Snamish

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: Snamish

Postby Drannin » January 28th, 2011, 8:47 am

Argus chewed on a piece of bacon, considering that fried bacon may very well be the most perfect variety of food in the world. <"You'd know more than I would. He seems to trust you, though. Maybe it's just something very personal that he doesn't want to discuss with too many people? Some sort of family issue with one of the families here?"? He gave the mental equivalent of a shrug and went back to his bacon. If it was truly important, he was sure that Benedict would mention it to Rose.

(OOC: Seriously. I love bacon. Anyone with me on this?)
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Re: Snamish

Postby Graybeard » January 28th, 2011, 9:40 am

<"You'd know more than I would. He seems to trust you, though. Maybe it's just something very personal that he doesn't want to discuss with too many people? Some sort of family issue with one of the families here?">

"Easy with that bacon, you'll clog your arteries," Sister Rose chided Argus, placing a gentle hand on his arm. "I'd like to keep you around for a while," she added playfully. Then she switched to mind-speech, and her mood, if not her face, got serious.

<"I don't know. This just isn't like him. What kind of family issue could cause an emergency meeting of ... oh.">

Whatever she'd thought of, she didn't finish the thought, but turned back to small talk and what lay on her plate ... but it didn't require much discernment to see that Rose had more or less lost her appetite.

----------

The scruffy man had ridden through much of the night, and Gewehr Wraiths need sleep like any other human does; they just have to look for it where and when they can get it. The not-quite-full moon was lowering in the west when he finally reached what looked like an abandoned farm. (By full light of day he would have seen that the fields were in altogether too healthy a state for the place to be truly abandoned, and that might have given him pause. However, moonlight didn't reveal everything.) Far enough for one night, he decided, and stopped at the decrepit house to unroll a sleeping bag, well out of sight of the road. With one last look around, he climbed inside and was asleep within seconds, quite unaware that someone else was sleeping in one of the outbuildings not too far from where he lay.
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Re: Snamish

Postby Drusia » January 29th, 2011, 1:48 am

"Thank you for coming so early this morning, and after a long, hard night, at that. We know this cannot be easy for you." He took a deep breath and continued. "So we are to understand there was an -- issue with the birth at the Kondriel house. Is that correct?"

Desiree nodded.

"Yes," she replied, "Kera Kondriel went into labor last night - she gave birth about an hour ago. I was there to bless the child, but I was unable to do so." Desiree knew she was delaying, but this was hard for her. "The child, a boy, was born with hare-lip and a cleft pallet. According to the guidelines, the child borders on an Errant birth." Desiree paused again.

"There was some disagreement about that, so, in accordance with the laws set down by the Matriarch," Desiree pointedly did not look at her mother, "We have brought the matter before the council.

Desiree stepped back and Masha stepped forward.

"The top of the child's mouth didn't finish forming," the midwife stated, "And if one part isn't finished growing, who knows what other parts might be wrong as well. The child is Errant and should be put down."

Having said her piece, Masha stepped back. Desiree waited for a moment, then stepped forward again.

"I speak for Kera Kondriel, who believes that the tear may have been a birth injury," Desiree stated. "If so, then it may heal normally. She asks that her child be allowed to live long enough to see if this occurs." Several people murmured in the audience at the request. Desiree wasn't surprised - one of the Matriarch's first laws was that there was no waiting to eliminate an Errant. Adult Errants were clearly dangerous, but it was just as important with children - after all, the longer the parent waited, the harder it would be. Better to avoid the temptation to try to hide the child or allow it to escape. And yet, what if the diagonisis was mistaken? Desiree was here to speak for Kera, and she would do so to the best of her ability, but... she just wished she knew it was for the best.

-- Desiree
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Re: Snamish

Postby Graybeard » January 29th, 2011, 11:19 am

Benedict nodded solemnly. "Thank you, Priestess and Healer, for your reports." (Masha was hardly a full Healer, at least not yet, but she'd have to do; the town's only full-fledged Healer had perished in a tragic farm accident a month or so back -- at least everyone thought, and particularly hoped, it had been an accident.) "We know how difficult this is for you. Know that you've done the right thing, and may the peace of the gods be on your souls, regardless of the outcome." He looked around the council, getting approving noises from each of them, even though he'd carefully avoided naming the "gods" whose "peace" he was invoking. "Opinions?"

A tall, gaunt man, the oldest in the room, rose arthritically to his feet; half elves might age more slowly than humans, but the infirmities of old age did catch up to them eventually. "I see little choice in the matter," he stated. "We must err on the side of keeping Errants from developing in town. The child must be put down." He sat.

The lone woman on the council (her inclusion fifteen years ago had been controversial, but times change) looked like she wanted to say something, and Benedict recognized her. He knew she was a mother of four, and he was pretty sure what she was going to say, as indeed she did. "I disagree with Marius," she said. "Defects like these do happen; they're not necessarily the mark of an Errant. Just think of how devastating this will be to young Kera Kondriel. This is her first child, and she'll never be the same again. No mother of the village would ever condone such a step." She looked around significantly at the all-male council ... and at Drusia, Desiree and Masha.

"Thank you, Gloria," Benedict said, and turned to the other councilors. Nobody would meet his eyes; maybe it was too early in the morning, or too soon after the festival, or the gods knew what. Most likely, it was the fact that the town's founder and protectress was in the room ... and that they didn't want to think about the vote they might have to cast.

Benedict took a deep breath, let it out, then said what they all wanted him to say, and what he'd been resisting saying. "Drusia? Ultimately, this will be your decision anyway, and you have more experience in this situation than the rest of us. What do you think?"
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Re: Snamish

Postby Drusia » January 30th, 2011, 12:40 am

Benedict took a deep breath, let it out, then said what they all wanted him to say, and what he'd been resisting saying. "Drusia? Ultimately, this will be your decision anyway, and you have more experience in this situation than the rest of us. What do you think?"

Maybe I shouldn't have come. When I'm not here, they have to make the decisions. If I died out there, they'd be alone here. They'd need to do this on their own.

Still, what mother wouldn't like to take such a horrible decision out of a child's hands?

I stand. "One Errant can destroy an entire city. One merciful act could bring the Peregin down on us. I stood in old Santuariel - a few of your oldest ancestors did as well - and I saw the destruction. I fought in the war - I know the price we'd all pay for letting one Errant live." I look up at Gloria. "You are kind, and you are wise. But you have never had to take a blade to one of your own children. Others in this room have. I have. It is devistating? Yes. But it is also necessary, to protect the next child, to protect all the other children in the town."

I pause. I hadn't planned to say that last bit, but her statement that no mother would condone such a thing - it was a slap in my face, and a slap to every mother who had faced that terrible necessity. I wanted to take this from them, but maybe I have been to kind lately. They need to remember why the laws are there.

"If it can be proven that the child was damaged during birth, not before," I say, "And proven beyond a medical doubt, then I will stand aside. If it cannot be proven, then Kera Kondriel must do her duty to the town, and to her son. Better to die than to live as an Errant - better than becoming a monster."

A few people in the audience gasp. In recent years, it has been I or the midwife that generally has done the task - the not few enough times it's come up. To ask the mother to perform the deed is quite harsh - but perhaps it will remind them why the midwife's code exists. Kera should not have called for this injunction - she should have accepted the mid-wife's ruling.

-- Drusia
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Re: Snamish

Postby Graybeard » January 30th, 2011, 1:15 am

Benedict didn't look happy at all, but he nodded. "You're right, of course. We simply cannot take the chance of an Errant calling attention to this place. And yet -- and yet --" He closed his eyes, rubbed his forehead as though in deep thought.

Gloria, the woman on the council, took advantage of this break to rise from her seat. "But we can't just sentence this child to death on a suspicion!" she said, heat in her voice, and in her face. "That makes us no better than the ones who hunt us. I insist that we do our utmost to try to clear this child of the suspicion of being an Errant!"

"But how?" one of the other councilors said. "Councilor, you know that we're short on Healers now. Who else's judgment would you trust to make such a horrible decision? Everybody in town knows the Kondriels, nobody's going to be objective about it." Rumblings from the other councilors (excepting rigid old Marius, who'd clearly already decided how he was going to vote) confirmed this point of view.

Benedict opened his eyes, and he took a deep breath. "There is one person I can think of," he said, taking care over each word, "whose judgment is impeccable. It cannot be called into question. She is not from among us, yet her love of the town is nearly as strong as our own. She could mount an investigation that we all would trust. And she has the magical skills to do it ..."

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

"Are you all right, Rose?" Brad said, looking up from his plate (and Lillith). "You've barely touched your breakfast, and it's fabulous."

Sister Rose glanced at her cousin. He was right; she'd been pushing food around on the plate, but had barely eaten a thing since she'd had whatever thought had interrupted her mind-speech with Argus. She smiled weakly, sighed. "Maybe it's just the aftermath of the festival," she said, "but somehow I feel like my ears have started burning..."
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Re: Snamish

Postby Porcelain Fish » January 30th, 2011, 7:37 pm

Maduin wasn't really listening to Rose's words. He was looking at her, looking at the way that Argus was looking at her, and he was suddenly presented with a quandary as it became clear that what had happened last night between the two of them wasn't quite a spur of the moment thing, especially in light of what he was witnessing this morning.

He was thinking of Fayna, and in truth, he was just the slightest bit jealous on her behalf. One thing was sure - if thoughts of Rose and Argus together were making him uncomfortable, Fayna would be certain to take it with a great deal less aplomb. How could she possibly see this woman, however good and pure her intentions, as anything but an intruder attempting to take Cirella's place?

It wasn't that he didn't feel sympathy for Rose, all things considered. He gathered that she'd lost someone important to her in the past. But the cart she was thinking of hitching a ride on was only recently repaired, still not in very good condition, and might break down at any moment under too much pressure. He certainly felt sympathy for Argus, a man he held genuine fondness for, something on the order of an uncle.

But this was dangerous. Perhaps moreso than either of the two of them had even stopped to consider.

"You gonna eat the rest of that?" Bryce asked jovially.

"Help yourself," Maduin said warmly, but his calculating gaze was on the space between Rose and Argus, a division that seemed to be growing smaller as time passed.

If that barrier fell, it might take more with it than could be afforded.
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Re: Snamish

Postby Drannin » February 1st, 2011, 4:11 pm

Argus shrugged. "I used to get that feeling. I learned how to ignore it." He paused. "Except that one time a prankster was actually trying to ignite my ears. That, I did not ignore."

At that moment, Harker walked across the room to the table, seeking breakfast. His clothes made a noticeable jingling noise as he moved, evidence of a rather large amount of coinage on his person. Argus raised an eyebrow. "Profitable night?"

"Massively so," Harker replied, reaching for some toast.
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Re: Snamish

Postby Jack Rothwell » February 2nd, 2011, 8:40 am

OOC Just a check-in to let you know I'm still following this. Eli is sitting in and listening to the council's disucssion. I don't really have anything to add since the half-elf doesn't have the seniority to weigh in with his opinion. I'm pretty much kicking back and playing golf right now. :ugeek: /OOC
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Re: Snamish

Postby Graybeard » February 2nd, 2011, 11:48 am

[OOC: No prob, JR; Eli will have enough to do when movement toward the balloon or the guy at the farm begins. I'm going to be out of touch for a couple days due to professional travel, but until then:]

"Eli?" Benedict called. "Please go over to my house and fetch my daughter-in-law." As far as Benedict was concerned, there was no "ex" about Sister Rose's status; she'd married into the family, and family she remained, and would until the day she died.

Marius cleared his throat. "Benedict, I am not sure that is wise. Your daughter-in-law is not of this town. More importantly, she is not a half elf. She cannot possibly understand, at the deepest level, the severity of the threat we are facing here."

Actually, I think she can, Benedict thought; Rose had told him some things about the Albigenish Incident that she didn't say to just anybody. However, he knew that she didn't like to talk about it, had never done so with anyone in Snamish outside the family ... and Marius was a distant relative, but "family" he was not.

In any case, there was more to it than that. "It isn't just her opinion on the birth that I seek," he answered. "I want her opinion on something else as well. In the new party that the Matriarch has brought to town, there is a young woman who may be joining us permanently. She is a half elf, and a midwife, or at least she may become one; she has assisted at many births. Drusia has spoken well of her." A glance at the elf confirmed this. "She too may be a valuable resource to call on as we make our decision ... if Rose believes she should be asked to help. But on this, I will defer to my daughter-in-law; she is wise." From Benedict, there was no higher compliment.

---------

Back at the house, Rose still wasn't hungry, but Brad was packing it away like a hungry farmer, as though he'd been working hard. (Based on the episode at the lake, maybe he has, Rose thought lewdly, then was mildly ashamed of herself.) Finally sated, he turned to his lady love. "Well, sweetheart, are you ready to go help the town with its problem up at the pass? I've never flown a balloon before, but there's a first time for everything..."

And then he blushed, although he didn't say why.
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