The Death of Screaming Rage
Sung by Maera Speaks-to-the-Birds

27 January, 1998

<from Garou list>

...With reluctant acceptance of her task written in her very body-language, a young woman with raven-black hair and eyes the grey-green of a storm tossed sea steps forward, nodding to her alpha, Morgan Anderson of the Shining Springs. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, Maera keeps down cast eyes as she begins. "I will sing first of the story that unfolded where I could not see, when the Ahroun, Child of Gaia, called Beethoven issued a challenge to Screaming Rage and of the fight and the victory won that day. I will strive to share the story as was told me by one who stood as brother to Beethoven and was honored in keeping to his side at this greatest of battles."

Falling into the cadence that many bards have when recounting a story, Maera's voice weaves an image in pictures. "This then, for all to here are the words of Remy Deshotel - Ramses-speaks-to-the-Dead, a ragabash Adren who witnessed the Death of Screaming Rage and who trusted a Cliath Galliard with the telling.......

The two ran, - one a Strider and the other, who had about him the stillness that comes with great thought, in appearance clearly of the peacemakers tribe, Child of Gaia. Skimming the surface of the Umbral grasses, they neared the place chosen and shifted from one form to the other before stepping across the Gauntlet.

Homid then, the pack brothers strode the short distance to a clearing, safely away from the Caern and Garou working intently there as the near-lost Caern was still in need of rebuilding. Beethoven was gripping an unseen weapon of flint and jagged edges and neither spoke to break the almost comforting silence and solemnity this next hour would hold, for blood would be spilled and a life would be ended.

They beheld the other pair before them, in a black Lexus, the dark tint of windows only hinting at outlines of bodies talking, and giving up nothing in the way of expression from those inside.

A car door opens.

He sets a polished boot upon the ground and stands to his full height. Into the previous calm of the afternoon, a gust of wind blows the tails of an ankle-length black coat behind him. Beneath is worn a black Armani suit, darkness layering on darkness. Skin, black also, only provide a frame for the cold, emotionless gaze. "You called me here. You know I am leaving."

The larger man answers in a gruff, tense voice. "We have business to finish. You will return some day and I cannot allow that."

This begins the dance of words before the dance of blades. They call back and forth to each other, sparring with words. The dark companion behind the challenger remains still. Stone. Mirrored shades reflect the glare of an unforgiving sun. All the while, the fourth member of this gathering remains seated in the car, clearly hearing all that is said, but showing no visible reaction.

"You have something that belongs to us."

"I have nothing of yours." says the grim businessman.

"You have Bruce Long, and I want him returned." Beethoven's words are clipped, as his patience wears thin and a soul-deep loathing bubbles to the surface. For a moment perhaps, he sees the images of friends, pack mates and sept mates whose deaths can be laid at the feet of this wyrm-lover. The Ahroun's eyes gleam with purpose and determination.

"What if he does not wish to go with you? I have shown him the Truth." Said, with that same lack of emotions, the intent of this seemingly reasonable man seems.. ominous .... at the least.

"Then we will have a problem."

The black man turns, speaks into the car. A moment passes, the door opens, and Bruce stands up. Stepping away from the vehicle, he looks at Beethoven and Remy, then puts an arm around the black man's shoulders. "I am home. Leave me."

A look of pain, regret. The challenger's resolve falters a little. His companion does not move. The challenger stretches out a hand and calls...A blade appears in his hand, shining Oak leaves glitter.

"You are no challenge." the black man says. With a firm hand, he pushes Bruce back inside the car and reaches into the back seat for a leather case. Opening the container atop the hood, he draws a length of silver -- a blade that Sufur has touched, that Steel Fang has felt, that it is said most recently ended the life of one Black Fury not even of the Sept of Shining Springs.

Screaming Rage stands tall, and shifts. He glows with a Halo of the Sun, unearthly in the growing twilight. He increases in size and then, standing firm, his gaze falls on Beethoven. Eyes flicker in assessment and dismissal - all of his stance screams confidence, security and knowledge that this Ahroun will soon join the vanquished others, becoming one less gnat to be troubling him.

Beethoven shifts, and begins to shimmer with the armor of the Moon. He readies...and attacks.

Klaive blade sings through the air, missing. Missing. Missing. Touching and tearing fur, drawing blood. The black man bleeds. The klaives swing, fly, clash. Grunts and growls, snarls and noises of war. Minutes pass in furious blood-letting.

The dark companion, pack-brother stands still. Stone. The challenger takes a hit, another hit. Both come together again and again. Blade meets flesh Blade meets blade. Wounds are shared and traded.

The challenger pauses, and the black man's klaive flies from his hand, landing close to the dark observer. He moves, and stares at the blade, then back at the fight. Stone. Another clash and the blade is called back to it's owner's hand to fight again.

Swing and connect. Hit and parry. An opening is used, a blow scored. Beethoven weakens. He strikes and is struck, and is struck again. The black man's wounds heal, and the challenger's rage drains from him. He falters. The attack is pressed and the Child of Gaia stumbles. Blow follows blow. He begins to return to the form of his breed...lupus. Then, Beethoven hurls his blade back toward his dark companion, and utters a phrase before collapsing. "Remy, Run!"

The Strider bends and picks up the blade, hefting it over his right shoulder. He stands and does not run. Stone. The black man holds his blade high, ready to finish the life of his foe...and hesitates. The challenger lies prone, bloodied, wounded grievously, unable to concentrate. The black man goes to his car. The passenger's door opens and Screaming Rage leans forward, murmuring to his companion.

Once again, Bruce steps out, looking confused. The blade is pressed into his hand. He walks to Beethoven's side and raises the blade to finish it.

"Stop!" Remy speaks, "This is not your challenge. He has challenged Screaming Rage, not you."

Bruce calls back, "Is he defeated?"

"He can not attack you."

"Then he is ours to do with as we please. Leave, take your toy with you."

The dark observer stands. Stone.

"Do not do this, Strider."


"You don't want to do this, Ragabash." Bruce walks toward the dark observer. Remy backs up, keeping the distance unaltered. He knows his mission: Keep the klaive safe.

"I will not leave until you make me a promise."

"He will die."

"He must not walk the Spiral."

Bruce repeats quietly. "I promise he will die."

Stone, then, " be it."

He turns from his fallen brother, and walks. Honor in his soul, pain in his heart, blood of the Enemy on the blade that is not his."

Maera pauses, a hand to her throat, parched from the words and she accepts a flask from which she drinks deeply. A moment's silence, her eyes fixed on her hands, as they rest in her lap, the Fianna goes on with the story.....
Maera peers about the gathering, the first her eyes have lifted in all this tale and murmurs, "Beethoven choose not to have a Galliard witness this battle, and thus when Remy left the glen only he, Screaming Rage and Bruce Long know what transpired. I will not speculate for it is my duty to tell the tale only as I know it." She sips again from the flask and hands it back to its owner. Her voice carries clearly as the story unfolds.....

Parting the tree branches, Remy sets foot on a gravel road. Behind him is the fight and the coming death. Beethoven lies on the ground. Bruce Long,whom the sept had fought so hard to keep safe, and then to recover from the hands of Screaming Rage would now be the one to kill the elder Ahroun.

Crunch. Crunch. Nothing follows behind. Pulling from his pocket a phone, the numbers dial themselves and on the other end there is an answer.


"Steel. Beethoven has fallen. I have the klaive."

"We're coming. Are you ok?"

"They seem content to let me leave without trouble."

Click...dead phone. Back in the pocket.

A whisper into a bug worn under his lapel, intended for a kinder ear that was supposed to be listening. "I'm alive. I'm coming back." He is unable to hear a response, if there is any.

He sees Steel's group coming down the road. They slow to talk with him. He does not know if Beethoven is dead or not, but is afraid he probably is. He tells what he saw, what is there and goes on the path back to the Caern.

Steel Fang and his packmates press onward toward the fallen Beethoven, Bruce Long and Screaming Rage. A moment later there is a rustling of leaves, though no wind blows and then silence.

Before they can arrive at the glen, Beethoven appears....limping, sorely wounded. A scar at his neck of depth that would have killed a lesser being. Katriona rushes forward and ministers to him with her special gifts. It is then that all see what Beethoven drags along him with his good arm. It is a head.

"The body is back there." The Ahroun gestures weakly, even as the Garou gather concernedly about him. "Bruce Long walked away. I could not stop him."

Joy over the success of their septmate and the vanquishing of Screaming Rage is short lived. The meaning of Beethoven's words sink in. Bruce Long is lost and now never recoverable.

Steel Fang, with an unassuming and natural air of leadership moves on towards the battle ground after gently taking possession of Beethoven's trophy.

The glen is far to peaceful a place to have been site to the momentous battle. On a cushion of brittle leaves and winter ferns lies the body of this Sept's most dangerous adversary. Keeping a respectful distance behind, Steel Fang's packmates watch in awed silence. He steps forward and gazes a long moment on the body, returning the head to its proper place.

This is the Wyrm leader who took him away, who almost cost the Silver Fang - then Glass Walker - his soul. Still, Steel Fang feels some pity, mingled with a respect that prompts him into his next actions.

While his companions remain quiet and observing, Steel Fang starts to circle the body, calling to the winds. Thus he begins the Gathering for the Departed.

Creeping up slowly, parting the branches and entering along the path laid forth by her septmates, Mina Bluejay enters the glen and squats low, taking care not to interrupt the ritual. Something is odd in the air....this is not what she came seeking but it keeps her attention. As the Battlelord finishes honoring the body of Screaming Rage, one Garou steps forward, as if to move it and Mina calls out. "No...not yet, I sense..." She wrinkles her nose in thought. "There is a Gathering for the Departed being done here."

A half-smile and Steel Fang nods, his eyes scanning the whole of the area - pausing at one point for the briefest of instants, then connecting with the Uktena's and he comments softly. "I know."

Mina points. "Do not move yet. Do not Disturb."

A hand's span of minutes pass. The air seems to let go with a sigh, then Mina nods. Before even that, Steel Fang has moved and the body is placed on a pyre, built by hand of Steel Fang's tribe as they waited out the rite. The fallen enemy's possessions are gathered for later cleansing, if it is possible.

In the falling Shadows of night the winds carry ashes and smoke skyward. Flames reduce to embers. Embers grow cold and dark. Screaming Rage is no more.

Her talespinning at an end, Maera retreats to those same comforting shadows after a passing nod to Morgan Anderson. From a voice that is not hers, a howl swells and fills the night. As breath dies out, it is no more and the gathering is embraced with a silence broken only with the sounds of nature.

Kelley Barnes

IC : Maera "Speaks-to-the-Birds"
Pack of the Hidden Paths
Elder Galliard, Sept of the Shining Springs