its pent-up energy into movement as the hispo garou springs and attempts to savage the serpent with tooth and claw.
In direct contrast, the fox-thing doesn't move at all. She hangs well back, observing.
The Garou leap in on the panic-stricken serpent, claws and teeth digging deep into its belly, particularly those claws that had been sharpened previously. The snake-like creature roars in pain, distracted enough from the fear to thrash its tail, sending a couple stalagmites crashing to the ground. Yet by then, it's too late. The Garou with their rage and major advantage are able to cut the life out of the monster, and in but a few furious moments, its head starts to sink back down to the ground, eyes eerily left open. The weasel, after this crash, opens its eyes and peers down before perking up visible and calling out a cheer.
Raging Phoenix waits until she's sure the thing is dead, before putting down the plate and bounding towards Ferahgo, climbing up to where he is, as quickly as she can get there. ~Ferahgo!~ she calls. ~You are safe!~
Covered in snake-inside gore with drippping claws, Courage-Under-Fire lets out another howl once the creature goes down. The cheer gets his attention, and he turns to the Weasel spirit and stops. He looks to Life-on-the-Line with an apologetic look. ~Sorry,~ he says to her. ~Always wanted to do this.~ He turns back to Feragho, eyes alight. ~I'm Courage-Under-Fire; we're here to rescue you.~
Life-On-The-Line's eyes dance with the delight of victory. ~And I'm Life on the Line,~ she adds to the Gaian's introduction, keeping it short and simple.
Bag-of-Snakes gives a happy howl of triumph when the serpent falls dead. ~We come for you, Feragho! Your garou are not forgetful of you in your hour of need!~ She canters up towards the totem spirit.
Vagabond paces a few steps into the cavern now that the snake's stopped moving. She sniffs briefly, eyes moving from Garou to weasel.
*Hello,* offers the Weasel to the unfamiliar Garou, but most of its attention is on those of its pack. *I knew you'd come!* It says as it starts looking for a way down, even as they make their way up to meet it. *The damned Fox, called me a coward! I have never been so in-* And then it spots Vagabond and lets out a definitely vexed sound.
Raging Phoenix moves to be alongside the weasel. ~These Garou, we think we would like to join with your pack~ she explains to Ferahgo. ~But that road is not yet fully travelled.~ And then she looks at the fox changer, a glint in her eye. ~I would like an explanation for all of this. For distracting and weakening Gaia's warriors, taking us away from our totems~ And the look that she gives to Ferahgo is little short of worship. ~Why have you done this?~
Bag-of-Snakes remains in hispo still and begins to tense herself up again. All her focus is on Vagabond, now, and it's plain that if given the command to do so by KL, she will attack.
Vagabond tips her head. Ferahgo's reaction inspires--at least, from what little can be read of fox body language--some bafflement. ~I am afraid,~ she says, in response to KL, ~That for answers you will have to ask the other fox. I do not know any mo--~ She stops, then, as Bag-of-Snakes' posture catches her attention, and she takes three quick steps backward, fur raising.
Life-On-The-Line takes a step back after the introductions, looking very curious at the tricksters, and Ferahgo, for the answer to KL's question.
The weasel moves to press up against Raging Phoenix as she reaches him, seems he really missed her! Ferahgo's own posture does calm some after Vagabond speaks, and he gives a sniff. *It was a male fox spirit,* he admits. *Still, pranksters, the lot of them!*
Along with Phoebe, Courage backs up, but feels the muscles in his shoulders bunch up again. At Feragho's words, the Gaian calms a bit. ~So she didn't have anything to do with it?~
Raging-Phoenix makes a downward gesture with her hand, a calming move. ~You helped with Ferret~ she says, to Vagabond. ~And I'm grateful to you for that. I would like to talk to the spirit~ she says. ~To ask him those questions~ She starts to move forward. ~He was with Ferret~
Bag-of-Snakes cools off a little, and doesn't look quite so ready to pounce on Vagabond. But she still remains alert.
Vagabond pads to one side, to let the Fury pass. She doesn't look much more relaxed, however, and she's eyeing everyone with wary suspicion, but especially Viv.
Ferahgo follows along after Raging-Phoenix as she heads to the other room, although he does make one last pause to nudge Bag-of-Snakes affectionately as well. The Fox-spirit, in the other room, has been regaling Lefty with glorious stories of his past cunning deeds, whether she's aware enough to listen or not. And he continues on, blithely unaware of those headed back towards them.
Vagabond makes a soft tching noise.
Bag-of-Snakes shifts down into lupus, and approaches Vagabond gingerly; not because she seems scared of the fox but as though she wants to avoid scaring her. We are grateful, she tells Vagabond. Even if we do not understand. And then she follows the path back to lefty.
~Fox spirit!~ Raging Phoenix says. ~I asked... this other fox... a question. Why did you do this? Why did you take our totems away from us? Why did you distract and weaken us? Why have you caused us to be hurt and wounded?~ She's being forceful, but not really threatening.
Vagabond's ears turn back as Viv approaches, and she definitely does seem very reluctant to let the Get get too close to her. Whether or not she understood is unknown, but she at least seems to pick up enough that she relaxes very slightly.
Renardt twitches an ear after Vagabond's sound, ceasing his tale as he looks expectantly in the direction of the Garou. ~You haven't figured that out yet?~ he asks, in a way they can all understand, placing himself on the opposite side of the resting Garou. ~Has this truly distracted you, or is your Sept now seeing things clearer? Are you truly weakened now, or stronger for what you've learned? What does the Sept think of the spirits now? The Totems? Discover those answers, and then you will know if our time here has been wasted.~ Ferahgo looks even /more/ annoyed as it spots this Fox, but keeps back as Raging Phoenix questions it.
Life-On-The-Line looks from the spirit to KL, tensing much as she did earlier.
~You kidnapped Ferahgo~ Raging Phoenix growls. ~You could not have hurt me more if you had taken my daughter. You called him a coward.~ And then in a flash she's moving, leaping over the prone Gnawer, her claws seeking the fox spirit.
Courage's head droops as he listens to the fox spirit. Whatever words are in his head are not coming out, overwritten by the wordless gasp as Raging Phoenix attacks.
Bag-of-Snakes shifts again, back to crinos. ~Are you saying you stole our totem merely to teach us a lesson? That would be a poor excuse even from a coyote spirit!~ She says no more, because her alpha attacks -- and when her alpha attacks, Viv is at her side.
Vagabond lets out a startled yip. She bounds forward too, as fast as she can, and one doesn't have to know anything about fox body language to know she's absolutely dismayed. The fox shifter makes an attempt to dart under or over the attacking Garou.
Life-On-The-Line blinks, her ears lying back against her head. She coils, ready to leap as well. But she doesn't, not yet. She looks anxious, uncertain what to do.
*Ask Ice Wolf! Ask Unicorn! Rat! All insulted by /your/-* Renardt breaks off, though, as the Garou lunge towards him, his own hackles raising. He doesn't attempt to fight back, however, but to Flee, the attempt encouraged by Vagabond's swift movements. The Fury does manage, though, to rake her claws along the back of his right side as he runs.
Raging Phoenix charges after the fox, using all of her speed in an attempt to prevent him from escaping her, her claws reaching for him if she manages to get him in range.
Bag-of-Snakes is at the alpha's shoulder like a bleached-out copy of her, racing along in tandem with her in an effort to catch that pesky fox.
Vagabond actually springs /off/ of Raging Phoenix as she leaps over the Fury--she's light, thankfully, even in that form--and manages to land between fox spirit and angry, angry Garou. She's still running, but if she manages to overtake Renardt, she intends to snap him up by the scruff in wolf-sized fox jaws. Every bit of fur on her body seems to be standing out straight.
Life-On-The-Line finally moves forward. She uses rage to to catch up to Phoenix trying to slow her with a grab to her shoulder. ~No, wait!~
The Gaian is behind the others, trying to pour on the speed. He's not as close as Life-on-the-Line is, but he does call out. ~Stop. We are proving their point! The spirits are to be respected!~
Renardt, when attacked, cries out, tries to get away, but makes no aggressive moves himself. Raging Phoenix is practically on top of that Fox, with Bag-of-Snakes right near her, and with Vagabond jumping in front, well, it certainly makes for a ragey tangle, all happening right on that bridge. That was, afterall, the only place the Fox could have run. With all of them so close upon it, the ropes start to give way.
Whether it's the rope bridge giving under her, or the shout, but Raging Phoenix changes what she's doing, almost mid-claw, instead trying to pick up both foxes and throw them to the far side, intending to leap after them. ~Get off the bridge!~ she yells.
Life-On-The-Line backs off the bridge, pulling anyone she can with her.
Courage-Under-Fire assists Life-on-the-Line, putting some Rage into his speed so he can get the others before anyone drops into the chasm.
In the confusion, it's nearly impossible to avoid that sudden grab, and Vagabond is snatched right up, struggling. Her heart is beating so hard it's actually able to be felt. Her shape changes again, back to the bipedal fox thing, though she's not really any heavier or lighter than she was in this form.
The crinos form has many points in its favour. However, it is not designed either for lightness or for nimbleness. Bag-of-Snakes, feeling the bridge start to give way, tries to turn and leap back for the side of the bridge furthest from the entrance, the way she's just come, sudden surprise and horror on her face as she realises the peril she's in.
Renardt gives a surprised yip as he's grabbed up and tossed, landing a bit roughly on the other side. He scrambles back up, attempting to scamper away from Raging Phoenix and behind Vagabond. Life and Courage, not having been as far out, manage to make it to the other side before the bridge gives away at all, but once rope snaps /just/ as Bag of Snakes gets to the last few steps. The Rage fueling her gets her far enough that she doesn't fall, but she does end up having to scramble for the edge of safety. The Fox-spirit gives a few of those 'tch' sounds to Vagabond as he watches with wide eyes.
Bag-of-Snakes digs her claws into the ground at the far side of the bridge, giving Gaia silent thanks for her gift of razor claws, and pulling herself to firm ground. She does nothing else for a few seconds but gasp for breath.
Vagabond lands heavily, but all things considered, a few scrapes and bruises are a small price to pay in return for not being snake food. Notably, the scrape that opened up on her cheek remains there, rather than swiftly vanishing. As Reynardt gets behind her, she hunkers protectively in front of him, even though all of her fur is still standing out straight.
Raging Phoenix, stands up, glaring at Renhardt. ~Stop right there~ she says, stabbing a clawed finger at him. ~And listen to me. I understand your "lesson". I have *never* intentionally disrespected the spirits. And yet you invade my territory. You take my totem spirit from me. You will *leave* this Sept, this area. And you will *never* return. Or I will hunt you down and kill you.~
Life-On-The-Line throws herself to the ground and helps pull Bag of Snakes up over the top. She bares her teeth, looking across at the foxes and her elder.
Vagabond's bristly fur bristles a little more, but she says absolutely nothing. She just continues crouching in front of the fox spirit.
Bag-of-Snakes regains her feet and points a clawed finger accusingly across the chasm. ~You nearly killed me. You nearly killed Raging Phoenix!~ The second crime seems to be what's really maddening her. ~You should be cast into that pit full of snakes and bitten to death, you stupid, arrogant spirits.~
~Uh huh,~ says Renardt, licking at one of his wounds before he eyes her warily. ~You might be the shining example of spiritualism, but I've heard rumors about quests here that... warranted this. It's my nature to test things. We see a potential weakness somewhere, we test it. In this case, it meant /all/ the Sept. There are three more Totems caught. I cannot leave until they are found, because we promised /them/ that if they were not aided, we would not leave them stranded forever. Once my charge here is finished, I will leave. And I hope I never have reason to return to this Sept.~ He then flashes a charming grin at Bag-of-Snakes. ~Aw, you Garou can handle it!~ He nudges Vagabond softly, making low noises, and then starts to take a few steps back.
Life-On-The-Line remains tense. She looks to Raging Phoenix. ~Let us just take Ferahgo and go home, now. Yes?~
Raging Phoenix makes another "calm down" gesture, without turning around to look at Bag-Of-Snakes. ~I'll make something else clear. I have no disrespect for Fox, or for any others of his brood. And if he is offended, I will give chiminage to him. It is *you* I disrespect.~ She growls at him, then deliberately turns her back. ~Let's go~ she says, tired now. ~Be careful~
~I think that would be best,~ Courage answers Life-on-the-Line. ~Not my call, however.~ As Raging Phoenix gives the order, the Theurge follows with, trying to keep alert after all that's happened.
Vagabond doesn't seem nearly as calm and unflappable as the fox spirit. Her cheek is still bleeding slightly. ~We are both very sorry for nearly killing you in our attempts to survive your attempts to kill us,~ she says. She can't keep the hotness out of her tone, though it remains fairly level. Her gaze moves from KL to the chasm. ~...Since you have made it clear you have no need of our help, we'll leave you alone.~
~Fair enough,~ comments the Renardt. ~Us tricksters /have/ been trying to get a rise out of the Sept.~ He nudges Vagabond again after she speaks. ~Let's go.~ And he already turns to head out of the cave.
Thankfully for the stranded Viv, her totem, now he's free, is able to take them by a different route which brings them out on the same side as KL and the rest -- though by the time they arrive they're covered in cobwebs and dust, and Viv is looking just as ill-tempered if not more. ~You forget,~ she says to Vagabond, ~that if it hadn't been for our totem being stolen, we wouldn't have NEEDED to be saved... but thank you.~
Life-On-The-Line grabs the unconscious Gnawer on her way out, slinging her unceremoniously over her shoulder.
Now they're out, Raging Phoenix glares at Bag-Of-Snakes. ~Leave it~ she says. And looks around the assembled Garou. ~Thank you all~ she says. And moves over to Ferahgo, kneeling down beside him. ~Don't go too far away?~ she asks. ~I need to talk to you, and tell you some things.~
Vagabond brushes her injured cheek and replies with a surprisingly cold tone, ~I had nothing to do with taking your totems. I am only guilty of following you and risking myself to help you.~ She turns and trots after Renardt, with her tail bristling out.
The fox's parting shot leaves Viv frowning in confusion. But in deference to her alpha's command she doesn't make any further retorts after Vagabond.
Renardt makes a hasty departure, followed by the fox-shifter. Meanwhile, Ferahgo certainly doesn't run off. Now that he's been reunited with his pack, he sticks closely to them.
Vagabond vanishes after Renardt.
Reunited with their totem, and unwilling to be apart from him, apparently, the two packmates, along with friends, make their way slowly back towards friendly territory. Raging Phoenix eventually moves to help Life-On-The-Line with Lefty, lifting the comatose Gnawer with care, talking quietly in her ear as they go. There's perhaps a slightly downbeat, if relieved, atmosphere about the group. At one point, though, KL takes Jonas aside, and has a brief conversation with him before returning to the others.