Stone Man Pass

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » March 12th, 2010, 10:02 pm

Argus sighed. "I concur. The girl... Kim, was it? ...is our best bet for getting information. I really don't think we should trifle with Zeb and company. Something about that whole set-up troubles me." Time-magic did more than just trouble Argus, but never mind that. "Realistically, there isn't much we can do just yet, at least until she talks to us. If I was right, and Goto is dabbling in very dangerous magic... well, I'll deal with that when I get the opportunity. If I was wrong..." he grimaced, "Then I may have caused an international incident over my own paranoid delusions. Not a happy thought."

There was a moment of deep silence. "But someone was using time magic. And that frightens me, Rose. I've seen what happens when time-magic goes wrong with my own eyes. And it isn't pretty. At all." Thunder rumbled again, far away.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Porcelain Fish » March 12th, 2010, 11:16 pm

It was Maduin's turn to blink, and then he smiled once more. "It's a fancy way of saying tending to one's fingernails. It's actually quite relaxing." He glanced outside to where Rose and Argus stood. The sky was still dim, but the rain had, for the most part, moved on now. "Well, at any rate, I suppose we'd best get ready to get back on the road. I imagine we have quite the distance to cover."

He reached up overhead, pulled a golden cord hanging from the ceiling, and then the tent was folding around and away from them, sucking itself up once more into an oblong parcel that thumped softly to the ground among the trees. Maduin picked it up in his arms and headed back towards the wagon, gesturing for "Kim" to accompany him, already considering which set of clippers he would use first.

"I think if you give manicures a chance, you'll find you quite enjoy them," he said brightly as she followed warily in his wake.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » March 13th, 2010, 12:17 am

Sister Rose nodded at Argus' analysis. "I've never seen time magic other than here, but that was enough. There's something I want to try. Hang on a minute." She cast what Argus had come to recognize by now as her Empathy spell, then went to where the others were preparing the wagon to hit the road -- the tarpaulin had done its job, so the seats, etc., wouldn't be too wet. No point asking Brad this, because I know the answer...

"Argus, Lillith, Drusia, can any of you drive this thing?"
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drusia » March 13th, 2010, 10:17 am

We have to leave the tent? Aww.. I was looking forward to spending the night in the thing. So comfy looking.

"Argus, Lillith, Drusia, can any of you drive this thing?"

Well that sounds unpleasant. I hold up a finger against my nose and say "Not it."

I glance towards Argus and Lillith, wondering which one will touch his or her nose first, and which one will end up driving.

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » March 13th, 2010, 12:10 pm

Argus shrugged. "I will. No problem." Rose probably wanted a break.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » March 13th, 2010, 12:25 pm

"Thanks," Sister Rose replied. "A break would be nice." <"Plus, I want to try something involving my Empathy and our new traveling companion that's going to take my full attention,"> she added mentally; it had been nice (if unintentional) of Drusia to get her using that little trick.

As the wagon got moving again, Rose settled comfortably (relatively speaking) into one of the rear seats, near where Maduin was doing Kim's nails. The Empathy didn't reveal anything unexpected about that; Maduin was enjoying himself, of course (it certainly didn't take the spell to figure that out), and the girl's initial suspicion and puzzlement was giving way to a degree of relaxation, one she probably hadn't been feeling much of for a long time. (I guess it really must be soothing to get one's nails done, Rose thought. Maybe I can get Maduin to do mine some time ... I can be a little self-indulgent just this once, I suppose.) That was good; it provided the perfect setting for some "small talk" with the girl that wasn't as small as it looked.

A few nondescript words were exchanged, Kim answering monosyllabically, but with some of the previous tension starting to fall away; Rose didn't need the spell to notice that, either. Then, the small-talk stage prepared, she injected the one by-the-way question that she really wanted an answer to. Her Empathy was now focused on the girl as she said, "We enjoyed ourselves in your area last night, did a little dancing, I hadn't done that for a long time, it was fun. The hired man at the inn was a very good dancer. Do you know anything about him? I think his name was Zeb."

TERROR, the spell shrieked, as the girl's eyes got very, very wide.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Porcelain Fish » March 13th, 2010, 1:10 pm

Maduin pulled back the file right before the girl's hands shook, and held in a sigh of irritation, settling for a look of mild reproof in Sister Rose's direction instead, though in her place, he might well have asked the same question himself, in the same offhand manner. He hadn't missed the sudden thrust in the conversation, the tightening of focus, but the girl hadn't leaped from the wagon yet, so clearly she wasn't aware that Rose and the others were wise to Zeb's nature. In fact, she seemed to be attempting to control her reaction, however poorly.

So much the better.

"There there, sweetling," he said softly, using a faint thread of magic as he rested his fingertips lightly on the back of Kim's hand to reinforce the power of his words. "You're quite safe. No harm will come to you here. Now hold out your hand; we're almost done." He made both his tone and his expression absent on purpose, implying wordlessly that he considered Zeb and company inconsequential, which, granted, might or might not be true; but a little confidence was clearly what the girl needed at the moment.

His gaze dropped to Kim's feet and he almost winced. Those were going to need a lot of work, and some rejuvenating magic too. A barefooted life had made them something verging on hoary. "I think we'll start on your feet tonight too once we've stopped," he added. "I have some delightul perfumed oils that are just heavenly once you warm them a bit."

And some heavy-duty files for those calluses he thought.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Sareth » March 13th, 2010, 1:49 pm

From the other side of the cart, Lillith gave Sister Rose an uncharacteristically dirty look. The half-elf girl's clear fondness for the Veracian Nun apparently had limits beyond which scaring an already traumatized child resided. After the glance and a sniff, she bent down into her pack and dug out a comb. She held it up and smiled. "Would you like me to..." But before she could finish her statement, Brad had snagged the brush from her hand.

"Oh! I could brush your hair for you if you'd like, Lillith," the man said.

Irritated, Lillith turned and started to say something. Before she got anywhere, however, she paused, a surprised and contemplative look on her face. She cocked her head to the side, looking at Brad's tense features, then her eyes slid over to glance at Kim. After a second, her eyes widened a little, her lips forming an unspoken "oh."

"S... sure, Brad. I'd like that."
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » March 13th, 2010, 11:06 pm

"S... sure, Brad. I'd like that."

Brad's facial expression had been ... complicated, but at these words, it returned to its usual adoring shape. "Then I shall," he said, and set to work, every stroke of the brush administered lovingly and with the greatest care.

Sister Rose almost chuckled. Her cousin was such a transparent man; she didn't really need the spell to know that he'd had serious misgivings about dealing with a girl who looked so much like the woman who'd done him wrong. His relief at not having to do so was equally obvious. And Lillith ...

I like this girl, Rose thought, not for the first time. Hadn't Luminosita (or one of His later historians, at the very least) said that the peacemakers would be His children? Whatever her beliefs, Lillith qualified as a "peacemaker" like few other people she'd known. Just like ... Kenny.

Back to business. "Argus, I should probably tell you that the left-hand horse -- I think he's 'Tim,' the one on the right is 'Tom' -- Tim can pull to the left a little if you let him. Might want to keep an eye on that." With the spoken words for cover, she added mentally, <"I don't know whether you caught it up there, but Kim is definitely terrified of Zeb. What do you make of that?">
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » March 14th, 2010, 11:33 am

Argus considered Rose's mind-message. <"The similarity in powers is too much to be a coincidence. My guess is that Kim was part of a sect that taught it to everyone from a young age. Similar to basic magical education is Tsuiraku."> Yes. Yes, that made perfect sense. <"It's pretty logical, and explains why such a young girl uses it so proficiently, like it's second nature to her. I assume that Zeb was part of the same sect, given that his magic was virtually the same..."> Argus stopped and suppressed a grimace. "He does pull a little, doesn't he?" Argus said aloud. "Don't worry, I can handle it."

<"Scratch that last one, Rose. They may be from similar groups, but based on her fear of Zeb, I'd say that their two sects had a war some time ago... and Kim's lost. Possibly a splinter group that got targeted by the main sect. This implies further that what we're dealing with is an independent group of people who have researched time magic and somehow made it WORK."> Now THAT disturbed Argus <"It implies furthermore that I was dead wrong back at the lodge. Maybe she was in contact with them, but I don't think Haniko Goto had anything to do with Zeb and company. More likely we just happened to stumble upon their territory and they were eyeballing us the same way they would any other intruders.">

Argus sighed deeply. It was a real sigh. "Come on, Tim, work with me here..." Mentally, he continued. <"So. Successful users of time magic. And a completely unnecessary international incident. I don't know which is worse.">

The last bit he kept to himself. This crew was deep inside Veracian territory. This meant that if they had contact with anyone, it would be the Veracian government. Which implied further that perhaps someone was ignoring OCRAP after all.
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