Lin looks unsure and quite disturbed, which is unsettling with her added condition. "I... I don't know if they did or not Min was set on doing so. But I do not know if he succeeded..." Oh no. The bond is dead, I cannot feel which way he is. Is he even even still in this world?! She rises and makes her way to the Gazebo, scouring for any sign of the tapestry and upon seeing them gone she looks about. More frantic by the second.
Survival - Looking for tracks 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Perception - Anything suspicious 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
Van-Galazzan and Van-Haera trade significant looks. The librarian looks at Cassandra, and the little girl steps forward, walking up to Astar. "I can See him." she says. "He's Smart Man" The little girl peers up the scholar-warrior. "Hi Smart Man. I'm glad you're with us when the angel comes, and then in the fire pit when Mean Man has to hurt me to get us out. And I'm sorry the angel is right. Angels are mean." Her voice takes on a high, eerie quality and she intones "You will not learn enough to be sated in your lifetime."
She pauses, and looks up Astar. "What's 'sated' mean?"
Without answering she looks back at Nasmarra. "Ghost lady scares me, but the pretty rocks talk to her. So does the Dancing Lady. If she doesn't come with, Shadow Man will...he..." The seer trails off. After a couple heavy seconds tick by, she sniffles and says. "I See her, too. She has to come."
Lastly, the tiny girl comes to Hurin. She regards him for a moment, then giggles. "DWARVES ARE TICKLISH!" She yells, smiling broadly, and starts tickling Hurin.
Van-Galazzan speaks first: "VERY WELL THEN. KARTHAN IS TO REMAIN BEHIND IN STORMFARE TO AWAIT THE RETURN OF HIS FATHER. THE REST OF YOU WILL STRIKE BACK OUT INTO THE WILD. WE WILL RE-SUPPLY YOU AS BEST WE CAN BEFORE YOU GO."
Van-Haera steps in closer and uses her 'inside voice', as is her wont. "Something is wrong in Limbo; hordes of Ethereal Slayers await any poor traveler going a large distance. We don't know why, but it's been confirmed numerous times in the last day. Because of this, you should avoid long teleports at all cost. So, we are going to do something...unprecedented in recent times. We are going to send you through a Dragon Door; ancient pathways created in the time when we dragons ruled the Land, under the god Kalaroth. Time works differently in these paths, almost like being in the everywhen. You will cover weeks' worth of ground in just days, and with greater odds of safety, for few creatures in existence are able to enter these halls. The door we have in mind will pop you out just over 100 miles northeast of Kurgan. There is a...a shrine, there, by one of the Old Walls of the Uniter."
The two powerful dragons look you all over. "But it is very late, dawn is not far, " says Van-Haera, "and you have been going for so long. You should all rest, and we will slip you out of the city under cover of darkness late tomorrow night. Quarters will be provided for you, as necessary, please let us know if you require healing or anything else, and we will provide whatever we can to help."
She then looks at Cassandra. "You should come with me, young lady; we need to keep you safely tucked away until it's time to go."
Van-Galazzan looks at poor Lin, who is casting about for any signs of the tapestries, the prisoners, her Rider, anything. "I WILL REMAIN HERE IN THE QUAD THIS DAY, AND AWAIT THE SKYKNIGHTS' RETURN AND PROVIDE EXTRA SECURITY. REST, TRAVELERS, AND PREPARE YOURSELVES."
As Van-Haera is walking away with Nasmarra and the children, she calls out; "HURIN! ASTAR DIJKSTRA! Will you come with me, please?"
Before he can respond to Belsarious, the booming voice of Van-Galazzan overrides all and Jorzan turns and pays full attention as the dragons speak, as of course does everyone.
He smiles down at Cassandra and nods his head, giving her shoulder a slight squeeze and then a gentle nudge along her way with Van-Heara. Before the gigantic Brass can walk more than a couple paces away however Jorzan calls out to stop her. "Lady Van-Harera, a moment more please? There is some urgent information we must pass on to you, and as well, there are these items I would ask that you have identified, and possibly destroyed, as I have a strong feeling some of them may be dangerous and or evil."
He then reaches into his magical haversack, something Hurin, not knowing of it's extra-dimensional nature, had neglected to check properly in his search and strip of the young rogue. As he is pulling out the items and passing them to the head librarian it is quickly explained to him that Kelne has already passed on the news of the Drow, and the shadowdancer nods in understanding. He then has one more thing to say to her. "If you feel any of these items may prove of worth to us, I would appreciate their return, but please do as you best see fit with those you deem too dangerous. And finally there is a...more private matter I would discuss with you, if you would grant me some of your time." as he says this last, he places his hand briefly on his torso, but whether closer to his chest, or his pocket, it is difficult to tell.
As the Dwarf begins to leave with the Dragoness, Jorzan walks up to him quickly and places an arm on his shoulder to stop him. "I believe you have some things of mine? I would see them returned." He his voice is calm and his expression is neutral as he says this.
After the Dragoness, the children and all others going with her have left, Jorzan walks up to and stops, standing directly in front of him. "I believe you have some things of mine? I would see then returned." His voice is calm and his expression is neutral as he says this
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Jorzan is no where near as calm as he sounds and is appearing to be, and is definitely still very angry, but he certainly does not seem to be out of control either.
|Hurin Sundershield SonOfHelgrud|
Hurin looked down at the little girl and put his hands on his hips and began to proclaim, "Nonsense! Dwarves are not ....
hoooooo! Hoo! Ha ha ho he hoo! Ok ok now! Alright young hehh he ha ha you got me!
The little young girl had found Hurins secret tickle spot and disarmed him as surely as he had disarmed the rogue. Hurin allowed himself to revel in the moment for it was an honest one. A moment that only the sincere honesty of a child could unlock.
"Ok now I am going to get you with the tip of my beard! I'll get you back!"
The dwarf chased the quick little girl around for a moment before realizing how he must look in front of these strangers. He hauled himself up and gave those assembled a sheepish half glare.
"what are you all looking at!? She's been through a lot a kids got to play every once in a while."
The brass dragon asked Hurin to accompany her and it seemed like a great way to exit the situation gracefully. He handed Jorzan the sack containing his weapons and poisons. The young man still seemed touch and go, but with all the paladins and dragons about it should be safe enough.
"Here you go you'll find it all there. You will need these to protect the little ones and if the black elves crawl out of that pit I'll wager that you will be needing these. No hard feelings I hope. I just couldn't let you murder that man in front of Sir justal. Wouldn't do anyone any good to see you rotting away in jail. If you don't mind I need to just step behind you there and pick up my cloak. I used it to make a pillow for you before the cleric got here. Glad you are okay and sorry I didn't recognize you as being the one and the same that Grippen mentioned. It fills this old dwarfs heart up to see you were successful in getting the kids out of the Vampire's Keep."
Hurin turns to walk off with he dragon. He figures the beardling isn't ready to shake hands on it yet, but such is the way with teenagers, he would give him time to think on it.
Jorzan accepts the sack without a word. He had watched the Dwarf play with Cassandra and, against his will, he had felt something melt within him at the sight. A part of him was still also furious though and did not want to let the anger go. So, for the moment, the young rogue pushed his feelings on the Dwarf and what had passed between them aside.
Then the Dwarf mentions his cloak and how he had used it and Jorzan turns to look behind him as the dwarf steps around him to get it 'He used his cloak to...'? 'Yes. After he used his shield to knock you out! And then stripped you almost naked! Like some child who needed their nappy changed! He has greatly offened us and we will have our revenge on him!'
However as the Dwarf mentions Grippen and turns and walks away, the smallest of smiles tickles at the corner of Jorzan's mouth. Turning away to face the others, the rogue thinks to himself 'I need to blow off some steam!' and then says aloud "Well, since we're back in Stormfare, and only the Gods know when we shall be back again, I'm off to see some friends. You'll be able to find me in the Library later on tonight." he then spends a few moments re-equipping himself with everything that was in the dwarf's sack before heading off into the city.
His hovering Shadow has been staring at the departing Hurin the entire time. As Jorzan begins to move away, it continues it unwavering gaze for several more seconds before finally turning to follow the one from which it came.
Seeing everyone leaving Lin did the only sensible thing. Calm down and think, Min had taught her from the day they met that a day like this would come. Now she had to show she could make it on her own and she was proving a great boob at it. Finding nothing of use she pulled her ehad out of the gazebo and sat heavily in the quad, looking for all the world like a giant shiny silver spectacle.
Right... Think. The change is coming, I will be hungry and I need to get away from the city. Small steps then greater plans.
She rose then and approached Van-Galazzan and bowed her head in apology. "If you could do me one last favor great one, please see that someone store my riders things for the night. I will return in the morning when I am more... calm. The change will not be pleasant without my rider and I fear I may be a danger to some."
If he agrees to her simple request she quickly departs the city and to find a high rise, cave or some other place she can sleep for the night.
Flying to work in less then 6 hours posting may be spotty. Just fair warning boss!
|Tora'an- Celestial Pegasus Lord|
As Lin takes off, the thus far quiet Tora'an takes off after her. He keeps his distance though, the perceptive Pegasus Lord sensing that she needs some time and space to herself.
When she finds her cave for the night, he lands briefly inside it says "If you need me, I will be nearby." before taking off and finding a vantage point nearby where he can keep vigil over her throughout her long night.
For his part, Kelne trailed along with the group heading for the library. He had some questions for Van-Haera, as the closest representative of the university's mages. Having belatedly recalled that the original tapestry they'd found had linked to an extra-dimensional space, he had realised that getting back into it wouldn't be as straightforward as casting a teleport spell, even if that were safe.
With luck, the extra-dimensional space had travelled with the tapestry and was still floating about somewhere near Stormfare in whatever ether such spaces occupied. Actually getting somebody working on locating it could wait until the Skyknights had returned and he knew whether there were still people in there to be rescued, but if there were any investigations which should be conducted as soon as possible to help ensure success, better to find out now.
After that, he was going to get some much-needed sleep.
Belsarious screams at full volume and draws his curved blade....
"Should they haul even one abomination to tha dark city it will be beyond reach and they will threaten tha whole o tha world above."
Black eleves the elves turned to darkness a milenia ago, was it the tainted energy such as from the abomination, was his fate to become one of them to be turned into a black elf, could that even happen.
regains his composure
"Where are the black ones?"
Kelne turned to regard Belsarious with what he felt was admirable calm under the circumstances, "Why, so you can go haring off to attack a whole damned city of them single-handed?" The high-volume screaming, coming so soon on the heels of Jorzan's own behaviour, was not endearing Belsarious to him, "You can find them yourself if you insist on it. I'm certainly not going to help you do anything that stupid."
Astar had four distinct lines of thought as he regarded the little girl and what she'd just said to him. One was trying to assay the the possible causes for how she'd know about 'that damned interview'. One was trying to reason out what, precisely she meant with the rest of what she'd said-- particularly about the angel being right. One was trying to suppress an audible gasp of legitimate surprise. The last was merely trying to conjure the words to explain to answer the child's question with vocabulary she would understand.
"It means to be full, like after a meal. Content."
But she was apparently more interested in a tickle fight with someone nearer her height than a proper answer. Regardless, there was that itch in the back of his mind. That hunger to 'know'. After all of the unlikely occurrences that had happened tonight, this was the most perplexing.
He was now being addressed directly by the second dragon, the head librarian, whom he'd spent no small effort staying out of the way of. Well, the night had almost certainly hit its peak-- no reason to turn back at this point.
"I'll tag along, certainly. The urgent tone of this night has me by the collar quite easily. I feel that I just have to know what would make you request a face-to-face conversation, especially since you've seemed to overlook my delinquency with certain study materials.
...This isn't all a ploy, is it?"
He couldn't help but smile. It was entirely possible. He slipped off after the dragon, only momentarily breaking stride to glance back at the terrifyingly unlikely little girl.
Jorzan: Van-Haera nods. "Come to my office for afternoon tea, Jorzan, and we can discuss whatsoever you wish. I must see to your travel arrangements first, and ensure that your new travel companions are prepared for what is to come. Or, if you wish, you may come with now and wait until I have taken care of other matters first. It is all one to me."
Anyone going with Van-Haera: The ancient brass dragon, librarian of the University of Stormfare, leads you all (including all the children) into the library and down into the catacombs, where many esoteric tomes are kept, also sheet music, many harmless magic items...things of interest, but little or no power. All the powerful items are kept in the Great Tower, as everyone knows, but still; there is much here to keep a scholar happy...
"Astar Dijkstra. You keep your hands to yourself down here. I will not have any more volumes going on walkabout." Van-Haera says, with mock sternness.
At a juncture of two different halls, Nasmarra, the one Cassandra called Ghost Lady, shares a brief and whispered conversation with the dragon, then glides silently away down the side corridor, probably to prepare herself for the journey. The rest of you continue on straight until you come to the massive, circular, domed room that serves as Van-Haera's office and domicile. There are many rooms attached to it where her interns and visiting scholars stay, as well as a very large chamber where the great dragon herself stays.
"Hurin and Astar, please come with. The rest of you wait here for now, please. Make yourself comfortable; there are cots and divans and if you need anything in the way of refreshments, just ask Shen or Dakken and they will help." She nods to two of her interns, who incline their heads respectfully. She then leads Astar and Hurin into her side chamber and closes the door.
She shifts her impressive bulk around and snakes her head lower, so she can continue to speak quietly, and do so in comfort. "Gentlemen, that little girl you just met -- Cassandra -- is a Seer. She has the True Gift of foresight. She has no idea yet how to control it, and great difficulty distinguishing between what she sees in front of her from what she sees a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade, or a century into the future. Technically, she is blind. Her owl, Snowy..." The great librarian trails off. "The owl is some Other Thing, but none of us knows exactly what. The bird comes and goes as it wishes, is never hurt, and if one attempts to Divine its True Form, the resulting arcane feedback knocks out whomever makes the attempt. She is...immensely powerful, and being protected by something perhaps equally powerful, but that protection is apparently only activated in extreme situations. Day-to-day, she is practically helpless. She arrived here some weeks ago on a refugee ship from Mamban called the Everdawn. Mamban-- the East Delve in particular -- has been most gracious in taking in refugees from all the fighting against the Black Dragonflight in Goreme and southern Hallas. They give homes and jobs to those who want them, but others they help get passage to other places, if that is their preference. Cassandra and Kevin's parents are apparently dead, and the children were on the boat by themselves."
"Among everything else she Sees, Cassandra keeps having one particular, clear vision, and that is where you come in. She sees herself at The Wall, greatest of the Citadels of Gorum, a slab of cold iron and adamant thrust into the side of a mountain somewhere in Allemagh, towering more than a thousand feet up into the winter sky. Perhaps you have heard of it. Barbarians are fighting, dragons and soldiers are everywhere. She sees a lady, one of the Justices of Sarenrae, clad in golden dragonscale armor, and this lady burns to save Xian Xar and the kingdom of Allemagh...and more."
Van-Haera takes a breath. "This is where you come in. Cassandra's near-helplessness means she needs protectors to guide her to The Wall. Some of you she has already Seen, meaning your life is at least somehow intertwined with hers. I think. It isn't clear yet what it means, precisely, when she "Sees" you, but that is our best guess at this time."
"Neither of you is required to do this, but we need great heroes with tremendous skill, strength, and knowledge to guide this girl. The way will be dangerous, of course, traveling about in the wild lands south of the White Dragonhold. Evil is after this girl; both dragonflights, a lich, two archmages, a lightning god from the storm plane...others. We in Stormfare will attempt to aid and repay you as we can, if you wish it, but mostly I ask for the sake and safety of that little girl; will you go with her, and protect her?"
|Hurin Sundershield SonOfHelgrud|
|Sir Justahl of NeoWald|
Sir Justahl turns to follow, but is brought up short by Belisarius' outburst.
He shakes his head.
"Be at peace for now young master. With Van Galazzo aware of the intruders now, the forces of the city can take organized action. I am sure if he needs our help he will call upon us for it. Meanwhile, we need to rest and prepare for our own task."
He bows slightly and continues on, following in Van Haera's wake.
|Sir Justahl of NeoWald|
Justahl selected a convenient cot and stripped out of his armor to do basic maintenence. After washing, he knelt in prayer to Iomedae. Specifically, he worried about Nouhves.
He had not felt his presence since the assault on Baron Ormir, when he had been captured in an otherdimensional anti-magic crystal cage. It was only this morning, but it felt like the day lasted forever now. It would just take a moment to summon him again when he had rested.
His thoughts spun endlessly for the rest of the night;
Surely he was well; simply dismissed when that thrown card hit him. He would feel it if he was dead.
@Lin: Van-Galazzan gives you a sympathetic look. "MY LADY. I APOLOGIZE FOR COMING ON STRONG, EARLIER. YOU ARE A SILVER, AND I FORGET YOUR KIND HAS DIFFERENT MANNERS THAN MINE. I HOPE YOU CAN FORGIVE ME. BUT ALL THAT BEING SAID, I FIND YOU RADIANTLY BEAUTIFUL, AND ALL THE MORESO FOR GOING THROUGH A CHANGE AT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT. HERE , YOU MAY STAY IN MY KEEP THIS EVENING. I INSIST. THERE YOU WILL FIND A MINERAL BATH THAT WILL GREATLY EASE YOUR MIND AND THE ACHES IN YOUR BODY. I PROMISE NO SHENANIGANS." Immediately, you feel a gentle nudge at your mind and the precise location of the Great Wyrm's eyrie enters your thoughts, including the location of the mineral bath, which is actually located on a covered ledge, so you can breathe fresh air as you soak.
"I AM ASKING AS POLITELY AS I CAN IF YOU WILL BE MY GUEST THIS NIGHT, AFTER A FASHION, SINCE I CANNOT BE THERE. IT ONLY MAKES SENSE THAT SOMEONE SHOULD GET SOME USE OUT OF MY DOMICILE WHILE I PERFORM MY DUTIES AS PREFECT." He smiles pleasantly.
|Hurin Sundershield SonOfHelgrud|
However the fact that the girl saw herself and the big man getting to the wall must mean that they would make it there, and perhaps if Hurin was there he could do something profound to help Cassandra, maybe it was Hurin that would help her get there. The dragon was right the girl was helpless, she was small, barely had any body hair, had he health of a . . . well?, a human.
"What are you hesitating for? This little person needs you, that is what matters not your own suffering. This is a chance for redemption."
"No lady Librarian, having Cassandra tell me what I don't want to hear would only make my part in this harder to bear. You have spoken well for her. If my axe is needed then it is hers. I am Hurin Sundershield, Son of Helgund Wyvernsbane, Blood of Grundelsoot Beholdersbane, Named of Clan Torkrest and . . . The Childless . . . Last of . . . Last of my line! Hurin chokes through the last part shoots a sideways look at Astar and drops his eyes from the dragon while he composes himself.
"I will see the young lass to the Wall or I will die trying. I swear this upon my life, and the grave honor of my children for I have no living sons or daughters to swear this upon. Therefore Lady Dragon I fear my words may seem empty to you for I have nothing valuable to put my words upon. If you may put my words in writing I will sign it in my life's blood. Send it to my clan and they will enter it to the Book of Oaths so that I may have a witness. I make this oath on my own terms and ask nothing in return that is not freely given. But if you would find a way to notify my Clan Elders that I have not abandoned my word, honor or the ancestors. And that I bear The Axe of Thanes and still claim title to the Iron Hills. As the last of my line, should I fall I would like the Axe returned to the Hall of Remembrance at the Clanhold and my body burried in the old way with my family within the lost halls I lay claim to. I am well aware that request may be impossible to follow and I waive it if it poses any threat to Cassandra, but I would have the Elders know my intentions.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
She gives him a warm smile and then something dark dredged its way up from the depths of her thoughts, something that the little girl had told her. "Prefect, before you go I was hoping to ask you something about a strange foretelling the little spoke to me recently. If you have the time." Flushing with embarrassment she speaks the full message in the dark draconic that was spoken through Cassandra. "...silver Lindórievórea your misery at Her passing will be most profound in the mountains ringing hateful Enhathlad when the spawn of Kalaroth tear down the monument of Ket, closing the canyon forever and ending finally your chance at rescuing your true love. On the Tranquil Peak shall the cliffs call for your blood."
"It was folly not to ask while the Librarian was here, but I hope that with your wisdom you could tell me of these places. I do not know of this Monument nor of the Tranquil peaks? Or this 'Her Passing'. The mention of the spawn of Kalaroth was quite unnerving as Min and I have had the..." The angry visage of Kalaroth, his claw coming down towards Min, broke her thoughts for a moment before she could steady herself. "Displeasure of seeing Kalaroth when our bond was infected when we passed through the Dragon Doors. That made the little ones message all the more disturbing and I was planning on traveling there to face this... Fate."
|Tora'an- Celestial Pegasus Lord|
Retcon for Tora'an
As the great Brass makes his offer to Lin, after having flirted so openly and shamelessly with her, Tora'an snorts in indignation. The Celestial Pegasus Lord does not, perhaps surprisingly, seem intimidated by the ancient wyrm at all, despite the fact that the gargantuan brass could swallow the winged equine whole.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
After a few seconds of gazing intently at Val-Galazzan however, the pegasus seems to divine the the Dragon's intentions are true towards Lin and he visibly calms down. Backing away politely to give the two privacy during their converse, he patiently waits, still intending to follow Lin whenever she goes.
To any observing, the great stallion seems calm and stoic, yet his thoughts weigh heavily upon him as he worries over his Andayieu, wondering where she is, and hoping with all his heart that the she is safe and well.
As no one has seemed to stop him, Jorzan continues on his way to Pytor's. Zan follows behind. Intuitively understanding his master's unspoken wish, the Shadow sticks to the shadows, so as not to alarm any who may glimpse him.
Still working on the Zan stuff. There's one ability I wish to add which would enable Jorzan to send, or Zan to go, off into the Shadow realms, for just such situations as this, when having a Shadow trailing around would alarm the citizenry. I'm thinking a free action to dismiss him and a standard, or full round action to summon him back.
Knowledge: Arcana 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (19) + 17 = 36
Knowledge: History 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (9) + 17 = 26
Nasmarra simply watches and absorbs the interactions between her soon-to-be traveling companions. While the others bicker and squabble amongst themselves, the ancient woman watches silently and takes stock of them. She has little understanding of the impetuousness and rage of Jorzan, and less still for the histrionics of Belsarious. Their shared concern for these Abominations is a curiousity. She closes her eyes and focuses on her past reincarnations, trying to remember what she can about them. She opens her eyes again and shifts her attention to the others. She respects Kelne's calm example for the others, as well as his clear moderating and watchful eye. Astar appears brilliant, and she recalls reading several of his works in her office. Hurin has a protective quality about him, while Justahl's piety clearly marks him as blessed by the gods. While she derives part of her power from the divine, she has little by way of zealotry or devotion.
She assesses the various pieces of the tapestry of danger that she is prepared to walk into. She has little fear of death, having experienced it more than a dozen times, but the submersion of her memories and necessity to relearn her history makes it something to avoid. After silently slipping away from the library, she returns to the Great Tower and her office. She goes straight to her journals after the enchanted and warded door shuts behind her. The collected books will have to remain here, under the protection of the wards. She has little time to review them for any pertinent information, but she has extra time during the night. She wears the same ring on her hand shared by her prior incarnations, allowing her almost no requirement for sleep and even less for food.
|Sir Justahl of NeoWald|
If not interrupted...
First thing in the morning, Sir Justahl goes out to the quad and, after a prayer to Iomedae, Calls Nouhves; greatly hoping against hope he can answer...
This was a lot to take in, even for an average person, or even one whose inner fire was stoked by the thought of proper adventure. But for Astar, this was a flood of mixed variables and datums that would need to be sorted. He dove in.
True Gift of Foresight? Well, that would be something. Of course such a thing was possible, as Astar knew very well. His own carefully blended magic/mental techniques had given him a taste of a specific flavor of that sort of thing which he called precognition. But he knew that it was, in the scheme of the world, a minor trick. A man atop a tall tower may see a much further horizon, but it still pales to the totality of the world and its turning. To see events miles away, years away, would be a indicative of something approaching omniscience. He had questions. Testing methodology flowed through his mind.
A terrible but seemingly benevolent being masquerading as an owl? Now that was something as well. The fact that it would forcefully deny anyone attempting to discern its nature was tantalizing. A small shock of bravado tickled him. He would love to test it, as well. He almost felt displeasure, knowing that such a sharp little mystery had been hiding in the library for weeks. It was for the best, of course. Attempting to heist an owl would just be absurd; what's more, he knew how devastatingly obstinate such beings could be.
He would need to think on these things, and he would need to ask questions. His mind was whirring though, piecing things together, and he hadn't even begun to consider how arduous or dangerous the task at hand might actually be. It didn't matter though; he'd already answered Van-Haera's enormous request nearly instantly with a simple "Yes, certainly."
He didn't need to consider all of the angles to know it was the right and ethical thing to do. At this point he was simply thrilling himself with all of the things that this assignment would allow him to learn.
@Lin and @Tora'an: Van-Galazzan's head rears back and his eyes narrow. "Leaving aside my questions about your presence in the Halls of Kalaroth for the moment, I must say that that is an ill telling, my silver and shining friend, and one you should take very seriously." The Great Wyrm shifts his weight and speaks telepathically to both of you.
::You up there, great celestial pegasus lord, you should hear this, too, and mark my words well. Lin; it is not 'Tranquil Peaks', but Tranquil Peak. Singular. There is only one, and it lies in the mountain range that separates Enhathlad from the Empire of Mists. It is said that Stonegard, one of the Three Great Red Dragons, moved her hoard to that mountain more than two centuries ago, though no one knows why. I do not know who the "her passing" may refer to. I suppose it could be Stonegard, but that seems like a leap. Cassandra, perhaps? Or maybe the 'her' is your true love, who is also referenced in the vision? I know not; divination is not my specialty.::
::As for Ket, that is a strange and special case, and should have nothing to do with you. It is said that in the northern half of what used to be the kingdom of Rassnynyankh long, long ago, there is a canyon that only certain beings can see. This is Ket. In the canyon of Ket is a temple carved into the cliffs, and in that place Sarenrae keeps an immortal priest who enables adjuticators -- Justices of Sarenrae -- to keep the Dawnflower's peace and do her work in the Land. These justices are given special powers and weapons, and dragonscale armor, and always gain a wyverling companion, those wise and wily ancient creatures from which they say our kind descended. I know this because I have met a few Justices, but I have never traveled to the Canyon myself. Indeed, it is possible that I might not be able to travel there even if I wished it so; one must be chosen.::
Van-Galazzan ceases to speak telepathically and switches to verbal communication. "NOW TELL ME, HOW IS IT YOU CAME TO TRAVEL THROUGH THE DRAGON DOORS, AND TO SEE KALAROTH, AND STILL BE HERE TO TELL THE TALE?"
@Hurin and @Astar: Van-Haera smiles warmly (for a dragon, anyway) at both of you. "Thank you both. Please go now, get some rest, and prepare your things. We will leave tomorrow night, meet up in the quad after sunset." With that, she ushers you both out. You both pass Kelne on your way out of her office. The northman has apparently been waiting for a bit. As you leave, you hear the librarian beckon him in.
Anything either of you want to get or do before you leave, now's the time.
@Belsarious: No one seems to share your concern about the possibility of Drow arising and seeking the Abominations, and perhaps it's just as well. Who knows if the underfolk even know the Abominations exist?
The quad has mostly cleared out, with everyone seeking someplace to get some rest before the journey begins.
Lin shifts uncomfortably at the reaction she got out of Van-Galazzan she continues to look him in the eyes, undeterred by his, she was uncomfortable about remembering the ritual. Min almost.... She shakes her head and focuses on explaining the details. "We were forced to enter the Dragon doors of Kalaroth to avoid a ruinstorm on our return to Izmir. A Wyverling showed us the way and disappeared after a flood of water seperated us. Our first night in Izmir the bond changed, something... Invaded it and my rider and I barely wrestled control of the bond back. Min was trying to mark the location of the dragon door when it happened. Then through circumstances I do not know a Priest named Janassen convinced Min and I to undergo a ritual to cleanse the bond, because Kalaroth had infected it when we passed through the halls within the dragon doors. During the ritual I.... Saw...." Lin is shaking in remembering the moment, Kalaroths horrible prison and his mocking laugh. His claw coming down. She takes a deep breath and steadies herself. "I saw his prison, I saw Kalaroth and nearly watched my rider die. But the Priest was strong enough to finish the ritual and cleansed the bond. It is something I never wish to see or experiance again." She looks down studying the dirt, the fear of losing her rider nearly broke her heart and knowing she could have done nothing to stop it brought her will crashing down. But if this was an ill omen she would have to face it alone sooner or later, best if he wasn't there rof she failed.
@Lin: Van-Gallazan gives you a kindly smile. "ACH, MY BEAUTIFUL SILVER ONE. YOU AND YOUR RIDER AND YOUR COMPANIONS ARE SO BRAVE. WHAT A TALE YOU HAVE, AND WHAT OTHER TALES YOU MUST HAVE IN WAITING AFTER THAT ONE! HOW I WISH THESE WERE PEACEFUL TIMES AND WE COULD GOSSIP OVER ROAST OWLBEAR AND GRILLED SHARK. VAN-SELETHARIUS IS FRIENDS WITH A CLAN OF DWARVES THAT MAKE A DRAGON ALE -- I SWEAR IT'S TRUE! -- THAT WILL KNOCK YOUR SCALES OFF..." He gets a bit of a faraway look in his eyes. Clearly the Great Wyrm is a dragon who values peace and companionship above all else.
Van-Galazzan now addresses both Lin and Tora'an: "BUT THESE ARE NOT THOSE TIMES, I SUPPOSE. ANYWAY! THE TWO OF YOU, FLY UP TO MY EYRIE, MY KEEP, AND REST YOURSELVES. WHILE I ASSUME YOU ARE NOT LEAVING WITH THE OTHERS, YOU SHOULD STILL HAVE TIME TO MEDITATE, OR STUDY, OR SLEEP, OR WHATEVER YOU WISH TO DO TO RENEW YOURSELVES. GO NOW! He is smiling as he makes a dismissive gesture with one of his massive claws.
"I'm afraid I have some unfinished business to pass along before we depart," Kelne said seriously, "There were a couple of prisoners still trapped in gems in Ormir's treasury, and I let myself be talked into delaying freeing them until we had more time on our hands. I had asked the Skyknights to see to it while we dealt with Ormir, but so far, nobody's been able to tell me if they did." There was a distinct note of bitterness in his voice at having put himself and the prisoners in this position. Ultimately, he had only himself to blame for not seeing to their freedom himself when he had the opportunity.
"And now, with the tapestries lost, there's no longer any way of accessing the extra-dimensional space the treasury occupies. I'm afraid I don't have the faintest idea how to go about finding and accessing it, so I thought it best to consult with somebody before any traces left behind fade. If the Skyknights turn up with the prisoners in tow, well and good, but if not, better to get the wheels turning early."
"There are also some rather full chests of treasure still sitting in there," he added judiciously, "Not a matter of urgency, so far as I'm concerned, but if they can be retrieved, I'm sure Stormfare could put them to good use." Seeing Ormir's treasury used to the benefit of his enemies had a certain poetic justice to it.
"I supose all can wait, tha abominations tha soul tower an tha invasion o tha drow, tis time I guess tah sleep an when we awake have a war council an decide a course o actions."
Belsarious returns to the library hoping to unravel the secrets of teleportation along the ley lines......
"A thousand pardons I have research tah finish."
Lin's shaking subsided as she listened intently to Van-Galzzan tale. She was digesting all he had said and felt uplifted by his vast knowledge. Know where to go, better to strike first then wait to be struck. Her smile widened as she remembered some of Min's sayings. She nodded to Van-Galzzan and spread her aching wings, stretching them prior to flight.
She gives her wings a test flap before turning to leave, she stopped though and looked back at the great dragon as she spoke. "Please be careful Prefect, I will think upon what you've said thank you very much for your time." She then started to run along the grounds until she gained enough speed to take off and led the way to the Prefect's keep.
|Hurin Sundershield SonOfHelgrud|
Hurin, not seeing the paladin around would probably wait to speak with Kelne as he putters about looking at dwarven books and artifacts. He hasn't had a chance to introduce himself properly and in the short span he has seen the party in action it appears Kelne may be the group leader.
@Kelne: Van-Haera nods. "Thank you, Kelne. I will also share this information with the captain of the garrison of paladine here, and with Van-Galazzan. Together, with the aid of the University's arcanists, we may be able to locate these things. I do not know what has happened to the Skyknights, but I hope for the best."
@Jorzan: After getting a solid rest, you awake refreshed and ready to visit some of your old haunts. Pyotr's coffeeshop smells as amazing as always, and good old Pyotr is there behind the counter as always. He roars a greeting. "JORRRRZAN! Ach, my lad how are you? It has been, what? Three veeks? Vour? TOO LONG! Please, please, have seat. Tell me how you are! Tell me what is happening with you! I vill make you your vavorite klah."
|Sir Justahl of NeoWald|
Sir Justahl falls to his knees in shock. "Nouhves, you are needed..." he whispers again, uselessly.
He felt again the same yawning aloneness he felt when his sister disappeared so long ago.
The sun rose perceptably as his mind went around and around again.
NO! He can't be dead! I'd know it!
He must be trapped!
No, we searched.
Someone spoke to him, but he was too preoccupied to listen, and they went away again.
After a time he staggered to his feet. Have to find him...
He shook his head and came somewhat back to his senses. He had to think.
That place. It was a hidden prison after all; built to hold magically difficult prisoners. He had to still be there. How could a horse have been hidden? He could remember one of his companions peering into the other gemstone prisons... Right?
OK, next step is to find the way back. Where was that tapestry access?
He strode off again, looking for the librarian...
Kelne nodded, "Thank you, I appreciate it. I think we've dealt with all the threats within the treasury, but there is a demon in one of the gems. Best not to let that particular prisoner out."
"Anyway, I'll leave you to it," he concluded, giving Van-Haera a nod in farewell, "I expect we'll all be busy over the coming days, one way or another, so I'll wish you the best of luck in your endeavours."
On his way out, he ran into Hurin, stopping to have a brief chat with the dwarf before finally calling it a night.
"Well, welcome aboard, Hurin," he said, "And my thanks for your role in bringing down Ormir. He's had it coming for a long time. I just wish I knew if your comrades had come through the fight intact as well."
Jorzan cannot stop the large grin which spreads over his face at Pytor's loud and warm welcome as he walks into the coffee shop for the first time in what felt like forever. Could it truly only have been three or four weeks since he'd left? So much had happened already...
His home had been just as he'd left it, of course the word 'home' was a mighty stretch in describing the ramshackle room he had last been calling his. Virtually barren, almost devoid of any personal effects or items of value, it was nevertheless his. And he'd made sure the bed was comfortable at least. And, of course, it hadn't been his only bolt-hole, no rogue worth his salt had only one after all. It was merely the home that others knew about. He'd let the other locations go when he left with Cassandra and the rest, but it had been a fairly simple and inexpensive matter to pay six months rent in advance on the room he slept most often in. He'd never had a home, so he had no real idea what one was supposed be like. But it was dry in the rain, warm in the winter, what else did one need in a dwelling place? As he thought on this, he briefly recalled Camor's place. Although his 'brother's' place had been chaotic mess, and clearly showed the deteriorating state of the man's mind, it had also still clearly been uniquely his own. Perhaps, if he ever made it back to Stormfare, this time he'd see about personalizing his place somehow. But really, little point in thinking about such things now.
Brought back to the here and now as the exuberant coffee shop owner came over and gave him a big hug, Jorzan returned the embrace, thinking how the older man was, in many ways, pretty much the only good friend he had here in the city.
As he was led to his usual seat and Kalh and breakfast were quickly placed before him, Jorzan sighs quietly, feeling for the first time in a long time truly relaxed and at peace. He was by himself, with his regular companions who knew where about the city. He was even without Zan at his side, which felt a little strange, but was, he knew, very much for the better. The whole thing with this 'living shadow' of his was strange, they way they were connected, how he kept on learning and knowing more about the creature. Like how just a few minutes ago, for example, just before he left his place, when he was realizing there was no way he could have Zan follow him around Storfafe's day lit streets. Then Zan had just looked at him and suddenly he had known how to dismiss the shadow creature and summon him back again when he wished. Just by thinking a certain way. All very strange. A thought struck him then that perhaps it was somehow similar with Justahl and his celestial warhorse, for he had seen the Paladine summon and dismiss the great steed many times. He'd have to speak with Justahl about it later. Hmm, speaking of, where was Nouhves? Seems like he hadn't been around for a while. Well, surely Justahl had a handle on it. Anyway, Klah!
Greatly enjoying his coffee, as Pytor sits down across from him and continues pelting him with questions, Jorzan smiles again and answers how he can. Being very careful not to reveal anything about their true mission, direction or plans, he still tells the coffee shop proprietor what he can. Knowing that word about it will eventually spread about Stormfare anyway, if it hadn't begun already, he does tell Pytor much about the battle of Ormir, the destruction of the Barony and the final destruction of the vampire. Not wanting to worry the old man though and wanting to leave it up to the Brass dragons as to how the would deal with and inform the citizenry, or not, of the Drow menace, Jorzan keeps that bit to himself.
After spending an enjoyable and relaxed morning with Pytor, Jorzan takes a quick stroll through the marketplace to pick up some things and then heads to the Library for his afternoon tea with Van-Heara.
|Hurin Sundershield SonOfHelgrud|
Hurin set down the charcoal schetches he was browsing through when the librarian's office door opened up. Hurin pulled himself up from his stool and prepared to introduce himself. To his pleasure he saw the big man, Kelne, appeared to have the same thing in mind. As Kelne walked towards him, Hurin sized the man up, but as a master of the craft admires another masters work. Though powerfully built the man moved with as much grace as Hurin could and he appeared to be a slight bit healthier than the average human. Kelne had above average personal magnitism and made the dwarf feel that he was a welcomed member of the small band. He also had a look to him like he had spent quite a few nights out under the stars, a light weathered look like some of the woodsmen Hurin had met with over the years.
The long sword dangling from the scabbard was a fine weapon and obviously enchanted, a kukri which looked like it had a few orcs names on it was tucked to the side. An exotic and devastating small weapon, this told the dwarf that Kelne was a fighter dedicated to his craft with the ability to think outside the box. He didn't appear to be kitted out to carry a shield, but then again humans had trouble with encombering loads. When Hurin offered his hand their handshake was firm and solid like rock and Kelne met Hurins eyes with purpose, Hurin was going to get along with this man just fine.
Hurin also took care to arrange his weapons, gear and ancestral garb so that Kelne could get a chance to eyeball his load out and take note of his accomplishments.
Hurin introduced himself as he had done with the dragon, but left out the childless part, no sense in giving this man cause to distrust his oaths knowing that he did not have children to anchor them upon. Hurin would work hard to demonstrate his character on his own.
After the pleasantries Hurin offers sheepishly, "Sorry about bashing the beardling senseless, he was lost in a teenage fit was was all emotional, obviously you know him better than I, but I was certain that he was going to kill that old man and right in front of a paladin. I wasn't sure that he wouldn't turn those poisoned daggers on me next if I laid a hand on his shoulder and he wasn't listening to you or the knight. I didn't know how else to stop him. I didnt want to see the boy clapped in irons or worse yet slay a guard in an emotional fit if he was taken down. He is too young to hang. I fear he will hold a grudge against me, but I guess I was no different when I was a beardling. . . . Anyways I know you are fond of the boy and I just wanted to make sure you know I got no pleasure from doing It.
Is there anything I should know to prepare for? The librarian told me where we are going and who I would be traveling with, but little else. Hopefully you know some about each faction that will be trying to steal that little sweetie from us. TRY will be the right word too, my axes are sharp."
is there anything Kelne wants to ask the dwarf or tell him?
Posting this to keep things going for Lin, if you have different plans then modify away bossman. ;D
Lin arrived at the Prefect’s keep and easily followed the mental instructions that Van-Galzzan had telepathically given her. The hot water was a welcomed sight to her sore and troubled body; she wasted no time in easing her way into the lake size pool and settled down for the troubled sleep that she knew was ahead. She wasn’t alone though, which gave her more to worry about, as Tora’an had followed her to the keep. She hoped she wouldn’t awaken consumed with the burning hunger to eat anything that moved, because last time she had had changed she had lunged at Min despite the close bond they shared.
She was however grateful to have company as she felt empty and hollow without the pulse of the bond thrumming inside her. It was dead, inert and she no longer felt the weak pulling of magic she had before. Where ever Min was she could see him, she could not just look to where he is and fly to him, he was beyond her sight and she was sadly on her own. She reflected on his teachings and how he had prepared her for such a scenario, she didn’t however expect it to come so soon. As she laid there in the pool thinking of what to do next, the Prefects words echoed in her thoughts.
As the night wore on Lin found she was too troubled to sleep, Tora’an was nearby and she thought of shooing him further away, downwind preferably but she was too tired to speak aloud. She kept repeating the Prefect’s words again and again in her mind, trying to decide what she would do. Min wouldn’t remain idle; he would face what came next and not run from it… I will seek out the Librarian tomorrow and even the Prefect and see if I am needed her. If not then I will strike out and face my coming fate, alone if I must… No one should die on my account. Wearily she closed her eyes; sighing happily as her troubled thoughts settled and sleep over took her. Her thoughts were of a nice juicy elk…
@Jorzan: Van-Haera welcomes you to her office when you arrive for tea, and you find hot beverages already poured. The librarian looks a little tired as she dismisses her assistants and interns and shuts the doors so the two of you can speak in private.
"Hello again, Jorzan. It is a pleasure to see you, though I wish, of course, our meeting were under better circumstances. What can I do for you on this day, before you depart tonight?"
@Justahl: When you arrive at Van-Haera's office, you find the doors closed, and a couple of her assistants standing outside. "Sir Justahl, greetings." one of them says quietly "If you seek audience with the Librarian you will have to wait a few minutes; she is currently speaking with one of your companions, and asked not to be disturbed."
@Nasmarra: You remember the Abominations, or at least you remember reading about them. To touch them was certain death, to be touched by them, the same. Artifacts made by the first and greatest of the Archmages; Marianasu, who took no tower, no physical place, but wandered the Land with the Enhathladi, it was written, and learned their secrets, paying the price with his sanity.
You recall that no one knows how Marianasu died, but that he first used one of the Abominations to kill a professor at this very university, for that professor had learned how the Archmage was building his artifacts, with material from the shadow plane, mined in the heart of horrid canyons that crisscross the underbelly of that terrible place -- chasmal rifts, as they are called -- and was threatening to cut off planar access to that place...
But what happened to him is best left un-remembered.