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Thread: Mixed Family (SFW, SI, Slash) - A Chronicles of Darkness/New World of Darkness 2e Crossover Story.

  1. #1

    Mixed Family (SFW, SI, Slash) - A Chronicles of Darkness/New World of Darkness 2e Crossover Story.

    Prologue - Awakened Blossoms

    List of Game Lines listed in the Crossover:
    Werewolf the Forsaken Second Edition, Mage the Awakening Second Edition, Princess: The Hopeful (Homebrew). Other Gamelines are also given minor mentions.

    My twin and I were always weird.

    When Dad turned the lights off after telling us a bedtime story, we saw that our eyes glinted like wolves' in the night. We were three then, but we knew enough to see that this was weird.

    What was even weirder was that the story our father told us was not just supposed to be fiction, but part of a tabletop game whose second edition had not been released yet. And yet, the tale which he recounted in such solemn tones, and which he bequeathed to us as a future 'duty, was identical to the backstory of the Uratha; the faction of Werewolves known as 'The Forsaken' from the New World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness.

    "The world was once whole, a Pangaea where people crossed the border between spirit and flesh. Then Father Wolf and Mother Luna, the Spirits of Hunting and The Moon, fell in love and created The People, the unified tribes of Werewolves. Then Father Wolf grew old and weak and our ancestors had to replace him, and so they went for his throat, tearing it out and killing him so we can take his duty," another three years later, Mom summarized what Dad had said as she sat us down after school when we told her about the shadowy shapes behind every wall, the strange noises near the boiler room, and the pale and sickly green lights close to the sky.

    "Luna then cursed us with a tendency for madness and a vulnerability to silver in response to her consort's death," Mom said, her tone less soft and soothing but easier to understand. "On the plus side, she did allow us to have children with Humans and other Werewolves..."

    "So we are in Second Edition after all -" my brother took the second Mom took to muse to whisper to me, only for Mom to hear and ask:

    "What edition? This is not a game," she said in a clipped tone as her eyes narrowed in rebuke.

    I nodded quickly and gently pushed the back of my brother's head so he'd nod as well; there'd be time to find out more as we grew up...

    ------

    "Another fight?" Dad said as he looked at my bruised face and my twin's swollen fist. "Let me guess; you allowed someone to see your eyes when the lights were out? Or did you see something which 'doesn't exist'?"

    He was smiling when using that last term.

    "A group of kids were bullying another kid and said kid almost jumped off the roof," my brother responded in a cool tone that let the implications hang in the air. "We beat up the bullies after talking the kid out of it."

    As Dad's face twisted in disbelief and he opened his mouth to ask if we were indeed telling the truth, I pulled out my new smartphone and showed him the recordings I made. Even now, I knew that they bulged out in rare surprise.

    "Daniel," he said to me, "you and Leon shouldn't draw attention to yourselves. But you did the right thing. I'll have the Pack look into it, make sure Depression spirits don't form around the area."

    He sighed loudly, his shoulders slumping in an Un-Werewolf-like way. "That said, it's time to bring you into The Academy; if you two insist on tackling your duties early, then you should be trained in such - Add that to the fact that the world is more than our kind, the Spirits, and Mortals..."

    -------

    'The Academy' was an institution for Wolf-Blooded kids. What are Wolf-Blooded, one may ask? Humans who are touched by Luna, the Spirit of the Moon, with a special connection to the Spirit World (aka what we call the Hisil). Many of them have descent from Werewolves or were badly affected by seeing one or had ‘exchanged bodily fluids’ with one, sometimes through the stereotypical ‘bite’. Many of them also turn into Werewolves eventually, but not all, but unlike in the Old World of Darkness, even those who don't turn into Werewolves are treated with respect because, well, they can still defend themselves.

    Thanks to an agreement with the local Mage Consilium, Changeling Freehold, and Demon Agency, we also had a number of Proximi, Fae-Touched (Mortals who can see Changelings and Faerie Magic), and Demon-blooded (Note that in this world, 'God' is actually the God-Machine, Angels operate on Occult Cybernetics, and Demons are fallen Cyber-Angels who can also sire offpring with some Demon Powers).

    Complicating the picture was that there were True Mages, Changelings, and yes, a Demon or two in the school as well, although the teachers made clear that any attempt to create a 'pecking order' among the students or bully them for having weaker powers would be cracked down on with extreme prejudice.

    Needless to say, our good looks and charm (I had the brightest golden eyes while Leon's were soulful black) made us the talk of the town; Leon was cool, aloof in the the way which drew girls and boys to him, while I was happy, bubbly, and enthusiastic and knew when looking adorable would get me and whoever I was hanging out with out of trouble.

    Oh, right, we were aware that we liked both guys and gals as we were growing up.

    But if we were weird, we were weird in a way that made us special. And we were weirder than what we might eventually become or what might happen to us in this world… no, these Chronicles of Darkness...

    -------

    “Daniel, time to wake up!”

    My mother’s voice snapped me awake from my dreams of the past. As my eyes opened wide, I swiftly moved to change from my PJs to the shirt, jacket, pants, and footwear that made up my ‘school clothes’ before going downstairs for breakfast.

    Me


    Originally David Garcia Martinez from Lalin’s Curse, a Webcomic by Isaky on Webtoons, now used for Daniel Palaiologos with her consent.


    “You’re almost late,” Leon said as he was wolfing down (there’s a pun to be made there involving our ancestry, but now wasn’t the time to say it) his meal of pancakes, sausages, and bacon, occasionally snatching pieces of the latter from my plate.

    “Stop that!” I said in turn as I rushed to the table, took a seat, and began gorging myself on what meat and pancakes remained, as well as the last third of a ham-and-cheese omelet which I washed down with a still-full glass of orange juice.

    My Brother


    Custom Art by Jitobeans I paid for. Now Leon.


    “Seriously, though,” Leon said to me with a sigh, “This is our sixteenth birthday - Can't you take this seriously? More importantly, Summer is over; we’re going back to class and we need to prove we haven't been slacking!”

    “It’s only been a few minutes, Leon!” I protested, “We’re not even late for school - If anything, we might come early!”

    Was it weird that I actually liked School, particularly as the School I am in was special?

    “Brush your teeth, boys!” Mom said as we got up to leave, “And use mouthwash! And make sure not to forget your bags!”

    Knowing full well that Mom was a Werewolf who specialized in using Human and Spirit laws to bring their quarry low even before closing in with her claws only made us more prompt.

    Either way, we made sure to be thorough with our oral hygiene lest we get a reputation for bad breath in addition to weird eyes which saw the impossible. After that, it was time to go to The Academy; it wasn’t that far so I and Leon could just walk.

    -------

    “Daniel,” Leon whispered as we walked to The Academy, "We need to talk. About being reincarnates."

    The breeeze was blowing hard, almost howling even though it was summer; the sound of cars zooming near the sidewalk drowned out my brother's whisper further. Nevertheless, I told him, "Do we have to, our in the open?"

    "It's been sixteen years!" Leon dropped the whisper. "Sixteen years since we were reborn here, and we still don't know why! And what's worse, we're likely to spend the rest of our lives as Werewolves or stay Wolf-blooded forever, and that last part is not a good scenario even though it's miles better than being a Kinfolk in the Old World of Darkness!"

    "I didn't know you didn't want to be that -" I said just before Leon pulled me back from the road as the 'Walk' sign was still turned off.

    "Do you want to be Isekai'd again?! At least it's quicker than the Pandemic, though..." Leon then continued as we waited for the signal to cross the road, "But yes, I do not want to be a Werewolf or keep being a Wolf-Blooded. I want to be a -"

    Reality lurched, and Leon vanished before my eyes as my surroundings disappeared, shifting into motes of light amidst a sky that blazed with cloudless lightning and blue-white fire, where clouds made of those same motes of light mixed with imperial purple aurorae which shone amidst a howling, heavy wind.

    And ahead of me, I saw a watchtower of golden moving parts, with Angels - Supernal Angels, I knew now, not the Occult Machine Cyber-Magical ‘Angels’ of the God-Machine - flitting about its upper heights, inviting me to the tower, the only refuge against the fire, lightning, thunder, and wind outside.

    I rushed to them; what else can I do, even though I knew too that one does not get gratification without a price? I signed my name on the Watchtower, though with what, I did not know. My tongue burnt with a speech that was not the First Tongue of those blessed by Luna, this speech was of a metaphysical truth that cried out to be said, not merely the Spirits’ language.

    This was not natural, even for the World of Darkness; not the Awakening itself, which proceeded according to the template provided by the books I read in my previous life, but the fact that it was being handed over to me - Something which should be impossible without complications, something which even the God-Machine has not demonstrated itself capable of doing.

    Oh, my God! What if the Awakening grows wrong? What if I become someone who cannot use their Magic right?

    "Do not be afraid. You were sent here for a purpose."

    The words burnt with metaphyiscal truth, and I swooned, overwhelmed by transcendent thoughts...

    ------

    I opened my eyes, although I did not remember closing them. And we were at the gates of The Academy.

    The sun was glinting brightly on the red glazed tiles of the roofs and windows, causing the dew to glimmer like thousands of clear gems. As we stepped through the gates and into the gardens, dozens of flowers bloomed like a carpet of color, with gold roses with silvery edges sticking out amongst the reds and blues and purples and whites.

    “Are these even possible?” Leon said while I sniffed the air, looking for any unusual resonances and finding a few, but not hostile ones. As it is, the place seemed less stuffy and boring than it seemed to be, and more… Blessed.

    “You can look it up, but we have other things to worry about,” I told him as I pulled him into the school building; normally he was the one pulling me. "By the way, are you whole?"

    Leon smiled back and said, “I’m alright. And yes, I am ‘whole’. Of course, we just lost all traces of our Wolf-Blooded heritage except our glinting eyes, and we have some explaining to the faculty and our parents to do, but…”

    “This ain’t normal and this ain’t the bad kind of abnormal either,” I continued as we entered a relatively deserted alcove. "I think that we just crossed over with that Homebrew involving Magical Girls and Boys."

    "Princess?" Leon smiled briefly before pursing his lips and trying to look 'cool' again. "Nah, that can't be."

    Footsteps - Unfamiliar ones - Could be heard coming towards us, as he said, "But it is. But it is, Daniel and Leon Palaiologos... Sor should I say, Daniel and Leon Cook?"

    We whirled at the person who just butted in, only to recognize -

    Our New Friend


    Art Commissioned by me, now Ken


    "Ken!" I shouted eagerly, "Nice to meet you in real life, even if it is in 'another', well..." my voice lowered to a whisper, "World."

    “Yep,” Ken said before shifting to a more formal tone. “But you'd know me as Ken Illustrious Ikari now instead of the more mundane Ken Aizawa..."

    He then gave a smirk which in Anime, meant he knew more than he let on, “And we have much to talk about after class.”

    I knew enough narrative convention to know that a quest awaited and that we might finally get answers...
    Last edited by Dragos Bee; June 16th, 2022 at 07:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Looks interesting

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rosa78 View Post
    Looks interesting
    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Chapter One: Setting up the Groundwork

    “You two know what the God-Machine is, right?” Ken said to us when classes were done.

    We both nodded as we met in a small rose garden laced with lines of spellwork that Leon and I could now perceive were effective at blocking out eavesdropping mundane and magical; it was worth the rent from the Gardening Club. Ken paid in a Blu-Ray disc which judging from the label and artwork, contained an Anime movie not released outside of Japan yet.

    “Neither of us actually had a copy of Demon the Descent while we’re alive,” I said to Ken, “but we know the gist: It’s an ‘Occult AI’ which uses technology so advanced that it is as powerful as Magic or Magic so organized that it’s almost indistinguishable from technology.”

    Ken nodded in a slow and measured way to confirm what we just said, then continued, “The God-Machine is like that, yes, but far more powerful, with only one weakness: It needs an ‘occult matrix’ centered around Capital-I Infrastructure in order to implement changes in reality. And by that, it can do almost anything but it needs to set up that Infrastructure I mentioned to do it… And some of that can go faulty or be hijacked by a Demon Agency.”

    He then smirked lightly as he said, “Guess what happened and how our souls got reincarnated into this world, as well as how all three of us now have the Supernatural ‘Splat/Template’ we wanted just as we wished for it.”

    It hit us like the usual ‘Isekai Truck’.

    “Don’t tell me that a Demon Agency is behind this!” Leon shouted first.

    “Are they asking for anything in return?” I asked next.

    Ken gave his answer, “Make the Chronicles of Darkness a better place. We have full freedom of action.”

    “And you trust them without corroborating data?” Leon said. “These are people who can literally make what they say look true to all senses, including supernatural ones! As in -”

    Ken interrupted, “As in they can deceive all supernatural powers which can ferret out the truth. I know this. However, every action they’ve taken for the past three years has only supported what they say; they really are interested in overturning the conventions of the Chronicles of Darkness and making it a better place.”

    He then followed up with, “They’re behind The Academy, btw.”

    I knew that Ken was telling the truth about his claim or at least thought that he was. Demons might be able to deceive all truth-ferreting powers, but Ken wasn’t one; he was a Prince/Noble/Magical Boy and I used to read him just fine, back in our previous lives, without powers.

    “Ken,” Leon said, “Do Princesses and Princes get a boost in power in this world? Mages are the most powerful template in the ‘Chronicles of Darkness’ and people keep harping about that back in my old world. I need to make sure that they, and you if you have such grand ambitions, can keep up with us.”

    Ouch. For a brief moment, I looked at Ken expecting him to be annoyed, but the other boy smiled and said, “Yes. We got buffed to miniature Exalted levels.”

    “Hot,” I said before shutting up my mouth. “I mean, I didn’t say that you’re hot - I mean, you are hot, but…”

    Leon was chuckling now, while Ken stayed quiet for several seconds, trying to suppress a blush; was he flustered?

    As for me, I always knew that Leon, Ken, and I shared the same ‘inclinations’, but I never thought of Ken that way until now. To be honest, I was glad that this came out this early and any potential romantic complications or misunderstandings were nipped in the bud.

    I heard Ken clear his throat; he had more to say?

    “So, any leads as to how to make the Chronicles of Darkness a better place?” Leon asked. “The Academy already helps clean up local malign supernatural phenomena in the neighborhood.”

    “Not all of them,” Ken said. “There are plenty of things in the shadows which Mages think of as irrelevant and not mysterious enough to warrant investigation, which is a shame as Mages are very good investigators.”

    “We know,” I said, “We both just Awakened as Mages.” I then turned to my brother and asked, “By the way, what ‘Path’ did you awaken to? Is it -”

    Leon interrupted, “I have Fate and Time as my primary powers and invested what I had left in Death. You?”

    I suck in my breath. "Nice. I got Prime, Forces, Matter--"

    "Wizard Classic!" Leon interrupted. "Prime to manipulate the magical energy-- even magical truth!-- and Forces and Matter to turn it into whatever you want."

    “Acanthus and Obrimos, then,” Ken said. “Decent. As for my own powers…”

    Ken glowed brightly, and for a few brief moments, his body was covered with a coat of bright orange-white flames which slowly peeled away to reveal combat boots, tan military fatigues, a desert brown flak jacket, and a combat helmet.

    My magical senses flashed, registering this transformed ‘form’ as a different person from the boy who had just stood before us. As I focused my ‘Mage Sight’ on him, I felt, rather than saw, great heat and pressure which almost overwhelmed even me. And looking at Leon, I noticed him trying to put on a calm, passive expression, even as he slightly trembled in panic.

    So this was what the boost to Princess powers entailed; in the Chronicles of Darkness, the creators of the homebrew had taken a stand against writing Princesses, or anyone, as just as powerful as Mages. But in this version of the Chronicles, this timeline or splinter universe, whoever was behind all this didn’t actually care about ‘balance’ or lack of it between major supernatural templates/races.

    “Perfect,” I grinned. “It seems we have a decent chance at bettering the world after all.”

    Then someone knocked on the door of the rose garden; it was the Gardening Club’s head, Amelia Thoreau.

    Hidden for Size


    Originally Kudelia Aina Bernstein from Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, now Amelia Thoreau.


    As we opened the door, she said, “Extracurricular activities are over. Also, you lot are wanted in the Principal’s Office.”

    She looked at us two, frowning before she said in a slight chill tone, “Your parents are there too; let’s just say they’re distressed about you two no longer being ‘cute fluffs’.”

    Oh, right, we’re no longer Wolf-Blooded and that had implications. I also did not miss the subtext that Amelia actually preferred us as Wolf-Blooded.

    Nevertheless, before I can speak, Leon got up and said in a formal tone, cold as well, “Tell them we’ll arrive soon.”

    And with that, he went out the door, only picking up the pace once we followed him through the corridors, shuddering in anger as he walked, his hands in his pockets like an emo edgelord (no one tells him I said that, okay!).

    ------

    “So it is true,” Dad said as he looked us over. “Luna’s blessings are gone for the most part.”

    “An utterly random Awakening,” Mom was making small biting motions as she said that. “What are the odds.” She then sighed and said, “I suppose I can’t blame you two if you did want this, but you do realize that this complicates our position in the local Pack immensely, right? I am what passes as a ‘Face’ among Werewolves, but even I am not sure I can get you ‘dual citizenship’ in whatever local Mages are organized as and -”

    I can,” Dad interrupted. “I’m the Loremaster and I know that there are precedents.” He then looked at the Principal, a heavily-built, well-muscled black man who observed the proceedings with a perpetual growl, “You’re our Pack Leader and the highest member of the Iron Masters Tribe here. The Academy is the greatest precedent of them all. If anyone can help us resolve this situation, it’s you.”

    The Principal looked at the three of us and said, “I’ll do better than that. From now on, you three have a special status; you work for The Academy now. I’ll contact the local Mage Consilium to allow you two and your companion to attend their meetings and make use of some of their Cabals’ facilities. As for the Pack… You’re still in it and now that you have powers, you’re going to participate in the Sacred Hunt. Got it?”

    What was the Sacred Hunt? Well, each of the Five Tribes of Forsaken Werewolves chooses a special type of ‘Prey’ to hunt (but not necessarily kill). The other Tribes hunt down monsters such as Spirits, Other Werewolves, Alien Gods (or shards of them), and those possessed by Spirits.

    My Tribe, the Iron Masters, select Humans to Hunt (but again, not necessarily kill!). This is less bad than it sounds, as the Tribe selects Humans who are actively wrecking the boundaries between the Material and Spirit Worlds by creating Spirits of Murder by murdering people, polluting the land with a factory that violates environmental safety rules, and also people who consort with ‘Dark Powers’ which are anathema to Humanity as a whole anyway.

    And finally, the Iron Masters’ Sacred Hunt covered every other Non-Werewolf, Non-Spirit, Non-Alien God, Supernatural beings.

    “We would be glad to,” I said, imitating Leon’s usual formal tone.

    “Sure,” Leon said in rare nonchalance. “I’m just glad things didn’t get worse.”

    “Now go back home with your parents,” The Principal waves his large hand dismissively, “I and your friend,” he indicated to a De-Transformed Ken, “Have more things to discuss.”

    Leon nodded, resuming his usual formality, while I waved bye, even as inwardly, there was a sinking feeling in my stomach as I thought of even more potential drama at home…

    ------

    At home, Mom’s first words as she served dinner were, “You’re too young. You are too young to participate in a flipping’ Sacred Hunt.”

    Dad looked at her, his expression… strange, before he said, “Honey, we started even younger -”

    “That proves my point,” Mom made jabbing motions at the air with her fork - The alloy didn’t include enough silver to burn her skin. “They’re sixteen, prone to getting into danger, and they’re not able to change into a Werewolf form which would at least allow them to shrug off bullets and automatically heal wounds!”

    “They can launch fireballs, though,” Dad said. “Isn’t that right, kids?”

    “Yep!” I said enthusiastically. “Well, I can. Leon, however, can -”

    “I can bless people with luck so extreme a speeding truck would miss them in a crowded street,” Leon said in as solemn a tone as he can manage. “I can curse them to get hit by that same truck inside their own house. And I can slow down or speed up time.”

    “Still. Squishy.” Mom was now stabbing at the meat before us as though it was alive. “One hit and you’d go down. And I know enough that you can’t cast your powers willy-nilly or around mundane witnesses.”

    This was true. What kept Mages in the Chronicles of Darkness from dominating the setting is Paradox, which basically inserted pieces of literal anti-reality into the world should you cast too strong a spell and flub it up, and Paradox is aggravated by disbelievers being around to witness one’s Magic. As for Disbelief, there is literally a force that erases memories of Magic from the minds of normal witnesses when it does not drive them insane first.

    Factor in the Exarchs, ancient Mages who entered the Supernal Realms (Reality’s other cornerstone aside from the God-Machine) and now seek to hoard control of Reality from every other Mage in existence (and who are as powerful as the God-Machine and made a flipping deal with it), and suddenly becoming Mages was not as much an improvement over being Werewolves or Wolf-Blooded as we thought.

    ‘Not as much isn’t the same as ‘Not at all, though!

    “Well, nothing much we can do about it,” Dad said. “What the Pack Leader says, goes.”

    “I also managed to wheedle out a ‘leak’ of the place the Sacred Hunt is going to attack,” Mom was gnashing her teeth. “It’s not just a Wound,” Capital-W Wounds are places where the Spirit World broke through to the Mundane World through acts of depravity and violence, by the way, “But it’s also a Tainted Place with those creatures called Darkspawn. So our kids will be tackling two different forms of interdimensional shenanigans at the same time with whoever goes with them.”

    What was a Tainted Place and what are Darkspawn? Well, in Princess the Hopeful, Tainted Places are where cruel and malicious acts cause the Darkness to seep through and curse a place so that it is easier to commit sins there, to hurt and harm and not give a dang about it. These are different from Wounds in that they don’t necessarily need big acts of cruelty to manifest; you just need to do many small acts such as, say, spread lies and slander about the ‘School Paragon’, in one place and watch it slowly make people more callous about evil-er actions.

    As for Darkspawn, they are people who die inside a Tainted Place after committing so many crimes that the Darkness mutated them or gave them powers before their lives ended. The ‘Dark World’ then transforms their corrupted bodies into new, monstrous life forms, such as large, slimy centipede-like beasts who nevertheless used to be human, or grotesque balls of fat who slide under beds and snatch children.

    And if we’re to fight them as well as the usual Spirits of Violence/Alcoholism/Bloodshed, we are going to hope that Ken’s ‘boost’ ought to be enough to tip the scales in our favor…
    Last edited by Dragos Bee; Today at 06:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Made some minor edits to Chapter One!

  6. #6
    Chapter Two: Ramifications and Explorations (of Awakening)

    I didn’t truly understand before what the writers of Mage were trying to get across when they used ‘Asleep’ and ‘Awake’ as descriptions for life before and after, well, Awakening. But now I do. For Awakening is more about seeing the Supernatural, seeing Magic, and seeing the energies which permeated our world. No, it’s about having one’s senses opened wide, like a shell that has been pulled apart to reveal the matured being underneath, and coming out of a cocoon after reaching the next stage of our growth.

    Awakening as a Mage is being able to see the colors not just of magic, but of the foundations of our world, and for me, that meant being able to see literal physical forces, ultraviolet and infrared and everything in between, to see sound as sight and vice versa, to track down radio waves and satellite networks with my brain alone. I can also literally register the composition of any form of matter by touch and smell and sight, as well as see various spells as faint glowing light, glowing webbing, and layers of color that identified what portions of reality they are influencing.

    Like me, Leon was learning to appreciate the inexorable flow of time and yet realize that it was, itself, an illusion. The Eddies of fate and death would be oblivious to the other students as they gossiped and dawdled around the main building after a successful day of classes to meet with The Principal, who was going to drive us to the forward base for the Sacred Hunt later tonight in his car (Mom and Dad were there too, so it wasn’t dubious).

    “So…” my brother asked me, “Did you get your Dedicated Tool yet?”

    What was a Dedicated Tool, one may ask? Well, in Mage the Awakening, some materials, and types of objects resonate with a specific ‘Supernal Realm’ and the Magical ‘Path’ associated with it. For example, gold, steel, and double-edged swords resonate with the Obrimos path (my own) while the Acanthus path (my brother’s) resonated with silver, reflective materials, rapiers, and bows. Oh, and crystals.

    Now, the pedant who has read the book several times over would say, ‘Those are Path Tools! Dedicated Tools are the specific instruments that resonate with your Nimbus/Aura to make your spells even more powerful!

    Well, I say that a Path Tool can be a Dedicated tool, and so the difference means squat. End of story -

    “Daniel, stop spacing out!” Leon hissed at me as he pulled me into where our parents sat in the backseat of the car, “Anyway, I got a silver ring with a crystal on it; what about you?”

    I held up a golden ring on my finger, before saying, “I arranged this with Dad beforehand, by the way.”

    -------

    The trip was uneventful, and we arrived at the forward base; a small drive-thru cinema that was close to the abandoned mall where the Wound (which doubled as a Tainted Place) was situated. There were two other cars besides ours’; a small orange car with a glossy coat and a larger pale blue one with chipped paint. As we got out of the Principal’s car, the orange car opened and its driver hopped out; it was Ken.

    “Do your parents know you’re driving on your own?” Mom asked Ken, looking at him with a mild glare, which I suspected wouldn’t be there if I hadn’t told her I really liked him and his blue eyes and sharp features.

    Ken nodded dutifully and said, “I told them I needed to get used to my learner’s permit.” As the other car opened to reveal my parents’ ‘co-workers’ (both in mundane and supernatural lives), he continued, “You guys have enough Werewolves to fill every Auspice, right?”

    The Principal said, “Yes; let me introduce you…”

    And it was then that I spaced out to remind myself what Auspices were. Basically, each Werewolf, in addition to their transformations, has a ‘sub-type’ corresponding to a phase of the Moon which dictates their role in the pack. For example, Mom is an Edoloth, or Half-moon, meaning that she is the ‘face’ of the group and tasked with diplomacy (both the honest and lying types), building social connections, and covering up property damage.

    She is also prepared to sacrifice almost anyone to accomplish a Sacred Hunt’s goals.

    Dad, meanwhile, is a Cahalith, or Gibbous Moon; a storyteller and loremaster, and seer who is tasked with keeping morale up while also having prophetic dreams, prophetic dreams which Leon might probably mess up with his ability to affect Fate and Time.

    Elise, one of my parents’ co-workers, is an Irraka, or New Moon - She stalks the target to inflict maximum damage so that the others can get the killing blow. Basically, a stealth assassin who constantly thinks of how to kill everyone around her… Including me right now, it seems. Brr.

    Simon, another kid around our age, is an Itheaur, a Crescent Moon. We’ve talked to him before and he says that being one isn’t fun, given that a Crescent Moon can always see Spirits and their intentions and they are always watching him. On the plus side, he can establish dominance over said Spirits and trap them in items and mess with Spirits in general.

    And the Principal is a Rahu; basically the physically strongest, most enduring, and tactically adept of all Auspices. He’s the one you call when you need to cut the Gordian Knot with overwhelming force. Even we fear him.

    The Principal’s growl woke me up from my reverie as he said, “Boy, do not make me regret bringing you. You’ve absorbed the introductions, right?”

    I nodded and said, “Yes, yes I have.”

    And I realized that it was actually true; that I had taken information from the introductions and mixed it with my musings. So I picked up the courage to say my next words, “What’s the plan; what specific thing are we hunting?”

    The Principal said, “You’re still part of the Iron Masters, Boy; you know that we hunt the most dangerous prey - People. Sapient beings who consciously make the worst possible choices for others, the Spirit World, and now them. As it is, the hunt is in three stages; the first is to clear out the malign Spirits and Darkspawn which infest the mall. The second is to remove the ‘Taint’ of the Tainted Place; Mr. Ikari will help with that. And the third and last phase, which you two will help with, is to take care of the one responsible for sucking out the light and hope from the place and allowing ‘Taint’ to set in and a wound to open.”

    He then looked at us as the fading sunset glinted from his eyes and the shadows made him look bigger than he already was. He then said in a sharp, somewhat thick tone that brooked no opposition, “One of Mr. Ikari’s kind caused this; a ‘Twilight Prince’ serving the ‘Queen of Tears’. You two will prove your loyalty to the Pack and Tribe by helping us hunt him down before he sucks out more hope and light from similar buildings. And by ‘hunt him down’, I do not necessarily mean kill, but I am more than open to such a solution.”

    We looked around and saw that everyone’s faces, including our parents’, were firmly set; they had all agreed that the death of this ‘Twilight Prince’ was a desirable outcome.

    I grit my teeth and thought: This is why we didn’t want to become Werewolves. But apparently, becoming Mages instead has not freed us of the ‘obligation’ to kill.

    Then I heard my brother take a deep breath and say, “It’s best if we just scare the ‘Prince of Tears’ to within an inch of his life. Fear will serve our interests more than Blood; I predict this and my father will back me up - Right, Dad?”

    Dad looked at us and said, “I do; I’ve seen it in my dreams that frightening the enemy would be more fortunate for us - At the very least, it allows for multiple Sacred Hunts to be conducted in the future.”

    The Principal growled, and so did Elise. But it was the former who said as he began to shift into a humanoid wolf form, “Very well; we will strive to frighten him if we could. But if killing him would have earned this city a better future, on your heads be it.”

    And so it was done; have we made the right choice?
    Last edited by Dragos Bee; June 23rd, 2022 at 11:27 PM.

  7. #7
    Made minor edits to Chapter Two!

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