Azlu Aftermath

Timeline: October 15, 2007

Ramiel, Michael, John, and Lyla had gone to take care of a problem that arose in Saratoga Springs, New York. There they had found a new enemy, an Azlu infestation. The situation was dire; many Azarath Azlu had infected humans and had stolen their forms to hide. Worse, they had slaughtered a small werewolf pack who’d made their home in that city. Two other werewolves, Selene and Bjorn, had been sent to aid them in their task by James Ironclaw, alpha of the Young Father Bear pack in Eldon Well.

The party of six were able to track down the next intended victim, a nurse named Charlese Wellington, and root out the Azlu spider that was waiting for her in her apartment. There, according to Ironclaw’s prophetic dream, it had intended to wait for her to go to sleep, then bite her, crawl into her mouth and then take her over by hollowing out the poor unfortunate’s brain. It was truly a gruesome fate, but it was averted by Ramiel’s determination to save her from the spiders, and Lyla and Michael’s fortitude in handling the situation at her apartment.

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A Room With a Wolf (or Three)

Timeline: September 27, 2007

Today, Lyla had a smile upon her face. She really had every reason to be happy. Ramiel had begun to accept her and that was progress very dear to her heart. She’d grown to realize that his acceptance of her, and recognition of her as something other than monster, helped her to accept herself. She’d taken control of the rampaging hormones and instincts that are always so overwhelming to new “cubs” as the other Uratha referred to new werewolves, and managed to accept who she was.

Her private little enterprise was moving along as well. She wanted to open a new bar, something that would provide the pack with a little bit of operating money (hopefully) and give them something to do when they weren’t dealing with rowdy spirits or patrolling territory. James — Ironclaw let her get away with calling him by his first name these days — had approved the move with a few stipulations, which Lyla readily agreed to. She had the location and space rented for the little bar and grill, and the town had approved a liquor license for it as well. The bar itself was nearly finished save for giving time for the final coats of varnish to dry, and the stools, chairs and tables ordered had just arrived. She had worked up a list of beers and drinks to carry and ordered it; that was due to arrive tomorrow — a Friday. This was perfect, because her planned opening was Monday, October 1st.

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Charlotte Chapter Two

Timeline: April 23, 2005

Lyla was able to find Paul rather easily, and after watching him for some time finally made her move. He was reluctant at first, and had asked her if they had met, saying she looked familiar. She responded with the usual, “I get that a lot, but no we have never met.”

It did not take Lyla long to work her charms, and though he seemed reluctant at first, she found all the right things to say and do to get him to buy her a drink.

A few drinks later they were headed to his car to go get a room. He opened the door for Lyla, being the ever curtious gentlemen. Lyla had been somewhat suspicious about everything but kept pushing forward because things where going her way. It was now that she was getting into the car that she realized why.

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Charlotte Chapter One

Timeline: April 22, 2005

The sun had risen to its’ zenith as the light burst through scattered clouds creating brilliant beams of light as they fell upon the earth. The small town of Charlotte rested beneath the brilliance of the sun, and framed by lake Champlain.

Ramiel had pushed the girls hard to get here, in the last three days they had stopped only to sleep, or for the bathroom. Honoré had never seen him act this way before, she had seen him be in a bad mood, but never be cold toward Lyla. When questioned about it he only replied, “ I have some place I want to be.”

Now they had reached his destination, but no one knew why, until he stopped in front of a store that was selling “Champ” souvenirs. He took out an old map that looked as though it had been worn, and he placed a small mark next to the figure of a sea monster.

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Lost Souls

Timeline: September 25, 2001

Lyla had lost the Dark Man’s trail several days ago and try as she might, she couldn’t pick it up again. It happened from time to time and Ramiel learned that sooner or later, she always picked found it again. But Lyla always fretted over it far more than he did. She had been a bundle of nerves for a couple days. But this morning she was despondent and unmotivated. He knew she was sick of being on the trail.

The hiking was always harder for her than it was for him. She never tripped or stumbled, but she tired more easily. He was always more athletic and knew better how to handle himself in the outdoors. Lyla had long since given up trying and just relied on him to tell her what needed to be done. She was really more of a creature of civilization that was forced to try to track their enemy through the wilds. Every now and then she needed a break from the demands of the outdoors to regenerate her civilized spirit in a town or city.

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The Waterfall

Timeline: April 19th, 2005

The Appalachian Mountains might have been the “easier” mountain in North America to climb, but that didn’t mean the going wasn’t difficult. The morning that found Honoré, Lyla and Ramial back on the Trail was wet, muddy, and consequently slippery. There was more than one occasion where the group had to wade through hip-deep water, carrying packs over their heads, to make it to the opposite side and pick up the marked trail again. It meant that they were covered in mud, sweaty from the exertion, and mosquitos and less pleasant bugs were already making a feast of them.

The fact they were starting in Maine also meant that the initial challenges were steep mountains in rugged country in rather cool weather. All in all, it was a difficult start for their journey. By early afternoon Lyla had already requested they stop at the next clear stream or rest area to wash up and change into spare clothes. They’d already have to find a place to launder what they’d been wearing in the morning.

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Introduction

Timeline: April 17, 2005

Honoré had been in hospital following the tragedy that killed her parents. She remembered a man in black entering her room and standing near the monitor that was regulating the pain medication, but then he had disappeared when the chaplain arrived.

His visit was short and despite his religious background, Honoré couldn’t help but feel grateful he’d arrived when he did. She was still too weak to leave, especially after the grueling questions she had to ask about the attack that had ultimately left her parents dead and her here in the hospital. Yet, she knew she had to, and soon. That man would be back.

And just when she needed help the most, that’s when she met Hamilton. Of course, she didn’t know he was a friend at first.

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Flashback

Timeline: April 13, 2005

Ramiel and Lyla moved on as they always did. Their search seemed a rambling wander up the Appalachian Trail, pausing here and there for side trips to towns not far from the wooded path. In fact, they were searching for someone. Or, something.

Lyla had said that the Trail was like spine or perhaps an axis around which the events of their lives would revolve. It was true in a way. Every clue about the Dark Man they’d found was in a place not far from the old Trail. It seemed to meander by every point of interest, or at least reasonably near many of the major cities of the east coast.

Ramiel and Lyla had left the Trail a few kilometers back. They’d crossed into Connecticut from New York last week and now were on their way to a town called Cornwall Bridge to seek some supplies, wash some clothes, and look for clues as to the whereabouts of the Dark Man.

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The Mansion

Timeline: September 20, 2000

Lyla watched Ramiel disappear through the woods back toward the village they’d left behind earlier in the day. She did love surprises. It excited her, actually, to the point that she was fidgeting. As she watched the last bit of Ramiel’s deep green cloak disappear into the night she glanced about their small camp site.

They each had one, very small tent which were pitched side by side and faced a small fire. The flickering firelight illuminated her smooth, pale face and glittered against her black hair. Her brown-black eyes seemed to swallow the small amount of light as she tried to think of what to do while she waited.

In the other direction rose a tall, three-story mansion complete with barn, pasture, stables, and servants quarters. There was some activity as a black-suited driver brought a limousine around. Within less than an hour by Lyla’s reckoning, the sun had set and electric lamps had to be used to provide enough light on this moonless, cloudy night.

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