There's a ripple amongst the spirit court. Conflict. Fear. The shepherd of the Undercity slept, and in that time things changed, as they are wont to do. It's natural, that the strong feed on the weak, and the weak hide until they they are devoured or scavenge enough to dance back into the fray.
This, though, is brought to the senses of Uratha on the winds coming inland from the docks. It's a scent that is, flatly, wrong. Makes the neck prickle where hackles ought to be. The balance is shifting, tipping. Something outside the norm of petty squabbles within the Courts.
The docks themselves are quieter than usual. Most often they'd be slinging freight around the clock, but only a few crews are working to unload or load cargo, and those are spaced out. Several of the slips are empty, the wind swirling through that gap in freighters to bring the sensation of upset across the city.
Checkers was at home enjoying his vacation. Sort of. He was just lounging around the house and eating A LOT. When the ripples and whispers of something being up reaches him he considers just staying home. No. Of cource he can't. He grabs some things on the way out. An antique jar wrapped in twine, sack of salt and a sack of grave dirt. As is common, he arrives on a pink vespa scooter and wearing a pink helmet that's parked out of the way and he walks the rest on foot. Finding a spot of shadow to hang out in and watch. Watch and listen.
Caroline might still be learning the currents that are 'normal' for the Hisil around the city, but even as new to Chicago as she might be, the Ithaeur can sense that something is wrong. A text is sent to a few Uratha that she knows in the city before she truly heads out in the direction of where that scent of wrongness seems strongest and when she gets to the docks, she gives a little sigh. "Of course it's the docks. That's not ominious at //all//." She mutters, mostly to herself having not taken the time to check shadows for Checkers.
Still just a little bit high from the hunt last night...or whenever the timeline was, Gunnar is feeling energetic. He knows of spirits and has had some dealings with spirits, but he knows his area...and it isn't spirits. This is why he made friends with Caroline, right?! The Garmir is also maybe there to watch her back in case things go sidewys, because things always seem to go sideways. So Gunnar arrives with the Ithaeur and browlifts at her remarks, "Is this a problem?"
It's hard to say just how or when Liam arrives. It's almost as if perhaps he's been there all along, just watching, waiting, observing. There's a frown on the man's face, as he peers out over the too-quiet docks, and then to the water beyond. Taking a few shots with his camera for good measure, as well. He sticks in the shadows for the moment, not exactly acquainted with the others just yet.
The wrongness felt on the winds, is what has drawn Savannah to the docks. The young woman dressed in mostly black, making her long grey hair stand out against it. The Cahalith was currently slipping her phone into the pocket of her jacket, as she glanced around at the docks as she arrived. Looking a little lost as she does so, not familiar with the city or the docks. Though her gaze is alert, as she scans the area.
Memphis was going about the city to explore a bit when he felt the wind and decided to head to it. Once at the dock and seeing others that he knew he waved to them. He was wearing a sweater, pants and shoes that were browns, and tans looking very much like a dad that just came from visiting a friend. Though when he saw Savannah he raised an eyebrow in a bit of suprise before it dropped again.
The docks creak and the slap of the water seem normal enough, but that intensity of tickly 'scent' is enough to keep the back of the neck prickling. Even the people are subdued, picking up on that wrongness. Sailors and dockworkers are superstitious lot and nights like this often end in touching a rabbit's foot, or a lucky coin, or a medal on their necklace.
Near Caroline Checkers' voice comes out from the shadows. "The butler probably did it too." He steps out from the shadows with the jar held in his hands. "I'm starting to dislike this city. I'm waiting for gangsters to start driving around with Tommy guns again." HIs eyes flit around as more wolves arrive. "Well shit..this can't be good news. If everyone feels it..." He trails off and his eyes narrow. Staring out at the water. While he stares his body grows, bones popping as they change and his body packs on muscle. "Hold this!" He hands the jar to Caroline and breaks into a run. DIretly towards the water and when he gets to the edge. He doesn't stop. He leaps right off and into the water.
"Maaaaaybe," Caroline drawls out to Gunnar even as she's busy poking her own nose about looking for any sort of security cameras the docks might have and scoping out the large machinery quickly, just in case it's needed. "Did you bring any cement shoes? Hear Chicago's docks used to be famous for them... do you hear that?" It's not just the chilly wind causing those goose-bumps. No, she wasn't talking about Checkers, cause she was too focused on that mysterious gap in the ship and jumps when the other Ithaeur announces himself. She takes the jar as Checkers tosses it to her, not wanting it to fall and calls out. "Watch out for giant lake octopi! Or other unseen horrors of the deep!"
Liam gives a slight frown as he tilts his head, listening to the creak of the wood as time passes. Seeing the small gathering, and noting the presence of someone he -has- met before, the man steps from the shadows, giving Savannah a slight smile, and then looking to the others with a bit of curiosity. Liam's eyes then slide to the man running to, and then jumping into the water, raising a brow there. "That's one way to get started, I suppose," he murmurs, before looking back to the others.
As the scent continues the neck prickling sensation, Savannah's right hand lightly wrings her left wrist, just under the cuff of her jacket. Her head tilts slightly as her gaze moves spot on the docks where there are no ships. Intently watching it for a long moment, green eyes flicking toward Checkers and Caroline, watching the two of them. A little nervous shift of her shoulders, and then Liam is there, causing her to take a quick step away. Blinking. Giving a tentative glance around at all those there were there, she then looks to Caroline. "I heard it, too. Just there," pointing to that gap.
Memphis frowned as he looked at the dock a bit turning to the others when they said they heard it there or there. "Sounds like something heavy is on there to me." He offered as help before he moved to see if he could make out Checkers at all.
Gunnar is right behind Caroline, a good deal taller than the woman he just stare at Checkers when he asks for her to hold his pee jar. Then his eyes follow as the man shifts and goes running to dive off the dock, hand lifting to wave as if saying good-bye. "That was ... okay so that happened." he grunts out and begins to peer around the docks, getting that feeling. Sniffing a bit as if he could detect something in the air, he stares at that empty spot, "I think I do ... or kind of feel it." the Garmir answers her. His attention shifts over to Liam and Memphis as they show up, giving them a tip of his head in greeting.
The splash of Checkers hitting the water seems loud. The waves, though, they don't move right. Instead of sweeping under the dock, they seem to 'bounce' back, as if hitting something under there. The dock itself creaks again, algae and rot seeming to spread through the wood, causing it to sag as whatever it is goes after Checkers, churning the water into a forth of choppy waves, foam, and... coils? Serpentine, but slick, like the tentacles of an octopus sans suckers.
He's got it! No. It's got him. The rater roils around where Checkers went under as the coils get in around him. Water splashes from both his limbs trying to fend it off and the creature fighting to get hold. It all goes still for a moment. Just a few ripples as he gets dragged under. Just as quickly a long tentacle coil burts up out of the water, pulling Chekers along with it until he's dangling above the water. Long fur coat he wears everywhere hanging over his head and tangling his arms. He gulps in air to catch his breath again while he has the chance.
Caroline hadn't seemed too surprised to see Checkers go fling himself into the water, but she is watching closely just in case and blinks in surprise as she sees a tentacle rising out of the water. "Dude. I WAS JOKING!!!" But the kraken or whatever seems pretty dang real and not a joke at the moment. The Ithaeur heads a few steps closer although not TOO close to the edge. Just enough to get a better look at the tentacle and splashing. "Ummmm.... whatever it is, it wants to spread. It //has// to spread. Don't let it spread! Can't you like... trap it in a bottle? Or jar?" She's calling out still the swimming Bone Shadow all while still holding his mystery jar.
Memphis started to look around for something to hold whatever it is around since well docks had to be something right? "I will try to find something tell me what it does so I do not make it worse!" He roared out.
Liam looks to Caroline as she starts to speak, then. "Yeah... Problem is... How do we do that?" as he moves closer to the water, but tries to mostly stay out of tentacle range for now. His own body twisting, warping, and growing as bones break and reknit, as he takes the Dalu form.
That sinking feeling and all of the strangeness just seems to get worse...and then Checkers comes up out of the water, wrapped up in a tentacle and almost drowned. His gaze goes to the others, just a check to make sure they are also seeing this right now. Not that there is a history of Schizophrenic Hallucinations in his family, but you never know when it can happen. Gunnar truly had no idea spirits could come right out into the physical world so boldly and throw people around. Where he comes from, that sort of thing just isn't done. Well, this is happening.
"Hold on Crazy!" he growls as if he had a choice. Already he is shifting, not about to let this butthead critter drown Checkers. He goes right to Urshul, the essence flowing to make the transition instant and to add extra power as he goes right for the tentacle holding Checkers, trying to bite it in hopes of getting it to drop him.
"I think the Cthulhu spawn is going for it's meal," Savannah murmurs, more to herself then really anyone there. Watching the wood of the docks as it sags from rot and algae. Her gaze following that out to the water. "I don't think wolves are good at swimming..." A slight cringe as she watches Checkers dangling from a tentacle. At this point she looks to Liam, not really sure what to do. But at Caroline's mention of the creature needing, having to spread, she starts to join in the search for something to use to stop the spread of it. "There are all of these containers... or what about one of these ships, could maybe use that to try and contain it?" She throws out as possible ideas.
Once he hits the docks on all fours, the black dire wolf sprints to the edge in order to reach the tentacle holding on to Checkers. Without hesitating a moment he snaps at it, giving it a nice bite and taking a chunk from the 'flesh' of the spirit. He wasn't quite certain what might happen, but Gunnar was hoping he could sever the tentacle or get it to drop the Ithaeur. Maybe he just needs to bite it harder?! That is really his motto: If it doesn't work the first time, bite harder.
Teeth tear into the coil of the spirit, and it tightens down on poor Checkers' legs, making the bones creak. From the water, the head of it rises, a fleshless, massive animal skull with human like hair draped down and tangled in antlers.
The corps clings to Gunnar's teeth, turning them dark with decay, rotting them before the natural ability to heal begins to counteract the effect. The spirit of slaps a coil onto the sagging dock, splintering through it, leaving algae and darkened wood behind where the mucous touches. Checkers' is liable to need new clothes, the fabric starting to mildew and rot. "Who daressssss?" The sound is low, gurgly, like someone speaking through a mouthful of old water.
"Sure. Just hold it still for like half an hour!" Calls out CHeckers while he's being man..spirit handled. It was not supposed to be this big! His arms flail around, trying to get into his pokets. While he fumbles with a pocket, a small burlap sack falls from his pocket into the water. "Fuck!" He stares intently at the beast, eyes narrowed and as he does he changes. Sort of. It's like pulling a costume over top of himself. His head takes on the appearance of the spirits with an animal skull and stringy hair and he starts to wriggle like a tentacle as the color of his clothes and skin change to match. Taking on the appearance of the spirit while mimicking it. "DO not get in our way!" With a similar low gurgle.
Caroline glances between the tentacle monster and the shipping container Savannah points out, even as two other wolves seem to be tangling with a tentacle already. "Getting it there might be a problem... not sure it would fit either without some gifts being involved..." She peers closer at where the spirit seems to be encountering teeth and fabric. "And judging by how quickly it's trying to rot away the docks and clothes, probably wouldn't hold it long anyways. "As for not spreading it... I don't got a clue. I uhhh..." She blinks as Checkers starts talking funny and even wiggling like the spirit. "I hope that doesn't mean it's already spread."
Liam snarls to himself a bit, and reaching into his jacket, ends up pulling out what looks to be a fairly sharp machete. "Well... Might as well keep it occupied in the mean time... Not much else I cna do, yet," And with that, he moves to shadows again, trying to evade the creature's gaze as it tangles with Gunnar and Checkers, so as to get into position to strike.
There is a nod to Caroline, glance toward the containers and the ships, and then back to the creature. "We would need something that doesn't rust or rot," Savannah comments, more to herself as she seems to be sharing her thoughts outloud. "Something that doesn't oxidize... is likely what we would need to try and contain it in..." Wathing as Checkers changes, starting to look like the spirit, commanding it to not get in our way. She steps forward, "Friend, I would do as he asks," she suggests, "You may not now this, but he's mighty scary in these parts, and well if you care about not existing it be in your best interest to listen to him." Turning on her Cahalith and sweet talking southern charm on the spirit.
Whatever crazy voodoo Checkers is doing gets him a long look right into that one eye socket on the skull. Passing inspection, the thing kind of hucks him 'gently' onto the broken dock. No hands, tossing is what he gets. The head turns towards Checkers again, as if trying to assess his strength, or a weakness. Finding a twin to itself, it weaves in place slightly. "What do you seek?" It gargles, a coil absently striking one of the pillars, leaving a slimy smear of rot behind. It does, however, give wriggling Checkers more space. There's no such thing as an ally, per se, in the realm of spirits. Just a bigger or smaller fish.
Memphis stopped looking and was turned to attack when he saw Checkers doing his thing and getting thrown onto the docks. So instead he moved a bit to get into position should things go south again. Though he appeared to be doing his best to not look like he was ready to attack right now.
OKay so biting isn't -always- the answer to the problem. When he sinks his teeth into the spirit and those very teeth begin rotting away, the black dire wolf backs off. Though it could also be that Checkers is turning into a mirror image of this spirit and that just freaks out the Garmir. The dire wolf steps back, giving them room and watching the fight, "You got this, Crazy." he rumbles in First Tongue. Well there isn't much he can do, so Gunnar runs back over to Caroline to ask in First Tongue, "What do you need me to do?" The Ithaeur are in charge tonight, fo sho. He is just happy his teeth are regenerating, because those nightmares of losing all of your teeth are bad enough JUST as nightmares.
Out along the docks, a wolf comes sniffing along. It keeps to the shadows, loping along on soft-sounded paws. He sniffs his way along, ears turning as it tracks sound, following interesting trails. Finally, happening across a noteworthy stretch of docks, the wolf appears to scrutinize the interaction between the spirit and the rest here - skirmishing, it looks like, testing, but not presently in open combat. He lopes closer, quietly, for a closer look before committing to any particular action.
Checkers rolls onto his back and lets out a heavy breath. Ow. He ambles up to his feet and goes right back to wriggling to keep up the charade of being a twin to the spirit. His hands go into his pockets and he pulls out a stone that he starts to inscribe runes and circles into the dock. Barely visible but it should work well enough. "What do I seek?" He gurgles back the question while he works. Delaying in the hopes he can get it done in time. "The same thing you do. Power. Food. To spread." He nos his head towards the other wolves. "I propose a bargain. Temporary alliance. For the food..." He lets out a gurgling laugh as his head swings slowly over to look at the Uratha. All the while, continuing on the symbols while concentrating on the rite, trying to Banish the spirit.
Caroline has a jar and... not a whole lot of options at the moment, considering Savannah and Checkers both seem quite competent on the talking front, and so she pokes open the lid of the jar as if checking to see if there might be any helpful occult odds and ends in it but gives a disappointed sigh when she finds it empty. As for the attempt at the rite, she gives a nod as she watches. "The gurgling laugh might just really sell it."
Liam's not quite sure what the Ithaeur with the pimp-coat is trying to accomplish, but he's fine waiting to see if it works. Biding his time, as he lurks in the shadows, just out of spirit's line of sight. Perhaps if things go well, he won't even need to get his own hands dirty.
Food. Power. Spreading decay across everything that it can. Such simple needs. The spirit coils it's length, almost seeming content, but somehow seeming wary. One of the wolves bit it, after all. It will take some time to recoup the essence it will use to repair it's corpus. The ritual hits a peak and the serpentine spirit begins to writhe, slashing the water into a froth, leaving behind that rotting mucous on everything it touches as it's forced from the physical back to where it belongs.
The jet wolf comes to a stop as it watches the spirit, banished back across the Gauntlet. The wolf sits then, tongue lolling out slightly, expression amused. It chuffs and yips in the First Tongue. <>