Goriel and beyond, part 4

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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Graybeard » July 23rd, 2012, 6:34 pm

Anilis, Therese thought. Anilis ... I should know that name. "Excuse me for a moment. We should prepare for the rest of the day's travels." She played for time, pushing her hair back up under her hat and rearranging her outfit to look male again; if asked, she'd say she'd become concerned about the prospect of running into the Gibazovs on the road. By the time she'd finished, her memory had produced something.

Ah. One of Those Who Went Before. According to the Sisterhood, the Five Great Mothers were the last goddesses to have walked the earth, spreading their holy wisdom among the mortals of the land. However, there'd been gods and goddesses abroad in the land before them. Truthfully, neither she nor the Sisterhood had ever paid much attention to them, because they were simply irrelevant. They'd been gone for a very long time, since long before the beginning of human history, and had left traces only in random bits of art and architecture found in elven and dwarven ruins. The Sisterhood had not understood those ancient goddesses, and hadn't particularly tried to. It stuck in her mind that Anilis had been one of them.

On the other hand, so had Exitialis.

"I think," she said slowly, "that we are going to have many things to talk about when the campfire burns down." She experimentally pressed her thigh against the half elf, just hard enough to indicate that maybe that conversation could go in other directions ... later. But not tonight. Therese was cautious by nature, and this would be a night when they would all want to be on their guard.

[OOC: On this note, I do propose that we fast-forward to the camp site, but not yet to morning or even to midnight; too much potential stuff to talk about among this motley crew...]
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Alberich » July 23rd, 2012, 7:16 pm

The wagon rattled along for a few hours more, making better time than one might have expected. The roads were rocky and not well maintained, but the passengers included two mages who could manipulate rocks without disembarking. They were perhaps the first travellers ever to leave this road in better condition than they found it.

The ride was too uncomfortable for much conversation, even if the mood had been right for it. Everyone kept an eye out for outlaws but saw none. Perhaps Rip was right at least in this: the current buzz among the Gibazovs made this road no place for easy marks. It was well after nightfall when further travel seemed more trouble than it was worth, and a good off-the-road campsite presented itself. And an excellent spot it was. Between Brad's engineer's eyes and Rose's tactical training, it was plain to see this spot could be rendered accessible and defensible with minimal magical rock-moving. A light task for Argus, with or without Therese's help. And there was fresh water and grass for the horses. Ideal. Except for the occasional oversized mosquito; they really were the plague of this country, though they weren't so thick in this spot.

The travellers had enough camping and military experience between them to pitch any tents they cared to pitch, build any fires they cared to build, cook any rations they cared to cook, and stand watch in shifts. Tim requested a late watch so he could get some early rest. (Hardly surprising, if Rose thought about it; he hadn't had an easy night and he'd gotten some good exercise this afternoon, too.) All in all, it was quite a contrast from the gaudy, sensual surroundings of a Duravsky dinner or the roisterous noise of a Yurkashev feast -- and to most of the travellers, that contrast was worth clouds of mosquitoes. By two hours before midnight, everything was set up, and they were free to talk about anything they wished.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Drusia » July 23rd, 2012, 10:53 pm

"I think," she said slowly, "that we are going to have many things to talk about when the campfire burns down." She experimentally pressed her thigh against the half elf, just hard enough to indicate that maybe that conversation could go in other directions ... later. But not tonight.

"I'd like that," I reply, smiling at her touch. It's too bad she's going back to the man disguise - that hair is amazing.

We ride onward. By the time we make camp, my butt is sore. I hate wagons. What I wouldn't give for one of those nice couch-bed things in the zenana right now. Or even just a stack of pillows. Or a bath tub - never have I missed Maudin - and his magic tent thing - more.

Theresa is rather busy at first setting up camp. I take the opportunity to do what little I can to clean up and make myself look like a proper lady.

It's late before everything is ready. I think Tim's already asleep. My contribution to the effort was assisting with the food and healing a couple of scrapes and saddle blisters. Back to feeling like a fifth wheel. I miss Goriel.

I wait for Theresa to sit down, and then take a seat beside her. No need to be coy - I smile brightly at her.

"You mentioned talking by the fire," I remind her. I could say more, but I don't want to pratle - when in doubt, a quiet, confident smile is almost never a bad way to flirt.

Oh, if I can steer the conversation that direction, I should find out where it is she comes from. Apparently they're far more open there about sexual preferences - maybe Anfisa would like it there. I can't wait until she gets here - I bet she and Theresa will have a lot to talk about too.

-- Desiree

OOC: No, Desiree isn't being ironic, or trying to start a fight. She honestly sees no conflict here.
Edit: Recall, she didn't really get why Eli didn't like Tim either.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Graybeard » July 23rd, 2012, 11:08 pm

Therese felt warmth rising in her cheeks (and other places), and it wasn't all because of the fire.

She reproved herself silently as she reached a stick out to stir the embers. This wasn't as exposed and hazardous a campsite as many in the wilds of Veracia, but it was still one where those doing the night watch would be expected to do exactly that: watch. Besides, it had been agreed that to keep up appearances, one of the outnumbered men should be awake for each of the watch shifts, and Brad had drawn the first shift along with her and Desiree. She hadn't had a good opportunity yet to gauge the man's capabilities, or lack thereof, but it was clear that between his lovestruck state (I was like that once with Melusine, she thought, completely misjudging her own dignity, or Brad's passion, or both) and a certain ... clumsiness that caused his traveling companions some merriment, he wasn't going to be the most high-strung of sentries. That meant that if there was serious watching to be done, she was going to have to do it.

Even if she'd rather be doing other things.

"If you would, tell me more about this Anilis you worship," she said softly as she turned her face away from the fire, to get her eyes back adjusted to the dark. "I -- would like to know you better." Was that too forward?
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Jack Rothwell » July 24th, 2012, 7:20 am

Eli squinted up in the semi-light at the metal cover above him. It was the doorway to the next step in his errand, but at the moment it served as a point for the half-elf to fix his attention on as he focused on keeping his breath under control. A walk in the dark with rats for company was one thing, the same with fear of a peregin attack was a stage show in paranoia.

Above was the street in front of the Yurkashev compound, the last place his 'group' had been and, hopefully, still were.

'Right. Time to put practise into application...'

At least the technique was fresh in his mind, he had spent the day learning from a master who had studied every aspect of the art there was to learn. And although what he had picked up during that short, but intense, lesson was little more than a different application of what he already knew, it was useful.

Eli pictured the diagram for a silka summon, visualising it in detail, and pointed to the nearest flat surface.

'Cast the line, don't pull back, remember?'

The symbol flared into life with a wisp of black smoke, the half-elf gasped as the shock of the sudden connection hit him, the diagram wavered, but held.

Yes. Definately more efficient than drawing the thing.

A moment later the street cover was pulled back just enough for a tiny rodent to slip through.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Drusia » July 24th, 2012, 9:33 am

"If you would, tell me more about this Anilis you worship," she said softly as she turned her face away from the fire, to get her eyes back adjusted to the dark. "I -- would like to know you better." Was that too forward?

I smile some more. "I'd like to know you better too," I say frankly.

Anyway, to answer her other question. "My family worships the old elven gods, Anilis and Senilis. Anilis is the goddess, the divine female. Senilis is her male counterpart. He's a fairly masculine god, all about defense and hunting and industry. Anilis, on the other hand, is a goddess of fertility, healing, and passion."

I let my eyes go a little sleepy, my smile a little soft. "I am her servant."

-- Desiree

OOC: Need to go - I'll let Theresa reply to that first.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Alberich » July 24th, 2012, 11:20 am

Messengers were coming to the Yurkashev compound, and being examined with suspicion before allowed to enter. The gate sentries were mixed Yurkashev and Gibazov, examining each comer according to his allegiance. The opening of the doors was enough for a Silka to slip in. The trip was more harrowing than at the Gibazov compound; the Yurkashevs not only decorated their doors with dogs, but kept a few in the compound. The silka had a harrowing escape or two. In the end it reached the chambers Eli's sometime companions had been occupying. None were there now.

Yet one chamber - the one Brad and Lillith had occupied - had voices in low, earnest conversation. While Eli, to put it mildly, hadn't had much interest in the Gorielian hierarchies, he was able to recognize one of the speakers as Sevastien, sub-chief of the Yurkashev. He seemed to be discussing intelligence with a subordinate.

"...so what about their whorehouses? The Red Shell, and the other one?"

"They pulled their family back to the compound this afternoon, and were hauling the more expensive things by daylight. By now, they've got the girls back to their compound too."

"His Lordship wants to hit something to draw them out!"

"Going to be hard - we could burn the beds, but I don't see them taking the bait. They've holed up and they're expecting us. If we tear up the houses they'd be hurting for cash..."

Sevastien cut him off. "But that will take time! Khorav ravage the time!" He spoke to someone else. "Any word on whether Luka's alive?"

"None, Sevastien Burianovich. It's as Kir said - they're holed up for a siege. No one in or out. Genrich's back for sure but he isn't showing himself."

Kir spoke. "Shika knows what that bastard brought back from his travels, but they're treating him like the chief now."

Sevastien was stamping around the room and cursing the time. He wanted someone or other to get on with something or other that they all understood. But there was no mention of Clan Cleiviein or where they might be. The Silka had heard sounds from the feasting hall. Perhaps it was time to try there.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Graybeard » July 24th, 2012, 11:46 am

The warmth in Therese's face and body was turned up just one tiny notch more.

"That -- is an appealing prospect," is all she would allow herself to say at the moment. Brad was too close at hand ...

... But her own hand was close enough to reach out and gently touch the half elf's knee.

Just in time for Brad to spoil the mood.

"There's a light out there where we're going, on the side of the mountain," he observed. [OOC: This is intended to be from wherever Jamie, Tamina and Udo are; it is a long way away, and it isn't moving, let alone in this party's direction. I would assume it's just a flicker of torchlight or light globe or whatever, reaching the surface from their "campsite" nestled back in a cave. Note, however, that if there's a need for there to be other traffic on the road that is carrying a light, sharp-eyed Brad could have spotted that instead. Just a bit of buzzkill from Brad, can't have this be too easy. :oops: /OOC:]

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Sister Rose and Argus weren't asleep yet; the combination of the rigors of the day and the swarms of mosquitoes, now finally dissipating with nightfall, were seeing to that. Argus and his daughter were to take the midnight watch, while Rose and Tim would take the early morning one, as usual, to meld with their regular morning prayers. The combination would make for a long night.

Rose snuggled up against the man, as best she could in her sleeping bag, and spoke to him in a soft voice, near a whisper. "Looks like our new party member and Desiree are, well, going to get along," she observed, rather unnecessarily. "I think that's good. Desiree is one of those people who needs -- how can I put it? -- needs a partner. I'd been worried about her." She snuggled closer; Desiree wasn't the only one who was better off for having a partner now, she thought.

She looked up at Argus, as best she could by the dim light of the dying fire. "But I'm worried about Tim. This Eli business..." She let her voice trail off; if Tim was worrisome, you couldn't tell it from his snoring. That didn't keep her from worrying, though. "Do you think he'll be okay?"
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Jack Rothwell » July 24th, 2012, 12:19 pm

OOC Edited out for Al's next post./OOC
Last edited by Jack Rothwell on July 24th, 2012, 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 4

Postby Drusia » July 24th, 2012, 12:55 pm

"That -- is an appealing prospect," is all she would allow herself to say at the moment. Brad was too close at hand ...
... But her own hand was close enough to reach out and gently touch the half elf's knee.


If I could purr like a cat, I would. I glance up and see Brad approaching. She starts to pull away, but I set my hand on hers, stilling it.

"There's a light out there where we're going, on the side of the mountain," Brad reports. I turn and look in that direction. Yup there's a light.

"... so someone's up there?" I ask. Clearly something is. Is Brad trying to warn us of bandits, or what? He seems to be acting pretty casual if this is supposed to be an alert.

Once again, I find myself wondering if I've missed some information. Were we expecting company? Other than my mother, that is, and she wouldn't use a fire or be that far ahead of us.

"What now?" I ask. If it's a threat, I expect we'll be up and waking everyone. If it's not, then that segue-ways into the next bit of conversation. And if something I wasn't told about is happening, then I'm sure someone will explain or at least know what to do now.

-- Desiree
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