Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
The fight with the other werewolf and the bears alongside him was fast and brutal. Ryder focused on the other werewolf, trying to keep him tied up with fast and brutal attacks while the rest of the pack took a moment to deal with the bears – except for Rosie, who kept back observing for a bit before charging in. The interloper let out a snarl approximating “What the fuck are you doing here?” before tangling up in a ball of fur, blood, and claws with Ryder.
Ryder transformed into the Garou form to let loose his rage on the other werewolf, while the stocky black wolf matched him and the two started tearing into each other in earnest. Avery emerged from the shadows to help Sharon put down the bear she had gone with, while Dana mostly struggled with one bear alone until Rosie stepped in with her shotgun.
With the bears dispatched, the whole pack started to converge on the lone wolf, and even in Garou his wounds quickly took a toll on him. After one particularly savage rending by Sharon, he wheeled and…disappeared. Reaching into the Hisil, he vanished from sight and took off.
Summoned by the sound of gunfire, some of the men from the nearby strip mining operation came over across the mountaintop to investigate, and the pack fled into the woods. Ryder had the taste of the stranger in his mouth and could track him like that, and Avery had a sense of the location of some of the wolf’s botlholes – and Rosie had a name. In the first few moments of the fight, she’d been able to read it off the wolf – Darryl Schmitky.
Dana recalled that her father had a packmate named Darryl when she was very young, and Ron also had a brother named Darryl who’d disappeared decades ago, and that definitely shed some light on things – though it may have created more questions than answers. The pack did some scouting in the region for bolt holes Darryl might have fled to, and then returned to the farmhouse to regroup, finally get some sleep, and do some information gathering.
Dana went into the local Walmart to talk to her granny, Carol and probe for information about Darryl. Carol was reluctant to give any, hoping that the past could just stay in the path. With Dana not letting up, Carol did say Darryl and Leland (Dana’s father) had been close once, very close – but there was some kind of major friction or falling out in ‘85. Carol wouldn’t come out and say it, but she believed Leland had murdered Darryl – everyone knew even back then, before he became County Sheriff, that Leland was not a man to cross.
Avery spoke with her mom and confirmed that Darryl used to be around quite a bit, but disappeared in the 1980s. The pack – again, mostly Dana – asked around town and found few remembered Darryl, but those that did had varying stories of what became of him: He’d joined the army, he’d gone off to Alaska for work, he’d died in a car accident, or any number of things. Research found no trace of a paper trail – someone probably should have filed a missing persons report on Darryl, but no one ever did.
The pack regrouped and decided they needed Essence before continuing to pursue Darryl. They recalled they’d never really meted much punishment on Smoulderblack for the spirit’s trespass into the world of spirit, and they all gathered as Avery led the pack through the Sacred Hunt rite before they took off through the Hisil in pursuit of the spirit. They tracked him down near a mining site north of Pathfork, and Ryder took off after him, gravely wounding him before the spirit could offer much of a counterattack. He threatened the spirit with a pickaxe – which the pack knew to be his bane – to extract some information out of him – he’d come from down below, the deep well, which was also where the wolf who let him up (or at least didn’t try to stop him) emerged. The pack tried to get directions from the spirit, but it didn’t seem to have a great way of describing the geography of the underground. They finished the spirit off, and then devoured it for Essence – completely consuming and destroying the spirit.
When they returned to the Locus, the signal sprite Dana had negotiated with earlier was waiting, with information it said was valuable. Dana got the creature talking, and it revealed that a werewolf had been preying on members of the Drag Lion’s court, assaulting at least two spirits. The Drag Lion held court east of Closplint currently, and that was near where the area the pack had fought Darryl. It also held out another piece of information for a bit more Essence – Darryl appeared to be allied with the spirit Old Stone Claw, who used to be a totem for the local werewolf pack…
Armed with this information, the pack declared Darryl the target of their next hunt, and Avery once again led them through the Sacred Hunt rite. Now with a single purpose, the pack started searching for Darryl. They tracked an old mine in the region they’d last found him as a possible hideout, and headed into the slanted shaft… They found that the mine was unstable, likely from the strip mining happening nearby, and parts had collapsed. Looking through the Gauntlet though, they saw that on the Hisil side, the destruction had opened up a small passage through the mine that only existed in Shadow – and that was where Darryl had gone through. The pack returned to the Locus, entered the Hisil, and headed back to the mine to explore deeper through the tiny crack…