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TitleWOD Rites of Renown NOVEL
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Total Pages242
Table of Contents
                            Front Cover
Rites of Renown
	Preface
	Throated
	Unwind
	The Lost
	Scar Tissue
	Why Old Wyrm Devours His Tail
	Hairshirt
	The Magadon Job
	Tears on a Tainted Blade
	Straw Death
	That Kind of Kin
	Moonshine
	Rhymes With Food Truck
	A Gryphon, in Glass and Steel
	Tatters of Honor
	Cleanup
	Things Seen
	The Stone is a Mirror Which Works Poorly
	Brian Campbell
	About the Authors
	Kickstarter Backers
Back Cover
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 121

120

So, I hadn’t had a lot of choices. I just sat there in the mud, like a good little Kin,
and waited as Rowan began her magic song and dance.

Being servile didn’t come easy to me. I just wasn’t that kind of Kinfolk. My
mother was a good Kin, popping out twelve of us kids (and suffering a handful of
miscarriages) by the time she was forty. She died in childbirth with the thirteenth —
my youngest brother, Liam — and nothing that the attending theurge did could stop
her from slipping away.

I think she was just tired. Tired of being pregnant. Tired of giving birth. Tired
of Dad and his family swooping in before she was even out of the birthing bed,
and doing their woogie stuff over the babe she’d just produced. Tired of the Garou
absconding with her children as soon as they’d undergone their First Change, and
ignoring the rest of us like the unworthy non-shifting dirt they saw us as. Saw her
as. Treated her like.

I could see it in her eyes, the day Liam was born. She was tired of being the
slot machine that my father’s side of the family kept plunking genetic quarters into,
hoping they’d hit the Garou-baby jackpot. Tired of having no value except as a were-
wolf-making flesh factory. Tired of being Kin.

Just plain tired.

But, what could she do? She was just Kinfolk. Not a shifter. Not Garou. She was
born to her fate, bred for it, trained into it, from the time she was old enough to keep
the secrets and know her place. She had it beat into her, figuratively and literally, by
her mother and her mother’s mother (who had both also been “good Kin”). I don’t
think it ever even occurred to her that there might be another way.

I promised myself, as the theurge pulled the blood-stained sheet over her head
that day, that I was never going to be “that kind of Kinfolk”. And I’m not.

There are those who say I’ve failed Gaia because of it, but they can take a flying
leap. I’ve devoted my life to the cause — just not in the same way my mother did. I
may have refused to marry or mate with the “worthy Garou” that my father picked
out for me, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t helped in my own way. I have worked
my ass off to be everything they could have asked of me and more — everything
but that.

I took the hardest classes in high school; worked in the evenings, and saved
every cent plus applied for every scholarship I could get my hands on, to pay for a
college so far away from home that I’d hoped he’d forget about trying to match me
up with one of the up-and-comers in his sept.

Between classes and work, I taught myself everything else I could imagine
would be possibly useful: tracking, orienteering, veterinary science, wilderness sur-
vival, and, of course, marksmanship. By the time I got my Masters, I could literally

Page 122

121That Kind of Kin

take off from a trailhead and hike into the wilderness, and survive comfortably for a
couple of weeks in almost any climate or environment. And, after I got the job with
the Forestry Service out here in Oregon, that’s pretty much what I did with my spare
time: work, hike, work, shoot, work, and work some more.

Which, long-story-short, is pretty much how I ended up thirty miles from no-
where, crouched down behind a mint-green Forest Service truck, surrounded by
blood and werewolves, and wishing to the high heavens that I’d not answered my
phone that morning.

If I hadn’t — or if I’d been less driven to prove that I was doing my duty by my
family and their cause (just not as a brood mare) — I would be back home with a cup
of coffee, rather than sitting in the mud trying to wipe brains and gore and God only
knows what else off of my hands.

I could have been safe and dry, rather than bruised and bleeding in the middle
of what had been the last battle for some of Gaia’s warriors — and almost for me.

I could have turned my back, and pretended it wasn’t my problem.

But I’m not that kind of Kinfolk, either.

Rowan’s sing-songy chant cut off abruptly, pulling me from my thoughts. For a
second, I thought she was just finished, that time had flown by faster than I expected
it to. Then she slumped to the ground, Crinos form shifting to Homid as she fell. A
rune-carved knife, as long as my arm, protruded from her back. The blade dripped
with an ichor that hissed as it ate away at everything it touched: skin, flesh, the knot-
worked vest that Rowan was so proud of. Even the mud boiled where the oily-black
tar drip-dropped to the ground.

Everything froze for a second — one of those heartbeats of stillness where your
muscles don’t obey your mind as it screams to run, run, run — and then everything
exploded into movement.

“Get the Kin out of here!” Rowan ordered over her shoulder.

The Kin. Not Bree. Not Brianna. Not even “her”. I’d known Rowan for years,
ever since I’d come to Oregon, and when push came to shove, I was still nothing
more than “the Kin” in her eyes. Old habits die hard. I started to protest at being
labeled like an item: the chair, the table, the Kin, but my mouth snapped shut at the
sight of the black-red bubbles of tainted blood on her lips.

I lurched to my feet, pulling my pistol and biting back a scream as I forced
weight onto my injured leg.

Sorrow started to move towards me, spurred by the urgency in Rowan’s voice,
but then caught sight of the weapon stuck in his packmate’s back, and took several
giant-werewolf-sized steps towards her. She barked commands at him, ordering him

Page 241

Rites of Renown: When WIll You Rage II240

Character Appearance

Ian “Talks Past” Densford (Cleanup)
Character Mentions

Amanda-Laughs-Menacingly (Hairshirt)
Lady Morgaine Lascelles “Burns-through-the-rain” (Things Seen)
Kamaria Thimba, “Laughter-Curses-the-Darkness” -- “Kammy” (Scar Tissue)
Killian Deathfollows (A Gryphon, in Glass and Steel)
Rowan Mcgregor (That Kind of Kin)
Tom Matzke (Things Seen)
Travels-with-the-Wind (Straw Death)
Uriah “Walks Softly” Izeksen (Tears on a Tainted Blade)
Vykos Kincaid (Tatters of Honors)

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