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.
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Porcelain Fish
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Re: Snamish

Post by Porcelain Fish »

"We might as well get started," Maduin said with a shrug. "I'd like to have this doom out of the way before lunch."
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Graybeard
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Re: Snamish

Post by Graybeard »

Errant. There it was, out in the open, and there was no calling it back ... nor was there any calling back Sister Rose's memory from the Albigenish Incident. [OOC: What follows is rather long, and not strictly necessary to what Rose has in mind. It's accordingly spoilered so readers can skip over it as they wish, and get on to the actions of the moment. It is not, however, a "spoiler" in the usual sense of giving something away; all it gives away is a look inside Rose's head. So anyway:]

The massacre at the farmhouse was still fresh, revoltingly, nauseatingly fresh, in the survivors' minds as they were briefed for the next mission. In a different time and place, Captain Nuria and her troops would have been spared the necessity to go back out so soon afterward, and would have been given a brief leave to get over what they had seen -- leave that just happened to include a little mind magic by a certain senior Luminositan priest to help the scars heal. At Albigenish, though, there simply wasn't time for such niceties. You simply had to go out and do what needed to be done.

At least the mission itself didn't look to be quite as hairy as what they'd gone through at the farmhouse. It was more "deep reconnaissance," getting behind the Albigensian lines and figuring out what was going on. The terrain was better for the mission, and they'd be able to get in and out more easily. Besides, the troops had learned as they fought their way closer to Albigenish. This time everything ran smoothly -- at least until they encountered the Albigensian patrol.

The firefight was a short, messy affair, and it had ended decisively on the side of the Veracians. Their own casualties had been limited to one unfortunate private who'd blundered into the field of fire of what looked like a Force Bolt spell. He'd been dead before he hit the ground, but his death made his brethren both more careful in checking lines of fire and avoiding exposure, and more merciless when they got the upper hand. Soon almost all of the Albigensians lay dead around them, and all the rest had fled in a panic ... all but one.

"What's wrong with him?" Rose wondered, as Kenny and a new lieutenant in the unit, a young man named Janish who'd been born in the Anuban Colonies, examined their half-elf captive. The Albigensian had taken a nasty wound to a leg, and he was in horrible pain, alternately screaming and whimpering like a beaten dog. There also looked to be something wrong with his shoulder, although she couldn''t tell what it was; a dislocation, maybe? Whatever it was, it wasn't life-threatening, while the leg wound was; blood was fountaining from the femoral artery, he'd bleed dry in minutes or even seconds unless it was treated.

But this was no way to kill a man! Besides, a prisoner would be a good information source ... and they hadn't taken many prisoners lately. Rose summoned energy for a Healing spell, not noticing the looks on the two lieutenants' faces. A surprisingly gentle touch to the leg, and the bleeding stopped. A great deal more work would be needed before the man could walk again, but at least he wouldn't die on the spot. Rose let out a breath and turned to the dislocated shoulder ... and then she discovered what was wrong with it.

Hidden by the bulky coat, but exposed as she pulled it away to reach the injury, was the vestige of another arm. The hand at the end was tiny and withered, but functional, and at its end, rather than fingers, it bore claws ...

"No!" Kenny shouted. "You can't heal that! That's an Errant deformity, no magic on earth can touch it! We have to just let this one die ..." But it was too late, healing energy was flowing from Rose's hand into the man ... and exactly as Kenny had predicted, it changed nothing.

Rose gasped with pity as Kenny simply gaped in horror at the deformity ... but Lieutenant Janish's reaction was more emphatic. "GAAAAAA! KILL the freak!" he screamed, retching, almost gagging ... but not too hard to prevent him from drawing his sword.



Back in the present, Rose felt the color drain from her face ... and she composed her thoughts. "I think," she said slowly, "that I may be able to help with this -- decision. If the injury resulted from birth trauma, I should be able to heal it. If it's part of the -- natural state of the poor child, my magic will do no good." She took a deep breath. "Let me look at the baby."

And then what?

----------

Brad, delighted at the beloved touch, reached over and brushed Lillith's face lightly with his lips. "Oh, now, don't go borrowing trouble!" he scolded her playfully. "This will all go just fine, I've worked it all out in my head. Let's get going!"
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Porcelain Fish
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Re: Snamish

Post by Porcelain Fish »

This will all go just fine, I've worked it all out in my head.

The sense of impending doom that Lillith had mentioned and Maduin had summarily disregarded was suddenly upon him in full force. He was absolutely certain at this point that anything that could go wrong at this point, most assuredly would, likely with extreme prejudice.

He seriously reconsidered taking Bryce at his word and going back to bed.
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Graybeard
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Re: Snamish

Post by Graybeard »

"Oh, I've got it all worked out!" Brad enthused, as the group hit the trail for the pass below Bishop's Cap. "We'll go up and get the thing inflated and ready to go while we're holding onto the guy lines to keep it from getting away. I'll be on board to pilot it, just in case. Then when it's ready, Argus will use his earth magic to keep it tethered to a big hunk of ballast that he can adjust to keep it right, enough to hold the balloon down but not too much to move -- and Maduin, maybe you can even use that nifty trick you pulled in Leonish to have the ballast walk along with us! We'll just walk the whole thing over the pass and down the trail, then let the air out of the balloon when it's safe and sound in town." He beamed. "And all the time, I'll be on board to make sure nothing goes wrong and it doesn't get away. It's perfect!"

----------

That may not have been the adjective Sister Rose would have used, but she was occupied at the moment.

"I'm not comfortable just wading into the house myself," she said from the door to the council chamber. "Desiree, could you come along? They know you, and you're well respected in town. It'll be helpful if you can observe the examination."

And it'll give us a chance for some conversation too -- I'd really like to get to know this young woman better. Of course there will be certain subjects we'll have to avoid, but I think we can -- uh, oh.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a glimpse of the intrepid salvage crew heading for the trail. A cold frisson ran down her back for a moment, but one problem at a time ...
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Drusia
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Re: Snamish

Post by Drusia »

"I'm not comfortable just wading into the house myself," she said from the door to the council chamber. "Desiree, could you come along? They know you, and you're well respected in town. It'll be helpful if you can observe the examination."

"Oh, of course." Desiree stood, bid her mother a brief goodbye, and headed down to meet Rose. Being stuck with Rose wasn't exactly ideal, but Rose was correct - Kera would want someone there she could trust. Besides, she wasn't exactly the bitch-queen Desiree had always imagined, so perhaps it was only fair to give her a chance.

"This way," Desiree added, leading Rose through the town. It would take a few minutes to get to Kera's house. Desiree wasn't sure if she would prefer silence or small talk. Either seemed like an awkward option.

-- Desiree
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Drannin
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Re: Snamish

Post by Drannin »

"That's... workable," Argus said hesitantly. "I'd rather not experiment with unknown technology in a place that isn't secure. Perhaps if it isn't too heavy, we can devise a way to hook it onto a cart, maybe slide some wheels under it. Once the balloon is someplace safe, then we can experiment with it."

His actual thoughts:

Brad piloting dwarven technology? Can that possibly end well?
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Snamish

Post by Jack Rothwell »

"And all the time, I'll be on board to make sure nothing goes wrong and it doesn't get away. It's perfect!"

Eli was hanging at the back of the group at that moment, listening to the newcomers chatting amongst themselves and measuring the vibe that the group had. The by-plays were quite entertaining, certainly more interesting than the mundality that he and Pico were used to ploughing through on a day to day basis. He chipped in at Brad's comment.

"Perhaps you'd like a co-pilot while you're up there?" He shrugged, the armour he wore made a clinking noise as he did. "I can help you guide the thing; a few air currents here and there to keep it steady."
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Graybeard
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Re: Snamish

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC: I've been having browser weirdness as I try to post this -- lost it twice previously. I'm also still intermittent because of living out of a hotel room while we await storm-related repairs on the house. Let's see if the third time is the charm...]

Brad paused, considered. On the one hand, Argus had a point. (Of course he had a point; he was a hyperintelligent Tsuirakuan, wasn't he?) On the other hand, how were they going to get a cart over the pass? The road was passable enough as far as the fields, but from what he'd heard, it deteriorated to a rough trail above that.

Plus, he really wanted to ride in that balloon. From the sound of it, so did Eli.

Inspiration dawned. Rose would be proud of me; she always said negotiation and compromise was a good skill to have ... and it's something they don't teach in Veracian Church seminary. "Well, then," he said, "let's do both. A co-pilot sounds like a good idea." He smiled at Eli. "We'll have to fly the balloon over the pass anyway, can't get a cart up there. But to save wear and tear and cut the risk, we'll land it right away rather than flying it into town. Sweetheart, do you think you and Alia can commandeer a cart and get it to the end of the road?" He smiled at Lillith, patted her hand; one had to show confidence in the woman one loved, after all.

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

Sister Rose walked alongside Desiree in awkward silence for just the barest time, measured in seconds rather than minutes. She could sense the woman's uneasiness, and she thought she could understand it. Kenny said they'd been friends ... and I'm getting the suspicion that the "friendship" may have been more than that at one point, knowing what Snamish is like. Water under the bridge for me, I didn't care about Kenny's past, it was our future that I cared about. But it might not be so easy for her.

For the moment, she tried to put the tension out of her mind; there was a mission to accomplish, after all. "Can you tell me what we're getting into here?" she asked Desiree. "I've never met this family. What are they like?"

There, that should be an innocuous enough opening to get a conversation started. The hard part could come later ...
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Sareth
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Re: Snamish

Post by Sareth »

"Yes, I think so. Just don't go doing some silly macho thing and getting yourself hurt. I don't want to be putting the local health care to the test just yet." Lillith smiled. "Alia, do you know where we might be able to find such a cart?"
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Drusia
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Re: Snamish

Post by Drusia »

Sister Rose walked alongside Desiree in awkward silence for just the barest time, measured in seconds rather than minutes. She could sense the woman's uneasiness, and she thought she could understand it.
For the moment, she tried to put the tension out of her mind; there was a mission to accomplish, after all. "Can you tell me what we're getting into here?" she asked Desiree. "I've never met this family. What are they like?"


I nod. "Kera and Daniel married a few years ago. They've been trying to have children since." I grew up with Kera. She's a wonderful poet, and she weaves strong rope for fishing. "The two of them have been to the temple a few times for fertility ceremonies. Half elves... well, our fertility rates aren't all that predictable. Better than elves, worse than humans, but not all that specific, like so much else. When it finally happened, Kera was so happy. She's been to the temple for care since. Nothing was ever... apparently wrong. But then, that doesn't necessarily mean anything."

I'm rambling. Well, this isn't exactly a happy day for me either. I blessed this child in its womb - I've been watching Kera carry it, helping her.

"Kera's mother is dead, and her father owns one of the fishing boats," I add. "Daniel is an immigrant, so he doesn't have any other family here. They were both looking forward to starting a family, together." Which is one of the many things that makes this so awful.

-- Desiree
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