The group was in bad shape. The Azlu had taken a big hit, but the pack was nearly crippled. Scott was riddled with bullets with a punctured lung. Aleister had not yet begun the Rite of Dormancy, but he was badly shot up himself. Jeremy was relatively unscathed, while Bentley and Walt were back up to speed after a short retreat covered by a curtain of airborne poison. Their protective equipment was damaged. They needed a new plan.
Walt recommended splitting up and using distraction to keep the Azlu from pinning down Aleister while he performed the Rite. Walt would accompany him and watch his back while the others drew the Azlu away from the center of the Locus. Bentley used some of the larger husks as booby traps, filling them with acid stored in plastic gloves and stun grenades with string attached to their pins. A combination of epithets and bravado drew many of the Azlu into a gauntlet of hazards that decimated their numbers.
Aleister began the Rite, navigating closer to the heart of the Locus and its Touchstone. Walt stayed in front, taking a full clip to the chest from one of the Azlu. Using the satellite radio link, the rest of the pack heard everything. Aleister maintained a position of stealth and continued the Rite while the rest of the pack flooded in to take down the Azlu. Walt rallied and took out the one who shot him, while the others cleared out the remainder with a hose full of acid and their now superior numbers. Upon completion of the Rite of Dormancy, they had taken a huge draw of essence from the Locus and slaughtered nearly forty Azlu.
Mega cut into their radio communications to tell them that Elder Wolf had killed Peter. The Leaning Fortress had distracted Elder Wolf by catching him in a bear trap and dragging it behind a truck. Unfortunately, Peter was in the driver’s seat and had suffered the consequences. Kathy called to tell them that the Totem Purity-of-True-Fury was in danger of killing her pack. They had lured the Totem into their territory and cast the Rite of the Sacred Hunt upon it, then Bête had taken a hit from Elder Wolf while drawing him into the trap set by the Leaning Fortress.
Walt insisted that they go to the aid of Zathu Dulesh’na and deal with Purity-of-True-Fury. Though the pack as a whole wanted to put Elder Wolf down, they were not confident that they could take him in their current state. Also, Walt had made plans with Bright-Eyes to deal with the rival Totem and save Aleister being sacrificed to it as tribute. When they arrived in the vicinity of the spirit, Bright-Eyes called down a group of crow spirits called the Mountain Morrigan and held a brief congress with them. Walt asked Aleister to cut out one of his eyes—which he gladly obliged to do—and fed the eyeball to Bright-Eyes. When they had sight of the rival Totem, Aleister lined up a shot while Bright-Eyes and his spiritual murder set upon it to steal its essence away. Bright-Eyes discorporated himself and Aleister took the shot, obliterating the spirit Purity-of-True-Fury forevermore.
The local packs were gathering together to lay Peter to rest. Along the way, Jeremy used his police status to get close to the scene of the accident where Elder Wolf had destroyed the truck Peter was driving. He collected a blood sample from Elder Wolf that he gave to Aleister, who used the Rite of Shared Scent to give the blood scent to the rest of the pack. The trail ended at the nearest Locus, showing that Elder Wolf had retreated into the Shadow.
At the chosen site of Peter’s burial, Aleister was given the lead on the funeral rites. Everyone said their piece regarding Peter, then Three-Talons used a Gift to shift the earth of the grave. They all moved on to the bar for a proper wake. Walt had Aleister pluck out his other eye to solidify the power bond to their Totem. It was now nearly dawn, but they shut down the establishment for another full day and night to properly mourn. Mega, feeling ashamed and isolated from her pack, turned to Jeremy for comfort. He succumbed to sin and accepted her advances. The following day, a newly empowered Bright-Eyes appeared with a Lune that presented Local-Trade and its offer to teach the pack members the Gift Sand in the Eyes in tribute to their Honor renown and strides against Elder Wolf. The details of its willingness in this regard were left somewhat vague for the moment.