Logs:Autumn Seasonal Rite - 2016

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Autumn Seasonal Rite - 2016
Dramatis Personae

Ashley, Brant, Jermaine, Kharn, Levi, Nadya, with Jackson as ST

30 September, 2016


Jackson leads several members of the Fallcoast Uratha and Uragarum community in welcoming in Autumn, giving them strength against spirits.

Location

Blackridge Forest


The night is dark and starless, full of potential terrors. Once again, the Uratha and Uragarum meet to celebrate the turning of seasons and honor the changing of things. The clearing has been set up with a spiral drawn out in what appears to be poured paint on the earth, white against the rich, black dirt of the ridge. The spiral seems to twist and turn around a low depression on the ridge, coming to a central area where it looks like the land simply never filled out, or maybe some ancient battle caused a rift in the soil. Either way, the center of the spiral ends there. Walking around the spiral and occasionally tossing something dark from a bag onto the ground is Jackson. He's dressed in a black hoodie with the hood up and a pair of black jeans. The outlined aspects of the Rite were left for everyone at the Crosscut: make a lantern, bring it along. Someone comes forward first and starts to set down the lantern, following the spiral.

Finishing his circuit around the area, Jackson comes to a halt at the foot of the spiral. It seems he dare not enter it, at least not yet. He moves to tuck the bag of whatever it was he was holding into an old pouch that has a series of various sigils and symbols drawn on it. It's quite obviously a Fetish, just by the look of it and its overall design. It looks almost hand-crafted for a purpose. Tonight, that purpose appears to be holding ritual materials. There's a large bulge in it that's probably the Ritemaster's own lantern.

He waits and watches for people to arrive, the bag pulled over his head and his hands slipped into his hoodie pockets. There's a slight twitch to him, a tic. He glances down at the bag at his side and a hand draws from his pocket to brush his fingertips along the leather, before he catches himself doing it and slides the hand back into his pocket.

Dusk then dark. Jermaine pulls up in his truck and the headlights turn off. From within, Jer gets out to walk around and assist Ashley down from the passenger side. It takes some effort, as Ashley is moving slower more now than usual. No longer able to hide the little secret she's carrying around her mid-section, she is obviously quite pregnant.

Ashley flashes a smile up at Jermaine before a hand goes to her mid back. "Okay, maybe we should take my jeep next time. Easier to step down from." She laughs." Hmm, looking around she scans the field for the others. "I packed a box with our lanterns. It should look awesome once lit up out here, and I can't wait to see how it looks when the light scatters through the trees and leaves." There's excitement in her voice! Voices trail forward as she points out where the lanterns are to go near the sigil as the two walk forward together. "Hey," She greets all warmly.

Jermaine is the first out of the truck and he moves to Ashley's side and helps her out of the truck, "Yeah, we better for now on." he tells her. "But than again the next time we will be driving we will be having our pups with us." he says to her. He moves around the back and grabs the lanterns, he's careful not to break them. He's seen that she's been moving slow and he's been doing all that he can to help her which is why the cabin they have now is more for their permanent home. "Well I have the lanterns, now where do I put them?" he asks.

It's getting cooler again, which means the warmer clothing is back out once more. Nadya's standing off to the side, having arrived a short while ago, hands tucked into the leather jacket that she's wearing. The lantern she'd brough is sitting next to her and she quietly watches as each person arrives, dark eyes following their movements.

Pemit from Jackson to ( Kharn ): The spirit in Jackson's bag is called Zalik'ir, often considered a devil's bargain in local spirit lore. A powerful Lune, the spirit is prone toward fits of madness and insight, and seems to have some interest in the rites of the People specifically.

Levi is there in the darkness, the Irraka's clothing a finely made suit of deep midnight blue. He's got an old-looking lantern in one hand, the metal work clearly hand-hammered, the candle thick and melted several times over. In his other hand is a handrolled something. He takes a few more hits before exhaling pungent skunky smoke. Standing in the spiral and near to the Ritemaster, he keeps himself close to his pack, Nadya and Jackson. That cool gaze lifts when Ashley and Jermaine arrive. A warm smile for both of them appearing before going to that signature crooked grin. "Hey guys, glad to see you here. I believe you hold onto your lantern until called upon if I remember the Rite from once upon a time. Jacks?" he asks his Beta curiously.

A black jeep rolls into the area, knobby tires lifting divets out of the earth as it comes to a halt. The music is something with a steady rhythm, but in a foreign language. Icelandic, probably. Despite the weather cooling down, the top and sides are still off. Kharn climbs out, wearing his usual grey firehose pants and a white t-shirt. Even in the starless sky, dark symbols are easily seen in the center of his chest through the sheer material. He's got his own duffel bag, army green, with something in it.

Kharn nods to Jackson and approaches the Ritemaster if rules allow, shaking the man's hand solemnly. Nadya is also given a smile and a wave as a way of greeting. His gaze falls on Ashley and he takes a moment to steel himself before giving her a wave. He retrieves his own candle, something meaningful to him, it's a withered fist of some sort, a candle stuffed into the center of it. The fist is clearly several weeks old, leathery and grey.

"That's correct," Jackson says with a brief nod. His hand drifts over the bag once more, and then he shakes it off to pull back the flap on it, drawing out the skull of a human that's been hand-drilled along the top. He's placed a large tallow candle with some of his own hair as the wick melted into it within the center of the drilled hole. After that, he holds it up in his hand. "So, you hang on to it for now, at least. When you find your place in the spiral, you can set your lantern or candle or lamp down, or you can continue to hold it. Once everyone has assembled in the spiral, we start speaking praises to our spirits, the patrons of our Tribes and our Packs."

"The lanterns and our praise lets the Hisil know we see them," he says with a slight wolfish grin. "Because spirits should know they can't hide from us in autumn, when we should be the most vigilant against them." He does shake Kharn's hand and gives the larger man a nod, then turns to look at Nadya and Levi.

Brant arrives on foot, dressed in jeans, hiking boots, and a flannel shirt. As he nears the gathering of Uratha and Uragarum, he offers a wave, shifting the backpack hanging over one shoulder. As Jackson explains the rite, the Elodoth opens the pack and draws out a black coffee can shaped lantern, with holes punched into the sides in currently unclear patterns.

Ashley looks to the lanterns in Jermaine's hands. Two lanterns were taken from the box. The first he has is an artistic cut in red paper that was made in fine detail to show a running wolf chasing a sliver of a moon in the night sky. The glow radiates from luminescent yellow glowsticks tied beneath. And the second lantern compliments, as it is a second japanese lantern cut with yellow paper and red luminescence. The artistic design is of a jagged claw mark, rending. It bleeds through with the red light. She takes the first lantern carefully from Jermaine and nods to him quietly with a smile before looking to the others. "Got it." A wave goes to all her friends here. A deep breath also taken when she sees Kharn partaking in the ritual and she does meet his eyes for a moment. A smile touches her lips as she gazes to the Rite Master and Levi for the instructions. A wave to Nadya grinning, and another waves goes to Brant. "Good evening."

The lantern sitting beside Nadya is rather plain looking. A black wrought iron frame and somewhat cloudy glass, but the candle within it looks like it's fairly new. Now that it looks as though everyone that's going to show up does, she lifts a hand to wave to people before looking back toward Levi and Jackson. Her gaze lingers on the latter, head tipping just slightly as she regards him for a few extra seconds, then she looks off toward the rest once more.

Jermaine takes the halloween looking lanterns and grins at Ashley, he leans in and kisses her lightly on the lips, "Now lets see if you can carry them without tripping this time." he winks at her. He looks around finally looking to everyone who is here nodding his head in turn as he moves towards the Rite Master and Levi as well, waiting for instructions on where he needs to put his latenrs.

As Levi takes his place, Jackson gives a slight nod, then moves his own lamp between his hands. He eyes Kharn's lantern thoughtfully, then looks toward Nadya's, Levi's, Ashley's, Jermaine's, and Brant's. He pays more attention to those than the people holding them, albeit briefly. Checking to make sure that they've brought ones of their own design. After a fitful nod, he takes a step aside to allow everyone to take their places and gives a furtive glance in Nadya's direction. There's a brief moment where he seems slightly torn, and he slips his head out from under the strap of his bag, holding it by his left hand.

He clears his throat and looks back to Jermaine and Ashley. "Congratulations, by the way," murmurs the Ritualist. "Everyone seems to be having children lately. Good for our numbers. Good for the People." He looks down at the bag. "Yes." He looks back to the couple, then over to Kharn and Brant. "Stand where you will, light your lanterns and ensure the Hisil knows we're here. I must join last."

Levi's nod is returned by Kharn, but the Rahu is quiet for now as he listens to the instructions. The withered fist is held with both hands before him. A small, shiny jet lighter is fished from a pocket and Kharn uses it to light the wick. He looks to his left and his right and then at every person in the group. Small beads of was begin to creep down the side of the candle, pooling in the creases formed by the clenched fingers of the fist.

At the nod he smiles and and follows the directions. Levi, always first into the darkness takes up his lantern and lights it with a brass zippo before clapping it shut and pocketing the lighter once more. Holding his lantern up he speaks clearly and distinctly. "I am Uth'Halak, Alpha of The Murder, I pledged my service to Hala'Amdulim along with my Pack. With Khonsu's blessings I see you spirits who fulfill your purpose, to you I promise my support. I also see you who would defile and savage the balance; know you will be dealt with. I am Night Hunter and I come for you first." When the words are spoken he returns his hands to clasp in front of him holding his lit lantern and looking to the next to speak.

Ashley speaks in low tones to Jermaine after accepting the caress, "Tripping? It's not my fault I can't see my own feet anymore." She chuckles. "And maybe I should have packed a camp chair if there's to be a lot of standing." She's in a good mood this evening and with the softer glow from the lantern now in hand she is surely checking out everyone else's choice for the ritual. A brilliant smile is shared with Jackson to acknowledge his words. "Thank you." Kharn seems to have a really creepy lantern and he gets a thumbs up of approval. Her own lantern is a much more gentle offering to Luna in her honor, when lit now.

Brant draws the barrel of his lantern upward, revealing the candle within. Wide and fat, it has several wicks which he lights with a wooden match, before lowering the shield back down. Once lit, the pinprick holes in the metal reveal outlines of moon phases, cycling from full on one side to new on the opposite, and back. As the heat from the candle rises, the barrel begins slowly turning, running through the phases slowly, and projecting the ones facing him across his chest.

There's no lighter or matches needed when it comes to Nadya lighting the candle within her lantern; it simply bursts into flame after she picks the lantern up from the ground and finds a spot along the spiral to stand. She's quiet, perhaps unsure what to say, instead listening to the others as they begin.

Kharn's eyes glimmer in the flames, lit from below. His own words are dark and solemn as he speaks, "I am Kuthgurim of the Suthar Anzuth. Blessed by the Ralunim, and charged with upholding the Oath, I see you." The lantern is held out a little farther from his body, an offering, "I maintain the balance, even if it means going to vanquish those that would destroy me. This should be proof enough. I see you." The withered fist is brought back close to his body.

Jermaine laughs, "Yeah, yeah." he winks at Ashley and he moves to where he is directed. Once it's his turn he lights his own lantern, holding it up, "I'm Jermaine Johnson, of the Infinite Vigil Pack. Hunter in the deepest Darkness, eyes for the People, blessed into being by Mother Luna and Father Wolf." he says not feeling guilty that he doesn't have his rite name, something he needs to have done soon, it's about time.

Watching as the others speak their piece, Jackson gives a slight nod and considers everything said. He reaches a hand up to brush along some stubble on his jaw. His expression grows solemn, and he glances toward the place where the moon should be, as Luna hides her face from her children. His eyes drift to the next person along as Jermaine finishes, standing outside of the circle. The Ithaeur are meant to stand outside, symbolically. They're outsiders in most things, straddling both of the worlds that each of the attendees who've spoken have sworn to defend against or watch.

"I am Brant Collins, the will behind the Judge's Patient Sentance, traveler along the path of Sagrim-Ur, protector of the protectors, watcher of the watchmen, the response when the line is crossed." The silver haired elodoth intones, setting his lantern down upon the spiral next. He looks down into the flames of the red candle, continuing. "I see from both sides, where you run free, and where you skulk and hide. There is no shelter from the Judge's reach, no distance that protects you from hearing her Sentance. I see you."

Ashley has a peaceful, yet tired look in her grey eyes when the lantern is brought closer to illuminate her face. Her blonde hair looks almost white as she speaks outward in turn, "I am Ashley Firestone. I do not have a pack but I have dedicated my work to bettering the lives of many Uratha and their families. To Luna, I praise her for her grace in seeing to our needs in all ways, even in ones we can't see. I present my offering and gratitude."

Nadya gives her lantern a small swing as she turns a bit in her spot so that she's facing whoever happens to be speaking at that moment. Once most of them seem to be done, she smiles faintly and glances skywards before saying anything, "I am Nadya Wilkes, a member of The Murder. I praise Luna and the unfaltering light she shines down on us."

After the others have taken their place, Jackson walks around the circle, standing near to each of the attendants to the Rite. He tilts his head forward toward each in turn, starting with Levi at the front of the circle. He says, "We see you. We see and honor your strength and wisdom, valued allies. We see and respect your might, enemies, and we will stand against it. We see you." Then the next, as though he's giving some sort of communion. Finally, he reaches the center of the circle and moves to sweep himself down into a seated position, pressing the skull against the ground. He lights the wick with his cigarette lighter and leans over it. There's the scent of burning hair and what smells like fat melting away. He slips a hand into his pocket and takes out a small amount of crushed mushroom caps. Slipping the hallucinogenic material into his mouth, he chews at it thoughtfully and swallows. "Luna, see my eyes. See my heart," murmured over the flame. Likely, the shrooms will be out of his system in a good five minutes after a very brief thirty second trip.

In a louder voice which is both resonant and has the timbre to it of someone who's smoked and drank far too much in his life, he intones: "I am Jackson Wilkes, Hala'gizullah, Beta of the Murder and the husband of Nadya White Wilkes. I have tamed the spirits of Zulik'ir and Anfar'Dakh just recently. I have bound the storm. I have sought out the dark places in the Hisil to speak to the spirits that would allow me to create new Rites for the betterment of the People. I am of the Isibiluda, and stand at the precipice of the void between our world and the world in which you belong. My Totems give me strength: Coyote-Who-Howls, Hala'Amdulim, Black Wolf. I am no Night Hunter, but I know you more than most. Should you seek to transgress upon the world of the Herd in this time, I will find you and set you in your place, as was the duty given to the People by our ancestors. You will find the e'esk'gushasu should you cross the People this season, where your influence will dwindle and fall dormant." He pauses for a moment, then says, "And yet, I give thanks and praise to the ones who abide their natures and exist to do what they will, without interference in the living realm. To those spirits, you may find good company among us." A threat and praise from the Ithaeur.

He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, stretching his hands out to conjure up what spirit magic he can muster to bless those in attendance.

After several moments spent in meditation, allowing the mushrooms to work on his psyche, he takes another deep breath, then pulls his bag in front of him. His form enlarges as he shifts into his Dalu form, the clothing around him stretching and then becoming loose as they form to fit his body. He reaches into it for a ritual knife, holding it for a moment. This isn't a difficult Rite. Use of the Fetish isn't necessary, and it seems as though Jackson's attempting to try to talk himself out of it, judging from the warring expression on his face. Finally, he just slices his wrist open and bleeds into the bag.

With a nod to it, he murmurs, "Zulik'ir, show me your wisdom," and then tilts his head up toward the sky, staring into the darkness. Some of stars have started to come out as the gloaming of early night has become the darker night. They shine like pinholes in the dark, gleaming down against the background of the shadows that surround the Uratha and Uragarum. He sighs out his breath and closes his eyes. "Luna, bless my family, disparate of Pack, or Tribe, or of Wolf."

With the solemn and somber deed done, the alpha wolf shifts on his feet. Dropping the lantern to the ground, he leaves it there while the fat candle burns and flickers in the darkness. With lantern left, Levi begins walking in a quiet and orderly fashion away from the Spiral and the Ritual site itself. He stays quiet but brushes shoulders with Jackson and Nadya each before giving Jeremiah and Kharn a respectful nod. Ashley gets a nod and a smile before he simply disappears into the darkness again.

Nadya leaves the spiral once it's her turn, leaving her lantern on the ground where she'd been standing. Levi is given a smile when he brushes against her shoulder and a small wave is given to the rest before she finds somewhere else to sit, nearby a black backpack that she'd brought along. She knows how the ritual goes and that Jackson won't be leaving for awhile, so it looks as though she won't be, either.

Ashley sets down her lantern and whispers a quiet, "thank you" over to Jackson who is staying behind now. "Goodnight everyone."

Brant leaves the spiral, following its path outward until he is clear of the varied lanterns. He watches for a few minutes more, then turns and begins the trek back toward home on foot.

With things coming to an end, Nate does his part and he moves to collect Ashley, "I think this is enough excitement for you, for one day." he says as he looks around honoring the rite and also making his small prayer as well. He looks around, "Sorry, I need to get Ashley home, she is almost about due and she can't be up much." he says to the gathered People here. He bows his head and helps Ashley towards their SUV.

As the others leave, Jackson remains seated in the center of the spiral. There's a feeling like eyes are upon everyone, but it's brief. The Hisil is fickle, regardless of the Rite's efficacy. The Ithaeur rests his hands against his knees and waits for the wound on his wrist to heal, staring at the lanterns in the spiral. His own is the first to die, probably due to knowing what the Rite entails. His gaze drifts to Ashley's lantern, along with Jermaine's and he purses his lips before looking down at the skull near him. He does occasionally look up to Nadya and smiles at her, but it's a distracted thing; he turns to look at the lights instead, watching as they slowly gutter and die before standing to his feet and moving to join his wife to take her home.