Diana stands before the assembled Garou of the sept and waits for a few moments, letting the silvery light of the full moon wash over her, and then begins:
"In the place that the humans call Virginia, there is a caern called the Seven Trees. Long had the Garou defended it against the ravages of the Leeches in the nearby city of Washington, D.C., but as the years went on, more and more of the Weaver's webs encroached upon the caern, until, by a time not so long ago, the wild places around the sept had shrunk to a fraction of their previous size. And yet, perhaps through the powers of Gaia and Pegasus – for the sept was under that totem's protection – the caern endured.
However, there were those among the inhabitants of the city who were desirous of the caern's power. One of these was a young Leech who wished to impress his elders. To this end, he struck a dark and secret pact with the powers of Darkness, and called forth a clutch of Banes to ravage the caern and bring him its Pathstone. On a moonless night, he crept toward the edge of the Bawn, the Banes gibbering about him in the spirit world.
The Warder of the Sept of the Seven Trees was a wolf-born Black Fury Full Moon named Shakti Baneslayer, a Warrior of high esteem among both the Furies and her sept as a whole. Many were the foes of Mother Gaia and Her sister Luna that had fallen to this Warrior-wolf's claws, and tonight, as she patrolled the Bawn and caught the foul stench of the Wyrm's minions, she knew that her skills were needed once again. Lifting her head to the night sky, she voiced The Warning of the Wyrm's Approach. Then, as the Guardians appeared, she took on the war-form and called out with the Anthem of War, a howl that was taken up by the Guardian pack as they slipped easily into the Umbra to deal with the invaders.
The Guardians fought bravely, their claws rending the substance of the foul spirits as a hawk's talons rend a flightless pigeon, but it seemed that for every one they slew, another rose up to take its place. Battered and outnumbered, the brave warriors nevertheless gave it their all – one of them, the Stargazer Half-Moon called Seeker-After-Truth, tore one of the foul things to pieces, only to be set upon by another. His packmates rushed to aid him, but though they managed to slay the second Bane, Seeker-After-Truth had fallen, never to rise again.
Shakti Baneslayer tore through her foes, living up to her name many times over. Her night-black fur was stained with the foul ichor of the Banes, and with her own blood as well, but still she fought bravely, her claws slicing through the Banes' armor to find the tender flesh beneath. Many were the howls of agony from the Banes as the mighty Fury and the Guardians brought them down despite the Garou's own injuries.
As the last Bane fell, the Guardians saw the Leech who had summoned them fleeing for his very existence. Determined not to let their foe escape, Shakti gave chase, bringing him down with a mighty leap. Pinned beneath her, the Leech scrabbled madly at the monstrous she-wolf atop him. Shakti felt acid run along her nerves, but she refused to yield, burying her jaws deeper in the throat of her prey as he struggled. Her magnificent black coat was stained with crimson, but she clamped her jaws harder, until her foe moved no more. With a mighty snap, her jaws met, and the Leech's head rolled away, both body and head turning to nothing but a fine powder as the first rays of Helios's fingers showed over the horizon. Then, and only then, did the mighty Fury Ahroun relax into the arms of the Mother.
Great was the mourning at the Sept of the Seven Trees that day, for Shakti Baneslayer, Wolf-born daughter of Luna's full face, Warrior of the Black Furies, and Warder of the Caern of the Seven Trees, was no more. She was laid to rest with great honor in the sept's Graves of the Hallowed Heroes, and her tale was spread to other septs by the Moon Dancers of the Seven Trees, so that her heroism might never be forgotten."
She lets the light of the moon wash over her again as if in comfort, then returns to her seat, opening the floor for other tale-tellers.
This web page and the story above are copyright © 2001 by Midori Hirtzel-Church. Werewolf: The Apocalypse and all breed, auspice and tribe names are copyright © 1994 by White Wolf Game Studios; no copyright infringement is intended.
This page last revised -- November 30, 2001