Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

For in-universe game play. Journey through both familiar and foreign settings, explore lost ruins and forgotten cities, and try to bring light to the darkness of the world... or, you know, blow stuff up. Either way.

Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » January 31st, 2016, 1:16 pm

"Glim and Armature," Lennart answered, now looking about ten years older than he had moments earlier. "Now please excuse me. Safe travels and the blessing of the Cosmic Good be upon you." He didn't wait for a response, but turned and walked back toward his house, his shoulders sagging and his footsteps dragging.

I watch him go. Then I turn to Therese.

"Let's get out of here," I say. I don't know if I can ever stand to come back here again.

After a pause, I add "we should probably say our goodbyes to Lillith and Brad."

-- Desiree
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » February 1st, 2016, 10:05 pm

Therese nodded at the idea of seeing Brad and Lillith one more time before they headed north (northwest, actually) to Refuge-Nouveau, but they didn't have to go looking for the other couple, or at least not for all of it, as Brad was approaching them at a trot.

"News," he said. "Lillith's mother says there's a trade caravan leaving day after tomorrow for Gropiel." Therese recognized the name of the nearest non-Goriel large city to Refuge-Nouveau. "She says the trader owes her a favor, and she thinks she could get you space to travel with them for a while. It might be safer than traveling alone."

Now how did he know that we were about to leave town? Therese wondered, but she decided not to press the point. "Gropiel," she said. "I know the place. We've used it a time or two for --" She looked around to make sure that no one else was listening. "For housing some of the women we've rescued. Not the best place to live, but a hell of a lot better than --" She couldn't bring herself to say the name of Goriel, and she blushed mildly at having sworn in front of a Veracian priest (such as he was), although Brad didn't seem to mind. "Anyway, where we're going is on the way there, almost. We'd only have half a day's travel from the main trade route to get home." She cocked an eyebrow at Desiree. "What do you think?"

[OOC: So it's your call here: get out of Dodge immediately and see what happens, or hang around for the caravan and the no-doubt-curious, but probably safe, characters in it, which you're more than free to help design. I can go either way. What's your preference?]
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » February 1st, 2016, 10:38 pm

"Anyway, where we're going is on the way there, almost. We'd only have half a day's travel from the main trade route to get home." She cocked an eyebrow at Desiree. "What do you think?"

Tempted as I am to simply leave, the trade caravan sounds safer and possibly more comfortable.

"The trade caravan sounds good to me," I reply.

-- Desiree
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » February 2nd, 2016, 12:29 pm

Therese nodded agreement, and that was all Brad needed. "We'll make it so, and of course, you're welcome to stay with us until then." He turned and trotted back in the direction of his house.

Therese's smile at his retreating form had a great deal more respect in it than some that Brad had evoked in the last couple of months. "He's come a long way, hasn't he?" she mused; no answer to this was necessary.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully; one might say "blearily," given how little sleep the principals had had recently. Therese was vaguely aware of a stream of well-wishers and comforters visiting the deputy mayor's home, but she did not join in the parade; she was simply too tired for that. A dinner of a vegetarian stew, and an early bedtime, later, she was snoring peacefully alongside Desiree...

... Until moments before midnight.

She suddenly jerked awake. What was that that I heard? But there was nothing to be heard except the snoring from Brad's and Lillith's room. Even the usual background noise of a small town seemed subdued. Then she understood: what had awakened her was not anything that she'd heard, but rather, what she did not hear -- which is to say, the absence of the banshee's wail. She'd been subconsciously preparing for the return of that unsettling sound, as though the events of the previous night had never happened. But they had, and there was no "DESTINYYYY..." wail from the hills, or anything else.

She sat in bed for some time, looking at Desiree's beautiful form, contributing her own silence to that of the night, and thinking.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » February 11th, 2016, 2:22 pm

The rest of the day passed uneventfully; one might say "blearily," given how little sleep the principals had had recently. Therese was vaguely aware of a stream of well-wishers and comforters visiting the deputy mayor's home, but she did not join in the parade; she was simply too tired for that. A dinner of a vegetarian stew, and an early bedtime, later, she was snoring peacefully alongside Desiree...

I am standing somewhere familiar. A cave, but not. I remember this place - this is the dark place where I met Compassion.

Except now, it isn't dark.

I walk across a thin bridge into a bright chamber. The light is everywhere. It surrounds me. It fills me.

I open my mouth to speak, but I can't. The only sound is a faint ringing. It should be annoying or painful, but instead it calms me. It, too, seems familiar.

I kneel before the light, eyes cast down in humble abeyance. I know my goddess when I stand before her.

Since I can't speak, I think. I'm sorry, my goddess. I failed you. I couldn't save Compassion.

I await her condemnation or forgiveness, but neither arrives. Instead, I see five shadows before me. I feel a sense of surity and reassurance. Five shadows... not six.

Then... Compassion wasn't created by you or Sentilis? She... she was a false messenger.

The sense of surity continues, so I nod, taking that as confirmation. I was wrong. Coming here... chasing Compassion... it was all pointless.

The feeling ends sharply, as though a rebuke, and instead I feel a sudden sense of pride. Why? It was a fools errand. What did I- Oh. I helped stop her. Whatever she was, she was a lie... and by failing to save her, I helped to destroy her. Of course, that means that if I had succeeded in helping her, I might well have unleashed something terrible upon the world.

That is a somewhat chilling realization.

But... what do I do now?

While the feeling of pride doesn't fade, something new is added to it. I feel some very pleasant sensations moving through my body and - oh.

Therese, I think, I should follow her? The feeling of arousal abates briefly, and then returns. Oh. I see. Love, I think, correcting myself. You want me to follow my heart. The arousal abates again, and the feeling of pride swells and slowly transmutes to a sense of satisfaction. And... anticpiation?

I stand up - not of my own thought or volition - and exit the chamber. Looking back, I can still see five shadows in the light.

I blink.

I'm looking up at Therese. The darkness around her should be pitch black after the blinding light, but of course I was dreaming that light. I must have just awoken. She seems to have been awake for some time. She looks beautiful in the twilight.

She opens her mouth to say something - probably to apologize for waking me, which she didn't do - but I'm quicker. I sit up and kiss her, running my fingers through her hair, drawing her down towards me. The presence of the goddess still sings through me, and she melts down into me.

Compassion - or whatever she was - used to wake the town moaning about Destiny. Let's see if I can accomplish the same with a slightly different word that starts with the letter D.

-- Desiree

OOC: If Therese needs to talk, feel free to skip ahead to the pillow talk. Alternatively, feel free to have some fun with both Brad and Lillith's mood in the morning (or that of other nearby townsfolk) or descriptions of Therese and Desiree on half a night's sleep. ^^

Oh, and thank you for that info. It helped a lot.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » February 12th, 2016, 12:05 am

[OOC: Great stuff, and glad to help. :) Meanwhile, in general, I'm usually glad we have a rule against graphic sex scenes, because I'm lousy at writing sex scenes. (So, incidentally, was my favorite late-20th-century novelist and inspiration, the great Tony Hillerman, by his own admission, and it didn't stop him from writing great stuff.) However, this is one time when I almost wish we had an exception. We don't, so use your imagination for a little while...]

For the next quite-a-while, Therese's mind was full of nothing but passion and her partner. However, after -- well -- after, as she started to drift back to sleep, her mind turned to something else.

"You know, right before I woke up, I had the strangest dream," she said. "We were walking through a forest, and there were fireflies milling all around us, it was beautiful and strange and other things. And then this -- thing came through that was the opposite of a firefly. It carried darkness with it. We were scared, and the fireflies went away for a while, but then the 'darkfly' or whatever you'd call it disappeared and the fireflies came back and they were happy and we were happy ... but right before I woke up, there was another darkfly out there, way out in the distance. I wonder what that was all about?"

She yawned, and in the silence she could hear noises from Brad's and Lillith's room; apparently they'd awakened too, and were getting themselves back to sleep in much the same way as she and Desiree had been. Maybe they'll have interesting dreams to talk about in the morning too, she thought hazily as sleep reclaimed her, still entwined in the arms of her lover.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » February 23rd, 2016, 7:32 pm

"You know, right before I woke up, I had the strangest dream," she said. "We were walking through a forest, and there were fireflies milling all around us, it was beautiful and strange and other things. And then this -- [i]thing came through that was the opposite of a firefly. It carried darkness with it. We were scared, and the fireflies went away for a while, but then the 'darkfly' or whatever you'd call it disappeared and the fireflies came back and they were happy and we were happy ... but right before I woke up, there was another darkfly out there, way out in the distance. I wonder what that was all about?"[/i]

I consider trying to explain my dream to her. Maybe... later. For now, I simply snuggle up next to her and sleep.

-- Desiree

OOC: Sorry for the short post - not much to say.
As to the no sex rule, Al and I snuck around that via PM during the Goriel bit. Justified mostly because Desiree was spying for information during those sessions. Since there's no plot advancement here, it doesn't seem necessary.

Remember, though, that I AM an aspiring romance novelist. I have worked very hard on writing only the most beautiful and artistic of smut. :p
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » February 24th, 2016, 6:42 pm

[OOC:
Drusia wrote:Remember, though, that I AM an aspiring romance novelist. I have worked very hard on writing only the most beautiful and artistic of smut. :p

Yes, I would certainly never forget that. 8-) For a while, my wife also had aspirations in that direction ... and I'm honestly not sure whether I'm sad that those aspirations gave way to more "practical" things, or relieved, or maybe, both.

Incidentally, if Desiree's answer to the question at the end of this entry is "yes," there will be an opportunity shortly to re-introduce a character I had high hopes for earlier who never got any screen time -- and no, it isn't Meji. :o ]

By the time, uncharacteristically late (it had been a long night, after all), when Therese rolled around in the morning, her dream had faded to a distant memory, although other events from the middle of the night certainly hadn't. She skipped her morning prayers to the Five Great Mothers and headed directly for the breakfast table, where the expected tasty vegetarian meal awaited ... and so did Brad, with an odd look on his face. "Master Melkumyan, he's the trader in charge of the caravan, says he's okay with you joining up with him for a while," he said. "He wants to know, though, whether you'd be willing to be 'escorts' -- I think he means something like chaperones -- for a sixteen-year-old-girl who's also going with him, who he says is --" Brad's face folded and creased in some curious directions -- "'high-spirited.' I have no idea what he means by that. So...?"
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » March 17th, 2016, 10:33 am

"Master Melkumyan, he's the trader in charge of the caravan, says he's okay with you joining up with him for a while," he said. "He wants to know, though, whether you'd be willing to be 'escorts' -- I think he means something like chaperones -- for a sixteen-year-old-girl who's also going with him, who he says is --" Brad's face folded and creased in some curious directions -- "'high-spirited.' I have no idea what he means by that. So...?"

I consider teasing Brad a bit. The concept of a chaperone is rather... foreign to Snamish. A sixteen year old should be exploring her sexuality, not be guarded from it. In fact, a sixteen year old who hadn't yet experienced a sexual encounter might well be encouraged to come to the temple of Anilis and make use of a sacred prostitute - such as myself - to have a first sexual experience. I could point this all out to Brad - or, funnier still, comically misunderstand the meaning of 'chaperone' and solumnly vow to seduce the young lady myself - but... well, Brad doesn't really deserve it, for one thing, and for another I don't want to jeopardize our ability to join the caravan.

Besides, it occurs to me that her "high spirits" might be the result of needing to work out her sexual identity. All teasing aside, I might need to invoke Anilis for her. And, that being the case, I probably shouldn't tell Brad - or whomever wants me to chaperone her - that I really might seduce the girl.

On the other hand, she might already be sexually active, depending on what high-spirited means. In that case, I wouldn't need to invoke Anilis, but I might agree to be the most accomidating chaperone she's ever had. The poor girl might just need some privacy with her lover or lovers after all, and I'm sure I could provide that to her.

I smile.

"Of course I'd be willing to help out," I say brightly. I don't add that I did this sort of thing all the time in Snamish - even though it's true. Brad is familiar with Snamish and might pick up on the deeper meaning.

-- Desiree

OOC: Sorry for the delay. I've been sick. And then I forgot that I hadn't already replied. ^^;;
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » March 17th, 2016, 7:45 pm

[OOC: No problem, hope you're feeling better. I too have been laid low by some medical stuff, which however doesn't keep me from posting. And I will say, Desiree's reaction was completely in character. :twisted: So I've been waiting a long time for this character to get introduced. Incidentally, minor retcon to revise the setting to reflect where everyone is at the moment:]

Therese shifted in her seat at this exchange, feeling uncomfortable, but not being sure why. Maybe it was just fatigue. Maybe it was that she'd had enough of saving the world for a while, and needed to go recharge her batteries in Refuge-Nouveau, show the place to her new lover, kick back, relax (but maybe tie one on first), and something about this -- task felt incompatible with that. Or maybe it was Desiree's unexpectedly -- chipper reaction to the request. She'd expected Desiree to be the one who hung back nervously, wanting to put adventuring away and settle down. Surely she couldn't be thinking ... well, what?

"Well, I don't know," she said hesitantly. "I suppose we can, but I was really hoping that --" She didn't finish the sentence, because through the window, she could see that someone was moving rapidly in their direction; coming, she noted, from exactly the vicinity of the trailhead leading up into the low hills where they'd just conducted their "exorcism," such as it was. She turned to face the newcomer, who, in the brief time that Therese was watching, had popped through the door of Brad's and Lillith's house almost without opening it.

She was a small, wiry girl who looked about fourteen or so, a bundle of nervous energy in motion. Her light brown hair was cut relatively short in what Therese had once heard called a "pixie cut," for no reason she'd ever been able to figure out. To Therese's surprise, she wore what looked like a Gorielian girls' casual outfit, but it had been gathered and tucked in some places that made it almost unrecognizable. Part of that was to drape a body that had barely started to develop curves, and possibly, never would; she had the look of a young woman who would keep that wiry, almost gymnastic physique until the birth of her first child, and possibly beyond. More of it, however, was that that outfit had been used. It looked like the wearer had taken it to many, many places in the wilds where Gorielian girls would be admonished not to go, and had brought back dust and dirt and small tears and rips and even a bit of mud on it. Which was not to say the girl was dirty or messy; her hair and skin were spotless. She just looked like someone who, well, lived. Therese nodded approvingly ... but then she looked at the girl's face, and blinked in surprise, just as the girl herself did.

Girl and woman regarded each other for a moment, but the energy of youth recovered first, and she spoke just before Therese did.

"...Flamme?"

"Zlata?"


[OOC: If the real-world Zlata on whom this character is modeled (a few years ago) happens to read this, privyet from your cousins' cousins' family in the US of A!]
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