There is a long moment of quiet as the inner conflict in the High Seer wages. Even when they had first come to the private chambers she had been mostly in-control. Now she looks tired and haggard, halfway between shouting at Jaiye and breaking down in tears herself. Her voice is hoarse and quiet when she finally speaks:
"I... admit that I was not entirely being truthful in my reason for wanting to visit Ryo. I had... sought to be comforted. In a position where I can allow myself to be vulnerable." Most of the flared anger is gone now, leaving the High Seer sounding exhausted. "I expect the pair of you will respect both mine and the Headmaster's privacy on this matter."
"As for the rest... I will not argue that Laeren is not ideal for a baby, demonic or otherwise, and that Avalon is more suited to help Selene." She walks gently over to Jaiye and opens her arms, offering an embrace in lieu of further discussion.
As Fei shares the details of the impending threat, the tears in the High Seer's eyes begin running down her face in earnest. She does not openly weep, but the tears do not stop dripping down as she quietly listens to Fei recount the doom of the universe.
Her voice is shaky when she finally speaks. "As terrifying as that is, we have a more immediate threat. We know the Empire is looking for us, and I suspect that Gomari's s--" her voice cracks in a suppressed sob. She takes a moment to collect herself before continuing: "I believe this event may draw Imperial attention Ryo and I may have to intervene. Which means I have greived all I can permit myself for the moment." she stands and wisps of magic dry her face and make her look presentable once again. "I must go to Avalon myself, will you come?"
Sense Motive DC35:
It would take an expert in body language or someone who knew the High Seer very well to note to subtle changes in her posture. Her shoulders slump slightly. The air of power and presence she keeps about her diminishes just a touch. A small change in the way her jaw is set shows it to be clenched. When her telepathic reply comes it is calm and controlled to the point of emotionlessness.
::It is not a kindness to make promises you aren't sure you can keep, young Fei.:: is the High Seer's only reply for a long moment as she continues to observe the map and the flurry of motion and activity in the tent remains at a steady pace.
Suddenly the elves around the table begin speaking aloud at once, discussing what remains to do in the wake of the disastrous festival. The High Seer turns briskly to Fei and Jaiye and her eyes briefly flash white. The trio are carried away by the winds of magic.
A room elsewhere in Laeren comes into view, the wooden walls and architecture is unmistakable. All pretense in gone from the High Seer now as tears begin to flood her eyes. She looks as though all the weight of her long years has just come crashing onto her head. She sits gently on an uncomfortable looking chair and motions for Fei and Jaiye to sit as well, though their seats look more plush.
"I would hear more details. Is Agartha safe?" she manages through a constricted throat.
A pair from the group of guards hurry away, one into the High Seer's pavillion and another off towards a hurriedly erected containment area. The latter shortly returns with a pair of wooden manacles that carry a glossy sheen. The manacles are clapped around the succubus' wrists before she is led away.
Fei and Jaiye aren't waiting overly long as the other guard returns from inside the pavillion and begins to guide them inside. If he notices Fei's attempt to save their decorum, he does not mention it.
The inside of the pavillion is a strange juxtaposition of hurried movements, and calm. The High Seer herself observing a map of Laeren which appears to be magically updating in real time. No words are being exchanged, though several other important looking elves are clustered around the map.
The High Seee does not look up from her work, and you get the sense that there are conversations you are not privy to. Her telepathic voice is heard crisply and cleanly in both Fei and Jaiye's minds. ::You may skip any formalities. If you have tidings I would hear it.::
Alot of that interaction occured 'off-screen' as it were. She's gone back home (she has affairs of State to tend to), but she continues to work with Ryo telepathically to attempt to divine the danger from the Imperial fleet. I don't like using her too much because she is very powerful. We'll see her again soon though.
All the manifester level check would do is give me a visual and a direction/distance, so I don't think I need to do so against Ryo. ;D Clarisentience is divination, not necessarily all scrying powers. They might headbutt slightly, but I think it's fine to handwave that for now.
"And mine as well. It is not a simple task to scry the Imperial Fleet without being detected. Still, there are other things than scrying which you need to protect yourselves from, and that is my main point."
Phaezeriel turns slightly towards the High Seeress, ::I am not much of a hunter, but I agree that we do need some way to flush her out. If we can keep her from using dimensional abilities, then we are much more likely to achieve some kind of resolution. Many of my kind and their servants can use teleportation or plane shifting magic innately. If we could request some kind of nanite tracking device from the tech department here, then once her dimensional abilities are inhibited, it will be much easier to track her regardless of her shape. I do not know what her goals are, so I do not know how to flush her out. However, Ace, the student who was helping us to speak with the corpse of the tailor, has said that tonight he will do some divination, and I will guide him to asking how we can flush her out.::
"I suspect, if scrying failed, then any attempts to divine her directly will fail. Still, you may learn some things." Denulia says with a raised eyebrow. Her gaze while looking at Phaezeriel is quite piercing, but there is no threat in it. Merely the feeling that the High Seer in peering directly into your soul. It is slightly unsettling.
"You also need to hide yourselves from detection. Phaezeriel, are you able to manifest a power which will Bar your minds? You are a telepath, yes? If this woman or her allies are as powerful as you suspect, then you must hide yourselves from magic. In fact..." Denulia trails off slightly and then there's a sharp flare of light from her eyes.
The High Seer is manifesting Detect Remote Viewing, which will detect any scrying or other magical sensors withing a 40ft radius of her. If there is one, there's an opposed caster level check involved as well. Let me know Dami.
"Ah, I understand. I trust Ghalen has gone with her then?" she inquires with a smile.
With a glance at the demonic creature which had only spoken a few sentences, Denulia looks him over. "Your name is Phaezeriel, yes? What do you think your first step ought to be? Jaiye has layed a fine groundwork I think. Problems are much easier to look at when, as Jaiye said, it is broken into managable parts. Since gathering information is out, what ought you do now?"
"She may also use it as a negotiating tactic...an attempt to ensure we won't use lethal force against her....whether she is a demon or is simply working with one, the symbol she put on Ehos, the way it flared when it did...this tells us something of her motivations, at least it does if Phaezeriel's interpretation of that symbol's purpose is correct. Either she or whoever she's working on likely feeds on negative emotions...she'll need to find someplace where those are plentiful or she'll need to create them."
"Which she has already done - though you both seem to have risen above that. You are doing very well thus far. Are you sure you actually require Ryo and I's assistance? You seem capable enough already - simply treat this like a hunt Jaiye. I suspect you will be forced to bait this woman out of whatever hole she lurks, but beyond that, all three of you seem competant and able to take this on. Ryo and I were just informed of a much larger threat - one that affects the whole planet - and unfortunately I must direct my Sight towards that problem, else I would offer more of my abilities. The best we can do is guide you." Denulia says calmly, not allowing any emotion on this entire matter to dispaly. "I am surprised you have not enlisted Tyrrin's aid in this matter... are you so ashamed Ehos?"
The look on Ehos' face is pretty clear - yes, he is that ashamed.
"So, the first step is to flush the prey out from wherever it is hiding - which of course could be anywhere. So, how do you bait her, when you aren't even sure of her motives? One thing is certain though - if she took Ehos' birth control charm, then she has revealed something - either she has a magical means to ensure conception, or she will protect herself from it conception, and make us simply fear the consequences. Otherwise such a gesture would be wasted."
::I think Tamina has ideas of her own on that front...but don't worry. I won't say anything.::
::Thank you, Jaiye.:: The High Seer says sincerly, her attention never having left the conversation between Ryo and the children. Ryo must be marshaling his thoughts, Denulia figures. Sometimes a moment to think clearly did wonders.
Privately to High Seer Denulia, ::I know what it's like to make big mistakes with a lot on the line. I've been given more second chances than I probably deserved. Thanks to the advice of a good friend I realized that if I wanted to have any chance at happiness that I needed to do the same for the one I love.::
::Your friend is gracious indeed. If I'm to be completely honest Jaiye, when I had Ehos come to Avalon, I had hoped that he would find his way to Ms. Tamina Saeaera, for political reasons. Now that he has you by his side though, I believe I much prefer you to any politically motivated interest. ::
::And if you could keep that to yourself I would be much obliged. I would not like to have the Speaker of the Grove's wrath simply because I prefer you over her daughter.:: That last remark comes with something a telepathic smirk, very similar to Tyrrin's wry sense of humour.
Jaiye looks at her with gratitude and then has to look away to blink back tears. She hadn't expected to be comforted and while it was a pleasant surprise she wasn't entirely sure how to deal with it.
Denulia doesn't say anything else to Jaiye, looking instead to Ryo to see if he had any advice to render before she spoke to the group. Jaiye can, however, feel the High Seer's presence still there, the private telepathy still open between them.
Jaiye looks like the reminder of what happened is still very painful to her, but she also has a certain stubbornness to her expression and when Ehos is finished explaining she takes his hand.
::You have a stout heart Jaiye.:: The High Seer's telepathic communication comes gently to Jaiye's mind, soft and tender, even though her outward expression is steely, looking at her son. She doesn't speak to the group yet, simply offering Jaiye comfort. ::My son has hurt you, tried to push you away in a roundabout fashion. That you still stand by him speaks as both a testament to your feelings for him, but also your resolve. A lesser woman might have become spiteful for being jilted in such a fashion. I am glad to see that you continue to impress me, and I hope you won't have any more opportunities to do so. My son does learn from his mistakes eventually.::
The High Seer's telepathic voice continues to be gentle and soft in Lang's mind. Comforting. ::And if everyone shared that viewpoint Lang, life would be much better for all. Sadly, there are those who would seek to exploit such a viewpoint and take advantage of your benevolence. You must be able to take action when those who rely on your protection are in danger, like you did today.::
Outwardly, her expression also softens just a little, not longer as tense. The aura of power around her fades ever so slightly as she relaxes. "I hope you are right. Ryo and I will work in tandem to ensure that no one is in immediate danger." she looks at each of the children in turn. "I will not presume to speak more here - this is Ryo's school after all - but I will say that each of you has done very well given the circumstances."
Lang Fei wrote:
"Good, I'm glad. Now, I need you to be absolutely clear on something for me please Lang." Her expression is still hard as diamond, but the tone of her voice has softened considerably. "Did Voltair say if we had a year to /organize/ or that within the year, all five planets would be wiped out? Because if it is the latter, we need to act right away, as there could be innocents being threatened as we speak."
After a moment, Lang feels the High Seer's presence in his mind, and she says, only to his mind. Her manner is considerably more gentle and motherly when speaking privately to him. ::Lang, I know you regret killing the man as you did. If it is some small comfort, the temple of the Avatar will likely have the means to return him to life. You chose between his life, and your friends. Do not regret that choice. Ignace is here because of you, remember that.::
Lang Fei wrote:
The High Seer finally breaks her long silence. "Ryo, this is most definitely a matter that needs to be brought the council."
Her eyes once again fix on Lang, with an intensity that would cow a lesser heart. "So, you are the Avatar of legend then? This is a great deal of responsibility to have been placed on one so young, Lang Fei. I will do what I can to assist you, though I do have many responsibilities otherwise."
The imperious elf had nodded graciously when introduced. The corner of her mouth twitched ever so slightly at Ryo's comment about illusion class, the only hint that she had found it amusing.
She had looked into each of the children's eyes for a long moment. Her gaze seemed to pierce right through any defenses the children had. It seemed to see into their very hearts. Of course, the High Seer says nothing, and after her brief inspection of each of the children, the High Seer pays close attention to Lang's story, her intense gaze fixed on him for the duration.
Even after the story is complete, Denulia doesn't say anything, instead glancing to Ryo, obviously deferring to him. These are his students and his school after all.
Inside the Headmaster's office is something a curiosity - a elven woman of middling height, with long black hair bound up in an elaborate way so that it does not hang loose. She wears a complex, flowing dress of green, and about her head is a silver tiara with a single green gemstone set at her forehead.
She looks over the new arrivals imperiously, though does not speak immediately. She seems to almost... radiate presence and power. You get the sense that even a light glare could render a brave warrior fearful. Her eyes and expression are hard and severe.
Headmaster Ryo wrote:
Denulia steps through the door imperiously, moving to take a seat. "Our first step ought to be to attempt to predict their first target - if it is us, then we will need to take more immediate steps."
Headmaster Ryo wrote:
"Perhaps a little cloak and dagger is in order then. Attempt to weakene them without revealing the extend of our abilities." she glances around the gardens - just a little hautily. "Perhaps we should move this discussion to your office, Ryo?"
Headmaster Ryo wrote:
A few moments later, Denulia is standing there next to Ryo. "Shall we skip the pleasantries? How did you find out about this fleet? Who are the others it may be targeting? If we do attempt to subvert it, what is the likelyhood that we will reveal ourselves further in doing so?" she fires off a quick battery of questions, her manner severe and to the point, despite her grace and thoughtfulness.
Headmaster Ryo wrote:
::I've been informed that an Imperial Fleet is less than a year away. While the group that brought this information finds a more permanent solution, I believe the Council can slow it down. Thoughts?::
::How in the Nine Hells did they discover us? I thought the new wards were even more powerful than the old.::
Headmaster Ryo wrote:
::I'm already on it, Sorchan. I was trying to locate the children since Sun asked me too. I'm sending word to the other Seers now. Should I open a gate to bring the others back?::
::Ryo.:: High Seer Denulia's mind enter's the Headmaster's thoughts almost as soon as the message was sent. ::Your message had an urgency to it. What is the matter?::
"She used the word friend?" The High Seer asks, sounding just a little shocked. "That's... interesting." she continues thoughtfully, turning away from the pair momentarily. "I see. In any event, I'm glad my children have adapted to life at Avalon. Tyrrin especially sounds as though she has grown in more ways than merely intellectually."
"Thank you, both of you. I believe I should return to attending to my task here. It was pleasant speaking with the pair of you."
With that, the High Seer turns away, walking steadily back to her fellows, who are putting the finishing touches on their work for the evening.
Fei, of the Sun Soul wrote:
The High Seer frowns at the comment about Ehos. "I see. It is a shame about Ehos' lack of telepathy, otherwise I think things would be much easier for him. The role of the introvert doesn't suit him."
The smile returns however, when Fei tells of his experiences with Tyrrin. "Ah yes... that sounds like her. She never used to enjoy going to sleep, because it meant she had to stop what she was doing. Of course, I reminded her that without sleep her mental faculties would degrade quickly."
"That is quite alright. Sadly I was not able to divine anything for you, though that is not surprising, given that Antarius is here to assist you as well." She casually uses the Headmaster's last name... which makes sense, given that they are equals.
"As far as assisting," she continues easily, "I believe the young Fei and his crew here have things mostly under control. If you wish to help, I suggest speaking to their Foreman, he has been quite useful in ensuring that the supplies are adequately distributed."
The High Seer peers about in the fading light, her elvish eyes clearly adjusting to the lower light quite easily. "The pair of you, you know my children, yes? At least acquainted? Give me your opinion of them. I asked the Speaker-In-Training earlier this evening, but I prefer the opinions of ones who are not involved in our politics."
"Hm. Your mind is very entropic, High Priest." she says with something like distaste in her voice. "I do sense that Psion in your mind... but I do not believe there is a way I can extract it. I am no chiurgeon, after all."
"There is something blocking my Sight as well... your deity perhaps? The Traveler, you named him?"
"I do not envy your Headmaster." Denulia says matter-of-factly to both students tales of powers beyond their control. "Perhaps I can assist him slightly. Come here, High Priest, and let us see what my Sight can reveal."
"Pardon us Fei, this ought to take but a few moments."
When Ace approaches, the High Seer's eyes glow brightly, almost painful to look at, and she places a hand on Ace's forehead.
"That does sound like an exhausting day, High Priest." The High Seer observes at Ace's explaination of his day. "This powerful psion... he must be a Telepath of some sort, to invade a mind in such a way. I trust he is contained now, or you would be not walking about." She concludes in a steely manner, her eyes once again following Fei.
When Fei bows to her, the High Seer returns the bow, and there's something of a hushed whisper from some of the elves watching, including one elf who says a little more loudly, enough that the group catches the tail end. "...to a human boy?" which earns that particular elf a glare from the High Seer, and the offender quickly retreats.
"You look exceedingly healthy for one who exploded just today, Fei. The High Seer says, and both the men there could swear there was a touch of humour in her voice, but none of it reached her expression. "... was that your crater which I scryed outside the school earlier? Powerful indeed. I trust you are more stable at the moment, given that you are out among folk again. And you are correct that we should allow those with the skills to do the investigating."
The High Seer glances over at an elf who appeared to be dozing off behind a tent, not very well hidden. Though no words were spoken, the slacker jolts awake and is on his feet and working within a few moments.
"I could attempt to see if I can discern something, if you would like, High Priest" she offers to Ace, turning imperiously back to the converstaion.
Ace shakes his head, both to clear his mind and to disagree with the High Seer "I do not believe this is medical related. It has happened three times today. Once with your daughter this morning when her and I were talking about the Equinox gala, once when I met you for the first time, and just now. I spent hours in Kuros dancing and dining, with no ill effects. Ginni and I strolled back to down, so I do not think my time in town lead to this most recent episode."
"Indeed? And do you not think it is unwise to leave these episodes uninvestigated?" she says, still stern and cold in manner, her eyes following the young man a few yards away carrying quite a heavy load given that he appeared to be a student.
"Even if it were a new ability manifesting itself - would you not think it wise to seek to gain control of it, that you might direct it or at least understand what the episodes mean?" The High Seer glances again at Fei, looking him up and down. "Young man, do you agree with my assessment of your fellow student? No need to be coy, I know you could hear us speaking."
"Did I not tell you to seek medical attention?" The High Seer says sternly, moving towards Ace, her eyes suddenly glowing as she manifests a power. "Ah... a shapechanger. That explains the horns and wings." she says quietly. "I can sense nothing physically wrong with you, but I am not a healer. Did you not seek medical attention earlier? Light-headedness is never a positive thing, especially since you are not intoxicated."
"We are nearing completion of the distribution of the supplies, High Priest. There should not be overmuch to do, but we are looking forward now, as the Firebirds will need further supplies while they get re-established." The High Seer continues, and pauses to glance back at her companion. "Gomari, that will be all for the moment. See to it that we leave none of our people here when we return. I would not enjoy stranding one of my own."
"Yes, High Seer." he responds, bowing and turning away to go about the task assigned.
Ghalen Kiln wrote:
::An Imperial inquisitor? I see. And you have left those loyalties behind I assume?::
The rest of Ghalen's long list of skills earns a cursory nod from the High Seer, and another imperious scan of his person. ::Very well, Kiln. I am not here to judge for my daughter. If what you have told me is true, you will prove to be quite the asset. I should like to speak with you about what forces the Dragon Empire might deploy against us if it were to come to war, but for now, I will leave you to your evening.::
"I did not mean to interrupt if the pair of you have a romantic evening planned. I will excuse myself now, as I am sure the delivery of the supplies for the refugees could use more oversight. Enjoy the rest of the evening. We will speak again soon Tyrrin." The High Seer says, standing and turning to leave, not having eaten any of the dessert set out for her.
As she opens the door, she turns her head to look at Ghalen, one more candid telepathic note. ::Tyrrin does not have nearly the experience that other elves her age would - for a long time I thought she may have been asexual. I can tell now that this is not the case... but be gentle with her. I suspect you know what I mean. Good day, Kiln.:: With that, the High Seer is gone.
Ghalen Kiln wrote:
The High Seer smirks, the family resemblance between her and Tyrrin quite distinct at that moment, despite the grey streak of age in the older elf's hair. "Courting, Tyrrin? I never though I would see the day. You've rejected any other suitor, most without a second glance." he r Mother teased gently, keeping the tone light in the room despite her ongoing telepathic interrogation.
::I see. Tell me what you believe your qualifications are then. I can See that you are not native to Agartha. I can see just by your bearing that you have had some sort of military training. Tell me. What are you?::
Ghalen Kiln wrote:
"Greetings, Ghalen Kiln. I am High Seer Faelwen Denulia." she returns formally. She looks around the room a minute longer, taking in the atention to detail, and then takes a seat, looking intensely at Ghalen. She has presence, a dangerous aura of power around her, though Ghalen may be used to such, given his upbringing. He can tell she is taking in every detail, every nuance of the scene, her eyes searching both the room and himself.
"You have done an excellent job at replicating our architectural style then, Kiln. And if my nose does not deceive me, you also just ate our cuisine. You must have gone to great lengths to set this up. I am quite impressed." The High Seer glances at Tyrrin, reading her expression and body language now as well.
While she is doing this, Ghalen hears the High Seer's voice in his mind. Hard-edged, and sharp. ::I would like to know your intentions for my daughter. I believe this is traditionally the role of the father, but Tyrrin's has passed on. So, if you please.::
During this telepathic interrogation, the High Seer continues to make small talk. "Well, Tyrrin. I have spoken with Ehos, and his lover. I must say, I believe she will be a positive force in his life. The one thing he has always lacked in focus. Perhaps Jaiye will help him to learn that."
Ghalen Kiln wrote:
"Indeed? And may I inquire as to who you might be, young man?" The High Seer asks, taking the invitation to come inside and examining the scene set before her.
"Tyrrin... did you create this space?" she says, without preamble of any kind, even a greeting. "It is quite stunning. Looks almost exactly like a room in the Great Tree."
Denulia gets a sad kind of expression on her face, and nods. "You are wise beyond your years, Jaiye."
She glances at Ehos a moment, obviously a telepathic exchange taking place between the two. "I will not delay your evening any further. It is your weekend after all, and I'm sure you would rather spend it enjoying each other than talking with me in the halls. Oh Ehos. Don't be coy. There's nothing to ashamed of."
Jaiye blushed slightly, though whether it was caused by the compliment, the pointed comment, or both was difficult to determine. "This is apparently a very interruptible evening, ma'am," she said with a shrug and a slight smile. "If you want to know about me, there isn't much to tell. I was driven out of my pack because the pack leader's mate considered me to be competition for her position. It's a common enough problem. I wandered for a while and eventually ended up at Avalon, fell in with a bad crowd, that didn't work out so well, became friends with Tyrrin who helped me understand that there were other ways to deal with problems than just brute force, fell for Ehos who took a rather long time figuring that out....that's the short version anyways."
"Yes, my son can be rather thick-skulled at time, can he not?" Denulia teased, which earned an indignant 'Mother!' from the datapad. "Still... I am glad my children have had such a positive effect on your life, Jaiye. I expect no less from either of them." she pauses, scanning the body language between Jaiye and Ehos. "... and if you are going to be part of this family, then I will also expect the best from you as well."
"You are planning to attend the Equinoctial festival." it wasn't a question, her face becoming a little more serious. "It will be... difficult. The people may not be entirely ready to accept a lycan in their midst. But... you are remarkably resilient, Jaiye. I will place my faith in you."
"It was a test." Ehos' Mother confirms. "One which I will note that you have passed, with flying colours. Bravery, loyalty, beauty... even a bit of wit. And you have somehow managed to get Ehos to commit to a single woman. I would say that you are quite remarkable, Jaiye." she continues warmly. "So, tell me a little about yourself... or have I interrupted the two of yours evening?" there is a subtle but pointed glance at the birth control charms Jaiye and Ehos are wearing.