|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
Selena was in top form today - and Azri smiled slightly, glad to see it. For now, she kept quiet, with her mind focused on other matters. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that... yes, they'd all be doing much better soon enough.
"You're looking for my father," she replied as she stepped aside. "And he can definitely tell you all about the towers. Just...don't ware him out." Moving through the hall, she called into a small room, "Father, there are some guests to see you. They want to pick your brain over the Towers."
A voice called out in Elvish, and the young lady nodded to you all.
Despite having earlier changed her outfit for a clean one, Mihara removes her pristine shoes before entering the house, and bows respectfully to the elven woman.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Jedd," Mihara bows to the old elf, addressing him in a relatively formal form of Elven. A slight bit of accent tints her speech, one which proficient linguists might recognize as coming from elves connected to their aquatic counterparts, as well as obvious traces of her own Tien origins.
"I am Mihara, of the Yao clan, and these are my companions," She introduces the rest of the party one at a time, careful to gauge Jedd's reaction to the 'Halfblood' name.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
"We have been tasked with seeing Khalharum returned to its former glory, and we were told that you knew much about its history. We would be ever so grateful if you could enlighten us of any information that may be useful to this end."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14 Uh-oh.
Mihara's elven, however, is rusty. Her words are somewhat poorly chosen, accidentally using the slang of seafaring merchants where more formal words would have been a better choice. Realizing this a moment too late, her eyes dart to Azri, all but screaming 'help me!'.
Good time as any to recall the fact that Mihara has the Amiable Blunder trait.
The old Elf sitting in a chair perks up as you enter. "Yes, I know much of the cities history," he replied in a surprisingly low voice. "I had heard you were in the city, so I have been expecting you all," he added in accented Common. "Thank you for speaking in Elven, but some of your friends are obviously not familiar with my tongue. What do you wish to know? Or where do you wish to begin, rather?"
Selena bows her head slightly when Mihara introduces her: she raises an eyebrow for a moment when the Kitsune looks panicked, but then turns to the elf when he starts talking.
"Well, I'd mostly want to know where some of the Symbols of Authority could be, but..." the half-succubus says "If we're talking about the whole thing, I want to know how the city fell. It's...huge. Massive. And now its all rubble. What happened here?"
|Nigrum Ensis Halfblood|
Nigrum taps Selena on the shoulder.
"Did you forget we saw what happened. Unless you mean what led up to the siege, in which case I admit the same curiosity."
He had to admit as well, the scene had left an impression. The city once had truly great magical defenses but what brought it to ruin were warriors, stone, and steel. Something he put more stock in then the arcane or divine, simply a personal preference.
"Of course I do. Usually armies don't appear out of thin air at your doorsteps: we only know that they were a bunch of slavers from Okeno. But why it happened then? And what they did in particular to fell the city? As I said, Khalarum is huge, and we've seen it had more than one magical gizmo: they must have mustered a sizable force to destroy the city. If that was the case, though, why did they just sack the place and not set up shop here? Even if some of the magical stuff in the city deactivated until they'd have gathered enough symbols, the buildings were still here, and Khalarum is at the center of trade routes around here: I'm missing something here..."
The old man chuckled. "Yes, it's a bit odd isn't it? What could destroy a city this size? With this much power? And believe you me, in the days of the city proper, it had real power. The city itself was alive and aware, as much as such a thing could be. It could cast spells, repair itself, see within certain boundaries. So how did a rabble of slavers win?"
"Politics," the old man said after a moment, shrugging thin shoulders. "The Council at the time was greedy. They were tricked into lending much of there forces to help defend somewhere in the South. That army never came home. I heard it was destroyed by the Charau-Ka and the Gorilla King, but I never found out for sure. What was left was met by not just the slavers, but mercenaries. Professional soldiers for hire. Someone - I don't know who, mind - wanted this place gone. I reckon it was Katapesh and the Pact Masters myself. They wanted rid of there trading competition, and in those days this place was only a bit smaller than they were in terms of trade."
Sighing, he continued, "Magic spells can only hold so long, and walls can be broken. Without troops to defend the city it was only a matter of time. And when the Council called in those treaties, called in the favours...well, no one came. So the walls fell, and the towers were broken. The slavers and merc plundered the city as the citizens fled, and after a while a few returned or came out of hiding to establish this place, and live as best they could."
Pausing, the old elf shrugged. "As for the Symbols...one is sealed in the tower's vaults, somewhere. Another is apparently hidden away in the remains of one of the gate houses, although I'm not sure which. And..." Again, the Elf paused. "Can an old man ask a favour? I'd like to see the Marks you bare."
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
Azri was careful to keep her mask of flesh on, even as she turned around and dropped her clothes down to reveal the intricate magical sigil covering her back. "I understand they're fairly unique... although there aren't exactly many samples to compare them to." the Lich mused. "Still... I can't say I'm very fond of anyone who broke a treaty and refused to aid an ally when that help had been promised. I'll have to ensure that doesn't happen again."
"We would need to find out why they did so. If the Pact Masters - and/or the ones we've ran into twice now trying to stop us - were involved it is possible messengers and such were...prevented from coming or going. Or the Council's greed led to actions where the others saw the treaties already broken or other...politics was involved. To ensure it doesn't happen again, we'll need to get an idea of why" Aibek commented offhandedly, shifting awkwardly at the edge of the group.
The witchwolf hadn't yet found their mark and the thoughts Aibek had given to the matter that it might be because they had picked up the Mark of Authority -- or that being the fake, being not the Aibek who was invited nor even the one they presented as, they were not worthy to have one. Among those swirling thoughts were very few that they had just not found it because, like Aibek themselves, it preferred hiding and changing.
Swirling thoughts that not having one could now cost the others aid and more made the witchwolf babblely and shift awkwardly and at noticing the babbling, Aibek shifted back and firmly placed the tip of tongue between molars...
Is what Aibek has been scratching at the back of their upper right arm whenever these are mentioned which was likely pretty obvious. It is smallish, awkward to spot, and changes depending on what form Aibek is in. When Aibek had a chain shirt, it was possibly visible through the sleeves of the hot weather shirt as neither of those or the vest would completely obscure it, but now in parade armour it will be trickier to figure out how to find or show it as Aibek is not going disrobe in front of others.
"It's not like I was hiding it anyway." Selena shrugs, outstretching her right hand to show the symbol on the back: an intricate, black line starting from her index, drawing the holy symbol of Calistria with three horns on the back of her hand.
"Yeah, something clearly happened: I doubt they managed to piss off everyone, even if they were being jerks..." Selena comments, raising an eyebrow at Aibek's panic.
Uh, I never saw Aibek's symbol, now that I think about it. He always goes covered around in half a kilos of cloth, so I guess he's embarrassed to show it? Az on the other hand just threw her clothes off...
|Nigrum Ensis Halfblood|
Nigrum waits a moment then unrobes and exposes his armor before removing it as well. Shortly his robes hang from his waist and his armor is held in one hand with his muscled chest displaying his mark and the collection of spheres and symbols that made it up.
"It is far simpler to sack a city then to conquer and hold one. Pirates, slavers, and their ilk only care about fast gain. They have no taste for extended work at their own hands. More so warlords will only tolerate and ally with each other for a short time. To do otherwise is to court betrayal and power plays from the same so called allies, their are no true equals among criminals. They all think themselves superior."
He was far to familiar with the scum that were his prey. True their were exceptions, mostly the cunning ones that placed their ego's firmly to the side of their schemes and tricks.
"As to the council, they should have chosen wisdom over greed. Protect your home before all and take none at their word, less they have proven to be true without fail or excuse."
Concerning the pactmasters, it seemed odd they would wish the city restored if they considered it a rival.
"Seems we have found a symbol in the vaults, a second if Yarls can be believed about the temple. Now a lead to a third in one of the gate houses. Half of us will hold symbols in short order with luck."
The old man breathed out slowly. "More of a show than my old bones can cope with," he says with a small laugh. "Daughter, bring the small chest from under my bed, if you'd be so kind?"
He looked up. "I am old, by Elven standards. Very old. So I think I shall put one more wish to rest. I want to see when a bearer of a Mark takes up a Symbol. I asked to see your marks because I wanted to see if you could do this. I noticed the young lady carries the Archon Stave, although it's different to how the books describe it - but ah, that's the magic of the Symbols."
"Of course," the old man added, "They are nothing but that, for all there power. Symbols. One third of the magic that binds the city, makes her whole."
The young Elf came in and carefully laid a small chest besides her father. With a gap-toothed smile, he opened it slowly.
Inside, resting on a soft bed of velvet was a necklace. Half a dozen chains, ranging from dark bronze in colour to pure silver formed a metallic rainbow of colour, holding a piece of pure rose quart in the shape of an eye.
"The Symbol of the Bountiful - The Hopeful Eye." The old man whispered it's name as he stared at it. "The legends say that it can control the weak and boost the strong. That it can a person a weapon for the city, there own body a lethal tool."
Aibek slowly let out a breath that the witchwolf had not known they were holding as Jedd moved the conversation on. Having evaded looking at the others throughout, Aibek's dark eyes were drawn to the symbol as Jedd described it to them.
"Beautiful, and an interesting description, knowing more of the legends might be good -- for another time." Aibek said quietly, not making any move -- remaining rigidly standing near the back with hands firmly locked behind their back, the witchwolf pondering before finally glancing to Selena.
"I can not speak for the others, but this reminds me most of you, Selena. What do you think?"
"Can an old man ask a favour? I'd like to see the Marks you bare."
"I understand," Mihara answers. "Please forgive my deception, I have usually found best to keep to human form around unfamilliar company."
With that, Mihara reclaims her true Kitsune form, revealing the golden bands marking her tails. "I fear the Stripes' counterparts in my human form are... problematic to show, suffice to say."
"Oh my... That's a most impressive piece of jewelery." Mihara exclaims. "It does indeed seem destined for Selena."
"'A third' of the magic that holds up the city? What are the other two?" Selena asks, while Jedd's daughter retrieves the chest.
When the elf opens the box, Selena stares at the symbol for a moment.
Well, finding this was easy. Now that I think about it, the staff was also in a locket in an abandoned inn: granted, it looks likeit won't be so easy for the other two...
"Can I, then?" the half-fiend asks, pointing at herself.
I'd like to know what it means that it control the weak? I heard that some items do that: I didn't hear Az's staff talking the last days, or she acting strange. Let's hope I'm "strong" by this amulet's standards...
Not without some doubts, Selena reaches out to pick up the Bountiful Eye and wear it...
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"Mark, Symbol, and Bearer?" Azri mused thoughtfully as she shrugged her robe back up. Either that or giant magical reactor buried somewhere underneath - sometimes these things were to be taken literally. Either way, only half of her attention was on Selena - the other half was on her staff, just in case there was some kind of resonance between the items.
|Nigrum Ensis Halfblood|
Nigrum seemed unimpressed by the item. He was not one for jewelry, unless it was inlaid upon armor or blade. Even then it should not take from the items effectiveness.
"Not interested, have at it Selena."
When she grabbed the item he watched her carefully. Just in case, he was finding being on guard to be vital to survival these days.
"Yes," the old man said, watching Selena intently. "It is a...triangle, or perhaps a circle. The Mark allows the the person to carry a Symbol, which in turn grants them the power to control the city, which in turn empowers and protects the bearer of the Mark. Without one side of the triangle, the other two do not function."
As Selena's hand touches the Symbol, she feels a surge of emotions rushing from the Mark on her hand. Hope, love, pride, lust, envy, hate, joy and rage crescendo within her for a moment as her Symbol flares for a moment, before the Necklace begins to warp and shift to it's new Mistresses pleasure.
As per the Stave, Selena, feel free to change it's exact description. As long as it has a vaguely eye-ish theme the rest is up to you. You have to wear it, after all.
The Hopeful Eye - Symbol of the Hopeful
1st Level Ability - Courageous - The wearer may re-roll any save or effect caused by a Fear effect.
3rd Level Ability - Tenacious - The Eye functions as either a +1 Amulet of Natural Armour or a +1 Amulet of Mighty Fists, using the usual rules for each item. One selected this cannot be changed.
5th Level Ability - Inspired - The wearer can cast the spell Good Hope as a spell like ability once per say. Additionally, she can cast it as a swift action, but becomes Fatigued in doing so for 1 hour.
Ayreth gladly reveals the Mark upon her own palm to fulfill the request. On hearing the explanation of the relationship between Mark, Symbol, and Bearer, she turns her hand to look at the slowly swirling galaxy of stars. Making up her mind, she quietly whispers, "Definitely a circle, yep."
Watching as Selena takes the necklace, Ayreth claps her hands excitedly for her sister. "You deserve it, sis!," she breathily manages to say.
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
Azri smiled widely as Selena, too, received a Symbol for helping run the city. They were definitely making progress now, and she nodded in satisfaction. "Balance is good." she mused, being the type who naturally appreciated orderly things.
Finding a necklace image is HARD D: General centerpiece design, with differences in description.
Selena gasps when the wave of emotions invests her. At first, she instinctively tries to resist, afraid of the whole 'control the weak' thing, but gives in shortly after.
Almost as soon as she touches the Symbol, the chains start to unravel, changing half to pale gold and half to a lucid black metal. Shifting around, the chains coil around Selena's neck, forming intricate patterns as the rose quartz at the center splits, moving around with the chains. As they settle in a finite form, the pieces of quartz too start to change into a deep black color, taking an oval shape vaguely resembling eyes.
After the necklace has stopped moving, the gems glisten for a moment with a dark red hue, before a localized, golden wisp resembling pupils take its place in each of the gems.
"The Hopeful Eye, uh?" Selena muses, holding gently the necklace around her neck, the gems' "pupils" looking back at her.
"I didn't feel only hope when I picked it up: love, hate, anger, joy...I think that means you're alive. And as long as you're alive, there's hope." the half-fiend muses, before laughing heartily and turning to Jedd, the gem's following her gaze "Maybe? I'm not really good at thinking about this sort of things: I'm sorry if it didn't look as solemn as you thought it would be."
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"Did I...say something bad?" the half-succubus asks, furrowing her brows as she and the gems glance at Azri.
Ayreth gasps, "I think you just said there's no hope for her.
Selena turns to Azri, locking her eyes in hers; after a moment of silence, she shakes her head.
"That's the exact opposite of what I've said" the half-fiend starts, in a tone even more serious than what she had used before.
"Those things I said before are what makes you alive. Love, duty, honor, hate, envy, revenge-" the Eye's golden gleam disappears for a moment, replaced by the dark red hue, as Selena utters the word, just to return to normal a moment after "Things to drive you forward, to give you a purpose. That is what makes living what it is: drawing breath or not is just semantics. I've seen people with working organs and all just...drifting forward, repeating the same things day after day after day, the spark in their eyes gone already to the Boneyard a long time ago. Back in Taldor, I couldn't count how many just...passed their lives fixing mustache or wig passed down by their great-great-great-great-grandmother.". She stops for a moment, before stepping forward and taking Azri's face between her hands, smiling genuinely.
"But you, Azri, sister, you are more alive than many of the people I've met. Look at yourself! Since we've got here you've been talking about plans, and projects, and stuff, and how great this place is going to be because you are going to make it so. If that isn't hope, if that isn't living, I don't know what is."
Looking into Azri's eyes, Selena waits for the lich's response.
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
A small chuckle came out of Azri's mouth. "I think we're going to have to disagree on what living is... but thank you." the Lich said, appreciating Selena's feelings even if there were a few parts she wasn't in total agreement with.
(Mostly, Azri saw none of what she did as the actions of the living... Life was kind of a strange subject as applied to her, and may not have meant what a lot of people thought.)
"So that is how they work." Jedd leaned back in his chair with a sigh. "Did you know that they can change? If there owner does? The bond cannot be broken, not easily, but the bond can be changed by the owner. If one of you were to commit an evil deed, it might cause the Symbol to turn into a darker metal or more sinister shape." Sighing again, he added, "I am just happy to see one successfully bonded. Now...is there anything else I can do for you?"
Aibek had no idea how to respond to the confusion of the interaction between Selena and Azri and a such had remained awkwardly rigid and evasive gaze throughout. It reminded the witchwolf of debates back home on who was - and who was not - true wolf-kin. This had ended far less roughly than those did...
With it mostly cleared up and Jedd bringing Aibek's thoughts back, Aibek responded, "I'm glad your wish could be put to rest. I do not wish to take up too much of your time, but I was wondering if you had access to writings or somesuch for us to read more on these legends that you spoke of previously. If we could gain further insight into them...Khalharum is rather complex and learning more of the legends may enable us to find more than we can just ourselves" Aibek rambled for a few moments before looking to the others for input...
Selena look at Azri for a moment, then hugs her tightly before turning to Jedd, back to her usual self.
"Nope, thank you. We had come here hoping to get at least a vague clue where one of the symbols could be, but you've helped us so much more than that." the half-fiend smiles, adjusting the pendant around her neck.
"A library....," Ayreth says without much enthusiasm. Neither her own experiences, nor Thark had given her much appreciation for books. "Thank you for the help, though. A good night's rest before we try for the gate house and temple tomorrow?"
|Nigrum Ensis Halfblood|
"We should consider revisiting the armory now that we know for sure it has a symbol. We have already cleared it out as well, best not let it languish to long or we may have to reclaim it from something else."
He found it more then a little amusing that the devil had been so close to another symbol yet was witless of it. Seemed fate truly despised the twisted being as much as any reasonable person would. His employers were cursed with ill fortune as well by extension.
Aibek gave a small smile at Jedd's words, small dark eyes almost sparkling at the possibilities.
Quietly pondering aloud, Aibek aid, "A library...that would certainly be a good way to get a lot of information without bothering..."
Upon hearing the others had moved on from the topic, Aibek dropped the tangent quickly, eyes dropping awkwardly. Thoughts were still on the library though while leaving the plan making to the others.
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"Well, libraries are good..." Azri observed, already thinking about how much reading she could get done at night. She still had lots of free time, after all (though some of that was going to go into making things for everyone as soon as she had the chance).
|Nigrum Ensis Halfblood|
Nigrum thought for a moment.
"Pardon I misheard, you said their is a symbol in the vaults. Is that anything like the arsenal we recently explored? Would you happen to know the location Jedd?"
"The vaults beneath the Towers themselves, yes." The old Elf nodded. "The ones beneath the Arsenal were built to store rare, expensive and dangerous materials to be used for crafting. The ones beneath the towers were built to hold the finished product. Not all the Symbols were in use at once - there are, I believe, 13 of them. One of them was stored down there during the battle, and never used."
Once the conversation with Jedd is concluded, the inn awaits. Hot baths in large tubs and fresh food are both available. Azerna's furious cleaning has left the inn much fresher, although the breeze has not cleared away all the dust in the air, causing the occasional sneeze. Polish and wax is piled in one corner, proclaiming what the next stage will be.
The inn itself is calming, now the dark spirit has been removed. In every room and corridor some branch or root or trunk appears, small reminders of the great tree that grows through the building.
In the morning Azerna is already hard at work - but fresh bread, honey, dried fruits,cured meats and Khatapeshian coffee is sitting and waiting your pleasure.
Any other questions for Jedd can be answered flashback style.
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The previous evening.
Mihara humphed to herself as she allowed her fur to soak in the warm water. She was spending entirely too much time in human form, as of late. Foes of the city could be lurking anywhere, and this was no time to let out reveal her true face.
On top of that, still no news from home. Perhaps she would need to send a second message soon, in fear that the first one had been lost at sea. The golden gleam of her tails only reminded her of her brother's potential fate. For now, all she could do was wait and hope for Daikitsu's blessings.
... or was it all? Perhaps, just perhaps, there was a little more she could try.
Mihara closed her eyes, and pictured the kind smile of her mother; the smile she had seen so many times, and again on so many portraits. The smile she knew her mother still held as she rested Beyond, reunited at last with her husband.
A song from her youth echoed through her mind, as more troublesome ideas floated away in the bath water, washed away like dirt and grime.
Little paws, rustle rustle,
Busy bunnies, bustle bustle,
In the covering weeds, hustle hustle,
One little leap,
One little bite,
One little tussle,
Oh! How delicious!...
Meditation, as it is wont to do, led her farther and farther away.
She snuck through the tall weeds, slowly creeping up on a lazy hare. A simple flick of her tails to steady her balance as four legs moved, one by one, to creep ahead on the animal. How simple, the life of a hunter. The forests of Tien were lush and abundant. Nothing like its towns, for sure.
Her stomach rumbled, and her target's ears flicked straight up. It was now or never!
The vixen leapt out of the grass, but she had not anticipated the puddle...
The next morning.
Mihara appears for breakfast, still rather bashful from last night's incident.
It was with a deep flush of embarassment that Mihara stepped out that morning for breakfast. She dared not look at anyone, who might have heard the suspicious noise, save for one telling glare for her succubus friend, recalling the exact words that had followed her explanation of the full story:
"Do. Not. Tell. The others."
She had somehow, she insisted, managed to trip while getting out of the tub, and spill a significant amount of bathwater in the process.
In crushing silence, Mihara snatched a piece of cured beef and chewed on it for an extended period of time.
Selena, I hope you don't mind if I go ahead and assume a small amount of action from your part last night. I obviously leave the actual reacting to you, if you wish to do so. I just need someone else in on this, and I'm pretty confident you'll make for the more interesting reaction here.
In truth, during her meditation, Mihara had successfully tapped into her animal side, and attained her full fox form for the first time. While floating in a large bathtub. She'd flailed around wildly, simultaenously trying to struggle out of the now far too deep water, and desperately trying to figure out the mechanics of returning to a more humanoid form.
Selena had been preparing for her own bath. Concerned by these strange noises, she came to check on Mihara, at the exact moment where the kitsune had just accomplished both of these goals almost simultaneously.
She therefore found Mihara sprawled out face-first on the floor in human form, one leg inelegantly propped up against the edge of the tub... In an obvious state of undress.
Those precious few seconds separating the usually-dignified Mihara and her bathrobe at that point were some of the longest in her entire life.
This is the last time I meditate in the bath, I swear.
The previous evening
Once back at the inn, Selena heads to her room to prepare for her bath. Carefully, she moves to remove the Symbol from her neck, but stops shortly after, looking at her hands.
Did I tear up a man apart with this hands earlier today? Granted, he was just a corpse being moved around by @sshole ghost at the time, but still...Shouldn't I feel something about it?
With worry still in her mind, the half-succubus removes her jewelry and starts to undress, when she hears some sort of...whimper? bark? coming from Mihara's room. Perplexed, she exits her room, barely dressed, to check up if everything was alright...
After a moment, Selena erupts into laughter. "Foxy, that's not how you try to seduce someone!" the half-fiend laughs "You have to work on the position, and have some clothes on to throw off for dramatic effect."
Still snickering, the half-succubus waits for Mihara to cover herself. "So, what was going on? I doubt that was an attempt at an advance." Selena grins maliciously. "Of course, I won't turn you down if that was the case. If you jumped out of the bathtub a minute later, I would have rushed in here naked: would you have preferred that, Foxy?" the half-succubus teases.
Look at how flustered she is! This is sooooo fun!
The Morning after
Selena just grins in response to Mihara's glare.
"What do we do today? I say we go check the temple: we aren't sure in which Gatehouse or Tower the other symbol is, so that could take a long time." the half-succubus asks, picking up a slice of bread with honey on top.
Previous evening at Jedd's
Aibek had so many other questions swirling around, but restrained to deeply thanking the old elf and his kin before leaving with the others. As much as the pull to find out many things, Aibek had long learned asking anything about the Shadow Plane or other skinwalkers often turned the most pleasant conversation sour -- and Aibek couldn't risk ruining this connection for the others. And that is before getting into so many other things. So the witchwolf tried to keep a calm face throughout the evening until they left - and then hid the swirling thoughts by looking down and remaining quiet.
Previous evening at Azerna's
Aibek ensured upon their return to find Azerna and ask about her politely about her welfare and compliment her obvious hard work before the witchwolf retired for some time inside a locked washroom.
First Aibek washed stains from the vest and set them to one side to dry before using other material to cover the lanterns to dim the room to enjoying bathing in the dark, in solitude in the quiet...barring a break in thought caused by what sounded like - odd winds? a scared pup? Aibek shook the thoughts away before returning to cleaning all forms until satisfied - barring an itch an the back of the right arm that Aibek could not get to stop.
After cleaning, Aibek carefully gathered all material, rebound, redressed, and ensured the room was left clean as when the witchwolf had entered before finding a small bedroom, locking the door, and curling up for the night.
Rising early, Aibek as always quadruple checked their attire and appearance before joining the others in the main room. Hearing Selena's question while entering, Aibek said, "The temple is a good idea. I think Ayreth really wanted us to prioritize it. Is there anything we need to get before going there - there were concerns of it being a trap. Swinging into town for further supplies, and maybe check on messages we've sent, we could pick things up for you Azerna if you need anything." Aibek rambled while pondering over the foods provided.
|Nigrum Ensis Halfblood|
Nigrum was thinking about something for some time when he finally spoke.
"You said their are other symbols that were not used. Then how many symbols are there in total or are they created over time? More so how does one obtain a mark exactly? We met another that bore one but was not involved in how we got ours. Finally what would happen should two groups of mark bearers gain symbols and clash? Would the city choose the victor or support both equally until one was destroyed?"
He had not forgotten the devil or how it gained a mark for it's host. If it or it's employers walked the same path as them. Clearly they would meet in time. But would it be a race for resources or a race for symbols? Would ether even be taken into account come the reckoning? Their opposition already had an advantage in resources and ability. Hiring such a fiend and killing off the old man, both were not simple feats of themselves much less what they hinted at concerning their full capabilities.
"The Marks are given to those who touch a device, a sphere of power." the old man replied. "It was the first step in deciding on new Lords and Ladies, so while there were certain requirements in place to be allowed to touch one, but those devices were looted from the towers. You obviously know where one is, as does he."
"There were thirteen symbols created," he added, "But usually only seven lords and ladies, so the other six were stored away. When a Council member fell there replacement chose from the seven Symbols resting in the vaults."
"If two conflicting groups both gained enough Symbols and Marks to vie for control..." Jedd paused, and shrugged. "I don't know. I imagine it would remain neutral until it decided one party was worthy."
"That's interesting..." Mihara speaks up at Jedd's explanation. "Suppose a group of six held seven symbols... would this give them a majority vote? Can a person even wield two symbols?"
"Either way, it seems like it would be in our best interest to eventually gather more than just our six symbols."
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"We'll have to keep an eye on that, then..." Azri mused back at that point. Challenges to their authority from an external group could be... difficult... at best. And they'd come waaaaaay too far to give up on the old orc's dreams so easily.
Come morning, however, the lich girl simply gathered up her things, glanced around the room, then walked downstairs. Her head had more ideas than brains at the moment, and she was still deciding how to get started on making those ideas come to fruition.
With breakfast finished, Azerna noted that you might want to return at about the same time today - a supply run was due in, and would likely be carrying messages and materials intended for you.
The Temple of Aroden was large building. White marble walls shone even after years of being uncared for, and the great Dome, although tarnished, it still bright in the sunlight. Twelve statues surround the Temple, staring outward, each a different type of person by there clothing - beggar, thief, fisherman, hunter, shepherd, farmer, soldier, merchant, tailor, craftsman, artist, and scholar.
The doors that once bared entrance, however, are long gone. You can see into the inner sanctum of the Temple, and the shaded room within appears deserted from where you stand.
Azri looked at the temple for a moment then, somewhat nervously, quietly waited outside of it (without getting too close). Aroden's war against the Whispering Tyrant was kind of a big deal, historically speaking, and as a lich herself... well, even if he was dead, it felt a bit wrong for her to trod into any of his temples.
"Woah, nice place. What does those statues stand for?" Selena asks, glancing at the statues: jerk ghost mentioned something about a golem, and she wouldn't have been surprised if they sprung to life and attacked them.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Mihara is in awe as she observes the temple. This was nothing like the shrines to Daikitsu at home. She eyed the statues one by one, curious.
"Who is this temple dedicated to, again?" Mihara asks. "I fear I am at a loss where the gods of this land are concerned."
Happy two thousandth post, everyone! To another thousand to come!