Azlain asks his question, and it is as if the elderly gentlemen see him for the first time. Julius speaks for the group, "Redemption. Some say you can get redemption from outside yourself. A diety, an injured party, or even a priest can give it to you. Well that's bullsh*&."
He points (with a disembodied mage hand) to Azlain's head and his heart. "There is where you find redemption. The coalition will not help you find it, but we'll take anyone who has found it."
Thalas and Seltyn can tell you the coalition is both lawful and good.
Suny keeps a respectful distance from these 'Elders'. Watching, listening but not other wise seeking to engage with them.
To Seltyn: We went through a bad patch and some rough times to get this bandit fellow. I'm not one for just letting him run off. As a follower of Calistra there's some 'Revenge' coming to him....
The bandit is secure, those the elderly gentlemen seem sympathetic to his plight and feed him.
Post in the combined thread was triggered by required events. To make it easier, I will just include it here.
The Coalition of Light maintains a magic messageboard. The current message has a interesting item on page 3:
'The Coalition has met both an elf and a dwarf groups that are moving freely through the world under arms. Rock Stonecrusher and Lady Ciedrel seem to be trying to make their nations more active forces. Currently our membership remains free of any of Lady Ciedrel's or Rock Stonecrusher's dwarves, as the Oath is too onerous for them. The older races are probably less likely to put ideals above racial and national affiliations then humans.
The Society of Secrets also sends out regular message traffic in the form of a newsletter. The latest newsletter has this on page 5:
'Representatives of Lady Ciedrel of the elven nation and Rock Stonecrusher of the dwarven nation have both been offered membership in the Society of Secrets. We want it known that Hon aka Mighy Low Blow is an associate member of the Society with all the rights and privileges thereof. Despite a rough introduction, the dwarves have paid their obligations in full. The elves have also paid their obligations in full.'
I was asking what was involved in the Oath, and what it binded me too, I never said that it was not something I was interested in taking it. I am just not going to swear to it blindly
As it had been a while and Elorin wnated to give soemthig in return she will share a song.
"Forgive me kind gentlemen as I have little to share in return for your hospitality, please allow me to share a song."
Elorin stands up and polity bows, her heart fluttering again int e way it always did when she performed. Hoping she would not mess up and that it would be well received.
Elorin dances a little as she sings, closes her eyes and sways a little tapping her foot to give herself a beat.
"Red is the rose which bloomed the summer
soft was its touch just like your hand
Clear was the stream by where I found it
Far was the mystical land
and like the end of a long hot journey
to sit and rest in the cool of shade
Gently awake with you beside me
Whispering softly my name
Dreams they fly , dreams they fall
Some fill your heart some leave you nothing at all
Dreams they fly, dreams they fall
Red is the rose and in my heart it calls.
Deep was the woods through which I followed
Dark was the cave through which I crawled
Sad was the song of my acceptance
Long was that night to dawn
and like the end of a long hot journey
to sit and rest in the cool of shade
Gently awake with you beside me
Whispering softly my name.
Red is the rose which blooms this summer
Soft is the touch love of your hand
Clear is the stream now where its planted
Here is that mystical land."
Perform 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
When she has finished she thanks everyone for listening and sits down, allowing her heart rate to return to normal.
For those of you not from the Emerald Isle the song is 'Red is the Rose', old Irish ballad. It is about a journey and the a lost loved one. kind of appropriate I hope.
at an appropriate lull in the conversation Elorin speaks,
"There are many of you here that are new to me, and even those I know I only know what I learned on this journey. Perhaps while we have an opertunity to rest, we could learn more about each other, how we got here and what ever we wish to share or find out. Flambuex left us having shared little or nothing of who she was and I take some responsibility for not asking. I do not wish to make that mistake with those of us that are still here. Perhaps much like in performance school we could go round in a circle and share 3 things about our selves. apologies for the first day of class format it is cheesy as anything but it seems to work. this way we share what we want and can ask questions etc."who is brave enough to start" she says smiling slyly. With that smile and the song, a little of the old Elorin returns.
taking lead from your idea in discussion thread Seltyn I hope you don't mind.
Talon listens to Elorin's song till she finishes the last notes. Her voice had swelled and fallen and wrapped them all in it's melodies.
You have talent Elorin, that much is certain. It never fails to surprise me the initiative that you take, and that you have done so much to work for our cause.
As he mulls over the idea of hers to tell just three things, he is struck at the enormity of defining a person by just a few sentences. To capture the whole of a person in that time seemed an almost impossible challenge, and yet when it came from her, it seemed simple and elegant.
One of us must start, and as I suspect you have realised, I like the sound of my own voice, so why not me?He smiles and blushes slightly. That he talked so much was as much a curse as a blessing at times.
I am a bowman, sworn to the revenge of my village and the rise of the Elven nation as a whole. I died recently and came back, something that I have yet to really come to terms with, especially as the manner of my resurrection was thanks to a God. I feel confused and small because of this, unsure why I was brought back, and what the greater plan is. Or even if there is a greater plan.
Seltyn thanks Elorin for her song, and after Talon speaks, he does.
I spent my youth studying the ways of magic. It was a rather sheltered existence, I suppose, compared to most of yours. I grew up around the halls of power, and saw what our leaders do to preserve us. When Our Lady called, I answered.
I'm committed to the betterment of our peoples, however it can be achieved. Like Talon, I'm a bit bewildered at the apparent importance of our efforts, and the divine intercessions that have saved us from ruin. I can only fathom that our wanderings bear more import than we can perceive. This only renews my determination to serve, and to become a stronger advocate of our cause, wherever it leads.
As Elorin sings, Thalas becomes lost in memory and barely notices when she finishes. It takes Talon's speaking to bring him back to the present.
When Talon reveals himself before them, Thalas thinks of how to speak, allowing Seltyn to proceed before standing in order to speak next.
"Your song, Elorin, was old in my youth. Your performance rivals that of any I've heard before, which is no small accomplishment."
"Talon, you are not the only one to have joined so closely with Labelas Enorath. I was born to the lesser nobility in what is now referred to as the Kingdom of Flowers, during the reign of Sothofalas the Great. Our people walked unchallenged under bough and over lea, with only the Dwarfs our equal in glory and might. That you understand my words, this was 1,500 years ago."
"As a son of the nobility, I of course received instruction in the art of war and my arms and armor are of similar legacy. I'd always felt drawn to Labelas Enorath, so instead pursued his calling to knowledge and understanding though I admit to not being one of great intellectual feats."
"I was one day travelling high among the alpine meadows and glades of the mountains, when I received a visit similar to that of Talon. Labelas Enorath himself told me that the days of our people were numbered, and that there would come a time in which Elf-kind would be riven and harrowed til nearly the last enclave. Those few survivors would be lost to the ancient way of our people, and would need a guide to aid them and help bring a new day. For this task, he selected me. I am no one of significance, yet find myself selected - out of the jeweled flower of our kind - to be that guide. And so Labelas Enorath placed an enchantment upon me, and turned me to stone to await the time when he and my people would need me, secluded and protected from the ravages of men, monsters, and time."
"For centures I waited, unknowing and unaware, til at last the time came and Labelas Enorath restored me to flesh. He directed me to Lady Ciedrel, with whom I spoke long before departing to make a home among the humans and learn and prepare for the coming of a group of our people and join with them til our purpose was fulfilled."
Thalas smiled to relieve any potential tension or weight of history, adding, "And no, Labelas Enorath did not tell me what that purpose would be. That is part of faith, my friends: to place your trust in something greater than yourself and in many ways unknowable and yet hope that things will happen as they are supposed to."
With that, he sits down again to allow any others to speak.
Wil had been enjoying his time among the elders and swapped stories with the one who he shared a common religious bond with. When it came time to share about himself his mind stopped. Normally he wasn't afraid to speak but when it came to possibly revealing his failings in his young life he found his tongue unwilling to utter a word.
He unknowingly hummed a small part of Elorin's song as he musterd his courage. Dreams they fly, dreams they fall, Some fill your heart some leave you nothing at all.
He stands then and pulls back his hood, revealing his scars and short cropped hair. "In less then a fortnight I have come to meet more of my brothers and sisters then I had in all my short life time. Sadly I am more a child of Man then of the Elves, as my family has served alongside humans since the end of our mighty reign. My family is one of Justicars and those who enforce the laws that govern the land, when we make an oath to fulfill a task we will do so. Especially if it benefits an entire society..."
"To my father however, I am an utter failure. A pale shadow compared to my brother who was lost some years ago, despite my failures I carry the name of my house proudly. Unlike my family i'm not a heavy handed enforcer of law, I do not believe in punishments that wreck a man's ability to provide for themselves and their families. Depending on the crime however my view will change, an apple can be replaced, a life cannot."
"As you all can see I am and always will be a healer. I am not a powerful, righteous warrior like my brother and I bare that reminder every day as part of me sees the past while the other half looks to mend the future." He indicates his missing eye. "I look to this quest as a means to heal our people, to make them strong once more and whether I fall in the endeavor is yet to be seen. I will not however bulk at the monumental task that sits before me and despite not being as skilled as Elorin in the ways of diplomacy, I can bring contacts from among the Companions and other insights about the society of man to better prepare you all for what you face. Thank you." He bows his head and sits back down, quieter then before.
The previous evening.....
The gentlemen are smile at Elorin's song. As the elves talk, the older humans speak up, starting with Julius.
"Our lives after we joined the Coalition are somewhat closed, but we ofter forget where we came from made us much of what we are. I was a simple fisherman until I noticed that the I could manipulate the very light and air around me."
Alex:"You natural magicians still amaze me. I was a scribe and then teacher. I graduated to arcane writings as I sought more academic challenges."
Finally Miesko speaks, "I was a common soldier until the father of all elves gave me the power to heal an elf I discovered injured."
Wil smiles at the elders stories, clearly still enjoying himself despite his explanation of his past and rocky relationship with his father. He shakes his head at Azlain. "He's anything but, the prodigal son died and the second son was left to take his place. His pride and despair blinded him, which we've all been blinded in different ways haven't we? Besides I left my home shortly thereafter, much to the distress of my mother, and until he wishes my return I will continue to do what I can in the name of my House. It's the only way to honor my brothers sacrifice." He takes a long sip of some soldiers coffee and continues to listen to everyone speak.
My brother believed in my abilities, I won't disappoint him...
Azlain's one good eye bored into Wil, it's faded mate twitching with the effort of trying to focus. "I knew my son for almost three seconds. That was all the time it took me to realize that everything I had ever felt in my very long life was a shadow next to the love I felt for him. I would have done anything just for the opportunity to have known him long enough to risk being disappointed. I can't think of anything that would have caused me to drive him away."
"Your father is not the only one to encounter pride and despair. If they were enough to make him forget a father's love for his son, then he is weak, petty, and undeserving of the title. You are better than his judgement and certainly deserve better than he has given."
I am sure wherever he might be, your brother knows of your continued efforts in his name to heal the world Wil. You father sounds like a difficult man, most especially because of the grief and distress that blinds him. Perhaps in time we might be able to heal him also. There is always hope.
Talon continues to slowly drink wine with the others.
Wise leaders he begins, including the old men and the hound archon.
We find ourselves with a dilema. Earlier this day we were travelling back to our own cities, when we were set upon by bandits. They had with them an abberation that seems to be a breed of troll. One of our number was slain in the battle that ensued, although we were able to slay almost all of our original attackers. We captured one through the efforts of Azlain. We were originally going to take him to Lady Ciedril and ask for her judgement on the matter, but I would like to hear what you make of it, and what you would feel is justice.
Elorin will wait patiently for everyone who is willing to speak to finish before sharing her own story.In the spoiler
Feel free to read it now, it is just in a spoiler if you wish to read it in chronological order.
"I look around here and I see many differing views and faiths, I to am wondering what it is the gods want with us. I myself have no faith in gods. I believe they exist having met a few, or beings who claim to be them, but I have no faith in them."
Forgive my emotion she said tearing up a little. She takes a few deep breaths and continues.
"Until this journey, my experience with a god was simply being used by him. Unwillingly and for his own manipulation. I was made to act under his will and for his own selfish needs. Anger begins to well up as she speaks but she doesn't let it get to far.
"Some gods only wish to cause pain, suffering and fear, that is how they thrive and whilst, like people, there may be good and bad gods, they are all only interested in their own goals. In some cases those goals make things better but in the case of Norgorber to name a few, they make things worse. I was forced into horrible acts of greed and violence in his name and I truly new his wrath when I refused to kill for him. I paid the price.
She paused for a moment lost in a memory then violently shook herself out of it.
"I was not strong enough to fight back so I ran. And was found by the people of Lady Ciedrel, Welcomed and trained to use my skills for good and for health. In song I found freedom and found I was able to channel what I had learned through my voice. I found my voice had power and not only make others stronger but through it I learned to be stronger myself and now my former master has no power over me and I swore that I would do all I could to repay my debt to Lady Ciedrel and help my people."
Though her voice broke a little as she spoke she smiled and continued.
"So now I find myself in the midst of people who all have varying reason for being here and I count my self one of the luckiest elves on this beautiful planet. You are all wonderful people over coming and still over coming obstacles, but it is those experiences that has led us here, made us strong and given us what we need to be who our people need us to be. What is past is past, when we learn and take from it is up to us."
But whilst others are talking she will reply and talk to them.
"Thank you Thalas, I am glad I can do the song justice. I heard it myself along time ago and never forgot it. Your compliment, as with everyone's, means a lot."
"It must of been difficult to be stone for so long and leave everything you knew, you sacrificed so much for your people. I hope what little I can do, can help to make that sacrifice worth it.She addressed the last part to everyone. I will try my best to honor all of your deeds."
Turning to Wil "Parents are people to with emotions, strengths and weaknesses, the loss of a child is a pain no one should endure and as you say you know why he acts as he does. Though Azlain has a point, from what I have seen you have done yourself and your name proud. I know if I was ever to meet another of your namesake I would think highly of them because of your actions. As I think so highly of you. You help without prejudice and heal without question. May your ancestors smile on your efforts and honor."
"Talon, your bow skills are amongst the best I have seen. You experienced something we all have to at some point, I do not envy your path, though be strong. In my experience gods only do what they want to and they wanted you here. That does not make you small. It makes you amazing and important. You will do many great things with this second life you have been given I am sure of it. I see strength in you. You lead us when Seltyn could not, you make bold choices and always, always put others first. You earned the gods faith in you never forget that."
"Seltyn you are wise and sheltered is not a bad thing. You spent your time learning and bettering your self as a person and scholer, you are both wise and strong, through your experiences you have become the leader we need."
She speaks to Azlain, a little quieter than she had with the whole group. though not whispering.
"Azlain, Though you share little, you seem to be the strongest minded of our group, at least you are the most internal. I can not and will not presume to know anything about you beyond what you have shared, though I do wish to know more. I hope one day you can trust enough. You bear your story on your skin, as do I, though I am able to hide mine. I am not as strong as you and i am not able to wear my past in public. I hope to learn to be stronger one day and I feel so lucky to have you and others around me to learn from."
After Elorin's song, the angelic being comes over.
Drawn by the music, he sings in a fine baritone. He shares a song about his time before he was called to serve his masters as a childlike angelic being on the hill overlooking the celestial city:
Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
I just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," he said "Grab your things,
I've come to take you home."
To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho' my life was in a rut
"Till I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" he said "Grab your things
I've come to take you home."
When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" I said "You can keep my things,
They've come to take me home."
A not-so-subtle dig at the guy who used his friends as stepping stones to fame and fortune, and then abandoned them? I could see that. It's been really neat getting people's backstories like this, but unless anyone objects let's get moving again. We can't let those rock-headed Dorfs get ahead of us, after all! :D Reposting from earlier,
As the evening presses on, Thalas begins to feel the effects of a very long day.
Addressing their three - four? - hosts, "I am grateful for the offer of a bedroom, sirs; I shall need it, as it has been long since I've ridden a horse with such need. Good night, gentlemen."
Thalas makes his way inside, finds an unused room, and passes the night in exhausted slumber.
He wakes in the cool pre-dawn of morning as always, and takes what will likely be a slim window of opportunity for solitude to pray and commune with Labelas Enorath.
Yeah, lets move story along. We can always come back and deal with these people again perhaps.
Talon will also soon beg for their pardon, but explain that the battle earlier that day and the travel has wearied him, before finding a bed and sleeping. Most likely waking up around dawn or a little after it.
Suny will putter around, though steering well clear of the three men and the...'Other'...
Unless something untoward happens she too will turn in early and rise to greet the new day in much the same manner.
The journey back to Seaview, formerly known as the Coastal Kingdom is uneventful. Word of your arrival makes it to the large city.
As you approach the main town, a few crowds of people come out to see the group approach. It seems so long ago, but you approach the large town strategically situated on the top of a large cliff that commands the best natural harbor for hundreds and hundreds of miles of coastline.
Since you departed, a wooden palisade has been constructed with a large ditch dug in front of it. With the town situated near the sea, the wall only has to be a semicircle to protect the undefended portion.
You are informed that the human king has traveled to visit some of the neighboring farmlands and towns to extend his influence and his control. The fisheries in the town have been very productive and parts of the sheltered harbor are being used as a large oyster farm.
A large pearl, valued at 500gp awaits Elorin as a present. His son and prince speaks in perfect elven as he presents the gift. "What can we do for you High Priestess? We have a boat waiting if you would like to travel home."
Thalas rides through the town, silently observing what appear to be recently-constructed fortifications and townsfolk that seem happy to see them.
When Elorin is greeted as High Priestess, he turns to look at her in surprised question. This would totally merit a Spock eye-brow-lifting!
Hehe love the imagery, invoking Neemoy at his finest. It is a long story, involving what CM did with Elorin when she was an npc for a while. though i do love the internal conflict it created in her added a lot to her character.
Elorin will compliment the Prince (in Elven)on his Elven language skills, as usual he would speak it with a almost natural twang having lived with Elves for a while but to her it still warranted a compliment. Though for the sake of etiquette will reply in common. "It is good to see you again your highness. Thank you for taking the time to greet us. Your gift is so lovely. I am happy to see this town is thriving once more. I have some new friends I would like to introduce to you" With that Elorin will introduce everyone the Prince has not yet met. "Is there anything that would require my attention whilst we are here?"
Talon will inspect the newly made fortifications with an eye to how they might be raided and breached. It paid to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. When few defects were detectable, he smiled and made sure to take careful notes, so that the Elves might be forewarned of anything that they might need to bring should a forced entry be required.
When Thalas looks surprised he smiles and contains a laugh. With the story of her life, Elorin was the last person that might be expected to carry the title of High Priestess. Still, she discharged her duties in such a position with grace and eloquence, qualities that never really were forgotten, even in the heat of battle.
When the gift is given to her, the pearl gleams softly. It was a mighty stone, a gift fit for a Queen.
After being introduced by Elorin to the Prince, Wil bows his head and waits to see if anything is needed to be done. He is especially concerned for any injured or sick people he can help to cure as he understood this Coastal Kingdom was up and coming.
Seltyn casts message, including Wil, Elorin and Talon in the spell, just in case, before they meet the humans.
While Elorin is schmoozing the prince, he whispers to her in Elvish, They probably can't raise Flambeaux, but they might have someone who can cast preservative magic, like gentle repose. Maybe you could finagle that for us. (DC 25 perception to notice)
He bows and greets, always as Elorin's humble scribe. He's impressed by her celebrity here. She hadn't said much about it in the carriage.
I can cast Gentle Repose right now if asked. I didn't think of it earlier.
Thalas opts to accompany Elorin if given the choice: this should be an interesting glimpse into what may be the future of the elf-human relationship.
You realize, Gentle Repose is a level 2 cleric spell - as in, I could do that instead of having to hunt someone down. I didn't think of it earlier.
D'oh! Maybe now that we're in relative safety, you could prep it for tomorrow. Or, Elorin could get it done by someone else, and you can prep another spell. Seems she could do that...LOL
Yeah, I can take care of that. Also, I edited my comment because I thought it sounded snarky, which I hadn't intended to be! Looks like I was too late, though. heheh :)
Wouldn't be the first time I overlooked the obvious...:)
I forgot to add some content--so we do a flashback
Before leaving the old men in the morning, everyone wakes up to find that Maeve has suddenly disappeared with her possessions.
The elderly casters realize they will get no elven recruits, so Miesko casts strong magic on the prisoner. Speaking in a strong voice:
"You will journey with us and serve the first good temple you see. You will serve that temple until you feel you have eased as much suffering as you have caused."
You feel the lone bandit will not be a problem.
In the Flashback
Wil, despite his want for justice, finds the Elders decision a sound one. During the night he had reflected and knew that the bandits hadn't struck the killing blow, it had been the troll after all. With the beast dead and the bandits soundly defeated he found that he could allow mercy to take the forefront instead of righteous judgement. [b]"I stand in agreement with the Elders, this is a more humane decision."[/b[
Wil setups shop, stitching and mending injuries among those who had been injured during their exploits, fishing or otherwise. He spends most of the day doing so, getting quite a bit of use out of his surgeon tools. While he worked he talked to anyone who was notable in the walls construction, mainly passing the word along that the earth walls needed to be thicker to provide more stability.
Heal Take 10+6 = 16 base check, Take 20 if possible but Wil isn't looking to fail ;)
Thanks Seltyn :D
Also, Wil, as long as you're creating all that good will, you can tell people about what's under the engineering spoiler above. Seltyn whispered it to you with a spell.
While we're here, we all defer to Elorin. We treat her like a queen as much as the locals do. She da boss!
Elorin will pass on the message to the prince about his walls and will generally accompany him greeting ad talking to anyone that will talk to them. answering questions humans may have, Generally returning to her high priestess duties whilst they are in the town.