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Jack Hammer wrote:


I understand. Just stunned a bit. I'll find our baby.

Err...maybe someone can help me...

Perhaps my grandfather would know? I'm sorry I can't be more help. That's the only thing I can think of. If he doesn't know, he can at least get the winds to help you look for her.


The elven woman enters the grove. Her hands are bloody and in between the forefinger and thumb of one hand she grips one of the smallest of stars. She wears the garb of a huntress, and a crown of ivy and foxgloves sits about her brows.
She glances at Jack Hammer and then at the world ash - perhaps it is through the star which she grasps that she seems to be aware of Lynora Jill too.


LJ gasps. "Elly! What has happened? Your hands... You have one of the pieces of my body with you. Elly, are you alright?"


I thought it not worth pausing to wash my hands, so urgent was my news.
Some of the cultists of the late Goddess of Dangerous Knowledge have converted to the worship of other, older, nastier, things, and have taken some of their toys with them - toys which, I gather, allow mortals to reproduce copies of themselves, without the spells which some powerful wizards use to achieve similar results.
She pauses and glances at Jack Hammer. You would be the former stone lord, I take it?


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

I thought it not worth pausing to wash my hands, so urgent was my news.

Some of the cultists of the late Goddess of Dangerous Knowledge have converted to the worship of other, older, nastier, things, and have taken some of their toys with them - toys which, I gather, allow mortals to reproduce copies of themselves, without the spells which some powerful wizards use to achieve similar results.
She pauses and glances at Jack Hammer. You would be the former stone lord, I take it?

LJ considers this new information. "They wish to make copies of me?" she asks, repulsed at the thought.


She goes on not waiting for a reply from Jack Hammer.
These cultists are searching for stars such as this. They believe that one very particular one which corresponds to 'the essence of life' will allow them to raise up 'an army of the sons of a goddess' to fulfill a sign in a set of rituals which they pursue which they believe will allow their masters to circumvent the Realms of Dream where they have difficulty with some of the local rulers and simply invade the rest of reality, outright.
I do not think that the cultists will succeed in finding the star which they believe exists and which they seek for, or not in time to do them any good.
If word gets about and they pay attention regarding the pretty young lady who has been seen with Azuri'ith recently in the Bazaar, and they are in despair over finding the star they otherwise seek, I believe they may hit upon the notion of attempting to capture her to use as a substitute in their machines instead.


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

I thought it not worth pausing to wash my hands, so urgent was my news.

Some of the cultists of the late Goddess of Dangerous Knowledge have converted to the worship of other, older, nastier, things, and have taken some of their toys with them - toys which, I gather, allow mortals to reproduce copies of themselves, without the spells which some powerful wizards use to achieve similar results.
She pauses and glances at Jack Hammer. You would be the former stone lord, I take it?

Yes, pleased to meet you.


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

She goes on not waiting for a reply from Jack Hammer.

These cultists are searching for stars such as this. They believe that one very particular one which corresponds to 'the essence of life' will allow them to raise up 'an army of the sons of a goddess' to fulfill a sign in a set of rituals which they pursue which they believe will allow their masters to circumvent the Realms of Dream where they have difficulty with some of the local rulers and simply invade the rest of reality, outright.
I do not think that the cultists will succeed in finding the star which they believe exists and which they seek for, or not in time to do them any good.
If word gets about and they pay attention regarding the pretty young lady who has been seen with Azuri'ith recently in the Bazaar, and they are in despair over finding the star they otherwise seek, I believe they may hit upon the notion of attempting to capture her to use as a substitute in their machines instead.

Young lady?


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

She goes on not waiting for a reply from Jack Hammer.

These cultists are searching for stars such as this. They believe that one very particular one which corresponds to 'the essence of life' will allow them to raise up 'an army of the sons of a goddess' to fulfill a sign in a set of rituals which they pursue which they believe will allow their masters to circumvent the Realms of Dream where they have difficulty with some of the local rulers and simply invade the rest of reality, outright.
I do not think that the cultists will succeed in finding the star which they believe exists and which they seek for, or not in time to do them any good.
If word gets about and they pay attention regarding the pretty young lady who has been seen with Azuri'ith recently in the Bazaar, and they are in despair over finding the star they otherwise seek, I believe they may hit upon the notion of attempting to capture her to use as a substitute in their machines instead.

Arielle is alive. She's alright. Oh, thank goodness. JH, love, you have to warn my grandfather. Even if you don't have all of your powers now, if you work together, it will hopefully be enough. You have to protect our daughter from these lunatics.


Jack Hammer wrote:


Young lady?

I literally had a split second to make her a body so she could survive. I think it was a child's body rather than an infant.


I need a drink...

Nah, I'll find your g-grandfather. And call upon the Jacks for help. They're uncles now.

No one will harm her while I live. Or beyond, if I have too.


Matters are complicated, and so I took a star I had been gifted by a traveller from Leng, and followed the paths of fate with it in hand back to this place and you, to inform you of this, she says to Lynora Jill. If I have surmised correctly - she has something of your look about her, and she was accompanied by your grandfather - the girl who was seeking stars in the Bazaar is some kin to you. Even if not, your grandfather might need to hear of this, if you have any means to speak to him, and she is under his protection for some reason.


Jack Hammer wrote:

I need a drink...

Nah, I'll find your g-grandfather. And call upon the Jacks for help. They're uncles now.

No one will harm her while I live. Or beyond, if I have too.

I know, love. I'm so sorry to have to dump this all on you. I wish I could be there to take care of her too. I know it's a lot to take in all at once. I love you so much. When you see our daughter...tell her that I love her and that I can't wait to meet her.


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

Matters are complicated, and so I took a star I had been gifted by a traveller from Leng, and followed the paths of fate with it in hand back to this place and you, to inform you of this, she says to Lynora Jill. If I have surmised correctly - she has something of your look about her, and she was accompanied by your grandfather - the girl who was seeking stars in the Bazaar is some kin to you. Even if not, your grandfather might need to hear of this, if you have any means to speak to him, and she is under his protection for some reason.

She is my daughter, Elly.


lynora-Jill wrote:
Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

Matters are complicated, and so I took a star I had been gifted by a traveller from Leng, and followed the paths of fate with it in hand back to this place and you, to inform you of this, she says to Lynora Jill. If I have surmised correctly - she has something of your look about her, and she was accompanied by your grandfather - the girl who was seeking stars in the Bazaar is some kin to you. Even if not, your grandfather might need to hear of this, if you have any means to speak to him, and she is under his protection for some reason.

She is my daughter, Elly.

Our daughter...

But I'm glad she looks like LJ.


Jack Hammer wrote:
lynora-Jill wrote:


She is my daughter, Elly.

Our daughter...

But I'm glad she looks like LJ.

Our daughter. Yes. I misspoke, love.

At least we know that she is with my grandfather. That should make finding her much easier.


gotta sign off for the nite


Why do you suppose that she is collecting your relics? Would she be able to know and care enough to be a dutiful daughter, to collect them for burial? I do not think for one moment that she would collect them for any one of the other more neutral or darker reasons for which others might collect them.


Jack Hammer wrote:
gotta sign off for the nite

Yikes. Is it really that late? Yeah, me too.


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

Why, do you suppose that she is collecting your relics? Would she be able to know and care enough to be a dutiful daughter, to collect them for burial? I do not think that she would collect them for any one of the other more neutral or darker reasons for which others might collect them.

If she brings all the pieces here to the World Ash then I can reform my body and return to the living world. I would imagine that my grandfather would know that even if she did not. I can only suppose that is what they are trying to do.


lynora-Jill wrote:
Jack Hammer wrote:
lynora-Jill wrote:


She is my daughter, Elly.

Our daughter...

But I'm glad she looks like LJ.

Our daughter. Yes. I misspoke, love.

At least we know that she is with my grandfather. That should make finding her much easier.

Easy to do. We're both new at this.

She's more like you if she doesn't have a metal head and drink too much, so you're entitled.


That may perhaps be more awkward than she expects - perhaps impossible. For a moment the elven woman looks a little sad. I know them, you see, the servants of the outer darkness, and before I was certain of their actions, I took steps... She sighs and shakes her head. I will ensure that what servants I have outside my realm keep their ears open for word of your doings here.


Okay, see you whenever.


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

That may perhaps be more awkward than she expects - perhaps impossible. For a moment the elven woman looks a little sad. I know them, you see, the servants of the outer darkness, and before I was certain of their actions, I took steps... She sighs and shakes her head. I will ensure that what servants I have outside my realm keep their ears open for word of your doings here.

May I have the piece that you carry? I will leave for the Eyrie as soon as possible, and hopefully give it to Arielle.


"Take my bracers with you when you go. One more set of guardians for Arielle certainly can't hurt."


lynora-Jill wrote:
"Take my bracers with you when you go. One more set of guardians for Arielle certainly can't hurt."

Yes...certainly...

JH turns to look at the forms of Leo and Aquila with sadness on his face. He bows his head, and the spirits respond in kind. Their forms become mist...

...and flow into Yggdrasil, instead of his hammer.


"I don't understand, love. Why did you do that?"


lynora-Jill wrote:
"I don't understand, love. Why did you do that?"

I didn't. They needed to.

I think it's temporary. I hope it's temporary.


Jack Hammer wrote:
lynora-Jill wrote:
"I don't understand, love. Why did you do that?"

I didn't. They needed to.

I think it's temporary. I hope it's temporary.

As do I. Be careful, love.

I'll wait here since there's nothing else I can do.


As JH awaits Elly's answer he places his forehead and palms against the base of Yggdrasil.


Jack Hammer wrote:
As JH awaits Elly's answer he places his forehead and palms against the base of Yggdrasil.

LJ puts her 'hands' in the same place from the inside of Yggdrasil as best she can given that she has to really concentrate to keep her form in any solid shape for long.


lynora-Jill wrote:
Jack Hammer wrote:
As JH awaits Elly's answer he places his forehead and palms against the base of Yggdrasil.
LJ puts her 'hands' in the same place from the inside of Yggdrasil as best she can given that she has to really concentrate to keep her form in any solid shape for long.

LJ can sense an emptiness in JH. Like something is missing.


JH, something is wrong. What happened to you? It feels like you are missing something. I...I don't quite know what.


lynora-Jill wrote:
JH, something is wrong. What happened to you? It feels like you are missing something. I...I don't quite know what.

I'm not sure. I feel 'disconnected'. I remember happiness and stuff like that, but I can't seem to feel it. It's weird. It's like part of me is empty. Part of my memories.


Jack Hammer wrote:
lynora-Jill wrote:
JH, something is wrong. What happened to you? It feels like you are missing something. I...I don't quite know what.
I'm not sure. I feel 'disconnected'. I remember happiness and stuff like that, but I can't seem to feel it. It's weird. It's like part of me is empty. Part of my memories.

I don't understand. The memories you gave me, they should be in the star that you have. In my heart. Look, I don't know if this will help at all, since I'm pretty well disconnected from my powers, but maybe I can get Yggdrasil to help.

She starts to sing, weaving the tune around Yggdrasil's Song, and around JH.

If there are any memories left in the star, that should unlock them.


To Lynora Jill:
Understand that I will not act directly to compromise the security of my realm. The best you or your daughter may hope for, if there is a conflict of interests is that I will delegate a decision to someone else. I wish that you had manifested the avatar trick of many deities of being in several places at once, instead of being tied to one perceived form.
I am no friend of the servants of the outer darkness, and in those places where my writ holds sway you or your daughter may request aid against any pursuit.

To Jack Hammer:
By all means.
She passes him the star, and turns to go.


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:

To Lynora Jill:

Understand that I will not act directly to compromise the security of my realm. The best you or your daughter may hope for, if there is a conflict of interests is that I will delegate a decision to someone else. I wish that you had manifested the avatar trick of many deities of being in several places at once, instead of being tied to one perceived form.
I am no friend of the servants of the outer darkness, and in those places where my writ holds sway you or your daughter may request aid against any pursuit.

"Thank you, Elly. I think in the end that we are trying to accomplish the same thing. I just have different borders to watch. And I too wish I had been able to learn the trick of making avatars of myself before the battle. It is not something Yggdrasil can teach me, and somehow SunnyG always seems to be too busy with something else."


The elven woman leaves the grove; it is not clear, after she handed over the star, if she heard all of Lynora-Jill's parting remark or not.


Nirellia Dimonia wrote:


To Jack Hammer:
By all means.
She passes him the star, and turns to go.

Thank you.


lynora-Jill wrote:


I don't understand. The memories you gave me, they should be in the star that you have. In my heart. Look, I don't know if this will help at all, since I'm pretty well disconnected from my powers, but maybe I can get Yggdrasil to help.
She starts to sing, weaving the tune around Yggdrasil's Song, and around JH.

If there are any memories left in the star, that should unlock them.

JH closes his eyes as the songs fill his body, his soul. His face relaxes. He holds each star in one of his hands, fists clenched.


She begins to include within the song the tune that belongs only to JH, continuing to try to help him remember.


[telepathy]To LJ and JH:[/telepathy]

Spoiler:

"This is likely the after-effect of the Stone. It's life force is so basic, it loses some of the sentience/complexity of the Green. In time your connection to the Green should bring your feelings back."


"Thank you, Tree Emperor. Is there any way for me to help him strengthen that connection, or is it just going to take time? I can try to connect his song into Yggdrasil's if it will help."


lynora-Jill wrote:
"Thank you, Tree Emperor. Is there any way for me to help him strengthen that connection, or is it just going to take time? I can try to connect his song into Yggdrasil's if it will help."

I do not think this can be forced, or if that would be wise. To go from wielding power enough to split a world asunder to normal is shock enough to one's system. Connecting oneself to the Pillars is usually a one-way trip. We are fortunate he is even alive.


Emperor7 wrote:

I do not think this can be forced, or if that would be wise. To go from wielding power enough to split a world asunder to normal is shock enough to one's system. Connecting oneself to the Pillars is usually a one-way trip. We are fortunate he is even alive.

Fortunate indeed. I do not really understand about the Pillars, or the stone powers. Perhaps you can explain it to me. Right now it seems that I have nothing but time.

To JH
I am sorry that I cannot help you with this. Know that I am waiting for you, and that you carry my love with you always. You should go. Find our daughter. Keep her safe. Keep yourself safe.


JH breaks his connection to Yggdrasil and thru it to Lyn. He gathers their belongings, and heads to the omniportal. He pets the few animals closest to him as he passes, and keeps the red squirrel from following when she tries. He looks back to Yggdrasil as he leaves.

"I'll find Arielle and have you restored, my love."

"Thank you, my friends."

He steps thru.


Jack Hammer wrote:

JH breaks his connection to Yggdrasil and thru it to Lyn. He gathers their belongings, and heads to the omniportal. He pets the few animals closest to him as he passes, and keeps the red squirrel from following when she tries. He looks back to Yggdrasil as he leaves.

"I'll find Arielle and have you restored, my love."

"Thank you, my friends."

He steps thru.

I think the timing is just right to run into the gang at the Eyrie, if that's where he's heading... :)


lynora-Jill wrote:


Fortunate indeed. I do not really understand about the Pillars, or the stone powers. Perhaps you can explain it to me. Right now it seems that I have nothing but time.

It is not a thing easily explained. I am not even sure I could adequately.

Spoiler:
To connect to the Pillars of Creation, you connect to all worlds. Even those without the Green. It is to partially connect to the space between Life and Death. You draw more power than you can imagine, but you must surrender a part of yourself as well.

The Earth Hammer tried to keep part of himself safe by giving it to you. Becoming a Stone Lord changes you. You become one with the primal powers. He may not be able to restore his memories fully.

I'm sorry, this is not something that's documented well. He may be the first ever to return from the journey.


Emperor7 wrote:
lynora-Jill wrote:


Fortunate indeed. I do not really understand about the Pillars, or the stone powers. Perhaps you can explain it to me. Right now it seems that I have nothing but time.

It is not a thing easily explained. I am not even sure I could adequately.

** spoiler omitted **

"Yes, I think I do understand. It is like dancing on the edge of a black hole." For a moment the swirl of stars almost resembles a face.

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