Friday, Crescent Moon
Our tale is set in Denver University, and begins with a meeting between Greg Waller – a young psychology professor and werewolf – and Max Roman, the Uratha who holds the most clout in Denver. Roman explains that since Denver University was cleansed of the spiritual taint of Gurdilag some years ago, it hasn’t had proper werewolf supervision.
Roman suggests that Greg and two other local werewolves form a pack and perform their sacred duty as guardians of the spirit world. The two he has in mind are Scott Robertson – an ex-convict who now plays on the college football team – and Jessica Harrington, a terrific athlete and star of the softball team. Roman introduces these two to Waller, and to each other, and says that he is bestowing Denver University unto them as their official territory, including many of the surrounding features but specifically excluding the nearby Observatory Park, for this park has already been claimed by a lone, rather strange werewolf called Thihirtha Tamu, He-Who-Chooses-The-Ghost. With these explanations out of the way, Roman leaves and lets the three relatively fresh Forsaken get to know each other.
Scott is a Rahu, prospective member of the Iron Masters but not yet formally introduced to that tribe. Jessica is an Irraka, of the Storm Lords. They all know rather little of the spirit world, and the state of the campus, although Greg has done a little research.
Greg suggests that the first order of business for a fresh werewolf pack ought to be to scout out and claim a locus. His exploration of the campus, using his spirit senses, has thus far revealed no less than four loci. One is at a playground by the Burger King nearby; one is at a statue outside the stadium, depicting baseball star Lane Wilson; one is at the campus church, and one in the morgue of the medical school, where bodies for research and study are kept.
The three set out to have lunch, and decide to take a look at the playground locus as it’s right nearby the Burger King. As they eat their burgers, though, they sense the presence of something strange. A human figure is wandering by in a Twilight state, quite like a ghost, but it doesn’t seem to be one and it behaves oddly, trying to access the playground locus. Greg and Jessica try to stop it, but before they can, it somehow passes through the Gauntlet and enters the Shadow. Greg and Jessica follow it through, while Scott – who recognizes the human shape as that of Jordan Rawls, a fellow football player – runs to see what has happened to him.
Greg and Jessica enter the weird and ominous spirit world, where they must hunt down what they understand to be Rawls’ soul while two glee-spirits make merry with it in the twisted, weird Shadow reflection of the playground. Greg paralyzes them by using their Ban: His cigarettes, being things that are forbidden to children, stun them.
Scott, meanwhile, has discovered that some alien entity has taken hold of Jordan’s body while his ghost is absent, and is now using his body to brutally assault people in the dorm corridors. Scott wrestles him down, but before he has time to do much else, the spirit thief leaves its host, already sated on the essence of violence it gained from its bestial onslaught. Soon thereafter, Jordan’s spirit is returned to his body.
The pack interrogates Jordan Rawls, and learns that he has been trying peyote, that a strange Native American known only as “Chief” sold to him. Jordan still has some peyote, and a strange smell clings to it. It seems to be some sort of very powerful drug that really does send the imbiber on a spirit journey, much like in Native American myth1. The pack decides to sniff out who this “chief” might be, and come nightfall, Jessica uses the Anybeast Gift to assume the shape of a large, feral dog and follows the trail of the Chief’s scent from where Jordan said they met.
The trail leads through Observatory Park to a small trailer park, where the Chief seems to have cultivated a small locus inside a trailer. The pack uses the influence of this locus to pass through the Gauntlet, and learns from nearby spirits that the Chief has struck a pact with them, and is currently on a spirit journey to sign contracts with even more powerful spirits. The Chief “sells” the empty bodies of those who take his drug. Now, he’s looking to bargain with a powerful group of spirits calling themselves “The Court of Passion”, alternatively, “The Court of Madness”.
End of session. Scott +3 xp, Greg +3 xp, Jessica +3 xp.
Friday, Crescent moon
As the three discuss what to do next, another werewolf suddenly appears. It is Thihirtha Tamu, who caught their scent as they headed through the park, which is in his territory. Tamu is a very wolf-like Uratha, who does not bother with human customs such as clothing. Tamu offers to help the pack, as the perpetrator of the crime is on his territory. Together the four follow the trail of the Chief through the Shadow, getting closer to the spirit reflection of the university campus proper.
In the Shadow of the park, they have a brief encounter with a powerful fear-spirit called the Lurker, with whom Tamu as against better knowledge made a deal, for the Lurker is too strong for Tamu to defeat himself.
As they approach the campus, they find that many strong spirits are present there. Something strange and amorphous dwells atop the dormitories, and a powerful spirit of competition has claimed the locus at the statue of Lane Wilson. Despite this statue being claimed, Greg uses it to cross to the material world so that he can prepare clothing for Tamu and Scott, who have not undergone the Rite of Dedication. Jessica follows him across, but while the pack is thus separated, the competition-spirit comes back to its locus, a huge, terrifying footballer wielding a massive trophy like a club. Tamu attempts to distract it so that it will not attack Greg and Jessica on their return, but negotiations break down as Scott claws it right in the face. Before long, the spirit has been defeated and discorporated, but by then it has damaged Tamu so seriously that he has been claimed by Death Rage. The pack bares its claws against Tamu and fights him until they can knock him out. Greg has bitten Tamu badly in the throat, and he is quite hurt, so the pack returns to the park to lick their wounds.
Taking the time they need to recover, the pack now heads straight for the Shadow of the stadium, knowing that this is where the Court of Passion is located. They initially try to approach by stealth, but they soon scent that they are surrounded by spirits and realize they have been spotted, wherefore they enter the stadium openly. The Shadow reflection of the stadium turns out to be a vast coliseum, full of spirits of violence, sports, and struggle. A terrifying lust-spirit named Lilith is the strongest amongst them, a blind humanoid thing with long, tentacle-like fingers.
Greg negotiates with it, and learns that the Court is planning to do war with some spirits called the Court of Reason. To this end, they welcome the aid of the Chief, who helps strengthen their hold of the physical world. Lilith warns the pack, that they’d better not attack him. With this information the pack takes its leave, but instead of going back to the statue (which has been tainted by Rage after Tamu’s sudden Kuruth outburst) they head for the campus church. The building is strange in the Shadow, inhibited only by a single spirit: A little girl with angel wings, who smells of hope and innocence. She is powerful enough to keep other spirits away, but she is very difficult to communicate with. Either way, she lays complete claim to the altar, which is the focal point of a strong locus and the packs’ intended way out.
End of session. Scott +4 xp, Greg +4 xp, Jessica +4 xp, Tamu +4 xp.
Saturday, Crescent Moon
Greg begins to question the angel-spirit, and finds out that it only communicates by referring to Bible verses, making communication quite difficult. Nonetheless, they manage to get the spirit’s implicit permission to use the locus, and permission to awaken a lock-spirit to convince it to unlock the church doors, which are sealed in the material world, as it is night.
Thus the pack leaves the Shadow, and each returns to their home to get some sleep. However, both Scott and Jessica find it hard to sleep in their dormitories, remembering the strange amorphous thing that lives in the Shadow reflection. Together they take a walk, and run into Greg, who has been researching the angel-spirit and learned of its roots in a school shooting in the eighties. Greg invites Scott and Jessica to stay the night in his apartment.
Meanwhile, Thihirtha Tamu finds that a foreign werewolf has been snooping around on his territory. He investigates, but only learns that the intruder came from the east, from a distrcit called Five Points. He decides to let it lie, for now, but leaves a message for the other werewolf.
As Scott wakes up in Greg’s apartment, he accidentally assumes the Urshul form and messes up a coffee table. Greg is upset. Thereafter, they all hurry down to the stadium, as Jessica is playing an important baseball game on this Saturday. Before the game, Greg learns that a strange woman he saw earlier – likely some kind of spirit-possessed person – is still at large despite having been apprehended by campus police. She overpowered them, and escaped. Greg tells campus police to keep looking for her and gives them what meager information he can.
Tamu meets Scott and Greg on the bleachers of the baseball field. They discuss the situation but soon, the game begins. Jessica enters the field. She fares unusually poorly against the opposing team, who are overall quite poor but have a reasonably skilled pitcher. Jessica, who hasn’t slept much, has trouble dealing with her. As the situation for the team grows more desperate, Jessica decides to go for a desperate move: She cheats, getting the opposing pitcher injured. She gets away with it, but the opposing team is furious. As the game progresses, Jessica comes up against another pitcher. The other girl, quite angry, throws a bean ball, and Jessica is hit quite badly.
She calls attention to her injury, hoping to get the opposing pitcher disqualified, but forgets about her werewolf regeneration. As she realizes her bruise will be gone long before the medical staff can even get to her, she panics and physically attacks the opposing pitcher, rushing at her.
Meanwhile, her pack has noticed that the violence-spirits who inhabit the stadiums’ Shadow reflection are trying to make matters worse, spurred on by the anger and strong feelings rushing through the crowd. As Jessica rushes her opponent to attack, the spirits act and the stadium bursts out into riotous confusion. Greg manages to drag Jessica away while Scott and Tamu attempt to calm down the crowd. Scott calls upon his football friends, and with the help of the football team, the more violent spectators are soon subdued. The situation is once more calm, but the violence-spirits are sated with Essence after the outbreak.
End of session. Jessica +9 xp, Scott +8 xp, Tamu +8 xp, Greg +8 xp.
Saturday, Crescent Moon becomes Half
Jessica is confronted by her coach, who is very angry and upset, but with combined efforts Greg and Tamu get her to calm down and back off. Meanwhile, Scott meets his parole officer, Mr. Spade, who says that Scott might be in trouble for helping out during the riots. He’d better make sure he hasn’t offended any rich kids with lawyers as parents.
Deciding that they need to cool their heads, the pack ventures into the wilderness preserve on Tamu’s territory. Here they hunt down deer to eat and head down to a lake for relaxing. Jessica almost draws the attentions of a fisherman, but uses a Gift to ward him off.
After this, Tamu leads the pack to where someone intruded into his territory from Five Points. They catch the scent of the intruder and head eastwards to find a black werewolf named Ten. Ten doubts Tamu’s ability to look over his territory and says that his own pack, the Red Knives, wouldn’t mind taking some of that land off his shoulders.
Ten also says that a coyote spirit called Ghost Tooth has escaped from Tamu’s territory, and that this coyote-spirit is causing an awful lot of trouble. Ten then leaves, and the pack discusses what to do about Ghost Tooth. Jessica suggests binding him as the pack totem, and the rest of the pack agrees this might be a good idea. Ghost Tooth has been listening in on their conversation though, and objects that first they have to catch him.
As Ghost Tooth returns to the Shadow, the pack runs off to the Lightning-Tree Locus (which will soon fade) and use it to cross over to follow the mischievous coyote. They chase him around the Shadow-lake, and Scott makes a prodigious leap to catch him on an island. Ghost Tooth persuades a beehive-spirit to attack Scott, while the clever coyote himself swims away.
On the shore, though, Tamu has set a trap by awakening a sand-spirit. Ghost Tooth gets stuck in the sand, but the hungry lake swallows both sand and coyote. Jessica and Tamu, by combined effort, catch the coyote-spirit and rescue him from the water only to dogpile on top of him together with Scott. Ghost Tooth sneaks out of the dogpile but Greg, who anticipated this, catches him. Having been thus outwitted, Ghost Tooth agrees to a totem-binding. He joins the pack together, and they all feel a surge of togetherness, just as the half moon rises above the lake.
As the moon rises, one of the Lune Choir spirits manifests on the lake and approaches Greg. It grants him the chance to get a Gift for having conducted the deal with Ghost Tooth so well, and Greg is appropriately awed. He solves the spirits’ riddle, and receives a Gift of Honor. With the totem-binding done, the pack returns to the material world, and it is now Saturday night.
End of session. Tamu +10 xp, Greg +10 xp, Scott +9 xp, Jessica +8 xp.