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 Graybeard » August 22nd, 2016, 8:27 pm

Therese returned the embrace, but she was not laughing, and Desiree could feel a certain tension in her body for a few seconds. Then she relaxed and put on a "cordial, diplomatic" smile, which she directed at Renee. "Thank you for arranging that," she said blandly. "We'll be looking forward to seeing you there."

Renee had enough social sensitivity (not to mention a restive husband and son) to smile her own polite words and retreat to her family. Therese held the polite smile until the two parties had separated ... and then she dropped it instantly the moment Desiree's mirth passed.

"As I've said before, Goriel taught me not to believe in coincidences," she said quietly as she and Desiree walked toward the Melkumyan compound. "Of all the cities in the Northern Confederacy to build a story around, and all the royal or noble or aristocratic connections there, she just happens to pick the one for your story that is more or less factual, apart from the 'princess' bit? And I've only done one rescue in --" she looked around before continuing to make sure no one was in listening range -- "in Goriel in the last year or so that involved a pregnant woman, the only recently rescued woman with whom I have used my real name, and we sent that girl to a safe house that's nowhere close to here. But somehow she wanders into town to get checked out by Maxwel or Renee or somebody there."

She frowned. "This just feels weird to me. Really, really weird."
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » August 23rd, 2016, 10:23 am

"As I've said before, Goriel taught me not to believe in coincidences," she said quietly as she and Desiree walked toward the Melkumyan compound. "Of all the cities in the Northern Confederacy to build a story around, and all the royal or noble or aristocratic connections there, she just happens to pick the one for your story that is more or less factual, apart from the 'princess' bit? And I've only done one rescue in --" she looked around before continuing to make sure no one was in listening range -- "in Goriel in the last year or so that involved a pregnant woman, the only recently rescued woman with whom I have used my real name, and we sent that girl to a safe house that's nowhere close to here. But somehow she wanders into town to get checked out by Maxwel or Renee or somebody there."
"This just feels weird to me. Really, really weird."


I take a deep breath, calming my mirth as best I'm able. The extra time helps.

"Yes," I agree after a moment, "I see your point. Too many coincidences. Still, it's good to know that I'm not really Duravsky's daughter after all. Or at least he's no more likely to be my father than a hundred other men." I wipe mirthful tears from my eyes.

I check to make sure that my hair and dress are still properly presentable. "How do you want to proceed, then? We know where he got his information from, so we no longer need to find that out. We could ask about this pregnant woman and how she came to be here rather than where you sent her."

"Alternatively, we could disavow Master Melkumyan of the stories Renee made up about us," I continue. "On my end, anyway, it would be easy enough. The word Maxwell used to describe me is an old Rinkai term that can mean either princess or priestess. He called me Princess because of my mother, not my unknown father. Still, it wouldn't do to talk about my mother, so the other defenition would work better - I could simply explain that Renee misunderstood. I am a Priestess, not a Princess, and I was sent on a mission of mercy to the Duravsky - also true, in a sense. Thus Renee can be seen as blameless for the error."

Again, I pause. "Your end might be a bit trickier, but only so much. The position she invented for you could be viewed as a polite euphanims for what you do, but obviously wasn't intended that way. You can easily disavow that status and Renee's confusion could be blamed on a common turn of phrase - visitors from foreign lands are often called ambassadors even when they aren't." Merchants, usually, for trade brings with it a cultural exchange of sorts. "One point in the favor of you maintaining your cover is the fact that you're dressed as a woman here. As an outside observer, let me say that your male garb is very convincing. If I saw you now and you in Goriel standing next to yourself, I might think you were male and female siblings. Oh - there's a thought. You could say that you have never been to Goriel, but that your brother has if it comes up."

"What do you think?" I asked her. "It seems we could put down any rumors that might harm your cover as well as looking into the origin of those rumors. Or we could keep quiet and simply observe if you think the damage is already too great. It doesn't seem so to me, not yet, with only Renee and Master Melkumyan - as far as we currently know - being aware of these invitations. And I suppose your pregnant rescuee. Hm."

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

Postby Graybeard » August 23rd, 2016, 6:08 pm

Therese felt a bit dizzy after Desiree's long discourse [OOC: which, I suspect, was kinda the point...], and she walked in silence for a minute or two, which also helped make sure she was away from Renee for what she was about to say when the silence lifted.

"There may be another possibility, weird as it sounds," she said quietly. "The Tsuirakuans talk sometimes about this bizarre thing they call a 'Deus Ex Machina' -- well, 'spell' doesn't exactly do it justice, but call it that. It's not clear that it's even a real thing, from what I've heard, but if it is, it involves some strange way that an observer can affect reality at a distance in space and time." [OOC: If you don't mind a catgirl-shattering experience, there is a real-world equivalent to this, albeit only at the quantum scale. Read this article if you want to be three times as dizzy as Therese is. BTW, I used to collaborate with people at that lab, although not with the ones in that project.]

She shook her head as though trying to clear it, and continued. "What if there is some strange, maybe Errant-related effect going on here, so that reality affects a distant observer even though she doesn't see the reality? And Renee has the knack for that, so some unknown truth can affect the way she does things, so she does them in accordance with that truth? Call it a 'coincidence generator' or something, because that's what it looks like: the observer reports all these unseen non-observations that turn out to be true, as though by coincidence ... Wow. What a magical knack that would be, if she had it."

[OOC: Bet you didn't know Therese had a quantum-physics background, did you? ;) ]
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » September 26th, 2016, 10:20 am

"There may be another possibility, weird as it sounds," she said quietly. "The Tsuirakuans talk sometimes about this bizarre thing they call a 'Deus Ex Machina' -- well, 'spell' doesn't exactly do it justice, but call it that. It's not clear that it's even a real thing, from what I've heard, but if it is, it involves some strange way that an observer can affect reality at a distance in space and time."

I blink, mentally translating the phrase. A... god machine? Certainly sounds pretentious, but I'm not really sure how such a thing could exist. Or maybe she's talking about one of those artificial gods that the Lumanosians use? Those might qualify as god machines. Still, I have no idea how that could relate to what we're experiencing.

"What if there is some strange, maybe Errant-related effect going on here, so that reality affects a distant observer even though she doesn't see the reality? And Renee has the knack for that, so some unknown truth can affect the way she does things, so she does them in accordance with that truth? Call it a 'coincidence generator' or something, because that's what it looks like: the observer reports all these unseen non-observations that turn out to be true, as though by coincidence ... Wow. What a magical knack that would be, if she had it."

I nod, not really knowing what to say. I'm fairly certian we got a perfectly rational explanation for what happened. Therese seems to be suggesting that it really is just all a coincidence, but that the coincidence is somehow affected by magic - coincidence causing magic. I've never heard of such a thing, but then, that sounds about as far from priestly magic as could be.

I am disturbed by one other thing. Therese described it as 'Errant-related'. Does she really thing that the average 'Errant' gains mysterious magical powers? Errants don't gain special powers - they gain insanity and lose control of their perfectly rational and well known powers.

Does... does she really think that diseased half-elves - Errants - have unexplained magical powers? That's the sort of prejudice that caused elves to mindlessly hunt down all half-elves, even though the only ones who threatened them were the ones they themselves had trained in combat magic. While I don't like to think of such a thing, if I ever went Errant and lost my mind, the worst I could do is momentairly stun some people or go around healing injuries at random.

I looked away from Therese, my mirth gone. "I... I don't think that's how it works," I replied softly. "And you really shouldn't use that word so casually."

-- Desiree

OOC: Sorry for the long delay. Been kinda crazy around here.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » September 27th, 2016, 12:36 pm

"It was just a thought," Therese said, feeling a bit hurt. She didn't say anything more until they reached the caravan. [OOC: Incidentally, there is precedent in Errant Road for Errants to have dramatic magical powers that they don't really intend. Seminal PC Lucas (who, after all, was run by one of Poe's closest friends, who knew how Poe intended the Errant World to work) had the unwanted "knack" of causing magic to malfunction while he was around, which was eventually shown to result from him being at least technically an Errant. Of course, Desiree and Therese wouldn't know that. /OOC:]

Festivities were already in progress by the time Therese and Desiree reached the compound, which was camped in a field at the edge of town. There might have been twenty-five or thirty dancers, whirling to music coming from a refrigerator-sized box that quite obviously radiated magic. It seemed conceptually similar to the thaumatic "orchestra" that the pair had experienced back in Salvus, but was much less flashy and conspicuous, not to mention that the music it was producing was in considerably better taste.

Therese looked at Desiree, still feeling slightly insecure following the exchange on the way here. "Well, what now?" she said.

[OOC: No prob with the delay, reality interferes with fun sometimes. I'll be in a good position to respond quickly for the next month or so.]
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » October 7th, 2016, 10:06 am

[OOC: On thinking about it, I realize that last one didn't give you much to play off of, so here's a little added hook, Hope you don't mind the twofer. Call this guy "Pierre" and take him wherever...]

"Well, what now?"

"We dance, of course," came a rich, resonant voice from behind the two women, quite startling Therese, who wasn't used to being taken by surprise. She turned to face the speaker and --

"Oh my goddesses," she gasped audibly.

Standing behind them was a tall, strapping half elf who appeared to be in his thirties (and was therefore probably more like 50, half-elf aging being what it was). Therese thought he might have been the most handsome man she'd ever seen. His mane of dark hair was impeccably coiffed and managed to both reveal and conceal his half-elven ears at the same time. Light danced in his brown eyes, and his smile revealed perfect teeth. His dancing clothes similarly concealed and revealed a physique considerably more muscular than that of the other half elves she'd seen.

Spots swam in front of her eyes as he spoke again. "Would you ladies care to join me?" he smiled, his voice awakening in Therese images of a knight preparing to joust for the hand of a fair maiden -- or maidens.
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