Fire and Brine

Story Two - What I've Done - Chapter One
Chapter One

Welcome back reader! This is the first chapter of the second Story in Fire and Brine – What I’ve Done. The theme (I’m aiming for) is consequences. A new player turns up! But before that we catch up to Lorcan and Ethan. With the strange message Ethan received, they decide to go to a nearby pack, The Bogeymen, who have a couple of Bone Shadow members to see if they know how to find him.

Ethan and Lorcan are in the Bogeymen’s territory, to the east of Dublin around Crumlin, the Shadow looms more so than usual. As they meet a Bogeyman, He Who Haunts, the threatening shadows loom across the Gauntlet.

Haunts is quite amused at Ethan, who claims membership with the Bone Shadows, despite not being known by anyone. Ethan is explaining how he became a Bone Shadow, being drawn into the Court of Death Wolf. For Haunts, a Cahalith, it’s a cool story.

If I haven’t alluded to this before apologies. For those that don’t know, Ethan has never been inducted into the Shadows by a Forsaken, instead being drawn in by the spirits that claim kinship with Kamduis-Ur. When we eventually have a Bone Shadows Gathering, it’s going to be hilarious.

The conversation turns to why the two are there in the first place.

“Do you know where, or how to find Old Bones?” He asks Haunts.

Haunts grimances, “uuuuh, not really. He’s a bit before my time, and hasn’t really kept up to date with the Forsaken in Dublin, he’s a bit of a loner. He Who Binds might know, he’s an Itheaur in the Cobblestones – part of the old guard like Bones. Sorry!” Haunts grins.

Meanwhile to the north of the city, a newly changed werewolf is meeting another of the ‘People’ as these guys call themselves. Liam Roper is (well, was) a member of the Garda, technically on leave following a break-down and subsequent disappearance. Upon waking up, he was picked up by some hard-core weirdos operating near the coast north of Dublin – a collection of “Storm Lords” and “Bone Shadows”. He’s been told because he Changed under the half-moon he’s an “Elodoth”, a walker-in-between. Since Changing he’s found he can shape-shift and has extra-ordinary senses, and then there’s a Shadow. About a month ago, he met up with the rest of the Tribe he was inducted into, the Storm Lords, in a ‘Gathering’ – and ended up running into a Church where something entered the Flesh and then it got set on fire. The weeks since have been less dramatic.

One of the Storm Lords meets him, a guy called “Cliff” – and tells him that he should go visit Ocean’s Fury, she knows some other newly changed werewolves who might have an opening fr a pack mate.

“You can’t live here forever”, he rumbles.

Liam, therefore, goes to down to Dublin docks, apparently Fury lives in some small warehouse.

Fury, kinda does. As he leans around the front doors, Fury is sparring with a guy. He looks young, and has the look of a student about him. But as Liam hangs back, and watches, the guy is nifty with the practise sword. He’s as good as the veteran warrior, and might even be better. The guy looks familiar as well, and Liam recognises him as one of the Storm Lords, and member of the pack that had that Church on their territory.

Eventually the two notice him waiting and Fury waves him over, and asks him what he’s doing. Liam explains that he’s been sent here because she knows a pack with spare space?

Fury smiles and introduces him to John – “we’ll finish this another time” she says to John, before leaving the two.

John stares at Liam, who stares back. “I’ll uh, take you to the others?” John starts to walk back to the territory and phones Lorcan, and they agree to meet up at the Chase.

At the Chase the four have a halting introduction, with John, Lorcan and Ethan not exactly enthused with being given a pack member. It’s agreed (amongst the Bleeding Hunters) that Liam can… Wait before being inducted, but he’s more than welcome to help out. Liam shrugs, it’s not like he’s got anything else to do.

The all but John (who has a shift) heads out to He Who Binds, who owns an odd trinket shop in Temple Bar. As they enter they find a small shop with towering shelves (more like ordered piles) of paraphenalia, as Ethan looks about with the eye of a child in a candy store, he notices that there’s a common theme. A lot of the curios have binding qualities. It makes sense to Lorcan, who’s also having a look about before finding a wiry old man at the back of the shop, He Who Binds is an impressively skilful Fetish maker, and member of a Lodge renowned for it’s collective knowledge of spirit binding.

Lorcan goes up to the desk and greets Binds, and explains that they’re looking for Bones, do he know where Bones operated out of?

“Not exactly no, after all he didn’t exactly have a pack… But Bone Shadows tend to have ‘dens’, they’re little hidey-holes that we tend to have, we keep… Personal items there. I think Bones had his around the Grand Canal dock. You should look there, if you want to find him.”

Lorcan thanks him for his help, and the pack leave, not before Ethan leaves with some new trinkets.

The three convene outside with a plan. As well as Bones, Ethan wants to try to get hold of his father’s will, currently in the hands of the Garda – specifically with the task-force being headed up by Detective Byrne. Lorcan and Liam agree to meet Byrne (Liam has his number) at a pub in the pack’s territory – the Old Curio. Meanwhile Ethan heads out to the Canal Docks.

The area has fallen on hard times, there were plans for a massive redevelopment a couple of years back but eventually the money disappeared, and the area fell into a sodden kind of decay. Now the old terrace rows sit into the group, slowly falling apart, their basements collapsing into the old sewer and pumping tunnels.

In the real world this area is quite nice, but nice isn’t interesting – so we get some wet urban decay instead.

Surmising the den is probably going to be underground, Ethan quickly finds an entrance to the old sewers, unlocking the gate with a thought an mote of essence. In the tunnels he looks about an shifts his sight over to the Other, finding a slumbering spirit of the path and uses Spirit Whispers asking it where the Old Bones went – the water (about 6 inches deep here) on the path abruptly flows down the the tunnel, going around a corner.

The tunnels here haven’t fully recovered from the storm about a month ago.

As he travels through the tunnels he begins to notice a familiar scent, the scent of brine. Suspicions peeked, Ethan heads down the tunnel and find the collapsing walls revealing basements. He’s under a row of houses.

Looking about he finds one basement that stands out. Inside are a weird load of trinkets, and remains of glass jars – all smashed – with the scent of brine heavy in the wet air. Looking around Ethan, sniffs – the scent of Old Bones is unmistakable. Finding nothing in the basement he heads up stairs and finds himself on the set of some conspiracy theory thriller. Across an entire bare wall is the remains of a thread and notes diagram, over a map of Dublin. Not being able to make heads of tails of it in the dark, Ethan takes a few pictures with his blockia and heads out through the border up back door, surreptitiously kicking his way through the rotted planks nailing it shut and heads back the Chase.

Underneath, dead feet splash through the waters.

Meanwhile, Lorcan and Liam are sitting in the Old Curio, and beckon Byrne over. Byrne nods his get to Liam, “Roper”.

“Byrne”, Liam introduces Lorcan to Byrne – and Lorcan proceeds to probe Byrne to see if Byrne is aware of his Wolf-Blooded nature, his nature that is given away by his eyes, gleaming in the half-light of the old pub. The thing is, Byrne doesn’t know – and if he any suspicions he doesn’t reveal them. Patience wearing thin, he asks what the two want.

“It’s about Killen Road,” Lorcan begins.

“What about it?” Byrne asks.

Lorcan pauses.

Then tells the truth, including the Shining One.

There is a pause as Byrne slowly narrows his eyes.

“I think we’re done here.” And with that he leaves.

The two look at each other, finishes their drinks and leaves for the Chase, where Liam offers to show them how to actually shoot – after seeing the guns they have. And so Jack gets a shooting lesson.

This is how Ethan find them, when he returns from the Canal Docks. When he shows them the grainy pictures of the map he found, and the three pore over. Together they realise the points are all within paces of bodies of water, the coast, the canals, the Liffey. With a sinking feeling they recognise a running theme. They need to check them out, and the closest is on the banks of the Canal to the north of their territory, nearby to the Bleeding Horse pub where John works.

In the late hours the three walk to the site, passing the Bleeding Horse and John on shift – John is still convinced there’s a vampire somewhere around. Following the map, they end up in an alley nearby to the canal. Looking around Liam notices an old blood stain that somehow survived the rainy weather. Looking over to the other side, Ethan find the blood stain as a slowly moving violence spirit, slumbering on the wall. Ethan tries to Spirit Whisper, but can’t seem to elicit a response from the slumbering spirit.

At a dead end the pack decides to hit the next closest. The problem is that it’s just in the territory of the Dockland Wolves, the alpha of which gave Lorcan his deed name – and with whom Lorcan has ‘history’ with.

So, the pack find themselves on the borders of the territory, with Ethan arguing that they should announce themselves. Lorcan doesn’t exactly want a reunion with Steel Eyes, so votes to just quickly go in, and then out. Ethan points that this is a terrible plan. Lorcan agrees, and walking into the territory. Looking at Ethan, Liam shrugs and follows Lorcan.

Ethan sighs.

And there we have the first session! Tomorrow is the next session, which we finally get to see Jack “Steel Eyes” McGabe – which is something I’ve been looking forward to. And of course, the Brine part of this Chronicle starts to rear it’s aquatic head. See you next time!

The Interlude
The Interlude

Welcome back! Sorry about the lack of updates, we’ve been on slight hiatus around the summer. Last session was a bit of a strange one, it’s set in the time between Story One, and Story Two (about a month). And because it’s been so long I can’t remember enough details to actually write a full actual play this time. So I’ve added a quick round up, mostly as notes, but to let you know what the characters have been up to.

An aside: This session is a bit strange because of a little experiment. When I GM I tend to run scene after scene, following the logical progression of the PC’s actions. As you may have noticed this means most games are of a 24 variety, with little downtime. So… Hence this session. It was designed to explicitly scenes taken from about a month of downtime, highlighting the important scenes that either set up stuff form Story Two, or tie up some loose ends from Story One. I would be interested if you’ve done anything like this, most games I’ve been tend to do the whole 24 shebang.

Anyways! Back to the action, a week or so after the incident at the Church.

A week after the incident at the Church the pack catch up properly for the first time, with them wondering what they’re long term plans are now that they have some time to breath. The money from the hit men are split properly, and they all agree to put some aside to spruce up the Chase. Also on their list is how they’re going to manage their territory. Lorcan and Ethan agree that some sort of gang will probably be useful, if they control the goings on in Rathmines they dictate how bad it can be. Jack forcefully removes drug pushing from the table, he’s not going to deal after he’s been through. Blue turns up in conversation, but the pack isn’t sure how to proceed, he’s been gone a week now, but he is an Irraka.

Meanwhile Ethan thinks back a couple of days ago where he walked in Bodkin, Bodkin and Fitzgeralds – the reasonably priced lawyers. After a discussion, the lawyers and him hammer out the details and Ethan now needs to get a hold of the copy of Ethan’s father’s will he owned before his mother ‘amended’ it. With a sinking feel Ethan realises it’s where he left most of his pre-Change belongings. At the top of 22 Killeen Road.

Around the same time, a week or so after the Church incident, the pack are gathered in the basement shop Woad Warrior Tattoos, where Lorcan and Sinead are tattooing the pack with a pack tattoo.


As Ethan is tattooed, he remembers the immediate aftermath of the night at the Church, with Jackie. As Lorcan climbs out of the burning and collapsing church, he lays a heavily bleeding Jackie onto the group, the rain washing some of the blood from her face. Thinking quickly, the only way they’ll be able to save he is if Ethan can transfer some of her wounds from her, but she’ll need to be a pack-mate first.

John, picks her up and sprints for the bridge their totem resides at, with the rest of the pack following. They need to get there, but John needs to be fast as Jackie’s lifeblood ebbs away.

John gets there, just, and the dark stormy night obscures the sight of him bleed Jackie into the canal. The weight of the totemic bond drops onto them, and Ethan running into view wrenches some of Jackie’s wounds onto himself. Lorcan, able to use a new gift, grabs John’s shoulder and tells him a story about a wolf, and broken bones – and suddenly John has a great deal of medical know-how.

“Stabilise her!” Shouts Lorcan.

Aaaah, this Story Is True – my favourite facet.

Once stabilised, Lorcan picks her up, feeling guilty about his role in her night, and carries her to the nearby hospital, St James. At A&E, Jackie is quickly seen to and the nurse who first meets Lorcan later lets him know she should be okay, but will need a lengthy recovery. Lorcan also has to deal with a Detective Byrne.

He’s a Wolf-Blooded.

Time passes, two weeks after the night at the Church. Lorcan wants to craft a Fetish, after having known the rite for a month or so. He figures out a scary tattoo will do, in the shape of the Eye of Balor. Fortunately (or not) there are plenty of fear spirits around at the moment, thanks to the various massacres around. Ethan and him capture one, and tattoos the corpus of the thing into his hand.

A couple of days later, Ethan brings Lorcan and Jack to 22 Killeen Road – intent on getting his will back, and then declaring himself no longer legally dead!

As the trio get to the house, now under heavy watch by the Garda. The recent events have forced the city’s hand. The two ‘tragedies’, as the media put it, have made the Garda look ineffective. There is now a new initiative, therefore, one that is going to have new funding to specifically deal with this sort of crime. A new up coming Detective is heading it up. Detective Byrne.

It’s now Ethan realises that the will isn’t going to be in the house, as they stare at it. It’s going to be in evidence.

Ethan’s player swears now, if I remember correctly.

A couple of days later Jack, Ethan and Lorcan are left in the Chase alone, John is spending a lot of time with Fury (being ‘trained’), and now has a job as a bouncer at the Bleeding Horse. Sinead is out of town at the moment, and Jack is more withdrawn than usual. The withdrawal is also at an all time high, and has got worse since she left. Lorcan and Ethan now realise just how close the two have got.

Then they hear a crash upstairs from Jack’s room, and the two rush up, finding Jack shivering violently on the floor next to his chair. His knuckles are visibly growing hair, and his incisors are lengthing. Ethan yells at him, picking him up, that’s Jack’s got to regain control – or they’ll have to.

“Make me.” Snarls Jack, as his pupils dilate and his shifts into Dalu. Jack then attacks, and his two packmates fight to subdue the raging Wolf-Blooded into the ground, using their belts to hold his limbs. The three regain their breaths, sitting in corners of the room, Jack staring into the ground.

Several weeks later Ethan is enjoying their newly installed, patchwork shower. It’s good to be clean again, and the money they ‘earned’ paid its way for new clothes too!

His shower scene is interrupted by a small owl spirit. It tilts it head at him, and in a perfect facsimile of Old Bone’s voice.

“Don’t go near the water. If you go into the water, you’re dead.” And the spirit discorporates, leaving a startled Ethan.

And who says I don’t do fan service. Well, no-one. But at the end of an actual play I’m in a weird mood.

So that quickly turned into a vaguely proper actual play. Weird. Hope you enjoyed the delayed update! This week we actually get to play again! Expect another new session soon!

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Eight
Chapter Eight

Welcome back reader! The last session of the Story, it was a short session anyways because of the room we game in, and was effectively a big ol’ combat in grand werewolf tradition. So sit back and enjoy the pack colossally lose control of the situation.

The Bleeding Hunters stand outside the ruined church, where the Angel of the Immaculate Court sent them, joined by the eight members of Storm Lords. The sotrm hitting Dublin howls over head as the group begin to plan ahead.

Inside the ruined church ahead of them is the Cult of the Shining One, a spirit of faith brought into the world by Ethan’s old clique of occultists, a birth resulting in 22 Killeen Road. Additionally, the pack have good reason to believe that Jackie is in there, last seen running away from Ethan in the throes of a (receptive) Lunacy.

Winds Whisper, an old Storm Lord, asks the pack what the plan is. Ethan and Lorcan decide that the more experienced Storm Lords should kick the front door down, with the Storm Lord assassin Night’s Silence going around the back with Lorcan. The pack suggest that after they follow, one of their number will use All Doors Locked to keep anyone leaving the premises. Jack is told to wait outside, the pack not wanting to drive their wolf-blooded completely unstable within a week.

Winds Whisper agrees and goes to the Storm Lords to tell of the plan. Thunder’s Roar, a load brash man grins in the storm, and the Forsaken assemble at the church, with Roar kicing the front door down and the werewolves pile into the church, meanwhile Silence and Lorcan slip in through the back door, and Ethan locks the doors in the church.

As Ethan and John step into the church they see Roar backhand, in Dalu, a human in robes drawing a gun in a spray of blood, a crowd of about twenty to thirty humans and definitely not humans assembled, a heirophant figure behind an altar with a staff, and in front of the altar a woman tied to a chair – backlit by a sick red glow. Time seems to slow down as the group enter the fight.

Behind the church, Silence and Lorcan slip into what looks to be the Heirophant’s office, just as the sound of a massive fight begins in the main chamber beyond one of the doors. Silence, in Urhan form nods towards the other door in the office, and Lorcan begins to open the door, to whatever lies beyond.

In the main chamber, the Heirophant screams, “the Wolves at the Door have come, defend your god in the throes of Apotheosis!”. As the Storm Lords wade into the cult, focussing on the hulking forms of the Claimed John joins them, fire-axe flashing and Ethan lines up a shot with his shotgun at the Heirophant. He pulls the trigger.

And misses.

His wolf senses almost track the shot as it arcs across the church and hits Jackie, tied to the chair. The light, and figure projected behind her, screams as she hits the floor in a bundle and the air changes as something in the church begins to manifest.

Behind the ruckuss in the main chamber, Lorcan leaves Silence staring at the door to the fight almost read to pounce. In the room behind the door he just opened is a small shrine, covered in lit candles with the heady scent of oils and unguents heavy in the air. There is another scent, the scent of a werewolf.

The main chamber is host to a sickening pop as the Shining One enters the Flesh, it is an androgynous tall figure, with that pale red light now emanating from it, it wears a blackened crown of thorns that casts distressing shadows on the walls. There is the unmistakable scent of the Wound about it. It is a Wounded Spirit.

Narrowing his eyes, Ethan slips into Gauru form, it’s time for some payback.

Meanwhile behind the altar, the Heirophant’s eye widen at the sight of the werewolf in full Gauru form, with the cultists going wild, and with all the entrances blocked they can only fight. The Heirophant brings out a revolver and aims at Ethan. Behind him a figure throws off their robes, it is a woman in Dalu form, who starts to make a gesture with her claws and spits out in First Tongue, “Burn With Us”. She activates her essence and gestures to the candles in the room, which flare and jump to anything flammable.

The church starts to burn.

Lorcan opens the door to the main chamber, and sees the choas in front of him, he draws his sword in Dalu and charges the back of an unsuspecting Claimed, running it through.

Ethan walking through the cultists, when the Heirophant fires, and the acrid taste of silver is in the air as it punches through Ethan, burning as it goes. Already on the throes of full rage Ethan falls into Basu-Im, everything but the Heirophant falls out of focus and the wolf-monster in the church roars it’s challenge.

The Heirophant decides to leg it.

The Shining One whispers, “Time for my Host…” and reaches, and picks up Jackie with a sickening hand. Lorcan, pulling his sword out of the Claimed charges at the pair, he’s got no chance with the god, but if he can take Jackie out, well then no host.

Yeah, I was surprised too.

As he charges, the Fire Touched throws a globe down onto the floor, as it smashes, a scented petroleum smell joins the smells of smoke and blood. The resonance of the room changes, fire is now master here, and the flames already licking the sides of the room roar higher. Her job done, the Fire Touch runs for the back door – and finds it locked.

As his sword cuts Jackie down it slices into the corpus of the Shining One, and the thing recoils, thwarted again. John spies the combat ad shifts into Gauru and launches into the distracted back of the Shining One, tearing great chunks out with his claws.

Meanwhile Ethan catches the Heirophant, hamstringing his and bringing the prey closer to his maw. His growls, his form almost smiling in anger and bites the cultists neck out.

As the flames lick closer to the ceiling parts of the building fall out, and what remains of the cultists start throwing themselves out of the glass windows in terror into the night. The sound of Jack’s gun goes off in the distance.

The Storm Lords, seeing the state of the church start to leave, trying to get rid of as many cultists as possible, with Cliff joining the combat with the Shining One, trying to hold the god down. As he does, the Raging form of Ethan spits out the Heirophant and launches at the Shining One, and Lorcan joins his pack mates in Gauru.

As Cliff tries to hold the spirit down, the Shining One burns his hands terribly and the implacable warriors grunts in pain as his flesh whithers away. Whilst the spirit cackles in the pain it causes the pack tear at the spirit, bite and consume it’s corpus, weakening it. Around the group, the building collapses.

Realising the danger, Lorcan shifts down and picks up the bleeding form of Jacke, dangerously close the fires and runs out of the church into the storm.

The spirit breaks the grasp of Cliff, throwing him through the front doors of the church, out of the fight. But it is weakened, and John and Ethan tear the thing apart. It’s corpus bursts in wet light as it screams in pain and it is discorporated. John stumbles out of the church, and Ethan roars his triumph, before charging of into the storm – leaving the church to collapse in the storm.

And that is the end of Story One, with the ‘death’ of the Wounded Spirit, the Shining One. Jackie, she might live.

As the first story goes, it’s been a pleasure – I’ve had fun in the awesome that is the setting of Werewolf, and I think the players have too! We have a couple of weeks were players aren’t around, so next week will be the last game for a couple of weeks. The next session will be a a collection of scenes set in-between Story One and Two, What I Have Done.

_ I haven’t done a game session like tht before, so it’ll be an interesting experiment. As always I look forward to sharing it._

As musing for Story Two, the theme is consequences. You know all those loose ties and missing people from Story One? It’s time for the pack to face those. It’s also the time to start meeting other werewolves, and possibly joining Lodges, if they’re interested.

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Seven
Chapter Seven

Welcome back! We start this session at two time frames, following John to the Storm Lord Gathering, and Ethan and Lorcan hunt under the cover of the storm.

_This is the first real glance we see at the wider Uratha culture in Dublin, namely the Storm Lords. We also get to see a couple of spirit courts large and small in their territory. The player start spending some banked XP._

We join John who travels to the meeting point suggested by Ocean’s Fury, a crappy diner near the docks. Fury is a weathered and scarred woman with hard grey eyes and is dressed for the stormy weather outside. She sits in front of an stained, empty coffee mug. Fury was the Iminir that encouraged John into the Tribe – and despite John’s oft naivety she secretly thinks John could be a breath of fresh air in the Tribe.

The two catch up, with John explaining what he’s been up to – describing the spirit cult that the pack have come across, the fight with the guys with guns where he ran at them alone, the black mold the pack found in St Mary’s and the fight with the Claimed that seemed epic. Fury narrows her eyes at the mention of the Shining One, and suggests that they should bring it up at the Gathering. She seems impressed by John taking down the Claimed at St Mary’s, she explains that the ‘epic’ feel might have been the Eye of the Storm – sometimes when a Storm Lord faces a Claimed or a personal challenge Skolis-Ur is said to observe.

“It’s a great honour, you should be proud”, she smiles across the table.

She pauses, and explains how the Gathering tends to occur.

“So it’s general a meeting of all the Storm Lords, we tend to gather under the blanket of a storm if we can for obvious reasons. There’s meeting points that the People use, kinda neutral grounds call Tur. There’s one on the hill in Howth that our Tribe uses, come on – I’ll drive.”

Meanwhile, Ethan and Lorcan are standing in the Shadow of the middle of the main street of Rathmines – standing over the dissipating corpus of their hunt. Around them, in a break of the storm the spirits of the elements and the few active city spirit stare on at the predators, flushed with energy. Several spirits hang back, watching – notably a pair of spirits drawing up from the gutter to form heavy set humanoid shapes from the water and debris in the gutter. These spirit stink of brine, and they watch Ethan and Lorcan who drawn closer, curious.

Not sure who they are, Lorcan tells them to get lost out of their territory. At that the two spirits meld into one that looms over the two in Urshul form, it wetly chuckles and discorporates into the briney water than flows into guttering of the street.

Weirded out, the two decide on what’s next. Lorcan wants to learn that trick that Old Bones could do with a story and figures out he needs to find a spirit of Knowledge that could teach him. He decides on the local library and heads there. Ethan follows out of curiosity.

At the Rathmines Library, the two enter and as the doors close behind them deafening silence falls onto the pair as they walk in, shifting into Dalu and looking around the place, which is empty other than the odd brush of movement in the stacks, just out of sight. Lorcan walks in, trying to find the spirit in charge. Ethan goes to the nearest stack, and opens a book on it’s shelf, but the book is empty, blank page after blank page.

Lorcan, searching the stacks, notices that books quiver stack after stack, like a wave. Almost as if the shelves are the gills of a creatures. The two realise that the building is the spirit of the library. Lorcan whispers out, “hello?”

There is a brief pause, and steps ring out in the silence. As they descend and hit the ground floor all sound is sucked out of the room. A tall, slender figure of a man, with long spindly arms and legs and a small withered head who only has a gaping hole acting as some sort of mouth. Is jerkily walks up to Lorcan and extends a pale spiders finger at a sign above them, one that reads in first tongue, Me, or “Silence”.

“I just nee-” Lorcan starts, but the spirit stops him as it reaches out with it’s finger and lightly touches Lorcan’s forehead. Lorcan goes to finish his sentence, but finds he can’t.

“!” He gestures to Ethan, as the Silence Spirit retreats into the stacks and out of sight.

On the other side of town, and several hours ago, John gets out of Fury’s car and the two walk up the Tur, the rain is pouring off the stone steps, and thunder sounds in the distance.

At the top John finds about six individuals met around in a rough circle. They seem like an intimidating look, back lit by the lightning – some of them seem barely affected by the storm at all.

All of them seem to be enjoying the fury of the elements crashing against the hill.

Introductions are made, John is introduced by Fury to the others, a couple he recognises – namely Wind’s Whisper who he met earlier in the week. The others include; ‘Roar’, a fellow pack mate of Fury who is a loud blunt young guy clearing enjoying every lightning flash, Memory’s Howl, a young woman from the Last Line pack who has a hard, sad look to her eyes, a small woman dressed in blacks introduced at Night’s Silence, ‘Cliff’, a tower of a man completely unaffected by the Storm and another new guy of the Tribe who John doesn’t recognise from his initiation ceremony. John learns that the guy is a Garda, who turned under the Half Moon.

With informalities aside, Wind’s Whisper gathers all of them together, leading the call and answer in First Tongue, stating they have gathered under the storm, children of Winter Wolf. That the Gathering finds two new members. Fury notes that John has done a deed of Glory, recounting the time that John waded into a firestorm and took the attackers down on his own. The Tribe howl his deeds into the sky, and a flash of lightning hits the centre of the group’s circle, leaving a shining figure accompanied by a haunting musical tone. It turns to John and with elegant claws, carves shining blue light into his corpus, marking his Glory. These marks shine into the mark left by the Gift of Strength, and John feels faster. The group join in her in the celebration of the Storm, dancing and cutting themselves in the rain the beat of the lightning strikes.

The Tribe just did their special Tribal rite. Buffs ahoy!

She then asks the assembled if there is anything they feel the Storm Lords should know.

Cliff rumbles into speech, “I’ve noticed more A’raghna around the shores than usual. The Drowned Men seem to be wandering further in shore than I have ever seen, these strange things should be kept an eye on. Somehow water spirits are Claiming the dead bodies of the Drowned, this cannot bode well.” At this the Gathering murmurs in agreement, and John makes a mental note.

Waiting their turn, Fury finally gets a chance to speak, “John has found a spirit Cult, one that is using Claimed”. This gets the Tribe’s attention and Whisper asks John, “please explain.”

John explains, with hand gestures, the story of the Shining One, especially the ‘epic’ fight between him and the Claimed in St Mary’s. After he is finished describing the how the thing died, the Tribe stare back at him.

Whisper blinks, “if this Cult is as advanced enough to Claim we may have an issue to deal with. An auspicious hunt even, considering the chance of running into more of these dugithim . It sounds like this is a problem in your territory which the Tribe can help with. We can hunt tonight, as a Tribe if you allow it.”

John thinks and then agrees. The Tribe are led into the Siskur Dar by Whisper, who performs an exceptional rite, and the Tribe shift into Urhan and thunder down the hillside towards Rathmines in the distance.

Meanwhile, in the silence of the library Ethan and Lorcan figure out a plan, with Lorcan using the paper corpus of a muthra to write communications on to speak to Ethan. They search for books related to their interests, Lorcan finds a A Thousand and One Nights and Ethan a book on {{DURH}}. They take their empty books to the front desk, stamping them with a strnagely ornate stamp and take them up to returns, on the first floor. The two then hand the tomes back, but as they hand them though the hole in the wall, an edged stamp carved a mark into their hands, and the strnage patterns left behind settle into their skin, and the two unlock Knowledge.

Lorcan unlokcs the Gift of Knowledge, and Ethan unlocks a new Insight facet. I really enjoyed running this scene, fleshing out small spirit courts like these and coming up with strange (but weirdly logical) rules to abide by is bizarrely quite fun.

With this task done, Lorcan then decides to head to the Shadow of the Church of the Immaculate Mary. It’s by far the biggest Court in their territory, and Lorcan feels like it needs to be dealt with. As they get there, Lorcan still in complete silence, Ethan waits outside as back up and Lorcan enters the building, with the doors shutting ominously behind him.

As Ethan waits, giving Lorcan 15 minutes before he comes in, the lights of the fires found within the Church Court fade out, leaving the building in darkness, Several tense minutes later the lights burst into life again, and Lorcan walks out of the Church sightly tanned.

“What happened?” Ethan asks. Lorcan scribbles onto the weirdly subdued paper muthra that he’s found out where the Shining One is, the Spirit in charge of the Immaculate Court would be inclined to whomever took it out. A game plan sorted the two head out of the Hisil through their locus, which is filling up with Essence thanks to the storm’s bounty and back to the Chase. They pick up Jack, gear up and head out.

The three pack-mates head towards where Lorcan was told to go, a small, disused Chapel suspiciously and partially repaired. They are standing in the street coming ip with a plan when they notice an eerie fog from the way they just came from, and from the other side the fog looks like a spiritual manifestation. The three begin drawing their weapons when John, and 7 other Uratha appear out of the fog.

“Uh, I brought back up?” John says.

And another session done! I particularly enjoyed this one with the first big NPC scene of the game (which was sorta half-assed – at the time of actually writing this actual play I have a better handle on the Forsaken of Dublin) and the awesome little scene in the Library.

You may notice what happened in the Immaculate Court happens ‘off screen’. Partially to add mystery, as well as partially because the scene was amazingly underwritten by this session spcial guest star the paper spirit Lorcan start to use now he’s a mute. Basically it adds it’s own little messages onto the conversation. Que an amusing, and often silly conversation with quite a big spirit. So I’ve left it to be a little more dramatic. Apologies!

Anyways, as I write tomorrow is the next game, and a massive combat with lots of NPCs. We also get to find out the fate of poor ol’ Jackie. I look forward to keeping you updated!

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Six
Chapter Six

Welcome back, again! It was a short session this time, as well as only having two players (exam and holiday seasons are a DM’s bane). It’s a less high octane one than the previous two sessions, and see’s Lorcan, Ethan and Jack burn off some steam.


The Bleeding Hunters are assembled at the side of the River Liffey, in the city of Dublin in the late morning. The storm, so advertised in the news for the past, has finally hit in full fury. As they wonder at the newly healed wounds of Ethan and Lorcan, John gets a phone call – it’s from a Storm Lord Rahu who oversaw his induction – “”/characters/ocean-s-fury" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ocean’s Fury".

The Storm Lord Gathering is up, and John is expected to turn up. He gives his apologies and runs off into the storm, eastward. Lorcan and Ethan head back to the Chase, expecting some… Disbelief on Sinead’s part.

There is.

“But… But you were full of holes Lorcan.” Sinead is standing in the middle of the Chase, pointing a trembling finger at Lorcan.

Lorcan tries to calm her down, “Look I know this is impossible – but then again you just saw me not die. This is weird, and I wish I could explain but right now I can’t.”

Sinead stares him at him for a moment and breathes out. “Lorcan, this is getting messed up – but alright. I gotta go…. Fuck I don’t know.” And she leaves the Chase, into the storm.

There is a pause in the building, and Jack disappears downstairs, leaving Lorcan and Ethan to their plans.

Lorcan, having just realised how dangerous his new life is, he plans to draw up a will. First he’s going to need to find a lawyer however, and Lorcan heads out into the storm to find one. The thing is, the massive storm has closed up much of the streets, he finds a solicitors (Bodkin, Bodkin and Fitzgeralds) – which looks decent (from both sides of the Gauntlet), and Lorcan makes a note to return once the weather subsides.

He trudges back to Woad Warriors, and does his best to weather proof the basement, hoping that it won’t flood. As he finishes he decides to repair the damage to his tattoos, who didn’t survive their encounter with the Schmidt brothers.

Meanwhile for the hours that Lorcan is out Ethan collapses in a heap – exhausted by what he’s been through.

Lorcan, once finished, heads back to the Chase, and as he gets through the front door his heightened senses pick the sounds of gunshots over the roar of the storm, coming from the basement. Rushing down he finds Jack, and Ethan, shooting at the leftovers of the construction dumped in the basement. To the side of them is a table of guns, including the automatic and a couple of shotguns. Both Ethan and Jack are not the most amazing shots.

“What the hell are you doing?” Lorcan asks.

Jack explains, as Ethan moves over in the background to pick up, and handle, a shotgun.

“Well, we were pretty shit shots last night, this is to, you know. Practise?”

There’s a pause, and Lorcan shrugs – “why not?” The three of them spend some time practising, with Jack visibly improving.

After a while spent shooting at targets, the three take a break – it’s one hell of a way to spend a Friday night. Flushed with their team building exercise Lorcan and Ethan decide to hunt, they’re low on essence, and there should be plenty of spirits out in the storm. Jack leaves them to it, he’s not much help there and besides, he hasn’t tried out the automatic yet.

As the sound of a “oh fuck!” and the firing of the automatic leave them, Lorcan and Ethan head out into the early evening storm – towards the loci guarded by Forgotten Remembrance.

At the grove Remembrance is dormant, bunkering down as the storm of elemental spirits wash over the spiritscape of Dublin. Settling down, they enact the Rite of Siskur Dar, painting the image of a storm in blood from a claw wound onto Lorcan’s face and ‘painting’ the blood from Lorcan’s eyes, nose and ears – representing the Bleeding Horse.

As they chase around the area, their movements become more in time with the beat of the storm as the two drop further and further into the movements of the Hunt. As lightning strikes the two find themselves standing in the grove. Panting, with an urge to chase the storm.

In game terms they just hit an exceptional success, and are now hunting a storm spirit. Ethan now counts as Rank 3 thanks to the rite, has new swanky Moon Gift bonuses. He’s feeling pretty badass.

The enter Reach over, pressing though the Gauntlet (and seeing those shapes just out of reach) they step into the spirit storm. Ethan’s new Renown marks burn blue light into the grove, burning larger than Lorcans. Lorcan looks impressed.

Ethan has more Renown, he also counts as one higher spirit rank at the moment. Like I said, bad ass.

The two walk out onto the street filled with storm spirits swirling around, and spy a large spirit, a mass of rain, wind and debris the spirit’s corpus has dragged up.

“That one,” says Ethan and the hunt is one.

The spirit is quick, and nearly outruns the pair – but Lorcan, in Urshul brings the prey down and tears out a large chunk of the spirits wet, debris ridden corpus. The spirit screeches, ringing Lorcan’s ears as Ethan chases up behind them. As Ethan arrives the spirit, still struggling, blasts Lorcan with sharp debris but only glances him. As Ethan bounds in in Urshul he rakes the large spirit with his claws – claws which tear through the corpus as Ethan’s rank outweighs the storm spirits’.

At this, the spirit capitulates and the two consume the ritually agreed essence and the Hunt is complete.

And that’s it! We leave the two totally succeeding at about everything in that hunt. Thanks to various conditions they hit exceptional successes on three successes, and every time they do they gain a beat…

Aaaaaand they got a load of essence. I have a feeling that the Siskur Dar might become more often! Anyways, now I’m back to being up to date with game write ups. See you next time, and thanks for reading.

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Five
Chapter Five

Welcome back, this session is the product of a minor derail. Specifically Lorcan, who is now full (apart from a couple of boxes) of aggravated damage. He is full of quite big holes

So! Ethan has to find some way to save him and John is puzzling over the growth he’s found in the basement of St Mary’s Catholic School.

Lorcan is sitting in the Chase, drifting in and out of consciousness. At the call of Jack Sinead has arrived, eyes widening at the sight of Lorcan.

“Jesus”, she gasps seeing Lorcan’s state.

“Did you bring the stuff?” Jack asks.

“Yeah,” and Sinead brings out a small collection of first aid kits, bandages and anti-septic items mostly, and painkillers. As she checks Lorcan’s wounds she see something she can’t believe, yes Lorcan is full of holes but isn’t bleeding, and the skin around each wound is reddish and pink – almost as if Lorcan’s already healing.

“I’m gonna need a drinking,” shaken, she sighs and goes out to get something strong, and cheap.

Meanwhile, in the school of St Mary John is reading through the notes he has found in the room with the fungus, out in the school classrooms on account of the basement being flooded with the damned thing’s spores. Speaking of which, the black stuff covering John itches like hell – he’s finding it hard to concentrate with it just lightly touching the skin and still burning it.

As he reads he finds the notes are from a guy called ‘Toby’, is (as it seems) a modern day dodgy alchemist, convinced that this stuff could make some kind of drug that could breach the Barrier Between. Reading between the lines, filling the gaps with his Uratha knowledge and remembering what he saw in the basement – John surmises that the growth downstairs is some sort of Host, interacting with the Gauntlet somehow.

But this is the least of his problem now, as there are fresh voices coming from downstairs in the entrance hall. He moves to the stairs above.

Ethan starts to walk, in the Hisil, to the Gardens behind the Castle. He is beset by the storm brewing, and visibility in the dark of the night is an all time low. As he trudges towards the centre of the city he comes across the outline of a wolf sitting calmly in the middle of the street bombarded by elemental spirits as they thunder through the city’s Shadow. This is a big spirit found in the Court of Death Wolf, Spectral Wolf.

It tilts it’s head at Ethan, “where do we travel tonight, little Bone Shadow, is such a hurry?”

Sinead returns to the Chase, with cheap whiskey is tow and brings out three glasses. Lorcan, Jack and Sinead proceed to get drunk quite quickly. As Lorcan passes out, slipping into oblivion he begins to Dream.

At St Mary’s three figures enter, two quickly remove their hoods, soaked with rain, and the other jerkily follows them, keeping it’s hooded cloak up. One of the hoodless, an elder man, turns to the other, a youngish woman, “we collect the shipment, for the Shining One”.

“For the Shining One”, the woman murmers.

The man turns back to the hooded figure, “watch our backs.”

John waits for the the two to descend into the basement and jumps, in Urshul, onto the hooded figure from 20 meters up.

Ethan walks to the Castle, Spectral Wolf in tow, explaining what he intends to do. Spectral Wolf stares at him, as they reach the ephemeral battlements of the long since faded castle that whilst gone in the flesh, is still remembered in the Shadow. “You know, no Uratha has done this successfully…”

Lorcan dreams. He dreams of a chapel, walking into it. The chapel is thronged with masses of people dressed in robes, chanting a name again and again.


He continues to walk down the aisle, to it’s inexorable finish, whilst the crowd chant that name at him. Lorcan reaches the end, at the altar a man in ornate robes turns, wielding a staff, leading the chant. The man stabs Lorcan, slowly through the chest with the staff and Lorcan falls to the ground, as he falls he watches a woman off to the side of the chapel, smiling a wolf’s smile and watching Lorcan fall. The woman is on fire.

Lorcan wakes with the start, with Jack and Sinead still sleeping in the room. What the hell?

John, meanwhile, lands on the creature in the robes, tearing into it with his jaws and knocking the thing down. The creature, for it is no man, hisses and rakes John with strange syringe claws – screaming as it’s mouth distends and tries to fight off the large wolf monster on it. But it’s struggles are in vain and John quickly kills it. As it bleeds out John, starving for Essence, greedily consumes the corpus of the Claimed regaining some fuel.

As he wolfs down the flesh the two others come from the basement, and see a gigantic wolf consuming their guard. The two panic, in the throes of lunacy, and run for the door to get to their car outside.

John is slowed down from finishing his ‘meal’, and begins to give chase, but the two are already in the car, he gives chase out into the street, changing into Urhan. But what with the weather, and the head start he loses the car in the streets. Sighing, and worried about the strange spores he has on his skin, John elects to sleep in the groundskeeper’s hut on the ground of St Mary.

Ethan reaches the park, which long ago contained (according to legend) the tidal pool of the Liffey tributary, the River Poddle. The park is circular and at the back a massive wall and gatehouse looms out of the dark and rain. in the centre of the park, is a circle of grass, and on it rest four enormous snakes made of cobblestone with jewels for eyes. They slow stir from the grass, writhing. As Ethan goes to step onto the grass the four rear, hissing suddenly and about to lash out at Ethan, and Ethan jumps back. The snakes are also part of the ground.

Ethan sits down and ponders, what do snakes represent? After a while a thought crosses his mind, snakes can represent healing – but walking the sinuous path that the four snakes make in the gloomy park may lead to where he wants to go.

Slowly, and gingerly Ethan goes to step onto the head of the nearest snake.

As he touches the head, the snake stops moving, allowing Ethan to walk onto the snake as it sinks into the ground, becoming a path in the grass. He breathes out slowly and centres himself, and walks the path – not looking but maintaining his calm centred feeling. After an indeterminable amount of time passes Ethan looks up and finds himself at a crossroads, with the other three snakes laid over each other – Ethan looks at the patterns and divines the right path, and steps onto the next snake’s body and continues down the path. As he continues he notices that the park as receded into the background, and there seems to be a ceiling, just out of sight. Soon he comes to the end of the snake he’s walking on, and is faced with the three other snakes’ heads. Carefully judging each of the snakes manner he steps on the one that looks ‘right’ and finds himself in a cave’s tunnel and walks into the Court of the Liffey.

The Court is an underground pool, thronged with strange spirits and overlooked by an empty throne carved into the glistening rock. There is a faint ‘plink’ ‘plink’ as water drops from the ceiling.

As he enters, a figure is drawn from the pool, and the Spirit of the Liffey returns to it’s Court.

“What brings you to my Court, little wolf?” The elder spirit asks Ethan, who explains he seeks the power to heal his pack-mate.

“And why would I do such a thing? I have no need for this, I would want something in return wolfling…” Ethan, recognising the ancient tradition of gathra, replies he would be indebted for a great boon for the spirit.

There is a pause in the Court, and the Ensah in the middle smiles, “I accept your gathra.”

Ethan thinks of the quickest way to do this, he needs to get the healing quickly for Lorcan’s sake. He reasons that trying to get a read of the Spirit in front of him might help, and talks to the Liffey, trying to get a measure of it – but fails. Any spirit he has interacted with before has been totally outclassed by this Ensah. Trying a different tactic he tries to Read the Spirit, and learns a goal of the spirit, to extend her purview and territory – using this knowledge he implies that a strong pack could remove some rivals for the Liffey, and he gets a feeling this brings the Ensah onto his side.

With this theme in mind, Ethan starts to express the skill of his pack, and Lorcan, and the possibility that the Bleeding Hunters could remove some of the Drowned that infest the waters around Dublin.

He continues extolling the virtues of Lorcan and describes Lorcan’s ability to tell a good yarn – and this could be helpful for the Liffey as Lorcan could sing her praises. This seems to hit the spot as Ethan, now swaying from exhaustion and his wounds, finishes his point to the Court.

“Very well, wolfman. Bring you pack to my waters in the next day and you shall find your wounds removed. Bear in mind our deal…”

And with that, Ethan removes himself from the Court, walking into the caves tunnel, and walking out into the storm laden park. Spectral Wolf meets him, “impressive Bone Shadow. We shall meet again.” With that comment Spectral Wolf disappears into the storm, his spectral outline easily blending in with the storm. Ethan sighs, and heads back.

As he arrives at the Chase, in the Friday morning. He grabs Lorcan, brushing aside Sinead’s questions. Lorcan apologises, explaining it’s better that she didn’t ask too many details. Defeated, Sinead backs down, “fine – but I’ll wait here for when it goes wrong”.

The pack, with John meeting them outside head to the Liffey in the mid-morning. The streets are deserted, as the full force of the storm hits Dublin. So they are unaccosted as they climb down the steps into the fast and swollen river Liffey. As Ethan and Lorcan drop into the river, and their open wounds are healed.

Climbing up the steps on the side of the river’s walls, they pack reconvene at the river’s side – wondering in awe at unblemished skin where Lorcan’s wounds were a moment ago.

And there we have it. We had an awesome scene in the Court that took up most of the game. Though Ethan was the only PC there, all the others were pitching in and it was genuine fun for the party to come up with different ways from them to break down the doors of the Liffey. Note – social manoeuvring rules are really useful.

One important thing to note, Ethan is now heavily indebted (Pay Each Spirit In Kind) to the Liffey. How this will manifest itself? Who knows, but will become a major plot point in the Chronicle.

Anyways, hope you’ve enjoyed! See you next time.

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Four
Chapter Four

Welcome back for the third time now! By now the players are probably about halfway through (or near to) what I planned for Story One. The new pack start to patrol their territory and start to deal with the more pressing problems. The most immediate is the subject of Black Veins.

Anyway. We drop straight back to where we left off…

Leaving Fred in the warehouse with the bloody pipe and the near-dead body the pack head out to the address of the guys that ambushed them in the warehouse. Lorcan, having discarded his improvised weapon drops off at the chase, and picks up his proper weapon, the longsword.

They trudge up to the address, down a lane of terrace houses near the middle of their territory. Through the gloom of the storm, and the lack of decent street lamps they eventually find the house, which looks like a shitty converted yard house. There are lights on within, and the pack sneak around the back, easily covered by the storm, and spy inside. The back of the house opens onto a shared yard, probably the original feature of the group of houses. Within the house there are two guys watching tv in a sparsely furnished room. The ‘house’ looks like a living room/kitchen and probably a bedroom and bathroom. What stands out is the small pile of duffle-bags and guns that sit on the table.

With a plan forming the four head back, muttering it would be easier if Blue was here and once this is done they should really find out where he’s gone. This aside, the four prepare themselves, Ethan goes to the door, whilst John and Lorcan hide to the sides and Jack slinks into a nearby alley to watch the pack’s back.

Ethan knocks on the door, and the tv inside turns off and the door opens a crack, with the door chain preventing it opening further. A suspicious face looks out.

“Yeah, what do you want?”

“Uh, you got some of that Back Vein stuff, yeah?” Asks Ethan in his best addict act.

“No. You got the wrong place man”, and the door slams shut.

Plan B is enacted and Lorcan swings around and tries to boot in the door, with Ethan joining in. They can hear the back door slam open out back, John shifts into Urhan form and gives chase, bounding after the two men who are running to a car on the other side of the yard, one of them fumbling with keys.

The thing is, chasing down the prey is what this form excels in and John easily bounds the length of the yard and the alley to the car the two men have reached, slamming into the one with the keys into the car and knocking him cold. The other, on the opposite side sees this wolf shape bound out of the darkness of the storm onto his buddy and immediately loses it, running away as far as he can. John bounds after him, grinning much like a wolf does.

Just to let you know, John’s player got 13 successes on one of his chase rolls. A combination of treating your speed as a dice pool and having the bonus for being one’s territory helped greatly here.

Lorcan and Ethan meanwhile realise they can just use their totemic gift and unlock the door in front of them, with Lorcan running into the night after the two and Ethan walking into the house and search about, with Jack closing the front door after him.

Lorcan quickly runs across the yard and alley to the car, finding one of the men from the house sprawled unconscious. He looks down the road and spies the other on the floor pinned by John in wolf form with the guy screaming “get your dog off me man!”

Lorcan obliges, grinning whilst asking John to ‘sit’. John just narrows his wolf eyes. He then points his sword at the men and gestures back to the house, picking up the other man as they head back.

Ethan, in his search of the place has found no Black Veins, but he has found a lot of guns, and about 10 grand in various duffle-bags. Eyes gleaming, he picks up a shotgun, offering the table to Jack.

“Nah, I’m good with this Ethan,” he says warily, waving his pistol.

The two outside return with an unconscious runner and the other, who they forcefully shove into a chair.

“Tell us what where is the Black Veins, or we start hurting you” Lorcan growls, point his sword at him with Ethan cocking the shotgun, Jack aiming the pistol and John in the corner staring intently.

The man pauses, and breaks.

“Holy shit man, you think that I’m involved in that? I’m just a guy who whacks people! I’m not and fucking drug dealer!”

This pauses the pack, “So why the hell were your men at the drug meet?” Ethan asks.

“We got paid to knock off some guy called Jack, he’s been asking questions…”

The pack look at Jack, who’s gun-line is now wavering. Jack takes a step back away from the scene, glaring at the hitman.

“That’s Jack.” Lorcan points out.

“Fuck man. Sorry, it’s nothing personal. It’s just a job.” The man recoils in his chair.

“Who paid you, who’s dealing in Black Veins”, Lorcan asks – still pointing his sword.

“I can’t tell you that, they’ll kil-.” He sighs, “they’re called the Schmidt brothers, they’re Euro’s who do anything in the Black Market. They’re hold up at St Mary’s School. They’re the source.” He pauses, looking at the pack, “so… Can I leave?”

The pack stare at him, then nod. Lorcan stares at him as he picks up his buddy, “get the fuck out of our territory. If we see you again…”

“Hey man, I’m getting out of this city. It’s crazy.” And with that the guy leaves carrying his compatriot.

In the corner, Jack breathes out, shaking slightly. John, as a result of taking down these mortals feels more cut off from the spirit.

Jack passed a breaking point, he’s now Guilty (as a result of being complicit in multiple murders and now intimidation, yay! The other all passed their Harmony checks, apart from John who is now Harmony *.

Left in the room the four ponder their next move, St Mary’s is an old (and abandoned) school dating from the 19th Century. It’s been closed since the 80’s, and is on the eastern border of their territory.

They reason that there’s no time like the present and move to the school, and find themselves outside the tall gates, Ethan getting flashbacks to the chain fence outside the chase from Monday. The pack climb the fence (helping Ethan along), leaving Jack on look out. Partly so they can have a look out, partly so that Jack can take a break,

Walking into the grounds of the old school, the three decide to check out the outside before inside. Walk around the school, which has a main block capped with a clock-tower, and two wings that encompass the main school yard. Off to the side is an old barn/stable/yard, that now has an expensive 4×4 sitting in it. Lorcan, before they leave the barn, puts hit sword through the tires. That should stop any escape plans.

Moving at the back of the building, they find an old grounds keepers hut, full of old tools. The group mentally bookmark the place and grab two battered old blinking torches from the wall. They’re lucky and the two work.

Having scouted the place, they head inside and Ethan places his hand onto the main door, concentrates and locks all the entrances and exits. The place is dead as the grave, and there is a strange dusty acrid smell in the air. The group start to look around, with Ethan leading, and investigate for any sign of people. But the group get lost quickly and Ethan leads them into the old classrooms, going inside the same one multiple times. Eventually Ethan loses patience, and throws the blinking and faulty torch against the wall – smashing it to bits.

The sound echoes around the school.

The pack, reason that they might as well follow their noses, and smell out the source of that strange smell. Following it, they find themselves in the janitor’s office looking at some stairs that lead down, adorned with pipes.

John, in wolf form elects to sneak down and scout out what’s down there. As he sneaks down, something down there notices and takes cover. John walks down the corridor, and is taken by surprise by the man hiding around the corner, who shoots with his shotgun and catches John straight in the face and blows a chunk out of it.

Five lethal. Ouch. That’s only the start.

Starting at the sound of the gun Lorcan and Ethan move towards the stairs whilst John pounces at the mountain of the first man, Dara. Meanwhile Dara’s muscled twin appears from the doorway with another shotgun. Lorcan runs into brawl, blade flashing, and Ethan covers them shooting at the new guy with Ethan’s new shotgun (whose spread of shot makes up for Ethan’s lack of skill with guns.

As the sound of the shots ring the corridor there’s a call out in a foreign accent.

“Everyone just calm down, perhaps we can come to an arrangment”, and two men walk into view from the room that Dara and his twin Michael just walked out of. They are hard looking men, blond one with short hair and one with longer hair. They both have a heavy handgun.

There is a brief ceasefire as everyone starts to lower their weapons. Everyone but Lorcan who uses the lull to swipe at Michael, but fumbles it completely leaving him open to the two Germans and Dara and Michael’s shooting fusillade and their attack blow Lorcan off his feet, leaving him in a bleeding, ventilated mess on the floor.

At this point in time Lorcan, in Dalu, is full (bar two) of aggravated damage. Ouch.

The corridor is so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Klaus Schmidt slowly, puts his weapon down, “now if we all lose it we all die. I can help your friend if you wish, if you let us go. We’re done with this shitty crazy city. This shit is not worth it.”

The pack agree, with no first aid skill between them, and Klaus quickly stems the bleeding of Lorcan. The two groups slowly, and tensely depart with Ethan, as soon as they’re clear from the building, taking some of Lorcan’s grievous wounds onto his frame.

Ethan takes Lorcan to the gate where he meets with Jack they head to the Chase to find out some way to help the groaning Lorcan.

Meanwhile John waits outside, wounds knitting. He spies five men go out of the school, on the other side of the Gauntlet he sees their bodies outlined in a strange black dust. They head out to the barn, where he can hear a “scheisse!” on the wind. Another hour passes and eventually the 4×4 trundles out of the grounds and into the night.

John heads inside and downstairs to check out the strange scent.

Back at the Chase, Ethan lets Lorcan down onto the ground gingerly, and gets Jack to look after him whilst Ethan goes out to find the pack totem – maybe the Bleeding Horse knows a spirit who can help with the healing. At the bridge where the totem resides he finds the boundary spirit.

Ethan asks the spirit if there are any spirits that could provide healing. His totem pauses, and tells him "THE RIVERS ARE COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE. THE ELDEST OF THOSE SPIRITS MAY HELP YOU.

Ethan sits down and thinks for a while. He then heads to the supposed entrance of the spirit of the Liffey’s Court.

Lorcan is sitting, uncomfortably, in the Chase talking to Jack. The subject of Jack’s family comes up, Lorcan using his wounds as an excuse to poke. Jack explains, “it was my father’s side. They fucking weird man, bad and… Strange. The whole thing makes a lotta sense with you guys existing to be honest. O’Flaherty is not my family’s name, it’s MacAirgead.”

At that name Lorcan has a shiver, that name roughly translates as “Scions of Silver” – which sounds awfully like the name of an Ivory Claw clan-name.

There’s an awkward conversation between them.

“Shit” says Jack.

Meanwhile, John goes downstairs and finds a lab where the other men had come out of. There are several tables of chemical apparatus, all from something growing on the basement walls. It looks like a massive fungus, all black, slimy and furry. It seems superimposed on the world, and quivers every time John gets nearer to it. Looking onto the other side, it looks exactly the same – almost as if the growth exists on both sides of the Gauntlet.

John thinks, and decides on the only course of action, shifting into Garou and clawing chunks out of the wall. As he touches the growth it explodes in acrid black spores which John immediately breathes in, and the stuff burns the inside of his lungs. John switches down, as he stumbles out of the room and retches up black mucosal stuff. He looks back at the room.

What is this stuff?

And that’s where we leave it for tonight. This session was the start of a derail that will continue next week. But it’s a good derail, Ethan should be able to feel like a a bad ass next week!

Today we saw a combat with the group facing some NPCs actually trained for combat. No one walked away from the basement fight without some hefty wounds. Nasty, but fun stuff. See you next week!

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Three
Chapter Three

Welcome back reader! The third session of the game, but sadly we’ve lost one player. What’ll happen to Blue? Who knows.

So, before the newly minted pack have bounded their territory, they have a new totem, they have various problems involving mortals, and there’s a Wound in their territory. We join the action in the early morning of Wednesday.

The Bleeding Hunters are moving back after dealing with the Urged drug user. Lorcan, John and Blue move off to get some rest, whilst Ethan has an idea. The Chase has been looking rather drab and empty, what it needs is some furniture. So he goes out into the night and starts scrounging around the territory for discarded (or forgotten) items that might be useful. As he finds them he brings back chairs, once he finds a table, he also comes across another scrounger who’s found what he wants and points him to a ‘good spot’. Once there he finds the place picked clean. Moving back through the streets as light appears on the horizon he notices the gleam of metal and he finds a gas powered stove, battered but functional. Pleased with himself, Ethan moves back to the newly furnished Chase and falls asleep.

In the morning, whilst Ethan slumbers Lorcan goes to Woad Warriors and finds a young man outside, it is Warren – the not-so mysterious financial benefactor of Woad Warriors. Warren is a trust-fund baby, he’s not so bad, but his idea of a normal life is not exactly normal. He apologises genially, but he’s forgotten his key again, but he has brought a morning coffee! Lorcan let’s him in and catches up with Warren, explaining his absence in the form of “met some people”. Warren doesn’t pry, but he does notice that the paperwork has been done. That never happens (Warren weirdly likes paperwork), and Lorcan explains that him an Sinead have had…. A disagreement. Warren sighs, “fair enough mate”. Lorcan spends the rest of the morning doing the same tattoo he normally does on yet another student. As Warren finishes his coffee and wanders off saying goodbye.

Meanwhile John is looking for a job. His list of applicable skills (as he sees them) is being able to beat the crap out of people. The natural career progression is therefore bouncer. He spends a couple for hours trawling through the internet in a cafe (spending fast disappearing cash), and eventually finds a job advert. Coincidentally it is at the Bleeding Horse pub. John checks himself out and makes himself look slightly presentable and walks over, and finds a pretty empty bar, with the owner working behind, cleaning a glass as publican are always tend to be doing. John introduces himself and the guy, David, looks him up and down and is impressed by what he sees.

Slight tangent. John is Brawl five. This means that statistically he probably outranks any mortal practitioner of brawl within Dublin. He might look like a student (because he was) but he holds himself instinctively like a master brawler. This is one of the advantages being mystically tied to the war facet of a God I suppose.

David says, “seeing as you have no experience in this, come over on Saturday for a trial. If you’re good, you’ll have a job.”

John, also pleased with himself walks back to the Chase.

Ethan wakes up in the early afternoon, gets up and meets Jack as he comes back to the building. Jack explains that he’s had a bit of luck, he has a name for a dealer actually dealing with Black Veins. ‘Fred’, Jack knows of him, and has actually dealt with him a couple of times. A few minutes later John and Lorcan arrive from their various activities and the pack catches up.

Once caught up they discuss their next moves, the two main things on that list are; Jackie and these Black Veins. Jackie’s phone keeps on bouncing back as if it’s turned off. Whilst they discuss the pack are starting to notice Jack, who is twitchy, with physical tics and a short attention span. It’s obvious these are withdrawal symptoms.

The pack decide that they need to at least try to find Jackie, and Lorcan and John go to Jackie’s address (Ethan may be too much of a trigger at the moment), leaving Ethan to talk to Jack. Jack knows what is happening, and acts defensive. Secretly, Jack is impressed though – it’s been a long time since anyone’s actually asked him questions. Ethan does also find out how long he’s been using; ten years. Ethan teaches Jack how to meditate, and centres himself.

Whilst Ethan talks to Jack, Lorcan and John move to a small block of flats near the centre of Rathmines. Outside, they buzz the intercom and talk to one of Jackie’s flatmates who haven’t seen her for a couple of days. The two sigh and thank her. Another dead end.

Not wanting this to be a complete waste of time, Lorcan leaves an advertisement for Woad Warriors through the letterbox. Then the two leave for the Chase.

Meanwhile back at the Chase there is a knock at the door. Ethan checks the gaps inbtween the boards over the window above and sees the knocker is Bones, he’s back. Letting him in Ethan notices that the right hand side of the elder Uratha is stiff, reaching all the way to his face where the right hand side is horribly scarred, still pink and healing. Ethan decides not to pry to much and leads him upstairs.

Bones enters upstairs, and upon seeing Jack gets up in the man’s face and sniffs deeply. He looks at Jack for a time then grunts and gingerly places his limping self into the sofa. He notices out-loud that the pack have a Wolf-Blooded and asks whether Jack is from a family or is ‘spontaneous’. At this point the other two arrive and greet Bones, also noticing his battered state.

Bones explains that most Wolf-Blooded are from families, “it runs in the blood” he notices wryly. He asks the Uratha whether Jack is from a family, to which they don’t know and ask Jack. He replies he has no idea, though Lorcan gets the feeling he’s not telling the whole truth. Bones just narrows his eyes at Jack’s claim.

Bones also asks how the group is getting on, and the pack look at each other and explain the the house. Bones, realising just how little they know, quickly explains the basics of a Wound, noting that 22 Killeen Road is just starting. Lorcan raises an eyebrow and turns to Ethan.

“I thought you said it looks like hell.”

Bones tells them it will need to be dealt with, and it’s not simply a case of walking in there and beating everything taint up. He asks the pack how they think they would have to deal with the Wound, but they have no idea. He specifically calls out Ethan, who should be the one that deals with this, considering he’s the Itheaur of the pack (and the cause of the Wound in the first place). But Ethan doesn’t know how he would do it.

This not knowing is also OC as well as IC, so know Bones shifts gears.

Bones sighs and then explains that both sides of the Gauntlet are linked, and events will effect the other side which then feeds back the other other side. He tells them that they have got to solve the spirit side, as well as the material side and the source of the tainted essence. Basically, they have to put the figurative ghost of that tragedy to rest. If they find themselves in over their heads, then he suggests they look up a group of werewolves called The Lodge of the Empty Bowl.

The group thank Bones for his help, and politely raise the point of Bones’ wounds. He tells them that the waters around Dublin are dangerous, and getting more-so nowadays.

“This,” he gestures to his right had side, “is courtesy of the ”/wikis/the-drowned" class=“wiki-page-link”> The Drowned." Bones tells them the story of the Drowned, finishing the tale with “and this story is true”, looking at Lorcan. Lorcan instantly feels some strange effect on him, almost as if his knowledge of the strange and supernatural has been added to by someone, as if the tale he heard taught him something.

Bones looks at him and smiles.

Lorcan has 5 occult now thanks to This Story is True.

After this, Bones makes his excuses and leaves, but before doing so warns them, “more deadly things than the Drowned lurk in the waters”.

With that the group get rid to meet Fred, as they leave they see Jack getting his pistol. Lorcan goes to the basement, pausing at the remains of the growth he had caused, and picks up a length of metal to use as a makeshift weapon. The weather outside is now truly atrocious, the wind is howling and ice cold water is sprayed at an almost horizontal level, and this is just Friday’s storm starting.

The pack trudge to the largely abandoned industrial estate where Jack has organised a meet up, to a warehouse, with dim lights shining out of the grubby windows. As they enter through the main sliding doors at the front they are presented with a dimly lit wide open space with what look to be pre-fab offices at the back. Towards the back is a flickering light illuminating a man waiting besides a metal table with a bag on it.

John closes the door behind the pack, and whilst doing so channels some essence, using All Doors Closed, sensing the front, back and office doors in the building and locking everything other than the front doors. The rest of the group move up to Fred, with Ethan peeling away to check out the offices behind Fred.

The pack approach Fred, smelling his nerves on the air. But there’s something else, other bodies coming from the offices.

And the smell of gunmetal.

“Uh Jack, you didn’t mention there was gonna be others?” Fred says, eyeing the rest of the pack nervously. He looks at Ethan eyeing the door, “you know, there’s nothing back there man”.

The pack pauses, and Ethan focusses on the door.

There’s a voice behind door, “shit, we’re blown – fuck ’em”, and the door handle rattles as someone tries the door and finds themselves locked in. There’s a blast as the lock explodes into fragments and door splinters and the rest of the door buckles under multiple gunshots, a few of the blind shots manage to graze Ethan standing near to the door.

The pack instantly react as the door’s remnant swing open; Lorcan flips the table for cover, Ethan runs for the side of the door getting out of the way, and John charges (whilst shifting into Dalu) straight into the doorway, gut-punching a man with a shotgun and finding himself in a room with six men with guns.

Lorcan grabs a stunned Fred and shoves him behind the desk, shouting at Jack to cover Fred, and vaults towards the door, shifting into Dalu. Ethan meanwhile also runs to the room with John laying into the shot-gun man and knocking the man to the ground. All the while the men shoot and shoot into John, but the man keeps ducking out of the way, only getting grazed. But the numbers are telling, and soon John and Ethan are bleeding heavily.

Fred looks at Jack, “you used to be cool man.”

Fully shapeshifted, Lorcan brings out his metal club and lays into the first man he sees. He catches the guy completely off-guard and there’s a spray of blood and teeth as he breaks the man’s jaw.

As the guy collapses seemingly dead one of the would-be-ambushers shouts in rage and pulls the trigger down of his automatic and sprays the room at Lorcan, John and Ethan. The three are hit from the hail of bullets, and Ethan is grievously wounded as the bullets cut into existing wounds.

The wounds unlock something angry in Ethan and a hot red rage overwhelms him for the first time since the first change, Ethan explodes into a seven foot tall wolf-monster.

“W-what was that?” Fred asks.

The room pauses as Ethan looms over the group. Then there’s death.

“Hey, there’s a guy alive here”, Lorcan pulls out the guy he nearly brained from under the pile of corpses. The man is breathing shallowly and barely has a pulse, he seems to be in some sort of coma.

As the three leave the room, Lorcan activates Black Earth, Red Hunger and plant life appears from cracks in the concrete floor, reaching for the pile of corpses.

Fred is sitting behind the table with Jack holding a gun to him, Jack who is now looking at the three walking out the room covered in blood, and other things. Jack turns white.

Lorcan dumps the barely alive man in front of Fred as the three walk around into his eyeline. Fred looks at the near-corpse and to the guys in front of him. The pack then ask nicely where those men came from. Fred, nearly in terrified tears, gives them an address.

Lorcan tells him to phone for an ambulance for the man on the floor.

Ethan then tells him to stop dealing on “the bleeding hunters’ turf”.

Then the four walk away leaving a mess of a man into the storm.

So, a relatively short session in game. And my tentative experiments to see how hard these guys continue. Note to self, numbers don’t help.

In a couple of session we should be seeing the wider werewolf population in Dublin, which’ll be fun. Now they group seems settled it’s now time to start adding to the cast methinks.

See you next time!

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Two

Welcome back! The session kicks off straight after the last one. This session is where I start getting back into the hang of DMing after a drought. It’s been ages since I’ve ran scenes in the Shadow, and I’m relatively pleased with how I ran it. I gotta say, the social manoeuvring mechanics are just perfect for major spirit interactions.

Anyways, back to the action!

The group are discussing their next steps, which the Uratha quickly decide on getting a totem. Jack looks quizzical and asks, “What’s a totem?”

Blue replies, “It’s a spirit that’s bonded to a group of werewolves, and mortals, it’s how you make a pack.”

Lorcan adds, “But there’s a cost, you take on a Ban. Something you can’t do that is related to the spirit’s nature.”

John quickly explains the basics, and also covers the basics of the spirit realm, remembering the lessons drilled into him by the Residents; and relaying this to the rest of the pack impressively.

Thinking he hears a noise outside, Blue goes to the window, and sees a figure standing outside the Chase. He quickly exits the building and loops around the figure, waiting in ambush.

John’s player got an exceptional success here, so now the pack have 9-again on their first spirit roll.

Ethan muses that they should probably think about what they want to achieve as a pack as well, starting a discussion between them that leads to the conclusion that they want to defend this area, it’s home to Lorcan and Jack – and is a new place for Ethan and John. Inspired by this, the group get up to move and find a totem, and a locus as well, but find Blue gone.

Blue does this a lot, and often without the group noticing. This session tensions start to flare.

At this point, Lorcan’s phone rings, the id is Sinead.

“Soooo, I found a piece of paper at work, with this address on and a time tonight. I’m outside this place, and I hear gunshots. Lorcan, I’m standing here deciding whether I should call the police, what they hell are you doing?”

Lorcan quietly swears, and Blue listens over the distance with his enhanced wolf-senses.

Lorcan quickly thinks on his feet, “Uuuuuh, I’m just meeting up with some guys, one of them’s an idiot and brought a gun to show off. It’s nothing.”

Sinead not-so politely expresses her disbelief at this (Lorcan isn’t the best liar in the world), but Lorcan eventually persuades her everything’s cool. She snorts, “fine, but if you get go down I lose a pretty sweet job…” And she starts to walk away.

Blue from the shadow, shifts into human form and walks after her.

Sinead, hearing someone in the middle of the night, in a pretty deserted area, following her quickens her pace, and puts her hand in her coat pocket.

Blue calls out to her, hands out. “Hey! I’m, uh, Lorcan’s friend. I just let off a couple of shots. I thought I should apologise to you. This wasn’t Lorcan’s fault”

Sinead turns around, with hand still in pocket, “look I don’t know you. Just fuck off and stop following me.” At this she sees the rest of the proto-pack running down the street towards Blue whom they were looking for. Seeing Lorcan, she gives him the finger and strides off, visibly pissed off.

With Sinead gone, Ethan and Lorcan turn on Blue, “What the hell?” A small argument breaks out, with a “you don’t just stalk people we know” discussion weighing in heavily. After a while John breaks in and suggests they hit the Shadow and stop arguing. Before the go into the basement to crossover, Jack suggests he goes out and uses his contacts to see if anything is up in the area. Maybe something they can deal with?

The Pack cross over in the basement, where the Gauntles has been worn paper thin by the Beshilu. Though not strictly in the rules, it makes sense to me and group. It’s not a locus however, so if they continue using the hole as a cross-over point, they’ll start breaking the Gauntlet around there.

Crossing over, the pack once again feel the strangeness of pressing against the caul of the world and into the other side. For the briefest of moments in the Gauntlet they see strange figures off in the distance. One is about to touch-.

Their in the Shadow, walking out of the basement in the dark, stark and grey bones of the Shadow of the Chase they come outside onto the street. The world is tall, and looming. The colours are almost bleached out, and the sky is permanently overcast. Only the light of the Crescent Moon shines through, it’s light touching Ethan and he feels some energy restore.

As an Itheaur he gains an Essence.

They are increasingly aware that everything here is alive, and moving, even if it’s the slow movement of a nearby tree spirit’s branches moving towards them.

They quickly come up with a plan, and decide on exploring their territorial limits in a widespread fashion in Urhan form – but keeping within eyesight at all times. They head north, watching the wild, Darwinian nature of the Hisil – they watch as a snarling car spirit chases down a smaller one of it’s kind and consume it’s corpus, visibly growing larger. They navigate using the dome of the Church of MAry Immaculate, a shining beacon in the Shadow. They notice that the top is most likely a locus, though they imagine that whatever spirits that dwell within are most likely above their pay-grade for now. Continuing north they edge around the Barracks, where the buildings meld into one looming, continue wall of groaning masonry, where on top strange searchlights beam across the perimeter.

Soon, they reach the northern most boundary, the Grand Canal. Specifically Portobello bridge, which in the Shadow spans a much wider canal, one that is worryingly stained red underneath the bridge. On the bridge is a stranger sight however, waiting and staring at the group is a massive bleeding horse, made of ephemeral shadow.

The group approach the spirit, and ask what it is. It explains, “I GUARD THE WAY.” They quickly find out that the thing is a spirit of boundaries of sorts, and has been warped by the legend of the bleeding horse across the bridge. They explain they are looking for a totem, and ask what they would have to do for the spirit to be a totem for them. It replies, “PROVE YOU ARE WORTHY.”

The thing attacks the pack, distending it’s jaw and shrieking in a distinctly non-equine fashion, dementing Lorcan, who recoils. The pack react, with John leaping into the spirit and shifting mid-leap into Urshul form and clamps his jaws down onto the neck of the horse causing great damage. Blue leaps around the fray onto the other side of the bridge looking to out flank. With the same idea, Ethan tries to leap over the canal, but the edges are wider apart than they look and he falls into the water.

The water moves around him with grasp hands and pulls him under. Ethan begins to drown.

Lorcan, with the infernal screaming still in his head, and swings his sword into the creature, cutting it despite the ringing in his ears. John continues to clamp down on the horse, who bends it’s knee and stops fighting – capitulating. “YOU ARE WORTHY”, it pronounces.

The group realise that Ethan is missing, and see his thrashing figure in the murk of the the Shadow Canal, and Blue dives in after him. The other two run to a nearby old-stained spirit with a life-hoop. They try to tug the hoop out of it’s grasp, but the thing cackles, “price must be paid!”. Lorcan begins losing his temper, and whales on the small Hursih, biting into it’s corpus and consuming it’s essence.

Meanwhile Blue is battling the water spirits trying to drag Ethan to the bottom, enduring their blows he drags Ethan out in an explosion of water-ephemera. Ethan begins to retch water out onto the side.

Striding over, Blue shifts into Gauru and thunders at the two near the life-hoop, shoving Lorcan. John tries to calm Blue down, they were trying to help, but the spirit wasn’t playing ball. Blue shifts out of Gauru, his eyes narrowed.

Turning back to the Totem, they ask how they will form the totemic bond, it replies, “A PRICE MUST BE PAID”, and bleeds some of its essence into the canal its bridge crosses. The pack follow suit and bleed into the canal, becoming a pack.

Yay! One of their objectives completed. The pack gain a lot of beats this session, for various reasons. Mostly they complete a lot of stuff (it was a long session, about 5 hours), and also I’m hopelessly generous.

With a totem, they now need to find a locus for reliable travel between the worlds. They know of the one at Mary Immaculate, but that isn’t secure in the way that another could be. The trouble is knowing where a locus could be. They decide on beating the knowledge out of spirit that might know, specifically one hat travels about. Like, that car spirit they saw earlier?

The perform the Rite of the Sacred Hunt at the bridge. They write in blood yielded by Lorcan blade onto the flanks of their new totem, and then begin to ritually hunt it. At the culmination they feel something fall onto their beings, and they begin to hunt the true target, chasing the spoor of the spirit through the streets and until they find it blasting around the roads in what looks like a residential area. They quickly decide on a plan to herd it around into a street where Blue waits in ambush. The plan works and the thing is ambushed by Blue in Urshul form who pounces onto the thing and tears into it’s corpus with the pack joining soon after. They take their share of essence and demand the location of a locus out of the spirit. The spirit, unable to resist, forlornly shows the way and leads them to a small little pack, rusted iron gates reaching up to the sky, holding in a thicket of wild growth.

Blue snarls “Run” at the spirit and it flees.

Not that this behaviour gets you enemies…

They head in, unlocking the gates with the Gift of the Bleeding Horse.

Their totemic advantage is “All Door Open” facet, a useful advantage to be sure. They must however spend something crossing bridges. This can be something like a penny coin, but they must do it.

Inside is a small memorial stone, it’s details long since worn away. There is a small pool of water collected at the bottom, glistening with essence. The stone is the locus they were looking for. The area feels… Heavy with reflection, the stone radiates out a resonance of Remembrance. The light in the glade shifts, with a voice demanding to know what they doing in “its” grove, explaining it is the guardian of this place. They bargain with the guardian spirit, offering gathra as an appeasement. They explain that their goals are the same, and Lorcan eloquently describes who they are loyal defenders, with a keen sense of respect for their territory and greatly impresses the spirit, helped by his Gifts.

The pack are allowed to use the locus, and shift over. The figures just out of sight are still there as they travel briefly through the Gauntlet.

They go back, and seeing as it’s nearly morning, and rest.

The next day. The weather has got worse, winds are picking up, and there’s that pernicious light drizzle in the air.

In the morning the pack split up, catching up of duties or pursuing they own lines of inquiry about the territory.

John, under the suggestion of the Residents, goes down to the Black Rock pack where there is a Storm Lord that might be able to help give some advice, Tribe member to Tribe member. He meets the pack’s Itheaur Storm Lord, Winds Whisper – an older woman dressed in practical hard wearing gear,. She explains it’s quite simple really, you find what’s wrong, what’s messing with the spirit and flesh and stop it before it gets out of hand. She pays close attention to spirit intruders into the flesh. The trick, she says with a grin, is actually stopping that. John leaves, thanking her – and she reminds him that there’s a Tribal gathering on Friday, for the storm that’s coming. He’ll be messaged the details. He heads back to an argument at the Chase.

Blue sleeps at the chase, and in the morning meets Jack, who has news. Apparently there is a new drug out, Black Veins. So called because of the marks around the needle marks. It’s dangerous, some people who take it apparently go mental, screaming at things that aren’t there. Apparently one or two attacks have been because of it. They hear a scream downstairs.

Ethan, earlier that morning, meets Jackie who has been texting him that they need to meet up. They decide to meet up in an old hideout of the old gang, a pub called the Old Curio. Jackie explains, shaken, that she’s been getting texts from “Dave”, an old member of their cult. He been asking to meet up, at an old housing block in a rough area south of Rathmines. The thing is, she definitely remembers Dave dying on the night. Ethan suggets not replying to ‘Dave’ until they figure out who it is. Jackie is suspicious, though, of Ethan’s new found knowledge. Ethan explains there are some stuff that she shouldn’t know, but if she truely wants to (with no going back) she should follow him back. The arrive at the chase, and Jackie half-jokingly asks whether he’s going to kill her or not. Ethan laughs it off, and explains what he is. To which Jackie doesn’t believe him. Ethan then shape changes in front of her, to which she melts down in the throes of Lunacy and runs from the building.

Note to self: Jackie becomes Receptive.

Lorcan doesn’t have the smoothest of mornings, having turned up to work on a quiet day with the intention of working out the design for a pack tattoo. However first he has to deal with Sinead who comes in late, expressing her exasperation at what Lorcan is hiding – and the danger therein. She works in the back of the shop that morning, sorting out the paperwork that Lorcan doesn’t get around to. The afternoon comes and he heads to the Chase where Blue and Jack are arguing with Ethan who apparently just made a woman go mental and run away. Ethan bruses it off to the pack and explains it should be okay. She’ll be back.

Yeah, totally.

Going in side, with Jack they catch up together, and Jack fills them in regarding Black Veins. They also agree on a pack name, “The Bleeding Hunters”. With a pack name and totem, they decide on sanctifying their territory that night, with John knowing the rite to do so. They head to the Bleeding Horse pub to start off, and explain to Jack that he’s going to need to ‘pay the price’ at the bridge. It’s evening, so they’re going to have to be careful, but Jack bleeds into the canal and becomes part of the pack.

In reality, this pub is a bit north of the canal, not in the pack’s territory. I though that’s boring, so in the World of Darkness the Bleeding Horse is located right next to the bridge.

They do the Rite of Territory, going to the boundaries of their territory, and drinking in unison. It takes them several hours to the do the boundaries, but at the end of it, as they loop back to the beginning, they feel the spirit react to the boundary they just made.

Heading back, Jack goes off to continue to look into the Black Vein situation. The rest head to (under the direction of Ethan who know has some suspicions) 22 Killeen Road, with Ethan fully explaining what this place is to him. They arrive around a corner to the house, watching the Garda assigned to the
building. With the group wondering what to do about him, John skips over the thinking stage and runs over to the guy, landing a punch right in the face before running off.

“Fucker!” The Garda shouts and chases John off into the suburbs leaving the rest of the pack to enter the house in Urhan. Blue waits near the entrance, in case the Garda returns leaving Ethan and Lorcan to the house. Ethan immediately heads to the back of the house, to the empty living room where the rite occurred. The place hasn’t been cleaned, distressing red stains mark the walls, with hand prints dragged along the walls back towards the ritual space. In several place the walls have holes knocked in as some big smashed itself through the house.

Cough Ethan Cough

Ethan tells Lorcan to keep watch as he looks over to the Spirit side.

He sees a special kind of hell.

The house is a nightmare on the other side, the blood stains are glistening and moving, with smoke in the air weaving their almost hypnotic tendrils into patterns. The walls seem to bleed and peel away as the house reacts to someone watching them. To make matters worse the ground beneath the ritual space is break apart to form the beginnings of a hole into the ground, and hole where hungry eyes watch. And through all of this, through the windows into what would be the living room two dead shark-like eyes watch unswervingly.

“Shit”, mutter Ethan, who recommends they leave quickly, relaying what he’s seen. They retreat back to around the corner where John jogs back smiling and explaining that the Garda is now totally and hopelessly lost in the maze of houses around here.

It’s about 11 at night now, and Ethan also fills them in on Dead!David’s texts to Jackie, and the pack decide to head to the address mentioned, finding themselves out of their territory climbing the stairs of a crumbling housing project.

Knocking on the door, it creaks open revealing a shabby and dishevelled flat, with illumination coming from the living room at the back. The light is from a tv displaying hissing static to a man slumped on a chair staring off into the distance with black eyes, and black vein-like patterns around points on his arms. On the other side, Ethan notices that strange black-tar like things gather from the man, feeding off of the addiction essence around him. A larger creature is wrapped around the man’s shoulders and head.

Realising this can’t be good, they carry the guy out and take him back to near the locus, explaining to concerned passerby’s that he’s a mate who’s “had too much”. Laying him in a corner, a couple of them passover to the other side – once again seeing those shapes as they transition across.

The pack them proceed to beat the living shit out of the Urging spirit. As they discorporate the addiction spirit the man, gasps and then falls unconscious. Blue, with his paramedic training, reckons he’s slipped into a coma. They call and ambulance for the man’s location and then leg it away back to the chase.

Once there, they decide what to do next.

And that’s it! A long session, but it seems like the group is really coming together. I’m extremely pleased with the spirit world. One thing I’ve got to do now is start introducing the wider Uratha culture (something I believe I said last time, ho hum). Next session will be the last one with Blue, as his player leaves the area – so expect something there.

See you next time!

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter One
Chapter One

Welcome to the first game of Fire and Brine! In the tradition of actual plays I’ll mostly let the narrative speak for itself. As some background, werewolf was one of the first games I ran, back in the day. Now the new edition is out, well I had to. So the first story is the story of how the pack formed.

We start our story on a January evening, it has a Crescent Moon in the sky, waning.

John O’Mahly is sitting in a room, in some corner of the Trinity College, where he’s been living for about a week after his life was turned upside down. The room is bare with no identifying features, quiet with the hubbub of the college in the background. The Full Moon Iron Master member of the pack that’s been sheltering the John enters the room, with a new figure that John hasn’t met before. The new figure is big, old with a shock of white hair and matching beard. Old Bones wears practical, worn clothing. His most defining feature is the array of paraphernalia and trinkets about his person. He shortly explains that a new pack is forming, handing over a scrap of paper which, in neat handwriting, gives a time (tonight) and a place (somewhere in Rathmines by the looks of it). “Meet them there” he growls as he leads John out of the room, “remember, a pack needs a totem and a locus nearby helps” he adds before striding away into the crowd of student who part alarmingly around him.

John looks at the scrap again.

Lorcan McCabe is at the moment finishing up a tattoo on Gina’s arm when there are the sounds of heavy footfalls on the stairs outside his shop as they come down to the basement. From behind the door and low voice says, “Painted Wolf?” Lorcan puts down his tools and opens the door, presented with a scarred old man in heavy clothes with white hair. “You’ve been on the look out for a pack” his states simply. “Be there then. Remember, totem and locus.” He hands over a note and then he’s gone. The note simply has a time and a place, the place he notices is an abandoned housing project called The Chase. Lorcan quickly moves out promising to finish up later, leaving Sinead to manage the shop.

Sinead notices a scrap of paper left half-mindedly in the shop.

Blue has a had a tough couple of first weeks, first he’s a werewolf. And on top of that he got picked up by a group of hard ass, humourless bastards how are almost religious in their obession with ‘territory’ and the ‘hunt’. Still, he’s survived and learnt quickly, but not fit in. Tonight he’s sitting in an old park keeper’s house that’s used by this pack. The door opens and the Irraka Blood Talon of the pack, a total psychopath, enters the room. The scarred woman looks Blue in the eye and hands him a scrap. “Was told to give this to you. This means you can go. Don’t be on our territory by night fall.” Blue hurriedly gets out of the Last Line’s territory, to somewhere south of the river.

Ethan Kane is watching a house. Specifically the house where it all changed, where the ritual worked! And where that thing came through and awoke a pure slice of anger in him, and the house and the cult within it were destroyed. Now he’s changed, he can look into the other side, of the world, and feel the pulse of the world’s energy. But he’s still homeless, and he’s pretty sure the police are hunting him. If only they’d just fuck off from the house, he could go inside the house. The thing looks like a hell-hole on the other side, but it could answer some questions. Still, he’s found way into his new life, he’s managed to get some hefty spirit backing from some spectral wolf and a bunch of weird owl things. Swore an oath in a strange tongue to a Death Wolf.

“You know they’re probably not going to go away any time soon”, a deep voice speaks, suddenly besides Ethan. The speaker is casually leaning on the wall to the building Ethan is sitting by. The trinkets on the man’s self are definitely occultic.

“There’s a pack forming, here, at this time” he grunts, handing over a scrap of paper.

“What’s a pack. Wait, are there more like me?” Ethan starts. Bone’s sighs and wears, realising that he has a bit more explaining to do this time.

Sometime in the later evening, with the sun set the four arrive at the Chase. The abandoned place has the concrete and rough brick structure, but the windows are boarded up, and the main doors are padlocked shut. The place is ringed by a chain fence, with wild undergrowth between the building and fence, obscuring much of it from the street.

Quick introductions are made, with Ethan surprised at all these new People like him. Trying to get into the building (and out of the cold) Ethan goes to pick the lock, but John has a better idea and attempts to kick down the rusted lock. The echoing of the fence shaking down the street highlights his failure to do so.

Whilst Ethan and John start to argue, Blue turns a corner, and swiftly melds into wolf form, Urhan, and jumps the fence, scrambling at the top. He then goes around the building, careful not to leave tracks.

In the same time, the remaining three climb the fence, Lorcan does it easily. Ethan tries to climb, but only tears the top of the rusting fence down, leaving it an easy climb for John. Ethan then scrambles over, cursing the fence and John’s mocking.

Eager to show some competency, he goes to the lock on the front door of the Chase and starts picking away. Lorcan, whilst Ethan picks away, looks around for Blue. Where is he?

Blue has found an open ground floor window out back, with the boards scatter on the ground outside. He neatly bounds through it, into a bare room. There’s a sickly smell in the air, and his heightened wolf senses also pick up this musty, furry, mangy smell, coming from around the corner out in the corridor, which Blue follows.

Ethan, meanwhile has picked through and opens the door with a smile, with the other two following. “So you don’t shapeshift?” John asks incredulously to Ethan. The conversation continues, with Lorcan proving his point by shifting into the near man form, Dalu, and John shifting in Urshul, the near-wolf form and then into Dalu. They start to follow Blue, still arguing, as Blue moves around the corner, following the smell down into the basement.

It’s dark here, even for the heightened senses of the werewolves and Urhan form. The smell is definitely coming from down here. The pulse of the world, that Blue has felt since changing, is stronger now, but sickly. It’s like the walls of the worlds are almost paper thin here. Blue silently pads in, and waits in a dark corner.

Coming across the basement the remaining three stops as Lorcan gets his torch out and shines it down the basement. Something skitters, and a shadow flits between the light.

The conversation stops.

Lorcan slowly draws his sword he kept in a hockey bag over his shoulder.

Together they walk down, and Blue watches.

The skittering continues, with Lorcan flitting from corner to corner with his light, trying to catch the thing that’s making the sound.

Ethan gets an idea, and passes his senses over to the Other Side, something he’s had good practise with, watching the House. As he does so his eyes whiten over. The shape here is not a shadow, but something real flitting from corner to corner. He grabs John and guides him blindly to the corner where he tries to corral the thing into.

At the same time John leaps, switching to Urshul mid leap to where the creature is hiding, and Lorcan runs to catch where the thing is hoping to cut off an escape with shouts.

John lands on nothing.

Cornered, the thing bursts through the paper-thin wall of reality at Lorcan, all teeth, fur and broken tooth.

Blue, seeing this bursts into action, relying on the heighten reflexes of his form and crashes into the thing before it hits Lorcan. From his failed pounce John barrels into the monster using the weight of his tiger-sized near-wolf form and tears at it with the form’s terrible maw.

The thing dies, messily.

Holy hell, new werewolves are scary.

Looking down at the thing they see it’s a man, but changed. It has patches of mangy fur about him, long yellow teeth on a snout that looks like a man’s face, just pulled outwards. They quickly surmise it’s the source of the taint of the basement, and Lorcan uses a facet of his Gift of Nature. Spilling the corpse’s blood onto the ground, he wills the essence to cause vegetative growth, and dank fungi start to grow out of the corners of the concrete, with small feels of vines reaching down from the remains of an elevator shaft to on the other side of the basement. He explains to an impressed John and Ethan that the growth should get rid of the body, and hopefully help clear some of the tainted essence.

Meanwhile, Blue has wandered off again and pads up to the entrance of the block. However, at the top of the stairs stands a man in tattered clothing, shakingly holding a gun at the wolf. “Fuck!” eyes wide at a fecking wolf in the building, he fires and misses. But Blue is already up the stairs, again relying on his quick reflexes and slams into the guy.

The three in the basement start at the sound of the gun, with John bounding ahead up the stairs.

He comes across a man fighting back Blue on the stairs, with Ethan and Lorcan close behind. Jack fires again, hitting Blue and doing serious injury with the gun.

John runs in and starts to grapple the guy. The two struggle on the stairs, and in the struggle the gun goes off and John reels away, shot in the stomach.

Ethan and Lorcan reach the entrance hall and Ethan starts to shout at the guy to calm the hell down, “drop it and we’ll stop.”

“What the fuck are doing here?!” The guy shouts. “If you wanna get me angry fine, but you won’t like that”, he almost snarls. To the others there’s a familiar smell to him, like the scent they find on other werewolves.

Ethan slowly apologises, he empathises with the guy and asks Jack to calm down, drop the weapon and they can talk.

There’s a pause, and then Jack drops the weapon with a clatter. He raises his arms, revealing track marks up his arms.

John cracks a joke, leaning on the stairs, “well this is a great first impression…”

Jack’s mouth twitches at the side.

Lorcan moves, and apologises, explaining that they were only defending their friend, gesturing to Blue (which confuses Jack somewhat). As a mercy offering, he hands Jack back his gun, saying that they don’t intend to fight.

“Alright, so you aren’t here to fuck around. So why are you here?” He says, narrowing his eyes. Ethan explains the short story, telling him about the thing down in the basement, and just then everyone was high on adrenaline. Jack just caught them by surprise.

“Fine, well you can”, he laughs bitterly, “come up to my office” and leads them upstairs.

In the basement, the corpse wriggles and collapses into a mass of about twenty rats, who scurry away.

After the short monster combat in the basement this scene was fun. The players new this is the wolf-blooded’s introduction, and is also a really nice use of the social system for nWoD’s 2nd Edition.

Upstairs on the second floor of The Chasethe group are sat around a sleeping bag in a corner of one of the rooms, with a couple of syringes and makeshift tourniquet nearby. Jack sits, with his gun close at hand. The group start to explain, as well as probe Jacks for answers. They quickly realise that he doesn’t know what he his, and he certainly doesn’t know what a werewolf is.

“Prove it” he says.

Which Lorcan readily does, shfting into Dalu form.

“Fuck my life.” Jack groans. That response confuses the others, they’d heard that shapeshifting makes mortal go ‘crazy’. Jack just seems to accept this with weariness, the man looks done with the world.

The group start to poke harder, and eventually the conversation turns to what they can do for Jack, and what Jack can do for them. At this Jack laughs, “oh I get it, you need me, little fish are we? Well no, I’m not here to give handouts and help.”

Lorcan bristles, “Hey fuck you, I’ve got a job and place to live. You’re hardly better than m-”

He’s interrupted. At that comment Jack jumps up, his muscles are tense and this low frequency growl comes from his throat, the kind of sound that would warn prehistoric man that he had made a very very bad mistake. Jack quickly gains about fifty pounds of muscle mass, gaining hair and claws and looms over the group. He tenses and swipes away at the group, “fucking run!” he almost howls.

The group start, John unleashing his predators aspect almost instinctively at this threat and cowes the wolf-blooded in the throes of Rage. The man-thing howls in submission, and collapses in the corner from the group and take out his rage on the building around him. He smashes, he claws and he screams and howls. The sounds echo around the concrete room.

The thing in the corner isn’t powerful, it’s a man reduced to a snarling beast. It’s pathetic to watch.

After a while, Jack collapses into a head, unconscious and clothes torn. Blue remarks in First Tongue that there is a makeshift sofa upstairs he found that would be comfortable him, so they put in up there.

There’s a pause in the evening.

“Pizza?” Lorcan asks.

When Jack wakes up he first sees his clothes torn, he groans. Then he sees the group in front of him, and then he swears. “So you guys aren’t a trip then?” He asks, hungrily eyeing the leftover pizza.

“Nope”, Lorcan remarks, handing over a pizza, which Jack proceeds to literally wolf-down.

“So now what?” he asks between mouthfuls.

“Now we can help you”, replies John. “And in return?…” Jack, narrows his eyes,

“Well, most of us need a place to crash, and…..” Ethan gesture to the room.

“Alright, fine. You have a deal,” and Jack accepts.

Outside, Sinead looks at the building, and looks at the note. What the fuck were those noises from inside?

So, that was the first session, all in all about three hours of gameplay. It was awesome to see the group (a new group) quickly get into the hang of it. My aim for the next session to to get the guys using their auspice powers a bit more, we all kinda forgot them I think. Then again I find that the first session usually works better for a new group if we don’t try to do everything in the mechanics. Can’t wait for the next game!


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