|Cliath Homid Fianna Ragabash|
|Player: Andy Kerperien|
Beer is the Bridge
From an early age Patrick was enamored with the art of brewing. His family had owned the same Irish pub for over 2 centuries and before he could even walk Patrick was immersed in the culture and traditions of a pub: the songs, the mannerisms, the sense of community, and of course the always present scent of alcohol. Alcohol seemed to be the magical fuel that kept pub life churning, and to a young boy alcohol seemed to be a gift straight from the fae folklore the gaffers told while smoking their pipes on a Saturday afternoon. The wonderful brews containing the mystical substance were capable of rousing a remorse crowd to laughter and song, of soothing even the deepest loss, and even capable of bringing even the most distant father and son together even if only for the moments the two sat and sipped their pints. Little did Patrick know just how close to the mark his boyish fantasies were until the early spring of his sixteenth year on Earth, the summer in which he underwent his first change and indoctrination into Fianna society.
It was a beautiful Irish evening in the hills surrounding Inistioge and Patrick and his friends had stolen away from the chores and responsibilities of life to spend the evening enjoying the company of each other and of course a few of the local lasses. More importantly though Patrick had stolen a small keg from his family’s stores and the adolescents, free from the watchful gazes of adults, planned to take two important steps upon the path to manhood that very night: overindulgence of strong drink, and just the right amount of indulgence in beautiful women. Unbeknownst to Patrick the village elders, including his father, had expected just such an outing from the youths, and even as the boys tapped the small barrel and began to draw healthy doses of the golden amber liquid into glasses, the parents of each of them sat huddled together in the shadows of an adjacent hill secretly wishing with one breath their sons or daughters would be blessed by Gaia to join the ranks of Garou this night, and praying to her with the next that should they be only Kin they suffered no harm at the hands of those who did change. Fianna blood ran strong in the town of Inistioge and the elders knew there was more than a passing chance that the change would be initiated in at least one of the young men or women when the alcohol stirred their passion and roused their bodies to reveal their true forms.
The early hours of revelry passed without incident. Danny, Patrick’s oldest friend, had risen from the arms of Jenny to tell a rousing tale of his fight with a salmon on his latest fishing expedition. The O’Bannon twins had wrestled at the lusty cheers of the other campfire patrons, and mugs of delicious amber beer had flowed from the keg and into the youths like the spring thaw from the mountains to the sea. The moon had just reached its zenith when Patrick stood, drowned the last of his ale, and called to his compatriots informing them of his intent to relief himself. As he sauntered off in search of the nearest bush a strong sensation overtook him. His eyes were drawn to the heavens, and as moon’s light filtered into his eyes, he became more aware of the scents of the evening. The ashy smell of the dwindling fire, the scent of Jenny’s subtle perfume, the smell of blooming clover all permeated his senses, and just as suddenly as those scents washed over him a new wave of sensation, this one of pain, doubled him over. A guttural cry escaped his lips as his body shifted for the first time. Similar cries of pain seemed to be coming from the area he had just left his friends, but those seemed mingled with cries of alarm and disgust. Before he could return to an upright position a weight hit him from behind pinning him to the ground and a voice spoke into his ear, “Now just relax there buddy boy, no need to tense up, all will be explained momentarily.” A mixture of fear, anger, primal instinct and adrenaline hit his system and he threw his assailant from his back, but where one was before, 3 more bodies lept on him, sufficiently pinning him again. A chuckle graced Patrick’s ears and then a right cross graced his face and he fell into darkness.
When he awoke he was once again sitting around the fire. The party had swelled significantly …. It seemed as if large wolves circled the camp, and standing to his left and right were huge half man half wolf creatures. Several of the local girls were crying across the fire from him and unless his senses deceived him it appeared as if the mothers were rocking and consoling them gently. A particularly large and powerful looking half man, half wolf creature stood in the center of the camp. Seeing Patrick awake he uttered a command in some guttural language and before Patrick’s eyes the wolves patrolling the camp and the half men / half wolf creatures all seemed to blur and change into humans. Humans Patrick had known his entire life. There was Mr. O’Shea the local butcher, and Father O’Flannery the village minister. The O’Bannon twins had appeared where seconds before 2 half man beasts sat, and the biggest shock of all was where once stood the imposing central figure, now stood Patrick’s father, who was approaching him arms outstretched and obvious pride in his eyes.
All had been explained to Patrick and the other youths. The Fianna, Gaia, and most importantly what had just happened, a quick crash course into Garou culture. The large half man half beasts were described as Crinos, a form a Garou can take. Questions of course arose, particularly from Danny, Patrick’s oldest friend, as to why they all hadn’t underwent the change. These questions were quelled with an explanation of the Kin and many of the parents of the youths, including Patrick’s own mother, stepped forward to give their accounts as to what being one of the Kin was all about. Important to Danny was the expression of Pride and honor the Kin felt in helping the Garou of their tribe continue the fight against the imbalance, but before the subject of the Triad was fully broached Patrick’s father waived a halt to the discussion and motioned the assembled back towards town.
The light’s of his family’s pub burned particularly brighter tonight and laughter and cheer arose aplenty from the open doorway. The group from the campfire accompanied by their elders filed into the pub and the din quieted immediately. “Tonight,” said Patrick’s father as he addressed what appeared to be the entire town, “Gaia has blessed us with 4 fine new warriors to swell our ranks and continue our fight against the imbalance. Let us welcome them and those who join our ranks of Kin with open arms and tall glasses. Tomorrow their education shall begin in earnest, but tonight let us celebrate their birth as we as Fianna celebrate, with cheerful hearts and full pints!” A cheer rose up from the assembled, a band stuck up from the stage in the rear, and the youths were pushed into a fray of hugs and pats. As is the Fianna way, the youths were not allowed to dwell on the events of that night, there was plenty of time for that in the years to come, instead their questions and fears were assaulted with good drink and companionship, and at least for that evening, held at bay.
Owner and operator of the New Moon Brewery
Tribe: Nicholaus Kendricks