The road to Getsemiel

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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Alberich » November 12th, 2011, 11:02 pm

[OOC: My understanding is that these side adventures go into Background Noise. My next post will be there.]
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Graybeard » November 12th, 2011, 11:12 pm

OOC:
Alberich wrote:[OOC: My understanding is that these side adventures go into Background Noise. My next post will be there.]

I think this one could go either place just fine. It clearly is closely tied to things happening in the main thread. But do whatever you think best. I, for one, will definitely be reading it, wherever it winds up.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 13th, 2011, 8:37 am

"What did I do wrong?"

"Nothing on your part." Eli replied to Brad, striving to sound reassuring, but tones of distracted concern leaked into his voice. He looked around, dismayed, wondering where Desiree had run off to, wondering where 'Brother' Tim had gotten to. He turned his head wildly, searching, trying to deny the irrational fear that was creeping from the back of his mind.

"Let's just catch her first. We can worry about who's fault it is later." He finished.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Graybeard » November 13th, 2011, 1:44 pm

Sister Rose laughed gently. "Somehow, from what you've told me of the adult version of Fayna, I have a hard time picturing her having had an inseparable attachment to a teddy bear. A dragon, maybe ..." Was that comment in poor taste after the encounter they'd had with that batty Mesuinu girl in dragon form, just a few weeks earlier? If it was, it didn't seem to show in Argus' face.

The laughter gave way to a wistful smile. "You know," she continued, "if there's one thing that I regret about the way my life has gone, it's that I've never had that -- I guess I'd say half opportunity, half duty, to butt heads with a willful daughter." Although there's still hope ... "I certainly had a few of them as the daughter, and you know what? I think my mom and I emerged from it loving each other more than we had before. To be able to do the same thing ... Trying to help Lillith find herself feels good too, but it just isn't the same. Speaking of which, do you think we should join the search yet? It's got strangely quiet out there."
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Drannin » November 13th, 2011, 2:18 pm

Argus looked out at the woods, and shrugged. "Well... Lillith's probably just having a heart-to-heart. These are safe woods, right? I can't imagine there's be anything terribly dangerous out there." He hesitated. "There isn't, is there?"
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Graybeard » November 13th, 2011, 10:47 pm

"Anything dangerous out there?" Sister Rose echoed, then she chuckled. "Oh, you know, the usual array of damsel-devouring monsters with unnatural sexual tastes, that kind of thing." She winked to make it clear she wasn't serious. "Truthfully, Tim could probably tell you more about these mountains than I could, but I traveled around here a few times, and I never even heard an exciting rumor." Another chuckle. "Which is fine; I don't know about you, but I could use a break from excitement for a while."
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Porcelain Fish » November 14th, 2011, 2:17 pm

Maduin hadn't been idle while Rose and Argus were talking. He'd given Bryce the task of setting up the tent, and the big red-headed soldier was now eagerly exploring while trying to downplay any sense of the wonder that he obviously felt.

It had given him plenty of time to weave the dream-bead into the silky bristles of the mahogany hairbrush in his hand among the matrices of the more mundane charms that would enhance gleam and strength, and unpack a few other things as well.

"It occurs to me," he said as he settled behind Sister Rose and took the brush gently to her hair. "That you've had an awfully stressful time of it, Sister. I think some pampering is in order - I was thinking maybe a footbath and pedicure after dinner - perhaps a manicure too, although you don't seem to need it as much." He added a wry laugh. "And I need to keep in practice."

It wasn't anything terribly malignant - really, he was doing her a favor - and it wasn't as though she'd feel the effects for a couple of days anyway. Just a single image - Argus's expressionless face as he pushed her off of a high cliff, a bare moment of harsh emotional intensity, nothing more. The visceral nature of the psychosomatic reaction would at least slow things a little between the two of them.

And really, he did like Rose, which was why she really did deserve the pampering he had in store.

This . . . well, it was simply necessary.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Graybeard » November 14th, 2011, 10:28 pm

Sister Rose started to stop Maduin; such pampering wasn't really her style, and besides, her shape-shifting talent made several of his ministrations somewhat redundant. Still, she had to admit, it did feel good, and they'd been on the road a long time ... Oblivious to his machinations, she sat back and enjoyed the pedicure.

"That was very nice, thank you," she smiled when he was done. "A little restorative treatment now and then can't hurt." Her face turned serious again. "Don't forget, though, that we're still out on our own, with threats out there and mysteries to solve. Maduin, I'd really like to know why a man who leaves death in his wake was carrying around a picture of you ..."

----------

"What now?" Brad turned to Eli, concern on his face. "I'm getting worried about her." (Of course, he didn't need to explain what he meant by "her.") "I think she went this way ..."

As indeed she had. A few minutes later, he was standing at the side of a clearing ... with ...

"Sweetheart? Are you okay?"

[OOC: I have no idea what he's seeing here, but just to move things along ...]

----------

About this time, a solitary rider's dust cloud out on the plains was dampened by the storm that had broken off the mountains ... but the rider was still heading west at high speed.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Alberich » November 14th, 2011, 10:48 pm

What Brad saw in the clearing wasn't Lillith. It wasn't a sweetheart at all. It was simply a large, pale mushroom, untalkative, unhelpful, devoid of guiding signs, not even leaning Lillithwards.

Brad was distraught. They'd been heading in the right direction, he was sure of that, and surely her better nature would've let her see that her friends and most ardent admirer were back this way. Now the woods were too quiet, and there was no trace of her, and she might be gone forever. He kicked the earth.

"Why? Everyone wants love. She's not indifferent, I know she isn't, she never looked that way, did she? Maybe a little shy, that's a seemly thing in women, but...I mean, she knows, and there's no one anywhere else could ever love her more. Not in a thousand years! Why? What can I do?

"Now we really need that flying balloon we saw in Snaaaaa...oh. Sorry. I'm not supposed to say those names, am I? But why? Okay, how do we find her? Isn't there anyone who can help? Even those 'gentle spirits' she's always talking about..."

As if in answer - there was a sound. A song, a bird's song, but not like any other Eli'd heard - two notes rising, the same two again, then three descending. Not a broad range, but sweet, and there was a magic in it. The odd thing was that the magic was in the song itself, not in its source - it seemed to be coming from that way, which by Eli's memory was near the right way, but the magic itself - that was only in the song as it reached him. It repeated.

"Hey, bird!" - called Brad - "Can you take us to Lillith?" - the song grew a little fainter, and harder to follow. "Come back!" - it didn't.

Brad looked pleadingly at Eli, near deranged with grief. "I think I could find her if I could talk to that bird," he said, "Can you?"
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Sareth » November 15th, 2011, 3:39 am

The darkling forest, filled with haze and the dim light of a late afternoon sun filtered through near impenetrable clouds, closed in around Lillith. Even were it not dark, the girl would have seen little of it anyway. Her eyes were filled with tears, her breath raggedly blowing out puffs of cloud in the saturated air, and her mind not on where her feet fell. Unseen a root claimed her toes and she crashed to the ground, rolling until she lay face up with fog dampened skin.

The girl lay there, tears down her face. Her freshly worn clothes were dampened and stained by the wet loam of the forest floor, but her attention was elsewhere. She was miles away in that other place that could be shown only in dreams and memories.

"Mother?"

A smiling woman loomed over her, reaching down to pull hair out of her eyes before picking her up. "Yes, sweetheart?"

"Why don't I have a last name?"

A small shadow crossed Shamhat's expression. It quickly passed, thrust away by a stubborn will. "Well, why do you even need one?"

"Most people have them and Billy Tomlin has one and he said that only weird people don't have them and that you get one from your daddy but because I don't have a daddy I don't get one and I want to know why?"

Shamhat tutted. "What did I say about talking and never drawing a breath?"

A ducked head obscured Shamhat's face from Lillith's view, though the warmth of her arms was undeniable. "That I need to breath and not use 'and' so much. But I still want to know if it's true that I have no last name because I have no daddy."

"I don't have one either, sweetheart."

"A last name?"

"Or a daddy." Shamhat's face cam back into view from behind brown bangs that had gotten messed up again. There was sadness on the face.

"You don't?"

"No. I was found as a very very little girl by the woman I called mother. She was very kind to me and loved me very much just like I love you." That brought a smile.

"Can we visit her?"

Again, that look of sadness. "No, sweetheart. I'm afraid we can't. We can't ever go back and visit her."

"Why not?"

"Because of the elves." The way Shamhat said it was scary. "Because of what they almost did to me, and what they would do to you."

"What?"

Shamhat's face darkened. "Never mind. Go get washed up for supper."

"But."

"No buts. Go on."

Mother's voice brooked no argument.

****

"Why do we have to live in such a lousy place?" Susan complained. "It's always hot and dusty and small and there's nothing to do but fix old clothes." The girl stuck her tongue out at the shirt she was replacing a button on.

"An uh oys are i'iy and eang." Judy replied. Her words would have been unintelligible to Susan and Lillith had they not grown up listening to the girl with the cleft pallet. She was deft enough with a needle though, and quickly finished mending a collar.

"Yeah! They are icky and mean!" Susan replied. "And they stink, too. I'll never play with one!"

"Ou oul lay wi Rirey. E'sh hal oy." Judy smiled and ducked as Susan tossed a playful swat at her.

"It's because of the elves." The two girls turned to face Lillith as she stitched up a torn dress. "Mother says that your great grand-parents had to find a piece of land so desolate the elves wouldn't find us. She said they destroyed the last town."

"My daddy told me that a few of the elves that found the last Sanctuariel warned them before the rest could attack." Susan picked up a sock and began darning the hole in the toe.

"And you believe it?" Lillith's voice was repressive.

"It's true. Of course I do." Susan's eyes narrowed.

Lillith continued sewing. "How do you know?"

"My daddy told me so."

Judy looked between the two uncertainly. "I uh ngow..."

"My mother says it's not true. She met an elf. He attacked her and tried to kill her. No elf is ever to be trusted." Lillith cut the string and tied a neat little knot in the end.

Judy nodded, but her eyes watched Susan carefully. "My daddy wouldn't lie about it. Some elves are helpful."

"Was your father born when the last Sanctuariel was attacked?" Lillith's voice was a touch heated.

"No."

"Then how would he know?"

"How would your mother know? She isn't from here." Susan sounded angry.

"Because she met one!" Lillith tossed down the dress. "He almost killed her. And when the elves found the last Sanctuariel they killed it!"

"But some of the elves tried to help!" Susan tossed down the sock.

"Uysh, e ngish..." Judy looked worried.

"Then where are your grandparents and your aunts and uncles?" Lillith thrust her face forward.

Susan purpled. "What do you know about it? You don't have any either. You don't even have a dad!"

This time it was Lillith's turn to color. "You take it back!"

"You take it back!" Susan shouted. "It's not like you can do anything about it. Your silly spirits won't let you!"

Lillith threw herself on the girl, slapping and yelling, tumbling her to the ground. The girl shrieked and gave as good as she got, pulling Lillith down with her and pulling hair and kicking.

"O i! O i! o osh ou! O i!" Judy ran around trying to pull the two apart unsuccessfully.

"LILLITH!"

The two girls rolled away from one another at once. They rose slowly, filthy, scratched, and bruised, eyes lowered to the ground as Shamhat came walking over.

"Come with me at once!" Shamhat demanded. Lillith walked over slowly, feet dragging. As soon as she got next to Shamhat her mother wheeled around and began walking home. Lillith had no choice but to pick up her pace to keep up. "What have I told you about fighting?"

"She said some elves were good!"

Shamhat glared at Lillith. "That's no excuse."

"But mother,"

"No buts." Shamhat scowled, then softened her expression. "Lillith, some day you will be a priestess, just like I am. We walk in a world of spirits, and when you fight, with anger in your heart, it disturbs the spirits of calmness and invites the spirits of calamity."

Lillith bowed her head contritely. " I know, Mother. It's just, she's wrong."

"Yes, she is. But we cannot force her to believe what's right. Not with shouting and not with fighting. Only she can change her mind, and your fist won't encourage her to think about it clearly. Do you understand what I am saying?"

"Yes, mother. I'm sorry."

"I'm glad. Tonight, I'd like you to go bathe yourself and then spend the night with the spirits seeking their peace and wisdom."

"All night?" Lillith looked shocked.

"All night."

Lillith sighed resignedly. "Yes, mother."

"You can't be a priestess if you can't control your anger. But I have something that might help. After you've spent all night in communion with the spirits, I'll start teaching you how to fight."

"Mother?"

"I never said you couldn't defend yourself. I only said that fighting because you are angry was wrong. You can fight with a clear head and calm heart. In fact, you will know it is right if you can fight while at peace within yourself and with the spirits. Do you understand?"

"Yes, mother."

Shamhat smiled. "Well, we'll see about that."

****

"Is it true?"

Lillith looked up from her gardening curiously, then sighed in exasperation when she recognized the speaker. Collin had been trailing her for weeks with that look boys tended to have far too often. Now he was leaning on the fence and looking down at her as she knelt in the dry dirt. "Is what true?"

"That you're a fertility priestess?"

Inwardly Lillith groaned. She knew where this was going. "I'm only in training and that's only a part of the role of priestess. But even if I were a full priestess I wouldn't sleep with you, Collin."

"Why not? Wouldn't it be your duty?" Colin smirked as he swung his leg up to sit on the fence.

Lillith closed her eyes and schooled herself to patience. She opened them once more and stood facing Collin. "Do you believe in the spirits?"

"Oh, of course I do! I feel their every movement and hear them whispering to me about the joy of life expressed in the act of making love." Collin grinned. "So who am I to question them?"

"Collin, fertility isn't about casual sex. It's about ensuring that life flourishes. It's about asking the spirits to bless a union between lovers that will produce a healthy child. It's about seeking the spirits' protection and blessing for crops. It's about cows filling with abundant milk."

"Sure," Collin nodded with false agreement. "But you do your ceremonies naked and all."

"Not all of them."

"Only the sexy ones."

Lillith took a few calming breaths. "Collin, please stop bothering me."

"Did you say that to Petey?"

"What?"

"Petey. Thomas said that you let Petey 'commune' with you behind the Samael's house. And that you let Gulliver too. And Even Riley." Collin's smile was salacious. "In fact, you'll just get it on with anyone."

"None of that's true, Collin. I haven't 'got it on' with anyone. Please, I need to work on my garden."

"Aw, come on. You know you like it." Collin hopped over the fence. "I'm sure if you got to know me you'd more than like it."

"I've known you for twenty years, Collin. That's why you wouldn't be my first even if I was looking for it. Please get out of my radishes. They already struggle in this soil. In fact, get out of my garden."

"Oh, come on. You know you want it. That's what all you slut priestesses do. I mean, how else did your mother have you?"

*SLAP*

Collin's face was red where Lillith had slapped it, a little dirt left on his cheek from her hand. His left eye was watering from the tip of a finger brushing it. Lillith was holding her stinging hand and glaring at Collin. "Get out of my garden, Collin."

"Bitch," Collin hissed. "Silly slut with a silly religion. You'll give it to everyone else, but not to me? Just you wait. Someday you'll spread your legs for me and like it so much you pray to your spirits to keep me hard. Just watch!" Collin hurdled the fence then stomped off sulkily.

Lillith shivered and sat down in the dirt. "I hate him. I hate him hate him hate him! Why does he have to be such a jerk?" She sucked in a breath and fought tears. "He made me hit him. He got me mad and made me do it."

A small breeze of hot air rustled the shoots coming out of the ground around her. The girl sighed, then put her face in her dirt covered hands. "No he didn't. I got angry, and chose to hit him." The breeze blew her hair. "And now I've upset the spirits again." Shoulders sagged. "I'm a terrible acolyte. I'll never become a priestess."


The beginning of a light rain brought the girl back to the here and now. She shivered as already damp clothing began to cling to her, small rivulets of water dripping down her sides.

"I'll never make it. I know I promised mother, but I'll never be a priestess. I just keep getting so angry." She sobbed, fingers digging into the wet floor of the forest.

"You remind me of my mother."

"It's her fault! If only that girl knew what elves were really like." Lillith beat a fist in the mud. "Her mother. Her mother would have killed Judy. I'm nothing like her mother! Nothing! It's all her fault. It's all... her..."

Rolling over on the dirt Lillith buried her face in the loam.

"It's my fault."
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