Wardove's Rumble in the Jungle

Game Master Laithoron

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Although he could not hear it thru the door, Tiniel gave a small sigh of relief that Darvesch, at least, would not cause her mistress any undue grief. She only hoped that Arion had not over-complicated matters last night.

"Her Highness asked me to inform you that we are to join Lady Lammontari at her estate at 4 o'clock this morning (10am) for brunch, and to be fitted for garb suitable for the investment ceremony."

She paused for a moment, considering his close relationship to the Princess before adding, "I believe that matters of national interest shall be discussed over tea..."

T Bluff 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (4) + 19 = 23
G SM 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24

Savvy as he was, it was not difficult for the dwarven knight to glean from Tiniel's guarded words that brunch and a clothes-fitting was merely a cover for the true nature of their meeting — a debriefing session about the state of the country. Nearby, Greasha merely shook her head.

"Nobles and their clandestine meetings," she whispered with a shake of her head.

T Perception DC 23 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (12) + 14 = 26

A woman? Here? At this hour? No wonder he doffed his armor in such a cacophonous manner when he returned!

Filing the revelation away for later, she asked, "Is there anything you require, Sir? Any news I might relate to her Highness on your behalf?"

Purple skies made way for the brighter colors of dawn, the riotous glow in the east rising higher, shafts of light piercing trees, walls, buildings. Amhranai shifted her legs beneath her, seeking to avoid the cramp she felt developing there. After healing those that required it, she had spent the better part of an hour reassuring the Dafiri of her continued support for their cause in light of her recent knighthood. One such, a wizened Dafiri man with only a small patch of white hair clinging precariously to the back of his head, looked at the elf, mouth agape. A number of his teeth were missing, largely due to the tobacco he had chewed for most of his life and was indeed chewing now, one cheek bulging with its presence. His halting conveyance of concerns had just abated and he now looked to the priestess expectantly.

The object of his scrutiny sighed inwardly. Age has certainly done him no favors-he has done little more than repeat what many others have just said. Not ten years past, you were a force to be reckoned with. I do not look forward to your passing. A twinge of sorrow flavored Amhranai's voice as she clapped a hand on the man's thigh. "Azubuike, my new title is as much for show as anything else. The princess seems to agree that what your people have been put through is indeed horrific and wrong and seeks to rectify it. Given that I have tried my best to help you over the years, she felt that I was uniquely suited to represent your grievances to her and others in order to move forward. To my mind, this is only temporary until you have a spokesperson of your own blood. Why was this not done from the outset? I can only imagine that, to begin with, such changes that are required might be better taken from someone that looks a little more like those that, for now, hold the power in this land."

Murmurs of agreement and heads nodding spread throughout the Dafiri, only a few faces shadowed with lingering doubts. Much better than earlier. I might have you to thank for that. Amhranai's gaze flitted over to the side of her house where, out of sight from where she now sat, the body of the would-be assassin lay. Before leaving to meet with Alis, she would bury the man in a ritual dedicated to Iscandu, in spite of his last mortal actions dictating otherwise. Lose compassion for others and we lose our sense of selves and atrocities previously unimaginable become all too real.

Drakarwa rose with a grimace that had more to do with imagined pain than anything resulting from the healed wound on his stomach. Amhranai did the same, helping Azubuike to his feet as well. "Alright, Miss Amhranai, I tink we c'n move on now. I be trustin' dat you 'ave our intrests at heart and won be leadin us false. Fer now at least." His gaze drifted to Karaka, who stood beside the elf. "An' I be trustin you to tell us if dat changes! Lakonus knows you two spend enough time together dat I shouldn't, but I don't be seein' no uhdder choice. Les go." The last was directed to the gathered, who had begun to rise as Drakarwa spoke and were now turning to depart. Adhiambo pushed to the front, spear in hand and a smile curving her lips. Her brown eyes were twinkling with amusement.

"Drakarwa be a fool sometimes, but he be right about dat last. You two do spend a lotta time together." The woman's voice lilted upwards towards the end as her smile split open into a chuckle. "Sometin else be goin on too?" Amhranai felt her cheeks burn as Karaka let loose a choked laugh. Azubuike beside her grinned broadly and spat a mixture of saliva and tobacco before cackling with laughter.

"No, Adhiambo, there's nothing else going on," Amhranai answered, smiling in spite of her embarrassment. Never even crossed my mind. Iscandu fend if it's crossed his!"Here, take Azubuike to the shore. I think I recall him talking about some fish earlier. And thank you for your confidence. This isn't going to be easy." Arm across his once-broad shoulders, the priestess passed the elderly Dafiri into the care of the woman who was still tittering with laughter. "Be careful out there, I'm sure some of those convicts are still hiding somewhere."

"Aye Miss Amhranai, let dem come, I got sometin for em." The butt of her spear thumped into the ground. "Let's go, Azubuike! I seem to recall you bein fierce once upon a time-let's scare the scales off some fish!" The two turned and tottered off slowly, Azubuike launching into a story from the days of his youth, one that any who had known the man for long had already heard a hundred times over.

Amhranai turned to Karaka, afraid to see on his face what might have been brought out by Adhiambo's pointed question. Instead, he smiled nonchalantly and said, "So, about dat witch..."

Dwarf Lightbringer
Tiniel Lómelindë wrote:
Filing the revelation away for later, she asked, "Is there anything you require, Sir? Any news I might relate to her Highness on your behalf?"

His grin widens and he puts on his armour before he formulates a reply, "Yes, actually. Ask her if it would be alright for me to purchase some land for myself, I'd like to set up a workshop, in addition to our other arrangement. Even tiny golden foxes could visit.." his face slowly changes to a calm serenity, "It's time to put Grimnon's axe to rest and forge my own." He looks at the axe as he equips himself as would be fitting of a man of his station.

"Where am I to meet the Princess before the rendezvous?" he asks Tiniel.

Tiny golden foxes? It must be some passphrase between the two.

Nodding to herself, behind the closed door, Tiniel answered, "I shall relate you request directly, Sir. As for a meeting place, unless you wish to make your way to Tol Lonnduil before or after the Princess, then I imagine the front atrium would be best."

Hesitating for another moment to see if there would be further reply in regards to his guest, she asked, "Is there anything else, Sir, or shall I be on my way now?"

Dwarf Lightbringer

"That is all," he replies simply. Darvesch turns to Greasha, "We still have time for breakfast then." He smiles.

It was still hazy, a mist rising from the mouth of the Daifiri River, when Arion, Lureene, and Sasha set out from The Keg. As they walked westward, the fog grew thicker, each step bringing them closer to the Elvish Quarter. Although the sound of muffled activity could be discerned, merchants and porters preparing the markets to the south, 9th Street itself seemed sparsely traveled by comparison — odd considering it was the only connector between mainland and the island.

The walk along Sentinel Bridge was peaceful enough. The stone spans seemingly hovering upon clouds as golden sunlight lent a surreal and heavenly feeling. Indeed, as the trio and their guards crossed over the wood and wrought iron bascules and descended towards Tol Valier the sight of the three elder goddesses, Silenya, Corollairë, and Cainrelée, arising in alabaster majesty beyond ornamental cherry trees was humbling indeed.

"Hmm," Sasha mused quietly as the sight gave your group pause, "Syrene, Keva, and Astra... but I don't see Invidia anywhere. Do you think they have a shrine to her somewhere else, Ari?"

Sense Motive DC 15:
Although it seemed a strange thing to hear someone ask, and another elf might have been taken aback to hear such a thing, Arion recalled that this was a Malatestan woman by his side. Among their people, all gods, good and evil were paid respect. This was done not so much to glorify the actions of Daedelhach as it was to placate her and avoid incurring the wrath of her envy. Indeed it was quite a fundamental difference of philosophy between their peoples, yet had it not also been one of the differences that the humans who founded the Patrician Quarter held from those they left behind nearly 200 years ago?[/url]

[spoiler="Rolls"]Sense Motive Checks:
R 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (19) + 14 = 33
L 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 5 = 12 familiarity

K: Local
R 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19

Arion slid his hand gently behind Sasha's neck, caressing her. He couldn't help but smile as he said, "So pleasing that this skilled warrior shares my interests in religions and history. From what I have gathered, the Elves and the Pilgrims from Malatesta had beliefs more akin to my former culture in Ilmarond, than to the beliefs of Your homeland. The followers of Sempronius did not want the banished ones in this city. I had read that later rulers began to erect a monument to the missing ones, yet it remains unfinished."

The Elf turned and looked up towards the faces upon the nearby monument, saying, "The Valar guard us against any who would consider the omission to be an outrage."

He grasped one of Sasha's hands and one of Lureene's and implored them, "Would You both join me, please, for a moment of invocation before the semblance of my guiding Diva?"

Arion bowed his head and chanted in Elvish, "ValaTariel-ingólen, ta estelanin a'ert-Súmalya-i-aranel; Nai aa'Giliathlye tulya'sina yessehin. Amin hantale ten manwa alyalye!"

He turned to each of the Ladies beside him and said, "And I thank You also, for sharing this moment with me. Shall we continue on our quest for bath and breakfast?"

"Magical Queen of the Valar, it is my hope to unite in purposes with this Princess who serves Súmalya; May Thy Stars guide this novice. I offer thanksgiving (now and more substantially later) for Thy blessings!"

Man, I wonder if this is why these guys have so many problems here, I bet Invidia's pissed off at Naiobe's people...

Arion wrote:
"The Valar guard us against any who would consider the omission to be an outrage."

"Oh, well I don't know about outrage," she murmured hesitantly, "but–"

The redhead seemed on the verge of commenting further, but it was readily apparent that she was more than a little uncomfortable about discussing such an obviously sensitive topic. Looking to her best friend, she wondered for a moment if someone whose mother was a demon even gave one whit about religion. Yet such thoughts were interrupted by the sensation of her hand being squeezed and the sound of a beautiful chant filling her senses.

Oh wow, is this what Elvish sounds like? Wait, did he say something about Súmalya? Isn't that what Lissi calls Lyria?

She briefly looked up at the faces of the statues, finding no depictions of the Sacred Muse, before deeming it best to bow her head.

Even when I can't understand his words are still so pretty... And poor Lissi never gets to speak Elvish with Ellie or me. I wonder if it's hard to learn...

When Arion once again spoke to them in Estorian, Sasha looked him in the eye, gaze pensive. "Say, you're really good with words and books, right Ari? Do you think it would be really hard to teach Ellie and I how to speak Elvish? Oh, and if Lissi wants to finish that monument so that 'you-know-who' will look Dafar by and stop causing all these problems then I know where to find a really good one..."

Sense Motive Checks:
R 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18
L 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 2 + 5 = 25 familiarity

After the elvish maid-servant had taken her leave and flitted off, Greasha threw back the sheets and hopped out of bed, enjoying the knight's appraising glance as she fetched her clothes from where they'd landed on the floor last night.

"So what's this about tiny golden foxes?" Joking she added, "You're not setting up that poor girl to tease your Frænka for you are you?"

Tut-tutting, she began getting ready but then paused, and said, "I think the old butler would have said if I wasn't welcome to stay the night. Think anyone would have a problem if I washed up here instead of the public baths across the way? An estate of this size is bound to have their own, right?"

Winking at her lover, she confessed, "I don't mind a good sweat, but I don't have a Princess with fancy friends for a Frænka either."

Dwarf Lightbringer
Greasha Torwold wrote:

"So what's this about tiny golden foxes?" Joking she added, "You're not setting up that poor girl to tease your Frænka for you are you?"

"Quite the opposite. More like teasing myself, given what happened." He replies with a disgusted look on his face. "Almost splatting it all over the workshop.. terrible image."


Tut-tutting, she began getting ready but then paused, and said, "I think the old butler would have said if I wasn't welcome to stay the night. Think anyone would have a problem if I washed up here instead of the public baths across the way? An estate of this size is bound to have their own, right?"

Winking at her lover, she confessed, "I don't mind a good sweat, but I don't have a Princess with fancy friends for a Frænka either."

"I don't mind, and I'm sure the Princess won't either." He chuckles. "I'll join you, but let me find someone to clean my armour first."

Darvesch peeks his head out of his room, looking for Giles or any other servant that might be able to help.

Lureene walked along quietly enjoying the sights and sounds of the morning. While the scene was peaceful enough, she did reflect on her dress being somewhat inappropriate for the occasion. Plus her heels were a little tricky to walk in as well.

I hope we can get a change of clothing at this House of the Muse.

Seeing the three goddesses caused Lureene to reflect suddenly on her own recent experience with the divine, both evil and good. As she glanced at her own wing, shining with a golden light she knew while she was not a child of the gods, rather of a demon and human, there was still an open place in their arm, should she avail herself of such.

As Arion took her hand in the moment of invocation, she nodded wordlessly and tried to follow the Elvish words spoken by her intimate companion. While the words were indeed beautiful, she was unable to decipher more than the proper names of the Goddesses in his prayer. Still she was able to discern the meaning of his prayer and she squeezed his hand in response. "That was a beautiful prayer, Arion." she replied softly. "And a bath and breakfast sounds delightful, my LORD!" She gave the handsome elf a warm smile.

On hearing Sasha's request to learn how to speak the beautiful Elvish language, she nodded eagerly in agreement with her bosum buddy. Arion, I think that would be a really great idea, if you can somehow find the time in your busy schedule to teach us your language!" She chuckled lightly, "I mentioned this to 'Lis but she seemed to think she would not have the time to...devote to such an endeavor."

She glanced over to Sash. "As for bringing that...monument we found back at the Shiv...HERE? I think we should check with Alis first before we contemplate such a course of action, Sash."

Actually, I would be surprised if that idol wasn't already smashed into a thousand pieces by now. Priyya can be VERY determined when she wants something done...

Arion looked through the illuminated fogs towards the Elvish Quarter, saying, "YES, we all should check with our Princess for the course upon which we sail. This spiritual moment here inspires my heart with great expectations: For Yourself, my dear Lureene, caught between worlds, at a crossroads where You have many choices....for You, wild and passionate Sasha...I eagerly look forward to what adventures may appear as this 'ship' of ours penetrates the mists and we venture ashore...my heart is given fair hints of fellow compatriots we shall join in this gathering ahead."

His arm around Lureene's waist as they walked towards their appointment, as much for support as out of affection, Arion contemplated their interest in his native tongue....and his language skills...

It occurred to him, as he spoke his thoughts aloud, "Of course any language is easier to learn when one THINKS in that language. In Elvish especially, the expressions of what it means to be an Elf are the essence of the language. There, I think, You both have advantages already; Sasha's spirit is the fiery fey found within many of the phrases; Who You are, who You CAN become, fair Lady, resembles much of the potential, much of what is "high" and powerful, among the long-lived Elves."

Arion trailed off and continued contemplating all of this. He looked ahead at the beautiful panorama appearing layer by layer through each veil of mist as they progressed. All in all, already this new life invigorated his heart.

Lureene slid her hand into his own as they walked along, her mind contemplating his words and what he was trying to say to her. She recalled a TALK with Alis back on the Shiv, right after she had gotten upset with Sash for her own...adventures. One of the things she had mentioned was being a...MUSE. Knowing what she knew of Alis' beliefs, she knew that was very important to her.

She replied softly, a note of uncertainty in her sensuous voice."Arion, to be honest, I do not know what it means to be an...ELF. Heck, Sash is far more elvish than myself! I...I have not experienced or even studied their teachings or history before. But if you think...I...I have the ability to...then I hope you will show me, teach me what I need to know."

Another day had gone by, at least now things have seemed to calm down, and Amoya was back home, and her twin was back home. Amoya had gotten home a little late, stopping at the bar to make sure her boss wasn't killing himself and actually having a good time. She was glad to see that Amelia was there waiting for her.

It was a breath of fresh air, and waking up in the morning without listening to someone whine about how dirty the ground was, made it even better. Amelia had gotten up soon after Amoya did and after breakfast, her more wild sister helped her don her armor.

"Oh, yeah.. Sister, I forgot to give this to you." Amoya said in Zuck as she reached into her pocket and pulled out the letter from the princess, that Isaac had given her.

Amelia was in the middle of tightening her sister's armor when she heard that she had something for her. A piece of paper?

Releasing her hold on her sister, she took the paper, her hair making soft clicking sounds as beads and bones knocked into each other. "Oh, what is this?" She replied back in the same language. Her hazel eyes looking over the letter, reading it.

"Oh, so da princess wants ta see lil' ol' mi? How convenient."Amelia said with a chuckle as she folded the paper back up and stuck it into the opening of her dress near her arm. "It seems Ah will not havta be waitin' for dat elf girl ta show up den." She mused out loud, mostly to herself.

Long boney fingers moved to her sisters hair, while her own dreads seemed wild and almost unkempt due to the fact that there were all sorts of bones, feathers and beads tangled in. It seemed to have some organization to it's chaos. Though she knew her sister had a different look, a more clean and professional look. She liked it, and always helped her kept her hair nicer looking than her own.

"You gotta do anymore of dat investigating for da good Marshal?"

"You been waitin' on that, sista?" Amoya asked with a quirked eyebrow, and when her sister gave her a nod she also nodded her own head as Amelia started to work on her hair.

"The elf girl? the one that lives real close ta here? One of the Marshals comrades?" another nod form her sister got her to chuckle. "Maybe its better this way... Marshal was having a rough day with his team mates last night at that party."

There was a moment of silence between them when Amelia asked if she was going to be doing any investigating and shrugged. "No, probably not... probably just going to go where I'm told... as usual.. and deal with Poe some more probably." she said groaning slightly at the idea.

Karaka wrote:
"So, about dat witch..."

Adhiambo paused, glancing towards Karaka as he crouched by the side of the dead man. "You talkin' about dat Echorn girl?"

She shook her head, jovial expression becoming more grave for a moment, "Someting wrong wit her. She ain't actin' like da girl I use ta know. I seen her sistah, Amoya, though. She come by in the dark last night. We stop and talk cause you know someting wrong when she come round here."

With a sudden grin she pointed at the dead man and said, "Eh, mebbe she's a seer now too, come down from the city to see your handiwork, huh Miss Amhranai?"

With something that sounded like a cross between a cough and a harumph, Azubuike spit a line of tobacco juice to the side and looked off into the distance, visage dark. "Dem little girls... did ya solja girl say was news she be bringin?"

A big grin split the spear-woman's face, Karaka, Drakarwa, and a few others turning in interest. "Uh-huh. Seem like Miss Amhranai ain't the only one wit fancy friends. Dat Princess want to see Amelia and she had a paper dat said she should come an visit. You chew on dat for a bit, huh?"

When the woman and the others had finally gone, Karaka pulled back the cloth from the face of the deceased assailant, frowning deeply. "Your admirer is known to me, woman. Name is Vergeir, use to work for Bonati, one o' his enforcers. Got put in da big house two years back when he done messed up an killed a man what had friends like you do."

"Musta got free when dat Obanohi fool smashed the jail down," he mused.

Upon hearing the man's name, you recall that he had attempted to bully some of the teachers at Carlina Mondracus' [now destroyed] Hope-Light Mission. Although the Baroness had nothing to do with his conviction, the weight of testimony by other white teachers had been enough to guarantee disciplinary action in a civil case even if there was insufficient evidence to see him convicted in a criminal case.

However, it was the man's unwillingness to divulge the details of his employment that saw him imprisoned, although Iole Bonati seemed to have disavowed any dealings with the man.

K: Local 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
K: Nobility 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

Amelia mused at the idea of her sister dealing with a stuck up noble elf, "Nah, just t'eenk, ya got da patience o' a Saint ta put up wit dat boy.." There was a soft giggle "Ah can turn him inta a frog if ya be wantin' mi ta sista~" she teased, which put a smile on Amoya's normally stoic face. Goal accomplished.

"But don't ya be waitin' on mi, I t'eenk yer gonna have ya hand's full today." She said, looking out the window, as if there was something going out there.

"Ah'll be seein' ya around Amoya, don't have too much fun." She said after her sister was fully dressed and cleaned up. Her thin frame seemingly floating to the door to take her leave. Her dear sister, not too far behind her, but when they left, they went different directions from each other.

Male Sky Elf Game Master lv 20

The walk to the elves' House of the Muse was pleasant enough. Unlike the mainland portions of Port Eldarion, the majority of Tol Lonnduil's thoroughfares were unpaved, covered instead with a resilient, grassy turf that soon saw Sasha skipping along barefoot. Indeed, as the three and their guards followed Wending Way, the ranger wasn't the only one to suspect that there was simply one road that turned and meandered to any point someone might visit.

Another difference were the trees. Arion felt less like he was in the middle of the jungle and more like he was visiting Quelaerilea. Willows firmed up the river banks while the high, arching branches of elm trees formed lofty, vaulted corridors above the grassy lane. Further within there were even silvery-barked beeches and maples, trees that the scribe was surprised to see surviving in equatorial heat and humidity.

Much to Sasha's disappointment, there were few (if any) lofty tree houses, and the only tower you spied was the first building they passed, that being the home of Glorohir, Eldendreth, and Poe. Thankfully, a strange human-sized, anthropomorphic feline with black fur and bright-green eyes had awakened from a nap on a sun-bathed tree branch to inform the trio that the young lord was not there at present. Apparently Poe was in the habit of heading across the island each morning to take his breakfast with the 'pretty tree ladies' and all the 'evil elf-kittens'. Although it took some effort, Arion and Lureene did eventually convince Sasha that they could not, in fact, take the cat-girl home as a pet.

Even without a proliferation of tree-houses and ivory towers, the homes and shops of The Enclave were beautiful enough. Magic had been widely employed to shape earth, stone, and trees into graceful, curving structures. Some seemed to almost blend into the landscape whereas other seemed to almost flower from the landscape — the influence of the many sylvan elves who had emigrated from Quelaerilea upon the sun elves and sky elves who later immigrated from other areas.

As the lane curved around towards the isle's center, it drew closer to an expansive estate that sprawled amongst the trees and gardens. Once the home of the city's founder, it was now his daughter, Naiobe, who dwelt here at the Eldarion Estate, much of the lands now a lovingly-tended botanical garden with fountains and glades for public leisure.

Theme: By the Elves

By the elves many a man was enchanted,
So was I enchanted by strong love
By the best woman a man has ever befriended.
But will she for that reason hate me,
And stand up against me, willing to take her revenge on me
In doing what I ask of her; then she will make me so happy,
That my life will perish with joy.

I am inflamed by the light of her eyes so bright,
As the fire does to the dry tinder,
And her treating me like a stranger offends the heart of mine,
Like the water the glowing embers,
And her high spirit and her beauty and her dignity
And the wonders, they tell of her good deeds
That is bad luck to me - or maybe good.

When her bright eyes turn to me in a way
That all through my heart she sees,
Who would dare go in between and trouble me,
He must have all the joy of his totally destroyed,
I must stand in front of her,
And await my delight,
Just as the little bird (awaits) the light of dawn.
When will I ever achieve such happiness?

After having walked for nearly a mile along the Wending Way without any sight of side-streets, it came as something of a surprise when a three-way intersection finally presented itself. Visible to the south were more park spaces and a clearing for the town commons, while straight ahead was a spacious garden dominated by tall marbles statues of three graceful women. The workmanship and scale were similar to those of the three goddesses Arion has paused to pay respects, yet the whole of the area seemed less a monument than a shrine.

Here, the trees themselves had been carefully arrayed and shaped to give the sense that one stood in some vast woodland cathedral. Yet in addition to such sylvan influences, those of Ilmarond's rulers, the sky elves, were evident too. Radiating from the central shrine in both the cardinal and intermediate directions were eight aisles lined by elegant pillars and marble archways topped by ornamental finials. These drew one's eyes skyward, not only to the goddesses, but to the heavens visible thru intentional gaps in the chartreuse canopy above, fingers of light both natural and magical perpetually illuminating the trine in an angelic glow.

The goddesses themselves, their statues set on plinths, were each over 50-feet tall. They stood in a circle, each with their left shoulder towards the center, each sister holding the wrist of the one to her left so that they were all joined, each watching the back of the sister whose hand they held, yet none in a position of authority over the others. These were The Three, The Sisters of Fate.

The goddess to the south was clad in a heavy, voluminous gown, sleeveless yet carved with many folds that cast shadows upon itself. Her eyes were hidden behind an ornate masque from which seemed to billow a perpetual silvery mist as of tears being borne away by the wind. Perched upon her outstretched right hand was a nightingale that she beheld with a melancholy gaze. This was Fëarianna, the Queen of Spirits who looked with compassion upon the trials and tragedies of mortals, their ultimate fates known to her. Theater was the art most dear to the eldest of the three, for so thru it could the hopes and dreams of the departed continue to live on, so too could their sorrows and sacrifices be honored.

She held the wrist of the goddess to the northeast. She was garbed in much lighter and more airy attire, arms and midriff bare, one of her legs visible from beneath the swirl of a skirt that opened like a blossoming flower. It was as if some lithe, shapely maiden had been captured in mid-dance. There was a serene smile on her face as she gazed at an impossibly large and delicate butterfly of blue and purple stained-glass that was alighting upon a finger of the hand she swept out over the gardens below. There could be no mistake that this was Súmalya, Queen of Hearts, Queen of the Fey, and the Divine Muse whose gifts were the hope and inspiration to realize one's fate. This was the goddess that Alis herself revered and thru whom she best knew the divine.

The wrist she held was that of the youngest goddess who stood to the northwest and in turn held the wrist of the eldest. Unlike the resplendent gown of the eldest, or the more revealing dress of the middle-born, this goddess was arrayed in the more ornate, flowing robes of a royal scholar. Only her hands, feet, and sandalled feet were bared. Rather than sorrow or joy, her expression was instead pensive, and no matter where one stood, so long as they could see her face, she seemed to gaze at them, the quill she held and the ibis perched upon her forearm poised as if to chronicle their fate. This could only be Kamína the Handmaiden, the receiver of knowledge. It was by her hand that mortals were remembered or forgotten, by whose blessing one's fate might be proscribed.

Uniel, Lyria, Karmëa... Actress, Dancer, Scribe...

As the three looked on, whether in quiet contemplation, admiration of elven artistry, or reverence for The Fates themselves, Sasha gave a contented sigh and hugged Lureene tight for several moments.

Ellie, Sash, Ari!

At length, she took both by the hand, Lureene with her left, Arion with her right, and nodded to the smile. Beaming a smile, she said, "We're not so different, are we?"

Although she didn't come out and say it, it was plain to both her lovers that the green-eyed beauty thought your trio bore more than a passing resemblance to the three goddesses.

If where each of you are standing relative to one another is any indication, it would seem that Sasha has naturally attributed you with Kamína/a scribe, Lureene with Fëarianna/an actress, and herself with Súmalya/a dancer.

Sense Motive Checks:
R 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30
L 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 2 + 5 = 20 familiarity

Perception Checks
R 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (8) + 15 = 23
L 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22

Int Checks
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12

Lureene paused to gaze in quiet contemplation at the Three Fates, wondering what messages the three divinities wished to impart to her. Truly, Lureene had never been a religious follower by any stretch, as her Mother forbade it. Even after she had fled her Abyssal home, she had not turned to anyone else to aid her (well, except for Grak) and was actually leery of opening herself to such entities.

Her arrival in Elsemar changed this. Princees Alis, in welcoming and accepting Lureene in bonds of friendship and love, opened her heart and soul to such callings. She cannot help but feel as if all their paths have been laid out to lead them to this point. She returned Sasha's hug, holding the red-haired beauty tighly, then pulled Arion into her embrace.

"It seems to me as if our paths, our destiny, has been to become joined together. For what ultimate purpose...I cannot say." She says softly, voice choked with emotion.

Perhaps the Fates will show us the way...someday.

Arion was stunned and breathed deeply of the spirits in silence. So much, amazing and powerful, in only his second day in his new home. He felt a deep affection already for his new.....Loves?

...and if I truly am a Scribe of any worth, I should not fail to memorialise all of this within a fittingly epic lay...I look forward eagerly to the coming Chapters.

"In all my travels...never such experiences did I imagine. Even those who might have been called 'friends,' if they were to see me here now - beneath this...celestial wonder, Fates interwoven, entwined within Your arms, beyond beautiful - anyone would be as jealous as the East is of the West at sunset."

"Aaah, a lass could get used to this!" Greasha gave a satisfied sigh and leaned back in the soft white bathrobe Tiniel had located for her.

'Sweating and getting doused with oil?' She had exclaimed with some surprise when a human servant had offered to help the two bathe. 'Sounds great for quenching steel, but we want to get that stuff off, not make it worse!'

Thankfully, Darvesch's Frænka had been nice enough to allow the two dwarves the use of her personal tub when the dark-haired cook balked at the description of a Malatestan bath.

Now, she and Darvesch were just finishing up a pleasant enough breakfast with Alis, the trio seated in a small gazebo within the peristyle garden. Across from her, the Princess was dressed comfortably in a diaphanous white-silk robe which she wore over an opaque nightgown of amethyst-hued satin. She was still eating some fresh fruit, taking a bite here and there when she wasn't doting upon the hungry mother fox in her lap.

Shaking her head slightly, hair still damp, she remarked, "She's a pretty little thing, but I don't know if I'd quite call her coat golden, Princess."

Alis smiled as Jasmine made a series of high-pitched barks that sounded like King Tut throwing a tantrum. She had quickly come to learn that it was a cry the fennec made only when she was particularly excited about her cuisine.

"No, not quite golden," she said, winking at Darvesch, "though some of them are. So what's this about purchasing land, Frændi? Planning to make a routine of early-morning cacophonies?"

Before either of the dwarves could blush too deeply, she waved a hand. "Don't worry about it. Assuming Arion survived the night, I'll have him help you push the paperwork thru town hall while the ladies and I scout The Arcade. What about you, Greasha? Any clandestine plots to escape his Highness' fiery clutches to open a bakery and buy a house beneath the Lanscarilma? I'm sure Arion wouldn't object to securing the deeds to three properties, he seems to be rather fond of the number."

"Heh, you don't pull any punches, do you Princess?" There was a definite rosy hue to Greasha's face at Alis' ribbing. Even if the elf's words were full of double-entendres, there was an unshying mirth in those purplish eyes that a dwarf could appreciate.

"To be honest, I hadn't thought that far ahead. I am duty-bound to Prince Amthyrian's service though, so it isn't really my place to fancy reneging on a deal like that."

Alis merely shrugged and scratched behind Jasmine's over-sized ears, Alexis' admonishments from the night prior still in focus.

"That's a fair point." she said, lapsing into dwarven. "However, I have some news for your Lord that he will need to consider. You see, my twin sister has recently arrived in Wildethar, and she warned that the time to sew crops is now. It will be a frugal winter as-is without another 300 plus men arriving three months too late. Prince Tyralor will need to... reevaluate his time-tables."

Greasha shifted in her seat with some surprise as much from the news as at the fact that the honey-tongued Princess spoke Dwarven in such a straight-forward and efficient manner. She spared a momentary glance at the warrior beside her and replied, "Princess, I can inform Lord Tyralor about this, but he may want to hear it from you yourself."

Hesitating as she thought back on the question from a moment ago, she said, "If we don't return to Aramol, or set out for Wildethar then I would rather wait things out on solid land, yes."

The Princess nodded to herself and glanced at her cousin. "Both are big 'ifs', but I understand your sentiments. I will have Ms. Lómelindë deliver a missive to the Zephrys this afternoon. In the present, however, Darvesch and I have a meeting to prepare for. Provided I would not keep you from any obligations, you are welcome to remain here or return to your ship as you see fit. Giles can escort you should you wish the latter. He should be done buffing Darvesch's armor by now."

Dwarf Lightbringer

He simply nodded, smiled, and chuckled as the two girls chatted with each other till it was appropriate for him to respond, "I hope so, I've been in it so long, it began to feel like a second skin. Wearing normal clothes is a bit odd to me at the moment." He says as he shifts, feigning discomfort.
Darvesch looks to Alis, "As for my request, I'd like to speak to you in more detail later. Right now, I'd like to enjoy the present as long as I can before my official duties must be resumed," and smiles politely.

Alis merely laughed and rose to her feet, Greasha knowing her etiquette well enough to do the same in the presence of royalty. "Speaking of normal clothes, I should go get dressed. Entertaining company in my nightgown must set quite the first impression."

"If it makes you feel better, Princess," Greasha responded, sweeping her damp bangs to the side, "it is quite a sight better than looking like a drowned rat like I must."

Hmm, unpolished but genuine... just like my dear cousin.

"Please, call me Alis in small company like this. As for wet hair, it simply reminds me that I haven't gotten to enjoy a good swim in a few days, think nothing of it."

From around the corner, Giles approached, carrying Darvesch's armor neatly stacked on a velvet-lined tray. Nodding to Darvesch, she said, "Well, it looks like your suit is ready Frændi. We can talk business our way to the meeting, no need to put Greasha to sleep with such dull conversation. I'll return in a few minutes once I'm properly attired. It was nice meeting you, Miss Torwald."

"Nice meeting you too, Alis!" She replied enthusiastically, giving a short bow as the Princess headed off to get changed.

When Giles set the tray down and stood by at Darvesch's leisure, she leaned closer and whispered, "I should head back to the ship to talk with Mother about what your Frænka said. The harbor looks like it's on the way back from that island though. If you can stop by on your way back, I'll take you up on that shopping trip! Sound good?"

Dwarf Lightbringer

Darvesch smiles and laughs "Sounds great. I'll stop by after we're finished. I'd like your help with a couple things when we're shopping too. If that's okay, of course."

He stands up and takes his armour from the tray, "Thanks Giles, it looks like new." Darvesch looks at his armour, impressed at how clean it is. Finally glad to have his armour back, he disrobes and begins putting his armour on. "Can you help me with this? He asks Greasha.

Even as Giles quirked an eyebrow as the youthful knight doffed his bathrobe in the middle of the formal gardens, Greasha smirked and asked coyly, "Which 'this' are you talking about, your arming jacket, or your dirk?"

Somewhere in the distance, Tiniel could hear Councilor Eluchil gasp, but the dutiful intelligence officer merely remained quiet as she accompanied the Princess back to her chambers. For such a supposedly stoic race, the young elf was finding that dwarves were certainly full of surprises...

Amhranai watched the departing Dafari for a time before joining Karaka. I guess Amelia won't need me to introduce her after all. And there is something different about her; it's not just me losing it. The Dafari remain so suspicious of the shaman that I haven't been able to find many willing to speak about them and those shaman I've approached have usually dodged any questions I throw at them. Perhaps I can get some answers from Amelia.

"I wonder then if Bonati sent Vergeir or if he's just acting on his own? I'm assuming the former; one would think most escaped convicts would just seek freedom instead of trying to assassinate someone." Amhranai rose from her crouch and looked eastward. The sun was swiftly climbing through the sky, a swollen red-orange orb partially obscured by clouds.Too late now. I'll have to wait for sunset to send his spirit on.

Karaka rose beside her, eyes still on the corpse. "More of a target than before, like you said. I tink dat'll be true of the rest of us, too." Amhranai nodded her head, still looking east. "Mebbe we should head back into da jungle for a bit, let tings settle down."

"I don't think that will be necessary, but if you would feel safer doing so, don't let me stop you. I can easily keep a low profile for a while. Either way, I have to be off-Alis wants to talk with me and that Lammontari woman about some things. Probably information gathering, considering that woman's other profession." Amhranai turned to face the taller man, head craning backwards. A hand gripped the warrior's bicep firmly. "Take care of yourself. If you do decide to leave the city, let me know. Use the signs I taught you."

The elf smiled at her friend, squeezed his arm once more and then crouched at the head of the corpse. Her hands slid beneath the shoulders and lifted upwards from the armpits as she dragged the body into her house, dropping it unceremoniously near the table she had sat before the previous night.

Back outside, Amhranai rounded the western corner of her house and made her way north, eyes shifting about warily. I wonder if Alis already knows of Sin's hobby. She certainly seems to like her dresses, but I do not think she would ask me along if she were unaware. I suppose we will find out.

LK Calendar: Uniens 23, 4210 — Lansday
Time: 2:30db (morning, 8:30am)

It was over 2 hours past daybreak when an itinerant guard tracked down the Princess and her honor-cousin as they were making their way to exit Villa Sempronius. "Your Highness," the guard hailed, bowing at the waist, "there is a Dafari woman calling at the gate, she came bearing this."

When the guardsman said 'this', he offered up an official-looking document with a familiar seal. Tiniel was quick to accept the document, swiftly assaying its authenticity before turning to her mistress. "This missive invites one Amelia Echorn to seek counsel with you, your Highness.

As the hand-maiden informed Alis of this, the guard who had delivered it stood at attention, awaiting further orders.

When Tiniel offered her the document, Alis merely gave a slight wave of her hand, indicating she had no need to see it. "Guardsman, did my guest arrive in the company of any others? Also what is your impression of her?"

"Your Highness, Lady Echorn arrived without any escort save a black ocelot that walked beside her. As for my impression," he hesitated, trying to figure out how to phrase his reply, "she seemed aloof, almost as though her body was there, but her thoughts far off. Her... eyes have the depth of woman many decades her senior, but it is something more than just the elvish influence in her. Nothing hostile just... unsettling."

A slight smirk touched the corner or Alis' lips. She glanced at her Frændi and murmured, "Well the Marshal did warn us she had a certain 'voodoo vibe' about her."

Turning her attention back to the guard, she instructed, "Please lead us to Ms. Echorn, I am eager to make her acquaintance."

It was not long before the two half-elves, each from opposite ends of society stood in each other's presence by the reflecting pool in the villa's atrium. As the Princess entered, followed by her cousin, her hand-maiden, and several royal guards, the house guard who had delivered the message stood to the side and saluted, proclaiming loudly, "Her Royal Highness, Princess Alissariel of Silverwake!"

Then, nodding to Amelia and giving a turn, one arm extended to her, he said, "Your Highness, I present the Lady Amelia Echorn."

Expression serene, blue-violet eyes catching few rays of light that shimmered off the reflecting pool, the Princess held out her left hand in greeting, palm down and royal signet forward.

"Gratitude and welcome of this home."

While it was not difficult for the half-Dafari to understand the gist of the Princess' words, it was clear that Alissariel was still learning the language and as-yet had not often had the chance to practice it. Still, it was equally apparent that she did so not only as a gesture of good will (to make the witch feel more comfortable), but to also show that she was not only unafraid of putting forth her best effort.

Sense Motive DC 35:
Yet there was more too that escaped even her cousin's notice. The witch realized that Alis' attempt was also a test to see how Amelia herself comported herself when faced with someone who had opened themselves to possible criticism.

Bluff Checks
A 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (10) + 25 = 35

Sense Motive Checks:
E 1d20 + 25 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 25 + 3 = 35 alertness
D 1d20 + 20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 20 + 5 = 33 familiarity

Amelia smiled at the man who escorted her in, as if he brought her out of her train of thought for the moment. Walking into the grand hall, her ocelot at her hells, the witchy-woman, dressed humbly in what was once a lovely dress, but time in the jungle and down to earth has left the outfit looking worn, but still loved.

Amelia took in everything around her, and finally took notice of Alis, ah yes, she was the one from her vision, wonderful. With a respectful curtsy, the half-elven woman smiled at her, appreciating the princess for at least learning their language, there were some nobles that cared not for the language.

"Ya must just be learnin' da Zuck language, yer accent is very thick.." She pointed out for her, her tone sweet, and offending. "Ya can be usin' common with mi, gurl, which eva is more comfortable for her highness." With another curtsy to continue to show that she was doing her best to not offend the princess, she was giving her the wanted constructive criticism she seemed to be looking for.

"Mi sista, gave mi dis here letter, tellin' mi dat you be wantin' to see, Amelia Echorn, it just so happens, Ah've been wantin' ta see ya just as badly..." she said, a wise look in her eyes. "Ah am under de impression, ya be needin' my assistance, just as much as Ah need yer's, yer highness..." she said holding out long fingers, only to curl them back to her and tap her chin with them, an amused look on her face.

1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21

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