Logs:The Good Suck
The Good Suck
|Summary:||Tom goes investigating a few missing persons, and finds some dead bodies.|
The day was a long, hot one. The humidity made it all worse. Sadly, things weren't any more pleasant in the Shadow despite the typical auspicious nature of it. Nearest the swamps at the borders of northen New Orleans the Ithaeur had heard of a disturbance. Something that'd been draining people dry and departing for parts unknown. Easy to think of it potentially being a vampire, but the current urban legends sprouting up about it never mention anything human-shaped. Its at the edges of the area of the last supposed crime that he can get his first clue as to something awry: a Locus no more than ten meters to the west.
It's warm, it's hot, it's humid. Tom can't stand the last one, clad in a sweat stained t-shirt and jeans as he stalks through the swamps with a begrudging air. He does -not- want to fucking be here. God damnit. His only salvation, the only reprieve being the joint he's got going in the corner of his mouth, taking a hit now and then. For courage to face all this bullshit. He's wet up to the knees at this point, with swamp water of all things. Atleast it initially seems straight forward enough, as he approaches the Locus. Sniffing in the air with his dull human senses, to try and get a vague sense of the place. Of the resonance, find the center.
The world of fleshs smells as he can expect. Mostly. A fetid stench coming from just about everywhere around him. Easy enough to ignore if he doesn't focus on it, but its unmistakable as he scents the air. Death and the dead, and nothing close to pleasant. Alongs ide it and the areas more natural, if funky, scent is the faint smell of blood in the area. The highest concentration of the coppery smell is near the locus, although its trail leads in multiple directions near it.
For a moment Tom stands there, taking it all in. Silent and still. But it doesn't last long, he's not the sort to be still. There is the strange sound and shapes as he shifts, adopting the lower haunched form of the wolf. A russet coloured wolf, sniffing into the air further, even as he sends his other sense, the eyes beyond the Gauntlet to behold the dark reflection of this place.
With more refined senses he can pick up more of what's around him. The number of bodies count eight, and they're spread all around. Some of them have died more recently than others, but more specific scrutiny will require a closer inspection to the bodies sitting in the water. The smell of blood on the water is much easier to track. Some of it. The most recent starts from the southwest of the locus, likely only a day old at best.
Across the other side the shadow is slowly turning into a mess. The more natural spirits abound aren't too surprising, although other things are slowly taking hold. Tiny little red orbs flying around with needles centered on the balls of crimson. They flit around, constantly poking and prodding at the natural spirits around the Ithaeur in the Shadow. Despite some of the even larger spirits abound even they're slowly being whittled away and aggravated by the much smaller spirits, creating further discourse and chaso.
The senses in the Shadow does not linger, having no wish to be left blind to the world around him. Tom's fur rises on end, speaking of his dismay at the whole situation as he begins to move through the swamp slowly. To follow the trail towards the freshest body, his fur quickly growing damp.
When Tom gets to the body its a mess. Some of the local wildlife got to it, but didn't finish off the carcass completely. A young man, somewhere around his early twenties before he was cut down. It takes a bit to see what might've killed him. Those chunks of flesh torn out or broken bones might've been it, but there's something else. It almost looks like a long, jagged thing was thrust into his chest; and it went all the way through the body. Even odder is the near complete exsanguination of the body. Whatever did this to him drained him dry before the scavengers around here got to him.
Tom lingers by the corpse for a few moments, sniffing and sorting the varied scents and sights. But after it he turns to return to the Locus, and the now assumed perpetrators of the crimson spirits. As he feels the presence of it, the thin barrier between the worlds he shifts again. Growing larger, monstrous, Urhsul. Before seeking to Reach across it.
Across the other side things are as Tom saw them. In chaos and turning to bloody ruin. The spirits around are trying to live their typical existence were it not for the tiny little hursih that keep stabbing at them. When the urushukl arrives he's met with half a dozen of the spirits flying around him, and soon enough they start getting closer to him. However, they stop as those silver brands flare. They instead go back to prodding at other spirits. The others still try fighting off the small things, but they're far too fast for the blood-drinking hursih.
The great beast snarls and the brands flare as they approach, a shining proof of wisdom and purity given on and blessed from on high. But he does not pursue once they back off, rather licks his lips and squints out into the landscape. Seeking to find a spirit of Nature that struggle with the creatures, preferably a Hursah to approach.
There are more than a few spirits around. The biggest and strongest of them is a crocodilian that's snapping at the blood-sucking spirits. It does prove to be succesful, consuming those that stay too close after draining it. Every time it eats one a red vein sprouts on its body, speaking to what will happen if it this continues. It stops as the werewolf approaches, but only for a few seconds. The second it gets stabbed again it turns its head to snap at one of the small spirits.
The great shaggy wolf comes to stop close to them, watching. Yellow eyes taking note of the crimson, and baring teeth in another expression of distaste. "Hail spirit. How long have they hunted here?" he asks, the strange language, the first language vaguely comfortable in the huge mouth of his form. Voicing it a question, not a demand as they stand of equal rank in this reflective wilderness. So far.
~Only two-legs hunt. We hunt two legs.~ it snarls. It snaps again, at one of the spirits, this time proving unsuccessful. ~They are bother. Insects. Small. Weak. Like two legs without loud stick.~ It snaps again at one of the surrounding spirits, and gets a good helping of two as the red veins spread. ~Mightyt Helios has conquered Luna for two clutches for as long as bother has been here.~
Tom listens and offers no sharp retort to the remark, sniffing in the air instead. His attention never focusing too much, eyes and ears open. Danger all around. "Know you what brought them, scaled one? They are new. Not part of this place." gleaming eyes lingering upon the spreading red vein. "They will change you."
~I eat.~ It says while snapping at another group of the spirits. ~Consume. Predator must hunt.~ Again it tries to take a bite out of the spirits. ~They don't belong here and will be eaten.~
"We all must." Tom agrees, watching the spirit snap and bite. "Know you who they are sworn to? Their brood and leader?" for a moment his attention lingers on the crimson spirit itself, as if trying to gauge its level of sentience. Do they listen, or merely feed.
The spirit thinks that over for a few moments. It would have taken longer if it weren't for the motes constantly biting at it. Tom gets his answer quick enough after it bites at one of the motes. ~Get rid of the bother. Get rid of it, and I will take you to heart of the swamp.~ It urges with an odd trilling sound. ~Do it.~
Tom waits patiently, not that he has to wait for long as things stand. But in the end the deal is struck. And his whole body tenses, before the great shaggy wolf throws its head back and lets out a loud and striking howl. It reaches far and with a power in the Shadow, the brands of Wisdom, Purity and Glory flash bright and silver as the threat of Father Wolf's children rings loud in the swamp, to send the crimson spirits and any other that would wish harm packing.
The spirits freeze. All of them. The alligator spirit takes a step back, and keeps its hazy gaze locked on Tom. The smaller spirits, both of the blood and those natural flee. They all scatter to the without waiting another moment. Those of water and grass, fur and feather. The only things weaker and still here are those too slow to move, although they still make their egress from the Uratha. This pleases the spirit, although its hard to see with its stoic and scaly visage. ~Come,~ it directs the wolf as it starts to trudge further into the swamp.
Tom is almost smug in the wake of it, to witness his power. Even if it is lent and given to him by Mother Moon. He stands however as the scaled spirit begins to move and follows into the swamp. "Know you who has passed into the other world to hunt?" he asks as they wander.
The scaled spirit is content to remain silent until Tom's question comes. ~Big red, long tooth,~ it states. ~Buzzes. Buzzes. Buzzes.~ His words fall to a raspy whisper as it keeps echoing that word. ~Bother.~ Unless Tom asks it something else the spirit falls to silence once more along the way.
Tom falls silent too then, seemingly content to be guided. But making a point to remember and memorize the way best he can, the Shadow is strange and shifting. Finding his way back may very well be needed.
It takes nearly an hour of walking to get there. Even if the Ithaeur speeds up the alligator spirit still moves at its steady, slow pace. Eventually they reach their destination amid a bevy of spirits related to the local flora and fauna. The biggest of them all is a moss covered frog with the shell of a turtle. It sits there looking between the crocodile and then takes in the sight of Tom with its amber gaze. ~You the one I heard making all taht noise?~ it pointedly asks with a thunderous ribit.
Tom is impatient, but keeps it mostly to himself as they walk. Gleaming eyes darting back and forth, and as they approach the spirits he comes to sit down before the large frog. "I am." he admits, meeting that amber gaze evenly. "To banish the blood feeders. It is a change in your swamp, spirit, and the trouble has crossed into the other world."
The spirit harrumps, and takes a few steps forward. It looms over Tom and smells of swamp stink. Except somehow its twice as pungent. ~You expect a reward?~ it grumbles. It rises back up, grumbling. ~Those things have been a problem, and the big one won't listen. Doesn't know its place in this land. In my land. You think you can take care of it?~ This brings with it a chorus of ribbits from the peanut gallery as they watch the much bigger spirit and the werewolf.
"No reward. Only to hunt." Tom notes, his great shaggy head swaying slowly as he pants in the oppressive heat of the swamp. "But I do not know my prey. The big one. - I will hunt it, it is my duty. Do you know its name and lair, spirit?" teeth bared briefly, at the great chorus.
No reward. This causes the ribbits to grow louder, and soon enough the other spirits join in with the ruckus. Some of their words, when they can be heard, speak of their own judgements. Doubt. Hope. Fear. ven more doubt about the werewolf's words. ~Enough~~ A singular, loud ribbit loud enough that it could send the werewolf into deafness erupts from the largest spirit, and quiets every single one of them. ~The Long Suck,~ it responds. ~It has gotten bigger and fatter since the warm times have come. It used to live at the edges of this land, my land, but has since started roaming.~
Tom blinks and stands up at the large sound, near enough to be an attack upon him and snarls, but he stops himself and then it almost seems like Tom might laugh, at the name given. But he manages to contain himself with a snarl that maybe was a laugh, maybe not. Not like wolves laugh anyway. "The Long Suck." he echoes. "It roams far?"
~Far. Wide. Deep.~ This seems to upset the spirit more than anything else has today. ~You wish to hunt it? It has last been going to the sunset, but that is as far as I know.~
Tom bows his head shaggy head "I will hunt." he promises, it is what he must do afterall. "To the sunset?" he asks then, uncertain as to the spirit vocabulary.
~To the sunset,~ the spirit replies. ~Where Luna pushes Helios out of the sky.~Tom rises then, seemingly content with the spirit's answer and the name of his prey. "Then I will go." he says simply, shaking his shaggy fur and water flying everywhere before he turns to set off.