• Closed • Babies, Wolves, Slaves, and Barriers

Last season was busy, time to get caught up

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Faith
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Babies, Wolves, Slaves, and Barriers

Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:25 pm

As Padraig spoke, Faith thought about his words. Colder than anywhere he'd ever been? He'd been frozen to the bone when he got home, even his eyelashes coated in ice. Faith considered it and she wondered if she might start preparing now. He wanted to be better prepared and there were things that she could do, now to help him. Things to keep him ~ and the rest of the crew who went with him warm. Looking down at the needlework in her hands, Faith realised something. She wouldn't go. She wouldn't go with him because there was no need for both of them to leave the children. Would it be easier this time, to be out of touch with him? To not know whether he was alive or dead? She thought, probably, not.

Kura shared the story she had of knowing the dead zones as Padraig called them and Faith lifted her head and spoke, silver eyes serious and overflowing with emotion, but held in check. "When Padraig was missing, I met a man in Viden. I went there to speak to my friend, Linika, to see if the library there might offer some insight or if .. well, anything." She looked between the two of them and then glanced at Cally with an expression that told that she was, indeed, rumbled. "I didn't ask any of the ships' captains there, I'm entirely innocent." Of course, that was because Viden was colder than Scalvoris and she'd asked them all here. Or so she thought.

"Linika knew an ex-pirate called Knots. He was a rough diamond, but a diamond nonetheless and he told of a time he'd been where Padraig went,"[/i] Faith told Kura and Cally, Padraig already knew the story after all. She'd told him and he'd read all the letters, too. Still, Knots had told of going there and of their ship being attacked by sea serpants. "There were a number of books," Faith glanced at Padraig ~ she had purchased ridiculous numbers of books in the search for him and she was unapologetic. "One of which talks of those dead zones. Anyhow, Knots had been there, the edge of the world,"

They were attacked, Faith said, by sea serpants. "Ksamknai, in the language of Nekhet, so Linika tells me. The captain said that these sea serpants came from the east and guided him east through the sea, till he reached the west" He had a specific tattoo, Faith said and would draw the design if Kura was interested.

When Kura suggested that Padraig didn't go back, though, Faith looked down at her work and said nothing. That was for Padraig to answer, not her. However, Kura's point about there being information here, that did strike true and Faith glanced at him. "We could stay here if you wanted? Ask the university to sponsor research too." She shrugged, genuinely unconcerned. She was going to be staring at her babies no matter where they were. He needed to explore this, to get it out of his system. To discover what was there.

"Maybe this time, I'll be more able to keep in touch. Now that I can walk in dreams," she said. She'd asked Arlo if he could find Padraig for her, but he needed to know Padraig before he could do that. It was worth a thought, either way. Turning to Kura, she waited to hear what their friend thought of all of it.
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
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Padraig
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Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:53 pm

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That others had known about the dead zones long before Padraig and the ship's crew had run afoul of them, was both enlightening and to be honest somewhat frustrating. Perhaps it was a case of the right people not knowing. But there had in fact been books on the subject, but not here at the University apparently. If his professor had known, the very woman who'd been central to sending him out there, how many lives on that expedition might have been saved? Quite a few no doubt. He resolved then that in order to rectify the oversight, there ought to be some sort of lists, common to each university in the major cities, that could prevent this sort of thing happening again.

"There's no question that Idalos is older than seven hundred and eighteen arcs," he said. "In fact the heavens, the stars and the suns, are older than that still." To think differently, he thought, was backwards. As backwards as the misguided belief that Idalos was flat. "There's some sort of magic out there," Padraig agreed. "But not the kind we're familiar with. That kind didn't work. My blessings in fact acted as nothing but marks on my skin."

However, Kura's warning that he shouldn't go back? Padraig smiled and shook his head. "Any one of those reasons ought be enough to keep most others away. But not a scientist with any right to call himself one. In fact, all the more reason to go," he maintained. He would in fact go back, but this time forewarned and knowing what to expect. "Not blindly though. Not this time, and not without the right equipment and manpower."

Faith understood it, surely. She knew him. To ignore and forget what he'd found, and not look farther would be no different that a medical researcher on the brink of a miraculous cure, who simply shrugged their shoulders and walked away at the first signs of trouble. The real wonders of science, the things that could change the nature of life on Idalos. didn't come easy, and they didn't come without risks. Of course he wouldn't go back until Alexander was no longer a threat. But he would go back nonetheless.

"There's no rigid time frame," he told Faith when she asked, should they go sooner or later. More than anything he wanted her to feel secure and happy, wherever that happened to be. He could study anywhere after all, and communicate with the university by scroll as easily as in person.
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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:38 am

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Kura sat and listened as Faith explained that she had gone to Viden and done her own research, learning about the dead zones there as well. When the topic of the Ksamknai came up, however, Kura let out a low, owl-like whistle. "Imagine that was a harrowing experience. The Ksamknai are not known for benevolence these days. They're more known for attackin' and sinkin' ships. They're apparently quite monstrous. What manner of design would allow him to get past the creatures?" she asked, her tone curious.

When Padraig said the magic at work in the dead zones was unfamiliar, Kura nodded, then reached down and tickled Madison's tummy as she spoke. "Unfamiliar to us, but some of the Immortals could likely tell you a great deal about it, but I doubt any of them actually would without an incredibly pressin' reason, and curiosity isn't going to be pressin' enough for them, I don't think." she said. When Padraig said he was still going back, however, Kura shrugged. "I didn't think I could convince you not too. You'll want a more durable ship, a crew trained in sailing bad storms without supernatural assistance, things of that nature. And when you do go, you cannot possibly be cautious enough." she said, her tone serious.

Cally, who had been quiet through all this, spoke up suddenly. "If those magic ice caves rocks are older powers as you think, milady, wouldn't those still be workin' in the dead zones?" she asked, before reaching down to see if Noah had ticklish feet.

Kura, for her part, gave Cally a mildly annoyed look. "I have a name. I know you know what it is. You can use it just fine." she said, with the tone of voice that indicated it was a long argument between them. Then she frowned in thought. "You're right though, it's entirely possible the Portals Stones would work just fine in those Dead Zones. I don't know if they're of the Originals, in which case they likely won't, or of the oldest powers, but they be the only thing that'll be workin' out there that we have access too." she said thoughtfully.
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:18 pm

When Kura had suggested that he shouldn't go back, Faith kept her head down and said nothing, but then she glanced up when he answered and she smiled at him. "I thought you were properly prepared last time, but neither of us understood. Now, we do," her silver eyes were directly looking at him as she spoke what she had realised needed to be said, what he perhaps needed to hear from her. "we understand what you will be facing much better and that makes it more important than ever that you go back." This discovery was simply too important, it was what he had to do - it was who he was and she loved who he was completely. Therefore, there was no doubt in her mind nor in her expression. "And when you do, we will ensure that you are properly equipped. I'll start work on a few ideas I have to keep you, and the crew, warmer. But we need equipment, supplies. You need a medic with you." She didn't explain why, she didn't think she needed to.

"I've been reading about these plants, the biqaj use them. Make salt water drinkable. There are a lot of biqaj on Scalvoris, I'm sure we could get some." She clearly had been considering it and her gaze on him was clear. Of course he had to go back and he did so with her full support. "Last time was a lesson in the dangers of over reliance on magic and even on Immortal marks. We have grown so used to being able to feel what the other one feels, to sense each other, as one example of that over reliance, that we had forgotten the basics. At least, I certainly had. I will not do so again."

Lowering her head to the parchment next to her, she quickly drew the tattoo Knots had shown her. "That is the tattoo they all wear, those who were brought through from the east to arrive in the west. Or so he says. He was a nice man, underneath it. A rough diamond as I said. Seemed to think that I was made of china and might faint in shock at the darker sides of life." Faith resisted the urge to roll her eyes, it was a mistake a lot of people made in regard to the small, soft-spoken and friendly young woman.

When Cally called Kura mi'lady and Kura bit back, Faith looked between the two of them and spoke to Kura with an entirely straight face and serious expression, though Padraig certainly knew her too well to believe it. "I think you should consider it great progress that Cally is very aware of your name and your wish for her to call you by it, but insists on calling you what she chooses," In truth, Faith was being semi- serious, although she found Cally and Kura frankly adorable together. "It took me a long time to not have to remind myself not to use 'mister' in front of Padraig's name." Sometimes, he knew, in her sleep she still did mutter about him in that way.

As for the Eclipse portal stone, or the one remaining one they had as far as Faith knew, she shrugged. That was not anything to do with her - she hadn't been on the expedition where they were found and it wasn't her area of influence in the Council. Which reminded her. "Oh, while we're together. Isonomia is up and running, we have a bank account with two and a half thousand gold, a petty cash account and we can start looking at targeted, focused action. Are you in, Kura and, if so, in what capacity? You too, Cally?" She included them both because, bottom line, they were both people just one was more alive than the other."I was thinking," she added, almost managing casual but not, "that I might open a second business, an exclusive clothing shop and use that to add additional funds and we could set up a fund for the families of those who died on the expedition, for Jackson Eclipse's family - the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to make the world a better place." Which was, she knew, how it was. "And a soup kitchen, too, I think. But I don't like the idea of simply handing out, I want to help people fend for themselves. Independence is so important." Looking between the two of them, the young mother smiled as though she had suggested a trip out to the park. "What do you think?"
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
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Padraig
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Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:01 pm

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When Kura suggested that any one of the Immortals might know or be familiar with the sort of forces or magic that he and the crew had encountered out on the seas, Padraig tilted his head and curiously considered it. "Maybe. Xiur was there, but made no mention of it. And he wasn't there long enough for me to ask at any rate. It only seemed abundantly clear that something, or someone, didn't want us out there." Was it enough to discourage him from going back again? Absolutely not. He'd just go better prepared next time. Just as Kura had known he would when she'd suggested he do otherwise.

"While I'm at getting a better ship, it'll need more than a skilled crew to sail it. It'll take one lacking in all the usual superstitions that come with this sort of thing. I can't fault the crew's skills after all," he explained, referring to the men who'd sailed with him the last time around. But they'd been a superstitious lot and things might have gone just a little bit smoother if they hadn't been. They might have listened to his advice sooner, for instance, if not for thinking that his very presence on board was bad luck.

The portal stones though? Now that he hadn't thought about. Faith's suggestion that they'd need warmer clothing next time, and a properly trained medic, brought a smile to Padraig's face. He couldn't agree more. "My equipment too. Telescope, the rest of it, even had it not been destroyed in the storms, at that temperature it simply doesn't work properly. I'll need to dabble in a little alchemy, find some sort of application I can use on my equipment to keep it working in those extremes." It was yet another issue, that they'd run low on food and drinking water. And of course, all the while he'd been cut off from Faith. When talk turned to Isonomia however, Padraig sat back, sipping his tea and wondering if both Kura and Cally would be interested in this new venture.
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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:51 pm

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Kura nodded at the symbol Faith drew, though it wasn't exactly familiar. "It has to be more than just the symbol..." she said, muttering to herself. Both Kura and Cally remained silent until Faith, who both of them figured was partially joking, brought up Cally's choice of title, getting a laugh out of the ghost.

"Oh, she and I would both probably agree with you, if she didn't know that I use "milady" specifically because I know she hates it." Cally said, grinning at her Kura, who looked annoyed again, though she was clearly trying to suppress a smile. Then Cally paused and looked curiously at Kura. "Actually, why do you hate "milady" in particular. Councilor, Professor, Marshal, you never have a problem with those or any of the other ones." she asked, her tone showing her confusion.

Kura shrugged slightly in answer. "There's no indicator of what you did to earn the honorific. Councilor, Professor, Marshal, I had to earn all those. But "milady" is what people call Rynmere nobility who's only accomplishment is being born into the right family. There's no...substance to it, no meaning. And yeah, being a Mortalborn, I had some advantages because of my own birth. But I started at the bottom, as did Raskalarn's daughter. My first job was as a criminal defender in a backwoods village that would make Darbyton look cosmopolitan." she said, shaking her head. "I didn't get to claim rank and power because I was born to it. I had to prove that I was worthy of it." she said, her tone showing what she felt of being given a claim to leadership from birth.

When Faith brought up Isonomia, both Cally and Kura listened quietly as Faith explained what the group had thus far, and what her plans were. When she finished, the two looked at each other for a moment, the kind of look that was frequently shared between the parents of a particularly ambitious child, but when the looked back at Faith, it was Kura who spoke. "Lass, you volunteer at the Order, you work at Cally's, you're runnin' a charity faction, you volunteer on the council, and you're a wife and mother of newborn twins. There's only so many breaks in the day and you're goin' to run out of them." she said, her tone gentle. "Remember when you had to pull back from all the things you were doin' because you were exhaustin' yourself? Just the twins is liable to make everythin' even more exhaustin'." she said, but then grinned. "I'm definitely in, though. You'll need political support, and I'll be able to help out financially as soon as I get the bank off my back. I can help with the ones that need...hands on care." she said, smiling.

Cally nodded as well. "I'll help as best I'm able, which won't be all the time for obvious reasons. Havin' been there myself, I might be able to help with the most damaged you find." she said, before pausing in thought. "You'll want some men among those you feel comfortable assignin' the most damaged slaves and such you take in too. Not all abusers are male." she said, before perking up again. "As for the handouts, it's tricky, since if you exchange food for labor or such, you run the risk of folk not feelin' that anythin's changed. But somethin' from home might be helpin' you." she said, before looking at Kura. "The workforce assignment and layabout wellness programs?" she asked Kura.

Kura snorted. "Heavily modified perhaps. And those aren't what those are called." she said, before looking at Faith. "Somethin' I've been lookin' at suggestin' to the council is a way to deal with people who just refuse to work. The folks that are perfectly able to contribute to society, but simply ain't willin', as well as makin' sure they don't starve. For gettin' them to work, basically assign them the worst possible jobs. Cleanin' trash up from the docks, cleanin' latrines, anythin' gross, miserable, and utterly borin'. Pay them for it, of course, but give them the jobs that will get them wantin' to find any other work, give them the time to find better work as well." she said, pausing as the baby in her arms squirmed a bit. "The other program I've been pondering is for the same group if the first program is rejected. Basically, we feed them for free, but the food tastes really bad. Deliberately over or under seasoned, burnt, drowned, you get the idea. Basically, get them to go lookin' for work so they can afford food that tastes better." she said, before grimacing slightly.

"But that's why I said they'd have to be modified and heavily. Those ideas for people who utterly refuse to work, not those who've spent most of their lives in chains or some other legitimate issue. I could see government aid in findin' them jobs, but for not just handin' out food, perhaps a workable compromise would given them food for the first few days so they have time to get their feet under them. Then give them raw materials, so they have to make their meals themselves?" she suggested.
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Faith
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Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:32 pm

"I'm not sure that you can assume that it was about not wanting you there. It might be a remnant of an entirely different time?" Faith said, when Padraig spoke about the feeling that someone, or something had been keen for them not to be there. "When there is an injury, blood pours out, often washing away the kinds of medicine which would be applied to stop infection. It is something which should not exist and the fallout is.... non-discriminate. This might be the same?" She shrugged, not sure that it mattered, but thought she should say it. However, when Padraig said that he'd get a different crew, Faith's expression changed, her frown thoughtful. "It might be worth considering from another angle, Padraig," she didn't like disagreeing with him. But he was a scientist born and sometimes, the finer points of psychology were lost on him. "I would suggest that there are two reasons to consider taking exactly those crew with you, or having a good number of them among your crew." First, she explained, they were a known quantity and he would be hard pressed, she believed, to find any sailors, especially in good numbers who were used to sailing together who were not superstitious. But second, and much more importantly as she saw it, Faith explained what he probably didn't see. "They have faith in you. You saved them, brought them back from the brink. More than one of them has told me that and done so with tears in his eyes. If you have to have superstitious sailors, have ones with faith in you." She shrugged slightly and smiled at him.

In terms of the faction, Kura expressed her concerns and Faith glanced at Padraig. He felt the same, she knew he did. "I have to try," she said. "I've stepped back from actually cooking at Cally's, and if I can't manage it I'll give up the job at the University," although, in fairness, that hadn't been part of Kura's list and Faith considered too late that maybe she should have kept quiet on that. "But Cally's, Luna's, Isonomia, the Soup Kitchen, they're all one thing. Beacon, too. It's what they're calling the houses," she said, by way of explanation. "Beacon Village," she shook her head, unable to see that she had created just that. A village and community. She beamed with delight at the help they both offered and she nodded. "Well, then, welcome to Isonomia, our two newest members. You are both very welcome and we're grateful for your help." She looked at them both and meant it equally when she said it. As a devotee of Famula Faith was very, very aware that there were two souls offering their help here.

As for their ideas on the Soup Kitchen, Faith listened and nodded. "I'm going to try it for two seasons, as is. Just giving out one hot meal a trial. Soup and bread. I'm going to watch who comes in, speak to people. Get an idea of what's happening. Frankly, " she said, with a shrug, "if I'm feeding ten people who need it and one who doesn't, I'm feeding ten who need it. And the one who doesn't? Well, it fills a different need for them. It's when they're getting something which excludes others that I start to get irked." Once she had the lay of it, Faith said, she could get on and make decisions. Glancing at Padraig she smiled, making sure that he wasn't feeling like Kura did with regard to her exhausting herself. There was no doubt in her mind, the children would come first, but they would grow up in a world made better for them. It was her job, after all.
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Rynata
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Re: Babies, Wolves, Slaves, and Barriers

Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:20 pm

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Reverse Pirate Rynata,
here to reverse pirate your rewards!
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Name: Padraig

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Name: Kura

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Points: 15
Comments: I really enjoyed the rather peaceful mood I picked up from this thread. It seemed like a lull between adventures where each character got to appreciate their friends and some new family members. Everyone did a great job detailing emotional reaction. It was interesting to see Padraig, and then subsequently Faith's determination on matters of science, as well as the mystery and lore that was unpacked in the story.

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Also, please indicate on your request thread that this has been reviewed. Thanks!
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