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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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Post by Graybeard »

Therese hurried her prayers a little more than she'd have wished under normal circumstances, but she still lingered a while over the figurine of wise Continne, Mother among the Mothers; if there was ever a time when they might need her wisdom and patience (not to mention power), this looked like such a time. When she finished, she handed the dainty little figure of Coquette to Desiree before stowing the others in her pack.

"You're exactly right," she said. "It might help greatly to have these along. There's another thing. These little statues, their physical representations, I guess you might say 'Avatars' -- they're magicked so they are attracted to each other. If you carry one, and we get separated, it'll let the ones I'm carrying know, and vice versa. Then we can use them to home in on each other.

"That's just an expedient, though," she continued as she dressed warmly to go out into the cool night. "I'm not planning to get out of shouting distance of you tonight. Quite the contrary -- I would much prefer not to get out of touching distance at all. Another hand squeeze. "Are you ready for this? Shall we?"
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Post by Drusia »

"You're exactly right," she said. "It might help greatly to have these along. There's another thing. These little statues, their physical representations, I guess you might say 'Avatars' -- they're magicked so they are attracted to each other. If you carry one, and we get separated, it'll let the ones I'm carrying know, and vice versa. Then we can use them to home in on each other.

"That's just an expedient, though," she continued as she dressed warmly to go out into the cool night. "I'm not planning to get out of shouting distance of you tonight. Quite the contrary -- I would much prefer not to get out of touching distance at all. Another hand squeeze. "Are you ready for this? Shall we?"


"Let's go," I reply, squeezing back.

As we head outside, I add "I'd rather not get out of hand holding range either, but you're right, it's a good precaution. I wouldn't have thought of it. Thank you..." I give Therese a quick kiss on the cheek.

Another wail splits the night, louder now that we're outside. I do my best to orient on it and start walking. It reminds me a bit of an old Rinkai game* we used to play in the Snamish lake. I was never very good at being 'it'.

Come to think of it, we shouted in elven for that game too.

We head out of the town, into the woods. I can't even stick to a proper trail, not knowing the local paths at all. All I have to go by is the sound of a woman screaming about Destiny.

I should be frightened. Therese certainly is. And, I suppose, I'm worried about walking the wrong way and falling down a gully or something. Running around an unfamiliar woods at night is pretty dangerous even without restless goddesses screaming in the night.

Instead, I'm worried about her - Compassion.

So worried, in fact, that I don't see the ground suddenly drop away towards a creek. My feet just go out from under me. For a moment I'm falling - and then, with a painful yank on my arm and a shock of impact in my leg, I'm sitting on the only slightly muddy ground.

I look up at Therese, her hand nearly crushing mine as the adreneline pumps through her veins, and give her a wan smile. "Thanks," I say sotly. It isn't a lot to say to someone who may have just saved my life (although, to be honest, a fall like that probably wouldn't have done more than break a couple bones), but it's all I have time for right now. I'll make sure she's throroughly aware of my thanks later, once we're out of the woods.

Instead, I pick myself up - Therese doesn't let go of my hand, which she's still kind of crushing, but I don't pull it away - and look around more carefully. The slope extends into the darkness in both directions. If I knew the area, I might know how to circle around, but I don't. Without better light or a guide this is as far as we go.

The 'banshee' screams again. We're closer to her now, but there's no telling how close.

Time for Plan B.

I pray, briefly, to Anilis to grant my voice strength. Then, I hold up Coquette with my free hand and shout in elven <"Compassion! Our Destiny is linked with yours. We're here to help you! Please, come to us! In the name of Anilis and the Five Mothers - your fellow Paedagogusi - appear before us!">

I have no idea if we're close enough for her to hear us - or if she is willing to listen - but I feel the grace of Anilis settle over me, her power making my elven words sharp and somehow golden. I hope that's enough to carry my words to Compassion's ear.

-- Desiree

OOC: * I just spent ten minutes trying to casually describe Marco Polo (the pool game) without using real world references. Arg.

Oh, and I assume that Therese has some sort of light spell active with maybe a 30ft range. If not, Desiree could probably do something like that herself. I didn't bother with details since it really isn't necessary to know aside from they have some sort of limited light source.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC: Therese would certainly be able to use a Light spell, although it may flicker a little during what we're about to do. Marco Polo ... wow, does that take me back ...]

Professionalism took over, and Therese's demeanor switched from scared to concerned as she gave Desiree a once-over in the aftermath of her fall. She's going to get uncomfortably cold, being that wet and muddy, she decided, and paused for a quick Hygiene spell. Thus concentrating, she only heard the second of the two vocalizations that followed Desiree's shout to Compassion.

The first of these was another wail from the banshee, or whatever it was. "DESSSTINYYY..." the voice screamed, showing little or no change in its timbre in response to the shout. It was everywhere and nowhere, all around them but not emanating from any particular source or even direction; the night itself might have been wailing.

The second sound, however, was one they hadn't heard before, a low growl that rapidly ramped up to a snarl. And it was coming from a definite direction ... the direction of that other trail that Shamhat had told them to avoid on the way to Lillith's grove.

"Cave bear," Therese muttered. "Still a ways away, but it doesn't sound happy..."
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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The first of these was another wail from the banshee, or whatever it was. "DESSSTINYYY..." the voice screamed, showing little or no change in its timbre in response to the shout. It was everywhere and nowhere, all around them but not emanating from any particular source or even direction; the night itself might have been wailing.

The second sound, however, was one they hadn't heard before, a low growl that rapidly ramped up to a snarl. And it was coming from a definite direction. "Cave bear," Therese muttered. "Still a ways away, but it doesn't sound happy..."


A bear? Why did it have to be a fricken bear?! No, wait, stay calm. I can't hide behind Therese this time, and the bear is too far away for me to calm it with my scent. Besides, I can't turn my attention away from Compassion - not when she's so close.

On the other hand, maybe I can try something else. I take a deep breath and call on Anilis again. I pull as much of her power into myself as I can - more than I've ever called on before - and pour all of it into one of my simplest, most basic spells.

I used the spell to calm Anifa the first time we made love. I've used it with many nervous lovers. Its purpose is to calm gitters, to make a nervous patron ready to receive Anilis's blessing. I've used it hundreds of times - on patrons as well as friends who were upset, enemies who might do me harm, and even snakes - usually with just a whisper of power and a kind word.

This time, I'm not whispering.

<"Compassion! Please! We want to help you. Please, be calm. Speak with us. I beg of you! Please, Compassion, show us the mercy after which you are named!">

I let the power rush out of me with my words, carrying them to anything and everything nearby.

If I'm right, it should calm both Compassion and the bear.

If I'm wrong -

- I waver on my feet and start to fall foward. Only Therese's hand on me keeps me from falling face first into the mud. Instead, my knees squelch with the impact. I wobble, but Therese doesn't let me collapse any further.

If the bear attacks, I won't be able to run.

And the spell I cast will likely have affected Therese as much - or more - than the bear. She should be very calm right now - which isn't exactly a good thing for defending against bear attacks.

I really, really hope the bear is calm. Because, if I missed the bear, we're probably both going to die.

I should be frightened, but I'm too tired. I've never... never... something...

I blink and take a breath, trying to keep myself from passing out. My vision has gone all sparkly.

Unless... unless those sparkles are real?

<"Please..."> I whisper.

-- Desiree

OOC: Up to you if those sparkles are real. Also up to you if Therese is as over-calm as Desiree fears.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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Desiree's spell performed at least half of the job she'd cast it to do. The growling of the cave bear subsided, first to a low, almost confused snuffling, then to quiet grunts and loud breathing. Then there was only the sound of a very large animal making its way through the underbrush, back in the direction of its den.

The other half, however, remained unfulfilled. Another moan of "DESSSTINYYY" filled the air. Was it a little softer and less anguished now? Maybe, maybe not, but it did serve to rouse Therese from the near-torpor that proximity to Desiree's spell had left her in. Her vision too had become filled with sparkles, but they subsided as the magic dissipated and she regained her senses. She held Desiree tightly.

"I don't think she can hear you," she said softly as the moan died down.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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Another moan of "DESSSTINYYY" filled the air. Was it a little softer and less anguished now? Maybe, maybe not, but it did serve to rouse Therese from the near-torpor that proximity to Desiree's spell had left her in. Her vision too had become filled with sparkles, but they subsided as the magic dissipated and she regained her senses. She held Desiree tightly. "I don't think she can hear you," she said softly as the moan died down.

"... I don't know how to be 'louder'" I say dejectedly, gazing out into the forest. I put everything I had into getting rid of the bear.

I take a breath and stand up again, leaning against Therese to steady myself.

"We need to get closer," I say, more to myself than to Therese. Neither of us knows the area, and even if we did, I can't make out which way her voice is coming from anymore.

Time to try something crazy.

I strip out of my dress and tie it around my head.

To Therese, I say "Once I finish, take my hand and follow me. And, um, try to keep me from walking off any cliffs."

And, with that, I spin around several times. As I do so, I pray aloud "Anilis, guide my steps." I go two more rotations and then stop. I hold out my had and, after a moment, Therese takes it.

I give her had a reassuring squeeze and then start walking in a random direction, trusting Anilis to guide my steps.

-- Desiree

OOC: Desprate times call for desprate measures.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC: LOL...]

Therese blinked at what Desiree was doing, and it wasn't just because of the Light spell. However, she caught on soon enough and did as Desiree had asked.

Unfortunately, it didn't seem to help. In fact, the wailed "dessstinyyyy..." seemed to be getting weaker -- not more distant (it still seemed as though the women were surrounded by the sound, rather than it being in any particular direction), but softer, muffled. With one eye, Therese held onto Desiree and watched their footing, while with the other, she checked out their surroundings. As she did, she noticed something.

"Look, on the horizon," she pointed. "I don't usually pay much attention to these superstitious things, but the Titmoth is setting. You don't suppose...?"

[OOC: See the link for a pointer to what the "Titmoth" means. Therese's interpretation of the constellation would be quite different than that goofy astrologer's, but the same general point.]
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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She's getting softer. Am I going the wrong way? No.. no, I think Compassion herself is getting softer. Did I have some effect on her after all?

Please, Anilis, I pray, help me find her.

"Look, on the horizon," she pointed. "I don't usually pay much attention to these superstitious things, but the Titmoth is setting. You don't suppose...?"

I turn my head, but of course I can't see anything blindfolded as I am. I frown anyway. "I have no idea what a 'Titmoth' is," I reply wryly, "But if you have an idea better than this-" I gesture to my makeshift blindfold - "then I'm all ears."

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

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Therese blushed, embarrassed. "Of course you can't see the Titmoth," she said. "I don't know what I was thinking. Here, let me take off your blindfold."

A moment later, she was pointing to a small but bright group of stars on the western horizon. "The Gorielians call that bunch of stars the Titmoth." Had the wailing changed when she said that name? She wasn't sure. "We of Refuge-Nouveau think that in their own peculiar way, they're associating it with either elven mythology, what I've learned to call the Paedagogusi, or our Five Great Mothers. People argue about which, but things that I've learned on this trip have about convinced me that the subjects are closely tied, maybe even one and the same. So ... is the setting of that constellation somehow connected with your Compassion getting weaker and less able to be present in our material world? It seems far-fetched, but I wonder."

As she was concentrating on the western sky, she didn't immediately notice that something was happening in the eastern sky: the first faint glimmerings of the twilight before dawn were beginning to light the horizon, even though the sun was considerably more than an hour from rising. The skies around Santuariel were dark and clear enough for such a thing to be seen. Meanwhile, the banshee's wails were becoming fainter and fainter, even as Therese and Desiree continued to seem to be right in the middle of them.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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"Of course you can't see the Titmoth," she said. "I don't know what I was thinking. Here, let me take off your blindfold."
"We of Refuge-Nouveau think that in their own peculiar way, they're associating it with either elven mythology, what I've learned to call the Paedagogusi, or our Five Great Mothers. People argue about which, but things that I've learned on this trip have about convinced me that the subjects are closely tied, maybe even one and the same. So ... is the setting of that constellation somehow connected with your Compassion getting weaker and less able to be present in our material world? It seems far-fetched, but I wonder." As she was concentrating on the western sky, she didn't immediately notice that something was happening in the eastern sky: the first faint glimmerings of the twilight before dawn were beginning to light the horizon, even though the sun was considerably more than an hour from rising. The skies around Santuariel were dark and clear enough for such a thing to be seen. Meanwhile, the banshee's wails were becoming fainter and fainter, even as Therese and Desiree continued to seem to be right in the middle of them.


"That might make sense if Refuge-Nouveau was near an old Cimmerii territory," I muse, looking at setting stars. I can't help but wonder what they're supposed to look like. What is a titmoth anyway? A moth made entirely out of breasts? Yeah, not seeing it. "The Cimmerii are very focused on the night and stars. Well, that and mountains. The Keiren and Sanguen were more focused on solar events, being more concerned with light. The Rinkai fall somewhere in the middle." I pause, then turn around.

"The sun's coming up," I murmur. "The sun's coming up, the stars are setting, and she's getting weaker. But that doesn't make sense. The Paedagogusi were creatures of light. In all the descriptions, even from the Cimmerii, they're described as glowing, as appearing first as glowing spheres before resolving into their more familiar forms. Even then, they still glow. If she was here, we should be able to see her in the dark. But we can't. And now she's growing weaker...."

I pause again, and listen.

"... her screams are getting weaker. What if she's not getting weaker - what if she's in less pain now? What if the night is somehow harming her? Or the stars. She's a creature of light - she needs the dawn."

I'm thinking aloud, letting the ideas flow. I'm just guessing, and I might be completely wrong, but it seems to follow logically.

"We followed her voice here, but then she started getting softer - even before the stars started to set or the sun started coming up. What if its your light spell? What if it's helping her? Can you make it brighter? Lots brighter?"

Therese nods and concentrates, brightening her spell. I look the other way, shielding my eyes to avoid being temporarily blinded. I'll need to be able to see in a moment.

The wail is barely more than a whimper this time. Sad, empty, but maybe also relieved? I wait until the cry ends, count to three and then -

"Now... end the spell entirely!" I tell Therese.

She does so, and the sudden darkness is shocking. I unshield my eyes and look around, peering at the darkness all around us.

"There!" I shout, pointing my finger at a faint ball of light. I can't see anything else in the predawn twilight, so I can't quite tell how far away it is (or if there is another gully in the way) but it seems to be close. I take Therese's hand and start walking -carefully - towards the ball of light.

-- Desiree

OOC: Okay, hope that works. I sat down with the Heretical Knowledge Vault and tried to figure out what the elves would think of stars, and this is what I came up with. Also, I really didn't feel like doing a second night of running around in the woods (or forcing you to play Lillith in a major plot section - I know you aren't fully comfortable playing her).

Plus, this sort of wild theorizing to a successful conclusion (that may or may not have anything to do with her logic) is a very Desiree thing to do.

Oh, in case it isn't obvious:
Desiree thinks that the light spell might have "charged up" Compassion's own light. Hence the bright light followed by darkness - the light to help brighten up Compassion and the dark to see her afterwards.
Also, Desiree isn't having Therese recast the light spell now because she's afraid she won't be able to see Compassion (or whatever that light is) if there's another closer light.
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