Clovius and beyond

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: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » November 10th, 2013, 3:09 pm

"Do let my mother know where I'm at when you see her."

"I will," Sister Rose promised, hoping her voice didn't reveal too much of the uncertainty she felt at the prospect, which was considerable. Drusia, she thought, shouldn't have too hard a time accepting that her daughter had taken a lover from outside the tight-knit community that was Snamish; after all, she did it all the time herself. On the other hand, Drusia was an elf. She had resources to ensure her well-being beyond Snamish that, to put it mildly, were more powerful than Desiree's. She also had a great deal more experience living in unfamiliar, human territory.

A whimsical thought struck her. This was probably just the way Beatrice and Benedict -- and who knows, maybe also Drusia -- felt when Kenny went off to join the army, and me. She no longer noticed that she wasn't feeling pain at that kind of thought any more.

It'll work out, she convinced herself. That just left one thing to do before dinner and an early bedtime; the caravan would be leaving bright and early. "We need to pay a social call on Tovah Dragonslayer," she said to Tim, "and let her know that the Church has approved you as the new priest for Clovius. Let me go change into my robes, I'll be right back." She excused herself to her own room.
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Alberich » November 10th, 2013, 7:32 pm

Tim, happily, didn't pick up on the kobold's meaning either, and while Argus had admitted to Tim what he and Rose were doing, no one had told him of the consequences.

The byplay between Desiree and Therese did not concern him at all. While he personally would prefer for the half-elf to go straight back where she came from and stay there, his only real concerns (or at least the only ones he'd admit to himself) were, imprimis, that she make it back safely, and, secundus, that she stay out of Veracia. Therese could handle the first at least as well as Rose and probably much, much better. If she took on the "husband" role in their unnatural sodomitical relations then she might exercise some discipline, a quality Desiree sorely lacked. As for the second, Therese had no business whatsoever in Veracia, so she would naturally draw Desiree away, and that would be all to the good.

"We need to pay a social call on Tovah Dragonslayer, and let her know that the Church has approved you as the new priest for Clovius. Let me go change into my robes, I'll be right back."

"We don't really," said Tim. "I mean, I can tell her myself and she doesn't know you. But if you want to meet her, then by all means let's you and I go." He gave only a slight emphasis to the you and I but his meaning was plain.

Some of the Faithful had already seen Desiree in that nun get-up, and if she came along and they started asking questions about the "Sister," he'd be stuck explaining the situation or else lying to his new congregation. Neither of which he cared to do. Rose seemed eager to get Tim into awkward social situations, the better to spoil his chances, but he would assert himself as necessary to prevent that from happening. Besides that there was Desiree's obvious contempt for the Church and the Faith. If she got one of her impish whims to pay them some insult, just to relieve her own boredom, he trusted no one to stop her. The good people suffered enough insult with the scantily-clad nun-travesty croupiers Tamina had described. They did not need more.

On top of which he was a little ashamed to be seen with a fornicating nun in polite company, even if he was the only one around who knew about her transgressions. Bringing along her lover would only increase the odds that someone would notice...couples, especially new couples, did have a way of making it obvious, and it wasn't as if they'd been making a great secret of it.
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » November 10th, 2013, 9:47 pm

"Yes, just you and I, of course," Sister Rose answered, puzzled. This was rather obviously church business. Who did Tim think should go on this outing? She decided she didn't really want to know the answer to that. They passed Dess Marson on the way to the house, without stopping to chat; she hadn't been recognized as Argus' "wife," apparently, in her clerical garb, and he was simply heading for the inn with a huge bag thrown over his shoulder and an even huger grin on his face. Again, Rose decided it was best not to inquire.

Tovah Dragonslayer's home -- nay, "mansion" -- was, to put it mildly, not what she was expecting.

It had been obvious, even before the inn passed out of sight behind them, that the address they had been given was in what passed for the "wealthy" part of Clovius. Rose had grown up in fairly comfortable circumstances, and she'd had friends who lived in big houses, but the average house in this neighborhood was even larger than her stepfather's, let alone the Nuria family home. The house of Tovah Dragonslayer was by no means an "average" house here, either. It sat in the center of extensive grounds atop a small hill, the flower gardens immaculate, the paint on the house pristine. A well-maintained, and formidable-looking, fence surrounded the property. The house was at least twice the size of the discredited Veracian temple, Rose reckoned; just the carriage house was itself larger than what most Veracians of her acquaintance lived in.

"May I help you?" the gate guard inquired politely as Rose and Tim reached the fence ... and Tim recognized this servant as Lay Brother Yehuda, who had presided over the service just a few hours earlier.
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Alberich » November 11th, 2013, 3:44 am

Tim beamed at the zealous brother, and since no heathen were around, he could speak freely. "Happy news," he said. "The Church has answered my petition and I'm staying! Sister Rose here, before she leaves town, most particularly wants to meet some of those who've kept the faith for so long in this city. Such as you, and also Miss Tovah. Sister Rose," he said, "this is brother Yehuda, who presided at our ceremony this morning, with a zeal I do not think is exceeded in Emerylon. Yehuda, this is Sister Rose."

Rose hadn't actually said anything about meeting other people, but it seemed more diplomatic to act as if she had. Furthermore he was going to have to exercise caution about his own relations with this Tovah. She had wealth and influence among the heathen, and was very important in this community, but he must not be seen as subservient to her. Take too much of her bounty and he would fall into the temptations of kings -- corruption, nepotism, caring more for wealth than souls. Or she might fall into the parallel temptation -- to think that she, for her wealth and position, had the right to dictate to the clergy. No, it was not in his mind to live in these surroundings, however grateful he might be that such a wealthy benefactor belonged to the true Faith and was using her means in the cause of souls.
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » November 11th, 2013, 10:51 am

"Pleased to meet you," Sister Rose smiled, making the Sign of Luminosita.

A look of complete puzzlement filled Lay Brother Yehuda's face at this gesture and remained there for several long seconds. Finally he found whatever he was looking for in the cluttered attic of his mind, and returned the Sign, with (so Rose and Tim noticed) a bit of clumsiness -- the ring and little fingers weren't exactly right, even though his hand seemed to bear no defects like those of the unfortunate Yona. "Ah," he said. "One moment, please." He pressed a button in the gate house, and a buzzer could be heard somewhere inside the house. "You will be escorted to Lady Dragonslayer's sitting room shortly." He said no more, and his facial expression suggested he hadn't wanted to say as much as he had.

Rose remained silent as well, at least verbally, but she spoke in Tim's mind. <"Really wish I had the Empathy up, because something doesn't feel quite right here...">

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

Therese inspected Desiree's revised disguise, first with a professional eye, then with a more personal one. Yes, that should do; now the half elf looked more like one of the women they'd seen at dinner. Of course, that came with its own risks: if she looked like a local, and was to be taken as one, she'd be expected to have local knowledge that none of the group had. At least the nun's getup would have allowed her to be taken as an outsider. But whatever.

"Shall we try another dinner?" she suggested.

[OOC: I presume that Argus would decline this, preferring to wait for Rose's return, but Tamina is certainly invited, or she could stay behind and try to learn more magic from Argus.]
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Drusia » November 12th, 2013, 12:20 pm

I like the way she looks me over.

"Shall we try another dinner?" she suggested.

"If you like," I reply, smiling. "Although, don't blame me if they decide I'm some sort of ancestor spirit or using fashion to announce my recent illness or something. This has just been one of those towns."

-- Desiree
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » November 12th, 2013, 1:22 pm

Of course, the women picked a different place for dinner than the previous night, and they went unrecognized ... until old Ebenezer rose from his table and hobbled over to where they were sitting.

Pleasantries were exchanged; the old half elf was courteous enough, and there didn't seem to be any particular baggage in talking to him. At least there wasn't until after plates were placed in front of them and the server returned to the kitchen ... and then Ebenezer looked around discreetly and bent his head toward Desiree and Therese.

"I hear tell that your Veracian friends are getting close to that Dragonslayer woman," he said softly. "Just a warning: she is not what she seems." He looked around again. "Tell them they should sup with her using a very long spoon." He picked up a soup spoon for emphasis and twirled it between his fingers.

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

"Wow," said Sister Rose as she and Tim were led into a parlor at the immense Dragonslayer manor. "I've never seen anything quite like this before."

It wasn't just that the furnishings were opulent, although that they were. What had caught her attention were the walls, and the hunting trophies adorning them. She recognized the head of a Gornch lizard, similar to (but much larger than) the one they'd seen on the way to Getsemiel. (She recalled Brother Miguel saying that trade in the huge lizards beyond the Southern Continent was decidedly illegal, but that didn't seem to bother people in Clovius.) Another, even larger reptilian head, covered in silvery scales, hung next to it; a "dragon," she guessed, although her acrophobia had kicked in before she could join Therese in watching the troll hunt on the way to Clovius and she hadn't actually seen the beast. Might the horned monstrosity with eight eyes be a night wyrm? It seemed credible; she'd never seen one of those either, but there were stories. And there was no mistaking the massive, tusked skull of an Anuban swamp beast. There were other, weirder trophies whose identities were completely unknown to her, not to mention the more mundane cave bear, elk, and so on.

"Calling her 'Dragonslayer' doesn't seem quite so far-fetched now, does it?" she mused, as the servant who'd ushered them into the room (another of the congregation at the gate, Tim would have noticed) brought tea.
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Drusia » November 15th, 2013, 1:12 am

"I hear tell that your Veracian friends are getting close to that Dragonslayer woman," he said softly. "Just a warning: she is not what she seems." He looked around again. "Tell them they should sup with her using a very long spoon." He picked up a soup spoon for emphasis and twirled it between his fingers.

I blink at him. "I... don't know what that means." I say slowly. "The expression, I mean. Not sure what soup has to... anyway, um, can you be more specific about what we should warn them about?"

-- Desiree
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Graybeard » November 15th, 2013, 9:38 am

[OOC:
Drusia wrote:I blink at him. "I... don't know what that means." I say slowly. "The expression, I mean. Not sure what soup has to... anyway, um, can you be more specific about what we should warn them about?"

This raises an interesting question: does elven theology allow for the possibility of something like Satan? It isn't clear to me one way or the other, and of course the proverb only makes sense if there is such a figure. Would Exitialis be regarded that way? Seems reasonable since death is not an inevitable part of life for elves. So:]

"Our expression is, 'he who sups with the devil must use a long spoon,'" Ebenezer said. He brushed his long, unruly hair with his fingertips, briefly revealing his pointed ears. "Or, if you prefer, sups with Exitialis. Lady Dragonslayer keeps dangerous company."
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Re: Clovius and beyond

Postby Drusia » November 16th, 2013, 1:20 am

OOC:
Graybeard wrote:"Our expression is, 'he who sups with the devil must use a long spoon,'" Ebenezer said. He brushed his long, unruly hair with his fingertips, briefly revealing his pointed ears. "Or, if you prefer, sups with Exitialis. Lady Dragonslayer keeps dangerous company."


OOC: Another question might be how widly known Exitialis is. I wouldn't have assumed that a Santuriel half-elf who hadn't been in the Heretical Knowledge vault would know much about th elven gods period, much less such an obscure one. The only reason Desiree knows is because she's a priestess of an elven goddess. I doubt such a thing would be common knowledge even in Snamish. Hence: /OOC

My first thought, before he finishes his sentence, is that "devil" seems a rather extreme thing to call her. Isn't she one of the local Luminosans? They can be unpleasant, sure, but devilish?

While my faith doesn't have a devil figure, I'm widely read enough to follow the concept. An "angra mainyu" or destructive spirit - that is, the destructive spirit - which desires to unmake creation. In the elven (and Snamish half-elven) faith, Senilis holds many of the more destrucitve urges, but in more of a "roudy teenager" way and less of a "tear the world down and watch its corpse burn" kind of way. I understand some of the Troll gods could be described that way - as devils. And I get the impression talking to Tim that he views all gods aside from his own (imaginary) god as "angra mainyu."

Even Exitialis isn't a proper angra mainyu. Death may be foreign to the elves, but it is part of the nature they dwelt in. Exitialis doesn't hate the world. He just does his terrible job. An angra mainyu hates the world and wants to revel in its destruction - to tear it apart. Exitialis is merely the slow encroachment of entropy slowly breaking things apart. A devil destroys things with fury - Exitialis with patience. An angra mainyu might rent a mountain in twain - Exitialis uses rain to wear it down to sand.

So when he finishes his thought and mentions Exitialis, it almost doesn't seem odd. The comparison is apt, in some ways, but... Exitialis doesn't sup. He waits. He has no need for tricks - we'll all come to him eventually. Even the elves.

It is only then that something far more frightening occurs to me. How does Ebenezer, a half-elf from the middle of no-where, who might once have lived in Santuriel - know about the most obscure and rarely spoken elven god? The half-elves of Santuriel never worshiped the elven gods as we do in Snamish. If Lillith is a good example, they have a religion all their own that is as foreign to mine as Luminosa or the gods of Goriel.

So how does Ebenezer know about Exitialis?

Hopefully he will mistake the fear on my face for belated fear for my friends. Beneath the table, I give Therese's hand an alarmed squeeze. We need to go. Now.

... why can't I ever just have a nice dinner out?

-- Desiree

OOC2: If there is a prefectly innocent explanation for why Ebenezer knows about the elven gods, then that's fine. The possibility of him being an elf in disguise just hit 70% in Desiree's mind. The chance that he's some sort of crazy Exitialis cultist is around 10%. Either way, she plans to run away under the excuse of going to warn her friends about the Dragon Slayer.

OOC3: Oh, and for the Exitialis musings - that's my impression of him. And therefore Desiree's. Perhaps the elves had a different view, but this is how it's filtered down to Desiree. And I thought it made a nice comparitive religion discussion - destruction via rage as opposed to destruction via entropy.
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