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TR MQ-E8B 00 K: Family Values Tt was about as typical a Scottish evening in early winterasyoucould expect. Thecloud, which had hung low over the hill all day, was rolling down the hillside, obscuring the cairn that had sat on its peak as long as anyone could remember. The chill in the air told Leaps-Like-the-Salmon that there would be fog this evening. As the cloud rendered everything into shades cof muddy gray, Leaps took one last look atthe huge pile of stones, each one marking a Garou or Kinfolk who had fallen in battle. Hundreds of them, piled high as a solid testament to the burden Gaia placed on each and every one of them. As he looked at it, the lean, tall warrior couldn't decide if the numbness that settled on him came from the changing weather or from the thought that a stone forhim might be on that pile by the following evening. He let outa little plea to Stag that they wouldall return safely and that the fog would be gone by the morning, and then he set off down the hill to join his pack, running his hand nervously through his black, short- cropped hair. A huge bonfire was burning not far from the river that wended its way through the caern’s bawn. Its flickering orange light was visible even through the thickening fog. All around the little groups of werewolves and their Kin that made up the Sept of Mannan’s Rock were laughing, drinking and eating, the fire and the good company keeping away the bite of the coming frost. Leaps paused awhile, pulled his coat tighter around himself and drank in the sounds of his sept — his family — enjoying the moment of pleasure that Gaia had granted them. “Makes you proud to be Fianna, doesn't it, lad?” said a familiar voice on his left “Still sneaking up on us young uns, then, Greg? I thought you'd have gone off to die in some noble lone battle against the Wyrm by now,” said Leaps, affection evident in his voice. “Ah, well now lad, I don't rightly feel I can be doing that ust yet. Yousee, none of you young bastards can be trusted to have a piss up in a brewery, let alone keep this place safe. So, I'll be hanging around a wee while longer, I reckon.” Leaps glanced over at his uncle, the Warder of the caer for the best part ofa decade now. Each and every year of that decade showed on the Warder’s face, in the lines and patchwork of scars that were the legacy of more battles than any of them liked to think about. This land wasn't friendly at the best of times, and this 2 Fianna