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Author Topic: Clarion Quietus (IC) Part 1  (Read 343240 times)
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Exile
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« Reply #225 on: October 12, 2010, 06:02:17 AM »

"I suspect that the elders who made the decisions felt that they had been hunted by our kind for too many years to take any risks", Amethyst ventures, tone rueful - though she offers her companions a wry smile.

"What we see here is the result of too many separate hunts, too many separate woes, and too much mistrust.  Everyone is justified in being afraid - but it is only through collaboration that we are ever likely to achieve more than simply survial."
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neverfox
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« Reply #226 on: October 12, 2010, 10:52:32 AM »

"I'm sorry...Siobhan, right? I've offended you. But please, if you want to kill the person who drugged you, you will have to start trekking back through the moor.

"I'm not a very good diplomat, obviously, but even I know that what was done is not a promising way to gain trust. And it's wrong. I could only hope to help you through the hours of disorientation the best I could. My continued hope is that you will gain some restitution and we can learn to do things differently.

"Amethyst, you are exactly right. If we subordinate other people to our own purposes, treating them as prey or objects of manipulation rather than as equal partners to be dealt with through persuasion, we are choosing a life that is inferior by our own standards. Thus we are obligated to choose peaceful relations whenever peaceful relations are available; we are obligated not to impose our will on other people."


Ivy could feel herself getting worked up. "I'm rambling. Like I said, I'm not very good at this. I speak my mind too often."
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 11:05:06 AM by neverfox » Logged

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« Reply #227 on: October 12, 2010, 11:14:56 AM »

"Ivy, ever the idealist. Perhaps in a better world such notions would be viable, but in this one we have not the luxury." A rich alto voice says from behind them. "Our people are slaves or in hiding simply because our stature makes us easy to overpower by those who feel that their lives would not be made inferior by exercising their will over others. And thus, our own willingness to do the same becomes our only recourse short of running and hiding."

A middle aged halfling woman steps into view. She is even shorter than most halflings and stoutly proportioned. Rounder of face, broader of shoulder, fuller of bosom. Save for her dusky skin, she could nearly pass as an extremely short gnome. She wears bleached and worn off-white leathers and carries a wickedly forward-curved knife on her belt made from some kind of animal claw. Her black hair is pushed back and cut at her jaw line. She is attractive, and could even be called beautiful if not for the strange scale-like pattern around her eyes, cheeks and forehead.

'We could not risk entry into our camp without truly knowing your heart." Her accent is proper, old-sounding and strangely formal. She sits carefully and gracefully next to Ivy giving her a warm smile.

"The milk of the wogren has a nauseating effect on those who carry the taint of the Dark One. When revealed, they often become violent. The milk of the poppy prevents that, and makes disposing of them far easier. When visitors react as you both did, it simply means we have to wait and apologize. An added benefit of this method is the cloud the drug casts over the memory of the imbibers. Leading you both blindfolded through the fens to bring you here would have been near impossible. Drugged, you can still keep your footing and be pointed in the right direction and when you arrive we have little fear that you would be able to find your way here in the future."

She looks closely at the two women as she talks, as if peeling back layers. She looks them up and down, focusing on the details of them before finally bringing her gaze to meet theirs. Her eyes are a pale honey-brown and her pupils are rectangular, like a goat's.

"I am Constance. Why do the spirits tell me I should risk my tribe to help you?"
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:51:49 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged

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neverfox
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« Reply #228 on: October 12, 2010, 01:58:42 PM »

I'm no pacifist! Explain to me how these women attacked you and I'll back your willingness to do the same!

Ivy wanted to scream it out loud. She also knew she should pick her battles. Constance had a way of disarming people, literally and figuratively. So Ivy resigned herself to listening to what the two tall souls would say. She had not asked many questions. She was suddenly really curious about what all of this meant for her future.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 07:21:17 PM by neverfox » Logged
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« Reply #229 on: October 13, 2010, 01:49:26 AM »

My name is Siobhan. Your people named me Ashchild. Twice you have found me in fire. Grandfather sent us to find you, though I wonder now if he was mistaken Despite the bitterness in her voice Siobahn displays a notable degree of respect for the halfling woman.
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« Reply #230 on: October 13, 2010, 02:26:59 AM »

The halfling matron's eyebrows raise. "You are the Ashchild? You have grown so tall since I last saw you. It was my grandson, Nefario, who found you as a youth. How is Grandfather?"
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« Reply #231 on: October 13, 2010, 07:40:01 AM »

Amethyst allows herself to look quite openly impressed at the exchange between Siobhan and Constance.

"I am glad that we have passed your test, and that one of us is known to you", she ventures cautiously, though she adds a smile.

"As for why the spirits suggest that you should help us?  We... might be able to offer something that could be of assistance, though it is... also potentially a risk.  As are most good things in these latter days of the world, I fear.  But there is... a form of knowledge that Grandfather gave us that might be of help should you wish to receive it, and be willing to accept the risk of it drawing notice to itself."
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« Reply #232 on: October 16, 2010, 02:23:12 AM »

"He is...well, or at least as well as anyone who was cruxified and walked away from it can be."
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« Reply #233 on: October 16, 2010, 09:54:58 AM »

Constance's eyebrows raise. "That one always did seem more than he let on. I have heard news of a plains fire in that area. With this newest fire on the eastern bank as well, I cannot say I am surprised to see you. You have always drawn fire to you, even when you were a child."

Constance's strange eyes narrow in thought.

"What do you need of the Ghost Fang tribe?"
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:54:16 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #234 on: October 16, 2010, 10:05:24 AM »

Amethyst looks to Siobhan - both out of curiosity regarding her apparently widely-known and long-standing association with fire, and because she was the one directly charged by Grandfather with seeking out the halflings.
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« Reply #235 on: October 16, 2010, 04:30:00 PM »

Siobhan returns Amethyst's look with a self conscious shrug, "Fire's  comforting to me, it makes me feel safe.

Looking to Constance she thinks for a moment. "We come from the mountain and seek the star."
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« Reply #236 on: October 16, 2010, 05:50:49 PM »

Again Constance's eyes widen. "That old bastard. I knew it would happen sooner or later." she says to herself. "Right. We have little time to waste then. You have this day to rest. Tonight you will be traveling. Ivy, you will guide them back to Foggy. Tell him I'm calling in that favor. These two need to be taken to the river's heart, and from there, wherever they need next go. Stay with them until they are safe.

She sighs and turns to Ivy. "I am sure you have heard stories of the Ashchild. Nefario rescued her from the fires of a terrible purge of freeriders." Turning back to Siobahn, she continues, looking at the young sarcosan woman with surprising love. "We cared for her until she was too large to keep safe. She endangered the tribe, and would continue to do so. I had no choice but to order her turned away. I had her taken to the one human I knew I could trust. You see, he was the one who had saved me as a child. When I left to rejoin my family, I told him I would someday repay the debt. He said there were no debts, only choices. I told him that was like saying there were no mountains, only earth."
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« Reply #237 on: October 16, 2010, 08:11:41 PM »

Amethyst cocks her head, eyes narrowing as she considers not only the old halfling and her words, but some of the implications of them - especially for Grandfather's apparent peer, Grandmother.

"For those who strive to behave as they should, there can often seem to be only one course of action", she says gently.  "Others of... differentcharacter would see more options.  We are grateful for any aid that you can provide.  And I repeat my offer to gift you with something in return, though... I suspect that you might be wary of accepting something shared with me by Grandfather."
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« Reply #238 on: October 16, 2010, 09:03:41 PM »

Siobhan's mouth moves but she cannot come up with the words. She shakes her head absorbing everything she has just been told.

"So you are the one who had me taken to Grandfather? I.... I suppose there is a whole lot that Grandfather never told me,.......a lot about everything. I thought the world was a dark place before but now it's worse...and better....it's confusing.

She finally sits dropping cross-legged alongside Amethyst as she makes her offer.
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« Reply #239 on: October 17, 2010, 12:40:06 AM »

"Unfortunately, the more you learn, the darker it gets. Childhood is as blissful as elders can make it, but everyone must grow up some time. It is sad, but at the same time necessary."

Constance looks to Amethyst. "You said this knowledge draws attention to itself. I cannot risk it. Not so long as my people are hunted and enslaved. We survive by staying as far beneath notice as possible. Not for the secrets of the lost gods themselves would I risk my people to the forces of the Fallen One."
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« Reply #240 on: October 17, 2010, 05:37:19 AM »

Incliining her head to the ancient halfling, Amethyst offers her a rueful smile.  "Grandfather said that it did so most when those who held it were together, but I can certainly understand your wariness.  And I would not wish to put your people in any greater danger than they already are."
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« Reply #241 on: October 20, 2010, 01:33:37 PM »

Ivy's mind was swimming in a sea of new information. Ashchild? Grandfather? All very strange. What really perked up her ears though was this mention of some new kind of knowledge. Ivy had been taking the time to read everything she could get her hands on lately about channeling magic. She could already do some small things naturally like catch a glimpse of a magical aura or make something glow. But she wanted to channel and she was determined to learn it at great risk. That was dangerous knowledge and this too sounded dangerous. The more dangerous the knowledge, the more Ivy wanted to learn it. Suddenly, she couldn't wait to get going.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 01:38:17 PM by neverfox » Logged
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« Reply #242 on: October 23, 2010, 01:55:12 AM »

"If we can't share it with you how can we guarantee it doesn't die with us?"
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« Reply #243 on: October 23, 2010, 04:23:48 AM »

Amethyst chuckles softly.  "A fair point... but the warning needs to be made.  And we should perhaps save any sharing for a point in time when only those who wish it would be exposed to it...."
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« Reply #244 on: October 26, 2010, 01:42:54 PM »

Road of Ruin, Redwind, North of Swift Water, Arc of Zimra, Fall, Overcast.

Travel had been quicker than expected. There were advantages to traveling with a Legate. No check points, no harassment, no bribes. Wendle was happy. Eirik and Duncan spent most of their time in the back of the wagon. It seemed their cheery, baby faced Priest of the Dark One enjoyed watching the landscape roll by, and there was only so much room on the wagon bench. Dorin spent most of his time asleep. Eirik, in contrast, was having trouble in that area. His dreams were filled with flickering flashes of terrible things. Death. Usually his own. He felt strangely lucky that the details were difficult to remember. Unfortunately, not being able to remember did nothing to curtail his sense of foreboding.

Father Illustrian insisted on stopping at every settlement they could manage. He spoke with people, heard their worries and fears, dolled out the wisdom of the Shadow, made judgments in a number of minor disputes, took small tributes of food, blessed a newborn child, and seemed at ease in the bleak surroundings, not oblivious to the squalor people were living in, merely comfortable with it.

One night, in the largest town the group had yet stopped in, Father Illustrian had secured them two rooms at the village Inn. The innkeeper had given them lodging, food, a table next to the fire and feed for the boros. Eirik, upon returning from answering natures call, hears an argument in the kitchen. A man and a woman, in hushed tones.

"We cannot simply give away food, Daved."

"I cannot ask a Legate to barter! It is his right."

"Then are we to starve? Candry is already ill. If she does not eat, she will not get better. You must keep your strength up. I'l not have you go hungry another night. If you will not speak to him, I will!"

"No! We will make due. We always have."

"We have not always had four legates come through in one month with their entire ridiculous entourage eating us out of house and home!"

"It is not our place to ask! Do you want Candry to be taken as an acolyte? Or a sacrifice? That is what will happen if they decide we are unable to care for her! I will hear no more of this! I will slaughter the horse in the morning. That will feed us."

"And then what? You will haul goods by hand? "

"I will ask Kerod to help me. It is only once a week."

"He will demand food and a room in return. We only have five rooms!"

"Now we will have four. Go. Our guests will want desert."
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 12:09:28 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #245 on: November 03, 2010, 12:29:55 AM »

Eirik rubs at his face tiredly. Sleep had been elusive, dark dreams and sinister shadows twisted through his mindís eye whenever he lay his head down. He couldnít help but to reach for those shadows, sick curiosity encouraging introspection. It was a both a blessing and a curse that the morningís light seemed to chase the ephemeral spirits away. He was certain that a man could only witness his own death so often before insanity took him, but it left him paranoid, the vague sense of dread curling in his chest like a beast.

He tried not to look to the dark priest as the source of that paranoia. The very presence of the man made his skin crawl. He hated being in the same room with him, hated the feel of those piercing blue eyes on him. When he had no choice but to be in his presence, he kept his head down, eyes cast to the floor, letting his anxiety take shape in feigned reverence for the jovial legate. He was careful to be respectful, but mostly he was careful to be quiet.

Not much of a change there, he snorts to himself as he strides back to the inn, his feet mostly carry him along the path by rote. His mind is still wrapped around the strangeness of the legate in their midst. Strangest thing is, he almost seems not so bad. The alien thought is startling, and it almost distracts him from the hushed whispers filtering through from the kitchen of the inn. When he realizes what he is overhearing, he cocks his head, standing absolutely still.

His mouth thins as he presses his lips together. Stuck between fire and hell, they are. Can't fault the man's logic, unfortunately. To ask for payment would be an insult - or at least have the possibility of being construed as one. To not ask is to starve. The Erenlander begins to walk again, his pace slows a bit, chewing on his bottom lip as he contemplates the possibilities.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 12:57:55 AM by wolfen_child » Logged

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« Reply #246 on: November 03, 2010, 01:21:40 PM »

Returning to the table in the common room, the other three members of his company seem to be enjoying themselves. Eirik sits, trying to keep his concerns off his face, but it's plain to everyone at the table that something is bothering him.
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« Reply #247 on: November 09, 2010, 01:06:41 AM »


Dorin grabs a hunk of meat in his teeth and tears it from the bone like a wolf ripping free a leg of deer. The Dorn eats hugely, with exceptionally little in the way of manners. Devoting his attention to the matter at hand, he only barely takes note of Eirik's discomfiture. The younger man had been despondent often, of late, to the point where Dorin rarely tried to raise his spirits.

And how else should he feel, with our new companion along for the ride? The big Dorn catches himself throwing a glance at Illustrian, as he tries to avoid doing. Still, an agent of the Shadow this close at hand... he barely keeps himself from tensing up thinking about it. Oddly enough, the dark priest seemed almost affable most days, and when Dorin forgets himself, it would be easy to slip into a friendly rapport with the man. Better to keep your mouth shut. Or better yet, full.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:58:00 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged

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« Reply #248 on: November 09, 2010, 02:36:10 PM »

Roycilo ponders his traveling companion's mood. The man seemed upset by something, and determined to lighten the mood, Roycilo attempted to engage him in conversation.

"Evening friend. You've only been gone a few minutes, but your whole demeanor has changed. What's upsetting you?"
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« Reply #249 on: November 10, 2010, 03:18:51 PM »

As soon as those sharp eyes land on him, Eirik knows he's allowed his concern to color his face. He reaches for his drink, not really thirsty. "Having a hard time sleeping, is all." He tries a reassuring look. "Dorin snores like a boro," he jokes, casting a concerned look at the Dorn who seemed intent on inhaling everything - including the bone - of his meal.
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