An Epilogue - Claim Jumper

An Epilogue - Claim Jumper

Postby Justin » Tue May 22, 2018 12:33 am

Not long ago, a Fury of the Full Moon known as Arrows From The Sky was traveling to the mountains of California. Like many others, she was headed there to begin a new life - seeking fortune, fame, and freedom. In her travels, she came across another lone Garou: he introduced himself as an Iron Rider of the New Moon, deeded Roof Runner, and invited her to travel with him for a while. As Garou, we are not at our best when we run alone - so she agreed.

Not long after, the two were traveling along the plains when they saw a cow. Perfectly normal, black and white, idly chewing some grass. It was alone, and it stared at them with a blank expression, unafraid of their approach. That should have tipped them off, but neither of them had heard the stories that came before. They noticed that there was no brand - this cow was clearly not part of any herd. Roof Runner suggested that nobody would be harmed by having a meal of beef... but when he went to strike the cow dead, it was gone! Vanished!

Strange. Perhaps it had been an illusion? The West was full of strange things, they had learned.

Not long later, while they were traveling through the Umbra, they saw the cow again. It seemed to be the same cow. Roof Runner crowed with joy, and leapt upon it in Crinos - only for it to again disappear, and for Roof Runner to find a mouthful of dirt and stones, instead. Arrows From The Sky peeked through to the Realm, and saw... yes, there was the cow again, swishing its tail as though nothing had happened. When Roof Runner heard this, he hatched a plan: he would attack it in the Realm, and Arrows From The Sky would be waiting in the Umbra, bow at the ready.

You know by now what must have happened: instead of simply shifting into the Umbra, the cow vanished altogether - and when they looked, they could see it at the top of the next hill, placid as ever.

Arrows From The Sky was curious where this would lead, but Roof Runner was livid. He was determined to feast on beefsteak now, and while Arrows From The Sky kept pace with him, it was he who led the charge. For hours, they chased the cow across the plains and into the forests, with Roof Runner growing more and more angry with each passing failure. When they tried to use Gifts of Stealth to sneak up on the cow, it stared directly at them as though those Gifts were meaningless. No magics, no skill at arms, no clever tactics seemed to best the creature. Finally, he shouted a challenge to the cow and the heavens - "I will catch you, beast, or my name isn't Claim Jumper! By the Spiral, by the Dragon's fire, you will be mi- ... oh, hell."

Arrows From The Sky was listening intently, arms folded, foot tapping. The jig, as they say, was up.

The Black Spiral Dancer known as Claim Jumper had - in chasing a meal - completely lost sight of the goal of killing or converting a Gaian Garou. He snarled, turned, and vanished into the trees.

Arrows From The Sky thanked the cow, and turned to continue her journey.

You would think that the end of the story, but oh, no.

When Arrows From The Sky next made camp, she found the cow wandering into the clearing. It settled down, still thoughtfully chewing.

Just as the Fury was settling in to sleep, the cow made a quiet lowing and turned its head. Arrows From The Sky watched, still and careful, as the eyes of the cow tracked around the brush surrounding the clearing... and after a few moments, drew her bow and loosed a flurry of arrows into the space the cow was watching.

Claim Jumper fell out of invisibility then, his hide riddled with silver-tipped arrows. He was not fallen - but his ban to the Dragon Totem meant that he could not flee, and the Ahroun made short work of the fallen Ragabash.

When the deed was done, Arrows From The Sky turned to the cow, and bowed again. "I thank you for your aid, noble beast. But why have you sought me out?"

And the cow, in its wisdom, said: "Moo."

And Arrows From The Sky was enlightened.
Listen to them long enough, and all stories are ghost stories.
Justin
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