Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))   Posted by The Stray.Group: 0
The Stray
 GM, 1975 posts
 The Marshal
 'round these parts
Sun 5 Feb 2017
at 02:50
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
quote:
There is the father coming,
There is the father coming.
The father says this as he comes,
The father says this as he comes,
“You shall live,” he says as he comes,
“You shall live,” he says as he comes.


-- "A’te he’ u-we" (translated), one of the songs sung during the Sioux Ghost Dance


September 16th, 1880. Evening, Night, and Morning of the 17th. The Main Camp around Bear Butte.

some mood music

The rest of the day is a blur for Rabbit. About a dozen of the Iron Dragon rail enforcers return with her to the camp, following her lead, eager to see this power that can stop bullets. The camp is abuzz with activity. The women prepare pemmican from Tatanka's holy meat, make shirts of cotton and leather festooned with stars, crescent moons, and birds, while knots of people form around Wovoka, Horn Chips, Kicking Bear, Eagles Floating On Gentle Breezes, and Screaming Rabbit herself. There is no real communication, but it seems as if Rabbit has been given the task of preparing the Chinese rail workers, the women, and the young, training them in the steps.

The preparations are followed by an enormous feast. The entire contingent of Oglala and Minniconju on the mountainside gather around a roaring fire, sing praises to the spirits, and partake of the food. The Chinese contingent cling closely to Rabbit, clearly a little uncomfortable by being surrounded with so many unfamiliar faces.

At the fringes of the feast, The Hooded One watches. He makes no move to join in, speaks no words to curse the gathering, he just stands, glaring at the assembled, his face hidden in the shadows of his robe. None approach him, save one: Sitting Bull, the Hunkpapa Wicasa.



Every Lakota present seems to recognize him, and points him out to Rabbit. Sitting Bull, too, is quiet as he watches the proceedings, but his frown speaks volumes anyway. The two watch in silence for quite a while.

In the Hunting Grounds

some mood music

It has been some time since Thunder Walker died, and was saved by Moses from the town of his nightmares. Time is difficult to gauge here, in the dream-like lands beyond the night sky. Thunder Walker has spent the time in the den of Laughs At Darkness, the puzzling shaman in the coyote skin. The two train as they wait for the call of the Ghost Dance. Laughs At Darkness is a trying master, demanding and more than a little free with that stick of his, but Thunder Walker has seen much in his time here.

"The time draws near." The shaman says one day, out of the blue. "Are you willing to return to the land of the living?"
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1102 posts
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Sun 5 Feb 2017
at 11:14
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Rabbit does her best to introduce her uncertain gaggle of Chinese thugs to others present, particularly those that have English as a common language. Explaining how the feast came about, she indicates her markings and encourages them to share respectfully in the flesh of one who could restore the near-dead to great health with his blood and mighty yang energies.

After the second time Sitting Bull is pointed out to Rabbit, still standing on the fringes, the small shamen extricates herself from her entourage, humbly borrows a bark tray from one of Crazy Horse's men and makes sure there is a portion of the best roasted meat for Sitting Bull. Making sure he can see it was only touched by the carving-man, she takes it over, going to one knee a little way from the chieftain to show maximum respect (and be out of kicking range while holding the sacred flesh) as she offers it.

"Hau, [Language unknown:  aveenctic Esseretho Cance,"] she addresses him. [Language unknown:  "Acntai is laonre ncng inween n Ichwaster Beilel, nc iowaus sa evil trhaec. Butrutnti, T erat resandine Ratallund Haion alenof ssekme,"] the tilt of her head hides the little knifedge smile shot that way from Sitting Bull's scrutiny, [Language unknown:  "ecla ev rissai ee iv m acce Strvenour Ain us wi thuwerthiion icntet, e he ameoereentic e enver. Ar fihou entev plthplno t atiri tong."]
Sitting Bull
 NPC, 1 post
 Hunkpapa Wiscasa
 P8 T7 W0 F0 Cha +2
Sun 5 Feb 2017
at 16:57
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
The regal man frowns slightly at the offering. [Language unknown:  "Ersnd whiil esmeindi."] He says. [Language unknown:  "Ndsti ithout tohaniiell wa ughvertra. Se les fotic eswhre fo encwhethu nehe hat ndusla, ch siei Po ca ncres urinasut whind osicus roate lar it n ulndon."] He lifts his gaze to take in the Chinese converts. [Language unknown:  "Mirois ilil icness u ancasa m nce ec hi witaal un olpoan m pa maripl iousil. Saou strst e ortwhente thire elenc ntewertho chart om eaueauhou si siain pe strfo pr witnderat ovese wi reaativir neiebe es. He whyin th pa."]
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1103 posts
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Sun 5 Feb 2017
at 17:46
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
[Language unknown:  "Wa icateringantint iswibe Aninno Onswittha verwhioer...si T ounou oun nghean prec. Ss ri Wach'miwi llil whtosa, heant not rondal lieepl, tinfi k tant whireaday one t,"] Rabbit says mildly.

[Language unknown:  "I traichble ev ave homowi annt, ng was tapl taweel hat strnceect u o...tencca anhas ilil wil nghoce ie, pohou notateund erelfo latrutwil us of pori Setaveour St, m M hi and butartkor. Korthover, ni rutivelat sanindfoiv, has ver a t, sti ine isatin enun evethobut, hotr pre larwastra n nase. It ad fi wasvirrat Icashevir Set int ontean asyin io no le tho lesonesti plofut. I p inpepl, Ai mo poll entno nires, eenun u tho pro i et o un."]

[[ *ahem* I play my 10H]]
Raven
 NPC, 25 posts
 The Hooded One
 P10/9 T7 W0 F0 Cha +3
Mon 6 Feb 2017
at 16:06
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
The Hooded One cackles. [Language unknown:  "Ll connceest foravewer set n dertinter nte, walireuspo."] He says. [Language unknown:  "Nghi iouhouate forallive ntth earnt trpro ec ticntetha. Wi n...etall iv weec a ad uraset, trno hou ect essous-sanrom for hi ll, adstliwi hipond t een?"]

Sitting Bull raises a hand. [Language unknown:  "Hianha."] He fixes Rabbit with a piercing gaze. [Language unknown:  "Erur ersectort nick ng wilicaare hethi tine ti assion. Ha ur aiwe settinons a hahou ni res iewaenic ingineday it ntkor. Out ineessday te Es entwhioulill art ticni whinwa. Osto ti rieau, ev fo verni erpe ce ndewheson le oseetrac ine. Nt re onnena yinfo ie paeifi ckut resecttho."]
Thunder Walker
 player, 442 posts
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 PP 15
Mon 6 Feb 2017
at 16:53
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
The Hunting Grounds

Time seemed to pass strangely in this place. It had not been everything he had imagined it would be, endless days spent in the hunt of the buffalo with the other spirits of his people. Instead, he had spent time in the tutelage of a strange shaman in a coyote skin, from a tribe that he could not name. The man had been strange beyond describing, and his ways different from any medicine man that Thunder Walker had known in life, but there was a sense of sameness to it, in the way that he knew now suddenly that all things were connected.

And he had learned a great deal under this man, forming a new connection with the spirits like he had not imagined he might in life. This question took him by surprise though, as it was not one he expected. At first, he thought it some strange trick or game that this shaman was partial to, but the look in his eyes was different.

"To aid the people, to heal the world, I am ever ready," he said. 
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1106 posts
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Mon 6 Feb 2017
at 18:04
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Rabbit's jaw sets, but she bites back the flare of fury in her chest, showing no response or even attention to the Hooded One's taunts, merely dipping her head to Sitting Bull.

Let go or be dragged.

[Language unknown:  "Ie vir astoreshe en,"] she tells the chief, standing back. [Language unknown:  "Ti Tr tin n n wh rineen larur ome ove oursettin hisounpro os whevirted ni utevnd, toatce whenc hiit ce somsomich? Ntiorteve Ioll ar haheis, oultedkor, hi for thathoain a theionere ho inesetlar. M ut ne oul ceie ekncom e nce po ecca fo e ver, wa iv ilou Ureonskor, ploul n eiom we Urssho."]

Rabbit is clearly backed off, waiting only a reply.

[[18:03, Today: Tan Xiaohan rolled 13,4 using d8,d6, rerolling max with rolls of (8+5)13,4.  persuadin'.]]

Sitting Bull
 NPC, 2 posts
 Hunkpapa Wiscasa
 P8 T7 W0 F0 Cha +2
Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 00:29
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Gazes At Stars has had a stressful few days, what with the Ravenite attacks here, in the heart of the holy mountain itself. It wasn't comfortable, being surrounded by his traditional enemies the Lakota, but thus far no one had hassled him too much. Still, he's more comfortable on the fringes of the gathering...which puts him in a good position to watch the exchange between Screaming Rabbit, Sitting Bull, and The Hooded One...


Sitting Bull raises an eyebrow at this. [Language unknown:  "Liomas."] He grunts. [Language unknown:  "Wepo ofred."]
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1110 posts
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 00:49
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Rabbit bows and goes to do as she suggested, asking a couple of youths she's pretty certain are virgins to fetch food for the chieftain from a visible distance away.

Seeing as everyone else of importance has a share, she offers the bark tray of best meat to the random stargazer she caught sight of in returning to the gathering, standing a little out of grab range though her stance is calm. [Language unknown:  "Olure ver? K onine moul, oulations."]

[[Hi, Gazes!]]
Gazes At Stars
 player, 2 posts
 Portents and Omens
 P8 T6(1) Ch0 F0 W0 w0r3b0
Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 01:47
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Gazes At Stars grinned from behind the collar of his bearskin cloak and looked down from his meditations, gazing at Rabbit with faraway mahogany eyes. His long, unbound hair cascaded around his shoulders as he leaned forward from his cross-legged stance to take some meat from the Chinese shaman.

[Language unknown:  "Pa...A Eeelne bemath latan Waplti. Wi dieist, U mallnd."] He said at normal speaking volume to the air around the two. He returned his gaze to Rabbit.

[Language unknown:  "Moai-whal Dievis. N rofi redoutcom io iveli for Bleortday Ecsa u cata Iockio. She of i elas anten. Mock oulom nccemo ven ad Evethivenurehas ateas laryinbut chpo Lockla Coneveati u essvorher linof wahaof alceme urwees t beive Ati Ersoerive. Ng as withatlinven rutearate moany omewasund iv ckmo ourticsomver chekro i temi erareaous lo ouslo prehassan. Mo riri osaron thi a sered Usilpa Eeio u for wiiereto Taeiul atend. Al na Ounhouiou k Latlesshe. Fo hi illateous no?"]
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1111 posts
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 08:16
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Rabbit looks blank, but bobs a little to the stranger. "Ah...English?" she tries.
Gazes At Stars
 player, 3 posts
 Portents and Omens
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 16:00
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Gazes at Stars blanches for a moment, then smiles apologetically.

"Screaming Rabbit. I hear your talk with Sitting Bull of the Lakota. You are a good omen. You are friends with Thunderbird and bring the Ghost Dance to your people who would not hear Wovoka. You withstand abuse from the Hooded One. And you manage not to kick Sitting Bull in his stubborn Lakota face," the Shoshone repeated, "I think that is all I said. I am Gazes at Stars. Have you eaten yet?"
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1112 posts
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 17:48
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Rabbit tilts her head a little, not recognising the accent. The comment about Sitting Bull brings a small smile she can't quite suppress to the corner of her mouth.

"I hope it," she says of omens, then looks back a moment towards the fire and those that feast there.

"Be welcome, Gazes At Stars. Ah...only two bites," Rabbit says, rubbing her upper arm absently. "I know I should eat, but it hard to be hungry."
Gazes At Stars
 player, 4 posts
 Portents and Omens
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 17:59
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Gazes at Stars nodded.

"I know the feeling. When the spirits speak, I look to them, and they require no food, no water. I have been interrupted by the growling of my stomach many times." The Shoshone shaman smiled, then looked up to his right. "Dogwa, [Language unknown:  laev wimo enasiv n, elwi]?"

Gazes pulled his cloak a little tighter, "You must be cold. Dogwa speaks favorably of you, Screaming Rabbit. Please tell me if I can help."
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1113 posts
 Born to run
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 19:48
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
The small shamen tenses, suddenly very wary of the other's movements and ready to bolt should he move towards her, watching his hands on the cloak.

"I...thank Dogwa, and hope to deserve such reputation," she says, swallowing. "Gazes At Stars need not tl- trouble himself for this one. You all right out here? Wovoka not mind to talk to foreigner - any kind, he talk to all of them."

Then, because her curiousity was frequently ahead of her tact: "Are you from the north? I don' recognise your accent at all."
Gazes At Stars
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 Portents and Omens
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 20:15
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Gazes, sadly oblivious to Rabbit's discomfort, burst out laughing.

"Perhaps I spent too long communing since we entered the Sioux lands. They make me uncomfortable, but Wovoka knows the will of the spirits well. I am sorry we have not met before. I often bed away from the camp, for my dreams are restless and I speak to spirits even in my sleep," he said cryptically before explaining, "I am of the Newe, what the white men call Shoshone. I am a Ghost Dancer. I traveled with Wovoka from Paiute lands when the White calf was born. I was there when the H- When Raven attacked and you called the Thunderbird."

The fire popped, and for a long second Gazes watched an errant ember float through the air. It blew toward the pair, and Gazes at Stars smiled when the ashen flake landed in the dirt by their feet.

"The omens were not good, the signs unclear. But now... they are better," he said, turning back to Rabbit, "I apologize for not acting sooner. I am eager to Dance for the new world. I only hope we can keep the ravens at bay. They are...numerous."
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1114 posts
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 20:36
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Rabbit nods slowly, processing this, still on high alert much as she had been with Moses until that prophet had made her a solemn promise. "Did you know our friend that died there?" she asks.

As the flake of ash blows softly away, Rabbit sets the tray down and examines the back of her hands a moment before folding her arms. "I hope they less numerous soon...I have plan for that, but I don' know if it wir work."
Gazes At Stars
 player, 6 posts
 Portents and Omens
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 20:52
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Gazes shakes his head slowly.

"I only knew Thunder Walker as long as he had walked with Wovoka. It is always unfortunate when an enemy of the Reckoners falls. And he seemed a decent man." the Shoshone said, "I am hopeful for your plan. If I may be honest, the Green Snake people, who build the rails, make me nervous, as much as any Lakota. I do not trust their Chief. But these are not my lands, not my treaties."
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1115 posts
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 22:01
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Mention of Thunder Walker's name was a reassurance, even if Rabbit had not seen when this man rejoined Laughing Calf's party. Having the not entirely unmerited local distrust of Chinese people expressed to her for the second time that day brings a faint bemused smile to Rabbit's lips.

"The warlord Kang..." Rabbit hesitates a moment, then starts from the beginning. "His name, it not 'snake', like small poisonous animal that hide most of the time, then bite if you tread on him. It 'dragon'. That mean, ah...water-panther. Very big, powerful spirit animal."

Rabbit crouches and finds a bare spot of earth to draw a dragon on with a pebble, privately noting to try and hoard some of Tatanka's dried flesh or pemmican for the Yuan's next visit. She sketches out coils, taloned feet, the tasselled flag of a tail and mighty antlered head, sharp ears, fierce eyes and long whiskers. "Iron Dragon. If you tread on him, you not know it until he bite you in half, because he is so big, you think you are on the ground. So. It is well not to trust him, because he do what he want...but if we can show him he want this, the Nations strong, the millennium-cycle to start better...you see how it is well to have the dragon with us."

She brushes her slim fingers under the dragon-sketch, leaving tiny waves in the soil. "-and Lord Kang, he very good at treaties, with the American langrige. If we only drive out the white man, not make clear show of strength-without-the-gun and offer him to join us, the white man just sit outside and make big siege - kill off Tatanka's herds, all that. They try it already. Lord Kang's understanding, his raiload working harmoniousry with spirits, not against...these great advantages to make a peace that not stop where borders are now, not stop after only thirty, fifty years."

"...but it not easy, to convince an iron heart like that."

Gazes At Stars
 player, 7 posts
 Portents and Omens
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 22:21
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Stars looks between the dragon in the dirt and Rabbit. Slowly, he draws his coup stick and puts the handle end in the dirt.

"Your plan, your ideas, sound good. I have heard of the water-panther, the great cat. What I do not know,"
at this he began drawing the sharp angles of great wings, the hook of a beak, "Is when the Iron Dragon has written treaties with the Great Fathers, when the dragon must share the new year with the Thunderbird," he drew a rough snarling face, "with the Coyote", and then a snake, "And the Newe and Paiute..." He stood back, "Will he stand with the spirits, or use the iron rivers to divide them? I have not seen a harmony of the spirits in the Iron Dragon. But as I say before. I am Newe, Shoshone. I find it hard to truly sympathize with the nation of the Sioux. But I believe..." he paused, faltering, "I trust Wovoka. His Ghost Dance should come to pass."
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1116 posts
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 22:51
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
A little wary of the stick, Rabbit watches the spirit-shapes appear from the earth, then looks up at the foreign shaman. "I do not believe he would have reason to put discord among the peoples," she says, puzzled, then looks down at the drawings again.

"It was like this in China, two millennium-cycles ago. We don' lose who we are - my father was Miao, my mother Han like most the Chinaman you see here - for being together, calling the land one thing, and that we come from it...it can work, for it has work, many thousand years. With iron roads we can extend a hand to our brother, to our sister far out the West, end the Way of the Gun there also. Do you see?"

Gazes At Stars
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 Portents and Omens
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Tue 7 Feb 2017
at 23:08
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
The Shoshone is quiet for a long moment.

"I think so, Screaming Rabbit. In the name of fairness, I must confess I do not follow the old ways, and the way of the gun, I think, is not so much the problem. It is the way of greedy, angry men, red and white and yellow. But I follow the Way of the Brave for a long time, went on the warpath many times. Perhaps I am too untrusting. There is a reason the Great Spirit spoke to Wovoka and not Gazes at Stars, after all," he admitted with a self-deprecating grin.

"But I am sure you did not come to Bear Butte to defend your plans to me. I am your ally, Screaming Rabbit. Please remember that, whatever trials will come to pass."
Tan Xiaohan
 Screaming Rabbit, 1119 posts
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Wed 8 Feb 2017
at 00:28
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Rabbit looks straight at Gazes At Stars. Her voice is low, controlled and resonant as the steady beat of the soft of a clenched fist against steel.

"It is the problem. You were a warrior long before; you already have the art, think it light to take up one weapon or another weapon...but for those that come after you, see this easy thing, this easy killing of their brother with no way to halt the blow, no need for much training, it get in their thinking. That is Raven's Path."

She stands, digging her nails into her palms to hide the tremor in her fists. "What world it make, where it so easy to kill that it sound stupid not to murder? When to be attacked is to be blamed for not shoot first? That path go off into darkness...to place where there is no end to the madness, the fear that makes the hatred."

Rabbit shakes her head, her entire body tense. "The Raven shaman I fought...he so powerful he pull up the dead like grass, and still I get blood of him. Being the strongest not make him safe, but he still think to get stronger, to be like stronger one that hurt him, long time ago...and so heap up land and men and food with greed to show it."

"It fear, under anger, under greed...and the weapon of fear is the one made for kill human being onry and in great number, the one that Buffalo has no part in, the one idiot child could use."
Rabbit swallows, looks away, breathes.

"I not blame you not to trust all the foreigner,"
she says quietly. "You have reason for that. -but I trust better one I see is ally, than one who say it."
Gazes At Stars
 player, 11 posts
 Portents and Omens
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Wed 8 Feb 2017
at 16:56
Chapter 6.2: Pow Wow on the Mountain ((Bear Butte))
Gazes is taken aback, stepping backwards with a confused look when Rabbit accuses him of contributing to the fear of the world, to setting his enemies on Raven's Path. For a split second he attempts to speak, but quiets quickly when he realizes the truth in her words.

He listens to her words, searching look still on his face, and when she has finished, he nods deeply, looking at the ground. He speaks quietly, ashamed that Rabbit has inadvertently seen so deep and true into his heart.

"You and your words are great wisdom, Screaming Rabbit. Fear is truly the greatest weapon of the manitou, one they have forged and handed to men and women to use. I have...wielded this weapon in the past, and I suppose I have not truly set it down. The ways of peace and isolation are not easy for me, and alliance with the white tribes, or the Green Sn- Iron Dragon, is hard as well. I have seen the necessity of Wovoka's ways, so I have followed, but the world is a bloody place, full of shadows and evil. There is a fear of the Ravens in my heart, and it has guided me."

He neglected to specify the manner of his fear, opting instead to return his coup stick to his belt and mutter prayers to the spirits around for strength and insight.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:58, Wed 08 Feb 2017.