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Currently in Saint Claire, it's a sunny day. The temperature is 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the northeast at 8 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 30.29 and steady, and the relative humidity is 48 percent. The dewpoint is 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius.) For more detail, see: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=98501

It is currently 16:50 Pacific Time on Mon May 30 2016.

Currently the moon is in the waning Crescent (Theurge) Moon phase (38% full).

Caern: The Stone Firepit

A subtle undulation of the land forms an curious, natural spiral in the open ground. One side of the formation rises to create a half-circle or crescent of earth surrounding and encompassing the spiral. The ground is littered with rock and flagstones, both large and small. Someone has carefully gathered up a trove of these and erected a clear fire pit. Flagstones with smooth surfaces have been laid along the upper lip of half circle of earth around the fire pit, turning it into a nice seating area. All debris and flammable material's been removed from within the spiral, and a fire has been laid. Just beyond the spiral's edge, wood has been collected and piled for future use. Surrounding this, the rugged walls of the canyon have been half buried by the Wyld surge, making the upper slope of the valley more gentle than it was before. Stands of Douglas fir and white pines mix with hemlock, lodgepole pines, and western larch trees to fill much of the open space, but the trees here are not nearly as dense as they are in the surrounding forests of the bawn. The sparse woods allows a partial view of the sky, and both sun and moonlight filter down to create enigmatic and beautiful shadow patterns on the forest floor. That floor is blanketed with a thick, soft rug of shed pine needles, lichen and leaf debris. The moss-covered relics of old, dead trees occasionally mark a place where once great sentinels loomed above.

The caern expands in two directions from here. The escarpment wall and raised dais form one point of the new triangle, while the center of the caern and its gigantic, Wyld-influenced tree marks the other. The only obvious way out of the caern is the valley slope that leads to the central bawn.

Thane waits until Nolan shows himself before settling himself down to sit next to the fire, steadily feeding it wood to bring the flames back up. "Good afternoon, Nolan." He says to the Fianna before glancing back towards Trace. "Cuckoo was mine, followed by Fox. Now, Hummingbird. Cunning totems aren't well regarded by most but they can be very effective."

Rabbit steps out from the treeline, cautious (as usual) as she approaches the firepit, studying the Garou and gauging the general mood.

Trace lifts a hand in a wave in return, and then nods, silent and thoughtful for a while. "Now that I did, I realise and it feels so much more like it has been too long since I had pack," he eventually says. Rabbit as well gets a slight wave, the Walker taking a purposeful and steadying breath. "Hi Nolan, hi, Rabbit."

Nolan glances back over his shoulder, acknowledging Rabbit with a wave and a grin as he, too, makes his way to the fire. The grin falters when Trace speaks, but by the time the Fianna reaches the spiral of stone, it's back again. "Talking about packs?"

Thane turns his eye on Rabbit as the youngling Kitsune makes her appearance. "Hello, Rabbit. Out exploring by yourself?" He inquires as logs are added to the refueled flames to keep them going long term.

Rabbit stops a reserved distance away. "Explore, yes," she says politely. "Hello." She looks at Trace and Nolan as well, her greeting obviously intended for them, too.

Trace gets up and moves to continue tending the fire as the Alpha moves off to deal with whatever business it is takes tending to. "More or less," the Walker adds. "Packs, things in general, the state of things on patrols so we're all on the same page." Another large stick, or perhaps it's a small log, gets added to the fire, before Trace stands up. "Which is to say that it's been quiet for everything that's happened recently."

Nolan watches the alpha leave, and then turns his attention back to Trace. "What page are we on? 58? 75?" He steps up onto the raised stone, arms out to the side as though for balance.

To the caern, Trace mutters something impolite about ragabash. :P

Rabbit tips her head to one side, looking quizzical.

Trace lets out a breath and gives Nolan a look that, while not hostile, is a little bit frustrated. "It's a figure of speech," he says, accent colouring his words a little more than usual. "Forty-two."

Nolan laughs and steps down again. "I know," he says with a shake of his head. "I was hoping for more information about what might be on the page, such as it is."

Trace gives Nolan a bit of a quizzical look of his own. "Then say so?" he says. "The first time?" There's a huff, and Trace sits down on the log nearest him. "I haven't seen anything on my patrols, and neither Thane nor the rest of the guardians have run into anything either. Whatever's going on isn't in these areas, and that's either good, or bad, depending upon how you look at it."

Rabbit makes a little thoughtful 'mmm' sound and hunkers down, squatting on her heels.

"You only ever speak exactly what you mean?" Nolan asks Trace with a smirk, circling around, following the path of the stone bench. He winks over at Rabbit and then turns back to the Glass Walker. "Never use a figure of speech? Never say things in a roundabout way?"

Trace shakes his head, and thinks for a moment, and then answers, speaking significantly faster than he usually does as well. "/No. Pero/," he says, "/frecuentemente malinterpreten las figuras del discurso el uso de otras personas/." After the rapid Spanish, he looks up at the ragabash, and lifts his shoulders in a shrug.

(Translation: No, but I frequently misinterpret figures of speech other people use.)

Rabbit hugs her knees and rests her chin on them, watching the two Garou quietly.

Nolan laughs again, coming to a stop between two rows of stone. "Well. As long as we're all _on_the_same_page_," he says, repeating the smirk.

Trace drums his fingers on his knees and then shrugs his shoulders one more time. "Something like that," he agrees with a hint of a smile. His attention turns to Rabbit with a glance, though, and he says, "It was neat that Turtle let Brings-the-Pack and myself listen, last night." One stick gets picked up, and he pokes at the fire.

"Wolves learn and know about Foxes, Foxes learn and know about Wolves," Rabbit says after a bit of thought.

"Nothing wrong with learning," Nolan agrees with a nod toward Rabbit. He climbs over the stone bench between himself and the fire, and takes up a seat. "So what did you all learn?"

Trace nods. "Yeah," Trace says. "Foxes... the closest thing to our auspices that they have, they call Paths. And they choose them rather than..." a moment passes and the Walker continues, "predestination like most Garou tend to think of auspices as. It's interesting."

Rabbit peers at Trace. "Predestination." She repeats the word slowly. "Do not know that word."

"Predestination? The idea that our fates are determined before we're born," Nolan says with a grin toward Rabbit. I don't know, though. Maybe the soul chooses!" He runs a hand back through his hair. "And don't forget, a wolf can always change auspices later on, too."

"Maybe it does," Trace says with a shrug, "but this is why I'm an ahroun-- a full moon," the explanation is directed towards Rabbit, "and not a theurge-- who are born under the crescent moon and are often the most connected to the spirits and the spirit world." He chuckles, slightly. "And while that's true, changing auspices is pretty uncommon overall."

"Why?" asks Rabbit.

Trace ponders this for a long minute, eventually tossing the stick he's using to prod the fire into the fire and lifting his shoulders in a shrug. "More traditional wolves would tell you that they see it as questioning Gaia's intent for us." He shakes his head. "I don't believe in that sort of thing, though I've never felt any need to question my auspice and feel like it fits."

"You don't believe it?" Nolan prods. "Why do you think it's considered inappropriate by so many, then?"

Rabbit, listening, puts her fingertip on her nose and pushes lightly at it. Squish.

Trace looks up at Nolan. "I don't. Do you believe that old-fashioned bullcrap?" the question is fired back in return. "As I said. I think that many feel like you're insulting what you were meant for. They think that it can't ever be wrong and so that turning your back on what you did as your former auspice makes you untrustworthy. But I'm sure that there are, in fact, good reasons for renouncing."

"What do you suppose a good reason would be?" Nolan asks, scooting forward on the bench until he's just barely letting it support his weight.

Rabbit gives her nose a few more finger-squishes, then shifts her weight, sitting down on the ground with her legs stretched out before her.

Trace shrugs, and there's a hint of frustration in the look the ragabash gets once again. "Like I said. I've never been drawn down that path," the Walker says, and there's a long moment of consideration. "But sometimes, someone might have the desire to start over, and leave their past behind. Maybe someone just doesn't feel they do any of the roles of their auspice well."

"Shouldn't they just try harder? I mean, just because you can't ride a bike the first time you try, doesn't mean you shouldn't try again, right?" The tip of Nolan's tongue touches one of his canines and there's a gleam in his eye as he presses on. "Do we just give up, because it's hard to fight against the apocalypse?"

Trace has gotten to outright glaring at Nolan, clearly done with the questions, well before the ragabash finishes speaking. But at the end, something turns from glaring to hostile and violent intent, and the ahroun doesn't say anything at all, simply grabs his jacket from where it sits near the log, gets up, and walks out of the caern. There's a hint of shaking to the iron control, evident rage in his overall manner as he leaves.

"Well, all right, then," Nolan says, offering a two fingered salute as the ahroun walks away. "Talk to you later!"

Rabbit has been listening to this conversation with rapt attention and keen interest -- until Trace starts getting angry. Then she goes very still.

To the caern, Trace is gonna linger and watch whatever the rest happens, though!

Trace spins on one heel to look at Nolan, and there's one word offered before he resumes walking away. "Enough." It's almost a growl, and it's a definite warning.

Nolan doesn't say a word, though the snerk isn't exactly silent. He waves again, as Trace walks away.

Rabbit doesn't move until Trace is quite gone, and then it's only to carefully, slowly, shift herself back to a squatting position. Her expression is quite solemn.

Nolan lets out a breath as Trace disappears through the trees, and the grin he wore, previously, fades. He glances across to the young kit. "Well, that was that."

Ghost slips out of the trees. She's not dirt smeared today; in fact, her hair is damp here and there, and she has a scoped rifle tucked under one arm, safety on.

"Angry wolves," says Rabbit softly. Ghost's arrival makes her look up sharply.

Trace leaves the caern and disappears into the forests of the central bawn.
Trace has left.

"Angry, yes," Nolan agrees, expression twisting in a frown. "And not interested in thinkin--" He cuts off as he notices Ghost's arrival, but then takes a breath, relaxing again. "Not interested in thinking. Ah, well."

Ghost's eyebrows raise slightly as she catches that last snippet of conversation, but there's no commentary from her. She makes her way toward the firepit and sits. There's no sign of the explosive temper from yesterday, but then, there was not much sign of it yesterday either before she exercised it.

Rabbit seems to have this in mind, because she keeps a wary eye on Ghost.

Nolan gives a strong shake of his head and when he settles, the grin is back. He lifts a hand in a wave toward Ghost, welcoming her over. "Hey. Everything all right?"

"Yeah," Ghost says, a little stiffly. It takes her a few more moments, but then she also adds, "...Sorry. That was childish of me."

Rabbit remains quiet.

"Childish?" Nolan asks, though there isn't the humor in his voice one might expect from previous conversations. "Seemed like a more rational response than some I've seen."

Ghost grunts. "Hitting someone and then stomping off is childish," she says. "Yes. So I'm sorry for that."

Nolan gives a soft chuckle, and nods. "All right," he says. "I can accept that. Though, honestly, he was being enough of an ass that he deserved a lesson, if not that one."

"Yes," Ghost says, with no hesitation. She doesn't say anything else just yet though. Rabbit gets a curious glance.

"Sooooo," Nolan starts, a bit cautiously, head tipping to the side as he regards Ghost. "What is it *you* want? Everybody talks about you being valuable, whatever that means. But it doesn't seem like anyone gives a thought for your goals."

Rabbit idly paws at the stony ground in front of her, fingertips trailing over the rough surface as she listens.

Ghost shakes her head. "There are uh, reasons for that." A beat. "What /I/ want? I don't know. This bullshit being solved and over would be nice. Mostly I just want to actually /be/ valuable. They're not talking about me when they say that."

"What are they talking about?" Nolan asks. He looks to Rabbit, his smile returning as he watches her.

Rabbit looks back at Nolan and gives him a very faint smile in return, then turns her attention back to Ghost.

"There's something weird about me," Ghost tries to explain, with a faint grimace. "It's connected to the Hanford thing...somehow. Brings-the-Pack thinks whatever's with me might be able to be used against it. Again, uh, /somehow/. And the others believe him. So they're not talking about me, they're talking about a...commodity. A resource."

"Your aura, your blood, your checkered hanky." Nolan says with a sharp nod of understanding. "Not you. Got it."

Rabbit blinks at Nolan. "'Checkered hanky'?"

Ghost nods in response, then once again looks to Rabbit at the question.

Nolan laughs a little. "A thing she might own, but that has no importance of its own. Some people use them to wipe their noses. Other people use them as signal flags for different, um, preferences." He grins and shakes his head. "But the main idea is that it would be not part of who she is, or wants to be."

Rabbit nods at Nolan's explanation and then tilts her head to study Ghost.

Ghost studies Rabbit right back, and her cheeks color just faintly after a moment. "Um, sorry. I'm Ghost."

"Rabbit Digs Deep," the young Kitsune says politely. "Turtle's daughter. Fox kit."

"Nolan," says the man. "Ragabash, if that wasn't obvious," he adds with a grin. "So, they want something of you, because it's a key to solving a problem, but they don't know what and they don't know how, and meanwhile, they talk about you like you're an object, rather than a person. What are we going to do to fix it?"

"A fox?" Ghost repeats. Both of her eyebrows have lifted again. "Really?" She looks toward Nolan. "...What do you mean?"

"Fox," Rabbit confirms. She looks sharply away from the two of them, toward the forest, then takes off that way, shifting down to fox-shape as she goes.
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