I was a teenage werewolf
Braces on my fangs
I was a teenage werewolf
And no one even said thanks
- The Cramps, ‘I was a teenage werewolf’
Fresh from their First Changes, the pack of lost pups languished in tedium in a dank New York City warehouse. A battered radio spat out AM stations only. They had sleeping bags and pillows that smelled of garbage to cushion them on the concrete floor. Willing or not, they were stuck here. No phones, unreliable wifi, no unsupervised visits anywhere that wasn’t the main room. The bathroom had no windows. All the other windows were bricked up, except the holes in the roof. All the stairs and other rooms had guards. They fed the bored pups warm Gatorade and microwaved Kid Cuisine dinners.
This is a halfway house for Garou – or at least that was what their keepers, the Sept of the Green, said. They were waiting for another Sept to take the pups and train them. The Garou they were stuck with were mostly Bone Gnawers, who come and go at will. Their caern was a powerful one, in Central Park, ruled by Mother Larissa. Most of the Garou there were homeless wretches like their sept leader, Larissa, or big brawlers like her bodyguards Timmy and Simon Gentle. While well-meaning (in Simon’s case) or callous (in Larissa’s), none of these werewolves seemed to have the skills to guide this pack of new wolves. Lomnocht “Lom” Hemming did what he could to educate his new packmates but the guidance of a more knowledgeable Sept was in order.
Mother Larissa interrupted the pups ‘getting-to-know-yous’ rather rudely. She said they were ready to send the pups off to their new teachers and demanded they follow her. She briskly walked off, leaving a rather upset Jeff Hines in her wake. He and his new packmates followed her, in the hopes of getting some answers.
She led them into the Ramble of Central Park. Wild and overgrown thanks to her sept’s efforts, the trees soon blocked her from the view of the chatting pups. Almost as soon as they noticed they had lost sight of her, they heard a growling from behind them. 12 large Crinos-form Garou and 7 gun-toting humans stepped from the shadows. They laughed and howled, shooting a bullet between the pups and warning them that the bullets were silver. Guillame and Jeff, knowing discretion is the better part of valor, instantly turned tail and ran for the caern (about a mile distant). The rest of the Sept on the Green wolves should have been waiting there, which should offer some protection to the sorely outnumbered pups. The ever-peaceful Kelly Waffle sat down instead of fighting, blowing her Harmony Flute to try to calm the situation. The music of Gaia failed to soothe the wretched hunters, who only howled and gibbered more. Lom put himself between Kelly and the advancing pack, offering to share a pint instead of a fight. The large black Ahroun leader only laughed and commanded his fellows to attack. Thinking fast, Kelly and Lom shifted to Lupus-form (shortly followed by Guillame and Jeff) and took off running as fast as their four furry legs could carry them.
Though Lom tried to rouse his new packmates for a fight, they instead ran full-tilt for the caern, pursued by their howling attackers. The Sept of the Green wolves were noticeably absent but their caern was not abandoned. Their totem, a giant white mouse, spied the pups and opened the caern’s moon bridge. The pups seized the escape route, running in and up into the sky.
They descended (in Guillame’s case tumbled) from the Moon Bridge into calf-deep snow in the middle of the woods. A tall Native American man was there to greet them, bearing coats for those in need. Nonplussed by their entrance, he introduced himself as the Warden of the Sept of the Winter Wolf. His Sept would be performing their Rite of Passage, he said, but for now they were given a warm cave to rest in. Lom, hairless as he was, took the opportunity to get a fur pelt to wear balanced over his lupus form. Jeff stepped outside and studied the stars, concluding they were far north (probably out of the United States). He noticed a smudge of lights to the South (likely a city far away) and a smaller yet brighter glow of lights (likely from a local logging or mining operation). Upon his return, the pups bedded down for the night.
Their slumber was interrupted by an horrible howl. To those that could understand it, it was a howl of pain, loss, and grave mourning. The next howl they all understood – calling the pack. Exiting the cave, they quickly joined the assembling Sept of the Winter Wolf who were none to happy to see them. The Leaders of the Sept of the Winter Wolf addressed them, their angry Ahroun casting them out with these words: “You are no longer welcome among us. Our spirits have cried out to us in the night. Our pups are dead, murdered by your people. By all the customs of the Garou, we are no long obligated to complete your Rite. The fact that your are pups protects you, however. As much as some of us may wish to” (and here he looked at one large grey Garou with a tattered ear in particular), “we may not kill you for your Elders transgressions. You are cast out of this caern. Do not return. If you do, you will forsake any protection from the Litany.”
The pups tried to defend themselves, angrily denying that the Sept of the Green were ‘their people’. Jeff, in particular, was flabbergasted by the lack of justice displayed by the Sept. Unwisely, he pointed out true justice would mean his pack should be slain to repay the death of the Sept of the Winter Wolf pups. This set off angry yelling amongst the entire Sept. He attempted to use his Gift of Persuasion on the Ahroun leader but met only resistance. Kelly had more luck with the Winter Wolf Philodox, who told her that he thought the Sept of the Green was being framed and that if her pack could find proof of what really happened, he would try to bring it back to the sept. For the moment, however, their only option was to march out through the Gauntlet of angry Garou into the snow. The grey Garou with the tattered ear spat on Guillame but he held his head high and kept moving forward.
Wanting to put some distance between themselves and the angry werewolf Sept, the pups struck out towards the north, slogging through snow that was chest deep in some areas. After a few hours, a shivering Lom insisted they stop and make shelter to sleep out the rest of the night. With snow and branches, they managed to make something adequate and bedded down for an uncomfortable slumber.
The chilly pups rose at dawn, hearing something large crashing through the trees nearby. Spying a large bear, they rejoiced at the opportunity to hunt. Shifting into battle forms, they took the bear by surprise. Though concerned that the bear was not acting particularly normally, Guillame leaped onto it’s back, getting a solid bite but failing to pierce the unusually thick skin. Jeff, too, was unable to damage it in his first bite. Kelly froze, her love of nature battling with her desire to hunt. She tried to pull Guillame off the bear, not wanting to hurt it, but couldn’t dislodge him. Jeff took the opportunity to topple it while Lom used his Gift of Sense Wyrm to uncover the truth – the bear was possessed by a Bane. The poor creature was being corrupted by the foul spirit and the pack took it upon themselves to end it’s suffering. Kelly and Jeff ripped into the back of it’s neck while Lom punched through it’s stomach and ripped out it’s innards in a movement reminiscent of Mortal Kombat. Foul smelling blood arched into the air, covering the snow in polluted gore that Lom insisted everyone clean from the fur and talons. Once clean, Kelly dug a hole to bury the poor woodland creature.
With the sun rising, the pups press on into the snow. But winter is coming…