Trouble in Revelstoke

This was originally written for season 3 but since House Felix and Incendium left the fealty of House Lapin, this story is brought forward and edited, if you want to read the original, read it Here
 
Trigger Warning: Violence and animal violence
 

March 01 2028 - Day 2679

As James returns from his Redsmiths and comes back into The Warren, he is spotted by Sable.   Sable: Ah, Captain, there you are. I know this is out of the ordinary but I need to send you to Revelstoke.
Sable: They are having issues with Mountain lions. I need you to go over there and bolster their numbers. And to sort out any security issues while you are there.
James: [James gets closer to Sable and lowers his voice]Are you not worried, Sable, you did have an assassination attempt on your life!
Sable: James we can’t live life in fear of the what-ifs. [James nods]
James: So, Revelstoke, I take it, I have to get my own way there?
Sable: Sadly, I think it will be good for you not to teleport there, it might spook them, so yes, you’re going to have to get your own way there.
  James salutes Sable, and is dismissed. James goes into the library for a book on Mountain lions. James finds a book and withdraws it, in his name. He goes up to his Owsla quarters and packs an extra uniform with anything else he thinks he needs, cleaning some of the equipment since they haven't been used for almost half a decade.   After doing this he walks out the door of The Warren and sees a man delivering messages and attracts his attention.   James: Are you going to Revelstoke while delivering those messages?
Messenger:Yes, why do you ask?
James: I have been posted over there, just wondering if you take human cargo.
Messenger: I do, sometimes, but it won’t be pleasant, this is not a horse and cart sort of deal.
James: That’s fine, I was knocked out and pushed off that bridge [James points to the bridge] and woke up in Japan, and many other things [James looks down for a moment] so it can’t be that much worse!
Messenger: It won't be a pleasant ride and we’ll have to camp out halfway through the journey.
  James agrees to the messenger’s terms and that he will see them at the stables. About 15 minutes later, the messenger returns to collect his horse. The messenger goes over to the only black horse kept in the Stables.   Messenger: [Addressing James]Right, get on we have until dusk to make it as far as we can.
  James nods and puts his pack on his back and mounts the horse who neighs. The messenger after packing away messages for their ongoing journey mounts the same horse, holds the reins, and guides the horse out of the stables onto the streets north from Kelowna to Vernon. There is no wilderness between them.   Once they leave Vernon for the wildernesses of Lapin’s Territory they fall from a walk to a canter following the path northeast to Revelstoke. James enjoys how the vibrations of the horse's gait shakes him.   They get to within 30 kilometres of Revelstoke, as the Messenger tilts his head backwards so James can hear.   Messenger: [shouting]We are going to camp soon, it’s getting dark.
Messenger: [shouting] What do you want to do, make the fire or hunt or set up camp?
James: [shouting in reply]I’ll do the setting up and hunting.
Messenger: [shouting]Very well, it’s good to have a travelling companion that wants to help!
  They find a clearing suitable for camping and James ties up the horse at a safe but watchable distance. The messenger waters the horse while James sets up camp making a cooking area and sleeping spot for the pair. About 15 minutes later he finished with the camp arrangements. He rolls up his right sleeve to show the underside of his arm and reveals that he has four runes there.   Messenger: Ah I see you’re a high rank of House Lapin and can change ….
James: into a tiger [he interupts], the ritual went a little wrong. I didn’t want you to be startled when I turn into a tiger and start hunting.
  The messenger nods his understanding. James nods back. James lunges forward falling on all fours and his upper and lower legs fuse, his knees turn into a tiger’s paws. His human features recede and are replaced by a tiger’s, as he appears to put on a lot of weight to look like a healthy male tiger at 300lbs his fur comes out as his clothes and weapons hide.   Tiger-James: and I can speak to you in this form. [the messenger doesn’t look too scared but nods in recognition of what he just saw] If you don’t mind, you look cold and I can smell a bear.
  James as a tiger roars and bounds in the distance with the sound of leaves rustling, towards a bear that will be his prey.   Sometime later the messenger has lit the campfire and is reading a small pamphlet book. Around 30 mins after this James in human form returns with a mountain bear pelt and a deer. The deer’s throat has a predator’s bite in it. James reassures the messenger that it is his tiger bite and nothing else.   James offers to dress the carcass for spit roasting, the messenger says they will do it and James lets him. While the deer is being skinned and gutted James tends to the bear pelt and makes it more appealing to his human self and his travelling companion. He sits by the fire and wraps the pelt around him and the messenger. The Messenger nods in thanks. James opens his pack and sets up the spit that he packed earlier.   Sometime later they have a deer spit roasting. As James has forgotten some sauces, the deer will be plain but will retain some of the smokiness of the fire. After more time they eat and James prepares a bag for bears, in which he puts his smokey clothes in a bag with the tightly wrapped rations of what was left of the deer. James ties the open ends of the bag with a rope and goes off into the forest to tie it off. When he comes back he is in tiger form.   Tiger-James: I felt I took a long time getting there and didn’t want to keep you waiting
Tiger-James: Are we ready for bed?
Messenger: You’re not staying like that are you?
  As if on cue James returns to human form in a standing stance.   James: Of course not, I only do that on special occasions
  James winks.   James gets the bear pelt and rolls it out to be like a rug and sleeping surface and gets a bedroll and rolls that out on the bear pelt.   James: I will take the first watch. I will turn into a tiger if I need to get some rest.
 

March 02 2028 - Day 2680

They take turns taking watch until the morning. James wakes up first and shakes the messenger awake. Since James wore his day clothes throughout the night he is more ready. He goes over to the horse and untethers it and brings it to the other; it seems unnaturally calm around James. As the messenger is now tending to the horse James packs away the camp in his pack and untethers the bag of clothes and rations. James divides the rations in half and sets the bear pelt on the back of the horse.   As the horse walks down the road continuing on their journey they reach the edges of Revelstoke.   Messenger: I have to leave you here as we are going different ways, travel well.
  James dismounts the horse with his pack on his back but leaves the pelt and bids farewell to the messenger. As they make their separate ways James walks forward into Revelstoke.   He is greeted by the barrel of rifles as the citizens see James. Don’t turn into a tiger James, that won’t help your situation. James thinks to himself.   Leader: Who are you and what are you doing here?
James: [James puts his hands up defensively]James Woodwright, Captain of The Owsla, Sable posted here to help your mountain lion problem.
Leader: [admonishingly] But aren’t you meant to be by her side?
James: I am but, Sable does ask me to go to places to sort things out for security reasons.
James: [wonderment]I wonder why though I’d rather be by her side.
  James looks around among the crowd pointing rifles at him. He could see they were a bunch of foresters, engineers and fishermen so they had made themselves into a militia to defend themselves. James continued to look around the small crowd of people to see he was right, these people weren’t officially trained to fight he didn’t see anyone he recognised from the wars either that may help his situation. Some of them had bags under their eyes, from being tired, protecting their town.   Man: We are few in number, our numbers are being dwindled every day we need help.
James: [compassionate]Hey, that’s why I am here perhaps we could go inside and discuss, how I can help, some solutions and your situation.
  James is jabbed in the back with a rifle to encourage him to walk.   Leader: We don’t have many strangers in these parts, you will be watched until we trust you, I’m Ivan by the way, Ivan Russell.
James: That’s understandable and hello Ivan.[as James gets jabbed again with the riffle and exhales in pain]
  They make their way to a building that looks to be the community centre. They go through to a room that would look to be a place where fares would be held inside for selling items but instead, James saw rows and rows of injured people, the smell of blood and those who were unwashed filled James’s nostrils as he tried to keep his breakfast in his stomach and the sounds of those in pain he couldn’t bear it as he tried to block out the moans.   They walked through into a room of no more than 7 meters by 5 and took a seat, Ivan, the leader of the group took a scroll of paper and rolled it out in front of James on a table as James stood to take a better look at the map that was being unrolled in front of him.   A topological map of Revelstoke with its mountains and forested areas with the Columbia River going to the west of it. Ivan points to various points on the map.   Ivan: We have Lion attacks in these areas. [he points to a spot near the river where boats would dock.
  James brings out a plain paged notebook and a pencil and draws a rough map of the area and puts dots of where there have been lion attacks.   As soon as they leave the building the same way they came, they are about to show him a sleeping area where James can set up camp in a building that looks like it would have been a convenience store.   Before reaching the converted store the group heard a warning bell. James drops the pack on his back on the floor and pulls out Tiger, his Damascus steel longsword, ready to fight. James follows the others to where the commotion is.   When they get there they see three mountain lions attacking one person. James runs ahead of the members with riffles and starts attacking the lions to James’s astonishment they behave as a mountain lion would every time he strikes one of the lions a gash opens up and the lion’s red pulsating blood pours out. What is not normal is how the lion keeps on fighting. It takes a good strike in its head to kill it.   After the fight in which James kills one of the lions, James walks back to where he left his pack and rummages in his bag and pulls out the book about mountain lions. James who has not sheathed his sword is now picked up to his feet uncomfortably and led into the converted store.   Ivan: [stern]Your quarters are here, you will have Simon here to look over you.
  Ivan jabs a thumb behind him towards a blonde-haired blue-eyed person of around 20.   James puts his pack to the left of two low down military beds and lies down to read the book on mountain lions once Ivan has left James shakes hands with Simon. Sometime later James is presented with a lunch of bread and cheese.   Simon: [kindly]Here's your lunch. You can either have it here or have it outside this store either way I have to be with you.
  James gets up and walks out of the store with the book Simon follows him as they sit on the floor outside they talk.   James: You know what Simon?
Simon: No?
James: Those lions aren’t natural. They don’t like us ….
Simon: of course they are predators.
  Simon looks to James as he says something a child would say. Pulls out a book and reads out loud.   James: Mountain Lions, not pack animals, afraid of humans.
James: Do you see my point/
Simon: I'm starting to.
James: Good. Since I’m your prisoner do you mind showing me the places where people were attacked?
Simon: Your not my prisoner, we don’t trust you that’s all.
  James dismissively and almost sarcastically replies “sure” and Simon takes him to one of the bad areas where the attacks happened: dried blood remains. James dabs his hand on the dried blood and looks at his hand he has a light dusting of dark brown dust of blood on his hands as he disgustingly tastes the dust and Simon recoils in disgust.   James: It’s not human that’s for sure, how long was the lion killed?
Simon: About a week. How come you know that, with the blood?
James: That’s something for your commanding officer to find out. Please take me to him.
Simon: Follow me.
  James follows Simon back to the convenience store. Before reaching the end of the road they hear roars and James jumps slightly. Drawing his sword he runs to the sound of lions attacking. James sees that three lions are attacking two civilians. James starts to attack one of the lions misses a few times with his sword but manages to hit the lion’s tail, blood sprays as the lion moves its tail. I know I'm not in tiger form but you look rather tasty. James thinks to himself. This goes on for another 10 minutes and the lions are successfully killed albeit one of the civilians needs to be carried to the room James had been in earlier.   James: [out of breath]Where is Ivan, Simon?
Simon: This way!
  James follows Simon again to a clearing. With a picnic table.   Ivan: Can I help you two?
James: Yes you can, I have some news on the lion front.
James: They aren't natural lions, they are magically controlled.
Ivan: How can that be a thing?
James: I read it in a book!
Ivan: [scornfully]a book! You’re a soldier, not a scholar!
Simon: It’s true sir, he read it out of a book.
  James recites the passage of text to Ivan.   Ivan: So what is your plan
James: Nothing.
Ivan: [scornfully]Nothing!
James: [confrontational]We have two options, we wait and defend ourselves until night and see if anyone has made a campfire. Or second ….
Ivan: The first option sounds better [Ivan interrupts]
James: We wait until it is dark I will wait outside to see if there are any campfires as I suspect our culprits wouldn’t be that far away.
James: Until then we wait.
  Ivan reluctantly agrees with James. James and Simon go back to his quarters while at Revelstoke and lies down and continues to read the book and make notes. Simon is sitting on the edge of a separate military bed sharpening a knife.   After James reads a few more pages he puts the book back in his pack and chews on some jerky he made at the camp.   James: I’m going to take a nap if you hear roars wake me up.
  Simon nods, after a nap of about 10 mins James is shaken awake by Simon who has already pulled out a knife.   Simon: The Lions are attacking.
James: [Tired]Where are they.
Simon: Just look [Simon points a finger outside of where they are]
  There they were two mountain lions trying to get into the store seeing James they looked hungry for a fight. James stands and pulls out his dagger. He gets ready for the fight by arching and waving his arms as he holds the dagger out and is ready to fight.   As the lions are trying to find a way into the store, James helps them by leaving. Once he has, they attack James and he gets in close to stab the lion in its mouth. James is successful and the lion looks like is spitting out its own blood as it fights James as he draws his sword and kills the lions at the assistance of Simon.   Once the lions have been sufficiently hurt to stop being an issue James looks to Simon.   James: What’s the time?
Simon: A little after three.
Simon: [inquizifically]Why?
James: Someone clearly knows I’m here and knows I’m here to help the people of Revelstoke, so they clearly want to take me out of the picture so you will suffer the issue longer.
  James tries to hide his suspicion that Ivan might have something to do with it as he knows where James is but doesn’t have any evidence that supports this so decides to not tell Simon about this. James and Simon walk back to the room of injured people to find Ivan and the map. Since James’ left arm was covered in blood it wasn’t hard to convince Ivan that another Lion attack happened and that another dot needed to be stuck on the map.   James takes a sit.   James: Only another 5 hours to wait until night and we can see where they are.
Ivan: Can you be so sure that they will light a fire?
James: Yes, because they are going to need light to see by. It wouldn’t surprise me.
  James takes a breather before going back through the infirmary of Revelstone and going back to his quarters. Once there he shares some venison jerky with Simon and takes another nap. Not many lion attacks happen during this time, or at least not ones that needed James to help.   James took a longer nap than he wanted and woke to find Simon pushing his shoulder in an attempt to wake him with a steaming bowl of stew. James takes the stew and thanks, Simon and he eats eagerly.   Once James finishes half of the stew he gets up from his bunk and brings the stew with him as they go out of the convenience store, they make their way to a spot at which they can see the mountainside and see if there are any obvious campfires. I better not turn into a tiger yet I need to see if they are out there first and i don’t want to scare these people too much James thinks to himself.   As James thinks this they see a flickering of light that couldn’t be anything else.   James: Simon do you trust me as I need to go to that light and threaten those people if they are involved?
Simon: I trust you enough not to give our secrets to them.
  James nods and they walk closer to the mountainside to get closer to the campsite. James reassures Simon of his intentions and James leaves for the woods.   As he climbs the mountain he hears people.   Camper 1: Who’s that?
Camper 2: I don’t hear anyone.
Camper 3: [slightly annoyed]I don’t know what your hearing
James: I know what I hear, myself walking to your camp. I take you are the idiots that are summoning Mountain Lions to attack Revelstoke?
Camper 2: [Bumbling]We’re not we are just camping
  Some of the others go along with their friends’ story and James decides to show that he bought their lie. He rolls his eyes.   James: [threatening]I tell you what you knock it off and you won’t have to taste Damascus steel.
  The others agree and James leaves.   When James makes it down the side of the mountain Simon spots him.   Simon: I take it you have good news?
James: Nothing yet let’s wait and see. [James says with a hint of exhaustion]
  Simon agrees.  

March 04 2028 - Day 2682

For the next couple of days, everything seems to calm down and the Lion attacks decrease and diminish to nothing. James says he will stay a little longer requesting to be one of the guards to Revelstoke as long as Simon is there of course.  

March 06 2028 - Day 2684

A few days later the Lion attacks return and James suggests that all fighting men are armed and everyone should go in groups for safety. This gets gives Ivan a feeling of indignation, when James sees that he has closed his fists, James explains he is trying to keep people safe and defensible. Ivan reluctantly agrees.  

March 13 2028 - Day 2691

At the next Lion attack, James comes to help others and tests his theory that these are the same Lions as before the lions bleed and don’t seem to be phased by being attacked. James rolls his eyes and turns to Simon.   James: Simon, we need to find Ivan!
Simon: This way!
  James follows Simon to a picnic bench near a river.   Ivan: I see your first plan hasn’t worked
James: I have a second plan!
Ivan: I have my doubts?
  James pulls back his right sleeve showing the scarred runes on the underside of his lower right arm.   James: I can turn into a tiger and like a tiger, I can smell things better so I can see if there is anyone out there camping without a fire going.
Ivan: I don’t believe you.
  James lunges forward and falls on all fours and turns into a tiger.   Tiger-JamesAnd yes I can talk to you like this.
  James as a tiger sniffs the air.   James: I can smell some fires.
James: I can go and check them out if you like?
Ivan: [scared] Please do.
  James, as a tiger runs off in the direction he can smell the fire and calls back “I’m actually a friendly tiger!”. He goes into the woods and sniffs the air again, refinding his trail he hears laughter off in the distance and decides to go stealthy towards the laughter of people so he is not seen.   As James comes to the camp he hears people talking.   Camper 1: You should hear their screams!
Camper 2: Must have been funny.
Camper 3: The best thing I heard.
  James sees that one of them has a symbolic necklace around their neck. James walks up.   Tiger-James[mockingly]You should have heard their screams, it must be funny, the best thing I heard.
  James roars as loud as he can to scare them more. He turns into human form in front of their eyes and draws out tiger, his sword, and kills the leader of the group and takes their necklace.   Camper 2: It was only some fun!
James: Until someone gets hurt and someone tells you to knock it off.
  The other camper exhales almost making an imitation of a horse and James stabs them too.   James: Stop conjuring mountain lions, do I make myself clear!
Camper 3: No it doesn't.
  James turns back into a tiger and pounces on them lying on top of them he faces them and roars loudly in their face and licks them there. He whips their legs with his tail and tries to urinate to be more unpleasant. As this doesn’t work he roars some more in their face.   Tiger-James: [mockingly]You know I’m getting hungry. I could do with some live meat. Oh look, I have some here.   James roars in the person’s face again and then bites them hard in the right hand to cause it to start bleeding. James feels a little warmth as the person wets themselves from the pain.   James roars again.   Tiger-James: You’re boring me, are you going to leave those people alone?
Camper 3: [scared]yes please get off me
Tiger-James: There we go.
  James gets off the man and starts to walk off. The man instead attacks James. As a result, James lunges back on the man in the same position and shows his front left paw and releases a craw and cuts the man on the forehead until the man bleeds then does the same for each cheek, James draws a tiger on the man's cheeks. James roars as loud as he can. The person looks terrified as James clamps his right paw over the man’s mouth and digs the claw of his left paw into the man’s throat.   The smell of blood and iron rings out in the surrounding area as the man shakes his life out of himself as he lies motionless. James in tiger form takes a dump on the man’s chest as disrespectfully as he can and turns back into human form so that he can take the necklace around the man’s neck. And stashes both of them in his pocket.   James walks down the mountainside to Revelstoke. As he does so Ivan sees him.   Ivan: [Confrontational]And?
  James pulls out one of the necklaces of the three campers.   James: There were three of them in the woods and sadly I had to kill them. [James hands over the necklace.
James: I will collect my pack and I will sit by the river, near the railway museum, to ponder what I should do next.   James walks off expecting Simon to follow him.   Instead what happens is that he is allowed to go on his own to collect his pack. Putting this on his back he goes over to the river and sits on a picnic bench looking into the distance. Just then Simon sat next to him.   Simon: What will you do, go back to your duties in The Warren?
James: [James nods]Yes I have to, my task was to help you guys out and nothing else.
  James gets up, so does Simon and they shake hands.   James: It was good to meet you.
  James hugs Simon.   Simon: You too.
  James walks the way he came into Revelstoke a little sad and turns into a tiger. Once a tiger he faces, back towards Revelstoke and roars as loud as he can, That’s for you Simon James thinks as he turns to leave. He runs most of the way back to 30 kilometres out of Vernon and sleeps as a tiger. Upon waking he turns back into a human to eat some breakfast.  

March 14 2028 - Day 2692

As he gets into Vernon, James walks south until he reaches Kelowna and walks to The Warren. James walks through the double doors. He is not noticed and somewhat annoyed by this, James goes to his Quarters and drops off his pack.   As he sits at his desk he looks for a sheet of parchment he looks at the box containing The Brass Gear and smiles. With the sheet of parchment, he folds it into an envelope and puts the second necklace into it, writes a short message inside and seals it with wax and writes “Sable” on the front of it. Seeing that there is no pink smoke coming off the page, James assumes they are not at war and therefore people are busy and have not noticed him. James changes his clothes and takes the envelope containing the necklace downstairs with him.   James leaves his Owsla Quarters and goes into Sable’s Office to see Gwen sitting at the Owsla desk and gives the necklace to Sable.   James: [triampht]Revelstoke won't be having issues with Mountain lions, this envelope is for identifying the group who was terrorising, them.
Sable: That's good to hear James, I will expect to know more in your report.
  Sable smiles and James nods his understanding. Returning to his quarters he adds this Revelstoke report to his to-do list. James gets back to the documentation he was working on.   THE GAME OF TOMES THEME PLAYS
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
 
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.


Cover image: Iron Tome by Misades

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