Kiyoka, part 2

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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Drannin
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

Post by Drannin »

(OOC: Right then...)

Some time later, Argus was walking with surprising steadiness towards the Veracian mission. Well, I suppose I've had a great deal of experience with hangovers. My head barely hurts and I might just be able to eat something. In any case, Argus had tidied himself up and looked basically fine. And he felt that if he was able to take down a battlemage after just having drunk a full flask of strong whiskey, he could handle just about anything.

Except that public smiting business. Best to avoid it. And in any case, he'd really needed that drink last night. Trolls...

Argus really hated Trolls.

Walking to that front door of the mission, Argus did one last check. Appearance: fine. Physical state: within tolerable limits. Right then. He raised his hand to knock...
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Not even waiting for Argus to knock, one of the identical-twin nuns, probably Sister Eva from the length of her robes, opened the door with a head nod and said, "Good morning, and may Luminosita's Blessings be with ... Oh, it's you. Please step inside and I'll fetch Father Egbert." She hurried into the building with the same un-nun-like grace of motion as the day before.

Father Egbert wasn't long in appearing, and extended his hand in greeting, but with a concerned look on his face. "Good morning, but I use the term out of courtesy, not conviction; I don't have to be an aura reader to see that something is amiss. What is the problem?" he asked without preamble, waiting for a response.
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Argus appreciated the candor, and decided to return it.

"The battlemages are on to us," he said simply. "I don't know what they know, but they know I'm investigating their activities. I was attacked last night by one of the troops who managed to slip into my room." Argus looked a little embarrassed. "He got away before I had a chance to interrogate him. Had I been a little more... clear, I would have restrained him at first opportunity."

While Father Egbert looked shocked, Argus continued. "In my defense, it WAS the middle of the night and he had just woken me up. Plus, I'm not convinced he was anything more than a goon. I'm going to have to be quite careful from now on, though."

It was probably part of Argus' mindset that he thought it obvious that he could have sent a single battlemage packing, and was only upset that he had let the man get away. It might have been that his blood was still pumping from the knowledge that there were trolls around.
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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"Well, that's interesting," Father Egbert said, as Sister Margaret and a smiling Brother Farley joined them, bringing tea. "The part about the battlemages being 'onto us' isn't a big surprise; that homeland-security outfit are a bunch of professional paranoiacs, and they suspect everybody. I don't know how they concluded specifically that we're checking up on them, but it's not hard to imagine that they'd notice. And after all, we are checking up on them, let's be fair ... The question is: why does it bother them so much that they leaned on you?" He paused and nodded as Sister Rose joined them, looking like a conventional, if highly attractive, nun.

"I'd like to know how they learned about you so quickly," Rose said as she poured herself a cup of tea. "I'm pretty sure we weren't observed at the compound. Even if we were, I'd never used that businesswoman getup before, so it shouldn't have aroused any suspicions." She carefully avoided mention of her other "getup," but they'd been around the corner when she changed into that one anyway.

"So back to the battlemage that leaned on you," Egbert said. "Did he say anything else we should know about? Probably best to tell all, we can sort out the unimportant things once we hear them."
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Argus closed his eyes, thinking. "I woke up to a massive weight on my chest, probably a mass-inducing spell on a simple alchemical weight. The mage knew my name, and said that I and Sister Rose had been brought to Kitaura's attention. It seems that she had political immunity of a sort, while I did not." Argus raised his eyebrow at that. "After that, he threatened me to basically mind my own business and apparently knew about my exile-- not that it's any real secret, I suppose." He paused another moment. "There was also reference to the mission as a nest of espionage." Argus glanced at the others but shrugged.

"Anyway, at that moment the weight was getting rather heavy, so I clobbered the little sot. I may be getting up there, but I'm far from helpless. He teleported away before I could think to erect any countermeasures." He paused a moment before leaning back to sip some tea. "I think that's just about everything."
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Sister Rose, Brother Farley and Sister Margaret all started to show signs of anger at the "espionage" comment, but keeping his face carefully neutral, Father Egbert raised a hand. "Well, on one level, they're right. An official 'good-will' mission, as ours is, at least in part, always contains an element of fact-finding that the more xenophobic citizens of the host nation will view as espionage. That's as true with us as it is with the lifemage clinics that the Tsuirakuans run in Saus and in a few places in Farrel."

He paused, noticing that Margaret was blushing slightly, but he knew what that was about, even if none of the others did, so he continued, "The thing is, though, that degree of so-called espionage is tolerated by the Powers That Be for the sake of reducing tensions. If the hosts don't like it, they either throw the good-will mission out entirely, or more often, drop some hints that the visitors are getting too nosy for comfort and need to back off. But this doesn't sound like one of those veiled hints. Something else is at work here, and Brother Farley's ... investigations ... with Corporal Yugawa --" it was Farley's turn to blush -- "hint at a possible explanation. But why are Kitaura's knickers in such a knot? He's not the only person in Kiyoka to lose a relative in the Mage-Priest Wars."

Now Rose was blushing, although it faded as Egbert continued, "Most of us get over it and move on, even in the more, shall I say, traditionalist families and cultures. Furthermore, I suspect the Tsuirakuans vet their army officers carefully to look for attitude problems that may interfere with their performance of duty," he observed blandly. "So either this is the start of a change in official Tsuirakuan attitude toward our mission, or there's something else going on here. Let's find out what it is. Meanwhile, Doctor Cleiviein, I'm still interested in your assessment of the mysterious blue figure that knocked down our wall."

"And the troll?" Farley asked, a hint of excitement in his voice.

"Ah, the troll," Egbert mused. "Now that is an interesting development..."
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Light seamed to dim in the mission as the shadows seamed to meld in to one large version of Mss. Shade "Ah so that is what happened to you last night Dr. Argus Cleveings," her voice filled the room "as a measure of good will I will look in to the battlemage personaly and will give you any information you need." the large image mad of pure shadows looked at Argus and Father Egbert "and of course I will tell you that the files on Shade where lost at the end of the war."
" Argus please be more mindfull of what you do form now on." she said then the shadow bursted apart spreading a fog of darkness that swiftly faded away. "Keep in touch, and don't be a stranger."

Tsubasa came out of her meditation in a deep sweat, her breathing calmed down, with that done she had to get a way in to the compound or at least know where the young battlemage would be and where he goes, what he eats, what part of the compound he sleeps at. "From what I know he dose not trust the V.C., and since father and I took care of most of the records of our involvement during the Mage-Priest war" she thought to her self "now what to do about Keuji and the troll."
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Argus blinked. "Uh..." The clergy sitting with him seemed as stunned as he was. Where did that woman keep coming from? And I didn't even sense her this time... improvement, or just being more cautious?

After an awkward moment, Argus coughed. "Shall I answer your question?"

Father Egbert seemed to regain himself. "Since we seem to be alone again, please," he said dryly. Argus suspected that the good father was going to be looking into some improved security soon.

Argus thought a moment. "I'm not entirely certain, I need you to understand this. A lot of this is basically educated guesswork. But I've heard of such beings before. Blue skin. Humanoid. Almost never found intact, or when they are, nonfunctional." Argus paused in his recital. "Or, at least no one's telling if they've ever found one that actually works. I guess somebody did."

Father Egbert looked interested. Farley was getting a 'get to the point' look about him. "It's a golem," Argus said finally. "Very advanced, very powerful, and of absolutely unknown construction. Nobody knows who made them, or why. Some say they're of ancient elven make, or an ancient human civilization, or dwarves. Some archaeologists like to go on about proto-human civilizations. There was one guy who insisted they were built by sentient otters."

There was a moment of silence.

"He was eventually committed to an asylum," Argus added. Some relieved nods answered this.

Sister Rose spoke up. "So to summarize, what was seen was an ancient form of golem, and that's all you know."

"Er... yes," Argus confirmed shifting uncomfortably. "But there has to be someone in town who knows something about that thing. Who owns it. find out who owns it and I think you'll find the string that will unravel this whole case." Argus let this sink in. "And concerning the troll, may I suggest extreme firebombing?"
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Father Egbert nodded, giving his spherical body the general appearance of a giant, bouncing ping-pong ball. "You're probably right; a golem makes sense. And as it happens, we have something of an expert on golems in our midst. Brother Farley, would you go fetch Brother Lemuel, please?" Farley gave his superior a questioning look, but shrugged his shoulders and started into the interior of the mission.

"Now, as for our possible troll," Egbert continued, "we have a problem. I don't know whether you know about the debate that has been raging in the Veracian Church for the last twenty years or so, as to how to deal with the trolls that still inhabit Veracia -- not to mention all the ones up in the wilds to the north. The basic question is very simple, although I wish the Abbot was here to explain the finer details; he understands them better than I do." This last part wasn't entirely true; he was actually perfectly happy that the Abbot wasn't going to be around for a few more days ... but the part about the Abbot understanding the controversy better than he did was accurate enough. "The issue, stripped of the niceties, is this: do trolls have a soul or not?"

The expression on Argus' face left little doubt of his own view on the subject, and Sisters Margaret and Rose looked alternately puzzled and uncomfortable, but Egbert plunged forward. "I'll spare you the historic and theological details, and just say that that is a question that has occupied some of the finest minds of the Church." (And fills whole shelves in the Heretic Knowledge Vault, he thought to himself, but it wasn't time to bring that fact to the attention of a Tsuirakuan yet, even Argus.) "The conundrum that it causes us is very simple to describe, although not so easy to resolve. If they have souls, we are bound by our duty, as priests of Our Lord Luminosita, to evangelize among them and seek converts -- which, as you might imagine, causes certain ... ill-ease ... among the Veracian laity. If, on the other hand, they are soul-less monsters as they appear to be, then ... other ... solutions to the Veracian troll population can be sought." Was that too euphemistic? Probably not.

Argus was just about to reiterate his opinion of the "solution" to trolls when the room's floor began to vibrate rhythmically. "Ah, here's Brother Farley again, bringing Brother Lemuel. Let's pause this discussion for a moment," Egbert said, as an impossibly broad-shouldered man followed Farley into the room, with unnaturally heavy footfalls.
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Re: Kiyoka, part 2

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Argus stared, slack-jawed. Impossible. And yet... why not?

Brother Lemuel was tall, to be certain. Close to seven feet. Very broad shouldered, as well. Argus wasn't an expert, but he figured that the arms on that body could likely lug around a good-sized house with ease. The features... well, it was a little odd seeing such features in religious garb, but it seemed that they were carved from granite, stern and solemn.

Actually, no. Not granite. Judging from the pale hue with veins, Argus figured that it had to be a very high-density form of marble. Very weathered, but Brother Lemuel's features were plainly evident on a face as prominent as a cliffside.

Brother Lemuel was a golem. A very big golem. With eyes that appeared to be a form of well-cut diamond. And the physical presence of a mountain. A rather mobile mountain.

"Dr. Clay?" Brother Lemuel asked, with a voice rumbling like an avalanche.

"Cleivien," Argus responded distantly. They had recruited a damned golem?!

"Oh," said Lemuel. "I apologize." The golem seemed to pause thoughtfully. "I like clay better." Just an offhand statement, nothing critical. Lemuel seemed a very straightforward sort.

"Er, how did you come to join the church?" Argus asked. It was a very important question right at the moment. Golems just didn't GET religious! Did they...?

Lemuel seemed to consider the question. It was hard to read him. "The church found me and told me amount Luminosita." He said simply. "I felt I could relate to Mighty Luminosita."

I'll bet you could, thought Argus. He noticed that the others were starting to look a little uncomfortable. Contemplating the true nature of Luminosita was clearly not an encouraged activity. Argus decided to change the subject.

"Do you have any insights on the golem we have been talking about? The blue, female-structured golem?" Despite himself, Argus was getting very interested.

Lemuel's features, at the same time so life-like and yet so... solid, took on an unmistakably interested cast. "She sounds very interesting," Lemuel said emphatically. "I would love to examine her body."

There was a very deep silence.

"I wonder what she's composed of and how she was crafted...?" Brother Lemuel went on, musing.

"OH," Was the general, relieved response.
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