Werewolf The Forsaken ed 3 - The Pure.pdf

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“Child, we do not hate you for being born who you are.
Each of us was born of wolf and man, and marked
by the moon harlot with her silver
when the Change came on us.
We cannot hate you because you were born
of the blood that murdered our Father,
for many among us were born of that blood as well.
“But you have heard our truth, and you reject it.
You have felt the wrath of the spirits,
and you do not abase yourselves before them.
You wear the silver brands of the slave with honor,
rather than purging them from you with lame.
“We do not hate the ignorant child.
But you are grown, and you know, and you still do not kneel.
And for that — you will burn.”
— Hunter’s Voice, Fire-Touched
This book includes:
• An intensive treatment of the
society of the Pure, from their
legends and history to
modern-day practices of
indoctrination and penance
• A full treatment of each of the
three Pure Tribes: Fire-
Touched, Ivory Claws and
Predator Kings
• A plethora of Gift lists, rites,
fetishes, totems and other
tools to craft the perfect Pure
werewolf or pack
• A sample setting where the
Pure are in control, ready
to be used as the basis for a
chronicle or dropped into an
existing game
www. worldofdarkness. com
1 -5 8846-3 3 6-2 W W3 01 1 0 $ 29.99 US
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They were all looking at me. I think I’m the only
alpha who survived.
“We did it!” I’d never seen Ember so happy. She
was beaming, her strawberry blond hair falling down
around her face. I could smell the blood from the bite
on her leg and I knew it had to hurt her, but nothing
was going to dim her joy today. She couldn’t stay still.
She was rocking back and forth on her heels, and I
was reminded of how young she really was. Gurim-
Ur had chosen her when she was only 14, and unlike
me, she’d been lucky enough to be discovered by our
people. For her, this was a victory against an enemy
she’d never truly known. I envied her that.
I stepped forward and hugged her close. She
buried her face in my chest, and I felt her start to
cry. I didn’t blame her. None of us had slept in three
days. Few of us had eaten. We were wasted, spent, but
every one of us would sleep well tonight. We had won
the greatest victory in the region’s memory.
• • •
We’d all lost battles before, but this was some-
thing different. Something new. Something worse.
When something really bad happens, there’s
always that moment in your mind when you think
No, wait, this isn’t real. I can change this. But you can’t.
And now I can’t.
There weren’t many left of us. I could already see
the urge to lee starting up in people’s eyes. We were
scattered and bleeding and hurt, and the survivors
were ready to turn on each other. Out of anger?
Frustration? I saw faces from maybe six or seven
packs, all streaked with blood and tears. It was almost
funny — we ran away together, moving like a real
pack as we led. The ight was over, the ritual couldn’t
be stopped, and we inally had to run. Totem bonds
shattered, pack brothers and sisters dead and dying
all around, and the survivors led, howling, like a true
wolf pack. We had no bonds to one another — it was
all instinct.
And that was showing. When the heartbeats
have slowed, the tempers lared and the accusations
lew. That’s instinct, too.
• • •
Ember let me go and wiped her tears away. “Come
on,” she said. “Let’s go ind out if everyone else is all
right.” She limped off, her slight body melting down
to Urhan form. I followed, but I kept my human skin.
I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the scents that would
greet me. I knew, after all, that we had not won this
battle unscathed.
I trotted up over the hill just as Ember was start-
ing to howl. She’d found her brother. His body was
splayed out on the ground with a massive wound in
the chest — one of the Forsaken was actually so low
as to carry a silver-loaded shotgun.
I stood behind her and laid a hand on her shoulder.
She changed to Hishu form, and I don’t blame her. It’s
hard to cry as a wolf, and the grief simply stays, caged,
inside the heart. As a girl, she could weep. “Why?”
she sobbed. “They could have fought him as Uratha.
They could have killed him that way. Why this? He
never even had a chance.”
Crouching down next to his body, I tried to
comfort her. “Had he been given the chance,” I said,
“he’d have killed them. They knew him. They’d heard
of John Red-Hands.” She looked back at me, eyes
brimming with tears. It broke my heart to see that,
and I silently swore that she’d hold the head of her
brother’s killer as his body lay cooling. “Remember
Auren told us that?”
She nodded. “That’s right. She said they’d spoken
his name at their gathering and shown fear.” Her face
crumpled again. “But I thought they would have the
honor to…” she couldn’t inish before the sobs came
I held her close and rocked her, stroking her lovely
hair. “They don’t have honor,” I whispered. “Your
brother did. He’s gone to Taga Dan , now.”
• • •
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“We’re never going to recover from this.” Helen
said to me. She was dry-eyed by then, but she looked
as if she’d aged a decade in the last 10 minutes. I used
to think that was just something they said in ilms.
The tears started again, and she was in my face, spit-
ting and pointing and shrieking, “You should have
seen this coming!”
Maybe that’s true.
“Leave him alone.” These words from Caroline
Dawnsprinter. Her eyes, like everyone else’s, were
locked onto me. But she looked awed; the way new
Changers stare at the Mother and really see Her for
the irst time. The look in Caroline’s eyes unnerved
me much more than Helen’s spite. “Leave him alone,”
Caroline said again, barely more than a whisper. “He
killed John Red-Hands. I saw him do it.”
That’s also true.
When we irst heard the Fire-Touched were
coming, that name had been on everyone’s lips. Our
packs gathered around campires outside the city to
talk it all over. It was the irst time we’d all assembled
together, and the hate was hotter than the ires that
night. Hell. We were enemies. We hated each more
than we hated the Pure. We knew everything about
the other local packs, all their mistakes and sins
against the Oath, so it made it that much easier to
scorn them. All we knew about the Pure was that
they were coming to our hunting grounds, and that
John Red-Hands was at the head of the horde.
That night the alphas decided we had to use sil-
ver. That bastard had to go down fast, and we had to
be sure he wasn’t going to get back up. So when John
Red-Hands came to howl us down as faithless sinners,
we proved him right. I stood waiting for him, watch-
ing for the Uratha whose hands were covered in
blood even before the battle started. I had my father’s
shotgun and two shells loaded with my mother’s cut-
up silver jewelry, and when he charged into view, I
gunned him down.
When I pulled the trigger, I hated myself. He
never even had a chance. He was still crawling
toward me after the irst shot, trying to push his guts
back in. I hated myself when I pulled that trigger,
and that hate doubled when I pulled it again. Sure,
I hated him, too. He’d headcased more than a few of
us over to his side lately; he’d killed at least a dozen
of us during the past year. He was our bogeyman, and
I knew that Caroline wasn’t the only one who was
going to look at me differently for killing him. But
I hated him for what he’d made me do. For proving
him right. For making me a sinner.
And it’s not like it helped.
• • •
John was not our only loss that day. Ember and I
visited the bodies of four other Uratha, good Izidakh
all, and we said our goodbyes and howled with their
packmates. Though neither of us said it, we were
gladdened to ind that our other four packmates were
alive. They had suffered in the battle, of course. All
of them had engaged the Forsaken. Michael, called
Gurim-dakh among our tribe, had killed two himself,
and he sat quietly, his mind trying to reconcile with
what his heart knew to be right. Ember started to
go to him, to comfort him and tell him that he had
only killed unbelievers without souls, but I stopped
her. “It’s not easy, the irst time,” I said. “It still feels
wrong, even when you know better.” She nodded, but
she didn’t yet understand. Though she had seen battle,
she had never killed one of the People.
We didn’t ind Rachel until the morning light crept
over the valley. We found her in a stream, passed out
from loss of blood. We learned later that that Forsaken
scouts had found her during the irst few hours of
the rite, and that she had fought them off the best
she could. They chewed off her leg during the battle,
or perhaps to induce her to talk. She had never said
a word, never emitted a cry to give away our plans
or position. Ember and I howled with pride and took
her back to the others to be bandaged and treated,
and we called her Si Zi’the , “Silent Truth.”
• • •
“We have to make them pay. I lost both my
brothers in that ight.” Helen couldn’t be calmed. The
Blood was thick in her family, and she was raging
against the loss of her siblings. I didn’t know her well
— only well enough to dislike her — but I knew she
was on the edge of Kuruth right now.
I started to talk, to say that there was nothing we
could do until we found out exactly what had hap-
pened, but I was shouted down. A Blood Talon — I
think he was called William — yelled and stormed
over to me. I saw it coming but didn’t linch as he
knocked me to the ground.
I breathed back my hate and looked up at him.
He snarled at me.
“This is all your fucking fault. If you’d got it out
of that Pure bitch, we could have stopped it all before
it started.”
This, too, was true.
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