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.
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Graybeard
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC: OK. let's try this again...]

Therese could barely handle the lamb, she was trying so hard not to double over with laughter. As she finally got it down, Brad, seemingly unfazed by developments, just said, "Thanks. I'll be right back." He retreated to the kitchen, from which sounds first of scrubbing, then of a Hygiene spell, could be heard.

While she waited for their cleansed host to reappear, she took a quick glance around the small but tidy house. Interesting, she thought. I'd expected the place to be rather on the -- chaotic side, and for there to be some tension between their religious beliefs. Surprisingly, quite the opposite seemed to be the case. On one wall, a small Luminositan shrine sat in a recess, ornamented with some of the same kinds of ribbons and beads that she and Desiree had seen at Lillith's mother's grove (and to some extent at Lillith's own). A credenza held a small figurine of what she guessed was a nature spirit -- doesn't really look like a winged fairy, more like it emerged from a tree, Therese observed -- with one hand raised in the "Sign of Luminosita" that she'd seen Sister Rose and Tim use in their respective morning prayers and rituals. (Had Brad done that too? She couldn't remember.)

"Probably a good idea that these two settled a long way from Veracia," she said to Desiree. "The Veracians could learn a lot from this kind of ecumenical practice, but somehow I don't think they would. More likely they'd excommunicate Brad and deliver Lillith over to the people who do the smitings."
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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"Probably a good idea that these two settled a long way from Veracia," she said to Desiree. "The Veracians could learn a lot from this kind of ecumenical practice, but somehow I don't think they would. More likely they'd excommunicate Brad and deliver Lillith over to the people who do the smitings."

"Actually," I reply absently, "They only smite the faithful. Which never really made much sense to me - why smite your own people - but on the other hand, they never seemed to mind the smitings much." I pause thoughtfully. "You know, Luminosan smitings used to terrify me. Now... thanks to Tim, I can chat about them casually. Weird."

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

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"They only smite the faithful. Which never really made much sense to me - why smite your own people - but on the other hand, they never seemed to mind the smitings much." I pause thoughtfully. "You know, Luminosan smitings used to terrify me. Now... thanks to Tim, I can chat about them casually. Weird."

Therese looked unconvinced. "Maybe," she said, "but didn't you, and also Rose, tell me about an encounter down at Port Lorrel that almost got you and Anfisa smote? And in a way that you, uh, would have minded? Anyway, I'm glad for all concerned that we don't have to test it here." She reached over to squeeze Desiree's hand.

By now, a tidied-up Brad was rejoining the two women, and he'd barely had time to do more than place steaming (and surprisingly good-smelling, Therese thought) bowls of soup on the table when Lillith too came through the front door. There followed a passionate husband-and-wife embrace that lasted long enough for Therese to start worrying about the soup getting cold (and, truth be told, to feel a tiny twinge of envy). Eventually the entwined bodies disentwined, and all four sat to attack the soup.

"So what's the plan?" Brad asked, around a piece of chile pepper.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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Therese looked unconvinced. "Maybe," she said, "but didn't you, and also Rose, tell me about an encounter down at Port Lorrel that almost got you and Anfisa smote? And in a way that you, uh, would have minded? "

I rub my nose in painful memory. "Oh, I didn't say it wasn't unpleasant. Or that one can't be mistaken for a local and smote by mistake. But it's more of a minor beating rather than being flayed alive and then burnt at the stake, which is what I'd always pictured."

"Anyway, I'm glad for all concerned that we don't have to test it here." She reached over to squeeze Desiree's hand.

"So am I," I agree, squeezing her hand in reply.

By now, a tidied-up Brad was rejoining the two women, and he'd barely had time to do more than place steaming (and surprisingly good-smelling, Therese thought) bowls of soup on the table when Lillith too came through the front door. There followed a passionate husband-and-wife embrace that lasted long enough for Therese to start worrying about the soup getting cold (and, truth be told, to feel a tiny twinge of envy). Eventually the entwined bodies disentwined, and all four sat to attack the soup.
"So what's the plan?" Brad asked, around a piece of chile pepper.


I look up from my very tasty soup and look to Lillith. "That's pretty much what I was going to ask."

-- Desiree

OOC: Sorry, couldn't think of anything else to add.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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Therese didn't have time to frame an answer (not that she really had a plan, for that matter) before there was a knock on the door. It was the child who'd asked them about the "holy roller" earlier.

"Ma'am?" she said, extending a birdcage. "Mama said, if you're gonna go after the banshee, you oughta have this." She handed the cage to Therese, then spun and ran off.

"I sense magic here," Therese said, hefting the thing; it seemed about the size and weight of the one they'd brought in from the trail, although lacking the scorch mark. "Wonder what this is all about?"
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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"Ma'am?" she said, extending a birdcage. "Mama said, if you're gonna go after the banshee, you oughta have this." She handed the cage to Therese, then spun and ran off.
"I sense magic here," Therese said, hefting the thing; it seemed about the size and weight of the one they'd brought in from the trail, although lacking the scorch mark. "Wonder what this is all about?"


"It's magic?" I ask, looking over the cage. It seems to be the same as the one we found. So maybe that other cage wasn't related? Or the Banshee is related to Compassion after all? Ugh - not enough information.

I sigh and sit back down. "I think we might need to back up a bit." I turn back to Lillith. "Can you tell us a bit more about how all this started? About Sasha and Compassion arriving, and what happened to them afterwards? About this Banshee and when first manifested? I can't tell if this is all connected or if it's a massive coincidence, but every time I think I'm getting somewhere, some new weirdness shows up and leaves me confused again."

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

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Lillith chuckled. "I wouldn't get too worked up about this birdcage," she said. "Joanny's mother --that's the little girl -- her mother is one of the healers in town. She has some odd religious practices." This last was said without any visible irony.

"As for -- that other person," she continued, "she and her fairy were here when we got back from Goriel." She shuddered at that memory. "Leah says she had come to town a few weeks before that, carrying the fairy and looking for a job. She worked in the fields for a while, while the thing nattered about her 'destiny.' People thought she was crazy, but we can always use the help with the crops, so they let her work. Then one day, about a week after we got here, she just left, didn't say where she was going or even talk to anybody in town to say goodbye. Then, a few days later, the banshee started." She closed her eyes and searched her memory. "That would have been about ten days ago, I think."

Therese was searching her memory as well, and found what she was looking for. "Right about the time when Amalric took the airship up north and blew it up," she pointed out; she'd had the same thought before, and now it was beginning to weigh on her mind. "Somehow I don't think that's coincidence."
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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"As for -- that other person," she continued, "she and her fairy were here when we got back from Goriel." She shuddered at that memory. "Leah says she had come to town a few weeks before that, carrying the fairy and looking for a job. She worked in the fields for a while, while the thing nattered about her 'destiny.' People thought she was crazy, but we can always use the help with the crops, so they let her work. Then one day, about a week after we got here, she just left, didn't say where she was going or even talk to anybody in town to say goodbye. Then, a few days later, the banshee started." She closed her eyes and searched her memory. "That would have been about ten days ago, I think."

Therese was searching her memory as well, and found what she was looking for. "Right about the time when Amalric took the airship up north and blew it up," she pointed out; she'd had the same thought before, and now it was beginning to weigh on her mind. "Somehow I don't think that's coincidence."


"Wait, so does the scorched bird cage have anything to do with Compassion, or does it have something to do with the Banshee?" I ask, confused. "And, unless you're suggesting that the Banshee is Amalric's ghost, I'm not sure I see how they could be connected. And, speaking of ghosts, what about that other... thing that vaguly threatened us on our way in to Santuriel?"

I rub the bridge of my nose. Ten days. Hardly any time, all things considered, but practically an eternity when it came to tracking. Even if I knew a damn thing about tracking, which I don't. Hopefully Therese knows more.

-- Desiree

OOC: Sorry for the delay. I blame grading and a nasty cold.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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"Wait, so does the scorched bird cage have anything to do with Compassion, or does it have something to do with the Banshee? And, unless you're suggesting that the Banshee is Amalric's ghost, I'm not sure I see how they could be connected. And, speaking of ghosts, what about that other... thing that vaguely threatened us on our way in to Santuriel?"

"I think we've learned in the last few weeks, if we didn't know it already, to distrust coincidences," Therese said. "I can't see how they're connected either, but --"

Lillith interrupted. "They're connected," she said grimly. "The spirits are sure of it."

Three quizzical faces turned to her as she continued. "Like I promised, I stayed behind with the other birdcage to learn what the spirits thought of it. They don't know what a 'banshee' is, which is fair enough because I don't know either." (In other words, she can't put it in words, so her "spirits" can't either, Therese thought. I remember Rose telling me that she thought the "spirits" were the way Lillith taps into magic, and they're more a manifestation of her own talent than anything real -- but Rose didn't want to get into the theology of that, and neither do I.) "What they do know is that whatever was in the birdcage when -- that person brought it was just weird. Not evil, not even scary, just weird. But then, right around when the banshee started, something happened that they couldn't describe, and the weird thing got out and went from weird to scary. They're frightened of it now."

"And you think that scary thing is the banshee?" Brad asked. Lillith just nodded.

Well, that's our connection, but I still don't know how it works, thought Therese. "Did they have anything to say about the thing on the way into town -- did I say something wrong?" The look on Lillith's face suggested she might have.

"The spirits don't speak in words," Lillith said evenly. "They share their feelings. Anyway, they were riled up already to the point where I didn't press the issue about what you saw coming into town. I had to work to calm them down." She passed a hand across her slowly expanding belly, apparently without thinking about it. (She's going to be a good mother, Therese thought. Already trying to comfort the babies, even though they're months from being born.) "I'll check again tomorrow. Speaking of which, you'd better spend the night with us. There's room in the nursery."

"And maybe you'll get to hear the banshee yourselves," Brad said, the tone of his voice suggesting he was more eager than anything else ... but he subsided as the other three turned to him with faces reflecting more anxiety than eagerness. "Or not," he finished, a bit more subdued than he'd started; Brad wasn't quite the emotional, heart-on-his-sleeve adventurer he'd been just a few months earlier, but he still had his moments.

[OOC: What Rose told Therese about the "spirits," offstage, is what Sareth wrote about Lillith in her character description, here. It's toward the bottom of that long page. Hope you feel better!]
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Post by Graybeard »

OOC (I'd put this in the "OOC discussion" thread, except that I'm not sure anybody reads it any more): In what follows from here, it would be useful to know what languages Desiree speaks.

Languages in the Errant World, and what they imply for Errant Road, have never been explored very completely. Presumably the home language of Snamish is Veracian, which is also obviously Brad's first, and possibly only, language. (He would have learned some Tsuirakuan, but unlike his cousin, probably wouldn't be fluent in it, and may not have it at anything but a very basic level.) Veracian is also the probable first language for anyone growing up in Farrel or the southern parts of the Northern Confederacy, which would include Santuariel (we know that from the main story, where Ian must have spoken Veracian) and probably even Goriel, although "tribal" languages are also spoken there. Therese and Lillith also speak Veracian, but Therese, at least, would have very minimal Tsuirakuan, and I doubt if Lillith (and most inhabitants of Santuariel) would speak it at all.

If I recall correctly, Poe said that there were originally two elven languages, and that one was the forerunner of Veracian, the other of Tsuirakuan. Would Desiree speak either of those, as a result of being taught by her mother? If so, she might be able to stumble along in Tsuirakuan even if she doesn't speak the language proper. I also see that Desiree once spun a yarn about a speaker of a "Cuthian" language. What did you have in mind there? Another elven-language derivative? Would Desiree know the language, or was it just something from the story?

Note that with Argus and Rose no longer with the group, the "Translation effects" that let Jon, Meji and Sarine all talk to each other in Errant Story would be absent in Santuariel, since they presumably took their "translator gadgets" with them.
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