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Talking Crazy

Page history last edited by Adam 11 years, 11 months ago Saved with comment

Talking Crazy (Spring, 2000 - November 2009) was a Lupus Ragabash of the Uktena tribe, best known as a Den Father of Forgotten War and Shadow's Dream, and as the founding Alpha of the Sept of River's Might. He was known also as a consummate trickster, a compulsive fabulist, and a scholar of Umbral realms and Wyrm lore. Born beneath an ancestral curse, he spent much of his life unable to touch solid ground, but his heroic sacrifice to bind an ancient Wyrm-beast broke that curse for his own descendants.

 

See also: The Honored Dead

 

Contents


 

 

Ancestry


Talking Crazy

Talking Crazy's best-known ancestor (on his mother's side) was an Uktena Lupus Ahroun called Killing Twenty, whose offense against a local Mountain Incarna destroyed him and cursed his descendants.

 

Killing Twenty's granddaughter was Singing Softly, a Galliard; her grandson was Knowing Plenty, a Philodox; his granddaughter was Keeping Holy, a Theurge; and her grandson was Talking Crazy. All were Lupus, all were Uktena, and all were devoured by the Mountain.

 

Talking Crazy's paternal lineage had a less well-known pedigree: his father was an Uktena Lupus Theurge of Ghost Kiva Sept named Swift Medicine.

 

Curse

Talking Crazy's curse was one of his favorite stories to tell, and one of the best-remembered things about him. He was in constant danger of being swallowed up by the earth, as his ancestors were before him. All earth elementals knew that they could curry great favor with the Mountain by delivering Talking Crazy.

 

To avoid this fate, Talking Crazy flew nearly all the time, using a tattoo fetish empowered by Raven. He would never touch the earth save in a moment of tempting fate. Every night he slept in a different place so that the earth couldn't find him, and every sundown he performed a contrition to the Mountain to beg its forgiveness.

 

In the end, the circumstances of Talking Crazy's death lifted the curse for his descendants.

 

Early Life


Born in the spring of 2000, in the territory of Ghost Kiva Sept, New Mexico, Talking Crazy was the runt of his litter, which (in Talking Crazy's telling) forced him to become more clever than the rest of his siblings. The wolf-kin pack that raised him was well-guarded by the Garou of Ghost Kiva and by his Garou father, Swift Medicine. When the time was right, Swift Medicine guided his son through his First Change in a ritual fashion -- making Talking Crazy's induction into Garou life much less violent than that of many Garou.

 

Talking Crazy earned his name as a cub with his knack for language. The Garou of Ghost Kiva spoke three human tongues: English, Spanish, and Shiwi'ma (Zuni). Unlike many lupus-born cubs, Talking Crazy took to language like a fish to water, finding it a fascinating puzzle all on its own. He learned so quickly that for months he would completely scramble his sentences, leaping randomly between vocabulary and grammar in a way that his Den Father found maddening.

 

It was as a cub that Talking Crazy received the Raven tattoo on his chest, created as a fetish by his father Swift Medicine. It was a prescient gift: Swift Medicine died shortly thereafter at the hand of a powerful bane that had been harrying Ghost Kiva.

 

A traditional vision quest comprised Talking Crazy's Rite of Passage. He took it alone, surviving a dangerous region of the Umbra for three days without aid. He never spoke of what he had seen during this quest, but it convinced him to flee the traditional lands of the Mountain who had cursed his line. Talking Crazy left Ghost Kiva and traveled northeast.

 

The Sept of the Rising Winds


Talking Crazy arrived at the Sept of the Rising Winds in January of 2003. Rising Winds was a small urban Sept in the a city park of St. Paul, Minnesota, led by a Silver Fang Philodox named Alex Prides in Blood. The ragabash famously snuck onto the bawn unseen, revealing himself to the Alpha in Crinos. "I am Destroyer-of-the-Unwary," he announced, "and I have come here leading legions of the Wyrm! Attack, my legions!" (crickets) "...Um. Legions?"

 

Prides-in-Blood saw through the prank immediately, but the entrance left an impression. Jokes about Talking Crazy "leading legions of the Wyrm" followed the ragabash his entire life.

 

At Rising Winds, Talking Crazy joined his first pack, Rattlesnake's Wisdom, under Jacob Shreds his Prey, Homid Ahroun of the Get of Fenris. The pack included Howls in Pub, Lupus Philodox of the Fianna; Bringer of the North Wind, Lupus Theurge of the Wendigo; and Tyra Fire-of-Artemis, Homid Philodox of the Black Furies. The pack formed a staunch friendship with a Gurahl (a bear-changer) who lived on the Caern, Oswald Destined-by-Gaia. Though tragedy would later strike down Fire-of-Artemis, these Garou and the Gurahl long considered themselves like brothers.

 

Talking Crazy earned his Fostern rank at Rising Winds. At a 2003 Grand Moot at a Sept in Winona, he won a Bow of Duck's Blessing by besting a Galliard in a storytelling contest (which, Talking Crazy decided, was simply a way to determine who could spin the most entertaining lies). He held the Keeper of the Land position at Rising Winds until the Caern's fall by Weaver-attack in late 2003.

 

The Sept of Forgotten War


When the other survivors of Rising Winds discovered a potential Caern site near New Ulm, Minnesota, Talking Crazy and his pack enthusiastically joined the effort to cleanse the surrounding region of Wyrm-taint. This led to the first great tragedy of the young ragabash's Garou career. Wyrm forces outside New Ulm captured and tortured his packmate Tyra Fire-of-Artemis. Although the Garou rescued her, she was so damaged by the experience that she took her own life. Talking Crazy carried a great share of guilt for having failed his packmate.

 

Once the region was prepared, Talking Crazy helped defend the land while Elders of the nation performed a Rite of Caern Building at the site. The Sept of Forgotten War began, under the leadership of Shreds-his-Prey. Talking Crazy took on the role of Alpha Ragabash. Before long, he had earned the Renown to challenge for Adren rank.

 

Lost in the Abyss

Talking Crazy's Adren challenge involved repairing a broken spirit-binding for an ancient bane, a task he ultimately completed. But in the midst of the challenge he discovered a pair of mysterious tribal artifacts: two boxes, one of which would bring great reward to its opener, one of which would bring great disaster. Having no way of knowing which box was was which, Talking Crazy simply chose to open them both simultaneously. The clash of spiritual energies tore him in two. His Garou spirit was sucked through a box into the Abyss; his wolf body remained on Earth, alive but ordinary, its memories of life as a Garou fading away.

 

It was the Child of Gaia theurge Sparks-the-Leeches who rescued Talking Crazy from his predicament. The wolf Talking Crazy sought the Theurge's help before his memories could fade completely. Sparks-the-Leeches made a daring journey alone into the Abyss, locating and rescuing Talking Crazy's spirit from the trap. Sparks reunited Talking Crazy's spirit with his body, making him whole again. Thereafter, Talking Crazy consider himself to owe an impossible debt to the theurge.

 

Talking Crazy's made his gratitude known shortly thereafter when he supported Sparks-the-Leeches over Shreds-his-Prey in a challenge for Alpha of Forgotten War. The relationship between Talking Crazy and his first pack alpha never entirely recovered from the ragabash's shift in allegiance.

 

Strife at the Sept

Talking Crazy formed a Purelander pack of his own, under the spirit Raccoon, called the Hidden Hunt. Its members included Bringer of the North Winds; a lupus Wendigo Philodox named Breaks the Dawn; and the Wendigo Homid Ragabash Quivers like a Leaf, who would later take the name Stalks the Forest. This being the first pack of which Talking Crazy was Alpha, he spent time that spring with a pack of Uktena wolf kinfolk, siring his first litter of pups.

 

But tension was increasing at Forgotten War. Attacks against the new Caern tested its resources. An Alpha Philodox named Zero Tolerance (Lupus of the Get of Fenris) was taking discipline to harsh new levels. Talking Crazy entered into a bitter rivalry with the Philodox; their rivalry reached a crescendo when Talking Crazy faked his own death at Zero's claws in an attempt to make a point about the futility of being at one another's throats. Zero tolerance eventually left the Sept, but not before further staining Talking Crazy's opinion about the bloodthirsty nature of the Fenrir.

 

A new Alpha rose to power: Leaves-of-Ashes, a Lupus Philodox of the Glass Walkers. An ambitious Garou with big ideas, Leaves-of-Ashes made new demands for leadership from his Auspice Alphas. As a means of making sure they could work together, he led them on a quest across Australia and Germany to retrieve a lost fetish.

 

Den Father

Not long after Leaves-of-Ashes took power, the Silver Fang Den Mother of Forgotten War departed for other duties. Talking Crazy decided to challenge for the position, and won. He had no idea at the time how his legacy as a Garou would come to be defined by that choice.

 

Gaia blessed the new Den Father with many lost cubs for him to teach. His concerns and deeds in the years to follow all revolved around his new role. The names of his students are fully recounted further below, but these episodes in particular stand out from Forgotten War:

 

  • Morgan Hides-Her-Hands was Talking Crazy's first cub, and the first to die after her Rite of Passage. Caught and released by Willworkers, she was used as a pawn in an attack on the Caern. Talking Crazy argued passionately for her innocence, but the Sept Philodox ultimately chose to execute her for taking action to defile a Caern.
  • Sam Mercy's Gambit was a young homid-born Garou who inadvertently got herself in trouble with Griffin, the totem of the Red Talons. Talking Crazy gave up his firstborn pup to the Talons as a means of belaying the totem's wrath.

 

Talking Crazy's rank soon reflected his work as Den Father. He challenges Sparks-the-Leeches for Athro, winning a challenge that proved his ability to prevent a powerful spirit from falling to the Wyrm. He also took on a new pack under Raven, including Sparks-the-Leeches and a Lupus Galliard Uktena named Rides the Falling Water.

 

Path to Unicorn

Near the end of his years at Forgotten War, two tragedies struck that affected Talking Crazy for the rest of his life.

 

First, his packmate and friend Sparks-the-Leeches sacrificed his life in order to contain a titanic Weaver-spirit that had emerged over a hospital in New Ulm.

 

Second, his cub Sam (once Mercy's Gambit) was murdered. Sam had reached cliath, but an encounter with lust-banes and a violation of the first tenet left her as a cub in Talking Crazy's care once again. One day shortly thereafter, Talking Crazy found her torn to pieces. He investigated and concluded that she had been murdered by Reza, a Lupus Ahroun of the Shadow Lords -- and moreover, that Reza had worn his face as a disguise at the time, so that in her final moments Sam believed it was Talking Crazy who was tearing her apart.

 

The Philodox of the Sept refused to believe Talking Crazy, saying he had inadequate evidence for his conclusions about Sam's murder. Reza herself had vanished from the territory, ostensibly on some other business. Even if she were present, in a straight-up challenge against an Ahroun, Talking Crazy would lose: he was a trickster, not a warrior. He had no recourse for justice.

 

Tormented by rage and a desire for revenge, Talking Crazy wrestled with the temptation to seek power from the Wyrm. He only halted his own slide by going to the one spirit he believed could resist vengeance: Unicorn. Drawing on the examples set by Sparks-the-Leeches and Sam, Talking Crazy made Unicorn his personal Totem. Though he never resolved his hatred, he followed Unicorn the rest of his days, enabling him to resist its seductive pull.

 

The Sept of Shadow's Dream


When Leaves of Ashes decided to create Shadow's Dream, Talking Crazy challenged him for control of Forgotten War rather than simply hand it over to the Silver Fangs. The challenge failed. Reluctant to take part in Leaves of Ashes' vision, yet unwilling to remain in a territory so haunted by grief, Talking Crazy departed instead for the far reaches of the Umbra.

 

Months later, Talking Crazy returned as an Elder of the Nation. His time in the Umbra had changed his perspective. Leaves of Ashes had been gravely wounded in battle for the new territory of Shadow's Dream, and Talking Crazy accepted the honor of killing him in combat, so that none would have to tend his sickness. Gunter Bleeds for the Sept at Dawn took leadership of Shadow's Dream, and Talking Crazy took his place once again as an Alpha Ragabash and as a Den Father.

 

He also formed what was to be his last pack: Dawn and Twilight, serving Dragonfly. Its first members included his old packmate Rides the Falling Water; Delays Sunset, a lupus Shadow Lord Theurge; and Padraig, a metis Fianna Galliard.

 

Rasp and Dregith

Around this time, the Twin Cities were suffering beneath a plague of bane activity. To investigate the cause, Talking Crazy used his shapechanging Gifts and a Baneskin fetish to develop an alter ego: Rasp the Raven, a bane of greed, information-broker to the Wyrm. As Rasp, Talking Crazy traded gossip among the Banes of the city, sowing discord among them where he could and learning the secret reasons for the plague. He fed information on centers of bane activity back to the Sept, though he did not reveal his alter ego.

 

The reason for the plague of banes turned out to be Dregith, a primeval wyrm-beast capable of enslaving armies of banes to his will. Rasp sought out Dregith and learned the creature's plan to rouse Samagarouthea, a wyrm-god of madness so powerful that prehistoric Uktena had bound it beneath the bed of the Mississippi River. Talking Crazy then led a force of Garou to foil Dregith's plan, disrupting the beast's plan to break the bonds on the sleeping god. Dregith had no idea how his schemes had been betrayed.

 

The Collapse of Shadow's Dream

Another murder rocked Talking Crazy's world when his packmate Rides the Falling Water was killed in cold blood by Preys on Alley Cats, an Elder Lupus Ragabash of the Bone Gnawers. The call of the Wyrm sounded strong in Talking Crazy's ears once again, but once again, with the aid of his pack, his cubs and Unicorn, he resisted.

 

But Talking Crazy had lost faith in the leadership of the Sept. It had passed from Gunter to Cleric, a Homid Galliard of the Glass Walkers; and with the return of Reza to the territory, Talking Crazy saw that she might soon take Alpha. He was not the only Garou unwilling to follow the murderer of his cub. Talking Crazy conspired with Pip, a Homid theurge of the Bone Gnawers who had been preparing Grey Cloud Island, just outside the territory of Shadow's Dream, as a potential Caern site. Talking Crazy formally claimed that territory, and when Reza made her move, Talking Crazy made his: he walked out on Shadow's Dream, leading a large contingent of the Garou who wanted a new beginning. They created a new Sept on Grey Cloud Island.

 

The Sept of River's Might


Talking Crazy's secession did not go unopposed. Reza accused him of falling to the Wyrm. She led a brute squad onto the island while most of the Sept was away, intending to assassinate him and take the territory. Talking Crazy and his Warder Falcon's Screeching Beak held the group off until reinforcements could arrive. They successfully drove Reza out of the region.

 

In the spring of 2009, the Garou Nation investigated Reza's accusations against Talking Crazy and found them baseless. A Caern was built on Grey Cloud Island, creating the Sept of River's Might under Talking Crazy as its Alpha.

 

The battle with Dregith months before had driven back the scheming wyrm-beast, but it had also damaged the bonds on the god Samagarouthea. Talking Crazy unearthed a lost ritual and led a group of Garou in performing it, repairing those bindings. The strain of leading the ritual scarred his mind, entangling memories of his past with events in the present; in the months to follow, his packmate Padraig helped him hide the problem by guarding his mind against gaffes.

 

That summer, Talking Crazy allied his sept with the Septs of Forgotten War and Sigurd's Courage in an effort to repel three titanic Thunderwyrms that were encroaching into the Midwest. The battle was successful, but at great cost: Talking Crazy lost two close friends (Speaks with Spiders, a Homid Theurge of the Glass Walkers; and Dances in the Streets, a Metis Galliard of the Bone Gnawers) and one former cub (Nico Leads Through the Storm) in the action.

 

Two more Garou joined Talking Crazy's pack around this time: a Lupus Philodox of the Black Furies named Balance of Themis, and a Lupus Theurge of the Uktena named Walking Westward. Talking Crazy soon deduced that Walking Westward was a son he had sired during a foray into Mexico, years past, although Walking Westward himself was unaware of the fact.

 

Death


In the winter of 2009, Dregith finally discovered that the bane raven Rasp was actually Talking Crazy in disguise, that his every move against the Sept had been caught by Rasp's deception. Dregith burned with ageless wrath. Rallying a small army of banes, he marched against the farmhouse territory that belonged to Padraig, Talking Crazy's packmate, and Padraig's kinfolk.

 

Talking Crazy and his pack had no choice but to respond quickly. But Dregith was too powerful to destroy. Though the Garou successfully destroyed his mortal shell, the corrupted essence of Dregith latched onto Talking Crazy and set about reshaping him into a new body.

 

Talking Crazy fought to maintain control, but realized the time was short before he would be utterly corrupt. Even killing himself would not prevent Dregith from being reborn in his flesh. To save his territory from the creature, he dropped to the ground and called out to the Mountain. The earth opened and swallowed him up, fulfilling his ancestral curse. Dregith was bound forever, trapped in Talking Crazy's bones beneath the Mountain.

 

After Talking Crazy's death, the Mountain's curse was lifted -- not by the Mountain, but by "the one to whom the Mountain answers." Greater powers than the Mountain recognized the nobility of Talking Crazy's sacrifice to contain the wyrm-beast Dregith.

 

Afterlife

The ancestor-spirit of Talking Crazy joined his other ancestors beneath the Mountain. But with the curse lifted, he and his ancestors are no longer trapped. They have become the Mountain's spirit brood, acting on the Mountain's behalf and serving its secret purposes. Some Garou have had success seeking him out in the area of Ghost Kiva Sept, when he wants to be found.

 

Now and then Talking Crazy's spirit even sneaks off to possess his son Walking Westward. He has only been caught at this twice.

 

Career as Den Father


None of his victories for Gaia, nor even his founding of River's Might, were as much as source of pride to Talking Crazy as was his role as a Den Father. In his years as Den Father to Forgotten War, Shadow's Dream, and River's Might, he put thirty-eight cubs through their Rites of Passage:

 

  • First Rite, Forgotten War 
    • Morgan Hides-Her-Hands, Homid Ragabash of the Uktena
    • Aislinn Love-of-Learning, Homid Galliard of the Fianna
    • Trainwreck, Homid Ahroun of the Bone Gnawers
  • Second Rite, Forgotten War 
    • Mercy's Gambit, Homid Philodox of the Children of Gaia
    • Second Wind, Homid Ragabash of the Get of Fenris
  • Third Rite, Forgotten War 
    • Circuit Breaker, Homid Theurge of the Glass Walkers
    • Death in Motion, Homid Ahroun of the Uktena
    • Frenzy Works, Homid Ahroun of the Get of Fenris
  • Fourth Rite, Forgotten War 
    • Honors the Forgotten, Homid Ragabash of the Children of Gaia
  • Fifth Rite, Forgotten War 
    • Shawn True-in-Battle, Homid Ahroun of the Children of Gaia
    • Indra Steady-in-the-Storm, Homid Philodox of the Silent Striders
    • Ichigo Aikitachi, Homid Ahroun of the Children of Gaia
    • Jafari Pale Horse, Metis Theurge of the Silent Striders
    • Diana Grace Note, Homid Galliard of the Black Furies
  • Sixth Rite, Forgotten War 
    • Veil Doctor, Homid Ragabash of the Glass Walkers
  • Seventh Rite, Forgotten War 
    • Embershroud, Homid Ragabash of the Shadow Lords
    • Waldemar Truthcatcher, Homid Philodox of the Silver Fangs
    • Arm of Yggdrasil, Homid Ahround of the Get of Fenris
  • Eighth Rite, Forgotten War 
  • Ninth Rite, Shadow's Dream
    • Breakneck, Homid Ahroun of the Silent Striders
  • Tenth Rite, Shadow's Dream 
    • Scars of Regret, Homid Ahroun of the Fianna
  • Eleventh Rite, Shadow's Dream 
    • Blood Runs Cold, Homid Ahroun of the Wendigo
    • Anastasia Calls the Shots, Homid Philodox of the Silver Fangs
    • Smoke on the Water, Homid Galliard of the Silver Fangs
    • Roberto Heaven's Knell, Homid Theurge of the Shadow Lords
  • Twelfth Rite, Shadow's Dream 
    • Jack Dreamwalker, Homid Galliard of the Children of Gaia
    • Jenn Lost-But-Seeking, Homid Theurge of the Uktena
    • Janie Brings the Pain, Homid Ahroun of the Bone Gnawers
    • Maddie Dances with Bullets, Homid Ahroun of the Glass Walkers
    • Leif Firecatcher, Homid Theurge of the Get of Fenris
  • Thirteenth Rite, Shadow's Dream
    • Triton Walks Between Worlds, Lupus Theurge of the Uktena
    • Tiernan Swift-of-Claw, Homid Ahroun of the Fianna
    • Caolinn Lifts the Spirits, Homid Galliard of the Fianna
    • Caroline Steals the Show, Homid Galliard of the Children of Gaia
    • Waters Run Deep, Homid Philodox of the Uktena
  • Fourteenth Rite, River's Might 
    • Raven Voice of the Wind, Homid Theurge of the Black Furies
    • John Hidden Blade, Homid Ragabash of the Silent Striders
    • Mag Owl's Cry, Homid Galliard of the Silent Striders

 

Descendants


Talking Crazy was never honorably mated. He did not feel as if he could care properly for a mate and pups, in light of his ancestral curse. Running with a wolf pack was impossible for the trickster who couldn't touch the ground.

 

But Talking Crazy solved this dilemma each spring by sneaking into an existing wolf pack, altering his scent to smell like the alpha male, breeding with the alpha female and then going on his way. This way, Talking Crazy ensured his pups would be well cared-for by a wolf pack who thought they were entirely their own.

 

Today a line of Red Talons shares Talking Crazy's blood, descended from the wolf-kin pup he gave to Griffin as chiminage to purchase the life of Sam Mercy's Gambit.

 

Walking Westward, Lupus Theurge of the Uktena of the Sept of River's Might, is the one known pup of Talking Crazy's to have Changed. One spring Talking Crazy visited an Uktena Sept in Mexico to research Kirijama, which then was the totem of a hive Forgotten War was fighting. A few months later one of the Sept's kinfolk wolves gave birth to the litter that included Walking Westward. It took years for anyone to correctly link these two events.

 

Comments (7)

Kr1mz0n said

at 3:11 pm on Jun 14, 2012

favorite passage: "...possess his son Walking Westward. He has only been caught at this twice."

Adam said

at 4:31 pm on Jun 14, 2012

I am rather pleased with that tidbit as well. ;)

paganzack said

at 8:12 pm on Jun 14, 2012

Dude...of all the cubs, I count only two still alive! Only one still active in game. And why wasn't there more Padraig?

Adam said

at 8:45 pm on Jun 14, 2012

On a long enough timeline, all populations go to zero. :(

I was surprised as well how quiet Padraig was in this writeup. It turns out that most of the TC/Padraig relationship was very personal and behind-the-scenes. The Silver Lake episode, for example, was epic but private. Note how most of the important relationships in Talking Crazy's life earn a mention because they went and *died* on him!

Is there anything in particular you think I left out?

paganzack said

at 12:11 pm on Jun 15, 2012

Just two things that really jump out at me that I thought would get more mention...Padraig was in TC's brain most of the last six months of his life, when he was going through the memory twists, to make sure none of the sept knew how Crazy TC was talking...something that only came out on the night he died, when I had to tell Spooky fox what I was doing because of the ritual he performed....and the other thing was that Padraig offered himself to Dregeth in TC's place, but was refused.

and on that Silver lake story...would you mind if I posted it somewhere down the line. It was a significant changing point in Padraig's life.

Adam said

at 1:42 pm on Jun 15, 2012

Just added a bit about Padraig's help in the aftermath of the Samagarouthea binding. But it's intentional that I leave out a lot of the finer details of individual scenes, even the death scene. For a lot of stuff you just had to be there.

I am totally for adding the Silver Lake story. I'm pretty sure I've got the full writeup on hand somewhere.

paganzack said

at 2:37 pm on Jun 15, 2012

It's on my deviantart account.

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