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Author Topic: Clarion Quietus (IC) Part 2  (Read 155552 times)
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Exile
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« on: March 13, 2012, 06:40:59 PM »

Amethyst blinked in surprise, then frowned pensively.  "I have some little stirring rods for my alchemy, but I'm not sure they'd be slender enough to fit in beside the pin", she mused.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 05:06:47 AM by Nifelhein » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 08:59:59 PM »

It quickly became apparent as the two talked that nothing they had at their disposal was both slender enough to use and strong enough to matter.

Frustrated they eventually sighed and went to bed. In the morning they loaded the wagon and enjoyed a hearty breakfast. Again the cloaked figures declined, drinking only an earthy smelling tea. Grandmother handed them eight quilted blankets made from many scraps of fabric, each pocket packed with down feathers. "It's not much," she said, "but it gets mighty cold in those mountains."

She also gave them two wicker baskets full of preserves and dried fruit and nuts and shrugged "Don't even try to tell me that it's too much. It's not even close to enough and we all know it. The only other thing I can give you is this." she said handing Amethyst a small glass mirror.

It was set into a spring-hinged wooden case beautifully carved and polished. Looking at herself, the young woman could not help but notice that going so long without much opportunity to keep clean had definitely taken it's toll.

"For now it will reveal small truths. Look into to tell if you are sick or poisoned. Reflected food and drink will reveal if they are safe to consume. Reflected words will display their meaning. Should you ever have dire need, break it. It will conceal the truth of your intentions and identity."

Ivy looked at the mirror as Amethyst looked into it and for a moment the swirls returned. Strangely, rather than emanating from it, or pulling into it the way other swirls she'd seen had, these seemed to simply trace along it's physical contours. What that meant she did not know.

Standing next to her, Nefario could not help but notice his cousin's change in expression. He attempted to get her attention, but she was fixated on something. He looked closer and saw something strange. Her eyes has changed hue. The irises had become crystalline-looking, clear but refracting the light into subtle rainbows. As he raised his eyebrow and began to ask, they began to take on their usual color. Whatever had happened was over.

Mandag sat in the driver's seat next to Wendle, both impatient to be gone, "Folks, I hate to be the jerk breaking up the party, but we're burning daylight and we've got shadowspawn on our tail." the lanky Erenlander said. "We really need to get moving."
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Exile
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 06:47:21 AM »

That was the cue for Amethyst to deliver another tight hug to Grandmother, attempting to convey gratitude, deep affection, and concern all in one.

"Take care of yourself", she instructs the (much) older woman, her voice pitched low.  "I want to have a home to come back to, after all.  And thank you.  For everything you've done for us."
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neverfox
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 10:06:20 AM »

Ivy turned her head to see Nefario staring at her. "What?" she whispered, her face turning hot from embarrassment. It's not like she was trying to hide what was happening to her, and her cousin wasn't exactly normal, whatever that meant anymore.
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 01:16:37 PM »

"Thank you so much....for everything." Siobahn said surprisingly embracing the woman as well. "Like Amethyst said, please stay safe."
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 05:10:57 PM »

Dorin merely nodded to the old woman, and took up a place near the front of the wagon, huddling as best he could into a corner. He seemed preoccupied, but kept his thoughts to himself.
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"You want me to what?! ... Gimme a minute."
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 07:23:57 PM »

"Oh don't worry about me, dears. I'll be fine. " Grandmother, returning their hugs. "Come back when you can."

Nefario didn't reply. Whatever he'd seen he must not have thought it important enough to address in the moment.

In short order everyone was piled in and on the road again. As Hornblower's Rest disappeared int he distance, a few farmers waiving as they left, Wendle stuck his head into the back. "I still don't quite know where we're headed. We going for supplies, or heading straight into the mountains?"
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 07:27:26 PM »

"Even just the one day foraging for food might make sense", Amethyst responded, bestirring herself from a distinctly pensive reverie.

"I know that I'm rather better at such things before we hit the truly high ground.  And I suspect that some others here might be as well."
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2012, 07:46:43 PM »

Eirik couldn't help a parting look at the road behind him. He'd wished for more time - time to ask Grandmother about these other seers she'd known. Something about her told him that she was a wealth of information and he couldn't shake the feeling that leaving now meant he would never get answers to any of his questions. Worry blossomed over him.

He shook it off, catching the end of Amethyst's words. "I'm not familiar with the plains but even still, I think it would be a safer bet to gather what we can here. It won't do any good to keep out of the Shadow's clutches only to starve to death." He looked to Dorin, eyebrow arched.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 10:50:57 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2012, 10:51:59 PM »

Mandag nodded from the driver's seat. "Sounds like we forage. Good."
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2012, 11:23:27 PM »

The Foothills Of The Kaladruns, Arc of Obares, Noon

The days were getting much colder as they made their way east. The Kaladrun mountains rose in the distance, massive and foreboding, their shadow cutting off the last four hours of daylight. Hills became hillier and the ground became rockier. The browning sword grass gave way to thatches of thistle and short, ground-hugging grasses. Creeks gave plenty of water but made travel extra difficult. More than once they had to get out and physically move the wagon wheels across a large ground cleft.

Food was scarce. Small game gave the wagon wide birth, and with the season being the end of autumn, plants had no bounty to give. Grandmother's baskets took them three days of eating nothing but nuts and dried fruit. Finally, as Dorin's stomach was beginning to keep light sleepers up at night, they spied a large copse of trees in the distance.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 11:29:37 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2012, 06:27:48 AM »

As might be expected, Amethyst has spent a good part of the journey attempting to entertain and cheer her travelling companions - though she endeavoured to avoid driving anyone to distraction, she appeared to have a vast store of tales and the skills to earn a crust by word alone in a realm of impoverished illiterates.

Still, she had played her part in foraging, demonstrating a fair degree of competence in fending for herself on the lower ground... but as the trail lifted out of the hills and towards the clouds, it was clear that she was on ever less firm footing the further they ascended.
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2012, 06:29:58 AM »

Dorin sat in the wagon, occasionally grumbling to himself in Norther. His temper had started to fray over the last few days, as the food rations grew smaller and smaller. He'd spent some time out with Amethyst and the others trying to scour the wilds for whatever nature might provide, but after a few hours of effort only found him with half a handful of sour berries and a frustrating chase after a lone rodent of some kind, the big man had more or less resigned himself to hunger.
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 12:08:33 PM »

For her part, the further towards the clouds the travelers ascended, the more time Amethyst seemed inclined to spend in close proximity to Siobhan.  She didn't appear inclined to get underfoot, but was almost always within sight or near to hand.

Much of her otherwise-free time was spent using some of her lesser alchemical preparations to clean and treat her own kit and that of anyone else willing to entrust her with it, endeavouring to improve water-proofing where appropriate and simply remove dirt and check for flaws where not.  Her own appearance was also seen to, the young woman evidently keen to tidy up both herself and her clothing after the arduous journey to get back to her starting point.

But she seemed accustomed to working with her hands while talking, and remained determintedly available as a teller of tales - even offering to share what she knew of the nature of the world before the Shadow fell, should any wish to hear portions of such dangerous lore.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 11:38:24 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2012, 12:28:05 PM »

Ivy was content to let others do most of the talking, but Amethyst certainly was certainly no slouch in this regard. It's not that Ivy was resentful or disliked the woman, but words were just more stimuli and stimuli were not in short supply. It was getting colder and the wagon was far from comfortable. Ivy was simply anxious and bit confused. She might have been the only one in the wagon that Amethyst's good nature wasn't completely penetrating. Her spirits weren't morose, however; brief glimpses of the mountains filled her with wonder. It was a strange thing for someone from the plains, with forest ancestry, to see for the first time. Rocks, not words, were her mind's foundation. They seemed solid, in contrast to the rest of swirling world.

She was also extremely interested in the three cloaked figures. What had they said to her during the fight and why did it affect her the way it did? As the cold crept into her bones, she wished she had some of their strange tea to drink.
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2012, 04:31:35 AM »

The longer they traveled the quieter Siobahn became. She felt.....dimmer, less alive with each passing day. Thoughts of loss, of lonliness and sorrow kept working their way into her thoughts, dragging her down emotionally. Amethyst's near ubiquitous presence was one of the few things keeping her from total despair, and even then the whole point to their journey just seemed to grow increasingly pointless.

Each night, rest was harder to fid, coming only with exhaustion, not a peaceful sleep but a weary resignation of body and spirit.
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2012, 04:38:48 AM »

As that time passed and Siobhan's spirits quite evidently sank, Amethyst focused more and more of her attention upon her friend.  The stories increasingly often were either tales of light-hearted silliness - hedgehog knights jousting atop rabbit steeds to win the favour of fair vole maidens, only to frequently wind up in need of rescue from embarassing mishaps on their own part - or else more serious tales of longing and mournful loss, fit to resonate with inner sorrow and awaken a numbed soul.

All, however, remain tinged throughout with hope, and the subtle emphasis of the importance of individual choice and action - though Amethyst was too gifted a spinner of tales to do more than merely hint at such things while avoiding any suggestion of any inevitable victory for evil or the certain triumph of suffering.
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2012, 11:10:47 PM »

Nefario watched the landscape roll slowly by. His orbit in the wagon seemed to keep him as far from Amethyst as the wagon's bed would allow. He tried to constrain his mind, working knots and twirling twigs between his fingers to keep them limber, but her constant and sunny chatter pervaded the space, awakening his own dark whispers within. He dared not look at her, for when he did the whispers rose to voices and his fingers subtly itched. So he kept his head down, busy, away. Then amidst a story of hedgehog knights he snapped his head up, his own voice rising above hers and his own incessant susurrations. "What vole in their right mind would take a hedgehog for a lover?"
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2012, 11:22:04 AM »

"And what gnome a dwarf, or Dorn a Sarcosan - or indeed anyone take anyone else?", Amethyst responded with a gentle smile.

"The wonder of love surely lies in great part in its unpredictability.  In its capacity to revise and alter the apparent limits of a drab and dreary existence - and to help to show that there is in truth still a great deal more to the world than shades of shadow and darkness."
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2012, 11:48:01 PM »

"Hells," Wendle said quietly, "that might be the only real truth left that ain't been smothered in shadow and darkness."

Sighing as he lit his pipe, rolling his eyes as the wick pulled toward Siobhan, the normally crotchety gnome shrugged. "Love ain't just about romance. Half the reason I agreed to go on this fools errand is 'cause I got family up by Durgis Rock. He's got to be full grown by now, an' I haven't seen him since he was a tyke. Worst thing about the world is that it does it's damndest to fracture families, and really, that's all any of us have."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 11:52:51 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2012, 05:36:38 AM »

Offering Wendle a gentle smile, Amethyst cocked her head a little as she studied their usually-grump guide.

"I hope that you manage a reunion", she said softly.  "That would certainly help to make all of this worthwhile."
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2012, 08:37:27 PM »

Eirik spent much of his time with an ear to Amethyst and an eye on the horizon. He was always scouting for food. With such a large convoy, he knew the rations Grandmother had provided them wouldn't last long and they'd need their strength. Hunting, foraging, these were things he could contribute to the men, women, and smallfolk who traveled alongside him. He tried explaining to Dorin what a specific plant was, when he could, what was edible, what wasn't, and how to place one's feet in order to stay silent and sneak up on prey.

Eventually, hed found himself scouting ahead of the others, taking the path carefully on his stolen horse as his eyes scanned the horizon. That was how hed spotted the movement in the trees before the others. He slowed, slipping from the saddle of Haddingur (as he'd named the horse), and continuing on foot. He ducked down, staying low and quiet, trying to get a better look at what lay ahead of them on the trail.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 08:40:18 PM by wolfen_child » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2012, 09:56:47 PM »

Whatever they were, there were big ones and little ones, and they had brought down a large swath of trees. It was hard to tell from this distance, but they seemed bulky, both sizes of them. Another tree went down as he watched. They were very quick at their tree falling.
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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2012, 12:14:29 PM »

He considered briefly moving ahead, pressing himself to the ground and crawling to get a better look at the bulky figures, but they were surprisingly fast at their work. He had to get back and at least warn the others.

As quickly and quietly as he could, he made his way back to the rest of the group, leading Haddingur by the reins until he could spot Wendle at the front of the wagon.

"We've got company ahead. Not sure what they are, but they're felling trees. Some of them are rather large."
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« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2012, 04:08:44 PM »

Dorin's head rose from his knees, interested. After this long without a proper meal, the big man's nerves were on edge, and he could use some action.

"Wendle? Any chance of something friendly out here?" He started to move as he spoke, unkinking joints sore from trying to take up less space in the wagon. The wagon's residents found things a bit more crowded as he stretched his limbs out.
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