GYPSY KINGS

Marauder Learning Curve

Learning Curve
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Life as a shapeshifter is certainly not easy, but it is exhilarating; the tension and energies of the courtroom magnified to the nth degree. Higher stakes, higher risks, greater rewards. I was made for this.
Climbing the firm’s ladder of prestige or grilling a key witness had been the heights of my days; winning meant a promotion, a tally in the win column or impressing a prestigious client. Today winning means living one day more, staying a step ahead of my foes and proving to my pack-mates and to those observing the Kings from afar that I was made to lead and the Kings will rise and rule. There is no drug, no drink and no mundane victory that can compare to the whoosh of adrenaline I feel now on a daily basis – yea, I’ve become a junky. A surging cauldron of potential; every obstacle a test, every doubter a foe to be crushed and subjugated. It’s not about what I can now do, though my new powers are indeed amazing; it’s about what I soon will be able to do. I don’t know my limits, but as in mundane days I refuse to acknowledge that I have any. I will reach the top by hook or by crook; by deeds fair, foul and anything in between and my pack will rise with me because I refuse to let them stagnate in mediocrity and refuse to allow them to hold me down.

With that in mind I have to organize my thoughts and formulate our next plans; what I know and what I have learned become of primary importance because, like in a legal case, it’s the minutia that makes the difference; sifting through the minor details and the minor discoveries is generally where victory will be found. It’s having the patience, the will and the wisdom to see what it is you seek.
So what have I learned that may lead to greater revelation?

  • Lt. Rautmann’s Keys: 2 unexplained keys with seemingly no lock we can discover. Locksmith says a storefront would be his best guess. Could it be keys to the police station, a storage unit, a friend’s store, some nefarious butcher-shop where he does his misdeeds? Learning of the keys was important. Learning what they go to might be the turning point of this dilemma.
  • Learned who the scent did not belong to: Someone planted two bodies at the haunted scrap-yard. DW has the scent but no match. Obviously finding the scent is important. The scent does not belong to: Lt. Rautmann, the kids’ uncle, the detectives watching from their car.
  • The mysterious phone number: Lt. Rautmann has an unidentified number on his cell phone. A throwaway phone that he called once, the evening before the bodies were planted. Seems a tad shady for a police lieutenant; only makes it more obvious that this guy is not on the up and up. He’s a challenge that I need to defeat; will not be gratifying in the least to resort to killing this man. Need to prove to myself and my pack that no one gets the best of us – no matter how good they are.
  • Vampires being attacked: This is a minor problem, but Jay has done us solid after solid; she could be inventing this to make us skirmish amongst ourselves, but I could care less. A deal’s a deal and we owe her this service. Evidence (well, public opinion – this is too flimsy to classify as evidence) seems to point toward the BMX pack; having met them they seem assholes in the extreme, but I have to admire the tenacity with which they guard their territory. Despite a few comments about their destruction I harbor them no ill-will, they could have destroyed Zero and I had they been true assholes – and they should have, as we’re far too ambitious as a pack to give second chances to. This reminds me to keep our ambitions to ourselves; safeguard them and let others assume that newly-formed pack of three are no threat to them.

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Another few nights and more mysteries and more surprises, this time of a seemingly positive variety: Rautmann suddenly makes an arrest in the haunted scrapyard murders – and it is not any of our pack… Odd how such a determined, competent and certain man shifts his belief so unexpectedly, especially when he knew he was on the right track.
I’ve learned that we’ve hit a stroke of luck – which I have a hard time putting faith in. Someone pulled some strings, someone beat us to Rautmann and may one day call in this favor. In my mind they did not save us from the law’s scrutiny – they saved their police lieutenant pawn from the deadly fate we had in store for him.
I’ve learned that Lt. Rautmann was using a member of the Franco maphia family to do his dirty work. Is Rautmann connected or just crooked?
I’ve learned that there is another pack that rivals the Silver Syndicate. Echoes of Thunder led by Storm Lord Rachel Snow… Might be worth speaking to them at some point and hearing what they are about.

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Been about a month since I last checked in. We’re getting boxed in a bit. An uppity pack trespassing to the north, newcomers to the south and still we’ve yet to nail down our own front yard. Potential for us to look weak if we don’t rein this shit in; we need to lock down the haunted scrap yard tight then send a message to these others.

  • I learned the look of the pack invading from the north – perhaps they are behind the murders in that region, wouldn’t mind turning the big blue light of the law on someone other that us for a change.
  • I learned that sometimes we just have to be what we are; cunning and stealth are the priorities, but sometimes a slashing claw and tearing fang accomplishes a task just as well and more quickly – such was the case with the rat spirits, could have been an embarrassment to turn tail and run from a pack of mice. I’ve learned that we need not fear everything the spirit world has to offer, I’ve let our hardships in that realm affect my judgement. Sometimes a mouse is just a mouse whatever realm you’re visiting. I need to learn more of this realm.
  • I learned more of the vampires who haunt this city. Two groups or sects, and another wishes to meet with us. It will be done but when we have more to gain from it. Jay is a Nosferatu, which I thought was just an old-fashioned term for the vampires; she claims to be hideous but I’ve yet to see it. If I really think about it she’s a fucking corpse; shouldn’t matter how you dress her up I am probably not wise bedding a dead woman. Still, she’s a hell of a lay.

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Our little clip of land seems to be garnering much attention lately. Two packs of uratha seem to be honing in on the haunted scrap yard, though we just discovered this ourselves.
What I now know concerning our current situation:

  • I learned that there are two separate packs infringing on our territory; one of them (6 man pack of forsaken) seem to be accidental trespassers simply looking to claim a place for themselves. The other are a pack of pure seeking to recruit or slay us.
  • I learned that the pack of pure consists of three uratha and that they are a type of pure known as Fire Starters. I assume that is a tribal distinction – they are Fire starters as I am a Stormlord, am curious as to that tribe’s totem. These fire starters are reputed to be grade-a fanatics. We can expect a fight, but not a head on confrontation.
  • I learned a name, a phone number and visuals of the pack of six. Exchanged some gun fire but I still think we have an advantage on them. We have seen them, they have not seen us.

- First thing first, we deal with the pure. They will be coming for us; we must be ready. Have a plan in place and have audible plans followed by other plans. Cannot sit back and hope things go smoothly, we will have to adapt and use every bit of our cunning to overcome this threat.

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These Fire Starters are coming and they’re not exactly playing fair. Sending spirits and half-feral shock troops into the scrap yard not only draws us out of our defensive positions, but weakens us. I was closer to death than I have been at any time in my life; Dream Weaver and Zero may have even been worse off than I was at some point of this drawn out series of skirmishes.
Was fortunate to have another body in Tobias; nice to see the pack coming together. Scar, as usual was a difference maker, we’re lucky to have him.

- I’ve learned that defending a locus puts one in the cross-hairs of others. Having to defend makes our location and some of our actions predictable and that can be a weakness used against us. Difficult to respond to their cunning attacks as we are forced to remain defensive.

- I’ve learned that it is sometimes necessary to kill another werewolf and that it is no easy task to accomplish this. Even when trying to murder a helpless opponent my rending claws to his throat were not enough to snuff out the life force.

- I’ve learned that we should not over-draw essence from our locus; I suppose I knew this already, but now I have a sense of where that line is.

- I’ve learned that it is possible through rites to heal another werewolf. This is a very valuable piece of information; hopefully Dreamweaver or someone else can learn this important rite.

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Still finding ourselves backed into a proverbial corner – the scrap yard being that corner of course. We can’t really leave as the locust would be lost, neither can we continue to stand idly by as we are assaulted and weakened gradually by the stream of fodder being sent our way. Will soon be time to go on the offensive; we are now reasonably sure that the trio we seek congregates at a local jazz club. We need to draw on any contacts available to us and gleam the layout of this club. Find all access points, learn about security measures and potential problem patrons then we need to come at the Pure with everything we can muster, even explosives if necessary – the well-being of the club is not a priority.

- I have learned that the spirit world has an ecology all of its own. The dead are carried away by scavenger spirits and who knows what becomes of them from that point, but I’m sure there must be an ongoing process.

- I have learned that more sound fighting tactics need to be discussed and implemented in our pack. Attack strategies, entrance strategies and exit strategies all need to be discussed.

- Already were aware of the dangers of the spirit world, but have further discovered that it is no place to roam alone. If trapped there for whatever reason do not wander; remain near the locust and await your pack’s arrival. None are to venture into the spirit realm alone.

- I have learned of this jazz club where our enemies seem to congregate. Discovering the club is simply step one – we now need to gleam every bit of information of that club that we can.

- The rat spirit seems keen on telling us what we want to hear regardless of truth. Our half-moon has unearthed a lie and it is probably not the first that vermin has told us. Do not be trusting, ever. I have learned the benefits of having a half-moon judge, will make certain he is present during important discussions.

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Finally a chance to hit back. To our credit we hung in there, took several hard hits from a very tough opponent who we could not strike back at. Zero and Dream weaver in particular deserve to be commended, they stuck it out despite operating with severe injuries that could have resulted in their death had we been forced into another fight. With patience, cunning and four pounds of that explosive shot, we may have secured our location from those fire starters.

- I learned that the supernatural forces inhabiting Moe’ s are spiritual in nature and that the pure sought out Moe for the information he holds.

- Funky spirits at Moe’ s seem eager to cause an overdose or heighten the drug use of patrons.

- Moe is some manner of mutated spirit.

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Well, it was a great plan up until the execution phase. Building was cleared, explosives were laid out and detonated, from there things went downhill. I’m not sure how others view the score sheet; perhaps they see bad wolves losing two, good wolves losing one and chalk it down as a win. Perhaps they might be right, but I can’t look at this mess that way. Considering the power of our foes such a butcher’s bill would be wonderful in a head to head confrontation, but considering the advantages we had and the fact that our prime objective was not met, it seems a defeat or a very hollow and costly victory.
Squandered is a chance to eliminate a deadly and troublesome foe, my hope is that we execute to the end from this point onward; I left too much in the hands of our full moon and in the end it cost him his life – my greatest failure as a leader without a doubt.

  • From this debacle I have learned that a great plan on its own is not enough to defeat a powerful foe. We need to follow through and execute as a pack; take care of the little things and take advantage more when we have the upper hand.
  • I have learned that the New Hope pack is open to an alliance, have learned the names, faces and auspice of each of their pack members as well as vices. Have learned that they have little to offer at this point in the way of rituals but in regards to information and man power they could be a boon to the pack.
  • Have learned that BMX is infringing on pack territories in order to hunt the undead; will have to get this information to J.

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Having spent some time honing my hunting and bettering my chances of remaining unseen the pack got back down to business.

  • I have learned that this “General” who controls the spirit world around the military base sends out soldiers or operatives to do his bidding. We dispatched a few and word will get back.
  • The General now knows of us and knows we have went up against a few of his minions; perhaps we can expect more problems from he and his fodder.
  • I have learned that our security measures paid off; from grainy security footage we were able to track some trespassers to a local university dorm.
  • I have learned that whoever entered our domain went in with the knowledge of what we are. We killed two, but two escaped to Colorado Springs where we are not welcome.

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