Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cave of Secrets: Breaking Point (WtA)

Okay, so here's what the situation has been with the Werewolf game. One of the players was frustrated with the game due to a misunderstanding, waited quietly for the problem to resolve itself, and got more frustrated when it didn't. This led to a bit of an outburst that left the game in limbo while we sorted it out. I could have written up the last session we played leading up to the outburst sooner, but there was a chance that 'sorting it out' would mean 'we don't play Werewolf again' and I didn't want to leave off on that sort of cliffhanger. And on top of that, we weren't able to get the group together for a few weeks, during which other stuff happened and just ugh. I'm not going to get into further details here, just for the record, but people deserved a 'broad strokes' explanation.

But the situation is more or less resolved. Let me take you through the session and then the resolution will follow. In context, it'll make more sense to leave that for last.

So where we left off, the pack permanently dealt with Andy Stump, Black Spiral Dancer Ragabash. They returned to the sept to report in to Raptor's Strike as to what happened, speculating on whatever it was he was up to that led to the fight. Raptor's Strike warns them to be careful because not only would there be repercussions, but they'd be meaner and more personal. They also showed Raptor's Strike the fetishes they took off of Andy: A Fang Dagger that appeared to have been taken from the Bone Gnawers, and a set of Mirrorshades. Because of the old scratched-over Bone Gnawer glyphs on the dagger and some "not for me to tell" stuff Raptor's Strike knows about the local branch of the Stump family tree, Raptor's Strike recommended tracking down Bury the Hatchet (a local high-ranking Bone Gnawer) to ask him about them. Conveniently, the older Garou was in the area, training with his nephew Noah who lives in Marlinton and is soon to be undergoing his Rite of Passage.

So the pack tracked down Bury the Hatchet and Noah (I think Walter was there, too, as this is part of what he does, but my notes are unclear). Since the pack doesn't know about the Stump family in general, Bury the Hatchet explained that they're a family of Spiral Kinfolk somewhat common to the region. And he warned them that the Stumps are likely to move in and try to finish whatever it was that Andy started. He also warned them about the Stump family's tendency to set themselves up as Judas goats, pretending to not know of their heritage and such, to get Gaian Garou to let their guard down. (This led to having to explain to Wants-to-Know what the term 'Judas goat' means)

With regards to the fetishes, Bury the Hatchet told them that the Fang Dagger was something stolen from the local Gnawers by the Stump family a century or so ago. He also told the pack that they'd been legitimately earned, and that Wants-to-Know should keep the Fang Dagger since he delivered the killing blow on Andy. (He didn't particularly care about the Mirrorshades one way or another)

After leaving Hatchet to keep working with Noah, the pack quickly did a perimeter sweep of the bawn and declared that nobody goes anywhere alone for the immediate future. No more splitting up. Åke wanted to go on the offensive, but Claudiu and Jerry were both like "Go on the offensive against what? We don't know where these people are." Wants-to-Know just outright asked Åke what his plan would be, and Åke wanted to somehow do some sort of research on Andy Stump and the Stump family to somehow use that against the BSD's, like maybe just Googling them or something? The rest of the pack honestly couldn't see how that would be helpful, as that sort of information is unlikely to be publicly available and there's no reason to assume that the BSD pack has any other Stumps in it.

Claudiu pointed out that there may not be time to waste doing such research. Åke thought that this was part of some sort of larger, circuitous plan, and Claudiu suspected that Andy openly using his full name has all been some sort of distraction and at this point the group just kind of talked in circles around itself for a while. Eventually Jerry broke them out of the cycle, arguing that they're spending too much time and energy making assumptions and that there would probably be Stumps moving in. Thus, the pack could wait for them to show their heads and in the meantime focus on protecting the caern.

All this talk about Kinfolk had Claudiu worried about his own family, Romanian-descended Romani Kinfolk who live on the outskirts of town in a not-quite-camp-not-quite-trailer-park made out of RVs and the like. (Think like the Pikey camp in Snatch) Åke suggested moving them to the caern, while Jerry was worried that that's putting them in even more danger and drawing too much attention. Claudiu decided to try and convince them to relocate for a little while until things die down -- wouldn't be the first time they'd have to, after all, and they'd probably be safer on the road.

So Claudiu headed out to the camp, which consisted about about 50-ish people, most of them born in the US but the oldest are actually from the 'old country.' Claudiu himself is considered something of an elder because of his Garou status though for cultural reasons the others don't deal with him unless they absolutely have to. (Claudiu's struggles against the Wyrm mark him as 'unclean' by Romani standards so while they don't shun him, there's definitely a little alienation) Claudiu explained to the various households what's going on, and they all pack up to take off for a few days.

After that, the pack returned to the caern to rest up, regain Gnosis, perform caern duties, and prepare for the next day.

They rolled into Marlinton around first light the next day. They found a bunch of strangers wandering the streets, and trying to provoke a confrontation Claudiu called out "So is it just me, or is every member of the Stump family a stinking, inbred piece of shit?" That got the attention of a bunch of people, and he followed it up with "I'm asking, is it all of them, or the one we gutted like a pig yesterday?"

And /that/ provoked a bunch of people to draw weapons on the pack while several others took off running. And this became a massive battle in the middle of Marlinton. Jerry managed to disable one with his martial arts skills without shifting, but the others all shifted into Hispo and Crinos to just slaughter the Stumps present. They grab the one that Jerry disabled for possible interrogation and take off, only to find that she'd basically been beaten into a coma and might not wake up. They went ahead and put her out of her misery, at which point Jerry turned on Claudiu.

Jerry said that the fight was a fiasco, and unnecessary, and that it would be a nightmare to clean up. Claudiu argued that the Stumps were just going to attack them anyways, and Jerry came back with the argument that they could have dealt with them without shifting in public. Claudiu figured that the Delirium probably covered up everything, and Jerry challenged Claudiu for leadership of the pack. Claudiu basically told him he could have it and left the pack to reconnect with his family, and that's where we left off.

So, long story short, Claudiu's player is leaving the game for the time being. And we'll see how things shake out this week.

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