Alice squeezed Tristen’s hand tightly as they breached the circle of the camp fire, all eye’s watching her she knew she’d been summoned because something was wrong. She had heard Duncan arriving on the wagon shouting and causing a fuss. She had tried to go out to him but Heather had stopped her saying she would find out what was wrong.
“What’s going on?” she dared asked, looking around the circle everyone was here.. well almost everyone, only Kaitlyn and her father where missing. Spotting Duncan in the crowd a sudden panic over whelmed her. Duncan had left with her father … if he was back and her father was not? What did that mean?
“Lar’s is missing” Bronwyn informed her. Her swollen belly now heavily pregnant with a child that was almost due any day now.
“Not missing” Ailith’s mother Laila interjected, “We know where he is. What we don’t know is why?”
“Where is he?” Alice demanded, “Tell me”
“Malfea’s!” Laila smiled smugly, “It seems Lar’s was not quite as well intentioned as everyone thought”
“I… I don’t understand!”
“Stop being nieve girl” the older woman hissed, “Your father was on the spiral, it’s not hard to figure… I’ve been telling people for months. His obsession with the wyrm, the company he kept. Hell he let a vampire onto our holy ground. Your father was a traitor girl”
“Your wrong!” she retorted, barely able to comprehend what the fury was telling her. Her father on the spiral, no it wasn’t possible. He wouldn’t embrace the wrym, he wouldn’t betray them there must be some sort of mistake. “Heather?!” she asked pleading looking towards the elder.
“We don’t know anything yet” the older woman soothed before turning to the fury. “Laila I would appreciate it if you didn’t, leap to such dangerous conclusions. We don’t know why or how he is there”
“Don’t be as nieve as the girl” the fury countered, “People have been talking, he wasn’t right … We all know he was colluding with the wrym, everyone has been thinking it”
“Not everyone” Bronwyn interrupted “Lar’s was as honourable a Garou as any I have know”
“Trust you to side with him” Laila retorted, “Can none of you see… You have all been tricked? He has been in league with the wyrm for months, he is on the spiral and now the spiral has finally taken him”
“No I don’t believe it” Alice decided barely able to contain her emotion. The thought that her father had been dancing the spiral unthinkable.
Spiral Dancer’s where the most hated of all Garou, a tribe that had forgone all sense and reason, abandoned Gaia and taken up with the Wyrm. It was said that as these abomination’s danced they grew in power until eventually they where so corrupted by the wyrm the spiral simply swallowed them up.
“Believe what you like” Laila hissed, “The fact is he is gone, the wyrm has taken him and we need to be ready for whatever is coming”
A murmur rippled around the camp, it wasn’t hard to see that many of the Garou had already begun to side with the fury. She couldn’t blame them. Garou where stuck in their ways and often blind to the truth of things. They had always disapproved of her fathers dealings with Vincent and Tarik, believing working with the wyrm even to a common goal was a blasphemy against Gaia.
Biting her lip she begun to shake, “We need to find him” she begged. “We need to go to Malfea’s and save him. If he’s there I know he isn’t willing… he must be a prisoner”
“He isn’t a prisoner…. “ Laila began.
“Enough” Heather interrupted, “We don’t know what he is. We will find out and when we do then we shall decide what to do about it”
“Till then we organise, we plan” Duncan spoke out. “We know he went into the Hamdun Castle and that the castle is infected by the wrym. We need to figure out what we are up against and then we can formulate a plan to get him back”
“Only IF we find he hasn’t been corrupted” the fury insisted, “If he has then, like all wrym he must be destroyed”
“If that is the case, then he will be dealt with” Heather agreed.
“That I agree with” Laila nodded “However I do think your faith in him is misguided”
“We shall see about that” Heather replied, her gaze steely.
“Great” Duncan interrupted, “So we need someone who can watch the castle… someone who can do that wyrm sency thing”
“Wyrm sency thing?” the fury mocked, “What do you mean boy?”
“You know what I mean” he retorted, “I know some of you can smell the wrym, we need to know how many are in there, what the castle see who enters and leave. Find out how the wrym are? We need one of the garou who can do it… to watch the castle, count numbers and strength”
And who do you mean to lead us boy? You I suppose? After all aren’t you supposed to be the king of Grimstead?”
“I can” he replied, seeming suddenly humbled. The look on his face revealed that he knew the fury was mocking him, but still even knowing that he looked back at her squarely “Lars explained to me what’s going on. I understand the threat.. I could lead you”
Chuckling the fury shook her head in dismay, “Grow up boy” she smiled, “You aren’t even Garou”.
“I don’t need to be Garou” he countered. “I just need to be smart”
“We need a warrior, not a boy” she laughed, “Now leave the garou to deal with this boy, go and find a toy to play with. Still you are right about one thing” indicating for a couple of the better known garou to follow her “It is time to plan”
“No!” Alice called out, suddenly understanding the fury meant to take control of the sept. “You can’t just take control!”
“Sorry” the fury purred, “You mean to challenge me?”
“No… I mean .. yes maybe” she decided “My father meant for the sept to pass to me”
“Your little more than a pup” the older woman laughed, making Alice feel suddenly very foolish and judging by the reactions of many of the others she was not the only one to think the idea absurd. Looking towards Heather pleadingly the older woman seemed to almost cringe shaking her head in warning it was clear she wanted her to back down.
“You can’t just take over…You have no right!”
“Lars would want for her to have it” Duncan agreed. “You all know he would”
“Lars the traitor?! No I don’t think we care much for what he would have wanted anymore, besides how do we know his daughter isn’t a traitor too. We all know how spiral’s recruit from their own, perhaps she’s a spiral too”
“I am not” she growled, feeling the anger welling up inside her. “And neither was my father”
“Alice don’t” Tristen begged, tugging on her hand. “Please come”
“No” she growled, “No … she just can’t take over… my father had to fight for this sept, he wouldn’t just want it handing over to someone who didn’t earn it”
“Do you want to challenge me for it?” Laila asked with all confidence. “If you want to fight me, I will fight?”
“Please don’t” Tristen begged, “She’ll kill you”
Alice didn’t think…. she couldn’t think.
Shifting she attacked.