Universe: Werewolf The Apocalypse: Dark Ages
Author’s Notes: This is the actual end of a roleplay in which my sister, Nyx Goldstone, was the Storyteller. I was so wrapped up in the world that, during the playing out of this final section, I actually broke down in tears and had trouble continuing. After a week of being haunted by nightmares and reliving the sequence, I finally had to write it out to exorcise the demons… It was a great story. This is from my character’s perspective.
The ground was cold beneath my paws. A kind of cold that pulled every tiny bit of warmth from my body; even the fire from the still aching wound in my side couldn’t stop my shivering.
The wound that my sister had given me.
I had scars from her already, of course. From my first Shift. I’d been eleven years old when it had happened. When I finally learned the truth about my family. We were Black Furies, of the Garou. Werewolves, to use the common human term. The most elite female warriors in history, better by birth than any man could ever hope to be. When I’d first Shifted, my sister had been forced to Shift to her Crinos form to subdue me. The fang scars on my neck and the claw scars on my belly were an eternal reminder of that moment that she saved me from myself.
Not that my life was worth saving. I never understood why she protected me. I was a Metis, after all. The most disgusting creature on the planet, to Garou. The violation of one of the main laws of our kind: Garou shall not mate with Garou. All Metis are born with deformities and flaws, as well as being sterile. My deformity was relatively easy to hide in my Homid form, for I was born with club feet. Not so badly that I could not walk, but bad enough that I have limped for my entire life. If she hadn’t saved me that night, would what happened tonight still have happened? If she’d killed me when our mother killed herself, would she be gone tonight?
I stare down over the edge of the cliff. The Hive of Black Spiral Dancers… for that’s the only thing they could’ve possibly been… That thing that my sister had become… The Hive was closed off from us, now. The cat’s sacrifice hadn’t been in vain. If Teague hadn’t fought… Well, I understand a thing or two about prejudice. As far as I’m concerned, if some Metis are worth saving, then the Bastet can’t be as bad as most Garou believe. But was I really worth saving? Perhaps I should just jump… End it now… Follow Selandre into death as I’d followed her through life.
I could still smell that woman’s innocent blood, spilled out on the ground. I could still see the sickening red light that had emerged from the huge spiral that covered the cavern floor. I’d thought all that had been wrong with my sister was that the Piper had stolen her Rage… But she’d been different since then. All my life, we’d pursued that other Dancer… the one I knew now to be my father… the one I’d killed with my own fangs for raping my mother and creating me… Selandre had always lived up to her name, “Fire-Eyes.” She’d carried the flame of focus, never wavering from our goal, and keeping me on track despite the fact that I had not known until recently what spurred our journeys. But after the Piper… She’d become erratic. Less focused and more frantic. I’d thought it was just the closeness to our goal, but… now I wondered. Had she been Wyrm-touched from the very moment the Piper stole her Rage? Was that the moment that had started us down the path that would eventually take my sister, my family, my protector… Was that the start of what would be the end?
I remember staring, dumbfounded, as my sister was rocked by the power of the Spiral. As that creature… that MAN… stood in the corner laughing. Friend… Shaun had never been a friend… I should’ve known when I didn’t recognize the name. I thought I’d known all my sister’s friends… And I’d been right. Shaun wasn’t a friend… and now, Liam wasn’t, either. With Selandre dead, the man with whom I’d spent so many days, laughing at his jokes and enjoying his company… He saw me as lower than dirt, and not worth even a thought. That’s the way the Garou see their Metis, even Kinfolk see us that way. I’d lost my sister, and a good friend, all in one day.
At least I hadn’t killed Liam…
The wind buffeted my fur as I absently listened to Macklin and Kuchki talking behind me. All I could see was the battle…
My sister, Shifting for the first time in months, and all the way to Crinos. For an instant, I was thrilled… She’d regained her Rage and her ability to Shift! And then I saw what she became. Her fur was of the deepest black, greasy and almost seeming to fall out in clumps. Her ears were far too big, almost bat-like atop her head. Her muzzle was curled in a permanent snarl and green, caustic drool dripped from her suddenly yellowed fangs. And, perhaps worst of all were her eyes. They were a sickly yellow, the pupils almost too small to see, and they glowed with power that could only have come from the Wyrm. She’d become just like my father: a Black Spiral Dancer. The power of her transformation had hurled me backwards, and I was frozen where I’d landed. That… wasn’t my sister. How many times had I seen her elegant Crinos form? How many times had she carried me to safety or protected me against other Garou when they discovered my secret? The thing that she had become didn’t even resemble her. I remembered screaming her name while getting to my feet and shifting to Crinos myself, hoping that there was something I could do to save her.
Kuchki had been there, beside me. Macklin was in the doorway we had entered through, protecting the direction in which his mate had fled, an arrow knocked in his bow and trained on Selandre. Kuchki shifted suddenly to his Hispo form, no bigger than my own Lupus, and pulled a wrapped bundle from his pack in his mouth, shaking it to unwrap it. He might have said something to me then, but I don’t remember it. I remember the glint of the silver Grand Klaive, and the terror that it inspired in me. He launched himself at my sister. I shouted “No!” but I don’t remember if it actually made it out of my mouth or not. I do know what I heard next had to be addressed at me.
“Distract her!” Kuchki shouted around the Grand Klaive in his mouth. I knew then. The evil that the Kitsune had been sent to stop… This was it. This was what he had come all this way to do. To kill my sister… No. Not my sister anymore. The Black Spiral Dancer. Almost before I knew what I was doing, I launched myself at the creature that my sister had become, trying to distract her long enough for Kuchki to do what he had to do. She didn’t even bother bracing herself for me, instead focusing on the attacking Hispo. I couldn’t bring myself to actually hurt her, and twisted to the side at the last second, skidding around behind her with my clawless back paws. Frozen again, I could do nothing but watch.
The Dancer, perhaps thrown off by her new size and power, slipped in the blood on the floor and was unable to dodge Kuchki’s attack. The Grand Klaive split her skull at the same moment that an arrow from Macklin lodged in her back. The creature that had been my sister fell to the ground, twitching. She was still alive, but incapacitated. As Kuchki turned his weapon on what I now knew to be a Black Spiral Dancer Kinfolk, a Femori, I limped over to Selandre’s body… She hadn’t attacked me, and had seemed to know that I couldn’t hurt her. There had to be something of my sister left within this creature.
“Selandre?” I whispered, standing on all fours beside her. When she moved, it was with surprising speed and the last of her strength, raking her claws down my side and nearly gutting me. I yelped and pulled back from her, watching as she sank to the ground. The hate in those jaundiced eyes wasn’t my sister’s… but she was still in there somewhere. In pain, and dying. Wolves, even Crinos forms, do not possess tear ducts. I couldn’t cry for her. But there was one thing I could do. I limped back over to her, one paw clenched over my wound, and I lowered my muzzle to her ear.
“I love you,” I whispered. “I’m sorry.” I opened my jaws then, and clamped down on my sister’s exposed throat, putting her out of her misery. As hot blood still dripped from my muzzle, I threw my head back and howled my grief. The sound echoed through the cavern and the connecting caves, and in the distance I heard the roar of the Wyrm and the laughter of the Dancer Hive. I didn’t care anymore and sank down beside my sister’s still warm body.
Kuchki and Macklin approached me, pleading with me to leave and telling me that I’d done the right thing. I tried to get them to let me stay but neither would. Fucking males. Couldn’t they see that I wanted to die with my sister? Why couldn’t one of them have just killed me there so I’d still be with her.
They tried to heal my wound, and they succeeded, to a point. It wouldn’t kill me. I wouldn’t die of my sister’s wound as she had died of mine. I gave up and shifted to Lupus. Even healed, I couldn’t run. In this, my smallest form, it would be the easiest to carry me if they wished. Macklin picked me up and laid me over Kuchki’s back and we fled the cavern. I watched my sister’s body recede into the distance until I couldn’t see it with my eyes any longer. But I would always see it in my heart and in my mind.
The pulley system we’d rigged to get me down to the cave was still set up. Macklin climbed up while Kuchki Shifted to Homid and tied me to the rope. Then he climbed up and together they hauled me up. The sounds of battle were getting closer and I knew that Teague couldn’t hold out much longer. I struggled free of the rope and bit through one side of the pulley system while Macklin cut the other rope with his sword. Almost that same instant, Teague came out of the cave, snarling and hissing and bleeding, covered with Black Spiral Dancers. The ledge outside the cave was too small, and they all fell over together.
With the ropes cut, no Dancers could follow us up the sheer cliff, and as I sat on the edge of the cliff, I watched them disappear back into their hive.
I tuned out all other sounds than the crash of the surf far beneath me. Kuchki and Macklin’s talking didn’t matter… I tilted my head back and howled again, the sound echoing across the Irish landscape. I sang of my grief and my pain. I sang of my sister and how she’d loved a creature not worthy. I sang of my rage at the creatures that had turned her into one of them. I sang of my new vow. I would be Homid, Glabro, and Crinos no more. Not the forms in which I had lived with my sister. And not the form that had taken her life. If Gaia had chosen me to live through this day to remember her, I would remember my sister and live my life as Hispo and Lupus. I sang until I couldn’t keep breath to sing anymore, and then I lay down.
“What will you do now?” Kuchki asked me when my song was finished.
“I was considering following Teague,” I said, my growls and barks almost a whisper.
“What good will dying do?”
“What good will living do?” I retorted, lifting my head and glaring at him. “My sister is dead. The reason I am alive is dead. What right do I have to keep living?”
“There’s always reason to live,” the Kitsune said in a whisper, approaching me and crouching next to me. “We are going to the Fienna Cairn, to tell them of the Black Spiral Dancer’s hive… And to remember Selandre. From there we will return to Macklin’s Cairn to do the same, and then to his village. After that… He and his mate may well leave us there, but I must return to Japan.” He ran a hand down the windblown fur on my spine. “Come with me, N’Tropi.”
“Back to Japan?” I looked into his eyes. When we’d first met, I thought him a strange creature. The tiny red wolf-like form with the many tails was unlike anything I had seen before. Now I knew him to be a person of greatest honor and dignity, despite being a man. I liked him. And he was the first person besides my sister to know what I was and not hate me or attempt to kill me for it. In fact, he had once said something to the effect that he was his tribe’s version of a Metis… a Shinju. Only in the Kitsune, they were not horrible, deformed creatures. They were quite the opposite. I wondered how his people would take to me. I was a wolf without a family and without a home or purpose. My choices were to go with him, or die.
“Yes.” His voice was soft, and his touch was soothing. He and Macklin were the only things I had left in this world… and Kuchki was right. As long as I had something to live for, I still had a reason. He and Macklin were my reason… As was my sister. I had to remember her as she had been, before the Piper. Before the Wyrm. If not me… then there was no one to sing of her.
I slowly pushed myself to my paws and winced from the pain in my side. “I’ll go with you,” I said. His smile was enough of a confirmation that he really did want me with him. We headed down the road, everyone meeting my slower pace, heading for the Fienna Cairn. I didn’t know what would happen when we got there, or even if the Elder would allow a Metis to speak. But whatever happened, I wasn’t completely alone. I had Kuchki, and I had Macklin… And even though she was dead, I would always have Selandre.
Those you love and that have loved you never truly leave. And as we walked away from the cliff, I looked back over my shoulder, falling behind my companions for a moment.
“I love you, Selandre. Thank you… for giving me my life. I’ll live on, for you.”