Haha! Let me know what you guys think!Losing the Stars“Trouble erupted in Tibet. The Beast-of-War reared back its head and struck as forces fell upon the Shilgalu Monastery. The Stargazers held tight to their strongest caern, the center of their tribe, but they were too few. Not even five hundred strong on the face of Gaia, but they fought hard. Their numbers fell, and, over the course of the week, their stronghold was lost. Many fetishes were lost. Their spirits were shaken. The elders gathered. They conversed outside the earshot of the Garou Nation. They had always existed on the outskirts, and now they believed that they could not do the Nation enough without healing.“They came to the Nation. They came to us and said that they had to leave. Shock ran from the base of skulls to the tips of tails as this was never supposed to happen. No tribe was supposed to leave the nation of its own accord. The Gaians were confused, especially by their words. They said they needed healing. They said they needed to heal from within and not without. What healing could they find that we could not provide? How could we convince them to stay? Was it our place to convince them to stay? When they had been so close to us, far closer to us than they were to the other tribes of the Garou nation, how could they just crumple what we had been striving for so long?“We’re the healers of the Garou, but we stood there, silent as the falling Russian snow, as they turned away and left. Could we have healed them? Could we have helped them to find what it is they need? There are Gaians out there now who search for that very fetish or spirit. But how can we heal a wound about which we know nothing? The Beast Courts do not accept us. The Stargazers are lost to us, leaving us to try and pin the few remaining stars down into a constellation that will give us the answer. We’re the healers, and they didn’t even ask. We’re the healers, and we didn’t even try to follow them. We didn’t try to keep them from leaving. Maybe we couldn’t have helped. But we’re the healers of the Garou, we needed to try, and now we’re left guessing as to if we could have helped or not. Didn’t we deserve an answer to that one question?“All we have now is the silence of the falling snow.”Take the Blows“But through the silence, other voices called to us. The howls of True Silverheels sounded around the face of Gaia and through the spirit world calling to us to come to the Finger Lakes. The message rode on the backs of both the broods of Unicorn and Pegasus. To call such a moot was virtually unknown. Every Gaian who could attend was to attend. The matter was that grave. The spirits trusted True Silverheels wisdom. Even they didn’t know what was coming.“It was joyous when we arrived. There were friendly brawls and brief celebrations. All of these were a cover, however. They fought against the stifling anxiety in the air and within themselves. Why had Silverheels called everyone that could come? What was so important that they were to abandon their duties in their homelands? Did it have to do directly with the Apocalypse? Did he know when it would break loose? No, it was for a much different purpose, one that would spark the fires between Gaians in a way that was not foreseen by even the great Silverheels himself. He called out to the Gaians there. He told them that we were not unified. We were as fragmented as the Garou Nation, and we had to fix that. He had the answer. He knew how to solve our problems. We would be more unified than ever. It would take time, but it would only make us stronger.“He abolished the camps.“The caern went silent. The wind spirits held their breath. The sparrows stopped their endless chattering. The Garou just stared at Silverheels. Silverheels was patient, however, and he waited for the first Garou to speak against it so that he could argue with them. A single snowflake fell through the silence and landed on the nose of Twisted-Visions who was brought back to his senses before he rose quickly up to stand in the lake of Garou. The metis lifted his twisted arm to point towards Silverheels, the anger in his spirit apparent to everyone who could see him. He spoke out against Silverheels, condemning his idea of unity. He said the camps have their place; they promote unity, not discord, and abolishing them would be detrimental to the cause. We are not meant to be melted together into one, we are meant to be glued together into one. Unicorn holds a little bit of every creature, but not every creature is a unicorn, nor is unicorn every creature.“Other Garou rose to the speeches that followed, the banter, and the unity and openness that had been there just moments before withered away under the growing rage of the gathered Garou. Some simply left, others fought amongst themselves, first in words, but then the first blood struck the caern at Twisted-Visions’ feet. He stared at the injury brought on by a young Gaian Ahroun who was out to defend the honor of his elder before he dropped to his knees, swallowing the rage within him as he lifted his voice, telling Silverheels that this is what abolishing the camps would do to the Gaians. They would splinter into two factions…“But the cry fell on deaf ears as the rage rose to higher levels. The caern split into two factions of Garou, the sides staring each other down as silence fell on the caern once more, the rage thicking the air with tension. Suddenly, Alani Astarte was between the lines of Gaians, her voice cutting through the tension and being heard by all. She told them they were being ridiculous, that they couldn’t give into their rage and slaughter themselves, but the Gaians paid only marginal attention to her, their eyes were focused to her left where laid a unicorn, struggling to get to its feet but the back legs wouldn’t cooperate with the front. The unicorn fell time and again until finally Twisted-Visions stepped forward to Astarte’s right, the snow picking up a bit around him. He held his aching warped arm to the fresh wound on his chest, watching Silverheels a moment before he lowered his head in acceptance.“He said that he wouldn’t take part in tearing the tribe apart. Their duties to Gaia are far more important than an elder overstepping his bounds. He accepted the abolishing of the camps and then turned and simply walked out of the caern. Slowly, the other Garou faded away into the coming blizzard, silence following them. Silverheels turned his attention back to the unicorn who now stood bearing a wound similar to the one Twisted-Visions had received, a deep sorrow laying about the caern and replacing the diminishing rage. Then it too turned and simply walked away without a word of blessing nor a word of damnation to Silverheels for what he had done. The sorrow, however, remained.“Word spread quickly with mixed reactions coming from every caern of the world. Some loved it; some hated it. But there is no doubt about one fact. The Gaians are more divided than they have been in a long time. Some Gaians refuse to acknowledge the abolishing of the camps, most are confused, and a few feel that they are the enforcers of Silverheels’ law. It all falls back to the blood that still stains the Hand of Gaia Caern. It is said that the stain has grown. Has more blood fallen over the matter? How much will it take?“Silverheels stands by his decision. Twisted-Visions is no where to be found. We must stand strong against the blows of the Wyrm. Sometimes they eat at our very soul as a tribe. But most of all, we must stand together.”Stand Your Ground“For only in standing together can we demonstrate to the rest of the Garou Nation that it is feasible. The Garou of the world were getting restless, and not just the Gaians. Silver Tara was attacked twice in recent years. The Wendigo have been pushed farther back. The Red Talons numbers have been dying out. The Silver Fangs fall more prone to Harano every day. The Garou huddle, and, for the most part, seek out those of the same totem for comfort. They believe that only among their own tribes will they find those who truly understand their problems. The Wyrm is isolating us, and we must not let this happen. We will fall tribe by tribe if we do. No, we must stand our ground. We must fight to unify the Garou. We must fight to get the Red Talons to accept that the Glass Walkers will fight beside them in the coming war. We must fight to get the Wendigo to set aside their hatred and accept a Fianna brother to stand next to him in battle. We can’t let those of the nation isolate themselves and we can’t let those of the nation isolate each other.“Russia and Albrecht have shown just what the Garou can accomplish when they are unified. The greatest accomplishments of the Garou have not been accomplished by one tribe alone. Never has this happened. There have always been other tribes in the background or foreground helping along the way, whether some tribes care to admit it or not. The tales sing of how strong we can be. We must make the others hear these tales and understand them at any cost. In this, we are still united, and we must remain so for the fate of Gaia does rest on the unity of the Garou. We struggle, we fall, but we must always get back up and try again. We send out Gaians everywhere we can to talk to all the Garou who will and won’t listen.”We. Will. Win.“And if it comes down to it, and they won’t listen, then we will be the first to battle. We can’t undo the mistakes we’ve made in the past, but we can avoid making them again. The Apocalypse is at hand. It will rain down on us any week, month, or year now. We cannot turn to yell back to the Garou when it does. We must turn and face it and trust that the others will follow us. If we must lead the unified fight into the heart of Malfeas itself, so be it. We must win.“For the sake of Gaia, keep your heart open. Try to understand those of other tribes so that they know more than just their own tribe truly does wish to help them. Try to make them understand that we must work together for Gaia, and that their hatreds towards one another are not worth her loss. The Wyrm is trying to beat us down the way it did when the Black Spirals were born, but we have already played this game, and the Wyrm has yet to change the rules. We’re wiser than we were before. We know what we have to to do in order to save Gaia. Through the Dancers, the Wyrm gave us warning of our weakness. Now we know. We must win.“Fight the Wyrm in every way you can, but most of all, fight the Wyrm that is rending the tribes apart. No matter the horrors that come to face us in the future, as long as we can still move, as long as we can still breathe, there is something we can do for Gaia. We may all be lost, but that will be a small price to pay. We must give Unicorn her great victory. She has great faith in us and has waited a very long time for this. The Apocalypse will be our day to shine. The Apocalypse will be the day for the entire Garou and Fera Nation to shine. We will win.Voice-of-the-Hidden-Swan watched over the gathered Garou quietly a moment as silence raced the final echos of her words out of earshot. She then lowered her head to the Garou once before she turned and moved out of the circle without another word, stopping only when she was among the gathered Garou once more and looking them over. “Our history is not happy, and I see some of you are surprised about that, but it is what we have. We must hold it dear and let our lessons be learned. The Wyrm does not expect this of us, and neither does the Weaver. We can change our methods, and that is something only the Wyld can easily understand.” She offered a single shy smile to the Garou and then turned once more, fading off into the crowd and disappearing amongst the Garou as quietly as she had first come.