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  #1591  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 10:42 AM
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Arquiztex
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A figure emerges from the shadows and Arquiztex steps out.

"No, Smelly But Gentle Wound Balm," Arquiztex answers to Mercy. "I will not play this game. I will not dive to hide big spoon."

"You misunderstand me, warrior," Arquiztex continues, but addressing Sylvi. "I praise you. But I question you, too. You have no victory. You knock down horse, but let rider escape. You harm creatures who offer to help. You drag object into home of hosts even when they say: 'No, we don't want object in home.' You take their help in making object safe, then you grab it and claim it yours. As warrior, I say you have right to claim...but if you true warrior, you must claim responsibility for actions. You harm tree and creatures in it ... creatures who are giving us important facts. They ask for help in repair home, and we refuse? You have captured small humans. And you do nothing with them. Give them to Ismark? To me? Fine. We take and care for. But we do so out of respect. Why you have no respect for us? For creatures in trees? For Vistani? Vistani wise. Live here a long time. Survive. Offer to help us. Then you come today and tell them you know better? You threaten them? Think what that does to all of us? Think what that does to Vistani relations to Barovia? Think what that do to safety of Barovians ... to safety of people Ismark lead. Nice Man with Bloody Stools be blamed if Vistani now enemy of Barovia. You want that for him? Oh ... and you tell us while we rushed to save Puke Puke Waif, you stayed behind for smoochie rendezvous with Sucky? Interesting. Fine. Keep secret this talk with our enemy. And keep your big spoon. Carry it around like anchor. Carry it around like big coin from a King, coin stamped with words: I live alone, I act alone, I am alone. Big reminder of hubris."

Improbably, the lizard sighs.

Then she turns to anyone around them, and begins to speak in a more formal tone.

"I, Arquiztex Thurkar, servant of Triftuq and loyal member of my travelling tribe ... renounce my previous recognition of this trophy claim by the paladin Sylvi Tor'velys and now recognize the trophy as a joint prize of the Vistani, the kindness of ravens whose tree bore the impact of the battle, and the travelling tribe which I serve. I swear my sword and my skills to defend this."

She then turns back to Sylvi as her tone resumes its accustomed familiarity.

"Friend with Great Sword, we are all ... tired. Let us make no demands. No threats. I ... as much as Rak'ta do not like say ... I sorry for my wrongs. But I tired. You tired. These small humans you have saved and abandoned ... they tired. Let us all sleep. If you want to go meet Vistani Wise Woman, then fine. Go so. Maybe others join you. As for me. As for Never Supper. As for bird. As for all small humans in our care. We sleep. Vistani have watch. They wake if they need us for battle. And, if they still our friends after all these threats, then maybe they not slit our throats at night. See you in morning if I live until then."

And with that, the lizard walks off mumbling something, probably about the need to change another diaper.



 


 


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  #1592  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 11:28 AM
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MercyShe doesn't like babies. She doesn't want to get stuck with the babies. She doesn't want to be that person who swoops in and dandles the babies. On the spectrum of maiden to hag, she intends to skip 'mother' altogether, and linger on 'harlot' as long as possible. In fact she was kind of hoping to sneak in a makeout sesh with one of these Vistani punks behind a wagon before bed. But. She's never heard Arquiztex say "I'm tired" before. More proof that babies are the actual worst and caring for them is soul-destroying drudgery. BUT. Why should the lizard have to do all of it? She puts out a hand to stop Arquiztex on her way to bed.

"Hey. I'm sorry. Hand me a baby," Mercy says. "You know what, I'll take half."

Yes, she definitely does pick the more attractive ones. Yes, she does subject them to a lot of rigorous scrubbing, buffing, spit-curling, and tunic-tidying before she lets them sleep. But it's like with the kids in the yard at Durst Manor. Sometimes you have to live into expectations, to get to the next part. No one needs a stressed-out lizard who's had to change eleven diapers in the middle of the night. And Arquiztex probably isn't going to outsource these kids to Vistani or people they've barely met. So Mercy puts her shoulder under the load. But if anyone calls her Mother Mercy, woe betide them. Woe thumping betide.
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Last edited by lostcheerio; Sep 21st, 2020 at 11:31 AM.
  #1593  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 11:52 AM
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One or two of the Vistani become thoughtful as Arquiztex sings. One boy of about twelve starts to ask an older man something, and is rapidly shushed.

The ladle wobbles slightly as Primble pokes it. The firelight plays across the silver intestines, making it seem as if they're wriggling like worms. Then the ladle stills, and the guts are just a carving again.

Ştefan nods as Mercy speaks. "If this is the way of your culture," he says, "we certainly understand. But how would it be if you kept all of the silver after we melted the thing? We could pour it into ingots for you for easy transport, and that way you could perhaps carry it in the good doctor's estimably magical bag.

After all, you already have the bait you need to draw Morganthe. We will not trade our children to her, and she cannot get into Vallaki or Krezk, and Berez is a ruin. She will, sooner or later, have to go back to the village of Barovia, where souls are corruptable and innocents are for sale. I am sorry, Ismark, but you know that is so, I think.

So why take the risk of keeping this thing in its present form? Although the choice is yours, of course.

And, all these children are yours? Do they not interfere with your adventuring?"


And you notice that the ravens have followed you into camp and are perched in various trees, watching the proceedings.

"Their paladin did do really good in the fight," says Doris. "If she wants the silver, why not let her keep it?"

"But their elf will still work on the tree?" says Rhoda. She turns to Z. "It's the tallest one in the neighborhood... really good for lookouts. And it has the best walnuts!"

"Could you ask them, Z?" asks Bruce. "And tell your lizard we'll keep watch tonight, if that will help."

And the Vistani on whom Mercy had her eye, whose name turns out to be Marius, pitches in to help with the scrubbing of the "orpheleenz." He says they can sack out in his wagon tonight, and he... he'll sleep outside, under the stars. "Aren't the stars beautiful, Sister Mercy?"

And believe it or not, the youngster reappears to say that Madam Eva has another customer, now, and she'll see you in the morning. "The hags," he says, "leave Madam Eva well alone."
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  #1594  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 12:32 PM
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Arquiztex
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Arquiztex dutifully passes on the ravens' request to Rolen, as well as the promise that she...when she can...will make good on the debt of silver. For now, she takes her dagger and shreds her tiger capelet into thin strips of cloth and offers it up to the kindness under the assumption that no other material could be as durable, as comfortable and as regal for their nest building. She asks Z to pass on to the young male raven that surely no female raven, no matter what hue her feathers, could resist the mating call of a raven stud with a tiger fur nest.

And then Arquiztex lies down to rest with two toddlers wrapped in her tail, the squiggly wiggly four year old held in a somewhat loving and definitively firm embrace and the hostile seven year old lying opposite her, engaged in a staring contest of suspicion and disdain until her eyelids eventually betray her and she sleeps. Arquiztex, too, then allows herself to fall asleep, with a last mind say message of gratitude to the ravens passed on through Z and a lullaby to her own surrounding humans, the Barovians and any Vistani who have spread around them.

From Mercy's direction, she thinks she hears faint rustles and giggles. But she could be wrong. After all, she is exhausted and hopes to sleep through the night unless a caw or call to alarm is raised.

Her first dreams are fitful. Lizard angels approach her and feathers fly from the moss covered wings, laying down a soft carpet upon which she and the children around her advance through a thick forest with rays of sun emerging like thin poles through breaks in the high trees. There are snakes along the path which slither behind them and follow as in tribute.

Gradually, each of the children's bodies become lighter and, when they cross past a ray of light, dissolve into a colorful will o wisp. "Come," these new balls of light say to Arquiztex, who goes from leading the children to following them, to following them as they now are...neither human nor children.

"This is our land. It will be yours one day, too," they say as if their proclamation was also a promise to be received with joy.

Mr. Gummen is there, a bright light of splendid orange. As is Z, a Tyrian purple. And there are others, many others she does not know. The lights that were once children join them, and they swirl rapidly around one another, the streaks of their colors blending into a wake of mixed hues and new tones lighting the air around them.

"We were all once these," the light that is Mr. Gummen says. "What did you think we celestials were? Creatures from up high? Astral beings? We were only children who died and were lost. And, here, we form the families we never had. If those in your embrace tonight were to die, they would join us ... or form their own, and forget the hunger they now know. But then, they would also forget what it means to be alive."

The ground beneath Arquiztex sinks. It collapses into water that she welcomes around her body. She bathes in its lightness. And crossing a ray of light, she chooses her own color to become before she realizes that she craves the hunger and the pain from being alive. The lives inside her call her back, and she answers. And the snakes, the servants of Triftuq, the ones which had followed her in tribute, rush in to help pull her back above the waters and emerge into her body. She is Arquiztex again. But she knows, now, what happens if life is destined to die.
 


 


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  #1595  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 12:52 PM
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Mercy Petreva, Human Light Cleric
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"What's that, Marius?" she says to the Vistani as they scrub the stink of poverty off a gaunt toddler, "You don't mind if I stay in your wagon with the children while you sleep out? That is so kind of you. Truly, truly so kind."

After getting the children settled she rewards his generosity with a vigorous, satisfying snog in a leafy thicket, and as he walks her back to the wagon she says, "Marius really, how pleasant was that? How fun that we shared that one, singular episode, and it was so pleasant and sweet. I think all the more pleasant because it can never be repeated. Never, never, never. So it becomes... unique!" She pets his hair and shuffles him off to his bedroll, closes the door of the wagon, and after her nightly beauty ritual stretches out on the bed, builds a wall of toddlers around herself, and with a sigh, drifts off to--

A bug walks past her face. It turns, regards her, waggles its antennae, and walks on. With a whack that nearly wakes all the babies in the whole camp, she murders it against the wall. And. She gets up and cleans the whole wagon.

--off to sleep, where she dreams of new prayers, exploding balls of fire, streams of daylight ripping through the sad clouds of Barovia, and more of Sune's blessings falling on her beloved priestess, who has spread as much love and as much beauty as ever she could.

 

 

 
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  #1596  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 01:27 PM
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More examinations
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She won't see us til morning! Herr Doktor Wens is at his end. It has been one of the most vigorous days of his life: combat in the morning, tromping through marsh in the afternoon, running down forest roads in nighttime fog, and fighting with a hag. Not to mention he and his comrades quarreling, settling into a mutual distrust that could only make The Old Tick happy.

Ah, The Old Tick. In Sylvi's tirade of anger and disappointment with them, she had mentioned that Strahd had appeared to her on the road. An evil portend! And there was an evil-infused ladle in their possession as well (and, he feared, the possibility of them coming into its possession). At least for now, he could discern no possession or curse upon Sylvi, merely her sanguine nature inflamed by righteous indignation.

She and Mercy have grudges against him. Ireena is peeved. Arquiztex and Primble might still think he's Strahd's puppet. Arquiztex distrusts Sylvi, and she her. Rolen and Ismark, at least, seem to have maintained their equanimity. And no way to rectify it all now, nothing he could say or do, except get back to work on his project tomorrow. Will it even work …?

Old Chondathan: "That's enough!"Das reicht! The Vistani claimed Morganthe would not stand against Madam Eva. Likely Strahd would not molest them here, either. He trusted the Vistani had eyes and watchdogs enough against mundane threats. Everything could wait til morning. He is so, so tired …

Herr Doktor Wens walks over to the campfire and sits on the fleece he had used before. The Vistani, per their nature, are back to stories, songs, and dance. Someone hands him a plate with beef skewers and pan fried dumplings, and another cup of wine. He eats, ravenous yet almost unaware of the act of eating. Ireena joins him and squeezes his arm affectionately. He kisses her cheek. The fire crackles. His face is hot and eyes heavy. The voices in speech and song become distant. A sudden, whispering thought: Wind the churn, warm the verdigris ...

Sometime much later, he awakes under blankets with Ireena pressed close. Embers in the dark. The tip of his nose is cold. A stone is pressing up through the fleece into a lower rib. He needs to relieve himself. Yet he also is too tired to move.

He dreams. There is an ornate, ancient book that flies ahead and that he can't quite grasp. Then he moves through a strange realm where the normal relations of things are skewed and mutable. Der Oudstgezag is there, just out of reach past the corner of his eye, speaking to him wordlessly in a voice older than Time. Then Herr Doktor Wens sees it! The bindings of raw magic in a way he's never quite understood before! Yes! Yes! He begins writing in his grimoire …

With a start, he awakens to camp sounds and the Homer ripoffrosy fingertips of dawn.


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  #1597  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 04:45 PM
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Primble Considers Adoption
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She is very tired, but she creeps to Rolen and whispers a request. Quite bold! I want to see you fix the tree? She could only burn it down, and then help them start a new one with a seed.

Then she watches the lizard, who is a mystery. Perhaps lizard babies ARE fungible, because Arquiztex drapes babies around Sylvi and then Mercy and keeps the rest, as if any baby she saves becomes hers by the transitive property of all babies are the same, and valuable. People are not this way. If 100 babies are, say, on fire, people put out their own, first. Except these awful people, in Barovia. They should should sit and learn from Lizards! These parents handed their own little babies over to the flames. To be eaten.

Primble is relieved and thrilled that the babies are saved. But now? She wants to put the babies into appropriate, safe baby-holes as soon as possible. She has neither the experience nor the inclination to touch anyone (it WOULD be nice to pet a small cat; she has petted a Tabaxi and a dog and a sentient lizard, so far, all quite pleasing experiences...), but when Stefan says And, all these children are yours? Do they not interfere with your adventuring? she is so delighted with him that she is almost moved to make a patting motion toward his shoulder. Almost.

She shoots bitter glances at Tomi, waiting for him to remember he is a priest, and say, OH I am a priest. I will find the correct baby hole! For safe tucking! Certainly when she worked at the Lalum Temple, the sorting and dispensation of Orphans fell into their hands. She was more comfortable handling the corpses, but Orphan Dispensation is important work, honorable work. He should do it.

She feels deeply that these babies are each and all quite precious, theoretically, though Primble can barely tell them apart. Except the biggest one, who glares. That one is angry; it alone understands that it was sold for pie. That one is thinking about burning somebody up. She watches as it goes anrghily off to sleep with the lizard, and decides that if:

1) Horrible Tomi never remembers he is a priest and takes the babies to that orphanage someone mentioned.

2) No pat-worthy Vistani come forward to assign all these babies to safe adoptive spots

And THUS, they have all these babies FOREVER, then, assuming the big one is not permanently feral and does not leap away into the wild at the first opportunity, that is the one she is willing to keep.

She is starving and exhausted, but also sated. It was good day. Much burning. Sylvi pulled her about in a ladle. Excellent.

But. She wishes everyone would stop fighting each other and fight that oily voiced horror, or pie hags, or anything evil and flammable, really. Still, no one is killing each other. They just disagree, and make grumpy mouth noises, and then absolutely no one gets skinned. Not even Mercy, who comes shamelessly out of a thicket with both a boy and leaves in her hair.

This is a good Polis.

Someone has handed Dr. Wens food. She goes over and is handed some as well. She puts it quickly and dutifully away into her yawping, empty stomach, to stop the hungry feelings, the same way she would put socks in a sock drawer, and with the same level of enjoyment. If she sees where Sylvi goes to sleep, or if anyone puts her to bed, or points her to a bed, she goes willingly, quite pleased. Otherwise, she will go to Madame Eva’s wagon and creep under and pull her bedroll from her FANTASTIC backpack and pass out there.

She dreams of pies with faces.

When she wakes, her embers are stoked, her skin glows, her eyes are whited out by hot, ready light, and none of the Polis seem to have crept to the beds of the others that they are angry with and skinned them in the night.

A very good Polis indeed.


Primble Thorn Actions
Saving throws:
Free Action:
Move:
Action:
Reaction:
Bonus Action:
Condition:
Concentrating:
[/spoilerbutton]

 



Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 21st, 2020 at 04:48 PM.
  #1598  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 11:50 PM
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Under strange stars
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Back at the Vistani camp Rolen realized just how hungry he was and gladly took a plate next to the fire. He drank more wine with it, of course, and even got up for another dance. After all, his friends were all safe and not under the dark magic of a fell pie hag. They had even dealt the Granny a hard blow this night taking away her means of flight. He was thankful Sylvi and Primble were safe in the camp and that cooler heads had prevailed.

It was concerning that Sylvi said the Dead Man visited her on the road, they were only apart for moments! What a sly opportunistic stalker He must be. He felt bad for abandoning them but thought they were only a few steps behind, then he got caught up in the music. I'll be more attentive, we're all a tribe now. We're all each other has here.

Arquiztex approached and told him of the ravens' request. "I would be happy to help them. I'm no druid but I will make a plea to The Leaflord." The ravens see much, it would be wise to befriend them. A little later Primble shuffled up and whispered her desire to see a tree ceremony. The ranger smiled "You are certainly welcome. Normally, the druids would have many linking hands around the trees. I will go in the morning when my green energy is its freshest."

Honestly, he didn't know the growth magics required to fix a tree but, he would try. As the only elf, these things were just expected. He sat next to the fire and watched the dancing embers twisting and rising into the night air while thinking about a tree growing ritual.

Rolen fell into a trance and awoke some hours later to a smaller fire but a surprisingly active camp. Most were asleep but there were several vistani still at up keeping watch or dancing and drinking. He smiled and stretched feeling renewed and maybe even a little stronger. Must be the open air here, he looked up and for the first time saw a parting of the mists. He gazed up at unfamiliar constellations and breathed deeply the crisp air.

The wood elf walked the perimeter of the camp and pondered the visions that came to him during his trance. Again he saw his cadaver swinging from the gibbet. It reached out a beckoning arm and then pointed. Through the swirling mist, Rolen saw a windmill and in the candlelit windows, he spied an old twisted hag raising a bloody cleaver. Before he could react, it all blew away and he was seeing spheres. Spheres of silence and spheres of truth.

As he walked he noticed the sky getting less dark and more grey. The others would be up soon and that meant a session with Madame Eva. He found a quiet side of the pool, stripped off his armor and jumped into the cool waters. It was refreshing and felt like washing the stain of yesterday off. Rolen gathered up his gear and made his way to the fire.

 
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  #1599  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 11:56 PM
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Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 12:19 PM
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While strolling after his bath, Rolen looks up the path toward the road and notices that the tree has some scraped bark and a lot of twigs and small branches down, and one limb that looks like it's trying to separate. That was probably the one the ladle was tangled up with. Fortunately it isn't the season for eggs or baby ravens.

When Arquiztex stirs, she has a brief mental impression of a raven's nest containing a disarranged bit of orange fur and an atractive young hen. Then Z closes his eyes and says "About time. You've got two hags half a mile up the road to the crossroads, and another one half a mile toward Vallaki. They're hiding in the shrubbery."

The oldest orphan comes and sits with Primble at breakfast. "You gonna burn Granny like they say? I hope so. Can I be your servant? Mama was going to hire me out. I can clean real good, and take messages and stuff. I don't... I don't want to go back to Mama."

And when you have breakfasted and refreshed yourselves, Madam Eva's messenger appears. Z recommends that you leave the children with him and Lancelot and the Vistani matrons. He'll call you if anything untoward occurs. Ireena doesn't see a reason to go, either, but the boy says she is specifically wanted, so she and Ismark join you. So, surreptitiously, does the resentful seven year old you rescued yesterday.

Magic flames cast a reddish glow over the interior of this tent, revealing a low table covered in a black velvet cloth. Glints of light seem to flash from a crystal ball on the table as a frail, aged woman peers into its depths. Her voice, though, is clear and strong. "At last you have arrived!" she says. "Ismark the Greater, redeemer of the honor of your line. Sylvi Tor'Velys, partisan of the fallen. Rolen Liadon, who sees without seeing. Arquiztex Thurkar, gentle heretic. Mercy... Petreva? And Ireena Kolyanova. You lost one another, but now you are found. Be wary when you find the third. Herr Doktor Johanne Peoter Wens--beware of that which predates creation, if it is not the Creator. Primble Thorn, Fire's daughter. Tomislav Andreivich, who took the mantle of the fallen. But have you abandoned it now? And Agripina Vasilovna, apprentice guardian. And Sofia Suta." she says to the little girl. "child of the lost soul of Barovia."

The child looks around, busted, when her name is called, but makes no move to withdraw. Madam Eva continues.

"Come then. I shall draw one card for each of you, individually, and then I will do a reading for your quest."

And she repositions her crystal ball, and draws out a deck of ornate cards with an air about them of ancient magic.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 12:52 PM
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Summoned to an Audience
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For a long while, Herr Doktor Wens lay there torn between the comfort of holding Ireena and the discomfort of his bladder and bowels. Then he remembered the verdigris.

Frantically, he searched for the butter churn and found it nearby on the grass, cold and covered in morning dew. Dunkoff! A day lost! At least! The plan had been to return to the village after meeting Madam Eva and a bit of revelry. So much for plans! He wound the mechanism and magically warmed the liquid and copper coins inside.

Ireena stirred and rose, wrapping one of the blankets around her like a shawl. She was in linens, having removed her armor the night before.

"Hans, come watch for me," she said in a low voice, "Nature calls."

Though he hadn't considered til now, it struck him that one did not wander off into the Svalich Woods alone for any reason, even near such a large camp. She led him off behind some bushes, and they took turns keeping watch while the other did what was necessary.

After refreshing themselves at Tser Pool — and a little polish with prestidigitation — they joined the Vistani for a breakfast of leftovers and wrinkled apples. Herr Doktor Wens had just helped Ireena into her armor and finished packing up when Madam Eva's errand boy summoned them to an audience.

They joined the others in the crone's tent. Madam Eva identified everyone without introduction (though her people may well have passed along that information.) He was a little annoyed at her admonition about his patron. Overblown concerns such as these among the Deans had been a major contributor to his loss of tenure, and he was still sore on this point.

Still, he was here to listen and learn. The old woman clearly had great powers, and he was curious what she would divine from the cards.

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OOCThe morning after, in which our Hero discovers it's difficult, if not impossible, to maintain work on constructing a magic item when traveling and lurching from one encounter to next ...
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Last edited by Oakie; Sep 22nd, 2020 at 02:14 PM.
  #1602  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 02:34 PM
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Arquiztex
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Arquiztex did not want to ruin the somber and ritualistic mood of Rolen's tree healing prayers, but she did feel that she had to urgently share Z's news with someone.

Seeing Wens and Ireena come out of the bushes ... she quickly ran into the bushes (Wens: Healthy. Some stress. But otherwise nothing to worry about. Ireena: Lack of iron in body. Tremendous stress. Agitated bowels.) and then caught up to the couple.

"There is coven. Z say saw three hags. They come at us from different directions. Two hags half mile to crossroads; one hag same distance, but toward Vallaki. Ambush maybe? Z say Never Supper good enough nanny so, Z has gone back to see if hags are moving or waiting. Z come back quickly if they converge to us." Arquiztex didn't know what Wens would do with that information. She felt the party was already divided and foolishly preoccupied with visiting a Vistani matriarch while their enemies surrounded them.

Rolen's service, however, she approved of. The ravens were already proving valuable allies and a wrong had been done against them. While most of them wanted to stay to see the elf atone for the damages, a few made known through Z that they would patrol around the area to monitor and warn of any hag movements.

With all these thoughts of battle and hags, Arquiztex was distracted from Rolen's performance when it actually began ... and before she knew it, she found herself following the rest of the group back into camp. She would need to ask Z what the ravens thought of the tree healing service.

Arquiztex did, however, take note of the cold stare snotling who, for some reason, insisted that she was to proceed with them to the matriarch's tent. Arquiztex expected the Vistani, who offered to look after the other children for the meantime, to bar entrance to the impudent girl ... but they didn't and the matriarch called her by a name that Arquiztex felt she should recognize. This was, it seemed, something more than a snotling. Though still very much a snotling judging by the glistening effluence of her nostrils.

The matriarch then gave some type of instruction or warning to each of those present, Arquiztex couldn't tell what. The word the matriarch used was something she had heard Mercy use with paintings and bath, but she had no idea how one would "draw" a card. Thankfully, politeness came to the service of ignorance ... enabling Arquiztex to graciously and strategically decide she could allow the others to draw first.



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Patrolling with other ravens to keep tabs on the hags.

 





 
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Last edited by bananabadger; Sep 23rd, 2020 at 12:13 AM.
  #1603  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 05:18 PM
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Sylvi's Question[]
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Last edited by DaniLore; Jan 14th, 2021 at 01:46 AM.
  #1604  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 06:57 PM
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Primble at Breakfast
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If Rolen goes FIX THE TREE, she goes, and helps. Then Sylvi comes and brings her a plate of something.

She puts the food in like coal into a furnace.

As fast and efficiently as she puts it, it might as well be coal. And she is a furnace. So.

Sylvi says a lot of words, and Primble understands that she is being asked. For an opinion. What if it is a trick? In Lalum, being asked for your opinion is ALWAYS a trick. ALWAYS. You either give the correct opinion, which has rewards, but is risky, because the correct opinion might have changed. Or you claim not to have one, and say the Patriarch will know, and you are left alone.

But no, she should trust her sister. Her sister would not trick her. Which means she can slow down her prestidigitation; she has stopped stress peeing.

But then. If it is not a trick, what if her opinion is wrong? Last time she had an opinion, her Polis all got strung out along the road and the oily-voiced-one tried to get Sylvi.

So instead of an opinion, she offers facts and a request. She tells Sylvi, It worked already. The ravens told the lizard that the Pie Hag is near. And she is in a coven. She has two extra hags with her. I think they can track this ladle. If you have a plan to use the ladle cleverly, please tell the others? And then, truthfully, she also adds. I will do whatever you want.

The message comes that it is time to get Witchcrafted. She tells Sylvi, I don’t want three pie hags to attack this camp. The babies are here. So not as an opinion but a suggestion for you to do with what you will, maybe hide it in The Doctor's Hole until we finish? As for silver coins, money is not interesting. But putting silver on your glaives is very, very interesting.

She looks at Mad Orphan. It wants to come with her? It needs a robe. She needs silk and ribbon for that. It needs a modesty garment. She needs a fifteen foot length of thin linen and to remember the way to wind and knot. It has been a while.

She gives it a little twist of paper from her EXTREMELY FANCY PACK!!

Can you set this on fire? She asks it. Just it. Quietly. This is not for anyone but the child to choose. Try. Just look down in yourself, and see if there is burning there, and fury, and ruin. If there is, you put the fire of it out of you, at the paper. But the trick is to never feel the fury. To just have it. Inside you. Banked. You do not feel fury or any feelings, ever. You just feel fire, instead, and then you put the fire outside of you and utterly destroy anything that troubles you, and after, you feel as serene as a sleepy star.

If you can do this, if you feel nothing but the burning...then you are meant to be mine, and you should make the vow that I have made to Sylvi and devote yourself to Kelemvor, because we may marry him. (Do not worry, Sylvi has promised to do the kissing parts.) If you are not this way, child, you should not pick me. You look angry enough to choose my way, but if you can at all---choose another. No matter what, I swear, you will not go back to your mother. You will not be pie. The stupid priest will one day wake and realize he is derelict and find a safe place for you. Meanwhile, come and get witchrafted, if you like. She can help you know if you if you belong with me, or not.


She is unsurprised when the Mad Orphan follows. But the paper twist remains unburned. She will wait and see.


Primble Thorn Actions
Saving throws:
Free Action:
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Concentrating:
[/spoilerbutton]

 



Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 23rd, 2020 at 08:38 AM.
  #1605  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 11:35 PM
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Misty Morning Ceremonies
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Rolen drank a cup of tea by the fire while the camp stirred to life. The vistani made it black, strong, and lightly sweet. It warmed his body from within as the coals and embers dried and warmed the outside. When he finished, the ranger gathered up some water from the pool and a scoop of cooled ashes from the edge of the fire ring, donned his armor, and went to find anybody who wanted to watch or help with the tree mending.

When they arrived in front of the damaged walnut tree, Rolen removed his armor and neatly laid it out on the side of the road. He kept the loincloth, he didn't think the Vistani would mind nakedness but you never could tell with humans. Before he started, the wood elf spoke up into the air to the crows but the words were more for the people present. "Normally, this is performed by a druid and six others. They would make themselves naked, as nature created us, and join hands to dance around the tree. I'll be altering the ceremony this morning."

The ranger bent and picked up a handful of fresh moist earth and used it to draw a line down his face from crown to chin. "Earth, the foundation upon which all is built!" He let the remaining dirt pour from his hand into the slight wind. Next, he picked up the waterskin that he filled with water from the pool. "Water, without which life would not be possible!" Rolen poured some over his head washing away the dirt line. Finally, he retrieved the handful of ashes. "Ash, which is change and rebirth!" Rolen held his hand open and blew the ash out towards the tree in a small billowing cloud.

Rolen placed his hands upon the bark "Great Leaflord hear me! This mighty tree was struck by wicked, unnatural forces!" The wood elf called out in the common tongue, Gods spoke the language of passion and intent."Rillifane Rallathil your child calls upon your strength!"
He began swaying and circling the tree never taking a hand away. "Make me one of your many branches so that I become a conduit for your green power and renew this majestic tree. Great Wild One, let this tree grow into your image and restore your balance here in this troubled forest."

The ranger danced around the tree three more slow circles and sang a short chorus in elven before he retrieved his dagger and pricked a finger. He smudged his blood onto the bark. "Life for life." he whispered.

Rolen silently put his leathers back on and walked back to the camp with the others hoping that somehow he did something right. By the time they returned it was time to see Madam Eva. He was not surprised when she spoke his name and knew of his visions, he was pleased for he knew she was a wise woman indeed. He smiled and bowed when she spoke his name and would take a card when instructed.


 

 

 
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│I have taken the oath.│ “There's something about this that's so black, it's like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.”
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