He pops up next to the girl.
"Perhaps the truth. An outside influence was infecting and corrupting your father, it has been dealt with. He is currently resting and they should stop all hostile actions until he has recovered enough to give them new directions."
His claws tap over his walking stick's head.
"At worst we will get a cease fire. At best they will be more concerned with your father's state of well being rather then keeping up this whole battle. At least that is my guess."
He didn't pretend to understand these beings, they may simply not care and carry on if they were closer to golems then thinking beings.
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"I mean, how much can you heal if I tear out this problem area?" Azri asked. "It's like a bad foundation stone. Until you replace it, fixing the wall will only do so much. It's more destructive right away, but long-term, it's better to get it done."
"I'm not saying 'no', but I don't know if he'll survive that and it seems wrong to risk it without permission. Personal choice and all that, right? Besides, killing their Father might set the wrong tone. He seems stable enough for now."
Ayreth considers Teija's question. "They won't go against his orders, right? What are your thoughts on just lying and saying he changed them? For the greater good."
Aibek didn't know enough about Azri's proposal to make much comment and took a few moments to consider both Cinat's and Ayreth's proposals for Teija, "I agree with Cinat that whatever you say, the end result will hopefully be at least a ceasefire and I agree with Ayreth that whatever you say needs to focus on the greater good. You know your brothers and your father far better than any of us, what do you think your brothers need to hear or see to end the fighting against each other and turn towards peace and helping the wounded and repairing the damage this corruption has caused?" Aibek advised, trying to be encouraging to the young woman.
The girl nodded after a moment, although she still looked unsure. "They aren't used to being lied to. Most of them will assume what is said is the truth unless someone contradicts it." She glanced at Father for a second.
"Brothers," she said into the mirror, and an echo could be heard as she spoke. "Father is deeply ill. He sleeps, now, but his mind and body have been damaged by an enemy from without. The people from Khalharum freed him, but the cost has been great. Please stop this pointless fighting. It is not what Father willed before his corruption, and once he awakes it will not be what he wishes again."
She glanced over again. "Do any of you wish to add something?"
"May I?" Mihara politely requests the mirror, after wiping off the mechanical muck and grease of the machine on the exuberant silks of her dress with what some would describe as callous disregard.
"Brothers and sisters, please forgive my boldness in speaking to you thusly. I am Mihara of the Yao Clan, and I have journeyed from a distant land to assist in the rebirth of Khalharum. I entered within your walls after seeing signs of distress, and for this, I apologize, though I have no regrets after seeing what came of it.
You were misled into fighting one another by a blight, a fiend, who sought to usurp the order of your lands for their own gain. Please let this never happen again. Family must stand for family. Be you Brothers, Sisters, creations of the same Father, sons or daughters, it is your duty to support each other. Before you turn on a traitorous sibling, it falls onto you to ensure that they are truly at fault.
There was a time before I learned this lesson, and I regret it dearly. It is only the forgiveness of my own elder brother that kept my honor intact in the end. Because of this, I ask, I plead: Do not repeat my mistake.
Together, rebuild your town, and let the teachings gained from this fiend's assault make you stronger in the end, such that he shall regret any second attempts.
I believe I speak for my friends, colleagues, and fellow councilors when I express hopes that our settlements may grow to forge a strong alliance, for the best interests of us all.
Again, I most humbly apologize for our forceful intervention. I know that your Father prefers to handle such issues on the strengths of this land; I hope that he will forgive our intrusion."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
Azri had no particular desire to add to the conversation. If they didn't see sense after Mihara spoke, they were never going to, and despite her immortality she had no desire to spend more time trying to change their minds.
Ayreth waves off speaking.
Aibek listened and nodded to encourage Teija and Mihara, but did not offer to speak further.
There was a pause for a moment, and a voice that sounded like Brother replied, "It has stopped. We will begin to rebuild the exterior. Please care for Father."
Teija breathed out, and looked at Father. "He looks so...worn out. What is that thing, and what did it do to him?"
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"Nothing good." Azri answered simply. "What he needs now is robust, professional care. I do not believe he is in immediate danger, but left untreated, he will fail. Unless you have been hiding capabilities I do not know about, though... you will need the help of an outsider to save him. What do you desire?"
Aibek nodded in agreement with Azri, adding "I recognized the thing from this morning - it seems the same down to the smell of it, some of Khalharum's guardians were corrupted with it, from the similarities and that..." Aibek motioned to the message on the wall, [b]"I think it's reasonable to see them as linked but as for what the corruption exactly is and what it does beyond nothing good... Aibek regretfully shrugged, clearly a bit frustrated in not knowing.
"I'll keep you up to date with investigating it if you would like, but for now, as Azri said, it's up to you and your brothers how things move forward here. I agree on getting care for him and possibly checking the rest of the village for any others that may need care - some are being looked after along with Nigrum above - or signs of any lingering corruption. I'm happy to help with the latter two for a time if you like, and other than a few who know healing magic, the only person I might suggest for checking him and maybe finding something to help with what the corruption has done is an alchemist I know back in Khalharum."
Teija considered this for a moment. "My brothers have only just learned independence, and it brought us to a war when faced with our first challenge. I do not feel we are ready to deal with an enemy so unknown to us. It is my place to lead, if Father falls, but I failed. Until we are ready or Father is able to lead, I would humbly ask for assistance from Khalharum."
Aibek looked around at the room for a moment and shifted in place while considering the request, "Assistance, I'm happy to give some and to request it of those in Khalharum, you and yours will need to regroup and decide what assistance you need - and for some, what will be offered in exchange. I think you and your brothers have done well, made great progress, and should not see this as a failure to a challenge, but just unfortunate that Deus, the one using these corruptions against yours and Khalharum, had more resources at this time. We can work together to change when Deus tries again..."
Perception+Scent: 1d20 + 10 + 1 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 10 + 1 + 3 = 16
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"Then for now, we need to either bring a better healer here, or take him into Khalharum for treatment." Azri said, eyeing the existing equipment in the area. "...Easier to bring them here, perhaps. If no one objects, I will go - I am not easy to find when I wish to be unnoticed."
"Mutually beneficial arrangements are best, yes, payment or things are sometimes but not always part of that. As I said, you and your brothers will need to decide what you need - beyond obvious quick treatment for your father - and what you want to offer in exchange. Personally? At this time, I'm quite happy to help you find a good healer or get you and him to Khalharum or help with seeking out if there is any further corruption until this evening for on-going good relations and to talk to you and yours later after all this. I cannot speak for anyone else though. Aibek shrugged, with a concerned glance between Teija and the ailing village father.
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"Good relations with neighbors are worth significantly more than a few gold pieces." Azri noted. "It's a benefit to us other than payment. We're not doing it solely out of the goodness of our hearts - we just think something that benefits both of us is better."
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The situation seemed to be contained, for now. Teija and the others seemed more confused than anything, but calm and focused on restoring there village. With a Khalharum healer brought in to give aid, and Brother's impressive powers as some kind of Divine spellcaster within the walls, stabilizing Father wasn't difficult. For now he seemed to be in some kind of coma, and it was unclear if he would ever wake up once more.
This left the issue of Nigrum. The fallen warrior also showed no sign of returning, although he didn't seem exactly dead either. Perhaps it was an oddity of his unusual race. Perhaps it was something due to Khalharum and the bond, even if Nigrum's had never been finished. It wasn't clear.
For now the only option was to return Nigrum to Khalharum. As you enter through the city gates, the stoic warrior vanishes from the carriage on which his body in a bright flash of light.
The warrior has fallen, the blade is broken. The first of the four noble paths has failed. The heavens weep with sorrow as the sovereign fades, it's guardian calls forth one blessed by the sky. It's domain and wrath felt before it's coming. The second noble path, the five rings usher it. The merchant comes.
The words ring clear and true within the minds of the as a low rumble begins. On the central island a small building arises from the sands. When it is checked A dozen entrances exit the room, but all but the last are sealed, blocks of what seems to be adamantium blocking them off and covered in curse wards, spells and warnings against desecration.
Within the last rest a tomb of some kind. Empty, bar one chamber, where Nigrum rests now. His armour is resplendent, his armaments lay to hand, as he rests within a crystal case.
When asked, Nexus has no idea what happened, or where this tomb came from.
Sorry to rush things along, but my eye is kinda blurry right now, so I wanted to get stuff done which I can.
Soul of a warrior.
Battle with death you did lose.
May you win the war.
Mihara etches the words on parchment, and lays them at Nigrum's feet by his grave.
"He was a brave friend, and I will miss him dearly. Please forgive me; today has been trying in many ways, and I wish to rest and be with my kin."
Unless anyone objects, Mihara takes her leave. She had not had much time to be with her sister and kin since their arrival. She also wished to share the latest developments with her other siblings thanks to the linked books. Perhaps the herbalists at home would have some inkling of how to help Father.
Sorry for the long delay.
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
Azri was quiet as she looked at the tomb. She was bad at understanding some things, but she was fairly sure offering to bring him back from the dead wasn't quite the right choice here. "Death is the end, and the beginning. May our souls meet again someday." she said quietly... and seemed content to leave it at that.
As Ayreth stands over Nigrum's body, she writes in her notebook, pulls out the page and folds it tightly. She sets the paper at the foot of the case and simply says, "I'm sorry."
Aibek considered Nexus's information, "Thank you...it appears to be another mystery. Do you know when was the last time a building appeared like this out of nowhere - not including the village the others and I just returned from? I saw the Towers able to do some repair work to themselves but nothing like that so far that I can recall..." Aibek tiredly asked Nexus while preparing to head back to Azerna's inn by way of the harbour and Khalharum's guests, hopefully there was enough time and a second wind tonight. The new building didn't seem an issue yet to jump up Aibek's list of priorities to investigate but at the very least, Aibek would make time the next morning or maybe afternoon to add it to the map. These changes might explain why there were few up to date ones...
OK, let's see if we can't get this show on the road. Unfortunately, I'm still struggling, so I'm going to hand the scene over to you guys. Once you've given me some ammo I should be able to take up the story.
The situation with Nigrum settled, at least, and Cinat missing, the remaining four councillors were left alone with there thoughts. The city fell into a quiet night with no clear direction.
Explain what you're doing, in as much or as little detail as you wish, for the evening. Cinat should probably focus on there Mark, in whatever detail they wish.
A brigantine was lazily making it's way into the dock. A Katapesh flag flew from it's mast. Clearly a merchant ship, one of many from the near by nation it seemed.
Sitting at a desk inside, small legs dangling, was a blueish gray scaled kobold. His robe dangling off his form from his belt with his upper body exposed. A habit he picked up in other lands. If his scale color wasn't odd enough his eyes were silvery white and his narrow maw had long whiskers that sprung from behind each nose hole, unusually dexterous ones at that. If that wasn't enough his arms where not bare as silvery tattoos rested on each. A serpentine dragon's head rest atop each hand spiraling it's way around the arm to connect to a rune on each shoulder, along the way their are a pair of symbols on each arm running the length.
He finishes writing something before glancing over at the dog lying on the floor near by and the pseudodragon dangling from a swaying perch attached to the ceiling. A soft knock comes from the door, the dogs ear perk up but does not move. Shaking off the stiffness he throws his robe back on, his form shifts to that of a pale halfling with eyes the color of his former form's scales. Then goes over to unbolt the door. An alluring keleshite woman strides in with a shuffling tengu coming in after her. The tengu bowed befor speaking.
"We are nearly docked sir."
"Is their a reason we are here. From what I hear, this place is hardly settled."
He looks at the woman, she was right in some ways.
"Well it's really about what you don't hear my dear. As always I have my reasons, so let us all make the best of them."
He knew that would not do much for her, then again that was part of the reason he said it. He had been called, he could feel the runes and symbols deeper then then the scales they seemed to be placed on. Ignoring them would not be in his best interest in many ways.
"Shall we see what this city of towers has to offer? And how much we can take?"
That brought a smile to the woman's face and a nod from the tengu. The little dragon had already woken and flown to his shoulders, the dog shifted to his feet. He just had one more that he needed to call, they would be on deck.
Saiga will be at the docks for anyone that want to greet the new comer. ;P
Aibek walked quietly to the harbour. At the sight of a new ship coming in so late, Aibek raised an eyebrow with a sigh. Katapesh merchants - could be trouble and Aibek had had enough of that for one day. Aibek approached the nearest guards, "Hopefully not too much more work, though the colours they're flying give some concern, especially if they're not aware of the different views on slavers and such trade has here. If they ask, tell them that trade arrangements go through the councillors and unlike to happen tonight, otherwise keep an eye on them I guess. Need to discuss late arrivals with the others...tomorrow. Hope you have a good night." Aibek said with a small bow before leaving the guards to it.
Aibek then approached the Varisian main ship. The witchwolf would check on their general wellbeing after being so delayed back, but honestly was mostly there to find Sonali and possibly Drahl and any others interested in a meal at the inn tonight. Looking over the water, Aibek remembered the Nexus's comments about merfolk who migrate and live near, but tried to put such curiosities and other business out of mind for the night.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 + 1 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 10 + 1 + 3 = 22
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
Azri, for her part, had some paperwork to take care of - and, perhaps more importantly, some magical crafting to get through. The sooner this city had a proper supply of things, the better... and memories of the past were driving her forward without much time for rest. But then, she didn't sleep in the first place...
Aibek paused on spotting the Nexus. It was slightly awkward having just been thinking about them for them to appear, so Aibek approached the staring avatar.
"Everything alright? I was just about to ask some of our Varisian guests to join me up at the Thirsty Dryad, if you would like to come with?" Aibek said, with a glance in the direction they were staring before returning attention to the Nexus.
Ayreth retreats to her room in the Tower to ponder the day's many events. She seeks comfort in Emmitt's company.
Aibek took a slow deep breath while considering. [b]"Yes, that's probably wise. I may try to get the others together to discuss it tomorrow with you, probably after noon. Hope you have a good night." Aibek said with a small bow before returning to trying to find Sonali and any others who might want to go to the Inn this evening.
Mihara arrives at her abode after some travel through Khalharum. She took a detour through the harbor, where some of her kin, close and distant alike, were beginning to build a life from themselves. The Yao Clan's merchant dynasty was slowly but surely claiming a second port.
The voice of her younger sister, Saraki, made itself known from the living room, from which the gentle scent of floral tea emanated. "Sister! You're home!"
The songbirds, too, appeared excited, chirping and fluttering about their cage.
"Yes, and I assure you I could not be happier to come home. It's good to have you here." Mihara embraced her sister, returning to the comfort of her true Kitsune form now that she had some privacy.
Mihara flinched when her sister's arm came to rest against her injured side, giving an involuntary grunt of pain.
"Oh! Sister... you're hurt! What happened?" The younger Kitsune made for the medical supplies, only for Mihara to raise a hand.
"No, it's nothing, Saraki. Things simply did not... go as best as they could have."
The younger kitsune had still only recently become acquainted with the happenings of a growing town. Mihara was loathe to tell her about the death of Nigrum and the more... tumultuous developments of their neighbors. She judged best to downplay things for now.
Saraki's glare, of course, spoke otherwise as to her injury. "At least let me tend to your wound," Saraki added. "And no skipping out on dinner this time, please?"
Mihara chuckled and offered an apologetic smile. It was a good thing Saraki was here to keep her in check.
"Very well. Perhaps you could tell me about what you did today over dinner? I heard from cousin Hanabi that you have been pulling your weight admirably around town..."
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
Not yet contacted, Azri was still working - but she was definitely the sort to head over as soon as she was contacted about such interesting matters.
The avatar of Nexus appeared to Azri, Ayreth and Mihara. "Notification - an individual bearing a Mark of Authority has entered the city at the docks."
"Be right there."
At the Thirsty Dryad Inn, Aibek greeted and warmly spoke to some of the patrons and guests before approaching Azerna, "You look busy, would you like a hand? I'll just a need a moment to add these to my sewing pile..." Aibek said while glancing over the damage on one of the sleeves. "Might grab the chapan or kunikey..." Aibek said quietly in consideration before shaking away the passing thoughts. The witchwolf had considered it most of the day but still tried to hide anxiety and uncertainty at the ideas behind a glance and smile around the full room...
Any of the councillors who headed for the dock saw a two-masted ship with a distinctive square sail arrangement, and it's small reptilian master standing on the stone of the dock.
Aibek chuckled low, hand over mouth which moved while the witchwolf tried to think of any sort of dignified response. After a few moments that felt took too long, Aibek finally said, "Someone was asked about the best pie in town, I'm not sure what other answers could be given..." with a mischevious smile before glancing to the damage Azerna was wincing at, "It was an odd afternoon, this alone will probably be a morning's work, I'll run out of patching material at this rate, might have to actually buy new soon...." said, clearly less happy at the idea of clothes shopping.
"I'll be down to help in a moment... with a small nod before heading upstairs. Aibek appeared down much quicker than usual for changing in a high collared black shirt peaking out from under a bright blue and green chapan, far brighter and relaxed than anything Aibek had worn in public in Khalharum before (not hard with Aibek's preference for working in dark armour and formal attire), with hair swept up into a dark frizzy high ponytail. The witchwolf's flickered around the room before quickly darting into the kitchen to help out with cooking. Aibek tried to hide mixed feelings of being pleased and getting into the joyful atmosphere with incredibly anxiety at the time at being this unbound downstairs...
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Bluff: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
Sense Motive on patrons: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Craft Food: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
|Azri, the Lich of Khalharum|
"Hm." Azri knew better than to start judging people before she'd even met them, but she had headed to the docks as soon as she'd gotten the message. Someone to welcome in right away, or.....?
By the time Ayreth and Azri had reached the dock quite a crowd had gathered, looking curious more than anything at the new trading vessel and its crew.
Only a few of the people in the common room seemed to even notice that Aibek looked familiar - with so many strangers in town a lot of them seemed to notice that this one looked rather like the Councillor - but the Witchwolf was more than observant enough to notice a few of the people - shopkeepers, militia and other leaders in the community - that gave them a few confused glances.
Mihara gives a tired sigh at the news. "Never a moment of rest, is there? Very well then..."
"Sister, it would seem that we have a guest at the docks. Would you like to accompany me? Hopefully, we can get this over before dinner..."
Saraki nodded enthusiastically, but not without holding out the roll of gauze she had acquired. "First, your wounds. Then we go."
Not too long after, the two kitsune sisters were on their way to the docks. Before making their way to the new ship, they stopped to call out to some of their kin who were having a drink at dockside. A port's worth of disguised Kitsune was bound to have caught ear of a few rumors.
"Good catches today, uncle? Have you heard any rumors regarding this new arrival?" Mihara asks, in their native Tien.
Stepping out on deck with his entourage he called for the last and closest companion of his.
"Mursis we have company to greet."
The sound of scales rubbing on wood could be heard as a long serpentine form comes over the edge of the crow's nest and spirals down the mast. Long and large enough to warp around a giant. Appearing as a cross between a snake and dragon it slithers to take it's place behind it's apparent halfling master and the others. Resting it's great head besides Saiga.
"You shouldn't sleep so much."
He says as he pats the draconic creature with scales the same color as his eyes. The beast own eyes silver and watching stare at any coming on board.
FYI Mursis has the ability to shift between medium and large forms. Currently in large form, not saying the crows nest is secretly a dimensional space. ;)
Aibek smiled nervously at Azerna while the witchwolf tried not to take the looks from a few to heart or shake what nerve Aibek had left.
The mild reaction probably more than had originally been hoped for, Aibek quite happily hid in the kitchen making fillings alongside Azerna's pastry making. The temptation to run back upstairs was starting to fade though Aibek clearly avoided leaving the kitchen as much as possible, much to the councillor's own frustration. This, being fully relaxed outside the confines of a locked room, shouldn't be so difficult, but it seemed like moving a river against its bend to Aibek.
Craft: Food: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
The crowd became rather more quiet at the sight of what could certainly be a silver dragon, even if it's not the largest the city has ever encountered.
...a lot of pies.
Encountering Mihara on her way to the dock, Ayreth attempts small talk. "This is turning out to be a very long day, don't you think? Do you know the ship?"