Spring is coming, the great Bear will awaken soon and come into village and bless us, and four new Garou are coming of age.
This is their tale:
The elder Chipowata told the children the story of our kind, and then they played for the day until nightfall. They played
hide and seek, and swam in the river, and after a little while Mika wandered off to speak with the spirits.
The next morning, they meet with Elder Lakota, the Master of the Rites, for their Rite of Adulthood. They are each given
Mika's challenge is to procure a feather that had been blessed by Owl from an old man, and do so without speaking to any spirits.
Liir's challenge is to procure fire from another village as a man, and to not take wolf-form at all.
Okwire's challenge is to make war by getting a piece of Falcon's nest.
Mokete's challenge is to make peace with Cockroach, to get Cockroach to cease stealing food from our village without hurting
or killing him.
They all pass.
And they sleep well.
This day they are to fast and meditate for the whole day, and begin the Rite of Packhood in the evening, to learn what their
purpose shall be, and who their Totem will be.
Oiseta felt a drop of sweat roll down her cheek. She breathed in, inhaling the sweet smoke of the wood and herbs burned in
the smoke house.
Her belly felt hollow, and her knees weak. She hadn't eaten since the night before, and she had been up since dawn, meditating.
Grandfather Thunder, she thought. She wanted to add more, to ask for his guidance and wisdom for the pack, but suddenly
she felt a gust of wind that didn't shift her hair or cool her sweat-covered skin, a breeze that didn't touch the physical
The smoke house walls disappeared as a great dark cloud appeared before her, flashing lightning. A murder of crows flew
out of the cloud toward her. She felt their wing-feathers brush her skin and her hair.
She closed her eyes and raised her face to the sky, and she could see it all still. Lightning flashed once more, and
it was gone.
Oiseta leads her pack, Onera, Kan-hatki, Liir and Tillamanook, into the Spirit World. They stand before the great obsidian
stone at the center of the Caern. They each call aloud to the spirit of their choice.
O, great Grandfather Thunder,
Come to us, come to us!
Make us whole again with the land and the lake.
I am Oiseta. I am a Traveler.
They begin walking in a spiral, around and around the Caern, the Bawn, the village. Various totems look in on them, watching
them, weighing and measuring, deciding who would adopt this pack.
Oiseta and her friends get to the edge, to where they will meet their totem, and a Wyrm-creature attacks. They fight well,
and kill it, and Tatanka, the great bison, appears. They are given the name the Pack of the Thundering Earth, and they are
called to travel, to wander.
They return to their village and to the physical realm, and they sleep.
And they each have a dream, to travel north, and west, and south, to meet a friend and defeat a foe.
Oiseta and her pack met with Elder Lakota to discuss the dream, and Elder Lakota gives them gifts. Oiseta's gift is a dream-catcher
to protect her from the Wyrm.
They discuss their dream with Elder Lakota and Elder Chipowata, and they decide they will leave in one moon. Oiseta leaves
to study the other cave walls of the old man's cave, and then gathers some herbs she was low on.
Quidel speaks with Oiseta, and tells her he is displeased with the idea of her leaving, and that when she is his wife, she
She reminds him she likes learning, and he tells her she will be able to learn plenty here in the village, and that there
is nothing outside of the areas that their people have been to that is worth knowing.
Liir asks her why she puts upwith him, and she almost doesn't answer. Then she says, "We played together as children. I
think he has changed somewhat since then."
Then she walks off, hoping to get away into the woods.
The new adults attend the Moot that night, for the Moon is full. They are invited to speak, and some do, and when the Moot
is over, they dance some, and then Onera suggests a contest for the new adults to "complete" their Rite of Adulthood. They
are to each find a partner for the night, and whoever gets back first wins.
Oiseta speaks a moment with one of the most prestigious hunters, and then they wander to the fields.
Liir changes to man-form and finds the Contraries (gay men), and wanders into the fields with one.
Kan-hatki goes up to a group of girls and requests the presence of a woman for the evening. One stands to take his hand.
Onera finds a friend of hers, a fellow student of Chipowata's, and they go off into the fields together.
Kan-hatki makes it back first, and gains much renown from the telling of the story by Tillamonook.
Word gets out about the contest, and most of the village think it is the most marvelous joke. Oiseta's warrior laughs and
tells her it was the best joke he had been a part of. The Contraries tell Chipowata how wonderful Liir was (or do they?
Their habit of speaking the opposite of what is makes for some very funny jokes in and of themselves). Onera's fellow student
tells her he doesn't mind, and she tells him she didn't choose a man at random, and he says maybe he will play a flute outside
her longhouse, in the traditional way of courtship.
Kan-hatki's prize, however, is not pleased. She had hoped there would be flute-playing outside her longhouse very soon.
She walks off in a huff, promising to ruin his reputation, not noticing the older women laughing behind her back.
Meanwhile, another girl who had been in that circle of girls tells Kan-hatki he would have done betterto choose her. She
would not have minded.
Chipowata later tells Kan-hatki that she wishes him to play the flute outside her longhouse.
Quidel speaks with Oiseta again. He is hurt by the fact that Oiseta did not come to him as her first. He tells her they
had an agreement, to which Oiseta says, "There was no agreement, Quidel."
He tells her, "I will play my flute outside your longhouse."
"I will not dance."
"I have a gift for you."
"I will not take it."
He tells her he does not understand. She goes off in search of Zyanya, his sister, and her best friend. They speak for a
minute, a little about Quidel, and more about the fact that Oiseta is leaving, and that Zyanya (and Antinanco, her other brother)
will miss her. Oiseta says she will miss them, as well, and she leaves again, searching for solitude.
On her way to the forest, Antinanco stops her, and tells her he will miss her when she goes. She speaks with him a little,
and then goes.
Onera and Kan-hatki play lacrosse with the other men, while Liir watches.
Oiseta is in the forest, speaking with the spirits, when suddenly, she realizes there are people nearby. She smells them,
hears something, and almost sees something. She shifts into warrior form, and kills two before she is wounded. The man who
wounds her is holding silver. She kills him and uses his silver knife to slip into the Spirit World. Twelve men come crashing
into the clearing with the dead bodies, and though they cannot see her, Oiseta can see them. And more. One man has clearly
been tainted by the Wyrm. Oiseta hesitates, but she knows she must get her pack.
Her pack comes, and together they kill all the men, including the Wyrm-tainted one, which Liir kills. They notice the lake
looks tainted, and Oiseta goes into the spirit world to see what she can see. There is a bane creature, puking into the lake.
She kills it, and in the physical world, Tillamonook purifies the lake.
They go back to the village, and Tillamonook sings their praises.
Onera heals Oiseta a bit, and Oiseta wraps a poultice around her leg to help it heal faster.
Oiseta spends the rest of the day meditating, meditating for her personal totem, Chimera, and speaking with the spirits.
Oiseta sat at the great obsidian stone in the center of the Caern, and stared at her reflections in the great dark glass.
She reached a hand out, and her fingers slipped across the shiny surface. The surface was rough, and her face was reflected
a thousand times, and that made her think of the Lady of Many Faces, Chimera, the Totem-Spirit who rules over secrets and
Oh, Ever-Changing One, Oiseta murmured. Bring to me wisdom and enlightenment, and guide me in my journeys and my studies.
Help me to learn as much as I can, and to understand what I learn.
As she stared at her multiple reflections in front of her, they began to shift and change, and she saw many strange and wonderous
things in the dark glass. Her own face changed; she saw herself young and old, happy and sad, so full of pride and self-satisfaction
that Oiseta wanted to smash her own image, and so pitiful and afraid that it broke her heart to look at her own face.
The face shifted, as well, became her mother's face, her sister's, Onera's face and Zyanya's, and became a girl's face, a
face that looked so much like her own, and yet different, that Oiseta wondered if that was her child.
Oiseta wept, and moved away from the stone, and knew Chimera had accepted. She closed her eyes and began to pray.
When the village awakes, the rains are falling. Most people stay inside the longhouses to talk and wait out the rain. But
there is the sound of a flute playing outside Oiseta's section of the longhouse, and Quidel is standing in the rain.
Oiseta goes out to speak with him, and tell him to get out of the rain. She tells him she will nto dance, and he will only
He tells her he will stay until she sees reason. She turns and goes back to the longhouses. And she watches Liir and Onera
speak with him, Onera trying to make peace, Liir trying to make him see.
Quidel insults Oiseta's wisdom, and Liir gets angry and punches Quidel. Oiseta runs out to stop them before one of them does
something stupid, but Quidel challenges Liir to a fight to the death. The fight is long, but Liir wins.
Oiseta tries to speak with Zyanya, and then tries to be alone, but Zyanya does not wish to speak, and Chipowata does wish
to speak to the whole pack. He advises them to leave very soon.
Oiseta leaves to begin packing.