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It is currently 19:24 Pacific Time on Fri Mar 3 2017.

Currently in Saint Claire, it is a cloudy day. The temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the south at 13 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 29.66 and falling, and the relative humidity is 97 percent. The dewpoint is 44 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius.) For more detail, see: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=98501

Currently the moon is in the waxing Crescent (Theurge) Moon phase (39% full).

Bawn: The Sept Compound(#2075RAM)

Sweeping branches of evergreen pines form a sort of natural roof overshadowing most of this clearing. In the center is a fire pit with several old logs polished from use for seats. A separate stack of firewood is discreetly piled up at the base of an old spruce, protected from the damp by a tarp. At the edge of the clearing and extending back a bit into the woods resides a rough wooden structure with a slate tile roof. A stone slab rests off to one side of the clearing in a place of some prominence. Nestled in among the pines are a few hardy perennials--red alder, quaking aspen, and a big leaf maple or two--that, come spring, will create a profusion of color in the clearing.

The night is chill and dark, clouds overing the moon and stars, the bawn nothing but shadows, the ceaseless whisper of trees in the wind, and the occasional wolf howl as one patrolling guardian calls to another, relaying information, though nothing urgent, no incoming attack or invasion tonight. In the compound, the fire burns bright and warm, and Salem -- dressed for the weather in thick jacket and wool cap, sits on one of the log 'benches', his expression contemplative as he pokes at the fire with a stick. A backpack's lying on the ground behind him.

Footsteps as one person or another crosses the bawn aren't uncommon. The ring stone on a string that Yael tucks back into her pocket as she steps into the Sept Compound clearing is potentially more uncommon, and then she squares her shoulders and tucks her headscarf into her jacket as she moves over towards the fire, giving Salem a once-over glance. "Good evening," she offers.

Yael stands around 5'7", with a certain measure of grace to an otherwise unremarkable appearance. Golden-tanned skin is framed by a few wisps of brown hair peeking out from underneath a slightly lighter infinity scarf draped to cover her hair and the top of her shoulders. Her eyes are perhaps the only remarkable feature, somewhere between blue and grey. Her clothing is practical, loose, and modest, three quarter length sleeved shirt and loose khaki pants that have started to fray. Her shoes are similarly practical and worn-in desert boots.

First impressions can be misleading. As Yael arrives, one of those shadows outside the reach of the fire moves, accompanied by a low rumble and the glint of metal teeth. It's not so much a threat as an announcement, with one ear turned toward Salem, but the other Walker doesn't look to be in a particularly good mood, even if one ignores the features that would otherwise be unpleasant in any situation.

Her fur is a dingy black and grey, and her ears are a little too long for a wolf, the fur on them a little too short and fine in comparison to the rest of her head. Small thin folds of bare grey skin stretch noticeably from the back of her forelegs toward her body, and again from the back of her hind legs to her tail; the patagia is minor enough and flexible enough to avoid restricting movement, but impossible to mistake for anything else. Her eyes seem entirely black except when they widen enough to show what little white exists, dark unpleasant pools that do nothing to soften her overall image.

Her build is wiry, with a well defined if compact musculature. Too well defined. Her fur and skin seem to pull unnaturally over her frame when she engages in any real movement, a sensation more subconscious than not, and a close study reveals patterns in what can be seen of her muscles that are a little too perfect, a little too precise. Her teeth and claws gleam brilliantly metallic and deadly sharp, clearly unnatural to any close observer.

The boy who looks neither like a Glass Walker and nothing like someone who is a Sept's eldest and highest-ranked Philodox glances over at Ghost -- unsurprised by her presence and unperturbed by her appearance -- and then looks up at Yael. "Evening." His greeting is mild, decidedly neutral.

Yael offers both Glass Walkers her usual and polite smile, along with a nod of acknowledgement for Ghost, and then sits down somewhat across from Salem. "Good evening," she agrees. "I was hoping to find you, actually." Despite trying, she can't quite hide the disbelief that's there, and instead simply masks it with a question. "You're Salem?"

Ghost-in-the-Machine slowly sinks to her haunches, allowing the two Philodox some distance, but not nearly enough to exclude herself from the conversation. The firelight plays across her dark and darker fur, occasionally catching on the unnatural, metallic teeth and claws again. She seems to settle, acknowledging Yael in return with another flick of her ears and a quick tongue swipe over her nose and muzzle.

"Jack Salem, called Scar, Adren Philodox of the Glass Walkers and alpha of pack Sagacity under Chimera." He rattles off the introduction like it's an annoyance to do so, like he's only just barely resisted the urge to roll his eyes while doing so.

Coming from the direction of the caern is the sound of cheerful whistling, familiar to some, if not all, of those present.

Yael nods once, and grins. "Just the person I was looking for," she says, and glances towards the whistling for just a moment. "I may be staying in town longer than I originally intended, I've done so already," the Strider continues, "so since I am I wanted to touch base, to make sure I am not stepping on any toes and such. Or to make sure I know where the lines stand, at least."

Ghost-in-the-Machine sits up a little straighter and turns her head toward the whistling, ears pricked. Unlike Yael's arrival, whoever's making the sound doesn't get a warning growl--while it's very subtle, her mood actually seems to pick up, just a little--but he clearly has her attention.

Salem glances at Ghost, noting her reaction to the whistling, then turns his attention back to Yael. "We don't exactly do auspice elders around here, if that's what you're asking. If someone asks you to Philodox for them, feel free to do so."

The whistling comes closer, and before long the source becomes visible through the trees. The grey hoodie and jeans are difficult to pick out in the dim beyond the reach of the firelight, until Nolan steps into the clearing proper. He pauses just within, takes a brief look around, and lifts a hand in a lazy salute before approaching.

A young man of average height and athletic build, he is generally seen with a cunning smile and an easy manner. His dark hair is cut short, just enough length that the waves take form. (If he let it grow out, it would probably lead to unruly curls.) His eyes are green, or perhaps hazel, depending on the light. His skin is pale and freckled, and his cheekbones, while not extreme, are prominent. The straight nose and strong chin can lead to a more stern impression, but it's broken easily when he grins.

Today he wears a simple grey hoodie with a Red Sox logo on the front. His denim jeans are, if not new, well cared for, as are the blue and grey tennis shoes beneath. Around his neck, visible against the grey of the sweatshirt, he wears a pendant of carved, black stone strung on a thin cord of braided leather.

Yael turns a somewhat curious glance to Nolan as he arrives, but the nod that follows is directed towards Salem. "Alright," she says. "That is most of it, along with a hope to talk of gifts and what the other knows, once I have finished the rite teaching that I am doing at the moment." She grins. "Everywhere is different in that regard, and better to make sure now than find out later."

Ghost-in-the-Machine gives Nolan a low, amiable chuff in response, before shifting her attention more toward the conversation.

Salem nods to Nolan in greeting, then asks Yael, "Is there a particular Gift you were looking to learn?"

Nolan gives Yael a momentary look, and then nods, apparently to himself. Grinning at the three, he joins them at the fire, finding a spot not too far from Ghost. "Evening," he says, apparently to the wolf, and quietly enough not to interrupt the others.

Yael nods, and there's a brief glance towards both Nolan and Ghost, watching, but the majority of her attention is still on the conversation. "I've been hoping to learn the gift to sense balance," she says. "It feels... needed, in these days."

Ghost-in-the-Machine shifts to homid, though with deliberate slowness, and goes from her crouch to a cross-legged sit. "Hey," she says in return, just as quiet.

"Okay," Salem says to Yael, like it's just that easy. "I've known that one for a while."

"Seems appropriate to the caern," the Fianna chimes in, looking between the pair of philodox.

Yael turns, though first she adds, "Thank you. Much appreciated," and looks at Nolan, then and nods. "Something like that. I think I saw you at the gathering, briefly, but I couldn't stick around that day." The tone of voice has an implied question or perhaps request for an introduction, but the Strider doesn't seem to care so much as to outright request it.

Ghost's scowl is so terribly brief at something Yael says that it's very easy to miss, especially in the low light. She glances toward Nolan.

Salem leans backwards, stretching, his balance on the log shifting to the point where one would expect him to topple backwards off of it... but he doesn't, and in a moment he shifts back forward and yawns.

"Mmm, yeah," Nolan allows at Yael's comment. There's a flicker of something through his expression as he glances toward Ghost, there and gone again by the time he returns to the others. The pause is long enough it may seem he either missed the Strider's hint, or is intentionally ignoring it, but eventually he adds, "Nolan Fahey. Squirrel Talks to No One. Fianna. Ragabash," and he reaches up to scratch at the back of his head.

Yael draws the slightly worn jacket around her shoulders, and reaches over to pick up a log from one of the nearby piles, then carefully adding it to the fire. The very end of the introduction gets a soft 'heh' out of the woman, and a nod of acknowledgement, and then continued fussing a bit more life into the fire.

"You mentioned having been part of the Ahadi in Africa," Salem says, looking at Yael.

Nolan leans forward at Salem's prompting, elbows resting on his knees.

Yael nods again, though her attention is on the fire as she speaks. "Yes," she says. "I was drawn down there looking for books-- manuscripts-- and then when I was there even when the job was done, I found it hard to leave." She grins a little bit, although there's a flicker of something else as well. "Although not all of my tribemates who go in and out of Africa become part of the Ahadi, I did." She trails off, more as though unsure where to start or to continue than unwillingness to.

"Manuscripts?" Ghost echoes. The question remains half formed, as she doesn't add to it, but her puzzled expression is easy to make out.

Salem looks at Ghost and then back at Yael, obviously also interested in the answer to her question.

Curiosity is a common factor, as Nolan's brows rise.

"Lost books," Yael says, and nods, poking the fire one more time before sitting back, one hand automatically going to keep her headscarf from falling to her shoulders as she does so. She's sitting near the fire, somewhat across from the other Garou, and draws a breath in. "The older the better, I had read almost everything that I could in the libraries in Israel, and Lebanon, and Syria. I love books,, the glimpse into what there was. And all my life I'd heard of the books lost across Africa-- the Library of Alexandria, the collections of Timbuktu. Some of them had been protected by families for generations, but some get-- lost to conquest and expansion and archaeologists. But a lone Garou in Africa gets nowhere, or worse, dead very quickly."

Ghost still looks a little puzzled, but her expression closes off at this answer. "Oh." A beat. "So, just human books then."

Yael cracks a bit more of a smile, and there's a spark of light in her eye, "Not all of them, or even most of them," she says. "Although sometimes, there, the lines are less obvious. Some of them are 'just human books', but many of the families that guard even the human books are kinfolk. Some of what we'd heard of were records from times lost even to many of the Mokole. What few kin are left for some of the other members of the Ahadi." Her lips purse for a moment, but she's silent again.

"Interesting," Salem says. "So then, what do you do, after you've found a rare book like that?"

"What kinds of records?" Nolan asks, nearly on top of Salem, though he seems equally interested in the answer to the Glass Walker's question.

There is, it appears, a newcomer at the edge of the clearing the compound is housed in-- an oversized, predominantly grey wolf, returning from what appears to be one of the patrol circuits. Her posture is relaxed, look curious, gaze drifting first from Yael to Nolan in a fashion that speaks of having been familiarized with the two of them, then on to Salem and Ghost. The lattermost gets the bulk of her attention, though she keeps her scrutiny to a minimum, slowing her movements as if to debate whether or not to keep moving on the next circuit.

Yael looks at Nolan, and grins, "Wish I knew," she says, "that particular one in question was simply chasing ghosts around Cape Town and never lead to anything. It was supposed to be an account of something, but if we knew it wouldn't be lost." It's difficult to tell if the woman is using a metaphor, or misusing the English language there, or in fact means what she says, and then she continues with the answer to Salem's question. "Depends. Find somewhere it will be safe, in one of the existing collections. Take it to someone who it rightfully belongs to, if any of them survived Black Tooth and that gigantic mess. Take it to a Caern for a Sept. Make note of where it is and pass the information along to someone else. It was always nice when I got to find it myself, though." Missing in that list of what to do, seems to be 'keep it'.

Ghost doesn't ask any more questions herself, at least not yet, though her expression doesn't really change from Yael's explanation. Instead, the newcomer draws her attention. There's a marked tension that starts along the young woman's shoulders and spreads down her spine.

Yael gives the wolf a slight nod of greeting when she's finished speaking.

"Black Tooth?" 'Ahadi' might be a term Salem knows, but the name of Africa's most infamous werelion, not so much.

Something in what Yael says seems to trigger the Fianna ragabash's questioning compulsion, but he bites it back and rises. "Fascinating," he says as he stands. "I hope to hear more, sometime." He offers a nod both to Salem and Yael, a glance cast to the approaching wolf, and a slightly longer look in Ghost's direction. "Unfortunately, I have to be heading back to the city. If there's anything anyone needs?"

A light chuff is offered as a more 'polite' alert to her presence, the sound doubling as a greeting to the Strider. She trots a couple more steps forward before reverting with ease to her human form, and though she continues a leisurely advance, she remains on the periphery of the conversation for the time being, a nod offered to anyone who chances a look in her direction. "I'd happily pay mileage and an additional bonus for coffee that isn't stale," Sandra replies to Nolan, not seeming the least bit shy about throwing her two cents into the bid for requests, "if that's something you can arrange. Otherwise, I'll leave it at 'have a pleasant evening.'"

Ghost nods toward Nolan, though she seems decidedly reluctant to take her eyes off of the large wolf for more than a few seconds.

Yael shakes her head slightly, and looks at Nolan, "No, but thank you." A slight silence after, she grins. "I'll be around," she says, "there's always more." Salem's question gets a less pleasant expression, almost a scowl. "There was," Yael says, "one of the Simba, who thought that he was God reincarnated and was going to single-handedly 'save Africa'. He started by killing as many of the Ajaba as he could. And he didn't limit it to that either."

Dryly, Salem says, "Oh, good, a shifter genocide that our people /didn't/ do."

"Coffee it is," Nolan says to Sandra. "I'll drop a bag at the house sometime tomorrow." He lifts one hand in a gesture of farewell, nodding again as he makes his way out. The whistling can be heard not too long after, fading into the distance.

"It's appreciated," Sandra says in return, her attention shifting back to the conversation for the time being.

Ghost eases up from her sit into a very careful, very tense three point crouch.

Yael glances to Ghost, brows furrowing for just a moment, but the expression is the only question before she looks back to Salem. "Yeah. And much more recent too. It's what actually formed the Ahadi, because it took all of the Bete and some pretty significant working together to bring Black Tooth down, from what I understand. Heard a lot of second- and third- hand stories about it when I was in Africa. But even though the Garou weren't the perpetrators, doesn't mean we're looked kindly on as a whole. On an individual basis, I found most of the other shifters willing to sit down and share a meal and listen, as long as I listened in return."

Salem shrugs and gets up, grabbing his backpack as he does so. "Honestly, I never really expect any of the other shifter sorts to look kindly on us. After all, one case of Lion Hitler hardly matches up against /our/ record." The youthful-looking halfmoon's smile is humorless. "Hell, half the time I wonder why our own kin even tolerate us."

"In those instances, 'tolerance' has little to do with it when, ultimately, there's little choice in the matter," Sandra says simply. "Once they know anything, they know too much." There's more to it than that, obviously, but it's what she leaves it on, her gaze shifting to Ghost again for a moment or two. "That said, I don't mean to disrupt the conversation," she says, neutral tone at least maintaining some polite airs to it, "but I don't believe we've met before." This, to her, must be a suitable method of cutting through some of the tension.

"No," Ghost says. She sounds a little flat, but that seems more likely due to her visible tension than anything else. "I'm Ghost," she says, after a moment. "A Ragabash."

Yael raises her eyebrows, and pushes one hand to tuck a stray strand of hair back underneath the headscarf. "Pretty much," she says-- seeming to agree with Salem rather than Sandra on this. "Especially when we can't even frequently tolerate each other." Whatever else she might have to say, though, she instead picks up a stick to poke at and adjust the fire.

Salem cuts a quick, sidelong look to Sandra, then nods to Yael. "Let me know when you're done teaching that rite, and we'll see about you learning Sense Balance," he says as he shoulders on his backpack. Then, with a brusque, "Later," he heads out.

Sandra hardly seem ruffled by the lack of consensus (or the look), though that might have something to do with her attention being elsewhere for the moment. "Sandra Ulrich," she replies to Ghost. "Brings-Winter's-Bite. Fostern Philodox; Shadow Lords." She offers a nod to Salem in spite of the chilly reception, though this, too, has left her largely unbothered, her gaze centered on him for a few momoments as he takes his leave. "Yael," she greets the Strider, then, though she seems content to split her attention between the two that remain by the fire. "Good to see you haven't tired of the usual questions. I'd imagine these education seminars will be the bulk of your repertoir for the next few months, and - as it happens - I still have a few of my own. Something for a later time." To Ghost, she says, "Thane tells me you're a ward of the Glass Walkers," she says. "Is that accurate?"

Ghost looks a little less than comforted as Salem goes, but her attention is clearly focused on Sandra, and the Walker gets only a brief, quick glance. "...It's complicated," she says to the Shadow Lord. "Ward doesn't, uh, sound quite right, but I guess it works as well as anything."

"Of course-- I'll find you," Yael says to Salem, lifting one hand for a brief wave, "and thanks." The stick from poking the fire becomes the next piece of firewood, and Yael looks to Sandra, "It is pretty much expected," she agrees. "I get to learn some of what has gone on in the Nation in that time, though, so." And somehow, Yael manages to make that sound like a negative thing rather than an equal trade.
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