Clovius and beyond

As we play, occasionally we'll close a thread and open a new one to keep the size of threads (and relative complexity) down to a dull roar. Here's where we store the closed posts from the history of Errant Road.

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Alberich » October 17th, 2013, 11:38 am

Tim, meantime, was heading separately to the rendezvous point - since the watchers were going to be at a distance, and not seen walking with him. Thus, he heard neither the laughter nor the kobold commentary.
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
 
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » October 17th, 2013, 3:21 pm

Tamina's words brought an end to Sister Rose's laughter, and she paused to face the kobold. "The Killikah are wiser than we are, I think," she said simply (checking out of the corner of her eye to gauge the effects of these words on Therese and Argus), and she resumed walking up the hill.

------------

A crowd of perhaps forty to fifty people had gathered at the clock-tower gate. A man in tattered robes of the Orthodox Veracian Church was setting up a folding table and draping a similarly tattered altar cloth over it, atop which he placed the chalices that would be used to dispense Luminosita's Blood during the service. It was quite obvious that these too had seen better days. Some of the crowd had brought folding chairs or mats and were sitting or kneeling. Most were simply standing. Passersby on their way out to work in the fields and forest were watching proceedings with facial expressions ranging from quiet respect to idle curiosity to suspicion to outright hostility, but mostly, with apathy.

Tovah Dragonslayer stepped away from the congregation to intercept Tim. "Our temple, such as it is," she whispered. "Now quiet, the service is about to begin. You're late." (He wasn't, at least by the standards of temples in Veracia proper.) She turned to face the man in the ratty robes as he began to chant in a halting, accented voice.

------------

OOC: I'm assuming Desiree is still back in the inn. Got any plans for her, D? Nothing exciting would be happening there if she stays put, although there would be maids, waiters, etc., for her to interact with if she's up and about. Or did she follow the gang up the hill? Your call.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 6798
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Alberich » October 17th, 2013, 5:38 pm

Tim offered no apology for this supposed "lateness." He'd had no obligation to come here at all, nor to trust the writers of the anonymous note, nor to trust this Tovah either. In a crowd of the Faithful (unlike a crowd of unruly heathen) he saw no reason to make a show of deferring to her authority. So he simply kept quiet and let the ceremony proceed, though he would join in the responsory when the time was right. If the words differed from the Orthodox he'd use them as clues to what these people actually believed.

When it was over, he'd find out whether the man in robes was actually an ordained priest, or simply a layman carrying out priestly functions. Such things were permitted, though as far as Tim knew the rules for them hadn't been designed for such long use. Thus, if two of the Faithful were caught in a storm at sea with no priest, they could confess their sins to each other instead of dying unconfessed, and a shipwrecked couple could marry "in the sight of the Lord" if there was no one else to perform the sacrament. He hoped also to learn discreetly whether this Tovah had any authority beyond her commanding attitude, which was already starting to grate on Tim. Of course the community needed leaders, and if it lacked a local Church hierarchy, it must do the best it could; but Church business also attracted community busybodies who tried to assume a measure of authority they did not hold. He wanted to learn who was really what here.

And he hoped he'd find out a great deal more than that. The existence of a congregation this large celebrating its rites out of doors was heartening in one sense: they may be oppressed or despised by the locals, but they weren't being forced to gather in secret. Assuming, of course, that they really were what they seemed to be. He remembered what the driver had said about the local temple having fallen on evil times in ways he wouldn't speak aloud -- that could certainly extend to the vestments and furnishings being appropriated for evil use. This, too, was something Tim meant to learn about.
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
 
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Drusia » October 17th, 2013, 8:31 pm

OOC: Yup. I don't really have anything before the disguise gets done.
User avatar
Drusia
Veteran of the Errant War
 
Posts: 1293
Joined: September 7th, 2009, 9:53 pm

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » October 17th, 2013, 10:57 pm

[OOC: OK, we'll be back to collect Desiree shortly. Meanwhile:]

The man wearing the tattered vestments stuttered and stumbled over some of the words of the Matins liturgy, as though he was speaking a foreign language, as indeed he was. Most of the congregation didn't seem to mind, however, or even to notice, although Tovah shook her head in a combination of sadness and dismay. "Yehuda is a lay brother," she whispered to Tim as the chalices were passed around and the congregation started to take small sips from their contents. "Well intended, but there is much he does not know. We haven't had a real priest here for twenty years." She looked at him with an expression that would have fit on the face of an art-gallery owner appraising a painting with a large scratch down the middle. "The hope had been that you would help fix that." The combination of verb tense and the look on her face suggested that she'd pretty well lost hope in this possibility.

-------------

"Looks like everything is on the level," Sister Rose muttered, straining with the effort of the Farsight spell. Argus had his own spell up and nodded silently. This outdoor setting, Rose thought, wasn't exactly the typical place for an Orthodox Matins service, but it at least did appear to be as claimed.

Therese relaxed a notch. The prospect of dashing off to rescue Tim had been unappealing, to put it mildly, for several reasons. She permitted herself to take a look around, at the park-like land where they now stood. As she did, she noticed something interesting.

"Look at that statue over there," she whispered to Tamina; she didn't want to break Rose's and Argus' concentration. "I wonder if that's a representation of this 'Mountain King' they talk about ... and we're in one of his sacred groves."
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 6798
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Jack Rothwell » October 18th, 2013, 7:27 am

"Maybe." Tamina whispered back. "Think it'll get mad if we prod the trees?"
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2184
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Alberich » October 18th, 2013, 7:48 am

Tim maintained a respectful silence until the ceremony was over. The real reason for the lavish furnishings of a church was to instill a sense of reverence in the congregation, an instinctive understanding that they were in a separate place and should turn their minds to higher things. If that wasn't possible here, all the more important to show respect to the ceremony itself, by keeping his posture upright and his mouth shut. Except when singing responsory.

[OOC: "We hadn't good regalia / And our lodge was old and bare / But we knew the Ancient Landmarks / And we kept 'em to a hair..."]

The ceremony, and the attitude of the congregants, convinced Tim that these Faithful were sincere. They moved him. They ought to know.

The ceremony done, Tim turned back to Tovah and spoke low. "I think he did a magnificent job. And I want to tell him so."

Really, he knew he should tell Tovah right now that he couldn't provide them any relief, could only return to Veracia and make his report, but a thought held him back. A thought or a whisper from an angel. Father Amalric was answering for his own obsessions before a higher tribunal. But his weird and mysterious end might’ve had another purpose of which he knew nothing.

In fact, Tim had been longing for his friends and neighbors in Umbertiel more and more as this adventure had worn on. But there were all kinds of pleasures in the world, forbidden and allowed, and an officer and a priest had to think of service before pleasure. Could Umbertiel get along without him? He dared say it could – Father Arpad had many good years left in him. Could this congregation? It certainly had and it could – but there was no question, their need was greater. And a man had to act on an impulse like that. Dithering would sap his purpose.

All he needed to be reassigned here officially was a letter from a bishop – “For care of souls you are reassigned to the Faithful Community of Clovis.” And those could come out of the blue no matter where you were or how happy you were there anyway. He could go back to Veracia and request one…or he could convince Soiled Rose to let him stay, and carry the request for him. Then if the Church wanted to order him home it could certainly send a letter. In a few months or years.

Ugh. He had to get back to her too soon. And he had to say something to this Tovah as they walked over to Brother Yehuda, Tim himself wearing his most encouraging smile.

“I’m going to try something,” said he to her as they walked. “And I’m going to try it today. There are just a few things I need to know. How things stand between the Faithful and the Heathen here – are they oppressive or only cold? What they did to our temple, which no one wants to tell me. These are things Emerylon will want to know. And where I can find you later this morning. That's what I want to know." He paused.

"And do you have some writing paper handy? There's a letter I need to write." If she watched him write that letter, she would well understand his purpose.
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
 
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » October 18th, 2013, 8:29 am

"Not so fast," Tovah Dragonslayer said rigidly. "It is not yet decided what we want you to do. Nor are our tasks here done." She pointed to where members of the congregation were lining up after the service to see this "lay brother Yehuda." The flare of healing magic could occasionally be seen passing between celebrant and worshiper, although many of the people in line left him still wobbling on infirm legs or coughing from illnesses not yet cured.

"Yehuda learned his healing magic somewhere down south, he won't tell me where," Tovah explained. "He is more of a folk medicine man than a priestly Healer. It tires him greatly, and he is only able to help a fraction of the people who need it." She looked at Tim as though under a microscope. "Take what actions you deem appropriate, and then we will discuss your questions. I will say, though, that what happened to the temple is better left unsaid." Her face hardened further.

----------

"You two head on back," Sister Rose said to Therese and Tamina as she rested momentarily from the Farsight. "I think Argus and I can take it from here. This situation doesn't look threatening." Not to mention that Argus and I could use a little -- quiet time to discuss a certain thing. Am I ready to tell him yet? Getting there, but let's see what happens.

Therese cocked an eyebrow; should she tell her friends about the observation of the grove? It seemed like it could wait. Certainly there were no blood-thirsty troll-worshiping nature priests charging up the hill at them with machetes drawn; in fact there was practically no traffic at all atop the hill. She decided it could wait. "Okay, let's get Desiree outfitted for the day." This provoked quiet giggles from herself and Rose, and even Argus smiled wryly as Therese and Tamina started down whence they came.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 6798
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Alberich » October 18th, 2013, 8:56 am

If Tim was going to lead this community, even spiritually, it wasn't going to be through diffidence. Respect, yes. Diffidence, no.

"Faster than you think," he said, with hardness equal to her own. "If I'm going to get permission to stay here I have to get it today, for preference this morning, and I'm not going to get it without some answers. But first things first."

And seeing that there were so many unhealed injuries, he made a bold approach of his own. "Brother Yehuda," he called, using "brother" in the less formal sense, "that was beautifully celebrated! But I see you have some injuries here and I think you could use an extra pair of hands."

And unless someone stopped him with violence, he was going to join in that healing, the one thing he did best, but with frequent compliments to the work Yehuda had done before him.

It was important to do this healing himself. If he saw Rose approaching, he'd use some mind speech before she got too close, but he hoped she'd stay back and let him handle it. If this was a test of whether he had the full powers of a priest, thaumic as well as spiritual, then he'd simply have to pass. No matter if he couldn't get to the whole congregation this morning -- there'd be plenty of time for that if he could get permission to stay.
Alberich
Noble Knight Protector
 
Posts: 1892
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 9:58 am

Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » October 18th, 2013, 3:12 pm

Tovah Dragonslayer's expression didn't change in the slightest as Tim worked on the healing, but she did nod her head slightly. The motion might have meant "so far, so good." It might have meant something else.

A passerby stopped where she stood. "Is that the new priest of your church, Lady Dragonslayer?" the woman said.

The slight nod changed to an equally subtle shake. "Not yet, it's not. Maybe soon, maybe never, we shall see. Ah, this will be interesting. Yona has reached the front of the line."

The young man who was now standing before Tim had a hideously deformed shoulder, possibly a congenital dislocation that had never healed properly, so that his left arm now dangled uselessly. There was something wrong with his face, too. He looked up at Tim through thick glasses and motioned soundlessly at his mouth with his one good hand. "Please help me," he mouthed, but no sound came out.

Magic flared as Lay Brother Yehuda interrupted his own heals to join Tim in working on the shoulder ... but when the magic had subsided, nothing had changed.

"Please, Your Holiness, help me," the man mouthed silently again.

----------

"Uh, oh," Sister Rose mumbled to Argus, wishing that Therese, at least, was still around to hear and see, or at least get the report from the Farsight spells. "Looks like he's trying to heal an Errant."

----------

By now, however, Therese and Tamina were entering their room at the inn, first knocking to make sure Desiree was decent. "Hi!" Therese said cheerily. "Ready to get into uniform as Rose's junior sister in the faith ... Sister Rae?"
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 6798
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

PreviousNext

Return to Rear View Mirror

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron