CAST OF PLAYERS:

Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………..…Human Psionic


Jera Morrison…………..….Alseyne Aulaudin……………………Sidhe Changeling


Kendall Nye………….……Joseph McAdoo………………………..Ronin Garou


Jeremy Whitener………….Korin Alabaster…………………………Were Mongoose


Aron Head………………….Story/Setting/Everything Else………Game Master

*********************************************

“Too bad our one ally in that field of expertise skipped out on us,” Alseyne commented. “I suppose we can try calling her again but she’s not been very reliable so far. I would hesitate to put much faith in her assistance.”

“Lena?” Pip asked. “Yeah.  She was kind of flakey.”

“Careful,” Yggthor cautioned. “She may have been devoured by the River Hag.”

“Sorry.”

“But I thought she was flakey, too.” Yggthor added.

“Yggy!” Katherine scolded.

“Sorry, dear.”

“It’s been days since I’ve even thought about that hag,” Alseyne mused. “I suppose we should call — just to see if she was the victim or not.  I doubt she was though — I think she took off to chase whomever was running that tornado that attacked us on Sunday; that’s when she disappeared.”

“One hopes he leaves traces enough to follow. However, I have a request.” McAdoo adjusted the Guardian blade next to his leg. “Yggthor, remember that house we were at just before we met the children? That place is a node that masked the presence of an abomination skindancer named Phil. I would like aid in chasing him down and support against whatever else was upstairs.”

“Od’s blood, I almost forgot about that.”  Yggthor looked to Pip. “He’s right.  Something bad was up there.” The troll looked back to McAdoo. “Tonight?  After dinner?”

“I suppose we could split our efforts here,” Pip said.  “After dinner, some of us can go with Yggthor and Mac.  And a few can go to the guild house.”

“…And eat them?” Claws interjected hopefully.

“Only the one who worked with Mardmor,” Pip corrected.  “The rest of them are off the menu.”

The big Bastet sighed with disappointment.  “The one who helped Mardmor wouldn’t make more than a snack.  I was hoping for something a little more filling.  You sure we can’t have more than that?”

Sounding like a mother answering a child’s request for a new toy, the satyr answered with: “We’ll see.”

“Don’t worry, Claws,” Alseyne smiled. “I’m sure that there will be a few there who will attempt to assist or defend him. You can take out a little frustration on them. Just don’t kill them.”

Claws scratched his head. “I’m supposed to eat them without killing them? I think you’re confused about how this works.”

“Nibble on them. Don’t eat them outright,” Alseyne explained. “A nibble here, a bite there. It all adds up.”

“Do *not* confuse the kitty,” Pip scolded Alseyne.

“I’m just trying to be helpful.” She gave the satyr a look of wide-eyed innocence.

Claws nodded thoughtfully. “Well… I guess I could take an arm here, a leg there. I just can’t rip any heads off or go for the body…”

“I was thinking more about hands and feet than arms and legs, but maybe we should wait and see how things go before we start dismembering opponents, Claws.”

He looked at her with all seriousness. “Our opponents have tried to do more than just dismember us. I didn’t think that taking a few body parts would be too much to ask.”

“Well, just because they are sorcerers doesn’t mean they are our enemies. And many times people will jump in and support someone they know over someone they don’t know without understanding the situation at all — that’s why I said we want to be careful.”

“Then we should teach them to understand. The loss of an arm tends to make some think more the next time something like that happens.” He spoke as if he were doing them a favor. “Speaking of body parts, whatever happened to the arm and leg that I took from the hag? Does that weird doctor friend of yours still have them?”

Alseyne shrugged. “I never saw your trophies, Claws. I don’t know where they’ve ended up.”

“Hmmmm… that’s right. You weren’t there.” He looked around. “It was JJ… and I think…was it you that was with us at the time, Yggthor?”

“Aye, ’twas me,” the troll acknowledged. “I do not recall where you’ve laid your treasures, though.”

“Well, I for one have my heart set on sweet potato fries and a nice juicy steak,” Alseyne declared cheerfully as she came over to greet Casey with a hug.

“Any chance of a medium sized deer?” Claws considered. “I’m even willing to run it down myself.”

McAdoo sighed. ” That’s a valid question, Great Khan. The restaurant may have fresh venison. If so I may have a slice or three. “

“If they have any, you can have a whole leg, if you’d like,” Claws said generously.

“Can we put some surveillance in place now?” McAdoo switched gears abruptly, looking to the satyr.

Pip sighed, looking furtively to the sluagh.

“I’m missing dinner, aren’t I?” Wynne glared.

“‘Fraid so, hon.”

Wynne growled, turning back to her bedroom.  “Gotta get my gear.”

As she left for her room, Claws looked back to Pip.  “Sending her hunting alone?  Is that the best option?”

“Not hunting.  Watching.  And Wynne’s the best there is at that.”

“Maybe…if it was my safe house and I’d had intruders it would be considered burned. ” McAdoo looked to the weretiger. “It would no longer be a safe house and I’d have moved to another by now.” On the heels of this rather cryptic observation the garou added, “We can bring her some takeout. Not as good as a sitdown with friends but,” he shrugged, “will do until next we feast.”

Wynne returned a few minutes later, looking not at all unlike the manner in which she departed.

Yggthor quickly jotted down directions.

Snatching them from his hand, she headed out the door.  “There better be fried chicken livers and banana pudding in the fridge when I get back or throats will be cut!”

“Yes, ma’am!” Pip responded after her. He looked to the remainder of the group, “Ready for dinner?”

McAdoo nodded and rose to his feet. ” Yes. Starving in fact. “

“Me too,” Casey chimed in. “Let’s go eat!”

*****************

The party moved to Threadgill’s located on North Lamar.  Two black SUVs hauled them there.  Pip drove one, Yggthor the other.

The party occupied one long table.  Pip sat at one end, Alseyne was at the other.

Menus were distributed. Korin accepted his with a cryptic grin.

“We’ll need several pitchers of beer,” Pip informed the waitress.  “And keep them coming.”

Casey ordered an iced tea for herself.

“I recommend the macaroni and cheese,” Yggthor said.  He indicated the menu. “It counts as a vegetable!”

Casey chuckled at that, then laughed aloud as she looked at her menu and saw that mac and cheese (gravy optional!) really was listed among the vegetables.

“The spinach casserole is out of this world,” Percyndi chimed in. “Father has it shipped up to the ranch for holidays.”

“I recommend their ‘world-famous’ chicken fried steak. It’s heavenly,” Alseyne suggested.

“That does sound good,” Casey smiled. “Claws, I don’t see any live deer on the menu, but maybe they keep some in the back for special occasions?”

McAdoo squinted at the menu, holding it at near arm’s length. “I was looking forward to venison. How’s the liver and onions?”

“Just like momma used to make,” The waitress answered.

“That’s good enough, miss. Liver and onions, if you please a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.” The werewolf folded the menu and handed it back to her.

“We’ll also need some fried pickles and chicken livers for the table,” Pip said to the server.  

“And sweet potato fries!” Alseyne added.

“Oh, anybody singin’ tonight?” The satyr smiled.

“Just you, darlin’.”  The waitress winked.

Casey brightened. “Do you sing, Pip?”

“If you thought that T-Ray was good, just wait until you hear Pip,” Alseyne told her.

“Well,” Pip said, mock-embarassed. “I don’t like to brag. It’s not my way.”

Casey snorted good-humoredly at that.

“There’s a difference between bragging and justifiable pride in one’s ability, Pip.” Alseyne’s eyes gleamed at her lover. “And besides, you aren’t doing the bragging, I am. It’s perfectly acceptable for me to brag about your skills.”

“Well, clearly you have no choice now but to sing for us,” Casey laughed. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

He nodded “After supper. It’s a sin against God and nature to sing on an empty stomach.”

“Excellent!” She closed her menu and ordered a steak with mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus.

Alseyne ordered the chicken fried steak, sweet potato fries and San Antonio squash.

Korin added his order. “I’ll have the Salmon, Black beans and rice and fried okra thanks.” To the satyr he added, “Is there anything you don’t do well Pip? Your quite the diverse individual aren’t you?”

“Math,” the satyr answered with a shudder.

“We don’t let him keep the books anymore,” Yggthor offered.

Korin laughed. “Yeah? Join the crowd.”

Pitchers of beer and iced tea and baskets of fried chicken livers, fried pickles, and sweet potato fries arrive alongside fresh baked yeast rolls and cornbread muffins.

Claws looked at the spread before them. Picking up one of the pitchers of beer, he held it under his nose and inhaled deeply, closing his eyes appreciatively. With a shake of his head and a small chuckle, he set the pitcher back down, picked up one of the tea pitchers and poured himself a glass.

Yummy noises could be heard all ’round.

“A toast!” Pip filled his mug and raised it. “To battles well-fought!”

Yggthor’s mug was up. “To friends lost, but not forgotten!”

Percyndi raised her own and quietly added, “To love.”

Alseyne nodded at that before offering her own toast, “To friends and allies newly met but no less dear.”

Casey lifted her glass and smiled. “To new beginnings.”

Claws added a toast of his own. “To absent friends and fallen heroes.”

“To friends.” McAdoo sipped his beer.

Taking up a cup Korin echoed McAdoos words. “To friends….old friends, new friends, and the ones we’ve yet to meet.” He took a good long swig from the mug.

Dinner arrived and much like the appetizers that preceded it, the meal was met with appreciation and awe.

A plate of food was set before Yggthor and an empty plate before Katherine.

Yggthor provided her a questioning glance.

“The portions are so large,” she explains, “I’m just going to eat off yours.”

The Troll frowned as she cut almost half off of his chicken fried steak.

Pip smiled into his mashed potatoes.

Casey chuckled at the exchange, digging hungrily into her own meal.

McAdoo sliced into his liver steak and forked the large bite into his mouth. He chewed once, twice, and then stopped as his eyes widened before chomping the meat to shreds and swallowing. “Oh…this is wonderful…Dear Gia..” he announced, knife and fork carving another bite out of the steak.

The group fell to eating.

McAdoo’s gaze kept returning to the large Bastet, studying him speculatively. “Claws…you’ve aged.”

Claws looked down at his scarred and callused hands, as if noticing them for the first time. His gaze was distant, distracted. “Varr halr hljoo veita der Wyrm,” he said softly, almost to himself.

Casey glanced up at that, then gave the Tiger another long look. “‘Fess up, Claws,” she pressed. “What really happened to you in Sanctuary?”