Homontel, 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.
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Drannin
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Drannin »

Argus watched as the half-elf struggled to get a reply out. He shifted his 'parcel' so that Harker could get a better look from inside the blankets.

"Nice and comfy from inside here, Boss..."

"Quiet, you," was Argus' response. "At first glance, see anything wrong?"

"There's something right 'ere?" A thump from Argus. "Ow. SOrry. Looks just like a concussion. Nothin' serious. Should put some ice on it and let the sucker rest..." Harker trailed off. "Boss? Why is there a flying dog?"

"It's a fox. Familiar."

"I don't recognize him," Harker countered. Argus restrained the impulse to throw Harker against the wall.
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Templar771
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Templar771 »

"I'm an archeologist." replied Cit, there was silence. "Of sorts, I came here to get a horse when, as you saw i lost control of my familiar."
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Graybeard
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Graybeard »

Brother Miguel frowned; his Truth spell didn't like that very much. He wasn't sure just exactly what the duplicity in that statement was, but it was definitely there, and given what Brother Abram had said, he could put two and two together. "I think not," he said. "You may have been going to 'get' a horse at that stable, but there was no horse there that you were entitled to have, was there? And as for being an archeologist, there's a difference between conducting archeological research and fencing stolen artifacts. Now come clean here."

Sister Rose tensed. This looked like the kind of situation that could explode in violence at any minute. She didn't need a spell to know that this half elf was concealing something. (Of course he was. To stay alive outside their very few sanctuaries, half elves had to conceal everything, their existence included.) If he had a familiar, as this giant flying fennec appeared to be, he might be a strong enough magic user to create serious havoc if pushed -- and Miguel was certainly pushing him. Rose quietly gathered mana for another Barrier spell as Miguel and Cit glared at each other.

The tension was broken, however, as a woman wearing a nun's habit of unfamiliar design came running toward them at a most un-nun-like pace. "Brothers! Sisters! Come quickly! The Luminositan Science Temple is on fire!" she half-puffed, half-shouted, waving her hand at a column of smoke rising to the north.
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Sareth
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Sareth »

Lillith drew in a breath with a hiss. "I hope that wasn't Sasha," she whispered, not loud enough to be overheard by any but Argus and Harker. "Errants..."

She fidgeted from foot to foot. In Santorial she'd have already been running to help. But here she needed to avoid being noticed. A stranger running to help might be noticed.

"What do we do?" she asked Sister Rose.
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Viking-Sensei »

Sasha quickly swapped out her now muddy clothes for a less muddy set - she'd been adventuring too long to have completely clean clothes on her... then, standing before the mirror in the small bathhouse, examined her ears for a moment. Even now, with the point they'd suddenly developed, they were still nowhere near as pointy as some of the half-elf ears she'd seen over the years. Only on the highest ridge was there any reshaping, just the mildest hint of a rise and the subtlest restructuring of the cartilidge.

Lillith didn't gloat and claim to be the guilty party when accused... but if not her, than who... or what... had done this? It couldn't be a polymorph spell - she'd proven conclusively during a night of drinking and rather interesting experimentation in college that those just didn't work on her. And she didn't remember being bitten by anything. Maybe it was the weird old broken magics of Centoriel that did this? She didn't know.

All she did know was that the site of the hideous things attached to the side of her head made her skin want to crawl away. In town... in a real town, not the jokes of towns they have in Veracia... she could get examined by a professional doctor and they could find out why her ears went all pointy and what could be done to correct it.

Until then, as much as it pained her to admit, Lillith was right... time for a disguise. She took a bandana from her pack, one she'd used to keep her hair up when the heat was really bad a few weeks back, and fashioned a crude hairband from it. Her hair now firmly in place, her dirty clothes briefly laundered and returned to her pack, and her considerable amount of tears dried and wiped away, she exited the wash house behind the church.

Nobody was there.

"Sonova..."

Just then, a small squadron of church-goers burst forth from the main door, the Brother Abram guy at their lead. "The Science Temple is aflame! Again! Quickly, everyone! Our views may differ, but they are our brothers in Luminosita! Ready a cart and horses, summon water from the well!"

Fire... down the road. Yup, that's where her party had gone. Whether they were fixing it... or, let's be honest... causing it, it wasn't like them not to interfere. "Need a hand, Father? I dont' have magic, but I've got a strong set of arms and am a whiz with a bucket."
How could a plan this awesome possibly fail?
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Graybeard »

"Yes, of course," Brother Abram answered impatiently. "Come quickly."

-----------

The encounter with Cit forgotten, Brother Miguel, Sister Rose, Argus and Lillith rushed toward the temple. A considerable crowd had gathered, and a bucket brigade was being set up. Most of the effort seemed to be focused not on the fire, however, but on saving the buildings around it. The fire appeared to have broken out in the small sleeping quarters behind the temple itself. There didn't look to be much to be done to save the dormitory, so the water was being used to wet down the temple and out buildings. And none too soon; embers from the dormitory were already landing on the temple's roof. So far only a few had landed on anything flammable, and water buckets were extinguishing them quickly, but this couldn't go on for much longer without the temple catching fire. As Rose and Miguel watched, a small shed went up in flames. This didn't look good.

Rose started toward one of the water lines, intending to grab a bucket, but was stopped by a beefy, red-faced man. "Not woman's work, ma'am," the man said, genuflecting slightly and giving the Sign of Luminosita. "What you can do to help, if I can beseech you, is pray to our Lord Luminosita for deliverance -- not that it's gonna happen, I reckon."

Ultra-Orthodox, Rose deduced. This fire didn't need divine deliverance nearly as much as it needed to be contained, and all available hands were going to be needed for that. Judging from the composition of the crowd approaching on foot from the main temple (Sasha among them, she noticed), Brother Abram was at least enlightened enough to recruit help from both sexes. But some of the Orthodox people were so hamstrung by their views on women that they'd let a temple go up in flames rather than see a woman at risk. Well, that's one reason why I changed denominations. "I shall," she said, then turned to Argus. "Brother ... Cleve, do you think you can do anything here?"

She didn't wait for Argus to reply before turning back to the red-faced man. "I will pray, but first, can you tell me how this fire started? Were you there?"

"No, ma'am, I wasn't there," the man said, "but we all know how it started. It was the Millenarians ... and their damned Preacher. Forgive me, ma'am, I sinned with my language," he caught himself, blushing more heavily.

Preacher? Rose thought. I want to come back to this ... but first things first. "Luminosita forgives you, my son," she said as she assumed a prayerful attitude, hoping that at least Argus and Miguel (although possibly not Lillith) would be able to put their energies to more practical use.
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Drannin
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Drannin »

Argus grimaced and leaned over to Miguel. "Fire is always annoying, but there is something I can do. By manipulating molecular bonds, I can temporarily increase an object's resistance to fire. Should last long enough for the flames to be doused, at least a little bit."

Miguel nodded. "Anything I can do to help?"

Argus hesitated. "Well... when I walk over and start concentrating, you can start praying, and otherwise making it look very... I don't know... Luminositan. I don't know how these people would react to a Tsuirakuan mage, but I doubt it would be good." He made sure to mutter to Miguel. No sense being overheard by someone who didn't need to overhear.

Miguel seemed to smile. "Have no fear, 'Brother Cleve.' I'll put on a good show for you." Argus really didn't know how to take that, but now was not to time to quibble. With a shake of his head, he walked over to the temple and placed both hands on it, willing the timbers inside to not burn. To resist heat. To endure.

Beside him, Brother Miguel started to pray. I really hope this works.
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Sareth
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Sareth »

After being rebuffed from the bucket brigade, Lillith slipped over to stand next to Sister Rose. "Fanatics," she muttered.

She could help. The spirits in the flames were capricious and playful destructive things. But with sufficient communing and convincing she could convince them to behave, or at least keep their destruction from spreading.

But why should she? If the fanatics were so determined to follow the idiotic tenets of their false god even if it meant losing their temple, far be it from she to try to stop them. It was no skin off her nose. Let their temple burn.

Besides. The last thing she needed was to be seen saving a temple with her "apostate" ways.

She crossed her arms and watched.
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Graybeard »

Maybe it was all the praying, or maybe Argus' reinforcement of the building, or a particularly industrious bucket brigade, or maybe it was just luck and the fact that all the fuel in the dormitory was getting consumed. Whatever it was, the firefighters seemed to be gaining the upper hand. None of the outbuildings were burning except for the shed, the hot spots on the roof of the temple had gone out, and even the dormitory itself wasn't burning as vigorously as it had been. The crowd began to thin as Sister Rose and Brother Miguel busied themselves with healing some firefighters who'd ventured too close to the blaze and suffered burns.

A short, squat man in unusual vestments waddled over to Rose and Miguel and introduced himself as Father Rexford, high priest at the Luminositan Science temple. "In fact, I'm basically the bishop for this whole area," he said with some pride. "Of course, that's because there aren't many Luminositan Science temples in this part of Veracia." That was true; in fact there wasn't another Luminositan Science congregation between Saus and Lorenzel, and there might not have been as many as three more in the entire southern half of the country. Of course, the man didn't say that.

"Sister Rose, might I have a word with you?" Brother Abram interrupted. He and Rose stepped away for a moment as Miguel and Father Rexford continued their conversation. "Do you have any idea of how this fire started?" Miguel asked the high priest. "We'd heard rumors that ... well." Best to let this man give his own views.

Rexford looked uncomfortable for a moment, then answered. "We will probably never know. There are rumors circulating in the crowd that the Millenarians had something to do with it. Hmph. I wouldn't put it past them, particularly with that new wandering evangelist that they've got stirring up trouble ... But there are no facts yet."

Brother Miguel started to offer to try one of his panoply of Divination spells -- things like this were what they were for, after all -- but was stopped short by a snippet of conversation that he was overhearing between Rose and Abram. The tall man was saying, "It has been noticed that you and your colleague were casting effective Healing spells on some of the burn victims. I would counsel you to avoid doing that for the rest of the day. Departure hasn't ended yet, and the use of magic not derived from the power of Our Lord Luminosita makes some of the townsfolk ... uncomfortable."

So what were we supposed to do? Miguel thought to himself, echoing Rose's own thoughts. Let these people suffer and die because the people around them are "uncomfortable" with the fact, and it is a fact, that there is a natural reservoir of mana that a halfway skilled magic user can tap even when Luminosita is unavailable? Apparently so ... but that's sure not my way. He decided not to pursue the Divination idea, at least not while this priest was in earshot. But there was other fact finding to be done. "Do you know any more about that Millenarian evangelist?"

Rexford sighed and started to orate, as Rose succeeded in detaching herself from Abram.

---------

With the fire still occupying everyone's attention, nobody noticed a familiar horse heading north out of town, ridden by a tall man wearing a white, hooded robe with gray trousers.

[OOC: "Cit" is hereby released to do whatever he wants to...]
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Drannin
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Re: Homontel, and beyond

Post by Drannin »

Argus looked up at the church. "Well... at least it's still standing."

Miguel nodded. "Somewhat scorched, but recoverable."

"Anyone for barbeque?" Harker asked innocently from inside his blanket. The temptation to squash him was overwhelming.

(Did we discuss the Scientists denomination before? Getting hard to keep track...)
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