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Author Topic: Clarion Quietus (IC) Part 1  (Read 297736 times)
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Ilona Ebonblade
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« Reply #950 on: February 09, 2012, 09:58:55 PM »

Siobahn looked over at Amethyst and fell in behind the old woman, her body and mind tense. "Seems like life is a running and fighting now.", she smiles, "And the few brief moments in between that make it possible to deal with the rest"
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« Reply #951 on: February 09, 2012, 10:03:23 PM »

Though not wholly certain how the gesture will be taken, Amethyst barely hesitated before reaching out and attempting to deliver a one-armed squeeze to her travelling companion.

"We'll come through it", she asserted, with quiet but sincere optimism - before cracking an impish smile.  "And we might even find out what that book is, and what all this is really about!"
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« Reply #952 on: February 10, 2012, 01:04:57 PM »

Finding themselves in a tiny bedroom, Grandmother seated them on the bed, her demeanor becoming much more serious.

"I know there were things not said earlier because of the number of ears in the room. I need to know everything. What did he give you, what did he say, what did he tell you to do? Tell me."
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« Reply #953 on: February 10, 2012, 01:55:25 PM »

Amethyst took a deep breath, then offered Siobhan a somewhat nervously encouraging smile.

"I might as well go first, I suppose.  I got just the one direct gift, and it's... intangible, for the most part.  A symbol, which I could trace for you.  He named it as Hope, but warned against sharing it without caution.  The more that know it - and the more that know it in a given area, the more attention it will draw.  But I think that I can feel it with me.  It does seem to have lodged, as it were...."
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« Reply #954 on: February 10, 2012, 02:11:02 PM »

The stared for a long moment, her face impassive while she decided what to say.

"I know what you speak of. He gave you that, did he. Interesting. A bit premature, so I say, but understandable. Changes my options considerably."

Shaking her head in thought, she pursed her lips. "Go on."
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« Reply #955 on: February 20, 2012, 09:42:10 PM »

Outside, Wendle futzed with the wagon, checking bolts and ties and generally fretting. Inside the wagon the three cloaked figures sat together. They had remained outside and declined food brought to them, much to Grandmother's consternation.

Eirik drew water from the well, joined by Dorin who was still tired but felt considerably better now that he had eaten.

Ivy found herself staring at people and objects, trying to see the swirls in everything. So far she was thwarted. What that meant she did not know, which was perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the experience.

Amethyst and Siobhan were still in the back helping Grandmother. For now, it seemed the rest of them were being left to their own devices.
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« Reply #956 on: February 23, 2012, 08:20:38 PM »

"It only seems to have lodged with me", Amethyst continued, somewhat diffidently.  "Siobhan doesn't appear to have retained it in the same way.  But I think that I could reproduce it whenever I wanted.  He did caution against doing so, however.  It... certainly feels as if it's inimical to the Shadow.  And I can at least half-believe his warning that people who know what they're looking for can detect it within someone's mind."

Looking to Siobhan in hope of help from that quarter, she offers a slight smile.  "Otherwise... stones, which we can boil in water to provide food.  Siobhan's coat, he says is made of dragon-skin.  A blade he gave her, though she appears now to be able to conjure her own out of thin air.  And the book.  Oh - and a ring for her, to identify her to you."

"That, however", she added, pursing her lips, "he recommended we avoid using as a symbol at all openly.  Your warning about Zane was accurate - but there seems to be something strange happening there.  He turned on Grandfather, but apparently not fully.  Grandfather said that he wouldn't have survived at all if Zane had shared all he knew.  Which makes me wonder if he's under compulsion rather than a willing traitor, and is doing what he can to sabotage the Shadow's efforts... or, more bleakly, if he's simply saving up some reserves for future use.  But I'd prefer not to think that, I confess."
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 10:51:18 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #957 on: February 23, 2012, 10:56:57 PM »

Grandmother nodded, taking everything in stride, even the mention of a dragon-skin coat. She pursed her lips at the discussion of her former colleague.

"Zane was always a bit weaker of heart than I was comfortable with, but he is very, very intelligent. Whatever his motives are, I am sure they are complex. Grandfather was always the strongest of will among us. Myself, I was what they refereed to as "crafty". Zane was a planner. That's what has me so concerned."

Sighing, she rubbed her temples for a moment.

"Show me this book."
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« Reply #958 on: March 02, 2012, 12:35:59 AM »

Siobhan handed the book over wordlessly. She knew it was important somehow, but could not imagine why it would be so important to these Keepers.

Grandmother looked it over and opened a few jars. Wiping the contents on the book she tried to remove the tarnish and stains. It was a slow process. "Who binds books with leather and silver, honestly. Terrible idea."

Slowly, the silver edges gave way, still blackened but now their shape could be made out. Suddenly grandmother's expression changed to surprise and concern. Scrubbing a little less gently, she shook her head.

"Amee," she said, using a childhood nickname for Amethyst, "Look here. My eyes aren't what they used to be. What can you make out on this corner binding?"
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« Reply #959 on: March 02, 2012, 06:54:41 AM »

Leaning forward, Amethyst peered at the decoration in question - then shot Grandmother a surprised look, before leaning still closer and peering more intently.

"It looks very much like Hope, to me", she murmured.  "Very much like it indeed.  Which suggests to me that the tarnishing might be quite deliberate. He said that such things could draw attention.  When masked and illegible, they might well be... muted, at the least."

Lifting her gaze to Grandmother, she offered a rueful smile.  "Should we clean off the others and risk opening it?"
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« Reply #960 on: March 02, 2012, 02:46:22 PM »

"I don't know. I thought it was his symbol. Don't worry about that silly warning so much. He was always paranoid because he's simply terrible at keeping out of sight and unnoticed. Those symbols have power, but they have to be completely intact and drawn by someone who understands them in order to convey their message. Somehow i doubt a tarnished engraving on an old book is going to send the darkness flooding towards us."

As she spoke she scrubbed away the other corners. "Yes. Yes, it looks like they are all here. What in the world is this?"

Amethyst could make out other symbols, but they were small and obscured. Grandmother was right. There was none of the instinctive understanding that she had experienced when Grandfather had drawn his symbol for Hope. What the other markings on the book meant she did not know.
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« Reply #961 on: March 02, 2012, 04:32:50 PM »

Amethyst cleared her throat, then chuckled ruefully.  "Either a book containing the full details of the symbols, or a tome relating to the topic they all cover?", she suggested, before rather hopefully adding a further query.

"Do you think that you'll be able to open it?"
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« Reply #962 on: March 02, 2012, 05:19:28 PM »

"Me? No. I can clear most of the corrosion, but I have never been much of a lockbreaker. If you wish to open it, you'll need to find someone else to pick the lock. I am quite curious about what it is though. Grandfather," she said with a hint of mockery, as if she found the name amusing, "was never one to keep secrets."

She handed the book back. "But, if the symbols somehow seal it, or are related to it, then you'll need to know more of them. That was obviously his intention in passing his to you, so regardless of what I think on the matter, I will do the same."

Leading the pair out into the yard, she asked Siobhan, "Light the lantern for me, will you dear?"

Without really thinking baout it much, Siobhan simply willed the fire to light. Grandmother smiled and nodded to herself.

Picking up a broom she turned it over and used the handle to draw in the dirt. A pair of curving lines, mirrors of each other, formed a frame that looked something like a flower bud. Within it two straight lines were drawn running vertically, parallel to each other. Curving lines traveled out from it, or perhaps bracketing it. It was hard to say. The two women were filled with a sense of absoluteness when they looked at it. This was something less abstract than the image Grandfather had shown them, but at the same time more difficult to explain.

Siobhan could not fully understand what she was feeling or why. This was simply beyond her, and it was unsettling. Whatever these Keepers were protecting, it was strange.

Amethyst on the other hand, was riveted. She found that she could feel where grandmother's broom was going to go next. She could see the image unfolding in her mind before it had been finished. Somehow she simply knew this language. As soon as it was finished meaning sprang to her mind and again the symbol seared it's way into her mind.
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« Reply #963 on: March 02, 2012, 06:02:20 PM »

Eyes wide, with both curiosity and delight, Amethyst was utterly rapt, wholly caught up in the simple yet potent process of the drawing of this symbol.

When Grandmother finished, Amethyst let out a half-suppressed little giggle, gently shaking her head.

"Truth", she breathed.
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« Reply #964 on: March 02, 2012, 06:32:11 PM »

Grandmother looked at her and smiled. "Now just how did you know that?"
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 08:08:56 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #965 on: March 02, 2012, 06:45:54 PM »

Chuckling softly, Amethyst lifted a brow - then tapped lightly at her temple.  "It's lodged in here now.  Along with Hope.  I'm confident that I could reproduce it."

Cocking her head, she offered Grandmother a curious and rather amused look.  "You found using the name 'Grandfather' somewhat funny.  What relation is he to you, if it's not too impertinent to ask?"
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« Reply #966 on: March 02, 2012, 08:12:16 PM »

"Oh no, not at all. He was a... colleague. It would have been nice to have been more," she mused, "but his stogy ideas of duty always kept those hopes at bay. Grandfather is quite an amusing name for someone who never wanted children."

Grandmother gave Amethyst a mirror of her own look. "You're dodging the question. How did you know what this symbol meant?"
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« Reply #967 on: March 02, 2012, 08:24:32 PM »

Amethyst giggled happily at Grandmother's confession, but bit her lip and offered her a wide-eyed look upon being pressed for a further answer herself.

"You've told me off in the past for sounding smug", she pointed out with a wry smile.  "But... I... it was as if I could feel where the next stroke was going to be.  The symbols... the language just feels as if it makes sense to me, in a truly fundamental manner.  Though I only actually understood what it was once the symbol was complete."
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« Reply #968 on: March 02, 2012, 08:43:29 PM »

Grandmother nodded and paused as if considering something important before speaking. "I never told you where you came from. You've known for years that I was not really your grandmother. When you asked what happened to your parents, I told you that I didn't know. That you were brought to me by a friend. That was the truth, but there was more to it. You were brought to me by Zane. He said there was something special about you but didn't explain. Only that you were the one he'd been looking for. In all the years I raised you I never had any idea what he might have meant until now."

She looked down at the symbol on the ground. "This language is not supposed to come naturally to anyone. It took me a very long time to master writing it, and even longer to fully grasp it's meaning. It is both utterly simple, and overwhelmingly complex. The fact that you give it name so effortlessly is truly remarkable."
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« Reply #969 on: March 02, 2012, 09:05:27 PM »

"Grandfather didn't seem surprised with me fixing Hope in my mind", Amethyst mused, brow furrowing in thought as she pensively cocked her head.

"Zane brought me?  That's... a rather unsettling thought in the present situation.  Is this language the core lore of the Keepers?  The major secret, that the powers of Shadow want access to?"
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« Reply #970 on: March 03, 2012, 01:57:35 AM »

"No. It is distantly related, but of relatively minor significance." Grandmother shook her head and sighed. "It is very interesting that you seem able to grasp it so easily though. I do not think it is coincidental that you possess such unique gift, as does Siobhan. I do not know the significance of it, but it seems Grandfather had some idea. Seems like the old coot was better at keeping secrets than I thought."
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« Reply #971 on: March 03, 2012, 05:56:53 AM »

Amethyst sucked her lower lip between her teeth, exhaling slowly through her nose.  "Mmmmm.  Seems as if I have an intriguingly mysterious past rather than simply an unknown one", she observed with a hint of a smile.  "So... do you think that we should try to get this book open?"
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« Reply #972 on: March 03, 2012, 12:01:50 PM »

"I have no idea." Grandmother said with a grin. "Though I admit my curiosity is piqued. The book was entrusted to Siobhan. I think we should leave it up to her."
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« Reply #973 on: March 04, 2012, 03:45:41 AM »

Siobahn thought hard.

The chaos that had become her life was now more of a series of questions than anything else and right now, she desperately needed answers.

"If there's any possibility of opening it, I want to try."
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« Reply #974 on: March 04, 2012, 07:11:24 AM »

Amethyst nodded warmly, resting a hand on Siobhan's shoulder.  "I'll stand by that.  And not simply because I want to see inside the book.  If we can resolve any portion of the mysteries of either of our pasts...."
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