The road to Getsemiel

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: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Graybeard » November 28th, 2011, 9:37 am

"Does this one work differently?"

Ah. An excellent start,
Sister Rose thought. She smiled reassuringly, and it wasn't an act; Desiree's skills were much farther along in the direction of a defense against the death magic than she was afraid they might be. This should go quickly, leaving her more time to concentrate on helping Lillith, whose skills weren't nearly as advanced -- indeed, she seemingly hadn't realized she had magical skills until very recently.

"Just a little," she answered. "You take the basic Barrier that you know, which by the way is very helpful, I didn't know your skills were so advanced. Then you do two things to augment it. First, use your mind to shape it so that it actually reflects what's thrown at it. Argus taught me that; he calls it making 'runes' on the surface. Here, let me demonstrate." I think I'll skip the Luminositan vocalizations; it's the power inside that counts. She concentrated, and a Barrier came into being. A little more concentration, and the curves and contours of Argus' runes glowed on the Barrier (the glow was Rose's touch, for teaching purposes) before it disappeared again.

"Then the second thing," Rose continued after pausing to catch her breath; she'd been using enough magic this evening that she was getting tired. I'll sleep well tonight, anyway. "Push a little of the strength of your mind into the Barrier as you make it. That's the part that takes some practice, because we're not used to a mental component in an Evocation. I think it could be important against the death magic, though." With smiles and encouragement, she helped the priestess through one or two tests of the enhancement ... and then it was on to other things.

"It's frightening being out here on the road, isn't it?" she asked gently, knowing Desiree's answer, and also knowing that Lillith had experienced just the same set of emotions only a few weeks earlier; might that common ground be something for the two young women to bond over? For Luminosita's sake, I hope so...
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 28th, 2011, 12:33 pm

"And maybe Eli could come along with me - so we could watch each other's backs."

Eli glanced up at TIm's voice with naked surprise on his face. Was the Brother serious? The only reason the half-elf would watch his back would be to figure out the best place to stick his sword. Nevertheless he considered the request and found himself suddenly grinning inwardly, maybe if the human was looking for some kind of reconciliation it would be to the good, regardless of what the future might have in store for the group, or circumstances between him and Tim. He stuck his instrument back in his pocket (OOC Ding, ding./OOC) and followed the Brother wordlessly.

Once they were clear of the camp Eli voiced the question on his mind, no point in being subtle about it after all.

"I think, given our recent 'disagreement', that I'd be the last person you'd ask for assistance." He said flatly. "What's your real intention, Brother?"
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Alberich » November 28th, 2011, 1:14 pm

Tim grinned, walking a little in front. If Eli really wanted to stab him, Tim was quite vulnerable to it, and he knew it, and he knew Eli knew it. He wasn't really concerned. Eli was impetuous, and impassioned, and sometimes imperious, but he didn't come across as a backbiting snake. Tim's voice was cheerful.

"So you saw right through me. My intention is to talk. We've both got some things on our minds - I can read it in your face. We're not in the middle of a fight and there's no mad crowd around, so there's time now. Tell you what, I'll talk a little about what's on my mind, then I'll keep quiet a little, and it's your turn. Good? Good!

"There's a thing or two I think you ought to know about Veracian history - and it relates to back in town.

"As we read in our scriptures, before the Elven Captivity, we Veracians were ruled by kings. It was one of our greatest sins. The prophets warned against it, and they were right - kings ruled for themselves and their own, and not for the citizens and their souls. They'd take your lands for themselves, take your daughters for their harem. If they wanted your wife, they'd find a way to get you killed, and take her. They'd start wars with the neighbors just to give estates to their sons, or carve in the rocks what great conquerors they were.

"It's hard to say what was worst, but a part of having kings and nobles was the belief that they were a superior breed of man - born and anointed different from the rest of us. In those days, we kept slaves, so whoever felt inferior to the nobles, could at least feel superior to a slave.

"Well, anyway, it was our kings who led us into the Elven Captivity, and the elves themselves were worse. They really were a separate race, in their own minds a superior one, and we were their playthings. They'd even have us fight and kill each other for their own amusement, and as you can imagine, our bodies were theirs for the taking. And when Lord Luminosita led us out of captivity - all that experience was the foundation for the country we have now."

He elected to leave out the Five Gratitudes - not an interesting concept for an unbeliever.

"In Veracia, now, Lord Luminosita himself is the sovereign, and we his priests administer the country for him. But we've abolished the noble and slave classes, because one soul's as good as another in his sight - and the poorest farmer can hope for the same reward as the Patriarch himself. The idea of a noble class runs against our whole way of being.

"So you see, even if an ordinary human being walked into town, and started calling the people 'peasants' - like he was a superior class and they were his inferiors - he'd get a little fist-in-the-nose action. But if someone with pointed ears does it, it's like our old slavemasters come back to take over. And if he's magically adept, the way you all seem to be, you can't help it, there's going to be hate and there's going to be fear.

"Back before, Desiree was telling me you half-elves have got some pretty rough treatment from your elf parents yourselves. And, ah, Lillith too. That's not common knowledge to us. But if it's so, what I'm hoping is that you can see why it's like it is, and why superior attitudes aren't a good idea in this country."

He shrugged as though to say, I hope I'm not a bore, and then looked Eli in the face. "That's maybe too much from me. Now it's my turn to shut up, and do some listening. What's on your mind?"
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 29th, 2011, 4:59 am

Eli listened to the Brother's ramblings with a mixture of amusement and disbelief as they picked their way through the trees and back to the place where Desiree 'lost' her robe. Did all humans talk this much? We're they all so eager to share a history with one who had such little connection to it? At Tim's question Eli half-considered telling him what was really on his mind, but settled for a few surface thoughts instead.

"First of all I'm interested in seeing if this demon you mentioned is still around. If it was as big a threat as Desiree said then putting it out of our misery would be a charitable service. Best before it sneaks up on our camp in the middle of the night. The death mage would be number two." He added. "I'm wondering what's going to happen if our friend sees us coming and our barriers aren't as tough as we expect them to be. I'd really rather not finish with my boots pointing at the sky hundreds of miles from my hometown. And lastly..."

'And far from lastly'... He thought, and took a deep breath.

"Desiree... I'm not blind to how you look at her, Priest and..." He gritted his teeth. "I don't blame you. She's beautiful after all. And free and easy and ethereal and 'child of the woods' and so on and so on. Certainly motivation enough for grown men to draw swords and fight over her. But, after thinking about what we're going to face, perhaps it would be best if the grown men focused their attention on what's to come."

He forced himself to hold out a hand.

"Let the next time we pull out blades be to kill something together." He finished.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Alberich » November 29th, 2011, 6:45 am

Tim turned to Eli and took the outstretched hand freely. "Freely!" After a firm grasp, they walked along together. Tim was a little surprised at the way the half-elf had chosen to answer - he'd thought he might have some deeper issues or anger at Veracia, or humans in general. But this was the ending he'd wanted, and if he got there, did it really matter how?

"You're right about Desiree," he said, "She's hard not to look at - but you know, we Orthodox priests, we're not allowed to do anything like that. We're not even allowed marriage." He paused. He decided not to add his other thoughts: I don't think she's interested in seducing me away from it. Women respond to boldness - and I can't be bold about that.

They came to the clearing where he'd thrown Desiree's robe. Tim found it. He gave it to Eli. Eli deserved at least this much - to be the one to present it to her, as her gallant, and reap the reward.

Now, really, Tim should close his mouth and let well enough alone. He'd achieved the goal he wanted. He'd certainly known humans like Eli - quick to take offense, and especially over that. But still good, solid men - and good friends if you could get on their right side. But there were some things he really wanted to understand, partly for his own sake as he went from "never having seen a half-elf" to "fighting alongside three of them." And partly for Brad's.

"You know, with humans, the way we're made - with, ah, lovers, they, they want their lovers to be exclusive. Like one and only. Especially our women are like that. And it seems to be more when theyyyy, ahh, conjugate, even if they're not married. Fighting, even murder, it's more over that than anything. Even if they're unfaithful, they hide it, and they don't like it when the other one does it."

According to Sister Sakura, even Tsuirakuans had those same basic instincts - they might trivialize adultery to "cheating," and the prominent families might arrange marriages where each half sought true love elsewhere, but Tim didn't want to go there...for some reason, he was a little embarrassed to talk about that particular devotional work, doubly so with real Tsuirakuans in the area.

"I don't know much about half-elves. Never met one before yesterday. The way she talks, Desiree's not like humans at all - I mean, she's pretty open about how she is and doesn't act possessive about you." Unless she's using me to draw him closer to her? - well, that thought was staying locked in his skull. "I've been thinking it's her elf blood. Because you're not like that at all - maybe you're a larger part human than she is, I dunno.

"I'm not asking how it is where you come from. I gather I shouldn't be asking about that at all. Not asking about you and her either. None of my business. But how do you read Lillith? Do you think Brad's got a chance to be happy with her?"
Last edited by Alberich on November 29th, 2011, 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Graybeard » November 29th, 2011, 9:31 am

[OOC: Gonna borrow Lillith for one little line here...]

Brad, of course, was constantly wondering the same thing, although from his perspective, the answer was entirely clear. However, at the moment, his main concern was just making sure that they survived to have a future together.

"Sweetheart?" he said as Lillith emerged from the tent. "My cousin thinks it's important for you to learn some defensive magic before we get to Getsemiel. I'm not real good at it myself, but I think I can help -- teach you." He blushed, aware that there was a possible hidden meaning to what he'd said.

Lillith definitely got the meaning, but some things were better played straight. "You sweet, silly man," she smiled, patting his hand. "Remember that I don't know anything about magic except for what the spirits show me." But she composed her face into what appeared to be an attentive posture, and if there was a transient wink and rolling of her eyes in Sister Rose's direction, who would ever know except Rose?

Brad's smile was like the rising of the sun, still eight hours away. "Great! So I'd be calling on Luminosita's Power for this, but you can call on the power of the spirits -- I'm pretty sure that's okay." Truthfully, he'd never thought about it before, but of course it would be okay; it was what Lillith did, after all. "So you gather up the energy, and with your mind, you make it into a wall, like this." His face went red with exertion as he cast a plain, unenhanced Barrier; it didn't last long, but it lasted long enough to make the point.

An observer who had better light would have seen the change in the color of Brad's face now, and could very easily have guessed what was going to happen next, but Brad forged ahead. "And then when you can do that, see, you put a little of your own mind into it. That's the hard part, that's what Rose had to teach me. Like this ..."

His face went even redder with effort, and the Barrier reformed ... for just a moment before he started to wobble. Remarkably, he had time to get out a complete sentence before his eyes rolled back in his head: "Uh, Argus, could you take over here?" And then the inevitable process completed ...

Thump. Well, at least he'd passed out on a nice soft bed of grass this time.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Jack Rothwell » November 29th, 2011, 12:48 pm

"I'm not asking how it is where you come from. I gather I shouldn't be asking about that at all. Not asking about you and her either. None of my business. But how do you read Lillith? Do you think Brad's got a chance to be happy with her?"

Eli shrugged, he hadn't given much thought to the odd couple of the group, now that he did he expressed his opinion truthfully enough.

"Lilith is kind and patient, Brad's a stuttering, socially awkward mess. They match up well enough."

They were approaching camp now. Eli rolled the robe up neatly and stuck it under his arm.

"Well..." He said. "The lady awaits, Gods know it's hard enough to convince her to keep her clothes on, but a man can try." He scanned the camp and picked the pretty half-elf out in the middle of a magic lesson. He began to make his way over.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Sareth » November 29th, 2011, 1:27 pm

"You silly, silly man." Lillith smiled at Brad and then bent down to help lift him up. "Come along, let's get you to bed."

Inside the tent, she laid him down on a bed and covered him with blankets. "You need to learn your limits, you know. You can't defend me if you push so hard you pass out."
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Alberich » November 29th, 2011, 1:38 pm

"Lilith is kind and patient, Brad's a stuttering, socially awkward mess. They match up well enough."

Tim smiled just a little where Eli couldn't see. First because Eli wasn't looking to take offense, which was good; and second because their opinions matched. Except Tim was worried that Brad's awkwardness - even the greatness of his devotion - would drive Lillith away. But there he really couldn't help. Relationship advice from a junior Orthodox celibate? Men in that state weren't eager to take advice anyway, and this - he'd be laughed at even if he knew what to say.

At the worst, she'd reject him, let him down gently, he'd suffer, he'd grow out of his awkwardness, and find someone else. And if he had to live solo? Well, most priests did. Brad could survive it.

"Gods know it's hard enough to convince her to keep her clothes on, but a man can try."

Tim clapped Eli on the shoulder and wished him good luck. Then he went back to practicing his barriers and rune-traces. He had nothing to contribute to the theoretical discussion.
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Re: The road to Getsemiel

Postby Drusia » November 30th, 2011, 12:11 am

"You take the basic Barrier that you know, which by the way is very helpful, I didn't know your skills were so advanced. Then you do two things to augment it. First, use your mind to shape it so that it actually reflects what's thrown at it. Argus taught me that; he calls it making 'runes' on the surface. Here, let me demonstrate."

My skills are advanced? I didn't really think they were - Alia is way better at evocation than I am. She can create whole walls, protect several people at once. Then again, I guess for this sort of thing, a nudge is all you need. I'm... not sure how she's making those runes, though. The demonstration goes pretty fast and... wow, that looks a lot stronger and more shaped than what I do. I think she might be over-estimating my skills. I mean, theory is one thing, but just because I know how doesn't mean I'm actually good at making it happen.

"Then the second thing," Rose continued after pausing to catch her breath; she'd been using enough magic this evening that she was getting tired. "Push a little of the strength of your mind into the Barrier as you make it. That's the part that takes some practice, because we're not used to a mental component in an Evocation. I think it could be important against the death magic, though."

Death magic? Right, because of that guy... everyone around him dies, and Rose thinks it has to do with Exitalis or death magic - or both, since the two are kinda connected. That... makes this like ten times creepier. Rose expects me to reflect death magic back at the caster with my little bump-to-the-side barrier spell?

"It's frightening being out here on the road, isn't it?"

"Yes," I say softly. "It is."

-- Desiree

OOC: Sorry - long wait for a short post.
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