Waning Gibbous Moon
Three weeks of relative quiet have given the pack much-needed time to lick their wounds and come to terms with the loss of their packmate Timone. Jules has been immersing himself in the affairs of the Raven Coffee Co, which has successfully begun its expansion into the world of live entertainment. Though the change has chased away a portion of the regular crowd, it has drawn many more in the form of young, hip and affluent men and women eager to have a night scene. It also remains the pack’s primary social haunt outside of the lighthouse.
Cleo receives a message on her answering machine from Kleon Winston, stating that he has a task in mind to serve as more than an exchange of the Glass Walkers’ prior service in providing Waffles with a new identity and assisting them in repairing the lighthouse after Mugabe had wreaked potentially veil-damaging havoc on the place.
After a brief conversation about just how eerily quiet their territory has been, and the fact that the local resonance seems to have taken a collective shift toward a state of caution that borders on paranoid, Sirius offers assurances that he will remain and keep an eye on things while they’re away. Thus it’s decided the entire pack will take the trip to lower Manhattan and the Sept of the Tower.
Once they arrive, Kleon is quick to bring them all the way to the top floor, where they find what looks to be a mix between temple and server room with a glass enclosure and a single computer in the very center. He does a great deal of half-explaining, but the pack slowly makes out that the totem spirit of the Sept seems to be an Awakened AI that seems child-like but eager to interact with Garou. Kleon goes on to elaborate on why he’s brought them, which is to serve as something of an honor-guard during his trip to the CyberRealm.
Cash “Six-Rock” Monet (Departed) is introduced, as Kleon explains he is a metis that has been partially ‘fixed’ with technology brought to the world through the CyberRealm itself, but the tech doesn’t seem to function properly in the physical world. It’s slowly being rejected, and he needs to visit a powerful Uptown Lord of the CyberRealm known as The Patriarch to discern more. Being one of the Lords of the CyberRealm young enough not to be wholly set in his ways, Kleon believes he can convince him to help, or to find someone else who can.
The pack agrees and takes on a bit of powerfully Weaver-aspected bit of gnosis from Alvey, before being placed in a drug-cocktail-induced sleep that helps him guide them to the Glass Walker Homeland. From there it’s a short ride on the maglev to reach the adjacent CyberRealm, where the pack exits an almost mundane looking subway.
Things do not go as planned. Though Kleon assured the pack that Glass Walkers were considered all but nobility here, he finds his clearance from Downtown to Uptown revoked. A visit to the office that once sheltered spirits that served as liaisons between the Walkers and the Uptown Lords is also found destroyed, and perhaps more than a month ago. Confused and frustrated, Kleon finds himself at a loss until Nico lays eyes on a miniscule little mantis more brightly colored than most local denizens. Feeding it gnosis provides it strength enough to deliver a message from the Queen. An aspect of her resides in the CyberRealm, assisting Garou whenever and wherever she can find them after their assistance back home. They are in danger, but she promises she will do what she can if they follow her messenger.
The pack follows, finding themselves in a run-down warehouse reminiscent of where they’d first met one another. The Queen is there, in the form of a stately black woman surrounded by CyberWolves, including Lord Raiden and Teeth-of-Titanium. She explains that the Uptown Lords have been on a pogrom against Garou for many weeks now, having descended upon and slaughtered dozens of Glass Walkers before they could respond. The Cyber Wolves mourn the loss but find little sympathy after all their efforts to convince their own tribe of the wickedness they’d been fighting against this whole while.
She explains that they have few options should they wish to reach Uptown. There is a Yomi Lord Mikaboshi residing in the Wicked City, a new realm adjacent and attached to the CyberRealm. He is most certainly of the Wyrm whether he realizes it or not, and yet he has the most to gain from causing the Uptown Lords trouble. Even if it’s only to spite them. The other options are more dramatic and dangerous, including a visit to the Spider Web, which serves as something of an overlaying computer network within the Realm. However access would bring the Spider Patrol down upon them in force.
Barely were the words free of her lips than the pack was assaulted by the Uptown Lords’ minions, somehow ‘tearing’ through the Umbral fabric of the realm as if they were capable of teleportation. The Queen performed a similar action at the behest of her CyberWolf guardians, vanishing with two guardians in tow. A swift and brutal battle ensued, with the CyberWolves dying in equal numbers to the Spider Patrol, though the Wolves of Montauk quickly turned the odds in their favor by destroying the squadron’s leader, a horrifying hybrid of man and spider seemingly built of silver and capable of controlling technology well enough to freeze Cash’s metal bones in place, but not before he was wrapped in iron grating and tossed out into the streets.
Though the individual spider minions proved to be little threat, it was quickly discerned they would continue flooding into the warehouse until numbers prevailed, so the pack fled with Lord Raiden and Teeth-of-Titanium, battling their way to the subway and only barely reaching the shuttle departing for the Bone Gnawer Homeland, where they were able to rest, heal and formulate a plan. Time proved limited, as the surviving CyberWolves could not long survive outside their home realm, much in the same manner as Cash, who’s situation seemed to be deteriorating rapidly.
Despite many ideas being placed on the table, it was Nico’s highly contested decision to visit this lord Mikaboshi, whom the CyberWolves had claimed to work with in the past, though sparingly. So the pack returned the the CyberRealm, hoping the Spider Patrol’s forces were spread too thin to guard every stop in full force. Their hopes proved founded when they found their station guarded only by mundane police emanations, quickly and brutally dispatched. The pack was forced to move in greater haste when Spider Patrol minions began appearing once more, seemingly drawn by Cash’s technological skeleton.
While Lord Raiden and Teeth-of-Titanium provided distraction, the pack made their way across the long bridge toward the Wicked City, Mikaboshi’s domain. It appeared as a futuristic Eastern city as it might appear in a dystopian future, though most of the local emanations paid the pack little heed. The exception to this being the foul Kumo, Wyrm-tainted Ananasi serving the Yomi lord’s whims and tyranny and keeping a sharp eye on the Garou “visitors.”
Under increasing strain from his body’s attempt to reject the titanium skeleton at his core, Cash remained behind with Waffles, eyeing the dark palace doors leading to the Yomi lord’s abode. After a brief confrontation with the Kumo guarding those doors, the rest of the pack found the entrance flung wide and a booming, demanding voice telling them to enter, and to bring their friends.
Seeming amused by the pack’s plight, but very much desiring to take part in any petty strike against the Uptown Lords, he agreed that he would give the pack the codes they needed, if they were able to prove their ability to defeat this Patriarch. That meant a bloody, deadly battle with the strongest of his Kumo guardians, each trained in their respective weaponry. It was a fight that sorely tested the pack, leaving Cleo next to death and Cash in the Thrall of the Wyrm as he dug too deeply into his Rage to slaughter his foes. It took the combined efforts of the entire pack to bring him out of his Thrall, and it was agreed they would not tell him what took place afterward.
Mikaboshi was good to his word, though he imperiously demanded each pack member kiss his ring, which caused a great deal of conflict when Nico decided it was a necessary action. Worse still was the hint of Wyrm taint lingering on each member of the pack by the time they departed. Abiding by the Litany, Waffles announced he would abide by the decision but challenge Nico afterward. Accepting this, their alpha led them back into the city and up through the pneumatic elevators that had not worked for Kleon earlier.
Uptown proved to be positively beautiful, with none of the noise or pollution or poverty from below. It seemed a gleaming, utopian future free of blemish, and one the more powerful spider guardians did not stop the pack from traversing, now that Mikaboshi had imprinted the proper coding on each packmate. They easily found the Patriarch’s home, as it seemed each Uptown Lord clearly marked their territories with symbols and effigies representing themselves. In this case, the Patriarch seemed equal parts white male-dominated religious and business figure, towering high above even the Crinos forms of the Garou and nearly as wide thanks to his corpulent gluttony.
In the very center of his office lay Kleon, attached to an odd mix of technology and magic keeping him asleep and draining him of Gnosis in an attempt to make him a part of the Patriarch’s brood and thus gain near-unrestricted access to the Glass Walker homeland. It appeared all the draining of power from both the lower levels of the CyberRealm and the neighboring tribal homelands were all related to something labeled the Antichrist Serum, kept in check via the very nanites needed to stabilize Cash (and theoretically any CyberWolf for that matter)).
Another swift but cruel battle ensued, with Cash discovering he was unable to actually harm the Patriarch, driving him back to shatter the grand windows of his office behind him, though he clung tenaciously and used his abilities to shut Cash’s skeleton down once more. Nico struck a true blow with his klaive, but it was not enough. While several pack members struggled to keep the doors shut to avoid reinforcements on the other side, the Patriarch proved to have a klaive of his own, in the form of the desk he kicked into the Garou, dealing grievous aggravated damage. Upon Waffles’ realization that the only way to defeat him would be to drain him dry, Cash and Nico both sank teeth into his corpus, pulling deeply of Weaver-tainted Gnosis. The desiccated remains fell many stories into Downtown, where the former Uptown Lord found himself savaged into nothingness by the very emanations he had been terrorizing for “juice” all these years.
The pack limped their way back to the Glass Walker homeland, no longer hounded by the rogue Uptown Lord’s spider patrols, saving Kleon and finding Cash what was needed to stabilize him. A slightly pyrrhic victory, but a victory all the same.