The Tapestry of Terror

Among Friends
Do You Know the Muffler Man?

L.G. Highwood tracked the scents of the suspects all throughout the hospital. The Detective’s working theory was far from plausible: he believed it was werewolves, but theories involving the obviously supernatural got laughed off the table, however the Chief does believe in Bigfoot… So L.G. half-convinced the chief that his working theory was that Bigfoot kidnapped the girl, and abandoned a baby. The chief was only half-convinced because the theory wasn’t far from others he had been pitched by L.G., and because it was known around the shop that L.G. was just kind of half-assing his way to retirement after his kid’s case went cold…but L.G. was one of the three Detectives on the force, and the only one with an empty case-load at the moment.

When he was done with his initial investigation of the original scene and walking past a hospital room used to house the unknown infant, he heard a gruff voice talking to him. Now, Detective Highwood had been a werewolf for a couple of years, but the roving Iron Master Pack that taught him the life had never mentioned what he saw when he peeked into that room… Standing and grasping the railing was a small green-skinned creature, utterly inhuman with eyes too large, ape-like arms, and pointed ears and teeth. The whole event was made worse when the creature started talking in a gruff voice to L.G….

Howling, Snarling, & Roaring!
The wolves are at the door...

Blood. Tar. Pitch. Rubber. Old steel and stranger metals. Blood, so much blood. These smells dominated Hannah’s sense of smell even as she stood, hunched, next to her new boyfriend with his far too much cologne. The scene ahead of them on the street was mayhem, and someone, a girl or woman it seemed, was bleeding on the sidewalk…

The three just walked out of the row of stores across the street: Cordelia Mason was walking out of the jewelry store; Jim Smith walking out of the hardware store; and L.G. Highwood stumbling out of the bar next door. All first rushed to the scene, with L.G. a little unsteady on his feet. What they saw shook Jim and Cordie to their core…their fiancé had been stabbed by a massive knife. (Neither knew the other thought of the girl as theirs.) Then Jim saw a man with a knife darting down the alleyway, and tore off after him. Barely down the alleyway, Jim took Urshul form and swiftly caught the would be assassin. He came out of the alleyway moments later, only to see his fiancé being loaded into an ambulance and another woman settling in with her.

A woman screams. Police flood the alleyway, now decorated with gore and guts. A crime scene is swiftly established and the nearest detective is called to assess the situation. Detective L.G. Highwood steps over, and seeing the situation remembers a man running down this alley and then coming out of it a minute later…with BLOOD ON HIS SHOES!!! Rushing up to the alley mouth L.G. orders Jim to halt and has him arrested, confident he caught the killer who had stabbed that nice lady…concluding that the alley had been the target of a blood-and-gore-filled balloon that had exploded. Jim was not easy meat though, he had already made it all the way to the hospital. The police cuffed him there, and he used the phone to call the mayor, a personal friend of his to get him out of it.

Freed on the Mayor’s authority, Jim proceeds upstairs to the fourth floor where the cardiac waiting room is. He sits, striving for calm, across the room from the woman who rode with his fiancé. Funny thing is that she claims the stabbed woman is her fiancé. Eventually a doctor comes in. She is a tall, beautiful Amazonian woman with blonde hair coifed at her shoulders and eyes that seem to stare into the heart of a situation. She informed them that Ms. Wolfe will be in recovery for another few hours but that she could answer most of their questions now. A frustrating (for the doctor) thirty minutes of questioning later, both had enough information to sate them until they could see Clawdette.

They were confronted jointly by Jenny Towers and her twin sister Dr. Julie Wong both of whom conferred after discovering by scent that both Crazy Cordie and the old vet were Werewolves, and decided to brand them a Pack. Jim grumbled and Cordelia wanted to know why she wasn’t in charge, but Julie just cut it to the quick and declared simply that lone wolves weren’t tolerated, if they wanted to stay in the town, they were a Pack. Jim and Cordelia relented, and agreed to form a proper Pack and claim territory. Jenny showed an area, the previously unwanted southside of town that had no one claiming territory rights over it…

Then Hannah burst through the door looking for Ben Wong, Julie’s son. Julie declared Hannah a part of Jim’s pack, which brought more grumbling out of Jim, and simultaneously declared that Ben and Hannah could no longer see each other, as they were part of separate packs. That set Hannah off, but Jenny put the girl firmly into her place.

After a few more hours of waiting, Jim and Cordie stepped out of the waiting room to see a strange silvery-haired figure in an old suit of velvet walking with a cane toward the room “their” fiancé was resting in, and followed him. Hannah followed them. The three came upon this strange man finishing a drawing in the floor, then approaching Clawdette. Before the strange anachronistic could grab at Clawdette, Jim flung the boot knife he carries into the man’s shoulder. Before the man could turn, both Hannah and Cordelia had turned Urshul and ripped into his legs, crippling them. Jim went in for the kill, but the figure laid a bleeding six fingered hand on the circle and suddenly fell into a pit of writhing thorns, but not before he grabbed Clawdette and pulled her along. The pit of thorns writhed and opened only for him, but before the Pack could follow, an infant was thrown out of the pit of thorns. Jim, flabbergasted, caught the infant and placed it on the bed, only to realize he had never shut the door and he could now hear footsteps thundering towards him.

Jim shut the door, turning Dalu in order to hold it, and dragged a bed over to give the other two a way out. They shifted to their smallest forms and leapt from the floor to the bed and into the drop ceiling, where they escaped back to the empty waiting room. When they were clear, Jim led the diversion by running through the plate glass window and falling the thirty five feet to the ground. Jim barely crawled into the bushes before security got into the room and looked out the window.

The three of them escaped, all pained by the loss of their relationships, but swore they would find a way to track and kill that sonofabitch that took Clawdette.

Meanwhile, hospital staff are calling in reporting howling, snarling and roaring coming from Clawdette’s room, and Clawdette is now missing…

The Tao of Strength
An Obrimos' Journey

Sarah goes home in between the long semesters of the WRU Academic Year, only to Awaken during her brother Jack’s wedding.

It's a Man's World

Emma Valgard is a headstrong, adventurous, beautiful girl of fifteen when she decided that the roles she had to choose from in life were not enough for her. She dressed as a man, and sailed under her beloved’s name to join the Dano-Norwegian Navy. For two years she sailed and fought as a model sailor, writing home when she got the opportunity. Then in 1788 a war broke out between those damn Swedes and Imperial Russia. The stupid Swedes decided to bombard Saint Petersburg! Of course, every available ship was called in and, according to the treaty between Denmark and Russia, reassigned to be available to help with the war. For two years and more Emma could not write home, her time taken up with her duties.

When she finally ended her service on her four-year anniversary of joining, Emma joined a passenger and merchant ship headed to Iceland. She had been shopping for nice clothes and selling her swag most of the morning, and had made friends with a couple of young wives about in the market. While telling an uproarious and entirely made-up tale of her fiancé, Emma mimicked “his” voice and spoke in the same voice she had used for four years. Little did she know her now-disgraced former Captain was at a nearby table. The Captain turned on hearing his old friend’s voice and saw his friend dressed as a woman. It took the captain an embarrassingly long time to come to the possibility that either Hans had a twin sister or Hans was a girl all along…so he snuck up to her room and snooped.

To Break Free
Sarah unleashes her potential...

Sarah is mesmerized by West Range University. Everyone here is challenging themselves, trying to be the best being they can be. In an effort to find her best self she decides to push her limits…

Sarah pushes herself physically by taking her running to, literally, whole new heights with parkour and by taking as many of the Martial Studies courses as she can. That’s not enough though…Sarah decides to test out of her mundane coursework by reading the entire textbook and past year’s teacher’s lectures so she can take courses that focus on subjects as they apply in the non-mortal world. She spends her mornings over that wintry semester out in the courtyard training through the freezing cold with Professor Reeves, taking his Martial Studies courses. Every week she takes three seminar classes, and spends her nights powering through 1 to 5 page essays on the politics of the supernatural factions, and their individual sub-groups. Her days are spent in interviews with supernatural representatives, her martial studies courses, her seminars, and her research into the Relics she got for Professor Dinklage’s class.

Around four weeks into school, just before Valentine’s day, Sarah’s housemate Raven shows up in her bed. The two begin a strange romance, and the entire house backs them up. Life starts going exceptionally smoothly, even if Sarah’s study schedule is extremely taxing because of all of Sarah’s ambitions.

After the eighth week of courses, the students are granted a week off for the Equinox, and Sarah takes Raven home to meet the family. They travel by aperture door, and arrive at their surprise welcome-home party. That night after meeting some of the folks Sarah influenced in Black River Falls, Raven gets her first experience of the Towers’ cooking traditions – everyone cooks, everyone eats, everyone cleans. Raven is awarded her own apron that is embroidered with Raven Towers in delicate script. Anyone else might see it as moving too fast, but Alice breaks the slight awkwardness by telling Raven:

“Now sweetie,” Alice began in honeyed tones, “we have spoken with Emma about your situation and have come to a decision, like it or not.” Here her voice took on a hard edge as she cast a swift glance at Sarah, letting the girl know Mama was serious, “Whether you two break it off in five minutes or fifty years, Raven, you are our daughter now.” Raven wrapped Alice in a tear-soaked hug, choking Alice up enough that John had to wipe a tear from his eye and finish it by saying, “No matter what happens, this is home and we are family. We are always going to take care of both of you.” Sarah got all emotional and it soon became a big family hug, until Jack and John squeezed and no one could breathe…that is.

Raven joined the family that night and later on actually gave Sarah a promise ring for after graduation. (Sarah later gave Raven one as well, outside The Merchant.) There were lots of awkward moments, and one truly momentous one: Plans for the future were announced, Mom and Dad did not want to run this farm forever, and now declared out what would happen.

Jack was starting a family, and in college would need to split from the Towers Pack to form his own Pack, and he had many good notions to turn the Towers Farm into a more profitable place, so it was announced that if he had his heart set on being a farmer, it was tradition to let the eldest take over the family farm and for the Old Wolf and his Pack to carve out new Territory. Because Jack and Sarah were near the same age, and near the same milestones, John and Alice told them about two of the Irons Manses that exist, the one near Black River Falls, and a basically abandoned one near White River. One is set up to be a farm, the other is more suited to exploring the bay or fishing. Alice has the deed to both and is going to let Jack and Sarah decide. This brings about some poutiness, but Jacob speaks up first asking if he had to move somewhere else. Alice tells the others that they will live with them until they graduate college, and then move out to their own properties. John tells Jacob about Silver Lake, for the first time. Samuel is told about a beautiful property down in Arizona, Alyssa is given the Georgia property, and the twins are encouraged to split up and choose separate places in Oregon, right along the Hood River, as the Towers Clan had a few places in every which place. Being a Werewolf descended from the Towers Clan was never going to be easy, and it often ended bloody. Many properties were available, and John chose one for each kid at birth, and with the help of certain spirits, usually nailed it.

The week was awesome, and along the way during the Equinox celebration Jack proposed to his very pregnant girlfriend of two years. He had, it turns out, been working as hard as Sarah so he could graduate at sixteen and get into West Range.

Back at school for three weeks was rough, a twenty-hour day and four espressos later, Sarah the Stubborn was caught up and smashing through schoolwork with the power of an extinction-level-event asteroid on a collision course with Earth. By week ten every one of her professors had called to speak with John and Alice, and at the end of the year they were called into a special meeting with the professors, the councilor, Sarah, and the Headmaster. The Headmaster interviewed Sarah and reviewed the work before holding a very planned but seemingly impromptu graduation ceremony for Sarah, as she had earned:

  1. An Associates of the Arts Degree with a General Studies focus

  2. An Associates of the Arts Degree with a Supernatural Studies focus

  3. Associates of the Arts Degree in Martial Studies

  4. Associates of the Arts Degree in Supernatural Politics

  5. Associates of the Sciences Degree in Vampiric Politics

  6. Associates of the Sciences Degree in Werewolf Politics

  7. Associates of the Sciences Degree in Mage Politics

  8. Associates of the Sciences Degree in Changeling Politics

  9. Associates of the Arts Degree in Relic History

  10. Certification and Licensure for non-specified flying vehicle

  11. a pardon from her crimes of Flying without a License

  12. The Medal of Meritorious Intellect, the most prestigious award the school ever hands out, which has been given out a total of four times now…Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Alice Irons, and now Sarah Towers.

In the end of it all Sarah had broken the mold and proved without a doubt that she was something special, not just an over-achiever, but well-and-truly Perfected…

The Old College Try
Life begins at West Range University.

Fast-forward to January 2006: The entire Towers family takes a long road trip to the Rocky Mountains to Paradise, Montana. John and Alice are returning to their alma mater – where their great romance began… Jack and the others, meanwhile, get a sneak preview of where they will be going to college and the sorts of people they will be going with… And poor Sarah is so severely overwhelmed. Psychics, Hedge Witches, Sleepwalkers, Mages, Werewolves, Vampires, Changelings, Shapeshifters, Skinwalkers, Wolf-Blooded, Dhampir, Prometheans, and more wander the campus with everyone trying to show off a little. And there stands Sarah, a girl Perfected from birth, raised by a Proximus and a Werewolf, and otherwise seeming to have nothing particularly different about her. Feeling very much normal in an otherwise very abnormal environment Sarah Jane decides to determine just what makes her special.

That first night Sarah met her Housemates, all of whom were special in some way; Like her roommate Madison, who looked like a pin-up model and was a “skinwalker” capable of changing her appearance to become like anyone else’s with a little effort; Or the crazy kids next door, a musician named Jack Frost who was cryokinetic and his roommate, a dancer name Sun-Li who was pyrokinetic; The two in 3A were both haunted by what they had seen, Henry began the year as a Wolf-Blooded Nuzusul, and his roommate Willow was a Sleepwalker; Just below Sarah’s room in 2C was the unofficial house-leader Aklaq, a were-polar-bear from Alaska, and his roommate was Daniel, a Werewolf from Silverlake, Colorado. Next to them were two kids struggling to put their old families behind them, Luna is a Wolf-Blood from Detroit, Michigan, and Drake is a Proximus from Tucson, Arizona, and both never speak about their families and try to shake the nightmares from them; In 2A are girls from very different worlds, but each are trying to escape the shadow of one individual they won’t speak of, Raven is a goth-girl Dhampyr from Chicago, Illinois, and Aurelia is gypsy with the gift of foresight whose family roamed around the area of Wallachia, Romania. And, almost miraculously, they all get along!

Secrets Best Forgotten
Some things should never be known...

On Monday, October 3rd, a reminder announcement came on throughout Black River Falls High School telling everyone about a memorial for Sandra Richardson in Tomah on Wednesday, and to remember to turn in their permission slips by the next day for the 20-year anniversary of her disappearance and her parents are having the annual memorial.

Sarah Jane takes a form with the idea that she can see her grandparents in an unobtrusive manner. Initially she has no conscious intent to investigate the uncanny disappearance of her mother on the twenty-year anniversary of her ‘murder’. Tuesday night, after an investigation into who her mother is now, the “angels” visit her, the woman she has met on multiple occasions and the teenage cover of the one who erased her mind so many times. They spoke at length and when the woman left, she and the hacker …talked… They talked hard. For hours they talked and talked. They talked so loudly the whole house heard. John even held dinner until they’re done.

The next day, Wednesday, Sarah left for the memorial after her mom, Alice, caught her in bed with him. There was some…awkwardness. And then, while Iris was in the hallway, a ghostly female wolf came and began …feasting… on Sarah. Alice shooed the wolf away and explained it, but Iris overheard some things about werewolves, spirits, and totems. Sarah left for the memorial rather than explain.

After a long and boring drive, Sarah arrived in Tomah. She parked her motorcycle near the square in between a large truck and a small compact. Once there Sarah met and conversed with a young girl named Riley Miller. After hearing her story of how her mom has a new boy-friend Sarah encourages her to essentially live life to the fullest, because that is what her mom is doing … little did Sarah know that the new boy-friend was a cousin of hers, a Spire, whose line broke from the Towers to avoid certain confusions. As they were discussing this difference an officer decided to become involved, angering the Spire (who was a Werewolf … and we all know they have anger issues), this causes poor Riley to become scared and run into the street, where a truck is speeding down the road … luckily Sarah uses her quick reflexes to snatch Riley out of the road, leaving her unharmed, but her dad-to-be even more enraged. He smashes in the front of the truck and tosses the driver into a building. The officer tries to pin the whole thing on the Spire, but again Sarah and her quick thinking come to the rescue with numerous counts of breaking the law, getting her cousin out of trouble altogether.

It’s about that time that the Richardson’s meet Sarah. She does her best to carefully answer questions to avoid telling them exactly who she is. When she goes on to the cookout she does so with more questions than answers, and when the band kicks off the music with a haunting rendition of Black Hole Sun, followed by Sweet Child of Mine…

Where the Wild Things Hunt
Sarah goes on the wrong family hunting trip...

Yay, the Towers family had a new baby! Alice Irons had taken ill after young Jacob was born, and took nearly a month to recover. Through that time and months afterward Sarah Jane took over the motherly duties wherever she could. John and Jack took over all the outdoor chores and Alice ever so slowly recovered. Everyone pitched in, and the family carried on.

Deep in the Woods
Jack and Sarah sneak into the scary forest

Jack and Sarah sneak off after their chores to go into the woods (which is against the rules), go past the wall (also against the rules), and explore an abandoned house deep in the trackless woods (flat out forbidden). Jack manages to manipulate Sarah into going, and they start off on an adventure.

Under the hedge, through thorny plants they cannot quite identify, for ten to twelve feet. Then, down a long twisting deer trail with slimy mud and slippery rocks. Then across a small but swift flowing stream, to get across Jack and sarah needed to swing on a rope, but Jack knew to scrape his fingers clean so he could grip the rope. He instructed Sarah on how to do it and they both made it across after she scraped the river-stone as well.

Of Strange and Sacred Spaces
Sarah the Kindergartener finds the Lost Athenaeum

It all began while poking around in the old Irons Manse’ barn – where little SJ hangs out in the loft when Jack is being a jerky old boy. When Alice Irons disappears for a time during the day, no one in the family knows where she goes, until she does that disappearing act while Sarah is chilling out in the hay loft. From the upper area she sees her mom open a trapdoor and disappear into weird stairway. Little Sarah, being the sneaky spy she is, poked around until she found the entrance and followed her in. Down the strange stairs little Sarah went, and padded down the corridor after her mommy. Silent as she could be, she watched as Alice opened the wall as if by magic, and then walked through glyph-covered door. Sarah followed Alice, and immediately began exploring.

At five years old, Sarah was a voracious reader, and she started wandering around the massive space and just peeking at all the coolness until Alice caught her. Alice was not mad, paradoxically but instead began explaining the Irons Family history and what the place they were in was. Sarah had discovered the Lost Athenaeum! Everything was okay, Alice said, Sarah was then allowed to come down here anytime Alice was here.

Sarah wandered around and wondered aloud to nobody in particular about the many curiosities in this place. Her thinking aloud was interrupted by the statue in the center of the room coming to life, and answering some of the questions…

The inquisitive little Towers girl makes peace between the alert and afraid Alice, and the strange statue girl. But Alice immediately makes them leave, grabbing Sarah’s hand and half-dragging her to the escalator and out the door they came through…

Overnight her memories of the time in the Lost Athenaeum vanish. Certain clues linger, and some small things in her room vanish. She loses her favorite carved wolf, a white one hand-carved for her by Daddy. The tapes on her shelf are rearranged to spell out a code that translates to “thank you” and a single metal feather is placed on the shelf. That night, after she figures out the code and the feather is placed in a shadow box, two angels visit the house. The first of them is the destroyer angel that met with the five-year-old once before, the second is a messenger angel that seemed at once familiar but unknown. The destroyer noticed that little SJ was not asleep, and ordered her to awaken. Her quick mind takes stock of the situation, and she knows that the winged angel in her room is the one the feather came from, and he is here to get it back. The Angel is, however, a creature of honor and her wolf is returned to her as his feather is retaken. He orders her to forget the encounter, and as he leaves, Sarah asks if it wouldn’t be easier for him to just be “The Dark Man” instead. This throws the Angel for an unexpected loop, and he examines her closely, trying to figure out if she was the one who escaped five years ago, or if she might have been the one he was sent to kill in order to mend the time split several months ago, or if she was someone else entirely. He get the Messenger in the room, turns off her communications relay, and they argue for a minute until she gets the idea ‘that they were never here, and Demons got the jump on them.’ She agrees, only asking “Why her?” to which the Destroyer replies that “She spared me.” He hides his sword in the wall of Sarah’s bedroom and they leave, the destroyer ordering Sarah to never speak of this to anyone, and to leave this lie. But there is one problem, Sarah is starting to remember


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