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  #16  
Old Jul 13th, 2013, 05:53 PM
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Humility raised an eyebrow at the woman's incongruous retort, before realising that she was still apparently talking with her own shadow. Was it really talking back? Or was the lady just short a few cards from her deck? Well considering what the shadow had done, it was better to give her the benefit of the doubt. She just gave a low, wordless hum of affirmative to her query, and led on without another word. Assuming Barra'abbil was a more formal name for her shadow, or perhaps the form of it she had used to fight the fiends with, she felt a hint of amusement. Did the lady think that she would be unsettled by such a thing? Were the Children in her clan really so easily spooked? Compared to some of the horrors they fought daily, her battle mode was positively cute. She didn't waste her breath voicing objections though, letting the other assume what she would. Arriving at the meeting point she listened to the rest of what Shadow had to tell them, while noting without surprise that Whisper and Screech seemed to have indeed been listening before she came over, glad that there would be no need to waste further time explaining. She just smirked to herself as their visitor placed the bag on the floor and commented wryly.

"A Prince in a bag. Don't spread it around or everyone will want one."

A moment later though, her dark humour slipped and she immediately tensed up again when the woman mentioned leading Invidia away, and she couldn't help interrupting in an intense tone.

"So it's Invidia himself?! He wanted the Prince badly enough to chase after you personally, instead of just sending his dogs instead?"

She found herself clenching her teeth, and her hands twitched nervously on the hilts of her swords as she fought to keep her equilibrium. They were discussing something important and she couldn't afford to lose her head, no matter how much it effected her personally. Maintaining her focused breathing she tried to concentrate on the rest. After listening, she was silent for a moment as she considered how best to respond. She wasn't quite as knowledgeable about Aheka itself, much of what she knew being second hand having only been there for one short action after the Taboo was lifted. The Faces may have brought knowledge back with them, but it was hard to keep track of it all or care much when you thought you would never see it yourself. Who cared what nations the Freeborn divided themselves into or how they did things, unless they got in bed with the fiends like the the Sharakans had? It had nothing to do with their life in the World Between Worlds. Or so it had been until recently. So it she wasn't quite sure why they would want to do anything with this Prince other than dispose of him the way Mockingbird had his kin, and she herself had with Chathema. Anybody who cosied up with the Enemy was better off dead in her book, but the patience and restraint she had cultivated over so many decades told her that such was for people like the Sword in the Dark and Breaker to decide, not her. So she was willing to defer judgement. But at latter suggestion she couldn't help but exclaim with disbelief. Aheka she might be hazy on, but fiends and their ilk, along with their Gods was another matter.

"Deimos? You must be joking. Why would you take him out of Invidia's clutches only to deliver him to someone just as bad? The Enemy is the Enemy, no matter if he concerns himself a lot more with Aheka than he does with us. The only thing I want to give his kind is the point of my blade."

As for the rest she deliberated before asking.

"And is that all? Aren't you at least going to tell us where you came from, even if your mission is a secret? What's your Clan? And if you're one of the Children, then why would be implying that you aren't usually in the World between Worlds without a purpose? You aren't wearing a Mask after all. What about you Whisper? Have you heard of those Families before? I'm not sure about doing favours for people I know almost nothing about."

Her tone was reasonable, but held a hint of suspicion. Her gaze sharpened as she spoke again, narrowing her eyes and looking for signs of hidden intent.

"At the very least, before you go on your way you'll tell me no matter what business you're about next, whether it poses any ill for the First-Born. Powerful magic or not, without a guarantee of your intent I won't be able to just let it go."

She left what Shadow had said about private words for after this had been settled.

OOCSense motive to discern if Shadow is telling the truth.
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  #17  
Old Jul 13th, 2013, 07:00 PM
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"I've dispatched three groups of pursuers now, and the last were strong. I doubt Invidia will want to risk a fourth group, so he'll probably be next, perhaps with one or more of his siblings." Shadow gives Humility a severe look. "And don't you even think about staying. You're not ready to confront him. Not yet at least. And I won't let you throw your life away."

Shadow seems amused at her comment on Deimos. "I meant lead him to believe I was affiliated with one of his siblings or Deimos rather than just running away. If you won't take him then I'll have to risk speaking with Vallyn. I won't hand him over to any of the Fiends or their allies."

Neither Whisper or Screech are familiar with either of the mentioned Families and seem equally at a loss with the strange woman.

Shadow seems more guarded in response to her next comments. "I told you my Clan and Family: the True Dawn Avengers. As for my purpose..." She sighs. "...all I can try to impress upon you is that it is not just for the good of the Children but for the Freeborn too. To avert a disaster greater even than the First and Last War itself. The magic that binds my tongue is magic more powerful than Epic magic, capable of binding Gods to a person's will and various other things, though it generally requires a lot of preparation and so isn't useful in a direct fightTrue Magic, so I hope you appreciate the severity of the situation." Shadow appears to be sincere, a little frustrated (whether at her own inability to speak or because of all the questions) but sincere.

~MTWC
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  #18  
Old Jul 14th, 2013, 12:13 AM
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Humility's hands tightened into a death grip on her weapons at the thought if her hated father entering the World Between Worlds and coming where she could encounter him with ease. Her composure was stretched to it's limits as she bitterly slashed the air in frustration, the cut being perfectly executed and slicing through the air with a nice sound even when performed in such a unsettled mental state. She hissed her reply through clenched teeth, her low intense tone thick with chagrin.

"Do you think I don't know that? You think I need a woman I've just met to tell me I'm not prepared to defeat that bastard yet? Nobody knows my weakness better than me. I've spent decades gauging my strength compared to that monster, and coming up short. I know very well I'm still too damned weak! No matter how far I've come it's still not enough if I can't so much as make the Lone Lord bleed a drop! I..."

She visibly gathered herself as she realised that she was losing her grip on her emotions, old pain threatening to overwhelm her. After a taking a moment to calm herself she changed the subject and tried to continue as though her outburst hadn't occurred.

"Ah. When you said 'He's not exactly sure who took him' I thought you meant the Prince himself. This is why I prefer letting others do the negotiating thing. Talking things out isn't really my speciality. And yes, you did say you were from the True-Dawn didn't you. Funny. I might not be taking this a calmly as I thought. Give me a moment would you...."

She stepped a few paces away from the other free, planted her weapons in the ground before lowering her hood and raising her goggles. Taking a breath of air, she took stock of her mental state. Had her better judgement been compromised by the knowledge that her sire was involved in this business and may be en route even as they spoke? It was quite possible. Years of training her body and mind had disciplined her and given her confidence to maintain full control of both no matter how stressful and dangerous circumstances got. But this was different from simply being in danger, fighting for her life or being stuck in a battle she couldn't win and was difficult to retreat from. If it was such circumstances she could face them every week and be able to focus on what she needed to do and go through with that decision with all her skill. She could do and had done many times. But this was different. It was much too personal, the wounds far too deep. Some scars never faded and seemed almost impossible to stay objective. But she needed to find a way. For some reason Whisper and Screech seemed to be leaving it up to her, which wasn't surprising when it came to Screech, though she might expect the former to have something to say. Then again as chatty as she was most of the time, she always got quiet when things got serious. She probably just didn't like having to be responsible for decisions that might effect the lives of others. Which was understandable. As someone who had gotten people she cared about killed, she understood it very well. After taking a minute to think things through and clear her head, the drow realised that she was wasting time they didn't have and mentally slapped herself.

"Whether that Evil Bastard involved or not, I just have to do things the way I always do. That's all there is to it. Standing here languishing over it isn't going to solve anything. Take action first and then deal with your emotional baggage later damn it!"

After rebuking herself inside, she finally picked up her trusty blades and returned with slightly calmer and serious face.

"Alright. I feel like you're telling us the truth, though my intuition isn't infallible enough for me to bet the lives of my Brothers and Sister on it. But you're being pursued by an Enemy that will follow if we try to take you back with us for further questions, which we can't allow no matter what. We don't have the time to try and obtain infallible proof of the veracity of your claims either, and if it really is True Magic then nobody but the Sword in the Dark himself could get anything out of you....."

She hated taking chances, and wanted to take the best course of action for herself and her people in any situation. But this situation made it hard to be sure what the best option was. Agree to her request and it could end in disaster if this was some elaborate deceit by the Enemy. Refuse and another calamity could be produced if what she said was true. She closed her eyes for a moment, and at last opened them, gave a glance at the two patrolling with her in a likely vain hope of a solution from them, before turning to look straight at Shadow.

"It looks like we can't afford to do nothing in a situation like this. Can we at least check the bag? I don't want to take anything back to the camp without being absolutely sure it has nothing shady about it."

She wasn't happy with the risk, but abandoning a Sister in need and possibly assisting Invidia in the process was even worse.

OOCSorry Makenshi, I made a couple of slip ups there. When you said True Dawn Avengers, for some reason I thought that was just the name of the Family. Funny thing is I think I actually glanced at the list of Clans, but it didn't register. I think my eyes may have taken in the part about Anoron the Light-Seeker and hung up on his appellation to make me thing they were actually called the Light-Seekers. I'll try to be more careful.

And looking back the part you wrote

"So, lets get to the point shall we? Will you hand the Prince over to the Sword in the Dark with my warning? I can't do it myself without stretching a promise I made and I'd be a lot more comfortable luring Invidia away from the In'ira camp before getting on with what I came to the World Between Worlds for." Judging by the lack of a reaction from the twins they had overheard that part of the conversation as well. "He's not even sure exactly who took him, so ideally I'd like to lead him to one of his siblings, or maybe even to Deimos."

does actually seem to follow on from luring away Invidia to the part about leading him to the Prince's siblings or Deimos.
But the way you wrote 'He' not sure who took 'Him' and one of 'his' siblings, was a little confusing so that I wasn't sure which he was Invidia and which was the Prince. So when she said she would lead 'him' to one of his siblings Deimos, I thought that that 'him' was the Prince and by lead she meant where she was taking him.

And that why I messed up, so sorry about that. But it can happen when you're talking about two people of the same gender in the same sentence without using their names. I hope you understand.
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  #19  
Old Jul 15th, 2013, 03:26 AM
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OOCDon't worry about it, these sorts of misunderstandings happen. Sometimes its even more fun to roll with them as you did above and Spat did when he inadvertently ended up being a bit too blunt with one of Morgan's potential love interests.

Shadow smiles. "Of course. I wouldn't expect you to do so without checking him first." She opens up the bag for Humility and the twins to look inside, revealing the they would have all been shown what he looked like in case they came across himfamiliar figure of Prince Tasak Sakean of Sharak, albeit his clothing looked more than a little dishevelled and he appeared to have some kind of strange collar around his neck. "It stops him from using magic and he's not much of a fighter so if you keep it on he won't really be able to cause you any trouble."

Once they were satisfied about the unconscious man's identity Shadow would ask the twins to take the bag and stand a 'respectful' distance away while she and Humility spoke on the private matter. The odd Child watches carefully until they are far enough away before speaking. "I'm glad you overheard what you did as I wouldn't have been able to say most of it to you otherwise due to the magic. You asked what I was doing and while I can't answer that there is a related matter I should make you aware of." She takes a moment to consider her words carefully. "I may know a way to strip you of Invidia's divine legacy, if you should so desire. It would remove your potential to grow into a true Godling although you would still maintain all the abilities you have now and it would not stop you from becoming divine in any other way. I don't need an answer now and you should take your time to think on it."

~MTWC
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  #20  
Old Jul 15th, 2013, 10:25 PM
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Humility squinted into the bag as it was opened, and recognised the man's face from the images they had been shown before the recent attack on Sharak of people they needed to recognise and be aware of. All members of the royal family, and several other key figures. He looked a little worse for ware compared to the well-groomed look he had possessed in the image, but so what? As far as she was concerned anyone who was complicit in selling out to the Enemy, deserved much worse. She would just as soon cut his throat and blame it on Invidia if it would avoid whatever repercussions Shadow had been warning them about. However, the choice of this man's fate wasn't in her hands, more's the pity. When their visitor handed over the bag to the twins and requested some privacy with herself, Humility gave then a nod of acquiescence and gestured that they should give the bag and the Prince a once over for any magical trickery that she wasn't equipped to discover. It was unlikely, but there was always the small chance it could shape-shifted imposter or something. Better safe than sorry, after all. Though the old Humility would have smirked and put complete trust in the infallibility of her own intuition, that person was as dead as she could make her. She did things differently now.

After listening to what Shadow had to say for her alone, Humility's expression was complex, her feelings uncertain and jumbled. She wasn't certain how to react as she replied.

"That....really is a surprising proposition. I'll admit, I want nothing at all of that man in my blood than is absolutely necessary. Anything that ties me to him is better off severed, I have no doubt. But I'll still restrain myself until I hear what's involved. If it calls for a foolish risk, I may have to decline. Death is a small thing, but my life is not mine alone to waste. I still have too many debts I must pay. Not to mention that it also depends on what you plan to do with this divine legacy once it's taken from me. I won't give it up, only to have it used for ill. And I should also mention that even if it galls me, if there is any way to use that legacy to strike back at the Lone Lord instead, then I'll be keeping hold of it. Are we all clear?"

She isn't sure whether she is pleased by the idea or just wary, so she decides to give it some times to sink in while considering the pros and cons objectively.
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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Shadow nods grimly. "I can understand. More than you can imagine right now. All I can say is that it would help my main purpose which, as I said before, is vital for the safety of everyone, Child and Freeborn alike. I wish-" She growls in frustration. "Gyah! Curse this damned magic!" She steps forward, grasping one of Humility's hands tightly between hers and leaning forward, although she still doesn't quite look her directly in the eyes. "Just...please, think about it. And stress to the Sword in the Dark that it is for the best to spare Tasak. If not for the Sharakans than for the good will it will bring with Aldamil." Her grip tightens painfully, with something in her hand pressing against Humility's skin (a ring perhaps?) before she sighs and lets go, running a hand nervously through her hair before glancing to the side. "Shut up." In all there was a strange vulnerability to the young woman as well as a sincerity that Humility found hard to disbelieve. Shadow turns back to Humility. "I'd better go. No sense risking that someone comes sooner rather than later."

She steps away from Humility, holding out her arms. "Lit. Shadow-friend in the Drow tongueBarra'abbil." Her shadow slinks back up, engulfing her as before however this time it's only slightly larger than Shadow herself and the hands and feet look odd and...are those extra legs and tentacles growing out from it? In a moment she tips forward onto all fours - or eights now - and it all makes sense. Instead of a large humanoid creature this time she's only slightly larger with eight clawed feet, with two tentacles writhing along her back where wings might be along with a barbed tail. Otherwise the creature appears basically the same, including the eyes of dried blood, although standing this close Humility found she could just about make out a grin.

Her - their? - voice was strange, like two of her speaking at once, making it almost sound like an echo and the tone was much more confident, even a little teasing. It was almost like a different person entirely. "See you in another life, Teach." Without giving Humility a chance to speak further the combined pair bound away at great speed on their eight legs.

~MTWC
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 11:27 PM
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Humility took the woman's assurances that she understood how she felt with a pinch of salt, though she didn't make an issue of it. She just calmly continued to appraise Shadow, still wondering if she was doing the right thing going along with all this. She had to admit though, this person did seem genuinely frustrated at being able to say more and the behaviour didn't strike her as an act. Of course that was just her own intuition, and her tendency to second guess her instincts was as strong as ever. After all, her first instinct was usually to just forget all the tedious planning and deliberating, and just act and worry about the consequences later, and she needed no reminder of how that would end. Of how it had ended. So she continued to reserve judgement, and found herself surprised as the young woman stepped forward and grasped her hand with sudden earnestness, making her drop the sword she was carrying in it. The blade fell and landed point stuck in the dirt, though she wasn't paying attention to it. She just stared at Shadow's face as she didn't meet her gaze, but appealed with feeling as she tried to impress on the drow the importance of keeping the Prince alive. Bemused, all she could do was peer at the stranger, not quite sure what to make of it. It felt a little odd coming from someone she had just met, though again, it didn't seem to be empty dramatics. Even after releasing her hand, Shadow behaved in a slightly vulnerable manner, as though slightly embarrassed at her behaviour, reinforcing the impression that it had been spur of the moment and genuine.

As Humility was wondering at this and thinking of how to respond, Shadow pre-empted her and declared it was past time for her to move on. Something she herself agreed with. If she was going to go, she should go soon before more pursuers arrived, and since it didn't seem like they would be able to stop her or even hurt at all, letting her go seemed the only option. Feeling a little as though the choice had been made for her, she simply nodded and watched as the strange shadow thing encompassed the lady as she watched curiously, not alarmed but watchful. It happened quickly after that. Before Humility could think to exchange farewells and parting words properly, she was once again left hanging as Shadow threw a strange parting line and scrambled off at such a speed that even she didn't think she could keep up on foot, and was left standing there with a foolish look on her face, shaking her head at the peculiar experience and muttered a common goodbye among the Children of the Dark, that the woman wouldn't be able to hear now.

"Fare well and live in freedom Shadow. Whoever the hell you were..."

She seemed to be left with more questions now than before they started talking, and considering the conversation she realised their respective manners had been a little off. While Humility had been behaving as though talking to someone she had only just met, Shadow seemed to have been talking to her as though they were already acquainted and on familiar terms. Especially that outburst towards the end there, along with that parting line. That was just strange.

"Teach? As in teacher? Is she saying we've actually met before and I taught her something? But where and what? I teach a lot of the young one who want to learn the sword back at the Family camp, but she isn't even a First-Born, let alone a Tal'gos. Just what was she going on about? Damn it, I'll just have to wonder. It's past time we were moving too."

Shaking her head a final time, she picked up her fallen sword and sheathed both of them using a skilled, habitual motion of spinning them into reverse grips and sliding them in place behind her waist simultaneously without so much as looking. It was obviously something she had done countless times and could do blindfolded if she felt like it. Shadow having vanished into the dim distance of the World Between Worlds, the drow Child returned to Whisper and Screech with a sigh before she spoke.

"Well this is a fine mess, isn't it? I don't have a clue if she was who she says she was, but it makes no difference now. We have to report back the situation and deliver his royal useless ass to the Sword in the Dark so He can decide what needs doing. This is all too complicated for me to deal with, and I'll be happy to let the God figure it all out for me. Do you to have any idea if He'll be back at your Camp, or if we can get in contact with him from there? I want this hot potato out of our hands as soon as possible."

She's still wondering if there wasn't a better way to have handled this as she speaks, and absently glances at her hand to see if whatever Shadow had been holding in hers had left a mark.

Last edited by DiabolicalGenius; Jul 17th, 2013 at 08:09 PM.
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 07:01 PM
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OOCJust to point out that she was originally dubbed Teaches Humility, so Teach could be a reference to that.

"The Sword in the Dark should be at the In'ira camp, so we should be able to get this sorted out quickly." Whisper shakes her head as she looks out towards where Shadow has long-since vanished into the darkness of the World Between Worlds. "She looked familiar to me, though I can't place how or why..."

When Humility looks at her hand she finds that Shadow did indeed leave an imprint. From what she remembered of their study of the Freeborn before striking the Sharakans it looked like one of those decorative rings their leaders tended to wear as a proof of their identity. They'd be taught several of them to be on the look out for just in case. In fact, the more she looked at it the more it felt familiar. It took her until they were nearly back at the In'ira camp, located inside the mouth of a cave which led to a vast complex of tunnels and caves, before she finally recognised it, and it only gave her more questions. The impression was of a pair of birds, both wearing ornate 'crowns', although one was larger than the other. The reason it had taken her so long is that they'd only been told about it on the off chance that Princess Aldamil had decided to return, as the Sword in the Dark had not wanted her killed. The ring was Aldamil's own personal signet ring and supposedly represented her being the heir and future queen of Sharak. While the outburst might not have been planned, Humility got the distinct impression that Shadow had give her this clue deliberately as a way around the magic stopping her from talking of her identity and true purpose.

As Whsiper said, the Sword in the Dark was in the In'ira camp, speaking with the Family's elders and Faces about organising a gathering of all the Clans and Families to discuss the note that they don't know about Airis being The Mother yetZera situation, which was already dividing the In'iras. He didn't have a clear enough link with the Fiends for the liking of many, or rather, he wasn't a pawn of theirs but just another Freeborn causing trouble for other Freeborn.

~MTWC
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 09:56 PM
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As Humility was making her way back to the In'ira camp and trying to remember where she recognised the emblem the signet ring had left imprinted on her hand came from, she belatedly realised that the 'Teach' might have been a playful nickname derived from her full chosen name. She felt a hint of irritation at having missed something so obvious, but the fact was that other than when introducing herself formally as 'Teaches Humility', it was almost always cut to just Humility routinely to the point that it seriously hadn't occurred to her that someone might use the first part of her name instead and cut of the latter. It might be the first time anyone had called her in such a way, and it just added to the impression of Shadow treating her with unusual familiarity, not to mention that sense that there was something there that she should recognise in her face. She still couldn't quite place where the similarity came from though.

It was as they were almost at the camp that she finally remembered where she had seen the emblem imprint before, and it only left her even more puzzled. Why in the worlds would Shadow be holding Princess Aldamil's personal signet ring? She felt quite certain that if the woman had been Aldamil herself they would have instantly recognised her, and the Princess having powers such as that shadow hadn't been mentioned to them. Along with the big point that Aldamil shouldn't have any business navigating the World Between World's with such familiarity, dressed as one of the Children and even speaking and acting as one to the point that she herself had recognised the woman as one of theirs. No, the very idea that it was Aldamil in disguise was simply preposterous. A good tactician had to acknowledge every possiblity, no matter how far-fetched, but you still spent made most of your preparations for the ones that had a real chance of actually happening. So that left Shadow having gotten hold of the ring somehow, which would be difficult indeed. Having been told that it was carried by the Princess as a symbol of her being next in line for the throne, it seemed obvious that she wouldn't give it up willingly. So it all came down to how Shadow had gotten hold of it, and why? More importantly, if it was as it had seemed and the woman had left the imprint deliberately as an attempt to circumvent the restraint she was under, then why this? What did she hope to convey with this clue? This Shadow just seemed to create more questions than answers with every passing moment.

Feeling a little frustrated about the lack of sufficient information, and her own inability to deduce more with what she did have, the drow woman led the way through the tunnels of the In'ira Camp with the familiarity of one who had visited it on numerous occasions over the decades. Without much trouble they quickly found out where their God was meeting with the Elders and Faces over the recent affairs, and made their way straight there without delay. It seemed like the meeting was in deep discussion over the complicated business of organising a meeting of all the Clans and Families to discuss the merits of getting involved with the Freeborn's battle with this so-called Zera. A discussion which seemed like it would continue for some time, and this wasn't something that could wait. It might ruffle a few feathers among the In'ira elder's, but she didn't have a choice but to barge in and interrupt.

"I'm very sorry to intrude, but I have urgent business with the Sword in the Dark. I'm afraid it really can't wait."

Her tone as as respectful as it can be without lowering herself or her dignity, but her expression is distinctly more deferential when looking at the God Himself.

OOCAnd I even came up with the name too. Why didn't it click....?
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Old Jul 18th, 2013, 07:48 PM
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When it looks like one of the elders is going to protest Whisper and Screech step up behind Humility in support and the three of them are let into the 'room' where the meeting was taking place. It takes a while for the discussion to die down as the discussion seemed to have broken off into multiple smaller ones as was often the case. The elders and masked Faces were also spread haphazardly around the room in small groups rather than around one large central table as the Freeborn sometimes liked to do. As for the Sword in the Dark himself, he was moving from group to group looking, for the most part, like any other Child. To a Freeborn there would have been no hint that this was the closest thing that the Children had to a King but there were likely no Children who would not recognise him, if only from description. His shadowy appearance - the Shroud - was almost exclusively for use in battle, when passing judgement (which he was rarely called to do) or when he was very angry.

One of the elders taps the God on the shoulder to get his attention before passing on Humility's message. He obviously recognises Humility when he looks over and, after promising that he will be back soon, he makes his way over to the three of them. "Come. We'll take this to another room. If we get them distracted now it'll take even longer to reach a decision." Whisper grins widely at the comment despite the disapproving look from a nearby Elder. It was always odd seeing the almost millenia old Deity act like the young man he appeared to be, but perhaps even more disconcerting when he spoke with the wisdom of one who has lived and seen it all as a result.

He takes them to a nearby room where they can be assured of privacy although the Sword likely put up a psionic barrier against eavesdropping just in case. "Start at the beginning then." He appears increasingly concerned and more than a little confused himself as the three of them explain what happened and even when they have finished there is a long pause before he speaks, eyeing the bag containing the Prince. "You did well. Given the circumstances there wasn't anything else you could have done. This mysterious 'Shadow' aside having the Prince should help smooth over matters with some of the Freeborn, which would greatly increase the chances of getting their permission to set up some sort of permanent presence of Aheka regardless of how the Clans decide on the matter of Zera. Fortunately there appears to have been a development that I believe will push most towards standing with the Freeborn against Zera." He glances from face to face. "We have reason to believe that Airis, one of the Deities imprisoned, enslaved and raped by Zera to produce Godling children that he then uses to power an ancient artifact is in fact The Mother."

Once the outcome of that comment is settled there is another pregnant pause before he speaks again. "Stilll. This 'Shadow' worries me. It is a shame you weren't able to see her in light as it might have given us a little more to go on but the ring looks like it might be key, although I'm equally stumped as to what it means at the moment." There is another thoughtful pause. "Either way, we need to inform our allies among the Freeborn of what happened. Whisper, Humility, would you be willing to travel with me to Aheka to pass on what you have told me? I might also need you to look into the matter further with or without their help."

~MTWC
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  #26  
Old Jul 19th, 2013, 01:11 AM
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Humility anticipated resistance from the elders to the interruption, and looked to have her expectations met until her companions stepped in to back her up. Thanks to that they got into the meeting a lot smoother than she might have expected. Once in, the immediately picked out the Sword in the Dark, and she couldn't help but give a small, pleased smile as He looked at her with immediate recognition. At His comment and Whisper's unconcealed grin in response, she managed to keep a straight face. No sense in risking ill will forming from the In'ira elders towards her and her Family, no matter how true the words were. Soon after they found themselves alone in a room nearby and allowed to speak. Before entering the meeting, she had removed her goggles and hood, sweeping the cloak back so that her face could be seen clearly, allowing her to meet her God eye to eye.

She wasted no time in giving her report, explaining in succinct detail everything that had happened covering all the important points. All but the part about what Shadow had told her at the end, about a way of removing that unwanted Divine Legacy. She didn't plan to share that unless she was talking to the God without anyone else at all to hear. Fortunately it seemed she didn't need to make any special effort to convince Him not to kill Tasak, as he already seemed inclined to use him to buy some goodwill from the Freeborn as part of their efforts to establish a permanent presence on Aheka. She had heard of the plans, but it seems the God was strongly committed to them. It looked like the Taboo was well and truly done with, which was hard to take in. Even the attack on Sharak had seemed more like a one time incursion when she was doing it. The idea that they could now come and go on Aheka as was necessary and might even be moving people there on a permanent basis, was hard to take in after a lifetime of the opposite being the natural order of things. Her brooding over how her world was changing was suddenly cut short though, as the Sword in the Dark looked at each of them very seriously, before dropping a revelation that changed everything.

For a moment Humility just stood there with her jaw slack, unable to understand what she was hearing. She didn't even glance at the other two to see how they were taking it, though she knew it couldn't be much better than her. It was simply too appalling to take in. She and just about every other Child of the Dark was raised by the community with stories of the Mother, the love and gratitude they all felt towards Her for granting them their freedom and Her teachings, all being passed down to every Child with their mother's milk. It didn't wane even as many generations passed, as those like herself who had been freed from slavery had first had experience of what they had to be grateful for, and not only that, but there were those among them who had been there so long ago, had actually known Her personally. Those who could speak from first hand experience of what had happened, and have it known for truth. Those like Breaker.

"Oh Breaker.....does he know as well? What must it be doing to him to hear such things about his saviour and teacher, the one who was a Mother to all the founding Keepers and every Child who would follow? To hear that she was reborn as the Freeborn's Airis, only to be chained once more, abused, both Her mind and her body defiled in the most....depraved manner possible. Violated....."

As she imagined the things their Mother had suffered the shock faded and the idea became real to her. She realised she was grinding her teeth so hard that they hurt and could be heard by the people nearby, as a tide of fury so cold it burned surged up from the pit of her stomach and hit her hard enough that she staggered slightly. Her head was spinning. It was like having something you had cherished and idolised from childhood torn apart, spat on and trampled into the dirt right in front of your eyes. Something important and irreplaceable. The fact that she had never met their Mother mattered not a bit, Her being such a vital part of their culture and identity as a people that she didn't need to know her personally to feel so strongly about it. She couldn't have felt any more murderously angry if it had been her own Sword-sister. She simply couldn't hold it in as she stumbled over to the wall, supported herself against it with one arm for a moment, and then her other hand shot forward with blinding speed and struck the stone with a startling crack. A cracking sound that seemed to come from the wall itself, rather than her hand. It's likely an untrained non-combatant would have killed in an instant if they had gotten in the way of that blow. As the sound faded she hissed in a low, dreadfully composed voice.

"Unforgivable."

This isn't her usual composure, but a flat tone devoid of emotion. Cold as a glacier and at least a chilling, enough to send a shiver up the spine of almost anyone. Those who were quite familiar with Humility might recognise what it meant. It was very rarely heard from her, who was perpetually disparaging, mocking of herself and the world and always seeking criticism to keep her head from getting too big for her. But that tone could only mean that she was so angry, so filled with intense hate, that she could no longer express it and had focused it all on her absolute intent to kill those who had provoked it, no matter what it took. She could count the number of times she had felt this way in her life on one hand, and in every case the one responsible hadn't lived to regret it. This time too.....

She finally turned back once she had regained enough self-control to speak rationally and stepped forward to address the Sword in the Dark, her expression disciplined but deadly serious.

"There's nothing for it. If this it true, then Zera has to be destroyed."

For all the cold, clipped tone she was using, the way she said "destroyed" had a disturbing emphasis to it. It implied nothing as mild as defeating or killing someone. It implied annihilation in every sense of the word. To be reduced to nothing so that not even a speck remained. That was exactly what she was saying and nothing less. The killing intent she put in that word was sharp enough to make even a God nervous. After making her feelings known and once the matter was settled, she moved on to the next topic, but hadn't forgotten the matter. Not even a little bit.

She shrugged as His concerns about Shadow was mentioned and could only repeat what she had mentioned already.

"Light or not, all three of us seemed to find something familiar about her. So she must be connected to us somehow, even if it is vague. As for the ring, the only thing we can really do is check with Aldamil and see what happened to her signet ring and go from there. Though even if she isn't the same as the rest of her kin, I'd sooner not be asking any favours of a Sharakan Princess. Concerning Shadow, for what it worth I didn't feel that she was deceiving us by choice, or had any ill intent for the Children. Though if True Magic was used to restrain her and force her to keep her purpose a secret, then the same might hold for her identity too. I wouldn't be surprised if Shadow and the True-Dawn Avengers are both figments of her imagination. I'd expect even the dullest Sword-Brothers and Sisters to show a bit more imagination in choosing a name for a girl's Swordright...."

She shook her head at the very literal chosen name the woman had given, but otherwise gave the impression that she didn't consider her an enemy. Though her manner was coloured by the dark shadow hanging over her expression after what she had just heard. Her eyes did widen at the next part though.

"Me? Go to Aheka? Are you sure? Whisper I can get. She'll talk to anyone if they'll sit still long enough. But I'm not exactly cut out for this sort of thing. Tell me that you've got a problem over there that can be solved by sticking it full of blades, and I'm your girl....but I'm not most people's first choice to be a diplomat. Or even just a messenger. I'll do it if that's your wish, but are you really sure you want to put me in personal contact with a bunch of high and mighty Freeborn big shots? It could end pretty badly....."

Doubting herself and harshly criticising her lack, at the same time as she fought back the surge of self-satisfaction that came from the thought that she would be chosen for this out of all others. It was the usual reaction from her, though this situation was nothing usual at all. She just quirked an eyebrow at Him querulously, but didn't object too hard. Nobody among the Children bowed and scraped to the Sword in the Dark, and the In'ira who were close to him were even more informal than most. In Humility's case, she was deferential towards him out of personal respect and gratitude for all he had done for her. So even if she did have doubts, she wouldn't think of refusing Him.
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Old Jul 20th, 2013, 04:36 PM
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Whisper and Screech's reactions are just as pronounced, albeit in their own way. As with their battle personas the twins' anger were the opposite of their names. Whisper became deadly silent, her eyes like knives, while Screech spoke in a firm, loud voice. "We'll hunt him down pay him back for everything he has done to Her."

Screech speaks in his normal soft tones in response to her remark on Shadow's name. "Are you so sure Teaches Humility?"

Whisper nods, smiling slightly. "A lot of Children go by shortened versions of their chosen name. I'm actually Last Whisper and Bane is Balor-Bane."

The Sword smiles in response to Humility's surprise. "Freeborn are a lot more varied than you give them credit for. Much more varied than the Children are in fact. The people I would be asking you to work with include my mother and many times great grandson amongst other accomplished individuals. As for why you, a part of it is your interactions with this Shadow but mostly it is precisely because you are good at 'sticking it full of blades' as you said. Throwing people off guard is valuable. You also provide an outside perspective compared to the Freeborn. Finally, and I know you dislike being reminded of it, but you are incredibly talented. It is true you are not exactly known for diplomacy, but you have had no use for it so far, not really. You needed to be a fighter, and you have excelled as such. Then, when you felt you needed to teach others to avoid the mistakes you recognised in your own poast, you made yourself into a teacher. Not because someone told you to, but because you saw that it needed to be done. Well, this needs to be done, and my children will not be able to do it without help." He pauses to let that sink in. "This is not a command. 'The Sword in the Dark will lead you in the First and Last War', that is what the Mother said and that is all I have promised. My word is not law and no Child must do as I say. If you truly believe you can not help then I'll shut up." He smiles wryly at the end.

~MTWC
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Old Jul 20th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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At the twin's criticism of her doubts over Shadows name, Humility quirked an eyebrow without irritaion, but didn't smile. After the news they had just been given, it would be a little time before she could show any humour over anything. She just cocked her head slightly and amended herself slightly.

"Thank you for reminding me of what even little children know Whisper. Though I get what you're saying. I'm just pointing out that we should keep in mind the fact that Shadow stated she was being forced to keep secrets, and may have been forced to mislead us as to her identity as well. Either through a false name, or name that may apply to her but wouldn't be easily recognised. We should try to keep an open mind when working out who she really is, and not make any assumptions at the start. Right?"

She also spared a slightly sharp glance at Screech and added as an after thought in a slightly dangerous tone of voice.

"And what's wrong with Teaches Humility? Is your jealousy over not having as clever and thoughtful a chosen name as me, starting to get to you Screech?"

She wasn't being hostile and knew it was meant as a gentle retort, but her name was the keepsake she had of her lost Swordbrothers, and she was a little over sensitive to it being criticised, even if it was true. She knew that, so she kept herself from overreacting in spite of the hint of irritation. After finishing the comments on Shadow, she listened to what the Sword in the Dark had to tell her with her full attention and careful consideration, her expression serious. She is obviously taking it all to heart. Finally she nodded and replied in a calm, courteous manner.

"However talented I might be, what I am lacking cannot be overlooked or forgotten, lest the past repeats itself. But if you going to go as far as to say all that, then I won't make any more complaints. Though I do believe you're making too much of me. I did what felt was needed, no more than that. It's not something you should praise me too much for. I'm enjoying it too much already....."

She trailed off at the end there, becoming barely audible and with a troubled expression showing mixed, conflicting emotions crossing her face before she composed herself and continued in at the original volume.

"If you believe that I'm suited for the role and ask me to do so, then I will gladly do it. You should already know that I'm not one to be commanded, no more than any of my Brothers and Sisters. I will only follow my own will and will die before anyone takes it from me, Free to the bitter end."

Her face becomes hard and set with determination as she spoke the last, her gaze sharp and piercing. Then all of a sudden it softened and she gave a small, but surprisingly warm smile to the God in spite of the dark cloud hanging over her mood over the Mother's plight.

"And that means I am also free to listen to who I choose and follow whomever I will. I said that I would do it if that is your wish, and that was exactly what I meant. Not because you command it or because you are the God, but because that is my own choice. Out of the respect I hold for you personally and for all you have done for both me and our people, I will do whatever you ask of me. Because I feel you've earned at least that much and more, and it's the simple fact that your knowledge, experience, insight and judgement are greater than all but the wisest of us. Be rest assured, if I truly thought you were wrong about something, I wouldn't hesitate to let you know. Though until I've lived a thousand years and seen half as much as you have, it probably won't be happening any time soon."

Her sincerity is plain for all to see, almost disconcertingly so. The Children were generally irreverent and disparaging of authority, asserting their free will at all times, but willing to follow those who they admired and respected. Though most tended to be irreverent even when doing so. In Humility's case though, when it came to the things she felt strongly about, she could be startlingly direct. She was sure that most of her Brothers and Sisters felt a similar level of respect and loyalty towards the Sword in the Dark as she, even if it they didn't feel themselves to be of lower standing, and tended to be impertinent in showing it. She just preferred to be honest about her feelings with people she genuinely admired and looked up to. Except for Breaker of course. If he ever knew about how she had idolised and been infatuated with him over all these years, she would be too embarrassed to ever face him again.....
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Old Jul 21st, 2013, 05:05 PM
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Screech seems a bit taken aback by her response. "A comment on shortened names. Not the name itself." He explains.

The Sword smiles sadly at her response. "Age and experience are not perfect teachers Humility. Even I can make mistakes and I do occasionally come across things I have little to no experience with. Still, I'm glad to have your agreement to help. We'd best go soon." He turns to Screech. "Could you inform the Elders of what has happened and that I'll be taking Whisper and Humility to speak with the Freeborn?" Screech nods. "Good. Afterwards I'll need someone to speak with the current Keeper of the True-Dawn ClanStrider. I'm not familiar enough with all the Families of any of the Kinships to know for certain of these 'Avengers' exist and she travels among the Families of her Clans often enough to be able to say if they do or not." Another nod. "Finally, I'd like you to spread the word of what has happened to the Mother to the other Families and Clans. Get as many others as you can to help and combined with those Children who travel a lot the word should spread quickly."

"I'll go now." Screech gives his sister and Humility a brief smile before leaving.

The Sword turns back to Whisper and Humility. "Get anything you'll need to take with you and meet me back here as soon as you're ready and we'll go."

Once Whisper and Humility returned the Sword in the Dark Shrouded, placing a hand on each of their shoulder's he Shrouded them too before pulling them all into nearby shadows and transporting them through the World Between Worlds and into the land of the Freeborn. For most travel through the World Between Worlds like this was a slow process but for the Shadow That Walks it was instantaneous, and Humility and Whisper next found themselves in a large room of worked stone, and they weren't alone.
OOCThere will be an update in that thread soon with your introduction and Coiya's actions.

~MTWC
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Old Jul 21st, 2013, 06:15 PM
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Humility glance at Screech for a moment at his response, before nodding in approval.

"Good. As long that's all you meant and you weren't mocking the name, then there's no problem."

She kept cool and tried to let it pass without further comment, but knew she might really have overreacted after all. She felt just a little bad about it, since was on good terms with the twins and should have known better, but she had a bad habit of assuming the worst when it came to that. Though she didn't feel it had been too big of a stretch, since she had been suggesting Shadow's name was a alias due to how unoriginal it sounded, so it seemed natural to think that Screech was saying the same about her own name. But it seemed that from his perspective, they were focusing on the fact that Shadow wasn't that unoriginal if you assumed it was part of a longer, more unique chosen name. They had been looking at it from completely different angles. It really made her want to ask the God all over again if he was really sure about choosing her for this thing. But the issue was already settled, and any more would sound suspiciously like whining, which she would never stoop to.

As the Sword in the Dark explained what was next, Humility simply gave a firm nod and a hum of agreement. The time for discussing it was already done, and now they needed action. There was no point in worrying about it any further. She didn't need to make any special arrangements, most of what she needed already on her. She was away from her Family in the In'ira camp as it was, and she travelled light. There wasn't actually anything she needed to pick up, it was just a question of making the proper arrangements. She found people she knew who dealt with this kind of thing, and prepared messages to be sent back to the Tal'gos camp to let her Family know that she was doing something important for the Sword in the Dark himself, and that she didn't know when she would be back. She sent messages to the people who usually covered her in her work training the youngsters while she was off on a mission, and asked them to keep it up for an indeterminate period. She also prepared a message for her own elders mentioning about the situation with the Mother and her own feelings on the appropriate action to be taken, just so that there could be no room for doubt. If her word meant anything, then the Tal'gos should be first to throw their full force behind the effort to exterminate Zera from the face of the world. Having done all she could, she only took a very short side trip to wash her face and refresh herself a little after having come straight there after the mission, before heading back. The thought of making any efforts to dress up or pretty herself at the prospect of meeting the Freeborn didn't even occur to her. She would actually be confused if someone asked her about it, such was her mindset. Not that many of the Children viewed things any other way.

Returning just a little after Whisper did, she simply inclined her head towards the God and stated simply.

"I'm ready when you are."

The shadows cloaked the God and she felt his surprisingly warm hand on her slim shoulder before the shadows cloaked her and Whisper as well. She held her breath and tensed ever so slightly. Not in fear of the process, since she trusts the Sword in the Dark with her life. No, it was the anticipation that she was about to go to Aheka. The last time had been a short visit doing the work she knew best and was comfortable with, spared from any extra worries. It had been entire focused on eliminating the corrupt bastard and then getting out safe and sound and back to their own plane. This time though, it was a little different. She wasn't scared, but going straight to a world she knew very little of and which she had been raised her whole life to see as Taboo, she couldn't help but be apprehensive. She tensed, but didn't have time to worry much. As expected from the God, the transition was smoother than any other shift she had experienced. Over in an instant.

OOCJust covering her final actions there. For everything that comes after the shift, I'll post in 5c.

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