The Battle of the Pit: The death of Forge and Boom-Boom, and the capture of Mina Bluejay
16 November, 1998
Sung by Diana Milleti Screams-Motherís-Rage, Black Fury, Galliard, packmate to Forge
<From galliard list>
I sing the song of a battle. I sing the songs of the fallen. I sing with a heavy heart and streaming eyes, but I sing so those close to my heart will not be forgotten.
Nearly two days ago now, Dan Walks in Shadows-rhya, human-born Athro shaman of the Uktena tribe, heard the crying of spirits to the west and southwest of our caern, cries that silenced as the spirits died. Many Garou went towards the disturbance, while others stayed: Morgan Anderson-rhya, human-born Athro trickster of the Shadow Lords, Alpha of Luna's Shadow; Dan-rhya the Caern Warder; Sato Takahashi-yuf, human-born Fostern trickster of the Asian Shadow Lords, Caern Guardian; and Meara Speaks-with-Birds-rhya, wolf-born Adren moon-dancer of the Fianna, Eldest Galliard of Luna's Shadow. May none question their honor, for they remained to protect our home.
The rest of us moved on towards the cries of the spirits. What we found was an Umbral wasteland. The last remnants of once strong Glade Children flickered and died out as I watched. The land was flat and dark, with nothing growing upon it. Even the very spirits of the rocks had been decimated, leaving only ephemera behind. The bleakness, the emptiness of the scene shall forever be engraved on my memory; such a...wholesale slaughter of the children of the Goddess is not easily forgotten.
As we traveled, we realized we traveled in the direction of our fallen caern. Forge...
Forge, changer-born Athro warrior of the Get of Fenris, Eldest Ahroun and Battle Lord of Luna's Shadow, Jarl of the region, and I came to the same, alarming conclusion: the Black Spiral Dancers, foul perversions of Gaia's children, were most likely using our old caern site to build a pit of their own. For the first time in a long while, the icy chill of fear ran down my spine and raised my hackles. This I am not ashamed to admit, for the consequences of having such a Wyrmhole so close to our home were grave.
Java-yuf, changer-born Fostern judge of the Bone Gnawers, was sent away to collect explosive devices, so that perhaps we may destroy the tunnels in which such an abomination would likely be built. The rest of us remained to wait, to plan, to gather our strength for the seige ahead; as my brother Forge was quick to point out, it was unlikely we would all come out of such a battle alive.
I remember all the others who stood with me that day on the blighted umbral plane. For the years ahead I recount their names, so that all may remember: Matthew Oathkeeper-yuf, human-born Adren judge of the Children of Gaia, Den Father and Beta of the Sept of No Stars, Eldest Child and Eldest Philodox of the region; Mina...
Mina Bluejay-yuf, wolf-born warrior of the Uktena; Mosquito, human-born Cliath trickster of the Glasswalkers; Boom-Boom, human-born Fostern warrior of the Bone Gnawers, Den Father of Luna's Shadow; and Jules Stands-His-Ground-yuf, human born Fostern warrior of the Get of Fenris, Alpha of the Sept of the Hidden Moon. May none question their glory, for they all stood tall and ready that day.
As we waited, suddenly a sensation was felt in the air. A sensation of...wrongness, a sensation that yet another part of Gaia had been grasped in the teeth of the Wyrm. By this we knew the Black Spirals had begun, and that we could wait no longer. Forge led the charge towards our former home, with all the rest close behind.
Once there, we shifted across the Gauntlet into the mundane world. There we found a concrete bunker the humans had constructed, to contain the nuclear waste they had spilled there. The use of the trickster's gift by Mosquito quickly opened the bunker to us, and within we found an elevator. Together we crowded close, traveling downwards into the bowels of Gaia herself, the scent of the Corrupter thick and close about us.
Out the elevator we ran, and down a tunnel we charged, moving ever closer to the former heart of the caern. At the end we reached a vast cavern, lined with the restrained bodies of innocent humans, with a glowing green lake at it's center. At the edge of the sludge an old, scarred shaman sat, apparently the spiritual focal point for the foul rite. Others were gathered there as well, who looked like Gaia-driven Garou but were no longer. There was a Get of Fenris renunciate, a traitor of the Children of Gaia, and two Silver Fangs of the line of Morningkill, one weilding a rune-covered ancestral Grand Klaive. In the back, another trueborn Spiral worked, slitting the throat of a young female child as I watched, grinning with glee the entire time he performed the heinous act.
My rage swelled within me, the charge given to me by Pegasus driving me to fury, and as the others fanned out and attacked, I charged towards the child murderer. As we ran forward, a great thunderclap resounded in the cavern, and through the haze of red I saw my packmate, Forge, and my friend, Matthew Oathkeeper, fall stunned to the stone below. I continued on, but was restrained by one of the Silver Fangs, who wielded a silver blade of her own. Mina, my spirit-sister, sprinted, dodged, and twisted in the air and on the ground, attempting to move beyond the line of those who had forsaken Gaia, trying to reach the apparent leader of the rite. Jules-yuf fought well, until he fell under the sway of a gift, but even then he held his axe from the Legendary realm held high, ready to strike in a split second of being freed.
On the battle raged, and on we fought. My strength of will was sapped, trying to avoid the freezing stares of my enemies. Forge called upon his own Grand Klaive, Foe Render, to summon forth a pack of great wolf spirits, who also charged the old shaman. Unfortunately, the effects of the gift of the Shadow Lords prevented him from doing much else. Mina continued to struggle through the line of traitors, as Boom-Boom used his preferred weapon, a submachine gun, to pepper our foes with lead. Even when reduced to the form of his birth, he continued on. Mosquito also lent his hand to the fray, but fell under the enemy's weapon. Matthew, the only one among us who could heal, covered Mosquito's body with his own, preventing his death at the hands of another renunciate, this one Shadow Lord.
Forge called a retreat, but so many were frozen or stunned that we could not leave. Jules-yuf charged bravely back up the way we came, trying to clear the way. After the haze left my vision, I found myself frozen in place, watching helplessly as my brethren fought and fell around me. Strangely, I was not attacked in this vulnerable state.
Then, Java-yuf returned, throwing a large bomb into the fray. It sailed over our heads and exploded against a side wall, knocking us all to the ground and relieving us of the effects of the gifts used upon us. With a great roar, Forge charged renewed into the battle, his Grand Klaive flaming with Luna's touch. Matthew continued to protect Mosquito, returning him to a conscious state, where he then attempted to turn the tables on those we fought, attempting to paralyze the Wyrmrite master. Mina, aided by the wolves, reached the old man, clenching her jaws Around his leg and biting deep. Boom-Boom, again able to assume the warform, used his firearm to attack the shaman as well. This caught the attention of the Get of Fenris-turned Spiral, who charged at the Bone Gnawer. I refused to allow the traitor the satisfaction of reaching our Den Father, and threw myself in his way, wielding the labrys of Gabrielle Nightshine as I countercharged.
Deep was the former Get's bite, and like acid did it burn. As I struggled, calling upon Gaia to allow me to remain standing, his rage pushed him even faster, and again he bit into my flesh. Screaming defiance, I fell, bleeding.
Then there was another battle roar from my brother as he charged to my aid, swinging Foe Render in a deadly arc as he attacked the traitor to his tribe. Blows he landed, but blows did his foe land as well, and blood began to streak Forge's fur. Standing again, I attempted to enforce my brother's order to retreat, as I knew he would not even think of leaving until everyone else was away. But I looked around and found Matthew stunned, Mosquito weak, Jules still confronting a foe in the tunnel and later also frozen, and Boom-Boom with problems of his own. I backed up towards the exit, staying between the traitors and those I sought to protect. Like my honored brother, I refused to leave until the others had escaped.
The fight between Forge and the former Get raged on, and slowly, it became apparently that Forge's expenditure of Gnosis to call on the wolves had drained him, for he was unable to call on other gifts of Gaia to his aid. Realizing that his death may be drawing near, my brother and our Battle Lord did one of the most honorable and wise things I had ever seen him do: he destroyed his own klaive, releasing the Fenris Wolf incarna within, rather than see it fall into the hands to one who had so betrayed his tribe. With a mighty smash and a flash of brilliant light, Foe Render died, and with a screech of pure rage, the Get renunciate charged renewed at my brother, obviously incensed at the loss of his possible prize.
I watched my brother fall. I watched my brother collapse to the blighted stone, bleeding many wounds. I cried out in pain, not from my wounds but from seeing such a mighty warrior, such a trusted friend, such a beloved packmate fall. Then suddenly, I felt Gaia's strength leave me, and my wounds took their expected toll. I also fell to the ground, the darkness rushing in on my vision. My last thought before it overtook me was a plea for forgiveness, for my brother to forgive me for being unable to save him, as he had saved me so many times before.
As I lay near death, the battle raged on. I was unconscious for it all, so I cannot say much of what occurred. But the rite was stopped; the pit was not built. The Warriors of Gaia had their victory...but the cost was dear.
Despite my sacrifice, Boom-Boom perished that day, killing both himself and the Grand Klaive-wielding Silver Fang of the line of Morningkill in a selfless act of valor. His name I will always remember.
Mina Bluejay-yuf was directly responsible for the stopping of the rite, bravely and relentlessly attacking the old shaman until he finally fell from his wounds. The pain...oh my spirit sister, the pain I feel at not knowing if you are alive or dead! Mina has vanished; none saw her body, none saw her leave. I pray to Pegasus that she is dead, rather than now being tortured by the traitors of the Garou. Your songs I will always sing, spirit-sister; your kindness I will always remember; your wisdom I shall never forget.
Forge...my ally, my friend, my pack-brother...fell that day. His blood ran out onto the desecrated ground, his skull smashed in. Oh...Goddess...return him to us soon, for we are in need of his strength.
Forge...if in your fabled Valhalla you can hear me...
Forgive me, my beloved brother...I was not strong enough to save you.
<the howl trails off into the cold silence of the night>
Diana Milleti, Homid Black Fury Galliard Fostern
Pack of the Rising Storm; Child of Falcon
Eldest Fury, Keeper of the Land; Sept of Luna's Shadow
*Courageous, Glorious, Valiant, Relentless, Spirited*
*Inventive, Pragmatic, Wise, Clever*